Saturday, June 28, 2008

happy (belated) fathers' day, part 2: a story about the dad

when i was growing up, we didn't have trash service. it was available in our neighborhood, and all of our neighbors had it, but we didn't. we recycled glass and aluminum, we sometimes burned paper in our wood stove (which was also our sole source of heat during the winter) or in the burn barrel out back, we composted food waste, we donated unwanted household items and clothes to various charitable causes and made rags out of the really unwanted clothes.

and the dad used those prepaid business reply mail envelopes to deal with a lot of the rest of our trash. we'd get tons of them: credit card offers, magazine subscription solicitations from magazines we didn't want, other random stupid mailings that happen to a family whose mailing address has become a commodity.

[i should stop for a moment before you get too confused/disgusted and say that we also had a trash bag going for things that don't recycle, burn, compost, donate, or rag up well. it just took a long time to fill it, that's all. the night before trash pickup, the dad would drive around looking for houses where people had bagged up their yard waste and put it at the curb. after prodding the bag a bit to make sure that it was something mulchable, and not just a few grass clippings on top of mixed trash, the dad would switch out our trash bags for green waste, at a ratio never exceeding 1:1. (even when we didn't have a trash bag or two to get rid of, he LOVED driving around and collecting green waste bags.)]

but the business reply envelopes! the dad considered it a personal challenge to fill them as full as possible. he would carefully fold junk mail or plastic bags into precisely-sized rectangles, and more than once i saw him cutting corn chip bags into strips, for a better fit. twisties would go into the envelopes, and pieces of hard plastic packaging would also end up there.

he never sent anything messy, dangerous, or mean. but his obvious delight at the pennies that a megacorporation would have to pay to receive an envelope full of useless material was fairly infectious. "they send me garbage all the time!" he'd say. "i'm gonna let them throw it away!"

happy fathers' day, fathers of all sorts. keep up the good work.

Friday, June 27, 2008

happy (belated) fathers' day, part 1: a website, a bookstore, and a present

happy fathers' day! i'm sorry i didn't post this' day. i was hanging out with the dad, and then being stuck at the train station, and the going to school and working and things and before i knew it, it was way after fathers' day. but! fathers' day, i'm not going to forget you.

here is a blog that you might want to look at: rad dad—a zine about fathering in dangerous times. (it is also a pretty nice little zine. also, when rad dad hosted a fathers' day event at book zoo, the best bookstore ever, it was called "i love it when you call me big papa." wonderful! [but seriously, if you're ever in oakland, GO THERE. 6395 telegraph avenue at alcatraz. it is full of the books that you've been meaning to read and they are cheap. i promise. go!])

and now your (belated) fathers' day present: from rad dad, "How to Reclaim Fathers' Day from Ties and Work"
Things Fathers (or really anyone) can do to challenge Patriarchy

1. Remind yourself and others that parenting does not equal mothering.
2. Wear your baby in a sling.
3. Take your kids with you everywhere you can—grocery stores, errands, to your place of work, Sunday afternoon celebrations, meetings
4. Believe in other men’s ability to parent. Talk to other men about fathering.
5. Vocalize your support of breastfeeding moms
6. Consider being a stay at home dad.
7. Take any parent infant class you are interested in. Be proactive in your parenting.
8. Talk to your kids about gender, class, and racial privilege. Be proactive in addressing the subtle ways these things are taught to your kids.
9. Start a new dad’s group, one where you take the baby with you.
10. Volunteer to help set up child care in the organizations you are a part of.
11. Ask others, especially non-parents, to help. Be a parent ally!
12. Make a point to ask if there are changing tables in the men’s restrooms everywhere you go.
13. Fight gendered parental roles – make dinner, do the laundry, mop the floors, clean the bathroom, watch the kids.
14. Combat images of bumbling fathers in the media. Talk to your kids as you encounter these stereotypes ala “Daddy Day Care,” “Mr. Mom,” “The Pacifier,” “Big Daddy.”
15. And, of course, write for Rad Dad as well as create your own fathering/parenting projects. And invite others to participate.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"i love jesus, i just drink a little"

jesse danger sent me this movie. i liked it a lot; old people are great.

gladys hardy calls ellen degeneres

i have to say, though, that "i love jesus, i just drink a little" really reminds me of another "i _______, i just _________."

not a player, by big punisher


brother bear: "i can't spend a lot of time thinking about the conservative movement in the US right now. i get too riled up."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

can we all just agree that same-sex marriage in california is awesome?

i've cried quite a few times in the last couple of days, looking at pictures and reading stories of beautiful, loving couples. the san francisco chronicle has a few great photo galleries of folks. go see!

also, please take a look at t4toby's civil rights are civil rights. i think he hits the nail on the head, so to speak, and his post also includes the first picture that made me cry: a couple who has been together for 55 years. 55 years!

and on a lighter note, jesse sent me the following video:

it's all because (the gays are getting married)

so folks, love is love. and this week is a great time to appreciate that. we've got a long way to go on the road to equal rights for everyone, but for now, take a moment to see beautiful brides and grooms, people in love.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

can we all just agree that the only thing worse than having a drummer in your neighborhood is having two drummers in your neighborhood?

i'm not sure when they started multiplying, but i definitely hear epic drum practice time from two separate directions today. sigh.

can we all just agree that sometimes, translating doesn't work so well?

the other day i decided to buy mouthwash at the hippie pharmacy, and i ended up with jason (oh, sorry, jāsön) SEA FRESH biologically-active mouthwash concentrated 2:1 from the great waters of the world with certified organic blue green algae from klamath lake, oregon and sea salts, trace & ionic minerals and cool spearmint freshness. (i don't know what to tell you. it seemed like a good idea at the time. then i tasted it, and it seemed like a terrible idea. for the first couple days i actually didn't look forward to brushing my teeth [which i ordinarily enjoy], but then i started to like it, somehow, and now that the bottle is empty, i find myself missing it a little bit. the flavor is really strange, though.)

the flavor, in english, is "deep sea spearmint!" [exclamation point jāsön's.]

in french, however, it is "menthe verte des profondeurs de l'ocean!"

just in case you ever need to know, if someone's messing with your cobra coverage and ruining your life, the federal agency who is supposed to help

you can be reached at: (866) 275-7922.

good luck.

Friday, June 13, 2008

do you know what a piece of iceberg is called?

a bergy bit! geography textbooks are the best.


last night b.f.h. and i went to see "hairspray." during intermission, we both decided that we needed to visit the room of rest. we were kind of bummed about it, since restroom visits at any sort of public event generally involve long lines for the women's facilities.

but not this time! we went to the downstairs restrooms to try to avoid some of the crowd, but there was a huge line as soon as we turned the corner...a huge line of dudes! there was no line for the women's restroom! we were astonished! it was amazing.

Monday, June 09, 2008

when there is no word to describe the thing you wish to describe, you should probably just make one up.

i learned several amazing geography facts today. here is one of them:

the earth isn't perfectly spherical. there's a bit of a bulge because of the centrifugal force of the earth's rotation (imagine pressing a tennis ball on a table, and you'll have a good idea of how it's shaped.) there's nothing on earth that's the shape of...well...the earth. so, some geographers decided to come up with a name for the earth's shape: geoidal. the definition of geoidal? earth-shaped. the earth? yeah. it's geoidal. yep, earth-shaped.

update: edited to enhance scientific accuracy.

enjoy your new fixie.

it's about time.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

something is wrong with my bicycle.

i keep getting flats. when i put in new (or patched) tubes, i check the rim and both sides of the tire first. and still, i keep getting flats. today i watched my tire go from fully inflated to totally flat in less than ten seconds. i have no idea what the problem is, and i'm really starting to miss riding this one. (because i have a crush on it.) (okay, okay, i have a crush on the other one too. sometimes i have trouble making up my mind.)

good news for marriage equality!

the california supreme court has refused to grant a request by homo-bigots to delay same-sex marriage in california until after the november general election (when a proposition that would amend california's constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage will be on the ballot.)

same-sex marriages in california will begin on june 17! hooray!

the san francisco chronicle will tell you more.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

can we all just agree that prop 98 is a terrible idea?

much like prop 90 before it. prop 98, in addition to eliminating rent control (sidenote: wtf?), guts many of california's environmental regulations. forgive the megapaste, but susan smartt, the california league of conservation voters' executive director breaks it down pretty darn well:

Here's How California's Environment is at Risk

Prop 98's language would prohibit laws and regulations that "transfer an economic benefit to one or more private persons at the expense of the private owner." The problem with that language is that courts have ruled that virtually all environmental protections technically impose costs on the affected party and transfer economic benefits to other private parties.

Therefore, Prop 98 would instantly gut a wide range of laws and regulations that protect our environment and regulate growth and development, such as:

• AB 32 Regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other laws to limit climate change;
• Water supply and water quality protections that ensure adequate supply and quality for species protection, such as waterfowl, salmon, and delta fish; or for maintaining the beauty of natural treasures like Lake Tahoe;
• Regulations to protect sensitive wetland areas, including limiting development on or near wetlands;
• Urban limit lines and other growth control measures intended to stop sprawl and uncontrolled development, and to protect open space;
• California Environmental Quality Act mitigations that cities, counties and public agencies require of developers to mitigate environmental impacts of developments;
• Protections of endangered species and their habitats;
• Protection of coastal areas, farmland, and ranchland, as well as cultural and historic sites;
• "Smart growth" regulations designed to promote compact, walkable, and transit-oriented communities that combine residential and commercial land uses;
• Ordinary zoning regulations, such as restrictions on the development of polluting industries, adult businesses, and "big box" megastores; and
• Regulations intended to protect old growth forests by limiting timber harvests.

there's a pdf link in that article to a 40 page legal analysis. it's worth your time. please vote no on 98.

update: sweet! it's always nice when my obsessive, every-four-minutes refresh of the california secretary of state's elections results page doesn't result in tears!

and thank god for that.

"yeah, but at least you can tell that it's a series of chickens."

-the inimitable audra

what does it mean?

i just registered for a red cross cpr/1st aid course, and at the bottom of my confirmation page appeared the following message:

"The component associated with the schedule will be added to the development plan."

i am so confused.