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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 gpac.org 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 wbshop.com 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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It's hard to believe, today marks the 7th year of my blog.  On October 1st, 2002, I started my blog, then called my diary, on TransLife.net, which is now a mostly unused site that is in desperate need of a rebuild.  Things certainly have changed in all that time.  It's hard to believe I began my transition so long ago now.  At 28, I've almost lived a third of my life as a woman.

Lately Chris and I have been watching How I Met Your Mother (which is an awesome show by the way), and it has such a strong sense of nostalgia.  Today I feel that nostalgia.  I've put a lot of energy into telling my story over the years.  It's had its ups and downs.  It's gotten me in trouble.  It's gotten me notoriety.  I know it's had an impact on people, because I hear from those people on an almost daily basis.  That makes me feel good.  It by far outweighs any negatives...hands down.

I started this blog with the intention of sharing my story with the world. I wanted to be an example to other trans folk that are too scared of what might happen to them if they came out.  I wanted to help educate the world on trans issues.  Most of all, I wanted to show the world that people who are trans aren't freaks.  We're every day people with every day lives that are just like everyone else's.  I think I can say I accomplished a lot towards those goals.

Over the past seven years, this blog has become more than that collection of goals for me.  This blog truly helps me understand myself better.  It helps me in a very cathartic way too.  I feel like once I've written about an issue I have in my personal life, I can almost let that issue go finally.  It helps me get things off my chest.  I truly feel like I've become a better person because I've written this blog.

It's a great feeling knowing that I've been able to do all of the aforementioned stuff just from a silly thing like a weblog.  OK...I think I'm done with both reflecting on things and patting myself on the back. On to new stuff...

Not much happened since the post on the 15th.  I caught a cold.  That's been fun.  I'm still recovering.  Let me tell you...I am quite sick of mucus.  I've gone through at least three boxes of kleenex.  All things considered, though, it hasn't been a terrible cold.  It was mainly a head cold.  Lots of congestion, though my ears never did that whole "one ear has different pressure than the other" thing.  Thank god...I hate that.  I've just had a raw, runny, drippy nose.

Oh...some progress on this site!  I finished my bio. You should go check it out.  It has fancy lightboxes for the photo displays.  I think I'll tackle the speaker page next.  I've been thinking about speaker fees.  I want to get that online pretty soon.  After that, I'll tackle the photo gallery / media section.  I'm trying to figure out how to use Ruby to build an xml feed for my photo gallery.  That may take a bit yet.

I'm excited about a shindig that's planned with some of my Milwaukee friends.  We're having a geeky lady shindig in a few weeks.  It's going to be fun, exciting, and nerdy all at the same time.  I'm sure I'll write about it in an upcoming post.

Chris' 30th birthday is just over a week away.  About a year ago, I decided I wanted to throw him a surprise party.  That kinda got spoiled when he decided he wanted a superhero costume party instead.  Well and now that's probably not happening either.  Instead we're going out to eat.  Amazing how things change.  I'm looking forward to it.

There is a small hang up though.  That same evening is the LGBT Community Center's annual meeting, which I have to be present at to get elected to the board.  I've officially filled out the paperwork and so forth to run for the board.  I talked to the president about the situation, and apparently I definitely have to be physically present at the meeting at least for a portion of it.  So, I've worked it out with Chris so that I can disappear for an hour to get elected.  I think it'll work out just fine.

Money's been a bit tight this past week.  I have my phone to blame for that.  The bill for the fancy Android powered phone finally came due this month.  I had stored away money for it, but even so, it made things a bit challenging.  I made it through ok though.  That's really the last big out of budget expense I have. So it should be smooth sailing from here.  That's a good feeling.  Speaking of good feelings, I also should be getting my health insurance cards any day now.

That's pretty much it for me.  This is the calm before the storm.  This month is going to be stressful.  I have two speaking gigs, elections, post-elections, party, halloween, best friend birthday, and of course...work.  I hope I have some down time in the coming weeks too.  I guess its good that I'm sick now instead of later.

Wow...a post shorter than 1000 words.  I can't remember when the last post was this short.  Oh, before I forget...Question of the blog:  Chris an I are of the mindset that turning 30 will be great and that our 30s will be our best years.  Are you looking forward to your 30s? / Were your 30s awesometastic or craptacular?

Tune in next time for more excitement!

I've had a Batman infusion the past few weeks.  Batman: Arkham Asylum  was released for all the video game systems out there, and I got a copy.  I've been grappling around the Gotham nut house kicking some crazy ass for the past week or so.  What a fun game!  I'm a bit addicted...and as usual...quite the nerd. Ha!

So...what's new with me.  Well, today I became an official card carrying member of the LGBT community center of the Chippewa Valley.  I also turned in my application to be a member of the board.  I've been feeling the need to be doing more.  I've stopped freelance, and that's been great.  I'm no longer feeling the pressure of having deadlines and getting projects done during my nights.  Instead I'm free to do what I want.  Now I can start to do more for the community...well...more than I already do.

I ran into a friend at the center, and she informed me that the youth group I used to facilitate for is starting up again.  She asked me if I'd be willing to facilitate again.  She flat out told me I'd be perfect.  I was excited about the idea, and I can honestly say I've missed doing it.  At the same time, I found myself thinking about some of the things I've been working on lately.  One of those things is that I have an ego and am a bit self centered.  To me that seems so contraditctory to her statement of me being perfect for it.  At the same time, I'm feeling that this is just what I need.  I need to spend time listening to others and forgetting about my own problems.  So yeah, I'm all about it.  PLUS, she knows how to do metalworking.  Upon me sharing that I want to learn, she was all about teaching me.  I'd say that's a win win right there.

Speaking of personal issues to work through, yesterday I discovered another facet of myself that I'm quite ashamed of.  I'm a jealous person.  I came home from a great day at work.  I seriously felt energized and excited about my job...so much so that I almost forgot to go home.  When I got home, I saw my roommate's boy's car in the driveway.  Two things ran through my head, one being how annoying I thought he was the last time I hung out with him, and two...that I was so jealous of Chris for having a life.

That's being harsh.  I just talked about running for the board and so on. So clearly I have a life, but since I've moved back here, I haven't really connected with a lot of people.  That's my own fault, and besides, it takes time.  Chris has been here for years, and of course he has plenty of people to do stuff with.  I felt lonely and so jealous that I even got angry at stupid things that happened.  I didn't even realize why I was upset until later in the evening.  When I did, I was so ashamed of myself that I almost broke down in tears right then.

Chris and his boy were not actually home right away, and when they did get home, I holed up in the family room and watched some Dark Knight special features to distract myself.  I didn't talk to Chris much more than a little bit.  He was willing to give me space, which I appreciate.  I ended up letting my feelings out later on in the evening after Chris went to sleep.

Today I told Chris how I felt and how ashamed I was.  He shared with me stories of his own experiences with jealousy and his similar feelings of shame.  It helped a lot to hear that and to know that we both have the same issue.  I know it'll get better too.  After going to the community center today, and connecting with some great people, I already feel so much better.  I think now that I know what's going on, I'll be able to cope with it easier.

Enough of this down talk!  Let's talk about something fun and exciting. :)  Friday night I went to the LGBT Community Center (again...wait...it was the first time going...ah whatever).  I had gone to pick up a board application, and I had no intention of staying long.  My friend Anne was there, and we started chatting.  It was fun.  Then, a pretty lady walked in that I'd never seen before.  She joined the conversation and it was a lot of fun.  Quickly the time disappeared, and it was 10:00...when the center was closing for the night.  Anne, the lovely lady, and I decided to go to Scooters, the local gay bar.

We talked at Scooters for a while, and after about 45 minutes, Anne decided to head home.  This pretty lady and I chatted for a while, one of her friends showed up, and it was about quarter to one in the morning when we all decided to head out.  Time flies when you're having fun.  She and I exchanged numbers, and I'm sure we'll talk or go to coffee soon.  What a crazy, random happenstance meeting someone like that.  I'm all about it.

In other news, I've been thinking a lot about Genderverse, the podcast, and where I'd like to go with my activism.  I've been considering the idea of making Genderverse a kind of gender news / commentary portal that I write articles for and serve as editor.  I think it'd be neat to critique the media, entertainment industry, and so on, in a fun and humorous way.  I think it'd be a great way to engage the world in talking about gender.  Now...do I write software for it or use something like Wordpress?  That one I haven't figured out yet.  I'm definitely going to need a content management system, and I don't want to use Joomla or other ones out there.  If you have suggestions, please share them.  I'd appreciate it.

I also sat down with Audrey, my favorite college professor, and we discussed a few things.  I'll be speaking in her class again, much like I did when I was in college.  I also asked her to help me with the process of writing my book.  I showed her the outline I'm working on, and she liked it.  It needs a bit of revising and organizing, which I need to sit down and spend some time with, but otherwise, it's coming along well.  That's good to hear.  She is excited to see where it goes, as am I.

I went to the Ren Faire about two weeks back.  It was a blast.  I spent a little too much money, but all in all, I did stay mostly in my budget.  I'm proud of that.  I've been sticking to it every since I started using Mint.com (and I'm a little bit upset that Intuit is buying that company cause I know they're going to ruin it).  Anyway, I dressed in the same dress I wore to the SCA event about 10 months ago.  You can see photos of it if you go back in the blog archives.  I also put on elf ears.  As usual, if you want attention at the Ren Faire, wear elf ears.  I had so many people staring, asking questions, and taking photos.  The creepiest one was an older bald man asking to chew on them.  Aside from that, it was great.  I always love the Ren Faire.

Speaking of the Faire, I found out the Chippewa Falls Ren Faire will be back up and running next year.  I'm really happy to hear that.  I'm considering volunteering.  I'd love to participate more in such a fun event.  Then I'd get to be the creepy person working at the faire.  Hehe.  I may actually make a new dress for it.  I have plenty of time though...doesn't start til next summer.

So...question of the blog:  What stories do you have of jealousy in your life?

I've had a crazy busy few weeks with a lot of things going on.  I'm assuming that this post will be another 1000 plus word post.  You'd be disappointed if that wasn't the case, right?

Wedding

We'll start by jumping back a few weeks.  I went to my former coworker's wedding a couple weeks ago.  It was in the Milwaukee area, and I knew there would be some discomfort involved.  I knew I'd see my former boss.  I was right too.  It was a bit awkward, but I made it through ok.  I don't know if I mentioned, but the entirety of the old department was shut down.  So I'm literally the only person in the old department with a job now.  Amazing how things change.

Anyway, the wedding was lovely, and it went smooth as silk.  It was hot as hell outside, and I was thankful everything was indoors.  I'm really proud of Ben and Sarah.  They really are two geeks in a pod.  I managed to successfully avoid dancing, as well as avoid my former boss most of the night.  The big plus was that I made some new friends.  I was put at the Sci Fi geek table, and that ended up being a great experience.  I connected really well with the group at the table.  In fact, we connected so well that I was invited to hang with them afterwards.  I ended up heading to their hotel where we chatted until around 11:30 in the evening.  If any of you are reading this, it was awesome hanging and getting to know you!

The rest of the weekend disappeared quickly.  My parents wanted me to go get some shoes and a car battery, which was not really on my priority list, but whatever.  It's always fun to shop with my mother.  The drive back to Chippewa was a smooth one.  It was cooler, so the lack of A/C in my car wasn't a huge suck fest.  It was a good weekend overall.

Breakfast Chats

One of the best experiences I have every time I visit my parents are the morning chats at the breakfast table.  After we eat, it's usually coffee and conversation.  This particular day my parents brought up the health care debate, and I was witness to them being profoundly impacted by the fear mongering that Fox News has perpetuated.  My dad was all up in arms about death panels, and both my parents were all like "It's written in the bill".  I had to explain what the actual truth was about the situation, that there were no death panels written, and that there was no solid bill yet.  Nothing had been decided.  It was a lively conversation to be sure.  The scary thing was listening to my father call Obama a Nazi.  I don't think he understands where that comes from.  As Jon Stewart has put it, I don't think Nazi's were ever known for their health care reform plans.  This calling this President a nazi is about as ridiculous as they come.  Anyway, I just thought that was interesting.  It just really surprises me that my parents are so prone to what they've been told by the media vs what's actually true.  Does anyone do their research about the issues anymore?

High School Reunion

Last weekend was my 10 year high school reunion, and it was an interesting experience.  I had no intention of missing the reunion.  Chris was willing to be my date for the event.  So we headed down on Friday.  It took place on Saturday, the 22nd of August at Nagawaukee Park in Delafield.  We got there about 1:00 in the afternoon.

It wasn't what people usually picture for reunions.  It took place outside at a park pavilion instead of a bar.  We had a pig roast, which was quite delicious.  There weren't a ton of people there.  My graduating class had about 240 people in it.  About 40 people came to the reunion.  That included spouses and dates.  So turnout was low, but from what I hear, that's average for a reunion.

Arriving was the awkward part...everyone wondering who I was at first.  The organizers knew, and they gave me a big hug.  I think no one really knew what to say to me.  I didn't really know what to say back.  So there was a lot of avoiding going on at first, but once everyone realized I don't bite, there were no problems.

It was actually quite a bit of fun.  I reconnected with a lot of people, and most of them were the people I didn't expect to connect with.  There were competition things going on, none of which applied to me.  They were things like longest marriage, most kids, most recent kid, shortest and longest distance travelled, etc.  I would have put my name down for distance, but before I got there, I was already beaten.  As a joke, I decided to put my name down for "Looks most like high school photo".  :)

Everyone seemed to think that Chris went to high school with them.  He apparently looked very familiar.  He also said that some of the people looked familiar too.  Not sure why that was, but whatever.  I ended up taking photos at the suggestion of one of my classmates.  They turned out nice too.

The awards were given out later in the evening after dinner.  The prizes were really funny.  The person with the most kids got a box of condoms.  The person that traveled the most got a travel kit, and the person that traveled the shortest also got a travel kit with the stipulation that they had to get out of town.  Ha!  Then came the award for looks most like the photo from high school.  The organizers said that they should have taken a vote, but decided to go the other way.  I won!  Everyone cheered.  It was great.

I guess that moment says a lot about how well I was received by my former classmates.  What a great time.  I'm so glad I went.  Makes me a little nostalgic and a little sad though.  I feel like this was the first time they ever got to really meet me despite all that time in grade school.  I had a blast hanging with them, and it makes me wonder what things would have been like had I been my true self in high school.  Would I have made more friends, been more a part of the "popular crowd"? Maybe it's not worth dwelling on the coulda, woulda, shouldas.  Regardless, I'll never forget my high school reunion.  Thanks to everyone for making it wonderful.

Love and Loneliness

Chris has found a relationship.  It's not with the guy I wrote about in past posts either.  It was a random date that turned into something wonderful.  It's with an old flame, and I'm really happy for him.

No surprise, it makes me think about my love life...or my lack of one.  It's almost September, which means in a couple more months, I'll have been single for a year.  I know that deep down, I'm craving for another relationship, but my rational brain is telling me otherwise.

If you didn't notice in my last post, I've got a lot of crap I'm working on right now.  I feel like in a lot of ways, I am really not ready for anything in the love area.  Heck, I don't even go out with friends that often, let alone with a love interest.  It's taking a lot of energy to work on these issues, and that's energy I don't know if I can continue putting into it if I was also dating someone.

That being said...damn it's hard to watch Chris be so happy and go off with his new boy.  I'm suffering from empty nest tonight, and while it's nice to have the house to myself, I actually feel more alone tonight than I have in a while.  It would be nice to have someone to be close to myself.  I'm on Yahoo Personals, but unfortunately all the responses I've been getting are from people that live at a minimum of 2 hours away.  Maybe it's worth the drive...

This loneliness combined with my focus at my job has had me listening to a lot of music lately.  I've had a song stuck in my head.  It was written by James Newton Howard, a favorite of mine, for the film "Lady in the Water" and is entiteled "The Great Eatlon".  It's a beautiful piece that gives me chills when I listen to it.  Then towards the end, the tone changes, and I get tears.  It's beautiful.  I've been playing it a lot...so much that it's stuck in my head.  If you get a chance, listen to it.

Speaking of Books

Tomorrow I have plans to have my good friend Audrey over for dinner.  I've been terrible on following up on the plans because this week just disappeared.  So hopefully those plans are still on.  We were going to discuss plans to have me lecture to her class as well as my book outline.  I've asked her for assistance in writing the book.  I think it's the right time.  She's agreed to help out as much as she can.  Here's hoping it moves forward successfully.

Oh, I have to mention that in my previous post, I said that I'm presenting a forum on October 22nd.  That's actually incorrect.  It's going to be on October 20th, which is a Tuesday. If you're in the Chippewa Valley, you should come.

Questions of the blog:  What was your high school reunion like OR do you look forward to your reunion?