Tony Called and Delayed My Duck Confit

06.16.11

So I’m standing around at the cheese shop waiting for my Duck Confit sandwich to be ready and I’m grumpy as can be because no matter how many times I say please and thank you the folks who work at the cheese shop never say please or thank you. They have the most beautiful food but the most hideous manners, and I want both good food and good manners but I can’t seem to find it anywhere but the Beverly Hills Cheese Store, and I married for love so I don’t live in Beverly Hills.

Had I been anywhere where the help says things like Please and Thank You I never would have answered my phone when it rang, but it rang and it was a 415 number that ended in 00 which can only be someone from San Francisco calling me from their office, which can only mean a paying client.

So I answered the phone with, “This is Jessica.” And an unfamiliar man’s voice said, “Jessica, did you work in a tanning salon in West Hollywood?” As I gasped he said his name was Tony and I might have screeched a little. Tony kept talking but I was busy watching a movie in my mind. In the movie I was 22 or maybe 23 and Tony and I were driving down Sunset Blvd in my little red convertible and we were both probably too tan, wearing too much makeup and not enough clothes. We were both at the height of our beauty and completely surrounded by people who loved us.

My Tony Circa 1993

Tony was part of my early 20’s and one of the men who taught me how to love. He taught me how to love the people around me, to love my town, to love the moment, to love the opportunities around me and to love myself. When I think of Tony I think of Springtime.

I gathered myself together and asked all the questions you’d ask someone after a long separation. Where are you living? Are you married? Work? Friends? Do you have an above ground pool and drag queen friends? And the answers were San Francisco, happily married, photographer, many friends, yes to the pool, and more yeses to the drag queens. I really have to research this whole Imperial Court thing.

And my heart soared a little more. I gave Tony the Cliff Notes version of my 30’s, husband, two kids, dog, cat, a career that doesn’t really have a name, grad school, love, heartbreak and Steven died. He said, “I know, I heard, but I couldn’t come down for the funeral.” And then I told him that there really wasn’t much of one here, that it was all in Mississippi and it wouldn’t have offered closure anyhow. And I felt that familiar stabbing pain of missing Steven. I told Tony that Steven and Robert loved my kids, and that my kids loved them back. For some reason it was really important to let him know that.

So now I’m poring through photos of Tony and his husband Brian and I’m thinking of making Brian’s Piroshkis, but I’m much more likely to invite myself up there for a weekend and demand beg that he cooks for me.

We’ve connected in all the usual ways that people connect online, except I think it’s unusual because so many of those people we lost and left behind were people we needed to move away from, and Tony wasn’t one of those. I’m excited to have Springtime come back to me.

 

My Other Love

02.13.11

Love
It’s been a tough week for Mr G. His shoulder surgery appears to be successful, but it wasn’t as small as we’d hoped for. He had three arthroscopic sites and then they cut off the end centimeter of his clavicle with traditional surgical tools. It was like a bris for his shoulder.

What was nice for us was the ability to spend some quiet time together. No, I’m not counting the time we spent with him sucking on Vicodin and me talking his ear off because he was in too much other pain to shut me up. I’m talking about the weekend, taking a few walks and generally enjoying one another.

I think everyone knows that the events in Egypt have me all riled up talking about net neutrality and the absolute need for a free flow of information online, even information you don’t like. I was trying to explain to Mr. G. how net neutrality is the issue that gets me all jangled and excited and sometimes I can’t even really make a sentence. I tried to explain to him how the Internet has changed lives, livelihoods, industry and governments. We talked about Wikileaks and Egypt, Mumbai, the Twitter Kids and Malaria No More. We talked about the culture of giving that is ever present online through open source software and the exchange of information. We talked about how sad it is that cyberbullying is everyone’s favorite soundbite but parents are speaking one language and kids are speaking another. I showed him Pen.io and how it took me about 20 seconds to create a web page.

And then I realized that I have an “other” in my life. The Internet. My other love.

FCC Acts to Preserve Internet Freedom and Openness

12.22.10

The FCC has acted to support net neutrality. In theory at least.

I’m not happy, and you shouldn’t be either.

I’m going to go ahead and attach the full news release at the end of this post, but please keep in mind that it is a news release. It’s meant to promote media spin. In fact, you might get dizzy reading it.

Here are the parts I find troubling, and downright un-American.

A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management.
A person engaged in the provision of mobile broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block consumers from accessing lawful websites, subject to reasonable network management; nor shall such person block applications that compete with the provider’s voice or video telephony services, subject to reasonable network

A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management.A person engaged in the provision of mobile broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block consumers from accessing lawful websites, subject to reasonable network management; nor shall such person block applications that compete with the provider’s voice or video telephony services, subject to reasonable network

What is reasonable network? I’m stuck with AT&T Uverse because they own the lines in my neighborhood. What happens when AT&T decides that Hulu takes up too much bandwith?

My question is answered here:

Reasonable network management. A network management practice is reasonable if it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband Internet access service. Legitimate network management purposes include: ensuring network security and integrity, including by addressing traffic that is harmful to the network; addressing traffic that is unwanted by users (including by premise operators), such as by providing services or capabilities consistent with a user’s choices regarding parental controls or security capabilities; and by reducing or mitigating the effects of congestion on the network.

I’m not convinced this serves us well.

Of course there’s this:

In light of these considerations, we conclude it is appropriate to take measured steps at this time to protect the openness of the Internet when accessed through mobile broadband.

Which roughly translates into “you’re on your own with broadband, shop it sister.”

Here’s the document. I don’t want to tell you what to think. I just want to hear your opinions on this one.

FCC Internet Freedom and Openness