Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Little Ghouls

I drove to Raleigh this morning at O-dark-hundred.  I typically schedule all me face-to-face meetings during the  middle of the week so I can have longer weekends at home.  It's working out fairly well so far.

I was told early on that this company makes a big deal of Halloween.  It does.  As I type this the entire building is open to kids of employees from 4-6 doing trick or treating from group to group to group.  I've seen at least a hundred kids so far.  Probably way more than that - cute, cute, cute!  Some groups around campus have some pretty elaborate set-ups...with smoke and sound effects and animatronics ....leave it to a bunch of geeks.  It's actually pretty cool.  And down in the front lobby there's a clown, someone painting faces, and all kinds of cute kids things....

I got an email yesterday saying that employees are "strongly encouraged" to participate in the Halloween Festivities.  Employees from other areas are being bussed to our building for a 90-minute Halloween event tomorrow afternoon.  Our group was given a theme of "Facial Hair Icons" so one is coming in as Yosemite Sam, another as Eric the Red.  I considered doing Charlie Chaplain but I'm concerned it'd look too much like Hitler.  Anyway....
Hurricane Sandy is still doing some horrible things up north.  Her drive-by here on Saturday was nothing compared to the sights from North Carolina, New Jersey, and the entire northeast coastal corridor.  What a mess.

I went to the Carolina Coastal Fair on Sunday.  I had Italian Sausage, pizza, funnel cake, and ice cream....The kids had some deep fried cheddar cheese that wasn't as good as you'd think.  All in all, it wasn't pretty.  But it was goooood.  I even went on a couple of rides.  It's probably just another fair, but it just "feels" good to me.  I've got another ticket, and hope to make it back before it closes.  The Gyros looked good so that's next on my culinary hit list....

I uploaded a photo of it to Snaplog.  It doesn't show much of anything, except a pretty day-after-Sandy at the Fair.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Lots of rain today.  Bands of it....then none...then more.  I think it's done.  Brisk winds too, but it's still pretty warm so there's no chill to it, but my hair felt all the humidity in the air.  All in all - no big deal here so far.  We're under a tropical storm warning that's supposed to last thru the night - the news says the eye of the storm is 335 miles east of Charleston.  But it's a huge storm, so if this is all we get I think nobody her will complain.

Although the news is full of this "Superstorm" and all the various unpleasant scenarios she poses for the northeast next week nobody here paid much attention.  It was like living through snow storms in upstate NY.  Yawn.  You need to be a pretty significant event to get noticed.  It's 9:30 here and I've actually got my windows open to get some of the cross-breeze.  It's pretty wonderful.

I'm a creature of habit.  Or should I say, I form habits that tend to become simply parts of my life.  For example, today I went to stores I typically go to to buy specific things.  I went to Whole Foods for some Honey Crisp apples (specifically - Honey Crisp...they sell the second best that I've tasted, after Wegman's).  I went to Trader Joe's for grated Parmesan/Romano cheese.  I stopped by the MAC store for my Holiday stuff.  I think the older I get the more open I am to forming new habits, but that just makes life fuller.  Or busier.  I suppose it's a little of both.

Honestly, when I'm home there aren't enough hours in the day.  I'm nesting and nesting and nesting.  I was up very early, but that just made more time to do "stuff".  I ran errands during the morning, met a certain someone for lunch, ran more errands, got a pedicure, came home, stitched up a pocket on a jacket.  I went to dinner with some dear friends at a place I very much enjoy.  And although I was invited to a Halloween party later I'm in my PJ's....winding down.  Fairly chill day.

Yesterday I wondered what costume you wear for Halloween?  One friend tonight dressed as a sort of sexy Pooh Bear.  Another dressed as a Swiss girl with a very short skirt.  Another is apparently dressing as the HamBurgler from McDonalds history.  Honestly....I have no idea what I'd choose.

I could get used to this.  In some ways I think I already have.  During the week I'm wandering the Carolinas doing what I do to make a living - even enjoying it to some degree.  On the weekends I'm home....just being....around things that ground me and give me comfort.  Two worlds.  It's worked itself into a fairly workable balance.  For now.

This house I live in has significant history.  There are always tours driving or walking by, and as often as not when I get home during the day there's someone taking photos thru the gate.  We just bought a book about old Charleston at Costco that has a couple of pages devoted to it.  When I say "we" I mean one of the people who live here bought one, and then the rest of us saw it and got a copy.  We've got a wonderful, eclectic, fun little group here.

Tomorrow the gardens will be open as part of the fall Tour of Historic Homes.  I got this email tonight:
The gate to the garden will be unlocked & propped open for this event - there will be a few hundred people coming in & out of the property so "heads up" - do not close or lock the gate on Sunday.
I won't lock the gate.  The weather is supposed to clear up, so I'm hoping to spend most of the day eating myself into a stupor at the Fair.

Speaking of eating, I did a first tonight.  I tried Steak Tartare.  With a quail egg on it (which I suppose is a second first).  There's not much I won't try, and in the scheme of things it was ok.  I love steak.  And the seasonings were tasty.  But, I don't know that I'd make it a habit.  Just sayin.....

Friday, October 26, 2012


There's a unique energy about storms.  It's actually pretty exciting.  If they weren't so dangerous and so "inconvenient" I think people would appreciate the energy thing more.

This Hurricane is scheduled to slowly troll by the Carolinas over the weekend.  The last time this happened, last year, news crews lined the the sea wall downtown as waves came crashing into and over the wall.  I suspect that will happen again with this storm.

I'm unwound from a busy week by taking a walk down to the ocean a little while ago.  The winds are pretty stiff, but you can still see the moon through the haze of the clouds.  The waves are coming in at a pretty good clip but this city has seen these things time and time again.  The cruise ship is in port, bathed in light, and I'm wondering if she'll set sail to head south tomorrow as she normally does.  If she does, I wouldn't want to be one of the passengers on board.  It's going to be rough sailing.

My mom called a little while ago to check and make sure I wasn't in harm's way.  I think I'm probably less in harm's way here than anywhere north of here - like in Raleigh.  And I'll make my decision about next weekend by Tuesday although if any of these predictions come true the decision is already made.

I noticed that the Out and Equal Workplace Summit is in Baltimore next week.  I can't help but think back to 2008, when I was one of the co-chairs and it was in Austin.  During the Summit Hurricane Ike formed in the Gulf and was predicted to come ashore thru Houston and move directly over Austin.  Lots of people left early.  But non of it ever came to pass.

So today - there was a decision to be made.  I made it.  And as a result I missed my tennis match.  :(

I didn't flake out totally on them - I called them and told them I was driving in from out of town and wouldn't have time to get home, change, and get out to the courts during rush hour.  So - my first attempt to play a tennis tournament ended before it began.  But I'm ok with the fact that my journey today took longer than I thought....

Tomorrow night is the unofficial Halloween celebration around Charleston.  There are parties and festivities all over the place (here's one).  I was thinking about years "before" - when Halloween was a big big deal. It was my one big opportunity to be "out" each year, and it was always something I thought about for weeks in advance.  It was Donna's one day to experience...to be...to live, even if under the silly guise of a costume.

As far as I was concerned, it was all a costume.  Dave was a costume.  My life was a costume.  It was all simply dressing to get something, or achieve something.  Or avoid something.  The only true "me" at that point lived in my head, and in my spirit, and came out to experience the world once or twice a year.

So - tomorrow night is Halloween and I have no idea what to be....what would interest me.  I don't think there's much that interests me....as I'm just tired of costumes I suppose.  At least, in the traditional sense.

Tomorrow I go to the gun range (I've got a date with a Smtih and Wesson M and P 40).   I'll spend some time at the MAC store picking up my my Holiday stuff.  I have some errands to run.  But unless the day is a total washout I'm hoping to spend the bulk of it at the Coastal Fair, eating.  And then I'll spend the bulk of the day Sunday at the gym...paying the price for it all.  We'll see how it all plays out...  :)

I was getting my hair done recently and one of the other stylists there, who I've known for a while, mentioned that my skin was looking wonderful.  I don't know that I've had anyone else say that to me before, and I took it as a very nice compliment.  I don't know if she could have said anything nicer.

I use moisturizer.  I found a product that I use under my makeup that I think takes good case of my skin.  But after pretty much a lifetime of not doing anything it's nice to get to a point where taking care of the skin makes a visible difference.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


In my last post I talked about the concept of "No".  Not just the word...but what that word represents.

There's another word that has a particular context in my world.  "Careful".

Living a careful life is to refuse to look Risk directly in the face.  The key isn't to shy away from risk.  It's to know which risks are worth taking.

For example, I'm in Raleigh today and I'll be home in Charleston by the weekend.  Hurricane Sandy is headed slowly northward off the coast - it looks so nasty that they've already dubbed it "Frankenstorm" (story here).  Unless that thing were aiming directly at downtown Charleston there's nothing that'll keep me from driving towards it, and home, tonight or tomorrow.  It's worth the risk.

On the other hand, I'm supposed to head to New Jersey late next week to attend a family event there on Saturday.  If there is ANY chance that I'll get stranded there, or that there will be snow involved because of it....it'll change my plans in a heartbeat.  While I certainly love my family, those aren't risks worth taking.

I think the ability to get comfortable with risk is one of those key life competencies required to move past your own fears into the great unknown.  I'm not sure if it's inborn or developed or some  combination of the two (kind of like guilt).  What I do know is that coming to peace with Risk is key to not worrying about being careful all the time.

On another topic, Apple held one of it's legendary secretive "Unveiling" events earlier this week.  There had been quite a bit of buzz around the possibility that they'd announce a new, smaller iPad (dubbed iPad mini).  They did.

I got an iPad after the last release, so my own response to this news is a stifled yawn.  Big deal.  I'm not going to trade in my iPad.  I like it just fine...size, clarity, capability.....all good.  I expect to have mine for a long time.

BUT...the surprise announcement was about a new series of iMac desktops.  Now THAT I'm excited about.  My existing iMac is first generation...I mean, old.  And it generally does ok.  But the technology is so old I can't install the newer OS on it.  Again....not a significant issue for me considering what I use it for and the other toys I've got.  But I've been waiting for this, and I'm glad to see it.

Long story short - I envision 3 Holiday presents to myself this year.  One deals with  some photography "stuff", another is a firearm, and the third is....well....this is it.  I think you can tell a lot about a person based on what they want for Xmas, so this is me in all my unique diversity.   :)

Speaking of the Holidays - I've mentioned before that I'm a MAC girl.  I'm an Apple Mac girl, but I'm also a loyal MAC Cosmetics girl.  They earned my business back in the early early days of my transition, and have kept it for a laundry list of reasons.  I know everyone at the local MAC counter by name, and they contact me before every large new product launch to talk about it and see what I might want.

The biggest part of the MAC "year" is their annual Holiday Collections.  I've been getting something from it for years....brush sets, limited-edition colors, unique packaging, just fun stuff.  Anyways, today is the release of the 2012 Holiday Collection in stores, so I've already got my order set aside.  I'll go there tomorrow for a little application/demo and as always - I'm awed (and admittedly jealous) by their ability to do such amazing things with cosmetics.

I've got lots of make-up.  I do.  You can only use so much of it, and I'm not sure where to boundary between having lots ends and "hoarding" begins...but I've certainly got more than I could use for the entire rest of my life.  But as with lots of things in my world, but main ingredient in all of this isn't in the "thing" itself, it's in the fun.  And this stuff is fun for me.  Really, really fun.  Perhaps I'm making up for all those years when I couldn't do it, but regardless....I'm all in now.

There are endless opportunities to find videos online about anything and everything having to do with makeup.  I've got subscriptions to a couple of different YouTube channels.  One is Pixiwoo.  Another is MakeupGeekTV.  And a place where I go for reviews and such is Allurabeauty.  We all need to learn somewhere, or at least dream.  These are some of the places I've found that make it fun. 

I went to they gym yesterday after work.  I have a lot of energy right now, and I've been happy that I can get to the gym at least a couple of times a week lately.  I suppose the more trendy term is "Fitness Center"....but call it what you want, I've been going to one fairly regularly for over 40 yrs now so when I don't go it's a problem.

I probably should have done something aerobic, but that makes me feel drained if I do it too late in the day and I really didn't want to be that kind of tired.  I did a good, overall, body toning session that felt GREAT.  I'm a little sore this morning from it, and that's a good thing.  My body and I are generally on pretty good terms these days which is a minor miracle in and of itself given what I ask it to do sometimes.  I'm glad it's still speaking to me.

The election happens in less than two weeks.  I have my voter registration card in South Carolina, and will be there to vote in person.  It's a big deal for me.

I've said more than once that I find this entire election process to be far more painful than productive, but such is the nature of what our political process seems to have become.  The fact that "public opinion" can shift, week-to-week, like the tides, demonstrates the fickle nature of these so-called measurements we use to predict.

For me - I have my own prediction.  I believe much of this hulabaloo about how close the race is and who is wooing what voters is more like Super-Bowl week pre-game hype than edge-of-your-seat substance.  I believe that most people have already made up their minds, the only question is whether they will get out and actually vote.  I believe the end game is far more about playing Electoral College roulette than winning the popular vote although it'd be nice to have a mandate with both.  And, when all the above is taken into consideration - two weeks from now President Obama will have won re-election by more than just one swing state. 

The question I've got is what he'll have to work with.  What will the rest of the political landscape look like?  But once all this armchair quarterbacking, and political bickering, and posturing is over - then what?  That's what I'm more interested in. 

I can't control any of that.  All I can control is my one vote, and (a) I know I'll use it and (b) I know where it's going.  The rest - all I  can do is have Faith.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I don't take "No" very well.

I suppose I should clarify.  I realize that it's just part of being a mature adult to understand that there are times when no really means no.  But there are also times when no simply means "not willing", "don't want to", "not interested in", or some other excuse.  Other times, it's simply that you're (a) not asking the right question or (b) not talking to the right person.

The key is to realize the difference.

This thing with the Episcopal Church in SC moved me to make some phone calls this morning.  I'm finding that there are options....more options than the now ex-Bishop wants to share.  In this case, no simply means they'd rather not.

I mean, at face value, to truly question the body/mind conundrum at the heart of being trans and then to act upon it is truly to realize that no isn't no.  Simply because society disapproves, or accepts things at face value, or tells you you don't get to choose - the reality is that if you accept that you're doomed to float somewhere in a sea of Unfulfilment. 

To transition is to realize that most rules are simply guidelines that most are afraid or unwilling to test.  It is to recognize that to find the the path to overcome "No" is often more about patience, creativity, and resilience than anything.  Those traits seep into every aspect of life, at least for me they have.  I'd go so far as to say that finding and proving those traits in myself are some of the enduring and enriching by-products of getting from there to here.

I'm going to mention something here simply because it's on my mind.  It'd probably be safer for me to not say anything.  But it's on my mind so I'm going to say it as best I can....

I have a wonderful niece who was born with all kinds of birth "anomalies".  She was rushed into the NICU immediately after being born.  At 13-years old, she still hasn't experienced a day without trachea tube in her throat and a G-tube in her stomach.  I've talked about her in the past, as seeing the resiliency of her spirit in the face of oppressive physical and societal barriers has made her one of my genuine heroes.

One of the things I respect most about her is that she has no idea that she should expect less out of life because of her situation.  She still can't speak (at least not in the traditional way) but she loves music.  She wanted to be like the other kids in her school, so she joined the choir.  And although she can't sing, she can hum. She's as happy as a clam because she's doing things she enjoys, she doesn't know the meaning of the word "can't", and she defines her own "normal".  She's not disabled - she's EN-abled.

How is that connected to what I've got to say?  It's that many trans people I know consciously limit their lives because of their past.  There are lots of reasons, but the problem is that once you start looking over your shoulder there's no way to stop.  Whether it's in relationships, or employment, or simply joining society....it's always there.  Whether you're "out" or not...it sometimes doesn't matter.

The reason it's pertinent is that I've joined a small tennis tournament this weekend.  Frankly - I'm a horrible tennis player.  It's not that I'm horrible  horrible so much as that can count the number of times I've played over the past 20+ years on one hand.  But I enjoy it.  I like it.  It's fun for me.  And that enjoyment comes from the doing, not in the competing.

So, this weekend I'm entered in the Women's 50+ category which is absolutely appropriate in every way.  When I show up in my cute little tennis outfit ready to go it will be my first tournament.  Ever.  I have no idea whether I need to bring tennis balls, or if there will be anyone watching, or what to expect.  All I want to do is to show up and hit the ball.

BUT - every time I do something like this it invites trouble.  I'm not looking for trouble.  But, like my niece, I'm not willing to accept that I should expect less out of life because of circumstances beyond my control.  I'm not doing anything wrong, but I'm not hiding either.  I'm just doing.  But given my most recent post on the Church here even simple things sometimes become trouble for someone.

I like that I'm constantly aware of the possibilities for worse case scenarios, but I'm also constantly pleasantly surprised.  We'll see how this goes....

So - back to today's topic.  No.  If you accept No all the time - sometimes it's just in your own head.  I'm too busy doing to think about what I can't do (or shouldn't do), given the time and the motivation. 

I shared a couple of songs from Scars on 45 last week.  I'll end with one of my current favorites, although admittedly any one of the songs from their one and only CD could be a favorite.  I could listen to this a dozen times in a row.  The title of this one is Warning Sign....

I will rescue you If you rescue me
There's a hole inside that they never see.
I will stand by you and every soul knows why...
They will be holding a warning sign.

I will rescue you If you rescue me.
There's a hole inside that they never see.
I won't hold you back
We don't feel that...

Monday, October 22, 2012


I love fall.  We've even got a "fall" here in the Carolina's.

Days are warm and comfortable.  Nights are fall-chilly.  Leaves change color.  There is a definite sense of transition between summer and winter.  It's wonderful.  One thing I've noticed about myself is that I get colder easier.  For someone who spent at least 25 years enduring snowy winters it's odd to admit, but I think there's a combination of age and tolerance involved.  Regardless, I can start to shiver on a cool evening....

A certain someone and I spent yesterday enjoying fall.  We drove to a pretty, quaint city on the coast about an hour or so south of here.  Along the way we stopped for a walk at a county park in the middle of nowhere, and found it to be a hidden gem.  It was a wonderful day if for no other reason than it was just so comfortable.  I hate for my weekends to end but they always do.  Ironically, that fact provides an opportunity to look forward to something.  The next weekend.

I went to the gym on Saturday.  I haven't done legs in several weeks, and in typical fashion I did some squats and probably overdid it. I knew by the end of the day that I was gonna be a hurtin' cookie, and today was probably the hardest day.  Compared, to previous overdone days it wasn't too bad.

I mentioned last week that I was feeling like I'm on the edge of a cold.  I still am.  I can't afford to get slowed down right now but getting a cold doesn't seem to take that kind of stuff into consideration.  I can't even remember the last time I had a fever, and I'm hoping that string continues for a long time to come.

Something that's happening locally, but has larger implications, is another "secession" here in South Carolina.  It's sort of a long, messy, story, but the short of it is that this past week the entire Diocese of South Carolina disassociated itself from the Episcopal Church, largely over the church's progressive views on LGBT issues (story here, and here).  I feel that this particular bishop has problems with progressive views in general (women, contraception, etc.) and "gay" peeps are simply convenient scapegoats but that's a larger discussion...

This squabble, which has been simmering for quite a while and has been slowly headed to this showdown, is far from over.  The fight over the church's property is just beginning.  But even more significantly and personally - fair-minded Episcopalians are now faced with the reality that they need to change denominations to celebrate their faith in the state of South Carolina.

A person' faith is their own business.  But frankly I find this sad, maddening, and unfortunate that a governing body can make these kinds of decisions that affect ALL people of similar faith in the entire state.  This kind of morality-based justification for exclusion is the same justification used for bullying, violence, discrimination, and worse.

Anyway - I'm not about to start preaching about this (sorry about the pun) too much.  But I wouldn't be surprised if it makes a bigger splash over the next few weeks, and gets messier before it get's clearer.

The last debate is tonight.  I hope I'm in bed by 9.  I've got a long way to drive at oh-dark-thirty in the morning.  As in....I'll be leaving by 4:30.  Yuck.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Best Bad Idea

It has been a few days since the last time I had a moment to share here.  I've had a number of things going on - mostly good.

I've had full days at work.  A dear someone was visiting the area for a couple of days so we've been out to dinner, we went to see the movie Argo last night, and we have generally kept ourselves happily busy. 

One of the reasons I haven't added anything new here is that there's simply quite a bit of nothing to say.  When life settles into a relatively comfortable little groove, well, there's no need to talk about it too much.  I've managed the noisy tumult of my work-weeks into a fairly workable routine for the moment, and I'm spending longer weekends at home.  Those two things together have helped a lot, although there's still more that needs to be done.

This time of year here is wonderful.  The 10-day forecast for Charleston is sunny with daily highs in the mid-70's and nightly lows between 55-60 every day for the next two weeks.  Here in Raleigh leaves are beginning to change, and a sense of "autumn" is in the air.  Next weekend the Carolina Coastal Fair begins in Charleston which is something I always enjoy.  Halloween is apparently a big deal at the company I'm working for (which, by the way, without giving specifics was recently selected as one of the Top 10 Innovative Companies in the World by Forbes) which is pretty cool....

Next weekend I'm scheduled to compete in my first tennis tournament.  Ever.  I'm not very good but I very much enjoy playing so I'm looking forward to it.  The goal is to have the opportunity to actually play as much as to compete so we'll see how that goes.  And I'm hoping to have a couple of photos entered into the Carolina Coastal Fair competition.

The weekend after that I'm headed to New Jersey to attend the Bar Mitzvah of my cousin's twin sons.  I haven't seen this particular cousin since I was 15 or 16 years old so it has been almost 40 years....it'll be interesting to reconnect with family.  All things considered....busy weeks and busy weekends.  Now if I could just minimize the 4 hr. commute each way - that's still a work-in-progress.

At work I was recently recognized by the PMO with a "Gold Star of Excellence" for something I've done.  The end result?  Positive kudos, and they've given me a new project to manage.

In the midst of all this my mom is having a pacemaker put into her heart at the end of the month.  And she has asked me to come to spend Thanksgiving with her, which I'm trying to arrange.  And I'm still focused on bringing my furniture here from Arizona by the end of the year which will involve another cross-country drive.

So - that's my world right now.  Mostly good.  Still some flux.  But enjoying the stability I've brought to things for now. 

Per my previous post - I neglected to give the name of my friend in the Charleston's Hottest Bartender competition.  It's Alyssa.  You can vote once per device.....she's currently in 2nd place by a little bit.

In the movie Argo they discuss the various bad ideas that had bubble up to try to save these 6 Americans who escaped from the US Embassy in Tehran.  The thing that was selected was identified as, by far,  the "best bad idea".

I've had many similar decision opportunities over the course of my life.  I just never really thought of them this way.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


The title of today's post is Groovin'.  Cause that's what I'm doing.  At least, that's what I'm doing in my own unique way.

Things have settled into a bit of a routine, and I'm still not sure I really like the routine because there is significant driving involved but we'll see about that.  It sounds strange to say that things have become routine after a week that involved Charleston, Raleigh, Kansas City, back to Raleigh, and back to Charleston again.  But I'm not feeling as frazzled by the work/home gap as I was a few weeks ago.

I'm enjoying work.  I'm enjoying my space here in Charleston.  If the two were in the same area code, or even in the same state - it'd be ideal.  But I've come to accept that ideal happens from time to time but it's the exception and not the rule.  If all you'll accept is "ideal" then you're going to need to learn to deal with disappointment on a regular basis...

That doesn't mean that it's not ok to settle for something less than ideal sometimes. But there's a difference between "settling" as an overall life trait and recognizing that less than ideal is the valley between moments worth working for.

I'm re-building a comfortable little life for myself here.  It's the third time, really, but this time I seem to be doing it with more confidence and gusto than previous journeys down this path.  I can't explain it any more clearly than that but as with many things in life (including my life, in general) it's the thing you have to work hardest to achieve and hold on to that somehow gain the most value.

I brought my truck in to the Toyota dealership this morning for routine maintenance and an oil change.  It was nice to see my usual service guy - he knows me and there's a significant level of comfort there.  I joined a gym today....it was recommended by a friend whose boyfriend works there - we met there so I could check it out and I was very pleasantly surprised.  I shot 150 rounds at the gun range and talked with my usual friends there....there's something they do every other Wednesday that I'd like to join (except, of course, that I'm not here on Wednesdays right now).  I got information from my tennis store on getting some tennis lessons - I'll make those calls tomorrow - and potentially taking part in a tournament they're having at the end of the month.

This afternoon was very pleasant and I had lunch on the deck of my favorite little downtown pub.  I stopped by to see my friends at the MAC store - their Holiday stuff is coming out soon - and cleaned my makeup brushes when I got home.  I went to a wine tasting and my favorite little wine shop just down the street.  I unpacked another half dozen boxes.  Individually these things are all pretty insignificant and mundane, but given everything else going on in my life they all have value.  Taken as a group, they're all part of a bigger picture of "nesting" going on right now....  I've had a good day.

The frustrating component in all of this is the reality that, for the moment, I'm only home on weekends.  I'll leave on Monday or Tuesday.  My life is split right now and I need to bridge that divide.  For the moment I'll accept things as they are but I've already started looking for a happy medium.  It's a work in progress.

As I type this I've got a glass of Malbec in front of me.  I'm cooking some pasta in the kitchen.  My windows are open and there's a wonderful, cool, cross-breeze blowing through.  Later I'll take a walk down by the ocean, and stop by my favorite little Gelato place for dessert.

I've stopped to consider whether or not I'm "lonely" a few times recently, and am happy to report that most times I'm not.  As I mentioned in a previous post I did have a little pang watching the flight attendant in KC get into the car and steal a quick kiss, but I've gotten comfortable with the fact that my life is complicated enough right now.  Of course, that's not to say that when the opportunity does come along we don't/won't seize it regardless of anything else, but I'm just sayin'....

Anyone who knows me knows that music is the backdrop of my life.  On any given day it'd be an even money bet that I'll be listening to Coldplay, or Keane on Pandora.  Lately, I've found a band that I like that doesn't seem to be all that well known.  They're Scars on 45, and they've got a number of songs that resonate.  Here's one of them:

Haunting.  Relevant.  Love it...

Cause when you're standing on your own
And you feel you've got nobody around you
You know I'll be the one who helps you
From your knees.
My heart's on fire.....

They've got another song titled "Give Me Something".  Love that one, too.  And "Promises and Empty Words."  Deeper meanings....

I'll end with something totally insignificant.  My hair is loving this weather.  It's soft soft soft.  I've gotten used to the shorter length and I'll be honest in saying that my hair misses the dry desert air of Phoenix.  But these 70-degree, coolish fall days are the next best thing.  :)

I don't usually ask for anything here.  But I'm going to do it now.  A friend of mine is apparently a finalist for "Hottest Bartender in Charleston" in one of the local magazines.  I realize most of you will never meet her, but she's one of the sweetest, nicest, most down-to-earth people you'd ever want to meet.  If you took a moment to go to the page to vote for her - I'd consider it a favor (link here).  Thank you in advance.  :)

Time for another half glass of Malbec, then a stroll for dessert.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

NCOD 10-11-12

I heard something on the news that thousands of couples have made arrangements to get married today - specifically because it's 10-11-12.  I dunno the thinking that goes into that kind of thing but at least it's easy to remember.

I'm back in Raleigh.  I was in Kansas City for less than 30 hours, and it was actually a very pleasant (but way too quick) trip.  The folks from Hallmark took me to Jack Stack BBQ for dinner on Tuesday....very yummy.  I've had BBQ all over the place but I've never heard of "burnt ends"  before.  Regardless - all good.

My day at Hallmark yesterday was very full.  I sat in on a meeting with a variety of marketing and product development people in a fascinating "Product Development Roundtable" yesterday morning.  We looked at a variety of cards, talked about theme and inclusiveness, and it was just very interesting.  They've got a huge HQ there and I appreciate all the warmth and hospitality from everyone all day long.

I talked in the afternoon, I was at the airport by a little after 4, and my flight left at 6.  My flights were mercifully uneventful - I've got a version of Sudoku on my iPad that keeps me busy for hours so the time just flew by.  I finally got into Raleigh shortly before midnight...got home, unpacked a bit to unwind, got some sleep, and was up to go to work.  I feel surprisingly chipper given the pace of the last few days.

I haven't been sick in a long time.  I hate to jinx myself by saying that, but I can't remember the last time I had a fever, or a significant cold, or anything health-related that slowed me down for a while.  I kinda feel the beginnings of something in the back of my throat, and given all the running around I've been doing it wouldn't be a surprise if I did have something.  But these things actually play out into something more significant 25% of the time so I'm hoping that a couple of days of calm will keep it away.

The VP debate is tonight, and I don't know if it makes me an unpatriotic American to admit that I won't be watching but....I won't be watching.  This entire thing, from the primaries through the national conventions and into the home stretch is absolutely crazy.  The last debate was President Obama's Titanic moment, when this unsinkable vessel hits a bump that feels like a small shudder, but turns out to be a catastrophic gash.  In what could and should have been HIS moment, it turned out to be his iceberg.  And I'm not saying that I think he's doomed.  But I do think he's made a serious problem for himself and the question is whether or not he'll recover.

When I left Raleigh a couple of days ago it was cloudy and chilly and very autumn-like.  Today it's bright and sunny and less chilly - but still autumn like.  I'll be here today and tomorrow - headed to Charleston to spend the weekend as usual.  And looking forward to it. Now THAT I'm passionate about. 

Changing topics.....

Today is National Coming Out Day.  My feelings on coming out - and on BEING out - have changed over the years.  I've written about them on this day in years past.

The coming out process....to ourselves, then to others...and how we subsequently handle that is unique to each person who does it.  I wouldn't assume to tell anyone how to do it as I sucked at it when I had to do it myself.  The reason it has importance in my life these days is because it's not something you simply do once.  It happens over and over again and in many ways, it doesn't get easier.
Here in Raleigh I haven't had "the discussion" with a single person.  Not one.  And I don't plan to.  Why?  Because there is no need.  When I "come out" these days there needs to be a need.  Whether it's a practical need (doctor, hair stylist, or some other "thing") or whether it's a gift I choose to give as part of a deepening sense of intimacy, it's not something I just blurt out.  Why?  As I say - there is no need.  Doing it "Just Because" is not a valid reason.

I saw someone on FB who posted a photo of the whiteboard in their office saying "Happy Coming Out Day!  Out + Proud Transgender".  I'm thrilled for her, but for me - There's no way in hell I'd do that any more than I'd broadcast my political affiliations, my religious beliefs, or any other personal aspect of myself at work.  It's just not pertinent sometimes.

In commemoration of NCOD I got an email from the Task Force titled "Come Out at Work".  I did, and I have.  There was a time when I had a picture of my girlfriend on my desk.  If I had a "significant other" I'd have absolutely no problem at all putting a photo of us on my desk, or of talking about who she is in my life, or of being "out" in that regard.  But I think part of the problem is that being out as G or L and being out as T, are not necessarily the same things.   BUT...

I'd suggest that I'm probably still one of the outest transpeople there are when it comes to general visibility.  My book.  My website.  This blog.  My FB presence.  My advocacy/activism efforts. My YouTube channel.  All the "stuff" that comes up if you Google me.   I have not become invisible, nor do I ever expect to (even if I could). I'm way out, and it affects every aspect of my world.

The beauty in my life is that I can be out, but not out, at the same time.  It's not a binary.  It's contextual.  There's a huge difference between not being out, and hiding.  I'm certainly not hiding either.  But perhaps even more significant is getting to a point where you just don't care.  If someone takes the initiative to Google me and learn about my background that's fine.  That's why it's out there.  But the days of me constantly wondering who wonders what or who knows what have long since gone. 

The hardest part in all of this is taking the first steps.  Coming out to yourself.  Accepting yourself.  Getting to that point is key, and whether you ever get past that point depends on whether you need to or not....

Several years ago, while I was still involved with HRC, the Coming Out Project was part of the Foundation.  Mark Shields was the manager (and a good friend), and a group of us worked together to create a "Coming Out As Trans" guide.  We very much wanted to make it a communal effort, so a small group of us, including Dr. Michele Angello, worked for almost a year to finally get it published (details here).  Mariette Pathy Allen provided the photographs.  It was released in April 2007, and early copies were sent to the IFGE Conference.

It's not available thru HRC anymore, but it's as relevant today as it was when we first did it (link here).


I'll close this by sharing a little something I saw on Tuesday.  I was standing at the curb of the airport in KC waiting for my ride.  The flight attendant from our flight from National Airport to KCU was standing there as well.  He was a very pleasant guy, and after a couple of minutes a car pulled up and the guy who was driving popped the trunk.  The flight attendant guy put his luggage in the trunk, then got in the front seat.  The two gave each other a quick little "hello" kiss, and they drove off.

That spoke to me.  In my day-to-day-to-day world I don't generally stop to think about things like that but watching the simple act of having someone waiting for you that you could give a simple public but inconspicuous kiss to....it made me realize that I miss that.  I don't expect to do anything to significantly change in that regard for me any time soon - maybe someday - but that was nice. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Gather No Moss

I'm sitting National Dirport waiting to for the second half of my flight to Kansas City.  I'm speaking at a National Coming Out Day event at Hallmark Cards there tomorrow before flying back late tomorrow evening.

I flew out of Raleigh.  It was the first time I've left from RDU and I specifically noted that it was a very pleasant airport.  Easy to get to.  Good parking.  Big bathroom stalls.  Modern.  Very nice.

I haven't flown in a while. It's actually nice to be able to say that. My last trip was my visit to Phoenix to visit my "stuff" there in August.  Of course, I've more than made up for that up for that recently in road miles but such is the practical realities of a life that gathers no moss.

I unpacked all day Sunday and was in bed by 9:30, a product both of just being tired from all the unpacking and of realizing that I needed to be on the road by 4:30am to get to Raleigh for work.  The good news is that I was in bed as planned.  The bad news is that I woke up at 12:30 and couldn't get back to sleep.  So, I got up, unpacked a little more, and was in my truck headed north by 3:30.  It made for a very long day yesterday.

I'd love to see a Hallmark Card specifically targeted for trans people.  What would that look like?  I dunno...  A Congratulations card to begin Transition?  A Mother's Day or a Father's Day card?  Make no mistake - There is cultural legitimacy to something simply because a mainstream greeting card maker creates a card to recognize or commemorate it.  I'm part of a round-table discussion about inclusion in the morning that should be interesting....

I remember back at one of my first Out and Equal Workplace Summits where they included a couple of cards specifically  targeting same sex couples in the Welcome Bags.  That was before marriage was legal.  I was impressed.

I'll be in KC for less than 30 hrs.  Like I said...I gather no moss.

Monday, October 8, 2012

All good things.

It's true.  All good things come to an end.  It's Monday - 8:30am and I've already driven the 4+ hrs from Charleston to Raleigh.  My weekend at home, nesting, is over.  I'm tired.  And truth be told - I'm cranky.

Back to the good news bad news...The good news is that I knew I had to get up early so I was in bed shortly after 9.  The bad news is that I was awake before 1am, couldn't get back to sleep, so I just got up, finished packing, and hit the road by 3:30.  Yuck.

I mentioned that I went to see Loopers on Saturday evening.  I find it interesting to see the coming attractions they select for any given movie.  At one of the other recent movies I saw there were 6 or 7 trailers, all of which seemed funny and interesting, and I'm going to try to see all of them when they come out.

At Loopers, all but one of the coming attractions were horror flicks.  I couldn't watch....that kind of stuff creeps me out.  Based on that alone I was a little concerned about the movie itself, but thankfully my concerns proved to be unfounded.  I'd say that the movie is more thought provoking than "enjoyable" (in the traditional sense).  There was lots of death in it, but death (and life) are themes as much as anything.

I posted a couple of pictures from my weekend on my Snaplog.  Lots of boxes, lots of stairs.  Thankfully, there's only one flight of stairs this time so it wasn't too bad.  And the weather cooperated so it wasn't too hot or humid.  But although I'm pretty much a moving machine when it comes to grabbing big boxes and getting them from point A to point B I feel the fact that I'm not at peak shape for this.  It's not that I ran out of gas, or that I'm sore.  It just didn't feel the same (hard to explain...but true, nonetheless).

My dad was a cynical kind of guy.  All good things do come to an end.  I suppose that's the nature of change.  Things change.  For better or for worse?  It's sometimes not so easy to tell in the heat of the moment.  Those kinds of subjective determinations often don't truly become apparent without the benefit of the passage of time.

He also said, "No good deed goes unpunished."  In my own more cynical moments I think he was right on that, too. 

I get back to something I've asked before.  Do you need to trust someone to love them?  I'm not looking for answers, because my cynicism told me a long time ago that the answer was "no".  It would certainly be nice...but does one require the other?  Nope.  I realize that both "trust" and "love" are relatively subjective terms, but I'm just saying...

There was a time when my son was in high school that I wouldn't trust him for a second.  Some "incidents" demonstrated that he'd lie to my face even when the truth was obvious....when there were zero other possibilities.  I still loved him....but there were boundaries.

Anyways....I'm going to need to re-think this office by the window thing.  It was beautiful.  Until today.  Today it's rainy and chilly out, and I'm freezing.  Fa-REEZ-ing.  I think it may be time to retreat to a spot deeper in the building.  At least, until spring.  :)

UPDATE:  Well, it's freezing everywhere in the building except for the stair wells.  I asked one of my co-workers if he thought if anyone would mind if I started a small campfire for warmth.  Probably not a good idea.  Sigh. 

Tomorrow I fly to Kansas City.  I noticed that the low there tomorrow night is going to be ~39 degrees.  Oh dear.....

Saturday, October 6, 2012

For days like these

I live where I live, and live the crazy life I do, for days like these.

It's not that anything specifically notable happened.  That probably the best part.  Sometimes, it's the remarkable nature of the unremarkable that needs appreciation.

I started the day by waking in my own bed (it seemed more comfortable last night).  I made coffee in my own coffee maker.  I made a major trip moving stuff into my place....going up and down the stairs with boxes more times than I care to count.  I truly enjoy playing tennis, so I spent the afternoon playing tennis with the person I'd most like to play it with.  I went to see Looper this evening.  And tonight...as it nears midnight...I'm feeling peaceful.

Nothing remarkable.  No "Oh Wow" moments.  But....lots of "ahhhh" moments.  If I was a cat I'd be purring right now...

These are the kinds of days that come along every once in a while.  They're the culmination of all the "other" days....working days....traveling days....doing "stuff" days....And although there's lots going on in my world on a number of fronts today none of that matters.  I'll deal with it tomorrow, or Monday.

I've got more moving, and "nesting" to do tomorrow.  I need to drive back to Raleigh sometime in the next 36 hours so there's a 4+ hour drive soon.  But all that is in the future.  Today....was...nice.

Friday, October 5, 2012

All the way out

The good news is that I got to sleep at home last night.  And again tonight, and tomorrow...

The bad news is...well....it's furnished and the mattress is, shall we say, less than comfortable.  I cherish the little time I have in bed so making it as enjoyable as possible is key.

Back to the good news, bad news thing...

The good news is that I've got a very comfortable queen size mattress of my own.  The bad news is that it, like most of my "stuff", is still in Arizona.  I will need to address this conundrum....

This isn't the road-weariness kind of tired that I feel sometimes.  This is more of an I-need-a-Redbull kind of tired.  I'm not Tired tired.  I'm just tired.

I mentioned that this week - the first week of October - contains the milestones of my first day full-time and my first day presenting as Donna at work.  It also happens to contain the anniversary of my resignation from HRC in 2007 over the organization's stance on ENDA (link here).

As I mentioned yesterday, I really don't have difficulty making decisions and this one was fairly easy.  I should restate - the choice was obvious to me.  Actually doing it was difficult, very personal, and extremely emotional.  The level of betrayal I felt, knowing what I know, was profound and I suppose it changed me in a way.  Still, it's not one of those decisions I've regretted or secondIuessed even for a moment.  It was necessary.

I believe today, as I did then, that the most important issue facing the community is employment.  Same-sex marriage is a "sexier" topic, and I suppose it's got significant symbolic value for same-sex couples, but as I said on the CNN event last December it's not at the top of my list of needs.

Every time I mention HRC it opens the floodgate for comments. Some want to vent. Go ahead. Vent.

Others ask me if anything there has changed.  The short answer is...I have no idea.  I don't have anything to do with them. Do I trust them?  No.  Do I have any advice to give those thinking of getting involved?  No. I'm all the way out.

Anyway....enough politics for one entry.  Back to more "fun" stuff.

October is a special time in Charleston.  The first Friday of the month (as in, today) features a downtown "Art Walk" in the art district where galleries stay open late, provide munchies and wine, and generally promote art.

Later in the month is the Carolina Coastal Fair.  I suspect I'll have more to say on that as it gets closer.  I can't pinpoint anything specific that makes it special to me other than my memories from previous versions.  October just rocks....

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Capital-H Home

The knife cuts both ways.

I seem to have a knack for making the complicated seem simple.  At least, that's what I'm told.

Well, I also have a knack for making the simple complicated.  Like, some of the churn in my world right now.  But the good news is that there's always something to bring me back to center - to clear the noise.  I had one of those moments yesterday.

I really don't feel like going into details yet because, frankly, the details aren't important to anyone but me.  But it's just important to share that there has been a shift.  Decisions are being made.  Things will happen as a result of this.  And then.....life will go on.

I typically don't have a problem making decisions.  They may or may not be good decisions but those things don't usually become apparent without the added value of time.  Decisions and I are ok.

The problem with decisions sometimes is that choosing something over other things involves some risk.  It's choosing one pathway and not others.  It's opening one door, and potentially locking others without ever having looked behind them.  Having to make those choices can be difficult to the point of paralysis, although it goes without saying that sometimes if you don't make decisions they get made for you....

Anyways, I was explaining some of the various options in my world right now to my mom and she approached things very mom-like.  She suggested coming up with lists of pro's and con's for each option and comparing them and then the answer might be obvious.  Oh, if it were only so simply.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about trusting your gut.  What about that?  Where does the "gut feeling" go?  Does it trump reason, or practicality?  Sometimes, it does....

And once decisions do get made, there is a tendency to look back over your shoulder while there's still time.  Those decisions are decisions that aren't actually made yet.  A choice has been made, but a decision has not.  Typical human nature is to straddle as many options as possible until the last moment.

None of my decisions are nearly so dire.  13 years ago today the decision to show up at work as Donna was one of those biggies.  These ones...they're microscopic in comparison.  Still, they're affecting my quality of life at the moment so they need to be addressed.

What I will say - though - is that tonight....Oct. 4, 2012...for the first time in a long, long time....I'll be exactly where I want to be because of some decisions I've made.  Including the one yesterday. 

I suppose NOT having Home for a while makes me appreciate this more.  Sorta like my transition.  Regardless....tonight, I will finally have worked my way back to capital-H Home.  And the thought of that is making me capital-H Happy.

Until tomorrow.  When I have to leave again for work.  :)

There are a number of recent news articles I could mention.  Or the debate.  Not even gonna go there today.  I'm too busy managing my own little Little-w world.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Rainbows never get old

I'm in a hotel tonight in southern NC that I stayed at last Thursday.  Last night I stayed at a hotel in central SC that I stayed at last Tuesday and Wednesday.  These aren't complaints....and as odd as it might sound it's more about establishing routine in an inherently routine-less situation as anything.

The good news - I do expect this vagabond thing to be ending this week.  It's not that the traveling will end - that's my choice (for now).  It's that I've made the appropriate changes to "stabilize" starting tomorrow....  Phew.

I haven't forgotten that today is the 13th anniversary of my first day full-time.  I don't have too much to say about it more than what I originally wrote in my Journal :

How long have we talked about this day?  I can't believe it's here.  I can't believe this is
me.  It's as if I were just a spectator watching this person do these things, and to realize that it's me is really amazing to me.  I have no idea where I have gotten the strength/courage to actually show up here  today.  It has built itself up over time, because I know it wasn't here too too long ago.  It's one thing to want it and talk about it, and another to do it.  And still another to feel comfortable about it.  How many people actually  follow it through?  Pretty amazing.  
I still think it's amazing.  All these years later.  Now I've spent a quarter of my life as me.  A quarter of my entire life!  Ab-so-lute-ly crazy.

There are those who tell me I'm stuck in the past.  I really don't care what anyone things....my past helps me appreciate my current.  Everyone is certainly entitled to their own perspective but in my way of looking at things the main point in all of this is the journey itself.  It is a test of patience, resolve, character, resiliency, creativity....you plug in the word and I'm sure it applies.


I also can't forget that I'm just a link in a chain that started long before me, and will endure long after I'm gone.  The fact that I've even been able to imagine this life - much less, to experience it - is the result of people with similar circumstances who have paved the way.  Even more sobering, however, is recognition of how many of us will never get to experience this...for any number of reasons.

So - regardless of how people feel about the way I put my life into perspective the key is that it works.  For me, it works.  And that's all that really matters.

It is gratifying to recognize that the world for trans people today is positively different than it was those 13 years ago.  I suppose it's nice to think I've done my part in helping that to happen, and I like to think I can continue to play at least some small part today and tomorrow and beyond.  As long as I can strike a balance, I'm good.

One of the questions someone asked me at one of my speaking events recently is fairly thought-provoking.  Someone asked, "When you were starting your transition did you have an idea of what your life as Donna would be like, and how close is your life now to what you imagined?"  I suppose I did have some kind of vision of what I expected, but by and large I could never have imagined much of how my life has gone in recent years.  Quite literally - It's still amazing to me.

I still very much enjoy some of the simpler things in life.  The feeling of my body.  Putting on my make-up or doing my hair in the morning.  Going to work.  Just....being.  It hasn't gotten old or blase or a chore.

I treated myself, mid-drive tonight, to dinner at Outback.  Simple, but just what the doctor ordered.  It's kind of sad to admit that it had just started raining and I was hoping it'd rain harder because my truck needs a good cleaning.  But the highlight of it was a rainbow.  Ironic, symbolic, or just coincidence.  Doesn't matter.  It was pretty.

Rainbows never get old, and they're always worth appreciating.  Kinda like life these days...

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Blip

This weekend was a reminder of what it's like to relax.  Re-charge.  Deep breaths.  Smell the roses.  Foot on the brake.  Call it whatever you want. This was a weekend to do it.

It's not that I've forgotten how to do it over recent weeks.  The only time I really get to myself at the moment is weekends so I try to make the most of them. I've actively fit as much "me" time into the mix as I can lately which has helped offset the other stuff.  This past weekend was totally chill, and I'm totally happy 'bout that.

I'll be the first to acknowledge that much of the imbalance in my life at the moment is self-inflicted.  That is, if you want something that's going to cause a "blip" in your life you need to be prepared to actually deal with the blip.  Frankly, I'm more comfortable with self-inflicted drama than external-inflicted drama because at least then you've got some say in the matter.

In this case specifically, if I didn't drive back to Charleston every weekend and accepted that I could use the time to get comfortable elsewhere life would be a lot simpler right now.  But I'm not willing to let go, and I can be fairly stubborn.

One of the notable features in Charleston are the graveyards.  There are some fairly spectacular ones, with notable names ranging from the Declaration of Independence to the Civil War to more current times.

In a city with so much to offer, graveyards here are a big deal.  The Magnolia Cemetery is listed on TripAdvisor as the #9 attraction in Charleston.  And there are even tours of Graveyards at night - lots of ghosts and spirits there.

The reason I mention any of this is that some of the stonework is extraordinary.  I can't help but wonder what the people who are on the gravestones were like.  And the landscape for many of these graveyards is remarkable, too.

So, I was walking downtown and took a photo (w my iPhone) of some of the headstones and an orange butterfly comes into the frame.  I like to think it's a spirit.....

Anyway, the thing that struck me is that it reminds me of the image on my ankle...

Symbolism is a big thing for me......

There's an article on the CNN website today worth mentioning.  The governor of CA signed a law that passed both houses in the state banning gay "conversion therapy" (story here).  Gov. Brown signed legislation that outlaws so-called "therapy" aimed at turning gay kids straight, saying such efforts "will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery."

Major kudos on that one.

But I also noted that the group that actually promotes this stuff - NARTH (see website here) -  issued a statement saying (per CNN):

... the law will seriously jeopardize the livelihoods of "licensed therapists in California who would otherwise be willing to assist minor clients in modifying their unwanted same-sex attractions and behaviors." It also will "supplant the rights of parents," the group says.

Ummm.  If these "licensed therapists" are dependent upon their conversion therapies for their livelihood it's probably best that they find a new actually useful skill anyway. 

Anyway....this stuff makes me crazy.

Speaking of crazy....I've made active efforts over the weekend to pare down my Facebook "flock" of friends.  I have no idea how the total number got to 5,500+ but at some point it stopped my ability to add anyone while I was over the FB limit of 5,000.

I normally wouldn't care all that much, but the fact of the matter is that I've got a number of friends and relative who I WANT to stay in touch with who I can't add because I'm over the limit.  It won't even allow people to send a friend request.  So...I got up early on Sunday and spent some time looking at things.

First off....there are many people who have Friended me who are just plain gone.  Those are easy to delete, but it involves looking at each one.  Anyone specifically tied to a previous "thing" in my life got serious consideration for pruning, too.  HRC and other groups I've been involved with....if it's not pertinent anymore we probably don't need to stay in touch on FB.

Any Friend who is purely political...sorry.   Anybody with photos of nudity, or anything I'd consider "explicit"....sorry.  FB isn't the place for that.  And near the end I was just tired so I wasn't being nearly as careful.   Anyways....I deleted over 500 people so if anyone reading this isn't a Friend anymore who wants to be I apologize in advance. 

As of this very second, FB thinks I've got 4,999 Friends.  I'll get back to work at it tonight at the hotel, but I'm feeling like something that needed doing got done.  Pretty sad, but true....