Friday, November 27, 2009

Anna helps Angela roll out some slabs on our slab roller.

The open house for my new pottery studio at the college last Sunday was a great success. We had a good turn out with a variety of folks from all over our demographic. From the “I have kids who want to make things!” to the “I haven’t done pottery in years!” we had it all. Over 50 people came through last Sunday afternoon, and one happened to work for the Citizen Patriot, our local newspaper.

Not sure if you saw this article or not, but I thought it was worth sharing.

Free publicity? Can’t beat it.
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The unconditional love of a good dog

Makes the heart glad I tell ya.

Enjoy the pics, and just be glad that I am not one of those crazy cat ladies.

Yukon is the best. Really.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Louise Nevelson vs Lexus

It was hated and reviled when it first came to town, and yet, thirty years later, the sculpture has the last word. Louise Nevelson’s sculpture “Summer Night Tree” was hit by a Lexus last night. The sculpture, made of steel survived quite nicely, the Lexus, however, did not.

More here:

I have been a big fan of Nevelson’s work ever since I saw her piece Sky Presence 1 at the Toledo Museum of Art. The huge assemblage of wood, painted black, compelled you to climb up and touch, but as a good visitor and a student, I knew better. The piece always intrigued me, as it was lit with the regular gallery lighting, but it had two blue spot lights on it as well. To this day, no one has been able to tell me if this was a Nevelson choice or a curator choice. Depending on the day and conditions in the gallery, the piece could have a blue tint to it or it could be saturated with sunlight filtering in from the gallery’s sky lights. I also remember the piece having a distinct smell to it, one that reminded me of the painting studio in the School of Design located in the basement below the museum. It could have been the fumes wafting up from the basement, or it could have been the patina of paint that Nevelson and her workers applied to the piece. Regardless, it involved more than just your vision, and that’s what I loved.
It made your nose twitch with the smell of linseed oil and other studio smells, and it made your hands eager to explore the nooks and crannies created by the layering of the various shapes of wood by the artist. The piece here in Jackson was out in the town’s square for several decades, and countless people have done to it what I wanted to do to Sky Cathedral in Toledo. It was climbed on, ran around, touched, and explored by visitors of all ages. I used to drive by the site on my way to work a while ago, and I remember seeing the sculpture crated and sitting along the edge of the Grand River as the City Fathers decided its fate. I envisioned a Fox News type countdown in my head “NEVELSON HELD HOSTAGE: DAY 40” as I drove by it each day and witnessed its silent indignation along the side of the river.

My Modern Art Professor also showed us pictures of Nevelson herself during the lectures on her sculptures, as he knew that often times, the artist is indeed more interesting than the art they create. The pictures he shared of her screamed “Diva!” and we all knew, even though the word hadn’t been assigned to this demographic, she was probably a “Cougar” as well. And, decades before Christian on Project Runway would use the word “ferosh” she was bringing her fierceness to the masses with Amy Winehouse meets Tammy Faye Baker eyeliner and her rockin’ caftans.
So what have we learned today class?
Don’t fuck with Modern Art, especially a Louise Nevelson.
To the anonymous Lexus driver, I hope you are okay, but sleep well tonight knowing that your car was just pwned by one of the 20th century’s greatest artists.
Louise FTW!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The kids ARE alright!

Right after Anna was born we were approached by a researcher named Abbie Goldberg. She was doing research on how life was like after LGBT folks adopted, and what the transition was like for both us and for the child(ren). Tod signed us up and we began getting her surveys in the mail, as well as phone calls and emails. Her findings were recently published and the results are shocking. From a recent post on Queerty:
And the latest research concludes the children of gay parents "show no increased incidence of psychiatric disorders, are just as popular at school and have just as many friends,"
Whew, that’s a big relief, as that girl on GLEE has two dads and she’s a big ol’ mess. We could only imagine the damage that we were inflicting on this poor child, as we were cautioned by friends and family, as well as our own internal nagging that having two dads would damn our kids to the nerd line in high school.
This recent study has proved that Anna can indeed aspire to Homecoming Queen, Student Council President, or *gasp* just be a normal kid (that goes for Eli too, we’re not ruling out Homecoming Queen for him just yet). There were no guarantees when I was a kid that I would be devastatingly handsome, popular, or a genius. Thankfully, most of those came true and I was able to rise above my Heterosexual upbringing and become the fabulous person that I am today. And, full disclosure regarding the “Glee” comment: I lettered in theater in high school. If there was ever a red flag or “HEY YOUR SON IS GAY!” warning, this was it.
You can read the whole article here:
And for those of you who were worried that I might be sharing too much of Anna or Eli’s lives on line, we took a vow of secrecy with the researcher.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Something from the west coast

Our friend Robert posted this on his Live Journal, and yet again, it was too good not to share.
I know that my journal is quickly becoming the equivalent of the recent Britney Spear’s concerts with all this reposting and stuff, but life has been crazy here, and the time and desire to churn out some new content has not been there. I used to write with Robert for Les Wright’s former site Verisimilitude. We met up with him after years of email and chat on Live Journal last year the day of our wedding out in San Francisco and had a great lunch in the city. Anna loved him, as you can see by the pics. He posted a picture of the dish on his site, but I decided NOT to post it here. I won‘t lie, it‘s not pretty. It looks like something the cat either dragged in or hacked up. Sorry Robert. .

First Frost means Tijuana Pie!
Stepped out this morning and ventured my way through the first frost
of fall. The soccer field on the way to the train was covered in frost
- but not quite a crunchy one - - - but hard frosts like that rarely
come to the bay area.

When I was kid - the first frost triggered Tijuana Pie from my mom.
and we all knew it. I can see her seeing us off to school and going to
the kitchen and pulling the recipe card. Tijuana Pie is a crockpot
casserole. Layered in the crockpot between corn tortillas goes refried
beans, tomatoes, ground beef, chorizos, tomatoes, cornl, chilis and
repeated until the crock pot is full. this meal remains one of my most
favorite to this day. It comes out not looking all that great - (it
cooks down to the well, so that it looks like dog food) but man on MAN
does it taste great. My Mom would serve it over a bed of salty
tortilla chips with sour cream and guacamole.

My parents were big believers in 'everyone comes to dinner every
night' - there was NO skipping the evening meal. and as we became
teenagers this became a "whining point" - but nobody was ever late for
first frost tijuana pie night.

I probably won't be making a pot of tijuana pie this week - because
Dave is off on business travel - and well - I know myself - I'll eat
the whole damn crockpot full - along with a bag of tortilla chips - an
entire block of grated cheddar - and enough sour cream and guac to
turn me into a Macy's Float. I think we can all agree that is
something we need to skip. (wink)

But I do pull the photocopy of Mom's recipes out every once in a while
and make a big pot.

Here's Mom's recipe with added fresh stuff....


1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 medium sized can refried beans (I do the low fat low salt version
these days but it's up to you)
1/2 lb. spicy chorizo sausage - finely chopped.
5 large tomatoes sliced in big bite size pieces
8 Bell Peppers (all four colours: red, green, yellow and orange)
sliced into strips.
1 can smoked poblano chiles (most stores 'll have these in the mexican
foods section)
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3-4 c. grated cheese
1 (10 oz.) can enchilada sauce
1 (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 (16 oz.) can corn, drained
6 corn or flour tortillas (size depends on size of crock pot)

Brown beef, onion, garlic, and seasonings. Wipe inside crock pot with
oil. Place 1 tortilla in bottom. Spoon on meat mix (mix the hamburger
with the refrieds) - and a little sauce and cheese. Top with another
tortilla and layer on a bean, cheese and corn section. Do a layer of
nothing but fresh tomatoes and bell peppers. Continue layers, ending
with cheese top. Cover and cook low 5-7 hours. Serve with additional
hot tortillas. (sour cream and guac feeding frenzy optional)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fatherhood Friday post: Get off your ass and do something

My friend Brad on Live Journal posted this today, and I am doing his bidding and sharing it with you. I would ask that you do the same if you agree, hell, if you don’t agree, send it anyways. His words brought a tear to my eye and a fire to my heart that I haven’t felt since last year. Obama promised us HOPE and CHAGE, but we are getting more of the same. While I realize that there are other pressing issues on his plate, these are just as important. Read Brad’s words and let them inspire you to do what needs to be done.

Brad, take it away…

Today marks one year ago that I gathered with my family, friends, and fellow Obama campaign volunteers to watch the election results come in to campaign headquarters in celebration of all the things we have worked so hard for. Today I also woke to the news of the repeal in Maine that takes legal rights away from gay & lesbian citizens of that state. My friend and former boyfriend Tom is from Maine and lives there with the love of his life, Ray, with whom he has made a family for 15 years now. I called him this afternoon after hearing how distressed he was to offer some comfort and solace, and to encourage him to not be defined by this or to allow his love, his life, or his family to suffer one millisecond more of pain inflicted by these horrible people responsible for making this happen. Fortunately for us, love wins out and he and I both are fortunate not only that we have such a bounty of love in our own lives, but that we can celebrate it in each other because it matters.

There is a lot of responsibility that needs to be assumed and taken up. It's time once again to stop being complacent and start getting proactive, to start engaging one another and to call out those who mean us harm wherever they might be - loudly, without restraint, and without apology. ALL OF US have this responsibility, not just my GLBT brothers and sisters, but all of our straight friends and allies - if indeed you are our friends and allies. You can no longer stand idly by and watch as we suffer these indignations like it doesn't affect you, and if it doesn't affect you to watch those of us you call loved ones suffering the tyranny of second class citizenship, then we must force ourselves to question our loyalties to you. You cannot have it both ways because this is too important, and we can no longer afford to pretend that your silence isn't complacency. Speaking for myself, I would do that for each and every one of you because it is right and because it matters, and I cannot accept anything less than the same in return.

Regret is a terrible, numbing, cancerous thing. A few short decades ago hundreds of thousands of white people in this country stood by and said nothing when black people were denied civil rights, when they were tortured and killed, and they maintained an uncomfortable silence about how wrong this was, how evil discrimination is, all of the things they knew were true yet kept to themselves and those like them for fear of becoming vilified. That's a terrible thing living in that kind of fear, but it is also a wholly unnecessary thing and let's be honest - it's WRONG. It is WRONG to see an act of injustice and say nothing. It is WRONG to hear someone preach hateful speech about people you love and respect and say nothing. It is WRONG to maintain the status quo for the sake of comfort when it creates damage in the homes and lives of those you claim to love and respect. Moreover, it is WRONG to be silent amongst those perpetuating a wrong and not call out what you know is RIGHT. Silence is acceptance, and your silence is not good enough anymore. It never has been.

I am tired as I write this. I am life-tired. With everything that is going on in my personal life, I cannot help but be exhausted. I've been this tired before and I will be this tired again, but damnit - that's NO excuse to sit on my ass and not do any and every thing I can to say and do something that matters. That's all it takes, really - the courage to look fear in the eye and the drive to look into the faces of those who may never agree with you, who may very well even turn on you, even the will to push exhaustion aside long enough to make a declaration.

Because it matters. Because as my beautiful friend Greg recently learned and shared with me, it is a fact that gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioniong teenagers are more likely to complete a suicide attempt than their heterosexual contemporaries - and one of them could be YOUR child. Because approximately one in four underage kids who come out to their parents are kicked out of the house. Because an estimated 40+% of the teenagers in NYC alone are GLBT and were kicked out of their homes are homeless by their god-fearing parents' indifference to love in favor of embracing religious hysteria. Because the average duration of life on the streets is one year after which it's death or prison. Shelters are run internally by gangs like crips, bloods. Sissy boys and butch girls are safer on the streets. Because there are homeless teenagers dying of HIV/AIDS as I type this that are beyond medicine and in support volunteers' homes so that they won't be forced to die alone. Greg knows this because he is volunteering his time for these kids, these children, the very same ones thrown into the trash by parents who are likely the chief constituent voting bloc that is responsible for the decision in Maine. Which, by the way, should never have been up for a vote in the first place.

That's what we're teaching our children, be they heterosexual or otherwise. That is what they are learning whether they are hearing it from the misguided voices harmonizing their collective bigotry or the deafening silence that results when such things are not being called out in opposition for the true evil they represent - and as I stated earlier, silence is acceptance.

So I'm challenging you all to share these words with as many people as you can. Repost word for word or cut and paste what you can personalize if you must, but you have an opportunity to throw a gauntlet down and step up and be a hero for me and people just like me, and we have never needed you to rise to this challenge more than we do now. Do it because it takes balls to do a courageous thing, no matter the cost. Do it because enough people have been beaten, tortured, and killed for simply being who they are and their voices and their hopes and dreams have been stolen from us all - and you can be their voices, hopes, and dreams so that their suffering is not in vain. Do it because nothing is faster than the speed it takes for compassion to die and it is the death of compassion that makes all of this necessary in the first place. Do it because Matthew Shepard can't and you can.
Or do it for the best reason possible - no reason at all - because you don't need a reason to do the right thing.

The choice to speak out in agreement is yours; I can only hope you will share this message with others. As many times as I've done this and seen one flame light a thousand torches to provide illumination for others to see, it isn't a choice for me - it is a necessity - a responsibility - and while your complacency is and will continue to be heartbreaking, I'm never giving up this fight until such a time that conversations in the future refer to this kind of discrimination against families like mine as a thing of the past. Do you understand what I'm saying? I will not be complacent, I will never give in to people telling me what is right and fair when they couldn't be more wrong, and I will no longer stand up to support those who will not do the same thing for me because they'd rather be cowardly and prefer the comfort they take for granted, something I refuse to do.

It is your turn to share this and spread these words so that others may do the same from your example. It's one small action that is all I'm asking for right now. It is your turn to say something, what will YOU do?