Posted by: Travis | January 16, 2009

Milk and Cookies

After almost 2 months of wanting to, Rachel and i finally made our way over to one of our indie movie theaters to see ‘Milk’ last night. If you haven’t been yet, RUN to see it ASAP.

We actually could have been in the movie as extras in one of the march scenes. One of Rachel’s co-workers (who has since moved to LA to pursue a career in acting) was doing some acting on the side and was in touch with the SF Bay Area acting scene during filming. The three of us were going to go up and participate for a few nights in a row, not as a desperate attempt to cash in on our 15 minutes of fame, but more to just be a part of something cool. Plus, what else were we going to do on Tuesday and Wednesday night on some random week? Hanging out in the Castro just seems like the obvious choice. Anyway, we thought it was a week later than it actually was and missed it. Oh well. But any-who, buzz about the movie had been building since before they did any filming at all. We’d been excited to see this movie for going on 10 or 12 months, we just got really busy and never made it over to the theater to see it.

I won’t really go into the movie at all, other than to say it’s great. Sean Penn, James Franco, Emile Hirsch, and everyone else involved really do a fantastic job. Go see it if you haven’t, and drag your friends and family who may be reluctant to go see it. I really enjoyed that they could have gone on and on with interviews of people who knew Milk and idolized him to make him seem like some flawless Jesus figure of the gay movement. Instead they let Harvey Milk’s actions speak for themselves which really allowed the real man (and all of his flaws) to come through unrefracted. I haven’t done a whole lot of research about the real Milk (i’m a blogger, dammit, we don’t do research!) so i can’t speak to the historical accuracy of the movie.

The part that i really took away from the film was how poignant is is after the election and the passing of Proposition 8 here in California. Rachel even went as far as to say that she thinks that if Milk had been released in September of October, Prop 8 may not have passed. Though you could make the argument that 95% of the people who have gone to see it were opposed to Prop 8, and most of the remaining 5% couldn’t get past the numerous scenes of dudes kissing and understand what the movie was really trying to accomplish. I was also struck by how funny it was that the arguments of the anti-gay movement haven’t changed a bit since 1978. It’s funny to think that as i was watching the movie i was thinking of this as history long before my time, the same way i approach films and literature about the civil rights era. But really, this happened a mere 7 years before my birth.

It also made me (and Rachel too) regret that we didn’t do more to oppose Prop 8. Aside from a short (very out of character for Rachel) confrontation with some Prop 8 supporters bussed in from who knows where having a lively demonstration across the street from the Stanford campus, we sat on our butts at home letting everyone else do the heavy lifting. I regret that. Immensely. But it didn’t really sink in until i saw Milk. I feel like i talked the talk here on my blog, preaching to the choir, but when it came to giving up Saturdays or evenings to walk the walk and go confront people face to face, i chose to let all my gay friends down and do nothing. What a wasted opportunity.

If there’s one political issue that i care about, it’s gay rights by a landslide. When Rachel and I moved to California and started looking for a church to go to, the one requirement was that it had to be accepting of gays. When we move back to Texas, assuming we don’t go back to Houston, we’ll probably seek the ‘gay’ church in town as our first on the list to visit. Rachel and i know several people that live in the Castro. It’s one of our favorite places to go hang out in San Francisco. If we were to move to San Francisco, the Castro is the first place we would look at living. There’s something about walking around and seeing people who are truly happy because they can freely express themselves that just gives me joy. The fact that it’s now 2009 and we still have people who are treated like second class citizens in this country is unacceptable. Next time the opportunity presents itself to get active in the fight for gay rights, (which may be pretty soon with the looming legal battle over Prop 8 ) we’re getting involved.

I’m not going to sit here and repeat my arguments for gay rights, because they’re already here (they should all be in the politics section), you can read them whenever you want. My point is that i feel like i’ve let my gay friends down. Its time to get involved.

‘So where do the cookies come in?’ You ask. Well, we had a long meeting at my office yesterday and there was a huge platter of cookies sitting on the conference table. I was just over reaching for some cliche, i guess. They were so good. I was really bad and had 4 or 5. I’ve got to get better at this personal restraint with food thing. As i get older my metabolism is only going to slow down and it’s going to be even harder. I’m getting back into the routine of riding though. Last week i rode 6 days. Mileage was still well short of where i’d like to be, but just being able to get on the bike 6 days a week is half the battle. Yesterday in the Tuesday/Thursday morning ride i was able to hang on longer than i ever have before, so luckily my fitness didn’t move backwards over the holidays. I’ve still got a ways to go though. We’re getting together a group to do a ride to the beach on Monday, between 40 and 60 miles. Should be the longest ride i’ve done in a few weeks. Good stuff.

In other news, Rachel and i are officially looking at buying a house here in NorCal. We’ve been working with a realtor and looking at places on the ‘down low’ since November, but we made our first offer on a place this week that enough people found out about that we might as well go public with it. Unfortunately, there were 11 other bids, we were somewhere in the middle, and agreed to not pay any more than our first offer, so we gracefully bowed out. No need to rush into this though, slow and steady wins the race.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading.

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