misc


I love our house. We recently passed our one year anniversary of being home-owners, but there are still days when I drive home from work, turn onto our street, and get a little thrill from the idea that this is actually ours. We live here.

We’ve been working hard on yard projects all summer because the yard was in really tragic condition when we bought the house. The backyard had basically been used as a large dog pen and was covered in dog poo. The grass in front and back was patchy and filled with not only a lot of weeds, but a lot of different kinds of grass. I’m not sure if they seeded or patched with differing types of sod, or if it’s just how the lawn developed over it’s lifetime, but it still kind of strikes me as strange that there’s so many different kinds of grass in one small lawn.

The people we bought the house from had put up a fence, which was one of the best things they did, because all three of the neighboring yards are pretty trashy. But that said, they did a kind of terrible job installing the fence. They didn’t weather proof it at all, so some of the posts are warping and it just looks really rough. But last weekend we cleaned it and put a coat of stain/sealer on it – and I can’t believe the difference. It still needs some repairs in a few places, but it seriously looks like an entirely new fence. It really changes the personality of the backyard, from feeling a little rundown to feeling rather posh.

Our other big-ish project is putting in a paver patio. We are about halfway done with that one – it’s taking forever, mainly because I messed up on the math a few times now and we just keep having to make trips to Home Depot to get more stones. Plus, we both just have sedans, so it’s not like we can bring 160 pavers home at a time. It’s going to be really nice when it’s done though. The “patio” that the previous owners were using, was about 2 square feet of cinder blocks with some 2-by-4’s laid on top. Not cute and not really very safe. And the idea of the bugs that were flourishing in all those mini cinder block caves never failed to creep me out. Erica tore most of that out while I was at work one day, and it even creeped her out a bit – and she’s not a chicken about bugs like I am.

We’ve also torn out quite a bit of what was planted in the yard, and replaced a lot of it with stuff we like better. They had planted about 7 arbor vitaes along the back fenceline, but then basically let them die, so there were the maybe 6-foot-tall “evergreens” that were all brown. There were several really ugly bushes that we tore out, and also they had planted a vegetable garden in a too-small patch right next to the house. We tore that out and put in a raised garden for veggies – we’ve had some yummy squash and peppers, and a tomato or two so far, with many more yet to ripen.

There are a ton of other things we want to do. We really want to paint the trim and the front door and the garage door – but at this point that will be a next summer project, or else we won’t do it at all.

The Seatlle-move update is that we are going to stay one more year in our house, because to rent it out now would mean paying capital gains taxes when we sell. So we will wait until next summer and re-asses. If the market has improved, we’ll go ahead and sell then, and if not, we’ll rent it.

There are drawbacks to postponing the move. Namely, I will have to survive another legislative session here in Utah. 😦 And Erica will have to endure a work environment that she doesn’t love as much as she used to. But the one thing I am happy about is staying in our house and getting a few more things done. It is our home, and when it comes time to let someone else live here, it will be with a lot of bittersweet feelings.

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.

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.

Well, we had a fantastic time in Seattle last week. It probably seems a bit crazy to start making decisions/plans to move there, when summer is the only time we’ve been there. But man, those summer days are beautiful! It was such perfect weather the whole time we were there. I really think I could put up with a lot of rain during winter to have a summer like that. In the meantime, back here at home, it’s 100 degrees today…too hot to really even be outside.

So, we are definitely starting to make plans. There was a possibility that we would try to do it quickly and be there for a job opening for Erica in August. But that is seeming more and more impossible to accomplish. There is still too much to do and figure out. We need to figure out housing, both here and there. We are torn about our house here in Salt Lake, which we love and have so many plans for. I wish we could take it with us! But I don’t think in the current market, selling for what we’d like to make on it will be possible. Renting seems a better option, though we’d sure prefer to rent to someone we know (any takers out there?) 🙂 I think if we can wait a couple of years – maybe even one depending on how the market goes – we can make enough to buy something up there. Plus, renting for a short while up there is appealing because it will give us a chance to figure out where we want to buy.

The town where our friend that we stayed with lives is so adorable, but it would be a very long commute if I end up working in downtown Seattle. And we don’t really know where Erica will be working either.

So…these are the things we are trying to figure out. I think we’d both really love it up there. I know there is concern about the amount of rain and the lack of sun during the winter. But really, how much sun do we get here? Even when it isn’t cloudy, the inversion gets so thick that you really can’t see the sun anyway. I wouldn’t miss the snow at all, actually, though Erica will. We will both miss being close to our families.

But, that said, I think at least for me, getting out of Utah will help my family relationships in a lot of ways. I have a tendency to hear news about what the church is doing and assume that everyone in my family agrees with it (the CA marriage issue is the most recent example). But that is not necessarily true. And I think if I can live somewhere where the church’s actions aren’t in the newspapers every day that I can let a lot of that worry go. I don’t want to become that person who is always angry about something the church is doing – and that will be much easier to accomplish living in a place where no one else will really care at all.

So, at this point, it’s mainly figuring out the housing issues and then figuring out the timing. I think we’ll have to hope for a bit of serendipity as far as jobs go. One or the other of us will obviously have to have a firm job offer in hand, and then the other will have to trust/hope that she can find one as well. I’ll be sad in many ways to leave my current job. But I have faith that I can find something, with the experience I have now, that I will like just as well. Hopefully I will like the people I work with as well as I do now.

More to come as we figure it out….

Happy 4th of July everybody!

I’ve started biking to work, and though it is seriously kicking my out of shape butt, it’s also been very fun. It’s satisfying to feel like, with one action, you are accomplishing several goals. The last time I filled up my car with gas, it cost more than $50 (and I get terrible mileage, so the tank doesn’t last long), so it’s nice to just leave the car in the driveway and know i am saving money. I think I’m most excited about they physical benefits – though I’m not sure when to expect them to start kicking in. I’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks now – not every day, but as much as I can with work schedule, etc. And some days have felt easier than others. But today felt just as hard as Day 1. Friends I know who bike a lot tell me that’s pretty normal, that there’s an adjustment period for your body. I’m just hoping to pass some kind of threshold soon where I feel like I’ve made some progress, stamina-wise.

The other thing I really like about it is it feels a bit more personal than being in a car. When I pass other people on bikes, they tend to smile or nod hello, which makes me feel like I’m in the “in-crowd.” And other pedestrians are friendly, when you are stopped at lights. It makes me feel like I’m part of a community, which I’ve never felt driving through downtown.

I feel like I should be writing more, but I’ve had a hard time thinking of things to say. Not that I don’t have a lot to say on certain topics, but I’ve talked the marriage issue to death lately. I think it’s lame that Utah today joined some other states to ask the CA Supreme Court to wait until people vote on the constitutional amendment in November. Why is that necessary? The rationale was that other states need time to decide if they’ll have to recognize CA marriages…but the Defense of Marriage Act already says no state has to recognize marriages from other states. And we have a state constitutional amendment already. So…what’s to decide? We’re not going to recognize them here, no matter what CA does, so why even bother weighing in? Except as a reminder that we hate gay people here, and we’d like them all to remember that.

No kidding.

But ranting about that just makes me tired. There must be something better to talk about.

I’ve been meaning to continue some of the story of coming out, some more specifics about why I left the church, etc. Just to clarify, I haven’t removed my name from the records, though I’ve thought about it. But emotionally, I’ve removed myself from the church as much as possible. The problem with living here is that you are constantly reminded of it, in good and bad ways. And also, for those of us whose families are still very active, you can never really entirely leave, because it’s still a part of your family culture. I know my family would be very sad to know that I have even considered removing my name from the records. I think I have valid reasons – the biggest one being that for me it’s hard to be a part of something that teaches you you are innately bad. I know there are gay people who remain active, in varying degrees of compliance with church rules and guidelines. But for me, it just felt dishonest. I know that what they teach about gay people is wrong. And from there, especially when that wrong teaching is such a personal part of my own existence, it was impossible not to start to question other things as well.

I do want to go more specifically into some of those experiences, though others in the blogosphere have eloquently described similar experiences to mine. I know many people for whom coming out was a deeply spiritual experience.

Sometime I will get back to all that. It’s been a crazy week at work, and the longer I sit here the less I feel I have to say. Somehow that doesn’t seem like a good blogging tactic.

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