Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Massachusetts: What's Next?

I know I haven't written in a while- I had to wait until I had something good to say. Something positive. Hopeful.

No negative Nancy comments.

I had the distinct pleasure of sitting in a conference room for the last two days with some colleagues, interviewing candidates to be the next Executive Director of Mass Equality. While much weight is on our shoulders to do the right thing, to find the best fit, to move forward in the most powerful way, we have some amazing people applying for the job.

It was also big fun with my fellow board members.

Over and over, history was mentioned. It is easy to live in Massachusetts, to sit at a table with two of the plaintiffs from THE CASE you know very well, and forget what was accomplished.

We have marriage equality. We were the first in this country. After we win inclusive civil rights for gender identity and gender expression- and not until then- we will be the first state in the country with all the boxes checked.

Then what?

Does hate disappear? Will kids not be bullied? Will LGBT seniors be dealt with sensitivity and awareness? Will trans people not get fired?

No. We know better. Connecticut decided to close it's equality organization after they won marriage. In Massachusetts, marriage is but a single step in a long march. We are keenly aware that the entire country is turning to us, the birthplace of the Revolution, and asking... what next?

All I can say now is... hold onto your hats, the ride is no where near over.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What the President Should have said

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Over The Rainbow

It has been a crappy few days. Few weeks. The other night, I was upset, on edge, and anxious. I watched Glee.

I cried and cried. This final song really sent me over the edge. Not sad tears, but yes you better believe it, I'm gonna make it tears.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

We Are Enough

When long term relationships fail, rarely are the people involved surprised. It's been years of negotiations, of discussions, of trying to work out a plan that works for those involved.

No one is surprised that a final straw has been reached, or a last line crossed.

I have reached that point. Not with my wife- calm down. My wife is the love of my life and while we've had our ups and downs, we are particularly tight right now.

Except when she wants to spend money.

I tried to create a family for my boys. An expansive one. I never had much family growing up and when I met Jeanine's clan, I was in awe.

And jealous. I wanted that for my kids.

I tried. Deep down, I didn't feel like I was enough. That I could not possibly give the boys all they needed, wanted. In some ways, I think that's true of any child, any where. More people, more love, is always a good thing.

For me, though, it was my mother's voice that said I wasn't enough. I had made a mistake. It wasn't fair to any child to bring them into this world in a lesbian relationship. They would suffer stigma and be outsiders. They would miss out on having a father.

As if that did me personally any good, having one who abused me but let's not go there right now. I knew I wanted a father. One who wasn't creepy, who didn't grunt and say disgusting things.

(She said that to me when I told her I was going to try and get pregnant. Right after she said she was going to move to Australia. I kid you not. She really did say the shame was so great she would have to move to Australia. Canada, clearly, was not far enough.)

Those words gnawed at me for years. My heart knew I did not make any mistake at all. But that voice lived on for many, many years. Even my mother retracted her words eventually. She loved her babies. By the time Jake was born, she was Grandma with a capital G and don't ever question that.

Not enough. I wasn't enough. Jeanine and I together, were not enough. I am not someone to sit by, so I made it happen. I fixed it. Or at least I thought I fixed it.

I don't believe that anymore. Over the last few months, major shifts have happened in our lives, in our kids lives. A final line was crossed. The last straw drawn. It has been devastating for me personally.

It didn't work. Too many unsaid things, too many disappointments, too many hurtful, clueless boundary crossings. When we saw our oldest son suffering, and understood where his pain came from? We slammed doors shut so fast Maxwell Smart wouldn't have made it through.

I can take a lot of shit. You can rain down on me. But my kids? Never. No way.

It's been a few months since that happened. Life has shifted for the kids, for Jeanine and I. The biggest lesson I learned? We are enough. We are most definitely, without question, enough. If I had one lesson learned that I wish I could shout from the rooftops to every two dad or two mom household, it is you are enough.

All those innuendos, and Madison Avenue images that barrage you every day, making you wonder if your kids are missing something in their lives... whispers of straight family members, or people in your community... They are wrong.

Two loving, committed parents (and I don't care if you're divorced- it's about loving and being committed to the kids) are what your kids need.

It took 14 years and a lot of struggle for me to realize that.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Another Chemo Day

Another round of chemo started today for my sister. It's not good. Again, another reaction. It is to be expected, and miserable to go through.

A friend of mine told me last night to remember Shiva... the destroyer. But also the greatest being, where life comes from.

I think. I'm not really sure. It was hard to follow him. He's a lovely man but sometimes he talks in ways that are a little beyond my simple mind.

His point, I believe, was that there is an amazing circle that happens. From destruction comes life. A forest fire destroys everything- and from it comes a new, stronger forest.

It is necessary.

A great philosophical way to envision this journey. I can't hold it now. I just want my sister to have no pain. To feel better. Not in the cards for today. Or tomorrow, as it's another chemo day.

That's as far as we can go now.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Summer Vacation and The List

The end of school is yet but moments away. The boys are exited to have the relaxed summer routine upon them.

I am completely freaked out about the relaxed summer routine being upon me.

It's not that I don't love being with my kids- because I do. I purposefully do not have them in camp from day one on because I do think it's better for kids to have real down time.

What scares me is the mess. My house turns into a frat house and it's enough to send me off the deep end. I decided it's time to go over a very important list with the boys.


1. Put the toilet seat down. It's polite, it shows good manners. Not to mention, two women own this house. And stop freaking out about the tampons near the toilet- as I said, two women own this house. Tampons are a necessity and by the toilet is the most logical place for them to go.

2. Flush the toilet. I don't care how proud you are of whatever you've done, I don't want to see it. Really. I don't.

3. Dishes do not have arms and legs. They do not walk to the dishwasher, open it and pop themselves in. One must do this for them- sad but true.

4. A clean dishwasher means a large gathering of your favorite glasses, plates, forks and spoons await their return to their homes. I am not the only one who can do this. No one needs to wonder whether a full load of clean dishes needs to be emptied- it's not something that requires a round table discussion. Clean means empty. Period.

5. Shoes. All of your shoes smell like dirty feet. I love you with all my heart but I do not love my house smelling like dirty feet. Take your shoes and bring them to your own rooms as you don't seem to notice the dirty feet smell. Aside from the smell, the enormous size of your shoes means it take three pairs to completely block a doorway. If I trip and break a hip? You're going to have to be responsible for a whole lot more than putting the toilet seat down, flushing and emptying the dishwasher.

6.Eat when you're hungry, not when you're bored. I cannot begin to keep enough food in this house if you're all going to eat when you're bored. It's not healthy and you really gotta cut me some slack. The refrigerator only holds so much stuff and to have it disappear in a single day is beyond me. Besides, I'll fight fire with fire and only buy really healthy things like fruit, yogurt, and rice cakes. (Wait... I already do that. Hmmm.)

7. Chairs actually do have arms and legs but unfortunately, they are not living beings able to use them. Push them in when you leave the table. Between the shoes and the chairs all astray, it's hard to navigate a room. I'm not sure I understand why I have to say this, as it seems clear, but I am.

8. Laundry is my least favorite thing in the entire world to do. I do laundry every day. If you are going to do laundry- and there are a couple of you who can do it on your own now- and you come upon a dryer full of clothes? You win the bonus of folding them. They do NOT get piled on top of the dryer like you would do at some coin op laundromat. You find, you fold. Nicely, please. I'll do the same for you. Remember, I'm the one doing all the sheets, towels, napkins- not just my favorite pair of jeans.

9. Empty packages, bags, muffin tins, cereal boxes, milk bottles, cream cheese containers- anything EMPTY needs to be THROWN AWAY. Or recycled, whatever is appropriate for the container. The trash is right in the kitchen, the recycle bin right in the kitchen, it's an amazing system I have going on in there. Leaving one sip of milk in a container and putting it back is a violation of the Geneva convention. You will be punished. An empty bag the bagels were once in does not need to be returned to the bread drawer- it will not magically fill back up again.

10. And finally, the most important of all, THIS IS NOT A FRAT HOUSE. At no time, ever, will it be okay to "let things go." I will not tolerate any infraction of these rules. I'm a nice, suburban lesbian housewife trying to get through the day without tripping on shoes, and being disgusted by something left lying around... somewhere. I'm not the maid, although it occurs to me I actually don't get paid, a maid would. Be respectful of me and I will be a pleasure to deal with. Mess with me? I'm your worst nightmare.

That's all, gentlemen. Summer is almost here. I'm looking forward to it, and if these rules are followed? It'll be the best summer ever.

Friday, June 04, 2010

We Should All Start the Day This Way

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Oil Spill: What Can I Do?

One Million Gallons of Oil a Day. Since April 20th.


And still, the oil gushes.

Did you know this particular site was tried before and actually did the same thing but it was a shallower well, and they contained it more quickly?

The only advance in technology has been in digging deeper, not in clean up?

That Russia has used nuclear devices to seal off leaking wells in the ocean? They are suggesting we do the same?

People are calling to have the military take over. Um, aren't they a little busy with two wars right now?

I cannot begin to explain to you how helpless I feel about this spill. When I was in Maine, I talked to two people who pull lobsters for a living. They shook their heads. They know it's going to ultimately affect their water, too.

Because it's the ocean.

We may have killed our ocean for the next generation. Maybe forever.

I'd like to get angry with BP, but the truth is, any oil company would have done the same. The bottom line is, every time I pull up to the gas station? It's my fault. Our economy is based on supply and demand.

I feel helpless there, too. Sure, I could give up my car. I could drill for geo-thermal heat/cooling for my home- of course that process of digging, connecting, building, is fueled by oil.

Every piece of food I buy in the supermarket, every piece of clothing, every purchase, is based on oil. Everything.

As I looked through the New York Times photos online this morning, I wondered, what can I do?

I have no idea.

When it comes to LGBT rights, I understand the process. I know the different strategies, how to make them work, what I'm best at doing. I know I can make a real difference.

This? I need help with. Help. What can I do? What can I do on a micro and a macro level?

I've spent my whole life completely in love with the ocean. Drawn to it. Soothed by it. I need to give back.


Had to add this:

"Professor Wereley testified in Capitol Hill in front of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Wednesday that the total for the two leaks is around 95,000 barrels, with a 20% margin of error which places the leak at anywhere from 76,000 barrels per day to 114,000 barrels per day."

95,000 barrels equals 4 million gallons.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Al and Tipper Gore No More

Tipper and Al Gore are getting divorced. Forty years of marriage and they don't hate each other, there is no other man or woman. Just grew apart.

Life does that sometimes. Gotta go here, gotta do this, you have your work you believe deeply in and suddenly, you realize you're never in the same house in the same bed anymore.

And you don't mind.

Still, you know that we are beings that crave comfort, intimacy and love. Somewhere inside their heads must have been that voice that said, I'm lonely.

I miss being loved passionately.

It is the hardest thing in marriage, over time, to deal with. You go from intense passionate love to great love to old love. Deep with layers and layers of experience together. It is the goal to keep enough of the intense passion alive while moving through the years.

It's not easy. It takes a lot of work. There are many things that can happen but the reality is, it is often the path of least resistance. I do not doubt for one minute that they still love each other, in a way that is unlike anything they will ever experience again.

And I wonder if their hearts ache for one more chance at having that intense spark of new love.

I'm sorry to see them split. I don't know them personally and my sadness is purely selfish- as I enter my 20th year, I need some role models.

Not many left.