Saturday, December 31, 2005

Brokeback Mountain

Tolkien Boy commented last night that he was thinking of writing a review of Brokeback Mountain, but concluded that if you're the type of person who's interested in seeing gay cowboy movies then you'll probably see it regardless of what he says, and if you're the type of person who isn't interested in seeing gay cowboy movies then you'll probably not see it regardless of what he says. Having said that, I'm going to review Brokeback Mountain. (Also keep in mind, I'm by no means an experienced or even decent film reviewer.)

Brokeback Mountain is a faithful adaptation of an Annie Proulx short story about Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), who meet working in Wyoming as young sheepherders in 1963. Over the course of the summer spent alone on Brokeback Mountain, the two men develop a close friendship and one night, in a moment of passion, end up having sex. Each insists that he "ain't no queer," that this is a one-time thing. They part at the end of the summer and each of them gets married and has kids. Over the next twenty years they see each other infrequently, telling their wives that they're going on fishing trips while continuing their love affair. Only when it's too late to do anything about it do they realize that their relationship is more than a friendship, more even than a series of sexual encounters. In the end, because they've chosen neither their wives nor each other, they succeed only in hurting everyone involved.

Yes, I just told you the whole plot, but it's not the sort of movie you watch because you're in suspense about what happens next. You watch it because Ang Lee directed it, because of the beautiful Wyoming scenery (never thought I'd say those words together), and because each of the actors plays his part phenomenally--Heath Ledger as the silent, brooding rancher and Jake Gyllenhal as the high-energy rodeo cowboy. The supporting actors, Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams, also do a great job. As I said above, the adaptation is very faithful to the source; the fact that it's a short story makes it easier to turn into a feature film without cutting out any elements of the original. The only changes I noticed were minor additions that, in my opinion, improved on the story. The character of Ennis Del Mar's daughter, for example, is developed much more than in the short story, and she adds an element of hope to an otherwise tragic story.

As a side note, be aware that if you're watching the movie in Utah, and I presume pretty much anywhere else, the audience is going to react strangely because they don't know how to deal with a gay movie that is neither camp nor porn. At an intensely tragic moment in the film when Alma Del Mar sees her husband making out with Jack Twist, the whole theater was rolling with laughter.

In case you're interested, there's a hugely amusing (though somewhat crude) review at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10342237/ .

Friday, December 30, 2005

By a Nose Hair

Hours of stress, reams of wasted paper because of formatting booboos, $95 for acpplication fees and $27.30 for postage later, I have guaranteed (according to the United States Postal Service) that my application to the University of Washington's English PhD program will arrive tomorrow by noon (two days before the deadline) and my application to the University of Hawai'i's English PhD program will arrive Sunday by noon (the day of the deadline). Now I just have to finish getting my application for UW's MLIS program ready by January 15th (and hopefully soon enough before then that I don't need to pay for express shipping again), and then if none of those three programs wants to give me money to go to their school, I'll apply to UH's MLIS program (whose deadline is April 15th).

(I love parentheses.)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Wisdom at 3:54 am

S-Boogie has been sick. (It's either Tolkien Boy or Melyngoch's fault--we're not sure which.) She just got up and came into our room. I took her back into hers and rocked with her for a while. In that time, she shared with me the following observations:
  • Mommy is sleeping.
  • Her bear is hanging on the door handle (which is where it always hangs).
  • Her toes are inside her jammies.
  • Her bum is inside her jammies.
  • Her belly button is hiding inside her jammies.
  • Baby S-Boogie (referring to an enlarged black-and-white photo of herself as a baby) is making a funny face.
  • Baby S-Boogie is wearing Olivers (referring, I believe, to overalls, which Baby S-Boogie is indeed wearing).
  • Baby S-Boogie is in her carseat (I'm not sure whether this is true).
  • Her milk is in the closet (not true--I checked).
  • S-Boogie is tired.
  • Daddy is tired.

Monday, December 26, 2005

S-Boogie and the Vegas Dog

Last night Earth Sign Mama gathered up the family and took us carolling and cookie-delivering to the neighbors. They invited us in to say hi, and S-Boogie was delighted to discover that the neighbors had several yappy dogs. She shrieked and shrieked and shrieked. Then they showed her their humongous cat, which she was equally delighted with (sidenote: S-Boogie also loved Grandma's cat, but the kitty wasn't so fond of the little girl constantly chasing it, yelling, "Kitty cat! Eat your chicken!"). The neighbors asked if S-Boogie has any pets, to which I replied, "No, she doesn't like animals." They didn't buy it, but, being sensitive to my obvious disregard for our four-legged friends, Mr. Neighbor offered S-Boogie a stuffed dog instead. This is, however, no ordinary stuffed dog.

It is a Vegas Dog.

Sadly, Mrs. Neighbor came over this morning shortly after the above-linked video was shot and sheepishly explained that she collects Vegas Dogs and that her husband should not have given that one away. In exchange, she offered a ballerina bear that neither dances nor sings. S-Boogie, being her usual carefree self, thanked Mrs. Neighbor for the bear and waved bye-bye to Vegas Dog.

Foxy and I didn't mourn the passing of Vegas Dog too greatly.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Thankyous

Milob (mother-in-law of Master Fob, aka Earth Sign Mama) and Filob (father-in-law of Master Fob, aka Cool Guy):Silob (sister-in-law of Master Fob, aka Skyej):
Fob (father of Master Fob):
Sob (sister of Master Fob) #2:
Mob (mother of Master Fob):
Bob (brother of Master Fob, aka Svoid):
Wob (aka Foxy J):
And, lest we forget, the sneaky presents not wrapped or otherwise marked as presents but left discreetly at Milob and Filob's house for me to find:

Fob #2 Manifestation #3 (aka Tolkien Boy):
Fsilob (future son-in-law of Master Fob, aka the Big O):

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas from the Fobcave

Okay, we're not actually in the Fobcave. We're in the J Cave, I guess (have you noticed that Foxy J and her sister, SkyeJ, both have J as their surpseudonym? Coincidence? I think not).

But I still want to wish you a merry Christmas. Even if you're not going to read this until long after Christmas when you go back to school or work and are reading my blog instead of studying or working. I hope you have a great day with your loved ones. And I don't feel like getting cheesy at the moment, but let me just say that I think Jesus is cool and I'm glad he was born and lived and died and lives again. That is all.

Friday, December 23, 2005

W;t

I watched HBO's production of Margaret Edson's W;t again last night. I'd seen it once before and read the play, so I wasn't unfamiliar with it. This is the first time that I've figured out why I'm so strongly affected by it, though.

It's about an English professor, Vivian Bearing (played by the talented Emma Thompson), who is diagnosed with cancer and becomes a test subject for the residents at the university hospital. She's an expert in John Donne, so she's spent her life thinking about life and death from an intellectual standpoint, but now she's forced to look at it from a very personal point of view. For the first time in her life, she can't solve a problem by understanding the vocabulary, by analyzing, by using her wit. The thematic climax of the movie comes when an old professor of Vivian's visits her in the hospital (her first and only visitor), and while Vivian lies in bed, speechless and drooling, the elder professor reads to her from The Runaway Bunny. "Ah," the professor concludes (and I paraphrase), "how darling. A little allegory of the soul. Wherever it may hide, God will find it."

When I was seeing a counselor at the BYU Counseling Center last year, he pointed out that I'm great at verbalizing my thoughts about life and philosophizing with him about homosexuality and religion, but getting me to actually express any kind of emotion was like pulling teeth with his bare hands (sorry for the cliche simile--Tolkien Boy, help me out here). The problem is that whenever I feel anything, I don't know how to interpret it except through words, and when I use words I use logic, which means if I can't explain it then I don't know how to feel it. So when I have this hungry pit gnawing away at my insides, I ask myself "Why?" and either I come up with an answer and take care of the problem, or I don't have an answer and I tell myself to buck up and deal with life. This is quite useful for continuing to function as a librarian, teacher, husband, or father when I'd much rather curl up in a ball and hide from the world, but I'm not sure how healthy it is in the long run. Sometimes I secretly wish that I could get in an accident or come down with a hospitalizing illness or have something else horrible happen just so I can have a reason to stop forcing myself to function, to have something visible for people to gather around me and sympathize over. This is certainly not a rational desire, though, so I ignore it and keep going.

When I watch Vivian Bearing forced to stop thinking and just feel, even though that feeling is excruciating pain, I'm jealous of her. When I read the play and both times I've watched it I've ended up on the verge of crying. I don't cry--even when my brother-in-law died, it took me two days to actually cry--but I get really close. My gut crawls up toward my throat, which twists and tightens and makes my mouth dry up and my eyelids quiver. It's not an entirely logical reaction, but that's okay, I think.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Letter Preview



Dear Fobs fans,

Welcome to Season 5 of The Fobs. What you are looking at is a very special limited edition virtual boxed set of America's other favorite family. This set, collecting all 24 episodes of the best Fobs season yet, is jam-packed with special features: hear Fobs creators Master Fob and Foxy J comment on the making of each episode; watch outtakes from S-Boogie's second birthday party at the Scera Pool; and view the entire season in English, Spanish, or Swahili! Here are some of the highlights of Season 5:

"The Graduate" (FB050422): Master Fob graduates from BYU with an MA in English. Family and friends get together for a party. Hilarity ensues.

"Hawaii 0-5" (FB050427): The Fobs fly to Hawaii to visit Master Fob's family. S-Boogie loves swimming at the beach. Hilarity ensues.

"Powell Rangers" (FB050604): The Fobs spend a weekend with Master Fob's dad and siblings on a houseboat on Lake Powell. S-Boogie likes the water. Hilarity ensues.

"In-N-Out" (FB050813): In a special crossover episode, the Fobs visit the Thmazings in San Francisco. S-Boogie and the Big O play together. Cuteness ensues.

"Master Fob the Professor" (FB050829): Without even an interview, Master Fob gets a job teaching English 1010 at Utah Valley State College. He loves it. Financial solvency ensues.

"Master Fob the Writer" (FB050910): Master Fob's first official (i.e. paid) publication, a pair of personal essays in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, comes out. Controversy ensues.

"Three People and a Baby" (FB051013): Foxy J takes a pregnancy test and passes with flying colors. (Actually, two pink lines.) Nausea ensues.

"Vegas Vacation" (FB051219): The Fobs and friends spend Christmas with Foxy J's family in Las Vegas. We don't know what ensues, because the trip hasn't happened yet at the time of this writing. [EDITOR'S NOTE: The trip is happening at the time of this writing, the online edition.]

We hope you enjoy the show! Coming next season: Will Foxy J finish her last classes before the baby arrives? Will Master Fob get accepted to the English PhD or Master's of Library Science programs he's applied to? Will the Fobs move to Hawaii or Washington? Will S-Boogie learn to clean up her toys? Stay tuned to find out.

Love and Aloha,

Master Fob, Foxy J, S-Boogie, and Baby Fob


Deleted Scenes:




Photos by Skyej

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Best Friends

When I was twelve, my mom and sister and I moved into a different part of Honolulu than we had been living in. When one of the kids from church who had been dragged by his father to help us move in noticed I had several boxes marked "Lego," he recognized immediately and informed me that we would be great friends. Dandypratt and I did, in fact, become fast friends. There was only one problem: he already had a best friend. Dandy didn't seem to see anything wrong with having two best friends, but it seriously bothered me. I tried hard to be friends with the other best friend, and he was a decent enough fellow, but I couldn't help feeling threatened. I wanted to be the one and only best friend--doesn't the term "best" inherently imply that there can only be one? As it turned out, it was only a few months before the other best friend moved back to New Zealand, leaving me as Dandypratt's only best friend for the next six years. I felt guilty even then for being so pleased with this fact.

When I came to college in Utah and Dandy stayed back in Hawaii, it came time for a new best friend (Dandy remained my long distance best friend for a long time, but one needs a local best friend in college in order to go on double dates and hang out at girls' apartments). Fabio, the resident assistant on my floor in the dorms, filled the role. Fabio had served a mission in Hawaii so we had that connection, and he was also a bit on the geeky side, which meant that (a) I could hang out with him without violating my social boundaries, and (b) I didn't find him as threatening as less geeky guys. We quickly became best friends, but it wasn't long before I realized he had another best friend, a less geeky guy who (a) existed on a different social sphere than me, and (b) intimidated me. I only felt a little guilty for being happy when Fabio stopped hanging out with the other best friend because he (Fabio) had started dating (and eventually married) the other guy's ex-girlfriend.

The interesting thing is that I don't require this level of exclusivity of myself. I currently have two best friends*. They've met, in fact, and don't appear to hate each other, which is nice. I'm glad my friends aren't as neurotic as I am. I'll do my best to return the favor.


*I don't include Foxy J in this number because the title "wife," while including all the importance, rights, and privileges of "best friend," means a lot more. Suffice it to say that Foxy is, among other things, my closest friend.

The Good Life


As may be evident from the posts below, I've spent the last couple days with some of my favorite people in the world. Add to that the Blog Party last week, where others of my (old and new) favorite people came to the Fobcave, and the rest of this week which will be spent with other favorites (Foxy's family), and next week when I'll see more favorites at Queen Zippergut's wedding on Tuesday and then at Fob on Thursday, and you can see my life is good.

Who? What? When? Where? Why?

Master Fob and Foxy J
saved the children
on the fifth day of the seventh month of the year of the howling monkey
in your pants
because Foxy J's uterus fell out.

Andre 3000
tiptoed through the tulips
when the stars fell from the sky and the sun burned out
on a mountain high, near the clear blue sky
because, just like me, the end of the story looks better in a Speedo.

King Kong
broke
before the Earth and Moon collided
in the place between dreaming and waking
because who doesn't like merengue?

The David
decorated the Christmas tree
during the War of 1812, or maybe it was the Korean War, or maybe it was just the finals of American Idol
under a rainbow-colored sky
because sometimes less is more.

Share Bear
lunging
during Ramadan
under the futon
because there was no toilet paper in the bathroom.

The Big O
erected a block tower
in the middle of some pagan brouhaha
behind the Port-a-Potty behind the Monte Carlo
because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

The Little Drummer Boy
masticulated [sic]
last night
in the bathroom of the Bellagio
because the devil made him do it.

Melyngoch and Roth
juxtapose inappropriate movie quotations
during the Spring Equinox
in the swimming pool
because no matter how you look at it, fish just aren't that tasty compared to snowflakes and candy canes.

Bigfoot
conquered the world with love
after a late supper
in the pool
because the monkeys were restless.

The fish that was Melyngoch in 1902
licks toe hair
when the days were accomplished
beyond the Swamp of Doom, in the Dark Tower of Morbid Death, on the planet Zizufryxx
because he needed to deliver a very important package to a very special girl.

Tolkien Boy, who wasn't foreign to those parts,
kicked the bucket
during the Norman invasion
inside a tent made out of Saran wrap
because God has a purpose, not a plan.

What if?

Q: What if Tolkien Boy and Melyngoch produced a love child who grew up to conquer the world?

A: Then all the men in the audience would confirm Master Fob's suspicion and become gay.

Q: What if Tolkien Boy got a job dancing in the show at Bally's?

A: Then Fob Reunion 2025 will have to be African-themed.

Q: What if S-Boogie and the Big O get married and live in Madagascar some day?

A: Then maybe TB and Melyngoch shouldn't have a child after all.

Q: What if we're all robot clones of our former selves?

A: Then Melyngoch would, for the second time in history, have nothing left to say.

Q: What if Fob (official and honorary) were to give up your mom jokes forever?

A: Then her baby would die, and that would be tragic.

Q: What if Foxy J's uterus fell out?

A: Then, perhaps, we could be translated like the City of Enoch.

Q: What if Fob became a communal society?

A: Then they would have to reduce his allowance by the same amount.

Q: What if Th. and Lady Steed had a child named Maximillion, but the nurse got confused and named him Maxithousand?

A: Then they might end up on one of those annoying inspirational billboards.

Q: What if the Fobs attempted Everest as sesquecentarians?

A: Then we would know that everyone in this house is among God's chosen people.

Q: What if both California and Utah were struck by an 8.0 earthquake tonight at three am?

A: WHO TOLD YOU???

Q: What if Th. were a spy sent from the planet Thmars to prepare Earth for an invasion?

A: Then writing would give way to school bus zombies.

Q: What if Master Fob became Master Shake?

A: Then he would have to go on a national tour and get beverage companies for sponsors.

Q: What if Foxy J named her child Fobapalooza while Master Fob wasn't watching?

A: Humankind would change forever.

Q: What if... Melyngoch... and a pumpkin... and a trout... met up and... you know?

A: MADD would form a secondary group: MAFOB.

Q: What if FOB was the basis of a Vegas revue?

A: Then we would know where the wrath of God will strike.

Q: What if the Church bought the Las Vegas Strip?

A: Then it would be purpler on the other side.

Q: What if grass were purple?

A: Then the world is not very strong.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Live from Las Vegas--Fob!

.

Theric: About three hours ago I drove into Las Vegas and was graced with more shots of naked breasts than I recall from prior drive-throughs. This proved to a poor omen as within about fifteen minutes what I actually found in Vegas was some fellow fobsters (fully clothed).


Melyngoch: Of course, when th. says "fully clothed" what he means is "half-naked," but to his breast-innundated eyes, I suppose we were close enough to clothed for his purposes. (He has not yet told us what his purposes are.) In the Bellagio, you can buy coloring books that have a lot of penises in them. (The plural might be "pene".)


Tolkien Boy: As this is my first experience being on the strip, I had to work hard not to look like a gawking tourist (as a side note, we've realized that a pun of Melyngoch's name is Melon Gawk. As she points out, "Time flies when you're making puns"). The trouble was my experience with naked women has been limited to watching Manon of the Spring in high school and an unfortunate incident involving my cousin. In my attempt to be blase about it all, I'm afraid I made a number of gaffes. A naked woman approached me and asked me if I had the time, and I, blushing, replied, "It's 12:30 am in Utah."

Okay, that didn't really happen, but it's the sort of thing that could happen here in the City of Lights. And I have every intention of letting it happen, so that Melyngoch can kick said naked woman in the shins (my long experience in soccer has taught me that naked shins sting when they're kicked).

Foxy J: Well, they call it the "strip" for a reason. Unfortunately, no one wanted to stop at any of the wedding chapels we passed on our way back to my parents' humble abode last night. I still think that one of my favorite moments of the evening was when my mother invited Melyngoch and TB to "get cozy" in the single bed because she did not realize that they weren't married. The slogan does say that "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" but I'm afraid that this entire post violates that agreement.


Theric: I just came up with a great idea for next year's bad Christmas movie: Undercover Santa--however, I realize that in the context of this post, the particulars of this film may be miscontrued in such a way as to render it family-friendly no more.

As for stuff staying in Vegas, the can keep it for all I care. A pox on you and your pleasures of the world!


Melyngoch: Suffice it to say that I would have kicked more than the naked woman's shins, given the chance and the reason. (Incidentally, Master Fob just walked in and announced that he will not be contributing to this post, so we all feel much freer to say what we really think of him, without danger of rebuttal. At least, in the same post.) Also, I wanted to stop at the wedding chapels, but FoxyJ totally rejected me. Fortunately, TB was there for the rebound, and our elopement was solemnized some time last night after the fifth or sixth shot of Absolut.

Other than propositioning Tolkien Boy via FJ's mother, my favorite part of Vegas so far has been getting lost in the industrial waistland and climbing over police fencecs in the mysterious parking lots on the wrong side of the Monte Carlo.

Tolkien Boy: I decided that I wanted to get to know the real Las Vegas, so this morning while the house slept I took a walk. I saw so much of Vegas I actually travelled all the way out of the city. Climbing the hills behind the town, I discovered a grave, a capuccino machine, and someone's discarded wife-beater (before Melyngoch asks, no, I did not try it on). And that, I assume, is what the real Las Vegas is all about.

Oh, and apparently the police don't like you discovering the real Las Vegas. I was trying to reconstruct the capuccino machine that sat at the summit of the mountain I was on, and a police helicopter came by and made menacing motions in the air (by this I mean circling me and then spraying the ground around me with machine-gun bullets). I can see why they'd want to protect the secret of Las Vegas - discarded wife-beaters are dangerous commodities in the modern world.


Theric: I remember the last time I was shot at in Vegas and it had nothing to do with those things which Tolkers has so euphemistically referred to. In fact, it had less to do with mountain tops than gutters and more to do with bus benches than weddings. Which is one long way of saying that before we all leave, Master Fob will be dead. There is a reason he "decided" not to post here. But I shall not "reveal" it.


Melyngoch: S-boogie would like to say "Hello," if "Wooby wooby hee?" means "hello". Master Fob would like to say -- oh, just kidding, I forgot, he's -- um. Out. Yes.


Lady Steed: I have been busy trying to get the children to go down for a nap, so I am not quite sure how it is that Master Fob became or is to become dead. My alibi is sound, I have no doing in this knocking off of Master Fob, that is certainly not why th. and I sped down here to Vegas. We certainly did not bring my meat cleaver with us...


Tolkien Boy: Melyngoch just realized that Master Fob is out, which is a good indication that she's not keeping up with his blog.

Today we sat in the hot tub of Foxy J's sire and dam. I give you this short ode:

I sit here in the hot tub
far whiter than the moon
but soon the change will be complete
I will be a prune.


I must admit that my poetic ability has suffered somewhat since my ride with Melyngoch. She got so angry with my constant poeticising she said, "I'm going to hit you so hard you'll never have children; so hard that, even if you were able to have children, your children would never have children."

Foxy J: And so we leave you from the neon splendor of Las Vegas. Watch for our next series of crazy adventures--perhaps we will visit Disneyland, or The World's Largest Prarie Dog.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Master Fob's Theory

I have long suspected that, in fact, everyone is gay. 95% of the world's population, though, stays in the closet because they assume everyone else is straight and don't want to be in the minority. This theory seems more and more likely to me all the time.


On a completely unrelated note, loyal fobs, don't forget to come out to the party on Saturday.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Oat Clusters with Bacon

This week I'm eating Western Family Oat Clusters with Strawberries for breakfast. It's the generic version of Honey Bunches of Oats with Strawberries, which I really like. (I'll let you figure out which part of the main clause the dependent clause modifies.) The Oat Clusters are not bad, really, except this morning I noticed that one of the slices of freeze-dried strawberry, with it's white body and pinkish red trim, looks a lot like bacon.

If you're looking for a point to this post, there's not one. Except that if you come to the party on Saturday, we just might serve Oat Clusters with Bacon.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The G Word

Tonight I went to David Sedaris' The Santaland Diaries at the Salt Lake County Performing Arts Center with my brother and his friend's wife (a setup only slightly more awkward in theory than the time Svoid and I took Melyngoch as our shared non-date to a play because Foxy J had to stay home with a sick S-Boogie, but really neither situation was awkward in practice).

The Santaland Diaries is a one-man show about a guy who gets a job as an elf at Macy's in New York. It's quite amusing, and has a nice quasi-heartwarming moment at the end to temper the cynical sarcasm of the rest of the play.

At one point in the play the elf mentions that one of the other elves he works with is cute, and that he enjoys flirting with him. This is really all you get to tell you that the character is gay--my even mentioning it is making a bigger deal about it than the play does, and I feel like I'm violating the point of such a low-key representation of homosexuality, and my own stance on the matter, by doing so. But I'm getting to a point, and it's that I really like the approach the play takes. The character is gay, and once he establishes that, the audience is aware of it, but it's not at all the point of the play. It just is.

One of the major points of "Getting Out" (see sidebar if you have no idea what I'm referring to) was that I feel that, regardless of one's religious/moral stance on homosexuality, it should be something we can talk about without making a big deal about it. A guy should be allowed to casually mention that he finds another guy attractive.

The problem with this is that there tend to be two extremes: either I'm not going to mention homosexuality at all because it's a dirty secret I have to hide from the world, or I'm going to run around yelling in people's faces, "I'm gay! I'm gay! Ha ha, pooh on you, I'm gay!" In my attempt to avoid the former, I have been accused of the latter. I don't think the accusation was justified, and I told the accuser so, but still I'm concerned because I recognize that it's easy to jump from one extreme to the other.

Here's the thing: Your average straight man doesn't run around yelling, "I'm straight! I'm straight!" (and if he does you can be 98% sure he's not). But, in the course of his everyday conversations, he mentions the girl he's attracted to, or he mentions his wife, or he mentions the dream he had last night about Katie Holmes. Not because he needs to affirm that he is straight, or to rub it in your face, but just because those things are part of who he is. This is why I like the approach Santaland Diaries takes. The character doesn't say, "Look at me, I'm gay"; he just mentions a part of his everyday life that happens to reveal his sexuality as part of who he is. I don't expect anyone to put up with gay people shoving their homosexuality in one's face, but I do think that a gay man should be able to mention, in the course of his everyday conversation, the guy he's attracted to, or his husband, or the dream he had last night about Christian Bale.

This puts me in a strange situation. The fact that I am gay is an integral part of my identity. I am aware of this, either consciously or subconsciously, for a large portion of my day. I claim my right to talk about this part of who I am. At the same time, though, I'm not going to talk about my husband because I happen to have a wife, and I'm not going to talk extensively about the guy I'm attracted to or the dream I had last night about Christian Bale because to do so, I think, would be disrespectful of my wife. Just as any wife, she's aware that I'm attracted to people besides her, but it wouldn't do much for our relationship for me to spend a lot of time talking about who has a cute butt and who has a sexy chest. Which means that, if I choose to talk about the part of my identity that has to do with my attraction to men, I can say, "I am gay." And that's it. And who knows? Maybe by choosing to marry a woman I've given up that right. Maybe I should listen to the people who think I'm an asshole for publishing "Getting Out" and say nothing at all. (Though it's a bit late for that now, and to be honest I have not a single regret about publishing it; I'm just entertaining the possibility that they're right in order to appear openminded.)

Just to be absolutely clear, I'm not complaining. I chose to marry Foxy J because it felt right at the time and I have chosen to stay married to her because it still feels right and because I have weighed my options and decided that this is the choice that will make me and the people I love happiest. And, lest anyone give me a hard time for not stating something I find obvious, I am married to Foxy J because I love her.

I just want you to know that if I seem like I use the G word excessively, it's not that I don't think there are more tactful ways of affirming one's sexual identity, but because I don't think there's a more tactful way for me to affirm my sexual identity.


(And don't forget to come to the party, which has been changed to next Saturday.)

The NEW Blog Party II

Attention, loyal readers:

You are hereby invited to Master and Mistress Fob's second blog party, to be held on Saturday, December 17, 2005 at 7:00 pm at the Fobcave. Dinner will be provided by us. Holiday treats will be provided by you. Entertainment will be provided by S-Boogie. RSVP in the comments section.

Contrary to my previous post, Fob will not be held the same evening as the party, but if you really want us to we will demonstrate the world famous fob-paper-scissors match. And, in lieu of fobbing, I invite attendees to bring and present a piece of holiday poetry (any holiday will do--Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Atheists Day...). Even if you aren't a poet. But especially if you are, and especially especially if you are a poet known for your public poetry reading skills.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Blog Party II: Fobs United

NOTE: This post is preserved solely for historical purposes. The information in it is entirely inaccurate. Except for the fact that Melyngoch did in fact say six short weeks, not six short weeks and two days.

Attention, loyal readers:

You are hereby invited to Master and Mistress Fob's second blog party, to be held on Thursday, December 15, 2005 at 6:15 pm at the Fobcave. Dinner will be provided by us. Holiday treats will be provided by you. Entertainment will be provided by S-Boogie. RSVP in the comments section.

As per Melyngoch's request, this blog party will be held exactly six short weeks after the last one, and we will honor the day of her birth, which occurred a short twenty-four years and three days before this blog party. I haven't, you know, actually checked with her, but she darn well better be back from Indiana in time to be here.

At 9:15 on this same Thursday night, the next meeting of the world-famous Fob writing group will be held, also in the Fobcave. Depending on how nice you are to Tolkien Boy, editorgirl, and the Marchioness, they just might let you stay to observe the excitement of the rock-paper-scissors match, the thrill of the your mom jokes, and the unending wit and talent of our writing. Or maybe not. I haven't really checked with them, either.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Vote 2005

English PhD or Master's of Library and Information Science?

Regression

Once upon a time, I blogged to avoid real writing. Now I browse Amazon, eBay, and iTunes in order to avoid blogging. Well, not to avoid it so much as to waste time while I'm trying to think of something to post.

Friday, December 02, 2005

FOB

Multiple choice:

a. Fob stands for truth, justice, and the American way.

b. Fob: "v. (to fob) to endure multiple hours of 'your mom' jokes" [definition provided by editorgirl]

c. Fob: v. (to fob) to critique others' writing and to have one's own writing critiqued in the Fob writing group

d. Fob: an all-purpose word--can be a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, or, occasionally, a preposition--used to mean just about anything, much like smurf. For example, "It's a fobby day, isn't it, Papa Fob?" or "No fobbing way!" or "Fob over here right now, before I fob you in the fob."

e. Fob: a prefix used to describe all things pertaining to Master Fob, i.e. the Fobcave, the Fobmobile, the Fobarang, and the FobtoothbrushTM.

f. Fob: The Friends of Master Fob, a term referring specifically to the elite group of writers who are currently or ever have been in Master Fob's writing group and generally to anyone who professes amicable feelings toward the master of fobbiness. A brief history of Fob (pre-eg & Marchioness) can be found in this longish post.

g. all of the above

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Please Schedule Your Protest With the Dean of Students

From BYU's Newsnet:

University Police were called to disband a dozen students protesting the Iraq war, Wednesday, during a Student Honor Association-sponsored activity honoring the military.

[...]

Associate Dean of Students Jonathan Kau arrived at the request of the Student Association to tell the demonstrators to disband because they were imposing their dialogue on others.

“They didn’t have the right to be there,” Kau said. “They were detracting from the ROTC and honors group. It was never intended to shut them down just for the protest’s sake but more because they were disrupting the legitimately scheduled event.”

[...]

“Their cause was important enough that they didn’t have to follow the rules,” Kau said. “That doesn’t justify it in our minds.”

University policy requires permission from the Dean of Students for all events of public expression. According the Dean of Students Web site, “Brigham Young University encourages responsible non-disruptive public expressions as part of its intellectual climate.”

If I were still a student I'd be tempted to contact the Dean of Students and schedule a war protest.