Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dinner with the Missionaries

Today, we had dinner with the missionaries. Usually in my personal history, I've associated dinner with the missionaries with happiness and such. This might have been, however, the most awkward dinner with the missionaries EVER. EVER in the history of EVER.

First, we had Pizza. Pizza. Not home made pizza, not some kind of special pizza, just plain old run of the mill pizza from Pizza Hut. I wanted to die from embarrassment right off. My mother doesn't like to cook, but I didn't think she'd go quite that low. I mean, seriously. Pizza... Heaven forbid we give them a good home-cooked meal. Good German fare, good American fare, SOMETHING other than pizza. She has let herself go so far from the days of Germany.

Anyway, the conversation at our beautifully decorated rosewood table, which had a table cloth that could have stood to have another foot in radius, was forced and awkward. Like a script in a bad play. "Where do you come from?" "A little town called _____, in Montana." The conversation would there end. Later a missionary would ask, "So, are you going to school?" "I just got back from my first year at BYU." "Oh." A penetrating silence followed as the looks in their faces betrayed them: wondering whether I was maybe unworthy or didn't have a testimony. Didn't bother to ask if I was even of mission age.

Dessert was ice-cream, from the freezer. It had been sitting out there a bit too long though, and I got the old stuff while everybody else got new stuff. But I was OK with that, in a way. It was OK. It was the quiet of the room as we ate that bothered me. No conversation whatsoever. My father talked briefly about his career with the government, and my mother brought up how I insisted on the correct pronunciation of Iran and Iraq. This brought more awkward silence and more of those looks.

Finally, they got to sharing a spiritual thought with us. It was the new first discussion. I don't think I've ever seen anybody less enthusiastic about anything. They weren't riveting and bursting at the seems with an overpowering spirit, dying to share a message of salvation. In fact, they didn't seem to care. They had a few lines that sounding rather robotic and memorized that I silently questioned. "We've searched it out for ourselves." Had they really, or had they taken it on faith? Could they answer the really tough questions. Not the easy ones, anybody can answer the easy ones, but could they answer the tough ones with a better answer than "pray about it [you weak testimonied filth]."

They said a prayer that lasted for a good five minutes. The phone rang twice during said prayer. Try as I might, I couldn't feel the spirit at all the whole evening, even during the prayer. I think they just wanted to get out of there as quickly as they could. And who could blame them? In a situation that awkward, I'd want out too.

Anyway, I think this is the first time I've had dinner with the missionaries and I didn't come away feeling spiritually charged and ready to take on the whole universe. I'm not quite sure what to make of it. Maybe I'm not worthy... maybe I don't deserve to feel the spirit when they pray, when they give the first lesson. Maybe it wasn't there. I think I'm going to go force my way through three kilometers of freestyle. It's time for me to get back in good swimming shape again...

-Stephen

P.S.
The pool was closed early tonight for some special event or other. I'll have to go tomorrow instead.

P.P.S.
This blog should not be interpreted as "Pizza shook my testimony," which is what another blogger told me he got out of it. Just, for the record, that's not what's going on...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Power, Pleasure, and Pain

The same thing can take different forms for so many of us. It can affect each of us in such a different way that it's difficult to believe that it can be the same thing. I'm still debating whether this post is going to be philosophical or about my testimony, the latter being a subject I've touched on only extremely briefly and passingly in this blog. I guess that's partially because of the weakness of it, but I don't know for sure why I haven't talked about it much.

What I want to talk about today is the church, and the way it affects each of us. This is a kind of touchy issue for some, but I shan't conceal my feelings. By their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:16-20.
I suppose I'll start things off with all the good that the church does. For many, the church is a source of power. It gives us what we need to make it through the day. It gives us something to hold on to. I love the church for that, for the power that gives me to do good in the world.

For some, the church is a source of pleasure. When we live the gospel, we (usually) feel happy, and things (usually) go well for us. How could anybody argue with such a proposition? All you have to do is neglect all your earthly desires, or fulfill them, depending on the person, and eternal happiness is yours. This deal is effective immediately, although there might be some minor interruptions to the service occasionally.

And then, for a select few of us, the church is a source of pain. I think that most of us have felt this side of the church before. That agony associated with it. The pain that comes when we try to reconcile both our homosexuality and our membership in the church. The pain that we feel when we hear people who are members in good standing say such horrible things about us, or about any minority. The pain that we feel when we read "The Miracle of Forgiveness."

We know the church by it's fruits, and we know that a good tree cannot bring forth bad fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Yet the fruit of the church seems to be both. The church produces both humanitarians and warlords, both men of love and men of cruelty, both love and hatred come as a result of the church. How then can we judge it? If not by the test provided in Matthew, then by what means are we to know? How can we act with any degree of certainty?

We all just want to do what's right. I just want to do what's right. I only wish that I knew what it was that was right. If I knew, it would all be easy. If I knew for a fact that the church was true, I could let go of my earthly desires. I really could. Conversely, if I knew for a fact that it wasn't, I would go and get myself into a big gay relationship right now. I probably wouldn't even wait until morning.

It's the lack of knowledge that paralyzes me, as it paralyzes so many others, and leaves us wondering... "what if?" Whichever choice we make, we'll always wonder "what if?"

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Something About the Hard Hat

I got a call from the temp agency today, causing me to roll out of bed at about 11:30 in the morning. They wanted me to go unload a truck full of cabinets at minimum wage for four hours. It wasn't the greatest job in the world, but it wasn't that bad either. They said they'd call me back for the same job a few times. It was hard work, but there was a bonus unexpected involved in the process.

You see, I've always wanted to wear a real hard hat, and I got to do it today. Really, it made me feel rather masculine. It's not like I find hard hats attractive or anything, and certainly not like I find anything particularly attractive about the people wearing them (That's an honor I reserve for sports equipment (like baseball, soccer, etc.) and the people wearing that!), but it reminds me of a scene in one of my favorite movies, "summer storm," where a gay guy says that a fight he was in made him feel super masculine. It was kind of nice to have a physical object affirm my manhood. Not that it was in doubt or anything, just... I felt pretty manly in that hat. That, of course, abruptly ended the second they gave me the knee-high boots that they wanted me to wear. But what can you do, eh?

Anyway, I need to make you all watch summer storm when I get back to Provo. We can gloss over the sex scenes, and we'll watch it with English subtitles so you'll understand it. It is a German film after all. Anyway, that's about it, just giving you that brief update on my life.

-Stephen

P.S.
I also felt kind of masculine purely from the fact that of the two people I was working with, one was a convict, who went to jail for six years for assault. The other was an old man who was getting ready to take some kind of test to become an electrician. The latter didn't really make me feel all the great, but working with a convict... Is it against the rules to add something to the list of things you want to do after you've already done it?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Clear Sound Reason

My blood is at a slightly elevated temperature this fine morning, so forgive me if I come across as slightly harsh or absolute in what I'm about to say. I may reconsider and edit after church, but it's not likely because I tend to find my own prose too beautiful to edit. I'm just warning you in advance, I might come across as a little steamed because, well, I am.

Sometimes, people in the church who are untrained in logic and other systems of reasoning get themselves into debates that they cannot win, mostly because their arguments are based on absolutely nothing, bad research (as in, a source that analyzed five anecdotes and called itself a study), false statistics, or a baseless presumption (these ones usually proceed to make many more baseless presumptions throughout the argument, with no attempt at logically justifying any of them.) As soon as you take the right block out of their Jenga tower, their entire case falls apart because they really only had one contention (with many sub-points) to begin with instead of multiple separate ones.

So what do they do when they realize that they have gotten themselves in over their heads? They have a few options to choose from.

My personal favorite is to pull out a scripture or saying from the prophets and abuse it until it fits into the situation at hand, acting as though it had always been meant to be used in exactly such circumstances. I was once told that because the D&C says we had (at the time of writing) "enough and to spare" of natural resources that we shouldn't worry about things like conservation and Recycling, and that it was OK to waste.

Some people like to say, "Well, I've enjoyed talking about this with you, but I can see that you are just trying to silence my opinion!" or "I'm really not interested in re-evaluating my position on this issue." I'm not trying to silence your opinion, I'm trying to get you to re-evaluate. And if you weren't interested in re-evaluating, you shouldn't have gotten into the debate in the first place. What do you think the point of a debate is?

The one that frustrates me the most is this one. "I think that this conversation is just bringing a spirit of contention, and I don't like the way it makes me feel. We need to stop now." This argument is fair if the conversation hasn't gotten very far and neither side has built a solid case yet. I understand that a lot of people are made uncomfortable by what they perceive to be contention. As a debater, I had to learn that if you get mad at everybody who says that you're wrong and points out holes in your reasoning and the logic in your cases, you won't have anybody to hang out with at tournaments. But I can still see how others get unhappy and feel attacked. Even so, you know how it makes you feel at the beginning. Stop it at the beginning, not deep into the debate when all the points are out on the table and you see how ridiculous/hopeless your case was to begin with.

Of course, there will always be other tricks, but these methods of pulling out of a debate you're losing continually make me want to hurt people. I mean, come on. If you can't hack it, don't get involved is all I'm saying. If you're going to get into a debate, be prepared to stick it all the way out. And if your case isn't built on clear sound reason, then maybe you really do need to re-evaluate. I promise, it doesn't hurt much. Just a quick sting when you realize that something you may have taken for granted your whole life might not be true, and that's all the pain there is.
-Stephen.

P.S.
I finally beat FFXII! Now I'm debating whether to (re)play through IX (my favorite) or V, or Chrono Trigger. Or anything else that I have lying around. Yay for video game culture.

Friday, May 25, 2007

What am I doing?

My day consists of basically doing nothing. I just sit around all day and play video games. I don't think I've ever felt quite this unproductive and stagnant, like I'm not advancing anything toward anything. The obvious solution is to curl up in a little ball in my room somewhere. That'll make me productive. I know that the whiny posts are getting more than a little old pretty quickly, but I really don't know what I'm doing any more. When I'm not moving toward anything in any direction in any regard... The only progress I'm making is in FFXII, which is a pretty cool game, but even so... Anyway, what this translates to is that since I'm not making any progress, and am actually only making things (financially) worse...

I would really, really, really like to not have to, but I think I might have to give up camp this year. Unless something happens in the near future, that's the way it's going to be, giving up camp in favor of looking for a job that pays a bit more. Like, ~twice as much (which won't be difficult). The problem is that nobody wants to employ me for just a couple weeks, but I could find a job that would last me to the end of summer no problem. So yeah, I don't know what to do. I tried to talk about it with my father tonight, but his mind is completely elsewhere. My little brother's trial is taking up all of everybody's concentration, effort, and resources. So, I don't know what to do anymore. The therapy of camp is something I don't want to give up, but... if it's what I have to do, it's what I have to do...

I don't mean to mope, but I don't know what else to do...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

What to blog about

It's been four days since my last blog, a new record for me. The thing is, there's just not anything quite exciting enough going on in my life to blog about.

I got a call from the temp agency this morning, at about 5:30 (an ungodly hour). They wanted to know if I would be interested in driving down to the office to pick up as many people as I could cram into my car to work construction clean up for eight hours in TILLAMOOK and then drive back. Yes, Tillamook, as in the place where I got my ticket that's like an hour and a half away when you don't speed (which I don't do anymore... at least not for the time being) and takes the better part of a tank of gas to get there and back, at least in my 10 gallon tank it does...

My rough profits would have been about fifteen-twenty dollars for the day after the gasoline. Somehow, I just wasn't interested in working eight hours (plus driving for three) for twenty dollars... Go figure...

Some of you may have noticed, I recently did some house keeping on the blog. I added tags to almost all of my posts, and I tried to keep them uniform. While I really added them more for my personal use, anybody who wanted to do in-depth research on me (because I'm that interesting) could use them to do so, and could filter posts only relating to my personal philosophy, or to my early childhood, or what have you. Just thought I'd let you all know about my cool new feature on the blog... and by cool new feature, I mean I spent about ten minutes setting it all up... most of that was spent thinking for names of tags... I might have clicked on like, ten different buttons to do it all (not counting repeats). So cool new feature might be selling it as more than it is, but yeah. You get the idea.

-Stephen

Monday, May 21, 2007

You know it's bad when you don't even want to blog about it

I'm waiting, no praying for the rubber band people to come around and give me my good snap after all the bad. I don't even know where to start. I guess the very beginning is a good place. The weekend was going well, as all Meriwether weekends do, until I got pulled over for the first time. The officer claims he clocked me at 76 in a 55 zone. I was speeding, but I wasn't going 21 over. And he was an ass about it. Compounded by the fact that I didn't have registration and proof of insurance in the car. The let me off with a verbal warning and said he'd pull me over the next time he saw me to check if I had it. If I didn't, he intended to impound my car. Jackass. So I have a court date in a month. If it were in the city, I would fight it, but it's out in Tillamook, and the judge (the only judge) has a history of ridiculous findings, i.e. the testimony of one police officer outweighs the testimony of three civilians. So I don't know exactly what I'll do. I have, however, developed newfound disdain for the fuzz, flat feet, coppers, pigs, call them what you will. (side note: does anybody know the modern mean thing we call the police? I can't think of anything that isn't at least 20 years outdated...)

In other news, my little brother got arrested today. Imagine my surprise when I was at a kinder-concert with my little sister when my dad calls asking me to get my mom up to the school. The little sexual deviant has been accused of groping the breasts of three girls who expressly told him "no." He's not going back to school for the rest of the school year, and we've retained a lawyer. That means, of course, that any money my parents might have been thinking of giving me for school in the fall is now gone. We won't even get into the fact that I might just lose my little brother because the state decides my parents aren't doing a good job with him. Unlikely, but possible. Needless to say, I'm more than a little frustrated.

I went in to see a temp agency today, in hopes of finding some work. They said to let them know how I was doing for work later in the week and they'd let me know if they had any openings for me. They didn't seem hopeful though, due to my lack of clerical experience. She even gave me a list of other agencies more suited to my talents... Yipes...

Anyway, something good's got to happen soon, right? I mean, only so much bad stuff can happen before something really, really good has got to happen, right? Right? I don't think I had this much bad karma built up, so now the universe has to even things out, right? Maybe... Then again, maybe that's just stupid...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Uvula, Bank Fees, Internet, and Shaving.

I had the most interesting experience the other day. Have you ever seen a baby in front of a mirror when they first realize that it isn't another baby, but is in fact themselves? Did you ever notice the way the seem so genuinely intrigued and interested in their own anatomy, and like to make cooing noises as they figure out what "hands" are and how they work? If only they knew...
Anyway, I had a similar experience in front of the bathroom mirror on Tuesday. At least, I think it was Tuesday. See, my braces like to tear parts of my cheeks away, and in the freshly opened gaps, different things happen. Food gets lodged, bacteria start to grow, new cheek starts to cover over it all. The point is, I have to do some regular maintenance. Every other day or so, I go in and clean them out. Well, on Tuesday as I was cleaning out my braces cuts, I decided to depress my tongue. You know that line that goes down the back of your mouth? It isn't a solid structure! It's your Uvula! I was astonished, like you don't even know. I probably spent the next fifteen minutes playing with my uvula (not a euphemism) and making funny sounds. It was nice to be able to return to baby-land for a while and get all excited about a part of my anatomy with which I wasn't intimately familiar. I'm still kind of smiling just thinking about it. If you haven't discovered your uvula yet, I'd definitely advise it; it'll put a smile on your face.

I went to the bank today. Always a harrowing experience. I found out that nine days ago, they had hit me with about 143 USD worth of overdraft fees for charges that I had made almost a whole week before that. Heaven forbid they TELL ME! Especially since it was almost the end of the day on the date of my overdraft when I went to an ATM to check and it said that I still had a balance. The bank very kindly agreed to reverse 81 dollars worth of them, but... growl. The teller tells me, "It's not the bank's job to monitor your money." I honestly don't know why I would use a bank instead of keeping my cash in a jar under my pillow (other than the fact that that would make sleeping uncomfortable) if that's the truth. The entire POINT of the banking system is that they help you monitor your money. That's why we use banks instead of piggy banks! Growl. So, anyway, I'm back to being broke. And I still haven't started. I've given up on that job at the computer place. It doesn't take three weeks to run paper work. He shouldn't have offered if he didn't mean it. Jerk.

The internet is working again. When my parents moved, I only had internet access when I sat in just the right spot and the wind wasn't blowing so I could steal the neighbor's WiFi. The comcast man came by today. He wasn't remotely attractive, but he activated our internet access! So I can now surf for longer periods of time uninterrupted and get back to making comments; I've fallen behind.

For those of you who don't know, I was until recently blessed with the ability to go for long periods of time without shaving. I could push three weeks and only people who saw me moderately often would notice. Oh cruel world, it is no longer so! My chin hair isn't as soft as it used to be, or as blond! Do you know what that means? I actually have to shave regularly now. While a part of me is kind of excited because it's something that everybody else does and it kind of vindicates me as a man, it means that I have to get up a couple minutes earlier to make it out the door.

And I'm headed back to camp this weekend. I love camp. Really, truly, I won't ever be able to get married because I'm in love with camp. I may have already said that, but I'm too lazy to check. Less-journaly post to follow in near future.

-Stephen

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Waffles

You know, I've never understood the English verb, to waffle. I mean, I understand what it means to waffle, but I don't quite get why. I like waffles. But wafflers are bad? It's all a bit confusing for me... And I really don't think it's because of the whole bilingual thing. Really, I just think it's confusing.

Anyway, this post is about me, and my propensity to waffle. You see, I was afraid of what would happen if I had a major situational change during a paradigm shift, but I'm starting to think that's just a rationalization for my immense propensity to waffle (hereafter PTW). As most of you know, a month ago I was pretty Gung-Ho for the church. It was what I wanted. I liked the way it made me feel, and I was happy when I was doing church related stuff. And I really felt like people within the church understood me. And by people within the church I mean you guys. That was a major player. But now, things aren't looking quite so lush. The temptations to just go out and get laid are stronger than I can really explain, especially since it's Portland and a one-night stand is just a craigslist post away. A full time relationship could be started just be spending some time at Starbucks, or going back to my old high school and hitting on guys at GSA meetings.

A few conversations with some very good friends has gotten me over thinking that I'm an inherently bad person for it all. If you took part in one of those, you know who are. Thanks. Seriously, thanks. What I've realized in the past couple of days is that I seem to have an abnormally high PTW. I'm not quite solid on what the source of it is, but it's there. And the thing that confuses me the most is: it's the issues that I feel the strongest about that I seem to waffle on the most. Talk about confusing.

I let this sit as a draft for a long(er) while, and now I think I'm ready to finish it. I no longer believe I have an abnormally high PTW. We all say it differently: Brady doesn't know where he wants to go, Gimple doesn't know where he belongs, iWonder is constantly torn between the desires of the church and himself. That's just to name a couple; I think all of you have expressed at some point or other some sort of confusion about what to do. My real problem is that I pretend to be decided when I'm really not. Even though I might feel completely decided for a couple of days, as soon as the event that polarized me begins to fade in my memory, I go back to middle ground. Or even further.

So, what to do? I'm not exactly sure. I know that presidents Monson and Uchtdorf are men of God. I can say that with only the most minimal and negligible of hesitations. Somehow though, that doesn't translate into the church being true and infallible, which is a step most Members in Provo seem to have made. On the flipside, I'll out and say it: I like sex. Sorry to any offended, shocked, or anything otherwise people, but that's the way it is. I like sex. With other guys. I also like relationships that don't involve sex, because it makes me feel like there is something more to live for. The problem? Most gay relationships seem to absolutely abound with sex. The relationship becomes nothing more than the fulfillment of physical passions and desires. I don't want that. And hereto is the dilemma.

I must choose, on the one hand, between a church that may or not may not be true, but has leaders that radiate an energy unlike anything describable, and on the other a lifestyle that has yet to offer me anything other than temporary fulfillment and fun. The one offers to fulfill my needs for the rest of eternity at the cost of my needs for the now; the other offers me all the satisfaction I could want for the rest of mortality, and nothing in the hereafter. Surely there must be a way to have them both? Happiness, fulfillment, joy, satisfaction, etc. in both lives? Why must the choice be between the one and the other?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Back from camp

I love camp! Love, love, love, love, love. Especially now that I'm a director and I actually have my own staff to deal with. It's a stressful job with more politics than any other workplace I've ever heard of, and I absolutely love it. Love, love, love it. If I had the money, I'd bring all of you up to my camp, and show you just how wonderful/beautiful/incredible it is. And the people are all so friendly, it's right on the beach, we have our own small desert, it's just the most perfect place ever for a boyscout camp.

One of the things I look forward to a bit less about this summer is that since it's a boyscout camp, I get to pretend to be straight. I'm also the only Mormon other than the camp director on senior staff. This is the first year in over a decade that's happened. That means I get to participate in such interesting conversation as, "When's the last time you got some?" "She's so hot" "If it was the only way you were ever going to get off again, would you take a blowjob from a guy?" and "What if you had to reciprocate?" All from the straightest perspective ever. I think that I can fake it with the best of them, and I managed to escape most of these conversations relatively unscathed, until about 6:00 in the morning when I suggested that we might want a couple hours of sleep. It's good practice, I guess, because if I can fool these guys with whom I'll be living and in constant contact for eight weeks this summer, I can fool anybody. But it is a little stressful, at times, to try to keep up that image. Meh, it just adds to the fun, kind of.

Oh, and before I go and leave you hanging, my blood results show that I have type 1 HSV. It sheds about 3 days a month, and 90% of the time is responsible only for oral legions (cold sores). The chance of it shedding and another person getting it from me unless I have sores of my own is negligible (said the physician). They think I've had it for a long, long time, and when I said my baby sister used to get cold sores all the time, she said, "oh, well you probably got it from her then!" So yeah, I'm fine. That was the only abnormal thing in my blood work. I don't have diabetes.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Camp

It's been a less than pleasant week for me. There was the whole Kevin thing, although he's tonight expressed that he wants to try spending more time together, I'm still pretty solid on the fact that he's just too young for me. There's the nightmare with my job. I still don't know when I'll be starting, and I really would like to have been working these last two weeks... that's over 600 dollars in missed wages we're talking about here. I would really not mind having that money, and I might need to go out and look for another job. The one place still needs translators... That's to say nothing of my car problems, which have thankfully been resolved, but were way less than fun anyway. And then, to top it all off, I went in for my pre-camp physical earlier this week, and they wanted samples of blood and urine to do some lab work. They just called and said that they wanted me to come in (tomorrow morning) to discuss my lab results with my DR. When I asked if it was bad, all they would tell me is that it wasn't HIV. At least I'm not dying... from that...

But, in much better news, I'm going to camp for the weekend! I'm not going camping, I'm going to camp! My lovely camp on the coast, that is the love of my life. Of course, I JUST realize that I haven't made up my lesson plans yet... they were due about a month ago and I was asked to bring them tomorrow... I might be spending some time working on that, but yeah... I'm just so excited. Not only to I get to spend the weekend in a place that makes me smile wider than Disney World, but I get to spend time with a lot of really close friends I've come to know from camp. It doesn't pay that great, but I love it too much to just leave them, you know? So, anyway, you can expect a post from me after the weekend, or during if we've got the internet access set up in the management areas already. I'll be giddy, and speaking gibberish, but you can expect a post.

I could ramble on for hours with stories about camp, but the short of it is, I love it. I love the camp itself, I love the people I work with, I love the program, I love everything about camp, and even these work weekends which I'll spend most of working are a cause for a massive celebration. So I'm celebrating. Period. I don't know if any of you can understand why it makes me so happy, but... I'm ecstatic. Or maybe even more. This place is like home... Where you feel a metaphysical connection to everything around you, deer, tree, fern, ocean, mountain, hill, gravel, lake, dirt, buildings, everything. It's just... it's... Yeah. It's just that good, and I don't have the words to explain it in either language.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Everything I touch turns to broken.

I opened the sun-roof in my car yesterday. Whoops.

Now it won't close. And it's at the mechanics... In case you couldn't tell, I'm thrilled. No, I'm more than thrilled, I'm stoked.

The guy who offered me a job has been too busy with Tennis Districts Matches to process my paper work...

Ungh.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Locks.

The funniest thing just happened.

So, I, having a bunch of pent up energy, just went on a jog to the gym. I found it to be closed. Feeling rather brilliant, I jogged back. The total jogging spent up most of that energy. It's 2:00 in the morning. Of course the gym is closed... Duh... Anyway, I put my key in the lock, and I turned it, and the funniest thing happened. Like, this is so funny you won't even believe me because I don't know how to put a picture up Blogger. The part that you put the key just popped out and refused to let go of my key. And by popped out, I mean completely separated itself from the door knob and the rest of the locking mechanism. Once I removed it completely, I turned the key a couple dozen times all the way around, and it finally let go. Under normal circumstances, this should have been extremely upsetting, but... I just had to laugh. Really. I'm struggling to stop laughing now.

-Stephen

P.S.
I figured out how to post pictures!
-Stephen

Saturday, May 5, 2007

On Purpose

I really want to thank everybody that reads my Blog, even if you don't comment. You have, I'm sure, ten million things to do with your day, and the fact that you see it fit to take some of your valuable time to read my blog is really, really warming for me. So, thanks. I'd also like to say that if your blog is in the list on the left of my blog, I check it religiously for new posts. Pretty much every time I sit down with my laptop, I instinctively check those blogs, even if I don't comment. I love you all.

One of my problems is that sometimes I'm too rational for my own good. In light some interesting developments in the past 48 hours or so, it seemed like it was time to blog. I'm going to preface what follows with, "I'm not suicidal." You needn't worry about me in that regard. I don't like sharp things touching my skin. Bullets count as sharp. I'm also too fond of breathing to try some other methods, and my fear of heights that I strive so hard to hide keeps me from jumping off a bridge. All the poisons I have easy access to would kill me in a really unpleasant way or give me too much time to think about it and change my mind... Clearly, I'm out of options on that one, so suicide has to be out too.

Well, Kevin and I really aren't working out... He's really too young for me, and even though we have tons and tons in common... He's really too young for me... And he doesn't have a job... I can't afford a relationship where I pay for everything. :) But even if he did have a job... He's really too young for me...

I've had a lot of time to think while I've been waiting for my starting day at work, and I've asked a fundamental question to which I have no good answer. What am I doing here? I don't just mean Oregon, I mean here. Here, as in on earth, alive. I'm a goal oriented person. If I have some kind of goal to work towards, I could build and level empires. But here I am, sitting without a goal. I mean, I have some short term goals, pertaining to money and other nightmares, but they're short term. In the long run, what am I doing? Really, even in the short run, what am I doing? I'm going to the gym, I'm creating a whole new Stephen, but what's it accomplishing? So that I can make even more girls swoon when I read vegetable poetry? Seriously...

Well, the answer is: I don't know. I feel, purposeless. Almost all of my friends are stuck in school until summer; even the college aged ones are still away at school. Working out is producing favorable results, but I'm not really accomplishing anything. And it makes me tired and sore. So, what do I have to live for? I've spent the last 18 years living, and overall it's been an enjoyable experience, but how long can you really do something without it getting redundant? I'm not overcome by some great overwhelming sadness or anything, I just don't see why I'm bothering anymore. It doesn't seem like my existence is really improving anybody else's life at all, or like I'm advancing toward any kind of goal or anything.

It's not like I need constant progress to say that I have a purpose: even just hanging around with friends is improving their quality of life (hopefully) and that's enough of a purpose to hold me over for a while. But when I look at it, I can't see myself getting married to a woman. Since there does not exist an X such that X is unmarried and X is in the highest level of the celestial Kingdom, I can't see myself there. Since there does not exist and X such that X is not in the highest level of the celestial Kingdom and X becomes a god, I cannot see myself ever reaching that goal. And it kills me. Knowing, then, that this goal is forever beyond my reach, where does that leave me? What is my motivation? I can't find one. That's what I need.

I need a motivation. Some higher something that I'm trying to fulfill, some higher ideal that I'm striving toward. Gosh, these posts are therapeutic sometimes... But knowing what I need doesn't give it to me. Maybe, hopefully soon, I'll find a motivation. Until then, I get to sit in this limbo. I'm not motivated to do anything self destructive. I'm just not really motivated not to. I don't know... maybe this is all more effort than it's worth and I should move on to the Chicago plan. I'd thought that would only serve me in an emergency, but now it's looking quite tempting just as a change of pace...

-Stephen

Thursday, May 3, 2007

On The Wall

When my family first moved to Oregon, and America by extension, my mother wanted a wall in her Garden. Not just any wall, a giant fancy wall for retaining water made out of manor stones. They were quite trendy at the time, and she didn't realize that Americans aren't social creatures who sit in the gardens and have cake with their neighbors. She was rather upset when she found that out... Anyway, these bricks weighed about 25 kilos each, and we lay them in straight and curves lines, and then in lines on top of those lines, and so on and so forth, until the wall was finished. Then we filled in the area behind the wall with super nutritious soil for our new garden.

This latest project finished, what to do? Well, sure as heck not play on the wall. My mother had to keep the garden in pristine condition so that she could entertain. Forgive me while I curse unsociable, unneighborly Americans here for a moment. Alright, now that that's out of my system, eventually she realized that no matter how nice she kept the garden, no matter how rustic the chairs and good smelling the cakes, the neighbors only ever left their houses to do yard work or pick up their kids. Never to socialize with other neighbors. She gave up, heartbroken. But the good news was, that meant that we, the kids, could play on the wall.

It wasn't a difficult balancing act. Manor stones are rather large and flat on the tops, and there was no problem keeping good balance. But sometimes, there would be a gust of wind, or being so young, we might just lose our balance. Then, it was kind of scary. On one side, there was the nice, soft, imported moss from Ireland. (You have no idea what a nightmare it was to keep that stuff alive... Especially with the stupid clovers...) On the other side was about an eight foot fall to the pavement below. Usually when we fell, we were good enough with shifting our weight to land on the moss, and we'd get yelled at a little, but it would be OK.

One day, I was running along the wall, and playing with my kid brother, who we've called James. I turned, and slipped, and fell. This time though, there was no shifting my weight so I'd fall on the moss. I broke my arm and rent lots of clothes and skin. (manor stone retaining walls are not good for falling down. I might drive by later and take a picture of the front so you can see what I'm talking about.) Anyway, my little brother screamed, I was much too shocked for that. My father came running out, and took me to the emergency room. (Don't get me started on how much better Oregon Health Sciences University is than the stupid Utah Valley Regional Medical Centre. Growl.) I was pretty sure I would never run on that stupid wall again. After all, look at what had happened to me. A month or so after I got the cast off, I was running on the wall again. I had clearly not learned my lesson.

Sometimes, I feel like that's what I spend time doing. Running on the wall. It's not like I have to run on the wall, and it's not like I really get anything out of it. And look, there's that 8 foot fall down a manor stone wall just waiting for me. So why do it? I feel... defective. Like, rationally, I should have learned my lesson by now. Running along the wall gets you hurt. But for some reason, I keep running along the wall.

Eventually, I grew out of running along the real wall. Maybe some day, I'll grow out of my new wall too? How many times do I have to break my arm before I'll learn?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

It's May! It's May! The Lusty Month of May!

Every now and then it's important to focus on something besides that issue which clouds up most of our thoughts and issues. This blog will try to do that until the very end, where I have a couple of things I need to unload. Anyway, for those of you who know me moderately well, you know when I'm not out Boyscouting, my job is in the theatre. As a result, I try to keep myself well read in terms of plays and musicals so that I can keep up with any conversations. I also like to keep up on history (because it changes so often!). Between it all, I've noticed some trends.

Almost month, almost every season, almost every everything seems to be an excuse to go out and get laid! From Camelot, we have the title of my post. Isn't that an interesting song? Rogers' and Hammerstein's give us, "June is Busting Out All Over" from their musical, Carousel. The song is one giant, nasty innuendo. Gross. Did you know that Hl.St. Valentine's day was actually placed on the same day as an old Roman sex holiday, which was itself selected because of a correlation to the birds mating season? Back to the theatrical, "Summer Love" from Grease seems appropriate to the conversation at hand. As does the concept of a "Spring Fling" although I don't have a catchy song to cite here.

So, why is it that people feel the need to blame their thoughts and actions on something else. Or do people actually become more, erm, "active" in the spring and summer? I mean, if it were just May, or just June, or even just Summer, I could understand it, but half the year now seems to be dedicated to having sex... Maybe we need to tone it down... Maybe we need to have a summer not-love song, or an, "It's May!, It's May! The Celibate Month of May!". But then, I guess that probably wouldn't sell as well, would it?

Now on to complications in my life, that I'm really less than thrilled about. Yesterday I found out that I am both loved and hated. I mean, I've always had a fan club and people that dislike me, but it's usually a professional thing because I was so good at debate. To see that anybody has actually developed a hatred for me as a personal, private citizen is more than moderately upsetting. Especially since that somebody is my little brother. Yeah, we'll call him James.

I asked him yesterday why he was so angry since I'd gotten back, and he said to me, "I hate you, I think you're a pompous jackass, and having you home is like torture for me. I don't want to talk about it." For the record, Merriam Webster, which I really dislike, told me that "pompous" means "magnificent, splendid." I guess that's kind of cool. I can be a splendid jackass, I guess...
We talked a little, but eventually he closed up. This morning, he asked me if he could start working out with me. I think the kid's Bipolar. You don't tell somebody you hate them and then ask if you can work out with them... at least, most people don't...

Kevin and I had a long conversation yesterday. He understands that I can't, and won't, have sex with him, no matter how serious we get. And he seems to be wholly kosher with that. The problem is that he later slipped out the "L" word. For fear of judgement, I don't want to get into all the specifics of that conversation, but I have no idea what I'm going to do now... I really would like to not have to stop spending time with him, but I can see that he's taking me in a direction I don't want to go... At least, I don't think I want to go in that direction... Ungh...
There was an error in this gadget