Sunday, July 31, 2011

I Just Got Back...

from New Hampshire. We had a birthday party for my nephew's daughter, she was 10 this weekend, so the whole clan headed north. There were seven adults and five children under 10, plus one dog.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday 9: I'm Not in Love

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: I'm Not in Love

1. Have you ever been in love but tried to deny it?
No, not since elementary school.

2. Someone throws a party in your honor. The only guests are your past lovers. You're current spouse or significant other is cool with this. They ask you to speak and say something good about those assembled. Would there be someone there you could not say something good about?

3. How long can you go without your cell phone? Do you own a so-called “smart phone”?
Well when I am up at the cottage there is no cell phone service. Now the internet is another story.

4. Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance?

Yes, just that for some it might be in the their next life.

5. Would you rather spend a whole day with your mom or your dad? (If either or both have passed, answer as if they're alive.)
Rather than what? Yes, I wish I could since they both passed away.

6. Tell us one thing about your first boyfriend or girlfriend.

She was a … oh well, I will just leave it at that.

7. Has an ex ever written something about you on facebook or their blog that was nasty about you?

8. What was the last thing you borrowed and never returned?
I have always returned what I borrowed. You never know when you might want to borrow something again.

9. Who is someone famous that you've met?
Through my work in passing the anti-discrimination bill I met a lot of famous people. Writers (one wrote a best seller and was on Oprah’s show and reading list), artist (her work is in the museum of Modern Art in NYC), actors and politicians.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. Summer is _to be made the most of, because in four months it will be snowing again. So enjoy it while you can_.

2. _My life_ is unchanged _but has evolved_.

3. Aargh! _Summer is half over_.

4. _Up at the cottage, I like having breakfast on the deck_ in the morning.

5. Seven: _is the number of days in a week_.

6. _Summer should last 9 months and fall/spring 3 months_ don't you think?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _getting ready to go up to the cottage_, tomorrow my plans include _being with my family to celebrate my grand niece’s tenth birthday_ and Sunday, I want have to _head back home_!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Story Part 85 – My Style

When I go out to an “Outreach” at a college, one of the stereotypes that some of the students have is the way we dress. They expect me to come in to class with a bouffant hairdo, a dress, stiletto heels and tons of makeup and when I come in wearing jeans, sneakers and a denim jacket, it breaks their stereotype. I have never been one to use a lot of make-up, for me when I wear lipstick I’m dressed up. I think too much make-up brings about more scrutiny. Many people have the stereotype image of a trans-person from the pictures that are flashed on the news from Pride parades or television shows and they present a distorted view of the transgender community. So when I go out, I dress as your typical middle age woman and I want to blend in to the crowd.

I am comfortable in jeans and turtlenecks with sneakers or ankle boots in the winter or capris and tank tops with sandals in the summer. I also like gauze skirts and tops, the hippy look. Maybe that is because I couldn’t dress that way in the sixties so I am making up for it now. When I was working at my internship I wore casual business attire, slacks with a blouse and maybe a sweater. For shoes I wore 1” pumps. Once in a great while I wore a skirt or a dress, but those were usually reserved to meetings or when I was at the state capitol or the Legislative Office Building, I was always amazed with all the women who wore high heels there because walking on the marble floors was hard on the feet.

When I do have to dress up, I have my basic “LBD” and black 2 ¼ inch pumps or in warmer weather black 1” sandals. (You can see me in my LBD here at the semi-formal dance for the graduating students.) I do like to get dressed up occasionally, usually I attend three or functions a year where I have to get dressed up.

This is my style; other people have their style, they like to wear dresses and heels and that is okay. We each dress differently, that is why they have racks and racks of clothes and a huge variety of stores.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My 2 1 Cents

I’m going to add my penny to the Debt Limit fiasco. You would think that this is the first time that we raised the debt limit, but we have raised it many times before…
  • Ronald Reagan’s First Term – $656 billion increase
  • Ronald Reagan’s Second Term – $1.036 trillion increase
  • George H.W. Bush’s Term – $1.587 trillion increase
  • Bill Clinton’s First Term – $1.122 trillion increase
  • Bill Clinton’s Second Term – $418 billion increase
  • George W. Bush’s First Term – $1.885 trillion increase
  • > George W. Bush’s Second Term – $3.014 trillion increase
  • Barack Obama’s First “Year” – $1.573 trillion increase
From “The National Debt Crisis

OK, so what is different this time?

Well for one thing the culmination of all the debt from the other presidents, especially the Republican presidents. President Clinton cut the debt limit increases by almost two thirds in his second term, unlike the Republican presidents that increased their debt limit more in their second term. The other thing that has caused the gridlock is the ideology of the Tea Party that want to gut the government.

zFacts’ graph shows the since World War II, the debt was decreasing ever since the end of WW II until President Regan, were it started to increase. The amount of debt limit increases started decrease again under President Clinton and then the debt limit increases skyrocketed under President Bush. The Atlantic Monthly has two good charts in the article "The Chart That Should Accompany All Discussions of the Debt Ceiling", one that compares President Bush’s budget to that of President Obama budget…

Notice that in the Bush budget, over $1.8 trillion dollars was from the Bush’s tax cuts to the billionaires and millionaires. The other graph shows the roots of the deficit…
Part of the problem is the wars that we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, part of the problem is the recession, but the real problem is the Republican’s tax cuts to the billionaires and millionaires. In the zFacts graph look at how the debt increased during the Bush administration as a result of the tax cuts. We will never bring the debt under control unless we look at increasing taxes on the ultra-rich. In an editorial in the Nation called, “Debt Ceiling Delusions” they write,
The Republicans have once again shown themselves to be a party, to paraphrase Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, of the 1 percent, by the 1 percent, for the 1 percent. It is a party that accepts no new taxes, no closing of loopholes, no crackdowns on overseas tax havens and no increase in corporate tax rates, even as the biggest corporations pay little or no taxes on billions in profits. It is a party that embraces savage cuts in the social safety net but then draws a line in the sand to protect the wealthy. To Republicans, shared sacrifice is anathema. Now, as before, the global economy may be their victim.
It is the Tea Partiers ideologues that are holding the economy as hostage in order for them get their way to strip the poor and middle class their safety net. The Tea Party have stated many times that they want smaller government by doing away with the EPA, OSHA, FDA and the SEC. They also want to privatize Social Security so that their billionaire friends can get commissions from the retirement accounts.

What do the people want? A Pew poll found that,
The public overwhelmingly favors a compromise in the debt ceiling standoff. And even as negotiations aimed at resolving the issue show little progress, a majority thinks that Barack Obama and congressional Republicans will reach a deal before the Aug. 2 deadline on a possible government default.
In keeping with their desire to see compromise, there is no change in the public’s view that the best way to reduce the federal budget deficit is through a combination of both cutting major programs and increasing taxes. Six-in-ten (60%) say that both are in order; just 19% say that the focus should be mostly on cutting major programs while even fewer (8%) say the focus should be mostly on raising taxes. The proportion supporting a mixed approach of funding cuts and tax increases is about the same as it was last December (65%).
The public says that it wants a mixed approach, while the Tea Party fraction of the Republican party still hold fast to their rallying cry “No Tax Increases” even as the nation crumbles around them. However, they are willing to cut Medicare and Medicaid which will results in millions of seniors and low income people paying more money, which to them is really a tax increase.

The Pew poll asked if the Tea Party was willing to compromise on the debt…
When asked which political party is more extreme in its positions, 50% say the Republican Party while 35% say the Democratic Party.
I am worried about the effects that default will have on retirement accounts that I am living off and I am not alone, the poll found
Most Americans feel a personal stake in the efforts to resolve the debt ceiling impasse. Nearly two-thirds (65%) say their own personal finances would be affected by a failure to increase the government’s ability to borrow; 32% say their finances would not be affected. More specifically, 45% are worried that a failure to meet the Aug. 2 deadline would harm their investments and retirement savings, and 46% are worried that they might lose government services and benefits that affect them personally.
It is time for the Tea Party to break their deadlock and realize that they have to eliminate some of the corporate loopholes and eliminating exemptions on luxury items.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Friday Night

We were sitting out on the deck having dinner at sunset when I took this picture. The sun had just set behind the mountain across the lake and the rays came through the clouds and set the sky ablaze. The air was thick with humidity which made the rays so much more intense.

Sunday Afternoon
Most people take their boat down to the Association’s beach, but one of our neighbors taxis his plane down to it.

This And That In The News

"This And That In The News" is about articles in the news that have caught my eye and I want to comment about. There are two article that caught my attention today.

The first article is about a custody battle up in New Hampshire. A trans-parent is trying to get visitation rights changed; right now she is only allowed her daughter two times a week at the mother’s house.
Transgender woman fights to have contact with fiance’s child
New Hampshire Union Leader
Published Jul 26, 2011

LACONIA — Ally Collina, 26, of Gilford, picketed the Family Division of the Laconia District Court yesterday to decry what she considers to be discrimination.
The mother of the 2-1/2-year-old argued to the court that Collina is unfit to be in the presence of her child. In filings on the mother’s behalf, attorney Diane Puckhaber argued the sole issue was Collina’s criminal past.

As Richard Dunkin, Collina said she was convicted of three counts of simple assault, robbery and macing a police officer and was sentenced to the Lakes Region Corrections Facility.
But the guardian in the case has said she believes the child needs more contact with the father, and the case is awaiting a recommendation and ruling.
The article is very confusing the way it is written, were they married? Is she the biologically the father?

However, the point I want to comment on is about the limiting contact with the trans-parent, which happens too much in divorce cases. Here in Connecticut the practices is decreasing due to the fact that the DCF has written guidelines for their social workers and courts to follow because of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities 2000 ruling and now because of the new gender inclusive anti-discrimination law. I have a friend that when she transitioned back in the late 1990s the courts order that she could only visit her children with a DCF social worker present, it took many years of court challenges for her to finally get joint custody. But many states still discriminate against trans-parents and also lesbian or gay parents.

The next article is about marriage equality and how it effects trans-people.
Transgender Issues Hidden in Same-Sex Marriage Debate

The culture war over same-sex marriage in the United States ignores people whose gender has changed or is less than black-and-white.
By Devon Boen
July 24, 2011

“As far as I’m concerned, being any gender is a drag.” — Patti Smith

Same-sex marriage has been a hot item for more than a decade. It gained attention in the 1990s with the Defense of Marriage Act, which, when enacted, maintained that marriage was between one man and one woman — in other words, same-sex marriages, which were then beginning to be performed by the states, would not be recognized at the federal level.

But Defense of Marriage Act’s black-and-white distinction overlooks the transgender community. The percentage of transgender Americans varies from 0.25 percent to as high as 5 percent. This less common gender issue is largely ignored in the same-sex marriage debate, and laws surrounding marriage reflect this gap.
These different conditions don’t fit into the gender binary of current marriage law. In many states that define marriage solely as heterosexual, such as California, proof of a person’s new gender after a sex-reassignment surgery is sufficient for them to marry someone that they couldn’t when they were pre-operative. For instance, if a person was born a woman but transitioned into a man, they could marry a woman once the surgery was complete.

Until recently, the opposite was true in Texas, which had stated that a person’s original gender was the only appropriate determining factor, so if a woman transitioned into a man, they were still considered female under the law. This meant that someone who might physically appear to be a man would be allowed to marry another man. Some considered this a loophole that conservative lawmakers didn’t intend.
The the conservatives are  get more and more vindictive and they are creating more draconian laws. Some state laws only allow marriage between your birth gender and the opposite gender and in Kansas a trans-person cannot get married at all. That is because their constitution only allows marriage between “a man and a women” and the courts have ruled that a trans-person is neither. Therefore they cannot marry.

The last article is about a trans-professor who was being sued for sexual harassment…
LCC Drops Sexual Harrasment Claims Against Transgender Professor
Some members of the LGBT community still think the complaint itself points to a bigger issue of homophobia and transphobia on campus.
Posted: 6:38 PM Jul 25, 2011
Reporter: Sherene Tagharobi

LCC Professor Julie Nemecek teaches diversity in the workplace. She taught at Spring Arbor until she came out as transgender, and says life there became difficult.

"Usually students appreciate my sharing my history, my past, what I've gone through," she said.

But after doing just that in class earlier this month, a student filed a complaint against her, also claiming guest lecturer Todd Heywood made inappropriate sexual comments while discussing being gay and HIV positive in the workplace.
The complaint was dismissed by the college because lack of evidence. So let me get this straight, this was a class on diversity, the professor discussed various types of discrimination and when she covered HIV status, sexual orientation and gender identity, the student thought that was sexual harassment. In other words, when she teach diversity in a diversity class, and the student wanted her to discriminate against LGBT people… I would have given her an “F” for the class.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday 9: White Wedding

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: White Wedding

1. Tell us about the most recent wedding you attended.
A year ago June, my nephew got married down in Asheville.

2. Do you enjoy attending weddings, or do they bore you to tears?
Yes, I enjoyed that wedding. It was a nice vacation

3. Does marriage in general make you feel confident and good inside, or skeptical?
Hun? I don’t understand the question; do you mean your marriage or someone else’s? Marriage doesn’t give me any feelings.

4. Do you have a photo blog? (If so, feel free to share the link with us.)
Yes, the link is over on the right side of my blog.

5. Do you find yourself driving less due to the high gas prices?
No, I have a Pirus and get 45 – 50mpg

6. What's the high temperature today where you are?
100F. (Forecasted)

7. "It's not the heat, it's the humidity." Agree, or no?
Yes, Thursday night was brutal and it wasn’t as hot as it was Friday but it felt a lot hotter.

8. What's the hottest you've ever been in your life?
I think once I had a fever of 103.
Oh, you mean the weather that was around 110F

9. Non-temperature related last question: In your opinion... who's hot?
Right now I have a crush on the woman who plays the lead in “Bones”

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. Life is _a bowl of cherries_. (OK, I went with the classic answer)

2. _The ice cream shop_ is one of the best places to people watch EVER because _everyone is focused on cooling off_.

3. If I was going somewhere, the one thing I have to bring is _my cellphone_.

4. _This heat wave cannot end_ soon enough.

5. Next year, _I’ll get an air conditioner_.

6. _Eating small portions_ and I found _is a good way to lose weight_.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _sleeping after a long day swimming_, tomorrow my plans include _grocery shopping in the morning and floating around the lake in the afternoon_ and Sunday, I want to _do some sailing_!

Once again I’m up at the lake so I will not be able to reply to your comments until get home.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Story Part 84 – Testing The Waters

When I transitioned it was no big deal because I tested the waters first. I stuck my big toe in first, and then I went in a little deeper and deeper still. So when I transitioned I was fully cognizant of what I was doing.

I was in the closet most of my life until I was 50 years old; it was then that I went to my first support. It was there that I put my toe in the water. I had great angst in going out in public the first time and many times I sat in car and I could not go into the store where they were holding the meeting that night. The support group that I attended was more of a social support group and they had functions like a banquet, going out to dinner, to movies and plays. Over time I became more comfortable going out in public with the group.

Gradually I realized that it was more than crossdressing and I started attending another support group which addressed the needs of those who were thinking about transitioning. I attended the meetings for a number of years, just listening and not saying a word. Listening to those who had trouble transitioning and those that didn’t and looking for a common thread from those who had a problem free transition. And I did find a common thread; in general it appeared to me that those who took it slow had an easier time than those who rushed. They were like me in testing the waters first.

I developed a plan; I started hormone and electrolysis years before I transitioned. I would transition when I was 59 ½ when I could start withdrawing from my retirement accounts and not have to worry if I could get a job. I had seen too many trans-people transition and not be able to find a job. I would start electrolysis before I transitioned so that I would not have to worry about having a couple of days old stubble for electrolysis each week. I would begin hormones so that by the time that I transitioned I would have more feminine features. I was living just about full time as Diana except for 40 hours at work and when I did officially transition it was seamless.

Now I have been full time for four years and I am ready for the final step, but I am caught in that limbo that I wrote about yesterday. I cannot afford surgery and my insurance will not pay for it, so I am stuck like Hedwig…

Standing before you in the divide
Between East and West
Slavery and freedom
Man and woman

(Hedwig and the Angry Inch – Tear Me Down)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Birth Certificates

Yesterday I wrote about the lawsuit that the ACLU filed in Alaska to change the DMV policy requiring surgery in order to change the gender marker on a person’s driver license, well the ACLU just had a victory in Illinois. There they fought to have three people’s birth certificate changed. In a press release the ACLU said…
Individuals Ask Court to Declare Unconstitutional Illinois Vital Records Requirements for Genital Surgery

CHICAGO –Despite promises to the contrary, the Division of Vital Records of the Illinois Department of Public Health has failed to fix its practice of refusing to correct the gender on birth certificates of transgender individuals who have had gender confirmation surgery but not the specific forms of surgery demanded by the department. The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Illinois filed a lawsuit today to allow transgender individuals who have not had gender confirmation surgery to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates.
“We’ve been telling the department for two years that its arbitrary surgery rules clash with the medical standard of care for transgender people and make it impossible for most transgender people to correct the gender on their birth certificates. We took them at their word when they said they would make an appropriate change, but all we’ve seen is more delay. It’s time that they did something to fix that.”
Two years ago, citing the need to have an accurate birth certificate for identification purposes, two Illinois women first asked a court to order the state to issue new birth certificates that reflect their appropriate and accurate gender following gender confirmation surgery (sometimes described as sex reassignment surgery.) They also sought an accurate birth certificate for a male transgender client who had not had the surgery the department required. At that time the department gave him an amended birth certificate and asked the court to dismiss the case because the department was going to issue rules they strongly suggested would fix the problem. That has not yet happened.
As I have written over and over again, requiring surgery before you can change you birth certificate, results in many trans-people being stuck in a kind of limbo, where they can either not afford the surgery, cannot have the surgery because of medical reasons or they do not need the surgery in order to lead productive lives. This is especially true for trans-men whose surgery is extremely expensive running over a $100,000 and whose surgery is also very risky. To require that extensive surgery in order to change their birth certificate is wrong.

In addition, most companies have an exclusion for anything related to gender confirmation surgery. This I feel is discriminatory. Gender confirmation surgery is not actually one surgery, but is made up of a number of stages that when combined consists the gender conformational surgery and each surgery is a common procedure that are covered by insurance companies. However, when combined into gender confirmation surgery they are no longer covered, which I believe and some courts believe that is a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and is also a violation of states anti-discrimination laws.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

This And That In The News

"This And That In The News" is about articles in the news that have caught my eye and I want to comment on. The first article is about ACLU suing the state of Alaska to revise their driver license requirement that you have to have surgery before they will change the gender marker on your driver license.
Alaska sued in transgender driver's license case
The Sacramento Bee
Associated Press
Published: Monday, Jul. 18, 2011

JUNEAU, Alaska -- The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the state of Alaska on behalf of a transgender woman, alleging that it denied her a driver's license listing her gender as female unless she provided proof that she'd undergone a sex change operation.

The lawsuit, which ACLU said was filed in state court in Anchorage Monday, states that denying the woman a license that accurately reflects her gender identity because she hasn't undergone surgery is unconstitutional.

"No one should have to disclose sensitive personal information or be forced to make major medical decisions in order to get an accurate driver's license," Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Alaska, said in a news release.
The standard of care for transsexuals requires trans-people to live for the minimum of one year in their true gender and that creates a problem for us in states like Alaska where we cannot change the gender on driver license. The policy outs us every time we are asked for their driver license. However, many states allow you to change the gender marker on your driver license, including Connecticut; however, most states do not. This is from the National Center for Transgender Equality’s blog
The current edition of MOVE, a magazine for the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), includes extensive coverage of issues transgender people face with identification cards. The article “Transgender Drivers: New Norms in Customer Service,” encourages DMV staff in all states to reflect on their treatment of transgender people and sets a positive tone for transgender people in their service offices:
The notion that a person believes the sex assigned at birth is an inadequate description or application of their gender may conflict with the DMV staffs’ personal, political or religious beliefs. As public servants, personal feelings or bias cannot interfere with quality customer service extended to those we serve. When there are fewer facts known and agreed upon, there is greater controversy; where there are more facts known and agreed upon, controversy diminishes. Perhaps no greater place is this felt than in the transgender community.
The next news article that caught my attention was a real surprise (sic)
Conservative group to fight gay textbook law
San Francisco Chronicle

Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau
July 16, 2011

Sacramento --

A socially conservative organization based in Sacramento filed documents Friday afternoon to start a voter referendum on a controversial law that adds the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans to school instruction.
The Capitol Resource Institute is a hard-line, socially conservative organization that has long opposed efforts in California to expand rights for the LGBT population. Backers eventually would have to collect 433,971 signatures to allow voters to decide whether to keep the law in place or reject it.
Instead of LGBT people, if the law said that they had to teach about Native Americans or blacks do you think there would have been a referendum on the law? But because it is about LGBT people some people think that it is OK to discriminate.

The next article is about public accommodation, a Vermont Inn refused to have a wedding reception because the wedding was for a lesbian couple.
Lesbian Couple: Vt. Resort Barred Their Wedding
By The Associated Press
July 19, 2011

Two New York women say a Vermont inn refused to host their wedding reception because of the owners' anti-gay bias. The couple is now suing, alleging discrimination under the state's public accommodations law.
The American Civil Liberties Union's Vermont chapter filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Caledonia Superior Court. It says the inn violated the state Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act, which bars public accommodations from denying services to people based on sexual orientation.
If you are open to serve the public, you have to serve everyone, not just the people you choose to serve. If they refused to hold a wedding reception for a Jewish couple that would be wrong and so is not having a reception for a lesbian couple.

Lastly, it seems that in West Hartford CT there is a push-poll going around that is being done by some unknown conservative group asking questions about the gender inclusive non-discrimination bill just signed in to law…
In West Hartford, a robo-poll about local taxes, school redistricting for racial balance and the "transgender bathroom accommodation ordinance"
Hartford Courant
By Daniela Altimari
July 11, 2011

The next set of questions dealt with not with local policy but a new state law extending civil rights protections to transgender people.

"In West Hartford it is now legal for transgender people to use the public restroom of the gender [that they associate with], not necessarily their actual gender,'' the questioner stated before asking whether I support or oppose such a law.

The follow up asked whether I would support or oppose a town council resolution opposing this new law, and whether I would be more or less likely to support a candidate for town council who publicly opposed the "transgender bathroom accommodation ordinance."
Of course it is always about restroom and not about discrimination.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Up At The Lake…

Getting too much sun, eating too much food and turning in to a prune from staying in the water too long.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday 9: The Devil Went Down to Georgia

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: The Devil Went Down to Georgia

1. Do you believe in the concept of the devil?
Nope. In God, yes. In the devil no.

2. What's your favorite nickname that you're called?

3. What would you do if someone cheated on you?

Leave them, they can’t be trusted

4. Do you ever cry at a movie?

5. Have you got “a ball & chain” or are you single? Are you happy with your status?

6. Who do you got to for advice?
My brother

7. When was the last time someone yelled at you?
I can’t remember.

8. When was the last time you spoke with someone that you met online?
Last weekend, a number of Facebook friends were there that I never met in person before.

9. Where did you go on your honeymoon? OR Where would you like to go on your honeymoon?
So tropical island.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. I hold _the key to freeing myself from the chains that bind me_.

2. _Anyone_ is someone I like to travel with because _all my friends are either working or can’t afford to travel_.

3. That day, _my father died will always be etched in my mind_.

4. _I finally graduated_ this year.

5. Trust _is earned, never giving_.

6. _Up at the cottage, I love looking at the stars_ in the dark.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _Lobster dinner with steamers and New England Clam Chowder, with an ice cold Sam Adams_, tomorrow my plans include _floating around the lake in an inner tube_ and Sunday, I want to _ floating around the lake in a inner tube _! On Monday I have to head back home to reality.

My Story Part 83 – The Gathering Of The Tribe

Last weekend I attended a party up in southern Vermont and the party was thrown by a trans-woman and a trans support group. There were about 20 – 25 people who attended the campout, but I didn’t want to sleep in a tent on the ground, so I went to the cottage for the night and came back to the party on Sunday.

It was nice to be in a safe place where I am not the only trans person there. Sometimes it gets to be a little bit oppressive when everyone in a place is staring at you. Do you know that song by Bob Seger, “Turn the Page” where he sings,
Well you walk into a restaurant,
Strung out from the road
And you feel the eyes upon you
As you're shakin' off the cold
You pretend it doesn't bother you
But you just want to explode
That is how I feel sometimes, so it is nice to go to a trans-space where everyone is accepting. I do not mean that a trans-space is exclusively trans, but a space where trans is normative. Where you do not “feel the eyes upon you”, a space where you are not judged and all the people there respect the space. It is like going to a private cub; like a golf clubhouse for dinner and they have a rule that all men must wear a suit and tie and the women a dress. If you go there you respect the rules of the club.

You could also say that it is like the place that the theme song for Cheers mentions,
Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

Wouldn't you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows your name.

You wanna go where people know, people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows your name.
That is how the party felt for me, a place where everyone knows your name.

For me I like a trans-space. However, for some trans-people, they avoid places where there are other trans-people, they don’t want places where trans-people are, they want to be with cisgender people and I respect that. But there are others who like to be in a safe friendly space and the picnic provided that space. I believe that a number of trans people like going to a trans-space because of familiar faces and they are tired of being judged every day be strangers, they want a space where they don’t have to worry about what other people think. While others have made many friends in our journey and we want to stay in touch and the picnic provided a chance to reminisce and renew acquaintances. For me the party is a combination of being in a space where I’m not judged and reminiscing with old friends.

I am tired of going to meetings and being the only trans-person there. I was at a meeting the other day and I was sitting at the table drinking a cup of coffee when one of the other members sat down across from me and said I am are the first transgender he meet. I felt like yelling, “Whoopee, I’m the first tranny you meet, aren’t I lucky” Instead I introduced myself, shook his hand and did the “Trans 101” thing. Why? Because the trans-community is being judged right there and then by my actions.

So I go to the party to let my hair down and do silly things…

Kilroy was here

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Jon Stewart On The Debit Limit

This And That In The News

"This And That In The News" is about articles in the news that have caught my eye and I want to comment on. The first item that caught my attention is about what else, restrooms…
Denny's reverses restroom policy on transgender use
Sun Journal
By Judith Meyer, Managing Editor/days
Jul 12, 2011

LEWISTON — The corporate owner of Denny’s restaurants in Maine has reversed its restroom policy in an agreement with a transgender customer, and now permits all customers to use restrooms consistent with their gender identities.

The change, according to Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders attorney Janson Wu, “is common sense.”

The agreement, reached in March and announced on Monday, is the result of a lawsuit brought by Brianna Freeman against the chain’s Auburn restaurant after Freeman was denied access to the women’s restroom there.

The agreement was announced jointly by Realty Resources Hospitality, which owns six Denny’s restaurants in Maine, and the Boston-based GLAD Transgender Rights Project, which represented Freeman in her civil action.

The new restroom policy applies to all Denny’s restaurants in Maine.
This agreement is important because this case and a case involving a child who transitioned in school were the reason that Rep. Ken Fredette (R) introduced the bill LD 1046 “An Act to Amend the Application of the Maine Human Rights Act Regarding Public Accommodations” that would have forced people to use the restrooms of their biological gender. The bill was defeated.

Meanwhile, over in England they are also having problems with restrooms…
Sainsbury's 'told transgender woman to use disabled toilet'
BBC News
12 July 2011

A transgender woman who was told to use the disabled toilets at a Surrey supermarket has rejected the store's apology.

Stephanie Collins, 55, was born a male but has regarded herself as female for much of her life, and has considered herself transgender since 2009.

Sainsbury's wrote a letter apologising following the incident with a member of staff at its Walton-on-Thames store.

But Miss Collins dismissed it, saying: "They haven't addressed the issue."
According to the Human Rights Commission, transgender is "an umbrella term used by people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from their birth sex", regardless of whether they choose to have gender-reassignment treatment.
Why can’t we just pee in peace?

The next article is about insurance, which many trans-people do not have and those that do usually have an exclusion against coverage for anything related to transgenderism. Such as the coverage that I have…
Transsexual Surgery
For any treatment leading to or in connection with transsexual surgery, except for sickness or injury resulting from such treatment or surgery.
This policy is a little bit more progressive than some. Some policies do not cover therapy or complication due to surgery. However, more companies and municipalities are covering therapy and surgery.
Cities move toward transgender health care
USA Today
By Tracy Loew
July 12, 2011

Ten years after San Francisco became the first local government in the nation to offer transgender health care benefits for their employees, other public employers are beginning to follow suit.

Last month, city commissioners in Portland, Ore., voted unanimously to offer employees insurance covering gender reassignment surgery. Portland is in Multnomah County, which began providing similar benefits a year ago.

Berkeley, Calif., officials are working with the city's providers to offer transgender health care, spokeswoman Mary Kay Clunies-Ross said. Similar discussions are underway in Seattle and Fort Worth.
I believe that denying coverage is a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 since it discriminates because of sex. I would like to see a federal civil rights case brought against a company; however, with the way the conservatives have packed the Supreme Court, I doubt that we would win. Their view of sex would probably be the 18th century view of sex.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gender Identity – Nature v. Nurture

That has been argued over and over, and is just impossible to prove. But there is strong evidence that it mostly nature; however, I am willing to concede that there probably is a minor component that is nurture. One of the strongest arguments for nature is the result of research with intersex people; the researchers have found that when “corrective” surgery is performed on intersex babies that when they grow up they know their true gender. Dr. Reiner’s research has found that babies with ambiguous genitalia that were subjected to “corrective” surgery knew that their gender had been changed. He found that over 60% of the children identified as the opposite gender than they were raised as. In an interview in the New York Times he said, “That sexual identity is individual, unique and intuitive and that the only person who really knows what it is is the person themselves. If we as physicians or scientists want to know about a person's sexual identity, we have to ask them.”

This is a video of a documentary about David Reimer and what was done to him. He was born Bruce Reimer and due to a botched circumcision where they cut too much off. The doctors made him into a girl telling his parents, don’t worry, gender identity is all nurture. David proved them wrong, gender identity is mostly nature.

The video is a little long (46 minutes), so view it when you have the time and when you have taken your blood pressure medication. Because when you see what the doctors did in the name of research will make your blood pressure climb.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Religion v. Civil Rights

Right now in the news there are a number of articles about how marriage equality is affecting the rights of people to practice their religion. They claim that they are being forced by government to accept marriage equality. There was a series of articles and editorials in the Rainbow Times about the topic and also in the Time magazine online.
Gay Marriage: The Coming Clash of Civil and Religious Liberties
By Michael A. Lindenberger
Saturday, July 02, 2011

…"A significantly larger percentage of the country now lives in states with marriage equality for gays and lesbians," constitutional law scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California, Irvine law school, told TIME. "That is important on so many levels. It shows that the trend continues in this direction and that it is just a matter of time before it is throughout the country. It will help fuel the on-going shift in public opinion."
Gay marriage isn't the first issue to do so, but it's likely to be the most fought over. No one is arguing that the Catholic Church, or any church, must marry a gay couple — and the protections written into law in New York saying so were probably redundant. But the New York law went further than merely restating the constitutionally obvious. It also wrote into law the right for all religious institutions — hospitals, adoption services — and so-called benevolent organizations to refuse to not just marry gay couples but the right to refuse accommodating their weddings, too. For gay couples in New York, good luck finding a Knight of Columbus hall to rent, for instance.
The New York law goes farther than the Connecticut marriage law. In Connecticut, I believe, the only covers religious institutions and not religious institutions that are open to serve the public like hospitals and adoption services. I believe that the New York law goes too far, it protects institutions that are receiving public funds. If an organization is receiving public support it should be open to ALL people and they should not be allowed to discriminate.

The article goes on to say,
"The 'guy who runs the tuxedo shop' is trying to live his life in accordance with his most deeply held ideals, which is just what gay couples are trying to do," Koppleman [John Paul Stevens Professor of Law at Northwestern University] says. "The fairly mild religious accommodations in New York law will somewhat ease conflicts of that sort, in a way that is unlikely to significantly injure any gay people."
"The language is ambiguous enough to mean that it may take a court to determine when the religious liberty interests prevail against the right of gay couples to arrange their weddings," says Leonard [New York Law School professor]…
I do not think that individuals or businesses should be allowed to discriminate based on their religious beliefs, if they are open to serve the public then they should have to serve all the public, not just those they chose to serve.

I heard the same argument when the Judiciary Committee was voting on the gender inclusive non-discrimination bill; Rep. González (D) said that they came to us back in the ‘90s to get protection for the gays, they came for marriage and now they come for protection for the “transgendered” and that she see her religious rights being eroded.

The problem with that argument is that we all have heard it before. In 1845 the Southern Baptist Convention split from the northern Baptists over slavery… we have the religious right to believe in slavery, we have a religious right to not hire Jews, we have the right not to serve blacks. Religion has been used since the dawn of history to justify discrimination. Can you imagine white supremacists who wants a religion exemption to not employ blacks, what a public outcry that would product, but because it is an exemption from serving LGBT people everyone goes along with the exemption.

Paul P. Jesep wrote an opinion piece on religious freedom in the Rainbow Times,
Marriage equality passed in New York despite strong and sometimes fierce religious opposition. Of course there were many in the religious community who also supported it. Although religious opponents failed to convince the governor and most state legislators of their inane positions, I’m still troubled that they were not challenged on one of the loudest arguments - religious freedom is threatened.
But for discussion purposes let’s assume that religious freedom is actually at stake. I hear no one, or perhaps I miss it, talk about the religious freedom of LGBT and Searching persons of faith. Aren’t these religious rights denied by prohibiting marriage equality? In addition, if stopping same-sex marriage protected religious freedom as understood by the Catholic leadership, why is it at the same time a denial of religious freedom for, as one example, the United Church of Christ (UCC)? In 2005, the UCC passed a resolution titled Equal Marriage Rights for All. As has often been the case the UCC has been a leader on social justice for literally centuries.
Religious freedom does not mean that you can do anything in the name of religion, the courts have drawn a line that religions cannot cross. You cannot have animal sacrifices that are cruel, you cannot have human sacrifices, you cannot use illegal drugs and that you cannot use religion to discriminate in employment, housing, public accommodation or with credit.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Saturday Six – Episode 378

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 378

1. How much attention did you pay to the Casey Anthony trial?
Not much. Only what was on the evening news.

2. How justified do you think people are in their outrage at the jury’s verdict?
Ok, you asked. I feel that the prosecutor was over zealous in making a name for himself. He went for the maximum sentence, the death sentence, when he had only circumstantial evidence. I think the jury didn’t want to sentence her to death on such flimsy evidence, that if the prosecutor went for life in prison he would have gotten a conviction.

3. How often do you watch shows like Nancy Grace, who focuses a great deal of attention on cases like this?
Hun? Nancy who? I never heard of her.

4. If you had been a juror in that case, would you have talked to the media right after the verdict was delivered?
No way, there are so many people out there who want to lynch the juror.

5. If you were a juror and you were later offered money for an interview, how likely would you be willing to accept payment to appear on television to discuss the case?
See above.

6. Would you support a law that would prohibit a juror from profiting from being on a jury in this manner? Why or why not?
No. They were ordered to jury duty, they committed no crimes. There are no laws the prohibit the judge and prosecutor from profiting from the trail, why punish the jury.

Party Time.

I just got back from a weekend party and I am slightly cooked, a little too much sun. The weather was excellent, low eighties and no humidity.

Every year I have been going to a weekend campout put up in Vermont Green Mountains to a friend’s house. This year I decided not to campout but instead drive to the cottage to sleep, I’m getting a little too old to sleep on the ground. I left at nine and I arrived at the cottage at 10:30.

The drive from the campout to the cottage took me over Haystack Mountain on Rt. 9…

The photo does not do justices to the view; you could see three states, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Bullying And The Feds

School bullying has been in the news a lot lately with the “It Gets Better” campaign and with the Red Socks’ video. Also Connecticut just passed a new anti-bullying law (SB1138) that not only adds teeth to the existing anti-bullying but also includes cyber-bullying. What many people do not know is that the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights takes a strong stand against bullying and they also include sexual orientation and gender identity. Last October they sent out a letter warning schools that they have to protect students against bullying.

One school district in California found out the hard way…
Feds Fault District for Inaction in Calif. Bullying Case
Education Week
By Christina Samuels
By guest blogger Nirvi Shah
July 1, 2011

When the Tehachapi school district in California failed to stop or prevent 13-year-old middle school student Seth Walsh from being repeatedly teased and bullied by his peers, the district violated federal discrimination and harassment laws, the federal Departments of Justice and Education said Friday.

The finding is the first of its kind since school districts were sent "dear colleague" letters last October outlining their responsibilities in cases of bullying.

"A school is responsible for addressing harassment incidents about which it knows or reasonably should have known," wrote Russlyn Ali, assistant secretary for civil rights.
To resolve the federal investigation into the district's inaction during the two years that Seth was harassed, the school district agreed this week to revise its policies and regulations related to sexual and gender-based harassment and hire a consultant to provide mandatory trainings on sexual and gender-based harassment for all students, administrators, teachers, counselors, and other staff members who interact with students, among other things.
We all must work to end bullying. Bullying is not just a school problem, but a community problem. It ends when the schools involve the students, teachers, parents, community leaders, law enforcement and the courts to bring about a culture change to end bullying. The culture change does not start in high school or junior high, but in elementary school with teachers training in spotting children at risk and intervening, a California study found that “Teachers in Beaverton Oregon elementary schools who were trained to spot children with anti-social behaviors who were then taught how to play together. The program reduced suspensions from 175 a year to less than a dozen.”

I am a member of the Safe Schools Coalition and at one of our meetings I heard what some school districts are doing to end bullying and school violence, they have a student court. That in itself isn’t revolutionary, but what they are doing is working with other area towns to combine their student courts so that cases are not tried in the same school of the accused but the case is heard in another high school. They found that the results are more uniform and student popularity does not figure into the case as it would if the case was heard by their follow students.

We can all work together to end bullying, Hillary Clinton saying “It takes a village to raise a child” is true.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Saturday 9: Against All Odds

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Against All Odds

1. Have you ever tried to rekindle a past relationship against the odds?
Yes and it didn’t work.

2. Do you like your job, or daily routine?
No, it is boring! I sit around all day and go to meetings at night.

3. Do you find time to 'smell the flowers' so to speak?
See the above answers. I have all day to smell the flowers.

4. Do you have any problems thinking of things to write about in my blog?
Well first off, I don’t write on your blog. But I write about the questions that you ask on your blog and yes, sometimes I have a hard time answering the questions.

5. Do others consider you well organized?
No, just an organizer.

6. Do you always have a “Plan B” just in case?
Plan B? What, in case I get run over by a truck? Or in case the stock market crashes tomorrow? Or if I run out of milk for breakfast?

7. How do you find yourself adjusting to new situations?
Poorly. I have a little OCD in me, I like the status quo.

8. Are you happy with where you are in this point of your life?
Yes, except I would like to find something to do during the day. I’m too young to go to the senior center and play Setback all day and too old to go looking for a job (The unemployment rate for over-55s is at the highest level since 1948) .

9. Do you find the aging process we all go through easy or difficult?
See above.

Last Night’s Celebration

Last night there was a celebration for the signing of the anti-discrimination that was given by ctEQUALITY. As I mentioned in my other blog post it was a bittersweet moment. But I want to share something else that I’m proud of.

In the room last night, out of the fifty or so people who attended the party, over a dozen are University of Connecticut School of Social Work graduates or students. To me that is pretty amazing, that is around 20%. Included in the alumni that attended the celebration was the mayor of Hartford who is also an UConn SSW graduate and his husband, who was a classmate of mine. Many of the graduates there also interned at the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund, just as I did.

The School of Social Work instills a strong sense of social justice and that is shown by the number of their graduates who go on to work for causes that they believe in. I was the only trans-graduate there, all the others were there because they wanted to right a wrong.

The photo below was taken the night that the bill passed in the Senate…
Left to right Dan (UConn SSW student), me (UConn SSW graduate), Sally (UConn SSW graduate), Jennifer, Betty and Gretchen (UConn SSW student). It wasn’t a photo of just classmates and graduates, but it was a photo of those who were there that night to listen to the debate (there were two others off giving interviews to the press and they were not UConn SSW graduates or students, but it is still impressive that 50% of those there that night were UConn SSW graduates or students).

Top photo courtesy of Deja

Thursday, July 07, 2011

One of the Drawbacks of a Community Organizer…

A good friend, classmate and colleague last day at work is tomorrow and I will miss working with her.

In the last year she has worked endlessly to pass the Gender Identity and Expression Non-Discrimination legislation and now that it has passed, she is moving on to a new job. I first met her at a meeting of the Anti-Discrimination Coalition back in 2006; Sally was an intern at the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund, which was a member of the coalition. I was a member of the ADC because of being on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition. The following years our roles were switched, I was an intern at CWELF and she was an intern at Planned Parenthood which was also a member of the ADC. Then in 2010, Sally became the head of ctEquality, which was the re-branded ADC. Through her work and leadership and dedication, ctEquality lead the effort to successfully pass the legislation.

I suppose that it is one side effect of a good community organizer or your candidate gets elected or you pass the legislation or you organize the housing project… then you move on.
ctEQUALITY is closing up shop. But lots of CT organizations need your support.

Dear Diana,

ctEQUALITY's goal in 2011 was to ensure that HB 6599: An Act Concerning Discrimination become law. Thanks to your incredible help and support, we did just that. In October 2011, Connecticut will be the 15th state to include gender identity and gender expression in our non-discrimination law. Now that we've reached this important goal, ctEQUALITY is closing up shop. But that doesn't mean there is not more work to do for equal rights and advocacy in our state. Please take a moment to review the agencies and organizations that supported equality in gender identity and gender expression for all CT residents so that you can subscribe to their e-mail lists, follow them on Twitter, become their fans on Facebook, and volunteer your time to support their work.

I want to take a moment to point out two organizations specifically. You may know that ctEQUALITY is a coalition of almost 40 organizations, agencies, and entities. However, we are lead by two organizations: CT Women's Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF) and CT TransAdvocacy Coalition (CTAC). Both organizations need dedicated, pro-equality advocates like you as supporters and volunteers!

Founded in 1973, CWEALF is a statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the personal and professional lives of women, girls and their families. Stay up-to-date with CWEALF's many projects, programs, and initiatives by visiting, subscribing to their e-mail list, and liking their Facebook page.

CT TransAdvocacy Coalition (CTAC) has been working for freedom and empowerment in gender identity and expression since 1996. CTAC's mission is to improve, through education, political and social advocacy and activism, societal attitudes and the law in order to achieve equal rights for the trans and gender non-conforming individuals and communities. Also, CTAC is the creator and host of the annual Transgender Lives: The Intersection of Health and Law Conference (next year's conference will be on April 28, 2012). Please support CTAC's pioneering work for transgender civil rights by visiting and signing up for their e-mail list (upper right-hand corner of the homepage), getting involved in their many projects, and joining their group on Facebook.

Finally, because ctEQUALITY's work is done, I will be leaving my position as of Friday, July 8. So, if you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail Amy Miller, CWEALF Associate Director, at or call (860) 247-6090.

Thank you again for everything you did for HB 6599. We couldn't have done it without you.

Be well,

Coordinator and Lead Organizer

My Story Part 82 – Politics

Okay, many of you roll your eyes up and go on to another website when you see something about politics. For me, I would have done the same thing a couple of years ago but I have learned some things as I worked to pass the gender inclusive anti-discrimination law… politics is a necessary evil that we have to put up with.

Six years ago I would have jumped to another blog, then I went back to college to get my Master's in grassroots organizing and I learned you have to be active in politics if you want to pass an anti-discrimination law. At the same time as I was going to college, I was also attending fundraisers for PACs (Political Action Committees) and there I met politicians. I attended fundraisers for Gender PAC and also Love Makes a Family, and at them I met state legislators that were sympatric towards LGBT issues.

I also attended house parties for candidates where you have to make a donation to their campaign fund; usually I made the minimum contribution. But I was seen by the candidates, which was the whole idea, to be an out trans-person. Sometimes I was the only trans-person there in a whole sea of lesbians and gays. I also volunteered to work phone banks (which I decided was not for me and I vowed never to do that again) and to hold the candidate’s sign at the polling site (which I liked and wouldn’t mind doing it again). It was during the November elections when I was out in front of a polling place holding a sign for the candidate for Attorney General when my state Representative stopped by offering coffee for the volunteers there. I talked to him for a few minutes over the coffee about the elections. This spring when I went to talk to him about the anti-discrimination bill, he remembered me from that cold November morning. Did it help get his vote for the bill? I don’t know, but I do know that it didn’t hurt. Last October, I went to a Meet & Greet for then candidate Malloy, while I was there a legislator came up to me and introduced me to another legislator. and we talked a while about the anti-discrimination bill. I first met Gov. Malloy, then mayor, in 2005 at the Gender PAC fundraiser where he said that he was in favor of a gender inclusive non-discrimination legislation (Which as Governor he signed into law last Friday). During a Meet & Greet by the National Association of Social Workers, I meet a few more legislators who were also social workers and they met a trans-woman who was also becoming a social worker.

So, what is the moral to this story? It is that as much as I hate politics, you sometimes have to bite the bullet and become involved in politics. If you want to help pass anti-discrimination legislation in your state, you are going to have to do more than send an email or make a phone call… you are going to have to be seen by the politicians and network with other organizations.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

It Is About Time…

I’m glad that the YMCA finally took action against the Boy Scouts. The ends do not justify the means, you cannot teach “good citizenship” by teaching bigotry and discrimination.
YMCA says Scouts must leave over non-discrimination policy
BY Lana Douglas
July 5, 2011

CHAPEL HILL -- Boy Scout Troop 505 and other organizations that do not share the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA's non-discrimination policy may no longer use its facilities.

The YMCA board decided June 22 to extend its non-discrimination policy, which protects gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and members, to organizations that meet at the Y's facilities, executive director Jerry Whortan said.

"This decision was based on the Y's responsibility to represent our organization's values in all of our partnerships and relationships," Whortan said.
I was a boy scout and it was a different organization back then. Now, they discriminate against agnostics, atheists, Wiccans and Gays, and that does not build character, but instead teaches that it is OK to discriminate against people who hold different religious beliefs or sexual orientation. Just because they do good deeds dos not make them a good organization, there are many organizations that do good deeds and are considered “hate” groups.

I believe that the Boy Scouts have a right to discriminate because they are a private organization and that the Supreme Court has upheld that right. However, the boy scouts by declaring that right to discriminate cannot not be given public funds or support.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Saturday 9: Take Me Back

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Take Me Back

Sorry I don't have the banner, but it hasn't down load yet on the dial-up modme

1. Think of all your exes. Would you take any of them back?
Yes, one I still have a crush on.

2. If anyone came to your house on your "lazy days" what would you be wearing?
Well that is just about every day and you’ll probably see me in my nightgown

3. What's your favorite shirt?
Hmm… I don’t know if I have just one favorite blouse

4. Have you ever been on your school's track team?
Nope, I would have come in last.

5. Do you own a pair of Converse?
Nope, nor any other fancy sneakers

6. Where are you at right now?
Sitting up at my cottage in New Hampshire

7. Do you eat raw cookie dough?
Never. Yuck

8. Don't you hate when the radio ruins good songs by playing them over and over?
I never heard them do that, maybe because the songs that I listen to are 40 years old

9. Do you watch the news?
Yes, every night.

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

I'm sorry that I didn't answers your comments last week, but when I'm up at the cottage, I'm on dial-up internet service and it takes a very, very long time (20 - 30 minutes if there are a lots of pictures or ads) to download blogs with pictures.

1. Blue skies _are everywhere but over the cottage_.

2. _The scrapbook that I’m scanning is a trip down_ memory lane _that I want to preserve_

3. Kids _make you feel old, the just keep growing older and every time you turn around they pass another milestone. “You mean they are starting school already!” “They are too young to be driving!” I can’t believe that they…”_.

4. _Good friends_, _good weather_, _good food_; these are some of the best things about vacation.

5. Love is _always just around the corner _.

6. _I never watched_ submarine races.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _being with my family up at the cottage_, tomorrow my plans include _laying out on the deck doing nothing_ and Sunday, I want to guess I should do _ some work around the cottage _! On the Fourth my plans include _laying out on the deck doing nothing…maybe going for a swim_.