April Rambling: Kiwi marriage equality; Eddie’s aunts

Jaquandor has been doing this musical A to Z, and they’re all interesting.

moi, a couple of years ago

“If every kid having a mom and a dad is really what you are concerned about,” Miriam Axel-Lute expects “to also see you showing up” for these struggles.

The Fagbug meets Equality House.

Arthur: “When I was a kid, I expected life to be a certain way, and that way did not include being true to myself. I simply couldn’t imagine that one day I might be a full citizen.” Here is his favorite speech (it IS a hoot) and his favorite moment in the marriage equality passage in New Zealand.

The Man On the Street: Three Decades of Street Harassment.

This month in 1889, the so-called “Unassigned Lands” in what is now central Oklahoma were opened to white settlement, the celebrated Oklahoma Land Run. “The Native tribes, you may be sure, aren’t quite so enthusiastic about celebrating.”

Mr. Frog re: Spike Lee’s School Daze and a Ramble About Racism.

10 Cover-ups That Just Made Things Worse.

27 science fictions that became fact in 2012.

Meryl: Logos: The power of grounding logic and expectations in our communications. Also, Optical Illusions and their role in Education, Brain Training, and Visual Literacy; at least check out the video at the end of the latter one.

J: The sexiest letter.

Neil Gaiman: There wasn’t anything in there that indicated that I was going to be a writer, a real writer, with something to say, except for one thing, and it was this: I was writing. There was lots of writing going on.

I whine a lot about writing, but I never have whined quite so persuasively as this.

Healing the Wounded Womb.

MY FAVORITE STORY OF THE MONTH: Eddie writes This is the Story of Gussie and Bertie, two of his aunts, of a sort.

Tegan tells a story.

Amy’s momoir.

Mark Evanier sells the house he grew up in.

Happy Navroze – a personal look at the Zoroastrian holiday

SamuraiFrog’s fond memory of Turkey in the Straw.

Math Anxiety: What it is and How to Relieve Its Stress and Impact.

Here’s an alphabet mural Ken Jennings painted on his daughter’s wall when she was a newborn. Very clever.

Jaquandor has been doing this musical A to Z, and they’re all interesting. Cheri asked what music makes me cry. One of them is his B. “Bach’s music is, to me, architectural. It is mathematical. Now, to some that might make it sound like the music is clinical and sterile in emotion, but nothing could be further from the truth.” Another is his D; funny story therein. He ALSO wrote a great obit of trumpeter Bud Herseth, who you’ve probably never heard of – I hadn’t – but still a most worthwhile read, and listen.

Lost in translation: CHEERS theme in German, and an ad for the musical Wicked when it got to Helsinki, Finland. Also, If you don’t understand this commercial…

The latest Carl Reiner book, and an anecdote about a funeral.

From the 1940 Charlie Chan movie, Murder Over New York: The police round up every Hindu in town.

Always liked Jonathan Winters, and sorry he died. Here’s what Ken Levine had a nice piece. Mark Evanier wrote several pieces; first thoughts; Jonathan receiving the Mark Twain Award at the Kennedy Center in 1999; him at a recording session for Garfield and Friends in 1990.

Willie Nelson turns 80 this week, and Coverville celebrates the occasion.

I probably watched Pat Summerall announcing sporting events for 40 years. And Maria Tallchief, a great dancer.

Never DID trust Winnie the Pooh.

Someone on Facebook wrote: “If you’re a geezer, you’ll hear it in your head.” And I do.

K-Chuck Radio: Miles to go before I sleep…

Contraptions: Oreo separator machine. Also, a recipe for making ice.

The state capitals.

Photos of Insects with Drops of Water On Their Heads

Wikileaks QUESTION

Ann Coulter is an idiot.

A friend of mine who follows my blog asked me about whether I was planning to write about the Wikileaks issue. And I wasn’t. I thought it was because I had been feeling rather sick the past week – missed church and a concert on Sunday, and work on Monday and Tuesday – and I just wasn’t up to formulating an opinion.

Apparently, though, that’s not it. It is that – and I find this difficult to believe myself – I don’t HAVE a strong opinion. It’s this, on one hand, but on the other hand, that. I listened to the 2political podcast, but Arthur and Jason had less than conclusive positions. Likewise, Tegan of Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog lays out an ambivalent line.

OK, there are a few things I do know:
1) Whether they needed to be secrets or not, the system that allowed one Pfc to access so much info is desperately flawed, and the chatter about him and Wikileaks Assange sometimes seem like a distraction from that breach in the system.
2) While Assange appears to be a rather unlikeable sort, the fact that he’s been charged with a sex crime, doing something (not using a condom) that is not criminalized in most jurisdictions makes him oddly sympathetic.
3) Ann Coulter is an idiot. Specifically, she used the Pfc.’s alleged homosexuality as a reason not to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, as though that were an even marginally logical line of reasoning.

Thank goodness for SOME opinions! But what do YOU make of this whole situation?
As I noted, I blew off church on Sunday morning, with the intention of resting for the afternoon concert. Carol, Lydia and I were going with our friends Carol (yes) and Bonnie. But at 2 pm, I realized that no way was I going to enjoy the music. What to do with the spare ticket for a 3 pm concert? I called my friend Mary, who was just getting home, but she agreed to go.
Mary had never met Bonnie, but they discovered in conversation that, four years ago, Mary bought the house that Bonnie’s aunt used to live in! It was one of those bizarre Smallbany things.


I never liked the Dallas Cowboys. And they had a head coach named Tom Landry who I respected, but he just seemed like a cold fish. Which was why I found Don Meredith to be my favorite Cowboys quarterback; he seemed to really annoy Landry, who finally cut him loose. He ended up on Monday Night Football for a number of years, and he was entertaining in a VERY corny sort of way. He died this week.
Always loved the name Ron Santo. Great third baseman with the Cubs when I was growing up. I didn’t love the Cubs, but I loved Ron Santo. Later he became an announcer, but more than that, a symbol of a man with a lot of heart and courage. Salon did a nice piece on him, and SamuraiFrog associated him with his grandfather, which was very sweet. I’m of the opinion that there are certain people like Santo and Buck O’Neil whose cumulative baseball skills and service as ambassadors to the sport qualify them as Hall of Fame worthy.

Roger Answers your Questions, Tom and Scott

I believe the dispersant BP used has created a whole new problem below the surface, which may ultimately be most toxic for sea life.

I’m happy to get a question from Tom the Mayor, an old colleague of mine, a picture of whom I came across just last weekend.

What, if any, was your favorite comic strip or comic book when you were young? Mine was Dennis The Menace. It was the first comicbook I ever read.

By the time I was 10, I was reading both newspapers in Binghamton, NY, the Sun-Bulletin and the Evening (and Sunday) Press. I read all of them, except Prince Valiant. I had a particular affection for Peanuts and B.C. and The Wizard of Id. The latter two were by Johnny Hart, who was from the area (Endicott, specifically) and was involved in the community. I even had an Id book, “The peasants are revolting!” I also had a peculiar affection for Gil Thorp, this exceedingly earnest sport-related serial strip.

As for comic books, I read them. Early on, it was Archie, Baby Huey, Richie Rich, but all disposable to my mind. Later, mostly DC (Legion of Superheroes, Justice League of America, Superman) but I soon outgrew them, too. Superman being subjected, not just to green kryptonite, but to red, gold, aquamarine…it just got silly.

That’s why, when I went to college, and found this guy who would become my good friend, and he was reading comics, I thought it was weird, and that he was weird. (He WAS weird, actually; he used to hang off the edge of his desk like Snoopy hung off his doghouse roof.) But he was reading Marvels. So I re-entered reading comics very late, and I didn’t read DCs again (except for Green Lantern/Green Arrow and a couple of non-superhero books) until I worked at FantaCo.

Scott of the Scooter Chronicles, now gainfully employed, I’m happy to note, asks:

1. Do you have any interest in the World Cup?

It’s peculiar that I actually do, because I have no recollection of caring 4 or 8 or 12 years ago. I think it’s that the coverage, everything from ESPN to notifications from the New York Times to Twitter makes it feel as though it’s been covered better. BTW, Tegan tells an interesting story, only tangentally related.

2. Who do you think will win the AL and NL Pennant this year?

If the Yankees stay healthy, they can. Otherwise, it’ll be Texas or maybe Tampa; just not feeling it from the Central Division.

I’d like the Mets to win, but Philly or San Diego seem more likely. Again, not believing in the Central.

3. Who wins the World Series?

The American League team, probably.

4. Is there a novel that you have always meant to read, or feel you should read, but haven’t yet?

Lots and lots. About 2/3s of Billy Shakes, e.g. Then again, I’m more of a non-fiction guy, comic books notwithstanding, so it’s more ought to than want to. I miss my reading group at my old church which forced me to read outside of my comfort zone.

5. What was the craziest question you have been asked from one of these sessions?

Well, it probably came from you, Scott. Seriously, I keep hoping for a truly weird one that I can sidestep, but no, you folks are too nice. Maybe I should try it on my newspaper blog site. Some of those people in the general public are CRAZY.

6. What is your opinion on how BP and the government are handing the oil spill in the Gulf?

For one thing, I don’t understand how it became called an oil SPILL. When you drop a glass of water, the water spills – downward. Oops. This is more like a geyser. Yes, the oil geyser, that’s what I think I’ll call it.

As for the Obama Administration response, it tends to show how much in bed the government has been with the industries they are supposed to be regulating, hardly unique with these particular officials. We, or those of us who were actually paying attention, have known this all along. And, to be fair, so have those folks who believe there has been too much regulation; they just liked the results more. That’s how you get your Joe Bartons apologizing to “poor BP”.

But clearly, the ultimate fault was shoddy corner-cutting by BP. The judge who stopped the Obama administration’s six-month lockdown on new deep-sea drilling said that the federal government is acting as though this could happen again; that’s PRECISELY what worries me.

Yes, the governmental response to oil geyser has, until recently, been slow. They believed BP’s lies and seemingly had no way to verify the information independently. I’m not remembering; did the federal government give BP permission to use the dispersant? Because I’m convinced that has created a whole new problem below the surface, which may ultimately be most toxic for sea life.

Apropos of oil, why have we not heard very much about the oil disater in Nigeria going on right now?

7. Is there a piece of art (painting, sculpture, etc.) that you really admire?

I saw, I believe in Albany, but it could have been NYC or Boston, a version of Rodin’s The Thinker, which was one of the most sensual things I had ever experienced in my life. Two-dimensional photos do not do it justice, and I’m not convinced that even these three-dimensional online tours can capture it. Gotta see it in person, if possible.

If The Wife and I have Our Piece of Art, like couples have Our Song, it would be The Kiss by Klimt; it’s even on a coffee mug of ours.

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