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...