Friday, October 31, 2008

Saturday 9: Being a Good Sport

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Being a Good Sport

1. Were you raised around a lot of sports?
No, my father was not that interested in sports

2. What is your favorite sport?
I don’t have any.

3. When did you last play a sport?
When I was forced to in high school

4. When did you last attend a professional sporting event and what was it?
I never have attended any professional games.

5. What was the last sport you watch on TV?
A long, long time ago.

6. If you have children, do they play the same sports that you did? If not, someday if you have kids, would you like them to?
I don’t have any children, but brother does and they were very active in sports.

7. Do you think other people care too much about sports?
Most definitely, I have nothing against sports, but I feel that sport has way too much importance in the schools. When they have budget cuts, they all the other high school clubs and do not touch sports. Some school system would rather cut out some classes then cut sports.

8. Do you have the freedom to be as involved in either playing or watching as much sports as you’d like to?

Yes, since I do not watch any sports.

9. Who is your favorite sports team?
Since I am not interested in sports, I don’t have any favorite teams.

Boy, this was an easy meme to do.

Outreach At A Local College

Last night I was part of a panel discussion at a local college, the panel was composed of a lesbian, a gay and a trans-person (me). The classed asked the usual questions; will the hormone raise the pitch of my voice, have I had Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS), how did you tell your family and how is you family dealing with your transition, how do I cope with the stress, and etc.

And I think that there is an unwritten rule, that the class has to ask; what bathroom do I use and how did I choose my name? It seems like each and every class that I have done an outreach in has asked me those questions.

At the end of the class we asked how many knew someone who is lesbian or gay and most of the classed raised their hands and when we asked how many knew someone who is trans about five or six students raised their hands. Just five years ago when we asked those questions there would only be one or two students raising their hand because they knew some lesbian or gay and no one would raise their hand when we asked them about if they knew a trans-person. I think, what made it even more remarkable yesterday was that we were at a Catholic college.

Fill-in Friday #96

Janet’s Fill-in Friday #96

1. My favorite food seasoning is _garlic & herb rub_.
2. _The hum of my Prius_ is music to my ears.
3. Lucky is _something I am not_.
4. _My health_ is something I take very seriously.
5. Many people _wonder why_...
6. _Paper for my printer_ was the last thing I bought at the store.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to a coffee shop to hear some folk music_, tomorrow my plans include _working on another paper_ and Sunday, I will be _still working on my paper_!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Breach of Trust

Yesterday when I came home from work I found that a flowerpot was missing from my front porch, I had some mums in it by my front door. It was a beige flowerpot with Indian symbols and decorations around the top.

My mother got that flowerpot way back in the sixties when we were visiting the Great Smokey’s National Park. She saw the pot at one of those road side stands, it was a Cherokee stand, and my mother fell in love with it; she had it on her front porch ever since. When she passed away, I got the pot and I carried on the tradition, until last night when it was stolen.

I think what affected me most was not the loss of the pot, but the breach trust I had in the neighborhood. I always felt that you could count on your neighbors to look out for one another and when you find out that one of the neighbors is a thief, you look at your neighbors differently. I feel that something more was stolen, my innocence’s.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Why I am Voting “NO” On The Constitutional Convention Question Part 4

In some of the comments that were left on my other posts about the Constitutional Convention, it was rightly pointed out that many states passed constitutional amendments for woman suffrage. That is true, but this is a different era, this is an era of out-of-state special interest groups who have rich pockets. Just Google “out-of-state voter initiatives funding” and you find a vast number of articles on the subject…
From PBS
State ballot initiatives are increasingly coming from out-of-state, funded often by those with a national agenda. This questionable tactic is due to an increasing presence of national interest groups and organizations providing major funding for certain ballot measures to serve as a basis for national policy debates. Ballot initiative backers sometimes use extraordinary and controversial means of collecting signatures to get their initiatives placed on the state ballots.
The LA Times reports…
At least 39% of the $3.3 million supporting Proposition 8’s proposed ban on same-sex marriage has come from outside California – much of it from Focus on the Family, the Colorado Springs group headed by conservative Christian James Dobson.

Opponents have drawn 52% of their $5.7 million from outside the state.
From a 2007 article in the California Progress Report
Powerful out of state interests are contributing millions of dollars for and against California ballot propositions and they don't want you to know who they are. On at least three measures, the pattern is clear. Money is received by an out of state nonprofit organization and then a donation is made in the name of the organization, but the contributors are not known and hide behind the group and a loophole in California law known as the "one bite" rule.

"According to online reports from the Secretary of State’s office than 90% of Proposition 90’s contributions have come from:

"$1,500,000 from “The Fund For Democracy” based in New York, New York
$600,000 from “Montanans in Action”, based out of Winifred, Montana
$220,000 from “Club for Growth State Action” out of Glenview, Illinois
$50,000 from “Colorado at Its Best” out of Golden, Colorado"
In Colorado, the Rocky Mountain News reported…
Special interests so far have pumped a record $31 million into state ballot measures, led by energy giants opposing a Colorado tax measure.

Companies such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP, ConocoPhillips, Williams, Noble and EnCana contributed $1 million each to raise a stunning $10 million to defeat Amendment 58, a record for a single issue campaign, according to campaign finance reports.

Amendment 50: Coloradans for Community Colleges, the committee backing the measure to let casino towns increase operating hours and betting limits, took in another $976,000 from casinos in August. That brought its total contributions to $6.1 million.
Is that the type of government we want, the group with the deepest pockets wins?

I have been lobbying for the Gender Inclusive Anti-Discrimination bill for three years now, we are constantly answering our representatives’ questions about their concerns that they have with the bill. They will not vote in favor of the bill until they learn all of the ramifications that the bill will cause. Watching a thirty-second TV ad will not do that.

As Larry Williams wrote in the Hartford Courant said…
Advocates say it's a path to real democracy, lawmaking by The People. Let the majority rule. But what it actually would allow is mob rule — lawmaking by the loudest, most passionate advocates of radical ideas that can't pass in the General Assembly, where the majority actually does rule.
And I would add, the richest.

Vote “NO” on Question #1 on the Constitution Convention

Read my other thoughts on why I am voting NO

Manic Monday

Lisa’s Manic Monday #139

What is the greatest value that guides your life?
Treat everyone with respect and dignity.

Fill in the blank: If I could be anybody besides myself, I would be _myself. I know isn’t what was asked, but I am glad to be the person I am and I have no desire to be someone I am not. I been there and done that_.

What is one item in your house that you should really throw out but probably never will?
I have a whole attic filled with stuff that I should throw out, but I never will. Most of it are textbooks from my college days back in the seventies.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Connecticut’s Transgender Day of Remembrance – November 20th

Every year on November 20th a Day of Remembrance Vigil is held to remember those individuals who were brutally murdered simply because they did not conform to societies standards of what a “real man or woman” looks or acts like.
Come and join us:
5:15 PM Gathering at First Presbyterian Church, 136 Capitol Ave, Hartford
Vigil Walk from First Presbyterian Church to the State Capitol
5:30 PM Rally at the State Capitol
7:00 PM Transgender DOR Program at MCC Hartford, 155 Wyllys Street, Hartford

To find where other vigil are being held or to find a list of victims…
List of Vigils to be held around the U.S. and Canada
List of Victims

If there are no Transgender Day of Remembrance's near you, hold your own, the information that you can be found on the above web-site.

Saturday Six - Episode 237

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six - Episode 237

1. When was the last time you donated money to a charity, and which cause was it?
Does going to those immensely over priced dinners count? I am going to a $100 a plate diner on November 8th for the “Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective”

2. Think of the last time you were specifically asked for a handout from someone who approached you on the street: did you give him or her anything?

3. What led to that decision?
I don’t think that is the best way to give money. I rather give to a cause then to an individual.

4. Take the quiz: How Good Are You?

You Are 88% Good

You are not only a good person... you are a model citizen and a natural leader.
Whether you know it or not, your high moral standards and good judgment is truly rare.
You don't take ethical short cuts in life. You are able to do what's right - even when it's very difficult.
And while it may seem like no one else is as on track as you are, take heart in knowing that you set a good example for others.
You are also probably: Very sensitive and in tune with the world
Right now you are on track to being: A saint
To be a better person: Gently mentor someone who is taking the wrong path in life

5. Which kind of charity/organization of the following list are you least likely to donate money to: a church, a people-oriented charity, a children-oriented charity, an animal-oriented charity, a college, or a food bank?
Now a day, a people-oriented charity. When I worked, I did both a people-oriented charity and food banks.

6. If you could permanently block a single, specific charity from ever contacting you again, which would you block and why?
It would be the medical charities, because I give generously to non-profits with-in the LGBT community. The trans-community has the highest unemployment of any group (it is over 60% either unemployed or underemployed), I have friends with PhD’s who cannot find a job. They went from six figured salaries to welfare and it is not as if they are not looking for work, it is because of discrimination.

Its 3AM

It is pouring outside with gale force winds, the rain is running off the roof and pounding on my window. I ate too much at dinner and I have an upset stomach and I just woke up from a bad dream about my mother being attacked by bee (She passed away over four years ago.). Its one of those nights…
I had a good time at the conference; my workshop went very well and from the comments on the evaluation forms everyone got something out of my talk and I was invited to submit my presentation to a national conference. I went to a couple of workshops and attended the luncheon Keynote talks. They had some excellent talks during lunch, on Thursday they had a panel discussion with a number of activists and one of the panelist, Dr. Whittle came from England. Another panelist was a friend, Ethan St. Pierre who recorded the discussion for his radio show. Friday, they had the Mara Keisling, the Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NTCE), after the talk we adjourned and met for an informal three-hour group discussion, there were only six attendees, including myself. Also at that discussion was Vanessa Edwards, the Director of the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC).
On Saturday, the luncheon speaker was Jennifer Boylan an author and trans-activist whose book was on Oprah Winfred reading list she was on her show twice. Then at night they had the Awards Banquet, where I ate too much.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday 9: The Best of What's Around

Crazy Sam's Saturday 9: The Best of What's Around

1. What's the best new website you've found?
Wow! These questions today are hard. Its hard for me to pick out the “Best” of something.
I surf through hundreds of websites a week and to pick out just one, I visit all types of websites and blogs. Maybe the “Best” forum is “My Husband Betty”, “Best” political news blog I would pick “Pam’s House Blend” and the “Best” local politic blog is “Connecticut Local Politics” and the “Best” bolg of a friend’s is “Femulate

2. What's the best movie you've seen?
The “Harry Potter” movies

3. What's the best quote you know?
"Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds."
Albert Einstein

4. What's the best book you've read?
The Marion Zimmer Bradley “Darkover” series.

5. What's the best thing someone's done for you?
Be there when I need you.

6. What's the best thing about your job?
Helping people

7. What’s the best CD you own?
The Eagle’s CD

8. What’s the best new TV show you watch?
I haven’t watched any, I am going to college and there is something call “homework”

9. What’s the best car you’ve owned?
Prius it wins hands down, no other car even comes close.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fill-in Friday #95

Janet’s Fill-in Friday #95

1. Right now, I'm feeling _tired, it has been a long day driving up to Cape Cod_.
2. _P’town_ is where I want to be.
3. How does one _stay on a diet when traveling_?
4. _My friends_ keeps me on track.
5. Please don't _eat the Daisy’s_.
6. _Lobster Newberg_ fills me with joy. (Its what I had for dinner at the “Lobster Pot”)
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _crashing after a long day_, tomorrow my plans include _giving a workshop and attending the Awards Banquet at night_ and Sunday, I want to _drive home and rest_!

Off To Provincetown, MA On Cape Cod

I am heading off to the Fantasia Fair Conference in P’town for the rest of the week. Every year for the past eight years, I have gone of to the conference and this year I am giving a workshop on coalition building…

Building A Grassroots Coalition for Trans-Issues
This workshop will provide methods to organize the Trans-Community to help pass anti-discrimination legislation and to help influence policy decisions for such issues as changing driver license's gender designations and education policies for trans-students. The workshop will cover:

* Forming the Core Group/ Planning Committee – its composition and diversity
* Building a coalition – how to get other organization involved in trans-issues
* Developing a grassroots base – how to reach out to the trans community and get them involved
* Examining various organizational models – programmatic, participatory and empowerment
* Funding – grants, fundraisers and donations & incorporating as a 501(c)(3) or using a fiduciary

Over the years, I have kept a diary about the conference on my old Geocities web-site and it is fun to see how I progressed over the years from my first tentative steps out in public. You can read the awe as I attend the conference.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Powell endorses Obama as 'transformational' on Meet the Press

Powell endorses Obama as 'transformational'
By MIKE ALLEN | 10/19/08 10:16 AM EDT
Retired General Colin L. Powell, one of the country's most respected Republicans, stunned both parties on Sunday by strongly endorsing Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president on NBC's "Meet the Press" and laying out a blistering, detailed critique of the modern GOP.

Powell said the election of Obama would "electrify the world."

"I think he is a transformational figure," Powell said. "He is a new generation coming ... onto the world stage and on the American stage. And for that reason, I'll be voting for Senator Barack Obama."

Powell, once considered likely to be the nation's first African-American presidential nominee, said his decision was not about race
Powell, making his 30th appearance on "Meet the Press," led into his endorsement by saying: "We've got two individuals — either one of them could be a good president. But which is the president that we need now — which is the individual that serves the needs of the nation for the next period of time.

"And I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities — and you have to take that into account — as well as his substance — he has both style and substance, he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president."

Powell, speaking live in the studio, told moderator Tom Brokaw that he is "troubled" by the direction of the Republican Party and said he began to doubt Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) when he chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.
Powell, 71, criticized McCain and his campaign for invoking the former domestic terrorist William Ayers.

"They're trying to connect him to some kind of terrorist feelings, and I think that's inappropriate," Powell said. "Now I understand what politics is all about — I know how you can go after one another. And that's good. But I think this goes too far. And I think it has made the McCain campaign look a little narrow. It's not what the American people are looking for. And I look at these kinds of approaches to the campaign, and they trouble me.

"And the party has moved even further to the right, and Governor Palin has indicated a further rightward shift. I would have difficult with two more conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, but that's what we'd be looking at in a McCain administration."

Powell said he has "heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion [that Obama's] a Muslim and might be associated with terrorists."

"This is not the way we should be doing it in America. I feel strongly about this particular point," Powell said. "We have got to stop polarizing ourselves in this way. And John McCain is as non-discriminatory as anyone I know. But I'm troubled about the fact that within the party, we have these kinds of expressions."
Powell said a big job of the new president will be “conveying a new image of American leadership, a new image of America’s role in the world.”

“I think what the president has to do is to start using the power of the Oval Office and the power of his personality to convince the American people and to convince the world that America is solid, America is going to move forward … restoring a sense of purpose,” he said.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Doubts raised on US 'plumber Joe'

Doubt has been cast over the story of "Joe the plumber", the man who unexpectedly became the star of this week's US presidential debate.
Joe Wurzelbacher, of Ohio, was thrown into the spotlight after he was used by John McCain as an example of who might suffer under Barack Obama's tax plans.

But it now emerges he is not a licensed plumber and owes $1,200 in back taxes.
He was held by Mr McCain in the debate as an example of an every day hard-working American who would be penalized by Mr Obama's tax policy.

However, a bit of media digging has uncovered that Mr Wurzelbacher's first name is actually Samuel and he does not have a plumber's licence, although the company he works for does.
Mr Wurzelbacher acknowledged he did not have a plumber's licence and admitted in one interview he was "not even close" to earning $250,000.
(BBC News)
Hmmm.... It seems the McCain campaign didn't do there homework first before they made "Joe the Plumber" a national figure for McCain policy

Monday, October 13, 2008

Vote “NO” On The Constitutional Convention Question Part 3

The who are in favor of the convention say that it will bring government back to the people, well lets take a look at some of the ballot initiatives in other states.

Just look at what is on the ballot in California… Do you believe it, thirteen ballot questions.
California, we all have heard of Proposition 8 – defining marriage as between a man and woman, well there are many ballot questions beside Proposition 8…
Proposition 1A - What it does: Authorizes $9.95 billion in bonds to build an electric train to get people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just over 2 1/2 hours.
Proposition 2 - What it does: Bars use of pens and cages that don't give farm animals room to turn around, stretch, stand or lie down.
Proposition 3 - What it does: Authorizes the sale of $980 million in bonds to upgrade and expand children's hospitals in California.
Proposition 4 - What it does: Amends the state Constitution to require a physician to notify a minor patient's parent or other adult family member 48 hours before performing an abortion.
Proposition 5 - What it does: Mandates probation with treatment instead of jail or prison for many drug crimes and diminishes sentences and shortens parole for many nonviolent property crimes when drugs are involved.
Proposition 6 - What it does: Commits close to 1% of the state's annual general fund budget for anti-crime programs. The state Legislative Analyst's Office estimates costs of $500 million for additional prison space.
Proposition 7 - What it does: Increases the clean-generation requirement on investor-owned utilities and extends them to municipal companies, like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Proposition 8 - What it does: Outlaws same-sex marriage by adding the following words to the state Constitution: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
Proposition 9 - What it does: Amends the state Constitution to give enforceable rights to the families of crime victims.
Proposition 10 - What it does: Authorizes the sale of $5 billion in bonds ($9.8 billion when interest is included) to provide rebates to buyers of natural gas and other alternative fuel vehicles.
Proposition 11 - What it does: Strips the Legislature of its power to draw the lines of Assembly and Senate districts (every 10 years, after new census figures come out) and turns the job over to a 14-member citizens' commission.
Proposition 12 - What it does: Authorizes a bond to extend a state program allowing veterans access to low-interest mortgages.
L.A. Times
And do you know that Proposition 11 has been on the last EIGHT ballots and hasn’t passed yet. Over and over again it is put on the ballot until some day it gets passed, is that the kind of voter imitative that we want here in Connecticut?

If you think California is bad with 12 voter initiatives, Colorado has 14 voter initiatives!

In Colorado…
Ballot guides are not a new concept and the most well known is the "State Ballot Information Booklet," conversationally known as the blue book, put out by the General Assembly's legislative council prior to every statewide election. But as voters are blasted with political ads from every angle, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to keep up with all the issues. Many voters are responding by turning to more partisan sources for information.

This year’s blue book is 65-pages long and not a quick read for voters.
Face the State Staff Report
Do you really think that the voters are actually reading all the ballot question, do you think that they know what they are voting for, do you think that they know what the cost will be? Look at the Propositions, yes some of them sounds great but what are the costs of implementing them, what are some of the ramifications if the ballot initiative is passed? How can you have an informed electorate?

Do you want that madness here in Connecticut?

Vote NO on the Constitutional Convention question

Part 1
Part 2

Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

I found this on Kwizgiver’s “what if this is as good as it gets?” blog

You Are a Grace!


You are a Grace -- "I need to understand the world."

Graces have a need for knowledge and are introverted, curious, analytical, and insightful.
How to Get Along with Me

* Be independent, not clingy
* Speak in a straightforward and brief manner
* I need time alone to process my feelings and thoughts
* Remember that If I seem aloof, distant, or arrogant, it may be that I am feeling uncomfortable
* Make me feel welcome, but not too intensely, or I might doubt your sincerity
* If I become irritated when I have to repeat things, it may be because it was such an effort to get my thoughts out in the first place
* don't come on like a bulldozer
* Help me to avoid my pet peeves: big parties, other people's loud music, overdone emotions, and intrusions on my privacy

What I Like About Being a Grace
* standing back and viewing life objectively
* coming to a thorough understanding; perceiving causes and effects
* my sense of integrity: doing what I think is right and not being influenced by social pressure
* not being caught up in material possessions and status
* being calm in a crisis
What's Hard About Being a Grace

* being slow to put my knowledge and insights out in the world
* feeling bad when I act defensive or like a know-it-all
* being pressured to be with people when I don't want to be
* watching others with better social skills, but less intelligence or technical skill, do better professionally

Graces as Children Often

* spend a lot of time alone reading, making collections, and so on
* have a few special friends rather than many
* are very bright and curious and do well in school
* have independent minds and often question their parents and teachers
* watch events from a detached point of view, gathering information
* assume a poker face in order not to look afraid
* are sensitive; avoid interpersonal conflict
* feel intruded upon and controlled and/or ignored and neglected

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

Friday, October 10, 2008

Marriage Equality Rally At The Capital

I just came from the rally on the steps of the Capital and it was so moving, after all these long years, finally equality in marriage. I remember when I went to the rally in May of 2004, I hardly knew anyone and back then, I was shy and just coming out. A lot has changed since then.
Here are some photos from the rally…

Now on too Gender Equality!!!

Decision in Kerrigan Marriage Equality Case Expected Today:

The Connecticut Supreme Court will rule TODAY in Kerrigan & Mock v. CT Department of Public Health. If the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, same-sex couples in
Connecticut will win the freedom to marry!

My question is, was politics involved in the decision being announced today after a year and a half since the Supreme Court heard the arguments.
On the ballot, this year is a question about a Constitutional Convention, “Shall there be a constitutional convention to amend or revise the Constitution of the State?” Was it timed to influence the elections?

UPDATE: the Connecticut Supreme Court came out in favor of the plaintiffs.

Connecticut now become the third state with marriage equality!!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

My Fellow Prisoner?

The Good And The Bad

The Good…
Last night I went to a Recognition Banquet for the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF) and before the dinner, they have a Silent Auction. This year I decided to donate one of my photographs for the auction, it was fun watching the bidding war going on over the photograph. The final bid was $80.

The Bad…
I was standing on the hard floor talking for over an hour and I had to parked several hundred yards from hotel. By the time I got home, my feet were killing me.
In addiction, one of the persons who was recognize at the Banquet was the Director of the M.S.W. Program, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Assistant Professor of Community Organization. Since my concentration is Community Organizing, hence most of my professors were there. One of the professors of a class that I have to take was sitting at my table and I was slightly uncomfortable socializing with them, I felt like I should have been home working on my papers.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Fill-in Friday #92

Janet’s Fill-in Friday #92

1. October _is the time for town fairs_.

2. _McCain/Palin ticket_ scare me!

3. Leaves are falling all around, it's _apple picking time_.

4. My favorite horror movie is _Rocky Mountain Horror Picture Show_ because _its a classic_.

5. _The local town fair_ = good memories.

6. It was a dark and stormy night _when I had to drive home from the cottage_.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _doing Outreach at a local community college_, tomorrow my plans include _going up to the cottage and going out with my brother, sister-in-law and cousin to dinner for my birthday_ and Sunday, I want to _go walking and working on my mid-term papers_!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy…

I am not going to be doing much blogging for the next couple of weeks because I have two mid-term papers to write (10 -12 pages each) and they are both due on Oct 21st…UGH!

I will try to keep up with the Memes, after all you got to have some distractions.