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International recognition!

Telegraph Avenue, Oakland
March 8th, 2000

It's All OK
There was one Proposition on the ballot I would like to have voted against yesterday, the one making marriage legal only between a man and a woman. No man - man, woman - woman, man - gazelle, woman - Labradore Retriever, Philodendron - Cockatiel marriages made in other states are now recognized in the State of California, thank you very much. Even when they're cute. Marriage is the traditional legal mechanism for the orderly passing of property among and between generations, so I can see why gay people might want to avail themselves of its protection, the living happily ever after business apart. Ah, well. Marriage is now left in the hands of those who have done so much to polish its reputation over these last several decades.

Today's a good day to have a birthday, I think. Makes me a Pisces, of course. I've liked being a Pisces. The only person of note I can find born on this day in my birth year of 1943 is Lynn Redgrave (Georgy Girl), Vanessa's sister. Peggy March, born on March 8th, 1948, had a hit with the song I Will Follow Him. I liked that song. The bassist for Poco and the Eagles (Take It Easy) was born in 1946 on the 8th. The Honeymoon Killers got the chair on March 8th, 1951. Leslie Isben Rogge made the FBI's most wanted list in 1940. Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees was born on March 8th, 1945. What a bunch!

Two people taught me something about celebrating birthdays some years back, advice I have Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley unfortunately rarely followed, but good advice none the less. My friends Ronn and Brenda always made a point of celebrating their birthdays (and their friend's birthdays, of course), with a proper experience that lasted throughout the entire day. For starters, they took the day off. If it fell during the week, then so what, they took the day off and celebrated it properly by planning and doing the things they liked. Dinner was a very special dinner, most often a party with friends, the wines consumed were the best wines they had or could afford. I remember bringing a magnum of La Mission Haut-Brion to one of her birthday parties in the early 1980's, the vintage being Brenda's birth year of, I think, 1947. That was the most I'd ever spent for a single bottle of wine and it was worth every cent. It was just one of many that people brought to that party. They considered birthdays important and in retrospect I think they were right. Treat yourself well on your birthday, at least admit it's your birthday to your friends and give thanks to those who would help you celebrate if only with their congratulations.

This is actually one of those days when I can refer you back to an entry done one year ago today and another done two years ago today, although I wasn't consciously doing a journal two years back. I'm not sure what I was doing, but I had a domain name ( and I was learning to use my slide scanner (newly acquired) and to post the results. If you take a look at it, I think you'll see where "The Sole Proprietor" came from. Very rough, very dumb, but the way this started. One day I'll clean them up or delete them, but today I'm still operating under the theory this is practice just between us kids and hey, it's OK. It's all OK.

Just what we were all waiting to see, a photograph of a cheapie gas station just off Telegraph in Oakland near the Berkeley border. Where I've bought a lot of gasoline and the occasional quarter's worth of air for my tires. The fellow with the blue hair was standing in a clothing store window a week or so ago.