Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Pat Robertson is a Natural Disaster

I hate to turn the tragedy down in Mississippi and Louisiana into a political issue, but I feel compelled to drop a quick comment here.

Remember back in 1998, when Hurricane Charlie was well on its way to pounding Orlando and most of Florida? Back then, our good friend Pat Robertson (yes, the same Pat Robertson who thought it would be a good idea to call for the assassination of a foreign leader) claimed that God was sending the hurricane to Florida because Disney World deigned to tolerate the annual Gay Days event. (While we're at it, check out this great article exploring Robertson's position that while God doesn't "reverse" natural disasters like the Asian tsunami, He does use natural disasters to smite evil people, like The Gay.) By the way, it should also be noted that the hurricane never did hit Orlando that time. So much for the Wrath of God.

What, God has no agenda when a huge hurricane, wielding more destrution than this country has seen in probably ever, strikes the Deep-Red South in the United States? If you can't pin it on The Gay, then there's just no explanation for His act? Maybe He's pissed off about Republican anti-gay Bible-thumpers who live down there and were smiting them? Nah. Not Pat Robertson's God.

FUCK YOU, Pat Robertson. I don't even believe in God, but even I know that He shouldn't be used as a political tool. The convenience with which you attribute terrible events to a vengeful God against political groups you have some preternatural obsession with sickens me.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I am Fucking Jovial, Dammit!

Jessica and I had our regular dinner together last week. I swear, we have the strangest conversations:

Me: .... You know, because I'm always the fat, jovial one.
Jessica: First of all, you're not fat. Second of all, you're not jovial.
Me: [...] ?
Jessica: You're not jovial. Really, you're not. It's not an insult.
Me: I can't believe you think that! I am too jovial!
Jessica: You've got an edge to you.
Me: I am perfectly cute, happy and upbeat. I'm jovial! Kinda like Santa Claus. Who is also fat, by the way.
Jessica: You're still not fat. And you've got an edge to you that removes you from the world of jovial-ness.
Me: I am jovial, dammit! Call me jovial or so help me I will leave this restaurant right now!
Jessica: Okay, okay. You're jovial.
Me: Now you're just humoring me.
Jessica: Yes. Because you're not jovial. You've got an edge.

You can't make this shit up. Jessica cracks me up.

PS: I told my friend Lora about this conversation and how Jessica doesn't think I'm jovial. "Sometimes," Lora told me, "you can be a little bit too jovial."

Monday, August 29, 2005

Royalty is Untouchable

Found among the annals* of random IM conversations:

Friend: prince william is on cnn now
Friend: i love him
Dennis!: oooh, william is a cutie.
Friend: i want to kiss him
Friend: he doesn't want me to
Friend: that's our problem
Dennis!: indeed.
Dennis!: i think he actually has people who get paid to keep you from kissing him. or even touching him, for that matter.
Friend: dammit

Note: this is not the same friend I quoted in a previous post.

* Heh heh. Heh heh heh. I said "annals."

Friday, August 26, 2005

Random Office Venting

I'm in the middle of a rather big project right now, but I thought I'd just take a little time to rant about one thing:

A secretary in my office doesn't really appear to proofread stuff that she types.

Whether it's dictation (my boss isn't a great typist, so he still dictates into a machine and asks someone else to type it up), or whether it's taking a printed product with handwritten stenographical marks, most times she doesn't really take the time to re-read the end product to make sure it makes sense. This is annoying because it then makes that much more work for me, because when I look at the next generation of the draft, I'll see certain sentences that simply don't make sense and have to edit them yet again.

Is it too much to ask that the secretary, while making all the red-marked changes, look the sentence over again to make sure it makes sense? When someone changes the word "Defendants" to "Defendant" but neglects to change the corresponding verb from "address" to "addresses," is it too much to ask that they change that verb too?

When I was a secretarial temp in college, I made sure the edited sentence reflected change even if the editor didn't actually make them, to ensure that the result was grammatically correct and decently understandable. Many times I would hand back a new generation document that included changes the editor didn't make, like, oh, making sure the subject and verb agreed. Maybe I was just weird in doing so.

(Of course, when I was doing that secretarial work, I once made the mistake of typing "Virtually yours" as the closing remark in a letter I had typed from dictation. Of course, the phrase was supposed to be "Very truly yours." Hey, the guy mumbled it!)

Okay, I'm done venting. Back to work.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Outta My Way!

A few weekends ago, during one of those interminably hot summer days, T. invited me and some of her friends to go to Six Flags. Usually, I'm a sucker for the rollercoasters, but this time we had a more important destination: the water park.

The water park at this Six Flags isn't anything too terribly exciting: There's a wave pool and maybe 5 or 6 flume rides, many of which require rafts/inner tubes to ride through. And where inner tubes are require for riding... inner tubes then come in high demand.

Unfortunately, for a place that has as its primary goal making people happy, some people view their happiness as more important than others'.

It started relatively early in the day, when T., her husband, their friend Sarah, and I were in line to ride one of the flume rides, inner tubes in hand. As we waiting patiently on the steps for incremental advancement toward the top of the slide, no less than four rugrats -- one at a time -- started pushing their way past us and everyone else in line.

"Scuse me!" they'd call out, pushing on past and up the stairs. "Scuse me!"

"Where do you think you're going?" I eventually asked one of them, in as polite a way as I could muster.

"My cousins up there," my victim responded. [I'm leaving the apostrophe out of that word because, as far as I can tell, he meant the plural "cousins" -- he appeared to join about four kids in front of us -- though he most definitely left out the verb "are."]

Not wanting to bother to argue with him, I let out a huff and he proceeded along his way. Don't these people understand lines?

Later in the day -- after an unfortunate incident wherein the entire park, including the water park, lost power, thus rendering everything of any entertainment value whatsoever useless for a time -- we found ourselves again in a line, inner tubes in hand, snaking up a flight of stairs. T. was in the lead when eventually, we came to a point about midway up the stairs where we encountered a posse of children -- unencumbered by inner tubes, no less -- who, apparently, would not let us pass.

"You guys moving?" T. asked, even though she was definitely puzzled, because you couldn't get on this ride without an inflatable device to sit in.

"I'm waitin' on my cousins," the girl responded. As if on cue, from behind us, some girl started in with "Scuse me! Scuse me!" while trying to push her way through. She came bearing a multi-person inner tube.

Before the "cousin" made it to us, though, T. decided she had had enough. "Well, if you don't have an inner tube, you can't just stand there," she said, and proceeded to move on up the stairs herself.

This was when Big Mama made her appearance.

"What is going on here?" she bellowed from still further back in line. This was not going to be pleasant.

"I'm just saying, if you don't already have your tube with you, you can't just stand here and block everyone else's way," T. said.

"What's the problem?" Big Mama responded. "She's waitin' on us, and we got the tube right here!"

T. held her ground: "Well the rest of us, the ones who know how to stand in line, waited and got our tubes down there like normal people would do. It's not my fault you guys sent her to stand here and block everyone's way."

Big Mama was soooo not pleased. For a second I thought someone -- I'm not sure who -- was going to go flying over the railing.

This argument continued for what felt like minutes. Big Mama held fast to her position that it was perfectly all right to send people to "hold the line" while others retrieved inner tubes; T. (eventually joined by others of our friends) insisted that you get your tubes before standing in line, and if you don't, we can come right on past you.

Eventually, everyone held their place in line: the offending girls kept their position and were given an appropriate inner tube; we were right behind them; and Big Mama and whoever else was in their party were still a bit behind us. T., without admitting that her position was unjustified (because it wasn't), apologized on the stairs to both us (her friends) and the little girl (but most certainly not Big Mama) for potentially ruining a fun ride or a fun day.

On the way out from the ride, T. and Big Mama passed each other. They glared each other down. I again braced myself for a fight, but this did not happen. Whew.

Oh, and the ride? I think it was called the Tornado, and it was freakin' awesome.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Not-So-Senior Moments

My boss, while not a spring chicken, is still remarkably astute of mind. Sometimes I'll have to repeat myself (either because he couldn't hear me or because I need to better articulate my thoughts), but in general, he's still going strong mentally.

I was surprised the other day when he stepped out of his office (right next to mine), walked into the hallway, and called out cheerfully, "Hello!"

No one responded to him.

"Hello!" he said again, equally jovially. Again, he received no response. Who was he talking to?

Finally, I got up and walked out to the hall to investigate exactly what was going on.

Apparently, a client of a suitemate had come into the waiting area, toddler in tow. Apparently the toddler wasn't big on saying "hello" back to my boss. But it sure did sound weird hearing only one side of that "conversation."

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Love of My Life

I'm seeing her again. I just bought the tickets today. I and my friends are SEVEN ROWS from the front. (The venue lied to me earlier and told me tickets would go on sale in September. Good thing I called today so I still managed to find great tickets.)

Okay, so the concert is two months away, but I'm planning ahead. It'll be a weekend getaway. The money for the concert is actually just a drop in the bucket compared to the car rental and the hotel room. But hey, at least there will be some gambling.

Words cannot describe how excited I am to know that I am seeing this woman again.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Random Strangers

I've determined that I'm addicted to Craigslist. It's fun to browse.

Usually I start by looking through the "Missed Connections" section. Not because I actually believe any random boy would actually post something for me there telling me how he wanted to meet me but was unable to say hi at the time, but more to see how random people's lives are when they intersect. Sure, you see these missed connections at bars and clubs and stuff, but equally interesting is how mundane some of them are: on the bus, at the grocery store, outside the office building. The potential truly exists, if you have the stones enough for it, to meet people in all manner of places.

I usually avoid the gay male personals ads because, sadly enough, the ads are about absolutely nothing but sex. "Looking to fuck/suck/play now" is a common refrain. What's truly pathetic is that there's actually a separate section for people cruising for sex, so there's really no reason for the gay personals to be so inundated with sex ads. There's even a frigging disclaimer about the explicit sex ads you have to go through before you hit the actual ads! In contrast, the straight personals section contains very little "I want to fuck a woman now!" ads and actually contains (I know this will shock you gay men out there) ads that say things like "Looking to meet a nice girl for dinner and a movie." Really.

The "rideshare" section is also pretty cool. There's an odd diversity to the places people want to go and how much they want people to pay for it. Most of people seem cool about it ("I'm going to NYC this weekend, looking for someone cool to help split gas and tolls"). Not a lot of people seem out for profit or anything... just someone for company and maybe some small financial remuneration. (One guy seems to post constantly about his forays to NYC where he demands like $40 for the trip. For that, I could frigging rent my own car, dude.) It makes me kinda want to take a random cheap trip to NYC, or Philly, or anywhere, just to hitch a ride with some of self-nominated "cool, laid back" folks with cars and the travel bug.

I've been known to post my own missed connection once or twice. I have to admit that I wholly doubt it'll ever result in a successful connection. But then I usually just do it on a whim with no real expectations.

So, Craig, whoever you are, thanks!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


I can't believe I missed it!

I re-enabled my sitemeter icon to display the number of hits I've received because I knew I was creeping closer to it, and I missed it!

Oh well. Suffice it to say that sometime yesterday, this site received its 10,000th hit. I'm kind of excited, in a giddy, stupid schoolgirl kinda way.

Of course, 10,000 is really a rather aribitrary milestone when you consider that the sitemeter was added months after I started the blog itself (although I have no reason to believe I had great blog traffic in the early months anyway), and the fact that for a while my own visits to the site were counted too.

But hey, 10,000!

Thanks for reading. You guys are the best.

I'm gonna go get myself some celebratory cake now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

AC Woes

My office is, apparently, screwed up. There's a Thermostat Fairy out there messing with my head.

When this summer's heat wave(s) first hit, I noticed that I wasn't getting air conditioning in my office. I definitely notice, because the air conditioning vent is loud -- when there's cold air coming at you, you hear it. I wasn't hearing it.

So I called maintenance and asked them what was up with the a/c. They came by, took a look, and eventually fixed it. Yay!...

... That was two months ago. Since then, I've noticed that my office is still ridiculously quiet -- which means the air was not pumping out the way it was supposed to. I stopped complaining, though, because I think the windows here are specially formulated to minimize heat exchange, so it remained reasonably cool in here, if not actively air-conditioned.

For the last week, my little Weatherbug has been telling me that the outside temperature was 96, 97, 98 degrees. This without considering the humidity.

My air conditioning vent cared not.

Today, my Weatherbug tells me the outside temperature is 75 degrees. Yep. Seventy-five.

And today is the day my office is filled with the white noise that is cool air being pumped out of my air conditioning vent.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Nothing Sexier

During a mini-marathon of Sex and the City recently, I pinpointed for myself the two sexiest moments of the entire series. Surprisingly, those moments had nothing whatsoever to do with Samantha -- or any of the other girls for that matter -- riding some extremely hot guy. (And y'all know, there were more than their fair share of hot guys in that show.) In fact, The Sexiest SATC Moments Ever featured no nudity at all.

I have decided that The Sexiest SATC Moment #1 happened when Carrie was so desperately tried to get back together with Aiden after her incredibly ill-advised fling with Big. As she's trying so hard to beg for his forgiveness (which he is understandably loath to give) on his doorstep, he eventually, in a fit of frustration, cries out:

"You broke my heart!"

In my mind, that moment defines sexy: the ability to admit the ultimate weakness. Being able to say "I was vulnerable; I am vulnerable; and I am not willing to risk getting hurt by you again." That one line cemented my love for Aiden and made me want Carrie to end up with him, just because he more than Big deserved to be happy, even if that meant being with her.

The Sexiest SATC Moment #2 came a few seasons later, when Samantha was battling cancer and the chemo-induced hair loss. Ashamed and embarrassed over being bald, she tried to hide it from her boyfriend, Jarrod. She's even afraid that he'll dump her because she's lost her looks.

At some point, Samantha is distraught over this. At that moment, to prove his unconditional love for Samatha, Jarrod wordlessly walks over to the sink (they're in the bathroom), picks up an electric shaver, and proceeds to shave off all the hair on his head.

Hot damn, that was sexy: being able to take control of the situation, and make a personal sacrifice like that (Jarrod was an actor after all), to show solidarity with a woman he wanted to be with. I think I actually wanted to cry when he started doing that.

So there you have it. In a television series filled with sex scenes and explicit discussions of sex, the two sexiest moments ever didn't even actually involve sex. They involved love and commitment.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Abortion Distortion

I've made it pretty clear on this blog that I support women's reproductive rights. I need not go into another extensive discussion of why I so believe.

Abortion being one of the hot-button topics in politics, and with what appears to be a constant discussion about either (1) the desperate need to reverse Roe v. Wade (right wing pundits), or (2) the imminent assault on Roe by conservatives (from the left), attention has of course turned to John Roberts, President Bush's nominee to succeed Sandra Day O'Connor on the high court.

NARAL Pro-Choice America has leapt to the forefront of the fray against Roberts by running an ad linking Judge Roberts (then a Solicitor General with the G.H.W.B. administration) to extremist anti-abortion groups that bomb abortion clinics.

Unfortunately, the ad is completely false. At best, it is wildly misleading.

I'm not going to repeat what says about the ad, because the facts speak for themselves.

I, for one, am immensely disappointed that NARAL would resort such blanant inaccuracies and misrepresentations. Even though I agree that abortion should remain legal and Roe should be preserved, these tactics are beyond the pale.

I signed up to receive NARAL's e-newsletter when I participated in the March for Women's Lives a few years ago. I have decided that if they don't adequately address their misdeeds in their next email to me, I will remove myself from their list and decline to provide any financial support for them in the future. I know that I am but one small drop in their bucket. It is my hope that I'm not the only one out there who is so disgusted with this ad that they also walk away from NARAL.

The Washington Post puts it best: "NARAL is certainly within its rights to disagree with the position the government took in the case. But the impression it creates with this ad is not an argument but a smear -- a smear that will do less to discredit Judge Roberts than it will the organization that created it."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Nick and Jessica

I'm generally not a fan of celebrity gossip about Nick and Jessica. I never watched their show -- except for the one time they were doing a marathon and I ended up catching two episodes, including what appeared to be a season-ending one involving lots of flashbacks. (Oh joy.)

The flashback show was especially telling, of course, because I finally got to see all the Jessica-stupidity that the rest of the civilized world seems to eat up with a silver spoon. Such hits as: "So is this chicken, or is this tuna?" and "Buffalo wings? Ew, no! I don't eat buffalo."

After watching the show and mulling it over for a tiny bit, I suddenly came to a frightening conclusion:

My brother and his wife are my own personal Nick and Jessica show.

Really. Okay, my brother is most certainly no Nick Lachey (and even if he were, he's my brother, so ew on that), but he's definitely the brains of the operation that is my brother's marriage. 'Cause, with all the love I can muster, I have to say, my sister-in-law can be quite an idiot.

Many is the time we'll sit around and laugh at her (thankfully, she'll laugh too) because she'll say something insanely stupid, or which doesn't make sense, or which betrays a shocking lack of knowledge of some basic human facts. I'd relate some of the stories here, but most of them take too much backstory to effectively tell.

Oh, and my sister-in-law is also really quite attractive. (For a woman.)

Hey, I should pitch them for a reality show of their own! After I've applied for and been on Big Brother, of course.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

All By Myself

When I was young,
I never needed anyone
And making love was just for fun.
Those days are gone.

Once, my friend Maria was driving me home and made the mistake of asking me about my dating life. (Doesn't she know better than to ask me about this? It's not like the answer ever changes. Silly girl.) When I told her I wasn't seeing anyone and hadn't had a date in a long time (sometimes I have to look up the word "date" just to make sure such a thing still exists), her response kind of left me speechless: "You're too nice of a guy to be single! You should find someone!"

I know that comment was meant to be a complimentary, but the underpinning to it was distressing. Then and there, I had a Carrie Bradshaw moment: I couldn't help but wonder,* What is so wrong with not having a "partner" in life?

(* Actually, I loathe this particular sentence construction, but it's the one Carrie always uses.)

Living alone,
I think of all the friends I've known,
But when I dial the telephone,
Nobody's home.

Not wanting to take up the debate with Maria in the car then and there, we moved on to other topics, but having thought about that exchange, I realize that in my ripe old age, I am more secure than ever in my prioritizing system wherein dating and "meeting someone" are low on my list of life's necessities.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind dating and eventually being settled into a relationship at all. If one comes along, great. What I don't subscribe to is some people's seemingly incessant need to constantly be coupled at every given moment in their lives. I also don't believe that being "in a relationship" is some Holy Grail that merits an all-out, all-encompassing search. I believe in letting things happen as they will, and being content along the way.

All by myself
Don't wanna be
All by myself

Maria is actually a case in point. Once, while she was in what she considered a serious relationship (she was about 1.5 years into it), a guy hit on her in a store. Flattered, she told him she was with someone, but he handed her his business card anyway. Six months later, when her long-term relationship dissolved, she called this guy and they went on a date. She had kept his business card all that time! What would possess someone to do that if they think the person they're with is the last one they're going to date?

[Needle scratch on record. Zzzzrtptbt!]

I have a decent job. I have a decent circle of friends, despite what some of my bitchier posts on this blog may indicate. I've got a decent apartment. I've got hobbies and pastimes and stuff that I enjoy doing with or without a partner in life.

I enjoy being the master of my own domain destiny. I enjoy the fact that when a friend calls and says "Do you want to go out?" I don't have to check with someone else before I decide. I like the fact that I can live like a slob if I don't feel like cleaning without worrying that someone else will hate the state of the apartment. I like being able to plan my vacations without having to coordinate vacation schedules with anyone else. Do you know how many times I've heard friends say "Oooo, I wish I could go with you, but I don't think my bf/husband/gf/wife will be able to take vacation time"?

(It does kind of suck to have to try to cook for one, though. That never works. I always end up making mega-servings so that one batch of food lasts me a week.)

The world is a big place. In the end we're all "alone," whether or not we're living with someone we love. But whether we're "lonely" is a wholly different question. I know some people who have been married for years who are the most lonely people I've ever seen.

I may not have a life partner, and in that sense I am "alone" at the moment. But I'm certain that I'm not "lonely."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Boxed In

I am addicted to internet shopping. In general, this isn't a terrible thing. It's convenient and I get some pretty decent deals. (Mostly

As a result of all my mail orders, though, my apartment is being overrun by cardboard boxes. I'm usually too lazy to break them down after I take them apart to play with my toys, so after a while I just find my living room filled with the remains of packaging materials.

Now I'm probably just going to attract roaches.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Taxation Without Representation

Rant in progress.

On August 6, 1965, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The law helped secure participation in the democratic voting process for citizens of the United States, particularly African-Americans. The African-American franchise was still a largely contested issue (particularly in the deep South) despite the Fifteenth Amendment, ratified in 1870. (Side note: It's truly pathetic that we passed a Constitutional Amendment in 1870 to give black people the vote, and yet the idea was still so roundly resisted almost 100 years after that.)

Still, some 40 years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, one significant populace remains effectively voteless in the United States Congress: citizens of the District of Columbia.

It's an issue that rarely resonates outside the Beltway, but that's mostly because it's viewed as typical Beltway politics. But it's more than "politics as usual"; the District is the home of over half a million people, who are freakishly impotent when it comes to self-governance.

Most recently, the issue was starkly highlighted when Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX) introduced legislation to rename a prominent street in the District (16th Street NW) "Ronald Reagan Boulevard." I have my own thoughts about former President Reagan, including whether naming a prominent government building in the District and the local airport after him were appropriate, but those thoughts are immaterial at this point. The point is that the U.S. Congress currently has the power to interfere with the way the District is governed at will. This is simply unacceptable.

A body consisting of 535 people -- all of whom are elected by people outside the country -- can drastically change living conditions for those of who live in the District. Congress has final approval over our budget process as well as any legislation the D.C. Council might pass. If they don't like a bill -- despite the fact that our democratically-elected legislative body wants it -- they could block its implementation.

And it's not just a dormant power that Congress doesn't use. The residents of the District are used as political pawns far more frequently than most people realize. It's not just limited to renaming public streets and airports.

For example, on the District's ballot one year was a question to determine the extent of public support for medical marijuana laws. First, Congress fought against having that question put on the ballot at all. Losing that fight, Congress withheld federal funds which would have been used in counting the votes. The District had to raise the funds to count those votes on its own.

By the way, the results of that vote were that the District overwhelming supports permitting marijuana use to alleviate medical problems. Will we ever see a law to that effect in the District? Most likely not, because if we tried to enact that law, Congress would bat us down.

Metro, the public transportation system which serves the DC area (including Virginia and Maryland suburbs), came under federal attack when some ads showed up on the subway advocating the decriminalization of marijuana. The ad space was provided for free as part of Metro's "public interest" program. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) objected to the ads, and, like an angry parent to a disobedient child, threatened to withhold federal appropriations to the District as punishment for Metro's trangression. Notice how he couldn't affect Maryland's or Virginia's contributions to Metro. But because he could take hold the District's pursestrings, he managed to bully them into dropping its "public interest" program completely.

Similarly, the District has had a law on the books prohibiting the private ownership of handguns for decades now. And a majority of the citizens of the District like it that way. But, especially with a Republican Congress on the Hill, that law is in danger of being repealed by people who couldn't give a crap about what the residents in this area want.

We in the District have no autonomy that way, and people who are not at all accountable to us can literally take our lives into their own hands. Can you imagine how the State of Nebraska would react if someone from outside their state stepped into their legislature and said "I know you passed this law, and it reflects the will of your people, but I don't like it, so it will not take effect"? Alaska? California?

In our civics classes in grade school, we learned what a great democracy this country is. We learned that we vote for people to represent us and make laws for us that reflect our views and our values. And we said that, if those people broke our confidence and voted made laws that were against our interest, our redress was to vote them out of office. We in the District have no such luxury. Any senator or representative can get the ball rolling to change things that govern the day-to-day lives of our citizens, but if they vote against our personal interests, we cannot stop them. I cannot effectively mount a campaign to vote Rep. Bonilla out of office, for example. He has no incentive whatsoever to take into account how we District residents feel when he raises his stupid idea of naming yet another public facility after Ronald Reagan.

The District does have one person on the Hill (currently Eleanor Holmes Norton). She is a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives. She can speak during floor debates, but she cannot vote.

This despite the fact that District residents pay federal taxes like the rest of the country, sends its native sons and daughters off to war, and plays host to the seat of power in this country.

There has been a long struggle now to get representation for the District. Bills have been introduced in this Congress to grant at least some relief. H.R. 398 and S. 195 are known as the "No Taxation Without Representation Act," and have been introduced in the House by Del. Norton and in the Senate by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-VT). Another bill, the DC FAIR Act, HR 2043, has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA). (Read the text of these bills by entering their bill numbers here -- I can't seem to provide direct hyperlinks to the text of the bills.)

If you're still reading this, great. What can you do to help? Well, odds are, you're from an actual State, and you have voting representation in Congress. If you could take a few minutes from your day to please contact your Congressional representatives and tell them that you support full voting rights for citizens of the District. If you don't know who your representative are, you can search here for your representative and your senators.

Then tell your friends to do the same.

"One person, one vote" should be a sacrosanct principle in the United States by now. It's downright shameful that half a million people in this country are held hostage to people who don't care what they want. That must change.

For more information, please check out DC Vote. Thanks for reading this.

Friday, August 05, 2005

In a City This Big....

Remember this guy?

It's okay. I'll wait until you have a chance to read that post and catch yourself up.

Okay, you're back. So, here's The Thing.

My friend, uh, kinda just stopped calling this guy a few months back. There was a convenient time for it (both of them took vacations), so when they both got back, they just stopped calling each other: Friend never called Guy; Guy never called Friend. They both basically just abruptly ended communication, with no explanation or anything.

Recently, Friend bumped into Guy again. They talk and stuff. It's a very pleasant evening, though neither of them appears to acknowledge that there's a strange lapse in time in their relationship.

Friend pretty much doesn't want to start a "Relationship" with Guy, but they did say they'd call each other (again, without mentioning the fact that they both failed to do so for months on end). It may be possible for them to be "just friends"... but maybe not.

Friend plans on calling Guy. What do they say? I was at a loss to advise Friend so I thought I'd toss it out there for you guys.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I Don' Know Nothin' 'Bout Birthin' No Babies! *THWAP!*

A few weekends ago, I attended a baby shower.

This shower was a little different from your traditional baby shower: it was hosted by a gay male couple who adopted a newborn child in an "open adoption" system out of Washington state. If you've read Dan Savage's The Kid, that's the adoption system I'm talking about. (Otherwise, check out this link for more information on open adoptions.)

Obviously, then, this shower was different because the baby in question was already there, unlike traditional showers which involve a pregnant lady preparing for her soon-to-be-born. This made gift shopping a little more difficult. The baby was 17 days old at the time of the party. Normally I would have gotten something like little baby towels, or baby bath sets, or stuff like that, but then I figured that since they've had the child for some 7 days now, they probably already have that stuff. I mean, I presume they've already started to wash her.

So I opted for the insanely practical. My gift got no "ooohs" and "aaaahs" when it was opened. My gift was two bottles of Dreft laundry detergent (specially formulated for washing newborns' clothes).

(PS: If people sitting around going "aaaaaw" over how cute certain gifts are makes you nauseated, a baby shower is not the place to be. Yikes.)

Of course, I was the only person at this place who was (1) single, and (2) without child. Or at least it felt like it. Dammit, do couples ever have single friends? My guess is not. And at the rate my "coupled" friends have stopped talking to me, maybe I can see how that ends up being the case.

As a punctuation mark to my utter cluelessness when it comes to children (which punctuation mark would have to be the interrobang), I walked into the room (alone and just a little intimidated, because I'm just antisocial that way) and started walking around until I could work my way to one of the dads to express my congratulations. Along the way, I saw one man holding a baby, so I said hi (to the baby first) and asked, "So is this Rose?"

His response: "Uh, no. She's over there. Rose is 17 days old. This one's Anna, and she's 18 months."

Uh, oops. Yes, yes, no need to rub it in, I am a clueless early 30s 28-year-old single male who can't tell the difference between a 17-day old and an 18-month old. Hell, as long as they're still in the diapers, it's all the same to me.

The party also featured a large stack of plain white onesies and some tools with which we were expected to decorate some clothes for young Rose (age: 17 days; have I mentioned this yet?). I knew what I wanted to do, but I had to wait a bit to feel out the crowd. After a few hours of eavesdropping on conversations, I finally created my onesie. In block letters, it read:


Then I took my leave, just in case there might actually be one or two Republicans in the room. On the way out, I suggested that the happy couple should feel free to call on me if they needed anything that I could help with. One daddy (jokingly) said, "Uh, yeah, as if we'd trust you with her!" I responded, "I know! I was just doing the polite thing in offering! I'd be pretty damn worried if you actually took me up on it!"

Thing is, I do like kids. I just can't possibly take care of them on my own.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Music of the Heart

Matt tagged me with this musical meme, so here goes:

Number of records/tapes/CDs I own
Last time I counted, a little over 350 CDs. I haven't counted tapes, because they're all in a box in my room and I never listen to them. Besides, many of the tapes I own have been rendered redundant by the fact that I've purchased the CD of the same album. I own no records, because I have never owned a turntable in my life.

First record/tape/CD I bought
I don't remember this.... But I will say this: In my early tape-collecting years (before the days of CDs, because I am just that old), I built my collection more by winning the "Be Our Ninth Caller!" radio contests than by going out and buying my own tapes. I can't remember what the first tape I selected was, but I have a sinking suspicion it was Debbie Gibson's Out of the Blue. I say "sinking" because people will make fun of me for it, not because I'm ashamed of it, because dammit, I really did like her stuff back then, and still don't mind it terribly now. (Although I will make fun of the fact that she has a greatest hits album out, since it looks all in all pretty lame, seeing as all the tracks come from a total of two albums, Out of the Blue and Electric Youth. Apparently her third, fourth, and fifth albums -- who the hell knew that she had released that many? -- were just so awful that none of those songs could be considered "hits.")

Last record/tape/CD I bought
Facing Future and Alone in Iz World by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

Last record/tape/CD I listened to
Duran Duran's Greatest. I was shocked to find out that they did Ordinary World, because for some reason it just doesn't sound like them to me. I was pleasantly surprised, though, since I do love that song.

Recordings or songs that mean a lot to me (and/or changed my life)
I think this all depends on context. For example, I still remember that my senior prom theme was Lost In Your Eyes, by the aforementioned Debbie Gibson, so that song kinda means a lot to me. But other songs trigger random, less specific memories too -- mostly 80s stuff, 'cause I'm a dork.

If I had to choose a soundtrack of my life, what 5-10 songs would be on it?

Hmmm... This one is really hard. Let's see....

The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades by Timbuk 3
Suddenly, by Olivia Newton-John
At Seventeen, by Janis Ian
I Don't Wanna Fight, by Tina Turner
Lose Yourself, by Eminem
Just to See You Smile, by Tim McGraw
Goodbye to Love, by The Carpenters
Strong Enough, by Cher
Seasons of Love, from the Rent soundtrack
My Next Thirty Years, by Tim McGraw
I Honestly Love You, by Olivia Newton-John

Now, to tag someone. I guess I should tag some people I haven't tagged before. How about Katie and Eric.