Hey, munchkins. Tired,…

Hey, munchkins. Tired, and feeling a bit ill, so I'll skip the profuse apologies for not writing in so long...you've all heard them before.

Gosh, I don't know if I *can* reconstruct what's happened since last Wendesday. Hmm...well, finished off at the temp job on Friday. Work went fine, and at Friday lunch I got to meet one of *you* who was coincidentally working at Chiron. Very nice meeting you, Louise -- hope you enjoyed it too! :-)

Hmm..backtracking to Thursday, had a pleasant dinner at Breads of India with an Irish dance friend, Chris. Conversation became way too introspective later, but we survived intact, I think. Hopefully he'll forgive me for not meeting him at dancing tonight -- too tired!

Oh, and Wednesday was the Sex Toy Tales reading at Barnes and Noble. David and Heather both came in support, which was very nice of them, and the reading was a lot of fun. David hadn't really seen me read before, and claims that my onstage personality is intriguingly different from normal life. Dunno. Talked to the B&N people about a reading for Maiden Voyage (gotta contact Marti tomorrow and find out what's up with that), chatted a fair bit with Francisco, author of "Tea for Three", which was delightful, and got to meet Meg, reader in town to visit her sister, I believe. That was great fun! Hi, Meg!

Okay, skipping forward again; dinner with David on Friday, followed by prep on Saturday for his sister's visit. Great excuse to pick up some kitchenwares we'd been lacking, like trivets! :-) El's refinished the table, and it's gorgeous, so I'd hate to mark it up with hot plates accidentally...

The dinner itself, with Beth (David's sister), Jay (Beth's spouse), David, Heather and Josh (David's brother), went well, I think. I discovered some new recipes (antipasto and spinach gnocchi), which I'm afraid I'm too tired to bother putting up here unless someone begs, which went over quite well. And it was neat watching the three siblings interact; I nobly resisted the urge to beg Beth for embarrassing Young David stories. :-) I settled for teasing him with the rest of the table instead. I bet Beth is really good at teasing him when she wants to...

Yesterday got back to work. Called up Arthur and talked him into coming up and working with me at World Ground cafe; that was very pleasant. Much more fun than working alone, even if (possibly) less productive. (The possibly is 'cause even if you do less 'cause you're talking more, you're less likely to just blow everything off completely). Then went back and watched The Tall Guy, which he hadn't seen, despite being a big Four Weddings and a Funeral fan (same author, Emma Thompson being utterly charming). It's not quite as strong a movie, but fun, and we enjoyed it.

Today, worked some more, mostly on a mysterious project. I'll tell you more about it if it looks like it's actually happening, but right now I'm excited and enthused (wrote three pages yesterday and nine today). David came and kept me company in the coffeehouse today for a couple of hours. So kind... Tonight I watched the first tape of Short Cuts, but it got too long and depressing to keep watching. I'll finish it tomorrow.

Okay, eyes closing. Sorry for the rather dry summary...sleep well. I promise you something creative soon, really.

Hey, darlings. Can’t…

Hey, darlings. Can't talk long, as I've gotta get to work. Did have a lovely dinner with Sarah H. last night, and it looks like the plan is to spend next week working from home on some Puritan contracts I have and learning Framemaker, and that she'll definitely have some tech writing work for me the week after that, and for a couple of months. Sounds very good.

Best run, but I do want to stick up here a poem I wrote last week for my sister. Needed to hear it was okay with her first, but she says no problems...

PRE-MED


I was talking to my sister on the phone,
the little one,
and she said,
        "I don't think I want to be a doctor."

And I thought,
        "Oh, no."

Now, you gotta understand,
        we're Asian.
        South Asian, actually.
        Sri Lankan, specifically.
And the thing about Asians is,
        we're *all* supposed to be doctors.
        We all *are* doctors.

My dad's friends are doctors.
        my mom's friends are doctors,
        my dad's *friends'* friends are doctors.
        and all of their kids
                are in med school right now,
                planning to be doctors.

My middle sister is planning to be a doctor,
        fourth year Johns Hopkins, pre-med,
        volunteering at a local hospital,
        studying for the MCAT's.

And I had thought the youngest was safely on the track,
        a few years behind,
        a freshman in college, pre-med,
        taking Biology, Chemistry,
        studying all the damned time,
        going to be just what the world needs,
        another Asian doctor.

And you gotta understand -- I was happy about this.
        They'll be successful.
        They'll have money; they won't have to worry,
        They'll be able to pay the rent on time unlike their big sister
        who's dumb enough to try to make a living as a writer,

                but best of all
                it'll make the parents happy.

After all -- *someone* had to to do it.
        Someone had to make the parents happy,
        and it certainly wasn't going to be me:
                black sheep,
                dater of white boys
                writer of pornography,
                destroyer of her parents' happiness.



So the little one says to me,
        "I don't think I want to be a doctor."

And I panic.

And I ask why.
And she says,
        this sweet kid says
        that she wants to make a difference in the world,
                do something good, unselfish,
                help people.

                I get the impression that she has vague ideas
                of working in a soup kitchen somewhere.

She's eighteen, remember?
Remember eighteen?

And I want to cheer
I want to stand up and say,
        "You go, girl!"
I want to start telling her about activism,
        about civil rights
        and queer rights
        and human rights
I want to tell her to do whatever the hell she wants,
                'cause there is a whole big beautiful world out there,
                and it doesn't need *her* to be a doctor.

But I do not say this.
I do not say any of this.

Instead, I tell her,
        "Well, doctors can do good, too."
        "Well, you don't have to make piles of money."
        "You could work in an inner city clinic."
        "You could even go work in a third-world country;
                risk your life among dangerous diseases,
                working with inadequate facilities, equipment,
                for people who can't afford to pay you."

        "Doesn't that sound great?"

And she agreed, hesitantly, that that might be okay.
She agreed, quietly, to not give up on medicine quite yet.
She agreed with her big sister, who she adored.

And all of those things I said to her were true.
This way, if she burns out on goodness,
she'll have a decent job to fall back on.
And I *am* tired of hurting my parents, and it would be so easy
        so easy
        to convince myself that I did all this
        for my sister's sake,
        and for them,
        so they wouldn't be hurt anymore.

But I don't buy it.

'Cause remember -- I panicked.
Remember -- I'm the black sheep.
Remember -- the black sheep always gets blamed for everything.

And if my little sister had left medicine,
had given up being a doctor,
I wanted to be absolutely sure;
I wanted them to be absolutely sure, that I
had nothing to do with it.

Which is a small
small
petty thing
to have to admit.

*****
M.A. Mohanraj
June 7, 1998

Okay, I’m having real…

Okay, I'm having real trouble with this scheduling thing. I mean, I did my laundry Saturday night, right? (Well, part of it, anyway). And somehow, between then and now, I *still* haven't found time to put the washed sheets on my bed and make it up properly (time/energy, actually). I've been sleeping curled up in a blanket instead. This is getting silly.

And again, I should be asleep. I *ought* to get about seven hours tonight, which should help, at any rate, even if it doesn't catch me up. I'm really not certain how I managed living in the corporate world before and keeping these hours. Part of it is the 1 - 1.5 hr commute each way, of course. I'm getting some reading done (finished Kate Chopin's _The Awakening_, which somehow I didn't like as well as I'd expected, though it *was* good, working through _Exhibitionism for the Shy_, read a murder mystery by Sheri Tepper, name of which I'm blanking on, but which was actually really good) on public transit, but time just slips away...

Anyway, bed soon. I did want to tell you about something that made *me* happy today. So I've been surfing the web a fair bit at this job, right, since there isn't much work to do. (I think I'm going to take in my laptop tomorrow so it's easier to do some writing -- the office manager says it's okay). And I spent some time reading BronwenSM's erotica -- some great stories, and her British terms made me miss Alex... Anyway, I read her stuff, then moved through her links to some other erotica authors, read those for a while, and then found myself back at Yahoo, where they were listed, under Lit/Genres/Web-published fiction/Adult fiction. And oddly enough, glancing through the list, I noticed my site wasn't listed anymore! Which freaked me out, since I'm constantly pointing people to Yahoo as the easiest way of finding me...

So I do a search for my name, and lo and behold, they've apparently been doing some clean-up/updating, and have moved my site to what they consider a more suitable location. And now it's at Lit/Genres/Erotica. Listed with only about ten other authors, including such classics as Henry Miller and Anais Nin, such popular modern authors as Nicholson Baker and Anne Rice, and some of my personal favorite erotica authors: Susie Bright, Carol Queen, Pat Califia and Cecelia Tan. And I'm just floored. And I know it doesn't mean anything, really -- it's probably totally random, but there's minute there when I'm thinking, hey, *someone* at Yahoo thinks I rate. Thinks my work's good enough that it doesn't get shoved under the slightly dubious label of 'adult fiction'. Huzzah!

And I guess this is hitting me more strongly than normal because my relatives have been pretty stressed about my writing lately, applying some pressure to try to get me to write more innocuous material (or at least change my name). And I understand their concerns, and my main argument in the whole discussion of *why* I write this stuff is that it's important *and* that it's serious art. Or attempting to be serious art, to be more accurate. I've got a long way to go before I even meet *my* standards, much less my mother's...

Anyway, little things like this almost certainly totally random Yahoo listing make me feel better about the whole thing. :-)

Okay, eyes closing my dears. Remember, naming contest ends today (though I probably won't get to tabulating names 'til tomorrow night). Send in suggestions soon! Tomorrow work, then cooking dinner for Sarah H., tech writer extraordinaire (who has kindly offered to help me with my resume). Wednesday work, then meeting Guy (author) for some tea or some such before the reading at Barnes and Noble. I am now typing with my eyes closed. I know there's other stuff I meant to tell you, but maybe I can sneak it in in the morning. Sleep well...

Well, my schedule is…

Well, my schedule is entirely off, and y'all can blame Kevin. Though it was probably not entirely his fault that we ended up talking 'til 6:30 a.m. this morning -- the conversation was just too good to stop. What can you do? He finally told me to go to sleep when I started falling asleep on the phone and muttering bits of dreams when he tried to talk to me. So then I slept from 6:30 - 10:30 and have been surprisingly okay all day today, through puttering around the house and writing haiku for the slam and going to the slam with Heather and Lydia (small crowd, but they both did great nonetheless, winning cash prizes!) and meeting a friend for dinner afterwards (we went and had yummy non-healthy food at Cha Cha Cha's (Mexican place)) and getting slightly tipsy on sangria and coming back and having tea and talking 'til late. And now it's much much too late and I'm only getting 4 hours sleep tonight too, which is *not* a trend I should be continuing (but he's planning to leave town soon, so there was a lot to say before he went -- what can you do, right?).

And I know what at least some of you are thinking, which is "why the heck are you talking to *us*, woman, when you should be sleeping?" Which is a darn good question. So let me just enclose some of the haiku below and then toddle off. G'night, all. Pleasant dreams.

(Oh, and to save y'all unneeded effort, I'll note that only some of these poems really go together (and only a few of them are true. :-)).

Fifteen Haiku

1.
I am not good at
talking about sex, yet I
want to tell you that...

2.
I can fuck like a
bunny. But ask me to talk
about it -- I freeze.

3.
Last night, I told you...
on the phone, told you -- my skin
ached for you, last night.

4.
Close your eyes. Close them
and taste me, salt that lingers
on dry lips and tongue.

5.
Can you smell me? There,
so far, in a room dust-dry,
salt waves are rising.

6.
He said, wear green. You
look like a tree in springtime.
I said, climb me, boy...

7.
He said, I love you.
I said, I couldn't care less.
But neither was true.

8.
Isn't it a shame?
Poet's broken heart does not
guarantee good poems.

9.
Tasty food, good friends.
Rent is paid; my book is done,
but you are not here.

10.
You touch her, thinking
of how I would bite my lip
until it bled, for you.

11.
I would take her in
our bed, smooth thighs and belly
if it brought you back.

12.
I lay between you,
her soft breasts against my back,
my tears on your chest.

13.
Her body comforts.
Slick thighs between my own, and
a handful of breast.

14.
A handful of breast
smaller than mine. After love
we watch walls, silent.

15.
You, I, she -- so tense.
Triangles are stable forms;
why is this so hard?

Morning, munchkins! …

Morning, munchkins! Well, as expected, pleasant dinner last night with El and Jed. Ian get back from business trip today, which will be nice -- on the other hand, El goes away on business tomorrow, which will be sad. :(

Got a neat award a few days ago, which I finally put up -- from the SFWA pages, actually, for having a Truly Useful Site. Considering I'm not even a SFWA member yet (Science Fiction Writers' Association), that was pretty exciting. Need to sell some more sf!

Not much to babble about today; going to clean my room and work through e-mail and putter about, I think. In compensation for this dull report, I offer you a silly joke I received in mail this morning -- made me laugh. Have a good day, dears...


Sherlock Holmes and Watson were on a camping and hiking trip. They had gone to bed and were lying there looking up at the sky. Holmes said, "Watson, look up. What do you see?

"Well, I see thousands of stars."

"And what does that mean to you?"

"Well, I suppose it means that of all the planets and suns and moons in the universe, that we are truly the one most blessed with the reason to deduce theorems to make our way in this world of criminal enterprises and blind greed. It means that we are truly small in the eyes of God but struggle each day to be worthy of the senses and spirit we have been blessed with. And, I suppose, at the very least, in the meteorological sense, it means that it is most likely that we will have another nice day tomorrow. What does it mean to you, Holmes?"

"To me, it means someone has stolen our tent."

Well, I did indeed…

Well, I did indeed survive my first day back in the corporate world. I'm temping for Chiron, a biotech firm that I'm told primarily does AIDS and cancer research, so that's good. They've won gobs of awards, so I think they're actually accomplishing stuff too. I'd tell you more about work, but they made me sign confidentiality agreements, and even though nothing I think I could tell you could possibly be of any interest to Chiron *or* its competitors, probably best I shut up about it anyway.

It *is* tiring sitting at a desk from 8:30 - 5:30. I'm already looking forward to finding ways to work at home. Good motivation. :-)

Not much else to report -- Clarion X meeting last night immediately after work (which went well, but took me through to bedtime). Kind Lydia is giving me a ride to work this morning (saving me an hour and a half commute by public transit), so I slept in a little longer (still tired, though). Jed's coming by for dinner tonight, which'll be nice. That's about it for now, though I did want to share with you the one thing I managed to write at work yesterday (note: this is *not* directed at Chiron in particular :-):

My Corporation is a Jealous Lover


It wants me with it every moment,
        takes as much time as I will give it;
        and mopes when I am missing.

If I linger over lunch,
        sipping steaming soup, slowly...

Carol, office manager, corporation incarnate,
        will speak sternly.

        Carol cajoles:
                Can't I understand how much the corporation cares?
                Do I deliberately cause distress?

        Carol attempts coercion:
                My behavior is cause for conern.
                If I am not more careful, the coproation
                        will be forced to *let me go*.

Cowardly corporation!

Say the words, admit that it is *you* leaving *me*,
        rather than the other way around.

My corporation is a jealous lover.

Would it not be better to loosen the ties, my darling?

Would you really be so hurt, if I were to come see you at eleven,
        instead of nine?
        I would stay longer, lingering with you.

Even *if* I left early, while with you,
        my thoughts would be entirely of you,
        concentrated, focused on your desires, your needs...
        the short moments are the sweetest.

And what if I *were* to think of another, would that be so wrong?
        If I wondered what it would be like
                to spend a few hours in the hallways of another corporation --
                        if I even acted on my desires, at night perhaps,
                        in the cool dusk, under the moonlight.
        A brief foray into another's documents, articles, spreadsheets...
                would only leave me refreshed, eager to return to you;
                you would look all the better for the contrast.

But no -- you will not trust my judgement,
        demand all of my attention, adoration --
        oh, my dear...how can I tell you this?
                You will never fulfill *all* of my desires.

My corporation is a jealous lover,
        and I fear I cannot stay with it for long...

Well, when it rains,…

Well, when it rains, etc. In my last journal entry I was fretting about not having enough work, yes? Well, not only did I finally get started on writing that Penthouse story yesterday (about halfway through a 3K piece), but today I heard from both a possible contract tech writing job, and a definite temp assignment starting tomorrow. There was a bit of confusion for a while, but it looks like I'll be doing secretarial temping from tomorrow to the end of next week, and if the contract assignment happens, doing that for several weeks following. Woohoo! The only downside is that I've been feeling vaguely ill all day, but I don't think it'll be bad enough to keep me from working tomorrow. Money was getting quite tight, so this comes as a big relief. Going to be strange being out in the corporate world again...I'm actually a bit nervous, oddly enough. I imagine I'll survive, though.

Let's see -- other news. Well, last night was the Sex Toy Tales reading at Good Vibes. I wasn't reading, but I had great fun, nonetheless. Lydia and Sherman and El came with, and we really enjoyed the reading. El and Lydia got very into the piece by Ray Glass, about the man who builds a sex toy out of electronic and hardware bits. El was particularly thrilled by the man's visit to the hardware store. Slow-moving, variable-speed drills, yum... :-) This is what happens when you have a tech director for a housemate. The other readers were all surprisingly good -- a lot of humor, which plays much better live than on the page. My favorite that night was Alison Tyler's "To Lola, With Love", which is just a little too bizarre for me to be able to describe it, although I was also utterly charmed by Marlo Gayle and his shy reading of "It Looks Like a Flower", which starts with a Mapplethorpe exhibit and ends somewhere else entirely...

Overall, it was way cool meeting so many of the other authors. Alison Tyler turns out to be my editor for that anthology from Masquerade whose name I keep forgetting, the one about dykes and their toys, the one I wrote "Kali" for. And I got to talk to them and to Anne Semans and Cathy Winks (STT editors) about the new erotica magazine...apparently they'd already heard a little about it! :-) Anyway, a blast; some great people, and I'm really looking forward to the reading next week at the S.F. Barnes and Nobles. Two of the authors reading there (with me) were at Good Vibes last night, and oddly enough, one of them I knew from the Poetry Slams (though not well), and the other, Francisco Hulse, wrote my absolute favorite story in the book, "Tea for Three". I can't wait to hear him read from it -- the story made me want to cry, I was so touched...

If you're interested in attending, it's at 2552 Taylor, Wednesday, June 17th, 8 p.m. Hope to see some of you there!

Funny how the world is alternately terrifyingly huge and terrifyingly tiny. :-) Somehow I can't picture this happening in Salt Lake City...

So, the computer…

So, the computer situation is bugging me. Let me try to explain, and maybe some bright person out there can help me out.

This web page is really too big for the kind people at iam.com to handle. They're donating the space, and the bandwith, especially on the stories, gets pretty high. So I store the stories elsewhere. They *were* at Mills.

I moved them temporarily to the iam server, but promise the nice people that I'd get 'em off again as soon as the new account was up. No problems so far.

Now, I tried to move them to the new account, to lanminds. And they moved over fine, but when I went to change the pointer on the home page, it wouldn't change. Or at least, the file edited just fine, it looks okay when I look at it, but no matter how many times I refresh my copy of Netscape, it insists that the home page still points to the stories at iam. Argh. That's problem one -- and I didn't know what other people were seeing. At least two people have written in saying that stories seem to have disappeared, so I assume that one problem lies somewhere with my Netscape or something. Very very strange.

Problem two (with actual disappearing stories) is a problem at lanminds. The stories are in the right account, but when I enter that address, I get File Not Found. I've e-mailed tech support about this, so once they wake up, perhaps they'll be able to help me on this one.

Very very frustrating.

On the plus side, we've started getting contributors for the new mag, which is very exciting. I really hope this project takes off; we have some great people working on it, and it could be really neat.

11:30 -- Well, with a combination of help from Shmuel (gentle reader :-) and tech support at lanminds, the major problem is fixed -- the stories should now be accessible to y'all. If you feel like bouncing through the pages and making sure the links work, I'd appreciate it. I spot-checked, but I may have missed something. My Netscape is still insisting the link points to iam, but I'm just not going to worry too much about it. Weird. It refreshes the journal page just fine.

Midnight -- mmm...tired. Crashing soon, just winding down from Irish dancing. Hoping to get up early tomorrow and work. Starting to feel antsy about this not-working thing. Not so much money worries (yet), as just being used to being busy something like 12-18 hours a day and now having no more than 1-2 hours of stuff that actually *needs* to get done. Of course, the pile of unfinished/unrevised stories is no smaller. Maybe I should set myself tasks. Every day I'm unemployed, I should pledge to finish one story, revise another, mail out a third, and learn some more C. *That* would be productive. Pipe dreams, I'm afraid, since I haven't even been sticking to my exercise schedule (though I *have* been taking my Synthroid regularly, thanks to the little chart David made me. Maybe I should ask him to make me an exercise/revision/marketing/C chart too. :-)

Lots of e-mail to return tomorrow, at any rate, and some phone calls to make; too fuzzy to do it now. Hope y'all had a good day...

Hey! Sunday night, past…

Hey! Sunday night, past midnight, just got home and still bouncing off a poetry high! :-) :-) :-)

Tonight was the S.F. poetry slam finals, and the performance was just killer. It was fascinating watching it, especially not being one of the performers, and being able to assess what other people were doing right and wrong. A lot of people had great material, but over-performed it (in my humble opinion, of course, what do I know, I've only been going for three weeks), and others had great performance but weak material. Of course, the best combined great material and great performance, and my personal favorite of the night also ended up being one of the four winners (picked to go to Nationals), Eric Ott. An absolutely rock-stomping heart-thumping killer poem.

I don't care how much weak poetry I've sat through in the last couple of weeks (and there's definitely been some painful stuff) -- these slams are restoring my faith in poetry, in what poetry can accomplish, in the ways in which it can speak directly and succinctly to the heart.

Okay, I had to pause and go change into my pj's because I was freezing. Better now. Amazing how one glass of wine can depress your body chemistry...

Now I'm chomping on nice hot curry (chicken saag, yum), and feeling much warmer. I will pause and read a little while I eat (as it is difficult to type and eat at the same time), but I will probably return as I am still hyped.

Ah, curry. I'm back, and starting to feeling tired. But I do want to write something before I sleep -- the other great benefit of the slams is that they make me want to write poetry. :-) (Okay, *I* think it's a great benefit, even if some of you may not agree).

Hmm...wrote another family poem, "Pre-Med". Sent it out to readers list. Waffling about whether to post it, so I'm asking the South Asians among the readers to read the poem and give me a recommendation on it. Thanks.

Okay, yawning huge yawns. G'night all.

Hey, dears. Would have…

Hey, dears. Would have written earlier, but connection wasn't working for some hours; no idea why. I love computers, right? Right.

It's 10:30ish...I'll probably go to sleep when I finish this entry. Last e-mail check of the day. :-) (What's the first thing we do in the morning and the last thing before going to sleep? It probably ought to be 'brush my teeth'...but you know it's not :-)

An odd moment yesterday. I had taken BART into the city and was having a quiet lunch at a little sandwich place at the Powell Street BART station, in the basement of the San Francisco Shopping Center (spiffy mall). Well, typical mall crowd, sort of noisy, but I'm sitting at a little cafe table, eating my 1/2 chicken pesto supreme sandwich, reading Kev's copy of Simone de Beauvoir's _When Things of the Spirit Come First_, and managing to block out the crowd noises pretty well. Then, just as I'm finishing, there's this gorgeous music, striding classical music, suddenly playing. And I'm wondering what the heck is going on, and I turn around, and just outside the cafe area, three tables or so away, is a live string quartet, in formal garb, playing. And there's a little sign of course, "Live String Quartet, Fridays 12:00 - 1:30" or some such. And I'm sure there's some rather grubby commercial motivation behind it all, behind the mall paying these people to come and perform, but I don't care. They're there and they're beautiful, and I'm finishing my sandwich and reading Marcelle's story, and surrounded by music that is hauntingly familiar, even if I can't remember which piece it is, and I am so happy. I studied classical piano for ten years, growing up. I wasn't bad, either, though what frustrates me most now is not that I can no longer play those pieces (though that's bad enough; I could probably get them back if I practiced, though), but that I can't even identify many pieces that I've performed. And there was a twinge of that, listening to them, but mostly, that music was a gift. I wonder how many of the shoppers wandering through had ever heard a live string quartet before...

I think this is what I love about living in a city. The fact that you can turn a corner, lift your head, and find something completely unexpected. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes sordid, sometimes sad and pathetic, but something outside of the normal, whatever that is. So many different realities coexist within a city. Perhaps they do in small towns as well; I imagine they do, within people, but in a city those realities are made visible for you. Even in the clothes as people walk down the streets of San Francisco.

I wonder what Salt Lake City will be like. Kevin called me this evening from there. He has a post-doc there, at the University of Utah, starting in August. He went out this weekend to look around, look at apartments. I may move out to join him there, at least for part of the time. So few bookstores, so few ethnic restaurants. He hardly saw anyone in the streets who wasn't white. I grew up in a neighborhood that was predominantly white, Polish Catholic, in fact, but it's been a while since I've lived in that kind of environment. And while the Mormon Church (Salt Lake City) has recently proclaimed that blacks are *not* in fact inferior to whites, they are still virulently anti-gay.

*smile* Alex (Brit) made me promise that if I hated it there, I'd have enough sense to move back...

Well. It would be interesting, anyway. We'll see.