One of the Rare Occasions I Actually Voice A Political Opinion

I’m not one to jump on the political bandwagon.  I’m an Aquarian, so I pretty much avoid conflict where I can.  I don’t ruffle feathers.  And I genuinely respect differences in opinion.  It’s the differences in opinions that make life interesting, so long as all parties are respectful of one another.  It’s how we learn points of view we otherwise might miss.  It’s how we grow and evolve as human beings.  So when it comes to politics, I’m not the first to jump up and go “grrrrrrrr.”  I listen.  I absorb.  I’m willing to learn something.

This last week however, I’ve become increasingly heavy hearted about a particular popular political topic.  And if I let it go without saying anything, then I have no right to complain about my feelings getting hurt. And if I’m going for broke honest here, my feelings are more than hurt.  I’m broken hearted, actually.

At this point I believe it’s safe to say we’re all caught up on the issues and current candidates’ stances on said issues.  I don’t think it’ll come as a surprise to anyone for me to say that my vote is going to Obama.  That doesn’t mean I believe he’s the end all, be all of presidents.  And it’s not to say that I agree with absolutely everything he does and how he does it.  But the no holds bar issue for me here is that no matter where Romney or Obama fall on hundreds of thousands of issues, there’s one, singular issue that trumps any and all gray areas for debate for me: equal rights.  Why this topic is even up for such  poorly invested, gently (and not so gently) long-winded debate is beyond me.  It makes me question what the hell happened to humanity.  At the end of the day, it’s our job as human beings to regard one another as human beings.  Everything else is just details.

That being said, I’m having an extremely difficult time resting my emotions in the faces of the people who claim to support and love me as a gay woman.  The people who watched me marry my wife with nothing but good blessings.  The people who every day, refer to Rhonda as my wife, as their in-law, as a positive addition to their life because of my relationship with her.  And these people still claim to love and support my relationship and the rights that should accompany that relationship with the woman I love, yet have (or are planning to) cast a vote for Mitt Romney.  A man who is hellbent on destroying what few rights I do have in regards to sharing my life with another woman.  I understand and I’ve heard just about every argument for why someone would want to cast a vote for Romney.  And I’m not here to say that those reasons are wrong merely because I disagree with them.  But at the end of the day, what you’re saying to me is that any number of those reasons are more important to you than my civil rights.  Your vote for Romney, regardless the reason, means that you’re putting a reason before my civil rights.  And that breaks my heart.

I’m not saying to my friends and family who vote for Romney that I’m going to stop loving you.  I’m not going to ostracize you from my life.  I’m not going to request that you unfriend me on Facebook or otherwise tritefully judge you for your political decisions. However, I am saying that I’m going to feel very emotionally distant from you.  For how long, I don’t know.  I’m going to feel a sadness when I look at you and remember that when push came to shove, you didn’t stand up for my rights as a human being.  It’s an incredibly hard pill to swallow, particularly in the face of some of the people I love most in this world.  When it comes down to the bare bones of it all, nothing is more important than the welfare of our fellow human beings, especially the human beings we love and care about.  If you don’t support gay rights or equality in general.  If you know me personally and don’t support my marriage to Rhonda.  Then heck, vote for the guy who wants to keep me from visiting my wife in the hospital.  If that’s how you feel, I’ll respect your decision because it’s your decision to make.  But don’t tell me that you DO support me and then vote my rights away.  That’s what I find so damn heart breaking and hard to swallow.  So, please excuse me if I seem a bit emotionally on edge lately.  I’m working extremely hard on being accepting of the people who apparently don’t fully accept me.



Letter: #photoadayjuly

When I was of the tooth losing age, I somehow got it in my head that:

a.) There was not a singular tooth fairy.  There was a whole magical land full of tooth fairies.  Because let’s be honest here, ONE tooth fairy collecting all those teeth EVERY SINGLE NIGHT?  No way could even a mythical, magical, glittery character accomplish so much on her own.
b.) Because there were many tooth fairies, they each had a name (of course) and a number.  In Tooth Fairy Land it’s easier to keep up with all those fairies if they each had a number, obviously.  Surely many of them had the same name.  So the number system was far more efficient.
c.) It was in my best interest to create written contracts for the tooth fairy.  Very plainly: you sign for my tooth, you can have it.  Also, please leave me some money.

Kids… where the heck they get this stuff…

This is one of my tooth fairy letters/contracts that I would leave under my pillow with my tooth carefully folded inside.  Those signatures and numbers were done by my aunt because my mom knew I’d recognize her handwriting.  Every time I see one of these contracts it cracks me up, because what kid does this?!  Also, I cringe because clearly my spelling and grammar needed a lot of work.  But what I lacked in proper conveyance of the English language, I made up for in dotting my exclamation points with little molars.  It’s all in the details, people.

Best Part of Your Day

For ChanuChristmaKah last year I was given a gift certificate to Kiva.

In short, Kiva is “a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.”  I’ve been a huge fan of Kiva for years and I’ve always wanted to be a part of it.  It’s one of those things on my “list” that I keep forgetting about.  I’m not entirely too sure why, except that I had not yet made Kiva a part of my life routine and you know how taking that initial step goes…

Also, I have the attention span of a goldfish.

So last year when my aunt asked me what I wanted for the holidays I basically squealed, “a Kiva gift certificate!”  It was the only thing I could think of that I truly wanted.  Because not only was she gifting me the money to turn around and invest in someone who genuinely needs and deserves it, but she was giving me the platform to start my own Kiva portfolio.  She gave me a gift that will continue to give as long as I continue to reinvest the funds.  And she gave me the absolute joy of not only being able to help someone in need, but to be a part of the process as well.  After seven months, I’ve finally been able to make a decision about where to invest the money and I couldn’t be happier about it.  Sifting through all of the applicants, knowing you can pick only one (or two) in whom to invest is one seriously tough-ass decision to make.  But I finally found a woman that I’m a little bit in love with and hope to some day visit her in Peru (after all, Peru IS on Rhonda’s and my bucket travel list).  Meet Lesly:

Best Part of Your Day: #photoadayjuly  –  *Click image to enlarge for better reading*

Today’s “Photo a Day July” (yeah, I’m attempting that again… let’s see if I can make it through an entire month this time!) is “Best Part of Your Day.”  My day started off pretty crappy actually, and this** is exactly what I needed to not only turn it around, but pretty much make this the best week/month/year ever.  Seriously.  I’m more excited about this than I can adequately say.

A-hundred-million-lifetime “thank yous,” Robyn.  One of the best gifts ever.

**I know it’s not officially a photo that I shot today.  But it’s a screen capture that I cropped and made to look kind-of, maybe a little bit like a photo.  Back off, I’m participating… that’s all that matters.  Like I said, “attention span of a goldfish.”  It’s a miracle I’ve made it THIS far.

Update: In the time it took me to type up this post, Lesly reached her goal and is fully funded!  Color me happy. :)

Telling Stories

I recently stumbled upon this post on Flickr from April of 2010 and it got me feeling nostalgic.  So I’m reposting.  It’s also nice to read and feel that, where this part of my character is concerned nothing’s changed.

Last week a stranger approached me to tell me about his life as a cross-dresser.  That he felt more attractive as a female.  That he liked men but preferred to surround himself with women.  That he was having a hard time meeting someone worth while.  
He told me about his friend’s surgery to become a woman.  I told him about my friend’s surgery to become a man.  We shared a bag of chips.  He thanked me as he thrust his hands awkwardly into is jean pockets and walked away.

Two months ago a stranger told me he was nervous about approaching his girlfriend to be more adventurous in the bedroom.  I was buying a garter belt.  He was buying a vibrator.  We later talked about social networking and taking chances.

When I was fifteen, a woman I barely knew shared her concerns about an upcoming trip with her male friend.  Whether or not sharing a room meant sharing a bed.  Whether or not that meant they were more than friends.  That she was scared she felt things that he did not.

Eight years ago a stranger sat next to me at a café and proceeded to tell me about his life of heroin addiction.  How he overcame his addiction.  What life was like afterward.  He smoked menthol cigarettes and drank hot chocolate.  He was a film maker and collected vintage cameras.  He had not talked to anyone outside of his program about his addiction until me.  

It goes on like that.  I could tell my whole life in other people’s forthcomings.  Catalog my own stories next to theirs.  Tell you that the first time I ever slept outside without shelter was the same day a girl my age told me she thought she was pregnant.  We’d never spoken before then.  But she knew she could trust and count on me.

I’ve been told I have an honest face.  That I look like a safe harbor.  And it’s never ceased to awe me.  That I carry around these carefully packaged gifts I never asked for and not once did they ever ask for anything in return.

Insert Teenage Girl Squealing Here

So, I got persuaded at gunpoint talked into attending the midnight release of the latest film in the Twilight saga.  And if we’re being honest here, I’m actually pretty excited about it.  The social experiment nerd in me is all over the whole shrieking teenage girls and angsty pre-teen boys phenomena that surrounds the Twilight enterprise.  I feel like I’m about to get on a ride at Universal Studios where the passengers are taken on a journey through this crazy, hormonal, Brittney Spears perfume smelling, loud, giggling, excitable atmosphere that reminds us a little bit about what we were like when we were their age.  There’s something about the excitement of it all that I’m attracted to and I feel like this may be one of the best people watching experiences of my life.

But because I’m me and and me is a bit of a poke the crazy fans with a stick pain-in-the-ass, I’m going to be wearing this shirt design (that I just created and will be ironing onto a shirt when I get home. I didn’t buy it anywhere and I don’t plan to sell any, so please PR people for Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and Equus don’t come after me… it’s just a one-night joke):

Team Jacob? Team Edward? Hell, no!  Team Harry Potter!

I’m sorry Taylor Lautner, but if I’m going to stare at a (contractually obligated) half naked man, I’m into nerds with ponies… not wolves with a stage five clinger complex.


Quick Update:

Yeah… I know.  I have this blog thing that I’ve been neglecting.  It’s not so much that I don’t have anything to write about because, BOY HOWDY do I have all kinds of material.  My life is anything but boring.  I’ve simply had no motivation to be here.  Where I am going about my regular, crazy-hectic life per usual, I’m really having to push myself through it.  My health has been taking a nose dive as of the last couple of months and I’ve been putting everything I have into fixing it.  I’m seeing new doctors, not the least of whom is a Psychiatrist.  My first time ever dabbling in the mental health maintenance.

Without getting too involved:  I’m a straight-up bad-ass when it comes to battling what it’s like to live with a chronic illness.  It’s in my nature to be so determined to have a life around it.  But the last few months or so, the instinct to do so has lessened and I’m now having to make a daily conscious decision to push my body through each day.  It’s mentally and emotionally exhausting.  Hence, throwing in the white towel and visiting with a Psychiatrist.  I really don’t have anything to say about him yet as we’ve only met once so far.  And long story short, the medication we’re trying isn’t helping so much as it’s making me more sick.  Really sick.  So yeah… that’s where I’m at right now:  Somewhat frustrated and generally feeling like I’ve been run over by a dump truck.

On the positive though, we are working toward a solution (or multiple solutions for that matter).  It’s just a long battle with few to no immediate results.  It’s not leaving me with much time to update here.  But I am here.  I’m still kicking.  Illness(es) aside, life is most excellent.

This from the girl who has ingested some form of coffee every day since she was ten years old.

Exactly one week ago yesterday, I was sitting across from my latest doctor as he dropped the bomb on me that I was to give up drinking coffee.  For at least a few weeks.  And when he, along with a handful of disaster relief workers were finally able to talk me off the ledge from which I was precariously dangling, I managed to oblige the asshole sweet doctor.  I recall responding to him firmly, and with confidence saying, “If you tell me that I need to give up coffee for this treatment to be effective, I’ll do it.”  When internally I was actually experiencing something comparable to the movies Armageddon and Titanic meeting up for drinks, which in turn ended with Armageddon following Titanic up to her hotel room and nine months later Titanic pops out a baby comprised of nothing but absolute terror and panic and death, with the voice of Celine Dion.  That baby is what I went through in my sweet doctor’s office that day.  Minus Liv Tyler’s lips and Kate Winslet’s boobs.  IT WAS THAT AWFUL.

Cut to the next day, my first without coffee, and DEAR GOD did I want to die.  There are no words to accurately express what my body went through.  Not to mention, what my brain went through.  For example, I give you one of my many effed up text messages from that day:

“I think I’m dying.  Unless the bright light I’m seeing is an alien unicorn ship attempting to make contact with me.  In which case, please disregard this message.  But seriously, I’m pretty sure it’s the first one.  Caffeine withdrawals are a bitch.”

They just kept getting worse.  And poor Rhonda.  Poor, poor, wonderful Rhonda.  I should buy her a Disney Princess or something equally as magical for putting up with me that day.

But, hey!  It’s been a whole week without coffee and I’m surviving!  Turns out, one caffeine pill each morning and copious amounts of hot tea will do the trick.  And dare I say it: I feel better.  I HATE (am seriously and with all of the conviction in my body, using the word HATE) to admit things like, I’m sleeping better.  And I have more energy.  And I feel a little less exhausted.  And my tummy is happier.  That asshole sweet, SWEET doctor of mine was right, which means I now have to buy him a Disney Princess, too (this process is getting rather expensive).  And now that I’ve seen what the grass is like on both sides of the fence, I’m tempted to stay off the coffee for good.

I KNOW.  Pack for the apocalypse people, it’s coming.

Well Played, Ikea, Well Played

Last October my Grandmother (Grams) turned a whopping 80 years young, and one month later she finally retired.  With retirement came the cleaning out of her massive office.  It was like a second apartment where she kept and displayed many family photos, collectibles, plants, things people often brought her from their travels, and so. much. more.  I’m not going to go as far as to call my grandmother a hoarder because she’s far from it.  But simply put, she likes to keep things.  She hates messes but she’s perfectly fine with organized clutter.  You know, neat piles.  Which has worked for her for many years, but since she recently moved everything from her office of fifteen years to her already quite lived in apartment… well… it was overwhelming to say the least.

A couple of weeks ago I received a panicked phone call from Grams that bordered on the side of death-con five and could I please for the love of all that is holy, help her find a way to coexist with the mountains of stuff.  I reassured her that she had come to the right place, explaining that I harbored a very intimate relationship with my label maker, and I could be there in a couple of days.  Long story short, we’ve had two big cleaning sessions so far.  Mere drops in a soon-to-be incredibly neat and tidy ocean (whatever that means), and we’ve a long way to go yet.

But!  Point being, all of the reorganizing and cleansing new beginnings and so forth have inspired me to apply some of those methods at home.  Last week I tore into our bedroom closets.  Filling trash bags with clothes and shoes to donate and completely restyling our closet space.  By the time I’m finished, every closet in our house will be 100% functional to our needs and no longer used as “dump or hide-away” space.  In order to get to that goal line however, it requires things like containers and separators and other neatly organizy gadgets.  Which loosely translates to three trips to Ikea in one week.  I KNOW.  But as insane as Ikea can be (oh GOD, we were there on Saturday.  SATURDAY. IN. IKEA.), those Swedes sure know how to structuralize their shit.  Also?  They apparently have a sense of humor.

Now ask me how many of those bins we bought.

I’d Drink that Punch

My boss/dad is in Mexico.  Specifically some private beach condo thing that has an infinity pool with hot tub and post card views.  No exaggeration.  In fact, here are two cell phone photos my boss’s/dad’s best friend posted to his Facebook yesterday afternoon:

*Yeah, I kind-of hate them, too…

Now I’m not begrudging the boss any time off because the man works like a mule and deserves it.   But when he is gone, my work load in the office gets to levels of “not fun” that make me want to take up sniffing glue.  Because I’m having to pick up slack where needed, I had to be in my office this morning at 7:00.  Which means I had to get up at an hour that I thought only existed in myth.  Which also means that I walked Sugar before sunrise.  In the 18-ish degree weather.  A task I was intending to accomplish in about two-and-a-half minutes.

Cool thing about this freezing weather in parts of Texas that aren’t prepared for it: generators are exhausted from all of the extra power usage and as a result, the state of Texas is going through regularly scheduled rolling blackouts.  To conserve power.  So that we don’t have actual, long term blackouts.  Causing things like space heater stores and Starbucks to close.  Which in turn would cause rioting at a rate of devastating proportions.  We first world-ers can’t handle normal functioning without our coffee chains and immediate comforts.

Where was I?
Right!  Rolling blackouts!

So here I am outside the electricity powered gate of our property in the freezing cold when one of these blackouts hits (which at the time I knew nothing about… thanks for the head’s up, power companies).  And the gate?  She has no manual override.  And since this is not Star Wars and I have no Tauntaun to cut open and crawl into for warmth, I might have experienced a brief moment of internal panic.  Because let’s face it, I’m a giant pussy and I need my space heaters and Starbucks.  One of my (and Sugar’s) favorite neighbors walked up at the same moment, arriving home from his daily morning stroll (fucking masochist).  And right then he, along with the current employee stationed at our property’s front gate decided that the only way to open the gate was to detach it from the mechanical arm.  Which required tools.  That were inside the property.  Behind the gate.  That won’t open.

Dear God, why are there never any Tauntauns around when you need them?

I looked at the gate.  I looked at my neighbor.  I looked at the gate again and said, “I think I can squeeze under it and get some tools out of our house.”  The neighbor just blinked at me.  “No, really,” I said.  “I can fit through that.”  So I handed him Sugar’s leash, pancaked my backside down on the ground, reached up to grab the bottom of the gate and pulled myself through.  After much celebration and confetti, I ran home to get the necessary tools to remove the gate’s arm.  When I walked in through the back door, Rhonda was standing in the kitchen holding a candle.  Naked.  It was almost cult-like and yet so beautifully awesome that were she actually performing some sort of strange ritual in our kitchen, I’d have ingested all the punch she could serve.  Unfortunately I had no time for naked chanting or whatever it is naked cult people do in their kitchens.  And poor Rhonda was given no time to comprehend my verbal spewing, “Wrench set!”  “Flashlight!”  “WhatTheHell,You’reNaked!”  “Dammit, I have to run!”

By the time I got back, a good handful of neighbors had arrived on scene and together we managed to get both gates detached and open.  At which point they dubbed me the hero of the day.  And then we ate Robin’s minstrels, and there was much rejoicing.

The Date Box: Fort Day

You remember when you were in high school and you got a “D” on your report card in a subject matter that you will use once in your life (this single class and then never again) but regardless, you’re pretty sure your parents are going to kill you for not excelling at trigonometric basket weaving, so (sweet bajeebus this is the longest run-on sentence ever) you tell your parents you’re pregnant?  And as they’re simultaneously reaching for the knife drawer you shout, “NO!  Not really!  But I’m a complete failure at finding out how many isosceles triangles it takes to make a macrame owl. I’m so sorry, I’ll go pour the white-out on my college applications now.”  You know?!  No?  Just me?  Moving on…

When we drew “Fort Day!!!” out of The Date Box, my tiny pea of a brain decided it was the most brilliant idea ever to lead with, “So honey, I think we should first mount some hooks in the ceiling.  You know, so this can be one serious, bad motherfucker of a fort.”  And then ten minutes later after two more mugs of coffee and intensive sessions of CPR, I was at least able to use things like light stands, broom handles and tent poles instead of couch cushions.  Couch cushions are for amateurs.  Or five-year-olds.

My parents should be happy to read that I did, indeed use some form of Physics (that’s science!) to construct our fort.  The rest of my energy was spent reassuring Rhonda that I wasn’t going to poke anyone’s eye out.  See, Rhonda’s idea of a fort is a sheet over the dining room table.  I was less than supportive or understanding of her vision.  Because, see, MY vision was very tunneled in the direction of “serious, bad motherfucker of a fort.”  I wanted to “WOW” Rhonda with my mad fort skillz.  An hour later, as we lounged and made out in the coziest, prettiest fort that ever did fort, I’d say I WON.

Three days later, we finally took it town.

Presenting, The Love Hut:

You can see Rhonda’s step-by-step documentation of the fort construction HERE.