This Country Needs This Man

I'm a pretty enthusiastic Obama supporter and I plan to vote for him when Kentucky holds it's Primary in May, but I can't help but feel that the man this country so desperately needs won't be on the ballot. I'm speaking of course of Al Gore, the Elder Statesman of the Democratic Party and the man who had the 2000 Presidential election stolen from him by five conservative Supreme Court Justices. He is perhaps the only person who could save this country from the mess it finds itself in and yet, he doesn't appear to want the job. We can't blame him of course, who the hell would want to try and clean up the cluster-fuck Dubya has left behind, but he would nonetheless be the sanest choice to occupy the Oval Office.

I still find myself fuming over the results of the 2000 election and one can't help but wonder how different America and the World would be today had Gore not had the will of the voters overturned. While it's probable that 9/11 probably would have happened, Gore most certainly would not have responeded the way Dubya did to that fateful day. Gore would not have attacked Iraq, would not have let Bin Laden get away and he for sure would not have taken the Constitution of the United States, the most sacred document ever penned by the hand of man, to a paper shredder. Gore would not have tarnished the image of this once great country, he would not have illegaly spied on his fellow Americans and most likely, America would be a leader in combating Climate Change, not the poster boy for ineptitude we currently are.

That the media so shamelessly helped but Dubya in office makes me even more pissed off. They never tired of calling Gore a robot, of making fun of how wonkish he was and repeating over and over the lie that Gore claimed to have invented the internet. They told us what a great guy Dubya was, how he would be much more fun to have a drink with, how Dubya was charming and a regular joe while Gore was stiff and boring, only wanting to talk about policy. Well, nearly 8 years later, the country is in ruins and they are doing it all over again, putting John McBush up on an altar, telling us what a "Maverick" he is and having BBQ's at McBush's "rustic" cabin. The past 7 years have worked out great, haven't they, and now they want to do it all over again.

Dogs At Play

It's not the best camea work, but entertaining nonetheless, especially if you love dogs. Sammy is the Border Collie with the nearly all black face, River is the Border Collie with the black and white face and the Lab is Shadow.

video

Our Public Face


I can't think of a better person to be the public face for transsexuals. Jennifer Boylan's memoir, She's Not There, is by far the best book written about what it's like to be born the wrong gender. She's a role model, an inspiration and a remarkable woman. Pretty cute as well.

Racing

It's time to start the engines. Two weeks ago, the 2008 Formula One season got underway and tomorrow, The Indy Racing League season will begin under the lights at Homestead Motor Speedway in Miami. To celebrate, I wore a lot of my Indy Racing gear to work today and of course I got razzed about that. More than a few people seemed curious that I would be so into something so "testosterone filled" as Indy Car Racing. Well, last time I checked, sports don't belong to men. Two women, Danica Patrick and Milka Duno will be racing tomorrow evening, with Patrick having a realistic shot at winning. So there!



Anyways, I thought I would step out on a limb and give my 2008 Indy Car Season Preview and Prediction Thread. It's an exciting time for American open-wheel racing fans as for the first time in over a decade, we have one unified series with all of the top drivers competing under one sanctioning body. When the flag goes green, 25 cars will race 300 miles at over 210 mph, the largest field in ages. Had Graham Rahal not wrecked his car in practice, we would have a field of 26 cars. Most of those new cars will be at a severe disadvantage as they try to come up to speed with a new chassis, new engine and new format of racing, namely ovals. Only two of the former Champ Car drivers have any meaningful experience on ovals and to expect any of them to finish high, much less win, is unrealistic.

That won't necessarily be the case next week when the series heads to St. Petersburg for the Grand Prix on a temporary street circuit. That is what makes the Indy Car Series so challenging and what for me, makes it the most competitive racing series in the world. The schedule features a challenging mix of high speed ovals, temporary street circuits, road courses and small ovals. Throw in the 33 car field Indianapolis 500 and you have one hell of a schedule. I'll get to see two races this year, the 500 and the race at Kentucky Speedway in August. Should be fun. So, without further ado, here are my picks for the season:

1. Season Championship: Realistically, 4 drivers have a shot at the season title and should be quite a shootout. My pick for season championship is Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi. Challenging him will be Tony Kannan of Andretti Green, Helio Castroneves of Penske and Dan Wheldon also of Ganassi.

2. Rookie of the year: This will be an interesting battle as all but two of the new drivers from Champ Car will be classified as rookies because of a lack of oval racing experience. My pick is Newman Haas driver Justin Wilson. Wilson was expected to be the heavy favorite to win the Champ Car title and I see no reason why he won't perform better than any of the other rookies. He's a former Formula One driver and is immensely talented. Best bet for runner up: Graham Rahal, also of Newman Haas.

3. Will she or won't she? Perhaps the second biggest story line of the year is whether or not Danica Patrick will finally notch her first victory. She's steadily improved with each season and racing for Andretti Green doesn't hurt. I say yes, she gets not one, but two wins this year and finishes in the top six of the standings.

4. Will any of the former Champ Car drivers win a race this year? My gut feeling is no, but if it's going to happen, two drivers have a good shot at pulling it off. Orial Servia has 27 oval starts and is a talented driver and is the only one with a chance to win an oval this year. The best option to win however belongs to Wilson and it will come at Surfers Paradise in Australia or Edmonton, Alberta, street circuits that none of the drivers from the IRL have raced over.

5. Who will win the Indianapolis 500, the crown jewel in the series? I'm going to predict Scott Dixon will drink the jug of milk on his way to the season championship. Look for Kannan to finish second with Patrick third.

6. Will Paul Tracy land a ride? Amazingly, the most popular driver in the former Champ Car Series, Paul Tracy, doesn't have a seat this year. In a last minute decision, his team decided not to field a car for the merged series, leaving Tracy on the outside looking in. It's a shame as Tracy brings a lot of personality and would have been a great rival for some of the Indy Car drivers that used to race against him in CART. I suspect that a seat will indeed come open for Tracy and within a couple of races, we'll see him mixing it up and going upside down as he is want to do.

7. Besides the 500, what race am I most excited about? Belle Isle in Detroit. This beautiful circuit was the most exciting race last year and the Champ Car drivers should love it. I'd give just about anything to go see this one, even if it meant having to go to Detroit.

8. What am I most looking forward to? As excited as I am about this year, next year will be even better. The former Champ Car teams will have a year under their belt and expect them all to be much more competitive next year. Also, next years schedule should greatly expand and hopefully we'll see some exciting new additions to the race calendar. I'd love to see a 22 week schedule with the following sites included:

Homestead Speedway, Miami- Oval
St. Petersburg, Florida Grand Prix- Street Circuit
Twin Ring Montegi, Japan- Oval
Long Beach Grand Prix, California- Street Circuit
Indianapolis 500, Indiana- Oval
Texas Motor Speedway, Texas- Oval
Kansas Motor Speedway, Kansas- Oval
Iowa Motor Speedway, Iowa- Oval
Michigan Motor Speedway, Michigan- Oval
Kentucky Motor Speedway, Kentucky- Oval
Chicago Motor Speedway, Illinois-Oval
Belle Isle Grand Prix, Michigan- Road Course
Grand Prix of Edmonton, Alberta- Street Circuit
Toronto Grand Prix, Ontario- Street Circuit
Surfer's Paradise Grand Prix, Australia- Street Circuit
Monterrey Grand Prix, Mexico- Street Circuit
California Motor Speedway, California- Oval
Cleveland Grand Prix, Ohio- Burke Lakefront Airport Circuit
Portland Grand Prix, Oregon- Street Circuit
Mid-America Road Course, Ohio- Road Course
Nashville Super Speedway, Tennessee- Oval
Las Vegas Grand Prix, Nevada- Streets of Vegas

Is This It?

I've long been convinced that we (America and really the World at large) were living on borrowed time and that eventually all of the excess of the past half century would finally catch up with us. As little as a couple of months ago, I didn't really think that the current economic crisis would be the big "IT" that so many have been worried about. I actually did believe that this thing could be controlled and that after a year or so of slow economic growth, we'd rebound for a few more years and get to continue "partying on". Evidently I was wrong.

Whether anyone really wants to admit it, and judging by the way most people seem to be going about their happy ways, they don't, it's becoming increasingly clear to those who are actually paying attention that the wheels have fallen off and we are careening out of control into unchartered territory. You can see on Wall Street as the market just can't quite figure out what to do. Helicopter Ben drops some money their way, stocks go up for a day, and then reality sets in again and billions more simply disappear. Meanwhile, commodities are at record highs as a genuine food shortage takes shape and global oil production peaks. Food and gas prices are soaring, retail sales are falling, credit is increasingly difficult to come by and the housing market has completely collapsed.



Americans are leveraged to the max, as deep in debt as they have ever been and the sad thing is, there may be no way out. When one looks at the staggering debt burden that America is under, it begins to sink in that there will never be a way to pay it all back. We are increasingly owned by Chines and Middle Eastern consortiums that for the time being are willing to do their part to prop up their biggest consumer of cheap plastic goods and expensive liquid petroleum. How long that will last is anyones guess, but signs are out there that it might not be much longer.

As I've mentioned many times before, the two biggest threats to modern civilization are runaway climate change and peak oil. That they are happening concurrently will only make matters worse. For nearly three full years, we've been on an undulating plateau of global oil production, unable to surpass the May 2005 production. We still might see a brief increase in production this year, but by this time next year, we'll begin the long and very, very painful decline that will finally bring the world to it's knees.


Energy Use in Human History. Notice Anything?

I have absolutely zero doubt that future historians will consider the Industrial Revolution, of which everyone alive has always been a part of, to be a historic aberration. For all of human history, save for the past 200 hundred years, humans have lived in a low energy, low growth and low subsistence world. Oil, coal and natural gas changed all of that and the past two centuries saw unprecedented population, economic and standard of living growth. We are now entering the final phase of that brief window of prosperity and this time, the ride won't be nearly as fun as the one going up was.

ONE LAST THING TO LEAVE YOU WITH:
The boom in housing is what propelled the past two decades of US economic growth as the manufacturing base that sustained us for most of the 20th century disappeared to China and other havens of cheap labor. There really is no way to sugar coat this so I'll just let the facts speak for themselves. Remember, don't hurt the messenger.

1. US Existing Home Sales- For February, sales were down 23.8% from the previous year.
2. US New Home Sales- For February, sales were down 29.8% from the previous year.
3. American Home Owners lost an average of $338 a week in the value of their home. That comes to $17,576 lost in just one year in the value of ones home. At this rate, I'll be using my mortgage payment coupons as toilet paper in a year or so, so worthless will my house be.
4. If you happen to live in California, it's even worse as home prices fell by an average of $2788 a week or $144,976 total.

As Ilargi says, "Do numbers like that make it easier to understand what is going on? If not, what else can I do to make you wake up?"

Interesting

I really don't know what to think about this, but once this gets picked up by the more mainstream media, expect a firestorm of controversy. I must confess, I really didn't think this was possible, but evidently it is. I had assumed that like male to female transsexuals, female to males lost the ability to reproduce with heavy doses of hormone therapy. My endocrinologist told me that one of the first side affects of estrogen would be sterilization. That weighed heavily on my decision to start hormones but in the end, I decided that children really weren't for me and thus began the process. My "equipment" long ago quit working and I rarely, if ever, think about that fact. My only acknowledgment of my penis is that it is not what I would prefer to have. Anyways, it will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

What's Next, A Beatdown?

The only thing that hasn't happened is getting the shit beat out of me by someone who finds my existence not just repulsive, but nauseating as well. Sometimes, when the public mocking becomes so bad, I would almost prefer physical abuse, as at least those bruises heal. These now common episodes have sucked the life out of me and sapped my soul. Some days, I just feel like an emotionless being walking aimlessly through life. For the time being, the tears still flow, but once the ability to feel pain stops, they too will one day stop. How I'm still going is beyond me and speaks to the utter desperation of my inner feelings. Still, one can only run into a brick wall so many times before deciding that maybe this isn't the best route.

An Easter Long Ago



I must have been 3 or so and I guess we would have been living in Ft. Riley, Kansas that year.

Easter?

The calendar says Spring and today is Easter, but you wouldn't know it by looking out the window. We have 33 degrees and heavy wet snow. Friday was in the 70's and today it's snowing. Of course, this is the earliest that Easter can fall and it won't happen again till the year 2228, at which point I will be 258 years old. Anyways, here are some pics.


A Vanity Fair MeMe

One of my favorite things about my favorite magazine, The Proust Questionnaire. I do this month's here:

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I can't even comprehend such a thing, so I don't know.

2. What is your greatest fear?
What life will be like after my Mom is gone.

3. What is your most marked characteristic?
I don't know.

4. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Negativity, though it wasn't that way till 2004.

5. Which living person do you most despise?
Dubya!

6. What is your greatest extravagance?
Dining out.

7. What is your current state of mind?
Despair mixed with cautious optimism.

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
All virtues are overrated.

9. On what occasion do you lie?
I seldom lie, if ever.

10. What do you dislike most about your appearance?
My face and it's an expensive one at that.

11. What is the quality you most like in a man?
Modesty.

12. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Intelligence

13. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
"I'm sorry"- Mom says I apologize too much, especially for things that I didn't do.

14. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My family and my dogs.

15. When and where were you happiest?
My years in West Virginia. The mountains have a way of soothing the soul.

15. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
That I could have been comfortable being a guy.

16. Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I could sing.

17. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My education. That I not only have a college degree, but also a Masters Degree, all of which puts me in rather rare company.

18. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
A dog. There is no other creature that is more pure than a dog. The only thing I would ever change about dogs is their tragically short lives. Something so sweet, so loving and so dedicated should be blessed with a longer life.

19. Where would you like to live?
I can think of no finer city than London.

20. What is your most treasured possession?
My memories. No one can ever take them away.

21. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Being a transsexual and not being able to successfully transition. It's what my life is.

22. What is your favorite occupation?
Sleeping.

23. Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Atticus Finch and Winnie the Pooh. All you need to know in order to live a good and decent life can be found in those two amazing characters.

24. What are your favorite names?
Sammy, River and Shadow of course.

25. What is it that you most dislike?
Mans cruelty to animals. We do not deserve our place at the head of the food chain.

26. How would you like to die?
Doing something that I enjoy. Perhaps riding a roller coaster.

27. What is your motto?
"Why do something today when you can do it tomorrow."

Thank God

Sammy's fine. The doctor found a second lump and did a biopsy and found that it was nothing more than a benign fatty tissue buildup. Evidently, it's common in big dogs when they get older and she said not to worry but to check him once a month or so for anything else that should turn up. Not even a need for a follow up visit. Best news I've had in a long time. I love my boy!

Say a Prayer For My Sammy

Today was a really great day, one of the better ones I've had in recent weeks. As I settled onto the sofa to get ready to watch Lost, my boy Sammy came to my side looking for some love. I set about scratching his back, rubbing behind his ears and giving him a tubby rub. That's when I found it. The lump is about the size of a jelly bean, maybe a bit bigger, but certainly something that shouldn't be there. It might very well be nothing, I'm not exactly schooled in the art of veterinary science, but I'm not going to take any chances. I'll be waiting at the doctors office tomorrow morning when they open up and I'll drop him off to see what they say.

Sammy is my boy, the greatest dog who ever lived and ever since I adopted him as a puppy, he's been attached at my leg. He goes where I go and over the years, he's been as loyal a dog as one could ever ask for. He never strays from my side, comes when I call him, does what I ask and generally just tries to please me. I've of course repaid the love as there isn't anything in the world I wouldn't do for any of my dogs, but especially so for Sammy.



He's what you might call my "Lifetime Dog", that dog that is so special that no matter how many come into your life, that dog will always be the one. They say that dogs are man's best friend and I couldn't agree more. It might seem silly, but Sammy is my best friend and I'm his best friend. We've been through a lot together and during all these years, I've never so much as raised my voice at him. He looks at me with the most adoring and worshipful eyes imaginable and I know that what he feels for me is true love. He's friendly to everyone he meets and great with other animals, but no matter who or what comes into his world, he always has a look out for me. I have no doubt that he would give his life for me and so tomorrow, I'll do everything possible to repay the favor.

As this wonderful day comes to a very troubling end, keep us in your thoughts and say a prayer for my beloved Sammy.

Another Year of War Begins Today

Five years ago today (has it really been that long ago?) The Chimp in Chief began his Desert Conquest. The Pentagon, with all of their shiny new toys and bunker busting bombs, promised us "Shock and Awe", an opening salvo so overwhelming and so destructive, that Saddam would instantly show us where those Weapons of Mass Destruction were. As it turned out, the only "shock and awe" about the whole thing was shockingly Bush and Company fucked things up. They awed us okay, awed us with their incompetence and total disregard for public opinion, facts and on the ground reality.

This war has seemingly been going on forever and yet it shows no signs of ever ending. If we leave now, Teh Glorious Surge will have been for naught and Iraq will fall into disarray. If we stay, it shows that Teh Glorious Surge was the right thing to do and Iraq will continue to fall into disarray. By now, the numbers are simply stunning, but they bear repeating on this fateful anniversary of the war. The Huffington Post has done a wonderful job of tallying up just what this war has cost, I urge you to check it out. Here are but some of the numbers:


3,990: American troops who have died in Iraq since the start of the war. [icasualties.org, 3/17/08]

29,395: Number of U.S. service members that have been wounded in hostile action since the start of U.S. military operations in Iraq. [AP, 3/11/08]

2,100: Number of troops who tried to commit suicide or injure themselves increased from 350 in 2002 to 2,100 last year. [US News and World Report, 2/25/08]

1,188: Number of global terrorist incidents from January - September 11th, 2001. [American Security Project, "Are We Winning?," September 2007]

5,188: Number of global terrorist incidents in from January- September 11th, 2006. [American Security Project, "Are We Winning?," September 2007]

2,380: Days since September 11th, 2001 that Osama Bin Laden has been at-large.

$50-60 Billion: Bush Administration's pre-war estimates of the cost of the war. [New York Times, 12/31/02]

$3 Trillion: Total estimated cost of the Iraq War. [Washington Post, Bilmes and Stiglitz Op-Ed, 3/9/08]

82,000-89,000: Estimate of Iraqi civilians casualties from violence since the beginning of the Iraq War. [Iraq Body Count]

155,000: Number of U.S. troops currently in Iraq. [Brookings Institution, Iraq Index, 3/13/08]

155,000: Number of U.S. troops currently in Iraq. [Brookings Institution, Iraq Index, 3/13/08]


It's all rather sad and the worst part is, no one has any idea how the hell to get out of this mess, least of all Bush. If you think the war is a great idea, please vote for John McBush in November. If you hate this war, vote for either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. The choice could not be more clear. For a list of blogs, including this one, that are participating in the Iraq War Blogswarm, click here.

Finally, I wish that I could find something humorous about this war, but I can't. The closest I can come is this skit from Mad TV in which the War in Iraq is suddenly a product sold by Apple, the iRack. Watch it as few other things come close to painting a better picture of just how futile the War in Iraq is:



Of course, Bush being Bush, had to respond:

Arthur C. Clarke, Dead at 90

Clarke was best known for writing 2001: A Space Odyssey, later made into a film by the legendary Stanley Kubrick. Clarke passed away this morning in Sri Lanka, where he had been living since the 1950's. To say that Clarke was a visionary would not do justice to the man. The world will miss this man, but I can only assume that he is now amongst the heavens and what he is seeing is simply amazing.

He and Kubrick were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. For those who have never seen the movie before, it is simply a masterpiece. Years ahead of it's time, 2001 features the greatest opening scene ever made. If you can, watch these two videos, essentially the first 18 or so minutes of the film. The dawn of man still gives me goose bumps this many years later. If you do watch it, the video isn't playing tricks on you, Kubrick really did make the opening 3 minutes of the film appear as a blank screen.

PART 1


PART 2
The final scene is simply amazing:

Because I Need A Laugh

Kenny Rogers Jackass-Mad TV



Part 2

I Write Letters-This One Is Big

A letter to my union representative:

Hi Dee,

Well, I've talked things over with my Mom and therapist and we are all of the opinion that I can't go back into the classroom as Kelly. I just can't come close to pulling it off, I get "read" as male everywhere I go, no matter how I'm dressed. I've tried everything I can think of and nothing works. I've spent a fortune, close to $60,000 all told, and I'm still stuck where I was when I began, the proverbial "Guy" in a dress. So, seeing as how I can't get any response from Carolyn, will you set up a meeting with the three of us so we can discuss what steps I need to take as far as work is concerned? I can pretty much do anytime, any day, so what ever works for the two of you is fine with me.

I've done a lot of soul searching and if it were financially possible, I would put the house up for sell and move far, far away and just start all over. I can't even stand to face anyone anymore, so ashamed and embarrassed am I about how things have turned out. I need to be at a school where absolutely no one knows me or anything about me. I don't want people to find out that I failed at this, if that's even possible. Dee, I can barely even stand to go on living, but doing so as Kelly seems to be worse than going back to Greg. At least when I'm Greg, no one pays any attention to me and I can just keep to myself and stay out of the way. I've pretty much retreated into my own little world and tend to just go to work, mind my own business and come home and get in bed and stay there.

I wish I could just quit, I really do, but I honestly have no idea what I would do for a living. So, the only option for me is to somehow get back in a classroom, the one thing in life I seem to do well. So, will you set something up for me?

Thanks


I've raised the white flag, yelled out "no mas", thrown in the towel, said "I quit" and brought the fat lady on to sing. It's over and it's time to get back to living again. I've spent the past four years trying to be someone that I couldn't and it's done nothing but make me miserable and caused heartache and sadness to those around me. I've failed miserably where so many before me have succeeded beyond their wildest imaginations. It sucks really bad, but at some point you just have to stop banging your head against the wall. I'll somehow manage to pull this all off and make the move back to Greg, but I can't help but feel tremendous disappointment and abject failure.

I hate myself with a passion and I wish to God I had never been born into this crazy world. It would be a better place without me. Alas, I'm too much of a screw up to even make something that simple happen. I so badly want to just walk away from all of this and start over someplace new. I cannot bear to even face my friends or my family. A look in the mirror brings nothing but hostility and rage, something I seem to have a lot of these days. My mind is always racing, trying to find a way out of this mess but it never can quite figure it all out. It wasn't supposed to end up like this. It was supposed to be different. Things were supposed to be better. They are anything but.

Back On The Horse And Knocked Right Back Off Again

I went all in today and did my best as I was out and about. As is usually the case, I was smacked back down everywhere I went. Bloodied and bruised I am and so I'll do the only thing I know to do, go hide under the covers and try not to cry.

Feeling Rather Sad Tonight

I woke up this morning in a rather sad mood and it's just gotten worse as the day went on. I have so much on my mind and I guess it's bound to get you down eventually. As of late, I've been feeling as if the world is just caving in on me and no matter how hard I push back, it keeps collapsing down on me. Things seem to just be falling apart everywhere I look and no matter how optimistic I try to be, something always happens to bring me back down. Being in a near constant state of sadness is not a pleasant way to go through life and more and more, the sadness borders on all out depression. Increasingly, each day is only about survival and nothing else.

My therapist and I talked about this earlier this week but so far, everything we've tried has failed. I'm not suicidal or anything, though that is more to the fact that I couldn't do that to my Mom and the thought of no one wanting to take my babies makes me sick to my stomach. So I plow on and hope that somehow the next day will be somewhat better than the present one. It usually isn't, but there is always hope, isn't there?

Looking back, I just wish I could have found a way to keep on going as Greg. Deciding to do something about my inner feelings was the biggest mistake of my life, but it's something I did to myself and so there just isn't anyone to blame but me, something that I do on a daily basis. I look in the mirror and I hate the person I am. I want to slam my fist into those mirrors and pretend that I don't exist. Increasingly, I tend to keep to myself and do my best to just simply disappear, become just another face in the crowd, someone that you never do notice.

I so wanted things to turn out differently, to make this transition work and yet it's been nothing short of a total disaster. It could not have gone any worse and if one more thing goes wrong, I'm just going to scream and ask God to just mercifully end it. I so badly want inner peace and yet my soul is as tormented and sad as one can possibly get. Into the abyss I clearly find myself falling and increasingly I see no way out, no way out.

I Need To Get This Off My Chest

When I first started taking estrogen four years ago, it took about four or five months for them to begin to work their magic. It's like one night I went to bed and everything was normal, when I awoke, I had this weird pain in my nipples. Thus began the breast growth and it wasn't long till I had to start wearing a bra. Now mind you, they never did get that big, but they are big enough to warrant wearing a bra and when I don't wear one, they do flop around a bit. Anyways, the first few weeks of wearing a bra were perhaps the most uncomfortable of my life. I just couldn't get used to this new sensation underneath my shirt and I just felt like everyone was noticing how miserable I was. Then one day it just became normal and it's only when I don't have a bra on that I actually notice it.

I guess the point of all this is that there were a lot of things that I totally wasn't prepared for. This was one of them.

Australia


The open wheel racing season gets underway tonight with the first practice session for the FIA Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. I probably won't stay up to watch practice tonight, it's already Friday down under, but I'll be glued to the Speed Channel tomorrow night for qualifying. Formula One is the ultimate proving ground for Motor Sport, it's the best of the best of the best. While it does have a small but devoted fan base in America, it's in Europe, Asia and South America that grand prix racing is the king of sports. Even with the crazy time differences, this weekends race will be watched by over a billion people, dwarfing the audience for our own Super Bowl. Once the series makes it's way to it's European base, television viewership will climb to around 2 billion.

All of which pretty much puts NASCAR to shame and anything that does that is okay in my book. Go Ferrari!

What the....

A week ago today, we were preparing for the big snowstorm which would bring us 14 inches of soft, fluffy powder. Today it's in the 70's, the snow is all gone and I see buds on the trees. Spring is nearly here and I'm ready for it.

Double-Double Repeat




For the second year in a row, Lance Mackey won both the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest, the worlds most demanding sled dog races. Lance rolled into Nome, Alaska early this morning, completing the 1,150 mile race in 9 days, 11 hours, 46 minutes and 48 seconds. To win one of these races is truly remarkable, to win both in the same year is nearly impossible. The Quest, held in February, is a 1,000 mile run from Fairbanks, Alaska to Yukon, Canada and this year featured temperatures as low as minus 60 degrees. Most of the dogs on Mackey's Quest run also made the run from Anchorage to Nome and thus can lay claim to winning the two premier long distance races in the world.

It will take several more days for the rest of the field to finish and you can rest assured that each and every team that finishes "The Last Great Race" will feel as if they were the winners, so demanding is the run. I know that to most of you, this just isn't that big of a deal, but to people in Alaska and dog lovers all over, the Iditarod has a special place in the heart. It's one of those sporting events that stands out for what it is, not what it isn't. I would place the Kentucky Derby, The Indianapolis 500, The Tour de France and Boston Marathon in the same field, events that transcend their respective sports and take on a life of their own.

Congrats Lance and give those dogs some much needed rest, though he's schedule to tackle another big race in a few weeks.

Tapped Out

Does it never occur to these morons that perhaps OPEC is tapped out and cannot possibly pump anymore oil? Darth Cheney is being dispatched to Saudi Arabia, in a last ditch effort to persuade the people who flew those jets into the World Trade Center to pump more oil so Americans can continue to "party on". For those who haven't been paying attention, the price of crude oil continues to rise, reaching height's never seen before. Crude closed today at $108.75 a barrel and shows no sign of dropping back below the century mark anytime soon.

Now I still maintain that this price isn't exactly warranted, at least not on the basis of supply and demand, as a lot of the increase in price can be blamed on the currency it's traded in, the worthless US dollar. That being said, I really do think that people should stop bitching about how much it cost them to fill up the SUV. Gasoline is, in terms of what it does, grossly underpriced. At current pump prices, you can still get a cup of gasoline for about 15 cents and that cup will drive the average car about 2 or 3 miles. Any way you slice it, that's pretty cheap.

But back to Cheney's visit to the Desert Kingdom. I'm more than convinced that Saudi Arabia is damn near tapped out. They probably have a couple million barrels a day of spare capacity, but with ever increasing domestic consumption and continued declines in Ghawar and it's other giant fields, it will become increasingly difficult for the Kingdom to produce much more than they currently do. If Saudi Arabia can't increase, well, there isn't anyone else out there to come to the rescue.

The all time monthly crude production in May of 2005 still stands, though it nearly went down in December as production failed to surpass the all-time peak by only 96,000 barrels a day, though the months production numbers will probably be adjusted down in the coming months. It's still possible that we'll set a new all time monthly production figure, in fact I would probably bet on it happening this year, but it doesn't really matter as for all intents and purposes, we're on the bumpy plateau and I can see the dropoff coming up quickly.

Party on for a few more months but get the hangover remedy ready, we're all going to need it soon.

On The Couch

Why is it that the movies and television always show patients lying on a couch when visiting their therapist or psychiatrist? I've seen plenty of both and I've yet to see a sofa or couch that was fit for lying on. Anyways, I went to see Marcia today and the first part of our session was pretty good, we sometimes get off on these tangents that have nothing to do with why I'm there, and today was one of those. The second half of the session was a bit more serious and can pretty much be summed up in four words: I cried a lot.

Why you ask?

I just have this complete sense of failure about myself and it won't go away. There really isn't any reason to feel that way, I've done a lot of really great things in my life, but that's how I feel. I just can't escape this feeling that my time here will never amount to a hill of beans, that the second I die, the world will never know that I was here. I told her about looking at pictures of me as a baby and feeling like maybe I disappointed that precious little boy, that I didn't live up to the potential that I had. I have no idea if any of that has any justification, but it's how I feel.

Sunday Roundup

1. Woke up this morning with a foot of snow on the ground. As I get ready for bed, we have at most 3 inches on the ground. March sunshine and 50 degree temperatures will do that to snow. It's pretty messy out and the Ohio River is nearing flood stage. It's going to take some time to dry out around here.

2. I had a great weekend and it's all because of the big snow we got. That being said, I'm now officially ready for spring. I can't wait to get in the garden.

3. My girl is still going strong in the iditarod. It's a tough race for rookies but she's done damn good all things considered. It looks like it's down to Jeff King and Lance Mackey as the leaders come upon the Bering Sea and the final 200 or so miles to Nome. The weather has been warm this year which isn't good for the dogs. They like to run in temperatures well below zero as it sets the trail up nicely and keeps the dogs from overheating. Should be into Nome in a couple of days.

4. Going to see my therapist tomorrow after work. I'm not sure exactly what we'll talk about, there's so much out there, but going is a good thing.

5. I sent an email to the Human Relations department asking to have a meeting to discuss my plans for the upcoming school year. Looking more and more like I'll be Greg next year. I should have just stayed at my old school, I'd be a lot happier had I done just that.

6. This time next week, I'll be pouring over the just announced NCAA Tournament bracket. I love March Madness and throwing my money into the jackpot is always money well spent, even if I never do win. Go Cats!

That's it for now, I'm off to bed. I'll let you know how things go with the therapist.

A Great Snowstorm

I have 14 inches of snow at my house, all of which made for a very fun day. I love the snow and it makes me feel like a kid again. The dogs and I spent many hours outside today and right now all three are passed out on the floor, as worn out as I've ever seen them. I know this will sound silly to some of you, but days like this really do lift up my spirits. I feel alive and invigorated and I wish it would happen more often. I'll be out again tomorrow, making the most of it as the temps are going to shoot up to the 60's by Tuesday or Wednesday. Enjoy the pics:






Wow

Well over a foot of snow and it's still coming down. More pictures later today but not it's out to play.



Winters last hurrah?

For the first time in years, we've actually had a real winter around here. Both January and February were below normal in temperatures and above normal in precipitation, including a nice 6 inch snowstorm last month. March on the other hand has started out warm, both Saturday and Sunday saw temps in the lower 70's before a 4 inch rainfall came in Monday night and cooled things off.

Anyways, today was just beautiful, a typical early, early spring day around here, sunny skies and temps in the lower 50's. The sun was warm and the breeze was just pleasant.

Tomorrow we are forecast to receive over a foot of snow!

Winter storm warning is now in effect and the snow should start falling by morning with heavy snow most of tomorrow through Saturday morning. Seems that winter just doesn't want to give up. Bring it on, bring it on!

Bring Out The Straight Jacket

I had a complete and total meltdown about an hour after I got home from work. In short, I couldn't stop crying, sobbing really, and I just seemed to be frozen in place, curled up in the fetal position. It got so bad that I finally got up the courage to call my Mom and get her to come over. Twenty minutes later she came to the rescue and got me under control. What followed was what needed to happen a long time ago, we finally had the talk. Both of us are in agreement that things just haven't worked out and that it's time to finally make a decision, one that both of us agree should probably be to put this to a merciful end.

Mom whole heartedly agreed that there is no way I will be able to move back into the classroom next year, at least not as Kelly. The only way that happens, is to go back to being Greg. She said the words that I've said here many times myself, the facial surgery didn't work and there were just way too many obstacles to overcome. First and foremost is the fact that even after surgery, I still have a very masculine face. Next is my height, I'm just way too tall to ever pass as female and finally, I've just never been able to get the voice low enough. Aside from the height, can't do a thing about that, I've tried my best to overcome the others. It wasn't enough and Mom agrees that I face a lifetime of being stared at, laughed at and made to feel like the proverbial "Man in a dress" awaits me.

So, where do I go from here? Well, I have a few big things coming up that will help resolve all of this. Thursday, I'm supposed to drive to Lexington to see my endocrinologist. Saturday is supposed to be a day at the Image Salon (manicure, eyebrow wax and sculpt, one on one makeup lesson) and Monday is a visit to my therapist. I've decided to go through with all of those, there isn't much sense in doing anything till Monday is over, and I'll then sit down with my Mom, Dee Ann from the teachers union and maybe a friend or two. What will be decided can pretty much be whittled down to three options:

1. Continue the transition as planned and the hell with everything. This pretty much means that I won't ever get to teach again.

2. Go back to being Greg and call this transition quits. The advantage to that is no more being laughed at and I most likely get to move back into the classroom in August. I honestly have no idea if I can go back to the way things were.

3. Make a compromise with myself. This would entail being Greg at work and Kelly everywhere else. It's pretty much what I've been doing these past few months, only this time in reverse. It's all rather taxing and I honestly want to go one way or the other. I'm tired of being stuck in the middle with nowhere to go.

4. This isn't really an option, but it's what I told Mom I would do were it not for the fact that I have a house. I told her that I sometimes wish I could just pack up and move as far away as possible. It's the only way I'm ever going to get a fresh start. In many ways, Louisville is a big city, but when you get down to it, it's just not that hard to run into people you know. So where would I go? Off the top of my head, I can think of 4 or 5 places that would make me happy: Chicago, Portland, Seattle, Anchorage and Lewisburg West Virginia. Mom agreed, despite not wanting to be apart from me, that this would probably be the best option. So why isn't this an option? Well, the economy is in the toilet and is only going to get worse. Houses just aren't selling nationwide and those that do are usually going for a loss.

I'm calmed down now, Mom took me out to get a bite to eat, and now I'm watching the election results trickle in. My prediction for tonight: Obama wins Texas by 10% and Clinton wins Ohio by 2%, essentially meaning that it's over for Clinton. But then again, I'm as crazy as they come, now where's that straight jacket at?

9 Months

Tomorrow will mark the 9 month anniversary of my facial feminization surgery. I'm pretty sure that after that amount of time, it's safe to render a judgement on said surgery. So, after careful consideration and a lot of staring in the mirror, I can honestly say that I'm glad I didn't end up looking like her:


That being said, it still turned out really, really, really shitty. I have a phone conversation with my doctor scheduled for tomorrow and it isn't going to be pretty. I'm pretty pissed off right about now and I'm going to let him have it. I can live with the poor results, it's a chance one takes, but I refuse to spend the rest of my life living with the physical pain I've been experiencing these past few months.

My face pretty much feels like someone is stretching it out as far as it will go. In short, it feels very tight and the sensation of being stretched never goes away. As if that's not bad enough, my cheek implants are nearly unbearable (that's what I'm going to raise hell about), the scar under my chin still looks disgusting (despite being touched up already) and I have big lumps of what I can only assume is fat, forming all around my neck and jaw.

I'm so disgusted by how things have turned out that I can barely think of anything else. Now I know I have no one to blame but myself, but I do believe that a doctor has the responsibility to keep his or her patients from being uncomfortable 9 months after surgery. This was not part of the bargain and not once did he ever suggest that I would have a lifetime of feeling this awful. So while I am the one that consented to this, I still want some kind of closure on the matter, something I have yet to get.

So, if you are thinking of having plastic surgery, my advice would be DON"T. It's not worth the risk and you could always end up like me or the woman pictured above. Think about that before you go under the knife as you can't undo the damage.

Just A Thought

I much prefer being a girl to being a boy, but I'm much better at being a boy than being a girl. That and the fact that I look much more like a boy than a girl. I guess that $28,600 could have been better spent elsewhere.

A Village is Missing it's Idiot

Could Bush be a bigger idiot? Doubtful!

Dystopian America

I'm a huge fan of dystopian literature and film, so much so that I once took a graduate level course dealing with utopian and dystopian literature. Because of the past seven years of Bush World, dystopian literature and film are even more important. Naturally I was pretty excited to see a list of the top ten Dystopian films of all time and as a result, I thought I would weigh in with a list of my own.

1. Blade Runner- A visual treat that simply overwhelms the viewer, Blade Runner perfectly portrays a world that we are doing our best to create. Environmental destruction, segregation to the extreme, genetic engineering and artificial intelligence. So much of what we see happening today, if taken to it's logical extension, could very well end up happening.



2. Brazil- This dark tale of government bureaucracy gone terribly wrong is an indictment of the Bush Regime. Terry Gilliam is a genius and this is his best film by far. Added bonus is Robert DeNiro's over the top performance.



3. A Clockwork Orange- One either loves Stanley Kubrick or they hate Stanley Kubrick. There is no in between and save for his last movie, Eyes Wide Shut, I fall solidly in the love category. That's not to say that A Clockwork Orange is one of my favorite movies, I've only been able to get through it once, so violent is the movie. The scene of young Alex and Company raping and murdering the suburban family while Singing in the Rain plays is beyond disturbing. Violence in America is out of control and sadly, this kind of thing is all too common. How long till we start trying to cure people the way Alex gets cured?



4. 1984- The movie is okay, nothing great, but the book it's based on is one of the most horrifying reads around. George Orwell might have been wrong on the date, but he was more than accurate on many other fronts, none more so than his take on using language to control the masses. The book haunted me for many, many months after first reading it.



5. Idiocracy- A direct to DVD movie, Idiocracy is one of the most under appreciated films of all time. It's a biting satire that tells the story of an everyday average Joe who finds himself 500 years in the future, a future full of complete and total morons. Seems that all the smart people quit having babies while the really, really stupid people started popping them out left and right. Brawndo has what plants need.



Rest of the list coming tomorrow...

This Is So Cool

Hat tip to My Husband Betty for linking to this amazing live art event in New York's Grand Central Station. Way cool!

The Last Great Race


The last great race in America began today as 96 mushers and their dogs began the 1150 mile route to Nome, Alaska. Today was the ceremonial start of the race as one by one, the teams made their way through the streets of Anchorage. Tomorrow the race will start for real and you can catch all the action here. I've actually been fortunate enough to see the race as we were living in Anchorage in the 1970's and it's something that I'm glad I got to witness. In the age of high paid brats playing basketball and baseball, it's nice to see something that is about more than money or fame. These men and women, along with their amazing sled dogs, will brave ferocious blizzards, temperatures near 40 below zero and terrain that most of us could never even imagine. Best of luck to all the teams.

UPDATE: Go Zoya DeNure, she's totally hot.