Friday, August 24, 2007


A local (Marin-based) reverend, Jane Spahr, performed a couple of lesbian marriages three years ago. The church reversed the earlier ruling she was within her right to do so. You know, because, well, a few married lesbians can dismantle an institution that is hundreds of years old. LOL.

I took a moment and wrote her a thank you note for doing what was right and just rather than what was expected. If you want to do the same, you can contact her at

The SF Gate story is here.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Aloha, Wedding!

I kept not posting because I wanted to write everything out completely, and to do so in an engaging, witty manner that would rivet both readers.

Alas, this is unlikely to happen, given the nature of Real Life and the things one much do in it in order to, you know, live. Or rather live in a manner that involves clean socks, occassional meals and a few hours of sleep each night.

So, without further ado, I say, "Aloha, Wedding!"

We are planning a November 24 wedding in Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. If that sounds like it's awfully close to Thanksgiving, well, that's because it is. It's the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. We are not only thankful to be getting married, but also thankful that our guests will have to take off less time to attend. (This was actually a serious consideration.)

Initially, we had decided upon a fairly big (for us) California wedding. The theme was roughly "Come Eat Good Food and Dance a Lot, Hopefully to a Live Big Band, or at least to a DJ who knows the Top 40 from the 40s." We'd chosen Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz (see old posts for links to pics) and just had to set the date and revel in the fact that Big Bands used to play there, and, oh, the ceiling retracts! And the spelling..."Cocoanut"! How quaint!

Then, well, there was the mold sickness. And the rash. Especially the rash.

We re-evaluated and decided that running away together was a good idea. We wanted to go someplace nice, but not so extravagant that our nearest and dearest couldn't join us. I've never been to Hawaii but always meant to go...Tara has been, but not for ages. Add to that the fact that our favorite Cruise Line (Celebrity) had a cruise over, and well, we fell head over uhm, leis, for the idea. Sure, the honeymoon will be first we because we can't really control the ship's movements, but hey, life's short and it's okay to eat dessert first.

We'll be getting married on Oahu. Why? Because that's where the boat (ahem, ship) leaves us.

Wiamanalo Beach:

We originally planned to get hitched on the beach at Waimanalo. Not only is it fun to say, but it is beautiful. AND the officiant (Reverend Captain Howie, who seems to favor sarongs as a fashion statement) involves his big, friendly parrots in the ceremony. It's hard to say what the parrots would do, but really, since it's not legal anyway, they could actually officiate while Howie kicked back with a cold one and it wouldn't make any difference.

We figured my family would be okay with whatever wackiness we thought up--they think of me as the, uh, eclectic one, anyway. Tara's family would be fine (or at least hide it well) and our friends, well, we weren't going to tell them about Howie or the parrots. It was going to be a surprise.


As an added bonus, I had a nice chat with Howie's wife, Deva, who used to live in Santa Cruz. If you are having a small (2-12 person) wedding in the dry season, I'd recommend Howie's company. (If you have only 2-6 people they can accommodate you at their house, should it rain.) Plus, you can have an underwater marriage ceremony, and what better to compliment your underwater basket weaving certificate than an underwater marriage one?

However, Tara and I got nervous, not so much about the parrots and what they might say, or Howie and what he might (or might not) wear, but rather that it might rain on us. Alas, a Waimanalo Wedding Experience would not include chairs or shade (in case of sun, which really, is more-or-less the other option if it doesn't rain). So, potentially, our guests could be standing in the rain getting wet and hypothermic or standing in the blazing sun, working towards heat exaustion.

We had more (worries, guests, requirements) than Howie's service was set up for. (We had at least 20 worries and about the same number of invitees, should everyone make it.)

So, plan B was born. Aloha, Haiku Gardens, green inland garden home of 5-7-5. (To those of you who remember Haiku Tuesday, all I can say is that my only regrets are: 1) the wedding invites won't be in Haiku; and 2) It's on a Saturday, not a Tuesday.)

Haiku Gardens:

We'll have our ceremony in the late afternoon, followed by dinner at the onsite restaurant, Haleiwa Joe's. If it rains, there's an open-sided chapel area we can move the ceremony to. And they have chairs. 20 of them. (Weirdly, they don't have more than 20. Just 20.)

The photos we've seen online make the area look nice: rugged and lush with a touch of civility, kind of like us. I merely hope that the pictures aren't cropped to exclude a Mc.Donalds smacked right up against the property line or a wastewater plant looming over the ceremony site. (You know, emptying out into the pond in the photos.) But worst comes to worst, we can offer our guests a supersized container of fries or the shade of a big, surely impressive, building, and make sure we Photoshop all evidence out of the pictures before putting them in an album. (Or, okay, more likely, on Flickr.)

When we get back, we'll plan a celebration in the spring for folks who couldn't make the island ceremony. It'll be a reception of sorts--food, possibly dancing (unless it's outside at a park) and most importantly a chance to share our joy and celebrate with those we care about...