Sunday, June 29, 2008

Missing Pride...But Still Connected

I'm actually out of town (for like the forth time in a month) for a self-designed writing retreat. I'm really excited to be here--'here' being the Santa Cruz Mountains, which are still beautiful despite all the news about the big fires, and the redwood forest is as awe-inspiring as ever--and to give myself this gift of peace, quiet and time.

I am kinda bummed that doing this retreat this weekend--it made the most sense to do it this weekend because I had a board meeting in San Jose yesterday and Santa Cruz is just an hour south of there--meant I'd have to miss Gay Pride weekend back in Frisco. I haven't gone in a few years but I do try to go every once in a while. The big crowds can be a little draining, but there's no big festival in San Francisco (or the Bay Area, for that matter) that's as colorful and fun and crazy as Pride. Where else can you see leather daddies, dykes on bikes, gay families, straight-ish 'friends' (like me) and tons of trannies doing their thing in the middle of the street for all to see? It's also cute to see all the queer tourists that fly into the Bay Area for the big bash. They look almost like regular tourists--replete with cameras hanging from their necks and wearing those awful fleece sweatshirts in royal blue and gray that read 'San Francisco' above an embroidered image of the Golden Gate Bridge--but they're walking in pairs of women and pairs of men instead.

Oh well, another Pride, another year. I can always go next year. And since they have an internet connection here (although I have to walk a few hundred yards to access it, which is better as I'd get NO real writing done if I had access all the time), I can look at the photos from the parade and stuff on the San Francisco Chronicle's site. It seems like this year's pride would've been a lot bigger and more interesting because of the gay marriage decision by the Supreme Court, which is cool. Lots of wedding drag--as a blushing bride myself, I can dig it!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Before You Start Celebrating the Heat

The big heat wave we had last week was scary to me--not to mention uncomfortable and downright oppressive. I can't remember ever having a heat advisory in the coastal Bay Area (San Francisco, Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley), but we had one last week. Unimaginable really. And then to go from 90+ degree weather to the 60s yesterday and the day before. Eerie.

I'm sure I'm not the only person going around saying that global warming and climate change is responsible for these extreme weather patterns. But some people, even progressives who are heat-lovers I guess, have seemed happy when I see them during these hot times. I always think that's bizarre, because these are the same folks who also do their best to turn off all the lights when they leave the house, who are energy-efficiency- ("We just bought our second Prius!") and recycling-obsessed ("Um, WHY would you need to use a dryer for your laundry? I have a clothesline right here in my pocket!"), and who generally love the Earth.

For a reality check on what these heat waves indicate for our geological future and the future of our species, here's an article from the Oakland Tribune today about the possible effects of climate change on native plants in California. I was especially struck by the fact that many of California's native plants have weathered literally thousands of years of weather fluctuations, but are now quickly losing ground (literally) because of the rapid pace of change in temperature and rainfall here.

So the next time the thermometer hits 80 degrees and you start smiling because it's beach weather now, just keep it all in perspective and keep doing all that recycling and hybrid-car-driving and carbon-footprint-reducing behavior. It might just help balance things out a little bit.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

"Your Whiteness is Showing"

That's a line from this article by Tim Wise, about the white feminists who are (publicly or not) deciding not to pull their support over to the Obama camp now that Clinton has officially (and frickin' finally!) stepped out of the race.

I really like Tim's writing and work, because he tells it like it is in a way that people of color can really say, 'Thanks for being a good white ally! We need more of you." I wonder though if his sometimes in-your-face rhetoric actually gets through to the well-meaning White liberals he's often trying to address.

Anyway, judge for yourself. And have a beautiful Sunday!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Obama (do)Nation

Yes, I'm a member of the Obama Nation, officially, starting today. And more importantly, the $25 donation I just made to Obama's campaign, to help him win against Republican John McCain in the November election, is the first donation I have ever made to a Presidential campaign in my life. I think Obama actually can help turn this country around, and the fact that he has raised more than 90% of of his campaign funds from people making gifts of $200 or less, which totally flies in the face of conventional fundraising wisdom and strategy, signals to me that he has captured the imagination of this country, and that ordinary people are ready to work with him and each other to make this country a truly great one.

Coming from a fundraiser who routinely makes donations large and small to all kinds of organizations, and sometimes (although rarely) to politicians, the fact that I've made my first Presidential campaign to Obama says something. Make of it what you will.