vivien: (tea)
A high school friend of mine who is a career army officer and currently stationed overseas wrote something earlier today that I thought was important to share. He lives in Tuscon. Congresswoman Giffords is his representative. He said anyone could repost, so I am reposting.

Breach the Divide by C. Kent )

In our comment string, he added "I'm no 'peace-nik' hippie with unrealistic Utopian ideals, but this in-fighting is just sick." I'm glad he and I stayed friends; he's good people, even if we might disagree on some politics. It's this kind of reaching out that needs to happen on both/all sides of the political spectrum. Do unto others... it's such a simple lesson.

I have to hope something good can and will come out of this. I have to, because if I don't, I won't do well at all.
vivien: (Default)
It is hard - so very hard - to wait for social change to occur. Mr. Viv has a marriage missal of his father's (who was a Methodist minister) from the 1920s that lists all the laws of the states at that time and who was not allowed to marry whom because of the color of their skin. Those laws were on the books far too long. The suffrage movement for women's right to vote and the Civil Rights movement all took so long. Too long.

Today I feel hopeful in our latest struggle for human rights. The repeal of Prop 8 is certainly not a done deal, but at least we have this hurdle behind us. It is hard to wait, but I will see the day when gay marriage simply becomes marriage between two people who love each other.
vivien: (Default)
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

I know this from memory (thank you, Schoolhouse Rock). I am proud of my country and my constitution, and I am really proud of our Bill of Rights, which affords us all in this country the right to free speech. I am not embarrassed to say I am patriotic, especially now that I have a government I respect much more than any in my adulthood.

Is my country (and its citizens) perfect? No. We probably never will be because of that whole pesky human nature thing. I still don't want to live anywhere else but here. This is my country.

And now to balance out the patriotic fervor with a little protest song (which many don't realize is a protest song), This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie.

Is this land made for you and me? The tools - our historical documents, our right to vote, our right to speak out against what we feel is wrong - are there. But we have to use them. It is our right and our privilege.

Now, go set off a firecracker and eat some pie! Happy Fourth of July, fellow Americans! And Happy Saturday to everyone else!
vivien: (Default)
The last I have to say about this particular subject:
Here is something I find exceedingly ironic. In the same week as the heated debate over protecting sexual assault victims from accidental triggers within fanfic with better labeling, I find myself wondering how many victims of sexual assault, who were discredited or disbelieved in court or out, are living through their nightmares again because a celebrity died who "was troubled, sure, but wow, so talented and so important!"

Power and money shape our culture, and when you add celebrity into that, the shaping gets even more extreme. I will always care more about quiet victims than I will powerful, wealthy celebrities. I don't care if that is perceived as speaking ill of the dead. Sometimes you must speak.

(ETA The previous statement is not meant to vilify folks who remembered Michael Jackson of their childhood fondly in recent posts. I am reacting more against those who have relegated the improprieties in his life (alleged and documented) to "details of his personal life" in favor of celebrating his talent only and "not speaking ill". This blogpost from Tiger Beatdown linked to me by a friend makes some really incredible points about this in much better ways than I can.)

On a closely related note, a friend, [livejournal.com profile] capn_ahab, wrote an excellent essay on Death of the Famous and Collective Grief that captures a lot what I was thinking about this topic. Go check it out.

And now I'm done.
vivien: (Default)
So I am in Washington, D.C. on "Viv's Big Damn Selfish Vacation" in which I had two priorities: visiting [livejournal.com profile] miraielle while her husband is out of town and geeking out at museums. Lots of museums. I didn't make many other plans with anyone in the area (I hope you will forgive my laxness in arranging get togethers, D.C. area folks), but I wanted to devote my time here to my main priorities, and I have! See, I've been to D.C. three times, and I have only gotten to see a fraction of the cultural attractions, so this is the Time I Am Getting It Right. It's been a lovely visit with my Lynette, too, and I am so glad I came.

Today I was on the 4th of floor of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum when the fatal shooting of a guard occurred. I'd just gotten through viewing most of the exhibits in the hall when the docents began trying to usher us out. They'd said twice "Ladies and gentlemen, we need to clear the floor please" but most everyone ignored them, since they probably thought - like I did - that we needed to move on to make room for the next group. And I didn't wanna! I'd just got started reading! Finally one of them said "We have an emergency and we need to clear the building." That finally got people moving (including me, since I'd hurried along and sucked in as much more of the exhibit as I could).

We weren't told anything; in fact, an older guard ushering us to the stairs affably responded to questions with, "Oh, they like to keep us on our toes with drills, so things are fine, keep moving along." I was able to break out my teacher voice by speaking up for a man in a wheelchair with a young son who was trying to get him to the elevator. I got the people in front of us who were sheeping obliviously along to move the hell out of the way so he could get where he needed. He was very appreciative, so I felt good about being a bossy pants.

By the time we got down the stairs, I was grumbling that if this was the result of some middle school brat pulling the fire alarm, I was going to be highly annoyed. But once we were out, I heard the sirens, and I heard two of the guards talking to each other as they waved us on. One said angrily, "Did we kill the motherfucker?" and I knew that something bad had happened. I still didn't know what exactly.

We were waved on and on by the panicked little docents. I felt sorry for them; they were all college-aged girls or just out of college, it looked like, and they didn't know what was going on either. They were just trying to get the herd of tourists where they needed to be, which was not an easy task. Finally we ended up by the Washington Monument, and that's where I stayed a few minutes. I sat down by a group of folks who'd called relatives with access to newa, and they said that a guard had been shot at and the shooter had been shot. Sadly it was much worse than that, as word has come that the guard has died from his wounds.

My evacuation was calm, the staff acted professionally, and I was, at no time, in any fear. In fact, I strolled on over to the Metro to go down to the Museum of the Native American, which I had wanted to visit, too.

I am very thankful I am okay, and that more people were not hurt. I am also very thankful that I bought the books I wanted to commemorate my visit before I went into the exhibit. I am terribly disappointed I couldn't see the whole exhibit, because I was extremely impressed by the quality of what I saw, but hey. Crimes happen. One of the museum officials told me that I can keep my ticket and whenever I come back, whether it's a couple of years or whatever, I can come in without waiting.

I am saddened by the act of hatred and violence today, and I find the choice of locations to be particularly despicable. But I am okay, and I am safe, if on the righteous fury side of things. I'm heading back to Denver tomorrow, and despite this evil man's actions, he has not ruined my vacation. I just feel so sorry for the guard and his family and co-workers. It is truly a shame that people can't do their job to keep people safe in a freaking museum without risking their lives.

ETA: Thanks those of you who texted, called, or relayed hugs in my direction. All are greatly appreciated.
vivien: (Default)
Another spoilery SPN observation along with, ahem, a Ghost Whisperer spoiler, shut up I like the show, okay? )

Now I go collapse into bed. Whee. It's not even 9:30pm on a Friday. My life is exciting.
vivien: (Default)
I was saddened to see the results of Proposition 8 in California. Social change like this, when it comes to accepting the "other", takes so damn long. I am impatient. I don't want to wait for any couple in a committed relationship to be protected by the legal rights and protections of marriage.

I read this in an AP article by Jerry Schwartz today:
At this astonishing moment, let us pause to reflect. Just 40 years ago, the kind of marriage that brought Barack Obama into the world - one between a black man and a white woman - was illegal in 16 states.

Sigh. I don't want to wait 40 years, and I honestly don't think we'll have to. But we're going to have to keep fighting and advocating for change, no matter how long it takes. It will happen, though. Marriage will be an option for any couple.

I just hope it's sooner rather than later.
vivien: (Default)
Yesterday I was able to delve into my steamer trunk of vintage clothes for the first time in... years, actually. It's a large trunk, and has many many dresses and kimonos and lovely things. Most of them do not fit me anymore, which sucks, but I was a thin thing in high school when I was Vintage Girl.

I am proud of my collection. Most of my things are from the 50's and 60's, but I have a couple from the 40's and one each from the 30's, 20's, and 10's.

I also have vintage hats and gloves and purses.

I really need more places to wear these lovely things. One can only afford so many teas at the Brown Palace.

Mmph. I don't want to start a new week. I want another weekend.
vivien: (Default)
When I was 11 or 12, not only was I in my first phases of my deep Tolkien love, but I was also a soap opera addict. I was a huge, avid General Hospital fan, and back in my day it was all about Luke and Laura. Now, I liked Luke and Laura just fine, but my favorite characters at the time were Alexandra Quartermaine and Victor Cassadine. I loved them as a couple, and I don't even remember why, other than the fact that they were slightly evil, but they loved each other very much. This made them far more interesting than any of the other couples.

So in this huge story arc (the Ice Princess! - bwahahaha, so lame) they were killed one day. I was stunned. I remember wandering into the kitchen, and I must've been crying because my grandmother asked me what was wrong. I told her and she looked at me, with utter disbelief, and said, "Your grandfather watched his friends die in front of him in the war. Are you telling me that you're crying over a tv show?" I remember blinking at her and stopping the crying, because she had a point. But it was sad, and it did hurt to see that particular story come to an end.

If you agreed with my grandma, don't bother reading further )
vivien: (Default)
Sigh... I had a long, heartfelt post that I just accidentally deleted. Can't write it again, as I cried plenty the first time.

Last news about my kitty )

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