30 years of research on marriage and the family convinces the author of "How Love Conquered Marriage" that the future of marriage is: it's optional. I especially like her conclusion that anything lawmakers can do to strengthen marriage will make life better for unmarried couples, and anything they can do to discourage people from living together outside of marriage will hurt the institution they think they're protecting. But then again, I like being preached to when I'm in the choir.
A chance to win $1000 in books from Powells? I accept! And I'm posting it here for all of you to see and take advantage of this most excellent opportunity (although I haven't yet figured out if writers get to keep rights to entries to the contest, which better be a condition of submission or I won't play). I'm posting it despite the fact that there's some pretty fabulous writers who read this journal and I don't like the thought of competing against you... because I love you all that much. I'm pretty sure that's not (just) the wine I had at dinner talking, but if this entry disappears suddenly in the next few hours it's because a shower and coffee brought me to my senses. Although if it were that easy for me to get sensible... oh, never mind. Just go look at the contest info already. And try not to make too many lists of books you'd buy as soon as you won (I'm going to go try adding up my Amazon wishlist, just out of curiosity and greed.)
Hey kids! If any of you reading this live in the United States and haven't yet emailed your Senators to tell them to oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment, it would make me really happy if you did so. Especially if you live in Indiana, Ohio, Louisiana, Alaska, Nebraska, Arkansas, North Dakota, or South Dakota. Tell your families and friends! I could rant and rant at great length ( but ) the real point is: read up on the FMA and think to yourself, Is this the kind of law I want in my country's Constitution along with good things like freedom of speech? Then try not to get too cynical about depressing stuff like the USA PATRIOT Act. "Grown-ups did that. Never forget that." Okay, time to shut up and eat cake and think happpy thoughts about going to the Oregon Country Fair tomorrow, to do happy hippie dances of the temporary autonomous zone persuasion, and generally pretend that the world is okay.( More articles on the subject as I find them, mostly for my reference. )
Okay, so everybody's beaten me to the punch posting about Matt and David's wedding (including the lucky grooms themselves) but I'm going to say "Hot damn!" and "Congratulations!" again, because it makes me happy. And now, speaking of the city of San Francisco doing things that make me happy, Professor Bernoff and his Tom got married yesterday! Their pictures are second only to Matt and David's for cuteness, so if you need another reason to be happy (and hopeful that civil rights will win out over legislated bigotry in time), check that out. Yay!
Update, 14:22: And go city of San Francisco again!. Suck it, Prop 22!
If y'all haven't read pants_of_doom's National Coming Out Week wish list, go do so now. It's good stuff. On a similar note, here's a link to the discussion that ensued when I posted grumbling about President Bush's announcement that federal government lawyers are working to legally define marriage as a union between a man and a woman (because apparently it's not enough that states keep passing laws that say the same thing, and the Defense of Marriage Act says it's okay for states to disregard each other's laws concerning same-sex marriage --- this has to be a federal issue, too... but I digress). It was a good discussion, I thought, but it made clear to me that a lot of people don't know very much about the legal issues surrounding marriage and domestic partnership and such. Since this is kind of a hot-button issue for me, I'm full of fun facts about it, and I figured hey, why not share? To start off, here's something I wrote to someone who thought I was common-law married because Peter and I are registered as domestic partners with his grad student union, so I can get cheaper health insurance.( Long story short, no, I'm not married, common-law or otherwise, and here's some facts about common-law marriage and domestic partnership. )
By the way, October 11 is National Coming Out Day, and this year the Human Rights Campaign is encouraging people to come out in favor of same-sex civil marriage rights (as distinct from religious marriage/commitment ceremonies, which are available to everyone, though not from all religious denominations, and either way don't confer legal benefits). I think this is a good idea, although it sort of misses the point that marriage as an institution has other problems besides the fact that it discriminates against same-sex couples. I'll post about that later, but for now this post is long enough.
Update, 18:36: Ok, it was long enough, but I want to remind myself that I also want to write about the Bush Administration's Marriage Protection Week bullshit (timed to coincide with National Coming Out Week, no less), and maybe post links to resources like the Alternatives to Marriage Project (probably my primary source of information on this issue), so anybody interested in learning more can do so. Am I forgetting anything important? If so, please leave a comment. coldtortuga, I remember you were curious about my personal views on marriage; these posts should help make them clearer but I could write something to address that point in particular...
Johnny Cash is dead. The voices in my head have been singing "Folsom Prison Blues" ever since I heard the news at work (I've been singing along, from time to time). Now I'm listening to his collaboration with U2, because as far as I know it's the only recording of him we've got. It's more than time to correct that condition, I think.
I went out searching
Looking for one good man...
I went out walking
With a Bible and a gun.
The word of God lay heavy on my heart
I was sure I was the one.
Big goosebumps. He was only 71. I would've sworn he was at least a hundred, but more like older than God. I dunno. I want to say something about agelessness and immortality and suchforth, but I'm striking out. Also I want to say something about yay for defying easily-defined musical genres and artistic categorization in general. Woo. (That was a very solemn, thoughtful, almost reverent "Woo" --- could you tell?)
In other, but much more minor, news of the "Well, dang" persuasion, today at work I managed to give myself a huge nasty splinter --- with a toothpick. Go figure.
Update, 17:46: This just in! The New York Times obituary for Johnny Cash includes a link to a multimedia retrospective that includes a snippet of the man's cover of "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails. Holy shit. It's brilliant. I think I'm still processing just how cool it is.
The title of this entry comes from an actual wine review published in today's New York Times. It made me giggle, especially when contrasted with the rest of the article, which was much more highbrow: "Reds Easy to Drink, Easy on the Budget" (I think you need a login to view it.)
In other news (longer discussion hidden behind <lj-cut> tags for your convenience), it turns out ( hormone replacement therapy increases risk of Alzheimer's and dementia. ) And finally, ( my generation apparently trusts the military a whole lot more than the baby boomers do/did. )
In news of my life, it sounds like I'm not in big trouble for missing my student yesterday. Another tutor filled in for me for a bit, then decided I wasn't coming and sent my student home. Unfortunately things are total chaos at the Learning Center right now, so they couldn't find my student's phone number, so I'm going to have to just apologize and reschedule tomorrow. So much randomness!
Today I think I'll go take a closer look at one of the potential rentals I played phone tag about yesterday. Also I will strive to return my much-overdue library book, pay my fines, and pick up the books they've got on hold for me: Kevin Crossley-Holland's book on the Norse myths (recommended by Neil Gaiman's bibliography to American Gods), and springbok1's sister's novel Fires of the Faithful. They had bell hooks' Feminist theory: from margin to center ready too, but I guess the hold expired because I didn't pick it up on time because I suck like that. Sigh.
Finally, I started writing this entry at 11:19 am but got distracted and did some dishes in the middle of writing it. I wish there was a "started writing" and "submitted" time stamp for entries. That'd be kinda neat.
Yep, I'm a dork and I can't help taking notes on stuff that interests me. (I submit, as further evidence, Exhibit B: The Langoliers, based on a recent rereading of that Stephen King novella (Four Past Midnight was just sitting there in the laundry room, ripe for the borrowing!)
Anyway, I'll just put these behind cut tags, since they're mostly for my own reference.( '10 Questions for Joss Whedon', 16 May 2003 ) ( 'Must-See Metaphysics', 22 February 2003 ) ( 'A Weekend With Buffy, Vampire Slayer and Seminar Topic' by Charles Taylor, 24 November 2002 ) ( 'A Vampire With Soul, and Cheekbones' by Joyce Millman, 12 January 2003 ) ( 'Getting Buffy's Last Rites Right' )
Oh, and while I'm being amused by the New York Times, here's a link I could not resist checking out: Big Hot Blurry Painterly Nudes! (Yes, that's the actual title of the article.)
So I just got done reading an interesting article which I think is a transcript of a speech given at the Museum of Natural History in New York by Jared Diamond, the author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, which if you haven't read it is a very interesting book about the geographical and cultural coincidences that have shaped the course of human history. (It's not without its problems, but it's definitely a worthwhile read.) Anyway, the article is called "How to Get Rich", although of course that's just a catchy title and if you read it you can draw your own conclusions as to what it's really about. I'd summarize it as a discussion of the social, cultural, and historical factors that shape the course of human economies and technological development, and speculation about what level of organization works best for organizing groups of people (in particular, groups of people producing things, so think companies).
Anyway, I was motoring through it just fine, a little annoyed that it was comparing the relative efficiencies of various industries without ever defining efficiency, and then I stumbled across the sentence "...the German beer industry suffers from small-scale production." Oops, what now? I'd much sooner say the U.S. beer industry suffers from large-scale production! While I understand it's inefficient for everybody to produce everything they need on their own, beer included, at a certain point you get efficient to the point of producing Budweiser and Coors, and really, who wants that? Likewise, a little later Diamond says "...chicken in Japan costs $25 a pound. The reason the Japanese can get away with that is that Japanese chicken producers are not exposed to competition with super-efficient American chicken producers." Dude. If by "super-efficient American chicken producers" he means factory farms where the birds are pumped full of hormones and don't have room to move, count me on the side of the inefficient. Diamond also mentions the fact that beef is really expensive in Japan, but not the fact that it's so cheap in the U.S. because it's highly subsidized by the government, so that annoyed me as well. Anyway... it was a thought-provoking piece, but it's kind of long, so consider yourselves warned.
Updated to add: Oh, and tonight's successful culinary experiment of sorts is: If you've got some granola that's gone a little chewy from sitting out too long, you can bring back the crunch by putting it on a baking sheet and toasting it in the oven for a bit (I just put mine in the toaster oven, set to toast medium-lightly). It'll be soft when you get it out of the oven, but crunchy when it cools! Yay!
I like many web comics. Among my favorites are the absolutely brilliant Cat and Girl, Wigu, and Scary Go Round (which is kind of like the early Sluggy Freelance where they got into trouble by summoning demons and the like, only much more British.) There's also Something Positive, but only if you're feeling particularly misanthropic or like cats with no bones (Choo-Choo Bear rules). But I digress. Today while checking Something Positive, I spotted a note at the bottom announcing that R*K*Milholland, who draws the comic, recently quit his soul-sucking job as a Medicare biller, which is very good news. Yay for quitting soul-sucking jobs! Oh, and there's a livejournal community about Something Positive (som_pos), so I'm going to be reading that for awhile. Hopefully it won't flood my Friends page with too much noise.... much as I like keeping up on my comics, I do that every day, and the point of this livejournal is to keep up with my friends, dangit!