aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Friday, April 01, 2005
As I try to build traffic here on my blog, I am grateful for each marker along the way:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Blake Rhodes at icerocket.com tells me I’m included in their Ice Rocket Blog Search. I haven’t found myself but I’m glad to be there.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ No gratitude list would be complete without acknowledging Basil, of Basil’s Blog. He was my first Trackback and has continued with many more, has offered technical support and is a regular commenter. Thanks Basil.
Thank you all. I have to believe, “if you build it, they will come.” These are the good old blogger days!
Monday, March 28, 2005
This article made me remember that in my experience we were more concerned about doctors intervening when we didn’t want it. We weren’t talking about the need for a living will; we were talking about the need for a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate order):
For years, when families and hospitals fought over how to treat critically ill patients, families often pressed to let their loved ones die, while hospitals tried to keep them alive. But in the last decade or so, things have changed. Now...even families who say they believe in removing life support may find that position untenable when their own relatives are involved.
“About 15 years ago, at least 80 percent of the cases were right-to-die kinds of cases,” said Dr. Lachlan Forrow, the director of ethics programs at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who handles 50 to 100 end-of-life conflicts a year. “Today, it’s more like at least 80 percent of the cases are the other direction: family members who are pushing for continued or more aggressive life support and doctors and nurses who think that that’s wrong.”
I still don’t have a living will. It’s clear that if I want my wishes carried out, rather than those based on the hopes, fears, beliefs and emotions of my family, I must make one. (And, for the record, for me a feeding tube will count as a prohibited extraordinary measure.)
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Alas 25,000, here 20
Alas (a blog) reached 25,000 comments yesterday; I reached 20 today. The Last Minute asks that you please post comments rather than send an email; I just added an eMail Joe link to every post on the site.
Instapundit has none. Neither does The Carpetbagger Report. I decided from the start that I wanted them; even as I’m not real eager for the rough and tumble I sometimes see in other bloggers’ comments.
I’ve written a personal note to everyone who’s posted a comment here; I’m excited every time one shows up. I write new entries responding to commenters. Yeh, I want comments.
So please, go ahead and leave a comment if you’d like. Or feel free to send an email. Whatever’s your style is good by me.
Sunday, March 20, 2005
The Tyranny of Choice
Virginia Postrel (who’s got the best looking blog I’ve yet to come across), has a piece in Forbes on a subject my friends will tell you I’ve been ranting on about for years and years: Choice. Virginia says: I’m Pro Choice.
Well me too. (And in more ways than one, by the way.)
Too much choice may cause regret, but no choice is worse. Subjects who ate a chocolate selected by the experimenter, rather than the one they’d picked, were much less satisfied.
The topic is Barry Schwartz, who wrote the book The Paradox of Choice. Published last year, I’ve been marginally aware of it and am inclined to believe its conclusion: the more choice the more unhappiness.
Saturday, March 19, 2005
A friend who lives in the neighborhood has been singing the praises of Babu since it opened. He neglected, however, to mention this:
The menu came without prices...guests were invited to eat, enjoy, and then, at the end of the meal, pay what they thought it was worth. “I’d rather work out the kinks in the kitchen first,” Payal Saha, the restaurant’s owner, explained the other day, sitting at a corner table of Babu, which was about a quarter full of couples quietly eating and mentally calculating the value of their experience.
She’s since worked out the kinks so now guests pay, but what a wonderful way to start out. That kind of thing just wouldn’t work here.
Book Meme update
Friday, March 18, 2005
With my new guest blogger, Jen, I gain on two fronts: a woman blogger and a liberal blogger. There’s been so much going round the blogosphere lately on these fronts that it’s hard to find a starting point.
On blogging and women. Kevin Drum the other day:
On a lazy Sunday several weeks ago I wrote about the dearth of women among the ranks of the most highly trafficked political bloggers. I suggested the reason was partly because high-traffic men don’t link much to women and partly because fewer women than men write political blogs in the first place. But why do fewer women blog about politics than men?
In my initial post I wrote this: “My guess...is that men are more comfortable with the food fight nature of opinion writing - both writing it and reading it....I imagine that the fundamental viciousness and self aggrandizement inherent in opinion writing turns off a lot of women.”
Two days later I added this: “Men are so routinely dismissive of women and so fundamentally dedicated to playground dominance games that many women decide they just don’t want to play.”
Read the whole thing. Thoughtful and with good links. Then today he added more.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
How’d she find me?
Read your wed site [a Freudian sic] - pretty nice. The pictures very good. But, I must tell you that the word before has an e on the end. That is the only correction I noticed. Otherwise, good job. Why don’t you think about writing a book? I think you would be good.
Hm. Maybe. If Wonkette can do it...
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
There’s a Book Meme making the rounds, and phin has tagged me with it. phin got it from Oddybobo of Bobo Blogger who got it from Harvey of Bad Example who got it from Contagion of Miasmatic Review who got it from Boudicca of Boudicca’s Voice who got it from Eric of Straight White Guy who got it from Reilly of Uptown Girl who got it from Grumpy Bunny who got it from Kandice of Kandy’s Dish who got it from Amanda of Human Oddities (and Mishaps) who got it from Barrie from The Pink Bee who swallowed the spider to catch the fly and I don’t know why she ...
Er, I’m lost. I don’t know what a Book Meme is and though a Google search got some hits, Wikipedia failed miserably. Apparently there are some questions involved, so I might just as well go ahead and answer them…
Friday, March 11, 2005
It’s cold in Georgia. 70 in Wyoming and 41 here. What’s going on?
Maybe I jinxed us with that daffodil picture! It’s been cold since and is forecast to stay that way through next week. brrr.
UPDATE 3/12/05: The forecast was wrong! 74 and sunny today. I took the dogs to the forest.
Monday, March 07, 2005
I worked at the Dunkin Donuts on Route 22 in Harrisburg, PA in 1972, so I know that it’s true:
“Boy, those big jelly donuts, yeast raised with granulated sugar on the outside, were so loaded with jelly that when we took a bite out of one, it would squirt. It was fantastic! Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ This great experience left an indelible memory of how donuts meant so much to me.”
Ah yes, and to me too. But no more. There’s none here where I live now. Nada. And I’m not sure recent developments bode well for one coming here anytime soon:
Over the past five years the chain has sought to burnish its pastries with a glaze of class: Dunkin’ Donuts is reinventing itself as an upstairs-downstairs coffee house. It wants to lure more white-collar customers while tending to its loyal base of proles.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
The Sunday Times
I’m in Athens this morning. At Jittery Joe’s, the “legendary coffee shop” (photo), I read the Sunday New York Times.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Frank Rich on Hunter Thompson:
Read “Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ‘72” - the chronicle of his Rolling Stone election coverage - and you find that his diagnosis of journalistic dysfunction hasn’t aged a day: “The most consistent and ultimately damaging failure of political journalism in America has its roots in the clubby/cocktail personal relationships that inevitably develop between politicians and journalists.”
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ I distrust a life lived meticulously and constantly within the strictest mores of society:
Mr. Rader and his wife of 34 years went to church each Sunday. Sometimes when he left an after-work bar outing to hurry home, his colleagues would privately breathe a sigh of relief; with him gone, they could drink up and tell off-color jokes. As far back as the eighth grade, Mr. Rader was picked for the prestigious school patrol, who carried big red Stop signs and told classmates and drivers when to go and when not to.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ People here seem to look forward to retirement more than those I knew in New York. I find the idea of conventional retirement unsatisfying.
The baby boomers are also shunning the golden-years notion of retirement as an endless vacation. Surveys by AARP and other organizations are finding that up to 80 percent of boomers plan to do some sort of paid work into their 70’s. They see continued participation in the work force as a way to help them stay mentally sharp and socially engaged, as well as financially more secure.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ A film school graduate myself, I agree that studying film is a way to learn about power structures and how individuals influence each other. But more important, I learned then and believe now still that…
...filmic skills are too valuable to be confined to movie world professionals. “The greatest digital divide is between those who can read and write with media, and those who can’t,” Ms. Daley said. “Our core knowledge needs to belong to everybody.” In fact, even some who first enrolled in U.S.C.’s film school to take advantage of its widely acknowledged position as a prime portal to Hollywood have begun to view their cinematic skills as a new form of literacy.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ I still don’t know what I think about the FEC consideration of Internet politicking:
Anyone who decides to “set up a blog, send out mass e-mails, any kind of activity that can be done on the Internet” could be subject to Federal Election Commission regulation, Bradley A. Smith, a Republican commissioner, said in an interview posted Thursday on the technology news site Cnet.com.
“It becomes a really complex issue that would strike deep into the heart of the Internet and the bloggers who are writing out there today,” said Mr. Smith, who opposed regulating Internet activity when the commission originally addressed it in 2002.
The commenter on my post last night makes good sense to me. I’m going to have to read much more on this before I figure out what I really think.
Saturday, February 26, 2005
My boyfriend’s crying
Thursday, February 24, 2005
I say eat him
There’s a schizoid quality to our relationship with animals, in which sentiment and brutality exist side by side. Half the dogs in America will receive Christmas presents this year, yet few of us pause to consider the miserable life of the pig—an animal easily as intelligent as a dog—that becomes the Christmas ham.We tolerate this disconnect because the life of the pig has moved out of view. When’s the last time you saw a pig? (Babe doesn’t count.) Except for our pets, real animals—animals living and dying—no longer figure in our everyday lives. Meat comes from the grocery store, where it is cut and packaged to look as little like parts of animals as possible. The disappearance of animals from our lives has opened a space in which there’s no reality check, either on the sentiment or the brutality. Several years ago, the English critic John Berger wrote an essay, ‘’Why Look at Animals?’’ in which he suggested that the loss of everyday contact between ourselves and animals—and specifically the loss of eye contact—has left us deeply confused about the terms of our relationship to other species. That eye contact, always slightly uncanny, had provided a vivid daily reminder that animals were at once crucially like and unlike us; in their eyes we glimpsed something unmistakably familiar (pain, fear, tenderness) and something irretrievably alien. Upon this paradox people built a relationship in which they felt they could both honor and eat animals without looking away.
I look my dogs in the eye. Read the article. It deserves another look.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Sean at White Peril wrote another gay marriage post. In this one he mentioned mine and pointed to my About page (which I’m not linking to myself because I’ve been meaning to spiff it up). Both Doug and I are flattered that he called us “adorable” and liked my smile. Thank you Sean.
So I went to his site thinking I’d leave a comment but I found that he and Michael from Gay Orbit ("discover your inner homo” - must add him to my blogroll right away) were going back and forth in the comments. Preferring not to engage, I will send Sean an email instead.
I followed the comments over to Gay Orbit in search of a promised post. There I was happy to serendipitously find that gay is back in the federally funded suicide workshop I alluded to the other day. Finally, I read Michael’s post, It’s not gay marriage. I suggest you do too.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Gender identity fun
Basil points to the Gender Genie, created with the help of an ingenious little algorithm (somewhere in this 32 page paper) that takes a writing sample and predicts whether it was authored by a male or a female. It got me right (male!) on all three tries.
Ok, so now I’m on a roll. Last stop, for old times’ sake, The Draginatrix. Enjoy!
Saturday, February 19, 2005
Jake turns 6
Seen here sunning on my sister’s boat. The actual date was last week. We forgot; he’ll never know.
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Sidebars, blogrolls & why I blog
This site is a work in progress; I’m pleased with the progress. Most recently I’ve been working on sidebars. On the left is my ”Blogroll," powered by Blogrolling. It could use some arranging and sorting, but each and every one of them is a blog I’ve enjoyed. I urge you to visit all of them. On the right, sites I visit regularly, people who have influenced me, organizations I respect, or things I’ve found interesting. One day soon I’ll add advertising; on both sides.
A section I’m particularly pleased with is “On Blogging” over on the lower right (and detailed below). There you’ll find a collection of links to resources that have helped me build this blog, and inform how I conceive this blog. I recommend them to anyone who wants to put together a blog of their own.
I look at my blog as a garden; the sidebars are two flower beds. Now that they are seeded, I must tend to them, cultivate them and prune them from time to time to ensure that they will bloom, blossom and grow. Thank you Basil of Basil’s Blog for working out my alignment issue; and Harry of Kudzu Files for solving my blogrolling problem.
I’ve also added a post here on why I blog. It’s lifted unedited from my old blog where it was originally posted when I first started blogging on December 7, 2004. If you’re interested, check it out.
Monday, February 14, 2005
TiVo time-shifting is such that I just watched The West Wing episode featuring an appearance by Lawrence Lessig (as played by Christopher Lloyd). I bumped this episode up above others I’ve yet to watch after reading on Lessig’s blog how he came to be a character: “Lots of speculation and fantastic praise about the West Wing gig. It was a hoot to watch. But in two seconds (I’m late for a meeting) let me put this in perspective...”
I enjoy The West Wing, even as it has been deemed passÃƒÂ© by Wonkette. (”Wow, The West Wing is still on?” Good I don’t live in DC.) This far from Broadway, the show’s the only way I get to see Kristin Chenoweth. Sans song: I loved her first as Sally in the under-rated Broadway musical production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
I’m always looking for good quality drama to add to my TiVo lineup. Please, if anyone has a suggestion, pass it on. Via comment (below) or email (in sidebar).
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Monday, February 07, 2005
Welcome: My new weblog
I started blogging on December 6, 2004 over on my personal website. A few weeks ago I decided to seperate my personal site from my blogging site and to build this one, a “real” blog. Here I’ll have a blogroll, an about page, email link, sitemeter and comment validation to fight spam.
As you can see, all of those features aren’t up and going. I was fiddling and diddling and realized that if I didn’t move soon it would take me forever to get this site ready. So today I take the plunge. If in these next few weeks as I build the site out you experience technical difficulties, I hope you will bear with me.
As always, thanks for visiting and please come back!
Sunday, February 06, 2005
You could be wondering, I did, why blog? For me, I set up my website so that I could have a way of keeping in touch with, and being found by, old friends and colleagues. I spent my entire adult life in New York; for 25 years I was the only Windish in the Manhattan phone book (now there are none). If someone, anyone, wanted to find me, all they had to do was look. Everyone knew I was and would always be a New Yorker. But look, here I am in rural Georgia. Won’t they be surprised! So one reason I’ve staked my claim to the Internet space is to be found.
The blog is an extension of that and more: it’s a way to stay intellectually engaged both with my far away friends and with the world of issues and ideas. In New York I felt very engaged; I was constantly involved in rigorous conversations on the issues of the day. Even at work we had a tradition of lunches together during which we’d debate issues, sometimes heatedly. I looked forward to a monthly Internet industry salon that I contributed to through the peak of the Internet bubble.
Here I’m just as engaged, but I rarely have the conversations I once thrived on. I still subscribe to my magazines, watch the news programs, and read the blogs that get me all fired up. I’m as fired up as ever; with nowhere to let off steam. So maybe my blog will help with that. Maybe it will open up whole new worlds. Maybe a new day’s dawning. So with that swell thought, here goes…