Monday, October 31, 2011

Baby, I Got It Now!

I got heat! I got phone! I got hot water! A nice hot, long bubble bath is in my near future! Life’s good!

The only thing I don’t have is the internet; I’m using my New Hampshire dial-up account right now.

I went to Gold Roc for dinner, I didn’t want to cook over the camp stove so drove to Gold Roc and boy, was it mobbed! There was actually a line to get in and once I was seated, I had to wait 15 minutes to get waited on. But it was worth it to have a nice hot meal and I could watch television while I was waiting.

When I got home, the lights were on in the house and the furnace was running… sweet. When I turned on the main road, the street lights were lit and when I turned on to my street, there were lights coming from windows… Yes! And when I turned in my driveway the motion detector turned on my garage light…YES!!!!!

As the song says, “Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)”

The Nor’easter Of October

Saturday, I lost power around 4:00 o’clock; at least I knew where the oil lamps, propane lantern and stove were, so now I’m reading by gas light. What I don’t like is the sound of a fairly large tree coming down in my backyard, I know it was a large tree because of the sound of the crack and thud. In the silence of the night, you could the crack, whoosh and then the dull thud as a limb hit the ground. The delay between the crack and thud, I listened to hear if it hit the roof. When I woke up this morning the house was at 53 degrees… brrrr. I have a water bed and a half a ton of water takes a long time to cool down, so the bed was warm and comfy. But on the flip side once the power comes back on, it will take a long time to heat up.

I bought some of those artificial logs that I was planning on burning during the snow storm while I read. However, at the time I didn’t know that it would be my source of heat. I’m going to have to go out in the backyard and split some wood for tonight. Last night I used the fireplace in the living room, but tonight I’ll go down in the basement and use the woodstove. It is a small area to heat and the woodstove is more efficient than the fireplace.

Here are some photos that I took...

This probably the big crash that I heard. The limb is from my neighbor’s big oak tree.
These are photos of my back yard…
This one really hurts; it is my lilac tree that I love. In the spring the fragrance drifts into my bedroom window (you can just see the bottom of my bedroom window in the upper right).
This is my Japanese cherry tree…
Finally, the sun came out Sunday afternoon.
Sunday 11:00am: I just drove down to Home Depot to buy more of those stackable artificial logs, unfortunately they were sold out and they just sold their last skid of firewood, so I bought two boxes of regular artificial logs. Hopefully, they will work just as good as the stackable artificial logs. The roads were a nightmare to navigate; there were branches and tree down all over the place, on the main road behind my house the wires were down in five places in one block.

Sunday 7:30pm: I went down to McDonald’s for dinner and the place was mobbed, the line for the drive-thru was backed up down the street. I was able to charge my phone and laptop while I ate. There are so many blocked roads and traffic lights without power. Connecticut law says that when the traffic lights are out, you have to stop at the intersection and treat it like a four way stop. I saw so many drives that blasted through intersection and narrowly miss hitting another that I avoided the turnpike because it was an accident waiting to happen.

When I went out to dinner, the tree crews were working on the main road behind my house… Yay!

Monday 8:00am: I woke up in the basement where I am living, the temperature was 59 degrees and when I went upstairs it was a balmy 49 degrees. I kept on waking up during the night when I was cold and I threw another artificial log in the woodstove. Today’s agenda… getting more artificial logs, bird seed, do the dishes (no hot water so once it warms up outside, I’ll heat some water on the gas grill.), see if I can get motivated to split some firewood (it is old wood and partially rotted) and finding a wifi hot spot. What I miss most is a hot shower. Now to cook breakfast on my little one burner backpack stove.

Monday 12:30: I found a wifi hot spot, the town library. So once I finish typing this, I will post it on line.

Driving what a ZOO! On the turnpike there are long line at gas stations that are blocking traffic, while a couple of blocks away there are two gas stations with no lines at all. Most of the drivers are stopping at traffic lights without power, but then you get these idiots who just fly through the intersection. On the turnpike they blocked off left turn lanes, but that doesn’t stop some people from squeezing through the barricades. Trying to go from one part of town is a nightmare; many of the roads are blocked by downed tree; however, you don’t find out until you drive a mile down the road and then you have to turn around and backtrack.

Now the good news. There is utility crew working on the main road behind my house. Yea!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday 9: Mr. Roboto

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Mr. Roboto

1. Do you enjoy holidays like Halloween or is your approach more robotic?
No, it is great for kids.

2. Have you ever been to a haunted house?
No, they came into vogue after I was a kid

3. What are you doing for Halloween this year?

4. What was your lamest Halloween costume ever?
A ghost, the classic fallback costume when you can’t think of anything else

5. Is handing out candy fun for you, or more of a nightmare?

6. Do you buy trick-or-treat candy and end up eating it yourself?
I wait until the go on sale November 1st.

7. Did you carve any pumpkins this year?
Use to, but not anymore. Our neighborhood has matured and all the kids are now in college.

8. What was your favorite costume as a child?
A Davy Crockett costume.

9. What is your biggest pet peeve about trick-or-treaters?
Parents who instead of walking around with their kid, follow them in their cars… get out and walk with your child!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. Beware of _the hob globin_.

2. _It is way too early for_ snow.

3. And since we _are talking about snow, the forecast is for 9 inches this weekend_.

4. _On Monday night there will be_ spirits?

5. Where _there is a will, there is a way_. (I know its trite)

6. _Soup_ is one of my favorite meals when it's cold out.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _reading_, tomorrow my plans include _sitting by the fire reading while the snow comes down outside_ and Sunday, I want to _visit some friends_!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Story Part 96 – Burn Out

I have been active for around ten years and I am starting to get a little frazzled around the edges. A friend told me when I first started getting active that we burn out our leaders and it is true. Another good friend and activist is stepping back to regroup out of the limelight. I know how this person feels because at times I feel that way sometimes. I still want to be active, but I want to choose my battles. And I have to find where that niche where I can fulfill my desire to help others in their journey. One of the options I am looking at is to teach at a graduate level, I created a 15 week class on “Working with Gender Varient Clients” for an Independent Studies class that I want see if I can use.

Dallas Denny wrote back in 1999, “We Eat Our Leaders”
In the transgender community, we eat our leaders. I know this because I was nearly consumed myself.
What do I mean, we eat our leaders? I am saying that the leaders of the transgender community, whether hired, elected, or self-appointed, tend to give so much of themselves and get so little in return that they eventually have nothing left-- no vitality, no patience, no partners, no money, no careers, no futures.

When I first came out of the closet back in 2000, I almost immediately started getting involved in the community. I sat in on the Board meetings of the Connecticut Outreach Society (COS). They use to hold monthly Board meeting and I use to come to the meetings because one, it was another change to go out dressed as Diana and two, because I wanted to help. Eventually, I became its Executive Director a for a couple of years. Ever since then, I have been involved in the community and I am getting tired and I said I had to think of where I want to put my energies.

Sometimes it feels like I am tilting windmills…

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Girl Scouts v. Boy Scouts

Girl scouts = inclusive
Boy scouts = exclusive

Girl scouts: atheists, agnostics, lesbians and transgender allowed
Boy scouts: atheists, agnostics, gays and transgender prohibited
Boy wanting to join Girl Scouts told 'no'
Written by Anastasiya Bolton
Oct 25, 2011

Recently, Archuleta wanted to sign Bobby up for Girl Scouts. His older sister did it, and Bobby really wanted to join. Archuleta told 9NEWS when she brought Bobby to register, a troop leader told her Bobby couldn't join.
However, the Girl Scouts of Colorado rebuffed the troop leader and said,
"Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade as members. If a child identifies as a girl and the child's family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout. Our requests for support of transgender kids have grown, and Girl Scouts of Colorado is working to best support these children, their families and the volunteers who serve them. In this case, an associate delivering our program was not aware of our approach. She contacted her supervisor, who immediately began working with the family to get the child involved and supported in Girl Scouts. We are accelerating our support systems and training so that we're better able to serve all girls, families and volunteers."
So what do the scouts teach children? Well the Girl Scouts teach that everyone is important and should be judged by their character, that diversity is good. While the Boy Scouts teach that it is Okay to discriminate, that bigotry is Okay. Which do you think is the more valuable lesson to teach children.

Note: the Supreme Court has ruled that the Boy Scouts are a private organization and can discriminate against atheists, agnostics, gays and transgender.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fantasia Fair Photo

A friend took this photo of me at the Awards Banquet on Saturday night.
A little story behind this photo, it is cropped from a larger photo of the table. In the photo there is a man standing next to me talking to a couple at the table and as he was talking he was waving around his drink which was spilling. I thought that I had a sour look on my face of my concern that he might spill his cranberry juice on my dress. I guess it wasn't much of a sour face, but more of a Mona Lisa smile.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Signs, Signs, Everywhere There’s Signs

The Republican version is Regulations, Regulations, Everywhere There’s Regulations. The GOP party jobs bill has as one of its goals is to reduce regulations…
Empower Small Business Owners and Reduce Regulatory Burdens:
  • Require congressional review and approval of any government regulations that have a significant impact on the economy or burden small businesses.
  • Audit existing and pending regulations to identify and address those that hinder economic growth.
They think that this will be the magic bullet that will create jobs. I ask, if this was true, then how come we went into the recession during the Bush administration? The economy should have been booming instead of tanking in 2008.

CNN Money report says,
Regulation: Not the job killer GOP says
By Charles Riley
October 14, 2011
Not so much, according to government data and surveys of business owners and economists.

Only a small percentage of employers report regulation as a reason for laying off workers.

In the first two quarters of this year, only 2,085 new unemployment claims were attributed to government regulation, while 55,759 were tied to insufficient demand, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data on mass layoffs.

Furthermore, less than 20% of small business owners cite government regulations as their most important problem, according to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business.
The article goes on to say why the economy is not recovering
So if not regulations -- what is the biggest problem? One prime suspect is a lack of demand for the goods and services that businesses produce.

"I think it's pretty plain that there hasn't been a robust rebound in consumer consumption," Burtless said.
And CNN is not alone in saying that it is not regulations that are holding back the economy.
Regulations, taxes aren't killing small business, owners say
McClatchy Newspapers
By Kevin G. Hall
September 1, 2011

"Government regulations are not 'choking' our business, the hospitality business," Bernard Wolfson, the president of Hospitality Operations in Miami, told The Miami Herald. "In order to do business in today's environment, government regulations are necessary and we must deal with them. The health and safety of our guests depend on regulations. It is the government regulations that help keep things in order."

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is among the most vocal critics of the Obama administration, blaming excessive regulation and the administration's overhaul of health care laws for creating an environment of uncertainty that's hampering job creation.

When it's asked what specific regulations harm small businesses _which account for about 65 percent of U.S. jobs — the Chamber of Commerce points to health care, banking and national labor. Yet all these issues weigh much more heavily on big corporations than on small business.
It is big companies that are crying wolf, not the small businesses. CBS News reported last year that,
But the jobs are going elsewhere. The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, says American companies have created 1.4 million jobs overseas this year, compared with less than 1 million in the U.S. The additional 1.4 million jobs would have lowered the U.S. unemployment rate to 8.9 percent, says Robert Scott, the institute's senior international economist.
The big corporations are not interested in creating jobs, but in profits... the almighty dollar.

Besides healthcare what regulations that the GOP are against…
House Republicans Pass Coal Ash Regulations, Shift Power Away From EPA
Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — House Republicans pushed through legislation Friday that gives the states the power to regulate coal ash from power plants as if it were municipal garbage, pre-empting pending federal regulations that could be much tougher.

The vote on coal ash disposal was the latest of several passed by the GOP-controlled House that would shift authority away from the Environmental Protection Agency and reduce federal regulations that Republicans say are burdensome, hamper economic growth and cost jobs.

Other bills have dealt with toxic emissions from power plants, cement plants and incinerators. Like those bills, the coal ash bill is unlikely to be considered in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Coal ash is not garbage, it is made up of heavy metal like mercury, lead, chromium and other toxic materials. Pollution is a national issue, not a state issue, pollution travels across state-line.

In a Los Angeles Times editorial they write…
A GOP assault on environmental regulations
Republicans, though correct that environmental regulations cost money, are oblivious to the public health consequences of pollution and the economic costs of inaction.
October 10, 2011

Republicans in the House are best known for their inflexible opposition to tax hikes and government spending, but that's nothing new for the GOP; what marks this group as different is that it is perhaps the most anti-environment Congress in history. So far, that hasn't had much impact because Republicans control only one house, and Democrats in the Senate have blocked their most extreme attempts to gut the Clean Air and Clean Water acts. But recent legislative moves in the House provide a preview of what's to come in 2013 if the balance of power shifts further in favor of a GOP that is more united than ever in opposition to environmental regulation.
On Thursday, the House approved HR 2681, which would prevent the EPA from cracking down on emissions from cement kilns, a major source of mercury pollution. When ingested by pregnant women and children, mercury causes significant damage to developing brains. Up next is HR 2250, which is also widely expected to pass the House. It blocks the EPA from considering tougher standards against industrial boilers, another key source of mercury, lead and arsenic.
I don’t know about you, but I am old enough to remember what it was like to live with smog. I remember sitting in traffic and smelling un-burnt gas and seeing columns of blue smoke rising above the cars. I remember that Hartford us to have 50 - 60 days of smog alerts during the summer months compared to 5 or 6 no a days. I don’t want to go back to those days.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day Eight At Fantasia Fair – Home!

I’m Home!

This morning I went to the Farewell Brunch and said my good-byes. There were a lots of hugs, a lots of tears and a lot of exchanging emails. Then I went back to the cottage, took a nap and then headed home around 12:30.

Fantasia Fair is fantastic! But I think I have outgrown it. Basically I went this year to give the presentation and for the luncheon keynote addresses. At the first keynote address I didn’t hear anything that I didn’t already know and the other keynote address that that I wanted to hear, the speaker was sick and didn’t make it to the fair. Don’t get me wrong, I think that Fantasia Fair is great, but it is just not for me anymore. I out grew it. There are just so may time you can hear a talk on make-up or voice training or a talk about coming out to family. For a newcomer these workshops are great and it also great for trans-people who for various reasons can’t get out dresses much, it gives them a whole week to go out en-femme and to go out in a safe place.

It is also expensive for someone who is living on a pension. I didn’t go out to eat at night, but instead I had dinner with my friends at the cottage and that saved a whole mess of money. Normally when I went to the fair we ate out each night and we always went to a fancy restaurant which added up to $Big Bucks$. Also this year I shared the a cottage with some friends so my half of the rent was $450 a big difference from staying at a Bed & Breakfast which can run over a $1000 a week.

Day Seven At Fantasia Fair In Provincetown MA

I’m sitting here at the cottage and there is a cardinal sitting right outside the window on an evergreen tree eating the berries and a Fitch is keeping him company. That is how today has been, quite. I went into P’town for lunch and to hear the keynote speaker, Donna Rose. Then I headed back to the cottage to take a nap, so that I can be rested up for tonight’s banquet.

My friends who I am sharing the cottage with went out on the Whale Watch tour and it looks like they had a fabulous day for it. Neither of them has been out on the ocean in a small boat before so it was an adventure for them and got to see a whale.

There really two fairs in one, after all the events are done during the day, the night time unofficial fair begins and lasts till the wee hours in the morning. That is where the meaning of life is discussed, the whys and how’s of being trans. Politics and many other topics. The thoughts get deeper as the nights gets on and the booze flows freely. Everything from motorcycles to computers gets discussed. What is amazing in that there are probably more PhDs in that room than you would find on a collage campus. However, that is not for me, I’m lucky if I can make it past 11 o’clock.

Update: the banquet was OK, I got to talk some new people that I haven’t met before and also one person there for the first time. She is from Connecticut and she is thinking about coming to a Connecticut Outreach Society’s meeting. There were a couple of things that I didn’t like about where they held the banquet. Frist, it was too small, they had us packed in like sardines and second, I don’t think they had a kitchen big enough to cook all the meals. It took over an hour to serve all of us; some were finished by the time the last people were being served.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day Six At Fantasia Fair In Provincetown MA

Friday, I went to the luncheon Keynote address that is open to the public and then I just wandered around town shopping. The keynote was given by a woman whose natal son transitioned when she was 5 and she talked about what it is like to have a trans-daughter. The trials and tribulations that they went through trying to understand what was happening to their child when she came to them and said that that she was a girl. She spoke about how hard it was to find a therapist and support. I’m going to try and see if she is interested in coming to the True Colors conference this spring. Instead of staying for the discussion afterward, I went on my shopping spree. I bought a pair of earrings at a little crafts store and a winter hat three dollars at the surplus store. Mostly I just window shopped, the prices are so high and the styles are for the young at heart.

In the evening we had a guess over to the cottage for cocktails and then I went to the evening entertainment, the Follies. I have mixed feelings about the follies, most of the time it is just bad lip sync to a song, but last night there were a lot of talented performers and a couple of them that wrote and sang their own songs. The Follies are open to the public and a number town folks attend and a couple of times when I was walking around town, town’s people asked me when the follies were. It is also a fundraiser for local charities, this year the proceeds are going to a non-profit hospice on the cape.

In the evening we had a guess over to the cottage for cocktails and then I went to the evening entertainment, the Follies. I have mixed feelings about the follies, most of the time it is just bad lip sync to a song, but last night there were a lot of talented performers and a couple of them that wrote and sang their own songs. The Follies are open to the public and a number town folks attend and a couple of times when I was walking around town, town’s people asked me when the follies were. It is also a fundraiser for local charities, this year the proceeds are going to a non-profit hospice on the cape.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day Five At Fantasia Fair In Provincetown MA

Yesterday, I went on the dune tour, it was excellent! The tour started off at Race Point and went along the beach then up into the dunes and came out at Pilgrim Lake. As we drove along the beach there were about a dozen of seals in the water and one of them when he looked at us had a fish in its mouth.
We drove on the beach with the pounding surf on one side and the dune cliffs on the other side…
We turned off into the dunes, the driving put the car into four wheel drive and climbed up into the dunes.
As we were driving along, the driver was explaining that the shacks that are in the dunes are artist shacks and there were something 18 or 19 shacks still left in the National Seashore. She said that they have a lottery system where you can enter your name in the lottery to get a chance to stay in the primitive shacks with no electricity or running water. From what the drive said there is a three year waiting list. They are writers who love the solitude or painters who come to paint the dunes and seashore.
A few of the fancier shacks have solar panels of some type; you can see one off in the distant…
Here we all are, the four SUVs from Fantasia Fair. The white one with the door open was the one I was in; the door was open because I was running back and forth changing my camera lens.
As we drove along we passed this shack which was an observation post during World War II. They used it to look out for German submarines that were attacking shipping along the coast.

I wished the tour lasted longer, but it was over in an hour.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day Four At Fantasia Fair In Provincetown MA

The monsoons have arrived!

It has been not raining, but pouring for 24 hours!

Last night I was planning on going to the first part of the fashion show, but I didn’t want to drive all the back to P’town in the pouring rain and then drive twenty miles in the rain to the cottage. So I went out to dinner with the friends I’m sharing the cottages with and then we came back, and watched a movie. During the night you could hear the surf pounding at high tide, the offshore storm created huge waves that caused beach erosion, this a photo that I took earlier in the week when we went for a walk along the beach.
How would you like to own this cottage? It probably will be not long before it falls into the sea and I think it is too late for the rip-rap to protect the shore from erosion.

Update: As I was posting this the sun just came out and the clouds all vanished!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day Three At Fantasia Fair In Provincetown

Today is going to be a “do nothing day”, I was planning on going on the dune tour where they take you out on the dunes in a 4-wheel drive jeep, but it was canceled because of the weather forecast. However, now they are saying the rain is going to hold off until this evening. This evening is the fashion show which I am not interested in, so I probably will not attend it and there is no luncheon talk today because the scheduled dune tour. So that just leaves lunch and a presentation on “Rethinking the transgender phenomenon” this morning. The presentation wasn’t what I thought it would be about how the paradigm for transition, instead the presenter talked about medication.

Last night they had the Pioneer Awards banquet to honor those people who have lead the way in helping our community and sitting the table where I sat was one of the people who received that award a few years ago, Dallas Denny. I have met her many times before, but this time we had a nice talk. She is a fascinating person; she transitioned a long time ago and has done so much for the community trailblazing the way for all of us.

With having to drive back and forth to Provincetown each morning, I pass by a rest area each morning that brings back memories from my high school days. I went up here with some friends on the Fourth of July weekend and we couldn’t find a place to say, so we camped out overnight in a rest area. Around five in the morning a police car came through and on the PA systems said, “It’s a beautiful day for the beach, let’s be up and on our way.” They told us to leave, but we had some friends that were sleeping in the woods and not in the van. We didn’t know what to do, stay or leave because the police were sweeping the woods to vagrant and arresting them. We left and circled the block until the police left, and we went back to find them. It turn out that the police missed them when they made their sweep.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day Two At Fantasia Fair

Yesterday I skipped most of the workshops and only attended the keynote address after lunch. The keynote was by Dr. Richard Docter, it was OK, but the talk cover a lot of stuff that I already knew and in the evening they had a buffet at the Crown and Anchor which was followed by a concert Angelica Ross. She was excellent, but the chairs were awful. My back and fanny started aching half way through the first set and I had to leave by the beginning of the second set.

Today was my workshop. I woke lake and had to rush to make it in time for the presentation; I made it by only 5 minutes. The workshop went very well and had about six or seven people who attended it, which I thought, was good because the focus is not on activism. Afterward I had lunch with some friends and attended the Keynote address by Monica Helms. Ms. Helms is the head of TAVA (Transgender America Veterans Association). She was one of the major players who help change the Veterans Administration policy for transgender veterans.

Tonight there is the Virginia Prince Award banquet and Monica and another person will receive this year’s award.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day One At Fantasia Fair

I got up to our cottage around two yesterday and met up with my friends who had as just arrived. The cottage that we are renting for the week is a nice “quaint” by the sea. It is a typical Cape Cod cottage. The cottage on outside has grey shank cedar shingles and the inside is all knotty-pine. We are only about 300 feet from the bay side in North Eastham and we can catch glimpse of the ocean.

The first event of the conference was a reception that night at a sushi bar in Provincetown at it was about a twenty minute drive from the cottage. I thought the reception was at Crown Point, but when I got there no one was there, I thought it must be at the Crown and Anchor, so I walked down there and it wasn’t there either. So I asked the bartender and she said it was at Sushi’s.

When I got there I recognized many of the people there from past fairs and someone made a comment to me that the group seems to be getting older. When I thought about the comment, I realized that it was true. Most of the attendees they have been coming for many years and it shows.

When I woke today it was raining… the forecast last night said no rain. So much for the forecast. This morning the sun came out and we took a walk on the beach.

Here is a photo of the deck…
And the path down to the beach…

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Off To P’Town…

I am heading up to Provincetown this morning and I will be up there until next Sunday. As I wrote on Thursday this is almost an annual pilgrimages; however, this year I am not staying up in P’town but just south of there at a friend’s cottage. The two problems with this is one, finding parking in Provincetown and two, her cottage doesn’t have internet. Hopefully, I will be able to piggyback off of the phone of the couple that I am sharing the cottage with. If not, I will have to hunt around for a “hot spot”, in either case my internet coverage of Fantasia Fair will be spotty.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saturday Six – Episode 392

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 392

1. What canned vegetable do you have the most of in your pantry?
None, I hate canned vegetables, it brings back memories of my mother’s cooking with canned vegetables that were mush. But back in those days you didn't have fresh vegetable like we have now.

2. What flavor of salad dressing do you have the most of in your refrigerator?
Raspberry vinaigrette

3. Do you prefer butter, margarine or a butter substitute?
Butter, give me that cholesterol!

4. Which kind of cooking oil do you use the most?
Olive oil, that is the only type that I use.

5. Take the test: Do You Eat Like a Liberal or a Conservative?

You Eat Like a Conservative

You may or may not be a political conservative, but studies show you sure eat like one.
You gravitate toward comfort foods and classics. And you don't waste your time with fancy food trends.

You prefer to eat what's tried and true. You get annoyed with people who have hangups about what's healthy.
Pass the mac and cheese, meatloaf, fried chicken, and apple pie. Your tastes are all-American as they come!

6. Not counting water, how many different kinds of drinks are there in your refrigerator?

Two, apple cider (fresh from the orchard today) and lemonade

Friday, October 14, 2011

Saturday 9: Mrs. Potter's Lullaby

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Mrs. Potter's Lullaby

1. Adam Duritz (writer and lead sing of Counting Crows) mentions previous girlfriends in songs. In Mrs. Potter's Lullaby he sings “There a little piece of Maria in every song I sing”. Is there a piece of an ex that will always be a part of you?
Nope. …well maybe.

2. Who was your very first significant friend?
I can’t even remember her name, that was over 45 years ago.

3. What are four (4) things you hope to do this weekend?
Do the wash
Pack for the trip
Go up to Northampton, MA
And drive up to Provincetown, MA

4. What do you consider to be the main purpose of your blog?
To educate and have fun.

5. Tell us something that you've never before written about in your blog because it's too personal.
If I didn’t write it on my blog because it was too personal, why should I write it now on my blog?

6. If you could choose your doctor, do you prefer someone of the same or opposite sex?
Same, they are more open minded and caring.

7. If you could dream about anything tonight, what would the subject matter be?
Winning Power Ball

8. How do you react to practical jokes when they're played on you?
I show no emotions, I don’t believe in practical joke. They are a form of bullying.

9. What's on your agenda after this weekend for the upcoming week?
Heading up to P’town for a conference call Fantasia Fair where I am doing a workshop.

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. It's easy _to do nothing_.

2. _Don’t go_ my darling.

3. Once upon a time, _there was a little boy_.

4. _Watching the movie, it quickly came to_... the end.

5. What is _,is not_.

6. _I expect it to end_ sooner than later.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _watching PBS_, tomorrow my plans include _going up to Northampton, MA_ and Sunday, I want to am _going up to P’town_!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Story Part 95 – Fantasia Fair

Every year on the third week of October there is an exodus to the tip of Cape Cod, where not the largest, but the oldest trans conference called Fantasia Fair is held. This year once again I am taking part in it. In 2000 I went to my first Fantasia Fair, at that time I was not out to anyone, not my family and not to my friends. I had to tell white lies about where I was going, so I told everyone that I was going to Boston to a computer conference or to my brother’s. Of course one lie lead to another, I wrote this in my diary…
October 12th
It’s getting closer to the Fantasia Fair, but as it does I have to lie to Mom and Dad and I hate it! I don’t really like it and I might not go to another event, this makes me feel so bad lying to them. This is really downer. It’s not like when I use to smoke pot, because I didn’t have to come up with complicated lies, only just smoke it. This on the other hand evolves two lies, one at work - I’m going up to my brothers to help on his house and the other for family - I’m going to a computer show in Boston. Well, where in Boston , who’s going, what are you going to see, how do we get in touch with you, etc. etc…. “Oh, what a tangle web we weave when at first we do deceive… “ or however Shakespeare said it.

October 17th
Another white lie last night, R [my brother] called and asked about my trip to Boston. I’m torn between wanting to go to Provincetown, but I hate all these lies. I have to think of a way to at least come out of the closet to R and D [my sister-in-law], but I worry about the consequence. I’m off to P’town, I made the commitment, so now I have to live with the outcome. Hopefully no more lies and that I will have a good time there and not worrying about Mom and Dad finding out.
One of the things that came out of this was I bought a cell phone. My parents wanted a phone number where they can contact me in an emergency and I didn’t want to give them a Provincetown area code phone number, so a friend let me give them her cell phone number and I came up with another lie… it was too expensive to use the hotel phone.

When I got to Provincetown, I felt euphoric; I was going to be “Diana” for four whole days (I went for only four days, not the whole week). I was nervous, excited, scared and eagerly looking forward to fair. Fantasia Fair is not like other conferences when it the conference is in only one hotel, it is spread all over town, you have to go out in public to go from one workshop to another. I wrote in my diary…
Feeling good (a little to many rum & cokes) had a great time. We [I shared a room with a friend] arrived around two o’clock and move into our room. We then went down into town to have lunch at the “Stormy Harbor”. It was a trip to watch the tourist watching us. I was very nervous at first but I got over it and started to enjoy myself. After lunch we went to the Provincetown Reservations to sign up for the week’s entertainment. We signed up for all of the evening shows and the Banquet on Saturday night. We then walked around town and checked out the stores. It was fun watching the tourist when they figured out that we were guys, the expressions that they had on their faces. They were mostly seniors who came in for the day on busses.
You could hear them announce over the bus PA system as they drove by…”This week is Fantasia Fair, where all the transsexual and crossdresser come for the week!” and when I looked up the bus windows were filled with gray hair people looking out.
We went to the fashion show that night at the Vixen. On the way to the show it poured, I was dressed in a skirt and twin set, lucky I had an umbrella. This time the show lasted longer than the cabaret. J [a friend from the Connecticut Outreach Society] and her friends were there after the show and we hung around the bar for a while. T [the friend that I was sharing the room with] met some of her friends from last year. I left around midnight.
[…the next day]
After dinner we walked to the Universalist Church for a concert. It was a piano and cello concert and the pianist is well renowned and teaches at the New York University School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music and has presented master classes at the Boston and Peabody Conservatories. She is also a transsexual. After the concert we went to the Vixen for cocktails.
All good things must come to an end. We packed up, had breakfast, said our good-byes and headed back to Connecticut. I had an excellent time. Would I go back, YES.
During the fair, it was the first time that I felt rain on my stockings, it was the first time that I was “Diana” for more than one night. They have a workshop at the end of conference called, “Lost in the Pink Fog
You finally made it to Provincetown, and Fantasia Fair was the most fabulous experience of your life. You're pumped up, full of new self-confidence and unable to think about anything but expressing yourself in your preferred gender role. Back at home, the world seems drab and you chafe at having to hide part of yourself from your family, friends, and co-workers. You want to burst forth, heedless of consequences, and proclaim yourself to the world, and you think you just might. Congratulations. You're in the pink fog. The pink fog (blue fog for FTMs) is the state of euphoria we experience when we take our gender expression to a new level. It's a dangerous time to make decisions, and yet a time when we most want to. Come hear Trankila talk about the pink fog with those in attendance and suggestions on how to find your way out of it. Highly recommended for first timers
I wrote in my diary…
It has been six days since the Fantasia Fair. Some thoughts on the week, it was hard, well not hard but different, going back to work. I was walking down the hall at work when somebody called “Diana”, for one of our secretaries, I almost stopped and replied. Also, up in P’town I got use to carrying a pocketbook, now I start to look for it when I get up. It was total girl mode, the only male thing that I did was shave. You get deeper girl mode and it does affect your psyche. I liked it.
I have made many friends at “FF” and that is one reason I keep going back. I used to attend all the workshops on make-up and fashion, now I just usually go to the Keynote Address. This year they have some good speakers that I want to hear, Dr. Richard Docter, Monica Helms and Kelley Winters. And they also are having a dune tour and a winery tour which I am attending; in addition they have a whale watch boat trip. Plus, I will have my camera with me and will be taking a couple of photo trips around the cape.

This year I am going to be giving a workshop…
Grassroots Organizing and Forming a Coalition
This workshop will provide methods to organize the Trans-Community to help pass legislation and to help influence policy decisions. 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 community and get them involved
Funding - grants, fundraisers and donations & incorporating as a 501(c)(3)
It will be nice to see all the familiar faces again and to catch up on what they have been doing the last couple of years. This year I will not be staying in Provincetown but down in North Eastam at a friend’s cottage that I am renting and sharing with some friends. it is a whole lot cheaper than staying in P’town.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Was Away For My Birthday

I went up to my brother’s and sister-in-law’s in Maine for birthday and it was nice to be able to get away for a little while and relax. On Saturday we went for a walk on a new trial that they just opened, it was a section of the Eastern Trail in Arundel. Sunday morning, the weather was beautiful so we went out to the beach for a couple of hours; I sat out on the beach and napped while the black flies were biting my ankles. In the afternoon we took a drive up into the mountains. I snapped these pictures along the way.

Monday, I went with my brother up to Portland’s “Bug” Light and made our way down the coast.

The new and the old, a windjammer coming into port passes by Carnival Glory cruise ship.

Fort Gorges in Portland Harbor.

We then headed south and stopped at another section of the Eastern Trail in Scarborough.

Finally we went to the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.
(In the distance, you can see the Atlantic Ocean)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

National Coming Out Week

Rule #1
Be safe

Rule #2
Think, is it really necessary to "come out"

Rule #3

Rule #4
Plan some more - what if it doesn't go the way you planned in Plan A

Rule #5
Take a deep breath...

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Saturday 9: Someday We'll Be Together

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Someday We'll Be Together

1. Have you ever left a relationship but knew that eventually you'd get back together?
No, I haven’t. I hoped, but it never worked out.

2. Are there things that you hate to buy? Items that you either hate to spend perfectly good money on or hate to spend the time it takes to buy them?
Yes on both, I hate spending money and I hate going shopping. I particularly hate going to an auto parts store… too much testosterone there.

3. What is your favorite cartoon show and why?
I don’t watch or read cartoons.

4. Are you anywhere close to doing what you wanted to do as a kid?
Yes, sitting around and doing nothing, except watching the clouds go by.

5. Now that you're in the "real world," is your current job now really what you want to do for a living? If not, what would you ultimately like to do?

See above, I’m retired. I don’t have to do anything that I don’t want to do.

6. A local university has asked you to teach a class about the one thing you know the most about. What would you be teaching and what would the name of the course be?

Funny you should ask… I would love to teach at a graduate level. As part of an Independent Study class, I created a course that I would want to teach course to teach Cultural Competence called Working with Gender Variant Client.

7. Commercials ... they can make us laugh or can annoy the heck out of us. Tell us about your favorite commercial and/or a commercial you simply loathe.

8. Tell us about your favorite comedy movie of all time.
Oh, I hate these type of questions about “all time favorite”

9. Tell us about your favorite black and white movie of all time.
But I have an answer for this question… Metropolis a 1927 silent science fiction film directed by Fritz Lang and written by Lang and Thea von Harbou.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. How can I _ever tell you what I felt_.

2. _It all happened
_ at the moment.

3. That summer, _when we first met_.

4. _At the end we walked away, going our own ways_ and we respected that.

5. What was _the perfect summer ended there_.

6. _I had hoped that we would_ stay in touch.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _a fundraiser_, tomorrow my plans include _driving up to Maine to be with my brother and sister-in-law_ and Sunday, I want to _celebrate my birthday with them_!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

My Story Part 94 – What It Feels Like

“It's hard to explain to someone who has no clue. It's a daily struggle being in pain or feeling sick on the inside while you look fine on the outside. Please put this as your status for at least 1 hour if you or someone you know has an invisible illness (PTSD, Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression, Diabetes, LUPUS, Fibromyalgia, MS, ME, Arthritis, Cancer, Heart Disease, Epilepsy, Autism, COPD, M.D. etc.) "Never judge what you don't understand." I know my real friends will copy.”

A friend posted that on her Facebook page and I added the comment, “or GID”

I always get asked when I do an “Outreach” to explain what it feels like and that is so hard to convey to someone who is not trans. The old trite saying that I fell like a woman trapped in a man’s body is something that the media has cooked up, it is a thousand times more than that. Have you ever tried to describe an itch? Or describe a feeling of “deja vu”? How would you explain color to a blind person?

It is a feeling of the world being “not quite right” of being out of phase.
It is how society looks at you.
It is how you look at society.
It is not about the clothes.

I am told that I am brave or courageous for having transitioned; but they wrong, it isn’t bravery, it is that strong itch of being transgender. I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t transition, I probably would have stayed in me shell. I don’t think I would have been part of the 15% that took their lives, the drive in me is not strong.

Today watching the tributes to Steve Jobs, they played a clip of his commencement speech at a California college where he said, don’t let society hold you back, and that struck a chord with me. I didn’t and life took me in a whole new direction.

Update 8:30pm

I found the quote of the commencement speech that he made at Stanford University...
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.They somehow already know what you truly want to become.Everything else is secondary

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Our Pioneers

Last night on ESPN they had a program about Renee Richards and her struggle to play women’s professional tennis.
ESPN doc looks at reluctant transgender hero in 'Renee' [Review]
LA Times
By Mary McNamara
October 4, 2011 |

Those shocked by the inclusion of Chaz Bono on this season’s “Dancing With the Stars” would do well to check out the ESPN documentary "Renée" -- there is nothing new under the sun, not even transgender individuals taking center stage in a national competition of athletic prowess.
After surgery, and a nasty divorce, Raskind, now Renée Richards, left her son and a thriving New York practice for the West Coast and began playing tennis again, quickly winning an amateur competition. The revelation of Richards' past caused a public uproar, with some female players refusing to meet "a man" on the court and tennis watchers worrying that gender reassignment would be the next step in performance enhancement. The United States Tennis Assn. banned Richards from play, and she became a cause celebre, fighting the ban until it was declared illegal by the New York State Supreme Court.

Richards went on to play in the U.S. Open and on the women’s pro tennis circuit for years, and despite the fears of many at the time, transgender women tennis players did not become epidemic. Indeed, if the outrage over Bono’s participation in "Dancing With the Stars" is any indication, Richards is all but forgotten.
Not, fortunately, by “Renée” director Eric Drath. A former journalist turned sports agent, he tells not so much her story as the story of those around her: the loving but irascible sister who still thinks the surgery was a mistake; the college friends who stuck with Richards throughout her life (including several who told her not to start playing competitive tennis as a woman because her big left-handed serve was so unique that any tennis fan would know it was Raskind’s); the women, including Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King, who faced Richards across the net; Richards’ surgeon and, finally, her very troubled son.
I cannot imagine what it was like to be a pioneer back in the seventies, it is hard enough now.

I remember back when she was all over the news. Newsweek and Time both had cover stories about her; I hid them and read them over and over again. I remember that they mentioned about the “sex change” in Casablanca, Morocco, that was the first time that I ever heard about the “operation”.

I want to thank her for her trailblazing, she laid the ground work that thousands of trans-people have followed.

Four Years In The Making

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Public Act No. 11-55 When Into Law October 1st

The gender inclusive anti-discrimination bill that we fought for long and hard, when into effect on Saturday, and Connecticut became the 15th state to pass protection for gender identity and expression. The law prohibits discrimination against trans-people in employment, housing, public accommodations and credit. The original bill was amended in the House that added language that is controversial and misunderstood in the trans-community. The amendment added…
"(21) "Gender identity or expression" means a person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's physiology or assigned sex at birth, which gender-related identity can be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held, part of a person's core identity or not being asserted for an improper purpose. "
When I first found out about the proposed amendment, I asked friends who were working on the legislation about how this would affect the community and I was told it would have no effect. After the bill was passed, I heard comments from friends about how awful the new law was because of the amendment, that it would require trans-people to carry around proof that they were transgender and it would hurt crossdressers the most. Because I value my friends’ judgments I became concerned, so I started asking around to lawyer friends that I know who were not involved with the legislation. They all had the same answers… that the amendment strengthens the bill. I asked a lawyer friend who is in family type law, I asked a friend in one of those big national law firms like in the “Good Wife” where all the offices are oak and glass, and the conference table is mahogany and I asked a lawyer friend who represents clients in cases against employers. What they all said was basically that when you file a discrimination claim you have to prove two things. First that you are a member of the protected class (if it was an age discrimination case you would have to prove that you are over 40.) or that the person thought that you are a member of the protected class (the employer thought that you were over 40.). The second thing that you have to prove is that you were discriminated against because of that status in the protected class. The amendment goes on to list some of the ways, but not all of the ways that you could prove a gender-related identity.

Their other concern was that the amendment required trans-people to carry proof that they are transgender. Well let’s step back a bit, if that section was not there and you were at a restaurant and had to go the bathroom like what happened in Maine at a Denny’s.
Five days after Brianna Freeman had used the women's restroom at Denny's restaurant in Auburn, she was beckoned by the manager. He asked to speak to her privately.

He told her that a customer had complained that she, a male, had used the restroom. He had talked to his supervisor, who talked to the company's vice president.

Because Freeman hadn't had a transsexual operation and wasn't considered a biological female, she had to use the men's room, they told her.

Freeman told him the restaurant was breaking the law by not allowing her, a transgendered person, to use the restroom at the public place.
Sun Journal
She told the manager that she was trans and it was against the law, she also could have shown him paperwork from her doctor if she carried it. But she also could have done nothing at all and she still would have been able to file a complaint with the Maine Human Rights commission. Nowhere in the Connecticut amendment does it say anything about showing or telling your transgender status to prove your “gender-related identity” at the time of the discrimination in order to file a discrimination claim.

Want to find out more about the law? The Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition (CTAC), the Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF) and the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) are sponsoring a forum about the new law on Wednesday October 26th from 5:30PM to 6:30PM at the Legislative Office Building, Room 2E, 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106. The guest speaker will be Sen. Beth Bye and the panelist will be Jennifer Levi from GLAD & Alix Simonetti from the CHRO.

Other blog posts on the amendment...
Bilerico - CT Passes Trans Rights Law, Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | June 04, 2011

Pam House Blend - Guest Post: The Definition Of “Gender Identity Or Expression” Included In The Connecticut Non-Discrimination Law, Guest post by: Jennifer L. Levi, Saturday September 10, 2011

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Up At The Lake…

It has been a wet and dreary weekend. I had a couple of former classmates up for the weekend and we took a drive around the block (93 miles, they have big blocks up here in New Hampshire) and stopped at Mt. Sunapee. The fall foliage is lousy this year, too much rain, and all the leaves are mostly brown. There were very few reds and yellows.

These photos are from Pillsbury State Park in Washington, NH

As you can see it was overcast and the colors were muted.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Saturday 9: Sleeping to Dream

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Sleeping to Dream

1. Do you ever go to sleep to simply dream?
No can’t that I ever have gone to sleep to dream

2. When you’re having trouble staying awake, what are some things you do to make sure you don’t drift off to sleep?
Take a nap. Since I am retired, I can do what I want when I want.

3. What’s most likely to cause you a prolonged period of not enough sleep?
Worry. When is start thing about what ifs, when something did go right, like last weekend, etc…

4. When you’re going through a prolonged period of not enough sleep, what parts of your daily routine are likely to change, and how?
The last time I pulled and all-nighter or stayed up past my bed time (11:30) was about 30 years ago… back in my younger days.

5. In what ways does your personality change when you go through a prolonged period of not enough sleep?
I get grumpy.

6. Who in your life seems regularly to have not enough sleep?
The young people who like to party all night or I see Facebook posted at 3:00am

7. When your sleeping, do your closer friends tend to be male or female? Why do you think that is?
Hun? Do you mean who I sleep with? Or do whom I dream about? In either case no one.

8. If you could wake up tomorrow with a new talent, what would it be?

To sing.

9. In a dream, is your past something that you can go back to?
Yes, I sometimes dream of something that happened a long time ago.