Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

on making history and debates and auntie brigades, oh my

the last time i posted was september 14th, and yesterday was the first day i've had off since that time. we are in a huge and potentially historic push to identify 10,000 pro-LGBT voters in a single day...election day. i say historic because if we do it (and every day i am more confident we will), it will make us the first LGBT organization in the country to accomplish such a feat. we've hired six new amazing organizers to help us get there, and while the days have been long and seemingly endless at times, i am charged and excited and feeling that familiar adrenaline rush that comes with the campaign-like pace we are currently keeping.

that said, i am generally falling into bed every night and asleep before my head hits the pillow. when i get this busy, it is difficult to be creative and even more difficult to keep my eyes open long enough to write. the slant will likely have spontaneous posts from now until november 4th.

up next: ramblings

watched the debate last night, and i was happy, for the most part, with obama's performance. he was focused, articulate, thoughtful. he was a little bit too polite for my liking...i wished he would have been less complimentary to mccain and more aggressive. but his answers were intelligent and forceful, and i think he made a strong case that he is ready to lead. i'm glad he brought domestic issues into a debate which focused on foreign policy. and i loved his line about mccain pretending that the war in iraq started in 2007. brilliant. and can i just say that mccain's sneer and nervous laughter was as good an imitation of george bush as tina fey's sarah palin. fucking scary.


in the middle of last week's crazy schedule, M & I managed to sneak out of the office for two hours to listen to liz gilbert, who was speaking at the merrill auditorium to support the work of The Telling Room, an amazing non-profit here in portland that is dedicated to young storytellers and writers. check their website out here. as soon as this election cycle is over, i'm going to start volunteering for this organization.

gilbert, who wrote eat, pray, love, a book i've raved about before on the slant, was wonderful. funny, engaging, thoughtful. inspirational. we laughed, we cried, sometimes at the same moment, and it was exactly the perfect break from all-things-work. and i couldn't imagine being there with anyone else besides M., who urged me to read the book in the first place and then indulged me by talking about it with me, over and over (and over and over) again.

there were so many great moments, and one of my favorites was her theory of the auntie brigade. she spoke of how throughout history, in every culture at least 10% of the women never have children. in some time periods and in various cultures this number can be much higher, but historically it is never, ever lower than 10%. this number is so consistent that gilbert believes this is kind of a genetic necessity, to have a "posse" of adult women who are caring and compassionate and who do not have children of their own. that their existence is critical to supporting other mothers (she calls them "sparents") and to caring for others living on the peripheral parts of any society. the auntie brigade. love that.

if you are one of the twelve people on earth who haven't read eat, pray, love, you gotta go out and buy or borrow a copy today. it's brilliant.


quote of the week: "we are one curry dish away from utter doom." johnny mckenna, on the perils of working in an office that's one floor above a restaurant, in a building fitted with fire escapes made of wooden steps. um, yeah.


enough ramblings. i am off to brunch with the posse women, then i think i'll come home, light my first fire of the season, and curl up with a good book. my week starts off tomorrow, at noon, and so a little bit more self-care time is in order to get me ready.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

tina fey is a goddess

like most people who are fans of Saturday Night Live, the first time I ever saw (and god help me, HEARD) Sarah Palin I thought "holy shit she looks just like Tina Fey." so much so that i wasn't completely convinced she wasn't Tina Fey. i half-expected Palin, in the middle of her speech at the GOP convention, to stop dead in the middle of a sentence and scream "LIVE FROM NEW YORK, IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT!!"

but we could never get that lucky.

anyway--unfortunately for Palin, she is the spitting image of one of the most brilliant, funny, talented comedians in the universe who happened to cut her teeth on SNL, which can also be brilliant and funny, particularly when they do political satire. fortunately for Fey, her career, which is already skyrocketing, is about to blast into a whole new stratosphere. cha-ching.

check out SNL's season premiere opening moments. it's frigging delicious:

Friday, September 12, 2008

bush doctrine? is that a medical question?

doc·trine (dok-trin) noun.
1. A principle or body of principles presented for acceptance or belief, as by a religious, political, scientific, or philosophic group; dogma.
2. A rule or principle of law, especially when established by precedent.
3. A statement of official government policy, especially in foreign affairs and military strategy.
4. Archaic Something taught; a teaching.

sarah palin is so f'ing frightening to me. why charles gibson didn't laugh, or didn't call his family on the nearest cell phone and scream "GET YOUR PASSPORTS TOGETHER, WE ARE NOT TAKING ANY CHANCES, WE ARE MOVING TO CANADA TODAY!!!!" is just a huge testament to his poise and professionalism. though one can't help but notice how blown away he is by the fact that palin did not understand this question: "Do you believe in the Bush Doctrine?"

it's not like this is one of those situations where a question can be interpreted in many ways. it's decidedly not an "it depends on what your definition of IS is" kind of moment. and she simply cannot answer it.

see for yourself:

if you can stomach it, here's another 9 minutes of the exclusive ABC interview with the woman who will be one heartbeat away from the presidency if we don't all get our acts together and vote on November 4th. it's completely and utterly terrifying.

i guess i'm IT

I have been tagged by Dawn at MDI. I am so busy my head is spinning, and I'm so tired my eyelashes ache, but still...posts on the slant have been a rare occurance lately, and Dawn has been very forgiving. I've not received even one slacker email from her.

so with gratitude, i'll play. at the end of this thing I'm supposed to tag five other bloggers. time will not allow that. so if you're reading this and you have a blog, you're IT. if you're reading this and you don't have a blog, well, you are missing out on a whole lotta fun. and i've now provided you a topic for your very first post.

1. Where was I ten years ago?

that's 1998. i had a lovely cottage in scarborough, living out the tail-end of a 12-year relationship. if same-sex couples could legally marry, this surely would have been my one and only marriage. had a fabulous wonderful cat named Idgie. and was running a restaurant in freeport. the only remnants of that life now are books and furniture. and clothing, which i think is still stored away in my closet somewhere in hopes that i'll one day soon be able to button those shorts again.

2. What was on my To Do list today?

i cannot begin to describe how this question utterly freaks me out. let's my professional life, we are in the middle of organizing a potential 600 people for election day. and also organizing indistrict legislative meetings all across the state. *and* preparing to help elect some LGBT friendly state candidates. *and* trying to hire another 6 organizers to help us. *and* working on a rally set for october in response to a recent horrific hate crime in portland. *and* i have close to 20 fundraisers and/or house parties that i need to be at in the next 30 days. *and* i'm trying to prepare for a workshop i'm facilitating this weekend for A Rising Tide, a wonderful organization that Corey heads up.

in my personal life, Bangor Boy is coming down this weekend, which i am completely thrilled about. on the other side of the emotional meter, i am taking a personal day on Monday to visit a friend whose time on this earth is near its end.

3. What would I do if I were a billionaire?

my mom and dad would live out their lives the way they deserve to. and shitload of money would go to EqualityMaine. a shitload of money would go to other organizations who do work on HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, and LGBT equality. My neices would also be set for life.

and then i would travel--india, new zealand, and a re-tour of europe.

i would become the next rachel maddow, hosting my own talk-radio show called, um, the wet spot (thanks jenny jeez) until eventually msnbc realized i'm brilliant and gave me the spot following maddow's new gig.

i'd buy me a modest home on the ocean, and write, write, write, write.

4. Five places I've lived:

i've been a mainer my whole life, as an adult i haven't lived too far from the portland peninsula, ever, and have still managed to be a ridiculous nomad. i figured out once that i've lived in like 25 different places in less than 20 years--crazy. so....scarborough, cape elizabeth, south portland, brunswick, harpswell, north yarmouth, standish, portland, name a few.

5. Bad habits:

cigarettes--number one. procrastination comes in at a close second. after having read my to-do list for today, you can see how procrastination adversely effects my world. i am certain the two bad habits are inter-connected. and i am certain i have a number of other bad habits that friends and acquaintances would share with the world. some of them might even be considered "good" bad habits. and we'll leave it at that. :>


there. i feel as though i've accomplished something great.

happy friday all.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

wedding day

ellen and portia get married. and ellen shares it with a bazillion mainstream viewers.



Monday, September 08, 2008

swallowed up

if you hadn't noticed, this time of year tends to swallow me up and away from all things recreational--like, for example, writing on the slant. i am buried at work, more than ever it feels like. and life in general has been so up and down lately, i am dizzy from trying to stay balanced. i feel the tug of the blog, wanting so much to write and yet not having my thoughts in any order that would make for an interesting read. but--i am starting to get emails, notes, and phone calls from friends asking "are you okay? you aren't posting...what's going on..." so here i am, with just a few tiny minutes to type, type, type away a few random thoughts that were rolling around in my head when i woke this morning. i'll try to be better about posting.

but mostly, let's just say that reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. or as the matriarch likes to say, "don't pay the ransom, i've escaped."


oh canada?

as busy as i've been, i still managed to watch nearly every televised minute (at least in the evenings) of the national democratic convention. and then watched as much of the republican convention as i could stomach, kind of in the same way i watch horror movies--peeking through my hands which were almost always covering my face. in my lifetime, aside from maybe 1992, i have never seen a more stark contrast between the two candidates ( and their running mates) for The Most Important Job on the Planet. and I know we always say this about *every* presidential election, but i just don't think the stakes have ever been higher. seems to me we are on the brink of utter doom, and while neither candidate is flawless, and while neither candidate possesses the Super Powers to magically fix it all, AND while it is common knowlege that i am True Blue Dem, it just seems to me that the choice is obvious. at least with Obama we have a fighting chance. McSame? forget about it. I can't even believe that 25% of the people attempting to survive among the ruins of the Bush Administration are 'undecided' about who to vote for. My. God. i have made jokes in the past about moving to Montreal or Toronto if things don't go my way on November 4th. But McCain-Palin? it's becoming less and less of a joke. 'cause i don't think i have the intestinal fortitude to survive that administration.

and oh gawd i am just so offended by McCain's selection of Palin as veep, especially if she was chosen to try and lure in some undecided women voters who were initially supporting Hillary. give me a frigging break. it demonstrates in living color how disconnected the GOP is with women's issues. wow. it takes your breath away. and if there is a single Hillary voter in this country who is considering supporting this Joke of a Ticket, shame. on. you. Palin is looking more and more like the female version of Dick Cheney, minus years and years of experience. She feels dangerous to me. And the Dems cannot repeat this often enough: a heartbeat away from the presidency. insanity.


little girl

my baby girl samantha is now officially a college student. i spent a day with her before she drove away to a whole new life, and it was wonderful. we laughed and waxed poetic about all the amazing memories we've made together, and i savored every minute. when i was leaving, she wrapped her arms around me (this from a kid who was never much of hugger) and said "i love you auntie darl. thank you for everything you've done for me. i'm going to miss you the most." it felt a little like dorothy and the scarecrow, and it was a most precious moment.

there are four stand-out events in my life that i hold higher than any others: the sox winning the world series in 2004, maine won't discriminate defeating The Evil Ones in 2005, and the birth of my two nieces. it boggles my mind to think that this little girl whose childhood filled my life with beauty and laughter and magic is now "out there on her own." i sent my sister a card that arrived in her mailbox on the very day Sam drove away, a picture of little girl on a swingset, legs kicking to the sky. all i wrote on the inside: "regarding samantha: well done."



a wonderful, beautiful friend of our family, a woman who in so many ways is like a second mom to me, has been waging a war with cancer for the past fifteen years. she is a brave, beautiful soul, and it appears that she is losing the fight. she is especially close to my mom--truly, one of my mother's dearest friends. the forty or more years that my mother and Grace have been friends is not nearly long enough, for either of them, and my mom is already beginning to feel the unspeakable void that will be left in Grace's place. there is such sadness in my mom's voice when she talks about Grace (how fitting a name for this jewel of a woman.) we used to wish for her to have the strength to fight, the strength to win the battle. now our wishes our much simpler. we wish for her to have a day without pain. a restful night. my mom said last night on the phone, "i just hope and pray that she goes quietly, in her sleep, and i hope her last dream is of the rolling fields in shapleigh, and of all her children, and that they are happy and peaceful dreams." so call a friend, dammit, and tell them you love them. it sounds ridiculously sappy. i can tell you my mom wouldn't think so, at all. we are often so oblivious of time, and so cavalier with it, as if we have it to waste. if we don't recognize and value and savor those people in our lives who enrich us and bring us joy, we are just damn fools.

i see a safe journey Gracie.

Thursday, September 04, 2008