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My place of employment is sending me there for a conference at the end of March. Sure, it’s not the best time of year to go, but who cares. I get to learn tons for my career and then do a little exploring in between.
Have any of you ever been? Any suggestions on what I should definitely see? I’m going to try to extend the stay over the weekend (and get/pay for my own hotel) – any suggestions on cute, cheaper places? Bed and breakfasts? I’d love to try to see some of the GLBTQ life there as well, if anyone has any insight into the queer scene, other than what I can find online.
Also, if Oprah is reading this – I’d REALLY REALLY love to come to a show. I’ve been putting in for tickets for forever, but to no avail.
Take the time to watch this video, if you don’t mind. It’s about dogs that were able to be rehabilitated from Michael Vick’s dog fighting operation. Truly inspiring and an amazing testament to a dog’s ability to love, despite a horrific past. Pass it along to friends and family. It’s never the breed of dog that’s the problem; only the owners.
I spent a lot of time in my home office this weekend, continuing to perfect the space. It’s not perfect, but really, it is a little slice of heaven for me.
I love offices and/or libraries in homes. Some people may think it’s a waste of space or outdated, as e-readers replace actual books and laptops can be used in any room. But not me. I already have an idea in my head of what my dream Office/Library room will look like, once I eventually purchase a home again. Built-in bookshelves, a big enough workspace for my iMac and a place to craft, warm colors, a comfortable chair, hardwood floors with a fluffy throw rug, and wall space to hang enough of my pictures to make me feel cozy. Even though I also have a laptop, and a Nook, a space like this is still important to me. It makes me feel inspired and creative. It relaxes me. It represents a place I can go that is my own, without other distractions. It contains almost all of the activities that I love to do: reading, photography, writing, and crafting. It is my equivalent to a man-cave, only better, of course.
In the house that we are renting, we have 3 bedrooms. An extremely large master, a decent sized second bedroom that functions as our guest bedroom, and a third, smaller bedroom in the back of the house. We’ve made this third bedroom into the office, a perfect size space for such a room.
We live in an old house so there’s a lot of unique characteristics throughout the space. In this third bedroom there is a door that goes outside, opening onto a very generous sized balcony. All of the decks and balconies throughout the house are beautiful – they have been restored expertly with mahogany wood, and are such a pleasure to the eye that you cannot help but feel happy when looking at them (even in the stone-cold winter, when you know you will not be spending anytime on them for months and months). The balcony on the second floor is no different, and thus, I’ve had small fantasies of sitting out there on a spring or summer morning, at a little bistro table that I am not yet in possession of, sipping my tea and reading a book. Or writing. Or daydreaming. Whatever I want. Never mind the unfortunate reality that we live in a city, and therefore our balcony overlooks other people’s unkempt and un-landscaped yards. And then there’s the position of the neighbor’s balcony, which sits almost directly across from ours, except they have a screen hung up to keep the bugs out. Close enough that if I was feeling adventurous, or if there was a house fire, I could leap across mine onto theirs. It really takes the romanticism out of the balcony, if I really think about it. But perhaps there is something creative that can be done so my fantasies of this space can become more of a reality? A spring project, perhaps. The balcony is truly a bonus touch on this cute space.
I think I’ve done a great job with the rest of the room, as small of a room as it is. There is a closet door, plus the door that leads to the balcony, plus two windows – that does not leave a lot of wall space. Once the room is completely finished, I’ll post some after-pictures. This weekend was exciting because I got a new desk. I was using this little white IKEA desk where a table slab sat on a set of drawers and was supported on the other end by two poles. The slab was secured onto the set of drawers by Velcro. Not the most secure piece of furniture, holding very expensive equipment. And it was very tiny. So I found an amazing deal on a beautiful desk made of (mostly) wood, so I bought it. B put it together for me, despite the few problems she encountered. And so this weekend I transferred things from the old desk to new, re-organized, printed new pictures for the wall, and labeled. It’s coming along quite wonderfully. And in keeping up with my theme of living in the now, it’s as dreamy as any dream office space could be.
Now, if I could just convince B to move her desk to a new location so we can get a comfy lounge chair in there. Hmmm.
There are many unique struggles of dating a butch woman or being friends with butch women. I’ve learned that most times, the struggles are very similar amongst these women, but how they need to be handled is as different as the butches themselves. And so, I try to move with you in this dance as best as I can; I use my past experiences as a Lover of all things Butch combined with everything I know about who you are, and hope that it comes together.
I love you for your masculinity, and you know this. I embrace the short hair and the boots and tool buying for your birthday and your tie-wearing and your cock and your boxer briefs and all of the rest of it. But sometimes you forget that it is this masculinity intertwined with your female self that does it for me, and I love and embrace the feminine side of you just as equally. Please do not mistake that. Just because I love how masculine you are doesn’t mean I don’t think you should cry or cook or do the laundry or any other trait or role that is considered “feminine.” I put you in no box, including the butch box, if there is such a thing. Whatever butch is to you, I support and embrace. Because I know enough to know that it is not the same for all, and that my expectations for you were not the same as the ones who’ve come before. You may all embrace a unified word to describe your identity, but underneath the label, the contents are very different.
I will proclaim in many ways that I love butches, or transmen, or masculine-identified women. And I do. But please do not take this as a restriction. Butch does not equal not being allowed to cry, or not being allowed to be held, or not being allowed to be fucked back. This is not what I mean when I say that I love you as a butch. Let’s do away with the gender roles and boxes, and let’s just be ourselves, whatever that means. Wear your cock under your men’s clothes with your short hair and knit with your small dog in your pink Volkswagen Beetle. Or drive your pickup truck to your softball game and wear your ponytail under your baseball hat after watching the kids all day and cooking and doing the laundry and gardening and working on your motorcycle. I don’t care. Just be you. Whatever complicated, complex thing that is. THAT’s what I want.
And that is the struggle. How to make you feel that masculinity you want to feel, to validate you as a butch woman, but still leave all gates open to allow you to be vulnerable and soft and delicate when you want to be.
(Can you hear me sighing from over here?). Ahh, youse guys.
I love dogs. Especially pit bulls. After Gracie came into our lives and we got to know more about the breed and how great they are with children, how sweet and affectionate their personalities are, how loyal and smart they are – I knew I would always have one. Once you get to know about these dogs, to not be their advocates would be a disservice to them – they have so many idiot people set out to destroying them, they need as many allies as they can get.
I miss Gracie and I miss having a dog in my life, but my landlord won’t allow dogs. So I started volunteering at my local county’s animal shelter. It is VERY rewarding work, and I really feel like I’m making a difference. A lot of the dogs in there are pit bulls or pit bull mixes, of course, and so I’m pretty happy about that, and I really try to focus my time and energy on them because a lot of the volunteers are teenage kids just earning volunteer hours and they’d rather play with the puppies than anything else. These dogs exemplify every wonderful trait about their breed – they smile so big when they see you, their whole entire body wagging in excitement, their ears tilted up, waiting to listen to what you have to say. Are you going to give them a treat? Take them for a walk? Pet them? Is someone here to see them? Sometimes it’s so very sad, the way they lay in the corner, mopey and depressed, no stimulation or humans to attend to. And I think of Gracie, the way she looked at us when we first saw her in that cage, those eyes looking up at us, so hopeful. I want to rescue all the dogs. I really do. My heart expands for them, for the unconditional love and happiness they want to bestow upon any human willing to give them a chance. Whenever I get sad about not being able to take one, not even one, I remember what I’m doing there, how much love and help I’m giving to them while they are in this crappy place, and at least there’s that. At least I’m loving them as best as I can until somebody more permanent comes along. It’s not anything very big, but it’s something. And I think Gracie is proud.
And so dogs are out (per our lease) but cats are not, and so I’ve been asking B if we could adopt one. B likes animals but she could live the rest of her life without having one personally. This is hard for me to understand, hard for me to relate to. I am an animal lover in all ways and I know how much happier and fuller they make my life. And so she was reluctant, of course, for all the reasons that people are; pointing out all of the negatives which of course I know are there but the positives always outweigh for me. And so finally she agrees I can get a cat (just me, not her, so this’ll be my cat and she’ll just be around to love it. Fine then!). And so I start looking for kittens but they are all adopted very quickly, before I even have a chance to lay eyes on them.
This Wednesday I called an animal shelter in West Virginia, only about a half hour ride from our house, (scary!) and they said they did have a few kittens, so we drove there. I only wanted a girl but when we got there we saw this sweet boy. When we held him he cuddled in our arms and purred and even B held him and I think she melted a little. We picked him up last night after he got neutered, and so now he’s home. I’m now a fur mommy again.
I’m such a fucking sap, you know, because I’m been feeling very emotional and very reflective throughout this process. I’ve been remembering Gracie and what getting her was like; I’m remembering that I wouldn’t even be getting this kitten if Gracie hadn’t died; I’m remembering what it’s like to reach out when you’re laying in bed and feel the softness of your friend underneath your fingers. And I feel happy that I’m rescuing another animal life and that I get to be on the receiving end of that unconditional love once again. I just love animals, and I’m grateful to be able to live with one again.
So, here he is. Meet Oliver Hemi Zeus. Ollie for short.
The blog is back to public after a three month stint of being private. I thought maybe I would continue to write during the time I had this thing off-air, but I didn’t really. It was actually a very welcome break. When I had enough time to miss writing, the to-do list kept on rolling, and it wasn’t so bad.
As things start to come together at my new job, my general stress level decreases. I’m not 100% where I need to be in order to feel balanced, feel like I can actually start breathing normal and begin to do my thing, but hopefully that will happen soon. In conjunction with this process, my next hope is that B lands a job that she likes, a job that makes decent enough money so we can get extremely stable. Being the only person working in a household is a stressor that I would like to take off of my list as soon as possible. Once this happens, I’ll be able to let out that long breath I’ve been holding in. These two things getting settled should put me at a much much much lower stress level and much much much higher happiness level. Relief, or dare I say, hope? A small feeling of hope that things are on the right path.
So here’s to a fantastic year. I hope for a year with increased stability and happiness, a year of exploring my new home and finding delights in discovery, of success in my job and health to all of my family and friends. I do not make resolutions at the beginning of the year anymore, not since EJ left and things were left unraveled. If you want to change something, to direct your life to a different path, you do it when it strikes you, when it’s necessary, when it’s possible. And so that’s how I’ve glided into the New Year – full of hope and the possibility of continued evolution.