Friday, December 26, 2008


Today I dug my car out for the first time in about a week and a half. It wasn't so bad really, since it's starting to melt. I drove Mera to work and now I'm back at home, just me and the dog, until it's time to go back and pick Mera up at 3:30.

All this snow intensifies my desire to hibernate. I don't want to drag myself to the bus stop every day and work for 8.5 hours then drag myself back in the cold and the slush. I don't want to the snow to melt, I want it to keep snowing more and more and more. In fact, I don't even want the sun to shine, I want the clouds to blanket the sky so thickly the sun can barely squeak any light through.

All this snow makes me want to go live in Scandanavia. For Christmas, Mera bought me a book by Knut Hamsun called Growth of the Soil. Unfortunately, Knut Hamsun was a Nazi sympathizer, and that makes me sad inside. But he's a fantastic existentialist/pantheistic sort of writer and I really enjoy him a lot. Growth of the Soil is about a man who treks alone through a mountain pass in Norway and settles down to tame the land and make a little nook of comfort for himself well within the arctic circle.

I want to do that. But Mera and the dog can come too. And I'd like to make sure I had plenty of books and a wi-fi signal. I guess I could buy some really fancy satellite receiver for internet...? Or something. That would be pretty awesome.

In an effort to satisfy some small part of that urge to hibernate, I have taken off today and Monday. Add yesterday, which was Christmas, and that's five days off in a row. Bliss. I just wish it was still snowing.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

snowed in!

That's what I'm telling myself, even though I can get through the door and walk down to Freddie's for groceries. But being "snowed in" with the little lady is pretty awesome. It just keeps snowing and snowing and snowing and I know I will be quite depressed when it all melts off and goes away.

For now, though, we're taking advantage of our isolation by setting up shop to make spiced wine and cookies for Christmas presents. And lentil stew for us.

I am in heaven.

Monday, December 15, 2008


It snowed! Whenever the weather people call for snow here I never believe it will actually snow because I love it so much. Like I'll jynx it. But I didn't jynx it and it snowed most of the day yesterday. We got up, drank our tea and watched it out the windows awhile. Then Mera exhibited uncharacteristic enthusiasm about walking the dog, so we bundled up and took the little beast all the way over to Laurelhurst Park, which was even more gorgeous than usual. I took pictures, but we're having some technical difficulties for some reason with uploading them, so...

And we got a Christmas Tree! We drove up Division on Saturday because Mera saw a sign that said "Trees $15 and up." We found a really sweet, sort of short (5 feet?) kind of tree I wish I could remember the name because it is really precious. the kind where the branches all grow around the trunk in neat rings and it kind of smells like oranges. He told me the name but I forgot.

We are relatively poor right now, so we went and got most of our decorations at the Dollar Tree, including the best decoration I've ever seen: a pair of flat, round, pearly colored hanging dealies with a moose painted on each! A moose! Then we went to Fred Meyer's for everything we couldn't find at the Dollar Tree, inlcuding but not limited to: a tree stand, lights that won't burn the house down and a string of silver garland.

It looks awesome.

Now I'm sitting here at 8:48am Monday morning, wondering how I should get to work today. I called Trimet and they claim the 14 won't run down Hawthorne again for another hour. Should I try to drive...? I don't think so. I guess I'll just sit here and think about it some more.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

calling in "gay" = brilliant!

I swear to god I totally had this idea after the 2004 election! I said to anyone who would listen: "We should have a big, gay strike! All over the country, we should just *not* show up to work one day. Then they'd all see how important we are and how MANY we are! Then maybe they'd stop jerking us around!"

I was pretty riled up about it all. But instead of my big email manifesto that I was going to send to a million people and encourage them to send to a million more people, which was going to then spread on it's own momenutm around the whole country and maybe even the world... instead of all that, I just kinda grumbled and forgot about it. Because, deep down, I guess I'm just lazy.

But after Prop 8 passed in Cali, somebody else got the idea. Somebody with some gumption. And now, today, we're in the midst of the world's first Day Without a Gay! Has such a ring.

Gays and allies are being encouraged to call in "gay" to work today. It's being criticized all over the place for its lame name and for its perhaps foolish encouragment of blowing off work during a recession, but fuck those critics! And fuck that recession! Calling in gay is awesome!

Considering that most of the people I work with, including most of the upper management of my company, are ALL big old gay homosexuals, I think the gesture would be sort of moot. And it might utterly bring down the company. So we're probably all going to be at work today... but in my heart, I'll be calling in gay, and you should too!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

kinda sad when you think about it

Mera and I went down on Friday and registered our domestic partnership. First I figured out how to print out the form on 8 1/2 by 14 inch paper (required technology only available at work). Then we both took off work early Friday so we could go get the form notarized at Kinko's by a guy named Jeff. Mera took many pictures of Jeff with his stamp, Jeff signing the paper, me watching Jeff fill out the paper, and best of all, many pictures of all of us together, Mera's arm straining to reach far enough back with the camera to capture herself as well as the rest of us and the form.

After that we drove over to the Multnomah County building where more pictures were taken of: me opening the door of the building, me opening the door of the office where you register your marriages, domestic partnerships and tax stuff, the sign above the counter that says, among other things, domestic partnership registry, the man behind the inch-thick bullet-proof plexiglass holding up our signed, notarized declaration, and of course, more pictures of me and Mera taken by Mera stretching her arm waaaay out and aiming haphazardly, kissing me on the cheek, then me kissing her on the cheek, then her kissing me on the mouth and I was just, by that point, really uncomfortable having my picture taken so much in public and just ready to get in the car and go.

Saturday morning, as we sat on the couch with our tea, we heard the pitter-patter of little feet on the porch. Mera's brother Fr@nkie had come with her nephews to bring us a bouquet of flowers. I guess they're my nephews now too. And Fr@nkie's my brother-in-law. Anyway, Fr@nkie seemed somewhat scandalized when he asked if I'd called to tell my parents about my nuptials and I looked at him like he was crazy and shook my head. It's complicated.

It's all complicated. I'm just happy to have legal protections. I don't expect anybody in my family to be all that interested. Maybe I sell them short. Maybe they've given me plenty of reasons to sell them short. Maybe I just want to relax and know that Mera and I have some rights as regarding each other, that I can see her in the hospital, that we can make medical decisions for each other. But maybe I don't even feel comfortable with *that* because maybe it turns out I'm still not convinced another ballot initiative won't come along and take it away again.

So it's bittersweet, really.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

(don't) talk to strangers

Last week, walking home from the bus after work, these guys sitting on the sidewalk leaning against the side of Oasis Pizza called me a fuck face. "Yeah, keep walking fuck-face."

I tend to be a literalist. It can be a problem. So I'm immediately hung up on the "fuck-face" -- just... wow. Fuck-face. Who says that? And then there's the "yeah, keep walking" -- it's like some kind of threat/challenge, but... why? I'm walking home. Yes, I will keep walking. Thank you.

And then I just wondered what it was about me, personally, that inspired the "fuck-face." These were dirty street rats -- not kids and not the kind of crazy homeless people I work with. These are the semi-dangerous seeming, seemingly able-bodied adults (typically male) who hang around on Hawthorne vaguely drunk all the time, yelling at each other and being unsavory. I could picture them targetting some guy in a suit or a woman in expensive clothes... I don't know, I can see them going after "the man." But me? Am I "the man?" Maybe it was my cell phone.

I am simply puzzled by it all.

Then there's the guys I walked past last night who were sitting on their stoop drinking beer from bottles. One said "spare a cigarette?" These guys appeared to be sitting on their own apartment stoop, drinking bottled beer, yet trying to bum cigarettes off passers-by.

Now, I don't smoke so maybe I don't truly understand. But as I finished my walk home, I thought of the absurdity of asking for things from strangers. I imagined myself asking people walking past my house "hey, can you spare a candy bar?" "Pardon me, got any hamburgers?" "Excuse me, ma'am. Got five bucks?"

I feel uncomfortable just thinking about asking a stranger to give me something. I can't even imagine feeling the level of entitlement that must exist before I could just walk up to some stranger and ask them to give me something I had a hankering for. I can't begin to imagine.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

and the anniversaries pile up

December 2nd is a day I like to try and write about my brother Isaac who died on this day in 2001. Sometimes I forget. Today I'm remembering because I dreamed about him last night. I realized that I don't dream about him as much anymore and, after 7 years, a lot of my feelings about him are fading.

I don't think my *feelings* are fading, I just mean that something of my felt connection to him is fading. I used to think of him often and I had a strong sense of growing him up in my memory (he was only 20 when he died). In a way, he continued to grow and mature with me as I dragged his ghost through my own growth process.

Now he's dim and I haven't thought about him that way in a long time. He'd be 27, like his twin brother who just visited me in September. I can't picture him at 27, even though I've got a pretty good model in Al-x. I can't imagine what he'd be doing, or thinking. I guess it doesn't matter.

Now when I dream of him, more often than not, he appears as a kid. Usually around 10. Maybe that's the age I remember him inhabiting most clearly. Maybe my heart is more attached to him at that age. Sometimes in the dreams he's not sick, but usually he's sick or he's already dead even though he seems to be present and participating. There's always a time-limit, he's always expiring in one way or another. But the dreams aren't sad, they're usually sort of benign. And it's always nice to see him.

Last night he was sick in the dream. He was young, but Al-x was there and he wasn't, he was as old as he's supposed to be. Isaac was in bed and I knew he would die as though it had already happened a thousand times and nobody talked, everybody seemed heavy, but I felt light because I was aware that I had a tiny window of time with him that I thought I'd lost. Nobody else understood that fact. It was a good dream.

In other news, this is my three year bloggerversary! It feels very appropriate to be back now. :-)