Friday, October 23, 2009

omg (cubed)

First, a shout out.

Over there...way over there on the right hand side of your screen...are the blogs that make me happy and warm.

I've added a new one...one that makes me happy and warm and buttery and salty.

Popscorn. If Leopold and I ever actually hit the movies I'd probably love it even more.

And now, back to the OMG.


This, in and of itself, is not all that earth shattering.

Except I really, really, really, really, really want to win.

I know that this is not bloody likely...but I still really, really, really would like to win.

Really.

But I'm a cheerful giver so I thought I'd pass word along that this contest...which might mean having your story read as part of one of the GREATEST FREAKING PROGRAMS EVER (1)...is being held.

And judged by Ann Patchett.

Really.

Really really really really really.

No lie.

1. This side of This American Life...for whom I would commit any number of atrocious acts. Hmmm? What? Oh...Leopold. I didn't see you there. Kidding. Totally kidding (2).
2. Not really. Oh. Are you still reading? Is that a new shirt? It looks really good on you. Good color.

I'm prejudiced by your pride.

I don't sign things that are put in front of me by people on the street.

I simply don't.

If they are advocating for a cause I believe in or feel strongly about I will often ask the canvasser if there is a Web site or number I can call to get additional information...but I will not Save the Children because you hop in front of me as I'm running in to the drugstore.

And there are also organizations that I simply don't support. I might believe in the overall mission. I might feel that there is an important cause that they are supporting.

But I can't give them money anymore.

One of these groups is HRC which, if you are an L, G, B or T person, is often viewed less than favorably. It makes you a bad gay person.

There are several reasons why I can no longer, in good conscience, support HRC financially but the straw that broke the camel's back happened not long after the flap over the failure to demand the inclusion of transgendered individuals in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. I felt it was incredibly important and I thought, as the largest national LGBT advocacy organization in the country, HRC had an obligation to take a stand.

Not long after that initial incident an HRC telemarketer called to ask for our financial support and I expressed the difficulty I was having with their decision. I did not want to give them money.

Instead of trying to explain the reasons behind their stand the HRC telemarketer got snarky and, before hanging up on me, wished me best of luck with the Republicans.

I still have no idea what he meant by that.

I actually attempted to follow up with HRC because the way I was treated bothered me and the idea that, because I disagreed and had questions, I was dismissed seemed kind of at odds with the whole human rights angle. No one ever bothered to return my call or acknowledge my complaint.

Yesterday an HRC street canvasser attempted to stop me on my way to deliver some paperwork. Actually, four separate HRC canvassers attempted to stop me. Three I politely declined and they responded with an incredibly kind, "Thank you."

The fourth, however, responded with:

HRC Guy: We're not the same HRC! We've made a lot of changes.

Me (Still walking): I understand, but I write about you all so (1)...

HRC Guy: The big news today is that we passed the hate crimes bill!

Which brings me to the other frustration I have with HRC. They didn't actually pass the hate crime bill. They were part of a broad coalition of LGBT organizations and individuals who have been working harder than anyone should have to to ensure that individuals who commit acts of physical violence or intimidation against individuals because they are different should be rightly punished under the law.

So, a lot of people made it happen. Not just HRC.

Yeah, it's just one guy on the street.

And yeah, it was just one guy on the phone.

But sometimes it's not just about taking credit. It's about taking responsibility.

1. Which was kind of true but is now less true and I realized, as I was saying it, that it had become some kind of strange mental knee-jerk response.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Se trae.

The Freelancer has thrown down with Pulitzer Prize-winning LA Weekly food critic Jonathan Gold.

Yeah...the first food critic to ever win a Pulitzer Prize.

And he has brought it:


Wow. We just got served. Well, Mr. LA Weekly, game on!

Seriously, should we be lectured about authenticity by a critic in a city that thinks tacos come with kimchee and blood sausage?"

The Freelancer threw down in this morning's Voice of San Diego Morning Report and has promised to print any responses contributed to this latest volley in the civil war that is the state of California.

Oozing tubes of melted cheese?

Really?

And you have a Pulitzer?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Don't know much about science books...

When the big Who upstairs put me together she got the chemistry wrong.

This is simply a fact of life. We all arrived with our own assorted tricks and treats.

One side effect of my miss-mix is my habit of obsessing.

I devote serious amounts of mental energy to debating and re-debating things in my head. I have long, drawn-out, utterly ridiculous battles. I do more than fight the last war. I fight the last war while sending out additional troops to start mixing it up on a new front.

I find myself doing that right now and the timing is unsurprising.

I'm feeling stressed. I have a decision to make that feels far more final than it really is. I have work that I need to be doing that I'm simply not addressing. I really need to run a vacuum through the house.

Blah and blah and blah.

So it's said, I know this all will pass. I just wish it would pass much, much faster.

And yes, in that I'm not alone.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I know, I know...the "c" word is inappropriate...

Every now and then I have an encounter that causes me to wonder if the other person was crazy or just incredibly mean.

I went down to the really horrid cafeteria of BigCityHospital to get a drink and something to eat (1). After [see footnote one] grabbing a lemonade and a bag of chips I slid into a chair by the window wall so that I could take a few minutes and pretend to be outside. There was some kind of farmers' market going on so, despite the rain, people watching possibilities existed.

I had no sooner sat down then the man at the other end of the table laid into me:

Man (full on angry voice): You're just going to sit down at this table and not acknowledge me?

Me: I'm sorry. That was rude. I'm just a little tired and wasn't paying attention. I apologize (2).

Man (still...the angry voice): You're just going to sit down there and drink your drink like what you just did didn't happen?

Me: I said I was sorry. You're right. It was rude. But now I'd like to just drink my drink and relax a minute before going back upstairs.

Man (you guessed it): Look at all the chairs you walked by? You walked by all those chairs to sit over there...far away from me as you can.

Me: Yes. I wanted to sit by the window. (I know. I know. But yes...I did keep talking to him.)

(I know.)

Man: You had to walk by all those chairs...

At which point I left.

Angry? Crazy?

Or perhaps a strange fear of eating with another person that I confused when I sat with him but at the other end of the table, thus causing him to eat alone with another person.

Solve that one BigCityHospital.

1. No real luck there as BigCityHospital's cafeteria operates with a "you're hungry when we're hungry" attitude.
2. If you know me you know that yes, in fact, this is what I would say. I'm Catholic. I'm big on apologies.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sick Days

Thursday morning, after spending a delightful 12 hours in the ER, Leopold was admitted to the hospital. What we both thought (1) would be a 6 or 7 hour annoyance is now on day 5.

The problem he's having is clearing up but not fast enough for either of our tastes.

But here's what I really can't get past.

At 3am on Thursday morning I went to the ER nurse at BigCityHospital and asked her when his test results would be back. She explained that it would likely be some time as there is only one radiologist assigned to BigCityHospital's ER.

Because, really, how many people coming into an urban ER would actually need an X-ray?

Kind of makes you wonder how much reform is needed for our health care system, eh?

1. Hoped.