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16 March 2003

peacemkrs.JPG (26490 bytes)"Are you going to wuss out on me?" Olivia barked into the phone.

It was Friday afternoon and I was at work. Dr. G was away and I was taking a rare moment to actually organize my desk. Outside the skies were dark and ominous. It had poured rain that morning. Weather persons were predicting a huge storm blowing in, lasting all weekend. Cindy hadn't even brought her bike to the office, knowing it would be impossible for us to ride.

A week ago, I planned to go with Olivia to the peace march in San Francisco on Saturday. I'd lived through Berkeley during the Vietnam era and had never attended a peace march or rally. I'd never held a protest sign. I'd never let my voice be heard.

"Yes!" I said enthusiastically a week ago. "I am definitely going."

That was before the storm blew in.

One thing I knew on this Friday afternoon: I did not want go brave the storm, either on the freeway, or huddled with other wet protesters in the City Hall plaza.

"I'm going one way or the other," Olivia said. "I want to be counted."

Guilt. Guilt.

"OK," I said, finally. "I'm coming. I have no right to protest the war unless I am willing to get out there and be counted."

As I drove down the freeway, I drove through several squalls of pouring rain. "I've got to be out of my ever lovin' mind," I told myself more than once. I hadn't even brought a decent coat with me. Just my wind breaker. And I'd forgotten my umbrella.

It was raining lightly when I got to Olivia's. A friend of hers was there. The three of us went out to dinner. It had stopped raining when we came out of the restaurant.

The friend went home. Olivia and I talked awhile about her upcoming move to Boise (in 2 weeks) and then decided to call it a night. I went to sleep in the reclining chair watching Jay Leno--just like at home.

When I woke up at 3 a.m., the predicted storm had hit full force. There were gale winds and torrential rain pouring down on the lagoon outside the living room door. I groaned. What in the world had I gotten myself into? I got a drink of water and went back to sleep.

When I awoke at 6:30, Olivia was in her office working at the computer. The sun was shining down on the lagoon. She was actually reading the letters to the editor on MSNBC, which printed the part of my journal yesteray, which I posted as a letter to the editor (as of this writing, 24 hours later, it's still the entry at the top of the page!)

"Look," she said. "The sun is out. Maybe we'll get lucky."

"Yeah, right," I grumbled, noting the black clouds off in the distance.

We had breakfast and made a stop at Trader Joe's so I could buy chocolate covered soy nuts (114 nuts for 4 WeightWatchers points). The sun was still shining. We drove to the BART station and got on the train.

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These were "Pink Panthers for Peace"
We met them getting off a BART train.

LLmoms.JPG (48475 bytes)When we came up out of the ground at the Civic Center Plaza, you could not have asked for a more lovely day. The sun was shining. The skies were blue. There were beautiful clouds floating overhead. There was not a drop of rain in sight. God was bushit.JPG (23590 bytes)obviously in favor of this peace rally.

It was quite an experience. It was a cross section of, believe me, everybody. Every race, every age, every political ideation. There were small children with crudely lettered hand-made signs, there were grandmothers with pictures of their grandchildren, there were people dressed in black with skeleton masks. jewishwomen.JPG (29295 bytes)There were politicians and mothers and rappers (perhaps some rapping politiciansForNed.JPG (23316 bytes) who were also mothers, for all I know). There were people representing churches. There were people there for the fun of it, and people who were deadly serious.  There were people with long unkempt hair, and people with carefully coiffed business looks. There were dredlocks and spiked hair. All were uniform in their concern for the approaching war and their strong opposition to it.

Police with guns ringed the crowd and helicopters flew overhead. At the mic there were speeches and music and announcements. Soon the crowd would begin moving toward a nearby park for another gathering.

collateral.JPG (26319 bytes)Olivia, who has a back that looks like a roadmap from all the surgeries, who has had several spinal fusions and hardware implanted in her spine to help control the pain, and who walks with a cane (but refuses to let that hamper her) gets nervous in crowds. If she gets jostled, it can throw her system out of whack, so once we'd been there and "been counted," we decided we wouldn't stay for the rest of the rally, or for thebomb.JPG (24089 bytes) march.

Instead we went by cab to Pier 39 and had a lovely lunch overlooking the Golden Gate bridge, and then back home again.

When we arrived back at the car, the sun was still shining brightly and I was very glad I hadn't "wussed out" but that I had made the effort to stand up and be counted, however briefly.

Tomorrow night I will take part in a candlelight vigil here in Davis.

wpe23C.jpg (3339 bytes)Thanks for your nomination of Funny the World for a Legacy award, of all things. You can find all the nominees here.

Congratulations to all the other nominees--especially my buddies Haggie and Marn. If you have a journal, support the community and be sure to vote.

Quote of the Day

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(TWO allies?????  Wow.  Two whole allies...)

Today's Photo

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Finally a peace activist--
at age 60



One Year Ago
Come Out, Come Out, Whoever You Are
Once again, I shake my head at a society which feels that institutionalizing children is better than allowing gay people,who are ready and eager to give them a loving home, to adopt. Does homophobia run so deep that we are willing to sacrifice children for its sake?  Apparently so.

Two Years Ago
Weird Night
So it’s now 3 a.m. and I have to decide whether I’m going to get some more sleep or get some transcription done. I’ve now completely turned my day upside down.

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Pounds Lost:  71.6
(this figure is updated on Tuesdays)

On the Odometer

URL Total 747.5
Blue Angel Total 745.6
2003 YTD Cumulative:  268.9

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