December 20, 1996
12:31AM Technically December 21, 1996
Well, I wrote the following entry a while back but never got around to uploading it.
As we last left the adventures of Justin , I just got back from a trip to New Hampshire to interview Matt, the potential houseboy, with Larry. In the time since, more specifically, last weekend, Matt came out to California for a reciprocal visit.
After arriving on Friday, the 22nd, Matt, Larry, and I hung out at the ranch with Katie. For most of the weekend, the mood was playful, but I felt (and Larry said too) that Matt seemed more distant. When we were there, I thought that Matt would be one of the gang, so to speak, hanging around and being a friend as much as an employee, but after the long weekend in California, I now think he'll be more of an employee. I mean, it definitely won't be a typical employer-employee type of relationship, but I think there will be much more of a defined line than I'd previously thought. Time will tell...
In more recent days, the entirety of Monday and Tuesday was spent writing papers for their pre-Thanksgiving deadlines. I stayed up until 3:45AM on Monday night then woke again Tuesday morning at 8AM to finish a paper that was due at 11, then repeated the early-to-bed/early-to-rise 3AM-7AM pattern for a cinema paper due at 6PM Wednesday night. Neither the first or second papers were great, but I doubt they could have been much improved if I'd taken longer. (Sidenote: My first paper was for Communication and about cognitive dissonance theory. As a poor grade would upset me, I create new cognitions [that more time wouldn't have helped] to lessen the amount of dissonance). Hey, I learned something!
Back To Present Day
Geez, a lot has happened and I must admit that in addition to just wanting to avoid the overwhelming task of bringing everything up to date, I've also avoided the diary because I've been busy beyond belief. But, back to where I left off...
Larry, Katie, and I left for Kentucky late Wednesday night, the day before Thanksgiving. After arriving somewhere around 7AM, we rented a van and headed southward from the Cincinnati airport to my hometown. The four months I'd spent since driving out to LA were the longest I'd ever been away from home, but I must admit that I was hesitant about going back. While I did want to see my parents again, I had no desire to run into the countless fellow classmates of Madison Central High. Nor did I really want to be in the confrontational space of bringing home Larry and his daughter. I mean, I love him and my parents are fine with everything (In fact, my mother and he get along great), but the "G" word had never been said around my brother and I was worried not only that he'd make me feel awkward, but he'd be rude to Larry as well.
I couldn't have been more wrong. The two of them got along great. One night my brother even locked his keys in his truck and Larry let him use his AAA card for the locksmith. I guess my brother and I have both grown a lot since I moved away over two years ago.
For 99% of the trip, things were great. We hung out, had dinner with Mom and Dad, got out picture at the Wal-Mart photo galler , and Katie just had a great time hanging out with my mom and eating all the candy she could stand. It was pretty remarkable.
The weekend after we got back into LA, Jason, this blonde guy in his early twenties from Biloxi Mississippi flew out. Larry had originally found his ad when looking for a houseboy, but after a few conversations with him on the phone, it was obvious that he wasn't the right guy for that job. But, being the sort of gay humantiariam that Larry is, he said he'd fly him out and interview him for a job at one of his companies. And so, long story short, Jason arrived in California on Friday, December 6th. For the weekend, we showed him around LA and "hung out" He was an odd character at first. No matter what I tried, from the punching, to the teasing, to the harassing, I couldn't get a reaction. He had a major wall up and wouldn't let it down. But by the second day, he was still shy, but huggable. We managed to convince him that a dip in the hottub would be fun and he ended up sleeping in the bed with us. Perhaps it was his southern accent, perhaps it was his innocence, but Larry and I both really liked him and after an interview with Larry's assistant, he was offered the job. [Looking back on this paragraph, it seems to be like ones I've written before, but there's something different about Jason. For one, he'd read the diary and could almost site passages verbatim. He was fully aware of the situation. But moreso, there was no ploy to get him into the hot tub to see him naked, but rather, even though, he was gay, it was a situation similar to Lee, where the getting the wall down was the goal and the hot tub was the means. It was as though Jason was keeping up a wall because he was afraid to get hurt. That was what I wanted to remove.]
Speeding forward... Jason gave notice at his current job and is moving to LA. I think he'll either live in the house next door for a few months or downstairs until he gets enough money to find a place of his own. Seeing as how there's nothing that precludes him from being that illusive third, that's fine by me.
On December 8th, Jason flew back to Mississippi. On the way home from taking him to the airport, Larry and I were listening to the radio when we heard that the Reba McEntire concert in Anaheim was cancelled. As 7th row back, dead center $225 each tickets were my Christmas present, I was way less than happy. For the rest of the night, I pretty much complained.
Monday, December 9th, was spent studying and studying. I only needed an 81% or better on the Communications 200 final to get a "B" for the semester and there was no possibility of an "A," but I studied and studied (including a three hour review session with the professor) to make sure I had a "B".
Tuesday, December 10th, I went by the Freshman Writing Center before my 11 o'clock final in order to pick up my COMP 102 final and see what my grade was for the semester. The professor said that the papers would be in a box just outside his office, but they weren't and the door was locked. After a couple other students arrived and after waiting for a few minutes, I decided to call the professor's home phone. It was busy the first two times, but then he answered. He said he was feeling under the weather, but that he'd tell me my grade.
Group Grade (participation) = A
Portfolio Grade = A-
Final Grade = A-
I was all prepared to raise a ruckus if I didn't get a "B" because I thought he'd graded me harder all semester because of our like sexual orientations. I got a C/C+ on the first paper, a B/B+ on the second (which was graded by a caucus of profs.), a C/C+ on the third and an A- on the fourth. When he read my grade over the phone, he made a comment about how it reflected my end progress, but it still sorta sucked that I got such bad grades during semester. But I guess what goes on the transcript is what counts.
So, still on the high from finding out I'd gotten an "A" in COMP, I went to take my Communications final... but before class began, Joy, one of the TA's, got up in front of the class and proceeded to yell at us for our "blatant plagarism" in our term papers. She said that over 90% of us would have failed the course and been submitted to the review board if the TA's graded as they were supposed to, but instead they graded us with A's and B's. As COMM 200 is a communication theory class, the ideas aren't that gargantuan. "The more knowledge you have, the less uncertainty." Well duh. Apparently we were supposed to site each and every instance of where we'd bridged someone's formalation of a theory into a new thoughts or expression. But the "plagarism" wasn't the big issue; well, at least not to most of the students sitting in the class, the issue was that Joy was getting irate. She was yelling with contempt at the class, as though we'd committed some personal crime against her. Larissa, who was sitting two seats away from me, even said, "I guess we know who's ragging today."
Finally, one guy, who isn't quite all there if you know what I mean, yelled out something to the effect of "Why don't you come over to my apartment and beat me because you're getting a real thrill out of this?" and it was true. She was getting too intensed. Of course, that comment didn't go unnoticed. The class reacted with the compulsory "oohhh's" and "aaaahhh's" they Joy and he began yelling back and forth to each other. Finally, he got up and said, "You suck!" and left. It took the next ten minutes to calm everyone down.
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© 1996 Justin Clouse