Regional security threat

Ray Meier, currently running for Congress here on the other side of the aisle, justifies the War on Terror, because according to him, Saddam Hussein "was a regional security threat."

While being Pataki's lapdog, guess he's getting a jump start on being Shrub's lapdog.

That's not what this region needs.


Cortland Dairy Parade

I think I will actually sleep well tonight, because I am so tired.

But it's a happy tired. The satisfied tired that comes from working hard and getting something done.

And I'm doing it with a healthy surving of humble pie.

I'm city slicker enough that my first reaction to this political event was "a DAIRY parade?? On a TUESDAY NIGHT?!"

It was the Cortland Dairy Parade and a strong supporter of Michael Arcuri urged us strongly to attend. We can't miss it, he insisted. So, I in Utica, and Mike and Jordan in NYC, fought the clock to get to Cortland in time.

My challenge was that though I'd left early enough with plenty of time to get there, I wasn't expecting to twice get stuck in bumper-to-bumper stopped traffic because of the closing of one lane on 81 South. The "construction" signs were up as were the orange cones that funneled all the traffic into one lane. However, there were no construction work, workers or equipment to be seen.

But, I got there only a few minutes late. Mike and Jordan got there just before the parade was due to start.

Finally after an hour of waiting, we started the stroll down the parade route.

Cortland deserves a HUGE round of applause for the organization and celebration of this parade. People were lined on the sidewalks in layers, children waved and blew plastic horns, squeeled at and hugged Crime Dog McGruff, bags of cotton candy were sold by strolling men as were a variety of stuffed and plastic toys. Behind is was a large columbine (at least, that's what I think is was!) and a block of tractors behind that.

Everyone was so friendly. Children waved and yelled "Hi!" Strangers yelled out "I like Mike" which had us laughing (and had me nodding saying "yes, it's common, but we should still use it). Even after the parade was over and we were returning to where other cars had been left, Cortland residents were walking back to their homes and they were still waving to us.

Although I do have the city slicker side of me, I also grew up in a relatively small town. Parades here, aside from being laughed at on the Letterman Show, are a part of our summer. Memorial Day, July 4th, Firemen, Liberty Bell, Strawberry, Dairy, Tomato, various famous people and who knows what else I'm forgetting.

Small town parades are fun. Watchers and marchers both see friends on the road and on the sidewalk. Co-workers, students and teachers cheer and wave. Its a few hours when most of the communty gathers together and celebrate the different slices of the community.

Thank you, Cortland, for making Michael Arcuri and his campaign welcome!

Next stop... Smithville Flats.


For the record, the fact that I am still single is in no way caused by gays and lesbians finding partners in their own lives

A "Marriage Amendment"

Osama's been forgotten, the mission was accomplished a while ago now, this hurricane season hasn't caused the gas prices to jump, so I suppose things are dull enough in the Off-White House that now the Shrub can turn to other serious matters.

And if you buy that, let me tell you about some oceanfront property that I'm selling just north of Utica, too.

But as much as I hate seeming to give credence to the issue by addressing it, I also couldn't stay silent about it. Marriage is just too important to me to ignore what they're trying to push down our throats, never mind fanning the flames of a non-issue so we'll stop talking about all the really immoral, disgusting things this Badministration's doing.

"Marriage is union between a man and a woman as a husband and a wife," is Shrub's idea of a marriage. And given that we're talking about changing the Constitution here, it's inferred, at least, that that is the ideal of marriage. After all, the Constitution is the founding document of the United States of America.

We're not talking about the by-laws of the local star trek fan club here. This is the fundamental basis of how America was formed and how it functions. The Constitution covers topics such as elections, citizenship, separation of powers, and states' rights. The Amendments covered things like Freedom of Speech, Religion, Press, Petition and Assembly, the right to bear arms, prohibition of slavery, citizenship, and voting.

(Well, as I typed that previous paragraph, I realize that expecting this Badministration to treat the Constitution with the seriousness required really is asking too much. They're pretty much shredding everything except the 2nd Amendment, though that's being very edited too. But while I might not agree with everything in the Guiding Texts, be they religious, political or social, I do respect their embodiment. And this doesn't mean that I believe they are completed, perfect works. No, as long as humans change, so too do the Guides need to be applied in new contexts.)

But, back to the whole ideal marriage thing.

In no particular order:
Robert Blake Bonny Lee Blake
OJ Simpson Nicole Brown Simpson
Mike Tyson Robin Givens
Ike Turner Tina Turner
John Wayne Bobbitt Lorena Bobbitt
Scott Peterson Laci Peterson
Dan Broderick Betty Broderick

There's more to an ideal marriage. A LOT more.

Personally, my idea of an ideal marriage is the traditional Islamic analogy of The Cloak... that the two people are comfort, protection and enhancement for each other. At least for my life, I trust that if those qualities are there between me and whoever I might someday share my life with, so too will be love, honor and trust. At least I hope so. Yes, he would have to be a "he" but that's just because of how I'm wired. But religion, skin tone, hight, weight, heritage, etc aren't factors. (The search for said man is a whole other topic!)

As someone who has claims of "otherness," marriage as well as all the social interaction leading up to it, have always been especially highlighted, sensitive, analyzed, discussed, dissected, examined, explored, etc. And by now in my life, I know enough about myself to know what I want. And I've seen enough to know what I don't want.

There's been so much talk about the institution of marriage. "Which kind?" I ask.

The traditional south asian marriage where husband and wife don't meet until the wedding ceremony? The ones where either by family pressure or religion, the woman has no choice? The ones done by elopement because one or both families would rather see their son or daughter dead before married to the other son or daughter? The ones done to secure political treaties or economic growth?

I don't mean to sound down on marriage. It's easy to point to all the sad examples. But just as the above types occur, so too do the ones based on caring, honor and respect.

And not a one of them succeed or fail because of gender, much less the genders of other people.

Marriage exists between whoever chooses to be married to each other. However they choose to define their marriage, that is their measurement for success. Everyone on the outside can have an opinion on that marriage, but only those in it have a vote.

As an "other," my right to marry a man of my choice, while mine in the eyes of Allah, would have been denied by America in the early 1900's.

I wouldn't have the right to decide who could make health care decissions for me should I no longer be able to. I wouldn't be able to visit him in the hospital. There would be no assumption of inheritance. And then would come the denial of employment benefits, social security benefits, life insurance, etc.

So, not only does this Badministration have no business in mine or anyone else's dating/married life, it is reprehensible that it would even try. But I, once again, shouldn't expect decency. The voting rights violations, the Terry Shiavo assault, the Iraq lies... this is just one more effort on their part to keep us busy and distracted while they attack America.

Shrub might not think so, but we really have more important things to deal with. And I doubt that him codifying his idea of a marriage would get me any closer to finding my partner.


I hate headcolds

Just surfacing for a quick gulp of air...

I got hit with the worst cold I ever had and unfortunately, I can still feel it in me. But the crazier weeks of the semester are finally over and another brood of students have flown the coop. I'm one that absolutely LOVES graduation. I love seeing all the students, meeting their family and friends, but more than anything, I love bearing witness to their achieving a goal. And sometimes, I'm lucky enough to really know exactly what they had to endure and overcome to get there.

Like everyone in college, my time there as a student was filled with all the usual ups and downs. Some things felt totally devestating and other things really did change my life. But, for the most part, my challenges those years were fairly middle of the road. But from my side of the desk these days, I know I had it pretty easy. There are things that my student have, do and will face that sometimes seem inbearable. But, somehow, hopefully most, find the way to still reach their goals. I'm grateful that some of them let me in enough to know and hoopefully help. I'm humbled by all of them.

And because of that, it was particularly horrifying that when I apologized to one student for not seeing her at graduation, she replied that not only did I see her, and congratulate her with a hug, but that I also met her family.

Man, I HATE headcolds.

And on top of that, I thought I messed up reservations for my annual treat-to-myself weekend away. Somehow, I did get it all right though I'm really not sure how.

But I did pretty much exactly what I expected and was afraid I'd do. I might have been out of town for my annual retreat, but my heart and head was still working on the Arcuri for Congress campaign. Who would have thought there were as many applications at an art retreat for politics?

Anyway.. this week is a packed week (and it feels even moreso because I've been flat out for 2 weeks). Hopefully, I'll be getting back to my usual soon...