Monday, May 31, 2010

10+1 Favorite Things

Reina tagged me.

I don't normally participate in these tagging games but this time I felt like I needed to.  Not out of obligation but for my own benefit.   I seriously thank Reina for sending it out there like this.  I probably wouldn't have thought of doing this had it not been for her.  It turned out to be just what I needed to lift my spirits.

My list ended up going to eleven. After all, don't all good things go up to eleven?
Anyway, here they are in no particular order:

1. Animals
There is nothing that grounds me more than the non-human living creatures of this planet.  There is something very awe inspiring about creatures that don't spend their lives trying to be something they are not.  They just exist, do their thing, and are happy to be doing it.  Many creatures feel the emotions of fear, anger, joy, happiness but they are not stuck on them, they blow it off and move on.   Their innocence transcends the complexity of the human mind.  Even though the human mind can give us tremendous understanding of our world, it can also be deceived, which creates needless suffering.  Animals are not capable of inflicting suffering upon themselves as we humans do. 

I mostly grew up with cats, dogs, horses and chickens.  Although, I never allowed myself to develop any bonds with dogs and horses until my later years.  I'm still working on birds though. Not sure how but I see myself finding that path through falconry.  I don't know.  We'll see.

Anyway, for some reason I have always easily bonded with cats.  Every cat I have ever owned over the years developed a special bond with me as well.  This bond was never shared with any other member of my family. 

One special bonding moment came when I was around 12 years old.  I woke up one Saturday morning to the sounds of little mews in my bedroom.  But they weren't just in the room.  They were in my bed.  Right there leaning up against my back, as I was lying in my side, was my mother cat and her five newborn kittens.  Rather than hiding away to have her litter as she had done in the past, she had them there with me.  While I was sleeping, she had pressed her back up against mine, as she had done every other night to sleep, but this time rather than find a secluded place in the house, under the bed, closet etc, she felt it safe enough to stay where she was.  I will never forget that.   Nor will I forget my dried crusty bloody pajamas as I was tearing them loose from the crusted bloody bed sheet.   Poor kitty she didn't like me leaving.  I pushed the blanket up to her to fill the space I had vacated.  She was content with that.

2. Dressage
Naturally, because dressage involves riding horses! And I love riding horses, although, I haven't been doing it for very long.  It took me awhile to rediscover the fascination I once had with horses growing up, a topic that needs a post of its own someday.

The neatest thing to me about dressage is that it's just as much about developing a strong, agile and athletic horse as it is about developing a strong, agile and athletic rider.  And the gentle and subtle communication between horse and rider is another special bond that both fascinates and amazes me.

No matter how hard a day I've had at work that week, the moment I step into the stall or walk out to the paddock to retrieve my horse, I no longer care about the world.  I'm fully present for this majestic, powerful, and gentle creature as we teach each other how to work as one.

3. Music
I love music.  I compose music.  I have been composing music since I was 5 years old.  At around age 12 my aunt gave me a few sheets of paper she had written on that showed me how to read music, how chords were constructed and how to transpose into different keys.   Within months, I was now writing things down.  By the time I entered high school, I had composed a huge body of work.   My final semester of my senior year in high school, I was taking 5 music classes out of the 8 periods.  I studied music during my first stint in college although I was never able to complete it.  I toured for one summer with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps. And during my second stint in college studying to be a Computer Engineer, I still kept my performance and composition skills alive by composing and performing with the percussion ensemble.  A few years ago, my brother-in-law commissioned me to compose the soundtrack to one of his short films.   

Needless to say, much of my life revolves around music.  I'm always looking for new and interesting music that I've never heard before.  Melodic and orchestrated works from modern or classical composers of jazz, heavy metal, folk, elevator, progressive rock, industrial, chill, Celtic, Andean, Latin,  etc.  The list goes on and on.  Too many to mention.  There are genres that I don't like but this post isn't about them.  They are few anyway.   On any given day at work, my iPod will be playing a mixture of an easy listening arrangement by Percy Faith followed by the hard pounding edge of the Dutch heavy metal band, Within Temptation, to be followed by a smooth cello concerto by Samuel Barber and so on.  It's all good.

4. Coffee
I don't drink it for the caffeine; I drink it for the flavor.  So naturally, I'm always buying the pricier stuff.   I was introduced to coffee at the tender age of 10 by my grandmother.  It was the most awesomest thing evar!

5. Sex
Yes I'm going to say it.  Sex, and all that sex can entail.  And it can entail a lot!  Kissing, cuddling, fetishes, BDSM, puppy play etc. and yes, it has to be the gay version.  I have a different blog about this so I don't need to elaborate any more here.  :)

6. Beer 
Not just any beer, it has to be the dark malty kind.  Yummy, malty smooth and malty!  I don't drink beer or any alcoholic drinks to get drunk, I never get drunk.  I drink beer for the flavor!  I just wished it didn't have so many gash darn calories!

7. Internet 
Ok, who DOESN'T love the internet?  Those who are reading this blog I would expect at least like the internet.  If you didn't like the internet, you mostly likely wouldn't be here.  Right?  

For me it's primarily an escape to distract me from the tedious and frustrating existence that I have living in this rural and socially foreign region of the US.  Yeah, there is some bad to that but I'm going to focus on the good.  The internet has accomplished for me the following: 
Allowed me to stay in closer contact with family and friends.  Provided a place for me to connect with other like minded people so that I can have a voice on topics that I would never have the opportunity to discuses otherwise.  Find hook ups with people with like minded interests.  Find dates with people with like minded interests. Look up crazy-ass things on Wikipedia, Google and  And most importantly, it was instrumental in allowing me to find a particular picture of a friend of mine, which triggered my coming out process that forever changed the course of my life for the better. 

What would I have done without the internet?  

8. Computers and Programming 
Although, many might include this into internet, as it does require a computer to get on the internet, I think of it completely different.  I have been programming computers since I was 12 years old, long before the internet existed.  If I wasn't off tinkering on the piano or banging away on the drum set, I was on the computer, writing programs.  Anywhere form silly little things that played songs or plotted pretty designs on the monitor to elaborate database programs that I used to keep track of my huge reel-to-reel tape collection.

Now, I use the computer for almost everything I do.  It's the primary tool I use for my employment, to build my music compositions and recordings, write, blog, watch TV and otherwise communicate with the rest of the world.  The computer is the only appliance in my life that I would want to have with me if I were stranded on a desert island.  Assuming of course that there was a place to plug it in and I could get free Wi-Fi.

9. Walking and Nature
Granted they are two separate things but I'm combining them as they go hand in hand for me.

I walk a lot.  When I go out walking, I average about 4 miles per trip.  And depending on time, I may do several walks a day ranging from 3-10 miles.   I have lost a lot of weight doing this.  But the other reason I walk is to clear my head.  It helps me work out the anxiousness that builds up from sitting in a windowless office all day or help me blow off anger and frustration at the world in general. 

Even though there have been times I've walked on an indoor track with some friends, I prefer to only do my walking outside.  Walking outside could mean anything from walking around the town or city to hiking in the park or woods.  But ultimately, anything with a natural setting is ideal and preferred even if I have to drive a while to get there.

Since there are no mountains, I have to make do with the sandy beaches of my favorite place out here, the Chincoteague National Wildlife Preserve, which is mostly on Assategue Is. VA.  On any given day of the year, and I've pretty much hit that place every month throughout the year since 2007, I have seen more varieties of wildlife in that short time than I ever did growing up in rural Utah.  And watching these animals in their natural setting while I'm out communing with nature is a spiritual and profoundly grounding experience.  (see Animals)

10. Photography
I love the idea of making art out of an instantaneous moment in time, to capture a glimpse of the real word for a split second.  What would never be seen in that exact state ever again, is now captured forever.  And out of that moment is born something new.

Images can capture beauty and emotion that transcend from the time they were taken.  And for me, as I'm a very visually oriented thinker, such images draw me in, inspire, and stimulate me in ways that other art forms cannot.  Not even sculpture or paintings.  I hope to be featuring more of my photography in my blogs in the coming years.
11.  Family
Last but not least, my family.  This could be an entire blog post of its own.  In fact all of the things on here could be.  But let me just say this, without my mom and dad and many of my siblings, I wouldn't have made it this far.  I wouldn't be here to tell the tale of my life.  They have been the only true friends I will ever have and I can't even begin to express how fortunate I am.  I'm not even sure I can comprehend the magnitude of that fortune.  I'm fully aware that many others don't have what I have when it comes to family.  It breaks my heart.  I wish they could have mine. 

My parents have always had an open house to people over the years, many of them struggling in some why or other with their lives.  By giving them a space to crash for a time demonstrates the amazing generosity they have that not even I have been capable of giving.  I'm still the black sheep in this family, but this family is welcoming of the back sheep. 

Truth be told, it wasn't always like that, but it changed.  Back in the late 80's my mom found the courage, strength and open mindedness to drive her to find the path that would work when the life that was handed to her was failing miserably.   She questioned and challenged the status quo, looked beyond the LDS church to find real answers, real solutions!  By doing so, she brought the rest of us with her.   Now, here we are today.  From deep dysfunction grew strength, love and acceptance.  It's not perfect but it's all that it needs to be. 

The rules of this tagging game are that I am to tag 10 others.  I'm not comfortable with doing that but if you feel inspired by my list, go for it, and let me know by posting a comment here.

UPDATE:  What the hell!   I realized there are a few people I really want to know better so I'm just going to go a head and risk it by tagging them, dammit!    I don't know if they will ever see this but it's out there.
Laruen T. Hart
Quiet Song 
UPDATE AGAIN:  looks like Quite Song already posted before I completed my tag list!  LOL!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A wedding day.

I'm going to a wedding party tonight.  And I'm not looking forward to it.  Sure, I'm happy for the new couple but I don't share the same enthusiasm for celebration that everyone else does.  It's a reminder of everything that I don't have, can't have and never will have.

The heterosexual privilege of this nation will see to it that us gay folk all remain second class.  Even if we did have all the rights and privileges under the law, it would be naive to think that it would really change anything.  Just as racism in this country is alive and well, homophobic, bigotry will always be there too. 

So while I'm sitting there at that party, "pretending" to be pleasant and knowing full well that many people there despise my true nature and assume that I'm "one of them", I'll be thinking how glad I am that I'll never have to see any of these people ever again.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Am I still hiding?

Again, I wonder what I'm doing with this blog.  I've noticed a few things about myself recently with how I relate to this blogging stuff.   This blog, its title, the moniker I use, the tone and subject matter, etc. all contribute to creating an identity, an identity that I'm not so sure that I personally relate to for the most part.  I think this blog has presented a highly skewed perception of the real person behind all of this stuff.  

I don't feel like it's a very good representation of me.  I don't feel like I'm really helping people know the real me.  Perhaps what I should be doing is using this blog to simply help myself know the real me.  Either way, it seems I need to talk about myself more, rather than about the angst that occasionally passes through me.

Everyone mostly sees the troubling issues in my life.  Or, if they follow my other blogs, they might see a sample of my sense of humor or what I do for fun.  I wonder sometimes if the humor comes out on this blog or not.  It is hard to put casual humor across in writing, especially when it's juxtaposed with confusion, anger, depression, cynicism etc.  Or is it?  Is my humor cynical?  Is self deprecating humor cynical?  OK, not all of it is self deprecating.  Actually, I don't really know how to classify humor.  I just know what I find funny.

Anyway, it takes more than just bad humor to know a person.   It's obvious that the subject matter of my writing is shaped by my experience, but when do I simply write about the experience as opposed to simply mentioning it as means to convey my feelings toward something.  And by doing that, the experience as a story itself is diminished to much less than an anecdote.   Obviously, I know what is in my head when I write it; there is a lot of momentum behind it as a thought.   But what ends up on the page are a few words that summarize it into an idea that means only a fraction to the reader as it did to the author.  

An example, looking back at my last post, my simple statement, "Even though I wore tall black boots and long hair, I still had to conform in some things to keep the peace." carries behind it 20+ years of attitude shaping moments with people, enough that I could probably write a book.  And although they were life shaping moments, they all seem too mundane to write about the specifics.  So the best I can do is to oversimplify it into boots and hair vs. conformity and piece, assuming that such things carry with it the right cultural information to allow for understanding and bring about a shared experience between the writer and reader.   Barring that, I would need to write about a few specific incidents to get the point across.   Who knows though?  If I started to write about myself more than the angst, those moments might actually get mentioned.  But then, I might bore people.  Hell, I bore myself sometimes in my own writing.

I haven't had a profound angsty moment since January of this year.  Sure, I still have angst but it has really tapered off.  A small moment in March and April but nothing even close to what I went through last year.  I think that's a great thing!  I'm thrilled!  But the result is my drive to write things here, which were purely to work out my angst, have diminished.   I hardly even journal anymore.   Besides, my journaling was never about writing down a journal of my life.  It's just free association writing to clear my head.  I would say that 99% of it is garbage.

So I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to push myself to writing things here anyway. 
About anything.  Make this an honest effort to journal "properly".  And just let it free flow more and not put so much effort in editing and presenting a polished post.   Not being as articulate in person as I try to be in writing, I have a bit of insecurity about presenting my writing more casual.  It's as if I'm over compensating for my slow verbal acuity.   I'm actually a bit frustrated by my slow verbal acuity.  So, yeah.  

But I have been experimenting with making it more casual and off the cuff.  Like the way I speak.  I say a lot of things that are incomplete sentences; sometimes I don't even complete a word.  I say lots of non-sequitur shit sometimes.  And sometimes I say sequitur shit that doesn't make any sense.  And many times when I comment on blogs and Facebook I'm saying what's on my mind with little editing.   Mostly it's cynicism.  Although when I've started to comment on blogs I've found myself rambling between many different ideas.  I end up deleting most of them because I can't find coherency.  I'm really just trying to find words for things that I have never had before.  Words I've never let myself have or have always let other people make for me.  So in that respect, I could write posts that have broken ideas and incomplete narratives, and jump around and just say shit. 

Life is just a big experiment anyway, right?  Well I see it that way.  At least, I do now.  More so than ever.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Where am I going?

It's happening again.  I'm finding that I'm withdrawing into myself.  I'm not out seeking people to talk to, despite my increased activity commenting on other's blogs; I'm not interested in a dialog.  I'm just talking.  Talking for the sake of wanting, needing, having something to say.  And I've been saying a lot.

It seems silly to write huge comments on other's blogs when I not looking for interaction. Better to just write a big long post here that says the same thing and have it all in a concise easy to find location.  I have a hard time remembering where I've posted my comments many times.  Subscribing only works for a while and only if other people make comments.  But, eventually, the activity dies down and it's all forgotten.

Looking in my Google reader, I am currently following 226 (and counting) blogs.  Granted a few are Info/News sites and about a dozen or so of them are BDSM related, but the rest are very much the MoHo (Mormon Homosexual) blogosphere.  I spend a lot of time poking into other people's lives.  Mostly lurking, looking on from the outside.  But I'm also moving further to the outside.  Further away from the blogging community that I've currently found myself in.

I never set out to get blog listed into the infamous MoHo blogosphere, but it's there.  I don't really know when it happened.   I just noticed it one day.  I was both honored and irritated by it at the same time.  It honored me to get exposure, irritated me because it drove me to write things that would appeal to that particular audience. I felt a bit cornered.  And I think it kept me from phasing out of the MoHo blogosphere arena as my ideas evolved.  I don't consider myself a Mormon. I had resigned from the Mormon church the previous year before officially starting this blog.

So, as I've been commenting on other bogs I'm realizing more so now than ever before that I think very differently than most MoHo's.  I don't connect with those who are still seeking acceptance with the religion and their religious family.  I was never fully part of the Mormon culture growing up and I had given up even trying to be accepted by the culture long before I ever dealt with my sexuality, which then cemented the dichotomy into permanence.  Ironic in that it took me years to discover and undo the habitual faking behaviors that I had developed as a coping mechanism to at least get by.  Even though I wore tall black boots and long hair, I still had to conform in some things to keep the peace.

My family has been supportive for the most part but, by the time I got to dealing with my sexuality, I had essentially stopped caring about their acceptance anyway.  Well, except for my mom, but she's the one who help me accept my homosexuality so her acceptance quickly became a moot point.

So, I don't really feel like I'm understood or accepted in the MoHo community because my experiences have been unlike what most are dealing with.  And my spiritual journey, which does not involve Christianity, seems to be too esoteric (if not outright disturbing) for many.  I've always felt like I've been on a different road and my adventure into the MoHo community was essentially a brief intersection.  It's just I've sort of lingered here for a bit watching the action when I really should have just kept on driving.

It's not just the blogs; I'm also on various MoHo Yahoo groups too.  I've become too liberal for them too.  I've become even too liberal for Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons.  I used to think they were too liberal.

Perhaps, I'm over generalizing people.  I'm still connected to the MoHo world because I'm still very much a product of the Mormon culture from which this all has its roots.  I'm just on a completely different road "out of here" than what it seems most people are traveling.

But I do keep reading them.  I keep following them.  Why?

I'm looking for people who are on the same road as me.  I'm hoping that I will find someone I can make the same journey with on the same road "out of here".   Each person out there who writes something that provokes a thought, an emotion, even a hidden resentment in me; I hope that they could be someone whom I can share the lonely road of self discovery.  But when I open up and share my perspective, blank stares ensue.  Granted, whenever someone expresses their hope that the church will someday grant them a gay temple wedding, I have a blank stare of my own.  I'm a hypocrite.  But I'm not going to try and convince them it's a lost cause.  I do remember how hopeful I felt once.  It's not my place to crush other people's dreams.  I'm too busy letting my self-doubt crush mine anyway.


But that's not all, there is also this:

I'm also spending time watching my email inbox and Facebook page, and waiting for people to talk to me.  But when they do, I ignore them.

My Facebook inbox has messages waiting for me.  People poking, inquiring, wanting to know what has been going on in my life.  My email inbox has a few people waiting on me too.  Last Sunday I finally replied to someone after ignoring him for two months.  I'm sure he gave up on me.  Still, I have another one that I dropped the ball on 18 months ago.  18 MONTHS!   And I have it highlighted in my inbox reminding me to reply.  But none of these people are the people whom I want to talk to.

If I could just get honest with myself right now and admit that I'm really waiting for a particular person to call or write to me.   And at the same time, I'm dreading it.

This person whom, over the past year I've developed feelings for. We used to have long and interesting email and phone conversations.  He has been the closest and most intimate contact I've ever had with a potential partner since the mid 90's.  And yet, we live on opposite sides of the country across three time zones.  We are 17 years apart in age and we have never met face to face.  We both set a goal together to meet up and attend Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco this year, a goal that I still have no idea if I can turn in to a reality.

The last few emails I've sent where short, sort of a "hello I'm still here" type of thing.  They were weeks ago.  We are 'friends' on Facebook.  He spends a good deal of time on there posting comments about food, cats and politics.  I sometimes write flirty comments on his posts.  They seem to be ignored most of the time.  I fear that he will delete them.   (God, I hope he doesn’t read this.)

I worry that I've developed feelings for someone that will not or cannot reciprocate.   My fear is that I've let myself fall in to another desperate, one sided, needy, pathetic relationship.  He's busy yes, so am I.  But the amount of time he spends on Facebook has given me doubts as to his honest interest in me.  Especially if he will not reciprocate even a simple flirt on Facebook, even though he has told me in past emails he thinks of me often.  But, those emails were weeks and months ago.

I can't even begin to touch on the things that irritate me about him, which causes me to hate my predicament even more.  Seems unfair to be going through this seeing as we've been only acquaintances for about a year.

I'm desperate, one sided, needy and pathetic, indeed! 

Is this what relationship angst feels like?  I don't recall ever going through this stuff in high school or college.  Is that what teens and young adults experience?   It this how it works?

God I've rambled on.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Regina Spektor

This post, Most Beautiful People 2010, popped up in Google Reader this morning from blogger Shane Davis.

I had no idea who Regina Spektor was until today.   I've spent the rest of the morning crying my head off watching all of the videos I could find of her on YouTube.

I never know when someone out there in the world will touch me deeply and I'm essentially speechless right now.  I agree 100% with Shane.  How could anyone who produces such beauty be anything but beautiful in every aspect?

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