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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Good day or bad day?

I went to the store this morning to pick up a few things we needed. I was going to take Linda, but in the end, we decided that it would be easier just to go by myself. There'd be too much walking to walk, and being pushed around in a wheelchair just isn't that much fun.

After that, we spent the rest of the day together. For lunch, I made eggs in a basket and they were just yummy. They're pretty easy to make, but it wouldn't be the same if you didn't use my sourdough, so sometime I'll post my sourdough recipe.

In the afternoon, I organized the garage. Soon I'll actually be able to park my car in there. I complained to Linda that it was taking forever because I'm not a born organizer (I'm a born disorganizer). Linda agreed and sat in the garage and told me what to do. Mostly she told me to quit thinking so much about every decision (it's only the garage).

When I was tired of organizing, we journeyed to the coffee shop and ultimately went on to pick up Ellie from day care. On the way to the day care, Linda mentioned that she had been in a bad mood all day. I had no idea; it totally didn't show.

I don't think she intended to hide it from me. Rather, she is afraid that if she expresses her bad mood, it will trigger a labile crying fit. When I put her to bed, I asked her if she had a good day, and she reminded me that she was in a bad mood. No idea again, and when I followed up on it, she started to cry. I guess she was right.

The crying didn't last too long. I threatened to lick her face, which startled her. I asked her why it would be disgusting for me to lick her face, but if a dog were to do it that would be cute. Surely it's even grosser for a dog to lick your face than a human? Anyway, the conversation was the distraction she needed.

Now, I'm getting my classes together for tomorrow. There won't be time enough in the morning to be organized, so it has to be done before I go to bed.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Off to the library

Linda wanted to go to Pickler to check out some movies. She's been talking about it for a few days, but today was when we finally made time to go. We parked at Violette, which seemed about as close as you can get. It was still too far to go.

Linda walked from VH with both canes. Her walking was really quite good, better than she does in her PT sessions. As far as prompting to "straighten up" and "stand tall" and so on, she says I am even more on her case than the therapists. I tease her and taunt her and prod her. But I think I do it in a nice way that is fun and encouraging (and could probably get me sued for harassment if I weren't her husband).

We weighed her on the scale. It's tradition. Linda has been weighing in on that scale for 17 years. We don't know if it is heavy or light or accurate. It doesn't really matter, since relative change is often what you want to know about. She told me today that she is the heaviest she has ever been. She even weighed less when she was pregnant. I think that bothers her some. But food just tastes soooo good.

She was too tired to go upstairs, so Ellie and I checked out the movies while she rested. When she was ready, we made the return trip to the car. She pooped out half way, so we sat on the pavement outside the physical plant to rest. Then about 70 feet from the car, she wore out a second time, clearly tired. I gave her a piggy-back ride the rest of the way and saved her the trouble of walking.

It'll be a while before we tackle that particular route again.

Soup's on

I made cream of asparagus soup for dinner tonight. It is one of the fancier things I cook but it is very yummy.

1 lb fresh asparagus
1 cup chopped onion
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/3 cup water
1/2 cube vegetable bouillon (i.e. for 1 cup)
2 2/3 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon died dill weed
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon soy sauce

Remove and discard the woody asparagus bottoms.
Remove the tips into a small bowl. Coarsely chop
the asparagus and union into a deep skillet and cook
with 2 Tablespoons butter over medium heat for 8-10

At the same time, heat 1 1/3 cup water with
1/2 cube of vegetable bouillon in the microwave.

When the onions are clear, sprinkle with 1/4 cup of flour
and cook on low for 5-8 minutes more.

At the same time, heat 2 2/3 cups of milk in the
microwave until hot.

Add the vegetable stock slowly and cook 5-8 minutes
or until thickened.

At the same time, cook the asparagus tips in the

In a blender, puree the sauce with milk until smooth.
Return to the skillet and add dill weed, salt, pepper,
soy sauce, and asparagus tips.

Heat some if necessary, and serve hot.

This time, I forgot the dill weed, and I added 1/4 green bell pepper (because I had one in the fridge). It was still very good.

Trivia: in 1979, Don's favorite actress was identified by him as "Jennifer from WKRP." Linda didn't seem surprised to learn that.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Feeling handy

Linda reported that on Wednesday night some of the feeling returned to her right hand. She said that the "fat" of her fingers feels particularly improved. (Her left hand has felt normal for some time.)

Today she told me that she woke up last night and her right hand felt completely normal. This morning it was like before, so she isn't sure she didn't just dream that it was normal. It seems likely that it was real, and if it happened once, there's reason to think it will happen again. She would really like that.


Linda had a hard morning. Therapy really wore her out. At lunch, I gave her the option of going to the faculty staff picnic. She replied, "I don't want to do anything. I don't want to see anyone." She seems better now that we spent the afternoon at home.

Linda did tell me that therapy has lost its fun element. It is work every time, and wears her down mentally. I asked her if it is just that she has been at it for so long, or if it is the people she works with. Some of both probably. I think it helped that she had a crush on Fred, her initial physical therapist. No matter how hard you work, there's some fun to be found in impressing a guy. She said she still enjoys working with me, which is something of a compliment I think.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Goals to work on

One of Linda's occupational therapy goals is "to cook a full meal." Like many things, I suppose there is a lot of room for interpretation there. She has cooked pancakes for herself in the morning and other pretty simple things.

I think the idea of the goal is that she can handle various different kinds of food preparation. Toward that goal, she decided to cook crispy chicken for lunch today, one of her favorites. It didn't work out so well, although I would count it as a partial success. She had the necessary dishes out, as well as the milk, corn flake crumbs, and chicken. Everything was pretty much set to go.

The real stumper was removing the skin from the chicken. She managed to do one thigh and get it breaded before she broke down crying. I did the remaining ones. It was a lot harder than she expected, and it made today something of a downer for her.

That's not to say that we didn't have some fun. We've both been really tired of late, so we took advantage of a volunteer babysitter and went out to relax. Still, when I put Linda to bed just now, she accounted the day overall as not so great because of lunch.

I guess that will be something to work on.

Missed opportunity

Many of you will be unaware that I can sing from memory all of the songs of The Little Mermaid. I even have a VHS copy of it signed by one of the co-directors. This is all from the time before I learned that Disney was evil.

I realized yesterday that I had overlooked a perfect opportunity to serenade Linda with one of the songs from the movie, "Kiss the Girl." In the movie, Sebastian sings,

There you see her
Sitting there across the way
She don't got a lot to say
But there's something about her
And you don't know why
But you're dying to try
You wanna kiss the girl


Of course, Linda can talk now, so it won't have the same impact.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Crooked business

I got a bill today from the hospital for over $6000. It was originally over $9000 but had been discounted some and paid some. The letter reads, "Your insurance(s) has/have paid their portion. The balance is now your responsibility." Yeah, right. I reached my out-of-pocket limit on the day Linda had her stroke.

Does any one else think there ought to be a "truth in medical billing" law like our truth in banking laws? I get really sick of business models based on deception. From what I can tell, it's standard practice for both hospitals and insurance companies.

So far, no one has paid for Ellie's blood test of Apr 1 (including me). I guess things work slowly when two behemoth companies are trying to screw each other.

In other news, Linda's therapies went really well this morning.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Crying day

Linda woke up tired today. Therapy was hard, and physical therapy concluded with the PT suggesting that Linda wear her ankle casts at home to help keep her from dragging her left foot. Linda was emphatic about refusing and cried for about 40 minutes.

So, Linda won't be wearing the casts. She generally refuses to be splinted any more, except for a finger splint that she wears at night.

The PT has been encouraging us to dance and gently discouraging us from doing other kinds of therapy-like activities, like the stairs. What she doesn't get is that Linda really likes doing those other things. If we go work the stairs in Violette hall, it's half work, half socializing, and half feelings of pure accomplishment. (Yes, I are a mathematician.)

Nothing can stop Linda from working and experimenting. It would be better to have more guidance and support. Discouragement gets old quick.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

A snap

Linda snapped her fingers tonight. It came completely unexpectedly. I had forgotten something out in the car and was already dressed for bed. She said, "Darn," and made the motion. She does it all of the time, but it is really more of a gesture because nothing ever happens. When an audible snap came out, you should have seen the surprise on her face. She just sat there snapping and laughing. She can almost do it with her left hand too.

That's a nice way to end the day. Earlier in the evening, she had been crying over how difficult simple things still are.

Misc updates

I baked bread for the first time in the new house (sourdough as always). It turned out well despite the fact that I spilled most of the starter by accident. Luckily yeast grows exponentially, so it is easy to recover from a small amount.

Linda tried the swing set. She can do it, but she said it's pretty hard. She'll get better, as she does with everything.

Friday, August 20, 2004

The appeal

I talked to the case worker for a short time this afternoon. I had been dreading the conversation all day, but there were no arguments. She told me that she had started an appeal of the decision to reduce Linda's therapies and that Dr. R had all of the paperwork. I'll bet he just loves that. He said on the phone yesterday that this kind of thing happens so often he's just numb.

I mowed some grass today with our (new) lawn tractor. It's been a long time since I haven't pushed a mower. There is one thing about the work that I had forgotten, the way the drudgery leaves you free to think. Here's one thing I had considered and one I had never thought of before.

We saw Dr. R for some small number of minutes each day at Rusk and were billed for that every single day (paid for by insurance of course). I remember thinking about how many patients he saw on rounds each day, etc., and thinking he charges a pretty sum that way.

He called me yesterday, and he didn't rush it. He's been doing a review of our case for insurance and has composed more than one letter to them. He'll be filing an appeal. He doesn't get paid for any of those things. Our next follow-up with him will be 3 months after the one we just went to--that's the next time he gets paid anything by us.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

So clean you can eat off it

I meant to post this yesterday, but the Truman network was down, so you get it today. We got home a bit late for lunch, and I had to clean up a mess from the cats again. Linda and I had already agreed to have pancakes with fruit and whipped topping, so she decided to get started. I'm not sure exactly how things went, but pretty soon there was a bag of frozen mixed fruit melting on our kitchen tile.

Naturally, I hurried over to clean that up. Tile is nearly impervious, but grout is its Achilles' heel. In several places, the blueberries left a striking blue hue behind despite my prompt efforts.

We ate the berries anyway. We let Ellie eat off the floor all of the time.

Forces of darkness

I got a call from the insurance company's case worker on Monday. I was told that they had had a neurologist contact Linda's physiatrist, and the two together decided to end Linda's speech therapy on Friday (tomorrow) and reduce her other therapies to twice a week. I tried to object, and when I did, the case worker told me, "Look, it's what Dr. R ordered. You'll have to talk to him."

So I did. I left a message for him on Tuesday and he called me back today. He did in fact talk to a physician from the insurance company, but they had disagreed about the appropriate treatment for Linda. Consequently, I informed the case worker (via confidential voice mail) that we would like her to initiate an appeal--their treatment decision has obviously been based on inaccurate information.

Naturally, we intend to follow the orders of Linda's personal physician, i.e. we intend to go to her therapies tomorrow. We've had nothing in writing from the insurance company, and the things they have told us have been falsehoods. They've tried this before, and I intend to avoid being made the fool twice.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Swinging free

The swing set is fully erected now. All hail Don. Pictures will follow soon.

Linda hasn't tried it, but she intends to.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

To Ellie, to Ellie, ...

There's a little girl around here who has been singing a certain song all day. It goes like this. "Happy birthday to Ellie, to Ellie, to Ellie. Happy birthday to Ellie, to Ellie, ..."

Ellie's dad has a light sunburn. He has spent an unusual (for him) amount of time outdoors working on her birthday present. A substantial portion of Ellie's swing set is finished. It is in its final resting location, though I suspect that 8 people together would be able to move it short distances yet if necessary.

She currently has two accessories installed. She has a slide, about which she is particularly excited. She also has a climbing rope, because her dad never had any upper body strength. I was always one of those kids in class who could never climb everything. I figure if she starts now, she won't be a wimp when she grows up. She likes the rope, although she needs help climbing it for now. Still the slide is her favorite. About 20 minutes ago, Ellie opened the front door, looked out, and said, "Happy birthday slide."

In fact, she played all day and just recently realized, "I don't have no swings." I told her that she would get some soon.

We had a small birthday party, which friends put together for us. The kids ran around and played while the grownups socialized. The favorite kid game was "playing car", in my car no less. I'm glad I keep the parking brake on well, because Ellie got in and promptly started shifting between the gears. It would have been pretty unfortunate if the car had rolled to the bottom of the hay field as soon as she hit neutral.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Biggest day ever

Tomorrow is Ellie's birthday. She is getting a swing set which she already knows about, because we've been to the "swing set store" (hardware store) twice for materials, and because she has been my helper all day long. She hands me screws, a task which really is helpful.

I started it a few days ago, but today was a real work day. I began this morning, cutting the last of the boards to length, and I was finished with that part about lunch time. After lunch, Ellie and I went to the hardware store and bought brackets and bolts and accessories. She'll have board swings, rings, a slide, and a climbing rope. Things are interchangeable, so we can move them around or hang other accessories instead.

I started the assembly on my own, but was smart enough to accept some volunteer help. Amazingly enough, my help arrived just at the moment I got to the page that said, "Now, with the help of at least one assistant...." Luckily, we were having visitors, so I had two assistants, and later, when we moved it to its final resting place, there were four of us (we could have used even more--it was heavy).

I worked until dark, and my fingers and toes all hurt (in that satisfying way). It's not finished yet, but I should get a lot done tomorrow. I will definitely get the slide assembled. Slides are huge, by the way. If you saw it, you wouldn't believe that I got it in my Focus and still had room for Ellie.

Linda had a great day. We spent a lot of it outside, which she enjoys. We had visitors almost all day, so she had people to talk with while I was busy constructing.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Dreams of princesses

We hired a babysitter and went to the movies to see Princess Diaries 2. We enjoyed it, and Linda only had one labile moment (she moaned out loud at a particularly cute baby in a scene). We always laugh when that happens (it's so cute), but I know she doesn't really like it.

The movie was fun. I had an inkling it would be from the previews before it. Every one of the previews looked like a movie I might want to see. It always makes me so nervous to go to a movie where every preview looks bad.

We'll have to get a copy when it comes out on DVD. Ellie will love it. She loves princess movies and can watch them until you learn to hate them. Before we watch What a Girl Wants again I intend to give the Guinness Book a call.

Linda walked all the way to the theater by way of the ticket counter and the concession stand without a single fall. She lost her balance twice but caught herself both times. It's a good thing, since the last time I was holding food that I didn't want to drop. I suppose in a real emergency, I could catch her and buy more popcorn. But at theater prices, you're glad when you don't have to.

She lost her balance a couple of times on the way out. Once she caught herself with the wall, and I got her the other times. It's harder leaving than arriving, because she has two sitting hours worth of stiffness in her bones.

Linda is a bit worried that she will never really walk well. I reminded her that she has just passed the 6-month mark. You expect to make your best progress in the first six months, but you can also expect to continue improving for another year and longer. If you figure that she went from moving only her eyes to where she is today, it won't take nearly so much to get from here to walking. There's still plenty of reason to hope.

That made her feel better.

Thursday, August 12, 2004


How quickly a person can turn from happy to furious.

While I was typing the last post, Ellie was nagging me to play a game on the computer, and, no, she wouldn't wait 10 minutes. She wanted to play right away.

So I gave her the computer. Linda walked out and told me the cats had left something I wouldn't like in the hallway. She was right. I didn't like it. It's a good thing I have pet stain remover. I threw the cat out. It's time for her to learn about her surroundings.

While I was cleaning it up, Linda fell and hit her head. I thought she smacked it on the stone tile, but I guess it was the carpet. She always cries when she falls, so it's not possible to tell right away if it is bad or not.

So I'm helping Linda, and the cat is scratching the door to get back in. I'm plenty angry already, so I explained that to the cat in a way that couldn't be misunderstood and she scratched me.

I got Linda up and in a chair and we put some ice on her goose egg. She's crying because she feels like she'll never walk. She's crying because she feels guilty that I hate the cats when I already have to take care of her.

I had been feeling good. I got started on Ellie's swing set today (her birthday is Sunday). We had visitors who brought food. Dinner went well.

So I walked to the mailbox with Ellie. It wasn't as much fun as it should be because it's the kind of thing Linda would normally enjoy and she's trapped in the house.


Good cooking

We cooked at home tonight, which is to say I cooked. It's not the first time since moving, but sometimes we have just had easy stuff like popcorn. I love my kitchen. It has outlets in just the right places when you want use a blender. It has lots of counter space for making a mess (and food just doesn't come out right if you don't make a mess). It has a dishwasher.

We had chicken soup. I had been wanting to make soup lately, and people have been bringing us fresh vegetables, so I made something up:

Two (2) chicken thighs, skinned
Two (2) medium potatoes
One (1) carrot, peeled
1/4 large onion
1/2 green bell pepper
One (1) tomato, peeled
Two (2) chicken bouillon cubes
Milk and corn starch

Skin the chicken and heat with water in 2 quart sauce pan on medium-high heat. Dice the rest of the vegetables and add them along with the chicken bouillon. Boil until the chicken looks done. Remove the chicken to a cutting board, and blend the rest in a blender then return to the pan.

Slice the chicken and add to the soup. If any was not cooked through, boil the soup a bit longer to finish it. Finally, thicken with milk and corn starch.

There you go. You read my blog, so you feel like I'm part of your life. Cook that, and you can feel like you live with me. It's probably better than the real thing; I snore.

If I were on T.V., I would describe my soup as a lovely golden color, but the truth is that it was sort of an ugly tan more suitable for gravy. Maybe next time, I'll just grate the carrot in.

It tasted just good, though Linda added more salt. She almost always does, so it's not really insulting.

I think next time I may go for one billion cube and replace the other with its sodium-equivalent in soy sauce. That might be good.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Pushing the boundaries

Ellie begged me outside tonight, so we walked the boundary of our new property. It was a beautiful evening for it. While I was walking, it occurred to me to be surprised that I hadn't done it before. There's something instinctive about tracing a boundary like that. Perhaps it's the same instinct a dog has, but at least I didn't pee on any of the survey stakes.

We actually walked a bit beyond the boundaries onto the land that borders us at the back. There is some beautiful rolling scenery just over the hill.

It was a bit sad for me, or maybe somber more than sad, walking back that way. Normally, Linda would have been the explorer. She would enjoy walking back on the property. She's the one inclined to brave the brambles along a railroad bed for a patch of black raspberries or to wander recklessly through an abandoned house. But a walk like Ellie and I had tonight is quite beyond her ability and endurance I think.

We'll see. I described it to Linda, and we have decided to try it together when Ellie is in day care sometime within the next day or two. It may just require going slow and resting often.

Here's something sort of creepy ironic for you to appreciate. For many years, one of Linda's favorite paintings has been Christina's World, a portrait of Christina Olson, who could not walk for the later portion of her life. A print of it still hangs above her desk.

Monday, August 09, 2004

It had to happen...

The cats are here. I hung (with help) enough drywall in the garage to keep the cats from pulling out all of the insulation there. Ellie and I brought them over this afternoon. They have already managed to get me quite angry once. Strangely, Linda gets some kind of satisfaction watching them explore the house and seeing them just lie around. "It looks so normal, doesn't it?"


Sunday, August 08, 2004

Feeling more at home

Linda hasn't fallen since she started using her walker on Friday. In fact she remarked how easy it is, easier than she remembered. While our house was full of boxes, she had transitioned to her canes for nearly everything, so it had been some time since she used the walker much.

We've kept her hand wrapped with ace-wrap and put ice on it periodically. It has gone from strangely green and puffy to a more familiar black-and-blue and puffy. In other words it looks like she banged the hell out of it, but normal given that fact. She said it doesn't hurt all that much although every once in a while she bumps it in a particular way and draws back quickly.

The house is coming together. We've started hanging a few things on the walls and nearly every box has been emptied of its contents (although some things are sitting stacked around, waiting for a home). I am eager to get rid of the boxes. I realized that the box dust has been bothering my allergies which means for a lot of nighttime coughing/asthma.

Today I moved a cabinet in the bathroom that hung in front of the toilet. It was nice, but when Linda held the grab bar below it, she had a tendency to bang her head on the cabinet. I moved the cabinet to the side wall now, which should be better and equally convenient.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Gravity works

Don Bindner was born 25 years after the first combat application of atomic weapons. Coincidence? Decide for yourself.

I spent a good part of the day running around for Linda. About 10:00 this morning, just before she was to go to therapy and Ellie to swimming lessons, Linda took a big dive into the floor. She was standing up from her reading chair and pitched over forward. I watched her do it. It looked strikingly similar to the way you teach 5th graders how to dive into the pool, i.e. bend your head down and fall forward.

It was the kind of fall where, before you move anything, you instinctively know to ask, "Are you injured?" I didn't know at the time, but it would seem that she avoided landing on her head (I'm still not sure how). It seems she was mostly shaken up, although she has a bit of a stiff neck.

At 2pm we were about to get coffee when I noticed that her right hand was greenish and very swollen. She hadn't even noticed, but I convinced her that we should let her doctor look at it. The end result was that we went to the hospital for an x-ray to be sure she hadn't broken anything. We haven't heard back from the doctor, but I suspect there weren't any obvious breaks or the techs would have kept us from leaving. Linda's pretty much keeping it iced, and we'll watch to make sure it doesn't get worse.

I did get a concession from Linda. She agreed to use her walker at home for a while. She has been acting like she's at home, when really she's in a new place. She needs time to get to know the layout and the way the floors feel. There's enough space to move freely, so there's really no excuse for being dangerous when she can get around with the walker easily.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Back online (mostly)

The phones started working at the new house this afternoon, so I plugged everything in and I am posting from home. Everything isn't completely done, because I plan to switch the family/computer room over to our second phone line. I checked the wiring box and it looks pretty straightforward, I just have to look up the wire colors so I know what goes where. In the meantime, if you call me, the phone is busy.

The move went pretty well. Obviously it rained yesterday morning. It's the first time I have ever been rained on during a move. Maybe I shouldn't have ranted about church. I asked Linda what she wanted to do, and she said, "I'm tired of walking around boxes. I want to move." So we borrowed some tarps and told everyone who called that we were going anyway. We had lots of help and only a little rain actually fell on us. So we made the right call.

Boy are we enjoying the new house. It is uncanny how things have worked out. When we put our furniture in place, we look around and it feels as if we had the walls custom painted for us. Everything looks like we chose it.

Linda is loving the accessibility. She has used her wheelchair a good bit for unpacking because she can't carry things and walk at the same time. I've put some bars in the bathroom for her already, and that is easy. All of the interior doors are big and have lever handles. The attention to detail is terrific. I laughed and laughed when I realized that even the toilet-paper dispensers are accessible (you'll see what I mean when you visit)!

Walking is hard. The carpet is new and springy and she is really having to adjust and be careful.

We're already leaving our mark. We weren't even done moving when I knocked a jar of jam out of the refridgerator and chipped one of the kitchen tiles. I told Linda, "Oops, we broke the house. It's ours now." Those tiles are like stone; we'll probably not chip another one for 5 years.

Ellie is home early from day care today, not feeling well. When I picked her up, she declared, "I puked." I guess she wanted to make sure I understood because the puked on my about 10 minutes later. She's napping now and will probably feel better later.

You'll probably not be surprised that, being sick, she wanted to go back to her old house today. I told her that it wouldn't comfort her, but she wanted to go and we went. I figured that going would be the best way for her to realize that she did actually want to be at her new house. We picked up a few things, and, when she decided she was hot, we left. I doubt that she'll be too interested in an empty, hot house for long.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Offline for the move

Since I am about to pack up my computer, there probably won't be another post until I get things sorted out at the new house (and the phone is switched).

Linda is getting less wobbly again. It turned out that we had adjusted her left cane a bit. When we put it back to right, she became "normal." Normal for now at least. She was really frustrated for a couple of days before we figured it out.

Not much but packing going on today. I'm a bit miffed that the sermon this morning contained campaigning for Amendment 2, "to protect the sanctity of marriage." I just don't see how my marriage with Linda is tarnished if a lesbian couple down the street gets married. How does something so wholly disconnected from me (to grab a phrase from Elizabeth Bennett) harm me? Is the communion wine at the Catholic church less holy because they use grape juice at the Presbyterian and view it as a symbol and not real blood that just tastes like wine?

According to unmarried.org, in many states a man and woman can become married by deciding that they are married, telling people that they are married, and in every way acting married. That's positively sinful (if you feel that way about such things), but it doesn't cheapen my marriage.

What is it that makes some straight people so afraid of gay people? According to the gay people I have known, they generally aren't attracted to straight people. There's no sexual threat there that I can see. I bet among all of the readers of this web site, I am the only straight person who has actively been hit on by a gay person, and even in my case it was sort of my fault because I inadvertently initiated it.

Gilderoy Lockhart would say, "Celebrity is as celebrity does." Perhaps recent events have made me something of an unexpected celebrity, and I should temper my opinions. But this whole gay marriage thing feels so much more like a big well-funded group of people trying to oppress a smaller less-funded group, and that just sucks.