There are so many topics I want to write about now, but most of them are so outrageous that trying to figure out how to reasonably discuss them will take too much time from my other writing, so I’m instead going to write about how forgetful I am.
This story requires a little context. I’m not a morning person. At all. I consider myself exceedingly lucky to have worked most of my life in jobs that don’t demand that I be at my desk precisely at 8:00:00 am ready to go. While I have a lot of flexibility in my schedule, though, I still have to get to the office within a certain window each day.
My poor husband is not any more of a morning person than I am, but his work requires him to be there earlier than, frankly, I even want to be awake. And I have such a hard time getting up in the morning, that I have a three-level alarm system to get me moving. My husband is usually leaving for work about 15 minutes before the second alarm in my system goes off, so I’m usually still in bed at least half-asleep when he comes in to kiss me good-bye.
Monday morning I stayed in bed until the third alarm went off, so I had almost no time for anything to go wrong in my getting-ready-for-work routine. After I had eaten, packed my lunch, showered, gotten dressed, packed my backpack, I was getting all of my pocket stuff together: phone off charger and into one pocket, watch off charger and on my wrist, keys in another pocket, and wallet–
My wallet was not where it ought to have been. Now this is no cause for panic on its own, because I am one of the most absent-minded people on the planet, and despite decades of trying to teach myself to always put things in consistent places so I can find them, the reality is that I misplace either my keys, eyeglasses, phone, shoes, hat, et cetera nearly every day. So when my wallet wasn’t where it belonged, all that meant is that I needed to check the five other places where it sometimes gets left around the house. That only took a couple minutes, no big deal, usually.
My wallet wasn’t in the usual places. So I started looking underneath things, pulling out drawers and packs, poking into the pockets of coats in the closet, pulling pairs of pants out of the hamper and checking their pockets, and so on, and so on, and so on…
Throughout this process, I am getting increasingly angry and frantic. At first I was just muttering under my breath, “Where did I leave it?” Which soon became “Where the f– did I leave it!?” Soon I was no longer just muttering. How could I do this to my self again?
About forty-five minutes later I had turned over every corner of the house, when it finally occurred to me to check the car. As soon as I think of the car, I know exactly where it is. On Sunday, after we’d finished grocery shopping, we took the car to the automatic car wash. Because we had been planning to do that, as I was getting in the car in the grocery store parking lot, I pulled my wallet out of my pocket and set it on the inner console, because wrestling with my pocket to extract the wallet so I can put cash in the little machine at the car wash after I’m belted in is not fun.
I ran out to the car, my mind boiling over with the recollections of the times our car has been broken into, along with all the recent reports (both in the news and from neighbors) of overnight car prowls in our neighborhood.
I got to the car. Relieved to see no broken windows. There, sitting on the console, is not only my wallet, but a very visible wad of the bills the car wash payment machine had given me as change. I unlocked the car, retrieved the wallet and money, locked the car again, and rushed back inside.
I was running quite late by then. Fortunately, I had no morning meetings on Monday, and no one anxiously waiting for me to handle any emergencies when I got in.
Tuesday morning, I tried to get up and moving sooner. I had one meeting before noon, and I was feeling a little worried about something else going wrong.
My worries were not misplaced. I couldn’t find my keys. I tore the house up, again, checking all the usual places. The wallet has only four or five usually misplaced locations; the keys, unfortunately, have about thirty such places. Once I had checked those locations with no luck, I pulled everything out of my backpack and felt around in the bottom of its compartments before I gave up and called my husband to see if he remembered seeing my keys at an unusual spot. He had not.
We haven’t gotten any extra house keys made since the new doors were put in (I just keep forgetting), so I didn’t have any way to lock the deadbolt behind me. My husband told me to just lock the lower lock and get to work.
I hadn’t spent as much time looking, but I had to catch the next bus if I were going to make my meeting. I didn’t run the almost half-mile to the bus stop, but I walked really fast. Which wasn’t entirely easy, because my hasty re-packing of the backpack had left things cattywumpus in there, and I had an uncomfortable lump in the middle of the pack pressing into my back the whole way.
By the time I got to the bus stop, One Bus Away indicated I had about seven minutes until the bus arrived, so I sat on one of the benches and contemplated the pros and cons of trying to straighten out the contents of the backpack. I felt the lump in the center of the back of the pack… and it felt an awful lot like keys.
This backpack has a weird little elastic pocket on the back panel of the main compartment. It is odd shaped and in a spot that’s difficult to get into, so I never use it. Monday afternoon the weather had been very warm, so before leaving the office I had shoved my jacket and my keys on top of everything else in the main compartment before walking home. When I reached home, my husband was already there (as usual), and the door was unlocked, so I hadn’t needed my keys to get into the house. The keys had apparently worked their way into the pocket, not sliding down all the way into it until after I took the pack off when I got home.
I felt like such an idiot.
Wednesday morning, for whatever reason, I woke up, fully awake and ready to get out of bed, about a half hour before the second alarm went up. So I was puttering around the living room and kitchen when Michael needed to leave.
He came downstairs and asked, “Where are your keys?”
I walked over to the coffee table, pointed to my keys, wallet, and hat. “That’s the wrong question,” I explained. “If my luck keeps running badly, today it will be something else entirely. My glasses, or my phone, or—”
“So, where are they?”
As I was gathering my glasses and phone, he started listing other things. “Where’s your jacket? Your iPad? Your headphones? Lunchbag?”
I asked him why he puts up with me. He just laughed and kissed me good bye.
The Supreme Court is hearing arguments today on four cases involving Marriage Equality. Over the last year, the Court has declined to hear appeals of cases where a federal court struck down a ban on same-sex marriage. These four cases are ones in which the lower courts have struck down some aspect of a state ban, and an appellate court has stayed or overruled the lower court ruling. It’s not a done deal by any means, but it seems clear that a majority of the court is at least willing to let marriage equality become the law of the land. My own worry is not that the court won’t rule that gays have a right to marry, but rather that the less enthusiastic justices will force a very narrow ruling that would ultimately allow people to get fired from their jobs if they marry, businesses to refuse to sell to gay people, and so on.
Anyway, they will hear arguments today, but the ruling is not likely to be announced until nearly the end of the term, in June. Still, people are rallying in Washington, D.C., and there are local rallies happening around the country today.
But here are two nice videos that sum up our side of things:
Nobody’s Memories – PFLAG Canada:
(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)
It’s Time for the Freedom to Marry:
(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)
Some years ago (on another blog) I said some extremely stupid (and dickish) things about wish lists. One friend brought the dickish aspect to my attention, and I felt like a complete heel. As well I should have. I didn’t say what I said merely because I was a jerk1. I had reasons for feeling the way I did. But like any emotional baggage, we are seldom aware of just how off-kilter our perception is thrown by carrying it… Read More…
We’d gathered at a friend’s place for gaming, and we were reminded not to turn on a particular light switch because the fixture needed replacing. My husband, Michael, pointed at it and said something along the lines of, “Is there a hardware store nearby?”
“We were going to get someone to come in and—” the friend began.
Michael had already pulled a multitool from his pocket and was checking the wires. “Naw, this will take me a couple minutes, tops.”
Michael and the friend walked to a nearby store while the rest of us set up food and reviewed what happened the previous gaming session. When they got back, Michael set to work.
One of the other friends there looked at me and said, “You’re married to MacGuyver!”
Before I could answer, another one of the friends there said, “You’re just now figuring that out?”
Fixing some badly mangled wires and installing a new fixture is not a super complicated task, obviously (though the number different kinds of things my husband can repair, refurbish, or build is a quite impressive). No, the extraordinary thing is how blithely and eagerly he jumps into such tasks, and the fact that he’s always got a number of tools, spare parts, et al handy.
Sometimes I think he physically feels pain when he sees a machine not functioning correctly. He certainly empathizes strongly with people who are struggling with a device that isn’t working properly. I’m constantly finding computers, phones, or other gadgets stashed around the house in various states of repair he’s got in process. When I ask, about half the time he says, “so-and-so needs a better computer/phone/iPod so I’m trying to get them something newer and more reliable.”
When he doesn’t have someone specifically in mind for a device, he says, “I figured if I get it fixed, I’ll start checking around to see if someone could benefit from the upgrade.”
And those are just a few of his more obvious sterling character traits. I’ve written a few times before about what an incredibly sweet, kind, smart, talented, knowledgeable, skilled, patient, and funny person my husband is. And I am hardly the only person who thinks he’s awesome.
I hope you have a happy birthday, Michael. You’ve more than earned it!
That’s been my life. More than four weeks, now, every day the pollen count is up in the red (nearly, there were two days it barely dipped into the orange, okay? But only barely).
It saps my energy. It makes it hard to even think. It is so difficult to stay in a good mood. Occasionally I get just the right combination of medicine, rest, and fluids to feel almost human for several hours.
My husband was suggesting spending hundreds of dollars on a positive air flow full face-mask filtration respirator. His thinking is that if I wear that for a few hours every night, my sinuses may clear for at least a few hours and my immune system will get a rest for those hours and it will make the rest of the misery more manageable.
“And you can scare the neighbors!”
So I replied, “You want me in a respirator like Darth Vader, where I’ll be tempted to say to random people,” and I lowered my face, “I find your lack of faith… disturbing!”
He laughed and replied, “Just the facemask and helmet!”
When I summarized this on Twitter, our friend @kehf said that if I get the mask system, the line I should be saying to scare people is, “I have altered the deal. Pray I do not alter it further.”
Of course, I know that what I really need to do is clean out the filters on the two air cleaners in the house and otherwise make sure they’re doing their utmost. It’s been a while since they were cleaned. Maybe just getting a few nights in the house with the filters going will have the effect he’s going for with the respirator.
Eric Flint delivers Some comments on the Hugos and other SF awards. Specifically explaining why any system of awards drifts into a subset of any large set of works. It’s a really good read if just for the information about some of the giants in the field who never won awards.
The Family Research Council is once again calling for weeks of fasting and praying to save America from the evil of homosexuality (they say it’s about other things, but just take a look at the list of prayer topics in the article). As part of this they have been publishing a suggested prayer each day. After they published one earlier this week that seemed to be suggesting that gay people raising children should be forcibly drowned, news sites started publishing stories about the other awful anti-gay things said in all of the published prayers. Suddenly, FRC has decided that the prayers needed “editing” and removed them. Fortunately, someone took screen captures each day as they were published: WHOA: FRC ‘reediting’ all those heinous fasting-for-marriage prayers I’ve been showing you!
It’s not just national anti-gay rights activists who are suddenly deleting things they were saying quite opening just a few weeks ago. The Sad Puppies (a.k.a. the anti-gay, racist, misogynist GamerGate allies who are trying to screw up science fiction awards) are suddenly trying to erase hateful things they posted, sometimes just weeks ago. Fortunately there’s Google Cache, Wayback Machine, and screen captures: since some puppies are deleting things.
The National Organization of Marriage’s (NOM) email money begs have started claiming they may have to cancel some of the buses to bring people to D.C. for this year’s anti-gay “march for marriage.” Jeremy Hooper as Good As You thinks that NOM pre-spins its likely low #March4Marriage attendance. Given how they tried to explain away the low turn-out last year, I bet he’s right.
I can’t not share these great stories about parents supporting their kids: Doubts Removed: The Day My Son’s Breasts Were Surgically Taken Off. Which lets me end this update on a positive note!