Wednesday, June 27, 2007

a great speed painting video

Alec sent a link to this video with this note:
Watch this speed painting video to Ray Charles' music.
Be sure to stick with it to the end.

Noel's cat is living with us now

We are Linus' foster parents now because Noel feels he isn't home as much as the cat needs. We're enjoying the kitty.

more news and pictures from Sam

Sam is Bill's friend. And ours. Here are his last to emails about his adventures.
Subject: Farewell Argentina...
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2007 13:53:53 -0300
From: Sam Schaefer-Joel

Today I bid farewell to Argentina and head to Brazil, it´s just across the river from where I am staying now, in Puerto Igazú. I am so excited to get to know Brazilian culture, learn some Portuguese, spend some time volunteering and meditating...
The journey across the Andes back to Argentina from Chile was eventful, we had the season´s first snowfall on the pass and there was a rockslide that closed the road for the night. All the hotels were booked but we ate dinner ate one of them and prepared to spend the night in the van.

Just before they closed up the restaraunt portion of the hotel, we found a misterious spiral staircase on the way to the bathrooms that led up to a storage room full of blankets and mattresses.....hmmmmmm, should we sleep sitting up in an idling 15 passenger van or nested down in a pile of bedding......we had a comfy warm night hidden upstairs but when we came down to get back on the bus at 6 AM we discovered we were locked in the hotel! Luckily a window was open in the women´s bathroom and we climbed out just as they were preparing to depart.

Mendoza was wonderful, very california climate, think Santa Rosa in the fall, warm days and cool nights, grape harvest, and juggling in the park. We rented bicycles and cruised around to several vinyards tasting wine, wheee!

It was in Mendoza that I made the decision to seperate from my dear friends and juggling companions and head to Brazil as they make their way to Bolivia and Peru. We plan to meet up again in Peru or Venezuela in a couple months. I´ll be heading first to Rio de Janeiro to volunteer at a meditation center for a couple weeks, not sure what I´ll be doing other than meditating three times a day and learning to speak Portuguese...

From Menoza I took a couple overnight buses on to Carlos Pelligrini and La Reserva de Iberá. Wow! So nice to camp out in the midst of nowhere, stars bright bright bright, everyone super chilled out on country living. I lived the tourist life for a couple days, took a boat ride out to the floating islands and saw all kinds of crazy wildlife, lots of caimans, capybara all over the campsite, more birds than I´ve seen in any one place. The third day I went for a walk in the jungle and came upon a family of monkeys, I sat and watched from 15 feet below while they played and ate in the trees while mosquitos played and ate on me. Yeah, bugs, lots of bugs. Hot. Cool at night. Friendly canadians at the campsite. Beer.

Now I am in Puerto Igazú. The waterfalls here are absolutely amazing. I am filled with awe. Oh my will be posted at some point. much water crashing down....mist thrown up into the air with increadible force....rainbows forming in the sun amid glistening droplets, standing on a walkway over a HUGE wide river that suddenly drops away into a foaming pit known as La Garganta del Diablo!!! The throat of the Devil!!! It is hot and humid here, very tropical, mangos and bananas growing everywhere, avacados are literally falling from the trees.

I stayed last night at this fancy hostel, 9 dollars a night! That's just about the most expensive lodging of the trip. Lots of international travelers here, english spoken all around. Free internet, breakfast, pool tables, pingpong, swimming pool, hot showers, it's a sweet place to hang out, though honestly I'd rather be camping with a bunch of south american jugglers and artesanos...still it's nice to live in luxury every once in a while.

Con mucho amor,


Subject: Alto Paraiso
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2007 20:31:23 -0300
From: Sam Schaefer-Joe

Alto Paraiso really is a high paradise. High plateau of Brazil, tons of beautiful waterfalls, amazing hiking, crystals along the side of the road, cool nights and hot days...It´s a town full of yoga and meditation studios, lots of spiritual people, hippies, and musicians.

I went on an amazing hike to a waterfall up outside of town, the plant life is stunningly beautiful and diverse. Flowers of every color and shape filling vast meadows dotted with dwarf palms and mimosas, borderd by green jungle along river banks and rocky ridges full of cactus and bromeliads. Wow!

I have posted photos at

I have been meeting wonderful people here, swimming in lots of waterfalls, juggling, playing music, hiking, and meditating (or, as I like to call it, donating blood--there are lots of mosquitos and small biting flies at dusk, especially near the rivers). I just got my yellow fever vaccination in preperation for the Amazon, I´m heading back towards the coast and north tomorrow, to the state of Bahia.

Best wishes to you all!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mimi's A Dip

This is my sister's hot artichoke dip recipe. She said she would give it to me if I told people its called "Mimi's A Dip" ~ her name is Mimi.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 bread round - (unsliced). I like using the San Francisco Street Bakery's olive bread (a yummy bakery down the street from us) but a sourdough or some other good bread will work too.
2 jars of marinated artichoke hearts
1 cups of mayonnaise
1 cups of shredded Parmesan cheese
I'm a dip too so these are my additions:
optional: lots of garlic
optional: a can of black olives
  • Drain the artichoke hearts (and olives) and chop them very fine (in a food processor if you have one).
  • Mix with the mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese (and garlic).
  • Cut into the sides and hollow out the bread round so that it is now a bowl.
  • Cut the inner part of the bread that you took out into pieces and put them around the round on a pan.
  • Fill the hollow in the bread bowl with the artichoke mixture.
  • Bake in the oven at until heated through and top is beginning to brown.
  • Serve with some extra crackers.

Alec's heart

Wednesday, June 20
Alec was having some chest pain in the evening so Catherine and I took him to St. Peters hospital. After checking him out in the ER they decided to admit him for observation, and planned to do a nuclear stress test in the morning. We hoped they would find that it was because he has been off the Nitro patch for about 2 weeks and nothing more.

Thursday, June 21
They did the test in the morning. He didn't have to walk a treadmill because they induced it (the stress) with chemicals (some drug). The nurse told me that they would get him some food between the two sets of tests. But they didn't. And they had a lot of people there to be tested so the two hour test was more like four. He was hungry when he got back to his room!

The cardiologist said the pictures from the stress test were fantastic.

Then they said they were going to discharge him but the doc didn't sign him out right away. We waited for a couple of hours then the nurse found out it would be closer to six when he could get over to sign him out. (We think he forgot and went back to his office.)

So Catherine took me home and I watered the garden and washed some dishes. Oh and I played with the cat. Then Alec called about 5 and we went and sprung him from the hospital.

He is home now and no pain. Yay!

He's on a
generic slow-release Nitro tablet (at $5 a month) instead of the patch (at $39 a month). He sees the cardiologist in a month to see if they want him on the pill or the patch or what.

Read the history of Alec's heart from 2002.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Low tides expose a marine wonderland

South Sound teems with weird, interesting animals, but many hide in the depths most of the year.

That changes this week, as extremely low tides will expose parts of South Sound usually underwater. The extreme low — and high — tides happen each year as the summer solstice approaches. This year’s solstice is June 21.

The next few days, especially the weekend, will have low tides in the middle of the day, offering residents a chance to take a walk on the weird side of South Sound.

Read more including Where to go, Finding critters, Staying safe, and Gear you'll need at Low tides expose a marine wonderland
by Chester Allen ~ The Olympian ~ June 13, 2007


Tides roll back to reveal critters of the sea
Outdoors reporter Chester Allen visits Burfoot County Park and discovers an assortment of underwater creatures thanks to the lowest tides of the year this week.

Though the shore is proving to be a prime end-of-the-school-year field trip destination for many area schools, Lisa Bahrt took her family to go digging for geoducks. And Brian McGuire brought his son Dayton, 5, to collect crabs.
Click to play the video.
by April Chan/The Olympian

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Yes there really are people like this.

An email I woke to this morning:
Subject: Your son.
Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2007 05:55:33 -0400

Dear Gabi,

I am a 16 year old boy from the Bay Area, California. I think you should know that your son deserved to die and in the fashion that it occurred. Being "gay" or "bisexual" is a sinful choice that people make in order to "rebel". I am truly glad this world is rid of your bastard son. Praise God for all the people who help beat him down, and end his blasphemy. He will be judged in the after life, and sent straight to Hell.

Thank you for your time.

And this was my reply:

Dear Gregory

I am so sorry that you have been taught to hate so much that you would write me such an email. I have posted it on my blog so that others can see what hate sounds like.

May your God forgive you.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Stonewall Youth at a Washington Middle School Assembly

Read School talk about gays, lesbians riles some parents
by Heather Woodward ~ June 8, 2007 ~ The Olympian

I have Chris' permission to share this letter.

June 8, 2007

I’m still waiting for the day when a school can have a speaker who dares utter the word “gay” or “lesbian” without bringing down the wrath of a group of parents. When that day comes, I will know that at last parents are actually doing what they themselves insist they themselves should do: talk to their children about issues of morality.

The morality that was discussed at a recent assembly at Washington Middle School was not, as some parents would have you believe, about homosexuality (The Olympian, “School talk about gays, lesbians, riles some parents,” June 8, 2007). It was about bullying. It escapes me how any parent could be upset that schools are talking about bullying. Do they really think by protecting their children from discussions of bullying they will never experience or witness it? One parent was quoted as saying, “They’re undermining parents, and they’re deciding what morals to teach our children.”

Of course, you’re right: I’m being disingenuous. This group of parents wasn’t upset that the assembly was about bullying; I’m sure they’d all line up and sign petitions to outlaw it. They are upset that the school dared to allow lesbians and gay men into its halls. It didn’t matter to them that these young people were there to relate real stories from their own lives about being bullied and assaulted because of what others perceive them to be. It didn’t matter to them that the silent voices they represent are the countless youth (including Olympia’s own Bill Clayton, driven to suicide in May 1995) killed or maimed or institutionalized because of the hatred they faced in their daily lives.

We so often hear that people who adhere to a certain religious philosophy “hate the sin but love the sinner.” If that were true, these parents (who I strongly suspect ally themselves with this religious group) would be standing up and cheering at the assembly, because they, of course, love the “sinner.” They would be offering hope and compassion to the speakers and to all of the gay and lesbian students at Washington Middle School, and at the other middle schools and high schools.

I wonder how many of these parents have even spoken with their children about issues of hatred, beyond “hating the sin.” Do they discuss the genocide occurring in Darfur, the persecution and mutilation of women throughout the Middle East and Africa, the racism boiling just below the surface here in the United States? How can we expect a child to understand any of that when they see their fellow students belittled, beaten, and broken with impunity?

I fail to see how the assembly would “sway students a certain way,” as the same parent said. Sway them not to bully? Now I am not being disingenuous—the parents are. they think so little of their children, of the “moral” values they have pounded into them thus far in their lives, that sitting in an assembly would “sway” them to be gay. Do they really think that a panel of young people discussing how others have made their lives hell would convince any of their kids to “become” gay?

Twelve years ago, when 17-year-old Bill Clayton killed himself at his home in Olympia, one of the precipitating events was an assembly at OHS, where Bill was a student, featuring Margarethe Cammermeyer, a resident of Whidbey Island and the highest-ranking military officer to be challenge the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. A group of parents vehemently opposed this assembly on religious grounds, but the school board stood firm in allowing her to speak. Little more than two weeks later, Bill and two friends (a boy and his girlfriend) were assaulted on school grounds by four boys. Bill and the other boy were beaten unconscious.

It is unbearably sad for me to see the same flawed rhetoric used again against the principled stand of school administrators and courageous young people. As a lesbian, I am furious that a small percentage of parents cling like mad dogs to outdated, disproven, and harmful opinions about homosexuality, bisexuality, and other variations in human nature. As a resident of Olympia, I urge every thinking person to find a way to demonstrate their own morality by talking with their children about the fundamental right in this country that every citizen is “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness….”

During June, many events acknowledging the presence and place of gays and lesbians in society take place in Olympia and around the world. I also encourage all thinking people to support these events.

Chris Madsen
Alec and I went to the school board meeting on the evening of June 11th, as did many others including Jeff Loyer who wrote this the next day:

Thanks to all who attended the Olympia School District board meeting – it was a wonderful success. Not only did we show overwhelming support for the anti-bullying assembly and Stonewall Youth, we had an opportunity for a very fruitful dialogue with a gentleman from the “other camp”. I’m hoping to meet with him to find out how we can address his valid concerns while we continue to hold similar assemblies.

I think this was one of our Olympia GLBTQ Community’s shining hours – congratulations to all who took part!

And a special “WONDERFUL – WELL DONE” to Stonewall Youth!!!

Proud to be part of this incredible community,
Jeff Loyer
President, PFLAG-Olympia
I am too, Jeff. Thank you to all who spoke out and wrote. And thank you, Stonewall Youth.

See you at Pride on Sunday!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

This is what I gave as a reason for unsubscribing from the Democratic Party listserv

This is what I replied when asked for a reason when I unsubscribed from two Democratic Party email listservs:

I am not pleased with the Democratic Party as they have been voting in for more war funds, more money than Bush asked for abstinence only programs, and generally not standing up for what used to be the Democratic beliefs and practices. I have joined the Green Party. Thanks for asking.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Pentagon Confirms It Sought To Build A 'Gay Bomb'

A Berkeley watchdog organization that tracks military spending said it uncovered a strange U.S. military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting.

Pentagon officials on Friday confirmed to CBS 5 that military leaders had considered, and then subsquently rejected, building the so-called "Gay Bomb."
Don't Miss the video at
Pentagon Confirms It Sought To Build A 'Gay Bomb'
Hank Plante ~ Reporting ~ (CBS 5) BERKELEY ~ June 8, 2007

See more on the 'gay bomb on Google News.

My friend Catherine's comment was:
GeorgyPorgy's weapons of mass destruction found at last.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

My Two Dads ! Gay Rights & Marriage Play!

Thank you, Steve Schalchlin for posting this on your blog
Living in the Bonus Round!

9ALLENRIDE9 wrote:
This is a play that i stared in that ... This is a play that i stared in that won first place out of all the middle schools in California! All the best middle schools in California would have musicals, plays and skits and then they would all come together at a host school and show what they have and compete for glory! The first place winners would then go and perform infront of an audience and be filmed by a profesional filmer. This was filmed November 8, 2005. My group's subject was to write a play for social change so we picked Gay Rights and then we created this funny play, "My Two Dads". So like i said, we won first place! Oh and one thing: ALL THE ACTORS YOU SEE IN THIS VIDEO ARE NOT REALLY GAY OR HOMOSEXUAL. WE ARE ALL STRAIT 100% SO PLEASE NO NASTY COMMENTS, THIS IS A PLAY! Oh and my name is Allen and i'm the actor in the blue shirt who plays Chuck. So anyways, enjoy!
My Two Dads ! Gay Rights & Marriage Play! DTASC Fall Festival

Note. 6/12/07 - this video isn't available now on YouTube. I don't know if its temporary or permanent. Gabi

Lennon's Piano in New Orleans

In a world of strife and tragedy, with new sorrows arriving not as single spies, but in battalions, what would you do to spread a message of peace, to offer a hope of healing to those who've braved the darkest days?
Read A Piano Peace by Crashing Vor ~ at daily kos ~ June 01, 2007