Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Good Place to Start

I realized earlier today that I don't think I've spent more than 2 consecutive nights in the same place in several weeks.  Whether it's Charleston, Raleigh, or some of the other places that I've had to go recently  I've achieved Platinum and Elite status at a number of hotel chains, and that's not necessarily a good thing.

I also find I drive, on average, upwards of 1,000 miles a week - give or take a hundred miles depending on whatever happens to be happening.  There's a triangle of cities where I find myself and most of the time I'm so focused on doing what I need to do I don't think about the impact that it all has.

Well - I've been feeling like crap lately.  Pressure in the sinuses.  Watery eyes.  Dull headache.  No energy.  And the speed of life I've been living doesn't provide one of the main ingredients of getting better.  Rest.

None of that is a complaint.  My career is going crazy.  Over the last couple of days we've had to account for $2.4 million dollars of a government grant in a project that stalled a while ago and I've gotten back on track - so knowing how much is left and what has been spent on what although very few people who were originally involved are still there has been more like detective work than anything.  It has actually been fairly fascinating.

On another front I've got a million dollar project that's the first phase of a paradigm-shift for a major tech player going into production in two weeks so we're getting all those loose ends tied off, keeping all our stakeholders calm, and managing expectations.  It's the culmination of much of my effort in Raleigh over these past several months....and I'm ultimately responsible.

That's why my feeling like crap over these past couple of weeks has been such a hassle.  I can't do all of this with less than full energy.  And although it was great to spend some time with mom, the Thanksgiving day trip to Dallas and back didn't help.

I realize all this has put me out of balance.  I've said that several times recently and I'm ok with it for some period of time.  But the reality is that now is the time to work on some longer-term plans that aren't nearly so frenetic, that allow for a more stable world, and that provide the opportunity to enjoy the slice of heaven where I live.

Those conversations started this week.  What about the future?  What parts of this are flexible enough to fit into it, and what parts aren't?  It won't change until something makes it change - either I get myself sick, or I can't juggle it all and start dropping the ball, or someone makes a decision.  As I said in my last post - I own that.

I don't define myself by my career.  Those who have followed this blog for any period of time will recognize the ebb and flow there, as well.  I took most of the summer off to enjoy some "me" time expecting that a time of very little "me" time would necessarily be involved at some point.  Well, this is that point.

I've been a consultant for a long time - partly because I need the flexibility and partly because I enjoy doing different things.  There are benefits to that kind of life, but costs as well.  So - one of the costs recently involves going home to a hotel after work or driving a hundred miles or more.

Tonight I'm home for the first time since I left here at 3am Monday morning.  I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow because the antibiotics and the nasal spray hasn't chased this "yuck" feeling away.  I don't know that there's anything she can do to help....she's going to tell me I need to rest.  My goal is to spend at least 3 nights here at home - that'd be a good place to start.

It's going to be 70+ degrees here this weekend.  That's my kind of December.  I'm going to slow my life down and enjoy it...I own that, too.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I own it

So...I'm in Raleigh.  And I'm not happy.

I'm tired, my sinusitis is still hanging on so I feel like crap, I've got a headache, I want to be home, and I'm just generally ready to bite a head off.  It's probably not good to make significant decisions with that kind of dynamic going on but I do, and I am.

All this craziness over the past few weeks has caught up with me and I'm done.  I've got a 1:1 with my management later today that will include eliminating a significant portion of my unbalance. 

I can generally balance it all ok.  But at the moment my tolerance for it isn't high.  It's self-inflicted, and it won't change unless someone makes it change.  I will make it change, one way or another.  I own it.

That's one of those life things - just own it.  It's one thing to say it when you don't have other options but I'd argue that there are almost always other options for those creative and daring enough to make them. 

Regardless - I own this.  And it should be an interesting day. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

List People

I've spoken in the past about how some relationships in our lives are like tides....sometimes in, and strong.  Sometimes out and distant - sometimes for a significant period of time.

But when you get back together again - regardless of time or distance between encounters - it's just like it always always was.  Strong.  Comfortable.  Significant.

That's how I feel about my bed.  We were reunited again last night, if even if simply for a night or two, and man-oh-man was it nice.  I slept like a baby.  I woke and lay for a while to simply soak it in.  And I made her with care knowing I'll need to hit the road again but she'll be here waiting.

The trip home yesterday was long and uneventful, and I really have no complaints  I got to the airport early, both to avoid potential delays of traffic or crowds (there was none) and to try to get an earlier flight (couldn't).  So, by the time I landed at 9:30 it seemed that I had been gone for far longer than simply the two days over Thanksgiving.  No matter.  It's nice to be home.

I'm a list person.  I do better when I make lists.  I realize that my iPhone can do lists, too, and I sometimes use her for that.  But in some ways I'm still old fashioned so a piece of paper and a pen are still the two important ingredients of making a list for me.  I think I get it from my mom - I mentioned that she had a list of things for me to do while I was there - and I can remember them from my entire life with her.  Now I do them.

Anyways, I've got a list for today and every few minutes I think of something new and add it.  If this keeps up I'm going to need to start writing on the back of it.  It's not even 7am and I'm getting ready to head out to work on my list.

I expect to update this later....once I've gotten into my list and back home.  :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Thanks

Nov. 22 - Thanksgiving Day

As I type this I'm in the air somewhere between Atlanta and Dallas. It's Thanksgiving 2012, and as I've mentioned I'm on my way to spend the holiday with my mom. Honestly, there isn't much that could have pulled me out of bed in Charleston at 3:30am today. I was exactly where I wanted to be, doing exactly what I wanted to be doing. But here I between naps.

As I always do, I'll take time to give thanks. I'm thankful for my health, for my life, for the people in my life, and for each day. I'm thankful for people who come and go through my life, carried in and out by circumstance and life flow. Some people come into our lives and then leave, and I think its important to appreciate those connections.

I'm thankful for the many blessings I enjoy but probably take for granted. And I'm thankful for potential - for possibilities that lay ahead.

Nov 24 - DFW Airport

I can't believe that it's only two days since I started this trip.  I'm at the airport...waiting to fly home.  I got here with plenty of extra time to spare not knowing how busy things would be but it's really not all that bad.  As I type this I'm having Soup and Salad in a TGI Fridays embedded in the airport.

The weather for this trip has been stellar....bright sunny skies, warm days.  For some reason I'm chilly so coffee and soup are on my lunch menu.  I think the crud that was making me feel yucky a few weeks ago is still hanging on - hasn't totally gone away.

Everything about the trip was wonderful.  Every single thing.  I'm glad I came.  But I'm looking forward to being at home again, too.  These seem like the best kinds of trips.

Thanksgiving day was crazed.  To finish what I had started writing, I was up early early early to fly to Dallas.  I landed at 8:30, and finally got to my mom's around 10.  Traditionally, I'm the Thanksgiving cook so I  sent mom a shopping list earlier in the week and as soon as I got in the house and we had a few minutes to relax it was time to start slicing, mixing, stuffing, stirring, baking, and generally trying to ensure everything got done at the same time.

Mission accomplished.  Wonderful, wonderful meal.  But by 9pm I was stuffed, tired, and relaxed.  It was great to see mom.  She seems none the worse for her pacemaker procedure from a few weeks ago. And, thanks to a really wonderful man in her life, she's the happiest I've seen in a long, long time.

I was up before 5am on Black Friday, and at the mall less than an hour later.

I wish I could explain why I keep doing the Black Friday thing but there really is no rational reason.  I didn't need anything.  I wasn't busting down the door for anything.  I'll admit that I did buy a few things but I'd be hard pressed to argue that there's anything sensible about getting up at that hour that would make it worthwhile to shop.  For anything.  But there I am - pretty much every year.

There were several highlights.  I went to the MAC store and chatted with someone for a half hour - got some things I can't get at the MAC store in Charleston.  I bought myself a ring.  My favorite silversmith jeweler is there and I don't own much jewelry.  But each year I'll pick something that catches my eye or feels symbolic.  The price point is $50.

This year I got a pinky ring....a simple, interlocked chain.  The beauty is in it's simplicity, in it's unending-ness.  It's so comfortable I forget I'm even wearing it.

My pinky ring, and a tired Donna on Black Friday.

As I say - there's symbolism to it.  And, just between you and me, at some point I can see myself giving it away to someone.  I don't have a "who" or a "why" in mind at the moment....but for some reason I can imagine that.  We'll see.

Mom had a long list of things for me to do to help, as usual.  I brought the Christmas decorations down out of the attic.  I washed her hair for her.  I moved her summer clothes to the spare bedroom and her winter clothes to take their place.  She needed some help on her PC so I helped there, too.  All in all, we got quite a bit done over the short time I was there.  It's good "bonding" stuff.

So now - my flight is scheduled to leave in 50 minutes so I better make my way over to the gate.  I'm hopeful that the next words you'll hear from me are from home.  But the stay will be a short one - I've got a crazy work week ahead.  That's ok.  I'm feeling good right now so I'll face it when it comes.

My speed of life is pretty brisk right now.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Off we go

I'm home in Charleston.  The weather is...well....perfect.  High in the upper 60's and sunny for the foreseeable future.

Thankfully, the drive back from Raleigh yesterday afternoon wasn't too crazy which was a relief.  Driving anywhere on Thanksgiving week can become a challenge, but thankfully the roads were good, the trucks were good, my truck behaved, and I pulled into Charleston early enough to have a late dinner here.

For some reason I'm a little anxious about the trip to Dallas.  I just printed out my boarding passes...boarding time is friggin' 4:50am.  That's insane.  On Thanksgiving Day?  I suppose I should be looking forward to it but as I've mentioned all the way along I'd rather be home enjoying the day than traveling again.  Ugh.

I'm about to unpack from the last trip and re-pack for the next one.  I'm just got back from the gym where I did a little pre-Thanksgiving penance.  I've got a few other minor things to do....all in all I really can't believe that Thanksgiving is happening tomorrow.

I flew to Dallas last year the day before Thanksgiving - as in, a year ago today, - and it was snowing.  Not flurries snowing....but several inches worth of blowing snow snowing. Not cool.  Thankfully, this year the weather appears to be much more hospitable.

I'll be shopping early on Friday - it's a bit of a tradition.  There nothing I really want or need but it has just become something to do.  I've got a couple of things on my list of "To Do", but last year I bought so much stuff I actually needed to buy a Door-Buster deal on a suitcase to get all my stuff home.  Thankfully, I don't expect a similar experience this year.

I'll keep this short, as I've got packing to do and some early sleeping to get to.  Tomorrow is going to be a long day - so I'll close by wishing everyone a very Happy and Safe Thanksgiving, wherever you are!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Night Break

It's a little before 2am and I'm at my usual hotel in Raleigh for work. The good news is that I was dead tired tonight and asleep before 9. The bad that I'm typing when I should be sleeping. No worries, tho. I expect to get some more z's in a few.

I need the sleep where I can get it. I drove to Raleigh Sunday night. Worked all day yesterday. And I've got another fairly full day planned this today. Then, I'll hit the road along with everyone else for the 300 mile drive back to Charleston.

I've got a 5:30am flight on Thursday, I'll be out with the Door Buster shoppers before dawn on Friday, I fly back to Charleston on Saturday, and then on Sunday or Monday I'll need to drive back to where I am now. Busy week ahead.

This is my first blog entry typed on my iPad. Blogger hasn't had an app that worked well on it until recently so this is a bit of a test.

I'm trying to place a photo from back home in this but can't seem to understand how to put it where I want it. It seems to want to put it at the end. Hmmmm. Maybe I'll just have to get a bit more sleep and revisit tomorrow.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tide is in

It is Sunday, at 6:30 am.  I'm up and getting ready to start the day.

So, it is decided.  On Thanksgiving morning I am flying to Dallas to have dinner with my mom.  As I mentioned in my last post I was conflicted about having to travel over the Holiday and still am, but I need to spend the day with my mom.  It's that simple.  And so it shall be.

I did something I rarely do yesterday afternoon.  I took a nap.  I suppose it was the end result of a generally busy life, getting up early to bring my truck for an oil change, a couple of hours at the gym this morning, and not enough sleep overall.  But those couple of hours of sleep in my own bed this afternoon were wonderful.  I think the thing that made it special was that it doesn't happen very often.  Thankfully, I still slept well last night too.

I mentioned that I went to the gym yesterday.  I went with a friends, she's a bartender at a local restaurant an in wonderful shape.  I've been going to gyms for almost twice as long as she's even been alive.  But I'll have to admit that going with her was eye opening, perhaps even transformative.

When I go to the gym, I'm in a place that I'me generally comfortable.  The main thrust of my gym work is one of two things (1) resistance training (strength) or (2) aerobics training.  Well, she added a third category that I've been missing out on for a long time.  She does dozens of squats without weight, but the combination of them tones her already shapely butt.  She can do pull ups - for all my significant strength I can't do a single pull-up.  I need to go with her more often, as this dog needs to learn some new tricks.  I'm kinda sore from it all today, and I'll be back there to do it again later.

I've got a goal to lose 15 pounds by the end of the year.  Given that this time of year is punctuated by eating (and over-eating) it's a fairly ambitious goal.  I'm fairly confident I'll get there, or be close.

I'm going to change my usual habit this week.  I need to be in Raleigh tomorrow and I'd traditionally get up at 4am and do the drive i the dark..get to work...and get to bed early.  I think today I'll drive to Raleigh late afternoon and enjoy a good, relaxing night there before going to work tomorrow.  It makes for a better quality of life - especially given that this will be a "short week".

I'm expecting to have some New Year's Resolutions this year.  Not in the traditional sense, I suppose, as I rarely do anything traditional.  But once I've set my mind on something - for better or for worse - I can lock onto it and it becomes almost obsessive.  Wrestling was like that.  I suppose my transition was like that in one way or another too.  One of my problems is that there are so many things I like to do and want to do - often directly opposed goals - that I get partway thru things and don't see them to completion.  So I've always got the feeling that there are many balls in the air when although there are, part of it is my own fault for not focusing on them one or two at a time and focusing on them.  I need to work on that, and as I sit here this early Sunday sipping on coffee listening to Coldplay I'm already making those priority decisions and plans.

To have energy, and creativity, and desire is a truly blessings.  To have drive and passion are things I can't imagine life without.  But focusing all of that - now THAT'S difficult.  One friend recently wrote saying that she admires the way I set goals and am so good at sticking to them.  That's true in one was, I suppose, but in a very real way my life is fluid.  I like it like that.

One thing I want to close with today is being alone.  I enjoy being alone.  I suppose, more accurately, I have come to NEED my alone time.  I never really feel alone.  There are people in my life - special people - who give me energy and without whom I can't imagine life.  But as I type this I'm alone.  When I go to Raleigh later today, and check into my hotel - I'm alone.  I've come to very much appreciate my alone time.  And when I want to get away sometimes I'll want to do it with someone and sometimes not.

The process of getting comfortable being alone took a long time.  Our culture puts quite a bit of pressure on people that if you're alone something is missing.  There are always trade-offs.  But I have no problem going to the movies by myself, or a concert, or to a restaurant for dinner.  My ability to do any of these things with another person is not the determining factor of whether or not I'll do them.

It may be something about semantics but I see a difference between being alone and being solitary.  One is more about proximity to other.  The other implies a kind of isolation.  There are times when I need to isolate question about that....for any number of reasons.  But I'm a very social person.

Last week at work they had a group get-together where everyone met at a bowling alley for food and fun.  I didn't go.  It had nothing to do with bowling, either.  It was more about boundaries I've set for myself with regards to my social self.  I typically don't make friends at work.  I go there, I do my job, I'm involved....I'm not in a closet but I'm aware why I'm there.  In a couple of weeks one the president of a company I used to work for is coming to Charleston and we're planning to meet for dinner.  I'm not sure I can articulate why that's ok in my mind but bowling with the larger group isn't.  All I know is that it works in my head.

I went to the Christmas Tree lighting event in Mt. Pleasant Town Center last night.  There were lots of kids there, and they made a big deal of turning on the lights on the tree.  There was a big laser light thing, and entertainers, and it was a cool family thing.  I enjoyed watching it all.

One of my reasons for being there was to go to Victoria's Secret.  I get all my bras there.  I had a coupon that expires today.  Most of my bras are what I'd call "everyday" bras....different colors that are comfortable, functional, and hold my 38 DD twins well.  Anyway, last night I had a choice between another "everyday" bra or a red one, with some pretty lace.  I'll leave it to the imagination which one I bought.  Now all I need is an excuse other than a red outfit to wear it.  :)

I'm nesting.  Even though I'm living in a "furnished" place I've moved a significant number of things here into storage and bought in my own stuff.  Today I'll buy a shower curtain...seems insignificant, I know...but it's another reminder that this is my space.  I really, really, really like it here.  So today's roadmap includes going to the gym, finding a shower curtain, reading the Sunday paper, packing and driving to Raleigh, finding something I can use as a coat rack, and generally enjoying what looks to be a bit of a chilly, wet day here.  As for me - I'm loving it.

Onwards.  I wrote about a number of things today that are fairly large in my world.  I'm very aware that these are days to appreciate, good times, while I can.  I've used the metaphor of tides to describe life, and relationships, and I see it as very accurate.  Tide is in right now and the sea is relatively calm.   I'm appreciating it while I can.

Make no i a relatively fragile dynamic.  It's not controlled by the moon, but somehow I think there are still cycles of some kind.  I use Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs from Psych 101 in my day-to-day life so I'm aware what something happening can do to change things in an instant.  The key is that I'm not afraid of doing something that will break it.  If anything, I'll so something to prolong it or take it to the next level.  When seas get rougher I'll work out of it as best I I always do.  I suppose it's a life outlook.   But for now...we can rest.  And take naps.  I have a feeling that once the end of the week rolls around I'll need another one.  :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Unfolding. Still.

I can't believe it's Thursday already.  A week from today, and it'll be Thanksgiving.  It has been a little while since I've shared anything so I'll try to catch up a bit.

The weekend unfolded pretty much as I expected.

Saturday included some time at the gun range, an afternoon at a Civil War battle re-enactment, a make-over at MAC, and dinner at my favorite little Charleston restaurant.

I spend the entire day Sunday helping to set up a corporate tent at the Charleston Cup Steeple Chase.  It included food, drink, races....just fun.

Monday I got up early to watch the sunrise from a couple of blocks from where I live.  It was spectacular (although this photo - taken with my iPhone - looks more like a nuclear explosion and a mushroom cloud than a sunrise).

Tuesday I got up at 4am and drove the 300 mile commute to Raleigh for work.  Now it's Thursday evening, and I'm back in Charleston.  Crazy week.  Crazy times.  No complaints (other than the commute)....

As I share all of this, I was reminded of Andrea James early website.  Back in the 1997-1998 timeframe it was much different than it is now....much more personal, much more about her FFS, and then about her life afterwards.

It was those entries and those photos of FFS that first forced me to realize the potential for truly transitioning.  And it was her photos afterwards...with friends, at concerts, just "being"... that showed me that there truly was life after transition.  I'll never forget the power that those entries had on my world at the time, and in a very real way I think the many years of my continuing to share my life is borne from my appreciation for all that she (and others) unknowingly did to help me be me.

My life is fuller today than it has ever been.  Socially, professionally, every way I can measure.  But that fullness has been hard-earned, and the fact that I do as much as I do is a combination of feeling that there's so much to do and so little time and continued wonderment that it's even possible at all.  And the reason I continue to share it is that I get as much out of my writing as I put into it.  I'm curious how many words I've typed into this blog and on my website over the has to be well in the hundreds of thousands.  Or more.

I recently visited Lynn Conway's "TS Successes" web page.  The thing that strikes me is how many of the websites that are linked there are gone.  I assume people have simply moved on.  Although I think this blog has turned much more about life in general than about being trans or politics or activism or trans news....all of which were main themes for a number of years....I find that my continued writing here has just become part of life.

That being said, I haven't updated my website in any substantive way in quite a while.  I'm going to give that some thought, as it needs to change.

To share your life online in any kind of a personal way is to provide full disclosure of faults, foibles, shortcomings, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth.  The value it provides, though, isn't neessarily in the day-to-day entries, but in the context that the entries take in time.  Although I doubt anyone looks at the old stuff anymore - I've had a blog since 2004 - this could all be a book in and of itself.  Being able to look back over them months or even years later, with the ebb and flow of life in general, is the real value.

Back to the mom wants me to come to Dallas for Thanksgiving.  I'm very much conflicted about that.  The thing I'd far prefer is to spend the day here, in my own place, not having to travel or drive or be on the road.  I've got a long cross-country road trip coming up in the next few weeks anyway to go to Phoenix to get my "stuff" out of storage and bring it all back.  One thing I'm usually good at avoiding is feeling too guilty about not being able to live up to all the expectations that other have for me, but this is different.

I still don't know for sure what I'm going to do.  Fly out there last minute?  Drive out there?  Just not go?  I've got to spend some time thinking about it because time is running out.  Oy.

Anyway - that's a relatively unedited brain dump of what I'm thinking right now.  Mostly good.  Too much traveling.  Doing lots of cool and fun things.  Feeling centered and grounded.  Generally good balance.  All things considered - I just need to enjoy it all while it lasts.  :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Slow but sure

I went to see the new James Bond movie, "SkyFall", yesterday.  It was good.  It wasn't great - I still think that Bourne would kick Bond's a$$ any day of the week but that's just me.  And although it contained all the bang and boom you'd expect from a Bond movie it was a much more personal, introspective movie.  It dealt with some very personal, and dark, issues.

Part of it had to do with aging.  Bond hasn't really aged in person so it's hard to believe that the Franchise of Bond has been around for 50 years.  I remember Bond spy gadgets from when I was 5 or 6 years old.  But one thing I'm glad to see is that the movies have matured.  I really like Daniel Craig as Bond, and the introspection about relevance and duty and humanity....those themes transcend the genre.

Anyway, of course the movie found more than its fair share of reasons for Bond to take his shirt off to reveal his well sculpted shoulders but those shoulders were scarred, and they showed the wear and tear that life has taken not only on the body, but on the psyche.  Shoulders are symbolically where we carry our "load", and at some stage in life we realize that our shoulders aren't what they once were.

Anyway, that's a lot of philosophizing about something that's probably fairly simple but it's true.  I enjoyed the movie, and make a special point to see it in IMAX.  I don't go to IMAX all the time because if I did - it'd make the movies I see there less special.  But some movies scream to me to be seen there - on the huge screen with the thunderous sound.  Mission Impossible 3 was one.  This was another.  The panoramic night shots of Shanghai were particularly memorable for some reason....

I don't like to take my work home with me, but at the end of the day Thursday I was livid.  Seething.  I wrote a couple of work emails that I knew I shouldn't send while as angry as I was so I put them into my draft folder for further consideration with a less cranky mind.  I never sent them.  When I get mad I can do some pretty impulsive things....I guess we all can.  Hopefully the ability to pause and recognize that it's probably best to do many things with a calmer attitude is something that's part of maturity, and I've come to realize that maturity doesn't end.  It keeps on going.  Thankfully.

It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend here and I hope to enjoy it.  I'm helping some friends who own a wine/cheese shop at an annual Steeple Chase event here known as the Charleston Cup.  I'm not sure what they need me to do, but regardless of what it is I'm up to it.

Lastly, there was an article on Huffington Post that caught my interest.  It's about a little boy who wanted wear a dress for Halloween (story here).  At 12 years old I was that little boy.  And I asked my mom if I could be a cheerleader for Halloween.  The strength of her sense of "No", and "Inappropriate" is something that forced me into a deep closer from which I wouldn't emerge for decades.  It seems almost silly that something so trivial can have such a profound impact, and although as we've discussed it in recent years she has no recollection of it but for me - it was life-changing.  I see stories like that, and it warms my heart.  As much as the outcome of the election or other things happening in the bigger world, that kind of thing gives me hope....

I also took time last night to move some of my photos to the hard drive that archives ALL my photos.  I take lots of pictures, and one of my frustrations is that I've got so many of them but haven't done anything with them recently.  I'm moving forward with them....slowly but surely.  :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Welcome to my Balance

So, if it's the middle of the week I must be in a hotel.  It is, and I am.  They know me here, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

I'm watching something on CNBC titled "The Costco Craze".  I've been a Costco fan (and member) for 15 years - since before it was Costco.  The first place I went to change my name after I got the court order was the DMV.  The second was the bank.  The third was....well....Costco.  As I watch how crazed others are about the place I don't feel so bad.

Did you know they sell 55 million of those rotisserie chickens each year?  55 friggin' million!!  Frankly, I think that's the best value in all of food but that's a whole other story.  The average number of items in a Costco is 400, compared to 4,000 at a normal size grocery store and over 100,000 at a Walmart.  They don't mark anything up over 15%.  Their single biggest selling item is Costco toilet paper...they sell enough in a year to go around the world over a thousand times.  They sell over $1 billion in wine (that Costco that sells the most wine is the one I started at - in Scottsdale)!  The whole thing is fascinating.

I'm not ashamed to say it, I'll be a Costco member until the day I die.  When my truck needs new tires they'll be on sale, and they'll come from Costco.  When I buy wine, I half-joke that if Costco doesn't sell it then it's probably too high-brow for me.

It's almost 8:30 and I've been awake a long time.  I'll be headed to bed soon.  I'll work a full day tomorrow.  Then I'm planning to drive home.  The only thing that could change the plans is that I've been asked to help interview someone Friday and I'm hoping I can get out of that.  We'll see.

My last entry was about choices.  A friend (and reader of this blog) recently went to her first appointment to begin HRT...

I don't know how many people can point to a single event in their life that totally changed the course of everything that came after it.  I can.  The single, most profound, most impactful event in my entire life was the day I got my first estrogen shot.  Once that happened, Pandora's Box had opened and there was no closing it ever again.

I'll never forget it....standing there in the doctor's office with my butt cheek being prepared for an injection.   My mind raced with questions....why?  where would this lead?  How could this be?  This is crazy!?  But regardless, that bi-weekly injection was became like a life preserver for a long time.

Where does it lead?  It leads to the rest of your life.  Hang on, Miss Sophie.  It's about to get funner.

Speaking of shots in my butt - the antibiotic shot I got on Monday still friggin' hurts!  Owww.  I won't forget this for a long time.

Needless to say I'm happy with the way the election played out.  It's similar to how I envisioned it.  And, not surprisingly, the loser "blame game" has already started.  They'll be doing that for the next two years....and they're already talking about 2016.

Anyway - time to get ready for some zzzz's.  It may sound hectic, but I'm pretty much used to this at the moment.  Welcome to my balance....

Musings on Choices

It's 4:30am again.  I should be in bed.  I do think I'm going to try to get a little more sleep but my confidence level isn't high.  I'm in a hotel right by the airport where the breakfast service starts at 4:30 so I may go down to see what's there.

To be fair, I did get to bed relatively early.  I didn't wait up to watch the election results come in.  I was fairly confident that things would work out in President Obama's favor but all I could do was my part.  I was 3rd in line at 6:15am yesterday morning on a chilly, rainy morning where the polls opened at 7.  By noon I was in Raleigh, at work.

My ex texted me to ask who I voted for.  I'm confident that she knew, and of course she voted for the "other" guy.  I'm glad she, and millions of others, will wake up disappointed today.  I'm more than glad....I'm relieved, I'm encouraged, I'm optimistic....I'm a bunch of things.  I can't for the life of me imagine waking up to news that the "other" guy had won.

I don't suspect it will affect my life balance much today.  Work in NC, home life in SC.  I'd love to head back home today or even tomorrow but I'm not sure either of those will come to pass.  I can do much of what I do remotely, but when there are meetings to attend, well, I need to be here in person.  I'm not complaining about it so much - the hardest parts are the time in the car to get between a and b, and my inability to set up a normal routine back home.

I want to take some photography courses.  I want to take some tennis lessons.  I want to do a number of things that typically require me to be around on some weekday evening.  I don't have that luxury right now so until that settles out it's a matter of taking what you can get and making the best of it.

These are decisions I've made.  I suppose I could find something closer, or more "convenient".  But at the time I made the best choices I could with the information I had.  I wrote something a while ago about "going with your gut" and I've done that.  It is working out so far.  And, in all honesty, I hope to be able to balance the many parts of it (I've only mentioned some of them here so far) for a long while to come.

Decisions are choices.  I like to think I can keep my some of the self-inflicted pain to a minimum based on the choices I make and my commute isn't really "pain".  I've got a good, stable, interesting, well-paying job with people I actually like in an environment that can be loose and fun so there's really no downside to that.  Except, of course, that my desk is 300 miles away from my bed.

I have friends making choices that make me shake my head sometimes, but that's their deal not mine.  I'll give my advice when asked, but in the end I've got friends who will make the wrong decision 9 times our of 10.  It's not necessarily that they're wrong and not right - it's that they're wrong because they end up causing more drama than they're worth.  I can count on one hand the number of people I can ask about things in my world who I think would provide valuable input but in the end I'm the one who has to make those choices.

I remember when my son my ex- would pound into his head that life is about choices and choices have consequences.  Oy.  She was right, of course, but that's not the kind of things a 9 year old wants to hear over and over and over.

Anyway, that's alot of musing for a pre 5am mind but that's where my mind went.  I think I'll get up, get into the shower, get the day going early, and then leave early.  I want to see a movie later so maybe that'll help the day go quicker.  We'll see....

Monday, November 5, 2012


I wrote this last night...or this morning...depending on what you consider 4am.  I ended up going to the doctor today.  She gave me a shot in my butt that's still hurting....two hours later.  I get hormone shots in my butt every other week and it's no big deal.  But this one.....ouch.


It's 4am and here I am - up typing.  I'm hoping to get back in bed for another hour of sleep.  We'll see if that actually happens.

I don't typically make myself hot tea unless I'm sick, or feel like I might be getting sick.  I had a cup of it before bed, and I'm sipping one now.

I think I mentioned last week that I felt like I might be getting sick but I've been going a good job of keeping it at bay in hopes of fighting it off altogether.  But although I can't point to anything specific I know when my body is "off" and it still is.  My sinuses hurt, my legs sort of ache.  I've got a pressure in my throat and chest.  I don't know if it will all turn itself into something more significant (I hope not) but the threat is there.

I've got couple of unrelated things to chat about today...

I was chit-chatting with a small group of people in an elevator at work Friday.  When we got to my floor a few of us got out and said to the others going to higher floors, "Have a good day!"

Before the elevator doors closed someone said, "Y'all too!"

That simple response struck me as so singularly Carolina.  From what I can tell there's not a verb in it, although one seems to be implied.  I'm not sure it's a sentence, either.  But it conveys the thought effectively and I'll admit that I use y'all too sometimes.  ..but for some reason when it just rolls off someone's tongue like that it's a reminder of where I am.

I uploaded a couple of photos to my Snaplog.   The first is of the Costume contest at the Halloween Party at work.  I mentioned that it's a pretty big deal.  Well, this guy had like a life-size dinosaur costume.  This is a picture of someone helping him to strap himself into it.  It was pretty elaborate, as you can see.  He won "Best Costume".

The other photo is of a church just down the street during sundown Friday night.  I decided to walk to the store for some groceries - it was too nice to drive.  Besides, Charleston at sunset is one of those things I never tire of.  Anyways, the fading light, the pretty steeple, the Palmetto trees, the clear deep blue sky - I only wish my iPhone did is all justice.

I did not go to New Jersey for the Bar Mitzvah this weekend.  The power is still out all around where we'd need to go, and it's still not a good idea to go there.  I'm disappointed at not having the opportunity to see my cousin and some of my extended family.  But in the scheme of things we don't always get what we'd like.

There's a story getting some visibility about a 45-year told trans college student who's making some news in the women's locker room (story here).  It mentions this particular individual as changing into her swimsuit in full view of other women and kids.  The reason it's raising the ruckus is because she's allegedly pre-op.

If - and I say IF - this is all true, then someone needs to take this person aside and explain some things to her.  Just because she's been given the right to use the locker room appropriate to her gender it doesn't give her the right to be insensitive there.  Respecting rights is a two-way street.  And I'm not accepting that anything inappropriate has happened....I'm just sayin'.

When I was pre-op I went to the gym quite a bit.  But I NEVER, and I mean NEVER changed there in view of anyone else.  It wasn't appropriate, and it would have been just as uncomfortable for me as for others.  There are always private places to change in locker rooms - so just be smart.

My mom is a week into her pacemaker, and seems to be doing well.  Thanks to everyone for their good wishes and kind thoughts.  I'll see here in a couple of weeks, but in the meantime I call to check on her every day.  She seems pretty excited about how good she feels, which is probably the most important thing.

The election is tomorrow.  Finally.  I'm still confident of an Obama victory in the electoral college....not by one state but by several states.

But I think all this focus on who will "win" is somewhat misguided.  The fact of the matter is that the country is very deeply divided so regardless of the outcome half the country will be angry, disaffected, and bitter.  As far as I'm concerned, seeing that we're even at this point right now is the real tragedy of these last 4 years.  When I was at the inaugural events 4 years ago I'd never seen more national unity.   Everyone was floating on a cloud of "Believe" - and people really did.  But the bright promise of those days has faded leaving many disillusioned and frustrated.

That is the America that a president will lead.  I sincerely hope that President Obama will be that person.  But I am preparing myself for the prospect that I might be wrong.  All I can do is vote, and I'll be at the polls here in South Carolina when they open at 7am.....with a cup of hot coffee.  The rest will unfold.


Back to the current.  It's Monday afternoon.  I hope I'm not coming down with something.  I'm going to lay down for a bit, pack, grab a little something to eat, then lay down again.  I hope I can fight it off.  But I suppose that when you push push push yourself sometimes your self pushes back.  :)