Sunday, January 31, 2010

This weekend I took Mummy to the yarn store twice. She is knitting me an eggplant. Everyone should have a knitted eggplant.

Last night I traveled to mid-Tucson in the trusty Saturn to play dominoes at the Sandy/Mark/Zane estate.

Zane makes a move.

But first we watched an episode of Lawrence Welk from 1960 or so. I didn't recognize any of the band members or singers, by the time I watched that show (late 60s, early 70s), they had a different cast.

Sandy prepares to Dominatoe!

It was a nice way to spend the evening, and I appreciated the time away from home.

Mark likes trains!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Today's coyote paused after I tapped on the window and turned to stare at me.

It was sprinkling most of the day, so it was a little wet.

At home I just made Mummy Spanish rice for supper. She liked it. For dessert she got some chunky applesauce that was left behind in Forrest's fridge.

As I type this, Puff and Snowball are chasing each other around the house. It is nice to see them playing together and not fighting.

What to do? I need a new project I think. This weekend will be yardwork and I need to paint the kitchen, bedroom, and floors of the guest house. I like to keep busy, and with Mummy here until mid-April, I've got to stick close to home.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Forrest called me as he was driving east of Oklahoma City tonight, heading to Memphis. He is a car crammed full of all of his possessions, his sister, and Shirley the cat. We talked and talked, I was upbeat and I told him I wasn't going to be down. It is hard though, last night I went into his empty house and sat on his bed and bawled my eyes out.

I didn't say goodbye yesterday morning, instead I said "So long for now," because that was what I felt.

At work I don't feel like I am accomplishing much, although I have finished a chapter and several articles for a newsletter. Movement outside my office window catches my eye and I saw coyotes three separate times today, including a pair that was playing- rolling around and play-biting each other. In the afternoon I saw movement and turned and this time it was a lean, muscular bobcat. I called out to my office mates and Ralph, Patti, and Sarah and I rushed to the next window and watched as it strolled along. It was very exciting, the third time I have seen a bobcat at work in the last year or so.

At home I made Mummy supper (reheated some green corn tamales from the nice lady who sells them outside Mexican Safeway) and she watched the news. Afterward we went to the library and then to the supermarket. It is 7:19 and what to do now?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Post 2010.

I look like a goof.

Snowball (AKA Baby) showed up in my yard a year ago. He really likes living in my house. He has to sleep with his head propped up on a pillow and he has a favorite bell-inside-ball toy that he carries to bed.

Homer and Snowball.

Every morning around 3 AM he either lies down next to my face or gets on the desk and rattles things around until I get up and give him his special food. He is very spoiled.

He also really likes men and is scared of women. He won't sit on Mummy's lap, but the moment Forrest walks into the house he comes running up to him.

I'm glad I decided to keep him.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I made Chocolate-Pecan Chex Party Mix for Forrest's going away party. A stick and a half of butter, a bag of chopped pecans, and rice, corn, and chocolate chex mixed together. The bowl was almost empty by the time people left.

Chocolate-Pecan goodness.

We played beer pong and I had red wine and a sip of whiskey and was a slight mess by the time I went to bed.

Brian, Aaron, and Forrest.

So I won't pretend to be cheerful, it is tough having one of your best friends move away.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Well, enough with the gloom and doom. Here are some positive things that have happened lately:

- had an article accepted in one of the major family history magazines, I think it has a circulation of 25,000+.

- did my taxes, getting enough back to pay off most of my credit card debt. Of course the moment that happens, something will break on my car (it always does).

- it has been raining in Arizona.

- Puff has gotten over his cold and is no longer sneezing snot all over me.

- I'm planning trips to North Carolina and Portland, OR in the spring and summer.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Boies: Do you believe that homosexuals are more likely to molest children?

Hak Sing William Tam: Yes, I do.

This piece of shit masquerading as a human being was one of the main organizers of the anti-same-sex marriage amendment in California. He is testifying at the trial today in California, despite the desperate efforts of the anti-gay lawyers. He is playing dumb and it isn't working. Reading the transcripts you can see why the anti-gay folks did not want this trial televised. It would have turned so many people away from them, seeing the hell homosexuals have been put through.

I suspect that Boies and Olson will win the case and that the Supreme Court will overturn the decision. One never knows. But the fact that the anti-gay people are increasingly ashamed and trying to hide tells me they know their time is coming to an end. Maggie Gallagher, who I loathe with a passion, will never appear on a United States stamp. Harvey Milk will, I predict.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why look, it's the new Massachusetts senator, Scott Brown. Doesn't he look like he wants to fuck you? Well, if you are the least bit interested in equal rights, health care, or other issues important to the average middle class American, he will be fucking you over plenty in the next couple of years...

Last night Forrest and I went over to the Mark/Sandy/Zane estate and we played five rounds of Mexican Dominoes and I didn't win a single match.


It was nice to have some grown-up times with the menz. I have been cooped up with Mummy a lot lately, and I was going slightly stir crazy.

Puff is getting over his cold. He has stopped sneezing on me, mostly. It has been a very unpleasant thing to wake up to- Puff sitting on top of me and his snot all over my face.

Puff does not want his picture taken.

So here's one thing that I have been thinking about. How long is it going to be before it is socially unacceptable to call homosexuals either "perverts" or "sinners"? I turn on the television and there are people proudly spouting those words, and absolutely no condemnation by the reporters or anchor people. The same words are used often in the comment sections of the local newspaper, as well as the Washington Post.

If someone were to use the word "nigger" to refer to an African-American, the likelihood that this would be aired on the television or would remain in online comment areas is pretty minimal. But it is still alright to call homosexuals disgusting names. I've taken to clicking on the "report abusive language" thingy every time I see homosexuals called nasty things and sending the newspaper a comment saying this is unacceptable. I am guessing if enough people do this, maybe newspaper editors will get a clue. Who knows. I tell you though, I am through with the fucking bullshit.

Monday, January 18, 2010

On the way to the Navajo rug show, we drove up Oracle Road. Suddenly a large group of people were marching along the side of the road- an anti-abortion protest. They held a variety of signs including some that said "Choose Life!" Catholic priests were visible, dressed in black including some higher-ups in their fancy dresses. They were leading the marchers into the Holy Hope Cemetery, which was probably symbolic in some way.

Meanwhile, perhaps 200 feet away, a funeral was going on in the cemetery. We were stopped so the marchers could walk across the street and I turned to look. A group of men were carrying a white coffin to the grave site as people dressed in black stood, some of them turning to see what the commotion was. I wondered how they felt, standing there burying someone they cared about, as people chanted "Choose Life!" over and over again.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It is Saturday and the routine continues. Like clock work my mother does her laundry. I haul the garbage out to the big container in the alley, passing the homeless guy who likes to drink his 40-ounce beer in the alley. I say hello and think he must think I look like a goof in my red sweater and pajama bottoms.

Adam, Berry, and Ralph discuss an Early Agricultural period pit structure.

At the Gay Men's Happy Hour last night I enjoyed talking with the gay men. I had several compliments on the new haircut and someone asked me where the muttonchops went to. I assured him they would come back sometime soon.

The house has several storage pits in the floor.

I did not see the albino vermillion flycatcher that is exciting the Tucson birdwatching scene. I was amazed at how enormous some people's camera lenses were- Ralph described the lenses in less diplomatic terms.

American coot and Northern shoveler ducks.

At home Puff has a cold and is sneezing and rasping. It sounds very alarming and then he climbs on my lap and purrs, so I guess he will be alright. My yard seems so dull and quiet now that Henny-Penny is gone. It will be even quieter once Forrest goes away to his new life in North Carolina.

I sent money to a medical relief group working in Haiti.

I have continued to follow the Prop 8 trial in California. Now the anti-gay lawyers are claiming that witnesses are dropping out because they are afraid to testify. This continues the theme they are developing that they are the victims. I would like the judge to ask for proof- emails, voice mail, letters- any proof that the witnesses have been threatened. The anti-gay folks have figured out that they are going to lose the case (e.g., relying on studies "Homos are Evil!" down in the 1950s, Will and Grace, etc). They are gambling on the Supreme Court and Justice Kennedy. I don't have a clue how this will end.

And in Arizona, instead of focusing on ways to resolve the state's budget crisis, some Republicans are pushing for legislation that will start the process of banning adoption by homosexuals (the initial step, straight married couples get first dibs on adoptable children). This is no surprise to me. The Christians are utterly predictable- ban same sex marriage, then adoption. The big question is what is after that?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I have been following the Proposition 8 trial in California, reading the almost-live posts at this excellent website. Today I learned that same-sex marriage isn't necessary because people liked Will and Grace so much. Also, because Brokeback Mountain was watched by many folks at movie theatres across our great nation. This reasoning makes perfect sense to me. I also learned that faggots should not be allowed to get married because we spread diseases. Really, what were we thinking?

Isn't it a bit ironic that the anti-gay side brought up Will and Grace? These same people were the ones who screamed and hollered and organized boycotts to remove the show off the telly because it dared to have a pair of (completely non-sexual) perverts living relatively normal lives. I guess they were probably busy spreading diseases too, but the writers had so much other material with that witty Karen, that they never bothered to write jokes about Will and Jack's frequent visits to the STD clinic.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Post 2000. If someone had told me on 31 July 2003 that I would still be writing about my life, my thoughts, lemon meringue pies, my cats, my troubles and travels, my archaeology digs, and all of my other adventures way off in 2010, I would have laughed. And yet here I am, 2000 entries in 2,356 days or so (I may be a day or two off).

I really am becoming an old-timer. Once again I visited the Way Back Machine website and counted how many of the blogs on my blogroll from June 2004 were still around- six. Just call me great-grandpa.

Some people say blogs will wither away with Facebook and Twitter and the future apps (whatever they are). But you can't really tell stories with pictures on those media, and they seem so transient- the information just disappears and is lost. So I will keep doing things my old way, using the same exact template that I started with (sorry Brian!) and see what happens.

Yesterday this cute little vermillion flycatcher perched on the fence next to my office window and distracted me for a few minutes. I made Ralph look at him.

Vermillion! Not Verbillion or Verthousand.

To celebrate homo marriage trial day, Forrest came over and we did really gay stuff like play Mexican dominoes.


I won, twice, and then he won once, after I fortified him with Homer-made lukewarm hot chocolate. He was skeptical that it would be any good because it wasn't Swiss Miss brand. Mummy refused to play dominoes with us. She doesn't play games, she told Forrest several times.

In two weeks Forrest is moving to North Carolina because the suckass Republicans in this state apparently think "reedin n ritign" happen like magic and schools don't need or deserve proper funding. But lordy, we must never, ever cut funding for prisons (except they just cut funding for juvenile prisons, perhaps because they require some schooling). We pay slightly more than two percent in state taxes here and apparently that is too much because we just got a letter telling us of yet another tax cut. As the state prepares to lay off another round of employees. The latest gimmick the Republicans thought up- selling off state buildings, including the prisons, and leasing them back. Just fuck them with a pointy stick.

So Forrest had to leave the state to get a job. I told my mother that I was never going to vote for a Republican, under any circumstances, ever again. Ever again.

Monday, January 11, 2010

So today a judge in California is hearing arguments about whether the California constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage is legal or illegal. And this morning I followed a link from Joe.My.God's blog and read a piece written by a woman who blogs as "The Barefoot Bride."

Rebekah is planning her upcoming nuptials in July and writes entries on a variety of wedding-related topics. She received her latest copy of Martha Stewart Weddings and wrote a blog entry:

However, I feel I would be remiss if I did not share my great disappointment with the current issue. As part of the large portion of the population who strongly believes marriage should be between one man and one woman, I was rather taken aback to see a homosexual wedding featured in the Winter 2010 issue. I may not always agree with the lifestyles and life choices made by all the people featured in every publication I read, but I do not appreciate picking up my favorite magazine to see photographs of homosexual couples being affectionate. For someone who believes that same-sex marriage is wrong, such articles and/or photos are offensive – and something I certainly would never knowingly pay money for. [note, I bolded things in the quote.]

She goes on to encourage people to contact the magazine to ask them not to have same-sex marriages featured, because the majority of Americans are against such marriages (in her opinion).

Later, she adds a post-script to her entry: I just wanted to clarify that I don’t hate homosexuals. I actually know a couple gay and lesbian people and they’re great folks. This, however, does not mean that I agree with their lifestyle choices. I don’t un-follow Twitter feeds or unsubscribe from great blogs just because the writer believes that same-sex marriages are fine – differences are differences. However, as a paying customer of Martha Stewart Weddings, I would like to be able to read the magazine without having to see photos of homosexual couples being intimate.

In a second note, she states that she is a Christian and that I do ask that you refrain from attacking my beliefs.

The initial comment I left was a reaction to her saying "I just wanted to clarify that I don’t hate homosexuals. I actually know a couple gay and lesbian people and they’re great folks." My response: "Back in the 1960s a lot of Ku Klux Klan folks knew great Negroes too, as long as they kept in their place and didn't clamor for the same rights that the Bible granted White folks."

But really, this blog entry had me thinking a lot. It bothered me greatly. Maybe it was because this young woman has entry after entry blabbing about what she perceives as great wedding ideas. It is a nice idea for a blog, if you planning to get married, I guess, and are into the whole "Let's make this a huge event" sorta thing.

And then suddenly she turns out to be a fairly nasty person determined to ruin the happiness of other people. You know, the kind of person who isn't ashamed to say shit like, "Faggots are alright, as long as they are not intimate or show affection. They shouldn't ever be allowed to marry and no photographs of them affectionately touching, ever!" I guess she hasn't watched a lot of gay porn (affectionate touching!).

I don't really know people who would dare to express these sort of opinions in public to me. I guess that is because I live in Tucson (liberal!), work in a highly educated field (science!), and I am not the least fucking bit ashamed of being a fudge-packing homo, and if you start yapping anti-homo stuff around me, I am not the least fucking bit afraid of walking up to you and telling you to shut-the-fuck-up.

Someone alerted the young grooms and one, Jeremy, has a blog, and left several comment on Rebekah's blog, including a link to their wedding photos. He told her: "I'd love to hear your thoughts, and share them with my readers. Let's have an open discussion about why my rights as a tax-paying citizen should be denied by personal religious whims."

I thought about this as I drove to and from the sandwich shop, where I picked up a delicious gluten-packed concoction, not suitable for wedding reception because the balsamic vinegar would stain your ivory taffeta Empire-style gown with mutton-chop sleeves, and I left her a second comment:

"The more I think about your blog post, the more I keep coming back to the very basic thing I was taught about weddings. When someone tells you that will be or have been recently married, the only proper response is "Congratulations." Anything else, no matter what you think of the situation, is just bad manners.

The fact that you felt compelled to describe someone else's marriage as "offensive" reflects very, very poorly upon you as a human being. You need to spend some time thinking about this. Perhaps you should seek out some of those gay and lesbian people you claim to know. Ask them what their goals and dreams are. I am guessing you will find they are very similar to your own.

Really, I can't express how disagreeable it must have been for the men covered in that article to have you, a total stranger, describe their wedding as "offensive." How would you feel if people did the same to you in describing your wedding?"

Anyways, I would never dream of criticizing someone's wedding plans, their choice of canned green beans at the buffet, that interesting bridesmaid's "dress," or the fact that while attending one wedding I wondered to myself, silently and without moving my lips, whether it would last (it didn't). And every time someone I know has been married I make a point of stating "Congratulations" with a hearty tone and always give a nice gift (twice paying for the cake and once for the hair and makeup) because that is the proper thing to do. I certainly hope Rebekah has a nice, memorable wedding, and I wish her well. I also hope she opens her eyes and realizes that there is a whole, huge world out there with different people, some wonderful and many not.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Archaeology tends to borrow from other sciences. Often we rely on the specialized knowledge that others have. As an example, during the recent dig down next to the train depot Ralph was digging a pit filled with green dirt and came across a rusted tin can filled with insect remains. The copper and other chemicals in the dirt had helped contribute to the unusual preservation of the insects, which have been deceased since the time period the pit was created and filled, between 1887 and 1901.

I am thankful to have an esteemed entomologist among my friends, and so I asked Doug if he would like to contribute to the report for the project. He has written an interesting entry on his blog on the identification and analysis of the insects. Please read it and imagine us wearing pith helmets and white lab coats.

Sometime later this year he'll get a copy of the report with his name on the cover as a contributing author! I am sure that this is the first archaeological report that he has helped on.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

A distant relative has sent me the birth record for my great-great-great grandfather, who was born on 15 May 1799 in the tiny town of Offensen, kingdom of Hanover (modern-day Germany). This is one of those unexpected things that you don't expect to ever happen, basically because Georg came over in the late 1820s and his family bible was last seen somewhere in West Virginia years ago. But then, someone came across my genealogy website and sends me an email.

Georg Ludwig's birth record.

My mother was very pleased to see the picture of the church that the family attended. "Very pretty," she said.

Friday, January 08, 2010

After a few minutes in the office one of my co-workers asked me to go home. Apparently the coughing sounds I was making were freaking him out. So I complied.

Assymetrical forehead wrinkles.

I stopped on the way home to visit with Mark and Sandy and pick up a bag of grapefruit and lemons. I am going to make lemon curd, perhaps tonight, since I do feel mostly normal. It was nice to sit and talk to a couple of adults about adult things- so different than the conversations I have with my mother.

Rachel Maddow used a video clip from my friend Jim's blog on her show last night. It featured Scott Lively, one of the three Americans who stirred up the shit that was distilled into the "Kill Gays" legislation in Uganda. His lectures in that country last March included the tidbit that gay people were behind the Rwandan massacres in 1994. He also claims that the leaders of the Nazi party were all homos.

I am way behind on murdering people this week. I admit to having some bad thoughts about an elderly driver on Monday or Tuesday, but because I was sick I did not hack them apart with a machete. I also forgot to round up my usual batch of fundamentalist Christians to send to the lesbian-run concentration camp outside of Tucson. I hope that I don't get a demerit for that.

Honestly, I realize that some homo-haters like Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown are in it for the money, but now I realize that some people, like Scott "Deadly" Lively are into it because they are absolutely, positively awesomely fucking insane. He would have made an excellent judge back in the old Salem Witch Trial days, dontcha think?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Another wasted day spent battling a cold. Nose is raw, my body aches from lying in bed, my typing skills are minimal (must be the anti-histamines). Maybe tomorrow it will be done and I can be a productive member of society rather than a lump.

I have been talking with my mother about how she needs to walk more and get exercise. She does not want to, would rather sit and read or knit. If I don't take her to the grocery store or library, she doesn't get much walking in. After a couple of days, it is visibly apparent that she is struggling. I bring this up and she admits it, she just wants to be lazy. "Do you also want to be in a wheel chair?" I ask. She is silent.

It is hard seeing Mummy getting old and frail, and refusing to do a few things to improve the quality of her life. I hope if I live as long as her, that I won't be so stubborn.

Monday, January 04, 2010

So stir crazy. I was looking forward to going to work this morning because I've been at home too long with my mother. And somehow she got a cold and then passed it onto me. So I lay in bed reading a novel and got up every few hours to straighten my spine. Snowball and Joey were particularly pleased that I was available for snuggles. What a grand way to start 2010. But at least it will be over and done with, it seems to be a quick cold.

So the New York Times finally got around to publishing a detailed story on the role three scumbag Americans played in stirring up anti-gay hatred in Uganda. My buddy Jim has been covering this story for 10 months, from before these creeps flew over there and encouraged the Ugandan politicians that they needed to do something drastic to the homos. And the Ugandans complied, announcing legislation that would among other things, involve the execution of gays and lesbians and the jailing of anybody who didn't turn them in. The law has not been signed yet, but already gays and lesbians (and people marked as such) have been hounded and abused.

How do Scott Lively, Caleb Brundidge, and Don Schmierer go to sleep at night, knowing that their actions could result in the execution of people who are just living their lives?

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Good-bye Henny-Penny.

Best chicken ever.

She disappeared sometime during the day on December 30th. No evidence in the yard of any (please pardon the pun) foul play. I was hoping she was visiting the neighbor's yard, but no, she hasn't come back. For almost a year since she mysteriously showed up in mid-January she graced my backyard, wandering around and providing entertainment and light green eggs. Maybe she went to go live with someone else, that is the hope. So long, beautiful chicken.

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