Monthly Archives: March 2012
I must first credit this post to transbeautiful. I saw this picture on her website and I knew I had to share it with my friends. It’s a very nice diagram outlining the complex issues of gender. It makes it clear that it’s not so clear cut as most people think.
Happy Friday (we’re enjoying a night on Beale St.),
picture from: http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2012/03/the-genderbread-person-v2-0/
So I logged into my Amazon.com account today and was greeted with the picture below as my home screen. It seems that Amazon thinks I have some sort of shoe addiction or something (guilty as charged). 🙂 Sometimes when I go to other websites, Amazon and Zappos.com are following me close behind with ads for more and more lovely heels. Don’t they know that I’ve already got a nice collection, plus I think my wife would kill me if I had more shoes than she did. It’s just too bad there’s not a wide selection of size 12 and 13 shoes out there. Everything in moderation……
Today my wife brought up a news story that she found online, which I thought would be important to share. I don’t normally follow the pageant shows, but I think this year there will be some controversy in the Miss Universe pageant, the one run by Donald Trump. In short, Miss Canada has been disqualified, with no reason given initially. It was later stated that Jenna Talackova, the Miss Canada winner, was disqualified because she was born with male genitalia. As she said on her Twitter account, she was “disqualified for being born”.
It’s sad to see such a beautiful women disrespected and discriminated against in such a way. Although I don’t know much about her and her story, I’m sure she must have gone through so much in life to finally be the women she has always known herself to be. I could not imagine to have gone through all those hurdles and be denied an equal opportunity to participate in her dream competition.
One can only hope that this will open people’s eyes to these issues.
Spring is finally here. I was just thinking about the different seasons and the unique things that make each one special and unique. As someone who likes to go out for walks in the park with a camera, I’ve really taken notice of the differences I see in a different way than I did before getting into photography.
Spring to me is a time when the birds nest in the tree outside our bedroom and wake us up early in the morning. Spring is a time when nature come back to a bright life. The trees are blooming, the flowers are colorful, and the weather is warm. And there are storms! In the Memphis area, spring time is an amazing time to capture the power of wind, rain, and lightning.
As a kid I’ve always been intrigued by storms. The flashes of light, the wind in the trees, and the pouring down of rain. I would often pull up a chair to a window, open up the blinds, and watch the storm roll by with amazement. Now that I live here, spring time is my favorite time to capture weather at its most intense.
One such event occurred in the spring of 2009, when a storm rolled through a few hours before sunset. At the time this was devastating, because this was the night that my Pittsburgh Penguins won game 7 of the Stanley Cup, and I missed it because the power was knocked out by the storm. After the storm passed, the clouds began to thin out at the same time the sun was getting ready to set. It was one of the most spectacular scenes I’ve witnessed. The sky was bright orange, as if it were set on fire. These are a couple of pictures I captured on that day. Enjoy!
This weekend, after getting finished with the regular house work, I decided to get dressed up as Katie again. I practiced my makeup, and was able to get my beard shadow covered much better this time. I chose my outfit, some boot cut jeans, a blue shirt, and a black cardigan. I usually wear things that will cover my arms and legs as to cover all the hair I have. I wouldn’t mind shaving everywhere, but the fact is that my hair grown in so fast that the hours spent shaving everything would only last a day or two. At the moment I don’t see it as a good investment of my time.
Anyways, I was just sitting around our apartment, looking outside at the wonderful day, and thought it would be perfect to do some reading on the balcony. Our little balcony faces the parking lot of the apartment complex, so I was very hesitant to go out, but in the end I said “the heck with it” and went out. It didn’t last long. With the early spring, near 90 degree weather is already here. Just after a few minutes I became very uncomfortable. It’s amazing how much heat a wig can hold. Unfortunately I went back into our apartment where fans and AC rule the world, until fall arrives and I can try this experiment again.
Until that time, I can at least work on my makeup and style. I need to keep developing Katie in my mind as the women she can be. She’s still mostly my male self and hasn’t really developed those feminine qualities that would be nice to have. Maybe by the time fall and winter rolls around, I’ll be ready to venture out for a read on the balcony, or maybe out a friends house. 🙂
Time and temperature will tell,
One of the areas of photography I wish I could improve upon is portraits. I have know some good photographers who could capture the human emotions in a single picture, which would make you really evaluate the subject. I find it an amazing skill to be able to capture such emotions, it’s a gift some have, and I hope to improve my skills to be able to do so.
I’ve been able to take some self portraits that really encapsulate the emotions I’ve experienced. This picture may make the observer wonder what’s behind those eyes. I often wonder, when I’m with friends or co-workers that don’t know me really deep down, if they could ever really understand me. So often people take me for granted, they think they have me figured out in the first minute they meet me. I’m shy, reserved, quiet, and polite. They have no clue what lies beneath. This is what this picture means to me. There are so many emotions and feelings that lie behind those eyes that only a select few could ever understand. The more important thing is that they are my feelings, and I own them. They are the real me, to be used to further understand who I am.
The solitude of an early morning walk appeals to me sometimes, especially when I have my camera with me. Besides brewing beer, and dressing up as Katie from time to time, I also enjoy photography. Over the course of the last few years I’ve tried to really get into it and improve my skills at composing photos.
Outdoor photography is my favorite. Most of the time I take a walk in the park as the sun rises and capture nature as it awakens from the stillness of night. Sometimes I like walking through an urban landscape and find interesting things to take pictures of. Sometimes I’ll find an interesting angle to capture a moment in time.
Walking through a park at 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday can sometimes be a relaxing time for me. I’m observing nature and there is no one else around. I’m alone, and it feels like the changes I see before me are just for me.
Seeing the sunrise with all the amazing colors as they change minute-by-minute make for some amazing moments that I enjoy capturing. I remember a lesson from a photography book stating that one of the most important tools to become a better photographer is an alarm clock. I would also add patients. The amazing pink and purple colors that reflect of the clouds only come on sunrise or sunset, and it’s amazing just how fast these changes come about. I’ve missed a lot of picture opportunities because I wasn’t patient enough. Sometimes waiting just a few minutes can change the landscape dramatically.
I have a large collection of photos I’ve taken over the years, and this might be a good forum to share some of my work with friends. The pictures here are a couple I took this morning. They aren’t my best work, but it’ll do for an introductory set.
Have a nice Saturday,
Dealing with the emotions of the past month has really taken a toll and has me in a little funk. It’s made me look at my goals that I set for myself when I started this blog. I’ve been able to open up to a couple of friends, I’ve made a few friends online, but there is still so much that I want to do.
One of the goals I had set out for myself at the beginning of the year was to try to be more sociable, try to break away for the shyness. I’ve had trouble trying to develop some new friendships after moving to Memphis three years ago. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that growing up, my family moved all over the world. From the southern hemisphere, to the northern hemisphere, from one city to another, and from coast to coast. This really took a toll on building and losing friends. The more we moved, the less interested I was in making new friends. I guess because of the fear that they wouldn’t be around for long.
Now that we are in Memphis, and it looks like for a long time to come, I’ve had trouble interacting with new people. At work I have coworkers I get along with, but I haven’t built up a strong enough friendship with any one there to really open up to my deepest feelings. I’ve also found myself leaning towards friendships with women. I guess I have the idea that I can be more open, and emotional in a friendship with women than with men. When I think about the guys I play recreational team sports with, I could never imagine telling them that Katie exists in my life. That goes the same with long time friends from high school, many of who are super macho.
Well, I guess that’s enough negative thinking for one day. I have to realize that if other people can push past their boundaries, so can I. I just have to keep working at it. We’ll see what the next couple of months brings. Time to change the station from Blues to a little something more up beat.
Today has been the first time in four weeks since I’ve had a chance to transform into Katie, and it feels good. A month away has been too long. As I’ve stated in the last couple of blogs, I’ve been busy helping those around me that needed it. My wife K’s issues at work have been heavy, but they seem to be working out for the better. Only time will tell.
Last weekend was one of the heaviest, emotionally, in a long time. We were getting things ready for our vacation to New Orleans and Atlanta, when I got a text from a close family member, we’ll call him G, saying to me “goodbye”. I think my heart skipped a beat as I tried to comprehend what he was trying to tell me, and to think of what I should do next. G is a few years older than I, and has suffered from depression for a long time. I decided the best thing to do was to call him. It was the most emotional hour-long phone call in a long time. He was angry, and wanted to end the pain, end his life. He talked and yelled, I was shaking and listening. After we got off the phone, I was scared, worried, and didn’t know what to do. Then things changed dramatically. G called me back, saying he was sorry, but most importantly, he had a clear mind and thoughts. We talked for another hour, and I came to realize that he just needed someone to talk to, someone to vent his frustrations on. I’m happy to report that today he’s doing much better, and he’s taking steps to improve his situation. That last week was emotionally exhausting on me, but I would do it again in a heart beat to help someone close to me.
To say the least, going to vacation after that incident felt good. It was good to get away from the issues that were on our minds. New Orleans has great weather this time of year. We had a great time in the French Quarter, eating at Café Du Monde, partying on Bourbon Street, and walking in the Garden District. After a couple of day there, we drove to Atlanta and visited the Georgia Aquarium, the world’s largest. We also toured a couple of breweries, and did plenty of shopping. We found a Nine West store that was closing, and they had some amazing deals. I was able to get some nice heels and flats in my size, while K was able to get some for herself. I also had to stop by a MAC pro store (Memphis doesn’t have one) as I continued to feed my MAC makeup addiction. I asked the MAC makeup artist for some items and she asked if we were doing a photo shoot or something. I told her these were for me. She was very helpful and polite.
Today is all about Katie. I have been there for others this past month, and now it’s time to focus on my needs and relieve some of that stress that’s built up. It feels good to be in your own skin and be proud of it. The only bad thing is that it’s back to work tomorrow, but at least things are looking much better than they did this time last week.
The trees are blooming, the birds are chirping, and it’s almost time to get the AC fired up in the Memphis area. This winter really hasn’t been a winter at all. In a non-gender related topic, this means that we haven’t been able to brew up some of the beer styles we like (it hasn’t gotten cold enough in our fermenting closet). I say we, because K has really gotten into home brewing, she’s a big help on brew day. Today, we’ll be cooking up a Kolsch beer kit, making 5 gallons of light, refreshing beer that will be perfect when the Memphis summer arrives with 95 °F + temps and high humidity. The next beer on the menu to make will be a wheat beer made with blood oranges, which was great to have last year when we were outside in the shade and sweating uncontrollably.
The changing seasons also reminds me that I don’t have much time left with Katie. I mean that when it’s nearly 100 °F outside almost all summer long, and the AC struggles to get to 80 °F in our apartment, getting dressed up isn’t so much fun. I tried last summer to get dressed up, but with all the makeup, wig, layers of clothes and tights (to cover all the hair), I just about pass out. I just have to enjoy the time I have left until fall comes around, and take advantage of any cool summer weekends. I’m thinking that I want do something special for Halloween. I’ve heard that Halloween is basically national crossdressing day, where it’s totally accepted for a guy to get dressed up in drag. I think I might even know what costume I might want to try, but that’s a ways of. Just have to make it through the tough Memphis summer.
Enjoy your weekend; I know I will with a pint of ale.