Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blog Party Forever

Mr. Fob and FoxyJ
are pleased to announce
the marriage of


child of Mr. and Mrs. Fobcave Reader.
This blessed union will be solemnized and consummated on

August 8th, 2009,
Orem, Utah.

RSVP to bgchristensen(at)gmail(dot)com for directions and to volunteer to bring a potluck item.

In lieu of a wedding gift, please consider donating to the
Equal Marriage Rights for Human-Real Estate Couples Fund.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Exmormon by C.L. Hanson

Exmormon by C.L. Hanson captures the experience of losing one's faith and finding one's self in exchange. Through the eyes of seven narrators and a wide cast of supporting characters, Hanson takes her readers through the typical and not-so-typical processes of growing up in the Mormon church, leaving the church, and figuring out where to go from there. The novel is split into nine parts--each of which serves as a novella on its own--plus an interlude, the titles of which represent archetypal aspects of the Mormon experience, such as "Youth Conference," "Saturday's Warrior," "Brigham Young University," and "Temple Wedding." Together these parts make up a sort of parallel to the Mormon experience, highlighting the points of deviation from the norm as each of the characters weaves in and out of Mormondom.

Hanson provides a character guide to help keep all the various characters from the different storylines straight, and you may find yourself flipping back to the guide now and then since there are a number of characters to keep track of. The payoff for this work comes, though, about halfway through the novel, when the different characters and storylines begin to converge and cross over. It's exciting to see characters from earlier parts of the book show up again, and to catch up with them as if seeing an old friend after a few years have passed. When a main character from one story becomes a secondary character in another story (and vice versa), the reader has the advantage of seeing significance in little comments and exchanges that the characters themselves don't see. The enjoyment of this omniscient viewpoint becomes a part of the narration itself in the final novella, humorously narrated by Elohim, who watches in amusement as the stories of his less faithful children unfold, and in the process ties up the threads of various storylines for the reader.

The magical moment of the book for me was the point when one of the main characters, Lynn, comes to an epiphany and realizes she no longer believes in the church she was raised in:
With this thought, I began to feel light and excited. I caught myself running. I had a tremendous sensation of stepping out into the sunlight to see that there's a whole world out there after having lived my life in a tiny, dark cellar. I felt free. I was free of the weight of petty, pointless rules and of trying to fit myself into a worldview and culture that were too small and limited to hold me.
I doubt this experience is unique to Exmormons--I suspect many people going through a major shift of paradigm have a similar feeling of sudden weightlessness. But I believe this is something many Exmormons have experienced, and I know it rings true to my own experience. One of the many great things about fiction is this ability to recreate sensations that are at once familiar because one has been there and fresh because they are now seen through new eyes.

Exmormon is serialized online, accompanied by delightful illustrations, here. You can purchase a paper copy here or here. Also, watch for new print editions and a Kindle edition this fall.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Conversation While Having a Picnic Yesterday

FoxyJ: The bread on these sandwiches got kind of soggy.

S-Boogie: Your mom has soggy bread.

I take no responsibility.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Great Team

I have talked about FoxyJ's and my marriage many times (back when my label Throwaway post actually signified a departure from the norm), but FoxyJ's public expressions of her thoughts on the matter are fewer and farther between, so her post yesterday on Segullah is a special treat. Go, read, be inspired by Foxy's wisdom and greatness.

I Know Who The Half-Blood Prince Is:

(spoiler alert)

It's your mom.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Doing Yardwork Makes Me Feel Manly

And I say so with the assumption that were I a woman, doing yardwork would make me feel womanly. Female readers may confirm or deny.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Tonight as I was fiddling with my TV antenna, trying to get it in the perfect position to get the best reception, I had a brilliant idea: Body antennas.

Just think about it. The human body is like the best antenna there is. If you don't believe me, touch your TV antenna and see the difference. And what do we do with human bodies when we're done with them? We dump them in the ground. Why not put them to good use? I propose, therefore, that rather than letting dead bodies rot away in graveyards, we convert them into TV antennas.

Cable and satellite, your fifteen minutes of fame are done. Now begins the age of the body antenna.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Sunday, July 05, 2009

A Very Useful Chart

I became a Mariah Carey fan around the time of 1995's Daydream (specifically, with the first single, "Fantasy"). I followed her during the following years, even buying Rainbow when it came out during my mission (the mission rule was very vaguely that we were only to listen to music that uplifted us... isn't Mariah uplifiting?), but the disastrous Glitter and then the mediocre Charmbracelet happened to correspond with my conversion into a musical snob, at which time I decided I was too cool for popular artists like Mariah Carey. So until recently, I owned only her middle five albums. But then this past week, a few stars and planets aligned: (1) I had a few weeks' worth of gift certificates from work accrued, waiting for me to use them; (2) perhaps because I spent all week listening to Michael Jackson songs and tributes, I decided that I'm no longer too cool to enjoy pop music; and (3) I realized that there were several Mariah Carey songs I liked but didn't own. So I fixed that. First I bought her first three albums and MTV Unplugged EP, and then I figured what the hey, and bought the two most recent ones as well.

Having completed several hours of research now, I will share my findings with you.

As you can see, Mariah is on a relative upswing. We'll see if she keeps that up with her new album coming out this summer. Stay tuned in, and on the edge of your seats.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Probably Not

I am physically incapable of typing the word "probable" without first typing "probably" and then backspacing the "y" away and replacing it with an "e." Which is unfortunate, because I have to type "probable" pretty frequently for my job.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

By the way

I'm missing the middle part of my background image. I think it's because my UW account expired. I'll fix that one of these days, once I feel like I'm not playing catch-up with the rest of my life.

Fob & Foxy Plus 3

I don't think I've ever watched an entire episode of Jon & Kate Plus 8, but I find myself fascinated, along with the rest of America, with the recent(ish) announcement of their separation. In the first place, my heart goes out to both of them and to their kids, because I have an idea of what that's like (from both the parents' and childrens' perspectives). Secondly, it's got me thinking about when Foxy and I made a similar announcement (though to a much smaller audience) a couple years ago. I've also been thinking about our separation because over on A Motley Vision they've been discussing "Abraham's Purgatory," a short story of mine that is so strongly linked to that period of my life.

I'm not sure I have much to say beyond that, except that it's been on my mind, and I'm happy to still be married to FoxyJ, and I'm happy that she and I can own that decision as ours alone and not something anyone else told us to do. I also hope the best for Jon and Kate and their family, whether that means their separation becomes permanent or that they get back together or whatever, and I hope that when you talk abou them--if you care to--that you remember they're real people and deserve real compassion.