A Bridge Too Cool

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Nuclear "Age"

We are all "nuclear", really.  From the sun(fusion), and the rays it emits and sends out our way(going through you right now!! :o), to the uranium, etc. here(since 4.5 billion BC!) in the earth and seas and stuff, and from now, or since around 1942(I think) when scientists(yep, and they're human too! Right? :D) discovered and started the processes of harnessing and developing nuclear energy, it's all been here for like, ever.  But, of course, now that way have had, at least somewhat, "control" of such forces, for the past 70-ish years, and all the good and bad that has come from it all...and, we obviously can't put the "genie back in the bottle", what should we do with it and where do we go from here?  Hey, don't look at me, and besides, I don't even look like a scientist(some of them are kinda cute though :D), but yes, like most of you, I am concerned/worried(some anyway) about things nuclear, and really, in all the ways we generate energy and power for our toasters, Segways and power plants, and maybe, possibly, from this catastrophe and continuing high emergencies at and near those Japanese nuclear reactors, the whole world and it's peoples(yes, even Qaddafy :-/) will, finally, seriously begin debating where we all go from here, energry-wise.  Or, not.  I think we'll have to though eventually, and nuclear power/energy may always be a part of our energy "equation", and maybe "they" (not me, I still can't figure how they get dried corn syrup in my multi-vitamin :-\ ) will eventually figure out a better, safer way to produce such energy(not to mention the waste it produces and what to do with it all(WHEW, a whole other problem!!)), and of course, we("they") need to also continue to work on and improve current "courriers" of energy, and of course continue to invest in and develop more "clean"(solar, wind, squirrels running on belts in cars, etc...clean"er" anyway ;)) (conserving and recycling helps some too!)energy technologies.  Now, of course if the "world ends" sometime this year or next(I read those stories but I never seem to quite believe them...yes I know, possibly at my peril. :-( ), all the concerns about world energy won't mount to a hill of beans.  Except of course to our friends the cockroaches.  So "they" say. ;-)

So anyway, that's about all I know about any of this stuff.  Here's a couple of links that may help with the "basics":  

Me, I'd rather listen to the music:

"over me and over you, stuck together with God's glue,
it's going to get stickier too…."

☮ 'n ♥,

Sunday, January 23, 2011

♫ California Dreamin'(on such a winter's day....) ♫

And that was what I was doing a year ago, back in Illinois....colllldddd, snowy, frigid, dreary Illinois....well, it wasn't all that bad really, but at the same time, I was born and raised there, enjoyed a good family upbringing there, went to school there, had great friends there, worked there, was confused(about gender-related "things") there, for a long time...and, thankfully, finally(well, I think so), "figured all that out" there....and ate, slept, dreamed, got into troubles(not all that much though, heehee), learned to drive there, learned sickness(or how to deal with it) there, learned(though I guess much comes naturally really) to care for my parents there...and, found love, twice, there....and so very much more of course, since that's where I had lived, for practically all of my life, until this past September, when all those "dreams", came true, and now that I'm here, in the Golden State(or is it the Bear State?), I hope to do the best I can to fulfill all those dreams I had about living here.  And yes, I know, any type of successes in my life will come from what I do(with help if needed of course) with my life, and not where I live.  But yet, at the same time, I think that, finally, being here, and living here, will be of some help.  It's hard to explain, exactly, what I mean by that, but I believe that all those dreams I've had "of a better life" out here, have helped, or at least they were one of the reasons I kept going, kept trying to move forward, despite some of the difficulties I've experienced over time.  It may have taken more time to get here than I had originally planned, but I'm here now, and I must make the best of it!  And, thank you all, especially my California-based friends, and family too, for all of your inspiration, support and love. ♥

♫ So baby dry your eyes, save all the tears you've cried....Oh, that's what dreams are made of.... ♫

Thursday, January 20, 2011

An Inspirational Letter For the Ages

A couple of days ago, I was watching an outstanding documentary  ("King" dvd) on the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and as the program arrived at the part about the time when Dr. King spent 9 days in that Birmingham, Alabama jail cell, and as portions of the famous letter he wrote while there were described, I decided to stop the dvr and search for his speech online...and, I didn't recall ever reading(ashamedly) this speech, though I knew of it, so I clicked on the very first entry I found on the search page, of which of course is below.  To say that this letter is "powerful", doesn't begin(at least to me) to describe what it's meant to the world since it's release, especially of course to the African-American community.  And, I cannot begin  to compare what I am doing now in my life(transitioning, etc.) to the centuries long painful struggles(to put it mildly) the African-American peoples have endured, and still do, but I do believe I can receive much inspiration, when I may need it, from reading this letter from this heroic human.  Anyway, I hope you can also watch the documentary, which I believe will give you a better perspective on this amazing letter.  
I want to thank Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar for posting this letter here.
"Letter from a Birmingham Jail [King, Jr.]"

16 April 1963
My Dear Fellow Clergymen:
While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.
I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against "outsiders coming in." I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here.
But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.
Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.
You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city's white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.
In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action. We have gone through all these steps in Birmingham. There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community. Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. On the basis of these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the latter consistently refused to engage in good faith negotiation.
Then, last September, came the opportunity to talk with leaders of Birmingham's economic community. In the course of the negotiations, certain promises were made by the merchants--for example, to remove the stores' humiliating racial signs. On the basis of these promises, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the leaders of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights agreed to a moratorium on all demonstrations. As the weeks and months went by, we realized that we were the victims of a broken promise. A few signs, briefly removed, returned; the others remained. As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: "Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?" "Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?" We decided to schedule our direct action program for the Easter season, realizing that except for Christmas, this is the main shopping period of the year. Knowing that a strong economic-withdrawal program would be the by product of direct action, we felt that this would be the best time to bring pressure to bear on the merchants for the needed change.
Then it occurred to us that Birmingham's mayoral election was coming up in March, and we speedily decided to postpone action until after election day. When we discovered that the Commissioner of Public Safety, Eugene "Bull" Connor, had piled up enough votes to be in the run off, we decided again to postpone action until the day after the run off so that the demonstrations could not be used to cloud the issues. Like many others, we waited to see Mr. Connor defeated, and to this end we endured postponement after postponement. Having aided in this community need, we felt that our direct action program could be delayed no longer.
You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.
One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Some have asked: "Why didn't you give the new city administration time to act?" The only answer that I can give to this query is that the new Birmingham administration must be prodded about as much as the outgoing one, before it will act. We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of Albert Boutwell as mayor will bring the millennium to Birmingham. While Mr. Boutwell is a much more gentle person than Mr. Connor, they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. I have hope that Mr. Boutwell will be reasonable enough to see the futility of massive resistance to desegregation. But he will not see this without pressure from devotees of civil rights. My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."
We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness"--then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all."
Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I it" relationship for an "I thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.
Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal. Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state's segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?
Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.
I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.
Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.
We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws.
I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.
In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn't this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn't this like condemning Jesus because his unique God consciousness and never ceasing devotion to God's will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber. I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom. I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: "All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth." Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.
You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme. At first I was rather disappointed that fellow clergymen would see my nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist. I began thinking about the fact that I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community. One is a force of complacency, made up in part of Negroes who, as a result of long years of oppression, are so drained of self respect and a sense of "somebodiness" that they have adjusted to segregation; and in part of a few middle-class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because in some ways they profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses. The other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence. It is expressed in the various black nationalist groups that are springing up across the nation, the largest and best known being Elijah Muhammad's Muslim movement. Nourished by the Negro's frustration over the continued existence of racial discrimination, this movement is made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incorrigible "devil."
I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the "do nothingism" of the complacent nor the hatred and despair of the black nationalist. For there is the more excellent way of love and nonviolent protest. I am grateful to God that, through the influence of the Negro church, the way of nonviolence became an integral part of our struggle. If this philosophy had not emerged, by now many streets of the South would, I am convinced, be flowing with blood. And I am further convinced that if our white brothers dismiss as "rabble rousers" and "outside agitators" those of us who employ nonviolent direct action, and if they refuse to support our nonviolent efforts, millions of Negroes will, out of frustration and despair, seek solace and security in black nationalist ideologies--a development that would inevitably lead to a frightening racial nightmare.
Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides -and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: "Get rid of your discontent." Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . ." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.
I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Perhaps I was too optimistic; perhaps I expected too much. I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action. I am thankful, however, that some of our white brothers in the South have grasped the meaning of this social revolution and committed themselves to it. They are still all too few in quantity, but they are big in quality. Some -such as Ralph McGill, Lillian Smith, Harry Golden, James McBride Dabbs, Ann Braden and Sarah Patton Boyle--have written about our struggle in eloquent and prophetic terms. Others have marched with us down nameless streets of the South. They have languished in filthy, roach infested jails, suffering the abuse and brutality of policemen who view them as "dirty nigger-lovers." Unlike so many of their moderate brothers and sisters, they have recognized the urgency of the moment and sensed the need for powerful "action" antidotes to combat the disease of segregation. Let me take note of my other major disappointment. I have been so greatly disappointed with the white church and its leadership. Of course, there are some notable exceptions. I am not unmindful of the fact that each of you has taken some significant stands on this issue. I commend you, Reverend Stallings, for your Christian stand on this past Sunday, in welcoming Negroes to your worship service on a nonsegregated basis. I commend the Catholic leaders of this state for integrating Spring Hill College several years ago.
But despite these notable exceptions, I must honestly reiterate that I have been disappointed with the church. I do not say this as one of those negative critics who can always find something wrong with the church. I say this as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church; who was nurtured in its bosom; who has been sustained by its spiritual blessings and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen.
When I was suddenly catapulted into the leadership of the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama, a few years ago, I felt we would be supported by the white church. I felt that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our strongest allies. Instead, some have been outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its leaders; all too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained glass windows.
In spite of my shattered dreams, I came to Birmingham with the hope that the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice of our cause and, with deep moral concern, would serve as the channel through which our just grievances could reach the power structure. I had hoped that each of you would understand. But again I have been disappointed.
I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: "Follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother." In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say: "Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern." And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other worldly religion which makes a strange, un-Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and the secular.
I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South's beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious education buildings. Over and over I have found myself asking: "What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when Governor Wallace gave a clarion call for defiance and hatred? Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?"
Yes, these questions are still in my mind. In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears have been tears of love. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. Yes, I love the church. How could I do otherwise? I am in the rather unique position of being the son, the grandson and the great grandson of preachers. Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.
There was a time when the church was very powerful--in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators."' But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent--and often even vocal--sanction of things as they are.
But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.
Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world. But again I am thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us as active partners in the struggle for freedom. They have left their secure congregations and walked the streets of Albany, Georgia, with us. They have gone down the highways of the South on tortuous rides for freedom. Yes, they have gone to jail with us. Some have been dismissed from their churches, have lost the support of their bishops and fellow ministers. But they have acted in the faith that right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. Their witness has been the spiritual salt that has preserved the true meaning of the gospel in these troubled times. They have carved a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. I hope the church as a whole will meet the challenge of this decisive hour. But even if the church does not come to the aid of justice, I have no despair about the future. I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are at present misunderstood. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with America's destiny. Before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson etched the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence across the pages of history, we were here. For more than two centuries our forebears labored in this country without wages; they made cotton king; they built the homes of their masters while suffering gross injustice and shameful humiliation -and yet out of a bottomless vitality they continued to thrive and develop. If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands. Before closing I feel impelled to mention one other point in your statement that has troubled me profoundly. You warmly commended the Birmingham police force for keeping "order" and "preventing violence." I doubt that you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its dogs sinking their teeth into unarmed, nonviolent Negroes. I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen if you were to observe their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city jail; if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls; if you were to see them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys; if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give us food because we wanted to sing our grace together. I cannot join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department.
It is true that the police have exercised a degree of discipline in handling the demonstrators. In this sense they have conducted themselves rather "nonviolently" in public. But for what purpose? To preserve the evil system of segregation. Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends. Perhaps Mr. Connor and his policemen have been rather nonviolent in public, as was Chief Pritchett in Albany, Georgia, but they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain the immoral end of racial injustice. As T. S. Eliot has said: "The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason."
I wish you had commended the Negro sit inners and demonstrators of Birmingham for their sublime courage, their willingness to suffer and their amazing discipline in the midst of great provocation. One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face jeering and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer. They will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a seventy two year old woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride segregated buses, and who responded with ungrammatical profundity to one who inquired about her weariness: "My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest." They will be the young high school and college students, the young ministers of the gospel and a host of their elders, courageously and nonviolently sitting in at lunch counters and willingly going to jail for conscience' sake. One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
Never before have I written so long a letter. I'm afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers?
If I have said anything in this letter that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me.
I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil-rights leader but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother. Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.
Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Published in:
King, Martin Luther Jr.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

This Charming Woman

Hi all, just quickly, I want to say that I'm excited to be blogging again!  Maybe I'm the only one, but hey, that's okay, I'm doing this, at least for now, mostly for my benefit...but at the same time, if any of these can be of help to anyone, then all the better, and I thank everyone who stops by here. ♥

Okay, so the title of this blog isn't about me...maybe someday I'll be "charming"(and I'm definitely on my way(besides in my heart) to being a woman)...but it actually refers to a young woman named Janice Whaley, and she recently finished and has now released The Smiths Project, a very unique musical tribute to The Smiths, a very cool(and "unique" too!) "new wave" band out of Manchester, U.K., during the mid-80's, using only her voice, even for the instruments!  I've listened to a couple of songs so far...and so far so good!  Here is an interview with Janice.

"It hit me that life is so short, and if you're going to do something, you have to do it now," Whaley says. "More importantly, what do you leave behind after you go? I want to leave music behind, not the regret of not having done it."  What she said here truly resonates with me, in a general sense.  (In a musical sense too...I have some goals there, but that's another story(blog).)  I need to do better, be a better person(long way to go there, whew! ;) ), every day, and hopefully help others along the way, somehow.  Well, more on all of that as time goes by.  Thank you Janice, and best wishes with this project and any others you plan to do!  ♥

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Can you imagine....

....being twins, and identical ones at that, and later in life, both becoming Navy pilots, and then both becoming astronauts, and then, both going into space...and, until just recently it looked as though they would both be up there, together...it's too bad that won't happen(how cool those photos would have been when they embraced!), at least not in the near future...but, it's a great story nonetheless, and now, with the added, deeply emotional drama of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly's wife....anyway, I just find this a fascinating story.  And, here's Scott Kelly giving a quick tour of the space station.  And,  a poignant moment.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Getting away from it all

Dear Friends,

As I sit, alone(my roommate is at work) in this nice, warm home, watching the WAY overly hyped college football "championship" game, played not all that far from the horrific shootings in Tucson on Saturday, I find myself thinking about a lot of things.  SO much on my mind, what with transitioning and doing my best to live "full time", looking for work, searching for new doctors, therapists, etc., and just trying to fit in to this new life at my new home here in Santa Rosa, CA...along with those I care for still that I left behind back in IL....and, not to mention thinking of the tragedy in Arizona, the war in Afghanistan, the potential troubles in the Korea's, Pakistan, Iran, Israel, Mexico, anywhere where Mel Gibson is located....and of course, Congress....and you know, sometimes a girl just wants to get away from it all....and what better place than her own personal beach! 

Shell Beach, CA(aka Kelli Cove)
Pretty cool, eh?  I can't tell you yet how I purchased this prime piece of real estate, but let's just say it was a "dream deal"!  An "In your dreams, silly Kelli" deal, but hey, it's nice to dream sometimes, right?  So yeah, yesterday I felt like I needed to go over to the beautiful sea, and see, hear, smell(actually I've lost that sense) touch, but not taste(gross!) the ocean blue, and also sit and think, about life, where I've been(especially these past few years), where I'm at now, and where I plan to go from here on out.  But really, mostly I just spent time enjoying my favorite place in the world...and, what I wouldn't do(or would! ;) ) to live along, near the ocean someplace, but until then I have a LOT of work to do!  And, hopefully the world won't "blow up", or some similar type of "ending of the world" before I leave this planet...that sounds selfish doesn't it?  "Hey everyone, stop your warring and hatreds so Kelli can live her life in peace!"  Hehe, I know, I'm silly(sometimes :p), but anyway I had a nice time over there, and I'm sure I'll return from time to time.  It really does "refresh the mind", but I just wish it was warm, like in Hawaii!(Say, there's an idea! ;-) )  I highly recommend some good and health "beach combing", everyone!  (And next time, I'll head over earlier, there's some cool walking paths around there.)  Don't forget though--Layer!  And "sand proof" shoes! ;-)  Have fun!  ♥

Friday, January 7, 2011

♫ It's just another day... ♫

♫ Every day she takes her morning bath, she wets her hair, wraps a towel around her as she heads towards the bedroom chair.... ♫ 

I kinda doubt Paul McCartney, after fame and fortune came his way, had very many "routine" days, but when he did, I'm sure he didn't take them for granted.  Not that I'm comparing my life to his, or anyone in the "celebrity world", not at all.  But anyway, yeah...another "routine" day here today, nothing special.  I did go out for groceries, which is yes, a "routine" thing to do....but, not quite, really, at least for someone like me, at this time in my life I should say.  Yes, I am trying my best to live "full time"...though, I've yet to get "signed off" by a therapist, and have that special document in my possession(I know, I'm not following the "routine procedures" with transitioning, but eventually I'll get my pegs in the right holes...I mean, you know ;) ), and, I think that so far, for the most part, I'm doing "okay".  So, when I do go out, anyplace really, I do feel confident, and that confidence does seem to be growing every time I do go out, thankfully(and thankfully, I haven't, yet, had any really "negative" times, or incidents...well, ok, once on the BART train, with some barely teenage girls(I'm sure you'd understand), but other than that time....).  But at the same time, I am careful, where I go, and when.  I just don't want to, at least not yet, take anything for granted, at least not until I'm much further along with my transitioning, and I try to keep that in mind also, every time I'm out.  And yes, I know there are probably some, maybe many whom I have contact with, or even those who view me at a distance, who might have "figured me out", or at least have suspicions....and, that's okay, I can deal with that.  All I am trying to do is be Kelli, as best I can, wherever I go, and this is who I am, and always will be, now and forever, and just knowing that, having that inner confidence(still growing, still not where I want it to be), can only help with my "outer confidence".  So yeah, not quite "another day", but, someday, someday....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Voices of the past....

Hi everyone, me again. :-)  I just came across this interesting, eclectic list of "25 Best Voices in Sports" ....and not exactly the list I would make, but anyway....  (And, I read that Ted Williams...you know, this Ted Williams, has possibly been hired, good for him!)  My favorite sport announcer ever was, probably, Jack Buck, long time Cardinals announcer.  Possibly his most famous call was Ozzie Smith's game winning home run in game 6 of the 1985 NL playoffs: "Go Crazy, Folks!!" , but just as memorable for me, is the speech he made at Busch Stadium, not long after the attacks of September 11, 2001:  Jack Buck 9/11 poem.  Many others were fun to listen to, Harry Carry, his son Skip Carry, Mike Shannon, Dick Enberg, many others...and yes, even Dick "Dipsy-doo Dunkeroo" Vitale. ;-)  Sports has always been important to me, especially in the "old days", and maybe too much sometimes...but maybe that was my way of "being a man", when I was a very confused person.  Not to say I'm "unconfused" now, just much less so. ;-)  Anyway, enjoy the videos! 

An amazing site, I've never seen

Hi everyone! :-)  Earlier today, I watched a fascinating video(3 parts) on the building of the Empire State Building.  It would be interesting to know how many Americans(the U.S. variety) have seen in person, or been inside of this amazing feat of American ingenuity, muscle(literally!) and yes, power.  I haven't been there yet, nor to New York City, but it is a definite goal!  I noticed in parts of the videos, the World Trade Center in the background...hard to believe it will be 10 years this September. 

Anyway, thanks for stopping by!  It's nice to be blogging again! ♥

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Here come da judge!

Last night, another wonderful, and positive step forward was made, for our(transgender) community, and I believe, at least eventually, the nation as a whole, as Judge Victoria Kolakowski, was sworn in as the new Superior Court judge of Alameda County, CA, and the first transgender elected as a trial judge in the U.S.  I mean, YES!!  I'll let the more learned of you out there explain how HUGE this is to others outside of our community....and, although of course, her physical appearance truly doesn't matter, or shouldn't of course, but hey, she looks like, well, like a judge "should" look like, you know.  ;-)  I "wink" there, since, well, there are still many in the country, and the world, who, when they think of, or hear about someone who is transgender, and they picture in their minds the usual stereotypical trans-oriented person(from the MTF perspective at least)...you know what I mean(sigh)...but she "looks the part" of a typical middle-age woman, who just happens to now hold a very important position in the justice system.  So, I think this is a "win-win", but of course her performance will be the eventual judge(pardon the pun).  Oh, and btw, I was there, where the ceremony was held...but darn the luck(and also my misjudging(hehe) of time, sigh), I missed the actual swearing in(while swearing at myself), but that's okay, what's important is what happened there, and I wish Judge Kolokowski ALL the best!!  And, she'll be another person of "T", who should inspire me(I mean, "Helloooo Kelli!!") to do better things...as long as I can keep order in my own courtroom("head") in tact.  Tall order there(well, I am tall!). ;-)

I hope it's okay, being that the subject of this blog is, well, quite serious and profound, that I also add a few sprinkles of levity...I tend to do that a bit too much in my life, but it's one of the things that's helped keep me "sane", whatever that means.  Anyway, since I titled this blog "Here Come da Judge", it made me, of course, think of that phrase, when I first heard it...and, as time usually does(for me at least), I had thought that Flip Wilson had, at least first, made that a popular phrase on television back in the late '60's/early '70's, but it was actually Sammy Davis, Jr., appearing on Laugh-In....and, then, after a bit of sleuthin', I read that Dewey "Pigmeat" Markham originated that phrase, and, Mr. Markham later appeared on that program...though I haven't found any video of him doing that phrase on there, I did find this lil snippet from "L-I"...wow, that show was wacky, I still miss it!  And, here's the amazing Flip Wilson, in a classic "Geraldine" skit, with the uber cute(though banged up--that guy really paid the price over the years from his football career, among thousands of others....and of which I believe is part of the upcoming NFL "showdown" with the owners and players) Joe Willie...and if there is a "crossdresser hall-of-fame", Flip better have been one of the first inductees! ;)  Oh, and here is one more "judge related" video ...wow, I've rarely seen original Stooges shorts in color, very cool!

So anyway, until my next "session"....please behave everyone...and don't judge a girl by her cover. .  It's not nice! ☺

Monday, January 3, 2011

Looking back, Moving forward

Good morning!  I say that, believing there are other people reading this...and I'm sure that's possible, being that this blog is "public", and although I do hope some friends, and "newbies" stop by once in awhile, and if what I write/type here is of some benefit to someone else, that would be wonderful!  But mainly I decided to get back into "the blogging business" for my own "well being", and now, even though I've published, once in awhile over the past couple of years a few blogs pertaining to my life and what's been going on with me, I do kinda regret not being consistent with doing it.  Maybe I'll post some of those in the next few weeks, but anyway I was thinking about something yesterday, being it's the new year, 2011, a new decade, and just the idea of "time" and "age", and how(as if it wasn't before anyway, doh!) the "clock is ticking", with me, now that I'm just past a half-century on the big blue ball, or, orb(I probably shouldn't use the word "ball" too often, giggles. ;) ), and it's not like I dwell on it, but with all that I plan to do in my life, especially over the next few years, it does make me think about time, and that I don't want to waste it.  Of course, some may call blogging a waste of time...I don't, but, you know, that's how it is.  So, as I was thinking about all of this, I came across this story: Woman among oldest in the world, dies. 
You can just imagine the amazing life she lived, and the stories...well, I hope she kept, or someone close to her kept some type of diary...and, that's pretty much why I am doing this, again, to have at least some type of record of my life, if only for me, that's fine too.  I don't, not yet anyway(whew, I better, if I decide to do such a thing, get on the "____"(rhymes with "doll")!!, have any children, so there's really no one to "pass this down" to, other than friends, which would be nice too of course, but yeah, a spouse/significant other, or a child...but anyway I'm getting WAY ahead of myself, and a bit maudlin. so I'll stop now, and just say--it's a time to reflect, on my past, and try to record it in some way...but it's also time to move forward, and as I believe Capt. Kirk said once: "See what's out there."  I think I will do just that! :-)

Thank you for listening.  Have a lovely day!  Or, night. :-) (Hugs)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

♫ I can drive for miles and miles and miles and.... ♫

Okay, so I began 2011 on the road...well, not literally, but I was driving my car to a party, but by the time I arrived, no one was there...maybe they didn't have it in the first place, but that's alright.  I spent a lot of time in my car in 2010.  I had moved in with my boyfriend(and sometimes, girlfriend--she's TG, but likes her guy side more--it's complicated, she's complicated, I'M complicated, our relationship....but overall it was wonderful, and in some ways, even though we don't live together anymore, is still pretty strong....well, not as strong as before...like I said it's complicated, but a good kinda complicated! :D) just a couple of weeks before, after selling our(my former spouses' and mine) home(another "complicated" story, maybe for another blogeth), and his home is located about 72 miles from where I was employed, back in my home town, and I still planned to work there for awhile, so I commuted, for about 5 months(until I moved out--yes, another complicated story--well, not to me though :D), and I believe I put around 15-16K on the old jalopy(it had 170K when I started doing the commute), which I believe meant around 225 or so hours sitting in the car, groovin' to tunes, munching on snacks, texting of course(no no, not really...well maybe once :-p), excetera, exceteraaaa.  And, after moving back to my home area, with a friend from work, who lived only 10 miles from the factory, that put a few more miles over the next couple of months.  And, almost every weekend I drove back up to my b/f's place.  Then, in September, I loaded up the "Ferrari" andI moved to the magic kingdom of California...no cement pond where I live though, what's up with that??....and that put on about 3K more--now it has 204K, a first for me!  Something odd has happened lately though--every time it rains, somehow/somewhere(I haven't been able to find where yet), water is getting inside, and mostly into the wheel well(it's a hatchback/station wagon--yep, the only Ferrari made that way :D), and when I returned from a recent 2 week vacation, with a friend(in her car), the well was full, yay! :-(  Yeah, another complicated story, sigh.  So, anyway, that old car and I spent a lot of time together in 2010.  Or, that old woman and that old car...okay, I'm not that old, but I am now living in an 'adult'/retirement community(yep, another "c" story! ;) )...weird seeing people drive golf carts on public(within the community) streets, but it's cool, and my wonderful new roommate is very cool too!  She's not actually retired, she works part-time as a caregiver, in that person's home(something I believe I could do, for awhile anyway), but ever since arriving here, she's called her home, "our" home, and she's made me feel welcome, not only in that way, but also in that she accepts "me", for who I am and with all the changes I plan on making to make myself "whole".  Ooops, I guess I got a bit off point there, but yeah, now that I'm out here, I'm putting more miles on da car.  Maybe with the new year, new decade, it's time to get a "new" car?  I hope so...yeah, I'll miss it, lots of good memories there, especially with my former spouse(NOT for another blog, some things need to stay private! ;) ), and also a connection with my dad.  I can see the car outside the living room window here now...and, it's gonna rain some more today, oh nooooo!!  Looks like another shop-vac moment. :-\  At least the tape player(I'm old skool ;) ) still works!


I used to blog, semi-often, on Yahoo 360, and I had fun times there with that, and even more from reading other girls' blogs, and making friends there(some whom I've now met in RE-ull life! :-) )  Maybe that will also work out here, as I get back on the blog-wagon.  I haven't blogged much over the past couple of years.  It wasn't the best of times, especially earlier then, and I guess I just didn't want to type out what was going on then(out of type, out of mind?)...but now, I kinda regret not keeping a journal of some kind, at least on a consistent basis.  But hey, I survived, I'm still standing( ♫ ...better than I ever did... ♫ ), and now with the new year, and, in many ways, a new life, to live and to embrace, I think it's best I keep some type of record about my life, if only for my own benefit.  If others want to know what's going on with me, that's great, I welcome you!  And really, for me anyway, I do really need others, not only because friends and friendships are what they are, but I do know that I wouldn't be here typing this, if I hadn't had the friends I've had ever since coming out to the world, first online, and now everywhere.  I thank YOU, for helping me be ME, and still be around to be me.  That's not very complicated. :-)

P.S.:  This blog page is a work in progress, and I'm not, yet, very adept with all the watchamacallits and thingamabobs with posting pages here, so please bare with me.  Yeah, it's kinda complicated. ;-)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Women, Past and Present....

Who have touched my life, in every way.  I thank and honor them today, for helping me along the way.  Hopefully I didn't forget anyone, but, it is a long list....and I am thankful, and grateful for the love and friendship of each and every one here.  I'm certain I wouldn't be here celebrating another new year if it wasn't for:

Dena(mom), Harland(grandmother), Nellie(grandmother), Mollie(great-grandmother), Bythie(great aunt), Deborah(sister-in-law), Irene(step-great aunt), Edith(first teacher), Mrs. Brown(3rd grade teacher), Vivian(next-door neighbor), Vida(friends' mom), Helen(cook at our family restaurant), Lisa(friend), Denise(friend), Dutchess(my pet dog), Peggy(7th grade teacher), Connie(friend), Helen(friends' mom), Marie(neighbor), Betty(HS teacher), Mildred(cousin), Ruth(friend), Karen(friend), Betsy(friend), Barbara(friend), Diane(nurse), Helen(friends' grandmother), Gloria(friends' mom), Pat(friends' mom), Kathleen(friend), Cathleen(friend), Beverly(teacher), Brenda(boss), Leslie(friend, co-worker), Donna(friend, co-worker), Juli(friend, co-worker), Cheryl(friend, co-worker), Della(friend, co-worker, roommate), Sonya(friend), Sheryll(friend, co-worker), Pam(friend, co-worker), Tonya(friend, co-worker), Barb(friend, co-worker), Aimee(friend, co-worker), Lorna(friend, co-worker), Betty(friend, girlfriend, lover, wife, love, former spouse, friend), Hannah(former step-daughter), Naomi(former step-daughter), Betty(step-mom), Phyllis(former mother-in-law), Mary Jo(former spouses' brother's wife), Melissa(former spouses' brother's wife), Rachel(friend), Sharon E(friend), Jo(former spouses' boss), Barb(former spouse's co-worker), Sharon(former spouse's co-worker), Vicki(friend),  Darla(friend), Macie(former step-daughters' daughter), Branzley(friend), Patricia(therapist), Eleni(friend, roommate), Laurie(friend), Sarah(friend)........and, Jessica/Raquel(friend), Erin(friend), Jackie(friend), Riz(friend), Adrienne(friend), Jenny(friend), Tina(friend), Lorelei(friend), Racheal(friend), Anna(friend), Miranda(friend), Maria(friend), Eve(friend), Chloe(friend), Allison(friend), Christina(friend), Bridgett(friend), Candy(friend), Tracy(friend), Bobbie Jane(friend), Zoey(friend), Robbi(friend), Deja(friend), Allason(friend), Becky(friend), Lisa(friend), Marla(friend), Rachel(friend), Simone(friend), Kanani(friend), Breanna(friend), Rene'(friend), Diana(friend), Suzanne(friend), Dana(friend), Michelle(friend), Lisa(friend), Lyra(friend), Jala(friend), Cheryl(friend), Kathryn(friend), Brenda(friend), Cami(friend), Rosalyn(friend), Jane(friend), Danee(friend), Samantha(friend), Allie(friend), Aly(friend), Brittany(friend), Calley(friend), Tiana(friend), Julie(friend), Jamie(friend), Jami(friend), Jeny(friend), Michelle H(friend), Kim(friend), Melissa(friend), Rebecca(friend), Tiffany(friend), Sonya(friend), April(friend), Red(friend), Rhonda(friend), Geena(friend), Juli(friend), Jacynthe(friend), Paula(friend), Patty(friend), Carla(friend), Darla(friend), Sky(friend), Shannon R(friend), Shannon T(friend), Anielle(friend), Adara Beth(friend), Tammie(friend), Debbie(friend), Tara(friend), Valentina(friend), Tracey(friend), Wynonna(friend), Vanessa(friend), Valerie(friend), Deidra(friend), Delia(friend), Leilani(friend), Venus(friend), Fran(friend), Felicia(friend), Simone(friend), Jamie Lynn(friend), Deborah(friend), Jennifer(friend), Joanna(friend), Allyson(friend), Amber(friend), Allisa(friend), Annie(friend), Autumn(friend), Marissa(friend), Melissa S(friend), Nichole(friend), Rachel(friend), Sara(friend), Lori Anne(friend), Kathy W(friend), Catherine(friend), Bren(friend), Kris(friend), Chryssa(friend), Kristy(friend), Heather(friend), Dawn(friend), Dani(friend), Lee(friend), Joy(friend), Jennifer M(friend), Kara(friend), Karie(friend), Keri(friend), Karine(friend), Rachelle(friend), Millie(friend), Raven(friend), Stef(friend), Stephanie Y(friend), Tanya(friend), Stefanie(friend), Tiffany T(friend), Serena(friend), Lynne(friend), Lynda(friend), Leesa(friend), Kristi(friend), Laura(friend), Glenda(friend), Kimberly(friend), Karren(friend), J'anel(friend), Holli(friend), CJ(friend), Christianne(friend), Chloe D(friend), Ashley(friend), Amber V(friend), Aelis(friend), Molly(friend), Alexandra(friend), Carol(friend), Rachel S(friend), Bethany(friend), Cathy C(friend), Clair(friend), Cyndi(friend), Cyndy(friend), Erica(friend), Deedee(friend), Dish(friend), Evie(friend), Gretchen(friend), June(friend), Jennifer C(friend), Jenny B(friend), Katie(friend), Karen L(friend), Christianne(friend), Kelly(friend), Teri(friend), Leslie(friend), Sarafina(friend), Michelle M(friend), Mandi(friend), Lynda(friend), Melissa W(friend), Michele M(friend), Nicky(friend), Ronnie(friend), Sammi(friend), Tammy(friend), Terri(friend), Tiana C(friend), Toria(friend), Wendie(friend), Victoria M(friend), Alexandra K(friend), Amber A(friend), Ari(friend), Barbara Ann(friend), Brianna(friend), Kelli(friend), Laura M(friend), Lana(friend), Shannon B(friend), Nina(friend), Simone M(friend), Michelle A(friend), Donna G(friend), Annie D(friend), Christi(friend), Mindy(friend), Christie Lynn(friend), Tyrrell(friend), Sheila(friend), Jamie Lee(friend), Rae(friend), Lisa(friend), Kimi(friend), Dana(friend).......and, Andie(friend, lover, love). 

Thank you ALL!! ♥