Flowers in the Desert

Monday, January 9, 2012

Aslightly belated Happy New Year! Things have been a bit hectic in Kelly's corner of the universe the past few weeks. Not a bad hectic, for the most part, but still hectic.

In the not-so-good department, my car was hit a few days before Christmas - on my way to my HRT doctor's office, as a matter of fact. This is the fifth time this car has been hit (I've been the hittee, not the hitter, in each instance). My brother, who's a cop, is baffled; as he noted, I'm a careful driver, and he can't figure out how I keep having such bad luck.

The other driver was very apologetic and admitted it was his fault, which helped ease the aggravation a bit. I've had to replace every door and quarter panel at least once since I bought this car back in 1998. Other than seeming to have a target painted on it, this car hasn't given me a second of trouble since I bought it. I just got it back, good as new (or close to it, I suppose). They even detailed it for me for nothing; must've felt guilty making so much money off of all of these repairs! ;c) Here's hoping I've finally expunged any remaining bad driver karma from this car for the rest of its life.

On the plus-side-with-a-caveat, I did make it to my HRT doctor in more or less one piece, and more or less on time. My checkup went well, as did my blood work. When the blood work results came back fine, he called to tell me he was doubling the initial dosage of my spiro, followed in a month by doubling my Estradiol dosage. Yea!

Well, not quite yet, as it turns out. :c) Unfortunately, he apparently forgot to call in the new prescriptions to my pharmacy, probably because he called just before closing on December 23rd. As a result, I've spent the past two-plus weeks trying to get it straightened out. I can't seem to get his office to either pu tme through to the doctor, or to ask him themselves to call in the prescriptions. Instead, we've had a seemingly endless string of misinterpretations of the correct dosages, amounts, and refills. While the creativity is impressive, :c) my current prescriptions run out in a few days, so I'm getting more a little nervous.

Im hoping to avoid it, but if I have to, I'll drive up to his office (he's an hour away) and uh, well, I guess Ill sit there til it gets straightened out. <lol> I dont do confrontation well, as you may have guessed!) He and his staff are very nice, and I try to cut nice people a lot of slack, but this is probably too much slack. Oh well. Lots of folks have it far worse, right? Anyway, cross your fingers, or watch out for major attitude in forthcoming posts!

On the plus-side-with-a-caveat was my experience with the first rental car I was given after dropping off my car for repairs. I’d been told I’dget another mini SUV or a sedan (I own a ’99 Toyota RAV4, a mini SUV that I love), so I was stunned when I saw what the rental agency had brought: a Dodge Durango. Good Lord is that thing massive! (“Where’s the gun turret?” I asked when I first saw it.) As soon as I sat behind the wheel I knew I couldn’t drive this behemoth for two weeks.

The agency kindly agreed to switch it out that afternoon, but I had to drive to an appointment with my therapist, M, in the early afternoon. As he was walking to his car, the agent mentioned in passing that at least the Durango had satellite radio, so I should play with it while I had the car.

Well. As you may have noticed, I’m a bit of a music geek. OK, a serious music geek. Man, is Sirius cool! I had a one-hour drive to my appointment, and that was enough to hook me. The Pearl Jam and Springsteen stations alone were enough, but I also checked out the jam band channel (Trey Anastasio was hosting a show) and Little Steven’s Garage Rock channel. It was the only reason I was sorry to drop off the car and switch to a more-my-speed Ford Escape – without, alas, Sirius. :c( Ah well.

The holidays were fun, although Im less than enamored of my hometown. Truth be told, if my family werent there, I wouldnt set foot in the place ever again. But, alas, theyre not going anywhere, so visit it I must.

I have to mention something about the Christmas Eve party my brother hosts ever year. I typically bring a huge Swiss roll from a local coffee shop/bakery, but this year they werent making them. My sister-in-law suggested we take a run to a local ice cream shop they favor.When I asked if they had ice cream cakes, this is what they showed me:

That. dear readers, is an ice cream pizza. Yup, two of the greatest foods known to mankind. I joked with the clerk that all it needed was peanut butter to cover my three favorite foods, and she replied, “Wait’ll you taste the crust.” Oh, my. :c) 

I’m not a dessert or a sweets eater – I usually only eat it on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day – but I made an exception for this. Can you legally marry a dessert? If not, I may contact my representative about this injustice. It was that good. I may even have another piece before next Thanksgiving.

Let’s see… Christmas was good. I got some nice, albeit typically oversized boy clothes from my parents (only my sister C knows so far). My brother jokes that I could fit two of me into the clothes she buys me for Christmas. I suspect she’s used to buying for my Dad and brother, who are both a lot bigger than me. (My brother is six feet tall and 200+ lbs., with huge arms and a barrel chest, and stubby legs. I’m 5’ 7.5 in., 138 lbs. - post-ice cream pizza - and all arms and legs.)

In happier clothing news, my friend F gave me a Macy’s giftcard, as did my sister C, along with a promise to go shopping with me. Her advice in the interim? “Just think of what Mom would buy you... then get the opposite.” Amen.

I also got The Who’s deluxe Quadrophenia box set, which is just amazing. It was actually my Christmas present to myself, as I ordered it with gift certificates from last Christmas and another I received before Christmas. It’s worth it for Pete Townshend’s remarkable demos and his stellar essay in the accompanying book.

Santa also dropped off The Beach Boys’ Smile box set. Brian Wilson released his wondrous version of the Great Lost Rock Album back in 2004, but this is well worth hearing. His solo piano version of “Surf’s Up” from just before Christmas 1966 gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

And last but not least, I got the Rolling Stones’ remastered Some Girls album and concert DVD. It was their last great album (although Tattoo You is pretty solid), and the outtakes show they had more material than they could use. Listening to it the past few weeks reminds me what a tremendous drummer Charlie Watts is. His work on “When The Whip Comes Down” is incredible; he’s a machine. Just relentless.

Finally, I had the chance to come out to one of my closest friends, V, and his wife S. As it turns out, their family doctor is transgendered, so they were very understanding and supportive. In his typically earnest, gentlemanly way, V told me later how much he appreciated my explanation of what transsexualism is. He had no problem with his doctor being a transsexual – they bring their six-year-old daughter to her – but he said had no idea about the physical and emotional turmoil it causes, or that it was a medical condition, not a mental disorder.

What touched me most, though, were his parting words after hegave me a huge hug as I left their house at 1:30 AM after a long, intenseevening. His hand resting on the back of my head for a moment, he gave his heada quick shake. With a look of wonder on his face, he said:

“Wow… you’re going to be the first female friend I’ll ever havehad, L.”

He paused, then smiled widely.

“That’s really great.”


I can only hope that’s an omen as I tell more and more friends and family in the months to come. 2012 is going to be quite the year. As I’ve mentioned before, I never, ever would have predicted I’d be here one year ago today. Accordingly, I can’t even imagine where I’ll be this time next year. But I can’t wait to find out. :c)

For the first time in my life, in spite of uncertain job prospects, living arrangements, and what will no doubt be a physically and emotionally draining process…. I feel a sense of optimism and a firm belief that it will all work out for the best. I wish you the same.


Accordingly, here’s a repost of a song from one of my Desert Island discs, Big Country’s The Crossing. “In A Big Country” is a song about hard-earned optimism and determination, both of which we can never have enough of.

I always thought that Stewart Adamson, the band’s leadsinger/songwriter/guitarist, wrote this as a pledge to himself. (He suffered from chronic depression, which contributed, tragically, to his early death.) His personal struggles not only lend the song poignancy, but also underline how necessary it is to try to heed its message:

So take that look out of here, it doesn’t fit you
Because it’s happened doesn’t mean you’ve been discarded
Pull up your head off the floor and come up screaming
Cry out for everything you ever might have wanted

I thought that pain and truth were things that really mattered
But you can’t stay here with every single hope you’ve had shattered

I’m not expecting to grow flowers in the desert
But I can live and breathe and see the sun in winter time

In a big country
Dreams stay with you
Like a lover’s voice fires the mountainside

Stay alive

In a big country
Dreams stay with you
Like a lover’s voice across the mountainside

Stay alive


April on January 12, 2012 at 1:38 AM said...

"J" has Sirius in her Town & Country, I always change it to the Garage Channel, sometimes flipping between Elvis, Bruce, 50's and Bluegrass, occasionally the Met when I am feeling all classical.



Kelly on January 12, 2012 at 3:35 AM said...

Hi April!

When I'm gainfully employed again, I plan to invest in Sirius. I didn't get to hear the bluegrass channel during my too-brief sampling, but it sounds great. And you can never have enough Bruce, Elvis, or Buddy Holly, right?

I didn't mention them in my current post (because their last album came out in 2010), but one of my favorite musical discoveries last year was Trampled By Turtles, a turbo-charged bluegrass band from Minnesota. They played a smoking hot set at last year's Newport Folk Festival. Can't wait to see them again. Definitely worth checking out the next time they make it to the Great White North. Well, *your* part of the Great White North, anyway; they are from Minneapolis, after all. :c)


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