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Happy & Gay 2002

I had a lovely time at the San Francisco Pride parade today but the absolute highlight was watching Sir Ian McKellen dancing down Market Street twirling the large sunflowers I gave him and throwing them into the crowd a la Zeus launching thunderbolts.

If anyone sees any pictures of him from today, particularly with the flowers, do let me know.

I also learned that in addition to his artistic and political skills, he can also flag twirl very well.

Posted on June 30, 2002 at 10:00 PM in San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (1)

I'm with Newdow. 2002

It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot we must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.
--Voltaire

Not only that, but apparently now many folks think you also must believe in God to believe in your country. I believe profoundly in freedom of belief, in the principle of the separation of church and state. The conservative trend in this country is frightening.

You do not have to believe in God. It doesn't mean you don't believe in good.

You do not have to abandon logic if you do believe in God. Many Christians I know think evolution isn't too tricky a notion for their God to have thought up.

You do not have to recite the pledge, any pledge. Think for yourself. Express your beliefs. Keep your mind open.

Enforced patriotism isn't true patriotism. Mandatory homage isn't real tribute.

Posted on June 29, 2002 at 08:20 PM in quotes | Permalink | Comments (3)

Good Anger 2002

Check out www.heatherwokusch.com for some really good hard questions and tasty vitriol. [thanks to Uncle Larry for the link]

Posted on June 25, 2002 at 03:20 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (0)

Adventure 2002

Had fun. Had adventures. Didn't find Edmond. Got detoured to Nevada due to wildfire. Drove far more than intended. Still had a great time and not just because I spent the weekend with my sweetheart - though that sure was a mighty excellent part of it all.

Posted on June 23, 2002 at 09:04 PM in holidays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dinah at Yosemite 2002

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Shirt reads "My library has something to offend everybody".

Posted on June 23, 2002 at 12:00 PM in Dinah - introduction, the big room with the blue ceiling, travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Off to Adventure! 2002

Chris and I are heading out late this afternoon on a wild Edmond hunt. In theory, Monsieur Meinfelder has or will be reaching Tuolumne Meadows at Yosemite sometime between yesterday and tomorrow. In theory. I actually have no concrete info on his whereabouts since Bill & Anne saw him happily trekking off with his new shoes and hiking poles from their get-together at Charlotte Lake last Saturday.

We have his next resupply, plus some requested items such as a fresh sleeping pad and replacement stuff sacks. I've emailed him to say we'll be at Oakhurst Lodge tonight and we hope to find him waiting there. If not, we'll take his supplies to where I would have mailed them otherwise and we'll poke around by the trailhead looking for PCT hikers. After connecting with him, we have no particular plan, so may end up hauling packs up the valley to allow some hikers to slackpack for a day. Or we may just set out in some unknown, non-eastward direction to find an interesting place to stay Saturday night. Or we may enjoy the valley for the day and then drive back home. Options are good.

I'm torn by two opposing hopes today. My sister Jennifer is trying to get a stand-by flight to meet up with her husband, airline pilot Andy, for some World Cup fun. So, I hope she gets her flight, but if she doesn't she'll meet up with me and get to hang out in my cute little apartment for the weekend. Again, options are good.

Let's see... what other news? I have an exciting job interview scheduled for Monday about which I am hopeful. Things with Chris are beyond excellent and I am deeply happy. My family is well and I dreamt of them this morning - something about cute little baby jumping chameleons in Uncle Larry's room. I still have lots of things to do on my list, among them work on this site, but it's slow going. Despite being out of work, I'm very busy with looking for work and supplying Edmond.

Today before we leave I need to mail the resupply box for the stop after the stop after Tuolumne Meadows, tidy up the place so it's nice when I get back (& in case Jennifer stays here), pay bills & enter receipts in Quicken, finish packing, and fill in my unemployment forms. I guess I better get to it, eh? :)

Posted on June 21, 2002 at 10:24 AM in holidays | Permalink | Comments (3)

Not the job for me 2002

In the absence of steady project work with my old company, I'm on unemployment now (under the Lack of Work clause) and doing that little bureaucratic dance. Ugh. I can't wait to get a job again and get away from these horrid forms. This is sucky.

Posted on June 18, 2002 at 09:39 PM in work | Permalink | Comments (1)

Ominous Developments 2002

The Bush administration is now endorsing a white-washed form of assassination. (Only kill Saddam Hussein in self-defense, but go ahead and get yourself into a situation where you'd have the opportunity, would be threatened and could then do it seems to be the general policy).

Assassination is wrong, evil, unacceptable.

It goes against the principles of democratic freedom. (Incidentally, it also is a violation of the Ten Commandments, but as is usual, far Right Christians apply those rules selectively - fetuses must be protected but political opponents can be killed).

I'm rather astounded that his handlers convinced Bush to voice this policy change; he might just as well start wearing a bullseye on his jacket. Perhaps they convinced him that he can be protected. Perhaps he knows he's already the prime target for all sorts of enemies of the United States. Still, I worry about the rest of the administration considering him expendable; yes, he's an idiot, a coke-riddled frat boy who acquired the presidency through fraudulent means, but the prospect of President Cheney scares me even more.

These are very bleak times politically and most Americans seem to be quietly agreeing to going to war against the rest of the world in order to preserve our oh so comfortable lifestyle. In the choice between comfort and freedom, people seem to be picking the SUV and cheap sneakers over the bill of rights.

In Berlin last month, Mr. Bush stood in the Reichstag, whose burning in 1933 marked the beginning of Hitler's rise as Europe stood by, and warned his European allies that "wishful thinking" would not eliminate "the new totalitarian threat." [source]
Well, at least I agree with him on that point.

Posted on June 18, 2002 at 10:58 AM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (2)

The Land of Milk & Honey 2002

I'm a bit mystified by receiving spam with subjects like "Real Girls Kissing Each Other!". So what? I think to myself. What's so special about that? Then I remember that not everyone lives in San Francisco, particularly not in Pride month.

I've kissed girls. Well, one girl mostly. The thing I learned about girls is they're really really soft. The other thing I learned is that compatibility is still just as important and if you ain't got it, it ain't gonna work, no matter how many men's fantasies you might happen to be fulfilling.

Kissing someone you really like & think is beautiful inside & out & want to be with and who feels that way about you, that's the important thing, not your respective genders.

So, folks, I highly recommend you take off your blinders and pay attention to what really matters to you. Sure, I happen to have a boyfriend*, but if suddenly a wicked fairy came down and turned him into a girl or me into a boy, it'd be asinine for us to suddenly decide that rendered us incompatible (and if I could get a hold of that magic wand to go into the transformative weekends business I'd make a mint!)

Now I'm not saying everyone can switch their attractions around at will - that stuff is wired pretty deep - but give yourself permission to care about what you care about. If, like me, you think women are pretty and nice and all, but it's men that you always seem to fall in love with, that's fine. Just acknowledge that not everyone is you and give them room to love who they love.

A lot of people fought long and hard to get us humans this far in letting us be ourselves in all our vast diversity. Show your respect by giving a big smile to the next pair of girls you see kissing, or boys in chaps holding hands & pushing a stroller, or fabulous drag queens who've spent hours to make themselves beautiful for the world, or those wondrous creatures whose gender you can't guess (lovely fey one at Sushimura on Tuesday when I went to lunch with co-workers - all Botticcelli beauty and big biceps), or interracial couples, or anyone else who is being themselves regardless of what the status quo says they oughta do.

Happy pride month, folks!


*And boy oh boy am I happy with him! New relationship energy is great!

Posted on June 14, 2002 at 02:18 PM in San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (2)

Fun is Hard 2002

Okay, so I'm relaxing, right? And I'm over at What's Better? and I'm making split second decisions I feel good about. I have no doubts, no wavering, until...


What's better?

Dave Eggers

or

clown shoes?


Uh... I... I... I can't choose!

Posted on June 12, 2002 at 08:45 PM in am I a freak? | Permalink | Comments (5)

Bumpy Road 2002

Well, I finally reached my limit. My otherwise excellent company has no active projects for me and therefore no way to pay me. I already have way too much debt and so must seek work elsewhere.

If you know anyone looking for an experienced project manager with strong user experience design skills, please email me at this domain. I'd prefer to work in San Francisco or somewhere within an easy walk or shuttle ride of the CalTrain or BART.

To round out the general suckiness of the first day of job hunting, I also experienced my first kernel panic on a Mac. Kind of nifty looking actually, but not inclined to lower my stress levels. *sigh*

----

Oh. And should I apply for unemployment benefits? Does anyone have any recent experience with this in California? Argh, what a mess...

Posted on June 12, 2002 at 12:42 PM in work | Permalink | Comments (5)

Sunday was better 2002

Yesterday morning I woke up in the cozy guest room at my parents's home in Mendocino. I always sleep really well there and I felt great. I had a little breakfast with my Grandma Susie, packed up my clean laundry (they have a washer & dryer *in the house!* so cool!), said fond farewells and had a beautiful, quick drive back down to San Francisco.

It was so lovely, clear & warm when I came over the Golden Gate Bridge that I coaxed Chris out of his house in the Presidio within half an hour of arriving and we went walking. Oh boy did we walk! We walked through the Presidio to the bridge and then over the bridge and then all the way into Sausalito. We were very very hungry by this point and feasted on two pizzas (a medium Catalian & a small Italian) at Giovanni's. Then we got ice cream at Lappert's (Spumoni for him and Kauai something (Kona coffee, macadamia nuts, fudge & coconut shavings) for me) - mmm! - and wandered over to catch the ferry back to San Francisco. What a great time!

Now it's Monday and I'm in the warm & stuffy office nodding off. I could use a little Kona coffee ice cream about now...

Posted on June 10, 2002 at 12:58 PM in the big room with the blue ceiling | Permalink | Comments (0)

An Unusual Vacation Choice 2002

I have just decided to take a holiday in Minneapolis at the end of July. Why? Mostly to attend the wedding of the sister of my sweetie, but also because, though I've traveled a good bit around Europe, I've seen very little of the United States.

So tell me, what should I prepare for in this journey? I've been warned already that "late July in MN is likely to be hellishly hot and humid, and in the evenings you can lose a pint of blood to the mosquitos" but this is alleged to be part of its "charm".

After a few minutes research, I have found a couple interesting sightseeing possibilities:

- Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, one of the few urban wildlife refuges in the country. I'm fascinated by human-focused inquilines (like raccoons, rats and sparrows), so that'd be cool.

- Science Museum of Minnesota because science museums are fun plus how can you go wrong with a 40 foot long steel iguana?

- Minnesota Zoo, though I'm torn between the attractiveness of the emphasis on natural habitat and the ominous implications of " the amazing tricks performed in the daily dolphin shows".

- Minneapolis Institute of Arts just sounds full of good stuff.

Anyone know more about these? Other recommendations?

Posted on June 7, 2002 at 09:35 AM in holidays | Permalink | Comments (5)

Mid-Afternoon Mind Drift 2002

After the post-lunch slump, after the recovery from the slump, after getting a few things done, a pause comes between tasks and my mind kind of wanders off, rattling sticks against picket fences, kicking pebbles, humming random tunes. And the tunes it's humming today are

"You do something to me...

I wanna be kissed by you
just you
and nobody else but you...

i can sense it
something important
is about to happen...

every ounce of you
and your love
ah, is all i need..."

Hmm? Huh? Oh! Uh, nothin', nothin', just thinkin' about a boy.

Posted on June 5, 2002 at 03:50 PM in relationships | Permalink | Comments (5)

Yes, do it. It's easy. 2002

If you've had sex - including oral sex - get tested for HIV.
It's really simple, you can do it anonymously in most places, and it will bring you peace of mind.

In San Francisco, I highly recommend the free, anonymous services of the AIDS Health Project Service Center at 1930 Market (at Laguna). They're friendly and supportive. They will answer all your questions. It's easy.

Here's how it works:
Just drop in on a Tuesday or Thursday evening between 5:30 and 7:20pm. You'll get a number, they'll call it after a little while (5 or 10 minutes seemed like) and a pleasant person takes you back into a little private room. He (in my case) explains how the test works and asks you questions, which you can decline to answer, for their statistical purposes. At no time does anyone take your name, address, email, or any other personally identifiable information. I answered all the questions and got to ask some of my own. Among the interesting things I learned:

- the "window period" (time after an unsafe encounter which you need to allow to pass before testing to confirm you were not exposed to HIV) is now considered to be three months, rather than six

- because the mouth has more layers of skin and is a generally inhospitable and defensive place, oral sex is considered to be a significantly lower risk activity than vaginal or anal sex, except for people with mouth problems (don't distract yourself from a recent root canal by giving blow jobs, for example, not that I think anyone would actually want to do such a thing)

So, anyhow, after you have this interesting conversation, the counselor walks you over to the nice man who will take your blood. I've had to give blood samples quite a few times and I can say this guy was a pro and I felt very safe and well-taken care of with him. He gives you a sticker copy of the ID number for the sample, together you confirm that the numbers are the same, then you stick it on your little reminder card and you're all done.

One week later, you come back with your little card and the magic number and wait a few minutes until they call your number. Another nice counselor walks you to a little room and answers any questions you may have come up with during the week. Then she (in my case) checks a printout of all the results for people coming in that night and finds the number. She hides the other results and you confirm your number and see the result. She doesn't know your result until this point. My understanding is that if it's positive, she'll help you deal with that news, walk you through your options and remind you that people live for years with HIV. Testing positive doesn't mean you have AIDS.

In my case, thankfully and as I expected from having been very safe except for a condom that slipped off last year (right after which we both tested negative, but I wanted to be sure), my results were negative. Hooray!

AIDS isn't hard to prevent; just play safe when you have sex and don't mess with needles. And believe me, playing safe doesn't need to cut into your pleasure one bit, in fact, the influx of a little creativity could make things better.

Be careful out there, people, and get tested. It's so easy to avoid the risks of not knowing.

Posted on June 4, 2002 at 09:05 PM in health | Permalink | Comments (4)

I say it's a blog, so there. 2002

I commend your attention to In Passing which, despite its minimum of outbound links, remains one of the finest weblogs around. Plus there's great stuff in the comments, like this gem from slugbuggy:

Unless there's some kind of hockey/figure skating hybrid I'm not aware of.

Triple lutz, pass to Swanson, he's going for the triple axel, no, he only got a double on that, points will be deducted for the wobbly landing, passes the puck to LaFromage, he's going to shoot...GOAL! And nice choice of music for that routine, I think it's the Jupiter symphony.

Posted on June 4, 2002 at 06:45 PM in linky goodness | Permalink | Comments (0)

Close to the bone 2002

"Dick Cheney's Primer on the Constitution:

So what's it called if during war you criticize the President for any reason?

Treason.

And how long does this war go on (and this is where this theory's really pretty clever)?

Forever."

- Calvin Trillin


Scared by that? It's nothing compared to the threat of war between two nuclear powers. We must all prevent war. Now. Before it's too late.

The only way to live humanly - still - is in resistance to war. The prevention of war, in the nuclear age, must be a central purpose of every person's life. Scientists, physicians, lawyers, bishops, mothers, students, writers - where are you? We must remember what we learned already, but forgot; what the leaders of India and Pakistan are showing us again: If we human beings leave this problem to governments, we are doomed.

[Another great quote and a call to action courtesy of Larry]

Posted on June 2, 2002 at 04:43 PM in quotes | Permalink | Comments (0)

This couldn't possibly apply to me ever, heavens no. 2002

Pedantry crams our heads with learned lumber, and takes out our brains to make room for it.
--Charles Caleb Colton

[Thanks to Larry for this & the prior quote.]

Posted on June 2, 2002 at 04:33 PM in quotes | Permalink | Comments (0)

Indefinable 2002

"A picture is an intermediate something between a thought and a thing."

--Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Seems like you could say the same thing of software.

Posted on June 2, 2002 at 04:22 PM in quotes | Permalink | Comments (0)

Movin' Money 2002

Thanks to the wacky idea of the folks at Where's George?, I now know that a $1 bill I had in January made its way to Ione, California where it was used to buy ice cream at Baskin Robbins. Too fun!

Posted on June 2, 2002 at 04:06 PM in The Web | Permalink | Comments (0)

Offers Declined, Graciously 2002

We offered to take supplies to Edmond - woohoo! Road trip! - but he decided last night, after careful consideration, that he didn't want to use the hiking poles and the new water bags could wait until he gets to Kennedy Meadows, so he said "Nah, don't come. Go have a fun weekend instead." So that's what we're doing.

Posted on June 1, 2002 at 11:36 AM in friends & family | Permalink | Comments (0)

Blog (noun) A weblog or similar brief journal usually containing links and commentary thereon. Term coined by Peter Merholz.

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