Archive for November, 2008

Ironman Weekend

I can’t believe it’s almost here. Just under a year ago I registered for Ironman Arizona, and in just a few days I will actually be at Ironman Arizona. Crazy. As they say, the days have been long but the year has been short.

I’m sad it’s going to be over. Sure, training for an ironman is life crushing and limiting in many ways, but I was just really starting to enjoy the training and really feel like I was getting the hang of it. I will miss this goal when it’s gone.

A few weeks ago I said to a friend: “You know, I’m pretty sure I can finish the race, but now I’m wondering why I’d WANT to”. I’ve done a few ultra long distance type races and training, and man, struggling to finish can just hurt. I know I can do it, but I’m trying to remember why I want to. But that was a few weeks ago. Now I’m just curious as hell to see how it goes.

It’ll be a long day. It’s not going to be very pretty. But I know that no matter how I do on Sunday, I know I will want to do better. I’m sure I’ll be back to Ironman.

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I got engaged this week.

That’s happy news. I’m very happy. I’ve been excited and distracted for two days. The Boss and I keep looking at each other and grinning. It feels peaceful, settled. It feels good.

Now, I’m happy, but I’m not surprised. I wasn’t unsure about him or us. We made it through a deployment to Iraq and back discussing our lives individually and what they meant for our lives collectively. We discussed finances, children, religion. Our families have welcomed us into their fold. A few months ago we bought a house together, and given the state of both the economy and the divorce rate, I’d argue committing to a mortgage is a bigger commitment than a marriage. So I’m not surprised that we’re engaged, but I’m so happy, and so excited. I often wondered if engagement/marriage would feel different than just co-home ownership/dog ownership. Now that I’m here, I realize: it is different. It feels different. After a fabulously selfish decade of young adulthood, I’m committed to something bigger than myself, and it feels wonderful.

But, I also feel like a little bit of an asshole. The morning after our engagement, I excitedly posted to Facebook my updated relationship status and spent the day posting back and forth with friends who were happy for us. It was a great feeling, until I realized: this was the same day Prop 8 officially passed in CA. While I was shouting from the rooftops the news of my upcoming marriage, some of my friends were being stripped of the right to marry at all.

The Boss asked me why I hadn’t blogged about our engagement. I didn’t really have an answer for him, except that, in a very small way , I’m a little ashamed. I’m a more privileged member of this country than some of my friends, and, as excited as I am to be getting married, I don’t feel good about flaunting that. I don’t even feel good about knowing that.

So, in addition to registering for plates and immersion blenders and whatever else Williams Sonoma will convince us we cannot start married life without, I’d like to also register as many votes as possible to the repeal of the amendments in California, Florida, Arizona, and everywhere else that honestly believes my relationship is more valid than the next. And I’d also just like to acknowledge to my friends that: I get it. I get how much this sucks. And I am so, so sorry.

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Because I’m all into reposting other people’s eloquent thoughts, I thought I’d share with you what Eric has to say:

That’s the story of how, last night, I was inspired to believe in America again. But it wouldn’t last. Because in the same night that we elected the first black President, California voters passed Prop 8 eliminating marriage for same-sex couples. Because at a time when America finally seems ready to set aside our petty differences, and come together to elect a man President who at one point would not have been allowed to vote in this country, at least everyone can agree that we hate queers.

No matter how you feel about gay marriage, I think it should absolutely scare the hell out of you that California is amending its state constitution to take rights away from a class of people. And I’m not quite sure why 50% of the state of California isn’t concerned.

(Florida, don’t think I don’t see you there too. Go sit in the corner and think about what you did. Good LORD I don’t know what is happening to this country.)

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Today was a good day

I’m reposting this from Linda, because it sums up much, much better than I can how I felt today when I voted:

I teared up a little casting my ballot, I’m not going to lie.
It was…unexpected. I have seen patriotism so mistreated as a concept in the last… well, twenty years or so, I guess, that it’s made me really reluctant to think a lot about how much I love the country, how much it means to me, how much I hope for it to do good things and how much it bothers me when I feel like things are going wrong. That I do have an American identity, and that I see myself as part of a nation, as much as it sometimes makes me uncomfortable to be associated with particular leaders and actions.

I haven’t voted for a successful presidential candidate in twelve years. I have felt endlessly thwarted and heartbroken, and maybe I will again today. But I just felt very…honored and happy to be there, feeling like casting that vote was one of the most genuinely American things I was ever going to have the opportunity to do. I know how corny that sounds, I really do. But that was how I felt. I felt so much relief at the thought that whether he wins or loses, Obama has really revitalized American progressivism, and that he’s just brought so much enthusiasm to civic life, where most of civic life while I’ve been an adult has been made up of telling people to hate government. I am, at heart, even more of a good-government geek than I am a progressive, and the idea of someone so smart and capable and gifted even being available to me as a presidential candidate just made my little heart burst with joy.

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