Saturday, May 31, 2008

A whole lota empty goin on...

Well I'm down to my last full day where I am now. My room has a whole lot of empty going on. Doesn't look like I ever really lived there, and well I guess that's really how it should be. Tomorrow I formally close this chapter of my life and set sail for the next, two states away.

While I am for the most part, utterly thrilled on so many levels, there is a certain measure of loss in even this simple move. Friends I'll keep, but whom will be far enough away that getting together now will require travel and planning. A bevy of resources I'm going to need to replace, like doctors and my therapist.

This move has been too long in coming, and one that for quite some time had me utterly terrified. After all, the last bunch of moves have been shall we say, less than good for me? The lack of stability, planning, control over my own destiny has left me a tad shell shocked when it comes to moving. Technically, in the purest sense of things, the last several moves have been running in one form or another. This move is everything the last several have not been. This has been planned, controlled, and I'm going to someplace I'm looking forward to being for a while.

I'm not going to have any crazy roomates to deal with. It's going to be great. More than great, it's going to in one bold stroke suck a whole mountain of stress out of my life. I'm gonna pay my bills, live a quiet, simple life and do a bunch of relaxing to help me let go of the stress and damage I've accumulated over the last several years in hell.

So I'm going home...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

As promised...

...before and after side by side...

<br /> You will need a fairly current version of Macromedia Flash to see these images<br />

...not the best pictures in the world, but great for contrast.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I'll be living on the air in...

...the home of WKRP.

Just got a call today I never in my life thought I'd be so happy to hear. I didn't actually pick up the phone, so voicemail caught it for me. The rental agent called to let me know my appplication for an apartment was approved!

So now, I just have to get my ducks in a row and get the heck out of here.

I'm thrilled, I'm going to finally have a place of my own. No one else to be underfoot, screwing with my life, burning my money, not allowing me to eat what I want, when I eat. I'll be able to keep the place clean without fear of being screamed at, garbage won't be piling up, and I will have complete control over my own kitchen and fridge!

May sound strange but what I'm most going to enjoy is keeping fruits and vegetables in the house, making salads when ever I want, and not needing to worry about being poisoned. Not in the literal sense, but from a standpoint of the simple fact that where I've been living is a toxic waste superfund site. But now, I'll be able to have something I've so missed. Nice, simple, clean salad, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, stir fried tofo and a balsamic vinegrett dressing...

No one to bug me, control me, torture me, take advantage of my nature and use it against me. For the first time in a dozen years I'll be living by myself, Mistress of my own domain. I won't have to live in constant terror of someone not doing their part, and me having to suffer because of it. I'll get to pay my bills on time and not live in fear of something being turned off, or being thrown out of a place because of other people's problems.

I'll have floor space to do yoga on!

It's going to be good. For the first time in a dozen years I'm not going to be held hostage, having to live in constant fear. It's going to be amazing. I'll be able to focus on healing, resting, growing and having a more active role in my own health.

I'm sure I'll be talking more about it as time goes on...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

In Memory of a great man.

A friend of mine's Dad just left the physical plane for the more peaceful, less painful pastures of a wonderful new land. He's been sick, weak, and having trouble now for a while. Sometime this morning his fight to live, became a journey toward peace and rest. While it would be anyone's tendency to surrender to the pain of loss, and the trauma of grief, I thought I'd instead look at this man who meant so much to so many people. A gentle, strong, wonderful man who touched so many lives with light, laughter and love.

This man was a husband, father and even a grandfather who lived a rich and full life and blessed everyone he touched. He was also an engineer and a safty expert who had a long career of helping ensure safer and happier lives for countless other people.

Me, he taught me, well even better helped me see, how asking for, and accepting help could be a good thing. Many, mnay years ago a storm did damage to some trees on his property, and one was dangerously close to falling on the house. As an engineer, he was understandably concerned about how to safely take down the tree without doing any harm. Having spent plenty of time in my youth taking down trees and chopping them up for firewood, and having read way to many books on the subject. I offered to do it for him saving him the cost of bringing in a tree specialist.

He was understandably sceptical and no amount of discussion allowed me to explain what I was offereing to do in a way that assuaged his concerns. Finally I suggested we take down another tree on the property so that I could show him. I asked him to place a dime on the spot he wanted me to drop the tree and then started making my cuts. In very short order I dropped the tree right on the dime. It takes a brave and special kind of man to be comfortable enough in his own skin, and yet able to accept and recieve help. In my rush to try and help him with a problem and save him a bunch of money, he helped me learn a lesson that stayed with me to this day. One I've shared with other people.

At another point, long after we'd cleared not only the tree that was threatening the house, but a number of others on the property. He'd rented a frontloader/backhoe combination in order to open up space for a garden and do some landscaping. The property wasn't exactly level, thus the heavy equipment, but at one point it got seriously stuck. Because it was wheeled and not tracked, once it was stuck and the powered wheels were spinging, it was good and trapped. Again I stepped up and offered to get it out and briefly he argued I was crazy and it was going to take heavy equipment to get it unstuck. He was concerned that if we tried any more to get it unstuck it would slide, or even tumble down the hill it was hanging over the edge. He pointed out quite correctly that having it tumble down the hill, and possibly onto someone else's property, let alone the chances for someone getting hurt. I promised I'd be extra careful and if there was even a hint of it further destabilizing, I'd shut it down and walk away.

My idea was to use the tractors mass and hydraulics to free it. Between the bucket in the front, the backhoe in the back, and the two hyraulic stabilizers on the sides, I figured I could slowly walk it out of the mess it was in. Long story short, exactly like a bug, I carefully leveraged the weight of the tractor in a way that allowed me to get it onto solid ground and then drive it someplace out of the way and park it.

Dad was an amazing, gifted, strong and stubborn man. He fought to hang on, to stick around for those who love him, but in the end he knew when enough was. He's going to be deeply missed by everyone who's lives he continues to enrich by having spent time with us. In my life, I'd never been terribly good about asking for help, allowing someone to offer it, or even accepting it when it's offered. It's been a theme central to my life, and something my own father beat into my head as something one should never, ever do. This man, who was, in many ways like a father to me too, showed me in a powerful and meaningful way that there is a time and place to be stubborn and strong, but that there is also a time to ask for, accept, and appreciate help in our lives.

I'm a much, much better person having had him inmy life and he will deeply missed. As strong and stubborn as he could be, he was also amazingly gentle, sensitive, perceptive and tender too. He's going to be missed by a whole bunch of people, me included. But he's going to be remembered, and honored by me and a whole bunch of people. So right now, instead of getting lost in my grief, I'm going celebrate his life!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pure Jazz on Mother's day.

Sometimes, I get into a place in time and space when everything else is just so much noise. Country, or at least the mix they've got going today is more frentic than I can handle at the moment. I'm not really in the mood for Opera, Classical, or any of my usual suspects, so I've got my buddy John Coltrane gently playing. Something soothing, mellow on a day when I'm kinda glad I can do the whole Shirly McClaine thing and spend some time with my Mom on Mother's day. Frankly I feel my Mom is special everyday of the week, and am never all that far from the profound impact she's had on my life. My Mom may not have been perfect, but she's still mine, and she was perfect for me.

I have so many friends who groan when ever they find themselves doing, or saying something that is so like their Mom's. Me, I just can't help but smile. After all, I wouldn't be half the human being, the beautiful, caring, compassionate woman I've grown up to be if it weren't for my Mom. So, this is kind of my long winded way of saying Happy Mother's day to all the Mom's in the world. Me, I could have done so much worse than I grown up to be just like my Mom. I could have turned out like my Dad... Arggghhh. Thought to be honest even he's mellowed with time, kinda like a fine wine I guess.

So, today's a day for a little extra time to really appreciate our Mom's, for without them, we wouldn't even exist. Happy Mother's day Mom!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

My Colored Squares

Veronique spoke of her colored squares had this test posted on her blog, and I figured I'd throw it at the wall and see what stuck. So, this is what I got

Which I found interesting, but not all that surprising. It ws fun, and I found the way they did the test to be very creative and cool!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Speaking of Trek

I referenced Star Trek in my previous post, and have had occassion to watch some Next Generation episodes in the last couple of hours and was struck by something.

Time, is at best, a slippery mistress. Modern, and no so modern Sci-Fi has toyed with "time travel" for decades. In several Next Generation episodes this topic was played with, and I might say fairly well. "Temporal Mechanics" is not a strickly linear, uni-directional constant, but more something fluid, changing, flowing, because this is indeed the very nature of the universe.

Elasticity is something that like water, is self leveling. That is to say tip it any which way you wish, it will always level out and orient it's "horizon line" with the strangest gravity well near it. In this case, earth. "The more things change, the more they stay the same." It is change I'm here to talk about in a round about fashion.

The Original Series started a five year mission, and it seems all at once a lifetime, and a moment. Five years short ago I looked enough like William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) that I had to show my drivers license to prove I was not him. It happened regularly, and at one point I was nearly mobed at a convension. The walk, the "command" attitude, the beard and mustache, general shape and build, it was something I "used" to hide away from the rest of the world.

Now, I just can't see it. Not a little, not at all. Not so much as a trace.

That's me to the left as of five days ago. No makeup other than a touch of tinted lip gloss, nothing special in terms of hair, and not even close to dressed up. Honestly I was wearing a pair of sweats and the t-shirt you can see.

William T. WHO?

Now I'll be the first to admit I need to lose a bunch of weight. Believe it or not, almost half a person's worth of it, and with the nicer weather, I'll get back to it very shortly. Plus the other changes I'm taking in my life to lower my stress levels, and get back to a diet I'm more used to and I'll be in good shape in about six months. But there's no way anyone could ever mistake the person in that picture, my picture with a famous Starfleet officer. Not a chance.

Honestly it took a good bit less than five years and nothing more than HRT. I don't remember what it was like to be that guy. What it was like to ever have the wrong body. This one isn't perfect, but Lord knows it's much better than it was. I was blessed, am blessed, I took to HRT like a fish to water. Yes, that is, my chest, just exactly the way nature intended it. Not a hint of saline or silicone to be found. Below it are all the rest of the curves I should have had since I was five years old... Well the one I should have grown into at least.

I went from looking like Cmdr Riker, to looking like my Mom or my younger sister. So much so that one of my sister's oldest friends thought I was using her picture when she found me on a High School group site where a bunch of us were talking about how much we've changed.

It just struck me as amazing, and I'm honestly deeply thankful too!

I mean I don't even remember what it was like not to have breasts. I remember this profound sense of wrongness, but that went with most of the rest of my body. I do recall how people used to compare me to, or confuse me with Riker, but over all, not with how it all felt aside from wrong. The "wrongness" of it was viceral, but otherwise, that's about it. I wondered briefly if that was something I should have held on to, but unlike Cmdr. Data who can, and does, delete things at will, it's not like I did anything to remove it. I guess it was more that it was so alien to me that when I no longer had to pretend, all the stuff that went with the role went with it.

I'm not even sure it's such a great loss. Post transition life was where I left it, key's in the ignition, motor running. I however am nothing like the last driver of this car known as life. I guess part of all this thinking was touched off by Karyn's posts about her name, and his old name. Now that I remember. Truth to be told, I hated that old name. It wasn't me, it never was. Which I suppose was why I had SO many nicknames. "You can call me anything but late for dinner" was what he used to say, and I'm quite certain he meant it. I know he was, because he was in effect a hologram in so many ways. Me, I'm Samantha, Sam and to my brother SamIam because he thinks it's funny. Then again he refers to my namesake as Samalama!

God's I hope that when he's older and starts going to school, they don't find out about that.

So I guess, this is my way of saying that one day, in the not terribly distant future we can all look back, or not, to the great gulf of difference, as little as five years can make.

May you all be so blessed!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

To boldly go...

...where no man has before.

Over forty years ago I first heard William Shatner speak these words. I've always believed in this message with some slight differences. Some time later Patrick Stewart was heard to say:

"To boldly go, where no-one has gone before."

Much better, because things aren't just limited to men in this second statement of intent. Trek, in all it's various incarnations has been about exploring, growing, opening contact with others outside our sphere of comfort.

Today I'm here to talk about men and them growing. Specifically a man in Oregon who has taken some bold steps to go where no man has before. You see he's pregnant.

Oh, dear God, he's what?

Yeah he's pregnant, folks get over it and move on. Frankly I think it's a reason for celebration! Two people who love each other, have made it through time enough to wish to bring a new life into the world. A life created with love, a life to cherish, norish, nurture and share thier love with. I think it's fabulous. Two wonderful people who, because his wife couldn't do it for whatever reasons, he stepped up to do what no man has ever done.

How is this possible? The details are spread far and wide across the the media, internet, and face of our tiny little planet. I'm not here to talk about the details, save except for maybe one question I've been hearing from many different directions on the net. Why? Why would this man step up and be seen and heard, why would this couple share this with the world? Why go on Oprah and many other media outlets to talk about this wonderful gift? What ulterior motives might he, or they have, for sharing this bit of news with the outside world? What's in it for them? And the questions go on from there.

I'm here to say that maybe, just maybe, they are proud parents, thrilled by finally being able to have a child, and like all new parents want the world to know. And maybe, just maybe, they were responding to the words of Jenny Boylan:

"What's frustrating about it is that there are so many
other stories out there, and they all desparately need to be told, so that all
of our stories can become familiar. We need to hear stories about trans men, we
need to hear stories about cross dressers, we need to hear stories about people
who are grateful for their gender diference, stories with humor, and love, and
affection, instead of the usual blah blah blah about wrecked marriages and
heartache and people sobbing until their eyes are tired."

These are her words from her key note address at Southern Comfort Gender Conference in Atlanta on September 23, 2006.

Frankly, I think it's a great idea. Regardless of specific details, I personally feel what they are doing is in this spirit, and contributes well to humanities growth. We need more positive affirmations of life, love as well as the wonder and beauty of real people, living a real life.

So the Trans Community that is making noise about this being a bad thing needs to grow up and get over themselves. This isn't a popular statement, and I'm not going to get into an evaluation or discussion of who's right or wrong. I only know how I feel, and I think this man, this couple, these two people in love are making a powerful statement about humanity in general. People who think this is anything less than a positive affirmation, need to look seriously at themselves, and how or why they have grown so hard and cold.

We should all stand beside and behind thess unique and brave people. This man, and I don't want to hear any stupid questions or comments about him not being a man, is doin something wonderful! Period. It's that simple. If more men were to think this way, make a positive step toward life, love and growth, the world would be a much better place!

Trans people bickering, arguing, fighting about this being grandstanding or there being other negative reasons need to grow up. This is why people like Barney Frank consider "T" people disposable. We cannot even stand together with one of our brothers, raise a toast and say with one voice "This is a good thing! Bravo, Congratulations, Mazel Tov!!!" or anything along these lines??? I'm sorry but that's pathetic, and supports outspoken claims that "Trans" people eat their own young.

I know this sounds harsh, but I grow more disappointed in this "community" by the day. I've met and know some wonderful and blessed men and women since I was uncerimoniously thrust by fate into this community without any say in the matter. But I've also come to know the darker side, and I'm not really liking what I'm seeing. So I'm sharing my feelings here. I think a man carrying to term and bearing a child is one less, narrow minded, mcp.

Rock on people, live life, and get over the labels and biggotry. He, they, are, or should be, an inspiration for us all! One day, not terribly far into the future, there will come a point in time when entire reproductive systems can easily be transplanted from one person to another. Genetics and immune systems hybridized to prevent rejection and one day, a woman will get pregnant, carry a child to term and be, medically and genetically BOTH father and mother to this child. This women will have prior to transition banked her own sperm, and once she's healed from surgery, will have it used to concieve her own child.

It will be a glorious day for all of human kind, and it's not terribly far off. At that same point in time, a lesbian couple, using ONLY their own genetic material, will give birth to a child who has two mothers and no fathers right down to genetics. The former statement is currently possible, but the medical community has chosen to look elsewhere. The concept of "hybridizing" and immune system is new, and making life saving organ transplants significantly more effective and lasting is being done now in MA and other hospitals around the world.

The later is still in research, and a few years from practical application, but involves over simply put, using bone marrow from one mother, to fertilize the egg in another to start a new life. It will be a glorious day!

Human kinds single greatest impediment to grow is...

...wait for it...

...human kind!

This goes equally well for so called "T" people.