The dimwit drain

Shmoopy asked me over morning coffee at La Boulange if I’d heard the latest news from Arizona. Still thinking of the Tucson shootings and having purposefully ignored news squibs about it the last little while, I guessed the legislature had introduced a bill to require residents to carry a pistol to prevent the kind of shooting they had just had. That sort of mindset just seems to fit what I hear from that state more and more.

Well, that wasn’t it, but I wouldn’t bet against it still happening. What he was referring to was a new bill to require a “long form” official birth certificate to be reviewed before the Secretary of State places anyone on their presidential election ballot.

I told him I hadn’t heard that news yet, but that I was glad we have one state leading the dimwit charge in this country. They have Jan Brewer, Sheriff Arpaio, John McCain and a host of other elected sourpusses, usually with an extra-helping of stupid on the side. People who wave the flag of “Freedom” while stomping on the Constitution. Not that Arizona doesn’t face stiff competition.

I see a beacon of hope (for the rest of us) with Arizona, though. If it can just keep burnishing its craziness credentials, we may see a migration start from the rest of the country. Wouldn’t it just be ideal if they all moved to Arizona?

And maybe then, we convince them to secede. Flush them all down the dimwit drain as it were. I wouldn’t stop them.

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Milestones

By eerie coincidence two friends of mine had parents pass away this week. Very traumatic for both of them, but both have said that because their parents had suffered progressive Alzheimers for years, they were ready for them to pass away. One called it the body catching up with the soul (I am paraphrasing a little), because he had not been able to communicate with his mother for a few years. She did not remember / recognize him. My other friend, whose father passed away, was almost relieved at the news of his passing because he too, remembered and recognized very little and on top of it suffered from some (other) chronic diseases as well and was in poor physical condition. He spent his last days on morphine to (we hope) keep him pain free as his life slipped away. Things are a bit somber this weekend. My own father is now 90, and thankfully still thinks clearly and (mostly!) remembers things – except how to get his voicemail. Much as I don’t want to get stuck in winter travel back east I will likely schedule another visit soon.

Pray, what do I do?

At the start of an exercise class the other day here in Queeristan, as the substitute introduced himself he mentioned we should send prayers to ~~~, our usual instructor, who had just had a death in her family. Tragic is that is, I have had to ponder the dilemma of whether it is correct to actually send prayers since I am not a believer. I of course know how to pray – having been instructed each night as a child and every Sunday in church.

I see some prayers as a form of helpful meditation and helpful life instruction, but not as anything that will influence a Supreme Being – should S/He even exist. I think prayer is helpful as a comfort for people who believe in it, certainly. But it wouldn’t help me – and I don’t think it would help ~~~.

I wouldn’t want to tell her I was praying for her if I did not. Maybe I should just tell her she’s been in my thoughts. That would be true, if not quite the same thing as prayers.

New Year Karmaraderie

Shmoopy and I eschewed the boozy route to 2011 by going to a midnight Yoga Friday night. And given this is San Francisco perhaps we should have expected more than just a lone few hardy karmic souls to go out in the cold rain to wring in the New Year. We had a great time, us and one hundred forty karmarades.

Setting up for the event - you can see the DJ on the left.


Mark Morford led off by having all of us write down on red pieces of paper a few things we wanted to “release” from 2010 and “welcome” to ourselves for 2011. We folded the leaves of red paper and put them under our mats. Then, we downward dogged, cobra-ed, flying warrior-ed, back-bended and finally Sivasana-ed our way into 2011. What with the cold rain outside we didn’t hear much of any crowd in the streets – despite the studio being perched amidst several gay bars and a busy intersection of the Castro. We did hear the pounding disco beat from the dance bar below, whenever things got quiet. And we all pounded back on the floor at the stroke of midnight.

After, Mark had us all retrieve the red leaves from underneath our mats. We were instructed to fold once, twice, then keep going. Then, tear the folded papers up into bits of confetti. Finally – realizing what was in store – Mark instructed us to gather up the red confetti and fling it up in the air to give away both what we wanted to be rid of, but also what we wanted to welcome.

As the rose petals of old burdens, annoyances and new hopes and ambitions of over a hundred wet strangers sprinkled down on us I thought what a wonderful way to symbolize the possibilities of right now.