Saturday, March 24, 2018

Contemplative

I have been a lot more active on Twitter and a lot less on Tumblr. I have been busy with my own Podcast and listening to a bunch of others. Life has been overwhelming and I miss my wife and our dogs.

But a few things have brought me to sitting down and writing tonight. I was on Twitter and saw Lez Represent Podcast talking about their latest episode featuring LezWatchTV. I had already seen Lez Represent and intended to listen to it a while ago (but life, work, busy, etc…) and I finally sat down to type up some paperwork and hit play. Then I tweeted about listening to that episode.  If you want to see many long conversations just follow the threads and re-tweets.

Part of this conversation talked about coming out. I mentioned, “I think I wrote a blog post about that.” Which I did, but it wasn’t the story I thought it was. Reading it again was a little bit eye-opening, and having a conversation about representation on the media also made me contemplative.

In other words, prepare for rambling.

I know I’ve written my coming-out story before. I’m sure if I dug around The Kitten Board I can find it, copy/paste and just be done with it. Which I might still go dig it up later because that will certainly be an earlier (fresher) perspective of it and it would be interesting to compare that to how I view it now.

Timeline: I graduated from my master’s program in 2005, returning home that September from Scotland. Read Mixtape to learn about that girl I was in love with back then. But that was the time I had really come out to myself. And during that time I had used Match.com and went on a few dates. A month or two before I was to return home I went ahead and changed my searches to back home. I started talking with one woman with the intention of when I returned home we might start dating. She eventually wrote me an apology, saying she had gone out to the club and met a woman in person. Turns out this gal she met I knew from college. Which was cool because when I got back we all hung out and it was nice to be around gay people like me. (Side note, glad this college friend took this woman off my hands, they had a disastrous relationship and I think oh shit, that could have been me!)

But I was still looking for a girlfriend so I talked to more women online. Agreed to meet up with one at a coffee shop and we found out later that night was a gay film festival and they were screening Girl Play. We agreed to meet later that night. And here is another point where REPRESENTATION MATTERS, especially in the media. If I had not seen this movie, who knows how long it would have been before I had the courage to come out.  If I had not seen Willow and Tara, I would not have been absolutely sure about myself. If I had not seen Kissing Jessica Stein (as much as people generally dislike this movie), I could have kept dismissing feelings about other women.

Back to my original coming out (to myself) post, if I had not seen Ellen…. Well back then I dismissed it. This is where POSITIVE REPRESENTATION MATTERS. I had seen the negative, the backlash. I suspect now that my own dismissal was entirely influenced by how the world dismissed Ellen.  I remember my Mom asking me about it, why I stopped watching the show myself (before it got canceled). I remember telling her it became serious and wasn’t as funny anymore. I’m sure there is a lot more to unpack here but hopefully, you get what I’m saying.

October 21, 2005. I see a movie. October 22, 2005. I come out to my parents.

I had already planned to actually. When I returned from Scotland I went to visit my brother in Portland. He was one of the first I came out to while I was in Scotland. We went to Powell’s Bookstore. I bought a book about coming out I thought might be helpful to my parents (it apparently wasn’t), and a lesbian romance novel, and a strange book about botany in some parallel universe. I was just waiting for the right time.

I was living with my other brother at the time. He was gone and I was going to go see my old high school marching band march in the district competition with my friend (we were both Drum Majors, and her little sister was now taking the field in that position). So I drove to my parents’ house to drop off my brother’s dog since no one would be home and I nervously sat down and said I had something to tell them.

I really don’t remember how I said it. “Mom, Dad, I’m gay.” Those might have been my words. What I do remember is my heart pounding. What I do remember is my mother saying “I’ve been dreading this day.” What I do remember is lots of crying. What I do remember is dropping this bomb, my mother wanting to talk more, and me leaving them with that book I bought to go watch the marching band.

They said they suspected. Apparently, something popped up on the internet about lesbians once. They asked about that girl in Scotland if she was my girlfriend (she did have short hair after all). I don’t even remember if all of these things had been discussed that day or the next. My mother thought she had done something wrong. Was it the complications of my birth or the drugs the hospital had her on? Had she done something or not done enough, something that made me this way?  It was all very confusing to her.

Ironic that I paused last night in writing the above paragraph and today I was (still am) playing catch up on Buffering the Vampire Slayer, and the episode for Becoming Part 2 where Kristin and Jenny talk about the coming out parallel for Buffy. I wish the book I had given my parents was the one by Kristin Russo. It was just super relevant to hear that episode after I mention my mother blaming herself. I feel the universe just balances itself sometimes. It also likes to think it is funny (and can have a cruel sense of humor sometimes).

It was a rather big deal for me to come out to my parents first, with the exception of about 5 people, I wanted my parents to be first because I didn’t want them to find out through someone else.  Then I came out to everyone else by saying “So I came out to my parents the other day.” As I have mentioned before, most people were not surprised. I did lose a few friends, they said I had changed. But as I came to realize, I had not changed, I had finally become the person I was and no longer the suck-up who was overcompensating and constantly seeking approval from my peers. They didn't like that I was no longer constantly available to them. Plus, there is also a whole thing about these “friends” of mine disliking my wife, but we can save that for another story time (maybe).

I understand I am extremely lucky in my coming-out. Sure my mother’s words hurt but in the overall scheme of things (and how I find it funny now), I can’t be disappointed with my coming-out story. And I’m always glad to share it. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Episode 6 - Slow Down

So me planning to get these done weekly is going super well so far.  I do average out to one a week, except I do two in one week after doing none. Well, at least I'm consistent? (I just jinxed myself and won't get the next one done later this week will I?)



01:02  DW and I have mentioned our time as Willow/Tara shippers and where we met, a forum called The Kitten Board.  So this is your gentle reminder, yes that is where we know Laragh from. And to also remind you from Episode 1, she is the reason we finally succumbed to reading Wayhaught Fic! Because she wrote one.

01:31  I already feel so ridiculously eloquent in this episode...

02:35  Hopefully you still like us?

03:02  Me defining Slow Burn Fic. OMG. Seriously WTF. I really need to take better notes, or script myself or something. Shit.... this is terrible.

04:39  See me choose fics that are not DW's ideal of Slow Burn.

09:07  Yes, I did not experience any one night stands during college.

10:16  I'm wrong.

14:06  Yes! Thank you Laragh for reading and being on the podcast. Disclaimer: I did not get the chance to read this massive fic, I did not have the time. I am glad DW had someone to talk to about it!

15:14  See, that is a genuinely surprised noise I am making right there

16:43  SHOUT OUT TO THE FAN FIC AUTHORS!

23:30  I don't think I could ever be as cool as @BotanyIsBest, I'm not that great of a shit talker.

So yeah.... I just kind of stopped. Let me make another disclaimer: prior episodes I happened to give a listen post-production, pre-airing of the episodes at least once. This episode was my first listen through so I was enjoying listening to it and stopped making notes to share with you, especially once we got to the interview portion, since I wasn't there to hear it in person.  Hopefully you were enjoying listening to it too.

Okay cool so it is past my bedtime... Goodnight everybody

Monday, February 19, 2018

Episode 5 - Ranch Life

So to deviate from the regularly scheduled program, I wanted to take a moment to discuss a thing before I get into Episode 5.

You may have seen something about that incident of hate on various social media. As a producer of content, and as a person who abhors conflict in general, I tend to default to "stay the fuck out of it." It makes me sad, especially in a fandom that is super supportive, when non-supportive things happen. But my other default is I feel inadequate in expressing my feelings properly and more, the fear of expressing them incorrectly and being misinterpreted.  This incident seems to show what can happen when things are misinterpreted.

I don't deal well at all when I feel attacked.

And I don't want to be seen attacking others when I disagree with them, so I generally just don't disagree. If it is something I disagree with, I try not to agree either, which I understand is dumb because silence is often taken as agreement.

I know by typing this, I am opening myself up to some of that vitriol being directed towards me. But there comes a point when you do have to stand up for yourself and what you believe in.

If you personally attacked Ray Galletti about his #RayHaught comment, or support those that did, you can just leave. I don't need you to read my stuff, listen to the podcast, or support me. I'm okay with that. And don't call yourself an #Earper. GTFO.

I don't want to hear "everyone is entitled to their opinions." You are, and I'm entitled to think you are an asshole because of them. I doubt you will be reading past this (if you even made it here in the first place), but if you are please don't forget that what you are doing is going to ruin what is the most supportive cast I have ever seen. And frankly, we already have too many stupid rules and things ruined by some asshole that didn't have common decency. Honestly, a big part of my current employment is because people can't be trusted to do the right fucking thing.

I mean I could keep going, there are plenty terrible things in this world to rant about, but let us return to our regularly scheduled programming and talk about wonderful things.



01:02  Will we ever stop being in awe of our episode count when we record?  Actually, I think we didn't "wow" as much when we recorded earlier... But still paused when DW said the episode number.

03:12  Frankly, I never know what I'm saying.

05:31  Photographic Evidence (and yes this is from the scene mentioned at ~26:17 that inspired the fic)



10:25  I realize how it sounds when I ask questions like this. It really sounds like I have not read the fic at all. But I promise I have terrible memory so unless something sticks out like things that I connect with very personally, or DW reminds me (because frankly I had not remembered the "Haught-stuff / Boss" thing until she talked about it), then it just doesn't stick in my brain.

12:10  I have a story about "bodice ripper paperbacks" and why I know about them. It certainly wasn't because I read them. Actually, I was an asshole and would make fun of the girls who would read these things. I realize now what a dick move that was since I do read and write lesbian smut, but that is the thing about growing up, having these realizations. I had a few friends that would read these things. One friend (actually a friend of a friend who I hadn't known very well), had stayed with me a few nights at Uni waiting for our mutual friend to arrive. I had just arrived in Scotland at the time for grad school and she purchased so many souvenirs  that she had to leave behind a rather sizable stack of these paperbacks.  They stayed on my bookshelf for an entire year because who throws away books!  Then I had another friend visit towards the end of my schooling, and she was one I used to tease relentlessly about her paperback consumption, so I was able to pawn them off on her. I'm fairly certain I was so embarrassed by them that even though I kept them on my bookshelf, the spines were not facing out.

14:44  Only 25 acres. The thing about the cow farm I grew up on, is the land was not well suited for growing much of anything. I've picked a lot of rocks actually, so we grow rocks really well. And cheatgrass. But alfalfa or pasture grass? Nope. Especially not without an adequate irrigation system, which was expensive and we did not have. I also dug a lot of ditch growing up.

15:54  I think when my siblings and I were younger, naming cows was fun. My eldest brother went for the more absurd, like Space Cowboy. I apparently had a thing for TV even back then, as I named one after Blossom, and then her first calf was named Six (of course).  We did eventually start naming them after people.  Actually, the very first bull was named George after my grandfather, so it had always been that way I guess. But my favorite story to tell is we named a cow after Grandma and then proceeded to name her calves after my Aunts and Uncles in order.  Calf number 3, being named after my father, was a female. So we weren't picky about gendered names.

19:26  Chrissy gets mentioned a lot as being a great side character.  I guess a way to win hearts is put Chrissy in your fic and make her a likeable character?

23:02  DW mentioned I was traveling. My wife and I were making our way to California where I now live and work. I had hoped we would be stopped at the right time of day to get in on the recording session but we had not. Again thanks Laragh for stepping in and asking my questions for me.

28:15  Speaking of questions. Cuffs did a great job answering them. And I really like how what DW and I had assumed was personal experience on a ranch was actually just a good job at research.  Granted, she did have what sounds like good experience growing up in a rural area and having worked with horses. I can see how that influenced the writing.

As a side note, for those of you wondering about branding. My family did not brand and I have no personal experience with it. We were too small of an operation to do so. We did ear tag because they did have to be identified in some way. Actually to go back to naming cows, my mother knew them by their names, my father knew them by their numbers.  If people are wondering why do such horrible things in the first place, let me tell you about a story when Lucado of the Livestock Board investigated my parents for stealing cows. I'm joking about Lucado of course, but I'm serious about the investigation.  My parents had taken a couple of cows to the sale. It was a new sale yard, as the usual (and closer) one in our county had closed down.  Someone at the sale yard had presented the cows out of order so what was listed as our cow was a branded cow that was not ours. Having a brand (that is not yours) on a cow that is not supposed to be branded is a big fucking deal. The error was finally realised and my parents are cleared but it was stressful.  So I don't know if that makes anyone feel better about ranch life and marking animals, but it helps to have things clearly identified when you are selling things in the quality of hundreds for thousands of dollars. And you might not think "cattle rustling" is still a thing like it was in the old west, but it still occurs. Just think about stolen pure-bred puppies resold on craigslist, only on a much larger scale.

30:24  I'm glad Cuffs thought I had a good question, and again I appreciate Laragh asking it for me. And I'm glad there was a story there!

33:58  Beyond happy that the door is not closed on more fics from this AU.

45:30  Actually I think this was one of the first fics I read in the fandom too, likely the first or second multi-chapter I read because it was complete.

48:25  Shout-out to Live Journal.  I learned about it and NaNoWriMo from that straight girl I was in love with. This was the around the same time I learned about fan fiction and became a Kitten so, it brings back lots of memories and feels (especially feels about coming out to myself).

Behind-the-scenes:  So despite the technical difficulties I had encountered in the first few episodes, the first segment on this episode was the first time we had to fully re-record because my computer crashed and the audio did not download. Not sure if DW would want me to tell you this but I like sharing these little secrets with you all.

I'm glad you all seem to be liking it, and are all still listening and following and tweeting at us.  Earpers really are THE BEST.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Episode 4 - Dynamic!


So I ended up writing a good portion of this on Sunday and then not posting it. Now it is late and I have Episode 5 still to get to....

But back to Episode 4 - Diverse Dynamics



I'm going to go with a different style here with this episode than I have with my previous. Because when I feel awkward I definitely beat around the bush...

So let us turn to science!  I learned recently, and randomly, from a youtube video about soy (and generally falling down a social media spiral of clicking on things that look interesting), that the original idea of Alpha Wolf is outdated by the scientist who coined the phrase. That original biologist, L. David Mech, who wrote the book "The Wolf: Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species," has learned more about wolves than he did when he studied and wrote that book in 1968. Alpha wolf is an outdated notion. One that has been grasped onto by those who wish to to perpetuate that toxic masculinity notion of strong males can do whatever in the hell they want.  And they can suck it because check out these lesbian wolves.  Seriously, I need to stay off of youtube sometimes.

So my wife and I have 3 dogs. I consider our family a pack. If ABO were a thing, here is how it would break down...  My wife is the Alpha. Our oldest (border collie/aussie shepard) is the Beta, and sometimes he will get mildly aggressive during play, especially if there are females in heat on neighboring farms, and will "challenge" my wife (or that is the way we understand it in this pack dynamic notion). The middle child, my baby girl, (similar mix to the oldest since he is, in fact, her father, and her mother was the same mix with some cardigan welsh corgi mixed in), I honestly don't know where she would fit. She is deaf and doesn't give two fucks about much other than food and sleep. She might think she is an Alpha because she can boss her father around. The baby boy (a dachshund), he loves everyone and sort of lives in two different packs (he stays in the house during the day with his friends a boxer and a papillon because his older "siblings" are assholes). And then there is me. The joke is, I'm just the human who feeds them... 

But back to ABO, because the idea does exist and it has become popular in werewolf fiction, and now this non-werewolf ABO specific genre of fiction.

Actually, just listen to the podcast with Jude and Kendrene and their explanations, they are both more eloquent that I.

I'll go back to talking about random things.

So there are some notes I made when I sat down with DW to chat that I didn't get into. Which is fine, the conversation flows how it flows. Also this was before I learned to give DW an idea of some things I wanted to note so she can lead me in properly.

The scent bonding idea struck a chord with me. And I might get TMI, but scent is one of those things that helped clue me into being gay, and also helped clue me into my wife being the one. Acutally, I'll just leave it at that because I will get to the oversharing point very quickly.

My other note that correlates to scent is, in this fic, specific plants are named as scents. As a botanist, which might have been mentioned a few times now, I use scent to aid me in plant identification on occasion.  Want to tell the difference between the rabbitbrushes, especially when you are in that stupid hybrid zone and it kind of looks like both? I would use smell to differentiate. Not that it would ultimately matter in an ecological context, as most often was the focus of the study, because they both occupy the same niche. It is just how some of us scientists operate. Just ask a geologist about licking rocks. But I digress...

So I ended up going on a huge botany spiral in my notes and researching all the plants, which was neat but not ultimately helpful in my chat with DW or when we interviewed Kendrene.

 I might do a special blog about some of the interesting plant factoids I've come across reading fic.  We can even go back to Episode 2 and talk about orange hawkweed...

And last but not least. Some behind-the-scenes fun, shortly after DW pressed the stop recording button the words "I will eat pasta and think of you" were said. 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Episode 3 - Poetry

Look at that, as soon as I hit publish, I'll all be caught up for Monday's Episode 4!

So have yourself a listen while I ramble on about it.



01:55  I'd like to see a show of hands of those who were not avid reads yet that now are...

02:07  Seriously, I have to search so many acronyms and online slang

04:54  I paused and never finished my thought. I was thinking Beta as in the 2nd letter of the alphabet.

06:09  Fanfiction.net, I know a few authors who've had issues over there, which is why I think AO3 has become the more significant fanfiction archive website. I believe they don't have an Explicit or equivalent rating and if they think it is beyond Mature, and someone reports it, it will be taken down. Just checked and it says this "Please note FanFiction does not accept explicit content, Fiction Rating: MA, and the rating is only presented for reference."

08:17  Proof I will read anything she writes. Even though I already have lots to read, the other day I went and checked out one of her Ghostbuster fics (rated Explicit).

09:09  IT IS POETRY

14:44  Being Nice = Flirting; I could write a whole blog post about how many dudes had crushes on me when I was younger because I was always so nice... No, I promise. I was not flirting

21:04  Oh the awkward pausing and squeaking voice when I'm talking about sex, even beautifully written sex.

23:13 CONSENT IS SEXY

24:26  Just realized the parallels of the world we currently live in and how it is coming to light, for many men, about why women don't speak out, get help, confront the badness they deal with on a regular basis.  This shit is deep.

26:30  Did anyone else's brain go there? "A lot of meat on this bone...."

29:55  I should clear this up, since y'all know that I've been a fic writer for a while now. I'm speaking specifically about writing Wynonna Earp Fan Fiction and shipping of Wayhaught. As I had resisted from reading Earp Fiction (finally getting sucked in by this Mature rated fic), I had resisted from getting even more involved by starting to write. I had enough shit to do already, plus unfinished Willow/Tara fics. I just didn't have time to get started with more ideas that would never come to fruition.  Then I had a terrible idea. I presented my idea to DW and she felt it was not something she could write. I had no intention of writing it ever and considered pawning the idea off on a writer who could pull it off.  Less than a week later Tigerlo wrote this (also rated E). And I was inspired. What had started as a terrible idea actually began to turn into something wonderful and beautiful. And maybe someday I'll finish it and post it.

36:20  I'm still doing my Tumblr wrong, and this month will be full of selfies

38:54  I'm glad I didn't discover fan fiction when I was in college. I did discover it during my postgrad at Uni, and I barely survived.

41:14  There is something about a 6 hour drive on a fairly empty highway, music blasted and singing along, that is conducive to sorting out fic ideas or getting unstuck. If I'm lucky I'll have it sorted enough that when I do open my notebook or document later I can start off of what I built during my drive. I'm not often lucky.

49:45 I am a terrible fic abandoner. Some I don't think I will ever get back to. Too much time has passed and the moment is gone. But I agree with Tigerlo, there is something about posting multichapters as they come and getting to the end and going "crap!" it would have worked better for the ending if I had made this small change. So you either change the earlier chapter and hope people don't get mad, ignore the difference in continuity and hope people don't get mad or you change your brilliant idea to stay within the groundwork you've already lain.

01:02:52 Is it awkward that I'm telling complete strangers I love them? Who cares. I LOVE YOU ALL!

Notes: This was one where I actually took my notes down on my cellphone note app. I checked to see if there was anything that I missed and I wanted to mention. It took me a while to find it.

Now we did talk about Tigerlo's Tumblr, and what I as squealing about is her posts when she provides previews of her work before it is published to AO3. In this case, I made a note about the bandage scene in Waverly's Season 1 piece "inside, an echo" I had seen on Tumblr.  I was tempted to go hunt it down and link it, but I am defnitely done for the night!

Good night everyone.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Episode 2 - History

Episode 3 has already aired, so its time for me to give a look back at Episode 2!

Now the plan (no guarantees here, just a plan) is that sometime during the week that an episode airs and before the next one does, I will do my re-listen, thoughts, what I missed, etc.  So I'm still behind, maybe I will always be behind. Who Knows? Hopefully, it will be fun and you all will enjoy it immensely.

And to mention Episode 1 again, I would like to encourage some more audience participation?  I wouldn't mind hearing more Mixtape Stories.



~00:56 It is still strange to hear my voice. Amazing how it sounds so different in my head. But then there is the other side, getting to hear DarkWiccan. We've been friends for a year, regularly messaging each other back and for. And I know when we recorded the 1st one it was so bizarre to hear her voice.

~03:46 Seriously guys, I am terrible at editing because I'm the type of writer who does not first draft very well. So writing goes slow as I agonize over wording. And when I review what I've written my brain autocorrects and I just don't catch stuff.

~08:33 When I came out to my parents, my mother said "I've been dreading this day." So they saw it coming, but were not ready for it. They got better. I consider my coming out story a generally positive one.

~10:06 I used to think some of my extended family was super white trash... then I met some of my wife's extended family members....

~11:55 I forgot the Actual part when speaking but..... screenshot as promised


~17:20 When I signed up I was totally okay with being the bumbling sidekick. And I was still fairly nervous and require some prompting from DarkWiccan.

~19:07 Have we gotten comment from Smurf yet about our chanting?

~20:30 Thanks DarkWiccan for aging us. I know we already discussed we were old fogies, but Bob Newhart... reallly?

~26:00 Refer to this tweet about this. Side note: this was the first thing we actually recorded and I was totally nervous and scared.

~34:30  I will keep this botany spiral to a minimum, because I'll probably elaborate more on a separate blog post. Hawkweed!

~37:12 Darlene.... Oh Darlene.

~49:43  "Emily forgot to run it by me first." Will always be THE BEST LINE EVER!

~55:41 Waverly's turn to speak (Smurf just posted Chapter 17 the other day. So go read!)

Also, we are on iTunes now, so subscribe and rate! Goodnight folks!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Episode 1 - Mixtape

I'm a little late to my own game? That's standard operating procedure.

But here is the quick and dirty. I am now involved in a podcast. It is called Earp Fiction Addiction. I read a lot of Fan Fiction. I even occasionally write it. And on top of this awesome project I've been super crazy busy with big life changes.  Got it? Good.  Check this out.  I'll be doing a re-listen and typing some thoughts below.



I can't listen to Olly Anna "Write my Story" on my own playlist without getting the urge to listen to the podcast now.

Geez, that is a lot of nervous giggling on my part. I am of the personal belief that DarkWiccan is way more eloquent than I am on a regular basis. I consider myself better on paper.

I still haven't made headway on any fic since I recorded this first podcast.  Keep in mind we record weeks in advance because that is how we do, so it has been a while since I've written anything.  In fact the last time I typed anything of significance, I believe it was on this blog at the 1st of the year.

I apologize for all the background noise. I had not gotten my fancy microphone yet and I was nervous and shuffling papers and smacking the desk.... I get better about it I promise.

I've heard this podcast before, more than once, after DarkWiccan got it all put together, but I just started listening and got lost. I really hope everyone else is getting sucked into it.

I can't even.... Seriously.  Still can't.

So I really was super excited to talk to Pirate and Smurf. I had a different set up than the first segment. First of all, I was trying to record in a more quiet environment so I borrowed a laptop, hid in my room and told everyone to not bother me.  My room is on the edge of the WiFi signal. I tell everyone to get off. I just didn't have the bandwidth to keep up and kept getting kicked off. So I got to say Hi to Pirate and Smurf but I didn't get to ask them the questions.  DarkWiccan did a great job though.

Smurf can't even. It's a thing.

It is just so amazing to hear Smurf and Pirate's own words speaking about the massive alternate universe that is the 80's Mixtape AU.

Last thoughts....

I've recorded 6 (or so) episodes so far and there is always something that I forget or I don't have a chance to get to. In this particular case, I wanted to ask the podcast peeps about Mixtapes.  So I will pose the question to my audience here, and probably on Twitter and Tumblr.  What is your mixtape story? Have you given or received one? Please tell me about it.

I'll start off with mine, which, since I might be a little drunk right now, I'll go into way too much detail than I should, and also would have had time for to mention on a podcast.

I was away at graduate school, studying Botany in Edinburgh Scotland.  I was in the grad dorms, filled specifically with us foreigners not from the UK.  I'm not super social but I did finally start spending time with my flatmates, the other American and the Canadian, and through them I met more people from other parts of the dorm.

And there was one girl I got super close with. I had recently discovered my gayness, but even halfway around the world where I could have started fresh and open, I did not. I'm sure I've mentioned it at one point on my blog, I just overall wasn't dealing with it very well.  But I had found fan fiction and The Kitten Board, and I was coping, sort of.

We talk about lots of stuff, except the part where I think know I'm gay.  I get her to watch Buffy. I had all of the seasons and she'd come to my room and we'd watch them on my laptop. At one point in our friendship she makes me a CD.  Music she thinks I would like.  I had it on repeat. Would sleep to it.

She introduced me to LiveJournal and NaNoWriMo. She is a history major and knows all about Scotland and is learning Gaelic and shows me all the neat stuff at the Museums. She is a Goddess and god damnit I'm totally falling for her.

I know about her undergrad, just as she knows mine.  She went to a Seven Sisters college. She has had her fair share of female friends come out (and come on) to her. I'm sure she had to have suspected. But I stayed quiet and enjoyed my cuddle buddy.

We take a train to Mallaig and stay in a hostel. We ferry to the Isle of Skye, and see Clydesdale's being ridden along the beach and walk through the gardens of Armadale Castle. Back in Mallaig, we find a bench situated up the road overlooking the water and the Isle and watch the sunset as she is curled up against me in the chilly evening air, my arm around her holding her tight. The train ride back I spent drawing a pentagram, so I could show the tattoo artist how I wanted it shaded, because he didn't get it when I tried to explain it. A week before I left, I got the tattoo and ended up just using my drawing.

When school was over and it was time for me to go home, I received a hand written letter before we joined my parents (who came to visit and bring me home) and my classmates out for drinks, and a request to read it after I got home. I believe I had finally come out to her, which she suspected, especially the night I came back to the dorms black out drunk and called her to help me get into my own room, talking about hitting on the cute Czech bartender, who was giving me free drinks.  But back to the letter. She declared that, out of all the women who had taken interest in her, I was the only one she had ever considered. 

I read it in the bathroom that night. I don't know how I managed to get my shit together and go back out and continue the conversation with everyone like my world hadn't just been turned  upside down.

She also gave me one last CD. Translated from Scottish Gaelic it says "Dream of the Stars." She had, like the one before, drawn a cute CD cover and included in the booklet the list of songs.  The letter mentioned a hidden track in this CD, not on the list and somewhere in the middle.

I never did get that kiss.

We sent a few hand written letters back and forth for a while and a few emails. We are still facebook friends but we don't really talk anymore and my wife still refers to her as my "Scottish Girlfriend" even though she is American and her heritage is mostly Italian.

So that is my drunken TMI - Mixtape story.  What's yours?