Saturday, March 25, 2006

It's Half a Century and ... Oh... Uh, Never Mind...

Yes, folks, it's 50. The Big Five-Oh. Fifty-fifty-fifty-fifty. Half a century. Two quarters of a century put together. Eligible to join AARP! And as I mentioned a few days ago, so far so good.

Except. . . didn't my ex-husband just mention to me that it was his 50th birthday? And ... wait, I didn't think we were the same age .... We're just a couple months apart? No, that's not right ... Let me think . . . x + y, carry the one ...


Seems I celebrated the half-way point a little prematurely. I'm 49, not 50.

Color me embarrassed. But young!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Sweater and the Bumble Bee

When I was 30-ish or so, I learned the basics of knitting. And then I made a sweater. It was a long-sleeve pull-over with a hood, and there were all kinds of cable patterns on it. It was too big, but basically it worked pretty well and I wore it for a long time.

It wasn't until after I was finished that I discovered the sweater required advanced knitting skills -- no way was it a beginner's project. Fortunately I didn't know it so I managed it just fine. Sort of like the bumblebee who can't really fly but doesn't know it so she does it anyway. (Sidenote: the bumblebee can too fly).

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about this huge project I want to do. No, it's not knitting. I've only told one person about it and she told me I was nuts. It's definitely way beyond my present skill level; on the other hand, it's not beyond what I'm capable of learning. And my ideas are reasonably well developed and might even turn out to be halfway decent.

So I've been thinking about that old sweater. Should I take on a project that is way beyond my abilities? Even if it will take years and will probably never bring in a penny?


Monday, March 20, 2006

Oh, Boy, It's the Big Five-Oh

A week from today, I’m going to be fifty years old. Rather than thinking about how I’m so old (which I’m pretty sure I’m not), I’d rather focus on the stuff I’ve experienced so far, which I’m pleased to say is considerable. Here is a list, which I may add to as the week goes by:

~ Lived on the Navajo Nation

~ Written a book

~ Had really incredible sex

~ Sliced head cheese for the mob

~ Been clean and sober for over 24 years

~ Been married and divorced

~ Had a child

~ Been thin (and not)

~ Lived in New Jersey, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Georgia

~ Traveled for 6,000 miles, pretty much nonstop, on a Greyhound bus.

~ Gone to law school

~ Driven a pick-up truck (this week, in fact!)

~ Been Presbyterian, Jewish, Quaker, and pagan (all at the same time, even)

~ Lived in a trailer

~ Had cats, dogs, turtles, tortoises, fish, horses, gerbils, hamsters, and guinea pigs

~ Earned money as a writer

~ Practiced law in a big firm

~ Swam in the ocean

~ Been picked up by a professional gambler outside Las Vegas

~ Read and written pornography

~ Been published

~ Been saved by a nun

~ Sung on stage in two countries

~ Seen two musicals on Broadway

~ Done musical comedy

~ Learned to play several musical instruments at least a little

~ Quit smoking

~ Taught in graduate school

~ Worked for an answering service, nursing home, hospital, hotel, drug store, college, federal judge, and law school

~ Been inside the cab of a big rig

~ Flown in a helicopter

~ Grown tomatoes

~ Been a live-in nanny

~ Been on television at least twice (once dressed in large puppet suit and once interviewed)

~ Have been two degrees removed from Jimmy Hoffa and the Dalai Lama (not through the same person!)

~ Known writers, singers, pharmacists, doctors, actors, strippers, prostitution madams, and a phone-sex operator

Ok, so this isn’t so awfully bad for 50 years, although I confess I’ve just done little dabs of a lot of the things on my list. Most of it came just by my being open to new experiences, but that’s been a lot harder to do in the past few years. So for my next decade, I ask the Goddess to keep me open to whatever She may have in store.

So... what's on your list?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Ok, Maybe Not So Butch…

Doc is out of town. The electric fence is not working, and I woke up to two horses galloping around our little trailer. It’s not easy catching a couple of half-ton animals, even tame ones.

Ok, I was butch for a day. Now I’m ready for her to be Barbara Stanwyck again.

Umm, anybody got a lasso?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Call Me Butch, Babe

For a few days at least, I have a car. No, I have a truck. A genu-ine pick-up truck. It’s been four months since I had transportation of any kind (of my own, anyway). I only have it now because Doc is out of town and she’s got our one-and-only car.

Anyway, I wanted a PT Cruiser, but the rental place didn’t have any. They offered me a Dodge Ram 1500, which was way too big for this girly-girl, so they gave me a Dodge Dakota instead. Which I’m still trying to figure out how to park. And reaching the pedals is a challenge. And I can’t reach the radio or the cup-holder too well (this is definitely not a vehicle for short people). Still, I am enjoying the illusion of butchiness, for just a little while.

So here I am at the Starbucks, alone. Blessedly alone. Sorry, Doc, I love you dearly, but I’m sure you’re enjoying your break from chauffeuring me around.

A butch babe alone with her pick-up truck. Ahhhh. Butchy goodness. Guess I’ll go rip up a phone book or spit or something. Yeah.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Spies in the Closet

From the Gay News Blog comes news of yet another troubling development. Gay activists have come upon a quiet change made by the Bush administration in providing security clearance to GLBT Americans.

In 1995, President Clinton issued an executive order saying that sexual orientation "may not be used as a basis for or a disqualifying factor in determining a person's eligibility for a security clearance."

This past December, however, President Bush approved a rule change that removed this wording. The new rule substituted language saying that security clearance cannot be denied
"solely on the basis of the sexual orientation of the individual."

National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones says the new wording was not designed to change the meaning; rather, it was intended to clarify the 1995 executive order.

If no change in meaning was intended, those smart lawyers in Washington must have come up with new language that means the same thing but is clearer. Right?

Well, let's compare the language.

Here's the 1995 wording again: Sexual orientation "may not be used as a basis for or a disqualifying factor in determining a person's eligibility for a security clearance." Note the phrase "disqualifying factor."

Well, I hate to admit it, but that phrase isambiguous. Does it mean that you can't disqualify someone just because of their sexual orientation, although you can use it as one factor among many? Or, does it mean that sexual orientation can't even be used as a factor in disqualifying someone?

In changing the wording, the Bush administration has capitalized on this ambiguity to roll back GLBT rights. It has chosen the first of the two possible meanings:
Security clearance cannot be denied "solely on the basis of the sexual orientation of the individual."

Now, think about what that means: It's ok for someone to be denied security clearance for being lesbian, as long as it's only 99% of the reason and not 100%.

Should sexual orientation never be an issue? What about the married man having a clandestine affair with another man (or the man in a committed same-sex relationship who's having an affair with a woman)?

That's the only situation I can think of where it should be an issue, and even there, it's not the sexual orientation that's the problem. It's the secret affair. Which is why Clinton wisely said, according to the Gay News Blog, that "
sexual behavior may be a security concern if it involves a criminal offense, suggests an emotional disorder, could subject someone to coercion or shows a lack of judgment."

Bush had two options if he wanted to clear up the ambiguity. He could have said sexual orientation should never be an issue, but he didn't do that. Instead, he specifically chose the more discriminatory meaning. And ironically, in doing so, he created a security concern where there would have been none otherwise. You see, sexual orientation may now subject an agent to coercion where it didn't before -- because it can now be cited as one reason for removing that agent's security clearance.

I suspect this is just how the radical right likes it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Oh, Exodus...

UPDATE: I was able to get the picture uploaded this morning. Enjoy!

Show's over. Back to reality (quick note: the show went well, except that I forgot the words Sunday night. Ouch. A couple people said they didn't notice... Ok, I suppose "uh, hmmm, uh, duh, sections of the heart" -- sung while drooling -- could have been mistaken for the real words...). Turned out fine, though, and a good time was had by all.

Anyway, reality.

Poor, abused Exodus. They're all bent out of shape because a while back a clever blogger (wish I'd thought of it!) posted a parody of Exodus's billboards on his website. They're demanding that he remove it for copyright violation. But copyright law allows "fair use" of someone else's copyrighted work, including use in parody. Hence, Exodus' argument is, in technical lawyer-talk, seriously lame-o.

Just to bait Exodus (notice how many times I'm using their name in this posting?), I'm posting Justin's wonderful picture.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Sorry for the quiet...

...but I've been in rehearsals for a show (!). Yep. Singing and stuff. Me! Even a solo, almost. And some comedy. Just finished the second of three performances. I'm playing with a Mr. Microphone (ok, ok, it's a karaoke machine) to get used to using a microphone. I feel pretty silly but the dogs like it.

And I'm having a blast. I'm really lucky to be in this group -- it's an auditioned gay and lesbian chorus and this is our annual cabaret.

Anyway, I'm feeling lucky, wound up, exhausted, happy, and very, very humbled by the talent surrounding me. I'm definitely outclassed but still, what a kick!

I'll check back in a couple days when the show's over.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Death Penalty Redux

I’ve always been a strong opponent of the death penalty.  Now that I’ve read this article, though, I think I may need to reconsider.