Vignettes: Vacation!!!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Greetings from my long-awaited, and badly needed, vacation! I got back late Monday evening from the Newport Folk Festival, which was wonderful as always.

I plan to write a longer post about my experiences, because in addition to wanting to share some of my impressions of the performers I saw, I want to write about what was an important weekend in my transition:

I spent the entire weekend as myself for the first time.


Vignettes: Newport News

Friday, July 26, 2013

I have a post in progress about the past week that is, by necessity, a somber affair.

This is not that post.

This is a happy post. :c)


I am in Newport RI, one of my very favorite places.

I am here for the Newport Folk Festival, one of my very favorite annual events.

And I am here as myself.

For the very first time. :-)

It was a challenging week on all fronts.

Work, home, you name it.

I wrote about the events of last Sunday, when my brother and sister-in-law essentially disowned me.

I am convinced they have been planning this for weeks.

I also had a standard-issue work week - that is, tumultuous, draining, infuriating, with ever-shifting, contradictory priorities and deadlines.

But I survived.

Because I knew I had this weekend as my reward.

Newport has always been touched with magic for me.

This week has been no exception.


I literally just arrived in Newport.

I knew exactly where I was going first:

To meet with my dear friend T.

She and her husband, J, were two of the first people I became friendly with when I moved to Newport three years ago. They both worked, and work, as baristas at Starbucks.

We quickly bonded over a shared love of music, particularly - (Dirty hippie alert, April! Avert your eyes, sis!) - Phish.

Yes, dear reader, your Cass is a Phishhead.

Only without the pharmaceutical, er, accoutrements. :c) (The strongest drugs I have ever taken are estrogen and spironolactone. That is plenty.)0

Anyway, we are now close friends.

How close?

They invited me to their wedding.

I was the only customer they invited, in fact.

Although T corrected me when I mentioned this.

"You aren't a customer, [my boy name]," she said. "You're our friend."

When I came out to them last fall, they were overjoyed for me, and pledged their full support.

And they have been true to their word.

They check in periodically by text, voicemail, or email to see how I am or just let me know they are thinking of me.

So I knew they, and particularly T, would be my first priority upon arrival.

I drove straight to the Starbucks where T works. (She and J work at different locations.)

I would have been excited to see her no matter what; we hadn't gotten together since just before Christmas last year, due to my lingering illnesses and our brutal winter weather.

But since it was going to be her first time meeting Cass, I was even more excited.

I grabbed my brand new teal pocketbook (I lovelovelove teal, as does T  - one of the many reasons we bonded), attempted to get the runaway curls under control (no such luck in this humidity), and walked in.

My friend AN ("N" is for Newport, for reasons that will become clear below) was behind the counter.

He smiled.

"Looking good there, Miss Cass."


Typical of AN:



And kind.

I asked if T was there.

He smirked his genial smirk.

"Take a guess."


She was on break.

Of course.


I immediately sent her the following text message:

"Hey, you!"

"Dammit... ya ruined my dramatic entrance!"


"Love, Cass"


Within seconds she came running out, looking as adorable as ever (she is *seriously* cute, kids, as is J). We hugged for approximately two minutes straight.

She oohed and aahed over my new teal pocketbook, teal purse, and older teal wallet with the embossed seahorse, which I purchased here in Newport at *last* year's festival. (Told you it was a magical place!)

Then she asked if I like maxi skirts.

Which I do.

So then it was *her* turn to make *me* jealous by describing *her* new teal maxi skirt.

I was always short and awkward as a boy.

I was all arms and legs, with practically no torso to speak of.

Or coordination, for that matter.

(I am still hopelessly uncoordinated. [Stace, I know you will be able to relate to this!]
I was being extra cautious with my feet the past few weeks, so I could finally wear my new sandals - teal sandals, of course.)

(And I *was* perfect.)

(Until this morning.)

(When I dropped my coffee mug on my toe.

So unless black *and* blue is suddenly the new black, my look is ruined. lol)

Anyway, T also has long legs, so I am sure the skirt looks amazing.

So much so that she says J is growing concerned at how *much* she likes it.

Him (polite as always): "Hey... so you're wearing that skirt... *again*?"

Her (oblivious): "Of course!!!"

I totally understand, T, believe me.

So now I have a new item added to my growing shopping list.

Cass is quite the clotheshorse, as it turns out.

HEy, I can always blame T in bankruptcy court if need be:

"But your honor, just *look* at how this skirt complements my eyes!"

"OMG, Cass, you're *right*!!! I find you and T guilty - of good taste!"

(This should give you some idea of how we generally converse, folks. :-p)

Anyway, she and J lucked out and got a pair of tickets from our mutual friend H (yet another Newport sweetie - see a trend here?) to see Lily Tomlin perform here tonight

So we will likely put off our dinner plans to either tomorrow or Sunday evening, post-festival.

Or perhaps both.

After all, you can never spend too much time with friends!!!


I will end with a second vignette, about another set of friends I met here in Newport.

I met AT (she lives in Texas, hence the "T") at last year's festival.

She and her lovely family were at the side stage where I spent all day Sunday at last year's festival. As I mentioned, that may well have been the single best day of music I have ever seen. 

We hit it off instantly, and within an hour were exchanging email addresses.

We corresponded during the ensuing year about music; she and her entire family are all music obsessives. And Texas is as close to ideal if that is the case.

I never mentioned I was transitioning.

I did so because I was reluctant to impose on my new friends in any way until it was necessary.

I had a hunch they would be supportive.

But I did not want to be presumptuous, or put them in any kind of potentially difficult or awkward situation.

For various reasons, we hadn't really spoken since early spring.

So last Saturday I finally sat down and dashed off a note to AT, asking if they still planned to attend the festival.

She immediately wrote back, saying she was thrilled to hear from me, and that they were attending and looking forward to meeting up in person.

I then sent a reply explaining my situation. In a nutshell, here is what I wrote:

I am transitioning, I will be attending the festival as myself, and I want to let you know in advance so that if this makes you uncomfortable in any way you know you are under no obligation to meet with me, or to even respond to this message.

I told her how much I enjoyed meeting with she and her family, and wished them all the best if they were not comfortable meeting with my in light of my changed circumstances.

I sent it just before I went to bed on Saturday evening.

Then Sunday happened.

I spent most of Sunday afternoon and evening simply processing what happened.

I expected it... but unvarnished ugliness and prejudice, even when you know it is coming, takes its toll.

Which made what happened just before I went to bed all the more special.

My iPhone buzzed.

A new message had arrived.

I opened my mail app.

There was a message.

A reply from AT.

I clicked on it to open it.

And this is the first thing I read:

"Dear friend Cass..."

I lost it.

For 15 minutes, non-stop.

She told me that they were all very much looking forward to meeting up with me *as* me, and that she was touched by how difficult it must be to tell people and be judged each and every time.

I told her that she had no idea how much strength I gain from responses like those of she and her family.

I will always be in their debt for helping to remind me how kind and accepting the vast, vast majority of friends have been upon telling them my news. As were my sister and nephew.

As for my parents the other two?

The loss is entirely theirs.

And the magic of Newport is among those losses they will never comprehend.

Thank you to T, J, AN, and AT for reminding what a wonderful group of friends I have, and what a lucky, lucky girl I am.

A few pics for you, taken today:

More to follow. And not just because my NY friend C threatened me physically if I do not allow someone to take *my* picture here for once. :c) (It did play *somewhat* of a role, however; C may also be a "Skinny Bitch," as she has dubbed us but she still packs a mean punch!)

A Happier Post :c)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hi again, everyone. :c)

It's 3:45 AM on Monday, and I cannot fall asleep, much as I wish I could.

My job is quite stressful, as you have no doubt gathered.

This week will be no different.

In fact, I suspect that in about five hours I will be explaining yet again to the upper mucky-mucks at work how I let them down by not being able to simultaneously handle three full-time jobs at once.

And I will do so by myself, yet again.

(My manager L, whom I adore, is on a well-deserved biking vacation this week. Put on that sunscreen, L!!!)

As for my personal life... well, that has also been challenging at times the past few months.

Please forgive the sarcasm and cynicism.

It has been a trying stretch, and I am tired.

But I am also a happy, optimistic gal at heart. :c)

(Stop laughing, April!)

And to demonstrate this, here is a brief, upbeat post for your Monday morning!

Oh Brother

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hi everyone.

As I have noted before, I try to be as honest as possible with my posts.

Even, perhaps especially, when it is not something positive.

I am afraid this is another one of those posts.

I finally had the opportunity to come out to my brother, F, and sister-in-law, T, today.

A Lovely Surprise :c)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I have mentioned that the past few weeks have been busy even by my standards.

Work has been more insane than ever.

And I wound up spending most of last night, and a large portion of early this morning, helping my sister C with her school work.

I was, and am, quite literally running on fumes.

But then I got home and received the biggest - and most unexpected - gift of my entire transition.


Being Me

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hi all! 

Here's a late night, I-am-too-tired-to sleep post for you.

I have been fighting a minor stomach bug off and on the past few weeks.

And it is pavement-meltingly hot and humid here, and will be until Saturday. (The ol' hair product is getting a serious workout this week, I can assure you!)

But mostly, I am simply worn out.

Thankfully, my vacation starts one week from today. Yea!!!!

So... on to the point of this post.

As I noted in a recent post, I have most definitely passed a significant point in my transition:

I now, at long last, see me.

I mean, really see me.

It was, and is, amazing.

Vignettes: The Lighter Side Pt. II

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Greetings and salutations, one and all!

I am working a post with some big news, which I had been hoping to write last night.

Instead, I came home late from work (followed by a stint at the gym), ate a slice of pizza, and then fell asleep watching the Red Sox defeat Oakland out on the Left Coast. 

I awoke with a start, mid-drool, at 3:00 AM, with half my face imprinted with the corduroy from my backrest. 

(And before some smart aleck (read: Kelli and/or April) asks: no, I will *not* be posting pictures!)

Instead, I *will* share another quick story about work, this one involving my friend D.

Vignettes: Drugstore Cowgirl

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hi all! Hope everyone had a lovely Wednesday!

Today was an important day for me, not least of all because I got my annual review at work. (The verdict? Still there, somehow - i.e. duped 'em yet again!) lol

But it was significant for another reason - which I will write about in my next post. :c)

(Yes, it is a good kind of significant.)

For this post, I just wanted to share a brief moment from today that, again, shows how far I have come, even when I am not aware of it.

Hello, World... It's Me, Cass!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hi all!

Hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Mine was... eventful. :c)

My most recent post described how I finally saw me for the first time on Saturday.

(And yes, there are pictures!)

So how do I top that wonderful experience, you ask?

I make my public debut! :c)

Picture Show: The Evolution of Cass :c)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Hi all! Happy Saturday!

I've been a bit reticent about do this up until now... but events today changed my mind.

I want to introduce you...

To me. :c)

Follow below for the complete story!

Vignettes: The Lighter Side

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I apologize again for the rather somber post yesterday. I try to be honest about what I am feeling and going through, and sometimes that does not make for upbeat reading.

But life is rarely all one thing, good or bad.

Even in the midst of what has been a particularly challenging month, it is still possible to find moments of laughter and light.

My job is very challenging, but I am very fortunate in that the people I work with on a day-to-day basis are almost without exception an absolute pleasure.

We have a small team, are all juggling multiple tasks under a great deal of pressure, and work far too much.

Yet in spite of - or perhaps *because* of - that, we all get along famously.

I thought of several recent examples that illustrate this point nicely.

Both Sides, Now

Monday, July 1, 2013

Hi all...

Apologies for being scarce recently.

I have been pinch-hitting for my sister in mischief, the newly-minted Mademoiselle April, over at her digs the past few days.

She had her surgery today (yea!) and is feeling very tired and very, very happy (double yea!!!). 

Congratulations again, sweetie!!!


In my little corner of the world, there is SO much going on, and at such a pace, that I can scarcely keep up, let along blog about it all.

I will try to do a brief summary of the key items. 

And I think I will start off with some of the more difficult goings-on up front. That is how I try to deal with them in life when possible.

And I will do so here as well.


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