Friday, March 29, 2013

Every so often someone posts a drawing on Facebook, something like, "If we spanked/paddled/beat kids they wouldn't be so rotten."

When I was 10 my evil grandmother sold the land that was supposed to have gone to my father, "Promises mean nothing," that wicked woman told him. So my father decided to have his first mid-life crisis and quit long-haul trucking and become a dairy farmer, something he was completely unsuited for.

My parents bought a farm in Buckley and sold the house in Traverse City and we moved to this shitty little town and even before we got there my father probably realized what a mistake it was.

One day my parents and my three siblings and I were moving in the enormous table that had once belonged to my great-great grandmother Edna, and my father lost it. He gave me a look and suddenly he was chasing me through the kitchen into the laundry room with its cold concrete floor and he knocked me onto the floor. There was a bin with firewood next to where he was standing and he grabbed a 2x4 and started to beat me with it. I tried to ward off the blows, screaming over and over again, "What did I do? What did I do?"

Except I had done nothing except be the child my father did not want me to be- book smart, a weakling, probably a bit on the girly side. By the time he finished striking me with that piece of wood I had bruises all over my ass and legs and was lying there sobbing. What did I do?

Whenever I see those postings on Facebook extolling the wonders of beating children as "discipline" I flash back to the 10-year-old me on that floor. My mother claims she has no memory of it. My sister Susan is the one who remembers the 2x4, which would soon burn in a stove. It disappeared. The memory of what my father did has not. He's been dead for 17 years and whenever I think about him only the bad things he did, and there were plenty, come to the surface.

Child abuse isn't funny. Facebook postings about beating kids are not funny. And don't expect me to not tell you off if you post them.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

So the Supremes are busy deciding whether I am equal to people like Ronald Reagan, Rush Limbaugh, Zsa Zsa Gabor, et al. Oh dear, some of them are super concerned about rushing to decide, because you know, gay marriage hasn't been around long enough to see whether it destroys the world as we know it. Certainly has never stopped them from ruling on other recent developments.

I wonder what it will feel like, someday, to not be a second class citizen in my own country.

Monday, March 25, 2013

My camera batteries became dead shortly into the Egg Party and so I don't have the quality of photos that I would like.

Egg Party!

This is probably the 6th or 7th Annual Non Denominational Egg Decorating and Backyard Egg Hunt Party. I got up and from 8 AM through almost 3 PM I cleaned and cooked, cooked and cleaned. Mostly cleaned. I was horrified at how much dirt there was in my kitchen.

The baskets were prepared, three for the winners and four for the little children attending.

I forgot to tell people I needed the baskets back, but they are cheap.

I bought 120 eggs and boiled most of them.

Jeffrey and Patrick decorating.

The handsome guests arrived and my handsome boyfriend greeted them.
Robert and Evan.

There were some pretty women as well.
Mary and Tara.

Patrick helped hide eggs and he was naughty and put some in difficult places. He just got back from a photo safari in Africa.

Porn staches galore.

The children (Milo, Nathan, Evelyn, and Sagan) all had a nice time and liked their baskets.

Milo got a rabbit that pooped jelly beans.

At a few minutes past 4:00 PM I called for the egg hunters to assemble, handed them bags, and counted,"3, 2, and 1" and off they went.

Egg Hunters.

There are over 400 eggs to find (they fill an enormous plastic bin the rest of the year).

Tara and Jeffrey.

Kyle won with 119 points, Tara placed second with 111, and Allen third with 106. Chris was the loseriest with only 5.
Allen, Kyle, and Tara.

Allen lost Mary's cell phone in the backyard, so he looks glum. Today Avi came over and due to some magical app, traced the phone to where it was lying, beneath a piece of wood in the oleander bush.

The nice thing about the time after the party- hanging out with Evan and just talking and having a quiet time. Plus, my house is really clean.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

In the Mission midden, Nick found a vinegaroon.

Nick. And the enormous vinagroon.

Other than some monster centipedes that I have seen in New Mexico, it was the largest bug I have ever seen.

My hand for scale.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Post 2500. I'm watching the Rhode Island Senate hearing on Same Sex marriage and it has been going on
for hours and hours (at least 5 or 6 hours).

The people against same sex marriage, Christians and a single Muslim, are fucked up pieces of shit, in my candid opinion. I've heard them describe gay folks as perverts, disease-ridden short-lived perverts, sinners, and on and on. A couple of the men testifying were obviously closeted homosexuals.

This guy in particular asshole-ish, telling the Senators that he would not obey the law, whatever the fuck that means.


This guy is threatening the Senators with going to hell.

Gay bow tie alert.

There is one state senator waving a Bible around and acting like an idiot.

Several people have quoted the fake study by Mark Regnerus, paid for by the National Organization for Marriage.

Meanwhile, the people who support same sex marriage are speaking in measured, reasonable tones. No threats. I can't imagine why any Senator would vote no, but who knows?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I spent a week camping with nine students aged 20 to 27. It has been a while since I have been exposed to people a generation younger than me. One was a 20-year-old gay man. A 30-something lesbian showed up and worked with us for a couple of days. And then there was me, the 49-year-old man.

When I was in my 20s, being gay was a big deal. I was usually the first gay person anybody knew. I was an oddity, eccentric and exciting. But I also had people call me names, once I was offered a job, which was rescinded when the guy found out I was gay (he was subsequently fired for doing this and I got the job anyways).

Things are so different today. The younger generation simply doesn't give a crap whether someone is straight, gay, transgender. People asked me about my boyfriend, cooed over pictures of him. Nobody flinched when the lesbian told a few stories. I was rather amazed.

If I was an old Republican voter I would be freaked out. The Republican base hates LGBT people. With a passion. And this hatred is going to kill the Republican party. The vast majority of young people don't have a problem with LGBT folks. The small percentage who do have grown up in fundamentalist households, and perhaps after they get more experience in the world, their views will change. I know I changed many peoples' opinions about gay people by being open about my life.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Field School. We drove south to near Nogales to work at the Spanish mission site. Portions of the site are in an active road bed and vehicular traffic has damaged prehistoric pit structures and threatens a Spanish-era building. We are also testing a trash midden area to recover a sample of artifacts.

The  first couple of days had bitter cold nights. I shivered in my tent. One day it hailed on us, but we still made progress. My crew worked on the Spanish structure.

First day, first units. Jeremy, Eric, Whit, Tony, and Lisa watch Kellie at work.

Waiting for the hail.

By the second we had found 13 courses of adobe bricks that had fallen down from the north wall.

Rows of fallen adobe bricks.

I got up early every morning to lay out breakfast, make coffee, and put out the sandwich stuff.

My camera shutter is starting to stick.

We camped out at a ranch along the Santa Cruz River.


There are cattle, horses, burros, sheep, goats, turkeys, and chickens.

Friendly Angus steer.

In the morning, the coyotes howled and the burros joined them by braying.


A friendly chicken wanted me to help it get back into the coop, but the lock (to prevent raccoons from getting in) was locked.


Whit built a fire every night to help keep us warm.


Leslie's crew excavated another fire pit, lined with rocks, but we don't know how old it is.

Roasting pit.

It is approaching spring time and Mexican poppies were blooming everywhere.

By the fourth day we were working in prehistoric pit structures, defining the floors in test units. We scraped the road surface and marked the boundaries of the charcoal-stained earth inside the houses. We suspected two were present. We delineated three more. Additional stains in the road suggest there may be many others.

Pit structure.

On Wednesday afternoon I rested in my tent before supper and sipped some tequila.


We played Pit and people had a good time.

Whit and Nick.

Some of the students have parents my age.


The next morning was nice, it was starting to get warmer.

Upside down.

Barney's seven-month-old baby, Sagan, was fascinated with my beard. 

Most of the time he smiled.

Nick was fascinated by the burros.

Nick and his asses.

On Thursday night, as we were walking back from the supper barn, I noticed one of the cows lying down. "That cow is giving birth!" I announced. Nick, Joie, and Ann didn't believe me, but when we got closer, they could see the calf coming out. I called Eric and Kellie over and within a few minutes the calf was born.


On the way out.

Whit did not watch, he said it made him want to vomit. After about 45 minutes, the calf staggered to its feet. It was a little heifer.

The next day.

On Friday afternoon, Ron the ranch manager took me to see a historic stone house, built around 1859.

Pennington House.

The family suffered many tragedies- the father and a son were killed by Apache, another daughter was kidnapped by the Apaches but escaped.

The house needs conservation work, the stone walls are crumbling.


Some of the rocks on the house exterior have carved names and images.

Circle and an X.

On Saturday we completed the 8th day of camping and we were dirty, sunburnt, and tired. My feet hurt so bad, pinched and bruised in my boots.

Nick, Kellie, Whit, Ann, and Kellie at lunch.

By the afternoon we had defined the north portion of the Spanish structure, with burnt roof beams and fired daub lying above the floor. The students will be writing up portions of the report and perhaps we will go back next year to explore more of the site.

Spanish era building, with walls, burnt beams, and the fallen courses of adobe.

Update: Nick asked for a photo of the probable firestarter that he found. Here it is before it was washed. The rounded area was apparently where a stick was twirled among sawdust or grass.

The opposite side has a series of lines carved into it.

You never know what you will find during an archaeological dig.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Family Facial Hair.




Elijah. Edna did not have facial hair.

After about 1920, everyone became clean shaven. My generation has gone back to beards and goatees.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Evan arrived and shortly thereafter we went to Rosa's for supper. I was daring and had a bean burrito instead of my usual three cheese enchiladas.

Mummy had beef tamales and refried beans.

The next morning we drove down to Guevavi for the archaeology field school. It was a day of hectic activity and I forgot to take any pictures. Evan enjoyed the digging. I received a sunburn.

The next morning Evan and I did some errands. We looked for line levels at Home Depot and I bought some potting soil.

All smiles.

On the way back we visited with Tara and Chris. Little Milo was busy trying to start fire with a stick. He insisted I twirl the stick but I could not start it burning.


After Evan headed back north, I took a nap and then took mother to the library, Target, Home Depot, and Safeway. It was a busy day. And then last night I did some genealogy research for a total stranger, hopefully she will find the information I collected useful.

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