June 2004 Archives

Blaming Everybody Else


I came across a blog the other day, and I've been reading through it with mixed fascination and horror. The writer is a woman who claims to have some sort of environmental illness or chemical sensitivity, but who lacks the understanding to see that her self-diagnosis is a load of crap. Example: she claims to have a lot of allergies to mold. Fine and well, and some people do. But she also claims to love being in tropical rainforests, that somehow the air there is better for her than "inside" air. I can't think of a better place to find naturally occurring toxic mold than a tropical rainforest.

Anyway, apart from the total bullshit self-diagnosis, she also spends a lot of time trying to blame other people for being "toxic" or "unsupportive." Roommates, friends, lovers: they all take the blame for not supporting her and not adhering to her picky rules about how space around her has to be managed (because of her Great Illness). Lately, she has been talking about getting a job, but apparently she's backing out of that, as well, on account of her health and how she's not sure that the job will take her in the right direction (except, of course, that it will give her money to live off of).

I have little patience for people who are willing to blame anybody but themselves for where they are right now. And when they add to that using a bogus illness to try to force people to do what they want... that's about as disgusting as you can get, in my book. I'd rather deal with somebody who is imperfect and admits to being imperfect as a part of being human. Somebody who presents themself as the eternal victim, pure of heart and spirit, beset by the demon of ill health, is just going to make me want to get away as fast as possible.

Speaking of blaming everybody but yourself, I'm anxious to get the papers from the San Francisco sheriff, showing that our former landlady has been served with notice of the small claims court date. I wish I could have paid an extra $20 to have the event videotaped a la COPS, but apparently they don't offer that service.

On Being Competitive


I'm ordinarily averse to competition. I don't thrive in an environment where i'm always having to play games or compete to win, and I find that sort of stress trying. I'm probably the only person who invented a non-competitive variation on Monopoly as a child.

So why am I all excited about June's web log statistics?

Well, they're the highest ever on this website, which is amazing because last July, we kicked some serious weblog butt with our wedding photos.

The thing is that since then, the number one reason why people have come to the blue-room web site has been looking for wedding advice. It's enough to make you want to hang up your blogging hat and just write long pieces about matching flowers to a bridesmaid's dress.

Even more discouraging, the one thing people are looking for most of all is instructions on making tissue packets, which just so happens to be the one thing I made for the wedding that almost nobody used. So there.

I should put our ceremony online. It was carefully edited to be gender-neutral, making marriage between two people rather than a man and a woman. Also, we cut out large sections on childbearing, as they didn't really apply here. I don't think marriage is about raising children, any more than eating is about having a biscuit tonight. One would hope that the marriage outlasts the child-raising years by decades. Unfortunately, it would actually break my heart if the ceremony didn't immediately become the most popular part of the site, so I leave it offline for now.

(I'd like to note that despite my giving scripts with cues to the audience, erm, our dearest friends and closest family, almost none of them responded properly when it was their turn. So there was something else I made that went unnoticed.)

Anyway, this started with a log note. I was looking over the web logs (as I do every evening, almost compulsively, since Noel installed analysis software for me) and realizing that 30,000 visits in June is actually quite a lot. This web site used to be sadly unvisited, except by search spiders. I used to have a script that would show me my four or five unique visitors every day; that had to go away a long time ago.

This is odd to me, because although I can see which pages people are hitting, I can't figure out what they are reading. My boring life, on this blog (OK, if you're my parents, you have an excuse). The details of my wedding which was not that unique, folks. Some drawings of houses, which are unaccountably popular with the German crowd. There's not much stuff here.

Seeing how people find the site makes me want to change that. I've got a whole series of web pages about doing various art projects in process. I'm considering putting up even more wedding advice. I want to respond to my readers, make their Blue Room experience more fulfilling! Alas, there's this minor issue of having no free time whatsoever, but I'm sure I can work around that.

My new goal: 50,000 visits in August!

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

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Well, the summer, at least. On this, the first Saturday of summer, I've been cleaning up after the excesses of the last couple weeks of counter building.

It's truly amazing how messy things can get if you're working on a project with somebody else. I've turned into a real fan of putting things away as I go; it makes the prospect of finishing much less daunting and also keeps things tidy while you're in progress. But when two people are pulling out tools and doing things and making messes, the overall effect is a bigger mess than seems really possible.

So I spent a couple of hours putting tools back in the tool chest this morning (what joy), and just went out and cleaned up the yard where we were working. I still have a pile of art supplies taken out for the end of the semester in May that need to be re-stowed in the accordion room, but at least they're in a single pile that can be carried upstairs.

And then there's the places where the dog has been coughing. One of the things about a sickness like Kennel Cough is that there is coughing, and dogs have no concept of how to cover their mouths. So I have to shampoo the carpet in the bedroom where she has been standing around, coughing on the floor. It's really charming, let me tell you. (Not as bad as when both cats had a cold and kept sneezing on me, but close.)

Let's not even talk about the huge pile of papers on my desk. No, really.

Yes, I get to spend the first weekend of summer cleaning house (and doing homework! Let's not forget the everpresent homework!). Of course, there is SF Pride tomorrow, but that's only a minor interruption.

Best. Dog. Game. Ever.

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  • dog

  • all-natural peanut butter (nothing but the best for our pooch)

Dab peanut butter on dog nose and observe.


Kill 'Em All

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I've been doing my best to stay out of politics, but this news story really takes the cake:

The Schwarzenegger administration said repealing the Hayden Act could save local governments up to $14 million. As proposed, shelters would be allowed to kill dogs and cats after holding them just 72 hours, regardless of whether the shelters are open to the public during those three days.
Schwarzenegger has proposed a change in the law to allow birds, hamsters, potbellied pigs, rabbits, snakes, turtles and other animals that are not cats and dogs to be put to death immediately after capture if the shelter favors that approach, animal rights groups said. Currently, a minimum six-day window covers all animals, but the protections for everything but cats and dogs would be eliminated under the changes.
Schwarzenegger also would eliminate a requirement that people convicted of animal cruelty be prohibited from owning a pet for three years and be forced to pay for medical care for the animals they have mistreated.
Shelters no longer would be required to search for owners who have embedded microchips in their pets that store addresses and phone numbers.

This is not going to go over well. People put those microchips in so they can get their pets back. If the governor decides that shelters can just ignore the chips and kill or adopt out the animal, will he also change the rules about how to handle other kinds of "found" property? If I find a Hummer on the street outside the capitol, can I just take it, because clearly the owner doesn't care and doesn't want it?

There is one reassuring sign in the article:

There are signs that Schwarzenegger has a growing understanding of how volatile the issue of animal protection can be.

Um, yeah. No shit. People love their pets. They love them more than they love their kids (probably because the pets love them back more than their kids love them back).

OK, Maybe It's All Going to be Fine


It seems that the two lockstepped classes I thought would not be offered may have "experimental" alternatives, found in an addendum to the catalog. Which means I can take every class I want next semester (some long days in there, but apparently the college is not fond of early-morning classes). I've worked out how many classes I need to take every semester, and even with a minor in construction management, I'll have no troubles; my work load will be about 15-16 units a quarter, which is well below the recommended 18 for the college, and the allowed 20 for the university.

I'm going to try to figure out how to fit in some Spanish classes (very useful, working in construction in California) and maybe some more ceramics.

Fun With Schedules


I've just spent a while working out what a possible schedule would look like at CalPoly. Alas, it seems that a couple of the classes I want to take in the fall are simply not being offered (including my Structures class, which is a lockstepped class, so I'm not sure how that's going to work), so I have to work out some alternatives to the four classes I was planning to take.

I was thinking maybe I should have taken physics over the summer, but fortunately, that is not one of the classes that is not available in the fall. Less fortunately, one of the classes is another lockstepped class, which is the intro to the studio. I can't use the studio until I take the intro, and I can't complete my design class (which I can get into) unless I can use the studio.

I'm thinking it's a good thing I signed up for the summer advising program in late July, because this seems to suck, big time.

On the other hand, maybe I can get some of those weird construction management classes out of the way early on, which would be handy. I have one semester with three of them at once, which seems a bit much, even for one given to excess like myself.

Speaking of the summer advising program, I'm planning on going down to SLO for a couple of days around it to scope out housing and other things that might be of use sometime before I am absolutely required to be on campus and ready to go (things like hardware stores, hobby shops, and art supply stores need to be found well in advance of my first project). Summer classes will be over, and I can spend some time figuring out how the place works, and how to get to and around campus. Should be interesting.

Well, What Do You Know?

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I've heard people griping about how hard it is to make the move from Berkeley DB format to MySQL with MovableType, so I was kind of dreading it. But I knew I wanted to do it because there are some spam tools I wanted to use to keep the various spammers from trying to use this site to advertise their web sites.

I had Noel make me a MySQL login, and geared myself up for spending a whole evening working on this. I even blocked the time out so I would have enough time to finish everything.

It took five minutes just now, and everything is functioning perfectly, as far as I can tell. Maybe if somebody tried to see the site while I was doing it, they would have noticed the brief glitch, but I don't get that much traffic.

Poor Doggie


Rosie appears to have gotten Kennel Cough from daycare. She's walking around coughing and sounding like she's trying to barf, but nothing comes up. We took her to the vet and got her some antibiotics and cough suppressant, and she's stuck inside with low activity until she stops hacking every time she runs.

Apparently another dog from the same daycare place also came in with it. Bummer for the pooch.

On the Marriage Theme


It seems that Christian ministers can't figure out why their parishioners are not all fired up about gay marriage. Somehow, the intense outrage and protests against the immanent threat to heterosexual marriage as we know it has not quite materialized. Some of them are blaming the war for distracting people's attention, but others note that:

Pew Research Center pollster Michael Dimock said it is clear from the surveys that gay marriage is an issue of great intensity to a small number of people, mainly opponents. But, he said, "I have a sneaking suspicion that this is not an issue many people want to stay worked up about. ... You don't hear Bush talking about it very often. He talks about it once every few months, then drops it. ... ."

Basically, most people don't care about gay marriage as long as they don't have to hear about it all the time.

365 Days

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On this day last year:

Let's hope that this time next year, any couple that wants to can spend $20,000 on a nice party for their friends and family. Isn't the second anniversary the "affirmative legislation" anniversary? Where do I register for legalized same-sex marriage?

I just got an unsolicited call about a web job.

Weird. I thought the market had a lot more slop in it than that.

Note that I edited this to reflect a second call with clarification of terms. People can be very odd about wording when they are trying to convince you to do something.

The Truth About the Pillsbury Dough Boy


Another interesting bit of data about refined grains and weight gain: researchers at Tufts have discovered that people who eat more refined grains put on weight around their middles.

The belt size of the white bread group expanded about one-half inch a year, which probably put some of the research subjects into a larger size of pants over the three years they were tracked, Tucker said. At the end, the white bread group had three times the fiber group's gain at the gut.

This seems to back up my current dietary theory: the fewer steps a food takes from its natural form, the better it is for you. So low-carb diets aside, it's OK to eat a whole pile of raw peas, for example, but you should really limit your consumption of things made with white flour. All that energy that goes into making a food white or smooth or whatever will be stored in your body.

In other dietary news, CNN had a little bit about low-carb diets over the years, and included this gem:

Most recently, a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that over six months, dieters in a low-carb plan lost more weight than participants in a low-fat regimen. But in the same journal, other research showed that after a year, both the low-carb and low-fat groups had lost about the same amount of weight.

Be the Bomb You Throw

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When we moved out of the house in Berkeley, our landlady didn't return our pre-paid rent. She claimed that it was not her problem that we hadn't stayed in the house (this despite the fact that she'd moved things in to the house before we returned it to her, and in fact had come to the house and thrown some of our things out before we were done moving (I rescued them from the trash)).

We sent her a number of letters, explained the consequences of not returning the money to us, and yesterday, more than a year and a half since she was supposed to return the money to us, I filed suit in small claims court and had the San Francisco sheriff serve her with papers.

I hate having to sue somebody to get them to do what is right. But in this case, I don't feel so bad. This is the landlady who turned the house over to us with actual dirt piled up on the floor, claiming that it was our fault for wanting to move in on the lease date -- and was so terrific at ignoring our notices that the house needed fixing, who left us with a giant hole in the back door for months before we were able to badger her into fixing it. This is the landlady who said in the rental papers that she would provide gardening services, but failed to pay the gardeners so often that they came five times in the two years we lived there. This is the landlady who told us she was going to sell the house (prompting us to buy our own house) then changed her mind while we were in contract and instead boosted the rent by 25 percent. Then got angry when we gave notice because we would not be supporting her in the manner to which she had grown accustomed.

I could go on forever with her many faults.

Instead, I'm going to have my moment. We won't get everything she owes us, but we'll get our deposit and the damages we're entitled to (treble damages, under California Civil Code, and yes, I am going to demand all of that). It was a bit annoying to try to deal with government people on this (they seem to get really upset if you've never sued anybody before and therefore don't know what the forms are called, precisely, and refer to them by the title written on the top), but I walked out the door of the San Francisco Sheriff's office feeling a million times better.

Our court date is in August. We'll see what the nutcase pulls out to try to delay it or put it off. (And yes, I am willing to settle out of court, but only for the full amount I'm asking for in court, because of the extended delay and the avoidance tactics she's been using on us.)

What Does That Word Mean

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I was browsing around reading blogs about preparations for Pride marches around the country, and I came across this post. When I read this passage:

Kids learn quickly that the "ultimate" insult is to call someone a "fag" or that if something they do is deemed "gay", it should be stopped.

...it reminded me of an incident from when I was in summer camp as a kid.

A bunch of the kids were doing that old, stupid kid joke:

Q: Are you a homo?

A: NO!

Q: You mean you're not a homo sapiens?

A: OK, then I am a homo.

Q: You mean you're a homosexual! Ha ha ha!

And so on. So I went to my parents' big dictionary and looked up "homosexual," in part because I was not sure what it meant (I didn't grow up in one of those households where people talked about the sex lives of their neighbors). I discovered that it was the opposite of "heterosexual" (in my inability to fully grasp pronounciation back then, I thought it was het-ree-oh-sexual).

The next day at camp, I went up to those kids and asked:

Ayse: Are you a heterosexual?

Answer: No way!

Ayse: Then you must be a homosexual! Ha ha ha ha!

Then the other kid ran to the camp counsellor and told her I'd said a dirty word. Bullies are like that. But I digress.

One thing that never really made sense to me, from the first time I read it, was the definition of "homosexual" and "heterosexual." It seemed to imply a duality, that you were either one or the other. But I never was able to form a preference for boys or girls in particular. At first I figured it was because I was a kid, and that it would change when I grew up. But it never seemed to change, even as I matured. I'd get a crush on a girl and think, "This is it; I know who I am. Finally!" and then I'd find myself very attracted to a boy.

It wasn't until after college that I was able to deal with the fact that I just don't care one way or another about the sex of the person I'm attracted to. It's not one of the things that matters to me. On the other hand, if a person doesn't smile with their eyes, I can't imagine wanting to sleep with them.

There are a lot of misconceptions about bisexuality. The most common of those is that if you don't have both a male and a female partner, you would feel that you are "stifling" your sexuality, or living in the closet. I don't feel that way. I think I have a tendancy towards monogamy now that my life is so full. I have dated more than one person at once, and it's just too damned much work. I like having one partner and having free time to use for art projects, school, and The House. I'm sure there are some naturally polyamourous people out there who would feel that their sexuality was being stifled if they had to choose only one partner, but I'm guessing a lot of them are heterosexual.

Another misconception about bisexuality is that if you are bisexual, you can live as a heterosexual if you want. I didn't get to choose the sex of the person I fell in love with; that was not the way it happened. If Noel had been female, I would still be with him (um... her), as we would still have had a wedding. We'd quite possibly be packing up to move to Massachusetts right now.

Not only that, but even though I'm married, I'm still bisexual. Any time I mention that, you'd think I'd said I was intending to kill Noel and dump his body in the Berkeley marina. Nobody would think it was polite to imply that a heterosexual married person would eventually regret tying him- or herself down with only one partner for life, but people say things like that about bisexuals all the time: "Aren't you afraid she's going to want to have sex with women again someday?" That sort of thing. Good lord. I think I understood what I was saying when I made a vow of monogamy.

Being married to a man, I find myself in the unique position of being a stealth queer. Most people just assume I'm heterosexual -- which is fine; I understand the default is heterosexual and I don't think people should be required to consider all possible sexualities all the time. But because people assume I'm heterosexual, I get to hear things they say when they think they're with people just like them. It means that more often than most gay people, I have to speak up and address bigoted statements that were made to me with the assumption that I was a "safe" person to say such things to. It means that I can't let my appearance come out for me; I have to do it verbally, and I have to do it every time I feel that my silence implies consent or agreement. It's not easy to be bisexual and ethical.

That said, being bisexual has not been a huge problem for me. My family doesn't talk about sexuality, so we're cool there. I'm not flamboyantly one thing or another, so people tend to be able to ignore my sexuality, which is what I think most people want to do, anyway. I don't care who my neighbors, classmates, or coworkers like to have sex with as long as I don't have to see or hear them doing it. (I've never really gotten over this guy I worked with who was possibly one of the ugliest people I've ever met, and referred to sex with his girlfriend as "bumping uglies"; I always imagined the two of them bumping their faces together.)

I realize that I'm incredibly lucky. I live in a very tolerant part of the world. I have a partner who is supportive of my sexuality. I don't have to fear for my life or safety on a regular basis. And I'm free to be proud of who I am, without major repercussions. Happy Pride Month.

Holga Madness


My Holga camera arrived today. I immediately loaded it with film (it came with a roll) and went out in the yard to take some pictures. I have to take about four more before the roll is used up, and I can't wait.

This means I need to get my act together and buy some more 120mm film.

In other camera-ish news, I also bought some plywood to make a couple of pinhole cameras. I have done some calculations and I want to make a 4x5 wide angle camera and an 8x10 normal angle camera. I'd like to get my hands on an 8x10 film holder before I start building that camera, so I've been scoping out eBay for bargains, which are few and far between. For making the camera body itself, I just need to get the table saw set up so it will cut a squared line against the fence.

And speaking of fixing the table saw fence, my buddy Bob and I are building Noel a coffee counter. This involves a great deal more than I could ever have imagined, but we have the materials and all we need to do is cut things and then assemble them, hopefully doing so this weekend. Noel's going to be very busy with his Morris team's ale, so I should have plenty of time. I'm not expected to attend anything until Sunday night, though I may go pick somebody up tomorrow afternoon at the airport, which might be an excellent chance to stop by New Lab and drop off film to be developed, and to swing by Photo Supply for film. I also have to go out to City College to send a transcript to Calpoly, so it's going to be a busy day tomorrow.

So what's with the Holga, anyway? Holga cameras are crappy plastic Soviet-era cameras, about as cheap and awful as you can get. They have light leaks, they have vignetting on the images, they are blurry (plastic lens), they are cantankerous, they are as minimally cameralike as possible while still maintaining the appearance of cameraness. I've gotten really interested in old technologies, and unreliable photographing methods, so it seemed like a good match. I want to try cross-processing (having print film processed in slide film chemicals, or vice versa) and just taking weird random pictures and seeing what happens.

When I have developed images, I will post them, of course.

I Like Jellies

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We took our houseguests down to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Sunday, and I took a bunch of pictures, mostly of jellyfish. Here are some of them; the rest are on Life Through a Viewfinder.

Sometimes, people who knew me when I worked 20-hour days and lay under my desk dreaming about the code I was going to write will ask me what I do with myself now that I don't work. In between the going to school bit, which they seem to understand, but clearly think of as a form of socially acceptable slacking.

It's hard to explain what I do, mainly because when I'm not in school a lot of what I do involves rearranging things in the house, which seems like ridiculously little on the face of it. Yesterday I moved a huge stack of cardboard from one room to the next, then to another room, then down the hall. Don't janitors do that? Don't we know from high school that janitors can be stoned out of their gourd and still get the job done? How hard is it to move cardboard around?

Actually, it's pretty hard. Last Sunday, Noel put a bunch of audio gear up on eBay, and I blithely offered to pack the things up once my speech class was over. So Thursday morning (I allowed myself one day of rest on Wednesday) I stared at the stack and willed it to be a lot smaller, and when I finished, it was exactly the same size.

Apparently, that is not one of my superpowers.

I had been saving packing supplies for months. Months and months. I had them all over the house. I gathered them together in a gigantic stack in the living room, and sorted them out: styrofoam peanuts, styrofoam sheets, air sacks, shredded newspaper, newsprint paper. I taped up a box. I arranged packing materials on the bottom, then set the component in it, then filled it up. Taped up the box. Realized I'd forgotten what I put in there. Cut open the box, checked item again, and taped it back up. Wrote the item name on the box. Set it in the front bay.

I did this twelve times over, then packaged up assorted other items that we'd decided to ship. I used up all our packing supplies. And in the end, this is what I had:


The Leaning Tower of Synth Gear. Simply stunning.

And now we have to weigh and actually ship them all.

So Much for Family Values


I believe very strongly in the value of lasting marriage to society. So much so that I would not have considered marrrying somebody, even somebody I loved, without having that be a shared value. So it makes me unendlingly angry that people like Rush Limbaugh can say that gay marriage is destroying the meaning of marriage, then just decide one day that it's too hard to stay married
, and they need to divorce.

There are plenty of things that hurt marriage in today's society, but allowing more people to marry and making that more attractive than living together without marriage is not one of them.

In Your Dreams

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I think I've decided why it is that I read the blogs of so many gay men I don't know. It's that they are about to speak about the world in a way that is similar to the way I think. Being gay gives a man an instant, credible sympathy with the way women are treated, because he's forced to deal with being feminized, and having a part of his personality devalued because it's not "masculine" enough.

It's hard to imagine most straight men I know writing something like this post by Hot Toddy:

If I actually could control my dreams, I would have more dreams about flying. I love when I can fly in my dreams.

The non-geeky straight guys I know would never be caught dead being so whimsical. The geeks would be so obsessed with whatever they geek out about (computers, cars, genetics, politics, you name it) that something so undirected would never occur to them. Not to mention that for most of them, it would simply never occur to them to sit around and talk about what they would dream about if they could dream about anything. And if they did, it would mostly be about who they would dream about having sex with.

This ability to be whimsical is one of the things I find entrancing about Noel. It's one of the reasons I think of him as the other half of my brain (the half that can play the piano without sounding like a murder is being committed). We can have the stupidest conversations on Earth without being embarassed about having a stupid conversation. If I could wish for anything for the world, it would be that there were more stupid conversations. And fewer people were ashamed of being silly.

Tapping the Strategic Peanut Reserve


I am my father's daughter. I have a hoard of packing materials in the attic: a couple bags of peanuts, a variety of boxes, and so forth. Just in case, you know.

So a couple months ago Noel decided he wanted to sell all his synth gear on eBay. In part to get some cash, and mostly because they take up a lot of space and he never uses them. I told him I needed to have some time to build up the packing supplies stash enough to pack them all. So it wasn't until a couple weeks ago that we felt ready to get them all done.

He spent some time testing them all, then we photographed them, then he put them up on eBay on Sunday.

I offered to pack them all up for him. And that is what I have been doing all day. I packed and taped up thirteen synth modules, a camera, a lens, and a weird tool thing. These are stacked in the living room awaiting weighing.

I have one more thing to pack, plus a couple other things we found and decided to put up as well. The problem is that when I finished packing up the lens, I dused up the last of the peanuts. We are out of packing materials. If I had to ship another package tomorrow, it would be disaster. In fact, I can't finish packing the rest of these packages. It's a national disaster. What if the store is out of packing peanuts, too? What will we do then?

I was in the throes of panic when I remembered that I had hidden a reserve bag of peanuts in the attic. Behind the Christmas decorations box. Unseen by certain other residents who might make fun of me for having it. Just in case.

So now I can finish up some more packing. Because I had the foresight to save some extra peanuts. We'll see who gets made fun of, now.

Which Box Do You Fit In?


Today while we were having our end-of-class potluck (this seems to be very popular in community college) for my speech class, one of my classmates asked me whether I was a Democrat or a Republican. I asked said I was neither, and then she asked me what political party I believed in. I told her none, and she seemed unable to grasp the concept.

I don't know why it seemed to bizarre to her that somebody would be reluctant to simply accept the policies of any one political party as gospel, without applying critical thinking to the process. But it was. In fact, it was so befuddling that we attracted quite a bit of attention, and soon I was surrounded by people asking me questions like, "How do you decide who to vote for?" or "How do you choose between two politicians?" These are all people who vote -- they all said they do, anyway. I don't know why it was so amazing that I choose my candidates and issues by reading the voting materials and researching the issues on the Internet. I mean, it doesn't seem like a lot of work to me, and it's all a lot easier now that I don't have to spend a couple nights at the library before the election.

When I explained that I felt that working that hard to be sure I really believed in my vote was my duty as a citizen, she said, as if she'd figured it out at last, "You don't have any children, do you?"

I'm still puzzling over that one.

Anyway, the class is over, I believe I got an A (apparently I was one of only 3 people in the class to get a perfect score on the OPEN BOOK test on Friday), and I've put in my transcript request so that the transcript will be sent off to Calpoly when grades come in next week. Now I have a few days off before the rest of my summer classes start (accounting, law, and economics).

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!


I've been in the throes of a weeklong public speaking intensive. I need to have three credits in public speaking (and public speaking alone) for transfer to Calpoly, and I need it by July 15th, so I signed up for and by the skin of my teeth got into a class that runs June 1-8 at Contra Costa College.

It works out to one or two speeches a day, two of which have to be ten minute speeches with formal outlines and citations (I did my first one on how to make a linoleum block, transcription to come).

Because I am incapable of arriving at a class like this unprepared, I have spent nearly all weekend writing my last big speech: a debate with a classmate on whether you should submit to store receipt-checks without argument. (I'm anti, natch.) I have charts. I have statistics. I have moving quotations. I have said this speech five times, trying to get it down under ten minutes so I don't go over my time.

I am very much looking forward to Tuesday, 4pm.

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