This post has no particular theme. It's just a collection of various things I felt like writing about.
Random Musing #1
I was at the DMV the other day in a rather slow-moving line. A man in front of me said this was his third time at the DMV and that he had accidentally come on "Martin Luther Day," as he called it, when the DMV was closed. Another man proudly interjected, "You should call it by its real name: Martin Lucifer Day." Before he could get another word out, his adult daughter scolded, "Don't go there, Dad!" He shut up.
Granted, I'm currently living in a rural town that has its share of rednecks, but I still was absolutely shocked by the blatant, unabashed racism that emanated from this individual. He said it with such glee and pride, and I was floored by it. I guess in my naiveté and idealistic approach to life, I like to believe that we are beyond that. It was just a reminder to me that we aren't. And, actually, I wonder which is worse: open racism such as that which this man exhibited or the hidden, but just as potent, racism that lies underneath. People think the things that this man thinks, but don't express it out loud. I think both are bad, but the latter seems even more insidious.
Random Musing #2
An old friend from my mission recently found me on Facebook. I hadn't heard from him in about 16 years, but it was good to reconnect. He actually lives in America now (I went to Belgium and France) and is married and still active in the LDS Church. When I met him, he had just gotten baptized and was still an infant in the gospel and, actually, was struggling quite a bit. By his own admission to me the other night, not many missionaries had faith that he would last as a Mormon, including myself, to be perfectly honest, and he, himself, didn't know if he would be able to hang on to his new found faith. But here we are 16 years later, and he's very active, has three kids, a church calling, and has recently written a book about his conversion. And here I am, excommunicated. Funny how things turn out.
We also talked about his former sister-in-law, who was quite strong in the Church at the time. He told me she was no longer active and had been excommunicated, which for some reason didn't surprise me, although it probably should have.
As he asked about my activity in the Church, I wondered how I should respond. I'm quite open about my sexuality with just about everyone except for the majority of my former ward members and the people from my mission. I am not ashamed of who I am or the choices I've made, but in the case of my former ward, it is also my mom's ward, and coming out also affects her, so I don't want to cause any awkwardness for her. Actually, those people in my former ward who do know haven't treated me any differently, and those who I think would react badly I don't care much about anyway, so I don't think I would have too much of a problem coming out. My main reason is simply for my mom's protection.
As for my mission friends, I have sort of written about this before in this post. I guess part of me just doesn't wish to taint the image people had of me as a missionary, specifically those who converted when I knew them.
In any case, I told him that I had been excommunicated and about my homosexuality and my relationship and that I still attended church, all the while wondering if I should be blabbing all of this right off the bat, but the conversation did lead that way, so I just did.
He admitted he was shocked, but was also very nonjudgmental about it, saying that he felt everyone should have the free-agency to live their lives as they choose, so I was glad for that. Anyway, it's out there now.
Random Musing #3
I just watched Obama's State of the Union address. Even though there a lot of problems in our country, and even though I don't feel that Obama has been perfect at handling all of them, I also feel very strongly that I voted for the right guy when I voted for him. I genuinely like him and I like the direction he wants to lead this country in, even if there are various forces trying to prevent that.
Random Musing #4
This has been a tough year for me financially. Part of it is because I took a job that has actually lost me money, part of it was paying for physical therapy for a knee operation I had, and part of it was buying another (but sorely needed) car. The job market has been less than kind this year, too, as far as acting goes. Last year I did pretty well and made about $26,000 (pretty good for me). I was working fairly regularly, which isn't always the case for a working actor. This year, practically no acting jobs, and I only made about $19,000. Anyway, if I don't get a summer job, I will be seriously hating it.
Through all of this Jonah has been very supportive and generous, and I am really trying to get back to Vegas on a more permanent basis because I miss him and the "kids" terribly. This has been the hardest stretch of separation for me personally.
I've had some auditions recently (good ones, too), so I am optimistic. I guess we'll see what happens.
Random Musing #5
My mom and I were at a Chinese restaurant recently, and one of the men on my disciplinary council (and also a friend) saw us and went out of his way to say hi and ask how I was, and it was good to see him again (my disciplinary council was the last time I saw him). I just felt it was a nice, positive encounter.
Random Musing #6
Jonah indicated he would like to start going to church again, but doesn't want to go alone nor does he want to go to his Pentecostal church. He asked if maybe when I get back to Vegas we can find a church to go to together. I said that was fine, but that I still wanted to attend my Mormon ward, too. He was fine with that. I even said if he wanted to come and attend my ward from time to time, that would be fine, too. He asked if that wouldn't be awkward for me; wouldn't people be put off by it? I said that's their problem, not mine. After all, what would I have to lose? So they'd know I was gay and in a relationship. Big deal. I am who I am, I'm already excommunicated, and if people in my ward have a problem with any of it, that's on them, not me.
Random Musing #7
There are many terrible things going on in the world. There are many serious things going on in the world. I try not to let any of it get me down. I'm generally a very optimistic person, but this year has been harder for some reason. I still feel I'm pretty good at maintaining a cheery disposition and am doing my best to keep the faith.
It's the little, insignificant things that sometimes brighten my day. That's why I'm looking so forward to the season premiere of one of my favorite TV shows: "Lost." I think it's such a well-written, interesting show with great stories and character-development. This is its last season, and I am eager to see how it all plays out. I can honestly say, too, that no matter how it ends, I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey.
Random Musing 8
I ran into a friend recently at an audition. He and his partner have been together for about 4 or 5 years. When I asked how his partner was doing, he sort of hemmed and hawed and acted a bit awkward about it, giving me the sense that they had broken up, but I didn't press him about it since it really wasn't my business.
Anyway, I went on Facebook to see if there was any indication that they had, indeed, broken up, and sure enough they had. This did not particularly surprise me as the second partner has a difficult personality, in my opinion. What did surprise me was that the first partner was in an open relationship with a woman. Now, I hold no judgment if my friend has decided to be with a woman just as I would want people to respect my choice to be with Jonah. I just found it odd, that's all.
I've also never really understood the draw of an open relationship. Being a "one-on-one," monogamous guy, I just don't see what joy there is in that kind of relationship. But to each his own, I guess.
Jonah has indicated before that he fears I might one day leave him for a woman, I think more because of my attachment to the LDS Church than for my attraction towards woman. I told him he has nothing to worry about. This is the best, most fulfilling relationship I've ever been in, and I'm very happy with Jonah.
Those are my random thoughts for now.