My brother had his surgery late this afternoon. He's groggy, but he seems to be out of the woods for now. Thanks to everyone who gave me support. Just the day before the blood vessel burst, he'd told me that my sci-fi dystopia/steampunk novel (yeah, yeah...) was pretty good judging from the bit I'd given him to read, but he thought it would make a better graphic novel. He complemented my ability to describe what characters look like in detail and "build worlds." He wanted to be the one to draw those characters and those worlds. He'd about had me convinced to try it. The thought of him losing his art was what made me cry the most. Five days, and we'll know for sure how he's doing.
I was dealing with another, lesser, but still sucky thing yesterday, too. A Yahoo! Group I'd started eight years ago, that was on the precipice of meltdown for, like, five years finally did melt down. People who I'd thought were sane became bullies. People fought and blatantly insulted each other. It was constant. The focus of the group was support, not argument. The bullies enjoyed their assholian behavior (thanks for the word, Belledame!) and resented my attempts to cool things down so non-bullies could talk. And it was like the fucking Hydra of Greek mythology--I'd cut off one yelling head and nine more would crop up. So I ended it last night. They were all thinking they could do better than me anyway.
I wrote a note beginning, "Fuck this shit!" I left the list's controls to the first person stupid enough to say she wanted it, then left the list altogether. She is one of the verbal abuse enthusiasts. It will be dead within a month. People are already leaving, and I have been told that several people are saying mean things behind my back. Better than having them said to my front. It's sad when you can no longer enjoy your own Y! Group, but I'd been trying too hard for too long to turn it back into something I could stand, nevermind enjoy, and it wasn't happening. Besides, I do have a life outside the computer.
Speaking of which...something good happened today. Really good. Really, really, really good. One of the execs at my office, who must be at least temporarily insane, had decent tickets to Kanye West's Glow in the Dark tour at Madison Square Garden. He gave them to me. I'd given up on going within five minutes of the tickets going on sale--I don't do way-back seats, not at what they were charging. NERD and Lupe Fiasco are opening. Obviously my tickets are for *tomorrow* night's show, not tonight's.
It's funny how one sentence can mean something different depending on inflection and context. I asked L'Ailee, and her response was, "Are you crazy?" As in, of course she didn't want to deal with crowds and hours of hip-hop music! Then I asked my good friend Yemaya. Her response was also, "Are you crazy?" Hers translated to, "Hell yeah, I wanna go!" It's gonna be awesome, and I can't wait! But wow, what a week already!
Before all this, we'd been in wedding hell. L'Ailee and I will have to re-marry somehow in order for our marriage to be legally recognized in New York--it was invalidated in Massachusetts. Yemaya and her partner want to marry, and so do L'Ailee's two best friends. We are all probably going to Massachusetts because it's a shorter distance away, therefore cheaper. Yemaya's crazy partner wanted to get married on Samhain! She's a Witch, too! It is the Euro-Pagan New Year; it is also the night to celebrate the dead and our ancestors, which I would have thought might cast a pall over the blessed event. I know this will sound totally selfish, but that would have ruined a lot. Yemaya and I both go back to Florida to celebrate with our first coven--Samhain is one of the two truly big-deal holidays on a Witch's calendar. I'd have given up Samhain in Florida for my brother if I had to, but it wouldn't have been so easy for an ill-timed wedding. L'Ailee was working on those FLDS-style dresses for a group costume--she had fabric bought from money that was pooled together and everything. But the most decisive veto came from Yemaya's 7-year-old daughter, who loves to see her friends in Florida (some of our other coven siblings also have children) and go trick-or-treating with them before the Samhain ritual. No way was she missing that! So now it will be the first full moon after Samhain.
We'll be ping-ponging back and forth to MassVegas, because L'Ailee's two "big Russian bears" also want a holiday: Valentine's Day. They love the day and think it's a good one for a wedding. Also, they hope to have reworked the custody arrangement for the one man's daughter by then. By then, we all might actually qualify as residents after all.
And then there are us. Me and L'Ailee. We are a bit skittish, actually. There are things we'd love to redo. Some of my relatives wish they'd have been there back on New Year's Eve 2004/2005 (yay!). I wish I'd worn aqua instead of lavender. L'Ailee still feels bad about wearing "some poor Asian woman's hair" for extensions and then cutting them out and throwing them away hours after we married. But we'd really put thought into our wedding! It was pretty wonderful--it was a New Year's Eve party interrupted by a wedding at almost-midnight. The ceremony was timed so we, and almost every one else, could kiss at midnight. The priest was good, it was great when our best male friends escorted us to each other, and I was able to give my wedding vows in Russian, even if I did need index cards with phonetic spellings. (L'Ailee was stunned. I surprised her with that. And then she kissed me like she was going off to war instead of saying "yes"!) Her male cousin and my female cousin, who are now married, met there. We still laugh about the nice Yankee lesbian couple who owned the bed and breakfast we married and honeymooned at, and how they just did not get us. We don't really want another wedding! And it's so damn much more expensive to travel now anyway--we don't want to ask everyone to do it! So maybe we'll elope right before New Year's and then come back and have New Year's at our house, I don't know. We have to think fast.
The hell of it is, we're also scared it will be taken away from us. Again. It was before. I talked about feeling like Charlie Brown, when confronted with Lucy and the football, at Talk2Action a couple years ago. I wrote that article because Christianist groups were claiming that same-sex couples don't *really* want marriage, and I wanted to talk LGBT peoples' feelings--you know, those irrelevant little things that get neglected in these arguments. We have been together in some fashion for 16 years, and all that time, same-sex marriage seemed like it was right around the corner. I actually wore L'Ailee's tiny engagement ring, briefly, the summer after I graduated high school, and then we broke up briefly, and then the judges said there was no right to SSM in Hawaii after all, and then L'Ailee pawned the ring. We want reassurance, and the right-wingers won't give us any. They're still going and going and going. We feel no choice but to kick that football again, because after all, we have way more faith in each other than we do in judges and governments. But we're not running this time.
Bad, sad, miserable links for tonight:
Rachel Hoffman, yet another nonviolent victim of the War on Drugs. And the Tallahassee, Florida (damn it!) police said it was her own fault.
I got this from Discovermagazine.com's e-mail today, and then L'Ailee sent it to me from *hers*. Could Pandas Be an Evolutionary Mistake--or Proof of an Intelligent Designer? Really very interesting. However, at the end, I decided that I will always hate Chris Packham with an undying hate. As a member of Pandas Unlimited said, it is truly Mr. Packham who is the evolutionary mistake. Two minutes with any fully-grown panda while covered in honey, Chris. Dare ya.
I also hate Circuit City with an undying hate, ever since they decided it was good business to fire every store employee who knew what the hell they were doing in favor of cheaper labor. Their response to a MAD magazine spoof only fans the flames.
There is a reality show coming on in Britain called "Make Me a Christian" A "lesbian who sometimes sleeps with men" (around here, we call those "bisexuals"), an atheist biker, a Muslim, and other colorful characters abandoned their normal lives for three weeks in order to participate in intensive Bible studies and spiritual mentoring. So now we know which tacky foreign concept the Christian(ist) TV channels will steal for their first reality shows.
Max Blumenthal discusses Toby Keith's racism. And he has a point, damn it. I have liked things both have done, and now I'm sitting here trying to decide whether Keith's racism or Blumenthal's classism is assier.
Finally, these are for my L'Ailee:
Theories about what's wiping out bats in the Northeast US. See, we do care for more than cute 'n' cuddly charismatic megafauna around here. But actually, L'Ailee thinks bats are cute, and she is hating this.
A moment of silence for Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who may have had some glaring flaws, but his courage and his love for freedom outshone them all.