Dad: What do they consider "exotic ice cream?" Does it take off its clothes and dance?
Brother: Electrical Engineer with specialization in chip level design.
Me: English major
Who of those three do you think got Skype working when Dad and Brother wanted to talk?
Cause it's more about getting work done than enjoying the comforts, gonna try out the Quad. We all know what happened last time I was there, back when it was the Imperial Palace. According to my sources (the Internet) the casino is completely transformed. The rooms are... not. And, yeah, I couldn't resist. The Delux Luv Tub room was free* so I booked it.
Don't know what this is going to do with my August trip. As of now, it replaces it. If this seminar does what it promises, I'll have the money to go in August too, but probably not the time.
*For all values of "free" that include their shiny new $10/night resort fee.
There are two answers I would have liked to hear offered during oral arguments over DOMA and Prop 8 that didn't seem to come up.
The first was to Justice Scalia's line of "when did it become unconstitutional?" questioning. The easy answer is "precisely at the moment separate but equal became unconstitutional." Depending on your understanding of the constitutional process, that is either when the Fourteenth Amendment was passed guaranteeing equal protection to all Americans or the moment the Supreme Court hands down its opinion that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the rights of sexual minorities.
The other answer is to the ludicrous argument that sexual minorities are a political force to be reckoned with in American politics. This argument begs a response that is the opposite of the administration's nine state solution argument. According to this argument, sexual minorities in California and New York are not entitled to the abridgment of their rights being subject to anything other than rational basis, but those of us in Texas and Mississippi are entitled to the strictest scrutiny possible.
Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.
My favorite part:
Guy #2: Hey Charlie, you thinkin what I’m thinkin?
Guy #1: I was for about half a second then it got weird and I started thinkin about somethin else instead.
How did I miss this?
Especially love Janice Dickinson, Willam Belli and Shangela as the Evils (let's face it, Janice was always more drag queen than anything else).
The mashup aspects are well done, too.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio is three months older than my father, for the record. We do not, of course, discuss my mother's age.
It's time to make some serious decisions about my life.
Up to this point I have lived with my parents.
It is time for this to change.
So anyone who is thinking about setting me up on a date or introducing me to someone in the future, I no longer live with my parents.
My parents live with me.
I don't want the brown one, I want the white one!
The implications appear to indicate that the former Pope will continue active participation in Vatican governance, perhaps undermining the leadership of the new pontiff, whomever that might wind up being.
I am deeply disturbed by the stunning lack of give a shit I can bring to this issue.
It's also not a good sign when the conversation on the way home is about who you ran into at the theater rather than anything about the play (my father's cardiologist, again for the curious).
That Catch Me if You Can was an evening of unremarkable theater is probably self evident at this point.
You know the story. You know how it ends.
They prettied it up with some nice dancing and singing, but nothing in the musical is all that inspiring.
The themes of fathers and sons, right and wrong and its odd take on the virtue of industry were all given heavier weight and better treatment in the book and movie that inspired the musical. The light entertainment of a musical wasn't flashy enough or memorable enough to make the transition to the stage really worth it.
The one image I'm left with is the parable of the two mice that the main character's father tells him. Two mice fall into a jug of cream. One gives up and drowns. The other simply won't give up and keeps treading cream, in effect churning. He keeps it up until it turns to butter and then just climbs out.
That's the point of the whole play. As long as you keep churning you'll eventually get butter.
It would have been nice if that were true.
Alas, there's a lot of churning and very little butter to be found.
In entirely unrelated news, according to my doctor's office I've lost eight pounds.
While the details of the beef are complicated and uninteresting unless you were following the whole thing in real time, it did get me thinking about the encroaching attitude of victimhood among those who enjoy the most privilege in our society.
My LJ bio proclaims me the ultimate minority "I'm the only non-smoking, lefthanded, six foot, 340lb, gay observant Jew in the world. There are other lefthanded, six foot, 340lb, gay observant Jews, but they all smoke; they would have to." And all that is true. I'm Jewish. I'm gay. I'm overweight. These things affect how I am treated in our society. They affect how I am perceived.
But I am always aware of several other things I also am. I am American. I am middle class. I am educated. I am white. I am male.
All of these things also affect how I am perceived and treated in our society.
The masculinists engaging in the conversation had a broad variety of what it was they were advocating for or complaining against.
It's easy to dismiss the guy who's only real issue seemed to be that abortion is legal so that must mean men are disadvantaged. So we will.
But a strong undercurrent of the arguments for the necessity of the masculinist point of view was some variation of "I'm not a rapist so my behavior shouldn't have to take into account a woman's concerns for herself and her safety."
I have never touched a woman sexually.
I'm pretty sure the only women I've ever kissed have been members of my family (and not all that many of them. We're not a kissy family, particularly on my father's side).
And even I know that when I and a woman get in an elevator alone I don't talk to her until she talks to me.
I know that unless I know a woman fairly well, I keep a certain physical distance from her in conversation until she crosses that boundary.
I know not to loom.
I know that I don't touch a woman unless she's touched me.
I know that I do not approach women in dark or unpopulated areas.
I know that when a woman taller and broader than I am asks me to walk her to her car I don't make fun of her (this was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. Not trying to say I'm perfect ;) ).
I know all these things because I know I live in a privileged state that the women I encounter, no matter their wealth or power or success, do not enjoy.
Being assumed to be a potential rapist until a woman gets to know me better isn't just the price I pay for the privileges I enjoy. It's the direct result of the existence of those privileges and the abuses of them by many who've come before me.
Is it fair to me that I have to adjust my normally outgoing personality to accommodate the evils of people I never met and who certainly did not act with my approval?
Why is that even the question? Better to ask why I should feel that my desire to impose my presence and personality on another is more important than that other person's discomfort with it?
One of the most dangerous elements of privilege in our society is the absolute certainty of so many who enjoy it that it doesn't exist.
I'm used to being the guy at the New Year's Eve party who doesn't get kissed. Hell, I wasn't even expecting an opportunity to be at a New Year's Eve party this time around, so I suppose I should consider myself lucky to have had any festivities at all, but somehow being in the midst of strangers with one person you hoped felt for you the way you felt for him but doesn't is so very much worse than being among loving friends who all have someone else to kiss.
To those loving friends, I miss you and hope y'all had a spectacular New Year's Eve.
Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.
I got some sleep, about three hours or so, but now I'm up.
The trip so far has been something of a disaster.
The snow in Dallas meant the plane had to be de-iced before we could be cleared to take off for Frankfurt. This meant a two hour delay, which would have been ok since we had a three hour layover in Frankfurt.
Except that once in the air a passenger had a seizure and we we landed in Boston for her to be taken off the plane for medical attention. This added another two hours to the flight which meant we got into Frankfurt an hour after our flight to Tel Aviv had already left.I
At some point in the two legs of this particular journey, we were served dinner, and informed that only five kosher meals had been put on the plane and ours were not on their list. We should have verified 48 hours before the flight that our kosher meals had been ordered. We did verify. In the 72 hours before the flight we verified it twice. Being told "well, there's nothing we can do about it at 30,000 feet" not only doesn't take the sting off, but makes it quite a bit worse.
I get that flight attendants at this point have no power within their organizations to do anything to make a passenger's experience any better. Encouraging them to admit it to passengers is a really bad idea.
We were told there would be American Airlines agents at the gate area to help us navigate our connecting flight options. By the time Mom and I got off the plane, those agents had evaporated (or as far as we're concerned were never there).
We went directly to the American Airlines ticket counter to get whatever information we could. We were rather curtly told that we had been booked on the next El Al flight to Tel Aviv, which was scheduled for ten hours after our original flight, which meant we were looking at nine hours in the airport. Of course, since a combination of weather delays and medical emergency was responsible for our predicament, the airlines offered us nothing in the way of comfort or compensation. Lufthansa has a lounge for handicapped passengers in the airport and since they appear to run the wheelchair service we were afforded the opportunity to stay there. As an experience, not any better than sitting in the main terminal.
I just can't come up with anything.
We eventually get to the El Al desk to find out that American Airlines had taken possession of our tickets, and that while we were booked on the flight, there was no way to check us in.
This after weeks of being told by American Airlines whenever we called in to check anything about our trip that the tickets were owned by El Al and American could do absolutely nothing to change them, even refusing to discuss seating on the American operated flight to Frankfurt.
In addition, it appeared that American had booked us on two earlier flights without telling us. Also, no one seemed to know where our bags were and it was unlikely we'd see them once we got to Tel Aviv.
After some herculean keyboard banging, and a couple of phone calls the El Al ticket agent was able to take possession of the Vienna to Tel Aviv portion of one of the tickets American had neglected to tell us about and turn it into a Frankfurt to Tel Aviv ticket. We were still pretty sure none of our luggage would be joining us on this trip.
Once we got to Tel Aviv we encountered the only real complaint I have with El Al in all of this. Their handicapped assistance really just failed us. While there was an electric cart to take us from the gate to passport control, there was no wheelchair to take my mother through the cavernous baggage claim hall and customs.
But back to the luggage. I went directly to the lost luggage desk and reported had transpired. The agent there quickly, efficiently and cheerfully (this is closing in on 3:00am local time at this point) stepped me through the process. She told me which baggage carousel our flight's luggage was on, but seemed quite sure I wouldn't find our luggage there.
And she was mostly right. There was one bag. The bag I'd packed with stuff my brother had had sent to the house and things my mother and I were bringing for the kids. The only thing in it belonging to my mother or myself was the bag she hangs off her walker I had hastily stuffed in it right before we checked bags back in Dallas.
As of well over 24 hours since we touched down, we still have no idea where the rest of our bags our and when or even if we'll ever see them again.
So it's after 5:00am in Israel and I can't sleep.
- Current Location:Modi'in Israel
Me: No, it's either a clusterfuck or a circle jerk.
- Current Mood: amused
Not that "I need in the worst way to _______!" is all that much more acceptable.