1rencomn01


"Ready, Set..."
RR-07  and so it begins
2006 marks the definitive beginnings of my new life. Here I'll be sharing my progress, shortcomings & insights as I make my way through this adventure
version 3.2 & other necessities of a good plan 12-21-06
Ever developed a great plan but find yourself
really frustrated by its snail-like evolution? Me too. During that process, I get discouraged & suspect that everything's wrong - including that so called "great plan". Completed a bit of root-cause analysis of this emotional uproar. Lots of little things were isolated but a couple of insights were revealed.
First, I realized that the smartest plan isn't
always the realistic approach. Make sense? I liken this line-of-thought to finding a good diet. The best one? It's the one I'm most likely to adhere-to. My new & bestest plan says I'm holding off on my art website project. Alas, it's just not a high priority & I'd do better to focus first on finishing other things. Reality? I get depressed reflecting upon the fact this new website is now over five years delayed in publishing. Thus, by uploading at least a beginning-version, I'm hoping to create solace in this regard.
Second? While my self-described "great plan" is optimal, some parts aren't practical in the short-term. Thus, I went into creating some version 3.2 life-software: interim solutions to current problems. What's most challenging about this approach? I'm forced to embrace the fact I'll have to repeat certain steps (sometimes more than once) as I continue to reach for my longer-term goals. Let's see: do I produce the B-1 bomber...wait for the F-117...or dedicate all my resources to the B-2? Alas, if a country is forever mired in a debate over guns & butter, I suppose my little raft can survive a few bouts with paying for the same real estate twice.
Simple stuff? Yeah, I know - I never claimed to be the brightest bimbo on the block. Why is it that I'm constantly forced to reconsider such basic tenants? You'd
think I'd learn...  
I'll be off-line until next year. Visiting my adopted family in Nashville & tranz-teen for Christmas. Subsequently, Taylor & I are getting away for three
whole days - a first. In other words, I'm taking a healthy break from my work, my transition, my personal projects & probably most importantly...myself.
I sincerely wish everyone a joyous holiday season. Thank you for your interest in my life & progress. I'm grateful for all your warm thoughts, prayers & supportive comments. However, most of all? I just appreciate
you.
Let's all make '07 stand for something extra special. My best to everyone:
keep the faith...
RR
a blip on the ren-dar screen 12-13-06
Ever have those moments: those
days when no matter how hard you try? You can't seem to garner a decent perspective. Something about this upcoming new year's bothering me. It's not one thing. Rather, it's the sum of many things.
RR-Nov06d
How much time has now passed since I began this f***ing odyssey? I'm losing track of measure. So many goals are delayed & forfeited that I can barely keep tabs on the casualties. How many times can I start over & keep smiling? Is there a limit to the number of f***-up's one person is allowed in this life? Will I reach a point where if I get dissed one more time that I don't heal from the pain? Friends lost, loves strained, dreams bridled...at what point am I okay with all this
Soon? Never?
I'm not sleeping well anymore. That's certainly one root-cause of my depression. Perhaps I'm finally just letting go of some things. I wish I understood...
I'm
not visiting Kentucky over the holidays: there's really no point to that trip. There's no point to much of anything in my life at this moment. I'm so tempted to wrap up my current affairs & subsequently vanish into deep-stealth in hopes of beginning a new life. Why is that? Am I a wimp...or am I right?
I'm
sick of all the drama associated with being "me".  I'm sick of being judged.  I'm sick of worrying over my weight.  I'm sick of being tranz.  I'm sick of being afraid. I'm sick...of my life.
Fortunately, I'm old enough to know: this too, shall pass.
Keep the faith...
RR
defining courage 12-05-06
I heard it once said that
courage is not the absence of fear...but the ability to overcome it. During this past year, I had someone in my life that provided a renewed sense of what this word is really all about.
I'm curious...have you ever known
total fear?
Personally, I've been afraid many times. However, even when my continuing existence was in serious question during a horrible attack - I wasn't
totally scared. My only clear-cut recollection of total fear? It was years ago during a gay rights march in the town of Lebanon, Tennessee. 
Why was this particular event so terrifying?
I grew up in Owensboro, KY...a small town very much like Lebanon. As I walked down that street, I was cursed by a woman who could have easily been my grandmother: the same lady that provided my first taste of unconditional love. A guy much like my best friend from high school picked up a rock & hurled it at me. And a man who resembled the brother I admired made a public vow to kill me. Thus, I became a witness to the horror of mob mentality...in the very faces of the only people that ever made me feel safe. For the first time in my life: I knew
total fear. 
Khalilah3
Total fear is brutal. It's essence is why we'll lash out at people we love. It makes us draw inward when it's most vital to open our hearts. In other words, it's much like a black hole - feeding upon itself & drawing us ever closer to its chaotic center.
There's a group of children in this world facing total-fear on a daily basis: transgender teens in the foster care system. Unlike being gay, you often can't hide the fact your transgendered. Coping with this anomaly as a teen is doubly challenging - peer's can be brutal. Add to all that? These kids face this music
without any loving support or protection from a parent? That - is a recipe for total fear.
Boo came into my life following hurricane Katrina - she & her relatives were refugees of that horrible disaster. Abandoned by her family, I can't begin to tell you the number of times she had to muster courage to find some form of belief that her dreams could eventually come true. The system, the prejudices, the total ugliness...all found their way to her doorstep much too often.
khalilah01a
While I worked hard to serve as a constant reminder of sane thinking, my best friend "Red" was truly Boo's avenging angel - moving mountains within the sea of social services so that this one dolphin might find her way to the deep blue waters beyond. She's now in the hands of two of the most amazing women I've encountered: A Dynamic Duo...Deb &Di. These stalwarts just created a loving refuge for GLBT kids in the foster care system. I finally had the honor of meeting this pair of heroes last weekend. Simply stated: they're amazing.
Today, we all know that Boo's
beaten total fear. Oh, sure - she gets pretty nervous now & then but she's no longer a victim to thinking she can't trust anyone or that thing's will never work out.
Know what else?
In the process of witnessing her courage & strength - I re-discovered mine. I can now state with conviction I'm past the consequences of my encounter with total fear.
Abraham Lincoln once stated: "I destroy my enemy by making him my friend". You know what? Honest Abe was right - it wasn't until I made friends with the darkness that I destroyed my incubator for total-fear.
To do that?
John Lennon said it best: "All you need is love..."
Keep the faith...
RR
the shortest distance to your dreams 11-23-06
What's the shortest distance between any two points?
A straight line?
Nope...
not for us tranz-females.
Our path more closely follows traditional Pythagoreon or Euclidean explanations. Namely, the quickest route is simply the shortest available length of the path connecting a beginning & end...which is not necessarily a straight line
That
straight line? (You've got to appreciate the pun in that one.) It's littered with dead ends created from transgender realities.
A curved path that bypasses these impediments? Usually chocked full of prejudicial resistance points - hampering your journey.
For a tranz-female to succeed in today's world, she's got to think three-dimensional. Every obstacle must be immediately sized: "Do I go around it? Over it? Under it? Or...in rare instance: straight through it?" There's also the hyper-space button - going invisible via deep stealth & bypassing with that cloak of invisibility. In more than one instance, I found my most prudent track was re-tracing my steps & returning to a previous point in space offering more options for avoidance.
I could easily get depressed recognizing I'm now skilled at this de-puzzling process. Earlier in my life as a tranz-female, I was often angered by all this zigzaging. That's because I'd
forgot...I'm no longer an entitled white, Anglo-Saxon protestant straight male. Now? I recognize the shortest distance between two points for tranz-females is the actual distance of the path between them after discounting for events, obstacles & resistance. 
Learn this  - and get accustomed to the supplementary timetables for accomplishing goals? You'll make real progress...fast.
Resist it? You'll stay buried in a labyrinth of frustration & futility. In other words? Become the river...
not the salmon.
Make sense?
Good...then promise me you won't take as long to embrace this truism as yours truly. *Smile*
Keep the faith...
RR
site updates...ebay underway...and the death of a friend 11-20-06
In a great mode: busy with life & living. My new venture's really starting to gel - invigorating my soul with my clear-cut focus & direction. Can't wait to share details...just not yet. :) Taylor visited Saturday & Sunday & we enjoyed our usual first-rate intimacy. We've not seen much of one another this fall...both our schedules have been a real bear.
What else is worth noting in my life at this moment?
Site Updates
Been working on this web site. Challenging: it's soooo damn cumbersome now...can't make sea-changes quickly. Thus, I'm in a one-step back
before moving forward mode. Translation? I've got to clean up & rearrange existing content before I can make meaningful strides in fresh perspectives. If I don't? It's just messes on top of messes. I'm going to dedicate the balance of my efforts in 2006 & early 2007 to cleaning up the disorder. After that? We should stay on a good roll with new sections.
Notably, I'm removing all direct links to any sites that might be considered pornographic. Alas, in my new life & career - it's impossible to explain any of this as harmless. Nature of the beast...
Ebay Sales
Can you believe it? I'm
finally starting these sales. Embarrassing how long it took to get started. They go up tonight & will last several months.
Rayvonne - September - SCC - 05 067s

Death of a Friend
On a
very sad note: Vickie Collin's life partner & a dear friend of the tranz-world Roy Accles passed away in Nashville Tennessee on Sunday, November 19th, 2006. It was hard to be an active member of our community and not know Roy. He & Vickie were mainstays in attendance and support for scores of functions & organizations. However, it was even more challenging to know him...and not absolutely adore that infectious smile & loving heart. Vickie & Roy were one of the most improbable & absolutely beautiful loves I ever witnessed. God certainly had a hand in their connection. I like to think he'll continue to carry their love & joy through eternity.
Few people had more fun teasing Roy than yours truly & it was safe to say he'd get pretty disappointed if I didn't playfully work the program each time we visited. I stopped by SCC this past year for only a couple of hours & my main reason for visiting was to say "hello" to Roy for what we both knew would be the last time. A favorite memory remains how I never let him live-down my beating him at billiards & him forever insisting that my bare thigh situated on the table's edge before his potential game-winning shot had something to do with the fact he missed so badly.
Men...what a bunch of sore losers. *Laugh* I'll miss you, Roy...and so will many, many others.
There's a memorial service scheduled in Nashville on Saturday November 25th. I
will be attending.
I'm so f***ing sick of this damned disease taking the lives of such good people.
My thoughts & prayers are with both Roy & Miss Vickie.
fall fashions & falling 11-13-06
Here's something I've not done in awhile: journaled...for the sake of journaling. Probably rooted in the fact I've got less to share than before. Did I know more -
or less when I scribed more often? Good question. I'd guess I had more of a need to be heard at that time. Now? I'm more compelled to listen.
There's about a month & a half left in this year.
Whew...been a weird one. Was more about putting my life back together rather than building anything new. Poetically-speaking? I'd surmise it as follows:

Uncanny tranny - sat on a wall,
That very same bimbo? She took a great fall.
No king, no horses - and very few friends...
Were around when this lady got it together again.

In other words? Transition takes so much longer than anyone anticipates. Naturally, upon reconnecting with your personal GPS, you're often a tad bit off your original course. In my instance? I needed to get way off-track. As I consider who I once was & what I deemed important? I hardly know that person anymore. I do miss some of the simplicity of my prior life. However, I now find contentment from simpler pleasures. Always two sides to every coin, ya know?
I feel like a snail pulling a cart twice my size across an asphalt jungle at this moment. Most often, I'm just preoccupied with navigating the never-ending tundra. On occasion, I look back over my shoulder to make certain I'm not about to get stepped on. It's kind of a worthless endeavor - I couldn't move quickly enough to avoid that fate even if I saw it coming. There's freedom in total vulnerability. The sunshine & night's sky are so much clearer & obvious. Unfortunately, so are the rain & the elements. Just another paradox in Sir Isaac's third law of motion.
Chilly this AM after a drizzle-filled weekend.
Thank God...means it's finally time for full-scale fall fashion. I adore my wardrobe this time of year. Stopped by Nordstrom's half-year sale on Saturday. Proud to say I only walked out with two items and one - was a Christmas gift for Red. Gaining a whole new appreciation for happiness from self-control. It's the little things in life...*Smile*
2007 is a really big year for me. At least I
think it will be. Planning an extended trip back home to Kentucky over the Christmas holidays: a few days in Owensboro, Louisville & Lexington. Not sure when I'll get back to that area. Thus, want to breath the air & visit some old friends just in case.
My best to all...keep the faith.
RR
october came & went... 11-01-06
Rayvonne-101406-09
Sorry about the long delays between updates - been extra busy with life & living.
The trip to Portland was great - was special visiting with everyone at DRY, Inc and I even got to drop in on a couple of old tranz-friends. Red flew out for her birthday weekend - we scored decent weather which equated to a stunning drive along coastal Highway 101. One of our first stops was Sea Lion Cave - the world's largest natural occurring sea cave & the gathering point for an army of creatures - sort of like nature's equivalent to Match.com for sea lions. Life would be so damn much simpler as a seal, ya know? Meet at the cave, find 'ya a feller, raise a couple of pups...and beware of sharks:
I'm jealous...
Notice the lighthouse in the background of my photo? That's Haceta Head near Florence, Oregon and it was our next stop. Visited lots of memorable places, encountered some unique personas, feasted on a tasty meal at the Chowder Cup in old Newport - and as my adopted sister & I always do...had a joyful time.
Only problem traveling with Red? She's lovely enough to be one of those "no make-up" gals. Thus, when we're on the road she gets pissy if I invest much energy into my presentation: insisting we do the total comfort routine. Subsequently, I always look like a damn troll in our trip photos. Never a good idea to hang out with gals prettier than yourself: it gets f***ing depressing.
4-DeNagy
Missed the Halloween fun including a special party in remembrance of my old friend Michael Amodeo - had to make an all-night drive to Tennessee last week. Attended a problematic meeting regarding a special transgender teen in my life. Alas, the system's just not suited to accommodate those born different. It's difficult for most to imagine what childhood would've been like without parents to protect our interests. Some of us are familiar with the sense of isolation caused by a gender transition. With tranz-teens within foster care? These problems are doubly challenging. Finding myself more & more involved in this arena. I'll share more in this regard soon. Importantly...extra proud of Austin on finally taking her GED. You go, sweetie - I'm so very pleased with your progress!
Lots of closure occurring in a variety of areas of my life. While that's probably healthy it's also a tad bit frightening. It's like I'm looking in the rear view mirror and watching my past get smaller while congruently staring at the growing responsibilities situating in front of me getting much larger by the second. I suppose that sounds like normal growth however in my case there's a large sandbar from gender transition separating these two peninsulas. Find myself simply wanting to pull off the road & cry. Did just that while returning from Nashville this past Monday. I'm excited, I'm scared, I'm lonely, I'm blessed...
whatever. I'm sure the fact it was also my mother's birthday played a role in my sense of isolation. I could sure use one of her lovingly reassuring hugs right now.
On a better note? Scored a couple of decent new art acquisitions. My personal fave's a turn-of the century impressionist city-scene from Ogunquit, Maine: small & exquisite. Unearthed it on-line from a seller in Belgium - go figure. Alas, I've forced to chill on locating final fillers for the collection: I'm pretty much tapped out at the moment.
That's about all the news that's worthy for print.
Keep the faith...
RR
times flies: even when you're not having a lot of fun 10-01-06
Wow...can't believe it's been almost a month since I last journaled. Been busy - can't believe almost thirty days slipped by so quickly.
What's been going on?
Writing, writing, writing...
ugh! Unfortunately, haven't had much time to write on this web page. Looks like I'll make a dent in November. Allotting a week to get some of the new transition-related sections completed & uploaded.
Got a bunch of my art collection finally hung - needed that. Placed about a third of the collection at my place & another third is now hanging at Red's house in Nashville. The rest is either in storage or in some area of "process" - cleaning, framing, restoration, etc. Completed the core gallery page designs for the upcoming web site & got all 120-pieces loaded. Now?
Lots more writing. Always tough pacing my efforts on both my art & gender sites. 'Gotta remember - they're life-long projects. 
Stopped by SCC on Thursday night for a few hours. Had to go out of town that weekend but it was special visiting with a few old & new friends. Know what I most enjoy about SCC? Watching others evolve as t-girls, women - and as human beings. At my first SCC, there were about fifty gals present. Thus, I've seen a lot of changes. As always, I found time for trash-talking with
Lauren Thomas - I just adore that little lady. Alas, didn't get to see everybody I wanted but there's always next year.
Headed to Portland, OR for a week in October - work-related travel. Developed a few new products - one's pretty decent. We'll see what others think of it. Been buried in the related efforts all month. On a better note? Red's birthday is on October fourteenth - worked it out for her to fly out to Portland that weekend before I leave. For her b-day? We're spending a day & a half visiting lighthouses on the west coast. Hope the weather's decent - never know this time of year.
Finally: fall's finally here -
yippee! I absolutely adore fall-fashions & can't wait to wear some newly created ensembles.
That's about it. I'll write again when I return from Portland.
Keep the faith...
RR
flame-out...and a bit of new reality 09-05-06
It had to happen sooner or later - survived a brutal emotional let-down last week. I mean I took a
bad dive. The scariest part? How fast it came upon me.
Spent time reflecting on this emotional setback after making my way back to reality. Reached a few important conclusions...
Reality #1 - I will never again be able to obsess upon the development of some new project for longer than a few days at a time. This old habit was never healthy for moi. However, I now appreciate how toxic it makes those around me. It's selfish, self-serving & self-centered.
I must stop doing it.
Reality #2 - "Success is a journey...not a destination". For twenty years I quoted this script like some authority on life & living. In reality? I was clueless...and only recently comprehended its basis for truth. I've got goals...I've got dreams. However, they're but one facet of my life & journey. They're actually just personally-defined benchmarks associated with particular directions. My life? It's not going to be defined by a bunch of f***ing benchmarks.
I'm a better woman than
that.
Reality #3 - My family is the most important component of my journey. I already lost one family to death, abuse & neglect. The growing hodge-podge of misfit personas known as my new family are my most important obligation...and honor. I was once a victim of family-abuse. I even made others pay for my misfortune.
If ever a person needed to heal through familial love - that person...
is me.
Reality #4 - I'll make mistakes. Why do I remain challenged embracing error as essential to success. I'm forced to constantly remind myself that it's okay to be wrong. What's so scary about being inept? Laughter & ridicule from others? Nah...wearing dresses provided three lifetimes of that.
Perhaps I'm scared others will see - what I see...all that I - am not?
Who knows?
I just have to keep reminding myself -
it's ok to be wrong.
Reality #5 - Finally, I'm as beautiful-ugly as I've ever been. My transsexuality opened my eyes to the succinct reality of beauty...and ugliness. I witness utter beauty - in people I once dismissed at a glance. I deal with ugliness from individuals our world swears are totally righteous.
You've never seen the real basis for beauty & ugliness in human beings until someone tries to kill you
because you're simply breathing...and another defends you - for that same reason.
I'm destined to never be overly pretty. In fact, human consensus oft defines me as very ugly. However, because I truly comprehend
both these words - I embrace that I'll remain beautiful-ugly...until the day I die.
And...I'm proud to be so.
RR
grinding it out  08-25-06
Welp...it's 1:00AM & I'm still going at it as if it was mid-afternoon. In the midst of an intense grind. This furor will continue for at least eight more months. The good news? Other than a few distraught & panic-stricken moments - rarely bothered by the 24/7 work schedule. Paying a price for careening so far off-target during my years of transition. I clearly see my new course - enjoying restored energy & focus. For now? Gotta' grind it out - make my way back to the main thoroughfare of life & living. August, pretty much came & went - like a blur. Hoping to escape on Saturday for a little overnight getaway with Taylor in south Florida but it looks 50/50. Had it much worse before - this too shall pass...
Should start posting my
ebay sale stuff the first of next week. Yeah, yeah - know you've heard that before but this time my estimate seems accurate. Just another item on the long list called my life & living. Sorry for the lack of updates to new site sections. Have a pair of work & entrepreneurial project deadlines bearing down upon me. Sadly, will be awhile before I can re-dedicate time to personal projects.
On an ugly note - can you believe this f***ing John Karr idiot had to go off & do the "I'm a transsexual" routine? Between
Dressed to Kill & Silence of the Lambs - the last thing any of us need is another public impression of transgenderism relating to violent aggression. It's a textbook oxymoron yet somehow we continue to get tagged with this garbage. He's obviously just a nut-case & not remotely responsible in the killing. Thanks - for dragging down those of us working hard to put a positive face on this affliction. Jerk...
Finally...a warm birthday wish to my old friend Micha who turned forty-five on the 19th of August. His birthday's one of the easiest to recall - same day as Coco Chanel's...now how could I forget
that birthday? Welcome to the 45-club, sweetie! *Laugh*
Keep the faith...
RR
fifteen minutes of philosophy  08-03-06
Ever have those moments where you disconnect from your being. You stare at a blade of grass: examining its symmetry, it's imperfections. You gander across the lawn multiplying the complexities of life in direct proportion to the number of grass roots on your lawn. When you consider the scope of the planet - you're briefly overwhelmed. You frown at your inability to make sense of it all.
Rayvonne - 12-10-05 0861
Your gaze spans upwards. We take for granted the sky will always be there. We sometimes take for granted we'll always be here, as well. After enough people die we realize that's not the case. Your stare fixes upon a striation of tree branches intersecting with your skyward view. Your eyes glaze & create a perfect abstraction from the wooden vectors devoid of any vision but the mathematics of nature's equilibrium. You hold that gaze for a couple of minutes marveling at the insanity of microscopic thinking.
You close your eyes. You remember the past. Some things seem so long ago: the life of a child, a small town existence, a family, a best friend, a soul-mate, time as a male...all gone. Why are you still here?
Fifteen minutes passed from when you began staring at that single blade of grass.
Back to reality.
I no longer dwell upon these sorts of thoughts. I have children in my life that need attention. I have a tranz-world that needs me to break some barriers. I have dogs that like to eat & kitties that love to purr.
I'm now a fifteen minute philosopher.
I'm better off.
just a note before i die  08-01-06
Crazy run of work & personal projects on my horizon. Thus, thought I'd journal a bit before the mayhem. Everything I'm in the midst of developing is large & complex. I'm starving for assignments that begin & end in thirty days or less. I like to think I'll never again attempt such a barrage but I know I'm not that smart.
A few things around
here...

  • Yeah, yeah - I know I'm way tardy on the ebay sale: sue me.
  • Uploaded the outline for my new section: the Mermaid Manual. When it's completed, should be a worthy addition to the growing number of transition-related web resources.
  • Finally wrapped up the types of admirers. Feel a bit like a botanist on safari. *Laugh* I'm now focused upon completing my first section of the Mermaid manual - then I'll return to the Admirer's Handbook. Next up in that dept? Edits & updates to the old T-Girls 101 section.
Enjoyed a killer visit to the mountains last weekend with Taylor - thanks, baby. **kiss** He gave me exactly what I most needed - rest. The weather on Sunday was stellar & we did a bit of nearby exploring. Stopped off at some local-yokel barbeque joint for lunch. Hard to maintain a low-carb palette in a place like that but we pulled it off. My weight's finally leveled & I'm attempting to reach new lows from post-operative muscle atrophy. We'll see...
On a good note - everything's making sense: like pre-positioned pieces to my puzzle. Ever find your most creative & productive phases come in spurts? Try as you may, you can go through years and never duplicate the efforts of those brief bumps with genius. Enlightenment is such a rare occurrence for bimbo's like
moi....which is why I'm remaining so focused in case my Duracell's run dry. I continually see-saw between excitement over my new venture & utter fear. I often get knots in my tummy as I move forward. I'm turning out some of the best work of my life. However, I endured so many setbacks over the last five years that I remain skeptical it'll last. I remain cautious as a cat about progress.
I'm continuing to reconnect with parts of my past. That
- is a good thing. I'm healthier than ever when it comes to all that I am - and more importantly: those things that I'm not. I'm hoping to improve my relationships with a couple of family members this year before I move away. It's tough - there's so damn much emotional backwater in this area from crap I carried for decades. I need to talk things out but I'm so afraid I'll fall back into the depression I endured from certain events. I can't go though all that again. Still, I need them in my life. I want them in my life. But I'm afraid of them. Whatever...
On a brighter note?
Added a few new paintings to the collection. The first is a triptych from Dante's Divine Comedy - representing hell, purgatory & heaven. Something about my experiences with transition caused a newfound appreciation for this epic of Italian literature. This piece includes some pretty killer brushwork. I think I shared before that I'm always a sucker for expressionist paintings. The basis of all forms of art is human expression. Thus, styles that celebrate that vision have a way of touching my soul. Yeah, I know - I'm weird. At least I now admit I've got tons of issues. *Laugh*
The second's a large turn-of-the-century transitional landscape including three nude females. Needs a bit of restoration but it'll come out nicely when it's complete. Strangely, it seems I'm forever drawn to artworks of women needing restoration. Lets not venture to guess what Freud would say about
that.
The final piece is my 'fave - a mid-century German school painting of a bunch of cats...being cats. Hard to find a decent kitty-painting without spending an arm & a leg. Been looking for awhile - finally scored a piece that fit my fancy
and my budget.
Red's daughter has her thirteenth birthday next week. We first planned a trip to NYC to celebrate but had to postpone:
sucks. Thus, I'm going to trek to Nashville for a few days of fun with my favorite girls.
My best to everyone.
Keep the faith...
RR
all writing & no play - makes renee a very dull bitch  07-28-06
Ugh
Seems all I'm doing is writing, writing &
more writing.
Fresh sections at this web site...drafting my new art web site...writing on my books...drafting my company's business & strategic plans, even this damn ebay sale is a bunch of:
writing. How in the hell did I get backed into this corner? I'm managing the back-log by allotting very specific time schedules for scribing on particular projects. If I don't do that - my obsessive compulsive behavior wastes time "organizing". 
Notably, re: my web site - I'm almost done with revisions to the first sub-section of the Admirer's Handbook. It's somewhat of a boring segment: an analysis of types of admirers. It'll get much more interesting when I delve into correlated relationship issues in the upcoming sections. However, for the sake of people waiting on transition-related information - I'm going to see-saw back & forth between completing sections in the Admirer's Handbook & the Mermaid Manual. Perhaps by year-end I'll have made a sizeable dent in both projects.
I'm
totally wiped out tonight.
Ever have those weeks where you've got absolutely nothing left on Friday evening? You get that blank zombie-like stare & lose track of brief lapses in time. Know what I mean? Weird, huh?
My sweetie flies in tomorrow morning. I'm picking him up from the airport & we're 'gonna drive directly to the north Georgia mountains for an overnight. We first planned a bunch of indigenous activities: kayaking, visiting a gold mine, etc. Alas, I just want to crawl into his arms & never leave our hotel room for all of our twenty-four hours.
On that note?
Time for a shower & sleep shortly thereafter.
Until next time.
Keep the faith...
RR
rip van tranz-winkle 07-14-06
I mentioned before about post-transition confusion: when you seemingly awaken from a drama-filled life & gender related obsessions to a normal existence. You stand looking where you're situated & wondering how in the hell you ended up
there. It's really weird.
I just got an interesting dose of this experience. Began pulling ensembles I'm
selling on eBay. Talk about memories from days gone by....jeez. I laughed, grinned, frowned...even shook my head in disbelief. A lot of memories from a life in motion. I almost choked when I pulled a plastic bag containing the clothes from my attack...why in God's name did I keep those? Didn't dwell upon it...just threw 'em in the trash.
A related experience?
My next venture is taking on a life of its own & I can tell by reactions from various advisors I
finally found the business model I'm seeking. I began the process of packaging this vista by culling old business summaries. Amazing...projects that seemed like yesterday? Some were dated almost ten years ago. I feel as though I'm awakening from a coma in this part of my life.
This new company (can't share details) - is an interesting mixture of prior experiences & current passions. It was born from the process of revisiting an old business plan that never caught wind. By overlaying my newfound experiences & female interests - I identified obvious solutions to prior shortcomings. I think that's kind of cool...past meets present to create my future. I like to think fate played a role in causing it to gel
after transition.
What's most pressing at the moment?
Making my way back to the autobahn of venture development. Comparatively-speaking, I'm presently situated on a dirt road next to an adorable red-headed boy named "Opie". In other words? My life, my platform, my resources...are pretty much in Bum-f*** Egypt. Safe to say I missed that exit for Mount Pilot and ended up
way the hell off course. *Laugh* In that sense my transition was a hyperspace experience. If I had it to do over? Definitely would've managed that differently.
It's a year of business incubation - improving present conditions while preparing for a future.
Sound a little boring?
Probably...but not to my ears.
Keep the faith...
RR
whew...that was one busy damn month 07-01-06
Radell
Wow...June was a busy, busy month. I don't recall the last time so many monumental events occurred during a single thirty-day span. I maintain a chronology of events in my life: during each month I make notes of important occurrences. At the end of the year I recast my scribbling into a retrospective: been maintaining it for decades. Can you say obsessive compulsive? *Laugh* Anyway...most months? It's about a half to a quarter page of notable dealings. In June? I was barely able to fit all my notes on a single page. Good, bad, ugly & beautiful...it's all there. I think that's called life...and actually living?
One good note - been pounding away at my new web site: LineOnArt.com. No reason to visit - it's not yet uploaded. I anticipate publishing the first version in December. It represents ten years of effort in art collecting & writing an on-line directive that uses my collection to educate beginners on how to successfully collect art from internet resources. As with my gender site...it's a labor of love.
Part of my process in preparing to publish is wrapping up the authentication & research on certain pieces I acquired of unknown origin. One piece became a pleasant surprise this past week.
I bought this expressionist -portrait about ten years ago. It's only signed "Renee"...and
no - that's not why I bought it. *Laugh* I have a thing for figurative art & while I try to maintain a balance of styles in my collection - expressionism remains a fetish. Alas, I found this painting compelling. It's entitled: "Two for the Show" & dated 1966.
Anyway -
finally discovered the remainder of the artist's name. Much to my surprise, not only is she collected but my piece has substantial value. Here's a link to a very similar piece offered at a gallery in New York. Alas, theirs is bigger than mine. And we all know...bigger is better, don't we? *Laugh*
I'm thankful for this find: I
need more notable pieces in my collection. My resources are now limited - I'm unable to finish out the inventory as once planned. Thus, I'm doubly focused upon unearthing value amongst pieces I already own. Still have about five more mysteries I'm convinced have notable artistic merit. But today? I'm just happy about this particular one.
Acquired a new painting last week from an eBay live-auction at Freeman's in Philadelphia: an early nineteenth-century period-copy of a work by Jean-Baptiste Greuze. It needs a good bit of restoration but I'm blessed in that department - have a killer conservator that's both affordable & skilled. I'll share an image of this piece when it's complete. 
What else?
After several directional changes, my business plan continues to take form. I can actually state with a degree of confidence that I know the core essence of
how this venture will evolve. Did I say that with confidence? *Laugh* Confidence is one of those things we lose with transition. Guess I'll stick with hopeful...for the time being
Discussed my detailed plans with an old friend very skilled with investment banking last week. Say what you want about improved acceptance of transgenderism. In the conservative world of finance? We're still a
big no-no. My plan's making sense but I'm not going to get any breaks until the platform is rock-solid & clearly proves my assumptions. Nobody's going to risk being involved in my new vista until I'm far beyond what would usually be required. I'm using a friend as a mentor in this regard: he was one of the first to build a substantial company as an African American male in the 1970's. We both agree the paths are eerily similar. I may not accomplish all that I plan - but so help me God...the door to substantial entrepreneurial success for transgender people is going to get torn off the f***ing hinges before I'm finished.
On that note?
I bid you all farewell...
Happy Forth of July!
Keep the faith...
RR
silly spooks of savannah & other spirited stuff 06-15-06
Whew!
What a crazy beginning to my new 20-year life cycle. The first fifteen days of June were an absolute whirlwind. Turn forty-five years of age? All hell breaks loose
. Go figure...
Notably, there's been a great deal of closure occurring in my life: incredibly fortuitous. Most of it's beneficial but even the troublesome issues offer relief. I'm facing less unknowns than before. Did I cause this rapid-fire illumination or did fate play her hand? Not sure. Regardless, I'm thankful.
Sorry...about the slow down in site updates. Been distracted with my new art web site. Hope to get the first phase of it published by yearend. I'm in that overwhelming organizational period where you sift through years of development efforts & directions, cut to the chase...and identify a plan for implementation of a lifelong dream. Both my gender & art sites are labors of love. Alas, I can only allow for so much free time to work on them. Sadly, neither of them pay the bills.
Still...there's another reason for my snail's pace with publishing. Been writing on the new personal sections of my web page. I'm not drafting some sort of life history. Rather, I'm highlighting those events in my life that most directly related to my transgenderism. Naturally, that process details a good bit of my existence. Emotionally-speaking? It's been a draining process to reflect upon certain trials. I'm not one to dwell upon painful memories. Spiritually-speaking? Wish I'd undertaken this task long ago...very cleansing. Guess I wasn't ready until now.
One promise I made myself on my birthday was to let-go of all pains from my prior life. Most importantly? I had to forgive myself for
my mistakes, people I hurt...and people that hurt me. Still find myself wanting to draw upon these experiences. However, I now simply close my eyes & repeat...I'm new, I'm forgiven - and today is the first day of the rest of my life. I know...sounds a bit too much like Dorothy & those God-awful ruby slippers. Regardless, it's working. With each passing moment I'm less weighted by emotional garbage.
On a brighter note?
Red & I scooted off to Savannah, GA to celebrate my birthday. We were a tad bit rushed: she was later getting away from Nashville than planned because of work issues. Thus, we only left Atlanta at 10:00PM Friday night & after a restful pit stop in BFE / East Dublin, GA - we finally arrived in Savannah early Saturday afternoon.
SavannahS0
We stayed at Savannah's oldest Inn - 1790...a really cool place full of historical significance, local folklore...and a group of totally fun fags managing the front desk. We immediately dropped our bags & made our way to the waterfront area. As luck would have it, the city runs a festival the first weekend of each month. Thus, the river area was unusually lively.
We made our way up & down the street hitting the shops & pouring of sweat. The heat & humidity caused any make-up once applied to drip away within the hour. My newest tranz-daughter Darcy came down to join us at the close of this trek. I'm so proud of her progress: both with her beauty & evolution at a tranz-female. She's very special.
After a quick rest-stop back at our room we tried finding a restaurant near our planned walking-tour scheduled for 7:00PM. We proceeded to get lost amongst the maze of streets & ended up only finding some seafood joint that seemed less than appealing in the sweltering heat. We got lucky & hopped a ride with a cabby from another hotel. He was really sweet - delivered us to a fun little pub where we grazed upon a variety of appetizers & a sirloin steak that were as close to low-carb as either of us were willing to explore.
We ended up passing on the walking tour since we encountered an adorable pair of men at our restaurant. Honestly? Red & I almost never meet a pair of guys that we both enjoy & whom likewise are uniquely drawn to us. Naturally, it'd be just our luck to finally encounter such a unique combo far away from home. They saved us from the city tour & we enjoyed a relaxing visit & good laughs.
What was the highlight of our trip?
Pretending to be ghosts...*Grin*
Our hotel room was situated on the third floor at 1790. Turns out a former resident across from our suite threw herself from the upstairs window because her beloved sailor didn't return from sea.
Hmmmm....men who leave you hanging & make you feel like jumping from a window. Nice to know some things never change, huh? *Laugh*
Anyway...
There's tons of never-ending ghost tours about Savannah. And our hotel was a highlighted stop for all these tourists. The hotel accentuated its legend by maintaining a stuffed mannequin in the third-story window that visitors could notice as they heard the tale of her untimely swan dive to death.
Alas, this situation seemed a little too inviting. *Grin*
SavannahS2
Before you could say boo...Red positioned herself in a lookout spot where she could spy arriving tour groups without being seen. I crouched behind the dark-haired suicide-queen...and upon Red's command - would begin shaking the mannequin & banging her into the window. It was a total scream. Cameras would start flashing like a walk on the red carpet. We got to where we'd time our charade when just a few people were watching...then we'd go downstairs & listen to them argue with the rest of their party over "if" the lady in-the-window actually moved.
We're so easily amused
Before long we boarded our own personal ghost tour & gave lady-lore a rest. Was kinda cool...we drove about town in a converted hearse. The driver kept us updated on all spiritual tales. When we got back to the room we were exhausted. We made our way back to Atlanta Sunday morning - offering Red just enough time to take a quick breather & then get back to Nashville to meet her daughter.
A very joyous birthday. Thanks, girlfriend: you're the bomb.
Keep the faith...
Hugs,
RR
lighthouses 06-01-06
Ever find yourself suddenly aware of your surroundings & contemplating: "How in the f*** did I end up here?" You gander over your shoulder...examining the path that brought you to where you are. You recall little about that chosen course or even
why you took it.
Transgenderism breeds a lot of these situations because of the crises it often creates. In the midst of calamity we're forced into survival mode. Sometimes we're not even aware when the crisis ends. While regaining our sense of humanity we occasionally drift through points of oblivion...like a spaceship floating in the void.
As I consider this dilemma I understand how important it is to maintain grounded elements in your life before, during & after transition. These checkpoints serve as lighthouses to
ourselves - when we get lost & confused on the sea of discontent. Without them? It's easy to think you're steaming back home: when in reality? You're headed straight to Never-Never Land.
I handled this portion of my transition miserably. To make matters worse? The one person I counted on to serve as a lighthouse decided it'd be funny to move the guidepost around while I was completing the final & most confusing leg of my journey. I'll never comprehend his motivations but it played a role in my continuing to sail in circles much longer than necessary.
My life's now stable. My head? It's clearer...much sharper. I'm no longer distracted by transition...just trying to build a new existence
less any drama. Know what? All this could've been easier if I'd kept more & better lighthouses in place.
Sadly, I lost a
good one to death recently. Positively? I just reconnected with a couple of the most important ones in my life. I turn forty-five years old this Saturday, June 3rd. I view my upcoming trek between the ages of 45 & 65 to be the most important leg of my life's journey. I'm excited, I'm ready, and I'm focused. More importantly? I'm happy.
Next time I get lost? Hope I'm wise enough to follow the loving light of my lighthouses.
Keep the faith...
RR
can you believe it? - 05-21-06
Finally...started the massive project of updating my web site. Can you believe it? What's it been...five or six years? Now dedicating about six hours each week to writing fresh content & editing old sections. Presently focused on re-writing & expanding The Admirer's Handbook. The first version kinda' blossomed from on-going notes & tid-bits...never fully explored the detailed aspects of tranz-admirers. This time? I'm covering a lot more ground. Updated my links section but still have to complete the local Atlanta scene updates. Added a short list of what I consider the very best ^ most inspirational personal web pages for transgender females.
Another major time consumer? In case you hadn't noticed: I went through this phase a few years back where I felt compelled to accentuate my every word with "quotation marks". Cleaning
that mess alone will entail a boatload of Sundays. What in the f*** was I thinking?? *Laugh*
RR-Enrico
Importantly, based upon inspiration from Lynn Conway I'm sharing my detailed life history. It's been quite a journey & unlike some I've no desire to write an autobiography that re-lives my voyage. Still, I hope that by sharing some personal history others with similar circumstances might find benefit from my disclosure. This new section should be completed in a couple of weeks. Wait 'till you see what I used to look like....*Laugh*
Been very busy lately: remaining focused. Finally visited with a dear friend from college for coffee a couple of weeks ago. He was one of the final hold-outs. Went fine...knew it would. Even more monumental was a visit via phone with the closest thing I have to a father. This relationship got turned upside-down with my new life & gender. Broke down a couple of times in this first step. However, getting the intial connection behind me lifted a huge weight from my narrow shoulders. Have a few old relationships to mend. The rest? This too shall pass...
Finally...and most importantly: I'd like to thank my dear friend Enrico for helping with my new web design. The new-fangled index page is officially up & running & we'll be adding similar unique designs to the primary subsections Beyond that? I don't intend to add extensive weighted html or java as I'm aware a lot readers are situated in parts of the world where page loading times aren't exactly cable-ready.
Thanks, sweetie...don't know what I'd do without your help. ((hugs))
Hope everyone is well.
Keep the faith...
Hugs,
RR
reality versus journaling - 05-14-06
Did something very rare tonight: re-read some of my journal entries. Know what stood out in my mind? A lot of intensity at times I wasn't overly intense. I most often journal when I'm needing to sort out certain thoughts & feelings. Thus, it can often cause my life to mirror as more traumatic than it actually is.
Reality?
I'm really busy right now. Chasing my passions, pursuing my dreams. I'm fairly positive about my future & the opportunities I see forming. My life's more balanced than in recent memory & I have lots to smile about.
Tonight?
I'm in another one of those lonely, weepy & depressed states where I'm tempted to find a deeper reason for my sense of misery. I know I'm just tired. I understand my body & mind runs in cycles of highs & lows. The dips are no longer as extreme as before. However, they still occur. Wonder what causes us to sometimes fret over all that
isn't - versus giving thanks for all that is. Mother's day is probably part of my depression: I miss my mom. I miss lots of things from my past. In the process of creating a new life I lost lots of important ties to my past. Some? I'm glad I'm done with: they weren't very healthy. Others? I need...but I can't seem to find the strength & courage to reconnect.
Everything's beginning to make sense in my life: what I'm doing...
why I'm doing it. So why do I feel so lost? Sleeping alone continues to be my quick-fix for what's wrong with my life. Alas, I know it's pretty easy to have someone beside you...and still find yourself sleeping alone.
Anyway...
Been working hard to begin publishing the new & improved version of my web site over the summer. Now dedicating about six hours weekly to the completion of this project. Presently, I'm splitting time between re-writing & editing existing information & drafting new sections & re-tooling my design.
I'm spacey tonight. Making zilch sense out of anything.
My solution?
It's time for bed.
Night, night.
RR
progress isn't a straight line - 05-07-06
Progress...growth, even success? They're always marked by minor & major setbacks. I
know this to be true but I still have a hard time accepting it. We've all seen the graphs & understand the concept of trending upwards. Alas, when it's your very essence tied to the moving arrow? The ride seems bumpier. Know what I mean?
Seem to be living more as a realist. Probably a good thing: keeps me focused on what's situated directly in front of me versus the "what-if" box over by where Carol Merril is now standing. If you know me...
you know how I adore that damn box in the corner. Doing my best to ignore it.
Starting to write & wrap up new sections for this web page. Still can't believe how long its been since I added new content. Embarrassing how time flies. Updated my "personal" section...trying to get the new index page to load correctly. Writing each week on the new & improved "Admirer's Handbook" - and organizing all my notes & writings for the brand-new section on transition. Hoped to do the all-at-once update...not 'gonna happen. I'll just start adding as things get done.
On a good note?
Finally...dropped my last five extra pounds. Celebrated by devouring a tasty fillet & salad at Outback last night. Proudly passed on the potato: was just too late for a load of carb's. That was extra tuff: always a challenge for me to give up on food I'm actually paying-for. Often cheaper than I am intelligent. Imagine that?
Breaking weight barriers is getting arduous: had a hard time shedding my winter-weight. My body's always seeking equilibrium: doing its job to keep me breathing. Old age? Yeah...probably - no need to remind me. Turn forty-five on June 3rd. Not bothered by my appearance: I'll stand toe-to-toe with most any woman my age. Alas, that's bittersweet. The world doesn't compare women by their ages...just by beauty. I'm screwed...*Laugh*
My biggest disappointment remains the scattered nature of my projects & dreams.
My greatest accomplishment? I'm happy.
So if my progress continues its less than perfectly direct progression I'm going to deal with it the best way I know how:
I'm just 'gonna laugh it.
Squiggle-on, girlfriend.
As Ever...
RR
a joyful easter - 04-17-06
Enjoyed a lovely Easter weekend in Nashville, TN.
Arrived late Thursday night & subsequently did some running about town on Friday while Red & her daughter were at work & school, respectively. Stopped in on my old friend Pamela - a local hairdresser & one of the only other friends I made during my stint in Nashville. I'm so proud of Pamela...she looks great. Having grown up in Iran, endured an arranged marriage to a much older man when she was only fifteen, and subsequently fighting to obtain her freedom from an abusive husband...
this is a woman just now savoring the tender tastes of life. She inspires me with her adorable attitude. Subsequently visited with Melissa Marx at the mall & walked away dully impressed by her progress with transition. Few things make me happier than witnessing the success of my friends. Puts me in a good mood.
Grilled steaks & played Yahtzee with Red & her daughter Friday night. The Russian's first game was ridiculous: honest to God the kid would simply espouse her
needs...and they'd show up on the dice. Wasn't remotely fair & of course she milked it for all it was worth. Red & I gave up after a couple of games & we wrapped up the evening watching re-runs.
Arose early on Saturday to get a pedicure. Made the mistake of
not getting them done on Friday - seemed like half of Franklin, TN was at my fave nail salon. Had to wait it out as my toes had that planet-of-the-apes thing going. *Laugh* Subsequently, Red's daughter & I enjoyed our standard rituals at the Galleria Mall. Later, we went to see "She's the Man" - an adorable new flick about a high school female that dons her brother's persona in order to play soccer "with the boys". Was better than I expected.
Easter Sunday we all trekked off to Spring Hill and feasted at an antebellum plantation home. We even found time to shoot a variety of group & individual photographs on this rare occasion where we were all dressed nicely. Didn't exactly need the big meal...still sporting an extra ten pounds from winter. 'Gotta seriously hunker down on the diet & exercise if I'm going to have a prayer of wearing a bikini when the pools open Memorial Day. At this point? I'd do well to fit into a tank dress. *Laugh* After returning home & donning jeans we made our way to Pinkerton Park & tried waxing the lunch by hiking Fort Grainger. The weather cooperated all weekend...what a glorious beginning to spring.
My only disappointment was not getting to visit with my tranzy-teen. She got placed in a home much further away & my schedule got away from me. Thus, I'm now going to plan a special visit
just to see her. No holiday is complete without "all the family".
All in all?
A most joyful Easter.
I'm blessed.
Keep the faith...
RR
a new cycle of life - 04-03-06
On June 3rd of 2006 -
this wench turns forty-five years of age. It's an important birthday: a landmark. Why's that? I see it as the beginning of a new cycle...my next phase of living - that 20-year bent between 45 and 65. Ever notice how life runs in cycles? This particular stretch is a conspicuous sequence for most human beings - but mine seems especially significant. Save a few more months of electrolysis for those pesky gray hairs & working on a more feminine voice...I'm about done with "transition".  Thus, I'm faced with the double-edged sword of a fresh new phase...and a brand-new gender.
Very dedicated to making sure this new dimension begins with clarity & purpose.
That...begs the question: what would I change about my life...if I could?
Let's give it a whirl...
Career
We'll start with the good stuff - always helps, no?
My new company is taking formation. I can honestly say it's the best venture I've ever organized for two important reasons. First & foremost - I'm very passionate about what I'm doing. I'm enjoying that unique combination of being fueled by a higher purpose & a love for the core essence of the enterprise. Doing what I love...loving what I do - and believing
all of the above...is important. Can't beat that combo. Second, it utilizes almost every resource & strength at my disposal. Since these commodities are a bit scare - this, is a very good thing.
Presently faced with a nine-month grind as I bring everything together. After that? I'm dealing with a one-year launch window for the first phase of my development. Following this point...it'll get interesting.
I'm not sure I'd change anything in this arena. Took me an extra two years to find a new direction and another twelve months to flesh out my venture. Oh, sure...wish I had the resources to get started in a better way. However, I'll take zeal & clear-cut vision over more cash any day of the week.
I've had some business successes in my life. I've also had my share of failures. However, my brightest moments were when I was impassioned about my efforts.
Stay tuned...it's 'gonna be quite an event watching this company evolve.
Family
I'd change little in this department.
Lost my first family to death. Been pretty much shunned by the extended versions since transition. Fortunately, I'm now blessed with a new crop of loved ones. These people are the basis for the smiles in my photos & my newfound courage to chase big dreams. I anticipate my family will grow because love is the only resource that doesn't get divided when its shared. 
I'm very thankful for my new & growing family.
Home...
Where to live...this subject wears me out. Honestly? I'm ashamed of my wishy-washy approach to a residence. Still vacillating between staying in Atlanta or moving away & starting anew. My new company will require a decision in this department before too long & I'm about ready to let the needs of this new vista dictate my geography.
A friend of mine laughed when I recently shared my new phone number & address. Said the area in his contact book beneath my name looked like a war zone. *Laugh*
If I had to guess? I'll end up in Atlanta, NYC, LA or San Fran. Atlanta's still the odds-on favorite simply because of the hassle of a long-distance move. Once I make this next move? I doubt I'll ever move again...
Social Life
Socially-speaking...I'm in a weird place. Guess lots of tranz-women with similar circumstances know this drill. I don't tend to relish the straight bar-scene...it's just not worth the effort explaining my "situation" to drunken males that don't deserve my attention in the first place. Found myself recently stopping back into the tranz-gay bar world.
Not a good idea...I'm no longer a part of that scene. Depresses me. It's an escape...not a reality.
I'm still somewhat disconnected from the world. Haven't really found my healthy spot...socially-speaking. Just now exploring some interest-based associations along with spiritual explorations. We'll see how that goes.
Still methodically reconnecting with parts of my past. Had a dip in my success rate - down to about 50/50. Taking a break from old connections as I heal from a couple of painful associations. Still have one more very important one to resolve. After that? I'm just going to let the rest go...
Relationship
I'd definitely change
this situation. First & foremost - I wouldn't be alone. Alas, I'm not alone...have my network of loved ones...but you know what I mean. I'm thankful for all I have - but in this department? I yearn for more.
Doubt my approach is ideal. Alas, I'm not even willing to go on a date unless I'm comfortable with a short-list of conditions.
Namely...
Available - Married? I don't think so... Been there - done that...got the t-shirt. Actually? I could make a bedspread from this large collection of t-shirts. *Laugh* Enough, is enough.
Geography - I don't believe in long-distance loving. Phone calls & emails between visits tend to create a false sense of heightened connection. The only way I know if a new outfit's 'gonna work - is if I wear it often.
The tranz-thing - I'm not going out with anyone I'm not convinced is very comfortable with this issue. Twice committed to long term unions where I thought I could make the person eventually feel more comfortable. In both instances? As our love grew...the relationship blossomed...but they never changed in their ability to love me openly "as I am". It's the classic chair only being as strong as its weakest leg and I'm sick of dealing with this component.
Age - I don't mesh well with someone much younger than myself. Done a lot of living in my forty-four years. If I wanted another child...I'd adopt them.
Star destiny - I used to scoff at concepts like astrology. Now...when it comes to a loving relationship? I won't move forward without some decent planetary support. After thirty years of retrospective experience I know I do best with Libra's, Aquarians, Leo's & other Gemini's. Any other sign? Never works...
Then there's the greatest leveler of all...I've 'gotta want them. I like most people I encounter. However, I'm attracted to very few. Ironically, physical features are usually low on my attraction totem pole. I tend to only be attracted to the spirit I encounter. Intelligence, wit & confidence are essential components to my attraction process.
You'd think with my significant on-line presence that I'd stand a better chance than some finding an ideal partner.
Nope...*Laugh* Most amazing from the web are how many men that read my site & decide we're an ideal match. Somehow...I get left out of the decision process & am expected to just "take their word" for it. *Grin* God, what a life. Then there's the the newly anointed "I want a tranz-woman" sort of person. Know what I'm talking about? All worked up...and scary as hell. I can count on one hand the number of people I still know after twenty-plus years in the tranz-world. I only need a second set of fingers to keep up with associations longer than ten years. This thing-of-ours? It's a marathon...not a sprint. God only knows why always tend to attract 100-yard runners. Go figure... 
Emotionally-speaking, I'm as healthy as I've been in a
very long time. I don't date for the sake of going out. My first dates are rare. My second dates are pretty uncommon. Third dates? Now they're the real collector's items. *Laugh* 
Keep trying to find a sense of balance without a significant other in my life. Even begun exploring more gratifying options with solo-sex. I'm not sure if
that...is a good thing...or a bad thing. 
In a perfect world? I'd be just fine alone. Alas, my world's not perfect.
In Summary
I survived transition & I'm ready to get on with my new life. My resources are somewhat limited but I've found an ideal venture for my circumstances & I'm impassioned with its development. I have a new family & am supported with life-long love & affection. I'm still clueless on where I'll live & I'm a little lost in terms of finding a healthy social routine. I'm still alone when it comes to love but I don't feel desperate & I'm trying to gain more comfort with the possibility of never finding an ideal life-partner.
Things have been better...things have been worse.
All in all...I'm ready to begin  a new cycle of my life.
Keep the faith...
RR 
starting over...03-22-06
Welp...*Laugh*
Things have been better.
Having a rough time...requires another
alteration to 'da plan.
I'm starting over again?
I suppose
that is a way of life for tranz-women chasing dreams. Of course, I'm not really starting over. Rather? I'm adjusting my compass...fine-tuning my direction. At least that's what I keep telling myself.
In the end?
It's my mirror...and my reflection staring back. 
The truth sucks.
Still...my venture, my dreams...keep moving forward. Alas, I'm 'gonna hold the record for the world's squiggliest straight-line between two points by the time the first phase of my new entrepreneurial journey is complete.
In the end?
Probably won't matter.
But that face in my mirror knows all about the squiggly route known as
my life.
When is failure, a failure?
I hope I never find out.
And
you...want to transition?
*Laugh*
Welcome to the party, girlfriend.
As Always,
RR
fear of failure - 02-27-06
Welp' - it's official...
I'm scared shitless.
The basis for my fears?
Simply stated: I'm embarking on a totally new career path & entrepreneurial vista. Actually, been on this path for some time. My biggest obstacle is rooted in the fact I'm entering an arena where I'm ill-trained & unprepared. Try as I may...can't seem to stop myself - drawn by passion versus logic. What bozo would venture into uncharted territory while congruently navigating a new gender? She'd have to be pretty stupid, huh? No reason to guess which bimbo fits
that bill.  
Earlier, I made the mistake of sharing my new visions with some associates I respect. Those blank stares ringing "Are you f***ing crazy?" let me know to keep my mouth shut until I was further along. Am I further along? Hell, no. *Laugh* I'm more sideways than I was a year ago...when I was getting all those blank stares. Never been quite so rudderless in terms of exactly
where all this is going. A single shred of good news? Don't recall the last time I remained so passionate about a project's development.
Alas, more money's going out...less is coming in...and when I'm not busily obsessed on these dreams...
I get scared.
Should I change directions? Obtain salvage value from what little I've already tangibly accomplished?
It's a valid question.
On the one hand...I'm at that age & point in life where I really don't have many additional needs. Oh, sure...got a few things on my "want" list - but I'm not going to lose much sleep if I fail to acquire them. I'm also far less concerned with the impression I make on others except as it relates to my overall plans. Likewise, embraced the fact my physical appearance will be on a down-hill slide from here on out. While I'll do my best to age gracefully & target that middle-aged female mantra of "classic looks" - I'm no longer distracted by youthful competitors...my race is done in the "pretty" category.  Thus, not facing a lot of cash "going out" in the near future.
Conversely, I'm reaching an age where I should be making security & comforts a higher priority. Hate to confess I have less energy than in my past. Also, get more easily fatigued from physical labor. Still not sure how much of this is relates to the fact my post-transition body has less strength...yet my mind still wants to exert as before. Finally, taking on more financial responsibilities relating to my "adopted" transgender teen. All these issues don't mix well with increased risk.
Not sure what I'm 'gonna do. For the moment, I'm letting my sense of a higher purpose dictate both my passion & logic.
None of this is making any sense.
Whatever...
broken promises - 02-14-06
Some friends are aware of a new addition to my growing little hodge-podge of extended family - a transgender teen displaced from Hurricane Katrina. This young lady continues to have a profound impact on my life. Initially, she inspired me. Without a father (he passed eight years ago) & a drug-addicted mother - she sought funding & pursued gender counseling
on her own - starting transition at only fifteen years of age. Much of her existence has been in foster care & group homes. Can you fathom the strength it takes to be a transgender female in-the-making while residing in a group home of aggressive young males with no parent to protect your interests? Her courage, her determination - it's simply beautiful. When I'm consumed with self-pity - I need only talk with her to realize my problems are just solutions in the making. Granted, her evolution left scars. That's where I come in - I'm helping to heal her pain. Most importantly, I committed myself to be the one person that will never leave her side. It's a big commitment. But it's an even greater honor.
Know what's most profound about our relationship? It holds me to a much higher standard. By challenging her to achieve goals I'm forced to challenge myself to those same benchmarks. The fact she's transgendered makes any advice I offer hit all too close to home. The result? Been out-and-about only once in the last several months. I'm busy chasing dreams - holding myself to this new paradigm. My affiliation with Red's daughter had a parallel impact - and these two relationships seem to have galvanized my devotion. 
Think a lot about my future.
You know...what I want to be when I'm all grown-up? Must admit my earlier goals were pretty self-absorbed. Had visions of becoming some sort of SuperTranny. *Laugh* Funny to consider, now - I've definitely changed a great deal in this regard. On second thought? That's not entirely accurate. I'm still focused on becoming a big success. However, the root of my motivation - why I want to succeed...that's what changed. I'm no longer chasing personal glory - I'm after glorification of a greater good. Gotta' tell 'ya - that sense of focus is a powerful gizmo. When I get depressed about where I'm at now or what I'm doing - I need only close my eyes & consider the higher purpose behind my sacrifices. Then - it always makes sense. Still get overwhelmed by accounting for mistakes - people I hurt, people I lost, dreams I forfeited. Heard someone say recently you've not really lived unless you have lots of regrets. If that's an accurate assessment - then I've done my share of living.
All this leaves me to recall how many times I promised God I'd make a big difference with my life if he'd just provide the strength I needed to get through transition. Ever make a promise like that? Guess we all have at some point. Have I kept my promise? No, I haven't - still too focused on wasteful obsessions...like trying to be prettier via my feminine presentation versus becoming more beautiful via my human existence. That's hard to do - as a female. But I'm trying...
Alas, my life continues to evolve. And although I'm not the person I first thought I'd be - I'm proud to say I'm becoming the person I
want to be.
Works for me...
Happy Valentine's Day!
RR
rants, raves & ridiculous thinking - 01-24-06
A few thoughts about everything & nothing.
Depressing days...Red shared a tidbit with me last night. According to a news report - the third Monday of each January is the most depressing day of the year. Post-holiday depression, Christmas credit card invoices, inclement weather, failure to maintain new resolutions...you know the drill. Was good to hear because I was really down yesterday. Not exactly "up" this AM - but even gutters have relative differences, ya know? A little frustrated with life at the moment. Nice to know I'm not alone...
Date-less...Several people commented about my last entry re: being "date-less". Let me clarify: There's a big difference between "dating" versus going out on a date. There's a big difference between being asked versus getting hit-on. Men are horribly aggressive - even scary. I've developed a habit of always adorning a wedding band ring-set  to repel a lot of the garbage. I'm just no longer needing validation from physical attraction...been there, done that...got the t-shirt. I'm comfortable with my presentation as a forty-four year-old woman. I do...want and need a loving committed union with someone I find very special. However, I'm not going to hold my breath on finding such a bond. Thus, I'm focusing on my loved ones, friends & my goals. Nuff said...
Politics...Lost my patience with the recent political stinks. Try to steer clear of such issues - dealing with transsexuality & focusing upon making some sort of difference in this area - remains my galvanized focus. Can affect so little in life - I choose to make a distinction in that arena that most impacted my existence. Still, I'm horrified by the actions of Bush & this congress. What scares me the most? The general public mirrors these stances.
DRAG...Got into a heated discussion the other night with an old trans-friend. She's bothered by DRAG queens & their impact on those of us trying to put a more positive & traditional face on transsexualism. My opinion? I love DRAG. The way I see it? It's my heritage...as a transsexual female. Thus, I'm never ashamed of "where I came from". It's kind of like being from a small town in Kentucky & now living in a much larger & chic metropolitan area. I remain proud of my small-town roots. Same goes for DRAG. Like it or not - it's a key piece of heritage in gender community. Would agree it's a little irritating when it's held in higher regard than other accomplishments. But if the message gets across? Why would I care which messenger gets credit? 
Out on the town...Went clubbing this past Saturday. My dear old friend Chris Kane visited - her first chance to get out in several years. Had a fun night - finally dropped visited the "Stage Door" in Tucker. Was impressed by its warm vibe - it's a good club. When Chris & I visit - it's always special. However, it's strangely challenging...as well. We took different paths & we both seem mildly jealous of the course the other is living. Reminders of life's biggest decisions? Sometimes...I just don't want to think about it. Know what I mean?
Gaining weight...Packed on ten extra pounds over the holidays. Had a rough time getting it back off. Started ballooning before my trip out west & kept piling on as the silly season evolved. By early January? Was thirteen pounds heavy. Amazing - how one's bodyweight affects attitude. As a guy? It's a mild irritation. As a woman? Floods every pipeline that affects self image. Don't even recall when & how my attitude changed in this regard. It's very much a condition of society -  I assure you women don't make this crap up. Anyway...almost back down to fighting weight - even seeing signs of a new-low...as my body atrophies from no longer having testosterone rolling through my veins. Had a lot of new-lows in my new life. This one? I'll welcome with open arms.
Transgender death...Last night, learned another old friend died - a post-op tranz-woman whom I'd been friends with via the Net for almost a decade. Earlier this month, a dear friend of a dear friend...albeit just an acquaintance of mine...offed herself. Another pair of casualties from the war of simply trying to survive as a transgender female. Hope & pray I can help make a little difference with my life by accomplishing goals. However, I'd by lying if I didn't admit I get scared of ending up in the gender garbage disposal.
That's about it.
Until the next time...
keep the faith!
and so it begins - 01-09-06
First off...Happy New Year! Hope everyone enjoyed their holiday season are looking forward to a fruitful & loving '06.
As for me? Best way I can describe it...
it's time. Time I stepped out from the shadows, time I stepped up to the plate...time I began building a new life for myself...versus just talking about it. 'Gotta admit it - I'm f***ing scared.  Transition's been brutal in every aspect of my life: no limb remains unscathed. This past year? I compensated by staying in the twilight zone - testing new boundaries, gaining comfort in my new skin. Now? It's time.
Feels like I'm on a collision course with destiny & trying hard not to become a casualty of my own life. Ever stared at problems on your horizon - fighting the temptation to divert to another route...because you know in your heart your best course is to drive right through it all? That's what I see...that's what I feel like.
I'm starting a new cycle this year: turn forty-five in June. Ever noticed how life can be broken into a handful of phases? Mine's on the cusp of a new one - a fresh 20-year landscape requiring cultivation of hopes & dreams. Don't know how much longer I'll get to play on earth - each day seems shorter than the one before. Old friends & acquaintances keep vanishing.
My love life continues to read like a blank novel. Can you say "dateless"? *Laugh* Difficult writing a review of a book not yet written. On a positive note? Getting better at not wasting time with people who aren't a good match. Or...am I just building up bigger walls? Not 1000% sure - but I like to
think I know my heart & myself. The most challenging aspect remains a constant - someone I find appealing - that's willing & able to love me openly. The former is tough enough - but merge it with the latter? You get the idea why I don't date. Just don't have the strength to endure another "private affair". Starting to truly embrace the concept of spending my life alone...investing myself in work-related projects, friends and of course - Red & her daughter.
And so it begins.
Best wishes to one & all in 06
RR