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So Proud

Posted on 2009.01.20 at 22:52
1.  We went to Dublin for the weekend because: (a) we found one hell of a deal; and (b) we didn't want to have to cope with the logistics of moving around the city this weekend. We had an awesome time.  We saw a ton of sights: the Guinness factory; Trinity College; the Book of Kells (well, a reproduction as the real one was being cared for); Malahide Castle, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and went to Belfast for a day.  Of course, we went out pubbing every night. Our conclusion? Dublin is a great city, a fun city, a friendly city, and it is full of hot men.

2.  Kopparberg cider is a great thing.

3.  We were in Dublin for their monthly bear event called The Furry Glen. We had a great time and met many a furry and handsome Dubliner. It was an awesome event.

4.  Of the bars in Dublin, our favorite was the Front Lounge. Their drink, the Winter Pleasure -- 1 1/2 shots vodka, 1/2 shot butterscotch liqueur, a dash of cinnamon, and apple juice shaken and served in a martini glass -- is aptly named and dangerously tasty.

5. When we were flying back today. The captain came on the PA mid-flight and said we were now over Canadian air space and it was 12:08 in Washington, DC. Barack Obama has just been inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States. The plane erupted into spontaneous applause.  It gave me goosebumps.

6.  I had actually just looked at the time right before the captain made his announcement. I saw it was after 12:00 and I thought, it is over....it is finally over. I was deeply happy and thankful that the Bush administration is just done. The page has turned.

7.  I enjoyed being abroad so close to the inauguration. Many guys recognized us as Americans (in my case that not hard to do -- I look and sound so very American) and came over to talk to us. It was finally fun to be an American abroad again -- and don't think I didn't work that angle LOL. It is just so nice to not have to start every conversation with "I didn't vote for him."

8.  I hope (along with the rest of the world) that President Obama succeeds. He simply has to.

9. Michelle looked  fabulous -- both today and tonight at the balls.

10.  Today was indeed a good day to be an American!  I love my country. I am proud of my country. The world has changed for the better in so many ways.  And I just started to cry.

A Brand New World

Posted on 2008.11.05 at 15:43
1.  Okay, it has been forever since I posted (no particular reason other than I just wasn't feeling particularly journal-y) but after that Election, I was inspired.

2. With the election of Barack Obama yesterday as the 44th President of the United States of America, the world is a different place today.  History has been changed.  It feels great.  We, as a country, have a long way to go, but a lot was done yesterday to make this a perfect union.  Yay us.

3.  My 40th birthday is November 10th and I am going to Iceland to celebrate.  I can't wait to be abroad as an American after yesterday.  For the past 8 years, it has been difficult to be an American abroad.  I can be proud again.

4.  What is up with the passage of Prop 8 in California?  This is the first time, I believe, that Americans have voted to take away already granted rights to other Americans.  It is sad, really.  Heartless.

5.  However, I am heartened by the fact that I believe gay marriage will eventually have to be recognized across the U.S. because of that wonderful Constitution of ours.  Here is how I figure it'll happen: 

Gay marriage will get national recognition based on two separate constitutional rationales:
Equal Protection:
  • In my opinion, the various amendments to state constitutions defining marriage as only between a man and a woman will be voided under the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, which states that "states may not deny to any person the equal protection of the law."  Due to federal preemption, the U.S. Constitution would void any contradicting clauses of state constitutions.
Full Faith and Credit and Privileges and Immunities:
  • Analogously, under the U.S. Constitution, I believe courts will rule that states have to recognize gay marriages performed in other states where gay marriage is legal.  The privileges and immunities clause in Section 2 of Article 4 of the Constitution states that "[t]he Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States."  There is similar language in the 14th Amendment stating that "[n]o State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States."  Similarly, the full faith and credit clause of Section 1 of Article 4 states: "Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State." 
  • Ultimately, these clauses mean that states must recognize the validity of each others' laws.  As such, a state must recognize legal marriages performed in other states.  For example, some states do not allow two people to become common law married.  However, if a common law married couple moves into the state (and they were legally common law married in a state that recognizes common law marriage), the the new state must recognize the marriage even though the couple could not be common law married in the new state.  The same analysis should apply to gay marriage for a gay couple legally married in Massachusetts who then move to a state that does not allow gay couples to be married.  Eventually, a couple will sue in federal court for their new home state  to treat them as a married couple and their rationale will be based on the privileges and immunities clause and the full faith and credit clause.

6.  I wonder if the current administration gets that yesterday was a complete repudiation of the past 8 years.  Or, is it such an echo chamber in therer that W doesn't know what yesterday means.  Maybe he just doesn't care.



Posted on 2008.04.24 at 23:44
1.  Here is a fun little theory that a buddy of mine at work and I were tossing about yesterday.  His theory is that Hillary Clinton knows that she cannot win the election but is staying in the race for the nomination in an effort to damage Obama as much as possible.  Under this theory, the idea is that she'll so damage his campaign that he will lose the general election.  Then, in 2012, she can run again on a "I told you so" platform (and she'll only be in her early 60s).  Discuss.

Returning to LJ

Posted on 2008.04.21 at 11:00
 1.  I don't know what my deal is but I have not been in a posting mood.  To be honest, I haven't really been in a lj mood in general although this morning that broke with a vengeance.  As it has been a long time since I posted, I am sure my musings are going to be a bit scatter shot until I get back into the routine.

2.  I don't think it is just me, but there is nothing like an impending visit from my parents (read my mother) to start me into a clean the house frenzy.  My mother is the personification of a sweet retired second grade teacher and she would never say anything about the state of squalor that my house is usually in.  However, I know she would notice and that thought bothers me beyond all belief.  I guess you never grow out of wanting to please your mom.

3.  My prediction for tomorrow in Pennsylvania is that Clinton wins but by only a few percentage points and the nomination race without end goes on.

4. My thought on the "bitter" remark?  Obama did not say it in a particularly artful way but he is right.  I grew up in the rural rustbelt Midwest and he hit the nail on the head.  As number of people have asked me what he was trying to say and why I have been repeating that he is right, and here is my best estimation.  In many small midwestern towns, the economy is awful.  The local plant (likely the largest employer in town) has closed and there are no jobs to be had.  For these people, their livelihood has been taken away and things are REALLY tough.  As such, they are looking for things to blame for the fact that the fabric of their lives has been ripped apart and it starts with things like immigration and politicians.  As such, they see every new government action as a threat to take what is left of their lives away.  So, they make stands with the things they still can control like their church affiliation or their gun ownership.  I am not being elitist to say that church activity and hunting are big parts of small town life.  And for may people, these things are all they have left that they can still say "no -- this is mine and you have to leave it alone."  So,, they get angry when someone tries to change things.  

5.  And yes, some of the people in rural America are bitter.  You think I am wrong?  Go to Flint, Michigan and ask anyone you meet on the street about their feelings on foreign automakers and the U.S. policy on protecting the domestic auto industry.  You'll see bitter.

6.  Could W have been any further up the Pope's ass last week?  Geesh!  You'd have thought we had a state religion.  And then the media was all over the visit as well.  I am sorry, but Gordon Brown was in DC last week too and we didn't get breathless minute by minute updates of his itinerary.  In terms of keeping world leaders happy, I'm much more concerned with our relations with the U.K. than the Vatican.

7.  I am not going to get into the debate about whether Beijing should have the Olympics.  The answer is no but that train has left the station.  The Olympics will be there.  What I am excited about is the fact that protests etc. are going to be breaking out constantly during the games and the whole world is going to be watching as the Chinese government's grand entrance onto the world stage descends into a public relations nightmare.  And they deserve it.  This Olympics (while I am sure it will run like clockwork) is going to show the Chinese government is not ready to join the international community as an equal when they start cracking down while western journalists and their advertising sponsors are there to watch.

8.  I really enjoy Bear Happy Hour at Cobalt on Fridays.  Not only is it a nice group of furry guys, but the place is really working.  I brought a new friend to the happy hour and he hit it off with all my friends (one in particular and you know who you are)  and was raving about what a great happy hour it was.  I always like bringing new people to the party.  I'm just a golly gee people person.

9.  There is no finer people watching in DC than at the Fox & Hounds on 17th Street when you sit out on the sidewalk and drink their ridiculously cheap and strong drinks.  We went for the first time this year on Saturday and all was right with the world.  Give me a glass of gin and a seat to watch cute boys walk by and that is indeed a good night.

10.  The Safeway has now been out of 12 packs of Diet Coke for 4 weeks running.  Will this national nightmare ever end?

Gripey Update

Posted on 2008.04.02 at 10:08

1.  It has been too long since I posted.  I just haven't been in a mood to write (or maybe I just haven't been cranky).  Who knows.  However, the muse hit me this morning.

2.  I went to Michigan to see my folks for Easter.  Getting home turned into an ordeal because of that winter storm that plowed through the midwest.  I made it to Detroit, but the Northwest flights from Detroit to Grand Rapids were canceled.  They ended up busing us across the state.  The roads were bad and the bus couldn't go over 40 m.p.h., so what should take about 2:45 or so took a little under 5:00.  Scott the bus driver was awesome though.

3.  Now the griping about Northwest Airlines begins.  Once the good people at Northwest announced they would be busing us (this was about 5:15 p.m.), they told the Grand Rapids people to go down to baggage claim where they would offload our bags (on carousels 10 and 11).   They said the buses would be outside baggage claim at 7:00 p.m.  So, we all left the secured area and went down to baggage claim.  This is where all contact with Northwest agents stops.  The buses were late (they showed about 8:15) and about 30% of the bags never showed (including mine).  Some also showed on other carousels.  However, no Northwest person ever showed up to say the buses would be late.  Those of us without luggage after 7:00 couldn't really leave to check out the other carousels because we were afraid that we'd miss the buses (because we didn't know when they were showing up).  Just an update would have been nice, but we had nothing.

4.  About the lost bag -- it showed up, but the phone systems Northwest has to get updates is completely unhelpful.  It kept telling me that there was no information about my bags and the claim was pending.  At about 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, I finally pressed "0" to talk to a live person.  This lady was great and told me that the bag had arrived in Grand Rapids at 2:00 a.m.  Now, why is it that the computer system said it had no information 13 hours after the bag was scanned at the Grand Rapids airport but the agent told me exactly where my bag was in like 10 seconds?  Either the computer system never updates or it only tells you the claim is "pending" or "delivered."  Either way, the computer system is therefore useless.  Knowing that Northwest at least knew where my bag was made ALL the difference in the world.  I was going to be near the airport anyway and so just stopped & picked my bag up.  But even if the bag was already on a delivery truck when I arrived at the airport, it would have been okay because I knew that the bag wasn't just lost in the system.

5.  Okay, so I suppose I should get to my point.  I don't understand why airlines feel it is in their best interest to not share information.  I don't get it.  I may not be happy knowing that I am going to be delayed for 3 hours, but I will be even more upset if I am delayed without any information at all about anything.  I don't think it is a revolutionary idea to level with the customer.  Argh!

6.  Oh yeah, the Safeway was out of Diet Coke (for the third week in a row) and all forms of bell peppers on Monday.

Easter Silliness, and Of Course, Politics

Posted on 2008.03.19 at 22:01

1.  Apparently, the peeps got out of their box and had a pre-Easter night on the town.  Yes, it is silly, but come on people, they are peeps!

2.  I thought last night's speech by Mr. Obama was eloquent, intelligent, and very brave.  Something rare today in politics.  He really should be President.

3.  This past week and a half has been a rough one for both Democratic candidates.  It scares me a little.  I don't think we've seen really negative from the Clinton camp yet.  If this stays close, I am worried what happens if they go nuclear. I aslo worry what happens if somehow she gets the nomination from teh super delegates without having a majority of the popular vote or committed delegates.  If that happens, I think all the young voters attracted to Obama simply go away.  Same for the African-Americans.  And you know what?  That means Republican victory.  Unfortunately,  I don't think Ms. Clinton cares about the good of the party.  She is all about what is best for her.

4.  Did someone hit Geraldine Ferraro in the head?  OMG.  She is STILL claiming she said nothing wrong.  It really is time for her to go quietly in the night.

5.  Did anyone else see the ABC interview where Martha Raddatz asked the V.P. about the fact that two-thirds of Americans opposed the war in Iraq.  His response was "So?"  Wow.  This just proves that he just doesn't care about the rest of us.  Whatever we are thinking, he just doesn't care.  I think the chimp doesn't know that people disagree with him.  Cheney doesn't give a damn.  http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4482586&affil=wjla

6.  We went to Blowoff on Saturday, and as always, the music was excellent and the crowd was furry and HAWT.  We spent most of the time dancing and cavorting with canis_lupus_va, who despite his protestations is both darn cute and a good dancer.  It really is the best bear dance party ever!

News Junkie Chic!

Posted on 2008.03.14 at 11:40

1.  This is really cool for all you out there who can't get enough news!  It apparently organizes headlines from around the world and then sizes them based on the number of stories printed on the topic.  I like it!  http://marumushi.com/apps/newsmap/newsmap.cfm

2.  I hope "Kristen" enjoys her 15 minutes.  Talk about silver linings to being..well..a whore.  I guess I shouldn't be jealous.  Goodness knows I've slept around and I don't have a website with like 5 million hits or a recording that I am selling on Amazon.  It is an interesting career path, to say the least.

3. I wonder why it is that St. Patrick's Day is just not a big deal in gayworld.  I mean, the whole holiday is about drinking, and who drinks more than gay men?  Maybe it is because the holiday is about drinking cheap nasty green beer and gay men (for once) have more sense than that.

Not That I am One to Cast Stones....

Posted on 2008.03.10 at 22:23
1.  I was cranky this afternoon given that I had 4 fillings replaced at the dentist today. I was whining about (amongst other things) that I had nothing I particularly wanted to blog about.  Then, I checked the CNN website about 4:00 p.m.  Problem solved!

2.  Oh, Governor Spitzer, you silly horny man!  Here is my deal.  I don't care who you sleep with -- really.  But if you want to play around, couldn't you just go have an affair or a one night stand with some cute girl you met at some fundraiser?  I mean you could get plenty of attractive women.  "Hey, you're hot, I'm the Governor of New York" is a pretty good opening line.  Why did you have to add the illegal part?  A prostitute?  Now, instead of this being a private (perhaps sordid but nevertheless none of my business) matter, the authorities are involved and your career has ended.

3.  And yes, the career is over.  I am still withholding judgment about whether Governor Spitzer will have to resign (my money is on yes because of the hypocrisy, if nothing else). However, the potential Senate bid is not going to happen.  Neither is the idea that you could be Attorney General or Vice President someday.  And if you are thinking about running for President someday, I'd think about going into your dad's real estate business instead.

4.  Imagine the look on the guy monitoring the wiretap when suddenly he realized exactly who Client-9 was.  He must have thought "Jackpot!" and started wondering about how big the promotion is going to be.

5.  The one I feel sorry for in this is Mrs. Spitzer.  She got trotted out to stand there next to her husband, Governor/Client 9, and look concerned while her husband basically admitted his purchase of services.  Why do politicians do this to their wives?  I would love to hear the pitch Governor 9 had to give to get her to go out there.  "I know you hate me right now and I am about to admit to using a hooker, but do me this one little favor...."

6.  Now let's just think for a moment about how awkward the private conversation with the 3 Spitzer girls had to be.  Yikes!

7.  Finally, I have to admire "Kristen."  She charges $4300 a...ummm...pop?  Wow! She must be REALLY good.  I wonder if she does some kind of swirl thing.

Deep Seated Fears -- Dentists and the GOP

Posted on 2008.03.06 at 14:00
 1.  So I go to the dentist today for my 6 month checkup.  Going to the dentist is always majorly traumatic for me because: (1) I have a dry mouth which leads to tartar build up and lots of scraping at my gum line by the hygienist; and (2) I have very soft teeth so I am prone to cavities very easily.  Anyway, going to the dentist, even for a cleaning, can quickly turn into an adventure.  The cleaning part goes well enough, as does the part where the dentist checks my teeth.  BUT THEN he says let's replace those final silver fillings you have in your mouth (and calls off 4 teeth where there are still old fillings).  Now, I am certainly no stranger to having dental work done -- and even though I hate it -- I have it done regularly (see above comment about soft teeth).  But, I feel like I am being scammed here.  I get to go through all the awfulness of novocaine and having a drill in my mouth.  However, the fillings aren't giving me any problems.  If he says they need replacement, I have to trust him on it -- but I feel like he is making work up here.  Ugh!

2.  I didn't cry today at the dentist.  That is a major accomplishment for me.  I usually have tears streaming down my face while the hygienist scrapes my teeth from a combination of having a sensitive mouth and major psychological issues with the dentist.  That said, as always, I was trying to dig through the bottom of the chair with my butt because the flight instinct had totally kicked in.

3.  Why is it I can never get an 'atta boy from the hygienist?  I brush, floss, and use that pipe cleaner looking thing every frickin' day and all I ever get from her is "you have to do better at this or that."  Can you just cut me a break, lady?  I wonder if anyone ever gets a compliment from the hygienist.  I wonder if they train them to just be mean.

4.  Let's get back to current events!  I am all for having every vote counted in the election process.  And I think the Democrats in Florida and Michigan should have a part in the nomination process.  However, anyone who thinks Charlie Crist or his Republican legislature are fighting for democracy as they agitate for the Florida delegates to be seated at the Dem's convention is just being silly.  The Republicans would just rather run against Hillary Clinton than Barack Obama and Crist sees this as a way to get more delegates into Clinton's tally.  It is transparent and since Crist is a Republican, his opinion is irrelevant to the Democrat's nomination process.  Jennifer Granholm is quite within her rights to point out that Michigan should have the ability to be part of the process.  Crist needs to be quiet.

5.  Does anyone else think that yesterday is just about the last time we see W within 50 miles of John McCain on the campaign trail except in closed door uber-conservative Republican events?  McCain was the loyal party member yesterday and gamely said he'd take all the help that the chimp would give him.  However, behind closed doors, the McCain campaign had to be doing the kind of dance you do when a spider lands on the back of your neck and screaming "get it off!"

Safeway (A Non-Political Rant)

Posted on 2008.03.04 at 11:23
1. While I am certainly giddy about today’s political primaries, being the complete news/politics junkie that I am, I think I’ll wait until the good people of Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont, actually finish voting to comment about their impact on the future of our republic. Goodness knows I don’t want to influence the outcome of the elections (vote Obama).
2. What has me going today is the state of the Safeway stores (and fair warning this is likely to be a repeating theme here) in the District. Last night’s random things that the Safeway in SE on Capitol Hill were out of? Cans of Diet Coke and fat free sour cream (all 3 brands). Why is it that I cannot go to Safeway and not be thwarted on at least one thing that I want – always? I get that stores will occasionally run out of things. For the Safeways in DC, though, it isn’t occasionally. There is always something they are completely out of. A couple of weeks ago, it was bananas. I’ve also seen them out of butter (yes – all brands). Huh? Is inventory that hard? This is also the second week of no Diet Coke (the nectar of the gods) in cans. I know trucks must bring in new deliveries.
3. The scary thing is that I started going to the Safeway in SE on Capitol Hill because I got fed up with going to the one in the Hechinger Mall in NE (which is actually closer to my house by quite a bit). They were never fully staffed and the random food outages (my favorite was hamburger – nope no ground beef at all) were even worse.
4. After nearly 8 years of living in the District and going to many a Safeway, it is just clear that they really don’t give a damn about the stores in DC. I’d even venture as far as to say, that the organization has made a targeted decision to really just not worry about the stores that are in or near neighborhoods that are not: (a) wealthy; and (b) mostly white. More wealthy white people live in SE on Capitol Hill. It is nicer that the one in NE on Capitol Hill. It is better stocked and actually has more than one or two check out lanes open at like 8:00 p.m. Go over to NW, thereby upping the rich and white quotient, and things get even rosier (although nowhere near as nice as the suburban Safeways, which tend to be beautifully laid out, clean and fully stocked stores). It just grates me.
5. I am not going to even start on the quality of produce in District Safeways. It is awful. Period. Why can decent lettuce make it to the suburbs but not the city?
6. I can’t wait for the Harris Teeter grocery store to open on Capitol Hill (which is now supposed to be in May I guess but it has been being built forever, so I am not getting my hopes up yet). Let’s see the market work on Safeway. Competition is going to be a wonderful thing I bet (and hope).
7. In fairness, I should say that the checkout clerk last night at Safeway actually made eye contact with me. This was the second week in a row! Miracles never cease.

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