Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Ridiculous Notion of Gay Privilege

Watching Tim Wise today has me wondering... how do we do the same thing in the LGBT community? How do we push hard against someone else, make someone smaller, less than in order to feel our privilege?

ENDA, of course, comes to mind first. The ridiculous notion of Gay and Lesbian privilege plays out in national politics, with some of our leaders saying it's too difficult to include transgender in the language. They made a division between transgender and the rest of the alphabet soup.

We divide ourselves, like the people of New Orleans. The "normal" queers can have rights but let's be sure those people can't move in on our rights. Our agenda.

That's too much.

It is ironic, because those who are against us think we're all freaks. They liken us to pedophiles and sexual deviants. As if cutting off one of our arms will make us any more likable to them.

It won't.

We say that transgender inclusion is too hard. We'll be good little queers and dress the right way, look pretty and handsome, play the game the way those in power have dictated the rules. We have, after all, already pushed the envelope to the edge by including Gays and Lesbians.

Instead of "crossing the canal" and being stronger as a whole by including everyone we shun those who not only are our allies, but they are a part of our soul.

We're not freaks, we're human beings. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender- all just people. We've been part of society since the dawn of time. We're not pushing a "gay agenda," we are pushing a human agenda.

Watch Tim Wise again. Think hard about the words in our own community, how we fight amongst ourselves, making ridiculous lines in sand to somehow feel more powerful.

We are not part of the club of those in power. We never will be.

It truly is a ridiculous notion of Gay Privilege.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tim Wise: On White Privilege

A powerful lecture by Tim Wise. And serious food for thought during this election time.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Work It...

Sorry Bil, stealing from you again.

Only I'm posting the girl verison because it was first and because it's better.

You know the rules. Girls rule, boys drool.

Of course, there is the Wellesley College Rugby Team version...

Heating Up in Indiana

Thanks to my pal, Bil over at, I saw this ad.

He points to how successful Hillary Clinton is to have someone else ask the questions.

Personally? I just want to know the answers.

Labels: , ,

Really Lousy Day

What a lousy day. Awful.

I could list the obvious for having a bad day- the day to day struggle with a preteen was wearing hard on me, the people buying my mother’s condo have ‘issues’ that came up during inspection and my car doesn’t work.

The truth is, I’ve been triggered again by a piece I’m writing. “Triggered” for those of you who don’t know, is when something comes up in day to day life, could be fairly benign to everyone else, that sets off the abuse memories again. For me, it makes it hard to breathe, I feel pressure on my back, and I feel pain in my hip.

Nothing to be done about it, but see it for what it is, go through it, and get to the other side. It is less painful now than it was a year ago. It takes a while for me to realize what is happening, but once I get the pain in my hip I know.

I forget what I went through, on a daily basis. Not entirely, but it doesn’t consume me like it did. I feel as though I am done.

I’m not. I will always hold pieces of the abuse. I will always be triggered by different things. There is the smell of wet canvas, or the sound my father made, and before I understand what has happened, a series of memories and images have begun to unfold.

It leaves me unfocused and I blur the lines between today and long ago. I get edgy, very negative, and afraid. Hopeless. Cramped into a small tent, a tiny apartment and I am caged again today.

I’m not.

I start crying over anything that comes up, like a car not starting. Or the prospect of having to fix a water stain on a wood floor in Florida. Or my son’s anguish spilling out all over the rest of the family in painful waves.

His struggle with his own demons leaves him angry and mean. He shouted at Jake yesterday that Jake sucked at art. That he would always suck at it and he was stupid for trying.

Jake came running in, crying, I’m going to throw everything away…

Oh, I get it. Ben’s jealous of Jake, Jake’s getting Ben in trouble. I know. I see the weave, I understand the pattern. I simply feel helpless to change it.

Today. I need to remember it’s today. The nightmares for the last few nights, the tears, the hopelessness, will fade. It’s not forever. The piece I’m writing is worth it. I have to get through to the other side.

If I throw my hands up and say I can’t, then I am the one who loses. No one else.

The condo will sell. The car will start, eventually. Ben is going to be okay. Jake will never give up art; it’s in his blood, just as is tattling on his older brother. I might suck as a parent some days, but not every day, and I try to learn from my mistakes.

I will never be in a canvas tent again. No one is pushing me down, holding my face to the ground. I can breathe. The pain is from years and years ago.

I will not let the trigger rule my life.

AND… it was a really lousy day today.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, April 28, 2008

Obama? Clinton? Shifting Focus: Political Races We Can Win

Today, my piece is on

Obama? Clinton? Shifting Focus: Political Races We Can Win

Yup. That's Me.

My kids stayed up to watch Saturday Night Live at Walter and Allan's this weekend. They saw this parody, turned to each other and said,

Momma Sara.

Yup. That's me.

Labels: , , ,

Scary Phone Call...

The REAL scary phone call...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bygone Era

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I Can Do It

Friday, April 25, 2008

Vacation Week

Did I mention this is vacation week for the kids? That's why we were at the Red Sox in the middle of the day yesterday, although I have been known to take one or two of them out of school to go.

In this city, you take your kid out for the Sox, everyone nods their head and encourages you to have a great time. Take your kid out a day early to get out of town before the vacation rush? You get the long look and admonishment that school is far more important than avoiding being stuck on the Mass Pike for 18 hours.

Today, I had arranged for a bunch of appointments- dentist, doctor- all stuff that needs to be done that I'd rather not take them out of school to do. While Ben was in one appointment, Jake and I scoured the South End for a good slice of pizza.

We found one.

The sun was out and we wandered around, going from stoop to stoop, sitting in the sun. At one point, he wanted to ride on my shoulders and I have to admit, I can't heave him up there anymore. Not only is it the clean lift of 70 pounds of squirmy boy up over my head, it's the 70 pounds sitting there.

He's too big and I am starting to accept there are things I can no longer physically do anymore.

I haven't had a chance to read all the blogs, newspapers, yet today. I did glance at the Wall Street Journal earlier to read that even after a 79% pay cut, the CEO of Countryside still made 10.8 million bucks.

Then sold his company to Bank of America because it was going in the toilet.

Nice, huh?

The War, however, made it's way to the front pages of the NYTimes, WSJ, and Boston Globe. While some moron who oversees a company that extended credit to high risk applicants all in the name of profit at any cost makes 10.8 million (did I mention the 121 Million in exercised stock options, too?), we are still at war.

Ben Bernanke can cut interest rates as much as he wants, as often as he can, and as long as we are still at war spending 12 Billion dollars a month it will make no difference.

It's the war, people. We can't afford it. Just like those folks who signed mortgages who could never pay the ballooning interest rate with their salaries, we cannot afford this war.

People are worried the fighting between Clinton and Obama is damaging the Democrats ability to win the election in November. One look at the war that Johnny Prozac McCain wants to keep going for 100 years and I know there is no way he will win.

No way.

Our economy is tanking, we are spending money faster than we can print it, and the War continues to spiral out of control. We have to look at the reality of the budget sheet the same way we do the VISA bill when it comes in the mail.

Even on school vacation week.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Day Off For the Sox

I had three tickets to the Red Sox game today and took Ben and Zachary with me.

The sun was out, the weather warm. A perfect day for baseball at Fenway Park. My friend Donald was there, too.

I love watching baseball. As a kid, it bored the hell out of me. But one of the best things Walter and Allan have added to my life is a true and deep love for the game. When we sit in DownEast and listen on the radio, all I think of is the four seats they have for ten games a year in the grandstand. How amazing it is to walk up the ramp to the seats and see the outfield so close you can smell the grass on a dewy night.

I will never forget the night Walter took me to a game, when I was still living in Upstate New York, miserable, desperate to come back but unable to make the final leap.

It was an April game, so the chill was in the air after a sunny day. The lights seemed brighter, the grass greener, and the sky a shocking purple as the sun faded. A draft beer in a plastic cup, a Fenway frank in hand, and the men I love the most seated all around me.

I knew after that night, I had to come home. I thought Rochester was my home. Sitting in Fenway that night in 2004, I understood deeply where my home was.

Fenway will always have a very special place in my heart. I know someday they will tear it down and build something modern. But for now, I'll love going to sit in our obstructed view seats, section seven, row 9, under the overhang. You have to lean a little to see the batter, especially the left handers.

And they are the most amazing seats in the house.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Obama Goes For Dirt

According to the Washington Post today, and "anonymous" source in the Obama campaign said they are going to rehash all the old dirt on Clinton. You know, Whitewater- the investigation that cost millions of taxpayer dollars to find she did nothing illegal- and of course the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

Or will he? Or will the anonymous sources leak the possibility, set the media on a frenzy about Clinton and then Obama campaign sits back and giggles, claiming again how they would never go so negative.

Um... we're onto that game. Been going on since Muskie in 1972.

What is Obama without all the promise of a new hope, new politics? Because "leaking isn't new, that's old style, mud slinging, Boss Tweedy stuff. What is Obama? Will all those young people keep ignoring the dirty play and keep coming out to vote?

I find it fascinating the different titles today across the news. "Clinton Clearly Outduels Obama in Pennsylvania" (NYTimes) "Clinton Stays Alive With Victory" (Wall Street Journal, "Clinton Keeps her Hopes Alive" (Boston Globe)and my favorite, "Desperate Dems" (Huffington Post).

I have been amused by the endless comments everywhere about how it wasn't all that impressive, it wasn't that much, she needed to win by 20 to make a point- the ever moving target of success feels awfully familiar to me as a woman. No, do it this way, no you didn't do this, wait your forgot this... all games played by people who can't stand to acknowledge success.

My guess is, if she won by 20, they would have said it was expected. No big deal. He still had more money and more delegates to date. It's the same logic my twelve-year old employs when I put his cell phone in time out.

I still have my iPod.

When I take that too, he finds one more thing he has to point out how he's still standing.

The reality is, Obama can't beat Clinton. If he was so much the popular vote, if he had such a clear mandate from the people, the race would be over.

It isn't.

As Maureen Dowd wrote today- someone who has been no fan of Clinton's- "His subtext was obvious: Why can’t I just be president? Why do I have to keep eating these gooey waffles and answering these gotcha questions and debating this gonzo woman?"

Now the dirt comes out. I'm fine with the dirt. Clinton stood up to it before, she will again. Playing the "anonymous" leak game is a page right from Rove's playbook.

But remember... there is nothing about "change" or "hope" in that.

In the meantime? Clinton is on track to raise 10 million dollars in the 24 hours since winning Pennsylvania with a record 50,000 new donors.

Ultimately, since he cannot beat her even when he outspends her, why doesn't he quit?

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Clinton Wins By TEN.

I have one thing to say:

It doesn't matter how you win.


The world laughed at us and that son-of-a-bitch won.

Whine, complain, stomp your feet. She won.

And won big.

Did I Just Hear A "Thumping?"

Clinton beats Obama across the state.

Finally, the "close race" is a thumping.

I didn't say it. CNN did.


Clinton won. She's winning big states. She can win the national election. Obama can't. He can't. He hasn't.

Has anyone mentioned how Hillary Clinton's ability to weather the storm?


She wins the big states.

And it looks like she's winning big in that big ol' state of PA.

Obama outspends Clinton 3 to 1 and HE LOST.


Labels: ,


um... American Idol.

I could not stand listening to the "close" race that is a 65% to 35%.

That is close?

Labels: ,

Final Goodbyes

It’s sold. My mother’s condo in Florida has finally sold.

Well, almost. Soon. A matter of a few calls back and forth. Some posturing. A numbers game- I’ll give you this, you give me that… whatever. We’re close enough and as one realtor said to me, if you want it and they want to sell it? It’ll get done.

My sister and I talked. There are things that need to be packed. The final few decisions about my mother’s “stuff” have to be made. The condo is the last place that my mother lives on. Everything is as she left it, almost two years later.

It’s a goddamn shrine, Jeanine said.

Can’t argue. It is. When I went down earlier this year to get it ready to put back on the market, my sister had put up some “Pray Today” and Love God junk on the walls. It seemed so out of place in my mother’s home. Not only was she an atheist, the place was decorated to the hilt in her style- modern, abstract art, clean lines and contemporary edges. To see a country-style, flowery admonishment to get on my knees for God was just wrong.

Because it was my mother’s home.

My sister talked about how sad she’s been lately, staying there. I knew it isn’t a fun place to be. Beautiful views and a gorgeous beach to walk on were great but it was so filled with bittersweet memories, I never lasted more than a day before I felt the loss.

Now it’s time to go sign it away.

I have some clothes there and a set of dishes my mother bought after she showed one sample to me and we both agreed they were so unusual and funky, she had to get them. They’re all handmade, hand glazed and the most god-awful color green you’ve ever seen.

I loved them. So did she.

The whole “palette” for her decorating came from those dishes. It evolved and changed some but when she painted one of the bedrooms the same color green, everyone but me moaned in eye pain.

I thought it was kind of cool. Ugly, sure. But different. Bold.

We never fought there. My mother and I never once had harsh words in that condo. Ever. It’s the only place we did not fight in. Sure, we’d get on each other’s nerves, but there was the beach, or the pool or the deck- always somewhere to be distracted by.

I am and she was an ocean person. Our mutual love of the water left us side by side on the deck, sometimes silent for hours watching the waves. Look for dolphins. I would go far away to another place in my mind, but could always hear her breathing, or smell the smoke from her cigarette. The crackle of the ice in her drink.

She would eventually start to talk- my mother did love to talk, a trait I inherited without needing the blood tie- and I would listen. Sometimes, she talked about people in Rochester, or work that she was doing, but mostly, she talked about the past. She talked about family friends from long ago, about her growing up, about John Nash sitting in front of her in math class in Bluefield West Virginia, giving her the answers to the next problem.

His sister, now SHE was strange, she’d laugh.

She talked once about my father. On that deck, she and I talked about what he might have done. It was long before my memories, but I knew, I knew even then something was so very wrong.

She came so close to saying she was sorry. Walked up to the edge, eyed it and pulled back. It wasn’t about protecting him, it was about protecting her. She could not be that kind of mother who would ever let something like that happen.

I don’t think she was that kind of mother.

Years later, when I did remember, she wouldn’t believe me. It wasn’t about me, then, either. It as about her. Keeping her safe.

I’m ready to let it go, to let her go. The last physical piece that’s left of her. It’s sad, but it’s also time. It’s been almost two years.

The final touches on the offer will be done by tomorrow morning. The fax machines will be whirling. The realtor, who has been quiet and helpful throughout, I’m sure, will do a little happy dance.

And I will get ready to go down one last time to say goodbye to the only place I ever had peace with my mother.

Sincere, gentle peace.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, April 21, 2008

Win or Lose, We Still Have a Long Way, Baby

With the PA vote loaming on the horizon, I’m going to resist writing about the Primary race. We’ll know enough tomorrow night, and I can wait.

I can’t really wait but I have to so instead of getting anxious now, I’m going to wait until about 5pm tomorrow.

I am struck, over and over again, by how gender plays out over, and over again. The way one can talk about a woman, her body, her dress, her voice, her hair, her makeup, is mind blowing to me. I cannot believe it’s encouraged.


I sat in the train station this morning and listened to a woman talk to a group of women friends. My back was to her and I could not see any of them. She commented about an obvious mutual acquaintance of the group’s.

She said I was pretty enough to be her friend. Can you believe it?

With only my ears, I imagined a twenty some year old was speaking. When I stood up, I saw a group of forty something year old women.


How is it that we have gone through the struggle for independence and equality, for centuries, and still be our own worst enemies?

I posted the picture yesterday because my friend Donald sent it to me and it did, in fact, look like one of the Christmas drag parties. (He really doesn’t look that bad in a dress, though.) The first thought that went through my mind was that I always found the women against abortion were women no one would want to sleep with.

I’m doing it, too.

All in good fun, and that was the intent of the photo. It made me laugh when I opened it. I am not, by any means, the most politically correct person to ever walk the earth. I do, after all, eat meat, wear leather shoes, and quietly believe in investing in the stock market.

But where and how do we draw the line?

Girls have, for the last decade, outperformed boys in school. And yet, when they graduate from college, the real world sets in- all the good grades mean nothing. Women are paid less, over all. African-American men make more than white women.

I guess those 50 extra years of voting rights made some difference.

Seriously, what happens to women after college? Is it the way our educational system is set up? Is it that women are better trained to be factory workers- the current standard of our incredibly outdated system- and then fail later because they are not competing in a factory world?

What about the experience, the socialization in schools, that leaves women at times vicious with each other? I mean… what kind of mess brought us the likes of Ann Coulter?

Mostly, I wonder, why it is that being anti-Obama has garnered me some of the most hateful accusations of being racist, but when I point out the misogynist comments made about Clinton I’m told to get over myself?

That’s just the way it is. No harm, no foul.

I wish I had some answers, some studies to point to, or some solutions to offer. I don’t. I embrace the girls in my life and encourage them to be stronger, faster, better… I’m not sure that’s the right thing to do. I can’t imagine changing something without taking it over.

It’s playing the boys game by the boys rules. I’m not sure women will ever win in that arena. I’m becoming more and more certain I don’t want to win.

I want a new field, a new place, and a new image of success. One that reflects the best of what women can be, as women, not the sum of body parts men find attractive. I have no idea what that looks like but it is something to try and dream of. What a school would look like, a business, a government in a matriarchy, minus all the negatives women carry about themselves.

Regardless of the election results in November, I appreciate Clinton’s run for the presidency. Win or lose, she has gone out in the boy’s game, the man’s world, and balanced gender rules the men she’s running against haven’t a clue about. She’s done it by being stronger, faster and better… and I’m still not sure that’s the right thing for women to strive for.

But until we have that new place, the new field, we are only left with the familiar arena. If the girls in my life are ever to be given the tools to create a new image of success? We will have to get past this one first.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

All I Can Say Is...

Thank God.

Thanks, Donald!

Labels: ,

The Ladies

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Perfect Saturday Morning

DownEast Maine

Friday, April 18, 2008

Not So Sick Sick Day

Jake is home with me today.

He was home yesterday, too. He woke up in the middle of the previous night with a high fever. Yesterday morning, it was still well over 100 and I kept him home. By midday, he was throwing up. I finally went and cuddled with him on the couch for a while (yes, a fabulous excuse to take a nap in the middle of the afternoon).

He watched a little TV. Mostly, though, he slept. As a mother, you know that quiet always means something bad. Either the priceless heirloom has been broken by all three and they are plotting to cover it up, or someone is very very sick.

By evening, he was a little better. He sat at the dinner table but didn't eat. By bedtime, his fever was almost gone.

This morning, however, started with a loud moan. He came downstairs, plopped on the couch and started to complain about a stomach ache. Terrible. Awful. No one could speak, or make any noise without hearing from him how horrible it was making him feel.

I felt his forehead and the back of his neck. Yes, a slight fever, but no more than 99.

Oooooooooh, he moaned.

I think you can go to school, I said.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH, he moaned much louder and raced to the bathroom.

Mind you, my friend calls me the Stalin of parenting. I'm strict, I have serious rules and I do not bend them. There is no pulling the wool over my eyes. The sincerity of the moaning combined with how sick he was yesterday gave me pause.

After a few more renditions of this moment, I said, I'm keeping you home today.

He went upstairs to go back to sleep.

As soon as Zachary left to walk to school, he came back downstairs, bucket in hand. He picked up a book. When I left the room, he asked Jeanine to watch a movie. Jeanine, who never stays home with the sick children, said of course.

The first sign of a not so sick sick day. Ask someone- anyone- other than Momma Sara to watch TV.

I have a rule about TV and sick children. The rule is, if you are well enough to ask for it? You are well enough to go to school. I don't want staying home to be fun. I want school to be fun. Staying home a big, giant drag.

After the movie, came the food requests. Cereal. Then hot dogs. Yes, at 10AM, he downed two hot dogs, glass of milk.

Can I still have tuna for lunch? he asked.

You all might say, take him to school for cryin' out loud. But I can't because I called the nurse to say he had a fever. There is a 24 hour policy at the school.

Tsk, tsk, my friend Martha Stewart of parenting said. You should call your child in with a stomach ache. Or over tired. Never, never say they have a fever.

In the meantime, the little stinker goes outside and picks flowers for me. Goes and gets one of his prized Coke bottles stashed in his room. Hands me this.

Stalin, indeed...

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sucking Up Recipe

Take two ounces Bombay Sapphire Gin. A single extra large pimento stuffed olive. Fee Brother's Orange Bitters- just a dash.

Slice up Neiman Ranch dry aged salami and a strong cheddar cheese. If it's big? Really big? Pull out the Club crackers.

Shake before mentioned martini for so long your hands stick to the shaker. Then shake some more.

Hand to lovely wife as she walks in the door. Escort her to the spot where the crackers, cheese and salami are.

Tell her how beautiful she is. (This is not a stretch. She really is beautiful.)

After the martini is consumed, drop the bomb.

Wish me luck. I want to stay home instead of going to Florida this weekend because I have tickets to the Celtics first round playoff game.

I love my in laws but... Celtics? Third row seats? First time in playoff in... um... forever?

If all else fails? Like shampoo, rinse and repeat.

Labels: , , ,

Last Debate

No, I did not watch it. My wife made me go out to dinner instead. She says I get a little crazy when I watch debates. I yell at the television and wake the children. My face turns red and my blood pressure soars.

It's not healthy.

But I am going through the different sites this morning and so far, it seems, he looked slow and uninspired. She remained calm and outperformed him.

I'm interested to see how, as the day goes on, different sites break down the event. We have become so clearly a Clinton or Obama blogsphere, our own spins will paint the day in a bright red wave of fury.

Which is why I did not watch the debate last night, too. I'm interested in seeing what others say, with no personal opinion, other than the pro-Clintonista spin I am always putting on things.

Any one watch? Have any comments?

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Serious Problem...

I have a serious problem.

I’m happy.

I mean, I’m honestly, deeply content right now. It feels strange. I wrote a friend the other morning and said, I swear, I’m about to break out into song.

She asked, What happened to my pessimistic friend? What did you do to her?

Oh, I’m still here, I said, and complained about a bunch of stuff going on. My oldest son is struggling and he is lashing out at anyone and everyone around him. The other night it took every ounce of my being to keep my sense of humor around him and even then I yelled. I have a very dear friend who is struggling right now, in enormous pain, and there is nothing to be done but to sit and be present. Hold it. We are pushing and pulling as a family, growing to a new place, all seven of us, and it is not easy.

Not to mention the election, the democrats in general, and McCain being charming on American Idol the other night. This stupid country is going to elect Johnny Prozac and I’m going to pull my hair out.

Still, I sit here, with an enormous grin on my face. I feel full for the first time in such a positive way I find myself occasionally wiping away tears that keep coming to my eyes. I feel blessed but more than that, I feel whole. I don’t have to give away my soul to get something in return anymore.

I don’t have to barter not to be hurt. I don’t have to hide in the woods.

Two summers ago, I sat and held images I honestly thought were going to kill me. I did not know I could hold so much pain and not finally succumb to the images of a loaded gun to my head.

I was reminded this morning, that I did not get here by simply blinking my eyes or twitching my nose for a secret magic spell to right the wrong. I worked at it. Over and over.

I worked at it because I loved my kids. I didn’t love myself at the time, that’s certain, but I loved them.

I did work on the memories of being an incest survivor morning, noon and night. I did not let go of it, or run and hide. I kept dragging myself to the therapy couch, again and again and again. I said the unspeakable.

I wanted to be a better parent than my mother. I wanted my kids to have a chance at life without my psychological burden, or my blown out brains holding them down.

It’s hard to go back there, even for a field trip to remember where I was and how I got here. I would rather go for the magic wand image, whoosh, and I was better.

I joked before about my wife being a pod person. I feel like a pod person. I have more energy, I laugh more often, and I feel easy about each day. Some are great, some good, some suck.

No one can hurt me. I will never be seven years old again.

In the middle of it, I had a friend say to me, Some people don’t make it. Some people end up with broken minds, in mental hospitals, forever unable to be a part of the world again.

You’re going to make it. You can do this.

I did. I did make it. I did do it.

It is important, at times, to take pause and remember the hard work. To remember the ones who did not get to the other side. To take a deep breath and appreciate the early spring greens and the flowers breaking through.

You been overdosing on your happy pills? My friend asked.

No, I laughed. No happy pills here.

I love my wife. That might sound silly but it didn’t feel silly a year ago, even six months ago. We took the 16 years of foundation our marriage rested on and ripped it out. Not because we wanted to but because we had to. I had to.

The result is stunning. 18 years into it and I love her more today than I ever did.

She expresses her feelings now. Talks about them even when I’m tired and done for the day, she’ll nudge me and say, Hey, let’s check in…

Instead of going through every day running on empty, feeling alone, and miserable, I’m full. Whole. I am able to give without having it feel like it’s taking something from my marrow.

I’ve never been this way before; I’ve never felt this good, or this complete. Oh, I know the other shoe will drop, something terrible will happen, because I am at heart a pessimist. I’m argumentative, difficult and opinionated. Not to mention stubborn. None of that has changed, as I reassured my friend. There really is only one big change.

I’m happy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

MIT Takes a Pass on Discipline

At MIT Sloan Group, the management school of amazing genius, because as we know, everyone at MIT is a genius, decided to take a pass on any form of discipline for a student accused of sending a "homophobic, threatening email" the Sloan LGBT Group.

(Actually, everyone I've ever met who went to MIT really, honestly is a genius. )

"The offending e-mail was a response to an invitation sent out by the Sloan Lesbian, Gay, and Transgender Club to an end-of-semester celebration. The response reads in part: “If you fucking fags send me something like that once again or contact me in any other way, I swear you won’t be able to study at Sloan for some time because you will spend it at resuscitation department. If this is what you want, go ahead.” The full message is available online along with a response from the LGBT group at"

So after appearing in front of the MIT's Committee on Discipline, the student who sent the email was not expelled or suspended. It is unclear if any action was taken.

It's great to see the future executives of our country are not faced with the same ramifications they would experience in the real business world. Anyone making such statements to a coworker in most of the Fortune 500 companies would be fired. Most have policies in place to protect sexual orientation.

It is an interesting question to ask- what exactly are they teaching at MIT?

(and as a note, thank you to whoever sent this article to me! I will take it up with a couple alumni I know)

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, April 14, 2008

Night Time Stalking

Of the elusive Fatty Girl...

It's almost my bedtime so I pulled out the turkey bait. It worked.

Yeah. I'm screwed.

Labels: , ,

What to Do...

Oh, great. Now what am I going to do?

I spent all weekend talking to Zachary about how important it was for us to continue our role as "foster" cat people. To take in cats and then when a good home was found, to send them out.

Our two rescued cats are 15. They were in a shelter, miserable, listless, not eating or drinking. They hung limp when you picked them up.

As you can see, progress has been made.

When you get an older animal, you have no idea what they like to eat, what their habits are, good or bad. Having to syringe feed both water and chicken broth until they finally started to show some interest in life again was difficult and rewarding.

Last week, I woke up to Charlotte Rose sitting on my chest with the above pictured toy mouse. She wanted to play fetch.

The other cat, Darcy, who we call Fatty Kitty because Darcy just does not fit her personality to date, hides most of the day. She comes out at night to snuggle with the dog and to yowl for sliced turkey.

Not cat food. Not even wet cat food. Sliced turkey, please, and GET IT NOW.

I don't have a picture of her because she's rather camera shy.

Charlotte is like a dog, she follows me around most the day. Fatty is... well... fat and purrs so loud you can hear her across the room.

After I finally talked Zachary into giving up these cats, as he has been the one to really help me with them, I walked into my bedroom today to find Charlotte like this. While Fatty hides in the basement, Charlotte crawls under the covers. But to find her with the mouse...

Who is going to explain to ME that it's best to move these cats along to a new home?

Labels: , , , , ,

Poor Words for the Poor

I think someone stuck their foot in their mouth the other day. And it was covered in the New York Times, Boston Globe, LA Times, Washington Post, and many many more. Campaigning in Pennsylvania, he said voters, bitter over their economic circumstances, “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them” as a way to explain their frustrations.

Ouch. Not such a good thing to say, Senator. Sure, it's true for some people, but not as a blanket statement. I know people who are "bitter over their economic situation," about to lose their homes in the sub-prime crisis, who don't own guns, love their neighbors, and are bored by religion.

Or if they own a gun, it's to hunt for deer during season to put some meat in the freezer because it is too expensive to buy beef in the store. The poor, the rural poor you referred to, are not caricatures of Jethro in overalls, Senator. They have many different looks and faces. The broad strokes, however poetic, were ill-advised.

And in no way unifying.

While I think Obama blew it, and came across as an elitist snob, I am more concerned with how he has shown, again, that he is untested in the face of intense media pressure.

Is this going to win the national election?

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring Green


Last night was Allan's birthday dinner. Roasted duck, au gratin potatoes and fiddlehead greens.

We tried to convince Ben to try the fiddleheads because it was food only famous people ate.

As my mother would have said, Fiddle-faddle.

He simply rolled his eyes.

Labels: , ,

In Honor of My Huffington "Boss"

I love Tracey Ullman...

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, April 12, 2008

New Weekend Rules

Photos only from me on weekends. I am working on a book of essays and photos. I have a lot of essays, need to work on the photos. So in honor of the new rule, I will post a favorite of mine. Zachary being... Zachary.

And now to go take my camera on this gorgeous day and snap a few shots...

Labels: , ,

Friday, April 11, 2008

Obama's ... Move of the Week

"Dick" move of the week. By Jon Stewart. Not my words. Not my story. Not my campaign.

That would be from the increasingly less than sainted Obama '08 campaign. I wonder if anyone will be asked to leave or given the raise they richly deserve. Because people, that is playing politics as usual and playing it well.

Labels: , ,

Update on Day of Silence

I spoke with the teachers and they are very excited to have Zachary do this and want me to come in and explain to the class what Zachary is doing and why. They asked that Zachary wait till the Friday following vacation week so parental notification fliers can be sent out.

The reality even in as progressive a school district as Newton, MA, is that one of the only things that require notification is discussion of gay families.

I said I'd ask Zachary. The national day falls on a day when they are all on vacation. Could he wait until the week after?

He agreed. I explained that I would come in and talk to his class. He nodded seriously, Sounds good.

I'm watching my son who was so shy at one point, he didn't say a word when his bus driver didn't stop at his house and drove him to the depot, parked and left without checking the seats. A boy we held back from starting kindergarten because he wouldn't ask a teacher out loud for more snack or raise his hand during morning circle. A boy who would hide behind me when relatives came to visit, taking so long to speak up his older cousin would ask, Where's the little one?

A silent protest fits him well.

Proud? More than proud.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Day Of Silence

This morning, Jeanine and I were treated to a fourth grade presentation on the civil rights movement in the southeast region of the country. It was a timeline of PowerPoint presentations, from slavery to the civil rights movement.

Our son Zachary presented the book he read with a classmate. Excellent work.

What struck me though, was the two parents that came up to me and mentioned that Zachary had told their son that he was going to be silent one day at school. That is was a protest.

I was surprised. We had talked about the Day of Silence and what it was for over dinner the other night. Jeanine is organizing the students at Berklee who want to participate.

Zachary, obviously, soaked it in. He told his friend that it was about the violence against gays and lesbians- he didn't understand the bisexual or transgender piece- and it was about being silent in protest of that violence.

Then, I was proud. Yes, I explained. It is... and we talked about it as we walked out over the school yard.

I found this video on the site.

It is wrong. I've emailed Zachary's teachers and offered to go speak about why Zachary will be silent that day.

My son made me so proud today.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Clinton and LGBT Friendly and Non-Friendly Audiences

I lied. I can't help myself. Obama sat down to a second interview with the Advocate and his LGBT supporters and preening about how he has responded to our community's cry for face time with the candidate.

Here is a list of Clinton's appearances and discussion of LGBT issues in front of non-LGBT friendly audiences, as Obama so often is praised for doing.

· In March 2007, Hillary was the only presidential candidate to accept the invitation and to address the Human Rights Campaign's Board Meeting and Equality Convention.

· In the June 3rd CNN debate of the Democratic candidates for president; Hillary Clinton spoke out forcefully against the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy.

· In late June 2007, Hillary announced the formation of “LGBT Americans for Hillary”, her national LGBT Steering Committee.

· In August 2007, Hillary participated in the LOGO/HRC Presidential Forum and

· In a first for a presidential candidate, Hillary utilized her web site to organize LGBT Watch Parties and, in fact, attended the largest watch party in West Hollywood.

· In October 2007, Hillary gave an in-depth interview to The Advocate.

· In November 2007, Hillary released a comprehensive plan to battle HIV/AIDS.

· Also in November2007, Hillary spoke to evangelical leaders at Saddleback about the AIDS epidemic, including the rise of HIV infection rates among gay men, and challenged the churches to address the spiritual side of the crisis including “the gay teenager seeking safety and guidance”.

· In January, Hillary was the only Presidential candidate to come out squarely against the Florida marriage amendment.

· In January 2008, Hillary addressed gay teen suicide in a web video. (Beginning at 3:21).

· On February 4th, Hillary gave an interview to Logo TV.

· In February 2008, Hillary authored a blog posting on “Equality for LGBT Americans.”

· As part of her nationally-broadcast “Voices Across America, National Town Hall” on February 4th, Hillary affirmed that she would fight for the equality of benefits for LGBT Americans, for passage of a Hate Crimes law, ENDA and for an end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. (See 2nd question asked)

· On February 11th, Hillary gave an interview to the Washington Blade.

· In late February, Hillary gave interviews to the LGBT press in Ohio and Texas.

· In March in Wyoming, Senator Clinton spoke about Matthew Shepard and the need for a Federal Hate Crimes law.

A second interview is a wonderful start. But only a start.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Just One More...

Okay, I know, I need to write something today and I am but I had this sent to me and it made me tear up.

I will say this for both the democratic contenders... they can each tell a powerful story. I prefer the very real person sitting in the chair.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wal-Mart Should Watch Who They Fire

Oh, Wal-Mart. Will you never learn? After twenty years of hiring a small video company to video tape executive meetings and so forth, they fired Flagler Productions.

Without Notice. Just like Wal-Mart, isn't it? But this time, according to Pride at Work, the little guy fought back. Flagler put all twenty years of tapes up for sale to the highest bidder.

And look what they found:

I had to forward this on to my pals who work in the socially responsible investment field. I think more than their prices are going to go down...

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I'm a Bitch, I'm a Lover...

and I'm a child and a mother, too.

Seems finances got everyone down yesterday. This is a great video I had sent to me. Made me smile.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tax Time Deliberation: Married or Not?

As married, heterosexual couples across America pull out their tax forms in the last minute rush to file by April 14th at seconds before midnight, same-sex couples are slapped in the face one more time with their second-class citizenship.

No one enjoys tax time in this country. We have a long, complicated and intricate tax code that requires a degree to fully understand. What form do you use? Which box do you check? What are legal deductions and can you count the gift to your mailman as a charitable contribution?

“Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes,” Benjamin Franklin famously said.

For same-sex couples, however, there is an additional layer not only of confusion but also of denied rights. Are we married or aren’t we? I live in Massachusetts. I’m married but only in this state. I must file separately to the federal government. On the federal form, do we divide the dependants between us? Do I get two of the kids and my wife one? Or does it make sense for her to claim all three? Who gets the mortgage interest deduction?

It was easy for Franklin to be so certain. He wasn’t a gay man married in Massachusetts in the last four years.

HRC has launched a campaign, “7 Days to A Better Financial You,” to highlight the “significant financial burdens and legal hurdles” for same-sex couples and their families. Our social security benefits are not transferable. Life insurance must be carefully designed. Inheritance of any kind is out of the question without a significant tax burden.

The list goes on and on. Same-sex couples are urged to get sound tax and legal advice. Julie Goodridge, of NorthStar Asset Management, Inc. a firm that balances clients’ social and political concerns with their financial objectives, advises her same-sex clients to be prepared on as many levels as possible. “Gay and Lesbian couples need elaborate documentation around their relationships and children- health care proxies, powers of attorney- in order to ensure basic financial health. Even in Massachusetts.”

Heterosexuals get to say, “I do.” All done. No additional legal work required, if a spouse dies, everything is transferred without tax or question. You check the “married” box. The government definition of their marriage is powerful insurance.

How many people filing the basic 1040E tax form have the resources and financial ability to hire a LGBT issue savvy attorney, consult a tax accountant, and write up a series of documents? How many people understand the new provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006? Or how to offset the tax burden of domestic partner health insurance?

Goodridge adds, “There are significant additional costs in planning for estates and even then there are no guarantees their family of origin will not legally challenge their final wishes.”

Great. After spending a bunch of additional dollars, you still might end up buried next to Aunt Martha and your partner thrown out of the home you bought together.

I’m not talking about a revolution. I’m not trying to give reason for a swarm of locusts to descend. I’m married, I live in Massachusetts and I want to file my taxes.

Sometime before midnight on April 14th.

Labels: , , , , , ,

GayWired Piece

I've posted a piece on today, and sorry, it won't be cross posted here. Please go read, Lawrence King Killing Begs the Question: Where are Our Leaders?

Go comment over there, send me some love- it's a paying gig!

Labels: , ,

Monday, April 07, 2008

One More Birthday Party

Yesterday was Jake’s birthday party- not his family party but his friends- and we had over a thousand 8 year old boys running amok through the house and yard.

Maybe not a thousand, maybe only eleven, twelve including Jake, but it felt like a thousand.

We rented a bouncy house, had a football game going on in the front yard and Jeanine had set up “stations” around the house- paddle ball, small airplanes on a rope to wing around madly and jump ropes.

The reality of a birthday party for a group of small but energetic boys is that you have exhausted all fun by the 1:10 minute mark. Doesn’t matter what you have planned, just after the first hour of the birthday party they all start wandering around your house looking for something to do.

Because clearly, football, jump ropes, small planes, paddleball, and a bouncy house are not enough.

You hold them off for another ten minutes by engaging in the activities yourself. I played football. One of the boys kept saying, Get the ball to him! Jake’s Mom! Him!

Clearly, he was struggling with my stellar ability to play football and my gender.

At one point, another boy said, How many moms can you have?

As many as needed, I said. Here, we need two.

The beauty of an eight-year-old mind is that they listen, shrug and take it as gospel. Then go out for a long bomb.

By the 1:20 mark of the party, you have to get food out. Pizza. I believe Tom’s Pizza, a local pizza shop about two blocks from my house, has supplied pizza for every birthday party we’ve ever held. I’m not sure what I’d do without Tom’s.

Some people would go straight for the cake but I like to make them leave for a little while- even if it only buys you five minutes, you have a chance to clean up the plates, pieces of pepperoni tossed aside and juice boxes spilled all over the table.

You are in the home stretch. It’s almost over but not quite. Call them back in for cake if they haven’t already started to chant at the table, CAKE CAKE CAKE. Bring in the store bought cake. Understand you will not want to eat any because not only does the birthday boy blow out the candles, so do all his friends and I’m talking a wee bit of spit flying around on that icing.

No thank you.

A few chaotic minutes of cake serving- I want the rose, I want the corner piece, ice cream, no ice cream, ice cream only, and you are at the 1:45 mark.

Fifteen minutes left. They are all high as kites on fun, laughing, yelling at each other as loud as they can at the table and about to set loose in your house again.

That’s when you find out which parents are keepers. The keepers show up at the 1:50 to 1:55 mark to help corral the children. Strengthen the ranks of parental voices.

Birthday parties are an art, a delicate dance and a lot of noise. After the last boy left yesterday, I went and crashed. I was all birthday-ed out.

Today, however, is Jake’s actual birthday and we gather as a family for dinner. The birthday person always gets to decide what the meal is. Tonight? Tacos.

And yet another birthday cake. This time minus the spit.

Happy Birthday, Jake.

Monday Morning Catch Up

The drama of the disclosure of the Clinton's tax returns...

Psyche is right!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Our Esteemed President

Soon, we won't have him to kick around anymore.

Except in the history books.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, April 05, 2008

McCain on Economics

I'm not advocating for Ron Paul. Everytime I see his name I think of Ru Paul. Who I would vote for.

Someone needs to explain the effect of his 100 year war in Iraq.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Wife's Birthday

It's four o'clock. I'm not anywhere near ready for the wife's birthday. The wife will be home soon. People coming over.

I am in deep doo doo.

Her mother sent beautiful flowers.

Phew. Cross flowers off the list.

I did get champagne- Jeanine loves champagne.

The kids are cleaning up the house as I type which means each one is pointing out what the other one has not done yet. Loudly. In a few moments, I can tell a fight will erupt. More mess will be made. Why did I have children?

We have children so we can accept death, a friend said.

Accept? Try welcome.

Allan called and clearly has forgotten he is suppose to come over tonight. I cannot remember when I told people to show up.

I just looked at Jeanine's desk in the back room. I think I need to put a tarp over it. A five, a four and a three year old are coming over. Stacks of books, unopened mail and gear are all precariously balanced in a corner of the room right next to the video game gear.

Not good.

The one thing I can say?

Happy Birthday, Jeanine. I love you.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Did You Know...

You can pick your nose and still play the snare drum? I didn't but watching Jake practice in my office- where his snare drum is set up- for the last ten minutes, I found out you can.

And not miss a beat.

I think I am going to fire the babysitter. Okay, so she's sweet and not afraid of three boys. So they love her and think she's cool.

But she encouraged them to practice together.

That means Zachary on the saxophone playing "Amazing Grace" while Jake is playing single beat combinations on the snare drum.

In my office.


Right now.


That reminds me... anyone interested in a sound podcast from the suburban lesbian household?

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

If Not You…

Dear Senator Kennedy:

I understand you are going to support a non-gender identity inclusive ENDA. As a constituent, as a lesbian but mostly, as a mother, I am asking you to reconsider.

It’s a bad choice, Senator Kennedy. And one that sends the wrong message.

Remember the shooting that took place a while ago in California that the mainstream media ignored? Lawrence King was shot in the back of the head during first period English class. He was 15 years old. He identified as gay.

And he did not conform to gender roles. He wore make up and high heels to school. That made him a target. The other boys were quoted as saying it “freaked them out.”

It is an unwritten rule. One that can have devastating ramifications. Cameron McWilliams hung himself after telling his mother he wanted to be a girl. He had been teased for wearing his sister’s underwear and had asked to wear make up. He was ten years old.

When you leave out the gender identity piece of ENDA, you don’t just leave out the 40 year old man transitioning to become a woman, you leave out Lawrence King. You leave out Cameron McWilliams.

What will you say to kids like them? When you grow up, we’ll protect the part of you that’s gay, but the gender stuff… whoa. Forget about that. Too risky. We don’t want to offend anyone.

I know Senator, that you have been a long time supporter of LGBT rights. I know you are one of only five Senators who have publicly stated support of same sex marriage. It is a huge stance to take. You have always stood by my community.

You are the second longest serving member of the Senate. Your support is essential for progressive legislation. Without you, a gender identity inclusive ENDA will fail.

With your leadership, though, people will not, as Barney Frank suggests, “picture men and woman in showers together and … vote it down.” With your leadership we will instead have the opportunity to create dialog and understanding. We will be able to stand up for those who are so quickly dismissed and give voice to very real pain and struggle. We will be able to set a standard of behavior that intolerance will never justify discrimination.

Ironically, it’s a standard most companies are already willing to embrace. "More than 300 U.S. companies have nondiscrimination policies that include provisions for gender identity, in addition to the more common policy for lesbian, gay and bisexual employees.” Businesses make these kinds of changes long before the government does.

With your leadership, Senator Kennedy, we can show it has nothing to do with showers and everything to do with dignity.

If you won’t stand up for a kids like Lawrence King and Cameron McWilliams… then who will?

Labels: , ,

Florida Delegates Will Be Seated

It seems Howard Dean has been listening. The Florida Delegates, as per a NY Times article posted a few minutes ago, will be seated.

How, who will get what delegates, it seems, is being worked out between the two campaigns.

Michigan, I would presume, will be negotiated, too.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Quite a Day

Oh, my I've had quite a day. First I wrote my Fool's day post, as requested by Bil from

Then, I was on a roll.

I have to admit, I've either been weepy or downright giddy lately. Could be that period I finally got after three months of waiting but why mess with a good thing.

After my blog, I called Walter. I said, Walter... We really need to talk.

He responded thoughtfully and with concern.

Walter... you know Jeanine and I have been getting along really well lately, right?


And ... well.. I'm not sure how to say this but... Jeanine is pregnant.

Oh my god, he said.

April fools!

I think I gave him a heart attack.

I called my sister. She is currently staying in our mother's condo which still hasn't sold.

Cathy! Guess what?


We have an offer on the condo!

No... really?

Yes, and it's for more than asking.

No way...

Yeah. There are a few contingencies, though. They want to close in a week and a half...

Uh huh... she said. I know she's dying because she wants to hang out there till May.

And they want it totally furnished.


Well, they want all your Harley Davidson tee shirts, too.


April Fools!

I know I am going to pay and pay dearly next year. I know Walter is going to get me and good. I hope I respond with as much dignity and good cheer as he did.

And my sister did.

It was all meant in good fun. Same time, next year.


Cindy McCain's Campaign Promise

Cindy McCain has stepped up the spouse role in the political sphere. Not only is she with her husband on the campaign trail, she is now making campaign promises.

Unlike a "chicken in every pot" or "no new taxes," Mrs. McCain is promising botox for every woman over the age of 45.

Well. I might have changed my allegiance too soon. A free calculator or botox?

I am sooo going with the botox. Not only do I need it, I'm figuring if I do a full 2,300 dollar contribution? I might get a boob job thrown in, too.

Labels: , ,

The Newest Obama Girl

After carefully considering Eric Stern’s hairdresser’s dogsitter’s official endorsement of Senator Obama last week- I have decided to give up supporting Senator Clinton for President.

I am not pleased with my decision but have been told once I actually drink the kool aid, everything feels much better. Colors will be brighter, the sun will be warmer, and if I move my hand slowly, I’ll see traces. Mostly, I’m looking forward to no longer being hounded at every dinner conversation by my children who have been trying to convince me that I should be voting for Obama.

My first official piece of business is to put up a short dance video on the blog announcing my support. My "I've got a crush on Obama" tee shirt is not only tighter, it's wet. The campaign wanted a little cleavage and, well, now I'll do anything.

I understand I will be receiving a free calculator, too, pre-programed to do delegate math.

Labels: , ,