Friday, November 28, 2008

Perfect

I must say, yesterday was a pretty fantastic day on all counts. I had the day off and slept in. Our house was clean! Friends and brother-in-law (BIL) FGD and cousin-dog FGD came over. We had a really great meal. I took a nappy. I went shopping at midnight! All for myself!


Really, it was the perfect day for an FGD.

Mr. FGD, BIL FGD, mutt FGD and her cousin in California's smallest kitchen.




Cousin-dog FGD sniffing out the guest room.


A good Thanksgiving-day ass sniffing.


Ewwwwww.....nuts.


A nice ass shot.


BIL FGD's candy brought back from Australia. Chocolate covered bugs!


I will knock someone over to get to the Tim Tams. Don't test me.


Bathroom stalker.


What does a chicken in a bikini have to do to be left alone?


A good way to start any meal.


Butternut squash soup with red pepper puree (on my favorite Bloomie's placemats!).


Sweet onion goodness.


Any potato recipe that calls for 3 cups heavy cream can't be bad for you. It just can't.


What's Thanksgiving without a green bean casserole?


Waiting in line at 10:50 pm waiting for the Banana Republic outlet to open.


This is what happens when you take 50% off the entire store.


What a happy Thanksgiving. I can't wait until next year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm taking opinions

Lately I've been toying with the idea of getting a fancy schmancy digital SLR camera a la WeezerMonkey and 10years. Mr. FGD thinks I will get bored with it after a month and not want to lug it around places. So, knowing me in whatever format you do, what is your forecast?

I will:


A) Fall in love with it and start taking fun, great pictures to post on my blog


OR


B) Get super frustrated with how complicated it is to learn, how heavy and cumbersome it is to lug around, and not really use it after the first month.


I look forward to all of your morbid thoughts.


Cheers!



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why I Protest

As I posted below, I've been a little down in the dumps about the aftermath of Prop 8, wondering what will happen now and what to do with my feelings of utter helplessness. I was forwarded this article, and it helped put things in perspective.

I hope you'll take a minute to read it, and next time the opportunity presents itself, well, maybe you will be encouraged to go whore yourself on a corner, as I like to think of it.


I didn't join the street protests against Proposition 8 right after it passed. My gut reaction was: "where were all these people when we had the chance to defeat it?" But "No on 8" ran a terrible campaign that would not have effectively used more volunteers, and it's possible that many had tried to get involved. Now the state Supreme Court will decide what to do about Prop 8, and City Attorney Dennis Herrera has put on a strong case to have it overruled. But that doesn't mean the Court will do the right thing; even the best legal arguments can lose. A mass movement of peaceful protest is crucial at building the political momentum to attain marriage equality - which can convince the Court it's okay to overturn the "will of the voters." Social movements rely too much on lawyers and politicians to make progress - without effectively using the masses of people who want to help. Now people are angry, and this weekend we saw mass protests across the country. It's now time for everyday people to get involved.

As Barbara Ehrenreich once argued, Roe v. Wade didn't just happen because a majority of Supreme Court justices decided women have the right to choose. It was after a mass movement worked hard for many years to make that politically possible. While we like to believe the best legal arguments always win in Court, judges are - at the end of the day - politically connected lawyers who wear robes. As much as Dennis Herrera's lawsuit is well written and legally sound, it's still a leap of faith for the state Supreme Court to override a popular majority in the last election. And citizen action - if done effectively - can go a long way to give them the political courage to do the right thing.

Public outrage at Prop 8's passage has not just been a few angry protests in the Castro, or righteous indignation at churches. People who never thought of themselves as "activists" have suddenly been spurred into action - and they're using the same tools the Obama campaign used to win the presidency. For example, my friend Trent started a Facebook group called "Californians Ready to Repeal Prop 8." He expected a few hundred people to join, but in less than a week the group had over 200,000 members. Efforts are afoot to collect signatures for a statewide proposition - in 2010, or sooner if we have a special election.

This viral activism is in stark contrast to the "No on 8" campaign - where people relied on political leaders who failed us in waging a statewide effort. My first involvement with "No on 8" was in July, right after the San Francisco Pride parade. The campaign had just collected thousands of postcards at Pride, and our task was to call these people and recruit them to volunteer. But a lot of people come to SF Pride from across the state, and all the volunteer activities were in San Francisco. It was a lot to ask someone who lives in Monterey or Santa Rosa to come table at a Farmer's Market in San Francisco for a day.

I asked the campaign why they couldn't just get people to do "No on 8" activities in their own communities. They didn't have to wait until the campaign could afford to open offices in other parts of the state. Online groups like MoveOn have perfected the model of using the Internet to connect like-minded activists to each other - and get them to meet in "offline" locations to push their political cause. My suggestion was ignored. Now we see spontaneous efforts - organized online via social networks, without any "leaders" - to lay the groundwork for a future Proposition campaign to restore marriage equality.

November 15th was a massive "Day of Protest" against Prop 8, and we predictably had a huge rally in San Francisco. But we also had nearly 2000 people in Sacramento, a whopping 12,000 in Los Angeles, 5000 in San Diego, 2500 in Santa Rosa, and over 1000 in Downtown Ventura. And it wasn't just a statewide action - 12,000 took to the streets in Seattle, 5000 in Boston, thousands in Chicago, 1000 in Albuquerque and even a rally in Peoria. Prop 8 hit a nerve felt past California's boundaries: during a presidential election that gave millions hope, one of our bluest states voted to take away peoples' fundamental rights. People are upset, and want to get involved.

Now Prop 8's fate is in the hands of our state Supreme Court - who must decide if the greater good (equal protection under law) is worth telling 52% of California voters they can't eliminate marriage rights. Peaceful protests can give judge the resolve to do the right thing. Unlike George W. Bush - who said he didn't "listen to focus groups" after 2 million people across the world marched against the Iraq War on a single day - I believe that our justices will take these protests seriously. Which is why they matter so much.

The Truth (in a nutshell)




Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Moment of Un-hope

After I started to get past the initial agony and depression of prop h8 passing, I started to feel a little better by simple things, like all the comments left on my Dear California post, finding out people I had feared voted Yes had actually voted No, reading blogs like WeezerMonkey's and Sable Crow's, and all the people I saw starting to ask, what can we do now?

On Saturday, Mr. FGD and my gays next door and I participated in the National Day of Protest of prop h8. We set-up camp in front of South Coast Plaza in 90+ degree weather with our now beaten and battered signs. Mr. FGD suffered for the cause and stood right in the center of the beating sun. My gays and I were a bit more fair-weathered and stood off to the side in the shade.

WeezerMonkey protested in LA. Sister FGD protested in Boston. Big Pepper and his family protested in Irvine.

And yet I find myself sitting here on a Sunday night, having just looked at WeezerMonkey's expectedly incredible photos of the protest, feeling not so much sadness as I cry, but just a deep sense of loss. Because it's from here I don't know where we go. I've cried more in the past week and half than I'm fairly certain I've cried since a post-18 induced decade of anti-depressants. And yet different from other bouts of depression and hopelessness, I don't see how this one has an end. I know, without a doubt, one day things will be different. I know that one day, we will all be allowed and afforded the right to marry who we love, regardless of who they are. But I don't feel like waiting 10 years, or 20 years, or 30, or however long I'm supposed to wait. And yet what can I do?

No one really knows.

Each day, I sit at my desk at work watching people go by outside my office, and all I can think as certain people stride by is, you took away the rights of your neighbors, your co-workers, probably even people related to you. And yet you walk around like nothing ever happened. Like today is no different than a month ago. Like your life wasn't affected. Because it wasn't. But like any person I know with a good sense of morality and a heart, our lives were affected, whether we label ourselves straight, L. G. B. or T. And yet here we are, what I consider the good of humanity, beaten down and lost. And many of us without any rights.

I want so much to feel the hope I felt the very first time I ever read Maya Angelou's Still I Rise poem. But I don't. I just feel lost, angry, sad, and lonely. I feel abandoned.

I feel enraged.

*****


Still I Rise


You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm having a baby!

Yeah, as if.

But, in light of all these depressing ass posts about Prop h8, I thought it was time for some delightful pics of my littlest kid, taken by our friend Nate.

So begins an homage to Mini FGD.











She totally has my eyes, don't you think?

Repeal Of Prop8: Events and Activities

Mr. FGD and I will be attending one or two of these....let me know if you want to join!

Friday, Nov 14, 12pm: Santa Ana, EMERGENCY Protest Rally - in front of the Doubletree Hotel. The Mormons are holding an urgent Prop 8 Press Conference in the main ballroom of the Doubletree Hotel in Santa Ana, at 201 E. Macarthur Blvd. We MUST be there in front of the hotel to greet them peacefully and get our own press coverage. They are asking their "Yes on Prop 8" supporters to bring some of their "Yes on Prop 8" signs (handwritten or not) and want to have 250 people in attendance.

Nov 14, 6pm: San Bernardino, Protest Rally - in front of the Holy Rosary Cathedral, N., Arrowhead Avenue & W 25th Street, Inland Empire GLBT Catholics, Christians and all opponents of Prop 8, join us for a peaceful candlelight vigil and protest towards the Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino and Her Pastoral Leadership! Bring protest banners and a candle for the vigil! And bring questions which need answered by our church! Contact Eddie: WeingartDude@gmail

National Day of Protest Details at: http://jointheimpact.wetpaint.com
Saturday, Nov 15, 10:30am: Costa Mesa, South Coast Plaza, Bear St & South Coast Drive.
Show up at 10:30AM or as close as possible; otherwise it’s demotivating if people trickle in! Chelsea and Tara (the organizers) will be there until sunset, so please stay if you can! Bring a hat, water, and sunscreen. ‘Twill be hot. Bring posters. It’s all about love and getting to know our neighbors as loving families! misstarabui@gmail.com & chelsearthompson@gmail.com

Nov 15, 10:30am: Irvine, Irvine City Hall, 1 Civic Center Plaza (Alton & Harvard) Contact: abohm1@ivc.edu or 949-870-7701

Nov 15, 10:30am: Riverside, Riverside City Hall, 3900 Main Street

Nov 15, 10:30am: Long Beach, Long Beach City Hall, 333 W. Ocean Blvd. Contact: csibiri@mac.com; www.centerlb.org

Nov 15, 1 pm: Irvine, Meeting of new group dedicated to overturning Proposition 8 through public awareness and activism, the Orange County Equality Coalition-OCEC, at Irvine United Congregational Church, 4915 Alton Pkwy, Irvine. All welcome. OCEquality@gmail.com, 714-225-4656.

Sunday, Nov 16, 10am: Newport Beach. Peaceful Protest at The Mormon Temple and Chapel, 2300 Bonita Canyon Dr., at the corner of Bonita Canyon and Prairie Rd., in Newport Beach. Located just West of the 73 toll road; exit Bonita Canyon Dr.; or turn East onto Bonita Canyon Dr. from MacArthur Blvd. The Mormon Church led the support of Proposition 8. We must expose those whose agenda is to limit the fundamental right of same-sex couples to marry by incorporating their religious beliefs into the California Constitution. This demonstration will show its members we intend to continue this fight for equality until it is won; and our Constitution provides equal protection of fundamental rights to all Californians

PARKING: ARRIVE EARLY and park in the Bonita Canyon Sports Park, which is off Prairie Rd., just opposite St. Matthew’s Catholic Church and across the street from the Mormon Temple. Drive past the ball park to the parking lot on the right. There's also limited street parking. The parking directions are: From Bonita Cyn Dr.; turn onto Prairie Rd.; turn right onto Ford; go two blocks past the ball fields; turn right into Bonita Cyn Sports Facility Parking Lot.

DO NOT to park at the shopping center at San Miguel and Ford

BRING: Signs & banners expressing your support for Marriage Equality and Civil Rights, and your outrage at the Yes on 8 Campaign tactics supported by the Mormon Church. Bring American, rainbow and California flags, water, sunscreen, wide-brimmed hat. Dress for a hot, sunny day.
For info, call: 949-683-2715

From Craig’s List: Progressive Mormons and graduates of Brigham Young University will join our gay, lesbian and transgendered family and friends at this demonstration. We want to show our profound sadness that the church has turned its back on its gay brothers and sisters. We also want to pray for our Heavenly Father's divine love in delivering equality and human rights for all.

Madelynn brilliantly suggests singing the following well-known Christian children’s song she modified slightly (the tune is that of Tramp, Tramp, Tramp):

Jesus loves the little children.
All the children of the world.
Gay and straight, Black and white, [orig.-Red and yellow, black and white]
All are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

NEWS
Extracted from today’s LA Times (11/13): Brown to respond to Proposition 8 lawsuits
The California Supreme Court asked Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown on Wednesday to respond to three lawsuits seeking to overturn Proposition 8…The state high court, meeting in closed session, gave Brown's office until noon Monday to present preliminary arguments on why the ballot measure should survive the legal challenges. --Maura Dolan

STRATEGIES:
From EQCA (Equality California)
EQCA, represented by NCLR, ACLU, Lambda Legal, Munger, Tolles, & Olson and the Law Office of David C. Codell, has filed a petition to invalidate Prop 8 – the fundamental rights of same-sex couples cannot be eliminated through the amendment process.
EQCA is supporting peaceful rallies and protests to ensure we keep this injustice front and center. Find out how you can join us at www.eqca.org/events.
EQCA will work to expand our coalition and create the tools so that each of us can reach out and educate those who were not with us last week
EQCA will work as part of a coalition to gather the more than one million signatures needed to overturn Prop 8 at the ballot box.

SUGGESTION: Mount a rainbow flag on a flagpole outside your house to indicate your support for equal rights for gays, lesbians and transgender people. Suggested by James Nowick

You can order your rainbow flag online (http://www.overtherainbowshop.com/flags.htm).
Use coupon code savemoney at checkout; you may get 10% discount

Why We Are Marching (quotes from the CA Supreme Court ruling):

1) “…right to marry is a right that past cases establish as one of the fundamental constitutional rights embodied in the California Constitution.”

2) “…legal rights and attributes traditionally associated with marriage that are so integral to an individual’s liberty and personal autonomy that they may not be eliminated or abrogated by the Legislature or by the electorate.”

3) “…reserving the historic designation of “marriage” exclusively for opposite-sex couples poses at least a serious risk of denying the family relationship of same-sex couples such equal dignity and respect.”

—Supreme Court, The State of California

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I have famous friends

Internet celebrities!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The look on his face says it all

This past Sunday our friend Nate made the trek down to Laguna to meet up with the FGD family to take some pictures for this year's holiday card. While I don't think this one will make it down to the final selection, I can't quite figure out why Mr. FGD looks so.....



Monday, November 10, 2008

The time is always right to do the right thing. (MLK)

Thanks to my birthday twin for passing this along....it was hard to tell he was gay when he was making out with half the girls in our high school. What a tease.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Time for Love.

On November 8, 2008, 10,000 people (men, women, children, dogs. gay, bi, transgendered, straight. black, white, latino, asian.) descended on Los Angeles to unite in protest over the passing of Prop 8, 52% to 48%.

Mr. FGD and I attended, along with friends and family.

Chad, a million thanks for the following photos, which I think speak for themselves.















































































In the words of WeezerMonkey, "This is not simply some text on a ballot. This is not a time to say, "Sorry it didn't pass." To do so trivializes this monumentally important cause and, frankly, is incredibly offensive.

Your choice affected people's lives.
Your inking "yes" took away rights from an entire group of people.
You took away rights.
Read it again.
YOU took away rights.

And, if you don't understand this, you make me really sad."




 
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