Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Sea of Red

Today the United States Supreme Court heard arguments about the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, which defined marriage in the Golden State as between on man and one woman, and ended several months of same-gender marriage.

There is no argument that can be made that can sway me from the fundamental belief that I am equal in every way both in the eyes of my God, and more importantly, in the eyes of the laws of this great country I so proudly call my homeland.

Prior to the arguments being heard, the Human Rights Campaign asked people to post a picture of, or replace their social media profile pictures with, the HRC's logo painted red to show support for marriage equality.

The Human Right Campaign's logo.

In support of marriage equality. 
When I logged on to Facebook this afternoon, I was overcome with a sense of belonging. My page was a sea of red support.

It is such a humbling honor to know all these people - family members, friends, former classmates, former colleagues, straight and gay, of all (and no) religious bents - are in my corner and are on the right side of history with me. It is overwhelming. Some of the people I expected to support this cause. Many surprised me. I like surprises.

When the Court finally rules, I don't know what will or won't change in the law. I do know that for me, personally, one day of Facebook in a sea of red has given me the hope to carry on and continue to fight for change.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Persecuted Little Christian

A little girl at church is in love with Niko.  As soon as she spies me, she twists and turns trying to get a glimpse of him. A couple of times I feared she was going to pop her head clear off twisting and contorting her neck just to see him.

Really, all she wants from him is a smile or a quick wave. But Niko won't give her that satisfaction.

Today Gus served at the altar, so he and and I got to church early. When Niko arrived with my sister a little later, he noticed that I was seated in the pew directly behind this girl and her mother. His eyes shot daggers at me. The little girl spun around; delighted she grinned from ear-to-ear.

Niko dropped to the floor and seated himself on the kneeler. Barricaded, he took great interest in folding his dollar into a fan over and over again.

All the cajoling and prompting in the world couldn't pry him from his hiding place...and into the light of love.

It wasn't until his cousin George arrived in the pew behind us, that he finally dared face his persecutor and came out of hiding.

She was very pleased.

He tried his best to ignore her, and concentrated on his cousin.

Poor Niko, he's such a persecuted little Christian.

Friday, March 22, 2013

$10,000 Pyramid

The clues:

A couple of rocks.

A bobby pin.

A little golf pencil.

A couple elastic bands.

Some candy wrappers.

A little stick.

A bracelet.

A note.

Several paper yard sticks from IKEA.

The answer:

Things you find in Gus's pockets before doing the laundry.

Monday, March 18, 2013

More of What We're Looking For

Remember last summer when  Kelly and the boys ambushed me with a kitten from the Humane Society?  The cat we already had was aloof and independent. I like that about Athena. But the boys wanted something more, well, interactive. And with a playful little kitten that's exactly what they got. We even read in an old waiting room-copy of Cat Fancy Magazine that his breed - Snowshoe - is the most people friendly of all cats. 

Well, Apollo is almost fully grown now, and he encompasses all of the traits I feared would make him a nuisance.

We've had to take him to the vet twice already to repair a torn paw caused by what the vet described as clumsiness and a lack of coordination - unusual in a cat, he added.
Red eyed in the Cone of Shame

He stalks and attacks the other pets.
Bunny wrestling*
 He goes places he really shouldn't.
When it's on spin it's like a hotel bed with Magic Fingers

His curiosity gets him into trouble. 
I wonder....

But somehow it's easy for me to forget about all of his faults knowing he's exactly what the boys were looking for in a cat.
Oh and he still labors under the delusion that I like him.

* No animals are hurt during Bunny Wrestling. Hera seems to love it.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Justified Outrage

Yesterday afternoon Niko went to a friend's house, so Gus and I went to see Jack the Giant Slayer. On the way to the theater, Gus pontificated on his preferences for movie houses with steep seating, affording one the ability to see over the head of whoever is plopped down ahead of you. I told him that when I was growing up the theaters lacked that extreme slant, but they sported balconies.

For some reason, I added that during segregation African Americans were required to sit in the balconies and weren't allowed to sit in the main theater. I shared how my mother had had an African American girlfriend growing up with whom she went to the movies on Saturday afternoons, and how for years she thought the girl simply preferred the balcony because there was no other plausible reason that someone would one sit way up there.

Gus was baffled. So I decided to make it a teaching moment, and told him a bit more about segregation: separate (and unequal) schools, different restrooms, white-only benches, seating and drinking fountains. I didn't comment, didn't provide him any slant, just stated the facts.

The more I told him, the angrier he became. By the time we pulled into the parking garage, he was outraged at the injustice of segregation. His blood boiled. Mine was filled with pride.

God, I love that kid.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Under the Sea

Remember how I've written both in this blog and in my column that having kids has encouraged - or forced - me to do a variety of activities I wouldn't otherwise have undertaken? Well  Tuesday I found myself chaperoning  a field trip.

Now it's not my first trip counting heads and hollering at other people's kids to stick with the group. But Tuesday I went with the school to see a play. Wait for it...

The play was a junior high school production of The Little Mermaid.  You read that correctly, I watched a bunch of 12-14 year old kids - none of whom belonged to me - do a Disney musical.

I am so going to heaven for this one!

Friday, March 8, 2013

So Is Mine

Several years ago my friend Sabine told me a wonderfully funny story: A young man with whom she worked entered an elevator to find a lovely young woman standing in it. He smiled. She smiled. He turned and said, "By the way, those are great shoes!" Just as the doors were opening, she smirked and said, "Thanks, but I already have a boyfriend." To which he promptly replied, "Don't flatter yourself, sweetheart, so do I."

Well in a switch up, art is imitating life.  Last night we were watching American Idol - don't be hatin' on me, people - when an ad for Kindle aired. In it a man is struggling to read his e-reading device on the beach under the glare of the sun.
 Next to him is a swimsuit-clad woman easily reading her Kindle.  After discussing the benefits of the Kindle, the man buys one for himself and suggests they celebrate.
The woman informs him that her husband is bringing her a drink right now, and the man answers, "So is mine."

Now the ad lacked the sass and punch of Sabine's friend's encounter, but it's still ground-breaking. Yes, there's been print advertising geared toward the LGBT community for years. But to my knowledge, this is the first television ad for a general product that recognized our evolved society.

And the man used the word "husband." That's powerful.

Yes, it aired on American Idol. I realize that the show is a far "safer" bet against controversy than had it aired on Monday Night Football. But you have to start somewhere. And I'd also argue that Idol's demographic is very important - besides middle aged gay men like Kelly and me, it's viewed by younger people: preteens, teens, and the college set.

Their attitudes toward LGBT people are very different from their grandparents'- and seeing a Kindle ad with a twist isn't shocking to them. In fact, they saw just two people with spouses. And that's how change happens.

To view the ad click here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=wY1UIES9wx8

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Winter Pictures

Wondering what we've been up to this winter? Take a look!
Skier, snow border, Gus is just a duuuude.
Sleding during a visit from Uncle John (And Tante Sabine)

Snow fort out front - had a lot of snow this year!  
Gus grew a beard!    

Niko learned to make lemon soup.  

Gus went snow shoeing   
Niko lost his first tooth (and second)

They both apparently grew mustaches

And Dad survived a long and cold winter...barely!