Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2014

Ricky, Ricky, he's so fine

Rick Westbrook is an amazing man.  He is the founder of Lost N Found Youth, the charity that I blogged about the other day.  He founded the organization about 2 years ago and in that time it has helped about 300 youth.  He is a man with vision.  He saw a need and he filled it.  He saw that homeless youth often have no place to go, especially transgender people.  He saw that it was a great need in the community that was not being met, and he has worked hard to fill that need.

I've listened to him talk.  I heard him explain how and why Lost N Found was created.  I felt the pain that he felt when thinking about all of the LGBT people kicked out of their own homes.  And just yesterday I had the opportunity to see him work.  Lost N Found had a house cleaning project that I attended.  Considering the number of people who showed up and the amount of work that needed to be done on the house, he did a great job at organizing people and getting things done.  He has earned my respect.  In f…

Who Am I?

I watched Disney's Frozen for the second time yesterday.  I think I'll make a more complete post about that movie (which I love) later, but for this post I wanted to say that it got me thinking about the question "Who am I?"  Many of Disney's movies have this theme of self-discovery, such as Mulan trying to find her place in the patriarchal rigid Chinese culture she lived in.  In this case, it's Else trying to come to terms with her magical powers.

I started watching some "I'm an ex-Mormon" videos today.  Which is strange because I haven't watched any in quite a while, but today I just started watching one after the other.  And the messages in them were so short and sweet and yet I could relate to them very well.

All of the ones I watched had this common theme, about self-discovery.  One woman said that she felt like while she was Mormon she was living someone else's life, and now she can finally be herself.  This woman (Eva) feels like…


I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. As I told Conrad that I was about to blog about Martin Luther King Jr. today, he pointed out that he had seen many posts about MLK on his wall today--that liberals and conservatives alike were trying to claim him and say that if he were alive today he would be on their side.  Conrad then conjectured that he didn't think MLK would want to claim either side--that he'd simply just not want to be part of the tug-of-war at all.  And, frankly, I agree with him.

I saw Rachel Maddow claim that "Republicans just judge people."  She's an intelligent woman.  She's an educated woman.  And yet she seemingly doesn't see the irony in her own  cant.  I read through his speech.  I see a man seeking for unity, not polarity.  I think Conrad was right.  He wouldn't side with democrats or rep…

Tuppence a bag

All around the cathedral, the saints and apostles look down as she sells her wares.  And though you can't see them, you know they are smiling each time someone shows that he cares.
Two days ago, as I was walking back to my hotel for the night, a man stopped me.  He told me that he and his wife were looking for a place to stay for the night.  They found a hostel that would put them up for $15 each but he didn't have any money.  The two of them hadn't had anything to eat all day.  I didn't have any cash on me, but there was an ATM nearby.  I withdrew some cash and gave it to him so he and his wife could stay at the hostel.

I don't know if this man's story was true.  I don't know if he was lying to me.  Perhaps he was addicted to some drug or other and would tell any lie he could in order to get money for his next hit.  There could be any number of explanations for why he would lie to me and ask for money.  And I don't know if he was being honest or not.…

Amazing Gays

On any given night, there are almost 2 million youth in the United States who do not have a home to sleep in.   Roughly 40% of those youth are LGBT, most of them kicked out of their homes by their parents for being gay.  These are statistics that I learned today when I attended a training meeting for a local homeless shelter, Lost N Found (also their Facebook Page).  Learning about this pulls at my heartstrings.  It is so sad to me that there are people who are sleeping in or behind dumpsters, in curbs, wherever they can find shelter from the often unpleasant weather.  I feel so privileged to have a home to live in, a bed to sleep in, and food to eat.  
I have known about this organization (Lost N Found) for a few months now--in fact, I heard about them shortly after I moved to Atlanta.  I have felt many times "I need to do something with them.  I need to get involved."  But haven't.  I did give them some money when I saw their booth at the Pride Festival in October, and…

Faith in articles

We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. This is the 11th of the LDS church's 13 Articles of Faith.   I memorized it when I was a child.  These articles are supposedly the core of the doctrines of the church.  While I was a believing Mormon, this was always an important belief to me because I feel it is quite obvious that people should be allowed to live as they see fit.  As a Mormon, I never felt the need to tell other people what religion they should be.  Yes, I did serve a proselytizing mission and I did convert people to the LDS church.  But I did so with persuasion, not with coercion.  Even as an ex-Mormon, I still believe very strongly that people should be allowed to live the way they choose.  This is why I am a proponent of freedom of religion.  I believe that people should be free to worship any god that they choose and believe a…

Burning money

So, I've been using Wii Fit U since it came out in November, and I wear the pedometer that comes with the game.  My daily calorie goal is to burn 672 calories (through exercise).  It's very easy to get caught up in burning calories.  And I enjoy it.  I like walking, running, and doing the games that help me get fit.  It's been rewarding.

But one idea has been recurring in my mind.  That is the concept of burning calories.  Burning calories is mathematically speaking the worst possible reason to exercise.  It's very simple.  Your weight change (in pounds) is calculated by the formula
[(kcals consumed) - (kcals burned)]/3500 That's it.  If it's a positive number, you gain weight.  If it's a negative number, you lose weight. So there are two ways to push this number in either direction.  If you want to gain more weight, you can either eat more or burn fewer calories--either way, you will increase net weight change.  If you want to lose weight, you can either e…