Sunday, June 13, 2010

The End

I've been debating what to do with this space. I've thought about consolidating all of my online activities into one or two sites. Unfortunately I'm not comfortable with officially linking these past two years of posts to my actual name. However, I don't want to delete what has been a very crucial part of my personal growth.

For now this site is going to be dormant. I started this blog to chronicle the conflicting emotions and thoughts of a confused Christian guy trying to reconcile being gay and being Christian. It's captured some of my highest highs and lowest lows. I started by casting off from the shore unsure of my destination. Now, over two years later I've arrived in a new land. At first the changes were terrifying, but I've come to realize the most important parts of who I am are the same and my fear (as it so often is) was unwarranted.

My sincere hope for this blog was that it could touch the lives of others who are going through (or have already passed through) the hell I went through. I was scared and alone and somewhat hopeless before finding this online community. I know many are still on a journey of self-discovery full of questions and fears with nobody they feel they can talk to. My hope is that this blog has been some help or at the very least a reminder you are not alone.

If you ever need anything, or want to catch up with me in real life, feel free to e-mail. I'm forever on the road so maybe we can grab some tea sometime (I don't like coffee).

Your friend,

JD (thinkrqp(AT)gmail.com)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Love.Life

Old friends.Deep conversations. Broken hearts. Good laughs. Dancing. Drinking. Flirting. Getting a cute hipster guy's number. Madonna Glee. Whiskey sours. Too many whiskey sours. Pei Wei. Piano recitals. Poetry projects. Party planning. Alliteration. World domination. Diabetic cats. Bizarre Greek films. Mumblecore. Genocide awareness. Ice cream.

An amazing week.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring

Spring came upon us overnight.  Instantly everything was in bloom.  It was more forceful and beautiful than years past.  Pollen dusted every car, mailbox, and pet in the city.  Thankfully a storm the other night washed it away.  For the first time in maybe forever, I'm able to enjoy the beauty instead of curse it thanks to some amazing allergy shots. 

Today I finally finished season 3 of Mad Men.  It has been neglected on my DVR for far too long.  It did not fail to disappoint.  Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen a better television show.  The writing and acting are phenomenal.

This week has been full of reminders of both life and death.  In keeping with the Easter theme I'll even use the word resurrection.  A relationship that I feared could be dying came back to life.  Words I thought might never be said were said and for the first time in a long time things felt like they used to.  It was one of the best conversations I've had all year.

At tutoring we're working on poetry.  I'm practically having a workshop and it's tons of fun.  Maybe I'll start posting a daily haiku. 

When I close my eyes and think of the future I picture many different scenarios and wonder which will be the most fulfilling.  The more I ponder the more I think I'm just going to have to give them all a shot! 

I've not dropped off the face of the earth.  I'm here, enjoying the opportunities I have been given.  I wish you could all be here with me.  Actually, I guess I could give some of you reading this a call.  Let's do lunch or maybe a movie and some cocktails.

Happy Spring.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dowd's Common Mistake

This morning NYT commentator Maureen Dowd turned over the majority of her column to her brother Kevin, a devout Catholic, in order to get an insider's perspective on the newest sexual abuse scandals coming to light. Once again the Catholic Church is in hot water for covering up a host of "sins".
The full commentary can be found here and makes the point that the Catholic church needs to increase the priest pool and end the celibacy requirement. This idea has been around for quite sometime and is supported by a wide range of Catholic laypeople. The piece also highlighted the unfortunate consequences of so many legal battles and court settlements, which is the depletion of funds that should be supporting social programs. Below is a long excerpt that contains all of Kevin's commentary.
“In pedophilia, the church has unleashed upon itself a plague that threatens its very future, and yet it remains in a curious state of denial. The church I grew up in was black and white, no grays. That’s why my father, an Irish immigrant, liked it so much. The chaplain of the Police and Fire departments told me once ‘Your father was a fierce Catholic, very fierce.’

My brothers and I were sleepily at his side for the monthly 8 a.m. Holy Name Mass and the guarding of the Eucharist in the middle of the night during the 40-hour ritual at Easter. Once during a record snowstorm in 1958, we were marched single-file to church for Mass only to find out the priests next door couldn’t get out of the rectory.

The priest was always a revered figure, the embodiment of Christ changing water into wine. (Older parishioners took it literally.) The altar boys would drink the dregs.
When I was in the 7th grade, one of the new priests took four of us to the drive-in restaurant and suggested a game of ‘pink belly’ on the way back; we pulled up a boy’s shirt and slapped his belly until it was pink. When the new priest joined in, it seemed like more groping than slapping. But we thought it was inadvertent. And my parents never would have believed a priest did anything inappropriate anyway. A boy in my class told me much later that the same priest climbed into bed with him in 1958 at a rectory sleepover, but my friend threw him to the floor. The priest protested he was sleepwalking. Three days later, the archbishop sent the priest to a rehab place in New Mexico; he ended up as a Notre Dame professor.

Vatican II made me wince. The church declared casual Friday. All the once-rigid rules left to the whim of the flock. The Mass was said in English (rendering useless my carefully learned Latin prayers). Holy days of obligation were optional. There were laypeople on the heretofore sacred ground of the altar — performing the sacraments and worse, handling the Host. The powerful symbolism of the priest turning the Host into the body of Christ cracked like an egg.

In his book, ‘Goodbye! Good Men,’ author Michael Rose writes that the liberalized rules set up a takeover of seminaries by homosexuals.

Vatican II liberalized rules but left the most outdated one: celibacy. That vow was put in place originally because the church did not want heirs making claims on money and land. But it ended up shrinking the priest pool and producing the wrong kind of candidates -- drawing men confused about their sexuality who put our children in harm's way.

The church is dying from a thousand cuts. Its cover-up has cost a fortune and been a betrayal worthy of Judas. The money spent came from social programs, Catholic schools and the poor. This should be a sin that cries to heaven for vengeance. I asked a friend of mine recently what he would do if his child was molested after the church knew. ‘I would probably kill someone,’ he replied.

We must reassess. Married priests and laypeople giving the sacraments are not going to destroy the church. Based on what we have seen the last 10 years, they would be a bargain. It is time to go back to the disciplines that the church was founded on and remind our seminaries and universities what they are. (Georgetown University agreeing to cover religious symbols on stage to get President Obama to speak was not exactly fierce.)

The storm within the church strikes at what every Catholic fears most. We take our religion on faith. How can we maintain that faith when our leaders are unworthy of it?”

As you can see from the highlighted portion, this column makes a mistake that is made time and time again. It links homosexuality and pedophilia, implying that one is related to the other. Clearly the author had a childhood experience involving a priest and male child, so might make the assumption that the priest was attracted to men. However, pedophilia is a sexual preference to prepubescent children. It is not related to whether you are attracted to males or females. It's a completely different class. There is not a mature sexual attraction to other adults, therefore pedophiles are not what are classified as heterosexual or homosexual. The excerpt above states that "the liberalized rules set up a takeover of seminaries by homosexuals". So? This give the impression these homosexuals are the ones abusing children. However, homosexual clergy are not the ones abusing the children. Clergy that are pedophiles are abusing children. To make matters worse, a corrupt and shadowy system is working to cover up the abuse and pay-off victims across the globe.

While this seems like something easy to understand, articles like this (at the time of this post it's the #1 e-mailed article on the NYT homepage) perpetuate ignorance.

Update 1:

See post from BTB for info about the incorrect Vatican Council dates in the NYT article.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Anniversary

This week marks 2 years since I began telling people I was gay. Honestly, it feels like so much longer, but my journal does not lie. This time two years ago I had moved from such a feeling of despair and anxiety to elation. Everything seemed new and different and I was beginning to love myself. As chronicled here, other unforeseen events unfolded which put a damper on my high spirits. In addition to my internal struggles I faced changes in my external circumstances. I began a full-time job, moved out of my college apartment, and became a full-time adult.

Time allows you to look back and rewrite history. Events that were trivial are sometimes blown out of proportion and things that seemed like the end of the world become silly. I refuse to look back and make statements about how and what I was feeling, because too much time has passed. Those feelings are best left to the entries of the past; snapshots in time capturing my ups and downs and hopes and fears. Looking back there are certainly things I wish I would have done differently and emotions I wish I could have avoided, but I made it through.

The thing I've learned the most over the past two years is how unbelievably powerful fear is. I'm not one to say that fear is bad or that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." That's nonsense and I've been respectful of the importance of fear ever sense seeing this episode of Batman when I was 11* (only somewhat joking). The problem with fear is when you allow it too much space. Coupled with anxiety it can and will make your life a living hell. Daily I fight to keep fear in its rightful place (helping me make intelligent decisions) and have been rather successful. So many things I once feared such as being alone forever and never being happy have simply not happened. This gay thing has turned out to be rather manageable. It's my vices (over consumption #1) that cause me real trouble.

The other thing I've realized, but have been hesitant to admit, is how much my prior beliefs caused me to hate myself. I don't know if I've actually phrased it like that before. I used to say things like I "thought being gay was a sin" and that I "prayed and prayed for change" which are both very true. However, I think to protect myself and what religious convictions I was holding at the time, I shied away from stating that my beliefs were destroying me. Certainly an obsession with a wife and kids compounded the problem, but one of the primary drivers was my conviction that God could and would heal me and that I just needed to keep on fighting my "lust"**. Now that I've let go of that I'm much more whole. I'll try to elaborate this in a later post.

I hope wherever you are that spring has sprung. The weather is stunning here and I found myself enjoying lunch al fresco this afternoon. You should do the same!


*It's odd how certain things from your childhood can have a lasting impact. I recently used a quote from Captain Planet in a work email "the power is yours!". Also, I am certain my sense of humor was strongly shaped by the Wayside Series of books.

**I didn't think my attraction to guys was homosexuality. I preferred to call it a lust. That seemed much more manageable. Just a few prayers and a bit more worship music and it would all be taken care of.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Priorities

I'm in the process of prioritizing things in my life. It's a big task, but needs to be done.

Currently, I'm in the midst of working on some things that will have implications for the next few years (where I live, what I do, etc.). You will of course be kept in the loop.

In case you missed it, check out the Tufts report on non-believing clergy. I found I could relate to several of the stories.

Life is good. My two year anniversary of coming out is in a couple of days. A post is in order!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Poor Cat

I saw a cat get hit by a car on my way home tonight. There is nothing the car could have done as the cat darted right in front of it. It was a startling site and I put on my flashers and got out hoping I could do something. It's body was twitching and I hoped it was going to be okay. When I approached I saw a gruesome situation and knew it was too late. Slowly the last bit of life was gone from an animal who was probably playing with its owners an hour earlier. I wish I could have done something. At first I felt indifferent, then I felt sad. In one second a life
was extinguished. It made me think about human mortality. We're all hanging by a thread. Life is precious.

This was a major downer for an otherwise decent evening.

Goodnight

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Social Butterfly

Dear Internet,

This week has been terribly busy. Last Saturday I went to my first club. I had done everything in my power to get out of it, alas, I was unsuccessful. A friend was in town and wanted to go. I didn't have the heart to say no. Plus, I'm working on broadening my horizons this year. A key part of that includes doing things outside of my comfort zone. It is not a gay club, but we went on gay night. I obviously expected it to be a den of sin overrun with shady, disgusting people. However, I was being far too harsh. We met a bunch of friends down there and I had a good time. I even danced (awkwardly of course).

Sunday night we had some friends over for boardgames and Bomberman 64. It was an excellent time, but I ended up staying up too late. I was out late Wednesday and Thursday night too. Friday I went to bed at 3 a.m. Yesterday was also jam-packed but I went to bed at 8:30 to recover.

It's Sunday morning and there is much to do including a really cool estate sale and a trip to Express to stock up on boxers (it's the last day of their sale).

This post has a point, and it's that I'm busy. I know everyone says they're busy all the time, and of course we all are. I'll clarify. I've got many other thing vying for my attention and time and my priorities have shifted. While I love this blog, my idea for a high-quality, weekly post has not come to fruition. I'm still going to maintain this blog and I have lots of things to say and plenty of posts in development. I just won't be the prolific blogger I once was. Maybe this makes you happy or maybe it makes you sad. I'll see you around these parts later.


Your Friend,

J

Sunday, February 21, 2010

UPular

If a post showed up in your Google Reader about Sam Davis disregard it. It's still a work in progress. I don't have anything for my weekly post, so I'll just share this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2yt1ooLQGo

Enjoy.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Weakness

Dear Internet People,

Lately I've been thinking about job interviews a lot. I don't anticipate a change of career anytime soon, but the thought came from a NYTimes series I read called Corner Office. One day I aspire to be a member of executive management for either a large multinational corporation, or a highly regarded non-profit. Maybe both. Anyhow, reading this series always makes me think about the interview process and that brilliant question "what is your greatest weakness?*" The answer I'm tempted to give is perfectionism, but I've really been managing that quite well over the years (I think the turning point was losing my 4.0 in college). Therefore, I need to have another one.

Friday I figured out what it was. I don't take criticism well. At work I got a review that I was not happy with and was livid. My wonderful day turned into me going on a tirade in about 5 minutes. This issue will be resolved Monday. At least I know my weakness now.

In other news...

I'm going to a Brandi Carlile concert this week and am super excited. I've also been listening to the new Vampire Weekend non-stop. Alas, their concert in Nashville was sold out. Maybe next time.

This weekend is rather demanding of my time, so I'm cutting my post short.

*If you are interviewing a candidate and want to make sure you don't receive a canned response, ask what are your 2 greatest weaknesses. Most people only have 1 that they've rehearsed.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Common Ground

I recently had a very heated exchange with someone I consider I friend. It was related to sexuality and Christianity. I ended the conversation exceptionally frustrated and in a situation where I found myself unable to understand the motivations of the other person. It was an argument that led nowhere for either party. Ironically we both care deeply about each other and feel like the other is completely missing the point. At least, that's my interpretation of the events that transpired.

The conversation made me realize that I need to be more candid about my beliefs and core convictions, in person and online. Since I enjoy a moderate level of anonymity here, I'm going to start posting about my movement from Conservative Christianity towards agnosticism/atheism. This was something I've somewhat avoided talking about, but the time has come to share this part of my narrative.

As I've mentioned before, I'm hesitant to tell people of my lack of faith due to the fact they will assume it's because I'm gay. I (rightly or wrongly) feel people assume I changed my beliefs because I couldn't cope with being gay and I wanted to sin freely. I've mentioned this before (The Gay Thing) so I won't rehash.

The thing is, my coming out did act as a catalyst to the erosion of my former belief system, but it was certainly not the cause. The cause was that my beliefs could not be sustained. As I learned more, I HAD to change my beliefs.

I'm going to start with a basic example, the Gospels. While I had read the gospels in bits and pieces over the years, I never really read them all together. However, I ate up the fact they were eye witness accounts of the life of Jesus Christ. I believed they explained a virgin birth and a divine being and all the basic things a real, true Christian is supposed to believe. I was pretty much a biblical literalist and thought it had some kind of magical powers*. However, as I started reading gay-friendly theology (much of which I found weak), I did get turned onto some really great Christian authors that exposed me to a lot of truth about the Bible I didn't even know! It started with evangelicals like Tony Campolo (who I'm still a fan of**), Emergents like Brian McLaren, and academics like Peter Gomes. From this further reading of CHRISTIAN literature I realized how backwards I was in my thinking.

Now, I know backwards sounds harsh, but so I will defend my use of the term. Here in this world there are things that are true and there are things that are untrue. Of course, the universe is not black and white. Nevertheless, there are core convictions of biblical, literalist Christianity that can be proven false. Plus, you don't even have to look outside the bible! I assume 99% of you are already aware of this and can even chuckle a bit at those "poor literalists" who still believe everything they read (like a literal 7 day creation and dinosaurs on the ark). Tragically, I shared many beliefs with those people. But as I was challenged in my faith by counter-evidence I was able find peace by reading things as metaphor and finding passages that supported my new doctrines (such as pluralism).

In the long run these attempts to salvage a belief in a biblical god ultimately failed.

*At one point in my life I posted scripture on a bulletin board in my room in the hopes that "storing it in my heart" would strengthen my fight against gay thoughts.

**"50,000 people around the world died of hunger today. That's bad, but what's worse is that most of us don't give a damn. But what's even worse is that for many of us it is more bothersome that I just said the word 'damn' than that I said 50,000 children of God died of hunger." - Tony Campolo

Note: I'm pressed for time today so forgive any grammatical errors.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Storm

No, the title is not some metaphor regarding an emotional storm I'm going through. I mean an ICE STORM! This week I was traveling for work but we cut the trip short and hurried home as a substantial portion of the country was impacted by winter weather. Here we had a mini-ice storm that shut down the city for a good 24 hours. In rural areas the streets are still frozen. Where I live the roads were safe for driving yesterday, but parking lots were a bit hazardous. The trees were totally covered in ice and bowed under the weight. It was absolutely stunning. Sadly, today the sun started melting the trees. The beautiful frozen Narnia began to thaw and it sounded like it was raining as water poured off the trees. Why do those meddling Pevensie's have to mess things up?

video

Life is still quite busy between work and personal goals. I've got another exam for work that I'm trying to study for and am also still working out twice a week. Slowly I'm seeing results but the self-esteem and energy boost after working out are already in full effect. Additionally, I have a new haircut that I love so I'm feeling quite cute. Hahaha. I only say this because I have a tendency to be rather critical of my own appearance, so I appreciate the times I feel attractive. I do attempt to keep my self-criticism to a minimum as it's a trait I find extremely unappealing in others.

Life here is really great for me. I've got some more serious posts I'm working on, but as I've mentioned time has been at a premium lately...sort of. This weekend I carved out about 12 hours (maybe more) to beat WORLD OF GOO. If you do not have this game you need to stop reading this post and go buy it. It's so much fun! Google it.

This March I'm supposed to be running another 5K and I hope I'm still in shape. I'm going to start running again this week. Alas, I found out Friday that I'm going to be taking a very short trip (under 48 hours) to a location yet to be determined for work. I do enjoy the fact that I can travel at anytime with my job, but every now and then I do wish I had a bit more consistency in my schedule. Of course, if I was not traveling 30-40% of the year I'd be terribly bored at home even if it meant I would always be able to make my training schedule at the gym.

Friday night I had a deep conversation with my roommate and it brought up a lot of emotion that I'd kind of buried. Be expecting a blog about my feelings soon!

Finally, today I bought a MicroSD card reader for my computer. Sadly, in a series of very stupid mistakes on my part I managed to get a mini-cd stuck in my computer (iMacs do NOT like mini-cds - DUH!), download unnecessary software repeatedly, and waste 45 minutes only to discover the problem was that I did not plug the cord in all the way! GAH. I used to work at an IT Helpdesk, and here I am making rookie mistakes. Oh well.

I leave you with my favorite photo from the storm.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Round-up

I find myself preoccupied by lots of things that keep me from blogging. None are too terribly exciting. One new "hobby" is watching Dr. Who (thanks Netflix). Growing up I used to watch the old series every now and again with my dad. I was quite late getting into the new one and I can't wait to catch up with Torchwood!

I'm headed out of town so I figure I'll post a round-up of things I've been meaning to share, but have not gotten around to until now:

  • Biblical Historicity is an interest of mine, especially after an online course I was taking peaked my interest. This is an interesting read about David and Solomon.
  • A good friend's sister posted this about yoga recently. It's absolutely worth a read, even if you don't know (or care) anything about yoga.
  • Surely you have all seen Avatar by now. I also assume you've seen these. They've been making the rounds around the internet and I find them quite amusing.
  • This Lily Allen song is one of my new favorites. I know it's not quite new.
  • If any guys out there are in need of a new haircut you should check out about.com. Really, it's still a great site for a lot of info!
There are a ton of other things I would like to share, but I'll do it at a later date. I'll post something more substantial next week. Scout's honor.

I almost forgot! I want a new bicycle. Come spring, it will be mine!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Inertia

Before I begin I have a question. It seems that traffic has seen an upswing here and I'm not sure why. However, the real puzzle is where it's coming from! Here is a list of countries: Sweden, Malaysia, Spain, Singapore, Italy, Netherlands, Qatar, Lithuania, Singapore, France, Portugal, and more!

At first I was thinking someone might be using Tor or something, but does that really generate IP addresses around the globe? Most of these visits are 0 seconds. However, if anyone reading this is international (not you M or O), I would love if you left a comment explaining how you ended up here. Thanks!

Now for the main post.

In my job I try to understand how things work. I then compare the idea of how something works to the reality of how it's currently being executed. You would be quite surprised how large the gap between perception and reality can be.

The two most important questions I attempt to answer are "how" and "why" things work the way they work. As expected, people can almost always tell me how something works (when they can't it make my life miserable), but quite often the why can't be answered. Ideally a process operates the way it operates because it's the best method to achieve an established goal. The goal could be related to efficiency, safety, compliance, etc. Alas, when a company gets to a certain size, the rationale for business decisions is often unknown. At some point a decision was made, but over the years the reason for that decision was forgotten. Inertia has taken over.

We all remember from physics that inertia is the tendency of an object in motion to remain in motion, or an object at rest to remain at rest, unless acted upon by an outside force. In our daily lives we tend to think about this in relation to speeding cars or falling objects. However, the inertia impacting our daily habits is a far more influential force.

I've been "acted upon" by an outside force that has thrown me off my game. The devastation in Haiti has really depressed me. The overwhelming and senseless loss of life in insane. Honestly, I don't usual get that worked up over tragedy (9/11, Katrina, Indo Tsunami, none have hit me like this). Maybe it's related to the fact that this is the first tragedy without a god for me. Being a naturalist has been fine in theory, but witnessing the absolute devastation and indifference of the universe towards human suffering is jarring. Still, it can validly be argued a lot of the devastation was augmented by humanity (i.e., the 80% poverty rate that caused the earthquake to be so destructive). Clearly, Haiti offers a view into the worst of mankind and forces you (well, me at least) to wrestle with how I can be so indifferent on a daily basis.

I know I harp on this a lot. I certainly talk about human suffering a lot more than I take action to alleviate it. I get so wrapped up in my life (finding love, television, eating, sleeping, sex, work, money, etc.) that I don't see a bigger picture. It's incredible that in a world so interconnected we can also be so disconnected.

A couple of weeks ago I thought I had my next 5 years set in stone. I was going to save X amount of dollars, apply to certain schools, move, get a Master's degree, get a new job, and...live happily ever after? Now I'm not so sure about my plans. I'm going to take a step back and fight against the inertia that so easily drives along my life.

Though tragedy is an eternal part of the human narrative, so are grace, beauty, redemption, and salvation*. It's time to rewrite this tragedy.

*Paraphrased from a sermon I heard this morning.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Substitute

As a kid walking into class to find your teacher gone is almost always an awesome experience. It's not that the teacher is bad or that you wish him or her harm. Instead, what gives you an excited feeling is the knowledge a substitute means an easy day: movies, games, free-time, etc.

This particular day with the substitute was pleasant, though not the fun-fest I had expected. My real teacher had apparently left rather detailed instructions to keep us occupied and the substitute was dutifully adhering to them. One of these instructions was to collect an assignment we had completed earlier. As she came around to each group of desks (we were clustered together in "tables") I found my paper and handed it over. Upon taking it she handed it back reminding me to put my name on top. At this suggestion another group member shouted "No! We have a rule. The teacher says if you don't put your name on a paper you get a 0". Other group members joined in to confirm this statement.

I was horrified. No such rule existed and I didn't know what to do. I was overwhelmed by the scene unfolding in front of me, my classmates lying to amuse themselves and make me miserable. I don't remember what happened immediately after. I know I did not end up with a 0. I'm also fairly certain I didn't break down in tears (though I'm certain I wanted to). Grades were an obsession as was doing things correctly. I was an obscenely nerdy child, not completely socially awkward, but enough to struggle with relating to my peer group. Situations like this obviously never helped.

This was merely a joke for my classmates, but to me it was devastating. I did not have the self-confidence or sense of humor I have today, but how many self-assured 4th graders do you know?

The moral of the story? Sometimes kids can be punks.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Turn Around

I spend more than I make.

I have one resolution this year. All of my willpower will be concentrated into changing my current habits. If I do not, the only thing my future holds is financial ruin. I am not being melodramatic. Things must change.

I'm writing this in the midst of a project to clean out my room. I've been working on it over the course of the past few months and thought I was pretty much done. However, something is different tonight. Instead of rearranging the items in my room and tossing out a few things here and there, I'm actually going through the drawers, boxes, and containers that hold my possessions. I have discovered they contain a whole lot of crap. I never want this to happen again.

I've established a 12/2010 goal to be debt free and have a specific amount of money in my long-term savings account. It's ambitious but attainable.

2010 will also hold some changes for this blog. I'm going to post at least once a week and plan on working to improve the quality of my posts. Since I've worked through the "gay thing" for the most part, it's time for a new direction. I've got an idea or two for a couple of series and want to talk about religion and atheism more than I have before.

Let's make this the best year ever. Cheers.