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Posts Tagged ‘Summa Vaca ’09

Mood: Tuesday, y’all!
Music: Fire + Ice-Weirdstaves (Fyrstr Aettir, Annar Aettir, Thridi Aettir)

Oh Mylanta!  It feels like I’m never going to finish this story and it’s beginning to feel a lot like a burden.  So, I might as well just get it over with already.

Where were we?  Right…farmer’s market, not moving back to Iowa.  So, after driving around for a bit, we went to breakfast, bought some wine (Joel Gott 2007 Zinfandel.  I overpaid for it, but it is, by far, the best Zinfandel I’ve ever had.  You should buy it.), and then went to my Stepmother’s favorite witch shop.

For some reason, I’ve wanted to buy some tarot cards for a while now.  I’ve looked a few places, but hadn’t ever felt like it was the right time to buy.  I told my Stepmother about this, and she proceeded to tell me all about how she’d been taking tarot classes.  Weird, no?  I ended up buying this one (Golden Rider)…

…because it literally fell off the shelf at me and I like the art.  I bought the cards because…I think I’ve mentioned my interest in things occulty.  I’m too much of an engineer to take much of it it too seriously, but there’s no harm in study.  My theory on the tarot is that if anything positive comes of it, win.  Like, even if it just shows me things that I already know (but haven’t been able to verbalize or admit), then it’s money well spent.  Also, I feel like I’m in a place where I have some insight into my self and my life.  So, don’t be surpirsed if I start putting up today’s card under the song and mood.  I have a lot more to say about the occult, spirituality, and metaphysics, but we’re veering dangerously close to off-topica.

Amway, the shop was really cute and funny.  It had “serious” magick stuff (potion fixin’s, candles, Eye of Newt (she turned me into a newt!, lol), etc.) but also a lot of Harry Potter and fun things.  There were three women (owner and employees) in there and they all had this sort of knowing aura about them and I’m sure I could have learned loads from them had I stuck around.  Anyway, I could have spent hours in there.

Here’s the teeny, tiniest side story–the witch shop is located in the same neighborhood that two friends of mine used to live.  There was a dive bar in the neighborhood and when the mood struck, we’d amble down for cheap PBR’s and earthy aromas.  This was the kind of dive bar that had a jukebox with Mountain Jam” by The Allman Brothers on it, and I would play it every.time.I.went.to.the.bar.  For those of you that don’t know, Mountain Jam” is a 33 minute long Southern Rock epic of improvisation.  I’m not really a fan of the song (too long, too Allman-y), but playing that song for the bar would amuse me to no end.  The same cannot be said for the other patrons…let’s just say we had to leave the bar earlier than we had hoped one night.  I also used to play the Beatles’ “Revolution 9” when I played darts with my friend Shari because it would to drive her bat shit crazy.  Ah, good times.

After the shop, we headed back to my parent’s place and did a whole lot of nothing.  My Stepmother had been having problems with her laptop, so I played at trying to fix it.  Later, we made dinner.  Dad did a dramatic reenactment of Best Steaks Eva and I sang the crowd favorite cucumber, hairoom tomato, and onion salad (with handmade vinaigrette, no less)  song.  Après dinner, we drank and talked and watched the backyard neighbors light fireworks and shoot Roman Candles at each other…seriously.  It was just like an episode of Jackass…amusing, dangerous, homoerotic.

The topic of me and my transition did come up during our al fresco dining and drinking, but it wasn’t as heavy as you might imagine. Basically, we talked about some of the mechanics of the transition process and how things had been since going full-time, but that was it. I’m not sure how my Dad and Stepmother were so cool and accepting (or at least acted that way, which, at first, can be good enough), but I credit them with making the trip fun and successful (in terms of getting reacquainted).  In other words, we were able to just talk to each other and enjoy each others company.  To me, that was the best part of the vacation.  Except for the farmer’s market, we didn’t go watch fireworks or do anything other than hang out and talk.  I’d forgotten how nice that can be.

Regarding names and pronouns…my Stepmother, bless her, never slipped up….which amazed the sass right out of me.  Dad was another story.  He’s been a salesman his entire life, so the Dale Carnegie friend-winning method of always addressing a person by their name is as natural to him as breathing.  So, he hardly ever said the wrong name.  But, try as he might, he could not seem to get his head around the new pronouns.  Stepmom and I corrected him as much as we could, but it didn’t seem to sink in until the last day.

And you know what?  It was ok that he messed up all the time.  When I first came out to people, it was a big deal for me if they made a mistake.  Like it was my fault because I wasn’t presenting myself well enough, and those mistakes really hurt my feelings.  Now, I’m a lot more confident, and I realize that this is a process that we’re all going through.  Of course, I’ll be upset if the situation never improves, but that seems like a remote possibility at this point.  And like I said, Dad was almost perfect by the time I left.

At some late hour, we moved into the house to watch television.  Dad promptly fell asleep and Stepmom and I started talking about all kinds of things, but a lot of it was about Dad.  He’s just turned 60 and has always enjoyed food, drink, and cigars probably more than he should.  So Stepmom and I worry about him and wish he’d take better care of himself, but he’s not the kind of guy that you can just make healthy.  He has to make his own choice, but I think time might be running out.  So, that was kind of a sad topic, but it was nice to bond with Stepmom about something.

Sunday was more of the same.  Stepmom and I took the dogs for a long walk, Dad made hamburgers, I made Sangria, we watched True Blood, we drank the Sangria, we talked, we watched The Women, etc. Dad had to work late Monday morning, so we said a quick goodbye and I packed then drove to Omaha.

Jeez!  I feel like I’m serializing a novel…Anna of Green Cornfields:  My Shocking, but True Midwest Adventure. The tale isn’t done yet kittens, but we’re close to the end.  Tune in next time for fawning accounts of modern rock and roll music and more, less-than-amusing anecdotes from the road.

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Mood: Feh and meh
Music: Die Blaue Reiter-Victoria

Well, it’s not like I’m getting a lot of work done.  I got home at about 8 last night after driving most of the day and falling asleep on the couch minutes after walking in the door was the best I could manage.  I still have the sleep/vaca hangover and it’s been hard to get back into my work routine.  So I might as well blog.

Let’s start at the beginning…so, I had the worst time trying to get out of town.  I had scheduled electrolysis for my last day in town, a.k.a. Thursday.  I left work early to run some errands before the appointment.  I needed to refill my monthly prescriptions, but didn’t have any refills left.  I also wanted to change my name with both my doctor’s office and pharmacy.  Well, that turned out to be a 1.5 hour ordeal.  I had also planned to get my oil changed before electrolysis.  It had been a while since my last oil change and I had a long road trip ahead of me.  Long story short, I didn’t get my oil changed and was 15 minutes late to electrolysis.

The revised, post-electrolysis plan was to pack that night and get an oil change first thing in the morning (around 8 am).  Somehow, I kind of just fell asleep during packing my clothes and didn’t leave the house until after 10 am…I even unpacked at one point! I got my oil changed (at my new favorite, because they were so nice and fast,  oil change place) and was on the road by 11.  So, really bad start and I was beginning to doubt if I should go at all what with all the bad omens.

After leaving town, things improved considerably…right up until I got a fucking $175 speeding ticket in godforsaken Nebraska for going 91 mph in a 75 mph zone! Thankfully, I had slowed from a little over 100 (I even hit 120 once).

So, I hate cops.  Really.  I realize that police are a necessary evil and that such a statement is juvenile and that I should probably just be nicer and grow up and vote and pay taxes, but still.  And the one that stopped me didn’t do anything to make me feel better about the police.  He had all kinds of crazy crap to say, “Do you know why I stopped you?  Were you using cruise control?  Didn’t your little radar detector go off?  What do you do for a living?  You seem surprised that you’re getting a ticket.” and on and on.  I’m not opposed to speeding tickets, but the thing that kills me about cops is that they always want to play amateur detective and moralist with you.  I’m an adult.  I own a fast car with superior handling.  I am a skilled driver and I don’t drive recklessly.  If I have an accident in the middle of nowhere/Nebraska, I’m only going to hurt myself.  Just give me the ticket and let me get on with my life.  The cop that stopped me was one of at least 30 that I saw that day in Nebraska.  I never saw or heard from one state patrol car in Iowa.  The fact is, Nebraska is strapped for cash and they used the holiday weekend to raise money on the backs of nicer people that live in sexier states.

The drive was kind of nice.  I usually burn a lot of worry calories over-analyzing my presentation and voice.  I barely thought about any of that while driving, getting gas, or stopping for bathroom breaks…which was a nice vacation in and of itself.

Anyway, billions and billions of incident-free hours later, I pulled into Dad’s driveway.    He opened up the garage for me and let out a quick chuckle of disbelief.  He said something about how I wasn’t joking around and then gave me a big hug and said that I looked nice…Awwwww 🙂 !  I followed him inside and we got down to watching some TV and talking about nothing important.  I took a long while for my stepmother to come down and I was kind of worried about her reaction.  We’ve never been close and have had disagreements in the past.  She greeted and hugged me warmly and we never had a problem.  She said I looked just like my sister, which I’ve heard before, but is hard for me to see.  After that, we all went upstairs for some drinking and more talking.  I don’t think we talked about anything too serious that night, but it was nice to just hang out with them.

The next morning, we went to the farmer’s market downtown.  I took a long time to get ready (thankfully my stepmother took a little bit longer).  I asked my stepmother’s advice on makeup (Should I wear foundation?  Can you see my mustache?  Does this lip gloss make me look like a woman who sells herself, cheaply?) and what I should wear.  We finally got down to the market and walked around for a while before breakfast.  I was pretty nervous at this point and I was sure everyone was looking at me.  They might have been, but it wasn’t in a mean way.  Regardless, it’s hard to move past that feeling.  Someone might look at you because you’re just odd looking, or a tall woman, or because they like what you’re wearing.  It doesn’t always have to mean that they figured out that you’re trans.  Still though, I felt like I was sticking out and I think this is hard for non-trans people to understand.  Then again, it’s telling that my parents were not embarrassed to be seen with me and had a hard time understanding my discomfort.  Apparently,  I was able to cobble together some self-confidence and faith in my presentation and their behavior reflected that.  That’s a good lesson for all of us, little kittens.  Smiling, good posture, easy laughter, and lots of inappropriate winking are excellent substitutes for actual self-confidence.  Amway, I think a lot of us are,  initially at least, thinking about “sticking out” a lot of the time…and it sucks.  I think it gets better, but I doubt it ever goes away entirely.

It was kind of cold and rainy that morning, so we ducked inside a coffee shop for warm drinks and a respite from the rain.  I kind of felt like things were going too well and that we were being a bit too best-behavior-y, so I said…

Me: You know, you guys can ask me anything you want.  Honestly.  I have nothing to hide from you.

Dad: Is that your real hair?

Stepmom: Has transition been hard?

Me: Um, maybe we can save some of your questions for a time when we’re not sitting in the middle of  a crowded  coffee shop.

Dad bought some nice vegetables and cheese at the market.  He had planned on making steaks and I got the idea to make a summerific tomato, cucumber, and red onion salad.  I wanted to find some heirloom tomatoes for the salad but I had a hard time explaining them to my Dad.

Me: Oooh, we should get some heirloom tomatoes for the salad.

Dad:  What kind of tomatoes?

Me: Heirloom.

Dad: Never heard of ’em.

Me:  Oh, they’re really good.

Dad: Hair room?

Me: No Dad, heir-loom…like passed down from your grandparents.

Dad:  Oh, right!  Nope, still nothing.  What do they taste like?

Me:  Well, you know, tomatoe-y.  They’re just different, older varieties.

Dad: *blank stare*

Me:  Would you just buy these for me?

So, lovely hairroom tomatoes in hand, we took our leave of the market.  Dad and Stepmom drove me on a little tour around the downtown.  I lived there for a couple of years before joining the Army and it’s grown up a lot since.   For instance, downtown used to be a graveyard after 5 pm and now they have lofts and nightlife.  I had a brief moving back fantasy, but, thankfully,  I remembered that I hate Iowa’s weather and lack of culture and jobs.  Still though, living in the same city as your family can be nice.  Why don’t we all just move to Portland?

OMG, this is out-of-control long, so I’m going to wrap it up for now.  Tune in next time for fun with pronouns, shocking confessions, stepmother/stepdaughter bonding, boutique hotels, Home Alone XVI:  We Forgot the Cat!, me and my tarot, and the closest we’re going to get to a Disaster Area concert.

Mood: Tiredtastic
Music: Ben Folds Five-Emmaline

Sorry, but I have the tireds and thus cannot answer all of your burning, yet unasked, questions about my vacation.  Let’s just say that is was too short, a lot of fun, a giant love fest, involved way too much driving/money spending/speeding tickets/food eating/drink drinking, and that the concert was…profound.  Here’s a picture…

IMG_0161

Those aren't rabbit ears.

Witty commentary, in-depth analysis, and low-quality video to follow.

Mood: Monday, y’all
Music: Spacemen 3-Feel So Good

I really like the band, Sunn O))) and have been wanting to see them for years.  But, since they’re snooty metal art hounds, they only seem to play in hip, sexy cities like…New York City!  Tokyo!  Tel Aviv!  Paris! I always figured it would be a long time/never before a trip to one of those sexy cities and a Sunn O))) show aligned.  So, I was shocked and delighted to see that they had deigned to play some shows in the lowly Midwest and in a city that’s sort of close to me and to my heart…Omaha, Nebraska!

Once I saw that, I planned out a mini vaca in a matter of hours.  My father lives in Des Moines, IA (which is like three hours from Omaha) so I decided to make the drive out to see him then swing back to the Big O for the concert on Monday.  I’ll leave the Friday after next and drive all day to Des Moines.  We’ll hang out and celebrate America’s birthday, then I’ll drive to Omaha for the show and stay overnight Monday.

This prolly isn’t a great time for a vacation, but whatever.  It’s been a long time since I did anything fun for myself and it will be really great to see my Dad and the band.  This is the first time that my Dad will have seen me since transition, so it’s going to be kind of weird at first and I’m the nervous.  But, I’m sure that will pass minutes after I get there.  I’m so happy and together these days, it’s hard for people to not be charmed to death by my…happiness, togetherness, and death-inducing charm.  And bless his little heart, Pops seems really excited and is already making plans for our time.  I’m excited too.  I haven’t seen him in a couple of years and he’s been really supportive of my transition.

I haven’t written much about my parents and their reaction to the news of my transition.  The short version is that my father has been very sweet and has really been trying to make an effort to accept the new me.  Mom is…incommunicado.  We spoke at Christmas and I have received, maybe two, terse emails from her.  And I’m not sure why she’s had that reaction.  She isn’t extremely religious and is fairly liberal, politically.  So…what’s motivating this?  Maybe she feels like she failed as a parent?  Whatever, it’s all pointless speculation until she actually tells me what’s going on.  Lord knows when that will be and I’m not sure what I can do to improve our relationship in the meantime.  So, I’m very much looking forward to renewing my relationship with at least one of my parents.

K, back on topic…so, Sunn O)))…

…is kind of hard to describe.  They’re basically doom metal slowed down to the point of ambient, diaphragm-crushing abstraction.  The reason I want to see them so badly is because their shows are more like a physical, rather than musical experience.  They usually perform in black robes and pack a smaller venue with dry ice smoke, a single light source and many gigantic bass cabinet guitar amplifiers.  I think the result is like swimming at the bottom of a very deep, frozen lake and witnessing an ancient summoning ritual.  Or, kind of like…

So, I’m excited (and frightened) but it should be an unforgettable experience and a very interesting way to end Summa Vaca ’09.

Mood: Filled with Friday!
Music: Current 93-A Gothic Love Song (For N.)

Here’s summer vaca teaser #2.

Let there be Doom.

Let there be Doom.


an introduction





Hi, I'm Anna and I love cheese!

This blog is a chronicle of my life and a catalog of happy ephemera. The About page has a little bit more information, but, remember, none of this is really me...it's just a supplement, a thumbnail sketch, a mostly anonymous Intarwebs placeholder. I'm way better/less wordy in person. :-)

Oh, and if I wrote something about you and you thought it was mean or hurtful, I'm sorry. It's how I felt at the time, but probably isn't how I feel now. Chances are, I love you and I think you're awesome.

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All content on Blog, Sweet Blog is copyrighted by me, Anna Hell. Unless otherwise noted, all photos, words, and content on this site are mine, created by me, and should not be used without my permission (or at least attributed and linked back). I try to embed links or quote original source material if I use another person's work.

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