August 2008

Okay, that was cheesy, I know. 🙂

I worked the farmers market this morning at a booth for my work. I have never been a morning person, so the prospect of being at the park by 7 AM is very daunting for me. I was quite dreading it last night, because I feel a little sleep deprived this past week and I was longing to sleep in.

The great thing about the farmers market is that once you are there, it’s really a lovely way to spend the morning. Despite the fact that it was 97 degrees (or more) today, it was very pleasant and cool this morning, and I also lucked out with a spot under the trees so I was in the shade all day.

Once I was there and set up, I sat enjoying the cool clear post-sunrise and watching the beginnings of activity, and really wished I could develop into a morning person. It’s so beautiful and peaceful at that time of day. The quiet bustle of the farmers and vendors getting their produce set up and the early risers starting to shop. One of my favorite parts of being at the farmers market that early is hearing the church bells chime at eight o’clock at the orthodox greek church across the street.

Even later on, once it gets quite busy, it’s still a peaceful kind of busy. The crowds are dense, but most everyone is strolling slowly, seeing what each booth has to offer. It is one of the best things in Salt Lake, in my opinion. There’s so much diversity to be seen and everyone is just co-existing peacefully. It makes Salt Lake seem like a much bigger and more diverse city than it really is.

I also got a whole lot of great produce for very little money. I got 6 ears of corn, 2 giant zucchinis, 2 big onions, 3 cloves of garlic (is a clove the whole big thing or each individual part of the whole? i’m not sure – in any case, I got 3 of the whole big things of garlic), and a basketful of small baby red potatoes, all for about $11.

The only sad thing about the day is that my honey had to close tonight, so I worked from 7AM to 1PM and by the time I packed up and got home, she was about to get in the shower to be at work at 3, and she’ll get home around midnight. Ships passing in the mid-afternoon.


What an incredible moment last night, listening to the speech of the man who is hopefully our next President.

If you missed it, you really should watch it. It’s on YouTube, though you have to watch it in sections. Here’s the first:

People will criticize, because that’s what we do now. But I really believe we saw a speech of the ages – a speech that people will quote and refer to for decades to come.

Here are a few of my favorite excerpts:

America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.
This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.
This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he’s worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.
We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.
Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land: enough!

You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.
We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was president, when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000, like it has under George Bush.
We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job – an economy that honors the dignity of work.

That’s the promise of America, the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper.

We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don’t tell me that Democrats won’t defend this country. Don’t tell me that Democrats won’t keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans – Democrats and Republicans have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.
As commander in chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm’s way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America, they have served the United States of America.

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don’t tell me we can’t uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don’t know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This, too, is part of America’s promise, the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the naysayers don’t understand is that this election has never been about me. It’s been about you.
For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn’t come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it, because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.
America, this is one of those moments.

That’s one of my favorite lines from “Angels in America,” part of which I rewatched last night.

I have neglected the blog terribly the past while, for some good and not-so-good reasons.There are always going to be reasons to not find the time to write – work, yard projects, etc. But I’ve also been second-guessing myself a bit, as far as what I’m writing here and what, if anything, it accomplishes.

I had a conversation with someone a few weeks ago that has stopped me in my tracks a bit. It was an opportunity to share some very personal moments from my coming out journey, and I did it in good faith that the person I shared them with would at least acknowledge their importance to me. I’ve held onto this idea that even people who don’t agree with my decision to accept myself might develop a little bit of understanding if they knew the whole story. But it didn’t work out that way, and along with being incredibly hurtful and disappointing, the experience has caused me to re-evaluate a few things.

So, I’m being purposefully vague, because the person I had this conversation with is a dear loved one and I don’t want to “out” him, for want of a better word, because the conversation was intended to be private.

But the long and short of it is, I felt like I really put myself out there and shared some very personal and sacred experiences that have led to me this place where I feel with all of my heart that I am living the life God would have me live. And although the other person probably felt like he put himself out there as well, after listening to me, came back to me with what felt like the standard Mormon response: “But this is what the prophet said…”

Here’s the thing I hope I learned though – my mistake in going into this conversation with the level of expectation I did was that I was asking him to do the same thing he was asking me to do, which is question my own set of beliefs and my relationship with God. For him, this is a black and white issue and to allow even a little bit of compassion for my circumstances is akin to denying his testimony of the prophets.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it, and how it might have gone differently, but in reality, I’m not sure there was any other outcome. Either I have to change what I firmly believe or he has to – and neither of those things is likely to happen. But that’s a very sad thing for both of us.

So. What now? I’m not sure. I’m not sure if I’ll be as willing to share my experiences as readily as I did this time if someone else inquires down the road. I’d like to think I can, but it’s very hurtful to have those experiences rejected outright.

I am hoping/planning to start posting more often here – although I hope I can change the tone a bit. I had been using the blog as a place to vent about things that get to me – in addition to sharing some of my coming out experiences and current experiences. But I think I’ve let the venting take center stage, and I feel it ends up mis-representing my life. It’s seemed like a safe place to blow off steam where people can come and choose to read it or not. No one is required to stick around if they disagree, and that’s the beauty of blogging in general. But I don’t like to think that someone, whether they know me personally or not, would come across this blog and let the feelings expressed here confirm a preconceived notion that gay people are angry and unhappy people. Because that is far from true.

For today, I leave you with one last quote from “Angels in America”:

Nothing’s lost forever. In this world, there is a kind of painful progress. Longing for what we’ve left behind, and dreaming ahead. At least, I think that’s so.