Friday, September 28, 2012

"Greatest Hits?"

September is ending. 

Autumn is here (in our half of the world.)  The leaves are changing (dare I say "arboreal splendor" or is that too overblown?), the nights are chilly, and Tastykake Pumpkin Pies are back! 

It's a Philly thing. You wouldn't understand.

It's been one hell of month in Sophieville.  if you've been following along with your assigned readings, you'll remember that I had a birthday, went out, and then a preliminary hearing.  I also got into a back and forth with a "trannier than thou" type about "Inclusion vs Exclusion."  Oh, and rambled about politics and holidays, but I do that all the time anyway.  And talked about comic books

I've written a LOT this month!  And that has led to this being the Biggest month for Hits AND Comments ever on ANY blog I've done!  (This is my fourth, but only current one.) 

First off, THANK YOU for reading!  A special Thanks to the 39 brave souls (up one from last month) who follow this blog.  Your monthly check is in the mail.  And if you actually check all the links i put in these things, well, a padded room awaits you.  j/k

You make this chick smile!

But there is a part of this that really mystifies me.  Not that this is an uncommon thing, but perhaps you, the reader can sort this out where I can't.

I'm going to present you with the Top 5 all time leaders in hits on this blog.  I really don't understand why one of them is on this list.  Maybe you can?

Ok, all these numbers are current as of this writing. And the titles are as imaginative as ever.  That's sarcasm.  I really need to punch up my titles.

At #5:  I Told My Wife
This one talked about how I told my wife about being trans.  I still can't believe it went how it did.  As this is a topic that many TG people wrestle with, it doesn't surprise me that it's in the top five.

#4:  Arrested
Getting arrested is not fun, and it's no wonder that this one is in the top reads here.  Let's face it- when someone says "I was arrested" people want to know why it happened. 

#3: A Reply to Elizabeth
Wow did THIS one get comments!  The most comments for any of my entries:  21 to date.  It's also the newest of the top five.  Several of my friends have told me that this is a "hot button" topic for them, as it is for me. 

 #2 Saturday Night for an Evil Queen
This was last year's Halloween Blog.  It features pics of my Evil Queen costume (go figure.)  It has two comments: one person calling me "weird" and me replying to that.  More in a bit on this one.

And the #1 Blog for readers on this blog:

Femme Fever: the sequel
This one has lots of pictures from a photoshoot, most of them showing lots of cleavage.  So it's no wonder it's currently on top.

Previously unpublished pic from that photoshoot

Now here's the part I don't understand.  Yes, the entry with all the cleavage shots is currently on top.  Sex sells and all that.  But if the current trend continues, by the middle of next month there will be a New #1... and I have no idea why.

Yes, the Evil Queen blog will be the leader.  It consistently gets hits every day.  Was the costume THAT good?  My prose THAT compelling?  Well, Lorainne did a GREAT job on the costume, but...

So.  Why?  Any ideas?

In the end, does it really matter?  Probably not.

As an aside, the website for the 5th Annual Keystone Conference is up!  I intend to go, and (Kristie willing) present again.  Will it be my writing topic, or maybe something else?  Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Arrested II: Preliminary Hearing

Well that's a better title than "Electric Boogaloo."

Today was my Preliminary Hearing.

(If you haven't read about why I have to go to this, read THIS.  I'll wait.)

Back?  Ok.  Right.  So today was the hearing.

It was raining this morning.  I woke up, showered and put on my suit.  A Drab suit, not my awesome skirt suit. 

Nope, not today

Last weekend, I finally got a haircut to look respectable.  I'd been growing it out so I wouldn't have to wear a wig forever.  It was finally beginning to move a bit, and I could do a small ponytail.

Now it's short again.  Sigh.  It'll grow back.

I drove to the district courthouse, which is about five miles.  It's one of two buildings built in the old steel town where I live that were built in the past fifty years.  Waited in my car listening to the rain. 

My lawyer showed up, and we went in.  the courtroom was small, and maybe fifteen people were there.  The assistant DA was on crutches, and was joking with a cop that her injury story wasn't good enough (she was on crutches.)  Other people, including me, started pitching stories to her (parachute accident, lifting a car off a kid, etc.)

I was second on the docket.  The first person had the same thing as me, and I watched what happened with him.  then I was up.  The arresting officer hadn't arrived yet, but my lawyer had discussed my case with the assistant DA.  As I was VERY respectful, and it was my first offense, etc, they dropped all the summary charges.  Summary charges are like "reckless driving," "crossing over the line," stuff like that.  That saved me thousands in fines.  My lawyer turned in my ARD paperwork.

What if I wore this instead?

I was released "on my own recognisance."  A little more paperwork later, and I was finished.  I was there maybe fifteen minutes.  My lawyer and I were talking outside (the rain stopped) when the officer finally pulled into the parking lot.  He was stuck in traffic.  We spoke briefly, said he had no objections to dropping the summary charges, and he thanked me for my politeness.  I thanked him for his professionalism.  He mentioned that the other case he had today was "in real trouble."  Yikes! 

He had my blood alcohol paperwork.  I had a .106 level.  That's "Tier 2" which means a thirty day suspension.  Among everything else.  So now I know.  I turn in my license on November 27.  So that'll be a fun time.  I'll do my fifty hours of community service before that. 

I have no idea how I'm going to handle going to my two jobs.  I may have to take a leave of absence from one of them.  No buses run between the two locations.

My wife was REALLY mad when I told her.  She has a right to be, but she hasn't been up to this point.  I told her what the possibilities were for punishment.  Yet she seemed to forget them. 

In any case, the next few months are mapped out.  Assuming all goes well, it'll all be behind me on December 28.  By then, it'll be nearly Five months since that night.  And I'm staying sober until then.  It's been 53 days now.  Not that I'm counting.

My next step is to get evaluated by an addiction councelor.  Then it's the community service and classes. 

I've received many kind notes from people giving me encouragement, and I really appreciate them.  I've also heard from several Sisters who've been through this or are going through this.  I appreciate their stories and courage in telling them to me.

More bulletins as events warrant.

So there you have it.  At the risk of sounding preachy: This Sucks.  Really Sucks.  Sucks major league donkey d**k.  It isn't worth it, people.  Get a damn cab.  It's so much safer! 

And cheaper. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Why "Running Man" is Science Fiction

Have you ever seen the move The Running Man?  It's based on a Steven King short story, and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Here's the plot.  I'm going to give away the ending, but as it's an Ahnold movie, it's quite predictable anyway.  Arnold is a helicopter pilot framed for mass murder by the government who ordered said massacre.  he can get out of jail by participating in a game show on the government run network.  Said show, The Running Man, is hosted by a very powerful guy, played by Richard Dawson of Family Feud fame.  Anyway, there is raw footage of the massacre, which the resistance (led by Mick Fleetwood and Dweezil Zappa.  Really)  manages to play over the air by hacking the network satellite.  People see the raw footage, realize they're being lied to, and revolution results.

Actually, there's a bit more to it than that.  It's a commentary on our need for entertainment, etc, and I rather like it.  it's fun. 

But here's how I KNOW it's science Fiction.  It isn't the futuristic setting nor is it the devices they use.  Nope.  it's the part at the end where people who absolutely trust what the TV tells them are SHOWN the truth, and they react to it to effect change.

Doesn't happen in real life.

Here's a prime example.  By now, unless you've been off planet, you've heard about the Mitt Romney video where he discusses his contempt for poor people.  And his racism as well.  He did this at a fundraiser attended by the super-rich.  He didn't know he was being recorded.  This is a speech he's probably made many times before, in front of many other rooms of donors just like these.  This was no "slip of the tongue."  It's what he Truly Believes- that he is above most people simply because he is rich.

Ok, so everyone has seen this video. 

And many people are offended.  As well they should be.  It shows Romney's true colors- a plutocrat.  A vile person.  Even some republicans have come out against it. 


The rest?  Bending over backwards to spin it.  Where's the outrage from those who had been fooled?  Doesn't exist.  Why?  Because Fox "News" and Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the GOP propaganda machine tells them what to think.  Unlike the movie, these people will not think differently despite actual Undisputed proof.

Maybe this is why the GOP wants to stop schools from critical thinking.  So people will believe ANY lie that their propaganda ministers wish them to believe.

So how can this be?

I could go into a long dissertation about propaganda techniques, comparing the words of various republicans (especially Karl Rove) to known propagandists of the past (especially Dr. Joseph Goebbels).  That's the thing about history.  We're supposed to learn from it.  Some people don't.  Some people repeat it (see examples above.)

I could present my theories which are strictly based upon my research and reading, but are strictly mine, and are, admittedly, biased.  (After all, as Colbert said "Reality has a liberal bias.")

But I won't.  All I will say is this.  People believe what they want to believe, and hear what they want to hear.  And they never, ever want to believe they're wrong.  fact and reality and with some folks never the twain shall meet.

That's not to say ALL republicans are like this.  Far from it.  I know MANY republican voters who are absolutely disgusted by the direction their party has turned.  "Rockefeller" republicans, mostly.  Adherents to Buckley and all that.  And they are all voting democrat, as the dems are moderate.  They SEEM far more liberal than the republicans, but that's only in comparison.  Most Dems are moderate these days, yes, including the president.  (Do you really think a LIBERAL would've kept Gitmo open, or extended the Bush tax cuts?)  I am admittedly a liberal, not a moderate, but I also am not registered to either party.  (Can I register as an anti-republican?)

So there it is. 

I wish it were different, but it isn't.

I'd be very confident in an Obama victory if not for all the Jim Crow laws the GOP enacted.  And before you say it, every state in the union did studies that showed negligible voter fraud numbers and NONE due to people voting in person twice.  Absolutely not worth all the expense... unless you want to keep people from voting.  Which several GOP politicians have ADMITTED is the case.  Really.

Should POTUS win, will that help moderate republicans retake direction of the party?  Doubtful.  If history is any indication, the baggers will blame Romney for not being "conservative enough" and move further right.  Maybe they'll toughen their "purity tests."

Purity tests.  I know of only two major political parties that did those before the GOP.  One was the Communist party in the USSR.  The other, the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) in Germany.  Never heard of them?  Maybe you know them by their colloquial name:  Nazi.

Learning from history, folks.  It means seeing parallels.  As ugly as they can be. 

God bless America.  And save us from the the current GOP.

Red, White and Blue Sophie. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Days Between

Today is Thursday, Sept 20.

Last Thursday was my (biological) birthday.  Next Thursday is my preliminary hearing.

And now I'm halfway between them.

Oh, and also between them was a Night out.

So.  Birthday.  Anniversary of the day I came into this world.  How old am I?  Well, I'll put it this way:

This Year, I'm a Defense.  Last year, I was a Colt.  Year before that, a Magnum.  Year before THAT, I was prime.  And 4 years ago, I was the meaning of life.

Answer THAT riddle, and We'll show it the way out.  Otherwise, Precciousssss, we EATS YOU! 

Sorry, Hobbit flashback.

On my birthday, my wife took off work and we went to lunch.  The we went to the movies.  I finally saw "Dark Knight Rises!"  And I LOVED it!  Geek-gasam!  Loved the ending as well.  Then took a walk at a nearby park.  Later, we picked up our daughter and went to dinner at a place called Iron Hill Brewery, which makes great beer.  But I didn't drink.  Almost seven weeks sober now.

So it was a nice time.

Like last year, my parents sent me some money.  I used it to buy a new dress and necklace.  Of course, I didn't tell THEM that!  I wore the dress out last Saturday for Renaissance and Laptop.  It's a little retro with a nice full skirt.

The New Dress

So how did that go?

As usual, I went to Amanda Richards at True Colors.  She did a wonderful job as always.  From there, off to Ren, where we had the annual BBQ. 

And this time, I wasn't wearing White to the BBQ.  First time for everything.

The food was great and the company was even better!

After that, I was designated driver for a couple girls and we headed over to Blue Pacific for the Laptop Lounge.

Attendance was a little light, but that is typical for this time of year.  It's still warm enough to go to the beach, so some people do that.  And it's still "shorts" weather, so many people don't dare shave their legs yet, lest they be "outed."  So those people don't come out as they are furry. 

Figure next month many girls will be back.  And it'll be great seeing them again!

So, I sat at the bar and drank sodas.  And my contacts dried out.  And everyone else was drinking and laughing and having a wonderful time!  And I sat there, watching Stanford beat USC.  I admit I really enjoyed that.  I never liked USC, and I like them less now. 

But, bottom line: I was bored.  Was it because i wasn't drinking, was it due to my contacts bothering me, or what was it?  Dunno.  I wanted to "spread my wings" and go somewhere- anywhere.  But I was driving a couple of girls, so I couldn't.  Maybe that was it- I felt trapped. 

That said, I was VERY happy that they had that trust in me.  Both got fairly drunk and I got them back home. 

In any case, time went slowly.  And that wasn't such a bad thing.  Usually the night flies by.  That night I felt I had plenty of time to be me.

Me.  What does that mean?  My last post generated a LOT of comments from what some term the "Transgender Mafia."   "Trannier than Thou."  So who am I?

I'm Sophie Lynne.  That's who.  Nothing more or less.  I define MYSELF.  Just as YOU do.  As Ruiz wrote in The Four Agreements:

"Don't Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering."


Right.  So after dropping the other two off, I went home around 3 AM.

Next Thursday is my preliminary hearing.  Don't know what I'm talking about?  Read my post here.  Anyway, I still don't know my blood alcohol level, and I probably won't until the day of the hearing.

Am I scared?  A little.  More resigned to it, really.  I'll do what needs doing to get this whole thing behind me.  It won't be fun, that's for sure.  But I guess that's point.

Birthday to the left of me, Hearing to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with Blog.

So, is that all?  No, there's one more little thing.


I'm talking to my therapist about it.  It's the next step.

There's more to the week of course.  Massive politics for one.  I'll address that in the near future.

But for now, this sober chick is calling it a night!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Reply to Elizabeth

This morning I noticed a few views to my blog that came from a source I'd never seen before.  So I went to check out the link. 

Here it is:

And I found that the author, Elizabeth, had indeed linked to my site.  This is what she wrote (and I quote):

"One last thing for Sophie on T-Central. If your face is 97% on the female scale then there is a major bug in the software or a donkey's ass is 96% female. Self delusion is rampart in the transvestite world."

The rest of what she wrote about other topics you can read and form your own opinions.  The thrust of the post is that it's a Rant (which I do far too often as well.)  I disagree with her main point, in fact I address her main point here and here (registration required for the second one, but it's free).  I agree with her discussion of the porn star, but not much else.

As it is central to my point, I'll reprint the salient portion of the second link here:

"I refer to myself as transgender. Oh wait — I’m not on hormones. My boobs are removable. I’m a “Weekend Warrior.” I’m not a “True trans.” I am obviously beneath contempt. And oh my God look at that bag! Am I homeless or something? And that skirt! Totally from Goodwill. An absolute disgrace. And look at that chin and nose! Some douche bag guy pretending.
I have heard all that too. From my sisters. From people who are discriminated against. Who are fired from jobs for no cause. Who are beaten and denied housing for who they are. Yet they look down their nose at me because obviously living the lie that I do, lying to my wife and children, fearing the day it will all come crashing down around me isn’t enough suffering for them. I just don’t understand because I’m not full time/not on hormones/I just DON’T KNOW!
Know what? I don’t know what it’s like to be full time. I don’t know what it’s like to be denied housing. (I’ve been fired with no cause though, sorry.)
Know what else? I don’t care.
I am trans. I am not as far as others, true, but my journey is only beginning. My sisters are trans. All of them. We are in this battle together. Why are dividing ourselves?
I’m adding one more label to this mix. BULLY. That’s right. “Bully: (N) blustering browbeating person; especially: one habitually cruel to others who are weaker.” (So says Merriam Webster).
“I am more trans than thou.” Why are you here, you’re obviously some guy who is just out for kinky kicks.”

Bullies looking down on someone for no other reason but for who they are. What they’re wearing.
I hate bullies. Always have. Bullies are people who try to build themselves up by picking on others. They have no real friends. I’d pity them if their cruelty weren’t so destructive."

Ok.  So, as I was a little stung by her words, I commented to her post.  And, to her credit, she posted my comment.  And replied.  Here are both in their entirety.


Who pissed on you cornflakes?

First, thanks for reading my blog.

Second, maybe that app is wrong. I think it is. But it helped someone on her journey feel happy for just a moment. Namely me. I have NO delusions about my appearance trust me. But the donkey's ass comparison was a bit harsh.

I'm glad you feel better after your rant. Congratulations. However you made others feel worse. How does that help?

To conclude, it's your blog. You say how you feel. As I do on mine. I've made my opinion clear on "dividers." you are one. That said, and with the knowledge that you won't post this, I say I wish you well and while you believe in God, well let's hope that Karma isn't true as well. Because that was bad karma.

Sophie Lynne

September 12, 2012 6:10 AM

"@Sophie Lynne
I would never "piss" in my own corn flakes and sorry sir but you made me feel worse long before I made you or others feel worse and the sad thing is you will never understand that.
I actually should have made part of my vent a list for stupid things transvestites say and or do. You are obviously not afraid to embarrass your family or yourself with your escapades en femme.

I am not a divider because that would imply we have, other than species, something in common. We do not. You are a fetishistic exhibitionist transvestite getting your jollies in life scaring the shit out of little kids at a Phillies baseball game or in a motel parking lot and getting caught driving under the influence with your en femme gear.

At some point listening to the transvestite/transgender bullshit gets too much. It is amazing that a she-male porn star considers himself an activist for women since it is by definition a total contradiction in terms.

Actually I do not wish you any harm or ill will and pray you do not destroy your family with your fetish but unfortunately you probably will because you just cannot help yourself.

I usually post all comments by the way unless requested not to by the commenter.

September 12, 2012 8:04 AM"

(Both above quotes are from the same URL I cited above.)

One of the nice things about blogs is this:  This is MY blog.  Here I give my opinion of the world as I see it.  As I stated in a previous post, I write this for many reasons.  And for some reason, 37 people read it enough to subscribe (for which I am grateful.)  Just as Elizabeth's Blog is HER blog, and same applies (but she may/may not have more readers.  None of my biz, there.)  She states her opinions in a public forum, as do I.

I replied to HER reply saying that I would reply here.  Make sense?  Why here?  My House.  I can type longer and develop my ideas more here.  And I invite Elizabeth to reply, which will be posted unless she requests otherwise.

Caveat:  I read only that one post from her.  I do not know what she writes elsewhere yet, but I look forward to reading more of her blog.


I somehow made a person I don't even know feel bad simply for existing.  Simply for NOT having had a surgery she presumably has had. 

And in fact, Elizabeth, you use that difference to insult me.  I will do my best not to stoop to your level.  I WILL point out the flaws in your argument. 

You state "I am not a divider because that would imply we have, other than species, something in common. We do not."  I say you are wrong.  We have more in common than I'd like.  We both come from military families.  We are both passionate people, and neither of us take prisoners.  We state our opinions bluntly.  We like to think we're right most of the time.  By your diction, I know you are an educated person (and in fact, your profile says you're an engineer.)

Also by your diction, I can tell that somewhere, somehow, someone REALLY burned you badly.  And my guess is that it was a TG person.  I arrive at this conclusion by your statement that "you made me feel worse long before that."  As we've never met, this can only be a collective "you" (unless you concede that my writing is powerful enough to elicit THAT strong a reaction, which I doubt.) 

And so you flail away.  You say I'm a "a fetishistic exhibitionist transvestite getting your jollies in life scaring the shit out of little kids at a Phillies baseball game or in a motel parking lot and getting caught driving under the influence with your en femme gear."  Hmm, and here I thought your degree was Engineering, not psychology.  Good thing, as you're dead wrong.  What you discuss is "paraphilia", also known as transvetic fetishism.  And any good psychiatrist with Trans-training probes for that while making a diagnosis. (Side note: congratulations on being the first person to throw my arrest in my face.)

In fact, the GID diagnosis precludes it.  You remember Gender Identity Disorder, right?  After all, you were born with it just like me.  Another way we are alike, but one you deny.

Fortunately for you, you were (presumably) able to save enough for the GCS.  As you point out in your post, not all of us are that lucky.  I chose a life of service, which means I don't make much.  So I scrimp and save.  Yet still you flail away at me, a person you've never met, whose crime was SOMEHOW making you feel bad.

You also point out "You are obviously not afraid to embarrass your family or yourself with your escapades en femme."  Point conceded.  I am NOT afraid of embarrassment.  I no longer afraid to go out in public as the person I truly am.  And someday, God willing, I will BE that person.  However, I recognize that I often DO embarrass myself, my family, and even the university where I graduated with things I say or do.  Or WRITE.  Something else we obviously share. 

From what I've read, you seem like a very angry person.  We share that.  Someone who has deep wounds.  We share that too. 

There IS a major difference between us, and it's not the status of our genitalia.  No, it's that I try to see my flaws and I work on them.  I know that MY problems, for the most part, begin and end with the person in the Mirror.  I don't blame people I believe are "different" for them.  I try not to belittle or insult them (intentionally.)  I see vast differences in people and try to find the commonalities so We, as a species, can move Forward. You will note all the commonalities I found in us.

You don't see things that way.  You assign blame and flail away at those you perceive that have done you harm.  You vent and curse them for Being.  You have ALL the answers as only YOU and people LIKE you are worthy of esteem.  It's all THEIR fault, as you yourself are beyond reproach, and why isn't that OBVIOUS to everyone????

That makes you a Divider.


I mentioned Karma in my initial reply.  The idea that what comes around, goes around.  In Biblical terms, it's "reap what you sow."  "Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind" and all that.  Sow hate and division, and guess what you will find?  Hate and division.

Sow Understanding and guess what?  Maybe you'll be understood.

As you stated: "Actually I do not wish you any harm or ill will and pray you do not destroy your family with your fetish but unfortunately you probably will because you just cannot help yourself."

I wish you neither harm nor ill will either.  But my prayers are different.  I pray you and yours will have Good Fortune and Health.  I also pray that you will find peace with whatever demons are driving you before they consume you. 
I will close by saying that you were ABSOLUTELY right about one thing:  I CANNOT help myself.  I was Born this way, a Transgendered Person, just as you were.

Like it or Not.

Be well!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

So What Does this Mean?

Today is Tuesday September 11, 2012.

Notice I didn't say 9/11.

Tuesday September 11, 2001.  All of us who were alive then remember that day.

No need to recap.  We all know what happened.

Don't we? 

I'll get back to that.

Where was I?  When I heard, I was driving to work, listening to Howard Stern.  At the time, I lived in Baltimore, Maryland, and worked south of the city.  I'd just left rte 695 onto rte 2 when Gary came in to tell Howard that a second plane had hit.  And Howard Stern was silent... for a moment.

At work, my boss at this time was this short guy.  We'll call him Bob.  Bob was maybe 5'4". and had the high and tight crew cut.  he said he was a US Navy medic, but worshipped the Marines.  He was no longer on active duty.  And he hated me.  Why?

I'm a Liberal.

He did his best to force me to quit.  Stuff that should've ended with him on the floor in a pool of his own blood.  But I needed the job.

In any case, Bob was telling everyone to "shut up and do your jobs."  He said this to many people, especially those not under his command.  Which was easy, as I was his only minion.  meanwhile, some women in accounting had the news on a small TV that they used to watch soap operas during lunch.  Everyone kept going over to their cubicles to watch.  I kept trying to call my wife, who was at home having recently been laid off.  But the lines were busy- so many people calling everywhere.

I finally said "f*ck it!  I need to do something to help!"

Bob told me to "Sit down and shut up."

I stood, went to the CEO's office (small company- we were on a first name basis) and said I wanted to go give blood to help.  He leaned back in his chair and said "Godspeed."

So I went back to my desk, shut down my computer and Bob threatened to fire me for job abandonment.  I told him I was going to give blood.  He fumed until the CEO came out of his office and announced that anyone wishing to go give blood or go home could do so. 

I went home and picked up my wife.  She and my neighbors (a couple) went to the Red Cross blood center.  I joined the line, which was outside the door, and was told it would be hours.  I said I was staying.  My one neighbor said that he had to go, he had a sailing lesson (he was taking his captain's course.)  My wife drove my other neighbor home.  After they left, I was interviewed by a TV crew.  (And I made it on TV too!)  Inside, there was a TV playing the news coverage.

I was there eight hours before I my number was called.  At about the 6th hour, Bush came on TV.  Everyone went silent.

I remember thinking "Ok, you SOB, you may have stolen the job, but here's your chance.  Inspire us.  Lead us!"

I remember being profoundly disappointed in his speech, and I wasn't alone.

When it was my turn, I laid on the gurney and looked up at the very tired phlebotomist.  She came in at 7 Am for her five hour shift, and was staying- without pay.  They couldn't afford to pay her.  She, and all the others, were there because of their sense of duty. 

My wife arrived as I was bleeding for my country.

And then we went home.

Next day, I went to work.  Bob was angry beyond words at me, but couldn't touch me.  I asked him what he did for his country yesterday.  He said he did enough during his time in the service.

When Bush used that day as an excuse for his illegal war, I asked Bob if he was going to re-enlist.  After all, medics were in demand, and he was still young.  He absolutely refused.  "They don't need me."  At that time, I was too old to serve.  However, he loved watching the pictures of Iraqis getting bombed to hell and reading about our troops as they fought across Iraq.

I say he is a coward.

In the end, we lost over 6000 soldiers in Iraq.  Over ONE MILLION total people died.  An entire generation of Soldiers went over there again and again.  They have scars both physical and mental.

Halliburton, whose "former" CEO was vice president, made literally over a hundred Billion dollars from the US taxpayer for that war.  And not ONE "conservative" cared- didn't say a word.  Not one. Not until a democrat was elected anyway

Now we learn that Bush knew more than a few months in advance that Bin laden intended to attack.  Also, Clinton left them detailed intelligence discussing Al Qaeda.  Ignored.

Some say Bush planned it all.  Is it possible?  After living through that time, I say that nothing evil was beyond the scope of that junta.  So I say it's possible.  Not probable.

The GOP in congress denied the volunteers at the WTC site medical care.  Until yesterday.

So for Eleven years, those who Volunteered to help were denied their due.

Those three firefighters in that famous picture?  Hope they didn't get sick, because they would've been out of luck.

Volunteers.  And the GOP spat in their faces.

So.  Do we know what happened?

We'll never know what happened.

Because Bush won't talk.  And Cheyney sure as hell won't.  Nor will Karl "Let's out a spy and get away with it" Rove.

Bush wanted to call September 11 "Patriots Day."  That turns my stomach.  Why?  because the GOP co-opted the term for THEIR agenda.  Patriot Act. Referring to any republican as a "Patriot" (and saying that anyone who was not a member of the Party wasn't a patriot.)  Tea Party "Patriots." 

Patriots my ass!

September 11 is a somber day.  It's a day we here in America should reflect on our loss and assess where we've come since, and strive to make this a Better country.

Bin Laden is dead at the orders of President Obama.  Many others involved in that day are going to get justice.

Many others will NOT.

Let's call this day what it IS:  A Day of Remembrance.

For many years starting in 1919, Americans would stop what they were doing at exactly 11 AM on November 11th.  They observed a minute of silence.  Veterans would salute.  This was to commemorate the End of the Great War.  They called it Armistice Day, as the armistice was signed at 11 AM, November 11, 1918.  11th Hour, 11th Day, 11th month.

At the end of World War II, Armistice Day was changed, officially to also honor the veterans of that war as well.  It is now known as Veterans Day here in the US.  In France and the UK, it is still Armistice Day.

Here in the US, it's a day that some people lay wreaths at memorials. 

Veterans of the Great War continued to hold that moment of silence, even if no one else did.

Now all of them, from all countries are gone.  As is the moment of silence at 11 AM.

Is that the fate of Our moment of silence?

How will future generations remember this day?  What about the generation born right after it happened?  How will THEY view this day?  To them that day is Ancient history.  And their children? 

Nearly 3,000 people died that day.  6,294 people were treated for injuries.

It defines our generation.

honor those who died by ASKING QUESTIONS.  Honor them by demanding accountability.  Honor them by making sure their deaths aren't used to kill more innocent people. 

Honor them by making sure that it never happens again.  None of it.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Some Political Resources...

Ok, the conventions are over.  The parties have had their say.

The delegates have had their parties.

Clint Eastwood is off his meds.

Time to get serious.

It's the duty of American citizens to vote.  It isn't required by law, but if it were the GOP would say it's socialist.  No, it isn't required, but 1,340,000 people died so we could Vote. 

That's One Million, Three Hundred Forty Thousand Soldiers

So, I'd like to think they didn't die for nothing.

So.  How to decide.  Do we decide by listening to the Candidates and their made for TV soundbites?  By watching Fox news

Nope.  Good old fashioned Research.  Want to know what the candidate supports?  Read their party platforms!  And here they are!

US Republican Party Platform

US Democratic Party Platform

Remember, the Best and Brightest of both parties got together to write these.  So, do they truly reflect what the parties REALLY believe?

Let's compare the national platforms with what may be considered "more extreme" platforms. 

Texas GOP Platform

Which includes the following:
"Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority."
(emphasis mine)

Yes, the GOP opposes critical thinking.  It's there on page 12.  That's a direct quote. 

Oh, they use a big word in there.  Outcome Based Education.  I work in the Education field, so I know what that is, but not many others do.  Sounds evil, doesn't it?  Well, here's what it is.  Want something a LOT more rigorous?  Here it is.  Judge for yourself.

Where was I?  Oh right, the Texas GOP Platform.  The following is on page 13.

"Sex Education – We recognize parental responsibility and authority regarding sex education. We believe that parents must be given an opportunity to review the material prior to giving their consent. We oppose any sex education other than abstinence until marriage."

Worked really well for the Palin family, right?  That means kids can't be taught about their reproductive systems, nor will they be taught how to AVOID pregnancy.  Oh, and don't forget, Texas wants to outlaw abortion.

I could go on about this one forever (repealing voter rights, corporal punishment, etc.)  They say they're for free expression of religious freedom, including prayer in schools, but something tells me that the second an Islamic student knelt toward Mecca for prayer he'd be beaten to a pulp.   

Fair's fair.  I tried to think which state a Tea Bagger would consider to be the absolutely most Liberal.  Gallup says it's DC, followed closely by Massachusetts.  That's right- Romney's state.

So here it is: the Massachusetts Democratic Platform:

I read through it, and it seems fairly reasonable.  Exactly what would be expected by something written by a committee trying to appeal to everyone.  I'm sure my right-leaning readers may find debatable points in there (Marriage equality, health care for all, etc)  and I invite that discussion.  Caveat:  I only read it twice so I haven't memorized it. Yet.

So, comparing the State platforms to the National platforms, there are differences.  What will the candidates actually work toward?  Follow what they SAY, and their past records.  Find an unbiased source if possible.

"But Sophie," you say, "I don't have the time to do all that work!" 

Can you afford not to?

I'll let you in on a little secret.  Want to know where you can really, honestly get unbiased facts about the issues and candidates?  It can be done!  It's HERE

That's right.  Them.  They have no axes to grind.  And laws about journalistic integrity.  Yes, really.

So there it is, folks.  The basics.  Now, I really doubt that there are many people who HAVEN'T made up their minds already.  But I've been wrong before, and I will be again, I'm sure.

But if nothing else in the multitude of links I provided, read the platforms.  From there, use your own values, judgement, and, yes, Critical Thinking, to reach a decision. 


And now, a completely gratuitous picture of me so something will appear in Facebook when I link to it.

Rockin' the Red, White and Blue Look!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


This month's issue of Archie comics has an interesting theme.

I won't spoil the story, but everyone switches genders.  I won't say what happens then. 

Archie Comics have been on the cutting edge recently.  They featured a gay wedding.  They have an openly gay regular character.  They're featuring other cutting edge issues as well.  But that's not the point I'm here to make today.

The the first TG story I read was in a comic book, back in the 1980s.  It was a shock.  More like a Godsend, really.  Who was it?  Jimmy Olsen!  "Superman's favorite transvestite" according to Fred Hembeck.  That was the second time I saw that there were people who felt like I did.  (The first was a local TV news special report about the "Transsexual Dilemma.")  But there, in Hembeck's book (it's on that same link) I saw that someone else dressed as a woman.  At that time, I was dressing. 

Eventually, I was able to track down those issues on ebay. 

Also in the 1980s was the first comics mini-series: Camelot 3000.  In it, one of the knights was reincarnated as a woman.  Brian Bolland did the art and it's beautiful.  The story is great, butn their handling of Sir Tristan, while complex, is just a bit stereotyped.  This was reprinted as a book which is still available.

 In the early 90s, there was a series called Excalibur which featured a LOT of tg themes.  One character would change to a female crime lord.  In other issues the team would meet their female counterparts in a different dimension, etc. 

I also found a Cyberpunk role playing game (yes I'm a gaming geek) which had a sourcebook featuring TG characters.  This was based on a series of books.  The books themselves are written by George Alec Effinger, and the first is "When Gravity Fails."  (Which is also a line from a Bob Dylan song.)

Then in 1995, image comics did something they called "Babewatch."  All of their male characters changed to women.  I bought all the issues.  The art wasn't great, and frankly neiter were the stories.  But it was interesting to see how they handled "stereotypes."  Of interest is that one of the characters remains a woman...

I was finding more and more TG characters in comics.  (The website I've been linking to has a comprehensive list, btw.)

The first TG prose story I read was about Archie and company.  It was written by a great artist named Tebra.  She called it Riverdale Revisions and one of the characters undergoes the big change about a quarter of the way through the story.  I really enjoyed it, and it caused me to seek out other stories. 

And that brought me to an internet search in the early 2000s, where I found Fictionmania.  Thousands and thousands of stories.  I was stunned- and happy.

Now here's a key point- at this point I was still in denial.  I hadn't dressed since the 1980s.  And here I was researching TG fiction... and feeling guilty.  Right around then, I started becoming very depressed.  More so than usual.  I eventually ended up back in therapy.  I couldn't figure out what the source of the pain was. 

Then there was that fateful Halloween in 2008.  As my faithful readers may recall, that was my first time dressing as a woman since the 80s.  And everything clicked- this was what I was missing.  Then in December of that year, I had my first makeover.  Karen at Femme Fever made me up and when she was finished, turned the chair and introduced me to ME.  Sophie.

My first view of Myself.  Picture taken maybe 5 minutes after unvieling.

And I discovered Renaissance and Laptop Lounge: a Whole New World... and changed therapists to one that specialized in Transgender issues.

At my SECOND Laptop.  No pics of me exist from the first one, as I was wearing no makeup.

And figured out the source of my pain.

That I'm really a Woman. 

Having admitted that to myself sorted out so many things.

Telling my wife sorted out many more.

Do I still read TG fiction?  Obviously, as the comic you see at the beginning of the entry is from my collection!  I also write TG fiction.  Find one story here and the rest here.  I've written many more, but they suck, so they were never posted.  And (shameless plug) aside from here, I also write a monthly column for TG Forum.  (Registration required, but it's free)

So was it a progression?  TG fiction to websites to Sophie?  not really.  The Woman was always there, hiding deep inside, waiting.  Now she's free and she's Me!

And while I still have a long way to go,  I know I'm on the Right path.

And Knowing is half the battle!