Started Living Didn’t, Finds a New Home

6 11 2008

I started this blog just shy of five months ago with the idea that I was going to use it as a jumping off point for my new, less socially awkward life.  I thought if I used this blog as a sort of accounting of myself, I would find a way to get myself out into the world and stop feeling so lonely, and stop being so afraid of new experiences.  While that is still a goal of mine, it hasn’t happened.

In addition, my clever gene is retarded.  I’m not being politically incorrect, or otherwise unkind.  I’m serious.  I’m not clever.  At least not off the cuff clever.  I really wish I was.  Clever is more fun.  Vengeful Mother is clever and therefor you’d kinda hope that I would be too, but alas, not so much.  I bring this up because when I started this blog, I had something I really wanted to say.  I was in a rush, and I was having a hard time finding a clever name for the blog.  I wanted something that was going to represent my goals for the blog and so I tried things like, “Life Starts Now” or “Starting Life” or “Not Gonna Sit at Home Crying in my Wine Anymore”.  Strangely all of these things were taken.  Maybe that means I am clever but too late, or maybe that means that at least three other people aren’t any more clever than I am.  Finally, I stumbled across “Started Living” so I ran with it.

Honestly, I’ve never liked “Started Living”.  I didn’t like it ’cause it wasn’t clever.  I didn’t like it ’cause it was quickly proving not to be true.  Possibly I didn’t like it ’cause I was stuck with it and I get stir crazy.  If that last one is true, I’m screwed.  So, I decided it was time to change it up and after some time, and some thinking, and some false starts with the blog name finder thingy, I finally settled upon a new blog title.

It’s sorta clever, a little bit, maybe, I guess.  OK, I think it’s clever.  More importantly, it’s true and it will hopefully work for a while.

So as of today “Started Living” is no more.  The new blog title is “A Drunk in a Hard Place.”  That may not sound very uplifting.  If may even be a little depressing but well, sadly, it’s true.  Don’t think less of me.  It works right now because well, it’s The Rants and Ramblings of a Practicing Alcoholic.  And sooner or later I’ll get my shit together and it’ll work because it’ll be the equally irrelevant Rants and Ramblings of a Recovering Alcoholic.  Either way, it’s more realistic, and a little more clever… maybe…  I hope.

So there you have it.  A new face.  A new name.  Same ole blog!

I hope you’ll follow along

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A Lighter Note

5 11 2008

On a lighter note, today is Precious Niece #1‘s sixth birthday.  Too bad I can’t be there to celebrate.

I hope she had a wonderful birthday, got some great gifts and is allowed to maintain her childhood innocence for a while longer.

I love you, Precious girl!





The Low Road

5 11 2008

Last night history was made.  Fifty-two percent of the voters in the State of California have voted to legalize discrimination against a whole segment of our population.  A segment of which, I am a part.  I’ll be honest.  I’m truly surprised at how I’m affected by this.  I didn’t think it’d be so hard on me.  In my heart I knew this would happen and yet seeing it has really hurt me.

I hoped and prayed (yes, prayed!) that Proposition 8 would fail and that the people of California would recognize that marriage equality should stand.  That they’d understand that two men being married or two women being married, would have no effect on the “sanctity” of their own marriage, despite their own marriages 50% or greater chance of ending in divorce.  But, I felt it, in my heart, or in my spirit, or in the force, or whatever you want to call it, I felt it and I knew that Prop 8 would pass.  So I should have been prepared for it and not be so hurt by it.

This is my third post regarding this subject since last night and in the first two I took the high road.  It was a short trip!  I’m done with that.  So if you prefer the high road, you may want to stop reading this post now.

THIS IS BULL SHIT!!!  All you hateful, fearful people out there who voted in favor of proposition 8 are shits!  Every one of you.  You should, each and every one of you, be forced to wear a scarlet Y on your chests (if it were up to me it’d be branded on your foreheads, but I’d settle for the scarlet Y) so that everyone else can identify you and then you should all be EQUALLY mistreated.

You should be forced to drink from a separate drinking fountain, to ride in the back of the bus.  You should not be allowed to sit at the lunch counter and you should have to stand silently off to the side with your hat in your hands and your head down.  Your children should be taken away from you and your marriages should be annulled!

Am I over reacting?  Maybe.  But what’s the difference?  I am not a “flaming queen”.  To most people, if you and I stood next to each other, the thought that I might like to pack fudge, or smoke pole, wouldn’t even come to mind.  To me, that’s just one simple way of pointing out that you and I are the same!  So why should you be entitled to a different set of rights than I?

You may believe that what I do is wrong.  You know what?  That’s OK.  I’ve got plenty of people in my life who feel the same way.  One of them even gave birth to me.  You don’t have to approve of my lifestyle, or what you perceive to be my choices, but that doesn’t give you the right to determine what I should and should not be allowed to do.  Do you not know that you are violating the very moral precepts that you are claiming to uphold?  The Bible tells you to hate the sin, but love the sinner.  The Bible tells you to “judge not, lest ye be judged.”  The Bible tells you to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

And if the Bible isn’t enough for you, how about the principles upon which this country was founded.  Our Founding Fathers specifically set up this country with Separation of Church and State in mind.  They came here from a country who’s religion dictated the government and how people were treated and they wanted to escape it.  Separation of Church and State means that your religious views should not have an impact on our laws.  I wouldn’t even mind if churches were allowed to refuse to marry a gay couple because it violates their moral belief system…  Oh wait, THEY ARE.

Anyway you slice it I only hear you telling me that God doesn’t approve of what I do therefor the governments job is to make sure I can’t do it.  THAT’S WRONG!  On many levels, that’s wrong, but I’ll address it just from church and state.  The religious view may be that I’m a sinner, and that I’m going to hell.  I don’t believe that, as I, too, am a Christian, but I respect your right to believe it.  But unlike you, I’m not trying to take away your right to believe it.  My right to marry, however, is not different from yours on a legal front.  And trust me.  Your marriage is on two fronts.  You may be married in the eyes of the church.  You may have had your wedding in a church, or at least a religious ceremony, but you are also married in the eyes of the law, separately from the church.  That’s what your marriage license is all about.

So what’s the harm in my having a legal marriage?  What’s the harm in my planning a lavish wedding ceremony (not to be held in your church)?  What’s the harm in my making a considerable contribution to the states flailing economy by having my wedding in California and spending all my wedding money here in this state?  You have your wedding in your church with your religious piety and I’ll have my wedding in a park or in a back yard or in the little gay bar on the prairie for all I care, but it should still be a LEGAL MARRIAGE.

You know, I will admit that I’m a little surprised by my vitriol on the subject and the way in which it’s been expressed thus far.  The truth is, I’m far less angry than I am hurt.  Cut so deeply, shaken to my very core.  You see, I’m 33 years old.  I’m what I call “newly gay”.  I’m technically still a “gay virgin”.  I don’t have any relationship prospects.  Shit I don’t even have any gay friends.  I’m completely alone and usually feeling pretty sorry for myself because of it.  And I honestly doubt that I will ever have an opportunity to be impacted directly by whether or not Gay Marriage is actually legal.  That would require me to have relationships and to find a man I want to share my life with.  Probably not an easy task.  And while, I’m sure most people will say that I’m taking this too personally, or just plain wrong, I can’t help but feel like this decision is a personal affront.

You see, for most of my life I convinced myself that I believed that gay is wrong.  I convinced myself that I wasn’t gay.  I convinced myself that there were other, perfectly logical, and morally acceptable, reasons why i felt the way I did.  It has taken a lot of prayer, and research, and self exploration and meditation and work to reach a point where I no longer believe that gay is wrong.  I no longer am in denial of the things that I know are true about myself, and I no longer HATE MYSELF for feeling the way I do.  And yet in spite of all that, it doesn’t take much to shake my resolve.  It doesn’t take much for me to question myself.  And I’ll admit that a big part of the Prop 8 battle, for me, was the idea and the hope that just maybe, in a very public, enormous way, society at large would tell me, “Hey.  We believe in you.  We agree with you.  You’re OK, just the way you are.”  Lord knows I need to hear that last part, over and over again.

So there you have it.  I knew, before the first returns came in that Prop 8 was going to pass.  I hated it, and I hate (just a little bit) the people that voted for it, but I knew it.  I guess I’m not really angry that it passed.  I’m not really angry that so many ignorant people out there don’t understand why it was wrong, even if they think it is “moral”.

I’m angry because for the bazillionth time in my life, I’m being reminded, slapped up side the head with the proof that, I must not be OK.  And It hurts.





Bittersweet

5 11 2008

History was made in more ways than one, last night.

The really wonderful thing is that Barack Obama was elected President.  The 44th President of the United States of America is a black man.  I think its a sad commentary on our society that it matters.  But it is also a giant step forward for our society that we’re here.  No longer is the office of the Presidency an old white boys club.  It is truly awesome news and yet, I don’t have it in me to get excited about it.

You see, other history was made last night, too.  By a very small majority, voters in the State of California legalized discrimination in the State Constitution.  As of now, it is no longer legal for Gays and Lesbians to marry in the State of California and I think it’s despicable. “No longer legal”.  It was legal, for a handful of months.  Not because some “wayward” Mayor decided to take it upon himself to instruct his staff to issue marriage licenses to gays.  Not because some loop hole was found to make it possible until the loop hole was closed.  It was legal because the California State Supreme Court determined that it was unconstitutional to prevent any one human being from marrying another.  It was Legal doctrine that permitted us to marry.

And now, due to the hatred of the people, it is legal doctrine that takes away that right.  How is it possible, in this day an age, that any other argument, any other perspective can over shadow the fact that this proposition strips away basic human rights?

Sadly, I find it difficult to celebrate a victory in the election of Barack Obama as our next President, while I mourn the loss of our civil liberties.





An Open Letter to 52% of the Voters of the State of California

5 11 2008

Dear 52% of the Voters of the State of California-

I want to thank you!

I want to thank you for recognizing that I am every bit as much of a human being as you are!

I want to thank you for finally acknowledging that Separation of Church and State means that even if you don’t agree on a moral level that I should be entitled to marry the man of my dreams, you at least realize that yours is a religious perspective and not a political one and therefor decided to grant me my fundamental human rights to marry the man I love.

I want to thank you for recognizing the direction this country is heading, catching up with the rest of the world, and agreeing to consider me equal, deserving of all the same rights as you.

I want to thank you for voting to defeat this hate mongering proposition to take away my rights to marry the man of my dreams, because you realize that whatever your personal opinion of marriage might be, this issue is much bigger than you or me, and therefore you MUST vote to maintain those rights for all Californian’s regardless of sexual orientation.

I want to thank you for all of these things…

Sadly, I can’t.





Random Facts #3

4 11 2008

I don’t do anything full throttle, balls out, uninhibited… But I wish I could.





The Very Most Important Election

4 11 2008

I hate a cliche.  Always have, and at this time of every fourth year, one of my least favorite cliche’s gets heavy rotation.  “This very important election.”  I hear it all the time, and it so rarely seem true.

This week-end I was watching Saturday Night Live (love it) hosted by Ben Affleck (love him) and he made that statement in his opening monologue (loved it – He’s a curse to any candidate he endorses so he’s endorsing McCain) and it made me stop and think.

This really is a very important election.  In my opinion, the most important election in my life time.  There is so much on the line right now.  So much is at stake.  Especially here in California, and especially to those who are like me, gay, and desiring equality!

You see, I’ve never put much stock in elections before.  I vote, because I’m “supposed to” and because I’m a Permanent Absentee voter and if I don’t vote in every election, I’ll lose that status and have to reapply.  But up until this year I’ve voted on issues and offices based on some very simple factors.

For office, if I don’t know anything about the people, I vote for the Democrat.  If I don’t know anything about the office, or if there’s more than one Democrat I vote for the incumbent and if there’s no incumbent I vote for the person whose current title sounds like they’d be most likely to do well in the office they’re seeking.  For instance, on this ballot I had the choice of two individuals to elect for judge.  Once was a “public interest attorney” the other was a “deputy district attorney.”  I don’t know anything about either of these candidates and I hope never to set foot before another judge and therefore wasn’t really going to be overly affected by the outcome of this one.  Therefore, I thought for exactly 2.0876 seconds and decided that a “public interest attorney” as likely to be more fair and less jaded than a “deputy district attorney.”  Settled.

Issues?  What’ll it cost me?  What’ll it cost the state?  Does it make good financial sense?  I almost never vote in favor of bond issues.  I can’t condone paying 95% interest on a loan, any way you slice it.  There was one bond issue on my ballot that was for $998 Million with a payback of the principle plus $995 Million.  If you ran your personal finances that way you’d be homeless on the street in a matter of weeks.  The payback on this measure was something like $67 Million dollars a year for however many years and I can’t help thinking, “We could do twice as much if we used that $67 Million dollars to pay cash for whatever purpose its serving and just parse out the project over a few years.”  Seems like simple economics to me (and I’m an idiot when it comes to math and finance.)

I rarely vote in favor of School initiatives because, call me a bad person, but I don’t have children, and don’t think I ever will and I don’t want to pay even more money out for something that doesn’t benefit me.  I pay too much as it is.

This year I didn’t vote in favor of anything that gets it’s funding from property taxes because frankly, I don’t think we as citizens can really afford it.  Things are bad enough without piling on more taxes, fees and levies.  I will vote in favor for something that I think is a worthwhile initiative (usually something I’ll benefit from) and it’s funded by a fraction of a cent sales tax because I figure it’s more fair.  Everyone pays a share and it’s for a good cause (if it’s not, I don’t vote for it.)

Most years, the things we’re asked to vote for are silly, let’s-find-more-ways-to-spend-money-we-don’t-have initiatives.  I vote because I must.  I hardly call those “important elections”.

But this year, I agree.  This is an important election.  The country is in the worst shape it’s been in since the great depression…  Or so I’m told.  I’m too young to know that.  What I do know is, it’s in the worst shape it’s been in my life time!  I think (again idiot at math and finance) that we’re on the brink of a financial collapse and that we have our Government as a whole, and our President in particular to thank for it.  Something MUST be done!

And yet, that in itself isn’t enough to make this an important election.  This will be an historic election for sure!  By the end of this day we will either have our first black president or our first female in executive office.  Either way, we’re taking a huge step toward truer equality on a national level.  That’s awesome.  But the historical outcome is a given.  Still not “important”.

For the first time in my voting career, I’m asked to vote on something that really matters.  Not just another shall-we-waste-your-money initiative.  Not just another who should be in office for the next 2-4 years ballot.  Not just another transportation initiative or how-shall-we-deal-with-teenage-pregnancy initiative.  This year, I’m voting on something that impacts me directly and personally!  I don’t get much more average, so I never had to worry too much about discrimination until I came to terms with being gay.

Suddenly, discrimination is a real fact in my life.  If I ever fall in love and want to share my life with someone, will I be able to make it a legally binding commitment with all the rights and privileges that go with it.  CPA Sis and Mr. Fixit, Dead Beat Dad and Gigi the Homewrecker, and so many others.  They’re married.  They share all their financial and legal obligations.  They can speak for each other in medical situations.  If one of them dies the other will not lose anything besides their loved ones.  In the case of CPA Sis and Mr. Fixit if something were to happen to CPA Sis, Mr. Fixit wouldn’t have to worry about having their children taken away from him.

Now I’m no where near having any of that in my life.  Not sure if I ever will, and not really sure how much of it I want.  But what I am sure of is that I do not want to be told that I’m not allowed to have those things because I’m somehow a substandard human being.

I’m so proud of this state, and of the supreme court, the Republican, conservative supreme court for recognizing that we are not being treated as equals, that we are substandard, and for doing something about it.  Right now, as I’m typing this I’m allowed to be legally married to another man, in the state of California.  What’s at stake today, is whether or not I’ll still be allowed this time tomorrow.

What could be more important than that?