Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Which is it?

This is either political heaven or hell depending on what time of the day it is.

Today I was part of a group of immigrant activists who met with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren about, yes, immigration reform. Tomorrow John Edwards is here but I am going to a meeting at Dianne Feinstein's office to talk about, yes, immigration reform. And in between I am trying to do reports and write an op-ed. Hillary is hanging around these parts and big Bill is coming to San Jose in a couple of weeks to do a speech.

Then there is Santa Cruz Pride this weekend to be followed by San Jose Pride the following weekend. Oh wait, I am going to LA on Monday and Tuesday for meetings too.

This could be heaven or this could be hell.

Monday, May 28, 2007


While I have been posting updates on the disaster in Moscow, I have had underlying guilt about the whole sordid mess. Sara Whitman expressed many of the same thoughts I had about being in the US and having a whole bundle of rights as compared to my Russian brothers and sisters.

Yes, I cannot get married in California but I did get married in Boston. We have a house with animals and family around. Muscovites felt compelled to throw eggs and rocks at queers in the streets.

I remember sitting in line to get across the US/Mexico border after spending the weekend with gay men living with AIDS in Juarez. It had been a long time since I had seen someone dying of AIDS. It was shocking to me, the family there trying to get the dying man to eat, all his roommates seeing their future on the couch. After all the years I had spent working so everyone living with AIDS had access to medicine and then my family in Mexico was without. The clinic I had been at was literally next door to a farmacia and they couldn't go get aspirin next door because there was no money.

Seeing the pictures on various web pages of the religious Russian types pelting people is nauseating. But then what can I do I ask myself. Can I get my Democratic club to send a letter? Can I ask Barney Frank to send a letter? What more can I do besides feel guilty? Being so Catholic guilty doesn't really help so I must ponder how to best support my Russian family.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Yum mom! This is the best dirt I've ever eaten!

and more Moscow

Nikolai Elekseev, who was arrested at Moscow Pride and is the head of the Moscow Pride, has issued a statement asking Chancellor Angela Merkel to call Putin out.

More Moscow

More on Moscow Pride. This is very nice for Russia. Would've made Jerry Falwell proud.

Moscow Pride

Moscow Pride has turned out to be the nightmare everyone thought. H/t to Pam for this story from Doug Ireland. He provides live coverage of this atrocity.

I read a lot of Russian history. Way too much for any sane person not in school to be reading. So in reading about the downfall and murder of the Romanovs, the various revolutions throughout its history, it is no wonder gays and lesbians are sitting in jails right now. The local org has more on their website here.

But considering the number of journalists who have been killed under KGB, I mean Russian President Putin, no one can be surprised at the outcome. The people who were attacked are the ones sitting in jail. There is a lot of footage up showing people being interviewed and then mugged on camera. I guess the thugs knew they had permission.

This is what Russian democracy looks like.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

More Migden

More on the Migden story from the SJ Mercury. This headline is an understatement:

Senator Carole Migden's history of brash behavior

I'm surprised the guy could get anyone to talk on the record.

Tillman redux

The local rag has an article about Pat Tillman.


This long weekend appears to be one of my hiding out times. There are moments when paying attention to the world is just too painful. Between the whales being stuck in the Sacramento river to the liars that run the country, no wonder all I want to do is garden. So garden I did all day. (That was a very Yodaesque sentence, think I.)

I believe I am growing some sort of nuclear garden. Apparently I am a little too good with the soil after all those years of working in New Mexico crap. Now I have poppies that are over 4 feet tall and a tomato plant that is being held up by a regular tomato cage and two other square cages. It has overtaken a large portion of the veggie garden. Until this year the veggie garden was a sandbox. So it is now a salsa garden with chiles, tomatoes, onions and cilantro all growing at a brisk rate. Nuclear, actually.

Last night we went to see Captain Jack Sparrow and Miss Elizabeth Swann in the latest installment of Pirates. Somehow I had the idea that we would take my three little cousins to go see this flick. What the hell was I thinking? It is nearly 3 hours in length with tons of violence and a complicated plot. Great for me but not so good for a four year old. So Shrek it is!

My cousin's son is quite the character. He told his older sister the other day that he was better cus he has a pickle. You know, that pickle.

Thank goodness for those kids, they are constant reminder to me to have hope. Of course, I always get to walk away from them if they get to be too much. That's the advantage of being the favorite aunt/cousin, I can get them all worked up and leave. What an ass, huh?

Well I don't want to turn this into too much of a reality show so I guess I will just end the adventure now. Hopefully there will be Pirates 4.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Grocery list

I drove to Sacramento today, the second time this week and was terrified I would see Carole Migden on the road. The CHP is citing her for not one but two accidents last Friday. Apparently she has given up driving until she finds out what is wrong. Oh don't get me started.

This has been quite the week for me, including the afore mentioned Sac trips. I went to Santa Cruz Tuesday morning for the funeral of my first sponsor. She lived to be a ripe 92 and died with 59 years sober. She was treated like a saint in the Santa Cruz AA community. I have to admit I was somewhat shocked at the turnout. I thought it would be overflow crowds at both the rosary and the funeral. Both were respectable showings but I guess now that people are sober they have jobs and can't just take off for funerals.

Monday was immigrant day at the Capitol and I was overworked and underpaid for that day. Between 400 and 500 people came from all over the state to lobby legislators on a variety of issues, including health care, citizenship services and increases for programs. It was really cool to see the diversity of participants and the various issues. Plus it was a nice day. I went to a meeting with staff from the Governator's office. Priceless moment: I mentioned that immigrants are very diverse in California. The staff member replied that he knew that, after all he is an immigrant from Austria. Um, missed the point, babe.

My gal is about to be and edumacated woman. She will be graduating next month from the National Labor College and finished her statistics class tonight. Whoohoo, break out the ice cream!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

No way!

This is just too much. State Senator Carole Migden was involved in a car crash, driving her state leased vehicle last Friday. Migden, who is not known for her sunny disposition, may actually have been involved in as many as three crashes that day. According to the Chronicle, she may have bounced off a center divider and a median divider.

On top of this, she disclosed that the reason she may have been driving impaired is because she has leukemia and has been getting treated for the condition for years. So now she must be headed for chemo rehab to explain all this away.

Migden, a lesbian, is involved in one of the bitchiest re-election battles right now with gay state Assemblyman Mark Leno. For those who have been to Castro street, imagine the two of them rolling in a ball down Castro, pulling each other's hair.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

a question

So which Mexican is doing more harm to the US, Gonzalez or the guy who washes your car and mows your lawn?

Friday, May 18, 2007

API HIV testing

This morning I went to Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) to support their HIV testing day. They had a couple of elected officials, including my favorite little brother, Evan Low, getting tested. Here is his cute face.

And here is the story:
For Immediate Release
May 14, 2007

Santa Clara Community Leaders to Publicly Take HIV Tests at the 3rd Annual National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

WHO: Michele Lew, President & CEO, Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI)
Councilmember Margaret Abe-Koga of Mountain View
Councilmember Evan Low of Campbell
Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center (A&PI Wellness Center)

WHAT: In commemoration of the Third Annual National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDSAwareness Day, three groundbreaking leaders of Santa Clara County’s Asian & Pacific Islander (A&PI) communities will publicly receive HIV tests. This event also highlights the launch of HIV rapid testing, open to the public, at AACI’s Alternative HIV Testing Site in San Jose. AACI’s HIV testing program is a joint effort with the Community Health Partnership. This program was made possible through funding from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. Leaders demonstrating the importance of being tested for HIV will be: Michele Lew, President and CEO of AACI; Councilmember Margaret Abe-Koga, of Mountain View; and Councilmember Evan Low, of Campbell. All three will be receiving the Rapid Oral HIV test, a non-invasive test which provides results in 20 minutes, as well as providing individual remarks and answering questions for the media.

WHEN: Friday, May 18, 2007 at 9:00 am

WHERE: Asian Americans for Community Involvement, Banyan Tree Room (Room 216)
2400 Moorpark Avenue
San Jose, CA 95128

WHY: To focus attention on the rising rates of HIV/AIDS in A&PI communities and reduce related discrimination and stigma, especially fear around getting an HIV test. According to the CDC, at least 25% of all Americans infected with HIV are unaware of their status. Knowing personal HIV status increases individuals’ power to take care of their self and their community. By publicly receiving HIV tests, these three A&PI leaders demonstrate the need for increased education and support around those living with or at-risk for HIV in A&PI communities in Santa Clara County.

This event is held in conjunction with the Banyan Tree Project, a national initiative led by A&PI Wellness Center, striving to foster acceptance and compassion toward A&PIs living with, or at risk for HIV/AIDS. For information about National A&PI HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, go to or call 1-866-5BANYAN. Press materials are available on the website.


Just down the road the peregrine hawk couple, Jose and Clara, are esconced with their new babies on the San Jose city Hall building. Thanks to modern technology, you can read about them here with the web site for the falcon cam in this article. The whole valley is excitedly watching some very rare family moments. It's a nice change from what is going on down below with the humans.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Perfect v 2.0

This is perfect. Go on over to Pam's place to see the press release from Fred Phelps and his haters. They are going to picket Falwell's funeral.


OK this really irks me. This short Chronicle article about the anti-memorial for late homobigot Falwell makes it sound like the organizer, a certain out spoken gay men in the City, is only about gay men. Is the word lesbian used as if gay men had the bigotry locked up over gayness and AIDS? Uh yeah I am one of those lesbians who was there changing underwear and sheets for people too sick to take care of themselves. Sexism rears its ugly head in the face of the demise of one of our enemies. Funny how that happens.

At least Tinky Winky can exist in peace now.

Too bad

Jerry Falwell dies today. Now I am going to hell for sure because I just clicked my heels.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Back in the bad old days of AIDS, the 80's and 90's, there used to be a safety net for people living with AIDS. There was medicine, there were doctors, there were food banks, there was a way to pay for the meds. Apparently those days are long gone.

I just talked to a friend living with HIV who just had a minor stroke. He is not able to use his left hand except, as he described it, as a claw. But he is back at work now because he can't afford to not work and not have insurance. His spouse is on Medical and they just had to pay $900 for a dose of medicine. One prescription. I mean WTF kind of care is that?

If you don't have the right insurance and don't have the dough you die, right? So here is a guy who can't use both hands needing to work so he can pay for his spouse's meds because the feds won't help. This is the same kind of care this administration has given us. This is way beyond benign neglect, it is a kick in the ass, a kick to the curb and driving over people with a steam roller all combined to create an illusion of care. The same thing can be seen in military hospitals, New Orleans indigent care and county hospitals all over the country.

I don't know that this many morons could be found this easily all over the country let alone running the government. Between the lies, the scandals, the sheer ineptitude, it is a wonder there is any semblance of infrastructure left. It is truly heinous what we are witnessing. And there are still more than 600 days left for this man to destroy our spirit.

So what is the answer? Who knows? Universal health care? I wish. Who can one trust to offer real health care reform and the needed real health care? This is one of those conundrums of life in the US. The most advanced country in the world allegedly and the government seems content to let its citizens suffer.

Friday, May 11, 2007


To prove that there is justice in the world, Mary Cheney's book is selling for a whopping 7 cents over at Amazon. H/t to Michael Petrelis for unearthing this gem. What a great way to start the weekend! The lawn is mowed and watered, the woman who has sold out lesbians everywhere in the country gets a taste of the free market. Ah Friday nights.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

T-night in the City

I can't remember the last time I have enjoyed an article so much. I could smell the bathroom.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


I just returned from LA where I attended a meeting for progressive organizations to talk strategy. The retreat was held at the Serra retreat center in Malibu. It was such a lovely place to meet and talk about the upcoming years and what the ramifications are for us in the progressive movement.

Among my peers from the Bay Area, I have such a hard time understanding them sometimes. Not a language thing but they really like to "go deep" in their analysis and I have never dealt with politics at this level before. As I tell them, I have no idea where they are going but I try to follow them down the path.

But today we had a chance to visit, hang out and get to know each other. Apparently none of them knew I was the class clown so I had them laughing at lunch with my standard going out to dinner lines. So it was fun to entertain a whole new audience. Oh boy, my lines won't be all stale old jokes!

At the center I had such a nice time wandering among the gardens, looking out at the ocean, watching the sparrows and hummingbirds and walking among the gazillion lizards. It was a place to reconnect with myself for a bit. Plus I had forgotten my cell phone, my work email is not working so I was cut off from my normal pushes and pulls. It was actually a bit teary over leaving because that meant back to work. Waaaah.

So now I will see if the Congress has enough ovaries to do something about this damn war, whether Wolfie gets the boot from the World Bank and what my purple poppies look like in the morning.

Monday, May 07, 2007


The Sharks are toast. I am going to LA tomorrow for work. The two are a bad combination. Think I'll go eat some worms.

Saturday, May 05, 2007


Oh ugh, the Sharks were disgusting today. I will have to eat octopus on this series from my friend Leslie, the wing nut. That was all hockey jargon. Bottom line, my team sucks and may not make it to the next round.

At least the weather is grand, it is the spouse's birthday weekend so we are trying to liven things up by going to Santa Cruz a couple of times for meals with friends. This is a real sign of getting older, I couldn't remember how old she is. Actually it was mental pause. At any rate, off to surf city tomorrow. The joys of California life.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A moment

Whoa, I forgot I had a blog! That's mental pause for you.

I cannot report many interesting things today. I did get the stitches out of my foot yesterday and could then enjoy a big girl shower without a giant condom on my leg. I drove to Sacramento yesterday too and had more Chico State flashbacks all the way up and back.

This evening I had a priceless moment with one of my dogs. I had gone out to the garage for something and came back in to the house. There was Allegra, sitting there, waiting for me, wagging her tail and just showing how much she likes me. She has such warm brown eyes, I just fell in love all over again with a dog who has been abused in the past and just wants some love from me. I gave it to her happily with no strings attached. Pure love from the animals and pure love back.

Sometimes it is the little things that can make me grateful. Today I had that moment.
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