Thursday, June 30, 2011


It's funny how timing works.  I've talked with a number of writers over the past several months on a variety of topics and all their articles seem to be coming out at the same time.  Often you talk with someone for a story they're writing, time passes, and you eventually forget you even chatted until bam - it comes out.  Yesterday an interview I did with a writer from ESPN about Renee Richards was published (Read it here).

To many of the transsexuals I know, Renee Richards is not a sympathetic figure.  Although I'm not going to try to explain it or rationalize it all I'll say is that I find it unfortunate.  I'm not sure if it's as much because of anything specific she has said or done (or perhaps things she hasn't said or hasn't done that others would have her do).  Either way, to judge people or events in the context of the current environment without recognizing how the past has shaped them is to make a significant mistake.  Back when Renee Richards first became a public figure in the late 1970's she had no peers.  She was it.  And wheras most transsexuals up to that point faded into obscurity out of necessity she did not and would not.

I, for one, never felt any kind of alignment with anyone before her.  Others that I read about seemed to be caricatures and their notariety seemed to be as much about glamour and society as anything deeper.  What made her special?  She refused to forfeit aspects of her life to be herself.  Rather than allow herself to be defined forever as simply a transsexual she fought to keep her right to compete athletically, her career, her family, and other things that many of us often find ourselves surrendering along this path.  She demanded to be treated the same as any other woman, not some third gender, and in the process she planted seeds that continue to sprout today.

Renee had no contemporaries.  She had no role models who blazed trails for her to follow.  Someone once told me that pioneers are those who end up with arrows in their backs so that others can travel safely and that's certainly true of Renee.  To think that she doesn't carry those scars, or that there is some level of resentment at being that pioneer at that time would be unrealistic, I think.

People do not need to think the same as I do for me to respect them.  They do not need to be like me, look like me, want the same things I do, or otherwise align themselves with my own outlook on the world.  I've said before and will continue to espouse simple respect for people's rights to believe what they want without being crucified for it.  And although I have no idea whether Renee and I would like one another - simply being trans is not enough to foster a friendship - I like to believe that we'd respect one another.

I have never met Renee.  And if we got into a discussion about athletics and my right to compete vs. her own opinions on the subject I'm hoping we could agree to disagree if that's how things played out.  But at the same time I appreciate what she did, not only for me but for an entire generation that did not have the benefit of the internet, or social networks, or support groups, or visibility to one another of any kind.  She is one of only two or three people to whom I can trace early recognitions that surviving a gender transition in a healthy way was possible.  And, I suppose, that means that her efforts - not only doing them but sharing them publicly - were important early steps in my own journey for self-acceptance.

One thing that the author didn't include in the article.  He asked me what I'd say to Renee if I ever get the chance to meet her.  I expect that he was looking for something provocative or confrontational given some of the things she has said in recent years (or at least, that have been attributed to her).  I didn't have to think for more than a second befort answering.  I'd say, "Thank You". 

I'll share something here that I've kept quiet for a while because I don't want it to get blown out of proportion.  I am scheduled to compete at the US Beach Wrestling National Championships in Rochester, NY next weekend.  There are only two women's divisions and are separated by weight (not age).  Beach wrestling is one of the sports that USA Wrestling oversees so it's got some credibility behind it more than just people slathered up in oil throwing each other around in the sand.  And it's not for the faint of heart (highlights here).

I have no idea what to expect other than I've started training and am looking forward to visiting with my family there.  Rochester was home for me for 15 years which is part of my reason for doing this.  Rather than worry about outcomes I am simply resigned to doing my best.  That's all any of us can hope for and I hope I don't (a) embarass myself or (b) get hurt.  Anything else is a win in my book....

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I have been in my new place in downtown Charleston for almost two weeks now and the honeymoon continues.  Honest to God, I pinch myself as I walk along the historic streets and alleys that are downtown Charleston and are also my neighborhood.  Coming around the corner at 6:30 in the morning and watching the sun rise over the ocean is something I hope never stops taking my breath away.

For some reason, I recognize the feeling as the same way I felt when I first moved away for college almost 30 years ago.  In fact, I find myself doing things I haven't done SINCE college.  Like go to a laundromat.  And rather than being drudgery - it has been great.  Between all the various things I want to do I'd need to add a couple more hours to the day to fit it all in.

I've set my anchor several times in recent years but honestly, this one has been the most fun.  When I first moved to Austin in 2000 I didn't know a single soul there and even though I was looking forward to something new it wasn't like this.  I cried over it.  I haven't cried here.  Yet.

I'm good at working through the logistics of moving but there has never been this kind of an emotionial connection with where I am.  There is a newness, a freshness, an energy that transcends any one or two or three reasons but at the same time I can't pinpoint specifics.  I think it's some combination of being where I want to be, a feeling of adventure, and some throwback to younger days.  All I can say is that I hope it continues.

I've done a number of things of note over the past week.  I went to Asheville NC to get my "stuff" out of the storage unit I had there.  I traveled across the state to begin wrestling training.  Work is going well.  And, I continue to "nest".   I'm getting my place settled and I think I'm past the worst of it.  There is a chaos involved in moving and there's more order now than mess which is a good thing especially given that I've got company coming.

On other topics, there's a movie premiering at Sundance worth noting:

Trans issues are human drama and whether it's TransAmerica, Boys Don't Cry, or any number of other portrayals this kind of stuff gets past the fluff and gets to the brutal reality of our humanity.  Anyway - it looks as though it can be and should be good.

I talked with a reporter for The New Republic a few weeks ago who was writing a story on trans issues.  I was driving at the time and had to pull over to chat but she asked intelligent questions and I felt she wanted to do a good job so I actually felt good about the conversation when it was all done.  The end result was printed online yesterday (read it here), and is the cover story right now.  It's over 5,000 words long so it's no short treatment.

But the best part might be the Gallery of stories that they provide as "Extra". (See it here).    That's cool stuff.  Important stuff.  Many of us know several of the people that are profiled and it's so important to see our lives and our relationships treated in such a respectful way.  Anyways - good stuff.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Better Than Well

I wrote an email to a friend earlier this morning who asked if I was doing well.  I started to reply that I am doing well.  But then I thought about it for a second and corrected myself.  I think I'm doing better than well right now.

There can be something energizing and exciting about moving.  There can also be aspects that are drudgery and painful and just plain overwhelming but those parts of this move seem to be in my rear view mirror at the moment.  I moved into my new place into downtown Charleston last Thursday and every day there so far has been magical.  Not for anything that I can explain or pinpoint - simply just because.

I've explained before how I view life, relationships, emotions, and any number of other things like tides, fully of ebb and flow.  Sometimes they're in and that's typically a good thing.  Sometimess they're out and that can suck.  The best of it all is when they're all in together and it's a high water mark.  Those are the special times to enjoy and appreciate while they last.  Unfortunately, this too shall fade.  And although it'd be easy to try to hold onto those moment or to worry that they, in fact, won't last I've learned that the more fulfilling strategy in my own life is to appreciate them while you can.  I do, and I am.

Every night the pup and I walk down to the wharf that's only 3 blocks from my place.  At that time of night there's usually only one or two couples snuggling, or people having soft conversations while enjoying the panorama across the water.  Late last week during the full moon it was especially spectacular as the high tides were within a couple of inches of overrunning the breakers.  It was great.

Yesterday was Father's Day, and it's a day with particular significance for me.  My son called which is all I really want out of it.  But more than that I remember back to 1999 when the first Father's Day after my father's passing blindsided me and I was a mess.  Since then I've made an effort to use the day to recognize that the best thing that I can do, and that I do do, is to ensure that his energy and his essence remains alive and well in me.  That's quite the responsibility, and one I take very seriously.  I did a number of things yesterday that represented "soul" food - the dog and I took a long walk along the beach in the morning.  I did a walk/jog across one of the big bridges in the area that's made for walking and biking.  And at the high point in the bridge I said out loud, "Hey Dad, look where we are".  And I meant it - not simply in a pysical sense but in a deeper spiritual sense as well.  I spent the day with the pup, with  my own thoughts, with memories of my dad, and doing things to get settled here.  All in all, it was a very good day.

I did an interview with someone who I spoke with several years ago about Father's Day for transpeople.  He wanted to do a follow-up and we had a nice conversation (read it here).  It's unfortunate that they need to add sensational titles but the key for me is the meat of the story and I'm thinking that came across pretty well.

Speaking of interviews, get ready for a very interesting one to hit later this week.  I did an interview several weeks ago with a reported from The New Republic for a story she was writing about the history of trans activism.  She wanted to talk to me about my role with HRC and resigning from the Board over ENDA in 2007, among other things.  I told her exactly what I felt then, how I feel now, and she called last night to check some facts.  She said it's a long article - over 5,000 words - and as with the interview about Father's Day I have no idea how they'll position it or what else is in it but I expect it'll get some attention. 

I've got lots going on in my world, as usual.  But the best news of it all is that my life seems to be insome sort of harmonic harmony with the universe at the moment.  I've been taking pictures like crazy and will probably post at least a copule of them here a little later.  I don't get to update my online world all that often at the moment because Comcast hasn't turned on service for me at home yet.  That's actually not a bad thing as I find online "stuff" can be energy sapping and can somehow try to substitute itself for real life.  Not in my world.  Real life happens.  And I'm glad to say I'm more than simply a spectator to my own real life.  I'm fully engaged....  :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Being Human = Being Fragile

I don't handle being fragile very well.  I suppose it's left over from years of being taught that independence and strength are core components of character.  And I've done a number of things over the years to "learn" to let go of some of that but certainly some of it is still part of me starting with recognition of it.

I'm generally a healthy person.  I've had a couple of scares in recent years (melanoma in 2009, some kidney concerns earlier this year, and various wrestling injuries) but overall I'm physically active, I'm aware of my body, and I very much believe in routine maintenance to keep things working well. 

Truth be told, I'm finally very much at "peace" with my body - something I never expected to happen and.  For many years it served a purpose beyond actually living in it.  I'd go so far as to argue that I never actually really lived in it until the last dozen or so years - that I was simplty inhabiting it.  But that's a much deeper discussion than I want to get into here.

I watched my father wither away and die.  Diabetes ate him up.  And as I saw what was happening I made a commitment to myself to avoid a similar fate at all costs.  That, and an overall drive to "train" this body to finally be what I needed it to be, has been a very strong motivator for me over the years.  And although I do some admittedly counter-productive things (ie wrestling) I generally find a good sense of physical/mental/spiritual balance from day to day to day. 

I don't expect this particular adbominal discomfort "incident" to be anything major but at some point it pays to be (a) cautious (b) vigilant and (c) wise.  It's sometimes hard to accept that the passage of time involves a gradual increase in fragility and a gradual decrease in expectations but if we don't - that's something we may end up learning the hard way.  But when you have no health insurance (as I don't) these things can become unwelcome expenses if left unattended, or at least unrecognized.

Speaking of fragile and body, one of the most well-known names in Women's Wrestling has graduated to MMA.  The 30-year-old McMann (1-0) was the first American woman to win an Olympic silver medal in wrestling (in the 2004 Olypmics).  That's way past my own boundary of respect for my body....

Anyway - I'm off to the doctor's.  Wish me luck....

Saturday, June 11, 2011

We unleashed the Lion

Today was an intense day.  I don't mean that in any sort of negative way.  I mean it in the context of the word that it involved some serious concentration and exertion to the point where I'm physically exhausted as I write this.  I can't remember the last time I could say that, so it's no common occurrence for me.

The "appetizer" for the day was to attend the early spin class at the fitness center.  Spinning is bike riding X10 (if you get a good instructor) and after 45 minutes of pushing in ways I haven't pushed in a long time I was physically wiped.

That set the stage for the "main course" - paintball.  Two of E's kids wanted to go to the local paintball place today.  I don't even know what word to use here that would appropriately convey what this place was like.  It wasn't a paintball "range".  It was a huge, wooded area with several different scenarios meant specifically for paintball wars.  One scenario included a city with various buildings, another had a series of trenches and bunkers, another involved shooting at each other in the woods and trying to "capture" a skull. It was crazy cool.  And it was incredibly well run.

There were probably 60 people there and I'll be honest, it was the best $20 I've spent in a long time.  That included the entire afternoon playing game after game.  That included rental of the equipment.  And it involved doing stuff that reminded me of being a kid.  Here are a couple of pics from the day - that's me in the first one, and one of the scenario battlefields in another.

I'll tell ya - I was born to do this kind of stuff.  Hiding behind things, strategizing to make sure we don't get outflanked, crawling from bunker to bunker while paint balls whiz just over your head.  It was just cool.  I made friends with people who were obviously regulars there who invited me back, and I expect I'll see them again.

At the end 5 of us were chosen as being an "elite" team who had a special ribbon so that everyone else hunted us.  We could shoot them anywhere, the the only way for them to to "kill" us was a headshot.  Bad ass!

The end result was 4 hours of fun, a couple of very impressive welts (paint balls friggin' hurt!), physical exhaustion that didn't set it until it was finally time to sit down (it was 90 degrees and humid here today) and a day I won't forget.  I felt like a kid on a summer day again.

For a long time I was the only woman there, just as I was the only woman on the wrestling mat when I was training in Arizona.  No matter.  I don't define myself by things I enjoy doing.  I'd rather do this than go to a bridal shower or some other traditionally more "feminine" pursuit ten times out of ten.  The irony of it all is that tomorrow I'm going to get a pedicure, and next week I'm going to get my hair colored - both things I very  much enjoy as well.  That's my balance.

I'm just about to pour myself into bed, and the title of today's blog entry is a lyric from a song that was on the radio on my way home from spinning this morning.  It was a beautiful morning and somehow this song just fit.  I turned up the volume and just Jammed out.  It's Jeremy by Pearl Jam...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Soft. But not too soft.

Lots has happened in the Trans world this past week.  Recent legislative advances in Maine, Portland, Nevada, and hopefully soon in Massachussetts and NY made news.  The "Sissy-Boy Experiment" on CNN provides an opportunity to see and discuss the devastating effects of so-called "Reparative Therapy". 

The Media Research Center purports it's aim to "Advancing True and Virtue in the Public Square".  A recent article there bemoaned what it views as mainstream media's "campaign to make gender interchangeable and odd sexual behavior acceptable to the general public."  Needless to say, the more that groups like this complain typically the happier I am.  And right now - in general - I'm really happy.

I've found weekends to be enchanting lately.  I was looking for what word to use and somehow that's the first word that came to mind.  So, I used. it.

A couple of weekends ago were consumed by a 3-day island camping event that will go down as memorable for a lifetime.  Somehow, two smashed toes, a dead iPhone, hours of fishing and crabbing with little to show for it, several black fly bites, and other minor "mishaps" only added to the overall experience.  And last weekend included a day of bike riding downtown, some time enjoying the call of the ocean, an enjoyable evening at the movies, and any number of other pleasant diversions.  I'm already looking forward to this weekend.

I remember a time not all that long ago when it seemed that weekends were consumed by logistics of getting from point A to point B so actually having time to enjoy them now is indicative of the slow-down my life has been on lately.  The overall balance seems to be back, and that's very much a good thing.  I shared a photo from last Sunday on Facebook and I'll share it here as well - it was taken as I got out of the shower after a long weekend of outdoor "stuff".  Thankfully, I covered up before the pic and this is about as "raw" as my photos get.  But I think you can tell a lot about a person in a moment where the guard is down and I'm not sure what this picture says but if I were to choose any recent photo as indicative of where I am right now this would be it.


The big upcoming event in my world is that I'll finally be moving into my new "place" next week.  I've been staying with E over the past few weeks and I've really enjoyed that, but I'm also so tired of living out of my suitcase in someone else's space that I'm counting the days. 

The reason that this is new for me is that it's the first time I've ever lived downtown anywhere.  I don't count the time that I lived in Pittsord a couple of years ago as "downtown" - it's a village with quaint main intersection but it's certainly not "downtown".  And even though downtown Charleston certainly isn't comperable to Atlanta or Charlotte or other cities with skyscrapers it's just that unique, quaint quality that attracts me to it.  I'll be right smack in the middle of downtown - around the corner from galleries, restaurants, shops, the ocean - it's all within blocks of me. 

One of the things that draws me to the area is the desire to have my own unique "Charleston Experience".  It's a city steeped in history and its own unique sense of culture.  I very much feel as though my creative juices flow more readily there and although I expect it won't be quite the romantic notion that I've got for it in my head at this point I'm thrilled to have this opportunity.  I was looking through a book of "Historic Charleston Places" the other day and the building that I'm going to be living in is in it. 

I'll be living in a self-containted, two-story Carriage House with a small backyard and basic life necessities.  Horse-drawn carriage tours of the city go down the street in front of the house and we've already made friends with some of the quaint small businesses in the area so I'm looking forward to finally be a "neighbor".  Anyway - it's a big deal for me after having felt displaced for a long time. 

While there I hope to spend time and attention on photography, writing, some personal objectives that have been on the sidelines for a while, and other "stuff".  I realize that I typically set my aim higher than I can reach but we'll see how things go.  I've already investigated getting a bike - that's how to best get around. 

This is all certainly a world away from Arizona.  And although I have no idea how the future will play out or where I'll be next year at this time when people ask me where I'll end up I don't think of it in terms of one place.  Here and AZ are my Yin and Yang, my ocean and desert, two parts of a healthy whole.  Something keeps drawing me back there just as I keep getting drawn back here to Charleston.  I've learned that it's not necessary to explain it to accept it.  And in this case, now that I've got a foothold here I'm doing my best to ensure that it lasts.

Back to this weekend - the weather is supposed to be as wonderful as it has been for the entire past month here and I hope to spend a little time walking on the beach.  I've got a number of things to do to prepare to move next week.  I'd like to go and see the new movie directed by Woody Allen.  I expect to make it to the Fitness Center.  And I'd like to spend some time at the Apple Store.  I've got other things on the plate, as well, but part of enjoying the past few weeks involves a general go-with-the-flow approach where things unfold and plans get changed on the fly. 

It's ironic that one of the songs that I adopted as one of my personal "theme songs" last year is still something I embrace and listen to again and agin with gusto.  It's an edgy song by Nine Inch Nails and although I'm probably in a better overall place right now than I was a year ago at this time it's still relevant for me.  After all, I don't want contentment or complacency to make me too soft.  :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


The weekend rocked.  We spent much of the day Saturday biking through downtown Charleston - it was awesome.  I've already got my sights on a half decent bike for when I move downtown.  Part of the allure is not having to drive everywhere.  Everything here is accessible by bike.

My world has settled down quite a bit over the past couple of weeks but there's still a significant amount of "up in the air" going on.  The good thing is that it really  doesn't feel all that much like "up in the air" at the moment but regardless, that's what it is.  I've been here for a month already and I'll finally be moving into my apartment next week.  I've been living in other peoples' spaces (thanks to dear friends!), out of a suitcase, and generally without an address for several weeks now so finally having a place that's mine (well, as long as I pay the rent) will truly be a significant step towards "settled".

I'm moving into a place right in the middle of downtown Charleston.  I've never really lived downtown anywhere before and although I'll agree that this isn't a typical downtown it's also very much the heart of the city.  There are restaurants, galleries, scenic streets and homes, the ocean is 3 blocks away - it's right down in there.  Anyway, I'm looking forward to sipping this experience to see how it tastes.

I've even started going to the fitness center again.  The last time I remember going was just before Easter.  I've shared before how overall fitness is directly connected with my overall psyche and sense of wellness so when one suffers they all do.  Thankfully I've been keeping myself active with walking, running, kayaking and other activities that provide at least the illusion that I'm keeping myself in some kind of shape.  But there's nothing like going to the gym and spending some time lifting weights to tone, or running on a treadmill, or spending 45 minutes sweating on the elyptical trainer. 

Truth be told, I've set my sights on competing next year during the wrestling season.  I don't expect to be the champion and actually my most significant opponents aren't other people, they're my body and my head.  But next year is the year that athletes will be qualifying to compete in the US Olympic Trials and that seems like a worthwhile goal.  They happen next April.  It's ironic that the US World Team Trials are happening this coming weekend and that's where I got hurt last year.  The athlete who beat me there won the US Championships in Cleveland a few weeks ago and is currently ranked #1 in the country.  Anyway - I'm a very goal driven person and that's one of my goals.  So is not getting permanently injured....

I mentioned in my last post that I had been asked to write a column for CNN.  It was published last Thursday (read it here)  and email from haters was only a trickle of its usual flow from these kinds of things.  As I've said in the past I'm very careful to NOT read comments - last I saw there were 335 of them but that's as much detail as I want.

One of the reasons this is pertinent is another story on CNN today about "reparative therapy" for a "feminine" boy who eventually committed suicide (read it here).  People seem to think that these parents in Toronto are irresponsible parents for not giving into societal pressures to socialize their kids based on gender but tragic stories like this highlight just how crazed so many people get about this.  Who's irresponsible?  The parents should be shot.  The doctor should be prosecuted.  All in all, everyone let this poor kid down.  The real tragedy is that is happens every single day over and over again.  Anyway, this kind of stuff makes me crazy.

I never had to deal with any of this as a kid because I knew how I was supposed to act and I did what I needed to do.  I "passed" as a guy very well to the point that by high school anyone who even looked at me wrong was looking for a fight.  I made sure to get into at least one fight every year because just being in one brought a level of street cred that deflected any other indications that might seep out.  By the time I was in college I'd go out with the other wrestlers and they'd all order beer while I ordered a Tequila Sunrise (they're very pretty!).  Nobody gave it a second thought, and rightly so.


Thursday, June 2, 2011


A couple of big news events from our nation's capital in recent days.

The president unveiled a new LGBT website in honor of PRIDE month.  The Officer of Personnel Management released 3 documents on Trans issues in the workplace (see the NCTE press release). 

I was approached to write a column for this week and I think it's going to be posted today.  That always opens the door for whack-jobs to send emails and express just how unhappy they are.  A word to anyone who either writes something that gets published or has a story written about them - don't go and read the comments.  They're toxic and it's not worth the energy sucking involved.  When I wrote about Trans athletes for them there were over 1,000 comments - I didn't read a one of them.  The proces sof writing this piece was interesting as it involved back and forth:  me writing, and them editing, and me editing their edited piece, and so on.

Speaking of writing comments, if anyone reading this blog leaves a comment to a post just know that it automatically sends me an email alerting me to it.  It automatically gets posted as well - I don't approve or delete any of them.  When people leave comments I generally don't feel compelled to respond but I usually do see them.  Believe it or not I've got a pretty busy life and don't check it all day every day.  But if you cross the line or I'm particularly cranky that's a whole other story.

One of my pet peaves about the "community" is that many think that just because they have a keyboard in front of them they can be as ignorant or inappropriate as they want.  I suppose they can, but just not here.  The minute people start calling one another names or other such nonsense that you wouldn't do in person - that's when I get torqued.  There are people who read what I write and have been here for a long time - people with whom I fundamentally disagree on many, many things.  But the fact that we disagree never devolves into some mud-slinging, name-calling, juvenile catfight.  There's a way to disagree in a respectful way, and I certainly invite people to share how they feel about things because my opinion is simply that - my opinion.  But anyone who knows me recognizes that I'm more than capable of setting, keeping, and enforcing boundaries.

As for the birth certificate thing - I stand by what I said.  I didn't need to share that.  But I did.  In fact, I'll go a step further.  In my way of thinking, a birth certificate is different than other identity documents.  I fully support a person's right to get their driver's license changed, and their passport changed, and any number of other legal documents changed with a letter.  I'm very much supportive of the medical necessity and insurability of medical procedures.  Those things have been central to much of the advocacy work I've done over the last ten years and I'm comfortable that my words are matched by my actions.  But a birth certificate is different.  To go back and correct something that documents an event that happened in the past involves a higher standard to me.  It just does.  A more constructive discussion would be to work with the state to recognize more lenient medical procedures as the standard, like an orchi or top surgery.  But to have the state change it just because you've got a letter from a psychologist saying so isn't something I'm going to advocate.

I would never actively oppose those who push states to more progressive policies the way that the ACLU is pushing Illinois, but frankly my main point was that I think that energy is better spent working with states that won't allow ANY changes to get more progressive policies, not attacking states that already have something in place that's near the top of the deck regardless of whether it's perfect or not.  Agree or disagree - that doesn't change my opinion.  It doesn't make my opinion right but guess what - opinions don't need to be right.

I'll go even a step further.  The ACLU lawsuit there is a mess and seems more like opportunism to this humble observer than anything.  The ACLU stepped all over the toes of the local Trans group who had been working with the state on changing the policy:

Not all in the transgender community support the ACLU lawsuit, however. Following the ACLU announcement, Illinois Gender Advocates (IGA) released a statement of non-support for the lawsuit.

IGA had been working with IDPH on amending the proposed policy.

"We are dismayed that the ACLU has chosen to independently interject itself into the process, in such a confrontational and non-productive manner," the IGA statement read.

Candice Hart, the president of IGA, told Windy City Times that she thought IGA was just two to three months from coming to an agreement on the policy. She said that IDPH had been receptive and was working towards a better policy.

Read story here

Anyway - that's my take for what it's worth.

As for me - I spent the weekend unplugged and chillin'.  We spent the days on a boat, on a beach, in a kayak, or in the water near one of the islands along the ICW.  We walked, swam, fished, crabbed, explored, took naps, and generally took things easy.  It was wonderful.  As the sun set on Memorial day I had not one but two crunched, bruised toes (on different feet), my iPhone had fallen into the salt water and died, I had at least a dozen black fly bites, I had caught a cold (don't ask me how - it has been 90 degrees or better for over a week), I had slept on a boat and averaged 4 or 5 hours of sleep per night, and I had successfully avoided sunburn.  Except for my bottom lip.  When I woke up Tuesday it was swollen to three times its usual size.  It was nuts - I've never experienced such a thing before.  Still - it was great.
I transferred all my "stuff" into a new purse today.  I bought it in PA shortly before Christmas and it was half off the sale price.  But the main thing is that it's very pink.  I'd say it's fuchsia.  Very bright.  Larger than my satchel.  And very summery.  I know people who seem to have a purse for every occasion or day of the week.  Not me - at any point in time I have one and only one.  A purse is a very personal thing - needs to be the right size, needs to be the right shape, and have lots of pockets, and be easy to find things.  This purse has been on the sidelines waiting for it's time.  Now, it's time.

The rest of the week is full of work, healing up, nursing my cold, and taking care of any number of logistical issues.  Life is very full right now.  Just the way I like it....