The Homosexual Agenda

You may remember a while back one of those internet jokes going around, The Homosexual Agenda:

6 am Gym

8 am Breakfast….  2 pm take over the world,  etc

pretty funny stuff.

What’s not so funny is the Anti-Homosexual Agenda. The folks pouring money into passing Proposition 8 in California. I hear the Mormon church has invested heavily in their Anti-homosexual Agenda….

Back in May of this year, the California Supreme Court overturned the ban on Gay Marriage.

California Supreme Court overturns gay marriage ban

By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
May 16, 2008

In a 4-3 decision, the justices rule that people have a fundamental ‘right to marry’ the person of their choice and that gender restrictions violate the state Constitution’s equal protection guarantee….READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE ONLINE–>

Before the Supreme Court had even dotted the last i on their decision, “They” (who are they anyway? and what are they so afraid of?) were rallying the troops and had at the ready a ballot measure, what is now Proposition 8, which will change the constitution of the state of California so that discriminating against same sex couples– specifically denying them the right to marry– will be perfectly legitimate.

Julie and MirnaWell this Saturday I will be attending a wedding.  Julie and Mirna are getting married. (Aren’t they cute!)

They are a terrific couple of women. They are both responsible, contributing, tax-paying members of society. They own their own home.  They are kind and generous people.

They deserve the same rights as everyone else.

I admit I am a little biased. Julie is my best friend.  But seriously, what’s the big deal?  How is their getting married harming Weddinganyone else?  If you have any questions, read the facts about why to vote NO on Prop 8. There is a lot of misinformation out there being spread by people that are ignorant, mean and just plain filled with fear.

It’s a shame that they feel like they need to get married NOW. In case Prop 8 passes, they hope they will be “grandfathered” in.

It’s my hope that Prop 8 fails.  I wish I’d kept my California residency just long enough to vote. Since I can’t, I’ll just encourage anyone who happens upon my blog to vote NO on Prop 8.

And just to make my point a little louder:

And if you get a chance, stop at a Hallmark store and pick up a wedding card to send to Julie and Mirna.

Day Tripping

Acoma Pueblo sits atop a 367 foot sandstone bluff in high desert of New Mexico. Magical doesn’t really begin to describe what it is like to walk on land that people have been walking on since the 1100s.
Our guide (who you see in this photo– he kept backing into my viewfinder) was a charming young man who usually coordinates the tours but they were shorthanded so he pitched in. He kept having to look at his notes and seemed a little embarrassed, but he was very nice.

I can’t imagine people looking at this desert land and thinking it was a good place to build. It’s a harsh land. Heat in the summer, snow in winter, limited water. And yet, these pueblos are a testament to man’s ingenuity, and strength to not only live, but thrive in such a landscape.

Rather than take the bus down, Cassie and I opted to walk down. Yes, we could have taken the road… but didn’t realize until we were half way down the “path” that it was closer to rock climbing (down) than walking.
Here’s Cassie, leading the way. Me, I’m taking my time. Scooting on my butt when I have to, and I have a death grip on the handholds in the sandstone bluffs.
I stopped to look up and took this picture. It really doesn’t look as scary as it was.
The dark part in the center of the cliff is the “path” we took down.

I kept teasing Cassie, “Who’s idea was this anyway?” (it was Cassie’s but truth be told, I said, “Sure, let’s walk down.” I wanted to take pictures. Oh the sacrifices I make for my art!

You can see all my photos here:

Academic Conference Crashing 101

Today I did something very bold, though for many of you the tale I am about to tell will seem rather tame. (I just love alliteration) 

I’m taking a course, Contemporary Literature and Film of the Southwest.  It’s a great class. The teacher is so enthusiastic about the works we read and the films we see that even though they are not the genre I would generally be attracted to, I find myself wanting to explore them.  (Westerns being one example).  And while viewing what I generally consider  “entertainment” (films) through a socio-political lens, and trying to ascribe deeper layers of meaning is intellectually challenging for me, I’m finding it rather stimulating.  (Example, Gary Cooper’s High Noon was really about /was a statement against McCarthyism).  This kind of thinking is really putting my brain through some serious aerobic exercise.  And I like it.  I may not be good at it yet, but I like.  

The class has both graduate and undergraduate students, and as a graduate, our requirements for the class are different.  In fact, being a graduate student is different (more on that later).  In this class a large portion of our grade will be determined by a conference paper that we will write.  The topic, entirely our own choosing.  We are required to submit an abstract to a conference, and of course write the actual paper…  and if the abstract is accepted, potentially present the paper at an academic conference.  (eeek!)

I had no idea what a conference paper was, making the assignment very intimidating.  Once I wrapped my head around the concept, I had an idea to write about Blogs as the New Regionalism.  To make a long story short, the more I looked a blogs, the less foundation I felt I had to make such a case.  

With some guidance from the professor, I’m going in a new direction, and he suggested I check out this conference session at the American Studies Association:

Histories of the Dust Heap: Waste, Material Cultures, Social Justice, which included a presentation by Stephanie Foote, “Enviroblogging: Green Spaces in the Virtual World.”

While the topic is not exactly relevant to my paper, I decided to check it out.  

Fact:  I am not a member of the American Studies Association

Fact:  I am not really sure what “American Studies” is

Fact:  I’ve never been to an academic conference

Fact:  I was not registered for the conference

Fact:  I have never crashed a party in my life.

The conference was taking place a mere 2 miles from my house, I decided to go for it.  First I had a fashion crisis–  I wanted to look like I belonged.  The first two pairs of pants I tried on were too tight (damn, I thought with all the walking I’ve been doing I’d lost some weight).  The third pair fit just right.  Basic black dress pants.  I added a black and white striped button-down blouse for a business casual but not too chic look.  These are academics, afterall.  (no slam against academics, but they are not known fashionistas–  too busy thinking about bigger issues I think).

And off I went.  The conference center is where the David Byrne concert was held (he’s a musical genius, you know) so I knew where I was going.  I even parked at the Double Tree Hotel right next door.  I arrived at the conference center with seconds to spare….  actually by the time I found the room, they had already started. A quick check of the map and determined stride and I must have looked like I belonged.  No one questioned me except to ask where the West side rooms were. 

And so now I know what a conference paper is, I took some notes of some big words I can use in my paper, and I have a pretty good idea of what is expected as far as “presenting” the paper should mine be accepted.  

And I have crashed my first party.  (does it count that it was an academic conference?)

Bonus:  the parking attendant at the Double Tree must have been on break, I got to park for free ($5 savings, good for one burrito at The Fronteir)

Note:  The David Byrne Concert was awesome. His new music rocks. His dancers were phenomenal.  The lighting sublime.  The old music with a slightly updated remix was fun.  If he tours in your direction I encourage you to go.  Well worth the time and money.

How Low Can You Go?

No, this is not a post about McCain’s “that one” remark, or his refusal to shake hands….

It’s about gas prices in Albuquerque.

Not sure what prices are like at the gas stations in my old stomping grounds of San Diego— when I left in July they were nearing $4 per gallon. At Costco!

Things are sure different here:

Drivers line up for cheap gas

People in New Mexico and around the country are getting a break at the pump as oil prices plummet.

The average price of gas in Albuquerque hasn’t been at $2.85 for about a year. That’s why the Phillip’s 66 at Lowes in northwest Albuquerque is jam packed with people trying to save a few bucks.

People haven’t been this happy around a gas station for a long time.


Of course the median income in New Mexico is something like $34,000/year

Sometimes you just gotta say WTF!

Let me first say, I love my job. I love the company I work for (go and my boss (who happens to also be the owner of the company) rocks. Thank god. ‘Cause if he didn’t I’d probably be fired.  I shared a little bit of news about one of our vendors that apparently they didn’t want made public.

Here’s the story….

One of my roles is Editor of two company blogs. My boss pretty much lets me blog about what I want, although he always has things to say also (great stories I wish he’d tell more of!).

Anyway, one of the ways I find things is by setting up Google Alerts. So, the other day I got an alert on one of my keywords– the vendor name– and I clicked to check out what was new on the world wide web and Hello! Vendor’s new website is posted online. Yeah, it was in a part of their website that probably wasn’t supposed to be public…. but I couldn’t resist. The new site looks a damn site better than what they have now….  and my boss actually approved this post.

Their current site is circa 1999 and created by someone’s high school kid, I can only assume, complete with an animated GIF of an American flag. It’s ghastly….

So I took a screen shot, edited out the location and posted a sneak peek.  I mentioned we were really excited to see the nice clean graphics, and some of the new features like the Help Me Choose The Right Thingamajig Tool, and we were eager for the launch…  

Were they excited about the publicity?  No.  Let me rephrase that. FUCK NO.

The first dude that called, a customer service manager or something said,

“Please remove the picture and details from the site that references our new site. We don’t want our competion to see what we are doing – we are not sure how you even got that.  When the time is right in Q4 we will do a press release. We don’t want any other news about it until then…”

Then the second dude called, someone higher up on the food chain. A big muckety-muck I believe is the official term.  He practically called my boss out, like he was gonna beat him up or something.  “I want to talk to you man to man…   I’ll be looking for you at the show” he said, referencing a big trade show next week.  

Apparently all hell has broken loose in corporate America.  Not because of the financial crisis, but because of little ole me.  It was a big secret that they were building a new web page, and now their competition is going to know all about their big secret website.  A website that has been 4 years in the making, (and 10 years overdue in my estimation).

Thankfully my boss is backing me up–  even though he could totally throw me under the bus. But he’s not that kind of guy.  And hopefully he won’t come back from the show with a black eye.