Monthly Archives: November 2013

We’re off to Malaysia

Malaysia Map

After much indecision, we’ve decided to travel to Malaysia this year. For those who remember that we traveled to Malaysia in 2006, this year we are traveling through the Peninsula. Malaysia is made up of two parts, and previously we’d traveled in the portion on the island of Borneo (the eastern half shown on the map).

For this trip, we are flying to Kuala Lumpur where we have a hotel room reserved for the first three nights. From there we are improvising. Malaysia is a very modern country with good transportation and convenient communication. We have a few connections in the country that we will give us some goals and points of interest. We expect to find interesting  sights, relaxing locations, and amazing food.

Last year, we discovered how easy it is to just rely on Facebook for posting photos and status. We didn’t really make any blog entries. This year we plan on continuing to post on Facebook, but to also go back to posting on the blog. I’ll be sending out an email to our mailing list to confirm those who’d like to get notices when we make blog entries. Add a comment to this post if you want to be added to that mailing list.

As before, I (Alan) will be making the Facebook posts, and Harriet will be writing the blog posts. All credit for the well written words should go to her.

Our house-sitter will be taking care of Karma (and watching old black and white movies with her), and we’ll be back in time for Thanksgiving.


Yes we finally got married

Marriage Certificate

On October 3, 2013 Harriet Eckstein and Alan Irwin officially got married. We’ve been in a relationship for 28 years, but this year DOMA, the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and Prop 8, the California marriage discrimination law, were both thrown out as the obviously discriminatory legislation that they were.

So that led us to the Santa Barbara Courthouse at 4:00 pm on October 3. Gayle, Harriet’s recently discovered sister (a long and wonderful story for another time) was in town visiting and served as our witness. No one else knew in advance, and so no one else could endow the marriage with more ceremony than we wanted. Half an hour later (and after leaving the county clerks laughing  from our “performance”)  we were married. It cost us $237 (Harriet was outraged).

I wanted a simple Facebook status change to be my announcement, but Facebook makes a “marriage” status change into some huge announcement, so I scrambled to get some sort of picture posted with it. Harriet put together an official announcement which I’ve posted, below (click on the Announcement).

We appreciate everyone’s congratulations.  I understand the motivation and desire to somehow express approval and appreciation of the relationship that Harriet and I have. And I want to make it clear that we are in a committed relationship to each other, it’s just that we’ve been in that committed relationship for 28 years. The marriage licences has in no way changed our commitment, our relationship, and our intents. It has just changed certain aspects of our legal and financial situation. Those aren’t insignificant, it’s just not the typical aspects of marriage that are assumed in social discussions (“hey, congratulations on taking advantage of tax laws covering inheritance of real property you crazy kids”).

Yay social contracts!