Better Things

Monday, December 31, 2012

It is hard to believe that 2012 is over. "Tumultuous" is the first word that comes to mind. I can state unequivocally that this has been the most difficult year of my life. It began that way and never let up.

That said, I learned a great deal about myself as a result.

Having A Cow

Day Seven of my semi-annual bout with the flu, 2012 edition.

All I can say is this:

Ugh. :c)

Take A Picture

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Well, if there's anything good about being sick the week of your vacation, it's that you have time to think about things. When I'm not zonked out on cough syrup, that is. :c)

When I wrote about being addressed as a girl last week for the first time, there was something I meant to include in that post that got lost in the shuffle.

Blues Power

Happy Boxing Day, everyone!

Still under the weather, but definitely better than yesterday.  Thank you to everyone who checked in the past few days. It meant a lot. :c) And what better way to get over the post-Christmas lethargy, whether flu- or tryptophan-induced, than with some primo Texas blues?

"One thing's for sure: tai chi and egg nog don't mix."

True, that.

I'm Only Sleeping

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Alas, yours truly is not partaking of the holiday festivities. :c( My semi-annual bout with the flu hit me like a sledgehammer on Sunday night. I only get sick twice a year: once between Thanksgiving and New Years, and once again in March. However, they make up in intensity what they lack in frequency.

I felt perfectly fine all day Sunday. I went to the gym, ran some errands, and dropped some Christmas presents off at my brother's house. I then went home to cook my dinner.

Almost as soon as I took off my coat I began sneezing uncontrollably. Within minutes I was so sick that even my eyebrows hurt. Ugh.

I managed to drag myself through the day yesterday, but I fell asleep several times during my brother's Christmas Eve party. While driving home I was shivering so badly that I had to pull over; I couldn't keep a grip on the wheel.

I woke up several times during the night and was forced to change my pajamas and the sheets on my bed twice; they were drenched with perspiration.

Today I slept most of the day and feel slightly better, but I'm in no shape to go anywhere. Fortunately my mother promised to save me a plate; hopefully I'll feel well enough to pick it up tomorrow and to open up my gifts.

It's a bit depressing to be home alone today, but what can you do? I can say that 2012 cannot end soon enough for this girl. And I sincerely believe 2013 is going to be much, much better. I can't wait to see what progress I've made by next Christmas.

I hope you all are enjoying the day, and that Santa was good to all of you! For now, I am off to bed again, with some help from the Beatles and Beach Boys to help speed up the process.

And here are some parting thoughts, and my wish for all of you, courtesy of Jill Sobule's lovely cover of Warren Zevon's "Don't Let Us Get Sick":

Hugs and love, everyone!!!

My contribution to Christmas Eve

Monday, December 24, 2012

Ice cream pizza!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Some Tidings of the Season

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Just wanted to post some season's greetings - of one form or another. If you've read my blog before, well... consider yourself warned. :c)

Made It!/Christmas Quiz

Friday, December 21, 2012

I am on vacation.


I completed my tasks for the week (other than some minor cleanup work on a file I need to finish sometime over the weekend) and left for home just shy of 4:30.

It was such a weight off my shoulders that I didn't even mind that it took me an hour, rather than the customary 20 minutes.

Thank you again to everyone who commented and called and texted and listened this week. I would not have made it without all of you. I feel quite fortunate.


Although it's technically vacation time, I'm afraid there's one last quiz we all have to take.


Is the best kind of Christmas:

a) A Maudlin Christmas (Sammy Maudlin, that is)?

b) A Bob & Doug Christmas?

c) Or a Liberace Christmas?

Oh, heck, I can't pick; they all crack me up! :c)

A "Whoa" Moment

Thursday, December 20, 2012

First, I want to thank everyone who reached out to me after my last post. Your kindness and concern is humbling. It made me feel wonderful to know how people really care. So, again… thank you.

(That even goes for that certain someone who told me to relax, or else she would "kick your skinny Irish butt all over town. And with four-inch heels, that would hurt. A lot." It was the first time the prospect of a butt-whipping was comforting. lol)

I have one more day to go 'til my vacation mercifully starts. I cannot wait to get to tomorrow afternoon at 4:00-ish. I plan to celebrate by watching the entire Anne of Green Gables DVD set. A friend joked recently that she was a Southern Belle in a previous life; I replied that I always wished I could have been Anne. :c)

But before I get to Friday, I had to get through Thursday. And as awful as Tuesday was, something happened today that almost single-handedly made up for it. I still have a hard time believing it was real.

But it was. :c)


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday was the day that this hard, endless year finally caught up with me.

A Time for Peace, I Swear It's Not Too Late

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The events of the past 36 hours have been horrific beyond description. I don't have children, so I cannot begin to fathom the pain of the parents who lost theirs in yesterday's senseless slaughter.

As a rule, I don't post political material here. But I will make an exception today.

Running On Empty (I Wish) :c)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Just got back from electrolysis a while ago, where we had decided to begin work on my upper lip at the end of last week's session.

So how was it, you ask?


Sunday, December 9, 2012

I'm feeling worn out at the moment.

I haven't been sleeping well for several weeks, and it's finally caught up with me the past week or so.

It isn't anything I haven't dealt with before, nor is it something that is going to stop me.

But it's still been a difficult few weeks.

I tend to focus on the more humorous and light-hearted, as so many transitioning blogs can be, well, kind of a downer. :c) But it's important to also write when I'm feeling a bit blue myself.

I know there are a few people who read this blog, and maybe someone in the future will find something that is useful to them. And that's part of the reason why I write. The most important, and somewhat selfish, reason, is a) so I can figure out how I feel about certain things, as writing seems to be how I do that; and b) to help me remember how I was feeling during my transition.

So, with that said, time to dig in.

A Brief Preview

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Post-Turkey Day, everyone!

Just a quick post about a "whoa" moment I had on Wednesday evening. 

Giving Thanks

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Growing up, I was a huge fan of Charles Kuralt's On the Road series on CBS. He was a superb writer and a master storyteller.

This piece, which first aired back in 1978, is as moving today as it was back then:

I miss Charles Kuralt... but I'm grateful we still have his reminder, courtesy of the remarkable Chandler family of Prairie, Mississippi, of what Thanksgiving is all about. May you be as blessed on this day as they are. I certainly feel that way today. :c)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

HRT: Year One (a/k/a The Breast Is Yet To Come)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wow... a year. It hardly seems possible.

It seems like just a moment ago that I was standing in my bedroom for what seemed like an eternity, staring at those pills in my hand <>.

And then... the journey began. :c)

A Quick One (While (S)he's Away)

Apologies for the scarcity of posts lately. Things have been so, so hectic for months now.

I have so many things I'd like to write about, just from the past month, but I simply can't. I'm working on a longer post, so I'll keep this one brief, and just touch on some recent events that seem note-worthy.

Casa de Cass: It's done!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I am in!!! I'm completely exhausted... but I don't care. :c)

The move went as smoothly as one could hope. T and J very kindly came by to help. We also found my new favorite restaurant, which is literally across the street. (I think I'm getting breakfast there tomorrow, in fact.) The staff there all said I would love the neighborhood; I think they're right. :c)

There's also a great muffin shop  a few blocks away, and what looks like a great bakery around the corner.

Just going to finish this, take a shower, eat my dinner, and then, at long last, sleep in my own bed.

I think I'm going to like my new digs. :c)


While unpacking I listened to one of my favorite Neil Young albums, 1978's Comes A Time. Although Nicolette Larson had a major hit with it, the gorgeous "Lotta Love" was written by Neil:

Here's the title track:

Moving On Up (And Out)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Tomorrow is the big day: Casa de Cass becomes fully operational!

It was a crazed week at work (of course), with a big deadline today, but I made it (with help from my co-workers S and B, who are life-savers, and dear friends to boot).

I was up at 4:45 AM today, worked ten hours straight with a two-plus hour commute wrapped around it, and then spent from 5:30 'till now packing clothes and assorted flotsam and jetsam. There's more to do, but I'm calling it a night. One tiny advantage of moving from your childhood home: you can come back the day after you move to get the rest of your stuff. :c)

I'll be up by 6:00 AM tomorrow, so it will be another long day... but the difference is tomorrow night I will be in my own home, and will sleep in my own bed (Is it legal to marry your TempurPedic mattress? Discuss.), and, most importantly, I will be doing so as myself. Finally. And you know what that means: Footie pajamas, here I come!

So, so much more to write about... but sleep beckons. Have a good weekend, all!


The great Curtis Mayfield provides the perfect soundtrack for moving day:

And here's a beautiful cover of The Carpenters (yes, those Carpenters) from 1971's classic Curtis Live album:

He could do it all, couldn't he?


Sunday, November 4, 2012

I'm very happy tonight. :c)

I'll write more about it in a day or two (hopefully tomorrow night, in fact) about the reasons why the weekend was so much fun... but for tonight it's enough to acknowledge it.

Special thanks to T and J, who helped make it such a good time. Love you both!

Have a good week, everyone. And, for us Yanks, don't forget to vote!

The Storm

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hope everyone else who is in the path of Hurricane Sandy is OK today.

I may have posted this already, but I thought I'd share a track from one of my Desert Island Discs, Big Country's The Crossing, from 1983. It's called "The Storm":

If you're curious, the device that lead singer/guitarist Stuart Adamson uses at the beginning to get that haunting sound from his guitar is called an EBow. He also uses it on "Porrohman," the closing song on The Crossing:

Be safe, everyone!

Conversations with C: "Our New Crib"

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I have *so* much I want to write about... but duty dictates that I instead offer you the latest in what is turning into the long-running series "Conversations with C," featuring the current ruminations of my 19-year-old nephew C. So pop the popcorn, call the kids over, and gather 'round the ol' computer screen. :c) 

The Mane Event: The Sequel (a/k/a New 'Do II)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hey all! Another interesting week is in the record books.

I do wish I had more time to write; life is moving so fast these days. Once I'm in my own bachelorette pad again, I should have more time. In the meantime, rest assured that I am taking car to assemble the essentials needed for the modern girl needs. (You know: shag carpet, Playgirl swizzle sticks, and so on and so forth.)

Anyway, I thought I'd write a bit about my second trip to the salon. Turned out to be another very positive experience, I'm happy to report.

This Must Be The Place: The Verdict

Monday, October 15, 2012

As promised, here is the follow-up on my prospective new bachelorette pad.

Drumroll, please:

This Must Be The Place (I Hope)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Greetings and salutations, one and all. :c)

At long last, I think I have some good news to share.

Ready? :c)

Catching Up

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Well, hello there. 

Where have you all been?

Just kidding. :c)

Sorry; I know it's been a while, relatively speaking, since I last posted. I've been very busy the past two weeks, and this is literally the first time I've had a chance to sit down and write in that entire time. Lots to discuss - so let's get to it!!!

The Mane Event

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The past week has mostly been about resting.

But not entirely.


Checking In...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Just wanted to post an update, again more for future reference than anything else. I don't feel much like doing anything other than just… being, I guess. But I want to remember this, as I've mentioned before. It's important to write about the hard times too; they're what will give the good ones meaning.

Some Post-Breaking Point Thoughts

Friday, September 14, 2012

I'm feeling a tad more like myself today. It's going to be a while before I get back to "normal" - whatever that means these days.
It's strange; I will feel OK for a few hours, then suddenly a wave of exhaustion will hit like a tidal wave.

I mentioned this to my doctor yesterday, and she said, not unkindly, "Yes, Cass, most people *are* tired after not sleeping for six months. Even you."

Point taken.

Breaking Point

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Well, I'm afraid I had a bit of a scare yesterday at the office, the end result of what has been months and months of stress.

I had worked all weekend, and didn't come remotely close to finishing what needed to be done. I hadn't slept well for... well, for months, really. 

I have multiple deadlines this week. I'm far behind, for reasons that are nearly all beyond my control, so I was working frantically to stay on top of things. And yesterday afternoon, it all finally caught up to me.

Electrolysis: The Journey Begins :c)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The first hour is in the books, as of barely 30 minutes ago.

The verdict? Not too bad, all things considered.

There was some discomfort, but that may be partly due to only having Lidocaine applied. My nephew C (yes, that C) apparently strip-mined the medicine cabinet as well as the refrigerator, since all of the Tylenol I bought last week is suddenly gone. It really only bothered me when she worked high on the cheekbones, and even then it was intermittent. Most of the time I barely felt it.

I go back Saturday; this time we're going to see how laser does at "deforestation," as a friend calls it. My electrolysist said she thinks it will make things go much faster if it works as well as she suspects it will. Fingers crossed.


Work was... dreadful. 'Nuff said. The sooner I am out of there and into a new position, the better.

I heard from several recruiters today, and one position sounded promising. Talking to them is a long, long way from getting the gig though; still, you have to start somewhere. Given how awful things have been lately, I'll settle for that.

Stay tuned.


In honor of taking the first steps towards eliminating my own facial hair, here are a few tunes from the more hirsute end of the indie rock spectrum.

First, a beautiful, haunting song from Iron & Wine:

Next, Seattle's own Fleet Foxes:

And, also from Seattle (originally, anyway), Band of Horses:

All Things Must Pass

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I don't really feel like writing at the moment, to be honest. But I want to write this so I remember how things really were right now when I look back in a year or three, when I'm finally myself and things are better.

And I will be myself.

And they will be better.

But right now, they are not.


Monday, August 20, 2012

OK... so I know I said I was taking a brief break from writing on Saturday; what I *meant* was I was taking one from writing heavy posts. What, that wasn't clear? Well, who is to blame for that?!?

[cough cough]


So, yes... 

In the interim, I decided I'd just throw together a bunch of stuff to keep the ol' writing muscles limber.

So... here we go!

A Quiet Night

Saturday, August 18, 2012


I have several longer posts I want - that I need - to write…

But not tonight.

Tonight, I need a brief break.

Conversations with C: "Chicks are WEIRD, man."

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Since my last few posts have been a bit intense, this seems like a good time for a lighter one, the latest in what is turning into an ongoing series inspired by conversations with my 19-year-old nephew C. :c)

Sanity Check, a/k/a (Later) The Morning After

So with a few hours of sleep (four, but who's counting?), I thought it might be a good idea to put up a quick follow-up to last night's - or, really this morning's - semi-coherent post.

My point - and there was one, honest! - was that my gender dysphoria was particularly acute the past few days.

I suspect it was a combination of exhaustion, the emotional toll of losing a family member, and, simply, far, far too long since I have been able to be myself for more than a few hours.

A friend asked last week how I managed to switch between multiple identities on a daily basis - one at work, one at home with my parents, and, of course, my real identity, which is the one I most need and the one I am least able to be, at least for now.

The answer: with increasing difficulty. It is draining, particularly since I have no chance to be myself for more than a few hours at a time. My parents, quite literally, NEVER go out. Ever. They are ALWAYS there. And I am nearing the breaking point. I desperately need my own space, my own time, to be me.

I viewed an apartment late last week that I really, really hope I get. It's gorgeous, in a perfect location, and reasonably priced (for here, at least). And the landlord, who lives upstairs, seems to be a genuinely kind person.

I've learned over the years not to allow myself to get my hopes up; it hurts too much on the too-frequent occasions when it doesn't work out. The disappointment at my most recent job interview is a case in point.

As I've learned to like myself the past year and a half, I've come to appreciate that I'm a good bit tougher than I ever gave myself credit for. Perhaps resilient is a better word.

Either way, I'm pretty determined when I decide - REALLY decide - to do something. I don't let anything stop me.

And if I don't get this apartment, I won't let that stop me either.

But it would be lovely if I did. I could use a base from which I can navigate the next part of my journey.

My fingers are crossed.

Disconnection, Dissonance, & Otherness

It has been a long day, to close out a long week.

Not all bad... just... long.

And, honestly, strange. 

At least right at this moment.

Tomorrow Never Knows

Thursday, August 9, 2012

It's been a frantic week. 


Here's some of what happened.

Crazy Days... and a Big Decision

Monday, August 6, 2012

Well, I started this post about a half-dozen times since last Friday… but things kept happening that made me realize I had to start over. Again. lol 

I told M, my therapist, on Saturday that I feel as if I'm living "light-weeks" since starting to transition. She laughed… until I ran through the events of the week. Then she shook her head and expressed her amazement at how much I try to cram into one week!

Last week was particularly packed, so much so that I could write posts about pretty much everything that happened. A few were bad, most were good. And I made a pretty darn big decision. 

I'll do my best to write about at least SOME of these in the days to come. And hope that things stay calm enough to let me do so. :c)

So, without further ado:


The bad news first: I didn't get the job. Not much to say about that, but it's very disappointing. 

Good news: I'm pretty sure I'm NOT going to the other office, the one that would make my transition exponentially more difficult. That may change… but I think I'm safe for the time being.

This means I can finally move out of my parents house - which M told me flat out on Saturday is absolutely essential. "That is a toxic environment for you," she said, adding that she did not use that term lightly.

I've scheduled visits to look at several apartments in the next few days. I want to be in my new home by mid-September at the latest. The sooner the better… for reasons you'll soon understand.

Bad news: I lost my claddagh ring, which has a great deal of sentimental value to me. M, however, had a different take on it, which I will share in another post.

Good news: I came out to four more friends last week: my friends R & B, who are married, and my friend T2 and her daughter M. I will absolutely write about this as well, as both conversations were quite powerful. (T2 and I both cried several times.) It's wonderful to share my news with the people I love… but it is draining too. All part of the process, I suppose.

Good news: the Newport Folk Festival was superb. Again, I will write more about it, but for now, I will say this:

GARY CLARK JR is AMAZING. Prepare to be awed:

He was ASTONISHING, as you can see. And hear. :c)

I'll post some of my pics in another post. They turned out well, I think, mostly because my new camera truly IS idiot-proof. lol Plus, it's hard to take a bad shot of Newport. It is truly beautiful.


And my big decision - which I will *absolutely* write a separate post about:

I picked the date on which I am going to go full-time.

It's july 26th, 2013.

Why that day in particular? 

It's the first day of next year's Folk Festival. I decided while I was there two weekends ago that the next time I attended this festival that I would do it as myself. 

And I will. 

Newport has been a magical place in my life from the beginning… and I can't imagine a better place in which to truly start my  life, at long last.

M, my therapist, thinks it is more than reasonable. It will be 20 months into HRT, and two-and-a-half years since I decided to transition. 

I have so much to do - electrolysis/laser, working on my voice, getting comfortable going out as myself… but I know I can do it. And by giving myself a deadline, I WILL do it. As M told me, "When you make up your mind to do something, nothing will stop you, will it?"

No. Nothing. :c)

I'm scared (OK, terrified) and exhilarated in equal measure… which means I must be doing something right!

Time to call it a night - more to follow this week! 


To wrap up this post, here are two more of the amazing acts from this year's festival. First up, the always-superb Wilco:

And next, New Multitudes, a one-off group consisting of Anders Parker (Varnaline), Will Johnson (Centro-Matic and South San Gabriel), Jay Farrar (Son Volt), and Jim James (My Morning Jacket). They came together to record an album of new music they collaborated on to accompany unrecorded Woody Guthrie lyrics. The results, as you can hear below, are enchanting:

This was even more breath-taking in person, if that is possible. Incidentally, I'm just out of camera range, next to the gentleman with the red hair at the bottom left of the screen. Such are the pitfalls of being short. :c)

A Frantic Week...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Just got off the phone with a friend after nearly three hours, talking about jobs, music, cars, transitioning... life. A fitting end to an intense, emotional week.

Some of it was bad... but most of it was good. And some is still TBD... but I'm leaning toward good there as well. Cross those fingers.

It's late, I have an appointment with M tomorrow (thankfully), and I need sleep desperately, so details will have to wait 'til tomorrow, or maybe tomorrow and Sunday.

For now, here's a taste of how I spent my last weekend. This most definitely falls into the "good" - the VERY, VERY good - category:

What an amazing live band they are!!!

Quick Update - And More Newport Artists!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trying to catch my breath after a frantic, sleep-deprived week. Work has been hellish, per usual, especially trying to wrap up things before going on my mini-Newport Folk Fest-vacation for a few days.

I'll write more tomorrow, but the short version is that I have an interview tomorrow morning for a new job. Yea!!!

This happened REALLY fast. I did a phone screen two weeks ago, then didn't hear anything until this afternoon. There was some confusion (more in my next post), but essentially I did a second phone screen with no advance notice this afternoon. Always a good way to unwind after a harrowing day at the office. lol

It must have gone OK, because they asked if I could do an in-person interview - tomorrow morning. I sort of stammered that I was supposed to head to Newport, but they explained that the hiring manager was going on vacation for two weeks as of noon tomorrow, so this was the only time that worked. Needless to say, I said no problem.

This would be a really, really good opportunity. Much more stable than my current situation, which feels more and more like a nightmare with each passing day. So please send some positive vibes my way tomorrow morning; they will be much appreciated! And I will return them a thousand-fold as I wind my way to Newport as soon as the interview is over - promise!!!


As promised, more of the Newport artists I most want to see:

My Morning Jacket, who are an AMAZING live band. Watch this tremendous performance of "One Big Holiday" on the old Conan O'Brien show and be awed:

Patty Griffin, an astonishingly good singer and songwriter (and current main squeeze of one Robert Plant - rumor is he may grace us with his presence!):

And Trampled By Turtles, a way-cool, turbo-charged bluegrass group from the great state of Minnesota:

They're all barely 36 hours away! Woo-hoo!!!


Oh - and this is my 100th post!!!! I am a chatty Kathy since I started transitioning! lol

Cold Cold Cold

Sunday, July 22, 2012

As a big fan of the late, lamented, My Name Is Earl, I am a believer in karma.

For those of you unfamiliar with the show, Earl was a thirty-something petty thief. After winning $100,000 in the lottery, he is promptly hit by a car while celebrating. In the hospital he becomes a firm believer in karma the way most of us do: he hears about it while watching Carson Daly in a morphine-induced stupor. 

To turn his life around, he puts together a list of every bad thing he has ever done and every person he has hurt and vows to make amends. Each episode dealt with his attempt to cross another item off his list.

My list, thankfully, isn't as long as Earl's. But I do have one, as karma occasionally reminds me.

Like today.

Conversations with C: Speaking in Tongues

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'm consistently surprised by how often my transition gives seemingly mundane conversations an undercurrent of levity that only I can appreciate.

Well, only me for now, at least. :c)

Another Friend Is In the Know

Sunday, July 15, 2012

This isn't the long-delayed post I have been threatening for the last few weeks; I got sidetracked in an email exchange with a friend. Amazing how three hours  can pass by when you become friends with a fellow music obsessive. :c) We may wind up blowing our transition budgets on all of the new albums we discussed (yes, we're both of sufficient vintage to listen to albums)…

But, as I do so often when I get going on music, I digress. lol So here's what is happening in my little corner of the world.

That's One Small Step For A Cow...

Saturday, July 14, 2012,28777/

Oh, Onion, I love you so... :c)


And since I'm sure you're all wondering, "Gee, I wonder what Cass's favorite story from The Onion is?"... well, wonder no more:,1076/

Actually, it's my second favorite (just barely behind my top choice). I can't link to that one, as it will get me kicked off Blogger lol... but trust me, it's hilarious. :c)


Just to assure you that Phish did, indeed, recover, here they are doing the perfect song for this post:

And here they cover one of my favorite bands, Little Feat:

Just a Quick Update

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Just wanted to post a quick update on a few items - nothing major, in case you aren't inclined to expand this post! :c)

A Day Well-Spent

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I am still pondering how to rework the abandoned post I mentioned previously… but in the meantime I wanted to share a bit about my adventures on Saturday.

The Palpable Truth

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

In the final video in my previous post, Charles Kuralt describes how Thomas Jefferson was invited to Washington DC to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence (which, of course, he wrote).

This is an excerpt from his reply, declining the invitation because of poor health. Ten days later, on July 4, 1826, he died.

"The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God. These are grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them."

I still get goosebumps every time I read that. :c)

American Tune(s)

I always think of July 4th when I hear this song (performed here by its author, Steve Goodman):

And the man who made it famous:

Of course, what band is more quintessentially American than the Beach Boys?

And here is the song I heard on the radio just now that prompted me to post this:

Last but not least, the great Charles Kuralt shares some thoughts on the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson. Coincidentally, both Kuralt and Jefferson passed away on July 4th.

Happy Independence Day!!!

Starting All Over Again...

Monday, July 2, 2012

My latest blog post, that is.

I've come to realize that I find out how I feel by writing.

I often start my posts with no clear idea of what I'm writing about (and usually end them the same way, I'm sure some feel!), but at some point all of sudden something clicks, and I get "it" - whatever "it" is.

And then I'm off.

Following Up/Random Thoughts

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Feeling a bit better than I did yesterday after my ill-advised jaunt in the heat here. I feel out of sorts, but nothing too, too bad. It's just as hot here today - hotter, actually, since the humidity increased.

And no, I will not be hoofing it today.

As only she can can, my sister told me as much.

She is an ER nurse. Consequently, she sees an interesting cross-section of humanity, as you might imagine.

"I have enough on my plate with all of the loonies every night. I don't have time to be treating you for heat stroke on top of that. I mean, it would take an hour just to find a vein in this scrawny thing," she said, pointing to my arm.

That is her in a nutshell. She isn't one for long, philosophical talk; she's practical, and just tells it like it is. Well, like it is according to her, at least. :c)

But I actually find her matter-of-factness reassuring. As far as she's concerned, I'm trans in the same way that I have blue eyes, am clumsy, and love baseball, peanut butter fudge, and cows. (Not necessarily in that order.)

It's just who I am. Nothing more.

And that's pretty cool.

(Don't) Walk, Don't Run


You would think I would have learned my lesson last March, when I tripped and fell outside my parents house and broke two ribs, to take it easy.

"You're a girl now, Cassidy," a friend half-jokingly admonished me back then. "You can't be doing things like this anymore." Would that I had listened and learned.

Alas, I did not. :c)

My Ever-Changing Moods

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A friend just forwarded me a link to a performance Paul Weller gave recently in Rolling Stone's office (here, if you are a Weller fan like yours truly). And that got me thinking about this song Paul did back in the day with the Style Council, the title of which sums things up for me perfectly right now. :c) It's a great song, to boot!

One of the causes of these up-and-down moods is my job situation - my career situation, really - around which I actually had a bit of an epiphany today. (This is a good thing, by the way.) I hope to write about this in the next day or two, as it ties into the post I was planning to write originally about my last session with M, my therapist.

Till then, though, have a lovely Thursday! Here's a terrific live version of the same song to take us out...

A Lesson Learned

Sunday, June 24, 2012

After my session with M, my therapist, this morning (which I'll write about next week), I headed back home, looking forward to a long walk.

It's been quite hot and humid here the past few days, so much so that even a dedicated hoofer like yours truly stayed indoors. (I also had to work late two of three nights, but we shall speak no more of that.) So I badly needed to exercise, partly to stay in shape, but more to burn off excess energy and clear my head after another long week toiling in The Place That Shall Not Be Named.

As soon as I got home I changed into gym clothes and chose which Mariners cap I wanted to wear. I have a growing collection of these hats that I wear whenever I go for one of my power walks, both to express my allegiance to my beloved Ms and to keep the sweat out of my eyes. The order of those two priorities is determined by a) the temperature and b) my current level of despair at the Ms ongoing historic offensive ineptitude. Hey, no one said being a Mariners fan was easy, after all. 

Rooting for the Ms has turned out to be good practice for transitioning, as it turns out. Patience is required, as is a healthy dose of hope for better days to come, with the occasional sign that the promised land is not, in fact, a mirage, but a tangible place after all. Actually, Seattle in the summer - all six weeks of it - *is* pretty close to the promised land. But I digress.

The Way I Feel

Friday, June 22, 2012

So... There's been something I've wanted to write about for a while now. A few months, really. But this is the first chance I've had to really devote some time to it. Things have been quite frantic since I started at this new job back in mid-March... which is when this tale really took a turn. An interesting one.

This Week In Cass-Land

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Working on a longer post - a positive one, for those of you who flinched at the thought of another of Cass's patented wrist-slashers (you know who you are!) - but it isn't quite done yet. 

I got about 2/3 of the way through it today, but I decided five hours of writing was enough, and went off to watch the new Paul Simon Graceland documentary. (It was wonderful.) So you'll have to settle for a few odds and ends for the time being. :c)

A Cool Night

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Just got back from dinner with M and wanted to share a few details. It can be interesting to see how others perceive you, and tonight was one of those times.

We spent most of dinner chatting about M's new job, which he started recently after a lengthy job search. He clearly made a good impression, as he's already received a promotion. 

This doesn't really come as a surprise; he's the most talented person I know. He picks things up with ease. Nonetheless, it's great to see him getting rewarded for his hard work.

We glossed over my work difficulties; as I've mentioned here, they're frustrating, but they'll come to an end at some point. In the interim, as I told M, it's helping me save money for my transition.

He asked what my next steps were, so I ran down the list: electrolysis (starting in a few weeks), work on my voice, and more, going into detail about what each entailed. 

I was describing how C and I planned to go clothes shopping in a few weeks in New York City to help me figure out my "look" (amazingly, even my sister thinks I have the right idea; wonders never cease!) when I noticed M smiling. I stopped.

"What's so funny?" I asked him.

"You," he said, still smiling. "You're so excited! I've never seen you so... optimistic."

"Really?" I replied, surprised.

"Really. You're obviously so, so happy. Even with everything going on in your life right now, it's like night and day. 

"You used to seem... well, there was a sadness that was always there, and that never went away, even when you were being funny and joking around. 

"But not anymore. It's obvious you're thrilled to finally be on the way to becoming who you're supposed to be. Good for you."

You can imagine how nice it was to hear something like that.

As we exited the restaurant, a slight breeze picked up, and suddenly I was shivering, almost uncontrollably. It wasn't all that cold - upper 60s and a light breeze - but I was wearing shorts (I was in boy mode), and I get chilled much more easily than before.

After a moment M noticed how cold I was - my teeth were almost chattering -  and insisted on driving me home. I was too cold to argue. 

On the way home, M asked if I was warm enough a few minutes after turning up the heat. I replied that I was, explaining that this was one result of the HRT.

As we pulled up in front of my parents house, he unlocked the passenger side door to let me out.

"Bring a sweater from now on, Cass," he said with a grin. "There isn't enough of you to stay warm on your own, so remember: think layers."

It was a really nice way to end the day. :c)


Since we spent part of our dinner conversation discussing the recent 25th anniversary release of Paul Simon's landmark Graceland album, here's what is surely one of the most joyous musical performances I've ever seen, from Saturday Night Live in November 1986:

A Laugh for Your Monday

Monday, June 11, 2012

It was a hard day today, even by the standards of it being a Monday. Nothing transition-related (well, not directly); it's yet more work craziness. 

It doesn't really have anything to do with my performance; I'm just a pawn in a battle that is being waged around me. But as my manager notes sympathetically, that doesn't make it any easier to deal with. And of course the hormones make it more of a challenge some days (like today, unfortunately).

But it will get better at some point. And in the meantime, what better day to share a quick, fun story about my friend M, who has apparently taken it upon himself to provide the laugh track for my transition?

My New Beau! (And A Bit of News...)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

You read that right... there's a new man in my life. And I am so excited!

They say these things happen when you least expect it.

Well, that's certainly true in our case.

But I knew as soon as I laid eyes on him that it was true love.

And I think the feeling is mutual, based on the amount of time we've spent cuddling so far since we began our relationship. :c)

What's that?

What does he look like, you ask?

Well, take a look!

(That Wuz) The Week That Wuz

Monday, June 4, 2012

Whew. Perhaps it's just the hormones, but things certainly have seemed... intense the past few months. This past week was no exception. Mostly good, but, as the song goes, "Wherever there is comfort there is pain/Only one step away." And vice versa (as I prefer to think about it).

So shall we dive right in, then?

If I Should Fall Behind...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's been another crazy week, so crazy that I have barely had time to process coming out to my friend M on Monday. But I would like to write a bit more about it, because I was so touched by his reaction.

Another One Bites The Dust

Monday, May 21, 2012

So... I finally got to tell my friend M about myself tonight. I've been wanting to for quite some time, but for various reasons it simply didn't work out.

Tonight it did. And true to form, in terms of how it's gone so far and in terms of M's, er, warped sense of humor (no *wonder* we get along so well!), it was memorable.

HRT: Six Months (a/k/a A Developing Situation)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Whoa. It's hard to believe it's six months already. As I said about the one year anniversary of my decision to transition, it simultaneously seems as if it's both eons ago and this instant.

"I'm not going anywhere": Some Additional Thoughts

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I wrote recently about how challenging the past few months, and particularly the past few weeks, have been. 

After six months of unemployment,  I started a new job near where I grew up. Because it happened so quickly, I temporarily moved into my childhood home with my parents, then commuted over three hours each weekend to pack up and, eventually move my apartment into storage. All with broken ribs and a sore back. 

Then, just when things were settling down, the company I work for announced - out of the blue - that they were moving a number of people to a new office 45 minutes north of our current location. And I would be one of them. This threw my plans, which were finally coming into focus, into total chaos. Again.

I *still* don't know what's going to happen with work. For a variety of reasons, the job is a challenge. I think I can make it work - provided I can stay where I am. I'm being told I can, with perhaps one day a week in the new office. Not perfect - and still not what I was told when I interviewed barely two months ago - but better than the alternative. But if they tell me I have to move, all bets are off. 

I discussed the details of these events in a previous post, "I'm not going anywhere." The heart of the post was my attempt to thank someone - someone much further along in her transition - who has become a dear friend in just a few short months. 

Slow Down

I mentioned in my previous post that this has been a particularly trying week. What got me through it - in addition to my correspondence with the subject of my previous post - was knowing I had a session with M, my therapist, on Saturday. 

I hadn't seen her in seven weeks, because of my new job, and moving, and so on. So I had so, so much to tell her. I was really looking forward to seeing her to start sharing everything that's been happening - good and not-so-good.

Unfortunately, this seems to have been designated "Let's Make Cass Sweat" week <lol> - and whoever paid for it was determined to eke out every minute of the full week. 

I got up early - well, actually my coughing got me up early, after being up 'til nearly 3:00 working on a project. The good thing was that meant I had plenty of time to get down there. I could take a walk, get a cup of coffee, and just relax for an hour or so.


What *should* have been a 70-75 minute drive became a two-and-a-half hour nightmare.

The worst part?

I was stuck less than ten minutes from her office in complete, utter gridlock.

In the past, I would have been fuming; I can imagine the steam that would have been coming out of my ears as the minutes ticked away, minutes during which I had been counting on telling M about what had been happening.

But now... I just wanted to cry. And I did, a little. I was just so, so tired.

I missed all but the last five minutes of my session. And I only got there for that because I ran six blocks without stopping once I finally managed to find a parking spot.

I sat down, panting, and tried to squeeze in as much as I possibly could in the few minutes I had, literally and figuratively breathless the entire time.

When my time was up, I mentioned that I had called her for the first time one year ago last Saturday. The day my life began, as I described it. 

She was genuinely shocked. 

"I don't think you have any idea how far you've come in such a short time," she said. "The courage it takes to do what you've done so far is remarkable. 

"I have clients who have struggled for years to make a tiny fraction of the progress you've made in twelve months. I am so, so proud of you.

"You're having all of these new emotions and new experiences, and you're feeling things so intensely because the hormones are taking effect now. 

"You've been on the go non-stop for nearly two months. You started a new job, packed up your old life on the weekends, and moved to a new state. And for all intents and purposes you did all by yourself. *And* you did it with broken ribs and a sore back. 

"And on top of all of that... you're transitioning. 

"I know you have so much you want to do, and need to do, and that you want to do it all at the same time, and as soon as you can, and the best you can possibly do it...

"But you also need to know that it's OK to slow down. Even if it's just for a little while to catch your breath.

"So... slow down. Please? Just a little bit? Just for a little while?

Will you promise me you'll at least try?"

M, like all good therapists, NEVER tells a patient what to do.

So I knew she meant it.

So I promised I would do my best.

I told my friend this week that I want to be where she is right now, and to have what she has, and I want it so badly it hurts.

But I know I have to let time take its course. 

And M's words reminded me how far I've come in what really isn't much time. (Yes, I wanted to cry when she told me she was proud of me. And I did, a little. So did she. :c))


I promise that I will do my very best to just… be. 

I don't need to hide in work anymore.

I don't need to frantically work on three major projects simultaneously, then start them over when they were nearly done, simply so I didn't have to be alone with my thoughts.

I can just be myself. 

Because now, finally, thanks to M and my dear, dear, friends, I like who I am. 

And even more, who I'm *going* to be.

And that's worth taking a little time to appreciate.

So I will.


Here's what I think is the single most moving song about friendship I have ever heard: Nanci Griffith's lovely tribute to her best friend, "There's A Light Beyond These Woods (Mary Margaret)."


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