Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pearls of wisdom

On my last post I talked about my journey and how it began years before I finally accepted myself as a gay man - that the road to acceptance started by shedding my own homophobia and learning to accept other homosexuals.

I thought I'd follow up with some pearls of wisdom that I've gleaned over the last couple of years of that journey.  Nothing earth shattering, most will invoke a "duh" reaction.  But they were enlightening to me at some point on my journey.  There are those may not agree with some of these.  Heck, 5 years from now I may not even agree with all of these - but this is where I am today.
  • The so called "gay culture" isn't all about hooking up, guys in thongs, etc.  Gay culture is just as diverse as straight culture.  Yes, there are deviant aspects to gay culture - but there is nothing in gay culture that doesn't also exist in straight culture.
  • The so called "gay agenda" is a myth perpetrated by the wacko religious right   Seriously, can anybody show me a memo that spells out the 'gay agenda'? - I didn't think so.
  • While there are some wacko gay activists who may be the exception, most members of the gay community don't really care what conservative Christians believe about marriage and family.  They just want the conservative Christian community to stop interfering with their families.
  • Support organizations like Exodus International and Evergreen International are primarily run by straight people - saying things that straight people like to hear about homosexuality
  • Homophobia is irrational.  There are no reasons to fear homosexuals that can stand up to any level of scrutiny.
  • Being gay doesn't take away my choices.  I am still the same person I've always been; and, accepting my homosexuality doesn't mean that I have to act a certain way and/or like or dislike certain things. 
  • Accepting that I am gay frees me from feeling like I need to hide certain aspects of my personality out of fear that people might think I'm gay.  Although, being old and curmudgeonly kinda does that too.
  • When I'm with other gay folk and I mention that I'm married - I need to clarify that I'm married to a woman.  . . . it just never occurred to me that I would see the day where that wasn't obvious - just sayin'
  • Guys are like kittens:  They are cute and playful when they're in their 20's - and then they turn old and crotchety, like me :)
OK, that last one was with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Correction:  In my last post I mentioned that the Dallas American Idol tryout's actually took place in Arlington.  There was an article in our newspaper yesterday offering a clarification.  Turns out the preliminary tryouts took place in the Cowboy's stadium in Arlington - but that the tryouts in front of the judges (the ones we see on TV) actually took place in a hotel in Dallas.  But this does beg the question:  Given how terrible some of the people trying out in front of the judges are - what do those who didn't make it past the preliminary tryouts sound like?  Honestly, I suspect the preliminary tryouts are really looking for entertainment value rather than singing ability.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The road to acceptance

Wow, it's been almost a week since I last posted.  Not totally unprecedented - A couple of years ago I went an entire month without posting on my blog.  I didn't even look at my blog or comments nor did I look at other blogs during that month.  I was starting to worry that I was becoming addicted to blogging; so, I just wanted to prove to myself that I could stop if I wanted to.

Anyway, no such grandiose reason this time - I just haven't had anything to say.  I actually have a few posts I started - but decided against posting.  Maybe some time in the future I'll share those thoughts.

I have to confess, I didn't really watch much of the State of the Union address last night.  I started to watch it; but, I got bored and decided to read the synopsis in the morning newspaper.  So, instead, I watched American Idol which was recorded on our DVR.  They showed the Dallas auditions last night - which actually took place in Arlington (the home of the new Cowboys stadium).

I received the Log Cabin Republican's formal response to the SotU address via email.  The entire response can be found here; but, what I did find interesting was their response to how President Obama addressed DADT (which was not mentioned in our local newspaper - go figure)
President Obama in his address Wednesday night specifically advocated for a repeal of the discriminatory 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, which he has reiterated on several occasions both as a candidate and as the President. In an alarming contradiction to his stated public policy position, President Obama has instructed his Justice Department,  to fight the only lawsuit in modern times challenging 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' of which Log Cabin Republicans is the sole plantiff.

“Again, President Obama calls on Congress to do one thing, yet he instructs his Administration and his Justice Department to take the opposite action. Which way is it, President Obama?"
I know a lot of my blogging friends voted for Barak Obama and continue to support him after his first year in office; but, I just don't think he is the friend of the gay community that everyone hoped he would be.  Not suggesting that John McCain would have been better - but, at least, we would have known where we stood.  President Obama seems content to just keep kicking the can down the street on GLBT issues rather than doing anything of substance.

All of this talk of DADT has caused me to reflect on how much I've changed over the last 20 years or so.  When the DADT policy was first introduced in 1993 by then President Bill Clinton, I sincerely believed it to be a sign of the end of times.  I could not fathom why anyone would want homosexuals to serve in the military.  I really was quite homophobic - but, I think I was trying to convince myself more than anyone else that I wasn't gay.

Jump ahead to 2000 when the US Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts of America can legally discriminate against someone if they are gay.  While I was still several years from accepting my own homosexuality - my position had softened considerably.  Although I was serving as an adult scout leader at the time, I did not support the BSA's ban against homosexuals - even if they did have the legal right to.  I felt they should leave that decision up to the chartering organization.  If an organization did not want gay scout leaders (like the LDS church, for instance) then let them enforce the ban.  But, if a chartering organization didn't have a problem with homosexuals then why should the BSA?

When the topic of same sex marriage first came into the mainstream public consciousness, I did not support 'marriage' per se - but I did support civil unions.  At the time I believed that marriage had a long historical basis as being between a man and a woman.  I had no problem granting gay couples all of the same legal rights as a married couple - I just felt that they should call it something else.  I believed this even when I started this blog a little over 3 years ago.  I've since evolved into "if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck - then it's a duck" sort of philosophy.  If we are going to grant gay couples all of the same legal rights and privileges as a heterosexual married couple then there is no convincing reason to not call it 'marriage'.

So, I've been on this road to discovery for quite some time.  Along the way I had to first shed my homophobia before I could begin the process of accepting myself as gay.  I had to learn to accept other homosexuals before I could accept myself as a homosexual.

And so my journey continues - I wonder where it will take me?

Friday, January 22, 2010


I often get a kick out of some of the search terms people use to find my blog.  But, today someone found my blog using a search term that caused me to audibly gasp
people who murdered matthew shepard deserved a parade
I'm speechless - I don't know what to think or say.  It's one thing to believe homosexuality is wrong and a sin - it's an entirely different matter to rejoice in the murder of a homosexual.  That such people exist is disturbing - and that they found my blog frightens me.  Suddenly I feel on edge, like there is a disturbance in the force or something.  The relative safety of my closet doesn't feel so stuffy anymore.

And this wasn't an uneducated southern hick - this was someone at Boston University.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Yet another Kris Allen post

According to google analytics:  For the past year, here are the top 25 google searches leading people to my blog
mormon enigma blog
kris allen mormon
mormon enigma
is kris allen mormon
abelard enigma
eunuchs in the bible
is kris allen mormon?
is kris allen a mormon
kris allen
kris allen lds
kris allen mormon?
clark johnson + gay +mormon
kris allen american idol mormon
is kris allen lds
is kris allen a mormon?
matthew shepard mormon
what is a eunuch in the bible
kris allen is mormon
homo for romo
kris allen wife
kris allan wife and child
kris allen, mormon

Notice a trend?  Seriously!  Do I really talk about Kris Allen that much on my blog?  Or am I the only one who talks about his lack of mormon-ness.  I'll readily admit that Kris Allen is attractive; but, I'm really not that obsessed with him - at least I don't think I am.  Let's see, to date I've blogged about Kris Allen in

Kris Allen
Kris Allen is NOT a Mormon
American Idol
The next American Idol
Fixated on Kris Allen
Kris Allen Central
OK, I lied
Kris Allen is still not a Mormon
Self fulfilling prophecy
Yet another Kris Allen post (don't you just love recursive links?)


Maybe I AM obsessed with Kris Allen.  How can that be?  I don't even own his CD.  Maybe I'm still in denial.  Maybe I'm a closeted Kris Allen online stalker and haven't accepted it yet.

Should this be my life mission?  To inform the world that Kris Allen is not a Mormon.

Or ... should I turn my blog into a Kris Allen fan site?  Or maybe a who is/isn't a Mormon blog.

Perhaps I should write a book:  "Everything I needed to know about life I learned from Kris Allen"

Is there a 12-step program to help rid myself of unholy thoughts of Kris Allen?

I could start a support group:  GMWTHFKA (Gay Men With The Hots For Kris Allen) - anybody want to join?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Gay pon farr

In case anybody hasn't figured it out from my last couple of posts - I'm kinda going through my gay pon farr right now.  I first blogged about this phenomena 2-1/2 years ago here and here.

I don't stress out about it like I once did - I accept it as just something that happens every now and then.  And, pon farr sounds a whole lot nicer than h--ny.

So, please bear with me as I cycle through my man-crushes until this pon farr cycle subsides.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Self fulfilling prophecy

I really didn't mean to become the premier web site for people wanting to know if a certain winner of a popular singing contest is LDS.  But, I'm realizing that the more I blog about him then the more google hits I get.  I knew that intellectually - but, I guess, I just hadn't internalized it.

I'm not interested in maximizing blog traffic - it's not like I have advertising where increased traffic is momentarily advantageous.  I want people to come to my blog because they care about what I have to say (or, perhaps, out of the morbid curiosity of a married gay mormon man).  Truth is, while I've been getting a lot of traffic the last few days, the vast majority of them aren't hanging around.  And I hate to think of them hastily closing their browser window out of disgust over the whole gay thing.

So, how do I talk about what's on my mind without driving superfluous traffic to my blog?  I'm not using actual names in this post - but that gets awkward and tiresome very quickly.  Maybe I should adopt a nickname, I'll call him "Bob"

Yes, I think Bob is very cute - "gorgeous", "stunning", "beautiful", "pulchritudinous" are words that come to mind - OK, not "pulchritudinous", I just looked that up in the dictionary.  It means "physically beautiful; comely", which certainly describes Bob.

But, more than that, I'm attracted to Bob's personality. He may be a complete jerk in person, I don't know.  But, on screen, he comes across as this quiet, humble, sweet person - until he sings, then he loses himself in his music.  Cockiness is a real turn-off for me - which is why you don't see me blogging much about the runner-up of said popular singing contest.  I guess I just have a weakness for the cute nerdy type.  If I were a teenage girl (or a teenage boy who likes boys) then Bob's picture would most definitely be hanging in my locker.

Unfortunately, I'm not so attracted to Bob's singing voice.  I want to be, I really do; but, what I've heard from him just hasn't touched me in the way other singers do.  I'm not saying he's bad - I'm just not connecting with him.  I hope the best for him in fulfilling his dream of a musical career - but I fear he is just going to fizzle away.  5 years from now people will say "Bob who?"  I might be wrong, I certainly hope so.

In the mean time, I'll just continue my celebrity man-crush and bask in the glow of Bob's beauty.  I don't mean to come across as a creepy old man - I may be older, but I'm not dead.  I'm a connoisseur of the male physique; and, Bob is like a fine wine that needs to be savored.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Kris Allen is still not a Mormon

Back in May 2009 my blog traffic reached an all time high for the month - mostly from people googling about Kris Allen being a Mormon.

Season 9 of American Idol premiered this week - and, once again, I see an increased number of google searches inquiring if Kris Allen is LDS leading people to my blog.  Actually, it has never really let up completely - since last May I get, at least, 3 or 4 hits per week from google searches inquiring if Kris is LDS.

So, once again, let me state that Kris Allen is not a Mormon.

But, we do have at least one Mormon in season 9 - at least I'm pretty sure he's LDS. I believe his name is Justin Williams - he is from Sandy, Utah and talked of serving a mission where he was diagnosed with cancer.  He is now cancer free and is going to Hollywood for the next round of tryouts.  From what I understand, this isn't the first time he tried out for American Idol.  He actually made it to Hollywood in season 8 and was in the same group as Kris Allen.

Why does it always keep coming back to Kris Allen?  OK, maybe I should come out of the closet and admit that I have a celebrity man-crush on Kris Allen; or, maybe I should send in a referral so that the Mormon missionaries can visit Kris. I wouldn't mind having the missionaries teach Kris and his wife in my home :)

. . . oh, and, btw, neither is Danny Gokey a Mormon.  Funny how nobody has ever been led to my blog inquiring if Adam Lambert is Mormon.

After the surge of people last May coming to my blog inquiring if Kris Allen is LDS, I wrote a post titled, Kris Allen is not Mormon, addressed specifically to people who may not have expected to find a gay blog.  Recently an anonymous person commented on that post quoting 1st Corinthians 6:9-10.  Apparently - all homosexuals are going straight to hell.

Now, I can try to take solace in the fact that I have never actually been with a man in the flesh; but, Jesus taught that if we lust in our minds then it is as if we committed the actual act.  If I'm completely honest with myself - I must confess that I have lusted after men ([cough] Kris Allen).  Also, while I myself am not, nor ever have been, in a homosexual relationship - I condone those who are in committed monogamous same sex relationships. 

Additionally, I expect Mr. Anonymous probably isn't too keen on Mormons either - being gay and Mormon means there probably isn't any hope for me at all, I'm un-redeemable.  So, I guess I'm going to hell along with the rest of you - at least I'll be among friends.   

Frankly, heaven doesn't sound very heavenly if it's full of hateful people.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gay themed movies

Back in November I ran a poll on MoHo polls regarding gay themed movies.  I extended the poll through the end of December so as to get more votes.  I used the 50 Best Gay Movies on AfterElton and was curious how these movies fared with MoHo's (and friends of MoHo's).  In the poll the movies were shown in alphabetical order.  Below is the same list as ranked by AfterElton and the MoHo votes received.

Film                                                         MoHo Votes                

1.  Brokeback Mountain (2005)                                   ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ (18 votes)
2.  Shelter (2007)                                              ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ (15 votes)
3.  Latter Days (2003)                                          ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ (28 votes)
4.  Milk (2008)                                                 ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ (26 votes)
5.  Beautiful Thing (1996)                                      ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ (10 votes)
6.  C.R.A.Z.Y (2005)                                            ♥♥♥♥ (4 votes)
7.  Another Gay Movie (2006)                                    ♥♥♥ (3 votes)
8.  The Birdcage (1996)                                         ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ (9 votes)
9.  Edge of Seventeen (1998)                                    ♥♥♥♥ (4 votes)
10. Adam & Steve (2005)                                         ♥♥♥ (3 votes)
11. Big Eden (2000)                                             ♥♥♥ (3 votes)
12. East Side Story (2006)                                      ♥♥♥♥♥ (5 votes)
13. Get Real (1998)                                             ♥♥♥♥ (4 votes)
14. All Over The Guy (2001)                                     (1 vote)
15. The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy (2000)            ♥♥♥♥♥♥ (6 votes)
16. Angels in America (2003)                                    ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ (9 votes)
17. Coffee Date (2006)                                          (1 vote)
18. Jeffrey 1995)                                               (1 vote)
19. Boy Culture (2006)                                          ♥♥♥ (3 votes)
20. Longtime Companion (1990)                                   (1 vote)
21. Love Songs (Les Chansons D'Amour) (2007)                    (1 votes)
22. Philadelphia (1993)                                         ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ (12 votes)
23. Burnt Money (2000)                                         (0 votes)
24. Were the World Mine (2008)                                  ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ (9 votes)
25. In & Out (1997)                                             ♥♥♥♥♥ (5 votes)
26. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)                            ♥♥♥♥♥ (5 votes)
27. Eating Out (2004)                                           ♥♥♥♥ (4 votes)
28. Making Love (1992)                                          (0 votes)
29. Juste une Question d'Amour (Just a Question of Love) (2000) ♥♥♥ (3 votes)
30. My Own Private Idaho (1991)                                 ♥♥ (2 votes)
31. My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)                              ♥♥♥ (3 votes)
32. Parting Glances (1986)                                      (0 votes)
33. The Boys in the Band (1970)                                 (0 votes)
34. Maurice (1987)                                              ♥♥♥ (3 votes)
35. Mysterious Skin (2004)                                      ♥♥ (2 votes)
36. Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom (2008)                        (1 vote)
38. Mambo Italiano (2003)                                       ♥♥♥♥ (4 votes)
38. The Bubble (2006)                                           (1 vote)
39. Yossi and Jagger (2002)                                     (1 vote)
40. Prayers for Bobby (2009)                                    ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ (21 votes)
41. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)     ♥♥♥♥♥ (5 votes)
42. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)                        ♥♥ (2 votes)
43. Torch Song Trilogy (1988)                                   ♥♥♥♥ (4 votes)
44. Shortbus (2006)                                             ♥♥♥♥ (4 votes)
45. Trick (1999)                                                ♥♥♥♥ (4 votes)
46. The Trip (2002)                                             (1 vote)
47. Rent (2005)                                                 ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ (17 votes)
48. Mulligans (2008)                                            ♥♥ (2 votes)
49. Sommersturm (Summer Storm) (2004)                           ♥♥ (2 votes)
50. Transamerica (2005)                                         ♥♥♥ (3 votes)

Not surprisingly, Latter Days is more popular with gay Mormon's although it's ranks quite high on AfterElton.  I am surprised that Prayers for Bobby doesn't rank higher on AfterElton.  Perhaps it has more meaning for those who have some sort of religious upbringing.

What is a bit surprising is the movie Rent.  It ranks quite low (#47) on AfterElton but is very popular with gay Mormon's.  I haven't seen the movie and, frankly, it doesn't seem to be a movie I would enjoy.  So, what is it about Rent that makes it so popular with MoHo's?

FWIW, here are the movies I've watched ranked and enjoyed, ranked by how well I liked them
  • Milk
  • Latter Days
  • Prayers for Bobby
  • Shelter
  • Beautiful Thing
  • Edge of Seventeen
  • Get Real
  • Torch Song Trilogy
  • Coffee Date
  • Mambo Italiano
  • East Side Story
  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
  • The Birdcage
  • Trick
  • The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy
  • Big Eden
  • Boy Culture
  • In & Out
  • Making Love
Here are others that I've seen and didn't particularly enjoy (most of these I didn't even finish watching)
  • Adam & Steve
  • Another Gay Movie 
  • Jeffrey
  • Maurice
  • My Own Private Idaho
  • Transamerica
  • Were the World Mine
Here are the movies I would like to watch someday
  • Angels in America
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Sunday, January 3, 2010

That's so gay

I've started watching The Decorating Adventures of Ambrose Price.  It's shown on HGTV in Canada and has been picked up on Logo here in the US. Ambrose Price is an interior designer whose dream is to make it big and become Canada's Martha Stewart.  Each episode he has some sort of project; for example, on one he was helping out a group with their fund raiser and wrapped a bunch of presents that were being auctioned off; so, he went around and consulted with various 'experts' in the art of gift wrapping.  I actually learned quite a bit, such as how to wrap odd shaped boxes - I just wish I had watched it BEFORE Christmas.

It's an entertaining show; but, Ambrose Price is quite flaming in his mannerisms - which got me to wondering:  Why do some gay men act . . . well . . . so gay?

First off, I think stereotypes often exist for a reason - there are certain inherent characteristics, mannerisms, etc. that are more prevalent in gay males than in the general male population (I'm sure the same is true for females; but, I have no experience in that area).  Certainly no gay male possesses every gay stereotype; but, being gay does seem to make it more likely that you have some stereotypical gay attributes.  We refer to these as OGT's or Obviously Gay Traits.  For example, I'm pretty straight acting overall - but I have zero interest in sports and I enjoy cooking.  That's not to say that doesn't describe some straight men - but those characteristics are more common among gay men.

But, beyond that, I think there is a cultural aspect to being gay. For one thing, once we accept ourselves as gay, we may feel less inclined to hide our less manly attributes.  In fact, it can even become a point of pride to have some talent not commonly found in straight men.  I think also some gay men may tend to attenuate some of their gay traits beyond their normal levels; perhaps even taking on certain mannerisms that they don't possess inherently.

Is this a bad thing?  We have a diverse culture consisting of many sub-cultures.  For example, (not trying to sound prejudiced) we can often talk to someone on the phone and determine that they are black just by the way they speak.  That's not a bad thing - it just is.  Black culture includes certain speech patterns that are not commonly found among non-black folk.  I'm not referring to ebonics, just in the way certain words are inflected.  Personally, I think it can be a good thing when a person takes on a certain pride in their heritage and culture.

Can the same be true of gay culture?  There are certainly mannerisms, speech patterns, etc. that we associate with being gay - Is it wrong for us to talk a certain way, walk a certain way, act a certain way?

What if we're an active card carrying Mormon (or any other non-affirming faith, for that matter), is it wrong for us to take pride in our gay culture, our gay heritage?  How does this jive with the statement in the God Loveth His Children pamphlet which says "It is not helpful to flaunt homosexual tendencies or make them the subject of unnecessary observation or discussion."

I've had people note of some of my domestic capabilities by joking about me "making a good wife" or some of my lesson/activity preparations by joking that I'm "putting relief society to shame".  I used to be offended by such comments - now I take them as a compliment.  But, does that mean my tendencies have risen to the level of "unnecessary observation or discussion?"  To be a good Mormon man should I be downplaying my less manly characteristics?  I'm not suggesting I'm going to - I'm just wondering if that's what good gay Mormon boys are supposed to do.  Is it OK for me to keep doing the things I do as long as people don't know that I'm gay?  Is it only when people know I'm gay coupled with my actions and mannerisms that I become a topic of "unnecessary observation or discussion?"

It really gets confusing - because some things that the general society defines as less manly are hailed among Mormon men - such as public displays of emotions (i.e. crying) or musical abilities - while others are strongly discouraged in Mormon culture, such as long hair on boys or boys wearing earrings.  Furthermore, we focus on masculine behavior for our male youth.  It's not hard to imagine some adult young men leader encouraging a boy who has an effeminate walk or talk to be more manly.  I'm envisioning the effeminate Mr. Humphries on the British sitcom "Are you Being Served" who would lower his voice to say "Menswear" upon answering the phone to sound more manly.

So, where is the line depicting what is acceptable gay behavior in Mormon circles?  And, perhaps more importantly, where should that line be?  Can I attend church acting and talking more like Ambrose Price?  Or would that cause "unnecessary observation or discussion?"  What does that even mean?

It is this thought process which lead to January's Polls - what stereotypes do we see ourselves possessing? This could also be an alternative theme for January:  Are these stereotypes deserved?  Why or why not?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ring out with the old and ring in the new

Ring Out, Wild Bells by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, published in 1850
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out thy mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
Mormon's are familiar with a variation of this poem in hymn #215 Ring Out, Wild Bells.  It conveys how I'm feeling this morning - I'm ready to ring out with the old and ring in the new.

I feel conflicted about 2009.  On one hand - I watched my two youngest children get married, my 4th grandchild was born (a girl) and I learned that a 5th is on the way.  But, on the other hand, I lost my job and spent most of the year trying, unsuccessfully, to find a new job.

2009 is also the year where, for the first time in my entire Mormon life, I began to wonder if there is a place for me at the table in the LDS church - or will they only set a place for me as long as I pretend to be something I'm not. In truth, the seeds of this discontent were sown in 2008 - but it festered throughout 2009.

And, in a final slap in the face, my doctor's office called New Years Eve with the results of my latest blood tests.  It turns out I may have diabetes - they want me to get a glucometer and start measuring my blood sugar before every meal and go back in a month with the results.  Of course, that blood test came at the end of a major holiday season where cookies and treats are just part of the diet - so, of course, my blood sugar was higher than normal, or am I just fooling myself?  And, I find myself wondering if I even care.  Should I change my diet, try to loose some weight, and live longer?  Truthfully, there is a certain appeal to hastening my eventual demise.  We're all going to die sooner or later - is there a particular reason why I should try to make that later rather than sooner?

I'm sitting here now, it's 7:30am on January 1st.  There's really no reason not to be up this early - I went to bed at 10:30pm last night.  I did want to hear Kris Allen who was headlining the New Year's program in Las Vegas; so, I set my DVR to record it and went to bed.  It gives me something to look forward to later today. 

We had been invited, with other empty nester couples, to someone's house to play games and bring in the New Year; but, they called Wednesday night to explain that some family situation had arisen so they had to cancel.  Although, I'm really not all that disappointed.  One of the other couples that were coming, the husband has a proclivity for making homophobic comments during in priesthood meeting.  If the discussion turned to politics, I thought it pretty likely he would open his mouth and say something stupid - and I just wasn't in the mood to deal with that.

I apologize for such a depressing blog post -but that's just how I'm feeling right now - it's how I've been feeling for a while now.  We come into this world, we deal with a bunch of crap, and then we die - is it worth it? Sorry, there I go all dark and gloomy again.