Friday, November 30, 2007


Since I can't figure out how to upload a photo to my profile, here is a photo of me with my husband Bill and Charles Darwin. We recently went on a (very expensive) trip to the UK. We were driving through England, Scotland and Wales with my brother- without really much of an agenda, and just happened to decide to stop in Shrewsbury for the night. Coming into town, there were big signs saying "Welcome to Shrewsbury; the Birthplace of Darwin." Kind of exciting for a car full of atheists/ humanists/ Brights, etc. (well, I'm not sure that my brother was all that excited, but then he IS an engineer).

I'm actually from England originally, and have been back several times over the years-this time we were there for my Grandfather's 99th birthday. Bill is an archeologist who has never been off the North American continent (ok-he's been to Hawai'i, but that doesn't count), and he wanted to see as many historic and prehistoric things as we could cram into three weeks. We had planned to go to Stonehenge, Hadrian's Wall, Edinburgh, the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Tower of London, the HMS Victory, Bath, and as many castles, cathedrals, and abbeys, ruined or otherwise, as we could, but Shrewsbury was a bonus!

We never did get to Portsmouth to see the Victory.

Reminder to self: NEVER visit England again during the half-term break. The entire City of London was crawling with kids. The Underground was packed all day, and we couldn't get more than halfway through the Natural History Museum. We gave up and went to a pub.

Monday, November 26, 2007

New at this

Hmm. This is a test of the blogger system. This is only a test.

I'm not sure why I'm doing this. I don't think anybody would really be interested in what I have to say and I've never been one to write a diary. I think I'm just getting very tired of being pushed steadily more and more into the closet. My ex-husband came out of the "gay" closet years ago, and I greatly admire him for it. I've been an atheist all my life, and it has never really been a problem for me until recently. I don't think I have ever really been "in your face" about it, but have had more of a live-and-let-live attitude. I will tell people if they ask, but don't generally volunteer the information. All of my close friends know, and just accept that I cannot understand any religious feelings they have.

Not that I haven't had problems before. When I was a young teen living deep in the heart of Texas, aka the Bible Belt, I learned very quickly to call myself an agnostic (note I said call myself, not become one) as that seemed more acceptable to the other kids.

While getting my Masters degree at Purdue University-again in the Bible Belt-I had not dated in several years and was told by one of the other grad students that without "God" telling me what I could and could not do, I could have no morals. He then went on to tell (tell me, not ask me) that I must be having sex with my dog since I wasn't sleeping with a man. My response was that gee, I guess I shouldn't have had the dog neutered then, and if I HAD been sleeping with a man out of wedlock, I assume he would have accused me of adultery! I never did quite understand why it was inconceivable to him that I might go for five years without sleeping with any other animal, human or otherwise.

The reason I feel I'm being pushed into the closet is that I am recently seemingly surrounded by religious people I feel I have to tiptoe around. I have had a Darwin Fish on the back of my cars since 1991, most of that time in California, but even when I went to Purdue it was never a problem. I have now replaced the plastic icon with a vinyl cutout without the word Darwin (granted, my car was rear-ended, and the bumper replaced, so I didn't actually go out and physically remove the plastic Darwin Fish). I have a very hard time finding a place to keep my blind horse. The stable I have him in now is owned by a very religious couple. I have actually been taking my husband's car in case they see the Darwin Fish and confront me about it. I can't risk being asked to move him. Two of the last three places I've had him have been sold and converted into housing developments, and the elderly couple that ran the third retired. There are fewer and fewer places he can safely go that I can afford. He is getting older and has a few health problems other than his lack of vision which also cost a lot of money, and several people have suggested I put him down. I will not do that while he is still enjoying life, and if any of these people saw him while he was rolling, bucking, rearing and prancing around his paddock they would understand why. He may be a swaybacked, one-eyed, giant ball of fuzz (in his winter coat) but he is absolutely beautiful to me. To kill him when he enjoys life so much would be criminal.

I am the chairperson of a local band (that will give it away if anyone reads this), and all of the other council members at the moment are very religious. I feel that they would have trouble trusting me for my supposed lack of morals if they knew. I could be wrong, and hope I am, but it would make my job just that much harder if I had to deal with that on top of all the other problems we've had this year (that would be a whole 'nother blog!). I had one council member ask me what church I go to, and I evaded by saying I don't go to church (the truth, but I didn't tell her why). We have had a difficult year for various reasons-enough that I get physically ill after council meetings-and I have wondered why I haven't just told them. It might be an easy way to get off the council, and better for my health. The fact that I am very much an introvert, and don't like any sort of confrontation is also a big part of it. I feel responsible to do the best that I can for the band, and unfortunately that means that staying in the closet is probably the best way. As I said, I could be wrong, but I'm not willing to risk it while I'm still chairperson of the council. I sometimes even park my car backward so that the Darwin Fish silhouette isn't as visible.

Then there is work, which I don't really want to get into right now. I have never before been in the closet at work, though.