Sunday, August 31, 2008

Five hours behind... a few months ahead

So, my roommate invited me to dinner at one of his friend's house. To be honest, I really wasn't wanting to go because I've been needing to finish a couple of websites I've been working on for far too long.

Despite, I decided to go... and I'm glad I did. In those five hours (two longer than I anticipated), we landed a prospect of a cheaper place to live, and I met a Ballroomer of the female-not-taller-than-I variety (who happens to be looking for a Ballroom partner as well).

If these work out, I'll have checked off two major goals that I wasn't expecting to take care of for a few months. Now... time to make up the five hours of programming I missed...

In other news: I'm thinking of trying school again (perhaps obviously not at BYU this time). In fact, I've already filled out FAFSA and applied for the next semester at the University of Utah.

Although I abhor bureaucracy, I can't escape it -- and it's pretty much vital to have an official piece of paper declaring I can, indeed, do what I can do.

But that's where my problem with school lies: Why am I studying something I can already do -- or learn on my own perhaps more quickly than in a class?

Friday, August 29, 2008

... must... dance...

I just watched Don Juan -- I waited until today 'cause my sister wanted to watch it too (man, I'm such a friggin' awesome bro)...

I must say I love French musicals -- very much my style. The choreography, especially, is 'me' -- what I would do if I were in charge. I'm pretty much French.

Anyway, I'm really missing dancing. I'm really missing choreographing (without compromising my artistic style/vision).

I think it would be awesome to put together a dance team. Below are a few songs I would like to choreograph:
  • Gravity, Vienna Teng (couple, Trepidation)
  • Burn, Collective Soul (team, Paso Doble -- maybe even Samba (NOT a typical Samba, I know -- I'm not really one to be conventional))
  • Love is the Ritual, Styx (team, Cha-Cha-Cha)
  • Pieces of Eight, Styx (couple, Pas de Deux)
  • La Pachawmwa, Azabache La Reina Caribeña (team, Samba -- completely traditional)
  • I'm a Cucumber, Brak (solo, Tap)
  • Beauté Cachée, Cécile a dit (couple, Rumba)
  • Steam Heat, The Pajama Game (team, Theatrical)
  • Je Chante, Charles Trenet (solo, Tap)
... the list goes on.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Style & Gifts from Korea

Ever since always I've been trying to find "my style" -- especially and specifically a hairstyle. Granted, it's tough to really take upon oneself a style when one doesn't really know who one is -- or who one is going to be.

Now, however, that I'm becoming much more steady of a personality, I think I'm starting to see "my style." Below is an instance of where I'd like to start heading -- including and specifically the hair:

The sweater is definitely me -- argyle is perhaps my most favorite of patterns. I've also been going through a 'brown' phase (... hmm... that sounds like an accident after drinking bad water), but most importantly, I think the hairstyle would work well for me -- those who know me please feel free to 'yay' or 'nay.'

And in other news: I FINALLY FOUND DON JUAN EN DVD!!!!

Oh, I am so happy... it's perhaps my most favorite French musical, and I was elated to hear it was going to be released to DVD (doubly so when it was set to release on my birthday, nonetheless -- this was a few years ago).

And then I was devastated when the DVD was unavailable -- and unfindable... until almost a year ago when I heard that the DVD was actually released in Korea (???). It took me several months of online searching -- and pleading with God... okay, so I really don't pray to be able to find French musicals on DVD -- to finally find my hero of a site:

I had to wait even a few more months before I could afford it, but FINALLY I received it in the mail yesterday! Such a joyful occasion!

To quote me a few paragraphs before: "Oh, I am so happy..."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

... maybe just another sip...

Despite how much I hated my most recent experience with being in a musical... I would probably audition for another show, specifically if it were for any of the following roles:
  • Seymour, Little Shop of Horrors (quadruply so if Kristy were Audry)
  • Jack, Into the Woods
  • Mortimer, Arsenic & Old Lace
  • Brother, Ragtime
  • Charlie Brown, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
  • The American or the Russian (don't know their names), Chess
I perhaps also wouldn't be opposed to being in a movie or tv... especially a Narnia movie...

(This post, in no way, implies any wavering of staying in my current career.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I Think So

I recently received a comment on a past post that I think helped me sort out some thoughts and anxieties I have been having re my family:
I was just thinking, if I were in your family's shoes, these would be my suggestions (take whatever I write with a grain of salt, because, let's be honest...I'm a stranger!:)
They still love you, I'm sure, but I can imagine that they may feel uncomfortable for a couple of reasons...
1) they may not know any persons who are gay besides you and not understand it or feel that things are suddenly different
2) they may be worried that no matter how they treat you, it will be the wrong way
3) they may be worried how to love you and still teach their children that they believe your actions are wrong
I think these are spot on... I especially have seen evidences of the second from my mother. And the first two can be worked on... the third, however, is where the biggest strain comes in -- primarily because the belief that my actions are wrong and detrimental is being proven, day by day, to be false (and the evidences are blaring when my life before my decision to "be gay" is compared to my life after said decision).

Quite honestly, perhaps the only way my siblings are going to be able to ensure that their children follow according to this belief is to cut them off from me completely... which is my greatest -- GREATEST -- fear and anxiety. Of course, this won't be necessary until I marry.

I do, though, have one brother and his wife who are completely "on my side" (I really don't want to make it sound as though there's a line drawn in the sand... but, then again, there may be one, but I'm not the one who is drawing it) -- so I know I'll still be an full-fledged uncle to three of my nieces and nephews.

I also have a sister-in-law who has a gay brother, living with a partner, and she doesn't keep her kids away from them... so there's hope for another three.

What I guess I'm saying is that this belief that I am in the wrong is what's scary to me... because it's just that, a belief -- not rooted in evidence, especially current, personal evidence, but rooted in "Because God said so."

How am I supposed to compete against that? How am I supposed to prove that my choices are right -- and even praiseworthy? ... okay, so these are kind of rhetorical questions... there's really no way I can compete. All I can do is make my choices, according to what I feel is right (not just temporally, but eternally and in the eyes of God), and hope that the fruits of my choices will speak humbly, strongly, and sharply.

Which brings me to the next part of the comment:
I know you are frustrated because you feel that your family are not praying about the truth of SSM and relying solely on the words of leaders.
I think, for many, it's hard to reject not only the words of current leaders, but the words of the Old Testament and New Testament. Homosexual acts are condemned in those scriptures as strongly as they are in current church addresses. They are reading and praying and their faith in the gospel doesn't allow them to think otherwise, no matter how much they love you.
From what I've heard from the leaders, I think their current stance stems very largely from the Old and New Testaments. And, though, I understand such completely, what I don't understand is how this belief can be so concreted when the LDS Church has a little caveat concerning the Bible: "as far as it is translated correctly."

There are so many things in the Bible that we simply do not subscribe to anymore -- and I'm not referring to the Mosaic Law stuff, either. There are verses by the apostle, Paul -- which apostle is perhaps the largest Bible reference as to why a man must marry a woman -- concerning gender roles (specifically that women should not speak or teach) that we do not follow. We have written them off as "that was just the culture back then" instead of "this is the eternal gender role of a female."

And, quite truly, the words purported to be referencing homosexuality are quite vague, rather stretching things sometimes, while the words defining the roles of women are crystal clear.

It just doesn't make sense to me, how we can take clearly worded counsels of an apostle and throw them aside as "cultural" and then take vague references and create "doctrine which cannot change."

It is especially confusing when, as I applied these proposed doctrines to my life... well... it just didn't feel right -- meaning I couldn't receive that same Spirit of confirmation I received when I read the Book of Mormon. Yet, when I started to seek things out more seriously, more meekly, I started to come to the point where I am now. And as I move along this path, things have been feeling much more right, much more akin to that same Spirit of confirmation I receive when I read the Book of Mormon.

Perhaps this is the core of my frustration: that this is a part of my testimony of God and Eternal Salvation... and I can't bear my testimony to my family -- most will not hear it... they don't want to hear it.

Coming from people who would have non-members of the LDS faith listen to their testimonies... it's frustrating, to say the least.

And my desire for my family to pray and listen and know really isn't padded in, "Because I want to be accepted by them," but in the desire for them to augment their own testimonies of God and His Plan of Happiness for all His children. I want them to be able to share this happiness and joy that I am beginning to experience.

I want to ensure the health and safety of my nieces and nephews who may be gay -- if there are any... out of 30, there's probably a good chance.

I want to do my part to rid the world of this horrible hostility towards gays. I want to help get rid of this awful contention flying around everywhere... and the best way, in my opinion, to get rid of contention is to find Truth... and the only way to find Truth is through meekness and humility... and I just haven't seen strong evidence of such in the stance the LDS church is -- for lack of a better word -- violently holding to.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to disparage the LDS church... they believe violence is needed here -- which is apparent as is often quoted the "I came not with peace but with a sword" scripture reference. There are, indeed, times when 'violence' is needed in defense.

It just kind of sucks when you're the one getting slashed at... and you're not quite sure what you did wrong (because you're only acting according to the dictates of your heart, conscience, and guidance through prayer, fasting, scripture study, and meditation... and you aren't even the one who picked up the sword and declared war in the first place).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ten thirty

And I'm going to bed!

Yay... I've been so tired... hopefully I can sleep well -- my code is much less buggy when I'm more alert.

Speaking of which, I'm really enjoying my job. I couldn't have asked for a better one at this time in my life!

In other news, I may have an opportunity to apply to be a choreographer for a production of Seussical... do I dare?

If Ever You Meet a Plant...

... that promises you stuff if you'll feed it blood...

I wouldn't recommend listening to it... I think the same is true with most things that promise such...

Just some words of advice from good ol' Chedner.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Any Artists Out There?

If any of you who read my blog are -- or know someone who is -- an artist (illustration-wise) and would be interested in doing artwork for some Adobe Flash based games, give me a holler.

I've got a few ideas and would like to get produced and could use a few good artists.

(I should mention I'm not doing such for monetary gain -- that's what my full-time job is for -- but as a hobby and for experience.)

So... if anyone's out there...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Proposition 8 is from God

I went to see The Dark Knight with my sister last night -- this is actually the second time I've seen it. It's a good show, somewhat long -- probably would have been better as two movies, the first introducing the Joker and the second on the Dark Knight theme... but that's beside the point of this post (if you haven't seen The Dark Knight, this post may not make too much sense, though).

Anyway, all the hullabaloo concerning California's Proposition 8 has really got me thinking, and I am beginning to think that this proposition was, indeed, from God. Now, I don't mean "inspired by God" but "God didn't say no."

I cannot believe that God inspired such actions the LDS church is taking -- especially if God is Christ. Christ was not concerned, in the least bit, with making sure His teachings were upheld by the law. He was concerned with and only with the individual welfare, both spiritual and physical, of His children... which is why I believe God is allowing the LDS church to be so hostile.

He is playing the Dark Knight; He is accepting the blame here... because it's going to give some members the courage to detach themselves from a lesser life, away from hostility, and attach themselves to a healthier, happier, more meaningful life.

To confess, I was once again sinking into the, "Maybe I'll hold out a little longer, go back to the Church; they seem to seeking, somewhat, to understand how to make life better for the gay member" temptation. Then the LDS church made her stance on Proposition 8, and all the harrowing memories of my time in the LDS church, not being sustained or supported in my decision to live a celibate life, flooded back to me, and I knew it is not a good place for me to be.

I saw how the LDS church is so willing to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of time to support legalizing their ideals when they wouldn't do anything to help make my life more bearable -- there were times when I simply could not sustain myself; there were times when I literally went hungry during the day because I could not afford food, and I was told, "You need to change your attitude. You need to be more self-sufficient. You need to do this... you need to do that."

Nowhere was it said, "I can see this is tough for you, let me help you..."

I thank God for playing the Dark Knight. The general membership of the LDS church is not ready to accept homosexual couples -- it's probably going to take another decade or so -- and so the best thing, I think, God can really do is to allow the leaders of the church to create a sufficiently hostile environment so that those who need that extra, "It's not very safe for me here in the Church," push will get it and find a better life.

I just hope, however, there will be no suicides this time.

Those Things I Do

I should probably note that, although I may have many philosophies and theories (such as my previous post), such are not the foundations on which I build my life.

Rather, I make my choices based upon those things which bring value, meaning, and substance to life.

One of the things I value most is family, and I desired to start a family of my own, to raise children with a spouse whom I love completely and who complements me completely, to create a family that loves God and seeks to make the world a more livable and beautiful place.

This is why I left the church, why I sacrificed my membership, so I could pursue that which is more valuable: a family.

Some often pooh-pooh this decision, proclaiming that I'm just looking for the easy way out... if they only knew how difficult such a sacrifice is... especially when they are doing everything within their power to belittle, disparage, and debase my choice.

If only they would listen to my testimony, and the testimonies of so many others, concerning the guidance felt from God in making this choice. They don't have to believe such is true, but I just wish they would listen and pray about it. Unfortunately, that's too much to ask.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Why, Gender, You Look Fabulous!

I think the very best argument the LDS church has against the theology (as opposed to legality) of same sex couples being married -- my personal definition of marriage is the force that joins two entities as one -- is the need for gender complement (not to be confused with a gender compliment as is exampled by this post's title... huck-yuck).

Anyway, I remember when I was going through counseling at LDS Family Services, I told my counselor that I didn't understand why two men or two women couldn't be eternally sealed; she said something to the effect of, "I imagine it has something to do with Yin & Yang, the need for a harmonious balance of natures."

This got me thinking, and it makes perfect sense. After all, how can you make something perfectly whole if the two pieces are not complementary?

Such was back in 2005, and I've done a great deal of pondering and observing with this hypothesis that two people of the same sex cannot complement each other. In my observations, I noticed something sticking rather starkly out there, something that is found from humble acts to derogatory jokes: a homosexual's innate and inward gender balance is different than a heterosexual's -- even the "butch" and "fem" homosexuals have a noticeably different makeup of inward gender interactions than a heterosexual counterpart.

I used to think that, perhaps, this implied more than two genders, but the more I observed, the more I noticed there are, indeed, only two genders: male and female; a homosexual merely has a different composition of the two complementing genders than a heterosexual. Now, I wouldn't say such is in a more androgynous way -- meaning, I don't think gender is really a quantitative trait, and as everyone has both masculine and feminine traits, it's not "how much more masculine" or "how much more feminine" someone is but the difference in how these two genders interact with each other within an individual... if that makes sense.

To perhaps put it a different way, the following symbols represent how I see the manner in which the two genders, male and female, generally interact within heterosexuals and homosexuals:





In my observations, I noticed that, when it comes to complementing natures most perfectly, a heterosexual male and a heterosexual female complement each other most completely; a homosexual male and a homosexual male complement each other most completely; a homosexual female and a homosexual female complement each other most completely:







Of course, such is in "completely heterosexual" or "completely homosexual" cases. There is something else I have observed: as with everything else when it comes to an individual, each person doesn't follow the exact class of a "homosexual" or a "heterosexual" nor is any marriage a perfect complement -- that is, the marriages that work best, I believe, come close, but I've yet to see a perfectly whole union of two people.

Anyway, such a flux between individuals is why some mixed orientation marriages work -- and work well: the spouses' gender compositions are such that is created a mostly whole complement when united. (I've also seen that such is not reflected in how sexually attracted someone is to a specific sex.)

When applying this to rearing children, I believe there is, indeed, a need for a child to be brought up by two parents complementary joined as one. I also believe there is as equal of a complement of genders in homosexual couples as there is in heterosexual couples.

It is my opinion that children are extremely perceptive and conceptually grounded, that they innately are capable of learning and experiencing this complement, even when socially driven definitions of male and female are not present.

Of course, this is just a thesis I have according to what I have witnessed and sensed in life. I only have my observations as my sole empirical data; albeit, the more I observe, the more my thesis seems to hold true.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Exactly the Problem

This attitude is precisely why there is such hostility in the LDS church towards gays. A great majority of members are not praying about it... they simply are not praying. How can anyone know anything spiritual without constantly praying about everything?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sitting Out of the Circle

I wonder if this is how Blacks felt when they were segregated from the Priesthood... I guess I should backtrack...

One of my nieces was baptized and confirmed a member of the LDS church yesterday. It was the first time since being ordained and Elder in the church that I sat out of the Priesthood circle. It was the first time since I walked away from the LDS church's expectations of me that I sat through a church service. I actually plan on attending church meetings, but I needed to step back from such for a while... and after yesterday I think I'm going to need more time.

It's very confusing seeing a baptism, feeling the Spirit -- the same Spirit that led me to where I am today -- and knowing that I am not allowed the same privileges. It's very confusing feeling the closest to God than I've ever felt and not being allowed to stand in the Priesthood circle for my niece's confirmation. And I wonder if this is similar to how the Blacks felt.

I'm sure there are some difference... for example, I don't think the Blacks had the temptation to pretend to be white so they could be a member in full-standing. Yet, for me, there came that parallel temptation yesterday: just be straight. But it wasn't a prompting from the Spirit -- nor was it a prompting from elsewhere; rather, it was a desire to please and be accepted by my family, by the church, by some of my friends. It was a desire to escape the sporing contention around homosexuality. It was a desire to just live an easier life.

(Shazam; I just noticed $0.50 on my floor; I can get some chocolate at work tomorrow... anyway, back to the post...)

I'm usually filled with a whirlwind of emotions and inner contention with this temptation. It gives me such a sick, awful feeling in my duodenum... and I don't like it.