Love. Compassion. Hope. Humanness. Birds. Life. Art. Happiness. Soul. Yes.
Here it is, just what you’ve been waiting for, the second installment of Olympics Commentary, done our way. Enjoy!
Speed Skating – Men’s 1000
Shmeegle wins! No he didn’t, he came in third. No, he was first. No he wasn’t. Yes. Oh, time correction, he’s second. He had been first. That’s what I said. Oh, I thought he was third and the brothers were one and two. No. I was confused. Yes, you were.
Short Track Speed Skating
I love that Apolo is doing commentary. He knows so much about the sport. Yeah, and he’s good at it. He is.
It’s short track, one of your favorite events. This is crazy. It’s bedlam out there. Anything can happen. Skill and luck have to combine perfectly all at this one moment in order for them to win a medal.
Ooooo, was he touched? No. He didn’t medal. Sad. Viktor Ahn, formerly a Korea member, is now skating for Russia. He is? Yes. He got the bronze.
Want to watch curling? Women’s? No. Ha ha ha! OK.
Women’s Super Combined
Did you see her face? She’s so relaxed. Uh huh. I would look like this (grimacing and clenching teeth). Ha ha!
I can’t even snow plow. Ha ha ha!
I can’t believe how relaxed she looks. They are going like 80 miles per hour.
What are you looking at on your iPad? Just reading. Yes, what are you reading? Just some article on the market. OK. By the time you have to fly to Atlanta next week you will be so grateful to watch something else on TV besides the Olympics wont’ you? Huh?
Now they are on the second part of the event. Looks bumpy.
Now look at her face, she’s concentrating so hard. Bug eyed. Yes. Focused.
Is she going to do it? YES. Awesome. Her fourth Olympics. Cool.
That’s so sweet. That just made me cry. So touching. His relationship with his brother is awesome.
Oh, it’s this again. It’s the men’s final.
Oh look, American Idol is on. Let’s watch it. OK. We are recording, we can come back to the Olympics.
… after American Idol.
Two Man Luge
They go down together, on one sled.
Ooooo… that looked bad. She’s out.
I love that shot. Up high like that? Yeah, it’s what they see. Look at that. So cool.
Listen to Weston snoring. He’s dreaming.
Is this almost over? It’s 11:00. Yes. This is the last event. Good, it’s bedtime.
Ouch. That hurts. That was a bad fall.
That was a big yawn. I’m sleepy.
Men’s Speed Skating – 1500
Look at their thighs. Wow.
I want to see the Luther twins. You mean Muhler? Yeah, I want to see the Muhler twins. Luther Muhler Muhler Luther. Oh, it’s Mulder.
He looks pained. Oh man.
Where’s that photo of us speed skating in Lake Placid? ha ha ha! Oh yeah. Let me go look. Here’s the one of you. Ha ha ha! I’m posting it.
Here’s the guy. Shani Davis. He looks like he’s slowing. Oh no, he’s not even going to medal.
Ooooooo. That’s gotta hurt. Is she USA? No. These women are unbelievable. That was terrible.
If you crashed on this course how could you even ski it again. I’d be terrified. I don’t know. They are flying.
Look how steep that is. Wow. Ew.
I love the people in the start gate who are yelling at them. Uh huh.
Speed Skating – Women’s 1000
I love this chocolate pudding with the toasted coconut. Tastes like an almond joy.
Look at the bird. Isn’t that cool? Yes, that is cool.
Head first. Man, that’s fast.
The butter on the toast? My honey loves that analogy. Butter on the toast. I do.
One curve at a time.
Men’s Ski Slopestyle
I wonder if he will tap the doll? Nope.
He has poles. That first guy didn’t. He has time to adjust his jacket. Ha ha! Yes he does. Wow, that was huge.
… hums the Olympic theme
He cracked the egg. Where is he from? France. With his dreads and huge clothes. He will have scrambled egg. Wait, he’s from Sweden.
Oh, he landed backwards. OH, c’mon dude, make it. He did. He landed backwards again. He’s an American dude. That was very good. He’s number one. By a lot.
Nice stretch. Sometimes a woman just has to stretch.
He touched the doll. He did? Yes. I didn’t see it. Rewind. Yep. He touched the matryoshka doll. What is a matryoshka doll anyway? I’m looking it up. Oh, it’s one of those nesting dolls. That must be their actual name. Who knew. Hmmm.
There’s big pants. I wonder why he wears those big clothes. More comfy I guess. How could they be more comfy, look at how they sag down like that.
Don’t be so excited honey.
Nose butter? Did he just say nose butter? Yes. What is that? I have no idea. His pants are falling off. He has straps.
He’s the dog lover. He has taken all these twitter pics of himself with stray dogs in Sochi. He’s paying to get some vaccinated. I love the dog lover.
Muting TV and yelling to K upstairs… Huh? I didn’t say anything. Oh, OK.
There’s the little dude. He says, give me a joint and I’ll go down. Ha ha ha! Oh, dude, that was amazing. He could be a pants model.
He’s not in the top 8. Why? Because he’s short. They take off points for being short. No they don’t.
Ooooooo! That was awesome. Watch him land. That was so perfect. Look at that happiness.
Different rails have different points. I don’t know if tap the doll is more points or if it’s an easy one. That was a pretty big backseat right there. Honey, you know the lingo. He looks like a girl. Don’t be sexist. I’m not, look at him, he looks girlish. OK, you’re right. He does look like a girl. See.
The U.S. Sweeps.
Men’s Figure Skating Short Program
Oh no, he had to withdraw. He’s in pain.
Ooooo. Wow. He crashed into the wall. He’s going to get up and finish. Wow. That was a terrible fall. That was. Ouch. That didn’t feel good at all.
Nice pony tail.
He waves goodbye, smiling. And then goes to have surgery. Ha ha ha!
They have a lot of different things they wear. Yeah, it’s the swag. They get all of it when they make the team. It’s a lot, this coat, those pants when they ski, that sweater from the opening ceremonies, and pajamas. ha ha ha!! They probably have pajamas with a drop seat. It is Russia. It’s cold. ha ha ha!!
I’m actually sitting here at a loss for words. Shocking. Yesterday I was jumping up and down, crying, pumping my fists in the air, and trying to mouth the words, “it passed!” to K who was on the phone in a meeting for work. It was a comedy of sorts. She involved in her meeting, me jumping and crying and trying to shout without saying a word. She mouthed the words, “what’s up?” and I just kept whispering that it passed. We had a mini failure to communicate until she just asked the person on the phone to wait a second, held her hand over the headset mic, and said, “what’s going on?”. I could then finally answer aloud. “It passed! It passed!” She got excited, had to tell the person she was on the phone with what I’d just said. Finally, we could semi celebrate together. When she got off the phone we hugged each other. I was still crying.
I spent over two hours yesterday with headphones on, computer tabbed to the state house feed, listening and watching the debate about the Illinois marriage bill. It was infuriating, enlightening, glorious, encouraging, a tad scary at times, and ultimately wonderful. Whether people said things I agreed with, or not, it was fascinating to watch and listen to the process. When the vote finally came it happened so fast it was almost anticlimactic. They vote electronically so it took less than 10 seconds. Bam. Done.
I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on this. After all, there are many people, who for religious reasons, feel my right to marry who I love is wrong. And, oh well. I don’t expect people to agree. It’s a divisive issue. Always has been. I see it as the civil rights issue of our time, and others see it as a religious issue. I could argue that, as I have in the past on this blog, but today I won’t. Today I guess maybe I want to write about love.
I am in love. Since April of 2003, and if I really admit it to myself it was probably a couple of months earlier, I’ve been in love. In the beginning I was scared as hell. Me being in love with a woman was not something my family would expect and at that point didn’t know anything about. So I was scared. In love, but scared. Would they accept her, would they cast me out, would they turn their backs or talk behind mine? One of the reasons I kept being gay a secret for so long was because I didn’t want to go from being Tam to being gay Tam. Because whether people mean to or not, that’s exactly what happens. You suddenly become something different from what you were to other people. Not always in a bad way, but different none the less. I didn’t want that first perceived difference, until I met her, and then I didn’t want to keep it a secret or hide her from everyone in my life. I wanted her to be a part of my family. I wanted to live a whole and authentic life and to do that I had to tell my truth. So I did. And yes, I became gay Tam. But then — then I was just Tam again.
A lot happened right after the coming out thing, as you can imagine, but what mostly happened was a whole bunch of acceptance and love. Love. I have friends who are pretty religious people, but they still loved me. One of them, a super spiritual Christian guy, came to see me in person and ended up telling me he loved me, no matter what, and that it wasn’t his job to judge or condemn me. You know, the judge not lest ye be judged thing. I love him for that. I respect him for that. And I respect his beliefs. We differ, but that’s OK. My grandmother, who my mom elected to tell (with my permission of course) said, and I quote, it was about time I came out. ha ha ha! That still makes me smile and laugh. She’d suspected, she kind of already knew, she was OK with it, and had been impatient for me to just say it already.
I think I was surprised at how well people just sort of accepted K into our family, into our lives. Friends I’d had forever accepted her as well. People treated us as if we were just like every other couple. Because, you know, we were. We are. We’re the same — mortgage, dogs, making dinner, working, pulling weeds in the garden, going for walks, taking vacations, watching dumb television shows, having the occasional argument, babysitting the grand boys, grocery shopping. Same. We love. We are loved.
I’m lucky. I know this. When I say it’s not every day people find the kind of relationship we have, I mean anyone. Gay, straight, somewhere in the middle. People strive for this, this thing we have. This absolute certainty that we are. We are more than just meant for each other or made for each other or any of that. We are. Simple. When I met her it was as if everything snapped into place, an audible click. Home. I still feel that way. Lucky.
Yes, alright — we argue and somehow she puts up with me when I get too emotional. I put up with her need to do a million things at once which sometimes leads to her not listening as well as I’d like. We do struggle at times. Of course we do. We aren’t perfect. What’s great is that no matter how much we struggle or how angry we get or how hard things sometimes feel there’s never a feeling of wanting to end it, or go, or take a break, or any of that. The tough stuff always makes us stronger as a couple if we let it. We let it. We can’t imagine our lives without each other in them.
We’ve already been married twice. To each other. This makes me smile. The first time we got married we were alone on a beach in Hawaii. We’d purchased rings and found our spot and did it ourselves. Words spoken, rings exchanged, happy tears shed, poetry, and a sand ceremony she’d surprised me with. We still have that bottle of sand. We’ve considered ourselves married since then. I think, really, we’ve considered ourselves married since that first date. I know I was. It’s why we count our anniversaries from then. But the ceremony in Hawaii was a real marriage for us. Maybe not sanctified or certified or papered in any way, but real none the less. The second time we got married Oregon had just passed a domestic partnership law. I worked for a county in Oregon at the time so during a break I walked down to the proper desk, paid the fee, we filled out the paperwork, and a week later there it was, our certificate of domestic partnership. Not really a marriage, but a legal thing, even if it seemed slightly empty in a way. We laughed, but at least that, combined with the $1600 in paperwork we’d done with an attorney, sort of protected us as a couple. Sort of. I say this because later, when at different times we were each hospitalized, we had to give the hospital with our powers of attorney, etc. so that we could make decisions for each other. It added a stress regular couples don’t have to deal with. Nothing like worrying if you’ll be kicked out of your wife’s room because she isn’t legally your wife. Luckily those strangers were kind and gentle and accepting. So much so one of the nurses mentioned to us how fantastic our relationship was and that she rarely saw a couple so devoted. It was a compliment. It was a commentary. It spoke directly to the we that is us.
We’ve never had an actual ceremony in front of people. A ceremony the kids and my mom and my brothers and sisters and K’s brother and sister and parents and our friends, etc., etc., could attend. As a young woman I never thought I’d be able to have a wedding. It was so far out of the consciousness I literally never even imagined it. Later, K and I vowed not to do it until/unless it became federally legal. Our paperwork and our own private marriage were what we’ve had. And on one hand they’ve been enough. The hand that says we don’t need anyone telling us our relationship is valid and important and real. We know it is. We live it and feel it every day. On the other hand not being able to legally wed has denied us many rights other couples who can get married enjoy and take for granted every day. Some of those rights legal, like getting the same rights for the taxes we pay, and some human, like being recognized in the same way as all other couples who love each other and last are when they are married.
And again, I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything here. I’m just speaking to my own personal experience. Yesterday, when marriage happened for us in Illinois, I cried. I cried because it’s another step toward being culturally real. Toward begin a part of something bigger than just us. It’s being looked at, from the outside, as legit and meaningful in the same ways as other couples who are devoted to each other, who have taken that step. It means my mom can be at my wedding, the kids can be there, our family and friends can be there. It means we can celebrate and rejoice and affirm the love we have and have had for each other for over 10 years and our families and friends can hug us and share in that moment. I means all the same protections and privileges will then apply to us. It means inclusion, not exclusion. And it means so much more than I can even put into words. Which, as I said in the beginning of this, sometimes fail me.
There is nothing more important in this life than the people we love and who love us. Period, the end. Love is beautiful and special and precious and real. Man, woman, gay or straight. Ours is. Our love for each other and our love for the people in our lives. This latest happening in Illinois is a victory for love. It’s very existence has advanced us, as a species. It’s propelled us a bit closer toward a place and time when all people will be loved and accepted and celebrated for who they are. A time and a place that’s hopefully not too far off in the future. Love always wins. Eventually. Love of our spouses, our children, our families, our friends, our fellow man and woman. I believe this.
I believe in love.
I’ve been to 5 of the top 25 cities in the world and all but one of the top 5 U.S. cities on this list. Looks like I need to put my travel pants on!
The liberty protected by the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause contains within it the prohibition against denying to any person the equal protection of the laws. […] While the Fifth Amendment itself withdraws from Government the power to degrade or demean in the way this law does, the equal protection guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment makes that Fifth Amendment right all the more specific and all the better understood and preserved.
The class to which DOMA directs its restrictions and restraints are those persons who are joined in same-sex marriages made lawful by the State. DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty. It imposes a disability on the class by refusing to acknowledge a status the State finds to be dignified and proper. DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others. The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment. ~ Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority