Weditorial Successfully Delivered! Lizbet and Louise en route to Bora Bora!! 
Monday, October 9, 2006, 12:27 AM - Sex, Politics, Dancing, Friends

By all accounts it was quite well-received. I managed to make at least 3 straight (or at least married) men cry, as well as all the NC Republicans laugh (twice, and only once at my own expense). Even the guys in the band liked it! (Yes, we did second line up from the garden after the ceremony, parasols in hand, dancing behind the brass band and the beautiful brides.) The wedding was amazing, I feel so lucky to have been part of it. Rosie (the minister) who has officiated at >30 weddings, thinks I may have contributed "weditorial" to the lexicon, so I thought I should get it up on the blog. A couple of people asked me to post the text, and although I spoke from an outline, I think I've written out more or less what I said. I wish more straight couples had weditorials, but then I guess we'd be closer to not needing them... In case you missed it:

Thank you for participating in Lizbet and Louise’s wedding. I want to talk to you briefly about four aspects of marriage:
- Legal and political
- Linguistic
- Emotional
- Celebratory

Although it’s tempting to want to ignore the political context in which this ceremony occurs, it’s important to acknowledge the legal realities for Lizbet and Louise. When we were discussing their plans for the wedding, Lizbet said she was happiest when she could forget that their marriage was any different from any other. Last night, at dinner, surrounded by so much love and support from friends and family, we were all wonderfully able to forget that there were any obstacles to Lizbet and Louise as a couple. Today, though, we must acknowledge that they cannot legally marry in California. We are in the middle of a profound social change – we’ve had legal setbacks this week, but we are moving in the right direction. It may take a while for us to reach a condition of full equality, but I wanted to remind you of what is possible.

I’m going to read an edited excerpt from Goodridge v. Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the decision allowing people of the same sex to legally marry.

“Marriage is a vital social institution. It nurtures love and mutual support, and brings stability to our society. The benefits accessible by way of marriage are enormous, touching nearly every aspect of life and death. In return it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations. The Massachusetts constitution affirms the dignity and equality of all individuals. It forbids the creation of second-class citizens. A person who enters into an intimate, exclusive relationship with another of the same sex is arbitrarily deprived of membership in one of our community’s most rewarding and cherished institutions. That exclusion is incompatible with the constitutional principles of respect for individual autonomy and equality under the law.”

I saw one of the greatest concentrations of happy people in one place on February 14, 2004, at San Francisco City Hall - the city had begun issuing marriage licenses regardless of the gender of applicants. I heard people call their families, and I remember one woman in particular, and the wonder and joy in her voice telling people “we got married.”

We’re about to witness a transformative linguistic event – through the words they’ll pronounce, Lizbet and Louise will bring themselves into a new state. The importance of language to this marriage is paramount – and not just because the brides are such accomplished academics. Because Lizbet and Louise don’t yet have the legal underpinnings of marriage, the language we use as we participate in and describe this ceremony is incredibly important. Through referring to them as wife and wife, we help make their marriage real. Please think carefully about this when you’re home, and describe this experience as what it is – a wedding. A marriage.

In our culture, marriage has evolved to celebrate profound emotional connection. One of the reasons I support marriage rights for everyone is that I can’t imagine a better couple to be married than Lizbet and Louise (of course, that might just be because I’m single and still profoundly idealistic about marriage). They’re the couple whose relationship I admire the most. They have an amazing level of mutual respect; they’re intellectually well matched; they provide each other with unquestioning support, but have fundamental autonomy. They are full of love, joy, sensuality, desire and integrity. They are with each other through the saddest and happiest of times.

This is one of the happiest of times! We’re all lucky to share in this beautiful afternoon. Marriage functions because our community supports and acknowledges the union between two people. Especially in the absence of legal recognition, Lizbet and Louise’s marriage is brought into being by our participation in it, as much as by their love and commitment. I want to thank all of the family and friends who are here to be part of the wedding, and who are showing the brides so much support. Through the physicality of our participation, we’re bearing witness to their marriage. We’re privileged to be part of these women’s lives – but just like with marriage, this benefit comes with responsibilities and obligations.

I think we have two responsibilities - first, to work to make marriage possible for everyone. That involves not only the way you talk about this weekend when you go home, and how you refer to Lizbet and Louise from here on out, but also in the way you vote and who you give money to. (Remember, there’s a very competitive House race in North Carolina this year).

Our second responsibility is to celebrate their marriage as fully as possible. Just as Lizbet and Louise are engaged with each other through intellect, heart, and body, we should celebrate their union with our emotions and participation. If people don’t dance at your wedding, you’re not really married. Soon we’ll have the opportunity to dance Lizbet and Louise into their new life, and I encourage you to do that as fully and joyously as they will....

(Yes, I really did start with an outline, and although it was kind of an inside joke, it made it feel formal and deliberate, just like I wanted it to be. And I think everyone could tell what a huge fan I am of their relationship, which was the thing I most wanted to come through. I'm not quite sure why a perenially unboyfriended person like me should be speaking publicly about marriage and relationships, but I'm claiming the title of best strapless-dress weditorialist in Boonville...)

I realize I need a Los Angeles category.... 
Sunday, August 13, 2006, 06:18 PM - Dancing, Los Angeles
Friday night I went to see a band called Very Be Careful - they were described to me as a postmodern rock/ Latin fusiony mix of things (I was hoping for a local Cafe Tacuba -who are always close to the top of my 'favorite bands ever' list). VBC is in fact totally straight-up cumbia (or vallenato, to be more precise) not in the least de/re-constructed - and also super super fun. The crowd was almost all english-speaking 2nd+ generation Mexican hipsters from East LA (as were the folks who invited us)- at least until the bicycle pirates showed up (don't ask). The floor was too crowded for real cumbia, but that's eminently forgivable when the whole crowd is dancing and happily watching the band get plastered as their set progresses. The show was in this old school Mexican bar downtown (all red and mirrors and Xmas lights and a wondrously-lit stage) and it was one of the first nights I've had since I've been here that couldn't have taken place anywhere but Los Angeles...good restaurants and hipster bars and parties are great, but with my multi-coastal life it's a treat to find something that is thoroughly rooted in my new place. We almost went to see Diplo/ CSS instead, and I'm so glad we ended up where we did.

Boonville preview 
Monday, August 7, 2006, 12:28 AM - Dancing, Friends
A little postcard arrived in the mail while I was in SF to point me towards L and L's wedding website. If I had any doubts about them being the most adorable couple ever, they were forever banished by the dance previews, the tandem banana seat, and orange flowers. I feel ridiculously honored that they've asked me to say a bit at the ceremony - everyone should have a weditorial from a quirky single girl, right? I've been reading up on court decisions but staying away from Neruda and Rumi. I must think through what to say before election madness descends and I lose all capacity for interesting phraseology...they certainly deserve something special.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006, 12:44 PM - Dancing

LA is proving to be a treacherous place for an impulsive music person like me. When I was in a moderately cranky mood on Monday, I realized that I could wander over to the Avalon and snag a ticket to Gnarls Barkley. Sunday night they dressed up in their MD/St. Elsewhere best, but Monday it was pompadour-laden, poodle-skirted rock gear (note the shirtsleeve cigarette at the far right of the photo). Probably my only chance to watch Cee-Lo lovingly comb through a wig, and well worth the price of admission for a few completely transcendent songs. (Can you believe there was a concurrent J5 show Monday night? Good thing I had seen them recently, or I would have had a terrible time deciding. I like Los Angeles.) This weekend is shaping up to be fabulous for dancing - friday night El Circo party (with the raver dad crew from SF in town) and then Saturday night Nortec Collective downtown for free...

Lindygroove 5 year anniversary party tonight! 
Thursday, June 15, 2006, 07:10 PM - Dancing
Last night was wonderful - it's easy to forget that a playful, connected fast-ish dance to live music is the purest joy I know (except maybe for 3 feet of fresh powder...).

Bad news Friday. 
Friday, May 26, 2006, 08:13 PM - Politics, Dancing
Some things are inevitable, although unhappy: Desmond Dekker died.
Some are totally preventable: U.S. Marines may have massacred 24 Iraqi civilians.

Friday, May 26, 2006, 08:08 PM - Dancing

Last night I (successfully) eased my way out of a tempestuous day with the pure joy of a Jurassic 5 set. It was a super special treat to see Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow on 4 turntables, spinning an all-45 70s fabulous set. When the night's best beat is based on a skipping record, you know you're witnessing a transcendent and abstracted level of dj skill. It's kinda exciting to now be part of the hometown crowd for the people who are my favorite djs these days -not to slight the forever-untouchable Bay Area's DJ Q-Bert- and it was just the kind of ego-soothing loss of self I needed to be in the middle of that crowd.

The unexpected perk 
Saturday, April 29, 2006, 03:32 PM - Dancing
of my new job is that my office is on the next corner from the Hollywood Amoeba record store. So far that means I've gotten to sneak out to see in-stores from Calexico, Pretty Girls Make Graves, and my favorite from this Thursday - the Coup. Nothing like a set by some radical Marxist Oakland rappers (and some amazing breast-facilitated scratching by the wonderful Pam the Funkstress) to make a Bay Area girl feel right at home in Hollywood.

V-Day Roundup 
Thursday, February 16, 2006, 12:14 PM - Dancing, Friends, Food, Technology
one new alternator belt
three boundlessly enthusiastic dream job emails
one long relationship rant
two dozen roses (four confused neighbors)
two chive dumplings
one hour of pure samba bliss

I can't complain, really.

Monday, February 13, 2006, 12:28 PM - Dancing
I've never been to Mardi Gras, so my empathy for New Orleans as Fat Tuesday approaches is pretty abstract- but somehow the least I can do to manifest an American pre-Lenten bacchanal is support Brazilian carnaval festivities here in SF. Last night I went to Ara Ketu, one of the most popular blocos from Bahia. The crowd was almost completely Brazilian, and it was so wonderful to be caught up in a little bit of the frenzied abandon. My samba muscles are creaky this morning and my clothes were sprinkled with beer by the end of the night, but I am so happy I went.

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