Monday, July 30, 2012

Sophie's Reaction to the PSU Sanctions

The past two weeks haven't been good for Penn Staters.

If you haven't been following my ravings, I am a Penn State graduate.  Twice over, in fact.

I've written about the events of the past year at PSU twice now.  First here, then here.

First, let me again say that I KNOW that whatever has been dished out to PSU is nothing compared to the suffering of those who the monster Sandusky molested.  Everyone gets that, ok?

Right.  This is about to get opinionated and a lil' nasty, folks.  Fair warning.

So, the NCAA handed down sanctions to the PSU football program.  See them here.  It was either these or Four years without Football (advocated by many people who went to other schools who PSU beat over the years.)

Here's a quick summary, with my thoughts on each in Red:

Sixty Million Dollar fine, to be paid into a fund for abused children.  That's equal to one year of football revenue.  This will be paid over five years.  Very fair.  And it goes to help Children, not into the NCAA's pockets.

Loss of Ten Scholarships.  That's half of them.  For Four years.  This punishes the Current players who weren't there and had no knowledge.

No Bowl games for Four yearsPunishes Current players.  See above.  Why not just confiscate all Bowl revenue?  That said, with loss of scholarships, etc, did they REALLY think we'd be going to any bowl- even the Weedwacker Bowl?  That said, "Penn State's proceeds from Big Ten bowl revenues from the four years, amounting to an estimated $13 million, will be allocated "to established charitable organizations in Big Ten communities dedicated to the protection of children." (Quote from above linked site)

Probation after.  Very fair.  And to be expected.

Vacating ALL wins from 1998-2011. This means Paterno is no longer the winningest coach.  Now he's 12th.  The winningest coach is now Bobby Bowden... who has ALSO been hit with NCAA sanctions in his career.  Perfect role model.  This is the bit that doesn't make sense.  Paterno is DEAD.  They're punishing a Dead man.  Somehow, I don't think he cares at this point.  I'll get back to this.

"Any current or incoming football players are free to immediately transfer and compete at another school."  (Source above link again)  Sounds fair, but this is where the "punitive example" part of this whole thing falls apart.  If the point is to show that Football isn't the Most Important Overriding Reason for a University (as the NCAA says it is), why is the NCAA allowing coaching staffs from over ONE HUNDRED schools harass current PSU players?  They've camped out in the Football practice facility parking lot, for God's sake!  The message this sends is simple: they want Better Players to make a Better Team that will Earn more Money and be more Important.  Which runs counter to what the NCAA says it wants to say.  Seems like "The Example" didn't work.

Ok, so this past week, the Penn State players had THEIR say.  See that here.  The quarterback wrote "I am a Nittany Lion and will remain one. I believe in the core values I have learned in this program. It is not Nittany Lion Football. It is Nittany Lion family."  (Source: the above link).  About forty players then gave a press conference and said :

"This team is sticking together. We aren't going anywhere. And we could not be more proud to be Penn Staters now. We look at this as a great opportunity to have the ability to bring back not only a team but an entire university.

"This team has taken on more adversity than any team has faced in history, which is a testament to our commitment to our team's character, our fans, and our university. One man didn't build this program, and one man sure as hell cannot tear it down. This program was built on the backs of the thousands of great men who put on the Penn State uniform. Today it is no different.

"No sanction or politician can tear this team apart. No one can take away what this university means to us. We will stick together and create our own legacy. Our loyalty lies only with our teammates, coaches, fans and families. No one else.  (ibid)

I watched the press conference and I have Never been Prouder to be a Penn Stater.  These guys GET IT.  They are saying "Ok, we'll take the heat for others and we'll stick it out because that's who WE are, and what this University is."  THAT'S Penn State.  WE are Penn State, not those criminals who turned their backs on the suffering of Children.

The Criminals.  Ok, so the students are being punished.  The University is being punished.  What about those who actually did the crimes?  Let's take a look.

Sandusky: Convicted.  May he rot in hell.  Curley and Shultz: Indicted.  Will probably be convicted and do time.  Spanier: grand jury looking into him.  Charges probable and deserved.  Paterno: Dead. 

PA Governor Corbett:  Just as culpable.  He let Sandusky run around free while accepting HUGE campaign donations from Second mile (Sandusky's charity) and from families of Second Mile board members.  $650,000 in fact.  He did this KNOWING about Sandusky because, as Attorney general, he had the case on his desk for years.  And only assigned one person to it.  He then gave Second Mile THREE MILLION DOLLARS of state money in return when elected.  This is the same guy who rammed through huge cuts to education while awarding millions in tax cuts to his corporate donors and ALSO rammed through Jim Crow laws designed specifically to give the GOP election victories.  Don't believe it?  GOP state house majority leader Mike Turzai when ticking off GOP successes in the state said "Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania -- done.”

So.  Of those Criminals, FOUR are still breathing free air.  One will never be charged, never mind convicted by his hand-picked AG: Corbett.  One is Dead.  Let's look at that one again.  After all, I said I'd get back to it.

In September 1658, Oliver Cromwell died, probably of malaria.  You may remember him as the winning side of the British Civil War, executioner of King Charles I, etc.  He set up his own little monarchy, but it didn't last long.  In 1659, Charles II returned from exile and the old monarchy was restored.  Here's where it got interesting.

"Charles' new parliament ordered the disinterment of Cromwell's body from Westminster Abbey and the disinterment of other regicides John Bradshaw and Henry Ireton, for a posthumous execution at Tyburn. After hanging "from morning till four in the afternoon",the bodies were cut down and the heads placed on a 20-foot (6.1 m) spike above Westminster Hall. In 1685 a storm broke the pole upon which it stood, throwing the head to the ground, after which it was in the hands of private collectors and museum owners until 25 March 1960, when it was buried at Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge."  Source here.

So.  They dug up and executed a DEAD MAN and put his head on a pike, where it stayed for 26 years.  Rather vindictive, wouldn't you say?

As Cromwell was DEAD, I don't think he cared.  unless he was actually a Zombie.  "Roundbrains... ROUNDBRAINS!!!"  Ok, that was a stretch.

Mortal punishment is really lost on dead people.  Funny that.  As for Eternal punishment, that's not up to Us is it?  And that's another debate entirely.  My point, reinforced, is that removing Paterno's wins didn't hurt Paterno.  He's dead.  And disgraced.  The Statue is gone, and rightfully so. 

So whom does it hurt?  The Players who played on those teams and who had NOTHING to do with it.

So I guess my overall point is this: the NCAA ruling (and who elected them anyway?) hurts a LOT more than those who were responsible, while not being "an example" to anyone.  And as long as ANY of those who were involved in the cover up are free, most of the sanctions are Petty.

Maybe I'll change my mind when Corbett is behind bars.  But not until then.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I just wanted to thank T-Central.

They are an, I don't know how to say it, One stop shopping for trans-gender blogs.

In any case, they send SO much traffic to my blogs with every post.  Not just that, but they've turned me on to SO many other great blogs!  And I am VERY grateful!

If you like my blog (and even if you hate it), Give these guys a look. 

Here's to you, T-Central!  Thanks!

Cheers, T-Central!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Myspace blog I mentioned in my last Post

(Comments I've added Today will be in red)

Jul 22, 2010

Sophie fields a question

Current mood:contemplative

Sat July 17- Sophie time! Time for the Renaissance meeting and Angela's Laptop Lounge.

After lunch in drab with some the gurls, I headed up to Amanda Richardsas usual. My outfit was the one I was going to wear for Kim's visit- a new satin black top, black skirt, red belt and heels and new earrings! I was feeling so hot!

(there were pics but they didn't translate over.  Oh well.  they're on flickr)

As my appointment was so late, I missed Ren (for the first time since I started attending!) (I've missed several times since)  and went directly to Laptop. There was a nice mix of new gurls and old friends, and I enjoyed myself. Oh and had some pictures taken! ;)

As always, the night ended quickly. I drove back to the motel to change and sat back in my car to listen to the end of a song on my cd player... and woke up 15 minutes later. Oops!

(not the smartest thing to do...)

I gathered what I needed and walked across the lot toward a side door. In the pool were four or five teens splashing about and making a LOT of noise. If I were in the rooms facing the pool, I would've been VERY angry. As it was, I walked by unnoticed and into the side door...

(Remember, they're in the pool at TWO AM!)

...where there were five more soaking wet teens sitting in the hall maybe ten feet from my door. Uh oh!

"Wow!" "Look at this!" and so on until as I opened the door when I heard

"Hey are you a man?"

I closed the door behind me, thankful it was nothing more than a few taunts.

"Are you a man?"

I looked in the mirror. I saw a woman. A tired and slightly disheveled woman, yes, but a woman.

I took my last pictures, and looked in the mirror one last time. Then started the long process of cleaning up so I could go home.

"Are you a man?"

Who am I? I don't even know any more. I know this- I love being Sophie and for that short time I am a woman. The rest of the time I am confused and searching...

(I have since resolved this one.  I am Sophie Lynne.  A Woman.)

5:45 PM

"Look! A Dude!"

Monday, Monday. 

Really rough day today for reasons I'll address in a different post.

I was out this weekend.  It was Third Weekend- my time out and about as my True Self.  Renaissance and Angela's Laptop Lounge.

I had a wonderful time!  And saw some people I haven't seen in a while.  And wore a new LBD (Little Black Dress).

Me in my new LBD


It's a term I learned after re-discovering my feminine side.  It means being identified as a Transgender in public.  It's the opposite of stealth.  Someone is publicly saying "Hey look at that guy in a dress!" (In my case.)

I was clocked twice Saturday, both at the same place but at different times.

Day started well enough.  I went to True Colors so Amanda could do my makeup.  It was great catching up with her.  We talked about music and the then upcoming NCAA decision about PSU among other things.

Dammit!  I left my camera back at the motel room!  No problem- I had plenty of time before meeting people for dinner.  So I stopped at the motel to pick it up.

I thought I looked REALLY good in that dress.  Not good enough apparently.  I walked in the side door of the motel (it was the door closest to my room) and at another door nearby were two boys, one maybe ten, the other a teen.  They were both dressed in white t-shirts and jeans.

The ten year old looks at me points yells "Look!  A Dude!"  Then I was out of his line of sight.  I walked with all the dignity I had left to the room without looking back.  I have no idea if they were watching my padded behind as I walked down the hall.

I stayed in the room for maybe twenty minutes, adjusting my pads, putting drops in my eyes, trying to relax. 

Then I took a deep breath, and left the room.  All clear.

I went to Shangrila to have dinner with my good friends Katie and Suzanne.  It was quite nice.  I started to relax and enjoy being Me.

From there to the Renaissance meeting, where there were several new people.  I love seeing new people attend the meetings because I know how much courage it takes to take that first step.  I hope that by coming they enjoy the support I enjoyed when I started going (and still get!)

From there, it was off to Blue Pacific, and the Laptop Lounge!  I had to park a little further away than usual, but that's not a problem.  I put my shoulders back and walked across the parking lot, happy to be me!  After all, who cares what a ten year old thinks?

Waiting at Laptop were some friends and the bar.  And friends at the bar.  Very soon, the place started to fill with Tgirls and admirers.  My big sis Mel came in and held court wearing a beautiful black dress.

More admirers have been coming lately.  They mostly leave me alone.  One of them asked me how it felt to be "adored."  I laughed, and said that I'd tell him how it felt when it happens.

Quick digression.  I occasionally will get a message from someone, be it on my flickr account, my URNA account, Second Life or wherever, in which they compliment me in some way ("You're so beautiful" or something) then add "you must get that a lot."  Or "you must get hit on a lot."  I don't.  Well, it's REALLY rare anyway.  I guess it's my sparkling personality. (That's sarcasm)  Or the fact that I'm hetero and married.  That said, I DO love compliments.  They really help me feel feminine.

Anyway, my dear friend Lisa Emapanada made her entrance.  She drove up from Baltimore to be there (about a two hour drive.)  I knew she was coming, but she asked me not to tell anyone.  She made quite the splash!  (Especially with the wardrobe malfunction!)  (Hi Lisa!)

Lisa and I at Laptop

Mel and I talked about my earlier encounter with the two kids.  She said  "It's to be expected at this stage.  Get used to it, darlin'!"  She's right.  Until I get FFS, I'll be easily identified as transgender.  Probably after as well, but not as easily.  No one said it was easy.  Quite the opposite, actually.

"To She" to reprise a previous blog entry.

The night went very well and very quickly.  I actually managed to get my camera out and take some pictures this time.  I mean, after what I went through to go back and get it and all...

At one point, I decided I'd had enough to drink.  I left a fairly full drink on the bar and chugged water. 

At 1:30 AM, I said my goodbyes and went back to the Motel.  I walked in the same door as earlier and waiting were two guys.  One may have been the older one from before.  The other was in his twenties and had cornrows and a van dyke beard.  Both wore, you guessed it, a white t-shirt and jeans.

The older one said "Good evening SIR!" 

I smiled and said "good evening" back in my most feminine voice. 

Then walked down the hall to my room.

So this was the SECOND time that day I'd been clocked, and THIRD time at the motel.  (First time was over a year ago.  I wrote about it long ago on my myspace blog reposted HERE.)  So what is about the Motel 6 that people just wander its halls aimlessly late at night? 

Digression 2:  Someone WAS killed at this motel a some years ago as well as other incidents.  Maybe I should be more careful? (That said, googling the murder's name brings up a LOT of racist web sites.) 

Anyway, I was back in the room. 

"SIR" spoken loudly for emphasis rang in my head.

I remembered what Mel said earlier, and I looked in the mirror.

I saw a woman looking back at me.

I smiled, and so did she.

The Woman in the Mirror

Thursday, July 12, 2012

An Alumnae's Thoughts on Today's Revelations

Today at 10 AM, former FBI director Louis Freeh released his report regarding the actions of Penn State University in regard to the child sexual abuse committed by Jerry Sandusky.

Read it here.

If you didn't know, I am an alumna of Penn State.  Twice: bachelors and masters.

Happier Times (a photo shopped pic)

At work, I was able to listen to the press conference on the radio while I worked at my first job.  I did so in the company of two fellow alumni.

Back in November, when the scandal hit, I wrote a blog about my feelings.  (Read it here.)  I wrote the following then:

"Now what? The university is disgraced. All that I was taught there, was it a lie? A big fat lie wrapped in Blue and White?

And if Penn State is dirty, then can ANYONE be clean? Anywhere?

I hurt. Still. No end in sight as this will probably get so much worse before it gets better."

Since then, Sandusky was convicted of 45 charges of sexually abusing ten boys over a period of fifteen years.  He will go to jail for the rest of his life. 
Since then, Coach Joe Paterno died.
And today, the world found out that he KNEW.  That President Spanier KNEW.  And they covered it up. They allowed this monster to prey upon more victims and for what?  Reputation.  The "brand" if you will.
I bleed Blue and White.  I stuck up for Paterno- repeatedly and publically.  I really believed that there was no way Joepa could stand by and knowingly allow that predator to continue his deprivations.
But he did.  He did.

I can't put into words how I feel, but I'm trying anyway.

I wrote the following on Facebook:

"I am sad beyond words. I defended paterno. To learn that he KNEW and covered up child abuse... I am horrified. I was wrong. I'm STILL proud to be a Penn Stater, and always will be. That said, the Paterno statue should come down. All involved should rot in jail forever. Spanier especially. I had a Joepa bumper sticker on my car. i removed it this afternoon and threw it away."

The Bumper Sticker

The rest of my day at my first job, my fellow alums and I discussed what we heard.  And how we felt.  We all were stunned.  And angry.  We all feel betrayed.

I've received messages from friends and fellow alums as well.  The messages are supportive and I am so grateful for them. 

I can't get past the fact that so many people's lives were destroyed because people were worried about "a brand."  How can Spanier, Curley and Schultz bear to look in the mirror knowing that they actually helped that monster prey upon more children?

I can't imagine how those victims feel now, knowing that their pain could've and SHOULD'VE been prevented.  They deserve our thoughts and prayers. 

How can people put Money above concern for fellow people?  (A question I ask about the GOP as well, btw.)

I simply cannot comprehend this.  My brain doesn't work that way. 

I concluded my earlier post on the topic this way:

"The only thing I know is this:
And I always will be."

And I still feel that way.

But I hurt. Deeply.

And I don't see that hurt ending any time soon.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Random thoughts on a Summer Tuesday

A couple incoherent thoughts to toss out.  Last time, I determined a theme.  Will I this time?  We'll see.

Lately, I've been getting de-friended a lot on Facebook as a result of political discussions.  The day after the ACA ruling was given I lost a total of 27 friends!  Do I know who they were?  Nope.  I have many conservative friends, both in real life and online.  Many of them are very capable of having an intelligent, cogent political discussion.  Some even can do so without parroting the Limbaugh talking points.  ;)  So, the ones who go?  See ya!

The strange bit (to me anyway)  is that 99% of my FB friends are transpeople of some form.

I'm an educated woman, but I can't comprehend a transperson siding with the Tea Party Right that the GOP has become.  Economics, that's one thing.  A BIG thing, but just one aspect of the discussion.  I understand economic conservatives (just don't know how a True Conservative can vote GOP, given their economic policies) and can debate that ad infinitum and chance are we'll both be right and wrong. 

It's the SOCIAL part I don't get.  Do transpeople REALLY think that the party of Bachmann, Perry and Santorum will have THEIR best interests at heart? 


“Don’t misunderstand. I am not here bashing people who are homosexuals, who are lesbians, who are bisexual, who are transgender. We need to have profound compassion for people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life and sexual identity disorders.” — Senator Michele Bachmann, on homosexuality as a mental disorder, speaking at EdWatch National Education Conference, November 6, 2004.
Speaking at a press conference Monday, Santorum said same-sex marriage is "going to have a devastating impact on our children," illustrating his point by discussing a couple who say their second-grader has to deal with transgender children in the class. Therefore, he claims, with the legalization of gay marriage, children will be "forced" to discuss gender issues, which will be "devastating."
“Promoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America’s interests and not worth a dime of taxpayers’ money.”

-Texas Gov. Rick Perry, criticizing a new Obama administration policy to defend the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who are imprisoned, brutalized and murdered in some countries. ABC News, December 6, 2011

Paragons of Tolerance?  these are the Leaders of the Right!  How can a transperson side with them?

The only comparison I can find in history are Jewish Nazis.  Yes, they existed.  And they died too.  Much to their surprise, I'd guess.  Now I know at least one person who will question this comparison of a Right Wing Political party that actively stripped an entire segment of the population of their rights (and eventually exterminated 6 million of them) to a Right Wing Political Party actively seeking to strip an entire segment of the population of their rights and not caring if they die (see: transgender suicide rate) as being Unfair or worse.  Apples and oranges.  I disagree

Currently at 32 followers.  We'll see what happens.

BTW: the GOP website calls itself a "Social Victory Center."  I'm not kidding- click the link.    I can't make this stuff up!

Random Pic to separate topics

In Other news:

Having trouble sleeping lately.  This isn't new for me.  Back before I was diagnosed with depression, I used to have NASTY bouts of insomnia.  I was prescribed melatonin, which works well for me.  After starting depression meds, insomnia for the most part disappeared. 

But since telling my wife about Sophie, sleep has occasionally been elusive.  Usually my thoughts are racing.  Self medicating with Alcohol doesn't help.  Last night, I kept thinking about the Guy in the Bar.  Yes, it still bothers me.  It'll take time.


Southern Comfort Conference.  I am really going to try to go.  I've booked a hotel room already.  Over $600.  Ow!  Figure overall it will cost me about $1,300 to do this.  That's a LOT of ebay sales!

I really want to go.  For one, it's the Biggest Conference.  And I've never been to Atlanta.  And so Many of the Women who have inspired me over the long years will be there.  I may even have the courage to say "Hi!" to them!  (I'm such a fan-girl!)  And many of the seminars look wonderful!


It's the All-Star break, and my Phillies are in the basement.  After a five year Golden Age, the team seems to be in free fall.  Sigh.  Doesn't matter, I'm still going on August 28th for LGBT night... as Sophie.  Maybe Halliday will get healthy and the team will start hitting and they'll be able to make a go of it.  And maybe flying monkeys will come shooting out of my butt.  Ah well.  I'm a fan.  Thick and thin.


We just finished an eleven day heat wave here in Philly.  Not the record, but close.  I love summer- heat and all.  Summer always meant freedom to me, even after my school days ended.  I still see the magic in Fireflies.  And I  love the sound of crickets at night. 

With Jen Bryant at Raven in January.  Pic:  Jen Bryant


This weekend is another Jen Bryant Raven Event.  She outdoes herself every time.  Alas, I work this time so I can't attend.  My next Sophie time will be on the 21st at Laptop Lounge.


Ok, time to close this exercise in free-form babbling.  After a quick review, do i detect a theme?  Nope.  Just babble.  My random thoughts as they stand on this Thursday, July 10, 2012. 

Thanks for listening!  ;)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Avoided Bar Fight Blues

This one gets deep, folks.  It'll take a sec to develop the point, so bear with me.

I guess it kind of gets to the root of my whole blogging thing.  To release stress or tension, people do many things.  Some people drink.  Some do Primal Scream.  I write out my feelings to release pain.  I write every day, but as most of it sucks big time, no one ever sees it.  (I usually write longhand in a series of journals.  my book takes up many on its own.)

Some of what I write ends up here.  Why?  Narcissism?  A driving need for approval?  Sadism?

All of the above?

In any case, I have been drinking more of late.  Not as much as I used to (Thank God) but more than I have been.  If that makes sense.

This leads to painful mornings.  As I work very early, hangovers are bad bad bad.  To say nothing of what my poor liver has suffered over the years.  Alcoholism runs down both sides of my family, which when combined with my Scots/Irish/German ancestry means I was a formidable Drinking Machine back in the day.

Guzzle Guzzle

So this drinking may or may not have led to the incident last Tuesday, July 3.  It was the thirtieth birthday of a good friend, so a bunch of us went out to fete her.  At the second bar we patronized (first one closed at midnight), there was a table near our booth.  I was walking past it (going to the bathroom) when I noticed that the one person had a phone with a PSU symbol on it.  As a fellow alum, I stopped to say "hi."  At the table were two really hot girls and two guys.  One was Indian, and he went to U of Illinois.  The other guy was big.  He probably was a football player sometime in the past, but his muscle was now more than coated by a layer of fat.  he also had a large scar on his left knee (he was wearing shorts.)

We spoke pleasantly, then off to the bathroom I went.  On my way back to the table, one of the girls called me over to ask me a question about my time at PSU.  The whole group had just graduated from college (PSU and Illinois) and i stopped to answer her question.  I rambled a bit, having had some drinks already.  I also bought a drink for the Illinois guy.

So out of nowhere, the big guy starts getting very rude, saying he'd "heard enough of [my] bullshit" and "the girls are almost young enough to be your kids." 

Took me second to connect the dots... so i just said "Friend, you are being VERY rude."  He said "I ain't your friend.  Just go away."  At this point, he leaned forward in his chair.

I figured out he thought i was hitting on the girls.  I said "Friend I AM old enough to be their father, and I'm not trying to hit on them.  So..."

He said something I couldn't hear, cutting me off, and seemed to be ready to launch out of the chair.  He clearly wanted a fight. 

I looked down at him and said "Friend, back off.  I have a brown belt."  (I do, in Tae Kwon Do, even though it's been years since I've studied.)  He said "I'd like to see it."

His tone was pure menace and sarcasm.

Last time I was in this situation was at a Halloween party a couple years ago.  This time, a pattern repeated itself.  I started selecting targets.  His scarred knee was an obvious one.  Knocking him either back into the chair as he stood or putting him face first on the floor as he stood was another option. 

But, as before, I did a quick run through of "What I Have to Lose" verses "What HE Has to Lose."

Him:  Gets bailed out by parents, probably goes back to their house where he lives.  His parents sue.  Maybe he gets a spot on his police record, maybe not. Probably banned from bar.  Probable physical damage, despite his youth.

Me: Get sued (no matter who starts it); have to call wife to bail me out; can't afford lawyer; maybe a spot on my record, maybe not; possible physical damage; banned from bar; Ruin night for my friends, including the birthday girl.

So, being an adult, I said "No, you wouldn't believe me.  But I'm going.  Have a good night."  And extended my hand to him.

"I'm not shaking your fucking hand."

I was pissed off by this point.  I turned to the girls and said "Goodnight ladies" then to the Illinois guy "Goodnight sir."  Then walked back to my friends.

They didn't see or hear any of it.  Would they have had my back?  I was there with four people: two guys and two women.  Maybe they would've helped, maybe not.

Our table got some wings and chicken fingers.  I had another cider.  The other group eventually got up to leave.  I told my friends what happened and they were supportive.  They were glad i backed off.  A couple of them pointed out I did the right thing, and that I showed I was an Adult, not a kid like him.


All true.  So why is it still eating at me?

My "Big Sis" pointed out that fighting is a "guy thing" and "Women don't fight."  Not bar fights anyway. 

I told my wife and she was glad I backed off as well.  She mentioned that she would've waited a while before bailing me out, and that I showed I was a "Better person."

I thought about it.  A lot.  I figured out why it bothered me. 

He was a bully.

He touched a deep wound in me- one that never healed.  As I grew up, I started confronting bullies because I figured if I didn't then they would have power over me.  I hate bullies.  So here I let a kid half my age bully me.  And it's gnawing at me.

Last time I had this problem, it took weeks to get over it.  I KNOW all my friends are right- I did the right thing.

Now I have to Live with it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Story from the Ancient Past... 1983

Days have been very Hot around the Philly area of late.  High 90s with high humidity.  Typical Philly summer weather.

Messages on the Support group I attend died off only to blossom again this weekend.  Seems that one of our number was feeling isolated from loved ones.  Than it turns out she wasn't alone.  Then a third.  It led to a long exchange of emails, and it was a good thing.

In other Sophie news, I have a new corset!  A while ago, My old one threw a spine after 3 1/2 years of hard usage.  (I bought it custom made at Delicious Corsets, and they did a Great job!  I recommend them!)  Let's face it- it had a hard job making MY figure look feminine!  It's still usable, but I felt it was time to invest in a new one.

As it turns out, an old friend of mine makes corsets.  Not just makes, but is a LEADING maker of corsets.  All handmade.  She specializes in tight lacing, but also does "normal" corsets as well.  Her business is Contour Corsets.  They aren't cheap, but WELL worth it.  She made a summer corset for me, and I couldn't be happier!  Maybe I'll get brave and post pics of it.  Maybe.

So this weekend, I'm hosting another party.  This time it's in honor of a couple of friends who are back from Turkey for a week.  They teach there now.  In any case, it will be another costume party.  This time the theme is "Dress like your favorite Holiday."  So if you want to come dressed as a Christmas elf, that's cool.  Come dressed like a tree for Arbor Day (not by coincidence, this is also the theme for Costume night at the upcoming "Beauty at the Beach" this November.  I suggested it!)

I'll tell you next time how I'm dressed (I haven't decided yet.)  It WON'T be as a woman, unfortunately.  To my co-workers, I've "retired" from "drag."  That is until I come out for good.  Assuming I'm still there.

"Retired" costume at last party

In any case, the Heat Wave will continue through the weekend, so it'll be steamy.

This will be my bazillionth party.  But the Hot weather reminds me of my first. 

July 1983.  I was sixteen, and between my junior and senior years in high school.  Back then I was a skinny kid, a "late bloomer," and far from popular.  Now I'm no longer skinny.  I worked at Burger King, and had been there for over a year.  That summer, many of the "popular" guys came to work at BK as well.  In our small town, it was the best job a teen could get, really. 

My coworkers and I became friendly.  Turns out most of the "popular guys" were actually pretty nice.  They included in me in after-work activities, like jumping the fence at the local swim club for late night dips in the pool.

My parents often went away in the summer to the house they were fixing up at the beach.  Usually I'd stay home alone as I had to work.  (Oh and that's when I dressed up as well, as I mentioned previously)  One time, I decided to throw a party with my co-workers.  I don't remember if it was my idea or theirs.

Problems included the fact that I couldn't get beer as I was only 16.  Then there was the neighbors.  I forget how I got the beer (Lowenbrau and Moosehead)- it may even have been one of the managers.  But the neighbors were easier.  I asked everyone to park in a church parking lot down the street.  And we actually kept things a bit quiet. 

Soon enough it was party time.  And the popular people were there!  The guys invited a few of the popular girls and they came as well.  We put WMMR on the radio, drank and hung out.  the night was hot and sticky, but we had an air conditioner, so it was ok. 

And exactly that went right.  There were maybe twenty people there, including two of the managers- including the head manager.  Looking back, I wonder why twenty-somethings would come to the party, but then I was flattered.  Hell, I was amazed anyone showed up!

So, two of my classmates showed up, grabbed a six pack and left to "go driving." They went out drinking while driving.  I'll call these two J and T.

So, the music played, people drank- almost all of us high school kids. 

I remember only one of the conversations.  We were discussing how music seemed to have turned upside down with all the new acts packing concerts (like Men at Work) and supposed has-beens like David Bowie suddenly being the hottest ticket in town (this was  right when he released Let's Dance and was on his "Serious Moonlight" tour.  He filmed the video for "Modern Love" at the Spectrum in Philly.)

Everyone was having a great time and getting drunk.  It didn't take much for any of us back then- we were high school kids after all- yet to be seasoned by life and/or college.

Ready for the Party!  (Halloween 2011)

That's when J & T returned.  They could hardly walk, and were empty handed.

"We through the empties out the window at parked cars.  It was cool!"

Everyone laughed except me.  I was afraid that the bottles would be traced back to me.  And I was worried that they were driving drunk.

That's when the head manager sat on an antique mahogany table one that had a central shaft down to the four legged stand (like a lamp.)  And then two girls sat in his lap.  And the table crashed down to the floor, shattered.

Laughter, again from everyone but me.  I was horrified!

That's when the manager swung into action.  He slurred badly as he sent one of my fellow employees to the 7-11 for Krazy Glue.  Twenty minutes later, he was doing his best to glue the table back together... and it was working!

By this point, the popular girls had left.  A couple of the popular guys as well- the ones who didn't work with me.  The party was pretty much BK people, J, and T now.

Around midnight, the inevitable happened: we ran out of beer. 

Bottles everywhere.  Pizza boxes. 

Most people left.  A couple stayed to clean up.  J & T stayed over as they were WAY too drunk to drive.

I woke up late the next morning, and they were gone as well.  I finished the last of the cleanup and opened windows to air out the house.

And a day later, my parents came home. 

I thought I'd gotten away with it. 

What I didn't know was that J & T had saved ALL the bottle caps... and hidden them around the living room and kitchen. 

And my mom found them.  And kept finding them.  Then a week later, the table fell apart.  that's when she questioned me about the party the neighbors said I had.

Umm uhhh...

I was grounded for two weeks.  Not that I cared.  I worked all the time in the summer. 

That was Twenty Nine years ago. 

So this weekend is a party.  A party in the sweltering summer heat.  I won't have to worry about bottle caps or underage drinkers.

But Grounded?  Maybe.  My wife hates it when I am out all night.

I hope all of my readers in the US have a great July 4th Holiday.  And everyone else has a great week!