Tattoos

So, butchcountry67 posted about tattoos today, and I will follow suit, just because it’s a good topic to end the day and year with.  My numerous tats can all be shown without showing my junk…hehe, bc..you crack me up.

Tattoos are funny.  Back in 1980 when I got my first one on my right bicep it was very uncool to be a female and have any kind of tattoo…it was definitely a rebel move on my part.  The tat is of a magic mushroom and is a tribute to my teenage years and some old running buddies.  I’d love to have it covered now with an eagle, which I may get around to and be willing to spit the cash for in 2015…as BC says, it’s an expensive and self-inflicted painful obsession with some of us.

My second, Jan ’81, is on my left forarm, and is a tribute to my drug years again, it says Born to Live on Sugar Mountain…an old Neil Young song.  Again…I wish I had had more sense and not gotten that one but it’s there now and it’s staying.  It’s rather large to cover, about 4″ across by 3″ top to bottom…a cover would be huge, dark and way more obtrusive than that little bit of harmless ink.

My third was a drunken night on the town…a jolly roger on my right shoulder blade on my back.  I had it covered partially years ago by making it into a full flag with a thorny rose branch climbing the flag pole…a tribute to loves thorns.  Those prickly moments when love just sucks, but we all want to go thru them because they remind us we are human.

My fourth is on the back of my neck, it’s Kanje for “Believe”  Many people across the country, around the world have this tattoo in memory of cancer victims who fight battles…one woman started it years ago, and many of us followed by getting this tattoo in solidarity. There was even a book done with hundreds of photos of people sporting this “Believe” tattoo.   I got it around the time of my split from my ex, and she got the same tattoo…she’s since changed hers, and I have tentative plans to change my own.

My fifth is on my right inside forearm…it’s Kanje Chinese for “Love Conquers All”  A stupid, stupid, stupid tattoo.  I regret that one the most.  I will cover it with a Chinese dragon at some point.  I had wanted Kanje for years, but didn’t think it through very well when I did get it.

My last are the stars behind my right ear, trailing down my neck.  That’s my favorite and I wish I had done them slightly different, but they can always be recolored and redone.

Tattoos are some of the imprints of different times in my life. They all bring back memories of various people and events that happened or were happening at the time I got each piece of ink.  We go through life meeting people who form various bits of who we eventually become along the way.  If we didn’t take chances with them, we would miss out on so very many things.  Even though things change, and don’t always work out you can’t stop trying to connect with people along the way through life. You miss too much fun and too much love along the way if you avoid pain.  Pain is just proof that we feel…it’s just the price we pay for love and learning.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 35,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 13 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Looking Back…While Looking Ahead…

It’s three days after Christmas and I was just looking forlornly at my cute little Christmas tree, thinking that it didn’t get that much love again this year.  I really need to figure out next year how to get more into the Christmas spirit again.  I used to be all about the holiday, but in the last couple of years I just haven’t been into it as much.  I’d like to decorate my house more, but no one but me really notices or sees it.  I wish I had more visitors.  My family is local, but they rarely come by my place to visit.  Mom does come by sometimes, but just for a few brief moments to pick me up or to drop something off to me.  And my buddy from up the street comes by quite often, which is nice.

I am a fairly solitary type of person, I’m okay living alone with my dog…I’ll always have a dog or two around.  They’re good company, gives me a little buddy to take care of and play with.  Without a dog, especially little Nola, I’d be one lost puppy myself.  Pardon the pun.  She grounds me in some ways, keeps me remembering to go home and take care of her, keeps me thinking about something other than myself.  Which is a good thing.

I tend to keep people at arms length.  Everyone has their dark side.  I’ve seen a few dark sides and I’m walking more cautiously now with people so that I don’t see anymore.  Hell I have my own dark side, don’t I know that all too well.

So, I am sort of staggering into this New Year wondering what will be in store.  I know I need to find another job, cuz the one I have sucks wind.  I know I need to socialize more, meet more people and get out of my own zone.  I get too comfortable in this zone I create for myself, then I miss that opportunity to get out and meet new people, and have new experiences.  I’m always wanting to do different things, but I chicken out because I would have to go stag…and that’s never fun, but it’s time to start doing just that.  Stag or not I am getting out more, having more fun and meeting new people.

I don’t know why I am like I am with people.  I just don’t trust most of them.  I’m very leery of peoples’ motives and reasons for wanting to be friends.  What do I bring to their lives that they can’t get somewhere else?  Someone told me this logical stuff, that it’s all a mathematical equation, that everything is numbers.  Well, it’s about time for my number to come the fuck up…and I don’t know that I believe that it’s all just numbers…oh I know that the scientists claim that everything is based on numbers, but I don’t get how personal relationships can be based on numbers.  She explained it in a very logical way, but still I’m not buying it.  I think it’s also got a lot to do with personal choice, commitment and responsibility.  It’s got a lot to do with how one feels, and allows themselves to feel.

I know that I’m not any different than anyone else.  I want the same stupid shit.  I just want to be happy enough so I don’t live in misery, I just want to have enough so I don’t live in a box, and I just want to love enough so that I’m not always alone.  I actually need to work on all three of this equation.  I can’t seem to do anything the easy way.  I’ve always walked harder roads, and I am beginning to think that I do it on purpose so that I can self-sabotage my progress when I want to do so.

I’m not a terribly unhappy person.  I tend to run pretty even keeled.  I used to have a temper, but that has quieted down quite considerably without the drugs and alcohol fueling it.  But there is a sort of deep resentment that I seem to feel, but can’t quite put my finger on it.  I don’t take it out on anyone, and because I am not really that close to anyone it doesn’t affect anyone else.  But I feel it when I’m alone. I need to take up some sort of physical activity like kick boxing, it might help me to channel some inner anger and frustration.  I know a gym is in my future, I’m just not that excited about it as usual.

And I am secure enough in my home life, working when I have to and making things come together that I’m not worried about living in a box any time soon.  I’ve always been one to land on my feet no matter what, and I may do a few flips on the way down, but I’ll be on those feet and somewhat secure in my being.  I may hate this job, but there are others, and I have my ways of making things work out.  I find solutions.

My luck in love remains to be seen.  I’m pretty content…and patient.

So, on another topic, I’ve been reading so many blogs lately…and I’m seeing this sort of “trend” that worries me with Butch lesbians taking that leap and transitioning to male.  I shutter to think I’m even going to write about this, because it’s such a touchy subject, but hey, my blog can be controversial and I am pretty open with what I am thinking most of the time with these politicized subjects.  I just have to wonder about it.  I mean even with my having had top surgery I still don’t relate to wanting any more or to wanting to be a man.  I guess I was not born with that defect, as it’s explained to me by others.  It just worries me with the younger crowd, particularly those in their early 20’s that I see taking this difficult path.  I remember being in my 20’s and not knowing what the hell was really going on in life.  (I write this after I jsut swallowed another couple of Text X180’s and applied my daily regimen of testosterone…damn, I’m a hypocrite sometimes).  I guess while I desire to be more masculine looking, I don’t desire to be male.  And I am assuming (ass out of u and me) that if I did desire to be male I would be transitioning as well.  When we are in our 20’s life is all about figuring out how to deal with things on our own, without our parents (or it should be!) and how to survive and thrive.  We’re not that worried about retirement or getting old because at that age you just don’t think those things will ever happen to you.  I’ve talked about this before, how life sort of comes in chapters, it really does.  You just don’t see it until you get to about chapter 4 or 5 and look back on things.

So I worry about my fellow young Butches and wonder if they are feeling pressure to transition nowadays, is that something that goes on with the younger crowd?  I can imagine it’s quite different from when I was in my 20’s (back in the 80’s).  Back then everyone tried to look alike, it was the age of androgynous looking lesbians, the word Butch was a slur and you didn’t want to be associated with it even if you knew it truly described exactly who you were (raising my hand).  As impressionable as kids are in their 20’s it would be very difficult to live with pressure to transition from one’s own community if you already have masculine leanings, such as are already solidly Butch.  Does anyone else see this?  I’m not saying that no one should transition, but I do worry about pressure to do so in today’s gender-fluid world.  What will we look back and think about this 20 or 30 years from now?  And how will it be different then?

As we grow older we settle into ourselves much more over time.   I know I have.  I am far more comfortable with my own sexuality and gender expression now than I ever was when I was young.  When I should have been enjoying it and celebrating it more back in my 20’s I was more afraid of who knew and what people thought of me and my lifestyle.  Looking back I realize it never mattered; none of it mattered.  What did matter then was that I was in the US Army and they didn’t take kindly to my lifestyle or sexuality at that time.  Other than that I could have lived a lot more openly and been a lot more comfortable in my own skin, knowing that none of it really matters in the long run.

Oh the things we would all do so differently if we had the knowledge that we have at 50 when we were 20 or 30!!  I would have not gotten involved with the drug scene that I was involved with for years, I would have taken far better care of my  body, I would have stopped smoking at 20 for sure.  And a rash of other things. I would have been more sensitive to who I shared parts of my life with, wouldn’t have dated some of the women I dated, and would have dated other that I had turned down.  Ah, to see backwards all too clearly.  But life isn’t like that.  It’s not about the destination at all but about the journey…I’m sure someone has said that in some quote book somewhere.  The journey is all you really have, there is no fucking destination.  The end result destination for all of us is the big dirt nap.  Yup.  It’s true.  Right as rain.  You can acquire all the crap in the world, have piles of cash and cars, and still you’ll be in the same place I will be eventually…pushing up daisies, or dust in the wind.

I don’t fret too much about the destination at all.  I know the end outcome of this game called life.  But I do fret abou the journey at times.  Lately I think it’s really been on my mind because I feel like I am on pause or something.  I have these ideas in my head like about doing a book or two, and about how the hell I am supposed to get to that point, or even if it’s a good idea or not.  I don’t look at doing a book as any sort of income thing, but more of just something I want to leave behind in the world when I do take that nap. A mark.  Something that says I was here.

I took a look at Wendi Kali’s new book The Butch Femme Photo Project, which I ordered from Barnes and Noble Booksellers and received in 3 days flat…thank you US Postal Service, you come through once again.  It’s a nice coffee table book of portraits of people who identify along the Butch-Femme-Trans* spectrum.  Very nicely done and I can see she really put her heart into the book.  I recommend everyone support her and buy a copy.  It’s a nice piece on any coffee table, and one I am proud to own.

My book about Butch-Femme in photos looks very different in the vision in my head.  It is an idea that I have been toying with and one where I will need the input of a couple of good, if not several good, photographers from the B-F community.  I wish I had Wendi’s guts to throw it out into a Kickstarter campaign and go for it.  It’s so damned risky, and would mean I’d be on the road on and off for about a year doing it, expensive and I still have to maintain my home here in Maine somehow.  There is room for this book I speak of though, and it would be well received I believe….I have to figure out how to pull it together.  I’m working on this.  May be time to call in my editor ex….mhm.  I am inspired to do something new for 2015…and I’ve been talking about doing a book for as long as I can remember.  Self publishing is an option, but I’d rather get in with a good LGBT publishing house.  Sounds like a big giant project to me.  Perhaps that’s just what I need.

 

Post Christmas Day

Ah, Christmas Day is behind us once again…another year come and gone…I sit here this early morning thinking about it and considering that overall it was a very nice day.  I spent the better part of the day with my good friend Suretta and my large family, all of whom were very well behaved!  We hung out for a few hours drinking mimosas and talking, then we sat down – 17 of us at one very long nicely set table – and enjoyed a fine cut of prime rib roast with au jus, mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus (yes, we grill in December in Maine), broccoli, cranberry sause, awesome home made sweet bread and all the fixings.  It was truly delicious!   Prime rib is one of my most favorite red meats, although I don’t consume much red meat anymore out of concern for my health, but when I do it’s going to be a very good cut of prime rib or filet mignon.

After dinner was over and we went through the clean up and rearranging of the house we all sat down and began opening presents.  It was sweet to see ALL of my nuclear family in one place on Christmas day.  That has not happened in many, many years.  There was even a group picture taken afterwards, I hope to get that posted as soon as my sister gets it up on her Facebook.  It’s not often that we have all of the family together for a group picture like that, it’s been a couple of years now since the last time.  But when we do we make sure that our family photographer, my sister Deb, gets some good shots.

The kids are all growing up.  The youngest, the twins, are 12 now…it’s amazing how fast life happens.  The two of them got new HP computers for Christmas and were happy little people.  My nephew Hayden immediately put stickers all over his – just like I do with mine!  I know those computers will be a big help in my brother’s household where they were all using 2 laptops to do all the homework and household stuff, plus Steven using one to work from home on proposals on occasion.  Now hopefully the kids will take good care of their new units, and hopefully they’ve been pre-installed with virus and malware protection, as well as parental controls.  They’re good kids, but hey even us good kids can’t help but peek at a little smut and porn once in a while!  hahaha

I got more new clothes from my mother.  Luckily she knows my taste pretty good, and also I show her things when we are out shopping that I like.  So I got a nice Izod sweat shirt, 2 new pairs of flannel pajama pants (which means I need to cull my collection of pajama pants and get rid of some of them..tooo many!) a nice new button down shirt.  I also got my AAA+ membership paid for for 2015, some gift cards, a new journal, some gourmet coffee and a few other little trinkets.  I’m a very lucky and a very spoiled rotten Butch.

I am thinking that I may have to do a closet over-haul.  I’ve picked up quite a few new clothes the last month or so –those damned Christmas sales!  So now my closet – which is 8 feet long and 3 feet deep is chock full.  I need to figure out how to organize it better and perhaps even install a shelving system that will accomodate my clothes properly. I hate it when they are packed int here like sardines, it wrinkles them.  I’m not into ironing my own clothing much, but I will do it.  I’d rather take it to the dry cleaners and have them clean and press everything nicely.  But if I have to I can iron with the best of them, it’s an old Army skill.  The key is starch.

Yesterday before I got dressed I took the time to shine my black boots up.  That’ s a little chore that brings back so many memories of my days in the service.  And these were my black Timberland Pros, so they really looked great once I was done.  My brother even noticed them, with some envious eyes I might add.  Hell, they ARE great boots.

My other brother Paul was there yesterday.  I hadn’t seen him since one day last summer when I went over to his place to get some veggies from his gardens.  He’s the one who inherited my mother’s green thumb for sure.  He can grow anything.  It’s good to see him.  His life is so tumultuous with his long time girlfriend who is very volatile and explosive.  She’s not allowed near the rest of the family because of her bizarre behavior.  She can be quite abrasive and downright violent.  Not a good example for the kids to be allowing her to behave like that and then pretending it didn’t happen.  We did that a few times, but after she really hurt him physically once and ended up in jail for it we had to exile her from the clan.  I don’t know what he sees in her, she treats him so horribly, and is so screwed up herself.  I think he pities her in some ways, and I think he doesn’t think he’ll find another girl so he stays with her.  Not a reason to stay with someone in my book.  I’d rather be alone rather than live with that kind of volatility and abuse.  My mom and sisters and I all worry about him, we’re afraid she’s going to kill him in his sleep or something horrible like that one day.  She’s just that tweaked in the brain.  There are a million stories I could relate to back up these claims, but it’s not worth going into here.  I just wish he would break free from her and begin to live again.

I am due to go back to work tomorrow.  Ugh.  I’ve been out with a medical condition the last 10 days, per doctor’s orders.  Now, hopefully they won’t give me too much grief about getting back to work. Maybe they’ll let me go, I have no idea.  And if they did let me go, I wouldn’t cry one bit, I really dislike that job and could find another a little easier if I didn’t have to worry about this one.  I’m thinking I am going to look back in the smaller sector – outside of big corporate America once again.  Small business just suits me much better.  Hell, if I had the cash I would do something on my own again, a new start up.  That could be in my future, I’m just not sure which direction I want to take right now.  For the moment I will continue to try to work for someone else, but in the long run I should really try to get back tot he self-employed world.

All things to consider for 2015.  I’m not one to make New Years’ Resolutions….I just like to think about making each year better than the previous.  Although 2014 was a great year for me, so 2015 better step up to that plate!  I realize that it has been through some positive changes, a very positive attitude and hard work that I made 2014 good, so I must carry on those things; it’s all up to me.

I’m going to clean up Christmas today, put the tree away and get my cave here back in order.  I don’t like to let things just sit.  So I will pack it up for next year and put everything away except the snowmen and snow globes.  Yeah, crank on some good music and get my ass cleaning this house up; whip it back into shape for the coming new year.

I’ve really missed my Mushball terrible the last few days. She’s visiting with her family in Madrid.  It’s difficult on me when we can’t have our daily Skype conversations and we don’t text as much because we’re with our families.  I really hope that we find that time to spend together here very soon…Sometimes I wish my superpower was to teleport.  eh….

Old Friends

A couple of nights before Christmas my phone rang…”Your dog is in my garden!” a voice on the other end proclaimed, I busted out laughing, I’d know that voice anywhere!  It was my best friend from Army basic training calling me from Arizona.  I learned that voice in 1980 and never could forget it.  So, it was awesome to spend some time on the phone reconnecting with her.  We hadn’t talked in a couple of years, life just gets away from you sometimes, and you forget to do things like stay up with those far away.  We did some catching up on friends and family, her husband and son are doing great, and she sounds like she is as well.

She and I certainly have some history and fond memories of raising some serious hell togehter during our weekend passes with the Army.  The two of us were the drill sargents’ favorites– because we were serious about both our soldiering and our partying!  So we used to be invited to the private parties with the drill sargents quite often.  I have some great photos of us wearing their drill hats and being just as stupidly silly as 2 young 19 year old soldiers could be together.

After basic training was over and she went to another fort to train as a truck driver, I stayed at Fort Dix and trained as a mechanic for the motor pool.  We kind of lost touch for a while, but we always sort of circle backa nd find each other every so often, always have and still do!  The bond that we developed during our basic training was quite strong, we were both young, both very athletic soldiers and both very competative.  We were two of the first women to be integrated into a co-ed style basic training, where the women’s platoon trained directly alongside of the men.

Our company, Charlie Company, had two platoons of male soldiers and one platoon of us females.  Bek and I were part of the five women who led that female platoon.  Both of us were squad leaders, and our friend Deb was the platoon leader.  Two of our other buddies were the other two squad leaders.  The five of us were hell bent on being thge best female soldiers that the Army could have produced at that time, and we pushed our platoon hard.  At the end of basic training Bek ended up getting the coveted Soldier of the Cycle award for being the best overall soldier of the entire company….which was quite an achievement considering we were the first fully integrated co-ed company.  The guys were NOT happy about her getting that award.  Subsequently the Army stopped the integrated training, citing that it was not good for the male morale.  ha!  Seems the mend couldn’t take it that they had lost that coveted award to a strong woman like Bek was — and still is today.  She’s currently the Road Captain for the Patriot Guard Riders, a motorcycle group that is heavily involved in the ceremonies and funerals for veterans and various other programs for soldier returning from the multiple wars we are in right now.  She takes her position very seriously.

Bek is a great friend.  And one that I have to say has been a big influence on my life since I was 18.  Sometimes you make these life-long friends that even though you don’t have daily contact you know they are still in the most awesome excellent friends catagory for life.  Bek is one of those friends to me. We’ll be buddies until the day one of us buries the other.  I’m really lucky to have this type of friendship experience, there’s nothing like the friendship of someone who will spend nights in a muddy foxhole freezing to death with you while you are fighting not only the enemy, but a bad case of bronchitis to boot! (Yeah, that happened!).  She’s always had my back, and I’ve always got hers. Booooyaaaaa.

I find it amazing that after all these years and after we’ve spent most of our lives in very different ways…each of us walking very different paths…that we have managed to keep our friendship alive and well throughout.  We’ve always managed to keep track of each other.  Even pre-internet location services we’d track one another down by calling our respective parents to inquire.

One very fond memory that I have of Bek is New Years’ bringing in 1981…we were just two wet-behind-the-ears puppies in the world.  We had finished basic training and were on leave. When leave ended we would be separated to two different military installations for our Advanced Individual Training (AIT).  It was a hard separation on both of us, we both cried like freaking babies.  I had never had such a close friend in my life up to that point, and it didn’t feel right letting her go so far away after we had become so close.  So, it was one of those ‘defining moments’ for me.  Before we went on our ways off to our AIT assignments we decided to get together one last time in Ohio at her family’s home in Fostoria for NYE ’81.  We had a great time partying and hanging out that one last time and her family treated me like one of their eight kids, I fit right in.  After that we lost touch for several years.  And the next time I saw Bek was in Germany when her Dad visited and got us together for a reunion over there.  He was a great guy and we got along famously.

Anyway, that’s the short version of the story of one hell of a friendship, and of someone who has had a profound impact on me.  Bek inspired me to be the best that I could be as a soldier, which translated into just being the best I could always be doing whatever I was doing.  Her fierce competitive side made me want to be fierce too…I tried to be as good, or better, than she was at everything we did…I always pulled up a close second because she had a bit of height on me and was just that much more confident.  My featherweight ass was all of 5’4″ and 100 lbs. soaking wet.

Oh, and she is straight…which I didn’t care about then, nor do I care about now.  I do remember that back then I was not “out” to her about my own being gay.  It was something that I had not yet completely come to terms with myself and not sure how the hell I was going to handle it when I did. I was fearful she wouldn’t want to be my friend if she found out I was queer, so I played along and didn’t let that proverbial cat out of the bag with her until years later, once I had become more comfortable with it myself and more confident that I would only lose friends who were not really “friends” with my disclosure. By the time that I told her, she was more mature and handled it perfectly — it didn’t matter, I was still her best buddy regardless.

So I was asked about choosing 5 people from my life who made a difference in my life.  Bek is definitely one of my five.

Do you ever reconnect with old friends?  What’s your favorite part about reconnecting?

Lucky Butch

Ah, as I get my ass in gear here this Christmas morning, I realize I have nothing to complain about at all.  I have everything I need and could want here in my humble abode in Maine.  Sure, it could be warmer, but why complain?  I chose to live here, so I chose to be cold, right?  Right.

I bought myself a bunch of new clothes for Christmas.  My shirts now FIT and it’s a great feeling.   Yesterday I went out for some last minute gifts for family members, and ended up at Old Navy buying myself 2 new long sleeved button downs, and a pair of snazzy new jeans, 2 stripped short sleeve shirts…then I ended up at another place and picked up 2 MORE long sleeved button downs.  I think, that through procurement during this festive season, that I need to put a moritorium on buying myself ANYTHING for a while.  I have a ton of clothing, it’s one of my quirks.  I like clothes…nice neat, clean, plain style clothes.  I admit it I am a Butch clothes ho.  Oh, and boots…yes, I have quite a few pair of really nice boots.  I don’t like the cheap stuff, so they are high quality and will definitely outlive my white ass.  Someone in the future will get some nice clothing and boots at the thrift store after I migrate to the next life!

I bitched and complained about being alone this morning, but that’s what I chose to do, so I need to quit bitching.  I could have gone elsewhere, I didn’t have to be alone, I chose to be so.  The person I wanted to be waking up with this morning is far away…but still I didn’t need to wake to an empty house, I could have chosen other options.  I could have gone to my sister’s for the night, or gone over there this morning.  I am going to be going to my parents’ home for Christmas dinner and family gift opening later on in the day.  Until then I have this marvelous quiet, a beautiful Christmas tree to enjoy and Nola to keep me company.  I’m a lucky Butch.  Plus I have all the gifts I gave myself…clothing, new tools and a few other things.

I’ve shined my boots, and gotten nicely dressed for the day.  I’m ready to do some socializing, have a few mimosas and relax.  I need to just cut loose, and live a little here.  I need to realize that there are things that I wish were different, but I cannot change at this time, so I just learn to live with them as they are now.  And why be unhappy about it when I cannot change it?  Seems stupid to me.  I want things to work out in the future, so I must learn to be more patient now.

As these last few days of 2014 come, I am happy to be healthy, and content here.  I seriously want for nothing, and could ask for no more in this life.  I’ve had a really good 2014, and I will go into 2015 trying to make it even better.  I”m looking forward to starting off the year the right way.  My birthday is in the beginning of the year, and I’ll check off another number in the book.  53 completed years…amazing.  Again, I am one lucky, lucky Butch.   ~MB

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all out there.  It’s Christmas morning, very early, and I am up having coffee and tending to the dog who wants to eat and go out and play….and play…and play.  She’s cute in the lights of the Christmas tree, and it’s a very sweetly quiet morning here, actually too quiet.  I should be making a nice breakfast, but I’m not hungry.

Today I will pack up my gifts and head over to my parents’ home in No. Hampton, where we will have a delicious prime rib roast dinner and then have our family Christmas gift opening party.  Why the changes this year, I am just not sure, but I don’t care for the changes one bit.  It’s disrupted my Christmas spirit; derailed it to death.  I’m used to Christmas being one way since I have been doing it basically alone these last several years, one way and one way only.  I spend Christmas Eve with my parents, crash at their place, get up and have Christmas with them, and then go to my sister’s for dinner.  It’s been this way for years.  BUT, this year they changed it all around.

I was thinking this morning, as I padded around the house searching for my slippers, that next year I may consider being away for Christmas.  Anywhere, just not here.  The way my life is set up I’d rather be someplace different than be here doing this again next year.

A friend of mine is on a cross country life journey type of excursion right now.  He’s been posting tons of pictures from one end of the western US to the other.  Yesterday I believe it was grand pictures of the Grand Canyon — one of my favorite places in this world I must say.  The mornings waking up on the Grand Canyon’s rim were astounding.  There is nothing in this world like the sun rising on that place and the vivid colors all coming to life.  Nothing.  And it’s been a long time since I’ve been there….like 2005 maybe?  I don’t recall the year, but a long time ago.  Perhaps a nice long excursion through the old Route 66 once again is in my future.  Of course that would mean I need to buy a new motorcycle to make the trip worth while.

Things work out.  Somehow I manage to make them work out.  I just want things to be good and to work out well.  It’s not so much to ask I don’t think.

 

The Christmas Blues

What is the real meaning of being alone. What do each of us consider when we say that we feel alone or that we are alone? I’m sitting here tonight, my friend from the neighborhood is here, playing on her computer in the living room. We just hang this way sometimes. She comes over and she does her thing and I do mine, it’s just the fact that we aren’t completely alone, and if conversation happens, then great.

The awesome woman that I really want to be spending this time with in these evenings that are leading up to Christmas in 2 days, is so damned far far away. I’m trying to figure out how I am feeling about that right this minute. I knew this was coming, but still I don’t like it. She’s there. I am here. And when I feel strongly like I do about her, I realize that my desire to have her with me gets quite intense.

I was married for a number of years and Christmas was a big deal in our house. I love Christmas myself, but over the last few years I have spent them pretty much alone – solitary, and single. I hate to say I am getting used to it, because I never am used to it. Every year I wish I had my own special person with me; beside me and enjoying each other’s company during what is supposed to be a very festive and loving time of year. It’s hard not having that. I’m really sick of it.

But I’m not so sick of it that I will just settle for anyone to fill that void that I feel in my heart. I’ve never been an easy one to find love with, and I know it. I’m shy, picky and can be difficult in my own ways. But I am also a committed and honest son of a gun, which has got to count for something.

I’d really like to see her soon.  I’m sure it’s scary for both of us, but I think I may be the bolder one in this situation. I’m ready as hell to see her here in front of me, where I can reach our and touch her….Skype and Whatsapp only take this so far. I realize there’s a safety net with the computer…and that she and I actually come from 2 very different places in life both in lifestyle and age…it’s scary any way you look at it I suppose. But I do hope very much to meet her in person in the not too distant future.

I love that she has time for me in her days and I am totally appreciative of it…I don’t know what I would do without being able to see her for days now. I’m completely hooked. I would stay up all night just to talk to her online. I even get up at 2am for our Skype sessions sometimes, just so I can help get her day started off right…..and I know she likes to see me in the morning, so it’s a bonus for me also in getting to see her smiling face. I’m really honored that she’s attracted to me and that we get along so great. Lucky I am.

It’s hard for me to describe Mushy without using the Butch-Femme scale (we all know the scale, but I will put it in after this post.) At first I thought she was more of a 5 ½ or a 6 even, she was very much the rougher side of Femme, but definitely not Butch. After getting to know her better these last 3 months I’d say she’s more of a 4 on the scale – if I had to say. She identifies as neither, I might add. She’s referred to being one of the “normal” lesbians. Which I guess she means that part of the lesbian culture that looks fairly straight, dresses in women’s clothing mostly (not meaning just dresses, but women’s business attire, etc) and have no real idea what Butch or Femme mean, except that they’ve heard them in usually derogatory ways, and that it wasn’t a crowd that she knew. I remember trying to hang with that crowd in the 80’s…we all looked pretty much alike, dressed alike and didn’t “buy in” to the label thing at all. The words Butch, Dyke, and Androgenous were taboo, and usually used as slurs.

I gotta say, there are as many ways to be a lesbian as there are ways to be beans. It’s all just in who you are and how you are raised, and how you are genetically made up. We are each and every one of us unique in some kind of way. That’s what makes us US. While some of us are clearly lesbian, clearly Butch and very visible, (yet also invisible in some ways). We have the disadvantage of not being able to pull off hiding and blending in with a crowd at all. We are unique and we don’t want it brought to our attention much of the time.

I am tired of looking around at just Femmes or those who identify as Femme thinking they are the only viable partners for Butches. Sure they do make wonderful partners for us, and us for them. And there is this cultural understanding between the two that negates some of the uncomfortable questions that come up when you date someone that isn’t familiar with the dynamic. And you can’t blame that person who isn’t familiar for asking the questions either, it’s just normal curiosity; if she’s interested she’ll have questions about you.

I find myself to be so self conscious that I don’t ask enough questions. I wish I wasn’t so shy about it sometime. I’m always afraid that I am going to ask a question that is totally out of line or will be a put off. But eventually I do gather more courage and loosen up as you get to know me and I become more trusting of you. I also have that filter, where I am thinking about 3 thoughts at a time and I can’t speak any one of them out loud….Butches know that feeling I know!!!  The mind is a muddy place sometimes 😉

Femmes know that Butches have a hard time starting conversations. Butches are also afraid of those lesbians that don’t identify too. How do we know what we are expected to do or how we are expected to act if we don’t know which one of us is Butch and which is Femme in the interaction? THAT scares a Butch. We have this inate need to know. I’ve thought a lot about this lately, and seen it play out in my own conversation with the woman I am seeing. She doesn’t fit the Femme scale well, she’s more one of those outside of the scale. She’s a great woman, pretty, smart and super funny. We laugh and laugh together, and I just want to reach through the screen and kiss her all the time….makes me nuts.

I know that dating someone outside of the B-F spectrum is a little different for me; challenging in a very very good way. I’ve dated inside that dynamic for a long time now. My ex-wife while she didn’t particularly identify with any specific label would surely hit dead on to a 5.5 on the proverbial scale. She was feminine as hell, while she could cowgirl up and do a hella job wrangling horses or hauling trees and brush. She was pretty versatile, and I enjoyed that quite a lot. She had her virtues and I certainly had mine in the relationship. We successfully made it work for a good number of years before we grew apart. So I know I can date outside of the dynamic to some extent. I’ve even been more successful there than anywhere else. Hmm…..thought…..

So as you can tell I am thinking about being alone over the holidays, and what that will be like this year.  I am wishing like hell that she could be here with me to laugh, and snuggle and enjoy the holiday glow.   It’s all just sparked my brain to write.  So ye are the subjects of my torture, dear readers.  🙂

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

So my dear readers, I know quite a few of you identify as Butch or Femme, what do you think?

Can we date outside of the dynamic seriously?

What kind of obstacles can you see with dating someone who doesn’t know B-F as a lifestyle?

I’m curious about what you have to say.

Rock on…… ~MB~

Can We Re-invent Butch?

The passing of Leslie Feinberg has opened up whole new conversations surrounding Butch and Transmasculine identity.

I would like to share in parts of that conversation here and I think it’s appropriate that this blog is called Butch 2.0, it’s time to reinvent a new Butch, a 2015 Butch and it’s time to take back our identity, to wake up and for us to ban together and form a more cohesive union. It’s time to recogize the Femme in the Butch/Femme relationship, and not just focus on the Butch.

I reached to buy a new copy of Stone Butch Blues today online, and was astonished to find the cheapest copy on Barnes & Noble for a little over $67 usd for the reprint in paperback…so even the booksellers have realized the commodity of that book; the book that changed so many lives over the decades. A book about the 1960’s that resonates in 2014. I also found collector copies on eBay for over $269. usd which is ridiculous. I want the book again, but I’m not willing to pay scalper prices for it. I will wait.

So what does reinventing Butch look like in 2015 and beyond? What have we learned from everything to this point?

We talk about “Old Fashioned, Old School” Butches (and Femmes, but I shall focus on the Butch side for this piece). OFOS was a term coined by someone on one of the 90’s Butch-Femme social networking sites (perhaps, Butch-Femme.com? I am not sure) It meant that those who followed the OFOS “rules” would look, act and be like those Butches of yore. They were to be stone, tough, mean and commanding. Yet they knew how to “treat a lady” as it was said. Stone was a prerequisite it seemed, if you weren’t stone you couldn’t possibly be OFOS because they were ALL stone, meaning they all averted sexually intimate touch. (make a glossary)

I get asked a million questions about being Butch. I am lousy in verbal expression. I’m much better with written word, and the time to formulate my words. When I am put on the spot to answer an out of the blue sort of question I am often at a loss for the right words.

The world changes and so do we. Very few Butches today live truly as OFOS Butches, unless they are still of the age to recall such people, or if they are very well into the history of the Butch/Femme movement in lesbian history. The days of back door entries into the honkey tonks that would hide them, the cross dressing Butches that had to look like men to be safer in the world. Those who were beaten for not wearing at least 3 pieces of female clothing, those were the OFOS Butches of yore.

Today we have a new Butch. Once that’s more comfortable in Levi’s jeans, Timberland work boots and flannel shirts. Sunday or wedding dress up is a nicely taylored suit and tie. Haircuts are almost standardly crew in nature. Hoodie sweatshirts will work until the temperature drops below 30F, then we need to don that leather jacket or Carhardtt foremens coat. It’s the pretty typical look for the New England style Butch for sure. At least in my world. There are just certain things that are practical in life and a good Butch is one of them.

Oh there are variations…the cargo shorts and polo shirt with Nike’s types…younger, maybe a baseball hat on cocked to one side and a lip piercing….I’m young, cutting edge and ready to roll. That’s what that look says to me. They’re cute and I want them all for little brothers.

Then there are the super snappy dressers, who I can tell a mile away that they have very little common sense or experience. They may have experience with having it easy picking up women, but once the women figure out that they are more into themselves than anything or anyone else, they drop them pretty hot. I never wonder why they are single, it’s just obvious to me.

There is beginning to form a group of Butches that have had top surgery or a major top side reduction. This was a big topic in 2014. I had mine done in August. I know I got both good and bad feedback on that move..but did it does it make me any more or less Butch? Some say it does, some say it’s an afront to my female body, some say by doing it I want to be in transition to be a guy, and some say hey, it’s your body do what you want. Lots of us who are choosing this surgery are getting the same kind of feedback I am sure. There are entire hateful blogs and vlogs concerning how evil getting top surgery is. They’ll scare ya to death unless you understand the truth that it’s just cosmetic surgery and it’s up to the person who wants it, period. For me it was the best thing I ever did for myself. I was uncomfortable with my chest for years, and now I am completely comfortable. I love having my shirt off and it’s so comfortable to sleep half naked….yeah, it makes me much more happy and comfortable with my body in general.

I do hope that maybe we can have more conversation about this among more Butch bloggers. I’d really like to know other experiences and the such around top surgery.

CALL OUT!!!! I would like to know all of the very BEST in Butch and Trans-masculine writing on the web, blogs, vlogs, whatever and wherever. If you know of any please put them or links in the comments below or contact me directly. I am trying to work on compiling a really thorough list of excellent resource blogs and bloggers interested in community participation.

Solitary Christmas

What is it about Butches and being solitary creatures. Even myself, I am just this solitary entity, lives alone and chooses to be alone most of the time out of sheer comfort of not having to deal with the world and all the bullshit that goes along with pulling one’s boots on and walking out that door. I need a good dose of Butch comraderie, bonding some kind of interaction with my own people would be really well received right about now.

It’s 2 days before Christmas. I’m a bit sullen. I realize once again in these recent years I will basically spend Christmas alone. I mean I can go to family’s houses, I can visit relatives and eat dinner with my parents and siblings – and their significant others. That’s the problem, I haven’t had anyone that I could personally share a holiday of any kind with in a very long time. I am surrounded by bodies, but still lonely in my heart. And it makes me wonder what I am doing so fucking wrong. People say, oh you could have had someone with you…and while I know they are right I also know it’s not who I wish so hard that I could have had with me through these special holidays.

I try not to get too excited about Christmas or New Years’ anymore, and its really because of this being alone thing. There’s just no one close to me enough here that I want to celebrate with, spend time with and be Christmas cheery with. The young lady that I wish was here with me is with her family on the other side of the ocean, and I hope she’s having a good time, I really do.

Family is really important during the holidays. But there comes a time when you sort of want your own piece of the family unit. One that is you and your partner and then who you choose to share your holiday cheer with from there is up to the two of you. I hate that there is the expectation that we have to got to our respective nuclear family abodes for holiday gatherings. I guess it’s just tradition.

My Christmas has been pretty much the same the last few years of me being alone. I spend the night at my parents home, we get up and have breakfast, open presents and then get ready for the day. Often we go visiting to my other sibling’s homes – they all have children, and I do not – makes it easier on them if the kids don’t have to travel. I’m sure those while small children – hell even medium ones – can understand what I am saying here. Kids want to stay home and play with their new Christmas loot. This year I am staying home by myself on Christmas eve….this is a first for me in many years. I am not sure how I exactly feel about this right now. It’s just setting in, as I just got the news. I was expecting to be at my parents as usual, but Christmas seems to be changed up this year and all my siblings, save 1 sister, will be at my parents for dinner on Christmas day and then we are all going to open presents there after dinner…..This is totally backwards to what I have always known and done.

I’m not so sure I like the change. It would help me forget that I am desitined it seems sometimes to ride on as the lone fuckin ranger. I’m so tired of it it’s not even funny.

I spend quite a lot of great time Skyping with my mushball friend in Spain….she’s got me really captured for sure. I’d do about anything to get her to come visit. If it wasn’t for us staying in close touch with Whatsapp and Skype I’d never had had the oppotuatunity to get to know this awesome woman. The more I know her, the more we laugh and talk about silly stuff, or serious stuff the more I fall for her. She’s very special to me, and I hope we hang out together for a good long time. I look at here and I can really get lost in her, and her voice calms me so much…yeah, I like her one hell of a lot.