Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Getting to know me....
(I love that the results of this test turned out that I was Emperor Norton, one of my favorite early San Francisco heroes!)
The letter I sent to the editor yesterday...
This morning, President George W. Bush did something no president in history has ever done. He demanded a constitutional amendment to require discrimination in the United States.
In calling for a constitutional amendment on limiting "marriage" to a relationship between a man and a woman, he stated that his decision is based on "cultural, religious and natural roots," in a country where there is supposed to be separation of church and state.
He stated that he was calling for an amendment to "promote the welfare of children and the stability of society," ignoring the thousands of children of gay parents and the unstable atmosphere they must live in when their non-biological parent is not considered by law to be a "real" parent.
He stated that "the union of a man and a woman is the most enduring human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith."
I ask Mr. Bush which he finds more "enduring" -- the union of the first lesbians to be legally married in the United States, women who have lived in a committed relationship for 50 years, or the 55 minute marriage of Brittney Spears, the brief marriage of Darva Conger to the millionaire of her television networks choice, or, as Bill Maher puts it, "anything you can do in Vegas drunk off your ass in front of an Elvis impersonator."
By all means lets preserve the "sanctity" of these "marriages."
I dare Mr. Bush to look at the photos of the families married in San Francisco--two dads with babies strapped to their chests, two moms with a sleeping baby, smiling families surrounding the newlywed couples, the happy faces on those who have waited a lifetime to gain equal status with their straight married neighbors, and to say that this threatens "the stability of society."
Whether you are for marriage for gay couples or against it, I hope you will think long and hard about the meaning of a Constitutional Amendment which sets aside an entire segment of the population and singles them out for specific discrimination.
Its not right. Its not right. Its not right.
MY KINGDOM FOR A CUP
26 February 2004
There was a happy time when the kids were little and living at home. Whenever something disappeared, or something broke, or something stopped working, it was always because one of the kids broke it or lost it.
We never thought anything else.
Obviously we werent culpable. It was the kids.
Now, most of the time it was. You wont see Walt punching holes in the walls or kicking holes in the doors, and it wasnt me who left the movie camera out in the rain.
But, in truth, I suspect that Walt and I were guilty of losing or breaking our share of things too. It was just easy to sigh in exasperation and wonder which of our little darlings had misbehaved and caused us this terrible inconvenience. And since there were five of them, they could each, I suspect, wonder if one of their siblings was lying about what really happened to whatever got lost or broken.
Now that we have an empty nest, when something breaks or disappears or stops working, we have nobody to blame but ourselves.
So, when my coffee cup disappeared yesterday, I couldnt yell at a kid and ask if theyd taken it to go digging in the sandbox, or turn it into some sort of special prop for a movie, or filled it with Hi-C and taken it off to the theatre with them.
It would seem a simple solution to just go get another cup, of course. Like most houses with many activities and many interests, we have our share of pretty cups, fancy cups, silly cups, cups that advertise products or remind us of places weve been.
We have a collection of Gilbert & Sullivan cups. Some came from The Lamplighters, some from the Davis Comic Opera Company, some from the G&S Festival we attended in England.
There is my "transporter" Star Trek mug, where Spock, Kirk and Bones disappear when hot liquid is poured in the cup.
Walt has his collection of "tube" cups--each representing a certain stop on the London metro line. I have my emu cup that Peggy sent me from Perth.
There are Mom and Dad mugs from Berklee College of Music.
There are the mugs that David gave to people each year--each with a photo of himself on them. It was his favorite gift to give people for several years.
I threw away lots of cups in the first wave of cleaning out. La Leche league mugs, my Sutter Davis Hospital mug, and a host of cups with things that Ive long forgotten the significance of.
So it would seem that misplacing a cup of coffee would not be a big deal.
But with all these ceramic cups around here, my cup of choice is a pewter thermal mug that I bought for some exhorbitant sum at Peets Coffee.
I have this thing about hot coffee. I like my tea iced and my coffee very hot. In a ceramic mug the coffee may start out hot, but it quickly cools and by the time its 3/4 of the way down, its too cold to suit my tastes.
(Of course we all know that a microwave oven is just a big appliance for the reheating of cups of coffee, right?)
I love my cup. Ive used it every day for years. Its even become kind of a dribble cup because I lost the gasket inside and Im never sure when, on a whim, its going to decide to drip coffee down the front of me (usually just after Ive dressed up for something).
Sometime on Monday, during all of my cleaning efforts, the cup disappeared. It just wasnt there.
Nobody else was in the house. Walt was in Los Angeles, Scott wasnt here painting, and there was just me, all alone in the house. I dont have a mischevious cat to blame. I dont have a kid. I dont have any thermal cup thieves who might have snuck in. The cup just disappeared.
I have revisited every spot where I cleaned, more than once. One problem with cleaning up is that when things are straightened up and there is a place for everything, if you lose something, you no longer have piles of junk to look through on the off chance your missing treasure is hiding under a pile of laundry or behind a stack of magazines, or maybe fell into the laundry hamper.
When the flat surfaces are cleared and youve already checked them all, where do you look?
Walt even got into the action last night when he returned home from L.A. and he couldnt find it either.
Ive been reduced to drinking coffee out of ceramic cups. Its been hell, I tell ya. Sure, there are children starving in Bangladesh, but I had to drink cool coffee! I want a little sympathy here.
This morning I did all the rounds again. It wasnt on the dining room table, or on the credenza, not even behind all the photo frames. It wasnt next to the stereo or behind the Star Trek books, it wasnt anywhere in my office, or on the dresser in my bedroom. It wasnt even in the remodel of the bathroom. It wasnt inside the linen closet, where Id worked for awhile. It wasnt next to the upstairs telephone.
I was thinking Id have to look at buying a new one, but that was silly. Contrary to what could be the only logical explanation, cups dont really walk away on their own. It had to be here somewhere.
I gave a big sigh and reached in to the big bedroom to turn off the light, preparing to close the door and then my eye suddenly saw it. There it was. Sitting on a bookcase just inside the bedroom behind a stand-up mirror.
Im sure I never put the cup there.
Im sure one of the kids must have snuck in and moved it for me.
Thats my story and Im sticking to it.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Weight Lost to date: 45.8 lbs