Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lazy-Ass Librarian Thursday: The Gay Rights Movement in Six Minutes

I think you'll find that this video is worth your time.

That said, it's probably not the video to send to your dear Aunt Frieda who's never seen a gay person, much less studied up on LGBT history. It's more pep rally than substance; more inspiration than introduction. The story isn't told in chronological order and it leaves out some pretty important stuff (I watched it three times and didn't see anything about the Stonewall riots, for example).

Still, it is full of stirring images. In fact, I hate to admit it, but cynical and jaded as I am, I did feel a definite shiver once or twice. 

Oh! And is that Vandy Beth Glenn behind Barney Frank? I do believe it is!

Hat tip to Good.Is. And hell, a hat tip to us, too.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

George: Best. Cat. Ever.

George, from Window Rock, Navajo Nation, Arizona.

 I will miss you so very much, my wonderful little Navajo cat.  Enjoy your new adventure, and I'll see you on the other side.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On rain, bad luggage, and why it matters how you wear your pants.

So this morning, my commute to work was very interesting. First, it was raining, which sucked, but I had already resigned myself to that. So I put on my headphones, because music makes bearable even the most miserable journey. But I heard only an echo of what should have been music. The headphones were kaput. They had a long, full life but that didn't make me feel any better. A soggy trek without headphones really sucks. But you know, I'm no hothouse flower. I can take it! 

I got about a block and a half and then a wheel suddenly busted on my very heavy pull-along bag, which I just bought about a month ago. (In-line skate wheels, my ass.)

Well, that slowed things down considerably. Even though the pull-along did the best it could with its one remaining wheel, I wasn't exactly walking anymore. It was more like step-drag-step-drag. And me, headed toward the Capitol! It's pretty hard to impress a state senator when you're walking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I figured I'd better head first to my office and unload.

Did I mention that it was raining?

Finally I made it to the bus stop. There are actually three bus stops within a half-block of each other, with three perfectly good buses that come in quick succeession. I never worry about missing a bus, because if I do, I can just proceed a half-block to the next stop. No problemo.

 Alas, I missed the first two buses, although I was within seconds each time. Then I saw the third bus coming and decided this was the one. I rushed on, leaving a trail of sparks behind me as I dragged that stupid bag along the cement. Yes! I made it, just barely!

And then the driver sped right past me, the insensitive prick, and there wasn't going to be another bus for at least a half an hour.

It was raining, you know.

So that's when I said, fuck this bullshit. I went to the Starbucks across the street (sorry, Caribou, you're just too far) and got myself a venti skinny caramel latte. This helped, especially since it was served up by somebody in the rooms. So fortified, I looked up when the next bus was coming, and caught it with no problem. And I even made it to the office on time. How about that!

Anyway, here's the point. A few hours later I went to the bathroom and made an important discovery:  I had my pants on backwards. I'd been wearing them bass-ackwards all day long. This explained everything! It explained why my pants were suddenly too short. And why the pockets kept trying to point backwards. And why they felt tight in the ass.

And you know what? I think those backwards pants explain the whole damn morning. Because once I put them on right, the day just smoothed itself right out.

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

One Step Forward, One Hundred Years Back.

Yesterday the Seattle Times reported that Washington State Senator Steve Litzow, a Republican, has announced that he will be the first Republican in that chamber to stand up for gay marriage. Whatever his other views (and I confess I don't know what they are), it took courage and integrity to stand up to the Republican establishment, especially in the current toxic political environment. I have no doubt that other Republicans will follow his lead. Okay, so I'd be even more impressed if he put it on his website. Still, Senator Litzow, I salute you. Hang tough!

That's the state of Washington. But this is Georgia.

Here, we're a little less evolved. Here, we're still kind of working on the whole slavery thing.

You see, a Gwinnett county elementary school has been called on the carpet after several third-grade teachers attempted to combine Social Studies and Math lessons. Sounds good, no?

No. No, it went awry. Wrong. South. Deep South. 

The kids were studying Frederick Douglass, and of course that's a good thing. Things were going along just fine until the teachers had to start writing math questions to fit with the theme. Hmmm. How to combine Frederick Douglass and math? Let me see....

He's not laughing.
Oh, of course! Story problems! Those things are easy to write.

So the teachers wrote story problems for several classrooms of third-graders. They wrote story problems about slaves picking cotton and oranges. Oh, and they wrote one about Frederick Douglass himself. Here it is:
If Frederick got two beatings a day, how many beatings did he get in 1 week? 2 weeks?

Holy fucking mother of god!

And "Frederick"? Frederick  Douglass? That Frederick, the celebrated abolitionist and statesman? Referred to only by his first name?

Gwinnett County is not some little backwater hole, either. It's suburban to Atlanta, with a large minority population. Their school system is the largest in the state, with 161,000 students enrolled this year.

My head is exploding in all kinda sideways. I have to lay down.

Jesus Christ.

Bias disclosure: When I was in the third grade, I hated story problems.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Lazy-Ass Librarian Monday, New Year's Edition

I'd like to tell you that I spent last week in Key West soaking in sunshine and salt air, and that's why I didn't post. Yeah. I'd like to tell you that. Fact is, I just couldn't think of anything to write about.

Wait, that's not really true. I thought of lots of things to write about. And then I didn't write about them.

At any rate, my fabulous daughter is back from college, and for the next week I'll have two house guests (my kid and her new boyfriend). Between that and the holidays, I'm pretty much spent -- including in the monetary sense. I had forgotten how expensive children are, especially when they anticipate eating. 

The boyfriend (who seems very nice) will be heading back up to Chicago in a few days, but my daughter will be hanging out here for a semester. Her plan is to get a job and save money until summer, when she will return to Chicago, hopefully with money for a deposit on an apartment.

Now, this post was going to be my 2011 list of my ten favorite dead people, one of them being Jon Huntsman, who isn't really dead but is pretty much off the radar for the Republican presidential nomination, ha ha ha.

But then I saw this headline:


Well, golly, how could I resist? 

And it wouldn't be a real post unless I offered you witty and astute commentary, so here it is: I was sort of appalled to find I agree with numbers 1 and 2. And with number 7, but for different reasons. And even though I like number 10, I have to admit Mama Bear has a point. Oh, and I don't know who the fuck number 11 is.

So welcome to 2012. May it bring you all you wish for, or at least all you need, and may you know that you're loved.