Today is the Lexington Pride Festival! If you are in the area, enjoy the festivities. If not, enjoy your own city's festivities!
And get your PRIDE on!
Here is a discussion that was missing from quite a lot of the celebration yesterday...thankfully so, that is. Now comes more work.
The tricky part in the fall of DOMA involves how states and federal agencies currently recognize marriage.
Some federal agencies adhere to what is known as a "place of celebration" standard. That means no matter where a couple is legally married anywhere in the world, the union is recognized for the purpose of federal benefits.
But other agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration, hew to a "place of residence" standard. Marriage has to be recognized in the place the couple is living for them to be eligible for those federal spousal benefits.
"Every agency of government has, quite literally, a different standard for recognizing marriage," Sainz says. "They did not consult one another — and it has nothing to do with being gay or straight, they just have different standards."
Here's one example that points to the complexity to come: The Department of Defense has a "place of celebration" marriage standard for active-duty military. But the Department of Veterans Affairs has a "place of residence" standard.
While some definitions are set by regulation, others — including those used by Social Security and Veterans Affairs — are set by federal law, further complicating the DOMA rollback.
"It's a patchwork that makes no sense," Sainz says.
The author of The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England takes you through the world of Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I
From the author of The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England, this popular history explores daily life in Queen Elizabeth’s England, taking us inside the homes and minds of ordinary citizens as well as luminaries of the period, including Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Sir Francis Drake.
Organized as a travel guide for the time-hopping tourist, Mortimer relates in delightful (and occasionally disturbing) detail everything from the sounds and smells of sixteenth-century England to the complex and contradictory Elizabethan attitudes toward violence, class, sex, and religion.
Original enough to interest those with previous knowledge of Elizabethan England and accessible enough to entertain those without, The Time Traveler’s Guide is a book for Elizabethan enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
The Supreme Court has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in a 5-4 decision.
"DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment."
The standard the court used: is "careful consideration"... not heightened scrutiny, but harkens back to Romer and Lawrence. Rational basis plus.
More excerpt: "The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others."
Read the opinion HERE.
Can anyone tell me what that means?
The unhappy child of two powerful parents who despise each other, young Lilly turns to the ocean to find solace, which she finds in the form of the eloquent and intelligent sea monster Octavius, a kraken. In Octavius’s many arms, Lilly learns of friendship, loyalty, and family. When Octavius, forbidden by Lilly to harm humans, is captured by seafaring traders and sold to a circus, Lilly becomes his only hope for salvation. Desperate to find him, she strikes a bargain with a witch that carries a shocking price.
Her journey to win Octavius’s freedom is difficult. The circus master wants a Coat of Illusions; the Coat tailor wants her undead husband back from a witch; the witch wants her skin back from two bandits; the bandits just want some company, but they might kill her first. Lilly's quest tests her resolve, tries her patience, and leaves her transformed in every way.
A powerfully written debut from a young fantasy author, Sea Change is an exhilarating tale of adventure, resilience, and selflessness in the name of friendship.
A travel writer takes a job with a shady publishing company in New York, only to find that she must write a guide to the city - for the undead!
Because of the disaster that was her last job, Zoe is searching for a fresh start as a travel book editor in the tourist-centric New York City. After stumbling across a seemingly perfect position though, Zoe is blocked at every turn because of the one thing she can't take off her resume —- human.
Not to be put off by anything — especially not her blood drinking boss or death goddess coworker — Zoe delves deep into the monster world. But her job turns deadly when the careful balance between human and monsters starts to crumble — with Zoe right in the middle.
In time for the 75th anniversary of the Man of Steel, comes the first comprehensive literary biography of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, creators of the DC Comics superhero Superman and the inspiration for Michael Chabon's Kavalier and Clay.
Drawing on ten years of research in the trenches of Cleveland libraries, boarded-up high schools, and secret, private collections, and a love of comic books, Brad Ricca's Super Boys is the first ever full biography about Superman’s creators. Among scores of new discoveries, the book reveals the first stories and pictures ever published by the two, where the first Superman story really came from, the real inspiration for Lois Lane, the template for Superman’s costume, and much, much more. Super Boys also tracks the boys’ unknown, often mysterious lives after they left Superman, including Siegel's secret work during World War II and never-before-seen work from Shuster.
Super Boys explains, finally, what exactly happened with the infamous check for $130 that pulled Superman away from his creators—and gave control of the character to the publisher. Ricca also uncovers the true nature of Jerry’s father’s death, a crime that has always remained a mystery. Super Boys is the story of a long friendship between boys who grew to be men and the standard that would be impossible for both of them to live up to.
For more than a century, the enduring feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys has been American shorthand for passionate, unyielding, and even violent confrontation. Yet despite numerous articles, books, television shows, and feature films, nobody has ever told the in-depth true story of this legendarily fierce-and far-reaching-clash in the heart of Appalachia. Drawing upon years of original research, including the discovery of previously lost and ignored documents and interviews with relatives of both families, bestselling author Dean King finally gives us the full, unvarnished tale, one vastly more enthralling than the myth.
Unlike previous accounts, King's begins in the mid-nineteenth century, when the Hatfields and McCoys lived side-by-side in relative harmony. Theirs was a hardscrabble life of farming and hunting, timbering and moonshining-and raising large and boisterous families-in the rugged hollows and hills of Virginia and Kentucky. Cut off from much of the outside world, these descendants of Scots-Irish and English pioneers spoke a language many Americans would find hard to understand. Yet contrary to popular belief, the Hatfields and McCoys were established and influential landowners who had intermarried and worked together for decades.
When the Civil War came, and the outside world crashed into their lives, family members were forced to choose sides. After the war, the lines that had been drawn remained-and the violence not only lived on but became personal. By the time the fury finally subsided, a dozen family members would be in the grave. The hostilities grew to be a national spectacle, and the cycle of killing, kidnapping, stalking by bounty hunters, and skirmishing between governors spawned a legal battle that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court and still influences us today.
Filled with bitter quarrels, reckless affairs, treacherous betrayals, relentless mercenaries, and courageous detectives, THE FEUD is the riveting story of two frontier families struggling for survival within the narrow confines of an unforgiving land. It is a formative American tale, and in it, we see the reflection of our own family bonds and the lengths to which we might go in order to defend our honor, our loyalties, and our livelihood.
Best subtitle of the day...
One would think that with Jen Lancaster’s impressive list of bestselling self-improvement memoirs—Bitter Is the New Black; Bright Lights, Big Ass; Such a Pretty Fat; Pretty in Plaid; My Fair Lazy; and Jeneration X—that she would have it all together by now.
One would be wrong.
Jen’s still a little rough around the edges. Suffice it to say, she’s no Martha Stewart. And that is exactly why Jen is going to Martha up and live her life according to the advice of America’s overachieving older sister—the woman who turns lemons into lavender-infused lemonade.
By immersing herself in Martha’s media empire, Jen will embark on a yearlong quest to take herself, her house, her husband (and maybe even her pets) to the next level—from closet organization to craft making, from party planning to kitchen prep.
Maybe Jen can go four days without giving herself food poisoning if she follows Martha’s dictates on proper storage....Maybe she can grow closer to her girlfriends by taking up their boring-ass hobbies like knitting and sewing. Maybe she can finally rid her workout clothes of meatball stains by using Martha’s laundry tips. Maybe she can create a more meaningful anniversary celebration than just getting drunk in the pool with her husband....again. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll discover that the key to happiness does, in fact, lie in Martha’s perfectly arranged cupboards and artfully displayed charcuterie platters.
Or maybe not.
The “Fox Mole”—whose dispatches for Gawker made headlines in Businessweek, The Hollywood Reporter, and even on The New York Times website—delivers a funny, opinionated memoir of his eight years at the unfair, unbalanced Fox News Channel working as an associate producer for Bill O'Reilly.
Imagine needing to hide your true beliefs just to keep a job you hated. Now imagine your job was producing the biggest show on the biggest cable news channel in America, and you’ll get a sense of what life was like for Joe Muto. As a self-professed bleeding-heart, godless liberal, Joe’s viewpoints clearly didn’t mesh with his employer—especially his direct supervisor, Bill O’Reilly.
So he did what any ambitious, career-driven person would do. He destroyed his career, spectacularly. He became Gawker’s so-called Fox Mole.
Joe’s posts on Gawker garnered more than 2.5 million hits in one week. He released footage and information that Fox News never wanted exposed, including some extremely unflattering footage of Mitt Romney. The dragnet closed around him quickly—he was fired within thirty-six hours—so his best material never made it online. Unfortunate for his career as the Fox Mole, but a treasure trove for book readers.
An Atheist in the FOXhole has everything that liberals and Fox haters could desire: details about how Fox’s right-wing ideology is promoted throughout the channel; why specific angles and personalities are the only ones broadcasted; the bizarre stories Fox anchors actually believed (and passed on to the public); and tales of behind-the-scenes mayhem and mistakes, all part of reporting Fox’s version of the news.
A story of the transcendent power of love in wartime, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a work of sweeping breadth, profound compassion, and lasting significance.
Two doctors risk everything to save the life of a hunted child in this majestic debut about love, loss, and the unexpected ties that bind us together. “On the morning after the Feds burned down her house and took her father, Havaa woke from dreams of sea anemones.” Havaa, eight years old, hides in the woods and watches the blaze until her neighbor, Akhmed, discovers her sitting in the snow. Akhmed knows getting involved means risking his life, and there is no safe place to hide a child in a village where informers will do anything for a loaf of bread, but for reasons of his own, he sneaks her through the forest to the one place he thinks she might be safe: an abandoned hospital where the sole remaining doctor, Sonja Rabina, treats the wounded. Though Sonja protests that her hospital is not an orphanage, Akhmed convinces her to keep Havaa for a trial, and over the course of five extraordinary days, Sonja’s world will shift on its axis and reveal the intricate pattern of connections that weaves together the pasts of these three unlikely companions and unexpectedly decides their fate.
A YouTube celebrity and food blogger’s budget friendly cookbook shows how real people can have real food, real cheap
Rebecca Lando was sick of survival eating. The sight of boxed mac ‘n’ cheese and ramen noodles curdled her appetite, but her meager paycheck severely limited her options. Creatively cooking led to what’s now a popular weekly web series chronicling her adventures in making delicious cheap meals—with the best local and seasonal ingredients.
In The Working Class Foodies’ Cookbook, Rebecca’s mission is to share tasty, affordable recipes and invaluable advice for the home cook, including how to stock a $40, $60, and $100 pantry; which organic items are okay to skip; and why making your own stock, ketchup, and even Pop-Tarts is good for your body and your wallet.
Many people think that the real food movement is only for the wealthy, but Rebecca’s delicious recipes—including red-skinned potatoes coated in chives and butter for under $2, sweet potato gnocchi for under $5, and a chicken roast for under $8—show readers the way to eating better and more cheaply. Starving students, working parents, and fixed-income retirees alike will eat up Rebecca’s message, because real people deserve real food, real cheap!
Image via The Walt Disney Family Museum
Happy Birthday to Maurice Sendak, who would've been 85 today. Be sure to click play on today's Google Doodle.
From Goodreads, a Maurice Sendak quote:
"A book is really like a lover. It arranges itself in your life in a way that is beautiful."
Also Happy Birthday to my friend Heather, who died April 10. Love you.