I can easily say that so far, this new year / decade has not started well.  Hopefully it's not like the whole "woke up on the wrong side of the bed" scenario.  It started with me getting sick with a head cold right on New Years Day.  How wonderful...

I hate being sick.  It doesn't happen often, but for some reason I've been sick twice in the past 6 months.  This one was worse than the last.   It didn't seem that way at first, but after five days of blowing my nose raw it was pretty obvious.  Then suddenly I stopped getting better, and the awesomeness coming out of my nose turned neon yellow.  So on Saturday, I went to Urgent Care to get my sinus infection diagnosed.

While I was there, the doctor informed me that my left ear had wax buildup.  That's the same ear that had blockage problems last year.  So, on Sunday, I decided to try the ear wax removal drops I have and see what happens.  I figured I could take care of it.  Instead, the drops got stuck in my ear.  I couldn't get them out.  I tried just about everything from a q-tip to jumping up and down to a blow drier to sleeping on my ear to let it drain out.  Nothing worked.  So all night and all day I had a blocked left ear that was kind of annoying.

So that meant today I got to go back to the doctor.  How fun!  This time they flushed my ear and got the offending wax out.  Finally the water drained!  My god what a relief.  I was then informed that I had an ear infection to go along with my sinus infection.  That's wonderful.  I don't know if I've ever had an ear infection before.

What I found doc told me that most people complain of a big ear ache along with an ear infection like mine.  I didn't really notice.  It was a little uncomfortable and the whole being deaf in one ear was annoying.  Otherwise, I guess I never noticed.  Makes me wonder how high my pain tolerance is.  I know I don't get headaches often and I only keep tylenol in my cabinet because someone might need it at some point.  I must be weird...

So yeah, things are getting better.   I should be finally breathing easy again by the end of this week.  I'm sick of blowing my nose, and I'm sure my roommates and coworkers are sick of hearing it.  I'm excited was the first time in a while that I've felt truly hungry.  So I made myself a big dinner, and it was fantastic!

Let's see...let's go backward.  New Years Eve was fun.  Chris and I went to our friend's Sarah and Kit's house.  It was a great time.  We played Pit and enjoyed everyone's company.  There was good food and a lot of laughs.

Christmas isn't what it once was for my family.  We didn't do the gifts thing this year.  No one could really afford it.  So it was really just food and family.  Don't get me wrong, that's great.  It's just doesn't feel like it did when I was a kid.  Plus, we do everything on Christmas Eve now since my siblings have families.  I'm really the only one staying over at my parents' house now.  I miss that feeling of wonder and excitement of childhood Christmases.  All things change I guess.

I did end up spending money on myself though.  I bought an electric blanket.  My parents had one on my bed when I was at home, and I just loved it.  I haven't regretted buying it at all so far.  In fact, I'm sitting under it right now.

My family went to see Avatar, which...awesome! If you haven't, go see it, and go see it in digital 3D.  I have already gone to see it twice.  I may see it a third time before it leaves theaters.  Such a cool film.

I can't forget to mention this.  Right after Christmas, a great friend of both mine and Chris came to visit all the way from San Francisco, California.  Her name is Lisa.  She went to college with both Chris and I, and she's the coolest hippie I know.  We spent the Monday night after Christmas hanging out, catching up, sharing good food, and loving every minute of it.  She is a friend I hope I stay in contact with for the rest of my life.  We have such a great connection.

Lisa, Chris, and I are such kindred spirits.  There are so few people that I can talk so deeply with about things that are so personal and sacred.  I trust them with anything.  Lisa, Chris, and I talked about something that I've felt for a long time.  It's this to go home.  By home, I mean back to where our souls come from.  This world is so mundane, so harsh, so hurtful...yet we're here...trapped in these fleshy shells with such limited perceptions of time and space.  I know a big part of me yearns to be released from my entrapment, but I know I still have things I have yet to do here.  I may not know what those things are, but...I just know.  Both Chris and Lisa share that feeling, and it's nice to know that I'm not alone in feeling what I feel.  I think that is a wonderful thing to share.  I am so grateful to know both of them.

Let's see...since I haven't written since Thanksgiving really, none of my readers know of the crap I had to deal with in December.  The big one was that my car's fuel pump finally died.  All of my plans for a new laptop went out the window.  I had to put my moneys toward a shiny new pump to make my car run again.  $700 dollars later and I got just that.  My car has been running beautifully ever since.

Out of that fiasco and disappointment, I did some thinking and really decided that I really did need a new laptop.  I finally decided to sell my iMac.  I figured it was the only way to get the laptop that I really needed.  So I went about doing that and success!  I was able to sell it.  I realized also that I had some software licenses on it that were also worth money that I could sell separately.  I ended up coming out quite well in the deal.  I got myself a shiny new fiery red Sony Vaio laptop with some nice fixins on the inside.  It's been serving me well for a couple weeks new, and I am quite happy with it.  That was really my Christmas gift to myself.

So, that means...I can actually do some of the things I've been holding off on.  Unfortunately due to my getting sick for so long, I've had no energy to do any of it over the duration of my time with this laptop.  So, as this week progresses, I'm guessing more will get done.  I'm feeling my energy come back with each day.  I've been doing theming research for drupal.  So genderverse should be set within a week.   Mark my words!

I have another major post I plan on writing in the next couple days too.  I have had something on my mind that I feel I really need to share.  So stay tuned for that.  In the meantime...I'm sore from my terrible night's sleep last night.  I'm still recovering from my infections, and I'm tired.  So...yes I know it's only 10:30pm, but I'm going to bed.  Sweet dreams all!

Question of the blog: Do you ever feel like I feel about this world and experience?

Let's take a quick look back at the previous year's resolutions first:

  1. To be in a stable and secure financial situation by year end 2009
  2. Write my book
  3. Get,, and all designed and updated
  4. Get at least 6 paying speaking gigs
  5. Find a new, fulfilling, and prosperous career path
  6. Get my treatment written for my documentary
  7. Apply for several women in business grants for camera equipment and software
  8. Be a more active person in both my professional and personal life
  9. Read more
  10. Be Happy

Going down the's what happened:

Number 1 was a success.  I am in an infinitely better situation at the beginning of 2010 than I was at 2009.  I've been on a debt consolidation program for a year, paid off about 7 grand in debt, and haven't accrued a penny more in debt since then.

Number 2...that was a big old fail.  My book has an outline, but that's about it right now.  I did discuss it with my good friend and college professor when I moved back in.  So maybe a minute amount of progress was made.

3...translife was mostly abandoned in favor of genderverse, which is poised to launch any day. has a wonderful design, and transcending productions is designed and live too despite the fact that I'm not really interested in running the business anymore.  I'll call 3 mostly a success.

4...I got a few speaking gigs.  Only one of them was paying.  So I guess we'll call this progress, but the goal was not achieved.

5.  Complete success.  I not only have a job that is fulfilling and enjoyable, I have many doors open if for some strange reason I decided to leave.  I do not foresee that in the near future, but it's nice to know the options are there.

6. Fail...or is it?  Really I think this is more of a change of heart.  I decided that the documentary at least in the form it was in was not a good idea.  Maybe I'll revisit this concept at some point, but for now, I've decided to move on from this idea.

7. As mentioned in number 3, I'm not really interested in running a business anymore.  It's not a good economy to be trying to start something when you've got nothing going for you financially.  Plus, business isn't for me.  I have no intention of maintaining an LLC anymore after this tax year.  So...this one is outdated.

8. I'm now on the board of the community center in town. I attend meetings for the ruby group.  I go to code camps.  I've gotten out to parties with friends.  I've made special trips to hang out with friends out of town.  I've invited out of town friends to visit.  I'd say I've succeeded in this one.

9. FAIL.  I have learned that without the right book, I'm not interested in reading.  I read to escape, and I just haven't found a book with a story that has drawn me in yet.

10. I am happy.  I'd say there's no comparison to a year ago.  I had a terrible 2008, and 2009 was so much better.  My living situation, my financial situation, my personal life...all wonderful.  The only thing is that I don't date much.  Other than that, things are wonderful right now.

It's interesting to see how things have changed since last year.  I'm liking the ability to look back and compare how my wants and dreams have changed since then.  I'm going to make this a yearly habit to write about my resolutions.  So with that, here goes:

2010 New Years Resolutions

  1. Blog more than twice a month on my personal blog.  My posts have gotten way too long and I need to break them up.
  2. Save more.  I don't put much money into savings, and when I do, I need to make sure I don't touch it.  That is a big goal for this year
  3. Pay off all non-federal and non-debt consolidation debt.  That includes furniture and my non-government loan.  Less monthly bills = a happy Jess
  4. Take a vacation somewhere that's not a staycation.  I haven't gone anywhere on a trip for years.  I need to get away.
  5. Get into better shape.  I sit all day at work and sit when I get home.  I need to take up a sport or something that'll get me into shape regularly.
  6. Go on more dates - let's face it...I'm not very active in the love arena.  I never have been.  It's time I do something about that.
  7. Dedicate time weekly to doing research / writing for I want to give back to my community more.  I've been lazy, and it's time I get back to the real reason I'm on this planet.
  8. Learn how to do something with my hair. I suck at doing hair.  I can dry my  hair, brush it, put it up, and that's it.  I want to learn more than that.
  9. Continue working on  my faults. I know this one isn't exactly measurable, but it's definitely a good thing for me.  I've come a long way in the last year, and I want to continue with that personal growth.
  10. Explore my own spirituality. I haven't touched my spiritual side in a long time.  I feel a longing to be connected again, and I really should spend time with it.  This is another not as measurable one, but I think it's also an important one.

That should do it for my resolutions.  I guess we'll have to wait a year to see how these pan out.

Happy New Year to all of my readers!  Here's to a great 2010!

Marking Time

Normally I post about every two weeks.  I held off on posting this time because I wanted to mark time.  Today was Thanksgiving.  A year ago today I was given a rude awakening by someone I loved.  I also had my heart torn from me to which I'm still healing from.  It was important to me to specifically remember this day...this night.

A year ago, Jenn, my ex girlfriend, abruptly broke up with me after what I thought was a beautiful relationship.  She was honest and forthright when she broke it off, and for that I'm thankful.  It didn't change the hurt, but it was the decent way to do it.  I've been thinking a lot about that night for the past year.  It truly changed me.  Suddenly I saw flaws in myself that I found myself shocked that I never saw before.  For that reason, I felt ashamed of myself.  Yes, I know we all have flaws.  It's just...finding out that you have an ego problem and talk down to people when you hate it when other people do's like a bad dream.  I only hope that I've at least somewhat gotten past that ego.  I don't want it, and I never want to be that person.

I'm glad Jenn broke up with me for that reason alone.  Now...that aside, I had something happen to me recently that made me think.  Chris and I have been watching How I Met Your Mother lately.  We watched the episode "Slap Bet", and in it, Neil Patrick Harris' character talks about what he calls an "O moment".  By that he means that when you're dating someone, and they do something that makes you go "Ohhhhh...." and think "yeah, this isn't going to work."  For Jenn, realizing my ego existed was her O moment.  She told me so and even referenced the episode of HIMYM during the breakup.  I hadn't seen the episode at the time.  I found it interesting that I saw the episode about a year after she decided to break if off.

I have a problem with this concept of "O moments".  Sure we have issues with the people we date, but there should never really be just one thing that does it in, unless it's something serious, like murder, rape, etc.   She couldn't a. get passed my ego at the time, b.  ever mention it to me and c. work with me on my own quest to change.  Instead she wanted to just dump me.  To me that says that she wasn't worth my time.  If she couldn't accept me at my worst, then she didn't deserve me at my best.

One year later, I can definitely say I'm over her.  I'm happy that she broke up with me now.  I think it was good for me to learn my faults.  I also think in the long run, I probably wouldn't have been happy with her.  So it's all for the best.  I really don't know when I will date again.  While I may be over Jenn, I still have a lot to work on as far as my own issues go.  I'm sure that will be a life long journey.  I'm in no rush, and being in a smaller city, I don't have as many opportunities to date.  Who knows, but I'm sure I'll write about it when it happens.

Day of Rememberance

Yup, lot of remembering in this post.  Last week Friday was the Transgender Day of Remembrance.  I spent the day lecturing at Menomonie High School and UW Stout, both in Menomonie, WI.

At 10:00 am, I was in the auditorium at the High School, and wow...I have never had attendance like that before.  There were 250 some students.  Hands down, that was the smoothest presentation I have given in a long time.  The group was really engaged and asked a lot of questions.  I thought I was going to be intimidated by such a large group, but it wasn't an issue.  I actually got asked so many questions that I forgot to talk about the film "Transamerica", which was requested by one of the teachers.  I felt a bit bad about that.  Considering the school has recently had some incidents with bad treatment of LGBT identified students, it sure seems like they are headed in the right direction.  I had about 20 students come up to talk to me right after wards to say thanks and such.  One of them gave me a pride bracelet that they had made for me.  I was not expecting that.  Thank you to the girl that gave me that.  It fits nicely.

UW Stout was also a good time, though the turn out was low.  I can't say that I'm surprised considering it was a Friday afternoon.  A lot of college students are quick to head for home on Fridays.  Still, for the people that were there, it went very well.  I know some of the things I said really impacted some of the people there.  They came up and told me so afterwards.  I was even asked for my autograph!  That's never happened before.

That night I also was hosting drop in night at the LGBT Community Center.  We had good conversation.  It was a long day, and I was exhausted by the end of it.  I want to say though, it was an honor to be able to represent the Transgender community on such an important day.  Every year we lose so many to hate and fear.  I only hope that my efforts, and the efforts of all the other trans advocates out there, we can fight that fear and hatred through education and awareness.

Car problems

I had a bit of a scare with my car during the past few weeks.  About two weeks ago, I was leaving work, and suddenly my car wouldn't start.  I almost drained the battery trying to get it to turn over.  It was odd...and out of the blue.  I had to call Chris to come pick me up.  My car sat in the parking lot for the weekend until I could have it towed.

The mechanic wasn't sure what it was at first because, surprise, he could start it just fine.  They thought maybe the fuel pump was going.  Upon looking, the fuel filter needed to be changed badly.  So, I got that done, and now it seems to be running fine.  I had one more incident when it wouldn't start, but since then, no problems.  That's good because I don't have the 650 bucks it would cost to fix.


I know I may have said at one point that I likely wouldn't go back to fencing, but it looks like I may.  Chris, Josh, and I watched a film called "Reclaiming the Blade", which talks about the history of swords and their use in fighting.  Specifically it talks about groups today re-learning the historical ways of fighting with them using old manuscripts.  It was fascinating.

Josh didn't know that there was a fencing group in the Chippewa Valley.  He had no idea that I had learned fencing of sorts in college and had attended a similar group in Milwaukee.  He was so excited because he's always wanted to learn how to fence.  So, we, as a group, decided that we're going to start going to the fencing group together starting in January.  It'll be great to have people to train with and learn with at the same level.  I'm sure there will be many a photo taken, which I will post here.

New Website

Gendeverse is coming along.  It looks like I'm going to go with Drupal, mainly due to its flexibility.  I don't know what the site will grow into and Wordpress may be too limiting.  I have a logo design done, and I'm working on a site design.  I like the color scheme, and I think it's going to be quite classy.  My goal is to launch by the new year.

As mentioned in the last post, I talked about a friend that would make a great asset to Genderverse.  If you are following Genderverse on twitter, I put him in charge of that account, and he's been doing some amazing things.  He is none other than Adam Chernow, and he is teh awesome.  Thanks Adam for being teh awesome.  There couldn't be a better person to manage the twitter feed for us.


I wish I could use that title to say something like "Yeah, Hollywood called me to talk about movie rights to my life", but I'm not that amazing.  I wish I was, but I'm not.  Anyway, what I can say is that I have a friend that has followed my blog for years.  She happens to work out in Hollywood as a producer and editor.  She has offered to help me get my career started out there if ever I want it.

How cool is that?!!  I can easily say that it has been my dream to work out there doing films / TV etc.  I remember my mother saying so many times that I put too much of myself out there with this blog, but it has never been a negative thing for me.  It's only opened doors.  This is one of those that I never would have expected, and it's totally amazing.

That said, I'm not in any hurry to run out to California.  While it's a dream, I'm not ready for it yet.  I'm actually in quite a good and comfortable place right now.  I like my job.  I like my living situation.  I like how things are shaping up with my speaking career and advocacy work.  I have plenty of time.  I'm going to ensure that my skills are in shape, and maybe in five years, I'll move out there.  It's nice to know I have a plan, and who knows...plans change.  We'll see what the universe has in store for me.

Giving Thanks

Before I say good night, I want to just say a few things I'm thankful for.  I'm thankful for my family, my friends, my fans, good food, bad jokes, people who laugh at bad jokes, my job, my fellow advocates in the trans community, the interwebs,, my car still running, having a warm bed to sleep in, life, and love.  There are so many more things I could say, but I'll leave it at that.  Thanks for reading everyone.

Question of the Blog

What have you experienced in your life that you needed a long time to reflect upon before moving forward?

I start this post with some bad news.  Today I hit a squirrel while driving to work.  I know some people think they're rodents and don't matter, but I still was sad about it.  I tried to dodge, but as Yoda would say...there is no try.  I heard the "thump" and knew.  I saw the damage in my rear view mirror.  I had squashed a life.  Poor little fuzzy...I'm sorry.

Now that the sad part is out of the way, I have had a busy few weeks.  I'll start as far back as I can.  A Geeky Lady shindig was three weeks ago.  It was a great time.  I got to see @tapps, @jennaddenda, and @ashedryden; three of my geekiest lady friends.  We spent the evening behind the glow of laptop screens.  It was really great to catch up with them.  I need to visit more often.

While I was home, I also got to meet Fezzik, my little sister's new boxer puppy.  He's a ball of energy and a lot of fun.  I had fun playing with him while catching up with my sister.  Things seem to be going well for her and her husband.  I envy them in a lot of ways.  Anyway, I asked Fezzik if there were many rocks ahead.  He just kind of looked at me funny.  I certainly hope my sister trains him to respond to that line.  Haha.

I also got to see Elden again.  He's getting bigger!  No surprise.  He's a baby.  They grow fast.  I got some cute photos of him and my niece, Kalina.  In fact, that Sunday, we had an unplanned family gathering for dinner.  It's rare we all get together for a meal, and I'm glad I was there for that.

That following Tuesday was my forum at UW Eau Claire.  It went exceedingly well.  The room was moved because we needed a more open venue.  We had a full house, standing room only!  I was blown away.  Even though I've been speaking for years on gender issues, I still never feel prepared enough.  That feeling is only increased because I do it so infrequently these days.  Still, about half way into this presentation, I felt my rust shaking off.  Suddenly that groove came back, and I felt confident and comfortable.

I am excited about that.  I just know that my next few presentations are going to be even more stellar.  I've got two events coming up on November 20th, the Transgender Day of Remembrance.  I'm going to be very prepared for them and I'm sure they are going to be amazing experiences.  I'm really looking forward to it.  If you're going to be in the area of UW Stout, stop on by at 2:30 in the afternoon.

I've been very motivated lately and have had some great ideas for Genderverse.  Despite my comfort returning in my speeches, I want to stay on top of the latest information.  So I've decided to pledge a day a week next year to research and writing time.  I'm going to read an article, book, or something related to gender a week, and I will comment on it through Genderverse.  I think that's a great idea to learn and to help others learn through it.

My idea for Genderverse is to turn it into almost an online magazine with regular columns and articles.  I want it to be the place to go to for gender related news and commentary.  I've already got one person that's interested in writing.  I've got another person I want to ask.  He tweets a lot of articles and cares a lot about the trans community.  I think he'd be a great person to write and give a straight ally / male perspective.   Now I just need a design for the site.  If you have any thoughts, share them in the comments.

So that's my excitement of late.  I also have to share a bit of sad news.  I visited the other day.  GenderPAC was an organization I worked with when I was in college.  It was run by Riki Wilchins, who has been an inspiration and teacher to me through these years.  GenderPAC was great in that they worked towards ending gender discrimination, had a big focus on youth, and were really the first of their kind when it came to their approach to gender.  Upon visiting the site, I discovered they no longer exist.  There's a letter explaining their history and why they decided to close their doors.  They ended on a proud note.  I hope I can use their inspiration as a launching point for Genderverse.  Thank you, Riki, and the folks of GenderPAC, for all that you have done and that you continue to do even though the organization is no longer.

Two weeks ago was Twin Cities Code Camp.  What is a Code Camp you ask?  Well, it's a free conference about programming for programmers by programmers.  This was my first one, and I had a good time.  I finally got to start playing with Ruby on Rails, which is really cool.  I also got to meet some awesome people and came home with a free license to Office 2007 (which still hasn't arrived yet).

One of the issues that came up at the camp was the lack of women in the field.  I was one of maybe 15 women there.  In fact, in one of the breakout sessions, one of the women was openly hit on by a guy...during the presentation.  There are many reasons that women aren't attracted to the field, and the ever present misogyny is one of them.  I think a lot of it also has to do with the geek taboo.  I think in a lot of ways there's a bit of a cycle that keeps women out.  The social expectation for developers is that you are a nerdy, socially awkward guy.  Because of that expectation,  a lot of people, including women, avoid the field.  There's also a bit of the "good ol' boys" attitude there.  Misogyny has been present in video games for a long time for the same reasons.  I also think a lot of people are pushed out of the field because of the way that programming is taught.  I almost didn't even have a CS minor because of that very reason, and yet, here I am a developer now.  I'm mostly self taught and from what I'm told, I'm pretty good at it.  Yet, I dropped out of the computer engineering program in my first year.  Something's wrong there.

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts about the scenario.  I think I will dedicate an entry on genderverse to that topic.  To sum up, I had fun at the code camp and had a lot of energizing conversations about computer science.  Yes, again, I know I am a nerd.  Stop sending me emails telling me that.  I know already.  Thanks.

Halloween was fun.  Chris and I handed out candy to the kids.  We didn't get as many as we thought we would, but it was still a good time.  That evening, we dressed up and went to Scooters, the gay bar in town, and had a good time.  Chris put the most effort into his costume.  He sewed together two suits, did up some crazy face makeup, and went as two-face.  He got a lot of compliments.  I went with an old standard.  I was "Generic Sith Lord #2", which is the same outfit I wore at my brother in-law's 30th birthday party a year or two ago.  We had fun.

Money has been tight tight tight lately.  I had a difficult October, and I blame the fact that my student loans came due.  I may have to put them off another six months until I get some of my other debt paid off.  It shocks me that even though I'm making better money than I was in Milwaukee, and my costs of living are lower, I'm still only scraping by.  I guess I can't complain though.  I have a job and I have food.  I guess it's a good thing I'm not dating.  I couldn't afford it if I was.  I do certainly hope that there will be a time soon that I don't feel poor.

Question of the blog:  What are your suggestions for Genderverse?  What was the best costume you saw this Halloween?

I went from a boring two week spell to a really friggin exciting two week spell!  That means I have interesting stuff to talk about.  How exciting is that?!  (suddenly erupts a smattering of golf claps)  Yes, yes, I'm sure you were all depressed after my last post and were hoping for a bounce back.  And you got it!

So, where to begin... On October 3rd, I went to a party.  I really wasn't sure how it was going to go.  I had a feeling I wouldn't know many of the people there. The party was for a friend of mine, Brian Hogan (@bphogan / @ecruby).  He apparently has a party every year like this for his birthday.  Sure enough, when I got there, he was really the only person I knew.  I felt really awkward and uncomfortable.  After about an hour, suddenly that all changed.  I was playing with my phone (like I usually do 'cause I'm an addict), and I hear this "Hey stranger, fancy seeing you here."  I turn and it's an old friend of mine, Jon, that I worked with at the help desk back at UWEC when I was a student.  I hadn't seen him in almost four years.  At that point, the party became awesometastic.  Jon and I caught up for a while.  He even told me that I was his favorite person at the help desk (likewise, Jon).  We always had good times.

After that I came out of my shell and had a lot of fun.  I played Rock Band, chatted it up with people I didn't know, and ended up staying until 3:00 in the morning.  I didn't get to bed until about 4:00 am.  Not bad at all considering I wasn't sure what to expect.  As it turns out (and I shouldn't be surprised), I mix in well with Brian's friends.  In fact, there was an interesting dichotomy going on.  There were the geeky programmers, and there were the people the geeky programmers brought with.  I mix well with both.  I spent about half the time chatting with the geeks and the other half chatting with the non-geeks.  I think it was a perfect blend.  I've been added to the official invite list for the coming holiday party too.  I look forward to it.

I did some shopping that weekend and finally found a copy of Dragonball season 1.  It was recently released on DVD as a digital remaster and uncut version.  I was a big fan of Dragonball Z maybe 9 years ago.  I never saw Dragonball, and after seeing the live action movie, even though it wasn't great, I just had a sense of nostalgia.  Combine that with Josh, my sort of second roommate, also being into the show, I decided to get DB on DVD when it was released.  Josh and I have been watching it together ever since.  Wow...I never knew Dragonball was such a sexual / potty humor show.  Goku has never met or seen a girl when the series begins.  There's a whole bunch of scenes where Goku is patting people on the crotch going "You're a girl too!" or "Yup, you're a boy!".  I thought that was incredibly interesting.  The show is progressing very slowly, but that's no surprise considering the series runs some 150 episodes long, and that's just Dragonball...then comes Dragonball Z which is 250 some more episodes.  It's been fun to bond with Josh with the show.  I'll post more thoughts as the show progresses.

As I mentioned in the last post, Chris's 30th was coming up, and I made sure to buy awesome gifts.  I went online to and looked through the Harry Potter selection.  I got him the Monster book of Monsters plush, "I solemnly swear I'm up to no good / Mischief Managed" transforming coffee mug, and the Dumbledore's Army messenger bag.  Admittedly I spent too much because after that, I went out and bought party favors.  I probably dropped 125 dollars on his birthday, but I wanted it to be a good one.  It was, but I did put myself at a bit of a financial risk in doing so. Whatever, it was worth it.  For Chris' birthday, we went to Manny's Mexican seafood restaurant, which is Chris' favorite.  It's pricey at about $18 a plate average.  Still, it's very good food.

I actually didn't get to enjoy the food because for some reason service was a little slow that night.  Also that night were the board elections at the LGBT community center of the Chippewa Valley.  Since I was running, I had to be there in order to get elected.  I didn't want to lose out on an opportunity to make a difference in the community, and Chris knew how important it was to me.  So he was ok with me disappearing for an hour or so to go to elections.  Unfortunately, despite our 6:00 pm reservations at the restaurant, the food wasn't placed in front of us until 7:25.  I needed to leave around 7:30.  I ended up scarfing down a few bites, having it boxed up, paying and leaving.  I got to enjoy the company of Chris and friends, but not the food.  Oh well.

I got to elections, and started chatting with some people before the annual meeting started.  The program started, and the three of us that were running were given two minutes to give a presentation about who we were and what we wanted to do.  We all gave our 2 minutes and then came voting time.  It went pretty quickly.  At the end, announcements were made that I was one of the two elected to the board!  Hooray!  We then had a quick meeting of the board members to discuss some logistics, like when we'd have board meetings and who wants to be what on the board.  I ended up getting nominated and elected the Vice President.  That was unexpected to be sure!  I'm pretty thrilled though.  It feels good to be involved again.  Plus, it's good experience for when I get my non-profit up and running too.

Back to the party, we had a great time.  We played a bunch of games, like Pit, the game of Pride, and an inflatable Penis battle game called "Cock Fight".  Chris loved the gifts, and in fact, he's said several times since the party that it was the best Birthday he's ever had.  The group of us were up playing games and chatting until past 2:00 am, which is quite late for Chris.  What was shocking is that it felt like it was maybe 10:30 pm when we saw what time it actually was.  Once we noticed that, it was like we were all collectively hit by bricks.  Everyone was just exhausted.  What a great night though!

Sunday, we followed up our great party with a great Pumpkin carving night.  We had four pumpkins to carve, and they turned out fantastic.  I'll post a bunch of pictures of the events along with this post so you can see them.  We ended up with six cups of pumpkin seeds to roast.  I took care of that and made some wonderful seeds that all of us are trying to moderate our intake of lest we gorge ourselves with them.  I used sea salts, butter, olive oil, and a spice called "Butt Rub", which I got at a place called "Elegant Farmer" in Mukwonago, Wisconsin.  It was a great mix.  I highly suggest it.

Monday was another rush of a day.  Monday evening was my first trip back to Womens studies 301 with Professor Audrey Fessler, who is a very good friend of mine.  When I was in college, I used to lecture her Monday night class every semester.  Since I moved home, that opportunity all but disappeared.  Now that I'm back in town, she asked me to return, and I was excited to do so.  It was a 2 hour lecture to about 30 students.  It was a great group! They were a little timid with questions, and sometimes that happens.  I did a few things I don't normally do with my presentations, like group activities.  I could definitely tell I was a little rusty, but overall it was a success.  I still have students' questions to respond to via email.  I really want to make sure I address them all.

To add to all of those goings on, I also got hit with freelance work last week.  So the stress has been on me.  I still have one video to complete, which should happen tomorrow night.  I'm looking forward to next Tuesday evening, when all the stress is gone.  Speaking of Tuesday, I have another UWEC appearance coming up next week.  As mentioned a few posts back, I'll be giving a forum on Tuesday, October 20th at 7:00 in the Arrowhead room of the Davies Center.  If you're going to be in the area, stop on in and have a listen.  It should be fun.

This weekend will be a nice oasis in the middle of the sea of stress I've had lately.  A bunch of my lady friends from Milwaukee were a little disappointed that I couldn't make it to Barcamp Milwaukee back on the first weekend in October.  So I suggested that I come down and visit sometime soon.  We could throw a little shindig.  So we are.  This weekend is geeky lady shindig.  I'll be heading out Friday for some exciting geek fun with the girls.  So I guess you can look forward to my next post talking about that excitement.

So, question of the blog:  Are you a fall person?  What's your favorite thing about fall?

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