Seven Quick Takes, vol. 2: Buffalo Girl

1: Deep Horse
Kung Fu! It’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. Every class day, I don’t want to go. I’m tired, or lazy, or scared. I go anyway, and the blessings just pour out. There’s the very natural blessing that comes from moving your muscles — you know, endorphins or something. But there’s everything else, too. The feeling of moving with increasing grace and strength. The camaraderie with the other students, aged approximately 12 to 50. There’s Sifu Gary himself, who supports and challenges in equal measure with all the instincts of a good father. Highly recommended!!

2: Pure Heart
Have I officially recommended Clean of Heart yet? It’s a program aimed at overcoming sexual sin. I started it about 30 days ago. It goes like this: each day you prayerfully read a meditation, about a page or two. There are morning and evening prayers. You pick a friend or mentor to be accountable to,1 talk to him every day,2 and if you slip up, you have to tell. Not only that, you have to start from the beginning. Being clean feels good — you start to realize that sexual sin affects not just one small part of your life, but puts its tendrils into just about every moment. The converse of that, of course, is that being clean makes you feel wonderful! You can tell how good I feel! Because I am using so many exclamation points that William Strunk is spinning in his grave!

3: Long Drive
I’ve also just started attending a support group for other Christian men who struggle with SSA. Like the Kung Fu and the Clean of Heart, it was something I’d been meaning to get around to — some time — some day — maybe next week. Anyway, I did it, and so far, so good! These are solid guys, seeking both to heal and be healed. I’m glad to be with them.

4: Nice Suit
The big company Christmas party is coming up. I decided not to go stag for once and got myself a date. Huh. Not a lot of sparks there or nothin’, but she is a great girl and I fully expect us to have a good time. And I hear the boss doesn’t skimp on the champagne.

5: Quick Chat
My interview with Roxane Salonen went great! Anyway I thought so. I have this thing where I think I’ll bore people if I talk too much, but it occurred to me that a radio interview means they want you to talk a lot. So I did. If you missed it — wouldn’t have been hard to do, between my forgetting to tell you about it and then telling you the wrong time besides — you can catch it again this Saturday at 2pm EST, by going to If you can’t get the live listening to work, there will be a podcast — I’ll post a link when it’s up. Not only that, it looks like there will be a part two in January. Stay tuned!

6: Big One
As in “I — I want a BIG one!” I recently got to see It’s a Wonderful Life on the big screen. I can barely watch that movie, it’s TOO INTENSE. Luckily my fellow moviegoers felt similarly, and I wasn’t the only one who suddenly had sinus problems at the dรฉnouement.

7: Immaculate Conception
I know I’m late, but HAPPY BIG DAY, MOM! Is it weird to wish your mother a Happy Conception Day? Yes, it is, but there’s Catholicism for you, always talking about wombs and blood and sundry other gruesome things. I’m not usually in tune with the liturgical season — I feel glum and heavy on Easter, but Lent makes me manic and chipper — but I started the morning right, with Mass, and felt nothing but blessed all day long.

Bang! That’s seven. It’s past bed time, as usual. Thanks to Jen for hosting. Wait, she’s on Advent break, is this quick takes thing even still happening? Sheesh, just when I get around to volume 2.

1 Props as usual to the indefatigable Father T.
2 Although I actually get away with once a week, so as not to overtax Fr. T’s indefatigability.

18 Comments on “Seven Quick Takes, vol. 2: Buffalo Girl”

  1. Daniel says:

    hey Steve, my name is Daniel and i have recently come out to my family. A priest recommended me to your blog and i’ve basically read all of your posts in the past 24 hours. i guess i just want to talk to you. but i don’t know if thats possible. is there a private e-mail i can reach you by? or do you even do that kind of stuff. anyway, i admire what you are doing and i guess i just want to know more about how you came to the life you lead now. i know this reply doesn’t have anything to do with the post above, but didn’t know how to reach you. god bless

    1. Daniel, you can write to me at steve-dot-gershom-at-gmail-dot-com.

      1. Daniel says:

        hey steve, i e-mailed you and haven’t received a response back. i know you’re busy but just wondering if you received it or not. thanks. god bless

        1. I did! I’m slowly but surely working my way through my inbox, and haven’t forgotten you.

  2. Yes, I’m still doing Quick Takes! And yours were a pleasure to read, as always. (And I am also up way past my bedtime, as usual.) Blessed Advent!

  3. Lori says:

    I felt blessed all day as well after mass ๐Ÿ™‚ Just curious … is your SSA support group all Catholic, or a mix?

    1. Actually, I’m the only Catholic. The others are various other kinds of Christians. Which means we pray Protestant-style (I mean off-the-cuff), which I like.

      1. Lori says:

        I think that’s pretty awesome – just as reading scripture in an unfamiliar translation sometimes helps you see things in a new way, I bet your slightly different perspectives will be good for all of you.

  4. Peter M says:

    Steve, is that group just a local thing or are they national? I’m wondering about whether there’s one in my area.

    1. Peter,

      I found them via a mailing list for people who have been through People Can Change’s “Journey Into Manhood” weekend. They’re local, but they are affiliated with Exodus, which is national. You can search for local Exodus-affiliated groups here:

  5. I love It’s a Wonderful Life, too- if you haven’t seen Jimmy Stewart in ROPE- you and all your readers MUST watch it…

  6. Auggie Hipp says:

    Immaculate Conception is one of my favourite feast days ๐Ÿ™‚ Couldn’t get to mass ’cause of the terrible winds in Scotland ๐Ÿ™ Enjoy the Christmas party! Look forward to the podcast of your radio interview ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Auggie Hipp says:

    PS I just bought myself a copy of Clean of Heart ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Way to go! Of course the important thing is what happens after it comes in the mail.

  8. Auggie Hipp says:

    Will keep you posted on that hahaha

  9. Mary Moran says:

    Hi Steve. can you come on Catholic Radio of San Diego (warmer than Fargo) this Wed Dec 14 6pm pac time for a live interview? We’d love to have you. Can you please email me? Thanks. Blessings, mary Moran
    Executive Producer/Dishwasher

    1. Hello, Mary. I’ll send you an email.

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