Sunday, January 30, 2005


Dear Blog,

Friday I received an unexpected visit at the restaurant wherein I am employed. I was performing a libation of water for a table when I heard a voice behind me: "Can we have [smurf's real name] as our server?"

The hostess replied jovially, "Sure. What's your name?"

"Gravy," came the response. "Gravy" is the moniker by which his associates refer to him in real life.

Soon Gavy and Gravy's lady had been deposited in my section. The future Mrs. Gravy is the relief society president in my erstwhile ward, so I conversed with her about the matter of our mutual acquaintance, Rose. More on that to follow in subsequent entries, dear blog.

At the end of the meal, I processed Gravy's credit card and returned it to them. Gravy wrote "Tip on table!" on the slip of paper, signed it, and returned it to me immediately. When next I approached the table, I found that the duo had absconded.

Upon nearing the table, I beheld a grisly eyesore. Upon a napkin, Gravy had left a note that said, "tip," with an arrow pointing at a solitary can of gravy. Furthermore, the scoundrel had opened an envelope of gravy mix and disembogued the pulverized contents haphazardly across the surface of the table, the dishes, and the chairs. Amid the maelstrom was a cup full of what was meant to appear as urine, but was in actuality apple juice.

My fellow servers were astonished at the scene. I suppose I should have expected as much. Still, I was downcast by the reminder that instead of a monetary gratuity, I was left a can of mushroom gravy and a mess.

Until next time, dear blog, I remain faithfully yours,

-Smurfed Off

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Costco Trip!

They say you're not supposed to shop when you're hungry. I did anyway. But no, gentle reader, I didn't spend too much. Something very different happens to me when I shop hungry.

Hunger brings out my grouchy side. I'm hypoglycemic, so I get low on energy very quickly, and it makes me cranky. Not so much that everybody else notices, but enough that I just walk around silently hating things.

So there we are at Costco, and I'm walking around thinking, "Man, why can't they just put a floor in here? I hate this nasty pavement. And some better lights. Skylights, maybe. These fluorescent lights bother me. Oh, man, I hate macaroni and cheese. Stupid brand names of everything--what are they trying to build a monopoly? I hate all this consumerism! Why can't I buy less than two gallons of mayonnaise!? I want pineapple slices, not pineapple chunks! What if I just want one? Why is everything connected to five more of itself!? This produce sucks! I miss California!"

I ended up with a gallon bottle of balsamic vinegar and an 8-pak of Nalley chili. The sad part is that I don't really even like those things. They're just the only things that weren't pissing me off at the time. In fact, I don't even have anything I can eat the vinegar on. What is balsamic vinegar, anyway? Is it like normal vinegar? When I eat vinegar it makes my feet stink. Well, I guess for the rest of this week I'll be eating chili with a tablespoon or three of vinegar mixed in. I'm so "special needs" sometimes, I swear.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Grouchy's Turn

While the dust settles, I think I'll turn the time over to grouchy, who's been mad about not getting a turn to say anything this whole time:

Things I hate by Grouchy Smurf

ignorant people
green vegetables
the bipartisan system
when Toasteroven is sad
bowling alleys
Mata Amritanandamayi
the flu
The Italian Job
alcohol abuse
jury duty
computer stuff
Kim Corbin
old folk's homes
spinning rides at the fair
lame Sunday school lessons
seat-belt laws
Boy's Life magazine
unwanted hugs
the Pope
varicose veins
Hawaiian culture
Christmas lights
brain freeze
wedding receptions
disembodied hands that crawl
brown urine
the death penalty
Julia "Butterfly" Hill
missing Divine Comedy

That's all for now.

Wow, Grouchy. Glad you could get that out.

Saturday, January 22, 2005


Tonight I sent out a mesage on the Board for my friends to come in and eat at my work and request me as their waiter if they felt like it. I was hoping a few would be there. Mostly I just wanted to see some friendly faces, since I was seriously stressing over the results of the post I put up last night. I couldn't believe it when The Duchess, Phoenix, Latro, Mynamyn, Dino-mite, Uffish Thought, Novel Concept, and Ma, Pa, and Baby Grape all came in. It really made me feel great. Validated, you know? It was just such a blessing to see them all there to support me. Well, and to eat some rocking good fajitas. While I was still serving them, Toasteroven showed up with four hot women. Kinda reminds me of his poem. So I got to serve them, too. A girl from our ward also came and requested me. The funniest part of the night was when I was going slowly up the stairs with everybody's specialty drinks and accidentally dumped them all down the front of my shirt. It was such a mess. I had to go change clothes. After everybody left, I just walked around doing my job and feeling the spirit so strongly. I am so glad to know that I have friends who will back me up when I need it. I love my fellow Board writers. They are such amazing people. You can't help but feel a special connection with people who can see the worst things about you but notice only the best. I really felt like if people had looked at me at that point, they could have seen the flames of the spirit licking my arms and just all of me. It was such a strong outpouring of Heavenly Father's love, made evident by the love of my friends. I couldn't stop smiling. The owner dropped by, and told me that he'd heard what I'd done. "Oh, you mean my huge spill?" I dumbly asked. "No, e-mailing all your friends and getting them to come in." Oh, right. He told me that he was going to give me a prize, and that from now on he'd be instructing the other servers to do the same thing. That was great. And now I'm home, and I'm happy, and I really still expect persecution ahead, but now I know I don't face it alone. Bless you, 100 Hour Board. You and all your writers.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Smurfual Revolution

It makes me sad that I feel so afraid to post on this topic. My mother and many of my friends read this. I'm sorry so many people will hear this for the first time in this setting, but honestly, I feel guided by the spirit tonight, and I know that while this is an uncomfortable subject for some, it is one that many people need to hear more about. I'm not trying to be revolutionary or to start a movement here. I'm just trying to say something. That said, here we go. I am going to be talking about sexual matters that have helped to shape the person I am. If that offends you already, then please stop here. Because it only gets worse.

Let me say first off that the reason it's important for me to talk about this is that I see that there are people out there who don't have any visible examples of anyone who's faced these same challenges and seemed to make it. I pray that I can help at least one person, even if it mean that my name be slandered.

I was molested at scout camp when I was 13. That same year my father left us and my relationship with my mother became very strained. I became sexualized at that early age, and everything I dealt with for the next five years or so seemed to be sexual in my mind. I found it almost impossible to let friends casually touch me, not because I hated it, but because I enjoyed it and felt guilty for doing so. I became a broken person, and couldn't understand how I had let my life and my idyllic childhood get away from me. I hated that adult feelings were forced upon me when I was still a child, and still trying to just enjoy playing outside without thinking about sex.

After a while I realized that I was more attracted to men than to women. This was devastating. I had no idea what I'd done to cause that, but I hated myself for it.

I don't believe this will come as a complete shock to my mother. She's a wise lady, and we've gotten past the rift that sprang up during those years. My little brother seems to deal with this same issue, and I know my mom has come to understand this issue a lot better from a gospel perspective than she did back then. Before my mission, I lived for a while with a friend of the family who later told me that my mom had expressed concerns about these issues in me. What she didn't know was that this same man was the local chapter president of Evergreen, the church-recommended support group for men like me. I didn't know he was a fellow struggler until after my mission when I tried to find the group, and saw the name of the very man who had been my temple escort listed on the e-mails. What I came to realize then was the first thing I hope this post will help others to see: there are more people dealing with this issue in your own life than you can ever guess. Since that time I have had several roommates, leaders, and friends who have confessed similar situations. Many of our readers on the Hundred Hour Board are in the same boat. These people feel like the fight they wage every day is one to be ashamed of. I believe it is one to be revered. The world makes it only too easy and alluring to merely give up and embrace the gay lifestyle.

I remember my shame when one time at dinner, one brother called another "gay." Mom slammed her hands down on the table and said, "None of my children would ever be evil enough to be gay." I know she was just afraid, and had never had to deal with that issue. But at that young age, I was so afraid that I was evil, and that Mom would disown me if she knew how I felt.

We once even talked about the subject. She found a book I'd checked out from the library about gay youth. I told her a part truth: I had a friend who was struggling with those feelings and I'd been thinking a lot about it. She assumed immediately that the friend was effeminate Ed. Most moms suspected Ed. Little did she know that the young man who was pressuring me so much was my best friend, the very young man she was vocally pushing me to be more like. "Why do you always slouch? Do you ever notice the way ---- carries himself? You should walk more like that." Yes, mom, I noticed. I noticed everything he did, and I cursed myself for letting my hormones rage. One of my biggest mistakes was making him my ideal version of what a man was supposed to be. I hated myself and lusted after him more and more as the years dragged on. I finally had to move slowly away from him, as he was starting to become physical and I was terrified of that.

My dad would often get drunk and tell me that my little brother's homosexual tendencies are a result of God punishing my dad for beating up the faggots when he was in high school.

I'm sorry. I don't know why this has turned to my parents. I'm just scared to death of what is going to happen as a result of this post. Cerebrally I know that my mom will be supportive, but in my gut I am afraid. There is so much that could happen. Some friends will probably wonder why on earth I would ever post this for anyone to see. Please try to understand my fear. If I didn't see such social injustice, I would keep these matters to myself, I promise. As it is, though, I really feel that there aren't very many people we can look to for examples. And while I don't feel worthy of being the example of how to live a life, I do feel qualified to show others that it's worth it to keep fighting. I'm actually very happy these days.

I think it's nigh impossible for people who don't have this particular cross to bear to understand how lonely and hopeless it can feel for those of us who do. Those who choose to fight the good fight do so silently, and we never see them. Those who give up are much more visible, but provide only an example of exactly what we're trying to avoid. As I mentioned above, most of the world views this issue as some sort of religion vs. homosexuality war. It should never be so. What is religion if not the means to overcome the natural man, including the homosexual man? Psychological studies have shown that homosexual men tend to be more religious, anyway. It makes me sad for the state of my fellow "strugglers" (that's the Evergreen PC term for men who are attracted to other men) when I see the mind-set of the world. Those on the right believe that it's unnatural and sinful to feel the way I feel every day without being able to stop it. Over on the left, people feel that it's completely natural and commendable to act the way I feel tempted to. Neither can be right. I have friends who don't understand the ways of the Lord, and who would condemn me for wanting a family and wanting to stay strong in the church. I think my determination might take away any excuse they might have about the inevitability of their own sins. I think that the truth is that it's not a sin to feel the way I do, but it is a sin to act on it. Anyone who disagrees either doesn't believe in the mandates of God or believes in some sort of original sin that would cause me to have sins without ever having acted out.

Honestly, the only thing that keeps me sane and obedient is the atonement of our Savior. There came a point shortly before my mission in which I felt I needed to repent for certain actions. I felt that I was the vilest of sinners. I read a scripture in Mark one night:

"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."

Those words really hit my soul. There was only one thing I desired more than anything, and it was to know that Heavenly Father loved me, and that I could be forgiven. You thought I was going to say "that I turn straight" or something, didn't you? The next night I prayed on my walk all the way home from work. This was no Sunday School prayer. I pleaded with God that night that I could be forgiven. I apologized for having to unload those sins onto Christ. I learned something about hope, too. I always believed that God had the power to forgive me. What I had doubted was his willingness to do so. I doubted that I had it in myself to be forgiven. But my desire was great, and that night I had a spiritual revolution. I came out of that experience with a profound love of my savior and a deep awe for his willingness to forgive. From that point on, I have tried to let others see my testimony, though I think most people don't understand where it came from nor how deep it runs.

Why tell anyone now? Because I don't think I should be required to lie any more. I don't like trying to live a bifurcated life. I am at peace with my maker. I can't say that those thoughts and feelings have vanished, but I can say that thanks to the fortifying powers of the atonement, those thoughts and feelings have diminished to a point where they are manageable. I can honestly say that I have the presence of the Holy Ghost in my life. I can go to the temple and bless the sacrament. I don't know how many other people consider their personal worthiness to be a miracle, but that's exactly what mine is to me.

I'm not trying to set myself up as some sort of prophet here. I still make mistakes. I backslide. There have been times when, given the opportunity, I would have made serious mistakes. If the thorn weren't still in my side, it would be a lack of gratitude for the repentance process for me to go on about the issue here. All I can do is try my hardest, and put those feelings daily on the altar to be devoured by Heavenly fire. And after all we can do, by grace we are saved. I have a veritably tangible testimony of that.

There will likely be some who reject my friendship now. That makes me sad, but I can't blame them. After all, when I found out about my problem, I hated myself for years. I can't fairly expect anyone else to take the information and immediately love me. I am eternally grateful for the sagacious people in my life whose immediate reaction to the knowledge was to just give me a hug and their support. But I'm a realist, and I know some people won't be so open-minded. I still love those people, too. I had a roommate who kicked me out of the house when he learned my secret. I don't think he'll go to hell for that. I think he was afraid and inexperienced.

I pray that this post will be read in the same spirit in which I'm writing it. I pray that someone out there will be heled by its message of hope and faith in an all-powerful Savior. To post on this topic is indeed a scary thing for me, but I am trying to heed the counsel our Savior gave to Jairus: Be not afraid, only believe. Only time will tell whether any good is effected by these writings. The most important thing is that we all know that none of us is alone. Our particular sins aside, we are all brothers and sisters, and each of us has his or her own unique set of challenges. Let's not look at those challenges as bleak and damning. Please let's look at them as the object of our Abrahamic sacrifice, as the pruning that will help us to fortify ourselves and grow into mighty oak trees in the Lord's arboretum, and as the spurs that will in the end drive us to our exaltation through the Lord Jesus Christ and His infinite mercy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Well, while I'm working on that, you can enjoy another sample from Poet Smurf. I think he's going to try his hand at prose here, and be warned. This is not for the easily offended.

The Time I Died
By ???? ????
She bit my knee playfully on a cloudy day, hard enough that she had to spit out a little morsel of my flesh, blood dribbling down her mischievously pleased chin, dark blackberry stain red, and her impish eyes danced from behind a wall of thick hurried air that wouldn't crumble outward into my lungs so I could scream. Her blond hair wisped in the cold caustic breeze that assaulted my face, carrying bitter flecks of ocean across the stretch of sand and seaweed where they pelted us, the strong boy with strawberry hair and a hole in his leg, and the delicate waif with razor teeth, letting warmth and crimson spread beneath her and seep down to bathe the crabs. "I love you," she whispered like Claudius' poison in my ear. I scrabbled away, bellowing at last, pulling a yell up from every part of me like a tuning fork, a yell that was swallowed by the grey sky atop his hoary oceanic sister. The girl followed me on hands and knees like a puppy, a horrible demon cur with leathery gargoyle wings that wants to be friends but can't keep its tremendous weight from squishing your brittle soul, while something about its sleek scaly elegance keeps you aroused until it kills you. I ran and ran and fell, salt in my mouth and deep into the bite in my skin, and I rolled over quickly with a look of flagrant horror on my strained face. "You are not the only victim here!" she kept shrieking through injured tears, and for a moment I dumbly wondered if the imp was telling the truth, if there were others who had fallen into her trap. Then in dizzy desperation I stood down or up or aside or some direction and grabbed for the shovel, which I would swing around and around in a fabulous arc until it connected with the side of her shallow beautiful face. But there was no shovel, only a boy in wet blue denim shorts, and a teenage demon waiting for her breasts to fill her big sister's faded floral bathing suit, and lots of sand, and maybe some soggy bits of kelp and the flaccid blanket my mother had wrapped me in when I was younger to protect me from the elements. Even my essence was being carried away into the water, leaving no way of sucking it all back inside through a straw in the sand like the way they drink coconut milk in cartoons, and no chance of getting my life back from inside her belly without risking the loss of even more. As I bent to gather up the bits of myself and try to pressure them back into place, she came upon me, descended, and devoured the rest of me whole. She returned alone along the tortuous yellow-lined road that evening with stains on the front of her hand-me-down bikini, though witnesses in the town say they saw her in the company of a muscular shirtless young man with a blank stare on his face and a strange limp.

Thanks, Poet. I needed that.


I'm too tired to make it coherent, I just discovered. Tomorrow, friends, tomorrow.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Honey Bunches of Oats

Okay, I'm turning this over to Greedy for today's post. Have at 'em, smurf!

Northern California
February 2003

I got a phone message from Ivy, my friend who worked at the survey place at the mall. She told me that I fit the demographic they needed for their newest survey, and that if I could get myself to the mall in Fairfield in the next two days, I could test a new product: Honey Bunches of Oats with Peaches. Now, you have to understand how much I love Honey Bunches of Oats with Strawberries. Those little amazing astronaut-style strawberries are the best thing since, well, I don't know. I was going to say "since sliced bread," but I don't know why people use sliced bread as a reference point. I mean, lots of better things have come out since sliced bread. Like, um, bunjee jumping, and the Beatles, and those electronic doors at the grocery store that open by themselves. Why don't they have those doors at more places, like closets or dentist's offices? But I digress.... Anyway, freeze-dried strawberries are the new flagship in my mind for saying something is the best thing since _____. That's how much I love them. So I was terrifically excited to go and test this new flavor. Oh, and to get paid fifty bucks for it, too, which I forgot to mention. Unfortunately, I couldn't get anyone to give me a ride up there. I even contemplated taking the bus, but that would still mean a five mile walk each way just to get to the bus stop. In the end, I had to let the opportunity slip me by. It made me so sad. I seriously lamented for about a week. Not only had I lost the fifty dollars, but I had lost the chance to eat a new delicious cereal and the bragging rights associated therewith. Over time, the pain faded, and I was able to let it go. The final sting came only this morning, however, as I tried the Honey Bunches of Oats with Peaches for the first time. And you know what? They're not very good. And it irks me to know that I might have been able to fix that.

The end.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Wiggle to the Rescue

Work was Hell this afternoon. I got some customers who said the service was excellent but the food was "yucky and cold." The owner placed me on probation for not having gotten help (yes, that's two probations now). The tips were lousy and it really just sucked all day. Then I had a one hour break between shifts, and Wiggle came and ate with me. And guess what? It totally cheered me up. And tonight was great, and I was extremely cheerful all night! Thanks, Wiggle! You're a good friend.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

A Conversation with Rachel

You really should read my last post, "Dude, Where's My Job?" before proceeding.


"Thank you for calling [Name of Restaurant] in Provo. This is Rachel. How may I help you?"

(All right! Rachel is an awesome and hilarious girl!)

"Yeah, Hi Rachel, this is [Smurf's real name]. I'm just calling to make sure I don't work tonight."

"Oh, hey, Smurf. You actually do work tonight."

"WHAT! You're freaking kidding me!"

"Haha, yeah, you're not scheduled to work. But actually the manager DID have me call your phone just now to see if you could work for Erin tonight."

"Oh, sorry, I have plans."

(The plans are watching a movie with Shoebox and the rest, but she doesn't need to know that.)

"So you can't work tonight?"

"No. Sorry."

"And why NOT?"

"Well, I'm meeting with some other students."

(technically true, right?)

"Oh, and why couldn't you have done that yesterday when you weren't coming in to work even though you were scheduled?"

"Well, I just found out about it."

"Mmmmm-hmmmm. I bet."

"Right. What's that supposed to mean?"

"It MEANS that I don't believe you. ESPECIALLY after what you tried to pull yesterday."

"All right, all right. I feel bad enough about that as it is. I don't need YOU rubbing it in."

"Well I don't know who else is gonna rub it in for you."

"Dude, why are you giving me all this sass? And what's with this sassy accent? Why are you trying to sound black or something?"

"What do you MEAN why am I trying to sound black? I AM black!"

(Oh crap. This is my manager, and has been for about a minute now.)

"Oh, crap."

"What you say 'Oh, crap' for?"

(Time to change tactics and apply some counter-sass.)

"Listen, woman, if you're gonna just grab the phone away and switch who I'm talking to, you best TELL a body. 'Cause Here I am all this time thinking I'm still talking to Rachel."

"Well? That ain't my fault! I tell you what, you pull this crap again I'ma fire your butt. And also, I don't even love you anymore."

"Sad. Well, I still love you."

"That's right you do. I just saved your job; you BEST be loving me."

"Oh, I do."

"You need anything else?"

"No, I'm good."

(I'm playing the meek card by now.)

"You need me to check your schedule tell you when you're coming in next?"

"Yes ma'am."

"All Right. You're closing cash with me tomorrow."

"Oh, man. I'm so glad it's you and not David. He doesn't do a very good job and we end up staying forever."

"Yeah, you just watch, I'ma have you outta here by 11:45 at the latest. At the LATEST."

"Oh, I know it. Everyone knows you're the best manager to close with."

"That's RIGHT I'm the best manager to close with. Which is why I love you again."

"You're the best, Alecia."

"I know it. See you tomorrow, and have fun at your made-up study group."

"I will. Bye."




Monday, January 10, 2005

Dude, Where's My Job?

Well, I woke up a bit late today, but that was all right because I'm off work until Wednesday. I did some stuff, and then around 1:00 I got a call from work. They wanted me to come in and work untill 4. I said I would be there in a while. Then I lollygagged and painted monkeys for about an hour and finally went in. When I got there, my big brassy sassy manager was giving me this look that you can only give if you are a black woman or have extra joints in your neck.

I decided I'd better say something. "What?" I said with a level of attitude intended to match hers. I didn't come even close.

"Where have you been?" I think she has a ball and socket in there.

"Sorry," I said, with ostensible sheepishness. "--"

Yeah, that's as far as I got. "Sorry!? I hope you were in the back of an ambulance or something! You better have REAL good story about why you missed the first two and a half hours of your shift!"

Luckily, I'm pretty good at math. "Wait a minute. I only got the call an hour and a half ago."

"Yeah, and you were supposed to be here an hour before THAT."


Soon she had me convinced. I had actually been scheduled to work this morning, and must have written down my schedule incorrectly.

After the tongue-scourging, she made me sign a probationary form. This was a piece of paper that informed me that should I be more than five minutes during the next thirty days, they can fire me. I assume it meant five minutes late, but I didn't want to press my luck by asking. It made me sad to fill out the form, but I'm sure I can be on time for a month. I made a whopping six dollars in tips after that, but after a while I was done and as I was leaving to come home, my boss told me she still liked me anyway, and just had to give me the sass because it's part of her job. That was nice.

Anyway, I conducted FHE tonight since they're redoing the groups, so I just decided to do my own thing with the few people I have met in the new ward. We played do you love your neighbor. Which was fun.

At least, it was fun until I got a phone call from work, asking me why I wasn't there for my second shift. Um, whoops. I guess I forgot to check before I left. Who knows what will happen next? That wasn't exactly the best feeling, you know? I keep meaning to ask Toasteroven and Pa Grape for a blessing. I don't know why I thought I could start school without one. Anyway, if you readers out there care at all, send a prayer for my job up to Heaven along with all your own problems, please. I'll need a bunch, I think.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Smurfs are Blue

Well, I haven't answered a single question since the Board went down. And I haven't updated my blog. And I wasn't really going to until the Board was back up. But today I read Still Struggling's post about becoming addicted to our blogs, so I guess I'd better put something up. And while I don't feel like writing anything, maybe I'll just let my little Smurf friends have a go at it. This is one Poet Smurf wrote.

One Morning

I peeled the sun and took a bite
And threw us into frozen night
So we could sneak around and play
(We never could by light of day)
Through static yards and neighborhoods
And into black inviting woods.

I grabbed the clouds and pulled the drain
To let out all the drippy rain
So I could hold your hand and run
Without the awful glare of sun
Through walls of rain so shiny wet
To wash our brain so we forget.

I took a deep breath just for fun
And blew the stars out one by one
So we could lie in solid black
With only dark beneath our back
Through years of brightest pain behind
But missing all because we’re blind.


A.A. Melyngoch said it sounded like a Barenaked Ladies song. Shoebox would be proud, I'm sure. Oh, and Poet just stopped by, and he wants me to point out the pun in the title. I'm starting to become A.A. Milne, writing at my desk with all my imaginary friends coming by and critiquing what I've written about them. But I'm never so clever. Ever.