Perpetually Unfinished
Thursday, July 31, 2003
 
Well, gay marriage is certainly on the agenda recently, isn't it?

Part of me is trying to be happy, because it means they're scared. The Supreme Court decision rocked. Canada may very well allow same-sex marriages nationwide in the near future. And it's quite possible that the Massachusetts Supreme Court may rule this summer that same-sex marriages must be allowed in the state. The backlash is coming because they feel threatened. That's a good thing, right?

But god, is it ever infuriating to listen to! Damn Dubya: "I believe in the sanctity of marriage. I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman, and I think we ought to codify that one way or the other . . . I think it's very important for our society to respect each individual . . . that does not mean that somebody like me needs to compromise on an issue such as marriage."

Umm? Great, you believe marriage is between a man and a woman, you don't want to compromise. Fine. You can marry a woman. But how the hell do you get off suggesting that it's your business who other people marry? Sorry, buddy, but it's not your place to talk about compromise, because compromise involves sacrificing something that is yours. And the fact that it makes you feel uncomfortable to think about gay couples getting married doesn't cut it.

But as if that wasn't bad enough, "the Vatican urged Catholics and non-Catholics alike Thursday to unite in campaigning against gay marriages and gay adoptions." Not only does the document they issued set out a "battle-plan" against recognition of same-sex unions, saying, "There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral," which is lousy enough... but they went further.

"Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development." That is one of the most odious things I've read in a long time. I cannot believe that such a significant institution as the Vatican would come out and say that. There's at least some theoretical justification for a religion to have an interest in how marriage is defined (although something like this where they make governments' decisions their business is going too far). But then to go ahead and make the blanket (and scientifically disproven, or at the very least unproven) statement that it's harmful to children to have gay parents, that it's violent? What an incredibly low blow.

I have to remind myself to take deep breaths. It's not like we don't already have DOMA. I think it would be too hard to get a constitutional amendment passed. And anything short of that can be overturned. Only 55 percent of Americans oppose gay marriage, and I can't imagine it'll be too long until the scale tips the other way. (And surely, not all of that 55 percent would support amending the Constitution to agree with them, right?) The tide is turning, it's got to be.

In the meantime-- damn you, fucking homophobes who dare to assert that it's your business who other people marry.
 
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Wednesday, July 30, 2003
 
One night last week when I was on my way home after Phonathon, I stopped at White Hen to pick up some milk. As I was walking towards the refrigerator cases, a little old lady came over to me, put her hand on my arm, smiled, and said with an unidentifiable accent, "You go to Northwestern?"

When I told her yes, her face lit up. "Oh, that's good! It's a very good school. My grandchildren went there-- very good school. What do you study?"

History and political science, I said. "Oh, that's nice, very nice," she said, bobbing her grey head up and down. "Northwestern, it'll help you get a job." (Britt, internally: I certainly hope so, but I'm not so confident. Britt, externally: smiles and nods.) "One of my grandchildren, he's a lawyer. And the other, an artist, she's still there."

I continued to smile and nod. She kept going. "You have a couple more years left, huh?"

"Next year's my last one."

"Ohhh," she said significantly. "So you have to go out there in the world soon."

"Yeah, it's pretty scary," I said. (Thanks for reminding me.)

"Listen," she said seriously, gripping my arm tighter. "Don't you go getting married right away. Live your own life, have a good time. You can wait for that."

I blinked. "Thanks, that's good advice," I said finally. (Because, you know, I'm really on the verge of getting engaged.)

She stared at me for a moment. "You're a good girl," she told me. "Don't mind old folks who like to have someone to talk to."

"I don't, I don't," I said, and I meant it. "I've enjoyed talking to you."

She beamed. I finally got around to asking her where she was from, and she answered, "Yugoslavia." My mind of course translated this immediately into "the former Yugoslavia," and having met several people from the countries of the former Yugoslavia earlier this summer, I was quite tempted to ask, "Where?" But I wasn't sure if that would be a sensitive subject, and besides, it was 9:30 by this point and I hadn't been home since the morning and I could see the conversation going for another 10 minutes. So it was my turn to smile and say, "That's nice."

And after it all, I decided that the line at the checkout counter was too long, and I didn't really need milk that night, and so I headed for the exit and waved to the little old woman on my way out
 
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Monday, July 28, 2003
 
There's something very lonely about not having access to IM in the evenings when everyone else does. Your mind teases you with the idea, whether or not it's fairly based in reality, that every night you're missing out on conversations you should be having and connections that you should be making.

I don't dwell on it... I happily wrap myself up in a book or turn on the TV, and forget until much later that I could have been connected to the larger world during those evenings. It's only in the looking-back that I add up the lost hours....
 
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Sunday, July 27, 2003
 
Okay, after two weeks of "Maybe they'll get the internet hooked up tomorrow," there's finally a date for it. Unfortunately, that date is August 4th. So since I clearly won't be able to upload anything from my laptop for more than a week (is August so soon already?), I guess this Blogger version is it for the time being.

I have missed writing. Regardless of who ends up reading it, I like to turn slices of daily life into stories, and I've caught myself doing that in my head over the last months and then feeling disappointed about having no outlet.

That would be my cue for a profound and masterfully told story, but I can't think of one at the moment. I just spent an hour at a boring and very, very warm party, and my brain's been completely fried. But just you wait...
 
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Friday, July 25, 2003
 
Dude, this is a very bad influence on me here at work. But I managed to have a good deal of luck playing around with the template to make it half-decent.

It's really quite cool that the color scheme of my blog is made of names like PapayaWhip, SaddleBrown, and Sienna. I'm tempted to work in colors like BlanchedAlmond, Moccasin, and OldLace just for the names. (Yes, yes, I suppose I should use the actual HEX codes. But wouldn't you rather your background be MintCream than #F5FFFA?)

Okay, must bear down and finish out strong the last hour and 45 minutes of the work-week.
 
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Wow.

I'm not sure I'm going to end up using Blogger. I'm certainly not going to use this template. But damned if it isn't really, really easy.

At my last site, I did everything myself. It took more work, but I customized things to look exactly as I wanted, and I could manipulate the pages completely on the computer and then upload it to get an exact replica online.

Then there's this. Spend 90 seconds signing up, type a few words, hit publish, and it's up.

Well, might as well use this for now. Not that I'm going to make the address public until I have a chance to mess around with the template so it looks how I want it to. I'll see whether I can do what I like by changing the template, or maybe I'll just try to use Blogger through FTP. So many options, so many combinations of simplicity and control...
 
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Nature attains perfection, but man never does. There is a perfect ant, a perfect bee, but man is perpetually unfinished. He is both an unfinished animal and an unfinished man. It is this incurable unfinishedness which sets man apart from other living things. For, in the attempt to finish himself, man becomes a creator. Moreover, the incurable unfinishedness keeps man perpetually immature, perpetually capable of learning and growing.
--Eric Hoffer





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