Wednesday, May 12, 2010


It's 5am - actually the nicest part of the day here in the Valley, especially in the summer. This has been a very pleasant spring here - daily highs are in the 90's (see the forecast here) and it's sunny pretty much every day. It's only a matter of time before we hit triple digits and stay there for quite a while. One friend mentioned that this is the nicest spring that she can remember and that she won't complain during the heat of the summer. Yeah, right. Everyone complains here during the summer.

I met a friend out for dinner last night and wore a fairly short dress - I was freezing by the time we walked back to our cars. For me, it was short, that is. Anything above the knee is short in my world. I suppose that part of my subconsious planning could have been that the short skirt would divert attention from the still large chin that's healing. Whatever. The ploy seemed to work - far more attention on the legs than on the chin. And, it was the first time the tat got full exposure in a dress like that too. :)

One of the considerations we need to go thru as we get ready to go out is all about "age appropriate". For many of the trans people I know we're actually in middle age or even a little older. However, in our heads we're like teenagers again so there's a tendency to wear things that draw attention simply because you wouldn't typically see it on someone above a certain age. That's not necessarily a criticism so much as recognition that it's something that we/I consider before going out the door.


I'll tell you something - I've learned a lot over the past few weeks. There is no age limit on learning and the combination of going the the Easter Egg Roll at the White House, preparing/competing at the US Open Wrestling Championships, my recent surgery in San Francisco, and now this mess with E has (a) taught me things I didn't know, or that I couldn't imagine could be true and (b) reminded me of things I suppose I knew but needed to re-learn. That includes stuff about me, about others, and about life in general.

I've also made some wonderful connections and re-connections. Facebook has been amazing in that regard. My father passed away a dozen years ago and I received a note from one of his graduate students. My dad was quite the amazing guy. There's lots of stuff about him on the internet but until this most recent set of reflections about him by a student I found the following sentence the be one of the most interesting:
Robert Rosen, whom I will always remember as Killam Professor of Biomathematics at Dalhousie University, died on Wednesday, December 30, 1998 in Halifax, after a prolonged illness. He was 64 years old. He suffered a great deal in the last ten years, both from his health and from the rampant politics in academia. It was a cruel end for the most notable man in the history of mathematical biology. But this is not the place to go on with the negative. This is the place to celebrate Robert Rosen’s life (read the entire thing here).

I think of my dad quite a bit. I talk to him although, of course, they're mostly one way conversations. But his memory is never far away - he is and always will be part of me and my brothers and sisters. Apparently he is part of many of his students as well as someone recently sent me a set of remembrances about him that I find strangely comfortable with:
He had a magical gift of seemingly never preparing (he was always completely prepared) for his presentations and, yet, being able to explain the most-complex subjects in a way that even the most naive listener could understand, and he could do it with a joy and love of the subject matter that would set a standard for my teaching from those classes hence. What impressed me most was that his knowledge of the subject matter was so deep and profound that he could lecture off the top of his head without needing to refer to notes or a class outline. His "notes to self" consisted of a 3.5 card with one, perhaps two, very general sentences written on it. From this, or no notes at all, he spun amazing lectures. He drew his examples from his mind as well.

I never saw my dad at "work". The dad I remember is different from the one most others saw just as the people who are part of my own deeper life see parts of me that others generally don't see. I suppose that's just part of all the roles each of us plays as being complex, multi-dimensional people.

Anyway - I didn't mean to get so gooey about my dad there. The gist of that last passage was actually about the joy of reconnecting with people and friends recently whether about recent events in my life, high school, my dad, photography, or whatever.

I've been told not to do any exersize for at least a couple of weeks following my surgery which is hard for me. I'll admit to doing a few sit-ups yesterday and to going for a bit of a walk to get my blood and my mind going. I can't believe how much strength/endurance I've lost over the past couple of weeks. That's one of the hard parts - you work so so hard to get into shape and it seems to fade so quickly. Anyway, when I get back into town one of my first jobs will to get back into the gym to ease back into things. My body just feels better when it's doing physical stuff. I suppose it's part of my DNA.

I'll be getting up here in a minute (I'm sipping coffee in bed - probably not wise) to start the day. It's going to be a long one that involves packing and travel (again) and I'm hoping things go smoothly. I purposely scheduled my departure for later in the day so I'm not pushing myself so hard - I'm still very much healing and need my rest so keeping things as "calm" as possible is still a priority.

I typically look forward to my trips to Charleston but not this time. I'm going to collect my few remaining things there. I don't know that I'll discuss the details much here as it's probably not the place. It very much feels like the ending of one chapter in life after which a page is turned and a new chapter begins.

Someone wrote and asked me if i was sad over this and I replied that I can't help but find it sad. Endings of things that once were full of life and vitality are inherently sad and this one is particularly so. Regardless - whatever the reasons for all of this I continue to believe that there is a larger purpose in the universe and this has been and continues to be part of it.

Others have asked whether or not this is truly an ending and that's something I can't answer. In a way it certainly is. Things have happened and are continuing to happen that cannot be un-done. What the future holds for any of us, me included, remains to be seen so we shall see. Life truly is about change, and sometimes change is end, but as I wrote a few days ago endings are generally new beginnings as well.

My brush with cancer last year was a reminder to live each day at a time because there might not be another one tomorrow so I don't plan that far in advance any more. All I can see right now is today - and tomorrow. The rest will unfold as it will.

As I start my day a song comes to mind - a song from way back "in the day". It's a song about change, and perspective, and anyone nearly my age will probably have their own interpretations of it. It's probably as appropriate to the these recent events in my life as it is to my memories of my dad as it is to pretty much anything.

"I close my eyes, only for a moment, but the moment's gone". So true.

Anyway - time to get up and get the day going. There will be no short dresses today. When it comes to traveling I'm all about comfort. I've got a long way to go to get back home again. I may as well be comfortable. :)

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