Thursday, July 28, 2005

Summer Holiday

We (E and I) are off on vacation for the next three weeks. The first two weeks is an adventure hike across northern England. It is described as: “England's classic "Coast-to-Coast" walk is one of the top ten walks in the world. It's 190 miles of sheer hiking pleasure, from the Irish Sea to the North Sea, and takes in three national parks: the Lake District, where England's highest mountains are found; the long green valleys of the Yorkshire Dales (of James Herriot fame), and the sometimes bleak but often dramatic landscapes of the North Yorkshire Moors.”

The third week is spent in Edinburgh where we will take in as much of the Fringe Festival as we can. Interesting fact: Last year’s Fringe 2004 was the biggest ever festival to date presenting 25,326 performances of 1695 shows by 735 companies in 236 venues!
Back at the end of August…

Friday, July 22, 2005

Picnics and Penguins

another gay dad
Last week we took our two young kids to two picnics on Saturday. The first was a brunch with the local GLBT running group. Later that afternoon we attended my work’s GLBT staff and alumni picnic. We were still not done eating snack food. That evening we munched popcorn while seeing the nature documentary, “March of the Penguins” at the movie theatre. I love penguins.
Sunday we took the kids to the SF Zoo for the day and saw their penguins.
We were out every night this week...three dinner parties, a Giants baseball game and a local production of the musical “Brigadoon”.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Vacation Request

In two and a half weeks, E and I leave on an adventure vacation. We try to do at least one a year. Since we have been together we have done a hike in the Alps on the Haute Route to the Matterhorn, a bike ride down the Oregon coast and another bike ride through the Czech Republic. This year we are doing England’s Coast to Coast walk from St. Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay. It is a 190 mile, 15 day, hike from the Irish Sea to the North Sea. We are hiking with a group from July 30 to August 15.
After the hike we are spending a week in Edinburgh (Aug 15-21). We are staying at one of the gay owned Bed and Breakfasts in the city. Our goal is to take in as much of the Fringe Festival as we can. Any suggestions or advice on how to do the Fringe Festival or what not to miss in Edinburgh? This is our first time to Edinburgh and the Festival. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Activity recap

Last Wednesday night we saw the play “Dolly West’s Kitchen” by Frank McGuinness at TheatreWorks. It was an enjoyable but very improbable story. It is three love stories that take place in a small Irish town during WWII. One of the stories is a touching tale involving two gay soldiers.
Thursday night we finally saw the San Francisco Giants win a game. It was against Cincinnati Reds.
Friday night it was back to SF for dinner with friends at Sauce. We all had the same meal. For Salad: Asian Pear & Spiced Cashew Salad, baby lettuces, spinach & strawberry vinaigrette; Main Dish: Pan Seared Halibut Cheek, baby carrots, English peas, herb risotto & beurre blanc. Wine: a bottle of Pinot Noir.
After the meal, E and I then walked a couple blocks to New Conservatory Theatre Center to see “What’s Wrong with Angry” by Patrick Wilde. It is a nice coming of age play of two British school boys that explores the social taboos surrounding teen homosexuality. It was made into the movie “Get Real” several years ago.
Saturday morning we were up at the crack of dawn for a bicycle ride. The last time we were on our bicycles was over 11 months ago when we did a bike tour from Vienna to Prague. We have not been on a bicycle since. Today we were signed to do either a 50-mile or 62-mile ride for the American Lung Association through the scenic rolling hills of the San Francisco Peninsula. E did all 62 miles. I only did 50. I got a flat tire at one of the rest stops. E went ahead and did a 12 mile loop while I changed my tire and waited for him to return. We were exhausted at the end. The last 12 miles was flat but it was cycling straight into a strong head wind. That night we stayed home and had a nice romantic dinner.
Sunday we took E’s two teenage sons to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. We spent the day riding roller coasters, bumper cars, Ferris wheels, and carousels. The boys also went on many of the other thrill rides. It was a beautiful sunny day at the beach.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Friday, July 08, 2005

Make some pride news at the parade

San Francisco Chronicle columnist, Leah Garchik, led off with the following item this morning:

"The Stanford Marching Band, which runs this way and that instead of marching in precision formation, got kicked out of the Pride parade for slowing down the action. The band wasn't a registered participant, but marched along with several gay and lesbian groups from Stanford. Ed J., who with his husband, Eddie R., was with a Queer University Employees at Stanford contingent marching near the band, says a parade monitor with a "cold, hard heart," warned the musicians three times, then called in security to barricade the street and force them out of the lineup. The monitor must have been a Cal grad, says Jones, noting the irony of tight control of a parade about freedom.

The band's Michael Priest said the band has issued an apology to parade organizers, and is hoping that time heals this wound. "We hope to be back next year."


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Poppin' Fourth

Our Fourth of July weekend was packed with activities. We were exhausted by Tuesday morning. Saturday morning I shuttled my two young kids back to their mom while E went for a run. We met friends for coffee and then headed to San Francisco for the day. We visited two excellent exhibitions at the main public library. I would urge anyone in the SF Bay Area to spend an hour to see them sometime in the next month.

"Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals, 1933-1945": Presented by US Holocaust Memorial Museum (part of Smithsonian). Through reproductions of some 250 historic photographs and documents, this exhibition examines the rationale, means, and impact of the Nazi regime's attempt to eradicate homosexuality, leaving thousands dead and many more lives shattered. 6th Floor, Skylight Gallery; through August 18.
"Out at the Library, Celebrating the James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center": Great exhibit of the Library's own collection of gay and lesbian literature and historical documents. Lower Level and 3rd Floor, through October 16.

We had dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant called Santorini near Union Square. We both had the Pomegranate Chicken (marinated roasted chicken infused with pomegranate sauce served with roasted garlic mashed potato and vegetables). It was delicious but a little salty. Latter on in the evening we were dying of thrust.

From the restaurant we walked to the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre to see “Hush Up, Sweet Charlotte”. It is a funny drag show parody of the Bette Davis movie “Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte”.

Sunday we went to a pool party hosted by a member of our running group. That evening we saw “War of the Worlds”. Monday we were back in the city to see the Giants lose again. After the game we saw “Batman Begins”. We both thought that “Batman” was better than “War of the Worlds”.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Independence Weekend

I was very pleased to read that United Church of Christ "acted courageously to declare freedom" when it passed a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage on Independence Day. According to the AP story, “The resolution calls on member churches of the liberal denomination's 1.3 million members to consider wedding policies "that do not discriminate against couples based on gender." It also asks churches to consider supporting legislation granting equal marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples and to work against laws banning gay marriage. The endorsement by the church's rule-making body Monday makes it the largest Christian denomination to endorse same-sex marriage. The vote is not binding on individual churches.”

It is about time Christian denominations wake up about this issue and act in a more God like and loving way. I hope this spurs on several other churches to take a similar stand. Two of the liberal Jewish movements, Reform and Reconstructionist, have supported it for years. (The Conservative movement can’t reach a consensus and the Orthodox movement sees it as an affront to moral values.)

In March 2000, the Jewish Reform movement adopted a resolution by an overwhelming vote stating, in part, that "the relationship of a Jewish, same gender couple is worthy of affirmation through appropriate Jewish ritual." It does not compel any rabbi to officiate at such a ritual and it does not specify what ritual is appropriate for such a ceremony. Nonetheless, the historical and religious significance of this resolution is indisputable. For the first time in history, a major rabbinical body has affirmed the Jewish validity of committed, same gender relationships.

The Jewish Reconstructionist movement has also come out strongly in favor of same-sex marriages, both civil and religious, claiming that just as the love between heterosexuals is celebrated, "so too we celebrate the love between gay or lesbian Jews." Reconstructionist rabbis are not required to perform same-sex ceremonies, however most do.

Our wedding was performed by a straight rabbi in a large suburban synagogue. Seventy percent of the guests attending were straight. It was the same ceremony any other Jewish couple would receive. We just don’t have an official civil license that is recognized by the state. One of the reasons we decided to have a wedding without the legal recognition was to demonstrate that a commitment of Faith and Family was not reserved for the religious right or those of only conservative beliefs. Both our straight and gay friends have commented on beautiful the service was with our families so involved in it. The reception party was a breakthrough as well. No one had ever danced with so many other gay and straight couples on the same dance floor at the same time.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Dad Reminders

We have had our three youngest kids living with us full time for the past two weeks. Usually the 6 and 9 year old are here every other weekend. The 16 year old is with us full time.
Things to remember:
When the 6 year old says her tummy hurts and she feels like she is going to throw up, she is not bluffing. Wait a half hour and see what happens. Do not get in the car.
Remember to remind the 9 year old to go to the bathroom every few hours. He is pee shy but not in the usual way. He is too shy to say he has to go to the bathroom.
Constantly reminding the 16 year old that he has a curfew (midnight) and he can’t spend all night playing poker whenever and wherever he wants.
Other than that, we love having kids around.
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