Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Need a vacation or a therapist

It's that time of year, where nearly everyone annoys the hell out of me. For some reason I can't understand, not everyone agrees with me and shares my world view.

The rational view is that everyone has their own ideas about things, which are formed by their personalities and life experiences, which are not the same as my own. Further, it is my responsibility to communicate myself to them clearly, consistentlym and persuasively so that they will change their actions, if not thinking, to align with what I need them to do.

This is how I really feel: WHY THE HELL DON'T YOU GET IT?!?!?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!?!

Thus, this is a sign that I need to go a way for a while and not think about work, the dying lawn due to drought, the need to make sure my actions align with my politics, or all the other things going on in my life.

I need to have a week away, just to play with my yarn and needles and hooks, throw some pottery, eat good food and drink good drinks, and read fascinating stories.

This is what I have coming up:
  • Starting tomorrow, three days at the US Social Forum, where 10,000 social activists will come together to develop a vision for a more socially just world. Actually looking forward to that, if I can avoid talking to or hearing people who don't think exactly like me (see discussion of crappy mood above). We may all be left leaning, but as we know in this country, there are different degrees, different focuses, and that's why the Republicans are kicking our asses, because we present no unified front. The US Social Forum is supposed to help us get that. for more info go to
  • In-laws coming on Monday for Independence Day. That would be Husband's mother, father, brother, paternal uncle, one of his two paternal cousins. So, we have to clean the house, after spending all day and evening at the US Social Forum. And Husband's idea of clean is more stringent than my own definition, so there will be things like furniture polishing, cat hair removal, and hiding things under beds.
  • Last time I saw the paternal cousin, I blew up at him because he and his friends said some homophobic things. His friend also used the n-word. Eventually I couldn't stand it and did a lot of yelling, crying, and stomping around, which made everyone uncomfortable. And heaven knows, making people uncomfortable is worse than calling them on their shit. Certainly, I could have done it better, but the next day, paternal uncle did tell me that what I said needed to be said. So cousin and I made up the next day, but this'll be the first time I will see him since then. And they'll be staying at our house.

What I'm looking forward to:

  • knitting time during the US Social Forum and while the in-laws are here
  • meeting other like-minded people at the US Social Forum
  • dinner at Rathbun's next Monday with in-laws and my brother who lives in Atlanta
  • signing up for pottery classes
  • going to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix later in the month, really looking forward to the scenes in the Ministry of Magic
  • and of course, the last Harry Potter book in 24 days!

I have no predictions, but hope that Harry and Voldemort both die but a new evil rises up again. Afterall, the battle between good and evil is never ending. I hope that Neville turns out to be the one who does great things, that Harry and Ginny get back together before Harry gets killed, that Hermione and Ron finally hook up, and that Draco lives, but survives broken and beaten. You know, like in life, not all the bad guys die or even get their just punishment.

As for Snape, I just don't know. I hope he turns out to be good, but still with all his shades of grey. I don't want him to do the whole self-sacrifice thing to redeem himself. That's just too convenient and not in keeping with his complicated role. I want him to acquit himself well and retain his sneer and dislike of Harry until the end. After all, not all our allies have to be our best friends. You can still hate each other and work towards a common goal.

Now if the liberals and Democrats could understand that.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Birthday trivia meme

I've been tagged by a trivia meme by knittech. The rules are to go to Wikipedia and type in your birthday month and day only. Then post 3 events, 2 births, 1 event that occurred on your birthday, then tag 5 friends.

My comments are italicized.




I could go with Republic of China (Taiwan) - National Day (Double Tenth Day 雙十國慶) but already mentioned it above in Events, so I go with

World Mental Health Day We most certainly could use it. And more often than once a year.

I don't have many friends with blogs, so I'm tagging two real, live friends, and someone whose blog I read and now feels like a friend. Plus, she just posted about her birthday and might not mind posting some more about it.
Life with Linus
Crazy Aunt Purl

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Cat update and going to NOLA

Can I just say that the blogging community is cool? Here I have a new blog (about 3 months old) and already, people leaving comments! Thank you so much. It's just really cool to know that there are people out there, people I don't even know, who care about the same things I care about.

Like my cat. So I said that Moises came home finally on June 14, but wasn't eating. Mostly he just laid around, but a more lethargic laying-around, if that is even possible with cats. On Saturday, I saw him drink some water. Then Sunday we got wet food and cat milk, that is, cow milk modified for cats and kittens.

He had quite the buffet to choose from: dry food, wet food, cat milk, water. At one point we also gave him a piece of fish -- no spices at all -- which he usually pounces on.

On the other hand, he has more energy, jumping onto my lap, demanding affection. He didn't care that I was knitting (and unknitting) Sister's sweater. That's a good sign. Then he's been nibbling at the dry food (wet food and cat milk was untouched).

Best of all, yesterday he came running down the hall when I got home. However, he did not get to go outside, like he usually does, because it was midnight. I had dinner with my friend B and her three-and-three-quarters year old daughter. A fun girls night in.

We are heading to New Orleans today. Husband has a meeting there tomorrow, I'm just along for the trip. I've never been to N.O. and it's B's favorite city, so now I have lots of suggestions on what to do. I wonder if there are any yarn shops. It's hot in N.O. so I guess there's not much of a wool knitting tradition, so little customer base there. Plus in the post-Katrina rebuilding, and decreased residential population, I'm guessing there's even less of the a customer base now. But if there is a yarn shop open in N.O. I will find it.

Moises will be left alone for two days. I wonder if, when we come back, he'll be so pissed at us that he'll run off again this weekend. But it's so hot now and his strength isn't all back, so I hope he'll prefer the airconditioned comfort and secure food supply of home.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The cat is back

Last night, Moises came home. He was gone since Sunday. He's thinner and lethargic, but affectionate. We put out fresh water and food, and as of this morning, it doesn't look like either was touched.

Maybe he just needs some rest and then his appetite will come back. I'm just glad he's home.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Loving Decision: 40 Years of Legal Interracial Unions

Husband and I should put this day on our calendar to celebrate. If it wasn't for this decision, we could not have been able to marry.

This is a story from NPR

Loving Decision: 40 Years of Legal Interracial Unions

All Things Considered, June 11, 2007 · This week marks the 40th anniversary of a seminal moment in the civil rights movement: the legalization of interracial marriage. But the couple at the heart of the landmark Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia never intended to be in the spotlight.

On June 12, 1967, the nation's highest court voted unanimously to overturn the conviction of Richard and Mildred Loving, a young interracial couple from rural Caroline County, Va.
That decision struck down the anti-miscegenation laws — written to prevent the mixing of the races — that were on the books at the time in more than a dozen states, including Virginia.

'They Just Were in Love'
Richard Loving was white; his wife, Mildred, was black. In 1958, they went to Washington, D.C. — where interracial marriage was legal — to get married. But when they returned home, they were arrested, jailed and banished from the state for 25 years for violating the state's Racial Integrity Act.

To avoid jail, the Lovings agreed to leave Virginia and relocate to Washington.
For five years, the Lovings lived in Washington, where Richard worked as a bricklayer. The couple had three children. Yet they longed to return home to their family and friends in Caroline County.

That's when the couple contacted Bernard Cohen, a young attorney who was volunteering at the ACLU. They requested that Cohen ask the Caroline County judge to reconsider his decision.
"They were very simple people, who were not interested in winning any civil rights principle," Cohen, now retired, tells Michele Norris.

"They just were in love with one another and wanted the right to live together as husband and wife in Virginia, without any interference from officialdom. When I told Richard that this case was, in all likelihood, going to go to the Supreme Court of the United States, he became wide-eyed and his jaw dropped," Cohen recalls.

Road to the High Court
Cohen and another lawyer challenged the Lovings' conviction, but the original judge in the case upheld his decision. Judge Leon Bazile wrote: "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. ... The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

As Cohen predicted, the case moved all the way up to the Supreme Court, where the young ACLU attorney made a vivid and personal argument:
"The Lovings have the right to go to sleep at night knowing that if should they not wake in the morning, their children would have the right to inherit from them. They have the right to be secure in knowing that, if they go to sleep and do not wake in the morning, that one of them, a survivor of them, has the right to Social Security benefits. All of these are denied to them, and they will not be denied to them if the whole anti-miscegenistic scheme of Virginia... [is] found unconstitutional."

After the ruling — now known as the "Loving Decision" — the family, which had already quietly moved back to Virginia, finally returned home to Caroline County.

But their time together was cut short: Richard Loving died in a car crash in 1975. Mildred Loving, who never remarried, still lives in Caroline County in the house that Richard built. She politely refuses to give interviews.

Interracial Couples Today
Since that ruling 40 years ago, interracial marriage has become more common, but remains relatively rare. Sociologists estimate that 7 percent of the nation's 59 million marriages are mixed-race couplings.

And even now, interracial marriage remains a source of quiet debate over questions of identity, assimilation and acceptance.

Take Anna Blazer and Bryan Walker, for instance. The white woman and her black husband, with their two young children, live just miles from the Caroline County courthouse. Donald Loving, a grandson of Richard and Mildred Loving, introduced the couple when they were teenagers.

Blazer, now 23, says her family was initially wary of her then-boyfriend because of his race.
"My mom was a little weird with it, because he used to wear this really long — they call it bling-bling — he used to wear a bling-bling cross around his neck and baggy pants. And I don't know, she just kind of looked at him kind of funny when she first met him," Blazer remembers.
But over the years her mother has warmed to Walker, 21.

Blazer says that although many things have changed since the days of anti-miscegenation laws, life is still difficult for them in Caroline County. The couple endures sneers, sideways glances and more from strangers.

"Just a couple of months ago... Bryan got beat up in the Wal-Mart parking lot because he was with me and my sister, and these white men came up to him and they were yelling. The guy ripped off his shirt. He had racial slurs all over him...and they just started going at it," Blazer says.

"I think my life would be a whole lot easier if I was with a white man. And Bryan feels the same way, but he loves me. He really does. And we are meant to be together," Blazer says.

Missing Cat

My cat is missing. It's not the first time that he's disappeared, but this time I'm also concerned about his health.

Over the weekend, it was about 94 degrees in Atlanta and Moises would hang outside, under my car in the shade. Saturday evening, he came in, walked a few steps, then crouched down and was breathing rapidly. No open mouth panting, but we could hear him breathing shallowly and rapidly. I figured it was heat-related, but with some water and rest, he'd be okay. Later, hid out under the bed, but looked more relaxed, laying on his side, still breathing rapidly, with a bit of wheezing sound.

Sometime in the night, he jumped up to the top of the closet. He can't be too bad off if he can jump to the top of a tall dresser, then another few feet to the top of the closet, right?

The next morning, Sunday, he jumped down, walked down the hall, and waited to be let out again. Pretty much all day Sunday, again 94 degrees, he lay under my car. As I did yardwork (cutting down the rest of the overgrown holly shrubs), walking past my car repeatedly, I would see him down there.

Every once in a while, I'd go over to pet him. He would shy away from my hand, but eventually let me pet him. Finally, about 3pm or so, at about the hottest part of the day, I picked him up and put him inside, where he could at least get some water. I certainly was taking water breaks every half hour, so I figured he could use one too.

Sunday evening, I wondered where the cat was and went looking around the house. He wasn't in our bedroom, under the bed or up in the closet, wasn't under any other beds or tables, or behind couches. Husband said he let Moises out at about 4pm, and we haven't seen him since.

Sunday night I stayed up until 1:30am waiting for him, no show. Last night too, he never came home.

I'm a bit concerned because of his panting. Hopefully, he's at the next door neighbor's house, like the last time he disappeared. Earlier this year, Moises was gone for about a week. Then one day, Husband looked over to the neighbhor's big screened in porch and saw Moises pawing at the screen door, wanting to come home. Neighbor's porch as a cat door, and Moises decided to go have a sleep over with Zeus and Hera, without telling us or Neighbor. When I went over to get Moises, Neighbor said he didn't even know Moises was over there. I took over some cans of cat food, to compensate for the food Moises must have eaten for the days he was over there.

This time, though, I haven't seen Moises in their porch. Hope he comes home soon.
I'd hate to lose him too.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Melt Banana and Tool

Went to see the heavy metal band Tool last night. And I fell asleep, even through all the noise.

I'm not a fan, but Husband is. I enjoy music and concerts and thought that even if I'm not really a fan, I could still enjoy it. After all, we went to see Disturbed, again, I'm not a fan, but at least their stage show was interesting. But Tool? Nope.

What I didn't enjoy:
1. The 4 band members were pretty static. They stayed in one place and didn't move around. The drummer of course, stays behind the set. The lead singer stood on the platform next to the drummer, in the shadows. The guitarist and bassist stood out front, in the spot light, but didn't really move. Actually, one (bassist or guitarist, couldn't tell) sat down and both of them had their backs to the audience, and faced the drummer instead. What kind of show is that? Were were supposed to watch the videos on the 4 screens behind them instead? Boring.
2. Air, a la Grateful Dead. The Dead will have these long, long jams that don't seem to have any rhyme or reason. If you're stoned, they're great to "dance" to. But if you're not, then it's excruciating. It seemed that most of the Tool show was them doing heavy metal electronica jams, standing in one place. I hate those jams. Boring.
3. The roadies wore knee-length white lab coats, so you could see them moving around. Usually, roadies wear black to be inconspicuous. And then the roadies mostly wore shorts, so there were bare legs below the lab coats. What the hell was that?
4. Didn't recognize any of the songs they played, despite the fact that we listened to Tool on the way to the venue, and I've heard their stuff on the radio. At the end, Husband mentioned that they didn't play their big song "The Pot."

The times I did open my eyes, I could see 6 or 8 people at a time walking out. We sat at the top row, right next to the stairs, so people walking past me could see that I was asleep. I so did nto fit in, wearing work appropriate pencil skirt and twinset in red and cream, and not the black goth/heavy metal wear that most other fans had on.

What I did enjoy was the opening band, Melt Banana, a 4-piece band from Japan. The lead singer and bassist were women, the guitarist and drummer men. We didn't understand anything they said, other than "Thank you," "We're so glad to be opening for Tool," and "We're Tool fans too" when the audience started chanting for Tool. At the end, some people in the audience actually booed Melt Banana. How rude. For crying out loud, I didn't enjoy Tool, but I didn't boo them.

Husband said he enjoyed about 50% of Melt Banana, and mostly did not enjoy the wall of sound stuff they did. Little did we know, that's what the Tool show would be like.

When we arrived at the concert venue, there was a guy on loud speaker saying that we couldn't bring any bags in, no cameras, had to empty our pockets, and get into different lines, by gender, for the pat down. Well, I had not prepared for this. I was going to just bring in my purse, like I do for other concernts. I scrounged around my purse for something small to put my ID, money, ticket, and most importantly, lipstick and eyedrops. I ended up using my camera bag to hold those things. Clearly, I could not bring in my knitting, -- spikes and studs were not allowed, I'm going to guess knitting needles, even bamboo, would not be allowed. Which is too bad, because then I could have done some knitting, not napping. However, I'm sure Husband would prefer me napping instead of knitting.

So, it's a first! A heavy metal concert put me to sleep.