Sunday, November 9, 2008

Matters of Grave Importance

Today was the birthday of Mr. Monkey's late mother.
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Little Monkey Niece wasn't sad, only sleepy. She is still too young to understand the concept of death, and she had lots of fun with the flowers we brought.
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We left the cemetery and had lunch together at Cowboy's Steakhouse (227 W. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel), a restaurant that serves Asian-ized American food.
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Don't know what that is? Imagine steak and spaghetti made by Chinese people.
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Little Monkey Niece enjoyed coloring.
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Mr. Monkey got a green apple slush.
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Our meals came with salad, corn chowder, and garlic bread.
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Mr. Monkey had the beef filet and shrimp hot plate combo ($15.75).
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Mr. Monkey's brother opted for the chicken and calamari combo ($13.75).
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I dined on the rib-eye and fish combo ($14.75).
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Each of our meals arrived sizzling and smoking. They made us stink. The food at Cowboy's isn't bad, but it wasn't worth having smoky hair all day. I would consider returning if I wore crappy clothes and didn't have to go anywhere afterward. Actually, I would probably try a non-hot-plate entree to avoid the beef perfume.

Unfortunately for me (and for the people around me), I did have to go elsewhere today, engulfed in beefy stench. Next stop: Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.
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About 40 people, including Diabolina, Sable Crow, Trisha, Trisha's friend A, and yours truly, participated in the shooting of a public service announcement video to aid the effort to repeal Prop 8.
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This is B, the mastermind behind this video. Three cheers for B!
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A little fun post-shoot...
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Shooting a video makes you hungry, so we headed to Buddha's Belly for dinner.
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Authentic Asian food, it is not, but Buddha's Belly has a well-designed interior, good vibe, friendly service, and lots of tasty fusion choices that can make almost anybody's belly happy.
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We shared sirloin steak and chicken breast shao bing ($7.95) and chicken potstickers ($5.95). I love shao bing. As a kid, I used to eat it stuffed with dried shredded pork for breakfast. These shao bing were a little limp and not as toasty and flaky as the old childhood treats I remember so fondly.
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Sable Crow's spinach miso ramen ($9.95).
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Diabolina's Thai green curry chicken with jasmine rice ($8.95).
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Trisha's pad thai ($10.95).
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I enjoyed my ahi tuna burger with sweet potato fries ($11.95) very much.
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Better than my entree, however, was our conversation. I admire all three of my dinner companions greatly for their courage, conviction, and warm hearts.
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The bulk of our discussion centered around Prop 8, of course, and about how we could do our part to educate people.

Sable Crow told us the horrific story of how his neighbors -- who had known and loved him all his life -- plastered their house and lawn with Yes on 8 signs and held meetings and rallies at their home.

Right in front of the house of the gay boy they'd watched grow up.

It's really his story to tell, but I couldn't hold back from mentioning it here because it was so shocking and disgusting and ugly. It made me livid. How could people do this?

At one point, our whole table was in tears when Diabolina told us about some very difficult conversations she has had with people close to her. Heavy heavy stuff, my friends. Stuff that makes your video-ready mascara a mess.

But Sable Crow brought up an important point for all of us to consider. The margin of the loss was so slim. We can and will overcome this setback. Sable Crow posited that, if everyone who cares about equal rights talks to 20 people who voted yes on 8 and manages to change the mind of just one person out of the 20, the margin will be erased.

I'm willing to talk to 20 people. Heck, I talk to 500 of you every day. Are you willing to talk to 20 people? And, if you voted yes, are you willing to listen?


  1. hopefully we'll get to see this video?

    sable crow's story unfortunately sounds similiar to my friend's story;(

  2. I love that you are such a no on 8 rockstar and am sorry that you had to be one while smelling like beef.

  3. I saw the photos first and had a guess of what this was . . . you totally rock for doing this. It makes me sad that the people around me here brush me off as "the girl from that very offbeat state." The injustice doesn't happen just in California; it happens everywhere in the country. It's just that people aren't as willing to speak up here because they know they'll be judged harshly. I hope change happens in California and that change trickles down to this state.

  4. please send me the youtube of your psa when its up and running! is there anything people outside of Cali can do to help??

    very pretty flowers you brought to the cemetery btw. and yeah, LMN is still the cutest kid ever.

  5. <3 this post.

    Thanks for the recap and the positive words of encouragement at the end :)

  6. hugs to mr. m on a tough day.

    thanks for coming to the shoot today. who knew owning the power of your voice could be so fun. i guess it's always about the company.

    sable crow and i are at the very least grateful for the conversations that are happening that never would have if this hadn't happened. you have to look for the light in the darkness, right?

  7. OH so much to say:
    1) Has LMN seen Kung Fu Panda yet? We watched it with my niece and nephew Saturday night and it made me think of Mr. M and LMN....
    2) We had Dim Sum on Saturday with one of the hubs' best friends - the one who actually introduced him to dim sum. When I asked him about getting smurf houses he looked at me like I'd grown a second head. Even after I showed him your blog he had no idea what I was talking about.
    3) Last night I got to attend mass with the in-laws. I was not looking forward to it and had already warned the hubs that I might be leaving during the sermon. I was pleasantly surprised therefore when we were both engulfed in tears as the chaplain spoke about the love for all God's children and how it is our job to ensure their protection. He says it's the first time a sermon has ever moved him to tears, and it gives me hope that there will be change.

  8. I love that you can get steak and a green apple slush in the same place. That's the beauty of Asian-ized anything. =)

    Can't wait to see the PSA!

  9. So much sharing in one post!

    Gorgeous pics of your birthday visit. . .
    It looks to me like the smelliness is worth it so I MUST check out Cowboy's soon. . .
    Very cool PSA. Any more info, where will it appear?
    Love that you have so many friends that are committed to making the world a better place.

  10. I'm so bummed I couldn't attend. You know I would have been all over getting my makeup done for the event.

  11. That would have been an awesome project to be a part of. I'm glad people are still looking for ways to educate on this subject. Happy for your food fun and responsible Sunday. :)

  12. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can't wait to see this video!

  13. Looking forward to the video... and for what's to come in fighting Prop 8.

  14. Nice post. Love the sleepy photo of LMN. Love that you spent time honoring Mr. Monkey's mother and with friends, promoting a very worthy cause. There are some things worth fighting for, and equality is one of them.

    Okay, I'm crying. Stupid Prop 8.

  15. Hey there!
    Great shots, of course!
    I nominated you for a bloggy award. Come by to pick it up!
    cinnamon & honey

  16. julie q: Let me tell you a story. Last night, I received an email from my aunt in Oklahoma. Growing up, we were estranged from that side of the family, so we've never been close. You see, I asked my mom to send out the link to my blog. I said to her: you send jokes, isn't this worth it too?

    My aunt said that her "heart had softened" and that, while she wasn't willing to "give up" her conservative values, she could open her heart to treating others fairly. She said I was always welcome, and invited me to give her one of my paintings if I would come and hang it up. F. I guess progress happens slowly. Still haven't shaken that interior-designer stereotype. :)

    What can you do? Talk to people. Share the link to compelling blogs that tell a story. People need to hear our stories. Compassion is invincible, and when hearts are won for freedom and equality, they are seldom lost again.

    This fight is a national fight, and not a Californian fight, although we will lead the way as a light in darkness.


    PS: WeMo, you can always tell my stories. They're an unlimited resource, and grow greater in the telling.

  17. I'm with Leslie. I find that any mention of this stupid Prop makes me cry. I'm so glad you are out there making a PSA! Please link when it is done!!

  18. I felt a tug at my heart for Mr. Monkey's mom's birthday. Beautiful flowers. My thoughts are with him and you today!

    How do I get to talk to 500 people a day? Numbers are sinking like a rock.

  19. a) how do you fit so much stuff in every day?
    b) that psa looks like it will be super cool. can't wait to see it!
    c) that first pic of LMN is gorgeous.

  20. there's so much in this post, i'll just defer to all of the PPs.

    but you know how much i <3 that picture of LMN. it's precious.

  21. dang! you do squeeze a lot into one day. i'll ditto the PPs for what was said about LMN, yummy food and prop 8.

    however, i do have to say, that i finally figured out why sable crow looks so dang familiar! he bears a striking resemblance to my old trainer. i'll send you the link to his page so you can confirm. :)

  22. Wow - full day for sure. Beats silent knitting. And yes, I can talk to at least 20 people. I should have done that last time but now I know better. THanks for always sharing some education WM.


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