my weblog

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm seldom a fan of self-segregation re. transgenderism; walling ourselves off in "special" groups apart from the larger world. What we share with the larger world is much more than where we differ. Nevertheless, there are certain areas where our issues are a bit unique. Over the years one area that I've found under-served is transgender-specific fitness; there is a dearth of transgender-related fitness/athletics sites, forums, groups, etc... Be it diet/nutrition, training, recreational or competitive athletics, camaraderie with fellow trans-athletes, it is one area that is truly under-served! And especially for pre-operative (or non-operative) transfolks; post-op gals are well-served by the many GG womens' health and fitness mags, sites, forums, etc... But the issues and needs of pre and non-op T's are different. Diet and nutrition issues, whether simply to lose weight, to reduce pre-existing muscle mass/create leaner lines, and for optimal health if/while on 'mones. Similarly training; what works to help create a leaner, more femininely fit and athletic body, specific regimens to help create/increase mass where we may want it (hips and glutes, f'rinstance) and avoid/reduce it where we may not (shoulders, back, arms.) Other issues, such as locker room issues, what category to compete in, the whole issue of doing what we want fitness/athletically while not unduly making others uncomfortable. For those of us into fitness our needs, if not our goals, and what/how to achieve them, are often a bit different from those of/for genetic men and women. And just as important is the sharing of tips, the friendship, the camaraderie, with others who have similar concerns, interests, goals... there are many groups, sites, forums out there dedicated to: trans-lesbians, trans-Christians, trans-atheists, trans-politics, smoking fetishes, sissy fetishes, bridal gown enthusiasts, workplace/employment issues, various other hobbies, you name it, but so few dedicated to trans fitness and those of us into it. Perhaps it is due to the- utterly misguided- notion that fitness and athletics are somehow not "feminine" activities, interests, or pursuits. One of the few is, and they do a pretty good job. There is a ts_women_runners Yahoo Group which sadly is small. One gal used to run her personal transsexualbodybuilding site (and she had a killer body!) but it seems to be gone.

Is this the biggest issue facing the T "community?" Of course not. Many/most of our fitness needs can be met in the larger world. But as an athletically-inclined gal, sometimes it is fun to interact with other similarly-inclined gals. (And no, I don't need some smart-aleck to tell me, "Gee Kel, why don't you organize it!" Sadly I have neither the time nor the patience to take that initiative.)

I did get in a good workout today, and much of this week, even if the recent gray, damp, and cool weather has been depressing as hell :(

"Any man of mine'll say it fits just right/When last year's dress is just a little too tight..."

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!
(Don't forget: remember- and thank- a vet.)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Hmmm... lotta bloggings this month! Not sure why... some noteworthy, others simply brain-droppings... kinda like this one :)

A great highway cruising song: Roadrunner, Modern Lovers
Wind blowing thru your hair while you bob your head, hands and feet tapping to the beat, volume cranked, replete (and when is the last time you saw the word "replete" used?!) with local references: Gonna drive past the Stop N Shop... 128 when it's dark outside... I've got the world, got the Turnpike...

I mentioned Bill O'Reilly in a previous entry. Here's an example of why I find him more thoughtful- and less deserving of the approbation some give him- than many pundits:
Oppose gay marriage? ‘Bigot,’ says the left
Quote of note: Your humble correspondent doesn’t really care much about gay marriage because I believe it is no danger to the republic and the deity can sort all this stuff out after we’re dead. I take a libertarian position on issues such as gay marriage because I want all Americans to be able to pursue happiness equally.
Pretty dang tolerant of someone some folks are eager to paint as a knuckle-dragging, reactionary homophobe, yes? Gotta luv those Irish Catholics! ;) (Unfortunately, this one didn't get to Mass this weekend...)

A showery early evening in Boston tonight, tho' it looks like it wants to clear off... Sipping on a Sam Adams Imperial White while deciding what to do/where to go this evening- sipping being the operative word, as it checks in at a hefty 10.3% alcohol by volume... Had Sunday dinner @ my mom's earlier... The l-o-n-g weekend has been good, it's felt good just to kick back and relax a lil bit, especially as the weather has been pretty nice, as well as work on that all work/no play deficit...

I came across this one in a recent issue of Self:
One woman discovers the secret to loving her life
It's worth a read, but briefly: better to spend less time in the paralysis of analysis wondering why X (in this case, why the writer was still unattached) and more just living, a little less attempting or making elaborate plans or schemes for change and a little more accepting and being open to the possibilities of what is. Anyway, I got a lil something out of it...

"You want me to leave/You want me to stay/You ask me to come back/Then you turn and walk away..."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A pretty cool site I stumbled across: Concert Vault. Some great stuff there, eclectic stuff, too- The Beach Boys joining the Grateful Dead for a set, including a cover of Merle Haggard's Okie From Muskogee: "We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee/We don't take our trips on LSD...We don't wear our hair all long and shaggy/Like the hippies out in San Francisco do..." Um, sure guys...

In a somewhat similar vein... You can take the girl out of the sticks but you can't take the sticks out of the girl- few items on my Zune power me thru a workout more than the live version of Freebird ("play it pretty for Atlanta...") If I smoked I'd be holding up my lighter!

What I'm reading now:
A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity, Bill O'Reilly
The Fourth Time Is Murder, Steven F. Havill
I realize there are some people put off by O'Reilly. Where I disagree with them is the assertion that he is some rigid right-wing ideologue. Usually those making that assertion have depended upon others' analysis of O'Reilly, rather than reading/watching/listening to him and then judging. The one word I'd choose to describe him and his POV is traditionalist. I don't always agree with him, he can occasionally be abrasive, but I do find him to be more fair-and-balanced, more reasonable, on many issues than many of his punditry peers, Left or Right. Or perhaps I can simply relate to where he's coming from, as I've known- and know- many folks like him (traditionalist Irish Catholics in Massachusetts- shocking, I know! ;)... Havill's Posadas County mystery series is outstanding, always great story lines well-written, truly evocative of the- fictional- corner of New Mexico he sets them in.

The unofficial start of summer is fast approaching- Memorial Day weekend! The forecast is looking pretty good here, mostly sunny and seasonably mild! It was warm today, and is supposed to be tomorrow, too! Got a lil work on my tan earlier today, hope to do some more over the weekend... should have some time to get out and about, reduce that all work/no play deficit, as well as plans to go to a cookout at friend's place down on the South Shore Monday...

On a lil more self-revelatory note: one thing I hope any of you whom I've been honored by having you take an interest in me, be it simply reading my many- often mind-numbing!- bloggings here, or taking the time and effort to contact and/or meet me, realize is that I'm pretty much a WYSIWYG kinda gal. I'm usually pretty free about listing and owning up to my many faults. By nature I tend to be a bit modest, but I do also have a few traits I like about myself, ones I hope folks can recognize. There is little pretension to me; apart from- responsibly!- enjoying a few better beers (and really, they typically only run me $1-2/serving or six-pack more than Big Beer) and, when I indulge, liquors (Absolut is smoother than Vodka City brand we used to buy in college! And Bushmills Black Bush... good!) and, when I'm in the mood, better cheeses, my food tastes are pretty mainstream. Similarly, I don't need to go the most in or trendy restaurant or club, nor shell out several hundred of dollars for designer wear when I can do just as well from Ann Taylor Loft, The Gap, DSW, Marshalls, Kohl's, even Target, or outlet shopping. I'm not ostentatious. I never look for nor seek out friendships based upon status or on what they can do for me. I don't need fame or notoriety or to be "somebody", in any of my walks of life, to feel personally validated. And while I can be strong in my beliefs, and hope my words can sway others to consider my POVs, I have no desire to force them upon others, demand they be enforced. And perhaps above all, I am very loyal to those who have earned my loyalty over the years, in all of my walks of life, perhaps at times to a fault. In a word, I'm middle-brow. While there are aspects of me that could stand improvement, that I try to improve, that is one I am quite comfortable with.

"If I leave here tomorrow/Would you still remember me..."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

If I knew what I want...

If She Knew What She Wants, The Bangles
If she knew what she wants (He'd be giving it to her)
If she knew what she needs (He could give her that too)
If she knew what she wants (But he can't see through her)
If she knew what she wants
He'd be giving it to her
Giving it to her.

But she wants everything (He can pretend to give her everything)
Or there's nothing she wants (She don't want to sort it out)
He's crazy for this girl (But she don't know what she's looking for)
If she knew what she wants
He'd be giving it to her
Giving it to her.

I'd say her values are corrupted
But she's open to change
Then one day she's satisfied
And the next I'll find her crying
And it's nothing she can explain.

If she knew what she wants (He'd be giving it to her)
If she knew what she needs (He could give her that too)
If she knew what she wants (But he can't see through her)
If she knew what she wants
He'd be giving it to her
Giving it to her (giving it to her).

Some have a style
That they work hard to refine
So they walk a crooked line
But she won't understand
Why anyone would have to try
To walk a line when they could fly.

No sense thinking I could rehabilitate her
When she's fine, fine, fine
She's got so many ideas traveling around in her head
She doesn't need nothing from mine.

If she knew what she wants (He'd be giving it to her)
If she knew what she needs (He could give her that too)
If she knew what she wants (But he can't see through her)
If she knew what she wants
He'd be giving it to her
Giving it to her.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Blogging: cheaper than therapy and less guilt than confession!

I saw this recipe in the Boston Globe Wednesday: as a gal who luvs both lamb and anchovies (don't go "ick!") this sounds dee-lish. I'm gonna hafta try it!
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 can (2 ounces) anchovy fillets (save the oil), finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 leg of lamb (6 to 8 pounds)
1. In a bowl, combine the garlic, olive oil, anchovies (with the oil from the can), thyme, and mustard to form a wet paste. Rub the mixture all over the lamb. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
2. One hour before roasting, remove the lamb from the refrigerator. Transfer the lamb to a roasting pan.
3. Set the oven at 450 degrees. Roast the lamb for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue roasting the lamb, basting occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the lamb registers 135 degrees for medium-rare meat. Roast 15 minutes longer for well done meat.
4. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board and let it rest, covered loosely with foil, for 10 to 15 minutes.

What I'm reading now...
Fed Up, Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant
Wolf Woman Bay and 9 More of the Finest Crime and Mystery Novellas of the Year

Not a good night for the locals on the sports scene. The Bruins lost a game 7 heartbreaker in OT, knocking them out of the playoffs and sending the region's Hockey Krishnas (like my brother!) into depression yet again... The Celtics lost as well, let one get away really, forcing a deciding game 7 here this Sunday (my friend Joe took in one of the games down in Orlando- lucky guy!)... even the Sox lost in extra innings... good thing the Pats didn't have a game!

Speaking of sports... Delaware's Governor has signed into law legislation legalizing sports gambling in that state. Good for them! Maybe I should move to Delaware; winters there must be milder than here... (That "Fighting Blue Hen" is a turn-off, tho'- too goofy!)

I probably mentioned it before, but I'm a real sucker for all of those cheesy cop and detective shows from the 70's and 80's. A great site to find 'em on is . Adam-12, Barney Miller, Dragnet, Hill Street Blues, Kojak (the real one, with Telly Savalas) Miami Vice, The Rockford Files, Starsky & Hutch, T.J. Hooker, they're all there and more! (And has Hawaii-Five 0.)

"If it's a crime to let you under my skin/Lock me up 'cuz I'm as guilty as sin..."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Why Reagan Was a Better Friend to Gays Than Obama
Food for thought for the self-appointed "leaders" of the LGBT community who so insisently demand that we all bow down and genuflect to President Obama and the Democratic Party on LGBT issues. While there may have been/may be reasons for LGBT individuals- as like many others individuals- to have voted for Obama and support the Democrats, his and their leadership- not rhetoric, but leadership, actions- on LGBT issues leave little more to be desired than that of many Republicans.

Addendum: a lil more, from that right-wing rag, the New York Times: Faking Left
Money quote: The punting has been obvious. On the campaign trail, Obama promised to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. He still intends to — but not yet, not yet. He said he supported federal recognition for civil unions. His administration has ignored the issue. He backed repealing the Defense of Marriage Act. Don’t expect that to come up for a vote any time soon.

With "friends" like that...

Friday, May 08, 2009

Random musings...

I often have people tell me that I don't say a whole lot about me here. I offer my opinions, my POVs, offer amusing (to me, anyway!) anecdotes and stories and such, but not all that much about me personally. I suppose that's true. While I don't mind talking about myself, by nature I've always been more of a play-it-close-to-the-vest kinda gal, one friend telling me "You are also the one I would want to play poker with my money..." (I suggested sports wagering would be more apropos!) I'm not especially a self-promoter. And while sometimes I can be a bit introspective, seldom am I- too!- self-obsessed. But having said that...

Occasionally I have people asking about my sex life. Curiously, this, um, comes as often from T-folks as it does from men, for whatever that's worth. I'm neither a prude nor inhibited, tho' I do find it a topic for more of a one-on-one conversation than a blogging. But that's just me. I've read several blogs that leave little-to-nothing to the imagination when it comes to the bloggers' sexual interests, proclivities, exploits, etc... But truth be told, there's not a whole lot to tell! No, not that way, but rather- leave aside the whole transgender aspect of it (work with me, people!) but- with the exception of one fantasy involving the song Stairway To Heaven !- my sex life is pretty conventional, vanilla, you name it. I enjoy sex with the right partner, I believe I give as good as I get (I haven't had any complaints... yet!) and am energetic and enthusiastic. But neither am I promiscuous, nor am I into anything in the strange range. I'm not passing judgment on others, but for me sex with the right guy is fun enuf as is... I sure hope that didn't steam up your monitor (yeah, right!)

On my website I list some of my worst traits: one that I would add to it, and probably the one I'm least proud of, is impatience. Far too often I am far too impatient. And sadly this happens more with people I care for and about. I suppose it's probably because I expect the most from them. (I do get impatient with myself as well.) I don't mean to. It is something I still need to work on. I apologize to those who have sometimes suffered my wrath.

In a sorta similar vein, I realize a lotta times I have little good to say about- much- of what passes for the TG "community." Some of that is due to the strong individualist streak in me, some of it is due to the pomposity and arrogance and closed-mindedness exhibited by some community "leaders", and others toward those who do not/will not toe the "correct" line. For those I don't apologize. But one thing I ought to- and I do try to- make allowance for is the fact that many- not all, but many- T-folks have been more than a little bit of outsiders, shunned by many, not always finding acceptance, missed out on/denied opportunities, those sorts of things, hence they may sometimes act somewhat inappropriately, defensively, lack some conventional social skills and graces, and more. And I do try to make allowance for those. But sometimes it is difficult for me to relate. While I'd been aware of my transgendered feelings since I was about 5-6 years old (even if I didn't know exactly what to call 'em!) I was always fortunate, or blessed, or simply lucky, to always have had a lot of friends, to always have been in, for lack of a better term, the "in" group or crowd. Maybe that was/is even a reflection upon me. But I never lacked for friends, I was never a loner or an outsider; thru osmosis or whatever, I developed adequate social skills, I liked/like people, many people seemed/seem to like me. I was never quite as sharp on the dating score, but that might've had something to do with the transgenderism lurking inside of me (or else I was an obnoxious drunk chicks didn't dig!) And while I like to believe I wasn't especially arrogant or bullying or conceited- I had many friends who were worse- reflecting back I can think of a few things that make me wince, actions I'm more-than-a-little embarrassed and/or ashamed of, times when my better angels were far away. Whether that was over-compensation for other things, drunken obnoxiousness, or simply being an a**hole, or a combination, none of that excuses it, nor makes me feel less accountable. My point in bringing this up is explaining in some way why sometimes I have difficulty, if not relating simply dealing with some T's who, for whatever reason/s, aren't always the most socially adept or conventional. And I realize; while I certainly appreciated and enjoyed my younger days and friends and all, I don't apologize for not being an outsider or anything, there was/is a certain trade-off in terms of, well, coming to terms with this part of myself that the acceptance and conformity I sought and had (and have) kept me from embracing more fully.


I should add that my home life and family and all was also pretty conventional and comfortable; middle class small-town suburbia. However... today is the anniversary of my father's passing away. It happened long ago, when I was- what?- 10 I think. I don't tend to dwell on it much, tho' perhaps it's had more impact upon me than I realize. I dunno... it's hard to miss what you didn't have. And I'm older now than he was when he passed away. When I do think about it I think mostly of the impact it must have had- and may still have- upon my mother. Widowed at age 42, with three kids to raise, bills and home to maintain, having to go from stay-at-home mom to full-time work again. It must have been difficult. And she did such a good job. And as she's gotten older, having no husband to share the years with, to grow old with... I mention my mom here from time to time, I admire her sooooo much... For me more than anything else I think his passing simply ended my childhood earlier, I had to mature a lil more quickly than perhaps my- older- brother and sister did. But that was OK... as I told my sister recently, I ended up getting away with a lot more stuff than they did as well! I'd never given it much thought until recently, but it had to have been tough on my father as well. Not simply the pain of illness, but the knowledge that he wouldn't see his children grow (at least down here) that his wife would have to struggle and have to do so much without him, grow old without their shared companionship, whatever hopes and dreams and plans for the future he had of his own (I can only guess.)

To quote the great Phil Elliott (North Dallas Forty reference!) "I guess that's what you call maturity!"

Heard enuf about me now?! ;)

"Subdivisions/In the basement bars/In the backs of cars/Be cool or be cast out..."

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Next Big Thing: Resilience

I came across this on, but the principles below seem applicable to many situations and circumstances:
Diversity: Not relying on a single kind of solution means not suffering from a single point of failure.
Redundancy: Backup, backup, backup. Never leave yourself with just one path of escape or rescue.
Decentralization: Centralized systems look strong, but when they fail, they fail catastrophically.
Collaboration: We're all in this together. Take advantage of collaborative technologies, especially those offering shared communication and information.
Transparency: Don't hide your systems. Transparency makes it easier to figure out where a problem may lie. Share your plans and preparations, and listen when people point out flaws.

Fail gracefully: Failure happens, so make sure that a failure state won't make things worse than they are already.
Flexibility: Be ready to change your plans when they're not working the way you expected; don't count on things remaining stable.
Foresight: You can't predict the future, but you can hear its footsteps approaching. Think and prepare.

Full text here (it's brief.)

As for me... one thing I hafta realize is that there are some people I just cannot reach, some people I just cannot make an impact upon, some people who cannot/will not appreciate any of the suggestions and support I offer when they are facing troubles and difficulties, suggestions based upon my experiences, what has worked for me, while they take to heart (and praise) the suggestions, advice, wisdom, experience, and support of countless others. While intellectually I realize it is their loss, emotionally it hurts to be treated with such disdain and indifference, as if me and my life, my experiences, my wisdom, my support are so lacking in value. I'll hafta work on my resilience!

"Pack up all your dishes/Make note of all good wishes/Say goodbye to the landlord for me/Sons of bitches always bore me..."

Monday, May 04, 2009

Mannerisms and appearances

At the risk of sounding like one of those whiny, transgenderism-obsessed T-gals whom I sometimes find tedious and boring, one item... I don't know if I would call it a dilemma but maybe a curiosity of having to straddle between genders, specifically those occasions when one has need to present in a masculine mode, is forgetting to or lapsing into more feminine mannerisms; decidedly feminine hand gestures while speaking, a more melodious lilt and/or choice of words, even when using one's "male" voice, crossing one's legs, various other things... and similarly while in "drab", be it in work or casual or workout attire yet still maintaining one's feminine appearance; longer, more femininely-styled hair, eyebrows tweezed and shaped, softer and smoother complexion and skin, nails longer and neatly maintained, lack of body hair, etc... I've mentioned in the past about being "miss'ed" or called "her" while in drab which, while occasionally unsettling is also usually ego-boosting and ultimately gratifying. I mention this because I was out last Thursday evening, met up with a handful of friends I hadn't seen in awhile to catch some of the Celtics game. They'd been there for awhile before I arrived, meaning they all already had several beers in them. First response out of one of 'em was "What the fuck [my nickname] have you been sick? You look like a girl!" Now in the past I had been a lot bigger, at times muscular-big and also just fat-big. But they've still seen me enough over the last several years now as I've been and looked more athletically lean. And honestly, I'm not that small, even now- I've been a lil smaller. And I don't believe I look especially more femme than the last several times I've met up with any of 'em. If only they knew! And it's odd... while I know there'd be a lot of ribbing and stuff if it were a matter of any of us coming out as gay, the friendships, while probably somewhat altered, would remain. But transgenderism... suddenly having a girl in the group would be a far more different and altering dynamic than having a- regular acting, ie, not overly effeminate- gay guy.

I guess it's all a matter of be careful what you wish for, what you seek.

RIP, Jack Kemp. I supported him back when he sought the Republican Presidential nomination in '88. While at times he could be a little too earnest and long-winded, he was also an energetic man of ideas, a key architect of the Reagan tax cuts which set our country on decades of prosperity. And- like Reagan's- Kemp's was a sunny, optimistic, inclusive conservatism, one that saw tomorrow as even better than today, one that saw limiting government as the best way to maximize opportunity and freedom, for all. Too often too many on the Right are, or at least come across as, dour, petty, and apprehensive about the future, much of the reason the current GOP finds itself in the straits it does. Kemp- like Reagan- was a Happy Warrior in the best sense of that phrase.

"Well she's my best friend's girl/She's my best friend's girl/She used to be mine..."

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Coach Lama? I doubt we'll be seeing Bill Belichick roaming the sidelines in a saffron-colored robe this season, but you never know...
My Celtics finally closed out a tough series with the Bulls last night! Late-season injuries have taken a toll on the defending champs, and this series pushed them to the limit, especially with all of the OT games. I don't seem 'em getting beyond the next round, but they've been entertaining and hard-working.
So is everyone good and scared about the swine flu? Er, um, excuse me, the H1N1 virus? (We must be politically correct, wouldn't wanna offend any swine!) Kidding aside, it is worth keeping an eye on, and most of our officials have kept a proper balance between prudence and panic... and then there's Joe Biden- yeeesh!
Been running, working out, and eating- mostly!- well of late. (I've indicated before- for me, exercise is the easy part, maintaining my clean eating regimen is always the more challenging.) I have noticed that, in my resistance work, I've been feeling a lil weaker on and, more recently my "pump" from my upper body lift has been less, and shorter-lived, tho' I do like some of the tone I'm starting to see. Again, what I expected, and wanted. I would like to drop a size or so by Memorial Day weekend- a reasonable goal.
The weather has really picked up, and more, the scenery has really greened up! Whether it is along the Esplanade, the Greenway, the Public Garden, or one of my favs, Post Office Square, the various parks and squares and open spaces and their plantings are really pretty! It is the next six or so months that make living around here worthwhile...
I'm just finishing up reading the Wall Street Noir collection. They do a great job with this series, and they finally have a Boston Noir in the works- I can't wait!
I had a couple of recent more personal items to note, but I think I'll hold off on 'em for now. I have one friend whom I haven't heard from in a lil while, another who is really struggling in this economy right now. So no complaints from this gal.
Here's one for certain members of "the sisterhood"...
"It is time for you to stop all of your sobbing..."