Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sights

Today was a day of sights.  It was finally seasonally warm - that is, in the low 70's - but it won't last long as we're expecting rain over the next few days.  I'm a big live for the moment fan, so none of that matters right now.

Some of my sights from the day....

Sunset - headed home

Beautiful evening from my back yard

Caught my eye....

The big news of the day for me isn't anything in N. Korea or overseas.  It's the fact that my Syracuse Orangemen won their game today to make it to the Final 4.  I've followed sports for a long time, and the one and only time that my team won a championship is when Syracuse beat Kansas in the NCAA Final a decade ago.  Anyway, in my "live for the moment" kind of way - I'm thrilled.  

I did a lot of outdoor stuff today.  Weeding.  Cleaning mold from the inside of a boat cabin to get it ready for the water.  All good stuff.  

I'll be giving the Keynote at the Empire State Pride Agenda Spring Dinner in Rochester, NY on May 18 (link here).  Needless to say, I'm very much forward to looking forward to it because in a very real way it will always be "home".  I lived there for 15 years, I raised my son there, my brother and sister still live there, and I look forward to going back so long as there's not snow on the ground.  Anyway, being invited to speak at this event is a tremendous honor and I'm thrilled it all worked out.  I hope to be able to take a few extra days to visit while I'm there....

But May is a long way away.  Tomorrow is Easter, a day of significance.

The lowest day in my life was Easter day, 1999.  Here's some text from an early version of Wrapped in Blue about that day:

Easter Sunday had always been a significant holiday for our family. Perhaps not so 
much because we were particularly religious, or that we were celebrating the religious 
significance of the day, as for the spiritual rebirth that it represented. 

When Matt was young, we’d spend the night before Easter hiding candy and eggs 
around the house. Once he woke up we’d follow him around the house, sharing in his 
excitement as he searched high and low for the candy and small presents that the Easter 
Bunny had carelessly hidden so he could easily find them. 

Most years the three of us would go to church, and then out for a nice Easter brunch. 
It had been just one Easter ago when Elisabeth exploded at me in front of Matt, which 
marked a huge turning point in our relationship and my struggle. 

This year, it was Easter, and I was alone. It was dreary and cold outside… so cold, in 
fact, that some areas around Scottsdale actually saw snow. I was mentally and 
physically in pain. I was lonely; I was confused; and I spent the morning crying…feeling 
sorry for myself in my self-inflicted predicament. 

Around noontime, Brian called. “Hey, whatchya doing?” he asked. 
“Surviving,” I replied, trying to sound as cheery as possible. 
“You don’t sound so good. Are you doing ok?” 
“To tell you the truth, it has been a rough morning. But I think the worst is over and 
I’m feeling a little better.” 
“Do you have any plans for Easter dinner?” he asked. 
“Nope. Just whatever I have in the fridge.” 
He paused for a moment. “Hey. How about if I pick up some barbecued chicken, 
salad and desert, and head over there for Easter lunch. I have plans later for Easter 
dinner, but I’d love to stop by for a little while if you want.” 
It only took a second to think about it. “Yes,” I replied. “I think I’d like that.”

He was at my apartment, bearing food and beer before the hour was over. 
Over the previous few weeks, as I prepared for going full-time, Brian had done his best 
to understand. We had had some deep conversations, but in the end I’m not sure he was 
any closer to comprehending the power of the forces that were driving me. Despite my 
best attempts to help him understand, I still think he thought it was about the clothes. 

That afternoon, as we snacked on chicken and drank beer, we had an in-depth, 
emotional chat. I did my best to verbalize my fears and my discomfort. I explained my 
loneliness, and my despair. I explained how difficult it was to go from a role in which I 
felt so secure and natural, but empty, to one in which I felt so insecure, vulnerable, 
clumsy and unprepared. For the first time, he seemed to get it, at least some of it. 

Perhaps it was because I looked and felt so pathetic. Perhaps he had had a sudden 
moment of clarity. I don’t know. What I do know is that I will never forget the kindness 
that Brian showed to me that day, as his efforts rescued me from one of the lowest 
points in my life.

It all seems like a lifetime ago.....

Anyway, I'm looking forward to tomorrow.  I hope to be up early, walking around downtown, taking photos.  More sights to see.  

We'll see how it all unfolds....

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pretty Good Thursday

As a brief follow-up to my comments yesterday, I notices a number if interesting and unique variations on the FB "show your support for same-sex marriage" theme.

Here's one I like:

And another unique, cute one...

Anyway, I hope the justices do the right thing....we shall see how it all plays out.

One friend asked if I would ever want to get married again and the answer is that I've always wanted to be a bride, which kind of implies that there's a marriage involved.  I'd be happy to start by finding a person to hold hands with so marriage isn't something I think about often.  But I do think about Equality all the time and creating a world where there is equal opportunity for non-traditional families, where people don't have to hide or accept something "less" as simply the norm - now THAT passion has never subsided and I don't expect that it ever will.  It is a life fuel.

There's a situation in Arizona that I find deplorable.  A state legislator there, who obviously didn't have anything productive to do, introduced a bill specifically aimed at trans people that would make it a crime for a person to use a bathroom different from the one appropriate for their birth sex.  (Story here)  I didn't realize that this was such a pressing issue that it needed legislation to address it.

I transitioned in Arizona, and still have roots there.  I found it disgusting the way the state approached immigration.   And I find it disgusting how they're handling this.  Shame on those who give this kind of crap credibility in any form whatsoever.  Unfortunately, I don't think that this assault on rights, and on personhood, will end up before the Supreme Court anytime soon.

I can't believe that tomorrow is Good Friday, and that  Sunday is Easter.  Easters past have had some significant impacts on my life.  The lowest day in my entire life was an Easter.  This year, I expect that it will pretty much be a non-event.  I expect to have dinner with some local friends who are like family. I suspect I'll have more to say on it between now and then.

My alma mater, Syracuse University, plays Indiana this evening in the NCAA Basketball championships.  It's too bad it starts too late....I expect I'll be in bed by then.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lemmings

So, this week the Supreme Court is hearing arguments on same-sex marriage.  It is a historic couple of days, and the outcomes may very well shape the face of marriage (for better or for worse - please forgive the pun) in this country in ways that will shake it to its core.  I hope so.

The current "in" thing to do to show support is a push by the Human Rights Campaign to replace your FB Profile photo with a special red version of the HRC logo.  Lots of my FB "Friends" have done it - using the standard HRC logo or some variation of it.


Now - I respect the power of social networking and the rights of anyone to change their profile photo to support anything they want.  I respect people's rights to have an opinion that may or may not be the same as my own.

And it is in that spirit that I noted in my most recent update that I'd rather close down my FB account than use any variation of the HRC logo to represent my profile, my beliefs, or my support.  I suggest that many who are following this trend have no clue whatsoever who HRC is, what they represent, or what they've done.

Moreover, I seriously question what they've done to introduce their logo as the symbol for these efforts.  The movement to stop prop 8 was far more a grassroots effort than one guided by HRC or any other organization for that matter.  It demonstrated that the power or the strategic direction of the broader LGBT "movement" was not necessarily "owned" or "defined" by anyone or anything.  But memories are short, so here we are - people using this symbol to represent their support.

Admittedly, I have personal issues with HRC since resigning from both their Board of Directors and the Business Council in 2007 over ENDA.  Nothing has happened between then and now to provide closure, or to change those feelings, and although I neither expect others to know the history or care if they agree with me it doesn't change things.

People sometimes try to explain to me that things have changed.  Perhaps.  I'd argue that the landscape in which they exist has changed far more than their mission, their strategy, or their ultimate goal to be on the "winning" side, at whatever the cost.  I remain confident that what happened in 2007 - which is that they demonstrated that their priority was to earn empty victories for their donors rather than stand up as a leader for their entire constituency, has not changed.

That's not to say that they haven't done some good things.  That's also not to say that many of the local organizations don't truly care because I know they do.  However, as an overall organization the question I ask myself is whether or not - given a similar situation to 2007, they'd make a different decision.  Although I realize it's purely hypothetical, my belief is that they'd do the same thing.

Thankfully, I believe Jared Polis to have more commitment than Barney Frank did and I don't expect that we'll see similarly feeble backbones when the time comes to show leadership.  But, back to my point....others are free to use whatever they want to support whatever they'd like.  But the day I use HRC to represent anything is a day that I truly come to believe that things have changed.  Today is NOT that day.

It is a beautifully sunny, but cool day here in Charleston.  We're 20 degrees below our norms although given the frigid wintry weather in other areas of the country I've certainly got no complaints.  We're expecting to warm into the 70's this weekend, and that'll be just fine.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Wet

It poured yesterday.  For hours and hours, from midnight thru noon.  Driving sheets of rain, wind, spectacular lightning and booming thunder...it was pretty spectacular.  

My backyard, flooded

In front of the house....we were fortunate because other streets were totally flooded

Power was out, and the street was closed

BUT.....spring is here!

No complaints here, given the water and the damage in other parts of the city or the snow bearing down on the central US right now.  Today is supposed to be clear, cool, and windy and it looks like we'll have at least a week to dry out.

Same-sex marriage is scheduled to be debated in the Supreme Court this week, Prop 8 on Tuesday and DOMA on Wednesday.  Although the outcomes won't be announced until June it's a big deal.

As for me, I'm still of the opinion that the single most important piece of legislation that would affect the day-to-day lives of trans-people is ENDA.  Reports last week indicate that a new version of it will be introduced next month by Jared Polis (story here).  The truth, as the story points out, is that it has little chance of passing in any form....still....or, again.  But that can't and shouldn't prevent us from continuing to push the issue.

As a child, if anyone ever told me that I'd see legal same-sex marriage in this country during my lifetime I would have been doubtful but here we are.  I feel the same way about ENDA - it will eventually get passed.  I just hope I live long enough to see it.

I seem to be particularly clumsy lately.  Last week it was my bashed little toe.  This morning it's my right ankle.  The sidewalks in Charleston are particularly treacherous and while I was walking the dogs last night I twisted it and there was lots of cracking and popping. I hope it's just a bit of a sprain, but I may play it safe and go get it x-rayed today.  Sigh.

I watched the NCAA Wrestling Championships on Sunday night.  It's like the Super Bowl for me.  The wrestler from the Citadel who was my sparring partner last year during my training came in 4th in his weight class and was named as an All-American.  Congratulations to him, and to all who competed.

My basketball team, Syracuse, also moved into the Sweet 16 and will be playing #1 seed Indiana.  My fingers are crossed.

Time to feed the dogs, get some breakfast, and get the day going.  Til next time.....

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Slowing Down

It's a cold, rainy Saturday afternoon.  The week has been cooler than normal, but this is the first rain we've seen in a while.  I'm actually happy about it as I spent time this week fertilizing and planting a lawn so the water will help it do what needs to be done.

Today has also been my first "down" day in a while.  I did some target practice at the range this morning, then headed to the gym to do my penance for having a belated birthday dinner (with desert!) last night.  It was a good workout, and the combination of gray day, muscles tired, and finally letting things slow down is making for a pretty lazy afternoon.  I have things that I could/should be doing (as always) but I wouldn't be surprised if a short nap were next.  I've been watching the NCAA Wrestling Championships consolation bouts - the finals are tonight.


Against my better judgement I got on the scale this afternoon so I know how much I weigh now.  Ugh. I also know how much I need to lose, which is a double digit number.  I'm not feeling totally like a lug at the moment - feeling pretty good actually - but I know the numbers I like to stay between and I'm above that range right now.  The combination of travel, lack of workout time, and general "life" stuff provided opportunities for both eating more than usual and taking a much needed break from the gym.  Anyway, I'm back!

Fallon Fox, the MMA fighter, did an interview on No Holds Barred earlier this week (listen to it here).  I'm glad she did.  I did an interview with Eddie last week (listen to it here) and I think we both covered some important territory.  Will it sway the haters?  Of course not.  But Fallon needed an opportunity to say what she wanted to say in an environment that didn't have an agenda, and this was it.

We went to see "Olympus Has Fallen" yesterday.  It was more like the kind of movie you'd expect to see mid-summer, and the closest comparison I can make is that it's like "Die Hard" at the White House. Lots of shooting, action, not very deep - but I can actually envision Morgan Freeman as President.  Anyway, it was ok.

And that, my friends, is it for today.  Short and sweet.  Feeling good.  Onwards!




Thursday, March 21, 2013

Coming Out

The Open Water dives are over, and I'm now a PADI certified Open Water diver.  The trip was great, the entire experience was wonderful, and all I can say is that I'm looking forward to using my newfound skills on a regular basis.

Devil's Hole, FL - certification diving

One thing I know about both myself and a certain someone is that we're both wired in a way that pushes us to do more.  There are a number of other PADI courses including life-saving, Nitrox, and more advanced Open Water courses that increase knowledge and capabilities.  I expect we'll be taking more of these over the next few weeks but for now, we're both enjoying our achievement.

Other things have happened this week.  It seems my son has comfortably relocated from Austin to Boulder, CO and now has a place to live and not one but two jobs....one full-time and the other for some extra cash.  Apparently, he's digging the weather there and sounds very happy which in turn makes me very happy.  It can be a scary thing to move out of your comfort zone for a city where you've never been and never lived and having to start from nothing but that what he's done.  I'm proud of him.

I got my the stitches removed from the incision on my back today.  The good news there is that all seems to be healing well, and the report on the cyst from the path lab came back indicating it was a typical, nothing-to-worry-about cyst.  I'm glad on both counts.

I was helping a certain someone get her lawn going which reminded me how much I enjoy doing yardwork.  I suppose it's easy for me to say that now, while we're experiencing 50 and 60 degree days. But I truly have no problem doing it during the hotter, steamier days of the summer as well.  Over the course of my vagabond life in recent years I just haven't had a yard or a lawn to work on.  Anyway, it was enjoyable but in a couple of weeks it's going to be long and green...that's when the real fun starts.

I started going to the gym again.  I did a spin class yesterday (killer), and spent and hour running and doing leg work on Tuesday.  It was nice to get back to the familiar routine of the gym and I'm making a  definite effort to ensure that I integrate it better into my overall life.  I have missed NOT going.  The familiar burn in my arms tonight is comforting.

Needless to say, I have been enjoying my days lately.  I realize that all things eventually end but the extended stay at "home" is exactly what the doctor ordered.  I think I've mentioned in the past that the building I live in is considered "historic" and we've got some pretty and historically relevant landscaping in the back yard and so today was one of those days where they invited people into the yard to explain its significants.  There were dozens of people waiting to get back there all afternoon.

I'll finish by sharing the short version of a recent "coming out"experience.  One of the people over the course of my life who I've never forgotten is the girl I invited to my senior prom. I had made up my mind to NOT go to this thing, but for a variety of relevant reasons she was my date.

We made a nice couple, I think.  And one thing led to another and it wasn't long until we were dating.  She was sweet, funny pretty - I remember her with tremendous fondness.  Eventually I  moved back to the States (she lived in Nova Scotia) and that ended that.  But I haven't ever forgotten her.

So, a couple of years ago I find her online and get the itch to call and say 'hi'.  She's a doctor in Nova Scotia now and has done very well for herself.  I called and we eventually connected and, honestly, in our 20 minute conversation the "trans" thing never came up.  I know that seems a little odd because that's one of the things I specifically did want to mention but there was never a convenient place to drop it so it never got dropped.

Well, last summer I found her on FB and sent her a note explaining all that we didn't discuss the first time around.  I didn't hear back and figured that was that.  But she finally did write back.  Today.  We've had what has seemed like a very pleasant conversation, and it was nice to talk with her again.

Spring is officially here, but you couldn't prove it by me.  We're going thru a bit of a chilly spell here.  Temperatures are 15-20 degrees lower than normal, and I have no problem admitting that I've been chilly....sometimes, just plain COLD.  There's a frost warning our for tonight.  Are you kidding me?!  I just planted a lawn, for heaven's sake.  Anyway, I'll be glad when we get into next week and things are back to normal.

As for now....I could stay up to watch my team play it's NCAA game  or retreat to the warmth of my bed.  I'm just being honest....bed is gonna win.  I'm looking forward to Friday.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Open Water Dives

I'm in Crystal River, FL for my open water dives.  We drove here yesterday and were in water by 9.  It was way cool (as in, 38 degrees when we left the hotel!).





It's a crystal clear 80-degree afternoon.  But to be honest, I just got up from a nap.  All the running around the last couple of days, and the nitrogen from the drive, helped to make for a very relaxing nap. I'm feeling better now - much more rested.

Our dive this morning was wonderful.  Crystal clear waters.  With our wet suits it wasn't too cold.  Lots of fish

The deep dive is tomorrow....

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Suddenly quiet

I can't believe it's Wednesday already.  I have no idea where the time is going.  

The last few days, actually - most of the past week, have been a blur.  Between healing (or trying to), trying to pass my Scuba course, my sister visiting, recovering from being underwater in the pool for hours, and a number of other things - this is one of the first moments I've had to collect thoughts and chill.

A certain someone and I took the Scuba class which filled the better part of a week - either reading, studying, going to class, or in the pool.  There's lots to cover and one of the good bits of news is that we both passed.  This weekend we go to Florida for the Open Water dives that complete the certification.  That's complicated, too, because of needing to find care for the pups while I'm gone.  Anyway - it was good to get that part of it behind us.

I tried to scuba dive when I was a young teen, but I had a problem with pressure in one of my teeth so I didn't get this far.  My teeth have been drilled quite a few times over the years so whatever air was trapped under a filling at the time is long gone.  Anyway, so far so good.

The funny thing about it is that it has changed quite a bit over the years, since the Jacques Cousteau days I remember.  I think I still have my Scuba book from way back then, and at the time half the things that are standard equipment now hadn't even been invented yet.  It makes me feel old.....

The "wound" between my shoulder bladers has survived and I'm told it looks ok.  It's over an inch long and there are lots of stitches.  I suppose I'm not a very good patient - I've decided that I'm more comfortable without a dressing on it (I'm sensitive to tape adhesives) but I can't see it to make sure all is well back there.  Those I've asked to treat it say things are looking ok so I'll take their word for it.  All I know is that there's still some level of 'discomfort' there (I've learned thru the years that doctors often don't like to use the word pain to describe....well....pain).

I've been approached by several organizations to comment on a story that broke last week about a female MMA competitor who recently came out as trans (story here).  The same tired discussion about competitive advantage, and whether Fallon should be allowed to compete as a woman (despite her full transition in 2006) remain as contentions as ever.  I knew it would only be a matter of time before one of us found ourselves in this position in a "combat" sport - like wrestling - which adds a new context to the conversation.  I'm just glad it wasn't me who ended up being in that spotlight - partly because I was careful and partly because my sport just handled it all well so it never became "news".

Regardless, the same arguments apply here except that this sport doesn't have any "rules" in this regard yet.  Other sports have crossed this bridge and it sounds as though things are moving in the right direction from a technical/licensing perspective (story here).  Still, that doesn't change some the the larger issues  involved.  You watch - one of these days an opponent is going to refuse to fight her, people will refuse to train with her - it's going to get worse before it gets better.  It's the same stuff that concerned me when I started wrestling again but thankfully never came to pass.

Anyways, I'm doing a radio interview about it tomorrow - I'll let you know when it actually gets broadcast.

Other  recent "newsworthy" stories remind me that we're moving forward in the bigger picture.  There's the story of a trans fraternity brother (story here), and follow-up on a trans woman who was removed from a woman's restroom in Iowa (story here).

My sister's visit here was wonderful.  She spent several days visiting a cousin, and her trip was extended by a day because of flight delays, but she left this morning.  So now, as I finally sit and realize how quiet it is it seems like something is missing.  I've grown used to all the "busyness" in my life I think.

The Keystone Conference is happening in Harrisburg this weekend.  I attended the first 3 of them, and remember remarking on how well organized and run it was.  One of the unique aspects of it is that it's traditionally scheduled for the same weekend as the PA state high school wrestling championships so the hotel is full of transpeople and wrestling people.  It's a unique mix, and standing in the bar in the evening can be a kick.  I remember the last time I was there I got a call saying that my mom had been taken to the ER with some bleeding issues.  Anyway, several friends will be attending so I hope everyone has a good time and is safe.

I'm going to need to get a job job sooner or later, but I'm enjoying this "down" time at the moment.  I'm hoping to get to Phoenix over the next month, too, but we're still working out logistics for this weekend so I'm not that far ahead of myself yet.  


Friday, March 8, 2013

I could get used to this

It's the middle of a sunny, coolish Friday afternoon.  I just got back from taking the pups for a long walk.  I may lay down and take a nap.  I could use one.

I went back to the dermatologist this morning for a "procedure".  They found a cyst between my shoulder blades during my semi-annual visit last week so this week they removed it.  I've had cysts removed before, when I was younger (as in - 20 or more years ago), and in the scheme of things - especially compared with other things I've had done - it was pretty easy.  But I don't think we realize how much psychic energy these kinds of things take until afterwards - I'm tired.

I think the shot they gave me for the "procedure" is beginning to wear off.  I go back to have the stitches removed in two weeks.

It has been a busy week.  My sister has been visiting, but went to Virginia for my cousin's 60th birthday.  I would have loved to have gone, too, but between this procedure and my scuba classes it's a bad weekend to try to get away.

The scuba classes are going well.  Last night we did our first dive in the pool.  So far so good.  I tried scuba in my young teens but had a pressure problem so I stopped before the end.  It's fascinating even in a pool to be sitting at the bottom looking up.  Anyway, we're off today, then long days of class/water work the next two days before the certification exam on Sunday.  We're headed south for our Open Water certification next week.

I had my hair done this week.  I got a pedicure.  I've spent some good "me" time.  I've had some good time with my sister.  I've spent some time with a certain someone.  I'm doing things I haven't had time to do for a while.  It's good good good.

Of course, it can't last forever.  I'll need to be employed again at some point.  It's just a fact of life.  But for now I'm not worried about it.  I'm enjoying today too much.  :)




Saturday, March 2, 2013

I'm Good

I'm at the Toyota Dealer again.  Getting an oil change.  It feels like I was just here.

I got my last oil change on Feb. 9.  That wouldn't be such a big deal, except that I need oil changes every 5,000 miles and my "Maint Req'd" light has been on for a week now.  Apparently, driving between Charleston to Miami and back a couple of weekends ago, my drive across country to Arkansas and back last weekend, and my usual 600+ mile roundtrip commutes have pushed me over the limit.  Yeesh.

The good news is that the truck needs a good cleaning and a good vacuuming after what it's been through lately, and they take good care of me here.  I make 7:30am appointments which makes for an early start to he day but makes for quicker in/out visits than when things start to get backed up.

This morning I was walking the dogs a little before 7.  It's a cool, bright sunny morning here.  Downtown last night was just crazy - the Charleston Food and Wine Festival is happening this weekend which attracts 20,000+ people, since it was the first Friday of the month all the Galleries are open all evening and serve wine/munchies which attracts lots of people to downtown, so the sidewalks were clogged until well into the night.  But this morning, nobody was out.

It was quiet.  Streets were empty.  The only sounds were bird sounds.  It was absolutely wonderful.  As the sun peeked over the trees and buildings providing that early morning rich gold light there was a sense of peace.  I took the time to close my eyes and breathe deeply to soak it all in.  For a moment.

I remember saying last Friday that I wish I could fall asleep and magically wake up today.  The week seemed to be an overwhelming one - with the drive across country, the dogs suddenly back in my life, my last week at work, getting to and from Raleigh, and general life "stuff" (I didn't foresee the CNN thing....) it all just seemed so daunting.  But here we are....it's all past....and I've survived again

Last night, after getting home, I went to a concert at the Performing Arts Center.  Last year, during the annual Spoleto Festival, there was a performance here by a ukelele player named Jake Shimabukuro.  I'd heard that he was amazing, so when he came back to perform again I got tickets.  It was a wonderful way to end a crazy week.

Here's a short clip of one of his songs taken with my iPhone:

video


I've never seen anything quite like it.  He's won a Grammy, played for Queen Elizabeth, and seems to have no peers doing what he does.  Anyway, the things he could do and the sounds he could get from that little four-stringed instrument were....well....amazing.

I'm in the process of answering the questions that CNN provided based on the comments to the article, and to the original story.  I talked with the guy at CNN.com who apparently oversees the comments yesterday....I told him I wouldn't want his job for anything.  He said that there were well over 16,000 comments on their original story at that point, and over 1,600 comments on my Op/Ed piece.  Sheesh.

One thing I'll share is that the finished product is often a negotiated edit of the original wording.  One example:

In the text I originally provided I highlighted a quote from Vice President Biden last October that transgender civil rights are "the civil rights issue of our time" (see source).  In the edited version that they sent back they had softened that, removing the direct quote altogether.  I don't think that affects the overall goal of the piece, though, so I didn't fight too hard about it.

My sister arrives tomorrow night for a 12-day visit.  I can't remember the last time we spent 12 days together.  She and my mom came to visit me for my birthday when I lived in Arizona, but I'm thinking this is a first.  As part of her visit we're planning to visit with one of my cousins in Virginia who's turning 60 this month.  We haven't seen one another since I was 10 or 11 years old.  We stay in touch on FB, and I'm looking forward to it.

Well, my truck is almost ready so time to go.  I'm off to enjoy a little down time.  Later today I've got some errands to run and I'll see a certain someone who tends to make me smile.  I plan to get back into the gym regularly.  I've been holding off on some things because my schedule has been so crazed so I'm going to get back to doing them.  All things considered.....I'm good.