Some of us can move on, others can’t

I’ve been in a weird state all day — I arrived at my desk without having remembered driving to work, floated through my day alternately pissed off and morose, snapped at the CEO more than once in a meeting. Just as one never expects the sudden death of a friend or colleague at such a young age, one also never knows how they’re going to react.
I sat staring into space for much of the day, and then finally decided to tip toe back to twittering and writing on the blog. I didn’t really want to write about how I feel because it’s not about me, it shouldn’t be about me, it was never about me.

So let’s change the subject and shine the spotlight on stupidity in the whackadoo religious right, one of my favorite subjects here. Ros would have loved it.

From the Carpetbagger Report today:

Note to the religious right: auto-replace is not your friend
Auto-correct can be a very helpful feature of any word-processing program. But when conservatives use it, they run the risk of embarrassing themselves.

Some far-right sites that subscribe to the Associated Press feed, for example, will use auto-correct to change “Democratic Party” to “Democrat Party.” This, of course, is because they have the temperament of children.

But the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow website takes the phenomenon one step further with its AP articles. The far-right fundamentalist group replaces the word “gay” in the articles with the word “homosexual.” I’m not entirely sure why, but it seems to make the AFA happy. The group is, after all, pretty far out there.

The problem, of course, is that “gay” does not always mean what the AFA wants it to mean. My friend Kyle reported this morning that sprinter Tyson Gay won the 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials over the weekend. The AFA ran the story, but only after the auto-correct had “fixed” the article.

That means — you guessed it — the track star was renamed “Tyson Homosexual.” The headline on the piece read, “Homosexual eases into 100 final at Olympic trials.” Readers learned:

Tyson Homosexual easily won his semifinal for the 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials and seemed to save something for the final later Sunday.

His wind-aided 9.85 seconds was a fairly cut-and-dry performance compared to what happened a day earlier. On Saturday, Homosexual misjudged the finish in his opening heat and had to scramble to finish fourth, then in his quarterfinal a couple of hours later, ran 9.77 to break the American record that had stood since 1999. […]

Homosexual didn’t get off to a particularly strong start in the first semifinal, but by the halfway mark he had established a comfortable lead. He slowed somewhat over the final 10 meters-nothing like the way-too-soon complete shutdown that almost cost him Saturday. Asked how he felt, Homosexual said: “A little fatigued.”

Rosalind Aguilar

I knew Ros for only a couple of years, but I loved her. That’s enough to clue you in about how special she was. She was special in many other ways as well, from her musical passion to her hard work at creating a better life for her kids. And I’ll miss her very much.
I just wanted the world to know this and to remember her.

Rosalind Irene Aguilar, age 28, left this life June 29, 2008. She was a courageous mother who dedicated her life to her two sons; Geronimo and Elias. Rosalind always said ‘that her boys were the lights of her life and that’s why they were her “suns”. Rosalind will be remembered and dearly missed by her two brothers; Frank and Mondo, sister Sarah, nephew Moses, her nieces; Alyssa, Serena, Delilah, Josalynn, co-workers at Barracuda, her band “The 20s!, numerous friends and extended family she collected over the years.
A memorial account has been set up for her boys’ future at Bank of the West, Acct. #387079577.
Mass will be July 8, 2008 at Holy Cross Catholic Parish, 580 East Jackson, San Jose at 10 a.m. Interment at Calvary Catholic Cemetery under the direction of Chapel of Flowers.
[San Jose Mercury News. Guestbook]

Dody Goodman

Another face we all knew, gone but with us forever on film.

Dody Goodman, the delightfully daffy comedian known for her television appearances on Jack Paar’s late-night talk show and as the mother on the soap-opera parody “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” has died at 93.

Goodman died Sunday at Englewood (N.J.) Hospital and Medical Center, said Joan Adams, a close family friend. The actress had been ill for some time and had lived in the Actors Fund Home in Englewood since October, Adams said.

Goodman, with her pixyish appearance and Southern-tinged, quavery voice, had an eclectic show-business career. She moved easily from stage to television to movies, where she appeared in such popular films as “Grease” and “Grease 2,” playing Blanche, the principal’s assistant, and in “Splash.”

The actress performed regularly on stage in the 1940s and early ’50s as a chorus member in such musicals as “Something for the Boys,” “One Touch of Venus,” “Laffing Room Only,” “Miss Liberty,” “Call Me Madam,” “My Darlin’ Aida” and “Wonderful Town,” in which she originated the role of Violet, the streetwalker.

“I had to make so many transitions into other things,” Goodman said in the AP interview. “When I first came out of dancing, I did revues.”

It was the early to mid-’50s, when small, topical nightclub revues flourished. Goodman, a natural comedian, thrived in them. She performed in shows by Ben Bagley and Julius Monk, and in Jerry Herman’s first effort, a revue called “Parade.”

In more recent times, she appeared on David Letterman’s late-night talk show.

“He understands my sense of humor. I will do a dumb thing for fun. That’s how I got the reputation for being dopey and dumb. I don’t like dumb jokes but I will do dumb things for a laugh,” she said in the AP interview.

Goodman, who never married, is survived by seven nieces and nephews, 11 great nieces and nephews and 15 great-great nieces and nephews, Adams said. [AOL]

Evolution of a neighborhood

This morning, for no apparently good reason, I have been looking at maps. The brilliance of the internet is the ease with which one can move from link to link, the connections that lead one to make interesting discoveries.

The Vast Wasteland

There are only two weeks left for this year’s run of Doctor Who, and there won’t be a full series next year — just a few specials. Torchwood will only have a 5-episode run next year.
Lost is over until 2009. Battlestar Galactica is on an extended hiatus until 2009, and then the series ends.
I don’t know about you, but I’m going through a severe television withdrawal and I don’t know if I will survive.
Thank goodness for Netflix. They’re my supplier, my dealer. RIght now they’re filling the gap with 1980s television like Remington Steele.
Ah, sweet, sweet candy.

People should not be scenery

Barack Obama’s staff evidently wouldn’t allow a woman in a head scarf to be part of the crowd behind him in a photo op. For obvious reasons, such a photo would simply hand ammunition to the reactionary weirdos out there.
Here’s my solution to the whole issue: let Obama change the face of politics once again by abandoning this ridiculous practice of creating a backdrop out of human beings. It’s a Karl Rove-ish tactic that takes a page from fascist rallies where hand-picked boosters are employed to make someone look popular and beloved. I’ve always detested this trend (along with the network TV bug and the newschannel crawl) that became a de-facto requirement over the years.
I think it’s time for Obama to start appearing in front of a plain blue backdrop with no crowd… no slogans or logos repeating in a grid pattern… no projection screens with animated graphics. How about letting us focus our attention on the candidate for once?

The conservatives are too liberal

One of the (many) things that bug me most about today’s Republican Party is the hypocrisy. If only Republicans were actually interested in fiscal conservatism, in less government interference in our lives, well, then I’d vote for them. But when their idea of less government interference in our lives means more interference in our bedrooms, well…
Anyway. Andrew Leonard in Salon writes about the off-shore drilling debate, and therein lies a perfect illustration of the mismatch of Republican rhetoric with Republican action.

…the most fascinating aspect to the debate about offshore drilling — to this profound choice between two worldviews, two ways of being on the planet — is the harsh light it sheds on the value systems at the heart of how political identity is traditionally seen in the United States.

Republicans have made hay for decades by portraying Democrats as spendthrift, reckless liberals. Their side is supposedly “conservative” — sober-minded, prudent, levelheaded — while their opponents are “radical” — dangerous, risky, foolish.

But what is the truly “conservative” position on offshore drilling, or energy policy in general? Recklessly exhausting all available resources now, and letting the future take care of itself — or conserving those resources, investing carefully for the future, and thinking about the long term? Where does prudence reside — in attempting to shave a few pennies off of gas prices now, or on planning on how to cope with high gas prices for the foreseeable future?

If you’re looking for a metaphor, try the competing fortunes of Toyota and General Motors on for size. George Bush and John McCain are like the fin-de-siecle executives of GM, living only in the present, catering to their customer’s worst impulses in pursuit of maximizing profit in the short term. But Democrats are like Toyota, making a bet on what makes economic sense for the future.

Presumably, Toyota’s shareholders are a lot happier than GM’s, right now. As shareholders in this planet, what do we want? A good quarter now, at the risk of financial disaster next year? Or a long-term ecologically healthy path to sustained prosperity?

That’s what the debate over offshore drilling is really about.

Wii… press A… press A… Fit

Finally got my Wii Fit today, and immediately did my first workout. I did a 30 minute workout, and it took 59 minutes to accomplish it.

Google searched and searched, and finally got lucky


And there it is: my first appearance on Google’s GIS offerings. Over the years I’ve managed to avoid being caught on Google Maps, then Google Earth, and up until today, Google Street View. They finally caught up with me sometime in the last month with this shot of my car parked in front of my office.

Equality Rocks

In only 4 hours, any two adult human beings in California will be allowed to marry. Man and woman… woman and woman… man and man. What does it matter? If a couple loves each other and wants to spend their lives together, that can’t be anything but good.

I mean, what threat is posed by Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, who once again will be first to tie the knot in San Francisco? (They were first in 2004, when the city briefly allowed marriages for same-sex couples.) Phyllis and Del have been together since 1952. Their relationship has lasted 56 years, and any straight couple who feels threatened by same-sex marriage should take a lesson from this kind of commitment.

I am a terminally single gay man, only a few years away from “mid-40s”, and I don’t foresee marriage ever coming my way. Sad, but true. But until today, it wasn’t really even a possibility. Now? Rather than being a societal aberration or a marginalized minority because of my in-born sexuality, I am instead a regular, ordinary, run-of-the-mill loner and bachelor for life. It’s ironically reassuring and I couldn’t be more delighted.

In August, I will be the best man at my own ex’s wedding. The fact that two men are getting married will most likely be the least bizarre part of that event. I’ll be struggling with the psychological rollercoaster that this wedding will present, but the world has turned, finally, and I won’t be worried about symbolism or making a civil rights statement. It’ll be just like any other wedding — fraught with stress and worry about food and centerpieces, raw nerves and temper tantrums, family quirks and exhaustion.

And ordinary, extraordinary love. I hope the rest of the nation moves toward that as well.

All Along the Watchtower

If you haven’t seen the mid-season finale of Battlestar Galactica yet, read no further. Spoilers there be, matey.

San Jose Smokin’

San Jose is yellow right now — not from the weird yellow streetlights we have, but from smoke. Yet another wildfire, this time in Monterey county, is putting out plumes of smoke that are covering our skies. I went outside to take pics — it’s bizarre out there.



At first I thought it was from the Martin fire, in the mountains to the southwest of here, but:

A dark cloud that drifted across the Silicon Valley on Friday evening alarmed some residents, who peppered local and county fire and police agencies with phone calls.
The cloud was smoke from the Indians Fire in the Ventana Wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest, said Steve Anderson, forecaster with the National Weather Service in Monterey.
“It’s showing up very well on our satellite images,” Anderson said. According to the CalFire web page, the Monterey County fire was 23,575 acres late Friday.
He said forecasters did not see any smoke from the Martin Fire in Bonny Doon on satellite photos.