Monthly Archives: January 2014

NOLA Notes: The Hunker Games

New Orleans is having a snow day after a civic nervous breakdown last night. There’s a chance of snow although it looks as if it’s mostly going to be ice, ice baby. Since we’re in hurricane country, people raced to the grocery stores yesterday to get, well, hurricane supplies. One lady interviewed on the teevee news bought ice although that seems kinda weird for the coming #icepocalypse. We’re used to shopping for Carnival and hurricanes, y’all.

One reason for the municipal freak out was the head of Entergy playing power Chicken Little and warning of outages of up to 6 days if the #sneauxpocalypse or #sneauxmageddon strikes. Btw, the Entergy guy is Charles Rice who was Nagin’s right hand man in his first term as Mayor, which doesn’t necessarily enhance his credibility. Any reminders of C Ray, of course, help Mayor Mitchey in his re-election campaign so the trial is a bonanza for him. It, too, has been canceled by the #icepocalypse.

One of the stupidest things about this particular storm is the Weather Channel’s new policy of naming winter storms. This one is named Leon. Leon? Really? Leon? The only Leon I ever had any use for was former Giants, Indians and Angels OF Leon Wagner, an all hit no field slugger. His nickname was Daddy Wags. When he owned a clothing store its slogan was “buy your rags from Daddy Wags.” This is probably only of interest to me and Doc. Btw, this makes me the John Fogerty of bloggers: I “self plagiarized” that passage from my Facebook page…

Leon Daddy Wags Wagner was the poor man’s Willie McCovey so I’m going to post a picture of him with the real deal:

Wags-Stretch

Now that I’ve updated people who have *real* winter, it’s time for me to hunker down and get really, really bored. We may watch all the Doctor Who episodes cluttering up the DVR. David Tennant, Matt Smith and the Tardis await.

Oh yeah, LET THE HUNKER GAMES BEGIN.

Friday Ferretblogging

They are still alive. In fact, thanks to my being on leave and Mr. A working from home while Kick makes her way in the world, the ferrets are getting more out time than ever. Bucky’s responded by turning into a furry little speed demon. I took sixteen pictures of him this morning. This is the only one in which he was still:

Bucky

A.

Friday Catblogging: Butt Lifter

Here’s Della Street looking mighty undignified. She is, however, still smirking:

Butt lifter

Lunch Bullying and Food Shaming, Utah Style

It seems as though we’re constantly writing about kids are getting bullied, battered and otherwise belittled at school. When it’s kid-on-kid crap, it’s not excusable, but it is more understandable, as the students try to press through the Darwinian hellhole known as the social graces of our educational system.

When adults decide it’s time to shit on the kids, that’s when we all really have lost. Enter, Uintah Elementary school in Salt Lake City, where approximately 40 children had their lunches seized by school workers and thrown out in front of everyone.

The crime? They apparently had outstanding balances on their school lunch accounts.

According to news reports, the district’s CHILD-NUTRITION DEPARTMENT (pause there… savor the irony) sent a CHILD-NUTRITION MANAGER (pause again… let it soak right in…) to the school after officials became aware that a number of students owed money on their accounts. The manager, who for some reason is unnamed in the newspaper account, decided to withhold lunches from these kids. (Personally, I think that if the manager was so sure he/she was right about this approach, that person should be out front and be named. Let’s see how that person deals with the “humiliation” of having been called out for being an asshole.)

Unfortunately for her, these pita predators had already been served. This left only two solutions:

1) Let the kids eat this lunch, send a note home explaining that tomorrow or the next day lunch will be withheld if the parents don’t make good on their debts

2) Snatch the lunches back from the kids and throw them out, as food that has been served to one student can’t be served to another.

Throwing out the food makes no sense. It’s already out there and the monetary loss has been created, so you can’t get it back. The kids don’t have the money to pony up, so even the threat of this isn’t going to get you any cash. All that’s going to happen is you’re going to point out to everyone in the lunch room that these kids are either poor or allegedly have shitty parents who don’t pay their bills.

Of course, this was the option that district workers took, much to the shock and horror of parents at the school. The school initially didn’t apologize. Instead, district spokesman Jason Olsen said, “If students were humiliated and upset, that’s very unfortunate…”

IF? IF? The hell do you mean “IF?”

What else do you think they were? Proud that they could use this incident in their memoirs or as part of a country song they were developing? Happy because the food the school serves is shitty to begin with?

If Olsen were sitting down to eat with his family and friends at a nice restaurant and suddenly the waitstaff showed up, grabbed back the food and said, “Sorry, but we just ran a credit check and you’re too poor to eat here,” how the hell would he feel?

Then imagine that instead of politely eating their food, patrons at the tables around him pointed at him and laughed. Or chanted “You’re too poor! You’re tooo pooooorrr!” What would he feel like then?

Outraged? Incensed? Mortified?

Take those feelings and multiply them by a factor of ten, and you have the vaguest inkling of what the kids felt. Kids are unsure of themselves. The fear of being ostracized and singled out as different can cripple them. The notion that they have been failed by their parents, mocked in the lunch room and then told “Sorry, but hey…” by the district is a vile and disgusting outcome in a situation that didn’t need to be this way.

In the end, the most humane gesture out of this disaster was that one person was so upset, she went home and made lunches for all the children who had theirs taken.

Of course, that person was 11 years old.

Malaka Of The Week: Michael Grimm

Life continues to imitate the Sopranos with this week’s “honoree.” Congressman Michael (Mikey Suits) Grimm (R-Roid Rage/Staten Island) may be be low hanging fruit but I am not one to look a gift horse in the proverbial mouth. Jeez, two cliches in the same sentence, I must be slipping. No make that slipped.

You’ve all heard about the Christopher Moltisanti of Congress threatening a slight reporter from NY1 but let’s relive the glorious highlights as reported by the Noo Yawk Daily Nooze:

The confrontation occurred on Capitol Hill when reporter Michael Scotto followed up questions about the President’s speech by pressing the congressman on a federal investigation into his fund-raising.

“Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances … but as you saw he refused to talk about that,” Scotto said as Grimm began to walk away.

Hearing Scotto’s comment, Grimm turned and walked toward the NY1 reporter. “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this fucking balcony,” Grimm said, according to the cable news channel.

Why, why, I just wanted to ask you?” Scotto responded.

“If you ever do that to me again,” the Staten Island congressman shot back.

When Scotto replied, “why, why it’s a valid question,” Grimm said: “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy,” according to the NY1 transcript.

After posturing a bit more, Grimm grimly apologized to the reporter. He may not, however, get off Scotto free. He was already being investigated for some campaign finance fiddling and is even reputed to be tied to the venerable Gambino crime family. I hope that he didn’t take out a loan from a shylock to win his race in 2010, the vig would be staggering by now. Actually, Grimm sounds more like a loan shark than a borrower. They’re fond of breaking arms and legs…

It’s time to pose the age old question: where the hell do they find these people? Grimm is not only a thug (I’ll leave the Richard Sherman comparison to Joan Walsh since she did it so well) he’s an idiot. Dude, you were just on teevee and the cameras were still rolling. Making empty and moronic threats will only get you in even more trouble than you’re already in.

Michael F has already compared this episode to the Sonny-Carlo beatdown scene in The Godfather and he’s on the money. It also makes Mikey Suits like the Godfather obsessed wise guys in a certain show set in Jersey, which is, of course, my very own personal obsession. I’m still not sure what outrage this is most like. Since I’ve declared Grimm the Christopher Moltisanti of Congress, I’m leaning towards the time he mugged Betty Bacall for her swag bag, or when he shot the kid in the foot at the bakery for making him wait too long for pastries. It’s a pick ’em, y’all.

The good news is that guns are banned from Capitol Hill so this amped up malaka couldn’t pull a rod on Scotto. Thus far, the Second Amendment wackadoodles haven’t gotten around to arming Congressmen but it wouldn’t surprise me if they proposed open carry for our elected officials. Nothing they do ever surprises me.

I hope that Grimm’s constituents will punish him for this outburst by voting him out if the Feds don’t have enough evidence to take him for a perp walk. Tony Soprano eventually got tired of Christopher’s antics and solved the problem wise guy style. In this case, voting this boy breaking, balcony throwing malaka out of office will suffice as punishment. Of course, if Paulie Walnuts wants to drive his Caddy around Grimm’s property and destroy his shrubbery that would be fine with me. That was to avenge Christopher throwing Little Paulie out the window, which perfects the Sopranos-Grimm analogy. And that is why Michael Grimm is malaka of the week.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – D’Souzaphone edition

Morning, folks!

Today’s Obsession is courtesy of my Facebook friend and fellow bassist Stave Simels, who alerted me to this so that I was able to watch it unfold in real time last Thursday.

Without further adone, I’d like to present:Souza? I hardly know ya!

Dinesh D’Souza indicted for violating U.S. election law
Reuters ^ | 1-23-14 | Jonathan Stempel

Posted on 1‎/‎23‎/‎2014‎ ‎5‎:‎57‎:‎47‎ ‎PM by CincyRichieRich

(Reuters) – Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative commentator and best-selling author, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for arranging excessive campaign contributions to a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

According to an indictment made public on Thursday in federal court in Manhattan, D’Souza around August 2012 reimbursed people who he had directed to contribute $20,000 to the candidate’s campaign. The candidate was not named in the indictment.

Attempts to reach D’Souza and a lawyer representing him were unsuccessful.

D’Souza was charged in the indictment with one count of making illegal contributions in the names of others, and one count of causing false statements to be made.

Federal law in 2012 limited primary and general election campaign contributions to $2,500 each, for a total of $5,000, from any individual to any one candidate.

“As we have long said, this Office and the FBI take a zero tolerance approach to corruption of the electoral process,” the U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, Preet Bharara, said in a statement released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Bharara is an Obama appointee.

Born in Mumbai, India, D’Souza, 52, is a former policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan, and has been affiliated with conservative organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

He also directed a 2012 film critical of President Barack Obama, “2016: Obama’s America,” and has written books including “The End of Racism,” “Life After Death: The Evidence” and “Obama’s America: Unmaking the American Dream.”

D’Souza campaigned in 2012 on behalf of Wendy Long, a lawyer and Republican who sought to unseat Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand as New York’s junior senator. Long graduated from Dartmouth College in 1982, a year before D’Souza.

Long could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

*****************************************************************

This man is a patriot. He was sought after because he spoke the truth; his movie was dead on. Does he have a good legal defense? Does it matter since 0bvummer controls all three branches of gov’t? Let’s pray and petition God for his freedom…he is one of us.
1 posted on 1‎/‎23‎/‎2014‎ ‎5‎:‎57‎:‎47‎ ‎PM by CincyRichieRich
You’ll get no argument from me. He’s definitely one of you.

To: CincyRichieRich

Political arrest. Federal crime.

FIFY

Bad state of affairs we’ve come to.

2 posted on 1‎/‎23‎/‎2014‎ ‎5‎:‎59‎:‎19‎ ‎PM by ifinnegan

I’ll say.
Who’s responsible for this horrid partisan witch hunt, anyway?
Those Democrats will stop at nothing to see that money launderingfree speech legal contributions are against the law!
The McCain-Feingold Bill is a bill that was introduced to the United States Senate in 2002 in an attempt to reform campaign financing in the United States.The bill passed after some modifications and was signed into law by then-President George Bush.
Oh. Never mind. Dinesh, don’t tell.

To: ifinnegan

That’s exactly where we’re at in this country . A man can be arrested and indicted for alleged abuses.

Duh. That’s what happens when you break a Federal law. A man can also be arrested and indicted for running Ponzi schemes. And robbing banks. And RICO. And tax evasion. And counterfeiting.

If anyone believes we are anymore a free people, I have some swampland I’d like to sell them.

4 posted on 1‎/‎23‎/‎2014‎ ‎6‎:‎00‎:‎47‎ ‎PM by rarestia (It’s time to water the Tree of Liberty.)

I had no idea the Tree of Liberty grew in swampland. You learn something every day.

To: rarestia

Time to consider:
Underground Railroad II

7 posted on 1‎/‎23‎/‎2014‎ ‎6‎:‎03‎:‎07‎ ‎PM by Covenantor (“Men are ruled…by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern.” Chesterton)

Oh, that’s rich. So the Freeperati are going to set up a clandestine conduit whereby rich wingnut welfare recipients can be housed in participants’ homes and smuggled up North down South?
Underground Railroad II – electric boogaloo!
What could possibly be the motivation for this slaverypersecution prosecution of this True Patriot??

To: CincyRichieRich
Probably won’t be making any more movies about B0 Soebarkah.
9 posted on 1‎/‎23‎/‎2014‎ ‎6‎:‎03‎:‎38‎ ‎PM by Zuse

How dare they go all Joseph Stalin on this upstanding moral paragon of Conservative Values??

To: CincyRichieRich
“As we have long said, this Office and the FBI take a zero tolerance approach to corruption of the electoral process,” …

Oh, puh-leeeze. They mean, “a zero tolerance approach to Republicans.”

I haven’t heard anything about D’Souza since he tried to persuade Nondenominational Christians (his constituency) that hooking up with a nubile young groupie while he was still married should be perfectly acceptable.

10 posted on ‎1‎/‎23‎/‎2014‎ ‎6‎:‎03‎:‎47‎ ‎PM by Tax-chick (Well, that went badly.)

Oh no you didnt

To: Tax-chick
“I haven’t heard anything about D’Souza since he tried to persuade Nondenominational Christians (his constituency) that hooking up with a nubile young groupie while he was still married should be perfectly acceptable.”

What???

45 posted on 1‎/‎23‎/‎2014‎ ‎6‎:‎23‎:‎53‎ ‎PM by 88keys (“work and purpose”…election 2014!)

To: 88keys; Tax-chick
That’s how/why D’Souza left his job as President of King’s College.

The ‘young groupie’ was Denise Odie Joseph, who was also married at the time.

50 posted on ‎1‎/‎23‎/‎2014‎ ‎6‎:‎28‎:‎28‎ ‎PM by Scoutmaster (I’d rather be at Philmont)

Ohnoes1
Never mind that! This is serious stuff!

To: ifinnegan

Hitler’s Germany all over again!

46 posted on 1‎/‎23‎/‎2014‎ ‎6‎:‎25‎:‎44‎ ‎PM by abclily

Or maybe not.
I remember when Hitler had his political opponents shotgassedgiven a handgun with one bullet indicted in Federal Court!
More after the Action T4

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Um…

OK…for bizarro Republican (but I repeat myself) reactions to Tuesday’s SOTU…in the red corner, swinging (oh, just for the record, searching for “swingers” images on Google brings up some decidedly NSFW content)… swinging Alex Castellanos. Apologies if that image is forever burned into your retinas…

From Album 5

While the blue corner brings us Staten Island New York Representative Michael “Maybe He Shoudda Been Named Santino” Grimm

From Album 5

I dunno — take your pick, but either one is/both are…batshit insane…in other words, perfectly representative of your present day GOP.

Um…

OK…for bizarro Republican (but I repeat myself) reactions to Tuesday’s SOTU…in the red corner, swinging (oh, just for the record, searching for “swingers” images on Google brings up some decidedly NSFW content)… swinging Alex Castellanos. Apologies if that image is forever burned into your retinas…

From Album 5

While the blue corner brings us Staten Island New York Representative Michael “Maybe He Shoudda Been Named Santino” Grimm

From Album 5

I dunno — take your pick, but either one is/both are…batshit insane…in other words, perfectly representative of your present day GOP.

Um…

OK…for bizarro Republican (but I repeat myself) reactions to Tuesday’s SOTU…in the red corner, swinging (oh, just for the record, searching for “swingers” images on Google brings up some decidedly NSFW content)… swinging Alex Castellanos. Apologies if that image is forever burned into your retinas…

From Album 5

While the blue corner brings us Staten Island New York Representative Michael “Maybe He Shoudda Been Named Santino” Grimm

From Album 5

I dunno — take your pick, but either one is/both are…batshit insane…in other words, perfectly representative of your present day GOP.

Um…

OK…for bizarro Republican (but I repeat myself) reactions to Tuesday’s SOTU…in the red corner, swinging (oh, just for the record, searching for “swingers” images on Google brings up some decidedly NSFW content)… swinging Alex Castellanos. Apologies if that image is forever burned into your retinas…

From Album 5

While the blue corner brings us Staten Island New York Representative Michael “Maybe He Shoudda Been Named Santino” Grimm

From Album 5

I dunno — take your pick, but either one is/both are…batshit insane…in other words, perfectly representative of your present day GOP.

Um…

OK…for bizarro Republican (but I repeat myself) reactions to Tuesday’s SOTU…in the red corner, swinging (oh, just for the record, searching for “swingers” images on Google brings up some decidedly NSFW content)… swinging Alex Castellanos. Apologies if that image is forever burned into your retinas…

From Album 5

While the blue corner brings us Staten Island New York Representative Michael “Maybe He Shoudda Been Named Santino” Grimm

From Album 5

I dunno — take your pick, but either one is/both are…batshit insane…in other words, perfectly representative of your present day GOP.

Um…

OK…for bizarro Republican (but I repeat myself) reactions to Tuesday’s SOTU…in the red corner, swinging (oh, just for the record, searching for “swingers” images on Google brings up some decidedly NSFW content)… swinging Alex Castellanos. Apologies if that image is forever burned into your retinas…

From Album 5

While the blue corner brings us Staten Island New York Representative Michael “Maybe He Shoudda Been Named Santino” Grimm

From Album 5

I dunno — take your pick, but either one is/both are…batshit insane…in other words, perfectly representative of your present day GOP.

Um…

OK…for bizarro Republican (but I repeat myself) reactions to Tuesday’s SOTU…in the red corner, swinging (oh, just for the record, searching for “swingers” images on Google brings up some decidedly NSFW content)…swinging Alex Castellanos. Apologies if that image is forever burned into your retinas…

From Album 5

While the blue corner brings us Staten Island New York Representative Michael “Maybe He Shoudda Been Named Santino” Grimm

From Album 5

I dunno — take your pick, but either one is/both are…batshit insane…in other words, perfectly representative of your present day GOP.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Sideshow Ice

I haven’t posted a Fred G. Johnson sideshow banner in quite some time. This one is seasonally appropriate since it has polar bears and shit. Hmm, I wonder if this act ever played Atlanta?

5855755174_4e155e0b0c_z

Today in using people as props: Macklemore

I realize a lot of LGBT stuff has been crossing my browser lately. The science will return, don’t worry!

File this under things that probably don’t surprise anyone:

Submitted: …[Macklemore]’s a straight, cis white man who is profiting from our plight[…]; we have the right to criticize him.

Response: This just in: people are only allowed to care about things that affect them directly.

Obama shouldn’t have been allowed to speak about marriage equality on his campaign trail because he’s not gay and was clearly just doing it to win votes from gay people. He isn’t gay and shouldn’t have been able to support homosexuals he was just exploiting them and not at all professing genuine support or concern or a desire for change because he believes all people have a right to love and express that love through marriage.

A politician talking about an issue on a campaign trail could, ostensibly, be compared to a singer writing songs about an issue. But holy damn is this a false equivalence here.

Let’s start with Obama. Sure, he talked about LGB issues* on the campaign trail. And no, people didn’t react the same way they’re reacting to Macklemore talking about the same issues – and that’s because Obama puts his money where his mouth is. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell?Gone. Defense of Marriage Act? Justice Department was ordered not to defend it –by Obama. He had more openly LGBT staffers than Bush and Clinton combined by the middle of his first term, giving them a voice in politics. Yeah, Obama talks about LGB issues, but he also does things about them, too.

For those of you who, like me, aren’t Hip with the Pop Culture, there was a Big Fat Gay Wedding at the Grammys on Sunday. It wasn’t all gay couples (that article refers to the frequency of same-sex marriages as a “sprinkling” in the 33 couples), but the ceremony was performed to Macklemore’s “Same Love”, which is why this has come up. Macklemore is a straight white male hip hop artist, though the fact that suddenly a whole bunch of white people have discovered that they like hip hop is a rant for a different day.

I have some pretty excellent search engine skillz, but the only listings of “activism” for LGB issues that I could find for Macklemore are that he wrote some songs about gay issues. When he performed “Same Love” on Ellen, she introduced Macklemore and Ryan Lewis with the line “No other artists in hip-hop history have ever taken a stand defending marriage equality the way they have.” And there was no jumping in to correct her, to say “hey, there’s this whole genre of hip hop that’s actually performed by queer people”.

When you’re someone with privilege and you’re helping out people who don’t, you need to use your privilege to help people be heard. Don’t use it to talk over them, and definitely don’t use it to tell people they don’t have the right to criticize someone for doing just that.

*Note: I’m intentionally leaving the T out of the standard acronym. Current activism generally applies only to same-sex attraction, not gender identity, and I don’t want to conflate the two here.

Um…

OK…for bizarro Republican (but I repeat myself) reactions to Tuesday’s SOTU…in the red corner, swinging (oh, just for the record, searching for “swingers” images on Google brings up some decidedly NSFW content)… swinging Alex Castellanos. Apologies if that image is forever burned into your retinas…

From Album 5

While the blue corner brings us Staten Island New York Representative Michael “Maybe He Shoudda Been Named Santino” Grimm

From Album 5

I dunno — take your pick, but either one is/both are…batshit insane…in other words, perfectly representative of your present day GOP.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Stephen Stills

Athenae is *always* a tough act to follow. But a baby? Impossible.But I do have a regular Wednesday feature so here we go.

I asked my Facebook friends to suggest winter themed LP covers. I got so many good ones that I’ll be using another one next week. This week’s cover comes from Stephen Stills’ eponymous first solo album. This seriously goofy cover was suggested by my friend Mike Hogan of Egg Yolk Jubileefame.

Stuffed critter? Short sleeves? Put a fucking coat on, Steve. Beyond the cover, it’s a pretty darn good solo “debut.”

Stepehn Stills LP

Here’s my favorite tune from the LP with Eric Clapton guesting on guitar:

Kick, this is the Internet. Internet, this is Kick.

Apologies for the ionization blackout period, guys, and apologies for its likelihood of it continuing this week while Mr. A and I get used to having a very long-term houseguest:

72863_10201998592898919_1206082014_n

She was born at 8:40 a.m. Saturday, which already seems like a year ago, at just over 6 pounds, and she came home yesterday, during the coldest cold snap since the last coldest cold snap of this bear of a winter. We’re keeping her cozy by the radiators and trying to figure out how to, you know, feed her and make sense of all that’s happened to her in the past hours.

Thank you so much, all of you, for all the good wishes on Facebook and Twitter and here. They’re felt, and appreciated, and as soon as she’s old enough to drive I promise we’ll give her the keys to the crack van. (Which I wanted to get going last night but fell asleep in the shower, so.)

A.

Today in using people as props: Macklemore

I realize a lot of LGBT stuff has been crossing my browser lately. The science will return, don’t worry!

File this under things that probably don’t surprise anyone:

Submitted: …[Macklemore]’s a straight, cis white man who is profiting from our plight[…]; we have the right to criticize him.

Response: This just in: people are only allowed to care about things that affect them directly.

Obama shouldn’t have been allowed to speak about marriage equality on his campaign trail because he’s not gay and was clearly just doing it to win votes from gay people. He isn’t gay and shouldn’t have been able to support homosexuals he was just exploiting them and not at all professing genuine support or concern or a desire for change because he believes all people have a right to love and express that love through marriage.

A politician talking about an issue on a campaign trail could, ostensibly, be compared to a singer writing songs about an issue. But holy damn is this a false equivalence here.

Let’s start with Obama. Sure, he talked about LGB issues* on the campaign trail. And no, people didn’t react the same way they’re reacting to Macklemore talking about the same issues – and that’s because Obama puts his money where his mouth is. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? Gone. Defense of Marriage Act? Justice Department was ordered not to defend it – by Obama. He had more openly LGBT staffers than Bush and Clinton combined by the middle of his first term, giving them a voice in politics. Yeah, Obama talks about LGB issues, but he also does things about them, too.

For those of you who, like me, aren’t Hip with the Pop Culture, there was a Big Fat Gay Wedding at the Grammys on Sunday. It wasn’t all gay couples (that article refers to the frequency of same-sex marriages as a “sprinkling” in the 33 couples), but the ceremony was performed to Macklemore’s “Same Love”, which is why this has come up. Macklemore is a straight white male hip hop artist, though the fact that suddenly a whole bunch of white people have discovered that they like hip hop is a rant for a different day.

I have some pretty excellent search engine skillz, but the only listings of “activism” for LGB issues that I could find for Macklemore are that he wrote some songs about gay issues. When he performed “Same Love” on Ellen, she introduced Macklemore and Ryan Lewis with the line “No other artists in hip-hop history have ever taken a stand defending marriage equality the way they have.” And there was no jumping in to correct her, to say “hey, there’s this whole genre of hip hop that’s actually performed by queer people”.

When you’re someone with privilege and you’re helping out people who don’t, you need to use your privilege to help people be heard. Don’t use it to talk over them, and definitely don’t use it to tell people they don’t have the right to criticize someone for doing just that.

*Note: I’m intentionally leaving the T out of the standard acronym. Current activism generally applies only to same-sex attraction, not gender identity, and I don’t want to conflate the two here.

Stay on Target

Mr. A and I kept repeating that to ourselves this week, as we cleaned and cleaned and cleaned the house and I wracked my brain trying to think of who I’d forgotten to send thank-you notes to for various acts of kindness since May 16 of last year.

That was the date of the embryo transfer. Two days before Mr. A’s master’s degree graduation, and about a week into a combination of work/family drama meltdowns that made this summer into a blur. Mr. A changed jobs twice in four months. In July I worked 28 days out of 31. We almost moved to Seattle in September and then, a week or so later, we almost moved to New York.

A week after that we settled on remaining where we were, which involved emptying half our hole in the wall to make room for a kidlet, moving a storage space into another storage space, and throwing out our last piece of authentically dumpster-dived furniture. Chicken died. I took on a writing gig I had absolutely no way of fulfilling and biffed it so badly I can’t even think of a way to apologize.

This has been, compared to all the horror stories people have told me, a very easy pregnancy. She’s been very well-behaved: No drama, no scares. No bed rest, I could work right up until today, she’s mostly let me sleep. I’ve been the problem: I sprained my ankle the first week of August, then developed a vicious sinus infection that still hasn’t gone away. I took the hint when the mercury dropped below zero and it wouldn’t stop snowing: Stay inside, already, and rest.

People kept telling me to slow down and sit down and put things down. Friends and family came to visit, to keep me from going absolutely bonkers. You all, with your support and your messages and your boundless good will and energy … I can’t even say. Before we told anyone, I felt so locked down, as if one errant word would doom the whole thing to disaster. After, all I could think was how lucky this kid was, to have so many people she’d likely never meet in person cheering her on.

Tonight, there’s not much more to do. Her nursery is done, as outfitted with what we think she’ll need as we can make it. The house is as clean as we can get it. The car seat’s installed in the car, and at the crack of dawn, we’ll be off to the hospital.

See you on the flip side. And thank you all.

A.