Monday, November 24, 2008


God, things have been so busy lately, I've barely had time to think. Quick recap here:
  • Attended & helped organize a protest against Prop 8 in WC on the 15th
  • Waged war on the pantry moths that had completely infested our dry goods cupboard; I think I've won but it may just be a lull in the battle
  • Semi-regular dinner out with supervisor
  • Fought off a cold
  • Attended big Adobe conference in SF, 17th-19th (which entailed unfortunate late nights coupled with even more unfortunate early mornings in which I had to ride stupid BART into the city. Hello, two-hour commute!)
  • Parent-teacher conference
  • Thanksgiving dinner planning, including ordering the organic free-range turkey breast (even though it's just the four of us, and possibly Babydaddy, we will still have the requisite big turkey feast)
  • Finished two sweaters (Sister's Christmas Present and my big green squishy Mmmmmalabrigo v-neck)
  • Started a baby sweater
  • Started and FINISHED a super-secret surprise Christmas present for someone (at least those long BART rides were good for something)
  • Successfully kept myself from killing the kids so far (they're home a lot this month thanks to Thanksgiving, Veteran's Day, staff in-service days and parent-teacher conferences)
  • Finished most of my Christmas shopping
  • Crazy busy with work stuff (being gone for three days at a conference does not help)
And this is just the last two weeks, mind you. AND, today is Mr Wonderful's birthday. Thankfully, he decided that what he really really wants for dinner is pizza and beer. I can totally deal with that. But what he wants for his present is to get his computer fixed. Ugh. The thing needs a new motherboard, if I remember correctly (it's been at least six months since it got fried), and probably a new processor and a couple of fans too. *sigh*

Things I still need to get done:
  • Family picture for Christmas cards
  • Order Christmas cards, and when they get here, address & send them out
  • Thanksgiving
  • Get paver stones to edge the patio (between cement patio & new sod)
  • Finish baby sweater
  • Sleep for fifteen years
On the plus side, I found out that you can order NyQuil-D through your neighborhood pharmacy. NyQuil-D is the original formulation of NyQuil, and contains the magical ingredients that knock you on your ass. I have ordered some and it should be ready to pick up along with my turkey tomorrow.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Clarifying my position

I got a comment on my food blog about my position on Prop 8 the other day, trying to point out my hypocrisy by invoking the argument of polygamy.

Let me be perfectly clear. I have no moral issue with polygamy. I do take offense when old men try to marry off little girls to their friends. I do not approve of child endangerment and sexual abuse of minors (or anyone else for that matter). A thirteen year old, while physically mature enough to bear children, is NOT mentally ready to be a wife and mother. But I don't have any problem with consenting adults marrying each other. As long as everyone is mentally and emotionally mature enough to deal with their decision (and at 18, we are legally considered to be mentally and emotionally able to enter into legal contracts), then go for it. You're not hurting anyone else. Even if you have a bunch of kids, as long as you're a big happy family, then I'm fine with it. Multiple mommies? No problem. Duplicate dads? Just more love.

And this is essentially my problem with the Prop 8 proponents: why are you so sure that YOUR morals are the right morals for everyone else? Why are you so convinced that your way is the only way people should live? What gives you the right to arrogantly decide to strip away the rights of others just because you don't like their choices? I may think you're an idiot for believing that a cracker is the body of Jesus Christ, but do I try to outlaw communion wafers? No, I don't. Because it's none of my goddamn business what you do as long as it doesn't directly affect me.

And gay marriage does NOT DIRECTLY AFFECT YOU unless you are actually in a gay marriage.

So why? Why are you so afraid to let people who love each other get married? It doesn't have anything to do with what kids are taught in schools; California law specifically states that parents can opt-out of having their kids taught anything about health/sex education. That includes gay marriage and homosexuality.

It doesn't have anything to do with religious freedom, either. There has never been any case of a religious leader being sued for not performing a marriage ceremony. NEVER. There was a lawsuit against a justice of the peace in Massachusetts who refused to perform a marriage ceremony for a gay couple, but he was a government employee who was bound by the laws of his state. Let me state this perfectly clearly: there was NEVER a requirement for religious leaders to perform marriage ceremonies that go against their beliefs. When did you last hear of a Rabbi being sued for refusing to marry two Gentiles? When's the last time the Catholic church got sued for not recognizing a marriage between two atheists? Never? Oh, that's right. Because this argument is completely irrelevant.

And don't give me that crap about homosexuals having "equality" with the civil union laws. "Equal but separate" is not equal at all. In fact, it's a slap in the face. And if it's just a question of semantics, then why are you so rabid about keeping gay people from getting married? If it was just a word, you wouldn't care. By fighting against calling it marriage, you are proving that civil unions are NOT the same as marriage. And I'm sorry, but no, you can't own the word "marriage." Marriage is both a legal AND a religious term. Therefore religion alone does not get to dictate who gets to use that word. You are not that special. defines discrimination as "treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit". I can't think of anything that describes this hateful proposition better. They are seeking to remove the rights of a group of citizens, simply because they happen to love people with the same set of genitalia. And here's the thing: discrimination will not last. White men tried to keep women and blacks from being acknowledged as equals - TRUE equals, not that "equal but separate" crap - and it worked for a little while, sure. But to quote Martin Luther King, Jr, "The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice." If you don't believe him, look at our new President-elect: for the first time in the long and bloody history of America, we have elected a black man as our President. It took years of fighting against hatred and intolerance, but we have achieved TRUE equality for African-Americans and women. We would have had a female Vice-President next year if we didn't elect a black President (and we came awfully darn close to having a female Presidential nominee). And you can be sure that the fight against intolerance towards homosexuality is not over, either. Already we have made enormous strides; in just a few years, California went from losing gay marriage rights by 22% to losing by only 4%. And the courts are with us; discrimination is NOT tolerated, and Proposition 8 will be defeated. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon. And someday we'll all look back and wonder why we got so torqued up about it.

So you might want to think about what you're really standing for, when you stand against gay marriage. Because the veils of education and religious freedom are thinner than the paper you used to write this hateful bill, and not as many people will believe the propaganda the next time around. Gays are not going to just fade into the background and agree to be marginalized and live as second-class citizens. Truly, you don't actually believe that will happen, do you? You don't believe that all the gays are going to up and decide to "go straight" just because you don't approve, do you? You don't believe that homosexuality will get shut back into the closet of our nation, do you? You can keep screaming that gay marriage is wrong, but all that's going to happen is you're going to lose your voice. Because the tide of righteousness is stronger than the ideology of hate.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes, we did

Will post my disappointment about Prop 8 later, but for now...thank you, America. Thank you for voting for hope, instead of fear. Thank you for proving that we can move past our old sins and work for a brighter tomorrow. Thank you for coming out in droves, to put the most principled, intelligent man I've ever seen in the White House.

The people have spoken, and after eight long years, I feel like they're finally speaking my language again.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Off topic: Prop 8

I have temporarily disabled Google Adsense on my blogs because I learned that they are running "Yes on Prop 8" ads in California. I do not know if this ad displayed on my blog in the past weeks, but if it did, please let me assure you: I am NOT in favor of Prop 8. I do not support discrimination in any form.

Be sure to vote tomorrow!

One more day

One more day left for McCain to think he's got a chance at gaining the presidency. If you're an Obama supporter who's feeling just a bit antsy and scared about the possibility of losing again to the Repubs, check out, which has the very latest polls and aggregate data, showing Obama with a 96.3% chance of winning tomorrow. Or check out this article on HuffPo, which shows all but one of the political pundits predicting an Obama win. That one dissenter is, of course, a Fox News pundit. (Big surprise.)

One more day left before the Dems rout the Repubs in Congress, too. Now, I'm not saying we're going to get the 60-seat majority in the Senate; that seems unlikely. But I think folks are pushing for a clear change this election season, and there's a lot of angry, bewildered people out there wondering why their 401Ks are essentially worthless scraps of paper now.

And one more day left, most likely, before the conservatives in California outlaw gay marriage. I'm heartbroken over this, truly. If Prop 8 passes, I cannot imagine a bigger blow to equality and basic human rights. If you haven't heard yet, Prop 8 is the gay marriage ban, and it's one of the most hotly-contested and expensive races this season, apart from the presidential race. Supporters of the bill are claiming it stands for religious freedom, the preservation of marriage (huh??), and the continued innocence of our Kindergarteners.

Now, let me just refute these points one by one.

First, religious freedom. The proponents of bill say that if gay marriage isn't outlawed, churches will be forced to perform marriage ceremonies for gay couples or risk losing their tax-exempt status. But don't churches already discriminate in who they will or will not marry? If you do not belong to their congregation, a church will often refuse to allow you to have your wedding there, or to have your wedding performed by their officiants. I don't think this argument holds much weight. In fact, I think the Mormon Church (LDS) may be in danger of losing its tax-exempt status for substantial political lobbying on this particular proposition. The IRS tax code prohibits tax-exempt organizations (specifically including churches) from "[substantially] attempting to influence legislation." What legally constitutes "substantially"? I don't know, but I'm sure the LDS has their lawyers hard at work coming up with reasons why this doesn't apply to them.

Secondly, the "preservation of marriage." This is a joke, right? How does banning marriage protect it? If they really wanted to protect marriage, they'd be better off trying to outlaw divorce. What they really mean, of course, is that the bill preserves the fiction that heterosexual couples are somehow extra-special and the only ones who should be allowed to be married. Why is it wrong for two consenting adults to profess their love and commitment to each other? Why should they be satisfied with only calling their relationship a "civil union" when heterosexual couples get to be "married"? If the only difference is semantics, then why should there be any difference at all? Religion does not have a lock on the English language, and doesn't get to dictate which words can be used for legal relationships. And if the basis of your argument is a religious one (i.e., "the Bible says marriage is between one man and one woman") then your argument is irrelevant and unconstitutional, because there IS a lovely little part of our constitution that demands the separation of church and state. Marriage is both a religious AND a legal state, and therefore cannot be dictated by religion alone.

And finally, somehow, they've convinced people that passing Prop 8 is going to save our children from being taught about gay marriage in school. Look, people: if you're that worried about your kids learning something at school that you don't want them to know about, then you should really homeschool your children. Kids learn a LOT at school, and not all of it is in the classroom. What they hear from their peers is usually much more objectionable than what they hear from their teachers. And quite frankly, I don't recall my son ever learning about heterosexual marriage in school, much less homosexual marriage. The California Superintendent of Schools has definitively refuted this; children are not required to be taught about gay marriage, and whether or not Prop 8 passes will have absolutely no bearing on the fact. But honestly, people, are you really that concerned about your child learning about gay marriage? And if so, do you supervise every moment with their peers? Do you quiz their friends' parents to find out if they watch Will & Grace or Ellen before allowing your child to spend time with those friends?

Homosexuality is not hidden in the closet of our country anymore - it's out in the open, and I for one am glad. Secrets breed intolerance and bigotry. And "civil unions are legally just like marriage" is the same thing as "equal but separate" - you know, like when we had "equal but separate" schools for black kids and white kids. So please, think before you cast your ballot tomorrow - think about what's fair, and think about how you would feel if someone wanted to take away YOUR right to marry the person you love.