Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I'll Be Gone

Summer passes quickly when you prostitute yourself eagerly teach summer school. My classroom duties aside, I have started thinking about my big move to Boston. Oh, let’s be honest. In my mind, I left Texas six weeks ago. My body just happens to be doing all the packing at the moment.

Come August, I can say goodbye to the Lone Star State for at least a year. The goddess has granted me a respite, but I hope she will consider finding me something permanent elsewhere (and by elsewhere, I mean better than Texas – No zombie-monkey-paw wish fulfilments that move me to Mississippi or Arkansas).

Regardless of the cosmos’ plans, I think it is healthy to take stock in what I will miss and won’t miss from Texas. Like that cable news network, GayProf believes in being fair and balanced:


    What I will Miss: My friends here. Many people have been truly kind an nice to me the past four years. I appreciate that.

    What I won’t Miss: Colleagues who discuss little flags on maps; their attempts to eliminate the department’s non-discrimination clause; and any mention of my progress towards tenure.

    ***

    What I Will Miss: Blue Bell Ice Cream – Damn, that’s pretty good. As a side note, I will also miss HEB’s (a Texas supermarket chain) Mango Ice Cream. Actually, I will generally miss HEB and its insane grocery-supplying goodness.

    What I Won’t Miss: The fight at the gym to work off all that ice cream and grocery goodness.

    ***

    What I Will Miss: Being in a state that borders Mexico.

    What I Won’t Miss: Being in a state where the majority of Euro Americans refuse to consider Mexicans, Native Americans, or African Americans’ human rights.

    ***

    What I Will Miss: Hearing that cute, sexy accent from a hunky gay Texan.

    What I Won’t Miss: Hearing that shrill, grating accent from a backwater hetero Baptist Texan.

    ***

    What I Will Miss: My kick-ass office. Yeah, I have a sweet corner-deal on the top floor of my building. The History Department also resides in an older building, so there are giant windows.

    What I Won’t Miss: The roach infestation that has taken over that older building. This morning, I found four dead cockroaches (each a minimum two inches long) and two living cockroaches.

    ***

    What I Will Miss: Paying insanely small amounts for tons of living space.

    What I Won’t Miss: Being trapped in pre-fab 1970s apartment hell.

    ***

    What I Will Miss: The feeling of community among lefty folk who are under siege in this god-forsaken state (Yes, God actually forsook it.)

    What I Won’t Miss: Gerrymandering.

    ***

    What I Will Miss: Willie Nelson and his pot-smoking ways.



    What I Won't Miss: Rick Perry and his evil homophobic ways.

    ***

    What I Will Miss: Living in a town where I can drive anywhere in under ten minutes and encounter almost no traffic.

    What I Won’t Miss: Driving period.

    ***

    What I Will Miss: Earnest students.

    What I Won’t Miss: Hateful, right-wing students.

    ***

    What I Will Miss: Never having to scrap ice from windshields (though Boston’s public transportation will likely make this moot anyway).

    What I Won’t Miss: The blazing intolerable heat that lasts from April until November. I can’t totally confirm this, but I think my fingernails actually started to melt today.

    ***

    What I will Miss: Spring wild-flowers in Texas, including Blue Bells. They are really spectacular as you drive along the highways. In the early Spring this year, I made a couple of trips to Houston and was reminded that Spring (the single month that we get of it) is the best time to be in Texas.



    What I Won’t Miss: The blazing intolerable heat that lasts from April until November. Yeah, I hate it so much, I listed it twice.

    ***

    What I Will Miss: Being part of a university community.

    What I Won’t Miss: Being in a town with only two movie theaters, both showing Over the Hedge on fourteen screens.

    ***

    What I Will Miss: Being able to excuse my heavy consumption of deep-fried foods as “sampling the local cuisine.”

    What I Won’t Miss: The local cuisine.

    ***

    What I Will Miss: Having almost year-round optimal picture-taking conditions outside.

    What I Won’t Miss: Having almost nothing that I want to photograph.

    ***

    What I Will Miss: Watching semi-naked and buff joggers prancing about all year.

    What I Won’t Miss: Giant, aluminum churches that can seat over 5,000 conservative Christians in one go.

    ***

    What I Will Miss: Having an airport where you can clear security five minutes before your flight departs.

    What I Won’t Miss: Living in a state where it took a civil war to end slavery.

    ***
    What I Will Miss: Living in a state that borders the Great State of New Mexico (the Land of Enchantment, don’t you know?).



    What I Won’t Miss: Living in a state with suck-ass “Tex-Mex” Mexican food. Ugh, the suck haunts me already (The exception to this is the Mexican food served in the Rio Grande Valley, which is excellent (especially the mole dishes)).

    ***

    What I Will Miss: Almost never having to wait in line, ever.

    What I Won’t Miss: Seeing Margaritas dispensed from a Slurpee machine (a crime against tequila and good bartending everywhere, IMHO).

    ***

    What I Will Miss: The LBJ Presidential Library.

    What I Won’t Miss: The George Bush (41) Presidential Library.

    ***

    What I Will Miss: Having so much to complain about and such easy targets for my blog.

    What I Won’t Miss: Living in Texas.



Yeah, I tried to make this post suggest that I am going to miss things about Texas. Mostly I want people to think that I am a reasonable person and can see the good in everything. Really, though, I am not going to miss much about red, red Texas while I am in blue, blue Boston.

Perhaps, though, my gravitas will seem more appealing in cartoon form. A loyal reader (known only to me as Rat) thoughtfully created this rendering of me. Should you want to ask: Yes, I do wear that tiara while I am vacuuming:

27 comments:

Luciferus said...

You know that Ladybird Johnson is largely responsible for the lovely flowers visible on the banks of our nation's highways? Right?

jeremy said...

You must have ice cream on the brain (and who doesn't lately--I just had an awesome tub of Cinnamon Caramel Cashew) because you mistakenly called Blue Bonnets Blue Bells.
I'll let it slide this once, but any more mistakes like that and I might stop praying to you before I go to bed.

Wiccachicky said...

Good luck with your move! Boston is cold, but I'd trade Texas for it any day!

tornwordo said...

I definitely like the cartoon rendition of you.

You'll be wishing for some of that texas heat come around January.

Good luck!

Glenn said...

Please send me the zombie-monkey-paw, as I really need to make some wishes.

If you like chicken fried steak with cream gravy, or biscuits and gravy, get it out of your system before you leave.

MaggieMay said...

OK, your post was awesome and hilarious, and if I ever move out of my own god-forsaken state you can expect me to pilfer your format. However, the cartoon of you is AWESOME. You KNOW you're a rock-star when you're immortalized like that, and with the tiara yet.

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love the cartoon! Oh, to be adored like that!

I'm just glad that you're taking your blog with you to Boston. I wouldn't want to have to miss you.

Cooper

Earl Cootie said...

When I left Oklahoma (which is in north Texas, you know), everyone said, "You'll be back." But I didn't go back. No, actually, I did. But only for about a year and a half. But the next time I left and they said, "You'll be back," I did not go back! Ha! And I have not missed it. Not once.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gay Prof,

With apologies for the cross-posting, I wanted to share my post and hear your thoughts. I posted this several days after one of your posts and got no response. Still curious to know what you think.

I dated a practicing bi-sexual for four years. I just didn't know, This was a deeply loving relationship but I couldn't abide this person being sexually active with others. It ended sadly with my exit but I've thought a lot about someone's sexual proclivities and have concluded that our sexual identity is determined in our genes.

I am not making excuses for the behavior of my bi-sexual ex and I admit that I still harbor anger that I never received an apology for the hiding and lies but I do believe that we all fit somewhere on the homo- bi - hetereo- sexual continuum, as determined by our genetic make-up.

Yes, I am saying that I believe homosexuality is as genetically based as bi- sexuality and homosexuality.

Thus, it is easier for me to view the marriage debate logically and without religious, cultural, or political bias and therefore to conclude that if two individuals love each other, allow them to marry.

Jason said...

Looking forward to taking you out and showing you around Boston. Don't worry about the ice cream though. Bostonians eat more than anyone in the US, and there is great ice cream here. You just have to get used to eating it year round.

I grew up in the South and there are some things you will miss here. BBQ is one. Bring your own sauce up with you. There is none here. Also, there is no tex-mex. Only traditional Mexican, etc. There is a good Honduran place in my neighborhood though.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Great post - still reeling from the thought of margaritas from a slurpy - that's just wrong on so many levels - also identify with having to live somewhere (7 years) where all the cinemas only show "family values films" - (we didn't get American Beauty or Ghost World - nor did we get Rent the movie - all too "unfamily").

Have fun in Boston and good luck for that tough first month where you are constantly trying to find out where the "good" anything is as you knew where all that was back home but here you have to rediscover it all over again.

Do the 5000 seat evangelical churches indicate brainwashing or some sort of conservative christian hive mind?

MEK the Bear said...

Elizabeth, I think their like the Borg, I'm even pretty sure I've heard 'resistance is futile' uttered a few times... hmmmm...

Lovely post GayProf, and I'd like to add this.

What I'm looking forward to: Visiting GayProf in Blue, Blue boston!

What I'm not looking forward to: ....Um... I got nothin', just looking forward to seeing you in boston! WOOHOO!

Kalvin said...

It's strange. I didn't think that I would miss any part of Denver when I left, but maybe Denver is a wee bit different than TeHAS.

AND I WILL DEFEND THE SLUSHY/SLUTTY MACHINES that deliver me those margaritas. I love them so much. Come over to the Moby/moldy Dick in SF and maybe you will be enchanted too. Or maybe that was just the nativity scene in the fish tank during Christmastime. Plus, they are almost always 2 for 1. And beyond that, the only decent margarita I've ever really had was in Mexico, or one of those restaurants that takes authentic mexican cuisine and pushes it's boundaries (no, not tex-mex, but something different entirely).

And Boston is beautiful. Trade that ice cream for a nice gelatorria. It has less fat, and is so much tastier.

frank's wild lunch said...

I'm still confounded as to why I have such fond memories of my time in Houston. I lived there for two years and it was, on the one hand, a miserable experience, but still, the food (I love Tex-Mex, btw), the Menil, the MFA, the Rothko Chapel, the Alley, I could go on and on....

And as an Arkansas native in self-imposed west-coast exile, you could do much worse than a couple of the really good schools there; just make sure you live in Little Rock and commute to my great bastion of the liberal arts, Hendrix College. They'd love a GayProf like you. Besides, I always preferred Yarnell's to Blue Bell anyway.

Oso Raro said...

Seemingly, we all have to do our time, and I for one won't miss Cold City one bit when I shake the dust of this pathetic town off my high-heeled hooker boots one day. To your impending departure from the realm of barbarism, moving to one of the greatest centres of American civilisation, I say, "Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish!"

Roger Owen Green said...

Gerrymandering exists in Masssachusetts. Gerrymandering was INVENTED in Massachusetts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerrymandering

Adam said...

All of my blogger compadres are leaving Texas. MikeyPod is fleeing to Brooklyn, I will be the only one left. Its okay though, I'm happy for you!

Bigots can still be blue, exhibit A. The Macy's window in boston and the demand to remove the gay pride display.

Love the cartoon!

Joe said...

Two things:

First, the slurpees at the Moby Dick do, indeed, rocketh.

And, Boston is within staggering distance of NYC, for our next blogger alcoholic/enabler/co-dependent get-together.

Christopher said...

Mexico should impose severe tariffs on all U.S. goods until Texas agrees to drop the Mex from Tex-Mex.

Damn you, Gayprof, now you have me thinking about sopapillas and honey served with every meal in Albuquerque. And being able to order green chile on pizza. And cheap wonderful breakfast burritos ordered from a lady carrying them around in a beer cooler. Bloody hell, I'm hungry!

Dorian said...

I'm insanely jealous of your cartoon.

Margarita slushies are a bad thing? It sounds fantastic to me.

GayProf said...

Luciferus: LadyBird almost had a shout-out, but, alas, didn’t make the cut. As I always say, though, if I had her nose filled with nickels, I would be a rich man (Yes, I am a bitch).

Jeremy: Oops. Actually, my posts have so many typos, I am often embarrassed. On the other hand, a Spring meadow filled with tons of Blue Bell ice-cream cones wouldn’t be so bad, either.

Glenn: I do like a good chicken fired steak. (Please insert Homer Simpson salivating noises here).

WiccaChicky and TornWordo: I went to graduate school in the Midwest, so I am prepared for cold. To be honest, I can deal with cold much better than heat. With cold, you can always add layers of clothes. If that doesn’t work, you just need to drink more.

MaggieMay: Rock-star, eh? Hmm, maybe I should change my moniker from GayProf to CherProf.

Cooper: Of course I am taking little bloggy with me. The blogosphere would be so empty without me.

Earl Cootie: Alas, if I can’t find gainful employment, I might have little choice but to return. Pray for me – or start a campaign to assassinate other Latino historians in the nation with choice jobs. Your choice, really.

Anon: In terms of your question, I am not sure that I can speak to your personal experience. My general take on relationships (if that has any value) are that they require two major things: 1) We have to be honest with ourselves about what we want and 2) We have to be honest with our romantic partners about what we want. So, if bi-sexual ex (who also told many lies) wanted to have a relationship that was non-monogamous, I think that is within his rights. The problem being, though, that he opted to be with somebody who wanted a monogamous relationship. Even worse (IMHO), he lied and said he wanted the same thing. This, I think, is wrong.

Identifying as bi does not mean that one can’t form LTR monogamous relationships, if that is one’s desire. Likewise, there is no reason why monogamous relationships need be the only form of LTR’s out there. Many couples of all versions of sexuality have loving, rewarding relationships that are not sexually monogamous. For other people, though, that just doesn’t work.

Bi-ex should have been explicit, though, that he was looking for non-monogamy from the start. Then you could have decided if it matched what you wanted and either opted out or negotiated some type of compromise. By lying, he took away your agency in the relationship and that’s never cool with the GayProf.

Jason: Sign me up for the traditional Mexican and Honduran food. I would imagine there has got to be some good Carribean fare going on as well. Really, anything will be better than this small town.

Elizabeth: When I drive past the 5,000 seat churches, I hear a low humming noise. Make of it what you will.

MEK the Bear: Yes, come to Boston! I will make (non-Slurpee) Margaritas.

That goes for all of you out there!

ROG and Adam: Gee, way to be a buzz kill. Yeah, I know Massachusetts has a bad history (and present) in terms of race, voting, equality, gender, sexuality, etc. (Where in the U.S. doesn’t?). Plus, Boston had the whole flag-pole/busing incident in the 1970s that was just plain nasty. Sigh. You know what, though? Even if I am stabbed by a flag-pole lance, it’s still better than Texas.

Christopher: You made me hungry, too! God, I miss New Mexican food.

Frank: Yeah, Houston would probably be an okay place to live with decent food. Sadly, I do not live in Houston. See my request of Earl Cootie.

Oso: Would you like to trade Cold City for Hot Humid Town?

Kalvin and Dorian: I will reserve judgement on the Moby Dick slurpees – Be aware, though, I am skeptical – SKEPTICAL, I say.

Joe: Well, poor me a shot and call me an alcoholic! I am so there!

Atari_Age said...

As a Northeast boy, I've always had a hankering to whoop it up in the Bigness of Texas. It'd probably have to be Austin, though, to not make me too angry.

One thing, though. You'll find plenty of intolerance here, too. When I arrived here, I was really surprised how much a problem it is (in some areas) after growing up in New York. That said, it's probably light-years away from what it sounds like you were exposed to.

Like I said in my email to you, the gay bar scene is... less than it was. But there's a few new hopes on the block.

Drop me a line when you have a chance and we can discuss.

marlan said...

The sidekick is hot.

Jon said...

Love you post! I was born-n-raised in Victoria, Texas and left on July 23, 1997 at 2:30 pm. I've since lived in New York, Toronto and now Chicago. No matter how cold it gets, I can always say, "I'm not hot!" I do miss Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream, though . . .

Anonymous said...

You must my point entirely about gayness being genetically based but I still adore your blog. xoxo

Anonymous said...

[missed]

names said...

I just wanted to add that there is great Tex-Mex here (well in Cambridge, not Boston). You just have to know where to go as they are off the beaten path. It's nice to hear that you are moving up to these parts. It should make for some very interesting posting.