You Will Not Take From My Culture and Leave Behind Your Injustice

I went to see Margaret Cho at The Apollo on Saturday night. Aside from being so funny that I was literally choking on my own spit, Cho is the only celebrity who stands up for gay and lesbian people as humans. She doesn't discriminate -- she stands up for all rights of all humans everywhere. She is also one of the most intelligent people who I have ever had the pleasure of sharing a room with. She is an important voice. She makes me want to love people.

I was going to blog about her show, which was completely political and completely hysterical, but instead I can't stop thinking about what happened to us after we left the show. The Apollo is in Harlem, and as the crowd was leaving en masse down the sidewalk toward the train station, we passed a bunch of guys standing on the side of the road basically shouting at whitey to get on back to our own neighborhoods. It was out in the middle of the sidewalk and there were hundreds of people around, but I couldn't help thinking that here we were leaving a show by a woman who does more in an hour to unite people of all colors and backgrounds and being harrassed for being "out of our element," and it made me so angry at Bush for setting an example in this world of division. How hard is it to go from hating Muslims on the other side of the world to hating people within your own neighborhood? These people didn't know me from a hole in the wall, and they were angry that I was invading their neighborhood because all that mattered was that I was "other" based solely on my skin. Maybe it was the site of so many white people in a group walking down the streets of Harlem at night. What happened to that sense of togetherness the whole country felt immediately after the towers fell? Bush has managed to piss even that away. The irony wasn't lost on me. I wonder how the Iraqis really feel with us in their neighborhoods destroying what little cultural and ecological stability they had. Bush is a divider. He lives in a vacuum and polarizes. He needs to be dethroned while the damage is still reparable.


Boycott for Equality

I do love a boycott (see the sidebar). While me not supporting Coca Cola or some other nefarious multinational corporation (or even an entire state) I am sure is not affecting the world on a macroscosmic level, in the microcosm it does affect my life because it makes me more aware of the choices I make, especially where I spend my money, which is one of the few true powers that gay Americans have these days. We can choose where to spend our money.

October 8th is the Boycott for Equality. The organizers are asking gay Americans to do three things in order to show the country the power of our demographic:
1. Don't go to work
2. Don't buy ANYTHING on that day
3. Don't use a cell phone

This shouldn't be limited to gay people. If you support the equality of rights for all people, then this should be important to you.



Get Back to Work!

The new rules governing overtime pay, courtesy of the Bush administration, take affect today.

Not that I get overtime pay, but if I once did, I fit into about three of the categories that make me ineligible.


Top Down
We finally took the plunge and bought a new car. We were going to hold off until the spring, but then we got a letter from the VW dealer where we bought my GTI saying that we would get a special price on anything they had on the lot because we were preferred customers. Now, we aren't stupid. I knew this was just a marketing ploy to get us onto the lot, and it worked. But to my surprise, they actually did drop the price considerably. Again, not stupid, I know they would drop prices for anyone at this point to get rid of the 2004s. But the bottom line is that we got a good deal on a car that SweetieKins really wanted. Here is our new baby.

While I am not exactly excited to be saddled with a new car loan, I am actually relieved knowing that he is driving something reliable. The old Jetta, while it was a faithful and tireless friend, was starting to show her age and was heading into that stage where it becomes expensive to just keep it running. It was also heading into that stage where on any given day, 30 different things could go wrong under the hood, leaving him stranded somewhere and me with the inconvenience of having to go collect him. And believe me, with my schedule at the moment, it would have been an inconvenience. And all of this causes me anxiety, knowing that someone I love is out in the world in an increasingly unreliable vehicle. The money we spent is worth the peace of mind alone (and also the fact that now SK will stop incessantly talking about getting his convertible).

After we drove our new baby home, we celebrated her arrival by going out for Mexican food.



I teach at a couple of different colleges in the beautiful state in which I live, and there are nights like tonight when I just love being a teacher in 2004. The Discovery Channel has a whole section of fun tools for teachers on its Web site, and I have been using their quiz creator in the custom classroom. The great thing about the online quizzes is that my students can take the quiz on the computer, and before they can even have time to shut down, i will have their graded exams emailed to me. It's a beautiful thing. The app lets you custom-make tests, and as long as the answers are multi-choice or T/F, the program will correct the exams for you. You can also make long and short answer quizzes, but unlike Accuplacer, which I still contend has some bizarre Satanical method of instantly grading an essay, the program will not grade these types of answers. I suppose the point of that method is that there is no paper exchanged, and the instructor will get the student's exam e-mailed right to them, and I suppose that this is a benefit for teachers who have Internet in their classrooms but may not necessarily have a network between all the students' computers. But using this tool and NOT having the quizzes graded for you is taking all of the fun out of this nifty utility. Besides, it is very easy to make a grammar exam all multi-choice and T/F.

My first real encounter with technology in the classroom, from the teacher side of the room, was a complete disaster. Maybe I'll save that story for another entry!! But since then, I have learned how to use technology to my advantage. The great thing about one of the schools at which I teach is that they market themselves as a technology school, and I have to say, that the technology they provide teachers is really outstanding. Every teacher has dedicated "private" space on the network. So I can do all my work, prep all my lessons and such, and store it all in my folder on the network. I can also make a public folder on the network that my students can access. Every classroom has a computer hooked up to a projector; the concept of the old plastic overhead is definitely on its way out. Right now, I can use a PowerPoint presentation to teach a lesson, then when I am done, I can drop the presentation into a shared folder so that my students can re-visit the PowerPoint on their own from any computer on campus. I also put all handouts into the folder, again so students can access them. You wouldn't believe the amount of hassle it has saved just in my not having to constantly carry things around. You lost your syllabus? Well, you can print out a new one, it's in my folder on the network!! The only drawback, and it is a huge one, is that teachers cannot access the network from off campus.

But my two favorite technology tools at the moment are the online quizzes and blogs. I got my students into blogging, and like anything you give in a classroom, there are those that latch onto it and impress you, there are those that do the bare minimum and secretly curse how much smarter they are than you, and there are those who just don't do it.

Oh, and for anyone interested, here's my exam: See if YOU could pass the grammar exam for my developmental writing class!


I don’t know what to think about Jim McGreevey. I’m more annoyed by the fact that every newspaper headline screams “Gay Sex Scandal,” not just “Sex Scandal.” But papers need to sell, and gay is still scandalous, especially for men.

On one hand I think it does a good thing to let people know, yet again, that gay people are everywhere, whether they’ve self-identifed or not. And while I really have no use for the closet myself, and think it’s sad that people feel the need to hide out there, I don’t begrudge anyone the life they choose for themselves, as long as they are not hurting other people.

Only McGreevey is hurting other people. He’s sending the signal to everyone that there was something so shameful about his life that he had to hide it away. And that hurts me because I live under a president who is trying to legislate me into non-existence. I live in a society that doesn’t understand that calling someone a fag as a derogation is just as disgusting as calling someone a nigger, yet I hear it everywhere. I have to fight for things that other people take for granted because gayness is still scandalous; it dehumanizes because it’s easy to regard someone as “other” when society reinforces this.

I understand that 20 years ago, it was probably easier to just get married, and who knows what kind of arrangement McGreevey had with his wife, that’s no one’s business, but I can’t be proud of someone who is forced out of the closet, especially for reasons like these. I hope he can settle with his demons and see that there is nothing shameful about how he was born, but I’m not going to be his champion.



I've always thought that humans were evolving toward something resembling cyborg, with all the plastic surgery and artifical parts, and then you read that someone has conjoined with a couch, setting the cyborg evolution back 100 years.


I don't think it is possible to express my excitement. The Pixies are coming to New York.

One of my regrets in life is that I never saw them when they were together back in the late 80s. I had a chance once, and I don't remember why, but I didn't go, and soon after they broke up. I was crushed.

The Pixies moved me in a way that no other music did at the time. I remember when my friend in college went to Canada and brought home this bizarre-looking LP with a picture of a hairy-backed man that was recommended to him by the owner of an indie record store somewhere north. This was "Come on Pilgrim." I was mesmerized by the photo, and even more taken with the music. I played this album constantly. I taped this album and played it on my walkman as I walked around campus. I was never more than 3 feet from this album. They were like nothing I had ever heard before. It was like music made by the house band of Bedlam, and I couldn't get enough.

Over the years, as they released more albums, my love for them only grew. I can still put on any Pixies album and feel the energy and the urgency of the music. It penetrates down to my core.

There is no way I am missing this tour. Tickets go on sale tomorrow and I am so there. I saw Frank Black, solo, when he toured for his first solo album, and he sucked in a way that I never thought he could suck. I've read reviews of ther reunion tour, and they sound promising. So my question is, will my idols live up to the hype, and if they don't, will I be crushed like a schoolboy? Or will they be so fabulous that I'll cry like those Japanese girls always do over Michael Jackson?


I love Bill Clinton. I saw a few minutes of his David Letterman appearance from the other night, and I would vote for this man again in a heartbeat. He didn't even say anything important -- he was shilling his book after all -- but damn did he look good, all tan with a pink tie (which I know was a shout out to his homo homies). Maybe it's a combination of feeling more secure under his presidency, or maybe it is because he looks like a god next to the Chimp in Chief. I can't even say that I was more finanacially secure under his presidency, because I wasn't. At this moment I have the most money saved, more stock options and the most easily liquidate-able assets I have ever had in my life, but I just don't feel secure. Maybe it's the specter of doom that hangs over my class status as a citizen in this country, maybe it's the constant threat of terrorist attacks. Maybe it's because our current president wouldn't even have enough charisma and brains to get an intern to her knees if he tried. The Weasel tried to convince me that we live in a different world since 9/11, and we can't assume that Clinton would have handled things any better than Bush or that the economy would be any better under him in the aftermath of the attack. Clinton was a leader. Things would have been a whole lot different if this happened on his watch.

Whatever the reason, I love Clinton, and I want him back. I wouldn't read his book, but I'd vote for him again! I'd even give him a good rogering if he would fix those giant bags under his eyes.

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