Coming Out of Left Field

Thursday, June 30, 2005

MassEquality missives

The wife and I have gotten a few e-mails lately from the folks at MassEquality, with some ways to help the fight for marriage equality. In the interests of space, I'll just summarize them instead of cutting and pasting all the text:

-- On Monday, July 4, join MassEquality on the Charles River Esplanade and collect signatures to state reps and senators, urging them to oppose any discriminatory amendments to the constitution. E-mail IsaacMedrano@MassEquality.org.

-- Getting married? Know someone who is? NBC's "Today" show is giving away a wedding and honeymoon. Initially NBC had limited the entrants to straight couples, but after protests from GLAAD, the network changed the rules to allow same-sex couples as well. Contest rules are at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8131990/; if you enter, drop a line to Feedback@MassEquality.org.

-- Already married? Know someone who is? Write a short personal story on what marriage equality means to you, to be included in a book that will be distributed to legislators. E-mail JonMarker@MassEquality.org or 617-878-2313 with questions.

And while I'm at it, congrats to Spain for becoming the third country to legalize same-sex marriage. Hopefully Canada will become the fourth at the end of the next month.

Technorati: , LGBT, marriage equality, Massachusetts

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Tuning in

I always enjoy listening to Sox games on the radio. It's even more fun when the team wins:

Red Sox 5, Indians 2

Cheers for Wakefield for pitching darn well (aside from giving up two homers) and winning one game out of the Cleveland series. And kudos to Mirabelli and Bellhorn too, for bashing back-to-back homers.

(I was about to say that I saw those homers, but realized that the only place I saw them was in my head. Which is not something I mind, actually. Though television has some advantages, I enjoy listening more than watching. The radio folks, by and large, stick to calling the game, while the NESN announcers are often too busy talking to special guests or making jokes to notice what's happening on the field. If I really need to see the homers, I can always turn on the 6 p.m. news.)

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Equality quote of the day

"It's my wedding, damn it. I don't want the crumbs. I want the whole cake."
Kim Severson, explaining why she won't settle for a ceremony that won't be legally sanctioned in her home state (My Turn, in the current issue of Newsweek).

Technorati: , LGBT, marriage equality,

Friday, June 24, 2005

Going digital

The other day, the wife and I acted on a longstanding impulse and splurged on a new gadget -- a Canon Powershot A95:

Canon Powershot A95

This will be both fun and useful; the wife can use this at whichever preschool she joins in the fall, and I can practice shot selection, framing, etc. without wasting a lot of film (either photographic or cinematic). Plus, I am now one step closer to being a true geek!

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Messy meltdown

I'd hate to be on the cleanup crew for this one:

Giant popsicle melts, floods New York park

Either Snapple should've tried this earlier, when it was still cold out, or picked a cooler locale -- Reykjavik, maybe?

(Hat tip to emeleel at Easily Addictive for the link)

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Proof that there is light at the end of the tunnel ...

... and that it's not from an oncoming train:

1. The wife and I have successfully packed, sealed and labeled several boxes of books for the upcoming move.
2. The wife had a good interview with a preschool today, and is going back a second time to do some teaching, so they can see how she interacts with the kids and prospective co-workers.
3. I came up with an idea for my final Film Production I project, and my Muse (with very little urging) wrote down a initial rough outline.
4. I'm getting close to finishing the fifth Harry Potter book. Only 160 pages left to go!

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Sunday, June 19, 2005

Red Sox quote of the day

"Not only was he on oxygen, but I think he took all our oxygen when he came into the dugout."
Sox manager Terry Francona, referring to slugger David Ortiz, who hit a triple in the third inning of today's 8-0 win over the Pirates, driving in two runs. On the very next pitch, Kevin Millar hit a sacrifice fly, and Ortiz (doing his best imitation of ex-Sox speedster Dave Roberts) slid home to score another run.

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Friday, June 17, 2005

TGIF tune

Work has gotten more frantic in the past couple of days. Not coincidentally, Kevin Kline's rendition of "BusyBusyBusy" (from Philadelphia Chickens) is at the top of my mental playlist:

~snip~

We're very very busy and we've got a lot to do
and we haven't got a minute to explain it all to do
for on SundayMondayTuesday there are people we must see
and on WednesdayThursdayFriday we're as busy as can be
With our most important meetings and our most important calls
and we have to do so many things and post them on the walls

With our most important meetings and our most important calls
and we have to do so many things and post them on the walls.


~snip~

And since it's the end of the week, the last verse is particularly relevant:

~snip~

Nowwwwww ...
We have to hurry far away and then we hurry near
and we have to hurry everywhere and be both there and here
and we have send out messages by e-mail, phone, and fax
and we're talking every minute and we really can't relax
and we think there is a reason to be running neck-and-neck
and it must be quite important but we don't have time to check.

And we think there is a reason to be running neck-and-neck
and it must be quite important but we don't have time to check.


Yes, we think there is a reason to be running neck-and-neck
and it must be quite important ...
And if not ... well, what the heck.

~snip~

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Equality quote of the day

"It will virtually guarantee that many thousands more gay people will get married."
Arline Isaccson, cochairwoman of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, speaking of an initiative to place a a same-sex marriage ban on the 2008 ballot. The amendment currently under consideration, which would also ban same-sex marriages but allow civil unions, would go to the voters in 2006 if approved by this year's constitutional convention.

Technorati: , LGBT, marriage equality, Massachusetts,

Weather haiku

Dedicated to whatever perverse force is responsible for the 40-degree drop in temperature:

Air conditioner
Finally put in window
Brrr! It's cold outside!

Technorati: , Massachusetts,

Ditching pitching

The weather's turned cold all of a sudden, just like some of my fantasy baseball pitchers. Unfortunately I can't fix the former, but I can try to change the other:

Dropped: M. Mulder (SP), M. Batista (SP/RP)
Added: A. Eaton (SP), C. Cordero (RP)

Putting Eaton on the roster makes him the third pitcher on both my fantasy teams. If nothing else, it should make it easier to keep track of things.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

HRC petitions

New petitions from the Human Rights Campaign -- please sign and pass on:

1. In the U.S., the legal spouses of federal employees qualify for health insurance coverage. Ask your rep to cosponsor the Domestic Partner Benefits and Obligations Act, which would grant the same coverage to same-sex partners of federal employees:

http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/campaign/dpbo_house_urge

2. Current U.S. immigration law does not allow citizens or permanent residents to apply for immigration benefits for their same-sex partners. Ask your rep to cosponsor the Uniting American Families Act, which would amend immigration law to allow Americans to sponsor their same-sex foreign partners for immigration benefits:

http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/campaign/uafa_house_urge

The latter issue affects good friends of ours, one of whom is an American citizen, the other not. Guess which one has been able to visit family in Peru?

Technorati: , LGBT, marriage equality,

The New World Order Placement Test

Another hat tip to Rogue Slayer for the below quiz:

Technical Worker
You scored 36 physical value, 56 mental value, 38 social value, and 66 risk factor!
Your book smarts and knowledge will be very useful to the New World Order. You will be employed as a Technical Worker in the field most suited to you, be it in medicine, technology, weapons design, etc. Your psychological profile indicates you have a bit too much individuality to ever make it into an administrative position, but you will be well treated so long as you keep yourself in line and use your considerable skills to the betterment of the society. You will live a fairly simple life with few luxuries, but rewards for accomplishments will not be unknown to you. Be thankful that you have been judged useful.



My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on physical value
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on mental value
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on social value
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on risk factor
Link: The New World Order Placement Test written by Krinberry on Ok Cupid


Well, I won't have to undergo a lot of training, at least.

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What sort of Jedi are you?

All the imaginary light saber practice I did as a kid has finally paid off:

Jedi Master
You scored 83% in Jedi Force Alignment

You are gracious, humble and selfless: you are a Jedi. Your name
belongs amongst those of the greats: Mace Windu, Shaak Ti, Kit Fitso.


My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on Force Alignment
Link: The What Sort of Jedi Are You? Test written by CaptNezObiwan on Ok Cupid


Hat tip to Rogue Slayer for this quiz.

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Monday, June 13, 2005

How to ensure a good night's sleep

1. Wake up early Saturday, shower, get dressed for Pride, and run out to the store for pain au chocolat.
2. Come back to the house, drive down to the subway, park the car, and take the subway downtown.
3. Meet some friends in Back Bay for a hearty brunch of souffle, macaroni salad, and pain au chocolat.
4. Walk out of the apartment, find a good spot on the sidewalk, and spend an hour in the heat watching and cheering on the parade. Remark on presence of religious organizations and random plumbing and electrical companies.
5. Say goodbye to friends, get back on the T, and go back to the car.
6. Dash into the house, grab a few things, and head over to a local temple for a relative's bar mitzvah.
7. Once the service is done, go back to the car (eating a piece of challah on the way), and go back to the house.
8. Pack up, drive down to in-laws' house, shower and get changed.
9. Drive back into Boston for dinner and party following bar mitzvah. Meet many, many, many in-laws that not even the wife sees more than once a year. Try to remember all names and faces, fail miserably.
10. Leave party, drive back to in-laws' house, go to bed.
11. Wake up next morning, shower, get dressed, and go to post-bar mitzvah brunch. Meet cute kids, take lots of pictures.
12. Go back to in-laws' house, start first of two loads of laundry.
13. After nap and checking on laundry, run out and get groceries.
14. Fold laundry, flip through Sunday Globe, have dinner, thank in-laws for allowing us to spend another night in air conditioning.
15. Watch ballgame, cheer as Sox beat Cubs.
16. Collapse.

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To drive or not to drive ...

... is not a question as far as David Greenwood is concerned:

Seats of power

I read this out lout to my wife yesterday, and it made us laugh and shake our heads. Except for the fact of us being women instead of guys (and the fact that I swear instead of being passive-aggressive), right now this is us. I have promised, however, that I will get back in the driver's seat; reacquainting myself with all that is high on the list of post-move projects.

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Friday, June 10, 2005

Book quote of the day

"I knew from the very first that some day there would be a cow here. One of the first things that turned up when we bought the place was a milking stool, an old one, handmade, smooth with the wax finish which only the seat of an honest man's breeches can give to wood. A piece of equipment like that kicking around the barn is impossible to put out of one's mind completely. I never mentioned the name 'cow' in those early days, but I knew that the ownership of a milking stool was like any other infection -- there would be the period of incubation and then the trouble itself. The stool made me feel almost wholly equipped -- all I needed was the new plank floor under the cow, the new stanchion, the platform, the curb, the gutter, the toprail, the litter alley, the sawdust, the manger, the barn broom, the halter, the watering pail, the milk pail, the milk cans, the brushes, the separator, the churn, the cow, and the ability to milk the cow."

E.B. White, in his essay "Getting Ready for a Cow"

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Managerial memo

To: All starting pitchers on the "Go Sox!" fantasy baseball roster
From: Soxfan
Subject: Recent performance

Dear Pitchers,

Today, as is my habit before the weekend games, I reviewed the team's performance over the past week. Since Yahoo presents the batters' stats above those of the pitchers, I naturally examined their numbers first. I made a few minor adjustments, but was overall quite happy with their production as of late.

Then I turned to the pitchers' stats. Immediately, two columns stood out: wins and ERA. It was disheartening to find that seven starting pitchers came up with a paltry four wins combined, only three of which count. (Mr. Halladay, my apologies -- it was my oversight that caused you to be on the bench the day you pitched.)

More troubling than that, though, were the earned run average numbers put up by said pitchers. Yes, it is true that the first-place team, the NY Crankees, had some issues with ERA as well. But none of their starters had an ERA above 8; our team has three (yes, you, Mr. Clement, Mr. Vázquez, and Mr. Mulder).

I may sound harsh, but my intent is not to lay the blame on any of your shoulders. After all, this is a team, and the buck (virtual or otherwise) must stop with the manager. I also understand that this is a long season, with inevitable ups and downs. Keeping all this in mind, I am not about to make any hasty changes just for the sake of change.

However, I am bound to inform you that, since I am not only the manager but also the general manager of this team, I will be closely monitoring the situation. I would sincerely hope that your own professionalism and sense of responsiblity would be sufficient motivation to improve on your recent performances. It is only my own responsibility that requires me to remind you that this is a four-team league, with a large pool of free agents who would welcome the chance to play for one of those teams.

I hope you will consider these remarks in the spirit in which they were intended. As always, my door is open for comments and suggestions, pertaining to this matter or any other issues you may have.

soxfan

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Bye-bye, Béltre ...

... and hello, Tony:

Dropped: A. Béltre (3B)
Added: T. Graffanino (1B/2B/3B)

I'm probably jumping off the Béltre bandwagon at exactly the wrong time (good thing I never play the stock market), but Graffanino's on a hot streak too. If he can keep up a decent average, score some runs and help me out with steals, I'll be happy.

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The packing paradox

Here's a problem I've been having lately: my wife and I have a lot of stuff to pack. What I would love to do is free up enough space in the study so we could put empty boxes and bins in there, ready to be filled. However, in order to free up space, I need to deal with the things that are occupying said space, and the only way to do that is to either throw them out, recycle them, or get them off the floor somehow. Since there's only so much shelf and table room available, and since we do want to hang on to some of the things, that means putting them in boxes and bins, which would be fine except that I don't have anywhere to put *those*, which was the whole point of cleaning up the study in the first place.

I guess there are a few ways to handle this:

1. hope that one of our housemates moves out, freeing up another room to put stuff in (not likely)
2. hope that our current landlord gets a sudden urge to add another room on to the house (even more unlikely, due to a rapidly-approaching closing date, the proximity of other houses, and the landlord's recent transition to fatherhood)
3. juggle boxes, bins and stuff from one area of the house to another until we can start moving things into the new apartment

Looks like option 3 is the way to go. At least we're giving ourselves the entire month of July to move, so we don't have to pack everything all at once. Besides, there's a wedding that first weekend, and we're not missing that for sure. :)

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Yay for No. 8

Finally, there's a piece of good news related to the Boston Bruins. Nope, no labor agreement yet, just some recognition for one of the team's greats:

Neely elected to Hockey's Hall of Fame

Unlike fellow star Ray Bourque, Neely never got to hold the Stanley Cup. Maybe this will help make up for it.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Getting back in the groove

After a long hiatus from dance lessons (brought about by a combination of winter weather, a difficult-to-get-to studio location and general busyness), it seems like my wife and I are getting back in the swing of things. Last Saturday we went to the last Swingtime of the year, a Pre-Pride dance that attracted more people than I've ever seen. Since one committee member was away and another was dealing with bronchitis, we pitched in by picking up snacks from Trader Joe's and taking turns manning the door. The Mood Swings, who keep getting better and better, provided lots of danceable tunes.

Last night, the wife and I went over to the house of Rogue Slayer and The Girl to teach them some steps. As RS notes over on her blog, we did some merengue, and had a lot of fun with it. It's a good dance to start with, because the footwork is easy, and you can take all the time you need to do a turn (or lead one). We also did some foxtrot, which they picked up amazingly quickly. With the dance, dinner and entertainment ("Queer as Folk", which I had never seen), it was a good evening. Who knew Mondays could actually be fun?

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Translations by "Telephone"

Found this fun link on Easily Addictive:

lost in translation

If you enter some English text and click "Babelize", the program will translate the text back and forth between five different languages, with hilariously incomprehensible results. For instance, I put in the first sentence of the U.S. Constitution:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

When I submitted the text (including Chinese, Japanese, and Korean as options for translation), the program came up with this:

"Our American, integrated decree very, justice the end to give the form to the mechanism, the loaded combination that it, who is guaranteed, is peace, for the places of the order to the general defense, the general of the well-being of the promotion, interior of benediction exempts to us of the sky of the guarantee, we this circumstance of the accosentito because in the S.U.A., the front part it installs it."

It's "Telephone" for the 21st century. :)

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Saturday, June 04, 2005

I always knew the Red Sox were cool ...

... but this proves it:

Sox prove good sports primping for "Queer Eye"

Times like this I regret not having cable, but maybe I can convince a friend to tape it for us. It's nice to know that, unlike certain other sports personalities, these five Sox players were pretty comfortable doing the show (and from the looks of the photo gallery had fun too).

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Friday, June 03, 2005

"Queer Eye" quote

"Sounds to me like Timlin and the people at the radio station need a makeover."
HRC president Joe Solmonese, responding to homophobic comments made by WEEI's Gerry Callahan and Boston pitcher Mike Timlin. All are quoted in today's Names and Faces column in the Boston Globe.

To send your own response to Callahn, e-mail dennisandcallahan@entercom.com. To contact WEEI program manager Jason Wolfe, go to WEEI's contact us page. To pass on comments to Timlin, e-mail fanfeedback@redsox.mlb.com.

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Book meme

Found this on DrMomentum's blog, and since I did read his post I must consider myself tagged. Here goes:

# of books I own
Er, lots. Probably more than I think I own, though I'll probably have a better idea after we pack them up for our move.

Last book I bought
The wife and I picked up five titles on our last excursion, and probably would've gotten more if we didn't have to walk a ways back to our B&B:

On the Road by Jack Kerouac
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Jerome K. Jerome
Without Reservations : The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Last book I read
Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett, a solid entry in his Discworld series, and the book that introduces one of my favorite characters, Sam Vimes.

Five books that mean a lot to me
Erg, it's so hard to narrow this down to five titles. The closest I've come is figuring out my five favorite authors at the moment: Tolkien, Shakespeare, Pratchett, Connie Willis, and Studs Terkel, who at one time or another have either made me laugh or made me go "Hmmm ..." about something I'd never thought about before.

No pressure on anyone else to do this, but if you feel like it, post a link to your blog post or leave your list in the comments.

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Letter from New California

Received via e-mail:

~snip~

Dear Red States,

We're ticked off at the way you've treated California, and we've decided we're leaving.

We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us.

In case you aren't aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be
beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay.

We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Opry Land. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss. We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama. We get two-thirds of the tax revenue; you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners) 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Carnegie Mellon, University of Chicago, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes,nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.

By the way, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.

Sincerely,
Author Unknown in New California

~snip~

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