Friday, July 18, 2014

Entirely to Close for Comfort

TH, Youngest and his wife were all down on the Kenai dip netting for red salmon (sockeye), when this occurred.  They are really, really lucky to still be alive. 

A wave hit the boat swamping the front, and before they had a chance to do anything, yet another wave hit the boat, causing the front to become so heavy as to flip the boat.  TH was pushed from the boat by the strength of the water, becoming entangled in the fishing net and was unable to move, luckily he was tangled up in such a way that his head was above the water.  Youngest was thrown into the water, the boat coming down on him across the back and wrist.  Little Wife was trapped under the boat, breathing from an air pocket until she got her bearings and figured out how to get out.  As she was getting free of the boat Youngest saw her legs and pulled her up to the edge of the boat, which was now floating upside down.  Youngest got up on the bottom of the boat, ran the length to TH and held him up while getting his knife and cutting TH free.

Poor wee Pepper was in a life vest but was trapped under the boat and didnt make it.



Three saved, dog lost as boat capsizes in Kenai River

Posted: July 17, 2014 - 9:01pm
A boat capsized on the Kenai River sending three people and a dog overboard Wednesday night.
Nearby boats pulled all three people out of the water but the dog didn’t survive, said Kenai Police Lt. David Ross.
The incident occurred at about 9:46 p.m. when a wave went over the bow of the boat, causing it to flip over. Police did not release the names of the boaters, but all three were wearing life jackets, Ross said.
While all boats in the water may have contributed to the waves that caused the boat to flip, having so many boats close by made for a quick recovery, he said.
“It’s a lot easier to rescue people that are floating,” he said.
The Kenai rescue boat arrived shortly afterward and transported two people back to land while the other person received a ride from a fellow boater. The three people did not suffer any injuries. The capsized boat was recovered from the river, Ross said.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Goldilocks

 Golidlocks:
Denoting or referring to the most desirable or advantageous part of a range of values or conditions (typically the center).

My tale begins 35 years ago, when I visited the Woolworth's in downtown Fairbanks with my sister-in-law to buy various items when TH and I were first setting up housekeeping.   Towels, sheets, blankets, pots and pans, and a pillow for me.  I must have bought the very last chopped chicken feather pillow in existence.  I loved that pillow, it wasn't the least bit fluffy, and stayed in any shape I punched and folded it into.   It traveled with me, weighing a ton, but it was home in a pillow "dress" as my grandma called pillow slips/cases.

As the years past, the covering began to wear thin, so I sewed up a new one complete with a zipper.  I bought cheap pillows to cannibalize their feathers to add to the ever diminishing pillow.  How much if any of the original feathers were left after 15 years?  Who knows, but I kept patching and sewing and adding to my pillow, bereft at the very idea of a new pillow.

Until....................

Right before I left Arizona, I began to notice that which ever side of my face spent the most time on my pillow would be slightly swollen.   The idea that MY pillow was making me sick was slowly leaching into my thoughts.  I tossed it into its monthly trip in the dryer, and that night I woke up struggling to breathe, with my face swollen and beet red.  This is from a person who is allergic to both eggs and all forms of poultry.....I never claimed to be brilliant now did I? 

That was the day Pillow was tossed into the trash.  But whatever was I to sleep upon?  Allergic to feathers, so thats out.  Allergic to the synthetic pillows, scratch that.  Cotton?  Wool? Gah!!!!

Remembering my Japanese daughter-in-laws fruitless search for a non-fluffy pillow, I didnt hold out a great deal of hope.  And then! Light bulb!  I finally recollected what she ended up using, two large towels folded together, and put into a pillow case.  So thats what I tried.  It took a while to get it right, folding the towels first one way and another, folding them separately and then together, but finally got something I could sleep on.  It was about half the size of a "normal" pillow, but it worked.  Wasn't perfect by a long shot but at least it was something to sleep on.

And so began the big pillow hunt.  I finally found a wool one that had no flame retardants, no fake-y crud, just natural washed wool.   Made up of small tuffs of wool, it works like a down pillow, with out the down.


It didnt make me sick, a win for sure, but was way to fluffy and soft, ugh, and much to "tall" for my short neck.  I pulled out more and more of the guts, and it was a better height but wasnt right, still to soft.   One night after many fruitless tries to find the 'Goldilocks' spot pulling filling from the pillow, putting some back in, over and over and over........ and finally giving up and putting my towel "pillow" back on the bed it struck me like a bolt from the blue!  If either one isn't right, then maybe combining the two would be!?!  I pulled the dress off my pillow, carefully arranged the towels to be the same size as the pillow, and wrestled it into the pillow dress.  Which was not an easy task at all,  everything kept slipping around, grrrrrrrr. 

Ok, finally won the pillow content and dress battle! 
                   w00t!
 I laid down, with nearly zero hope that it would be something I could sleep on. 

Oh my!  This is what I've been searching for!  I found my Goldilocks pillow.  Not to tall, not to soft, and not to hard.  It was jussst right!

  And I have enough stuffing to make a smaller travel sized pillow, complete with towel.  Life is sweet in the Goldilocks zone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldilocks_principle
 



Friday, June 27, 2014

When Equality Isn't Equal



 When DADT was repealed September 20, 2011 a funny thing happened on the way to free our hard working, sacrificing members of the armed forces of the onus of having to hide their sexuality.  To arrive at a place that the generals would agree to remove DADT from the code books, someone had to be left behind, the transgender members.  The last time I heard the "code" of the military is to never leave a solider behind, but DADT repeal left some members behind enemy lines for three very long years.  Hostages to the fear and hate of transgender humans.

This isnt an isolated case, sadly.  Nearly every bill that protects the  LGB community from discrimination, started life with a guarantee of the rights of the T community as well.  However a grim thing happens on the way to the floor for a vote, the language including the trans folk is stripped. Because including the transgender community means the bill won't pass.  Rather than the groups fighting for our rights sticking it out in the trenches and get into a slugging match to insure that all of our rainbow brethren are protected from bigots and religious fools, they ditch the T under the bus to make sure the LGB folk are a protected community.

Usually the memo sent out by the groups who lobby for LGBT rights, say something along the lines that the trans community HASN'T been forgotten.  We will come back for you!  Keep the faith in us.  And oh yeah, can you send more funds?

But do they ever come back for us?  Sadly, the answer is rarely ever.  2014 is half over and while there has been some talk about allowing the trans service members to be out, no true forward movement has occurred.  So, our trans service members keep hidden, needing to make the painful choice of staying in a career they adore while hiding in plain sight, or leave to be able to live open and free. 

What a fucking terrible choice.

What I think is the true sticking point is that for many in the LGB community is they don't truly understand why the trans community is included as they believe the trans isn't a sexual minority.  What totally blows me away is the hate filled language they spew.  It isn't all that different from what the conservative "christians" use against the rest of the rainbow league.


Over on Queerty, a post about a trans man being voted as Mr. Gay Philly has raised a firestorm of hate and bigotry.  While I won't celebrate the haters, a sample of the hate runs along these lines:


orcanyc I’m sorry, really am, I’m sure he’s great, but unless he has a penis, is he really Gay, because being Gay, I thought, was a man attracted to a man. I wonder if we are getting to politically correct?

From here on the posts degrade into these....

jayj150
She is not a gay man, simply because she is not a man. She is a straight woman with a fetish. And by the way, why do t3annies get to have their own contests, but gay people are forced to share theirs with t3annies?, same as with parades, news sites and activist groups?

 and this....
masc4masc
I agree 100 percent. People have gotten so extreme with political correctness that they’ve become delusional and/or intellectually dishonest. This story is a perfect example. How can she be a gay man when she has a vagina? Homosexual means same sex.

What is up with a small but extremely vocal minority of the LGB community? 

It's this transphobia and bigotry within the GLB world that is causing the more vocal of the trans folk to see hate and sniping when there really isn't.   To snarl at RuPaul's use of the "t" word, was she wrong to use that word?  Yes, of course every minority is allowed to label words as cruel and hate speech.  But then again, to different people, the label tranny has different meanings.  To the transsexuals it is hate in word form.  To drag performers it's a "fun" word to label themselves with!   Personally, I feel that drag is one of the reasons that trans ladies aren't taken seriously.  How can they be, when a fella dresses up as a parody of a women?  Straight humans watch RuPaul's show, and if they don't personally know any trans ladies how are they supposed to know that for the transsexuals they just aren't playing dress up?  Remember when "black face" wasn't thought to be racist, but funny? 

  Refusing to believe that  Dan Savage has evolved from being unenlightened about what it means to be transgender/transsexual, to being supportive and a firm ally.  Cast your mind back 10 years, do you hold all the same beliefs as you did then?  Haven't you evolved on certain issues, I know I have.  They hold onto the hurt long after the person who caused the initial hurt no longer holds those primitive views.  Being faced on all sides with hate, bigotry and an unreasonable and a nearly insatiable curiosity about their genitals, is it really surprising they are lashing out at everyone and everything?

The time has come to ensure that bills on the way to a vote aren't stripped of the language protecting the trans community.  To tell the gay lobby groups when they call for funds and ask what is the single most important problem facing LGBT people today, answer with the lack of protections for the transgender community. 

Now that our piece of the equality pie is growing by leaps and bounds, with support for equal marriage at an all time high, for believing that gays, bisexuals and lesbians all deserve to be treated equally, its time to share that with the less legally fortunate, the trans community.   No more buying into the bathroom canard, nor the straw man argument that surgery can't change DNA, so transsexuals can't be REAL women or REAL men.  The idea that if a trans lady can't "pass" as a believable woman, she is less than real, she is a man in a dress with poorly done up makeup and a bad hairdo.  Do people point at ugly women and claim they aren't REAL women, phfft of course not! 

For gays and lesbians in America we are living in a golden age.  Is it perfect?  Fuck no, but life has never been so sweet as it is today.  Are there still hate crimes, children being thrown away for being gay, or are forced into religious institutions to change their orientation?  To my deepest grief, yes.  But times are a changing, and for the better.  Now that the main reason for squabbling among the LGBT camps is lessened, the lack of protections and freedoms, its time to pull all of us up into the same level of equality.  Fight as though your freedom depends upon it, because it does.  If your brethren isn't free, just how free are you?















Thursday, June 5, 2014

My Journey

In my beginning, I felt like toxic waste.  A guy living within a woman's body, with no way out.  I hated my fleshy self, and didn't want to live.


I lost the very essence of who I was, who I had been.  A blend of male and female had been who I was my entire life, but it wasnt until I "woke" up to what I had been submarineing for years, that I felt lost in the universe.


Running in circles, trying to decide what to do, lost between two unchangeable dead end paths.


 And so I began to drink to excess, shades of high school daze.....


In trying to drag myself back into some realm of life without falling further into the bottle, or to succumbing to  the lure of just ending it all.  My lifelines were blogging,


knitting,


reading,


and playing with my hipstamatic app.


Learning to live with the ebb and flow of the daily pull of my two dichotomy genders, one inner and one outer, hasn't been easy, and there are times when I just want it to STOP!


By refusing to transition I became an anomaly within the trans world, a transsexual who doesn't do hormones, doesn't dress my inner gender, and has no plans for surgery.  I was lost without a safe harbor.


Thrashing about for some identity is when I came across Third Gender, and life became ever so much calmer, and every day wasn't such a struggle.  I found a bridge


leading me from maelstrom to inner peace.


TH and I have found some middle ground.  It's still not perfect by any means but at least we are looking the same way unlike before. 


Before I left Arizona for Alaska this summer I took a straight friend to my LGBTQI meetup.  She was the first person I told about being male, and she was the first one I invited into my world.  It felt wonderful!

Looking back on these past few years,


one of the main things that kept me breathing, was blogging, and my wonderful friends within the blogworld. 

At this time, I feel as though I have said everything worth saying about my life and who I am, and the forging of a new path into my personal world of living a third gender life.  Like many before me, I came to Blogger a broken and bleeding soul, and found my place within the inner world of the self and the outer world of the internet. 

Words can not fully express what the blogging world has meant to me, and many many people who were there at my first tentative steps into the warm friendly waters of blogging love are no longer in blog land, but still to one and all a loud and mighty,

                                                               THANK YOU!!!



Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!









Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hidden in plain sight

I've been to Arizona Pride twice, and both times have felt oddly uncomfortable, and have been squirreling about to figure out why ever since.  The first time was with a local blogger and we kept being mistaken for a straight couple.  This time I went with a good friend of mine who is lesbian, and again the uncomfortable feelings were present.  So, it wasnt the company I was with, its something within me, keeping me from fully enjoying it.

There are times when the meetup group has a number of new people, who see a female shape, and assume I'm a lesbian.  Several of the people that I've informed that I'm a gay third gender guy ( or trans-man) very often say, "Hey, I'm not into labels!"  Which to me is a backhanded slap.  How would they feel if I disrespected their sexual orientation in the same manner?

Many people scoff at bisexual invisibility, but I totally get it as I to feel invisible quite often when in LGBTQ spaces.  Stepping outside the trans-man accepted role of how to look and act makes me even more invisible and unbelieved. 

Humans have a built in template of male and female coded into each society as to acceptable behavior and looks.  Step to far out of that box and it makes others very uncomfortable, as several recent studies have shown.  Which could explain some of the hate the extremely femme gay guys receive, they look male, but act feminine, a dichotomy that is often to much for those who are fairly inflexible in their thinking.  The violence against certain members of our LBGTQ family is incited by the herd mentality of different is dangerous.  And while LGBTQ on LGBTQ is fairly rare, we do trend to fall into groups by skin color and orientation.

There is no way for me to project a trans-man exterior.  Dressing butchy makes me look like a butchy lesbian.  Dressing as I usually do, lesbian or straight depending upon the company I'm with.  Short of wearing a shirt proclaiming who I am, I see no way of projecting my inner self. 


Why is this so important to me to be seen for who I actually am?  Not a clue, all I know it wears on me to be invisible in GLBTQ spaces.

Been thinking about returning to the transgender conference, and not being ashamed of not conforming to the accepted way trans-men are supposed to dress or act.  Wearing a third gender shirt and not trying to act any differently than usual.  For once in my life walk proud, not slinking around corners, not being ashamed of who I am and projecting an apologetic air for not fitting into gender norms.  Part of the issue with this conference is the average age of the people who attend, 40+ so they are still operating with the olde manual where the holy grail is to "pass".  Not to live for personal happiness, but to adhere to others ideals of what it means to be trans on either side of the gender divide.

 Found this article today, and from the looks of it, the younger set has a better grasp of how to live happily as trans, third gender, etc, etc, etc. 

After reading this, article I'm giving more thought to why the fuck should it matter as to who others think/believe me to be? 


Thursday, April 10, 2014

A little kitchen chemistry

I've tried nearly every vegan "cheese" available, and they are all horrible.  I did find a shredded rice cheeze that tasted really good!  Yum!  And then the grinding unhappiness from the internal combustion chamber, turns out, it had milk casein in it.  Why anyone would go to the effort to make nearly vegan cheeze but yet add a milk product to it totally escapes me.  There is one that is super tasty and totally safe and in some miraculous fashion tastes nearly the same as Parmesan even though its made with cashews, yeah I dont understand that either, screwy yeah?

Now my desire for edible pizza has been growing the longer I've been marooned on the gluten free, milk free, etc diet.  Most of the gluten free crusts, are just sad.  For the most part they are hard and tasteless.  If a restaurant offers vegan cheeze its always Daiya brand, and while it is the best thats out there I have several issues with it.  One, it has a weird nasty after flavor.  And two I have this issue with eating food with little to no nutrient content, only calories, and somehow this cheeze has little to offer in food value.

While wandering around Amazon a while ago, I came across several books on making vegan cheeze, and bought the one that had the best ratings and hoped for the best.  The first recipe out of the book was a total snooze fest, cheeze sauce.  While I hate to toot my own horn, the one I invented was light years better than the one in the book.  However, I decided to press on and try a cheeze from the book, and the simplest one was mozzarella.  I gathered up the required ingredients, one of which had to be ordered, kappa carrageenan.  "A natural hydrocolloid, carrageenan is a natural extract from specific red seaweed species that are farmed and processed. It is used as a suspending and emulsifying stablizer, thickener, binder and gelling agent."   And was ready to give this a whirl.

It was a bit tiring stirring for nearly 30 minutes of a mixture that became ever more dense and harder to stir, but at long last, it was done.  The cheeze needs to sit in the fridge around 24 hours after making before tasting, the wait was killer long!

Finally!  It was cheeze tasting time. 

                                        HOLY MOTHER OF CHEESE!  

Its mega delicious!  


I tried it out on a friend and after her first tenetive taste, asked for more!  This cheeze is OMG good. Whipping out a gluten free french bread recipe, I conjured up a batch of dough to make pizza.    This would also be my first adventure in GF pizza dough.  It was hard to not keeping cracking open the oven door, I just had to know how things were progressing.  Was the dough looking pizza-ish?  How about the cheeze, was it melting?  Finally after about 9 million hours it was done! 

                                      PIZZA!


Chewy dough, melty globby cheeze, this my friends was a pizza to enjoy.  So much so that two days later I made another one!
I finally hit the pizza wall, and froze the last 4 pieces. 

Last night I melted some of the cheeze into milk with a little vegan butter and some nutritional yeast (to give it a stronger cheese flavor) and made, mac and cheeze!  Yummy!  Soft and gooey, perfect mac and cheese, so good I reheated it and had it for breakfast. 

Next up, I'm going to give the cheddar cheeze recipe a whirl.....  Nachos here I come!




Thursday, April 3, 2014

That didn't go as expected...

I came out a guy at work today.  Younger, ever so not religious and his response? 

"Well, what ever floats your boat."

Needless to say I feel hurt and sorta kinda violated, and now don't know how to deal with him.