Tuesday Thoughts…Puerto Rico

I have been pretty much confined to my house for the last 4-5 days because of the pain and discomfort in my right shoulder, collarbone and both arms.  It’s been driving me batshit crazy.  I’m not accustomed to being held down by physical limitations like this.  But, it has given me time to get some writing done, attend to emails, organize my paperwork on my desk and do much inner reflecting.  I’ve basically spent far too much time in my own head!  I can basically recite the news broadcasts because I’ve watched them so much, over and over.  Yes, far, far too much time alone and secluded in my house!

I’ve been consuming coffee and smoking way too much as well.  That’s one of the drawback of being at home, in one place, for too long a period of time.  I’ve done a huge amount of reading and studying, as I am trying to educate myself about some new stuff to write about and I’d like the article to sound intelligent at least!

I’ve spent some time looking into new investments and venues of enterprise.  I got a couple of tips on making some investments that I am seriously considering.  I will be sure to share more on that at a later date, once things are more finalized with it.  But I must say, it’s really exciting stuff!

I’ve been keeping up with Facebook and Twitter feeds, which have been inundated with stuff about Trump and the NFL.  What everyone SHOULD be most concerned with at this moment is Puerto Rico.  That poor country, which is also a US Territory and who’s citizens are American citizens, is really in bad shape.  Hurricane Maria, on top of Irma a mere few days beforehand, really devastated the country.  I don’t think we have seen the real extent of the horror there because it’s still very difficult to get TV crews onto the island nation to report on what’s going on!  Plus, there is a severe shortage of food, water, medical supplies, medication, and basic living needs.  Travel within Puerto Rico is very limited due to washed out roads, downed power lines, downed trees and debris.  So, until someone can really get in there more deeply to show us on TV what is actually happening we are pretty much left to guess and depend on sporadic reports and first hand accounts.  Our “president” (I use the title loosely) isn’t doing a damned thing for Puerto Rico, period.  His words yesterday when asked about it were very demeaning to the country, saying they were in debt, and basically they were on their own.  He said they would get around to dealing with sending federal assistance “maybe mid-October”.  Do you believe that?  Puerto Rico is an American territory and has 3.5 million American citizens living there….and he doesn’t care!!!!

This is a link to PBS article about how you can directly help Puerto Rico.  It lists the main organizations helping.  I urge you to read this and act if you are able.  They really need our help.  If I can get healthy soon I am going to try to volunteer with VOAD if possible.  I’m sure it will be a few weeks before I am healed from the surgery that I need right now, but once that is done I plan to do more volunteering of my time with agencies like VOAD.

Ah, yes, surgery.  The MRI and x-rays that I had taken last week came back and the results were not good at all.  It seems that my neck and cervical spine area thinks that I am 85 not 55!  Because of degenerating discs, arthritis and a narrowing of the opening where the nerves go through my spinal cord and nerves are being constricted.  This is causing me to have pain and tingling and numbness in both arms and hands.  I also am having bad shoulder pain, be until I see the doctor on Thursday to set up the surgery I won’t know if that is part of the nerves being constricted or not.  I’m hopeful that surgery by a specialist will help to fix the problem and eliminate this pain and discomfort.  I am also hoping that the procedure won’t disable me completely for too long.  I hate laying in bed and doing nothing.  I know there will be a recovery time, but I’m hoping it will be as short as possible.  It’s a bitch getting old.  Haha…no seriously, it is!!!

The weather here in Maine right now is as hot as southern Florida.  It’s been in the low 90’s the last 3 days…and we got 2 more to go the weather person says!  I’ve been keeping things cool with the help of my overhead fan in the living room and fans in each bedroom.  That along with keeping the shades half drawn has kept most of the heat outside.  I should mow my lawn – one more time – but it’s just too hot.  Maybe tonight after 6pm it will cool down and I can get it done.  Only takes me about 30-45 minutes to mow it all.  And it only requires me to steer and walk behind it.  I have a self-propelled mower, so it’s easy to mow.  I thought my last mow was going to do it for the season, but then we got a bunch of rain just before all of this sunshine and high temps, so the grass took to growing again, nice and lush green!

I have made my website public.  I’ve been working on a basic site with GoDaddy.  It’s not finished by any means, but it’s up and live at: http://www.butchperspectives.godaddysites.com if you would like to check it out.  I have a more “grand plan” for it in the long run, but right now I am just working on getting a working site up and running.  You can sign up on the site for updates, etc. if you wish.  And I appreciate any feedback you would like to offer up!  I’m always looking for new ideas, new products, and fun stuff to do, so please if you have suggestions let me know! Eventually the site will become a dot com site, but for now I am leaving it associated with GoDaddy for convenience in editing.

It’s early afternoon here now and I need to go do those errands I mentioned earlier.  Thanks for stopping by to read me and also Thank YOU for being a subscriber and reader of my blogs!  I truly appreciate every single one of you!!!

What would you like to see me write about?

~Peace~   ~MB

 

 

 

 

 

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Role Models

So, I got up on Monday and made the decision in my head to drag my ass out of the stupid funk that I had gotten into, change my attitude and to have a good week.  And…it worked.  I’ve been very upbeat all week.  And tonight I even invited my parents over to my place for a small backyard cookout.  It was awesome.  They even seemed to relax and enjoy themselves.  The place looks mighty good, and they were pretty impressed with all the work I have done and how it looked.  That made me very proud and put a big smile on my face.

For my whole life I have been trying to please my father.  I don’t know why; perhaps it’s because he is my father and I have the utmost respect for the man.  As a young person I envied him, emulated him and secretly wanted to be just like him.  Of course I was too young to understand all that that really entailed – like now I know I don’t want to be just like him.  He’s politically my polar opposite, and I could never go there.  But as a man of principles and eithics I always put him on a pedestal and tried to live up to what he wanted…or what I thought that he wanted from me.  In my 30’s I realized this constant need to please my father had been a real problem for me all of my life.  Therapy opened that door for me and taught me a lot.  Yet, still today it gives me much pleasure when he is pleased with me for some reason.  I’m sure the therapist would have a lot to say about it still.  I also fear the man immensely.  I fear his anger, his disapproval and his hate.  I avoid him most of the time, but there is a part of me that would really like to be closer to the guy.  It’s an emotional rollercoaster for me, one I am sure I will continue to deal with until the end.

Role models are important to young people.  When I was growing up I had my parents as role models.  Like any child I watched them intently and copied those things that I admired in them.  My Dad was a super strong dude, a Marine, then a cop, then a builder and business owner.  He is the epitomy of masculinity.  As a youngster I already understood that I was attracted to women, I thought at the time that I was supposed to be a boy and some mistake had been made.  I felt like a boy.  I acted like a boy.  I tried to copy the masculine traits of my father.  Many times I remember standing in the bathroom door watching him shave.  Is there really anything more masculine than shaving your face?  I think not.  Each pass of the razor over his face would make this “szzzh” sound as whiskers yielded under the sharp blade.  I always wanted to shave…to make that sound and feel the razor on my skin.  Of course, this desire kind of dissipated as I grew older.  I eventually became aware that I am female and that wasn’t going to change, but that I could still be as masculine as I felt and that it’s okay to just be me.

I get notes from younger LGBT people occasionally talking about how they need good role models in their lives.  Often these kids are secluded in more rural parts of the country where there isn’t a visible gay community of any kind for them to reach out to.

I sympathize with them because when I was growing up I didn’t have any other lesbians around me to reach out to either.  Always knowing that I was different from the other girls I hung out with, and hiding it like hell.  I wish that I had had role models, that I could have come out at a younger age and not had to go through all the crap that I put myself through when I was struggling with my own sexuality, thinkin I was going to hell and that I was some kind of freak.  It would have helped me to know that I wasn’t alone in the world, like I felt I was.

In today’s world we have the opportunity to BE good role models for those young LGBT people coming up behind us.  They are watching us.  They want to know what to do, how to do it and what needs to be done.  They want to carry on the legacy, the pride and the fight for equality.  We need to be aware of them; encourage them and nurture them.  It is our job to show them the way and to explain to them where we have been; where we came from.  We need to remember that the world has become more open than it ever was when we were growing up and coming into our own as adults.  There are new dangers out there now with the internet and globalization of things.  But there are still the old dangers too…the hate, the hippocracy, the homophobia and the violence.  Keep them alert, aware and yet don’t embed them with unnecessary fear of being themselves.

We each have a story, a history, and a way of being in this crazy world, it’s important to pass that knowledge on to the future.  In being role models we need to tell our stories, tell how we dealt with things, how hard it was and how rewarding it is.  We need to pass on the pride of the LGBT community; pride in overcoming so many obstacles and in living loving lives despite much of the world being against us.  And show them that you can lead a great, productive and contributing life no matter who you identify as.

So that is what I think about when I think about being a role model to younger LGBT individuals.  I want our community to be more cohesive, to come together and to be a stronger voice for all.  And I want those who are younger to realize that community is important and supporting one another is vital to our mutual survival.  What do you think?  Are you being a good role model for those who look up to you in life?

Peace.  ~MB

The Gender Revolution?

It used to be so much more simple!  It used to be that you were either gay or straight, period.  Or at least that is how it was in my world growing up in the 60’s/70’s and partying my ass off in the gay bars in the 80’s…it used to be easier I believe.  I’m not knocking anyone’s gender or orientation choice here, just saying that it’s gotten VERY confusing for me.  I was just reading this article on npr.org titled “A New Generation Overthrows Gender” by Jon Brooks.  It was posted on Facebook, thus I clicked the link and knew I was in a world of word trouble immediately. 

First word I came across that is fairly new to me is “agender” – which according to the article means neither ale nor female.  The particular person in the article used the pronoun “they” instead of he or she.  Ok, so I am really, really trying to be okay with this.  I am really trying not to be internally phobic, or form an immediate opinion – because I know I don’t like it when people do that to me.  BUT I just don’t get it. 

Second word I came across related to this is “Transgender”.  Thank God.  A word that I know and can understand to some degree.  Transgender meaning someone who has changed from one gender to the opposite gender.  Transitioned.  More on this later. 

Third hurdle here “gender-fluid”…which means (according to kid in the article) that you feel like a guy or girl at different times.  I can somewhat relate to this.  There are definitely times for me that I get this twinge of feeling like a girl, but normally I just feel like a guy – although I know I’m a girl.  Confused yet? 

Fourth stumper “non-binary gender” meaning not female and not male according to the binary gender scale.  I’ll see if I can locate a picture of that old scale before I publish this.  But it’s like if you give Female a 1 and Male a 10, and you rate where in the scale you may fall or feel that you fall. 

Near the end of the article they bring up “gender non-conforming” – which I can definitely fully relate to.  I am one who does not conform to the gender norms of female.

And of course we have the weird word “cisgender” meaning you identify as you were sexed at birth – either male or female.   

Then it dives into Gender Vs. Sexual orientation Vs. biology….yes, it gets very in-depth for a minute here:

“Gender identity is different from gender expression, being different from biology” says Adam Chang, a consultant with Gender Spectrum, a provider or gender identity resources and services in Berkeley, CA.  “Identity is what you know in your heart and mind, and expression is external – hair, makeup, roles you take on in society.

“Biology of course, means physical attributes that have always been used as a proxy for gender,” Chang says.  “And all of those are different from sexual orientation.”

((HOLY SHIT BATMAN!))

Chang goes on to put it this way:  “Sexuality is in and of itself not enough information to reveal a person’s gender identity.”

I am 55 years old.  I am Butch.  I have said before that Butch is my identity.  Lesbian is my sexuality. Female is my gender.  Even THAT feels confusing at times.  I’m SURE it is confusing to those who don’t know me, or anyone like me.  Simply put, I’m a Butch Lesbian.  Lesbians are women (females) who prefer relationships with other women (females).  Or so it is in my world today.  There are so many new words that I can’t possibly keep up anymore.  Especially living in rural America where most of my contact with the rest of the LGBT world is via the internet.  Where we have no real “formed community” to fall back on or to learn alongside. 

I have seen a LOT lately about our youth and transitioning genders.  It worries me a little because the human brain is not fully developed until around the age of 25.  This is part of why we make so many stupid choices and dumb decisions when we are in our teens.  I’m afraid that if kids (under 21) are looking at things like transitioning physically with surgery and drugs that they will be doing things that are not reversible in their young futures.  AND I personally just don’t think they are old enough to be doing things like surgery or hormones. 

THAT is my personal opinion on it.  I understand that we are seeing a sort of “gender revolution” happening, that kids have access to all sorts of information that we did not have when I was growing up.  I never even knew the word “transgender” existed or that people could even change genders if they wanted to.  Sure, I was a tomboy, and there were times I am sure that I wished I was a boy, but I am happy with being a woman today and who know what I would have done had I known or had the means as a kid to change my gender.  It would have been a tough one for me I bet.  So, in many ways I am happy to have grown up when I did before all of this revolution and changing stuff came to the surface. 

I have young female friends who are considering transition.  One, in particular that I am thinking about.  I have been trying to be a good Butch role model and influence, answering questions and being a bouncing board for her venting.  But she is edging closer and closer to transitioning.  She’s now 17, I’m just not convinced that she should make that kind of a life altering decision before she’s 25.  Now, saying that I don’t see any harm in her presenting as she wishes.  I am just against early surgery or hormones. 

I know some will disagree with me.  It’s the elephant in the room sometimes even.  I am not anti-trans, and I have many trans friends who I love dearly for exactly who they are.  I respect their choices and decisions.  But most of them that I know made those decisions in adulthood, not in a pre-pubescent fog of “who am I?” or on a whim to fit in with the “in” crowd, or do the new fun thing. 

My fear is that the kid does this, transitions, and then at 25 the kid looks at every adult in her life and gets very angry at them for not stopping things until she was really old enough to make that kind of life-altering decision.  Know what I mean?  Adults are supposed to protect kids from themselves; from making irreversible mistakes, and what if transitioning turned out to be just that mistake that the kid makes and regrets at maturity?  I would hate to be in those shoes. 

Kids are maturing way faster than ever in todays world.  Information travels at lightening speed through the internet and across the world wide web.  We know things that we never knew, and probably never would have known, had it not been for the interenet – some good and some bad.  I think it’s great to explore sexuality and gender and to discuss our views based on the information at hand.  I just hope these kids today are doing their research and not just following a fad that could leave indelible marks.

The rest of the article goes on to talk about suicide rates (40% of trans-identified people attempt suicide), sexuality, and society.  It seems that while many more people are adopting identities of various names across the gender spectrum, that fewer are actually physically transitioning now.  Perhaps that is because we are making it okay to be who you are without having to completely change your body.  All in all it’s a very good article that everyone should take 20 minutes to read and gain some knowledge from.  I do think it’s very cool that kids are encouraged to live as their authentic selves, to express themselves and to be who they ARE in the world.   

So, check out the article and let me know what YOU think.  Peace.  ~MB

This is a highly controversial topic and I respect that everyone has their own opinions and views.  Please be respectful of everyone reading if you comment, which I invite you to do, below. 

Trump’s Latest Anti-LGBT Move…

People line Christopher Street during a gathering of the LGBTQ community and supporters protesting U.S. President Donald Trump's agenda in Manhattan

Roger Severino has been given the position as chief of the Office for Civil Rights in the Health and Human Services (HHS) department of our government, working directly under HHS secretary Tom Price.

THIS, dear friends, is NOT good for the LGBT community.  This is a direct threat to all of the rights that we have fought so damned hard for, the major one coming to mind is marriage equality.  Severino and Price are BOTH historically anti-LGBT in their rhetoric and actions.

Putting these two people at the helm of the ship when it comes to all civil rights is a very dangerous thing to minority groups.  Of the LGBT in particular Severino and Price do not believe the discrimination is an issue for us.  Really?

These appointments are more fine examples of how inconsiderate, hateful and trigger happy the president and his administration are.  Who appoints someone who hates gays to an office that has the duty to investigate and possibly prosecute the abuse of LGBT civil rights?  Someone who hates us to begin with: Donald Trump.

Yes, the great old orange idiot did this to us.  If you are an LGBT Republican and you voted for this guy I hope you are happy now.  Or will you be happier when they strip our right to marry away?  They’re going to try to do it, just you wait and see.  Either way, these appointments send dangerous signals that they would bring someone to protect our rights to the table that so adamantly denies there are problems and the we even need protection.

“Severino won’t be able to roll back protections overnight, and his office will still be required to look into every civil rights complaint. But he will have some discretion in terms of deciding what to prioritize, and what kind of resources to invest. (HHS Secretary Tom Price also has a history of opposing LGBTQ rights.”  Huffington Post, 3-27-17

 

 

Is this really 2017?

I feel like we are heading in a backwards direction.  One would think that in 2017 we would have stopped arguing and fighting against stupid shit.  But no…

It’s the weirdest thing to sit and watch everything unfold with Trump.  To watch him lie and awkwardly spin things is just something I NEVER thought would come from a US President.  To have the White House tell you that you should believe the lies because he is the leader, and what he says must be true – even when it’s proven to be an outright lie.  His supporters are buying it like idiots, even as they witness reality unfolding in real-time.

We have an illegitimate president who is now being investigated for his ties to Russia.  Russia?!  The big bad Bear.  I served in the US Army, stationed in Germany, during the “Cold War” and Russia was our biggest threat to world security.  Unless I have missed something in the past 35 years, they still ARE the biggest threat!  And to think that they influenced our election in any way is just plain scary.  They are some ruthless and smart fuckers; their reach is astounding and Americans cannot ever let their guard down or underestimate the Russians.

Two months into his presidency Trump’s administration is failing badly.  They want you to think they are oblivious and they are succeeding, but with a popularity rating of 37% after 2 months, he’s losing ground fast.  The investigation into the Russian meddling into our election and his Twitter lies about wire tapping have driven him down this week.  His Trumpcare bill goes for a vote on Thursday, and today he went to the hill to threaten his Republican constituents that if they did not vote it in that he would go after them in the next election, that basically they were under orders to pass this bill no matter what.  This bill will decimate our health care system, and millions will suffer the fate of no coverage.  Even Republicans can’t stomach that, at least the ones with a conscience.  Even the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) says that this plan is not a good one.  What more do we need?  Major changes to this bill must be made before it goes any further.  If he wants to change Obamacare then do it so that it’s better not worse.

I just wonder how these politicians can sit up there on Capitol Hill and not see what we as Americans are seeing; not hearing what we are hearing.  It just blows me away. What do they know that we do not know?  This government has gotten so secretive in the last 60 days, it’s scary as fuck.  I don’t trust a one of then anymore.  None are working in favor of the people, all are just covering their own asses – and it’s fucking obvious!!!  So, I ask, HOW DO we stop this madness?

I am going to try to put my LINK to my online paper here.  The Relevant Times publishes daily on Paper.Li and is full of information concerning the LGBT community and politics in the US.  It’s kind of an experiment for me right now; something I am hoping will be fun and informative to my followers. Let me know what you think.  I do not hand pick the articles, I trust my sources and have selected those I believe bring us the most up to date stuff.  Let me know what else I could include in the paper, or if you have a trusted source you think I could draw content over to it from.  Most of my current content is coming over from Twitter at this time, and this will expand once I am more secure in the publication.

 

 

 

Closet or Not?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic, I watched a video on YouTube about whether it’s okay or not to stay “in the closet” about your sexuality if you are LGBT forever or not.  This gave me a lot to think about because I am currently talking to someone who IS living in the closet, and I am not.

Personally I  could never live my life permanently in the closet.  I can’t imagine what that would be like.  I can’t imagine being afraid that someone would “find me out” and what it would mean if they did.  I have lived most of my life out and proud.  It’s just the way it happened for me.  I came out to my family when I was getting out of the Army, around 22 yrs old, and I have never looked back and thought I shouldn’t have done it.  It’s made my life so much more enriched and so much easier as I have never had to hide anything about my true identity.

Coming out is a very personal thing.  I’ve never been a big believer in a particularly “loud” coming out.  I think they way that I did it, by coming out to people on an “as needed” basis was right for me.  I know some people really want to make a big deal out of it, but I am a more private person and never felt it was a big deal at all.  It is just who I am.  In my way of thinking my sexuality is no one’s business but my own.  If the need to tell someone that I am a gay woman comes up, it’s because they are either questioning me about it or they are wanting to “fix me up” with their male friend.  Never have I found it necessary to just come out to anyone without reason.  My family had reason because I am close to them and they see who I spend all of my time with and when I am most happy in the company of another woman.  They needed to know.

So, I am becoming very attached to this woman, Beach Babe, that I’ve been talking to and I have been thinking about what it would be like to be dating someone who is “in the closet.”  She lives quite a ways from me, so it’s not like we have had to deal with this yet.  But when we are together what will it be like for me? For her?  Will she be afraid that she will be seen with me and be found out?  How has she handled this in the past?  Has she ever been with someone who is so blatantly out like I am?  Who lives their lives as an openly lesbian woman?  Who is so Butch that they cannot hide and whoever they are with will be deemed to be gay as well?  These are all questions I have about this.  I haven’t seriously gotten into any sort of a deep conversation with her about it.

I understand that she has lived closeted all of her life because of religious views of her and her family, and now because she fears losing her job.  She has a job working with teenagers, and fears that if their parents knew or the boss knew that she is lesbian that it would cause problems and maybe cause her to lose her job.  I couldn’t even imagine what that must feel like; what it would be like to have to hide part of myself like that.

She seems to think it’s not a big deal.  But we haven’t been with each other in public so I don’t know exactly how far in the closet she is.  I guess I will find out when we meet in May.  I will NOT like hiding myself.  I will NOT do it.  There is no way I can “act” or “look” straight, like she does.  I don’t know if she has ever dated a Butch like me; a Butch who looks the whole stereotypical part.  Does she understand that to be seen with me is to be “seen”?

Can I date someone who is still in the closet at 46?  I am not 100% sure.  But I really like this woman and do want to find out.  The other piece of this is the distance thing.  Guess she and I have some conversations to have…

 

Early Morning Rantings!

Once again I am awakened at 2am, just am not meant to sleep like a normal person should right now.  I wake up and I am just…up…no going back to sleep in the immediate future.

I had a really great conversation with a great woman that I have been talking to lately.  It wasn’t an easy chat at all, but it was good for both of us I believe.  I confided in her a good bit about my addiction history, and she didn’t go running away like a scared cat. Addiction is not an easy topic to navigate and I admire her for her inquisitiveness on the topic, as it is a big part of who I am and why I am.  I look forward to more conversations with her, about everything.  She is someone I very much want to keep in my life.  🙂

Today was a bit hectic, but seriously productive. I worked til 1pm and then got together with my best friend and went to do our Friday afternoon errands around town.  Every Friday we have a ritual of doing this.  It’s called living paycheck to paycheck.  We get paid, go out and pay our bills, do the shopping for our respective households and take care of whatever else needs doing in town.  It is a struggle sometimes, but I make it work somehow.  And I realize that there are millions of others who are making it work this way as well.  It’s not easy in today’s economy or job market to do it any other way – especially if you don’t have a college education to fall back on, which I don’t.  Sometimes it feels likeI am always trying to play catch up on things, but hey, that’s just how it is.  I do alright.

I visited Trader Joe’s grocery this afternoon, I love that place!  I actually requested an employment application when I was checking out, and the woman who checked me out told me it was a super great place to work.  Everyone in there seems pretty pleasant and happy to be there, so they must enjoy the job.  I love the diversity of people in the place, from old hippies, to housewives, to young dykes, it’s just a palate of different people. They must have a really good company equality policy.  I am going to research the company a bit just to be sure that I would be a good fit there.

I also visited Staples office supply store on my excursion about town.  I needed a ream of copy paper.  They had a really good deal on some excellent quality paper that I had to take advantage of!  That is another place I could picture myself working.  Although a bit more “stuffy” than Trader Joe’s eclectic atmosphere, it would be fun.  I was in the corporate business world for many years and used to frequent the place quite a bit for supplies for my company.  I imagine working with people who were doing the same thing would be right up my alley in skill sets. And being the techno nerd that I am, I can imagine I would probably reinvest in the company and that might not be a good idea!  I’d be buying stuff like crazy.

Meanwhile, in Trumpy-land the Twitterverse is running wild with Trumpy stuff.  This Russian connection thing is really getting out of hand, Jeff Sessions needs to resign and a full investigation needs to ensue.  It just has to happen to put this subject into some sort of understandable terms. I was Tweeting with a friend in Texas who is petrified right now.  Being our age and queer isn’t going to be an easy path under Trump as he keeps going along with ripping away our rights and equalities.  It’s also just plain scary as an American, not withstanding being a part of the LGBTQ community!   Everyone seems to feel the impending doom of being attacked in some way by all of the executive orders and wild things that Trump and his team are doing or proposing to do.  I know I’m fucking scared.

Living in Maine has some pretty unique advantages.  Where I live especially because geographically it’s a great spot.  Right between Boston Mass, and Portland Maine.  I can be at the beach in 5 minutes, in the White Mountains in less than an hour and to either of the two cities in about 45 minutes.  Geographically it’s fucking perfection.  Maine also has a good equality rating. I just read an article in the Bangor Daily News about Maine being at the top when it comes to gender equality.  We also have good protections for the LGBTQ citizens here too.  I am glad that I live in this type of state.  From personal experience I can say that there IS really good gender equality.  Maine women are a fierce and tough lot.  Especially those from “down” Maine, which is actually upstate Maine…it’s a Maine thing…those women are hardened by the lifestyle of living in a very rural state, where you have to be fairly tough to survive.  I live in the more populated area, it’s a bit easier to navigate life here, but my cousins are down Mainers’ and they are not to be messed with.  The women are equal to the men up there in so many ways, they do equal work and expect equal pay. And truth be known, I believe they run the whole fucking show!  I have a healthy respect for my down Maine women cousins. They take no prisoners.

I hope your weekend is a great one!  Signing off from southern Maine….Peace!  ~MB