Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Two Words for the day...

...are freedom and awareness!

Karyn's recent entry Feeling aware touched off some thoughts and feelings I thought I'd share here:

Hormones are very powerful in our lives, more so in many ways than people give them credit. More often than not, especially when used by someone else, the topic, concept, what have you is something of a slur. For example when people (men mostly) look at women and say something about PMS, or how our hormones fuel our thinking, and comments like that. Not always so positive you know? Makes me bristle and then some. My younger brother for example, tried to shut me up when I had a perfectly valid point he refused to see, by claiming I was hormonally biased or some such. Made me less fond of him than I already am much of the time, and caused me to significantly restrict his access to my until he grows up and catches a clue. Yeah, right, this is me not holding my breath!

What I can almost hear you asking does this have to do with Feeling aware? Nothing and everything.

It is pretty much a given that when we finally bestow the blessings of our own sovereignty on our lives, we are heady with a rush of newness and personal power. We finally give ourselves permission to be us!!! Wow, major, powerful, heady and amazing stuff to be sure. Then we start on HRT and the ride gets even better. Truth be told, HRT is a profoundly moving and powerful experience for anyone who takes that step. It's also such a huge gift to our heart, mind, body and soul that sometimes we tend to credit it with more power than might actually be there. Or, we might see this grand new visita before us and say to ourselves "Wow! This is amazing! Awesome! I've never seen this before!" and chalk it up to the power of hormones.

Now, I'm NOT saying this is not the case. I've been an artist and musician my whole life. Art, imagry, music, all speak to me in a moving and powerful way they don't to most people. HRT, well it made everything deeper, richer, more alive, moving and vivid. I could go on forever about the difference between life before HRT and After, but possibly the best example or explanation I could use would be "Toto, we are SO NOT in Kansas anymore!"

Black & White versus Technicolor. Am radio versus full multispeaker, multichannel, virtual reality surround sound. That big a difference to be sure. Four years later and I'm still noticing a richness to life that was never there before. So yeah, finally running our brains on straight up "girl juice" instead of the mud that used to pass for and endocryn system, wow, that's huge!

There's another drug however we don't think about in this journey of ours. It's the kind of drug SO powerful it makes people go to war, and give, or take lives in the name of having a steady flow of it. It's a drug called FREEDOM!

Yes, THAT drug. While HRT is powerful, what many of us don't think about until years after transition, is just how powerful our own permission to be is! How moving, touching, enriching and validating it is to simply be who we are REALLY is. It's personal freedom.

In talking with Karyn she and I concluded what I already knew in my heart about her. She's much more in touch than most people. But it's something about her life that was there long before she started HRT, she's only now just noticing it, and allowing herself to explore it because she's got permission to be herself. No longer is it a 24x7 job pretending to be someone else, keeping up appearances and such. She's just the girl next door (who just happens to look somewhat like Lindsey Lohan) and she lives day to day free.

That's powerful stuff! Equally as powerful as HRT. Her heart, mind, body and soul working in a harmony never before allowed in any real measure. So it's no surprise (to me) that long dormant parts of her she had to shut down to survive are awakening. It's wonderful to watch, especially given that four years later and I'm still doing this myself.

So, yes, HRT helps with Feeling Aware, but in equal parts with freedom!

So those are my thoughts on Awareness and Freedom and the role HRT plays in it all.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My sleep schedule is...

...ha! What sleep schedule? It's six in the morn and I'm still awake. Been trying since 1:30 to get to sleep... Not so much there... Well blogging about it really isn't gonna help... More to follow later... Sam.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Random thoughts on a cranky but productive day.


So let's see, first of all, it's been a bit over a month since I added a counter to the blog (Thanks for the idea Karyn!) and I'm kinda amazed at how many people have stopped by...

So, here's a shout out to all the fine folks that have stopped in!


I've also, temporarily at least, added a email widget like Karyn has on her blog until I rework the one I built. Mine is shiny, but doesn't always work right, so this one works, even if it doesn't fit the aesthetics of my site. Such is life. Anyway, now you really can send me a private email if you wish to. I'm hoping that anyone too shy to post a comment, will feel free to drop me a note and say hi! I don't bite... ...well unless someone wants me too!


So I'm heading into the low point of my cycle and honestly I'm not really digging it much. My Aunt Flo is visiting and well, I'm not in the best of moods. Which means I probably shouldn't have gone to the local support group meeting tonight, just made my mood worse because it was more a fraking shouting match than anything. I'm going to see what happens in two weeks, but tonight I'm thinking I don't really want to go back for more of that... I'm beginning to think I'm just not really the support group meeting type. So I was somewhat, well cranky driving back tonight, and then my connection to the net and machine were being slow, so I was grousing about that too. Sometimes I really envy people who don't have to deal with regular visits from their Aunt!

Getting things done:

So my crazy bank decided that since I was new to the area, they'd pay me $125 dollars to open a free checking account. I've been meaning to open another account anyway, one for income, one for bills, and hey, lets face it, that's almost 3 tanks of gas for my car... So, I actually made it over to the bank and said, sure, why not, you can pay me to open another account I was going to open anyway, and that's exactly what they did. Kinda Cool!

My SIL called me all in a panic this afternoon about something in excell. So I calmly walked her through it, and got her going. Points for me!

Have found a whole bunch of well written fan fiction that I've been really enjoying, including some interesting and unlikely cross overs. Like the Ori invading a Galaxy Far, Far, Away and the results of that. Stranger still, a cross over between "Nash Bridges" and "Quantum Leap" which was just a rip. Sam leaps into our favorite deadhead Harvery, and has to deal with life at the SIU, and saving Joe's life. Do I sound like a fangirl? Yeah, that would be me! I also found one that was a crossover between "Firefly" and "Star Wars" which was also really cool.

The down side of my latest reading habits are they have been keeping me up until sunrise everday for the last week. I just gotta stop that!


So it's been several years since anyone's even mistakenly called me Sir. Several blissful years to be honest, because Sir was alway just like fingernails on a chalkboard for me or worse. Hated it. So 3:30 this morning I'm checking out of Kroger at one of the self checkout lanes, and the machine goofed. I was out of Calcium and Flax Oil (Omega Complex) and they had a two for one sale going on. Right on! The machine hadn't been told. So I asked the supervising cashier for help, and she called someone else over. They were talking so I went back to futzing with the rest of my cart full of groceries. She said "Sir? She's going to go over and look it up she'll be right back." I turned around, smiled and said "Thanks." at which point she turned three different shades of red and said, "Oh my god, I'm sorry! I called you Sir! I wasn't really paying attention, I'm so sorry!" I'm just thinking, "Yeah, well we all makes mistakes... So?" But I instead said "Hey, no worries, I'm wearing a big old loose T-shirt with no bra and sweats, it's kinda hard to tell when I'm facing away from you."

I just couldn't help but laugh at the whole exchange as I was walking out. All I did was smile and say thanks. It's really nice when people get it and correct themselves if they make a mistake. It's also nice to be at a point in time and space in my life when it isn't really a question either. No FFS (really good thing cause I just couldn't afford it) of anykind unless you call electrolysis on the eyebrows FFS...

So that, as they say, is that. The highlights I can think of. Yeah, I know, boring. But that's the point. Anyone reading this, who's still early on the path and wondering if they are going to every really be themselves? Well yeah, you'll get there. God's know I did. If I can, anyone can. Just gotta give yourself lots of love, support and patience.


Oh yeah, one last thought. Spoke to an old freind this morning. Someone I've know since the early 80s, who at first gave me a ration of grief about what I was doing with my life. Last week when I was talking to her she said, "You know, your voice on the phone gives you away... You know, your past? You should think about working on that." I tried to point out that I was doing something of a compromise with my voice, but it was only really for her. Even at that, it was nothing like my old voice. She'd had problems a while back with my voice, so I figured, okay, I'll try and do something like my old voice.

So today when she called I didn't look at the CallerID and just picked up the phone and said "Hello?" like I normally do. I wasn't quite expecting what I got. "Uh, hi, I'm looking for Samantha? Is she around? Are you her roommate?" I knew who it was at that point and I said "Umm, yeah you could say I'm her roommate, I'm her. Have you been drinking or something?"

She dropped the phone. When she picked it up she said "Sam? You don't sound like Sam, who is this really?" So I realized what was going on and shifted my voice a touch and said "Is this better?" She dropped the phone again. I said "So really, you drinking this early, that's twice you dropped the phone today..." She started blabbering about voices and sounding like a "real girl" and so on. I just laughed and said, "You know I can't win with you no matter what I do... Hey, hold on a minute, and pulled out an old Hypnotherapy CD with my original male voice and said "Here, listen to this..." and played it. She dropped the phone again. "Holy crap, you weren't kidding when you said you were humoring me. I didn't realize the voice I was giving you grief about last time is so far from where you were then, and where you are now... That's amazing!"

So I had to hear for the next fifteen minutes about making up my mind as to voice... I just shook my head and said "I can't win with you can I?"

Some people are SO funny! So, seeing as I started this post with people, I'll end it with them too!

See y'all next time!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Administrivia can be amusing...

Okay, this is, I know, going to seem silly for just about everyone reading this. I'll admit that right up front. That said, I personally think this is so cool!

In the mailbox today was a note from my new Electric Company that they'd received my security deposit and that it was being held in an interest bearing account for me. Since I sent the deposit with my first payment, it also means they got that too!

This is just so cool!

For those of you who are wondering what she's blathering about, here's the skinny.

For as far back as I can recall without really digging for it, my stuff has always been mixed with someone else's stuff and I've never had much, or any control over my life at all. I never saw the bills, never had any say in the bills and such assorted foolishness. Seriously. Earl for example, he insisted he control everything and I wasn't allowed to ask questions, know where the money I WAS MAKING went, nothing. I know we had electric bills in the places we lived together, but with whom I know not. Heck they weren't even in my name.

So to have received and paid my first bill, and now get a fairly formal, and stuff thank you, we'll give you interest on the deposit and you can have it back in a year. Kinda cool! I mean in the grand scheme of things, it's no never mind. Fifty bucks isn't much for a deposit, but hey, it made them happy.

And, oddly enough, made me happy too! An official note from the electric company saying they owe me money. I can deal with that!

Now, it's time for a walk.



Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cold Feet...

So Karyn mentioned bruising on her blog the other day, and the other morning I was reminded of another unanticipated "side effect" of this journey.

First, a brief trip in the way back machine. For all the years I was pretending to be someone I wasn't, I had this larger than life, indestructible thing going on to the point of being absurd. I was for all practical purposes ten feet tall and bullet proof. I walked away without a scratch from car wrecks that should have killed me, got hit by a big old Ford truck and all but walked away from that too. The truck on the other hand became a source of debate and law suit. The insurance company (theirs, I didn't have one) claimed it hit a bridge footing, not a "human being" on a bicycle.

It hit me, I was there, and remember that. I saw the pictures of what was left of the truck, and I have to admit, it looked like it something really big. I mean really, really big!

I could stand outside in twenty below zero temps and sweat. There would be a fog bank around me as I shoveled snow in New England winter. I threw off that much heat. Heat went out in my car, and I never really noticed it, neither did anyone else. I was really popular in bed on cold winter nights because I warmed it up right quick.

For years I never really understood the cold feet thing. Women around me always complained about cold feet, and well I couldn't relate because despite having a normal body temp of 94.7, I was always hot to the touch.

The other morning I woke up and for the umteen millionth time since I crossed that line, my feet were blocks of ice. July. It was July, the summertime, and I didn't want to get out of bed because I was freezing. I'd left the AC on a wee bit too much overnight and so I woke to a freezing house. When I finally summoned the courage to get out of bed, the thermostate said the room temp was 75 degrees...

Four some years ago, 75 degrees would have had me soaked in sweat and melting from the heat. Now? I was freezing! My feet like I say were blocks of ice...

So, for those of you who are still in the early stages of your journey, keep this in mind. Cold Feet. Yup. It can happen to you too. So I wear socks to bed in the winter, and have an extra blanket over my feet... I'm not even kidding. Going outside in the winter? I look like nanuc's wife, bundled up in lots of warm clothes. Shove the snow in a light shirt and pants?!?!?! Are you crazy? Not me...

Friday, July 11, 2008


Way, way back when, actually '89 to be exact, the Lake George Steamboat Company was having the maiden voyage of thier newest, and largest boat. A 690 Ton monster that could have easily carried about a dozen (maybe more) city buses. It was a big event with the press, and the Govenor of NY, the Mayor of Lake George, and even Dan (I can't spell potato) Quale in attendance. My friend Allen managed to finagle tickes to the first cruise that day so we were both there.

In those days, I had a knack for making magic happen, and getting to do things most human beings couldn't or would only dream of doing. Since Allen was so kind as to get us on the boat, I managed to get us a VIP tour of the boat, including places people never go. Places like the kitches (as in more than one) as well as Engineering and the bridge.

Engineering had a pair of brand new, giant, CAT diesels. The engineer was a guy who reminded me of "Scotty" from Star Trek. Not because of the way he looked or talked, but the way he simply glowed when talking about his babies. He was like a proud father of twins, and fauned over these giant engines much the way "Scotty" did. He was especially pleased with the fact that he had them tunned perfectly and running within 1 RPM of each other.

We finally made our way to the Bridge and got to meet the Comodore of The Lake George Steam Boat Company who was handling the maiden voyage himself. He too was proud of his new boat, and rightly so... She's a beauty from stem to stearn, a jewel of the lake in every way, and their largest boat. In this shot taken from the Company's website, you can see her docked, and a car in the picture to give you some idea of the size of her. We happened to be coming in at the end of the cruise while Allen and I were on the bridge, and the Comodore said he needed to step out to the starboat wheel to bring her in nice and gentle.

Keep in mind the fact that the biggest boat I'd ever commanded (driven?) was a four person canoe, but I had a really good grasp of little things like physics, and the way "flat bottom" boats behaved. One of the selling points of this baby was the fact that she was a "flat bottom" so as to cut the impact of her being there on the lake. Just so, she floats on the surface with nary a wake, and almost no bow wave because of her design and construction. Control surfaces and the screws are of course in the water otherwise, you're not going anywhere.

So I'm standing there quiet letting the Comodore do his thing and the way he lined her up to come into the dock. We were getting close and it was obvious to me that we were coming in at shall we say, less than and ideal angle. Our speed, plus that lack of a keel, had me concerned that we were going to make less than a graceful docking and I simply asked the following question:

"Begging the Comodore's pardon, but you do have bow thrusters?"

Allen punched me and growled, you know what they DO to people who mouth of to the Captain right? You're going to get us both fitted for cement swim fins and thrown into the deep end of the lake!!!

The Commodore assured me that he'd been doing this since before I'd been born, and handled bigger boats than this in the Navy. Not knowing when to shut up I said "Yes sir, but they all had keels right?"

He once again assured me things would be fine, and he was in complete control, but we were getting closer and still didn't have the correct attitude. As we got right up to the dock I wispered "Brace for impact" so Allen could hear me and grabbed the railing as we hit. Have to be honest it was a scene right out of Galaxy Quest as they are leaving the "Starport" in the Protector... Hit the dock and scraped the side of the boat up pretty good on the way in...

The Commodore looked at me and said "You were NEVER HERE, DIDN'T see that, and I'll thank you never to set foot on my bridge again." and then to the guy who was giving us the tour he growled "See to it that these two are off my boat right NOW!!!"

As we were walking back to the car, Allen looked at me and said, "Oh we know so much about boats, just had to mouth off to the Commodore no less!!! Like you could have done any better? Don't say a word, I mean it, just don't say it!!!"

That was then.

This weekend I was out with Mark, Val, my namesake and one of their neighbors for a BBQ. Yes, on Mark's boat. A BBQ. Not the first time we've done it, and God's willing, not the last. Mind you Mark's boat is much, MUCH, MUCH smaller than the Lady on the lake there, but the principles are the same. Like the old saying, it's not the size that matters, but the magic in it... Last time we were out, which was also my first time on Mark's boat, he had me take the wheel a bit and keep her from running aground, and out of the way of commercial traffic on the Ohio river. When it came time to head back I turned the wheel back over to Mark. Why? Because his marina is up one of the shallow tributaries of the Ohio and has a bunch of twists and turns, plus is only two feet deep from keel to the bottom. Motor has to come up most of the way out of the water, and it takes a very gentle, sure hand to bring her in.

I watched that first day as Mark brought her in like a pro, and just nosed in ever so gently to the dock. I had the greatest time, and watched everything he did and asked questions when I didn't get something.

So this weekend when it came time to head back I took her back up river, around a barge, slip streamed around the outside of the barge so I'd have a straight shot to the inlet across the bow wave the barge was pushing in front of her, and was throttling way back to turn the wheel back over to Mark. I said "I'll get out of the way so you can take her in?" and then as an after thought "Unless you want me to?"

He said simply "Sure if you want" and smiled.

Damn, the sweat started pouring off me and my mind started racing. Last thing I want to do is get us stuck, or hit one of the bridge abutments, so I'm thinking out my approach, course, speed, and so forth. Mark advised me that it handles way different in the shallows, you really have to turn the wheel a whole bunch (three or four turns he said) to get the same amount of movement. So there I was, lining up the nose to bring her under the trestle and between the concret structures that held it up. This is a bridge they run frieght trains across, so the supports were bigger than Mark's 24 foot boat.

I slipped between the supports and started in. We'd just had some pretty decent rain so the river was full of floating wood. I'd joked earlier in the day that it looked like one monster of a house boat had exploded, but was steering to avoid the wood. It made it through the turns and was into the harbor itself on the final turn for Mark's berth when I hear Tina (Mark's neighbor) holler "You go girl!!!" I was of course already grinning like an idiot because I'd managed to take the boat that far without a problem, and my smile only grew when I heard that! In my head I was doing all the math for the final approach and figuring how fast and what angle and so on. I was also remembering that day on the big boat on lake George and thinking to myself "Well lady, lets see if you're half as smart as you thought you were. This is real, not a simulation, this is for all the marbles. This is where you get to find out if you could have avoided hitting the dock and scraping up the baot."

This was, to me, so much more important because it was Mark's boat, his baby, and I didn't want to hurt her...

If anything I cut power two seconds early, and had to give her just the gentlest of nudges, but brought her right in smooth as glass, Mark jumped over the side and onto the dock and started to tie her off as she slid the last couple of feet in. No crunch, bang, or screech as the dock and the boat tried to exist in the same place at the same time. Just slid right in!!!

I'd done it!!! Proven I had a little bit more than an idea and didn't even need bow thrusters... Which is a damn good thing, since Mark's boat doesn't have any... ;-o)

I had the most amazing time! I'm still vibrating with happiness and satisfaction over Mark letting me do it, and the fact that first time I managed to do it like a pro!!! This is a day I'm long going to remember!!! I had a wonderful time, I mean what can be better than a lazy Sunday afternoon BBQ on the river, hanging out with people I love, watching the sunset, and then putting a cherry on the day by taking the boat all the way into the dock without mishap!!!

Like I say, vindication for that day a lifetime away, and a great time too!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Inside/Outside with Boys and Men...

So I now live in an apartment building, and while I've only met and talked to one of my neighbors, I know the are others. I know a number of them are men, because I can hear them... In the hall, shouting back and forth... Sounds like a perfectly friendly conversation, just that they don't seem to know the difference between Inside/Outside voice Now I kind of expect and understand this from my five year old nephew, but fully grown men?!

I think back, and admittedly I remembering being able to clear a path out front Grand Central, by looking like the big bad man in black and just thundering... But talking to my neighbor in the hall? And just when did all that yelling, because that's what they are doing, become something I'd even notice? Oh, wait, I know the answer to part of that... All those years having Earl yell AT me for just being alive...

But really, I don't ever remember being all that loud... It's bizarre... To me at least.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Cheeburger, Cheebruger, Coke no Pepsi...

...or it would seem in this case, none of the above.

Mind you, taking a brief trip in the wayback machine I should point out, that at one time in my life, I'd go through a couple of gallons of coke every day. As in, I'd get up in the morning and have a 64 ounce "big gulp" with breakfast. Between breakfast and lunch I'd knock off another 64 ouncer, with lunch another or two, and then atleast two more before bed. Full on, unleaded in quantities that stagered most people. Cheeseburgers and fries were a mainstay in my diet...

In '99 I cut out the caffeine and switched to decalf coke, in '01 I switched to diet, and then in '04 I stopped drinking soda pretty much fulltime. I've also cut most beef and related stuff out of my life, 99% of dairy and having big payoffs health wise from it. On a whim yeterday I ate out, which these days usually consists of going to Subway and having a nice, healthy sandwich there. I drink either water or juice when I do, but yesterday they had no juice of anykind. I was feeling wild and figured what the heck, it's been years, I'll have a coke and a smile.

I smiled for sure, after I nearly did a spit take all over my sandwich. It tasted terrible, I mean really foul to me... Sugar, Caffeine, and well just yuk... I got some water and threw a perfectly good coke away, because I hated the way it tasted.

...still hard to believe I used to drink that by the Gallon.

Somethings DO change dramatically over time...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Another lovely park near my house...

I'm at Sharon Woods, another park area near my home. I'm preaceful, tranquil, and oh so pretty. Great walking trails along the lake, benches to sit and enjoy the view, trails trough the woods and more. It's the tranquility I come for, and of that, there is plenty. Sometimes "getting away from it all" doesn't have to mean long trips and big bucks that you then must recover from. If you save it all up, and wait until that one vacation now and again, you don't really have time to let the peace and quiet seep into you soul. Find a place near your home, office, school or whatever and take a little time every day or so... Relax, recharge and enjoy. Your life will be glad you did!