Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Gay Question of the Month

Okay, so I missed National Coming Out Day, and I'm sorry about that.

And no, I'm not coming out.

But after reading this, to which I was pointed by one of the blogs I occasionally catch up on (this one) , I suddenly feel like I ought to be asking more Gay Questions.

Maybe I take it for granted that I know all I need to know about my gay friends and their lives. Maybe I don't need to know more to know that I love them and accept their quirks (specifically the noises when they blow their noses, or that their voices tend to be loud in restaurants, or their habits of leaving long rambling voice mail messages, or conversely, not calling for weeks) and don't count homosexuality as a quirk, but just as a part of who they are in the same way that I am obnoxious at dinner parties and I like cats better than dogs.
Okay, wait. Being obnoxious at dinner parties is more like a quirk. However, it's also just part of who I am. But I digress.

I just want to send a shout out to my best gal, E, who always answers my Gay Questions without flinching. Like that time when I asked you if it was okay to put a gay rainbow sticker on my car and you said "Mmm, no, probably not"? Thanks.

Did the rest of you know that the rainbow--unless it also says PFLAG or "Celebrate Diversity" or "Value All Families" (all stickers I would proudly affix to my family car)--generally communicates to the world (the gay world, anyway) that you, in fact, ARE gay, and not just that you support gay rights and equality and all that stuff? Well, now you know.

Which brings me to my Gay Question du jour... what's up with Apple computers?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

John's Sleep Out

On Saturday night, about twenty people gathered in a vacant lot in the middle of Iowa City to camp out in the cold. Erika and I joined the group to participate in the first annual "John's Sleep Out," a benefit to raise awareness about homelessness in Iowa and to raise money in support of programs for homeless children in our county.

It was COLD. Temperatures dipped down into the low 20s, and believe me, we felt it. Even in our multiple layers of warm clothing, our high-end tent (thanks, Ted!) and sleeping bags of reasonably high quality, Erika and I shivered through the night and woke up cranky and stiff.

It just made me realize just how fortunate I am to have gone right back to my warm Sealy PosturePedic bed the very next night, and to have the luxury of whining the day away in front of my very own gas fireplace in my very own living room with a vaulted ceiling and a south-facing window filled with plants. Sometimes I feel like we're struggling financially, but seriously. Poor us, we had to make the decision to spend hundreds of dollars on new furniture for our living room instead of buying unnecessary Christmas presents for each other. No one needs to feel sorry for me--including me.

We made the local news-- click here to see the story, which includes a link to a video: (Yeah, you can see me in the footage.)

I'll upload some more pictures to flickr when I am on a faster connection. Today I am at home on the dial-up, and it's driving me batty. Check back in a few days!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Whole Lotta Love

In the wee hours of morning today, I awoke to shift my sleeping position, finding my movement a little restricted. I groggily took inventory of the creatures in my bed, and decided not to move after all.

Arranged in various incarnations of spooning, across the width of our queen-sized bed lay, in order:

Presley, our tortie-point Himalayan cat;
Ella, my pewter-colored rescued farm kitty;
Arlo, snoring quietly;
and Ted, with his arm thrown over the lot of us.

So much love, so little space. Even though I woke up with a stiff shoulder and a sore back, I wouldn't have traded it for the world.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Swoncho: Good or Evil?

Gah! It's good and evil, all wrapped up in one unflattering garment... the Swoncho!

Today I received this free knitting pattern by e-mail from Berroco, with the following description:

"A sweater that has evolved from the poncho, Wisteria is a trapeze raglan turtleneck pullover. It features a tree design composed of cables and bobbles. As opposed to sleeves, it has cuffs that join the bottom front and back hems."

I really love the color of this yarn, and the tree pattern on the front. But I'm not so sure about "cuffs that join the bottom front and back hems." And why would anyone be "opposed to sleeves?" Plus, you'd probably have to stand like this all day long in order for the shape to be flattering. And you'd have to weigh about 87 pounds.

I don't think I want ponchos to evolve.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Happy Arloween! Here's the little guy in his fifties-greaser get-up. I wanted him to be Elvis for Halloween, and that's what I told him he was dressed up as. He doesn't know who Danny Zucco or the Fonz are, and probably wouldn't get the idea that he was dressed like a period character from popular culture history---but he knows who Elvis is, so we went with that.

If you know me at all, you know that I love Elvis (case in point: one of my cats is named Presley). So I have no reservations about Arlo being Elvis for Halloween. In fact, I'm thinking about dressing him as Elvis EVERY year until he is old enough to physically overpower me in favor of wearing a different costume.

But I digress. I can't, with a clear conscience, claim that Arlo was really dressed like Elvis.


Let's face it, folks. I don't think Elvis would've been caught dead in high top sneakers. But let me tell you, it is not an easy task to find blue suede shoes for a toddler. If you find a source, let me know. There's always next year!

In the mean time, you can shop for Arlo's Christmas present right here.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

New and Improved

Now that I have random photos posted all over God's green Internet, I think I have finally chosen a site on which to share my pictures, and I am going to delete my accounts on other servers. I will gradually be adding my photos-for-sharing to

right HERE.

The first pics up are my most recent, taken in San Jose, from whence I just returned. More to come.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Best Laid Plans

Early this morning, I returned from a writing conference in San Jose. I was gone for four days--the longest I have ever been away from Arlo...not to mention the longest I have been separated from Ted since we were long-distance dating in college.

Arlo did remarkably well, keeping his cheerful disposition in spite of what must have been excruciating sadness on account of my absence. Okay, well, maybe not excruciating. It was a relief to hear that he was his usual happy self, the only anomaly being that his day was punctuated with the question "Where's Mommy?"

But I think he missed me.

Ted went out tonight to play pool with his league team, and I had the happy duty of giving Arlo his bath and putting him to bed. I wasn't surprised to discover that he didn't really want to go to bed--I expected that he'd resist, since he might not want to separate from me again. Plus, now that we're keeping the rail down on his crib (as a transition to the Big Boy Bed step, which is imminent), he can get out of bed with relative ease.

As expected, he climbed out after our first goodnight, and because I had also missed him desparately, I completely folded and let him sit on my lap for a while watching Dancing with the Stars on TV. After about 15 minutes, I whispered to him it was time for him to go back to bed and he whispered back, "okay." That didn't last.

I had to reach into the SuperNanny bag of tricks, sitting in his dark room, next to his crib, and putting him back to bed every time he climbed out (which was twice more). I listened to him breathing and sucking on his fingers, and worried every time that he flopped over in his crib that he was going to shimmy out of it again. Eventually, the tossing and turning subsided and I crept out, cursing the squeaky door as I exited.

I spent about half an hour downstairs at the computer, then went back up to get to work unpacking my suitcase. After taking care to close Arlo's door, I flipped on the lights in our bedroom and went into the adjoining bath. I used the toilet and washed my hands, and started putting away my shampoo and hair gel and toothpaste and stuff from the trip.

I figured I'd better start a load of laundry, so I hoisted the suitcase from the floor, planning to sort the clean and dirty clothes on the bed. There, in the broad light of the ceiling fan fixture, Arlo slept peacefully in the middle of our bed, his head burrowed into my pillow.

So I guess maybe I'll just unpack tomorrow night.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Networking Like Mad

Here's the thing. I am in San Jose at a writing conference, for work, and I'm actually having fun. I've not been to a Professional Conference since I don't know when, and this is my first time in California. I'm one of the "cool kids" at the conference. It's like band camp. It's totally dorky -- if you are on the outside looking in -- but we are having a rocking good time. I am already wistful because we all have to go back home to our respective universities and non-profits tomorow.

But not before we take a quick road trip to Santa Cruz tomorrow. The conference wraps up at 11:30, and my plane doesn't leave until 8:50 p.m.. I am following one of my new friends back to her stomping grounds in S.C., and she's gonna show me the beach. And some redwoods. Awesome.

I miss you, Arlo. I miss you, Ted. But I'm gonna see me some big trees before I come home. Here's hoping that I don't miss any connections getting back to you!

P.S. I think that some of my "buddies" here at the conference might not know my real first name. They call me "Iowa." I like the sound of that.