sistawendy: (drama)
2017-09-18 12:33 pm
Entry tags:

dealing with other generations

Bad: Dr. Kidshrink is moving to Hawaii next month.

Good: He'll do at least a few sessions with m'boy via Skype.

Bad: Mom apparently has had fraudulent activity on her credit cards, enough to max them out. That's likely due to Mom's giving out her personal information exactly as Good Sister told her repeatedly not to.

Worse: Mom tried to cancel the cards instead of just reporting the fraudulent activity, so of course the credit card issuer shunted her to someone who tried to talk her out of it. In other words, not only is Mom's addled pate getting her into more financial messes; it no longer helps her get out of them.

I missed the usual Sunday morning call time because I was brunching with the Tickler, for which I now feel a tiny bit guilty. I haven't talked to her since what, Friday? Mom, like much of Florida, still has no internet because of the hurricane, so she hasn't been emailing me every morning as usual. GS & I shared a dark laugh that Mom's coming unplugged isn't necessarily a bad thing.

I'm less cranky now about GS dragging me to Florida in January. Watching out for Mom from DC is no mean feat, and she's been doing it for a few years now. She's earned some slack from me, I think.

Where's Evil Sister in all this? Her name hasn't come up. I guess she's in San Antonio, TX, and that's all I know.
sistawendy: (weirded out)
2017-09-18 07:37 am
Entry tags:

The b(r)e(a)st of science marches on.

A little over seven years ago, I posted a poll in an attempt to learn something about relative breast size vs. hand preference. My conclusion was that which of your boobs is larger doesn't correlate to hand preference, but asymmetry in general just might.

But the original study isn't quite what this entry is about. A few of you breast owners told me then that breasts are changeable creatures, and which one of yours is larger can be influenced by lots of factors. In other words, boobs happen. I've finally experienced this in the last few months: my left one used to be bigger, and now my right one seems to be.

I haven't changed my hormone dose since around the time I posted the poll. I've been eating & exercising the same for years. Could this be a breast explosion like the ones some of my cisgender friends report undergoing in their teens? I don't think so, but if I find myself in need of 38D (!) bras a few months hence, that'll will be a) scientifically interesting, b) rare as hens' teeth because yo, trans, and c) not unwelcome because a 38" chest makes even reasonaboobs look small.
sistawendy: (oh yeah)
2017-09-15 09:10 am
Entry tags:

Zzzzzz...

I've started sleeping better lately. I put it down to one of two things:
  1. Lower temperatures. I'm not sure about this because I still wake up sweaty sometimes.
  2. Less light hitting my eyeballs. Here above 47°N the annual swings in day length are dramatic compared to, for example, Florida. I've tried to compensate for that for years by putting black foam board in my bedroom window, but I can still see light around the edge. I did get a leather mask (ahem) at the Pride street fair, but I only recently got around to altering it so that it's comfortable enough to sleep in. By the way, the selling point for the mask was that it's unlined and therefore easier to clean. Made by Asylum Leathers.
sistawendy: (contemplative red)
2017-09-12 09:16 am
Entry tags:

my city and my people

Twenty-eight years ago today I rolled into Seattle for the first time. How different was the city then? The Boeing bust of the '70s was still fresh in everyone's memory, and the end of Boeing's dominance over the city's economy was just appearing on the horizon. Microsoft had moved to Redmond a scant four years earlier. Capitol Hill, my spiritual home and the then-new gayborhood, may have still had some light industry still in the neighborhood. Seattle had affordable housing, a bus system it was proud of that seemed to meet mass transit needs, and grunge in every sense. Not much later if at all it also had a Queer Patrol out of necessity, a notorious heroin economy with visible impact - see "grunge" - and not much going on work-wise for any techies who, like me, disdained Microsoft*.

I miss the fun, the funk, and the low-budget DIY spirit of Seattle then, but I was often too preoccupied to take advantage of it until this century: school, relationships, work, trying to be a straight dude. Is that gone, drowned in tech money, never to return? I don't think it's gone completely, and it can be saved. If we can save ourselves from going the way of Detroit, we can save ourselves from going the way of San Francisco.

On an unrelated note, attendance for last night's trans group at Lambert House smashed the previous record. I filled up an attendance sheet and mostly emptied the downstairs. Attendance had been so poor early this summer that the volunteer coordinator expressed concern about it to me and my fellow facilitators. The only even partial explanation I have for this is that the school year just started, so everyone's back from vacation and perhaps jonesing for some queer contact after being exposed to their families more than usual, but this is nothing like past years.



*Yeah, 19 years later I ended up working for the bastids, but that was partly to obtain meds to keep my then-wife ambulatory.
sistawendy: (oh yeah)
2017-09-11 07:38 am
Entry tags:

Update: My mom has not blown away.

I didn't get the usual email from Mom this morning, so I called her. Sure enough, she's lost her internet connection, and the wind has picked up. However, she still has power and there's no damage to her house. She got help moving her porch & patio furniture indoors. There used to be a whole bunch of pine trees on her lot, but she got the last of those removed a few years back, thank goodness. The eye wall should be making its closest approach to Gainesville right about now.
sistawendy: (flirty hippy)
2017-09-10 09:29 pm
Entry tags:

lusting after shoes & clothes

But first: my mom is OK. I talked to her this morning. She said the wind hadn't picked up where she is yet.

I heard that John Fluevog, founder of the Fluevog shoe empire cult at which so many of us worship, was going to be at the Seattle store. Yes, the guy who designed twelve (12) pairs of shoes and boots that I've written so much about was there for the meeting. So I took the bus downtown and meet him I did.

I'm not too proud to admit that I fangirled all over him. He seems... like a pretty normal dude in his sixties. I told him that [personal profile] cupcake_goth was the one who turned me and a whole bunch of other people on to 'Vogs. (I'm pretty sure that's true; it's certainly likely.) I told him about my imminent 50th birthday party and how I'd bought one pair of boots for it - and then another because darn him. His more advanced age made my 50th birthday plans amusing to him. He said he'd reinvented himself at that age, but I paid attention to my funny feeling that I shouldn't ask him to explain. I merely said that I'd reinvented myself once, and I might have to do it again.

Last night, J of J&R fame was one of fourteen designers in the graduation fashion show at the New York Fashion Academy in Ballard. I must say, I saw several looks I really liked and even collected a couple of business cards. J's looks, well, would look fabulous on somebody who isn't me. I think of them as Jackie Kennedy meets David Bowie and they maybe say hi to Piet Mondrian. (J is a huge Bowie fan.) Props to J for originality. Merc'd a bit afterward because I went to the earlier of two shows, having somehow failed to notice that there was a later one that R was going to. Celebratory drinks with J&R were earlier this evening. Poor J has been working late into every night on this show for months, dealing with a flaky model, makeup artist issues, and uncooperative fabric. For her, some well-deserved cocktails and quality munchies.

Fave looks:
  • Short, straight skirts with feathers. Those are made for someone with relatively narrow hips like yours truly.
  • Lots of looks inspired by Dior's New Look. I kind of feel bad about that, because even though I love it and it looks good on me, it's been done to death.
  • One designer, Hai Nguyen, went nuts with the drapery, which resulted in some stunningly original formal wear.
  • Another, Shanelle Thompson, did a lot of bodycon (if that's the right word) looks with zippers and other details.
sistawendy: (drama)
2017-09-09 08:35 am
Entry tags:

an evening on a houseboat

One of my cow orkers, B, invited the whole damn company over to a housewarming party at her houseboat on the western shore of Lake Union. I accepted, natch, because
  1. I couldn't remember the last time I'd been on a houseboat. In fact, I may never have been before last night.
  2. Shoot, I'd never even been on that part of the lakeshore, just the north end (Gas Works Park) and the south end (MOHAI & nearby restaurants).
  3. I was intensely curious. At least historically, houseboats were a cheap housing option, something I'm sure many Seattleites recall wistfully. I wanted to find out if that was still true and why it ever was.
  4. Party on a boat! Lots of wine; what is it with alcohol & boats? Unexpected burgers.
Here's the scoop from B about the economics of houseboats:
  1. Houseboats are indeed still, on average, on the cheap side of the rental market. Yes, one sees bigger, newer, more expensive boats from the freeways now, but they haven't dominated the market to the degree that their terrestrial counterparts have. The low cost is especially attractive when you consider that several marinas, including B's, are within easy commute range of major employment centers like downtown and the University of Washington. And oh by the way, stunning views and, surprisingly to me, quiet.
  2. I guess the biggest catch for most people, though, is that houseboats are small. Everyone around here knows that, and I'm happy living in a small space already.
  3. The biggest catch for me, though, is that boats for rent tend to be old & janky, especially with respect to toilets & showers, and Seattle tenant law doesn't apply to houseboats.
  4. Also, B's boat has single-paned windows and thin walls. Yes, the lake should moderate the temperature, but I have to wonder what that's like in the winter.
  5. You can forget about parking. M'boy lucked into the perfect after-hours space, but every space I saw for blocks was metered.
In summation, houseboats are a land of many contrasts attractive to me and plenty of other people in some ways, but there are some things I'd have to give up and put up with.
sistawendy: (blue corset)
2017-09-08 11:05 am
Entry tags:

No more Dr. Leather Bear.

I just got email from Dr. Leather Bear saying that he is retiring, a few years early for his own health, in the middle of this month. He spent most of the mail telling us about his replacement, another gay man, and talking him up. But as I told Dr. LB, I will miss him terribly. He wrote my first scrip for hormones. I've shown him my (ahem) bruises. We've talked about my occasionally non-physically broken heart. I've admired his awesome shirts, and I've worn extra leather to appointments with him because I know he loves it.

Dr. Gayman has some very large shoes to fill, as far as I'm concerned. Now that I think about it, I'm way overdue for getting my hormone levels checked.
sistawendy: (eek)
2017-09-07 05:04 pm
Entry tags:

bad things happening to loved ones soon

But first: yesterday evening the Wendling decided to, in the words of his mother, stay in his bedroom in his underwear rather than take his malfunctioning phone to the store. Over the phone I heard her lie to him about my having plans for Friday in an unsuccessful attempt to get him to do it right away. I gently told her to cut that out. I'd already bought dinner ingredients, but he wanted to stay last night with his mother in the other end of the city and handle it this morning. OK, kiddo, I'll cook your dinner and put it in the fridge.
No wait, said Ex, he just took a cooking class and should cook; the new agreement is that he'll do that once a month.
Next week, said I, and made with the chicken as originally planned. This is all a long way of saying, Good grief, the pair of them.
But Ex & the kid are probably in need of slack at the moment: Bigpuppy has cancer. As of this writing no one knows just how treatable that cancer is, but we should know in a few hours. To her credit, Ex hasn't hit me up for vet bills directly even though I once shared custody of the dog. Poor beast. Poor Ex. I don't know how attached my son is to his dog - we got her right before I came out to him - but we may be about to find out the hard way.
And from the Dept. of Old Testament Stuff, about half an hour ago I saw a prediction that Hurricane Irma is going to buzz right up the spine of the Florida peninsula, packing hurricane force winds all the way to Georgia. And who do I know who lives right on that path? My mother, of course. For my whole lifetime and probably centuries before, Gainesville has been far enough north and inland that nothing worse than a strong gale came through. This time is likely to be different.

I called Mom. She seems pretty calm about the situation, possibly because her location has protected her all this time, or possibly because she's run out of fucks now that she's pushing eighty. She says there's no gas to be had, so she has no plans to bug out. I asked her about shelter - basements are hard to build and rare down there - and she said she plans on using her bathtub. (!)

Sure, I almost didn't notice the full moon last night because the wildfire smoke had dimmed it, but I'll take a few days of scratchy eyes over the possibility of losing my roof and/or getting my house crushed by blown-down pines.
sistawendy: (hopeful nun)
2017-09-06 12:20 pm
Entry tags:

how to apply leverage to a post-teen

I got word from Ex yesterday that I needed to cut a check Dr. Kidshrink because of a payment SNAFU. I know my son hadn't seen him in a while, and I regard it as good news that he did. Ex has started requiring him to go monthly and work on his executive function difficulties as conditions of living with her most of the time. (I suspect that the alternative of living in a smaller, less private space with someone who throws your carelessly dropped dirty clothes at you may have motivated him, too.) She even organized a conference call with Dr. Kidshrink, the Wendling, and his employer, the gist of which was that if m'boy doesn't get it together, he'll get a job coach, a fate he considers worse than unemployment.

Having to open my wallet is a small if poorly-timed price to pay for big relief. Every time I tried to talk to my son about this he went into ostrich mode, on the childish theory that if he doesn't think about his brain problems, they don't exist. He's going to be restarting school in a couple of weeks, so this is timely for him. Ex says he hasn't quite gotten religion about it - he did, after all, agree to all this under duress - but it's the most hopeful news about him that I've had all year. And I have much gratitude to Ex for making it happen.
sistawendy: (contemplative red)
2017-09-05 01:27 pm

what I did and didn't get around to on Labor Day weekend

Dancing at the Monkey Loft yesterday in the more-or-less sun. Much local talent. It felt like a farewell to summer. "More-or-less sun" because smoke had started do blow in from nearby fires; it's reached the point today where people are walking around with masks on.

Reason #4392 to love Seattle: Uwajimaya is kitty corner from the Int'l District/Chinatown light rail station, greatly speeding and simplifying the process of acquiring cheap, tasty eats that aren't necessarily bad for you if you're on the way home from Sodo. Pro tip: they close the food court fairly early, at least on Labor Day.

Back to the grind, which is grinding. I didn't get around to Lambert House database monkeying - Hispanic isn't a race, and the city says we need to collect data on language spoken at home. Given that the population that the house serves has a much higher proportion of people of color than the city as a whole, this is kind of a big deal. The sooner I do it, the less of a pain it will be because technology.
sistawendy: (drama)
2017-09-03 08:43 pm

Party, car repair, party, party, oops, zzzz, party.

Long time no write. It's been kind of a meh few days. Shot night is tomorrow and I think I'm feeling it.

Friday: Went to Re-bar on the spur of the moment to a benefit for a trans woman who'd been assaulted & hospitalized. The music was OK, but the promoters apparently forgot to, you know, promote. There were fewer than ten people there at 2330, so I bailed.

Saturday: Got my water pump replaced, as I did a couple of years ago in the old Sanctimobile. Maybe it's a good thing I didn't go to the Burn this year. I could easily have gotten stranded on a mighty lonely road without so much as a tree in sight for miles.

Lovely BBQ at C's for her birthday; C is a close friend of Diminutive, for those keeping score. Imagine the shady part of a yard covered in people in their summer black (and a little red, the other Goth color). Lovely beers for R's birthday. Not so lovely realizing I'd double booked myself, so I didn't make it to [profile] morthael's party. I feel pretty bad about that.

Oh: While at C's I got to ask a chef of my acquaintance who he'd recommend for catering. He says that it's unfortunate that I was born in the dead of winter because that's the slowest time of year for caterers, so everyone he'd recommend is sensibly taking some time off then. Le sigh. A, the Siberian Siren's sweetie, recommends the Triple Door, which I learned shares a kitchen with Wild Ginger, where I've eaten many times, including the time I proposed to Ex. Seattle: it's a small town if you've lived here 28 years.

Today: Catching up on sleep & housework.

Tomorrow: shaking my booty at the Monkey Loft. I do love bleepy music on a rooftop.
sistawendy: (stern nun)
2017-08-27 09:29 pm
Entry tags:

Nun is a relatively good girl.

Yesterday, cold caffeine and a walk around Green Lake with [personal profile] m_cobweb. A fine way to spend a sunny afternoon.

Spent the evening at chez [personal profile] mahariel, where I met a fascinating friend of hers - costumer, history nerd, Native American more or less - and talked a lot, especially about my son. Yes, queer. Yes, poly, apparently. Yes, kinda cute. Yes, totally fun to hang out with. Will I be seeing more of her? No idea, but I wouldn't mind.

Speaking of the Wendling, we were supposed to go to a professional soccer game courtesy of StartupCo, but he bailed to catch up on the sleep he missed for no good reason. I don't hold it against him, but it's a shame: we really haven't done enough together in, well, years. It isn't easy with his work schedule. I went to the game because hey, garlic fries. Seattle tied Portland 1-1.
sistawendy: (angry cartoon)
2017-08-26 01:51 pm
Entry tags:

the ups and downs of a night's sleep

Good: I got eight hours' sleep last night, more than I have in oh, maybe a month.

Bad: It was interrupted by a nightmare about Nazis rounding up my son & ex from our old garage in Kirkland. They're Jewish, if you recall.

God damn 45, his cronies, and every single pink, put out, petrified piece of poo that voted for him.
sistawendy: (wtf laughing)
2017-08-23 08:13 pm

early evening peregrinations & ruminations on Capitol Hill

I got word from [profile] rigel_p that she'd be in town this week. She has family & friends in the area, so she decided to go eclipse viewing with some of them. The esteemed wyvern* is something of a celebrity, especially to people who know her, which means everyone including me wants a piece of her whenever she's here. So I was honored that after a couple of tries she carved out ninety minutes to have ginger beer with me to talk about work, dating, m'boy (She shares one of his mental quirks to a lesser degree, so I consider her advice invaluable), and all kinds of geeky stuff. She says the "'80s rock star" look that I'm wearing right now** suits me.

After seeing her off, I was hungry and found myself surrounded by a preponderance of restaurants on Pike & Pine halfway up the Hill. So I stopped in Kizuki for old school non-instant ramen and a beer. There was a line to get a table, but the food & service are right on. A+ would slurp again. Three of the staff said "Thank you" in Japanese on the way out, and I noticed that only the Asian girl used the (correct in that situation, I believe) perfect tense.

I could have jumped on an 11 and gotten downtown faster, but there was someone cute walking toward me, so I headed for the train. On the way I passed Stumptown Coffee, which has closed at that location. The Elder Goths reading this will remember that as the location of Aurafice, where goffee (i.e. Goth coffee) happened on Wednesday nights early this century and spilled out onto the sidewalk. I found myself wondering, and not for the first time, what it would take to make something like that happen again. The Board is long gone; could the local Goth Facebook groups provide adequate publicity? I'd have to see that to believe it, and it would still need an organizer, I think. We elders*** have things like kids and demanding jobs and big creative projects these days, not to mention residences far from the Hill so we can afford them. No, if anything like that ever happens again, it'll be a younger generation that makes it happen, probably, as much as I'd like to think otherwise.



*Her long-ago MOO character, as mine was a depraved nun.
**SFDs: Purple Bombsheller leggings, black nearly-sleeveless top with my heavy metal belt, Fluevog Truth Alisons, relatively subdued mostly MAC makeup. Yes, I dressed kind of sexy for her. Shaddup.
***I'm a Janey-come-lately to the scene, relatively, but let's face it: I can remember Watergate.
sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
2017-08-22 03:02 pm

eclipse, Ethiopian

Saw the eclipse yesterday using a pinhole camera - two pieces of poster board, one with aluminum foil taped to a hole and duly pierced - instead of glasses. It's too bad m'boy wasn't around; I'll have to show him how the pinhole camera works later. (The neighbor girl was disappointed that I didn't have any film in it.) Teachable moments R us. Observations:
  1. The temperature drop is for real, and it caught me unprepared. My naked toes didn't finish thawing out until I got to work. Yeah, I was only ten meters from my front door, but I didn't want to miss any of it.
  2. When the sun is 92% covered as it was in Seattle, it's still pretty bright. Had it not been for the camera I wouldn't have guessed that we'd had more than maybe 50% coverage.
  3. It got super quiet. I could hear construction work going on nearby before the eclipse, but it stopped. Good for the construction workers!
  4. It all took longer than I expected.
  5. I figured the post-eclipse commute was going to be terrible, but neau, it was actually much less crowded and faster than average.
I'm still not sure whether it's too bad that the Wendling didn't want to go down to Oregon to see the totality. On the one hand, we missed an adventure. On the other, he's kind of a whiny-ass punk when traffic happens, and it sure did, according to several of my friends. Also, no cellular data, no SMS, etc., which would not have been good for his mood. He ordered eclipse glasses from Amazon and had them shipped to my place. He made a special trip to pick them up on Sunday, so at least he was ready, wherever he watched it from.
Ethiopian eetz at short notice with Funny Lady at Queen of Sheba on the Hill. That place is better than I remember; maybe it's changed hands since I was last there. And I more-than-kind-of love Funny Lady for not getting bent out of shape about my last minute suggestions. After all, I love hers too.

She proposes the following theorem: in the long run, S ∩ L = ∅ where S is the set of people you want to have sex with, and L is the set of people you can live with, ∀ you. I think this theorem is false, not least because I really want to believe it's false. Surely I know some counterexamples even if I'm not among them.
sistawendy: (contemplative red)
2017-08-20 09:35 pm
Entry tags:

a weekend of social stuff & spending

Friday: Dressed cute because a party that I thought was that night was in fact the following night, thereby conflicting with a date. Arg!

Saturday: The Goth garage sale by consummate saleslady [personal profile] cupcake_goth et al. including the visiting [personal profile] kambriel. They did indeed sell me things - nice plates, a little black ruffly skirt, an art nouveau necklace, spider web hose, earrings, an Art With Latex necklace that I'd wanted for years - that were Good To Have. I spent exactly my budget, i.e. all the cash I brought.

On to the apartment of the Siberian Siren, where her bouncy young dog destroyed the beaded necklace I was wearing. Le sigh. But at least she & I have reserved an AirBNB and bought plane tickets for our trip to the Folsom Street Fair. We have committed. This is totally happening and I. Am. Psyched. The SS needed to hunt for deals, and she taught me a useful thing or two.

Date with the Tickler! Lovely dinner at Itto's, followed by a few minutes of ahem, then a couple of hours of the Tickler's stomach going to hell. Yes, again. It was bad: plumbing fixtures were involved. It might be worth mentioning that whatever affected her did not affect me, and we split a gazillion tapas; this isn't any reflection on Itto's, which is a fave of ours. She noted that we partook of members of the nightshade family (i.e. tomatoes), which may be yet another food allergy for her. Poor Tickler. There were cuddles and reasonable sleep.

Today: After the Tickler's deluxe oatmeal, we tried to hit the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum with the Tickler this morning, but when we got there at 0930, half an hour before opening time, the line was already around the block. The tickler looked for parking for a bit, but then bailed, for which I don't blame her. I still want to see the exhibit, though. It looks way cool.

Slacking, walking around Green Lake, then eetz with J & R, which I always love. I just finished making a rock-bottom-tech pinhole camera for the eclipse tomorrow.
sistawendy: (hand staple forehead)
2017-08-17 01:53 pm
Entry tags:

Greetings from the land of Hnnnnnnngh.

I'd really like to sleep past 0600. I haven't managed that very often for the last few weeks, and my usual wakeup time on weekdays has been more like 0515. Is it summer, or is it just getting old? I'm hoping it's the former, natch. It's hurting my concentration at work, of course, and even on the way home: I got on the wrong bus yesterday, and I was late to make dinner for my son. And then I screwed up dinner, partially. (My son, unusually, didn't complain, but I wouldn't have blamed him if he had.) Tonight I let those fine professionals at Than Brothers do the cooking, as promised.

I think this must have been what Frodo & Bilbo felt like after wearing the Ring too much.
sistawendy: (skeptic coy Gorey tilted down)
2017-08-15 12:02 pm
Entry tags:

How long does it take Uncle Sam to cash a fat check?

I know the answer to the question in the subject: no more than two days, and possibly only one. The accounts receivable department, or whatever it's called, of the IRS must be the most efficient organization in the entire US government.

I mailed a four-figure back tax payment on the 7th to Ogden, UT via the usual first class mail. It was cashed on the 11th. There's no way it took fewer than two days to get there.
sistawendy: (Default)
2017-08-13 07:08 pm
Entry tags:

throwing the horns, mailing the pages, failing to freak the niece

I never thought I would unironically throw the horns, but I did last night at a benefit for the Satanic Temple at Substation. The ST is the organization that stands up for separation of church & state with great panache by inserting themselves into, say, prayers at high school football games (here in the Puget Sound area) and putting up goaty statues alongside the Ten Commandments on public property (Oklahoma, as I recall).

I gotta love that, so of course I showed, courtesy of R. I knew a few of the performers, including a lovely friend of Diminutive's. But the Satanist MCs said, "We're not promoters," and that was painfully evident during a couple of the interpretive dance numbers - really. However, the tunes live & otherwise were good, the black clad crowd had fun, and everyone threw the horns during the little ceremonial bit at the beginning.

Oh, and as surprisingly as sunrise, Eliza Gauger from Friday night was there with copies of her book. I saw her just minutes after I'd excitedly told R about it.
I have my real name on my Twitter profile, and as a result the Hubbell Trading Post followed me. I'll save you the trouble of googling it: it's a trading post at Ganado, AZ on the Navajo reservation and, at least formerly, several satellite posts. It was founded by a cousin of my great grandfather's, and my great grandfather and my grandfather and their families lived and worked at several of the trading posts at various points in their lives.

In 1965, shortly before she died and before I was born, my great grandmother Penny wrote her life story, fifty-seven neatly typed pages. Most of it deals with life at the trading posts. I offered a copy to the Hubbell Trading Post and they accepted it. I've got it ready to mail, with a fair warning about the racist bits - I re-read it yesterday - plus a few stories about my grandfather that Penny didn't write about.
From the weekly phone call with Mom, a bit of subversion from her. First, some background: my Evil Sister has moved to Texas, leaving my niece E behind to get the resident's break on college tuition. Mom had a picture of me - the real, female me - out where where E could see it. Mom asked E if she knew who that was, and she said no. Mom gave her the straight dope. E looked very closely at the picture, and when Mom said I was living as a woman, E said, "Good for her." So at last I have verification that the cat is out of the bag.

I'm amused, and I don't blame E a bit if she doesn't really give a damn: Mom reminded me that she was in a car accident a few weeks ago, for which she's struggling to pay bills, and she starts college in a couple of weeks. And of course I'm proud of my mother. I don't even care what her motivation was. A straight woman of nearly eighty from a small town in the Blue Ridge mountains just struck a blow for trans acceptance, and that is pretty nifty.