Monday, May 25, 2009

Immediate Reaction

I needed to capture this feeling, because I don't know what it'll have turned into tomorrow....


Hey kid, are you ok?

talking to ritchie
give me a sec

I am sorry.

ok back

What is Ritchie going to do?

he's driving up there
i don't know if he has a plan
he's going to find out about life insurance

that's ritch

haha “well that's just rich...”
how are YOU doing?

I am worried about you guys
How about you?

yeah, i haven't had any emotional reaction yet at all
i can’t tell if it’s still coming
or if i already did that

I am worried about money. Sad to say.
That's how I felt when my parents died.

yeah. you were getting money from him, huh?



Let me know if you need anything.

k. thanks. i think i'll be ok
if he has insurance, then we’ll have a funeral for him, i guess. i don’t know who would come, besides his kids.

Work starts this next week, right?

how did your talk go?
yeah on friday
if there's a funeral, i won't be able to make it

great. good spirit there

and not just because of money

That is ok.

i really just didn't like dad, mom

I doubt that any of your brothers but Ritchie will go

nicole will make randy go
if they even have one

I know. You will grow to love him as life goes on.

they asked ritchie what he wanted done. he said to take his organs


so weird to be responsible for a body like that
poor ritchie, responsible for dad even now

They are so worn. I feel bad.
He is pretty shook up

yeah. what are they going to use? his liver? heart? brain?


i do love dad
but i'm glad to have him out of my life.

That is how I felt about my parents.

my bishop had counseled me to cut him off

I still do

and it just seemed so cruel
this weight


because i worried that if his kids cut him off, he'd kill himself
but he made me so unhappy
and now i don't have to decide that

I think you can rest easy that he was in a good place when he died.

he says he’s been clean for at least six months now, but you never know
i think so

And leave it at that

i wonder how he died
Could be another suicide attempt. O.D.

probably a heart attack

he didn’t leave any kind of warning
48 years old


that's so tragic
just wore himself out


it's a sad situation
but i feel i mourned him years ago
mourned who he was to me

we all did.


You are ok in your feelings

anyway, i am sure you are tired.
ha thanks

Yup. I wanted to see if you were here. Be good.

love ya mom
talk to you later

I love you. Bye.


Monday, March 09, 2009

Big Hate

roommate just sent me a link to a story in this week's TV guide that
deals with the show "Big Love" on HBO. It's so upsetting to me, that
I had to share it with you all and hope you can take a second to send
the people at HBO a note explaining how you feel about this. Here's
what he sent me:

"Many of you may have heard of HBO's television show, Big Love. It
came out a couple of years ago, and it shows polygamous families.
When it first came out, the church came out with a strong statement
against Big Love and Polygamy. You can see the statement here:

"However, as if the polygamy weren't bad enough, HBO has taken their
unscrupulousness to new heights.
On Sunday, March 15, 2009, HBO will be airing an episode of their series Big Love in which they will be showing individuals dressed in full temple clothing (you can see the
picture right in the TV guide itself).

"You can see the advertisement here (on page 48):

[but seriously, says robbie, be forewarned that you can see sacred
temple stuff even right there in the TV Guide. So that you don't have
to look at it if you don't want to, here's the text from TV guide that
accompanies the picture of Jeanne Tripplehorn in temple clothing:

It’s one thing for Bill and Barb Henrickson’s inner
circle to know they have two other wives at
home…but letting the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints in on the secret? That’s a whole
other story. “It’s almost a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’
policy,” says executive producer Mark Olsen. Their
under-the-radar status will change this week when
Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn) faces the consequences
of breaking the rules and is called to an excom-
munication hearing. “We researched it out the
wazoo,” says Olsen, who along with executive pro-
ducer Will Scheffer hired an ex-Mormon consultant
to help the set and wardrobe designers re-create
even the tiniest details. “We go into the endow-
ment room and the celestial room [areas of the
temple], and we present what happens in those
ceremonies. That’s never been shown on televi-
sion before,” says Olsen. Adds Scheffer, “But it’s
not for shock value. It’s really a very important
part of the story.” The decision won’t be without
controversy: According to a church insider, “If they
are in fact trying to emulate those rooms in any
way, that would be extremely offensive. The gen-
eral public is not allowed in our temples yet. Not
even all Mormons are. We consider them very, very
sacred.” Heaven help us. —Rochell D. Thomas

And in case you need to see it for yourself, it's here:]

"Please help stop HBO from airing such an offensive show! You can go
to the link below to submit a comment to HBO.


"It's imperative that we get as many people to voice their complaints
as possible before HBO airs the show. Please pass this information on
to as many people as you can!"


I just submitted my response to them. This is what I said:

First let me say that I am a gay Mormon. The Mormon church has done
some things that many find offensive recently. But it doesn't hold a
candle to what you are doing. I can't believe what I'm seeing in the
TV Guide. HBO, you have crossed a line with your depiction of sacred
parts of the temple on your program "Big Love." In the past you have
been much more sensitive, refraining from showing garments and other
things that are sacred to Mormons. But we are in a new era, where it
is suddenly politically correct to disregard the opinions of Mormons
because they sometimes don't align with current popular (at least in
the media, if not among voters) sentiment. I am outraged at your
contempt for a minority group like the Mormons and everything we find
sacred. You may not agree with the LDS church's stances or doctrines
or behaviors, but you should be able to still respect us as human
beings and afford us some privacy.

With disdain,

Robbie Pierce.

At this point, I also feel it's a good idea to point out the response the church has posted. In a way, the main message is just to ignore this. I think they realize that if we create more frenzy at this point, it will only cause more viewership when the thing actually airs. I would avoid big public protests at this point and stick to privately e-mailing HBO and sharing thoughts with friends. The church's response is found here:

Sorry 'bout the soap box! I'm not usually one to forward on stuff
like this, but since the show hasn't aired yet, I figured maybe a
large enough response might be effective. Which means this is your
official call to forward this message on to those you love. Up an' at 'em!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tamra's Adoption Video

This is a video about my good friend Tamra. She's one of the most wonderful people I know, and this is something very personal and spiritual that she shares. There are so many couples who are looking to adopt, and so few of them ever get the chance, because so many girls end crisis pregnancies with abortions. Here are some things to think about:

Click here!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Help Evan get a scholarship! He deserves it! And he's close!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Banality and a Possible Remedy??

Stacey (pseudonym for a Chicana student at my work, thick accent): Why haven't you been at work in so long?

Me: I was in a play!

Stacey: You were playing?

Me: No, I was in a play.

Stacey: [dubiously] Ohhhh.

Me: Do you know what that is? A play?

Stacey: [blank look]

Me: Como un drama.

Stacey: [realization dawning] Oh you mean like with puppets! Only with like, people.

Yeah, folks. That's me. The King Friday of the human beings.

Which, actually might not be too far off the mark, since my friend Brett, who suffers from pupaphobia (Yeah, that's the real word for the fear of puppets) was so disturbed by the picture of me in my "Seussical" Grinch costume that he asked me to remove it from my Facebook profile. I figure I tricked him into watching "Labyrinth" with me, I can oblige him this once.

But I open this post with that conversation primarily to introduce the idea of saying really dumb things. I'm not talking about dumb like what Stacey said, but more dumb like when the fly on the wall is wishing he were anyone else. Do you ever have that experience? You have a captive but not especially captivated audience, and you start to realize there's not really a great ending to this story in sight? Well, my friends, I think I may have found a solution. Check out how much this story I related yesterday was improved by the new technique I like to call "Unexpected Self-Deprecatory BSing" (USDB), and note that the (*) marks the point in the story when I realized how predictable and boring the story was, even to me:

Me: Someone left a box of donuts in my ethics classroom from the previous class today, so I ate one, and soon everyone had taken one. Mine wasn't great, but I'm on this new poverty diet where I lose weight by only eating what I can afford, so I can't turn down free food these days. Anyway, the class weird girl took a bite of hers and then immediately chucked it into the garbage, saying "Yuck! This is gross!" I was so annoyed that she would just throw food away like that. And this is in my ETHICS class, where we're always talking* about how hungry I am, because it's the class right before lunch.

Instead of the bored nods while they waited for me to finish whatever trite thing I was saying so they could say "yeah" and start immediately in on their one-upper stories, I received a peal of laughter from the roommates. Boring story averted. It only worked because a) it made me look like a jerk, and b) in their minds, they had already begun to tune me out, sure as they were that I was going to say what I had actually originally intended to say: that it's a shame to waste food like that when there are so many starving brown children in the world.

Another conversation made me laugh tonight.

America (my roommate's girlfriend, not the entire country, the way Bernie Mac used to talk to all of us): What should I be for Halloween? I have a long black dress.

Chandler (another roommate, famous for his interminable pauses in not-especially scintillating sentences; no seriously, we once clocked him at 9 seconds mid-phrase): Oh, you could totally wear the dress and put a red hourglass on your abdomen, and tell everyone* you're a super hero named, like, "The Hourglass" or something.

I actually thought he was serious for a moment on that one.

All I'm trying to say is, please, friends. Watch for the signs that I am disinterested in your story, so you know when to apply the USDB technique. The signs include, but are not limited to:

1. I leave the room, but mumble "keep going."
2. I fall asleep.
3. I pretend to fall asleep (more common than, but indistinguishable from, #2)
4. You are telling me about a dream you or anyone else had.
5. You started the story with many people listening, but suddenly I am the only one still listening.
6. I start laughing at inappropriate times, and when pressed explain that I was laughing at something someone else said, at a different time.
7. You find you are talking about your pets.
8. I pretend to have lost my signal, even if it's an in-person conversation, and not via cell phone technology.
9. I suddenly offer you food, gum, karaoke, a breath-holding contest, or anything else to otherwise occupy use of your mouth.
10. I start another, better, story, and then when you stop me, I say, "Oh, it was hard to tell if you were finished."
11. You are Mr. Samson, my U.S. History teacher.

Again, if you sense any of the above conditions, that is the perfect time to implement the USDB technique, which also, I just noticed, incidentally stands for "Unforeseeable Suicide for the Deliverance from Banality." Weird.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

K, Time for some Joseph Smith

So, yeah. We're on the question of unquestioned obedience. And also the fallibility of ecclesiastical leaders. So I offer up some more quotes, which, together with the one in the post below, should hopefully generate some interesting discussion.

First, Joseph Smith on blind obedience.

“We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark that they would do anything they were told to do by those who preside over them [even] if they knew it was wrong; but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God would despise the idea. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were told do by their presidents they should do it without any questions. When Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their hearts to do wrong themselves.” (Joseph Smith, Millennial Star, Vol 14, Number 38, pages 593-595).

Note that he doesn't say that it's wrong for leaders to tell us what we should do. It's just wrong for them to tell us not to question them. Questioning is fine, then, and necessary if we are to decide for ourselves whether a commandment is "wrong."

Next, everybody else on the abililty of the prophet to lead us astray.

Always keep your eye on the President of the church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, even if it is wrong, and you do it, the lord will bless you for it but you don't need to worry. The lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.
[LDS President Marion G. Romney (of the first presidency), quoting LDS President (and prophet) Heber J. Grant "Conference Report" Oct. 1960 p. 78 ]

"The Lord Almighty leads this Church, and he will never suffer you to be led astray if you are found doing your duty. You may go home and sleep as sweetly as a babe in its mother's arms, as to any danger of your leaders leading you astray, for if they should try to do so the Lord would quickly sweep them from the earth."
[Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 9, p. 289, 1862.]

"The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray."
President Wilford Woodruff (considered scripture as it is canonized at the end of the D&C)

First of all, I believe the things said by our latter-day prophets. Not because I'm told to, but again, because I pray about these things. More on that in a minute.

Now, I know these latter quotes may seem to conflict with the first one. But I choose to view them as a double assurance. I sure do love the idea that anything the prophet tells me to do, I'll be safe in doing. I also love the idea that with each individual principle, I should still be thinking for myself.

Maybe it makes more sense to me than I can convey to others, but I really believe in questioning AND obeying. Joseph Smith condemns those who obey without question. But we're also in trouble if we don't obey at all. How do we reconcile those thoughts?

My personal solution is to pray for the ability to obey, to align my will with the Lord's and the prophet's when new commandment comes down. My approach to the church's counsel on Proposition 8 is exemplary of my general attitude toward new commandments. I don't go in with the question of whether to believe. I go in knowing I need to (I won't be led astray, right?) asking for the ability to do so. I still need to know for myself. I believe religious crazies come about in two ways. One is they listen to someone else and don't think for themselves. The other is they listen to some inner voice and ignore reason. We are taught in 2 Corinthians that "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." Two witnesses include a) the prophet and b) the Holy Ghost. If we listen to just one of these sources, we're in danger of becoming a religious extremist. I know this doesn't help those who feel they have earnestly sought the will of the Lord and felt inspired in ways contrary to the teachings of the prophets, but I have never had a problem, when earnestly trying, to reconcile my feelings with the direction from the prophets. It sometimes takes some mighty prayer, but it has always worked for me.

The nice thing about these two quotes is that Joseph Smith specifically mentioned that it's wrong to obey a leader (he doesn't specify what kind of leader, other than to say "president," which is a whole 'nother discussion) when one KNOWS that it is wrong. We are also told that we will never be wrong to obey the prophet or the twelve apostles acting as a whole. For that reason, I will always obey, even if I don't understand. I say "understand," and not "agree," for a reason. I will be sure that I feel something is right before I obey it. I need to know it comes from God. But I don't need to know WHY. I'm fine with that coming later.

I also think it's important to note that I read a lot of arguments against the church's recent stance that include the doctrine that the church is perfect, but its members are not. That, to mean, means that we might some time catch our prophet in a sin, and our testimonies should not be shaken if we do. It does NOT mean that the prophet will issue a commandment or direction that is not aligned with God's will.

Anyway, I hope these posts help people to understand my perspective, and maybe figure out where to look for some of their own answers. I find myself talking about prophets and gays and politics in about 90% of my discussions these days. I'm not trying to be super persuasive here, but rather to explicate my thought processes. I firmly believe that I can be a faithful Latter Day Saint, obey the prophet, and think for myself. I hope that in the very least, people will recognize that my own obedience to dictates from the "brethren" does not come with no price or cost.

Love you all.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Or, In President Hinckley's Words

I understand that there are many people who view the church as less of an all-encompassing authority than I do. I guess you can feel that the church is the best thing for your life, even if you don't agree with all its teachings. But not me. I can't rationally believe in PART of an institution that tells me I need to believe in ALL of it. I'm an all-or-nothing kind of guy.

Which is why I have felt so befuddled lately by all the invitations to sign a petition against the church's stance on proposition 8, to visit, or even to fast for Prop 8 to be defeated. I can't fathom using a tenet of my religion to fight against, well, my religion. Maybe it would be different if it if it seemed less cut and dry to me, as I'm sure it does to my friends who send me these invitations.

Anyway, today a guy I kinda know posted this on his Facebook page, and I love it. It's what I've been trying to say, only he does it with much more gravitas and holy authority than I could, and I invite everyone to read it. Talk to you later!

From a talk entitled "Loyalty," given by President Gordon B. Hinckley during the priesthood session of the April 2003 General Conference.

"Now may I say a word concerning loyalty to the Church.

We see much indifference. There are those who say, “The Church won’t dictate to me how to think about this, that, or the other, or how to live my life.”

No, I reply, the Church will not dictate to any man how he should think or what he should do. The Church will point out the way and invite every member to live the gospel and enjoy the blessings that come of such living. The Church will not dictate to any man, but it will counsel, it will persuade, it will urge, and it will expect loyalty from those who profess membership therein.

When I was a university student, I said to my father on one occasion that I felt the General Authorities had overstepped their prerogatives when they advocated a certain thing. He was a very wise and good man. He said, “The President of the Church has instructed us, and I sustain him as prophet, seer, and revelator and intend to follow his counsel.”

I have now served in the general councils of this Church for 45 years. I have served as an Assistant to the Twelve, as a member of the Twelve, as a Counselor in the First Presidency, and now for eight years as President. I want to give you my testimony that although I have sat in literally thousands of meetings where Church policies and programs have been discussed, I have never been in one where the guidance of the Lord was not sought nor where there was any desire on the part of anyone present to advocate or do anything which would be injurious or coercive to anyone.

The book of Revelation declares: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:15–16).

I make you a promise, my dear brethren, that while I am serving in my present responsibility I will never consent to nor advocate any policy, any program, any doctrine which will be otherwise than beneficial to the membership of this, the Lord’s Church.

This is His work. He established it. He has revealed its doctrine. He has outlined its practices. He created its government. It is His work and His kingdom, and He has said, “They who are not for me are against me” (2 Ne. 10:16).

In 1933 there was a movement in the United States to overturn the law which prohibited commerce in alcoholic beverages. When it came to a vote, Utah was the deciding state.

I was on a mission, working in London, England, when I read the newspaper headlines that screamed, “Utah Kills Prohibition.”

President Heber J. Grant, then President of this Church, had pleaded with our people against voting to nullify Prohibition. It broke his heart when so many members of the Church in this state disregarded his counsel.

On this occasion I am not going to talk about the good or bad of Prohibition but rather of uncompromising loyalty to the Church.

How grateful, my brethren, I feel, how profoundly grateful for the tremendous faith of so many Latter-day Saints who, when facing a major decision on which the Church has taken a stand, align themselves with that position. And I am especially grateful to be able to say that among those who are loyal are men and women of achievement, of accomplishment, of education, of influence, of strength—highly intelligent and capable individuals.

Each of us has to face the matter—either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God, or it is nothing.

Thank you, my dear brethren, you men of great strength and great fidelity and great faith and great loyalty.

Finally, loyalty to God our Eternal Father and His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Every man in this Church is entitled to the knowledge that God is our Eternal Father and His Beloved Son is our Redeemer. The Savior gave the key by which we may have such knowledge. He declared, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17).

Pray to your Heavenly Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and always, under all circumstances, by the very nature of your lives show your loyalty and your love . . .

Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?
Now is the time to show.
We ask it fearlessly:
Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?
(“Who’s on the Lord’s Side?” Hymns, no. 260)"

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Preparation H

Well, that's what my roommate Evan is calling Proposition 8, the amendment to the California State Constitution that would define marriage as between a man and a woman, effectively ending the current state of legalized gay marriage there.

Now, I'm a faithful, somewhat liberal, gay Californian Latter Day Saint living in Utah. Not that that fact lends my thoughts on this matter any more validity than anyone else's. Just that I want people to know where I'm coming from. I am aware that the word "gay" connotes entire lifestyle choices to many readers here, so I will clarify: I am attracted almost solely to other men, but I also believe the Church when it says that to act on homosexual desires is wrong. Many would call me naive in my attempts to remain faithful to my religion, but I am insulted by the notion that people (particularly homosexuals in this instance) are incapable of controlling their impulses and living by a higher moral law. I am very tolerant of others' making the choices from which I intend to abstain. I also know many people sneer at the idea of tolerance because a degree of disapproval inheres therein, but I can think of no other word for how I feel about it. I try to live by a double standard when it comes to ethics and morals: I am very permissive with others, while trying to maintain a behavioral stricture for myself.

I struggled with the Prop 8 issue the moment I heard about the letter from the First Presidency to the members in California. I was disappointed that this issue received so much more attention than other recent moves from the church intended to reach out to its homosexual population, such as the pamphlet entitled "God Loveth His Children," which can be read in the church website. I also wish the government would stay out of the marriage issue altogether, and was saddened to see that the Church was supporting a constitutional amendment that would only serve to further enmesh the legal apparatus with the issue of marriage. I also have many friends (a brother and a best friend included) who are living active gay lifestyles. I love these guys. My best friend is dating a wonderful guy right now, and I would love to see them happy together forever. I also have a very strong sense of live-and-let-live morality; do whatever you want, as long as your actions don't impinge upon my own liberties. And the issue of gay marriage feels like one of those times when it couldn't hurt the church to allow the gays to change the label of something they already have.

A few feeble reasons have been presented. The case of the Catholic Church choosing to discontinue their adoption agency in Massachusetts after the judicial decree that they place children with gay couples is evidence that maybe at least some of the Church leaders' warnings are not merely slippery-slope scare tactics, but rooted in verifiable past experience. The Church's claim that marriage is ordained of God could be expressing a claim that marriage is not a societal contract between people, but rather something older, immutable, and God-given.

Still, these are claims that pale in comparison with the apparent (or perceived?) effects on the homosexual people of disallowing marriage between two members of the same sex. Furthermore, these claims are not ones that could be made to persuade someone in any secular light. To me, the obvious choice is to allow gay marriage.

However, I am cognizant of the fact that I have not attained the longest view on any earthly matters. I do have a testimony of a living prophet (and that testimony has been reinforced recently due to my soul-searching on this issue). It is strange to me that the church is taking such a strong stance on what appears to be a political issue. My political views are sharply contrasted with the commandments I've been given from the church. But I have to remember the watchtower metaphor: the man up in the tower shouts warnings and instruction to the people below, and the wise heed his words because they know he knows something they don't.

For me, it all boils down to this quote from President Harold B. Lee:

"The power of Satan will increase; we see it in evidence on every hand. …

"Now the only safety we have as members of this church is to do exactly what the Lord said to the Church in that day when the Church was organized. We must learn to give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through his prophet, 'as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; … as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.' (D&C 21:4–5.) There will be some things that take patience and faith. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that 'the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name's glory.' (D&C 21:6.)" (in Conference Report, Oct. 1970, 152; or Improvement Era, Dec. 1970, 126).

The promises made in that quote are powerful, and they're what I truly want out of this life. I really do believe these words from one of our latter-day prophets.

I do worry that people will read a quote like this and become myrmidons. That sort of unquestioned loyalty is what leads to the worst of inhumane atrocities. So let me be clear that I would never obey a commandment with which I disagree. But I will appeal directly to God to ascertain that a new commandment is indeed from Him. That's what our leaders have counseled us to do (indeed, it's the counsel that led to the first vision in the first place): to appeal directly to the source of all wisdom. One can receive a second witness of the prophet's words through the Holy Ghost.

That's the invitation I'll be making to my friends who are pondering what to do and on which side of the line to pitch their tents. The invitation to not just go out and vote based solely on political ideologies or visceral reactions to sensational pleas and anecdotes. Nor do I want people to vacantly follow the instruction of any leader or activist. I would have people take all of those things into account and ask God in humble prayer (being willing to have a change of heart if the answer is contrary to the one expected) what their responsibilities are vis-a-vis Proposition 8. If you happen to get a different answer from mine, I will support you in your decision, knowing that you (like I am) are choosing to act on your conscience in the best way you know how.

When I did that, I received an answer that I can't rightly defend to other people using the usual logic and rhetoric. But when people ask me how I can possibly defend such a notion, I can view it as an opportunity to bear my testimony of a living prophet, whose purpose is to be the mouthpiece for God and help set a common course for people in a time when so many divergent paths are viewed as the right one.

In fine, I don't urge you to vote yes on 8, but I urge you to turn the question directly to your God and act accordingly. Whatever decision you make, I love and respect you, and I hope the best for you and for all of us.


[edit: Thanks for all the comments! I've left a response to each down at comment number 23 or so. I appreciate the discussion!]

Monday, October 06, 2008


So I'm in the Scera production of Seussical in Orem (Go see it! Runs through the 13th!). And I'm the Grinch. My costume comprises a red vest, red Superman boots, a green feauxhawk wig, and a tinselly green onesie. There is one other element of the costume that most will never have occasion to see.

After the first dress rehearsal, the costume lady clutched my arm and discreetly asked me if I had any "support," because I was going to need it. A few minutes later, my friend Shelley pulled me aside to tell me that the choreographer had asked her to talk to me about needing some "support" down there. Then the lighting guy slipped me a little note saying I might consider some "support." So, I got the picture. I guess the scene where all the Whos and I make a Christmas toast and then I do a special little Christmas jig was a little disconcerting. Thanks everyone, for the message! I went straight to Walmart and purchased a jock strap/cup contraption.

It took a while to figure out how to get the cup into the jock strap (I'm making assumptions about the distinctions between those two things, so sorry all you athletes if I'm getting the "support" terminology all wrong). Turns out the athletic support apparatus is super uncomfortable and is trying to perform a pre-conception abortion. I hated it. A few nights into the show, I experimented and found that leaving the cup out still afforded me enough support to not have to worry about the floppage factor. Or maybe we just have the emperor's new clothes factor here, and nobody's telling me. At any rate, I got used to having no cup on, and it just sat in a bag on a shelf during the shows.

Until that fateful day that I forgot the jock strap part. What to do!? This is a kids show! But then the Grinch had an idea, an awful idea. The Grinch had a wonderful, awful idea! I got some gaffers tape, and fashioned a sort of tape harness to hold the cup to the outside of my normal underwear. Problem solved!

This new arrangement was far more uncomfortable than before, but I was thinking of the children. Not my own, future children, obviously, but the ones in the front row of the audience. But there was an unforeseen benefit. You see, there is a "special needs" boy in our cast whom we'll call "John." For some reason someone had given him a large wooden stick, which he was thrashing about like a staff. And as soon as I walked into the room, he inadvertently hit me very hard in the crotchular area. I doubled over in reflexive pain, but then straightened up, realizing that my progeny were spared. It was the Holy Spirit that made me forget my jock strap that night, asserts one of my roommates. We're calling it "The Miracle of the Athletic Support and the Retard with the Stick." I have an e-mail in to the Vatican.

Moments later, I was approached by a Who named Devi who is a kind and shy married woman. She touched my arm, leaned in, and whispered, almost conspiratorially, "I have a question for you about the whole 'cup' situation." Her husband was standing within sight behind her.

My eyebrows went up. "Okaaaay...."

She leaned in closer. "Do you want me to bring out an extra cup for you, or do you just want to steal the Mayor's during the toast?"

Oh. Props. Right.

Well, hope you all have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Well, folks, it's finally here. The online version of the movie my friends and I worked so hard on last spring. Please, if you like it, link to it, e-mail people the link to it, send us feedback at The goal is to try to get a writing deal for a sitcom for the Sci-fi channel. Maybe I'm shooting too high, but we'll see where this goes. Also, if you'd like a DVD copy, we'll make you one (with extras!) for $5 once we get that system set up. Pre-order by e-mailing us a request at Hope you enjoy! Also, we loaded up a pretty big version because we didn't want to cut down very much on the video quality, so depending on your internet connection, you might need to wait for it to load a bit. You can also try them at their youtube locations here, here, and here.