September 30, 2011

Dog Dreams

I've been dreaming a lot recently. Unusual; I usually sleep like a rock, and if I dream, I'm not conscious of them. But lately, my subconscious seems to be trying to push to the surface.

Night before last, I was on a hospital gurney, heading into some sort of procedure (like an MRI or angiogram or something). Notable was the fact that my dog, Elo, was curled up under my arm on the gurney, and was going into the procedure room. Also that night, I dreamed I was riding my bike, and Elo was sitting on the bike rack at the back of the bike (completely unreal) - and I recall riding up and over a small hump / curb, getting some air, and checking to see if Elo was still seated securely. I woke up distinctly unsettled.

Last night, I dreamed I was at my old house in Waterbury, but Elo was with me. At one point, my neighbor Joyce (from my Hartford home) was trying to take Elo for a walk (I stopped her, afraid Elo would get loose) and as I was taking Elo into the house, she came up with a small thumb tack or dart - was somebody shooting at my dog? I noticed the woman (whose name was Mrs. Martinez, completely fictional) across the street quickly closing her blind. Turns out she had been shooting darts at Elo, because of his barking. She came over and gave me a little baggie with the darts in them (to show me they were harmless, I guess) and I got angry at her; called 9-1-1 to get the police to come out, but the phone was never answered.

Later, same dream, same locale, Elo's back leg fell off. Right below the bony "heel" on his leg; he was limping but not in a lot of pain. I called up a 24 Hour emergency vet - and while I was talking to the vet, I noticed he had lost the other back leg, but that he seemed to be growing new paws.

Finally, same dream, a guy shows up from a mortgage company - thought he was looking for me, but he was looking for the folks next door (when I lived in Waterbury, an old guy named Carl and his nephew). He and some colleagues were hanging around outside, and other colleagues showed up and they had a pie fight with large flat trays of what looked like meringue or shaving cream.

I've been feeling kind of crappy of late; perhaps the dreams are part of my body's healing or fighting off some infection. But....weird.

September 27, 2011

Even Yoginis Get the Blues

It was a sucky day.

It was the kind of day where I did not encounter another living human being - not on the phone, not via email or text, not in person. If it weren't for a trip out to grab some lunch and a run to Real Art Ways to catch a film, I might have believed myself the only human left on the planet.

Even Real Art Ways, where I went to see "Shut Up Little Man", was a bit depressing - I was the only person in the theater. As if I needed a reminder of how alone I am.

I stayed out of the yoga studio - because I knew the moment I hit the mat I would dissolve into tears, and I really did not want to be the spectacle du jour. And at times, being there with the community, the interconnectedness, only serves to remind me of my own separateness.

So yeah, sucky day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

September 17, 2011

CT Pride Day

Wandered down to Bushnell Park this afternoon for Connecticut Pride. Was a beautiful morning / early afternoon, although it clouded over and cooled down a bit.

I really liked the layout of the vendor / organizational booths - it contained the energy and created a feeling of critical mass, as compared to other years. Think I've missed a few years there so this may not be a new thing, but regardless, I approve. I'm not much for the music at Pride; just not my cup of tea. And without a posse hanging out together, not a lot of fun hanging out all afternoon. So I popped in and out.

Mostly, it's my annual check-in with folks. Some friends I have known for 10-15 years; Pride is my one chance to really touch base every year. Others I see more often, but nice to see them all together. And always a couple I have lost touch with, it's a nice surprise to reconnect.

And always a little bittersweet. Organizations I have been involved with over the years; membership has turned over and now I know nobody. New organizations that have sprouted up that I have no connection or history with; a little awkward to wander up and say "Hey, I used to be somebody, 10 years ago". And a sense of missing the GLBT community a bit:

* Living in a liberal state where GLBT folks are seamlessly integrated into other communities, a lot of the community spaces (community center, bars, coffeehouses) and resources / groups have faded;

* Moving through the world without making waves or encountering much in the way of discrimination or hate, which limits my incentive to stay connected to the support and activism organizations;

* Being way too busy with work, hobbies, and life - I try to stop in to community events when I can, but "when I can" is a pretty thin slice of life.

Shout out to my wing women; Alison from yoga and Sandy from the Guinea Pigs, who both wandered down to check out the festival and wander around with me for a while. I usually just do a circuit or two, say hi to old friends, and head out. Instead I hung out with them and chatted for a few hours. I Am sure they both broke a few hearts this afternoon; sorry ladies, they are straight! Although Alison's sidekick (an adorable pug) was like catnip to the gay men....

I doubt I'll get to any of the evening festivities - a bit too old for the bar scene, balloon chasing in the morning means a 4:30 am wake-up call. But it was nice to check in. The Eros Film Fest is coming up in November...

September 13, 2011

Losing My Religion

Somewhere between savasana and home, I had the realization that I have been having a recurring dream. I dream of being in high school, in the middle of the term or semester. And I have been completely blowing off my religion classes (I went to a catholic high school, we had religion classes) - never showing up, not even on my schedule.

Of course, I have been without a formal religious belief for many years. In fact, if anything, I have developed a strong anti-religion bias what with the antics of the christian right and radical islam. It's gotten to the point where I avoid even ecumenical or vaguely religious intersections with other causes and orgs.

I spend a lot of time plugging away at spirituality - yoga, meditation, enlightenment intensives, retreats. I have a strong belief in something larger - the divine, a cosmic consciousness, a soul in the machine. But religion - no thanks.

Pondering what that dream might mean.....

September 11, 2011

Ten Years Ago

My previous post was a macro post - the big picture, so to speak. Drilling down to the personal, to my life ten years ago.

I was out in the Chicago area on Sept 11, 2001 for an industry conference out by the airport. Not sure if I flew out early that morning or the night before; I was safely on the ground in a rental car when the first tower was hit, I was listening to the local NPR affiliate. I was running out to an office supply store or pharmacy to pick up a cell phone charger, where the news was buzzing - I called my pilot friend Robert as I heard the news, "turn on CNN, some moron flew into the World Trade Center". Thinking it was a small private plane and nothing more than an accident, I imagined he'd be interested. As we talked, he conveyed to me "that was a lot bigger than a Cessna"; we made have been on the phone when the second plane hit, and he clicked off to call his brother who was employed on Wall Street.

Still unaware of the magnitude of things, I continued to my trade show; the conference quickly faded as we gathered around a few television sets to watch the unbelievable news. By lunchtime, it was clear that we were living in a different world; I returned to my hotel room. I remember hearing rumors that the Sears Tower or Hancock Tower in Chicago had been targeted; I remember looking up cautiously at each plane that flew overhead inbound to O'Hare.

I ended up stranded in Chicago for most of the week - waiting for airports to open. I withdrew from industry peers; spending time online, calling friends and family, watching the news in my hotel room, fretting about the cost of the hotel. Finally, I sought out a local gay bar, "Temptations" in Franklin Park which is now closed, where I sat at the bar and watched the news with a handful of locals - just seeking human contact. A couple of days later, I gave up waiting for the airports to open, and set out for home in my rental car, figuring it was easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission. It took me two days to get home; I made a big loop around the city. I am sure the rental car agencies had a couple of months spent untangling the mess of relocated cars from that week.

In hindsight, that week was a turning point for me personally. Although I had yet to admit it to myself, I was mid-transition between genders - still legally and working as a male, but looking much more female. Yet I had not really mapped out a formal transition plan; I was freelancing, playing it by ear. Years later, one of my clients who was also at the conference reported being asked "Why is that woman (me) wearing a man's suit?". And though I had not packed for clubbing or venturing out, a pair of jeans and a tee shirt were sufficient to put me in the female category over at the bar that week.

In the aftermath of the attacks, my annual trade show trip to Chicago (November 2001) was cancelled, and business / business travel dried up significantly. So I was able to spend the next 12 months holed up in my consulting office, working remotely, mostly out of sight of my clients and customers. A year later, in the fall of 2002, I begged out of the trade show again - because my affect was clearly too feminine to pass as male. I realized that, although I feared the impact of transitioning on my career and livelihood, not transitioning was having the same affect. So I rather quickly set a transition date (January 1, 2003), and continued to stay out of sight, not wanting to reinforce my male gender that close to transition.

This time I told my main client what was up; they had me out to their west coast facility in January 2003 to do some training as the new me. It was, in retrospect, a very kind and generous gift to my insecure self; their "nothing to see here, move along" attitude set a positive tone for almost all of my clients.

I know that a lot of folks had post 9-11 career or life crises. Many trans persons decided to find a support group, seek counseling, etc. That was not the case with me; I had been on this path for a good decade prior to 2001. But in some ways, the terrorist attacks of 2001 opened the doorway for me to take the steps I needed to take. The post 9-11 slowdown made my transition a lot less complicated and a lot more inevitable.

September 07, 2011

Dear Sir

I get a lot of unsolicited emails with resumes to my work email address. I have a fairly distinctive domain (yay for early adoption!), and most folks never get past the front page to figure out I am a one-person consulting practice.

So, OK, you are sending out resume or CV spam. But even if I were hiring (I'm not, sorry), heading your email "Dear Sir" is a pretty quick FAIL, at this company!

Since most these come from India, and most of the email verbiage is pretty fractured email, perhaps they get a pass. But still.....