I took a few minutes this afternoon to head over to the library and check out some books. On my way there, a nice gentleman was standing on the street with some type of computing device in his hands. “Do you have a few minutes to talk about gay rights?” he asked me as I walked by. I said “no” and continued to walk on and became more and more bothered by the question as I approached the library. Why is that? In general, I support equality. I support the right of gays to marry. I oppose discrimination. I probably could have talked to him and agreed with just about everything he said. But, there’s this.
The use of the words “gay rights.” I wanted to walk back to him and tell him that I might have stopped and talked to him if he asked me to discuss “human rights.” But, you know me. If you’ve been hanging out on this blog over the years, you know I’m tired of identity politics and single interest special interest groups. I’m tired of gay rights and women’s rights and ferret rights and Lego rights and every other right people are fighting for. I’ll say it again and keep saying it. Let’s talk about human rights. The basic core rights that all humans are entitled to and which should be protected regardless of any characteristic that exists in them and defines them as something different than others. Talk to me about human rights and I’m there. I really want to be done with the rest of this.
Last week, we spent a few days visiting colleges with my younger son. He wants to be a vet and applied to several colleges that have agriculture programs or animal science programs. He was accepted to three of them. Oklahoma State in Stillwater. Oregon State in Corvallis. And Chico State, a California State University campus in, yes, Chico. At the beginning of the week, the Queen Midget went with him to Stillwater for a couple of days to visit the campus. Then they flew to Portland where my older son and I joined them for a couple of days in Corvallis. Chico State is next week. Here’s what I learned — kind of what I’ve known for years now, but when it’s staring you in the face, it takes on a whole new reality.
The idea of an affordable public college education in this country has become a complete and total joke. I’ll leave it at that. I’ll spare you the details about the costs and the limits on financial aid and that we make enough money to be ineligible for any real financial assistance while not making enough to actually be able to afford the thing. I won’t mention that 30 years ago my parents were able to provide three of their kids with access to a public college education without having to borrow a dime. It’s all just so ridiculous where this country has taken itself.
Over at my fiction blog, I wrote a little short story that had a kernel of truth to it. Briefly, I turned 50 a few months ago. I’ve developed a couple of odd pains that started to make me worry about whether something serious was going on. So I had the obligatory physical for us 50-year-olds. The doctor did his thing (you know, it involves a finger and that place). The lab did it’s thing (three vials of blood). X-Rays were taken.
And the diagnosis is???
Is the suspense killing you???
Well, whatever is going on in my body apparently isn’t killing me.
Everything was remarkably, ridiculously normal. Prostate was good. All of the bloodwork came back in the normal range. X-rays were negative. The fact that I have had a sore tailbone for months and new, odd pains in my right hip apparently is based on … well that I have a sore tailbone and odd pains in my right hip. But there is nothing from any of the tests and anything else that point to anything beyond the fact that when you get to my age, things just start hurting. Getting older sucks. My problem is that when one of these pains finally actually means something, I won’t know until it’s too late because I’ve grown tired of going through this routine … “doc, it hurts.” “There’s nothing wrong.” “So, why does it hurt?” “Because.” Kind of makes it difficult to keep going back.
It’s baseball season! There really is nothing better than the story that is told over the 162 game course of the baseball season. The Giants, the team of my childhood when I went to games with my family, of my early years as an adult when I went to games with friends, and my years as a parent when I took my kids and turned them into Giants fans, are back at it. Three World Series in five years — a dream that still seems unreal and impossible — leads to only one thing to consider. Can they do it again this year?