Sunday, December 25, 2011

Some Semblance (or not)

This is the "odd" week between Christmas and New Year's. I'll be at work but most of the people I need to interract with won't. After being off yesterday it's a short week, too, so it just "feels" funny. And, I'll be leaving on Friday to spend a few days in the great white North with family. All things considered - there's really no groove to get into until all this insanity is passed and things get back to some semblance of "normal".

Last year I spend most of Christmas day in the Dallas airport trying to get from there to Charleston in advance of a major snowstorm bearing down on Atlanta.  After a day of trying to make ends meet I finally landed here near 1am on a cold, raw, rainy night.

The year before that I flew into Dallas on Christmas eve and it was snowing like nobody's business.  We got at least a couple of inches that stayed around for a couple of days, and I had an enjoyable week visiting with mom.

The year before that - well, I start to get a little fuzzy....  I can half-remember a few Christmases where I was recovering from this or that so memory of specifics is dimmed by a Percocet haze.  I spent a couple of Christmases over the last 10 years with Elizabeth and her family.  But all things considered, it's not really that big a deal for me.

One thing I'm not fuzzy about yet is what I did this year.  This year's Christmas will be memorable for it's relaxed, chill, unremarkable-ness.  I did a 45-mile bike ride along the coast.  I made a couple of medicinal doses of Gingerbread Martini to help recuperate.  I talked with friends and family, and had a very pleasant long chat with my ex-.  And I had dinner with local friends who have welcomed me into their own family.  All things considered - it was simple and it was wonderful.  And, in restospect now that I've explained all that - I suppose it was remarkable.

The center piece to the day was the bike ride.  I had been hoping to finish my entire loop before the rain started and I made it with ten minutes to spare.  It's the longer version of a loop I haven't done since summer, and I feel no shame in sharing that my legs were not at all happy with me afterwards.  I did stop a couple of times, though, to enjoy the day.  I sometimes need to remind myself that a key element of those kinds of days is the journey and not simply getting from "here" to "there".  I took a nice stroll along the beach (tide was out but coming in).  I spent a little time at a quaint little pier where shrimp boats dock and unload.  I stopped at the marina.  But perhaps the best part is that I had it all to myself.  Nobody was on the roads.  The beach was nearly deserted.  The dock was empty except for one of the shrimpers trying to fix up an old bike someone had given him.  It was great.

I took some photos and will find a way to put them into a little album that I can share.  Stay tuned on that....

Afterwards my collective body parts helped my head me to decide that I'm going to get a second bike.  The one I have is good for general purpose riding, especially down on the beach (it's a hybrid).  But now I've got the bug for a half-decent road bike for some of these 50-milers so after significant research, testing, input from friends I made my decision on which one and it's on order.  Merry Christmas to me.

Funny thing - I really don't know that many people here in Charleston but on Monday I was at both Best Buy and at the gym and people I've met here came up to me and said 'hi'.  I didn't recognize either of them - one was a waiter at my usual Tuesday night dinner hangout - but both took the time to come over to chat.  Both were very pleasant and I'm glad they did.

The weather here has been very pleasant lately except for perhaps the afternoon rain on Christmas Day that I mentioned.  Today we've got a "front" coming thru and although it's still warm (it was 55 degrees when I left the house this morning at 6:30) the rain started an hour ago and is supposed to be happening all day long.  We need it, I suppose, and honestly I think I can count the number of rainy days like this that I can remember since spring on one hand. 

Every year as Dec. 31 there's a tendency to put together Best and Worst lists as part of the Year in Review.  Without giving it too much deep thought, here is my list of the top Trans stories/events of 2011:

1) Chaz Bono on Dancing with the Stars
2) Video of brutal assault on MD transwoman in a Baltimore McDonalds goes viral
3) Requirement for removal of trans benefits exclusions as part of the CEI
4) In Georgia, 11th Circuit Rules for Transgender Employee in Sex Discrimination Case
5) The continuing trend of passing local and regional trans-inclusive non-descrimination ordinances

Some broader LGBT things are conspicuously missing from my list.  For example, the repeal of DADT didn't make my list because it really had very little impact with regards to trans people. Marriage in NY didn't make it, either.  I think the take away is that progress in the T isn't necessarily the same path as progress in the LG or B. 

Anyways - time to go to the gym.  Some things never end.  :)

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