Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why Try To Change Me Now

My most recent anthem. It's a remake of an old Cy Coleman song. Though, of course, the only other version I've heard is the Frank Sinatra version. And while he does it beautifully, of course he does, Fiona Apple's version is so haunting, and her voice is just better suited to the song, in my opinion. Listen, and then listen again, because I don't think the full impact hits on the first run through.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Furry, Floppy Love

This is my sweet boy...Charlie. He makes everything better. He protects me from all the bad things in the world. True story...The other night when the munchkin was off at her dad's, I was watching a special on NatGeo (geez...I'm a nerd) and was surprised by a particularly traumatic scene and started crying and Charlie went nuts...barking and running around trying to figure out what was making me cry because he was going to kill it, dammit!!

Charlie, like me, is a huge drama queen. He is good at pouting and whining and letting the world know just how miserable his life is. As sad as this picture is, it's nothing to look on his face when I gather my things because I'm...leaving the house...There is nothing worse in the world than when I leave the house. And if I'm gone overnight? The moping is ridiculous. He won't eat, and just lays around feeling sorry for himself.

But as far as Charlie is concerned, that's nothing to the horror that is this guy...

This guy has no concept of "personal boundaries." He doesn't seem to know or care that I belong solely to Charlie. This guy thinks it's a good day if there is never a shred of sunlight between us. Charlie tries to keep Ellwood in line, he really does. But Ellwood is stubborn...and stupid...which means that Charlie has to tell him again and again to MOVE!! Or to stop chasing the damn laser light or any number of other things that Ellwood does that Charlie does not approve of.

I think Ellwood's really starting to grow on Charlie, though...either that or he's decided that Ellwood is just too dumb to take care of himself. See, while Charlie is a very verbal dog and lets you know if there is an intruder or just a stray falling leaf that offends him, Ellwood never barks...well, unless he's chasing cats...but that's a whole other subject... Since Ellwood isn't standing up for his rights at the top of his lungs, Charlie's decided that's his job. He's taken to whining at the door if Ellwood wants to be let in or let out or to look at the business section of New York Times...

I love this dog. I really, really do...and he loves me...he really, really does...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Just Because I'd Rather Have My Eyes Poked Out With Sharp Sticks...

...does not give someone else the right to tell me whom I may or may not marry. My queer pals have just as much right to tie themselves up in an outdated social convention as do my straight pals. And given that I'm pretty pro-civil rights for everyone, not just myself, I'm deeply emotionally invested in the fight for marriage equality. As long as our government insists on giving rights, responsibilities and privileges to straight, married couples, it cannot deny those same rights to committed gay couples. It makes no sense and is deeply, intrinsically wrong.

So, needless to say, I'm following pretty closely the Prop 8 trial. I've got my reservations about the timing of this trial, because I think it may end up doing more harm to the movement than good, because whatever the outcome of this trial, it's going to be appealed to the Supreme Court, and the current political make up of the Supreme Court leads me to believe there's a good chance that the Supreme Court will rule against gay marriage...not an insurmountable obstacle, but one that would seriously hinder the movement. It takes a very long time for the Supreme Court to reverse itself and since I think that gay marriage is a no brainer for most people under thirty, I think that we need to wait only a few years, say no later than 2016, before voter legislation legalizes it.

I know, though, that it's easy for me, someone who doesn't want to ever get married, to say wait, because I'm not waiting. Marriage equality is a moot point for me personally, since I will never get married. But, that doesn't make me insensitive to the needs of others. I have family and friends who would dearly love to be able to get married, and it's hard for me to say to them..."Wait." My concern, though, is that by pushing the issue too early, before it's likely to succeed, we'll actually end up increasing the amount of time before marriage equality is gained.

My concerns, of course, are a moot point since the trial is ongoing, so all I can really do is watch, and wait, and hope. Part of that watching and waiting, however, gave me a good laugh today, because I do so love it when the anti-marriage equality folks make themselves look like the morons they truly are.

The Courage Campaign has a blog following the progress of the Prop 8 trial that is using this logo:

which is, of course, a parody of the ProtectMarriage logo. You can go to the blog and read about the response of ProtectMarriage and the hilarious answer from the Trial Tracker blog. Hopefully, it will give you a good laugh at the stupidity of the marriage protection folks...

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy New Year

I don't do New Year's resolutions. I mean, I'm sure I did once, like, a million years ago, but nowhere in my memory is a New Year's resolution. But even without a specific memory, I can tell you how any such event would have played out. I'd have done really, really well for a few weeks, maybe even a few months, and then, slowly but as surely as the sun will rise within just a handful of hours of my typing this, I would slip, falter and then fail utterly. I'm great at starting...and godawful at finishing. It's been my biggest personality flaw my whole life.

And yet, tonight I am filled with a sense of wanting to begin again, to try my faulty resolve and, for once, find it not wanting. I've been contemplating this last year as we're prone to doing at this time and finding myself ready to turn the page on this trying chapter of my life, but I find myself wondering what comes next. Not like the big mystery of what does the future hold, but the question of what will my life be about. The last ten years that question has been easy to answer. My purpose has been my family, my daughter and my now ex girlfriend. So I knew that whatever else I might do, my life would revolve around them.

To some extent, even with the disappearance of the girlfriend from that picture, my purpose will still by my daughter and, of course, my larger extended family, but the reality is that every day my daughter grows older and the days until she is a woman on her own deciding where her life story will lead her are getting fewer in number every day. And my goal, as is every parent's, is that I will have raised my daughter to be a capable adult who will have her own life, and her own family and while I always intend to be close to her, at some point, living every moment of my life for my daughter will not only be unnecessary, but also wholly unhealthy for the both of us. In the past, of course, the idea was that the girlfriend and I would ride off into the sunset and grow old together and be grandmas and all of that.

I've always defined my life by my relationships. When I was a teenager, my friends were my life, as a young adult, my daughter became my life. So, I've always thought of myself as someone's daughter or sister or friend or lover or mother, and rarely as an entity into myself, and while I will still continue to be all of those things to various people, it's clearly time to be Laura, the woman...who also happens to be a mother and a daughter and a friend and a lover. I know that, for the time being and the foreseeable future, I am not in a position to add partner or wife or girlfriend to that list (okay, so never, ever on the wife thing) and frankly, I really don't want to look for that now. Not until I know where I want to place the focus of my life.

It would be far easier if there was one thing I was more passionately interested in than I was in any other thing. But, as has always been the case, my interests are wide and very little can hold my attention to the exclusion of other things for long enough that I can really make a life out of it. I love so many things: cooking and history and social causes aplenty. There are many things that strike a chord in me, but none so deeply that I really want to devote myself to it. Once upon a time, before chronic illness became my bosom buddy, I thought I had found it...I worked for a time as a Certified Nurse's Aide and wanted to become an RN and devote myself to nursing because it was something I could care about, something that I could feel good about, that would hold my interest due to it's ever changing nature. Now, of course, physically and emotionally, nursing is too much for me.

And chronic illness is going to truly complicate this search, because any work too strenuous, whether physically or emotionally taxing, is out of the question because it will hurt my health and make any part of my life impossible.

I have some plans, some educational plans that will be set into motion in the very near future, but they aren't long term plans and it's not something that I can see myself doing for the rest of my life without wanting to gouge my eyes out with pointy sticks.

So...while I hesitate (out of superstition, lest I jinx myself) to use the term resolution, it appears that I have one. While I go about my short term education goals that are going to give me the financial ability to be independent, I am also going to start exploring my interests, my skills...and finding that thing that's going to give my life meaning when my daughter is grown and happily finding her own path.