Sunday, November 16, 2008

Let it not snow...please?

I learned early on that mid-November in Wisconsin is the beginning of the snow season, AKA hell. We had some flurries last week, and then last night we had a real shower....nothing out of the ordinary, but when my friend left our house last night there was a definite layer of snow on her car. My heart literally hurt to see it, because it's very beautiful, and yet so utterly ominous.

It was gone by the morning. I was surprised that I felt a little disappointed. That's the thing about snow--to some degree, I absolutely love it, and I love the winter. If winter lasted two months here, maybe even three, I think I could stand it. But after having experienced the euphoria of 'the first snow' last year, I know that what last night really meant was the beginning of four, maybe five, months of freezing, muddy, icy miserableness. In that light, it doesn't seem quite so lovely.

To be fair, the next month will probably not be miserable. Pre-Christmas ice and snow is kind of sweet and charming, and breaking out the boots and parka is kind of fun--for a little while. It's seasonal. People expect it, even look forward to it. But after the joys of the holiday season fade, we begin to grow weary...and then by late January we're all pretty crabby...and by the end of February, we're just pissed off...and by mid-March we've pretty much lost our will to live.

I know I need to live in the moment, to have a less negative outlook. Maybe this winter won't be as bad as the last. Maybe my *3.5 week (WOOHOO!!)* southwest sojourn will revive me and break up the winter just enough to get me through.

I will try to enjoy the winter this year. That's my goal. But I can't guarantee that my next five posts will not be about how much I hate the Wisconsin climate. I mean, seriously--it was 95 in El Cajon today. 95!!! I'm a desert creature. I'm still not entirely sure I'm made for this place.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Well, this country continues to move like a drunk turtle in its convoluted (and confounding) journey toward, presumably, equal opportunity and equal rights for all of its citizens. Last night was unspeakably glorious and yet quietly, bitterly tasteless; the glory, overall, masked the tastelessness, but I'm very, very sad that my home state contributed as much to the latter as to the former. It seems like Americans just always need someone to pick on. Sure, we will elect someone as President who is not lily white--and that's absolutely wonderful--but to compensate, we will literally strip another minority of their right to marry the person they love. It's beyond understanding, it's utterly wrong. The California Supreme Court upheld the legal right of all of its citizens to marry the person of their choosing, and then a bunch of self-righteous, ignorant people with, apparently, nothing better to do on the eve of a truly momentous election, ran a spiteful, wasteful, frighteningly well-organized multi-million dollar campaign that accomplished what? The hurt and humiliation of a minority that had finally been vindicated by their home state? I personally see no other outcome, though so many seem to be celebrating the fact that their version of marriage has been 'protected'--whatever that means.

I guess in some ways, it's not that surprising. A certain fraction of conservatives knew they were going to lose this election. And they didn't really care for John McCain, anyway, since he wasn't basing his entire campaign on achieving 'moral' victories for the religious right, as Bush did. So because he was going to lose, and because he wasn't going to push their moral agenda anyway, they had to find another way to bring bigotry back into this election.

Nation-wide, bigotry lost. I am so profoundly grateful. In January we will have a President who is intelligent, introspective, well-spoken, well-educated, and who utterly exemplifies whatever remains of our ever-touted American dream. Enough Americans finally managed to recognize that those qualities matter, and that race does not.

California, however, is losing so much of the progressiveness that once gave it its sparkle, and its power. In Florida and Arizona, it's equally disappointing but perhaps less critical, because the rest of this country looks to California as a harbinger of social change. I guess I just want to ask 52% of California voters why--honestly, why, how--they feel good about overturning the mandate of their state supreme court, a body that is there to help us legally uphold the constitution and the rights of all people, simply in order to bar their fellow citizens from their personal happiness?

I wish this whole entry could be about singing the praises of Barack Obama, and of our country, which did the right thing and voted him into office. It's hard to be 100% happy, though, because it means forgetting about a group of people who really got screwed yesterday, many of them people I am friends with, people I love and respect. We have made strides, but we have so far to go. I think overall, I'm glad to have time to recover from the stresses of this election. It's bittersweet, however, because here are Matt and I happily planning a wedding, looking forward to the joys and priveleges of a shared, married life, when others perfectly equal to us in love and dedication have just been told, yet again, that they aren't allowed to do the same.