Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Catching Up 

Perhaps it seems I've been missing for a few days. I like to think of it as wildly attending to everything else. Reading, reading, reading, prep for oral argument for Legal Research and Writing (to be presented at the courthouse in my hometown, where my professor is a judge), working extra hours to get the currently due projects done on time, making plans to see various family members, and most importantly - bowling.

Yes, The Girl and I visited a friend of mine from high school on Saturday night, and after a fabulous Mexican dinner she and her girlfriend made, the four of us went candlepin bowling. For anyone reading this who isn't from the far northeast, candlepin bowling involves a smaller, roughly softball size ball which is held in the hand. The pins are a different shape than ten pin (which we refer to as "big ball bowling"), and you get three balls per frame. Fun was had by all, but now various muscle groups are making their protests known.

Catching up a bit on thoughts from the last few days:

-Pres. Bush's visit to Boston: I walked past the Park Plaza Hotel after all, just to see what was what. My route took me the street behind the hotel. Had a good view of the press check-in tent, lots of police and police dogs, lots of crowd control barriers along the sidewalks, and that was about it. Apparently there were some demonstrators of various stripes in front of the building, but all was quite quiet (limited auto traffic) in back.

-Open Forum on Same Sex Marriage: There was quite a crowd for this event, jointly sponsored by the school branch ACLU and the school branch Republican Club, with all seats filled, people sitting on the floor and standing by the walls, and flowing into the hallway. The Republican club speaker was a former chair of the Massachusetts Republican Committee, while the ACLU speaker was with the Mass. Gay and Lesbian Bar Association. They each spoke for 10 minutes, followed by questions from the audience. Unfortunately I was only able to catch the pre-question portion, as I had to get to a 6:00 class. Also unfortunately, the Republican speaker's presentation was primarily based on no legal authority, and referenced religious foundations and unsourced statements such as: teenaged boys need tough love, and unless there's a man in the house no one will be there to provide it; men are genetically programmed to care only for their own biological children; women need to be supported by a man in order to stay home and provide full time nurturing for the children, as women are better at that sort of thing and should do so; if there is same sex marriage, religious groups will be forced to provide ceremonies and recognize these relationships; same sex marriage should not be allowed because children who come from families which do not have both a mother and a father, who are married to each other, are violent and tend to use drugs and commit crimes. A straight friend of mine commented that she was embarrassed for the Republican Club that they were not able to find a more appropriate speaker, who would address the issues from a legal standpoint or at least provide some backing references for his statements. The only sources he did provide were quotes from gay rights and other social activists from the very early 70's, in support of his statements that gay men and lesbians who are seeking the right to marry are actually seeking to destroy and eliminate the institution of marriage. The ACLU speaker addressed many of the first speaker's misstatements, and moved into a discussion of the legal situation.

-Wonderfalls is continuing to be an excellent show. The Girl likes it better now that the speaking objects have taken a smaller role, with the human characters being the focus of the show. Their take on Gen Y "nonwinners" in Karma Chameleon was excellent. "Don't parse the blurb." And how perfect was it that the Gen Y achiever was pushed back on track from her temporary side trip into slackerdom by the dedicated slacker writing a great article and submitting it in the "achiever's" name? The achiever gets to the top by skirting the system, and the slacker remains in her low stress, low expectation environment by pulling out the Ivy League skills heretofore being ignored? Then in this week's show (Wound-Up Penguin): a toy penguin advocating for a nun! Crack barrel! I also found it telling that the priest, who was the authority figure over the nun who had been at the convent for 12 years, had clearly only been in the priesthood for a few years. His pre-calling child couldn't have been more than 7 or 8 years old. "If you're going to turn to God, we just feel that you should turn to our God." The God of Presbyterians. Ha! We're bobbin' along in our barrel...

-Tru Calling: "Daddy's Girl surprised me. It was kinda... you know... good! Finally! And last week's guest star Clare Kramer was followed up with this week's guest Wade Williams, whose character General Gregor on Buffy was killed by his nemesis Glory, played by Clare Kramer! When Davis unzipped stepmom's body bag and Tru gasped, "Oh god!" I had to rewind and replay several times. It was good acting! I believed it! They didn't make Tru analytical and on top of everything in this episode. She was confused and emoting. It was great! Even Harrison was played well, especially when Deadbeat Dad was poorly advising him to play the field and he caved in (on round 1), the look on his face was that of an ignored little boy whose dad is finally paying attention to him. Then on round 2 when Tru told him to stick to his guns, he just accepted it, spoke up for himself and Lindsey, and it worked out well. I like the addition of Jason Priestley. The slightly worn, slightly aggressive, cynical character works better as a foil than pretty boy Luc. My only complaint (can you believe it?) was Dad's cover story. Why would he think Tru would believe that he, as a former assistant district attorney, would allow himself to be forced to pay protection money to keep a convicted felon from extracting retribution on him? It wasn't a fictitious blackmail - he said himself that the evidence was rather flimsy but sufficient for a jury verdict. If this had happened, the ADA would have the guy arrested. And why did Tru actually believe it? Perhaps it was just confusion and turmoil with all the childhood trauma coming up.

-Second Tru Calling note - The first establishing shot before the walk in the park was a sky cam shot of the Boston Public Gardens, with the duck pond, Hancock tower, Prudential building and other architectural features clearly visible! The second establishing shot was of the George Washington Statue in the Public Gardens. But the actual walking scene was clearly not in either Boston Common or the Public Gardens. They aren't heavily wooded like that.

-Massachusetts Constitutional Convention and aftermath: Yes, one of the amendments passed, which would ban gay marriage but authorize civil unions. The identical amendment would have to be passed at next year's convention before getting near the ballot box in November 2006. And there are legislative elections before then. Plus the marriage licenses are set to begin being issued on May 17 of this year. Gov. Mitt Romney is hoping to convince the SJC to stay enactment, but Attorney General Tom Reilly has stated that he will not make such a request on the governor's behalf. The saga continues, and the clock ticks.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:06 AM