Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Yes. It's True. I'm a Pig.

So, this morning I'm lying in bed reading the newspaper, and my significant other comes into the room. She'd been ironing and watching the news on tv. She remarked, "Wow, Deep Throat died."

I said, "Huh! The guy or the woman?"

She said, "The guy ..." and looked at me, puzzled.

"Who, Harry? Isn't he kinda young?" It was my turn to be puzzled. Harry Reems can't be more than 60-something.

"No, you dope! Mark Felt!"

"Oh! THAT Deep Throat!"

She laughed at me, and I blushed. Actually, then I had to laugh at me. Ain't love a beautiful thang?

Throw Your Shoes at Dubya

The title says it all. Just go here and get rid of all your aggressions in a harmless way.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

National LGBTQ Food Drive for Equality

According to their website, "In the spirit of the holiday season, let's set aside our own struggles and needs, to demonstrate to the nation and the world the collective power of the LGBTQ community to be a force of betterment for all society.

Beginning on November 28th, 2008 and going until we Light Up the Night for Equal Rights on December 20th, JoinTheImpact is launching the first national LGBTQ Food Drive for Equality!

Through this event, we will work to reach out not only to those who have worked alongside us, but to organizations and individuals that fear us and oppose our cause by donating to faith based food pantries."

It's for a good cause, and frankly, perhaps the faith-based community who votes so often against us will have a change of heart if they can only put real faces to the big blank blur of [insert whatever evil picture comes to mind] so many think we are. We aren't Satan, and we care about those in need just as much as any person with an open heart.

Locally, San Francisco and Oakland have united to be a force of progress in this endeavor. You can even go online and have goods (food, clothing) delivered to the drop site from Safeway, Target, Sears, etc. Click here for more information.

Hat tip to Sheryl, you know who you are.

What I Think of Rick Warren


Not yet the Inauguration, but this kitty and I already want him to STFU.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Melissa Etheridge on The View: Blue Christmas

She performs at the end, but the interesting part is when she takes on Elizabeth "I'm Against Same-Sex Marriage" Hasselbeck and has to explain to her all about the tyranny of the majority and why it's un-American for the majority to vote on the rights of the minority.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

'Atsa Lotsa Ocelot



Tiggers love ocelots! This little "miracle kitten" was just born at Beardsley Zoo, and has the fine distinction of being only the third such ocelot ever born via artificial insemination. Read about it here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Found the Girly Pics! LOL!

Here they are! Okay, let it never be said I'm not a brave soul. Here is Yours Truly in a dress. (No laughing from the peanut gallery, thankaveramuch.) My favorite part is the very sexy bottle of Resolve spray in the background and the shadow behind my head, making it look like I've got a little beehive goin' there.


Look at me showing some skin! HAHAHA! Guess I was tryin' to tantalize a certain woman named Chelle. ;-)

Here I am again in case she missed the cleavage, making darn sure she got a good peek at the girls:


"Here ya go! Check em out! Now ask me out!"

Worked like a charm.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I'll Take That Dare!

OK, I'm still looking for the darn dress photo. I know it's somewhere on a disk. But until I find it, y'all can get a good giggle out of these two ... back in my bodybuilding days. (Hey, all I gotta do is drop 30 pounds! I've been running religiously on my new treadmill ... y'all just wait.)


I do think my shoulders were too broad...I either needed to lay off those or bulk the legs up more.

Here's another of me in the pool lookin' awfully fetchin'......LOL



It's like please, please, please, will you go on a date with me?

Ahhhhh, memories.

OK, I'll keep hunting for the dress photo. I'm sure I wouldn't have tossed it, because it's not often I put on a dress and heels and make-up....

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Tribute to Zenyatta

It is, after all, Zenyatta Day. She's the 9-for-9 unbeaten filly who, in my mind, deserves Horse of the Year.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Last Dance: Final Days of Bay Meadows (Part 1)

I tried posting Part One yesterday and for whatever reason, it failed to appear on my blog. So ... here it is. Love the beginning; it's shot on the Caltrain going north up the Peninsula and pulls into the Hillsdale station. I can't tell you how many times I took that ride on the way to my old "home away from home." Another fun tidbit is the short interview with one of the track's characters, exercise rider Joe Hernandez. He's sitting at what was Michelle's bar (Michelle's fans: she's working over at the new OTB facility and says to come visit her!) Joe is the same guy I wrote about here once who pinched me in the love handles and told me he likes gals with a little meat on them. LOL! He's not in Alaska or Hawaii, by the way...he's doing fine over at Golden Gate Fields. For now. :-)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Last Dance: Final Days of Bay Meadows (Part 3) (Bay Meadows' last race)

More notes: in the paddock, in stall four, that's where Chelle and I got married on August 15. In the last race at Bay Meadows, the Last Dance Stakes, the winning horse--number 6, You Lift Me Up--went on to win her next race down south. Finally, we drove by Bay Meadows last weekend, and it's gone. The place is just a pile of twisted metal, rebar, and splintered wood.

The Last Dance: Final Days of Bay Meadows (Part 2)

Two notes: you'll see the Ferris wheel and other rides in the background; that's because the final two weeks at Bay Meadows was held during the San Mateo County Fair. Also, the track announcer, Michael Rona, just auditioned a week ago at Churchill Downs and may very well wind up there. (Right now he's over at Golden Gate.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Three-Way



Well, not that kinda three-way ... but a three-way dead heat for first place. It's pretty rare. But this is the photo finish.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good News on Prop 8

You goin' DOWN, m'f*cker! This is a press release from the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

California Supreme Court Grants Review In Prop 8 Legal Challenges
Court to determine constitutionality of Prop 8

(San Francisco, California, November 19, 2008)—Today the California Supreme Court granted review in the legal challenges to Proposition 8, which passed by a narrow margin of 52 percent on November 4. In an order issued today, the Court agreed to hear the case and set an expedited briefing schedule. The Court also denied an immediate stay.

On November 5, 2008, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit challenging the validity of Proposition 8 in the California Supreme Court on behalf of six couples and Equality California. The City of San Francisco, joined by the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles, and Santa Clara County, filed a similar challenge, as did a private attorney in Los Angeles. [additional counties just joining the suit include Marin, San Mateo--my county! yay!--Santa Cruz, and Alameda]

The lawsuits allege that, on its face, Proposition 8 is an improper revision rather than an amendment of the California Constitution because, in its very title, which was “Eliminates the right to marry for same-sex couples,” the initiative eliminated an existing right only for a targeted minority. If permitted to stand, Proposition 8 would be the first time an initiative has successfully been used to change the California Constitution to take away an existing right only for a particular group. Such a change would defeat the very purpose of a constitution and fundamentally alter the role of the courts in protecting minority rights. According to the California Constitution, such a serious revision of our state Constitution cannot be enacted through a simple majority vote, but must first be approved by two-thirds of the Legislature.

Since the three lawsuits submitted on November 5, three other lawsuits challenging Proposition 8 have been filed. In a petition filed on November 14, 2008, leading African American, Latino, and Asian American groups argued that Proposition 8 threatens the equal protection rights of all Californians.

On November 17, 2008, the California Council of Churches and other religious leaders and faith organizations representing millions of members statewide, also filed a petition asserting that Proposition 8 poses a severe threat to the guarantee of equal protection for all, and was not enacted through the constitutionally required process for such a dramatic change to the California Constitution. On the same day, prominent California women’s rights organizations filed a petition asking the Court to invalidate Proposition 8 because of its potentially disastrous implications for women and other groups that face discrimination.

In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court held that barring same-sex couples from marriage violates the equal protection clause of the California Constitution and violates the fundamental right to marry. Proposition 8 would completely eliminate the right to marry only for same-sex couples. No other initiative has ever successfully changed the California Constitution to take away a right only from a targeted minority group.

Over the past 100 years, the California Supreme Court has heard nine cases challenging either legislative enactments or initiatives as invalid revisions of the California Constitution. In three of those cases, the Court invalidated those measures.

For more information on this case, go to:http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/supreme/highprofile/prop8.htm

This is the same court and same judges that made gay marriage legal to begin with, so this bodes well that justice may actually be served.

NO ON PROP HATE

Friday, November 14, 2008

In Honor of Our Jockeys

This is really a beautifully created video. If your image is blurry, it's worth going over to Youtube and watching it in "high definition." Hat tip to my pal Cary!

Toni Mirosevich's Pink Harvest


I've written about Toni Mirosevich here before. I may have even persuaded a few of you to buy her latest book of prose, Pink Harvest. Well, if you didn't, perhaps now you will ... 'cause I just found out that book was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist. Yeehaw! You go, Toni! Click here for her official website.

Calming Down, Keeping Perspective

This morning's Chronicle ran a story about how the voting on Prop 8 went within the city of San Francisco, and, as has been suggested over the past week and a half, it does appear heavily Asian and African-American districts went in favor of Prop 8. The finger-pointing has commenced, and many of us who were against Prop 8 feel betrayed. The thinking goes: WTF?! We (white gays) have supported you in your struggles for civil rights, and now you turn your backs on us? Or, WTF?! You of all people know what it's like to be discriminated against; how, then, do you find it so easy to turn around and discriminate against someone else?

These feelings are understandable--because we've been knocked to the ground, and that doesn't feel very good. But, it's exactly what the Yes on 8 people want. Divide and conquer. If we're all busy arguing and pushing blame onto others, we're not focusing on the important work that needs to be done. Let's not create divisions; rather, let's reach out, dialogue calmly, EDUCATE. What's that old saying? You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Besides, honey's much better for the soul. And trust me when I say I know a number of African American and Asian honeys, male and female, who are most definitely on our side.

Here's a letter from our local movers and shakers. I'm taking it to heart.

Dear Community,

We are on the cusp of a new era as our country has elected its first African-American president, Barack Obama. We hope this unprecedented event will usher in a new chapter in our nation’s history.

This past week has been a difficult time. With the passage of Proposition 8 in California to change the state constitution to eliminate the right to marry, our community has experienced a difficult defeat. We are angry and upset by the passage of Proposition 8 and the betrayal of the promise of equality that has been the hallmark of the Golden State. Yet, we know that this is only a setback in—not the end of—our journey toward full equality for the LGBT community.

It is natural to analyze what went wrong. But in recent days there has been a tendency to assign blame to specific communities, in particular, the African American community. The fact is, 52 percent of all Californians, the vast majority of whom were not African Americans, voted against us. In addition, the most recent analysis of the exit poll that drove much of this speculation determined that it was too small to draw any conclusion on the African American vote, and further polling shows that the margin was much closer than first reported. Most importantly, though, none of this discourse changes the outcome of the vote. It only serves to divide our community and hinder our ability to create a stronger and more diverse coalition to help us overturn Proposition 8 and restore full equality and human rights to LGBT people. It also deflects responsibility from the group that is responsible for this miscarriage of justice: The Yes on 8 campaign. They waged a deceitful and immoral campaign that brought about this violation of our human rights and dignity.

We as a community have come so far. Let’s not lose sight of this. Since Proposition 22 passed eight years ago by 22 percentage points, we have made our case to the people of California. We have talked to our families, co-workers and friends about what true equality looks like. In so doing, we have narrowed the gap substantially since that time. And, in the last week, we have continued to move forward with a great wave of non-violent protest and a strong and powerful legal case put together by some of the keenest legal minds, supported by the governor, our senators and many other elected officials in our state. Moreover, we have seen a great national movement growing in support of equal rights for the LGBT community as a result of our actions in California.

We are hopeful the election of Barack Obama signals a new spirit of collaboration among diverse groups of people. There are many allied communities—straight, African-American, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, people of faith, and secular people—who are energized to join with us as never before. This is progress! LGBT people are a part of all those communities, and with the support of our straight allies, we know that justice will prevail.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best: “The arc of moral justice is long, but it bends toward justice.” Now is the time to come together as one community working together toward human rights and full equality. We are confident that with our growing coalition we will ultimately win this fight.

Sincerely,

Ron Buckmire
Barbara Jordan/Bayard Rustin Coalition

Rea Carey
Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Jennifer Chrisler
Executive Director, Family Equality Council

Oscar De La O
President & CEO, Bienestar

John Duran
Member, West Hollywood City Council

Rabbi Denise L. Eger
Congregation Kol Ami

Lorri L. Jean
CEO, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center

Kate Kendell
Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights

Geoff Kors
Executive Director, Equality California

Francine Ramsey
Executive Director, Zuna Institute

Rev. Susan Russell and Rev. Ed Bacon
All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena

Rodney Scott
President, Christopher Street West/LA Pride

Joe Solmonese
President, Human Rights Campaign

Rev. Dr. Neil G. Thomas
Metropolitan Community Church/LA

Vallerie D. Wagner
National Black Justice Coalition

Marshall Wong
Co-Chair, API Equality—L.A.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Da Spouse Speaks Her Piece

My sweetie got caught up last night on a horseracing forum where some were defending the passage of Prop 8 here in California. She felt obligated to throw in her two cents' worth--a big step for her, because over half of those guys who frequent that forum had no idea she is a woman, much less a lesbian. She's getting lots of congratulations and support this morning from this group of fellas, so with her permission, I'm posting here what she had to say:

Prop 8 p*ssed me off. I married my lifetime partner on August 15th in paddock #4 at Bay Meadows (we all know how much I loved that that track - there's the proof ). Sure, we had a lawyer draw up a trust, power of attorney and living will (at a cost of $3,500), had a civil union several years ago in Vermont and were registered domestic partners in California, but it's not the same. Yes, many of the rights are the same with a marriage and a domestic partnership (in California), the only big difference that I can think of off the top of my head is that my partner no longer has to pay taxes on the health benefits that she receives from my employer, she did when we were "domestic partners". But unlike "straight" marriage, mine probably won't be recognized if I cross state lines. If we are involved in an accident when we travel on vacation in another state, I may very well not be allowed to visit my wife in the hospital and make decisions on her care - my brother and his wife who live in Vermont would have no problem in this same situation. Unfair. If I move to another state, my marriage is not recognized, my brothers is. Unfair.

I'd like to discuss the "I chose to be gay". Who the h*ll would *choose* to be gay? Who *chooses* to be born tall or short, with brown eyes or blond hair, webbed toes - who chooses to be significantly different in any way? Why is 10% of the population left handed? Did you *choose* to like the opposite sex? I'm sorry for all of the folks born straight who just don't get it but I didn't choose this - I *knew* when I was 4 years old that I liked Lisa in my pre-school class the same way that my best friend Tommy liked her, but unfortunately, I absolutely knew in 1970 that a girl liking a girl was not cool - and how sad is that for a four year old kid to know that what they feel at the core of their very being is "not acceptable". It sucks.

For those of you in other parts of this great country, and there is no where else I'd rather live, I understand that this is not something you may understand, want to accept, or can even tolerate - but it is my life and the life or upwards of 10% of your fellow Americans - whether you like it or not, we are amongst you - we are your co-workers, your family members, your friends, your neighbors, and we may even be you. It's ok, we are all Americans and we look out for each other. The only thing that separates us is fear of the unknown, some hate, some misunderstanding and unfortunately, religious beliefs. There, I said it. Interpretation of the Bible separates us. You can read it anyway you want, but to say that my life is not worthy of the same rights you have is ridiculous. In the Old Testament, homosexuality is practically on the same level as eating shellfish and wearing blended fabrics - yes, all are an abomination. Think about why these items were "forbidden" - homosexuality didn't propagate the species, eating bad shellfish caused horrible illness and sometimes death, and blended fabrics simply looked tacky (ok, I made that part up). Times change, as evidenced by the Civil War, suffrage, Civil Rights, the fall of the Berlin Wall, etc. People afraid of change are simply fearful that the way that they live their life may change, and folks like to be comfortable. I know I do. But I also appreciate changes in my life and the lives of others – who can’t appreciate happiness and seeing others do well? Why wouldn’t we want that for others? Only two reasons – fear of change and wanting to impose your belief on others – neither are good reasons. Live your life, do it as well as you can, let others live theirs as well. And let God sort ‘em all out in the end – remember, that’s above your pay grade.

My two cents.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Prop 2 And Prop 8



You have to admit it's weird when chickens are treated more humanely than gay people.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Special Comment on Gay Marriage ~ Keith Olbermann

If you missed this, you must see it! It's an impassioned, articulate response to the passage of Prop 8 by a man who is straight.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rachel Maddow for VP 2012

On a happier note, it occurs to me that, if the phenomenally frightening Sarah Palin wants to run for Prez in 2012, we Democrats should reignite our own base by putting in our own gal (to be Barack Obama's running mate, of course!) I can think of no better choice than the pretty and witty and gay Rachel Maddow. Heck, I'd vote for her as early and as often as I could!

On the Legality of H8

This editorial by James Brosnahan ran in yesterday's Chronicle:

Proposition 8 has passed, denying to some the right enjoyed by other citizens in California, the right to marry. Now, the central question for the courts to decide is: Are gays in California equal, or can members of certain churches declare them constitutionally inferior?

The approval of a constitutional ban on gay marriage raises troubling but age-old issues concerning the lines between religion and government. Before the founders of our country separated church and state, there were hundreds of years of turmoil caused by one religion dominating the government and using it against nonbelievers.

In the aftermath of Tuesday's vote, do gays and lesbians in California have a reason to believe that they have been abused, discriminated against and relegated to a separate-but-equal status?

Yes, and that's why this fight is far from over. There will be a challenge under the U.S. Constitution. In the 1960s, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California constitutional amendment that limited fair housing on the grounds that prejudice could not be put into a state Constitution.

No one can forecast the outcome of this next fight, but there is bound to be some fallout that may harm those religions that so vehemently insisted that their beliefs be placed in the California Constitution. All religions require tolerance to flourish, but in Proposition 8 some religious groups aimed at and wounded gay people in California.

The drafters of the U.S. Constitution had a brilliant, experienced view concerning the importance of drawing the lines to protect religion on the one hand and civil government on the other. They put those lines in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Today, those lines are very relevant.

Government may not attack religion. Californians who have religious beliefs concerning the proper scope of marriage may exercise those rights as they see fit. Churches have always been able to proceed as they wish concerning marriage ceremonies. There was no mandate to suppress religious beliefs. This should be obvious to everyone in California because of our tolerance of all religions.

That the supporters of Proposition 8 were motivated by religious beliefs cannot be denied. Now the religious beliefs of some Californians are in our Constitution and, until overturned, govern us all whether we like it or not.

The other branch of the First Amendment is equally important. The state may not establish a religion. The state may not take principles of religious belief from a religion, any religion, and establish it as the law applicable to all. This line establishing the double branch of protection of religion on the one hand and no establishment on the other was arrived at after hundreds of years of turmoil.

Historically, marriage was used as a method of oppressing a despised group. These lessons of history are relevant to reflect on today. In Ireland, for 150 years, the penal laws provided that no Protestant could marry a Catholic.

Much more recent in the United States were the rules against marriage between a black person and a white person. These were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1960s and the California Supreme Court in the 1940s. Using the civil marriage ceremony as a method of expressing governmental disdain toward a particular group is as old as the Sierra Nevada. It has been an assault on tolerance.

Finally, marriage is a fundamental right in constitutional analysis. There are very few things in life more important than the ability to choose one's partner. Marriage is not just a word; it is a status, a state of mind, a way of being. Look in any direction and you will see examples of the people's respect for the institution of marriage.

A large group of Californians has now been denied that fundamental institution. These folks are our neighbors, our friends, our colleagues and our relatives. The constitutional promise of this state is, as the California Supreme Court held, that they are equally protected in the enjoyment of rights by all Californians. But the voters have spoken.

Now it will be up to the courts to explain whether equality is real - or just an illusion. I would not wish to be the one to justify this vote to a gay woman going to Afghanistan in the military, to a gay police officer who risks everything so we may be safe or any of the other thousands of gays and lesbians in California who contribute so much to our culture, our advancement and our well being.

I cannot square this vote with my view that Californians are decent, accepting and tolerant. But I know that the gays and lesbians of California, like the oppressed Catholics of Ireland who lived under penal laws, will fight this visible, constitutional, embarrassing injustice until it is no more. And when that day comes, we will live in a better state.

James Brosnahan, author of the "Trial Handbook for California Lawyers," is a senior partner at the Morrison & Foerster law firm in San Francisco.

We Are Just Now Beginning to Fight ...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thoughts On Prop 8

As you can imagine, Tuesday's election was bittersweet for me: I experienced the adrenaline-rush of Obama's win, and then the colossally disappointing low that came a day or so later with the official passage of Proposition 8 here in California. I'm still not sure I can write about this without sputtering inarticulately because it's such an emotionally charged issue for me. To be told I am a second-class citizen, unworthy of equal rights, and that my relationship isn't "good enough" to be worthy of legal marriage is simply painful. Knock-the-breath-out-of-me hurtful. I am incredulous that bigotry, in California of all places, is alive and well.

Then again, should I be all that surprised? The Yes on 8 folks waged a heinous, deceitful, and downright shameful campaign cloaked in the guise of what's Christian, and moral, and good for our children. But the distortions and outright lies that campaign put out are mind-boggling. One ad suggested there's a cause-effect relationship between allowing gay marriage and then toppling moral decline. As proof, the ad offered as an example the Netherlands, which "legalized same-sex marriage in 2001. And to date, incest & polygamy are all legal." Um, yeah, but incest (between adults) has been legal in the Netherlands for the past 200 years. Same-sex marriage didn't cause that. Why not, instead, bring up a country like Canada, where gay marriage is legal? No moral decline there. And what's really ironic is that polygamy was, until fairly recently historically speaking, standard practice in the Mormon Church. Who threw tens of millions of dollars into our state in support of Prop. 8? Sadly, the Mormon Church.

Then again, I always get nervous when people start waving their Bibles at me and cherry-picking verses or stories to justify oppressing certain groups of people. Let's not forget the Bible was once used to justify black slavery in this country.

The Yes on 8 people also claimed that domestic partnerships are the same as marriage in terms of rights, so by passing Prop 8, gay people don't lose any rights. Where else have we heard that "separate but equal" argument? Oh yes, thank God the Supreme Court didn't buy that nonsense either, and desegregated our schools in Brown vs. Board of Education. Fact: domestic partnerships are not the same. One example is health care benefits. Right now, I'm on my spouse's policy as a domestic partner, and by law I have to count the cost of that insurance as income and pay tax on it. Married people don't have to do that. Separate isn't equal. Equal is equal.

The Yes on 8 people also did the following: (1) send threatening letters to donors to the No on 8 campaign, stating they'd "expose" them as gay marriage supporters if they also didn't donate to the Yes on 8 campaign; (2) coordinate a cyber attack on the No on 8 website, essentially shutting down the site days before the election so that donors were unable to give money; and (3) perhaps most disgustingly, robocall registered African American voters in California with a fake "voice" of Barack Obama speaking out (and out of context) against gay marriage. The truth, of course, is that Obama--and even Arnold Schwartzenegger--were against the removal of fundamental rights already granted by the state constitution.

Removal of those rights is a terrible precedent to set. So what also gets my goat are the people who say, "The people of California have voted! This is a democracy! The majority rules, so live with it!" Well, I want to ask them, what America are you living in? Did you never take a government class when you were in high school? Remember America's system of checks and balances? Remember the courts are also supposed to protect minority groups from the tyranny of the majority? If it weren't for the courts overriding the will of the majority when interpreting the Constitution, interracial marriage might still be illegal, and, as suggested earlier, segregation might still be the norm ... and the list goes on. The majority isn't always right.

On the issue of Prop 8, the majority got it wrong. The struggle for civil rights will go on.

Here's an editorial that ran in the New York Times on Wednesday, and I do take heart from the sentiments expressed:

Equality’s Winding Path

Amid the soaring oratory about the presidential election, it was Barack Obama who put it best late Tuesday night. “That’s the genius of America, that America can change,” he said. “Our union can be perfected.”

But as Mr. Obama’s victory showed, the path to change is arduous. Even as the nation shattered one barrier of intolerance, we were disappointed that voters in four states chose to reinforce another. Ballot measures were approved in Arkansas, Arizona, Florida and California that discriminate against couples of the same sex.

We do not view these results as reason for despair. Struggles over civil rights never follow a straight trajectory, and the ugly outcome of these ballot fights should not obscure the building momentum for full equality for gay people, including acceptance of marriage between gay men and women. But the votes remind us of how much remains to be done before this bigotry is finally erased.

In Arkansas, voters approved a backward measure destined to hurt children by barring unmarried couples from becoming adoptive or foster parents. In Arizona, voters approved a state constitutional amendment to forbid same-sex couples from marrying. Florida voters approved a more sweeping amendment intended to bar marriage, civil unions and other family protections.

The most notable defeat for fairness was in California, where right-wing forces led by the Mormon Church poured tens of millions of dollars into the campaign for Proposition 8 — a measure to enshrine bigotry in the state’s Constitution by preventing people of the same sex from marrying. The measure was designed to overturn May’s State Supreme Court decision, which made California the second state to end that exclusion of same-sex couples. Massachusetts did so in 2004.

The firmly grounded ruling said that everyone has a basic right “to establish a legally recognized family with the person of one’s choice,” and found California’s strong domestic partnership statute to be inadequate.

We wish that Tuesday’s vote of 52 percent to 48 percent had gone the other way. But when those numbers are compared with the 61 percent to 39 percent result in 2000, when Californians approved the law that was overturned by their Supreme Court, it is evident that voters have grown more comfortable with marriage equality.

Progress is evident, too, in the fact that since 2000, the California Legislature has twice passed a measure to let gay couples marry — only to be vetoed by the Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. To his credit, he opposed Proposition 8. We suspect that if California holds another referendum on the issue down the road, it will yield a different result.

Not all the results for same-sex marriage were negative. In Connecticut, voters rejected a proposed constitutional convention through which opponents of same-sex marriage wanted to overturn a recent decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court, on sound equal protection grounds, allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Far from showing that California’s Supreme Court was wrong to extend the right of marriage to gay people, the passage of Proposition 8 is a reminder of the crucial role that the courts play in protecting vulnerable groups from unfair treatment.

Apart from creating legal uncertainty about the thousands of same-sex marriages that have been performed in California and giving rise to lawsuits challenging whether the rules governing ballot measures were properly followed, the immediate impact of Tuesday’s rights-shredding exercise is to underscore the danger of allowing the ballot box to be used to take away people’s fundamental rights.

Friday, October 31, 2008

NO ON PROP 8

Historically, when Americans have amended the Constitution, it's to bestow rights upon citizens, not to take them away. Let's not set a dangerous precedent by supporting Prop. 8 and denying gay people our right to marry. Vote NO!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

2008 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic

If she doesn't get Horse of the Year, something is wrong in racing! Here, she's in post position #1, breaks easily, sits at the back of the pack, and then closes easily on the outside. That is a BIG girl with a LONG stride and she is simply awesome. I don't think I saw Mike Smith use the whip at all. She's undefeated, 9 for 9.

...And They're Off!


Here's Philadelphia Park yesterday in a freak snowstorm. Can you just hear the announcer? "And it's Snowflake off to a slippery start, followed by Blizzard, then in the blue blinkers, Deep Freeze . . . "

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Breeder's Cup Picks for Saturday

Two things to keep in mind throughout the day, assuming the courses will play the same way: (1) a friend who was at Santa Anita yesterday texted to say that early speed doesn't win on the Pro-Ride--in fact, Brad Free even points out in the DRF that more often than not, those who can sit right off the pace win more often than not. As for the turf course, as the track heats up over the course of the day, fewer closers win. So in the later turf races, avoid the straight closers. (2) The European horses seem to be handling the Pro-Ride track just fine on the whole, so all of those horses in the Classic are not necessarily big question marks.

So saying, here are my favorites and I hope I can at least hit a Pick 4.

Race One: BC Marathon: I like #4 Sixities Icon; #6 Zappa; and #3 Delightful Kiss.

Race Two: BC Turf Sprint: The horse who SHOULD win is #14 Mr. Nightlinger, but he's way on the outside on that downhill turf course, and I have visions of him hitting the dirt patch on the turn, freaking out, and running into the fence. Okay, I'm a doomsayer. So I wouldn't single him. I like #3 True to Tradition, #10 California Flag, and #2 Fleeting Spirit.

Race Three: BC Dirt Mile: #8 Well Armed; #7 Albertus Maximus; #1 Lewis Michael (or #9 Slew's Tiznow, who, I think I read somewhere, was pointed at this race)

Race Four: BC Turf Mile: #4 Goldikova! Of course! But watch out for Kiaran McLaughlin's only horse of the day in #1 Shakis. And #11 Whatsthescript is worth a look.

Race Five: BC Juvenile: #4 Square Eddie; #8 Street Hero; and #11 Midshipman. But #3 Terrain might surprise us if he doesn't run into traffic problems.

Race Six: BC Juvenile Turf: #11 Bittel Road; #12 Grand Adventure; and #10 Skipadate. #7 Coronet of a Baron is also intriguing.

Race Seven: BC Sprint: #2 Street Boss; #4 Midnight Lute; and #9 Fatal Bullet.

Race Eight: BC Turf: #3 Grand Couturier; #2 Red Rocks; and #4 Soldier of Fortune.

Race Nine: BC Classic: #9: Curlin, if he likes the track. He's been training there a month now, so ... But Shirreffs and Mike Smith seem to be on a roll, so I also like #3 Tiago. There's also #12 Champs Elysees and #4 Duke of Marmalade. And depending on how much money I have come Pick 6 time, I might throw in #2 Casino Drive. On paper, he looks weird, but he's been well prepped for this race, is fit, and has won on this track.

Good luck everybody!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Eh, 4 of 6 Isn't Too Awful ...

... but it's not good enough! :-)

I'm still 'capping tomorrow's races, but I'll try to post some picks later on tonight.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Breeder's Cup Picks for Friday

It's that time! Here are my picks for tomorrow's card:

3rd Race: BC Filly & Mare Sprint: #5 Indian Blessing is, of course, a sentimental favorite. I singled her last year in the BC Juvenile Fillies and she won beautifully in the slop. But, the Pro-Ride surface is a different thing altogether and she's facing older foes this time around. Fortunately, she's learned to sit off the pace but not too far back in the pack, so she's well-situated to win. But I wouldn't single her unless I'm desperate to keep, say, a Pick 6 ticket affordable. I'd also include #12 Ventura, who will come flying late on Go-Go Gomez. And, if #6 Zaftig can handle the track, she has beaten Indian Blessing before (though going longer, at a mile) and could offer a decent price. If you're putting together a superfecta, other horses worth a look are #3 Intangaroo and #8 Tiz Elemental. #2 Indyanne, I am to understand, is a scratch.

4th Race: BC Juvenile Fillies Turf: #7 Consequence should offer some value and I wouldn't keep her off my ticket for two reasons; the Shug-Phipps team NEVER ships a horse that isn't ready and they always place their horses where they can win and secondly, she just fired a blistering .46 bullet over the track. She's the class of the field. But don't leave out #2 Laragh, who will probably be the favorite. She'll go to the front and bolt. But I wouldn't ignore #11, Saucey Evening. She's proven on this track and Motion is 30% with blinkers on. If you're doing exotics, other horses to consider for the bottom are #3 Maram (undefeated), and #6 Freedom Rings (Honk for Donk!)

5th Race: BC Juvenile Fillies: #10 Stardom Bound is a worthy favorite, possibly worth singling if you're trying to afford a Pick 6 ticket. Otherwise, #4 Sky Diva is looking good after the Frizette. In my mind, the best value in the race is #6 Van Lear Rose, proven on synthetic track (though Pro-Ride is a question mark) and she just ran second behind Laragh, the M/L favorite in race 4. The horse is also on the improve. Furthermore, Chantal Sutherland is a good jockey (screw the sexists who sneer at her) and it's hard to resist using the #6 at odds of 30-1. Other horses to consider are #9, Palacio de Amor, and #12 Dream Empress.

6th Race: BC Filly and Mare Turf: Arrgh! There are so many good horses in this race! But I love #7 Mauralakana--don't be fooled by her last race; she didn't like the yielding turf and the turf at Oak Tree right now is very fast and firm: her kinda track. But Aidan O'Brien is looking for a big score, and his best bet is the #8, Halfway to Heaven. She could very well run away with it. At the same time, you just can't leave out Todd Pletcher's #5 Wait a While. If you can afford to go deep, I also wouldn't leave out #3 Forever Together, who always hits the board. Jockey Julien Leparoux can't be ignored in a turf race, either. I'd use #10 Pure Clan at the bottom of exotics.

7th Race: BC Ladies Classic: If you want to single somebody, single #1, Zenyatta. She's a big girl with a huge stride and something would have to go majorly wrong for her to lose. Having said that, the one-hole has been playing dead as a doornail at Oak Tree. You can bet they'll try to pin her in. For that reason, it's hard to leave out #6 Ginger Punch, a classy gal who always gives her best; but if you do that, you can't leave out #3 Cocoa Beach, who has beaten Ginger Punch and is one of Godolphin Racing/Saeed bin Suroor's two entires. If it turns out that the track "wakes up" and starts playing to early speed, #2 Hystericalady is the front runner and came in second in this race last year.

8th Race: Las Palmas Handicap: If you're playing the Pick 6, single #1 Black Mamba. She's the one to beat and has lots of experience running on this course.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

PRIX DU MOULIN DE LONGCHAMP (Gr1) 07/09/08 - GOLDIKOVA

It's that time! Breeder's Cup! I haven't done much 'capping yet because post positions haven't been drawn, but here's an early favorite I've gotta bet in the Mile. She's the French filly who held off the boys at Longchamp, and since she'll be taking on the boys again in the Breeder's Cup Mile, I've gotta throw at least a little money on her. Watch her accelerate. Wow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Batman vs. The Penguin: The Debate

You HAVE to see this. I'm telling you, John McCain and Sarah Palin have been channelling the Penguin!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Don't Vote, Ya Apathetic A-Holes

This one's been around for a while, but if you haven't seen it, it's worth a gander, or even a second one if you're feeling too tired to bother voting in this election

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Have Brilliant Online Pals



Margo Moon and Cap'n Dyke put this site together, riffing on LOLCats. Well, it's LOLSarahz, and I spent about a half hour today scrolling down the page, chortling, and peeing in my pants. Go check it out!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Speaking of Marrying in the Paddock ...

... the obvious joke we are making is "too late now--like it or not, we're saddled with each other."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Gettin' Hitched Wid Da Two Fat Ladies

OMG, it's not until you look at your wedding photos when you realize just how chubby you've really gotten! No wonder Joe the exercise rider pinched me the other day, told me he liked a girl with a little meat on her, and winked. LOL! Actually, Chelle looks pretty good because she carries her weight in her butt and has tiny bird legs, but I get a woman's typical pear shape when I'm carrying too many pounds. Dang, let this be a lesson to you all: DON'T BECOME FRIENDS WITH A GENEROUS BARTENDER AT BAY MEADOWS!! She will destroy your figure and cackle about it! (No worries, now that Bay Meadows has closed I'm likely to get more active since I think sitting at an OTB facility is profoundly boring. I'll lean out once I start trail running again, which is hands down one of my favorite things.)

Anyway, back to the point. We chose Bay Meadows to get married because it's been our "home away from home" for four years--except when we lived in Spokane for a year--and this past weekend was the very last weekend of live racing. They'll start tearing the place down after Labor Day and are auctioning off this weekend anything that can be carried away. We got married in the paddock, which is, I think, the only--or one of the only--indoor paddocks in the United States. Here we are with our champagne, hamming it up before the ceremony:



And here we are after the vows are all "official," standing in the, er...appropriate spot. That's our buddy Cary at the bottom trying to edit the sign of superfluous information.




Hmm. Actually, the more I look at these photos, the more I realize ... I'm starting to look like my spouse! Egads! It's true!

But how can I not love that happy face?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Yahoo, Done Deal, I Was A Nervous Nelly

Photos are forthcoming. (Kristin is our cousin and an ordained minister)

The vows of Joyce and Chelle

Introduction

Kristin: For those of you who may not know, four years ago today Chelle and Joyce first met each other. It was pretty much love at first sight; they’ve been together since.

They are registered as domestic partners in the State of California, and two years ago, they flew to Vermont for a civil union. The reception was here at Bay Meadows. Today they legally marry in the State of California, for two people could not possibly be any more committed to each other.


The vows

Kristin: Joyce, will you love Chelle when you are together and when you are apart; when life is peaceful and when it is disordered; in times of happiness and health and when times get rough; in times of leisure and in times of work; will you honor Chelle’s goals and dreams and help her fulfill them?

Joyce: I will.

Kristin: Chelle, will you love Joyce when you are together and when you are apart; when life is peaceful and when it is disordered; in times of happiness and health and when times get rough; in times of leisure and in times of work; will you honor Joyce’s goals and dreams and help her fulfill them?

Chelle: Absolutely!

Kristin: You both exchanged rings two years ago and have grown so much together that you can’t get them off. So, do you both still pledge to be each other’s faithful lover and closest friend?

Joyce and Chelle: We do.

Kristin: I now pronounce you life partners and spouses. You may share a kiss.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

You May Laugh ...


But it's totally how it is.

Gay Marriage, Part Two

Oh yeah. I keep forgetting to post about this! The "Big Day" is Fri, August 15th. We're going here to file our marriage license application tonight, and then we'll go pick up our license sometime between now and the 15th.

Our wacky cuz Kristin is becoming formally ordained, and she will preside over the nuptials in the Bay Meadows Winner's Circle (well, that's assuming they'll let us gather there briefly that day before racing starts. Otherwise, we may get stuck exchanging vows in the parking lot, maybe next to a van with a nickering horse. Hey! Now that I think of it, he could be our third witness, stamping our paperwork with a "good luck" horseshoe.)

Just kidding. We're keeping the ceremony small since we're already registered domestic partners in the State of California, and in April 2006, we flew to Vermont to celebrate a civil union. Our family and friends have already showered us with the equivalent of wedding presents, so we couldn't possibly ask for or need another round of gifts. No, this wedding merely confirms what everybody already knows: we are about as committed a couple as two people could possibly ever hope to be.

Why the 15th of August? That marks the day we both met, four years ago.

So why marry? Because, finally, we legally can. We can only pray that fearful and close-minded people won't snatch this legal right away from us come November.

Ah, the irony. Imagine this. On the wall at home, we'll have a domestic partnership certificate, a civil union certificate, a marriage certificate, and on the shelf a binder full of all the legal paperwork establishing our living trust, wills, powers of attorney over finances and health care ... yet some people still want to argue ours is not a "real" relationship and oughtn't be recognized as such. Somehow, in their minds, we "cheapen" their marriages.

All I have to say to that is: honey, if your marriage is that flimsy, you oughta spend more time working on it than on worrying about what we're doing.

NO ON PROPOSITION 8!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Local Lesbian Poet Appointed Poet Laureate of United States


Well, halle-frickin-lujah! Kay Ryan of Fairfield has been appointed the new Poet Laureate of the United States, and she's an out dyke to boot. Good on her. And, don't you think she looks a little bit like Elizabeth Bishop?

Anyway, I admit I don't know much about her poetry, and I didn't really care very much for the two poems published in this article in the Chronicle. Shades of William Carlos Williams? But, I'm sure I'll buy her New and Selected Poems when it comes out in November, and maybe my college will have her out to do a reading since she's local. It's high time more lesbians are appreciated for the tremendous role in the arts we've been playing in this country for years and years.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The God of Animals: A Novel The God of Animals: A Novel by Aryn Kyle



My review


rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this one up last weekend quite randomly. It had a horse on the cover, and when I flipped it over, I was intrigued to read that the first chapter of the book was originally a short story titled "Foaling Season," which, as it happens, won a National Magazine Award for Fiction for The Atlantic Monthly. I figured at the very least it would be writerly, good at best and pompous bullhockey at worst.

I'm pleased to say I loved it! To read that the writer is only 29 years old and a graduate of the writing program at the University of Montana of course makes me want to chew off my nails and spit them at her in jealousy, but that's a good thing. To admit I wish I had written this book is high praise.

This is a "coming of age" story told from the point of view of 12 year-old Alice Winston; the Washington Post is not far wrong when comparing her to the little girls in To Kill a Mockingbird and The Member of the Wedding (to this list I'd add The Heart is a Lonely Hunter). It's a story about love, depression, cruelty, selling yourself out, rage, infidelity, resignation, wealth vs. poverty, and so many other "big" themes, yet through it all moments of grace and triumph come and go without the novel's ever descending into schmaltz. It's a horse story, too, set underneath that Montana "Big Sky." Well-written, the book's characters are totally real, flawed but likeable (even down to the mimosa-swiggin' Catfish). It ends as only a book like this can end, with Alice grieving, stunned, but years wiser--perhaps wiser than most adults.

An astonishing first novel, and I highly recommend it.


View all my reviews.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Stacy Westfall Riding

She rides without a saddle or bridle yet gets that horse to do amazing things. It'll give you goosebumps--I never saw anything like it.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Boob Lube

You'd think a 46 year-old woman would've developed a habit by now of doing a monthly breast self-exam, but oh no. Not me. If I can't write it in a calendar, it's not going to stick in my head, and for me, the problem is I can't remember to write the reminder in the calendar in the first place. D'oh!

But now Save the Ta-ta's has come up with a brilliant idea: hand soap that you keep in your bathroom as a reminder to do the necessary deed. Go on. Buy some. You know you want it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Big Brown Is Back On His Game!

In a startling turn of events, Big Brown wins the fifth stage of the Tour de France between Cholet and Chateauroux.



I wish I could claim authorship of this, but I swiped it from today's Chronicle.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Taking the Plunge: Deciding to Own a Race Horse

After a year or so of agonizing over the ethics of race horse ownership, I've finally decided that the pros outweigh the cons, so this past weekend I took the plunge, opened an account, and applied for an owner's license in the state of California. This is something my partner has wanted to do for some time, but I've continually stalled, hemming, hawing, mainly saying, "How on earth do we justify that to your father?!" For, of course, anybody who knows horse racing understands that a racehorse is a colossally poor investment--you enter this business with the full expectation that you'll lose money, and that you're doing it more for the love of horses and for the love of the game. I'm figuring if we happen to break even, that'll be a blessing.

We are going in with two partners: our trainer, Steve Sherman, and his girlfriend, who has owned two race horses with some success. Steve's a solid trainer with an average 30% win percentage and his horses usually at least hit the board, so it's my hope the horse will, some of the time, be able to cover most of its own expenses ... which, for the uninitiated reading this, will probably be a minimum of $2,000 a month. We're starting off with the idea of letting Steve choose what he feels to be a decent $8,000 claimer, so when people ask us "Do you want a sprinter? A router? A filly? A colt? Dirt runner? Turfer?" it really doesn't matter to us. A horse is a horse, of course, of course. (OK, I'm kidding about that--each one is special in its own right; it's just that at present we know so little about choosing a good race horse that we're willing to defer to Steve's judgement.)

I feel happy and excited; at the same time, I admit I am fearful. It's a huge responsibility. After all, the horse could get injured and need a long layoff, and of course that's what we'd want to do--let him heal and not run him if he's even remotely questionable. This is a promise I made to myself to justify ownership in the first place: this business needs good owners, owners who care more about the horse than the money. (And most do: we usually hear only about the greedy ones.) And there's always the possibility of heartbreak. If we wind up with a winner, our horse could always get claimed right away from us, or, worse, he could break down and have to be euthanized. Several owners have told us of sobbing in the winner's circle because their horse had just been claimed, and just this past weekend, I watched sadly when one owner sprinted out to the backstretch after a race at Pleasanton because his horse went down. When the tarp goes up, shielding the crowd from view, you know exactly what's going on behind that curtain. Sure enough, he looked ashen upon his return to the paddock.

I know it's not all about mint juleps, big hats, and a blanket of red roses on Derby Day. Nonetheless, I can't wait 'til we get our horse, so we can go visit him on the backside and feed him carrots. Or feel the adrenaline as she breaks out of the gate on her first race day with us. I expect in the next year I'll learn a whole lot more about such things as pedigree and conformation. Here's to a good trip.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

House of Sand and Fog

House of Sand and Fog House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III


My review


rating: 3 of 5 stars
Reading this book is like being frozen to the spot while you're watching a train wreck about to happen. It's an emotional wringer. Ultimately, I have to say it's 3.5 stars out of 5. (SPOILER ALERT) I did pop out of the narrative a few times, mostly due to goofy stuff (such as inaccuracies about the SF Bay Area; eg, having BART in Pacifica?!). But really, the basic premise of the novel isn't plausible. I couldn't see the county evicting somebody one day and then auctioning the place off the very next day. No govt agency is THAT efficient! Thus I was very aware I was reading fiction the whole time. On the other hand, I thought the switching narrative viewpoints were handled expertly, and I liked how each of the major characters had flaws to the point of even being dislikable, but I still found reason to pull for each of them. Or at least I understood each of them and could empathize. Another problem is the Colonel commits suicide at the end: but if he's dead, how can he be telling the story? I also found it a little unbelievable that deputy sheriff Burdon (admittedly a good name for him) unravelled to the extent that he did. I'd still recommend the book despite its flaws.




View all my reviews.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gay Marriage, Redux (Part One)

It's been blabbered about all over the news these past few days, and it became official yesterday afternoon at 5:00 when Gavin Newsom presided over the nuptials of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon. (The oldsters amongst us know them of Lesbian/Woman fame, a ground-breaking text in the 1970s.) These two women have been together for over 50 years; they actually got married four years ago when Gavin declared gay marriage legal in the city of San Francisco. But then their marriage was annulled by the State due to the court's ruling that Newsom had overstepped his authority. After more lawsuits and legal haranguing that has dragged on for several years, it came down to this question before the court: should gay marriage be illegal because Californians had several years earlier passed a proposition defining marriage as being only between a man and a woman? Or is discrimination against gay people just plain unconstitutional?

A month ago, the California State Supreme Court declared that discriminating against same-sex partners by denying them the right to marry is unconstitutional. One of the judges remarked that the arguments against gay marriage were eerily reminiscent of arguments he'd heard years and years ago against interracial marriage. Well, halle-flippin-lujah!

Bigotry is bigotry. Honestly, I have yet to hear a cogent, rational argument against gay marriage--the arguments against are either (1) religious based or (2) based on the assertion that marriage is for procreative purposes. Well, excuse me, but it's not exactly fair for certain religious groups to foist their beliefs on the rest of the population. Let's not forget that slave owners used to quote the Bible to justify slavery, too. And secondly, if you're going to argue that marriage exists solely for the purpose of procreation, then I suppose you'd better tell men and women who are infertile for whatever reason that sorry, they can't get married either. Besides all that, plenty of gay couples are having children, thanks to alternative insemination, adoption, and other options. And guess what? Studies prove that the children of gay parents are just as healthy, if not healthier psychologically, than the children of straight parents (and no more likely to be gay--and even if they were, I'd still ask so what).

So, what am I driving at? Well, you'd think, in California of all places, this issue would finally be put to rest, but it's not. Once again, gay marriage is going to be used as a wedge issue in an election year. (But did I really think the wingnuts were going to take this one sitting down? Of course not.) Enough signatures have been collected, so come November, Californians get to vote again on a second proposition, this time a more heinous one, if I understand it clearly, that will not only disallow gay marriages but may even retract domestic partnerships. A step back, in other words. And who knows what will happen in the rest of the country? I recall the last major election when I was living in Spokane, Washington, and how one Republican Party candidate's advertising snarked at "the San Francisco values of Gavin Newsom and Nancy Pelosi." Of course, these are just fear tactics, playing to our baser natures ... but watch out, here come the ridiculous assertions that "once gay marriage is legalized, what's to stop 'em from wanting to legalize bestiality?" and alarmist nonsense such as this.



Yesterday Fred Phelps (you know, the "minister" who pickets funerals of Iraq War veterans) showed up with his herd at City Hall to protest gay marriage. There they were on TV with their "God hates fags" signs, and I just want to ask them if they can imagine Jesus standing out there with a sign insulting two people who love each other and who wish to make an official contract and commitment to that love. Personally, I can't imagine it. It's as if these folks have never read the Gospel, which preached love over the letter of the law. It's as if they've forgotten how it was Jesus came to be crucified ... the Pharisees didn't like him threatening their status; the "Powers That Be" didn't like him consorting with Roman tax collectors, prostitutes, and sinners, and for speaking well of those evil, evil Samaritans.

But Jesus also said, quite clearly, "Judge not." To say gay people don't have the right to marry each other is to judge us. Maybe it's just as simple as that.


(more to come later ... )

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Quick Update on the Belmont

Casino Drive is scratched, so the exacta should be 1-7 (Big Brown with Tale of Ekati). A good trifecta would be 1-7-with the rest of the field, a mere $7 bet.

Everyone's snorting at me for wanting to single Indian Blessing, especially if she goes off at even money. Bah! So add in the 1 or the 5, or if you have big bucks, it's a 5-horse race: select "all."

I'm abashed to learn that the payout on the Brooklyn/Belmont double will be a mere $12. (This is assuming Big Brown wins.) But hey, that's $12 more than I had yesterday.

Good luck today, y'all!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Go, Big Brown!

Isn't he gorgeous? I can't stand his windbag of a trainer and his money-clutching owners, but as Margo Moon might say, "It's not the horse's fault."

There was some talk of Casino Drive scratching tomorrow due to a bruised foot, but apparently they intend to run him anyway. If so, he is the only one in the field that could beat Big Brown MAYBE, unless something weird or awful happens. For the superfecta, I'm thinking 1-5-7-4 if Casino Drive looks good in the paddock. If he's scratched, then your super is 1-7,4/7,4/the rest of 'em.

Of course, there's always the issue of Big Brown's quarter crack (pictured below), but they've been treating it well and sealed it up today; it should be fine.

And now I must admit, I was awfully tempted to go buy a Hooters t-shirt to wear to the track tomorrow. After all, Big Brown is now brought to you by not just UPS, but Hooters! What a hoot! What a wonderful way to restore horse racing's reputation as the true "Sport of Kings." I mostly want Big Brown to win just so I can gape at big breasted women in tight t-shirts and short orange hotpants in the winner's circle.

My partner and I agreed that it would be even more perfect if Big Brown decided to bite one on the nipple.


The Pick 6 at Belmont tomorrow is infinitely playable since you can single Big Brown in the final leg, Indian Blessing in the 3rd leg, and Benny the Bull in the first leg. Then pray for (and bet) longer shots in the other legs. Offhand, I like Lady of Venice or Bayou's Lassie in the second leg, J Be K or Ready's Image in the 8th leg, and Pays to Dream in the 9th leg. I'll probably toss in some others, but for now this makes a cheap (and admittedly pretty chalky) ticket if you don't bet the picks in parentheses. I also freely admit to a bias towards Indian Blessing and agree her form lately may be off, and she may need a race. (Still, Baffert placed her here....) and still, at 1-1, you may wish to beat her. I reckon those who are against her believe she was at her best at age two and now she's done, and I can't argue with that. If I could change ANY rules in horse racing, it would be to stop racing babies.)

1: 7 (but 4,5 too)
2: 1, 7 (but 5,10 too)
3: 2 (and ?)
4: 5,2 (but 4 too)
5: 8 (but 9,3,10,5,1 too)
6: 1

I can't afford to bet all of these, but perhaps some friends and I can cobble together a ticket tomorrow. Good luck everybody!

Let's hope for a Triple Crown winner.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Adele Sings "Daydreamer"

Check her out! She's a British sensation (bye bye, Amy Winehouse) and amazing, especially for a 20 year-old. Like Alison Moyet, she's a big girl with a big voice and I have a big, big crush on her. :-)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Dog, Cat, and Rat

Well, we need something heart-warming posted here, I think. This one's cute--a homeless man in Santa Barbara makes his living by teaching us all a lesson in how to get along. The cat grooming the rat is definitely worth seeing.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

RIP, Eight Belles



What a big, beautiful filly with a big, beautiful heart. She's the only one of the bunch to really give Big Brown a race. Naturally I had bet her across the board--she was the filly! How could I not?!

That was money won that I couldn't bear to keep. My partner and I immediately donated it to GEVA (an equine rescue and rehab organization), who happened to have a table at the track yesterday. If you have a few dimes to spare, it'd be awfully nice if you could do the same. To do so, click here.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Wet Tracks Give Me the Willies

They say the Derby track is a mess at the moment. But the rain seems to be moving out of the area, so perhaps the track, sealed and groomed and sealed and groomed yadda blah, yadda blah, will be vastly improved by the 10th race.

But if not, an off track alters the picture a little. For one thing, Tale of Ekati doesn't appear to care for an off track. In the two times he ran in the wet, he didn't even hit the board.

However, Pyro LOVES a wet track. So do Visionnaire, Cool Coal Man, and Smooth Air. Oh, and Denis of Cork, too, though that 16-hole post is a bit out there.

If Big Brown is as good as he appears to be, a wet track oughtn't be a big deal, but it is a question mark for him. Same goes for Colonel John and, actually, for any of the synthetic runners untried in the wet.

I think a Pyro-Big Brown-Visionnaire exacta box could be worth playing. And here's a cheap $4 "wet track" superfecta (note it leaves out Cool Coal Man; if you have more $, put him in): 9,20/9,20/8/12,16.

Time to break out dem mint juleps! Good luck today, all y'all.

Friday, May 2, 2008

More Thoughts on the Derby...

Okay, I've just spent another hour going through the PP's and looking at about every angle I can think of, and Big Brown still is the horse who floats to the top. You might leave him off of some tickets just in case he trips or the huge crowd roar freaks him out when he breaks out of that 20 post, but that's flukey stuff no one can really anticipate. It is a horse race!

I like Colonel John but it's also true he'll probably be the second favorite, and though he's worked well on the dirt track at Churchill and had a great bullet work, it's true he's never actually run in a real race on dirt. So you could add in some other "seconds." One reliable horse is Court Vision, who has always hit the board, and has actually won on the track at Churchill Downs. Mott adds blinkers, and Garrett "Go-Go" Gomez is the jockey. Pyro is another possibility if you toss out the Blue Grass debacle, which could have very well been due to his not liking the synthetic track. Before that race, he had started to improve off his layoff, and Steve Asmussen is the trainer of the remarkable Curlin.

If she gets a good break and manages to get over to the rail to save ground (and, let's hope, box out Denis of Cork and Calvin Borel, Eight Belles could get up for third. As a filly, she also gets five-pound weight break. Her jockey's never ridden in the Derby, though, so he may make some miscalculations. Another possible longer shot is Visionaire. That's Barbaro's trainer and he's in same Derby slot, too--the 8. He's not the fastest horse, though, but I'll give him this: he's got a lot of heart. He's also always hits the board except in the Blue Grass, so maybe he didn't like the synthetic track, either. Despite that, he was making a move and gaining quickly on the leaders. Gayego is another good choice who has always hit the board and who has won on both dirt and polytrack. Mike Smith's aboard, and he rode Giacomo to victory in the Derby. I don't like the 19 gate spot, though. It's a disadvantage, but it's possible he could get up to third.

So, this gives us 20/9,10,4/5,8,19,9,10,4 as a much cheaper trifecta than the one suggested below. You can then throw in a few other horses to finish out a superfecta. Possibilities are Monba, Smooth Air, Tale of Ekati, Z Fortune, or Bob Black Jack (who will probably set the pace or at least be close up front but I think he'll tire...yet he could hang on for a piece).

If you're doing a Pick 3 or 4, for the Derby leg, I'll probably go with 20,10,9,4.

Again, good luck!

Kentucky Derby Trifecta

Well, the more I look over the PPs, the more I have to admit the favorite, Big Brown, despite having to break from the 20-post-from-hell and despite the fact he's only been in three races, seems to be the far superior horse.

The only other horse I see who could possibly beat him is the 10, Colonel John, an improving closer who could tag Big Brown at the wire if the horse is tiring.

As I posted the other day, the rest of the field pretty much makes for a crapshoot. I'll probably do some gimmicky stuff on a lark since I now have a bit of a bankroll from my Oaks superfectta (I can never resist the Super High 5) but here's a dollar trifecta I feel pretty comfortable with. It's a $36 bet, though.

I'm going to do 20,10/20,10/all.

I do think there are some horses that are "toss-outs"--Cowboy Cal, Z Humor, Big Truck, Anak Nakal. I can't toss out the filly, Eight Belles, because if she gets a good break, she could at least get up for a piece.

Nasty slop at Churchill Downs today...but the track should be better tomorrow.

Good luck!

Kentucky Oaks Superfecta!

So, based on my 'capping posted below, I did a $4 superfecta bet on the Kentucky Oaks:

7,8/7,8/11/10,1

What happened was this:

8/7/11/1

I HIT IT!! Yeehaw! It paid a tidy little sum of $697.90. Now let's hope I'm just as lucky tomorrow betting the Kentucky Derby.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

134th Kentucky Oaks

I am assuming Eight Belles will run in the Kentucky Derby (hahaha, it's rather poetic justice she got the outside post in the Oaks). It's Proud Spell's race to lose--she's never NOT hit the board, even after a bad break in her last race in addition to the fact that she may not have liked the synthetic track at Keeneland.

But I also have to like Little Belle simply because of her connections (Kiaran McLaughlin for Godolphin Racing). She's won her last three in a row and is improving and it seems she can handle dirt or synthetic track. Plus she wasn't in the first Oaks Pool, so I actually have a futures bet on her since I bet "all others." So I'm selfish. Yeah, yeah.

Golden Doc A seems another obvious choice given her bullet at Churchill Downs last Wednesday (5 furlongs in .59 flat). Bejarano, her usual jockey, hops off to ride Country Star, but Kent Desormeaux, who picks up this mount, isn't a shoddy jockey. The jockey change and the fact she's never raced on dirt should frighten some people away from her too and get her a bit of a price. Gotta like that.

The two other horses I like are Bsharpsonata--she's got speed and has won on dirt. Then there's Pure Clan, another improving filly who has never NOT hit the board and has been chasing Eight Belles lately. Edgar Prado is aboard, which is always a plus in my book.

Thus, depending on how much money is in your bankroll, box for the exacta, trifecta, and/or superfecta 8-7-1-10-11. Or key one or two of 'em and let the rest follow. (For sure I couldn't do a 5-horse superfecta box. That's what? $120? Yikes.)

Good luck!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Sign of the Apocalypse

I'm losing my mind. But, no. My Beautiful Mommy, written by Florida-based plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Salzhauer, is billed by its author as the first book that explains plastic surgery to kids. He says it's an issue with which many of his patients struggle. Read here.

Let's see...Mommy comes home with a tummy tuck, larger breasts, and a different nose (that is the plot, from what I've heard.) The storyline helps the young'uns adjust to the idea(s).

And they thought gay parents were freaky.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

'08 Kentucky Derby Belongs to Anybody

The buzz is that it's going to be another "Giacomo Year" in the 134th Kentucky Derby. I'm inclined to agree, since there doesn't seem to be a single standout horse. The undefeated Big Brown has his fans and may very well wind up the favorite due to his wire-to-wire killing of the field in the Florida Derby.

Still, remember Bellamy Road in 2005, the year Giacomo won? He looked like a superstar after winning the Wood Memorial with a 120 Beyer, but, as we all know now, he didn't even hit the board in the Kentucky Derby. And bear this in mind: actually of the three Derby preps last week, the fastest final time posted was that of the Illinois Derby, won by Recapturetheglory. (Whom, you say?) That's right, a horse whose present morning line odds for the Derby are 40-1. Some have compared him to War Emblem.

Still, Big Brown had only a 106 Beyer, and the total Derby field is weak, weak, weak in this regard.

War Pass is out, hurt; Sierra Sunset is out, hurt; and the fabulous Pyro tanked in the Blue Grass, so if he's not injured, he may have already peaked (or ...who knows? Maybe not. Maybe he didn't like the synthetic track). Then there are the horses who've done well on synthetic track (such as Colonel John, winner of the Santa Anita Derby), but who knows how they'll do on dirt? Yesterday at Keeneland, Behindatthebar won, but I've seen that horse run here at Bay Meadows, on dirt, in the El Camino Real Derby. He came in 5th, and the winner of that race shouldn't have won at all. In fact, none of the Southern California shippers that day did well in that race. One of the jockeys posited, looking baffled, that maybe it was because it was the first time dirt had been kicked into their faces.

Then there are the sentimental horses I can't help but want to bet: here, if they get in, the two fillies, Proud Spell (who beat the undefeated Indian Blessing) and Eight Belles. Let's not forget that a filly, Rags to Riches, won the Belmont Stakes last year. And one of the few horses to win the Derby gate-to-wire was the great filly Winning Colors.

Then there are the "I Wish" horses merely because I just happen to have a futures bet on their noses: for me, that'd be Pyro (d'oh!) and then Monba, who did win the Bluegrass Stakes. But he's a Todd Pletcher horse, and Pletcher seems to carry a Derby Curse, who, despite his other successes and his huge stable, can't seem to win the Run for the Roses.

Two other horses deserving of mention are Gayego, winner of the Arkansas Derby, and Adriano, winner of the Lane's End. Interestingly, jockey Edgar Prado (who rode Barbaro to victory) had his choice of three horses to pilot, and he picked Adriano over Tale of Ekati and (too bad for me) Monba. He made his decision after taking Adriano on a "test drive" on the dirt at Churchill, so what does that tell you? Still, jockeys make mistakes, too.

So you see the hair-pulling I'm doing. Honestly, in a 20-horse field, you just can't know what kind of trip your horse is likely to get and how he'll respond to being bumped all over the place and so on. Anymore, the Kentucky Derby has turned into a crapshoot. There are probably some horses you can safely eliminate as the winner, but I'm thinking this year I may very well bet most of the field to win and then easily get that money back if one of the longer shots comes in.

The year Giacomo won? My partner and I had bet the field as a party ploy. Seriously. We bet all the horses, dropped the horses' names into a hat, and everyone at the party drew. Assuming we'd take a loss, we still wanted at least someone at the party to win. As it was, Giacomo paid $100 on our $40 bet. Turns out it was my partner's mom who won, and she promptly told us to keep the money since she hadn't even put up the $2.

Hmmm. Maybe it was that mint julep I made for her.

In any case, my partner and I intend to listen carefully to the track gossip about who's training well at Churchill Downs before the race (had I done that two years ago, I'd have known better than to bet Sweetnorthernsaint). And then I'll probably flip a few coins.