Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Decade in Review: 2008

Feb 20, 2008.  A CUUPs ritual was planned for the full moon eclipse.  Although I voiced my suspicions, no one confirmed that the full moon would be visible from the church site.   Five minutes before the eclipse began, one other person appeared.  We looked for the moon, but it was below a near-by hill.  Ten minutes later, as I was leaving to go watch the eclipse with my family, a third person appeared and wondered why I was leaving.

Later, I hooked up with Mark and The Child at the Eugene Reservoir, where the Eugene Astronomy club had set up telescopes.  After my family left,  I watched the dark moon and harped for it and for the people milling around the telescopes.  Most folks appreciated the gesture for the gift it was, and I can't think of nicer (if laid back) public ritual.

June 2008.  Savoré closed completely.  The retail store closed and the web store as well.  Even after almost three years, we still hadn't found a replacement.

September 2008.  Suddenly, The Child was Ready for Preschool.  The clingy days were over.  Mark would come home from work and the two of us would be sitting on the couch, looking straight ahead and not making eye-contact, waiting for Mark to step through the door.

We asked around for preschool recommendations, and the next thing I knew, I was touring a preschool connected to a church.  Little "Gee, these folks are Extra Religious" alarm-bells were going off in my head, but I kept telling myself that some pretty cool parents had recommended the church.

Then I put down Mark as the other parent on a form.  The pre-school teacher started back-peddling and babbling, and the next thing I knew, I was in the principal's office with The Child.

"Well," he said.  "This has never happened before.  I think I'd have to speak to my bosses before we can let your child attend.  It's really in the best interests of The Child for him not to attend [because we will let all the kids in a preschool for four year olds know that men who have sex with other men are going to Hell and The Child's family is damned and we don't want him to have go through hating his Devil Dads and being shunned as a sinner by the other kids]."

Since I didn't want to have a Scene or Educational Moment with The Child sitting there wondering when we were going to have lunch, I said.  "You know, I think there's been some mistake, and I should be somewhere else."

So Much for Hippy Eugene.  On a happier note, we found the right school, in a church a few blocks away from The Wrong Church.  We had to wait a few more months to get in, because A Child's Educational Application Process must start three weeks after conception if you want to get into the Yale Track.

On a slightly related note, around now I got a phone call from a UUCE member who was working on a sex-education panel for the UUCE youth.  She needed someone on the panel who had multiple sex partners and wondered -- since I was a gay man -- if I knew any gay men who would be willing to sit in on the panel.   No, she didn't realize the implied assumption that all gay men are sleeping around; Yes, she was suitably horrified when I pointed out what she was asking.   All in a Day's Work as Mr. Gay Resources at UUCE.  Sigh... I'd sort of hoped there might be gay spiritual men at this liberal, welcoming church.

December 2008.  My short story, "Up" (this was before the movie of the same name) was accepted at the (then) Whidbey Student Choice Award (now the Penn Cove Literary Award)    This was a cheery Wordos Holiday Story, where a socially isolated protagonist has to deal with the aftermath of a fatal family car crash.   My worries that I might be unconsciously trying to kill my family off were eclipsed by the fact that this was my second (professional rate) sale.

In terms of writing, 2008 was tough -- I was getting stories out into the mail, and although I was getting rejections more quickly than I had before, no one was buying.  The Whidbey sale helped me not feel like a "wanna-be has-been."

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