Thursday, January 31, 2013

Purse Change

I've written about this before, but it's time to write about it again.

A purse is a personal thing.  I know some people who change the purses they carry on a daily basis to match clothes or for some other style or convenience reason.  I don't do that.  I carry the same purse for a long time.  The purse I've been carrying for the past 6 months or so is a black Coach satchel purse, and in fact is the same purse that was stolen out of the trunk of the car in Utah back in 2009.  They found it at the bottom of a ravine...and it was none the worse for wear.  Thankfully, I don't believe in bad karma....after all, it's a Coach bag.

I've got a half-dozen purses that I use over and over, and get a new one for one reason or another every three or four years.  Otherwise, I simply move my stuff from one to another and it almost makes each one seem new again.  A purse is a very personal thing....the size, the number of pockets, how it looks, what it's made's a statement as much as a carrying case, I suppose.  Anyway, today I traded out one of my purses for another of them.  I realize it's not earth-shattering news, but it's just one of those things you gain a sense of appreciation for being able TO do. 

This one is bigger.  But when it comes to purses bigger isn't always's easier to lose things in it.

I'm also going through the process of copying my massive CD collection into iTunes.  My CD's are in book boxes, and I can never get to whatever it is I'm looking for.  Anyway, I got a hard drive just to store my music library so part of my days while I'm here involves copying the CD's to my iMac.  It's going to take a long time.  I've got lots of music.

I see that the Boy Scouts are reconsidering their ban against gay scouts.  It's about time.  I see that women are now allowed in combat roles.  It's about time.  I see that some moron on the 49ers was asked about gay players and he said that there are none on his team, and if there were they'd have to leave (see here).  Everyone is entitled to opinions.  The funny thing is, if we replaced the word "gay" with "colored", or "Hispanic" or any number of other groups that at one time or another fought for inclusion - it's still the same ignorance.  And there's nothing new about this conversation - I'm confident that most of the players in the league feel similarly.  That's a problem.

I look forward to the day that an NFL Team has a real LGBT "training".  It might not change anything - but the fact that people recognize the problem and provide the beginnings of awareness to address it is more than symbolic.

Anyway....just wait until the first big name NFL name comes out as gay.  These conversations are going to get a whole lot louder.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013



I was having a chat with a friend today who mentioned the word "retirement".

Frankly, I think that as a culture we've got this whole thing wrong.  The thought of forcing people to work to a certain age that they may or may not live to see before giving them time to experience life just doesn't compute for me.  I watched my dad slowly fade away and die at the relatively young age of 64 after having put off all his "retirement" plans until after he was done working.  Well, those days never came.

I far more prefer a plan where the activities that would fill a retirement are interspersed with work/career throughout the year.  To me - that seems like balance....not some system built where you finally get your life back near the end - if at all.

It's that kind of thinking that makes it so that I've got what I perceive to be a fairly well-rounded life, but that makes me questionable "employee" material.  Over the course of 2013 I plan to go to Europe for AT LEAST 2 weeks.  I need to fly out to Phoenix and pick-up my stuff out there and drive it back east.  I envision at least one if not two long weekend visits to Disney.  I've got a number of speaking engagements.  We're getting the boat ready for the water.  I'm looking forward to the next several months for several reasons, not least of which is the weather.

Back in the day I had board meetings for various organizations, I had other obligations, and it all needed to balance itself.  No balance - that means changes.  I've left more than one job that couldn't support the balance.

Things where I am now have been working fine.  But I'm a big believer that you need to appreciate with things are "fine" because eventually they'll become "not-so-fine".

I've mentioned it here before - that my transition "ruined" me because finally I'm at a point where just because things are typically done a certain way is simply a guideline as far as I'm concerned.

It's Tuesday.  I set my alarm for 3:15am and was on the road by 4.  It was warm out, and the big, bright full moon was like a spotlight of blue light shining down.  One of the things I miss from time to time is listening to Smooth Jazz....back when I lived in Phoenix there was a wonderful Smooth Jazz station but it has moved on to other things.  Where there's a will there's a way - and I've got lots of will.

I hook my the iHeartRadio app in my iPhone into my Aux jack and listen to a smooth jazz station from Orlando.  You'd think that I'd want to listen to something louder to keep me awake on those kinds of drives, but smooth jazz is just what the doctor ordered.

It's kinda interested to be speeding along the highway somewhere near the border of North and South Carolina and be listening to traffic updates from Orlando.  If makes me glad I don't live too near Orlando because I generally have clear sailing (as long as the weather is ok) and things there seem to get FUBAR fairly quickly, fairly often.

I've got two 9-5, all-day planning sessions with out-of-town vendors so I need to be here - feeling pretty good so far. 

Speaking of FUBAR, the full-moon seems to be wreaking havoc on people's lives.  Thankfully, I haven't experienced anything too bad (so far as I know) but I've got several friends dealing with some serious stuff.  I'm sending out as much positive energy as I can, but I've got a feeling I may need some of it back before too too long.

Wednesday night

I'm back in Charleston.  A nasty storm is making its way across the country and I sort of raced it here tonight.  On the way it struck me how sick I am of driving.  I am SO over it right now.  And I can  complain about it now but that won't change anything.   I'm just burned out a bit right now, I guess.  Maybe it's belated full-moon stuff....

Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Things, and Old

I did some new things today.

I learned about trailer tires.  I used a hydraulic jack to change tires on a boat trailer....with a 6,000 lb boat on it.  I can't even remember the last time I changed a tire on my car....this trailer thing was quite the undertaking.  Two tires down, two to go.

One of the reasons I bought a Big-Ass truck rather than a cute little car in the first place is so it can do truck things.  This weekend was a celebration of truck things.  We've loaded the bed with 9 cubic yards of mulch, and spread it.  One more trip to the mulch place to go.

Another of the truck things she will do someday is pull this boat.  And that someday will be soon.  It's not a small boat, and it's a matter of getting the trailer ready for the road before getting the to the water.  All things in good time, but I'm pretty jazzed about it.

I also did some old things today, too.  I've got quite a bit of makeup - I don't think I throw anything away until there's a good reason to so I've got quite a bit from over the years.  Well, today I went through much of it and threw away quite a bit - stuff that had gotten too dry, or too creamy, or that I just won't ever use.

I've got boxes and boxes of CD's - I'm importing them into my iTunes Library.  It's going to take a while, but I'm in no hurry.

I tried to go target shooting but now that all this gun craziness is going on getting ammunition is not so simple.  What's happening is that people are assuming that things will be taken away and are arming up.  Firearms, ammo.  I'll get as much ammo as I can find because even though nothing I've got is on the "banned" list people assume that this is just the beginning.

Hysteria?  Perhaps.  But the threat of taking something away is all it takes to cause hysteria.  Gas.  Food.  And in this case...access to firearms.

I took a nap this afternoon.  Well - it was either than or a trip to the gym and I felt that the work with the boat wheel already counted as exercise.  So I napped.  How rare is that?

Next week at this time we will be cleaning up from our various Super Bowl parties.  One more Sunday of football between the long draught over the spring and summer.  Good thing there are other

I've got lots to do between now and then.  I've enjoyed my weekend, and would add another day or two to it if I could. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

What it Once Was

It's 6:30am on Friday.  Based on what the news is saying, it's in the low 20's outside....windy, too.  It's still dark so I can't see for myself, but I'm thinking that it will be mostly sunny this morning.  Thank God I'm not driving between Raleigh and here today - they've got ice and other traffic dangers going on north of here.  At least here, I'm relatively safe.

My dad didn't cook much.  I remember him cooking 2 things, one of which I'll never cook myself.

The first was chopped liver.  He had a hand grinder and would put in the liver, and schmaltz, and chopped onions, and boiled eggs.  It was quite the production.  And although I absolutely HATE liver, somehow chopped liver doesn't taste like liver to me.  The process of grinding it and spicing it somehow transforms it into something else, and I won't let my mind go back to the fact it's actually liver.

The second thing he cooked was eggs.  He liked to cook eggs, and took pride in being some sort of egg "chef".  Personally, I think I've taken that talent far beyond he ever did but that's partly because his taste in eggs was simpler than mine is.

The reason I mention that is that I've already made my morning omelette... cheddar cheese, salsa, a little bit of sour cream.   Yummm.  It was worthy of some high falutin' restaurant Sunday brunch somewhere.  It was a good way to start a day.

Lots going on today.  Lots going on this weekend.  Tonight E and I are going to see Robin Williams here in Charleston.  The Boat show is here this weekend - I'd like to go there, too. 

I'm watching what's going on with gun control and find it to be misguided and wrong.  I have stated my opinion here before.  There are so many other issues to deal with.  I get emails from the White House trying to sell their gun control plan and asking for my support - I delete them.  I'm not a member of the NRA, but as I said previously while some of the points might be reasonable the bigger picture "bans" are not.  I'm taking a friend's daughter who has never been shooting before to the gun range today. 

I've been watching Ken Burns documentary on the Civil War and I'm finding it more fascinating now that South Carolina is home.  It's an "interesting" state with an incredible history.  It's the exact opposite of how I felt when I lived in Phoenix, where it's spreading into the desert in all directions and really has no singular identity or history.  Here, history is in every building, on every street.  John C. Calhoun's house is a half mile from here.  A half dozen signers of the Declaration of Independence are buried within walking distance of where I live.

But one of the reasons I find it so intriguing is some of the letters that they read from various soldiers, politicians, political figures, and just general "folk" that give Ken Burns' documentaries such a personal feel.  Back in the day writing letters was an art, an expression of deep emotion, a true opportunity for self-expression.  Simple letters home are from son to mother, or father to son, or husband to wife - carry as much weight as any complete book or novel.  Some of them are truly extraordinary, and it's a shame that, over time, we've lost that.  Texting, brief acronyms, "tweets" measured in characters have now become our main modes of communication. I suppose my blog is my own personal way of communicating...

Speaking of letters, I saw a letter written by an 11-yr old wondering why President Obama didn't mention trans people in his inauguration speech (link here).  I agree with her.  I don't think we got forgotten.  I think it was by design. And frankly, although I continue to support our President in most things, I know I'm not alone in acknowledging that my personal opinion of him is not what it once was.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Feels Like Winter

I woke up in Raleigh yesterday morning and it was 19 degrees.  Brrrr.  That's the kind of cold that could convince me to grab a warm cup of coffee and head right back under the covers.  But I was at a hotel, and I had work, so the covers thing wasn't really an option.

I've been fairly out-of-touch lately.  It suppose is by design.  I've had other things occupying my time and my attention and really haven't thought about much else.  As a result, recent bigger picture the inauguration, the NFL Playoffs, and other life "stuff" has very much taken a back seat.    So, too, has my my online time.

My weekend was a wonderful one.  Relaxing.  Busy, but fun.  I was with the people I most wanted to be with.  We spent some time working in the yard, took a day trip to Myrtle Beach, watched a little football (thrilled with the Super Bowl outcomes) and a little college basketball (VERY thrilled at SU's victory over #1 Louisville), some kayaking, and time enough to get enough sleep.  All things considered - good stuff.  The week at work has been pretty good as well.  Really - no complaints other than the long commute thing.  Oh - and the 19 degrees.

We've got tickets to go see Robin Williams here in Charleston tomorrow night so that should be fun.  I'm taking a friend's daughter to the shooting range.  I've got my weekly status reports to do.  All I can say is that I'm glad I'm home, and the weekend looks to be nice.

I watched some of the news coverage of the Inauguration and remembered back to when I froze my butt off there 4 years ago.  The one thing I hope he does, more than same sex marriage, more than anything else in our community, is to pass a fully inclusive ENDA.  As far as I'm concerned the rest is nice, but all this talk about jobs and rights and equality and diversity doesn't end at the alter.  It ends at the right to get and have and keep a job free from discrimination.

I had a chat with someone recently about the fact that although technically I'm left handed because I eat and write with my left hand, I do most other things with my right hand.  That led to a series of exercises to determine my "dominant" eye.  It was pretty remarkable to identify that my left eye is dominant, and during my most recent visit to the gun range I found to my surprise that it was true.  All this time I've been using my right eye to aim, and I've actually done pretty good.  But with my left eye, and a slight adjustment to my stance -- well, the difference was startling.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Feels like summer

The good news is that whatever the infection that seemed to have parked itself under my eyebrow and spread through my eye seems to be in full retreat.  A few days of antibiotics seem to have done the trick.  Phew.  It's 95% done - just a small, not-so-red bump where it all seems to have rooted itself.

Yesterday was a long day.  I was up early and drove the 300 miles to Raleigh.  I had a big afternoon meeting and had originally planned to spend the night and drive back after work today.

But the words "Winter Storm Alert" are enough to cause me to revert to Plan B.  The forecast called for falling temperatures, and rain turning to sleet turning into - possibly - snow.  If I never see another single snow-flake fall that'll be fine by me.  I talked with a friend who was in Minnesota yesterday, and the temperature there was zero, and another who lives near Denver who said the nighttime temperature there was 15 below zero earlier in the week.  Oy.

In Charleston, it's supposed to get to 78 degrees today.  So, after considering the options after work yesterday I cancelled my hotel, got back into my truck, and drove the 300 miles back to Charleston.  It made for a long day with more road time than I expected, but I'm fine with it.

If I'm driving during "news hour" I'll often spend some time listening to the news on NPR.  Yesterday, the big story was President Obama's gun control efforts.

I'm not going to wade into the gun control debate.  Each of us has opinions, and I've said in the past that I have found it fascinating the strong feelings that people have on guns.  Regardless, part of living in this country involves freedoms of all kinds....

All I'll say is that, if those proposals were sent for a vote as a package, and I had a vote, I'd vote against them. Some of them are good, common-sense things that seem like no-brainers.  But some of the others....well, let me just say that I don't think these things would have or are going to make a significant change in violent acts involving guns in this country.  They just make some people feel safer.

I far more support his efforts to ensure "responsible" firearm ownership.  Buying them.  How to use them.  How to store them.  In my opinion that would have a much greater impact on safety than telling me that you're going to limit the number of bullets in the clip of my .45 to 10.  You may ask why I "need" more than 10.  Well, as far as I'm concerned that's not the right question.  And the answer is - because I can.

Anyway, that's more than I planned to say.  I'm a handgun owner, and my guns are loaded with ammunition designed to inflict maximum damage when it hits its target.  I have passed my state's fairly stringent requirements that permit me to carry and conceal it out in public.  Have no doubt that if I get accosted in a parking lot somewhere or my car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and someone tries to take advantage of the situation I've come to peace with the fact that I may need to use it. 

I'm not a member of the NRA, and I don't support their recent ad about the President and his daughters.  But I also don't support some of these knee-jerk reactions, or the name-calling of anyone who doesn't support these things as a "gun nut".

Well - I didn't mean to say all that.  But there you have it....

I'm already looking forward to the weekend.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lots of Dreams

I had a wonderful weekend.

The weather was great, and although I had one plan going into it what ended up happening was totally different.  Plans are made to change, and when opportunity made itself available yesterday morning the decision to change was an easy one.

There really isn't all that much of it that I want to share.

We went to see Zero-Dark-Thirty today and, to be honest, it was ok but I don't see it as Oscar-Worthy. I'm just saying....

I watched a little football, but I expect the games I really wanted to see will be replayed later in the week.  I don't have a significant stake in any of the teams and with weather being as nice as it was - I had more interesting things to do.

Instead, I watched some of the Miss USA Pageant - and I wasn't surprised to learn this morning that the two people I chose as my picks to win at the beginning came in first and second.

The infected "bump" in my eyebrow is still there, and I've started taking an antibiotic.  It had spread to my inner eye as of yesterday morning, and this morning was even worse.  It hurt more, too.  But tonight, as I write this, I'm hopeful that I'm on the mend as it's a very curious ailment that seems more inconvenient than dangerous.  But if it's not significantly improved tomorrow I'll have the doctor look at it as I don't want to take it too lightly.

Chevrolet unveiled the 2014 Corvette today (story here).  I bought a new Corvette in 1996 that ended up as a casualty in the divorce, and have no problem admitting that I find them to be a wonderful mixture of sexy, fast, comfy, cool, and....unique.  As practical or impractical as it might be - I hold out hope of owning another one someday.

Dreams are important.  I've got lots and lots of dreams.  I've talked about some of them in the past.  I want to go to Europe.  I want to wear a wedding dress.  I want to start a business that in some way incorporates my photography.  Of course, health and some sort of financial engine are necessarily part of those dreams, but my dreams didn't end when I transitioned.  In some very real ways, they simply suddenly became possible.

Relationships are part of the equation, but I'll be honest and say that the most fulfilling, fun, happy relationship in my life right now is probably so comfortable for both of us because it's flexible, because it IS so comfortable, and because it fits into other complicated dynamics in both our lives.

Tomorrow is Monday.  Another week begins.  It's not even 9pm and I expect to be under my covers in the next 15 minutes.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


It's Saturday morning....6 something am.  I was in bed last night by 8:30 and other than a half-hour 12:30 wake-up I got some good sleep.  Weird dreams, but good.

I don't typically remember my dreams.  I do know that lately they've been more vivid than usual for some reason, but that seems to go in cycles.

I'm in Charleston - got here yesterday.  We're supposed to have near-record warm temperatures this weekend....near 80 degrees.  I can think of a half dozen things I need or should do but anything that keeps me indoors on these kinds of days needs to be pretty important.

When I woke up yesterday I had what felt like a pimple in one of my eyebrows.  It was sore, and bothered me all day.  When I woke up this morning there's a big, swollen, infected "mound" there that includes the inner half of my eye which is half swollen shut, too.  I can't find a way into the thing to put bacitracin on it, so I picked at it for a while and got it oozing.  I should put some ice on it to bring the swelling down, but for the moment I'm trying to stop the infection.  It's not a major thing....but it's one of those "yuck" inconveniences that sometimes happens in life.

Another "yuck" inconvenience is a situation I'm having with one of the companies that I subcontracted thru recently.  They owe me a significant amount of money for time and expenses (over $6K) and I've been patiently waiting hoping that things would work themselves out peacefully.  Nothing has happened, so it's time to turn it up a notch and I'm not going to let this go.

None of this is affecting my general life life outlook which is actually pretty good right now.  I think having a good outlook is sometimes necessary to deal with life "noise", although the noise can certainly bring you down if you're not careful.  I've found that a key in all of this is to keep things in perspective - that has been a big help during the ups and downs of life.

I'm watching Avatar on Blu-Ray as I type this....the visuals are absolutely stunning.  It's one of those movies I can watch over and over.  Love it.

There are a few news items to mention briefly...

One is here.  She's going to win, and the principal will lose his job.  That's my prediction.

Another is here.  Good luck to her.

Here's a third.  I wouldn't believe it could happen if I didn't know it for myself....

I had a hair appointment yesterday.  I love my hair appointments.  Yesterday we talked about some pretty deep topics...that's one of the best parts.

Anyway - I need to get this day going.  I've got the second of my recording classes at Guitar Center this morning.  So, I'll get myself ready to head out in the world....swollen eye al all.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Da Hump.

It's Wednesday already.  Has it really been almost a week since I've posted here?

My weekend got  busy to the point I don't think I was online for more than a few minutes here and there thru the end of the day Monday.  It was a "good" busy, but anyone waiting for an email from me or expecting something from me didn't see much until yesterday. 

I'm back in Raleigh now, so I've got a little time on my hands.  I really don't do all that much here, although someone at work is trying to get me to do CrossFit with her next week.  What I really want to do is go to my usual Barre class, but I've got a lot of work stuff going on this week so it's not going to happen until I get home.

We're experiencing a bit of "spring" across the southeast - it got near 70 here today and is forecast to get into the mid 70's for the weekend.  Needless to say, I'm loving it.  It's not quite bikini weather, but springtime in Charleston is magical.  And, God willing that nothing sidetracks me between now and the summer - there WILL be a bikini in my future this summer.

There are a couple of things to comment on today.

First, I received an email from the National Cathedral in Washington DC indicating that they will begin performing same-sex weddings (read it here).  Love, love, love this.

Second, I got to my hotel room last night and watched a show on PBS I've mentioned here before, American Experience.  It was the first of three episodes titled "The Abolitionists", and I found it fascinating.  The entire first episode is available online (watch it here).... 

Tonight - Maggiano's.  It's one of my favorite parts of my trips here.  The good news is that it's near my favorite mall, the Nordstrom's Rack, the REI, and other good stuff.  Then, then home!

No complaints.  I'm feeling good, starting a new project at work, good balance going on.  For now.    :) 

Friday, January 4, 2013

My groove.

Today has felt like the most "normal" day of the week.  That is, I drove back from Raleigh late  yesterday and worked from home the same as any other Friday.  As far as I'm concerned now that all the tumult of the election and the Holidays are behind us the best thing to do is to get into a groove for a little while.  Well - for better or for worse - this is my groove.

A couple of things from today are worth mention....

First, I went to Barre class again.  I'm still loving them, and can see myself going three times a week for a long time to come.  My Groupon "starter" sessions are almost over so I'll need to get serious about 'em.  Next class for me:  Sunday.

These classes are part of a bigger effort on my part.  My goal of reshaping my body a bit, gaining some of my flexibility, and taking more control of my overall health is at the forefront of my thinking right now.  I'm not thinking about it as a New Years Resolution so much as a good time to just get back to it.

The second item of the day is that I went to see the doctor today.  Over the past several months she had been concerned about my blood pressure.  We weren't sure it the high readings were due to stress, to some sort of physical cause, or if it was something short-term or persistent.  Well, a month ago she put me on some new BP meds that we wanted to try for a few weeks.

My BP today was as near "normal" as it has been in a long time.  That was good news.  I also got my estrogen shot.  That's always good....

I really like my doctor.  She gave me a light check-up, but my annual "major" check-up will be next month to coincide with my birthday.  I'm hoping there are no major surprises like the melanoma news from 2009.  I also go in to get my blood checked each year, so I can compare it against previous draws.  Anyway - that's all ready to happen over the next few weeks.

I made the mistake of seeing how much I weigh.  Yeesh.  I've mentioned in the past that I don't weigh myself - so although I've got a general sense of my size based on how my clothes fit I don't know exactly.  Well, after what I saw at the doctors office today I can confidently say that by the time my birthday rolls around in 6 weeks I will have lost a dozen pounds.  And I'll expect to stay there for a long time.

I've signed up for some free courses on Recording at Guitar Center over the next few weeks.  It's probably a mistake to go to these things as I've always been interested, and I can see myself getting "hooked".  I don't need another hobby.  Oh well.  That, plus some time at the gym, should fill up most of the first half of the day....

As for today - I expect to be in bed by 10 or shortly after.  These are long weeks regardless of if I'm in a groove or not.  The good news is that I generally sleep well.  :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

You Don't Have to be on your own.

Wednesday 1/2

I'm in Raleigh tonight.  The day took it's traditional path - up at 4, on the road by 4:45, pulling into the parking garage a little after 9, at my desk looking as perky as someone who just drove 300 miles in the dark can look.  It was a good day at work.  I found a Chipotles on my way to the hotel.  And now - here I am.

I've never actually been to this particular location of this hotel.  This is the Durham version of the usual one that I stay at in Cary, but it was significantly cheaper this week (for some reason) so here I am.  I'm not above admitting that I price shop, but I won't stay at a any hotel with less than 3 stars.  Since I've reached the "Elite" level they leave a snack and a thing of water in my room to greet me.  Funny thing is - it's like an exact clone of the Cary location.  Parking lot, rooms, overall layout,'s actually almost a little spooky.

I've had something on my mind lately and have been considering how to handle it.  It's one of those times where things that should be simple get made more complicated because someone wants to make it that way.  I realize that's pretty vague, but if things don't work themselves out over the next few days it will all become clear because I'm not going to let this go.  Stay tuned.

Thursday 1/3

I had actually planned to write a little more last night, but ended up getting tired and going to bed.  The energy drain of getting up at 4 and driving all that way, and then a full day of work, can hit all at once.  Add the general calming feeling that comes with with writing and being stretched out on a bed, and sleepy time can't be far behind.

I was up early this morning, which makes me one of the first people in the office.  That's not a bad thing as it's very quiet.  It's typical of my weeks here, as I really don't have a reason to prolong the morning other than to come to work.  I wish I were a morning oversize person but that's not usually true.  So on any given day I'm here I'll be at my desk 15 minutes before or after 7.

Plus, when I'm dong with my day today I get back into the truck and drive the 300 miles back to Charleston.  I'm strongly thinking of taking a side-trip thru Charlotte as I need to pick up some things that they're holding for me at the MAC Store there.  It's a little bit out of the way

I like this song.  I particularly like this version of this song as it focuses more on the words than the music.  You don't have to be on your own....

One of the topics on my mind at the moment is a redesign of

The reason it was originally created has, by and large, ended.  Still, it serves a number of important purposes.  And lastly, as long as all those "before" photos are there I need to be aware of the implications (both good and bad) they potentially have on my career, on relationships in my life, and on other things.  I made a choice last year to keep alive for at least another 5 years.  Now I need to make decisions on what role I'd like it to play given where I am and where I'm going.  It needs to mature without losing it's roots.  Sort of like me, as a person....

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year - #2

New Year's Day means more to me than New Year's Eve.  It has more symbolic value.  It has a different "feel", the same as Thanksgiving for me has more meaning than Christmas.

On 1/1/2000 I made it a personal mission to deliver some of my dad's ashes from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon.  It was a cold, snowy, scary drive but I had a purpose for that specific day.  I think that's where it started.  Regardless, I can remember more New Year's Days over the last decades than New Year's Eve's.

I had originally planned to drive to Raleigh today, as it would have been more convenient.  But I had one of those mid-morning "Duh" moments where it struck me that I don't want to spend the first day of this new year driving away from home and spending it in a hotel.  It's not about convenience.  It's about meaning.

I went for a nice long walk around downtown Charleston late this afternoon.  It was a beautiful day here (I posted some photos that I took with my iPhone on my SnapLog).  It was a quiet afternoon, not a lot of people out and about (big difference from yesterday) and it reminded me of why I enjoy it here so much, and why I didn't want to spent half the day in the car.

I went thru my wardrobe today, and ended up trying on some of my dresses.  I was glad to see that they  fit well.  I was pleased.  I still can't figure out the zipper thing, tho.  It seems to me that if you don't have somebody to help you you either need to be double jointed or you risk separating a shoulder trying to zip them.  Anyway, I hope to find more reasons to wear them over the coming year.

I'm also considering options for dating and where/how that would fit in my life going into 2013.  That has a number of important implications, and will require some decisions.  But that's a whole other conversation for a different time.

There was a parade in Charleston today to commemorate the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.  There was also the annual "Polar Bear Plunge" on Sullivan's Island, although the high here today was 65 degrees so it wasn't nearly the frigid endeavor it has been in years past, or in other places I've lived.  The fiscal cliff mess is ongoing.  And, of course, there's lots of football.

The fact that I put off my drive for a day means a number of things.  It means going to bed early, and getting up early (I'll set the alarm for 4:30).  It means that tomorrow will be a long day.  But I'm a big believer that sometimes you need to do what you need to do rather than what's convenient.  So, I'm making dinner, I'm packing, I've got a glass of wine on the table, I enjoyed the amazing end to the Outback Bowl, and it has turned out to be a New Year's Day that is be more memorable than forgettable.

In other news, I noticed that the long-standing, annual trans conference held each year in Chicago, Be All, has been cancelled (story here) after 30 years.  It has suffered the same fate as the IFGE Conference, and I don't think this will be the last of these to fade into history in the next couple of years.  The advent of smaller, regional events, other opportunities for sharing and developing community, and the economy take their toll.  The one event that I'd hate to see suffer that same fate is Southern Comfort and it continues to reassure me that it draws between 500-1,000 people each year.

I don't see that as a bad thing.  It means we're finding other ways to connect, or perhaps it hadn't changed with the times and lost relevance.  Regardless, it served an important purpose for a long time.

With that - I'll go make dinner, finish packing, and begin the process of settling in for the night.  As I say - tomorrow is going to be a long day.

New Year - back to it.

It was a quiet New Year's Eve, as planned.  I had a couple of options on where to go or what to do but in the end I went to a movie with a friend and was in bed by 10.  I was awoken by fireworks going off shortly after midnight but other than that it was pretty much just another night which is a good thing.  No over-eating, no hangover, no sleepy eyes this morning.

It's not even 8am yet and I'm already making arrangements to get to the gym for a morning workout before things really get rolling.  I'm hoping that the throngs of people who have made their New Year's to get in shape won't be so eager to make good on it yet.

At this time tomorrow I'll be in Raleigh, starting work.  I hope I can remember my passwords and stuff. It's odd taking a week and a half off - I'm sure it'll all come back quickly enough.

A highlight of the day yesterday was actually mid-afternoon.  I knew there probably wouldn't be much opportunity for a half decent dinner with the plans we had, so I made myself the dinner I had planned to make today.  Salmon, asparagus, baked potato, salad, wine.  It was all just perfect.

As with a lot of people, I think we put things on the back burner for a while during the holidays not wanting to have to face them until after the "Season" is over.  I certainly have, and there are a number of significant items on my back burner right now that need to come back to the front burner.  Making the mental shift from Holidays to January will take a few days, too.  It happens every year.

Well - I need to get to the gym while the spirit is moving me.  These things can be fleeting, and I've got a bunch of stuff to take care of today, and although I'm not usually ready to work out at this time of day right now I'm good.

To whoever reads this - I hope you had a safe and peaceful New Year's Eve, and I wish you a healthy and wonderful 2013.  Just don't forget to live each day as though it were your last.