Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Miserable.

C and I, along with his mom and sister, went to see Les Miserable today. C's sister's husband, not a fan of musicals, ducked out to see Django Unchained and met us later.
My facebook feed has been abuzz with the Miz the last couple days, but most of the comments seem to be framed by comparison to the various live productions of the play. I’ve never seen it. This film was my first experience with the show and the music.
Here are a few bullet-point impressions:
1. People randomly run into significant people from their pasts with alarming (and tiresome) frequency.
2. Anne Hathaway. Anne Hathaway. Okay, I was already in love with her going in, but I don’t even quite have words to describe what she was doing. I have the sense that her performance in this has set a new mark. I sat there slack-jawed the whole time she was on the screen. To me, it felt historical. The biggest flaw of this film is that her character dies 20 minutes into it. I suspected there’d be a ghost appearance, but I wish it had happened sooner.
3. The music is very affecting at times. I shed quite a few tears. But can I just say that it’s basically the same song over and over with slight varations. Being a verse-chorus man, I’m always amazed at how shows like this become so popular. Waiting and waiting for the song to land is eventually exhausting, to me.
3. The cinematography is a little claustrophobic. Love all that splotchy skin, but a big musical with an epic story and so much sweeping, soaring music, well, I want a few long shots.
4. Helena Bonham-Carter has made quite a career out of that hair, hasn’t she? Love her.
5. I’m a big fan of long books, long plays, long movies, so I hate to say it, but it was l-o-n-g.
6. Anne Hathaway.
7. Anne Hathaway. Anne Hathaway.

Friday, December 14, 2012


I’ve been thinking about Christmas and sadness lately, in the face of C’s apparently pure childlike joy in the preparation, all the small rituals of the season, shopping, wrapping, decorating. I’m letting myself enjoy it, too, more and more, despite whatever reservations I have had, which all sort of pool around consumption, consumerism, and Christianists (all those hard C’s).

My favorite Christmas songs are the sad ones. That doesn’t necessarily mean much because my favorite songs of any kind are the sad ones. But there’s so much about Christmas that is sad: longing to be with distant loved ones, missing those who’ve died (and, statistically speaking, likely died at Christmastime), our fixation on the needy. Somehow the poor are more innocent this time of year.

And then I heard this song that a friend posted on facebook this morning – by Tracey Thorn, who for decades has been writing so beautifully and simply about our messy complicated adult emotional lives – and my thoughts crystalized in a way that a great song can make your thoughts crystalize (in fact, come to think of it, maybe that’s actually the whole purpose of a song, hm…).

Christmas doesn’t work without the sadness. Sadness is the background. The winter holiday (which, sorry, predates the perfectly illustrative and beautiful story of the birth of Christ) is a ritual of hope that joy survives sadness. And has no meaning without sadness. I guess everybody but me already knew this.

No matter how bad things may get, there’s a moment when it stops getting worse and starts to get better. The world turns.

Monday, December 10, 2012

O Christmas Tree.

Our Christmas tree is now complete. I think it’s perfect. It embodies elements of C’s and my respective childhood Christmas trees, but aspects of it evoke just the two of us together.

It’s decorated with ornaments that C’s mother has given him over the years, along with several that we’ve picked up in our travels together, lots of traditional glass balls, a set of handmade glass birds and such that my parents gave me, a few cut-paper snowflakes and origami birds that I made last year. It’s a real tree, which C’s family always had growing up. We had a real one when I was very young, but an artificial one most of my childhood. It was a good fake and we loved it,  and the shape of the tree C and I picked out this year recalls the shape of that tree.

This is from when we used to get
a real tree. (Click on the pictures
to make them bigger.)
After struggling for years to figure out how to do the winter holidays, I’ve relaxed completely into an old-fashioned celebration of Christmas. All I had to do was remember how Christmas was, how it felt, what we did, before it became so polluted in my mind with all the fundamentalist culture war stupidity, the shrill onslaught of ads and catalogs and buying stuff that’s just going to end up in a landfill, and the bitterness and tension of everyone’s families growing and changing. Back when it was just about Mom’s cookies, and Grandma Lenore coming to visit from Minnesota, and exchanging gifts, and pickled herring on Christmas Eve, and being at home with people I love.

It seems to me that when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s, pre-Reagan majority, pre-Jerry Falwell and the rest, people could celebrate Christmas with varying degrees of religiosity or none at all and not be at each other’s throats. My family was not religious. Christmas was mostly secular. We did have a small ceramic crèche that we set up every year. To me, it represented the story that Christmas was based on. I didn’t give much thought to whether it was literally true or not, let alone consider the notion that whether people believed it or not implied something important about their goodness and worth.

That's the fake one. Not a very
good pic of the tree. But those pants!
I took a sick day today. I left work Friday with a scratchy throat and headache which turned into a nasty chest cold by Saturday morning. The way it all started in my chest like that made me fear that this was going to be one of those winter colds that linger for weeks, but I sucked on zinc lozenges all weekend and I felt a little better this morning. Maybe it’ll pass quickly. Still, I’m coughing a lot and my head hurts, so I decided to stay home and rest. We have a busy few weeks coming up, and I don’t want to be sick for Christmas.

We had Saturday tickets to Glengarry Glen Ross on Broadway, which we bought months ago, unaware that it was opening night, and I had to let C find a friend to go with him because I felt miserable and knew that if I went I’d cough through the whole thing.  C came home a little disappointed in the production, which alleviated my disappointment somewhat. It also helped that on Friday, we saw The Great God Pan (a new play by Amy Herzog who wrote my favorite play last year, 4,000 Miles) at Playwright’s Horizons, and it was great.

On the way out the door this morning, C said, “You’re going to finish the tinsel today, right?”

We’d done the rest together last weekend, the lights, the ornaments, but we didn’t have tinsel yet. C bought some on his way home from work one day last week. While he was at the theater Saturday night, I tried to put it on the tree, but I ran out of energy after one package. It didn’t look right, I didn’t feel good, I stopped. Too much pressure.

Both of us grew up with tinsel-Nazis. C tells me the rule in his house was one strand per branch. My dad’s rule was a little more abstract, something about making them look like actual icicles. There could be more than one strand, but they had to hang completely free. I don’t think my dad even let my mother near the tinsel, let alone kids.

My dad's childhood tree.
Between the risk of expensive, fragile, and often irreplaceable objects being smashed by small clumsy people (and the hazards of the attendant shards of glass) and the aesthetic demands on an object fraught with the memories of everything good and bad about Christmases in the past and present and some aspirational future -- not to mention expected to be pleasing to look at for a month -- decorating the Christmas tree was not a job for children.

I respected that, I think. I know I agreed with my parents that we had the most beautiful tree of all. No spray-painted macaroni kindergarten bullshit on our tree. It evolved slightly over the years, but at its apogee the lights were tiny and all blue, the ornaments were glass balls only, and the icicles were clear glass. (As I remember, when they stopped making tinsel out of actual metal foil and started using Mylar, my parents in protest stopped using tinsel. But it may be that those two events were unrelated and I’ve fabricated drama out of my past. It’s been known to happen.)

Those glimpses of an adult Christmas are more powerful in my memory than any of the kids’ stuff, which was always a little ugly to me, I think even then. If there was anything creepier than that strange scene in the barn with the talking animals and everyone frozen and staring at an immobile newborn for DAYS ON END, it was enslaved elves, an extortion list, and the drooling fat man sliding down the chimney in the middle of the night.

See those slippers? I loved them. My mother
made them with two sticks and a ball of yarn.
My mother is awesome.
It’s still a puzzle to me why parents get such a kick out of working their kids up into a frenzy of anticipation so intense they cry and pee their pants. Everyone justifies it saying that they want their kids to “experience the magic.” I suspect it’s really about the thrill of pulling off a practical joke on a bunch of disruptive, demanding little people who’ve thrown their parents’ lives into unimaginable chaos. There’s nothing magical about discovering you’ve been lied to. For years. By everyone around you.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Now.

Cross-posted on The Bilerico Project.

We’re in a cabin somewhere in Virginia with C’s extended family for the weekend. He would correct my use of “extended family.” He calls this group of about 20 -- his parents, siblings, aunt, cousins and their spouses, other relatives who live nearby, and half a dozen or so various offspring -- his “immediate family.” The extended family, he tells me, consists of some hundreds of far-flung kin whom I’ve had a small taste of at two weddings but will not feel the full blunt force of until I attend “the family reunion” this summer, an event the contemplation of which sends me into a cold sweat.

I exaggerate. I do -- despite cultural differences (someone Thursday morning asked if anyone was planning a trip to Walmart because she needed a few things) which are, with each family gathering, a little less stressful for me to just shut up about -- love C’s family, all 500 of them. Immediate, extended, whatever. A marriage (or maybe it’s me) can only tolerate so much arguing about nomenclature.

We left our apartment Wednesday at about 3:30, picked up a zip car a few blocks away, and drove 9 hours to get here.  A couple weeks ago, the women in the family circulated an email with information about the cabin, accommodations, plans, and a menu and sign-up sheet for the big meal. I volunteered for mashed potatoes (because I make awesome mashed potatoes) and decided to also make a few pies (god knows why, because I’m not really a baker and nearly had a nervous breakdown Tuesday night when the crust was giving me trouble, but I really wanted to make a pear pie and C wanted pecan, so …).

I also brought 3 dishes without which Thanksgiving would not be Thanksgiving for me: succotash, Grand Marnier cranberry sauce, and maple/garlic roasted carrots. When I said in the email chain that I would bring a couple dishes from my own Thanksgiving traditions, a cousin of C’s replied that she loved that I would be bringing dishes from my own family’s traditional meal. I don’t think I had said “family,” but of course these dishes are from my family traditions. Just not my biological family. I haven’t had Thanksgiving with my parents and siblings in many years, not because I’ve been avoiding it, but because most years I had little time and little money and couldn’t justify or afford two trips to Indiana in less than a month. So I chose Xmas, at least until the last 10 years, when I didn’t even usually make it home for Xmas.

Thanksgiving in my adulthood has been a time for celebrating with what queer people our age call our “acquired family.” My parents are liberal, accepting, not homophobic by any stretch, so I’ve never had the experience of being spurned or excluded by my family like so many LGBT folks have. But I have felt that essential difference that at holidays can put distance between parents and their gay kids, and I’ve known the feeling which so many of us have in common of safety and relief when socializing without straight people.

It was important and inevitable that I put some distance between my family’s lives and mine when I left Indiana at 18, to find and assert the difference between me and them, to find an aspect of me that I couldn’t learn from their example. As I get older, the loss aspect of that experience seems to have more meaning than the assertion of independence aspect. In retrospect I guess it gets more sad than exhilarating.

But what is there to do about it? The most convincing argument for gay marriage, the one that seems to be working because it convinces even, or especially, people with a conservative world view, is that by allowing and encouraging homosexuals to form traditional families we avoid or at least mitigate that loss. Don’t force gay kids to leave their families, but accept them fully as part of traditional families. But won’t there always be something about us that our  parents (if they’re heterosexual) won’t really understand or appreciate? It seems to me that if our parents are heterosexual, that one essential difference between us and them will always force us to seek to find reflections of ourselves outside the family, and that will always in some way weaken traditional family bonds. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this is what gay uncles are for. Everybody has a gay uncle, right?

At any rate, it was loss that led me to find and create all these remarkable little families I’ve been a part of through the years. So, though I love and miss my mom’s cooking at Thanksgiving (her pumpkin pie and her sage dressing are still the gold standards), most of the foods that mean Thanksgiving to me come from later epochs of my life.

Succotash. The recipe itself came from the restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen where I waited tables in the late 80s for two years. The owner/chef was a lunatic and a bully, but he made delicious American comfort food at that time in New York when regional American cuisine was making a big comeback.

I loved my co-workers and the food, and I made tons of money, so I stayed for 2 years. When I left I just didn’t show up for work one day and never went back. I am not proud of that, and it literally gave me horrible waiting-tables-and-everything-is-going-horribly-wrong nightmares for about 20 years.

But I loved his succotash so much I started making it myself. It takes me back to that Thanksgiving (1986? 87?) when B and I lived in Brooklyn and my sister was in New York for an internship at Paramount her senior year at Indiana University and she was living with a friend a few blocks away. I wanted so badly for her to move to New York, but just the previous summer she had met the man who would be her first husband, and she went back to finish school in Indiana, then moved to Louisiana to live with and soon marry him.

That fall, she and I and B prepared a sit-down dinner for about 25 or 30 of our friends and various Thanksgiving orphans, and we ate at a long makeshift table crammed into the living room of our floor-through apartment in Ft. Greene. The kitchen was a sink and stove wedged into what had been a closet in the original one-family brownstone which had been converted (but not really – our bathroom and another small room were off a stairway that the upstairs tenants passed through to get to their apartment). The fridge was in the living room.

I have made that succotash every time I’ve made Thanksgiving dinner since. The recipe’s not hard. Equal parts corn and baby lima beans, diced red bell pepper, simmered for about 20 minutes with cream, butter, a pinch (or more) of ground cayenne, and lots of salt and black pepper. I like the consistency better when it’s made the day ahead, cooled and reheated.

The cranberry sauce is J’s recipe. I don’t know if it predates our relationship, but he always made it when we had Thanksgiving at home or if we were invited somewhere and asked to bring something. I can’t imagine a turkey dinner without it. I had to email him last week for the recipe, because I’d never made it. He follows the recipe on the bag of cranberries but substitutes Grand Marnier and orange juice for the liquid, reduces the amount of sugar by about half, then stirs in a little more Grand Marnier after cooking so it has a slightly boozy taste. I added a little orange zest and a pinch of clove too, because I can’t resist fussing with everything and that orange was just sitting there. We also didn’t have Grand Marnier so I used triple sec and didn’t notice the difference. It’s delicious, and it makes me think of all the wonderful things about our years together and how dear and generous J is and how glad I am that we’re still close. He is still as much my family as anyone.

The carrots were on the menu at Hell’s Backbone Grill in Boulder, Utah, where I cooked 2 seasons in 2005 and 06. It doesn’t feel at all correct to me to describe Hell’s Backbone Grill as a restaurant where I used to work. It was more like total immersion.

Boulder is a town of fewer than 200 people, a Mormon ranching settlement and tiny oasis for tourists on Scenic Route 12 which snakes through southern Utah’s glorious landscape. I had just finished my film Life in a Box, couldn’t find a job in San Francisco where I had ended up because an editor I wanted to work with lived there and in 2005 it didn’t much matter where I went because nothing was keeping me anywhere.

I met a skinny smiling queer Buddhist in a leather bar who said, “Why don’t you come to Utah with me and cook in my friends’ J and B’s restaurant?” A couple weeks later I met J and B when they were in San Francisco for a fancy food show, and, a few weeks after that, I was in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by awesome spectacular beauty every moment of the day, preparing food in a restaurant where love is the mission statement.

The menu there incorporates elements of New Mexican cooking (lots of green chilies), ancient Native American cuisine (seeds, beans, corn, squash),  and Mormon pioneer cooking (beef from local ranches, trout marinated in molasses, dredged in cornmeal, and fried in a cast iron skillet, and lots of Dutch oven dishes). I’ve never eaten more delicious food in my life.

My first season there I lived in an old RV that was half sunk in the yard of one of those women, surrounded by chickens and lilac bushes. I shared the RV with a colony of mice who stole my office supplies and turned them into a vast elaborate city under the mattress of my bed. Though it’s been 6 years since I’ve been back, I still hold that place and those people deep in my heart. I think of them nearly every time I cook anything, and that’s not exaggerating.

The carrots are sliced about ¼” thick, tossed with maple syrup, garlic, vegetable oil, salt and pepper, and roasted at 350 until they shrink and caramelize a bit. I added mustard, which I don’t think was in their recipe (fuss, fuss).

I also learned how to make mashed potatoes at Hell’s Backbone Grill.  There’s no secret to making the best mashed potatoes ever. Just lots of heavy cream, lots of butter, and lots of salt and pepper. Lots. For 10 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes, I added 2 sticks of butter and about a pint and a half of cream. Boil the potatoes, mash the butter in first, then add the cream. Handfuls of salt. At the restaurant we added fresh chopped sage leaves to the breakfast potatoes and lemon zest and sour cream to the dinner potatoes. Though I have nothing against a little lily gilding, even without, they’re every bit as good as you want them to be.

These dishes remind me, on this weekend when we’re all under a lot of pressure to express gratitude, that I have had an abundance of experience, tradition, love enough for a hundred lifetimes, and I’m only 51 years old. It’s almost embarrassing how good I’ve had it. I well up with emotion just contemplating the depth and richness of my life so far.

Now C and I are creating our own family, which is somehow nestled into his larger clan and, what I didn’t expect, finding a renewed closeness with my own parents and siblings, a new way of thinking about my place in their lives and mine in theirs, a re-experiencing that began with the run-up to my wedding and their participation in it. And it all adds up to a much more traditional kind of family. I cherish it. But it’s not without loss. Loss of the primacy of that ramshackle family I cultivated over the last 30 years. I still have those people in my life and love them just as much. But I will not spend Thanksgiving with any of them.

Looking back over what I’ve written, it’s not lost on me that a lot of what I have presented here as acquired family is just past relationships. There’s a lot to contemplate there -- the differences between those relationships and my marriage to C, differences that come from different aspirations and desires, cultural expectations that change with the times, the differences in the particular families of those past partners and their relationships with them. One of the things I love and hate about sitting down to write (or even having a conversation, for that matter) is that it often feels impossible to discuss one thing without discussing another thing, which doesn’t make sense unless we bring in this other thing, and eventually it seems necessary to be talking about everything in order for the current topic to make any sense. Writer’s block is never about there being nothing to write about. It’s about there being too much to write about.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

End of an Era ... Again.

(Cross-posted on The Bilerico Project.)

This morning in my regular blog reading, I came across this news that the owners of the trendy (again) restaurants, Indochine and Acme, are going to take over the space on First Avenue that housed Lucky Cheng's and, before that, the Club Baths. The history of this building is particularly fascinating in the way that it illustrates a certain history of the city as it intersects with LGBT history. You don't have to venture too far from the topics of AIDS and gentrification to cover most of what's happened in and to New York since the late 70s.

The old Club Baths was the first gay bathhouse I saw the inside of.

When I was 20 and a student at Parsons. I met a guy very late one night at the Ninth Circle on 10th St. (I lived on East 10th, and, when I had a few bucks to go out, I always went to the Ninth Circle. I hadn't yet discovered The Bar on 2nd Ave. and 4th St., which would be my haunt for the rest of the decade). We were both drunk and he was hungry, so we went to that gay restaurant on Christopher, the name of which escapes me. He tore through a steak and a bottle of wine, fell off his chair, yelled at the waiter. We were "asked" to leave, which at the time, for reasons I can't remember now, I found very sexy. I had a roommate and Jean, that was his name, lived on Staten Island, so he suggested we go to the baths.

Jean paid for a room and a locker. He left me to change in the locker room and meet him in his room. I took my clothes off and wrapped a towel around my waist, but I couldn't work up the nerve to venture into the hallway and find him. I knew I was in a strange land with a complex protocol of mostly unstated rules, and I was, as I am still 30 years later, too often terrified of doing something wrong and being humiliated. I'm working on it.

Eventually Jean came and got me.

Either because thinking about public gay sex while you're talking about eating out is gross or (more likely) because our collective memory of the East Village for the most part does not extend pre-Tompkins Square riots, when the NYPD rode in on horseback with riot shields and cleared that shit out to make the neighborhood safe for people who might think drag queens are a good laugh, but junkies passed out under your stairwell is taking local color a bit too far, this building always seems to be referred to as the former Lucky Cheng's, rather than the former Club Baths. (And what was it before it was a bathhouse? Just another New York Lower East Side tenement building, probably.)

So I did a little googling and found this post on Jeremiah's Vanishing New York, a wonderful blog that I can only read occasionally because it has the same effect on me as actually visiting the East Village, which is that I end up feeling disoriented and sad about New York, my past, missed opportunities, and aging. It's a quagmire I try to avoid.

Anyway, Jeremiah's condensed history of the building takes you back pre-Lucky Cheng's with an evocative description of the baths, then through the late 80s when the yuppies came and ruined everything, and the late 90s when Sex and the City came along and ruined everything else.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pet Peeve.

We saw the new production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? last night. Because we’re saving money for a down payment on an apartment (it will probably take about a year and a half) we’ve tried to cut back on our theater-going a bit. We kept our membership at Signature Theatre, which is fairly inexpensive and we get to see some incredible stuff, like the beautiful new productions of The Piano Lesson and David Henry Hwang's Golden Child, and the Roundabout, which I think is hit or miss, but the hits make up for the misses. Oh, and Playwrights Horizons because they're always doing great new stuff. But that’s it for this season.

Well, except for 3 shows: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Glengarry Glen Ross, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, all revivals that seemed too important to miss, and we were able to get discounted tickets for 2 of the 3.

As expected, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was great, a sort of prosaic interpretation that was surprisingly more shocking because it wasn’t as big and loud as you expect from this play. It felt ordinary, real. I guess I’m talking mostly about Amy Morton’s low-key performance as Martha. Riveting.

Still, as gorgeous and powerful as this production was, I have to register a complaint – and this has become a pet peeve for me because it’s not by a long shot the first time it’s happened in the last couple years at a high-priced Broadway show: our seats were in the left-hand section of the orchestra, not extreme left, not cheap “obstructed view” seats, just a few seats off the aisle, yet about 25% of the playing space was not visible to us.

In fact, C couldn’t see the bar from his seat. The bar! In Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?! I don’t know just what we missed, but I know that lots of stuff was going on the opposite side of the stage, the side we could see but clearly lots of people over there could not. I would guess all told there were several dozen seats from which large chunks of the stage were blocked from view.

It’s a shabby way to treat your audience. We didn’t pay $500 for premium center orchestra, but we did pay about 90 bucks for what should have been very good seats. I don’t know how else to see this as but a failure in directing and set design. Sightlines, for god’s sake. It’s theatre 101.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Debate, with Myself.

I didn’t watch the last debate, I was surprised to find that I just didn’t want to. (I watched all the Republican primary debates and I was excited to watch the first two between Obama and Romney. I love this stuff.) I thought I was probably just reluctant to stay up till 11 when 9 is my bedtime, or that I was burned out and needed a break from worrying about the election. I taped it and thought I’d watch it Tuesday, starting earlier so I could get to bed early.

But even on Tuesday I still didn’t want to watch it, and I realized why: it was the foreign policy debate and I didn’t want to watch Obama boast one more time about how he “took out” Bin Laden. I didn’t want to watch all the strutting and posturing about our strong military and how you don’t mess with Americans or you get your ass kicked.

I’m trying to feel good about Obama. I think it’s important to get him elected because Republicans with free reign are obviously obviously worse. But when you start talking about foreign policy -- besides the fact that at least if we elect Obama we don’t have to be embarrassed about our president like during those interminable 8 years of Bush -- when you start talking about foreign policy, you land smack-dab in the middle of everything about Obama’s administration that makes me want to vote for the Green Party.

I felt good about voting for Obama in 2008. Really good. I was confident that, though it’s never going to be a perfect fit, his worldview overlapped with mine about as closely as you could expect from a guy running for president. I should say that I had similar feelings when I voted for Clinton in 1992, but I hadn’t done my research. If I’d looked at Clinton’s biography more closely I think it would have been clear that he wasn’t to be trusted. With Obama, I made a point to be better informed, and nothing in his background indicated that he would seize the power to detain people indefinitely without trial or to kill American citizens suspected but not convicted of “terrorism.” Nothing prepared me for his enthusiasm for drone strikes that “take out” civilians including children.

I’ll admit I’m a peacenik. I’d prefer to live in a world where people weren’t constantly killing and maiming each other like dogs fighting over who gets to control the backyard. It’s heartbreakingly stupid how this just goes on and on and people think that perpetuating it (if we just kill this bad guy…) will somehow make it stop. It’s immature and it’s stupid. But I understand that we don't live in that world, and that most people think it’s absolutely crucial to continue killing people all over the world. One of the things people elect presidents to do is to fight wars. I’m not naïve.

But this new executive power to basically kill anyone anywhere in the world with no checks and balances crosses a line for me. To be honest, it disgusts me.

Lately, we liberals spend a lot of time aghast at "what's become of the Republican party," what with "legitimate rape", etc. But can we spend a little time pondering what's become of the Democrats? This stuff strikes me as much more insidious because Democrats have a reputation for being more reasonable, compassionate, educated than your average Chick-fil-A Tea Party hillbilly.

I can’t imagine how depressing, how horrifying a Romney presidency would be. So I support Obama in this election. And, because the polls are so close, the enthusiasm of “the base” is important. We need every vote. So we put aside our objections for the time being. During the election season, we try not to talk about drones. We try not to get into conversations about detention and execution without trial. But ignoring these things in order to re-elect a president so that he can continue to do them (because we have not objected, after all) is a moral compromise I have a very hard time making. It’s a dilemma.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday, Sunday.

Good day:

I got up at 8 (getting up at 5 all week makes 8 o’clock sleeping in), made coffee, and read the Sunday Times in bed for 2 hours. Then I had a long phone meeting with the LIZZIE people. Can’t give any details until stuff is signed, but it’s likely we’ll be doing something this summer, and maybe something else this winter or coming spring, both things fun and exciting. After that, I spent half an hour on the elliptical machine again -- it was much easier than yesterday. I’ve lost 10 pounds. I figured out a way to approach the solo piece I’m writing in a more organized way, so it’s starting to make some kind of sense to me now. (Reading Spalding Gray’s journals helped, as did listening to Fairport Convention while I worked out today.) I made chicken and green chili tacos for dinner yesterday, they were fucking awesome, and there’s enough stuff left to make them for dinner again tonight. And it’s Sunday, so I can have a glass of wine at 3 o’clock in the afternoon if I feel like it, and I do.

I’m just going to enjoy these last few hours of the weekend before Monday comes down like a hammer on the thumb of my equanimity.