Thursday, December 30, 2010

my husband is (sort of) famous had a contest for worst Christmas give giving or receiving stories, and my husband submitted a story. It made the top 10 worst stories, but wasn't nearly as bad as the "winner." Oprah's best friend Gayle read on Oprah's radio show (who knew that Oprah had a radio show?) the top stories, so my husband's story was read on national radio. He used a pseudonym, and he didn't know anything about it until later, but it's kinda fame. So here's my version of the story.

His great grandmother was well known for being cheap. Each year she ordered an Old Spice gift box, with a jar of Old Spice, which she would remove and give to her husband to use, and an Old Spice soap-on-a-rope. (For those too young to know about soap-on-a-rope, it was a bar of soap with a thick string attached for holding onto, I guess, although it always seemed strange to me.) She would wrap up the gift box, with half of the gift missing, and give it to some unlucky male relative. The running joke among other family members was "Who's going to get the soap-on-a-rope this year?" His great grandmother had died by the time that I entered the family, but my first Christmas in which we all exchanged gifts, I had the pleasure of being regifted one of the last soap-on-a-ropes. Everyone was quietly watching me open it, and when I did I was shocked but tried to be polite, while thinking "Who in the f**k gives soap-on-a-rope as a Christmas gift?" David told me the story and everyone, myself included, laughed. I put the soap away to give to the next male to enter the family, but after two cross country moves the soap was lost.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell is ending

As probably everyone in the US has heard, a repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell passed the Senate on Saturday. (It's the law that prevents gays and lesbians from serving in the Armed Forces unless they are never sexually active and never tell anyone their orientation.) That is good news. Now the President will sign it and the process set up to end it will begin. There were a handful of Republicans voting for it - why not, since the majority of Americans supported repeal. It was a bad law from the beginning.

I do have to wonder about the progress over the last two years, in which Democrats had majorities in both houses of Congress and the Presidency. The only positive laws that passed for gays and lesbians were a hate crimes law and the eventual end of DADT. Yes, the President issued an executive order requiring hospitals that accept governmental funds (as almost all do) to permit gays and lesbians to have their partners visit them, but that really isn't much to show for two years. Where was the Employment Non-discrimination Act that prevents employers from firing someone just for being gay or lesbian? Or some type of federal recognition of same sex couples? Or a change in laws to allow Americans to sponsor their partners for immigration? Or some federal law to protect gay and lesbian kids from bullying at school? Maybe I was expecting too much, but I was only hoping for equality, which shouldn't be too much for 21st century America.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Jabba the Hut

Yesterday morning Leo went to the bathroom during breakfast. After a while, he yelled out "My poo looks like Jabba the Hut!" What do you say in response to that? I said "OK." I asked David and he said that his stock answer in situations that seem to require one but you don't want to say what you really think to Leo is "That's good to know." Since I'm on the subject of 7 year old boys and "poo", I am waiting until Leo can wipe his ass in a normal way after a bowel movement. He either doesn't wipe at all (and I know this because I do the laundry and it is obvious when he takes his underwear off, or because he forgets to flush about half the time) or he uses half a roll of toilet paper and blocks the toilet. I asked a friend with three sons when they become hygienic and she said her oldest did at about 12 when a girl commented that he didn't smell good. His mother had told him the same thing but he ignored her. So I guess that we have about 5 more years.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Here's my hole, Daddy."

A few days ago Leo told David that he had a hole in one of his pairs of pants, but he couldn't remember which pair. David asked Leo to point out the hole the next time that he found it. So one afternoon as we were about to serve dinner David and I were standing in the kitchen near the sink when Leo comes in, sits down on the floor, tilts his torso back and raises and spreads his legs. He points to a small separation in the seam of the crotch of his pants and says "Here's my hole, Daddy." David and I both suppressed smiles and David thanked him for pointing out the hole. Once Leo left I turned to David and smiled, saying "He has a hole down there." David said, "Yes, I'm aware of that now."

On a more somber note, Leo spends three afternoons a week at the Child Development Center (CDC) at school. It's basically child care for parents who work and can't pick their kids up right after school. We have Leo there so that he has more time to play with other kids, and to give David a break. Yesterday Leo told David that he spent all afternoon playing video games on the computer because no one would play with him. David asked why and Leo said that he didn't know. I suspect that it was his ADHD, which makes him impatient and impulsive, sometimes blurting out thoughts that he should keep inside. We feel bad for Leo, and we're going to try another change in his medications this week.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"happiness delivered"?

I received a catalog in the mail yesterday, and on the front was the caption "happiness delivered." That really bothered me and caused me to think about the American consumerist society. Why do we think that having more stuff will make us happy? Sure, if you don't have the essentials that you need then getting those essentials will make someone happier. But once you have what you really need does having more make you happier? I guess that I have thought about this over the last year or two as I've read some on recent studies and books about happiness. Happiness doesn't come from material possessions, at least not lasting happiness. But especially at the holidays there is this expectation to buy for friends and family to show that we love them. My mother seems to believe this. She got tired of having me return most of what she bought for me when I was a teen, so one year she asked me to give her a list of things that I would like for the holidays. I did, and every year since she calls or emails in the fall and asks for my list. I'm 46, not a six year old with a list for Santa. I don't need more stuff!

I see this "more is better" mentality when I go to a shopping mall, which isn't often. I see store after store filled with stuff and I wonder if we need most of this, and does having it make people happier? Our former President encouraged Americans to go shopping at the beginning of the last minor recession about 10 years ago - he made it sound like our patriotic duty. That was great - rack up credit card debt to buy stuff you don't need. Even now the newspapers cheer on excessive spending at the holidays as a sign that consumer spending is up and therefore the economy is improving. Why not suggest that people cut back on spending and pay down debt?

After the holidays I plan to contact my family and suggest that we only buy gifts for the kids next year. I really don't need my family to buy me gifts to know that they love me.

Sorry for the rant. I just feel that our priorities about buying for others and accumulating more possessions is misplaced.

Monday, November 22, 2010

slushie versus sushi, and "You aim for the drain."

Yesterday Leo wanted me to tell him a funny story about our family. He enjoys hearing family stories. So I told him about the time that I spilled a slushie down my mother's neck and back while she was on her lunch hour. He asked "What's a slushie? Is that like sushi?" I had to smile at that question. I realize that is how we are raising Leo - he's totally comfortable with sushi but has no idea what a slushie is.

Yesterday David did something that surprised me. I was on the toilet getting rid of some santorum (Google that if you don't know what it is. Thank you Dan Savage). David had to urinate, and since we were having a good post coital conversation, he decided to just urinate in the sink. I heard what he was doing and asked if that was what I thought it was. He said "Yes. So?" I said that I thought that it was a little strange, that we have two other bathrooms that he could use. He said that he didn't want to interrupt our conversation, and it was no big deal. I said that it could be messy if there was any splatter. He said "You just aim for the drain and it goes right in. It all ends up in the same place anyway." I should mention that David's mother ran a waste water treatment plant for many years, so conversations of what happens to "stuff" after you flush was normal dinnertime conversation at his house. He also wanted me to add that he is 6'4" tall (1.83 meters) so it's a straight shot down for him. Just so you don't get the wrong impression, David doesn't go urinating on trees in the park or anything like that.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

blue moon, and Turkey Trot

Today there was a blue moon. From what I understand, the third full moon in a season with four full moons (instead of the usual three) is referred to as a blue moon. Today was one of those rare full moons.

Yesterday I ran a local Turkey Trot 10k road race. It is always held the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This year it was overcast and cold, and rain began to fall during the race. Luckily I was bundled up and wore a running rain jacket. Leo ran the kids race, but luckily it had stopped raining by then.

Leo's ADHD is either a bit better lately or we are just learning how to manage it better. The hyperactivity and distractibility don't bother me much, and the out of control temper has been better.

Not much more going on lately.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I should be careful what I wish for

It now looks like Steve Cooley, the Republican District Attorney from Los Angeles, will win the election for California state Attorney General. He moved ahead of Kamala Harris, the Democratic District Attorney from San Francisco, as more of the absentee ballots are counted. The absentee ballots often favor Republicans, since older, whiter and richer people are more likely to vote by absentee. (I always vote that way since it's easier - the ballot comes in the mail and I can fill it out at home and send it in and avoid the polling places. Any registered voter can be a "permanent absentee" voter. Why not have all elections that way and save money?) So now Prop 8 and its supporters have the California Attorney General defending it. But the next trial starts in less than a month, before he takes office. So will the courts let him defend it? Who knows? If the case is appealed to the US Supreme Court he can defend it there. Plus now our Attorney General will be reluctant to defend gay rights or any other progressive/liberal group or law.

Friday, November 5, 2010

long time, US elections

Hi again. It's been too long since I posted, but not much has happened.

The big news is the midterm elections here in the US. "Midterm" means half way between Presidential elections, when all of the House and 1/3 of the Senate are up for re-election, plus many state and local elections. The GOPs (which is an acronym for Grand Old Party, or the Republicans - why are they grand and old? The Democratic party is older and the Republicans are not grand) regained control of the House and lowered the Democratic margin in the Senate. Some good people won't come back to DC - Russ Feingold in the Senate and Patrick Murphy in the House come to mind first. The New Hampshire legislature will have Republican majorities that can undo the same sex marriage law, and they have a veto-proof margin, so the Democratic governor can't stop it. But the most upsetting elections to me were the ouster of three judges in Iowa who ruled that marriage discrimination was unconstitutional under state law. Why get rid of a judge for upholding the law? Bigotry has no limits, I guess.

One election that has not been decided since the votes are still being counted is the state Attorney General here in California. Kamala Harris, the Democrat from San Francisco, has a very small lead over Steve Cooley, the Republican from LA. The legal strategist in me (that is a joke) wonders how that outcome might affect Prop 8. The current governor and Attorney General, who is also the governor-elect, refused to defend Prop 8 in court, so its backers did. But whether they have legal standing to defend it is an issue. If Cooley wins, he will defend it, but will the courts let him since he wasn't in office when the case was argued in the district court? If the appeals court finds that the backers of Prop 8 don't have standing, and the only people who do, the governor and Attorney General, refuse to appeal, the courts may let the ruling that 8 is unconstitutional stand. Then the backers would likely ask the US Supreme Court to take the case. But it has been the conservatives on the Supreme Court who have made standing so narrow. I believe that Justice Scalia and a few others won't let a technicality like the law get in the way of their religiously based biases against gays and lesbians. But how would the Supreme Court rule? The court generally tries to duck controversial issues like this if it possibly can - look at the Newdow ruling about the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance case. This would all be interesting to ponder if people's lives weren't at stake. And lives really are on the line every time a court decides a case about gays and lesbians. Because when the government says that it is OK to discriminate against gays and lesbians, kids see that and take it as tacit approval of bullying or as another sign that everyone is against them. I remember how devastating the Bowers versus Hardwick decision finding that gays don't have a right to have sexual intercourse was in the 1980s and don't want to see something like that for marriage equality.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

this is progress, right?

Gay issues have been in the news here in the US lately. A federal district judge in Southern California declared "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" unconstitutional and issued an injunction preventing discharges or investigations of gay or lesbian service members. But our President, who opposes the law and wants it repealed but did little or nothing to get it passed in the Senate, says that he has to appeal the judge's decision - no, you don't, you don't have to defend laws that have been declared unconstitutional that you disagree with. So it could be a long time until DADT is officially over.

The state of Florida's Department of Childrens' Services (I think that I got the name right) has decided not to appeal a state district court's decision that barring all gays and lesbians from adopting is unconstitutional. But the state attorney general might decide on his own to appeal, so that law might still be enforceable.

A federal district judge in Massachusetts declared that the part of the Defense of Marriage Act that prevents the federal government from recognizing valid marriages of same sex couples is unconstitutional. But the Obama administration has decided to appeal those two related decisions as well.

The spate of recent suicides by young gays and a lesbian has gotten press lately, which is a good thing. But is change really happening in middle and high schools were the problems really are?

The Prop 8 trial will be in early December, so again a wait for the legal process to slowly grind toward a conclusion.

I saw a moving speech by Joel Burns, the first gay elected official in the history of Fort Worth, Texas, at a recent city council meeting. He talked about his experiences but became too emotional to read a few sentences talking about his darkest times when he was a gay teen.

So I guess that I would like to see real progress, not potential progress that gets appealed and is in the legal system for years. Lives are being lost now, so I want the lives of gays and lesbians, especially the young ones, to improve now.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

remembering Kurt

There have been several suicides of gay teens recently, some the result of years of anti-gay bullying. Is there anything sadder than that? It's very discouraging that as we are making progress toward equality young gay men are still driven to suicide. But I look at all the progress that has occurred since I was a teen and usually feel better.

The recent suicides have made me think about Kurt, one of my classmates in school. Kurt moved to town at the start of fifth grade, and we became friends. We went to school together through high school. We were somewhat close in fifth and sixth grades but drifted apart after that. Then in junior year of high school I noticed a change in Kurt. He became quiet and quit talking to people except when someone spoke directly to him. He also stopped doing his homework and seemed to be in trouble with teachers for that all the time. What I noticed most was his smell. It was obvious to me that he quit bathing and he smelled pretty bad. Being the naive 16 year old that I was, I just wondered why he wouldn't take a shower. In retrospect it is obvious that he was very depressed and didn't care any more. But neither I nor anyone else seemed to realize what Kurt's problem was. One day he got a ride home with a classmate and seemed to be OK. I think that he had made his decision by then. He went home and hung himself, and his twelve year old sister found him later. Looking back I am pretty sure that Kurt was gay - maybe I had a little gaydar even back then. He didn't seem to like sports but played baseball when he was younger because his father wanted him to. Bullying was part of the problem - we went to an all-male Catholic high school, and the in crowd and bullies were merciless toward those that they considered weak. I wish that I had some of the experience that I have now to spot depression - I'm a primary care physician, so I see it nearly every day. Another preventable death, another victim of homophobia.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

half shaved typhoid Larry

Sorry that I haven't posted in so long. I got busy, and I was reading a really great series of stories by Michael Arram. If you are interested they are the Henry series and available online at

Recently the entire family has been ill with colds. Leo may have brought it home from school or I might have from work. David is blaming me and calling me "typhoid Larry." If you don't get the joke email me and I'll explain it.

A few years ago I noticed that a mole on my leg was changing, so I had it evaluated and removed. One part of it was on its way to melanoma but wasn't there yet. So now I apply sunscreen everywhere before I run, and it's much easier if I shave my legs. So I was half finished the second leg the other day when the electric razor died. Now I have one shaved leg and one partially shaved leg - it looks strange, as you would guess.

It summary I'm a half shaved typhoid Larry

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day, and curry-less curry

Yesterday was Labor Day, so Leo and I did the local Labor Day run. I ran the 10k and he ran the kids 1k. He wanted me to run along with him, as the parents of some of the smaller kids' parents do. But he took off into a herd of kids at the start, and I would have had to knock over other kids to keep up with him, so I stopped. It turns out that he fell and scraped his hands, so I wish that I had run with him. My race went OK. I started out too fast so didn't have much at the end, but my time was OK - a little over 51 minutes unofficially.

I cooked a curried vegetable dish that David really likes for dinner on Sunday night. I thought that it didn't taste right and commented on that. David said that it tasted fine to him, and Leo said that it was the best that I ever made that dish. I went back and looked at the recipe and realized that I have left the CURRY out of the curried vegetables. So it was just a mix of vegetables. No wonder it didn't taste right. So what am I to make of my husband saying that it tastes fine and my son saying that it was the best that I had ever made that dish? I just need to realize that my husband and son just don't like anything even mildly spicy, while I need some spice or heat in food for it to taste good. I made a Thai curry once and David couldn't even eat it, and I agree it was a little hot. The next time I tried half the curry in the recipe, which didn't work either. Leo was young, so he didn't know the correct words to say but said "This makes my teeth hurt!", while David told me never to cook it for the family again. The two of them think that mild salsa is too hot, while I think that the "hot" is too mild. I wonder where I got a taste for heat - my parents never served any spicy food and don't like it now. Maybe I'm just an aberration, in yet another way.

I also want to welcome a new follower, TwoLives. It seems like I've "seen" you around here before, TwoLives. Maybe I've read your blog or commented on a blog that you commented on. Either way, welcome. Feel free to tell us about you or your blog if you want.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

back after a long break

I'm finally back. I didn't really go anywhere but got so busy that I didn't post for a long time.

My parents came for a visit, timed to coincide with Leo's seventh birthday. It was generally a good trip. For once it wasn't too hot in August. We went to the usual kid attractions - the Sacramento Zoo, Fairytale Town (a small park with play areas based on nursery rhymes), the local pool. Leo always enjoys my parents' visits - he has four adults instead of two to entertain him.

We had Leo's birthday party at Rocknasium, a local rock climbing gym. The nine kids enjoyed climbing all over the walls. I have to say I learned something too - rock climbers are hot! It was a warm day, and since we live in a college town, the college and high school rock climbers were almost all shirtless. Unlike guys who lift weights, these guys get muscles from "natural" exercise, so they're lean but very fit. Someone could make a bundle by having a rock climbers calender for 2011.

The difficult part of my parents' trip came after they left. I talked to David, who values his quiet and personal space, and he told me that he can't tolerate my parents staying in our house for a week again. It's just my dad - my mom doesn't bother David but my dad does - he and David are just totally opposite personalities. That's really difficult for me - David has to be comfortable, but I have to tell my parents that they have to stay in a hotel next time. Ugh.

Leo started second grade on Wednesday. He's in a Montessori program in our local public school and is in a combined second and third grade class. He has a teacher that I have heard very good things about. But David and I had to laugh about something that happened on Friday. His teacher immigrated from India, and has a small red circle on her forehead, which I believe is a Hindu tradition (maybe someone can enlighten me on this?). Apparently one of the kids in the class wanted one too, so she gave one to every kid who wanted one. David and I don't care, but we could see some fundamentalist parents having a fit about their child coming home with a Hindu mark on their head. Probably won't happen in our very liberal college town in Northern California, but you never know. That type of parents usually won't enroll their child in a Montessori program to start though.

We've been keeping Apple happy lately. David bought a new laptop with the money that he earns from writing and editing manuscripts, and soon after his iPhone died so he bought a G4 iPhone. It does take good home movies on iMovie.

I'm working today, so David took Leo to see his first movie in a theatre, Nanny McPhee Returns. Leo apparently enjoyed it and behaved very well.

I want to welcome a new follower, Grant from Gay and Away. I enjoy your blog, Grant.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

a small step toward marriage equality?

By now everyone has heard about Prop 8 being declared unconstitutional by a federal district judge in San Francisco. That is great, but I have to wonder where this will end up. Will the Ninth Circuit Court, and later the Supreme Court, agree, or will one or the other overturn the decision? It all comes down to nine people in DC, their personal beliefs (and biases). I remember the huge disappointment in 1986 or '87 when the Supreme Court surprised the gay community and upheld rather than overturned Georgia's sodomy law. (I grew up and was living in Georgia at the time, so it hit me personally very hard.) And even if the law is ruled unconstitutional in the end, will it only affect California? Or will it be used to overturn anti-marriage equality laws and constitutional amendments in other states? I always get nervous thinking about this - having basic human rights of a minority up for a vote by the majority. I did donate money to the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the organization that brought the lawsuit. The trial also reminded me to always give people the chance to do the right thing. I did not like Ted Olson when he argued Bush versus Gore in the Supreme Court, or when he was Solicitor General in the Bush administration. But he did the right thing in this case. Even Republicans can do the right thing on occasion.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Leo has lost two teeth

We're back from San Diego. We did all the kid things while we were there - Legoland, Sea World, the zoo, the kids' science museum. We all had a good time.

While we were there, the tooth that had barely been hanging on finally came out, after Leo played with it for what seemed like hours when he should have been asleep. He was a little scared of pulling out his tooth. Once he realized that it really didn't hurt, as we had been telling him for weeks, he pulled the second one out two days later. We did not lie to him and tell him that the Tooth Fairy would give him money if he put it next to his bed, so we gave him $5 for it. I insisted before he was born that I would never lie to a child of mine, so we don't have Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy.

I'm overdue in welcoming my newest follower, Brian. I don't know much about you, Brian, other than that you are "older." Older is relative, since I'm older than many of my followers and some of the people that I follow. I always ask if you want to introduce yourself and tell us about you.

I also wonder if anyone has been in contact with Jon, of The Rainbow Runner. When I tried to check his blog last night I was told that it no longer existed. I'll try again after posting this. I hope that Jon's OK.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"This car has more blind spots than Helen Keller", and buck fuddy

We're on vacation in San Diego. Very nice town. One of the few that I think "I could live here" when I visit. We're staying in a rented condo just on the border of Hillcrest, the "gayborhood." There are rainbow flags everywhere, and it definitely has a gay vibe. When we were logging into the condo's wifi network, another network that it detected was "buck fuddy." If you don't get the joke email me and I'll explain it.

We were supposed to get a Chevy Cobalt at the rental car company, but they must have been out because they gave us a free "upgrade" to an Impala. I realize that by American standards that may not be a large car, but it seems large to me. (I like small cars and drive a Honda Insight.) David doesn't like it for different reasons. His comment was "This car has more blind spots than Helen Keller." That's what I call a "David-ism", a unique comment that he makes that can be hilarious, or insulting, or often both. He once described a shopping trip with my mother and sister as "the Bataan death march with shopping bags."

We went to Legoland today. As amusement parks go it wasn't too bad. Leo played in a water area with lots of slides and things that shot water. He also enjoyed a ride where the riders on boats shot water out of guns at people walking by, and there were water guns for the people to shoot back. I manned one and made sure to soak any adult on a boat passing by. David thought that I enjoyed it too much, so he filmed it with the camcorder, with comments like "Here's my Buddhist, pacifist vegetarian husband soaking people with a water gun." Leo also enjoyed an enclosed two story game where kids on each level were shooting balls out of cannons at each other. I went in to talk to Leo, and I think every kid in there took aim at me. They must have thought "There's an adult, let's get him."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Argentina, and the economy

Very early this morning local time, after debating for 14 hours, the Senate in Argentina approved a marriage equality bill. The President has promised to sign the bill, so Argentina now becomes the twelfth country on four continents to have marriage equality. This happened despite the Catholic and Mormon churches publicly opposing equality. Viva Argentina!

Meanwhile, here in the US, our Senate has decided to remove ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, from the calendar of scheduled votes. (ENDA would prevent employers from firing a worker simply because he or she is gay, lesbian or transgendered - yes, that is still legal in most of the US.) With elections in November, the Senate is afraid to vote on anything controversial - like equality.

I got another reminder today of how the bad economy, and the screwed up US health care system, affect my patients. I saw a middle aged diabetic woman today who had her blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes under good control last year. This year her diseases all all a lot worse. It turns out that her hours were cut back at work, so her paycheck is smaller, and her co payments for medications went up. So she can't afford two of her blood pressure medications or her insulin. But if she goes into a coma or has a stroke her hospitalization will be covered. How idiotic is that?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

40 and 19

Tomorrow my husband David turns 40. We aren't doing much to celebrate it, other than giving him gifts. He doesn't like to celebrate his birthday any year, so it isn't just because he's now in his 40s. He was traumatized by a birthday as a child. He invited several kids over to his birthday party one year, and no one showed up! He even called one kid the day before as a reminder of the party, and the kid assured David that he would be there. David was so upset that he never had another birthday party. The next year he started the tradition of just going out to dinner with his parents and one friend, but even that didn't go well. His parents drank too much at the restaurant (banana daiquiris - it was the 1970s), got mildly drunk and embarrassed him. I understand why he has an aversion to celebrating birthdays now.

Tuesday is the 19th anniversary of our first date. It's one of our three anniversaries, as I believe I mentioned in an earlier post. It's the one that we have celebrated the longest, and since marriage or even civil unions or domestic partnerships weren't available then it was the only date that we had to celebrate. We also celebrate what we call our "San Francisco anniversary", which is also Valentine's Day. It was the day in 2004 when we were married when the city of San Francisco was issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples, but that marriage was declared "null and void" by the California Supreme Court. We also celebrate the day of our "real" legal marriage in 2008, but we had been together for 17 years by then, so to us it was just not a huge deal at that point. I think that I want to have a party for our 20th anniversary next year. Not that many relationships, gay or straight, make it to 20 years, so I think that we should celebrate it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

the beginning of the end of DOMA?

Yesterday a federal district judge in Boston ruled in two cases that The Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA is unconstitutional. The first case was brought by the state of Massachusetts, which claimed that DOMA is unconstitutional because marriage laws are left to the states rather than the federal government under US law. The second case was brought by people legally married in Massachusetts who claimed that the federal government must treat all married people the same under federal law. The judge ruled in favor of the state and the couples (and three widows or widowers). This is a big deal, since most legal benefits of marriage come from federal rather than state law. The decisions will be appealed, first to the circuit court and then to the Supreme Court, which will take years. But I'm happy about the outcome. I would like my national government to recognize my valid marriage.

It was also pointed out to me that Oliver does have a blog, (Every time I try to make that a link that you can click on it doesn't work.) Welcome Oliver.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to Canada and the US

Happy 143rd "birthday" to Canada and 234th to the US, both belated. Jimmy (the moose icon among my followers) reminded me of Canada Day recently - thanks Jimmy. I hope that your summer job on the railway in the Canadian Rockies is going well.

On the Fourth, Leo, David and I went over to Gareth and Analisa's (the couple that we're closest to) for their traditional barbecue. She was kind enough to grill vegetables for me, so I pigged out on eggplant. I really enjoy eggplant, while as David says "The best that I can say about eggplant in a dish is that it was well hidden." Leo enjoyed playing in their pool with their son Alec, and I enjoyed holding Kaylin, their 11 month old. She thinks that I'm funny when I make faces at her while she is in her mother's arms, but when I hold her she thinks that I'm someone to watch very closely for bad behavior.

On the Fourth I thought about the founding of my country. I visited Philadelphia a few years ago and took the tour to see the buildings and rooms where the Declaration of Independence was signed. It seemed to be a fitting room for our country - relatively small room, not at all ornate with unpainted wood plank floors. I also thought about the gay and lesbian soldiers who have died for a country that doesn't treat them as equals. When is Don't Ask, Don't Tell going to be repealed?

I have a new follower, and as is my custom, I want to welcome Oliver. I don't know anything about you, Oliver, since I didn't see a blog of your own or any biographical information. I invite you to introduce yourself and tell us about you. I've always liked the name Oliver, although Oliver North brought discredit to the name in the 1980s - you might not have even been alive then.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Ireland joined the growing group of countries that offer national recognition of same sex couples with passage of the Civil Partnership law. So the country that many of my ancestors came from, that was very conservative until recently, with laws against divorce and abortion, has now jumped ahead of the US in recognizing at least partial equality for gay and lesbian couples. I wonder why the Democratic party here, whose leader, our President, claims that he supports granting the same rights to same sex couples that married heterosexual couples have, hasn't introduced some form of national civil partnership. The Democrats want our votes and our money for their elections this fall, but where is their support for us? Maybe I should become a Green. I really agree with more of their agenda than the Democrats', but a vote for the Greens takes one away from the Democrats, which is almost the same as voting for a Republican - look at Florida in 2000 (thanks Ralph Nader) for proof.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Leo is taking kenpo karate, and the Supreme Court

My husband David signed our son Leo up for a four lesson trial of kenpo karate earlier this month. Leo had expressed an interest in karate for a while, and he had attended two karate birthday parties at a local karate studio (is that the right term?). This type of karate came recommended to us by a close friend and by a therapist. So Leo had his four lessons, and after the third the teacher, Mr. Hobbs, met with David and me. He told us what David had already noticed, that Leo seemed to enjoy it and was able to focus and remember the moves - which is important with Leo's ADHD. The individual lesson format helps. So we signed him up for six months of weekly lessons, and he can attend as many group lessons as he wants, but it will likely be only one weekly. He got his gi, and is proud of it. It's black instead of white, but Mr. Hobbs explained that that is the traditional color in kenpo, since kenpo originates from a time of war in Japan. Mr. Hobbs spent time from the very first lesson going over when NOT to use karate. He also saw Leo slouching on the sofa in the studio while awaiting his lesson and asked "Is that how you sit on the sofa at home?" and told him how he should sit. David was there and didn't answer then but wanted to say "He doesn't sit on the sofa, he jumps on it or stands on it or runs across the room and takes a flying leap onto it."

The US Supreme Court handed down a surprising decision yesterday, and it wasn't the one ruling a law on handgun bans unconstitutional (guns seem to always be OK to Republicans). It was a decision about a Christian law student group at a California law school wanting student activity money without agreeing to the rules to get funding. The law school said that to be an officially recognized student group and get funding, all groups had to agree not to discriminate and accept all members who wanted to join. But the Christian law student group wanted the recognition and money but wanted to be able to exclude gays and lesbians. The law school said no, so the Christian law student group sued. The school won at trial and on appeal, but I really expected the Supreme Court to rule in favor of the student group. But the four liberal (or liberal for the US, which would be conservative in Canada and most of Europe) justices were joined by Anthony Kennedy, the swing judge, to rule that the school could make rules for student groups to get funding. Almost every decision on the court comes down to how Kennedy votes, including the handgun decision.

I wanted to welcome an new follower, Lightning Baltimore. I enjoyed your first post. I like to extend an invitation to introduce yourself and tell us about you, if you want.

Friday, June 18, 2010

we have the world champions of ... beer pong

I live just outside Sacramento, California, and the local newspaper informed us of our local world champions. Michael Seivert and Byron Findley, aka the "Drinkin' Smokin' Straight West Coastin'" team beat out 352 other teams and won $25,000 in the World Beer Pong Tour Championship in Atlantic City. Apparently there are other tournaments, and the duo, both 26, have also won the "World Series of Beer Pong" and the "King of Cups" tournament. Both claim their beer prong prowess comes from their athletic careers, having played basketball and rowed crew in college. One is part owner in a company that runs beer pong tournaments, and the other has no other income besides beer pong earnings.

I had no idea anyone took this seriously. $25,000 for beer pong? There must be either sponsors or lots of people willing to pay money to watch this. I've never played beer pong. I guess that it didn't exist when I was in college from 1982-86, or the parties that I went to didn't have it. Of course, I lived at home as did most of my classmates, so I don't think my parents would have let me and my friends use the kitchen table for beer pong. The wildest we ever got at a party was a game of strip poker. I thought everyone was kidding and wasn't worried when I lost the first four hands and lost my shoes and socks. Then I started to win, and when the girl next to me lost her bra and shirt I thought "Oh wow, they're serious!" I was maajorly bummed that the guys wimped out. The girls sat there having to show off their breasts, but when the guys lost their underwear they just slid them off and kept sitting. I wanted to see penises! I ended up winning. Most of the other people put their underwear back on and we just sat around and drank and talked, until there was a knock on the door, followed by a mad scramble to find clothing.

Monday, June 14, 2010

my son is a teabagger

For those of you outside of the United States, you may not be familiar with the teabaggers (and that's a good thing.) They are the most conservative, anti-immigrant, anti-big government (except for the parts that they like, such as Medicare and Social Security), ant-gay, pro oil drilling crazies in the Republican party. The name comes from the Boston tea "party", a rebellion before the American Revolution to British taxation on tea. Yesterday Leo decides that he wants to make tea. He's not allowed to use the stove on his own, so he tells me that he knows another way to make tea. He tells me in great detail of his plans to basically put a tea bag in a glass of water and put the glass near a lamp to heat it up. So he gets a tea bag, a glass with water, and puts the glass on an end table next to a floor lamp. I pointed out that the lamp was too far away (being about 6 feet tall) to warm up the tea, so he drags the lamp a few inches closer. Also the lamp had a compact fluorescent bulb in it, so it won't get hot, but whatever. He drank the tea later and said that it was delicious. By that time he had added some of my leftover sports drink to it.

I think that I have two new followers. Tommy from Australia, whose blog I have enjoyed for a while, and Fred B who I believe followed the blog of the supposed high school hockey player that we now know was a fraud. Welcome to you both.

Leo watched Star Wars yesterday. We've been holding off on letting him watch it - it is violent at times. But it seems that all of his classmates have seen it, and he's even played a Star Wars video game at a friend's house. I watched a little and it's still good over 30 years after it came out.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I have "the curse of the Celts"

I saw my internist yesterday and he confirmed what I thought, that I have rosacea. It's a chronic skin condition that causes flushing of the face, often mostly involving the nose and around the nose. If untreated it can lead to rhinophyma, which is scarring and nodules of the nose - think W.C. Fields if you've ever seen an old movie with him. My situation is nothing like that. I'm on a topical gel twice daily and was told to avoid the sun, which I do anyway. I read on Wikipedia that it's referred to as "the curse of the Celts", being more common in people of northwestern European ancestry, especially the Celts. Well, that's me, although I have some German and by family legend one Spanish ancestor. (He supposedly made it to Ireland after the British Navy sank much of the Spanish armada a few centuries ago. Not sure if that's true or just legend.)

Today is Leo's last day of first grade. That really is surprising to me. It really does seem like just a little while ago that we were at the hospital in San Jose when he was born, and now he's almost 7. Kids do grow up so quickly. David is going to the classroom today to share ice cream with the kids, and his mother may go as well. I'll be at work and miss it. I do sometimes want to be the stay at home parent and be able to do all these activities with Leo, but that doesn't work for our family.

Yesterday Leo rode his bike beside me while I ran. It's nice, and at times he holds my hand while I run and he bikes. He is a loving kid.

Monday, June 7, 2010

beet follow-up

I cooked the beets last night, actually two recipes, one for the beets and another a stirfry of the beet greens. The beets were OK, not great, but I would eat them again. I think they need something sweeter with them. Maybe something with apples. I stained my hands and the cutting board with them - they really are that red. I thought that food coloring was added to the pickled beets.

The beet greens were another matter. David tried both of them while I was getting my plate, and he didn't say anything but when I sat down I said "So you think that the beets are OK but the greens are bad." He said "Damn, I tried to keep a straight face but you figured it out anyway." Yeah, I've known him for almost 19 years, I can tell. And he was right, the greens were kinda bitter and not much else. But Farm Fresh to You is my idea to get us to eat more vegetables, and so far it's worked.

No progress on the sex talk with Leo. He had two playdates this weekend. I just need to sit down and talk about 'the male cell meeting the female cell and making a baby cell that grows in the female until she either lays and egg or has a baby'. Just not sure how to answer the "How does the male cell and the female cell come together?" question. Just not sure that at six he needs to know that his penis has another function other than urination.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Farm Fresh to You, and "The moths are kissing on their butts"

Yesterday we received our first box of produce from Farm Fresh to You, which as the name implies is a local farm or cooperative of organic farms that deliver produce directly to families. It's called a CSA or community supported agriculture. We live in California's Central Valley, one of the most fertile farming areas in the world (except that it's too dry to support large scale agriculture without massive diversions of rivers to supply water, but that's another discussion.) Although I'm a vegetarian, I realize that there are many vegetables that I don't eat, so this is a way to expand my eating habits while bringing more organic produce into the home and supporting local organic farmers.

The produce included was a mix of fruits and vegetables. My son Leo grabbed the blueberries and ate the entire package for breakfast. He let me have a few and they were large and very sweet. Today he ate one of the peaches, which was also good but not quite ripe. He has also claimed the honeydew melon for himself, although he can't eat all of it and we'll make him share, mostly to see how it tastes. Most of the rest are standard vegetables - Klamath pearl potatoes, butter lettuce, baby bok choy and rosemary. But two will be more of a challenge to eat. A head of cauliflower was included, and that is one of two vegetables that my husband David won't eat, the other being artichokes. He loves broccoli but won't eat cauliflower, even though I have heard that they are the same genus and species of plant, just different varieties. The other vegetable is a bunch of beets, which I am taking as my challenge for the weekend. There are always recipes included in the box, including one for red beet saute. I'm going to try making it on Sunday. I have also heard that beet greens can be stirfried, so I may try to find a recipe. Does anyone out in blogland have a good beet recipe? I don't want to just pickle them. I tried those a few times and never got into the taste. Today I'm off work and steamed some of the cauliflower and an onion and added it to spaghetti sauce. I'll use less cauliflower next time but it tastes fine.

Leo's class has some silkworms that are now in their chrysalises, and the first two have emerged. I took Leo to school on our bikes today, and another one was beginning to emerge - all the kids were excited, and the parents took a look too. He mentioned that the first two to emerge were "kissing on their butts." Well, they weren't kissing, but they were bonded together. I may gently explain to him what the moths are doing, in generic terms, something like 'the male and the female are coming together, and soon the female will lay eggs.' I don't really know how to start to explain sexual intercourse to a six year old, but I should start soon. Any suggestions?

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day at work, and two new followers

I'm at work today, which is Memorial Day here in the US, a day to remember our citizens who died defending our country. We have to work every other "minor holiday" and also alternate the "major holidays." It's quiet so far, which is how I like it.

I'm thinking of the gay and lesbian soldiers who died for their country - a country that made their love illegal for many years, and to this day doesn't allow them to serve openly in the armed forces. There was a letter from a gay World War II veteran to the President posted on one of the gay web sites this week. It told of finding love with a fellow soldier in North Africa and their plans to meet again after the war was over. But it didn't work out that way - one of them was killed in combat. I did meet a gay couple that met through the gay underground during WWII. They exchanged letters and met after the war ended and were together for over 50 years. Stories like that aren't told - I never heard them growing up as a closeted teen. But things are changing for the better. Just this week the US Congress took the first steps toward repealing "Don't Ask Don't Tell."

Saturday night we walked over to the home of some friends for dinner. Mark and Nancy and their three boys Luke, Gavin and A.J. had us and another family, Aaron and Lisa and their children Ryan and Julia over for dinner. Our son Leo, Luke, and Ryan are all in the same grade at the Montessori program in the neighborhood public school. Everyone seemed to have a good time. I got to hold 4 month old A.J. and get what David refers to as my "baby fix." He's fine with it as long as I don't want another child. I don't think that he could handle another baby. He's the stay at home but also work from home parent, and it wouldn't be fair to him.

I seem to have two new followers. I have a custom of welcoming new people to the blog and asking if they want to make any comments. Welcome to Churchill 1990, who I can't find much about and doesn't seem to have a blog of his or her own, and to Waiting for John, whose name appears to be Tristram. I read over your last two posts Tristram but I should go back further to understand all that's happening.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Don't Ask Don't Tell, throwing rocks, extra capacity

Yesterday the US House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services committee passed bills to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the policy that bars gays and lesbians from serving in the military. The bills haven't passed yet, and the compromises in the bills aren't great, but is an important first step. I have no interest in serving in the military, but I do want gays and lesbians to have that opportunity.

Yesterday David cooked Leo a hamburger and Leo became upset that the bread was too soft. David wasn't happy about Leo's complaint, so they were both somewhat upset. Leo then went outside and got into a shouting match with the boy living across the street. He threatened to throw a rock at the other kid, which David overheard. David came outside and told Leo to put his bike up and come inside. A few minutes later David heard the other kid's father in the garage telling Leo to get David. Leo had thrown a rock and hit the other kid on the ear, drawing blood. David was furious with Leo. Leo's now grounded and knows that he's in a lot of trouble. He can't play outside for now, and there will be more conversations this weekend.

David saw his allergist today and had lung function testing done. His lung capacity is 30% above normal, probably due to either his height (6'4") or his years of rowing. When he sent a text to me to let me know, I responded with "I guess you're good at blowing." He accused me of being a perv. I think that if you've got it you should use it ;-) David will start allergy injections again. He tried it a number of years ago but had too many bad reactions so had to stop.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Leo released his butterflies...into the stomachs of birds

This morning Leo released his ten butterflies. He was going to release them last night but it was raining. So this morning he opened up the butterfly tent/cage in the front yard, and the butterflies just sat there. So he put his hand inside and coaxed one onto his hand, removed his hand, and eventually the butterfly flew away. He was excited, of course. I had to leave for work before all ten were released, but David sent me this text - "The birds have eaten well this morning. Sigh. I suppose it was inevitable." I emailed him and apparently Leo saw some of it and isn't happy with birds now. I plan to talk with him about animals eating other animals to live. We've talked about this before, but he never saw it in person until now.

I hope that this link works - I can't get links that I try to add to work.
Shit, it still didn't work. I'll try again.
It's an article by the brother of a friend of David and me. He's the gay grandson of Oral Roberts, the former televangelist. He talks about his family and growing up gay in that family and situation. It's an interesting article. His brother, our friend, is also gay and they have both been rejected by their parents. Really sad - as a parent I can't imagine rejecting your child for any reason.

Monday, May 24, 2010

we have butterflies, and two medals, and a new bike

I posted earlier about my son Leo getting caterpillars through the mail. Now nine out of ten have hatched from their cocoons and are flying around their pen. He's really excited. David texted that the first ones had hatched on Friday and I called home to talk to Leo, but he was so excited and distracted that the conversation didn't go very well. He's taking good care of them. They have fresh sugar water drops to drink quite often, and he cuts roses from the backyard for them, plus he's cut up an orange for them to suck on. Once the last one had hatched we'll give him a while more to enjoy them then release them. Today he woke up at 3 AM and he says that he couldn't sleep, so he went downstairs to check on the butterflies. He woke David up, so they had a discussion about the butterflies not causing problems or interfering with his sleep.

David went to a regatta at Lake Natoma on the other side of Sacramento and rowed two races, a double and a single. He won both of them! I'm really proud of him because he worked hard in training despite his recent health problems.

Yesterday we went to a local bike store and bought Leo a new, larger bike. He's really excited and has been riding it every chance that he gets.

I also wanted to welcome a new follower, Mark, who lives in D.C. (that's Washington D.C. to non-Californians) He has an interesting blog, but I haven't been able to figure out what the significance of the blue sponge is yet. Care to explain, Mark?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Leo can ride his bike

On May 9th, Mothers' Day here in the US, Leo decided that he wanted to ride his bike without training wheels. David and I thought that he was capable of it last summer, but he is at times a cautious child, so we decided to let him decide when he was ready. An older kid from across the street convinced him to give it a try last summer and took one training wheel off before Leo changed his mind. So he's been riding his bike since then with one training wheel, which was somewhat comical to watch.

Then he decided to take the other training wheel off and give it a try. About a week earlier David had seen his great balance on his scooter, and commented that he should do fine with riding his bike. He smiled when hearing that. I was in the garage when he announced that he was taking his training wheel off. I asked if he wanted to go to the park and try it on the grass but he said no and asked me to watch him. We didn't realize that David was upstairs in the laundry room and heard the conversation and was watching out the window.

He took the training wheel off and rode away, doing fine the very first time. After a few minutes we went inside to surprise David. He told us that he had seen it all from the window. We got the camcorder and recorded his first day of riding his bike. We were outside standing in the rain when David said "Why are we out here in the rain?" I answered "Because this is the one time in our life that our only child learns to ride his bike, and I don't care about the rain."

Leo's been spending as much time as possible on his bike. We plan to get him a larger one soon. Yesterday he went with me when I went jogging, which he has wanted to do for years it seems. We tried it once on his scooter but he couldn't keep up and had trouble going up and down the sidewalk so he gave it up soon after starting. He was so happy to finally be able to come with me yesterday. He told me three or four times how much he was enjoying it. I cut my run short, about 4 1/2 miles, and he had to rest near the end. I wanted to make it shorter but he insisted that he could do the last loop around the neighborhood. It was fun for me too. He makes me a proud and happy Papa (his name for me.)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

151 hours of television a month?!

I read a statistic today that really surprised me. The average American watches 151 hours of television a month. That's nearly the equivalent of a full-time job, or five hours every day. It is apparently also an all-time high for television viewing. I really find that hard to believe. And if the average American watches that much, how much extra does this average person have to watch to make up for my total lack of television viewing?

I don't want to say that television is inherently bad, because it isn't. There is good television out there, but not 151 hours a month of it. All things in moderation is a good motto, but 5 hours a day isn't in moderation, in my opinion. How can people watch that much? I'm not home 5 hours daily between getting home from work and going to bed.

I was also surprised that television viewing is at an all-time high. I would have thought that with the internet that people would be watching less and surfing the web, or emailing, or blogging [;-)] more.

I also don't want to sound like I've never watched television, because much of my childhood was spent in front of the television. My mother always worked, so we stayed with my grandmother before we started school and after school each day, and she always had the television on. I watched so many episodes of Gilligan's Island that I know the plots of every show - not something that I'm proud of, but it's an unfortunate reality. My parents are of the age that they can remember the first time that they saw television, and they think that television is great and always have it on. During my childhood every night everyone would sit in the den and watch television until bedtime. At our last visit back to my parents, I would go the talk to them in the evenings only to find that they would be engrossed in television, so after a while I gave up.

I can remember the exact moment that I realized that television wasn't the great invention that my parents thought that it was. I was about 13, and some show that the family watched each week went into syndication and started being shown in the afternoons. I thought 'Oh, that's how shows end up being shown each afternoon.' Then I had the realization 'Does that mean that Gilligan's Island was once watched by adults?! It wasn't a lame comedy made for kids to watch after school?' My television viewing started to drop from that moment on.

A follow-up from an earlier post. The caterpillars are growing very rapidly. They've probably doubled in size since Monday and are starting to spin silk, but not build chrysalises yet.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

an oral experience

I had an oral experience last week.

So we're... having the oral experience, and after a while I start to think 'This has been going on for a while. How much longer is this going to take?' A little later I get an answer - "I'm about 75% done." I think 'OK, I can handle another 25%." What seems like much more than 25% of the time later comes an update "I'm about 90% finished." I'm thinking '90%? This is taking a long time. My jaw is getting sore.' Later I hear "OK, I'm done with this part. Why don't you take a break and we'll start again in a while." I think 'OK, my jaw could use a rest.' So we take a break for maybe 10 minutes.

Then we start again, in a new way. An object is held up and I'm asked "What do you think?" What does one say to that - it looks fine? So next it's "I'll slide it in and see how it fits. Oh, perfect fit the first time. What do you think?" I kind of nod and grunt. So more poking and prodding, then squirting some blue liquid in there. After 2 1/2 hours we're finally finished. My jaw was aching and the advice I got was "Take an anti-inflammatory such as motrin. It will help with the pain. And take a flower on your way out." OK, I took a flower as my souvenir.

Can you figure out that kind of oral experience this was? Think about it before you read on. I'm curious about how many figure it out.


So that was my visit to my dentist. One of my teeth had a small crack around an old filling, so she drilled it out and made a ceramic filling. She drilled for 45 minutes, thus the 75% then 90% done. She held up the ceramic filling for me to see before she slid it in, then used some blue adhesive to make it stay. She seems to be a fine dentist, but my husband David refers to her as "Chatty Cathy" since she seems to talk much more than any other dentist I've ever had. During the drilling she and her assistant were talking about the last episodes of Glee and American Idol. Not really what I wanted to hear, but I couldn't participate in the conversation.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

the caterpillars have arrived

For Christmas (yes we celebrate it even though I'm not Christian. We celebrate it as a family holiday to get together, without any mention of the religious origin of the holiday) my son Leo received a butterfly kit as a gift from us. It has a net-like enclosure for the mature butterflies, and a postcard to send away for caterpillars when the weather is warmer. We mailed the postcard last week and they arrived yesterday. Leo was so excited when David told him at the end of school that he raced back inside to tell his teacher. (We gave a second kit to his teacher to use in the classroom, and her caterpillars should be arriving soon.) He had David page me at work to call home so that Leo could tell me all about them. The enthusiasm of a six year old is very special. He showed them to me as soon as I got home. The ten caterpillars come in two jars with their food and windows to watch them. He wanted to carry them around with him and have them sleep in his room with them, but we realized that if they are to survive he shouldn't carry them constantly. It will be fun to watch them grow larger, spin their chrysalis, emerge and grow.

I was impressed that Leo learned the word "chrysalis" in kindergarten when the classroom had silkworms. When I was a kid we just called it a cocoon. It's good that he's being taught the correct terms when young.

Leo did something yesterday that I thought would make David furious, but David just shook his head about it. We had our friends Gareth and Analisa and their kids Alec and Kaylin over for dinner on Saturday. David made two new dishes, a baked risotto with spinach and asparagus, and roasted sweet potatoes with pecans and a sweet topping. Leo wanted more, so David went to the store, bought more ingredients and cooked both dishes yesterday just for Leo. Leo looked at them and announced that he wasn't hungry for dinner and didn't eat a bite of either one. All that work and he didn't eat a bite.

I also wanted to introduce a new follower, jennrubenstein. Welcome Jenn. Your profile tells a lot about you, and I encourage people to check it and your blogs out.

Monday, May 3, 2010

always pee before a race

On Saturday I ran the Parkway half marathon, which is run along the American River parkway in Sacramento. The parkway runs for 32 miles along the south side of the American River. Beautiful views, a nice paved course for runners and bikers. But it is not wide enough for a race of nearly 3000 people. Also, the park where it starts is fairly small without nearly enough parking for the four races that were held (half marathons for runners and a separate one for walkers, a 5k, and a kids run.) So I parked in the nearby neighborhood, and some people parked at a local high school and rode buses in.

I underestimated the amount of traffic and the difficulty finding a parking space, so I made it to the park only 10 minutes before the race was to start. I saw the huge lines for the porta potties and realized that there wasn't time for my usual prerace bathroom trip. I thought that I would be OK without one. Then once I squeezed into the crowd at the spot for my expected race pace (better races ask people to line up based on their pace or expected finish time, so that slower runners are toward the back.) Just before race time, the race director announces that the last bus is running late and it will be just a little bit before we start. Well, 20 minutes later we're still packed like sardines and my bladder is really complaining. For some reason the race has a local bagpipe and drum group start the race by marching through the runners while playing. I've always like bagpipe music, but it seemed a little strange. So we finally start to run - well, walk at first because of the crowd.

Within a quarter mile I realize that there is no way that I can run 13.1 miles without emptying my bladder. So I find the first bathroom that I can, get out of the race, stand in line (making a runner stand still while other runners are going my makes us really crabby), and finally go and get back in the race. By then I'm way behind my expected pace and am among slower runners. So I've weaving and dodging around people, trying to speed up. My first mile took over 10 minutes with the bathroom break, so I decide to speed up the next few miles to catch up. That was a mistake! I hadn't really trained well for this race. The weather didn't help - April had more than twice the average monthly rainfall and I missed a few long runs because of it.

By mile 3-4 I was back at my expected pace, but toward the end I was paying for going too fast in miles 2-4. The last two miles of the race were really difficult, but I made it through. My time was about 1 hour 57 minutes, so not my best but not bad for me. I was tired the rest of the day.

I didn't find a nice ass to follow at this race. I don't set out to do this, but if there is a guy with a nice looking ass going about my pace I'll run behind him. It gives me something to look at, and I can kind of zone out and not worry about my pace. This race had lots of nice natural scenery, but not the male anatomy kind.

So the lesson that I should learn from this is leave the house earlier, arrive earlier, and always pee before the race.

Friday, April 30, 2010

coxsackie came for a visit

Yesterday my son Leo complained to my husband David that his knees were hurting. Then during school he told his teacher than his stomach was bothering him. When David picked him up from school, he had a hard time walking to the car. David carried him in from the car, and within an hour or so he vomited. Later he looked flushed and was lethargic. He fell asleep on the sofa, and later David carried him to bed. When we checked on him about 8 PM, he was awake and had a rash all over his body, worse on his face and torso. He was scratching all over and looked bad. It's really hard to see your kid sick. I asked how I could help him feel better and he asked me to cuddle him. So I climbed in bed behind him and cuddled up to him. We sent an email to his pediatrician, and she called us back about 9:30 - she's great. I thought as soon as I saw that rash that it was a viral rash or an allergic rash, but he hadn't taken anything that he's allergic to. She thinks that he has Coxsackie virus, which has been going around lately. This morning he's much better, the rash is almost completely gone, and he's back to his usually very energetic self.

I want to thank everyone who offered me and my friends support over the past week. It has been a difficult time, but much less for me than for others, one person especially. He is doing better, and I was very happy to get an email from him yesterday with his sense of humor restored. So thanks again for everyone's support.

I also wanted to say hello to some new followers. I have a relatively new tradition of introducing new followers, or asking them to introduce themselves. First is Taylor, a Canadian pilot who I know was hurt by the Mikey scandal. Then there is Joe in Philly, who I met through Mikey's blog as well. Next is Ed, who I am pretty sure is the same Ed that was GayEMTinNJ from Mikey's blog. Then there is bighairyjockdad, who I don't know by that name but maybe my memory isn't so good. Lastly there is someone without a name or an avatar. Welcome to you all. If any of you want to post something here introducing yourself please do. It's always good if we know something about each other. And if any longer term followers want to introduce themselves or say something, please do.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

the lies are exposed

Many of you are also followers of another blog that kind of went up in flames today. I have a hard time even saying the name of the person who claimed to be a 17 year old high school hockey player, but in reality was a 40 something guy. I trusted that guy. In fact, reading his blog was how I got started exploring the world of blogs and started my own. It was so upsetting to find that the whole blog was lies.

This is where I have to say that I know more of the story than most others do. I started emailing Jimmy, who is the main victim in this deception, soon after I got started blogging. He had posted comments on two blogs that I follow, and I sent him an email. From there we started a friendship. As Jimmy said today, he and "that guy" started an online relationship. I knew about it, and at one point Jimmy asked me if he was crazy to consider a relationship with someone that he never met, who was 17 and then 18, who lived 1000 miles away. Being the romantic fool that I am, I said no, and at one point said something about the two of them being "cute." I am so angry for steering my friend into something that hurt him so badly. I hope that Jimmy can find a way to forgive me.

I am also embarrassed to say that I was able to figure out who "that guy" was pretending to be. He sent Jimmy photos of the real high school hockey player that he was pretending to be, and Jimmy sent one to me. I was able to see the team name and jersey number, and although part of me said not to do this, I did an google search and found out the hockey player's name. I didn't share it with anyone, but I'm ashamed to admit that I felt special that I knew who the mystery guy was.

Then earlier this week I got an email from Jimmy that he realized that "that guy" was a fake. I was shocked. I'm gonna admit something else that I'm embarrassed about. My first thought was "Are Jimmy and "that guy" faking being fake as a way to end the blog and not risk being found out?" What a totally shitty thing to think. My friend had his life turned upside down, his heart ripped out, and I was thinking that he was lying to me. In retrospect, my thoughts may have been a defense mechanism. I just didn't want to accept that "that guy" could be fake. I am really, really sorry that I doubted you, Jimmy.

Now my trusting nature has gotten me burned, and I'm suspicious of everyone. I wonder "Is anyone out there real? Maybe every blog I follow and everyone who reads my blog are fake too."

And I worry about the young gay athletes. One guy decided to come out to his conservative family and his football team because of this guy. Now he and his mother have a strained relationship. He called that guy his hero. How does he feel now? Can he trust people, especially older gay men. Great. Now young gay men think of older guys as liars. That's just what our community needs.

I hope that people do realize that despite the lies, there is a community that has started here. We can support each other through this. I'm here if anyone wants to email me directly, or you can post here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Arkansas adoption law declared unconstitutional

Last week the adoption law in Arkansas that banned any unmarried person living with a partner from serving as an adoptive or foster parent was declared unconstitutional by a district judge. This didn't make the headlines either in the mainstream press or in the gay media, which was surprising to me. The suit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (of which I have been a proud member for many years) on behalf of a lesbian couple that couldn't adopt, a grandmother who couldn't adopt her own grandchildren when her child couldn't raise the children, and married heterosexual couples who would not have been able to have a relative or friend adopt their children if the couples were to die.

That's what the right wing bigots don't get - when you try to make a law discriminating against gays and lesbians you also drag in straight people like the grandmother and married couples. In my own family I have a cousin whose husband died while serving in the military. She lives on her military widow's pension, which she would lose if she remarries. So she's lived with a guy for the last 7 years or so. By this law she wouldn't be able to adopt her nieces or nephews. That's crazy.

This law was a response to an earlier law that banned only gays and lesbians from adopting that was declared unconstitutional by the Arkansas State Supreme Court a few years earlier. The judge rightly declared that the law was not "in the best interest of the child" as other laws require. The state of Arkansas is expected to appeal.

This is another example of the laws against gays and lesbians being declared unconstitutional. I hope that the two big challenges to marriage equality heading to the national Supreme Court continue this trend. Also perhaps the challenge to Don't Ask, Don't Tell will also be successful.

I also wanted to welcome a new follower, David. I don't know much about you, David, although you seem to like cats. If you want, you can introduce yourself and tell us about you. Don't feel any pressure though, it's up to you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Supreme Court, gay rights and religion

Today the US Supreme Court heard arguments in a case about religious freedom and gay rights. A Christian law student group at the University of California Berkeley was denied official recognition as a campus organization because they would not admit gays and lesbians, based on the religious views of the organization.

The Christian law student group's argument was that the university can't dictate who they must admit to their group, because that infringes on their religious right to admit only that who follow their (narrow, right wing) beliefs on who is a Christian. I can kinda see that, but I think that the opposing argument is stronger.

The university argues that any group of people has the right to choose who to admit to their group. But to gain official recognition, and the funding that goes along with it, all groups have to agree not to discriminate based on sex, sexual orientation, race and a few other criteria. The religious law students refused to do that, but want the funding and official recognition.

Based on the press reports, the two female justices pointed out the obvious - if one group is allowed to discriminate based on sexual orientation, another group may want to discriminate based on sex or race, and asked if that should be allowed.

This court is quite conservative, and I think will come up with the wrong decision. They will probably require the university to recognize the Christian law group. There is a middle way though. The court could decide that the Christian law student group has the right to exist, but the university does not have to recognize them if they will not agree with the university's requirements for recognition.

This case is not directly about gay rights, but whether a group has to follow a university's requirements to treat sexual orientation discrimination in the same way that race or sex discrimination is treated.

This is totally unrelated, but I wanted to welcome a new follower, LetMeDieFirst. You have an interesting screen name and avatar. I don't see that you have a blog, so don't know anything about you. If you want you can post something introducing yourself and telling us about you, or not, whatever you want.

Friday, April 16, 2010

a step forward

President Obama released guidelines for hospitals that accept Medicare or Medicaid (which is the vast majority of hospitals) regarding visitation. Now people will be allowed to designate anyone to visit them in a hospital in the same way that a recognized family member can. That's an advance for the gay and lesbian community. It should prevent situations such as the one in Miami in which a lesbian's wife/partner and children were denied the right to visit her for several hours as she was dying.

For our family, this is good news as well. In California we are recognized as married, so visitation should not be a problem here. But when we visited my parents in Georgia recently, we brought along a folder with copies of our important paperwork - our marriage license (not that it's recognized in Georgia), durable powers of attorney for health care so that we can make medical decisions for each other, and our son Leo's adoption paperwork, because you never know when some redneck police officer will challenge two gay men travelling with a six year old. It's unfortunate that he have to do that, but we prefer to play it safe in potentially hostile places like Georgia.

Monday, April 12, 2010

"My booty is on fire!", and a legal challenge to DOMA

Yesterday my son Leo had a playdate with our "godson" Alec. Leo was looking forward to this playdate for several days, so he was more wound up that a six year old boy with ADHD normally is. At one point he was running around yelling "My booty is on fire!" It wasn't. My thought was 'Where did a six year old learn the word "booty"? I think the last time I said the word "booty" was in 1976 in talking about KC and the Sunshine Band's song "Shake Your Booty". There was a movie called "Booty Call" I think, but I certainly didn't see it.

On a more serious note, I saw a few days ago that the hearing for the challenge to section 3 of DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) will be next month. This could be a really big advance for gays and lesbians in the US if section 3 of DOMA is overturned. Section 3 is the part of the law that states that the federal government won't recognize valid same sex marriages from any state. If this is overturned, it would mean that couples from states without marriage equality could travel to states with marriage equality, get married there, and return home with recognition from the national government. I think that this could be a more important case that the challenge to Prop 8 here in California. But I'm not a lawyer and can't say how all this will turn out.

I decided that I didn't want to keep using aliases for everyone that I mention in this blog. So I'm using the names of my mother in law, father in law and godson.

I also wanted to welcome a new follower, the_only_lorraine_copycat. Welcome. I can't tell if you have a blog of your own or anything about you, so if you care to you can tell us about you or your blog.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

we're home

We returned from our vacation. I've been up since just before 3 AM Eastern time, so just before midnight today Pacific time. We're probably not going to fly United again. Why send us from Georgia to Chicago to get to California? Leo did well on the flights until the last 30 minutes or so, which is really good.

David is angry at my father about the way that David feels that my dad ignored Leo. My dad prefers little kids that can't disagree with him, and he doesn't know how to handle it when Leo is tired or frustrated and snaps at him. My dad takes it personally and gets his feelings hurt, when all the other adults recognize that it just a tired kid. David is going to write an email later about his issues with the trip in general and my dad's actions in particular.

Friday, April 9, 2010

a tombstone in the front yard

Today's the last full day of our vacation, and we're flying home to California tomorrow. David and I went to lunch with my sister, two of my cousins and one of the cousin's sons. It was good to see some of the family. We thought that we would see everyone at Easter, but the cousin's parents had a bitter divorce, so if one parent is there the other won't show up. So instead of having everyone over, my older cousin just had her father over. It's hard for me to understand being married to someone and later not being able to be in the same house as that person.

My sister talked to my dad this morning and told him that he was ignoring my son Leo whenever my niece was over at my parents' house. I guess that the older grandchild gets ignored when the new baby is around. David has noticed this too, and Leo was feeling bad about the situation. So now Leo and my parents are at a park feeding the birds for some grandparent time for him.

My mother is an amateur genealogist, and found that some of her Irish ancestors didn't have tombstones at their gravesites. So she raised money and bought tombstones. But one of the tombstones misspelled her ancestor's name, and the company that made it gave her a correct one in its place. So she has an extra tombstone, and she decided to put it in her front yard. They have the only tombstone in the yard in the whole neighborhood. Don't you wish that you had one in your yard? It's not that bad really, since it's flat and only a few inches high, and it's only visible from near the house.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

hiding Easter eggs for the 20th time

My son Leo enjoys finding Easter eggs, so we keep hiding the plastic Easter eggs that his grandparents bought for him. We started with 18 and are down to 10, which means that there a 8 missing eggs hidden somewhere in their house. It could be worse, they could be real hard boiled eggs.

My family is boring my husband David. He went to Starbucks just to get out. My family doesn't get out much and tends to sit around the house. David and I would go to one of the local museums, but Leo wants us around. He's being clingy because he stomach bothers him at times, probably from the stomach flu that he had and his ADHD meds can cause stomach pain. I'm honestly a little bored myself.

I think that my niece Allison knows me as "the guy with the finger". When I hold her she grabs one of my index fingers and puts it in her mouth. She doesn't generally suck it, she chews it. She's probably starting to teethe.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

vacation, day 4

Today Leo, my mother and I went to Tybee Island, the local beach. Leo ran around, played in the surf, and collected shells and shell fragments. He seems to love the beach. When he was asked in school to draw a picture of his favorite place in the world, he drew a picture of him playing at Tybee Island.

We went out to a restaurant for my brother-in-law's birthday. It was called Moe's, and I knew that it wasn't my kind of place when we walked in and all the staff called out "Welcome to Moe's!" It wasn't a sit down place with a waiter or waitress as I expected, so we placed our order, got our food and found a place to sit. It was so loud that it was hard to hear anyone.

Yesterday wasn't the best day. First my father was driving and pulled out right in front of another car, almost caused an accident. He's really not the best driver. I got upset because David and Leo were on that side of the truck and yelled at my dad. Later he and David had a bit of a disagreement. The details aren't important, but I could see both of their viewpoints. Things are OK now, but David has said that he doesn't want to come back next year. He doesn't find time with my parents relaxing. Leo and I will come back but it's David's choice whether he comes or not.

I did get to spend more time with my niece. She's four months old, and I even thought 'I would enjoy having a baby again.' But David would not, and since he's the stay at home parent, he would have the vast majority of the work. Going through the adoption process again is a big undertaking, and at 45 I'm kinda old to consider another newborn. I like Leo's age now, although I've liked every age that he has been.

Monday, April 5, 2010

vacatin, day 2

Low energy day on vacation. I went for a run and David went to the YMCA for a workout. When he came back, he asked "If someone looks back at you over his shoulder four times as he's walking to the steam room, is he wanting you to follow him in?" My answer was "Yes, but I'm glad that you didn't!" David's an attractive man, and he gets hit on occasionally.

My parents took Leo to a local park with a lake to feed the ducks. Leo's recovered from his vomiting and is eating normally. We enjoyed the time alone, and spent much of it horizontal, if you understand my meaning ;-) Well, David was horizontal and I was mostly vertical. The walls here are thin, and I'm a moaner, so this was our only chance for privacy.

I am experiencing Southern cooking. I forgot how different it was from what I eat in California. My mother boiled sweet potatoes, which I normally like, but she cooked them until they were mush. Why do Southerners have to cook vegetables until they are a pile of mush? Have they not heard of leaving some crispness in a vegetable?

Since I'm slamming the South, I've got to comment on the accent. My mother made two syllables out of the word "bad" today. "Ba-yad". Grrr. To think that I had a Southern accent until I moved to California and realized 'This makes me sound like a hick' and got rid of it. Now I sometimes don't understand what my own family says. For over a decade they had a neighbor whose name I thought was Von from the way my family pronounced it. Then I saw it in writing and saw that it was Vaughn. That was a shock. When David first met my father, he couldn't understand most of wht my father said. My father has not only a thick Southern accent, but a slight speech impediment also, so I understand David's problem. He said that he just smiled and nodded at times when he spoke with my father. My large, loud Irish Catholic family was also a shock to David compared to his stoic German relatives.

I realize that I'm complaining a lot, but I guess that this is my place to vent. I am having a good time, and I love my family.

I wanted to say hello to some new people reading my blog. Madeleine and Jon have been here a while, and wanderinpom seems to have just joined. Welcome all. I can't find if you have a blog yourself wanderingpom, so introduce yourself or tell us about your blog, if you want. If not, that's fine.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

we made it to my parents' house

Leo, David and I survived the cross country flights and arrived in Savannah, Georgia yesterday. David was able to take advantage of a last minute deal and use frequent flier miles from our credit card to upgrade us to first class on the flight from California to D.C. I'm too frugal to even consider first class, but I can see why he wants it - he just doesn't fit into economy seats. At 6'4", his shoulders are wider than the seats and his long thighs cause his knees to be wedged into the back of the seat in front of him. But I feel guilty flying first class. We had drinks and food offered to us from the time we got on, even as other passengers were trying to get by into their seats. The three of us got even better service because I asked our gay Puerto Rican flight attendant if that was a Human Rights Campaign ring that he was wearing. It was, and from then on out we were his favorite customers. I guess special service from male flight attendants is one of the few advantages of being a gay man in this society.

Leo did very well on the flights. Last time that we flew he wanted to watch movies on my iPhone the whole time, which wrecked my plans to read a book that I had on it. So this year we got Leo a refurbished iPod touch for a bargain and put several movies on it. He knows that the iPod is only for traveling, not for use at home.

David also wants me to complain to Jimmy about our flight from D.C. to Savannah. It was on one of the smaller regional airlines, and we were on a Canadaair Regional Jet. David couldn't even stand up in the aisle, forget about trying to stand in the restroom, and I banged my head standing up in the aisle. I explained that a Canadian student in a business major (sorry Jimmy, I know that's not exactly right but couldn't remember exactly what your major was, and it has something to do with business) doesn't design airplanes, but David said that some Canadian was to blame and Jimmy was the first one to come to his mind. I'm thinking of the South Park movie, which of course I didn't see, with the theme song "Blame Canada". Maybe Jimmy and Madeleine can share the blame ;-)

We did get to meet my 4 month old niece, my sister's daughter, for the first time. She may be my sister's daughter, but she looks like a female clone of my brother in law. She was showing all the signs of being tired, and I wanted to tell my sister just to take her home and put her to bed.

Our night didn't go so well. Leo complained of abdominal pain at about 1 AM and started vomiting at 4. I'm still on Pacific time, so I might have gotten a few hours of interrupted sleep. Leo seems fine now, so let's hope that he's over it.

My parents are off to Easter mass, so I had a chance to blog. I hope that everyone is having a good weekend.

Friday, April 2, 2010

going on vacation

Leo, David and I will be flying to visit my family in Georgia tomorrow. We'll be staying with my parents, and since they have only one computer, with no privacy while using it, I may not be able to post for the next 8 days or so. We usually visit my parents each spring during Leo's spring break. Although David likes my family, a week of living in their house gets to him. My father and David are very different people, and my dad can drive David crazy - he drives me crazy at times too, but I'm used to it.

A few years ago when we were back visiting and were at a party with my parents, one of my mom's friends asked me if I was enjoying my visit back home. I answered her honestly and said "Oh no, this isn't home. California is home, this is just where I grew up." I didn't realize that my mom was standing nearby and heard my response. David saw that she was and that she got a sad look on her face. I didn't mean to hurt my mother, but my answer was honest. Georgia isn't my home, and I haven't lived there in 20 years. It was too conservative and inbred for me - so many people there have never lived anywhere else to experience a different outlook on life. My mother tells me that I'm in the seventh generation of our family to be born in the same town. My response was always "Well, there won't be an eighth generation."

So where is "home"? To me it isn't that place that I was born, but the place that my home is now. I don't like the term "hometown" either, since what people mean is where someone was born or grew up, but to me it should mean the town where you have your home. There's nothing wrong with living your whole life in one town, but you do miss the opportunity to try other places and be exposed to new experiences. That's my view, but I'm open to hearing other opinions.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I'm coming out...about my profession

Until this point, I've never mentioned what I do for a living. I'm not embarrassed about my profession, but it does have a tendency to change what people think of me and how they interact with me, and I don't like that. By now you're probably thinking of less than honorable (or honourable for my Candian and British readers) professions such as mafia hitman or Republican politician, but I'm neither of those. I'm a physician. I practice internal medicine, which is primary care for adults. Much of my time is spent treating chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, arthritis, etc. I also treat everything else - colds, pneumonia, skin problems, orthopedic problems, abdominal problems, psychiatric problems, etc. I also try to do preventive care, but to be honest that doesn't seem to be high priority for many patients.

I decided to do primary care because I like patients - I like getting to know them, following them over the years, treating entire families. Many specialists seem to want to do procedures, or think of patients as just the body part that they deal with - "Here's the injured knee that needs ACL repair" instead of seeing the whole patient and realizing that the patient with the torn ACL also just lost his job and won't have insurance much longer, or that patient's mother is dying of cancer so isn't able to do the physical therapy that the specialist wants.

I like my job, most days. Sometimes though it seems that I'm racing from one person to the next, not able to spend the time that patients want or need. It's impossible to do the work in the amount of time that it is supposed to take, so I get up early, by 5 AM, to come in early and get to work. I try not to stay late, so that I can come home and spend time with Leo and read him his bedtime story. I worry that my family life suffers some with my work schedule.

So now my profession is out there for all to know. As a note to two of my readers, thanks for giving me the little push yesterday to share this with everyone. Thanks M&J.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

frontal enhancing technology

I was looking through a gay magazine recently and came across an add that I found amusing. It was for Andrew Christian brand underwear, the "Shock Jock eXXtreme" with "frontal enhancing technology". Yes, it's what you think - underwear to make male genitals appear larger than they are. The ad doesn't explain how it does this - is it padded, or it there plastic in there to make the crotch of the underwear stick out more? The add has a photo of a model in a boxing stance with his hands wrapped for boxing, and the crotch of the underwear sticks out very noticeably. So is this the male equivalent of a padded bra? My husband David made a comment when I showed him the ad, something like "So they added padding - why not just stuff a sock in your underwear if you want to make it look bigger?" Yeah, and I'm not buying any of that underwear. I've been with David for almost 19 years, he knows my real size and isn't complaining. Why pretend to have something that you don't have?

I have to add that I saw the ad in Out magazine. No, I don't subscribe to Out, I used to subscribe to The Advocate, which was a gay news/entertainment/lifestyle magazine. Before the internet, and before gay sites such as 356gay, Towleroad, Queerty and others, The Advocate was the only source for gay news that didn't make the mainstream press. I can remember back in the 1980s when I was living in Georgia where the only place that would sell it was the local porn shop. Now it's been bought by the publisher of Out and has been folded into Out. Don't know if I'll resubscribe or not.

Friday, March 26, 2010

solo parent for four days

My husband David is in San Diego rowing in the San Diego Crew Classic, his big rowing event for the spring. So I'm a single parent for four days. Well, not really, since Millie, my mother in law, is helping out. I have to be at work before I can drop Leo off at school, so I take him over to Millie and Phil's house, and they later take him to school. They also pick him up after school and take him to their house. Yesterday she even fed him dinner and brought him back to our house. He was showering when I got home, and it still took an hour and a half to get the staller to bed.

David must think that I can't handle Leo on my own, or that I'll forget one of his meds, because he left a list titled "Care and feeding of our son". I'm not clueless, although a reminder of when he takes which med is helpful. Leo's on seven prescription meds and other vitamins and supplements. I know that sounds like a lot for a six year old, and it is, but he has two for his allergies, two for asthma, two for ADHD, and one fluoride supplement.

I'm planning to make it a fun weekend for Leo. He has swimming lessons Saturday morning and a birthday party on Saturday afternoon. I'm planning to go out for pizza Saturday night. I'm thinking about a movie for Sunday afternoon, but as of last weekend there weren't any G rated movies showing in town. I thought about Alice in Wonderland, but I was told that it's not for a six year old. I need a Disney or Pixar movie, but none seem to be playing now. We'll probably go out for Chinese on Sunday night. We honestly rarely eat out, but Leo is hard to cook for, and I don't want to cook and have him look at the food and decide that he won't eat it, which he's done before. Besides, I'll probably need a break after entertaining an energetic six year old all weekend.

I realize that this posting may not be interesting to many of you. But I guess that I'm not here just to entertain, but to share. I do realize that I could be the first out gay man in a long term relationship with a kid that some of you have come across. I know in talking via email to two of you, this is what you want in the future - a husband and a kid or kids. So you can see that my life is routine, but routine can be good, happy and rewarding.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

how can parents do that?

Lately I've been reading about Constance McMillen, who wanted to bring her girlfriend to her prom in rural Mississippi. Her school cancelled the prom instead, and now it's in court. I wasn't surprised - I grew up in the South, and change comes VERY SLOWLY there.

Then I read about Derrick Martin, who was allowed to bring his male date to his prom in Cochran, Georgia. I was quite happy about that, thinking progress had been made. Then Evan from (I can't get blogger to make that a link, sorry) alerted me that Derrick's parents had kicked him out of his house due to the publicity. I was so discouraged to read that. How can parents do that to their child??? I'm a parent myself, and when you decide to become a parent, it's a lifetime commitment, no matter what. You can divorce a spouse but you don't divorce your child. In this case it seems that it was the publicity that caused his parents the problem. So they're kinda OK with their son being gay, as long as he doesn't get any publicity, but once he does he's outta there? Is that "Don't ask, don't tell" in the home? What bullshit!!! Now I'm mad. I looked up Derrick on Facebook, but there are six. So I sent them a message, hoping that Derrick responds. I want to see what I can do to help. The parent in me wants to offer to let him live with us, but I'm not sure if that's the best option.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

in your new life...

When a gay man or lesbian comes out, friends and family sometimes ask lots of questions. Many of the questions are fairly innocent and just want clarification or explanation. When I came out, no one asked many questions. In fact, my best friend from high school had the typical response "I know."

My husband David's grandmother had a different type of question. To give some background, David and I started dating the summer between his junior and senior years of college. The next spring, his grandparents said that they were driving from their retirement home in coastal North Carolina to California for David's graduation. David didn't want a scene if they figured out our relationship, so he wrote a coming out letter to them in the spring. As is so typical of his stoic German family, nothing was said about the letter or his coming out (come on people, don't just brush issues under the rug again, get things out there and talk about them!)

The trip and graduation seemed to go well. Then his grandmother got David alone and pounced with her question. She asked "In your NEW LIFE, who does the cooking?" The question confused David, and he thought "Why does she care about cooking?", so he answered the literal question she was asking by saying "Whoever is hungry." She got a puzzled look on her face but didn't ask anything more. A day or so later David thought back to the question and realized what she was really asking. He thought 'Oh, she wasn't really asking about the cooking, she wanted to know which one of us was "the woman" in the relationship and therefore does the cooking, and who is "the man"'. Because for a woman of her generation, there had to be a man and a woman in relationships, so one of us had to be a man and the other had to play the role of a woman. She was the dutiful housewife, doing the domestic work and supporting her husband's career. She couldn't conceive of the much more equal relationship that David and I have. I think David's answer was perfect, since we don't have roles like that, and we do share the cooking.