My Life in Paradise

because I only wish I could make this sh*t up…

Southern Politics….or….Southern Politics

Yeap ok we all know I went and did it..  I fell in love with another human and agreed to get married..  Swear.to.god.I.actually.didn’t.run and at some point in the next 48 hours I’ll order our Save The Date cards and some very cute personalized thank you notes with both our names on them!!  My/our Christmas cards went out with both our last names on them.  My subscription to Saveur magazine came with what will be my last name this time next year in front of my name.  It’s all little freaky and at first I went who the fuck……oh….that’s me….in a year….  I even set a date!  That was a huge step honestly.

Love conked me on the head in rural south east Virginia.  Virginia is a beautiful state with an variety of people from liberal allies to omg KKK conservatives.  I love our home in the South.  It’s 200+ years old, the garden is huge and I have my own bathroom with wainscoting and at least 20 towels.  I do miss living there.  I miss the warm nights on the porch and I miss some of our kookey neighbors.  I don’t miss the relative isolation from queer community, being 5000 miles from my parents and close friends or being 2500 miles from my California friends.  I know Hawaii is 2500 miles from California, but somehow I feel closer in Hawaii than in Virginia.

I swear I’m getting to the point!

Lately the South has been in the news a lot mostly for not so good things.  In Mississippi the first out gay mayoral candidate was murdered in what can only be described as a horrific hate crime.  Mississippi was also harangued for it’s voters rights or lack there of.  The usual suspects of Virginia politics were being dumbshits.  Delegate C. Todd Gilbert’s  refused to acknowledge LGBT oppression and the State of Virginia did not pass a bill protecting the states LGBT employees.

A colleague and dear friend of mine known fondly as Our.Gay.Boyfriend, pointed out something that stopped me in my tracks.  I was literally about to put a piece of Mr.Monster’s incredible chicken curry in my mouth and had to put my fork down.  NOTE: Our.Gay.Boyfriend was born and raised in Mississippi and many times has been my cultural advisor on everything Southern that I still don’t understand like pimento cheese..  WTF!

“You know, change the accent and the state and everything that people are so shocked about from the South happens in just as many other states.”

(The.Our.Gay.Boyfriend is also my fiance Mr.Monster’s secret husband, funny story I’ll tell it some other time.)

He’s right.  Racism, classism, homophobia and sexism happen in California, New York, Montana, Florida and just about every other state.  I’m not sure if the south has a more concentrated number of assholes or if we as a society like to pick on them for their accents.  I might even go as far as to say I think if you add up all the liberal towns in the South it’s more liberal than Montana.  California has a very conservative red center.  In Nevada Las Vegas is actually more conservative than Reno.  Oregon is quite conservative especially eastern Oregon.  Only two voting districts in Florida are considered Democratic.

There are many southerners in my life all of whom are pretty liberal and very few of who still live in the South.

When I say many I mean:

  • my fiance
  • my father (not my step-dad and not so liberal)
  • three of my closest friends (one whom died earlier this year, but he’s still around commenting on my life from time to time with his laid back drawl.  I love you UnkleMike and I miss you so very much.)
  • several colleagues
  • a plethora of acquaintances

So it’s late and this post is a little disjointed, but what I think my point is, is that while we can make generalizations about certain geographic locations (the South) it is important to look beyond the assumptions.  There are good people in the South doing great social justice work.  Whole town are coming together to take a stand against homophobia, like the tiny town in Appalachian Kentucky that passed a gay rights law, Covington, Lexington and Louisville have similar laws.   A couple of dear friends of mine LadySnow and Grant are very active in Jacksonville advocating for LGBT rights and there have been wins.  Like it or not the South is changing. What are we going to have to say when the South comes all the way around and equality for minorities is the norm there?  People have the capacity to change, even Southerners, they just do it one at a time.

hands

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Take all you want…..but eat all you take……

I wasn’t an overweight child.  I wasn’t an overweight teen either.  But when I was eight, while on a trip to Australia, it was impressed upon me by my Australian grandparents that I could take all I wanted at meals, but I had to eat it all…….and you didn’t argue with them….ever…and those words stuck like glue!

Somewhere in my early adulthood I started to gain and lose 100lbs at a time.  My weight never stopped me from rock climbing, dating, dancing, combative show jumping, dressage, ranching, muay thai, savate, traveling or anything else.  And then it did……..in my late 20’s I went from a 12 to a 20….in my early 30’s I went to a 22……this year I hit 24….and no one stopped loving me but me….but lemme tell ya when I decided to be an asshole to myself I was meaner that I’d ever been to anyone in my life…..

……and I stopped allowing photos of me….  I argued with people who have loved me from size 14-24 that I was no longer beautiful or sexy….  Getting engaged added it’s own dread because if I hated myself in the mirror, I was going to hate myself in my wedding pictures… and weddings are too fucking expensive to hate myself at!! So I decided something had to be done!  No idea what, but something!

Last week or was it the week before?  Irrelevant…  I was in therapy and we were discussing my thoughts on weight loss surgery…  WLS has been wildly successful for everyone I know, but something has been holding me back….  I could get weight loss surgery, but a surgery doesn’t deal with my food coping mechanism now does it?  NOPE!

So therapy goes on and all of a sudden the light goes on….the times I’ve been thin(ish) I didn’t have a compulsion to eat under stress…. why is that?  Because I was exercising regularly and the exercise took care of the stress part!  DUH why hadn’t I thought of that?  I immediately texted my brother (the.most.handsome.man.under.30) with my revelation and to paraphrase it his response was “DUH” said with much more care.  He’s been trying to tell me this since before my knee surgery, I just wasn’t listening.

So enter CoachJ my new swim coach.  I meet with her 3-4 times a week and next week or the week after I have to start dragging myself to the pool by myself.  Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately)  even if I offered her a small fortune she won’t let me get reliant on only swimming with her poolside.

So I’ve been swimming twice this week and guess what disappeared   My desire to eat when I’m not hungry.  The cokes have disappeared from the house, replaced by bottles of water.  (Leave off the enviro rant please – our tap water is NASTY, even a Britta doesn’t help)  Today after swimming I went to Costco for glasses and I was starving when I left so I grabbed a slice of pizza – yummm…….and I didn’t eat it all, I didn’t have to forcefully stop myself I just looked down and thought “huh I’m done” and wouldn’t you know it Grandma Joan’s voice popped into my head…..luckily it popped right out again as I tossed my pizza and wandered back to my car..

This isn’t meant to be an anti-fat post or an anti-weight loss post.  I have to lose weight or I’ll be in a wheel chair..  My knees and my psyche demand change, if yours don’t then don’t.  Love yourself where you are at and for the amazing who that you are.

Oh and read this blog post.

The post made me realize that if I disappeared tomorrow there would be 1000’s of pictures I’ve taken and only a handful of me, none of them with the people I love most.  (Yeah Ladyface that means we are getting pictures together before my wedding so put on your spanks babe!)

<the end.>

(or maybe the beginning)

!!!!be gleeful!!!

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This won’t surprise you……

This won't surprise you......

This is me last week of school before the semester ends…

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Recovery ala roosters..

Mr.Monster and I are back in Hawaii.  OK I’m back in Hawaii, this is Monster’s first trip here.  There is good and bad to recovering in Hawaii.  The good is I can go to class and see my friends, the bad is I can’t go flop in the ocean or really do much of anything except be annoyed by the roosters at 6am.  Yeah I know – I’m sure you are crying me a river right?

THERE ARE STILL ROOSTERS HERE!

I know you were wondering and sadly it’s true

The roosters remain, BUT the good news is there are less roosters than before.  Like only 2 which is going to make sending Monster on an annihilation mission much more probable.  Ideally I’d like to get rid of all the roosters and chickens and only have my pretty Bard Rock chickens and ducks.  Oh well – I don’t get to decide as many things as I’d like around here.  (read none!)

So in other news it’s AlohaFriday here and Mr.Monster has abandoned me to my rest bed in favor of using a machete to cut down plants.  It’s been generally agreed upon by MyLadyMother and my Mr.Monster that a vegetable garden is a good idea.  I can’t grow anything except roses and orchids so I mostly wave my hands and my crutches around saying……

“yes”

“very well”

“good plan”

“carry on”

“etc. and so forth”

I did try to do a nosedive down the driveway.  Most of you haven’t seen our driveway – let’s just say a tumble down it would be a ginormous mistake.  Momentous, but still a major mistake.

So I’ll wrap this post up by saying it’s nearly been a year!  The best thing that ever happened to me was my event contract being cancelled and me having to figure out what to do with my life.  I’ve spent a fair amount of time conversing with my dear friend LadyFaceGomez recently about money and happiness and she reminds me as often as I need it that money isn’t happiness.  I am more happy now than last year.  I have love, great friends, ducks, a pony size dog, and 3/4 of an education under my belt.  I sound all zen and shit don’t I?  Well to quote my favorite math professor Mr. B….

Namaste Mother Fucker  🙂

ps – it’s Oktoberfest tonight and if I’m luck I’ll have pictures of Mr.Monster doing the chicken dance!

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Knee Surgery aka Stress Testing Your Relationship

Last week I went to see an orthopedic surgeon.  I needed more and better pain pills for my ongoing knee problem.  What I left with was no prescription and an “I’ll see you in the OR on Monday!” SOOOOOOO…… I left the OR on Monday with a prescription and a “We’ll talk about your knee replacement surgery in two weeks…Get some rest..”

Oh shit…..SHIT…..really??  Yes….. really!!

So a few months into my relationship with Mr.Monster the universe decides making me helpless and hopped up on pain pills is a good way to challenge us both.  To give you an idea of what I feel like when I’m incapacitated I suggest the following exercise:

  • you go to the local zoo
  • find the tiger exhibit
  • trip the keeper and don’t feed the tiger for 2 weeks
  • then saunter into the cage of the underfed tired and expect to not be made into dinner
  • Oh come on – I’m waiting with a video camera…..

Two weeks in the life of a tiger is really 4 days post op for me.

Today is Thursday and I can’t walk, I can’t shower, and no surface is comfortable for longer than a 2 hour nap.  Mr.Monster would probably prefer I was pushing up daises just about now.  My alarm is set for pain pills every 6 hours which for the first 24 hours didn’t work so I was awake and in agony.  The surgeon added an amplifier and now they work too well so I’m asleep, groggy, cranky, asleep, generally unhappy, fidgety, cranky, and biiiitchy and mostly asleep..

So this weeks life lessons…

<don’t retire and get fat>

<if my relationship survives knee surgery it can survive WWIII>

<being helpless sucks more, not less, as I age>

<<THE END>>

 

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I have no idea what the %&^* I’m doing….no really I don’t….

Most people have a path.  Some people wander about.  I’m somewhere in between off road, on road, lost and found in a foreign country littered with antiques, broken glass, laughing clown dolls and backwards monkeys.  Said foreign country is often only in my mind or my storage unit both of which are significantly disorganized.  When I feel like I have no north star I re-read my favorite post by TheBloggess.

EXCERPT: But what’s nice is that instead of feeling like a failure for falling backward into life, I woke up this morning feeling better…for choosing to dive in – albeit backward, eyes closed, chaotically, and possibly into broken glass or hyenas.  I think that’s called “growth”.  Or denial.  Hard to tell.

So this morning I didn’t feel better about my life, but rereading Bloggess I did/do feel less alone.  I didn’t feel better about coffee, a bagel, or the two sections of pharmacology I finished.  I didn’t feel better that after how many years in school I’ve made so many left turns I feel hardly closer to my goal even though I am closer.  Denial?  Growth? Adulthood? Taco Salad?  How’s that for a blog post of nothing and everything that will only make sense 5 years from now when my diplomas are in hand and I’m working in a clinic doing things and stuff and such..  So here I am diving in backwards -again-.

<the end of less interesting reading that a garbage disposal installation guide>

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Insights from Target or North vs. South

Mr.Monster and I are in the DC/Reston area for Labor Day weekend.  We went to see Lawless since it’s about bootleggers in Virginia and well, Mr.Monster is related to those people……best to know who you are sleeping with!  I digress, but only kind of…

There is a distinct difference between “up north” and “down south” and it’s more than just accents, the liberal use of bacon or the conservative nature of the residents.  In a very short, romantic, amazing month I’ve become accustomed to something in the south – polite and mostly friendly people.

Walk into any store, gas station, cafe, anywhere and people smile, greet you, say please and thank you etc. etc.  In the south (thus far) no one acts like a linebacker going for the bread or the apples.  There is no “get.the.fuck.out.of.my.way” race from the checkout to the front door.  

Maybe it’s having gone from Hawaii, where we live aloha, to the south, where politeness is cultural that being in DC bothers me.  It’s not a huge bother, but it’s enough to remind me that contrary to popular belief I don’t much care for cities or city folk.  After our last trip to target so that I could procure monkey socks and polka dot shoes, I looked at Mr.Monster and said “I’m ready to go back home now please….”  Mr. Monster snickered and later the same day so did my uncle Mr.CrankyPants and my dear friend TheDragon, all of whom hail from the south…..  

There are many things I thought I would do with my life and many places I thought I would live – the south I assure you was not on that list, but neither was love.  So along with having already fallen madly in love with one very handsome and kind Mr. Monster – I’m falling in love with the southern half of Virginia.  So I can add loving being in the south to 101 things I never thought I would say or do, but isn’t that exactly how life works out most of the time?

<end – nothing else to read – go buy me shoes!>

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It’s been a long summer!!!

Hello – blah blah blah – too long – excuses – etc.. etc.. Now we are done with the long preamble check out this blog post from two of the coolest ladies ever!  My Vagina Has Legitimate Concerns About Electing Republicans!  I don’t even need to write about Aikin and his asshattery – these ladies did it for me!

Back to me me me me!

I’ve been from Hawaii to California to Washington DC to Virginia and I’m still not back in Hawaii yet..  Here’s the highlights!

  • Best Birthday Ever!  (except for the whole drinking so much I couldn’t eat my own cake part – apparently that’s what you get when AuntieMame puts Coca-Liquor in the Sangria…it’s the devil….it made me bite my friend…sorry Adora…) 
  • Chemistry – 1 year of learning smushed into 8 weeks – epic fail….total, fantastic, firey death fail..but I did make aspirin and that was seriously cool..
  • International AIDS Conference – best thing to have happened to me in 10 years.
  • Falling in love and moving to Virginia?  Yeap – more details to come.
  • NEW BLOG!!  Mr.Monster and I started a new blog.  There is nothing on it for now because we were too busy eating what we made, but yeah you guessed it – it’s a blog about food!

Yay!  Now you are up to date on me me me, you can read something funny and wonderful and TRUE about butch fashion...  Ohhh how I can relate….   I once was picked up at the airport by a butch wearing the most god awful jeans I have ever encountered.  So bad kissing was impossible – I was too terrified the bad fashion would leap onto me and eat my fab sweater..  There is no where on earth or in the known or unknow universe that colored – tapered – tight in all the wrong places (not that this horrific example of jeans has right places…) jeans should ever be worn.   This was a handsome butch who I have seen in some fashionable clothing – so wtf?  This wasn’t the wrong season it was the wrong clothing all together.

<nothing more to read – go buy shoes!> 

 

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Indulgence

Elena’s blog is one of my secret indulgences although I guess it’s not so secret if I’m reflagging her blog. I read her when it feels like the sky is falling and everything I’ve worked towards is going no where. She has done so much – from so little and I have done less with much much more. What that says about be I don’t know. But either way – enjoy, she’s an inspiration. LIVE SIMPLY, TRAVEL LIGHTLY, LOVE PASSIONATELY & DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE

Live simply, travel lightly, love passionately & don't forget to breathe

It has been a 9 year journey for me.

In the Summer of 2003 I arrived in LAX as a 19 year-old girl, without a clue of what to do next.

I sat alone on the bench right outside the airport, trying to answer the question that I have not yet asked myself prior to that night…

What now? …

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Gay Pride….

This year most of the High Holy Days of Gay (ok all of them) have had to be skipped for me. My summer chemistry course and gerontology seminars don’t leave me any moments for frivolity or celebration. What I have had instead are many short intense moments for reflection.

We don’t live in a world of full equality, but we’ve come a damn long way from Stonewall and the times before and after. We have medical clinics (not enough) with specialists who have dedicated themselves to queer medicine. We have more art installations, movies, TV characters, artists and writers than ever before. We have queer scientists, police officers, fireman, and politicians. We have an army of allies; a generation of young people who refuse to believe the rhetoric of the right. We have a President who changed his mind and admitted it for the world to witness.

So as I return to building organic chemical models and putting together a veritable library of LGBT gerontology information to take back to Hawaii with me I’m grateful. 

I’m grateful The.Gay.Beach (aka Delores Park), the TransMarch and the DykeMarch celebratory festivities ie. drinking->drinking->drinking—> celebrating->celebrating->celebrating will be around when I’m done with school. (For the sake of my sanity I’m going to assume they will be.)

I’m grateful for the sacrifices of older queers who braved the way before me and unflinchingly support my academic endeavors.  Our elders, some of whom are no longer with us, have been beaten, arrested, imprisoned, killed, unemployed, hated, ostracized, and isolated for being other than acceptably binary.

I’m grateful for my generation who celebrates these high holy holidays with abandon when I can’t.

I’m grateful for the generation coming up behind me – because it just keeps getting better.

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