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.