Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm in a Sad State

Once again Utah is top in the nation in depression. We’re 51st even… Did we finally liberate the great state of Canada? North Montana now? ;-)

Utah, why you so down, baby? You’ve got great mountains, beautiful national parks, and a huge lake. Sure, it’s one part stagnant salt water and two parts rotting brine shrimp, but it’s huge and attractive, from orbit. According to Bart Simpson, you’re the home of America’s most powerful weirdoes, and we even just convicted one. What more could you want? Is it because our state song is so, um… I very much regret ‘gay’ is the most descriptive word for it (see for yourself: I dare you to disagree. The old one was much better)? Is it that your state bird is the California Gull? We can change all that, dear. Chin up.

Okay, depression isn’t funny, but I don’t really know what to do when I see it and light-heartedness is my fallback position.

So what is wrong with us? Something in the water? The culture? That radiating, mind-altering meteorite buried deep below Provo? Sure, we have a low number of psychiatrists, but why aren’t our depressed folks pumping up the demand for more? Nevertheless, we already spend near the national average per person on mental health here. So why are there so many depressed in Utah in the first place?

It’s personally confusing. I know Utah can make me tense and anxious at certain times, and I know there are days I want to leave for friendlier politics. But this is a response to times when our legislature and local culture aim at my family and gay rights (something most Utahns don’t face, else I’d have Rob on my health insurance already). Sure, that puts me on edge, and makes us have to work harder here than we would elsewhere, but, even under those circumstances, never depressed. Heck, we moved back here because we love it here and we stay because we’re happy here. Utah really is "a pretty great state", really (If only I could afford to relocate all our family, friends, and national parks… ;-)). Apparently, though, I walk our streets with a bunch of sad folks.

It also seems we’re 45th in the nation in suicides per person. No state wants to be high on that ranking, and I hope, Utah, we feel a bit of motivating embarrassment to change our ways and help these people. I'll throw in a bit of time, attention, and/or money; just get us organized.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


As I mentioned a couple posts ago, I’ve been bothered by our air here in the Salt Lake valley. It came to a head last month when I realized that I’d just told my kids they couldn’t go out and jump on the tramp because there was a health advisory out against unnecessary breathing out of doors, as ironic as that sounds. So I decided to so something to alleviate my guilt a bit and recently bought a hybrid.

I typically don’t much care about cars; that’s Rob’s thing. I must admit, however, that I like this car in a way that’s given me a glimpse into what it’s like to be a car lover. Most of the things I really like about it are things I never really considered to be a plus on a vehicle. It’s doesn’t have much power, but I like that it has a jack for my ipod so that I don’t have to monkey with those sketchy FM transmitters. It looks like it’s about to give birth to a riding lawnmower, but I like having a Bluetooth connection to my phone so that I can look cool/insane talking into the air in an empty car. But more than I could have ever possibly anticipated, I really enjoy not having to use a car key anymore. You just get in and push a button. I had no idea how unhappy reaching into my pockets had made me all these years.

What I did, admittedly, anticipate was the benefit of having a driver’s side ego-inflator.

I’m doing something for the planet… by driving… burning gas still… but Yeah for me!! I’ll take that extra trip to the grocery store :-).

I know I shouldn’t use the ego-inflator too often—it’s not real, and it’s certainly a waste of resources—but… but it’s a temptation that hangs in the air of this car right with that new car smell (which is probably a cocktail of volatile carcinogens, carcinogens that smell nice). It’s like an added feature, as comforting as having heated seats in the winter.

Must… resist… singing…

There but for the grace of God go I.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Moral Orientation

After over a year of looking at the variety in gay Mormon blogs, one thing sticks out: “gay” can mean a lot of things. Some experience their orientation as merely a defective response to physical cues, some see it as a psychological scar from bad parenting, and some, of course, don’t care from whence love springs :-). I’ve posted on how important these differences are (here). But I think I missed one and am having a sort of epiphany (bear with me; sometimes my epiphanies just fizzle out). There seems to be an ingrained moral component to only some people’s experience of being “gay.”

A long while ago I posted on research that has begun to tease apart the mechanics of our moral reasoning (here and here). To sum up and simplify, the research basically seems to show two main moral reasoning centers in the human mind: a so-called emotional moral processor and a more logical moral processor. For example, when people are given the option of killing one man to save five the emotional center only knows to shout “Don’t kill him” while the other does the math and says “5-1=4. Kill him!” (Read more in this post). Furthermore, if you physically damage the emotional moral processor, people begin to make very different moral decisions (Read more in this post).

Okay, now add to that a fact I just posted as a bit of a joke (at the end of this post): there seems to be a significant genetic component to homophobia. Looking back at those posts in the light of this idea of a moral component to sexual orientation, I’m struck by a couple things.

When I was coming out, homophobia was something to which I paid great attention. Some of my friends were simply not bothered at all by my being gay. My best friend, a very manly, 100% heterosexual guy, had and has no problems seeing Rob and I be affectionate. He should have a problem, by stereotypes: a guy from South Carolina with a conservative Baptist background in a hyper-masculine profession (firefighter). I know by experience, though, many straight men do reflexively gag at the idea of two men kissing. While all my friends were great, I did have some, even among the more liberal of them, who had a visceral negative response to homosexuality, and they basically learned to stifle this response when it came to Rob and me. I don't care a bit about such homophobia and greatly respect them for muting it. For themselves, though, I’m sure they never could.

So, I’m beginning to wonder if such gut reaction homophobia may be an inherited part of the emotional moral reasoning center of some human minds? 28% hereditable, in fact :-)? To me, that could make sense and would explain a couple things.

It would make sense in that we need to be preprogrammed to develop wills to do stuff like eat, keep warm and so on. While there may be a benefit to there being a small portion of homosexuality in a species, in humans (though certainly not in some other species), it’s most efficient for the majority to be oriented towards producing new offspring. Just as we’re programmed to not find, say, rocks attractive and suitable for pair bonding (well, most of them ;-)), and because the male and female human can be somewhat similar, perhaps some come programmed with a strong “no homosexuality” gut reaction in that particular moral reasoning region and some do not.

This would explain the difference I’ve experienced in homophobia in straight men. Though, logically, two straight men may have no moral problem with homosexuality, one may have this gut aversion and the other will not.

Such a preprogrammed gut aversion could explain the persistence of homophobia. It’s too easy to mistake disgust with moral disgust, and even easier to call something “immoral for everybody” when your gut moral reaction is “immoral for me.” It is clear why many organizations haven’t been fans of homosexuality; it hurt group numbers and when groups fight, physically or ideologically, numbers matter a lot. Today, some of that is certainly still a reason to pose homosexuality as immoral, but I think this gut personal reaction in some heterosexuals regarding a gay relationship may be a comparable player.

Finally, this would explain the differences I see in the gay men around here. Personally, when I think of heterosexual sex and intimacy, I feel a gut reaction of being repelled. I don’t want to say disgust, as I’m so used to seeing it in media and in my life that I’m effectively comfortable with seeing heterosexual behavior in others, but, for me, it strikes me as wrong to the core. I’m supposed to pair up with a man (Well, one in particular ;-)), and, as odd as it may sound to some, to think of doing the same with a woman strikes me as deviant, against some law of life. It's as though that logical part of my moral processor knows there’s nothing wrong with it, and in fact knows it’s a great thing for many, but there’s still this emotional moral sense in me that says it’s somehow wrong. I fear, if raised in gay bizzarro world, where I wasn’t conditioned to accept heterosexual behavior, I may have became a heterophobe :-). In all seriousness, I regret that I can see that potential in myself, as a one-time fan of conservative orthodoxy, and I fear, if I were a straight male in this culture and had the same gut aversion to relations with a man for myself as I do now for relations with a woman, I’d tend to homophobia. I can understand why some so easily become homophobic with little cultural prodding (thanks goodness I’m gay :-)).

Nevertheless, it seems some gay men may be oriented towards men in many ways, but not similarly morally oriented (away from women or towards men). This could be the same as the difference between the straight guy who can watch two men kiss without squirming and one who cannot, though both may be great allies to the gay community. This could also explain why so often it seems people around here may be talking about what it means to be “gay” or “ssa” or whatever, and totally miss the mark in the eyes of others.

I have to admit, though I knew there was much diversity, I came here more so thinking that my “gay” was what being gay means, particularly in this regards. I was wrong and there are clearly many aspects to orientation. Among them, the moral orientation may be amongst the most important factor for LDS gays, above the physical and emotional. As I guess, again, I already knew :-).

Anyway, I’d love to see the results of similar research on gay and straight men when shown images of various couples or asked about sexual hypotheticals, not to mention how those with the VMPC lesions in their emotional moral processor respond and how they express homophobia. If only I went into that area of study; too late now :-).

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Last year, I wrote a post, based on our family tradition of going around the table and saying why we’re thankful for in each person. I’ll not do that again. No, I’ve not succumbed to the undercurrent of us v. them. Yet. I just don’t have the time for a post that could fit in all the new folk around here :-). But I do want you all to know I’ve gratitude for getting to know those who visit (and particularly those lend their voices and good nature to) my little spot here, to whatever extent this medium allows. I’m also thankful to get to know the people whose blogs I frequent. Many make me smile, make me think, or just plane entertain. Even when they leave me feeling down for the author’s difficult predicaments, I know it’s better than not listening, and it makes the almost inevitable upswing in their lives all the more welcome and worth the feelings of investment (again, to whatever extent this medium allows :-)).

We just returned from Moab where we spent the holiday. This was a particularly memorable thanksgiving for us as Rob and I combined families this year. It’s always difficult to tell either of our parents we’ll be spending a holiday with the other set, and so we try to be as fair as possible. This year, we were headed down to be with Rob’s clan and Rob called my parents to tell them. Long-story-short, by the end of it all he had invited my parents, one aunt, one sister and a couple nieces and in-laws with us (I told him not to offer unless he was willing to hear yes :-)).

I can’t help but imagine an outsider would expect mixing such different families to result in some trouble. Add in the fact that the families are joined together by a gay union and you’ve the makings of a short-lived sitcom. Nevertheless, we all get along great. In addition to our personal bit of diversity, we had representatives from all across the political, religious, social, and racial spectrums there. I think it shows how much the world has changed that such categorizations now mean next to nothing in the face of the modern human family, far less than the quality of, say, your stuffing. Heck, in my parents’ lifetime, not only would it have been unthinkable that a gay couple could bring such great families together; it would be highly improbable for even an interracial couple. It’s hard to remember, but things really are changing quickly, and for that I am, of course, thankful.

With both families, though, our numbers were so large no home could hold us. So we had Thanksgiving outside this year, in Canyon Lands.
A bit untraditional, and a lot of fun. Rob organized everyone into a perfectly choreographed potluck. I’ll be honest, not everybody in our families is a good cook--Rob is, by far, the best--but this way we got the best dish from each family member (some were smartly assigned to bring the paper plates). We also brought a bunch of 4-wheelers and motorcycles to replace the traditional post-dinner tryptophan nap. Good times.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. I thought the same. A pilgrim and an Indian, isn’t that too cutesie? Maybe in the same way as wearing, say, matching pink outfits? Yes, you’re right, yes it is. But, in our defense, again, we bought those costumes for a school pageant a week ago, not even thinking about using them for the holiday. Furthermore, at the idea, both the boys wanted to wear them to show their other grandparents and we were all for getting more use out of them.

Unfortunately, once we got home, Brian, my pilgrim, manifest-destinied right into Alan's room, gave him a cold, and took all his toys. No worries though, Alan's been relocated to a wonderful reservation in the laundry room, where he's set up a slot machine.

Finally, the day after thanksgiving we took my parents to see some of the sights; they haven’t been in the area much, though my mom grew up near Price. We planned a drive to beautiful, scenic Dead Horse Point:
Damn cloud.

Eh, I know I’ve been a lucky man, weather aside. So, to whatever person, place, or thing; to whatever luck, accident, or fate; to whatever God, law of physics, will, gene, or meme there may be out there coming together to make my Thanksgivings less of a reminder to be thankful, fanks (As my Alan up there would say).

Here’s to hoping to deserve it then :-).

Sunday, November 18, 2007

This is Ridiculous

You know what I mean. It seems I must have prophetic power.

Let’s debate, of course. I mean, I’m right and oh so many others are wrong, after all. And sure, maybe we can occasionally argue, post a heated comment or two. I know I’ve written what I’ve regretted, once time cooled me down.

I had no idea, though, the seriousness of what goes on through the back allies of this internet neighborhood until today. I knew the streets here were a bit more mean, yep, but I now get the feeling I don’t know the half of it.

Sure, I caught wind of some serious threats from other’s blogs, threats of calling the morality police, and so on. But now I hear of physical threats and know people’s personal, perhaps professional lives are being put in jeopardy. Some of these people have spouses, kids too; none of whom deserve the repercussions, regardless of what we think has been done to us by their family member. But when a person is attacked with such real world threats their family can’t help but pay a price too.

There’s a wide line between arguing a point by reason and by threat. This community must go back to respecting that border, or else, in a matter of months, all that will be left here are the people out for a fight, and nothing more. Trust in my prophetic abilities. It’ll be a post-apocalyptic wasteland of filthy sodomites and sadistic homophobes, and you just know my team will end up with the studded-leather Mad-Max outfits. No one wants to see that.

Personally, I want to make sure this place is as safe for all as possible; not safe from dissent, of course, but from real world danger. Furthermore, I think we should all want this place to be particularly safe for the people who are the most vulnerable to such threats, those who have something like a family to frantically defend. If we lose their voice, we’ll lose a lot (myself, for one ;-], and I want to stick around).

So can’t we all just fight and get along? Don’t make me dress like The Humongous every time I want to blog. It looks like it would chafe:

Saturday, November 17, 2007


The race for the white house is heating up. Now, I don’t claim to be politically savvy, or all that knowledgeable in the arena. But, as a service to all those candidates hoping to capture that influential western-suburban-gay-christiany-agnostic-prudish-doctor-parent vote, let me tell you the top ten things you need to say (not necessarily in order). So listen up. I’m looking at you, Huckabee.

1. Tell me you’ll do all you can to be sure my children won’t end up paying my debts. Our national debt is ticking away; at tens of thousands per US citizen now. I haven’t been in any debt in my personal life for many years and can’t stand paying any interest, but here I am with this government debt, and it’s even worse that it’ll probably be my kids who’ll pay for it. Send us the bill; let’s pay it and balance our national budget. We need, say, to go to war? It’s necessary? Fine. Tell me to sacrifice and I’ll sacrifice now. I mean how embarrassing would it be to be the first generation in a long while to leave the next with less?

2. Tell me that you’ll keep our military strong, well equipped, and intimidating; providing for our national defense, I feel, is one of the top jobs of government. But also tell me that you’ll never use the military carelessly. If you want my vote, I have to know that, when my boys turn 18, you’ll not have gotten us into a pointless war that will chew them up. If we need to send our kids or ourselves into battle, I have to trust that you’ll know what a need is; give me more than rumors of, say, yellow cake and grand visions of transforming the middle east. Show me that we must do it to defend ourselves, or that we’ve the moral duty to defend others (and that in doing so we won’t make things worse for those others). On this same topic, let gays be open in the armed forces already. I mean, if we really are at war, let’s not be firing translators because they talked about who they went on a date with last night.

3. Tell me that you care passionately about freedom of expression, association, and religion. Tell me the Constitution, the Bill of Rights are important to you. I want to be able to say what I feel, I want my government to listen (by my elected representatives, not wiretap), and I want even my detractors to have those rights. I also, being a Utahn :-), want to keep my guns, though don’t mind some regulation on some weapons. I mean, I’m sure the founders didn’t intend the 2nd amendment to apply to all arms, from side to nuclear, but I want the option of defending my family somewhat effectively when threatened, and we’ve been threatened at times.

4. Health care. I don’t claim to understand why things are becoming so ridiculous, but I’ve got my own horror stories. To be honest, I don’t know what would be the best solution here either; just that it’s a growing problem, nationally and in my personal observations. If you want my vote, I’m going to need to hear what particular steps you back. Less regulation? Universal coverage? I’m willing to listen to any good arguments.

5. Speaking of health insurance... Advocate full and equal legal rights for all families, regardless of the sexual anatomy of those involved. You don’t want to call it “marriage”? I can live with that. But my family pays into our coffers and should have equal rights. Anything less is simply wrong and I want to see you stand up and say it in the face of the PC pressure to be, if at all publically for equal rights, some lukewarm begrudging supporter.

6. Tell me the US will behave morally. Tell me the United States Government will not torture or send prisoners to jurisdictions where torture is practiced, with zero equivocation. Tell me, when we do business and trade with another country, we will always take into consideration the treatment of the citizens of that country by their government, not merely the gain of having them as a trading partner. Just as I don’t want to pass on a financial debt to our kids; I don’t want to pass on a moral debt.

7. Tell me you’ll do something about our air. I’m not talking even about global warming, though that’s a concern. I’m talking about the immense embarrassment we should feel as a population that there are literally days we can’t let our kids out to play in our cities because the air carries well past a safe level of pollutants. I’m talking about the fact that we know this air is killing thousands of people in our cities prematurely. Think about it. There are days we foul our outside air so bad that we shouldn’t breathe it. That’s crazy.

8. Abortion and stem cell research. See this post.

9. Tell me you'll be above reproach. I don't want you to even have a way of knowing who gave what to your campaign. Don’t accept any donations from PACs. Take public money, or small personal contributions, keep away from the loopholes, and publically disavow and discourage folks who, for your cause, do things like push polls and smear the reputations of, say, people who served honorably in the military. I’m not a fan of telling people how they can spend their cash or speak, but politicians are free to accept it or not and I want a candidate who plays fair and is obligated to no one, unless it’s everyone. Of course, this probably means you won't win...

10. Briefs. I don’t trust a man in boxers. I’m not, however, sure how I feel about a woman in boxers.

And if you want my vote 4 years from now, do what you say. Furthermore, if you happen to cheat on your wife and end up going on national television and lying about it, you’ll not get my vote again either. I’m just say’n, just in case; I don’t want to have to vote for Nader ;-).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Missionary Man

A couple days ago the missionaries knocked on my parent's door, and my mom, though a former LDS member, let them in to talk for a while. Many of her grandchildren are or have been on LDS missions, and so she, of course, wanted to offer these kids her hospitality and let them do their thing. She used to even pay the church some tithing when I came around to pick up the offerings.

Anyway, the whole visit went downhill fast. Small talk led to "the talk," which is fine; she's used to attempts to convert her and has seen it all before. Heck, a group of local relief society members made her into a project a couple years ago for about 6 months. When pressed by this missionary for areas where she disagrees with the LDS church, she eventually brought up my family and the church's active involvement in changing the constitution to keep us from equal rights. Then it got ugly.

Fortunately it was just the one missionary that became combative, while the other kept quiet. This kid began telling my mom our family was illegitimate and sinful. He told her we were selfish because we weren’t raising children. Then, when she corrected him and showed him a picture of her grandkids, he reversed and told her that we were selfish because we were raising children, and even suggested they weren’t really our children because they weren’t biologically related to us both. So are they not “really” someone’s grandkids too? (I don’t think it’ll ever cease to surprise me that so many people do or will consider children they parent only theirs if it’s by biology, as if a change in DNA sequence would change their love and devotion. It’s kind of depressing to think on it.)

Finally the guy had the nerve to say his faith had nothing against either Rob or I. They just want us to basically break up, and pay more in cash and legal intangibles than they do. See, that’s okay, in his eyes. That, in his doublespeak, is treating people with love and respect.

Now my mom, as has been her nature as long as I’ve had the fortune of being her son, didn’t get upset and remained patient but clear (fortunately, my dad wasn’t at home ;-). He'll outright fight for us.). In fact, she related the encounter to me with some amusement. And, at first, it was kind of a funny encounter to me too. But, as I’ve been thinking about it, about what that kid was trying to do, it’s starting to look much worse.

What was this guy’s ultimate goal? To turn my mom on our family? To get her to (“lovingly”) begin to see our home as illegitimate, evil? Our home that arguably has the best, most stable marriage of any of her eight children; that’s what he was hoping to end? To get her to hope, as he was, for us to split up our kid’s home? And then I start to wonder, did he want her to impart such “values” to our children, during the many visits they all enjoy by living so close to us? To teach our children to undermine their very home?

I'm a bit upset. No, more than a bit upset. Today, I’m feeling outright nervous and combative; I’ve even been wondering if staying here is ultimately best. I’ve began to even worry about the LDS kid in Brian’s class who keeps talking to him about going to heaven. I know it sounds minor and it wasn’t a bother until now, but trying to temped our kid’s with the idea of heaven leads to the dogma and allegiances that are the supposed price for that reward.

And I, being agnostic, can’t ethically suggest such rewards and punishments as heaven and hell. I can’t compete on promises of pleasure and pain alone; all I can offer their young minds is a complicated lecture on why I’ve come, after a long path, to see doubt as the more correct and more humane position. But I’d never want them to give that lecture in school; I’d lay down the law if they even tried to debunk Santa there. But this little kid is promising Brian a great deal already, an escape from death for himself and those he loves, and goodness knows that the human mind can talk itself into a lot of varied and mutually exclusive beliefs for that comfort. The research on our coloring of experience alone is quite striking. So what, when faced with these pressures, will happen to our boys?

I don’t know. Such a worry simply comes with being a parent, I guess, along with many others, and I don’t mean to pose it as extraordinary.

I do know no missionary from any faith could turn my parents on us. In that case, it’s just the thought of the missionary’s goal and his complete disrespect for family (if the anatomy isn’t “right”) that makes me upset. But I know, in my teens, I wandered quite a bit from the positions of my parents, and they always encouraged my inquiry. I was everything from Baptist to Buddhist (1, 2); I was even LDS and could have been that missionary, arguing against my family at some point in my life. And I’m sure our boys will wander too… Looking back on it now, I have to admit, I want them to wander. It will hurt, but it’s one of those trials a parent shouldn’t stop (as I guess I already knew :-)).

Eh, and I’ll get over this combative mood too; I always do. All our neighbors and family here in Utah are great, and I’m close to sure none of them hope for us to split up our home. These border skirmishes, however, put me on edge. They start me wondering about when, not if, the local culture will want to intervene in our homes in ways more damaging than making us constitutionally unrecognized. Just the thought that such a huge organization in my state is sending people door to door saying such things about my home gives me chills.

Maybe, when this particular missionary gets married, I’ll go to his in-laws house and try to talk them into understanding how wrong his family is and that they should encourage his wife to leave him. Sure, I’d have little chance, but at least the returned attack might make me feel better ;-).

Monday, November 12, 2007

Not on a Writers Strike

No, I was just at a conference all last week. I'll not go into the details of the many power point slides I enjoyed/endured... oh, the exciting life of a science guy ;-). Maybe I'll write a post some time about writing for grants. Bait your breath.

It was fun though to, for the first time at one of these things, have my ego repeatedly stroked by folks addressing me as Doctor LAST-NAME-REDACTED, and nice to go to the social events and call everyone by their first name.

It was also interesting to listen to out of town colleagues talk about our great state. Seems Utah is a butt of jokes. Just before giving my presentation the room was going on about their trip to temple square and about the quaintness of our little city. I could literally see some of them blush when I took the podium and introduced myself as a local. It was one of those times I was happy to be assumed to be LDS again.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Oh Baby

It seems each day I lose another one. “Watum” is gone, and so is “orangen” along with “lellow”. But I just noticed we’ve lost my favorite one, sometime last week.

“Oh baby” is gone.

Here, I’ll use it in a sentence:

“Papa, can I have a banana? Oh baby I’ll have an apple instead.”

I really am sad to see these cute mistakes go. Curse their teachers :-).

At least Brian made up for it a bit by telling me next year for Halloween he wants to be FrankenEinstein.

I may steal that costume idea from him.

Friday, November 02, 2007

It's a Trap!

So I read this on MoHoHawaii’s blog, and it turned out to be a trap. Now I’m tagged and bound to answer some 56 odd questions. Here goes…

1. Taken a picture completely naked? No, while naked, I’ve never taken a picture.

2. Made out with a friend on your MySpace/Facebook page? What’s this “Facebook”? (Gee I’m getting old…) Regardless, I’ve only made out ("made out"? Is that what the kids say? ;-)) with one man and a handful of luckless girls.

3. Danced in front of your mirror naked? No, I don’t dance, regardless of my clothing.

4. Told a lie? Yes. In fact, this particular answer is a lie.

5. Had feelings for someone who didn’t have them back? Yes, attraction (and anger, indifference, and respect too) but never love, knock on wood.

6. Been arrested? Yes, for bank robb… I mean, um, no.

7. Made out with someone of the same sex? Uh…

8. Seen someone die? No.

9. Slept in until 5pm? Never, and if I ever seem to have slept in to 5pm don’t bother shaking me; you’ve likely just changed your answer to Question 8.

10. Had sex at work? No way; that’d be dangerous for all sorts of reasons. I won’t even eat in my workspace.

11. Fallen asleep at work/school? See #9.

12. Held a snake? Yes.

13. Run a red light? Yes, on my 1st week of driving.

14. Been suspended from school? No.

15. Totaled your car in an accident? No, it was my dad’s car and the other vehicle was a deer, a very big deer coming at me at 55 mph (by my favored point of reference). I think he was drunk, or something.

16. Pole danced? See #3. I can’t even manage a hula-hoop.

17. Smoked? No. Besides a drink about once a week now, I pretty much follow the Word of Wisdom.

18. Been fired from a job? No. I’ve left for my boss’s bigotry, though he never knew I was gay.

19. Sung karaoke? Yes, badly.

20. Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t? I’m sure; this questionnaire, for example.

21. Laughed until a drink came out your nose? Yes.

22. Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Yes.

23. Kissed in the rain? Yes, in all sorts of inclement weather.

24. Sung in the shower? Yes, badly, with reverb.

25. Given your private parts a nickname? None of your business, but no.

26. Ever gone out without underwear? Yes, I spent most of my youth on a swim team.

27. Sat on a roof top? Of course; I’ve stood there too.

28. Played chicken? In a car, no. In rhetoric, yes.

29. Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? No. Jumped in once to get my niece out, though. It’s one of those family stories that gets retold and retold.

30. Broken a bone? Never one that belonged to me, or my species.

31. Mooned/flashed someone? Sure, but only the one guy, and I eventually made an honest man out of him.

32. Shaved your head? No.

33. Slept naked? Again none of your business, but no, too distracting.

34. Played a prank on someone? Of course.

35. Had a gym membership? Yes, but now I workout at home where no one nags me about my “technique”. Dude, back off.

36. Felt like killing someone? Never to the point of planning. Yet. Okay, sure, I’ve been very angry before, but I don’t have much endurance in my temper. Thinking on it more though, if someone hurt or threatened my kids, I can see that dark ability in me.

37. Made your girlfriend/boyfriend cry? Yes, I had a poor string of girlfriends. Sorry.

38. Cried over someone you were in love with? Yes, I cry quite easily if I think too hard about my family. Heck, I even cry at the Return of the Jedi for the parent-child thing. When Darth Vader tells Luke he saved him, I just can’t contain myself.

39. Had sex more than 10 times in one day? Is that medically possible?

40. Had Mexican jumping beans for pets? No.

41. Been in a band? LOL yes. I was a keyboardist. We were called The Foxes and the Hounds and we played church dances mainly. There’s a tape of us hidden somewhere in my memorabilia; it’s of me singing Elvis’ All Shook Up. It will remain hidden.

42. Subscribed to Maxim? No, but I’ve received a free copy, in a doomed attempt at marketing.

43. Taken more than 10 shots of alcohol? I fear, for my drinking experience, ten shots of alcohol may as well be 10 shots of antifreeze.

44. Shot a gun? Please, I am a Utahn.

45. Had sex today? It’s pretty early in the day yet.

46. Played strip poker? No; Rob isn’t into card games. Maybe we could play strip scrabble? I bet there’s some rules for it already out there on the net.

47. Tripped on mushrooms? I’ve never encountered mushrooms tall or sturdy enough.

48. Donated Blood? I’ve tried to but was turned down because I’m gay. It pissed me off, really. By my sexual history, I’ve about as much chance of having an STD as a lesbian nun chess champion.

49. Video taped yourself having sex? No, but, if I did, I see my porn name would be Lucky Valentine. Cool, huh?

50. Eaten alligator meat? No. But the best cut of meat I’ve ever had was an ostrich fillet. Why is ostrich not at my local supermarket?!

51. Jumped out of an airplane? Nope.

52. Been to more than 10 countries? Does the Epcot Center count?... Yes, either way

53. Wanted to have sex with a platonic friend? Yes, once. It was funny though, after I came out and was dating Rob, this friend told me he had messed around with his gay roommate while in college. He’s a great platonic friend now and I’m just glad we didn’t explore his bisexuality when it could have really hurt me, once he was done experimenting.

54. Shaved yourself bare? No. Shaved my legs once for my swim team, though. How do you women do it?! It took forever and I was itchy for weeks.

55. Dressed in drag? No, but with the huge and glamorous closet my mom has... Well, I’ll just say it’s a waste of a drag gold mine that I’m not a transvestite. Alas.

BONUS: If you could be any celebrity for an entire week, who would it be and why? Oprah, because I’ve always wanted to know what it’d be like to be able to choke someone telekinetically. That, and I know Rob respects her a lot.

Okay, seriously. A whole week? Ummm…

Okay, I’d be Pat Robertson, and I’d spend the week as the biggest queeny flirt on a well-publicized cross country tour of gay bars.

Was that serious? Maybe not. Umm… I don’t know. I don’t want anyone else’s sex, celebrities aren’t really all that powerful, and what use is a grotesque pile of money for just a week? If it came with their abilities too, I suppose I’d pick an artist I like, like Beck or Thom York. Then I'd spend the week frantically creating what I never could otherwise. But if I could be a politician instead, I’d be whoever the US President is at the time, for the obvious reasons.

And now… Ah Ha!! You’ve been trapped too, and by reading this you are contractually obligated to answer these same questions.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

All Saints Sugar Hangover

Hope you all had a good Halloween.

Ours was a lot of fun; the boys were really into it this year, much more than any other. They actually wanted this year, from the start, to put on a costume, go to a stranger’s door, and threaten them for candy. It used to take some encouragement.

We spent the holiday with a Jedi and a space alien:

First we went to our annual neighborhood potluck dinner. I know I've said this before, but I can’t say enough about how great our neighborhood is. We’ve been here well over a year now and everyone has been terrific to our family, from the kids to the adults. Even the guy who gives the cold shoulder to most of the other neighbors for their more liberal LDS lifestyles is warm and congenial to us (maybe he just had very low expectations, easily outdone ;-)).

Then we, of course, went trick-or-treating.

The alien got a little tired, though, and asked for a ride. It didn't help that his eyes kept fogging up either.

I complied, of course. He had a laser gun.

Now, how to manage the two piles of tooth-rotting candy sitting at home that, by it’s volume, could only be described as obscene? Maybe Rob and I should eat it before the kids get home from school… maybe just the chocolate, you know, for the kid’s health.