Where Are the Bodies? We Have an App for That.

“The information presented is stark and perhaps unsettling.”

Find the human (not migrants, not immigrants, not aliens, certainly not illegals. Just human. Human.) bodies. There are plenty to look for all over the Arizona Open GIS Initiative for Deceased Migrants map:

“Since January of 2001, over 3,000 undocumented migrants have died within the Pima County OME jurisdiction. The information presented is stark and perhaps unsettling. However, both Humane Borders and the Pima County OME believe that the availability of this information will contribute to fulfilling our common vision.”


Party Like It's 1999

Add One More to the Pile

This evening’s mail brought, finally, an official copy of our California marriage certificate, which is one of only 18,000 gender-neutral, Constitutionally equally protected, legally recognized marriages. (The copy pictured here has some personal details blanked out, such as birth dates, addresses, witnesses, and parents.) I post it here as a big ol’ kiss off to Prop H8 and its supporters and sympathizers.

We’re happy and proud of this (it represents a significant victory in an ongoing struggle to educate our countrymen and realize the promise of Constitutional equal protection) … and also sorrowful for other California and American couples like us who can’t get this piece of paper … and the thousands of civil rights that go along with it.

So it’s a bittersweet moment.

Now we go buy another frame and make space on the wall. Because of the religious intolerance, ignorance, homophobia, and stupidity currently prevalent in this country at the moment, in order to have some semblance of civil rights as a couple, we have necessary certificates on our wall from the City and Country of San Francisco (two of those); the city of Ann Arbor, MI; the state of California (one domestic partnership cert and one marriage cert); and one marriage certificate from our wonderful neighbors to the north in Canada (one side in English and one in French).

East Bound and Down

One week from tonight, we will have begun our journey out of California … for the third, and hopefully last, time.

We’ll be on our way to Nashville, Tennessee, to take up a new, and hopefully less stressful way of life. Frank starts a new job with Vanderbilt University on 15 Dec. I will start the Tennessee teacher certification process and then look for a new job of my own, hopefully with grades K-2, nothing higher than that.

The last two years and four months here in California have been a real struggle. Very tough on all fronts, especially medically/physically (see posts below). It’s been good for our careers, but very hard on our bodies and minds and emotions.

We’re in the midst of packing and cleaning and getting ready. One week from right now, we’ll be in Bakersfield, then heading on west down I-40/US 70 to our new home. I was born and raised a block from US 70, lived most of my life fairly near it (in New Mexico and Oklahoma), and now will be living, again, a block from US 70, this time in Tennessee. I seem to be bound to this road somehow.

We’ve sort of let this blog go black, mainly due to the exhaustion of living in California, as well as being thoroughly disgusted with the state and not wanting to even write about it or think about it more than necessary. But I think we can be a little more enthusiastic about Tennessee. It is, if nothing else, a blank slate for us, and our discoveries can be charted here.

At any rate, we’re off on yet another adventure cross country. Should be interesting!


112 Degrees Thumbnail

This pic pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the weather this week.

It actually got hotter after I took this picture; it was 114 degrees later in the afternoon.

God, living in the valley is hell.

Rarin' to Go

Gavin Newsom, the man who presided over our first civil union ceremony when he was still a San Francisco supervisor, wants to get a jump on gay marriages «the evening of 16 June», instead of waiting for the next morning:

‘San Francisco officials have asked the state for permission to begin marrying same-sex couples a little earlier than scheduled, on the evening of June 16 instead of the morning of June 17. Mayor Gavin Newsom and other city officials are wondering when the state Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex nuptials actually takes effect. The state has told county clerks the ruling kicks in the morning of June 17. But city officials want to know whether they can legally begin to issue the marriage licenses at 5:01 p.m. June 16 – right after the end of the state’s workday.
“Unquestionably, we hope to extend beyond 5 o’clock. Why wouldn’t we?” Newsom said Wednesday. “People have longed for this for 30 and 40 years. I don’t think we should deny that just on the basis of a bureaucratic timeline.” Such a change would require permission from the state Office of Vital Records, which oversees the issuance of marriage licenses for all of California’s 58 counties.’

Exactly. We’ve been waiting 30-40 years for this. Time to get on with it.

And about the ballot measure in November? Time to mobilize a big ol’ no vote.

Rock and Roll

Just felt my … fourth (? yeah, fourth) … California earthquake. «A 5.6 which was reportedly on the Calaveras Fault five miles from Alum Rock, near San Jose» (Link no longer active. —Ed.).

Frank and I were sitting on the couch with Fergus, who was … well, cleaning himself in a delicate spot, shall we say … and we felt the couch move back and forth for awhile. We thought it was the dog, but David came down the stairs and asked if we felt it. It shook things upstairs. That’s when we realized the couch is pretty steady and can’t be shaken by the little beagle that is Fergus.

As for wondering what the beagle boys’ reaction to an earthquake would be, well, we no longer have to wonder. Nothing. Nada. No reaction of any kind. So, for the record, not even an earthquake can make Fergus stop licking his balls. Fredrik just sat looking dignified, and Feargal was too busy sniffing the floor for signs that the cat had visited his domain.


Fresh Start

The principal called this morning as I was getting ready for yet another doctor’s appointment and asked if I were still available. We arranged an interview for 13:00. The interview last about 30 minutes or so and then he went and called a couple of my references, which were very positive (he said). He offered the job to me on the spot. We then went over and he let me pick out a classroom. I then found myself driving to the district office and going over all the necessary paperwork with a very nice HR lady.

The district is much friendlier and less closed off than my last one. I am cautiously optimistic about it. The assignment itself won’t be easy; but for various reasons I won’t go into, I think it will be much easier than my sixth grade long-term sub stint this spring, which was a real blow to my self-image and self-confidence.

So, the horse is back in the gate, and I’m about to get back in the saddle. Wish me luck.