23 December 2007

Happy Tears

Today I was the substitute pianist in primary. I love playing piano for all the little kids at church. First of all, they don't know if you've messed up, so it doesn't matter if I've never played the song before and hit a few sour notes. Mostly, I just love their innocence and the simplicity with which the teachers share the gospel with them.

Today they were talking about how Jesus interacted with little children when he was on the earth. How much he loved and adored them. The time that he spent with them. They talked about the children in Israel during His mortal ministry, and then they talked about the children in the Americas after His resurrection. The teacher read these verses from the Book of Mormon:

And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full.

And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.

And when he had done this he wept again;

3 Nephi 17:20-22

The teacher asked the children why Jesus was crying, and one of the little kids responded, "They were happy tears!" So we learned about how sometimes people cry, not because they are sad, but because they are so happy.

Today I kind of felt like crying. This time of the year is always the hardest for me. I'm alone again for Christmas, and my 35th birthday is 3 weeks after Christmas. It's the worst time of the year to see so many of my married siblings, friends, and everyone else for that matter, with their families, enjoying each other and loving each other. They have their children. They feel the joys of parenthood that I long for. My soul aches. And I want to cry sad tears.

But today, something happened at church. Our bishop gave a talk in sacrament meeting about how much the Savior loves us. How much He knows us individually and the trials we have in our lives. And how He is always there for us, no matter how far from the path we stray. His arms are always outstretched and will always welcome us home. He paid the price for our mistakes, for our errors, for our transgressions. All we have to do is belive and follow Him.

As I sat there listening to what the bishop was saying - things that I have heard a thousand times before - I felt the Spirit inside of me. I felt the warmth and caress of the Savior's hands on me. I felt His love for me. And my sad tears turned into happy tears.

20 December 2007

Owning Up

I recently told a friend of mine to start owning his decisions. Thus began the apparent decay of our friendship - but I'm not going to write about that one. I think that on a scale of 1 to 10, I am at about a level 7 or 8 for being good about owning my decisions. For the most part I can take responsibility for something I have done, and take my lashings for it. So, in an effort to not be hypocritical about calling my friend's attention to that fact in his life, I also need to be sure that I'm owning my deicisions. So here it comes:

This whole incident I had with the choir I sing in is crazy. It is ridiculous the way that some other Mohos have chosen to view it, and capitalize on it to fester their own angst against Mormonism. It's really pathetic the lengths they have gone to distort and twist what I said, so that they may villify the choral organization.

But, I will own up to the fact that the crap they are pulling is the direct result of a bad decision that I made to allow myself to get worked up over something so trivial. If I had maintained composure and controlled my overreactive self, none of this would have ended up like it has.

So what do I do now? I've worked things out with the choir. I have no problem with the person who offended me. He apologized. I apologized to him for letting things get to where they are. We are on good terms. The problem is, the scavanger Moho that seized on this for his own personal aggrandizement is still harping on it. He won't let go, and continues to try to defame the choral organization. I asked him nicely to stop. He refused. Then I got angry and asked him angrily to stop. He refused again. He's done it all in the name of being my "ally and friend" and righting the wrongs which I have been burdened with.

I'm sorry, but the last time I checked an ally and a friend doesn't do things that hurt your reputation. If he really was my ally and friend and cared for me, he would cease and desist, understanding that the continued flaunting of my indiscretion of blabbing my problem to the whole world is damaging my image more than anything else.

But, he is neither my friend, nor my ally. He is much more akin to having the mind of a sadistic serial killer - one who gets pleasure out of seeing others suffer. Perhaps his blogger name should be "It Puts The Lotion On". (For you non R-rated movie people out there, that is a reference to the killer in Silence of the Lambs - great movie, but disturbing. I recommend it.)

But, in spite of how distasteful his current actions are, I truely have nobody to blame but myself. If I would have just let my emotions settle before I responded to the original offence, I would have been much more level-headed with it and things never would have been carried to the level that they have been.

I apologize to the choral organization for my actions, but apologies don't undo actions. I wish I could go back in time and kick myself in the head. I haven't felt this bad about doing something stupid for a very long time.

The Whinery

I decided that if I ever get my PhD in psychology and open up shop, I will name the business "The Whinery".

18 December 2007

Thinking About Marriage

So, recently I was reading one of the few blogs I still keep up on and the poster was talking about prospects for a heterosexual marriage. I've been taking inventory of that one in the back of my mind to see where I stand on it at the moment.

Right now, I don't really see it happening. I'm in my mid-30s now. I'm pretty good at not being attracted to the opposite sex. I've determined that if the Lord intends for that to happen, then He is going to have to produce the miracle for me. I've done all that I can. I've tried my best with dating and such to get on the "straight" bandwagon, but it just feels awkward and unnatural. I've done everything I can possibly come up with to meet and be attracted to a girl. I don't know what else to do. So, I'm leaving it in His hands. If marriage happens it happens, if it doesn't it doesn't.

With this in mind, I've had to begin the process of organizing my psyche so that I can deal with being single for the rest of my life. That's a tough one. I've always held out this vision, this hope for the seemingly impossible. That is what has always driven me and kept me going down the path that I have been going down. It has propelled me forward in my career and in my investments, always driving me to be ready to support a family. It is one of the things that has helped me retain my testimony at times when it has been very shakey. There is nothing I have ever wanted more than to have my own children.

So now I have to reorganize things. What am I going to live for now? What are my sights going to be set on? What's my motivation?

I'm still working those things out. It's a daunting task. I need to find new things that engage my interest enough that I will see them in such a way to inspire me to work for them.

One thing that has percolated to the top of the sea of endless choices are my nieces. Both of my brothers had babies this year. Well, their wives had the babies, my brothers just helped to make them. The whole family lives up in Utah in the Provo-ish area. This year as I've received emails of pictures of the girls as they have grown (one is 11 months, the other is 6 months) I have felt this great tugging at my heart. And I must interject that they truely are the cutest children to have ever been created. Sorry, everyone else. Yours are homely compared to these two. :P Anyway, I want to be around my family more. I want to see these little girls grow up. I want to be the cool uncle that they love to see. Since I don't have children of my own, I want them to be a part of my life, to fill that void.

This one thing has given me motivation in the business I've been trying to start. I'm declaring the business of 2007 to be a failure, and I'm starting anew with a new plan and a new partner in 2008. I need to live here in So Cal to get this business to succeed. I can't do it in Utah. The market won't support it. I can't move to be closer to my family. So, I need to have success in my business so that I can afford to go visit them much more frequently.

The desire for family, even though it's not my own blood, can still be a inspiration for me in various aspects of my life. I'm going to be the best darn uncle this world has ever seen.

Now, if I could just convince the capital investors of that...

Out of Hand

Sometimes things just get out of hand when you let other people know about them. I was annoyed at the whole choir thing, but some people on both sides of the issue got really worked up about it. Holy crap, people. Calm down. For those of you Moho's that are making a bigger deal out of this than what it is - knock it off.

I apologize to the choir director for the uncalled-for things that some other people chose to do. But, I would also ask better understanding from all members in the future with regards to their brothers and sisters in the gospel.

Might I suggest that everyone read what Elder Jeffrey R Holland had to say about working with gay Mormons.

17 December 2007

Random General Authority Visits

So, one of the relatively new converts in our ward turns out to be cousins with the wife of Elder Gary J Coleman, of the Seventy - not to be confused with Gary Coleman the actor. Elder and Sister Coleman decided to come pay him a visit this past weekend, and they came to our ward. And here's the hilarious part:

A friend of mine, who just started coming back to church about 5 months ago after years and years of inactivity, was recently asked to be one of the teachers in Elder's Quorum. Yesterday was his first Sunday teaching, and it was the day the Elder Coleman was there. It was hilarious. My friend was really quite nervous about teaching, and one of the things that some people do when they are nervously teaching is talk A LOT and never ask for audience participation. Well, throughout the lesson, Elder Coleman kept on raising his hand to make a comment, and the teacher kept on ignoring him. It was hilarious. I was sitting there using all of my mental superpowers trying to call to my friend's attention that maybe he should go ahead and let the GA offer his insight. But, alas, I don't have superpowers. So, I just got to sit there and chuckle to myself that Elder Coleman was being ignored. It's probably the first time in the years he has been a GA that something like that has happened to him. Maybe being ignored was a humbling experience for him and he'll talk about it at the next General Conference. :)


15 December 2007

A Mild Annoyance

So, in the young adults section of the Northern Lights email discussion group (yes, I'm still in the age range to be in it for another year) there have been several emails this week about the topic of masturbation. It was actually a good, mature discussion of the topic. Nobody was giving out their favorite websites to go to, or giving tips on how to make the experience better, or anything like that. For most adults, it was a perfectly benign conversation.

I say most, because there are always those who cower away from discussing anything uncomfortable. Someone started a "don't we have better things to talk about" thread. I found it annoying. Here's my $0.02:

If you don't like the topic being discussed, then don't read the posts. Nobody is forcing you to read them. Nobody is holding you at gunpoint and making you open every message that shows up in your inbox. There are other people who are interested in discussing the topic in a mature fashion. If that makes you uncomfortable, then don't participate in that particular discussion. Stop whining about it.

I may look back on this post and wonder why I was so bitchy when I woke up this morning. I dunno. I read the posts and was instantly annoyed. Maybe I should just go back to bed.

12 December 2007

The Choir Which Shall Not Be Named

The Choir Which Shall Not Be Named is a brand new choral organization here in Southern California, and we just had our inaugural concert this evening. It was absolutely maginificent. We sang in Segerstrom Hall at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. There are about 110 members of the adult choir, and we had maybe a 40 piece orchestra accompanying us.

I experienced a bit of a personal mircale too. I've had a head cold for almost two weeks now. I'm not really sick other than sinus congestion. Well, the worst thing you can have, when you're singing tenor, is sinus congestion. It just becomes impossible to hit the really high notes. So, I prayed with much faith today, took my meds, and lo and behold my entire head cleared up for the concert. I was able to sing as well as I normally do. I hit all the high notes - and for those of you who sing and understand, we hit a high b-flat in one of the songs.

The whole concert was just a wonderful experience. We are singing 3 shows per year, so any of you who live in the LA/OC area, let me know and I will keep you informed of our next show.

10 December 2007

Homosexuality in Fruit Flys

Apparently it's genetic:


05 December 2007


An interesting definition of pride as put forth by Pres. Ezra Taft Benson. I found it in the chruch's Addiction Recovery Manual. Remember this one the next time you talk about it in Sunday School. Then you won't have the same old lame conversation about "good" pride and "bad" pride. If you get everyone on the same page with respect to the definition you can have a good conversation about it.

“Pride is a very misunderstood sin. . . .
“Most of us think of pride as self-centeredness, conceit, boastfulness, arrogance, or haughtiness. All of these are elements of the sin, but the heart, or core, is still missing.
“The central feature of pride is enmity—enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means ‘hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.’ It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.
“Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against God’s. When we direct our pride toward God, it is in the spirit of ‘my will and not thine be done.’ . . .
“Our will in competition to God’s will allows desires, appetites, and passions to go unbridled (see Alma 38:12; 3 Nephi 12:30).
“The proud cannot accept the authority of God giving direction to their lives (see Helaman 12:6). They pit their perceptions of truth against God’s great knowledge, their abilities versus God’s priesthood power, their accomplishments against His mighty works” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 3–4; or Ensign, May 1989, 4).

04 December 2007

Waning Addictions

So, I've had something very strange happen to me over the last week and half since the Guatemala vacation. I've felt one of my addictions waning.

Porn and masturbation? I wish. That would make my life so much better. Like I always say, I don't have a problem with masturbation... it works every time. :P

The addiction of which I speak is my video game addiction. The game in particular is World of Warcraft (WoW). I've been a junky-esque player for a year and a half now. I have spent far, far, far too much time behind my keyboard at night battling monsters and saving damsels in distress. It's been fun. Indeed it has. I was a big Dungeons and Dragons nerd growing up, so I found the transition into online fantasy gaming to be quite easy.

In the past, I would spend at least an hour or five every night playing. My excuse was that I didn't watch tv anymore - which was mostly true. I tivo Heroes, Pushing Daisies, The Office, My Name is Earl, and Scrubs. That is a grand total of 3.5 hours per week, minus commercials since it's on tivo. I watch those and rarely do I watch anything else. I never turn on the tv just to surf channels. So, as I saw it, I was just replacing my habits of tv channel surfing with a different one. And at least in this one I was exercising my brain in solving problems, building strategies, etc.

Well, we went to Guatemala for a week and a half, and when I got back I felt somewhat detoxed from WoW. It wasn't like other times when I was away from the game for a few days, and got the shakes like a heroin addict. I got back online on Sunday night for one of the large group activities (I normally participate in "Raids" on Sundays and Tuesdays), and it was okay. It wasn't super fun. It wasn't a bad time, but it wasn't a great time either. I did the same on Tuesday night. I felt the same afterwards. During the rest of the week I didn't play very much. I found myself very occupied with a lot of other things and just didn't have the time to play. Saturday rolled around, I played for a couple of hours in the afternoon. It was fun, but not great. Sunday evening came along, I raided again, and I really didn't enjoy myself at all.

Yesterday I didn't play. Today is Tuesday, and I didn't play. I didn't feel like it. I had no desire to turn on my computer when I got home from work. Instead, I ran a few errands that I've needed to get done and I wrote a couple of blog posts. I don't feel the big pull to turn on the game tonight.

I wonder if I will stay this way. It's still a fun game. I still like it. But, I think maybe I'm finally coming to the point where my brain has decided to regulate it's propensity for addiction, and is allowing me to comfortably cut back on the amount of time I spend playing it so that I can get other, more important tasks in my life completed. I hope so.

Now, if only my brain would do this for my other addictions...

Checking In

Hello? Is this thing on?

I've really failed in my desires to return to my former prolific blogging persona. The last few months I've just not felt it. Maybe it's time to get some feelings out there again. I have a lot. I have good ones. I have bad ones.

I look back through some of my older posts and remark to myself, "Why the hell did I ever write that in a public forum?" I'm not going to go through and delete anything. It's already out there. It's already been said. Who would I be kidding?

I also look at some other posts and think about how my perspective has changed over the last many months that I've been in the Moho community. It's been a good experience. As I've come to know more and more Mohos personally, my once rigid view of how people should live their lives has softened up a bit. I can see instances where something that I feel would not be right for me to pursue would be okay for someone else, due solely to how their life has progressed over the years and the trials that they face.

I'm not willing to say anymore that I think that everyone should live the way I've chosen to live. When I look at the emotional trauma that some people experience by being a gay Mormon and looking at the oft-described "dreary" prospects for living their life, I think that maybe it would be better for them to pursue a more gay-themed lifestyle just for their own sanity. I would rather see someone alive and living with another guy than attend their funeral because the desperation was too much for them.

In saying that, I don't want to put across the idea that I think it's okay for anyone to do that. I think that most people should and are able to live a fulfilling life within the current boundaries that the church has established for all of us. I think that many people who express their exasperation at living the SCF (single, celibate and faithful) life actually do have what it takes to live that life. They just need to reorient their spirituality and tap into the testimony that lies dormant inside of them.

We all get down. We all get weary. We sometimes veer off the path and make mistakes that nobody else knows about. But God knows everything, and He is always there to listen to you if you humble yourself before Him and talk to him in sincerity. No matter what you're struggling with, He loves you and cares about you. And He will always welcome you back with open arms.

26 November 2007

Google Keywords

My new favorite search string that lead someone to my blog:

"i have girl hips"

Dengue Fever

So, as many of you know, I went on vacation to explore Guatemala with a couple other Mohos: AtP, John, and Isakson. One of the amazing tropical illnesses that you can contract while in the jungle areas of Guatemala is Dengue Fever. While on our little trip, we discovered a rare strain of the disease which is pronounced the same but spelled differently: Dengay Fever.

Dengay Fever is the unique condition when you find yourself in a foreign country where you don't see nearly as many attractive guys as you do in the states. The severe lack of eye candy leads you to dellusional attractions to guys that you would normally pass off as nothing more than cannon fodder for the fat chicks in your ward. As the disease spreads through you, you find more and more of these "not-so's" more and more attractive, until your judgement of what is hot and what is not is completely distorted and skewed.

All four of us contracted this disease to varying degrees while down there. It was terrible. The positive aspect is that none of us contracted Dengay to the point where we were looking at the fugly people with a gleam in our eye - but we were definitely questioning our abilities at spotting true hotties.

The disease is going away for me. I put forth a good effort at oogling at the hot, shirtless surfers changing into their wetsuits as I drove downtown yesterday and while I drove to church today. I'm still not sure that I'm 100% cured from it. Only time will tell.

Pray for all four of us.

06 November 2007

Hello pot, I'm kettle

So, one thing I complain about more and more is people making slurs about "gay" around me. These are people that I am not out to, and when they make reference to something that they don't like as being "gay" it kind of stabs me on the inside. It makes me mad, and I dislike them a little more every time I hear it. I think to myself of what a terrible person they are for not being tolerant of other people. Blah, blah, blah.

I'm a hypocrite.

Today at work, I was reviewing some documents with a coworker. He has two mentally disabled children. While reviewing the document it became apparent that the person who wrote it probably should not have been in charge of writing it - there was some really lame stuff written in it. I made the comment, "The person who wrote this is completely retarded." Yeah. I used the "retarded" slur in front of someone who has two retarded children.

Three hours later when I realized what I had done, I felt like an ass.

28 October 2007


I almost completely outed myself last night - to everybody.

We had a big, regional mid-singles Halloween dance last night. There were almost 500 people from all over Southern California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. It was a fun dance. I like the whole costume thing. It allows me to assume a different persona for the evening - and it's totally acceptable because everyone else is doing it too.

Part of the festivities that always happen at these big gatherings for the 30-somethings is Speed Dating. No, it's not the type of dating where you have to partake of illegal drugs to get through the night (although that might help). And, like always, I got roped into doing it. I'm a fairly good conversationalist, so I can make people laugh and feel comfortable around me. It helps out, because a lot of these members of the female persuasion are single because they have lousy interaction skills. One of the reasons I think that I got roped into it this time was also that the person in charge of the activity is one of the girls in my ward that I came out to several months ago. I've helped her through some really tough times in the past so, bless her heart, she is trying to help me out now that I've told her everything. I love her dearly for genuine concern and desire to help, but it can also be annoying.

So, as I'm rotating through the pool of dead fish, on a few different occasions the girls were asking me about my ward and why it hasn't worked out for me yet. The third time this happened, I had one of those moments where you are in a conversation with someone but your mind is off having a conversation of its own. I don't really remember what I told her, but in my mind I was debating on whether or not it was time to finally just come out to everyone. I juggled the thought around for a while, thinking about how easy things would become if I just told people the truth:

The truth is that I don't really like girls, I like boys. That is why it hasn't worked out for me. It's the simplest answer there is. I'm surrounded by dozens of great people who I'm sure will make wonderful wives for whomever ends up marrying them. Why am I not marrying any one of them? I feel nothing for them. No feelings. No spark. No interest. Nothing whatsoever. That's why I'm as attractive as I am, have a great job, own a home, have investments, am musically gifted, well educated, etc, etc, and am still single. How can I be all of these things yet not be married? I am the definition of a paradox.

As those thoughts churned through my mind I crept closer to the edge of letting go of my fears and reservations completely. I loosened my grip on the rope that holds the curtains which are drawn to hide this part of me. I nearly let go.


10 October 2007

A Meaningful Self

In the ups and downs of my life there are times when I've felt like my life truly had meaning and purpose. There have also been times where it has all felt completely meaningless.

Recently I've been leaning on the meaningless side of the fence. I have few close friends that are single and that I actually socialize with on a regular basis. Work has become dreary. I've stagnated in the business I've been trying to start on the side. Church has been dull. I haven't cared about my callings. My telephone conversations with my family on the weekends are fairly short and uninteresting. You name it, it's probably happening to me.

In a few short months I will turn 35. Halfway to the standard retirement age. And, unless I live to be 105, more than a third of the way to death. What have I done with my life that has been worthwhile? What have I done that hasn't? What things have brought me closer to the Lord? What things have carried me away? What blessings have I received? What blessings have I lost out on because of not following the commandments?

I think that my search for a meaningful life needs to move beyond the boundaries of same-sex attraction. To often that is all I focus on - as do most of you. But you know what? I think that most of us are fooling ourselves. Us Mohos are so fixated on the fact that we're different from the norm that we don't realize how normal we actually are.

I have a very close non-girlfriend girlfriend that I confide all of my innermost feelings to. She attends my singles ward. The other day we went out to dinner at Pei Wei (delicious) and were discussing our lives. She is my age, along with the 60 or so other mid-30s singles in the ward. We were talking about being older, single and with no real prospects for marriage. Guess what? Straight people hate being single just as much as Mohos do.

Being older singles has given us all the opportunity to date many, many people. There are reasons why all of us are still single. There are always compatibility issues. Some of our compatibility issues stem from personality traits, physical appearance, social abilities, homosexual attractions, etc. There are always some big issues that keep us older singles from getting married - in spite of the fact that there are dozens of other "available" singles around us. In the past we have actually sat down with the ward directory, gone through all of the single guys and easily pointed out (usually multiple reasons) why none of them are compatible with her.

Why don't all these people just go out and get married? Why do they accept suffering in a church that incessantly preaches about the virtues of marriage and family? Why do they go back week after week, only to see the married families that comprise the other half of our ward come in with their children and flaunt their happiness? Why don't they picket general conference and demand that special attention be paid to them as single members?

There's a few answers to that. The first answer is that we have a bishop that really cares about us as singles. Our previous bishop was awesome too. He was instrumental in enmeshing us in with the families of the ward when we all got sent there. We have a nice, supportive set of local leaders that are in tune with our needs as single members of the church.

The other answer is that most of these singles who are the most active, always have the best attitudes, and seem to be coping the best with being single so late in life, have focus in their lives. They do things to add meaning to their lives. They don't sit at home and wallow in self pity all the time. The get outside of themselves and serve others. They are actively involved in the spiritual and social aspects of church.

So, as I've been recently pondering how to better have a meaningful life, I've paid much closer attention to my peers. I've been trying to stop seeing myself as some three-legged, one-eyed, leprous black sheep, and just see myself as one of the herd of varied black sheep that I see in church every week. We are all struggling with life. None of us has had our life pan out the way we thought it would. All of us are lacking in terms of emotional and sexual fulfillment.

The less I see myself as a sideshow freak, and more like one of the rest of the carnies, the better I feel.

28 September 2007

101 Ways to Offend

One of my core abilities seems to be that of offending people. I don't do it on purpose. It's just part of my sometimes blatantly honest communication style. I try to be open and honest about my feelings with people. Sometimes I feel bad for offending people, other times I don't.

One sure-fire way to offend someone is to judge something about them and then let them know. Of course, if they ask you if you have judged something about them, why are they surprised when you say yes?

Everything we do all day long is based on judgement. I see what other people do, I listen to what they say, and I witness the results. Based on the results, I then make a decision as to whether or not I will make those same choices or say those same things in my life. If the outcome for them was not ideal, then I judge and put that on the list of things to avoid. If the outcome was super-awesome, I judge and put that on the list of things to emulate.

Do I judge well? Sometimes. Do I judge poorly? Sometimes. They key item that I am getting at is you are making judgements of people's actions in order to help you evaluate what your own actions should be. Does this mean that if I judge someones actions as poor that I therefore think they are a bad person? No. In the extreme case of a serial killer, I would say yes, but most of the time I think that judging actions does not automatically flow into judgement of the person himself. Unfortunately it seems that most people think you can't separate judgement of actions from judgement of person.

To me, judgement of person is God's job. I'll judge whether or not I want to emulate your actions, but the judgement of you as a person is not my prerogative. I don't know everything about you. There are always extenuating circumstances that lead up to people making the decisions they do. Most of the time we don't know and understand what all of those elements are, therefore we are not qualified to judge the person.

The tricky part is once you've determined you don't approve of someones actions, how do you keep yourself from becoming judgemental of the person? Is it possible to have no respect for the decisions in a person's life, but still have respect for that person? It's difficult, but not impossible.

I have an acquaintance who recently got divorced after several years of marriage. I didn't know the whole story behind their divorce, but I knew several key details of the marriage from his perspective. I judged those details as being things I did not want to emulate in my life, or in a marriage if there ever is one for me. In my eyes, those details were the things that lead to the divorce. I do not respect those actions at all. However, given the state that their marriage was in, I do respect the fact that they went through with the divorce. The things that seemed to lead up to the divorce put the emotional stability of each of them into such a state of disarray that divorce was actually a really good decision.

When he asked me if I looked down on him for getting divorced, my reply was with respect to the things he had been involved in that lead up to the divorce. I told him that yes, I did look down on his choices. I saw all of the bad things he was letting into his life. He drove out the Spirit and did not let that foster and aid his marriage.

Unfortunately, when I go back and read the email, I can see how it would have been misinterpreted as me saying I looked down on his decision to get divorced. So, that lead to a rather lengthy and vicious reply from him. Oops. Damn my sometimes poor ability to convey my thoughts through a written medium! So, now I have to try and redeem myself from appearing judgemental of person.

Then again, who is he to judge me?

Funniest Movie of the Year

Death at a Funeral

I saw this last weekend with a friend of mine. It honestly was the funniest movie I have seen all year. It's got a bunch of minor actors in it, several of whom you recognize, but nobody huge. I think that makes it more enjoyable.

It's classic dry British humor. It's one of those movies where just when you think things can't get any worse for the characters, they do. And the results are hilarious.

It's R-rated for regular use of the f-bomb and a naked male hiney. If you don't have issues with either of those, I highly recommend the movie.

27 September 2007

The Interesting Today

I was out and about this afternoon, wandering through stores trying to pilfer some design ideas for a project I'm working on. I have to tell you about two odd things.

The first odd thing that happened to me was that as I was walking out to my car in the Ikea parking lot, some guy drives up in a truck and tries to sell me a $5,000 surround sound system. Do I really look that dumb and gullible?

The second odd thing was something I saw, or rather someone I saw. I was walking out of another store to get in my car and I saw a strange-looking person walking towards me. I didn't think much of it at first, because I was next door to Guitar Center, and there are always weird people walking out of that place. But, as he got closer to me, I realized he wasn't one of the ordinary, cut-and-dry weird people. He was a unique weird person. He was wearing a wig of long, black hair, a pirate hat, and a Pirates of the Carribean shirt. Nothing else was pirate-themed. He wore denim shorts and cheap sneakers. He did have a goatee, and a smile on his face that said, "I love who I am and what I'm wearing right now." I was impressed. Unfortunately, my hands were full so I couldn't get to my phone to snap a picture.

How interesting was your day?

22 September 2007

September Rain

It doesn't rain much in September here in So Cal. I can prove this by sending you here. But it's raining today. It rained all night rather heavily, and here at noontime it is starting to pour again. I love it. The temperature is a cool 67 degrees. The air is clean. I'm in my pajama pants, a hoodie and slippers sitting on the couch (yes, pajamas at noon). The steady drone of the rainfall is quite soothing and peaceful. I feel good right now. Since I don't have anyone to share this moment with right now, I decided to blog it and share it with all of you. I hope you have a great day.

19 September 2007

The Storm (conclusion)

The storm pressed on.

Darkness set in. The power was out. And a combination of fear and excitement began to take hold on the heart of Ryan. He began to understand why the local residents would abandon their town during the storm. Even if the storm never hit, there was always the chance for massive destruction. But to see it first-hand was amazing. The desert thunderstorms were amazing in and of themselves, but they never did damage like this. This storm was something entirely different. The raw power that it possessed was unlike anything he had seen before.

A bolt of lightening streaked down from the sky and struck tree in front of the cabin. The energy from the bolt reached into every particle of the tree, heating it to a tremendous temperature. The water contained inside the cells of the tree boiled and vaporized, in the process creating a massive buildup of pressure. It was more than the structure of the tree could handle and it erupted with violent force sending limbs and branches through the air at blinding speeds.

The main body of the tree flew screaming through the window of the cabin and knocked Zack to the floor.

"Zack! Zack! Are you okay?" Ryan screamed as he leapt to the floor to shield Zack from any debris that might rain down on him. There was no response. He laid his fingers on Zack's neck to check for a pulse. There was a pulse, but it was faint. He grabbed Zack under the arms and pulled him into the bedroom. He lay Zack on the bed and then shut the bedroom door to keep the wind and rain out.

Zack had a large gash on his arm and Ryan began to attend to it. He needed to stop the bleeding.

The storm pressed on in all its fury.

A single dust particle, now encased in water, fell from the sky as one of countless other raindrops. It fell on the mountainside above the cabin that Ryan and Zack were in. When it touched the earth, it soaked into the loose soil. It was the tipping point for the soil. The provervbial straw that broke the camel's back. It was the last bit of water that gravity needed to overcome the friction that held the soil in place on the mountain.

The side of the mountain began to flow. Slowly at first, but gradually picking up speed. As it flowed down the mountain, the momentum disloged other spots of rain-drenched soil. It grew. It gathered more saturated soil. It grew even more. It grew and grew as it flowed down the mountain until it looked as if the entire mountain itself was churning and collapsing on itself.

Ryan didn't notice the rumble in the earth. He was too busy tending to Zack. He didn't notice until it was too late. The mountain flowing down on itself eventually flowed over the cabin where they were, burying it under many feet of mud, rock, and sundered trees. The storm had taken them captive, and would never let them free.

The storm pressed on.

The Storm (part 2)

A single spec of dust floated on the breeze. It didn't know where it had originated, for it had had been in too many places. It had traversed the globe more than the most well-travelled of human beings could imagine. There was no end in sight, because it was just a spec of dust. It would one day fall to the earth, only to be swept up again on the breeze and carried through the atmosphere to another destination.

And so it was with an innumerable host of dust particles. To them, the storm was simply a part of their life cycle. The moisture in the air would begin to condense on them, clouds would form, and eventually they would fall to the ground in raindrops.

To Ryan and Zack, the storm was something entirely different. They had spent the night in the small cabin, waiting on the storm. The wind had increased in ferocity during the night, and more and more water was beginning to precipitate from the skies. The lightening and thunder had continually awoken them during the night, so that they both felt rather unrested that morning.

"Wow, it's really starting to come down," said Ryan with a bit of worry in his voice.

"Yeah, but this is probably as bad as it's going to get. It was only supposed to last through tomorrow, so we are probably seeing the tail end of it. Aren't you glad we stayed?"

Ryan thought about this for a moment and replied, "Yeah, but I do have to admit that I'm a little disappointed in the storm. It's had strong winds, and that lightening show last night was pretty amazing, but it just hasn't been as awe-inspiring as a good desert thunderstorm."

"Well, now you know. It wasn't as great as you thought it would be, but at least we didn't have to worry about finding a place to evacuate to. I've enjoyed just being lazy here in the cabin."

They passed the day with occasional conversation, books, board games and periodic naps - along with infrequent glances out the window at the storm.

As the day passed the winds grew stronger. They grew at such a slow pace that it was hardly noticable to Ryan and Zack. Their ears became dulled to the sound outside as it gradually increased in level. The thunderclaps seemed to increse too, but they thought nothing of it. What they didn't realize was that many of what they thought were thunderclaps were not preceded by a lightening strike. They were, in fact, great tree branches failing under the strain of the ever-increasing winds.

Ryan was staring intently at the pages of a very uninteresting book that he was determined to finish on this trip. While the typeface was swimming around on the page in front of him as he struggled to retain consciousness, he caught a flash of something through the window.

"What was that?" he asked to Zack as he put down the book and stood up and gazed out of the window.

"What was what?"

"I thought I just saw something outside of the window." He moved towards the window.

"Like what?"

"I don't know. I just got a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye while I was reading." He reached the window and gazed outside. "Wow, come take a look at this!"

Zack got up off of the couch and walked over to the window. He looked out to the same sight that Ryan saw. It was chaos. Many large trees had fallen - several onto the abandoned homes of the local town residents. The irrigation ditches running along the road were swelled and spilling out into the streets. They watched another tree felled by the great gusts of wind from the approaching storm. It fell onto the lone power pole that was distributing electricity to the surrounding cabins. They saw a bright explosion and then the electricity went out.

The storm pressed on.

Always Remember September 19th With Great Respect

We will never forget:


09 September 2007

Praying For Answers

I've had a thought on my mind lately. A lot of people here and elsewhere comment a lot about how there isn't much "direct revelation" on the subject of homosexuality. The information we receive on it, most notably from Elder Oaks, seems to be more along the lines of compilations of existing information rather than a "Yea, verily" coming from the prophet himself.

The information can also be somewhat vague. Granted, the individual experiences that each of us have with respect to SGA probably can't all be solved with a "yea verily," but it seems like we could do with some more direct information with respect to the aspects of SGA that all of us have in common.

I would propose something. As someone who loves the church and the gospel, but would really like some more direct answers, I think that we should have a Moho community fast. I think we should exercise our combined faith and petition the Lord to grant more light and knowledge to us through his Prophet.

Everything that has ever been revealed in this dispensation has been due to petitioning the Lord for answers to questions. Why can't our question be answered? Why can't we receive a greater understanding of our situation? I see no reason why not.

So, I would ask each of you to join with me over the next few weeks leading up to General Conference to implore the Lord in your personal prayers to grant us a greater light and knowledge concerning SGA. Implore Him to speak through his Prophet. And I would also ask that everyone set aside the last Sunday of this month as a special fast for the answers we all seek.

Do I have any takers?

The Storm (part 1)

The gray of the landscape spread out before him in a misty blanket. The wind whipped through the trees, the branches swaying against it in a battle for who would survive the night. The trees had won this battle many times in the past, but there was no surety that they would emerge the victor on this occasion.

Ryan gazed worriedly out of the window at the sight. "The storm's coming," he said with a sense of urgency in his voice, "we should go. Now."

"I'm not so sure I want to go. I like the rain. It's clean. It's refreshing...." Zack's voice drifted off as he lay on the couch. He yawned and stretched as if to signal his annoyance with the current conversation.

"Are you kidding me? This is a major hurricane coming through, not some light summer shower. This is a dangerous place to be right now." Ryan's anxiousness at the storm and annoyance at Zack's flippant attitude shown clearly in his voice.

Zack's ears perked at the mention of danger, and he began to inwardly revel in the fact that he had annoyed Ryan to such a degree. "Is it? I don't think so. The storms never pass directly through this area, and even if this one does pass closer than normal, I want to be here to see it. It would be amazing to experience it first hand."

Ryan was aghast. "Why do you want to experience it first hand? These things can kill!"

"Whatever, dude, I'll be fine. It's not a big deal." Then Zack added facetiously, "Besides, I watched the movie Twister eleven times, so I know what to expect."

"Very funny." Ryan turned away from Zack and gazed back out the window. There were no signs of life, human or animal, outside. The few other inhabitants of the town had been evactuated the day before, and the animals had long since disappeared. He studied the wide, sweeping motion of the tree branches for several moments, and being the nature lover that he was, began to see the beauty in the windswept landscape. He permitted a single thought to enter his head. What would the storm look like this close?

He pondered on that thought. It intrigued him. After all he loved nature. It was a major part of his life. In some ways, it defined who he was. During the school year he was studying to become a botanist. He had grown up in the outdoors, camping and hiking with his father and the local Boy Scout troop. He never felt quite content unless he was out enjoying things that were not associated with a city or civilzation. He had seen great desert thunderstorms in the summer and has always been fascinated by their motion. He would watch, entranced, as the lightning danced across the landscape in it's chaotic and unpredictable patterns. He loved the torrential drench as the rain poured upon him and then would suddenly cease. The skies would open up and the sun would shine. All in a matter of minutes. Thunderstorms were beautiful.

After pondering the first thought, more thoughts entered his mind. The storms never pass directly through this area. They never have. Not in the 100-plus years that this area has had people living in it. Why would it this time? Why did all of the locals abandon the town every year during storm season if the storms never hit here directly? It did seem rather ridiculous to abandon your home every year only to come back and find it completely intact. Why did those people go through the same thing every year? Why didn't they just accept the fact that the storm never hits their town and just enjoy the fringes of it as it blew past? After all, it was rather magnificent to watch it through the window.

This all led up to a finality of thought in Ryan's mind. Why should he do the same as all the other people? He was his own person with his own destiny. He had a friend that was willing to stay, in fact, wanted to stay and see the storm. Why not stay?

He took a breath and said, "Maybe it would be okay to stay here and watch the storm. I mean, they never pass directly through here. We're probably seeing the worst of it right now anyway."

"Now that's what I like to hear! It's about time you did something adventurous with yourself," remarked Zack as he got up off the couch. He walked over to the window, looked out at the scene before him, put his hand on Ryan's shoulder and said, "Welcome to the world of not being boring all the time and taking a little risk."

The storm pressed on.


Well, I haven't blogged for a while. I've been able to have people that I know in real life be there when I needed a shoulder to cry on or someone to discuss my angst with. It's been great. I haven't forgotten all of you, though. I just haven't known what to write since I have a non-virtual support circle now.

So, I decided to write a story. I've spent the last 13 years of my life only doing technical writing, and I thought it was about time to get back into the habit of writing interesting things. I have a great idea for a series of childrens books, but I fear that my current writing skills are not polished enough to work on that. So, I'm going to practice. Feel free to comment about the story on the blog itself. If you have any comments/suggestions concerning my writing style send me a private email. I would actually very much welcome those.

I'll publish this first one in 3 parts. Rather than write something purely for entertainment's sake, I decided to try something I have never done before - write a story with a moral. Not that my writing during my teenage years was immoral, it just never really had a point to it other than to be entertaining. This story has a point to it. This is the first version of it, and someday in the future when I reread it and do some critiquing, I may rewrite it. I hope at least one of you enjoys it.

14 August 2007

Best News Story Ever

All I can say is "wow."


10 August 2007

The Destination on the Hill

The path that goes to the left is very pleasant looking. Sure it has it's pitfalls and bumpy spots, but for the most part it is very appealing. It's flat and would be fairly easy to walk down. The problem is that the end of the path is foggy. I can't quite see where it goes. It could lead to somewhere amazing and wonderful, but it could also lead to somewhere that I don't want to be. And then what? I will have spent my entire life walking down a path to a destination I don't want to be at. At that point would it be too late to find somewhere else to go?

The path to the right looks difficult. There are a lot more pits and snares and ugly spots in it than the path to the left. It is long and winding. There are nice spots along the way, an oasis here and there. Those look really great. But the path in general looks tedious. It's all uphill too. But, since the path leads up a hill, I can see where it ends. It rises above the fog. The Destination on the Hill is truly amazing. I wish that destination was at the end of the path to the left, but I can see that there is only one road leading up to it and there are impassable cliffs all around. The path to the right is the only way to get there.

But it's so far. It looks so difficult. I know the path that I've been on up until now, and it has been difficult. I would love to have an easier path for a while. But the other thing I can see is that the paths becoming increasingly further apart as they progress. The rocks between them become steep as the path to the right rises in elevation. It would be fairly easy to scramble down from the path on the right to the path on the left at any time. But, it would become increasingly difficult to get from the left to the right due to the steepness and looseness of the terrain. Eventually it looks like it would be nearly impossible.

But what if the path to the left leads somewhere better than the destination I see on the right? What if the Destination in the Fog has a back door that takes me to an escalator and easy access to the far side of the Destination on the Hill? One that I can't see from here? What if? What if?

The map I have in my hands has a few details on it about the two paths in front of me. Not nearly as much detail as I would like, but enough to get me to the destination I choose. The one thing that it does not show is a connection between the Destination in the Fog to the Destination on the Hill. As far as I can tell there is no connection. Once the path to the left is chosen, the Destination in the Fog is what I will end up with. Nobody seems to know what that destination is like. I've asked around, I've read, I've researched, but there is little information. On the other hand, there are copious amounts of information about the Destination on the Hill.

So which to choose? The easier path with the unknown ending? Or, the difficult path with the known ending? The Destination in the Fog or the Destination on the Hill?

And I choose...

Return of the Jedi

It has been a while since I posted and I wanted to give an update.

1) I'm still alive.
2) I loved hanging out with a bunch of other Mohos in Moab last weekend. It was the funnest thing I have done for a long time.
3) We almost died in a flash flood.
4) I'm out of my cycle of depression/loneliness that I get into every few months. So, I'm ready to go out and be friendly with people again. Yay!
5) I hate my day job.
6) I love the new business I'm starting up.
7) I need to go to the gym today.
8) I'm working with my bishop on cleaning up some unresolved issues in my life. He is the most compassionate person I have ever known. I love having him as my bishop.
9) I really want to get some good mexican food for dinner tonight.
10) I love lamp.

30 July 2007

The Wisdom of Age

One thing that age affords you is experience. Experience, when properly analyzed and applied turns into wisdom. I've met very wise old people. I've met very unwise old people. I've met wise young people. And many, many unwise young people.

For the most part wisdom does come with age. As I grew up, I learned that running in to "use the bathroom" when it was time to clean the kitchen after dinner only lead to me having to do more work in scrubbing out the pots and pans before they went in the dishwasher, as opposed to my older sister who would simply clear out the dishwasher and call her half of the chore complete. I became wise with respect to procrastinating that job and what it would mean for me in the end - I would still have to do the work, and usually more of it. So, my newfound wisdom allowed me to rationally see the job and divide equally with my sister the nights of the week when I would clear out the dishes from the dishwasher and the nights she would.

Also, for the most part, wisdom is not frequently found the younger people are. There are plenty of exceptions to this statement. In fact, I have been amazed at some of the tremendous tidbits of wisdom I have received from young AtP. He's no Baxter, but he's good nonetheless.

In the general sense, wisdom does come from experience. Wisdom helps you make better decisions. Wisdom helps you to not overreact when faced with something you don't understand or disagree with. Wisdom helps you to be able to take a step back in those situations and say, "Okay, what is really going on here? What is the big picture?" Wisdom grants you patience. Wisdom keeps your anger in check.

I'm glad I didn't really do anything about my SSA until I was in my 30s. Being older has made me wiser in the Gospel. Wiser in the Plan of Salvation. Wiser in how to recognize the influence of the Spirit. Wiser in making decisions for eternity, rather than just my mortal life. I'm wise enough to have been able to take a step back in those situations that were placed in front of me over the last several months and not falter in what I knew to be the correct decision. I'm wise enough to actually believe in my testimony.

I see much wisdom in the new pamphlet. For example, I even see the wisdom where it controversially states "It is better to choose as friends those who do not publicly display their homosexual feelings." It doesn't say "Don't choose friends who publicly display their homosexual feelings." All of us Mohos have our various effeminate characteristics that are constantly on display because that's just how we naturally are. Yet, I will still choose to be friends with you and that is not an unwise choice. But it is a tremendous temptation to not choose the right if you are close friends with the 100% fags out there. You will be sorely tempted to adopt their lifestyle rather than carry on a life of righteousness. It's hard enough to keep yourself in check with other people who are also trying to live the gospel (just look at my experience with John), let alone those who despise it.

Don't get angry at the pamphlet. Don't overreact. There are some parts that could be written better, as L as so eloquently expounded upon, but as a whole the pamphlet is very uplifting and very helpful.

O be wise; what can I say more?

27 July 2007


This is just to remind all of the older folks how truly unattractive the 80's were.


The best parts are the dance moves at about 2:40.

Ouch. Sometimes it hurts to be a child of the 80's.

Writer's Block

Wow, I've really had writers block this week. It's like I've gotten all of my frustrations out of me for the time being, so there's nothing to whine about. I want to write and be creative, but I've sat here each day for the last four days and nothing comes to mind.

Maybe I should go outside and play.

Or go to the beach and read the new Harry Potter. I still haven't started it yet.

23 July 2007

Funeral Potatoes

Funerals are very queer things. Not queer as in gay, but queer as in the original meaning of the word - strange, odd. Of course, maybe it was just the Mormon spin on the funeral. Full belief in an afterlife and a good understanding of what it is makes a funeral very tolerable. In fact, it's nice enough that we all have a big luncheon and talk and laugh after the graveside service.

It is pretty awesome to know what happens after this life - what limited knowledge we do have. It makes it less painful to say goodbye to someone you love, secure in the knowledge that you will see them again. And when you do see them again, they will be healthy and happy.

Less painful, not painless. It was still difficult to see my grandpa lying in that casket. He was a good man. A grumpy man, but a good man. He taught me a lot while I was growing up. In fact, he was one of the biggest influencing factors behind my desire to get into physics (and subsequently engineering) when I went to college.

The funeral was beautiful, well attended, and full of embellishments. I truly do love my grandpa and the great influence he was on me, but it was kind of weird to sit there and listen to people eulogize him in a way that would have granted him sainthood if he'd been Catholic. But I guess that's how it is. When someone leaves you, you are more inclined to remember only the good things about them.

The Sunday before the funeral I had a talk with my bishop. I talked to him about my relationship with John and how I had had such a hard time getting through that. I told him how I felt so lonely that at times it was unbearable and I would still find myself fantasizing about a life with John, and actually considering it is a real option. I talked with him about how I just didn't know if I could take it much longer. There was a lot of anger, self-loathing and tears in that conversation.

My bishop sat there looking at me for a moment, then sat back in his chair and for the first time understood how I felt. The Spirit granted him that understanding. It was amazing. He sat across the table from me and talked about the love of our Savior and the Atonement. He asked me if I had come out to my parents and how they felt about it. I told them that they still loved me and said they would no matter what. He replied, "Max, that is exactly how God feels about all of us. No matter if we choose to follow Him or not, He still loves us. We are His children in spite of the choices we make and He loves us. He may not love our choices, but He loves us."

We talked about how I had a big decision in front of me that I needed to make. I needed to decide which lifestyle I was going to choose. Was I going to give in to the pain of loneliness I feel on the inside, or was I going to continue climbing the mountain?

Once again, I had received counsel that I already knew - I needed to commit to the Lord. I knew which decision I needed to make, but I didn't have the desire to. I prayed for the desire to make the decision that I knew I should make.

On Friday at the funeral I had an amazing spiritual experience that gave me the desire I had prayed for. It reaffirmed to me the commitment that I have been following for so long now. The commitment to be obedient to the Lord and what he has revealed through His prophet. Not to my own thoughts, understanding or desires.

And yes, we did have funeral potatoes for lunch that day.

17 July 2007


Warning: This is a woe-is-me, whiney post. So if you read it, prepare yourself. And yes, I purposely crafted one of the paragraphs so I could use the word "gallimaufry."

No One Mourns the Wicked

No One Mourns the Wicked
No cries "They won't return"
No one lays a lily on their grave
The good man scorns the wicked
Through their lives our children learn
What we miss when we misbehave

And Goodness knows
The Wicked's lives are lonely
Goodness knows
The Wicked die alone
It just shows when you're wicked
You're left lonely, On your own

Those are the lyrics from the opening song of the Broadway musical Wicked. I've been listening to the soundtrack lately (yes, yes, Broadway musicals, another one of my gay traits) and the other day these words struck me as decidedly poignant.

I think they struck me because I've had it on my mind lately about how alone I am. I wrote a post on overcoming loneliness a couple of weeks ago. I wrote it because I was feeling particularly down and wanted to get some thoughts out there on what I needed to do to get out of the funk I was in. And the last line of the second stanza "You're left lonely, On your own" hit a chord with me.

I think this all came to bear after I started meeting other mohos. It started after I met and fell in love with John. I finally realized the missing piece in my life. The piece of someone else joined with me. Then when I made the decision to follow the church's teachings as they stand, I gave up that piece. Only after using my heart for what it was meant did I finally feel it truly break.

I have since then worked through all those emotions, and I can honestly say that I am not in love with him any more. I hold him dearly in my heart as a good friend, but I am no longer in a state of love. But, now that I've experienced that emotion, I am left with feeling the absence of that emotion. And that is what hurts. Being out of love is much worse than never having been in love.

If being left lonely and alone is a result of being wicked, then since I am lonely and alone have I been wicked?

Is there something in particular I have done to become that way? Or is it just a gallimaufry of minor deeds that have culminated into a general state of wickedness?

Am I going to die alone?

16 July 2007

Back to Utah for a Funeral

Well, as it turns out I will be back in Utah much, much sooner than I expected. My grandpa passed away on Sunday, so I will be flying up for the funeral this Friday.

My grandpa was great. He was the classic grumpy old man. Well, maybe not the classic style, but grumpy in his own right. In spite of his grumpiness, he always showed a lot of affection towards me, and I am greatful for that.

I believe that I was the last person, other than my grandma, to talk to him. On Wednesday we took grandma to see Harry Potter. When we dropped her off, my mom suggested that I go inside to say goodbye to grandpa since I was flying back to SoCal in the morning. I did. We chatted breifly. He asked how my business was coming along. Then just before I left he said, "Well, God bless you in your business." Then he paused momentarily, looked me in the eye and said, "And God bless you too." I thanked him and bid farewell. The next morning he had a heart attack and slipped into a coma. He passed away on Sunday afternoon.

Last summer I took the opportunity to sit and video tape him and my grandma talking about their lives. I was mostly interested in capturing his stories of WWII. He talked about that, and then they both talked about growing up in the Great Depression. I've been reviewing the video and trying to get a DVD together to give to all my aunts & uncles this weekend. It's a labor of love, because I really hate doing video editing, but it needs to be done. And I know that everyone will think I'm the best nephew ever for doing that. :D

I recommend that all of you take the time to sit and really get to know your grandparent's history before it is too late. I couldn't be any more pleased with myself for doing that. I captured their memories in a way that a journal or word-of-mouth stories never could.

I love you grandpa!

15 July 2007

Meeting Other Mohos: The Parental Edition

One thing I wanted to tell everyone about was my parent's first experience at meeting other Mohos. It was priceless.

While I was up in Utah last week, I decided that I wanted my parents to meet some other Mohos. I did it because I thought it was important for them to understand that gay people are pretty normal. We don't all dress in drag. We don't all prance around like a bunch of Kansas City faggots (can anyone name that movie?). I wanted them to overcome their fears and feel comfortable around people who are different from them.

So, I invited a few of the Mohos over for dinner at their house. It ended up being AtP, John, Gimple, Danish Boy and Tito. I figured that would be more than enough gayness for their first exposure, so we didn't invite more (so if you didn't get an invite, don't be offended - maybe next time). We ate pizza and sat around chatting for a couple of hours.

It turned out to be a really awesome evening. It was very awkward at first, and through pretty much the whole thing. But, my mom really grew fond of Gimple and his endless babble about lotion. I think she wants him to be her son-in-law now. Too bad both of my younger brothers are straight and married. :P

The coolest part of the entire evening was that AtP mustered up the cajones to give a hug to each of my parents before we all took off to go see a movie. It was great.

The folks were still a little wierded out the next day, but I think it all settled in and everything is fine with them now. It was nice to hear their comments about how normal everyone seemed. My mom's comment was, "Wow, they all were pretty normal. You really couldn't tell that any of them were gay. Well, except for AtP. You could kind of tell with him." Too funny. I love you AtP! And so does my mom! :D

14 July 2007

My List of 8

I had a couple of people tag me while I was blogless over the past week, so here it is. And I think that some of these facts are really going to give away my secret identity.


1) All right, here are the rules.
2) We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
3) Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
4) People who are tagged write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
5) At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

My 8 Random Facts:

1) At my last job I was a real life rocket scientist. I worked on the Space Shuttle and have actually crawled around inside of Endeavour.

2) I have three college degrees. A BS in Mechanical Engineering, an MS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA. I don't ever plan on going back to school unless I win the lottery, retire and am really bored.

3) My favoirte snack EVER is chips and salsa. I prefer Mexican food over any other food on the planet. I could eat at my favorite Mexican restaurant every day and not get tired of it. I might get fat, but not tired.

4) One of the many ways in which I do not fit the typical gay stereotype is that I am a car guy. I worked as a mechanic in the BYU auto repair shop for a couple of years while I was going to school there. I've also had 12 cars in my short life: '67 Chevy pickup, '73 Ford pickup, '65 Mustang, '69 Firebird, '78 Toyota pickup, '85 Thunderbird, '85 Capri, '85 Toyota pickup, '97 Tacoma, '78 Landcruiser, '98 Civic, and an '02 XTerra. I will have had the XTerra for 5 years in a few months. His name is Rufus.

5) One of the ways in which I do fit the gay stereotype is that I've always been a hairstyle guy. I may dress cheaply, but my hair always looks fashionable. I use hairstyle products without reservation.

6) For the most part I am English/Scottish on my dad's side and Welsh on my mom's side. I've visited cousins in Wales a few times. I went to Scotland last year and found the farming community of less than 100 people where my great-great grandparents lived. I found their headstones at the local parish.

7) I grew up in Utah and was super active in outdoorsey activities (until I moved to the big city in So Cal). I was an avid rock climber and have done some pretty awesome climbs. I did the Grand Teton when I was 14, Mt. Owen (the peak just north of the Grand Teton) when I was 15, and Devil's Tower when I was 16. I've done several "century" bike rides (100 miles). I've done many week-long backpacking trips. I've done some serious four wheeling that would scare the crap out of most people (including myself).

8) I played drums in a band that went on two short tours to the UK and Ireland. I know what it's like to be a rock star on the road. Well, at least a struggling rock star on the road, not a successful one. The biggest crowd that I have played for (in the US and in a different band) was 3000 people.

I think these people have all been tagged already, but I will do it as a reminder to them that they still owe us a list: AtP, John, Anomaly, Danish Life, Tito and Original Mohomie

Things I Love About AtP

In response to a recent blog by AtP that I was mentioned in, I have compiled a list of things that I love about him:

1) He has an infectious smile
2) He is always kind enough to laugh at my dumb jokes
3) He's scrawy in a sexy sort of way :)
4) Great hugger
5) Great spooner
6) Gave me a ride to the airport at 5:00 am
7) Gave me his shoulder to cry on when I was feeling hurt
8) He is wise beyond his years
9) He loves Jamba Juice as much as I do
10) He loves to quote Anchorman as much as I do
11) Impeccable taste in clothing
12) Wears nice brands and the proper amount of cologne
13) He has a unique and wonderful laugh
14) He gave my dad a hug
15) Messages me to see how I am doing
16) He chose to be my friend

He is a much more wonderful person than he gives himself credit for.

12 July 2007

Back Home

Tonight I'm back home in So Cal. The time I spent up in Provo over this past week is something that I will never forget. It was so awesome to get to know so many of you. I had the opportunity to spend a lot more time with some than others. I'm kind of sad that my visits with some of you were so brief. I look forward to keeping in touch with everyone and hanging out again the next time I am up there.

There are a few things I want to blog about, but I am so freaking tired I can barely keep my eyes open to write this. So, I'll sign off and let you all wait in anticipation.

03 July 2007

Overcoming Loneliness

I've talked about this before, but just needed a refresher for my own sanity.

Something that has been on my mind a lot is the concept of overcoming loneliness. It's been on my mind not just because it has shown up in other blogs recently, but because I've had some really big issues with it this past week and have been becoming more and more depressed. I've started to hermitize myself because of my depressive state, and that in turn isolates me from the world and only increases my loneliness thereby adding to my depression. It's a vicious cycle that feeds on itself trying to consume my happiness.

Why do I get lonely? I know a lot of people. I'm a crowd pleaser, so people usually like me. Why do I always feel like an outside observer? Why is it that even though I know people enjoy my company, I often feel like they don't so I don't make an effort to associate with them? Why do I look around the room when I'm at church on Sunday and think that I really have no desire to be friends with any of those people? If I'm lonely and want friends, why don't I just hang out with the ones I already have?

I was talking with a friend over lunch about being restless with my current situation. I've lived in So Cal for 7 years. I've seen it. Done it. It's a great place with plenty to do, so why do I feel like I never have anything to do? I've been in the same ward with essentially the same group of people for 3 years now. I just don't want to hang out with them any more. I want something new. Something different. I told him that if my business is not flowing well by the end of the year that I'm seriously thinking about renting out my condo and moving away. But where would I go? Would any other place be any better than the place I'm at right now? I would still have all the same problems. I would still be me. I would still be a Moho. I would still feel inadequate around other people. The only thing different would be what I saw when I walked out of my house in the morning. The rest of my life would be pretty much the same.

So I have all of these downers in my life that spiral me into loneliness and depression. I had been feeling worse and worse as the week wore on until Sunday night, when I was on my computer and my IM window popped up with a message "Hey buddy!" from AtP. He had some issues he was working through and wanted someone to talk to. Surprisingly enough, I had my loneliness issues and wanted someone to talk to. So, we complained about our problems to each other for a bit. Then a funny thing happened - I started to feel better. Eventually our conversation drifted into happier topics and by the end of the chat I was really feeling quite content.

That was great. It assuaged my loneliness. And yesterday and today I have felt really good too. And it all came to me. Not something new. Not something different. Something that I have known for a very long time, but sometimes forget about. Loneliness for me (most of the time) is a byproduct of focusing on myself too much. I was given the opportunity to sit and chat with AtP, and for a while I completely forgot about myself and my problems and focused my attention on him. I listened to what he had to say and did my best to be uplifting and encouraging. And you know what? It brought my mind out of the hole that it was in.

Being there for other people and helping them out is what it's all about. That is how I overcome loneliness.

Matthew 10:39
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Get out of yourself. Get out and help others. The loneliness goes away when you do that. I guarantee it.

29 June 2007

Jamba Juice

And for all of you Jamba Juice Junkies:


It's only good through next week, so buy one today!

Hug Nation

We need to sign Gimple up for this.


Advice #3: Have Patience

I almost forgot about my Advice series. I'll try to pick it up a little more. The subject of patience has come up in my comments on several other blogs lately, so I thought I would try and talk about it here in a little more detail.

Patience is a virtue ... that I don't have.

That used to be one my plethora of mottos. And it used to be so very, very true. I have a fair amount of Scottish blood in me, and it shines through. Growing up I had an anger fuse that was about the length of an amoeba. Anything and everything would set me off. Just think of Groundskeeper Willy on The Simpsons, but without the red hair and the beard.

The lucky thing is that I've always been a fairly scrawny person, so I could never actually do anything with my anger. I never got into fights or broke things. But, what I would do is take it out on my family, both my parents and siblings. I feel so sorry for my parents that they had to raise such a little turd. And, I had very estranged relations with my brother that is closest to me in age because he was younger and smaller than me, so I used to pound on him. It's taken many, many years to finally become friends with him.

Carry that anger on into adulthood. Since I returned home from my mission 13 years ago (egads, I'm old!) there has been this constant pressure to get married and start a family. The pressure has come from all directions: my family, church leaders, friends, and even myself. We all know the rule as laid forth in the D&C and preached repeatedly over the pulpit. We're supposed to get married to be able to obtain the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom. My being gay, and lack of ability to find a member of the female persuasion to attach myself to has been an unending source of anger for me.

Several years ago I had a horrible experience with my mom. She was being her normal, caring self and trying to counsel me on getting married and starting a family. This was before I came out to her. She was trying her best to do exactly what a parent should do, given the limited knowledge she had of what my life really was like. I snapped. I was on the phone with her and just could not stop yelling. Decades of pent-up rage and frustration all came spilling out in one fell swoop. It was a verbal massacre. She was devastated and hung up the phone crying. We didn't talk for several weeks after that.

I came to my senses and apologized for what I had done. She told me that she was just doing whatever she could because she wanted me to be happy. She was showing me love and concern, and I met it with verbal slap to the face. There are few things worse in this life than being rejected when you are trying to show love to someone.

That became a turning point of sorts for me. I did realize that she was just showing love, and I was completely out of line in my response. I was wrong to yell at her and disrespect her the way that I did. I felt bad about it then, and I still feel bad about it now. I decided that I needed to get control of my emotions and have more patience with people.

Even though I apologized to her back then, things weren't really smoothed out like I thought they were. That happened several years ago. About 4-5 months ago, after I came out to everyone, I was talking on the phone with my mom while driving home from work and she made reference to that experience and began to apologize to me for being such a bad mother. She said that after that happened she had always carried in her mind that somehow she had failed me as a mother because how could a good parent have made their child so angry. That just floored me. It was so painful. I could not believe that I had hurt her and that she had been carrying that around with her for all these years.

I think that is all finally smoothed out now. She understands where I was coming from at the time with being all alone in coping with my homosexuality. And I understand where she was coming from, being a parent who just wants the best for her child.

That was a horrible experience that lingered for many, many years. And that brings me to the point of this post. If I had been more patient with people who did not understand me fully, and had helped them to understand me, that whole thing never would have happened. There wouldn't have been years of mental turmoil that my mom went through, thinking that she had failed as a parent with me. Her suffering truly was all my fault for letting my anger get the best of me. I am ashamed of that.

Be patient. Be kind. Be loving. That is what we expect of them, so why not offer it in return?

27 June 2007

Rare Neurosis

What is it called when you have an irrational fear of dropping your cellphone into a storm drain as you walk past it?

I have that one. Every day that I go to work I walk past this storm drain and if my phone is in my hands I do a triple-check to make sure my fingers are adequately wrapped around it so that it doesn't pop out and fall into the dark abyss from whence it can not return. I know that it is irrational and wouldn't be an issue if I just put my phone in my pocket before I walked past the storm drain, but for some reason I have to carry my phone in my hand as I walk from the car to my office. Hmmm. Maybe I've said too much....

I'm sure none of you have any weird quirks. :P

26 June 2007

Top 10 Reasons to Vote for Mitt

Top 10 Reasons to vote for Mitt Romney

10. We can do away with these dumb secret ballots and manifest our support of the candidate "by the usual sign." And we can get rid of costly recounts by simply saying "opposed, if there be any."

9. The Secret Service could be renamed the Sacred Service and would have dark suits, sunglasses, earpieces, and CTR rings.

8. The vice president would be replaced by first and second counselors.

7. NASA could commission a satellite to "hie to Kolob".

6. At inaugural balls, everyone would have to dance a Book of Mormon apart.

5. All official government prayers could include the phrase "that we all can get home safely."

4. The President could not only explain things in Layman's terms, but also Lemuel's terms.

3. At his inauguration he would swear on the Bible "as far as it is translated correctly."

2. All foreign Policy statements would begin with "We Believe".

1. The presidential limo would be a black Suburban with a vanity plate: "RULDS2?"

25 June 2007

Out And About

So I ended up coming out to another person this weekend. I hadn't planned on it, but the timing was right and it was a great experience.

Every year I go with a group of friends up to Lake Arrowhead. We rent a house by the lake and just live the good life for 3 days. That good life includes activities such as Catan, Halo, Guitar Hero, Geocaching, water activities, eating unhealthy amounts of junk food, musical jam sessions, and other such frivolities.

At one point on Saturday afternoon I found myself sitting down on the boat dock looking out over the lake and talking with one of the girls. We've been friends for a few years now. We used to hang out a lot more, but it's an hour drive or more to get from my place to her's, so visiting has become less frequent the last year or so.

We were talking about life in general, dating, the church and the conversation just kind of flowed into me coming out to her. It wasn't scary or nerve racking. It actually wasn't a big deal at all, but just a really great conversation. She's a Mormon feminist (Mofe?) and as such is a lot more open to discussions about non-mainstream stuff. It was really great talking to her about it.

I like gay-friendly Mormons. They aren't too bad. :)

24 June 2007

Blue Shirt Green Tie

Original Mohomie proposed that we have a Moho uniform to wear on select Sundays. I happened to wear mine today and had a camera with me, so I had someone take a shot. It was really bright and sunny outside today, so the colors were a little bled out in this one - thank heavens for brightness/contrast adjustments in photoshop. I also apologize for not shaving. I know, I know, it's horrible and disrespectful. But I was out of town and didn't feel like shaving for a ward full of people I didn't know. And I also realize that my tie is not nearly as similar to the official uniform as I thought. But, quite frankly, I think this tie looks better than the official one. :P

And I also realize that I am standing kind of weird so that it looks like I have girl hips. I hate that.

22 June 2007

Concert Review (Addendum)

I forgot to mention the opening act. They were awesome too. A great warm up for the amazing Police. The name of the band is Fiction Plane. You can check them out here.

Concert Review: The Police

$100 is what it cost to attend the greatest concert event I have ever been to in my life.

I've been to a lot of shows, living here in LA and being the music fanatic that I am. I have seen a lot of big, great bands (and the great big ones too). I have seen many, many small, great bands. Some are wonderful. Some are not so.

The Police were more than I ever expected.

When Lenny Kravitz made the comment that rock and roll is dead, he wasn't kidding. I realized that tonight. The sheer genius musicianship of the three men on stage made me feel repulsed towards most of the music I listen to on the radio these days. They are all virtuoso musicians in every sense of those words. Guitar, bass and drums. Simple instrument setup. Complex rhythms and chord progressions. Perfect. Flawless execution of the songs for 2 hours. I nearly wet myself. I think I could refer to it as a "musicgasm".

I imagine that is what it was like to sit in the room and hear Beethoven or Mozart tickle the ivories.

21 June 2007

Today's Feeling

Sometimes I just feel like a stuffed toy rabbit staring across the bay at Alcatraz.

19 June 2007

Speaking of Rock and/or Roll

Speaking of rock and/or roll, I had a great experience the other night. My band played at the House of Blues in Anaheim, and it was awesome.

My favorite local venues to attend concerts at here in the LA area are the House of Blues venues. The one in Hollywood is my favorite, and the one in Anaheim is a close second. When I go to shows at these places, the vibe is so awesome. I have always wanted to have the experience of playing a show on one of those stages.

It wasn't a traditional concert in the sense of being an opening act for a bigger band. It was a private party for homebuilders association here in So Cal. Our bassist is a member of the association, and the entertainment for the evening was provided by members of the association. There were several horrendous interesting bands that played lame nice covers of classic rock and roll. We were the only band with original tunes.

So, we didn't get to play a full length set or anything, but we did get to experience the venue from the stage. It was incredible. The sound was the best of any sound system I've ever played through. The stage crew was great. The audience loved us - especially after they all tossed back a few beers.

The only problem was, of course, with the drum set I was playing. It was a stage kit (not my own), and I just brought my snare, cymbals and kick pedal. The problem was that I didn't inspect the cymbal stands before we started playing. Our opening song which sounds sort of AC/DC-meets-Bon Jovi starts out with a punch to your face of cymbal crashes, kick drum and strong guitars. Well, I count off to start the song, hit the crash cymbal on the first note and the cymbal stand collapses. It was brass carnage. Fortunately we had stage hands there, so one of them ran out to fix it all for me - all while we were still playing the song. I don't think that the other guys even noticed what happened. I had to improvise a little since one of my cymbals and toms was out of commission, but it still sounded great. After that the night went off without a hitch.

Oh, how I long to be a rock star....


Ok, so the lyrics to this song by Whiskeytown really striks a chord with the whole situation that I have gone through with John. In fact it was the first song of the sappy mix CD that I made for him before he took off to Utah. To me, it's about getting into something that you know you probably shouldn't, but you do it anyway.

Excuse Me If I Break My Own Heart
Music and Lyrics by Ryan Adams

Well excuse me if I break my own heart
It was mine from the finish, I guess,
It was mine from the start.
The situation just don't seem so ***damn smart
The situation is tearing me apart
So, you'll have to excuse me if I break my own heart

Well excuse me if I break my own heart tonight
Some things aren't born too strong, have to learn how to fight.
Situation keeps me drinking every ***damn day and night.
The situation don't seem so right.

So excuse me if I break my own heart tonight
Well, excuse me if break my own heart tonight.
After all, it was mine.
After all, it was mine.
After all it was mine.
Can I have it back sometime?

So if the rain falls down on your Mississippi town
Let your eyes drift easy into mine
If the rains falls down on your Mississippi town
Let your eyes drift into mine
You're on the road but your diary entry reads blank
Is this some sort of joke to you?
Is this some sort of joke to you?

Well, excuse me if I break my own heart tonight
Well, excuse me if I break my own heart tonight
After all it was mine
After all it was mine
After all it was mine
Can I have it back sometime?

15 June 2007

My First Love (The Extended Directors Cut)

I've been going through a very emotionally challenging time over the last few weeks, trying to figure out my relationship with John and where we could/should go with it. Option B became the path to go down, and ever since then I've been trying to reconcile my deep affection for him with the thoughts of never being able to be intimate with him in the way I would like to.

We spoke on the phone last week about Option B. My understanding of that option was a bit different than his. In my mind I saw it as severe separation, most likely leading to a severing of all ties. I hated that idea. It was absolutely destroying my heart and my sanity. I couldn't bear the thought of losing another friend I felt so strongly for.

Another? Yes, another. I didn't feel as strongly for him as I do for John, but he was a close second. That's where the story in this post begins.

The summer between my junior and senior years at BYU I moved into a new place. It was a house on 600 North. Specifically, the white house right next to the playground for the elementary school on about 550 East. That place as I recall was 8 bedrooms and housed 11 guys. I had one of the private shoebox sized rooms in the attic.

When I moved into the ward, I quickly became friends with a guy who lived down the street. We'll call him George. Over the summer, George and I found out that we were nearly the same person. We liked all the same things. We hung out together a ton. We became the best of friends. He was the best friend I had ever had in my life up to that point.

It may, or may not, be important to keep in mind that up to this point in my life, I had not come to terms with being gay. It was something that I kept pushed back into the dark recesses of my mind, and only let it come out when my one roommate's A&F catalog would show up. :)

George and I spent a ton of time together through the school year. We had all the same friends, so there never seemed to be a time when we weren't somehow involved in the same activities.

The summer after I graduated, I was still in Provo (I had one more general ed class to take spring quarter). George was a year younger than me, so he was still around too. That summer was just like the previous year. We hung out all the time. We did absolutely everything together. At the end of the summer the two of us went on a week-long backpacking excursion to the Uintah mountains in Northeastern Utah - my favorite place on the planet we know as Earth. It was the best camping trip I've ever been on in my life. Just me and George in the place I love the most. FYI: We hiked King's Peak.

The following week I was leaving Provo to go to graduate school on the other side of the country. I was devastated that I was going to leave my friend behind. As a token of my friendship to him (which really was a true, pure love) I spent a whole bunch of money I didn't have on getting him a gift to remember me by.

We spent as much time together as possible the last week I was there. I was getting more and more unsure of my decision for grad school as the week progressed because I didn't want to leave behind such a great friend. But, we talked a lot and made plans of how we would always stay in contact with each other. Eventually we would both be married with families and we would co-own a cabin somewhere in Utah where our families could get together every year. It was a plan!

I left Provo and drove off into the sunset. Actually, it was the sunrise since I was headed east.

In my new place, across the country, I feverishly tried to keep in touch with George. I sent him emails all the time. But something unexpected happened - George didn't respond. George, bless his heart, is very much an "out of sight, out of mind" type of person. Once I wasn't around any more, he still had all of the old gang of friends in Provo to hang out with. I quickly became a distant memory for him.

He absolutely broke my heart. And, come to think of it, that is about the time where I started to come to terms with being gay (at the ripe old age of 25). That was when I finally realized that I wasn't just great friends with this person, I loved him more than I had ever loved any person in my life. I wanted to be with him forever, and it was killing me that he had forgotten about me so quickly.

After that, I would hear from him about once a year. It was awful. I never had any closure with my relationship with him, and every time I would receive that random email, it would send my head spinning all over again. I would regurgitate all of the painful emotions that I had experienced during those first few months after leaving Provo. That was partly my own fault because I included him on my Christmas Email list. He got my life update every year, and responded in kind.

Once per year contact went on for nearly 4 years (so 4 times I guess), and by that point I had graduated and moved myself out to California. I had also purchased my first home. One day I got a phone call from George. He was just finishing grad school and wanted to move out to California to get a job. He wanted to rent my spare bedroom from me.

Like trailer trash on the Jerry Springer show running back to the guy that beat her up the previous night, I said that I would love nothing more than for us to be roommates. And a month later he moved down to the sun and surf of Huntington Beach. It was like no time had passed from when I left Provo to that day. We picked up exactly where we left off in our friendship and togetherness. He was the one that got me to start training for the triathlon that I posted about a couple of weeks ago.

The summer was amazing. George was amazing. He had been working out a bit, so he was looking mighty fine too. I loved going to the beach with him. :D

Then, the worst happened. At the end of the summer he had not found a job that he wanted to take in So Cal. The job he wanted to take was in the Phoenix area. He was moving. And I was devastated again. All of the same love that I had before was back, plus some, and it was going to happen again. We were separating.

To no one's surprise, he reverted back to his out of sight out of mind persona. We maintained spotty contact over the next few years, mostly due to him responding to my Christmas email. I went out to visit once about a year and a half ago. He had gotten married several months before. I needed to take a trip out to Mesa, and I wanted to meet his wife.

It was really hard for me. Here was this guy that I had been madly in love with for so many years, who I knew I could never have a long term marriage-style relationship with. Yet, my feelings for him were as deep as feelings can get. I loved him in every sense of the word, but was unable to ever sufficiently express that to him. He had a lovely wife and seemed genuinely happy.

Since that trip to Mesa, I have not tried to keep any more contact with him. I actually was finally successful in turning my heartache into anger. So, when he called and left me a message a few months ago, I felt no desire to call him back. I moved on. I don't want that person to be in my life any more because it brings back too much sadness.

So that's the story. That is why I hated Option B. It literally has taken 9 years to get to the point I am at now with George where the thought of him doesn't make me an emotional nutball. But, that point is a terrible one. I actually dislike someone whom I dearly loved in my life.

I don't want my relationship with John to end up like that. Spotty contact turning into grief, anguish, and eventual disdain for him. That is a horrible thought. That is why I want to find the happy middle ground between Options A and B.