February 22, 2012

What am I giving up for Lent?

I've been hearing lots of people's resolutions for Lent. Some of my friends are giving up pretty considerable stuff like no Facebook, no margaritas, no drinking and coffee.

Lent is described in  Wikipedia as: 

 "The Christian observance of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.

The traditional purpose of Lent is the penitential preparation of the believer—through prayer, penance, repentance, alms giving, and self-denial. 

Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events of the Passion of Christ on Good Friday, which then culminates in the celebration on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

During Lent, many of the faithful commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxury as a form of penitence"

Now, I am not the most ardent, believing and practicing Christian; I still eat meat on Fridays; a friend told me I was nuts for doing this if I wasn't even Catholic. Yeah that's probably true and I don't really know if what I'll do will make a huge difference in how I tune God in (or out!). I was also talking to the bf about this and noted that I already have a pretty streamlined life and I honestly didn't feel the need to give up much more; but after thinking about it for a little bit, I suppose there's always something that I can improve on:

So I'm giving up Vending Machine Snacks

Yes, that horrid temptress machine that sits there quietly and somehow manages to take my spare change--I'm done with you vending machine. It isn't you, it's me.... In a given week I've realized that I drop a few bucks for a quick snack, especially around the 3:00 pm munchies and I think I can do better than that. Same with soda pop, a can of poison is anywhere from $.75 to $1.25 for a single serving. What that also means is that I have to plan to bring a big bottle of something (for a $1.25 for a 2 litter bottle that will last all week) and maybe grab apples or bring my own dang snacks from home. I think I can do that with just a little bit of planning and careful avoidance of the break-room....

Yeah it isn't much of a penitence but then again... wish me luck and please hold me accountable!!

February 06, 2012

2002 Olympics. Has it really been 10 years?

Olympic Torch at Delicate Arch, Moab

The Salt Lake Tribune ran a section yesterday remembering the 10 Anniversary. Really? 10 years? It seems like only yesterday. I remember watching TV when they announced that Salt Lake City had been picked to host the 2002 Olympics. Later on we moved on to scandal as only Utah is capable of putting one together because of possible bribes (or as many called it back then--business as usual), then having Mitt Romney come and rescue them out of financial darkness.

Then 911 happened

We all thought that all the planning and anticipation was for nothing, yet the games went on. I remember seeing employees from the FBI and many other agencies going around town and giving us all a sense of safety.

I remember watching the Olympic torch going through the streets live instead of TV as I had only ever seen the torch before, this time arriving and going through Salt Lake and feeling completely overcome by the meaning of what was happening to our town, as Karl Malone and John Stockton lit the cauldron at the City and County building--all pretty emotional. Salt Lake City was transformed into a party town like it had not been seen before and probably never see again, but I also had never been to an outdoor event where we went through security check a few times through.

People were friendly, warm, happy...

At the time I was riding Trax (light train system that was built to help with public transportation before, during and after) to work and back and I remember running into a lot of interesting characters and giving directions to tons of people who wanted to know what in the world State Street, 100 South, 300 West meant (street names) and if anything for 2 weeks it didn't matter who was local, who wasn't, who spoke what language, who was Mormon or who was Baptist or whatever, the world came down and came together in Utah.

Fun times...

I don't know if I'll ever experience anything like that in my lifetime, but it was fun to remember all of it and the legacy that it left. I remember hearing someone at work saying something silly like "the Olympics put Salt Lake City in weather maps of all the major newscasts and shows like the Today Show and Good Morning America"

Probably... :-)

It was just a cute way to recognize that Utah wasn't just some weird state somewhere out West where everyone was kind of quirky and weird!

Good times, good memories.

February 01, 2012

Gay Mormons Book by Brent Kirby

So I've started reading this book over the weekend. I knew it existed because I've met Brent and he told me about it. I hesitated getting it at first because I honestly thought it was more of a book about how to be Gay, Mormon and stay fully committed to the LDS Church which in my mind if it works for someone, more power to them-- but since it isn't the path I've chosen it didn't really have much meaning to me.

However, after thinking about it I opened it and recognized names of people I've met through the Moho (Mormon/Homosexual) community. Some of these people have become dear and close friends and well I couldn't help to start reading their stories--sounds a bit voyeuristic--maybe it is but if they agreed to write them then it is all good, no?. Now a lot of the people that are on the stories I've met while this book was being put together so I've seen their own personal outcomes and "end product" of sorts, but for the vast majority of them I didn't quite know how they got there. Needless to say reading about their initial realizations, angst, coming out, acceptance and moving on stories are not for the faint of heart and they're most definitely heart-wrenching.

So I've only been reading one or two stories at a time, that's probably all I can handle in one sitting, but I'm glad in a way I can read their stories and 'know them' a little better, perhaps understand them a little better and admire them even more for having the guts to be so public. I personally don't anticipate having any change of heart on my end and my situation with the LDS church but if anything reading people's stories make me realize how differently we all look at things, how we process them and the very many conclusions we all arrive as we navigate through life and well, that's a pretty cool thing in my mind!