"...you've got to be kind."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I have to confess that I'm both baffled and a bit sad today.

One of the blogs that was an enormous help to me earlier this year when finally acknowledging who I was is now gone.

I'm not really clear about what went on, but apparently someone - or several someones - took exception to something she wrote. And thus started the inevitable flame war. 

I respect anyone who takes the time to write about their experience or offer their opinion. I may not agree with it, but I'm glad they took the time to express it. And I wonder why, so many times, what has the potential to be an enlightening discussion of different points of view instead degenerates into a shouting match that illuminates nothing? 

And in this case, what's the end result of this battle? 

A thoughtful, funny, well-written blog is now gone. 

Another blog author, who has become a trusted friend, has mentioned several times that she's never felt comfortable with the charged atmosphere in the blogosphere. It's a shame she has to feel that way, but now I understand why.

How this benefits anyone in our little community escapes me. 

From my narrow, somewhat selfish point of view, I've lost one of the few blogs that really seemed to speak to me. Even worse, it feels as if a blossoming friendship was nipped in the bud. 

Several months after I started this blog, the author wrote to me out of the blue one day, simply to say hello and offer to help me in any way she could. She had absolutely nothing to gain by doing so; she chose to do so simply out of kindness. 

We only corresponded briefly before the dispute that led to her closing her blog started, but it was a genuine comfort to speak with someone who had undertaken the journey I'm just starting, someone to tell me don't worry, you're doing fine, you're going to be OK.

And now that is gone.

I'm sad for my friend, for myself, and for our community, which needs more voices like hers, not fewer. Isn't this hard enough already without attacking each other?

I can't make her blog come back, but I can strive to make mine as enlightening as I found hers. And I hope that someone reading mine might feel that there's someone out there who understands. If it can touch even one person the way her blog touched me, then I'll consider mine a success.

I've had a quote from the great Kurt Vonnegut running through my head the past few days. In his novel God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Vonnegut sums up how I'm feeling right now: 

"There's only one rule that I know of, babies — God damn it, you've got to be kind."

Amen, Mr. Vonnegut.


Here's the other track from Miles Davis's 1969 masterpiece, In A Silent Way, "Shhh - Peaceful." A welcome sentiment at the moment:

It's About That Time (Almost)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

So, Friday was quite the eventful day (which is why I'm writing this two days later). Let's see, my buddy F arrived in town for a weekend visit, which is always a good thing. I got together for a beer with some friends from my old job, none of whom I'd seen since the layoff nearly two months ago.  It was great to catch up and hang out with folks from the nicest group of people I ever worked with.

Let's see… anything else?

Oh, yes, one other thing: I went to the doctor for my physical and blood work so I can start HRT. Almost slipped my mind there...

I barely slept the night before, partly because I was anxious and partly because I was paranoid I'd a) oversleep (my appointment was at 8:30 AM), and/or b) not be able to find Doctor T's office. I live in a small town, so I have to drive at least 45 minutes for pretty much everything transition-related.

Because I woke up at 4:45 AM, I did manage to make it to the office on time. In my pre-caffeine haze I was momentarily frozen when the receptionist asked what the purpose of my visit was, especially since there were two women behind me with small children in tow. After a beat, I simply said "A physical." A career in improv clearly beckons post-transition, methinks. 

Doctor T was, as advertised, extremely nice and very easy to talk with. I told him my therapist had referred me with her highest recommendation. He smiled and said the feeling was mutual. 

He asked me to briefly discuss how I came to realize I was trans. I gave him the 60 second version, after which he mentioned that he was always struck by how consistently the stories his patients told him matched each another.

He then asked me if I understood what HRT meant, and if I could explain it in my own words. I believe I then spoke non-stop for five minutes without once pausing for oxygen (a sure sign I was keyed up :c)). He finally threw up his hands, laughing, and said he might hire me to explain it to his other patients in the future. Hey, six months of intensive research was NOT going to go to waste…

Next up was the physical itself, which is always a joy. <eye roll> Apparently I have a low pulse rate and body fat percentage compared to others my age, so I guess years of walking everywhere and being a slave to the Stair Master really *did* pay off! Good to know. :c)

Once he finished the physical, he said he thought I was in excellent shape and didn't see any reason we couldn't start HRT at my next appointment, assuming the blood test results didn't turn up anything. We briefly went over the combinations he prefers to use for patients my age (over 35), which basically means either shots or a patch, with the latter being his preference. (Mine too, especially since I don't mix well with needles.) 

Before sending me off for my blood work, he gave me some paperwork to review and sign before my next appointment, describing what HRT will and won't do. (When I told my friend F about how I'll lose muscle mass in my upper body, he eyed my already-scrawny arms dubiously and, after a moment, asked "Is that even possible?")

After getting my blood work done - which, true to form, I didn't watch - I set my next appointment for November 8th. As I drove home, I was shaking my head and marveling at how far I've come in six months. As I told F that night, if you had told me in January that I'd be on the verge of starting HRT in less than three weeks I never would have believed you. But here I am. :c) It's another step in a long, long journey… but it's a really BIG step. November 8th, hurry up and get here, would you? :c)


Some classic Miles Davis from his 1969 masterpiece, In A Silent Way. I listen to this album at least once a week and never grow tired of it:

Second-er-er Hand News

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Today's topic: which is slower - transitioning or waiting for HR to approve an open job req? Discuss.

Yup, still waiting to hear about the gig I interviewed for last week. At this rate I'll be applying for Social Security benefits as Kelly before they make up their minds! <lol>

On the plus side, I was called about another contract today, which is always good. The more irons in the fire the better.

Stay tuned!


This also gives me an excuse to post this version of "The Waiting," sung by Seattle's finest, Eddie Vedder:

Pearl Jam and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers; how can you go wrong?

And because one TP&TH tune is never enough, here's a great version of "A Woman in Love" from their appearance on the Tomorrow show with the late, great Tom Snyder in 1981:

Hard Promises (the album both songs are from) would definitely be one of my Desert Island Discs...

Second-er Hand News

Friday, October 7, 2011

So, I had an interview today, which went well. When you work as a contractor, as I have, Lord knows you get enough experience with them. <lol>

Anyway, it's a 3-4 month contract, possibly a bit longer, which would be good. I want to get through the winter, when my lease expires. Then I can move back to the Other Coast, which I never should have left in the first place. Live and learn, I suppose. :c)

Anyway,  I should know by the middle of next week what the verdict is. Stay tuned!


Since I was too lazy to come up with an original title, I'll continue the lazy theme and post a video of my favorite Fleetwood Mac song, "Silver Springs." Like so many of their songs, it was one member writing about another - in this case, Stevie Nicks writing about Lindsey Buckingham about their breakup.

I once saw them play this live; she went over to Lindsey and sang the entire song right to him - with a LOT of passion. He's usually pretty unflappable on stage, but he turned bright red and was so flustered that he totally botched his guitar solo. Even after all these years the spark is still there! <lol>

And there's no relation to this post, but here's some classic Miles Davis from his 1967 tour of Europe with his second great Quintet. This is the definition of "cool." :c)

Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Second Hand News

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Haven't posted in a week or so, so I thought I'd write something just to keep the ol' writing muscles limber. :c)

I can't remember if I mentioned this already, but I was laid off about a month ago when the project I was working on was canceled. This goes with the territory (I work in high tech), but it's still frustrating. 

It was doubly disappointing this time because not only was this one of the most hard-working groups of people I've worked with, they were also the nicest. They were under incredible pressure, and I can count on one hand the number of times people even raised their voices, let alone fought with one another. The company retained a small team to try to land another contract or two; I'd welcome a chance to work with these folks again.

That said, I'm also looking elsewhere. I may have a lead on something promising, and hopefully I'll learn if I have an interview in the next few days. 

This would be a good opportunity for a few reasons. It would be a good transitional position (pun intended) both professionally and personally. I've been stuck in a rut  for a variety of reasons, and this job would be a great way to get out  of it. I'd get some experience on my resume that would help me be my own boss sooner rather than later, which is my plan. Also, as my sister noted, "Good thinking. You don't want to get bored while you're changing your gender." :c)

On the personal front, it's a stable company, which would be a welcome switch. Constantly switching jobs after a company folds or a project is cancelled gets a bit tiresome after ten or so times, believe me. And it goes without saying that it would be awfully nice to have a steady income source while transitioning.

So, my fingers are crossed here. Hope it's a good week all around for everyone!


Here's a great tune from Fleetwood Mac's cracked genius, Lindsey Buckingham. This is from the last show of the Rumors tour in 1978:


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