[oasis] [columns]

Paul Pellerito

March 1997

Green M&M's

There's Only Now
There's Only Here
Give In To Love
Or Live In Fear
No Other Path
No Other Way
No Day But Today

- Jonathan Larson RENT

Well, here we have it.. February already. First of all, I'm really excited cause I've now got 32 megs of RAM and now I can actually use my Web browser, Word, and have the mail program open with enough free space open to toy around in Photoshop too. Soon I'll be running NT just for kicks.

I almost caved in and bought a old PowerMac for myself (my brother and I share a Windows machine) with my savings but I decided to allow that to continue "maturing" in my bank account. I still haven't decided if I'm going back to Mexico this summer with my nest-huevo or if I'm going to use it to renovate my truck. Here's the status report on my transportation:

I got a red 1986 Chevy C-10 from my dad around the beginning of school. It's one of those things that's just supposed to get me to school, work and out to Grand Valley for my Spanish classes. Well, it's in okay shape, but it needs some work. First of all, I need to get an oil change, something I'll probably get around to later this month. Secondly, it really needs a tune up. I need to hire someone to take the engine out and clean it with a Q-tip. That'll probably be three hundred bucks. I've already had to replace the U-joints, whatever the heck those are. My dad said they needed work, so I had him do it. The automatic steering belt was making this nasty whining noise that drove me crazy, and that was forty bucks to fix because my brother, who's so dependable, didn't get around to fixing it for me. So that's the lowdown on my wheels. All things considered, it gets me around and I'm really not sure if I want to part with the cash to get it fixed. Oh, and another thing, it has no stereo. Not even SPEAKERS. That's not really as bad as it sounds but sometimes I really wish I could have some tunes. Oh well, I'll probably have splurged on that by the time you read this, since I'm quickly running out of things to talk to myself about.

Beside all this, it's really cool to have this Big Butch Truck but there's no one to ride in it with me. I've had plenty of sex with people I know, but what I really want is someone I can see every day and "go steady" with. God that sounds so conventional. God that sounds like the same thing I've been whining about since I started writing for Oasis. Well, I guess I'll be whining until I get it. Not to put down those I've been with, those I've thought something might be there, it just proved a little hard (too far away most of the time). I'm not really looking for anything in particular, just a nice gay kid my age in my area. Conservative Grand Rapids must be really bad breeding or something.

On a more curious note, does anyone out there like Wolfstone? It's not exactly gay music (Celt Rock to be specific) but I'm in love with it. If you do, let me know, I'd love to exchange notes. I think I like it because I was Scottish in another life. The proper term here would be Scotch, but I don't want to imply that I was once an alcoholic beverage. Jock strap maybe would've been fun, but not liquor.

On the subject of reincarnation, does anyone else out there believe that it's a feasible idea or is it just me? I guess it's kind of screwy if you believe in heaven and hell, but I never seemed to latch onto that sort of Western thought. Not sure why, just never have.

What I've always seemed to believe is that people kind of create their own sort of afterlife: where you believe you'll end up while you're alive is where you'll end up when your dead. This makes sense to me because there are so many different ideas on the subject... but I guess I'll never know until I die. Toasted marshmallow, anyone?

Okay, I guess what I really wanted to touch on this month is for all the new Wired Queers. If you've made it to Oasis, that really says you've done a good job of exploiting your resources, which is what I want to talk about.

When I first started using the World Wide Web full time (not just through MSN) a year ago the first thing I did was go looking for gay stuff. I knew there was some stuff out there, I had gotten some URL's from PlanetOut, but didn't know much. Of course, I first found Youth Action Online (or whatever it's called now, http://www.youth.org) and then this big banner for Oasis. Well, the little voice in my head said, "Hey, let's go here" and I did. Well, you probably know the story from here, since I'm writing in the zine.

Anyway, to get to the point, here's the famous question: What can you do? Simple! Run a great big search on "GAY YOUTH" through your favorite search engine and see what you get. Try not to get sidetracked with the porno stuff (as easy and tempting as that is) and get right into the goodies. You'll find YAO and probably PlanetOut. There's a lot more there, so go run the search as soon as you've read the rest of Oasis. The best thing the YAO and PNO sites have is their resource directories, YAO's QueerAmerica (http://www.youth.org/outproud/) database and PNO's Queer Resources Directory.

If I had to pick the best one, QA would win because all you do is give it your zip code, area code, age, and gender and it pops up a list of everything queer in your area. One of these days I'll try searching Russell, Kansas for the Bob Dole Gay And Lesbian Center, but I doubt there is one.

Even if you live in Nowhereville, USA there's bound to be something around for you. If not, there's always hope.

If you can't find anything in your area, or it's out of your range, try chatting it up on IRC. Even the poor queers in Russell should be able to appreciate IRC.

Now, I don't quite understand the infrastructure of the whole IRC thing, but I know there's a variety of servers to chose from. I like irc.neosoft.com which is tied into a service called EFFNET and that probably consists of twelve other servers. Try logging in on neosoft and asking around about the different servers. Some are faster than others. Don't forget to drop into #gayteen, that's about the best place to find kids your age. I'm sure there's even a #gaykansas for the Russell kids.

If you like the fringe, tryout Undernet (http://www.undernet.org) even though its not usually as busy as the other IRCs. us.undernet.org is a good starting point, and you can find out how to log onto the other regional servers from there. #gayyouth is a the hangout there, even though there's not much turnout and virtually no one's heard of Oasis. Undernet I guess is for people who live in caves with a telephone hookup.

I've lost track of newsgroups, so if that's what you're looking to get into you should run a search on gay youth newsgroups or ask around on IRC.

Now, if you're on an online service there's no reason why you should be missing the fun there. In my short stint as an MSN beta tester (I miss the days when we tried to crash it on purpose) I found PlanetOut there and I know AOL has its share of chat rooms, both raunchy and supportive.

Well, that's about it for now. Since the holidays are over I'm actually catching up on my email, but if you emailed me before and didn't get a reply, you'd better send me another note cause my mail app crashed in December and I lost a lot of mail. Since then I've learned to stay away from beta mail apps. Oh well, what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger in some way or another.

Oh, and something for all of you to consider:

If you were reincarnated as an M&M, which color would you be?

And, of course remember.. the future melts in your mouth, not in our hands. Oh wait, that's not right...

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