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, 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.

Monday, February 16, 2004


I keep coming to this stupid blog and getting annoyed that nobody's updated it. Then I realize that I'm the one I'm annoyed at. Um. Yeah.

All is well, just very busy with finishing required stuff and the avoidance of same. I passed my massage practical with flying colours so it's one exam down and three to go. Hard to believe that my graduation ceremony is just a little over 2 weeks away. Where has a year gone?

I'm going to skip the first half of class tomorrow to go give Terry McAuliffe (chair of the DNC) a piece of my mind (not that I can spare a very big piece, but still). He'll be downtown talking to the Young Democrats and it's open to the public... I plan to ask him why he thinks it's a good idea to do the same thing to Democrats in 35 states as was done to voters in Florida in 2000 - namely, the attempted disenfranchisement of primary voters that's accomplished by front-loading the primary season and pushing other candidates to withdraw from the race in the name of "party unity" behind the front-runner. In case it's not clear, I'm not a big fan of Terry Mac.

Major accomplishment this last week: painting and decorating the kids' room! It's now two lovely shades of blue with art and posters on the walls (and more to come when I get 'em framed) and each of the kids have moon lamps next to their beds so they can read before going to sleep. It's been on the to-do list for over a year, and all it took was the desire to NOT work on my business plan to get me motivated. Whee!

Saturday, February 07, 2004


Today were the Washington state Democratic caucuses. We don't have final tallies in yet, but I don't care... I'm GEEKED! It was democracy in action, I got to meet a bunch of my neighbours and... I'm a precinct delegate for Dean! Yay! Next stop: Legislative District Caucus on May 1st. WHEE!

Friday, February 06, 2004

More on electability

From Michael Kinsley in Slate: The Pragmatist's Primary: Desperately Seeking Electability

Democrats are cute when they're being pragmatic. They furrow their brows and try to think like Republicans. Or as they imagine Republicans must think. They turn off their hearts and listen for signals from their brains. No swooning is allowed this presidential primary season. "I only care about one thing," they all say. "Which of these guys can beat Bush?" Secretly, they believe none of them can, which makes the amateur pragmatism especially poignant.

Nevertheless, Democrats persevere. They ricochet from candidate to candidate, hoping to smell a winner. In effect, they give their proxy to the other party. "If I was a Republican," they ask themselves, "which of these Democratic candidates would I be most likely to vote for?" And by the time this is all over, most of the serious contenders will have been crowned the practical choice for at least a moment. First it was Lieberman the Centrist. "I'm actually for Dennis Kucinich," a Democrat might say, "because I like his position on nationalizing all the churches. But I'm supporting Joe Lieberman. His views on nearly everything are repellent to me, and I think that's a good sign."

. . .

Some Democrats cheated and looked into their hearts, where they found Howard Dean. But he was so appealing that he scared them. This is no moment to vote for a guy just because he inspires you, they thought. If he inspires me, there must be something wrong with him. So, Democrats looked around and rediscovered John Kerry. He'd been there all along, inspiring almost no one. You're not going to find John Kerry inspiring unless you're married to him or he literally saved your life. Obviously neither of those is a strategy that can be rolled out on a national level. But he's got the résumé. And gosh, he sure looks like a president (an "animatronic Lincoln," as my Slate colleague Mickey Kaus uncharitably described him).

. . .

The process the Democrats are putting themselves through resembles John Maynard Keynes' famous description of the stock market. The game isn't to figure out which stocks are most likely to do well, but to figure out which stocks other investors think are most likely to do well. And these other investors are thinking of other investors and so on. Keynes thought this helped to explain the volatility of stock price. Your judgment about other people's judgment, let alone other people's judgment about other people's judgment, is inherently less certain and more subject to breezes of false or true insight and information than your judgment about your own judgment.

Political Public Service Announcement

The Washington Democratic caucuses are tomorrow, Saturday Feb 7th from 10am-12pm. Voting will take place at 10:30 sharp - if you're not signed in by then, no votee. Where you vote is determined by your precinct, which is listed on your voter registration card. If you don't have that, no worries. You can find out where you're supposed to vote by calling your county auditor.

If you're not registered to vote, you can register on the spot.

If you need help in determining where to go, I am happy to help you find that information. If you promise to support Howard Dean, I'll even help you find the *correct* location. (You didn't expect this to be completely opinion-free, did you?)

Never been to a caucus? I haven't either. Doesn't matter. Information on what to expect can be found here.

In the interest of fairness, if you choose to participate in the Republican caucus, it will be held March 9th. More info here.

If you're not in Washington, and don't know when your primary or caucus is held, or want help in determining where you vote, let me know and I will help you find the answers.

I STRONGLY encourage everyone to take the time to participate, regardless of which candidate you support. Now more than ever, we each need to take the responsibilities of living in a democracy seriously so that the things that our leaders do reflect who we are. It starts at a local level. It doesn't take long to make sure your voice is counted.

And if you don't... don't you dare complain to me about the results.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004


If The Lord of The Rings had been written by somone else...
I saw some of these ages ago. Now there are a LOT more, and they have their own site. A great way to waste several hours.

Moonrise over Seattle
Found while looking for photos of moon halos. Jer should get a special kick out of it for reasons he well knows.

Colour Scheme
Stephen pointed me towards this one. As a result, expect to see colour changes here from time to time.

Becoming a Canadian
Just in case.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Unfamiliar Moon

The title for this entry comes from a spectacular song that I've been humming all day. It's by the fabulous Vance Gilbert and it hasn't yet been recorded - well, not on a studio album - but thanks to the internet, you can hear it here.

So yesterday was Stephen's birthday (yay!) and after I got home from my last weekend class day, we walked with the kids to have dinner at a local Italian restaurant. Yummy food, and we were almost the only people there as everyone else was apparently watching Justin bare Janet's yummily-pierced nipple on CBS. And oh, the hypocritic frenzy people are working themselves into over that one. Show Uday and Qusay's dead bodies during the dinner hour on the evening news and it's no big deal... show a little ornamented boobage, and lordy, lordy it's "obscene."

Anyway, it was a tangy, crisp night following a day that had given us more sunshine than we've seen in a while. As we were walking home, Stephen suddenly stopped and told us all to look up. The moon was bright, waxing and just a few days away from full. Around it was a large circular area of perfectly clear sky, with an outer circle of gauzy haze. It was astonishing and beautiful and even - to the primordial part of my brain inherited from ancient ancestors - a little scary. We just stood and looked at it for a long time. Nathan asked what caused it and neither of us knew the answer offhand. I told him that I figured it had something to do with the cold, and weirdly refracted light, but I also told the kids that it was an amazing and magical thing and that it didn't really matter, right then, why it was. And, I told them, truthfully, that I couldn't recall ever having seen anything like it in my life. Thirty-four years, and this was my first moon halo.

That's what it was, of course. As I promised our little budding scientist before he went to bed, I spent some time online looking for an answer to his "why?" (And, for the record, it was the first question he asked me when he stumbled out, rumple-headed, this morning.) 22° moon halos aren't particularly rare, though they seem to be spotted less frequently than those of the sun variety; once I saw some of the photos online, I could definitely recall seeing daytime halos. But never one at night, and never like this.

Maybe it was just the extreme clarity of the vision that made it so stunning, or maybe it was the unexpectedness of it, the serendipity of being in the right place at the right time. Certainly having the kids to ooh and aah with made the ooohing and aaahing that much more fun; we tried to share it with friends but none were available, so we shared with each other and with a neighbour who happened to be loading up her van as we walked by and hadn't yet looked up and noticed the cosmic display.

I've carried it with me today, have tried to sink back into the wonder of it as an antidote to the low spot I've found myself in. Halos are said to foretell rain and this one seems to have heralded, for me, an emotional change of the weather. I feel out of sync with the season; today is Imbolc... the turn toward Spring... Groundhog's Day. The days are getting noticeably longer, and the seemingly unceasing drip-drip-drip of January in Seattle is past, leaving everything much greener with a promise of early flowers to come. Yet despite that, today I've found myself focusing on endings rather than beginnings, sinking into the sadness of potential loss, steeling myself for heartbreak. As I'm wont to do, I've spent way too much time worrying about the future, about things that may or may not happen, things that are beyond my control.

And that's no good. So I try to bring it back to the moment, to all that I have right now, and play the Cat-in-the-Hat game with Sophie. I take a bath with salts and scents and pretty yellow marigold petals. After everyone's in bed, I light some candles and write, even though I too should be sleeping. And I think about the moon that it took me thirty-four years to see and wonder "why now?" all the time knowing that what I told the kids was true, that the wonder always trumps the why.