my weblog

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween guys and ghouls!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you're talkin to the Man upstairs
That just because He doesn't answer doesn't mean He don't care
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers...
(from "Unanswered Prayers," by Garth Brooks.)

But I hafta admit, sometimes- and increasingly often- it becomes difficult to buy into, let alone accept, the above wisdom.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Odds and sods on an autumnal-feeling Friday...

I came across this news item:
The London Daily Mail yesterday ran the results of a poll of 1,000 British males determining that men looking for casual sex are most likely to hit on girls named Kelly.
Hmmm... not sure what to make of this... does any spelling of Kelly (including Kellie) count? Or do these guys insist upon a spelling of the name before proceeding? I always thought Kelly (and all of it's iterations) was a fairly cute and friendly-sounding name; I never thought of it as especially sexy, let alone connoting easy- who knew?!

A couple of new releases I hope to see:
Gone Baby, Gone
Black Irish
Gone Baby, Gone has received some great advance pub; I enjoyed the Dennis Lehane novel, the Kenzie/Gennaro series being my favs of his works (Lehane is a fantastic writer.) If the film holds up to the novel, it should be quite good... I just read reviews for the newly-released Black Irish this week; much of it was apparently filmed locally, in Boston and (grrrrrr!) Sharon, of all places (but I won't hold that against it!)

Sox won Game 2 last night, a game the Rockies really needed to get. It's hardly over, but it is looking very good... And for 58 minutes last night I had money in my pocket, ack! Virginia Tech was -3 over Boston College (no disrespect to the locals, but Va Tech was 6-1, ranked #8, had faced- and defeated- tougher competiton, and it was played in Blacksburg) but BC rallied to score two touchdowns with about 2 minutes left in the game to win 14-10. If Ohio State should somehow lose at Penn State tomorrow... Congrats to BC.

"Electric faces seem to merge/Hidden voices mock your words/Fade away, radiate..."

Monday, October 22, 2007

These are truly wonderful times to be a Boston sports fan! The Red Sox rallied back from a 3-1 deficit to win the American League pennant and are in the World Series , again. The Patriots are 7-0, and looking scary-good; there's a real buzz about the Celtics for the first time in years; the college football team out near Newton is 7-0 and ranked #2 in the country; even the Bruins are winning! Of course, the only constant in this world is change; Manny could be caught in bed with the proverbial dead girl or live boy, Tom Brady could be the victim of a domestic dispute with Gisele, there could be a drug overdose, another gambling scandal, or the Garden ice may melt. But for now, it sure is feeling like Winnersville!

(If you're not a sports fan, I guess you wait for the opening of the symphony season?)

"Down by the river/Down by the banks of the River Charles..."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I came across this on YouTube the other day; I saw Contact a few years ago. I've never been huge on Broadway-type musicals (nuthin' against 'em, just a form of entertainment I haven't taken in too much) and while I know some so-fist-ee-kates thought it sullied the definition of a musical, I liked it...(and doesn't everyone like a girl in a yellow dress?! Wish I could dance like that!)

I hafta get in a lil better shape, or more specifically, eat better, cleaner, more consistently, again; my weight has crept up a lil bit (waaahhhhh!) I've been running and working out pretty well, but I do have a tendency to eat- and eat less healthfully, less cleanly, too many carbs/too little protein- when I'm feeling stressed. Not the best way to deal with stress, I know (probably beats drinking to excess, but I can think of a few other non-workout things that could also relieve some stress...) I wanna be back down to, um, welterweight by December 1; gives me plenty of time to do so, as long as I maintain consistency. I've mentioned before; consistency of effort is the surest route to success. In anything.

Time to get my hair cut again soon- I've let it grow out a bit again the last few months, and it's starting to need some shape...

I like people when they are confident in their opinions. I don't like people when they are strident and shrill. That goes especially for me...

It's fall in New England once again (actually, it's fall everywhere- alright you!), tho' truthfully it really hasn't felt all that autumnal yet; it's been pretty warm overall, and a bit rainy the last couple of days. I'm not complaining, as we've needed some rain, and I'll take warmer weather over cold, wintry weather any day, but I do like the crisp nip of fall here, and so far it's been in short supply... maybe November is the new October?

Sox have a BIG one tonight, and hopefully another big one tomorrow night!

A quick and easy- and yummy!- appetizer/snack:
Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil
1/2 baguette or crusty long loaf bread, sliced (12 pieces)
2 large cloves garlic, cracked away from skin
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
3 small plum tomatoes, halved and seeded
20 fresh basil leaves
Coarse salt
Preheat broiler to high, (if you prefer you can also grill the bread). Place bread slices on a broiler pan. Char bread on each side under hot broiler, keep an eye on it! Rub toasts with cracked garlic and drizzle with oil. Chop seeded tomatoes and place in a small bowl. Pile basil leaves on top of one another and roll into a log. Thinly slice basil into green confetti and loosely combine with tomatoes. Add a drizzle of oil and a little coarse salt to the bowl and gently toss tomatoes and basil to coat. Pile toasts around the bowl of topping. Place a spoon to scoop topping in bowl and serve.

10 more on shuffle...
Going Through The Motions- Aimee Mann
Moondance- Van Morrison
Your Love- The Outfield
1,2,3,4- Feist
And We Danced- Hooters
Heaven Is A Place On Earth- Belinda Carlisle
The Israelites- Desmond Dekker
Steal My Sunshine- LEN
Disco Inferno- The Trammps
Sunny Came Home- Shawn Colvin

"Do wanna dance under the moonlight/Kiss me baby all through the night/Oh, baby/Do you wanna dance..."

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Nippy run this morning; finally starting to feel- and look- like fall! Got in another good 7+ miler, been able to keep that up for awhile now; knock on wood, but I haven't had any of my sometimes recurring injuries crop up in quite awhile (I have my left foot that I broke my sophomore year in high school that bothers me from time to time, and my opposite knee that I had scoped my senior year that has been less bothersome.)

I was reading a transgender woman's blog the other day; she's a thoughtful, intelligent, and engaged member of "the community" who does a lot of sincere work on behalf of same. But I found one entry a little odd; she made a couple of derogatory comments about the "conformist" mindset and mores of a particular state (it's a big, and "red" state, home of our President.) Everyone is entitled to their thoughts and opinions, but I thought yikes, has she ever considered the very conformist mindset and mores of many/most advocates for the TG, and larger LGB, communities? Try not hewing to a, um, particular mindset- on every issue- and see if most of these advocates and activists will even give you the time of day, let alone consider the merits of any of your POVs... Conformity, and the desire to impose it, is where you find it I suppose...

Sox looked good last night! Game 2 is tonight... And a BIG one down in Big D tomorrow- go Pats!

"Can you hear them/They talk about us/Telling lies/Well, that's no surprise..."

Friday, October 05, 2007

A quick hitter...

Heading up to Maine this weekend to visit my brother and his family; haven't been up to see 'em in awhile, plus my niece has a soccer tournament Saturday... hopefully the weather will be nice... a long trip, tho'- close to 4 hours, depending on how fast I go...

A friend is having some surgery today- best of luck, Dee :)

Go Sox!

"I took a long, long trip to the city/I was determined to get somewhere..."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The ENDA debate...

There has been a lot of discussion, disappointment, and dismay within the transgender community over the recent maneuverings re. the Employment Non-Discrimination Act currently before Congress. (VERY briefly, it is a legislative act originally crafted to prohibit employment discrimination based upon sexual orientation as well as gender identity.) Controversy within the transgender community centers around the attempts by some legislative sponsors, as well as- some- LGB activists to compromise on the gender identity aspect of the bill (which I guess they see as a more difficult row to hoe) so as to hopefully gain passage of the bill to at least cover discrimination based upon sexual orientation.

I have a slightly different take on the entire proposal.

First, let me say that I deplore bigotry; I see it as indicative of a small, closed mind. On a more practical level, bigoted practices are self-defeating, a tremendous waste of resources, particularly when it comes to employment. One would think that any employer would wish to hire the most qualified person for a particular job, if for no other reason than to add value to the business, the enterprise, the bottom line. And let me also say that, to the best of my knowledge, I have never been subjected to employment-based bigotry. At this point, it is instructive to note usage of the word bigotry (from bigot) as opposed to discrimination; they are two different things, the former almost always being negative, the latter having merits, depending upon the practice (most of us have preferences, we discriminate between one thing or another.) So that difference does need to be considered. Do we, as an open and free society, wish to criminalize the right to choose, even if the choice is unwise (as hiring decisions based upon anything other than merit are?) At some point does the proposed cure (seeking to mandate inclusion by government fiat) become worse than the- admitted- disease? This is a philosophical issue that also has real-world consequences; it really comes down to how one defines and discerns freedom (in this instance, does one's "right" to be employed trump another's "right" to decide whom to employ, even if based upon ignorance and bigotry) and also how one defines and discerns the role of government to act in our society.

Now more to the point re. ENDA itself. My personal view is that this act should extend protections to transgender individuals as well as to LGB folk... but should only be binding in the sphere of public/government employment. Government should never be allowed to engage in any practices, including hiring, that favor- or discriminate against- any individual based upon externalities; one's race, gender, ethnicity, faith practices, sexual practices, identity, income, etc... should play no role in a government based upon the concept of equality. Only demonstrated merit should count. The problem with ENDA is that it seeks to impose this upon private employers as well; this should cause freedom-loving folks to give pause. A government that can mandate X today can just as well mandate Y next year (and do we even want to think about what could be mandated by Z?) More practically, the market often does a very good job at weeding out un-productive practices, including employment ones; for instruction, see HRC's own recent listing of it's Corporate Equality Index. Companies that received a 100% rating based upon their policies toward LGBT folk ran the gamut from A to Z (well, Y- Yahoo), from financial concerns to brewers to high tech companies to defense contractors to auto makers to department stores to entertainment and tourist attractions, and more. And these were just the companies that HRC deemed as 100% beneficent. And these companies undertook these- worthy- practices all without the heavy hand of government. Why? Because it is good business, both in terms of hiring the best personnel available regardless of their personal background, as well as creating a good public image, one committed to fairness and equality. That is the way to create real, lasting, tangible progress. LGBT activists would do well to highlight and applaud these courageous- and smart- companies, and the broader LGBT community would do well to, as possible, support them with their dollars. Similarly, LGBT activists might seek to bring pressure, private and, as practical, public, upon other companies to broaden their hiring and business practices, and the broader community withhold support, purchases, etc... from those who engage in a pattern of bigoted practices.

I'm not condoning discriminatory, let alone bigoted, employment practices.; they should be confronted, and minimized. But I do believe this act goes too far in extending the government's reach into the private sector. Even worthy ends do not justify any means.