Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The music plays, some balloons fall from the sky, and maybe, just maybe, you get kissed. All this build-up: everyone asks which parties you're going to, what you're wearing, spirits are poured liberally, there's a countdown, and then, nothing changes. Everything is as it was, except maybe you're a little drunker, and the calendar numbers are slightly different.
It might be easy to blame Y2K for high expectations on New Year's Eve, but this sense of disappointment haunted me long before people started stocking up with bottles of water and ammo for when the computers would crash.
No, I blame birthdays. Because there's the same sense of "oh, is that it already?"
When you're young, there is so much change on certain birthdays. You're able to see the changes. Each year, you get to stay up a little longer. When you go from 12 to 13, you're able to say "hey! I'm a teenager now!" Then at 15, you get a learner's permit. At 16, it's a driver's license. At 18, you can register to vote, and register for selective service. At 21, you've hit legal drinking age.
After the 21st, there's nothing really special about birthdays. Oh, sure, maybe your mom makes a big deal over you hitting 21. Your friends all tease you about reaching 40. And then someday, the AARP flyers come in the mail, and soon you're qualified for social security. From there, what is there to look forward to except retirement and death?
Nope. I can't get excited over New Year's Eve. 2009 will be much like 2008. Which wasn't all that different from 2007. (Well, except for the divorce.)
But that doesn't mean I won't be out tonight, rushing headlong towards liver disease.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
But then this jerk in a blue phone booth shows up and ruins the whole thing, claiming this was his hometown, and it was under his protection.
Damn you and your sonic screwdriver!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Let me get this straight: you let the kids open their presents on Christmas Eve, they play with their new toys for a little while, and then you send them to bed? What kind of torture is that? When they wake up the next morning, there's nothing to look forward to! The toys are already yesterday's news. The rest of the holiday is spent wishing you got something else.
No, presents should be opened on Christmas morning. It teaches kids patience. It gives them something to look forward to. And they have a whole day to play.
So, if you're among those who open on Christmas Eve, stop it. Show a little restraint this year. Wait until morning.
When I blogged at 360, I often decried the Christmas card thing. We sent out 30-40 every year, and got maybe 10 back. This year, I said screw it, I'm not sending any. I got two: one from the ex-, and one from her sister.
When we moved to Ohio, we were far and gone from family. So, we had to make our own holidays special. I tried to create a new tradition: finding a cheap Chinese buffet for dinner on Christmas Eve.
Okay, so maybe it's not the greatest tradition, but it's something. The ex- wasn't too keen on it either, but she humored me the last two years.
This year, she's gone, and I'm by myself, but I'm going to look for a cheap Chinese buffet on my way to work. Yeah, I volunteered for the overnight shift, so those with families could spend time with their loved ones. Noble, huh?
It's no big deal. I've worked plenty of overnights on Christmas in the past, driving 3-4 hours after my shift to get home for the family's event.
But, probably the worst Christmas I ever had, (and I don't tell you this to evoke sympathy, just to give Renee something to read.), was in 2000. I was working a temp job at the Post Office. Oh yeah, the USPS never sleeps. It sleepwalks sometimes, but never sleeps.
My shift ended at about midnight, and I went outside to find my car battery dead. (It was an ongoing problem, since I didn't have money to buy a new one.) I found someone to give me a jumpstart, drove home, left the engine running, as I went in to collect presents, and then hit the road for a 3-hour drive to see my parents and siblings.
I got there around 3:30 or so, hoping beyond hope that they would still be up, drinking, laughing and playing Trivial Pursuit. Nope. The house was dark. And as I crept in, my only wish was to take a quick shower before hitting the sack. But Mom heard me come in, and hustled me off to bed, not wanting me to wake any of the nephews. (And I was filthy. My job at the post office was not the cleanest. We basically loaded and unloaded semis filled with third class mail.)
Three and a half hours later, the kids were up, and so was everyone else. We did the presents thing, the dinner thing, I got a quick nap, and then, it was back to Omaha and work. (Yes, junk mail moves across the country, every day.)
Dad came out, and jumpstarted the car, and off I went.
As I'm flying down the Interstate at 80mph, in the left lane, some bozo decides to change lanes without looking. I slam on the brakes, and swerve a bit, and suddenly, I'm doing 360 degree turns. At 75mph. I did about two complete circles before going nosefirst into the snowcovered ditch.
And the bastard who cut me off? Didn't even stop.
Other people did. They helped push me out, gave me another jump start, and sent me on my way again. (Whereever you are, Colorado volunteer firefighters, thank you!)
So, I was only a hour late for a job I didn't really care for, and would lose a week later, once the holiday rush was over.
What did I get for Christmas that year? I think I got a sweater. I don't even remember.
So, what am I doing this year? Besides waiting to go to work: I cleaned house while listening to last week's show from The Artist D. If you'll check her schedule, you'll find she's got a whole slate of entertainment planned for the holiday. Tune in!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
"You don't have to see eye to eye to walk hand in hand," he said. Whatever that means.
While I understand the outrage over this selection, I'm not sure I can muster up similar feelings. It's probably a good thing that Obama is reaching across the aisle, and making an effort to make friends. Friends are more likely to listen to a differing point of view than an enemy. Few people were happy with Bush's partisan method of governing, and the whole Republican "mandate", so why is it bad when Obama tries to make a change in the way Washington operates?
Besides, as a non-believer, I view the whole religious thing as symbolic, unimportant tradition.
However, something else came out last week that got glossed over.
Really? The Obama camp believes education is the civil rights battle of the 21st century? Education? Seriously? Not the right to marry? Not protection from employment discrimination for GLBT Americans?
That statement shows a serious lack of commitment to a segment of the population that was counting on the new administration to make big changes.
Monday, December 15, 2008
And if you'd like to download my appearance on the Fabulous D Show, it is available right here.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The Artist D turns the tables and interviews the interviewer. Kinda like Frost/Nixon, except without the historical significance.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
There aren't. I don't have an answering machine. I don't even have a phone. But still I check.
It happens, but not very often. I have learned over time, that I can become attracted to a guy through his... get this... personality. Crazy, huh? Of course, the problem there is most guys I meet have the personality of a wooly mammoth. And yes, I know they're all dead. That's my point.
Women, however, catch my eye, all the time. And it's often their personality that locks an attraction in.
But there's a bigger hurdle here.
Woody Allen once said it was great to be a bisexual, because it doubled your chances of getting a date on Saturday night.
All fine and good, if you're a bisexual with some sort of consistancy. I ain't one of them. My attraction wavers from day to day. A week ago, I was feeling rather gay. It was 90% attracted to (the idea of) men, and 10% toward women. But a few days later, I was closer to 60/40. And for a few days after that, it was more like 10/90.
Today, however, it's moved back to about 55/45.
How could I ever enter into any kind of serious relationship with a roving identity like that? How could I ever tell someone, "sorry, I'm not in the mood for sex tonight, because you have the wrong genitals. Try again tomorrow." Am I the only one, or are other bisexuals like this as well?
Monday, December 8, 2008
As a result, my friend tends to shoulder much of the load. She's always volunteering for this and that, and often gets overwhelmed with work. And if it continues, she's going to burn out, and turn her back on something she loves.
I can relate.
But, unfortunately, that's the way people are. In any subculture, in any club, or special interest, there's going to be a small slice that is fired up and ready to go, while the majority simply wants to reap the benefits.
Most people have no interest in lobbying for this bill, or that ordinance. It's why we hire politicians to do it for us. Most people don't care about human rights if it doesn't hurt them. That's why hard news audiences are shrinking while entertainment shows flourish.
Before the election, Barack Obama spoke at the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium. If I remember correctly, there were about 35,000 there. All of them were enthused about changing the world. They cheered when Obama talked about equality for all. They all promised to vote, if they hadn't already.
That scene was repeated, over and over across the country.
Election day? Predictions for voter turnout were in the 80% range. What did we get? 61%
Less than two weeks after the election, the crowds protesting Prop 8, while still impressive, weren't anywhere near what was seen at the Obama rallies.
Again, a couple of weeks after the Prop 8 protest, the number of people coming out for a vigil to support marriage rights had dropped from the hundreds to the dozens.
(These are all local observations, but I'd be willing to bet that on average, they reflect what's happened across the country.)
People were excited about the election. But, they just can't maintain that enthusiasm. There's TV to be watched, video games to be played, music to be listened to.
My biggest fear during the election was that while everyone was calling for change, with an Obama victory, they'd assume the fight was over. They'd assume they don't have to do anything, because the President will take care of it for them. I was heartened by the attendance at the Prop 8 rally, but, I think we, as a nation, are slipping back into our complacency. We're all wondering what Britney is going to wear in her next video. We're looking at the pictures people post, and not reading what they have to say.
It's depressing, I know, but it's also the truth. Most people don't care. So, those that do just have to accept that, and keep pushing that boulder up the hill.
Well, apparently, the guy showed up, but didn't come over to talk to me. He sent me a message saying he saw me sing, I looked beautiful, and seemed to be having a good time with friends. (A group of very nice gay guys saw me sitting alone when I walked in and invited me to join them.) I answered my "date", and asked why he didn't say "hi", and he fed me some line about having to get up early to work the next day. Yeah. Uh-huh. You drove 30 miles, so you could look at me and leave. Kat was there, our friend Homer showed up, and we had a helluva time.
But back to the Thursday night event. I'm getting into this, what Donna Rose calls "New Activism". I admittedly haven't done much yet, just showed up at a Prop 8 protest, the TDOR vigil, and now this White Knot thing. But, my heart's been in it.
Up until now, my focus on improving conditions for TGs has been on coaxing others out of the closet. The idea was that if more of us come out, at least part-time, we'll start to feel safer, the general public will become more familiar with us, and maybe tomorrow, things will be better.
I don't know that it's worked a whole lot. And as they say, if you keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result, you're insane. And despite my "leading by example" efforts to demonstrate it's okay to leave the house, I'm not seeing a lot of transgendered people actually leaving their houses.
I don't think cultural acceptance, job protections and civil rights can be earned by a small number of people. Instead, any changes will have to come from a groundswell of grassroots efforts.
And since that groundswell has yet to materialize, I guess I'm going to have to get involved myself.
But, why attend events promoting same-sex marriage rights? Simple: Someday I may find a guy to settle down with. I'm keeping my options open. But then, why should any transgender person support a gay-rights cause, if they're not gay?
We need the GLB community. They're bigger, they're more organized, and they've already made huge strides in gaining that elusive public acceptance. HRC leadership aside, there are many groups who've already stuck their necks out for us closeted trannies and fully-out transsexuals. If nothing else, we owe them.
But more importantly than that, (I've said it before, I'll say it again, until I don't have to any more), transgender rights are human rights. Gay rights are human rights. We're all in this together. It's about freedom of expression, when you get down to it. The freedom to express your love for someone else. The freedom to express your gender identity.
As far as I could tell, I was the only trans-woman at the Prop 8 protest. I was also the only t-girl at White Knot. This neither surprised me, nor disappointed me. (Well, maybe a little on the latter.)
At TDOR-Cincinnati, trans-people were outnumbered by non-trans people, by probably 3 to 1.
That surprised me. Not the low number of T's, but the high percentage of non-T's. A few of them were obviously friends of trans-individuals, but most it seemed weren't. Why were they there? Did they lose someone they loved to violence? Were they just trying to escape the cold? Or, were they showing their support for a community that is still largely invisible?
Sunday, December 7, 2008
So much to talk about, and so little time. Got company coming over. Stayed up 'til 12:30 last night, and got up at 5am to go to work. No nap since then. So, this is the glamorous life, eh?
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Blogging doesn't count.
Wasn't sure what I could actually do, and then I see this story on the news. And voila! Something I can do, to show my support!
But, this is the first I'd heard of it. They didn't do a very good job of getting the word out. At least not toward some of the fringe people like me.
And I've already made plans. I agreed to meet a guy for drinks. Sure, I doubt he'll show up, but I will not be the person who agrees to a date, and then bails.
Maybe I can do both. The vigil is at 7. The date isn't until 10. Why not?
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
This only comes to mind because I've got an ad on an adult-themed dating site. And I find myself waffling.
I've had a handful of offers to go out, and even as I accept, I find myself not taking the guys too seriously. For instance, my profile states that I'm not looking for a hook-up, or a quickie, and hints that if you're just looking to meet in a cheap motel for sex while the wife isn't looking, fuggaboutit.
I say that I want a guy to actually take me to dinner. A real date. Maybe a movie. And so, I've had a few offers along those lines. And I try to call their bluffs, because I don't really believe they'll show up.
But then, someone will call my calling their bluff, and ask "where and when?" And again, I don't believe they'll show. I should just stick with a little rule I set for myself a while back, with closeted t-girls: "the next time I'm going out, I'll let you know, and you can meet me and my friends." Because I tend to doubt anyone online is actually going to follow through on a promise to meet in real time. And if I'm going to go through the trouble of getting made up, I'd rather not be sitting by myself in a parking lot, waiting for Godot. If I'm gonna get dressed, I might as well have friends around for entertainment when said "date" doesn't show.
But what if they do show? Am I actually ready to go out on a date with a man? It's kinda scary for me. Sure, when it's late at night, and I'm safely tucked in front of my computer, it's a nice idea. But the reality? I know how men are. I know what they think. And I know that any guy on an adult dating site is looking for one thing, and one thing only, no matter what his profile says. And I don't like the idea of leading a guy on, online, meeting him in person, finding him completely repulsive and leaving him high and dry. I wouldn't want that done to me.
I'm still iffy on the idea of men altogether. (More on that later.)
Maybe I'm not waffling at all. (Not to suggest women waffle.)
Or maybe I am saying that. Men tend to be singled minded. Or at least, that's how we see them. Women enjoy the perrogative of changing their minds dependent on their moods. Or at least, that's what they claim.
But the bigger picture: Yeah, I'm thinking I'm ready to date again. The separation was in March, the divorce finalized in June. And while I told myself I wouldn't date for an entire year, I'm getting, antsy. Lonely, perhaps.
And this is about the worst time of the year to start seeing anyone, anyway. But there, I said it. I threw my hat in the ring.
The idea of getting emotionally intimate, committed to someone is still scary. But the idea of being wanted, getting laid is pretty powerful too. It's tough. I want to "get some", but I don't want to just whore around. I've done that already, and am lucky not to come away with a parting gift, like a nice, bright, shiny STD. Not to mention the emotional hole one-night-stands leave.
And then there's the question of whom: I've all but lost interest in relations with women-born-women. I've never had a relationship with a man, even though I've had relations. And T's? Well, they're all bottoms, and to be frank, I need me a top.
So, who does that leave?
Back to the online porn, I guess.