Monday, July 18, 2011

Fall 2011 Preview: Monday

As many of you know, chedner and I enjoy our TV quite a bit.  This series will look at the new network shows.  With any luck, this series will show I have some sort of prowess in picking winners and I’ll be picked out of cyberspace to become a writer or network exec.  *nudge, nudge.*



2 Broke Girls, 8:30 on CBS

Two twentysomething women—one from a wealthy family, the other working class—end up working at a diner and living together trying to make ends meet.  The jokes aren't that funny and the exec. producer, Whitney Cummings, is a comedienne who isn't that funny.  Cummings’ meh-inspiring, gender-based humor didn’t keep her from scoring her own sitcom in a prime slot on NBC Thurs. (link to preview)



Terra Nova, 8:00 on FOX

Catastrophic developments force humanity to abandon Earth and colonize time/space.  Little do they know that their new world has a mysterious dark side.  Plenty of  potential as FOX didn't reveal too much in the trailer (generally a bad sign in my book). Seems to be a cross of Lost, Jurassic Park, and Avatar. A well-hidden hand with plenty of good reveals could keep this series going for a while.  (link to preview)



Hart of Dixie, 9:00 on CW

A modern version of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman that lacks the strong female lead it needs to succeed.   Rachel Bilson plays a brand new big city doctor who inherits a small-town practice, and comes off just too one note—“one note” as in “blah”; not “one note” as in the awesome Microsoft software.  Her presences is just so lukewarm. The premise is a good twist, though. Such a problem could possibly be remedied by a more ensemble focus, but they don't seem to be going that direction. (link to preview)



The Playboy Club, 10:00 on NBC

One of a few new shows aiming to bottle the Mad Men lightning, the series follows a group of playboy bunnies.   I feel like it will run out of fuel in the first half of the season. The focus on women in the 60s is a nice inversion of the Mad Men equation though Pan Am (Sundays, 10:00, ABC) I believe, has more potential.  I do hope that I’m mistaken, but it reminds me a lot of Studio 60—a good concept that slowly lost weight like a bucket with a hole in it.  If the characters in this series are presented with the depth they deserve, there’s potential for this show to make a big crybaby out of me. (link to preview)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Embarrassing Things that Make me Cry #7

I’m sharing this one because this music video follows my own interpretation of Lady Gaga’s song so much.  The official video was (let’s face it) uninspired. 

What this post deserves is an in-depth reading of the latest album as one synthesizing faith, self-confidence, and love in the face of persecution, but I won’t have time for that for a bit.  chedner and I have had a few talks about musical empowerment, so I’m glad this video brought it all to the forefront of my mind for at least a video. 


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Your Daily Madonna #1

Chedner’s convinced me I need to learn a bit more about a certain muse.  (Note his blog post on a planned Madonna musical).  I start this meandering series imagining what he might have been like as a young Madonna fan.

ME AT NINE, PERFORMING TO MADONNA IN SUMMER '91! from Robert Jeffrey on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Laugh of the Day #35

Something totally 80s-rific from my reader.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Just Friends #1

I’ve been doing a lot of wonderful soul-searching the past few months and one thing I’ve become more certain of than ever is that I’ve never had sexual feelings for a woman.  I suppose the remotest heterosexual thought I have encountered is, I wonder if a woman’s lips would feel any different than Chedner’s perfect ones.  That said, none have ever really seemed all that “palatable.” 

Based on talk like this (or of other girl parts) makes gay men sound like total misogynists incapable of finding beauty in any woman save their own mother.  Well, not really.  I just wanted to share this  Calvin & Hobbes comic…


before transitioning into my point that I really love the women in my life.  Emily, Jacqueline, and Serenity (among others) should know that I wish I had more time to spend with my best girls, and that they’ve not only been amazing examples but inspiration for many aspects of my life including humor, writing, and simply living. 

In honor of them, and to balance out the gratuitous Man Harem posts (which I enjoy quite a bit), I christen a new series of posts for beautiful women I would die (figuratively speaking) to be friends with. 


Zooey Deschanel 4ie85ebZooey Deschanel

If you haven’t noticed, I have a bit of an Indie vein to my tastes.  It’s no vena cava, but it’s there.  As Indie girl poster child (imitated by many a Mormon mommy blogger)  in my book, I’ve got to say her look, her voice, and her humor really hit that if-only-she-were-a-boy nerve.  (May you all appreciate those hyperlinks). 

Question: What more could the girl have going for her?  A music career, movie roles (I must say that she saved Hitchhiker’s Guide from the abyss), a husband with musical talent, enormous (and well-managed bangs, etc.  Answer: a new sitcom which will either be really good or really bad.  Here’s the trailer for The New Girl:

Lately, I’ve just been craving a good “Just Friends” coffee date banter:

“Will Ferrell isn’t nearly as annoying in person.” 

“Seriously?  It’s hard to handle him in anything but Stranger than Fiction, IMO.”

“What about Elf?”

“…and Elf.”

“Thank you.”

“…On a good day.  I tease, I tease.”

“You watch it now….”

“Deal.  Now please tell me kissing Joseph Gordon-Leavitt was underwhelming, so I can feel less jealous.”


Friday, May 6, 2011

Haiku #2

naruto eating_thumb[9]


        Just a quick I love you note:
           thinking of your smile
        and dreaming of your curry. 

Haiku #1

Aang hug

Thanks for last night.  Even though
     we were apart, I
felt so close to you last night. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mashup #10

So as to avoid this blog completely turning into a Doctor Who blog I now present a mashup of a TV show and a movie which are both in their respective top 5s of the last three years:

That said, the return of the Doctor (in Utah no less) deserves a few posts of its own….

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mashup #9

All Things British and Beautiful

This one combines several lovely things:

  • Doctor Who
  • Hugh Grant *le sigh*
  • Absolutely Fabulous
  • Rowan Atkinson
  • slightly veiled inappropriate jokes….

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Countdown is on #2

Doctor Who is back April 23.  In the meantime, enjoy the new Red Nose Day charity segments featuring our friends Rory, Amy, and the Doctor. 

Tomorrow: What do you get when you cross the Doctor, Mr. Bean, AbFab, and Hugh Grant?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Laugh of the Day #37

I very much identify with this series of videos.  I’m proud to be disappointing.

Disappointing Gay Best Friend - GOIN' OUT from mikalabierma on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ghosts of Gays Gone by #1

A Radio Reading

Spectrum-PoliticalThe uninitiated might not realize it, but there’s more diversity than you’d expect in the sphere of gay Mormon blogging.  Blogs range from conservative to liberal, married to divorced, agnostic to faith-filled, and so on.  It’s not often I voice my appreciation for this diversity, but I hope that the same can be said of my observations here.  Naturally, we can’t agree with everything we see, but the only way to understand is to read opinions and experiences that challenge our own.  (Some specific nods go to Original Mohomie and Invictus Pilgrim whose experiences and modes of thought/examination differ from my own).

As I prepare another exhibit for the Utah Pride Festival, my thoughts turn again to the past, especially to the recent past.  I remember  a time when I felt like a bad person for enjoying Ellen’s 1990s sitcom as a kid, a time when I thought homosexuality didn’t exist, a time when I thought being gay was as much a choice as experimenting with drugs. 

Well, time moved on and I grew up, realizing the world wasn’t the picture that I’d painted.  I’m still adding figures and changing the palette.  I’m still learning to add dimension, light, and shadow to that canvas.  Every story and every life seems to enlighten that vision a bit more, and though my life can’t be bound to a canvas (or a metaphor for that matter) I feel this process of revision—Socrates’ “examined life,” if you will—makes me a thankful person.  In preparing to leave Utah, I find it a cultural trait that I hope to keep intact—a process of perfection.

closetA wonderful radio story brought me to this observation in recent weeks.  It’s a This American Life episode from 1996 with the theme of Double Lives.  The first part of the program is devoted to closeted married men and explores the dilemmas of shielding that identity from a child.  The first act presents the perspective of Susan Bergman, a woman whose father AIDS before coming out to his family and dying.  The second act is a conversation with a man explaining why he doesn’t share his sexuality with his two adult daughters. 

The program is provocative and perhaps distressing in the presentation of two people on two sides of very similar stories.  It’s telling of our own situations as well as those of men just 15 years ago.  I’d recommend it for a good reflection.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Man Harem Inductee #8

A note before today’s post: I’m still here.  I’ve been rather busy for the past months and I’m working through several projects.  Hopefully, you’ll hear more from me more regularly very soon.

Today’s post starts with a bit of a confession.  In 2003, one of my dreams was to work for NPR.  As it so happens, this week they have an opening, but I’ve moved past that dream.  I recall writing an essay (for a one-credit workshop on the art of autobiography) comparing my childhood hometown in rural Utah to Mayberry and Garrison Keillor’s Lake Woebegone. 

I’d confess to mission companions that some days I missed the voices of Diane Rehm, Fiona Richie, and Ira Flatow as much as my family and friends.  As a result, I gained the reputation of “Elder granola-hippie-metro-commy-touchy-feely-smarty-pants,” but

c'est la vieIf that’s a bad reputation, I’ll proudly stand by it, I thought. 

Diane RehmGarrison Keillor

Upon my return, I auditioned for a spot on the local station, but my stutter got in the way.  Writing, literature, and research took precedent, and I moved on.  I also moved on as I met some radio personalities.  Listening, you create a certain face to go with the voice, the intonation, the sense of humor. Then one day, you run into a personality at a random meeting and it’s like watching your father take off the Santa Claus suit.

Then, sometimes, it’s just what you’d hoped for all along. 

Ira Glass

This American LifeOne of the best dates Chedner and I have had was Netflix-ing our way through the TV series This American Life.   I’d been a fan of the radio series from the first time I’d listened to it almost a decade ago. 

I suppose a lot of relationships is being able to share joy in all of its forms and in this particular instance it was shared appreciation for humor and insight into the human experience.  That said, it was also pretty obvious we appreciated our host, Ira Glass.  His humor and his charm managed to come across better than I’d expected—enough so that I teased Chedner about having some geeking out fantasies as we watched, which I admit is obvious projection. 

Experiences like these—the ones in which we admit to sharing feelings we’re perhaps embarrassed to share initially—have been a learning experience.  It’s easy to endear yourself to someone you understand, or, rather, someone you work to understand (and work to be understood by). 

Ira-GlassSure my fantasy of a nice, nerdy Jewish boy with a geeky voice and hipster glasses may seem like an odd piece of me, but there is comfort in the fact that I feel like sharing every single nerdy schoolboy shred of myself with someone for the first time in my life.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Laugh of the Day #37

A warning:

Book Suicide

Will somebody please think of the books?!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I’m Dating Emily Dickinson

Emily DickinsonAt a recent lecture I attended, I realized that I’m dating the deceased 19th-Century, forward-thinking poet.  Chedner sure has a lot going for him, and it struck me that he has a lot in common with her.  Brilliant, somewhat anti-social, beautiful and enigmatic. 





Dickinson’s Rules for Writing (by P. Crumbley):

  1. Require reader choice.
  2. Avoid editors.
  3. Demand athletic, gymnastic readers.
  4. Challenge conventional, fixed notions of nature.
  5. Refuse complacency.
  6. Trust agony.

After the lecture, I came to the speaker and mentioned the striking resemblance Chedner holds to Dickinson in mind, passion, and pen.  His response: “You’re fortunate to know such a person: I’d like to meet someone like that.” 

I’m a lucky guy.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

On the Way to Work #1

On my way to work I spotted a sign:


On my way to work I spotted a sign
And on this sign was written something asinine:


Friday, January 28, 2011

The Escape, Part 6

Quorum of Elders

So many aspects of the last few weeks had been thoroughly evanescent.  Moments of happiness and epiphany would dissipate as suddenly as they appeared.  With my trip to Chile looming on the horizon, connections with people and with my situation seemed impossible.  The experience was agonizingly ephemeral—like walking on clouds and realizing there’s nothing supporting you.  My feet hungered for solid ground as I tread  the air.

Walking_on_Clouds_by_giladDennis was the last person I expected to ground me emotionally.  He drank. He dated with more frequency than I did.  He’d just gotten out of a long term relationship, and talked about it to a point that a sense of uncomfortable empathy crept up even in strangers at the next booth of restaurants.  That said, he was almost proud that he’d found rock bottom perhaps because it is the one place the optimist-at-heart truly feels at home.

He was sensitive enough to pick up on the fact that I was in the same place in a philosophical sense.  I was starting over and opening myself to the possibilities I’d avoided and denounced for the last year of my life.  The moral codes that I’d lived up to for so long—abstaining from alcohol and pornography, sex and coffee, etc.—no longer made sense in the grand scheme of things.  After a few dates, this was still at the core of our conversations.

“You know I’ve been there before,” he revealed one night (inasmuch as anyone can reveal the obvious).  “Practically every one of us in Utah has, or at least we’ve dated them, and I’ve dated a lot of them.”


“More recently, but I’m slowing down.  You’re interesting and not in that ‘Ooh, he’s a virgin’ sense of allure.  I can’t often sit down with another guy who understands and appreciates every single reference from an episode of Gilmore Girls.”

GilmoreGirlsNeither of us pretended we weren’t seeing other people or weren’t checking out our options, but he’d let down his guard.  He let me know I wasn’t a sexual conquest with a deadline. I was unsettled in that I’d prepared for our dates to amount to nothing.  He was someone I’d want to pursue when I returned from South America, someone to whom I could share the most vital pieces of my body and soul, someone with whom I could do more than watch Gilmore Girls or 30 Rock or Grey’s Anatomy (as had become ritual in the short time we’d known each other), but I’d conditioned myself to not expect that—in one sense, not until after returning from Chile and, in another, not ever.

The contemplative, awkward silence following his admission broke with a simple, pointed question: “What do you think your life is based on right now?  Just living the moment, finding your place?”

“I might ask you the same thing,” I said simply to stall for time as I wasn’t sure in the moment.  “I guess I just want to be happy and wasn’t so I needed a change.”

“That does make a lot of sense, but what’s next?  Is your life any different now that you’ve stopped going to church or taken off the garments?” he asked seriously before a stilted aside to lighten the tone “…(which, by the way, are the opposite of sexy).”

“Well,” I said through my awkward chuckle.  “I’ve spent a lot of time learning to trust in one thing.  It’s a hard transition to believe in other people whether that be you or my best friend or even me.

“You’ll get there,” he said as if he knew my answer better than I did. “It wasn’t like I jumped right into bed with someone or started drinking the moment I was done with the church.  It’s basically not even possible in places like Ephraim.” 

boyscuddleDennis and I were similar enough that we picked up on what the other was thinking quite often, as it was so easy to put ourselves in the other’s situation romantically speaking.  We were both in a vulnerable state of putting ourselves together and mixing up the pieces at times, so we kept each other at a comfortable distance.  Our moments of discussing the seriousness were offset ten fold by conversations on television and theatre providing a connection we felt more prepared with. 

“GMB, I want you to meet some friends of mine,” Dennis mentioned cuddling one night to the sound of Buffy the Vampire Slayer blasting away in the background.    “We don’t agree on everything, but I think we both need to be around some people who are satisfied with their life right now.” 

“Who are these people and why the sudden urge to hang out?” I asked half-asleep (not sharing his enthusiasm for 90s fantasy television) and not in the most social of moods.

His taciturn response of “You’ll see” proved itself true after a quick walk across the gayborhood. 


As we approached a small red brick duplex, I flashed back to several memories from my missionary time in Brazil.  It was like every time I’d meet a family for the first time.  They’d happily welcome the new missionary to town with a small party or a big dinner.  In much the same way my companions explained to me the history of that particular family, Dennis shared the backstory of the house’s residents. 

“Well, they’ve been together three years and they met in Provo at BYU.  It was the fairytale romance minus the genders.  They have people over for game nights every week.  They don’t drink or smoke.  This group is probably the Mormon-iest group of gays you could assemble.” 

That night satisfied some form of nostalgia within me.  Clearly, the ten men and women I met that night had found a way to embrace what they’d been taught their entire life despite as well as the emotions that countered those teachings in one way or another.  Perhaps it was Dennis’ way of showing me that happiness was in reach sooner than I’d thought and that forsaking the past completely was not a viable option for me or for him. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Laugh of the Day #36

For this duck author:

math 2

I hope things get better soon. 

Much love,


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Glee Withdrawals #4

Sure, it only returns in a few weeks (Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 6), but I could sure use a good escape.  What better escape is there than a show where 28 year-old actors pretend they’re still in high school. 

The following is funny for the first minute… perhaps minus a certain finger gag.

Food for Thought #32

A gem of a film shot entirely with mobile phones cameras in 2008.  I’ve been thinking a lot about compassion lately and this film came to mind. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

~Blush~ #1

The scene: mailroom at work
Characters: yours truly; Alice, a fabulous blond 40-something woman who fantasizes about the day she’ll teach a course in sarcasm.

Enter GMB.  Beginning to sort mail, he mumbles last names to himself as he searches for the correct slots.

GMB (mumbling): Donner, Salmon, Allegheny….

Alice enters.

GMB: Hey, Alice.

Alice: Back from break, I see?

GMB: Yeah.  Never long enough, are they?

Alice: You’re sounding a little tired today. 

GMB (grabbing his neck): I woke up a little sore this morning.  I think I slept on my neck wrong. 

Alice (craning in slightly and squinting): I'm sure it felt good to begin with.

GMB: What do you mean?

Alice (teasing): At least I have the excuse of a curling iron burn, GMB. I know a hickey when I see one. 

GMB HickeyGMB (blushing): I thought that was gone.  I’m fixing the lighting in my bathroom.

Alice: I’m giving you a makeup lesson as a belated Christmas gift.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Laugh of the Day #35

Appearing the same day the missionaries stopped by chedner’s place (again). 

Jehovah's Witness Protection Program

I’m grateful for the universe’s sense of humor.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A GMB Glossary, Vol. 3:

A Thought

I was reading a fairly mainstream LDS blog called Mormonism Unveiled the other day.  The post titled “Mormon Messages: Elder Dallin C. Oaks Speaks Out On Marriage And Divorce; Divorced Members Are Not ‘Second-Class Saints’” stuck a nerve.  The post quotes extensively from the 2007 General Conference talk mentioned in the title. 

As I read the article highlighting marriage as a requirement for exaltation, and the appropriate reasons for entering and exiting the bonds of matrimony.  The most important point, however, struck me as a rather relatable one for gay and lesbian members of the church.  Something else in the piece caught my attention, though.  Three words:

Second-Class Saint

Jack Mormon (the blogger) used the term to describe a misconception that divorced Mormons are inferior to married Mormons.  I think the term might be useful in the gay Mormon discussion.  Because the greatest form of salvation is tied to marriage and marriage isn’t that perfect, natural fit for gay Mormons, it’s easy for us to feel consigned to a less fulfilling life.  No other term I’ve seen has really described the way the situation sat with me. 

lesbians second hand citizen cartoon gay marriage

Enjoy and feel free to spread it around.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Escape, Part 5

Beginning of Beginnings

Ingles Abre Puertas

¡Hola, voluntários!

We’re excited to meet you in the coming weeks.  Remember that training will begin at Hostelling International on Cienfuegos in Santiago three weeks from Friday.  Training will take place everyday8-5 through the following Wednesday before you head off to your assignments.  We’re still in the process of tying down housing and teaching assignments, but don’t worry.  Everything will work out.  Again, don’t forget to send us your itinerary as we’ ll have someone waiting to pick you up. 


A sense of relief tugged at a corner of my heart.  Blanketed in the anxiety of building a new understanding of life, my chest had been in a state of static tension.  A tepid, undulating sensation rose slightly and slowly for a moment and receded like a morning tide over the beach.  Glimpses of hope for myself, for beliefs I’d lost and accepting the new life ahead of me lay in dates like the one I’d had with Charlie and with this opportunity to escape and find myself on another continent.  As in Canada the summer before, I felt I didn’t need to bring the metaphorical baggage of a year of identity-questioning torment.  I prepared myself to be me, but wondered just how much that was true and how much this conflict was a part of me

guy in contemplation

Moments of insight had been fleeting for months as questions inescapably hung like an albatross around my neck:  Have I really made the right call? Have I forgotten a piece of the greater picture? Is there a magic bullet solution for making my gay and Mormon parts of me work effortlessly in tandem?  Should I be as worried as I am about the possibilities of alcohol and sex as I am?  Was I right in the first place to prepare for a life alone?

My life was by no means a wreck, but my beliefs were.  Trust in yourself was the philosophy that tore people away from happiness according to what I’d learned in the past two decades of my life.  Why should I expect things to get any better in my own hands?  Are those glimmers of hope enough to abandon everything?


“That was the end of it.  I was prepared to do anything for him and then he faked a mental breakdown.  Everything seemed in reach.  Being a husband.  Being a provider.  Being a father to his kids….”

In a way, his monologue felt prepared.  He’d told the story before, emphasizing the same points, processing the trauma of the situation—the rejection, the anger, the frustration.  It was like an echo: pieces of the past faintly converging on the present, tempering themselves to the air, and becoming something else completely. 

japanese table

Dennis was going through a similar catharsis, which I considered as I fumbled around with my chopsticks practicing before I humiliated myself.  He’d lost his identity much as I had.  Instead of having a lover abandon me, I felt as if my beliefs had.  Emotional torment was nothing new.  I’d just finished a class on trauma in literature, which perhaps drew my attention to this aspect of my own pain.  He let me vent my own rejection, anger, and frustrations. 

Cross-legged at the floor table, he politely listened, meticulously preparing bites of steak, soy, and rice.  My concerns were nothing new.  He’d been in the same situation a year ago, and realized just as I had that we had much to offer one another in that moment.  We were more than damaged goods enduring one another’s stories so that we could get some action later.  He was intelligent enough to realize that and so was I. 

Perhaps that is why the date turned around quickly.  Once the painful was out of the way and once we knew we both cared, even the most embarrassing details of our life became endearing. 

“I’m the most unoriginal dater,” Dennis admitted.  “This is maybe my tenth first date here.  It just works.”

I looked across the table to his brown eyes, amber in the light of the lamps shaped like pagodas.  A befuddled smile appeared on his face revealing his notably large teeth. 

cute guy table smiling Dennis

“I’ve probably been on that many first dates this month,” I said as I felt the rippling sensation of a blush on my cheeks.

“Don’t worry.  We’ve all been there.”

Why would anyone want to hide those?, I thought to myself.

As we spent the rest of the night on his couch making out to the sound of John Hughes movies playing in the background, I asked, fearing I’d lose the chance falling asleep in the warmth and comfort of his arms, “When can we do this again?”

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Laugh of the Day #34

If I tried writing in the mornings, this is what my writing would feel like.  Nevertheless, the moral of the story is a good one:

(via Cognitive Dissenter)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Jumping on the Resolution Train

…Pardon the pause in the current series….

In college, I mentored quite a few incoming freshmen.  One of the exercises I had them do (mostly to see if they were capable of following instructions).  They had to set four goals in four different areas: social, physical, academic, and professional.  I suppose it’s time to practice what I preach, though my goals here will avoid major spoilers for the content of the blog.



  1. Keep my place(s) clean enough for company. 
  2. Find time for friends in Logan and elsewhere an average of once a week excluding regular meetings.  (8 events a month).
  3. Try out some double dates with couples friends.  (Sundance anyone?)
  4. Foster relationships with my roomies. 


  1. Hit the gym four times a week for an hour each time. 
  2. Feel better about myself so I can better enjoy time with chedner, working towards goal weight of 165. 
  3. Get back my running stamina from six months ago by March.
  4. Vegetables and whole grains every day. 


  1. Finish the “correspondence” project.
  2. Finish paper on Pushing Daisies and Big Love.
  3. Submit one more paper presentation.
  4. Get accepted to at least one PhD program or prepare new game plan. 

Professional/Writing (because that’s what I hope to be)

  1. Finish “museum” piece and update minutes. 
  2. Finish IGB video and volunteer on Pride committee again.
  3. Complete a series a month with significant posts (500+ words) Mon., Weds., and Fridays.  Reply to comments within a business day.
  4. Look into getting a literary agent. 

Back to the series in progress soon….

Popular Posts