Friday, August 31, 2007

Watch the first Iowa marriage

Great video of the ceremony at the Des Moines Register.

Kissing in Iowa

Yesterday Judge Robert B. Hanson in Iowa ruled that same sex couples must be allowed to marry.

When I saw the news I shrugged. Nobody’s actually going to be allowed to marry, I thought. These judges issue these forceful opinions saying there is no reason that isn’t special pleading that would divorce same sex couples from the rights & protections to which other sex couples are considered entitled, then they stay their decisions so they can have no effect. The couples involved in the lawsuit say what a wonderful decision it is, the appeals reach the highest applicable court, cowardly judges there run shrieking from the mousy terror of gay marriage. That’s what happened in New York. That’s what happened in Washington state.

That’s not quite what happened in Iowa. Judge Hanson forgot to stay his decision. Oops. Now college boys are getting married.

“The Rev. Mark Stringer declared college students Sean Fritz and Tim McQuillan legally wed. … ‘We're both in our undergrad programs and we thought maybe we'd put it off until applying at graduate school, but when this opportunity came up we thought maybe we wouldn't get the opportunity again,’ Fritz said. ‘Maybe the chance won't come again.’

“Friday morning, with the ... marriage license in hand, Stringer married the two men, concluding the ceremony by saying, ‘This is a legal document and you are married.’

“The two students then kissed.” Story here.

Update: Hanson has corrected his oversight.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Donkey


So my friend Diana in Forestville adopted burros. Or donkeys. Or whatever. She’s sent me pics before but this is the first one that’s showed proportions.

Her husband is 8' 3".

Monday, August 20, 2007

what happened to those high school friends?

Officer Michelle [Lazark, who I took to the Senior Prom,] answers questions at the Sacramento Police Department blog. She reveals, for example, an officer’s first choice of weapon, “We first attempt to use our voices.” (Follow the link and you’ll see her on the right of the frame.)

And Hope Levy, who was always bubbling up in some high school musical, announces with pride that her infant son is on the cover of TIME magazine. With an Einstein moustache.

update: Hope has her own website. You can watch her TV spots.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Robert Ingersoll, 1955-2007

Anchorage resident Robert "Bob" Gerry Ingersoll, 51, died suddenly of natural causes July 16, 2007, in Cooper Landing while on a camping trip.

A graveside service was held July 24 at the Pioneer Cemetery in Palmer with the Rev. Jim Strutz of the Anchorage City Church officiating. A celebration of life ceremony will be at Anchorage City Church at a later date.

Robert was born Oct. 24, 1955, in Tonasket, Wash., to Bruce Kempton Ingersoll and Anita Marie Davidson. His family moved to Alaska five years later and settled where the family home still remains on the lower Hillside. When Robert was 14, his father married Janet Smith Batres Ingersoll, the woman Robert considered his mother.

Robert was one of the first to attend the newly built Service High School, his family wrote.

After years of working for others, Robert founded his own carpet cleaning business in 1989, Delux Care Associates. He was a proud member of the Better Business Bureau.

His family wrote: "A born-again Christian, Robert worked daily to incorporate his beliefs into his life and business. Robert exchanged commitment vows with his longtime love, Kim Terhune, in a private ceremony in 2005.

"Robert had several hobbies at which he excelled. In addition to reading, he had a fondness for movies and maintained an impressive collection. He kept freshwater fish, creating many beautiful tanks in his home and happily shared his skills with others. Robert had an especially good eye for beauty in nature. Indoors or out, he was an avid gardener; an industrial parking lot flourished with his self-designed patio and container garden.

"Robert will be greatly missed. He was generous. He was thoughtful and thorough when he set his mind to something. We remember his campy, cheerful humor and loving ways. His good heart will not be forgotten."

Robert is survived by his life mate, Kim Terhune; mother, Janet Ingersoll; sisters, Bernice Ingersoll of Seattle and Sevilla Ingersoll of King Cove; and brothers, Tony Batres and Dion Batres of Anchorage, David Ingersoll of Seattle and Glenn Ingersoll of Berkeley, Calif.

Robert was preceded in death by his brother, Bruce Kempton Ingersoll Jr.; father, Bruce Kempton Ingersoll Sr.; and grandmother, Bernice Kempton Ingersoll.

The above appeared in the Anchorage Daily News.

Monday, August 13, 2007

the gay debate

Last week The Human Rights Campaign (maybe you’ve seen their yellow equal sign sticker?) and the gay cable TV channel Logo put together a program of interviews with the Democratic presidential candidates. I’m contemptuous of the frontrunners’ triangulating around the word “marriage” … we’re all for civil unions!, they crow, though the argument seems to be: All the polls say I can’t be for Marriage and be Elected so, you understand, it’s just not possible!

I did not watch the show. I’ve only followed the coverage on the blogs. The first big news seemed to be New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s gaffe. He calls homosexuality a Choice! That’s a no-no, as we know nobody would choose to be a reviled minority. It’s gotta be an inborn trait! Melissa Etheridge (the rock star! Elton John too English?) was on the interview panel and threw what she expected to be a softball, So, Bill, gay – Choice? or Couldn’t-help-it-born-that-way-victim-of-biology-don’t-hold-it-against-me? Chirped Bill, Choice!

Melissa stumbled all over herself trying to clarify for the clueless straight what the right answer was and couldn’t he, you know, redo?

For someone who’s supposedly a great diplomat Richardson didn’t get the bludgeoning hints. As he said in a later “clarification”, “I always love the word choice. I’m for freedom of choice.”

At Atrios’ post on the subject I left the following comment:

Richardson aside, I don't agree that bio is the right answer. As Richardson somewhat stumblingly suggested Choice is a perfectly fine answer. It shouldn't matter!

If I'm born gay and the man who chooses to spend his life with me (or just my bed for a night) doesn't think of himself as gay and only thinks of himself as in love with me (or hot for me) -- who happens to be of the same sex as him -- does that mean he (choice) is not entitled to the same rights as me (bio)? If we were to marry (in Massachusetts, say) and took a blood test and the blood test showed that I was biologically gay and he was choosing me gay would our marriage be annulled?

Isn't religion all about Choice? What right does the government have to annul same-sex marriages performed by some religions?


If you’re curious to follow up on the Logo forum here are some other links:

Americablog liveblogging it.

MyDD thoughts.

And Towleroad’s response. Towleroad has video clips.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

comments on “On the Edge” version 7

Final version? Perhaps. The original version contains 264 words, the current version 342. About an 80 word increase.

What are the major differences between them?

The first version addresses only the youth. The current version addresses his seersucker suit, the cliff he’s standing on, the youth, and a nearby seagull in flight.

In the first version the wind lifts the youth, saving him from a suicide? In the current version the suggestion that the youth might leap from the cliff is so subtle one might credibly argue it’s not there. “It’s too late to intervene,” says the speaker of the first version. “Let [your arms] hold you up,” says the speaker of the current version.

In the first version the wind is personified, as are other non-living elements of the scene, the wave “gestures”, the foam’s “kiss”, the wind “licks” and “brushes your hair”. Less of that in the current version, though the “face” of the cliff is interrogated for its inner thoughts – “is that passivity?” or “preoccupation with the self”? (Could this be a comment by analogy on the youth’s face?)

There is eroticism in this personification of the non-living world in the first version. The kiss, the lick. The personification of the non-living in the current version suggests an indifference to the youth’s fate. Even the only other living creature, the gull, gets in a “jeer” from a mouth with a “beauty spot” (the rejection of the feminine?), though that, the speaker insists, isn’t personal.

The first version’s lines often sprawl. It’s a thick block of text. The current version is tidily arranged in separately titled sections, the stanzas within each having an equal quantity of lines (but for the cliff section, which is 4-5-4).

The first version seems full of action, even involved in the action it describes. The current version feels much more removed from the action, the speaker contemplating from a distance, from an ironic remove? The teasing of the first version, “You look so clean-cut … so debonair”, gets a curl to its lip in the current version, “You’re no boy … You’ve dressed yourself … Aren’t you debonair?”

The first version is a unit. The current version is four poems. Would any of the four be able to stand on its own? “To the seersucker” is my favorite read. Its voice is foreign to me; it barely ties in with the following 3 parts. Only its last line, “Coast?” Seersucker is not again mentioned (“handsome kit”?), no “seersucker seagull”. Seersucker is worn in the humid, windless south, probably not the best choice for the breezy cool west coast. No second mention is made of the “brave straw hat”; perhaps the youth left it in the car (the one he parked on the “road” away from which he took the “narrow path”?).

The youth has “cleanly shaved the dark from [his] pink face”; the cliff face is stubbled (though the jumble of geological items that poke from its “softer” skin don’t make for a neat picture);

Not a single question mark in version one. Ten question marks in version seven.

“On the edge” version 7

Four Addresses


To the seersucker

Bespoke, custom-cut, hand-stitched,
even so some threads bunch, it’s the weave
gives you that pucker, which feature
lets in what stirs in high heat a summer.

Blue-and-white pinstripe number,
to normal wool cool alternate,
but what to wear with you? It’s a light
buckskin lace-up with sole of red rubber,

paisley blue tie, a pink button-down,
white pocket square and hat of brave straw
that won’t overdo. Though suspenders? A no.
Where to take you today? Coast?


To the cliff

The face you offer, varying grades
of slope, the drop in places just air
all the way to black sand and graywacke,
seething white wave-shatter -

when Pacific gales wash it and the softer
sands and gravels fade to stubble
of orange peridotite and the shale sheared
with serpentine, blueschist with its
amphibole slickenside grooved –

what’s the look of it? steady even then?
before the reaches of ocean, the daily drop of sun into it,
is that passivity? a grand passivity?
preoccupation with the self?


To the boy

You’re no boy. You’ve so cleanly shaved the dark
from your pink face, tamed those curls with a trim.
You’ve dressed yourself, picked from the closet
a handsome kit, fastened to your wrist a slender ticker.

Down from the road, along a narrow path
cutting through a shallow turf, you took your shoe.
Aren’t you debonair, the air rare
at the cliff’s lip, one lone gull taking a share?

Now you’ve looked up, all the sky white
as the seagull’s breast, as the dash the surf makes
against a stonestack poised in surge. Unfold those arms,
sleeves aflutter. Let them hold you up.


To the gull


Out to the black tip of each gray wing,
between your toes the green yellow webbing
folding, spreading, you hold it.

Your position? This must be your advice,
this the way to take to air,
your keep. Your hold.

The yellow bill with the red beauty spot
opens to a sharp tongue and a jeer,
not to make fun, to have it said.

Monday, August 06, 2007

It’s not like it was the first time

They said it was a storm, thunder, lightning, and led me back to bed but I knew my parents lied to pacify me.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

That’s where they went 2

his gums hesitate the eyebrows are raised and there are teeth on the ground teeth on the ground

Friday, August 03, 2007

Instead of the bitter bitter pines to which they are consigned

They chose their paths but now regret it, realizing — too late — they could have gone to the seashore or forests of sweet pines.