A Personal Look Back At The Decade That Was

You've read my other post, now it's time for a fun one about the decade that just ended...

Best Movie I Saw This Decade

1. Lost In Translation- Just love the ending when Bill Murray whispers into Scarlett Johannsens ear and we just never find out what he had to say. A beautiful film that I'll remember forever.

Best Book I Read This Decade

1. The Road by Cormac McCarthy- I've never read anything so frightening and intense in my life. The story of a boy and his father wandering the road to the coast in a post-apocolypitc America is by far one of the best novels of all time.

Runner Up: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood- This piece of speculative fiction about a world run amok seems to be coming true.

Best Television Series of the Decade

1. LOST- It will come to an end in early 2010 but this series about a group of strangers stranded on a mysterious island after their plane crashes is one for the ages. I better find out what the damn numbers mean.

Biggest Events of the Decade For Me

1. My Father passing- The loss of one of your parents is one of the most difficult things imagineable and it's something I hope I don't have to go through again for a very long time. I think about him every day but it does get easier with time.
2. A new career and a masters degree- I began teaching in August of 2001 and I can't imagine doing anything else. Here's to 9 great years and many more to come.
3. Coming Out- Finally admitting to myself that I was trans was a big deal, coming out to my family and friends was even bigger and just as scary.
4. Facial Feminization Surgery- While it didn't quite turn out like I had hoped, it was still a very big step in my transition from Greg to Kelly. Plus, it really, really, really hurt.
5. Buying a house- I've been a homeowner for almost five years now and I still can't believe it. Not sure that it's for me but it did allow me to get Shadow and my two Border Collies are much happier here than in an apartment.

What I Hope To Achieve During The Next Decade

1. Getting out of debt- I'm making more money now than at any point in my life and I don't have a penny to show for it. That all changes in 3 months when I pay off my car.
2. Getting the right body parts- I live my life as female in every possible way but I can't help but feel incomplete having what I do between my legs. Be gone already.
3. It would be nice to meet someone who isn't totally repulsed by who I am or what I look like. Girl or boy, doesn't matter.
4. Find inner peace- Sometimes, I feel totally dead inside and I want that to go away, to embrace life for what it is not what it isn't.
5. If I can do those things, well, I'll be pretty happy.

Favorite Viral Videos- I mentioned in an earlier post that the internet is the greatest invention of all time. One of the fun things about the internet are the videos that somehow go viral. Here are my favorites of the decade...

5. Antwerp Rail Station Sound of Music Flash Mob- These people look like they are having so much fun...

4. My Dick In A Box- Who knew that Justin Timberlake could be so damn funny...

Which led to Jizzed in my Pants...

Which led to Mother Lover...

3. Try To Watch This Without Laughing or Grinning...

2. Bill O'Reilly Flips the Fuck Out...

1. Where In The Hell Is Matt?

Well, Thank God That's Over

Who knew that this decade, of which we have just a few hours more of, would turn out to be so shitty? I had high hopes for this new millenium but my hope was dashed just 11 months in. So, to say good riddance to a decade most of us would like to simply forget, lets take a look back...

Worst Events of the Decade- It was a tossup between numbers one and two but in the end, number one is the gift that just keeps on giving. I purposefully left off the attacks of 9/11 as I firmly believe that of the 5 things listed here, this wil be the easiest to heal from.

1. The United States Supreme Court selects George W. Bush as President of the United States- Proving once and for all that Americans really are idiots.
2. The Boxer Day tsunami in southeast Asis- A natural disaster of epic proportions.
3. Hurricane Katrina- Thousands lost their lives and damage was in the hundreds of billions. New Orleans was brought to it's knees as the city was flooded for weeks. What made it worse was the reaction, or lack thereof, from Dubya. Heck of a Job.
4. The crash of the global economy- A housing bubble of epic proportions, Wall Street greed, debt and very high oil prices conspired to bring the global economy to it's knees. It will be years, if ever, before things get better.
5. The apparent peaking of global oil production in 2008- Twenty years from now, this will turn out to be the number one story from this decade but right now, very few people seem to be paying attention to the one event that will change the world forever.

Best Events of the Decade- The pickings are slim here but I'll do my best.

1. The dramatic rise of the internet as a tool for social outreach, entertainment, knowledge, porn and most of all, people powered democracy. The internet, though invented decades earlier, came into it's own this decade and is quite possibly the greatest invention of all time.
2. The election of Barack Obama as President- Americans turned out in record numbers to elect the first African-American as President. In doing so, they said no thanks to another 4 years of fear and misguided anger.
3. I got nothing else...

Most Important People of the Decade- For better or for worse...

1. George W. Bush- He fucked up everything that he touched and in his ultimate display of idiocy and arrogance, he attacked the one Middle Eastern Country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11.
2. Tony Blair- The former British Prime Minister had so much potential but will forever be remembered for following Dubya on his Arabian Adventures.
3. Barack Obama- His election was a milestone for America and a beacon of hope for the world.
4. Alexander Putin- The Russian leader, despite his current title, has steadied the collapsing Russia that came from Boris Yelstin, but he has done so by cracking down on civil liberties and other social and democratic advances made in the previous decade. Tensions between the US and Russia haven't been this bad since the Berlin Wall fell.
5. Alan Greenspan- Perhaps no man is as responsible for the global economic meltdown as this fool.

People Who Really Need To Go Away This Decade

1. Sarah Palin- Please, just go back to Alaska and get lost in the bush, you are a disaster of epic proportions and I will forever hate John McCain for foisting you on us.
2. Dick Cheney- Please go back to your undisclosed location, you are a grumpy old man.
3. Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and any other right wing talkers- Stop it already and just drop dead, especially you Rush.
4. Fred Hiatt- The editor of the once great Washington Post has turned the paper into nothing more than a right wing talking point. Go away.
5. Osama bin laden- Dubya had him and let him go and now it's up to adults to get the job done. May you end up on a sliver platter.

What We Have To Fear About This Next Decade

1. That Sarah Palin doesn't go away and somehow becomes the Republican nominee for President. God help us if this happens.
2. Catastrophic climate change- What part of this global problem don't people understand? Clearly our leaders aren't up to the task so it's now up to individuals.
3. The first decade of life after peak oil- If the economy ever does recover, it will quickly be wacked back down by rising energy prices. Our world runs on oil and all the easy pickings are long gone. What is left is increasingly hard to get at, very expensive to get at and doesn't have the flow rate of the oil we've been using for a 100 years. But don't worry say our leaders so go ahead, "Party On"
4. A nuclear bomb detonated in an American city- I generally don't buy the whole be very afraid of the terrorist thing but so many nukes from the failed Soviet Bloc are just begging to be taken.
5. We'll all be another 10 years older when it's over.


Kara, one of the most with it girls on the net, has an interesting post up about "regendering". One of her friends argues that once a person genders us, we cannot be regendered to our prefered gender. Kara disagrees on this but I'm with her friend on this one..

It seems like we all have to prove ourselves before we're accepted as one of the girls (or boys). Remember that new kid that moved into school in school? When did they become one of the gang? Or that new kid that joined the sports team...when did it feel like they were one with the team?

I've had a recent discussion with a coupe of friends recently about "regendering". One of the women says that once a person genders us, we cannot be regendered. Basically, once someone knows you as male, nothing you can do during transition will ever let them regender you as female. I say hogwash. I think over time, transitioners "pass" these tests that people have made up in their minds which allows them to become one of the girls (or guys). Sure, there are people that never allow a transitioner to pass these tests, but I think there are lots of people that do.

Now in Kara's defense, she "passes" about as well as one can pass. I wouldn't give her a second thought if I passed her on the street and didn't know who she was. I suspect just about everyone would react the same. That being said, not being "read" by a stranger is a whole lot different from being accepted by those who knew you when you were male. In my personal experience, it just doesn't happen, especially with those that are exceptionally close. My Mother, who has done just about everything she can to let me be me, still thinks of me as her son. It's not that she's being mean or disrespectful, far from it, it's that she spent a whole lifetime knowing me as Greg and male. The same goes for my brother and my friends.

The only people that are in my life who think of me only as female are those that I work with and even then, they still know my past and it will always be a part of who I am. I'm never going to be able to "pass" as female and as a result, I'll always be thought of as "really" male. I don't blame people, it's just the way our society works. We divided everything, and I mean everything, into male and female. Once you are in one of those categories, it's almost impossible to fully move into the other. Does it get old? Yes, it most certainly does, but I'm not quite sure that there is anything I can possibly do about it. So, I do the best I can and try not to let it bother me.


Yahoo has a post up about secrets your waiter will never tell you. Having worked many years in several different restaurants, including 4 at one of the top 25 establishments in America, I was interested to see what they were. I'll dive into each one of the "secrets" in a moment, but in my own experience, it all depends on where you are dining. In short, you often get what you paid for.

In my years working at The Red Fox at Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia, I can honestly say that everything we did was as professional and respectful as one can possibly get. The front of the house staff, all 11 of us, were the best of the best, and took pride in what we did. We took our job seriously and our very generous tips reflected that. Our talent, and make no mistake about it, we had talent, was one of the primary reasons Fodors Travel guide, along with Wine Spectator and other national organizations, always ranked us a top 25 restaurant in America.

Anyways, here's the list...

20 Secrets Your Waiter Will Never Tell You

By Michelle Crouch, Reader's Digest

What would two dozen servers from across the country tell you if they could get away with it? Well, for starters, when to go out, what not to order, what really happens behind the kitchen’s swinging doors, and what they think of you and your tips. Here, from a group that clears a median $8.01 an hour in wages and tips, a few revelations that aren’t on any menu.

What we lie about
1. We’re not allowed to tell our customers we don’t like a dish. So if you ask your server how something is and she says, “It’s one of our most popular dishes,” chances are she doesn’t like it.
—Waitress at a well-known pizza chain

MY TAKE: At The Red Fox, every dish was to die for so no need to lie about it.

2. On Christmas Day, when people ask why I’m there, I might say, “My sister’s been in the hospital,” or, “My brother’s off to war, so we’re celebrating when he gets back.” Then I rake in the tips.
—Chris, a New York City waiter and the founder of bitterwaitress.com

MY TAKE: The Red Fox was at a four season resort and working Christmas was pretty much no big deal. People were on ski vacations and more than happy to part with their money.

3. If you’re looking for your waiter and another waiter tells you he’s getting something out of the stockroom, you can bet he’s out back having a quick smoke.
—Charlie Kondek, former waiter at a Denny’s in Central Michigan

MY TAKE: Yeah, this one is pretty much true.

4. If someone orders a frozen drink that’s annoying to make, I’ll say, “Oh, we’re out. Sorry!” when really I just don’t want to make it. But if you order water instead of another drink, suddenly we do have what you originally wanted because I don’t want to lose your drink on the bill.
—Waitress at a casual Mexican restaurant in Manhattan

MY TAKE: Frozen drinks aren't really the kind of thing you want on a mountain top in the dead of winter. In short, we didn't have a blender in the house.

5. When I was at one bakery restaurant, they used to make this really yummy peach cobbler in a big tray. A lot of times, servers don’t have time to eat. So we all kept a fork in our aprons, and as we cruised through the kitchen, we’d stick our fork in the cobbler and take a bite. We’d use the same fork each time.
—Kathy Kniss

MY TAKE: Never saw this once. Ever.

6. If you make a big fuss about sending your soup back because it’s not hot enough, we like to take your spoon and run it under really hot water, so when you put the hot spoon in your mouth, you’re going to get the impression — often the very painful impression — that your soup is indeed hot.

MY TAKE: If it's not hot enough, fix it, it isn't that big of a deal

7. I’ve seen some horrible things done to people's food: steaks dropped on the floor, butter dipped in the dishwater.
—Waiter at a casual restaurant in the Chicago area

MY TAKE: I've seen in happen, but not at the two fine dining places I worked at, including The Red Fox.

8. If your dessert says "homemade," it probably is. But it might be homemade at a bakery three miles away.
—Charity Ohlund

MY TAKE: At The Red Fox, it really was homemade. Suzi, our pastry chef, was as good as they come.

9. I knew one guy — he was a real jerk — he’d go to Costco and buy this gigantic carrot cake for $10 and tell us to say it’s homemade. Then he sold it for $10 a slice.
—Steve Dublanica, veteran New York waiter and author of "Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip — Confessions of a Cynical Waiter"

MY TAKE: Everything in a restaurant is marked up at least 100%, especially wine.

10. Oh, you needed more water so badly, you had to snap or tap or whistle? I’ll be right back … in ten minutes.
—Charity Ohlund

MY TAKE: Don't you dare snap your fingers at me.

11. We want you to enjoy yourself while you’re there eating, but when it’s over, you should go. Do you stay in the movie theater after the credits? No.
—Waiter at a casual restaurant in the Chicago area

MY TAKE: This is especially so at the end of the night. Go away already, you are taking money out of my pocket.

12. My biggest pet peeve? When I walk up to a table of six or seven people and one person decides everyone needs water. I’m making a trip to deliver seven waters, and four or five of them never get touched.
—Judi Santana, a server for ten years

My Take: At The Fox, water was automatically served.

13. Sometimes, if you’ve been especially nice to me, I’ll tell the bartender, “Give me a frozen margarita, and don’t put it in.” That totally gyps the company, but it helps me because you’ll give it back to me in tips, and the management won’t know the difference.
—Waitress at a casual Mexican restaurant in Manhattan

My Take: All waiters worth their weight will do nice things for their guests.

14. If you’re having a disagreement over dinner and all of a sudden other servers come by to refill your water or clear your plates, or you notice a server slowly refilling the salt and pepper shakers at the table next to yours, assume that we’re listening.
—Charity Ohlund

My Take: Yeah, we listen in on all conversations and talk about you in the back of the house. It goes with the territory. If you make a fool of yourself, your going to get laughed at.

15. I get this call all the time: “Is the chef there? This is so-and-so. I’m a good friend of his.” If you’re his good friend, you’d have his cell.

My Take: At The Fox, Brian always joked that on Saturday night, everyone on the mountain was his best friend.

16. The strangest thing I’ve seen lately? A man with a prosthetic arm asked me to coat check it because the table was a little bit crowded. He just removed his arm and handed it to me: “Can you take this?”
—Christopher Fehlinger

My Take: Never had that happen to me. Too funny!

17. We always check the reservation book, scan the names, and hope for someone recognizable. I’m happy if the notes say something like “Previous number of reservations: 92.” If they say something like “First-time guest, celebrating Grandma’s 80th birthday, need two high chairs, split checks, gluten allergy,” then I start rummaging through my pockets for a crisp bill for the hostess and I make sure to tell her how much I love her hair fixed like that.
—Charity Ohlund

My Take: Amateur diners are a nightmare best avoided.

18. Use your waiter’s name. When I say, “Hi, my name is JR, and I’ll be taking care of you,” it’s great when you say, “Hi, JR. How are you doing tonight?” Then, the next time you go in, ask for that waiter. He may not remember you, but if you requested him, he’s going to give you really special service.

My Take: Waiters love having regulars and if you become one, we'll take good care of you.

19. Trust your waitress. Say something like “Hey, it’s our first time in. We want you to create an experience for us. Here’s our budget.” Your server will go crazy for you.
— Charity Ohlund

My Take: Absolutely, we love making your experience one to remember.

20. If you walk out with the slip you wrote the tip on and leave behind the blank one, the server gets nothing. It happens all the time, especially with people who’ve had a few bottles of wine.
—Judi Santana

My Take: I'll chase you down in the parking lot if you take both credit card slips.

Damn, I'm glad I don't have to do this shit anymore.

Did I Send These In?

Two secrets I most certainly could have sent in but didn't...

Jolly Old St. Nicholas

This has always been my favorite Christmas Carol and no one does it better than the Roy Conniff Singers...

Jolly ol' Saint Nicholas,
lean your ear this way!
Don't you tell a single soul
what I'm going to say:
Christmas Eve is coming soon;
now, you dear old man
Whisper what you'll bring to me;
tell me if you can.

When the clock is striking twelve,
when I'm fast asleep
Down the chimney, broad and black,
with your pack you'll creep
All the stockings you will find
hanging in a row
Mine will be the shortest one,
you'll be sure to know

Johnny wants a pair of skates,
Suzy wants a sled
Nellie wants a picture book,
yellow, blue, and red
Now I think I'll leave to you
what to give the rest
But give little Billy a drum this year
Drum this year
Cause that's what he likes best

Christmas Laughs

A few short videos to get you in the holiday spirit...

The Hap Hap Happiest Christmas Since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny "Fucking" Kay..

Hey Griswold, where you going to put a Christmas Tree that big?

Shitter was full...

Delicious Shcweddy Balls (a true classic from SNL)...

Christmas for the Jews...

As Seen On Post Secret Today

One of the secret's from today...

Does Death Really Exist? No, Says a New Theory

I'm a firm believer in the Many Worlds Theory, the idea that there are an infinite number of universes and anything that could happen to each of us, will happen in those infinite number of universes. Using this premise...

A new scientific theory - called biocentrism - refines these ideas. There are an infinite number of universes, and everything that could possibly happen occurs in some universe. Death does not exist in any real sense in these scenarios. All possible universes exist simultaneously, regardless of what happens in any of them. Although individual bodies are destined to self-destruct, the alive feeling - the 'Who am I?'- is just a 20-watt fountain of energy operating in the brain. But this energy doesn't go away at death. One of the surest axioms of science is that energy never dies; it can neither be created nor destroyed.

At first, it's hard to wrap your mind around all of this but the more you read, the more plausible it all becomes. Is it a leap of faith? Perhaps, but no more so than believing in the Christian faith or some other religion. Even Einstein might have been a believer...

According to Biocentrism, space and time are not the hard objects we think. Wave your hand through the air - if you take everything away, what's left? Nothing. The same thing applies for time. You can't see anything through the bone that surrounds your brain. Everything you see and experience right now is a whirl of information occurring in your mind. Space and time are simply the tools for putting everything together.

Death does not exist in a timeless, spaceless world. In the end, even Einstein admitted, "Now Besso" (an old friend) "has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us...know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion." Immortality doesn't mean a perpetual existence in time without end, but rather resides outside of time altogether.

Dear Santa

To get you in the holiday spirit...


It's the first week of December and we still haven't had a very hard freeze. I still have quite a few flowers in bloom and two hanging baskets that look pretty damn good, all things considered. That will all change these next few nights as we dip into the mid-20's for our first taste of cold weather. Alas, this cold weather won't be bringing any snow to our parts. To find the snow, I would need to head pretty far south. Yes, I did say south.

Both Houston and southern Louisiana have Winter Storm Watches in effect with parts of the New Orleans metro area expected to get several inches of snow. As for here, just cloudy and cold and the possibility for a big dump next week (rain, not snow). For being such a snow lover, I sure do live in the wrong part of the country. When I lived in West Virginia, we would average anywhere between 200 and 300 inches of snow per winter with one of the winters dumping an impressive 400 inches of snow. I miss that.