Monday, November 22, 2004

I'm going to Toronto...

I talked to my best friend last night and she's getting... MARRIED! This SATURDAY! I can't believe it. It was a very spontaneous thing. Anyway, I'm headed to Toronto on Saturday. My best friend (BTW named Yael) is Canadian, which works out very well for her because she's marrying a woman and gay marriage is legal there. I have not met this other woman, so I am a little anxious about the whole thing. Doesn't mean I don't trust her. It's just very weird. They've been together for well over a year, so it's not like she's doing something super-foolish. I guess I just never do things that spontaneously, so it just freaks me out.

The two of them will also be spending a few days with us around Christmas. I don't remember if I told my parents that Yael is gay. And I also am not sure of how they'll react! They're not overtly homophobic (after all they're Kerry-voting anti-war Democrats), but they have some pretty (lets just say) "homophobic leanings".

Since we'll be having my parents and Bill's parents over for Christmas brunch, I think I'll need to make sure they're clear on the situation beforehand. I think they can figure out how to behave politely.


Here's a list of really creative "curses" that Bill came up with in his spare time WARNING: do not read this at work or in public because a few of them are truly rolling on the floor funny... Also, you'll notice that a few of them only apply to males. But that's OK. They're still funny.

May a new form of louse appear on your head and may it be declared an environmentally protected species.

May you unknowingly pick up the annoying habit of saying "I, myself..." every time you speak in the first person.

May you wake up every morning to the sound of gerbils gnawing on tin foil.

May the actual shelf-life of every product you buy be mysteriously reduced by a factor proportional to its cost.

May you experience unexplainable and deep rooted feelings for terror every time that you see an animated pig.

May you be the announced grand prize winner of the "Win a Weekend Getaway in a Mountain Cabin With Richard Simmons" contest every other year, even though you never enter.

May both of your neighbors purchase large, noisy dogs. May both neighbors inexplicably name each of their dogs after you but claim that there is no relation. Furthermore, may the old lady down the street get confused and call the police repeatedly, complaining that several neighbors have told her that YOU were responsible for tearing up her flower beds, taking a dump in her yard, and possibly impregnating her dachshund.

May you get food poisoning every time you eat lettuce.

May a photo of yourself, taken for an unrelated contest at the mall, turn up in a wildly popular Enzyte commercial, portrayed as the "grumpy, whiny guy". Only then do you remember the fine print on the contest entry form, "All photos become the property of Sun Marketing Inc. I give legal consent for my name and likeness to be used in future promotions..."

May the cracks and stains in your driveway begin to resemble the image of Allah. May pilgrims from all over the globe gather in front of your house to witness this wonder. You will get the distinct impression that pulling your car out of the garage would be an act of utmost sacrilege.

May you gain fame for being listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for something involving paper cuts.

May the ratings for elasticity and reflectiveness of everything in your house be swapped.

May complete strangers keep pointing to you and saying, "Hey, it's that fungus guy". May they all have wildly differing recollections as to where they saw or heard about you.

May you acquire an overwhelming fascination with baskets.

May you always be assigned the number 23 whenever the opportunity arises.

May you always be the victim of pranksters who switch the sugar and salt in dispensers at restaurants.

Never agree to be hypnotized before an audience or you will surely wind up in jail.

May you become the guidepost by which "out of style" is measured.

May a birthmark shaped like "Mr. Yuk" appear on your forehead.

May you begin receiving dozens of "self help" pamphlets in the mail each week from various organizations and on a variety of topics.

May your nostrils become strangely attractive to ladybugs.

May you have reoccurring dreams about the food dancing around in your refrigerator, then, each time, find food scattered all over the place when you enter your kitchen the next morning.

May the roles of toothpaste and mustard switch roles in regards to your dental health...

Friday's Dream

I didn't get a chance to write about this, so I'm writing now.

On Friday night (or maybe it was Saturday morning?) I had a dream I was in a city and I saw two beautiful towers being built. Well, I guess it was New York City because then someone told me they were the new trade towers. I have to say there was something very beautiful and uplifting about that dream. It made me feel very hopeful. It almost made me think that maybe some of these awful problems we have in the world might even be solved some day. I know that's a weird thing to think (and truth is, this feeling has faded since Friday...). But then, if we can't visualize a better world, how exactly will we create one?

Anyway, I thought I needed to capture that thought before I moved on to other blog entries...

Thursday, November 18, 2004

I'm obsessing about food...

Today I'm participating in the Fast for a World Harvest (or "Hunger Banquet") set up by Oxfam.

I woke up at 5:30 this morning to go work out and I haven't eaten anything since then (or before then, either).

Wah. (I'm being a baby about it.)

But it fosters awareness, that's for sure. The reality of (even minor) hunger makes clear what others in the world are going through.

I sort-of half forget that I'm not going to be *having* lunch until I remember that I'm waiting for tonight at 6:00 (actually, a little later, because there's a service first). I keep mentioning it to everyone I talk to because I can only think about food right now. Ugh. It's only 12:00.


Friday, November 12, 2004

The Brick Testament

I recently found this web site:

The Brick Testament

It is soooo funny. It's a Bible illustrated with lego bricks. And contrary to what many might think, it is NOT for children. It is also very subversive.

Here's a quick and funny sample:

Benjamin is Born

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Million Moderate March

I've been witness to a lot post-election angst lately (with people breaking off relations to family members, even!). I think the solution to this is the "Million Moderate March".

I'm half serious, half kidding. But to me that very ambiguity might have tremendous appeal. Speaking of which, here are some potential chants (BTW, I've stolen these from other places...I wish I could take credit):

"Give me ambiguity, or give me something else!"

"Ambivalent? Well, yes and no..."

"We moderates are unique, just like everyone else."

"We're moderately angry and we're not taking it any more!"

"What do we want!! A modest change in fiscal policy. When do we want it!! Over a period of 5-7 years."

If there were such a march, I would definitely go.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Which leader would I be?

Abraham Lincoln
You were Lincoln!

Which Leader Were You in a Past Life?
brought to you by Quizilla

Can't say I'm super-disappointed!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Who's more feminist?

Last week I walked into a discussion about abortion between my boss and another guy I work with. Now mind you, my boss is a big Bush supporter (he's got a brother who works for Wolfowitz!), a big war supporter, and not in any way shape or form what I would call a progressive feminist. I also would not remotely put the other guy in the "progressive feminist" category (if anything, he'd think "radical feminist" was an insult).

Now, I'm not saying that either of them are "bad people". I have seen and heard of some pretty kind deeds from both of them, and they are both very professional and respectful when it comes to serious interaction with others at work. But they're also the "ha ha let's make racist/misogynist jokes and then say 'we're only kidding, what's your problem?'" types.

Anyway, they happened to both be pro-choice. They both pretty much said that they remembered how bad things were "before Roe", how every child should be wanted, and the "scourge" of teen moms, etc. So this means that they're oh so pro-women, right?

Wrong. There was more to this conversation. (And here, it was mostly with the 2nd guy while my boss stayed relatively silent.) When I asked him if he approved of sex-education (non-abstinence-only), he said no. When I said it was scientifically proven to be more effective (than abstinence-only) at preventing pregnancy, he said he didn't care. To him, apparently, it was the principle of the thing. (huh ???)

Then, at another point in the conversation, he stated (his exact words) that he'd "kill his daughter if she came home pregnant". Thus implying that it would be OK with him if she got an abortion (since he agrees with its legality and even seemed to not have a real moral issue with it), as long as he didn't have to know about it. And also that it would NOT be OK for people to even KNOW she was pregnant (i.e. by making the foolish choice to *have* the baby!)

I want to know what people like Mouse or Ampersand think of this scenario. A "pro-life-ish" feminist arguing with two "pro-choice" anti-feminists? They'd probably think I was talking about Bizzaro World. Except that this was real life.

I happen to think that this is the trend in the abortion debates. Non-feminists are rapidly coming over to the pro-choice side. (e.g. Hugh Hefner, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Arlen Specter)

But what feminists don't seem to realize is that this particular trend is not going to make the non-feminists suddenly more feminist. It's just going to make the reality of abortion much uglier than it already is.

Mark my words: In 10-20 years, the Republican consensus will be saying "you're pregnant? We're not helping you. Just get an abortion. We're OK with that now."

Thursday, November 04, 2004

I'm disappointed

I voted against Bush for two major reasons:

1) The Iraq War (poor timing, dishonest reasons for entering, plus poor post-war handling all add up to one big awful screwup, IMHO)
2) The national debt (sort-of related to #1...)

There were other things I wasn't crazy about with him, but they didn't really worry me so much as these two.

So I was disappointed that he won. In general, I don't like the idea of the Right having such a monopoly of power, as currently seems the case. It doesn't appeal much to my "radical moderate" sensibilities. And I'll say this: there are some *way* better Republicans out there than Bush.

I was also disappointed about the 11 states approving bans on same-sex marriages. I suppose I wouldn't have minded so much if I'd actually heard any kind of logical argument *why* same-sex marriages are such a bad thing to allow. But since I haven't, I can only imagine that it's based on hatred and disgust for homosexuals. And this saddens me greatly.

It seems clear to me that homophobia is rooted in a kind of sexism - one where women are supposed to act one way and men are supposed to act another. Anything that challenges this notion produces a deep sense of anxiety. Heterosexual men seem to especially loathe gay men because somehow it challenges their sense of masculinity.

Boys are taught at a very young age to not be "woman-like" or "girl-like" in any way (it's the worst insult on the playground!). Why is it bad to be like a woman? Well, of course - because women/girls are *INFERIOR*. This notion is often (sometimes literally!) beaten into them by their peers. And they carry this into adulthood, spewing this poisonous attitude on anyone who happens to be in the way.

But wait - isn't it true that girls don't want to be like boys or be called man-like? Well, not really. If you say she LOOKS like a man/boy, sure, that's insulting. But not if you say she acts or thinks like a man. There are some that actually see that as a compliment! (I've been "complimented" like this myself. You can just imagine how pleased I felt...) The main problem people seem to have with lesbians is how they (stereotypically) LOOK, and the fact that they seem to be rejecting men (or the need for men). Overall, I get there sense that there is less outright hatred for lesbians, especially if they're pretty.

Anyway, I have another "political" post in the works. So much for this being a "humor" blog. (But I'm sure there will be more humorous things in the future.)

Luckily, the rest of my life is pretty happy and peaceful. Nothing much to report there.