Monday, November 24, 2008

What makes a girl a girl...

Sophie: Mama, you know how girls can drive straight with their knees, and no hands?

Me: Yeah....

Sophie: Can boys do that?

Me: Yes. Girls and boys can pretty much do all the same things.

Sophie: Except girls are tougher than boys.

Me: Yes. Yes they are. 

Sophie: There are just three things that make girls and boys different.

Me: Oh yeah, what are they?

Sophie: One, girls are tougher than boys. Second, their privates are different. And third, one is a girl and the other is a boy. See, three things.

Me: Yes, exactly right.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Solution to GM's Financial Crisis

I don't claim to know anything about GM's financial crisis, but I do have a question. First some background reading. From GM's 3rd quarter earnings announcement:

GM reported a net loss of $2.5 billion or $4.45 per share for the third quarter, blah blah blah.... reflecting dramatic sales declines across the industry driven by unstable market conditions, instability in the credit markets and dramatic retraction in consumer demand, blah blah blah....
Then, this from Chevron's 3rd quarter earnings announcement:

HOUSTON (AP) -- Chevron Corp. said Friday its third-quarter profit more
than doubled
on the back of record crude prices, blah, blah, blah.... The San Ramon, Calif.-based company, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said it made $7.89 billion, or $3.85 a share, in the three months ended Sept. 30, blah, blah, blah.... Revenue shot up 43% to $78.87 billion from $55.2 billion.

So, um about Chevron bails out GM? Since GM won't really make any hybrid cars, it seems only right. Oh yeah I know they make a hybrid Chevy Tahoe. It gets an amazing 21 MPG and can be yours for only $54,000. I can't imagine why it's not competing with the Prius (48 MPG, and $21,000 base cost).

Since GM is reliant on Chevron's seems only right that Chevron use it's unprecedented profits to keep GM in business. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pictures from the National Prop 8 Protest (11/15/08), Oakland Style


The Oakland protest was smaller than I expected, probably 400-500 people, but with the kids in tow, that was fine - I don't think they could have handled the crowd of thousands in SF. Plus with such a small crowd, it was actually very personal. Two of the protest's organizers personally thanked us for coming to Oakland vs. SF. As one said, "You know San Francisco is going to be fine - but we need to make a showing here too."

We wore our custom-made "Castro Valley parent voting no on Prop 8" shirts, and no less than 5 people came up to us and thanked us for being there, and for wearing the shirts. They were either CV residents themselves, or former residents, or had gay or lesbian friends from CV, and were happy to see us.

The girls held up well, despite having just finished a soccer game at the completely unreasonable time of 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning. The heat was hard though, it was easily in the 80's on Saturday, a little hot for marching and standing around.

I was so impressed with the creativity of the protesters, and their home made signs. Below are some of my favorite shots from the protest. Enjoy.










Friday, November 14, 2008

Feeling a bit better...

">This writer said it so much better than I did.  Her post gave me hope, and made me feel better, which is a big deal since the election.  

And then yesterday she added this.  Ahhh, deep breath.  Feeling better.  

I'm really looking forward to the protests on Saturday too.  Much more so than soccer at 8:30 on Saturday morning. Blech. At least it's the last game of the season - yea! And Sophie will be playing goalie for the first, and probably last time (she hates soccer).  

Please join us on Saturday if you can!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

%$&*! Prop 8

Just in case you don't yet know how Laura & I feel about Prop 8...well a picture is worth a thousand words, right? 

Yep, that's our wedding rings on our middle fingers.  The picture is in response to her post about how she feels about Prop 8, and her request to share pictures.  

So if our picture is worth a thousand words, then the 143 pictures on her site are worth 143,000 words.  All of them saying "Fuck Prop 8!" 143,000 times!

Join the impact!  National Protest on Saturday in 80+ cities - join us to protest hate! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men."

The Prop 8 Fight is not over people!  

NOW is the time to mobilize! Well, specifically, this Saturday is the time to mobilize.  But you must spread the word NOW!

National Protest Against Prop 8
Saturday, November 15th - the biggest national protest in our country's history will be taking place in 80+ cities, in ALL 50 states simultaneously!  Some international locations are participating as well.  

Over a million visitors have hit the site since it was launched just 6 days ago.  

10:30AM West Coast
11:30AM Mountain
12:30PM Central
1:30PM East Coast

If you are local to me, the closest protest will be at Oakland City Hall: 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA @ 10:30 AM.  More info available on Facebook, or by clicking the links above.

If you haven't seen it already, watch this moving piece by Keith Olbermann.  He says it so much better than I can.  Then decide if you can give up a few hours on Saturday to stand with us.

Will you join us on Saturday, where ever you are, and stand up for equal rights?  Will you spread the word for others to join us? 
To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” - Abraham Lincoln
All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” - Thomas Jefferson

"Democracy is not the law of the majority but the protection of the minority." - Albert Camus

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

"Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert Ingersoll

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Truck Drivers

On the way home from work I passed an 18 wheeler with a handmade sign on the back of it.  Curious, I drew closer to read the sign.  It read:

Ladies, Ladies, Ladies - 
It's a long and lonely road
Be a flirt!
Unbutton your shirt!

"B" cups rock!
Ewwww. And ick. As I passed the driver I could see him waving at me, he must have seen me slowing to read the sign.  

So I showed him what I thought of his sign, and gave him a look at my anatomy.  A loooooong look.  

At my middle finger.  

Monday, November 10, 2008

By the way, I won the Potluck competition...

2008 Corpse Sys Halloween

But, uhhhhh not too many people tried the cake.  Here's how much came home with me.  Not even my kids, who helped make it, would try it.  Oh well, I made it for looks. 
Here's the proof.  
How will I top it next year???

Friday, November 7, 2008

I know how to really "protect" straight marriage from the heinous threat of gay & lesbian weddings.

It's a simple plan really.  If the "protect marriage" folks really want to preserve straight marriages and prevent gays from marrying, they should have written a different proposition.

They should have proposed that we issue one marriage license to a gay or lesbian couple for every straight couple that divorces in California.  One straight divorce = one gay or lesbian wedding.  

Want to stop the gays from marrying?  No problem!  As long as the straight folks focus on their own marriages enough to keep them together - no gay weddings.  But, if you screw it up and get divorced, then Bam! another gay couple is getting registered at Crate & Barrel for their spring nuptials.  And it's All. Your. Fault

That ought to keep the gays out of the chapel AND the straights out of divorce court. Win/Win, right? 

Maybe I'll email that idea to the Catholic & Mormon churches. 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

You've got to love the ACLU

Here's the most promising input on the Prop 8 issue that I've read.  The good news is that there is precedent for this type of argument succeeding.  The bad news is that this issue is going back to court, again
Legal Groups File Lawsuit Challenging Proposition 8, Should It Pass (11/5/2008)

SAN FRANCISCO – The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a writ petition before the California Supreme Court today urging the court to invalidate Proposition 8 if it passes. The petition charges that Proposition 8 is invalid because the initiative process was improperly used in an attempt to undo the constitution's core commitment to equality for everyone by eliminating a fundamental right from just one group – lesbian and gay Californians. Proposition 8 also improperly attempts to prevent the courts from exercising their essential constitutional role of protecting the equal protection rights of minorities. According to the California Constitution, such radical changes to the organizing principles of state government cannot be made by simple majority vote through the initiative process, but instead must, at a minimum, go through the state legislature first.

The California Constitution itself sets out two ways to alter the document that sets the most basic rules about how state government works. Through the initiative process, voters can make relatively small changes to the constitution. But any measure that would change the underlying principles of the constitution must first be approved by the legislature before being submitted to the voters. That didn't happen with Proposition 8, and that's why it's invalid.

"If the voters approved an initiative that took the right to free speech away from women, but not from men, everyone would agree that such a measure conflicts with the basic ideals of equality enshrined in our constitution. Proposition 8 suffers from the same flaw – it removes a protected constitutional right – here, the right to marry – not from all Californians, but just from one group of us," said Jenny Pizer, a staff attorney with Lambda Legal. "That's too big a change in the principles of our constitution to be made just by a bare majority of voters."

"A major purpose of the constitution is to protect minorities from majorities. Because changing that principle is a fundamental change to the organizing principles of the constitution itself, only the legislature can initiate such revisions to the constitution," added Elizabeth Gill, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California.

The groups filed the lawsuit today in the California Supreme Court on behalf of Equality California and 6 same-sex couples who did not marry before Tuesday's election but would like to be able to marry now.

The groups filed a writ petition in the California Supreme Court before the elections presenting similar arguments because they believed the initiative should not have appeared on the ballot, but the court dismissed that petition without addressing its merits. That earlier order is not precedent here.

"Historically, courts are reluctant to get involved in disputes if they can avoid doing so," said Shannon Minter, Legal Director of NCLR. "It is not uncommon for the court to wait to see what happens at the polls before considering these legal arguments. However, now that Proposition 8 may pass, the courts will have to weigh in and we believe they will agree that Proposition 8 should never have been on the ballot in the first place."

This would not be the first time the court has struck down an improper voter initiative. In 1990, the court stuck down an initiative that would have added a provision to the California Constitution stating that the "Constitution shall not be construed by the courts to afford greater rights to criminal defendants than those afforded by the Constitution of the United States." That measure was invalid because it improperly attempted to strip California's courts of their role as independent interpreters of the state's constitution.

In a statement issued earlier today, the groups stated their conviction, which is shared by the California Attorney General, that the state must continue to honor the marriages of the 18,000 lesbian and gay couples who have already married in California.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What Now?

I'm totally numb, and exhausted. The elation I feel at Obama's historic win is countered in equal measure by the outlook for Prop 8. 10% of the polls are in and it's winning 54% to 46%.

What now? I don't know. I really don't.

It was encouraging to hear Obama specifically include gays in his speech. I wish he'd come out publicly against Prop 8 much earlier in the campaign.

Going to bed. Numb and exhausted.

Tomorrow, day 2 of Jury Duty. 

Hey gays - you can't get married, but you're OK to sit on a Jury and judge the innocence or guilt of a member of your community. Sigh.

6:00 a.m. UPDATE: 92% of votes are in and it's 52% to 48%.  We're down by about 360,000 votes. 

Go Vote

That's all I have left to say today. 

If you don't know where to go to vote, you can find out here. 

Monday, November 3, 2008

Local Rally in CV was GREAT -

I have to admit something.  I've been feeling incredibly helpless about Proposition 8.  Despite what I've done (donated money, put up signs, put up more signs when those were stolen, blogged about it, emailed friends & family, blogged some more, had shirts and hats made for friends & family, and worn mine till it was ripe (and then I washed it, and wore it some more), donated more money, blogged more, etc...), I am truly afraid none of it will be enough.   My friend Vic said the same thing to me today, and this post describes exactly the same feeling.  I really have a lot of fear; and I don't know what I will do, or how I will cope with it, if Prop 8 passes.  

This is sort of what I equate the feeling to.  Do you remember October 3, 1995; the day OJ Simpson was acquitted of the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman?   I remember that day vividly, gathered around the TV in the gym at work, with 25+ other co-workers, mostly women, anxiously awaiting the verdict.  And then it came. Like a collective punch to the gut you weren't in the least prepared for. I lost my breath. I lost my words. Then there was anger, deep, deep anger. Followed by an overwhelming feeling of being let down. Let down by the judicial system, and by people, Californians.  As I contemplate Prop 8 passing, that feeling is rising up in me again.  Only this time it's even more personal. The Simpson acquittal was a blow because the injustice seemed so obvious; this would be a personal blow.  It would be the only time California voters amended the state constitution to take away rights, my rights, instead of expanding them.  Not merely passed a law, but amended the state constitution. About me. Holy shit. You can't get more personal than that. 

I can't help feeling that I should have done more. Specifically, that I should have had more personal conversations. That I should have canvassed my neighborhood, and talked personally with my neighbors.   

When it came down to it though, I didn't want to know if my neighbors were going to say to my face, "I DO want to take away your rights."  I have to live on this street for a loooooong time (unless I discover oil in my backyard, or win the lottery) and I don't think I could take walking and driving past my neighbors' houses knowing for certain how they felt about my rights.  I was afraid talking to my neighbors would make me feel worse, and for a long time. 

But here's what I did do.  I read through my email on Sunday, and all the wonderful comments my new readers have left (Hi new readers!!!), and I looked for something I could do, something that would make me feel better, not worse.   I found out from a member of Our Family Coalition (who just happens to be a former Castro Valley resident herself) that there was going to be a rally in Castro Valley, of all places, later in the afternoon.  I talked to Laura and she was in.  So we set to work making signs, sending emails, updating this blog, and making phone calls. I also made a quick trip to the Hayward Democratic Headquarters for more No on 8 signs, and they had plenty - I took a big stack! 

Please Vote No on Prop 8!
At 4:00 we went down to the busiest intersection in Castro Valley (CV Boulevard & Redwood Road) and stood their with our home made No on 8 signs.  At first it was my family of four and one other lesbian parent from the girls' school.  Then 1 more person joined us.  He'd read about it on Twitter - MY twitter post!  Wow, a complete stranger, another No on 8 supporter, who lives basically down the street from me, came down because of my 
Twitter post.  Cool.  Then 2 more joined us. 

Then the Yes on 8 crowd arrived.  10 or so people, kids in tow, all neatly dressed (as if just from church) with home made Yes on 8 signs in English & Spanish.  When they walked up, I couldn't not confront them. I just couldn't.  I looked one man, a father, in the eyes and I asked him:
Why do you want to take away my rights?
How will taking away my rights protect your marriage? Really? How do my rights impact your marriage?
I'm actually glad that at that moment Laura sent me to the car for something (a jacket?).  She didn't know I was talking to them, it was just coincidence.  The man wouldn't answer me. Wouldn't say anything at all.  I went to the car, retrieved the necessary item and came back. From that point forward, I decided it was better if I ignored them.

Over the next 40 minutes many others joined us, we spread out to the 4 corners of the intersection, and most importantly, we received 75% of the positive support from the cars passing by!  One of my daughters thought up and made a sign that said "Don't Be Mean To My Family".  The other one wanted to write, "You should let gay people marry!" but our markers were running out, so she opted for an 8 in a red circle with a slash through it. The girls marched, and danced, and counted how many people honked for us, and how many people honked for the Yes on 8 folks.  Even they could tell we had the vast majority of the support! 

You know what the Yes on 8 folks did then? They left.  And we continued to rally and wave our signs, and shout for our rights for another hour.  At least 20 people were there, half of whom were there because of my small, last minute, efforts to recruit volunteers.  My neighbor, the fellow lesbian moms, a mom from my kids' soccer team (and her mom, her kid, and her niece), someone who read my twitter post, and someone who I think, read about here on my blog! (Who are you?? You talked to Laura; I'd love it if you left a comment!) were all there, because I took action.  A small action. 

If everybody did what I did - which really wasn't much at all compared to the time so many have devoted to the cause - but if everyone did one small thing - imagine the impact.  Imagine the turnout! And don't think that the small effort doesn't matter.  It matters more than ever.  I quote: 
We are in a statistical tie. This will come down to a handful of votes. Think Florida, year 2000, hanging chads, 300 some-odd votes turning the tide of a national election and, as we well know, history. For this reason, at this point, EVERY SINGLE VOTE COUNTS. Everything you can do to ensure this message gets to every possible California voter in your reach MATTERS.

So, in light of that, I do feel better.  I've reached a few, and they've reached a few.  If you're of a like mind, please pass this post on to someone you know. It matters. It matters a lot.  

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Welcome Bossy Readers! - Vote No on 8!

I am oh so thrilled to be Bossy's Featured Gay! Woo hoo! This is how I found out.  My partner, Laura, called me at work: 

Laura: "Hi Honey, guess what?"

Me: "What?"

Laura: "You're a bossy gay!"
Me: "Yeah, yeah, what did I do now?"

Laura: "No, no. Not a bossy gay.  Well, yes, you are a bossy gay. But today, you're also Bossy's gay!"

Me: "What?? Really? Wow! I'm practically bloggy famous.  I'd better win that Halloween potluck competition now!!"
So now that you're here, let me give you a tour of my recent blog postings. 

First, the halloween-themed kitty cat cake.  Check it out - guaranteed to be a winner at your next potluck, it was at mine! (Yes I did win, for "Most Gross Dish") It's um.....well just go and look. 

Secondly, for my fellow Californians.  Prop 8 is 2 days away.  This is the civil rights issue of our generation, and if it passes, will mean that my partner of 18 years and I cannot get married.  I have been writing about this a lot. 

I wrote about the types of responses we have received to wearing our No on 8 shirts everywhere we go for the last two weeks. If you read nothing else on my site, please read this.

I wrote about how the Yes on 8 campaign stole video of kids, with out their parents permission, and is still using it in their statewide television ads.  Kids whose parents are against Prop 8 no less.  And how the Yes folks tried to blackmail businesses who donated to fight the proposition. 

I provided a fascinating tour of toilets in India from my recent trip to Hyderabad.

Finally, my partner and I have 6 year old twins.  I therefore find myself spending an inordinate amount of time writing about the tooth fairy.  

So to finish todays post - the most common reason people seem to object to gay marriage is on religious grounds.  I have found numerous instances of faith based arguments as to why people should vote NO on Prop 8, and faith-based groups opposing the proposition.  Some of these were provided by other readers (Thanks Cheri! Thanks Jenn!).  I'm providing them here.  Please feel free to pass them along to anyone who might be on the fence.  

Thank you for dropping by...please come back any time!

Mormon's for Marriage is AGAINST Prop 8

Adventists come out AGAINST Prop 8

Finally the official (but by no means comprehensive) list of newspapers, elected officials, faith-based organizations, community groups, etc...  all AGAINST Prop 8

Please share with your friends, family, co-workers!  And thanks for your support!  

Sunday: Prop 8 NEEDS your help!

Welcome Bossy Readers!  Thanks for dropping by!

2 days to the election. Yes on 8 folks are making a huge push for the proposition.  Now is the time to push for our rights - this is such a fundamental time our generation.  This proposition must not pass!  Please, please do what you can!  

Castro Valley friends:  There will be a rally at 4 p.m. @ Redwood Road & CV Boulevard, in front of Safeway.  Please join us and demonstrate your support!  

For friends elsewhere in the Bay Area, here is a list of local actions: 

San Leandro: Bayfair Mall. (2-5 p.m.) 
Meet in the parking lot behind Target. We'll have signs but feel 
free to bring your own campaign or homemade signs as well if you have 

Leader: Amy, heart_of_gold_ femme@yahoo. com and Leah,, 510-484-3601 

San Leandro: East 14th & Hesperian Blvd, 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Brentwood: Brentwood, Corners of Sand creek & Highway 4 Bypass 
(between the new mall and Raleys)

2-4 p.m.

Concord: Todos Santos Plaza, 4 p.m. Rally organized by high school 
students but all encouraged to attend to support our youth!

Hayward: New Hayward Cinema, B St & Foothill blvd, 11:00 am

Castro Valley: Castro Valley Blvd & Redwood Road Intersections 4:00pm – 

Hayward Bart Station, 6:30 pm till dusk

Pleasant Hill: northeast corner of Contra Costa Boulevard and 
Sunvalley Boulevard, which is actually an extension of Willow Pass 

Leader: Adam, apnilsen@gmail. com, 415-290-3925

Pleasant Hill: entrance to downtown shopping area. Contra Costa 
Boulevard and Crescent Drive, at the corner near the big lit-
up "Pleasant Hill" arch. 

Leader: Adam, apnilsen@gmail. com, 415-290-3925

Oakland: Coliseum BART (7-8p.m.)
Leafletting and generally being visible to everyone taking BART to 
see Madonna this weekend at Oracle Arena. We will be at the top of 
the stairs leading from the Oakland Coliseum 
BART station to the passenger walkway that goes to the Oakland 
Coliseum/Oracle Arena. We will have signs and brochures, but feel 
free to bring more!

Leader: Emily Griffen, (510) 277-2683

Oakland: High Street and MacArthur, 4-6 p.m. or later. YES people are also at this intersection daily.