Speak It, My Republican Brother
Wha? Wait a minute...did I just say that? Well, I never....
To see why I'm so flummoxed you can go here to read conservative writer Andrew Sullivan's take on the gay marriage amendment. It's well-written, thoughtful and surprisingly progressive.
After doing a little more research into Sullivan, though, I'm more confused than when I started. I'm not so sure what to think about someone who describes himself in this way: "I'm a fiscal conservative, social/cultural liberal and foreign policy hawk." -- wow! talk about conflicted. The Nation describes Sullivan as the "neoconservative gay pundit." I'm not sure that his sexuality really needs to be brought into the picture, but it's used on A LOT of sites about him to explain his mixed messages, I think. At any rate, I'm leery of some of his thoughts, but I do think he has some well-reasoned things to share (and some that *I* find ludicrous, but that's just me and my dislike of warmongering).
Don't Let Him Get Away With It!
While I think that it's a given that I am for gay marriage and completely appalled by the White House's stance (as I think Kathryn said, it's not the role of the state to legislate morality; it hasn't worked before, and it won't work now), I am even more angered by the whole constitutionality issue, because I see it as a campaign diversionary tactic.
The idea is to distract the American public from the Iraq debacle, the fact that Osama bin Laden remains at large, that jobs are still being lost and the economy is--to put it mildly--in a slump. Instead of owning up to culpability with any of these issues, the Bush administration chooses to point out the latest shiny object to distract the U.S. constituency--gay marriage.
Does he really think we're this stupid? Are we? Will the electorate fall for this man again? I sincerely hope not! While gay marriage is most definitely a topic for debate (you don't just legislate discrimination and walk away from it), we cannot allow it to eclipse other national and global concerns. The U.S. is the big bully in the global schoolyard; we have taunted, villified, alienated and antagonized virtually every country in the world. The administration has essentially given the American public the finger by telling us that we're too stupid to know right from wrong and stealthily taking away our civil liberties and putting us more and more under the patronizing oligarchy of the neocons. (Side note: I thought Republicans were supposed to be for limiting government, not expanding its reach into every nook and cranny of the American populace's personal daily lives.)
It is our responsibility as American citizens and voters not to allow the Bush administration to get away with a) attempting once again to pull the wool over our eyes and b) to determine what is 'right' for every man, woman and child now and for perpetuity. The constitution is a serious (some say sacred) document that is not to be used for personal vendettas that are influenced by personal religious convictions. Whether we like it or not, this country was founded to separate church and state, allowing everyone the expression of their own beliefs. The only times that we've taken the drastic steps of modifying the document (successfully) have involved recognizing equality and legislating equity. If the administration makes the decision to attempt to make discrimination against gay couples legal, there will be repercussions that they are nowhere near prepared to handle.
It is my believe that gay marriage is not a question of if, but when. We must ensure that the power of the executive branch is balanced by Congressional oversight. Thus far everyone has just rolled over and let Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, et al, do as they pleased. But this is a polarizing issue. Some people feel passionately (as I do) that marriage is a fundamental right. Others don't care. Some feel it is fundamentally wrong. Wherever you come down on this issue, you have to make the decision--is it the role of the government or the individual to determine what is right for each and every citizen of the U.S.?
No News Is Good News...I Think....
Today we had an 'all hands' company meeting up the street at National University for the employees to learn more about the reasons behind the company's recent acquisition of another small company, the 8 layoffs that occurred here, and the total company reorganization. They told us that we would all experience changes in our jobs, and possibly in who we report to. I went to the meeting. I still don't know any of these things.
My boss is leaving the company in a few weeks, and I don't know who I will report to after that. Or who will give me basic information for collateral that I'm working on. Why, oh why, is Marketing always so freaking hard?!
But I console myself because as of Monday, March 1st, I will be an official company employee. Yay! A real job! That I like! Woo hoo.
In short: Having a job = Good. Knowing what I'm doing at the job = Still not resolved. Hmmm.
Not Enough Time
I don't have time to post everything I wanted to go on about today, so I'll have to hold off on some of it. Maybe till Wednesday.
Friday night The Boy and I saw 50 First Dates. Unlike Jenny, I really liked it. I didn't think it was a typical Adam Sandler movie. Like The Wedding Singer it had Sandler-esque moments, but I thought overall it was much more sweet and romantic. (For example, according to my tally: only one 'comic' vomiting scene) It's actually sweet how Sandler's character evolves from a really selfish womanizer to a guy who is willing to dedicate his entire life to this girl who will wake up every morning not remembering him or their life together.
Saturday involved a lot of rushing around (my hairdryer died, necessitating the purchase of a new one; we needed to pick up a birthday gift for my little sister Nikki). I went to my drop-in class at The Knitty Gritty and had my first project (a fluffy pink scarf for Nikki) critiqued. Everyone really liked it and told me I was doing very well. I was there for the whole session (2-4) and picked up another yarn (I'm addicted). This yarn is called Gigi, and I had to buy it because it's my mom's name! I got the one on the top of the linked table (hot pink) to make something for one of my other little sisters. Probably a scarf for Lexi because now the girls all want something. :)
After knitting I rushed home to pack up quickly and head out to my parents' house in Northridge for Nikki's family birthday get-together. The Boy and I optimistically got onto the freeway only to be harshly reminded that the combination of cars and rain means people drive even worse than normal on the 5 and it took us almost two hours to get to Northridge. Grrrr.
It was very kick-back, just hanging out with the fam in my parents' newly decorated living room (they just got new furniture delivered that day--really nice!) They got this room set without the loveseat and the ottoman. We stayed the night out there and then drove into Pasadena for church on Sunday where Kenneth Turan (movie critic for the Los Angeles Times) was the guest speaker in the rector's forum. He discussed who he thought would walk away with the top Oscars. It's always a popular time when Ken Turan comes in, so the place was pretty packed. In fact, he's coming back on the 7th, in the evening, to be on a panel to discuss The Passion of the Christ. The rest of the panelists will be interfaith theologians, so he will give the perspective of a movie person. The movie has sparked so much controversy that I'm fascinated to hear what theologians from a number of different faith backgrounds have to say about the production.
After church The Boy and I headed back to Northridge where we were going to babysit the girls (my 3 little sisses) so that my mom could go to a baby shower. Because of the rain she decided not to drive out there so instead all of us girls went to see a matinee of Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. You know how some teen movies are designed to have elements that will be fun for different age groups? This one really doesn't. It's pretty much designed to appeal to girls under the age of 15, I think. Typical new girl in town vs. the reigning snobby be-otch. The story was kind of convoluted with some great big holes left in it. There were some cute moments but, on the whole, I was glad that my mom didn't pay full price for our tickets! During the movie the skies unzipped and poured water all over the Valley, so my mom and I and the three little girls had to slog our way home through lots of wetness. When we got back to the house my mom ordered pizza and we just all hung out in the nice comfy living room with a nice fire going. I almost finished Nikki's scarf--I'll probably get it done tonight. And that's all for my weekend, folks.
Today's Monday, and it definitely feels like a Monday. I am still only about 3/4 of the way through a brochure that I'm working on. I don't have a lot of inspiration for it; I hate when that happens! Tomorrow we have a big, huge 2+ hour company meeting where they are going to tell us how they are reorganizing the company and who will be doing what. Fun, fun, fun! NOT! Now I'm going to go work some more on the brochure because I have to leave around 4:40-4:45 to make it to Weight Watchers on time.
Raison du Jour For De-Selecting W This November
(There are actually two here) Ugh! Not only was the election stolen; not only was a false war engaged in for spurious reasons; not only has he decimated the economy and sent us into the worst job situation since the Depression...for all of these things and more he must be destroyed. And now this.
Basically, this article shows how Bush and his cronies have managed to politicize science to the point where they have anti-abortion doctors heading up stem cell research and "Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson appointed William Banner--who had testified on behalf of lead companies in poison-related litigation--and Joyce Tsuji, who had worked for a consulting firm whose clients include a lead smelter" for a panel to discuss reducing acceptable lead-blood levels!!!
Hel-lo?!?! To quote the author, "In the Bush Administration, when the religious right or big business weighs in on a matter of science, politics usually prevails." Oh goody.
And don't even get me started on this. Since I heard a SMALL story about it on NPR I have been enraged about this topic. For the benefit of my loyal readers (The Boy, my mom, Jenny, Kathryn) who may or may not be familiar with the story, for some bizarre reason Senate Democrats and Republicans used a shared server for confidential information (makes me think of the Far Side comic with the day care center next door to the snake farm. Or was it dingoes? Either way. Heh.) Anyway, it was revealed that for months the Republicans had been secretly downloading information from the Democrats data bank of internal memos and then proceeding to leak the documents to conservative media outlets. !!!
Furthermore, somehow this was all the fault of the DEMOCRATS for possessing this information in the first place and being negligent enough to let the information get out. Uh...hello? Logic police? Where are you? My first reaction was, how could this not have been a bigger story?? Then I remembered who owns most of the media outlets. So....frustrated....
Addendum to yesterday's blog
Jenny -- I had a horrible migraine that drove me home at 11:15 a.m., so I blame that for my lack of graciousness. I MEANT to say, thank you so much for making me a scarf! I'm sure it's beautiful, because you always have excellent taste. And I can't wait to see it because I bet the colors are awesome. AND I bet I won't even be able to see your supposed 'flaws'.
As always, you prove what a great friend you are. :)
Well, for whatever reason I can't leave messages in my feedback area again. Instead I'm going to reply to a couple of comments here.
Mom -- I totally don't remember going to the tide pools before. Sorry if I dissed your motherly efforts!
Amy -- I started referring to Jason as 'The Boy' several months ago and it sort of stuck. He thinks its really funny, so I just haven't bothered to change it. :)
Jenny -- I started knitting all of two weeks ago, so don't get too excited. I didn't say anything to you or Amanda because I didn't want you to think I was just doing it because you both do. I've always wanted to learn how, and I found out a couple of weeks ago that a new shop opened in Anaheim called The Knitty Gritty. They offer drop-in classes at Knitty Gritty, so I can go in and be taught and walked through the steps. I tried to learn through the Stitch 'n Bitch book, but I guess I learn better with a real live teacher. (The book has some great patterns and tips, though) I'm 1/6 of the way through a children's scarf--I will probably give it to my little sister Nikki for her birthday.
Here's a great site that I just discovered. The Smirking Chimp -- guess who! (And wow does he resemble the title or what??) I also like this one.
More Reasons Why I Love The Boy
Today's post is destined to be extremely long, so I will have to do it in shifts throughout the day, in between writing web text and working on a brochure. Such is the life of a busy and important working gal.
So The Boy came home from work about 3 weeks ago and announced that he was taking me away for Valentine's weekend. But I was not to know where. It was a surprise. Surprises are a mixed bag for me; it was sooo sweet and romantic, but I am one of the least patient people in the world. As a result, I couldn't spend too much time dwelling on the where over the last couple of weeks or I would be overcome with anxiety and the NEED TO KNOW.
Naturally I started with the questions to narrow down the locale. Will we be staying within the 48 contiguous United States? Will we be driving or flying? These were important for establishing the approximate radius in which I would be spending VDay weekend. A couple of days before we left (last wednesday) he announced that I needed to pick up some maps (AAA shares a parking lot with where I work) for South Orange County. Hmmm. The only other thing I knew was that it was someplace he was pretty sure I'd never been before. The South OC maps helped me rule out Big Bear and Santa Barbara (the fact that I went to college in Santa Barbara also helped). So as of Thursday I was absolutely convinced we were going to San Juan Capistrano. I was also wrong.
Friday The Boy drove (since I didn't know our destination) and about 45 minutes after leaving home he announced we were there. It was Laguna Beach. Where I had, indeed, never been. The Boy was worried that I would be upset because our hotel was actually a motel (and he is rather known for spoiling me). But of course, that was fine. The idea was to save a little moola.
Friday night we had dinner reservations at Las Brisas which had, quite possibly, the best food I have ever eaten. Seriously, yo. I had swordfish with a lemon butter sauce, asparagus, tiny roasted tomatoes, and garlic mashed potatoes. And the best Cosmopolitan known to mankind. Yummmmm. The Boy had a lightly breaded sea bass with the same veggies as me and a sauce that was to die for. A slightly smoky/sweet/spicy chili sauce. !!! For dessert we split this almond/honey/cinnamon shell thing with a scoop of french vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries. Weight Watchers be damned!--well, for that evening, anyway. Then we waddled back to the motel to discover that we were staying in the coldest room ever.
Now, The Boy is afraid that I'm going to slam him here inadvertently when I explain some of the highlights of the motel, but the way I see it is, it just made it more memorable. :) Our room was steps from the beach, so it was freakin' cold. The management provided only one thin blanket and a bedspread. And our wall heater didn't work. So I spent an inordinate amount of time huddled in the bathroom in front of the teeny little coil heater in there. I also, for the first time in recorded history, slept with socks on. I hate that, but it was so cold! Wait, it gets better. When we were checking in the motel gave us this slip of paper to sign that said that they couldn't be held responsible for any noise the neighbors might make. Uh, sure, right? Well, round about 10:30 that night we found out why. Our motel room was located one small cinderblock wall away from a nightclub. Which had VERY LOUD music--with an even louder bass beat--playing until 1:45 in the morning. It sounded just like a rave going on in the next room. Hee! Of course I found out yesterday that it was the famous Boom Boom Room, which, if I'd known sooner, we could have gone to. How very The Birdcage!
Saturday we slept in very late (because we were up so late with the partiers at the BBR) and then decided to walk down the beach to the downtown area and find somewhere to eat lunch. We wandered around and finally wound up at a place called C'est La Vie, where I had an out of this world omelette with a declicious chipotle chili sauce. We spent the rest of Saturday just walking around, checking out shops and going into the galleries. (If you haven't been to Laguna Beach, it's sort of an artists colony, with dozens of galleries featuring every imaginable genre of art.) I absolutely fell in love with the work of Ruth Mayer; her 'water' in her paintings is so gorgeous. I was, and am, speechless. It was nice not to have an agenda, so we could take our time and just go wherever we felt like going and spend as much time as we wanted at each location. We watched the sunset and just took it easy. At one point, The Boy made a little girl scream and cry by pretending he was a monster coming after her. It's probably a good thing that her mother wasn't looking. We were so full from our french lunch that we were not hungry again until close to 9 p.m. when we popped into Taco Loco on S. Coast Hwy. I must say, this was a weekend for eating. Once again, really good food. I had a little chicken taco and some beans and rice, and The Boy was ecstatic to find that they made a bean and cheese quesadilla.
We went back to the hotel where the maid had brought us an extra blanket and the party at the BBR was in full swing. We decided to watch a movie because of the rare joy of having free cable and the unlikelihood of going to sleep before 2 a.m. We cuddled on the couch in our little sitting room and watched The Goodbye Girl (I love that movie and am ambivalent about the upcoming remake with Jeff Daniels and Patricia Heaton--it's Richard Dreyfuss, for heaven's sake!!). While we were watching the movie we heard shouting out in front of the motel. The Boy thought that maybe it was some people joking around because they were yelling "Put your hands up" and "You're under arrest" and such. So I peeked out and sure enough, some guy was being arrested! Right there in front of our motel! During the fracas about 4 or 5 police cruisers showed up. It was so exciting. The well-dressed man was made to lie on his belly in the parking lot while police patted him down and handcuffed him. I could only see one of the officers with his gun trained on the suspect from where I was located (from what was being shouted I gathered that the man ran when the police tried to stop him doing whatever he was doing--I can't find the story anywhere online). The Boy was all worried that the policeman with the gun was going to fire at me if I was too obvious in the window, so I had to squat down and just peek out of the lower left corner of the window, from behind the drapes. What a fantastic end to the day! A real arrest in process. That's not something I get to see everyday, I'll tell you that.
Sunday morning we had champagne brunch--at Las Brisas again. And the food was just as good the second time around. It's a four course meal (fresh fruit, soup or salad, entree of your choice, and dessert.) I had my all-time favorite--Huevos Benedictos--with an outstanding cream of potato soup. For dessert they had this strawberry mousse thing. I have a feeling that WW is not going to go as well this week. Oh well. You only live once. After brunch we went down to the beach and The Boy took me to the water's edge to explore the tide pools. I don't know if you'll believe this or not, but I've never played in the tide pools before. I had no idea that these little microcosms were right there! It was so great. I saw two huge sea slugs, a couple of little sea slugs, oodles of crabs, some itsy bitsy fish, half a dozen of the biggest starfish ever, about seven zillion mussels, millions of anemones and sea urchins--the urchins were purple and looked exactly like little koosh balls. I was like the tide pool ambassador, showing all the kids and parents where the biggest sea slug and starfish were located. The Boy said that I looked just like one of the kids. He even dared me to touch the starfish (looks soft and fuzzy, but is actually hard and bumpy) and a sea slug (gross; like a plastic bag full of jelly). I was really disappointed when all the other kids left and I didn't have anyone left to play with--The Boy was cool, but not nearly as excited as me. About 1-1/2 hours later we made our way back to the motel to check out and then headed over to Strands and Stitches, a knitting store. Yea!
The Boy was applauded for being brave enough to venture into what is generally a women-only domain. He was so awesome; he totally got into it, helping me pick out some yarn to complement this gorgeous Juliet that I found (mine looks most like 4048, although not as dark.) He never once acted inconvenienced or tried to rush me out of the store. He let me play with all the yarns I wanted, and helped me find possible different combinations. Such a great guy!
After spending a LOT of money there The Boy indulged my love of the California Sea Lion and took me to the Friends of the Sea Lion Marine Mammal Center on the way out of Laguna Beach. It was much smaller than we anticipated, but we spent a good 1-1/2 hours there ogling the 8 or 9 sea lions and the one elephant seal. I am so in love with the elephant seal. His name is Pork Chop, and he's only about one-year-old. He weighs about 200 pounds which is apparently very underweight for his age. He also has an upper respiratory infection. Poor guy! He looks kinda like this, but a bit bigger. There was also a sea lion named Forrest who is not the brightest light on the tree; he kept climbing this low wall and falling over the other side; all you would see is this flipper flapping over the top of the wall. They also have a male egret named Gracie who visits everyday. And two of the sea lions in the back were Arwen and Pippin. We saw the sea lions get fed, and then Pork Chop and Arwen both had to be tube fed because they weren't feeding well on their own (apparently when they're sick they don't eat much, but these guys are dehydrated and malnourished, so they have to be made to eat). The volunteer who was explaining everything told me that they tube feed them a sort of fish smoothie made from herring, PediaLyte, Karos syrup, and any necessary antibiotics. Tube feeding did not look fun for either the caretaker or the animal, but I guess it's one of those necessary evils.
After I was finally pried away from the elephant seal we drove just into Capistrano, Dana Point, and some of the other surrounding beach communities, and then headed back to LB for dinner. We had a cozy little meal at Ristorante Rumari, a cute little Italian restaurant. I had killer raviolini in a tomato-vodka sauce, and The Boy had spaghetti in meat sauce with veal meatballs. I also, unfortunately, had a terrible apple martini. Well, it would be good if all you wanted was vodka. They just use Absolut Pucker--nothing else. It tasted a bit like I imagine paint thinner would. Not my first choice. But the food was divine. We even split a cannoli after dinner with a hand-made shell. Mmmm. Our waiter could've been cast as a thug in The Godfather. Tee hee. He sounded like a Sopranos-style Italian. The Boy was a little afraid of him, like if we didn't tip well the guy would break his legs or something. But he was super-nice to me. While The Boy was finding parking the waiter played tic-tac-toe with me. :)
After that we cruised home--which took all of 20 minutes, without traffic. I think we were asleep within 15 minutes of coming home. Not even intentionally. We both just laid down 'for a second' in our jeans and were out. I woke up at 10 and made sure we got up and changed and then we were out again. I didn't get up until 6:45 this morning--no way was I rushing. I am a bit sore from all of the hiking around the tide pools yesterday and two days of walking up and down the hills of LB.
All in all, a fabulous (if fattening) weekend. Thanks, honey!!
Fabulous Family News
My aunt got the results of her MRI and she does NOT have brain cancer!! Woo-hoo! Thanks to everyone for your good wishes, prayers and positive vibes! Apparently, though, she did suffer a minor stroke, so if you could pray for recovery and healing that would be really helpful.
On a similar note, my mom has been having trouble with her kidneys and was afraid that it might be a recurrence of a cancer tumor that she had when I was in high school. She found out that her symptoms and pain are caused by a potassium deficiency. She will take supplements and an anti-inflammatory to heal her right up. Also, she may have osteoporosis, but again, that's something that can be managed and cared for.
Pardon my overt God-lovin' if it makes you uncomfortable, but THANK YOU, GOD! He is awesome and loving!
Let Us Pray
I don't really feel much like writing a little light-hearted story right now. Instead, I'm going to ask that anyone who reads this pray for/send good vibes to/wish on a star for my Aunt Jana. Her doctor is concerned that she may have a form of cancer in her brain and is having an MRI done to determine if this is the case. I seriously don't think my mom could take it if it was.
My Auntie Jana is one of my favorite people: she's a mom with two young kids and two older kids. She's my mom's best friend. She reminds me of my grandmother nearly everytime we talk. She's funny and loves life fiercely.
Please keep her in mind, would you?
Psycho Crazy Mom
No, no. Not my mom. She's only regular crazy.
It's a story that my boss told me this morning. She and her family are going on a cruise for a week starting on the 15th and she told me she wasn't looking forward to it at all. My first reaction (because I am a child) was 'Oh, how absolutely awful to be forced to go on a cruise!' Then she explained why, and now not only do I feel stupid for my knee-jerk "downtrodden worker" response (even though, in my defense, the words never actually left my mouth), but now I completely understand why she doesn't want to go and, in fact, would feel the same way in her situation.
My boss M has an 11-year-old son whose birthday will take place during the time that the family is on the cruise. There is a girl at the boy's school who has a crush on him, who was very upset that she wouldn't get to see him for his 12th birthday. So she talked to her mom, who then decided that they too would go on the same cruise so that the two kids could be together. Okay, that's odd enough. Then, because it's an expensive Royal Caribbean cruise and they didn't have the money, the Psycho Crazy Mom (PCM) took money out of her/her husband's retirement to fund the trip. !! But PCM still had work to do. She called up the reservations people for the cruise ship and asked to have the room directly across from M's family.
Naturally this severe stalkerish behavior is a bit disconcerting to M, so she too called Royal Caribbean and asked to have her room changed and for the information to NOT be given to PCM. Royal Caribbean told M that she would be charged $1k to move her room. Apparently it didn't matter to them that she wanted to be moved because their reservations people gave out her room information, which they should not have done in the first place. M so badly did not want to be with PCM that she shelled out the $1k for the move, only to find out that PCM has requested that her family take all their meals at the same table as M's family. So M again called Royal Caribbean and asked to NOT have that family seated at the same table. Royal Caribbean told her that they didn't take requests to NOT be seated with people, only to be seated with them. M even tried asking if she could be transferred to another ship, but was told that there were no others in the same timeframe.
So M asked me if I thought all of this was odd. Uh...yeah! Apparently PCM is also going around telling anyone who will listen that M's son is THE ONE and her daughter is madly in love and going to marry him. What's more, they will go to the senior prom together. In 6 years. She just knows this. Bear in mind, the girl is 11! Oh, and this 11-year-old girl IMs M's son all the time and talks to him about things that we all really want to think that 11-year-olds are not discussing (like, R-rated stuff) and this is freaking out M. Poor woman. Now I totally understand why she would rather work than take the trip!
And what is PCM's husband doing through all this? Is he PCD?? For the sake of that child, I sincerely hope not.
Where Did It Go?
When I was a little girl I read a book called The Attic In The Sky. The aforementioned attic was where everything that got lost on earth ended up: umbrellas that blew away, balloons that little kids let go of, etc. I think that may be where all the missing socks went, too. Anyway, I was thinking yesterday at my Weight Watchers meeting: where does the weight you lose go? Is there a repository somewhere in the ether -- an attic maybe? -- in which lost fat is stored? And why do we lose it? It's not like when you lose your watch or your keys. Those things you want back. You don't want to lose weight, you want to get rid of it (unless you're built like The Boy who actually has to TRY to gain weight, in which case lost weight actually is misplaced and sought after).
At Weight Watchers they actually say that you release weight. Like it's something that you are liberating after its done its time with you. I think that's a cooler way of saying it. :)
Well, gotta go be the most popular person here and write a whitepaper or three.