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M’s high school allows seniors to dress in costume for Halloween, and M and two of his closest friends have decided to be Men in Black and an alien. So I took M and the non-alien friend to the local thrift shop last week; they got black suit coats for only $7.99 each — what a score!

Tonight M was chatting with his friends on Facebook and asked me, “So is it OK if I go to R’s house on Friday at 4 a.m. so we can all put on our costumes and watch Men in Black?”

What? You’re barely able to wake up at 6 a.m. with serious parental nagging and threats of missing the bus. Your friend R has such terrible sleep habits that he’s been known to miss school because he can’t wake up in time. You seriously think you guys are going to be awake enough to watch a movie together? And you think I want to get up at 4 a.m. to drive you anywhere for anything less critical than a trip to the emergency room? (Teen drivers aren’t allowed on the roads at night, between 12:30 and 5 a.m., so he can’t even ask to borrow the car.)

I’m not sure whether M had realized how ludicrous this plan sounded until I started laughing and said, “No.” Perhaps the fact I rejected it so flatly without needing to hear any additional details made him realize this wasn’t worth even trying to negotiate.

A few minutes later of him chatting online with his friends, and he came back with Plan B: “Can I go to R’s house on Thursday afternoon or evening to watch the movie?”

Now that is fine, as long as he’s not out late. And I offered to drop him at the friend’s house around 6:30 on Friday morning, if they want to put costumes on together. So M is happy.

But I’m still laughing at the idea of three teenagers thinking they were going to be awake and ready to watch a movie together at 4 a.m.

yaleapp

M submitted his first 2 college applications yesterday — Yale and University of Vermont. Woohoo! A giant sigh of relief was felt throughout the house.

We celebrated later that evening by making popcorn and watching a movie. The celebration was only slightly disrupted by me accidentally spilling popcorn kernels all over the kitchen, and E discovering that the cat had peed on her jacket. Every good celebration includes sweeping and laundry though, right?

Hanging in there

After a couple weeks of being the only remaining person at work in my area of expertise, I think that the overall workload is mostly manageable, as long as I never take a day off.

Ever since the car accident, I keep feeling anxious whenever I get stuck in backed-up traffic, which happens every single day on my commute home at exactly the same spot I got hit.

E is battling the sinus infection that will not quit.

The cat aches in changeable autumn weather, and then doesn’t believe in sleeping through the night.

M is nearly done with his first couple college applications. He kept getting increasingly defensive every time we gave him the feedback he asked for on shorter essays. Fortunately, a friend of ours who used to teach middle school has been willing to give him feedback and guidance about his main essay. He has been much more receptive to her. He’s also said E and I only get to read the essay after he’s accepted to a college. Fine. As long as it gets done.

Overall, I feel like we’re all just barely hanging in there. Sort of like this guy, who the cat had chased up a tree, and who decided he’d just hang on to this little branch until I got the cat out of the way.

hangon

Arizona!

Woohoo for Arizona! U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick has recognized that “The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that substantially identical provisions of Nevada and Idaho law that prohibit same-sex marriages are invalid because they deny same-sex couples equal protection of the law, the right to which is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. This court is bound by decisions of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.” Attorney General Tom Horne has recognized that “The probability of the 9th Circuit reversing today’s District Court decision is zero. The probability of the United States Supreme Court accepting review of the 9th Circuit decision is also zero.” And so same-sex marriages were permitted to begin immediately, and a number have already happened. One of the first marriage licenses went to a lesbian couple that has been together for 58 years!

On the negative side, I’m updating the map and the stats to reflect that, after a false start in which it looked like South Carolina was starting to issue marriage licenses, it now appears that South Carolina is planning to waste months and a lot of taxpayer money because it doesn’t want to admit it’s part of the Fourth Circuit and bound by previous rulings there. So boo to South Carolina.

And now:

66.6% of people live in places where same-sex married couples have all the same state and federal rights as opposite-sex married couples.

33.4% of people live in places where same-sex marriages are not recognized by the state.

marriagemapaz

Alaska!

Capping off a week of phenomenal news on the marriage equality front, a judge in Alaska has ruled that same-sex marriage bans are just as unconstitutional there as in the rest of the states bound by the 9th Circuit Court. Woohoo! (Does this mean someone in Russia will now be able to look out the window and say, “I can see gay spouses from my house?) Kudos to Judge Burgess, who clearly spent the weekend working, in order to write up the decision and deliver it this quickly after Friday’s hearing.

And now:

66.0% of people live in places where same-sex married couples have all the same state and federal rights as opposite-sex married couples.

34.0% of people live in places where same-sex marriages are not recognized by the state.

marriagemapak

My wife just called, all excited to tell me I have to update the map again. Another day, a few more court rulings — and now same-sex marriages have begun in Kansas and North Carolina, and are cleared to begin in Idaho! Woohoo! This continues to be an absolutely amazing week for marriage equality. The shift in North Carolina feels especially meaningful for us. It’s where E’s parents had moved for retirement. After E’s dad died in 2010, E and I drove down there to help move her mom north. It was our first long trip as a married couple, and yet we spent it in a state where both legally and socially I was nothing more than E’s “friend.” (Yes, the kind of “friend” who will drive 1600 miles round trip and spend 10 days helping to clean out and pack up a house.) It felt very much like being in enemy territory. I know that people’s social attitudes don’t all change overnight, but what a difference to know the legal status can, and has.

And now:

65.8% of people live in places where same-sex married couples have all the same state and federal rights as opposite-sex married couples.

34.2% of people live in places where same-sex marriages are not recognized by the state.

marriagemapid

A few more days, another appellate court decision, a few more legal wranglings to tie up loose ends — and now same-sex marriages have begun in West Virginia, and Nevada has begun issuing marriage licenses, with the rest of the holdouts in the 9th circuit (Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Arizona) expected to follow. Woohoo! What an amazing week this has been for marriage equality — an additional 16 states where marriages have either begun or are expected to be possible imminently.

I’m especially pleased to remove the yellow category from my map, of states that offered only civil unions or domestic partnerships.

And now:

65.3% of people live in places where same-sex married couples have all the same state and federal rights as opposite-sex married couples.

34.7% of people live in places where same-sex marriages are not recognized by the state.

marriagemapnv

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