What I’m Into (October Edition)

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Over the past month fall has been coming in slow in DC, but today, for some reason, it has finally, all at once arrived. I can’t stop staring at everything outdoors.

 

The last few weeks have been pretty big for me. I celebrated National Coming Out Day by coming out myself and revamping the site. I didn’t, and I won’t, post any links on my Facebook and there are many reasons for that, very intimate ones. But mainly, I came out to my readers. I came out to you. I’ve never wanted to be the person that comes out on Facebook, because it is SO MUCH ALL AT ONCE and hardly allows for any meaningful space to talk. The stress of it would be way more than I can take right now and I thank you all for respecting that. I thank you for supporting me! Your emails, DMs, comments have been so deeply encouraging. Thank you.

 

In the chance that through a couple degrees of separation, someone from my Real Life found my blog and they didn’t know what to say or think, whether or not to call me, I wrote this post (my brother texted me the next morning saying it was his favorite of anything I’ve written.) I think it’s important to come out with a heavy burden of grace toward others, that’s what I tried to do in that post.

 

I’ve also talked a little the other day about working in the center where worlds collide, the Hardware Store. Where we not so wealthy workers serve the citizens of one of the wealthiest counties in America. My head has been spinning with all the writing material this experience has provided me.

 

It has been a hard month of decisions. I’ve had a few interviews that were iffy, leaving with a small sure hope that I wouldn’t get the job. What the? Why? Because I don’t belong here. At least not right now. I miss Minnesota and who knows, maybe when I get home and get my fill of familiar and family and friends, I’ll miss here, but, as my dad recently said on the phone, “You’ll have to figure out what you want, but it sounds like you know.” I think I do.

 

Shows

 

Other than those decisions, I’ve given Hulu quite a bit of my time this month, soaking in all the drama of shows like Scandal, the absurd (and suddenly vanished?) Parks and Rec, the spine- chilling sage of The Walking Dead, the most relatable- undeniably beautiful, Parenthood, the FOX shows New Girl and The Mindy Project and last, but certainly not least, the show that stole my heart long, long ago, The Voice. I’ve never really been a fan of Christina Aguilera despite her being one of the strongest singers on the planet, but recently, she’s softened on me. There seems to be a genuine interest from her to invest into her team (although, I may just be naive to fancy tv editing and the 12.5 MILLION DOLLARS she gets paid to be on the Voice this season.)

 

Her team is clearly leading the pack though. Especially with Matthew Schuler on it who gave one the best performances I have ever seen on TV. Watched this 20 times now, it’s been stuck in my head for days.

 

 

Additionally, I haven’t really talked about this before, but now that I’m not anonymous, I can name-drop my BROTHER MATT. K, he’s not actually famous, but he was once one of the top one hundred contestants on The Voice (that is 100 out of the 100,000 that tried out.) He lived in LA for a few months after being accepted on the show. He was interviewed by Carson Daly and gave a solo performance before Mark Burnett (producer of Survivor, The Bible, other shows), but on the fourth and final night of the blind auditions, as he waited patiently backstage for his shot, and then all the teams filled up. AND THEN he came home to find out I was GAY, which perhaps swung him back into the gritty reality of life, out of the ritzy Hollywood lifestyle he’d been leading. I probably saved him from becoming a prima donna.

 

Here’s a music video of his (with his wife Lauren who sings with him) if you’re interested, you can buy his music on iTunes. 

 

 

Books

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I finished Richard Wright’s, Black Boy, a powerful memoir on finding your identity beneath a system wishing to squelch it out of you, or paint it with shame, make you believe that that part of you makes you less than. I give it five stars easily. One of my favorite quotes:

“Our too-young and too-new America, lusty because it is lonely, aggressive because it is afraid, insists upon seeing the world in terms of good and bad, the holy and the evil, the high and the low, the white and the black; our America is frightened of fact, of history, of processes, of necessity. It hugs the easy way of damning those whom it cannot understand, of excluding those who look different, and it salves its conscience with a self-draped cloak of righteousness”

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I’ve also been into anthologies and being poor, I can’t really afford to buy any of them so I’ve been going to the bookstore Politics and Prose and sitting and reading through books like The Best Nonrequired Reading and journals like the Paris Review. On my nook, the book Children Playing Before the Statue of Hercules was only $1.99, so I spoiled myself with that one, which includes such great voices as Alice Munro, Flannery O’Conner (personal favorite), Tobias Wolf and others. For the light reader whose attention span seems to be deteriorating, this book is your cure.

 

Wyatt

Lastly, I’ve been into photos and videos of my funny little nephew Wyatt who is sprouting up like a weed these days. He just learned to sit up on his own without face planting into the ground, my brother and sister-in-law were buoyed by such pride that they decided it was time that he slept in his own room (we are not unified on this decision). But, hopefully, he’ll pick up on the joy of independence, makes the space his own. I said a little prayer for him his first night, still unsure of how it all went.

 

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Here’s the little slobbering mess that is my nephew. He is better than all of you.

 

 Linking up with Leigh Kramer today for her always enjoyable “What I’m Into” link up.

What have you been into?

  • Wow. Just wow. I read the link to your These Hallowed Grounds story – and I have chills. Your story is so beautifully raw and real to read – and I just want to give you a hug! I love the photos of you with your parents at the end…Thank you so much for opening up and sharing your journey. I love reading these What i’m Into links every month, and yours stopped me in my tracks. On another note, we share many of the same TV likes. 🙂

    • Thank you Ginger! Ah, it’s been a long journey, but by the grace of God, a good one. I’m so happy you commented here and I am also happy you share in my TV likes. It’s show season! (in other words: my season of procrastination and weight gain).

  • Sheila Warner

    What I’ve been up to is this: I was up for 31 straight hours due to a resurgence of my mania portion of my bipolar disorder, and spent an inordinate amount of those hours arguing with a superior s.o.b. about how the Bible does not condemn gays. When I could take no more of that nonsense, I started watching, for the first time (at my daughter’s suggestion) “Twin Peaks.” So now I have to add that to my other must-see tv shows–The Walking Dead, Talking Dead, The Good Wife, and Person of Interest. The Walking Dead is superior. It certainly is a terrific study of human behavior which evolves in the midst of a cataclysmic upheaval. I’m glad that coming out seems, so far, to have been a good experience for you. Your blog entries are part of the reason why I’m getting more involved in gay issues. God bless you.

    • Sheila! You are one of my favorite people to have comment here! If you’re not on twitter, you absolutely should be, we can dish during all our favorite shows! And I can’t adequately express how good it makes me feel that something I am doing here is propelling you toward involvement. Have you checked out Aaron Smith’s blog, Cultural Savage? He’s a christian writer, personal friend, and someone with Bipolar disorder. He’s given me so much insight into what it means to live with bipolar, I think you’d appreciate his stuff!

      • Sheila Warner

        I’ll have to look him up. I am bipolar with mania prominent, and I was up 31 straight hours just a few days ago. Insomnia is the worst. I’ve been up three days at a time in the past. Thanks for the information. I’ll check you out on Twitter, although I have to say I record TWD and watch it later because a) I hate commercials, and b) My husband doesn’t like TWD, and he’s with me at 9 pm on Sunday evenings. (He works graveyard shift, & is usually trying to wake up at 9.) What is your Twitter handle? Mine is @sheila0405..

  • I have to agree with your brother. I choked up at the post you wrote to your friends in real life. Also, your nephew is straight up adorable. So cute!

    • Thanks Christina! Yes, Wyatt is absurdly cute and it’s killing me that I still have some more weeks away from him! *sigh*

  • Gosh, I love knowing your name now. I can see how this is going to change your writing, too- as evidenced by the little tidbit about your brother’s brush with Voice fame. Being able to give those details lets your readers in one step closer to know who you are. And it’s not that we couldn’t know you before but that question mark of who you were was always in the way. Know what I mean? In any case, I’ve been so impressed with what you’ve written this past month!

    Is the MN decision final then? When will you be heading back? If you feel like DC isn’t a good fit, then by all means move elsewhere, even if only to figure out the next step. I had this very conversation with a friend yesterday who’s figuring this stuff out. I watched the first season of the Voice and figured out I liked the audition portion much better than the actual competition. Now I just watch sporadically or when people share amazing videos, as you did here. Adding Black Boy to my To Read list. I don’t know that I’ve read any Richard Wright since I read (and loved) Native Son in high school. Must remedy that soon.

    • Thank you so much Leigh! Yes, oh it’s such a relief, so much more fun to write not anonymously. Huge game changer just for me personally.

      The MN decision is pretty much final. I just miss my family and friends so much, and I’m struggling here. Backstory: I was a political science major, wanted to work at a think tank as a public policy researcher… and then a long series of experiences later, I realized it was NOT what I wanted to do. Nor do I want to work in congress. I only came out here to see if I could awaken some of those old dreams of living in DC and now I know.

      Richard Wright’s book is incredible (in part of it, he talks about his dream of being a writer, his process of finding his voice, it is very interesting hearing his journey.) Also, it has sort of burrowed in my brain this awareness of racist past and present, an awareness I am profoundly grateful for.

      So excited to hear your thoughts on it!