my weblog

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday evening, with an icy Smuttynose Summer Weizen- I luv wheat beers and ales when it's hot, they're sooooo refreshing and go down sooooo smoothly! Smuttynose makes some great beers (and they put that cute lil smuttynose seal on their bottlecaps!)... This article summed up for me what was great about the late George Carlin. To quote Carlin: "I love words," [he] begins. "They're my work, they're my play, they're my passion. Words are all we have, really." His humor, despite- or maybe because of- his use of profanity, was intelligent and eloquent in large part because of his mastery of language, including profanity... In a previous posting I referenced a case of police violence toward a transgender woman arrested for prostitution; the Memphis Police Department has fired both officers involved. Kudos to the Memphis PD!... I've just started reading Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, by Dan Ariely; it's interesting.

I offered a suggestion to a friend recently that she needs to ease up on herself more-than-a-lil bit; realize and prioritize what- and who- is truly important to her and what and who is not. I could stand to take a lil bit of my own advice... With that in mind, another from Bob Seger, one that sums up how I've sorta been feeling lately...
Till It Shines- Bob Seger

Take away my inhibitions
Take away my solitude
Fire me up with your resistance
Put me in the mood.
Storm the walls around this prison
Leave the inmates
Free the guards
Deal me up another future
From some brand new deck of cards.
Take the chip off of my shoulder
Smooth out all the lines
Take me out among the rustling pines
Till it shines.

Like an echo down a canyon
Never coming back as clear
Lately I just judge the distance
Not the words I hear.
I've been too long on these islands
I've been far too long alone
I've been too long without summer
In this winter home.
Still if we can make the effort
If we take the time
Maybe we can leave this much behind
Till it shines.

See the rich man lost and lonely
Watch him as he dines
Sitting there just testing all the wines
Till it shines.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Whether a gal, guy- or anyone in between- I've always thought this was a great way, a great person to be or to know... I've never understood why he titled it Beautiful "Loser"- someone like this is no loser in my book... great sentiments, and a great song.

Beautiful Loser- Bob Seger
He wants to dream like a young man
With the wisdom of an old man
He wants his home and security
He wants to live like a sailor at sea

Beautiful loser
Where you gonna fall?
When you realize, you just can't have it all

He's your oldest and your best friend
If you need him, he'll be there again
He's always willing to be second-best
A perfect lodger, a perfect guest

Beautiful loser
Read it on the wall
And realize, you just can't have it all
You just can't have it all

He'll never make any enemies, enemies
He won't complain if he's caught in a freeze
He'll always ask, he'll always say please

Beautiful loser
Never take it all
'Cause it's easier, and faster when you fall
You just don't need it all
You just don't need it all...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

3:30 am is early even for me...

I'm an early riser, but this is ridiculous! Don't ask me how this happened, but somehow I poked my eye in my sleep this morning (yes, I was in bed alone.... sadly.) I woke up around 3:30am with my left eye tearing up BIGtime; nose running, too. Ick! Twice I splashed water on/rinsed my eye, and still it kept watering until like maybe 5:30 or so... and it wasn't the kinda thing that I could just fall back to sleep with, either- GRRRRR!!!

In a previous posting I made reference to Canada's socialized health care and possible implications should the US seek to go that route; I came across- and offer- this related piece:
Canadian Health Care We So Envy Lies In Ruins, Its Architect Admits
Back in the 1960s, [Claude] Castonguay chaired a Canadian government committee studying health reform and recommended that his home province of Quebec — then the largest and most affluent in the country — adopt government-administered health care, covering all citizens through tax levies.
The government followed his advice, leading to his modern-day moniker: "the father of Quebec medicare." Even this title seems modest; Castonguay's work triggered a domino effect across the country, until eventually his ideas were implemented from coast to coast.
Four decades later, as the chairman of a government committee reviewing Quebec health care this year, Castonguay concluded that the system is in "crisis."
"We thought we could resolve the system's problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it," says Castonguay. But now he prescribes a radical overhaul: "We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice."

Choice, re. healthcare- wish I'd have said that! (Oh yeah... I did: Ultimately it is about choice.)
Our system in the US may not be perfect, there may be inefficiencies and some inequalities in it, but keeping it out of the hands of politicians as much as possible- no matter one's political leanings- seems wise; government-run programs and monopolies, no matter how poorly run, once in place are almost impossible to reform, let alone repeal.

"Every day is a winding road..."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I have to note the passing the other day of George Carlin. Too often the word "genius" is applied too casually but Carlin truly was a comic genius. He was so spot-on that, even if one disagreed with his POV- or his language- you still laughed! (And re. his language- that man could swear! Swearing to him was like poetry!) I know of few people who did not find him funny; even my mom would crack up at his routines...

Speaking of my mom, she'd been a lil under the weather again the last few days; hadda take her to the doctors yesterday... I guess it's (and she'd hate to read this!) OA- old age. She is getting older, and while by and large she is still pretty vital (still works full-time even!) and she has no "serious" or chronic health 'plaints, she has had more things over the last couple, three years than she had previously... It's tough to see her starting to become somewhat less- what?- spry... I appreciate the thoughts and concern of those who have inquired and taken and expressed an interest- thanx :)

A very good friend of mine is supposed to be hitting the road from Alaska to Washington State this coming weekend, leaving the Last Frontier behind for- somewhat!- sunnier, certainly warmer, climes- happy trails, Jim! (AND that much closer to Boston! ;)

I found this one on YouTube recently (full disclosure: I have been in all of these except the last one... shocking, I know!)

"Windows are for cheaters, chimneys for the poor/Closets are for hangers, winners use the door..."

Friday, June 20, 2008

A couple of transgender-related items...

As I've often made clear, I'm hardly a transgender "activist." I applaud those who choose to take on that role; it's seldom my thing. However, this is a case that calls for attention. Briefly:
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) -Video obtained by Action News 5 shows a Memphis police officer beating a suspect at 201 Poplar in an apparent case of police brutality.
The video, recorded February 12th, shows Duanna Johnson in the booking area at the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center after an arrest for prostitution. The tape clearly shows a Memphis police officer walk over to Johnson - a transsexual - and hit her in the face several times.
"Actually he was trying to get me to come over to where he was, and I responded by telling him that wasn't my name - that my mother didn't name me a 'faggot' or a 'he-she,' so he got upset and approached me. And that's when it started," Johnson said.
Let me say, I have tremendous respect for law enforcement officers; I truly believe theirs may be the most under-respected, under-appreciated profession in our society. These folks are called upon to deal with things that most of us, fortunately, never will, certainly not on a consistent basis. And on a personal level- my one run-in with police (my own fault, and while en femme)... every officer I dealt with acted with the utmost professionalism and treated me with respect. Additionally, I count as friends several police officers. Having said that, I cannot understand how the officers involved, nor their superiors, can explain this as other than police misconduct. This assault didn't even take place in the heat of an arrest, when emotions might be high (not an excuse for misconduct, but at least provides some context) but during the post-arrest booking procedure. There simply is no excuse for the disrespect, nor certainly the violence, shown toward the woman arrested. No matter her offense, it is unacceptable conduct from law enforcement. The officers involved, and a department that allows or turns a blind eye toward that sort of unprofessional behavior, deserve to be investigated, and charges brought as appropriate.

This one, sent to me from a friend in Canada:
Briefly, it concerns issues surrounding government coverage of/for SRS in Canada. At the risk of sounding like either a "curmungeon" or an Ugly American, I have real problems with government providing health care to all but it's most indigent citizens. This case makes the point: it becomes the politicization of health care, of medicine. Government, rather than either the consumer and/or the health provider chosen (and paid for) by that consumer becomes the arbiter of what is deemed medically necessary and what is not. And remember- any government that can dictate what is "necessary" can just as easily change that view to suit changing political climates. It also forces those who may be morally opposed to a certain procedure to nevertheless be forced to renounce their beliefs and fund something (via their taxes) that goes against their convictions; leave SRS aside, consider abortion. There are many people who, on moral or religious grounds oppose abortion, certainly they oppose abortion as a method of birth control (ie, terminating a healthy pregnancy conceived via consensual sex merely out of convenience.) Yet if government says elective abortion is covered, many people would have to compromise their views, their values, their judgments. The same could be said for countless medical procedures. And also, as has often been cited as being the case, be it in Canada, Britain, or elsewhere where socialized medicine is practiced, care, especially timely care, is often compromised, leaving all with equality of mediocrity in health care, very few with excellence. (This is- often- the case in any field where government maintains a monopoly.) Canadians of means benefit from being close to the US; if they want/need timely care, or care that is not deemed deserving by their government's medicrats, they can travel to the Land of the Free and use their personal mean$ to pay for that care. Ultimately it is about choice; respecting the choices of those seeking care, respecting the choices of those who would seek to- or not- provide X services and procedures, respecting the choices of others not to be forced to compromise their values by being forced (via their taxes) to fund procedures that conflict with their values. For any liberal readers out there; would you really want appointees of President Bush making judgments- and policy- of what is and what is not deemed medically necessary? (The same can be asked of Right-leaning folks being wary of what judgments and policies a President Obama health czar might make.) That's what government-run health care would be.
"Get up, stand up/Stand up for your rights..."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Some Velvet Morning- Lee Hazelwood & Nancy Sinatra

Some velvet mornin' when I'm straight
I'm gonna open up your gate
And maybe tell you 'bout Phaedra
And how she gave me life
And how she made it end
Some velvet mornin' when I'm straight.

Flowers growing on a hill, dragonflies and daffodils
Learn from us very much, look at us but do not touch
Phaedra is my name.

Some velvet mornin' when I'm straight
I'm gonna open up your gate
And maybe tell you 'bout Phaedra
And how she gave me life
And how she made it end
Some velvet mornin' when I'm straight.

Flowers are the things we know, secrets are the things we grow
Learn from us very much, look at us but do not touch
Phaedra is my name.

Some velvet mornin' when I'm straight
Flowers growing on a hill
I'm gonna open up your gate
Dragonflies and daffodils
And maybe tell you 'bout Phaedra
Learn from us very much
And how she gave me life
Look at us but do not touch
And how she made it end.

(Do you think maybe just a few pharmaceuticals were ingested somewhere along the way in the production of that gem?! Yikes... I heard it on Little Steven's Underground Garage a lil while back; a cool program!)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Good run this morning... Suffice to say, I'll soon be adding last Thursday's Celtics playoff game to my list of Greatest New England Sports Moments ; what a phenomenal comeback, down 24 at one point to win game 4 in LA 97-91... I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating; so I'm on the StairMaster at the gym yesterday and on several of the TVs there was a soccer game (match?) from Europe. Now, at the risk of sounding like one of the "tens of millions of clueless Americans" (as one- foreign- wag to me apparently believes us to be) but... why, when the ball goes out of bounds, or a player falls and suffers a boo-boo, or at any other moment when play is halted, why, why, WHY don't they just stop the clock?! Wouldn't that make sense? Instead, they keep it running, with the result that, at the- alleged- end of regulation play, they have "extra time", additional playing time added on for when the ball was out of bounds, the player was writhing in "pain", etc...

For those who would describe me as a "crumungeon"...
Some off-the-top-of-my-head funny clips (at least to me!)
Paulie Walnuts 1
Paulie Walnuts 2
GoodFellas "Funny Guy" Scene
Animal House
Caddyshack - Al goes to dinner
Sally's "orgasm"
SlapShot striptease
George Carlin baseball vs. football
(forgive me- I realize these are all American-centric clips... we're such imperialists, in every manner... yet seldom do I see many foreigners rejecting our- very generous- largess, public and private.)

You know, on balance I really do make a conscious effort to keep this blog fairly light and upbeat. Do I occasionally offer serious opining on various issues and items, be they personal or from the larger world? Sure- to pretend that more serious things do not occur (and that I have no opinions on them) would be vapid. But I'll tell ya... I do read others' blogs, journals, postings, comments, et al, on occasion, be they transgender-related, political, sports-related, cultural, epicurean, whatever, and when I think about some of the woes and wails of pain I read (does nothing good ever happen?), the mindless and/or intolerant invective (let's blame: Bush/McCain/Obama/America/the born-agains/the gays/nativists/illegal immigrants/global warming/or when all else fails... the Joooos, for everything, rather than- occasionally- looking to ourselves, or- horrors more!- occasionally seeing/saying something GOOD!), and the sheer snarkiness and pettiness that is too often out there (or maybe I just need to find new reading material!) I think the majority of my various brain-droppings here stand up pretty well as those of a- relatively!- thoughtful, informed, intelligent, well-adjusted, sometimes witty, not-too-sarcastic, frequently light-hearted gal!

"Well I grabbed a glass, I said 'Kiss my ass'/I'm gonna drink you outta my head..."

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Ah... summertime!

Or at least it's felt like it the past few days, temps in the 90's- yay! While fall still is my fav season of the year, I do enjoy sultry, summer-y days as well (even if- officially- summer doesn't begin for another couple of weeks.) I'm sippin' on an icy Harpoon Summer Beer as I type... I like this weather! I know some folks don't; admittedly, I enjoy working out in it more than simply sitting around in it, but when you catch a nice breeze (accompanied by- yes- a cold, refreshing adult beverage!) just watching people pass by... there are worse ways to spend an evening...

Nothing terribly earth-shattering to blog this evening... the Celtics have game 2 vs. the Lakers in a couple of hours (dang, do I hate these 9pm tip-offs!) This has been a pretty good sports year for Boston fans; Red Sox won the World Series, the Patriots were- arghhhh!- less than 3 minutes away from finishing a perfect season with another Super Bowl title (I still get p*ssed thinking about that!) and now the Celtics are up one game in the NBA Finals... feels like 1986!

It's Pride week in Boston this week; perhaps I'll find time to take in an event or two, see the parade anyway if I can swing the time... I'm current reading Las Vegas Noir. I luv these kinds of stories; I've read several of the collections in the series... they hafta do a Boston Noir set!

True confession time. I mentioned 1986 above. Sad admission; much of the 80's were/are little more than a blur to me. I remember the big events: Ronald Reagan was President, the Celtics and the Lakers seemingly played for the NBA title every year, the Challenger exploded, Chernobyl exploded, the Cold War ended, Bruce Springsteen was pretty big (Rosemary Clooney was not...) But for personal things, personal events, those sorts of things, they all just sorta run into a blur, very few I have vivid memories of, very few stand out: books I read, movies I saw, games I went to, classes I took, dances, first date/kiss/etc... getting my driver's license, high school and college graduations, and more. Maybe it's this way with other people but a lotta times I hear people talk about specific things they recall from their younger days, or friends reminiscing over specific things from when we were all younger and, with few exceptions, I draw a blank on most of 'em. I have a pretty good idea of why (sumthin' to do with that cold adult beverage I referenced above) What I wonder is how so many of my friends from then seem to have better recollections of much of those times- we all imbibed pretty well... Not sure why I brought this up; truth be told I drink far more responsibly than I did when younger, and far more responsibly than some of my friends still do today.

"Like the disappearing dreams of yesterday..."

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Political musings...

It's been a lil while since I've blogged much on the political scene, but I'll offer a few thoughts this morning..

I came across the following on an "influential" T-woman's blog:
On the other side of the aisle Sen. John McCain is under the HRC microscope for his sad record on GLBT issues. Most recently he applauded the fact that the CA Same-Sex Marriage initiative will be on the ballot there in November and I expect he’ll try to make it a campaign issue. HRC released a 6-page publication today titled “John McCain: A record of opposing the interests of GLBT Americans“. I’ve kinda had the feeling for quite a while that he’s not crazy about GLBT people. Ya think?
First, a few caveats. The blogger above is an intelligent, thoughtful woman, one who expends considerable time and energy advocating, as she best sees fit, for the T "community." She deserves credit for that work. And on a personal level, I often enjoy her various bloggings. But from her writings, she is hardly a "fair and balanced" gal; her leanings are decided partisan. As is her right. However, I would suggest that offering an analysis of a Republican candidate from the HRC is hardly unbiased; the HRC being firmly in the camp of the Democratic Party. As to the gist of her comments... many people, no matter their views on same-sex marriage (I endorse it) nevertheless are quite disturbed when an activist judiciary imposes it's views over the expressed will of the electorate. In CA, 61% of voters approved a ballot initiative defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. For a judiciary to simply cast that aside is arrogance. (And never forget- a judiciary that will cast aside a vote one disapproves of today can just as easily cast aside a vote one approves of tomorrow; liberal, conservative, or anywhere in between, one should cast a wary eye upon judicial activism.) And it is not as if same-sex couples in CA are not ensured rights and privileges guaranteed under state law. (I have other thoughts on SSM, the CA- and MA- rulings, that I'll offer later.) As to John McCain (and more on him and his candidacy below) from what I've read, while he personally opposes same-sex marriage, he believes it is an issue best reserved to each state to decide, hence his opposition to the federal marriage amendment, for instance. Hardly the act of someone "not crazy about GLBT people"; in fact, pretty much the same stance that Democratic candidate John Kerry took in '04. Or is Kerry also "not crazy about GLBT people?" McCain's views appear to be in line with a large segment of the American electorate. Another note re. McCain not being "crazy about GLBT people," one that, particularly residents of Arizona (as is the blogger referenced above), should examine: McCain's support of and for former Rep. Jim Kolbe [McCain and Kolbe are also good friends and McCain literally came to Kolbe’s side when Kolbe faced a conservative Christian challenge over serving Thanksgiving meals at a religious soup kitchen a couple years after he was outed] and then come back and tell us how McCain seems "not crazy about GLBT people." Sadly, there are some/too many within the GOP who express a discomfort of and an antipathy toward GLBT individuals (as there are within the Democratic Party: John "I'm not comfortable around those people" Edwards comes to mind, for instance.) I find it difficult to place McCain amongst that number. But I understand the motivations of those who seek to always place GLBT issues in their partisan political framework of Dems= always good/GOP=always bad. Reality doesn't always fit those parameters as neatly.

As to John McCain and the Presidential race broadly... First, it appears it will be McCain vs. Barack Obama. Certainly this will be a unique race: age vs. youth, experience vs. potential, plain-spoken vs. soaring rhetoric, and thankfully both candidates seemingly removed from the most tedious aspects of the whole Boomer generation mentality. And they do offer stark contrasts politically; McCain, if not a doctrinaire conservative, conservative nonetheless, while Obama possesses what has been judged the most liberal voting record in the US Senate.

Anyone who has read my blog for awhile has a good idea of my political leanings; on economic and defense issues I lean decidedly Right, on social/cultural issues I am decidedly libertarian. In the briefest of nutshells, I endorse policies- and candidates- that advocate limited government and a strong defense against foreign foes. Where does this leave me in '08? I will say that McCain was not my first, nor my second, choice (those would have been Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul- a bit more on Paul below.) While McCain obviously has a stirring personal narrative, and some of his policies and votes (especially toward spending) I endorse, there is also an element of Big Government Conservatism that I find troubling (BGC is what, IMO, got the Bush Admin and the Republican Congresses waaayyy off-track this decade, BGC being no more palatable to me than Big Government Liberalism.) Rudy? He was already out of the race before the MA primaries (Rudy- the only candidate to have run a worse campaign than Hillary!) Ron Paul? There is much to him that I like, but a few items stood out harshly; his seeming insistence that the US was somehow to "blame" for 9/11, his too-coziness with the so-called 9/11 "Truthers", and some of his past writings and associations. Combined, these were enuf to give me pause as to his fitness to be President, even as I agree with much of his political philosophy and his voting record. As for the Dems, both Hillary and especially Obama are just too far Left for me to seriously consider. Where does this leave me come November? Being from Massachusetts, my vote won't really count; whoever the Dem nominee is (and it appears it will be Obama) will win the state and it's Electoral College votes, easily. McCain? Or might this be the election I vote Libertarian for President? Bob Barr has increasingly been sounding sensible to me; he has long-since renounced many of his past cultural-conservative votes and philosophies, he has seemed to have embraced a sensible libertarianism, one in contrast to some of the loons the LP has nominated in the past. Barr might have made the better "libertarian" candidate in the GOP race in that in many ways he is more mainstream than Ron Paul, yet advocates a libertarian POV. We shall see.

I have more; maybe next post.

"Now I'm waiting for Wednesday..."