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.


  1. Tess of the D'Urbervilles is my favorite, too! After I read it (I kid you not), I thought: I'm going to be an English major someday. And then a psychologist. Uncanny, no? Also, your Dialogue poem made me tear up a bit. So profound. As was your last post. I have a younger gay brother who I feel so protective of, I want to shield him from all the bullies, all the mean comments about gay people from my extended family and fellow ward members (even though he's on a mission right now so he isn't right here to hear them). You remind me of him. It's an honor to read from someone so vulnerable and authentic, Josh. Have a lovely Sabbath Day!

  2. Gosh. I'm so glad for that healing experience for you! As a therapist what would you tell a person who is or has experienced what you did but doesn't have the outlet for empathy and validation that you do?

  3. So.. we're definitely related. Yay! my last name is also Weed and was changed from Erickson in some war or something and I love that you play the violin because I do too. How special your grandpa made it. Such a fun idea for a post!

    1. All right Miranda, let's figure this one out, shall we? My grandpa is Wendell (brother of Gordon, among others). His dad is Harold. Anything ringing a bell?

    2. Love family history, no, I'm nowhere near related to you guys except that when you get together, tell me, because besides playing violin, I play viola and if we find a cellist... :-)

    3. Gordon sounds familiar. My grandpa's name is Lowell and he has a twin named Grant. Their parents are Floyd Weed and Hedwig Emma Barg Weed. Anything? :)

    4. Wait.... I think I might have met Gordon this last Sunday at my cousin's mission homecoming. If it's the same Gordon then I'm pretty sure our grandpas are cousins. :)

  4. Oh my gosh!!! That story about you stuck in Venezuela is so strange, it must have been very difficult for you. And.... it gives you& Lolly yet another thing in common with me and my husband! (In addition to both of us couples getting married in SLC temple on the same day!)

    He was stuck in Washington state in his mission because he was supposed to come home to UT September 11, 2001. Lucky for him, his parents just made the road trip to get him a few days later. If he was not stateside they would have just had to wait, and it was not certain how long he would have to wait at the time. There was not much time for him to become a "faith promoting legend" about it, unlike you 4 elders. Hahaha!

  5. If you haven't watched this, you need to! #3 to a T!!

    1. YES! This is exactly what it's like! I'm serious!! Wow, I'm so glad you shared this. I have seriously been that guy before, all freaking out while everyone else in the room is like "dude, chill, why are you making such a big deal of this...?"

  6. Straight (pardon the pun) condensed milk rocks! You also gotta try a Milo Mudpaste (do you have Milo in the States?) Basically fill a glass half/half with Milo & condensed milk then add about 2 tsps of hot water to form an awesome intestine-blocking eat-off-the-spoon paste.

  7. We must be related! My husband's last name is Yaeger.

    1. We might be! My mom's maiden name was supposed to have been Yaeger, but her great-grandpa Benjamin Yaeger divorced his great-grandma Selina Mousley and Emmett, her grandpa, took his mother's name instead of his father's. (The story ends much more tragically--Benjamin Yeager committed suicide alone in an alley-way of Portland, OR). He had various kids, so maybe we're distant cousins.

    2. Weed and Yaeger. So much great material wasted on a good Mormon boy from Kearns.

  8. We played the Shostakovich 5 in Regional Orchestra when I was a junior in high school. Definitely soundtrack-worthy music.

  9. LOVE #15. Did you know that in the Czech Republic they have sweetened condensed milk in tubes (like toothpaste tubes). So I don't even use a spoon and just squirt it in my mouth. LOVE IT!

  10. Josh- your candidness for both the comically obscure and the tragically sad in your life and family history just reitify why I'm here...
    I did not comment on your last post (at least any of the ones I tried to post never seemed to go through) but I was very moved and it was the only non-funny post I've read aloud completely to my husband. I know the world needed (or whoever has and will be drawn here) to hear of your pain and your faith. Glad to hear that all of it is coming together for your own personal healing and that God has taken such difficult experiences and crafted such a beautiful heart from it. Love to your sweet family.

  11. So many things to say but I am typing slowly on my phone. So I will just say that #13 is my husband all the way. I seriously can hear him from outside in the backyard while all my kids are screaming. Loved this post and love the blog!

  12. I think after reading that last post I wrote something about "I wish I could give you a hug." And now you're saying it felt like we put our arms around your 12 year old shoulder.
    So in a way, it's like we were able to give you hugs after all.
    Thanks be to God.

  13. I really like these lists, and I love your blog. You and Lolly are remarkable people.

    Also, my maternal grandmother was a Payne. (Shoot, there goes my secret question for some account or other!) Any relation to Junius Edward Payne?

  14. The fact that you hate shopping is like the most ungay thing ever. Down the tubes go all the stereotypes about having a gay boyfriend / gay husband who will want to go to the mall with you all the time. Poo.
    I heard on pinterest that you can put sweetened condensed milk in a crock pot (still in the can) and it will turn into caramel. You should check into this. Unless you're still on Weight Watchers. Then you probably shouldn't. (But you totally should.)

  15. Alright, so here's the deal. (This is gonna be long, so if you don't feel like reading, please skip to the next comment. Its more of a... I need to say this, and don't care if anyone reads it. :D) When I see your blog posts pop up on my timeline, they are always something I go to read. Always. Usually, I can really use the hilarity, or the seriousness (talk about uncanny coincidences in this universe of colliding matter? Yeah. Totally inspired). But here's the thing. Its only 8 am, I have been at work for an hour, but for the past two hours, I have been vacillating between an intense urge to throw in the towel (and go create a magic wand to make some things in my life just a LITTLE bit easier), and being thankful that my Heavenly Father not only sees fit to make sure I stayed alive this morning (seriously could have been a lot worse), and that he gives me opportunities to show me everything I have to be thankful for, and cherish. #1? I am super glad I was not driving my daughter anywhere this morning when it happened, and that she is safe at home. #2, I am super thankful for vehicles that work. Which... mine is not, currently. ANYHOW... I read through your post, loved it all, and then went back to look at the links. First one, of course, was the poetry. I write too, and I love reading other's. I read through it once, catching the gist of it. Then read through it again. And again. Memories of my own daughter's birth swam in front of my vision. Her first cry, that instinctive need to freak out at the doctor when he didn't hand her to me soon enough. I had to hold her, had to know she was real. And then holding her, and seeing heaven in her eyes. Feeling that perfect, tiny body pressed up to mine, this tiny body that my body helped to create, nurtured, and carried for such a long time. This tiny, amazing gift that Heavenly Father had seen fit to bless me with... It was the first time in years that I had felt the need and want to thank Him for anything. Your words gave me a perspective I had not considered before. And helped me understand some things, as well. Some men marvel at the life they helped to create, and wish to be more a part of it. Others (we will call them boys here) do not, necessarily, marvel. I suppose the same can be said of women too. I just never really understood why someone could choose to not be a part of this amazing child's life, when all I wanted was to spend my every moment with her. To not have to work and be away from her so much. To be the best mom I could ever be for her.
    Well. Told you this would be long. In short, thank you so much for continuing to post, for reaching out to all of us, and continuing to write (I have the same social phobia, and the same predilection (is that the right word) for the written word). And, for sharing so much of yourself. It helps me to feel human, to realize I am more normal than I would have thought. And that, perhaps, I am not doing as bad as I tend to think I am. :)

  16. Fun Fact: I am 3rd generation Swede. My great grandpa immigrated from Sweden as a child, went back to serve his mission in Sweden, and then left the church to be the second member of the Kingston polygamous group. I found the LDS church at age 7, and fought for my right to attend services until I finally reached age 18, learned I actually had LDS background.

    I didn't actually mean to have that long of a response, but there you have it!

  17. I also love Tess of the Durbervilles. It's one of my faves. Have you seen the BBC television mini-series (from 2008)? It's SOOOOO good. I think all of the actors are perfectly cast & they do a great job of sticking to the text & not creating any crazy twists or taking artistic liberties with a fantastic (albeit totally tragic) story. You really should watch it.

  18. Oh, I'm also Swede too. Well, my grandpa was (whose parents were actually first cousins, incidentally). We come from good stock :)

  19. My last name is Payne!!! It's my married name, so I don't know tons about the line, but if you have relatives from Verden, NM, then we are DEFINITELY related. Also, my sister married a Whatcott. So, maybe you're related to both of us? That would be fun :)

  20. I am a Payne! It's my married name though, so I don't know tons about the line. However, if you have any ancestors from Verden, NM, then we are DEFINITELY related (and maybe they knew my grandma..because apparently my grandma and my husbands great-uncles were good friends, which is kinda weird and cool all at the same time). Also, my sister married a Whatcott! So, maybe you're related to both of us? That would be awesome!

  21. My great-grandfather was Harry Lorenzo Payne--the fourth president of the Mesa Temple. If we're related, I'm going to be even more of a fan of you than I already was!

  22. I LOVE this idea. I hope you don't mind if I borrow it to use on my blog :)

    PS...I think I'm going to have to buy some sweetened condensed milk. That sounds good.

  23. I'm new here. I stumbled onto this site just today. I read your last post and it hit home for me. My phone wouldn't let me comment on that one so I'm saying it here. Thank you so much for what you said. I'm not gay but other than that and a few other details it could've been me. In jr high kids thought i was lesbian because my best friend was lesbian. I was never thrown into a trash can but I was billed. Relentlessly. I didn't tell my family because i was going through so much at the time (being molested by my father as well and bullied for that too). I wasn't very strong in the church at the time either. I was very suicidal. I have no idea what got me through it all even now. I was very alone for a long time. All of this was in a predominantly Mormon town. I have other gay friends that went to high school with us but not jr high. Your story made me cry for that young boy a well as the young girl i was and every other child going through such terrible things. I remember all those talks and also the book. They always made me cry because with everything going on, i began to wonder if i was gay, also since i was a very late bloomer. I wasn't attracted to anyone until my junior year of high school so I was even more different. I felt no one understood me. And I was a very new member and didn't really understand how I could pray about everything, so I became very depressed and angry at everyone. So although i can't understand actually having those feelings, I can completely understand the rest of it. I'm very glad that you found happiness in your life and that you were able to stay in the church to be happy. You and your wife are very strong people and i admire you both for the choices you have both made. Thank you so much for that post. It heeled me so much.

    Now for this post.. I feel that way in public all the time, except with kids. Every time i give a talk I get so nervous. And I wasn't to be a teacher.. Lol. I also want to be a therapist and a writer but I think I'll sick to teacher and writer. Not sure i could handle being a therapist..

    On the books.. I love to read. All my life I've had my nose stuck in a book.. That's probably what got me through all the drama lol. Since you're not able to finish them have you tried reading the end first? Even though I hate knowing the end in movies and shows, I don't mind it in books as much so of I get to a boring part I read the end or skip a chapter our two..them go back to it. Just a suggestion..
    I hate shopping too.. If i could I would hire someone just to do my doing for me lol.
    I would like to think that if I had meet you in jr high we could have been friends. :)
    Also pics of your girls.. They are so cute :)

  24. Oh yeah.. I also loved your poem. It was beautiful. Also your story of your mission was kinda scary. I would've freaked out thinking I would never see my family again.. Bit I'm paranoid like that lol