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A Surprise? For Me? Green Belt for Me!

First off, I want to congratulate Catherine for completing another 5K! She beat her previous time and ran the entire 5 kilometers without stopping! Way to go! Good luck on your next 5K!

I’m recovering from a cold. Just wanted to throw that out there. Since I took a zinc lozenge as soon as I realized my throat was still feeling funny on Thursday afternoon, my cold wasn’t as intense. I was still able to go to kickboxing on Saturday and today. I just have an annoying cough.

So this evening at kickboxing, we did our usual conditioning during the first hour. After we finished our last exercise, the coach told us to stay where we were. He called all the black belt kickboxers to the front of the gym. I originally thought they were going to have us do another exercise or split off into groups. The coach said that kickboxers have an opportunity to obtain rank (we get belts in kickboxing). This is when I thought all kickboxers were being challenged to fight against the black belts and only certain people would get to the next belt. I was called to the center. My coach went to his office and in his hand was a green belt and a certificate. Oh yeah, and Franklin apparently had been keeping it a secret since Saturday. When we were leaving class, my coach wanted to talk to him, but had me stay where I was. Found out tonight that my coach told Franklin the secret about me getting my green belt.

If you remember my post from when I got my yellow belt, I said that it starts taking longer and longer to obtain higher belts and that you get your belt when the coach feels like you deserve it. There are also times where you don’t formally test and you get surprised with a belt. That was my case. I didn’t formally test and I only got my yellow belt three months ago.

I was told that no one has ever gotten to green belt this quickly, but I deserved it since I showed up to every class since I started and I worked hard. I have been doing kickboxing for more than 8 months. Today in class, I reviewed the techniques I already learned. I reached this goal sooner than I expected. I expected to get my green belt at the end of this year or beginning of next year.

Now that I’m a green belt, my next belt goal to aim for is blue. That means I will be learning more techniques. A few new things on the list of things you need to know for blue belt are things I already know. The two new kicks I will learn will be spinning crescent kick and spinning hook kick. I will surely be dizzy now!

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Rant

Don’t Moon the Photographer! A Guest Perspective of a 2016 Wedding

For my friends whose first language isn’t English: Mooning someone means to show someone your bare butt by bending over and pulling down your pants and underwear.

I’m going to be vague on a few things and change some names because I don’t want anyone from the wedding knowing exactly who is doing this guest perspective. This blog post is in the rant category because this will mostly be a complaint about the wedding.

In 2016, my parents, my boyfriend at the time, and I attended my childhood friend’s wedding. She was still in elementary school when we met, so I am still saying childhood friend. My friend Maxine married Josh (names changed). I didn’t want to be there because I wasn’t asked to be in the wedding (we all thought I was going to be in it. Even her family members thought I was going to be in the wedding). I was already in a bad mood because my then-boyfriend left his phone at JcPenney the night before when he was trying on clothes for the wedding. We didn’t realize it until after the store closed. When we went back the next morning, they didn’t have the phone claimed. I think a worker found it, but chose to not turn it in.

The ceremony:

  • Started late. Didn’t really care about that since I heard someone say that it’s bad luck to start a wedding on time. The reason why the wedding started late was because only a few people on Josh’s side were here. Many minutes later, a giant group of people from Josh’s side arrived. I guess they got a bus from a hotel and it was running late
  • Way too much prayer! One prayer is fine, but four or five? Way too much! I’m an atheist so this was a big problem for me. I swear there was a prayer between each part in the ceremony. I think I even rolled my eyes and quietly huffed after prayer number 3. This is why my wedding will be 100% secular.
  • The processional was sad. What I mean is the bridesmaids looked sad. I seriously wonder who died. I am likely to be a bridesmaid at my cousin’s wedding in April 2019 (my cousin’s fiancee told me I’m in the planning committee and her sister will text everyone next year) so I hope the wedding party looks happy. Side note: I am very excited about my cousin getting married.
  • The flower girls, who were 1 and 3, were going anywhere but down the aisle. From what I read, if a flower girl or ring bearer is under the age of 7, they may not walk down the aisle perfectly, even if there is a wedding rehearsal. The three-year-old eventually walked down the aisle properly, but I think Maxine’s stepmom should have picked up the one-year-old and carried her down the aisle (the flower girls were Maxine’s half-sisters). I think their delay in going down the aisle caused my friend to miss her musical cue. I have a strong feeling of when she was supposed to walk down the aisle with her dad.

After the recessional, the photographer told us to make a half moon around the wedding party for the group picture before the wedding party photos. Dad asked me if we can moon the photographer. I told him no. This is where the title of this blog post came from. Dad also asked this when we stepped into the reception area, after the officiant blessed the food, and while we were eating.

Reception:

  • I don’t remember if the salad was served before or after the wedding party walked into the reception area. I didn’t put dressing on my salad because I didn’t know if the dressing was ranch. I have a food sensitivity to something in ranch and I will feel nauseous if I eat or kiss someone who ate ranch. Found out later it was Italian dressing. The caterers should have actually said what it was.
  • When Maxine and Josh walked into the reception area, not everyone stood up. I think a table and a half on the other side stayed seated. Guess who was singled out by the “aunt” (who is actually Maxine’s dad’s friend who probably is still attracted to the bride’s dad)? That’s right, me. I was in a bad mood already. Lay off, you alcoholic swine.
  • The dances happened after the dinner, which surprised me. I expected the dances to happen right after the bride and groom walked in. I expected the following to happen: wedding party walks in, the newlyweds walk in, first dance by the newlyweds, father-daughter dance, mother-son dance, eat food.
  • I thought it was decent that Maxine’s dad walked onto the dance floor from being a bit hidden for the father-daughter dance, but I would want my dad to already be on the dance floor when it’s time for us to dance.
  • It was a buffet dinner, which I prefer instead of plated meals. This is mainly because I have some family members who may not be able to have a regular meal (niece is allergic to peanuts and beets while a cousin has Celiac Disease). There were a lot of food options. The alcoholic “aunt” commented that she loves black weddings because they serve fried chicken. I knew she was already drunk at this point. The food was good, though.
  • Mom complained about the music during dinner. I think she said the music sounded too “old”. I reminded her that this was Disney music by Randy Newman. All of the music on the CD on the tables were from Disney. Maxine wanted a Tinkerbell wedding, but Josh luckily said no. She got married shortly before her 23rd birthday, so yeah. Too old for Tinkerbell.
  • No one seemed to pay attention to the cake cutting. I’m not sure if the cake cutting was announced. If it was, no one cared. As someone who strongly craves attention, I would be openly pissed about it.
  • Here’s the part that caused me to almost start a brawl: the bouquet toss and the garter toss. Long story short, the garter was passed to the best man and the bouquet was passed to the best man’s girlfriend. On top of my then-boyfriend’s phone being stolen and way too much prayer, I snapped. I was livid. I’m flipping out at people and my dad couldn’t even calm me down. We had to leave during the groomsmen dance performance of “Sexy and I Know It” because I was in kill mode. The only reason why I didn’t start attacking people was because the bride was my reference for my security clearance investigation. Maxine, if you read this, you are damn lucky.

So to my fellow brides-to-be, grooms-to-be, and non-binary spouses-to-be, I have some tips for you based on this wedding (and a few other weddings, but mainly this one)”

  • Not everyone is Christian. Don’t assume and respect those who aren’t Christian
  • Limit people’s alcohol consumption at the wedding. Of course, alcoholics will have already had some drinks before heading to the ceremony
  • People walking down the aisle should pretend to be happy that the couple is getting married. I know the real reason why Josh proposed to Maxine (no, she wasn’t pregnant despite what I originally thought), but this is the perfect time to be fake
  • Don’t have flower girls that are too young. Four or five years old is a good minimum age
  • Make sure people use clear language so people don’t misinterpret things. Not only for people who want to joke at a solemn event, but for people whose language may not be English
lgbt

Coming Out: My Story

First off, I apologize if some things don’t make sense in my coming out story. I wrote this years ago and I discovered nearly a year ago that two romantic interests from university now identify as non-binary, so I had to change some wording and pronouns.

So most of my life, I thought I was straight. When I was in 6th grade, a rumor started spreading that I was a lesbian (everyone in 6th grade knew I had a huge crush on this guy). It was probably because I liked hugging people. I come from a huggy-kissy family. Nope. Straight.

Fast forward to my first semester of university. I kept having the desire to kiss girls, especially this girl who sat next to me in math class and was also in my first-year seminar class (I saw her three times a week that semester. Let’s call her Bec). That’s when I started questioning my sexuality. Am I bisexual? I’ve always liked guys before and at the time I liked a football player I met during orientation adventures. I later concluded that I was straight and was one of the not-so-uncommon people who wanted to know what it’s like to kiss girls.

In the beginning of sophomore year, I felt like I was starting to develop feelings for one of my roommates (which scared me since I never liked a girl before), but that was nipped in the bud when I started a relationship with a guy from anime club. One of my friends said those feelings went away because I was suppressing them.

Junior year, my feelings came back for the former roommate (we’ll call her Mo). Thanks to a lesbian friend, she helped me confess my feelings to Mo. To this day, I don’t know if she liked me back or not. During the summer, I woke up realizing that I was bi-curious. I was even planning on asking Mo out. That never happened.

First semester of senior year, I liked this guy after getting over a guy I was interested in. Mid-semester, I went to the Coming Out Monologues. There was a freshman there coming out as bisexual. Let’s call them Alex. That was when I deemed them the coolest person I ever met (we both like wearing hoodies and we don’t conform) and I felt like I wouldn’t be surprised if I fell in love with them. I had a dream that we were at an on-campus eatery and holding hands at the table. That was the first sign that I was getting feelings for someone who is not a guy. Once again, I was scared. After some encouragement from Alex, I confessed my feelings to them after the last LGBTQIA club meeting before the semester ended (the last club meeting was on the week before finals week). I wrote the note on the index card in case they were walking back to their dorm with someone else. I ended up having to hand them the card since they were walking with another club member. I got rejected a week later and I had to make sure I didn’t cry (being rejected so many times hurts. You get used to it, but it hurts). This was when I started questioning my sexuality for the second time.

Second semester of senior year, I went to lunch with another person from my university’s LGBTQIA club a week into that semester (I joined that club during junior year as an ally). Let’s call this person Taylor. They’re not a straight person. We stayed at lunch for three hours. They asked me at some point if I was bisexual or pansexual. I told them “questioning, but leaning towards bi”. After I got back to my on-campus apartment (they had homework to finish up, so we had to end the lunch), I couldn’t stop thinking about how much fun I had and that’s when I wanted to ask them to be my valentine. Later that week, I got my friend to take me to get origami paper and I practiced making origami hearts. I was going to give the heart to them at the club meeting before Valentine’s Day, but due to the impending snowstorm, that club meeting got canceled. I think I almost cried when I got the club cancellation e-mail. I ended up having to wait an additional week to give the heart to them (and that was after Valentine’s Day). When I developed feelings for them, that’s when I realized that I am indeed bisexual. I didn’t accept myself as bisexual until the Sunday after Valentine’s Day. Yay for realizing this at 21, which is later than for most people.

I’m only out to online friends and three friends from university (all three of whom fall somewhere on the LGBTQIA spectrum; a lesbian, a pansexual trans man, and a bisexual ex-boyfriend). I’m not out to family because even now, after realizing my bisexuality three years ago, I’ve only been with guys (partially due to dad’s homophobia, and partially due to my mom’s side of the family being religious Christians). I was also afraid to come out as bisexual because I didn’t know if the feelings for girls would end after graduating university (it didn’t. I developed feelings for a girl who worked at Noodles & Company). In retrospect, Bec may have been the first girl I ever liked.

Note: I am unsure of what pronouns Alex uses, but I do know that Taylor goes by they/them pronouns.

Uncategorized

First Week on New Project

So I just finished my first week on my new project, so I wanted to say something about it.

Day 1: Monday, October 2nd

There is a higher percentage of women on this team compared to my previous project. There is a higher percentage of people of color (people who are not white) on this team compared to my previous project. As a feminist and someone who wants the successes of black people to be brought out to the forefront, this makes me very happy. This day was just about being introduced to people, reading documentation about the software, and getting my laptop set up. You know, typical first day of work stuff. I found a thumbtack, so I’m going to tack the picture of my boyfriend from his Captain’s Career Course (and wearing eclipse glasses) onto my cubicle. It won’t stay up there long because he just did a phone interview to be put on the project I’m on and I don’t want to jeopardize my position on the project due to possible negative reactions to our relationship. At least I don’t need to find a picture frame. I also feel like I’m not going to feel a close connection with the developers there.

Day 2: Tuesday, October 3rd

I’m mad at my boyfriend so I didn’t take his picture to work today. Today was filled with more reading and setting up my laptop. I also had my picture taken for my access badge, which I hope to get soon. I feel like the cliques have already been established by the time I got here, so I’m just going to keep to myself. I also found out the company in charge of this project stays open on Columbus Day. Since my company counts that as a paid holiday, I can either take off that day or make it a floating holiday (which means I will work that day, and take off another day). One day, I’ll drive to the nearby Panera Bread to grab lunch, but I’ll wait until after I get my access badge so I won’t have to turn in my visitors badge every time I have to leave the office. Oh, and I didn’t get lost going to my cubicle. I was worried that the building layout would cause me to get lost.

Day 3: Wednesday, October 4th

Still more reading (though I think I’m done now) and still more set-up. Now I’m at the point where I’m just going to shadow people. For lunch, most of the developers went to a nearby Asian restaurant. Since I knew we didn’t have all the time in the world, I only ordered miso soup and a California roll. Service was really slow, even though there weren’t many people in the restaurant. I don’t think we’re going back since we were there for nearly an hour and a half. I’ll go to Panera Bread next week. I still feel like the social cliques within the developer team have already been established, so I’m going to stick with someone I know from my previous project when he starts next week. I already know I won’t like this project and I’m stuck here for three years. Hopefully Franklin gets approved to join this project because he’s my saving grace for this project.

Day 4: Thursday, October 5th

Kind of a boring day today. At least being at the nearby eye doctor during lunch made things less boring (the eye appointment went well today). I got to do a few things other than the usual first-week stuff. I got to test functionality and got to use something called Postman to test the back-end for a few things. Found out last night that my boyfriend didn’t get accepted onto my project because they felt like he didn’t have enough systems engineering experience. His boss is trying to renegotiate, though. I also saw someone from my old project. The guy goes back and forth between offices doing systems administration stuff, and today was his first full day at this office. So now there are two people from my old project on this project and a few more will be joining (the developer lead from my old project will start next week on this project, a tester will start next month, a developer will start in January, and another developer will be here… I don’t know when). Oh, and I realized today that my first work anniversary with my current company is in 6 days.

Day 5: Friday, October 6th

Today is pay day! I still haven’t gotten my badge yet, and I’m mildly angry about that. I also had to stay later than anticipated again. I hope this won’t be the norm where people want me to do stuff when it’s close to time for me to leave. It’s Friday. Most people were gone by 3, but I stayed to do all my hours. Not much to say. Looked at code. Learned that we can wear jeans on Fridays (not all contracts allow this). At least my boyfriend is spending the night tomorrow night.

Uncategorized

Exciting New Work Adventure

Today was my last day on my current project. I’m still staying with my company, though. I turned in my Common Access Card (CAC), said my goodbyes to people and was escorted out of my building. On Monday, I will be on a new project for work. This project is not on the military post I worked at for nearly a year, but the project will only be 6 minutes away from my house. No, I’m not taking a bike to work. I don’t have a bike since I never learned how to ride without training wheels.

Saying goodbye to people wasn’t hard. I will see a few people on my upcoming project, but they will start after I do. However, saying goodbye to Brad — who became my mentor because the project I just left was my first job that required a security clearance — caused me to nearly cry. Now I only get to see Franklin up to four times a week (maybe back up to 7 if he gets on this contract too), so I will need to adjust to that. I will see him for kickboxing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays and we will spend time with each other on Saturdays and Sundays. If he has drill that weekend, I will see him less. Sad sad, cry cry.

Now the reason why I am blogging about this is because I’m kind of nervous about my new team. At my previous job (my first job out of university), there were people at that job who were sexist, I think there was some racism going on, and people were not very willing to help me. On the project I just left, the experience was much better. It was still majority white men, but the men weren’t sexist and the developer lead and his second-in-command went above and beyond to help me. I’m worried that the next team won’t be as helpful or that the team will be closer to being what the people at my previous job used to be like.

I am still affected by the things that happened at my previous job. I feel like I will always be affected by it to some extent. I will not go into detail in this blog, but I will talk about it in a future blog post. I almost forgot to mention that I will miss my boss from my company. This boss was great. I worked in a different building than my company office and one day, my boss came over to see how I was doing. Tom’s great. I’ll miss him. I will have a new boss. Please wish me luck as I go off to my next adventure and hopefully improve as a developer.

Rant

Hero Worship: Sometimes it Goes Too Far

This post is largely (but not completely) inspired by the recent protests at the American football games on Sunday. People will be offended. I seriously don’t give a fuck.

If you haven’t been aware of things going on in the NFL lately, football players have taken Colin Kaepernick’s lead on peaceful protesting and have either kneeled for the national anthem or stayed in the locker room. This pissed people off. Mainly white people and people who are or were in the military. Those people are clearly okay with the injustices going on in America (or as some say, Amerikkka), and to those people, fuck you. I will not respect you for being okay with my life being at risk.

In one football team, the only athlete from one team on the field for the National Anthem was a military veteran. People were quick to point it out. This, and a non-negative event that happened after kickboxing last month is what inspired this blog about the hero worshiping that occurs with people in the military.

Last month, before my boyfriend went off to his two-week training, I met up with him and some men from his National Guard unit for lunch. Of course, they were in uniform. Two people thanked the guardsmen for their service. It made me think about whether these thank yous were legitimate or if the two guys felt like they had to thank them because they were in uniform. Some people also thank elderly men for their service. They didn’t have a choice but to fight in a war, so should they really be thanked? Form your opinion on that.

In the American culture, there is an elevated (and excessive) admiration for anyone who is or was in the military. Well, except for National Guard members since they’re misunderstood. More on that in another blog. This is what hero worship means. People think that anyone who chooses to fight in the armed services is better than everyone else. Heck, I have met at least one person in the ROTC who seemed to be better than the rest of the people in the religion class because of being in the ROTC. You are not entitled to anyone’s respect. You are not entitled to have your perks. You are not entitled to anything, so don’t be an entitled schmuck.

And to the civilians who like to figurative suck the dicks of the military: why do you do it? If you feel like you have to, don’t. It’s as ineffective as an insincere apology. Are you living vicariously through those in the service? People in the military should not be seen as perfect people or glorified to the level of a deity.

Awareness · lgbt

Bi Visibility Day

Bi Visibility Day, also known as Celebrate Bisexuality Day or Bisexual Awareness Day. What is this day about? It is a day to recognize bisexuals who are family members, friends, significant others, historic figures, and people in the general community. It is also a day to raise awareness that bisexuals exist.

Did you know?:

  • Freddie Mercury is bisexual. He was very much in love with Mary Austin and they remained close friends from the time of their breakup in 1976 to the day of his death. People only know of his relationship with Jim Hutton.
  • Bisexuals are marginalized by the straight community and LGBT community. This is why Bi Visibility Day exists.
  • Bi Visibility Day would not exist without Wendy Curry, Michael Page, and Gigi Raven Wilbur. These three people are bisexual rights activists.
  • Bi Visibility Day is in September because Freddie Mercury was born in that month. I just learned this fact. The bisexual rights activists mentioned in the previous fact love Freddie Mercury.
  • There is a strong lack of representation for bisexuals. Try finding an LGBT book. Not too hard with Google, right? Now find a book about bisexuals. Good luck. Look at the TV shows that have a gay person or a lesbian in it. They’re becoming more prevalent. Now find one with a bisexual character. Hard. Now find a bisexual character that is not a damaging stereotype. Likely doesn’t exist.
  • Bisexual originally meant having two sexes in one being. If you mentioned bisexuals in the 19th century, people would think “hermaphrodite”. Note: A hermaphrodite is a being with both male and female COMPLETE sex organs. Since this is not possible with humans, intersex is the term for a person with variations in sex characteristics.
  • Some bisexual celebrities (besides the aforementioned Freddie Mercury) include Angelina Jolie, Billie Joe Armstrong (from Green Day), Andy Dick, and Carrie Brownstein (from Portlandia). Of course, this is not an exclusive list, so don’t complain if I didn’t include your favorite bisexual celebrity.

Of course, those are not all the facts relating to bisexuality. There are also some statistics about bisexuals, but I will not post them here since some statistics may be triggering. In honor of bi visibility day, I am going to say something that I don’t tell most people. I understand if I lose followers from this:

My name is diaryofself, and I am bisexual.