Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Kindness of Strangers

Maybe it's luck. Maybe it's the season. Maybe it's just that people are, on the whole, good at heart. Whatever the reason, I'm very pleased to report that the bag of gifts I left on the bus yesterday afternoon (doh!) was waiting for me at the Lost and Found office bright and early this morning. So thanks, fellow bus rider, for helping to make my holidays that much happier.

Monday, December 20, 2004

J.K. Rowling's Christmas gift to ME!

Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince is complete and has been delivered to her publisher. They're hoping to announce a publication date within 24 hours.


Thanks, JKR. I'm a happy, happy woman.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

'Tis the Season

...for snowflakes! Though we don't see many of the real kind in Seattle, my sweetie forwarded me this VERY cool link that lets you make your own virtual one-of-a-kind work of art. Warning - it's addictive.


Thursday, December 09, 2004

Label Me Liberal

Are you tired of hearing people use the word "liberal" as a slur, as if the following is anything to be ashamed of:

(adj.) favoring a political and/or social philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties; free from bigotry; largeness of spirit in giving, judging and acting; not bound by authoritarianism, dogmas, orthodoxy, or tradition

I believe that it's well past time to reclaim the word as the badge of honour that it is, to take a proud stand and let others know that "Hell yes, I'm a liberal!" And I'm not the only one who feels that way. Check out this site: Label Me Liberal and while you're there buy yourself a lovely little pin and out yourself to the world as the liberal you are. Nobody is making any money here; the pins are priced at cost. Wouldn't it be great if we started seeing these EVERYWHERE?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Keeping our spirits up

Note: Yep. This was a good, yet overly ambitious idea. It got me through those first shocked and sad days, but I found that it became pretty daunting pretty quickly. Not that good things aren't happening every day - of course they are. But I'd much rather just write up a post when something strikes me fancy than struggle to come up with something short and pithy for any particular day. So I'm letting this one go. Back to your regularly scheduled blogging.

In order not to dwell in the land of despair, constantly berating what is and rehashing what-might-have-been, I've decided to attempt to find and highlight one positive thing each day until the next election. It might be something that gives me hope or makes me laugh, it could be local, national, or international... heck, maybe even intergalactic (a lot could happen in four years!). You'll find them over on the left under the heading "Today's Good Thing". I might not be able to post every day, but I will gather 'em up and batch post when I need to. When new ones go up, the old ones will get copied here as a reminder of where we've been and hopefully how far we've come. I've started today; yesterday was best left for mourning.

Nov 29, 2004: The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal aimed at overturning the Massachusetts gay marriage law. A victory in the larger war for equal rights, to be sure.
Nov 28, 2004: Happy Birthday, Jon Stewart!
Nov 27, 2004: How weird that having four kids around is often easier than just having my two?
Nov 26, 2004: A fun night out with the girlfriends tonight. Need more of this, more community, more friendships with history and good face-to-face fun.
Nov 25, 2004: Despite having less to be thankful for than I'd hoped, I have a LOT to be thankful for... I'm blessed to have a wonderful life, an amazing family, and fantastic friends. Happy Thanksgiving y'all.
Nov 24, 2004: High-speed wireless connection from my massage space + great massage + meeting William at Blue C Sushi for lunch = Yay!
Nov 23, 2004: Finally got back in for some massage work on my knee. I love receiving massage, even the kind that's more "good for me" than "feels good". Would very much love to receive massage for a living. Any takers? Bueller? Anyone?
Nov 22, 2004: *sniffle* Apologies Accepted.
Nov 21, 2004: Stephen arrived home from SF bearing chocolate! And Incredibles t-shirts!
Nov 20, 2004: After watching the amazingly meta Adaptation, William and talked about writing and shared our most embarrassing childhood memories. Good times!
Nov 19, 2004: Hung out at a cafe with wireless access whilst Sophie enjoyed her dance class down the block. What is it about caffeine and the internet together that is so satisfying?
Nov 18, 2004: A great night out, watching David Wilcox with my sweetie at The Triple Door - a gorgeous venue that used to be a vaudeville/movie house and then a parking garage. Newly restored, it's now a very cool dinner theatre.
Nov 17, 2004: Happy Birthday, Howard Dean! Yeeeeaaagh!
Nov 16, 2004: Rufus Wainwright's new CD, Want Two was released today. Yay! And it has an explicit lyric warning sticker on it... buying it made me feel all young and subversive again.
Nov 15, 2004: As is often the case, Boondocks hits it exactly.
Nov 14, 2004: Nathan ate 5 green beans and declared he liked them 79%. (Sophie already likes them 100%... she's an early adopter.)
Nov 13, 2004: Received this today from a friend: Depressed Democrats Guide to Recovery. Fiore's stuff is wonderful.
Nov 12, 2004: The feature article of this week's Stranger, The Urban Archipelago, makes a great case for the value of creating a new progressive urban identity politics. Interesting stuff, and some good ideas for moving forward.
Nov 11, 2004: Good clean fun. Well, actually not clean at all. But GOOD. Tired of hearing how religion should dictate legislation? Take a listen:Keep Your Jesus Off My Penis
Nov 10, 2004: We received chocolate in the mail today from my wonderful friend Adele in England. The note attached made me all verklempt:
"Because we want you to know we know it's not your fault, and because there are the days when you need the security of knowing you have Dementor antidote to hand."
Nov 9, 2004: Ashcroft is GONE. There's nothing but happy dancing to be done about that one, even though the next appointee could be worse.
Nov 8, 2004:Sorry, Everybody It's a touching postcard to the world, with some lovely responses.
Nov 7, 2004: I saw the northern lights tonight, first time ever. Eerie and beautiful, and a reminder that there is wonder in the world that can't be hijacked by ANYONE.
Nov 6, 2004: More maps... for those of us tired of seeing so much unrelenting red, take a look at these cartograms. When the electoral map is adjusted for population, you see a more accurate representation of how evenly divided we are.
Nov 5, 2004: It amazes me how MUCH I want this map to be true. Gives me a wistful little giggle.
Nov 4, 2004: We're raising 'em right... if the young 'uns had decided the election, we'd be much bluer and much less blue. They did us proud, and they give me great hope for the future.

Truly Blue

So the abyss? Yeah, Jaws. Not, I repeat, NOT safe to go back in the water. Atlantis will have to wait, perhaps a very long time.

Here we are. There was a day after the election after all. A dark and depressing one, mind you, but a day. Only 1460 or so more until we get another chance at this. That's not so bad, right?

On Tuesday, I stood on a pedestrian overpass with an activist friend, holding a Kerry/Edwards sign, waving to cars driving under. Ah, we were so young and optimistic then. It seems quaint now (only two days later? really?), that we actually believed that we were one country, ready for change; that though we might not share the same backgrounds or opinions with our red-state brethren, we still could agree on some basics: that we deserve honest leadership, that jobs and health care should be there for all of our citizens, that safety and security are important, but so are civil liberties.

Instead, it turns out that the fear of dudes kissing trumps it all (ah Jon Stewart you are a such a light in this darkness). Sure that's an overly simplistic analysis, I know, I know. But guess what? Simple is what 51% of voters want... hell, it's what they are, and happy to be so.

So back to Tuesday (if only!). The two of us with our signs saw a lot of people honking horns and giving us thumbs up in support of our effort. Of course, we also got flipped off a fair number of times (yep, there are conservatives even in godless blue Seattle). The first time it happened, my anger surged and without thinking I gave it right back to them. HA! TAKE THAT! But then I realized that confronting them in that oh-so-civilized way certainly wasn't going to change their minds or make me feel any better.

So I changed strategies. Next time the bird came my way, I simply smiled and kept waving, or if I had time, flipped 'em a sign of the two-fingered variety. Peace, man. I like to think that they interpreted it one of two ways: either they thought I didn't see they were disagreeing with me, or they realized I had indeed seen them but that it didn't bother me in the slightest. Either way, it had to be a wee bit frustrating for them. I hope. And it made me feel better, knowing I was taking the high road, not engaging in a struggle that was pointless and unwinnable.

Pointless and unwinnable. I GET it now, viscerally, in a way that I never did before. Simply put: reason, logic and sanity cannot compete against blind ignorant faith. There are a lot of people out there who believe Jesus and his right-hand man Bush will take care of them (though neither one is doing a very good job for them on the economic front). They believe that I am a bad person who is going to hell for thinking a woman should have reproductive choice or that family values apply to ALL families, including those comprised of two dudes. They live in an alternate reality where it is morally-acceptable to kill 100,000 people in order to "lead them out of the Islamo-fascist darkness", where they think they're safer with a leader who has isolated us from the rest of the world and made us more hated than ever.

There is no compromise possible, no center here, and I will fight as hard as I can to keep the Democratic party from quixotically moving further to the right in a mistaken attempt to get more votes in the so-called heartland. Trying to appeal to these people is the mistake we've been making election cycle after election cycle with the same results. Honestly I don't think we could get their votes if we gave them all guns and let them declare open season on the lesbians and abortion providers. And I for one will not spend one more moment of my time arguing with them. There is no point to it.

This morning I hear that the administration now thinks it has a mandate for its policies. I love this. 51% used to mean "got it by the skin of my teeth" and now it's a mandate. And so it begins. Mourn and grieve, and then start working to gather your power, y'all. The next four years aren't going to be pretty.

Monday, November 01, 2004


I love my country
By which I mean
I am indebted joyfully
To all the people throughout its history
Who have fought the government to make right
Where so many cunning sons and daughters
Our foremothers and forefathers
Came singing through slaughter
Came through hell and high water
So that we could stand here
And behold breathlessly the sight
How a raging river of tears
Cut a grand canyon of light

I was reading the paper on the way to work this morning and when I got to the last page of the Local section, I was dumbfounded. There, posted just as it would be any other day, was the weather forecast for the rest of the week. Right there, the prediction that Wednesday would have "Some sun, a chance of showers. High 53, Low 40."

As if the world will be the same place after Tuesday, November 2 that it was before. As if the sun will rise and set, fronts will move through and sun breaks will occur. As if the world will just continue to turn regardless of the outcome of the election.

Now, unlike those folks who will go to polls and pull the lever for Voldemort Bush, I am a proud member of the reality-based community. I know, really I do, not only that Iraq had no WMD and wasn't behind 9/11, but also that the world won't end... well, not right away at least... after Tuesday. Heck, the election itself might not even be over on Wednesday morning. But for me, anything past tomorrow is a fog of grey, not unlike the morning weather in my fair city on any given day. It's looking over the edge into the abyss, not knowing whether I'll see Atlantis or Jaws.

I feel breakable today. It won't take much to push me over the edge into weeping, or laughing hysterically. I had intended to take a break from election coverage and polling, yet I find myself hitting reload on the news sites, seeking out discussions with like-minded individuals hoping, as did Mt. St. Helens, to rumble a lot and let off steam to avoid the big explosion.

I'm pathologically, perhaps, optimistic about Kerry's chances... I have to be. We've done what we can to educate and motivate our fellow Americans. Tomorrow, like many, I'll volunteer to make calls, drive people to the polls, knock on doors... whatever it takes to GOTV. But today, trying to get some work done while I obsess on this country's future, I will continue to visualize winning. Join me. And tomorrow we VOTE. And then we wait.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Which one of these does not belong?

When I asked Kerry what it would take for Americans to feel safe again, he displayed a much less apocalyptic worldview. ''We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance,'' Kerry said. ''As a former law-enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally, it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life.''

--John Kerry in a New York Times Magazine article, by Matt Bai, October 10, 2004

"Can we win the war on terrorism? Yes, I think we can, in the sense that we can win the war on organized crime. There is going to be no peace treaty on the battleship Missouri in the war on terrorism, but we can break its back so that it is only a horrible nuisance and not a paralyzing influence on our societies."

--General Brent Scowcroft, Bush 41 National Security Advisor and Bush 43 appointee to the Forum for International Security at the "9/11 a Year On" conference, Sept. 2002

"Now, just this weekend, Senator Kerry talked of reducing terrorism to 'nuisance,' and compared it to prostitution and illegal gambling. I couldn't disagree more. Our goal is not to reduce terror to some acceptable level of nuisance. Our goal is to defeat terror by staying on the offensive, destroying terrorist networks and spreading freedom and liberty around the world."

--George Bush, October 12, 2004

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Listen to Dick

It's not fair, really, to throw out facts in a debate that aren't accurate. So Dick Cheney advised us in the VP debate tonight - and darnitall, I AGREE with him on this one - to go visit FactCheck.Com to get the real story.

Go! Now! Get the facts. Dick wouldn't lie, would he?

(NB: I'm pretty sure Cheney meant FactCheck.org. So give the VP the benefit of the doubt and check that one out too, while you're at it. )

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Adios, Edgar

Oh good lord. Thankfully we were at the ballpark last night instead of tonight. I was teary enough as it was yesterday with Ichiro's achievement and it being the last game we'll see this season. But tonight was Edgar Martinez' retirement ceremony and I would have been sobbing, utterly sobbing, as the city said goodbye to the best designated hitter in the history of baseball. He spent his whole career - 18 years - in Seattle, and he deserves every bit of the love that is lavished on him. I'm not sure what we'll do without him.

No big fan of the designated hitter in baseball, still I'm thrilled that the Designated Hitter of the Year award will now be known as the Edgar Martinez Award. And I hope he makes it into the Hall of Fame. If he doesn't, it would be a great injustice to the man and the game.

This tells me two things:

1) I'm starting to become a bona fide Mariners fan. Not that it diminishes my love for the Tigers, and it never could (!), but I'm no longer just rooting for them because I happen to live here.

2) I probably need some kind of psychiatric help.

Friday, October 01, 2004

A Day to Remember

Mt. St. Helens vented some steam and ash this morning, after a week of unrest. The seismic activity settled down for several hours, but the earthquakes have started again, increasing in magnitude much quicker than they did last week. It doesn't sound like we've heard the last of her. I was working from home with Sophie so she and I got to see the footage of it live after getting a phone call from my mom... "Um... how close are you to Mt. St. Helens?"

Sophie's excited comment: "It's erufting!"


Ichiro Suzuki got hit number 258, breaking the 84-year-old record set by George Sisler (a fellow Michigan alumnus, and the player once called by Ty Cobb "the nearest thing to a perfect ballplayer." Of course, Ty never saw Ichiro play.). And we were there for the excitement! I bought the tickets for this game back in March and though I would love to say it was with fantastic prescience, in truth I did so not knowing how significant the night would be.

It was amazing; the stadium was full (probably the first time we'd seen anywhere near a capacity crowd all year) and the fans were hungry for it, cheering Ichiro the moment he was announced, chanting his name when he approached the plate. He didn't make us wait, tying the record on his first at-bat, breaking it on the second. Of course, the game came to a full stop while the fireworks went off, the crowd went wild, and his teammates came out to congratulate him. Five members of Sisler's family were there including his daughter and grandson; Ichiro went over to them and received their congratulations, then tipped his hat to a crowd that hadn't stopped standing or cheering the whole time.

No player deserves it more, no player is more focused and dedicated to the game and his team than Ichiro. He's got all that talent - hitting, fielding, throwing, running - and none of the attitude that often accompanies it. I'm SO glad he broke the record it in front of the home-town crowd that adores him. The Mariners won, to boot, beating the Texas Rangers 8-3. It was a magical, wonderful night that took a lot of the sting out of a miserable season.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

For The Record

It is true that I recently - less than two weeks ago - made my first trip to Mt. St. Helens. It was on a whim, actually... the kids and I went with our friend Sandy and her kids to the Columbia River Gorge to see some waterfalls, leaving the husbands at home to do their thing, however they defined it (for Stephen, it was working to remove stuff from the backyard in preparation for some landscaping work we're doing). We decided that on our way home we'd stop off at Mt. St. Helens for a brief visit; Sandy had been before but I hadn't yet made the trip.

The drive itself was really amazing both for the incredible vertigo-inducing vistas and for being able to see signs of both the devastation that occurred when the mountain erupted in 1980 and of the recovery that the mountain has made since. The kids were pretty geeked that they were on a real live volcano, keeping their eyes out for "hot lava" when they weren't whining about being in the car or asking for candy.

It was partly-sunny at the base, but by the time we got further up it became clear that we weren't going to be able to see much (read: anything) of the crater. We stopped at Silver Lake, the first visitor's center (there are three), and then continued on to Coldwater Ridge where we had some lunch (Volcano Dogs all 'round), peered out through the clouds and mist (Sandy pointed me in the direction and I took her word for it that the mountain was there), and then left for home after deciding that continuing to the Johnston Ridge Observatory would be pretty pointless.

Imagine my surprise last week when St. Helens started rumbling again, beginning with frequent small earthakes just a few days after our visit. As of yesterday, the alert level for possible eruption moved to a level 2 (I think that equals taupe when cross-referenced with the terrorism alert color chart... though it might be eggshell, I always get those confused). Scientists are predicting an eruption, possibly as early as this week, though right now it looks like it will small-to-moderate, not like the killer blast of 25 years ago. Hiking trails have been closed but, as yet, the mountain is still open.

So yes. I was on Mt. St. Helens a mere 4 days before it reawakened, I'll admit it (though due to the weather, no photographic evidence of this exists). I may have wondered - aloud even, and with some gleeful anticipation (because, really, it is pretty cool to live so close to an active volcano) - when it would erupt again. However, I'd like to take this opportunity to quash any rumours that I had anything at all to do with the current seismic unrest. I'd also like to state that my kids were in view at all times, and consequently I can vouch for their innocence in this matter.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, September 27, 2004


Note to Self: When starting a new routine, pay *enough* attention that you actually get on the correct bus.

Note to Universe: Thanks for making the bus I got onto one that let me off relatively close to the office (instead of, say, Renton) and that actually got me to work much earlier than I would have gotten there otherwise. Thanks too for the lovely swirling mist that gave way to perfectly clear sky and a nice view of Venus.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Time Capsule

Wednesday, September 24, 1969

Detroit Tigers:
Lost a double-header to the Washington Senators, 8-4 and 7-4. Denny McClain and Mickey Lolich were the losing pitchers. The Tigers went on to finish with a 90-72 record, 2nd in the AL East behind the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles went on to lose the World Series to the New York Mets, 4 games to 1.

Top News Headlines:
1st Elvis convention, 2500 fans attend in Cincinnati
NY Mets clinch NL East pennant
Trial of "Chicago 8" (protesters at Dem Natl Conv) begins

US President - Richard M. Nixon
US Vice-President - Spiro T. Agnew

Academy Award Winners - 1969
Best Picture: Midnight Cowboy, Directed By John Schlesinger
Best Actor: John Wayne in True Grit
Best Actress: Maggie Smith in The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie

Top Songs for 1969
Everyday People by Sly & the Family Stone
In the Year 2525 by Zager & Evans
Honky Tonk Women by Rolling Stones
Wedding Bell Blues by Fifth Dimension
Get Back by Beatles (with Billy Preston)
Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In by Fifth Dimension
I Can't Get Next to You by Temptations
Sugar, Sugar by Archies
Dizzy by Tommy Roe
Crimson & Clover by Tommy James & the Shondells

1969 Prices
Bread: $0.23/loaf
Milk: $1.26/gal
Eggs: $1.14/doz
Car: $3,400
Gas: $0.35/gal
House: $27,900
Stamp: $0.06/ea
Avg Income: $10,577/yr
Min Wage: $1.60/hr
DOW Avg: 800

People born on September 24
1896 - F Scott Fitzgerald St Paul Minn, author (Great Gatsby)
1936 - Jim Henson Greenville Miss, muppeteer (Sesame Street, Muppet Show)
1946 - "Mean" Joe Greene NFL tackle (Pitts Steelers), Coke spokesman
1948 - Phil Hartman, Brantford Ontario, actor (SNL, Peewee's Playhouse)

On TV in 1969
I Dream of Jeannie
Hee Haw
The Mod Squad
Green Acres
Hawaii Five-O
The Carol Burnett Show

Hot New Toys in 1969
Silly String
Easy-Bake Premier Oven
Nerf Ball
Toss Across
Barrel of Monkeys

Top Books in 1969
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
The High King by Lloyd Alexander

Thursday, September 23, 2004


Things that made me weepy thus far today (and it's only 10:30 a.m.!):

  • Reading a short story to Sophie on the bus from Highlights magazine. It was based on a true story about how George Washington, after being defeated at the Battle of Germantown by General William Howe, returned Howe's dog who had become lost during the battle. He does so, as he says to his men in the story, "to show the enemy the true character of Americans." Sadly, I believe that were this scenario repeated today, the little dog wouldn't be so lucky. How have we gone SO wrong?

  • Listening to the radio broadcast of the moment the Tigers clinched the AL East championship in 1984. I remember it well, can see it happening in my mind's eye. The simple joy of a season well-played and a title well-earned.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Damn Straight

"9-11 wasn't a triumph of the human spirit, it was a fuck-up by a guy on vacation."

-Bill Maher, on why our craptastic pResident shouldn't be basing his campaign on our country's darkest moment

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Accentuate the Positive

So lately I've been reading a book about a spiritual practice called Huna. It's a belief system derived from traditional Hawaiian culture and religion, influenced and interpreted through the eye of Western psychology and metaphysics. It honors concepts such as love, balance, breath, family, connection to nature, and mind-body-spirit integration and suggests practices to bring us in touch with ourselves and others in very specific ways.

One of these ways is through positive thought forms, brought into being by positive speech. The belief that words matter, that what we say and how we say it shape not only our intent but the very reality we live in, is fundamental. As a healer friend says "The Universe always says Yes." If you wake up and tell yourself you'll have a great day, the Universe replies "Yes." If, on the other hand, you tell yourself that everything is going to go wrong, the Universe still replies "Yes." It's powerful stuff.

In my everyday life, I've been trying to remember this, and modify the things I say accordingly when I can. As a parent, I get tested a lot in this area. My kids will verify that I'm not afraid to say no when I need to (and chances are it's those no's they most clearly remember), but honestly, if there's a yes to be found, I try to find it.

But there's one area that gives me considerable trouble, when it comes to positive speech and thought. My government makes me very angry, and has for nearly four years now. With the election coming on, the feelings of loathing (and there is no other word that more closely captures how strong the emotion is) have intensified; I see a light at the end of the tunnel, the possibility that we can be rid of an administration that I feel has hugely damaged our country and our world, and it makes me almost desperate.

I don't like feeling that way, and I like even less owning those feelings. Yet there they are.

The other day, it occurred to me that maybe there was a way to turn some of that around, to change my thought patterns from negatives (i.e. we need to get them the hell out of there!) to wishes that are more positive. These are the thoughts I came up with, and that I will try to hold from now until November. In sharing them here, I make those thoughts manifest in the world.


George W. Bush. Whether one believes your pResidency to be legitimate or no, whether one agrees with even the least harmful of your policies, I think that we can all agree that it's not an easy job you hold. My highest wish is that next January you are able to hand over the burden of governing, to go back to the ranch you love so dearly that you've spent quite a bit of time vacationing there over the last four years, and to become just a regular guy again.

Dick Cheney. It's no secret that you've had your share of health problems. Your heart is not as strong as it once was, and the stresses of carrying a large share of the workload in this administration threatens to send you to an early grave.It also can't be easy to constantly be whisked away from your family to undisclosed locations. So for you I wish rest for your mechanical heart, and more time with your kin especially your lesbian daughter to whom you owe an explanation as to why you don't think she deserves the same rights as straight kids have.

John Ashcroft. You don't have a bad voice, really. I heard you sing in Fahrenheit 9/11 and it was quite okay. In January, when you no longer have the responsibility for violating the privacy rights of anyone who disagrees with you, I want you to take the time to work on that. Let the music flow, Johnny baby!

Condolezza Rice. You always look so sad and lonely and that's just no good. It's got to be difficult to make connections with others when you always have to be the tough one, spouting the talking points that you know are a bunch of hooey. So live up to your name "con dolcezza", and go out there and find yourself a partner! Man or woman, doesn't matter once you're not in the limelight anymore. But *damn* woman. Getting laid should be your number one priority when you have the time and are no longer servicing serving the pResident.

Donald Rumsfeld. The man with the cockeyed plan for world domination expressed in paradoxical poetry. Many, myself included, would say that your talents are wasted orchestrating pre-emptive war on sovereign nations based on faked intelligence claiming the existence of a nuclear and chemical weapons program. No... you're all about self-expression and you need to share that gift with us all through the written word. Though you'll probably be too busy to take on NaNoWriMo this year what with helping your boss try to cook the election, I think that you should definitely plan on enrolling in some workshops early next year to hone your craft.

Colin Powell. Ah, Scarecrow, I may miss you most of all (which shouldn't be surprising, given the others I have to choose from). I don't think it's going out on a limb to say that the last four years have been pretty disappointing for you. Once admired world-wide for your reason and moderation, you've been put in a position where you've had to repudiate pretty much everything you've ever stood for and have compromised your integrity to the point where even used-car salesmen cross the street to avoid being seen with you. I really and sincerely hope that you'll be able to put this nightmare behind you soon and I hope that you'll take the time to do some meditation and come back to your core values... when you do, I look forward to the book you'll be writing.


So may it be.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Home Field Advantage

You'd have thought that living in the midwest for most of my life, a mere 3 hours from Chicago by car, I would have seen the Cubs play at Wrigley Field at least once. I visited my dad who lived in the southwest suburbs every summer for several weeks and attended games at both the old and new (ptui) Comiskey parks, but, strangely, Wrigley eluded me.

Twice I came close. My fifth grade class went on a field trip, by bus, at the end of the school year, but my overprotective mother (love you, mom!) wouldn't let me go along. In 1995, on a trip to the city, my sweetie and I took each other's photo in front of the park, but baseball season had either not yet begun or was already over, I don't recall which.

So I was thrilled when my brother was able to snag some great seats for us (a dozen or so rows up along the first base line) when we were visiting a couple of weeks ago. Not only would I finally get to see a game at one of the two remaining old-time ballparks, but I'd get to share it with my husband and our two little baseball fans. Together, for the first time, we'd see the ivy-covered walls, the hand-operated scoreboard, the rooftop bleachers surrounding the park where the views are good and the beer is... well, it has to be better than the Old Style and Budweiser they serve in the park, and the famous red sign out front welcoming us to "Wrigley Field, Home of Chicago Cubs"!

We got to the park via the El, another Chicago institution I had yet to experience. It was a Friday afternoon game, and the train was packed with baseball fans hoping, as we were, that the "scattered showers" predicted for that afternoon would pass us by. (They didn't, but luckily we had thought to bring rain ponchos and we and our seats stayed nicely dry through the five-minute downpour and rain delay.)

The moment we passed through the turnstiles, I entered baseball stadium bliss.

I've discovered over the years that my love of baseball is rooted as much in the history of the game as it is in how my team is doing in any given year. In fact, for the last several years the only thing that has sustained me as a Tiger fan has been that history (oy). When home plate was moved from my beloved Tiger Stadium to the the swank new Comerica Park, I mourned that owner Mike Ilitch could so cavalierly abandon The Corner, home to Detroit baseball since 1895 and host to all of the greats, for fancier bathrooms and luxury skyboxes.

So I reveled in the old-time feel of Wrigley, imagining the generations of families who walked along the same concourse we did to find our seats. I enjoyed watching the opposing relief pitchers warming up, not way out in a far-off bullpen, but right next to their dugout in front of our section. I loved that there was no huge TV screen blaring entertainment and advertisements whenever there was a break in the action, no synthesized hand-clapping sounds telling the fans when to get excited - instead, the crowd noise rose organically in reponse to what was happening in the game (what a concept!). Wrigley is, indeed, a baseball-lover's park.

And yet. Something was missing.

Nathan and Sophie might tell you that it was the Jumbotron. Nine innings of a low-scoring game (the Cubbies lost 3-2 to Milwaukee) is a long time for a four- and six-year-old to sit through without some form of entertainment to keep them amused during the slow spots. They were much more impressed by Comerica Park with its 2 (!) big screens, carousel (with Tigers instead of horses, of course) and a car mounted on a wall in the outfield (it is the motor city after all).

Stephen might tell you that it was the beer (brand, not availability) and garlic fries. We are spoiled with very yummy stadium food at Safeco Field (burp).

But as for me, I realized that as great as the stadium itself was, oozing with history and tradition and inhabited by the ghosts of millions of goat-cursed Cubs fans, I personally felt no connection to what was happening inside those famous walls. Sure, the Cubs are my favourite National League team and I wanted them to win, but... well... I'm an American League girl, through and through. When it comes to the NL, I don't know the players, don't know the rivalries, don't know who to love and who to hate. (Except the Yankees - I think that any right-thinking baseball fan, regardless of league affiliation, hates the Yankees.)

And that lack of spark, of casual knowledge and shared memory, was the difference between watching the game as simply a spectator, and watching it as a fan. I thought about this a lot over the next several days as we continued our summer odyssey, driving from Chicago to Michigan and points beyond.

It's a route that I've traveled many times. The names of counties and towns we passed through were familiar to me as were the seemingly endless cornfields, buzzing cicadas, and (once you hit the Michigan border), highway construction zones. For the millionth time, it seemed, I had to think about which time zone Indiana decided it wanted to be in for the summer, so that we wouldn't be late (or is it early?) for a lunch date with a friend. I remember this. I know this.

And then there is the now. The pacific northwest… Seattle… feels in many ways more like home than anyplace I’ve lived before. I’m at ease here, in a way that I never was back east, whether in the small town where I grew up or Columbus, a city of moderate size. The climate is my ideal – like little bear’s porridge it’s just right - not too hot in the summer, not too cold in the winter. The socio-political climate too is more to my liking. In Seattle I know I'm not likely to see the sign I saw along the side of the road in my hometown that trumpeted – “pro-life pro-second amendment conservative Republican” as if it were something of which to be proud.

And the moutains. And the water. And coffee and Tevas and the Fremont Solstice Parade. I love this coast and this city fiercely and deeply, with the zeal of the newly-converted.

And yet.

I didn't grow up here listening to the radio on a snowy winter's night, waiting to hear that my school was closed, and in doing so learning the names of all the neighboring counties and towns. In the fourth grade I didn't learn the Washington state bird or flower or stone or motto (Michigan: robin, apple blossom, petosky stone, "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you."); I haven't a clue what the state flag looks like. I can't point to my hand to orient you to where I live.

I don't much care about the UW/WSU rivalry. Heck, I'm only assuming that there is one.

And when people ask me where I went on vacation this summer, I still automatically say "home" even though it hasn't been for many years and I have no plans for it to ever be again.

Those connections and memories run deep and they make me who I am. And, I have to admit, they're what is as yet missing for me here, in this lovely place where I've chosen to make my life. Like Wrigley Field, Seattle feels right, the way home is supposed to feel. But I've only been here for four years, and I'm just starting to get to know its heart, to feel my roots digging in.

This revelation came as a bit of a surprise to me and that feeling of in-betweennes, of fully belonging neither here nor there is taking some getting used to. But it has also motivated me to dive in and connect more fully, to stop being just a spectator.

To orient my internal compass to the big water being to the west rather than the east. To retune my ear and tongue so that "Sequim" and "Okanogan" and "Twisp" sound as familiar as "Calhoun" and "Sturgis" and "Erie". To not always be converting in my head from Atlantic to Pacific time.

One day, in the not too distant future, my kids will come home and tell me they're learning about Washington state history in school. I'll help them study and in doing so will undoubtedly learn a lot myself. And in 30 years, wherever they are I know they'll remember, as it will be etched indelibly into the geography of their childhood: american goldfinch, coast rhododendron, petrified wood, and "Bye and bye".

Saturday, July 31, 2004

My new favourite poem

“First Lesson”
by Phillip Booth

Lie back, daughter, let your head
be tipped back in the cup of my hand.
Gently, and I will hold you. Spread
your arms wide, lie out on the stream
and look high at the gulls. A dead-
man’s float is face down. You will dive
and swim soon enough where this tidewater
ebbs to the sea. Daughter, believe
me, when you tire on your long thrash
to your island, lie up, and survive.
As you float now, where I held you
and let go, remember when fear
cramps your heart what I told you:
lie gently and wide to the light-year
stars, lie back, and the sea will hold you.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Take THAT!

"The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."

-- Barack Obama, soon-to-be Senator from Illinois at the Democratic National Convention

Friday, July 16, 2004

On The Road

Ah, the joys of post-9/11 travel!
Sophie, our 4-year-old sweetie-pie, won the boarding pass lottery and was selected for additional security screening at the Seattle airport. Picture a sub 3-foot-tall blond pixie wearing a purple shirt with a white kitten and "Adorable" on it, pulling her Clifford the Big Red Dog rolling backpack behind her.
Yeah, that's what the security folk did too as they just subjected us all to the normal check (not even requiring her to remove her pink and purple Tevas)  and waved us through with a smile. Guess she doesn't fit the terrorist profile. Terror sometimes, especially when she's tired. Terrorist not-so-much. But hey - we did get to go through the express line, saving us a good 20 minutes or so.
Iowa was cornful and lovely, Chicago is pavementy and also lovely. It's been blessedly not-so-hot-nor-humid (save for the first two days when even my toenails were sweating). Thus far we've taken our traditional carousel ride, gone in search of Herky on Parade, visited Herbert Hoover's home, caught fireflies, watched a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, and given lots of love to a couple of grandmas, a great-aunt, and an uncle. Much more to come. 

Friday, July 09, 2004

Life Lessons

Whether it was an attempt to delay bedtime just a little while longer, or a genuine interest in things politic, Nathan started a conversation with me last night as I was cuddling with him in the top bunk.

Nathan: "So George Bush is just the President of Seattle, right?"

Me: "Nope... sadly he's President (grumble) of the whole United States."

Nathan: "Where is Howard Dean President? I want to go there."

Me: "Me too, honey, me too."

It's really no fun having to dose my kids with such harsh reality. I'm thinking the question came about because we're going on vacation next week, and it must have occurred to him that in leaving our city we might also be going someplace that wasn't so unlucky with regards to head of state.

Other things I've tried to teach my kids this week:
  • Just because your shirt has a girl (namely Kim Possible) on it, doesn't mean it's a "girl's shirt", regardless of what your friends at daycamp say. If you like it, that's all that matters - and there's NOTHING wrong with thinking a girl is tshirt-worthy. (This lesson was accompanied by roleplaying "talk to the hand" and "what-ever" in case of future incidents.)

  • When you bump your forehead on the side of the pool while doing blast-offs from your teacher to the wall, you need take some deep breaths, get plenty of hugs, lick the water off the top of the ice cup (since you won't put it on the owie) and then get right back in the pool and keep on swimming.

  • You are not Bret Boone. Yet. Stop trying flip the ball sidearm to first.

  • If your brother asks you to stop looking at him, it would be nice to respect his wishes - someday you'll ask him to stop looking at (or touching or breathing on or...) you, and he's more likely to do so if you are nice to him. Same goes for sharing your Gatorade.

  • In the same vein, if your sister is looking at you and you don't want her to, rather than get all worked up about it, you could simply ignore her and go about your business. A lot of people will do a lot of things in your life that annoy the CRAP out of you. While you have no control over what they do, you do have control over how you react and the emotions you attach to those situations. (And no. It's not okay for you to say crap. I'm the mom, and it's called poetic license.)

  • Yes, CJ is funny. Yes, I know you want to marry him. However, 4 is too early to commit to one boy or girl. Though it's hard to believe now, you might meet someone you like better someday. Yes, honey, like when you're 6.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004


Q: What's better than beating the Yankees in Yankee Stadium?

A: Beating them twice in Yankee Stadium.

Tigers take 2/3 from the Yankees to win the series. You should SEE me doin' the happy dance.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

A Gift for Dubya


Kerry/Edwards '04

You're heading back to Crawford, birthday boy, so enjoy your last one in DC. I'd tell you to relax and take it easy, but you've been doing that for nearly four years now so what would be the point? Instead why don't you get a head-start on packing your bags so you can get the hell out of our White House.

And be sure to take your foul-mouthed VP with you.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Through the Looking Glass

Just because we're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get us.

WASHINGTON - The government needs to establish guidelines for canceling or rescheduling elections if terrorists strike the United States again, says the chairman of a new federal voting commission.

Voting Official Seeks Terrorism Guidelines

Monday, June 28, 2004

My Name in Lights... erm... Pixels

Finally, the piece I wrote for the Seattle WriterGrrls Zine has been published. I'm pretty happy with it. Here's an excerpt:


Ask anyone who knows me: I'm a girl with big feelings. I cry at dolphin shows. I cry while singing the national anthem at baseball games. I cry during tender hobbit embraces. I cry... well, you get the picture. Big feelings.

And this is true from way back. I wasn't the kid you'd find frying ants with a magnifying glass or pulling the wings off house flies. Not because I didn't want to touch said insects, but because... well... it would have hurt them.

Bear this fact in mind so that you might judge me less harshly when I tell you that I have a very clear memory of doing mortal harm to a few lightning bugs (or fireflies, if you prefer) one summer night in 1976. I'd like to say it was an accident...that I left them in a jar for too long without air or water (a frequent and somewhat more forgivable cause of bug mortality). But no—it was deliberate. I was six and the poor guys were simply in the wrong yard at the wrong time.

What prompted this insecticidal rampage? What summertime madness turned a good-hearted little girl into a killer of beings harmless and blinky? Two words: Peter Pan.

Read the rest here. And let me know what you think!

Friday, June 25, 2004

Morning Music Mix

Served up to me by my iPod this morning:

High Speed - Coldplay
Spoonboy - Ashley MacIsaac
Jack Hinks - Great Big Sea
So Far Away - Carole King
St. Caffeine - John Gorka
You Should Be Running - Pete Droge
I know What Kind of Love - Cry Cry Cry
Give a Little Love - Bay City Rollers
Prologue: Book II And The Escape From The Dursleys - John Williams
Couldn't Care Less About - Evan & Jaron
Out of Range - Ani Difranco
Credo - Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Rainmaker - Maura O'Connell
I'll Spend My Life With You - The Monkees
Rapture - Peter Mulvey

Not a bad variety and lots of stuff I haven't heard in awhile. I often wonder whether my iPod has a hidden agenda, if it "randomly" gives me songs that my subconsious needs to hear that particular session. Yes yes, I do personify my favourite electronic device... and I'm sure that if my iPod and TiVo got together, they'd have quite the laugh over some of my listening and viewing choices.

Thank god an Air Supply song didn't come up in the list or everyone would know...

...but now I've said too much.

At the very least, the ties that I make between song titles, or the way a certain set of songs makes me feel, or the memories they bring up are a great way of doing a little internal check to see what's going on in my warped little psyche. Let's see what today's reveal...

High Speed... Running... Escape... Far Away... Out of Range...

Heh. My first thought is of the vacation time that we have planned... two full weeks including visits with all the grandmas and a weekend at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. I've heard a number of artists in this mix - John Gorka, Cry Cry Cry, Great Big Sea, Ani, Peter Mulvey - at past festivals. And I'm SO excited to go again as it's been three years since the last time (and four since we've camped). Whee!

Then, of course, there's the constant conflict I feel these days between on the one hand doing the work that I do which is safe and easy and comfortable, and on the other hand wanting to shake it all up, to just quit and move to doing full-time massage and doula'ing and writing. I'm scared to make that jump, there's no doubt about it... giving up the routine, the certainty of a paycheck of a known amount twice a month for unpredictable and spotty income.

So for now I'm moving slowly... the aforementioned vacation plans make it hard for me to throw myself into scheduling appointments and moving full-speed ahead with the marketing I need to do to build up a client base. Am I using that as an excuse, as a way to avoid... to escape... to run far away from the work I need to do? Possibly. Probably, even.

Oh wise and all-knowing iPod.

Stop analyzing me already and just cough up this Saturday's winning lotto numbers. Problem solved.

Friday, June 18, 2004


Right now, as I type this, my purse is in Crete. Sadly, I am not.

Yes, you read correctly, Crete - the Greek island (aka paradise). My friend Sandy is accompanying my purse on this adventure, as she attends what looks to be a fabulous creativity workshop. She asked me to come along, but my bank account informed me that I could only afford to send my purse.

Lucky purse.

Lucky Sandy.

Non-purse-wearing, non-paradise-enjoying me.

If anyone is interested in sending me to Crete or any of the other wonderful locations where said creativity workshops are being held, feel free to donate to my PayPal account. My world-travelling purse and I would promise to send you a postcard, and of course I'd blog the whole thing and dedicate the book I'm sure to write as a result to you.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The Missing Song

How am I to measure these feelings?
What the hell is one heartbeat away?
The distance doesn't care, it's completely unaware
Only the pounding of my heart is here to stay.

--Disappear Fear

Many thoughts about friendship, bitter and sweet, swirling today. I'm full of missing - missing Sherlyn (yes, already), who left this morning and who I won't likely see again for another couple of years, missing William (the lucky bum) who might at this very moment be cavorting with the honu in Hawaii, missing Jer - always, always missing Jer. Anastasia... Sheri... Mike.

A blessing and a curse of the internet - my life has been enriched beyond measure by the relationships that were made possible and/or strengthened by online communication, while at the same time I am separated by great distance from many of those whom I consider to be my closest friends. No dropping by for a quick visit or getting together for a movie; when you live in different time zones, even a phone call can be difficult to manage.

And yet. Even without seeing some of these folk for years at a time (Steve... Iggy... Krista), I'm continually amazed and gratified by how strong the connections remain.

Take Sherlyn for example (Please! Really! Take her! *g*). 10 years ago we started e-mailing after having "met" on the Indigo Girls mailing list. A few months later, she made her first trip to the States, staying with me in Ann Arbor for several days. We've probably, in total, spent less than a month of of actual face-to-face time in that 10 years, and both of us will admit that we're not the most consistent when it comes to regular e-mail correspondence. And yet, each time we get together, we're able to pick up where we left off as if she just lives up the block and we routinely borrow sugar from one another.

On a related topic, I've been struck lately by some new shifts that have happened at work (of all places!), brought about - again - by electronic communication. In the last few weeks, I've had virtual conversations that have crossed over that boundary that exists between co-workers into the realm of - not friendship, quite, but at least friendliness on a more personal level. It's been a really nice thing, allowing me to get to know people a bit better at a place where I usually function in self-imposed isolation (as I know that my days are numbered here, by my choice). That kind of communication, the meeting of minds and sharing of selves, is what feeds my soul, and I'm grateful for it in whatever context it arrives. Hurrah for IRC!

Thursday, June 03, 2004


I painted my toenails blue today. Metallic blue, in fact. Am not yet sure if I look cool or cyanotic.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Finally... some inspiration

Dear readers, you know that I am no huge fan of John Kerry. I think we could have chosen a much stronger candidate to run against Dubyamort in the fall (not naming any names *coff*HowardDean*coff*). I've spent the last few months trying to reconcile myself to working with the candidate we've been given, searching for *some* enthusiasm which will prompt me to start handing over money and time to the effort, above and beyond (OF COURSE) the vote that he will definitely get from me in November.

Today I hear that Kerry has settled on a campaign theme - "Let America Be America Again". It's derived from the title of the following Langston Hughes poem... and it says it all. This I can get behind.

Let America Be America Again
Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Grow Old Along with Me

Join me in commemorating (albeit a couple of days late) Monday, May 17th, 2004 - the day that the first completely legal same-sex marriages were performed in the U.S., in the state of Massachusetts. And in a really cool cosmic coincidence, it was also the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling that desegregated American schools. Can I get a Boo-ya?

An account from my friend Avi who was there for the momentous occasion:


The story...

At around 10, I decided to go watch the marriages. I had no idea that there would be something so big there, though I suspected there might be. I wanted to go to show solidarity and support, but also to witness history. It was practically banging on my door, I had to answer.

I got to City Hall at 10:30 and there was already a huge, growing crowd. Rainbow flags, signs, the works. The final count was 10,000 (according to The Boston Globe) and I believe it. Mass Ave was shut down from Central Square to Harvard Square to accomodate the supporters. There were about 50 Fred Phelps protesters, but they were largely ignored and went home before 12:01. At one point, our crowd starting chanting "God Loves Fags!" Even the presence of the TPF, the riot squad cops didn't dampen enthusiams. The TPF lined the aisle for the couples to come in and out of the hall. Cambridge police later replaced them (cops are the new ushers, you heard it here first.)

There was much rejoicing when couples went into City Hall, but nothing compared to the raucous response that greeted them when they came out. Cheers, claps, screams, rice, bubbles, songs. Pure happiness. The crowd was heterogeneous - gay, straight, male, female, old, young, white, black, Asian, Latino, all religions, students, job holders, everyone. Couples were often interracial, and more often than not, older, sometimes with children (one couple was a leather-daddy couple.) I had a good spot and I saw their faces. When they came out of the building to see the crowd awaiting them, their faces were awash with surprised pleasure.

We in the crowd serenaded them. "Chapel of Love" of course. Also we sang "This Land is Your Land", "God Bless America", "This Little Light of Mine", "The Star Spangled Banner" and probably others. It was the best gathering I've ever been too. It was pure happiness, not protest. There was so much love and support for the couples. When they left City Hall, the crowd shouted "Kiss! Kiss!" And especially warm reception was for Cambridge State Senator Jarrett Barrios and his husband. The crowd was practically screaming "Jarrett! Jarrett!" He's done a lot for us and he deserves it (he's also an incredible hottie.)

There were great signs last night. The best one simply said "YAY!" Whenever the crowd got too quiet, the man holding the sign thrust it into the air and shouted, "YAY!" The crowd responded in kind.

Cambridge City Hall is across the street from a YMCA. I'm just sayin'.

At around 1 am a man with a bullhorn (I guess the chief clerk) came out with a bullhorn and said that there were 150 more couples and City Hall would be open until 6 am. One man shouted in response "We're in no rush."

The crowd felt like friends. Everyone was so happy and pleasant. No anger anywhere, just unabashed joy. I was so glad to be there. I was also glad that I got to share it with friends (all of them straight, and two connected to one of the plaintiffs in the court case.) It was a magical, historical night. The anniversary of Brown v. The Board of Eduation. A start of a new era. Gay marriage is coming. It's a reality now.

I love Cambridge.

He's right. The horse is out of the barn. Let it run wild and free! Love is love is love... and now we're one step closer to realizing the promise that was made to all of our citizens in the Declaration of Independence.

On the same topic, my man Howard commented in a Boston Globe article. My favourite quote:

While it is true that the Bible (largely the Old Testament) condemns homosexuality in a few places, it equally condemns eating shellfish. Jesus never mentions homosexuality.

Perusing Leviticus (as I'm wont to do), I notice that it also condemns wearing clothes woven of two different kinds of material. I am SO going to hell.

Funny what people choose to take to heart, ain't it?

Monday, May 17, 2004

Everything old is new again

Okay, okay. After the outpouring of love for the original orange design (and the constant reminder of it everytime the buggy new software kicks the template back in time), I've decided to switch back with just a few modifications. This is the comment that sealed the decision (posted under the old system of course, due to the aforementioned bug):

This time it's my fault. I was looking at the new
new blog, dared to make a anonymous comment, and
now this. I'm willing to sacrifice my anonymity
for the sake of solving the problem.

I feel much more at home here, though, and it's
just like the good ol' days --- the orange and
yellow, the accessible sans-serif font, and
Kristina's not writing nearly enough. :o)


I will preserve the writer's anonymity while also copping to not writing nearly enough. *g* It's been a really busy couple of weeks, but all good. A few high points:

  • Got a groovy new haircut - bye-bye long locks!

  • Launched a huge new site at work and got a $100 gift cheque in recognition

  • Had lunch on a speedboat on Lake Washington last Friday

  • Attended Sophie's first t-ball practice. She's the only girl on her team, and they named themsleves the Red Foxes

  • Went in on a week's rental of a spacious beautiful house in Mazama, WA (located in the Methow Valley) with some friends at the Co-op auction

  • Continued to work on getting my massage space ready while waiting (not-so-patiently) for my license

Many thoughts that I will write about soon though. I've not said much about the continually worsening situation in Iraq, but I will. Oy. I will.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

A New 'Do

Blogger gave me some new tools to play with so here's a new look. I can't promise it won't change more than once, and it will take me a little bit to get all the kinks worked out, but so far so good.

I'll work to get comments enabled on all my old postings (in case anyone is so inclined) and will in some form move old comments over to this new system.

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Life in the Fast Lane

This morning it occurred to me that both the secret of my success and the seed of my eventual downfall can be found in my insane ability to multitask. At one point I found myself:

brushing my teeth
tying Nathan's shoes and
teaching him the words to Karma Chameleon

all at the same time.

This gurl just ain't right in the haid.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Into the Abyss?

So Costco has these great yoga/sleep pants. Cotton/poly blend, really comfy. So much so in fact, that I'm wearing them now and I'm considering getting enough pairs for every day of the week so I can wear them... every day of the week. They're THAT comfortable.

Should I be worried about this? Are yoga pants the modern-day equivalent to those awful elastic-waist polyester abominations? I guess what I'm asking is... is this the first step to old ladyhood?

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Once more, with feeling

I've started this post a dozen times and erased because each time it comes out whiney and self-pitying. Let's just say that aside from the Tigers nice 9th inning homerun to take their 2nd in a row and my friend Bee passing her national exam (YAY!), I would like this day to otherwise not have happened. It was yucky and neither my kids nor I were at our best. Stephen's off the hook since he's out of town. The rest of the Spencers would like a do-over.

Friday, April 23, 2004


He gets on at the same bus stop every morning; pasty-faced with short bushy hair, and eyes that might be kind if they weren't so beady. I'd guess he's close to my age and I'm pleased to note his hairline is receding. He doesn't look like he gets laid regularly. He might live with his mother.

I imagine that he sees me sitting there with Sophie, my Howard Dean button still proudly displayed, and feels a similar dislike. I think he must know that if I were alone and didn't have to set a good example for my child I'd find a way to unapologetically spill coffee on whatever shite book he has his pointy nose stuck in.

The first time I noticed him, he was reading one of Anne "I'm a nutjob harridan from hell" Coulter's collections of questionable research pathological lies. I probably snorted and surely rolled my eyes. I almost asked, "You do know there's at least one lie on every page of that book, don't you?"People must buy her books since she continues to write them, I'm just amazed that anyone could actually her seriously. On the east side, maybe, but in Seattle proper?

Today it was "Rumsfeld's War" written by someone whose tongue is shoved so far... well, let's just say it's a loving portrayal of the principled genius (*snort*) whose hands are stained with the blood of hundreds of our soldiers as well as that of the innocent Iraqi civilians that he insists we're there to help. Right. The same hands that shook Saddam's back when he was the enemy of our enemy and we really didn't care if he butchered his own people.

I loathe what this man chooses to read, the lies he chooses to believe. If I was alone on the bus ride, I'd be sure to always have a book to whip out in protest - Franken, Ivins, Clarke - to hold up like a silver stake of truth against the screed. I want to be aggressive in my liberalness, in-your-face about my contempt for the "values" his reading material upholds.

But Sophie is with me so there are no dueling books today, though my eyes ache from the rolling.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Today's Scorecard

The Good...
Happy Birthday Eddy Arnold! I heard this morning on NPR that Eddy is 96 years old today - I never would have guessed he was still alive. Eddy is a country singer, GOOD country, not the Lee Greenwood/Toby Keith bullshit that passes for country music today. One of the first albums (yes, the vinyl kind) I ever owned was this one and I loved it. Loved his versions of Tom Dooley, Ballad of Davy Crockett, and especially Tennessee Stud. 96 and still countin'. Thanks Eddy.
The Tennesee Stud was long and lean
the color of the sun and his eyes were green
He had the nerve and he had the blood
And there never was a horse like the Tennessee Stud

The Bad...
Is W2 in the STRK column too much to ask? IS IT? Tigers lost to Minnesota, 4-3. Damn it.

The Ugly...
As good as the Good is and as bad as the Bad is, the Ugly is truly, disturbingly ugly. Seems we learned one lesson from Viet Nam. Don't let the people back home see the kids coming back from the war in body bags.... it's really bad for PR, and helps them remember that it's not just a video game, that there is a cost to our aggression that has to be paid in blood. So sadly, this story doesn't suprise me at all. It outrages me to near incoherence, but it doesn't surprise me.

A woman who had the audacity to take a photo of flag-draped coffins being loaded up to come back to the States has been fired. The photo was published on the front page of last Sunday's Seattle Times.

Land of the Free folks. Nothin' to see here.

Why do you hate America?

Move along, now. Go buy something.

Or else.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Ode to the Peep

You shine and sparkle with sugary goodness
yellow and blue and pink,
connected to your siblings like paper dolls,
marshmallow siamese quintuplets.

Package open and aged to perfection,
chewy and stale
you fill my mouth with wonder.

Oh peep peep peep
I cannot eat just one.
My blood glucose rises, crescendos, crashes...
And then you are gone
leaving but a few scattered crystals
and a memory of bliss.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

ReFocus Pocus

Talk about your bad timing... enabling comments right before I ran out of things to say. Honestly, I feel like I haven't had an interesting thought in my head for weeks, certainly nothing that's seemed blog-worthy.

And there, in a nutshell, is the problem. I've posted a few things that I really liked, that turned from just an observation of an event or how I was feeling on a certain day into something more, and now I've gotten myself into a space where I'm feeling like every time I write here there has to be a Point.

And that's not working for me at all. So I'm going to try getting back to the way I started... popping in here every day, however briefly, with a little something - pointless or no.

So for today, here's a great quote that resonated for me in my current state of baseball obsession. Yeah. I'm still there. The Tigers are playing .500 ball right now - not great, but so very much better than last year that it's still damn cool. But it's not just Tiger baseball I'm obsessed with, it's the whole sport, from Nathan's t-ball games to looking for cards on eBay to recommiting to my absolute loathing of the Yankees and everything they stand for. I'm reading, talking, watching, listening, dreaming, worrying, writing, and loving baseball. There is no end in sight.

What? Oh right. The quote. It's from Good Enough To Dream by Roger Kahn A really terrific read, it's the chronicle of the 1983 season of the Utica Blue Sox, the Class Single-A minor league ball club that Kahn bought into as President. Reading it has both made me want to buy my own minor league club and has shown me that doing so would likely be the death of me.

But the Blue Sox obsession, that we had to win, infected me as surely as it dominated Jim Gattis [the Blue Sox Manager]. I noted that a Korean passenger plane, Flight 007, had been shot down over Russian airspace, killing everyone aboard. I thought, One more move in the nuclear chess game that the United States and the Soviet Union play each day. That stress would pass. The real game was here at Murname Field, which had become the center of my world. The great issue was whether the Blue Sox won or lost. If that makes little sense in retrospect, it still was so for most of us during the final week of the season. We didn't want World War III to break out just then because it would have disrupted the pennant race.

I definitely relate. And goddess help me, it's only April.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Blah blah blah

I've enabled comments for anyone who's so inclined as to make use of 'em. If you can't be nice, at least try not to get me slapped with an FCC fine, okay?

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

The National Pastime

For, lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of the singing of birds is come,
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

Until his retirement after more than 30 years as the radio voice of the Detroit Tigers, Ernie Harwell began his opening day broadcast with these words from The Song of Solomon. It was, for me, the signal that spring had truly arrived, full of new beginnings and the possibility that this could be the year that we'd go all the way.

I love baseball. Many of my friends are mystified by this fact, but there it is. I love the history, the lore, the sound of a game being called on the radio. I love going to the ballpark, eating hotdogs, singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" with a lump in my throat. There are few things as satisfying as getting a successful wave started; double that if both decks manage it at the same time.

I've been a fan nearly as long as I can remember, and the team of my heart is, and will always be, the Tigers. Sure, I root for the Cubs (oh the heartbreak!), and now that we're in Seattle I've adopted the Mariners as my new hometown team (and have come to accept that my kids' primary alliance will be to the M's), but I will remain a die-hard Tiger fan until the day I snuff it - and probably beyond.

Sometimes it's easy. Memories of 1984 make my heart swell with pride even 20 years later (20 years!? Is that possible?). Sparky Anderson was manager and life was good. I lived and breathed baseball that summer, as the Tigers set a record for the best start in major league history (35-5), and then never looked back. We took the pennant and the World Series vs. the San Diego Padres in 5 games. Bless you, boys.

And sometimes, not so much. Last year was dismal, made bearable by only two things: 1) Alan Trammel, one of the best shortstops in Tiger history, and an incredibly decent man, came on as manager and 2) the boys rallied at the end of the season, winning 4 of their last 5 games to avoid the dubious record of having the most losses in a single season. They ended the season at 43-119, allowing the 1962 New York Mets (40-120) to keep their crown. Small miracles, but we'll take 'em.

The 2004 season started on Monday, and the Tigers opened it with a win. And not just any old squeaker of a win... a 7-0 shut-out of Toronto. Their follow-up victory on Tuesday brings it to a division-leading 2-0. Woo and hoo. And eternal optimist that I am (as all Tiger fans are required to be), I can't help but think "This is the year, baby! We're in the running! It could happen!"

As I've devoured sports news coverage for the last few days, I came across a statistic that gave me pause. The last time the Tigers were over .500 was April, 2001. I find that remarkable not only because it highlights just how bad it's been for Tiger fans, but also because it illustrates how in just a few years EVERYTHING can shift.

It's hard to believe how much has changed in our country since then, how dark and how full of loss the last three years have been. I have no doubt that history will look back on these times and shake its head at the unbridled greed and naked aggression of those currently in power. As a nation we've turned our back on compassion and social justice, spit in the face of the international community, and seriously weakened the democracy that has served us for over 200 years by allowing the government to pick and choose which civil liberties we get to keep.

And the death count keeps rising, both ours and theirs.

I think back to last year when I bought Mariner tickets at the beginning of the season. The march to war had begun, but the first battles had not yet been fought and I was very worried about the potential for terrorist attacks at home. 9-11 notwithstanding, we've remained relatively untouched by the random and frequent violence that other countries contend with as part of everyday life, but with the policies we pursue, I have to believe, with much dread, that our time will come again.

Feeling as I did at the time, I wondered if it was a fools errand to be buying those tickets, one game in every month of the season. If we were attacked, I certainly wouldn't be taking my family to watch a baseball game, gathering with tens of thousand of other sitting ducks in a juicy, visible target.

But then the Tiger optimism kicked in. I decided that getting the tickets would be my act of faith in the face of fear, my declaration of intent to the Universe to keep on keepin' on. I hoped the Universe would respond with kindness. Thankfully, it did.

And now here we are, a new baseball season upon us. Our government continues its destructive policies, seemingly unable or unwilling to learn from past mistakes. The violence grows, the atrocities multiply, and that anxiety is stronger than ever. Going over bridges, riding public transportation (as I do nearly every day), gathering with large numbers of people... I worry. I ache for the families of those who have died, and for those who undoubtedly will - theirs and ours.

I hold my kids close and shower them with kisses and hope that the world they are growing into will be better than the one they see now. Together we look forward to the first Mariner game of the season we'll attend in a couple of weeks.

2004. The election year is upon us and the stakes have never been higher. What happens over the course of this summer and fall will define us in the eyes of the world and set our future trajectory. Healing and community or might makes right? Liberty and justice for all or I've got mine and I'm taking yours too? The 1984 dream season or the despair of 2003?

I'd like to think that this great start by my Tigers portends a turning of the tide, that we're coming to the end of a dark, dark run of luck into the light of reason and sanity. As bad as things look right now, the world can turn on a dime and one fantastic double-play can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. In a final burst of optimism, there's one more statistic I'd like to share. The last time the Tigers started out with a 2-0 record on the road was... 1984.

This could be the year.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Button up your overcoat

24 hours ago it was 78°F; today, right now, it's 43°. Yesterday the kids were wearing Tevas, shorts and tank tops; tonight at Nathan's t-ball practice the boys stood frozen, hunched down against the wind, not even goofing off because that would have taken effort away from shivering.

Friday, March 26, 2004


Is it June yet? The new Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban trailer is up and it's a doozy. I can't wait.

Thursday, March 25, 2004


This site is a must-see. It's a Ukrainian woman's photo diary of motorcycling through Chernobyl's "dead zone". Haunting stuff, homes and lives abandoned overnight as people fled from the worst nuclear disaster in history, the reactor explosion which took place on April 26, 1986. In her commentary, Elena (whose English has a very poetic Russian flair) mentions that that it's estimated that between 300,000 and 400,000 people have died from radiation poisoning and that this area will remain unsafe for human habitation for 900 years. A millenium. That's just astounding.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Bad blogger, no doughnut

Um. Hi. I have excuses - lo these many excuses! - for the radio silence. In haiku form (with credit to the Cools):

Working on short piece
for Writergrrls webzine - YAY!
Kept me from blogging.

Signed lease on new space
Massage divas in Fremont!
Hope I get licensed...

Dean in Seattle
Smiled for a photo with me!
I adore that man.

Small skiing mishap
Ouch! Painful knee when I bend.
Ice, rest, go easy.

Got all the hairs cut
Shorter, layered, healthier
Next time - a mohawk?

Nathan plays t-ball
Sophie is our soccer girl
When do parents rest?

Warm days, flowers bloom
Pink petals fall like snowflakes
Spring in Seattle.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004


The Universe is such a funny place. After whinging last night about how nobody ever looks me up or sends me missives out of the blue, I wake up this morning to a message from my old friend and college roomie Jami... who, over the years, has consistently been the one to nudge me, ever-so-gently, when I fall out of touch. Jami (JC for Jamicakes) is energy personified, and she gave me my longest-standing nickname, KB (short for Kristina-Bina) and I love her. And coincidentally she also reminded me that another college friend Wally, has recently sent me unprovoked e-mail (as he does every so often). So I am, apparently, thought of and not reviled by all who have ever known me. Whew.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Random Access Memory

Riding the bus home today I started thinking about a guy I met my freshman year of college. The memory was quite unexpected and the weird part is that there's still some energy there that surprises me... his name was Steve, and for the life of me I can't remember his last name (damn it all, or I could google him). The way I met him was remarkable for the time... I was in an intro computer science class and I was trying to avoid working on a program that I was completely incapable of doing (programming was not and is still not my forte). While messing around on the computer, I discovered and started to play with this thing called "e-mail" on Michigan's mainframe system.

This was 1987 and there was no www, no .com, no way to find out someone's e-mail address (for those few that had them, mostly at other universities) short of calling them on the phone and saying "Hey, do you have e-mail?" At Michigan, you could bring up a terminal and log into "MTS" (Michigan Terminal System) choosing either UM (accounts associated with specific coursework) or UB (generic accounts that anyone affliated with the U could get), and I discovered that there was a directory of sorts that would help you find usernames. It was really primitive, and I stumbled on it by mistake as I was trying to get out of a message I had started. I typed "stop". And the system responded with "Do you mean "Stop Stop?" Um. Sure, why not! So now I had a message ready to go to a user named "Stop Stop."

I didn't send it, if memory serves - after all, I didn't really want to write to someone named "Stop Stop". But I thought that it was kind of cool that people had fun nicknames they used in the system, so I started experimenting with different words to see what other names I could find. "Cosmic" seemed like a good word. "Do you mean Cosmic Demon?" Cosmic Demon. Now that was a cool name! "Yes." Yes I do. I'm sure that the message I sent said something embarrasingly naif like "I was playing in the system and came across your very cool name, and just wanted to say hi!" Let's hope I kept it to just one exclamation point, and thank the goddess that emoticons didn't yet exist.

Well... Cosmic Demon wrote back.

It was my first online thrill, my first virtual connection to another person... and it made me giddy. He was a very cool guy, a junior, and we exchanged many messages over the course of the next few weeks. Before and after class I'd rush to the terminal in the basement of the Union to see if there were any new messages for me. Then one evening I walked out of the stairwell into the hallway of my dorm room and there stood, in front of my door, a very tall, very blonde, very good-looking man in a black leather jacket. Cosmic Demon (aka Steve) in the flesh.

Once I was convinced that he wasn't a nutcase or serial murderer, our budding electronic friendship transitioned nicely into a real-life one (funny - the template for many of my future friendships was established way back then). It was never more than a friendship (sigh) due to both of us being involved with others, but there was music (Depeche Mode!), dancing (Nectarine Ballroom) and plenty of talking and drinking and late-night runs to Taco Bell.

And then... then I don't remember. Isn't that odd? I just don't remember how the friendship went from being something that I hold in my heart as something special to simply not existing anymore. I guess I can chalk it up to being what happens, sometimes, to the friendships of our youth. They don't all become the subject matter of "The Big Chill." Just as often, the names and lots of the specifics just slip away (though his face and his smile are astoundingly clear in my mind's eye). H. I think his last name started with an H.

I wish I knew why this 16-year-old memory found its way into my head today, and I wish even more that I could find out what happened to Steve wozzhisface. It would be fun to find him online again and to see if he remembers me. Maybe he could fill in the pieces that I've forgotten. I do often wonder if people I've known ever think about me, think about looking me up to see how I'm doing. Okay, actually I do more than wonder... I fret. Obsess sometimes even, wondering if I was so unmemorable or unlikeable that I will NEVER get one of those "someone's looking for you" e-mails from classmates.com. And now that I think of it, maybe that's why I still feel a tug when I think of seeing that cute boy standing all those years ago, waiting outside my door. Cosmic Demon came looking for me.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Finding the balance

I went to my yoga class today. This is significant only because I haven't been to it in almost exactly one year. It's the same class that it was before I left, with all but a few of the same students, though in a slightly different location; my teacher has started her own studio with perhaps the best name ever - Om Town Yoga - and is renting the space directly next door to the dance studio that used to house her classes. It's a much better use of that space, as the previous tenant was a coffee shop that was apparently never open - or at least never open at any time that I might have been able to darken its door.

The new studio is stunningly gorgeous with lush purple walls and dark wooden floors. The main room is separated from the entrance by a glass brick wall and there is a bench with cubbies underneath for shoes and backpacks and cell phones. Standing as if a sentry guarding the entrance to the sanctuary is a full-scale model skeleton, reminding all who enter what it is that allows us to move into all of the positions we're about to be led through.

You'll notice I said "my" yoga class, not just yoga class or "a" yoga class. Even though I gave it up a year ago when I started at Brenneke (I couldn't justify being away from home yet one more night every week in addition to all the time I was spending in class), I've always known it was there waiting and that I'd go back as soon as I was able. And indeed, I passed my last practical yesterday, turned in my exit interview, and this morning checked the web site to find that the new session of classes started... this week. Today.

So back in I jumped. To an advanced class. After a year of no regular yoga. And amazingly... it was just fine. In fact, it was better than fine. My downward dog was the best ever - strong legs, easy wrists, heels flat on the floor. Ardha chandra-asana was appropriately half-moony, steady, and balanced. I even managed to stay awake during savasana, letting my mind wander, as it does at some point in every session, back to my first yoga class in Columbus and my first beloved teacher Craige, who I still dearly miss six years later. I'm very tired and I will be sore tomorrow, but I know it will be a good sore.

In addition to the memories my body had of the yoga poses, I also surprised myself by remembering the Anusara invocation that we sing in Sanskrit at the beginning of every session:

Om Namah Shivaya Gurave
Saccidananda Murtaye
Nisprapancaya Shantaya
Niralambaya Tejase

I offer myself to the Light, who is the True Teacher
within and without (the teacher of all teachers),
Who assumes the forms of
Reality, Consciousness and Bliss,
Who is never absent and is full of peace,
Independent in its existence,
It is the vital essence of illumination.


It's a rather strange feeling as I begin picking up the pieces I put down a year ago, seeing if and where they fit into this new life, whether and how they work for this new me. I know that some things will be a better fit; with my new body awareness born of a year of intense study of the muscular and skeletal systems, I'm able to make minor adjustments to yoga poses that let me go much more deeply into them, allow me to root and establish a balance that I just didn't have before. On the flip side, I'm also finding that some things absolutely don't work for me anymore, that they chafe and make me very uncomfortable. There's a dissonance, a vibration that was certainly always there, but that is now amplified to a point where maintaining the safe and easy status quo no longer feels safe or particularly easy.

In order to accomplish what I did in this last year, I had to push away what was comfortable, to ease up on responsibility, and to allow myself to turn inward and focus on... me. It wasn't easy, either for myself or for my family and friends to whom I often waved to in passing as I ran off to yet another weekend of coursework. But it did help me learn what was true... in yoga-speak, it strengthened my core. Now that I once again have uncommitted time, I find myself rushing headlong back into focusing outward... scheduling long-delayed activities for the kids, planning work on the house, committing myself to projects on other peoples' deadlines. And that's great, but I need to be careful so as not to rebound too far in that direction, losing the intention and internal focus that has been so hard-won.

Last night, as I settled my heels to the floor and pushed up from the ground into my sit bones, I recognized that the strength of knowledge, the new eyes I now see through, will be useful in keeping my transition back into the once-familiar routines from becoming simply a return and a forgetting. Nothing has changed... and everything has changed. And now I know that all it takes is a subtle shift to find my balance.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Checkin' in

Holy heck. I was in class for... counts on fingers and toes... 14 hours today. Started a fantabulous 4 day certification class in Bodywork for the Childbearing Year and am LOOOOOVING it. Then had my last regular (though, as it was Tx clinic, somewhat irregular) class. This week was one of much accomplishment, motivation and success begetting more motivation and success. But right now I'm just tired and am going to bed because tomorrow morning is another early one and there's a lot I want and need to retain. So goodnight! And Tracey - thanks for keepin' the faith. :)

Friday, February 20, 2004

Let Love Rule

I'm so proud to be a left-coaster this past week, if for no other reason than we share the coast with San Francisco. I love that Mayor Gavin Newsom, who came into office as the more moderate of the two candidates, credits George W. Bush with his decision to begin issuing marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples: "I was at the State of the Union,'' he said, "and I felt a real resolve on this issue.'' If you haven't heard the details yet, read here for the story of how it all came about.

And then, the photos. Oh my. If you haven't seen 'em, you're missing some beauty. If you have seen them and don't at least get teary, I don't think there's any hope for you.

Many more photos here, including a lovely one that the photographer has made into a poster, donating all proceeds from the sale to DontAmend.com, an group working to stop attempts to create a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Make sure you don't miss the flash movie. And have tissues handy.

I don't know how this is all going to turn out, but my hope is that this attention, along with what's going on in Massachusetts, and now New Mexico (damn it, Seattle, what's taking us so long!) will have a de-sensitizing effect on those who are opposed to gay marriage, whatever their reasoning. Men are marrying men... women marrying women... and look! The world hasn't ended. Our social fabric seems to be holding. Nobody has been hit by lightning. (Bad thought: please, oh please... this would NOT be the time for the next big earthquake to hit northern California... Bush would probably refuse to give any federal disaster aid on the grounds that it was divine retribution. shudder)

And who knows... in those photos of happy, excited, weepy, nervous couples, the nay-sayers might even recognize a little of themselves on their own wedding day, take a little step towards understanding that love is love is love, regardless of the genders of those involved, and think twice before accepting any attempts by the government to deny equal rights to ALL of our citizens.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

All That We Let In

Well I don't know where it all begins
and I don't know where it's gonna end.
We're better off for all that we let in.
-Indigo Girls

Well, Howard Dean, the best President we've never had, decided today to stop actively campaigning for the White House. I'm sad, but strangely not despondent. He's woken something up in me and in lots of other Americans and it won't be put to sleep, won't tolerate politics as usual anymore. We're going to take the Democratic party back, from the ground up. Dean's plan is to convert DFA into a grassroots organization that supports other good candidates and I'll follow him, wherever he takes it. Even though he's no longer campaigning, he hasn't withdrawn from the race, remaining on the ballot in the rest of the primaries and caucuses, and hopefully collecting more delegates along the way. I certainly remain a proud and dedicated Dean delegate... our voices will be heard at the National Convention.

I did go to hear Terry McAuliffe speak last night and was just as disappointed in him as I thought I would be. He implored us to support the Dem party with passion... right before questions and comments were closed off. My comment, had I been allowed to make it, would have been, "We HAD passion, you cretin, and a candidate with REAL passion... you and the media portrayed it as unstable and unbalanced. My new passion is to see you out of a job, you uninspiring, insipid SOB."

From Dean's speech today in Burlington, here are the words of that craaaaazy, unelectable, dangerous loser. This is what we could have had, folks. Such is our loss.


Change is hard work. Change does not happen simply because you go to a rally and simply because you make phone calls -- and I know how hard everybody here has worked. But change is a process that you can never give up on because change is the state of America and change is the state of humankind.

So we will continue to fight. This is the end of phase one of this fight, but the fight will go on, and we will be together in that fight. We will continue to bring our message of hope and change to the American people.

We will speak out. We will fight on. We will continue to stand up against the dangerous foreign policy which weakens our security, and stand up against this president who weakens our civil rights.

We will continue to stand up against special interest that prevent change. And we will stand for America's working families for jobs and health care, investment in our children, the chance of all Americans to pursue their dreams.

We will continue to stand up against the divisive policies of the far right. We will no longer be divided by race. We will no longer be divided by gender. We will no longer be divided by sexual orientation. We will no longer be divided by religion. We will no longer be divided by income. And we will no longer be divided by George W. Bush in the White House.

And now that the campaign is stopped, I'm going to say something that all of you have heard me say before.

But I want you to think about it now because now is the most important time that you have heard it. And this is the real message of this campaign and you'll hear it in a different way because I am no longer a candidate.

The biggest lie that people like me tell people like you at election time is that, If you vote for me, I'll solve your problems. The truth is the power is in your hands, not mine.

Abraham Lincoln said that a government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from this Earth. You have the power to take back the Democratic Party and make us stand up for what's right again.

Allow us to fulfill the dream of Harry Truman in 1948 that he laid out where we would no longer be the last industrial country on the face of the Earth without health insurance. Allow us to stand up again for the rights to organize for ordinary men and women. Allow us to stand again for the principles of equal rights under the law for every single American.

You have the power to take our country back so that the flag of the United States of America no longer is the exclusive property of John Ashcroft and Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh and Jerry Falwell; that it belongs to all of us again.

And together we have the power to take back in the White House in 2004 and that is exactly what we're going to do. Thank you very much.