The Littlest Meap

With all the preparations for Pride this year, it’s already a breathless season. Increasing the fervor of the season, of course, was the beginning of gay marriage in California yesterday at 5 pm. I watched coverage from some of the first gay weddings last night, live on the local news. It’s exciting to live in a state with legal gay marriage again.

On the other hand, a visit to my old roommates last weekend gave me another reminder about the problems that come along with gay marriage–the enforcement of the same norms that affect straight people. For as long as gay relationships exist only outside the law, all sorts of extra-legal legal precedents can sneak their way in. In the case of my former roommates, three lesbians who decided to raise a child together, gay marriage ruins the hopes they had of securing a three-parent adoption for their little girl once she was a toddler and they could argue their parental rights.

For so long, homosexuality has been an outstanding shelter for any number of norm-violating sexual and romantic arrangements–polyamory, kink, domestic partnerships without marriage, etc.– that heteros have engaged in too, but which have generally been more accepted in the queer world than in the world at large. With the harsh light of legal marriage shining on gays and lesbians, will we all line up and join the establishment? What happens to folks who don’t want to?

I continue to hold out hope that the government will step out of the business of providing “marriage” as a concept and will just do civil unions, leaving folks to chose whatever idea of marriage works for them, be it traditional or nontraditional. (This is one of the times I side with libertarians on an issue.) However, the precedent does not seem to be heading that way.

In other news, looks like Google is branding search results containing terms related to gay pride with rainbows. For a limited time only! Catch it while you can!

ETA: As usual, Alison Bechdel has commented on a similar aspect of things that is both subtler than what I’ve said here, and more poignant.

Stop stealing my life, Randall Monroe

Posted by: meaplet on: June 10, 2008

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When I saw Randall Monroe speak last fall, he said that people are always claiming that he is secretly watching them and stealing their lives. This of course was not true–he was totally innocent.

I believed him at the time, of course. But that was before he stole my “every subject is ultimately reducible to mathematics” game!

Off the panel on the right, there's a logician wondering why the mathematician is still bothering to prove things in the object language.

ETA: My alt text, “Off the panel on the right, there’s a logician wondering why the mathematician is still bothering to prove things in the object language.” doesn’t seem to be hovering over the image for me. It’s supported, though, by this guy

In which I betray my gender for common sense

Posted by: meaplet on: June 6, 2008

I am a Registered Female, and so naturally I get regular email from NOW in my college email account (I think I may have been signed up when I participated in a pro-choice rally at some point?) Periodically I agree with what they have to say; periodically I roll my eyes. Never have I been made more angry by NOW than I was this morning.


Hillary Clinton’s campaign inspired millions of women across the
country, and the increased female voter turnout has helped many women
running for office – but will those women candidates now face a media
gauntlet that is more about their gender than their qualifications?

I understand NOW endorsing Hillary Clinton for no reason other than her gender. They are, after all, the National Organization for Women, not the National Organization for People Whose Politics I Agree With. But to continue blaming her gender for the fact that she lost after the last six months is dishonest self-victimization.

Clinton ran a close race; she lost relatively narrowly. The media dismissed her EXACTLY as they would have dismissed a man in her position. It is not her femininity that made people predict that she would lose; it was the fact that she spent most of the last six months behind in votes and behind in delegates. Before Iowa she was the media’s darling, and the fact that Barack Obama took over that position has entirely to do with their relative position in the race and nothing to do with either his skin color or her gender. (The decisions of a lot of the voters were doubtless affected by these things; both issues came up frequently in the news; but they did not affect the relative assessment of who stood where in the race)

I look forward to voting for a woman candidate for President, but I will do that only when there is a woman who I agree with running for office.

ETA: Ok, I just re-read the original statement, and it was probably not worth nearly as much anger as I threw at it just now. The real thing I’m upset about here is the fact that NOW doesn’t seem to be seeing the victory of a woman getting as far as Clinton did. They, like the Clinton campaign in general has been doing since she fell behind, have resorted to gender-based victim playing rather than taking an honest look at the race and the many other factors that have resulted in Obama winning.

Just a tick…

Posted by: meaplet on: June 4, 2008

This morning…
[random coworker]: Molly, I hear that you and Erica might be roommates.
Me: Yeah, we talked briefly about it. How did you know?

Today at lunch…
Erica: Molly, we probably shouldn’t tell too many people that we’re going to be roommates, because that might mean it will all go wrong!
Me: I think it might be too late for that…

Soon we will return to your regularly scheduled long, interesting entries. In the meantime, please allow me to cross-sell my new photoblog, coming to you as soon as the DNS propogates:

In which I feature as a hobo

Posted by: meaplet on: June 1, 2008

Jen: i need to know the name of your first pet and the street you grew up on
me: are you trying to break into my bank account?
Jen: it’s for my blog
me: Is this going to be my psueudonym?
Jen: yes
you’re going to come to my imaginary dinner party
me: Ok, but it can’t be my first pet, because my parents foolishly let 3-year-old Molly name the cat. Can it be another pet?
Jen: it has to be your first pet
me: Can I lie to you?
Jen: nope.
me: Stovepipe
I will sound like the Hobo at your party

Clearly I should just give up and take up lint-knitting as a new hobby, if “Stovepipe Hawk” is my porn name.

Other hobo-related events this weekend:

  • Noticing the huge amount of lint in the garbage bag by the dryer. Perhaps it is in fact asking to be knitted?
  • Read Water For Elephants, which features an excellent description of a Hobo Jungle ::and:: the recurring risk of becoming a hobo.

I’m such a nice person, sometimes

Posted by: meaplet on: May 29, 2008

Steve: Sneezes
Steve: Thanks
Me: Go to Hell.

Wedding Recap

Posted by: meaplet on: May 27, 2008

If I were still on LiveJournal, this entry would start like this: I spent the weekend hanging out with tokyo_apple, melfinatheblue, and sarsmicama (and other, LJless folks) at diadem_chi‘s wedding.

Of course, now that I’ve started that way, I can’t use anyone’s real names, can I? Or at least, I must be very eliptical and rely on your inability to match first names to internet handles. Or something. Anyway, the weekend in summary form:

Left work ~5pm on Thursday to go to chorus. Skipped out early (missing choreography rehearsal for “Ray’s Rockhouse”) to go to 9:30pm showing of Indiana Jones on the Employer’s dollar. Enjoyed Indiana Jones thoroughly (ESPECIALLY Karen Allen as a love interest almost as grizzeled as Jones himself.)

Got home at ~11:30pm. In expectation of 4am shuttle to airport, cleaned living room, washed dishes, finished packing, and got dressed for flight before going to bed ~2am. Determined that wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt for travel was the best way to survive a day of flying after a night of not sleeping.


Caught shuttle on time. Waited twenty minutes in front of home of the next gentleman on the shuttle, who was not quite as on time. Arrived at airport. Hopped on plane. Arrived at Minneapolis. Hopped off plane, hopped on another plane. Arrived in Detroit. Received phone call from Alenna. Hopped off plane. Took shuttle bus to Avis car rental, flirting with shuttle driver in transit. Found Alenna. Met Bill and AJ. Learned that they kick ass.

Assumed role of navigatrix for trip to Ann Arbor to pick up Ai at what Bill thought was a bus station but Alenna said was a train station. A few miles in, determined that highway exit numbers were counting in the wrong direction to get us where we were going. Thought I had failed as navigatrix by being too interested in A.J. and Bill’s stories. Turned around, went back and eventually found out that had in fact been misled by lying Google Maps! Giggled at irony of groom’s profession. Arrived in Ann Arbor safely, an hour before scheduled arrival of Ai’s train. Settled in a restaurant far too fancy for t-shirt and yoga pants. Learned that restaurant was not, in fact, the Candy Dancer as we first read, but the Gandy Dancer. Drank cosmopolitan. Ate almond-crusted brie.

Saw train pass at Ai’s intended arrival time. Clapped with rest of restaurant because the train did not hit us (this has apparently been a tradition since the 30s, when a train did hit the restaurant). Walked over to train station. Learned that Ai had not been aboard. Learned further that the only plausible train from Ai’s most recent location would be arriving at 11:30 that night, and indeed, that Ai was not ticketed on any trains coming from the west.

Went back to restaurant, hopes pooled around my feet. Finished cosmo. Started beer. Received call from Ai, who was (a) running late and (b) on a bus. Walked back to train station to determine location of bus station. Sent Alenna off to pick Ai up at bus station. Ate some sort of appetizer, the only vegetarian thing on the menu. Greeted Ai. Drank another beer. Stole some of A.J.’s mashed potatoes.

Went to hotel. Checked in. Found room. Found S.K. and others in groom’s room, playing some sort of card game. Socialized a bit. Went away with A.J., Bill, and Ai to watch Battlestar Gallactica and Firefly. There was no Battlestar Gallactica. Listened to Jaws woman on A.J.’s computer speak much faster than I could understand in a voice that only A.J. could recognize as sexy and Australian at that speed. Wandered to nearby grocery store with A.J. and Bill to acquire alcohol. Watched Firefly and drank beer. Went downstairs, went to sleep.


Happy dancing marriedsWoke up, cleaned off plane junk, ate expensive breakfast and got ready for wedding with Alenna and Ai while watching Torchwood. Acquired baked goods in support of breast cancer research.

Wedding was lovely. Readings were excellent. Was reassured by one of Chi’s aunts that we were the “fun side” of the chapel. S.K. did a good job at not giggling while reading seamier bits of the Song of Songs. Chi was gorgeous in her princess dress. The deacon did an excellent job. The ceremony was Christian enough to make Chi’s family happy, but not Christian enough to make me feel uncomfortable, which I applauded. And lo, Brian and Chi were married. (And lo, I had seen Chi for the first time that weekend, if from a distance).

Hung out in bar with sundry people while waiting for wedding party to take photos. Remembered that had brought camera. Took many photos. Went upstairs and watched more Firefly.

Went to reception. Drank many G&Ts. Did not once think about them WRT the Tom/Ginny ship back in my Fiction Alley days. Ate amazing risotto/mushroom/eggplant concoction. Learned that one can force bride and groom to kiss by clinking your glass with your silverware. Experimented with timing to do this. Got wedding cake frosting on my nose. Took many photos. Broke dance floor heteronormativity gap with Ai, opening up the dance floor to more than just couples. Relaxed enough to let someone else (namely, Ai) lead me! Noticed that dress was not conducive to dance level of movement. Changed to dress that caused fewer issues WRT bra showing, but which was a bit sluttier. Enjoyed frequent confusion on part of reception venue employees re: Brian’s Best Maid and Chi’s Man of Honor. Found this awesome.

Turned down option of more Firefly to hang out with hotel roommate S.K. for first time of the weekend. Went to bed.


'Game over'Woke up, checked out of hotel. Visited Brian and Chi in two-floor penthouse suite. Enjoyed humor of Brian’s t-shirt. Carried away suitcase. Whiled away the 5 remaining hours until leaving for the airport with S.K. and Rob. Took many photos. Played several rousing rounds of Guillotine. Never won.

Lurking marriedsWent to airport. Was spied on eerily by Brian and Chi from fancy member’s-only lounge. Boarded plane. Fended off sibling poking from both sides. Read SkyMall catalog while listening to JoCo’s “SkyMall”. Arrived in San Francisco. Received generous ride home from la madre de S.K. y Rob. Went home. Went to bed.

And then I found five dollars the end.

Decisions, decisions

Posted by: meaplet on: May 27, 2008

I could leave my apartment right now and go to a birthday party for WordPress.

Or I could go to bed, like a good girl.

OR I could watch my third Star Trek episode of the night.

(ETA: Or, apparently, I could spend the next two hours writing up a weekend recap)

Lessons in password security

Posted by: meaplet on: May 26, 2008

I learned a few lessons about password security over the last week, and thought I’d share them.

I’m well acquainted with the standard techniques of password security, and I always use medium to long passwords with a combination of upper and lower-case letters, and numbers. I’m not quite comfortable yet with using special characters in my passwords, so I don’t use though. I also like to have unique passwords for accounts that I want to keep secure, so having a good way to come up with new passwords and remember them is necessary.

My main technique for generating passwords is to find a short quotation or song lyric I like that includes a number (or a word with a numeric homophone) and use its initials as a password. For example, one of my now-deprecated passwords was “anc2ptw”, for the Matthew Good Band lyric “A new color to paint the world.”

Another important technique for protecting one’s passwords, of course, is making sure that you’re the only one who knows them. This is normally relatively easy, but here’s where I fell through last week. You see, I normally have multiple terminal windows and multiple instant message windows open at the same time, and I am not always as cautious as I could be about what text goes in what window. Pinging someone “ls” or “exit” is embarrassing, but not problematic.

No, the problem came mid last week when I accidentally pinged my friend Inga one of my more important passwords instead of entering it into the prompt I intended. My advice to you: don’t do this. It’s a bad idea.

I went ahead and changed my password. Here I learned another lesson about choosing passwords, one that isn’t frequently mentioned:

When selecting a password, you should always make sure that it’s something that you can type. By which I mean, think a bit about balancing letters on both sides of the keyboard. Muscle memory will help save you from typos in common words, but a string of random letters is going to take much longer to settle in. Forgetting your password is one thing; mistyping it two out of every three attempts because of, say, a four-character cluster of home-row characters for the left hand is downright embarrassing.

I have yet another new password now. And it seems to be working out well for me so far. Here’s hoping it will work out for me.


Posted by: meaplet on: May 15, 2008

Quick update to be thrilled as can be about the end to the ban on gay marriage in California.

Supreme Court, I give you the thumbs up.

Now, to find a nice girl to marry…

On a linguistic note, I’ve been mildly irked all day by the one-man-one-woman quotation that everybody in the universe has been using to point out that some people still don’t like the gays:

“The government should promote and encourage strong families,” said Glen Lavy of the Alliance Defense Fund. “The voters realize that defining marriage as one man and one woman is important because the government should not, by design, deny a child both a mother and father.”

It took me upwards of five readings of that statement to get the intended reading. I just kept thinking that “denying a child of both a mother and a father” meant that they could have neither, rather than that they couldn’t have the matched set. Definitely would have used an “or” there.