Sunday, August 23, 2009

Girl Cooties

I've not been to a Mormon singles event in years. Until last night …

Monday, August 10, 2009

5 Other Places

While I love Nine Moons (and even visit By Common Consent and Times & Seasons, from time to time), I must admit that my life online doesn't revolve around the Bloggernacle™. In fact, of the eight or so hours a day I spend online (work, mostly), I'd say only a few precious moments each morning are spent among the saints. What, pray tell, could possibly tempt me away from the iron-alloy rod? Well … lemme tell you. I won't bore you with a list of all 600+ feeds in my newsreader. Instead, I'll just hand pick a few gems:

1001 Rules for My Unborn Son — part of a larger library of "daddy" and "dude" sites I follow (Cool Tools, The Art of Manliness), 1001 Rules is a delightful compendium of wisdom, wit (ahem), and music. Start at the beginning.

TED Talks — I love having my world view challenged (occasionally). These folks who bill themselves as "ideas worth spreading", offer "riveting talks by remarkable people". And they do it with charm and panache. My favorite? A must-watch 15 minute talk on the Liberal and Conservative mindsets.

Cute Overload — sometimes kittens (or puppies, or something else, entirely) are just what the doctor ordered for a bad day. Be sure to check out the Rules of Cuteness.

Front Porch Republic (found via the inimitable Russell Fox) — I am, most of all, a political creature. As a child, I dreamt of being king of a small, sovereign state carved out of Montana (apparently I wasn't alone). But practical considerations suggested I work within the system. The folks at FPP write much that resonates with the best of me. I think they may resonate with you, too.

Player-vs-Player (a close second would have been Looking for Group) — online comics are my guilty pleasure. And PvP is the best-written, best-drawn, geekiest, and funniest of them all. No need to start at the beginning, you can catch-up with the character bios. Or just buy a t-shirt.

NB: This post is cross-posted from 5 Other Places, at Nine Moons. Please join us over there to comment!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dude.

Father's Day — in the US, at least — is quickly approaching. So it's somehow appropriate that I've got a hankering to talk about men. Nothing salacious, mind you … just a post on the enigmatic state of being a guy today.

I've said it before: men and women are different creatures. I know this, perhaps, better than I know most anything. As a gay man, I am inexplicably drawn to that elusive quality that makes men … men. It's certainly not anatomy; nor our job or the way we dress; nor our mannerisms or the roles we play in life. But there is something — something preternatural — that resonates within us, Male and Female.

So if it's not any of that — if our eternal gender is something so obfuscated by culture and genome — why care? Why all the fuss? I can't speak definitively, of course … but I've got a hunch.

Culture, in many ways, is part of a complex survival mechanism. It gives us the tools to both survive and thrive within a given context. Sure, it's imperfect, but it's powerful all the same. So being able to internalize and transmit ones culture is a sign of ones spiritual/psychological fitness in much the same way that symmetry in physique is a sign of ones genetic health — and it carries with it the same heady allure.

But something happened over the last century. Culture became unhinged, in many respects, from reality. The feedback loop which kept most aspects of a given culture intimately connected to its milieu was co-opted by technology and our own counter-culture drive. For the time being — blessed, as we are, with practically free energy and blinded as we are by technology — culture isn't a matter of survival. It's an accessory like shoes or cufflinks. So now we pick and choose from myriad cultures the shiny bits that intrigue us, while ignoring the repercussions.

Men no longer enjoy the confidence of living within a cohesive culture.

Sitcoms tell us that men are buffoons. That we are hapless, witless, feckless creatures — outshone in every respect by women (which, I suspect, is equally annoying to women). We're told that we think about sex constantly and engage in sex at such an early age that by junior high, the virginal male is social equivalent of a third nipple: pathetic and ineffectual. Other players tell us that average men sport genitalia of equine proportions and are either bronzed and polished gods or hirsute demigods. Still others feed on our sartorial sensibilities and dress us up in costumes unbefitting men who actually work and live in anything but Second Life™. I could go on … but you get the idea.

And that's just in secular life … General Authorities and their comments about the spiritual superiority of women and the odd and pervasive comments about wives always being right are as emasculating as the sitcoms. Moreover, the rhetoric of role-playing and stewardship — which I believe obliquely addresses eternal principles — is stuck in Mid-century America. With the Beavers.

But there's hope.

A nascent man movement in the US — which has roots both in religious circles and the secular world — seems to be scratching at the surface of the problem … and blogs such as The Art of Manliness and Rules for My Unborn Son are fine products of this renaissance. It's a hard thing, though, to refashion something so complex and nuanced as culture from scratch. It's a bit like the scientists of Jurassic Park fame attempting to recreate dinosaurs from incomplete DNA, spittle, and hubris. We're bound to create a few monsters along the way. It's not a natural process, after all — cut-off as we are from the bright and instructive light of life outside our technology-induced stupor. Which is why I think that the Church's role could prove pivotal. And the Proclamation on the Family is a good start. But I fear that we won't really understand the value of that document for some time — burdened as we are by the muddy mandates of memory.

So that's it. Like so many things in modern life, what it means to be a man is much less clear — but if we're careful and given to inspiration, we'll exit the other side of this fog better men, better sons, brothers, and fathers. Which is to say, in so many words, happy Father's Day (whatever that means).

NB: This post is cross-posted from Dude, please join us over there to comment!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Very Gay Transcript

Cover art for 'A Very Gay Transcript'.
A heads-up: a web/e-mail friendly transcript of the Very Gay Podcast is available at my YouPublish site: A Very Gay Transcript. It’s available (like the podcast itself) for anyone to use, under a Creative Commons license.

That is all.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

I'm in Love …



… with Color. Thanks, James, for turning me on to Jen Stark.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Totally Gay Podcast

I was recently interviewed by Nine Moons founder Rusty Clifton about my being gay and active in the church — and about California's Proposition 8. If you've got 45 minutes, give it a listen…

Listen to the podcast…

NB: This post is cross-posted from Nine Moons: A Totally Gay Podcast, please join us over there to comment!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Cleaning Out the Closet

So the remodel (phase one, at least), is coming to a close. Which means I have no more excuses to be living out of boxes. Time to go through those boxes and edit, edit, edit … and that's where you come in. I've got stuff going straight to charity … and then I've got stuff that I like too well to give to just anyone — and a few items, even, that I'm only going to let go to the right buyer.

Here goes:

Hollywood bed frame. Adjustable for twin and full box springs. Free for the taking. TAKEN

Custom bed frame for full mattress. Steel, powder-coated construction. Finish color is "root beer". Not the best picture.

Mid-20th-century ceramic pillow form. Japanese. Purchased @$75. Make an offer.

16 FLOR brand cocoa-colored coir carpet tiles. Purchased @ $400. Make an offer. TAKEN

Mid-20th-century shoji game board. Japanese. Solid wood — I believe it's alder. Purchased @ $60. Make an offer.

P├ętanque set (like bocce or lawn bowling) — includes rules. Purchased @ $60. Make an offer.

Two wreathes with faux red berries. TAKEN


Two kissing balls with faux red berries. TAKEN


Mirrored picture frame. TAKEN

Wooden picture frame. TAKEN


Double picture frame in marquetry. TAKEN

Leatherbound picture frame. TAKEN

Leatherbound picture frame. TAKEN


Leatherbound picture frame. TAKEN