October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat

We dumped about 200 pieces of candy on the streets of Hartford tonight - we get a dollap from the neighborhood, a pile from the apartment complexes nearby, and a lot of cars bringing kids in. Zippy took off to exercise and avoid the doorbell and barking dog. I set up barriers to keep the dogs away from the front door. A lot of the kids liked the dogs. A lot of kids did not even bother with costumes....

Finally turned the lights off at 8:00 pm; we got a few stragglers after that.

October 30, 2006

Enlightenment Intensive

So if you are looking for me this coming weekend, well don't bother. I will be out of email range. No cell phone. I'm going to an Enlightenment Intensive.

I am not 100% sure about this, but it feels right. I picked up a brochure for this particular Enlightenment Intensive down at the yoga studio before I even started yoga - Zippy and I were bike riding and found the yoga studio (which I had never been by) - and along with a studio brochure I picked up the EI brochure. And it seemed right then, but perhaps I was not ready. Now, 18 months later, I have practiced a lot of yoga. I have really gotten a lot out of that, enough to believe that the EI will afford some similar stuff. I know and trust the leader of this intensive. It seems like it still fits.

Of course, when others have heard I was doing this, I heard some stories of people leaving mid weekend. People having psychic breaks. I guess it gets pretty intense. That's OK. Those who recall my group therapy days know I am an intensity junkie. My own walls, defenses, masks, and armor are complex, strong, and multiply redundant. I need something unexpected, unusual, deep, challenging to break me, a little.

I'll be back Monday. In one form or another.....

The Bottom Line

Goofball folk music campaign radio spot from Joe Lieberman here.

I swear to god I heard this and thought it was a parody, or something the Lamont team had cooked up to bust Lieberman's chops. Or advertising tires or a lower grade steak joint or something similar.
Singing: When you walk into that voting booth, looking for the real truth; well people this year you will find, you're looking for the bottom line.

Joe Lieberman has been the one to say it straight and get it done. He's there for us once again, now Connecticut's there for Lieberman.

Look past the parties and the names, there's no room for political games, Joe's stood up for us every time, it's time to vote the bottom line.

Announcer: This year Joe Lieberman may be a little harder to find in the voting booth, because he's running independently in the Connecticut for Lieberman party, you'll find his name near the bottom of column two on the ballot. So take your time, look carefully and vote for Joe Lieberman.

Singing: When you walk into that voting booth, looking for the real truth, vote your heart and vote your mind, you'll find Joe on the bottom line.


Joe Lieberman: I'm Joe Lieberman, I'm running for Senate, and I approved this message. Paid for by Friends of Joe Lieberman

Friends of Joe Lieberman with absolutely no idea what music is supposed to sound like, I suppose.....nor I imagine be expected to have shown up at the real Bottom Line.

Quitting Caffeine

I'm in the process of detoxing from caffeine. Heading to a retreat this coming weekend that is caffeine free and we'll be doing some kind of intense (focused) work so do not want headaches or the like. I got a good head start last week; with no morning coffee while I traveled and maybe one cup at the conference. I think I had my caffeine headache out there, on Thursday. I've been hitting decaf in the morning; although I did have a cup of the real stuff yesterday afternoon. But I think I am over the hump. Would not be a bad practice to continue past the weekend.....

Pretty mellow weekend - slept in Saturday, made a rare appearance at a support space (the rainy and windy weather kept me from the piles of outdoor chores pending around here), and we did a nice dinner and movie night with a group of women. Met a woman entrepreneur who makes handmade, organic dog treats: Baggabones. We got the clock change thing right.

Sunday morning, yoga. Then hanging around - still too windy to rake or spend a lot of time outdoors. We ended up at Kohls - Zippy found shoes and pants, I got socks. Lots of socks.

This week - plenty of work to do. A bunch of reports for one client. A trip report from my long island trip. Some projects to finish for October, then the end of the month stuff. I am headed out to a retreat all weekend (Fri-Sun) so I will be presed to get stuff finished. In the evenings - tonight, meditation group. Tomorrow, hand out candy to the kids. Wednesday - MYA for dinner. Thursday, off to the retreat.

No rest for the wicked....

October 28, 2006

So, Back Home

Friday was the travel day from hell. I might as well have opted for a red-eye on Thursday night for all the benefits of traveling back during daylight. Although my travails were partially self-inflicted, well.....

I had a 6:05 am flight out of LAX. I left the hotel at 4:15, got up to the rental car place at 4:45 am. Cutting it close, but not horrible. Sadly, I just missed the one shuttle bus, and was told 10-15 minutes. It was gonna be close, but I was not panicking yet. Well, the 10-15 minutes stretched to 25 minutes. Then when we got on the bus, the driver was incredibly slow and thoughtful about it all. Contrasted to the Tuesday night driver who pretty much got the bus airborne in evening rush hour traffic. So I got to the terminal about 35 minutes pre-flight. For future reference, you might want to avoid Advantage Rent-a-Car in Los Angeles - I was being cheap. Although I've had pretty crappy experiences at almost every rental provider at LAX. I think its an airport / city thing.

So, my woes were self inflicted for (a) being cheap on the rental car and (b) not leaving early enough to accommodate complications. I own it, lesson learned.

I got to the ticket counter and I bet if I had just moved to the self check-in I might have gotten on to the flight. (I had a bag to check, LAX had a 45 minute baggage window) - but I asked the woman at the head of the line and she said "you missed your flight" and pointed me to the longer and slower change ticket line. Even with all that (a long wait, and a long time at the counter while they tried to get me onto a flight) and then taking luggage to TSA and going through security myself, I still made it down to the gate as my 6:05 flight was boarding. I should have tried to sneak on stand-by.

Anyway, flights were full and oversold to ORD, due to bad weather in Chicago on Thursday, and they got progressively more delayed on Friday. I did not make it on (via Standby) a 7:30 and a 9:00 flight to ORD, just made it on to a 10:30 flight that did not leave until close to Noon. Center seat, natch, although my seatmates were a nice woman who was a tech writer heading to France for work, so we chatted about engineering stuff, and a wispy young woman who did not overflow into my side of the arm rest. Got into ORD at 6:00 pm. Thankfully, the last flight to BDL, scheduled for 5:50 pm, was late and did not leave until close to 7:00 pm - not oversold but weight limited - so I was on standby again. But made it.

I got home around 11:00 pm. My bag had apparently made it onto earlier flights, so it was waiting for me at BDL. I was in a long term lot (cause I was paying, and it was a longer trip) - I often park in the garage or lot - so that added some time.

But - home safe. Lesson learned:

a) The bigger rental car companies spend that money on shuttle buses and people to drive 'em.
b) Do not cut it close at LAX, and not when you are using an unknown entity (lower tier rental car)
c) Traveling sucks and I would prefer to avoid it as much as possible.

Zippy and I are headed to Chicago again (for the RSNA meeting, end of November) but:

a) Direct flights to/from ORD
b) Taxi to/from the airport which my clients will be picking up
c) More reasonable flights (time of day, day of week)

October 26, 2006

Leaving Los Angeles

Another conference come and gone. Not really so much new - like Brigadoon, we return each year for a slice of networking and seminaring.

I missed a network and schmoozathon last night (sponsored cocktail party) for the privilege of dining with J, out here in LA. It was really really good, for a bunch of reasons. J has a beautiful apartment in the Hollywood Hills, impeccably and warmly furnished (Zippy's comment "Of course, she's a Libra" and in fact J said the same thing (about her birth sign as a reason why her place was so gorgeous). It took some of my "sting" away, I have held the image of her rootless and adrift - when in fact she has a most wonderful home. Surely more grounded than I am!

We talked about a lot. We went to a fabulous little restaurant on Sunset Blvd called Dusty's - noteworthy for the waitron's (who all seemed to be wearing nightgowns) to the lights (beautiful fixtures, very romantic inside) to the food. I had a seared peppercorn Ahi to die for.

I dunno, we seem to be surprising each other. I was kind of noncomittal about getting together because I was out here for work and needed to be schmoozing, but I am totally glad I did. It was wonderfully healing for me; and I think for her. And she is working on recording some old songs that have never had the full studio treatment, and the rough mixes are pretty great.

She also has an IPOD which makes me jealous. Bet she has real cable too.

October 25, 2006

Los Angeles

Sitting in a not so fabulous Rodeway Inn in Long Beach, near the convention center. It's main charms - its across the street from a Subway and a FedEx/Kinkos, its next to a fairly reasonable mexican restaurant, it has free internet, it's lot is fairly empty, and its inexpensive. The conference hotels were running, $160-$200; I am paying half that a block away. Since this is a marketing trip, and being on the west coast, a fairly long one (3 nights) I'm being cheap.

The rental car company (Advantage, also a less expensive brand than I usually get) has gifted me with a canary yellow Chevy Cobalt with manual doors and windows. Sheesh.

I got up at 4 am (not so bad, thats 7 am east coast), called the Zipster, and threw down some postures - not a full practice, just to get me going. Now I need to finish up my presentation, get cleaned up and dressed, maybe sneak over to Kinko's to get things printed up.

Tonight, I am gonna try to connect with the mysterious J (my ex) for dinner........

October 24, 2006

O'Hare

Nice to know nothing changes. Oh, yeah, they have WIFI here finally, although you got't to be paying.

I needed to do a website tweak for a client, so I needed to be online. So might as well blog too. En route to LAX. Another glory hole of an airport.

Writers and Artists Snacking at Work - WASAW

I was doing a web search on Lorna Doone cookies (don't ask) and stumbled upon this site.

In the mood for snacks?

Of course you are! After all, snacks are one of the few things in life that can turn an enemy into a friend, a traitor into an ally, a cheap bastard into a cheap bastard with snacks.

But is there an art to picking a snack?

Hell, yeah. While most folks will pick the first - or, egads!, the cheapest - snack they can find when hunger strikes, most folks are morons. Hey, picking the right snack can mean the difference between scoring a huge tasty treat or winding up with something more like "bile in a baggy."

That's where WASAW comes in...

We are five members strong - originally co-workers with a bountiful office vending machine, we have since scattered throughout the country to provide you with a fairer representation of snacks in America. (And beyond, when our international friends send us snacks to review.)

After all, the snacks we discover at our individual places of work may have already found their way into your office vending machine or neighborhood Good Humor ice cream truck. You'll want to be prepared.

So be sure and check with WASAW before making your next snack investment. Our reports are easy to print and read, and hopefully entertaining, too. If all goes well, you'll learn from our mistakes and reward yourself with our triumphs... all in the name of quality snacking.


If you need further evidence of the greatness of this concept, check out the review of the Taco Bell Caramel Apple Empanada

Business Travel Haiku

Long Beach conference
I packed pantyhose and heels
Returning Friday

Recurring Themes

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
The Summer Day, Mary Oliver

Thanks, Char....

October 23, 2006

Tee Shirts and Swag

I have been gifted with stuff, of late.

At the debate rally, I was handed a Ned Lamont tee shirt. Which I am proud to own and wear. Yesterday, we participated in America's Walk for Diabetes, and received two more tee shirts (one for the Joslin Center team, the High Steppers, through the Hospital of Central Connecticut (formerly New Britain General) , and one a red ADA "Walk" tee-shirt for having enough donations. The Joslin folks also gifted us with baseball caps (when was the last time you saw me wearing one of those?) and a lunch Koozie.

Yesterday was pretty laid back - I did some personal yoga in the morning, then the walk-a-thon (where we connected with 3 friends, and Zippy ran into someone from the water aerobics class). Then we hung out, napped, raked leaves. I ran over to the office for a few hours of work at night. Then Audrey came by for a visit.

I'm gonna be frantic today - I am heading out for CA tomorrow. Which means I need to:

* Get my presentation together (powerpoint, handouts)
* Pack my work stuff
* Load my laptop
* Finish up a special report for Client S
* Do a trip report for my Long Island trip
* Get a couple of proposals out that should have been done last week
* Pack my clothes

I am gonna try to squeeze in a hair appointment and at least one session of yoga, and I have my meditation class tonight.

Basically, when I hit the airplane seat, I suspect I am just gonna collapse. I have a an extra day out there to chill - my presentation and workshop chairing responsibilities are not until Thursday. So I can hopefull catch up a little remotely.

October 21, 2006

Lacing Up the Rykas

I hit Jazz-x this morning, for the first time in close to a month. My meditation workshop conflicts with my regular Monday nights; and the good weekend weather has meant balloon chasing on Saturdays throughout October, and Sunday morning yoga is sort of a ritual. Today was an off day by dint of the cold front coming through - although right now its just spectacular out. I will probably be hit and miss for a few more weeks - the workshop is 1/2 way done, and ballooning will carry on - I'm in CA all next week, and suspect November will also be moderately busy.

It's nice to be missed, although truthfully I have way too many exercise and leisure activity options of late.

Sometimes I Crack Myself Up

Posted on a recent message board
We continue to field competing teams NCTE and NTAC farming pretty much the same piece of earth (to obfuscate and confuse, not unlike my mixed metaphors, unless the teams I was referring to were teams of plow horses, in which case the metaphor holds water. Oh wait. Damn.)

Someone should pay me for this sort of clever writing. Really.

Progressive Party

When one goes to a Halloween party where the primary attendees are (a) Librarians and (b) Unitarian Universalists, well, it tends to be a pretty liberal crowd.

When the host and hostess have a little New Orleans in their backgrounds, and the comestibles include gumbo, jambalaya, dirty rice, red beans, and cornbread, you are happy to have skipped dinner. (Said host and hostess also had a stellar costume concept - the "Host" came as a communion wafer, and the "Hostess" came as a twinkie. We were much amused.)

And when the House Majority leader happens to live down the street and comes calling in fabulous cowboy garb (methinks he moonlights as a country-western musician), well, its a partay!

Nurse Judy (my other costume concept, Yogi Bear, fell through for want of a bear mask or makeup and clean yoga duds) and Zippy the pinhead attended. And while Zippy did a core dump on health care to the Meriden cowboy, I am amused this morning to find (a) that Rep. Donovan is the House Majority Leader (and somewhat chagrined not to have recognized that last night, I am clueless on state government) and that his state website targets health care for the 2007 legislative agenda:
June 22, 2006
UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE
“The challenge before us is to provide quality healthcare at an affordable price that is accessible to everyone. It is a challenge the House Democrats are willing to take on – I view universal healthcare as a top priority for our caucus in the 2007 legislative session. The time has come to make healthcare available to all Connecticut residents.”

Rep. Christopher Donovan, House Majority Leader


Adding to the angst, a former GF (from back in the day, before a certain major life change, and who I was pretty thoughtless to in terms of breaking up and am mortified at my behavior to this day) was at the party. Thankfully, she is as classy as I am classless, and all went well, and Zippy has another ex of mine to have a crush on.

October 20, 2006

Before 7:00 AM

I had a package waiting from the Guitar Center when I came home yesterday. Among other things, new tuners and strap-buttons. I spent some time this morning installing the tuners on my old Ibanez. Needed to drill out the holes a bit. I need a little more work, but for the most part, the guitar has been successfully upgraded.

Creative Cocktail Hour

A rare appearance at the Creative Cocktail Hour - I was not planning on going but I got back from my day trip early, and Zippy was planning to go (an even rarer event) to see Bipolar Jukebox so I tagged along. Zippy met Andre the keyboardist at Tai Chi class, and we've seen them at Sully's. Interesting night. Zippy picked up their newish CD, and talked to Andre about the band elements (we recalled sax, missing this evening) - apparently the live band is pretty fluid what with work and life, they were pretty tight and full this evening.

The usual cadre of celebs and characters, I guess - the crowd seemed light at first but the parking lot was packed as we left (apparently some trouble with a Black Audi, condolences if your car got bashed or stolen or caught fire or something). I chatted with some folks, we enjoyed the first set of the band. One of my yoga friends and I compared notes about classes and workshops - she had befriended Andre at a community theater, but had never seen the group, and reported that Andre and Kate are friends and have collaborated, which I had not realized. The world is so freaking small.

Zippy observed that the creative cocktail hour was attended by people on the physical extremes, with a lot of tallish men and women (not counting the tranny's) and a lot of shortish ones. Not sure if thats true or just a fluke of observation. Maybe the tall and short people feel safer at RAW / CCH. Maybe there are just a lot of tall and short people out there, but being social outcasts we never notice 'em.

I partook of the creative cocktail (some vodka / cream / chocolate / kahlua concoction) and was accused of drunkdedness for the rest of the evening. Not entirely without merit, I drink so infrequently that I am a cheap date these days, and I was unusually not driving (thanks MP!) so I felt a little more free to imbibe. We took off somewhat early, 8 or so. Nice night.

Reproductive Rights

I spent a few hours yesterday morning digging through the electrical system of a Planned Parenthood office. I walked in to a vestibule where the windows were all bulletproof glass, it looked like one of those check cashing places in the urban areas - fortified for an assault. Two levels of buzzers to get into first the waiting room, then the offices. Sobering. Those who would use violence against women, the terrorists in a different sort of war, are out there.

I did not find much (sadly) - they had some interference on an ultrasound machine and it's not magnetic fields, it's not electrical. But as I reported my findings, the office manager was relieved. "Two of our staff members are pregnant, and a lot of our clients are as well, and we were worried about magnetic fields". I imagine those who would cast this organization more darkly would not choose to see or hear that sort of concern for life, that sort of reverence for reproduction. I imagine a lot of healthy children come into the world because of the free or subsidized care of offices like this.

I am not a huge fan of abortion. But if we want to reduce the number of abortions, we promote contraception, we teach kids about reproduction, we make safe spaces for women to carry unplanned pregnancies to term, we put in place a safety net for single mothers. The sorts of thing that happen in this office.

As I rolled my tool case out to the car, I stopped back into the managers office. "Thank you for the work that you do here". I do some good things in the world, I like to think. And I am sure my mere existence gets under the skin of some. But my life work does not force me behind bullet proof glass.....

Balmy Morning

There was an old joke out there, perhaps during the first gulf war, perhaps at the start of this one when we were pumped up on machismo and technological superiority. It went "What's the weather tonight in Baghdad? Balmy (bomb-ie)......"

Jokes on us, eh? While words like quaqmire and malaise have been in use pretty much from the start by those opposed to the war, it really does feel like that, these days. Having grown up in the Vietnam era, and watched the few minutes of footage and reportage, the crude maps and graphics of the era, and the body count, the news out of Iraq is damn near nostalgic. Sadly so. 74 dead Americans in October so far.

Fatique is setting in, with the red states trustfully sending sons and brothers and fathers to fight and planning to pull the Republican lever through their tears, and the blue states realizing that there is not much we can do without regime change at home - and focusing all of our energies on ousting every single war supporting senator, congressperson, and town clerk we can get our votes on.

No idea where this came from, I took the dogs out this morning and the mild October morning game me the word Balmy......

October 18, 2006

Debate Support

I took an hour off this afternoon to camp out at the Bushnell, to support Ned Lamont. Apparently, 200 others had the same idea (OK, the campaign made it an event, with an email and a few calls). It was a remarkable afternoon.

Lieberman Supporters. None. A few campaign staffers skulking, but no signs, no chants, no volunteers. Senator Lieberman himself skulked into the building (we were hoping to greet him) but by the time we got to the side of the Bushnell, his car was parked and he was gone.

Schlesinger Supporters. A handful. Maybe 4-6. I was hard pressed to be sure if they were real or actors - they seemed to be a bit "too" stereotypically nerdy young Republicans. But who knows. They got lots of cheers from the Ned Heads.....

Family. I met and shook hands with Ned Lamont's mother and father. Mom had a Ned Head button on.

Diversity. Bloggers were there, many with cameras or videotapes. But also seniors. Radicals. Men and women in workplace suits. College kids. Blue collar folks. Persons of color. Queer folk.

The Kiss Float. Finally got a good look at it. Humor.

I stayed until Mr. Lamont showed up, shook hands, went inside. Then back to my day.


Photo by Matt Stoller
- I'm in the middle

Some of Matt's Other Debate Photos here

Lamont campaign snapshots here

Southwest Airlines vs. Wright Amendment

Got the following email from Southwest Airlines this morning. I am a pretty big fan of Southwest, on a lot of levels - their flights are on time, their service is consistent, its pretty egalitarian (i.e. - one does not need to be particularly privileged to be standing in the A grouping). They are profitable; my tax dollars are not subsidizing business frequent flyers nor families with screaming kids going to Disney World.
After 27 long years, the Wright Amendment fight is finally over! The Wright Amendment Reform Act was enacted into law, which will ultimately repeal the Wright Amendment in 2014. But now it allows Southwest Airlines to sell one-stop (same plane) and connecting service to and from Dallas to many new destinations across the country, including: Baltimore/Washington, Chicago Midway, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix, and San Diego. Now all of our Customers, including those who fly into or out of Dallas Love Field Airport, truly are free to move about the country!

Starting today, Southwest will begin selling one-stop (same plane) and connecting flights into or out of Dallas for travel beginning October 19, 2006.

For additional information on the history of the Wright Amendment and what the Wright Amendment Reform Act means for you, please visit setlovefree.com

October 17, 2006

Friday Night Lights

Matt Saracen = Hazel and Landry Plemons = Fiver. Or at least, it could go that way......

Bullet Dodged

Heading to Southington this afternoon for a dentist appointment (my third this month, a cleaning / checkup, a cavity, and a refill of some fillings). So I'm sitting here with an aching jaw, the new dentist (former VA dentist) has a bit of a heavy hand on the drill, although he is nice enough.

But en route, the old Saturn with 237,000 miles on it started coughing and gasping. It ran OK at low speeds, it ran OK at higher RPM (4th on the highway) but around 2000 RPM it was coughing, stuttering, feeling pretty bad. The Check Engine light was lit, then flashing.

Turned out to need a tune-up. $300 and change, for sparks, wires, all that stuff - but its back on the road and runs well. I was just thankful it was not something worse. With that many miles, I am waiting for the blown head gasket or worse that would end the car's life.....but, not yet.

Yoga Spam

I moderate comments here, mostly because the SPAM bots and worms have infiltrated blogland, but also because occasionally someone with an axe to grind will decide to be problematic.

Today, I got a comment on a post from back in April. Somewhere in there I mentione yoga. And so I get a comment:
yoga Do you know that in studying psychology anyone who is acquainted with the Sanskrit tongue must know how valuable that language is for precise and scientific dealing with the subject. The Sanskrit, or the well-made, the constructed, the built-together, tongue, is one that lends itself better than any other to the elucidation of psychological difficulties. Need more information? Visit yoga class


The post links in to yoga.publicinformationportal.com, which does not seem to be a commercial site except for 4 fairly discrete google adword listings. A few nominal links to text which seems a bit ethereal but not problematic.

Just goofy. Yoga spam. Makes me wonder if someone has set up a bot or worm to comb blogland looking for places to link in specific subjects - are the revenues from Adwords (which are only billed when one click on 'em) worth it?)

The adwords themselves are amusing - with a "Manifest Piles of Money" headline, and a Kundalini Ringtone, a Krishna Ringtone, and an intriguing IS YOGA DANGEROUS? come on that leads to www.yogadangers.com - which seems to be a Christian based site aimed at beating down the "salvation" competition. Rutro.....

That makes me a double abomination....

Mad Agnes at Roaring Brook

As one gets older, the years start tumbling over one another. I last saw Mad Agnes perform back in November 2003 - nearly 3 years ago. If feels like yesterday. Sheesh.

Adrienne, Margo, and Mark are my own local favorite harmony group - homegrown Roches (except Terre is a boy in this incarnation). As they prepped for a capella numbers, Margo would finger a chord on her keyboard, and joke that you could tell if was gonna be a traditional / cover song (minor key) or a Mad Agnes song (major key) and she demonstrated that about 1/2 the time. A mini music lesson, and funny.

I've loved Mad Agnes from the start - I saw Margo perform solo in the way early years (in my I am recently single and alone so going to folk music concerts is pretty much my entire social life period) and fell in love with her voice, her music, her spirit. And I have followed her through Madwimmen in the Attic (Margo, Adrienne, and Diane, who could have been in the audience at Roaring Brook, not 100% sure and its been years since I have seen here) which I loved, and finally into Mad Agnes.

They were, as usual, in fine voice and technique - they are all wonderfully talented, and its neat to see them trading off instruments (Margo and Adrienne share a bass, Mark bounces back and forth from guitar to dobro to mandolin, and Margo never seems to sit still on one instrument for more than a song - keyboard, guitar, travel guitar). It is overwhelming how skilled and honed they are - I have been listening to the new CD over the past day or so, and so many of the songs are pretty much exactly the same as they were performed live. In a lot of cases, people tend to smooth the rough edges, layer on effects, fill out the accompaniment in the studio. Not Mad Agnes - their live music is lush and perfect, and needs no studio wizardry.

It's funny, Mark seems to have come into his own of late; teasing Margo and Adrienne (and vice-versa), carrying an equal portion of harmony. I enjoyed his leg of the stool as much as the other two this time around. Margo mentioned "Mark has three instrumentals on the new CD" and sometimes that can be code for "we did not have enough content" or "prepare for self indulgence" but really his three tracks are fairly short (1 - 2 minutes) and delicate and tasteful and leave you wanting more. As I listened I thought I would like a whole CD filled with his instrumentals, I could practice yoga to them or just leave them playing in the background of my life.

The new CD is a mixed group of songs. Adrienne's songs speak of a relationship gone south - loss, pain, loneliness, hope (Chocolate, Everything I Needed to Know ABout Love I Learned from My Dog, Black Crow). But also, two pieces on work (Katie and Circuit City) and the eerie and beautiful mood piece Rabbit in the Moon which so perfectly uses the Mad Agnes harmonies and ability to shift temp and mood.

Margo's pieces are also diverse - Green is a self critical / funny musing on jealousy, Voyager is a mystical bookend to Adrienne's Rabbit in the Moon, and Make It Better is a gospel tinged song of hope that DAMN WELL BETTER BE SUNG FROM THE MAIN STAGE AT FALCON RIDGE SOON. (this is what we call aggressive positive affirmation)

Finally, two numbers (and a centerfold of snapshots) pay homage to Mark's mother's place in Maine, where the band goes to recharge, write, relax. A Place This Quiet (Adrienne) is gentle and loving. And In Maine, co-written by Margo and Mark as a birthday gift to Mark's mother on her 90th birthday, brought tears to my eyes - so much love, so much beauty.

I want people in my life like Margo and Adrienne and Mark. They are creatures of light and beauty, they are talented and hard working and hopeful.

Mad Agnes is overdue for some success and recognition. Buying their new CD Revenants when it is available (I picked up a copy at the show, not sure if its available online yet) and going to see them live is a start. And I am officially starting the GET MAD AGNES TO FALCON RIDGE campaign right now.

Weekend Recovery

Without realizing it, the weekend became a busy one. So I am only now recovering.

Friday was Kirtan, of course. Saturday morning was chores and shopping and hanging out, then the 3 hour yoga workshop that my pelvis is still discussing. Then home for sinner and then off to see Mad Agnes (more about them later) at Roaring Brook.

Sunday was balloon chasing - BB took a 4 person family from Southington to Berlin. Champagne and snacks after but no breakfast, then home for some more shopping and chores, then off to pick up MYA for the Rainbow Room. Meditated and more chores while she was there, then fetched her, we did dinner, took her home, and back to the house.

Monday was busy in its own right - work and zapping and a meditation group. And today - work, yoga, dentist appointment, work.

Somewhere there is a woman who has time to do her nails, who can watch television shows, who can find time to have a Second Life or chat online or play Sims or whatnot. But it ain't me, babe......

October 14, 2006

Susan Forbes Hansen

How does she do it. She was standing at the back of the house at Roaring Brook Nature Center tonight at the start of the Mad Agnes show. She left at some point at or before the break. She was on the air on WFCR (Valley Folk) at 9:00 pm. How, pray tell?

Theory #1: She tapes the show. Not hard to do - you sync your clock, you run through the show live, you roll the tape at the appointed time. It's not like there are traffic or weather updates on public radio on Saturday night. Walt Graham from WSHU would do that now and then for Acousticonnections, although I think he mostly ran live. Giving credence to this, in her concert announcements she mentioned Roaring Brook a few times, and one would think she would mention having just come from there. She might even just tape the first hour or so. In any case, we cleared the NAture Center around 10:10 and she was on the air - we got to hear We're About Nine and Girlyman, pulling our hair out trying to figure out who it was (we've seen 'em both at Falcon Ridge, and I in fact own CD's from both groups, though have not listened to either in a while)

Theory #2: She lives near Roaring Brook and is able to broadcast live from her home. Technologically sound, though pricey. Seeing as she does shows on a bunch of stations, not completely unlikely.

Theory #3: Magic. Or Dimension Drive.

Theory #4: She has a twin. Or a clone.

That's Twice Now

A long workshop with Barbara at the studio and we end up in a long downward facing frog as a culmination of close to 3 hours of hip and shoulder work. And my body reacts predictably - convulsed in what can best be described as sobbing. I let my body have its grief, I shed a few tears myself. We have been at war for years, my body and I, and I do not begrudge my hips and pelvis for being angry, for shedding tears. I have demanded much sacrifice of them in recent years. As we make peace, there will be grief, there will be sobbing.

The second time that has happened, both times in Barbara's workshops. She wields powerful magick. Gonna take some time for me to recover. Not the comfortable but vigorous power class, nor the challenging aerobics of the hot class - this was a deep and strong and long and powerful practice. And for the first time since I started practicing at the studio, I felt present, I felt ready for one of Barbara's workshops / practices. The student is getting ready for the teacher, I think.

In other news - I have misplaced my cell phone. Might be at the studio from Kirtan. Might be in the car. Might be in my music bags and cases. Might be around the house. I dunno. Still looking for it....

And finally, we're off to see Mad Agnes tonight at Roaring Brook - a CD release party for their new work Revenants. Much joy to see them again; the last time was November 2003. A lifetime ago.

Edit: Cell phone found. It dropped out of my bag and into one of the cloth grocery bags this morning. Yeah.

En-chant-ment

Kirtan was last night. By all accounts, a success, especially consisdering it was my first time playing with the group and my first time playing in public in oh, 10 years or so. Some random observations:

* I found the kirtan soul despite being rooted into the reality of being a musician. Thankfully, my playing has entered muscle memory over the years - so with sufficient practice and familiarity with the chants, I was there in spirit. I was concerned about losing some of the spirit.

* We had some PA problems (speaker wiring and just not a lot of set-up time) so pretty much went without sound check. I would have liked to have gotten levels on both guitars.

* I had my old guitar set up open tuning for slide in one chant; in reality, I think I could have had time to retune the new guitar (especially with the built-in tuner) but we were pretty much working without a set list....and I was not really hearing the chants called out

* A switch-box to alternate guitars would have been nice. So would a small monitor or headphone to permit myself to hear myself

* Only one "surprise" - a coda to Ma Durga, left me fumbling. Apologies to ears I must have offended trying to find the third chord in the progression.

* I saw a few yoga friends in the crowd, some of whom seemed surprised to see me up front with a guitar in my hands. I suspect I'll have a few conversations about that in the coming week.

* I sat on bolsters / pillows - either cross-legged or kneeling. No serious knee or back issues but I think finding a formal seat is a good plan for the future.

* I am excited to get my old guitar tweaked up a bit - new tuners, a strap button on the neck. After playing the new guitar (smaller body) the old one sounds deep and full - and I am appreciating it a little more. If I cen get it to stay in tune - so much the better! The new guitar ALSO makes me realize how crappy the old tuners have become after 25+ years.

So yeah. Music wise - I am back. I'm happy about that.

October 13, 2006

This and That

Well, with the turn in weather yesterday, fall seems to be finally and incontroveribly upon us. The hard freeze last nigght was just what the trees needed to finally kick over, and I expect foliage peak this weekend or next.

After a month or so in storage to prevent fatique, my Ned Lamont lawnsign is back. My schedule does not really permit a lot of phone banking in the coming weeks, but I'm still on board.

MYA and I went to Real Art Ways last night to see Princesas, a spanish film about two prostitutes (one home grown, one from the dominican republic). It was really outstanding, a wonderful story about friendship and women in difficult situations, and wonderfully set to film. Hard and gritty, but wonderful.

I have a bunch of little things going on today - along the work lines. Tonight, Zippy and I are having a nice dinner, and later, Kirtan - I am excited about that. Going to run through everything one more time today, I restrung my new guitar, I tuned up my old guitar (backup). I need to add some changes and reprint my music / chords. Rumor has it that the bass player for Krisna Das is joining us tonight. This is (in chanting or kirtan circles) the equivalent of Garry Tallent sitting in with a bar band doing Burce covers. Needless to say, the guitarist is nervous.

Whoa. I just went looking. Not sure if the person joining us is "a" bass player for Krisna Das (i.e. - someone local who has played with Krisna Das along the way) or "the" bass player for Krisna Das. But if its the latter, it will be very wonderful to meet her and it kind of puts a weird and new gendered spin on my nervousness.

October 12, 2006

Kimmel Profile

Churned up by a lot of things:

* The new NBC television show Friday Night Lights
* The White House attention to School Safety
* GenderPAC
* Colin McEnroe's Blog

To quote GenderPAC:
In a (clarification mine: June 2003 article for the journal American Behavioral Scientist, entitled Adolescent Masculinity, Homophobia, and Violence: Random School Shootings, 1982-2001) Michael Kimmel, Ph.D., found that nearly all 29 school shootings that occurred between 1992 and 2001 were carried out by heterosexual male teenagers in rural "red state" communities who had been mercilessly tormented and bullied because peers perceived them as being bookish, unaggressive, and unmasculine. All were in communities that tolerated aggressive harassment to compel masculinity in boys, and all chose powerful weapons -- shotguns, assault rifles -- as weapons.

Link to this Issue on the American Behavioral Scientist website

Dr. Michael Kimmel: Speaker Website. Academic CV. Wikiepdia.

Also, online interviews: Frontline. KUED's No Safe Place.

Just stirring the pot a little. As is my wont.

October 11, 2006

America's Walk for Diabetes

Zippy and I will be walking in the America's Walk for Diabetes fund-raising event to benefit the American Diabetes Association on October 22nd. I am taking part in this event because I believe in and support the Association's mission: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

For those who do not know, Zippy has had Type 1 diabetes for over 35 years - she has not had serious complications because she takes pretty good care of herself, and she works with the really wonderful folks at the Joslin Diabete's Center in New Britain. I am completely in awe of this program - the education, support in terms of nutrition, mental health, physical health.

No pressure, but if you have a few bucks to toss at a good cause, we'll appreciate it!

More information on the American Diabetes Association, its programs and diabetes in general can be found at the Association's Web site: www.diabetes.org

For more information on America's Walk for Diabetes, please visit www.diabetes.org/walk.

Click here to visit my personal page.

Click here to view the team page for Joslin High Steppers

Thanks!

National Coming Out Day

[ X ] Transexual Woman
[ X ] Bisexual Woman
[ X ] Electrical Engineer (this last pains me most of all)

Just saying.

October 10, 2006

Tuesday Night

As usual, for me, I am going 90 MPH and taking turns on two wheels....aside from the usual running around, I trekked down to New Haven for a mentoring meeting, which was great - nice to meet the mentors from that part of the state. One good contact was Tony Ferraiolo - who has an Open Studio show coming up Oct 28-29 that I think we might try to get to.

Upcoming - tomorrow is running the Zipster back and forth to the doctors, and working in Waterbury. Thursday is MYA in the evening. Friday is Kirtan. Saturday is Mad Agnes at Roaring Brook. Probably going to sneak some yoga in there.

Please Flush

If it is the recurring theme in my life, the plot needs some work, but in three public restrooms I was in today, there were handmade signs posted reminding people to flush after use. One *might* think this sort of thing would have been handled in childhood. Grade school, maybe.

Hiya Neighbor

To the guy in the BMW with NY plates and a Ned Lamont bumper sticker, driving south on the Merritt around North Haven at 5:45 pm or so, and waving out the sun roof....the woman in the maroon Saturn says hi.

I assume my Ned Lamont sticker was the common thread that got you waving.

October 08, 2006

Weekend Update

Just a quickie. Long couple of days.

Saturday we took off for Bell Meade NJ (near Princeton) to visit Zippy's dad's ex wife T. No relation to Zippy but she is the mother of Zippy's step sibs on her dad's side. Zippy has not seen her in 10+ years, and apparently T had been hearing about me a nd wanted to meet me and see Zippy again. Lovely visit - she has a gorgeous secluded home on a small river and was really charming. Bit of a long day (3.5 hours each way, including stops for potty, gas, and food) but a nice day trip.

This morning I crewed for the balloon - we met up in Farmington (fogged in, and a field full of balloons on the autumn morning) so we sojourned to Southington. A shortish flight (ended up in Cheshire off East Johnson Avenue) but a near perfect day for the passengers. Then the traditional snackage and champagne, then breakfast in Plainville. I got back to the house around 11:30.

After a few hours of chores (and a visit from Zippy's father, saying farewell before his upcoming trip to Italy) we headed up to Northampton. Zippy went to a support group meeting (which went very well) and I hung out with an old friend Jeep. Really nice to spend time - Jeep and I go back a ways and we always catch each other at some conference or Pride or something, but never really site and talk. So, yay!

En route home we stopped at a Friendlies off Rte. 91 in MA which was godawful. Understaffed, and the food was ick - should have just got burgers. Zippy tried for the flounder (they were out, gave her some fried fish and some veggies) and I had the asian chicken salad which was basically some chopped greens, a few chunks of chicken, mandarin oranges, and almonds. None of the asian noodles, nothing interesting or creative or presented decently. Note to self: no more Friendly's. We would have done much better at the Chili's across the street or even Wendy's.

October 07, 2006

But Oh the Weekend

Will be a busy one. We head down to Princeton NJ. It's a long story, but Zippy's father's ex-wife (who is neither mother nor step-mother to Zippy) has summoned us down for a visit. OStensibly, its a birthday get together for J, Zippy's sister. But I suspect there is also a desire to meet me, to reconnect with Zippy. It should be interesting.

Odd how different our families are. Mine is more conventional - an insular family (long departed father, living mother, 4 kids, one in-law, 3 grandkids) set in the landscape of a huge rambling crowd of uncles, aunts, cousins - good catholic procreators all! So there is the small core of family I know so well, and a larger family I know less, by dint of numbers if nothing else.

Zippy, OTOH, has a rambling immediate family - with parents that divorced young, two completely independent step-families with unique personalities and character. It is informative that she has two sisters named Jenny, accurately described as Jenny A and Jenny B. And her immediate family is spread wide - Austin, Los Angeles, DC, NYC, CT. Amusingly, her families are somewhat Freudian, with her father's side being more Id, and her mother's side being more Ego. However, get past the immediate family and there is far less family - with just a few faces among cousins, aunts, uncles.

Assuming we make it back from there today, tomorrow is ballooning in the morning (weather permitting) and a trip to Northampton in the afternoon. With a visit from Zippy's father and possibly my mother (en route back from her own NJ sabbatical) in between.

In between - meditation. Maybe some self-directed yoga. Buttoning up the house (I closed the storms once so far, but we had a nice stretch there and a lot of the screens are back). And practicing for Kirtan.

Type A Yogi

I kind of took the week off, yoga wise. I mean, I went to two gentle classes, but I did not get to any of the hot / power classes I usually frequent, and I had the chance to go to some other classes and skipped those as well.

Part of that is my tweaky back (which is less tweaky each day), part of that is schedule (I've had a busy week, especially in the mornings). But I also stopped by the studio on Thursday to drop something off, and A, the studio manager and I got to talking. In between the chit chat and niceties, she dropped some wisdom in there.

She's a yogi herself, and we were talking about gentle classes and how when you get done, your clothes are dry, your water bottle full, you do not need to mop up the floor around your mat. How one chaffs at doing a few slow, deliberate and basic sun salutations instead of 5 or 10 quick ones to get the prana flowing, with increasing levels of complexity and rigor. How savasana comes as salvation at the end of a hot practice - a collapse. She see's me coming out of the hot and power classes in the morning, flushed, drenched, beaming. She recognizes the signs.....I'm hooked on the buzz, the burn of a challenging yoga practice.

And perhaps its symptomatic of my life - staying busy, moving from challenge to challenge, revelling in the joy of strength, of flexibility, of energy. This has been an interesting week; humbling. In some ways the gentle practices were fun - a class with S where he did not need to come adjust me every few postures, but a simple "Jude put your heels together" from across the room was nice as he worked with newer students. A class with C, one of my first teachers, was like coming home from college, my old bedroom, a home cooked meal, curled up on the couch, getting centered.

I worked on breath. I worked on postures and technique. I closed my eyes and just enjoyed the movement. I snuggled into a practice that was less about edges and more about curves, less about challenge and more about loving myself.

So it has been a really interesting week of reflection and pause.

October 06, 2006

The Foley Factor

An article in the Hartford Courant today.
The Foley controversy is expected to be of particular benefit to one specific group of congressional candidates: the 97 Democratic women who are vying for office, including Connecticut's Diane Farrell.

Which I think is a good thing; I am sure having more women in the "old boys" club would encourage a bit healthier attitude towards all sorts of things. Including wink-wink closeted homosexuality.

Ironic that the same sort of prescription is not in store for another similarly embattled group of men.....

Kirtan at West Hartford Yoga (October 13)

KIRTAN WITH SHANKARA & FRIENDS
10.13.06 - Friday Evening 8:00 - 10:00 pm

Join us for an evening of devotional singing, chanting, and personal expression. Kirtan is part of an ancient form of yoga known as Bhakti, or the Yoga of Devotion. The meditative quality of the music promotes a joyousness of spirit. Shankara leads our group in chants and songs in Sanskrit and English, from ancient Vedic text to traditional American music. Kirtan is for everyone, the experience itself offers possibilities of personal discovery or simply, the joy of raising one's voice in song. Allow yourself the gift of making a joyous noise. It's all about the spirit and the feeling. Bring yours to share! Expect surprises and unannounced musical guests!

$5 suggested donation. No registration required.
West Hartford Yoga

Long Day Thursday

Thursday was one of those long days, where it seems like the morning was three days ago. But no, it all happened in a single day.

In the morning, I cranked out reports, making a respectable dent (throughout the day) in the backlog that piled up on Tuesday and Wednesday. Should be able to get the remainder out today. Later in the day, a sales rep from a test equipment company came calling (invited) - two of my newer clients are looking for recommendations vis a vis power analyzers, and one older one will be looking for options in the near future. Very thorough overview and I am thinking a lot of my residual resistance to this company / product, built up over years of using competitor products and having marginal experiences with units (in the field, rental, etc), is being eroded. Good on them (the new product seems well designed) and good on him (for having the patience and technical chops to sit down with me, I'm a pretty educated customer, have been working with these types of meters for 20+ years, and was jumping into the guts pretty quickly - not the usual sales call)

Broke for lunch (post office, food, meditation. Note to self: 40 minutes of meditation after a meal = nap time. Then back to the office for more report cranking out. Home for dinner - Zippy went to Cosmos International and loaded up on those Indian prepared meal packages (along with a few pounds of loose tea that she uses for iced tea) - she made a melange of turkey, cauliflower, and some very hot cashew things. Yummmers.

Then off to phone bank for the Nedster. A kind of dreary evening - I was calling in the th district (Hartford north central) and a lot of machines, no service, wrong number, or simply "(S)he's not here". Probably a pretty transient area, apartments and the like. One funny - I called a number for a "Wendy" and a perky, salesman sounding young man picked up and informed me I had the wrong number, that this was "Lieberman for Senate Headquarters" Felt like I had won the lottery (calling for Ned Lamont and all). I did not engage the enemy sir.

I did speak to two women who kind of summed up the situation on the streets of Hartford. One woman spent some time talking about schools - she's off work temporarily (heel spurs, I think), she hustled to get her daughter into a language charter school - but the board of ed, happy to bus the suburban kids in to the school from Avon or West Hartford, would not provide transport from the North End.... this woman had a lot to say - about disability, welfare, schools, transportation. She sounds like a woman trying her damnedest to provide for her kids, works hard, see's the future - but the playing field is so damned unlevel.

A second woman was disabled - we talked a bit about politics, about transportation. I noted she could use an absentee ballot and/or a ride to the polls. Methinks election day might be the only time she gets out of the house all fall.

8:00 pm - I had plowed through my list of calls and broke off - and headed home for a quick visit before heading out to Kirtan practice. Which went very well. I am excited about it all - need to find a couple of more songs online to download, and burn into my MP3 player and onto disk, need to have a couple of more marathon practices to burn the chants and the chords into my subconscious. But I think its going to work. I've played guitar for too long, the changes, the rhythms, the chords have become part of my muscle memory - so I think I'll be able to dance with the Kirtan ecstacy even from the front of the room.

Like riding a bike, I guess. I have not played in front of people for a long time. S and M were teasing me about "being a rock star" and I demurred - not going to solo or lead. I quipped "I was a rock star in my first life" (obvious meaning) but S retorted "on this planet, anyways". Funny. Yogi humor.

Friday. Yoga this morning, undecided if it will be hot or gentle. Thinking hot, I am feeling a bit healed and less fragile, but it will be a challenge (Friday being Vinyasa day / Ecstacy day. But humility is a good thing.

Saturday, we may (or may not) be heading down to Princeton NJ for an extended family thing. Sunday maybe yoga, maybe ballooning, maybe visits from Buck and my mom, and then heading up to NoHo for a support space for Zipster.....

Now, why might Zipster be finding support in Northampton?

October 05, 2006

Goetze's Caramel Creams

No particular reason. These are a childhood memory; we used to spend much of our summers at the Wisehaven Swim Club in York, PA. Mom would take us during the day. Dad would take us on weekends and after work. Life was simpler then.

Two candy memories from that era, as purchased from old pull-type vending machines:
Goetze's Caramel Creams, and Zero Candy Bars

For some reason, Caramel Creams pop up in the vending machine at work now and then, and on long afternoons like today I occasionally indulge.

October 04, 2006

Bruce Stevens - WTIC 1080 AM

DAMN. Apparently the powers that be at the off world colony appear to have sacked Bruce Stevens, 1/2 of my favorite afternoon AM radio show. (the other half was, of course, Mr. Colin McEnroe)

No official word, but the "Afternoons with Bruce and Colin" show has been changed to Afternoon Drive, and Colin has a fairly cryptic (clearly he's under a gag order) but nevertheless pretty clear to the cogniscenti post about it on his blog. I've heard Colin going solo this week, assumed Bruce was on vacation. Guess not.

Hey, I love Colin McEnroe. Not, like physically. And I've listened to him for years - and I remember his morning AM show on WTIC (10:00 am to 12:00 noon) before Dr. Laura came along and stomped it out. No such thing as too much COlin, in my book. He's pretty good alone, but he needs a straight man - someone to bounce things off of, laugh at his inanity, pick up the threads he leaves hanging. Bruce has a deep keel and keeps the ship moving along. Like the old Marx Brothers movies - the brothers were best when they were playing off something substantial - the opera, politics, higher learning. But without that foil, they are just three (well, not counting Gummo and Zeppo) ragamuffins looking for trouble.

I'm kvetching I know. Radio is by its nature a fickle medium and personalities come and go pretty regularly. Bruce is a professional, gives excellent radio, and will find a new home. And Colin will survive (although I think he'll struggle to keep the show flowing for 3 hours a day on his own, just from a personal energy perspective)

But - DAMN IT.

October 03, 2006

Locked out of the House (MD)

Not really, sitting in the dining room. However, the show House is sadly not on tonight, replaced my a baseball playoff game. I would have no idea who is even playing had I not caught Sports a Troi cest soir, avec Bruce and Colin and Kevin Nathan (I believe). I am *so* not into baseball of late. Or football. Or anything that is not UConn basketball or WNBA. And I am cranky cause House is about the only prime time television show I have connected with.

I spent most of today on the road, with MYA heading up to Boston. The lunch (sushi buffet). Then more driving. Then to the office. Then here. Then to another doctors appointment. The bank and a quick shopping trip while she was at the docs. Then home.

I meditated for a while - apparently the 40 minute session 6x a week was not simply a "first week boot camp" thing and we are supposed to do it during week #2 as well. Good enough. The 3 season porch has slowly become my retreat - with a yoga mat out there, a CD player, guitars, blankets for meditation. As meditation was wrapping tonight I thought a light dimmer would be good. And I am contemplating a space heater to make it more useable all winter......

While I was away, my IN BOX filled with reports for one of my clients. Good in that they have bene slowing down - from 30-40 billable hours per month to 12-15 or so. Bad in that I have a kind of busy week, with tomorrow filled with zapping and taking Zippy to/from the doctors, and Thursday a vendor is coming by, and the evening is more Lamont phone banking and then Kirtan practice.

Oh yeah, I bought the guitar, on Monday. In reality, its a pretty inexpensive guitar (when considering Martin's, Taylor's, Ovations, Takamine's and the like), and its only my second acoustic guitar in 25 years. But it still feels pretty indulgent. And it will be fun to actually plug in with a serious pickup for the first time in recorded history..... (well, since I stopped playing electric and bass, circa the early 80's and early 90's, respectively)

Now that I am two guitar kind of girl, I ought to take my old Ibanez in for new tuners and maybe some adjustment.....at 25 years old its got to need some attention and it might have aged into something special, all things considered.

October 01, 2006

So, about Mark Foley

Amusingly, the campaign website is gone. The official House of Representatives webpage for the congressman (usually a bombastic bit of "look at me" ism) is also gone. Only Wikipedia remains (and is, per usual, remarkably current).

What's to say. That queerish folks are hiding within the conservative movement is no secret. That repression often leads to inappropriate acting out is also not that much of a secret. (look at the Roman Catholic priest scandal) Congressman FOley had been characterized as a Republican moderate. Per Wikipedia:
Foley's stances on many social issues, such as abortion, differ from his party's leadership. Although a Roman Catholic, Foley is pro-choice (a member of The Republican Majority For Choice[9]) but has advocated alternatives such as adoption and abstinence.

Roman Catholic, huh? Imagine that.

My thoughts:

I think the scandal here will be less about one closeted, repressed, and at this point devastated gay man, and more about the way this was handled within the congress. People knew about this stuff for over a year. Other heads will roll....and on the potential list of those

- Dennis Hastert (R-Ill), who initially seemed stunned but apparently got heads-up on this back in the Spring from
- John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Majority Leader, as conformed by
- Tom Reynolds (R-NY), who learned of the issues from
- Rodney Alexander (R-LA), who sponsored one of the pages who had received the problematic communiques from Foley, and finally
- John Shimkus (R-Ill), who heads the panel that oversees the page system

Hopefully, the response to this will not be like that of the Catholic Church (blame homosexuals, conduct a witch-hunt, drive those at risk deeper into denial and repression). But I am not optimistic. I only hope this serves to take down a few more Republicans this election season.

Serves them right, gay marriage (and the defense of heterosexual marriage) arguably energized the base to propel W into the white house last time around. So it would be good karma to have repressed conservative homosexuality come home to roost.

The Vagaries of Print

Reading Colin McEnroe's last column for NE (the psuedo-sunday magazine formerly known as Northeast) today, it strikes me that the column itself is a good example of newspaper obsolescence. Obviously, his column deadline (Thursday, I think) means he wrote it unawares of the Mark Foley scandal, about to unfold, which would have fit in perfectly with his piece, entitled I've Got a Secret. And had he been blogging it, it would have been a different column. I kind of look forward to his blog comments, actually - the meta discussion that will ensure.

I'm going to miss Northeast - there was a time when I would read it cover to cover, had a pile of Merl Reagle's crosswords, cut from the magazine, which I would take along on business trips for the plane. But I also have to confess that I do not recall the last time I bought the Courant to get Northeast or NE.....I buy the Courant when I am going to have some time to read, when I want to do a little paper and ink surfing. A plane trip, a doctors waiting room, a meal alone at a restaurant, a work gig that will involve some down time. Occasions like that) But so often I get my news online (more immediate! more linked and hyperlinked!) or radio (whilst driving, usually, but also when I am doing chores or otherwise occupied).

I think if I lived alone I would subscribe to the Sunday Courant - but my clutter, the amount of ephemera generated by my life, and the disorganization, recycling, and/or disposal therof, is already a point of tension in my world. I have no need for the Courant's bulk to be adding to the weekly problem. Though a leisurely Sunday with the paper is a most sublime treat.....

Hm....this started off wanting to be a discussion of Mark Foley, and went elsewhere. I guess I'll blog about that other stuff anon.