Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I have time for nothing anymore! This move is killing me. Ok so it's not all that bad...but I can't remember the last time I watched something on netflix or the last time I hung out with a friend here at home. I work 2 jobs, pack boxes, make calls to UVU and Utah housing, and run errands for my mom. Then I have like an hour or two at night where I talk to Natalie (best part of the day....yeeeeauuuuhhh).

I'll be so happy when everything is back to normal...or something close to normal.

This is my last week at Samuel Ct.
I've lived on this street for close to 10 years. It's a deserted battleground where all of my adolescent memories lie to rest. The many bullies I encountered, including the infamous Derek Pierce who lived in the house across the street from me, I'm still reminded of as I walk down the streets and through the backyards I used to take to avoid them. It was never a matter of fear, it was annoyance. And now I still walk those paths out of routine. They've all moved away. Now I stand in a steamy summer night watching the heat lightning, the thunder reverberating through the moist air. And I can't help but harbor an ironic love for this neighborhood. All of the things I've always resented; the snobby country club attitudes, the "everyone keeps to themselves" suburban mentality, and the beer IV's that every father seems to have except my own...

For the first time in my life, I've found my bitterness turned towards endearment. I'll miss this place with all of its ignorance. It really has been a good place to grow up. I've learned to love growing up in a place of opposition. My family was so unlike any of the people we lived around. We enjoyed being around each other. Faith thrives in our household. This home has seen more love than it will ever see. And I liked knowing that I was different when the school bus dropped me off each day. I thrived in what I exaggerated to be a "hostile" environment while dreaming of busting out of the suburbs to see the world. And I'm on the path to doing so as we speak.

So screw you Samuel Ct.
I love you. I love all of these memories, good and bad. And I know that I'll miss you.
But I'm so glad to be leaving for good.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

An important read


These are my thoughts on the matter:

I won't try to convince anyone of my opinion. I know how personal this subject is to people and how unlikely it is for them to see another side of things.
But what I will say is that as a convert to the Church, I have not known this faith all of my life. I made the conscious decision to join the Church just about the same time as the Prop 8 decision was taking place.

I did not join because it was the easiest choice. I did not join because I disliked the gay population. In fact, it was the exact opposite for both. It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make. But I could not deny the peace, beauty, and truth I had experienced in the LDS Church.
Now this is where most will stop reading. I know I've more than stepped on a few toes. But this is what this Church and this faith mean to people. Sure you have those who simply side with the Church because its the easiest way. But for those of us who fight that internal battle, it means much more. Faith is not a political opinion. Faith is as much a part of my life as my sexuality. It's something I cannot deny.
I apologize if that offends anyone. But I just felt like it should be said on behalf of those of the faith.
For the record, I do believe that the Church should stay out of political matters such as this.

To Mormons reading this article:
Whats more important than anything is your testimony of the truthfulness of the Church (3 Nephi 27). Nothing on this earth, no matter the issue, should take that away from you. That's not to say I'm siding completely with the Church on this. We are allowed to have certain disagreements or conflicted opinions. We will never have all of the answers. But we can pray to come to some sort of understanding.

"I can only hope people understand a little more about what goes into our decisions concerning the Gospel, however hard that may be."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010



Someone else did a project like this at NKU last semester. It was really well done. But I also thought it was over-produced. Too manipulated. I like the rawness and simplicity of Meredith Andrews project:


He push a breath of air and He fills every sail in sight

Ok so while I've got your attention, listen to this.

I am overwhelmed with the truth of the Book of Mormon. Now that I've said that, you're either:
A. Going to stop reading because you don't think this applies to you.
B. Say "oh here he goes again with the religious rant."
C. Open a new internet tab to watch cat videos on youtube
D. You may actually read this.

I won't take up too much of your time.

When I read from these scriptures, I can't help but know of the truth. Like...I couldn't deny it if I tried. And trust me, if I could have I would have. This past semester proved that this wasn't just some interesting idea or some movement I excitedly prescribed to. There was so much working against it. If it was just some youthful spontaneity or naive ignorance, I can assure you that I would have figured it wasn't worth my time. So I found myself swimming up current against everything that society, friends, and family were telling me. And I could see where they were coming from. I really could. But something kept pushing me on, telling me to keep pressing forth. I experienced things that I could not explain. Feelings from within that comforted and made me strong minded.
As I read these words, I knew there was something else at work. It is not cunning brainwashing for a weak mind or extravagant promises for a needy spirit. They are words of beauty. They are words that if read and pondered, will instill in you this never-before-felt sense of direction and truth. I can promise you that. It still happens with me even 6 months later. I'm continually amazed at the personal revelation I am given through diligent reading of these words. You'll find yourself reading something you've read countless times but somehow this time around, you find countless new insights you'd never picked upon before. That is the power of these words.

This isn't some shameless plug or some evangelical alter call. This is something I feel impressed to say each and every day to myself and others. It's something that only grows and becomes more entwined with my soul as I read the scriptures each day - even if only a few verses.

So I'm calling out to all of you to do yourself a favor and read this book. I grew up Catholic. I went to a Catholic school. I knew all of the Bible stories. But I never actually took the time to read what is known as "The Word of God" with diligence and study. Now that I read the Bible and The Book of Mormon side by side, I see how they are one and the same. The BoM is merely a continuation, a restoration back to where our hearts, minds, and idea of Church need to be. The Bible speaks of this latter day restoration countless times.

For you not of any faith, I know what you are thinking. Religion is so commercialized and scandalized and so many other bad words ending with -ized. "Why waste my time?" I agree with you. I felt the same exact way for a few years. But then I found this place where religion is truth. It's not elaborate golden cities or mega churches. I'm not outright attacking those other faiths. Because they do SO much good in the world. And their core teachings are those of Christ. But I can assure you that having looked into them all, there is still a void that needs to be filled. There is missing structure and missing doctrine that God has given us so that we may know Him more intimately.

That void can and will be filled if you give this idea I'm speaking of a chance. I promise you it will. It was for me and I've seen countless many others say the same.

I'm looking back on this and hoping I don't sound too much like a pamphlet or a street preacher. I don't want that. I'm not trying to impose it on you. I just feel overwhelmed with the peace of mind His word has brought to my soul...and I feel the need to write stuff like this so that others may question their own thoughts. I'm not above you in any way. I'm not "a chosen one". Me and you are on the exact same level. But I have this peace, this absolute knowing of truth in my head and my heart...and I want you to have it too.

Read scripture diligently each day without fail and you will know truth. And your mind will rest. It's inevitable. It's been that way since the beginning of time.

Seacrest out.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ode to Natalie

There's a certain moment in time when you realize something monumental has happened in your life. It may be obvious; a big move or a new career. But I think the most gratifying monumental moments are those meetings between two human beings.
You may very well realize their importance before they happen. But the most momentous meetings occur between two unsuspecting people. Two people who don't fully realize how pivotal the occurrence will be to their world.

The misty rain is collecting on the back of my hand as I hold the phone to my ear. I can think back to those silent moments after hours of speaking to one another, the fog off San Francisco Bay collecting in the winding roads I walk. Those in-between-topic moments where we can hear the feedback from the others breath. It's only the second time we've spoken on the phone and already I've had one of those monumental realizations. I didn't quite understand it. It was this looming presence in the back of my mind. I just knew it was important.
We spoke with a candidness unheard of by my virgin ears. I wasn't used to that sort of reception. "Everyone's waiting to talk, but no one's listening. Everyone's sweating, but no one's glistening." We are two souls entwined. We have no choice but to move forward with the natural order of things. We cannot deny these moments. For once in my life, I can accept all of those indigestible romantic cliches. I can understand what they mean. I swore I'd never walk that line. But now that I've found the muse they've all spoken of, I can't help myself.

What's more is that this girl was dropped in front of me by chance. She is not some fling I've exhausted. She is not some pretty face I see every day.
She is a beautiful accident that appeared in the form of words in an email. My mind was unsure of how to approach in a worded reply. I'm used to this being hard. I'm used to force fitting that last puzzle piece.
By the second email she sent I could understand the way she presented herself, the way she spoke from within. I knew she had felt it too. Our words flow in and out of the others, fingers rapidly typing quick, unguarded thoughts.
I've shared a lot of myself to prospective girls. I trust easily. And even as I continue to give myself to this new girl I know there is something different with Natalie. My words are not for me to stare at longingly and wonder what the other side is thinking.
I don't fret over my internet identity nearly as much as I used to. I don't analyze my words and thoughts in careful precision. I don't wonder about her thoughts. The answers we provide are uniquely for the other. We know how the other thinks. Somehow, our souls have connected in this big hectic world and our unsuspecting minds are cut loose from the bands of anxiety.

So now we sit next to one another at her mother's play practice. Our eyes gaze up at dark figures moving up the wall towards the ceiling. The conductor of this small ensemble waves his arms frantically to the rhythm, the music stand light throwing dramatic silhouettes against high ceiling. I worry about nothing. My mind can only focus on the subtle beauty of the moment. I'd rather be here than anywhere else.

The way things have aligned beyond our control are constant reminders of the divinity of this whole situation. For fleeting moments, I wonder if I'll ever regret speaking this way, if this will just turn into another fling. But before my mind can press forth with the idea, she enters my mind and I know I can't even bring myself to think such things. She has won so many battles over my subconscious. God continues to show me that the road I'm on is in line with hers. And the road is more beautiful than ever. The way the leaves of the trees drift in the wind are accompanied by her song.

And now I feel I'm with her. She's probably somewhere in the sky over a golden Mexican floor. She's probably nervous about her Spanish. She's probably thinking about the important words she doesn't know and the lesser ones she's sure of. I'm not sitting in that seat next to her, or even in the surrounding sea of faces. But I can sit contently in Kentucky knowing that my other half is living out another one of her dreams. I can sit contently in Kentucky knowing that her voice is readily available to play through the speakers lining the walls of my brain. I can breath easy knowing that the reigns are in someone elses hands...someone far more capable than I.

So go ahead. Call me young. Call me naive. Call me cliche.
You could probably hang each one of those titles on me in one form or another. But I'm just going forward with what feels right, with something that I couldn't deny even if I wanted to.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Coeur d'Alene

Rain soaks our days old clothing. We smell of campfire, sweat, jerky, and the open road. We walk down railroad tracks that never were. A rushing river guides us to our destination, one of the many abandoned buildings that line the roads leading west.

At these moments, I feel detached from everything. There is no right or wrong. There is only adventure, a faint carousel echoing with faint prompting from the hills. I carefully map out the placement of my soggy steps so as to avoid the patchwork of wildflowers.

We get back on the road after 2 hours of unplanned, unmapped mystery. My camera is held tightly in my hand, the treasures we encountered held captive within.

We move on to the Idaho panhandle. Golden hour turns into hours as we chase the sun down through twisting canyon roads pointed West. We turn a bend past a ridge and see an indescribable portrait of beauty. The lake sitting next to Coeur d'Alene reflects a bright orange sunset, the waters more far reaching than the sky itself. The surrounding hills glow a deep blue haze against a tranquil night sky, We are only given a glimpse, but for a fleeting moment we all fall silent, our eyes unwavering, our breathing steadied. My hands are stuck to the wheel.

I'm convinced I must live in a place with mountains in my horizon. I need those harrowing towers off in the distance. My eyes never grow tired of tracing their silhouetted outline against the sky.
These thoughts are interrupted as I find myself watching a group of college kids clamoring up the pier steps overlooking the Lake Coeur d'Alene. The one leading the pack is stripping down to his boxers. They climb to the top level and begin to egg him on. I can see his feet hanging over the side shaking profusely. I don't think he realizes what he's gotten himself in to. A small crowd of fans assembling near the bottom.
"Come on Wesley!" one shouts impatiently.

Two others jump into loud roars of laughter and cheering as the freezing swimmer makes his way back to the dock.

Wesley's shaking feet are still hanging over. The crowd grows disenchanted with the dare and Wesley's hesitance becomes more apparent to those still faithful fans.
Some begin to coach him as the others begin side conversations.
Alex and Logan have walked on and Nate is waiting for me. I'm transfixed on his shaking feet and silent answers to the jeers.
We walk away slowly and suddenly I hear a splash followed by cheers.
I'm not sure if it was Wesley but I'd like to think that it was.
The moon is reflected off the calm waters and Coure d'Alene is just starting to fall asleep. But the young vagabonds that hold dominion over the city by night are coming alive.