?

Log in

No account? Create an account

From aethyric - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Dec. 1st, 2004

06:36 pm - From aethyric

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

LAYER ONE: ON THE OUTSIDE
Name: Zach
Birth date: December 4, 1976
Birth place: Arlington Heights, IL
Current Location: Urbana, IL
Hair Color: Dark Brown, reddish bits in the sun. grey and red in the beard.
Righty or Lefty: Righty

LAYER TWO: ON THE INSIDE
Your heritage: Irish, Norwegian, and ???
Shoes you wore today: New Balance running shoes
Your weakness: Livejournal
Your fears: heights, ego
Your perfect pizza: It is well known that I will do anything for a Spinoccoli Pizza from Pizzeria Due in Chicago.
Goal you'd like to achieve: autonomy, cooperation, a life off the capitalist grid

LAYER THREE: YESTERDAY, TODAY, TOMORROW
Your most overused phrase: "Infinite."
Your thoughts first waking up: "I wonder how many people posted in my livejournal."
Your bedtime: Whenever I'm incontrollably tired between 10pm and 5am.
Your most missed memory: Playing in the rain with Annie M.

LAYER FOUR: YOUR PICK
Pepsi or Coke: Coke...although I am keenly aware that it is the drink of the Colombian Death Squads, so right around when I am able to give up meat, I will give up coke and live free of food bourne guilt.
McDonald's or Burger King: Haven't eaten at either in at least 3 years but if my depended on it I would choose Burger King.
Adidas or Nike: New Balance
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: "Thai iced bubble tea" -- OH YES. Good idea!
Chocolate or vanilla: Vanilla, real fresh natural vanilla from the bean.
Cappuccino or coffee: Tea.

LAYER FIVE: DO YOU?
Smoke: Not tobacco.
Cuss: always
Single: yes.
Take a shower: every day in the summer, every other day in the winter.
Have a crush(es): many.
Think you've been in love: Been in love.
Want to get married: yes. when the time and person and circumstances are right.
Believe in yourself: most of the time.
Get motion sickness: on swings.
Think you're attractive: rarely think it, but recognize that people have been attracted to me cause ya know they've had sex with me.
Get along with your parents: very much.
Like thunderstorms: live for them.

LAYER SIX: IN THE PAST MONTH (oh! in the past month...oops)
Drank alcohol: yes, at parties, shots
Gone on a date: yes. (oh...in the past month...no)
Gone to the mall: yes. (in the past month...no)
Been on stage: yes. (in the past month...no)
Eaten an entire box of Oreos: yes. (in the past month...no)
Eaten sushi: yes. (in the past month...no)
Been dumped: yes. (in the past month...no)
Gone skating: yes. ice and roller (in the past month...no)
Gone skinny dipping: yes. (in the past month...no)
Stolen anything: no comment. (in the past month...no)

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:sueg
Date:December 2nd, 2004 01:33 am (UTC)
(Link)
Oh my god. I've finally found my pizza soulmate. Spinoccoli is the food of the gods, and Due is the greatest. Except for Lou Malnati's. But I don't think they do spinoccoli. Just spinach-mushroom.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:December 2nd, 2004 05:16 am (UTC)
(Link)
Lou Malnati's is a close second, and Ginos is third. :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:boldmoves
Date:December 2nd, 2004 06:00 am (UTC)

curious

(Link)
It surprises me a bit that marriage is of interest to you. You're one of the least conventional guys I know, so I'm curious to know what about marriage appeals to you? How do you see marriage beyond the legal definition?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:December 2nd, 2004 06:30 am (UTC)

Re: curious

(Link)
I am extremely interested in raising a kid or two. I think that marriage is relevent (not neccessary or sufficient, but useful) for raising kids for several reasons:

1) It provides a useful bundle of legal rights for the couple and for the kid. Collectivizing property, spouse health benefits, and social security protections for the kid and spouse and other related government and employer benefits mean that it is MUCH easier for one parent to stay at home. I am very much in favor models that allow parents to take turns staying at home and working (job share) or to choose to have one parent work and one stay at home or to have both parents work half time in alternating shifts etc. There's a lot of housework and child rearing work that needs to be done, it is real work, and any family that does not account for getting that done during the work day will have to do that work at the expense of either neccessary sleep, neccessary bonding time with their children, or they will have to 'outsource' that work.

2) I think that it is silly to have a bunch of hoops to jump through before breaking a relationship if kids aren't involved but if kids are involved I think it is vitally important for there to be some hoops to jump through. I also think it is vitally important that there is an established legal system for mediation of the child custody and property issues that come up in such a breakup. Some reasonable people can deal with this but 99% of the time a couple going through a divorce is not going to be in the right mental state to be able to do what is right for the kid. I certainly would never want to anticipate a divorce if I had a kid but I think it's important to provide that protection for the kid.

3) I'm a sucker for a ceremony through which a couple gathers their friends and family and declares to them their intentions to become a committed pair. It's cool for those who wish to do it.

Now I would love to see (and have been actively supportive of the movement) Queer folks and polyamorous folks be able to enjoy these legal and social and community benefits and I'm quite aware that if I ever exercise this right that I have that I am experiencing "straight priviledge". I am dedicated to making those rights available to all but I don't intend to give up every right that I have just become other's do not yet have them.

I understand that there are a variety of ways to cobble together, pick and choose, the benefits and rights and legal structures through trusts, contracts, custody agreements, etc...but marriage is a nice way to get them all at once.

So...it's for the kids. Maybe all I see is the legal definition. But that legal definition is important to me because raising a kid is important to me.

I'm not going to give up my freedom or unconventionality to pidgeonhole myself into a marriage that doesn't make sense but when and if the time, person, situation, etc are right, I would definitely want to do it.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:mary919
Date:December 2nd, 2004 03:25 pm (UTC)

Re: curious

(Link)
Amen! :)

I honestly think (or maybe I should say hope!) that there will eventually be some sort of evolution of marriage where it is stripped of all of its romantic notions and becomes only what it needs to be-- protection for the unit of people who have committed to raising a child (or children.)

I thank my lucky stars that I ended up marrying someone who remained committed to our child-rearing team through our various disillusionments with each other as romantic partners. These things happen in all relationships to some degree-- you have the power to decide that the family (whatever that may mean to you) is more important than the fairy tale.

That said-- it was just pure dumb luck that I ended up with someone who felt the same way I did. In the beginning I was all about one true love and soulmates and all that, but then somewhere along the line my priorities changed. Or maybe I just got very very old :) :) :)

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:December 2nd, 2004 09:14 pm (UTC)

Re: curious

(Link)
Creating a "child raising team" that is a very good phrase for the concept!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:boldmoves
Date:December 3rd, 2004 01:52 am (UTC)

Re: curious

(Link)
Although I think that kids should be raised in a stable environment with support from one or more adults of any gender, I don't know that marriage is the only or best way to do that. I really think that the legal and social priveleges that are attatched to marriage are bullshit, and while I say this without knowing much about real alternatives, I encounter people everyday who raise children outside of marriage--either as single moms and dads (gay and straight) or lesbian and gay couples. Yes, the legal hoops they have to jump through are probably much more complicated than getting a marriage license, but for me, it'd be worth the trouble in order to resist an institution that I strongly oppose.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:December 3rd, 2004 02:58 am (UTC)

Re: curious

(Link)
"But I didn't think radicals got married."
"Yah, they don't. That's what's so radical about it."
There are a lot of reasons to be opposed to the institution of marriage. I wonder which ones are the ones that make it a complete non-option for you? Is it the historical implication that the female spouse is property? Is it the current hetero-sexist rules making marriage unavailable to anyone other than a male/female couple? Is it a fundamental distrust of the court system as a mediator of property and custody conflicts? Is it the entanglement of religious and secular status that is involved in the concept of marriage? Do you think there is a significant philosophical difference between legally recognized civil unions and marriage? If so, would you consider a civil union under the right circumstances even where you would not consider marriage?

I am fully aware that there are tons of ways to raise a kid without being married. I'm actively in favor of not only expanding the kinds of relationships that can be recognized as marriage but also expanding the number of ways that people can receive the social, governmental, and employer support that they need to raise kids without being married. I think these could be the most major struggles for self-determination that we face in the upcoming decades, very closely linked with the struggles for universal health care, universal housing, and a living wage.

You don't have to say much to convince me of why you oppose the institution of marriage. I can fully appreciate someone not wanting to ever get married and someone brave and strong enough to attempt to raise children outside the structure of marriage. That's an awesome thing.

You asked why I would want to get married and I think it's because the vision that I happen to have for how I would probably want to raise kids happens to be very compatible with the institution of marriage. I have an interest in reinventing, redefining, reclaiming, restorying the whole marriage thing so that the negative baggage of the institution of marriage can be thrown out and the social benefits can be retained.

And like I said, only if the circumstances are right. I can imagine many scenarios where I am involved in raising kids outside of a marriage.

Plus I really want an excuse to throw the BIGGEST damned party of my life. I mean people come to a wedding who don't come to anything else. They make an effort for it. So that's when we get the good sound system, the good bands, the beautiful outdoor setting, and we rock the damned world with our closest friends and family. I like planning parties and I can't imagine a better party than my wedding.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:juniperesque
Date:December 3rd, 2004 06:40 am (UTC)

Re: curious

(Link)
You see, the big friggin' party thing is the main appeal of marriage to me.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:December 3rd, 2004 03:24 am (UTC)

Re: curious

(Link)
As far as priviledges being bullshit:

1) Social Security Benefits - Every working person in this country accrues social security credits as they work. Generally these credits lead to money being paid out at retirement at a flat rate every month. This is a sort of socially enforced government guaranteed savings plan. It is completely self-sufficient (conservative bullshit about it's impending demise to the contrary), fairly progressive, and mostly universal.

Social Security does other stuff too though. If someone with social security credits dies, their spouse gets certain benefits. These benefits are only available to their spouse. No contracts, civil unions, wills, or other arrangements make these benefits available to a non-spouse survivor. Minor children also get benefits but they get those no matter what, the spouse benefits are in addition. So what if there is an unmarried couple raising a child and one of them works for an employer and the other one stays at home and works in the home. If the worker dies the non-worker is stranded, without job experience, without social security spouse benefits, without the free time to abandon the tasks that person was doing at home in order to get a job. Heck, even if both (or all) parents are working, if one dies there will be an undue and sudden burden placed on the surviving parent(s). Social Security provides a safety net in these scenarios that is fundamentally unavailable outside of marriage.

Do you believe this benefit itself is bullshit? Do you believe that we should abolish the social security system? I, personally, believe that it needs to be MAJORLY reformed, that we should broaden the category of folks who can receive survivor benefits to include a named beneficiary (or even divided equally among several beneficiaries) or a member of a civil union. I also believe that those who work in the home should receive social security credits equal to the market rates for hiring someone to do the same work. And I will actively support any movement that calls for those reforms. But in the mean time, if I find myself in a position where getting married allows me and my spouse to tap into those benefits, into that social safety net, then I will do so.

I mean, when I have a chance to get health insurance from my employer, I don't deny it just because some other people don't get health insurance from their employers. And just because I might have health insurance from my employer doesn't make me any less rabid about the need and fight for national single payer universal health care.

Just a couple of major examples. There are literally thousands of benefits enjoyed by married folks. They can't all be dismissed as "bullshit". It IS bullshit that those benefits are only available to straight monogamous couples. It is not bullshit that they exist. For me the struggle is to redefine marriage to offer those benefits in all relevent situations and to expand the range of benefits offered to help cover cases like single parents or children raised by a family with more than 2 adult partners.

None of this should be taken to dimish those who manage to do this without these benefits. None of this should suggest that we shouldn't struggle to radically redefine the legal parameters of child-rearing. None of this should suggest that I am oblivious to the gross injustice that is hetero-sexism. I will not hessitate to speak out about these issues. But I still would like to possibly maybe if the circumstances were right get married some day.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:sueg
Date:December 3rd, 2004 04:38 am (UTC)

Re: curious

(Link)
I was involved in a conversation with someone else about marriage, and the Social Security benefits thing came up. My other friend was also of the opinion that someone should be able to name whoever they wish as the beneficiary. I said that was a pretty interesting idea and I'd have to think about it. What I came up with is that the logic of passing on Social Security benefits to spouses is predicated on the patriarchal family structure where one spouse (usually the husband) works outside the home and the other spouse raises the children. Because the first spouse is really "working for two" bringing in the cash earning power for the entire family, the second spouse is entitled to those Social Security benefits. Now that that family structure is becoming less common I wonder if we need to re-evaluate. If at-home parents earned Social Security credits, it would be a whole different ballgame. We could either assign beneficiaries or potentially reduce/eliminate beneficiaries if we get into a really bad budget jam, as I'm afraid is coming.

Although I have lived a pretty non-traditional life up to now, my new husband and I do plan to have kids in the future and I'll most likely be a stay-at-home mom. That decision is based partly on earning power and partly on personality and individual skills. Damn straight I want the protections of marriage to cover my ass if he a) has a major personality change resulting in a split, b) drops dead, c) becomes disabled or etc. Hell yes I would deserve alimony if I took 6-18 years out of the work force for our team project of childrearing and then the team broke up. His Social Security will be earned by both of us, since I'm helping put him through school (to create his earning power) and I'll be supporting him in non-financial ways when he's earning that money...

Rambling.

Anyway.

I think it would be a great idea if "marriage" was reserved as a religious sacrament, which each branch of each church could dispense as it saw fit. Anyone wishing to become civilly bonded in the eyes of the government would obtain a legal civil union. You could have one or both. Only the governmental seal of approval would affect federal benefits; states and companies could decide on whether they would recognize a church-only marriage. Churches would be allowed to discriminate by gender, the government would not.

Polyamory is another issue entirely, and I don't have a position at this time on legal polyamorous marriages since I don't see them as equivalent to a two-person marriage (because the legalities are more layered and complicated by numbers, necessitating different rules; not because I don't think people should have the right to construct such a household). I'm open to hearing about how they would theoretically work, but I admit to some skepticism about whether this could be accomplished without individually tailored contracts.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:boldmoves
Date:December 3rd, 2004 04:51 am (UTC)

Re: curious

(Link)
I'm sorry, I don't do a lot of commenting in lj, and I forget that when someone is just reading my words I need to actually be articulate. I didn't want you to think that my comment was intended to put you on the defensive, I do think it's really interesting that you would want to get married, and I really did want to know your reasons why.

It IS bullshit that those benefits are only available to straight monogamous couples.

Yes, that is what I meant. And I'm against marriage for all the reasons you mentioned in your previous comment. I don't think that privileges should be tied to any kind of relationship; they should be benefits we all enjoy as human beings. I would be happier if marriage was just a ceremony to celebrate love between people without anything to legally bind them or benefit them. There's just a lot about coupledom/marriage as a social institution that I hate, and I find it hard to imagine a radical alternative that can support marriage as a legal institution.

I do think it's cool that you see marriage as something to be changed and restructured, rather than abolished (which is kinda where I'm at). It'll be neat to see what you come up with.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:December 3rd, 2004 06:13 am (UTC)

Re: curious

(Link)
Heh. I'm sorry too that I responded so defensively. You use of the word "bullshit" really set something off in me and I got into heavy debate mode. :)

Too much IMSA notesfiles (an online forum where people eat each other alive with agressive debate every day) is bad for my brain. :)

I think the way I incorporate both "your" position (abolish) and "my" position (reform) is very much related to my paradoxical position as an anarchist who participates in electoral politics.

I'd like to see the capitalist system of economics and the brutal military/police state enforcement arm that supports it abolished and part of my energies are dedicated to working towards that end. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to stop earning a paycheck denominated in capitalist currency or shopping at capitalist businesses.

The fact that no movement has every won anything through the ballot box alone, that direct action is the neccessary effective means of acheiving real social change doesn't stop me from voting.

The system forces certain behavior out of me because the system is more powerful than me. If I want to live I work, if I want to see small short term changes I participate in electoral politics. But I try to imbue my work with as much anti-capitalism as possible and I try to use as much direct action attitude and tactics in my electoral politics as I can. I don't let the system compromise my actions more than it has to and I work to become more and more independent of the system when doing so makes me more free. (e.g. simply quitting my job and dying of starvation and exposure would not make me more free...finding a way to quit my job and live sustainably off the grid would increase my freedom and I hope to get there someday).

Similarly...for me, in our society, in our system, I will probably get married. I will imbue my marriage with as much challenge to the institution as I can and I will live and work for a day when marriage is irrelevent and unneccesary. If I ever find myself living in a sustainable self-sufficient consensus driven autonomous cooperative tribal commune setting...I suspect I will not bother getting married before having kids. I honestly give it 30% odds that I will live in such a situation some day and hence not get married.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:goytoy
Date:December 3rd, 2004 06:55 pm (UTC)

Re: curious

(Link)
I would like to see a future where the people within a marriage/partnership (man/woman, man/man, woman/woman, heck, woman/woman/man for all I care) define for themselves what their relationship is about. For some people, like you, a non-romantic partnership revolving around children may be the best fit, but I don't believe that is the best fit for everyone. In my case, I can't have children, and while it's possible we may adopt, I don't believe the validity of my partnership with my husband is based on whether or not we are also parents.

If you had said that marriage for you was about raising children, I wouldn't have said a word, but since no one else has raised a voice against the suggestion that in a perfect world marriage will be stripped of its romantic notions and become all about child-rearing, I will. I hope that someday people will tend to their own relationships and understand and support others, without requiring them to conform to any sort of ideal.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:December 3rd, 2004 07:25 pm (UTC)

Re: curious

(Link)
Amen! Well said.

:)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:mary919
Date:December 3rd, 2004 08:03 pm (UTC)

Re: curious

(Link)
Sorry-- I meant legal marriage. Legislating romantic unions is ridiculous-- legislating parenting responsiblities is essential. I *do* think that the parenting contract should be more binding.

I don't believe that the validity of any partnership is based on whether or not there are children, but I also don't think it should be based on a legal document either.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:goytoy
Date:December 3rd, 2004 08:52 pm (UTC)

Re: curious

(Link)
That does make me feel better, though I believe I still disagree. A partnership is business as much as emotion and having some sort of legal partnership is a simple, clean way of delineating who we want to inherit our things, make decisions about our health, jointly control assets and so on. Now, from what I understand, in France they have completely removed the romantic aspect from the legal aspect and anyone can register a partnership w/ someone w/ whom they live. This could be a straight couple, gay couple, life-long friends, mother/daughter, etc. That resolves the legal issues and while people can still call it a marriage, the religious marriage ceremony has no bearing on the governmental "union." I do like that model a lot. I don't see how having a separate form of legal union only for people with children would work.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:December 3rd, 2004 03:35 am (UTC)

Re: curious

(Link)
On the other side of the coin...I've been really interested in the Alternatives to Marriage Project for about 4 years now. They put out a great news letter and they have TONS of great resources about ways to get by unmarried in our society. Check them out, they rock.

So if I don't get married...with their help I'll certainly be prepared for it!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:the_sween
Date:December 2nd, 2004 04:37 pm (UTC)
(Link)
How is it you love roller coasters so much yet get dizzy on swings?

;)

By the way, Eva and I got our wedding proofs back last night in jpeg form and there are some REALLY great ones of you and you family. I'll be posting them to the album later today.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:December 2nd, 2004 08:02 pm (UTC)
(Link)
It's something about the constant motion I think. Didn't happen when I was a kid. I LOVED swings when I was a kid and would spend all day on them. But ever since high school, just sitting on a swing and rocking back and forth a little bit gives me an upset stomach if I do it long enough.

A roller coaster doesn't have that constancy and the kind of motion that it creates is just different. And it's so brief. It takes a good 10 minutes for me to feel bad on a swing. A roller coaster generally lasts less than 2 minutes (many of them are only like 45 seconds from the drop to the end).

I look forward to those wedding pictures! My parents were just asking if you had any. They took some good ones too (on my mom's digicam). I tried to upload them to the gallery from home but had troubles with it.

Let me know if you have troubles with the gallery, it seems to be kind of persnickety about uploads. There's a way to upload through the backend that is more stable that I can teach you.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:the_sween
Date:December 2nd, 2004 09:04 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I'm halfway done with the pics...I'll post about it in my journal when they're done. It is a bit tedious, but it mostly just takes time. I might take you up on that offer of teaching me a more efficient way. I'm just concerned that I'll time out in the middle of an upload...I think that's happening as I type this because it seems to have frozen up on me.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:December 2nd, 2004 09:12 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I'm pretty sure restarting a timed out upload actually does the right thing and continues instead of starting over.

That was probably my fault. I saw an apache (web server) process that had been running for a LONG time and so I killed it without checking what it was. I've been having a LOT of trouble with stuck apache processes lately so I had an itchy trigger finger.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:the_sween
Date:December 2nd, 2004 09:31 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I think it was my login that timed out but I wasn't aware of that before I started the upload so I just kinda hung there for way longer than it should have. No problem though, I just redid it and it went a LOT faster that time.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:ddbrown
Date:December 3rd, 2004 06:50 am (UTC)

Speaking a someone who's married...

(Link)
There are a variety of good reasons to get married in this current day and age. Personally, I don't currently want children. That might change, but I'm not holding my breath. On the other hand, I really do intend on spending the rest of my life with skywind8. We both wanted a ceremony to announce and "cement" that intention. For those reasons, we had a wedding ceremony, and consider ourselves married.

Now in my opinion, the above should have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the government. However, there are a variety of legal benefits which DO have to do with the government, and for those reasons, we were also legally married. I consider this to be a legal contract, nothing more, nothing less. It should be available to any set of individuals (including polys) who want it. And it's been really important for us that we've had that legally acknowledge contract; without it, I'd be uninsured right now, and I have enough medical problems that I've been out of work for the last 2 years.

I do agree that it is bullshit that these rights are currently limited to relationships that consist of exactly one person with a penis and one person with a vagina. I mean, we get these rights despite not currently planning on children, so it's not even as if there is a children argument here. Yet, unless one of you has an inny, and the other has an outy, you can't be legally married. And goddess forbid that there are more than two of you!

So, I'm all for marriage reform, but in it's more extreme sense. I'd love to see the word "marriage" removed from the law altogether - but I do see the value in having a legally sanctioned style of contract for the establishing of families. If nothing else, issues of inheritance (if I die, Jen doesn't have to pay taxes on half of the stuff we own. If we weren't married, though, she would), medical decisions (for example, keep me on life support for 12 years, or not?), and yes, social security are all areas where you can not currently create a civil contract which will grant the same rights as marriage.

Anyway, my 2c. I just wish that these privilages were available to all families, regardless of gender, number of adults, and yes - children.
(Reply) (Thread)