04 November 2008

Now What

Today we are going to see what happens here in California with regards to the gay marriage ban. Polling is showing that it is going to come down to the wire.

Over the last few months I have felt less and less connected with the people at church. It's strange. I say my prayers every day. I listen to the Book of Mormon on CD every morning while driving to work. I feel connected with the doctrines of the church, but I feel like I've lost my connection with the people.

It's tiresome to sit there and listen to the one-sided debate that goes on there. So much so that I just couldn't stand going last week. I stayed home. And I probably won't go this week either - except to play the piano for choir practice after church. I just don't want to talk to anyone.

I've had lots of discussions about the gay marriage thing. I posted on facebook about it (and basically came out to everyone) and had a long followup discussion (80+ comments) that many people have told me they have read through. I've also read a lot of other peoples posts and comments about it. And through all that, I've noticed something. The underlying reason for why people are against it is because they think homosexuals are gross. It's the "ewww" factor. They are uncomfortable with two men or two women expressing their natural affections to each other. That's what it boils down to. If you sit back and read the uncensored, undiluted comments of people, that is really their underlying theme - "yuck".

It's all disguised (and not that well) behind arguments such as "they'll teach gay marriage to our children in school". Do you know what? If you as a parent are counting on public schools (which I pay taxes for your children to attend, even though I don't have any kids) to teach morality to your kids, then you have failed as a parent. If you are naieve enough to think that your kids don't already know about all that from the pervert kids in their class, you are a lousy parent. I knew all about sex looooooong before it was ever brought up in a class in school.

Anyway, I'm also writing this post to mention that I probably won't be writing much more in this blog. I've kind of moved beyond my need for anonymity, and have started posting thoughts and such on my facebook blog. I may return here every so often to write something that I don't want to necessarily broadcast to everyone I know, but don't count on it happenign too often. If you are interested in keeping in touch, send me an email and I'll give you my facebook info so we can link up on there. Just remember that you have no anonymity there.

Hope to see you on facebook.

17 August 2008

Side Effects of Gay Marriage

Now that it's been a bit since the Prop 8 thing started, I've been doing a little reading here and there on the issue. I consider myself the ideal centrist when it comes to politics, because I'm not so pig-headed one way or the other on issues that I'm not willing to see what the other side has to say. I'm willing to do research or discuss an issue, and change my opinion on it as I gain further knowledge and understanding. I learned something today that put a little bit of an itch in me to change my views on Prop 8. Not enough to convince me to vote yes, but it made me start thinking in even broader terms about the issue.

An innocent bystander that will be hurt by the legalization of gay marriage is adoption. But, not in the way you may be thinking right now. No, I don't think that a gay couple is any less capable of raising a child. That's not the issue. The issue with adoption is that of the social services that exist to place children in homes.

Religious organizations are a HUGE avenue for adoption. I couldn't find any real numbers on it, but when you look at the number of adoption agencies there are out there it certainly seems that the Catholics, Mormons and Evangelical Christians bear the larger burden of placing children in loving homes. The government is heavily reliant on these non-profit organizations to do this charitable work.

Due to the beliefs in traditional family structure, these organizations do not place children in homes of gay couples (I've heard, but not verified, that they usually don't place children into homes of single people either - but I could be wrong on that). Because of this fact, the Catholic, Mormon and Evangelical Christian groups that deal with adoption have withdrawn their services from the state of Massachusetts. The have done this because of discrimination lawsuits that have arisen since the legalization of gay marriage there. They refuse to place children in the homes of gay couples due to their religious stances, and the ACLU is going to town on them under the banner of anti-discrimination. So, to not get tangled up in legal battles like that, they have elected to withdraw their services from that state.

That is really sad to me to think that there are so many children in that state that no longer have the support of so many adoption agencies to try and place them in loving homes, due to those agencies fears of being exposed to costly lawsuits. Now those children have to wait on state resources, and waiting on the state to do something for you is never a good thing.

I'm all for equal legal protection of same-sex couples under the law. Heck, even the church in it's statement last week about it's stance against gay marriage was willing to concede state-recognized legal rights for those couples:

The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference. The Divine Institution of Marriage

But, I want those equal rights to come in such a way so that they don't infringe on other people's rights to continue practicing their religions they way they choose to. Why can't same-sex couples in California be content with the fact that they have pretty much every right that married couples do, even if it's not called "marriage"?

Score one for the "Yes on 8" group.

28 July 2008

It's Gonna Be A Long Few Months

The next few months are going to be a bit arduous I do believe. Yesterday at church during Priesthood meeting the bishop stood up and made an announcement about people supporting Proposition 8, and how the church has encouraged us to give of our time, talents and "means" to support the prop. Proposition 8 is the amendment to the California constitution, defining marriage as between man and woman - i.e. no gay marriage.

It appears that the area presidency requested that our stake donate $100,000 towards the cause. The bishop was pretty tactful in presenting the announcement, but unfortunately other people in the audience were not. Later on when the new people visiting that day were being introduced, one elderly gentleman stood up, introduced himself, and said, "I fully support what you guys are doing against this proposition. I was molested when I was 12 years old, and it devastated me." (or something like that)

Sigh. It bothers me that people still equate "gay" with "child molester". That's a big problem. And I think that's one of the reasons why so many people are against gay marriage - ignorance about what it really is.

Time to talk to the bishop and relay my concerns to him about the whole ordeal. I don't want church to turn into a gay bashing arena. If it does, I honestly won't be able to go.

16 July 2008

Standing Up for Tolerance

Today I received a mass email from my uncle with a link to this video in it. He knows that I'm gay.

He's never been one for anything other than black/white. No gray in his life. Nor does he have a filter that keeps him from being rude to people.

I decided that I couldn't let this opportunity slide. Here's the response that I sent via "reply to all". I knew half the emails on the list, the other people are just going to wake up tomorrow morning with a random email from some strange person. How exciting for them to meet their first gay person! I hope I get some responses. :D


Sorry, but I can't let this one slide. I find this video to be offensive and moronic.

The love that two people of the same sex can feel for each other is every bit as real, honest and sincere as the love that each of you feel for your spouse. If two people love each other, then they as adults should be able to freely choose who they want to share their mortal life and legal rights with. God loves them every bit as much as he loves any of you, maybe even more because they've been given special challenges in this life.

It boggles my mind that we as a church can recite the 13 Articles of Faith, but we don't seem to actually believe number 11: We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

You don't have to like gay marriage. You don't have to accept it as part of your beliefs. But you do have to respect the freedom of choice that God gave all his children in this life.

This is just another lame, holier-than-thou video made by the same "Christian" bigots who think that Mormons are all going to hell. Plus, this song is scientifically inaccurate anyway. There are a multitude of case studies of same-sex coupling in the animal kingdom. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15750604/


07 July 2008

Sunday Funday

We had a great one in Fast and Testimony meeting today.

I sat there in Fast and Testimony meeting today, and was quite bored. The people getting up to talk were none too interesting. The microphone was not turned up very much, so it was mostly mumbling that you heard from them anyway. My seat was uncomfortable. I really just wanted the meeting to end so I could go get candy from the clerk's office.

I started texting a friend to do something to keep myself from falling asleep. We traded a few messages. Then at 10 after the hour, I sent him anther message that said, "It's 10 after! Why do people keep on walking up there." This of course referred to it being 10 after the hour, and people being told at the beginning of the meeting that we were ending at 5 after the hour. They should not have been walking up there any more. His reply was, "Ha ha. Don't worry. That's when the good one happen." And he was a prophet.

No sooner did I get that message from him than the last person to share their testimony got up to speak. She has only been a member of the church for a little less than a year, so isn't quite into all of the culture of it. She gets up and introduces herself and says, "Now, I'm not sure if this is appropriate or not..." Stop! Rule number 1: If you ever find yourself saying "I'm not sure if this is appropriate" then you are most likely correct.

She continues on saying that there is someone, a young man, who she has felt really strongly about. He needs guidance and help. He needs our prayers. The thing she wasn't sure about was to have all of us right then join in a prayer with her.

That's a little out of the ordinary, to have a random prayer in the middle of the meeting. Spontaneous prayers are something that you don't normally see in one of our meetings, since everything is scheduled out. I thought, "Wow. This should be interesting." So I bowed my head.

She started praying, and almost instantly I felt that twinge of discomfort inside of me. Do you know that twinge? It's the one where someone is doing something that makes you feel really uncomfortable for them because they don't know that they should be feeling uncomfortable. Yeah. I felt that twinge because she started praying for David Archuleta while he is on the American Idol tour.

I knew I shouldn't laugh. I knew that she was relatively new to the church, and maybe didn't understand the finer aspects of Mormon's churchy traditions and methods and manners. I knew it, but I couldn't help myself. I am a bad person, and I'm probably going to hell for laughing. It was actually a really nice prayer, and she was praying for him to be safe and to be a good missionary and was so sincere about it. But, it was just so bizarre to have that happen randomly in the middle of testimony meeting.

Good times. Good times.

30 June 2008

Nothing to Speak Of

I went to church yesterday with a bit of anxiety, because a friend of mine had sent me a copy of the letter that was being circulated on the internet about the church's active support for the upcoming marriage amendment here in California. It was read yesterday, and I was expecting there to be a big to-do about it. But, nobody really said anything about it. It was fairly anti-climatic.

I got the letter a week ago and was very saddened by it. I've stated my position before. I believe everything the church says in the Proclamation on the Family about man and woman married as part of God's plan. I have no problems, no disagreements, no concerns with that. However, I view gay marriage as purely political, not as something that will challenge the church's authority or stance on this issue.

I spoke with my mom about it on the phone and told her that I supported gay marriage and hoped that some day the church would recognize civil marriages between gay people and accept them as full members into the church. As we discussed it she brought up the standard argument of marriage between a man and a woman as being part of God's plan, and that is how people have children and provide bodies for all of the spirits still in heaven waiting to come down. I said, "Mom, gay people don't want to get married to members of the opposite sex. They aren't going to have kids anyway." She paused for a moment, and agreed with me. And the conversation kind of ended there. I think that she started bemoaning the fact that I probably won't produce any grandchildren for her.

I'm not angry with the church. I don't hate the leadership. I understand and sympathize with their position on the issue. But as far as I'm concerned, all people should have the choice of who they want to share their legal rights with, be it someone of the opposite or same sex. I don't ever expect the church to accept gay marriage per se, but it would be nice if gay couples could enjoy fellowship with the Saints.

03 June 2008

It Should Be This Every Day

My horoscope opened up today with this statement:

Today it will be nearly impossible for you to find someone who is smarter than you.

It's hard to argue with the truth.

22 May 2008

Straight Guy Activities

So, in spite of the fact that I love so many gay things (such as Broadway musicals, great haircuts, and shopping at H&M), there is a part of me that really gets into some "guy stuff." For example, I love automobiles. I love driving fast in sports cars. I love old American-built muscle cars (the 1968 Chevy Camaro SS is my dream car). I love trucks with big tires, climbing over huge boulders out in the desert. I love the Baja 1000 (and I intend to enter it some day before I die). I can also fix cars quite adeptly (I used to work as a mechanic for a few years while at BYU).

Another thing that I always really enjoyed while growing up was marital arts. I became a student of Jiu Jitsu when I was a teenager, and participated in that for almost 4 years. I competed in the Judo competition at the Utah Summer Games the first year that it was an exhibition sport (I'm not sure if it ever made it beyond that first year as a sport for those games), and I won a gold medal. I haven't done any martial arts since high school, and I admit that it's something I've missed.

Well, I decided to remedy that. I have taken up Muay Thai kickboxing. I did my first workout session last night, and I am so sore today I could die. I feel great! The gym I'm attending is one of the premier training gyms for a few of the professional fighters that compete in the Ultimate Fighting Challenge series, and a few professional kickboxers. They are all pretty mellow, low-key dudes, but still a little intimidating. Hopefully none of them are homophobic, although I don't really plan on flaunting that aspect of my persona in a place like that. ;)

Oh yeah, and now that I've gone through a workout session, I have a whole new respect for how incredibly in-shape boxers are.

20 May 2008

Random Quote

This quote sums up very well how I feel about everything right now:

It's hard to wait around for something that you know might not happen, but it's even harder to give up when you know it's everything you ever wanted.

-Author Unknown

15 May 2008

CA Gay Marriage

So... am I a bad Mormon if I don't agree with the church on this one?

The problem with the government defining what is and isn't marriage is that marriage is a religious institution. It is not a legal institution, and never should have been included in any laws. From a legal standpoint, any pair of people should be able to grant inheritance rights, hospital visitation rights, joint tax returns, etc, etc to each other. If we can vote, then we are adults and should be able to chose those things for ourselves.

Marriage shouldn't be part of the government. Marriage should remain in the religious world, and then the churches can keep the definition in the traditional way that it was meant.

Can't we do that and make everyone happy?

12 May 2008

Men Are That They Might Have Joy

Do you have joy?

I do. And I don't.

I have joy when I go to church and feel the spirit, when I read my scriptures, and when I pray. I don't have joy when I think about all of the church rules and regulations for coupling on this earth, and how marriage to a woman does not interest me. Nor do I have joy when I think of living alone for the rest of my life.

I have joy when I hang out with my gay friend, when we go out for a night on the town, when we cuddle on the couch to watch a movie, when I bid him farewell and kiss him on the cheek. I don't have joy when doctrine creeps into my mind telling me that a homosexual relationship is evil, now that I've realized I'm in love with this friend.

I thought I knew where I was going. I thought I had made up my mind. But then I met an amazing person that I connect with in a way that I had never imagined possible.

Now I'm conflicted again.

08 May 2008

Maturity In Gay Men

I made an incredible discovery recently which answers the question as to why gay men are typically less emotionally mature than their straight counterparts:

We age in hexadecimal.

That means I'm only 23.

This not only answers the maturity question, but also proves beyond a doubt that I am a nerd.

06 May 2008

Another One of Those So-Called "Learning Experiences"

This past weekend I was up in Utah for my youngest sister's wedding. It was a really good wedding - much better than I had anticipated. I ran into a lot of people I have not seen for a long time. And, I learned a few things.

Learned Thing #1:
Now my dad's side of the family knows that I'm gay. I recently added a few of my cousins to my list of friends on Facebook. Their oldest brother is my gay cousin that I've referenced in the past. Well, turns out that he and I share several mutual gay friends in Utah. So my cousins, being the smart and observant people they are, put 2 and 2 together. My uncle asked my parents about it. They were a little surprised, but confirmed it to him.

Learned Thing #2:
Being gay can bring estranged families together. My dad's side of the family has also become quite estranged over the last few years, due to certain aunts and uncles taking offense at stupid things that other aunts/uncles/parents did and holding lame grudges. It would appear that seeing how my gay cousin separated himself from the entire family due to the way he was poorly treated when he came out, led my aunts/uncles to reconcile with my parents in order to be able to be closer to my family and show love and support to me. My uncle, who has NEVER shown any resemblance of affection to any person on the planet as far as I can tell, came directly up to me at the wedding reception and gave me a huge hug and told me how glad he was to see me. It was a shocker that I will not soon forget.

Learned Thing #3:
If you wear a clean suit and hold a child under the age of 2, your suit will be dirty when you put them down - and usually from something sticky.

Learned Thing #4 (and the most important one):
Don't judge other people. The whole time my sister has been dating her husband, I haven't really liked him. He's a goober. He's not that type of person that I would ever really choose to be my friend or to hang out with. But, I have never been rude or mean to him because I could always see that he truly loved my sister and treated her like a goddess. My brothers who have seen him on a regular basis have not been so kind. And in spite of all of that, according to his mom, he loves my family more than anything on the planet. I couldn't figure out why until I heard his background story.

When he was a toddler, his biological father left his biological mother and started living the flaming homosexual lifestyle. He died from AIDS a few years later. Around the time the father left, his biological mother became schizophrenic and disappeared. Nobody knows where she is. His aunt and uncle adopted him and his brother and sister and raised him. His adopted father is a jerk and treats him like crap. He does nothing but cut him down and tell him what a worthless person he is.

I could go on, but I won't. When I heard about his past and witnessed how he was treated by his a$$hole adopted father, I felt really sorry for him. I was finally glad that he was becoming my brother-in-law. He's a good man. A little goofy, but good.

01 May 2008

Weekend Wrapup

I know, I know, it's Thursday by the time you are reading this and you are confused as to why I'm talking about the weekend when another is nearly upon us. It's because I control the universe. Take that!

Anyhoo, last weekend was the second annual Huntington Beach Mid-Singles conference. It was a lot of fun. I didn't attend as much of it this year as I did last year. I was unable to attend on Friday night due to prior commitments, and I had a few things to do at home on Saturday morning. As such, my adventure with it all did not start until Saturday afternoon.

Well, I guess it sort of started on Friday night. One of the L.A. mohos and his friend spent the weekend on my couch so that he wouldn't have to make the hour drive from his house to HB each way all weekend. We stayed up fairly late each night chatting. It was a good time.

On Saturday afternoon I helped out with the surf clinic. It was great fun. It was so hot - perfect beach weather! The water was quite cold, but the waves were decent for beginners. I helped out a couple of girls for an hour or so, until my feet went numb. Then I got out and went to hang out with friends on the sand.

The dance later that night was a lot of fun. It was an 80's flashback dance. Lots and lots of good music. And in one of the lounge rooms, they had Rock Band set up. Wow. I love Guitar Hero, but holy crap I adore Rock Band.

Throughout the weekend I ran into quite a few people that I haven't seen for ages. It was really great getting caught up with them and their lives.

As expected, I didn't meet the woman of my dreams. Although that's probably mostly due to the fact that I don't really dream about women. I dream about... um... er... other things.... Like food... and such. Wow! Look at the time! I'd better wrap this up and get to bed...

26 April 2008

This One Is For The Birds

Everyone has their own special little random thing that seems to happen only to them. Mine happens to be odd experiences with bird crap. I will illustrate with two stories.

The first one happened just this past Friday. I was out and about "working from home" on Friday afternoon, running some errands, and I stopped at Marshall's to browse through the home decor stuff. I'm still putting the finishing touches on my remodel, so I stop by once a week to see what new stuff they've put out on the shelves. I bought a few things and returned to my car. I opened the door, and BOOM! There on the driver's seat was a massive streak of bird turd. I had left the moonroof open - which is just the flip-up kind, not a full on sunroof. A bird had landed on my car, hopped in through the flipped-up moonroof, flew around inside the car and pooped on my seat. At this point in my life I can only laugh when things like that happen.

The second event happened a couple of years ago. I was on a road trip up in San Francisco and we were down at the pier to get some clam chowder in a sourdough bowl. Mind you, this is Pier 39 in San Francisco. There are approximately 27 billion people there at any given moment, so the chances of anything extraordinary happening specifically to you are on the order of winning the lottery. It was a hot, sunny afternoon and I had on a pair of skater-style sunglasses (the type that fit really close to your face). I was walking along, minding my own business, and passed this flock of pigeons that a thousand other people had just walked past. For some reason, they got spooked as I walked past and several of them took of in flight. One of the birds flew over the top of me and dropped a bomb. You're probably thinking that it hit my head or my shoulder, and you would be wrong! This pigeon was no ordinary pigeon. This was the Michael Jordan of pigeons. He was a sharpshooter. A sniper. His little gift to me was precisely timed and aimed with his flying in one direction and my walking in another so that it fell right through the quarter-inch gap between my sunglasses and forehead and hit my squarely in the eye. I couldn't believe it. In my eye.

I really should have gone straight to the liquor store and bought a lotto ticket that day... and had the birds poop on the numbers that I should pick.

24 April 2008

It's Called Growing Up

I had someone use the phrase "It's called growing up" at me on Sunday, and I kind of wanted to punch him in the face. Why are old, married people so obsessed with that concept? Why is "maturity" based on marital status and how boring your life is?

It was a guy who used to be a counsellor in the bishopric of the singles ward that I went to before I got too old to be in YSA singles wards (four years ago). He's been a bishop of another ward and is now one of the stake clerks. I'll call him Mr. F.

For any of you who are fans of the greatest television show to have ever existed, Arrested Development, you should have the "Mr. F" jingle floating through your mind right now. You're welcome. :D

So, Mr. F comes walking down the hallway at church and stops to say hello to some people that were standing near me. He then said hello to me and asked me how I was doing. He then asked about the band and what we were up to.

I responded that we weren't doing much any more, due to the fact that two of my bandmates are married with children. And our most recent "show" was playing for our lead singer's ward talent show the previous Friday. I then remarked, "You know, it's just kind of surreal that we could go from playing big venues up in L.A. for large crowds of people, to touring the UK and Ireland a few times, and then a year and a half later find ourselves so starved for attention that we agree to play at a ward talent show."

To which he responded, "Well, it's called growing up!" as he laughed and excused himself to run off somewhere. That's not the first time I've heard comments from him and many other people along that same line. I believe the translation of it is, "Oh, well you have fun with your life, so you are immature. You need to be boring so you can consider yourself all growed up. Your life is worthless because you enjoy yourself too much."

Listen, buddy, I'm plenty grown up. I have a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering, have an MBA, own my own home, own income properties, have a good paying job, manage a stock portfolio, and am starting my own business on the side. Oh yeah, and I'm gay yet have still had the maturity to not abandon my religious beliefs. If that isn't grown up, I don't know what is. Don't be jealous that I enjoy my life more than you yours and try to pass it off as me being immature.

As I thought that, I just forced a smile and bid him farewell.

Why is it that single people in the church are looked down upon like they are some scourge to society? Oh yeah, I remember. Thanks a lot, Brigham.

21 April 2008

Conversations with the Bishop

So, I had an appointment with the bishop yesterday. It was great. He's really supportive of me, and complimentary on how in spite of my life's challenges I've chosen to follow the spiritual influences in my life more than the worldly ones.

While chatting, we started talking about the possibility of marriage in the future. He's not pushy at all about it - which is nice. He told me that he wasn't trying to force anything onto me, he just wanted to give me some food for thought. He gave me some advice that he gives to all of the 30-something single guys in my ward, but with the understanding that the application had some slight differences than with your typical straight guy.

He told me about another 30+ year old guy that he had worked with while he was the bishop in a previous ward. This guy came from a family of 10 kids (he was the fourth). They were active in the church growing up. When he was a teenager his dad cheated on his mom, and through continuing marital problems they eventually divorced and his dad left the church.

This guy had horrible fears of commitment to marriage. He had been dating the same girl for a few years, but wouldn't take it any further. He had a major case of the "what ifs". What if she does this? What if I do that? What if this happens? Blah, blah, blah. He could not get over the hurdles to be able to make a commitment.

One day my bishop was chatting with this guy about all of those issues, and asked him "Do you love your dad?" He responded in the affirmative. "Do you love your mom?" Again, a yes answer. "Do you love your siblings?" Yes, a third time. Then asked an interesting question, "If there was one thing you could change about your family, other than getting your parents back together, what would it be?" He thought for a moment and replied, "Nothing. I love my family. I love the relationships we have with each other. I wouldn't change a thing."

The bishop then went on to say that just because the relationship between his parents didn't work out, that didn't negate their family ties. If his parents, back before they were married had thought would if we have marital problems and end up getting a divorce and acted on that by not at least attempting their marriage, none of those children would have been born into that family because that family would not have existed. He wouldn't exist as he did with the family relationships that he had.

The bishop said that he talks a lot with the other single guys about not getting hung up on the what if it doesn't work stuff. Give it a try. If it works, great. If it doesn't, you followed the Lord's plan and tried. Just be sure you are trying your best and not putting in a half-hearted effort. And in the process of it all, you will create a family. Your family.

So, I thought about that advice yesterday afternoon. Lately I have kind of given up on marriage. Well, it's not that I have written it off completely, I just have kind of felt that I've done everything I can. I've dated my brains out, but I just haven't ever felt that special link with someone. I've been mentally preparing myself to live alone the rest of my life. I'm open to marriage if the opportunity presents itself, but I'm not actively pursuing it anymore.

His story caused me to open my mind a little to the thought of pursuing it again. Who knows. Maybe something will come of it.

14 April 2008


I've made some poor choices at various moments in the past, have gone through the repentance process for them, and have felt forgiveness.

Why then am I still so easily tempted by those same things?

It's a curiosity that I have noticed with the whole repentance process. Just because you have recognized your errors, corrected them and have felt the Spirit confirm your forgiveness, doesn't mean that you aren't bothered by that temptation any more. I'm sorry, but people who say that you aren't bothered with that temptation any more are full of crap. Their claim is that a true change of heart includes a numbing of your susceptibility to that sin. In some cases that may be true, but for the majority of cases I disagree.

For example, I recently spoke with someone who was a smoker in her teenage years, but gave it up in her mid twenties. She joined the church several years later, and is now a fully active, righteous, endowed member in her late 30s. She told me that even though it has been nearly 15 years since she gave up smoking, every once in a while (2 or 3 times per year is all) she still gets horrible cravings for a cigarette.

When we repent of our sins, the Lord has promised us that he will remember them no more. We are promised forgiveness if we don't return to that sin. But, if we do commit that sin again, all of the previous sins are lumped back on us.

Sometimes when I become a repeat offender of something I've done in the past and repented of, I sometimes get the feeling of why should I bother trying to repent, I keep on screwing up. I know, I know, blah, blah, blah, it's the devil telling you that, yadda, yadda, yadda.

But honestly, it's hard not to get down on yourself when you have a weakness that keeps on resurfacing, no matter how hard you've tried to overcome it - no matter how many times you've repented of it, and felt true forgiveness.

Blegh. Sounds like I have a case of the Mondays...

13 April 2008

Best Grandma Ever

I just wanted to brag to everyone about how groovey my grandma is. My parents, older sister and grandma were down here all last week for a little vacation. On Friday we all spent the day at Disneyland. My 81 year-old grandma went on Splash Mountain with my sister and me. Can you believe that? An 81 year-old woman on that ride. It was truly amazing.

I'll bet that your grandma is a wuss and wouldn't go on that ride.

09 April 2008

It's Finally Sinking In

Some followers of my blog, along with my real life friends, will know that I've been working my butt off on a condo remodel. Part of the reason I've been frantic about getting this first phase done is because my family is in town for spring break, as they call it. I'm not sure how much of a true spring break it is, since it's my parents, my grandma and my older sister - none of which are in school. *shrug*

My parents have been down to So Cal a few times over the years that I've lived here, and have always known my condo to be, well, sort of a glorified recent-college-graduate bachelor pad. It's never looked all that great. So, you can imagine their anticipation at seeing the changes that I've been making to it.

I must admit that once I released my inner gay decorator, I was a bit surprised at how skilled he was. I think that my place really looks fantastic. I haven't finished phase 1 completely, so I'm not going to show pictures yet. I still need 2 pieces of furniture, and some decorative accessories before I call it done and post pictures of it. But, even without it being 100% complete it looks great.

I picked up my family at the airport last night, took them to dinner, and then took them back to my home. My mom literally gasped in amazement when she walked in and saw the transformation that my living/dining rooms have gone through since she last saw them. My sister was equally amazed. My grandma has never seen it before, so she had nothing to compare it to, but she said she loved it. My dad gave me some good compliments on the manual work I had done, specifically with the hand-textured ceiling (he's not much of a gasper). I admit that I felt a bit of pride build up inside of me. It's nice to be complimented.

So this morning my mom comes up to me and says, "You know, you really are a better decorator than I am. We should go to the store so you can pick out new paint colors for my house." And then we talked about our favorite HGTV show, which just so happens to be the same for us. Color Splash.

I think that after that conversation she started realizing that this whole gay thing isn't a passing fad. I really do have superpowers. :P

06 April 2008

Mohos, Mojitos and Popcorn

Those are the three things I enjoyed with conference this year.

1) Mohos. Derrick came over to watch conference with me today. It was fun having someone else there to discuss things with. I usually watch it alone, lying on the couch in my underwear. I actually had to wake up, shower and make myself presentable today. Sheesh! Talk about demanding!

2) Mojitos (the virgin kind). No, they aren't miniature mohos. Although, that might be fun. I got some key lime mojito mix and made virgin mojitos to sip during conference. De-light-ful!! I dunno, maybe rum would have made some of the talks better... I kid! I kid! I enjoyed all the talks... and the mojitos. I think that if it weren't for the Word of Wisdom, I could easily become an alcoholic.

3) Popcorn. Is quite possibly the most eaten food in my diet since childhood. I probably consume more popcorn yearly by myself than most families of four do. It goes great with virgin mojitos and conference.

I loved listening to President Schwarzenegger... er, I mean... Uchtdorf speak. I LOVE that guy! He is so enjoyable to listen to. He can capture my interest very well. I'm really happy that he is in the First Presidency now so that we'll hear more talks from him more often. :D

President Monson was incredible. On Saturday morning when we sustained him as the new Prophet, he looked almost overwhelmed by it all as he stood there. But, you could really see the mantle descend upon him when he gave his first talk. He is going to be a really great leader of the church. I can't wait to see where he leads us.

Cheers to all you Mormons. Raise your virgin mojitos in a toast to exciting new roads that the church is going to travel down. :)

03 April 2008

Book Tag

I was tagged, so here goes. I'm supposed to grab the closest book to me, turn to page 123, and type the 5th sentence:

In my annual worldwide threat testimony on February 2, 1999, I told the Senate that "there is not the slightest doubt that Usama Bin Laden, his worldwide allies, and his sympathizers are planning further attacks against us."

At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, George Tenet

I'm also supposed to tag 5 people to do this, but I will just tag everyone who actually reads this post so that they have to post it on their blog. :P

Two Weeks On

It's almost two weeks since the mass coming out, and I must admit that it's been fairly uneventful.

I recounted the number of people I sent the email to, and then tallied up those who have responded. I sent it to 21 individuals/couples and of those sent messages I received a response from 16 of them. Everyone was really great about it. They were very supportive of me. The majority were email responses, but a few people actually called to talk to me.

Ammon and Kenny were the frist to respond. They are two of my band mates and my best straight guy friends on the planet. The first thing they did was make sure that I didn't hate them for any gay jokes they had made in the past. Coincidentally, I had been arbitrarily tagged as the "gay guy" in the band who was supposed to take one for the team in order to increase our fanbase. Little did they know that the thought of taking one for the team was not so objectionable to me. =D I assured them that everything was fine and forgiven, but now the jokes might not be so funny.

The biggest relief I felt from one of the responses was from my home teacher, Chandler. He is literally the nicest person on the face of the planet. I love that guy - and not in a gay way. I love him in a if I could choose anyone on earth to be my adopted brother, it would be him kind of way. I was a little nervous that the whole thing might freak him out a little. I'm not sure why I thought that. He is the nicest person on the planet after all. Anyway, it felt so great when he came up to say hello to me on Sunday and greated me with a great big hug, and then just talked to me the way he normally does. It felt really good to not have some awkward wall between us. And now I have a great, sympathetic straight guy that I can talk about stuff with. I'm so happy about that one.

The people who haven't responded, I'm not so worried about. A few of them are old friends that live far away and won't hear through the grapevine at church about everything. And I'm actually not sure if the email addresses I have for them are still valid.

One has been gone on vacation, so I haven't seen him at church yet. One I saw and talked with at church. It was a very normal conversation, as if he didn't know. I'm wondering if he actually got the email.

The last one, I saw her at church on Sunday, but just in the crowd. I don't know if she is avoiding it because she's uncomfortable, or if she just missed the email. I think that she was gone on vacation, and maybe hasn't caught up yet on everything. But, I also suspect something. You see, I found out that my friend's therapist is therapyizing (there's a new word for ya!) a girl in my ward who is struggling with homosexual attractions, and I've suspected that it might be her. She shows up on my gaydar, but I'm not so sure how fine tuned my system is when it comes to picking lesbians out of the crowd. I hope she talks to me.

All in all, it went a lot smoother than I thought it would. I'm not going to bank on it staying like that forever, though. :)

01 April 2008

My Theme Song

I decided that I needed a new theme song. I think this one describes me quite well.

Now if only I could get it pumped into the sound systems of all buildings I walked into...

31 March 2008

Random Funny

Some days I feel like the bird, other days I feel like the little kid.


The Apocalypse is Here!!!

Today I was enjoying a lunch at Baja Fresh, when all of the sudden my ears picked up on something. It was a mild irritant at first. Then the twitching began. What is that sound? It's driving me nuts! What?? No! It can't be! Yes, it was a Mexican "banda" version of the Billy Ray Cyrus song, Achy Breaky Heart. Listen to a sample, and buy it here.

And here there are those in our midst saying that the people from south of the border are destroying our society. I think it might be the other way around.

Seriously. Achy Breaky Heart? Couldn't you guys think of a better song to translate? I mean, there are so few songs in English to choose from...

25 March 2008

The Aftermath... So Far

Well, as you all saw in my last post, I came out to a whole bunch of people. I said that I would tell you all why I decided to start being open about it, so I will.

The problem with being gay and Mormon is that you feel alone. You feel like nobody understands you. You talk to your leaders, parents, friends, but nobody really understands. They lend an awkward smile, and maybe a hug, telling you that they're behind you all the way and will support you however they can, but they are clueless. So, time passes and they may or may not infrequently ask you how you are doing. The infrequency at which that happens becomes greater and greater until you are back to dealing with it all on your own. One day comes where you are feeling particularly down and depressed about things, and you begin to search online for other gay Mormons thinking that you can relate with them.

This scenario then becomes something of a "choose your own adventure" book. But with the notable exception that it's not as much of a choice as it is dumb luck.

You end up meeting other gay Mormons online. You converse with them. You become friends with them. This is the same for both outcomes, but here is where they diverge. In one case, you have the person who meets the 10-20% of gay Mormons who have been able to reconcile their sexual orientation with their beliefs. In the other case you meet the 80-90% who have not reconciled the two together and have left the church.

In the former case, the majority are helpful. Some are not so helpful. They are clinging onto life by the skin of their teeth, and have a white-knuckled grip on their sanity. But the majority are comfortable in their situation and very supportive of anyone else like them.

In the latter case, the majority are helpful in convincing that person that the church has done them a disservice in their life, has repressed them, and wants to control them. They do everything they can to convince the person that staying with the church and being happy are two incompatible paths. Some are supportive of staying with the church, if the person can reconcile it, but aren't really much of a cheerleader in those regards. They aren't anti, but they are neutral at best.

I don't ever expect all people who deal with with being gay to accept and stay in the church. Everyone has different backgrounds, and different hands that they've been dealt. But, I do believe that with the proper resources to turn to, a lot more than 10-20% of gay Mormons will find that they can reconcile their faith with their sexual orientation and be able to comfortably remain active members of the church.

The problem, as I have seen it, is that you can't find resources out in the open. You have to go through underground methods to find them. At that point, it's a crap shoot as to if you'll meet the active gay members, or those who have left the church. People shouldn't be relegated to forming their life based on a search engine ranking.

Part of this problem is that the subject of homosexuality is taboo in the church. It is only spoken of in terms of the evils of having sex with someone of your same gender. It isn't spoken of in terms of 3-5% of the population has those sexual inclinations, and therefore on average there are 8-15 people in your very own congregation that are secretly dealing with this. Since the members don't think of it in these terms, many hurtful and homophobic remarks are made in front of and to these people. It is a catalyst in driving them to leaving the church.

I just feel that it's time that people opened their eyes to the reality of this. If you personally know someone who is gay, and are friends with them, it will give you pause before you say potentially hurtful things in front of others. That in turn will help those who are still keeping it a secret to feel comfortable and accepted in the church. And when the day comes that they decide to deal with their sexual orientation, it will be much easier for them to reconcile it with their faith.

That's the reason I decided to be open about it.

And, so far the response has been very positive. There are several people that I sent the email to that have not yet responded to me, but the really important ones in my life have. They've been floored by the fact that I hid it from them so well, for so long. And all of them have apologized for if they have ever made a gay slur that was offensive to me. They are all thinking a lot differently about us gay Mormons now. I'm going to call it a successful endeavor.

We'll see where it goes from here.

21 March 2008

Getting "Out" There

Well, I came out to about 25 of my friends today. We'll see how they respond. Hopefully this weekend I will get the time to sit down and write about why I decided to start telling people en masse. Here's the email I sent:

Good morning!

I wasn't sure how to do this, because I had a bunch of
people to tell. And I wanted to do it all at the same
time, but that wouldn't work out. Blah, blah, blah, so
it ends up that I'm sending all of you an email. Hope
you enjoy it. And, the first thing you're going to
think is "This is a really lame joke." It's not a
joke. This is one of the few serious emails you will
ever get from me.

You are all my good friends, and for one reason or
another I wanted you to get this message rather than
hearing it word-of-mouth or otherwise. No, I'm not
getting married. Far from it. In fact, what I'm
writing to tell you is that I'm gay.

I know that this probably isn't a big surprise to some
of you, but maybe it is to others. I mean, why else
could I possibly be this awesome and still single at
this age, right? (There was a little sarcasm in that
one. Just a little.)

Now, don't worry, I'm not about to announce that I
have a boyfriend and we're moving to Massachusets to
get married. I still have a very strong testimony of
the gospel that I can't deny. I have worked my hardest
over the years to remain a faithful, Latter-day Saint,
and I fully intend to keep on doing that. In fact, I
still have the goal of some day being married to a
woman and being a father. It's a lofty goal, and there
are tons of things to work through for it to happen
and be successful, but hopefully the Lord will grant
me that one. As for now, I'm at peace with the
prospect of remaining a single member of the church.

This last year has been the toughest year of my life.
Many of you probably noticed that I was less sociable,
and maybe a bit gloomy whenever you saw me. That was
because a year ago was when I finally decided to
tackle this issue head-on. I couldn't suppress it any
more, it was driving me absolutely crazy. I just plain
broke down emotionally in Feb 2007. It's taken a long
time to put the pieces back together and get to where
I am today. I won't go into the details of all of that
here. I think that's best left for conversation. If
you are interested, I am more than willing to talk
about my whole coming-out and reconciliation process.

Anyway, you are all my friends. I love you dearly. And
I hope that this knowledge doesn't change that for
you. Please don't feel awkward about talking to me.
I'm over the awkward phase. Some of you may not be
comfortable talking about it, and that's okay too.
It's the same with my family, some of them like to
talk about it, others don't feel comfortable. So I
leave it up to the individual. I'm not one of those
obnoxious out-and-proud fags that is going to shove it
in your face. I prefer being chill about it.

And also, if a situation ever arises where you're in a
conversation with other people and the topic comes up,
don't feel like you need to lie for me. I am okay with
other people knowing. I finally feel comfortable in my
own skin. Oh yes, for you married folk, feel free to
tell your spouse.

So, I'll leave it at that for now. I'm sure your mind
is blown. Have a great day! :D

By the way, please don't think that wearing the kilt
is a cross-dressing thing. I'm not one of "those"
types. Trannys are creepy, gross and disgusting. Eeew.
I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

Love you all,

P.S. A couple of the girls on distribution already
knew, and I just wanted the others to know who else
knew so that they could talk amongst themselves if
needed. Girls need that kind of thing apparently.

P.P.S. Joe/Kenny, remember how we all ended up having
to share beds at one time or another in the UK? Yep.
You slept with a gay guy. You guys are such fags. :P

19 March 2008

The Outtie Scale

The Outtie Scale is not a measure of the protrusion of my belly button. Rather, it is a measure of how out I am to those people I associate with.

I think that on a scale of 1-10, I would rate myself around a 6. It's not that 60% of the people I associate with know that I'm gay. It's more like, I feel comfortable acting completely like myself around 60% of the people I know. If they pick up on it that I'm light in the loafers, that's okay by me.

Well, there is a distinction I need to make before I go any further. I don't like to mix my private life with my work life. So, even though I don't put on an act at work, I really don't want to talk to any of those people about my sexual orientation. I go to work, do my job, and I'm work-me there. I don't hang out with more than a couple of people from work, so I'm just not keen on inviting all of the rest of my company into my private life. I think that would be the case for most people, straight or gay. Let work stay at work and leave my private life alone. So, the Outtie Scale excludes work.

Anyway, I'm working on feeling comfortable about "being myself" around everyone. I'm getting there bit by bit, as you can see from my post about telling a very close guy friend last week, and telling my Elder's Quorum President. Progression is coming. I think that the 60% I feel comfortable around are mostly of the female persuasion. It's the straight guys that make me nervous. They freak out about gay people too much. What's up with that?

Actually, nervous isn't the right word. It's not like I'm worried about being the next Matthew Shepherd. It's just the awkwardness that I don't like. I'm not a confrontational person at all, so I don't do awkward very well either. I dunno, maybe I should just rip the band-aid off all at once and come out during Elder's Quorum one of these Sundays. That would spice things up a bit. :D

All in all, I think it's great that I'm up at 60%. After all, it was only a year ago that I came out to my family, and before that only a couple of friends and Bishops knew. Progress is good. I feel comfortable in my own skin.

18 March 2008

Coming Out to a Few More Peeps

Within the last couple of weeks I've come out to two more people. It's important to note these particular instances, because this time they were straight guys. I've been a little gun-shy to talk to the straight guys, just because, well, it's awkward. Or rather, I don't want them to be awkward around me. I want to be treated the same way I always have and converse with them in the same manner, but just with a deeper level of understanding between the each of us. Catch my drift?

So, the first guy I came out to was my old friend Geoff. I wrote an angsty, angry post about him many moons ago. Yikes. Anyway, so he called me a few weeks ago, and we played phone tag for a while. I ended up just sending him an email, and decided that I was going to come out to him. So I did, and pointed him to my blog and told him to have great time catching up on my life. Well, it just so happens that I had forgotten about the angry post I wrote about him. Awkward! He emailed me back a while later and told me that he had read that post - along with the majority of my blog - and was floored by everything.

We ended up chatting on the phone this past Sunday for a couple of hours. It was so wonderful to talk to him again. And it was even more wonderful to have my emotions in the right place. I love the guy like one of my brothers. And, now that I have a lot more emotional stability in my life, I'm okay with just having the occasional catch-up conversation with him. It feels really good. By the way, welcome to my blog, Geoff. Good luck with the new baby. And I still think you should name her after me. Your wife will get used to it. Just give her time. :P

The second straight guy I came out to was this past Sunday. I'm the secretary for my Elder's Quorum, and have been for a year and a half. Well, over the last 6 months or so I've really been slacking in my duties. I've just had so much emotional baggage weighing me down that I haven't been interested or motivated to try very hard at my calling. Just recently I've had a resurgence of desire to get my church activity back to where it used to be, including doing better at my calling. When I woke up on Sunday morning and was saying my prayers I got the distinct impression that I needed to talk to the Elder's Quorum President and let him know why I had been a slacker, let him know that I was redoubling my efforts to do a good job, and to let him know of my struggles that I had last year.

It was kind of odd, but I felt I should do it. So, lo and behold, during Sunday School I was in the clerk's office doing some stuff and in walks the EQP. Coincidence? I think not. I asked him to sit down so I could chat with him, and I spilled the beans. He was so cool about. He offered his support in any way that I needed it, and reminded me of the great counselors he has and to tap them for help if I needed it. It was a great experience.

I also let him know that I was finally in a good place with it all and feeling a lot of peace about my decision to remain active in the church. I also mentioned to him that statistically, and on my gaydar, I know that there are several other guys in the ward in my same boat and if they needed assistance in the form of talking to someone who shares their issues, that he was free to have them talk to me. He agreed (almost too rapidly) that there were other guys in the ward in the same boat as I was, so I got the impression that he does know of a few others. No surprises there. :P

Anyway, chalk up another two good experiences with coming out.

15 March 2008

Hanging Out With Straight Guys

Yuck. What more can I say?

Ok, ok. I will say more. Tonight I hung out with a bunch of straight guys. It almost became painful towards the end of the evening. No, I take that back. It did become painful towards the end of the evening.

Last night I hung out with the other moho in Orange County (maybe I should just refer to him as OMIOC from now on). Good, enjoyable evening. Tonight I hang out with straight guys. Blegh.

Background info:
Recently I've been trying to expand my circle of friends. Most of the people I used to hang out with last year are either married, in relationships, or we're not on the best of terms anymore. So, that leaves me with few options for social activities on the weekends.

The other aspect of expanding my circle of friends has been to avoid expanding that circle amongst the females in my ward. I'm trying to get more guy friends to hang out with so that I can do guy stuff. I'm actually kind of sick of hanging out with the girls all the time.

So this afternoon my business partner came over to work on some stuff with me. There was also a guy from the ward that came over to my place because he wants us to do a job for him. The three of us got together at about 4:30. We spent a few hours doing business stuff, and then we decided to go get some dinner. At that point, my business partner's roomie called up to see if anything was going on tonight, so he ended up going to dinner with us.

Here I am with 3 guys. Straight guys. Nothing moho about them whatsoever. Two of them (my business partner and his roomie) I know fairly well. The third is someone that I inteded to try to become better friends with. Well, in a nutshell, I think I'd rather die than hang out with all three of them at the same time again.

It was painful by the end of the night. And it's not like we didn't have common interests that we could talk about. There were a few good topics. But in general it was just obnoxious being around straight guy talk for sooooo long. I can't even list out the topics of conversation that came up, oh wait, I can: chicks. That's the problem with hanging out with straight, single guys. I have to sit there and feign my interest in girl parts all night. Of course, if they were straight and married, then they would just talk about sports. I'm not sure which topic is worse.

I need to find some different straight guys to try this out with.

12 March 2008

Improv Everywhere Strikes Again

Hilarious. I love the crazy stuff these people do.

Food Court Musical

11 March 2008

Checking In

I looked at my previous posts, and I haven't written anything worthwhile for a few weeks now. So, I'm sitting here trying to think of something profound to say. This may take a while.

Oh yeah, I wanted to mention something about the lesson manual for Relief Society/Priesthood this year. I think it's awesome. You know, there is just something about the teachings of Joseph Smith that just always rings home with me. I've enjoyed the other manuals that we've gone through over the past few years, but they don't seem to have the same impact on me as this one is having.

Of course, I think that part of it might have to do with our teacher. I think he is great. He was inactive for many years and just started coming back to church about six months ago. He has little knowledge, and a fairly weak testimony at this point. But, for some reason, the EQP was inspired to call him as a teacher in order to help him build his testimony as he prepares the lessons.

Each lesson is full of off-kilter statements, stories about being a Marine, and questions about if what he's teaching is really 100% true. It forces you to pay attention, because you are so interested in if he is going to say something totally whacked. But at the same time, his raw honesty about not having a very good understanding of the doctrine sparks some really good comments from the memebers of the quorum during the lesson. I love it.

Yesterday's lesson, in particular, was on the Atonement. He mentioned several times about how he didn't like the fact that Jesus had to suffer for him. Not that he didn't believe that Jesus suffered and died for us, but he didn't like it that Jesus had to do that. That steered the comments from the quorum members to focus on accepting the Atonement in your life. Jesus completed it. The Atonement is there for us to apply to our lives. He wants us to take advantage of it. Nowhere in the scriptures did He ever tell us to feel guilty for His suffering. He told us to feel sorrow for our sins, and then repent and forsake them and move on with our lives.

As I was listening to the lesson and skimming through the rest of the chapter looking at some of the quotes, I really felt caught up in the actuality of the Atonement and the importance of living a Christ-centered life. My struggles with holding onto my faith seemed to evaporate at that moment. All worldly aspects of my being melted away and I felt His presence. All of the sudden my earthly goals seemed unimportant, my homosexual attractions seemed like a distant memory, everything in my life that was not of a spiritual nature became insubstantive. The words of the Prophet about Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the World, became the only important things to me at that moment. The white-knuckle grip that I've had on life for the last several months really loosened up a lot, and I was able to relax and feel comfortable with who I am and the challenges I face in this life. It was a really great moment.

I wish I could feel like that more often.

06 March 2008

04 March 2008

Life Over 35

My sister sent me this email today. I laughed. But then again, I turned 35 this year.

Dear Under-35 Crowd,

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what, with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning... uphill BOTH ways yada, yada, yada!

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that... I'm over the ripe old age of thirty five, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!

And I hate to say it but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

There was no email! We had to actually write somebody a letter...with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up!

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it! And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom , your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'asteroids' and the graphics sucked! Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same height! If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just screwed!

Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only like 15 channels and there was no onscreen menu and no remote control! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your a$$ and walk over to the TV to change the channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little bastards!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove or go build a frigging fire.... imagine that! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid Jiffy Pop thing and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot.

That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled!!!

You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980! Oh yea, and a seatbelt was Mom throwing her arm across your chest every time she hit the brakes.

The over 35 Crowd

03 March 2008

Do The Airlines Hate Me That Much?

Why am I always the lucky one? Why?

I don't cause any trouble. I mind my own business. I fasten my seat belt when the light is illuminated. I put all of my liquids, gels and/or aerosols in a 1 quart, sealable plastic bag.

Why then do I ALWAYS get seated next to a person who is far too large to fit in a single seat on the plane?!?!?!

Today's offender wasn't a fat person, he was just too tall/broad-shouldered for the seats in the commuter plane I was on. He was a late-middle-aged guy, probably early 50's, and my gaydar sounded the alarm the instant he stepped onto the plane. I think that God hated me today. I was already on the plane, in my seat, listening to a little Radiohead and casually thinking, sigh... I hope some cute boy gets the seat next to me today...


So, instead of granting my winsome desire of sitting next to some eye candy, God plants me next to a ginormous, old gay guy. It was depressing.

I don't ever want to be an old gay guy. But, that's probably an ungrantable wish.

25 February 2008

The Cleanse - Finale

It's over! I made it! I won!

I learned how to eat lots of vegetables and enjoy them. I feel wonderful. I have more energy than I ever have. I lost 14 lbs and reduced my body fat percentage from 20% to 14%. I look great. ;D

I've been eating "normal" food again and it's been enjoyable, but has been a little difficult to adjust to. For example, I went to lunch with some coworkers today, and we ended up at this little hotdog shop in Hermosa Beach. Guess what was not on the menu? Vegetables. So, I got a hotdog and side of french fries. It tasted good, but I felt like absolute crap all afternoon. I could not wait to get home and eat a salad.

So am I going to go back to eating how I was before? Not on your life. Now I've joined a "Speedo Contest" with some friends. It's a competition to, by the time we go to Vegas during the first week of May, see who looks the best in a speedo. Yikes. I've got a lot more situps to do between now and then.

18 February 2008

A Little Comedic Diversion

I wanted to share this great experience with everyone else. I played in a band that went on a couple of mini-tours to the UK and Ireland a few years ago. This is a video of a little adventure we had while in Ireland.

Disclaimer: I will not accept responsibility if your IQ is lowered while watching this. Watch at your own risk.

17 February 2008

Comprehending Yourself

While I was sitting in church today, the Elder's Quorum lesson piqued my interest. There was a certain sentence that I read as I scanned through the lesson manual while the teacher was telling a story. It's a statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith:

If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves.

That really embedded itself in my mind when I read it. I've read and/or heard this quote dozens of times before, but it has never struck me the way it did today. I read the statement and the surrounding paragraphs several times, trying to figure out why this was so interesting to me. What was I supposed to learn from this statement? Why was the Spirit telling me to ponder this particular sentence?

Then I multiplied the statement by -1: If men do not do comprehend the character of God, they do not do comprehend themselves.

Some of the questions I ask myself about being gay are: Why this situation in my life? Why this trial? Why am I different? What am I supposed to learn? How am I supposed to act?

These questions all lead up to the final statment of exasperation, I don't understand.

Wait a minute.

I don't understand? If I don't know or understand the answers to any of those questions, doesn't that seem to lead to the concept that I don't comprehend myself?

I don't comprehend myself because I don't comprehend God. And if I come to comprehend God, I will comprehend myself. So, maybe the best way to understand my life and the way it is, is to stop focusing so much on understanding gay and focus more on understading God.

If men do comprehend the character of God, they do comprehend themselves.

14 February 2008

Singles Awareness Day

Well, a Happy Singles Awareness Day to most of you, and to the few of you in relationships, Happy Valentines Day.

Typically I would be inclined to make some whiney post about how this is the 35th VD of my life, and yet once again I am without someone to share it with. But not today! Today I am going to just say, screw the establishment.

I really want a thickly frosted cookie right now. Damn this cleanse. Actually, the cleanse is awesome. Today is day 19 of it all. I had the most tempting day yesterday, as we had a potluck at work. There were all sorts of unhealthy goodies on the table at lunch. It smelled really good, but there were only a few items that truly tempted me. Most of the food I looked at and thought, ew, that is so over-processed and gross looking. I have no desire to eat that. I think this diet really is doing it's job of reprogramming my tastebuds.

I also kicked it up a notch at the gym. I switched around my workout last week, and it has paid off. This morning I weighed in and I have lost 10 lbs so far, and 5% of my body fat. I'm down to 155 lbs and 14% body fat. It was really motivating to see that. It was so motivating, in fact, that I may be inclined to stay on the diet after the four weeks are over, just so I can for once in my life have that sixpack to show off on the beach this summer (and I'm not talking about beverages). I think that for that to happen I'm going to have to drop to 145 and get in the single-digit body fat percentage.

Go me!!!

12 February 2008

And That's Why I'm Her Favorite

My friend has a blog that he is keeping this year where every day he lists the random holidays of that day. Today happens to be Plum Pudding day.

I read that and my mind instantly referred back to when I was a kid and we would go to the old public library every year before Christmas and check out the children's book Plum Pudding for Christmas. I loved that book. I loved that trip to the library every year. It's such a great memory for me.

Well, my mom's birthday is coming up in a month or so, and the thought occured to me that she needed a copy of that book to read to her grandchildren every Christmas. What a great gift idea! One of my best, I'd say. It gives her another way to be the awesome grandma that the grandkids love to come see, because she has that book that they will want to read every Christmas. On top of that, it will also be a great reminder of the wonderful times we had as a family with that book while growing up.

So I got on Amazon to find a copy of it for her. It is out of print (and looks like it has been for decades), but there were several used copies for sale. I bought her one and had it shipped to her for her birthday.

And that's an example of why I'm her favorite. :D

11 February 2008

Greatful For Your Gayness

An email discussion from the North Star Men's group started today with this message:

So, here's a question that I've been struggling with the past several

How do I accept and love myself when I don't accept and love the fact
that I am attracted to other men?

The best illustration I have of this concern is when I'm out in
public, I feel attracted to a guy, and then I tell myself, "You
shouldn't feel that way. It's wrong to feel attracted to men." While
that isn't the same thing as saying, "You're bad because you feel
attracted to guys," the effect on my self-esteem is the same. How can
I seperate what I do from who I am? How do I allow myself to dislike
the fact that I feel attracted to guys WITHOUT letting that affect how
I feel about myself as a whole person?

I think that this is an important thing to work on. I believe that
it's the Book of Mormon teaches us that "men are that they might have
joy." So, how do we experience joy, and learn to love and accept
ourselves, in spite of feeling things that we would rather not

I figure that this is a struggle that other men face. I was hoping
for your insights about what you've done that has and hasn't helped in
accepting who you are and loving yourselves while also experiencing
attractions to other men.

My response:

Personally, I think that saying "You shouldn't feel that way. It's wrong to feel attracted to men." is wrong and just as destructive as telling yourself you are a bad person.

According to what has been revealed to us by the leaders of the church, the only thing wrong about homosexual attractions is acting out on them by breaking the law of chastity. Other than that, it's just something you have to deal with in your life. Stop telling yourself you are bad for feeling the way you do. You aren't. Stop bludgeoning yourself over something you have no control over. You are attracted to men. Accept it. When you see a hot guy, acknowledge it but then move on. Just don't dwell on it to the point where you act out on it.

And you start to love youself more when you sit back and recognize all of the wonderful traits you have that straight guys usualy don't. For example, I love that I am a much more sympathetic person than 99.9% of the guys I know. My female friends love that too, because they know they can talk to me about their lives and I'm actually listening to them. Be greatful for your gayness. In spite of the challenges, there are some good perks. :)

It's important for everyone to realize that nobody is under any sort of condemnation just because they are attracted to members of the same sex. I think that the sort of self-belittling that the original poster seems to have problems with are just the kind of thing that lead people to desperate acts such as suicide. There is nothing sinful about having those feelings. I reference Elder Holland's Oct 2007 Ensign article as support for this.

Be greatful for your gayness. I honestly have come to see many great things that have happened to me, and many great personality traits and qualities that I have because of my sexual orientation. It has shaped my life in a way that would never have been possible any other way. I used to think that if there was a pill I could take to not be gay any more, I would do it in a heartbeat. But now I'm not so sure that I would want to give up portions of my personality and character to become a SSG (Stupid Straight Guy).

Or is it spelled Stoopid Straight Guy...?

10 February 2008

The Cleanse - Day 15

Well my friends, we are now on the downhill side of the cleanse. It's been a great experience. I'm still on the regular diet again this week, but next week I get to add in a bunch of stuff. I'm pretty freaking excited about that.

I had the nastiest craving for french fries when I walked into Target the other day and passed the McDonald's in there. It was rough, but I withstood the temptation.

One thing that we can't eat during the first three weeks is potatoes. I was sad about that. So, I asked the doctor about eating other rooty things, such as taro. He said go for it. And I did. I was in my big salty snacks craving after the french fry incident at Target, so I decided to invent a new salty snack. I call it Baked Tarot Chips. Yeah, I know, not very creative. They were delicious, though, and satisfied my craving.

I took one tarot root bulb, peeled it, and then cut it into 1/16" thick slices with my super-awesome food slicing tool. I took a cookie sheet, poured a little olive oil on it, and then smeared it around with a paper towel so that there was a very thin film of oil on the sheet - just enough to keep the tarot from sticking, not so much that it was drenched in oil. I lined the cookie sheet with the tarot slices, and salted them. I then broiled them on high for a couple of minutes (you have to watch very closely, because once they start to brown, then will burn very, very fast). And... voila! A healthy, chip-ish, salty snack. They were so delicious.

I wonder if they'll still be that good once I'm off the cleanse and eating normal food again....

Facing Your Fears

From time to time in our lives we face our fears. Some finally touch a snake. Some leap from a bridge with a bungee attached to their leg. Some open up the fruit cake package and taste it.

I have a fear of working on my house. I don't know why. I worked for two years as an auto mechanic while attending BYU. I can tear apart an engine and put it back together - and it will work. While in grad school I had to learn how to weld in order to assemble test hardware for my research. I have these tremendous mechanical abilities, yet when it comes to working on my own home I cower. I think it has something to do with artistic craftsmanship. It's easy to bolt pieces together when you buy furniture from Ikea, but ask me to build a table from raw materials and I freeze up like a corpse in a morgue. I just don't have that artistic ability in my hands. So, I'm afraid to do anything for fear of messing it up.

Well, I've lived in my condo for six years now, and since the day I moved in I've been talking about rennovations on it. Yeah, six years. I haven't done anything on it. Well, that is, until today.

Today I finally sucked it up and started on the rennovations. Phase 1 is to remove the old 70's popcorn texture from the ceiling. I started in the spare bedroom, you know, just in case I screwed it up. It came out okay. Only a couple of gouges in the ceiling drywall, but those can be easily patched. Then I spent the next several hours doing the big closet, the other bedroom and the hallway. It took a long time for a seemingly simple job. I didn't do my prep work as well as I should have, so I had to spend about 2 hours cleaing up after I was done. Blegh. Well, now I know what to do for the other half of the house so that it will go much faster.

So, I faced one of my fears today and started working on the condo. We'll see how fearful I get once I start attempting to install the recessed lighting in the living room.

Now where did I put that fruit cake....

05 February 2008

The Cleanse - Day 10

Whew! We're starting Day 10 right now and all is going extremely well. It's a third of the way over. I can't believe it. The time is flying by really fast.

The biggest differences I've noticed from the whole ordeal is that I no longer get the after-lunch doldrums at work anymore. I'm not sleepy and trying not to fall out of my chair at 1:00. It's great! I've also lost 5 pounds of flab. I've still got a ways to go on that before I have those washboard abs to show off, though.

This past weekend I was able to add a new aspect to the diet. Whenever I go to the gym and work out I get to add some lean meat (chicken/turkey breast or fish) to my dinner. Boy is that incentive to go to the gym!

Now I don't know if it's because last night was only the second time in 9 days that I had eaten meat, but the meal I made was one of the greatest meals I have ever eaten. And it was very, very simple. I got a package of turkey breast meat at Albertsons that was already cut up into 1/4" strips (about the size of fat french fries) so that it cooks really fast. With it I made the following:

4 oz turkey breast
3 large mushrooms, sliced
1/8 cup diced onions
1/4 of a jalapeno

Sautee meat in olive oil. When meat is nearing completion, add vegetables, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Cook til it's done.

I ate this with a very large portion of steamed Swiss Chard with fresh lime juice squeezed on it.

I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

03 February 2008

Subtle Answers

This past week I've been thinking, pondering on my status in the church. It was a strange coincidence that a couple of days ago I was chatting with a fellow Moho, and he commented to me I still can't believe you're still Mormon. I asked him what he meant by that statement. His response was something along the lines of, "Well, you're old. And you're single and lonely."

I couldn't deny that. I had been thinking about that for a few days. The thing that had brought him to say that was that in our conversation I had just been stressing to him the importance of including God in the big decisions in your life. That was some good advice that I needed to give myself.

In thinking about the mid-30's and single ordeal, and not wanting to live the lonely life forever, and how I felt about church, et cetera, et cetera, I began to think about entering into a same-sex relationship. And not just a casual friendship, but an actual long-term, committed relationship. I thought about it a lot. And then I took my own advice and I prayed about it. I prayed that I would be able to see the right answer as I was working through this issue in my head. I prayed for His inspiration and guidance as I was seeking out this answer.

And then I went about my life.

Today I woke up early so that I could attend my friend's ward for their baby blessing. I had been invited to stand in the circle. The Lord was definitely on my side. I sailed through green traffic lights the whole way to church. I arrived just in time to sit down, remove my jacket, and then have them call for the blessing to happen. I stood up and walked to the front of the chapel and greeted my friend, the proud papa. I looked at the other people in the circle. I knew most of them. They are all great people.

We all placed our hands under the baby, and my friend proceeded with the blessing. It was the most beautifully inspired baby blessing I have ever heard uttered. I stood there soaking in the spirit of it all. I felt so strongly that I wanted to do that someday. I wanted to be the one to exercise the Priesthood that I have been ordained with to bless my child as he/she comes into the world. I can't think of a greater experience that could happen.

Then it slowly came to me. You see, after I had prayed about entering into a same-sex relationship, I never heard a "No" answer. And for me, I have noticed in my life that the Lord typically lets me go with my own decisions when I pray about them. I don't necessarily get a "Yes", I just feel good about moving forward with the decision I made. I have on many occasions received a definite "No" answer when I'm about to do something I shouldn't. I've learned to pray and listen for the "No" answer, and if there is nothing telling me that I've made a decision that He doesn't approve of, I go for it.

The thing was, I never received that "No" answer after praying about entering a same-sex relationship. It has been a few days and still no "No" answer.

The answer came to me today. It wasn't a "No" answer. The answer that came to me was to realize what I would miss out on if I proceeded with a same-sex relationship. I would miss out on that humble, simple and beautiful opportunity that my friend had just experienced. If I entered into a same-sex relationship, I would forfeit my Priesthood ordination and all rights and privileges associated with it. I would never have the opportunity to bless my child in the way that my friend just had.

If I entered a same-sex relationship, God would still love me, bless me, and answer my prayers, but I would give up the Priesthood in exchange for that relationship. I could have children through adoption or surrogate parenthood, but I would not be able to raise them in a home that was blessed by the power of the Priesthood.

I got my answer. And maybe it wasn't so subtle after all.

02 February 2008

Snowman Sandcastle Day 2008

There's nothing better than fulfilling a desire that you've had for some time but haven't done anything about. Today that was Snowman Sandcastle Day.

Three of us drove up to Lake Arrowhead to find some snow. There was quite a bit, but unfortunately it had been through several warming/freezing cycles and it was hard. Basically, it was the world's largest sno-cone, but without the syrupy goodness.

That meant no snow angels. Bummer.

Fortunately we had tossed a shovel in the Xterra before we took off. I pulled it out and began to cut large discs of snow-ice. We piled the snow-ice discs on top of each other until they were the proper height, then we decorated the snowman with all-natural garnishings. Kiwi fruit slices for eyes. Orange jalapeno pepper for a nose. Blueberries for a mouth. It was delightful and edible.

We ate lunch (I ate my salad while they ate subway sandwiches. I think I got the better end of that deal) and headed off back home to the beach. In a couple of hours we were down on the sand in 65 degree weather building a sandcastle. With three of us working on it, it didn't take very long. In no time we were the proud parents of a sandy structure for hermit crabs to live in. Although, I can't say that I've ever seen a hermit crab at our beach.

It was great fun. Since I'm now not opposed to people finding out about my gayness, I would post a link to my Picasa web album with the pictures of today. Unfortunately, I have other shared picture albums in there with other Mohos who I'm not sure want to come out to the world. So, I will refrain and just post this single picture of Steve and I. I'm the one with dark hair.

31 January 2008

The Cleanse - Day 5: Oh my kale!!

We're still going strong. And when I say "we" I am referring to me and my colon. This is actually a lot easier than I thought it would be - once you get past the mental block of not being able to eat salty snacks for a month.

Last night I discovered a new vegetable that I love - Kale. I've never eaten it before. In fact, when the doctor said that was one of the veggies that we should eat a lot of at dinners I asked, "What is kale?"

Turns out that it's a lot like chard/spinach. I cut off the stocks, then sauteed it in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, lemon pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. I ate it with a little fresh lemon juice squeezed on it. It was absolutely delightful.

Today as I was putting together my salad for lunch, I was thinking of salad dressings (since I can only use balsamic vinegar or lemon/lime juice) and remembered how nice a good raspberry vinaigrette was. I thought, hmmm, why don't I make my own fruity flavored vinaigrette? So, I mixed some olive oil in with the balsamic vinegar, and then put blueberries in the salad. It was awesome. I think it was my favorite salad so far. I'm going to have to get various kinds of berries to garnish my salad with. I think even better would be to puree the berries into a liquid and then mix that juice with the balsamic vinegar.

Parable of the Sower

I've been listening to Jesus the Christ on mp3 when I drive to work for the last couple of weeks. Today I got to the chapter on the parables of Jesus, and the first one that the author addresses is the Parable of the Sower. It got me thinking, so I figured I would write about it a little on this nifty blogification machine that I have.

I'll quote the parable as written in Mark 4:3-8

  Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
   And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
   And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
   But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
  And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
  And other fell on good ground and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.

The cool thing about this parable is that Jesus immediately gave the interpretation of it. The first set of seeds that fell by the wayside represent those who are immediately led away by Satan after hearing the word. The second set of seeds, that fell on stony ground, are those who hear the word and immediately receive it. But, they have no root, so they endure for a time but when affliction or persecution arise they reject it. The third set of seeds, that get choked by thorns are those who hear the word but for the cares of the world get choked out by the world's influence and reject the word. The fourth set of seeds are those who hear and accept the word and live it. Some are more valiant than others in that they produce 30, 60 or even 100 fold.

As I was listening to the explanation that the Talmage gave of the parable, my mind took a keen interest on the third set of seeds. Those that were cast among thorns. People who hear the word and accept it, but after a time their cares for the world choke out the good word.

I feel a lot like that. I've been active my whole life, and I have always had a strong testimony of the gospel, but over the last several years I feel like a lot of thorns have grown up around me, and I haven't been weeding my garden very well.

As I was pondering this, it struck me that I'm in a very precarious spot. In coming to terms with my sexual orientation and trying to fit all that in with the gospel plan, I'm finding that the thorns are obstructing my view of the purity of the gospel. It has made it harder to make the decisions that I need to make, and has caused me to make some bad decisions. It has cast much doubt in my mind and made me question my core testimony. And I think that it has been a very large contributor to the depression issues I have now and again.

It seems to me that it is time to put on some gloves, grab a trowel and start weeding the garden.

29 January 2008

The Cleanse - Day 3

I'm really surprised at how well everything is going so far on The Cleanse. And by well, I mean that I was the opposite of constipated yesterday. But, you probably don't want to get into a discussion about my overly-frequent bowel movements. :P

Anyway, I tried to cook the same thing from day 1 last night, but with some additions and it didn't turn out as well. I added in tomatoes and a few more spices. Unfortunately, I think that the tomatoes absorbed the balsamic vinegar flavor, so there wasn't much to cover up the core brussel sprout flavor - which is not very good. I just had to pound it down.

Tonight I decided to give the BS a break, and I headed for the asparagus. I also made some super awesome tomatillo salsa. I wanted to eat the asparagus with the salsa, but soggy asparagus stalks just didn't seem to be the way to eat it. So instead of steaming them I decided to sear them in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil and some sea salt. They turned out AWESOME! I smothered them in fresh salsa and ate to my heart's content. I think that in this one meal I have doubled the total amount of asparagus that I have eaten in my life.

The one problem was that some of the fatter stalks didn't soften up very well in the searing and those were kind of like chewing on a tree branch. So next time I think I will briefly steam the asparagus so that all the stalks soften a bit, and then after the searing they will all be perfectly edible.

I also went to the gym last night. I was a little fearful that the lack of meat and fat in my diet would leave me wanting for energy during my workout. Twas not so! I lifted as intensely as I always do, and even added a few reps to my max bench press. So I was definitely not hurting for strength. Huzzah!

How to make my awesome tomatillo salsa:
1 lb tomatillos
1/4 of a large red onion
Fistfull of fresh cilantro
1-2 large jalapeno (more or less, depending on how hot you like it)
Juice of 1 fresh lime (more or less, depending on your taste buds)
1/4 tsp minced garlic (more or less, depending on how strong of a garlic kick you like)
Sea Salt (to taste)

Husk and wash the tomatillos. Boil the tomatillos and the jalapeno for about 5 minutes, until the tomatillos change from their dark green color to a medium green color. Drain the water. Add tomatillos, jalapeno, onion, garlic, salt and the juice from the lime into your blender. Use those scissors in your knife block that you have never used, and cut up the cilantro into 0.5" pieces as you add it into the mixture. Blend at lowest setting. You don't want to puree the salsa, you just want to chop it up and mix everything together.

28 January 2008

Maybe I Could Be a Switch Hitter

All I can say is the portion about 3/4 of the way through the video where the camera is focused on Fergie is almost enough to make me straight. She is sooooo sexy.

Black Eyed Peas featuring Sergio Mendes, Mas Que Nada

27 January 2008

The Cleanse - Day 1

In my pursuit to be a healthier me, I'm going on a cleanse. In a nutshell, it's a program to clean all the toxins out of your body and reprogram your eating habits so that you eat better. There is fruit/protein/flax oil/nutrient shake that you eat twice per day, a bunch of herbal supplements that you take three times per day to purge the junk out of your body, and then for food you eat vegetables and fruits. And, each day that you are good and go to the gym and sweat for an hour, you get 6 oz. of chicken/turkey/fish to eat. You do this for three weeks, and then in the fourth week you add healthy grains and lean meats back into your diet.

A friend of mine has done this a few times and swears by it. The doctor that administers the program has done it yearly for something like 17 years. He is nearly 50 years old, but looks like he's 30. He's a walking billboard for this body cleanse.

Anyway, I just wanted to try something different to try and become healthier this year. I saw that my friend had great success doing the program, so I thought I would give the whole "natural foods" thing a shot.

I figured that I would write about the cleanse periodically, just so I could have a record of the thing and to hopefully provide some entertainment for everyone else. I also wanted to keep track of any dishes that I invent. I probably won't post about it every day, but just enough to keep me going on it. So here we go:

I'M GOING TO DIE!!!!! Just kidding. Today has been great. Actually, it starts yesterday when I went shopping for food so that I could actually survive this thing. I filled my fridge with food. I did prep work on snacks (pineapple & jicama), so that when I need to satisfy a craving I can do it right away. I cleared all of the non-edible crap out of the fridge so I wouldn't be tempted.

I did my shakes today, and started tinkering with some cooking. My main veggies to eat at dinnertime are asparagus, brussel sprouts, and kale. I started out with inventing something tastey to do with the brussle sprouts (which usually taste like crap whenever you've eaten them in your life). I came up with a delicious dish that serves 1. Although, it's important to note that I had my second protein shake just about 1.5 hours before I cooked this. So, if this is eaten long after a shake, the amount of veggies may need to be increased. I call it BS Surprise:

5 brussel sprouts, washed and cut in quarters
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced bell pepper (any color)
Sea Salt
Lemon Pepper
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar (to taste)
Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)

Sautee the brussel sprouts in olive oil until they start to soften, then toss in the other veggies, vinegar and spices. Vary the amount of vinegar according to the strength you like. Vary the amount of red pepper flakes according to how spicey you like your food.

That's it. Super simple. Takes only a few minutes to make. And it's delicious and perfectly healthy to eat. Ask me two weeks from now if I still think this tastes good. :P