Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Birthday Blog Post

I actually greeted this new year of my life sipping tea and listening to Phillip Glass, looking at paintings on a gallery website. It was not planned. A complete accident of circumstance. And it was wonderfully sublime. I felt the day of the 29th come upon me feeling, 'Yes. I am me.'

It was nice to be with one of my favorite people in the world, who, throughout all of these years, despite his quirks and neuroses, still provides the most wonderful companionship--John Quintana.

As the minutes rolled by, I couldn't help but think about me and my life. Life has perhaps never been a greater mystery to me than it is now. But if I were to die tomorrow, I can honestly say this has been my life, I have lived it the best way I know how.

I love you, my friends, whose many paths in life have been an example to me of diligent striving, hoping, believing, yearning, and willing. I love you my friends, who have shown to me different facets of myself and what i could grow to be, who have challenged me and made re-evaluate. I love my friends who are also my parents who have taught me lessons I am only now beginning to discover. I love my friend and companion and strength and hope that has been and is God, from whom I hope to continue to learn and continue to turn to in humility.

Life has been good to me. And gracious. I have no reason to feel anything less than gratitude.

As I listen to this beautiful music, I cannot help but be touched by, more than anything, the sublime gift that is beauty. Beauty in art, music, nature, spirit. In many ways, it too has been my god. I have sought after it so much. I am grateful to God that I can appreciate beauty and that it is here for us to learn from and be guided by.

A birthday gift to be grateful for. Beauty. Truth. Love.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gym Etiquette

My gentle gym-going readers, let this serve as a reminder: once you leave a gym station or piece of equipment, you lose all claim to it! You cannot run off to the other side of the gym, or even to the nearby vicinity, and then come back and say, "I was using that."

It is absolutely insufferable! And unfair. It's like coming up to someone in a movie theater and being like, "I was sitting there, I went to get some popcorn/make a phone call/pick my nose/whatever, I want my seat back." Guess what? You left! It's not your seat anymore. Pick another seat.

Also, if you are on a piece of equipment, do not just sit there like a bump on a log between sets or reps contemplating, I don't know, why Britney Spears has stopped returning your love letters. Just use the equipment and move on. It's like childhood tag: no babysitting. Man! I hate seeing a station in use, I go off to do something else, and 5 min. later some idiot is still there staring off into space, or worse, talking on their cell phone.

Which brings me to another point, if you're going to talk on a cell phone on the gym floor, do not do it while using a piece of equipment. You may not think it slows you down, but trust me, it does. Also, I don't want to have to be the one to rush to your aid because your stupid butt was too distracted listening to Megan's play-by-play of her loser boyfriend's inane nattering to realize you're about to lose control of the dumbbell/barbell/stairclimber.

Also, mirrors are there for two purposes: to check out your hot self and to make sure you are doing proper form. If someone is working out in front of a mirror, and there is room on the floor, avoid getting in the way of the person working out. Don't just plunk yourself down right in front of them, so they can only help but strain over your shoulder or interrupt their own work out to move. If you are checking out your hot self, that is fine, but once again, don't get in other people's way and don't sit and check yourself out while you're on a piece of equipment.

And this goes for life in general: DO NOT LITTER!

On the plus side, the dork who came by to tell me he was using the bench just as I was finishing loading the barbell so inspired me with ire, I busted out an extra three reps and managed the weight much more easily than usual. So thanks dork! You might just help me up my max.

Lagging Behind in Updates

I know I have not kept up the way I should especially in light of recent dramatic events. However, this week has opened up for me and I anticipate catching up fully on the last couple of weeks.

For those who are wondering--my parents and I are doing okay. My coming out has been met with repeated expressions of love. I anticipate at some point there will be questions, but so far there have been none.


Oh what a tangled web we weave when at first we practice to . . . be gay???

Okay, so I am learning that in spite of living in a major urban area known for being a gay mecca, the gay world here is in fact very small. Please entertain the following examples:

Example 1.
Tim is some guy I randomly chatted with online. He has red hair and was once on a boat. This is all I can remember about him. He asked me out for drinks. I acquiesced. However, on the fateful day of our rendezvous, I bowed out to go have drinks with my dear friend, Travis. We never spoke again.

Weeks later, Brandon and I are traipsing around the Castro area Pride weekend and run into several small groups of his friends. A couple of days later, Tim IM's me: "Was that you with Brandon?" Apparently, red-headed Tim is a friend of my red-headed boyfriend, I met him, spoke with him, and had no clue.

Example 2.
For Pride weekend, Brandon brought up the possibility of actually participating in the parade. Sounds cool. Graeme is an ex boyfriend of mine. While briefly chatting, I came to find out that if Brandon and I participated in the parade, we would likely run into Graeme. I just about had a coronary.

Brandon and I ended up watching the parade on the sidelines. Whew!

Example 3.
Ethan is some sweet-faced kid who works at the Gap (the shameful site of my summer employment), in the Women's Dept. I have never really spoken to him. Brandon's best friend, Renato, is like "Do you know Ethan at the Gap?" He had to show me a picture of the kid for me to know who he was talking about.

A few days ago, Ethan was in the break room and he called out: "Hey are you dating Brandon? The Mormon guy?"

Apparently, Brandon is known as the Mormon guy in his circle of friends (which seems ironic since he seems to have collected a coterie of every gay Mormon between here and Palo Alto).

Example 4.
Blake is a graphic designer (from Texas, I believe) here in SF. I met him online. He's really cool. He also grew up conservatively Christian. In fact, he want to a theological seminary. He also kind of fell into design, and he has some interesting insights into both design and the nature of religion. We have had some good discussions and have hung out once.

Yesterday he IMs me: "Okay. I have been sent to spy. Are you dating Brandon?"


How does this guy know Brandon? Who is sending him to spy? Can I ever make a move in this town without having it carefully documented by the gay mafia?

So lesson learned--when it comes to gay scene in SF, tread carefully you never know where and how your footfalls will reverberate in the tangled web that is ... the SF gay scene! Dun Dun Duuuun!!! (Please see related Dun Dun Duuun Post)

Friday, July 11, 2008

4th of July Weekend

Well, kiddies. It's been a little over 24 hours. All quiet on the parental front. Hopefully they're processing.

Allow me to fill you in on last weekend before this weekend sets upon us.

Well, the weekend was great. It was the Fourth of July (American Independence Day). we were throwing this barbeque at my house. I had been super stressed with work stuff and then my sister needed me to do this logo and brochure for her business and the weekends are generally taken up with Brandon since that is really the only time I get to see him.

So I was super stressed about getting my bedroom clean, as it is the passage way to the back garden and everyone woudl be waking through it. Also, Brandon had yet to see my bedroom. The roomies were busy preparing delicious fruit. We peeked out to see . . .someone else setting up int he back yard!!! Apparently our downstairs neighbors were throwing a themed costume party (blast! why didnt we think of that?) and had even gotten a keg! I guess we forgot to clear our little soiree with all of the neighbors.

It ended up working out great. We melded the two parties. The other party's guests had some great costumes. There was some great food, including a deliciously ironic three bean salad courtesy of Brandon (which reminds me I need to return his tupperware container) and a surprisingly mild gatorpie (avocado-key lime).It was also a great delight to see my painter friend, Claudia. She is one of my dearest friends and I haven't seen her since I moved to SF. She has been off in Pennsylvania. I don't know, learning Dutch or something I guess.

After the bbq, Brandon and I headed to Dolores Park to watch the fog and listen to fireworks (I think we saw a flash in the sky once). On the way to the park, we stopped off to visit Brandon's friend, MJ. I had never met her before and she was really nice. I think Brandon and I will hang out wiht her again sometime soon.

After the police kicked us out of the park because apparently it closes at 10pm, we had this truly delicious sundae at Bi-Rite: chocolate ice cream drizzled in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. I know some of you are grossed out right now, but honestly, it is not that revolutionary (or revolting) i mean, howmany of you have eaten chocolate covered pretzels? Anyway, it may well have changed ice cream for me. The other day I was having some mocha fudge ice cream and my hand twitched towards the salt mill. Only the fear of grossing out my roommate, with whom I was having a conversation, stayed my hand.

I digress. Brandon and I had another wonderful hot tub night after a long day and the next morning we had "the talk." It killed me that since we were both BYU alums we referred to it as a DTR. Actually, while I may have brought up the topic, Brandon was the one who labeled it a DTR. Anyway, the outcome of it being . . . Brandon and I are now exclusive boyfriends! Which made me very happy. I think it made me positively happy and giddy for the rest of the day. :) I just think he is great and wonderful and I am really lucky to be with him.

Later that evening we watched a fun, campy movie at this old theatre in the Richmond. I ts part of a series called Midnight Mass, hosted by this surprisingly affable drag queen, Peaches. I had my third run-in with an old painter friend of mine there. I keep promising to call him and I keep forgetting. I need to remember to do that soon. He is supposed to be heading off to Milan soon. HE does some rather interesting work in ink on paper with gender bending figures. One of his frequent subjects has in fact been Peaches herself. While I don't jive with most of his work, it is nonetheless intriguing, and I cannot deny the excellent craft behind it.

The next morning, Brandon and I had brunch at this nice little cafe-ish place right by my apt. We saw Wall-E, which was just great. Sooo cute and even a bit of a tear jerker (Yeah! I cry in movies! So what?!) My friend, Travis, was saying some people have criticized it for being too . . . well, for lack of a better word (it IS 2 am), being too pedantic about environmental issues and politics. I very much disagree. I think it was pretty much just a cute cartoon. Hey, if it got kids thinking a little bit more about waste and consumerism, about lethargy and being out of touch with real life and nature, then hey I think that is a GREAT added bonus. Then again, I am a crazy liberal who used to love watching Captain Planet, went to Eco-Camp, started a school recycling program, and listened to political talk radio . . . in fourth grade.

Anyway, Sunday matinee was followed by another sundae in the Yerba Buena garden downtown. It was beautiful. The sun was a beautiful golden ball of warmth and it just threw all of the cool, jutting sky scrapers into sharp relief. As is often the case in San Francisco, the evening was windy. For some reason, the wind has always been this very palpable reminder to me of God, almost as if the fingers and hands of God are running through my hair and embracing me, sometimes, when the wind is very strong or the moment particularly . . . right, I feel electrified by the wind as if the creative force of the universe has gained momentum on this speck of earth and is also coursing through me, catching me up in part of it, allowing me to be a part of it. It was windy. And golden. A reminder of the forces of nature with all of this breathtaking handiwork of men on display. More than anything, though what was so incredibly beautiful was that just past the reflecting pool and fountain, amidst the blue skyscrapers was the red brick St. Patrick's Church on Mission St. It warmed my heart; this house of worship, dedicated to good works and devotion to God nestled in this busy downtown area. I can't believe how much time I have spent in the downtown area and had no idea about this beautiful sight. It must be viewed from the terrace in the Yerba Buena Gardens.

Anyway, that was pretty much the end of the weekend. A blustering, windy evening with Brandon by my side. I did go to work, but I dont remember much of what happened there. :)

PS-I apologize for any gross spelling grammatical errors. My sleep schedule has been completely thrown off and so I had to resort to chemical means to induce fatigue and sleepiness. Having run out of sleeping pills, my solution was watermelon and Schmirnoff's (with a bit of ginger ale). Ugh. Not my first choice.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Coming Out: the Final Frontier

Well, I have been out to pretty much everyone for awhile now, except for two people: my parents. That just changed. I was a wimp and did it via email. I composed the letter and sent it off just now, while I was at the laundromat. For those of you who think it is fun to write a tear-filled letter finally crushing your parents hopes while an old Asian man waits for your spin cycle to finish so he can lock up and go home . . . well, its not fun at all. And now I have an awful, post-cry headache.

I am not sure how my parents will respond. I trust they will continue to stay in my life and show love to me. I think what really hurts for me is what I feel to be the huge disappointment I am to them. It's all well and good to say we live our own lives for ourselves, but I think its delusional or wildly, inhumanly progressed to say one does not care if one is disappointment, particularly to the two people who have invested the most in you (in terms of time and hopes and dreams (and, yes, finances)) and on whose unconditional love and approval you may have often wanted to turn to as a comfort.

It is done, though. I can finish being the fallen golden child of the family. I can rest comfortably as the black sheep (which really has been my position all along).

Crying headaches suck, but then again so does living a lie to the two people you have loved more than any others.

I will say this. When I was in the laundromat, my heart turned to God in prayer, I saw my reflection in the mirror and I suddenly remembered a young fourteen-year old John, going to the temple for the first time, so full of pure and genuine desires, so full of . . . the Spirit and love of God. I remembered that fourteen-year old boy. And you know what? I am still that fourteen-year old boy.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Okay, gentle readers, bear with me for a while until I figure out what exactly I want to do with the look of this sucker. I have already wasted a bit too much time on this, though, so I'm just going to have to come back to it piece-meal.

Still figuring out how to work around template restrictions, and not decided on the header. I know. It's pretty stuffy even for me. It was fun to wax wedding invite for a while, though.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tommy Boy

Last night I was exposed to the male equivalent of Steel Magnolias that is Tommy Boy.

I have always been pretty turned off by the whole Chris Farley/Jim Carrey/Adam Sandler stupid comedy genre. If I wanted some banal humor, I turned to more estrogen-filled classics such as Legally Blonde and Mean Girls.

I was pretty surprised when I found myself actually really enjoying Tommy Boy. I found Tommy to actually be a pretty affable, endearing, and genuine character. I found myself caring about how he was treated in the movie and hoping he would be able to grow and conquer his challenges.

Was I getting into a dumb guy comedy??? I guess so. Maybe it's because my tastes are broadening as I get older. Or maybe it's because for the last few years I have spent more and more time in the company of dudes (I couldn't even scrounge up a chick posse with which to view the Sex and the City movie!). Or maybe it just took me a while to to grow into my mental male sensibility. Kind of like chest hair. It keeps coming in, long after puberty has punched out.

Who knows? Maybe I am finally ready to sink into a Lazy Boy and enjoy the ultimate neural anesthetic that is American football.

For now, I need to add Tommy Boy to my movie queue to watch it in its entirety. Any other dumb dude comedy recommendations?