Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Gay Divorcee

The first state-sanctioned gay marriages in the US began in 2004. Guess who is now divorced? Hillary and Julie Goodridge, the lead plaintiffs in the Massachusetts court case that brought gay marriage to that state.  So I'm in good company?

B and I went down to get our marriage license on the first day they were offered in D.C.  It was a lot of fun with people giving out cupcakes and flowers and a long line of diverse couples.  We were couple 80-something.  And I've wondered if we are the first couple from that day to get divorced.  Probably not, probably at least one of those couples freaked out within the first year and decided to split.

And on that day we were minor gay marriage poster children.  We were on the tv news.  Funny story: so apparently it's actually quite difficult to stand outside a courthouse and figure out which people walking out the building are part of a soon-to-be gay-married couple and who are just random work friends going to lunch.  So the news crew wasn't approaching anyone until they saw us walk out, me carrying the flower that I was given in line.

The charming Jim Darling took our picture.  If you need a portrait or some wedding photography, you should look him up here.

If you've been reading here, you know I am no fan of marriage as a system of distributing rights and privilege.  Remaining married isn't an issue of moral obligation to me.  But I do think that if a couple chooses to get married by the state and make that public commitment it comes with an ethical obligation to try and stay married.  And within that framework, four years of marriage seems pretty pathetic.

B says she feels no particular shame as a gay divorcee, but I'll admit to a twinge.  I think that twinge comes from the hubris of thinking that it would never be us who would split, that somehow we were different than all the divorced straight couples we know, that we would cope every so gracefully with the pressures that face all couples.  Pride comes before fall.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


You never realize how many love letters, notes, and card you accumulate over 10 years until you have to decide what to do with them. But in happier news I've also found some charming documentation of the 1970s and 1980s:

And in random good news, my side project got an acls grant-we are so fancy!

Monday, January 26, 2015


The snow started slow this afternoon, but now it's really starting to blow out there.  And it's my first blizzard alone in ten years-mostly alone, I do have my Ladybug tucked into bed upstairs.  B and I share a love of extreme weather, and we've been through blizzards, hurricanes, and on derecho together.  Two years ago I hitched a ride from BWI with a complete stranger after my flight got cancelled, because I couldn't imagine sitting alone in Baltimore while B and LB were in the blizzard zone.  My first bloodwork when we were trying for LB involved careening through the unplowed streets of Baltimore to get to our early morning appointment.  Overall, I feel like I'm doing well. I've been really honest with my friends about the state of things, and they all seem to think I'm doing pretty well.  But this hurts.

I've also started looking at apartments.  So far I've looked at a super cheap, super rundown "loft." It would be great for 3 youths, but I was worried about filling all that space, and the heating bill, and the 2nd egress which was a trap door in the front room.  Apt 2 has more potential.  It's more than I wanted to spend, but includes all utilities, which is a big savings in New England and I'd never have to worry about getting a huge heating bill.  It's a weird attic space with lots of little rooms, but it has potential for a lot of retro cuteness, and plenty of room for me and LB and visitors.  There some weird laundry situation I didn't understand about having to pay out the first floor tenant for use of the washer, and uncertainty about the parking (for visitors because you can't park overnight on the street in Providence without a permit). We would be close to daycare, library, bus, shops (although not a grocery store), and parks.  It's a nice, safe area, which I guess should be a big sell, but I was actually hoping to move into an adjacent neighborhood that would be a little more income and race diverse.

And then I started looking on craigslist and saw that there are actually a decent number of places in my price range-like also because this is a weird time of year to rent a place-so that's good.  But I'm trying decide whether I should take a place for March 1 now (and basically pay an extra month) or wait and rent something for April 1 and scramble to get out of our current place.  Option 1 would probably be much better for LB's transition, but I also don't want to throw away a month of rent (a month in which B and I could be renting 4! places).  Decisions, decisions.

Stay warm and shovel safe!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sick Day

LB was up crying and coughing last night, and I'm hoping it's just a cold and not the flu.  I'm not feeling that great either, but I can't seem to stop doing stuff.  Today doesn't need to be the day I organize my life, right?  And those homemade refried black beans and turkey stock are going to be good, but not exactly essential.  I should probably just sit my achy carcass down, right?  And be a good role model for "rest when you're sick." So easy to say, so hard to do.

As an aside, I feel like a very out-of-shape blogger, all wheezy and dead-legged, but I'm working at it.

Below, cool link to stuff by friends of mine:

Hawaii as Racial Paradise and the Bid for the Obama Presidential Library on NPR's always interesting CodeSwitch

And "The Challenges of Raising a Digital Native," which is a tedx talk.  What I really love about Devorah's stuff is that she gives useful examples for how to help kids work through their technology problems themselves (with adult guidance) and she always suggests that adults model the behavior they wish to see (easy to say, hard to do).

Sunday, January 11, 2015


All these books, including the ones you can't see in the layer behind the visible books, plus a few more shelves like these.  And the basement full of baby stuff for the 2nd baby we aren't going to have, and the closets full of craft stuff for projects I'm not going to make, and who-knows-what-else tucked here and there.  I took a paycut of about a 1/3rd at my job here it RI.  And it's a good job that I really enjoy, with the possibility of growing with the organization and/or building skills that will make me employable at another org.  But for the present, I make a low professional salary.  So my plan for the next year is to try to find a reasonably spacious 1-bed for me and LB that cost no more than 1/3 of my take home pay.  It's not going to be easy to find, but I've got a few months.  And I really need to pare down our belongings, which is exciting because I feel weighed down by a lot of this stuff, but also hard to give up some of these things that were such a part of my identify-like obscure books on obscure topics in US history.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Want a Valentine's Card? And Miscellany

After the success of project Christmas paper chain, and upon realizing the excessive amount of art supplies building in our closet, and in pursuit of cheerfulness, LB and I are going to be making a bunch of Valentine's card.  If you'd like one and you haven't recently sent me your mailing address to chronicladybug at  

Today I told myself that I'd run if the temperature went over 20, and of course when I looked at my phone it was 21.  That kind of sucked.

On my run I stopped by our local fancy kitchen shop and ordered the present I'm giving myself for my move into a new place for LB and me-that should happen in a couple/few months.

PW protected rants likely incoming, but for now I'll just share that there was someone VAPING on the bus.  Who does that?  It was bad enough that a woman who was actually smoking sat down next to me in bus shelter-but it is Rhode Island and so I expect that kind of thing.  And she did look like she need that smoke more than I need to breathe.  But really, vaping on the bus?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The GoFundMe Emergency Fund

The Motherlode column published this column about families using online giving sites like GoFundMe to fund things like rent and medical bills.  I've seen lesbian moms crowdsourcing funds for custody fights, crowdfunding to pay for divorces and related expenses, and a vociferous debate about lesbian moms and moms-to-be about the ethics and etiquette of crowdsourcing infertility treatments.

I wouldn't be surprised if there is a big structural story there about longterm unemployment and underemployment, heathcare costs, and debt.  But I wonder if crowdsourcing is just a new platform for an old practice.  People without money have always gone to people with money for help, and people with money have always given money to people in need.  Maybe crowdsourcing is symptomatic of the growing divide between those who have and those who don't?  If you don't live in an economically diverse community, you don't have people to ask directly for help, and those who would like to give don't necessarily have personal connections to those in need.  Or maybe it's a Bowling Alone issue, where people (like me) don't have a church or union or social club to go to for help.  Or maybe it's just a pragmatic response to the fact that most of us do live online, and by going online you can tap into a seemingly unlimited pool of potential donors.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Less Bitter in 2015

I threw a party-because I like parties. I made tamales and lots of people stopped by and a bunch of old friends were finally in the same place and it was fun. I was sad in the lead up-both the normal preparty jitters and sad to be prepping by myself, but in 2015 I need to be busy, and I need to make myself happy, and if I can make others happy at the same time, so much the better.

I wish I'd taken some pics of the table, but this one shows the paper chain that I made with a friend-it was so much fun to do and it looked really nice. More friends, more joy in 2025.