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Part 2: My Failed Application for ANTM Cycle 20

Part 2: My Failed Application for ANTM Cycle 20

Now, that the cycle’s contestants are about to be announced, I think it’s safe to say that I will not jinx my chances of being picked for America’s Next Top Model by posting this. This blog entry will document my journey in the ANTM application process so I suggest having tissues at the ready and playing this as you read:

To recap, the 20th cycle of Top Model will feature both male and female contestants. Because I fit into one of these two categories, I decided to apply. Applicants must either attend an in-person casting or mail in their submission. I was in Armenia and sadly, could not make it to any of the castings, so I had to send mine in by mail. Once the application instructions were finally released, I had less than a month to submit everything. Because the Armenian postal service is a complete piece of shit, that meant I had about a week to accomplish everything on my side.

The application consisted of:

  • responding to 56 billion short answer questions about myself (one of the questions asked for the name and contact info of my best friend, so feel free to speculate/catfight to the death over who I listed)
  • proof of identification (shoutout to the UN Armenia for letting me copy my passport there without their permission)
  • a three-minute video showing “my personality and best runway walk
  • three photos

Most of these requirements are self-explanatory so I won’t bore you with the specifics. My self-confidence is not at the level where I am willing to post my personal video complete with runway walk. I’m sure that when I become famous, it will be leaked (most likely by me).

But! I am willing to humiliate myself by sharing the photos of myself that I submitted. Keep in mind that I was in Armenia while completing this process and therefore, had to be creative as to how I took these. I had only one friend in Armenia at this time and was not comfortable enough sharing my dream of becoming a top model with her to request her assistance in taking my pics.

The first photo had to be a headshot. Nothing spectacular.

Photo #2 was a full body shot (fully clothed). After redesigning my entire apartment and stacking multiple pieces of furniture to balance my camera upon, this is the best I could do.

As for #3… The application asked for a full body shot in my swimsuit. Well, my swimsuit be frumpy as hell so I could not include that. Therefore, I was resourceful and used my special underwear. Warning! there is a penis in this picture. I blurred it out here because I didn’t want to be the laughing stock of the universe, but rest assured, Tyra saw my banana. Maybe that’s why she didn’t call.

Not bad, I would say. Put a spray tan on that and I’m ready for pageant season. B-tee-dubs, I chose to just stand in front of a wall so that my beauty could speak for me. Momma don’t need no fancy props or poses.

The best part of this whole application was probably getting my photos printed in Armenia. Walking into a photo shop run by a little old lady, I hurriedly pointed out what I wanted her to do and took off. When I returned an hour lady, I think we both tried to avoid each other’s gaze. I was a little offended. I mean, she could have at least given me a compliment.

As a mentioned before, the Armenian post is ridiculously slow and unreliable. I had planned to use DHL or FedEx to be sure that my application would get there as soon as possible. But they were charging about $50 for my little old manila envelope. “No, thank you,” I said and paid the $2 airmail at the regular post office.

Did my application ever get all the way to California from Armenia? Maybe not. And if it did, nobody liked it enough to holler at me. But I couldn’t have missed this opportunity. Now, watching cycle 20, I’ll probably be super jealous of all the contestants with amazing bodies and sob stories. But I know that I’m somebody’s top model. Somebody…Somewhere. Anybody? Bueller???

This is my signature blog and this is what’s going to make me famous: Part 1 of 2

This is my signature blog and this is what’s going to make me famous: Part 1 of 2

Anyone who knows me (and who I trust is not going to fagbash me) knows that my favorite show is America’s Next Top Model. I cannot really explain my fascination other than the fact that it takes me to a fantasy world and makes me think I can really be a model someday. During commercial breaks, I hurriedly run to the bathroom to do my business before Tyra comes back on to preach the gospel. After peeing and deciding not to wash my hands, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and all hell breaks loose. I smize. I find my best angle. Somehow, I end up on the counter kicking my legs in the air. What have I become??!!

ANTM has been giving me false hope that I could really become a model for years now. I first became obsessed with the show in high school when VH1 would air marathons because no one watches UPN. One summer, my friend Shonette and I decided to recreate all of the photo shoots from Season 4. (This should have been a rainbow flag to a lot of people.) After writing down the photo themes from all of the episodes we got to werk. Here are some of our best shots:

Walking dogs

Dog Walking

Walking ferrets

DW Sho #4          Dog Walking- Peter

Cheetah with lotion

Cheetah          Cheetah Sho #1

Zebra with lotion

Zebra          Zebra- Peter

As much as I would have liked an entourage on our shoots, I kept this plan a secret from my parents. I didn’t think they were ready for that. However, one day, my parents couldn’t find me at home so, as any parent would do, they went through all of the papers on my desk. (Unsurprisingly, I was not in the papers) They came across our list of photoshoot themes and that night sat me down and asked why I had “topless” and “Wonderbra” written down on a piece of paper. Uhhhhh….don’t remember how I got out of that without being sent to military school.

While attending my high school in Costa Rica, I found out that I could watch ANTM on YouTube. During my second year, when I cried everyday because my first boyfriend broke my heart into a million pieces and I didn’t know where or if I was going to go to college, I would say I was sick just so I could stay in bed and get my ANTM on.

Over the course of 19 cycles, I became a self-proclaimed expert designer, model, judge, and reality show contestant. My ANTM world was where I really shined. But it was good because only girls were allowed on the show (um Isis??) so it would always be separate from my real life. But when the show announced that guys would be cast for the 20th cycle, everything changed.

Next: My Rejected Application for ANTM Cycle 20 (WITH PHOTOS)

Why do stupid people have jobs and I don’t?

Why do stupid people have jobs and I don’t?

It’s common knowledge by now that I am a self-proclaimed failure. After spending years hunting down scholarship, academic, and leadership opportunities, I have benefited from almost $100,000 in funding for my education and educational experiences. But, despite my rigorous job search of hundreds of applications, I still am empty handed and unimpressed with myself and the job market. Countless people have offered their words of encouragement, which is nice, but their lies can only comfort me for so long. The comment I hear most: “Oh, the economy is bad. It’s so difficult to find a job these days.” To which my response is BULL.SHIT. The reason I have applied for over a hundred jobs is because there were over a hundred job vacancies announced. So, SOMEBODY’s getting hired. It’s just not me. Therefore, I am a bitter bitch, but what’s new?

I do have to mention that my luck has begun to change or I have just been lucky a couple of times. I have managed to somehow get interviews for jobs in Guatemala, Turkey, and Iraq. I also interviewed for internships in Georgia (the country) and DC. This is all well and good, but what gets me in some of these interviews and in many of my applications is the fact that the people who work at these places are S-T-U-P-I-D. STUPID. Like really? How do they have a salary and health care while I live in an apartment with no heating, microwave, or functioning iron???

My first interview for a position in Guatemala went really well. I can’t complain about that. The interviewer was super sweet and reminded me of my friend Julia. She told me beforehand that part of our conversation would be in Spanish so I listened to some Reggaeton to refresh my skills. I didn’t get the job but I didn’t really want it because it was in the middle of nowhere and I would get paid practically nothing. If I wanted to do Peace Corps, I would have done that, thanks! Bye!

Interview number two was for a job in Ankara working for an American university that recruited Turkish students for its programs. The job would require giving presentations at high schools and distributing information about the program. Fantastic. Sounds cool. So, I’m interviewing on the phone with these two nice people and then all of a sudden, they say, “Now, we’re going to speak to you in Turkish for the next half of the interview.” Thanks for the warning, assholes. I somehow spit out like three sentences in Turkish and then we finished. The whole interview was about 5 minutes, meaning I didn’t get the job. But what did they expect? If you’re looking for a native Turkish speaker, don’t hire a white boy who says he can speak an intermediate level of Turkish. They never even sent me a rejection email. Shameful!

But, the most recent email correspondence I have been a part of is the worst. I applied for a job with a non-profit foundation in NYC that funds projects in a lot of different areas. Cool, I’m sure I would get an STD just by sitting on the subway there but at least it’s a job. So, this girl sends me this longass email asking me about my current position in Armenia and what my commitments are, etc, etc. I respond very politely saying when I will return to the US and that I can be in New York really easily because it’s only a bus ride away. Her response was, “Thanks for being so flexible but we need you to interview next week. Good luck.” Why couldn’t homgirl just say that in the first place? I can even write it for her:

Dear Mr. Jones,

We are interested in your application for this position at our organization. Will you be able to interview next week here at our office in New York City?

Thank you,

Smart Bitch

Nope, she had to write me a novel and waste both of our time. Can I have your position because you don’t deserve it

I also got a rejection email that said you didn’t get the job, “but we hope you’re not too upset.” What the fuck? I can’t even fathom a person thinking that to his/herself. “Yeah, I’m not too upset that I didn’t get that salaried position. I really wanted to keep my position here at Quizno’s. I love smelling like toasted bile at the end of the day.” Get your shit together, people.

Last but not least is my most recent experience. I applied for an internship with this really awesome organization in DC. They are based in Stockholm but just opened an office in Washington and were looking for interns. I actually almost got a position for them in Sweden but had already accepted this dumbass internship in Armenia and thought six months would be much cheaper here. So, I thought I had a pretty good chance at this internship. Although, I am fucking disgusted at the thought of taking another useless intern position, this organization is the shit and is exactly the type of place I want to work for in an ideal world, which (let’s be real) I am not living in at the moment. But I interviewed with this nice Swedish lady. Things were good. I told her that I’d probably start temping when I move back to the States and was pretty sure that lost the position for me. Which I understand completely. However, this is the rejection email I received. (I’m not going to say the organization because maybe one day they WILL hire me.)

“Thank you for applying for the Winter Research Internship Position at (blablabla). We wish to inform you that the search has concluded. Best of luck in your career search and we encourage you to continue viewing our web page for updated opportunities.”

Ok, so what? The search concluded. Did I get the job or not? I’m no dummy so of course, I knew I was rejected, but how stupid are you? How can you read that email and think “Oh yeah, this is a good rejection letter”? Isn’t rejection like a hospital saying someone’s dead? You have to say, “he/she is dead” not “I’m sorry” or “We tried.”

Give it to me straight, people. Someone was nice enough to give you a job so you should be polite and actually do it. Learn to hire people. Learn to communicate your message clearly. Don’t beat around the bush and share useless information with me. Sure, I have plenty of time to spare right now, but I’d rather spend it watching gay webisodes and picking out cats on the Humane Society’s website.

I’m on the Pill-ary

I’m on the Pill-ary

With less than two months left in Armenia, I am still one cranky bitch. All three of the friends I once had have all departed, leaving poor Peter all by himself to watch endless episodes of television. But, I have finally accepted my predicament and am content. I have spent the past year applying for internships and jobs. My current internship has materialized from all of my efforts, but besides the UN name on resume, it hasn’t given me much. And I have to be ok with that!

If I could go back in time, I probably wouldn’t have taken this internship. I would have just taken a job at a bank in some cool metropolitan area. Then I could blow my way to the top (either via drugs or old men or both) and spend all my earnings traveling the world, which is all I really want to do. Or, I could be like everyone else I graduated with and go get a Master’s degree in nothing. I always chuckle to myself thinking that these people will be in my current position in two years but they’re probably laughing at me in my loser predicament right now.

So! I have a lot of preparations to make for my big arrival back in the US. I have decided to work at Cracker Barrel or Golden Corral (whichever one will hire me). I’ll live in motel and spend my free time blogging and choreographing dance routines to Rihanna songs with the local hoodlum children. I’ll legally change my name to something trashy like Beyonce Pad Thai (Mindy Project) so that my family will no longer be embarrassed by their unemployed relative. (Everyone thinks I’m Asian anyways) Despite making my career in the food industry, I plan to starve myself so much that I can fit into child sizes. This will make my shopping sprees at the Goodwill even cheaper.

I’m semi-kidding with this. Yes, I’m depressed that I’m almost 24 (yikes!) and can’t get a job of any kind. But, my latest goal is to find a decent job at a law firm in the DC area. This means I’ll probably end up working in the ghetto, but that’s where Obama got his start, right? I really just want to be Hillary though. Ok, I would even love being her bitch. Could you imagine that on my resume: Peter Jones, HCB (Hillary Clinton’s Bitch). Yes, hunty.

 

Also, I’m going to Poland and Hungary for my bday and Christmas! All you people with friends, you can be jealous of me for that.

Anxiety’s Next Top Model

Anxiety’s Next Top Model

I had high hopes for my final semester of college. I planned to get in shape to run my first half marathon, have a boy not act like a complete douche to me, and secure a job for after graduation. I usually follow this pattern of goals every semester: something physical, something melodramatic, and something success-oriented. Typically, I accomplish the third category goal, fail the other two, and end up drinking away my half marathon body and embarrassing myself in front of a cute boy. But second semester of senior year, I failed all three.

Back in January, right when classes were picking up, I started to have health issues. I came home one day stressed out about money, my car, my teeth, and my future. I planned to nap all the frustration away but found that I couldn’t fall asleep. My heart was racing, my vision was fuzzy, and my hands were tingling. When these symptoms persisted for more than an hour, I pretty much flipped my shit. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Finally, my roommate drove me to the ER where the doctor ordered a series of tests. When nothing suspicious turned up, I was diagnosed with an anxiety attack and sent home. I wish I could say this was a one-time incident but sadly, it was the beginning of a hellish semester, even worse than the one in high school where I spent every day crying in my bed mourning the loss of my ex-boyfriend.

Following this episode, my body did not act the way I wanted it to. I had tightness in my chest off and on throughout the day and felt like I was either going to vom or pass out in all my classes. Some days were better than others but I had never felt this way before and didn’t know how to act. Of course, me being Peter, I diagnosed myself with an array of diseases and conditions: asthma, allergies, cancer, heart defect…It seems silly now but I had myself totally convinced that May was never going to get here and I wouldn’t graduate (because I’d be dead or dying). There were times when I almost wrote to the Make a Wish people to make my dream of meeting Oprah come true.

I can’t count the number of times I have seen the doctor and the number of procedures I’ve endured since January. Cardiologists, eye doctors, regular doctors… x-rays, EKGs, heart sonograms, running on a treadmill…But time after time, no problems were detected. After my second serious “attack” where I drove myself to the emergency room convinced I was dying (don’t ask me how many traffic laws I violated), I began treatment for anxiety. I was hesitant to admit, to myself and others, that stress could be causing all this physical pain and emotional terror. However, one of the perks of anxiety is that I received a complimentary prescription for Valium.

Shortly after I started treatment, I experienced my second serious car crash ever. My first one was last October. Once again, I ended up in the grassy median of an Oklahoma highway. Although physically I was fine, my anxious feelings were anything but alleviated. In the end, I somehow managed to finally make it through this disgusting semester and graduate with Carol Ann there to watch me.

Now what? After submitting approximately a bajillion job applications without receiving a single glimmer of hope, I was without a job and losing hope. I decided to dedicate my summer to relaxing, working on my anxiety, and paying off my thousands of dollars of medical bills. Initially, I thought this would suck. But, it has turned out to be quite a godsend. I still have some anxious feelings but nowhere near as bad as during the semester. I owe a lot of credit to yoga and Zoloft…and a boy.

 Just as I was getting settled into my easy going summer routine of work and chill, I got an email from the UN Development Programme in Armenia saying they wanted to interview me for an internship position. WTF???!!! Some piece of shit NGO in DC doesn’t want to talk to me but the UN does?! I thought they must have emailed the wrong person. But I played along and had a Skype interview with some very pleasant Armenians. I thought things went well. They didn’t seem to mind that I was sitting in my garage and not wearing pants during the interview. A week later, they told me that they had accepted me for the position. So, it looks like once again my scandalous international blog will be revived. Prepare to be up to date on Yerevan fashion tips and gossip.

So here’s a summary of this mega long blog post: This semester was one of the biggest struggles I have ever gone through but I still managed to look good. Now, I’m on my way to Kardashian-land to add more stamps to my passport and make yet another country fall in love with me.
Peace and love, Peter Kardashian Jones

My sisters and me
Yerevan

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful…GAY?!

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful…GAY?!

As my last winter break as a college student comes to a close, I decided to reflect on all that has happened in the month since last semester’s classes finished (and my 23rd birthday eww). This winter break was anything but cold in terms of juicy shit in my life. It was HOT HOT HOT! I faced my fear of flying with a record-breaking five flights. On the way back to Oklahoma, I thought I wasn’t going to make it because it felt like we were attacked by a swarm of pterodactyls. Maybe watching Lost isn’t good for my phobia…

My parents live in the high-class town of Front Royal, Virginia where banks count their coins by hand and the county fair has midget wrestling so that is where I was for most of the break. For Christmas, we went down to a cabin my parents have in Georgia. It was on the nine-hour car ride that I realized that I have a new phobia: road trips. After crawling out of the back windshield of a flipped car last semester, I’m not really happy to be trapped in a car for long periods of time. I especially hate passing semis, RVs, or any other vehicle that has the potential to 1) crush me or 2) force me off the road. But somehow we made it there and back in one piece. The cabin doesn’t have internet or really anything to do, but it was nice to relax and spend time with family…for the first day or so.

I also took a trip to visit my grandparents in New Jersey for a weekend with my mom. That’s only five hours away so the car ride didn’t make me as anxious. It was on the way back that I decided to tell my mom that I’m gay once and for all. I’ve wanted to come out to my family for a while and I thought that they were becoming more open to the idea. But ever since I came back from Turkey, they have seemed uber weird about anything relevant to gay people and sometimes even talk to me about bringing girls home. I know you’re probably reading this thinking “How does Peter’s family not know? He’s SOOOO gay!” First, you’re a shithead and two, my parents were in the military and are conservative and don’t really understand the concept of gay because they know zero gay people. But I decided to do it in this five-hour car trip so that my mom couldn’t run away from me. It could have been super awkward but it actually went quite well. She’s supportive and wanted me to know that she loves me, etc etc. But once we got to talking more, she got a little too confident and looking back, it kind of makes me a little uncomfortable. She went from “we kind of suspected” to “yeah, well we’ve known for forever because your stepdad caught you looking at gay porn that one time in seventh grade”. She also asked me if I’m attracted to black guys and proceeded to tell me that she’s never been sexually attracted to them. The biggest overshare was when she decided to let me know that my 12-year-old sister is expecting to get her period any day now. Thanks, Carol Ann for your support with my gaydom but we don’t need to get that close.

Now that I’m back in Norman, Oklahoma, the asshole boy capital of America, I’d like to make a list of resolutions for this coming semester:
1. Regain some of the confidence I lost in the fall. After being the hot American in Istanbul, I was at about an 8 on a scale of 1-10. After multiple failed attempts at hooking up/relationships (?) and even more embarrassing run-ins with boys, I am now at about a 4, a 5 on good days. I haven’t exactly decided how to regain this confidence but I have a whole semester.
2. Run a half marathon. It’s pretty self-explanatory. Somehow I got to get this boney ass across the finish line. Is it going to be easy? No. But it’s going to happen.
3. Figure out what I’m doing with my life. Red Lobster is still an option, but not my ideal choice. I’d like to find a job in a city where I’m considered attractive, so that eliminates most places in America…

Lots o’ luh!

Rejection Plus Acceptance

Rejection Plus Acceptance

Being back in Oklahoma after studying abroad for an entire year has really surprised me. The things I expected to be good at…aren’t really working out. And things that I expected to be lame are actually super fun.

School is pretty much all I’m good at these days and I guess that’s going pretty well. Go to class, study, do homework, take a test, it’s all whatevs. I’m ready to graduate but that’s where things get fuzzy. I’ve always been one to be proactive and think about things in the future and all that stuff. And I have been. I’ve already done a lot to prepare for next year. The problem is none of them have worked out.

1. Four fellowships for next year. Applied. Rejected in first round.
2. Campus award. Applied. Rejected. (No surprise. Should have stayed in Norman and helped plan “DaD’s DaY” or “DaNcE mArAtHoN” and done some BS study abroad like “ZOMG! 3 days in Peru+6 hours of non-western upper division credit for 5 million dollars” if I wanted that.)
3. I also took the Foreign Service Officer Test to decide if I could work in an embassy. Sounds cool right? I failed the test by 1.25 points!!! ☹

So, things haven’t really been going my way with regard to my future. It stings to be rejected so much by October of my senior year, but box wine (a.k.a. juice boxes) help me cope. It’s funny because honestly I think study abroad was the thing that messed that up for me. Try taking a break from your life and then coming back to it in a year and see how successful you are. The plus side of this is that now I can make new friends really quick because I don’t know anyone! Which brings me to my next point.

After three whole years of not being noticed, I have finally been accepted with open arms by the gay community of Norman, Oklahoma!!! They were ready for me before I even got back from Turkey. It was gay add Peter o’clock and I ate that shit up. Now, I meet them for like two seconds or call them an asshole and then they add me on FB. Who would have thought?

What’s my secret? Be a big douchebag! With most people, being nice and outgoing will usually lead to a good friendship. Wiff duh gays of Okla, they live for the sass. Just tell them all the gossip you’ve heard about them behind their backs. Instant friendship!

Yeah, so maybe this isn’t a foolproof plan. I ideally would like to keep some of these friendships and not just converse with these people while intoxicated. I also would not like to be working at a Red Lobster after I graduate. I mean the cheddar biscuits would be bomb for a while but I hope things don’t come to that.

Wish me luck faithful blog followers!

Hot and Dangerous

Hot and Dangerous

Yo lovers!

Wanna hear about my shitty but very entertaining love life in Norman? Well, let’s get on it!!!

I’ve never had much luck dating in Oklahoma, or in America for that matter. I can’t really come to any conclusions on why that happens but it’s the truth. I think it’s because they love the gama (gay drama) and I just like foreigners. But since I’ve been back, weird. things. are. happening.

1. I have been gay added on facebook SO MANY TIMES both while I was abroad and since I’ve been back, and I’m loving it like it’s fucking McDonald’s. I hope they read my blogs too so then I can be interwebz famous at OU.

2. Went to a party a couple weeks ago and kissed someone (heaven forbid!). Of course, that has led to nothing and I can’t understand why. Maybe I AM a bad kisser like Cindy told me that one time…

3. This is the best story ever. Predrank at a friend’s place this weekend before going to Campus Corner for one of the foreign people parties. One of my friends invited a friend that he was semi-intersted in. I thought he was dorky cute, but I backed off because bros before hos, right? (P.S. this rule never applies to the gay community of Oklahoma) But anyway, things didn’t work between them and somehow I got to talking to my friend’s friend. The conversation turned to other things and we eventually decided that we’d go home together after the party. The whole party I had this in my mind. I even felt bad after someone else grinded on me. We finally left the party and decided to walk to my house from Campus Corner. According to Google Maps, that is a 1.6 mile walk that should take 31 minutes. Keep that in mind. We get all the way to my house, I use the bathroom for two seconds. When I come out, he’s not there any more. THAT BITCH IS GONE! HE RAN AWAY FROM ME!!! You would think that during those 31 minutes of walking, you might have had time to change your mind. Nope. It was during those two seconds that I was in the bathroom. And could you say “hey, I’m not interested any more” or leave a note? Nope. Ran. Away. It’s like dine and dash but you didn’t eat anything. What’s the point?

So, boys have been testing my self-esteem lately. I don’t know whether to be flattered that they’re interested in me for a part of an evening or be offended that they quit it before they even hit it.

NO MORE AMERICAN GAMA PLZ. I’VE DECIDED I’M MOVING TO GERMANY.

End of Summer/Beginning of School

End of Summer/Beginning of School

After a summer of endless commutes, uncomfortable swamp-ass, and a variety of medical conditions, my time in Virginia/DC came to a close. From there, I embarked on my wonderful two-day road trip to Oklahoma. On the bright side, I was expecting to spend at least 21 hours on the road but somehow made it in a little over 18 including pitstops. Plus, no run-ins with the law. And who says I’m not a good driver?

Highlight of the trip/Scariest moment of my life:

I stopped just west of Memphis, TN in a town creatively enough called West Memphis, AR. (Fun things that have happened in WM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Memphis_Three) I found the closest motel and booked a room. I was on cloud nine because I had made such good time the first day and could now relax in my luxurious Super 8 suite. But, when I was returning to my room after hitting up the local Taco Bell, I had a conversation that freaked me the fuck out. Here’s how it went.

Sketchy guy standing outside Super 8: Hey, I know you, don’t I?

Me: Excuse me?

Sketch: You’re from Virginia, right?

Me: Yeah (walk off)

Moments later, I realized that the only way he knew I was from Vir-jayjay was by seeing the license plate of my car. And then it hit me. HE WAS GOING TO STEAL MY CAR!!! I went from being in a great mood to being paranoid that I was going to wake up the next morning stranded with no car. So, the whole night, I woke up almost every hour, walked to the window to check that my car was still there, and then went back to sleep. Luckily, Cleatus (my vehicle) was still there when I finally got up and I hauled ass out of WM.

Where duh friends?

Made it back to OK safely, finally got settled in Norman and then….(cricket, cricket). Where are my old friends? Oh wait, they all graduated and moved away, dated a friend without telling me and now it’s awkward, or just stopped talking to me for some reason. Cool beans, right? So, I’ve had my make-new-friends clothes on the whole time I’ve been back. New roommates, study abroad buddies, and co-workers have all been good sources of friends. I went to my first APO meeting last week. It made me so sad. Everyone looked at me like “Who da feck are you and why you be up in my APO meeting?” (or at least they did in my head). I’ve only been gone for a year and somehow I went from friendly, funny fellowship chair Peter who was the president’s roommate to old balls. This won’t deter me though. If I could, I would sing this everyone in APO and e’eryone I want to be my friend:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b1EpJE-ox0

(And yes, I would wear that same outfit)

Classes

I’ve known since before I started college that I was going to go for four full years. I mean that’s normal, right? Sure, I went to a special high school in Costa Rica for two years and therefore, I graduate when I was 19, but graduating university at 23 isn’t too old, is it? Well, my mom begs to differ and openly voiced her opinion this summer. She told me I’m almost 30 and it’s about time I graduated. No joke. So, thanks to Carol Ann, I now feel friendless AND old. I started my first day of classes and instantly wanted to flash forward to graduation day May 2012. It was hard for me to realize that I was in class with people who were potentially 19 or 20. Gross! But, after the first week, I now realize that I can suck it up and finish my senior year without age being a problem. You know what is a problem? There be so many dumb people in my classes! I guess that’s due to the fact that I’m taking three Spanish classes where the language of instruction is English. Go figure! I’m also taking a class about Judaism for my Judaic Studies minor and because I love da Jewcy Jews! But what do you think we talk about in that class? CHRISTIANS!!! I guess that’s what you get when you go to school in Oklahoma where everyone just wants to talk about their own religion, why it’s the best thing since tater tots, and then convert you.

A letter to American GAYS

After my last blog post, I feel that I had to incorporate this topic somehow. Gays in America are no fun, in my opinion. Why? Because they don’t like me. They either think I’m disgustingly ugly or that I’m trying hardcore to hit on them. 1. I’m hot stuff and 2. Don’t flatter yourself. So, what’s my plan? DON’T.TRY.AT.ALL. Gays are stereotyped as having a keen sense of fashion and high hygiene standards. Well you know what? I’m not going to. Listen up gringo gays! You’re going have to put up with my mismatched frumpy clothes, hairy body, and pasty skin. That’s right. You didn’t want it when I tried so feck off. Get your hairspray cloud AWAY from me, betches!

But overall, things are going well here in Norman. It’s definitely taking some time to adjust, but if I can live in Turkey for a year, I’m sure I can figure things out here pretty quick. Gonna miss my number one Asian Persuasion and mistake pickle eater Cindy Sue when she leaves, but I’m glad our paths crossed once again. Until we meet again faithful blog readers.

Gays in Istanbul??!!

Gays in Istanbul??!!

This is a blog post I wrote for Emre’s blog for exchange students at Bogazici. I decided to post it here also to recap my study abroad experience. Enjoy!

When I decided to study abroad, that’s pretty much all I had decided: that I WANTED to study abroad, not where. I had some ideas, but nothing concrete. Initially, I wanted to go somewhere really exotic and experience things that I never had before. But after listening to my friends who had studied abroad before talk about the amazing parties they went to, I thought that maybe I wanted to go to a more western country, where I could get sloshed seven days a week and not give a care about learning a new language, culture, etc. My roommate once talked about her time in Buenos Aires and told me “it’s a shame because all the cute boys were gay.” What a shame indeed! So that also contributed to my thoughts (and made me really want to go to Argentina!) In the end, I chose to study in Turkey because it was unlike any place I had been to before. I had my reservations about my “sloshing” potential in a Muslim country and whether or not I would find a single other gay person in a city with a population of 15 million, but I’m happy to say that my study abroad experience as an American homo in Istanbul was one of the best times of my life.

Coming from a conservative area of the United States, like Oklahoma, society, along with religion, teaches you that most topics relevant to sexuality should be kept hush hush. Now! Try being GAY!!! How fun do you think that is? You’d assume that there are very few people who are comfortably “out” and that most gays either “move to the city” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeahDax24Dg) or use Craig’s List/Adam4Adam/Man Hunt to post pics of their man parts/solicit sexy times…This is pretty much true. And because I never felt comfortable in any of these categories, I became what I call, “a non-active member of the gay community.” So, at parties, when my hetero friends were on the prowl looking for their next hook-up, I was busy being the fat girl, knocking shit over and then passing out alone in my own bed.

Like I said before, I was terrified of being gay in Turkey. I thought I would get stoned or something if anyone found out. All the websites about gay Turkey made me think of dark rooms and chains and lots of sweat and STDs and…and…and I don’t even know what! But I realized that if I could survive being gay in Oklahoma, I could be gay in pretty much any country in the world (except maybe Iran, because they don’t have gays).

Once I arrived in Istanbul, I decided to keep my sexuality on the DL for the first few weeks, at least until I got to know people better. That didn’t really work it. After two beers at the first mixer for exchange students, I was “whispering” to everyone how I like boys! But after coming out in the open with it, things went surprisingly well for me. I found out one of my friends lived with three gay Turks and a few weeks later, one of them took me to a gay club. There, I was introduced to the Istanbul scene. AND. IT. WAS. AWESOME. (in comparison to Oklahoma)

After spending a year in Istanbul and getting to know a variety of places and people (not to brag), I will break down the gay scene and give you some advice on how to work that scene to your advantage.

Internet. Turks and most Europeans like to use Gay Romeo. Like any other gay dating site, it’s pretty much porn. “Show me yours, I’ll show you mine” “What positions do you like?” “Active?/Passive?” that sort of thing. If you’re into that, you’re in luck. Just be careful and if you decide to meet up with someone, do it in public the first time.

Bars and Clubs. There are probably more than a dozen of these in the Taksim district of Istanbul alone, but not all of them are worthwhile. They’re usually expensive and a lot of them just plain suck so no one important is there. My fav is a place called “Tek Yon” and it’s really close to Taksim Square in Cihangir. Ask any gay person and they’ll know it. It plays pretty good club/dance music and there are always lots o’ guys there on the weekends. But! Don’t buy any drinks there and don’t check your coat. Get drunk beforehand if you want and either carry your coat around or stuff it in some corner if you want to have money for a cab ride home.

Peter’s tips to reach your gay potential:
1. Don’t go to gay clubs with girls. I know that in most countries, gays have a token “fag hag” who like totally loves to go gaying, but most G clubs hardly let girls in. Turks like to get right to the point. It may sound strange at first, but you get used to it.
2. Because of tip #1, you’re going to need to some gay friends to go out with you. Try to befriend Turks. They are usually very friendly and their language skills may come in handy. DO NOT make friends with Americans. They are bitches and can go straight back to their pretentious gay commune a.k.a New York City. And Germans are just assholes from MY experience.
3. Say you’re foreign as much as possible. Having brown hair, I sometimes was mistaken for being Turkish. But once I said I was American, BINGO! All eyes were on me, the former fatty from Oklahoma. If you’re blond, you’re in luck. If you have a blond friend, bring him as bait when you go out. Turks will love it!
4. Do not go to a gay club during the week. You will look desperate and it will be EMPTY.
5. Before you go out, know your sexual limits. Turks will only stop if you tell them to. Otherwise, they will run laps around the bases (if you get my drift). Only go home with someone if you want to and use protection as needed. #maternal instinct

I hope my experience and advice will be helpful to you in the future if you’re planning to spend time in Istanbul. Besides being a haven for gays from Turkey and elsewhere, it is an absolutely amazing city full of history and excitement. I cannot imagine having studied abroad anywhere else and hope that you have the time of your life while your there!

iyi şanslar,
Gaymerican Boy