6/26/2015 – A Fine Day

Do you hear that? The roar of celebration sweeping across the United States of America? The cries of joy – charged with emotion and tears? This is Marriage Equality. Finally, it has arrived.

Do you feel that? The swell of positive emotions from others reacting to this historic occassion? Vibrating and resonant deep within your chest as you reflect on what it means now that the law recognizes you as equal in terms of marrying someone you love.

Do you see that? The immense amount of work that is still left to do for the other members of the LGBT community who are in need of equality – specifically trans* people of color. Marriage Equality is a grand victory but it does not mean that the fight for equality is over. Things will not suddenly be peachy. Intolerance and hatred are, unfortunately, not so easily defeated.

Do you smell that? The celebratory dinners, barbecues and parties that are being held in honor of this momentous decision. Along with the gay wedding cakes and gay wedding pizzas too.

Do you taste that? The salty, bitter tears of frustration from those who have spent millions of dollars and countless hours attempting to curtail a segment of the population merely for being different. Merely because they did not agree with how another person lives their life. It’s okay, Opponents of Equality, this ruling has literally NO effect on your lives.

Today has been a fine day. Tonight will be filled with celebrations, laughter, smiles and tears. But tomorrow and beyond will need continued focus and dedication from those in the LGBTQ community (and allies) in order to fight for equality for ALL.

Eurovision Haikus III


It’s getting closer to May! I can’t wait! Here’s another round of my Eurovision Haikus.

Austria

A bearded lady
Preaching tolerance and love?
Yasss. Werk mama.

Azerbaijan

A pretty ballad
Azerbaijan delivers
Almost every year

Belgium

Beautiful vocals
Your mom dances very well
Oh wait…who is that?

Finland

Poppy rock anthem
Cool vocals, my question is,
Can he do it live?

Germany
Weird carnival vibe
Already through to Final
Lucky Germany

Malta

I feel for Malta
Every year they send good acts
But never go far

The Netherlands

A pretty song but…
Dutch Lady Antebellum?
More like Fleetwood Mac

Norway

This sounds like something
I can’t quite place what song, though
This will bother me

Russia

Oh wow, this is bad
Flashing lights can’t cover up
Terrible vocals

Slovenia

Oh, gothic flautist
I mean…it isn’t dreadful
It’s not my fav, though.

Ukraine

Not digging this song
How many points to Russia?
Should I not ask that?

Eurovision Haikus II

Hi! I’m back with my second round of Eurovision Haikus! Here are another ten and my thoughts on them in 5-7-5 format. Here’s the first batch in case you missed it.

Armenia

Wow, Armenia
Great voice and great emotion
But why the wubwubs?

Belarus

I’m not digging this
A wannabe Robin Thicke
Lost my appetite

Estonia

Good Europop song
Has a nice dance routine but
Kind of Déjà Vu?

France

Um, France? What the hell?
Blatant copy of Stromae
So bad. Oh my god.

Georgia

Georgia, what is this?
A bizzare hippie commune.
Did they say ‘Space Jam’?

Greece

Upbeat and Catchy
Feel like I’m in a Greek club
Repetitive, though.

Italy

I really love this
Italian Power Ballad
Next year…in Venice?

Montenegro

Don’t understand but,
The emotion translates well
Very pretty song

San Marino

She has a good voice
Sounds like a James Bond theme song
or a disco jam.

Spain

What a pretty voice
Already in the final
But still could go far

****

Honestly, there are some great ones but I’m not too impressed with a lot of the songs this year. I don’t know what it is, but it seems like so many of them are just too odd. And not in the good, quirky way that makes me love so many Eurovision acts.

What do you think? Agree/Disagree? Have you already chosen your favorites? Do you have a Top Ten already? Have I missed any that have been released so far? Let me know!

Goodbye, JET Program.

Our time on JET is at its end

So many things left to attend

But, let’s take some time to reminisce

a’bout all the things that we will miss

Cherry Blossoms, Spring at last

Underneath them, getting trashed

Summer Days: Bright, hot and and wet

Learning to live in our sweat

Watching the leaves in Autumn turn

The smell of rice fields when they burn

Not catching the Winter Flu

Nestled in a kotatsu

First or fifth year, one thing’s sure

JET has been an adventure

Riding cars, boats, bikes and planes

City trams and bullet trains

Getting lost, exploring towns

Culture Shock and Ups and Downs

Of course living here’s not always bliss

There are some things I will not miss

Massive bugs I have to squish

Natto and those pregnant fish

Workplaces that crush your soul

Rigid social gender roles

Raw fish cornucopia

Rampant xenophobia

No Central Heating or Insulation,

Is this not a first world nation?

And I swear I’ll lose all of my poise

If I hear that damn teeth-sucking noise

*tsssss*

….one more time….

We’ve adapted to a life that’s new

And through it all, changed our world view

And now, here in our final days

We’re all preparing to part ways

Saying goodbye is no doubt rough

I’m really not good at this stuff

How do we explain our life here

To those back home who we hold dear?

JTE & HRT, CIR and BOE

ALTs to TOAs, TESL, TOEFL and PAs

To those who are not in the loop

It sounds just like alphabet soup

Then there are things photos can’t show

Of our life in Kumamoto

Hot drinks from vending machines

Adoration from pre-teens

Festivals, warmed toilet seats

So many delicious sweets

Cicadas in the early morn

Conbini store shelves lined with porn

Yakiniku nice and smoky

Long long nights of karaoke

Kakigouri stacked up high

Nomihoudai, mou ippai!

Shrines and temples that are sacred

Chilling in an onsen naked

Walking at night without hassle

Living by an ancient castle

The feeling of a seven year old

Taking your hand into her own

And strolling with you hand in hand

Not caring if you understand

What she’s saying, no translation

Just a simple conversation

The only thing to comprehend

 Is that she’s made a brand new friend

Times like these stick out to me

In my mind, clear as can be

Memories like this are just the start

of countless ones etched on my heart

A heart that’s heavy, beat by beat

with feelings that are bittersweet

So, the time has come to take our leave

And though we want to, shouldn’t grieve

 Because at the end of our contract

We’ll never quite know our impact

On the lives of those who we have met

Through our experiences on JET

And back in all our home countries

We’ll hold on to these memories

This southern land of fire and heat

and beloved black bear with red cheeks

We’ll look back one day years from now

And stop and marvel at just how

We spent time here and made great friends

on this beautiful, small island

And so, our time on JET is at its end

So many things left to attend

But as we go East, South, North and West

I wish all of you the very best

– Ian Cruz!