Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Yuletide Greetings!

It's time for the Fourth Annual Electronic Weed Christmas Letter!

We started to feel a little frantic today because it's December 31st and we never get our card out this late. To calm ourselves and get centered into writing this year's letter we decided to take action, so we've been sitting here looking at past letters. It was then that we realized that we are very, very predictable people. Not only have we gotten this letter out precisely on the 31st two out of the past three years, but--and I'm embarrassed for us both to admit this--we were seriously both wearing clothes in this moment that were featured in some of the pictures on those posts. Lest you think it was some special Christmas outfit that we only bust out for the season, nope--Lolly's wearing a brown t-shirt that she was wearing four years ago, and I am wearing some random Old Navy t-shirt that has made more appearances on this blog than some of my kids.

It's time for a new wardrobe, Weeds.

Anyway, without further ado, here is our fancy-pants letter!

Tessa (3)








It was difficult to narrow in on just one quirky thing that Tessa has done this year, so we decided to broaden it out and make a list of various items. Our Tessa--bless her heart--is a very strange duck. A strange duck that we love with all our hearts. For example, she has made up her own theme song which she sings upon entering the room. It's not complex. It goes something like this: "Da doo deeeeeeeeeeeeeee--here's TESSA!" It's pretty funny, and she'll do it on command, but it's much more meaningful when she spontaneously sings her theme-song as she enters a room. We love it.

Other quirks: She quotes shows ("Good thinkin', Toots. Toots!?? *laughs maniacally*"), loves to take baths, adores using public restrooms (but we have put the kibosh on urinals), and she insists on wearing pajamas every single day. She loves jammies, okay? Don't judge. She also calls herself by all the nicknames we call her. We know this because whenever she pretends that she's on the Disney Channel doing a "The Time I..." segment, she says something like "Hi, my name is (T-Bone/Tessboast/Tesla/T-nickel) and I'm going to tell you about the time I..." and so forth.

We love the quirks that Tessa has developed this year, and we are sure that she will be able to develop many more in the year to come.

Viva (5)




Viva's dedication to fashion continues to grow each year. She still loves wearing her hair in ponytails (though she has advanced to the side-pony), she absolutely adores headbands, sassy boots and skirts, and she continues to assemble her own clothing creations every day--ones that surprise us with how much they don't suck.

Her new obsession, though, is make-up. She wears it any chance she gets, and is constantly trying to sneak into our bedroom to put some on. I fear we may be the only household in the world where the motto "Kindergarteners don't wear make-up!" is repeated every morning before school.

While Viva is very focused on make-up and fashion, she is also very observant of those around her and gives compliments freely. Because of Viva's critical fashion eye, a compliment from her has become quite coveted among even our adult friends. (Seriously, when one of Lolly's friends gets a new haircut, they are sometimes more worried about Viva's reaction than Lolly's.)

Anna (7)




Anna has impressed us this year with her incessant desire to eavesdrop. You can scarcely have a conversation in this house without Anna chiming in from about five feet behind you asking things like "Who? What? What happened? What? What Daddy? What did the girl do? What happened to that baby? Who was he? What does 'obnoxious nagging questions' mean? Just tell me! What?"

She is very, very curious and likes to know every detail of every story about every person spoken of in her presence. A case in point: The following conversation ensued today:

Lolly: What should we say about Anna this year?

Josh: Oh, man. I don't know. Should we talk about how when picking nightgowns at the store, Viva chose one with a picture of One Direction, but Anna chose one featuring a unicorn?

Lolly: That is funny, but I'm not sure if it really captures her this year. I was thinking we might talk about how she loves to eavesdrop...

Anna (from the back of the van): What does it mean that you say I eavesdrop? What does eavesdrop mean?

Lolly: It means that you like to listen to other people's conversations.

Anna: Oh. Yeah. I do like to eavesdrop.

Lolly: Yes. We know.

Yes. That conversation actually happened.

We do love our little eavesdropper, and hope that her deep curiosity into the lives of others might mean that she will follow the footsteps of her father and become a consummate gossip psychotherapist someday.

Lolly and Josh 

Geez guys. What can we say that hasn't already been said right here in this blog, amiright?

For starters, two of our three pets died this year, which is why we now refer to ourselves as Pet Murderers. Josh is especially horrible in that he heard the sound of our parakeet Felix die in the night, thought "oh, I think one of the birds died" and, instead of checking on the bird, snuggled up in his pillows and went back to sleep. Lolly woke up the next morning to find Felix had face-planted into the bottom of the cage and exclaimed "Oh no! Josh, Felix died in the night!" To which Josh replied "Yeah. I know. I heard the thump." The other victim of our carnage is our good friend Sameer the Muslim betta fish. He fought a good fight with depression (seriously people, this fish was noticeably depressed, and we tried to help him by buying him a new bowl and colorful sea plants to spruce up his life) but in the end his sadness overtook him and he went home to Allah.

Rest in peace Felix and Sameer. You will be missed.

Other than that, we've spent our time raising these freaking demanding humans, and Josh has built up his private therapy practice. Both endeavors are going well.

At this time of year, we wish all of you the best.

With love,

The Weeds





Sunday, December 29, 2013

Dear Norovirus

I don't really write open letters, but this year, you have earned one.

I didn't really know what you were when we first met this year. My family and I had enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving with good friends. The food was delicious--the most tender turkey I had ever eaten. Little did I know, though, that you were there, nesting in the folds of turkey-flesh, swimming in the vat of tepid gravy, or perhaps it was the cheesecake, waiting to invade my body, and then my home.

I thought you were popcorn! I really did. The day after Thanksgiving, Lolly and I took the girls to see a movie and all three girls had insisted on the nasty theater popcorn, and had all eaten so much of it that when Tessa started puking in the middle of the night right at her bedroom door, I thought "blast it! That theater popcorn does it every time!" Within minutes, Viva was vomiting as well, and I rued the moment I allowed them to buy that greasy, nasty popcorn. It wasn't until the next day, when Anna (the last of the girls) started puking--many hours after the other two--that I realized something else was afoot. Maybe this wasn't about the theater popcorn after all? Maybe this was something else?

And then we heard that other attendees of that dinner were sick as well.

And then I started feeling nauseous myself. And I have you to thank for this.

I have thrown up exactly one time in the last twenty years, and it was the lamest excuse for vomit in recorded history about four years ago. Barely worth noting. Vomiting is not something I do. I have been called phobic about it, in fact. But later that day--after all three girls were sick and vomiting, and moaning in discomfort--I grew up. I learned that, at the age of 33, I can now call myself a man. I threw up, you see, all by myself, into the toilet like a big boy. I felt so proud of myself! And relieved too. I was so glad to have that over with.

But then, several hours later, you really got me.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Toothbrush disaster! Also, come to my concert on Christmas Eve!

I'm here to write about the fact that yesterday 23 people arrived at our house for Christmas. And to herald that occasion, our toilet stopped working.

Naturally.

Here's how it went down. (Do you see what I did there?)

It was a busy morning as we prepared to receive 4,334 house guests, and as you could imagine, things were getting chaotic as we cleaned and got things ready. At one point, in a freaky cosmic mash-up the likes of which makes things like sporks and platypuses and Lady Gaga, Anna was flushing the toilet at the precise moment that Tessa recklessly threw a toothbrush into the sink. What happened next was like slow-motion. The toothbrush ricocheted, and we all watched as it landed in the toilet in the precise moment the water went down, down, down.

Ooops.

Not sure if you've met me, but I'm not much of a handyman, you see. Here's a post about when I "fixed" my garbaged disposal. And here's another about when "I changed a tire."

So, as you can imagine, my first reaction was to panic needlessly and wonder why life had to be so cruel.

Second, we bribed Viva to reach her hand into the the toilet. As far as possible. Her reward? A piece of candy. (CPS should probably be notified.)

This was unsuccessful.

Then we remembered: Scott is coming.

Scott is Lolly's brother who is currently getting a PhD in engineering because he's in love with crazy things like transportation and math and "being all boy" and roller coaster construction and building things and stuff. He is The Chosen One when it comes to things like this in my wife's family, and now, having married me, he is apparently The Chosen One for the Weed clan as well.

Well either him, or anyone I hire.

Anyway, Scott arrived and got down to business.

His first order of business? Removing the toilet from the floor. I didn't even know this was a thing that could happen. 


Um, I don't know about you, but this makes me nervous. Are houses supposed to even be able to do this?

Then he fished out the culprit. He reached his hand up into the toilet and said "All right, I got it!" but turns out, it was actual feces. 

Ooops. I often mistake toothbrushes for feces myself when I'm dismantling homesteads.

And then, he found it!

Triumph!!!

The moral of this story: 

toilets are disgusting

OR

when you have a brother-in-law like Scott, it's okay to be gay have no handyman skills whatsoever

OR

houses are not as solid and impenetrable as you think they are if toilets can just be removed at the drop of a hat


OR

Beware little pink penguin toothbrushes. You never know the havoc they can wreak.

Evil, thy name is Pink Penguin Toothbrush


All in all, we're just glad that the four million people at this house have our toilet back in order, because that could have been very, very interesting otherwise. A Christmas miracle!

And, finally, are you doing anything on Christmas Eve?

No?

Perfect! You should come see me play the violin. 


Here are the details. 

I would be tickled if you came. And I'd be even more tickled if you introduced yourself.

All right folks. It's time for me to go be with family and such. 

Oh, yes, and coming soon: our fourth annual electronic holiday card!!!

Laterz, y'all.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I have the luck of St. Nick. (Well, technically Lolly does.)

Not even sure what that title means exactly, but what I'm trying to tell you is that I'm really, really good at getting the best, most awkward white elephant gifts at this annual Christmas party we go to every year. It's like an art-form. An art-form made of luck and other people's ingenuity and packages of random junk.

So, here's the run down:

In 2011, my blog was young, fresh and new. I had just started writing humor posts and I knew that one way people try to garner attention for their blogs is with giveaways. Some people suggested I do one, but I was really resistant to doing a giveaway because LAME and srslywhocares? and like that's what people go to blogs for, amiright? It just didn't feel good to me. It felt inauthentic to be like "My blog is a humor blog filled with humor posts. And you know what that means... time for a self-promotional giveaway!!!"

But then a something happened. I went to the annual Christmas party we go to every year with tons of our good friends, and that year I got perhaps the most awkward white elephant gift every received by a closeted gay man in the history of Yuletide:

Yes, this is a vibrator called "The Little Thumper." And yes, I got it for Christmas. 

We had a special relationship. A special relationship that involved it never being removed from its packaging.

It was at this moment that I knew. I knew the time had come. It was time to do a Giveaway, The Weed style.

So, I did. And it was glorious.

Then, the next  year at this same party, I got another amazing gift for a gay man.

Anyone remember?

 A Santa thong! Of course.

It's not Christmas until there is a G-string dangling from your tree.

I thought my luck had probably run out at this point, but then only a few months after our Club Unicorn post, guess what gift we randomly selected at this same party?

Unicorn Meat for a Unicorn.

So after such an amazing streak of incredible gifts, this year I went to the party with low, low expectations. After all, how can you top a vibrator, followed by a Santa banana-hammock, followed by Unicorn Meat? You can't.

Or so I thought.

There we were, number 15 (of about 4 million) on the list of gift-pickers, nervously waiting to see what horrible, boring piece of garbage we would be forced to regift next year. When our turn finally arrived, I looked at Lolly. "You're the one with luck," I said. And I meant it. I knew if we had any chance at all at a decent gift this year, Lolly would be the one to sniff it out from the pile of nicely wrapped utter crap in front of us. 

She went over to the pile and raised her hand, feeling the ora of each gift, lifting one for weight, cocking her head to the side as she contemplated... is this our gift? Is this the piece of trash that we are destined to own?

And then she chose.

Here is what this gift contained. It was a sequence of items that got better and better:

Okay. Innocuous enough. Thanks for making us smell nice.

Okay. Now this is getting interesting.

Is this about what I think this is about???


It totally is!!!! 

And then, the piece de resistance:

I never knew a white elephant gift could be this perfect. 


Short of throwing actual ganja into a cheery, holiday bag and labeling it a "green" elephant gift, this is about as awesome a gift as you could get for a guy whose blind eye is never not dilated and whose last name is actually Weed.

My Holiday Drug Paraphernalia wishes you a very merry Christmas!!! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

When potty training goes terribly, terribly wrong

Recently we were getting ready to go home after church, and Tessa did what she tries to do every single week as we're about to leave the chapel: she escaped my grasp and started full-fledge running around the entire building like a wild, ferocious wildebeest.

I made the mistake of trying to chase her. This resulted in the two of us running around the entire building, she like a wild, ferocious wildebeest, and I like a lame, biped lion stumbling around hoping to accidentally fall on her to make her stop running.

Before long I realized something ominous. She had completely disappeared. I got Lolly in on the hunt, and we sent Anna around to look for Tessa too.

We searched, but to no avail. Eventually, as we regrouped, we were relieved when Anna showed up with Tessa in tow. But there was a problem. Tessa wasn't wearing pants.

The following conversation ensued:

Lolly: Tessa, where are your pants?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Are you a good mom?

Hi, my name is Lolly Weed and it has recently come to my attention that I am a good mom.

I want to tell you why. And I want to help you determine if you are one too.

Sometimes I feel like crap. Sometimes I look at all of the adorable things my friends make and pin and post and I wonder why I can't do those things. Why can't I make a brown paper bag look like a turkey complete with caramel popcorn stuffing and a beak that moves? Why don't I have the ingenuity necessary to create a life-size castle playhouse made entirely out of felt and love? I can't. I just can't. I don't sew. I don't paint. I don't decorate. I simply... can't.

I'm just not that kind of person. I've never been that kind of person. In high school my room was about as clean as a landfill, and I was totally cool with that. I just.... don't really care as much about visual presentation as I do about other things. I enjoy it when other people do really cute fun things. But it's just not me, and I'm tired of feeling bad about it.

I'm sick of Mother Shame. Mother Shame is having an image of the perfect mom in your head, and never being able to live up to it while all the other moms around you seem to have it down to an art. That feeling you get when you aren't the idealized version of motherhood you have created in your own mind, and you feel like every other mom around you is? That's Mother Shame.

I think it's time to annihilate Mother Shame.

And it's more than just crafts. It's everything else, too. It's me feeling guilty when my three-year-old doesn't know the alphabet by sight or the sounds of each letter because I feel like most one-year-olds we know have been reading for six months. It's when I'm in church and Tessa is climbing over the pews pretending that she's Sophia the First, and I feel like the only mom that doesn't have control over her kids. It's when I'm at the grocery store, an old lady whispers "Ma'am, you're child shouldn't be standing up. She might get hurt," and suddenly I want to punch a grandma in the face. Because clearly she has never had children. Or perhaps they didn't have shopping carts back when she was a mom.

All of these things are Mother Shame. And they all have to go.

The thing that I have recently realized is that I am just fine exactly the way I am.

It's time to shed light on what my life actually looks like, and simply celebrate who I actually am.

If I were to document the reality of one of my days on Pinterest, it would look something like this:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

19 random facts about Josh Weed (because I can't follow rules)

So you know the "facts about me" fad spreading like wildfire over Facebook? Well, I kinda accidentally liked two statuses, and am now required to post 19 facts. As I was about to do so, I was like "waaaait a minute this has to be my next blog post, because what a fun idea for a blog post, right?" (Also, I can't follow rules and will assign nobody a number. Unless you beg. In which case your number is 5.)

So, here you have it. 19 random facts about Josh Weed.

1. I lost my retainer about one year after getting my braces off but all these years later my teeth have remained straight. (It's about the only thing about me that is.)

2. My biggest pet peeve is when someone talks during shows or movies.

3. Wait no. That's my second biggest pet peeve. My biggest pet peeve is any kind of spoiler whatsoever about any work of art in existence. I am so neurotic about this that Lolly makes it a point to mock me on a regular basis. I seriously want to know nothing. NOTHING. Even if it's an irrelevant detail. The fact that so and so wears black to a party later that season lets me know that so and so went to a party later that season. And is still alive. And maybe likes parties now. And still sometimes wears black. And then somehow my mind is able to use that seemingly irrelevant detail to figure out a major plot detail like that she now has cancer and then everything is RUINED. (It's possible that I'm a liiiiiiittle bit weird about this. Perhaps.)

4. I hate shopping of any kind. Especially grocery shopping. But also clothes shopping. Malls are anathema. The only exception to this is bookstores, where whenever I enter I immediately wish I had brought a tent I could set up and live in for the rest of my life.

5. I rarely finish books. I start lots and lots and lots and lots of books, but if it doesn't grab me and get me to the end right away, it's destined to be quit about halfway through. But that doesn't stop me from liking the book. (Two side stories: 1. I wrote the main essay in the AP English exam on a book I had only gotten about 1/3rd of the way through. 2. One of my favorite books ever is Tess of the D'urbervilles. I have read it twice until the last twenty pages and then stopped without reading those last 20 pages. I can't even explain why. I know there's  a *spoiler alert!!!!!* Stonehenge scene, but I'm still unclear about what happens there. But it's still one of my favorite books.) Some people say they have the problem where they can't stop reading books they hate. I have the opposite problem where sometimes I can't finish books I love.  

6. My grandpa crafted the violin I play on. It's a replica of Stradivarius' Messie.

Here's a couple of pictures:

Grandpa Mousley, working in his shop in the garage

And here's the finished product.
This is a picture of me and my friend Jenni Warner before our recent orchestra performance at Benaroya Hall. We'll be playing there again on Christmas Eve. You should totally come. I'm serious.

7. I'm genetically half Swedish. My dad is second generation American on both sides.

Related: The last name Weed used to be either Anderson or Erickson in Sweden (can't remember which) and then it was changed in some war or something to Weed. I have no idea why or what that means in Swedish, but I love my last name.

8. The last names of some of my great-grandparents: Mousley (formerly Yaeger or Jaeger), Whatcott, Tenney, Payne, Weed, Thunnel. If you are a relative or a possible relative comment and let's figure it out! I love connections like that. You will make my day.

9. I write poetry.

10. I was thrown in jail at the end of my mission and they wouldn't let me go home. I was kept in the country (Venezuela) for an extra month even though I was only in jail overnight. You can read about that here.      

11. I have a mild case of social phobia. It comes and goes. Sometimes I'm totally fine and normal in social situations. Other times it randomly strikes and I turn all red and get awkward and want to throw up or go hide in my car because PEOPLE! TERRIFYING!!!! and Lolly has to be like "SHHHH" and put her finger to my mouth and tell me to take deep breaths. Social phobia runs in my family really, really bad and I got a pretty mild case comparably, but it still kinda sucks. (One on one, though, is never a problem which is part of why I love being a therapist so much.)

Related: when I'm talking to people (esp. groups of people), I often have trouble believing that they are interested in or are even listening to whatever story I'm telling. It feels like my words fall onto the floor as they exit my mouth. Conversely, I feel unusually comfortable with the written word. Like my words are taking on a life of their own as I put them on paper.

12. As a college freshman there were a couple of weeks where I contemplated majoring in physics, mostly because I felt like studying English was a cop-out because it came more naturally to me. (And then I remembered: math.)

Related: I did not take one single college course that did not count for my generals, my major, my two minors, or my pre-reqs. Sometimes in life my focus is very willy nilly, impetuous, and random. Other times my focus is razor sharp, patient, and very precise. Usually the pattern is that the willy nilly is for short term small scale stuff, and the razor sharp/patient is long term, large scale stuff.

13. I sing in the shower. Really, really, really loud. Like terrify-the-children loud.

14. When I was in junior high I used to spend a lot of time reading John Grisham and Michael Crichton novels with Shostakovich's 5th symphony playing on my dad's old tape deck as a "soundtrack." (Listen to about 60 seconds or so from where I linked and you should see why. In fact, do yourself a huge favor and listen to the entire first movement so you can hear it all in context sometime. You won't soon forget it.)

15. I eat sweetened condensed milk from the can. Do not knock this till you try it. Fo realz. 

16. Growing up I wanted to be a writer and a therapist. Go fig. 

17. I often feel like my internal persona swings on a pendulum between being comical to the point of near absurdity and serious to the point of being almost-but-not-quite grim. I think this blog kind of reflects that. 

18. I've never been in a car accident or broken a bone. I like to knock on wood after admitting this because I feel the two could so easily go hand in hand.

19. I have a really cheesy, religious sense of the cosmos. I see synchronicity everywhere, and find the number of uncanny coincidences in my life to be highly unlikely given the unfathomable number of possible outcomes the universe contains if left to its own devices.

All right. That was interesting and kind of fun. And now it's 1:00am and I need to go to bed.

But first, I don't know how to say this without just saying it: the response I got on my last post was by far one of the most healing things this blog has yielded for me, and it's yielded a lot of healing things. I've written this paragraph about 20 times (in different, unfinished and unsalvageable posts) trying to express this, and I never feel like I can, but I have to try. Having so many of you cry for that little 12-year-old version of myself was so profoundly moving to me. It's as if that hurt version of myself really needed to experience such deep sympathy/empathy and commiseration and comfort. I truly felt like people--adults--came and put their arm around that young kid's shoulder--because he's still inside me, that hurt young man--and said "this is not okay. What's happening is not okay. It's not your fault. You don't deserve it. You didn't deserve to be treated that way" and somehow that part of me really heard it--really felt that comfort and empathy. And it was the first time that ever really happened, because I've never really shared with anybody in so much detail how hard that time-period was, even as it was happening. Nobody really knew. I just suffered in isolation and then never really talked about it in great detail again, even all these years later.

So, thank you for that. It meant more than I can express.

Have a good Sunday, everybody.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This is my manifesto

This post is really long. Feel free to skip if you aren't Mormon or interested in Mormonism or interested in the gay marriage post that I took down, or if you came here for a silly, funny post.

I apologize it took me so long to write. Lolly says I have what she calls Post-traumatic-post-syndrome which occurs after I have posted a particularly vulnerable post that gets a lot of feedback, like last time. And then I took the post down. And then I knew I had to post this post, which is also very vulnerable, and so it's taken me a long time to get it right.

It will be divided into several parts

Part I--The same sex marriage post

Friday, October 11, 2013

FFAQ--Let's try this again ;-)


Hey guys! Sorry I have been MIA. I have a post that I've been working on talking about last weekend, but it is getting really looooong (but also really important) and isn't ready yet--probably will be on Monday but don't quote me on that because I'm not known for being able to predict the future. Or for getting things done on time. Or for even understanding how time works. ("Oh, ten to means ten before the hour. Not 10:02. Gotcha.")

In the meantime though, it's time to do another FFAQ.

Ground rules on this one are a little different though... I will answer any question you might have--really anything at all--but I'm going to ask you not to ask anything about the issue of gay marriage or my post from last week, mostly because, as I said, I'm already working on a post talking about that, and I don't want to have to write two posts about this if it wins FFAQ. That would just be boring, for you and me both.

Okay, so, you know the ground rules. Unless you're new here, in which case, here you go:

Post questions in the comments. If you see a question you want answered, reply with a "ditto." Questions that win tend to be short, clear and asked within the first several hours after the post goes up. The questions can be about gayness, or about anything else (therapy question, personal life question, whatever). It's okay if you want to ask a question that's been asked before (even if I've answered it before a long time ago--my answer might be slightly different depending on how it's asked). Last week was another example of a question that has been asked many times that, for whatever reason, got all the votes. This system is clunky and fickle, but it works. If you are actually reading this section let me know by writing the word purple in parentheses next to your ditto or question. The question chosen today will be answered next Friday, followed by another question the next Friday, and another answer the next, and so on and so forth, into perpetuity.

Ready. Set. Giddyup!

Oh, wait. This:
What would FFAQ be without our trusty label?

Okay, GO!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ode to Jenny or Sharon, my new soul mate

I almost connected with my soul-mate today. On Facebook.

I got a friend request from a girl named Jenny Hall. She looked familiar, so I accepted it. It wasn't long before we had a conversation that has left me, I'll admit, a little confused. And hurt.

The conversation started with her thanking me for accepting her friend request, and then it got deep. And then... nothing.

It still hurts a little bit to talk about...


Monday, September 30, 2013

Tessa is growing up

And when I say she's growing up, what I mean is that she is currently two years old, but acts like she's about thirteen.

Two cases in point:

So, I kind of have this thing for singing in the car. I know I'm not the only one... in fact my friend Lindsey recently posted a status update about this that almost made me want to stop singing in the car forever. Backstory: she's a first-year professor at a university in the area and she looks really, really young.

Her status:

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Kidnapper with a ransom note. Or a fan. One of those two things

I just remembered a hilarious thing that happened at the airport recently.

Lolly and I were coming home from our trip to Utah in August. We had just spent a week with my extended family that had gone unexpectedly well and we were feeling pretty awesome. We drove our rental car to the airport, removed our 473 bags from the car, strapped them all over ourselves and our children, and made our trek into the airport. Then we got to security.

Let me tell you a little something about going through security with 471 (two were checked on, you see) bags and three daughters under age eight. Have you ever seen an ant hill? How about a college football game where someone gets tackled, only that someone is a three year old trying to walk under the railing to freedom? Okay, combine those two concepts. And then add having to pee, having to make sure you don't have liquids in any of the 471 bags, listening to the soothing sounds of your five-year-old melting down about not being able to adjust her headband while holding her suitcase as everyone else in line looks at you like you're the worst parent on earth. Also add the smell of feces in your youngests' diaper. Multiply that by having to take your shoes and belt off, then subtract all the metal from your pockets. Divide this by having to get all of your crap onto a conveyer belt into multiple bins. Take that total, and then multiply it by having to go through metal detectors where you lift your arms up and have your entire body scanned, then put your clothes back on, and get all of that same crap recollected on the other side without losing one of your spawn. Would you like to know the total of this complex equation? It is 666. See? Now you understand how math works, as well as what it's like every time I go to the airport with my family.

Anyway, after getting through security we did a very important thing: we ate at Cafe Rio. The timing was perfect. We were going to finish our meal, and then we would have about 30 minutes before we boarded our plane for home. The food was delicious, and the timing was perfect. And it was while we were sitting there relaxing, enjoying our pork salad heaven, basking in a very successful trip, that we got a voicemail. A voicemail from a number we didn't recognize. It came to both of our phones. I picked up my phone and listened.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Hunger Games (aka FFAQ)

Hi there.

It's Friday. Do you know what that means?

It means I go to Weightwatchers with Lolly. And then out to lunch.

(I forgot to mention--you know how I lost my keys a couple of weeks ago? Well, guess where they were. Weightwatchers. Oops.)

It means I spend the day writing.

It means Lolly and I will go out together tonight and reconnect after a long week

But most importantly of all, it means it's time to ask some questions for FFAQ!!

If you're new here, let me break it down quickly:

FFAQ (Friday's frequently asked question) is a chance to either pose a question you'd like answered, or vote on another person's question that you find interesting by commenting with the word "ditto". The question with the most "dittoes" is the one that I am obligated privileged to answer. There aren't a lot of rules, and the system works pretty well. Don't cheat. You can ditto more than once, but only once per question. Ask your question early. Don't be afraid to post a question that was posed previously. Winning questions are usually asked within three hours of the post going up, and tend to be simply worded, relatively short, and very clear. The winner gets a shout out, so be sure to link to something you want pimped out. (It always makes me sad when, like last week, the question-asker has chosen to be anonymous and I can't highlight any of his or her stuff.)

Questions can be about anything really. Most of the time they are about gayness, but some of my favorites have been about other random things as well. And don't worry if you ask a question and it doesn't get a bunch of dittoes--I've used various questions with very few dittoes as the basis for later posts simply because they were excellent questions. Moods change. One FFAQ a particular question might get only a few dittoes, only to get enough dittoes to win the next FFAQ. There is no rhyme or reason here, and it's probably better that way.

Oh, also, the winning question will be answered on Friday of next week. Then the next week we ask questions. And so on and so forth, into perpetuity.

Are you ready for this?

WAIT. We need our logo. *rustles notes to find it*


Okay. All is right in the world now.

LET THE QUESTIONS AND DITTOES BEGIN! 

(Is it weird that I just felt a little bit like Effie Trinket on The Hunger Games right then? Be careful out there guys. Don't accidentally murder each other with your dittoes.)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Oh hey, VH1 friends.

This is my second post today and it's not a real post, so if you're look for a real post, read the other one, but apparently our episode of VH1 just aired again and I wanted to welcome anyone new to the blog.

Hi there!

Things get a little interesting here from time to time, and... basically I'm sure to disappoint you at some point because it's in my flawed nature. But there's also a lot of love and a good community here, and we generally have a good time.

So, pull up a chair and stay a while.

Or follow the haps on Facebook. Or Twitter. You know, if you're into that kind of thing.

But most of all, WELCOME.

Tessa's new skill

The other day I was home with the girls and suddenly I heard something we all know is ominous: silence. I could hear Anna and Viva playing downstairs, but it was Tessa I worried about. She is taking after her older sister these days, doing highly destructive things and then disarming us with a smile.

Anyway, I suddenly realized she was missing. I called her name several times, and nothing.

Then I started getting nervous. I searched every room in the house. She was nowhere. I went out to the garage, hoping I'd find her there, but to no avail. Finally I went outside, praying I would hear her voice, my mind filled with images of brutal traffic accidents and kidnappings.

And then I remembered: the day before, she and I had been playing hide and seek together. And I had explained to her how the game really works. She wanted to tell me her hiding spots--she wasn't getting what the game was about. But I told her that the secret to a good game of hide and seek was to hide where nobody knows where you are.

Suddenly, I knew what she was doing...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Snippets on a Monday

Here are a few of the snippets rattling around in my head. None large enough to a be a full post, but together? They totally count as one.

....

In Portland over the weekend, we went to the Institute Building where my dad works. I was browsing through his office and found some pretty remarkable things. I read a letter written by my dad's dad--which was totally weird because I'd never seen his writing. He died when he was 47, and barely had contact with my dad after my grandma divorced him when my dad was three. It was surreal to read his words in his own handwriting. He actually had a decent writing style and good grammar.

Then I encountered this photo and had to laugh:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

One of these things is not like the other

So, we're on a small trip to Portland.

We are staying in a hotel, which the girls love, and this morning we all rolled out of bed and decided to get breakfast. We were up for maybe five or ten minutes before heading out the door. Yet when we got to Burger King (which was selling Cinnabon--the ultimate breakfast selling point) I noticed that Viva looked a little bit different than her sisters.

Pajamas on Tessa, nightgown on Anna... and Viva totally dressed with leggings and hair accessories

We've discussed her love for fashion before. She is our little fashionista, and continues to be. But this is getting out of control. I didn't even notice her get ready. She barely had time to. Yet, somehow she not only assembled her own stylistically coherent outfit, she did it in the time it took the rest of us to roll out of bed.

Tiny toddler, cute little girl, and... sassy purse-bedecked 16 year old striking a Paris Hilton pose

I think it's safe to say I've got my work cut out for me as her father. 

We sure do love that Viva. 



Friday, September 20, 2013

Marriage advice + talk of mixed orientation marriage

Caveat: I have a really bad cold. So my brain feels really foggy. But I wanted to get this out there.

So, last week's FFAQ question came from Anonymous. She asks:

Being married to a wonderful man, who happens to be gay, I wonder if you have any advice? How common are mixed orientation marriages? How are they different, how are they alike?

I'll break my answer to this excellent question into two parts: discussion of mixed orientation marriage, and then general marriage advice.

So, how common are mixed orientation marriages? The truth is, I have absolutely no idea. Nobody really knows because most mixed orientation marriages are not usually public. But I do know this: they are much more common than I ever imagined.

Lolly and I at our Portland wedding reception.

For the first years of our marriage, Lolly and I felt totally alone. There was nobody out there doing "this" that we knew of. We had a sense that we couldn't possibly be the only ones--a couple  who was in a mixed orientation marriage, but one that was working well--but gayness (at the time, and even still to some extent) was so taboo that there was no way we would ever hear about these people. Instead, in those days, you'd only hear about mixed orientation marriages as they fell apart. The gay spouse would have some period of self-realization, decide to leave his or her family, come out publicly and thus reach other people's radar, drawing attention to a sometimes messy aftermath.


We felt completely alone. Completely isolated. We would look at each other from time to time and ask "Are we crazy? Are we insane to be doing this? There have to be others out there. There just have to be. But where are they?" We knew we were doing what was right for us, and we knew our marriage was wonderful, but there was this sense of aloneness.


Eventually, through the internet, we found some people who were in our situation. It was very refreshing to realize that we indeed were not alone. Some of the friends I made at that time have continued to be very close friends, many of whose mixed orientations marriages are thriving. 

But after the coming out post? That's when it became really clear that this wasn't an isolated thing. Many, many people have found love in mixed orientation marriages. Even still I'll get the occasional message from a mixed orientation couple who says something like "Hey guys, thanks for posting your post--just want you to know there are others out there in really happy marriages." There are lots of people who are living in happy mixed orientation marriages under the radar--in your wards and stakes, enjoying their lives. I'm not sure how many, but more than I ever would have imagined. 

At the same time, I also got a lot of responses from people in failed mixed orientation marriages--so there are a lot of those too. Obviously, there is going to be success and failure in any marital subset.

The statistics struggle. With the secrecy of this type of marriage (Lolly and I were totally under cover about it for ten years--most people had no idea I was gay, and so statistics obviously didn't reflect people like us) it's difficult to get accurate numbers. But there are people trying to ascertain this data. There is a study happening right now that I think will help gauge this to some extent, though I still think secrecy will mask a large number of successful mixed orientation marriages.

If you are in a mixed orientation marriage or have ever been in one, consider taking this survey: click here to take survey

It doesn't matter if you have positive or negative feelings about your marriage--it's just important to try and get as much information as possible, so please take that survey if you haven't already. 

Now, the fun part. Advice.

I'm a marriage and family therapist, so I really do love marriage and think it can be such a beautiful thing. It's always amazing to me how resilient people are as couples as they face hard things. I'm also amazed at how small patterns of thinking--feeling entitled, feeling like a victim, feeling like it's okay to be in contact with past lovers--can completely and totally undermine what would otherwise be a really healthy relationship.

I don't actually see a lot of differences between mixed orientation marriages and other marriages in my own life, nor in my work as a therapist. The same things that will keep a mixed orientation marriage vibrant and strong are the exact things that will keep any marriage vibrant and strong. I don't mean for that to be a cop-out answer. I even started writing this list as it specifically pertained to mixed orientation marriage, and then as I wrote, I realized that the things I was saying were universal. Marriage is complex. Love needs to be nourished. Marriage requires forgiveness and patience. These are realities that will exist in any marriage.

So, I decided to be more general. Here are several tips that I have to keep your marriage happy and healthy whether you find yourself in a mixed orientation marriage or not:

1. Be totally honest and transparent with your spouse. Even about the really hard things. Even when you know it will hurt them, or you're having feelings that are painful and unwanted, or if you've done something you wish you hadn't done. Each partner must be totally transparent with his or her feelings and actions. A marriage thrives on honesty, transparency and connection. It will wither and die if you keep secrets. Marriages cannot survive secrets. I see this over and over and over.

Being honest about hard things taps into true vulnerability. It gives your spouse the chance to accept you for everything you are. It honors your spouse, and lets them know you love and trust them totally. If you can't be honest with your husband or wife about the deepest, darkest most obscure places of your heart, your mind, and your past, who could you ever be fully transparent with? The answer is nobody. We as human beings have the fundamental need to be known completely and fully. Marriage is where that happens.

I cannot emphasize this enough. Be honest. Always. Totally and completely. No matter how difficult it is or how much it hurts. It will open up pathways of understanding and empathy, and trust will be the bedrock of your relationship.

2. Do not let isolated circumstances bleed into every problem. Lolly and I are in a mixed orientation marriage. If we aren't careful, we could start to make the mistake of viewing every problem we have as the result of being in a mixed orientation marriage. "You didn't take the trash out last night. Because you're gay!" I know that's a hyperbolic example, but this type of thing does tend to happen from time to time if a person isn't careful. So your husband has depression. So your wife struggles with an eating disorder. So your husband is a sports fanatic. So your wife really loves to shop. That does not mean that every issue that occurs is directly tied into one of these notable characteristics. Let isolated issues stand on their own, and be careful not to conflate them with other issues.

3. Recognize that every marriage has "perpetual problems." If you notice that you have the same fights with your spouse over and over and over (and over and over) you are not alone. In fact, every marriage has what John Gottman called perpetual problems--or difficulties that persist throughout a marriage and that are largely unresolvable. These perpetual problems arise because they are tied to intrinsic personality characteristics of both partners which will remain static over time. In other words, we are who we are, and we can't change our personalities, which ultimately is a good thing.

When you find yourself in a perpetual problem, it means that both parties have a legitimate perspective based on real things. Your job is not to change your spouse to see things your way. Your job is to see things their way, continue to own the validity of what you think, and then compromise around the edges. If you like vacations to be long, lazy and unplanned, and your spouse likes vacations that are scheduled every minute, neither perspective is wrong (even though your family probably sees things your way and validates it because they see things in a similar fashion!). You find a way to compromise around the edges while honoring both perspectives. Perhaps you take turns having vacations your way and then their way. Perhaps you split a vacation in half. The goal with perpetual problems is to see them for what they are, and then find ways to compromise that don't dishonor yourself or your spouse or his/her perspective. 

4. Finally, think positive things about your spouse. There is a lot of literature out there that demonstrates that we control how we feel about things and people by the thoughts we allow ourselves to have. You can literally change the tide of negative feelings towards your spouse by actually changing how many times in a day you think positive things about him or her. It sounds so basic and simple that many people never do this, but there is a five to one ratio to making this work: for every one negative thought about your spouse, you need to proactively think five legitimate positive thoughts to counteract the negative feelings that brings. I have certain things I do every single day that help keep my thoughts about my wonderful Lolly as vibrant and positive as possible.  

I could go on and on, but I think those are four really basic and important steps to building a good marriage. They will work for mixed orientation marriages, or any marriage at all. 

Thanks for asking such a great question. Tune in next week for the next voting poll...

And have a great weekend everyone!





Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A birthday post for Lolly


Yesterday was Lolly's birthday. She turned 35. I have known her since I was 3 and she was 5. So that's 30 years. 30 years of knowing one of the most amazing people on this planet.

I'm freaking lucky.

Here, in no particular order, are 35 things I love about Lolly Shea.

1. She has an obsession with blue plastic. Especially globes that are blue and plasticky. She loves it so much when she sees it she says she almost craves to eat it.

2. She is really smart. When she was invited to skip a grade in elementary school she didn't want to be the youngest in her class when everyone was turning 16 and able to date, so she decided against it. That decision is what made sure we were only one grade apart, which in many ways is what led us to falling in love.

3. She is beautiful. Inside and out.

4. She loves to talk. And everything she says is interesting to me.

5. She is also one of the best listeners I've ever met. This is what helped me to open up to her at crucial times.

6. Her pain threshold is way higher than mine. When we used to do circuit training together she put me to shame.

7. She loves Halloween. A lot.

8. She also loves every other Holiday, and makes each one special. Without it, I would probably just let them slide by without much fanfare, and then I'd really regret it.

9. She's very clever. What she says and does never ceases to delightfully surprise me, which I really appreciate. I'm never bored with her around, ever.

10. She is always willing to sing for me, even when she doesn't know the tune.

11. She is hot. Good body, good hair, looks good without makeup. She is exactly the type of woman that I wanted/needed.

12. She is so patient with me. And she's really nice about it.

13. She's also very appreciative as I slowly learn how to do things that come really easily to other people. (Like navigating the complex geography of Provo, UT. That kind of thing.)

14. I really like her taste in clothes and fashion. She's also a really good artist.

15. Her favorite pastimes are to eat and talk. My favorite pastimes are to eat and talk. It works out well.

16. She is fearless. When she knows something is right, she will do it without hesitation. She knows how to do hard things.

17. Her faith in God is pristine, and her connection to him is very deep and very apparent. He loves her a lot. When she prays He listens. When He speaks to her, she listens. And then she does what she knows she should do. I would not be married to her today without that pure, genuine connection.

18. Related: when talking about getting answers to prayers she'll often say things like "And then Heavenly Father told me...[miraculous insight]..." I love that her relationship with God is so personal.

19. She is the best. possible. mother. to our three daughters.

20. When she decides to change something about herself, she goes for it full throttle. And it sticks.

21. She isn't afraid to admit if she's wrong. She's also not afraid to stand her ground when she's right.

22. She can entertain an entire roomful of people with her storytelling. I admire that in a person because I kind of suck at it.

23. She is incredibly thoughtful and concerned about others.

24. She is also very healthy--she doesn't get wrapped up in problems that are not intended for her. She has very naturally clear boundaries. (The therapist in me really appreciates this.)

25. She is accepting of everyone and always has been. If you are a human being, she will accept you and love you. No matter what. In a way that is special.

26. You will never meet a person who says "I'm sorry" more than Lolly. I remark on this quality in one of her junior high yearbooks, and it's still the case. Literally, I'm not kidding, as I wrote this sentence she yelled in an "I'm sorry" for something. It's totally endearing.

27. She is ambitious, but in the perfect way--in a way that's totally true to herself and her own self-improvement. It's never about what anybody else thinks.

28. She is the best editor a blogger could ever ask for. She is the perfect litmus test for whether things are funny, and she is also a very good copy-editor. She provides really good ideas for blog posts, and then can tell when they've been well-executed. I rarely post something before passing it by her first.

29. She's good at pretty much anything she decides to do.

30. She is not overly conventional. She's the type of girl who contemplates one day the idea of doing an entire semester of school abroad, and the very next day is getting her passport. She is spontaneous and not afraid to do things that people might consider weird or risky if she feels good about it.

31. She is also very traditional in a lot of ways--but not to conform to outside institutions.

32. She's generally unconcerned about what people think of her. Which allows her to be the wonderful woman she is. She naturally does what she does in a very congruent, true-to-herself way.

33. She loves me unconditionally. She fell in love with me when I was a 300 pound gay kid who hadn't gone on a mission and had no idea what he was going to do with his life. That love has never shifted to any degree as the years have passed and I have lost weight, grown up, and found my path.

34. She is a great cook.

35. She is selfless and wonderful and everything I've ever wanted in a partner. I cannot imagine my life without her. She is everything to me.

I don't know if a husband has ever been more in love with his wife than I love my Lolly.

Happy birthday sweet girl!

This is my all-time favorite picture of Lolly. I love it because she looks gorgeous and sultry, but what you can't tell looking at the picture is that she and I were totally joking around and having fun, and this was her being ridiculously silly. I love all that this picture represents about her. (It's in Cafe Rio, which she loves. It shows her deep blue eyes. Her love for me. We're having fun. We're eating food. She's drinking water to be healthy. Etc, etc. etc.)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Boating (in which Lolly pretends she is in a music video)

I went boating. I boat now. (Name that movie. (The movie reference would actually be "sailing."))

So, Lolly and I had a really nice weekend. Spent time with friends. Showed the girls how to do some hard work by participating in a service project clearing out ivy at a local park. Went to the the Puyallup fair where the kids went on tons of rides and ate cotton candy and kettle corn and giggled and laughed and I had a Krusty Pup and curly fries and Lolly got scones and we built memories. (We built good memories until the major Viva melt-down of 2013 as we went home that resulted in me questioning why I thought it was a good idea to bring children into this world in the first place, and that led me to actually utter the phrase "If you don't stop acting like this you will never go to a fair again." At that point, the memories were not so good.)

But one of the major highlights of the weekend was boating...

Friday, September 13, 2013

Return of the FFAQ (which you should sing to the tune of "Return of the Mack") UPDATED WITH WINNER

*See below for results

Do you have that song in your head now?

If not, let me help you:


Who is surprised that this is one of Lolly's favorite songs? Knowing her fondness for black men, I'm certainly not... 

All right, now that we got that out of the way, let's get down to business.

It's time for FFAQ (Friday's Frequently Asked Question)!



I'm actually really excited to do a FFAQ again. It's been way too long. Thanks for helping to remind this week what a fun, important part of my blog this is. 

If you're new here, here's how this goes down: ask a question in the comments. Any question. About anything. People will vote on the questions that accrue by placing the word "ditto" under the question they most like. Whichever question gets the most "dittoes" I will answer in a post next Friday. And so on and so forth into perpetuity. It's not the most elegant system, but it does work.

Questions that get chosen tend to be somewhat short, very direct and clearly written. The earlier in the day you ask, the more time you have to get dittoes. I've been tempted in the past to do two separate days (one for asking questions and one for posting dittoes) but I've decided against it because I don't want things to get too confusing (dittoes happening during the question-asking phase and such). Historically, questions asked hours into the day have been winners, so I think there is plenty of time to get a question out there in time to win. Also: many of the questions I've answered so far have won only after having not gotten enough votes in previous weeks, so recycled questions are a really good idea, and you definitely shouldn't feel bad if yours doesn't get dittoes this week--people's whims change. There is no dumb question ever, and I've occasionally used questions that got very few dittoes in the past as a diving board for non-ffaq posts.

Your question can be about gayness, or it can be about anything else that might intrigue you (ADD, counseling, family life, llamas, etc.). I try to be as real, honest, open and vulnerable as I can as I answer these questions, and they have the tendency to go pretty deep. However, some winners have been light-hearted and fun as well.

All right folks, let's do this thing. Good luck, and let the questions begin!!!

UPDATED: The voting is over (and in fact no votes after 1:00am this morning--24 hours--count). The winning question has been selected, and I will answer it next Friday. Thanks for yet another great FFAQ! This one was a really close one--the winner won by one vote--so definitely recycle the runner up. 

Next Friday I'll be answering the following question: Being married to a wonderful man, who happens to be gay, I wonder if you have any advice? How common are mixed orientation marriages? How are they different, how are they alike?


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A cloying mess of thank you + a video made by Lolly

Well, wow.

I'm not sure what happened yesterday. I wasn't expecting to write such an insecure-sounding post. But I'm glad I did, because your comments and emails were so, so refreshing and helpful. 

I'm probably not going to be able to describe to you how relieving it was to have so many of you share your thoughts yesterday. The answers varied, but there was a general theme of people being truly kind and welcoming and open and patient and accepting and loving. As I read your responses and suggestions, I realized that many of you guys actually know me. Thank you for that. Thank you for reading and for getting to know me. Thank you for being supportive and kind. I consider you all friends, and I have really, really fond feelings for you. (Sorry to be so cheese-dog, but I'm really feelin' it right now.) There have been times over the last year when I felt like I was a laughing-stock, where I felt like I was bearing my soul to an audience ready to pounce on me and attack anything I had to say, just looking for the first thing to criticize--and it's no wonder I didn't feel safe posting with that image in my mind. Your responses yesterday proved that to be so, blessedly wrong. Your comments were a like tender conversation with a good friend--kind and loving, filled with good advice and acceptance, ending in a warm hug.

I can't tell you how much I needed that right now. 

Yesterday gives me the courage and comfort to pour myself into this blog. It gives me the courage to speak. It gives me the courage to open up and continue to be vulnerable, putting my words and pictures and family and precious things and deep thoughts and not-so-deep thoughts out there. There is more I have to say--I have more to offer than humorous ditties. There are posts that are written, important posts, that are in my draft folder because I was starting to let fear overtake me. I was forgetting you exist--this group of people that is so kind and giving and wonderful. This group that actually cares about me and my life; that wants what's best for me and my family; that wants me to reach deep and just be myself. Knowing you are out there, even if things get dicey and controversial, helps me to feel the courage I need to keep "keepin' it real". And I know that, statistically, for every person who left a supportive comment, there are many more who are silently supportive and loving and caring and amazing. Thanks to all of you as well.

I hope nobody has gotten sick to their stomach reading this cloying mess of "thank you" but I wanted to make sure I expressed it and expressed it well. Thank you for being you. It helps me to be me. 

In closing--and completely changing the subject--here's a video of the girls after they find a dead bird. 

I love how Viva doesn't want to show me at the end. She probably knows it would make me sad, as the death of birds generally does...is it weird that I also take spiders outside and let them live instead of squashing them?

All right peeps. Sleep well. And thanks again. 






Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blog Mission Statement

It's official: I forgot how to blog.

I open the draft page almost every day, and then can't think of what to write. Then I write HUGE long posts that are really, really boring and over-the-top that I could never publish. Then I start hundreds of teeny drafts that are just... dumb.

Today I realized what the problem is. This blog has forgotten what it was. Or it maybe never really knew.

It started out in '10 as a blog about ADD. The main goal at that point was to write every single day for a month just to prove to myself that I could do something like that every day for a month. I think I achieved that goal? I can't remember now. Maybe I missed the last day or something, but I got really close at very least. And then after that, it started dying off. I had told a lot of my stories. It just didn't feel right. 

Then, strangely, you get to this post, where I was somehow feeling the winds of change. I was ready to start letting my humorous side show. The thing I love about that post is that you can tell I have no idea whether I'll actually continue blogging or maybe have it crumble into nothingness. Like, I could feel some shift was happening, but I also knew that there was just as good a likelihood that I would get distracted and do something else.

And then the very next post, everything was different. It was connected to the old stuff, but the tone changed. I became more myself. Or at least the light-hearted version of myself. 

Then last year happened and the blog became about gayness. And that was important. But now... I have this feeling like that the aftermath of the coming out post has petered out. It feels like something that happened in the past, as opposed to a hurricane that I am in the middle of. Things feel less urgent. The discussion has shifted. My life has shifted, normalized. 

And now I don't know what I'm doing here anymore. 

I don't know what this thing is supposed to be.

Ideally, it is an extension of myself and my thoughts. But there is such a mish mash in my head that I lack a clear focus. A purpose. Like, when you come to The Weed, what are you going to get? What is the endgame? What am I trying to accomplish? What governing ideas keep this thing going?

(And even right now, my brain is saying "this isn't funny. Shouldn't this be funny? You're being too serious right now. Too bland. People are falling asleep. YOU are falling asleep.")

Sometimes the voice in my head needs to shut up.

I am going to write a mission statement, and then I'm going to press publish, and then I'm going to get ready as fast as humanly possible so I'm not late to work, and I'm not going to over think this.

Mission Statement: Here at The Weed, you will see the thoughts of Josh Weed as he reflects on his day, his life, or on current events. He will try to post daily. Except when he doesn't. And he is going to try really hard to be real and be himself and not try to be anything he is not. Sometimes he is funny. Sometimes he is boring. Sometimes he is angry. And sometimes he's kinda lame. 

But he is pretty real.

So, that's what you get here. 

*Contented sigh*

That feels nice.

(Side-note: It's funny that this post landed on being "real", because one year ago, we decided the tagline for the blog was "all kinds of real". That is serendipity and a signal that all is right in the world and angels just started singing and I can hear the Hallelujah chorus in the background right now at the sheer simplicity and majestic inevitability of that coincidence.)

I'm gonna be so real that I'm leaving that ridiculous parenthetical that the voice in my head is telling me to cut out.

You're welcome. 

You'll be hearing from me again tomorrow. Probably.  

In the meantime, I'd love your thoughts: what do think of the mission statement? Also, what do you enjoy reading here at The Weed?

Monday, September 2, 2013

The definition of "intimacy"

Today I was busy writing in my office which, if you'll remember, is actually just an antique sewing machine shoved into the corner of a small walk-in closet.

Remember?

Lolly had been having some quiet reflection time in our bedroom. I could tell as I passed by on my way to my office that she was pondering deeply. Reading. Saying prayers. Meditating. Gaining insight. I tried not to disturb her and quietly ducked into my little room and got busy writing.

After an hour or so, she opened the door. "Sweety," she said lovingly. "I was just thinking about you and how grateful I am for you." She looked at me tenderly.

I was touched. I was there in that little office working hard, writing, trying to focus. It was nice to think she had been reflecting on her love for me. "Thank you," I said.

"No, thank you. Thank you for working so hard for our little family." She came in and gave me a tearful kiss and a hug. I could tell she had been having very warm thoughts about me, and about us. Her hug was meaningful and heartfelt, and I felt so glad to be married to this wonderful, beautiful woman.

The moment was sweet and very tender. And then she started laughing. "Also, you should probably leave this closet."

"Why?"