Sunday, August 31, 2008

By Request

What makes us love or hate television characters? Sure, their charm and general appeal has something to do with it, but if we're going to buy into a whole character story, we have to relate.

G. and I were asked to which L-Word character we most relate ("Which one is most like you?"). We later decided that neither of us related fully to one character a great deal more than the others.

So just for fun (taking a break from a thought intensive, serious project currently), here is what makes the following selected characters--past and present-- relate-able for us, according to me (G. has yet to see my final analysis).


Me: Bette's a workaholic perfectionist, like me. The big difference is that so far I haven't been able to achieve tv-level perfection ;-), and often I have to give up altogether. Bette is articulate (I like to think of myself as being so), driven, and has a vision for what she wants, and like me, she has difficulty asking for and accepting help. She admires art more than she is an artist, like me, but I'd still bet that she's more of an artist than me too. Lastly, Bette is a highly cognitive person, but every once in a while just does something completely irrational for emotional reasons, and risks it all. I feel like I verge on that on occasion too.

My Love G: Bette is super tight with her sister, like G. Bette had a strained relationship with her difficult-to-get-along-with father, but loved him deeply, like G loves her dad. G. previously really related to Bette's fairly rigid moralistic code, though of course Bette soon found many shades of gray. And although she doesn't look like Bette, out of all the characters, G. has the most physical resemblance to Bette because they have slightly dark skin and brown, curly hair, expressive eyes, and a face shaped more similarly than different in my opinion. Plus, they're both more on the athletic side. Oh yeah, and I just was reminded that Bette and G. also share in common that they find public displays of emotion embarrassing.


Me: Kit is a creative go-getter who enjoys being around people and wants people to enjoy themselves more than anything. Kit has a great deal of compassion, and tries hard to be a shoulder to cry on for her friends and family. She is warm and loving. Kit has done many things she regrets.

G: One can maintain a rigid moralistic code in many facets of life, like on the issues of cheating and lying, but still maintain a very open mind about others. That's how G. is, and nobody illustrates it better than compassionate, loving, and demanding Kit. Kit knows how to "lay down the law," but she also knows how to forgive and how to accept forgiveness.


Me: Half the time, Alice acts first, thinks later. Um. Yeah. She is a talker, she meddles with others (with loads of good intent), and she can get obsessive. She's outspoken, she's bi, she is a complete extrovert, and she is highly curious. She has compassion but still gets annoyed with things like otherwise successful people hiding in the closet. She has a low b.s. tolerance.

G: Alice is equally loyal to all her friends. Also, she usually knows what is up in pop culture and lesbian stuff too. But although G adores Alice as a character, she can't relate to much else about her.


Me: Tina at the core is a family-focused person. She is interested in doing something meaningful in the world. When angry, she can be toxic. Out of all the characters, I suppose I look most like her in terms of very pale skin and often straight, blonde hair. Also, the overall look, though of course I am curvier ;-). Our facial features are very different, however.

G: Tina can be quiet and shy. She can also tolerate and put up with misbehavior among her friends and loved ones if it seems to her that putting up with it is for the greater good. She doesn't feel she needs to always call people out, and she's not hungry for control.


We think Jenny is mentally ill. Additionally, it has been really hard to like her overall. In terms of relating to her, neither of us feel we really can. The strongest resemblance is that both she and I write, and neither of us are as good at it as we like to think we are.


Neither of us really relate to Jodi, either. We admire that she is unapologetic for who she is and what she values, but she also seems selfish, which is annoying to us both.

Me: Jodi is driven to challenge herself. The more she fears something, the harder she goes after it. Jodi can also attack pointedly when hurt.

G: In comparison to the other characters, Jodi may be one of the more emotionally healthy?? G is emotionally healthy, so there is some resemblance there. She's also an independent thinker.


Me: Shane can see beauty in all types of people. She isn't into just one type of woman. She is sensitive to others, but she can't figure out how to keep her self-destructo button turned completely off. Shane sometimes struggles with how to say "no" when situations turn bad.

G: Shane and G are so super different in many ways, but somehow when asked which character most resembles G, I thought of Shane first. Here is why. One of my main qualities is reflected in Alice. I have to control myself big time to keep from meddling. In sharp contrast, G-- like the character Shane-- does not have the impulse to meddle and actually finds it disturbing when others get involved in anything having to do with anyone else. Also, both are keen observers and fantastic listeners, and both have a subtle shy quality. Neither are planners, and both prefer not to set themselves up for disappointments. Instead, they like to just ride through life with (not low expectations but) no particular expectations or objectives. Yet both somehow seem to live meaningful existences (of different types). Not to mention, they are both into skateboarding and stuff like that.


Me: Tasha relatively successfully straddled two worlds for a while. I don't really do that because I feel like I live a pretty integrated life. Also, I am totally out and pretty much always have been. *But,* I *think* (and I could be way off base) that sometimes when people know me from only one of the two main roles I play in life, they are sort of shocked when they finally see me in the opposite. Sort of like I "clean up nice" for my vocation and I also get way more goofy than people expect when not in my professional role. What can I say? "I'm a Gemini," I suppose. The fact is, I am both profoundly serious and also a complete over-the-top goofball. Other than that, the only thing I can think of is that Tasha is a "take charge" kind of girl when called upon to be so. I am too. The character and I don't have much in common, overall.

G: Tasha is described on the L-Word website basically as meticulously honest, "passionate, beautiful, and strong-willed." That would almost be G in a nutshell. Their overall demeanor and personality are very different, and good thing too because G knows how to relax and have a good time, but their basic values and characteristics are about dead on.


Second to Jenny, Max may be one of the characters with whom we have the most difficult time relating.

Me: I relate to Max's socially inept qualities, but they manifest in such different ways than my own.

G: Max has a strong work ethic, and is hardworking, which is a characteristic G definitely shares and a value she definitely has. I also think Max is pretty loyal, and generally cares for others, even people he doesn't know (it seems like Max's mean streak was indeed primarily the transition stuff, and that this has generally faded).


Another toughie (especially when it comes to the type of mom she has been). Let's see...hmm...

Me: She is passionate and can very easily be as creative as she needs to be to get what she wants or needs, or to help her friends (flip side is being manipulative, but I hope that isn't a big trait I have nowadays).

G: Both G and Helena are very generous with their friends, even when they have little or nothing to give.


Me: She has a great sense of humor, if dry at times (hmm...hello familiar), and she is a kind, warm, caring, and relatively compassionate person. Well, most of the time. Her prejudice as it manifested in regards to Shane was pretty ugly though, so I hesitated a bit in saying that. She has a good professional life, but that doesn't mean she "has it all together." She can be naive. She tries her best, but she screws things up a lot.

G: These two have nothing in common really, other than sometimes being harsh on others (different others in each case...G is mainly harsh about certain ethical standards) while also being kind and caring, warm and compassionate.


Me: Slightly neurotic, pretty ditsy, not at all fashion-aware, and just slightly on the naive side. But also very funny (saying stuff even without trying to be funny, and it just cracks everyone up), and super adorable.

G: A good friend, thoughtful, really anxious at first about coming out, and you guessed it...super adorable.


Me: Playful and funny, but that's all I can think of right now. Oh yeah, and she appreciated the value of good food.

G: According to G, who has a better memory than I do, she too is one of the healthiest characters on the show, er uh, was. She had a fairly healthy balance between self-care and selflessness. She was funny and friendly, but also just a little on the shy and quiet side (G said, "Not shy...she's just normal, honey."). Plus, she had a love of cooking.


Me: I don't share much in common with the Carmen character, at least I don't think I do.

G: Carmen had a big family, like G, and a super similar family situation, attitude, and experience. Carmen demonstrated in a very clear way that she believes people can change and is willing to give people the benefit of the doubt (I'm talking about the marriage thing). G fundamentally believes people can change and is always giving people the benefit of the doubt. Both are tremendously patient, but can be too jealous for their own good.


The character that G and I probably both share the most in common with is Paige. From the little I can remember of her, she was a down to earth (slightly rocker) mom. She adored her son first and foremost and tried to be a good mom to him, and it seemed, mostly succeeded.

Note: But what on earth was the implication in terms of the fire? I think that was from that one receptionist chick Shane had to fire. Remember?

Who Are Art Collectors?

If when you think of art collectors, images like this come to mind...

(Please under no circumstances feel it is necessary to watch these videos the whole way through unless you really want)

...or this...

...or, hey, even this (from the L Word)...

(The clip cut out...didn't she faint after crying?)

...perhaps you don't see yourself as an art collector, or potential art collector.

Yet, isn't an art collector someone who simply collects art?

It doesn't have to be expensive art. It doesn't have to be art collected as an investment. It doesn't have to be art that is famous, or art from a hundred or more years ago. Collections don't have to be reasoned out. They don't have to be filled with things other people will "get," or fall in love with themselves. Collections can be genre-specific or varied and diverse. They can be big or small.

I like art collections-- whatever they may be-- best when they become a part of a home, become the landscape of a home.

Since I've recently moved, I'm rediscovering the art I've collected here and there. To be honest, one of the main reasons I have art in my home is because my mom is an artist who collects art and also knows how to give it away. Ahem.

I am not someone built for collecting much more than papers (you know junk mail, forms from the doctor, etc. etc.), virtually useless household items I aquired at various times when I couldn't find *exactly* what I needed, and books that could fill a lifetime reading list. I'm working on simplifying and avoiding all but the third habit.

But art is a different matter. I bought art here and there, sure, but in general, I never thought I could afford to purchase art and never thought I had the eye for it either. Don't get me wrong. I have always very much enjoyed art. But I considered myself terrible at finding any kind of treasure, including the art that other people I knew seemed to stumble upon. Not to mention that I worried about having kid-friendly art, and had no clue where to look for real, original art. I gave in to always having mass-produced prints from Target.

Something else has been stirring in me, however. Not long ago, I took some time to check out my mom's shop on Etsy. On the home page of her shop, she quotes from the Cheap Art Manifesto:
"Art is like Good Bread
Art is for Kitchens
Art Sings Hallelujah
It needs to be EVERYWHERE"

I liked it, but it only recently sunk in, sometime after my mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday early this summer, and I named a ring from a jewlery shop on Etsy.

I've just realized that art can be accessible to people like you and me.

Like I said, "It doesn't have to be expensive art. It doesn't have to be art collected as an investment. It doesn't have to be art that is famous, or art from a hundred or more years ago. Collections don't have to be reasoned out. They don't have to be filled with things other people will 'get,' or fall in love with themselves. Collections can be genre-specific or varied and diverse. They can be big or small. I like art collections-- whatever they may be-- best when they become a part of a home, become the landscape of a home."

Go to Etsy today! Be sure to register before you even start to look around. That way if you find an Etsy shop you really love, you can easily save it in your favorites and return when you have a few bucks.

Go to "Categories" on the left side of the page. Click on "art." The look again at the left side of the page, where you will find a list of different types of art. Click on any type, and you will find the list continues below that type, with subcategories. Check it out! And don't think. Just look for art that stirs you. Just pay attention to what draws you in.

Or get on and do a search like I did. Remember to set a particular category, which I did not, and try out other categories (such as "handmade items" instead of "art") if your first search doesn't turn up the kind of thing you are looking for. My first one was for Our Lady of Guadalupe images, and right away, I found an amazing shop with a great Guadalupe pot holder being sold at the even more amazing price of $8.00 (Something I can afford! Just not RIGHT this minute.), plus some other, more expensive items I can drool over until I have a bit more cash and want to splurge on myself just a bit. Many artists will sell small, affordable items of art. And what is great about Etsy, of course, is that like a market, you can get to know the other words, this is a great way to start getting to know some wonderful artists.

Imagine how your world might expand!! Imagine how worldly and networked you could become ;). Who knows, you could even make some new friends. You know that shop I just linked to with the great Guadalupe pot holder? The artist, as it so happens, is in my very own state. What a wild and fun coincidence. Maybe when I finally buy that pot holder, I'll get in touch with her.

So in short, if you haven't checked out Etsy, I encourage you to do so.

Been to Denver Recently?

If you haven't, you ought to check this out.

A Good Idea

Friday, August 29, 2008

Since I Don't Have Time To Blog Right Now

I don't have time to blog right now, so instead I will take the easy out and link you to some of the blogs *I* have been reading.

I hope you'll have some time to visit, who has written a couple of thought-provoking posts about Sarah Palin between yesterday and today. I just watched Palin's first speech with Senator McCain. I wasn't impressed, nor did I get the feeling that this is a woman rising to the top as much as a woman being given the opportunity to make a symbolic appearance at the top. That probably sounds harsh. It's a gut-level reaction to the way McCain introduced her, and her speech. I'll need to think about it some more before I can explain it better. It is notable, anyway, however that McCain has already decided recently to cast the VP's role as most importantly checking in with the president daily about his health (um, okay). I am not looking for a VP who plays nurse to the president, nor do I think Obama will be needing a nurse. But that alone brings up another issue with McCain's selection. Palin is just another health-crisis-for-McCain away from presidency if the two get elected. And she's only been a govenor for two years (just enough time to stir up a couple of ethics controversies). McCain has attacked Obama's level of experience, but where would a Palin presidency leave this country? I also had to laugh when she called McCain a threat to "business as usual" in Washington, since as has been pointed out multiple times by various folks, he has been a part of business as usual in Washington for what, thirty years or so.

Even moreso, I hope you'll read this lovely letter to the editor:, which Ms. Kitty at posted after reading it in her town's paper.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Might Have Been Wrong About That (I Hope So!)

Haven't listened to much news media in the last day or so, but seems that the talk of Biden's statements regarding Obama's readiness have died down, at least for now in favor of DNC talk. I'm hoping that lasts and we can just pay mind to policies (Hah! Fat chance of that, I guess, since there are always apparently detractions from policies when it comes to mainstream media).

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama + Sen. Joe Biden = ????

Something I wrote to online buddies earlier today:

I have not yet formed an opinion about Biden as Obama's VP candidate.

I think if Obama is looking for an equal partner who will bring something to the table and contribute sometimes alternative views, I find that very impressive and encouraging. (Then again, I wouldn't vote for McCain. Ever.)

I like that Biden is considered an expert on global issues, but that he has not been uninvolved in the domestic front. I don't always agree with his positions, but I think that he and Obama will make a good team in that there will be positions they can struggle with from somewhat oppossing viewpoints.

However, there are two things bothering me right now, not so much about Biden, but about the situation:

1. I am bothered by Biden's selection in part because I don't feel good about his statement just months ago that he didn't feel Obama was ready to be president. I think the news coverage and press of that statement will be highly damaging to both, as a team. This is going to be talked into the ground! And the McCain campaign was playing smart politics when they immediately launched their ad featuring Biden's statement itself. They are going to prey on all the talk that this decision by Obama is an underscoring of Obama's own weaknesses. It's already being framed exactly that way in much of the meainstream media.

2. Speaking of playing smart politics, I can't help but feel that Obama is being too silent right now. I even went to his website today thinking that maybe his own statements weren't getting enough press. The only announcement regarding Biden on Obama's official campaign website (at least as of this morning) is one saying a simple "welcome him on board" and asking for donations because they can't do it alone and need help. Huh?! Why isn't Obama out there reciting his own clear statements about why he chose Biden, getting folks excited about bringing him on board rather than just expecting them to automatically embrace his choice without much of a word from Obama? *Especially* when there is this elephant-in-the-room-thing hanging out there, this statement from Biden saying that Obama isn't ready. I am nervous that this has not been a well-handled announcement. At all.

Since writing that, Obama has made his announcement speech. If you are interested in what he said, click here. You can also check that same blog on Obama's website for continual updates through the afternoon.

Okay, maybe I was just a tad quick to say that the announcement wasn't handled well. But just a tad. Let me just clarify a few things. First, I don't count all of the hype and talk that has led up to this announcement as part of how this was "handled" by the campaign. Of course there was talk and hype in the media and among well, lots of folks. And of course Biden's name was among some of the highly hyped. But that has nothing to do with how the announcement has been handled by the Obama campaign itself.

Obama's timing is right on, I think. I'm not questioning that. But what turned me off is that he sent out a text message at about 3am to his supporters announcing his choice, and then we heard nothing from him until after 3pm. There was absolutely nothing substantive to be found on his website about the decision or about Biden, nothing for his supporters to go to in order to learn more when they heard the news. Not even an announcement-- at least a clear one-- on his website about his speech until after noon, just a few hours before the speech.

In the meantime, just in those early hours, McCain immediately launched his first smear ad on Biden, and everyone but Obama started talking right away about the elephant-in-the-room statements Biden has made, even as recently as several months ago, that Obama is not ready. For a campaign in which Obama has swiftly and gracefully stamped out so many myths, smears, and misunderstandings by addressing them directly and clearly, I guess that just caught me by surprise.

Especially since until 3pm on a Saturday when many folks are not off at work busy with other stuff, it seemed to me that 50% of the day today the press was talking about Biden's statements regarding Obama's readiness. The other 50% of the time the press was talking about the old debate about whether this kind of ticket somehow either:
(1) indicated Obama was moving away from his message of change (I believe it is a cool and collected political decision for a VP indeed, not a move from basic values of the campaign), or
(2) whether this VP decision was underscoring Obama's weaknesses.

Here's what my sense this morning boiled down to...

I understand that typically these roll outs continue over a period of four or five days, but I wanted to see this decision framed strongly by Obama before others started touching it. Watching mainstream media just a bit, I am fearful it has already been framed for him.

Friday, August 15, 2008

And Now Some Art From Our House

A park near our home features art sculptures in the summer. Today there was a special 12-hour event of community sculpture making. I took the kids and while we were there we contributed two pink prints the kids made and two tie dye fabric-like paper scraps. It was a great time! We took the bus there, and afterward we walked to the store where K. decided to draw a small crowd with some mad crazy ASL.

Tonight the kids were telling my mom all about our day over the phone. My mom asked if I took pictures of the sculpture-making. I didn't. Crap, that would have been such a good idea, but I didn't even think of it.

So, as a tribute to our day, here is some art anyway. This is a rainbow, by M. You can see he started to erase it, but I ran in and told him to stop the presses so I could take a picture.

We saw a beautiful double-rainbow on G. and my wedding anniversary, and the kids have been absolutely enthralled by rainbows since. We've done some science, making rainbows with a flashlight and jar of water. It's not as easy as I had hoped, but G. has become pretty adept at it.

Life is good. I want to live in an awareness of that.

Because I am Perseverative About Neurodivergence

What a lovely young man:

And some more food for thought that has been on my mind lately:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why I am Going to Buy a Douche!

The dog got sprayed by a skunk.

Apparently tomato juice just covers up the smell, and doesn't get rid of the actual skunk oil (I tried it anyway, though, out of desperation at 2:00am). A dish detergent, baking soda, and vinegar mixture seemed to get more of the oil off, and helped quite a bit. But that smell, oh that smell. I can't get it entirely gone, off my hands, off the dog, out of the house.

So I heard Managisil (spelling?) douches work to de-skunk fur and skin. And now I am going to suck up my pride and go buy a dozen at the pharmacy.

I'll probably cut down a whole big bush in my yard too. It was part of the scene of the crime and absolutely reeks. I can't see saving it with douches, though I might try filling a weed sprayer nozzle with a douche mix.

This is nothing like the smell you get when you drive by somewhere a skunk has sprayed. Up close and personal, it has a totally different smell. It smells like some odd mixture of chemicals and burning tires. I don't even know how to describe it. I knew she got sprayed right away. I didn't let her in the house, and went straight to bathing her with tomato juice and then dish soap and then finally the vinegar, baking soda combo. Poor dog has not been allowed to go anywhere but the kitchen and then the basement since late last night. I just don't know how to even deal with the smell. It makes me want to climb the walls.

Something told me I shouldn't have let the dog out when she wanted around midnight last night (even though she was just acting like she had to go potty), and I should have listened to that inner voice of wisdom.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

F* Keppra!

That's how I am feeling right now about my current anti-seizure medication. I am pretty sure I might be having breakthrough seizures, and meanwhile the side effects are still just as bad as they always I am back to square one. F*?! I was this bad before the damn medication. Curse you Keppra! Curse you!!

Meanwhile, I am not doing my 72 hour EEG until the end of September because I don't have time to be hooked to an outlet for what works out to essentially four days once all is said and done. And I don't think the epileptologist wants to play around with my meds until it is done. Though maybe she'd get a better picture if I was off all meds for the EEG. But could I survive? I heard once you go off meds, the seizures get worse than they were before you were on them.

The doc said the goal of meds was to make me feel better not worse. It's time I started feeling better.

Oh F*! It's so dang frustrating. So hop over to the blog of Hopalong. She put music on her blog. The first song is my new theme song: "While You Were Sleeping" by Elvis Perkins. Like I wasn't already sleeping too much before I went on the meds. The singer hadn't intended this to be a theme song for the life of a girl taking Keppra. Clearly there is a deep meaning to the song. But all I can think is that while I was sleeping my babies grew and the money died and there was silence when the kitchen sang. This really, really wasn't the intended meaning of this song. Far from it. Sad.

while you were sleeping
the babies grew
the stars shined and the shadows moved
time flew,
the phone rang
there was a silence when the kitchen sang
its songs competed like kids for space
we stared for hours in our maker's face
they gave us picks
said go mine the sun
and go gold and come back when you're done
while you were sleeping
you tossed, you turned
you rolled your eyes as the world burned
the heavens fell, the earth quaked
i thought you must be, but you weren't awake
no, you were sleeping
you ignored the sun
you grew your power garden
for your little ones
and you found brides for them on christmas eve
they hung young cain from the adam trees
and danced while you were sleeping
i tossed and i turned til i closed my eyes
but the future burned through the planet
turned a hair gray as i relived the day
while you were sleeping
the money died
machines were harmless and the earth sighed
through the wind you slept sound
and gravity caught my love
around the ocean rose, sang about decay
while witches flew
and the mermaids stayed full of dreams,
you overslept and keeping with quiet,
through the walls i crept
i walked on tiptoe,
sent darkness swirling over all the kitchen in the early morning
i'll never catch up to you
who sleeps so sound
my arms are useless
my heart beats too loud to go to sleep
my mind's too proud to bow out
while you were sleeping
the time changed
all your things were rearranged your vampire mirrors face to face
they saw forever out into space
and found you dreaming in black and white
while it rained in all the colors of the night
i watched the tvs memories
championships vanished to sea
could it be, my honey between you and me
so i waited for the riddled sky
to be solved again by sunrise
and i've made a death suit for life
for my father's ill widowed wife
did you have that strangest dream
before you woke
cuz in your gown you had the butterfly stroke
did it escape you like some half told joke?
when you reached for your plume of smoke
it'll haunt you, my honey bee
anyone who is anyone has that same dream
were you falling
were you flyingand
were you calling out
or were you dying
thank god you're up now
let's stay that way
else there'll be no mornings
and no more days
cuz when we're dreaming
our babies grow
the sun shines
and the shadows flow
time flies
the phone rings
there is a silence
and everybody tries to sing

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Why I Am Not Anti-Adoption

This is a placeholder for a post coming soon. I have been working on it, but this month is very busy for me so it is coming along slowly. Please check back. I think it will be thought-provoking, interesting, and informative for anyone interested in learning more about adoption, the adoption reform movement, and finally the anti-adoption movement. I'll also share some more personal experiences.

Edited to Add: See my post from today, September 16th. I finally made my first post on this topic, but wanted to do it on the front page of my blog so it received the proper viewing.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

UU Presidential Race

I am not sure yet whether this post will mark a return from my online communication break (I've been sort of on and off), or whether it, and any that follow immediately afterward, will just be an official "break from my break." I'm still deciding what I can manage right now in terms of time and also interpersonal energy.

That said, I was going through a stack of papers in my office and came across a newsletter I haven't yet filed away from The First Unitarian Church of Dallas. The Rev. Laurel Hallman, Senior Minister of that congregation, is one of the candidates for President of the Unitarian Universalist Association in 2009. In the congregation's newsletter, was her website address, and I thought I'd post it here for any UUs out there. It is easy to be distracted by other things in life, including the very important presidential race for the United States government, but for UUs, we should be attentive to this on some level:

The other candidate is the Rev. Peter Morales. After a quick search I was able to locate his website:

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Oops...I posted something before it was ready. I meant to hit "save" and I hit "publish" instead.