09.09.09 is a very special day for Beatle fans like me. Not only is the Rockband game coming out, but the original 13 studio albums will come out- digitally re-mastered. Needless to say I am very excited :-)
I was re-reading my old blogs from Yahoo, and thought it would be a great idea to revise them and update some thoughts. This first one was written in February of 2008. I consider it still quite on the money since I still think that way. Maybe re-posting it will give new readers new insights, comments from old friends are always welcome. I find this post current because just about a week ago, my flickr photostream reached 2 million views. Not going to say it didn't make me feel a bit vain, sometimes you need a shot to boost your ego, especially when other things are not going good... Still have to admit taking pictures still holds a fascination on me. Don't know about that flash that makes me smile :-P I think the latest pic is a bit 'cheeky', but lets admit it, most hits come from viewers who enjoy such assets.
Lori and Nani reminded me yesterday that I have been online for quite some time. I have not been here since the beginning but I did manage to find a little cubicle here in 360 and it happened that some people decided my musings were decent enough to be followed I didn't mean it to be that way. I decided to blog because I felt the need to start writing. It made me feel good to blog and it felt therapeutic in a way. I did not feel the need to antagonize anybody, there were no insults going back and forth on the comments, I guess nobody wanted to take center stage and be the drama queen back then. It felt good that a few of the friends I IM'd with commented on them. But life online was never the same when a whole bunch of people I never met started reading those rantings. Having a following was not the first thing that I wanted or expected. My first Yahoo 360 page (for those who remember sultrylaura 2004) went over 250,000 hits the first year. KC mentioned I had arrived to superstardom. I didn't like it. Most of my time online was spent accepting or rejecting new friends, people who would never contact me again but I had the obligation to write once in a while. Was this my fifteen minutes of fame? I was sure of it. and it bothered me that I was neglecting what I liked to do, be myself and write a blog about what I wanted. This was the time when the URNA rankings were most popular and everyone was scrambling to get some votes. I got caught in that mad race. It made no sense going to people's pages I'd never seen before and ask shamelessly for a vote. After being #1 for a couple of weeks I had enough and stopped, eventually ending in 9th place that month ( I think it was September '05). Getting online had become an obsession, a very absurd one at that.
It was actually one of my sons that slapped me with a reality check. He looked at my page views and my rankings and was impressed that I was so popular. I thought I would impress him with that, and he was. It was when he left after summer was over, that I realized something was terribly wrong. It was not the ratings and hits that should impress him. Those things were not me and did nothing to show my sons who I was. Spending time in front of the computer, wasting valuable kid time was something I could not get back.
Beauty and fame will not always be there. I kept repeating this over and over again as I backpedaled to my highschool years. I was never the popular kid. I did get calls at home from all my friends. But it was mostly because they wanted to compare homework answers. I never had a girlfriend in HS(yea I know, that's got nothing to do with popularity and a lot to do with my gender dysfunction) I felt it was a very childish behavior to be looking for acceptance and approval at the 'looks' level. If that was what I thought would make me popular, then I was regressing to an adolescent era where peer pressure ruled. I do compare winning the KTM Girl of the Year in 2005 as being the Queen of the Prom. It left me empty. I couldn't share that with my kids, nor that they cared that their favorite parent was winning awards for showing off legs and upskirt pics. I was not folowing the path I had chosen since my school years and I was not happy.
So I changed it. I created a new page with less friends. I stopped caring about URNA, I stopped sending pics to KTM. It all seems quite a long time ago, but it has only been 2 years. I am happy that I can go online and not worry about 20 or 30 invites. no rankings and no weird emails. My IM remains quiet unless I go out of stealth and it feels good that way. My new 360 page has less than 200,000 hits in almost 2 years...
So why this long rant, you may ask? It all goes back to Nani and Lori who invited me over to a chat conference. There were people in it which I had not met before. I was introduced by Lori and Nani as some internet deity. Well, the other girls were a bit confused after the introduction. I myself was wondering why I was considered a matriarch. That made me feel old ( aaaaahhhhh! ) In any case I really felt flattered my friends considered me in such high esteem. But I want to get real. I am just another Tgirl putting her story out in the internet. Nothing really special really. I guess my claim to fame can be found in one phrase: Proud to be myself in front of the world, now that could be a a nice epitaph if I wanted to be buried in a musty ole cemetery. I do not want drama, I am not about the looks, I do not want to change the world nor do I want to extend my 15 minutes of fame. I just like to tell my story to anyone who wants to listen.Maybe the time has come to leave the limelight, there are other more interesting stories to be told by energetic and ever positive gals like Lori and Nani... And with that my rant is done and so is my wine glass
"I have never really tried to analyze why I slowed down on my blog writing and my incessant instant messaging. Is it really because all I had to say I already did or is it some mysterious level of tg consciousness you reach? My experiences have taught me that, even though I may follow similar paths many transgender friends have followed, the last miles will always be traveled alone..." from the Top Secret Journal of Laura C.
Rearranging my world after admitting my tg status is always ongoing. The difference about it these days is that I don't make everything in my world revolve around being T. My job is not about being T, my friendships are not about being T or my hobbies are not about being T. There was a time when everything had to pass thru the tg filter, everything had to be scrutinized with a tg eye in order for me to like it or accept it. I have returned to doing things I used to do before transitioning, like downloading music. I found good stuff in EMusic again, like Cascade by Peter Murphy and some MC5. Never heard of a band called Admiral James T but I like it very much. I found some punk rock from Spain which I haven't seen or heard since I lived back in Peru, and that pleased me quite a lot too.
Last year, I tried my hand at some activism but even though I support and attend some meetings, I feel out of my element again. Talking about that, Pride is coming around at the end of this month, so yes, I will be attending Pride Fest in Ft Lauderdale on March 22. I had fun the other day, when I did a Valentine's pictorial for Flickr. I think that is one thing I still enjoy a lot from my TG-stuff-only days. I wonder if I will still do pictorials when I reach my 60's, LOL
I have found out that I am loved not because I am tg, I am loved because who I am. My kids don't like me because I am Laura, they like me because to them I am always Dad. I still have to figure out why Glenn loves me, all I can say right now is because I look good in pictures :-P. But seriously, talking about it has yielded an important conclusion: He likes me because of who I am, TGism included but not restricted to. People at work, both co-workers and clients like me because I do my job well and nothing in my personal life has affected that performance. I like the attitude of my mom and sis. After learning about Laura, they have kept on treating me the way they always have, Mom calls me almost every day and we visit at least once a week. They still kinda giggle when they find out new things about me, like when I went out with Glenn for dinner for Valentine's or when I ask them how to cook some stuff. They keep asking if the rice came out good, which it did ;-)
Many times I have read blogs or comments in the TG community and I have wanted to argue about certain issues that conflict with my views. I am not an antagonistic person, and I have always believed myself an outsider. Things like lists and demands or formulas have never been a priority to me. I know that my practical and simple way of dealing with things is not everyone's cup of tea. But it works for me. What is my reaction when there is an unsettling situation? Nothing. I don't get mad or outraged. Kids are still the biggest part of my delivery route. Most of the new kids in the new accounts will always ask if I am a boy or a girl. Some are bold enough to ask. My answer is always the same: "what do you think?" They smile or giggle, I smile back and they will say hi again, next time I show up. Mom's love commenting on my hair, I do take really good care of it and go to the salon at least every 2 months. So do I get upset if they answer boy? No. People make up their minds of who I am, my gender is not always relevant in these situations. Does it bother me? Not really, what really bothered me was that one of the girls at work I came out to stared and giggled at me when I showed up to the office, the day I went on vacations. Not wearing my work clothes and wearing some tight jeans and hair loose had that effect on her. Of course, now all the girls in the office are on this Herbalife Diet. Think it is coincidental they started after I came back from vacations? I still think I have a lot of things to work on, like legally changing my name. Back when I felt entitled and justified, I had mail and stuff I bought online shipped to Laura. And I have not stopped that custom, even when I moved to Glenn's. His mail lady is very accomodating and never asks questions . Unfortunately, it happened that she was off on vacations and the substitute person refused to release a package without an ID. Even when G explained the situation, she was not going to deviate from her statutes. So I guess I have to stop this foolish custom and use my official name until I change my name, which is very simple here in Fla, You only need to show up before the judge and pay 300 bux. What a bargain! :-P We went to see Watchmen last nite, and I really enjoyed the pic. Never have followed the comic book so to me it was a well directed movie, with plot that kept me interested for the 160 minutes. Of course we were late, and after the movie we went to Johnny's for a few drinks. Place was dead, but it is quite enjoyable when your friends are not there too. You get to chat with people, who otherwise would not come near you if you were in a large loud group. While G was occupied elsewhere, some guy sat next to me and started a conversation. Now if I was in a place like Trixies, I would have expected it, admirers hang there like flies around cow dung. But I was minding my own business, listening to the band play. We started chatting it up and I sensed he didn't have any covert intentions. He was actually quite nice and bought me a drink when he saw I had finished mine. We must have talked for about 30 minutes when Glenn returned. We all continued talking for another 2 minutes, quite an enjoyable evening :-)
Guess it takes a whole Sunday afternoon to recover from last nite antics. Last nite at Fuci's was cool. My friend Dominic and Bobby played in the house band. Dom plays the lead guitar, Bobby is the drummer. Although it is not the best band in the world, it is enjoyable to watch friends play live music and having fun doing it. Today I woke up with a slight headache, a queasy stomach that didn't let go all day and a big bruise on my left arm. Apparently, I fell or hit something in the dark while getting ready for bed. Glenn told me I was doing crazy stunts on the bed when I fell, but I don't believe him :-P Lately, I have been bruising badly at work and because of hrt, my skin has become prone to these ailments. Nails tend to crack and chip too, specially when carrying O2 tanks. I have learned to use utility gloves for the most part. But the job is still physical and my legs still get constant bruises and cuts. I'm glad I wear those thick Dickies slacks to work. Most of the times I go out I wear jeans cuz my legs are bruised, kind of a pain in the ass, but that's the job I know how to do...
In a matter of 3 months my mom, Ken and my sister have lost their jobs. I am quite concerned about these hard economic times because again, my plans to move closer to the kids is foiled by circumstances beyond my control. I know it is going to be hard to find a job wherever I go, and let's add my gender issues to the mix and well, we got to put temporary stop to the plans. We discuss these things between the kids and I, and I get to worry again when we discuss our plans for summer vacations. Looking for deals on airplane tickets is the best thing to do, the laptop and the internet are invaluable for this kind of research.
I like the format of my new online hangout: Facebook. It is not Y360 but I like it a lot better than MySpace, an account I deleted. Apparently, MySpace decided that it didn't like an application I had on my page(Project Playlist) and proceeded to remove it, only telling me AFTER they had gone into my profile. So on the notes you write on the reason why you are deleting your profile, I said that if you had sent me a note to remove it I would have. It was not necessary to act all police state on a site I had lost quite a lot of interest really. Anyways, Facebook has been quite a pleasant experience and I would recommend it for someone who wants to make a friend network. My only concern with it is the numerous game applications you are flooded with every day. I like Mousehunt but I tend to ignore invitations to other apps.
I am starting to like the PT Cruiser more. I really appreciate it more as I discover more things about it. Apparently, the original owner had made some mods on the engine. I had noticed it had a custom exhaust and a K&N Air Filter, which is nice for a turbo car. When Glenda left the lights on last weekend and I had to jump start the car I found out I had some hi-perf fuel injectors. Yeah, I know it is only a puny 4-cylinder but someone pampered that car and I appreciate that.
Guess that's it for now. Valentine's Day is next week, so I wish all of you the best lovey-dovey time. Me? I will probably go to my favorite restaurant, but I need a hair appointment pronto :-P
Blogging is getting tougher to get to and farther in between these days. Sometimes I wonder if this has to do with having more things to do outside the Internet community or my priorities have changed. I know I'm an unorthodox tgirl, maybe I don't feel a sense of community due to some differences. Someone wrote to me and had figured out my absence was due to the fact I had gone "stealth". LOL I'm unorthodox remember? I do not flinch when they call me sir or dude, I don't think I'm entitled to be called ma'am. I'm not sure where this is going, but not following the operator's manual is normal for me. I thought an update was necessary though, because I tend to forget things. Many personal situations have occurred, and blogs also give me the chance to look back and think a little bit more about them. So, before going back to Fallout, Neopets, Runescape and Mousehunt (geez I've become a geek :-P), here's a few thoughts...
Like getting a new car, for instance. I was really frustrated when the firemen ordered my leaky van to get towed to the pound because it was a fire hazard to the public. Not only was G upset at me but I had all these dark clouds forming in my head because I was again without a vehicle, and now I was like 20 miles away from work. Public transportation in Florida is a joke, so that was not a solution. With some luck and my family's help, I managed to get a new car. But it did not come quite easy. It came with a standard transmission, you know, a "stick". Embarrassingly, I must admit I never learned to drive stick. Yup, at my age... anyways, my main excuse has been the fact that Dad back in the days was very abusive, and quick to beat his kids if they frustrated him. To make a long story short, after a terrifying first driving lesson with dad, I gave up and swore to just use Peru's public transportation, which still is abundant and cheap- better than Florida's I think. But here I was in 2008 with the keys to a car I stalled continously. I was kinds scared when G offered to teach me in his fast Subaru. First, I didn't want to break anything and second, I was apprehensive. I still carry that stigma of someone beating me over stalling. The lessons went ok, but the person who really took one afternoon to teach me was my mom's new husband. I must explain how impressed I was. He is someone who eats, breathes and sleeps World of Warcraft. He will usually not have dinner with us cuz he is doing a quest or raiding some enemy camp. He didn't even get away from his PC for Christmas, yeah HARDCORE. But I felt very honored when he left his PC that Sunday afternoon and taught me the basics. I have been driving the car for several weeks now. I'm not quite the expert but I manage to stall less every day.
I had the chance to visit my kids in Arizona, a couple of weeks ago. It is such a relief to see them, talk to them, hug them and tickle them :-P I always think that when the days at work get longer and my temper grows shorter, then it is time to visit my kids again. Even though, it's more excitement than relaxation, my vacations with them tend to re-energize me. I got the chance to help my little one with his homework, something I have been promising myself for a looong time. I was relieved I didn't react like my dad, I was very patient. What's more important, my older son contributed, which surprised me, due to his highly antagonistic stance to Nicky. Of course, we also had tons of fun. We walked the Strip in Vegas, we climbed to the top of the Stratosphere, we visited Lake Havasu were they fed the pigeons by the London Bridge and we hang out in Laughlin, which is a Casino/Hotel enclave just across the border from Arizona. With a rental car we drove across 3 states: California, Nevada and Arizona, well the gas was cheap a couple of weeks ago. I was pleasantly surprised with the tolerance level of the residents of Arizona. Everywhere we went ( including Vegas) attendants and people in general did not stare or look confused when they were addressing me. Many used Ma'am to address me, but they didn't look flustered when my kids piped in a 'Dad,look here!' Nor did they correct themselves, after they read my name on the debit card. I think their acceptance level is quite higher than in Florida, were people still stare at me. I was quite upset the day I left for vacation. I went to the office to turn in my paperwork before heading to the airport. I had my hair loose, a tight pair of jeans and a not so quite loose tee. I guess they're used to see me with a ponytail, Dickies and a loose Polo. The warehouse manager didn't recognize me and we both laughed. But what bothered me was that one of the girls grabbed another one and pointed to me and started giggling. Now, I usually do not let that bother me, but in this instance, I must admit it made me feel self conscious. Nevertheless, when I got to the airport, the first thing TSA called me was, "this way Ma'am' LOL When my boys lived in Michigan, I knew i would never go back to live there, but now that they live in Arizona, the chances of moving close to them has increased. I feel like I'd be quite at ease living over there.
There are too many things in the world that are wrong. I am a mere observer and I really don't think I am a catalyst of tremendous changing powers. All I hope is that my words touch you, reader. Maybe you will understand, maybe you will shrug and go to the next blogger, maybe you will secretly admire me. If I nudged your consciousness, I'll feel content.
What's all this about transgender?, you may ask. All my fellow sisters know the drill, but a mainstream audience may look at a tg site and make up a wrong notion of us. Transgender is not about sexuality but more about gender identity. Transgender is more about a journey than a mere fetish. A transgender person is just another human being trying to live in this world. We work, breathe and eat like any other human being. Unfortunately, for some misjudgement, we don't have the same rights most citizens have. Why is that? Just wanted to make you aware thats' all :-)