Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Before the Blog: Doggy News, and More

A couple of weeks ago, we had Shrike's family over for Easter. This was the first time some of them had seen our new house, and the first time any of them had been here for more than a quick tour. It was also the first time we've hosted a family shindig at all.

We were supposed to be hunting Easter Eggs in the backyard, but it rained all day, so we ended up hiding them in the house for the kids. Later, they (with some help from Shrike's mom) hid them for the grown-ups.

Last weekend, PerfectPuppy played hooky from her doggy class and we took her to watch a dog agility trial in Frederick, MD, about an hour away. She was very well-behaved and it all looked like a lot of fun, so we're thinking of signing her up for a puppy agility class that starts next month, if it fits our schedules.

The next day she was scheduled to be spayed but, in what can only be described as an incredible act of uterine self-preservation, she went into heat that day. Although, in retrospect, she was probably already starting to bleed a bit when we were at the trial, luckily it takes a few days before things really get going, so she didn't attract any unwanted attention while we were there.

Monday morning, when we figured out that she really was in heat, we tried repeatedly to call the vets office, but couldn't get through to them. So, we headed on over there, and when we arrived, I went into check on whether it would be a problem. As it turns out, they won't spay them when they're in heat, because the uterus is full of blood, increasing the risk of bleeding during the surgery.

That very day, we got a letter from the shelter that we adopted her from, fussing at us because we haven't sent them proof that she's been spayed. That figures.

On the work front, we're both still at the same jobs, but my situation has changed a bit. At the beginning of 2003, my boss sold the company to a larger company, but thing stayed pretty much the same, other than who was signing the checks.

However, in February of this year, all of our operations were moved over to the headquarters of the larger company. It hasn't been too bad, but has been something of an adjustment.

The bigger change, however, will be coming in a couple of weeks, because my boss is leaving the company; April 30 will be his last day. I will continue to handle all of the website and database design and development, and will also take over all of the development-related client interactions and all of the development-related server stuff that he does now, too. Basically, other than billing, everything from "Hey, I want a website," to launch will be my job. Should be interesting.

Before the Blog: Write In Whozat!

In March, we saw Melissa Etheridge in concert at a club in Washington, DC. Our fan club tickets got us early entry, so we - once again - ended up within feet of the stage. This stage was much lower than usual - about waist height - so we were even closer to her than before. The concert was incredible, as usual.

She was much more political than we've ever seen her be in concert - she talked about her recent marriage, and then went into a whole bit about, "Or, in some newspapers, my 'marriage.'" (with big, exaggerated, "finger quotes")

She played "Silent Legacy," "Scarecrow" and "Tuesday Morning" back to back, in what I refer to as the "pissed off queer portion of the show," and ended the concert with "Giant."

Since the suspension of Howard Dean's presidential campaign, I have stayed involved with his new political group, Democracy for America and the local SomeStates for Democracy group. SomeStates for Democracy has decided to work on a local level, helping progressive candidates in area races and getting involved in county party committees.

To that end, I attended the April meeting of our county Democratic committee, where she learned that only three delegate candidates (all pledged to Kerry) had made it onto the primary ballot, for our district's four available seats. The county chair asked me to run a write-in campaign for the fourth seat, and it didn't take much convincing to get me to agree.

Coming in fourth place against three others doesn't sound very difficult, but as a write-in candidate, I have to get at least 250 votes. However, this time, I've got help from the county chair and some committee members and have asked pretty much everyone I know to vote for me and to tell all their friends.

Getting those votes isn't necessarily a guarantee that I'll be a delegate, because I still have to be approved by the campaign (probably Kerry, but there's a possibility that Dean, or maybe Edwards, could get 15% in our district and earn a delegate) at the state convention in July.

However, going to the effort to run the write-in campaign will definitely make an impression, so I have a good chance of being approved.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Before the Blog: Petitioning

In January, I got a call from the political coordinator for the BlueState Gay and Lesbian Alliance, asking me to run for delegate to the Democratic National Convention. BS-GALA was trying to get at least one out LGBT delegate candidate slated for each presidential candidate in each congressional district.

After thinking about it a bit, and talking it over with Shrike, I decided to go for it. Based on a brief resume and bio, along with an endorsement from BS-GALA, I was slated by the Howard Dean campaign and approved as a delegate candidate.

At that point, to get onto the ballot, a candidate has about 3 weeks in which to gather 250 signatures from registered Democrats within the our Congressional District.

This part turned out to be a lot harder than it sounded. There was an ice storm in our area the first week, making it impossible to go door-to-door. In the second and third weeks, I knocked on lots of doors (armed with lists of registered Democrats), visited three gay bars, stood in front of grocery stores, attended the county Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner, crashed a LGBT club meeting at an area university and ended up with about 150 signatures.

Obviously I was pretty disappointed, and it was little consolation that both the political director and the folks from the Dean campaign told me that I had worked really hard, gone "beyond the call of duty," etc.

Monday, January 5, 2004

Before the Blog: Winter Wrap-Up

Shopping, decorating, snow, yada, yada, yada. We had a Christmas party with about 8 of our friends.

We celebrated Christmas with Shrike's family here and then flew to Texas on New Year's Eve to do it all over again with my family. We had big plans to go out to the local gay bar for New Year's Eve, but never quite made it.

We ended up ringing in 2004 with Conan O'Brien and my parents.

We are now officially old.