Monday, March 31, 2008

That's It

If I were Senator Clinton, I'd throw in the towel and tell everyone to go to hell. After years of being dogged by the media, criticized, humiliated, scored, and ripped to shreds, she has to have the thickest skin on the face of the earth.

But to go after her daughter?

That's it. I'd tell all my supporters thanks but no thanks. This is not worth it. I don't care that Chelsea is an adult. Asking her about how her mother handled her father's very public extra marital affair?



And it happened again today.

Meanwhile, the double edged sword of the media continues. Previous supporter Nora Ephron rips into Clinton's rendition of Bosnia but Obama continues to get to wane poetically about events without a fact checker.

From Politico:

"consider Obama's stirring tale for the Selma audience about how he had been conceived by his parents, Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham, because they had been inspired by the fervor following the "Bloody Sunday" voting rights demonstration that was commemorated March 4. "There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Ala.," he said, "because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don't tell me I don't have a claim on Selma, Ala. Don't tell me I'm not coming home to Selma, Ala." Obama was born in 1961, and the Selma march occurred four years later, in 1965. The New York Times reported that when the senator was asked about the discrepancy later that day, he clarified: "I meant the whole civil rights movement."

So when he does it, it's charming? And if you click through to the Politico article? There are countless more of these "slips."

If I were Senator Clinton, I'd throw my hands up and say, good luck to you. You have a newbie political creation from the powers that be. They better step up to the plate and keep delivering for him because he doesn't have a clue how to do it himself.

If he thinks I've been "dirty" and run a negative campaign?

Grow up. Wait till the Republicans get a hold of you.

Leave my kid alone. Leave my jerk of a husband alone. Like no one out there has taken back a spouse who cheated. Please. I'm done with the slings and arrows. I have enough money, friends and stories to tell my grandchildren.

I don't need this job. This job needs me.

And don't you dare come whining to me when Obama blows it in the first 100 days. And then the next 100 days. Because unlike all the restraint I've shown to date? I'm going to tell you I told you so.

Because you know what? When it comes to asking my kid about something private, personal and painful to play "gotcha" for the camera?

That's it.

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Too Nice, Too Sunny

Today, I was in charge of lock down. That meant being the one at home to follow through with the punishment de jour.

Ben "lost" his clarinet book which meant he could not practice his clarinet. If Jeanine and I had been born, say, yesterday, we would have believed him.

But, alas, we were not.

So, until he "found" the clarinet book, he could not leave the house. That seemed to require his responding with some language not fit to reprint.

Next stop? His room.

Jeanine, Zachary and Jake went to the mall to spend some hard earned allowance dollars. The mall, if you couldn't guess, is Ben's favorite place in the world.

But they were there and he was not. That made my young charge even more unhappy.

I thought about taking out Zachary's saxophone and playing "Swing lo... Sweet Chariot..." mournfully.

Instead, I took take my jailer duty to the porch outside my office. Read the New York Times. Got some sun.

Hummed my song. Thought about buying the sheet music for clarinet so Ben could have something to play when he is in his cell.

Sorry. Room.

Yup. I've been in one of those really good, can't be beaten down kind of moods. It's too nice and too sunny.

Next time? I'm going to bet he doesn't ditch his music book.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Genetics Take Center Stage Again

Fight fire with fire, I say.



Okay, people, it's just a joke!

But it is interesting to hear it flipped on it's head, isn't it?

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Friday, March 28, 2008

New Blog Makes the List!

Notice a new member to the blog roll... that names sounds familiar...

YES! It's my wife, Jeanine Cowen.

The blog is about music technology stuff. Not for the faint of heart.

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A Declaration of Fairness

A declaration of fairness has been created. I do believe MI and FL should revote and be counted. It seems so unfair that party big shots decide to break the rules and the average joe gets screwed- again.

I don't profess to know how to make it happen. I only know that unless we want Florida go Republican, we better make sure their votes get counted.

Please go sign this petition to Howard Dean.

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Uh Oh...

I lost a cat.

You know the two cats we are taking care of? Well... um... the big fat one?

I can't find her.

And, she is big and fat. There are not a lot of places for her to hide. I just offered the kids five bucks if they could find her.

On one hand, I know she has been sleeping most of the days and then coming out at night to yowl and Jeanine and I, rub against the dog and purr loudly.

I haven't seen her since last night.

The other cat has adjusted really well, except for the eating part but I think she's getting close to doing that, too. I simply sit on my bed and say, "Here kitty kitty kitty" and she comes running.

I've always found the big one under my bed, under one of the kids beds or tucked under a dresser. She can't fit a lot of other places. There is no way she got outside.

She's here somewhere. I'm worried, though.

Mind you, the economy is tanking, people are losing their homes in record numbers, in five years my oldest son will be of age to draft into the army- there are bigger things to obsess about.

Maybe I should offer ten bucks...

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Get it Together!

BREAKING NEWS

Howard Dean says pull it together by July 1st, superdelegates.

They must vote by then.

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McCain, Obama and Clinton

McCain, Obama and Clinton were on a boat.

The boat sank.

Who got saved?



The country.


Sorry, I could not resist. I'm feeling that miserable about the election right now.

(thanks Jim!)

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Can We Get Along?

I had a friend of mine admit today that she's an Obama supporter.

I would say a good friend of mine but now... I'm not so sure.

Only kidding. I was a little surprised but not completely. Frankly? At this point? I don't care.

I don't care who wins as long as a Democrat wins. And it's starting to look like that won't happen.

She pointed out to me that Obama wasn't being negative to gay people, or immigrants, in the speech he made in Oregon the other day. He was simply saying, let's not get caught up in immigrants and gay people when we have bigger issues- the economy and the war- to look at.

Okay.

I can see that. I'm not sure that I agree but then, I wasn't in the room. I didn't hear the entire speech. I listened with attitude and not openness.

See, she is a good friend. And I realized for a second, my heart closed. Over what? A political candidate? No.

Hillary Clinton didn't just invite me to the Cape this summer, and Barack Obama didn't teach her kids how to body surf.

I was going to let an average candidate- and let's face it, they are both average candidates with relatively little experience- make me love my friend any less.

But the thought that someone as insane and erratic as John McCain would end up in the Oval Office in charge is... more than either of us could bear.

The primary season has never lasted so long. By the time the Democrats get to Denver, nothing is going to be left. No more money to raise. No more dignity from either side.

Nothing.

Imagine if right now, we had lined up a series of debates with John McCain. I'm willing to bet that by debate three, we could have him bright red and spitting out some off balanced, angry retort.

By debate 5? It would be McCain throwing every dirty political trick in the book to win.

We're not going to have time for three debates after Denver, let alone five.

What are we going to do?

We cannot stand five more months of this.

We will lose.

I keep hearing Rodney King's voice:

"People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it, making it horrible for the older people and the kids?...It’s just not right. It’s not right. It’s not, it’s not going to change anything. We’ll, we’ll get our justice....Please, we can get along here. We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to work it out."

We have to work this out.

Or we will never get our justice.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Breaking Down the Bedrock

Today has been pretty quiet. Not a lot of news, so I was catching up on some blogs, email, even managed to tackle an enormous pile of laundry...

You know, casually practicing my "sinful nature,"as Sally Kern, and the likes of Sally Kern, call my lifestyle "choice."

Seems on Easter Sunday, the day of all that Jesus stuff- rebirth, and renewal, love and kindness- Sally missed an opportunity to throw her hands up in the air and say, Save me sweet Jesus.

Clearly I was wrong. I don't think gay people are like "cancer" and should be "eradicated."

Not our Sally. She stuck to her guns, comfortable in her ignorance, using the bible to prop herself up on a pedestal of intolerance on KFOR-TV's "Flash Point."

I'm going to decline, too, to give up my, as Ms. Kerns calls it, "lifestyle which is so destructive to individuals, is at the heart trying to tear down what is the bedrock foundation of our society, which is the family and traditional marriage."

I'm going to keep tearing down our society. I'm going to push the envelope with my three children and my legally wedded wife. Not only that, I'm going to proudly proclaim my kids two dads, two wonderful gay men, and not for one second feel any shame.

That and go to the grocery store.

I'm not sure I've quite felt so powerful as I did today, walking down the pasta aisle and picking out my favorite brand of crushed tomatoes. Because that decision? Well, let me tell you, that decision is part of my homosexual agenda.

Although I think we should have a his and hers kinda thing. The homosexual agenda and the lesbian agenda. I know the guys would be far more stylish, have more parties, and actually network. We lesbians would be far better at process, pot lucks and sharing rides in our Subaru station wagons.

In comfortable shoes.

You know what? I do want to tear down that bedrock Sally Kern is so comfortable living on. I do want to get out a chisel and a jack hammer and blast it away. Because any bedrock that requires calling people "cancer" and deeming a change to their worlds as a threat greater than terrorism?

It has to go. Anything that keeps that kind of hate in tact, anything that makes someone like Rep. Kern feel like she can say publicly on Easter Sunday her brand of bigotry is supported by God? That needs to go.

Personally? I'm going to go infiltrate the Elementary school by showing up, two moms, two dads, at my kids parent teacher conferences. I'm going to attend little league baseball games by the thousands.

I'm going to go to the PTO meetings... okay, that may be pushing it.

I know that each time I do? A few more people realize lesbians are regular folks with kids and mortgages and we forget the water bottle sometimes, too.

And Sally Kern- and all those who feel so privileged to throw hateful stones at me? Well, those stones are going to be coming from her own bedrock.

The one crumbling underneath her.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Presidential Election Results Are IN!

If you can't stand waiting for the next few months, then click on the video.

But I warn you... there is an election spoiler in there!



If you want real news, and to see Obama saying something stupid again about gay people, click here, because my friend Sue has it covered.

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Foster Cat Update




They are out from under the furniture. Hanging out in the back room next to the gas fireplace, where it's toasty warm.

I think I'm going to stick to cats today.

One of the rescue team called me a saint.

HA! She doesn't read the comments on this blog...

I don't think I'm a saint. I think someday, I'll be old. Hopefully, someone will bring me chicken broth and sour cream. Maybe a little baby food.

Syringe a little wine in the side of my mouth.

You know, good karma in the world.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

The Inexcusable

I was forwarded an article today by Linda Burnham, The Tightrope and the Needle.

"Liberal feminists have every right to spend down their political capital on behalf of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Hard choices have to made; political debts have to be paid. But it will not count as progress if a Clinton win is purchased at the cost of deepening the racial divide. It is inexcusable to support a candidate in the name of feminism while deploying racist argumentation, minimizing the existence and impact of racism, and denying the advantages of inhabiting the racial space called “white.” It will not be excused. Nor will it be forgotten."

Excuse me?

I believe Clinton is a better candidate.

Period. Pretty darn close between them. They have voted over 90% of the time the same way. very very little is different. I think Clinton's additional term in the Senate is important but not the end all and be all.

Period.

I like her health care plan better.

Period.

They both suck wind on LGBT rights.

Period.

I have read their positions. I have listened to the debates. I have thoughtfully considered each candidate. They both have weaknesses and strengths.

You can call me racist, and that's fine. You can call me the political machine of old and that's fine. Keep bringing it on and I'll keep shaking my head. I don't agree.

Is the only way I can embrace the struggle for racial justice is to vote for Obama? If I don't, I'm reverting "to the primacy of sexism over all other forms of discrimination and oppression. All the tendencies that got feminism tagged as a white, middle-class women's thing are, brutally, back in play."

It can't just be a difference of opinion? Honestly, I wish I had someone to vote for that had Kucinich's politics, Romney's hair, Ann Richard's humor, St. Teresa's police record...

But I don't, do I?

I could go through the entire essay, line by line and argue every point. My blood pressure would skyrocket.

Mostly? It hurts.

I am highly attuned to gender frames. I am highly attuned to homophobia, gender identity, stereotyping, class differences... I live them every day.

And I am highly attuned to race and racism.

The author refers to me- old, white woman voting for Clinton- as "blissfully (willfully?) ignorant"?

That's an insult to all the work I've done in my life, professionally and personally.

I chose a different candidate.

And now that makes me a racist?

Are some people supporting Clinton racist? Yes. And some people supporting Obama are racist, too. No one has played this campaign cleanly.

No one.

I believe deeply and strongly that we need to have a discussion on race in this country. We are in a historic moment and we are all spitting at each other and throwing blanket statements in order to elevate our candidate...

What a waste. We should be having this discussion TOGETHER rather than pointing fingers.

We are pulling apart each thread of the fabric of these campaigns- these two democratic campaigns- and scrutinizing every gesture, every word, every supporting cast member...

In the mean time? John McCain doesn't even need to fund raise. Why bother campaigning? He just has to sit back and wait for the bloodied victor from Denver to step forward.

We all have a lot of work to do. The discussion about race- and gender, and class, and homophobia- is essential to creating social change. We must come together for this discussion.

Long after this presidential race is decided, we will all have to work together because a single person in the role of president is simply NOT THAT IMPORTANT.

Are we all war lovin', Republican morons because George Bush has been our president for 8 years?

I didn't think so.

"It is inexcusable to support a candidate in the name of feminism while deploying racist argumentation, minimizing the existence and impact of racism, and denying the advantages of inhabiting the racial space called “white""

There has been so much about the political/candidate discussion that I find inexcusable. I could flip that statement right back at the author.

But I know it's not that simple. There isn't a single line to draw to get from A to B with race in this country. This is complex. There are many different things happening at once.

Mostly, though? If we blow this election because we are so busy navel gazing and pointing fingers at each other because we can't see beyond our own rhetoric?

That will not be forgotten.

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4000 US Dead in Iraq

We passed another milestone.

4000 US dead.

82,349 – 89,867
civilians dead in Iraq.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Easter Sunday...



We had an egg hunt, early morning chocolate- because that is what the good lord would want you to do- and a fabulous dinner.



It was a wonderful, sunny day.

The big news this weekend, though, is not about how many eggs each kid gathered, or the annual meltdown of Zachary (the kid just cannot do that much sugar at once), but that we are proud foster care for two cats.

I had agreed, a while ago, to foster care for cats who needed temporary homes. Mostly, barn cats, feral kittens, and to socialize them so they can be adopted.

My kids were thrilled with the idea but I knew they had no idea what it would be like to care for wild cats. It's not easy.

We finally got a call on Saturday morning that Jeanine and I could not resist. An elderly gentleman was moved to a nursing home. His two cats, both 15 years old and raised by him as kittens, were in a shelter. They hadn't eaten for days. They were listless and they were going to die.

I went and got them right away.

Within a few hours, they both ate a little, had some water and purred like crazy on my lap.

When they got here, they were not so sure they wanted to be here.



Charlotte hid under my desk.

But Darcy- hey, I did not name these cats- was fairly pleased to be away from the shelter.



I find it a little hard to believe Darcy didn't nibble on a bit of food while she was in the shelter. Sure, her sister was on a hunger strike but a morsel or two wouldn't be all THAT bad.

The good news is that while Charlotte still prefers to be under the desk, she will come out to be pat and held. Darcy is up for a small stroll from her sleeping spot, to the litter box, to the food and water and then for a pat while sitting under the chair.

No, I am not a member of PETA, and as I've mentioned before, I do have a mink coat. The reason I did this was to teach my kids some understanding of what it is to volunteer to help something that is helpless.

It's not about keeping every stray cat in the world but being a part of a larger community working to alleviate the problem.

So as I type, Charlotte is puring and sharing half my lap with the computer. Darcy has returned to her sleeping place, her evening stroll complete. The boys have been sweet and quiet around them.

Earlier, I sat with both Zachary and Jake, sitting on the floor, reading books. They didn't try to pat the cats, or to chase after them. They simply came to sit in the room with them. Watch them. Talk about what they know about them, merely two days into the process.

I don't know when a good home will be found. They are old cats- and I mean OLD. Another elderly person would be perfect for them.

And in the meantime, we will all learn about being part of a new community.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Stupid Question for the DNC

I would like to ask a question... why won't the DNC let Michigan and Florida re-vote?

It is reminiscent of HRC's negative scoring of Legislators who did not vote yes for the sexual orientation only ENDA bill. They did not play by the big boys rules. Now they are being penalized.

In other words, HRC is cutting off it's nose to spite it's face. Ok, we hear how powerful you are.

The DNC is doing the same thing. Michigan and Florida... naughty, naughty, they bucked the system, thumbed their noses at the powers that be.

Rogue states.

Michigan and Florida deserve to be heard. Especially Florida. have they not been dissed enough in elections?

And with those "two states added in, Obama's total vote lead shrinks from 700,000 to about 70,000."

Yes, I am personally motivated because my candidate will benefit greatly from a re-vote. These are KEY states in a November election. I think as a party, we need to know who can win them. what the demographics are. how this plays in a national election.

As a Democrat, I would pony up some money to help pay for a re-vote in those two states.

Why isn't it happening?

I know... stupid question but... still... I want to know why?

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Naughty Mom Night



I'm having the Naughty Moms over tonight. Having a group of self-proclaimed suburban "naughties" is a challenge.

You must have enough wine in the house. Good wine. They are suburbanites after all. I do NOT allow spritzers of any kind. I have my rules about wine.

When one of the naughties offers to bring a VERY LARGE bottle of vodka, you throw away the mixers and get the martini shaker ready, arming yourself with olives and lemon twists.

If the flowers you thought you could stretch out one more day are too dead after all? Improvise with a Chihuly. But remove before dessert so it doesn't end up being offered to double as a jello mold.

And that's all I can say. I am not allowed to divulge the naughty mom's identities. I am not allowed to share any of the conversations that take place.

It's Vegas here tonight.

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Within Arm's Reach

It is painful how this political race is ending up. The Democrats are imploding and the sole Republican is sitting pretty, looking calm, almost regal.

It’s been hard to watch. I am a Clinton supporter. I believe she is a better candidate. It’s not about Obama. I think he is capable and if nominated, will surround himself with smart people.

I simply believe Clinton already is smart enough.

What I’m struck by, mostly, is not the fight between the “Dunkin Donuts Clintonites” and the “Starbucks Obamatrons.” Nestled in our enclave of liberal supporters we are arguing over minutia.

Especially in the LGBT community where either candidate leaves much to be desired. It’s choosing between being treated like dirt and being treated like dirt.

But we sit today, with a historic opportunity, to elect the first African-American man or to elect the first woman President of the United States and we're blowing it.

Unwelcome folks in the world of white, male power. Very unwelcome. I have often questioned where the mud slinging has come from- the other Democrat or the entrenched powers that be?

I came across an essay this morning, “Whiskey in the Kitchen” in the book, "An Omelette and a Glass of Wine," by Elizabeth David.

David recalls a gentleman who writes to complain about the audacity of a food writer to suggest using whiskey, instead of cognac, to flambé a lobster. The complainant was from England, in 1952.

"I wonder if deep down that peppery gentleman's irritation might perhaps have been due to fear that once the gaff about whiskey not being suitable for the kitchen was blown the master's bottle would no longer be quite sacrosanct. The little woman, instead of having to explain the spending of twenty-five shillings of the housekeeping money on a half bottle of ‘cooking’ brandy, would be at liberty to raid the Scotch for a few tablespoonsful at any time, and nobody the wiser."

Not unlike today’s political situation, now is it? As Clinton or Obama come close to the ultimate prize, I can’t help but feel that those entrenched in political power would rather we stick to our Senate seats, our State legislatures, rather than sip at the carefully guarded Scotch.

The way things have always been done- cognac for flambé, is being challenged. The master’s bottle is no longer sacrosanct.

And instead of locking arms to combat the very real John McCain, we are killing each other.

With history within arm’s reach.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Walking Home




Today, walking home from school, the kids and I were talking about Easter and the Easter Bunny.

It's you, Jake said. Did you get the peeps?

Excuse me? I asked.

Listen, Mom, Zachary patiently explained, When you had the "Easter Bunny" - and he does quotes with his fingers in the air- come to the condo in Florida and he came with one of the camp counselors and wore boxes on his feet? You really didn't expect us to believe after that, did you?

I looked at him. God that kid is smart. Hey, I said, Don't blame me. That was your grandmother's idea.

Yeah, and then we had to go to a mosquito infested swamp for the egg hunt, Zachary added.

It's true. He did.

Not my idea. Your grandmothers, I said, passing the buck to my dead mother.

They put the eggs in thistle bushes, Zachary said.

By then I was laughing because I do remember it well. There were swarms of mosquitoes and the eggs were in thick bramble. My mother's condo was part of a bigger resort, so they had all sorts of kid programs. She wasn't able, physically, to do very much with the kids so it pleased her that they could go do 'fun stuff' at the 'kid's camp.'

The only problem was the camp wasn't very good.

That wasn't Grandma's egg hunt, Zachary was quick to defend her. She had a great one the next year, around the condo. She always had cool stuff for us.

I know, I said to him. What I didn't say was Jeanine and I, along with the other neighbors, did the egg hunt around the condo. We filled eggs with candy and stickers and small plastic rings and stashed them outside.

My mother was delighted by the idea.

When all the other kids came running out Easter morning in fresh, new, pressed outfits ready for church, my mother frowned at my boys running around in bathing suits and rumpled tee shirts. That was my bad. I should have dressed them. Her grandsons? She waved happily from her balcony, clapping each time they held up an egg.

Memories in my family are rarely about telling the truth. I was torn. My beautiful, blue eyed boy delights in his image of his grandmother. His grandmother was not the same person as my mother. She loved them unconditionally.

Your grandmother, I said carefully, loved you all very much.

Yeah, she'd let us have coke and ice cream for breakfast, but she didn't let you do that when you were a kid, Zachary said.

My mother was out the door to work before I ate breakfast, I thought. I rarely ate anything.

She did let you have whatever you wanted, I smiled. We were almost home.

So, when I have kids, you're gonna spoil them all the time, right?

Yup, I said.

I took a deep breath, and remembered today is the first day of spring. It's about renewal, and fresh, fragile starts. I don't need to be right. I don't need my kids to know all of who my mother was. Not now. Maybe not ever.

I want to move forward.

Zachary eyed me, gauging how far he could push the conversation. You won't be all mean like you are now, with all the rules, he asked.

I turned my head and raised an eyebrow.

Well, except on weekends. You rock on weekends, he hedged. Zachary will be a brilliant politician someday.

But you are kinda mean during the week, Jake piped in.

I'm gonna be mean to you now! I said and started to run after Jake who squealed and ran the rest of the way, with me chasing him.

The peeps are bought. The baskets, ready. There will be no excuses for waking up early in the morning because no one believes in the Easter Bunny, boxes or not on his feet.

For me? This time is about the small green outside, the little beginnings of possibilities.

And enjoying every walk home.

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Six Word Memoir

So Harlie Aizley tagged me to write a six word memoir.

Six words?

And three words to decribe my life.

Three?

I can be brief but... HMMM.

"funny, sweet, but not so bright"

Nah, that's more of a bio.

"better than shoveling shit"

Not enough words.

"snarky bitch who loves to play"

Too much bio again... a memoir is about my life. A six word description of my life.

I have it.

"Beautiful, raw, with cliffs of faith"

Okay, it's a little hokey but I'm working with six words here!

And to narrow it down to three words?

"The bathroom.... Now?"

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How to Distract a 44 Year Old Foodie

Today I was talking to someone who got me very upset,. I had already had a horrible start to my day- I was up at 3AM just because it seemed like a lovely time to be wide awake, my car would not start because the battery had run dry again, and I was going to have to deal with the tow truck/jump/car to shop/ take wife to work drama.

My parental judgment was questioned. Being a giant narcissist, I was immediately injured instead of considering the moment, looking at all the angles, and deciding how much, if any was true.

My face must have been red because in an instant, she started to talk restaurants with me. I swear, within three minutes- perhaps only two- I was back in the room, and babbling about food.

Wait… I said. You just used food to distract me.

Yes, I did, she smiled.

And for her, for her knowing me that well, I would like to respond and give a couple of my most favorite restaurants in Boston.



Radius- 8 high street Boston 617 426 1234- Interesting, thoughtful and edgy cuisine. The first place I ever was bold enough to try tripe. (Didn’t like it but it wasn’t bad) It is incredibly elegant, stunning presentations and whatever they made that day is what to get. Lots of business people, so don’t be surprised to be next to a table of suits ordering expensive wine. You may get a little lost if the servers are star struck.

Since Biba’s is gone, (yes, I’m still mourning years later), I would call this the best restaurant in the city.

Some main courses are (but remember, they change seasonally)

Slow-roasted Scottish Salmon
- apple puree, brussels sprouts, guanciale, horseradish and long pepper

Berkshire Pork Chop
- matsutake mushrooms, chinese sausage, broccolini and cantaloupe sauce

Seared Day Boat Scallops
- delicata squash, roasted cauliflower, autumn olive sauce and szechuan peppercorn

Herb-Basted Giannone Chicken
- shrimp farce, curry tarbais, collards and lemongrass consomme

Mediterranean Sea Bass
- garlic-parsley sauce, braised mushrooms and cippolini, escargots, swiss chard and port reduction

No. 9 Park- 9 Park Street, right across from the State House 617 742 9991. Okay, maybe this is the best place. It has the best wine list, in my opinion, because each bottle they offer is really about the food. Not price. Not notority, but the food. Barbara Lynch is the chef and scratching up through the food business as a woman is no easy task. She’s an artist with pasta. Her Prune Stuffed Gnocchi seared foie gras, Vin Santo glaze is her signature dish but she has a great touch with duck, too. Again, a gorgeous room, looking out over the Boston Garden and the gilded dome. The staff knows their food and wine. I understand Ms. Lynch is kind of a well-known perfectionist in the industry and she does not accept anything less than perfect.

I’m glad. They are also one of the few restaurants who take their cheese plates and cheese cart offerings very seriously.

Roasted Scottish Salmon
~ parsley root, grapefruit, black olives, bok choy

Day Boat Scallops
~ warm clam salad, La Ratte fingerlings, chervil broth

Wild Striped Bass
~ salsify, maitake mushrooms, truffle jus

Roasted Poussin
~ spaghetti squash, Burgundian escargots, Brussels sprouts, lardons

Duet of Pekin Duck
~barley, black trumpets, cipollini, oyster jus

Berkshire Pork Loin
~ caramelized apples, potato puree, housemade boudin noir

Loin of Colorado Lamb
~ polenta, artichoke, Greek yogurt

Painted Hill Farms Ribeye
~ potato galette, short rib, Swiss chard, bone marrow


Lumiere- across from West Newton Cinema, 617 244 9199. Let us not forget my own backyard. Michael Levinton is the next incarnation of Alice Waters. I do not say that lightly. I have a small shrine to Alice, with the words, FRESH and LOCAL on it. Having eaten at Chez Panisse, I can only remember sitting there and thinking, this is like Michael’s food… Lumiere is about time, effort and ingredients. Think sauces that are reductions of reductions. Where hours are put into an accent on the dish. And the fish… the fish is always perfect. Don’t even bother with anything else- not that it isn’t fabulous but the way he cooks the fish and the composition of the dishes … oh my.

He sometimes has bouillabaisse as a special- get it. It’s light, brothy, and the seafood is never over done. If you don’t order it, you will be missing out on a dish I still dream about from time to time.

Wild Maryland Striped Bass
Exotic Mushrooms, Sesame & Ginger, Soy-Sherry Sauce*

Gloucester Skate
Roasted Cauliflower Grenobloise and Mustard Vinaigrette*

Almond Crusted Gloucester Cod
Braised Cipollini Onions, Mushrooms & Marcona Almonds
Orange-Shallot Gremolata & Sherry Brown Butter*

Long Island Duck Breast
Purée Jaune, Chestnuts, Pearl Onions & Thyme, Duck Jus*

Braised Humanely Raised Veal Shoulder
White Bean Ragoût, Roasted Tomatoes, Black Olives & Gremolata

Northeast Family Farms Hanger Steak
Exotic Mushrooms, French Fries and Beef Jus*

I’m sure my friend and I will figure out our differences when we next get together. Perhaps by then I will be over my hurt pride.

If not? She can always ask me about food again…

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And the Tide Turns- Again

According to the most recent Gallup Poll, Clinton is in the lead.

As a Clinton supporter, I say hooray, but as a democrat? I can say, keep scrolling down. McCain beats either Obama or Clinton.

He doesn't beat Clinton by as much.

But he beats them both.

Thanks, Sue!

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Easter Is On It's Way

I pondered the ridiculousness of me, an atheist, celebrating Easter, with my friend Hillary today.

Not that Hillary.

I don't believe in God. Easter just pushes 'going along' to an extreme. Not only am I suppose to believe in some celestial being, I am also to think that he rose from the grave?

I don't even like peeps, I wrote. I know. It's UN-American.

If Jesus sees his shadow, we get 6 more weeks of peeps... she responded.




All I can say is... AMEN.

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McCain Sneaks Out of Hagee's Endorsement

McCain manages to sound humane, thoughtful, and sneaks out of denouncing more than one whack job of a right wing preacher that is supporting him.




Are we all watching him? He's practically giggling. It's like taking candy from a baby!

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Only in New England



I was on the phone with my sister yesterday. Jake and I were out on the deck, sitting in the sun. It's beautiful, I said.

What's the temperature up there? she asked.

Oh, it's gotta be almost 60 degrees, I said.

It wasn't. It was 41 degrees. Only in New England do we think 41 degrees means tee shirts, shorts and sitting out on the deck.

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Marriage Discussion at Roger Williams Law School

I was asked to post this... if you can go, you should- David Wilson is a wonderful speaker.


"On Friday, March 28, the Alliance at Roger Williams School of Law is hosting a symposium entitled "The Culture of Same-Sex Marriage in New England." This Symposium offers a unique opportunity to learn more about issues surrounding the same-sex marriage debate. The Symposium will begin with a keynote address by David Wilson, Plaintiff in Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health and board member of Mass Equality and the Human Rights Campaign. Following the keynote the Symposium will have two panels: the first panel will discuss the current debate for same-sex marriage in Rhode Island, and the second panel will more generally discuss the arguments for marriage as opposed to civil unions, informed by the experiences of other New England states.

The Symposium will be held from 12:00-4:45 and will include lunch. Participation is free for anyone attending. There is a $25 fee for those requesting the 5 Rhode Island CLE credits that the Symposium grants. You can register online and find more information about the event at http://law.rwu.edu/marriagelaw/.

Questions can be addressed to Roger Williams Law School Director of Diversity Programs, Lydia Hanhardt at 401-254-4522, lhanhardt@rwu.edu or to Alliance co-Presidents Brad Pelletier (bpelletier519@barrister.rwu.edu) or Kim Ahern (kahern600@barrister.rwu.edu).

The details are also available at this RI Blog:
http://www.rifuture.org/showDiary.do?diaryId=1987"

Monday, March 17, 2008

McCain... Can He Stay Awake?

An excellent question from a high school student...



And to be fair, I've snoozed through Bush talking...



and what the hell is this guy talking about?



But Senator McCain promises us... he'll stay awake.

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"Eight Days A Week"

I used to love the Beatles song, "Eight Days A Week" until Ben and Zachary were assigned a duet to play the song for their lesson. They share the same teacher and go one after another.

I have heard the song over and over. A saxophone and clarinet. Not sure what key they are playing in, but I can tell you it's not the same one for both of them.

Near wrestling over the music sheets.

Zachary trying to play from the floor, lying on his back.

Giggling. Teasing.

Don't you know a rest?

One, two, three..

NO! One, two...

Rest, rest...

ZACH!

Never mind.

Huge burst of laughter.

I gotta talk to their teacher. A duet is not such a good idea. I should be grateful, though, they have not hit Pachelbel's "Canon" yet.

I find it most interesting, however, that their mother- the one who is the musician and insists they take lessons through high school- is never here during the practice sessions.

Curious.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Don't Honk At Your Elders

I've been a jerk driver more than once, but I've never ever honked at an old lady.

Ever.


video

Thanks to Jim Fredrick!

Sassy Meets Cell Phones

Oh my.

I was sitting reading the Wall Street Journal yesterday, and pondering the shovel/cash in the ground option, and my cell phone buzzed.

My son, the one in his room in time out? Text messaged me.

"Il text u wen i need 2 talk 2 u cus i am stil mad at u"

Excuse me?

Needless to say, his cell phone was removed. I mean... sassy talk through a cell phone?

I'm a little stunned at the regularity in which such statements come from my 12 year old, text or not.

What is the deal with that?

I never spoke to my mother that way until I was at least 18 years old. And bigger than her so when she tried to slap me across the face I could stop her.

I know if she were alive today she'd be enjoying the payback.

The conversation would go something like this...

Mom. You won't believe what Ben just did...

Mmm hmmm, she say, listening.

Kids today, jeez, I'd say.

Mmm hmmm, she'd say, still listening. Over the phone I would not see her amused face but she would be amused.

After listening to me rant for a while, she'd remind me of my sassy mouth.

(I know, it's hard to imagine I ever had a sassy mouth.)

She'd remind me of how her father said the same thing to her, once, long ago. Some things change, she'd say, and some things don't.

She tell me the story of how her father thought Frank Sinatra was walking sex and she should not be listening to such garbage.

I miss the parental reality check she always gave me and the long stories. She so enjoyed hearing about her "babies" giving me a hard time.

It was never completely clean, though.

It was one thing we did well together, being grandmother and mother of my boys. It wasn't about the years of disappointment or the pain, it was about loving these kids so much.

The anger and fury are gone. I will never paint a false picture of her but I'm no longer limited to the color red. She was as complicated as I am.

Ben gets his phone back today. I'm sure it will not be the last time he texts me something that makes me crazy.

And I miss my mother today.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Little by Little

Jake and I were sitting in the back room together. No TV, no video games, he was stuck talking to me.

So… when did you meet Momma Jeani?

In 1989.

How old were you?

I do the math. I can’t quite believe it.

26.

She was on the volleyball team?

Yes, we were both playing on teams that were going to the Gay Games in Vancouver.

Why weren’t you on the same team?

Because I was better.

No you weren’t! Jake yells.

Yes, I was, actually.

Don’t trash talk my birth mother!

I looked at him. Jake did come out of Jeanine. She is his birth mother and I am a better volleyball player.

Not trash talk. Just reality.

I wonder, though, how he holds that. They love to hear their birth stories, and I tell them over and over again. Ben came out early and no bag was packed. Zachary on time but there was a lot of swearing involved.

And no bag packed either.

Jake bungee jumped with the cord wrapped around him so many times he couldn’t make it out.

I love to tell the stories. Partly because I am adopted and I do not have those stories. My mother told me she picked me out, and I was the chosen one. How she loved me, how wonderful I was. Not too skinny, not too fat, just right.

Yeah, that landed me in a lotta years of therapy.

She was only doing what the social worker recommended. I still have the book she read to us, “The Chosen Baby” by Valentina P. Wasson. Originally published in 1939, it was at the time, “practically a classic in the child adoption field.”

I wonder, as I listen to Jake tell me not to trash talk his birthmother, how this all sits in his mind. How it sits in Ben’s and Zachary’s.

I know I felt special and totally returnable. I mean, if you pick one out, you can pick another. Someone already dropped me off in the reject bin once. Why not again?

I went over and hugged Jake, and playfully started to wrestle with him. Believe me, I said to him, I was there every step of the way.

He giggled, and tried to escape, but not too hard. Even when she was puking? He asked.

Yes, even then.

Did you puke?

Yes, I did. Most pregnant women do.

Can we play the witch game? He asked. Jake and I made up this game, where I pretend to be a mean, old witch sleeping and he sneaks up. I wake up, grab him and tickle him until he “gets away” only to repeat the process over and over.

I wonder if I take the time to talk more about the birth process, do I talk about the donor at this time and how we managed to have three boys because of the generosity of an anonymous man in Berkeley, California?

Does he feel less than? More than? I know he feels different. I know from my own experience the difference is good and bad. I know it must be talked about, to be held openly, never a secret, never taboo.

I know all three of my kids have very different feelings about having two moms, two dads, and an anonymous biological father. Each will need different pieces handed to them at different times. I am constantly mindful of when a moment comes up and it is ripe with possibility.

Today? It was time to play the witch game. Jake wanted to giggle and be tickled and wrestle. He’s still a little boy, grinning with his two front teeth missing. No long discussion.

But when is the right time, the right place, for each of them? I don’t know I’ll ever be sure about that.

I only know, little by little, I have to do it.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Wait.. Rev. Wright calls Hillary a White Girl?

Obama's "spiritual advisor" Rev. Wright? Calls Hillary Clinton a white girl who doesn't know anything is FINE FINE FINE?

Oh, I'm sorry, Donald. I can't take this shit.

I just can't.



Codes and shorthands? Losing content and context?

No, I haven't lost a thing.

I get it.

This is "entertainment" while Ferraro's comments are evil.

I should give Obama the benefit of the doubt but with Clinton, guilt by association runs deep.

Yeah. I get it.

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It's Not Funny, People



Ellen is right. It starts with the jokes.

Personally? I'm sick of it. I'm sick of being the punch line.

And really getting punched.

Smoke a fag? Boil some lesbians?

It's not funny people.

Call NBC. Contact the Conan O'Brien show.

Better yet? Send 25 bucks to GLAAD.

And the next time you hear a gay joke? Put in the word "nigger" and see if it flies.

It won't.

It isn't funny.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tucker, it seems, Does Exist

I cannot be sure, still, but I have read that the producers from Ellen have been in touch with Tucker and are going to have him on the program.

Read. Doesn't mean anything until the producers from Ellen... uh... produce him.

There is a post from Elizabeth, from Oklahoma City, on the local news stations comments.

I am cautiously hopeful that Tucker exists.

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A Letter From Tucker

I recieved this today from an activist in Florida, of all places. I cannot verify that Tucker actually exists- I will try to today- but even if he doesn't, this note could be sent not only to Rep. Kern, but to every elected official in the United States who uses their position and power to spread hate.

And all in the name of Christianity.


A letter to Sally Kern from a senior in high school in Oklahoma.
*******

Today my nephew attempted to deliver a letter to Sally Kern but
was stopped by a highway patrol man. With his permission I am
distributing the letter to all news stations and thought I would
include it here.

Maybe we can all stand to learn a listen from this smart, loving,
young man. He more than most has reason to hate. He lost his
mother, my sister, in the Murrah Building bombing.

Elizabeth

*****

Letter From Tucker

Rep Kern:
On April 19, 1995, in Oklahoma City a terrorist detonated a bomb
that killed my mother and 167 others. 19 children died that day.
Had I not had the chicken pox that day, the body count would've
likely have included one more. Over 800 other Oklahomans were
injured that day and many of those still suffer through their
permanent wounds.

That terrorist was neither a homosexual or was he involved in
Islam. He was an extremist Christian forcing his views through a
body count. He held his beliefs and made those who didn't live up
to them pay with their lives.

As you were not a resident of Oklahoma on that day, it could be
explained why you so carelessly chose words saying that the
homosexual agenda is worst than terrorism. I can most certainly
tell you through my own experience that is not true. I am sure
there are many people in your voting district that laid a loved
one to death after the terrorist attack on Oklahoma City. I kind
of doubt you'll find one of them that will agree with you.

I was five years old when my mother died. I remember what a
beautiful, wise, and remarkable woman she was. I miss her. Your
harsh words and misguided beliefs brought me to tears, because you
told me that my mother's killer was a better person than a group
of people that are seeking safety and tolerance for themselves.

As someone left motherless and victimized by terrorists, I say to
you very clearly you are absolutely wrong.

You represent a district in Oklahoma City and you very coldly
express a lack of love, sympathy or understanding for what they've
been through. Can I ask if you might have chosen wiser words were
you a real Oklahoman that was here to share the suffering with
Oklahoma City? Might your heart be a bit less cold had you been
around to see the small bodies of children being pulled out of
rubble and carried away by weeping firemen?

I've spent 12 years in Oklahoma public schools and never once have
I had anyone try to force a gay agenda on me. I have seen,
however, many gay students beat up and there's never a day in
school that has went by when I haven't heard the word **** slung
at someone. I've been called gay slurs many times and they hurt
and I am not even gay so I can just imagine how a real gay person
feels. You were a school teacher and you have seen those things
too. How could you care so little about the suffering of some of
your students?

Let me tell you the result of your words in my school. Every
openly gay and suspected gay in the school were having to walk
together Monday for protection. They looked scared. They've
already experienced enough hate and now your words gave other
students even more motivation to sneer at them and call them
names. Afterall, you are a teacher and a lawmaker, many young
people have taken your words to heart. That happens when you
assume a role of responsibility in your community. I seriously
think before this week ends that some kids here will be going home
bruised and bloody because of what you said.

I wish you could've met my mom. Maybe she could've guided you in
how a real Christian should be acting and speaking.

I have not had a mother for nearly 13 years now and wonder if
there were fewer people like you around, people with more love and
tolerance in their hearts instead of strife, if my mom would be
here to watch me graduate from high school this spring. Now she
won't be there. So I'll be packing my things and leaving Oklahoma
to go to college elsewhere and one day be a writer and I have no
intentions to ever return here. I have no doubt that people like
you will incite crazy people to build more bombs and kill more
people again. I don't want to be here for that. I just can't go
through that again.

You may just see me as a kid, but let me try to teach you
something. The old saying is sticks and stones will break your
bones, but words will never hurt you. Well, your words hurt me.
Your words disrespected the memory of my mom. Your words can cause
others to pick up sticks and stones and hurt others.

Sincerely

Tucker

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Math Is Too Hard

I know the joke will be on me now but... I can't do math.

Let me rephrase that... I was a straight A student in math all through high school. I loved math, I loved biology- chemistry sucked, but for the most part, I enjoyed science, too.

I was no barbie doll complaining about how hard the subjects were.

I did, however, love English class. Shakespeare was my favorite. I was the only one in the class with my hand held over my head. Me Me Me Me!

My sixth grade son is trying to figure out his math homework. I saw it as a basic algebra problem. Set up the equation. Balance it and there you have your answer.

No. That's not right.

Um... so I'm lost. I have no idea how to do it any other way.

Now I am feeling like a Barbie doll.

I hate math.

Science is too hard.

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ENOUGH ALREADY!

Oh, the debate between Obama and Clinton camps rages on. Personally, I'm sick of it. No one comes up with anything new, same accusations are flying back and forth. No one is going to convince me Obama is the savior, and no one is going to convince an Obamaton (that's Jerame Davis term and I love it) that they are supporting an empty suit.

The complaints, the innuendo, and, as I was accused of today, the "gamesmanship."

I think gameswomanship. Or just go ahead and say I'm playing games.

You could admit I run circles around you in such a funny, articulate way you don't know your ass from a hole in the ground, but maybe you can't type that fast.

I promised, in response to a plea that people stop pointing out Obama's lack of a voting record in Illinois or that Obama was not a primary sponsor of the LGBT human rights legislation as he claims, a few things.

As soon as the innuendo that Clinton's campaign 'darkened' video to make Obama look 'more black' even though its completley untrue, I'll stop.

As soon as Samatha Power calling Clinton a monster- oh, wait, it's almost all of the Obama campaign- stops saying that, I'll be as quiet as a mouse.

Well, not the one in the wall that scurries all night and drives me nuts. A church mouse. I've never heard a church mouse, perhaps because of my lack of going to church, but it sounds like a good start.

As soon as "the pure campaign" stops talking about Clinton's marital problems- even though at the time we all agreed that it wasn't fair or right to do. Remember? A blow job is not an impeachable offense?

Oh, wait. That's when we were all in this together.

When that stops, I will zip my lips and throw away the key.

As soon as the ridiculous cries of "Clinton cannot win!" stop. THE SAME THING IS TRUE FOR OBAMA, PEOPLE.

Sorry. That one is REALLY grating on my nerves. Not sure I can be quiet about that.

The sad part? Not only is the LGBT community arguing over crumbs- and I'm talking little tiny crumbs offered by each candidate- while we bicker, McCain cheerfully gathers in the money, the dirt, and is smiling his way to the November election.

Personally, I'm sick of it too. But it goes both way. It goes both ways and is coming from both camps.

BOTH camps.

I think we need to find some common ground. I think we need to aim our sights at McCain.

That might be too much of a stretch, so, let's start small. Let's find a different place of agreement.

When it comes to LGBT rights? They both suck.

Can we begin the peace process there?

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Ellen Goes Political

Sally Kern, a Rep. from Oklahoma, spouted off a bunch of hate the other day.

Ellen responds. I think Lawrence King's murder had a profound effect on her.





Thank you, Ellen.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sometimes, Tomorrow Doesn't Come

Ben is in the shower, while the other two boys are still sleeping. The coffee is perfect and I am thankful I never followed through with that insanity about giving it up. My dog is, as always, at my feet, and the sun is up already.

It is quiet. I love the morning quiet.

I do not believe in God, but I do believe in being blessed. I am blessed. Not only do I have healthy children, I have my family.

I came home the other night to Jake in the bathtub with a homemade bow and quiver full of arrows next to the tub, standing at the ready. It had been painted and adorned with a gold ribbon. Walter had helped him.

It was beautiful. The sweetness of it, the gold ribbon along with the fierce paint colors, reminded me again that Jake has a great dad.

Ben had put his artwork in my office. He no longer wants his work put on the side of the refrigerator but he still wants me to ooo and ahh over it.

I did.

Zachary ran and jumped into my arms. He’s getting a little big to do this. I’m catching 100 pounds coming fast but I still can. For now.

Coming home is always sweet.

As the morning goes on, Jake and Zachary will get up. They will come down and join the dog and I in front of the fireplace. We’ll all huddle for a moment before I shoo them to get breakfast.

My loyal dog will abandon me for hope something will fall from the table, as it often does.

Ben will emerge, freshly showered and sprayed with enough AXE cologne to choke a horse. He will be fashionable and ready for a day of attitude. I will have to remind him to eat before he leaves, something I rarely did as a kid his age.

He is too nervous, just like I was, too.

The brothers will all find at least one thing to argue about. Ben will check his hair at least five times. Zachary will gather chips, milk and juice boxes for me to pack with their lunches and snacks. Jake will slowly lace up his red Chucks without socks, until I insist he puts some on.

Some things are like the tide. I know they will happen. There is always some shifting, with the moon, with the season, with the amount of sleep each child has had.

Last night I heard about a young woman who died without warning, with her mother desperately trying to save her from a piece of food stuck in her throat. It happened in an instant.

I sat for a long time after hearing the news, stunned. I did not know the woman directly. I could only imagine the mother’s horror. And how quickly her life has changed.

By 8:10AM, all my boys will have left the house. Jeanine will be in the shower, getting ready for work. The dog will be back at my feet.

We make plans, dream of the future, and expect tomorrow to come. We know the tide will shift a little.

As I wait for the routine to begin, for the feet to come pounding down the stairs, my eyes are filling up with tears. I am so grateful for all that I have.

And I know, sometimes, tomorrow doesn’t come.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

WHY CAN'T THESE GUYS JUST FREAK WITH THEIR WIVES???

Eliot Spitzer's Penis Costs NY States Dignity.

That's it.

I'm done.

I'm never voting for another married, straight man again.

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Posing for Pictures

Obama poses for photo op. Ready to be Commander-in-Chief.

I guess the appropriate firm look is important. The right tie.

Meanwhile, the war is costing 12 billion dollars a month. I don't want a picture. I don't even want to hear about what a great guy all the former military men think Obama is. I want the war to be over. I want people marching in the streets for this to end now before Bush decides to bomb Iran.

All I'm gonna get is the posing for pictures.

While Obama smiles for the camera, Clinton gets questioned on her marriage. Does that make her crisis tested?

Cut to picture of Clinton petting a cow. (front page of Huffington Post right now.)

No, Seth. It just makes her a regular person with not the greatest marriage who stuck it out. But it sure is fun to make light of someone's private pain, isn't it? Gets a lot of traffic.

Like the photo of Obama with military men. Clinton with Cows.

Be nice to see a photo of Obama with some gay people. Maybe even with his gay campaign staff.

More on that later...

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Dreams, Good and Bad

I find myself in a place that is almost beyond what I can hold.

I had a nightmare last night that a giant serpent came and ate my children, one by one. It was faster than me and I could not save my boys. I knew the were still alive inside the thing, and I frantically hunted it down.

The mouth and head were bigger than me, let alone the rest if it. It was dark green with scales and sharp teeth.

I finally found it and grabbed its ugly head, pulling with all my might to open the jaws.

I got them out, only to have them recaptured and to have to do it again and again.

Needless to say, I woke up exhausted.

The most curious part- or not curious at all- was my mother hounding me as I watched for the thing to show up again.

I was a bad mother. I let them in the water.

Now, truth be told, aside from my obvious flaw as a lesbian, my mother supported me as a parent.

Deeply. This isn't about her, but my own fear, doubt.

I am finding myself in places and corners of the world I only dreamed of achieving.

I'm terrified I will screw it up and lose the most important thing in the world to me.

My kids.

There is a balance I need to find- I won't give up the dream, the realization of what I thought was a fluttering hope of maybe some day might happen if I was a good girl.

I have to find a way to hold it without having my feet come off the ground.

I am entering a new stage of my life. My mothers voice rings true- there are some things you cannot lose track of.

And I am becoming aware of the fact that love and happiness are not distributed in finite quantities.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

A Moment, Please, To Remember

I had a reminder this morning, of why I care so much about who gets elected this fall. Why I care so much about the political landscape of this country.

Because I care deeply what kind of world my kids are growing up in. What kind of country they are growing up in.

This morning, it was reported by the LA Times, that Larry King had responded to the taunts of teasing by his male classmates by flirting with them.

Not only did this kid have the guts to go to school dressed in a way that displayed pride in the face of serious adversity, he fought back with the only thing he had- himself.

He was the kind of kid I’d love to know. Someone brash, and loud, and unafraid to take whatever gets thrown his way. It is familiar to me- I fought back in such a similar way and continue to, day after day.

There are a lot of Larry Kings out there.

I watch my oldest son, desperately wanting to be popular, to be seen as cool, and cute, and important. I see a very lonely kid. A kid struggling to fit in, to make sense of the world, to have the world make sense of him.

And still love him.

I imagine Larry had similar struggles.

It breaks my heart.

I’m concerned for my son. I want to give him the best tools to go out and face the world, whatever his gender identity and sexuality might be. He may be straight. He may be gay. He may be twelve and struggling with a narrowly defined world boys must live in to be accepted.

I don’t know. Neither does he.

But as I read the LA Times piece today, I was reminded of why I care so much about the political landscape of this country. Why I write passionately about the campaigns taking place today.

I want him to be safe.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

The Accusations Fly

The accusations have started to fly at top speed.

Obama's campaign accused Clinton's of 'darkening' Obama in an ad purposefully to play the race card.

What?

A few hours later, there was a recant. Ooops. Guess that wasn't true. But for a while, that circulated madly on the internet.

You know, she killed Vince Foster, too.

Such crap.

Clinton supporters are now being accused of being so anti-Obama, they would rather vote for McCain.

Oh, yeah. I'd rather have a nutcase who wants war so long my boys will be drafted to fight. All because I can't stand that nasty ol' Obama.

So, it's okay to disparage Clinton- it's politics after all- but not touch Obama because that means I'd rather vote for McCain?

President McCain means I'm looking for real estate in another country.

And for all those calculator carrying Obama supporters, how about counting Michigan and Florida? The "frontrunner" would be different and would you all consider dropping out of the race in order to save the democratic party?

I didn't think so.

Strap on your seatbelts. This is going to get really ugly.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

(Not Silent) Retreat



It's a good thing I have my voice back because I spent the entire day yesterday talking.

And listening. And looking, clearly, at groovy graphics.

One of the things I do but rarely mention the blog is sit on the board of the Schott Foundation for Public Education. I believe, strongly, that without quality public education we cannot have a democracy.

Let me rephrase that- we do not have a democracy because we do not have consistent quality public education.

I was asked why I never write about it in the blog by some of the other board members. I guess it's because I didn't earn the position by being a stellar educator or a high level policy crafter, but because I knew the right people.

And I was a good friend.

After eight years, though, I am now someone who knows about pushing policy, creating change in educational funding streams and have enjoyed every minute of learning how along the way.

I will mention I was the ONLY one happy in the room yesterday as the sole Clinton supporter. When the gloom set across the table, I slowly raised my hand and said, Uh... I'm not sad.

I did not do a happy dance.

Well, I did in my head.

Yes, that is suppose to be my last name, I just have never gone through all the paperwork to have it changed. Note to self- get it done already.

Today is day two... which cannot start until I go out and hunt down a starbucks and get some real coffee.

What is it about the inability of a conference center/inn to not be able to make a decent cup of coffee?

And start another day of plotting to have New York and Massachusetts- and eventually the whole country- have quality public education for all.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The New Math

I know the math for the delegates is difficult to figure out but let's all remember Florida's beauty contest and Michigan...

Is the Obama camp going to continue to call for Clinton to drop out because the delegate math is impossible? Is the delegate math not impossible for him, too?

Did we all watch Clinton win in rural areas last night? Areas that must be won in order to beat McCain this fall? And not by a little, but by a lot?

Maybe it's the new math, but to me yesterday's win adds up to a continued race for the nomination.

Until all the votes are in.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

YES SHE CAN

WE WON WE WON WE WON

HOLY SH%$

I think Clinton is gonna win both Texas and Ohio.

And, the huge state of Rhode Island.

oh oh oh my god.

Honestly? I Love This

Obama's people taking out calculators.

Terry McAulife is high as a kite in Ohio- in the "spiritual" sense.

Everything hangs on Sandusky, Ohio...

This really is a win for the American people.

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Restless, Angry Wolves

I spent two hours at the dentist office today.

No, I did not have any dental work done. I had been convinced to schedule all three kids at the same time.

It will be easier.

Faster, they said.

Oh. My. God.

It was like herding wolves.

Wild wolves.

Angry wolves.

Why can't we leave now?

Because your brothers are still getting their teeth cleaned.

Why is Ben taking so long?

Because he has braces.

Why do we have to pay?

Because they won't let us leave until we do...

Although I thought by that time, the entire staff would have buckled their seatbelts for them.

They paced. They figeted in seats. They poked each other. They stood too closely to the other and used foul breath to torture the other.

Can I see if it's raining out? Jake asked.

Sure.

Can I go check again?

Honey, you can see out the window. Please sit down.

Can I go? Zachary asked the minute Jake's butt hit the chair.

No.

Why did he get to?

I do not respond. I pull up another webpage to read. I consider my iPhone the most precious connection to the outside world a suburban mom stuck in a dentists office can have.

If I could only open a can of spam with it...

When we finally all crowded in for the dentist's over all discussion of all the teeth present, the pent up energy was beginning to ooze out of every seam of their beings.

The kid's dentist- who is beyond cool, a rock and roll singer and guitar player at night- starts to talk about teeth. Count teeth. Sealants.

Ben is eyeing Jake for the attack. I had him his iPod and tell him to go to the waiting room.

Jake starts to lean on the very expensive arm containing all the tools.

Sit.

He looked at me. I point to the ground. Now.

He does.

The dentist tries not to giggle. She, of course, has one daughter. What does she know of these restless wolves?

At check out time, they are angry.

We have to come back? WHY?

Not only do I make the 6 month return visit- which every experienced mother knows if you don't make 6 months in advance, you can pretty much kiss any conveniant time good-bye. I have to make two sealant appointments, one cavity check in two months and a six week time for the braces to be tightened.

By this time, Zachary is actually doing a form of the long jump across the waiting room. I have Jake pinned next to the counter with me because he had gone up and immediately started hitting Ben.

Restless, angry wolves.

I wish I could say I went home, put my feet up and put a fire in the fireplace.

I wish I could say I was home right now.

But I'm not. I'm at Ben's clarinet lesson, to be followed immediately by Zachary's sax lesson.

The teacher comments, as Ben does his openign scales, Do you know... I mean, I'm sure you do, but do you have any idea how different the boys are when you are with them?

Walter has brought the kids a few times to the lessons.

All the boys turn to me and smile big, guilty grins.

I can only imagine, I said.

I mean... they come in and sit and do work with you here. When it's all boys... well... it gets a little wild.

Deep breath. The boys continue their guilty looks.

Ben is currently playing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." No, the irony is not lost on me.

Why, oh why can't I?


In about an hour, polls start to close. All I can say is I better be sitting with my feet up in front of the fireplace.

And watching my candidate pull of the momentum shift of the race.

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Voice is Back

My voice is back and thank goodness. One of the first things out of my mouth this morning was... It is NOT okay to kick your brother in the testicles, I don't care what he said to you.

Clinton is ahead in Ohio and dead even in Texas.

Obama's campaign changes the "drop out" line to, well, if she doesn't win by DOUBLE digits...

Maybe a little too cocky on Sunday morning?

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Taking a Break...

I have to take a break from the political news of the day. Stanley Fish writing about how Obama will get slammed by McCain.

Clinton's campaign volunteers are old and entrenched and Obama's "remarkably self-generating".

I have to take a break.

So I read the business news. I love stocks, the market, all the stories of the day. Here's a little diddy for you all. Oil has reached an all time (inflation adjusted) high of $103.76 a barrel.

Nice, huh? Guess what that means for you at the pump this summer? You thought 3 bucks a gallon was a lot? Think again.

And through this, Exxon Mobil is now at the Supreme Court of the United States of America trying to weasel out of paying for the Valdez crash almost twenty years ago.

Clearly, 40.6 Billion dollars PROFIT in 2007 was barely enough to pay the rent.

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Silence is Not Always Golden

Two days of laryngitis made me recognize a couple things. One, I need to talk. Not want but need to talk.

A lot.

Two, I should never sign up for a silent retreat. Don't laugh, the idea appealed to me. I have so much noise in my life, between three kids, dog and spending time in the city, the idea of silence seemed nurturing.

Not enforced silence. Not being able to talk is borderline torture.

I spent the day on Saturday whispering, which I found later that night made it much worse. It was strange to otherwise feel totally fine except for my throat. The last time I had laryngitis, Zachary was about two months old and Ben almost three. I remember sitting nursing Zachary and Ben running around wildly, knowing I could not say a thing.

Nor move. I learned the POINT and STARE parental move.

That time, though, I was sick with a horrible cold. This time, it was only my throat that felt like it was in a vice grip, making squeezing any sound out almost impossible.

Mostly, though, I was reminded of a family routine we started a while back, something lost with Jeanine and my struggle to stay married. We all- with Walter and Allan- had dinner once a week.

Family dinner.

And at the dinner, we took the time to learn sign language. One sign a week, sometimes two. Allan is the only one who knows a lot of sign, so he was the instructor. It was fun.

Last night, as I was tucking Jake in for bed, he got very excited.

Wait, wait... he whispered- because if I couldn't talk then neither could he- and he started to sign.

"I" pinky extended up on right hand, otherwise closed fist and starts out away from chest and pulled in.

"want" both hands open pulling towards your chest.

"beer" right hand held up to cheek, thumb tucked in, palm facing out.

Excellent.

My voice is back today, although it still feels tight. The morning routine has left it ragged. Where are you socks? Did you brush your teeth? What do you want for lunch? Has anyone fed the dog?

Asking is much easier- and faster- than pantomime accentuated with finger snaps and hand claps.

Silence is not always golden but I did learn a few things.

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Arrogance Beyond Measure

So Obama's camp is calling for Clinton to quit if she does not win most of the 444 delegates on Tuesday.

His lead is a mere 109.

Will he quit if he does not win the majority of the delegates?

What amazing arrogance.

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Live From New York!

And my last clip for the day... it's long but having watched the debate, I can say it is a fabulous synopsis.

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Bring on the Bullshit!

I think, Clinton, Obama, and even McCain supporters (that would be my sister-in-law) can all agree with this one...

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God Bless American Gays

Just in from the Onion...

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Action, Please. Not Just Words.

The irony of the fact that I am losing my voice today after being on The Michelangelo Signorile Show yesterday does not escape me.

There was so much more I wanted to say. I recognize how we’ve become a country who looks to the talking head on the television instead of the live person in the room.

Obama, as gracious a speaker as he is, always mentions gays in his speeches. That is great. He has, however, never attended a single gay event. He’s never walked in a Gay Pride parade.

Clinton has. As First Lady, as Senator, she has shown her face in the gay community, participated, marched with the LGBT community.

Signorile said, but she doesn’t mention us in her speeches, specifically.

Mike? I’d take five minutes of face time, true face time, over all the speeches put together. You know why? Because when you meet us, when you sit and listen to our stories, you cannot help but be affected.

All the polls done for gay rights say exactly that- to get the message across, you must get personal. I know specifically of the poll done by Mass Equality in April of 2007. That poll cited others, too.

YOU HAVE TO GET TO KNOW US.

Clinton has. I know of two lesbians who are friends of Hillary Clinton. They live in Rochester, New York and were friends of my mothers. They spend time with the Clinton’s and have for years.

She knows our community. Spent time in our community.

Obama has pretty speeches, to be sure, but did you see him at the LOGO debate? The man did not look comfortable. None of them did.

Except Clinton.

Go play the tapes.

Obama gets away with the frat boy assertion "I just got to make clear, I got tested with Michelle, when we were in Kenya in Africa. I don't want any confusion here about what's going on.”


Don’t worry Barack, we don’t think your queer.

But don’t you find it ironic that Clinton is so close to the gay community she often gets called a lesbian?

And now Obama loads up on ads to the gay and lesbian community in Texas and Ohio, filled with more pretty words.

But he’s still never sat down and had dinner with HRC. All those years of experience he’s had as State Senator and not one time did he go to an Equality Illinois event?

Clinton has spoken in front of many LGBT audiences ranging from the Human Rights Campaign, Empire State Pride Agenda, the Hetrick Martin Institute, PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), GMHC (Gay Men’s Health Crisis), and the American Foundation for AIDS Research.

Obama is fine with Donny McClurkin discussing how we’re all going to burn in hell.

I guess I should be okay with that. It’s something my twelve year old suggests I do, too. I should be full with the great speeches. I should feel safe in his hands.

I don’t.

I’ve lost my voice today. It’s a form of parental torture not to be able to be heard.

It’s worse, though, to have people swayed by words instead of action, to ignore who has sat at the table with us.

I hope the LGBT voters in Texas and Ohio think twice about those words. And think about who has taken the time to get to know us.

Over years and years.

Personally? I want action, please. Not just words.

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