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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

My new car!

E and I went shopping on Saturday for something to replace my totaled car. Since I’ll still be sharing a car with our teen driver, I didn’t want to get something brand-new. I’ve been happy driving a Subaru, but was leaning more toward getting a Forester than another Impreza because I’m tired of not being able to see over the snowbanks at intersections in winter, and after being rear-ended a couple times, I’m nervous of feeling like the smallest car on the road.

We planned to get something ~3 years old coming off a lease, and saw several Foresters listed at a nearby dealership with about 50K miles for ~$19K. We started roaming the lot, and saw some of the 2011 Foresters, and they looked nice, but kind of big and $19K was still pretty expensive. Then E spotted a 2006 Forester with only 72K miles. It’s slightly smaller with better rear visibility than the later models, and the same design as E’s older Forester. We circled the lot, but E especially really felt drawn back to this car. No prices were listed in the lot, so E called home and M looked up the price: $10,000. Suddenly this seemed like a much more practical solution for us. Based on our past experience with Subarus, we know they hold up well for many many miles (unless in an accident) so the 72K didn’t seem like such a problem. And considering the price to buy and the price to insure compared to more recent models, it seemed like a really good deal.

We went into the dealership, and found out the car had a clean Carfax with one owner who was completely neurotic about having gotten all the regular service done. One test drive later, and having learned it was in great condition inside and out, I bought the car.

The paperwork took a couple days, so tonight we went to pick it up. The sales guy was showing us that the owner’s manual and registration were in the glove box, when he realized some paperwork was still in there that had the previous owner’s name. He went to discard it, but I glimpsed the last name — and it was the same as E’s! (And it’s not a common last name.) We were all completely surprised. E feels that there are times her late father is really watching out for us, and she later told me that she’d asked him to help us out with finding a car before we’d gone shopping on Saturday. Well, here he was — finding us an excellent car, and leaving their name right in it so we’d know it was him. Wow. Oh, and my new license plate number, since they couldn’t transfer over my old-style plate? Last 2 digits are the street number that E grew up on. Of course.

So here’s the car (and the cat inspecting it):

car2

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