Monday, September 19, 2011

A Dis on CIS

I think I finally figured this one out this weekend. I dislike 'cis' because I think it is a fundamental right of all persons to name themselves. The term 'cis' was something placed on me and I have no emotional, historical or positive association with it. It would be like a non-trans person putting a random prefix on someone trans and saying "Here- I'm going to call you...(bizarre example) 'RE' from now on. The trans person thinks, 'Huh? What's that? I have no experience with that prefix and it sounds kinda yucky to me.' At this point it doesn't matter whether it comes from science, religion or outer space- it is unwanted and feels random. This is how 'cis' makes me feel. I'm happy with 'bio', 'non-trans' or 'fab' if you must.

Thanks for your consideration.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I must be famous

The post below is from a blog from an ex. I actually posted a supportive comment on the blog but she deleted it, as she deletes most comments about anything she writes. I found it sort of weird that she decided to re-tell the story of my past single life on her blog and resolve to use some of my techniques in her dating experiment. I suppose I should be flattered.

Once upon a time, in a land called Texas, there lived a woman who had lost her mojo. Every day she fretted about her lost mojo. She could be heard crying "where has my mojo gone!!!????" day in and day out. She looked everywhere for that lost mojo. She looked under her bed and in her closet! She looked under the couch in the living room and in the very back of the car port. She even cleaned out her sex-toy drawer, but NO MOJO!

One day, that woman decided to go to Denver to look for her lost mojo, because Denver was the last place she remembered having it. She flew over and over to Denver. She even brought her sex toys in her carry-on bag-- much to the amusement of the TSA employees-- just to tempt the mojo to come back.

After months and months, that woman located her mojo! "Hooray!" Exclaimed the woman!

Once upon a time, in a land called Brooklyn, there lived another woman who had also lost her mojo. She looked in the clubs, at the Whole Foods, and even at the Gym, but NO MOJO! She meditated on her lost mojo, but still it did not come back. She went to Mich Fest, where she had last remembered having her mojo, but all she found was closure and flirtation.... still no mojo!

One day the woman from Brooklyn, remembered the woman from Texas, so the woman from Brooklyn decided to try her own version of the trips to denver... and she placed a Craigslist ad....

How will the story end???!!! stay tuned to find out!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Last night I had a dream that I was traveling with my brother on a plane and someone stole my laptop computer. I caught the guy a little while later when he came back for the power supply. The disturbing part was that I chased him down, held him on the floor and tortured him to get him to tell me where it was. I actually broke two of his fingers because he wouldn't tell me. The sound of the bone snapping was very disturbing. Another odd part was that my brother seemed sleepy or sick or something and wouldn't help me go after the guy. This is an odd juxtaposition since I'm usually the anti-violent one in the family and my brother would pounce on someone at the drop of a hat. He almost got arrested a few weeks ago for not leaving the principal's office when he found out his son had been unfairly punished.

Anyway, it is strange how we do things in dreams we would not ever do in real life. I think it is our subconscious' way of screwing with our heads for entertainment value. In my dreams I have: smoked, been pregnant, slept with men, committed murder, tortured and had sex in public. I've also committed lesser sins like cheating, dishonesty and being generally slutty. I guess these things happen to everyone in their dreams and the only time to really be concerned is if when you wake up, it actually sounds appealing to strip down to your boxers and drive to school for that test in the class you kept skipping.

I kinda think last night had something to do with Rachel Maddow saying she would kill Osama Bin Laden with a spoon if she had the chance. Yeah- liberal media is making me bloodthirsty in my dreams. That must be it.

Sweet dreams all.

Monday, December 07, 2009

My weekend? Great! How was yours?

I can’t say I have had any one experience over the weekend to warrant a blog entry but I thought I would bring my small band of readers up to speed.

Friday night was the holiday drag king show. Butt-cold that night (we even had a snow flurry earlier in the afternoon). The show was dandy—I love standing up front. It is the best place to get weird goods thrown from the stage. That night I came home with a Christmas-themed paddle ball, candy and (I kid you not) a whole fresh cucumber. Yeah, king shows are the bomb.

Saturday I had to work from 8-1 and then afterward went over to K’s house to help her continue to pack and move things out to her storage shed. The good news of that activity is she was able to show her place to 3 people that day and she got new tenants! Yay! They will move in at the end of December. That takes a huge worry off both our shoulders knowing she will have rental income that will pretty much cover her monthly mortgage. Oh, and having K officially living with me? Delightful.

Saturday night we had a few folks over to watch the UT vs Nebraska football game. The game itself nearly sent us all into cardiac arrest- especially when it looked like the UT quarterback let the time run out on the last play. Fortunately they put 1 second back on the clock and the kicker made a 42 yard field goal to win the game by 1 point. Wow. My guests were an odd lot. My girl K who cares nothing about football, roomie K, my friend Anna and two friends she invited, who were combinations of entertaining and a bit odd. Oh, and 3 dogs and 2 cats. Yeah, chaos.

Sunday was our hike at McKinney falls. Since the weather was damp and cold, almost everyone punked out on us. No one came except us and Anna. Strangely enough though, it was an almost perfect hike. It was cool and gloomy, yes, but the humidity made the temp feel warmer than it was and it felt really good out. The waterfall was too rapid to cross to take the first trail we attempted so we criss-crossed over some sort of nature trail and then made our way to the 2nd trail. This one is paved, which is kind of odd for a hiking trail, but really beneficial after a rain. The views were wonderful, lots of rushing water, waterfalls, fall color and a few bird sightings. The rock outcroppings there are amazing and I think it might be my favorite hike spot in the area. I would like to go back in a few weeks and take the trail that was blocked by water. Maybe we can start off the new year with a hike on the 2nd.

One more thing—I’m going on a cruise next week. Key West, Nassau and Freeport. I’m takin Mama to the Bahamas- yay! See you all when I return on the 20th!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Most Fortunate Malady

I was suddenly struck by an unexplained malady yesterday. I was bopping through my workday feeling fairly well and right around lunchtime I began to feel as though I were coming down with the flu. I felt achy, feverish and queasy. I was majorly freaked. After all, I have Kirsten's family coming for Thanksgiving dinner. My manager walked past my desk and asked if I was ok. When I told him I wasn't feeling well he recoiled and ordered me to go home. This was of course not for my welfare but because he has a running race coming up and didn't want to catch something from me.

I drove home, dreading the tale of the thermometer and wondering if I could contact Dr. G. B. for a script for Tamiflu. Then I took my temp and found I was not running a fever at all. Damn thing wouldn't even come up to normal. (Typical for me; low-acting thyroid causes me to run a bit low on temp).

So, after chilling on the couch for a few minutes I thought I should see if I could accomplish a few chores while I was home during both daylight and nice weather. Against the advice of friends and girlfriend I dragged out the lawn mower and made the front yard look like humans lived there again. This activity kicked off a fortunate series of events. My elderly neighbor saw me in the yard and came over to tell me he had cut up some wood I could use in my stove. I got my wheelbarrow and came over to retrieve it. While there, his wife asked if I would like to see their son's garden. It was indeed impressive and I really wanted to replicate it in my own backyard. One conversation led to another and before I knew it she was offering me fresh lettace out of the garden. Filled a bag and gave it to me. I then commented on a planter with fresh basil in it and she said- "Do you want some? Ronnie says he is going to till it under this week". She helped me gather huge stems and I came home with wood, lettace and enough basil to look like an embarrassing bouquet.

I decided to make pesto. I ran out to the store to get parmesan and walnuts and a bit more olive oil. The next 2 hours was spent feeding fragrant leaves into my roomie's food processor. I ended up with probably about a half gallon of fresh pesto.

Besides this lucky streak, the thing I enjoyed the most was sitting down and chatting with my neighbors. They are such sweet people and they always give me something. I appreciate the thought more than the gifts and I wonder if the current generation of neighbors will ever connect with people in this way. They are like the grandparents I always wanted. Mr. Schaeffer (the neighbor) even taught me how to sharpen a chainsaw blade.

Tonight I am taking the neighbors some fresh pesto.

Oh, and I found a quarter in the parking lot of HEB. Best sick day ever!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sister's Edge Letter to the Editor

I can't seem to get the Chronicle's online machine to accept my post so I will be satisfied with posting it here.

I've been standing quietly to the side (feeling a bit like Cassandra) and watching the buildup of the new women's bar space, hoping and wishing things might turn out differently this time.

Everyone can agree that lesbian bars in Austin are notoriously short-lived. There are probably as many opinions as to why as there are people involved. I’ll roll off the most likely:

1) Austin is a pretty open and accepting place and lesbians can go pretty much anywhere in town without being openly harassed for being gay. This makes a women’s bar more of a want than a need.

2) Women tend to drink less than men (and generally spend less money on alcohol) and while initially interested in the idea of a bar, most women do not think of a bar as an essential part of their culture and/or a place to hang out the majority of nights in a week.

3) This is probably the most controversial of theories: Women turn their backs on a business if everything is not to their liking. I’ve witnessed this time and again and it has really been the death knell of several attempts to create a women’s bar space in Austin. The old Sidekicks died as a result of Craigslist rants regarding the bar having unfriendly staff, dirty facilities and drug use, all spouted behind the protective shield of anonymity the online world can provide. I have already seen it begin for Sister’s Edge the day after its opening. Comments complaining about slow service, poor music choices, smoky environment and long lines are already being poured into the vat of cynical rants- Craigslist Women Seek Women.

If women in Austin really want a bar that will last they need to address the issues above. Obviously the men in Austin’s gay community can keep a bar thriving for years, as evidenced by Charlie’s and Oil Can Harry’s. If the stories that the bar owners of Sister’s Edge changed it into a men’s country bar because it was a lot less trouble than trying to cater to picketing and spotty crowds, lesbians need to find a different way to express their displeasure or accept that the occasional women’s night or special event may be all our vibrant and wonderful community of women can expect.

I hope I am wrong. This community should prove me wrong. I'd like nothing better.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What I do when the phone is not ringing...

My job at the state can be a little slow at times. During these times I usually amuse myself with visiting some web sites. I thought I would share the ones I enjoy most and hope that my cracked sense of what is hilarious does not alter your opinion of me.

Enjoy. Or avoid. Whichever is appropriate.
This one is a very witty woman that writes mainly about lesbians in the entertainment industry, but don't let the description fool you. She is also a pretty effective activist and has made me nod in admiration on more than one occasion.
This one is just delightful in that wry ironic kind of way. Consisting of free items or offers to sell things on Craigslist, it reveals a lot about humanity and allows a glimpse into lives that make us feel so much better about our own.
A comic strip I probably should have started reading years ago because I still don't understand all the characters and how they interact but I still find myself reading it each week to keep up.
It doesn't look like this site is updated much anymore but it is hilarious and wonderfully done. I suggest starting at the last entry and working backwards to the latest. The artist is very talented and his child is a bit scary.
One of my very favorites for the sheer spectacle of it all. The tattoos displayed are not always safe for the workplace but well worth a look in all their disturbed glory.
The name says it all. Disturbing and hilarious.
Twitter-like entries of everyday disasters. Often repulsive, frequently heart-wrenching.
Imagine your past family photos even more embarrassing than you remember. Being judged and mocked by others. Better than therapy.
An addiction spawned by my BFF C.
Best funny cat photo site ever.
I used to go to CNN more but they changed their formatting and it's kinda blah now.
A nice lefty political site.
The most awesome of urban legend de-bunking sites. I visit anytime someone sends me a mass email claiming something I doubt.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Step at a Time

My girlfriend is moving in with me!

I can't say this is a drastic change since she practically lived here already but it does tend to put me in a different head space. My relationship is progressing and I feel good about that.

I was looking at my sweet one yesterday and thinking yet again, "how did I ever get this lucky?" I may never know but I hope always to be aware of it.

I'm starting to look differently at the clutter I've accumulated in my space and really try to decide what I need and what I can lose without missing or mourning the loss. It is also a good opportunity to find better ways of organizing what I do want to keep.

Step-stools. I think I need more step-stools. I have a good bit of space on top shelves but they are not very accessible for everyday use. I also really wish more of my shelving pulled out or rotated. Looks like a trip to Ikea may be in order...

It is strange to think of myself as holding on to things simply out of a sense of duty or habit or loyalty to the givers. I look at various objects around my house and remember, 'My mother gave me that, or my ex wife bought that.' Somehow I feel if I throw it away or sell it or donate it they will know and be hurt. Silly I know. Kind of like holding on to anger because we feel it actually punishes the object of our ire. It doesn't of course. It punishes us. Maybe guilt is punishing me also.

This week I vow to look at what I have accumulated and decide if it really provides me with utility, comfort or joy. If not, it needs to live with someone else, or decompose somewhere.

Wish me luck. I can't look into the future living with all these ghosts. How appropriate that I choose to exorcise them on Halloween.

Friday, October 09, 2009

And the winner is...

Well I did say I was prepared for more weird news this week but I wasn't expecting it to be Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Wow. Not sure what to think of that, but congrats!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Strange Days Indeed...

Have you ever had the experience of starting out a week thinking, hmm- that's a bit unusual, then having strange, uncharacteristic things happen for several days, making your week go from mildly unusual to downright freaky? It seems this is my week.

Oddball #1: It started by going to a very nice house concert last weekend and running into the Wicked Witch of the East, (who was mentioned in my last entry). To make things as miserable as possible, WWotE ended up at one point sitting next to me during the music so close that I could have reached out and whacked her in the head if I had stretched out my arms. Luckily I'm not violent so her head is just fine. Still though- big bleah to keep running into her. Now that she's single and out on the prowl I never know where she will turn up. Hopefully not at the 'Raise the Walls for Equality' Habitat for Humanity build on Saturday or the Kings N Things Hootenanny that night. I'm skeeved enough for the week.

Oddball #2: I am in the process of arranging for my friend A to accompany my old nemesis Mr. Darcy to a fancy dance on Sunday. I think I have safely gotten past the nemesis stage with Mr. Darcy and it is a nice thing to get texts with updates from her bout with the flu or social plans instead of the deafening silence I felt was the best option for 6 months or so. It seems we are both in better places to contemplate a friendship these days.

Oddball #3: Yesterday I got a phone call from my old roomie R. She burst out crying and apologized for, in her words, 'being an asshole to me'. I was unsure what to say so I just said it was ok and that we should get together soon and hang out. I'm having her over for dinner on Sunday. She told me that she broke up with her g/f and had been going through a lot emotionally and wanted to say she was sorry for all the things she did that were disrespectful to me. I hung up the phone and thought- wow that was really weird.

Oddball #4: I got a phone call a couple hours later from my dad. He has been diagnosed with Macular Degeneration and in his words- 'is going blind'. Wow. That's certainly sad-- especially for a man who gets so much pleasure from reading and watching movies. He said some vitamins called I-caps can slow the progression and I'm on tap to get him some for Christmas. Anyway, it was a nice conversation and this adds to the litany of secrets I'm not supposed to share with the rest of the family for fear of 'worrying them too much'.

Oddball #5: I got a Facebook Friend request from my ex fiance K today. Another person I hadn't talked to in ages contacting me out of the blue. I accepted her request and found that she got married in Iowa in September to a woman I've never seen or heard of before and is now living in Canada. Wha? Wow- go without chatting with someone for a few months and things can really change!

So- what's next? My British ex calls? I win a sweepstakes? Whatever it is I feel on edge and will be on the lookout. It's that kind of week...

Saturday, October 03, 2009

What she said!

I don't usually add other bloggers to my blog posts but Dorothy Snarker is one of my faves. She speaks in this entry what I have been feeling since this whole thing popped up again and there is no reason for me to echo her eloquence when she does such a wonderful job of conveying it herself. Do follow the link. Do read this- and other entries. Most of her blog is about entertainment figures but she does it in an empowering and delightful way. I'm a big fan.

Happy weekend all.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Island of Dr. Nightmare

Well, at least it was for a few people that night.

My sweet one and I went to an HRC fund-raiser called Dinah Lakeshore this weekend. It's a swanky little mixer where they shuttle you over to a little island on Lake Austin for drinks, dancing, tasty treats and apparently for some, unwanted run-ins with nightmare exes. I tend lately to be remarkably unscathed in such matters-- most of my exes still enjoy my company socially or at worst are safely several states away. Not such good luck for some this weekend.

There would have to be a very complicated flowchart involved to explain how all the involved parties were interconnected but imagine something along the scale of a very crowded game of Twister. My friend P very pithily described the crowd as containing '2/3 of the Axis of Evil'. I had the unique, sometimes amusing, sometimes heartrending position of being friends with many on the receiving end of the AoE and it saddened me to see how unsavory and unhealthy people can suck the oxygen out of the great outdoors.

I had an email exchange with my ex-wife today and I couldn't resist posting her quote:
'I think she [SHE being 1/3 of the AoE] has borderline personality disorder. A psychologist told me you can tell if you've got one in your group of friends and acquaintances: there will always be people who are mad at each other. After about the fifth grade, this doesn't happen naturally. It takes an instigator.'

A wise woman my ex.

Anyway, all came through unscathed- except maybe psychically, and hopefully the healing can continue. I'm not sure why but I feel lighter, more optimistic and generally cheerful than I have in a while. I'll have to ponder a bit on why. Maybe seeing that amount of unhappiness just further cements what I have to be thankful about.

The night ended as it should. I got to dance with my sweetheart to the song I requested and ride quietly back to the shore with my love leaning against my shoulder. I am truly blessed. I wish everyone- especially those who have been entangled with their own Wicked Witch of the East, much health, healing and the peace that comes from making your way home with the one who holds your heart as precious as their own.
"I Will Follow You Into The Dark"

Monday, September 21, 2009

Health and Happiness

I had a very lovely weekend. Friday night we went to the Drag King musical and it was delightful. The kings really put a lot more effort than usual into these events and we had a great time. We especially loved the Michael Jackson tribute Thriller Dance and also the Newsies number. The fact that my BFF C was in these pieces might have had a touch to do with it but honestly they really were the most delightful and well done bits of the night. The choreography was impressive and I like the creativity that performing songs from musicals allows. I did, however, reconfirm that I hate microphones as I demonstrated by completely going dumbstruck when the host put one in my face. Horrors!

Saturday was a day full of activity and was quite enjoyable. In the morning we went on a hike with the group and it was great. There were lots of streams criss-crossing our path and the dogs that came along had a blast splashing around in the water and then running back to join us. We had a couple of new hikers this week and everyone seemed to enjoy the outing. I managed to save a little kid from going over a waterfall when he got too close and slipped. He looked pretty terrified but he would have only fallen about 4 feet. I probably only saved him from getting wet and muddy but sometimes its the small things that count.

In the evening I caught up with my good friend R over dinner at the Woodland. Their food is very unusual and tasty and it was great to see my bud. I don't get to see her as much as I used to and in a lot of ways I feel our lives are going in different directions but I'm glad we can still make time to catch up when we have a chance.

Sunday morning K and I drove out to Pace Bend park to watch her mom compete in a triathlon. It's pretty amazing that both mom and daughter love to do athletic things like this. It seemed to endear K's mom to me a bit that I suggested we come out and cheer her on. She and her friend ended up winning their age group! I was very impressed!

While there, K and I were going to put in the kayaks for a while but it seemed hotter and more humid than usual and I felt a greater than average sensitivity to the heat and begged off for a more mild day. We then instead went to lunch with K's folks which was actually beneficial in a lot of ways. I was able to bond with them a bit and feel a little more comfortable around them. Also since K's mom had just run a triathlon we were not at a loss for topics of discussion.

Later that afternoon I made a pie and some other goodies and we went to a pot luck at my friend D's house. We had a great time socializing and finally managed to get a couple of doctor friends of ours in the same room to meet. Can't swear anything will happen between them but at least they had common things to discuss.

I also found out that D and M have chosen a wedding date! March 13th. And... D asked me to be her best woman! I'm very excited! This will be the 3rd time I've been a best woman at a wedding. The other 2 were pretty low-maintenance but I think I'll have my hands full with D. She has a tendency to get a bit frazzled under pressure so I think at some point in the day I will schedule her for a massage to relax a bit so she doesn't just freak out and start running wildly about like a trapped deer. I have to admit it is a little surreal to be asked to stand up at the wedding of my good friend to my ex, but I couldn't have chosen a better match if I did it myself. Oh wait! I DID! :)

Oh, one more bit of news for the day. An ex of mine that I like to call the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, or GOCYTC, has had another breakup of a short-lived relationship. I noticed this from her request for support from her friends via Facebook page. I felt as the supportive ex I try to be, I posted some words of encouragement for her. She deleted my comment and in turn responded in typical GOCYTC fashion, which included finding a way to be a jerk to me for the umpteenth time. I finally had enough and decided to let her know it. I wrote and told her that I had tolerated her snippy remarks and anger in the past, thinking I just needed a thicker skin around her. I also pointed out that although I consistently made an effort to write encouraging things to her or show support, she was not reciprocal in this regard. I told her I had had enough, that I wished her well and hoped this letter would not be taken as an opportunity to unleash on me once again. I then deleted her from my friend list. Bleah. I have had a long and frustrating history with this woman and it is only a slight comfort to see she implodes on just about everyone in her world eventually-- especially anyone who has dated her. I have to remind myself that is about as classic BPD as anyone can get and that kind of person is just a toxic time bomb. I do feel sorry for her though-- and I feel sorry for any mental illness that separates people from real connections in life. I just need to remind myself that in order to keep myself safe and sane, I need to leave that kind of disfunction alone. So long C- back to the universe for help and healing. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts an prayers and hope someday you get the insight you need to move forward.


*Note to my tiny band of readers: This blog is not visible to the person I spoke about above and my message to her was more of message to the universe and a reminder to myself to make healthy choices in my life.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pennies from Heaven

Last night I found a $100 bill. Yeah- how often does that happen? K and I were out for an evening stroll to stop by the night drop at the library and we usually circle around and walk through a little funky shopping center by my house. We were walking along and chatting about how much we like the weird little indie businesses in the center when I noticed a scrap of paper lying on the ground a few feet away. I thought at first it looked like a coupon of some sort but as I got closer it seemed to look like a dollar bill. I told K to wait just a sec and stepped over to pick it up. As I reached down I realized it was not a 1-dollar bill but 100! I was floored. I scampered back over to K and whispered 'Oh my G-d'. It's a hundred dollars!' It was pretty obvious there was no way to return it to the person who lost it. The lot was abandoned and the bill was loose in the lot. My first impulse was to present it to K. She quickly refused, saying it was mine and I should keep it. I argued that G-d dropped it for me but it was a gift and didn't belong to me. I wanted to give it to someone who had less resources and since K had just been reduced to 1/2 time at work I thought she could use it. She still refused so I started thinking about other options. I then thought of my friend D who just 2 days ago smashed up her car and incurred $1000 in repair bills. I called and left a message for her to call me and that I had good news for her. When she called back I told her I wanted to give her the money. She laughed for a moment and told me I was the sweetest person she knew but that her parents were paying for the repairs and she could not take the money from me.

Damn! I never expected it would be this much trouble giving away $100!

We ultimately thought of an idea. She said there was a child at her school that was going through some surgeries and maybe we could find a way to buy a gift card for the family and a gift for the child while in the hospital. I thought this was a great idea since the school is in my neighborhood and the money would be put to use close to where it was found.

So, that's the plan. I'm glad I can be a good steward for money that Heaven rains down.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Adventures in Domesticity

It seems there is an epidemic of normality breaking out in my community. I was watching my TV Girlfriend (Rachel Maddow) the other night and she said there has been a study that found the divorce rate in Massachusetts has actually gone DOWN since gay marriage began in that state. So instead of being the downfall of marriage, there may be a sign that gay marriage has increased the stability of marriage. Interesting...

A lot of my friends are married or engaged now. My friends R & S got married in Canada a year or so ago. My friends D & M are now engaged, my friends H and K are getting married next month and my friends A & S are now expecting a baby. I would be lying if I said that K and I had not discussed these things ourselves. I stubbornly refuse to be the stereotypical u-haul relationship but we are certainly committed and planning a future together. I do however remember with a bit of embarrassment that I was engaged a couple of years ago and that turned out to be a mistake. I'm taking things slowly but the idea of marriage and children has an appeal. The appeal so soon after an engagement disaster has everything to do with finding the right person- and that part is feeling very right.

Anyway, I like the evolution of the modern lesbian. A few years ago when I first went to Michfest I don't remember many children at all on the land. Now the place is teaming with strollers, little children and the big swath of camping where I originally pitched my tent is now designated for 'moms with children'. Nice.

This is not the future I thought I would have to settle for when I came out. I'm glad some things change for the better.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Oh-ho, hey-hey, it's a National Holiday...

I hope everyone had a delightful and relaxing long weekend. Unfortunately I had to work a few hours on Saturday. No rest for the weary state worker providing new food for hungry babies. SuperWIC to the rescue!

Besides that little snag in my otherwise bucolic respite, it was quite enjoyable. Early Saturday morning I met with a few friends to hike the Turkey Creek Trail at Emma Long park. My poor sweetie was not feeling well and to add more injury to insult, got a nasty bite from her cat as she tried to corral him to come back inside after her roomie let him run out. So, imagine not feeling well and then getting a call to drive across town and crawl around through hedges, under cars and through neighbor's yards only to be rewarded by your beloved pet sinking his fangs into your thumb as you attempt rescue. A perfect morning to return to my warm and peaceful house and return to bed, hoping the second awakening will be an improvement.

Even sans lovely hike- leader we had a very nice hike. The wooded trail was shady and the prior night's rain made the trail a bit gloppy but cooler than usual and quite invigorating. The folks that did brave the humid, muddy weather were a good combination of folks and made for enjoyable conversation and good times.

After a few dreary hours at the office that afternoon I went out with my sweetie for a nice dinner then for a stroll down S. Congress. The next morning we had breakfast with BFF C, then went to church. Afterward I bought a few movies and K and I had a nice leisurely afternoon. On Labor Day we went to see Julie and Julia at Alamo Draft House. I highly recommend this movie and found myself smiling throughout. Meryl Streep is amazing and quite convincing at Julia Child and I loved the concept. Made me really crave some Bœuf Bourguignon!

In the afternoon we took the Kayaks out and met up with Dr. S to paddle around Town Lake. We paddled up to Redbud Island and then decided to paddle around it and look at the dam. Paddling against the current while the dam is releasing water is a little like paddling up a whitewater rapid. Twice I was pushed back against a concrete embankment as I made my way through an opening around the island and I owe great thanks to K and Dr. S for cheering me on as I fought the current and won on the 3rd try. I definitely admit my skinny girlfriend is better at kayaking than me. Not sure why I can bench so much more and still be swept away in a current she was able to push past. My ego was bruised but I survived, even while ending up whacking into the picnicking spot of some kids on the island. I did appreciate that they gave me a round of applause when I got through!

When we finished the adventure in the water we went to a salon put on by a friend of K's. This was a salon in the original sense of the word as described in Wikipedia: Salon (gathering), private and public, of intellectuals to meet, discuss ideas and watch artistic performances.
We had some excellent food- especially the peanut soup, and some wine and settled in to discuss our ideas of Labor Day. We watched some clips on the history of the holiday on the Internet and then discussed opinions of labor forces, class-ism, unions and then managed to meander to the topic of concealed carry handgun laws. It was an enjoyable gathering and I hope to do it again soon.

I have yammered on for quite some time now so I will stop. I hope your holiday weekend was as wonderful as mine. To my small but loyal band of readers, I wish you well.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Long time gone, I know...

Yes, it's been a while since I've written. I sometimes forget that people do actually read this on occasion. I'll give you the 50-cent update on my activities for the month of August.

First, K and I went to Michfest! Yay! It was wonderful. We actually drove, which was a bit insane but we had a nice time and it allowed us to visit my folks and also my ex R, who let us crash at her aunti-house in Chicago southside. Michfest itself was wonderful and I got out of my cranky travel mood very soon after we arrived. We did workshops, saw wonderful music, camped in the cool weather, saw movies, ate VERY healthy food and generally had a blast.

Shockingly enough, K and I had such a lovely time traveling across the country we decided to take another road trip last week. A very last minute trip to New Orleans. Again, I was a cranky traveler but cheered up once we arrived in the Big Easy. We stayed at a funky little hotel in the Garden District I highly recommend (Prytania Park Hotel) and spent our days wandering about the quarter being tourists. I also got to reconnect with my sweet Katrina guest Vincent. He seems to be doing well and his girlfriend is very sweet and generous, albeit a bit jealous and moody. Hard to understand all those things in one person but that is indeed an accurate description. We met Vincent for Pizza at a place called Slice and then bar-hopped the quarter until time for Tribella's show. Oh, yeah- forgot to mention Rae's band played a music fest that weekend which is what prompted our last-minute road trip. Overall, great food, good company, and sweet times were had by all.

Life in general? Quite good. My brother is leveling out with his health issues and seems to be slowly improving. He may come to the Heart Hospital here in Austin next month for a workup.
K is her usual fab self. We are coming up on 6 months together and I wake up every day ridiculously happy and thankful she is in my life.
My mama just turned 70 on Wednesday. She seems youthful and well which is quite gratifying. All is well with the world if mama is well.

OK that is pretty much my summer so far. I'll try to fill in a few more details soon. Leave me a comment lovely readers- I'd like to hear from YOU too!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Paddlin' in the Summer of Love

Another great adventure on the water yesterday. Our friend E (who is just one of my favorite people ever) suggested we take the kayaks out to this little park on the lake. It is called Selma Hughes park and it was a sweet little hidden treasure. We paddled around and found shallow coves in which to swim that were relatively hydrilla-free. We also passed another sweet little park I'd like to go back and check out again. It had a little inlet cove where we could paddle a good long way before it became kind of weedy and claustrophobic. There were lots of young hippie types jumping off the roof of what looked to be an abandoned shed of some sort. Other than that there were grills, pecan trees and a nice bit of shade. After that little jaunt we paddled back across the river to an a boat dock that was just sitting in the middle of nowhere. No house or trail anywhere close- just a tiny boat dock half a mile from anything that made sense. We pulled our boats up there and sat on the dock, eating E's M&M's and peanut mixture and I found a big batch of wild grapes on which to feast. My sweetie was her usual wonderful self and reminds me every day why I adore her.

I wish we had photos of our day on the lake but here is one of us on J's backyard swing. Swooningly cute, right?

Friday, July 10, 2009

July 4th

One of many delightful activities on this day.

Later, the sweetie and I hit another party and then did my new 4th tradition: paddling down to watch the fireworks.

It was surprisingly low stress. Parking was reasonable, people were in a generally good mood and we even ended up kind of tethering ourselves in a group of epicureans that had brought a battery-operated toaster and were passing out extra sandwiches to those around them.

"Fresh mozzarella with basil and tomato?"
"I don't mind if I do!"

Best 4th I can remember.

My sweetie has opened the doors to so many adventures I would not have enjoyed without her. Kayaking down the lake is one of many-- with many more to come I'm sure.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Downside of Superpowers

The closest thing I have to an actual superpower is my shockingly acute sense of smell. I can pick up (and be overwhelmed by) scents others around me cannot detect at all. This is a dandy thing when the smells are things like the subtle musk perfume of a pine tree or the earthy fragrance of mulch, but on the downside, I can be rendered practically infirm by a nasty funk.

I was out last night hanging posters for an upcoming event (the Gender Blender Splendor event on July 11th) and was regularly assailed by the widest possible cacophony of smells. Some were certainly enjoyable, such as assorted perfumes, the delightful combination of fresh coffee and pastry in Quackenbush's, or the sweet smells of trees and grass, fresh from a rain. I unfortunately also picked up whiffs of stale grease, rotting garbage, urine, feces and dead animal. Part of life I suppose but in these moments I momentarily regret my gift.

I thought I might put together a list of the top 10 worst smells. This is of course MY list. Others may certainly disagree and I'm certain if I get comments on this post, at least one will point out a marauding odor I had not until that moment considered. Until that time, here is my list, in sort-of order.

1. Dead Animals (I would assume humans too but I have not had the misfortune)
2. Halitosis (This is probably the worst for me since I sometimes feel I have to stay in the environment for politeness sake).
3. Feces. Enough said.
4. Rotten Vegetables (I think potatoes might be the worst offenders)
5. Fish, especially shrimp and crawfish. (I know this one is subjective but for me this is horrid)
6. Urine (human seems to be the worst, and male smells worse than female- trust this nose).
7. Garbage (this would encompass the rotten veggies with any other thing that ends up in a dumpster behind a restaurant).
8. Flatulence.
9. Any food left in a cooler and forgotten.
10. Tie: Rotten chicken/ Rotten eggs.

Some might say ammonia, which would also encompass bird feces, cat pee and many other things. I think in some ways ammonia can be our friend- masking even more revolting scents.

Some might notice things that didn't make the list, such as gasoline, skunk smell, body odor... Yeah, those can certainly be horrid but can also fall into a much more subjective list. I actually don't mind the smell of skunk so much and even b.o. can be tollerable in small doses- on the right person.

Have a happy 4th-- and I wish you the delightful fragrances of charcoal, your favorite drink and your favorite person.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Things are still going well for me on the sweet girlfriend front. We get along amazingly well. She likes to do so many of the goofy things I do. This weekend we bought kayaks! Found a great deal at Academy on these cute little yellow kayaks for $150 apiece! We took them out at Emma Long park on Sunday and had a fantastic time.

She also likes one of my biggest goofball things: Big Lots. I still can't believe my good fortune but I will stop questioning whether I deserve it.

In decidedly less-happy news my brother is in the hospital and has been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. It was quite a shock since I didn't know he had been having any issues. Apparently he had been feeling his heart was not working well for quite some time but had been keeping it from anyone beyond his wife and oldest son. My mom and dad had no idea until he started feeling so ill he saw a doctor and was immediately admitted into the hospital. Luckily he is improving (after several scary days of not) and may get out soon. Surprisingly, his doctors think a large amount of his heart damage is coming from sleep apnea. I knew this was a dangerous disorder but I really didn't know it could contribute to CHF. He can't go to a sleep clinic for a formal diagnosis until after he is released from the hospital but hopefully that will happen rather quickly when he is.
I wrote to a doctor friend of mine for more info on the correlation between CHF and sleep apnea and she sent me some very surprising info and an article from the Mayo Clinic about how it happens. Apparently the pauses in breathing cause extra stress on the heart and it all goes to hell in a handbasket from there. I'm hoping for a quick diagnosis and a spaceman mask for him right away and maybe that will be an effective therapy. The one thing about which I'm still unclear is how much of the condition can be reversed after the proper therapy, (c-pap, meds, losing weight, etc.) Scary this could still indicate a shortened life span but I don't know the answer to that yet.
Think good thoughts, be well yourselves and I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yeah, those are from me...

I guess she liked them. It is now her Facebook photo.
I have discovered I actually seem to sleep better next to her.
I told her this morning I had been asking for her for years. I'm very glad she finally arrived.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Adventures in Normality

Mmm- I do love some smooth sailing.

Life is floating along sweetly for me. It reminds me of when Obama was elected and I could finally let go of all the nervousness and angst that seemed to fill my days.

It is a strange adjustment to not worry when the person I am dating is going to unexpectedly turn nasty, ignore me, tell me they are poly or do something else shocking and disrespectful... Wow- I am pretty floored I tolerated that kind of behavior in the past and somehow thought that was the best I could do. Geez- what the heck was wrong with me? What the heck is wrong with anyone who tolerates bad behavior?

Now my every day reality makes me shake my head and grin as if waking from a bad dream and thinking- "Wow, what was THAT all about?

Makes me wonder what my blog will be about in the future.

I guess I will have to get used to adventures in good times and sweetness and hope the drama and chaos will just be about hijinx of missing flights to Paris or camping in a downpour.

I could get used to that.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Random Thoughts

Now that I find myself in a sweet, drama-free relationship and things are going well I find myself wondering how I could have gone through all the insanity and chaos of the past few years. I know there was a time when I was not quite 'seasoned' enough in the cosmic stew-pot and some time in therapy definitely helped with that. My old pattern of attracting 'Damsels in Distress' and making their lives way too comfortable has been vanquished and I certainly don't miss that dynamic.

There is still a bit of a fear that comes from a deep and historically disappointed place inside. Because of a spate of short-lived flings where I lost my heart and the person vanished soon thereafter I sometimes worry that emotions for me are top-loaded. I have a fleeting worry that I represent the romantic equivalent of 'Achy-Breaky Heart'. Catchy at first and immediately enjoyable but a couple of months later you pretend you never heard of it and certainly never enjoyed it. I've definitely been the object of the inexplicable breakup on a few occasions.

See, I am good at inspiring initial crushes. Women do not seem to have a problem falling for me quickly. I just sometimes wonder what causes the disconnect down the line. I worry a bit that maybe I am missing an inner depth that holds the attention long-term.

Or, maybe I just dated a lot of screwed-up women.

Since K is probably the most emotionally healthy and stable person I've met in ages I'll go with the latter theory. I know the strange assortment of bi-polar, borderline and narcissistic objects of my affection were in no shape for a mature and sincere emotional connection. And of course not everyone is going to emotionally connect with you just because you connect with them. That doesn't make them a nut, just law of averages.

It took a while but I finally feel that I've gotten it right. I may be a little jumpy for a while but slowly I may be able to really trust and connect for the long haul. I have a wonderful inspiration for that now.

Let's do another one...

K was supposed to chaperon the OutYouth prom this weekend and she asked if I would like to come along and help. I couldn't resist the opportunity to dress up in my tux and look handsome for my sweet one. We had a very nice time patrolling the parking lot in formal wear and sneaking in a little nuzzling when we could. Lisa R once walked by us and did the traditional prom chaperon line: "OK kids, leave room for the Holy Spirit!"
The prom was pretty tame as mischief goes. We didn't spot any bad behavior so maybe going to a queer prom is radical enough for these kids.
Life is really good. Abundance aplenty.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Fabled K

Monday, May 04, 2009

It's Official

I have a girlfriend.

I certainly wasn't expecting things to progress this quickly but I do know from experience that hesitation in connection usually indicates a lack of passion so here I am- with a girlfriend for the first time in a year and a half.

And what a girlfriend she is! OK, I expect eye-rolling at this point since I keep gushing over her but man-- she is super-cool and groovy.

Yesterday I surprised her by showing up at her church when she was going through her membership ceremony. I ran late arriving and couldn't find her until after I sat in the back of the church. When I finally spotted her in the crowd I had the pleasure of just looking at her for a while before she knew I was there. Have I mentioned she is beautiful? She peered around the crowd and her eyes almost passed me by and then she did a double-take, and looked delightfully surprised. I gave her a smile and a little wave. She looked precious. It was too crowded to sit with her but she did invite me up to take communion with her. Standing there with her getting a blessing from the minister felt wonderful.

Later in the afternoon we met back up and took a bike ride over to the little food trailer park area on S. 1st. After a nosh we sat in a porch swing under a tree and talked for hours. At one point an almost microscopic baby praying mantis fell into her lap and we both marveled at the fascinating sight. We also grew in each other's esteem as we found a safe place for it in the crook of a tree.

The G word was almost an accident. As we talked we discussed my concerns about our age difference. She asked if it was a problem for me. Without thinking I said, "No, but I'm the one with the hot 28 year old girlfriend."

I paused, realizing what I had said.

I then said- "Well, I have spoken the G-word. I guess I should make an honest woman of you. Would you like to be my girlfriend?"

She said yes without hesitation and I wondered how life could have been so hard before now.

She is kind, gentle, thoughtful and intelligent. She likes my quirky sense of humor, cuddling on the couch and talking for hours. She may be the motivation I need to keep fit. I damn well better to keep up with a 28 year old triathlete! At least she took it easy on me on the bike ride and showed me a sneaky back path over railroad tracks behind a housing complex where we had to carry our bikes in the moonlight.

It is hard to believe this is my reality but I'm grabbing on with everything I have.

Friday, May 01, 2009

9 O'clock and All's Well

I'm making efforts to shut down the parts of my life that attract attention from single women. I've deleted my profiles on several singles sites and have written or talked to several women who were in my 'orbit' of late and explained I want to focus on what may be a major new connection.

Everyone has been very supportive and understanding. A couple have expressed good-natured disappointment but overall it feels very freeing and true.

As for things with K... mmmm. She slept in my bed Wednesday night.

I usually have difficulty sharing a bed with someone new. I have to adjust to the space they occupy and I feel constrained by the change. This was different. She slept mostly curled against my back and I slept deeply and securely. When I rolled and shifted she turned in tandem and she sleepily pulled my arm around her body as I turned to sleep against her spine. She was warm and affectionate without being smothering.

Last night I asked her favorite holiday. If you know me well you know it is a big question for me. Although I accept those who answer Beltane, Solstice, Halloween or whatever, her answer warmed me to my core. Christmas. She loves Christmas. The giving, the warmth, the smell, the family...

She asked me my favorite season. I told her I liked things about all of them but I think I liked seasons best when they signaled change. I like Spring when the earth comes back to life after a long slumber and I like Fall, when coolness and color herald the end of a time without a chilly breeze and thoughts of evenings by the fire. She agreed, stating she thinks she likes Spring a bit more but loved the change of seasons for the same reasons.

I asked her if she wanted to come to my church service this weekend. She could not because that morning she was running a 5k and then going through the ceremony to join her church at MCC. G-d finally sent me a Christian.

This feels very, very good.

If you see me around and I have a stupid smile and look like I'm about to veer into a wall as I walk just gently steer me. I'm not used to this abundance.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Girl is Out There

I'm being cautious and taking things slowly but I am in the process of connecting and deepening a friendship/dating relationship with a woman who fits all my 'perfect world' criteria for a girlfriend. We have been dating a month and have known each other a little longer and it feels marvelous. It seems my many possibilities are sifting down to what may be my treasured destiny.

She's amazing, kind and thoughtful. Affectionate, intelligent, sweet, adorable, dorky, loving, spiritual, generous, and healthy in body and mind. She loves gardening, the outdoors, travel, pets, reading, cuddling and talking about ideas.

Like me, she also loves to stop and stare at unusual things in nature, touch and smell flowers, peer at unusual creatures and gaze in wonder at big twisted trees or how a pattern in bark can look like a face.

I am kinda blown away she also seems to be smitten with me. *Swoon*! I feel calm, joyful and delighted. When we met I thought she was way too cute, cool and awesome to be interested. There is also a bit of an age gap- enough to make me worry if I made a move she would think of me as a creepy 'cougar' or something. This fear kept me from even attempting a hug for several dates. Turns out she doesn't seem to care at all. Instead she curls against my neck and whispers sweet things to me in French.

Oh, and a bit of trivia. A few posts back I wrote about "Hike as a Metaphor for Love". I mentioned losing my hiking group and the fact that they we only found each other when I stopped looking for them. The hiking group leader that rushed up and said they had been looking for me? She is the woman who daily grows in my affection. I wish everyone who seeks it a warm cozy feeling that all is right with the world. At this moment I have it in abundance.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Beware the naked man who offers you a shirt

I went to see Maya Angelou tonight. The quote above is from her. Well, she said it is an African saying so it did not originate from her. She used the quote to illustrate the idea that it is inappropriate for someone who does not love themselves to shower someone else with praise.

So, more about tonight. I took my friend C with me and I realized as we stared with rapt attention at a woman we both revered that she was the best person in the world to be there with me. The world just works out that way sometimes.

C is brilliant and knows me sometimes better than I know myself-- although sometimes I have proven her wrong. Tonight I found myself bemoaning my worries about the women I am seeing. She rolls her eyes as if to say, "You are the only person I know that would complain about abundance".

Well, I'm not complaining, per se- just concerned. See last night I broke my rule. I kissed one of the woman with whom I'm 'hanging out'. It felt like I just couldn't resist. At some point in the evening I found myself focusing on her lips and wondering what it would be like to kiss them. I also noticed that although she and I had never done more than casually brush against one another in conversation, I found excuses to lean against her extended arm and she found excuses to move a bit closer. As for the kiss itself? Definitely one of the best I've had in a very long time. Soft, gentle, a bit teasing. Yes, very high kissing marks-- to the point that I had to force myself to say goodnight and kind of totter away in a slightly stupid fog.

Now for me since a boundary has been crossed, I feel an obligation to talk with the recipient of my kiss and ask about her expectations and I need to decide whether I can fulfil them. I guess I'll get that opportunity tomorrow. We are going on another dyke-hike and then going to a green energy fest at the 'Hey Cupcake' on Burnet. She's certainly awesome- and one of the most genuinely kind people I've met in a long time.

I was talking to my friend S last night and telling her I had discerned the difference between 'nice' and 'kind'. See, 'nice' is situational. You can be 'nice' when you want to influence someone, when you think people are looking, when you are courting, and when you want something, but that doesn't mean you are kind. Kind happens when no one is looking. It is what you are and not what you do. I can see that in K. Kindness radiates off her even when she thinks I'm not looking.

I'm feeling very optimistic about my future. Good things are here and more are coming. I am so very grateful for this abundance. I'll take C's advice and try not to use it as an excuse to worry.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

An Embarrassment of Riches

I don't quite understand my reversal of fortunes of late. After going through several months of 'meh', things are turning around.

Maybe it's springtime. Maybe it's karma. Maybe it's a long-overdue pendulum swing. Payoff from Lenten sacrifice? Maybe my favorite fairy Leslie blessed me for giving him a ride. Now I'm giggling. It is quite possible that it is the result of banishing the negativity in my life and allowing positive things to flow into that space. I feel positively giddy and reborn.

Anyway, everything from a great refinance rate, a generous tax rebate, loving and supportive friends and some fantastic romantic possibilities- things are definitely looking sunny on my side of the street.

Now my biggest problem? Trying to decide between 3 or 4 different people- all of which are centered, mature, attractive, positive and appealing. I'd like to continue to get to know all of them in a friendly and organic way. I'm intentionally avoiding kissing any of them because that is the line which, when crossed, creates a decision-making process involving further intimacy, exclusivity, future intentions...

I'm going about the dating thing differently this time. Before now I have always been very specific, such as "I am asking you on a date." Now it is more like- let's hang out. Let's go for a hike. Let's catch a show with some friends. It smacks of that annoying "Are we dating or are we friends?" place I don't enjoy. However, it does allow a more relaxed environment for getting to really admire someone before heavy flirtation and hormones cloud judgement and change personalities. With at least two women I'm 'hanging out' with, we have established there is an attraction, but they are both shy and have not made a romantic move, and I seem to be avoiding it also. I'm not sure how long I can continue this since I've seen both of them several times but I like the kind of shy dance we seem to do. For this day I am a happy bachelor, swimming in the delights of possibilities, staring with wonder at the abundance of gifts that remain unopened.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm an Idiot

I did something really dumb last night. I was bone-tired from my travels and winding down by playing on the computer before bed. I was sending funny messages back and forth with my friend S and she pointed out in a message I got this morning that I had written my BFF's name C instead of the suggestion I intended which was that she drink a cup of CHAMOMILE tea. I was daft. S did think it was hilarious and told me to send her over- she had the cup ready!

But-- 10 times worse than that was when out of curiosity for which of my friends were on Facebook, I went through an automated process to let it pull in my address book. It pulled in lots of people I don't even remember (some I have never met because they are women from the Speed Dating groups). Anyway, in my exhaustion I thought I was cancelling the option and instead managed to hit the OK button-- sending out friend invites to EVERYONE in my address book!!!!! I was horrified. The worst was the idea that at least 2 or 3 of those people I never want to speak to again. And now they think I want them to be my Facebook friend!

This has taught me a valuable lesson. I really need to clean out my address book. Don't let this happen to you. Don't touch social networking sites unless you are awake, alert and un-impared.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Barely awake

What a weekend! I damn near over committed myself but I made it through and had an amazing time everywhere!

Friday night I met for coffee with a very cool woman- A. She is bright, stable, very attractive, and shockingly easy to talk to. I met up with her at Flipnotics and thought we had been there for about 15 minutes and I was floored to find out and hour and a half had gone by! I had a rather abrupt goodbye with her since she was running late to see a show downtown but I hope I see more of her soon.

I got up before the butt-crack of dawn on Saturday to catch a plane to Denver. In case you didn't know Denver had a huge batch of snow dumped on it on Friday. Made for an exciting time making it into the airport in Denver but luckily by then the snow was turning to rain and it wasn't icy anymore.

Denver was fun, stress-free and extremely relaxing. Just what I needed. My 2nd person A was attentive, delightful and a hell of a good time. It had been too long since I was there last. A keeps fretting I won't come back since I seem to be drawing interesting people into my life but I tell her I'm all feast or famine and she can never count me out.

I got back into Austin this afternoon and caught a fantastic show by a group called the Hilde Girls and the Djembabes. It was great fun and I convinced my friends D and M to go with me. I was especially interested in having M see them perform. I thought the music would resonate with her. She seemed to really enjoy it.

If you don't know, the Hilde Girls are an a'capella chorale group that sings the songs and chants of the 12th century saint Hildagarde of Bingham. Check out the website link above to learn more. Going to one of their shows is a very spiritual experience and the voices and message of the music is very nurturing. That, plus all the other delightful things in my weekend have put me in a very relaxed and centered place.

I think I'm ready to fall into bed early and have a sound and dreamless sleep. I wish the same for you.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Into the Great Wide Open

My room-mate left on Sunday for a 6-month journey to hike the Appalachian Trail. I've found a great way to tell gay women from straight using this news. If I say this to a gay woman she says something like: "Wow! That sounds so exciting!" If I tell a straight woman she looks at me in horror and says "Oh my! That sounds so dangerous!"

I'm really proud of her, although looking at what passes for her tent makes me really concerned for her comfort. It's basically just a tarp with a couple of strings holding it up, which are connected to her hiking sticks. There is no bottom to this, although she says she has a ground cover. Now I like camping and I'm no wuss but I want something separating me from ants, snakes and rushing water in a rainstorm. My tent has a floor and I wouldn't find it acceptable if it did not.

I'm amazed at how organized she is. She had spreadsheets and estimates of average travel per day and has packed her food and supplies to cover the time until she reaches the next town and mail drop where her next package will be waiting. She has an amazing group of friends and they came for a party last weekend that she adorably named "The Trail Mixer". Everyone took a box she will need mailed at a certain time on her trip. Mine will go out on July 5th. The postage would be killer if she didn't have supportive people sending the packages to her. Spread out among 25 or so people it is an affordable gift for someone we care about.

My best wishes and prayers go out to her as she begins her journey of over 2000 miles. It boggles the mind that this quiet studious woman is walking from Georgia to Maine. She has an iron will. I know she will make it.

K's blog that will cover her hiking adventure is available here:

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


I saw this on a friend's Facebook page and had to post it here. It is utter and impossible joy and made me cry with glee. Just what I needed.

Friday, April 03, 2009

RE: Stereotypical Angry Dyke- A Resolution

I got a letter from the woman that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. She apologized for 'getting busy' and having her relationship status change after just meeting me. She also said she would like to make an effort to connect with me in the future in friendship. Her flirty way of suggesting we had similar 'interests' was a cause for concern and I thought about it all day at work before penning this reply:

Thank you for your letter. I have considered your suggestion and have come to what I believe is the best solution for everyone.
While I am of course quite happy to chat with you at our singles events and consider myself a friendly acquaintance, I don't think a stronger connection is wise. If you find yourself attracted to me it is probably not the best thing for your newly-forming connection with the woman you are dating. Dance with the devil once too often and the devil looks pretty damn good.
Also, I do have a very large social circle and a busy social life and I find it quite a challenge to keep meaningful connections with all my current friends.
Lastly, I am not one to hold a grudge but I do want to point out some less-than-stellar decisions that did not exactly endear you.
I realize you haven't been in many dating situations in quite some time but maybe you can file these lessons away for future reference.
1) Don't agree to an activity with me and then cancel and tell me you are going with the other person you are dating.
2) Don't try to fix me up with someone else because you feel guilty.
3) Don't stop communicating and get weird and then explain it by saying your life got busy.
Pointing out these things may not seem caring and friendly but it actually is. I think it is important to know how our actions are interpreted by the people around us and it encourages different decisions in the future. I thrive on honesty and this is mine for you. I hope things continue to go well in your current connection.
Best wishes-Me

Now I have to compliment the woman for responding in a gracious and open way. She acknowledged she did not handle things well and took responsibility for it. This greatly raised her in my eyes. I'm big on taking responsibility and not getting defensive when someone raises issues they have with you. Kudos to her and I do hope to run into her socially in the future.

A little bit 'a this and a little bit 'a that

I was driving back home after having dinner with a friend at Magnolia cafe the other night and I saw Leslie standing at an intersection by a bus stop. We locked eyes and he did an exaggerated lean with his thumb out, then laughed. Must have been my strangely good mood but I rolled down my window and said- "Hey Leslie- where ya headed?"

"Downtown." He replied. "6th street."

I shrugged and thought- what the hell.

"Get in. I'll take you there"

He jumped in, never asking if he could smoke but never putting out his cig. He said he had overslept and missed the bus and was getting a later start to the night than usual. He then opened his purse, pulled out a silver flask and took a couple swigs. He offered a drink to me and I politely declined.

I dropped him off at 6th and Congress and made my way home, chuckling to myself.

I ordered a new tiller the other day! My current one is gas powered and I couldn't start it this year and I got tired of having to have it serviced so I'm replacing it with a little electric model I ordered from Sears.

I'm giving my old model to Marti so the freecycling line will live on. She gets a tiller for only the price of having it serviced and I get a nice environmentally friendly version that is light and requires very little maintenance. Look how cute it is:

So- I can think of no thread to connect Leslie and my new electric tiller but it was fun to create a blog entry that mentioned them both. Have a great weekend everyone.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hike as Metaphor for Love

My first hike with the new lesbian hiking group- I affectionately call them the 'dyke-hikers' was last weekend. We went on something called the Hill of Life, which in the context of this story, was very appropriate. I started out walking fairly slowly because I wanted to keep an acquaintance company but she seemed to be having problems with the steep downhill rocky terrain and kept twisting her ankle. I realized quickly I had made a bad move by matching her pace because the major part of the group was pulling ahead of us. Finally, in a move kind of like the heartfelt and cheesy ending to a war movie, she bravely said- "Go on without me- I may not make it." I momentarily hesitated, then pushed on ahead, with only a twinge of guilt.

By the time I made it to the bottom of the hill I couldn't see my fellow hikers. I asked a biker if he had seen them and since he hadn't I knew they had gone the opposite way. I then cranked up my pace to high gear in an attempt to catch up. I hiked furiously, thinking any minute I'd see the group around the next rise, but nothing.

There were only a few spots where it was possible to see more than 10-15 yards ahead because of all the twists and turns in the path. I couldn't figure out how I had not caught up with them after about 20 minutes. Finally I slowed my pace and decided they were all hiking at breakneck speed and I should just concentrate on enjoying the hike on my own.

For the first time that day I really felt calm and enjoyed my environment. I saw the path around me- the soft dirt and spongy fallen leaves, twisted trees melded together in an achingly beautiful embrace, nandina, lantana, mountain laurel, oak and ash combined for a swirling cacophony of sight, sensation and smell. I was happy.

I kept moving along, taking in the sights and about 10 minutes later I heard someone call my name. From behind me.

The hiking group leader rushed up and said: "There you are! You must have been hiking at a blazing speed! We kept asking about you and several people saw you but we could never catch up!"

They had gone off a side-trail for a moment to the water to let the dog jump in and had been trying to catch me for over half an hour. So- lots of lessons learned that can be easily parallelled with love:

1) When I seek it, it cannot be found.
2) When I focus on finding it, I don't have a good time.
3) When I stop looking and see the beauty around me I truly connect with the universe.
4) When I both stop looking and connect with the universe, what I seek finds me.

Always remember to stop and smell the Mountain Laurel. It's what makes life worth living- and I think love always seeks out the one spinning with delight in the middle of the woods.

Friday, March 20, 2009

1, 2, and the dreaded 3

I am much better from the angry place I was in a few days ago. I think I hadn't quite gotten over my stomach queasiness and it made me a total cranky-pants. Now my pants- and the rest of me are much happier!

So I was hanging out with C doing my typical Thursday Scrabble game last night and we got into a delightful discussion. She told me she and P had been talking about how people are in 3 categories. There are 1's, who are generally good-natured, not overly suspicious, have no major mental health issues and are easygoing and good partner material.

Then there are 2's, who have some issues, can be unpredictable, engage in drama, but are honest and self-aware enough to know THEY are the problem and admit that.

Then there are the dreaded 3's. These are people who are big giant balls of drama, have major issues and worst of all, they refuse to take responsibility for their fucked-upedness and instead blame those around them when chaos ensues.

I enjoyed hearing about these categories and was curious how my circle fit into them. C then said, "There are about 4 or 5 "1's" that I know. Herself, me, P, S and then I mentioned our mutual friend Sean and she agreed with that.'

She said 3's should be put onto a boat, carted off to an island and dropped off there like Lost so they couldn't hurt others. I agreed and then said it seemed that I had dated a lot of 2's. She laughed heartily and said, "Darlin, you ALWAYS date 3's!" I started to argue with her.

"But ___ wasn't like that..." my voice trailed off. C cocks an eyebrow and snorts.
"But what about __?" I asked.
She stares.
"OK, you are right. And ___?"
She nods
"But ___ was good to me..."
C frowns and shakes her head.

Oh my G-d. I date 3's. I fall for 3's. They are awful to me. How do I stop?

C said I can't really expect I will find that many 1's, but dating some 2's would at least keep me from being sucked in and/or having my self-esteem and well-being battered by these walking disasters.

I quietly agreed. Then sat for a moment.

"Could I at least vacation on the island after we drop them all off?"
"Damn. I'll miss them."
Why do 3's have to be so damn good-looking?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Stereotypical Angry Dyke

Not sure why but I've been uncharacteristically cranky this week. I haven't had bad things happen in the past few days but I feel like I just want to bite someone's head off. Must be hormonal but I'm not PMS'ing. Maybe I deserve to be a jerk once in a while.

I did get taken for a ride a few days ago but I wasn't invested in it enough to have it really ruin my week.

See, I met a woman who seemed to have good energy. She was stable, intelligent and seemed really into me. Turns out she was already dating someone else 'casually'. I don't mind that but I ended up getting used as starter fluid to ramp up the intensity and interest of the other person she was seeing. After that mission was accomplished she added further insult but pointing out someone on a singles site she thought 'would have a lot in common with me'. I think that may have been the most inconsiderate and offensive series of events I have lived through in quite some time. Thing is, I had to really consider asking this woman out. She wasn't the type I typically date. She wasn't outstandingly good looking, and she didn't have a great body but she did have a pleasant personality and she seemed considerate on first meeting. She caught my attention because she brought a gift for the child of a woman at the group dinner we were attending. I figure anyone who goes that extra mile must be more than they appear. She was also in her last relationship for 15 years. Staying power is important to me so another mark in her favor. Anyway, ultimately it ended up going south and not in the way SHE wanted. Seems she wanted to jump into the sack with me right away and I would not even consider it. I may be a slut but I'm an ethical slut and I did not want that kind of dynamic with this person.

Hmm- maybe I am more angry about this than I thought. You know what else she did? She agreed to go to dance lessons with me earlier in the week and then a couple days before, IM'd me and said she had decided to go with the other person she was dating instead, and "hoped I would say hi when we ran into each other." WTF?!? Obviously in a 15 year relationship this woman has lost her social skills.

Well, I have a busy week and weekend coming up so maybe I can work out my frustration in hiking, parties and picnics. Hopefully I will be better company than the cheesed off little ass I feel kicking inside my chest right now.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

When the Belly is Empty, the Soul Takes Over

I've been suffering with some sort of stomach bug since Wednesday night. It has put a kink into my workout routine since, void of the energy producing yummy stuff that usually runs through my system, my muscles are not feeling much like pumping iron and seem to jeer at me when I do anything more strenuous than browsing the internet.

I think the illness is affecting my sleep, which usually kicks off strange dreams. Last night I dreamt of an old lover. She wasn't in my space in a romantic way, but at one point I unconsciously reached for her hand under a table where we were sitting and she warmly grasped it. It was a comforting feeling and I realised when I awoke that is a level of intimacy I miss. The feeling of human connection that you don't have to explain. It doesn't have to mean you want to possess them. It doesn't mean you want them as a lover. It just is what it is. I do that with my friends sometimes. I love how when I walk with my friend C she puts her arm through mine and leans against my shoulder as we walk. I love how I can absentmindedly squeeze her hand while we are driving somewhere and she never thinks I am making a pass. I also love how my friend D can come and lounge all over me like a sleepy greyhound and it just feels comfortable and good. In a lot of ways I think I have the best of all possible worlds. I have intimate friendships, and when I really desire it- a lover. I told my NSA partner 'A' yesterday- "I think you are the most stable partner I've had in years".

I guess certain levels of intimacy just cause all those waters to get muddied. I've kept it clean with A- and we are great together. Naughty text messages, dirty Scrabble games on Facebook- and I tell her when drama crops up in my life- and when I have successfully squelched it out again. She says all the right things of course, but never requires anything of me other than my attention when I visit her every couple of months. And the occasional really creative dirty Scrabble word.

Anyway, I did some kundalini yoga chanting in church this morning. Yeah- LOVE my church. It helped me to center and focus on what I need for myself right now. I sent a prayer out to myself. Then sent one to persons in my life I care about- especially those who need healing and protection right now- and then sent one to the universe.

I think what I re-learned for myself is what my ex-wife used to tell me about people in my dreams. She said the people in your dreams are not really who they are in real life, but are instead aspects of the dreamer. So all the good and desirable qualities of the old loves or admired friends or treasured gurus are actually all within ourselves. We just need to celebrate them in ourselves as much as we do when we recognize them in others.

It is nice to feel a place of emotional and spiritual clarity. It would have been nice to get here without the complications of the stomach flu.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Apropos of Nothing

Award-Winning* Big Veg Hunter Veggie Chili

1 package (regular sized bag) pinto beans (or a package of bean soup mix works well for variety)
½ package (or box) of barley
½ cup lentils (may not be needed if you use bean soup mix)
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chilies
1 large can crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 dried chili peppers
1 onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
Garlic or garlic powder to taste
1 tablespoon powdered cumin
1-2 teaspoons Tony’s Cajun Seasoning
Salt to taste

Soak beans 2 hours before cooking, then drain and add to large crock-pot.
Break open dried chilies and remove stems and seeds, then put them into a small pot of boiling water to soften. Boil about 3-5 minutes. Drain, put peppers into a food processor and puree to a paste. Add this and all other ingredients, fill with water at least 2 inches above bean mixture and cook 6-8 hours, adding water if needed.

If you like a lot of spice, drain the water from boiling the chilies into the crock pot. This will make a darker, slightly hotter chili.

If you don’t have dried chilies, the recipe works well with chili seasoning mix- just omit most of the spices.

Low fat Frito pie can be made by adding low-fat tortilla chips and reduced fat chedder cheese.

*Seriously, I won a chili cook-off with this at Dell.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Mmm- meat

I have to keep reminding myself of my Lenten promise. A couple days ago I took out what I thought to be chicken and rice from the freezer and when I opened it I realized it was Jambalaya. Sausage and Pork Chop Jambalaya. Damn. Well, Moonshine had a nice snack and the rest went back in the freezer. I settled for Wild Mushroom Ravioli with Vodka creme sauce.

I had a lovely weekend with various social connections. Friday night I went with Camille to the Long Center to see Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband. I adore Wilde's work and his wit is unsurpassed.

Saturday I went to a show downtown with my friend Dorothy. We had a great time.

Tonight I went to a showing of the L Word at the home of the barest of acquaintances. A friend through Facebook who added me to a mailing list for her L Word gatherings and I showed up with wine and two people they had never met. They were very good sports and I read their palms at the end of the evening. It seemed like a fair trade off.

Beyond that I've located a big stash of wood down the street and snagged that, then chainsawed up a good bit on Saturday. I got a very fun package delivery. (If you ask nicely I'll tell you more- but know that 'package' is the operative word).

I also went to church this morning and I finally signed up to do the membership classes, which start on Wednesday evening. It is funny how in the Baptist church I was hounded to join but this church I practically have to hunt them down and beg to join the roles. Oh well- I guess that is why I want to join. I was always suspicious of any org that wanted me for a member too much.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Giving up Shyness for Lent

I went to Ash Wednesday services last night. There is something kind of spooky and Pagan-like about having ashes smudged onto your forehead as a sign of commitment and sacrifice. I’ve only been celebrating Ash Wednesday for a few years but I really connect with it.

Afterward I went to the comedy night at Rusty Spurs. I considered how I would be received showing up at a bar with a big charcoal cross on my forehead but it was actually not bad. I got a couple of quizzical looks but no one tried to wipe it away (thinking it was there accidentally) and no one seemed to be less friendly or put off by it. Actually I think just the opposite happened. I flirted with a couple of women and they flirted right back. I also had a woman come up and ask me what church I attended. When I told her she was very excited; knew the pastor and used to attend with an old girlfriend. She asked me which service time I attended and said she would make an effort to come. Looking back I don’t know if I was doing God’s work or working the room but it was a sweet interaction nonetheless.

I notice I carry myself with more confidence lately. As much as the outside has changed from dropping 16 pounds, the inside changes along with it. I told my friend S that I would probably get more serious dates when my body changed and she disagreed. She said anyone who was worthy would not care about my size. I replied that it had nothing to do with my physical appearance, but how the greater confidence in how I look changes how I approach people. She definitely agreed with that take on it.

The last three times I have gone into a social environment with a group of strangers I have had a much better time than in the past. I notice I flirt, look people in the eyes more and really carry myself in a way that attracts more attention. I read the palms of strangers, go up to women I have never met and buy them drinks and randomly chat with ones I find interesting. Funny thing is- when I do this, I have no real interest in getting their number or following up. I don’t attempt to ask them out or push any further than a social chat, then I go home in a chipper mood, considering the night a success. I like this place, and the energy it creates. So far Lent is starting out well. I’ll keep you posted about the next 39 days.