Friday, February 24, 2012

Let’s Lighten Things Up Again

Originally posted on November 1, 2008

Let’s Lighten Things Up Again

Current mood: complacent

Due to circumstances beyond my control, it's seems there has been a lot of negativity on here lately. Enough of that, time to get back to the brighter side. Everything contained within is meant in a positive or lighthearted manner. Just in case my favorite "Indiana to Oswego"transient gets confused again.


Thanks to everyone for the messages, cards, phone calls, e-mails etc. It'sall been very much appreciated. Just sucks having the "I woulda/shoulda's" to deal with. But I must learn and look to the future, as I can't fix the past.


Sorry for the delays in getting back to a lot of e-mail over the past two weeks. I'm going to try to play catch up this weekend. "Try", key operative word though.


It was great to see friends at the Oswego awards banquet and to see Carol Haynes & Jerry Rich inducted to the Oswego Hall of Fame. But honestly, I forgot just how boring racing banquets can be. My room at the Turning Stone Casino was awesome though. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the huge, lighted, magnifying mirror off the wall and into my suitcase though.


Tonight was Halloween. It was always the favorite holiday of Kitty, the cat I had to put to sleep, three weeks ago. She would always sit on the staircase that leads to the bedrooms, which faces out the front door and wait for the kids to arrive. She never sat there any other day, but she knew and loved Halloween.


Speaking of cats, the former stray cat that followed me around for months, more like a dog than a cat, has suddenly abandoned me for my mother, ever since the passing of my sister. Since the day she returned from Sante Fe, the cat clings to her, which has suddenly changed my her opinion on the cat. Guess he really has a secured home now.


Tonight at Newbury Comics I noticed, guys in costumes, look like guys in costumes. But girls in costumes, look damn hot!


Despite not recalling hearing the song "Josie" by Steely Dan once in Montreal, every time I hear the opening notes, I'm transported back to last January, in Montreal. I swear I don't remember hearing that song once, when I was up there but I certainly must have, because those flashbacks occur every single time that song comes on.


Watching the NY Giants get crushed a few weeks back and me being a Giants fan that hates Eli Manning, came to a sudden realization. OMG, Eli really won a Super Bowl! And it was over the 18-0 Patriots. Guess it wasn't a nightmare or the pain killers after all..........


Strangely, I've always disliked the band Traffic, but since my return from Montreal, I'm finding myself liking them more and more. Enough, that I bought a double cd of greatest hits tonight. But ANY Steve Winwood solo music, will still turn my stomach sour, in two notes.


I'm now in the planning stages of going to Montreal for the January 28 anniversary. But a big part of me remembers how brutally cold and snowy it was in January and how absolutely gorgeous Montreal was in April. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......Either way, I'll be taking a few days vacation around January 28.

Last night I had another, but yet MUCH stronger "phantom parts" dream. Very, very strange, but I could have sworn the old parts were still there. Truly a bizarre feeling. Physically and mentally.


Demonstrating how time kills all pain, I'm still missing the times of last winter/spring. Despite the fact that walking, sitting, lifting, getting in/out of bed were very difficult and dreaded chores. Now I can understand how a woman can have a second or third child, after cursing like Linda Blair in the Exorcist, during her delivery.


I have spent a few great nights having dinner with Diane & Karyn. Two people I feel like I've known forever and seeing how much we have in common, we probably should have. Humor, music and politics being the biggest common ground. They have been a true godsend and I'm very thankful for them both. They are a lot of fun and the time just flies by. Diane helps keep Karyn in line and that is just too much fun. Much to Karyn's dismay. I can't imagine life without them and I hope I never have to. Now I just need to get Karyn to like real sports and not that stupid baseball. :-p


I've set a tentative time table for retiring from Newbury Comics. Hopefully getting extra rest during the week, will improve my attitude about returning to racing in 2009. Seeing I was hired for two months, but stayed for nine years, there should be no regrets on either side.

R.I.P. Lynne 1954 - 2008

Originally posted October 24, 2008

R.I.P. Lynne 1954 - 2008

Current mood: crushed

Five days short of her 54th birthday my sister lost the battle.

The decision was made to remove the life support at approximately 1:15 EST. The priest was called in for her last rights and after 2:30 the tubes were removed. With my cousin Mary Ellen on one side and mother on the other. An injection of morphine was given. I was told she could feel no pain, but I was told late tonight that Lynne let out a tear on Mary Ellen's side, as her breathing became softer and slowly subsided. By 4:30 EST, she was no longer breathing.


Tonight I searched frantically for a letter Lynne had written me the last time she was here. She had written it in stages over New Years Eve 2002-2003. But she had misgivings the next day before her flight home and shreded it. Fortunately I had found it and pieced it back together.


I feared that in the years since, I may have tossed it. It's a miracle, but I found it. In it, she thanks me for turning her back on to music. Strange turnabout seeing she had turned me on to so much new music in the late 1960's and early to mid 1970's. Strangely in it she also mentions how "Cindy should be the most important thing to me" Granted she meant the "Original Cyn" whom she hadn't met, until the very next day. Little did she know that just nine months later, my suicidal demons would peak and that I finally came clean to myself, the other Cyndi.


Lynne, thank you for all of life's lessons you taught me. There were too many to mention, but all extremely valuable and unforgettable. You were are awesome big sister. I'm just sorry the last decade had to be a virtually lost one. The bad is forgotten but the good is absolutely irreplaceable.
I love you and will miss you greatly.

R.I.P.

Childhood Innocence, Reality & Death

Originally posted on October 22, 2008

Childhood Innocence, Reality & Death

Current mood: depressed

Even as a small child forty years ago I knew my brother Dick, was the responsible, more grounded one. I loved the times he went fast in his GTO and he is very much responsible for my years of loving auto racing and The Beatles. In time we grew to be very close, despite the sixteen year age difference.


But there were two people closer to my age that I always looked up to, because they were more rebellious, and seemed to be the ultimate in 'cool'. Of course what was 'cool' in the late 1960's and early 1970's, I now look back with total disdain. In the future, these two would prove a small child, me, wrong. They weren't cool at all.


One of them was my sister Lynne, ten years my senior. We got along great through the 1970's, though I knew she had her demons. But I saw a lot of the 'world' via her including taking me to my first Bruins game, my first concert (Santana), the movies, my first subway ride, biking Gloucester/Rockport, and even is 100% responsible for my meeting the original line up of Van Halen. We had many a great time and somehow music will always be attached to those times.


Some of our best times were back in 1976 in her apartment in Gloucester, eating tacos and playing Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" on heavy rotation. We did a lot of my firsts 'together' like my first Mexican food, visiting New York City, clubbing and even going inside the inner sanctum of Harvard University.


As the years progressed, I still always admired her, and when she moved to the heart of Boston, she always took me and my friends in for the evening, after spending the night at concerts at the Boston Garden or Orpheum. Granted we were just high school kids, she always bought us a six pack for when we returned to her apartment to retire for the evening. She is also always the one who pushed me to go to college, which sadly I never listened to.


As the 1980's became the 1990's, we didn't see each other as often but we always kept in touch. She later moved to Mexico and begged me to come visit, but god forbid I travel somewhere without at race track. How silly. But by the mid 1990's the addiction to alcohol took over. Partially to blame of my alcoholic father, partial blame to the drug culture of the post hippie era. She was out of control and not the person I knew growing up. Not at all. My being busy as an adult also pulled me away.


But in that time her health and mental state was on a steady decline. Since the early 1990's I expected a call any day, saying she had passed on.


The last time I saw her was Christmas 2002. My brother and I paid to have her come home for
Christmas Week. A mistake. A human puddle came off the airplane and the week never improved from there. She spent the week virtually terrorizing my mother and leaving my mother upset and in tears, including New Years Eve. Lynne was a drunken mess and verbally abusive. And I paid for this????


The person whom was attractive, worldly experienced and very successful was now a poor shadow of the person I knew. As time went on, I refused to accept the drunken calls. I never stopped loving her, but I could not deal with the person who quit every chance she as given to save herself. She does not know of my transformation from John to Cynthia. Due to her instability, my mother asked that I not tell her. I fully agreed. Upon my return from surgery in Montreal my mother was relieved I was home, safe, sound and in good health despite driving myself home. I wasn't home ten minutes when my sister's boyfriend called. Lynne had blacked out and was in the hospital with a severe seizure, where she remained for weeks. There went my mothers stress free time. All ten minutes of it.


This past Sunday night, just as game seven of the Red Sox/Rays game started, the phone rang. I knew it could only be one of two people, Mike Douglas Sr or my sister. It was my sister's boyfriend. Lynne was in the hospital. She had been ill for some time, but a fall had broken her shoulder. Monday I got a call at work. My sister had pneumonia, cirrhosis of the liver, extremely low blood pressure and was unconscious. They could not give her any meds due to the blood pressure.


After returning home late last night after a too long evening at Newbury Comics, I got the updates. I wanted out early, using the Patriots game as an excuse. Instead I got out later than normal. My sister was unconscious, on a ventilator, her liver and kidneys had expired 100% and there was brain damage. She would never be the same again. Even the few times she was alert, she was looking for people whom had passed away twenty years ago.


Tomorrow morning I bring my mother to the airport so she can catch a flight to Albuquerque. I could not fiscally afford to send us both. There my mother will to go to Sante Fe. The last rights will be given to Lynne, my sister, age wise my closest sibling. My father died when I was five months old. Once the ventilator is removed, Lynne will have 24 - 48 hours. The first death in my immediate family since 1964.


A person I looked up to and respected. In later years, a person I could not face. I knew the day was coming. But when it did come, the shock is much worse than I could have anticipated. These next few days will be difficult. Lynne would have turned 54, this coming Tuesday, October 28.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Final Checkered Has Flown

Originally posted on October 16, 2008

The Final Checkered Has Flown

Current mood: tested

After twenty eight years of auto racing involvement, it's time to walk away completely. Something that was such an important part of my life, has become quite inconsequential.


Granted being involved as a crew member or official were some of the best times of my life, it is time to look forward and not to the past. I've been so many places I never would have seen and met some great people from all over the United States and Canada. Of course I have every intention of staying contact with the people I consider friends but I have strongly lost the desire to retain even the slightest involvement.


I accomplished much more in the sport than I had ever anticipated and I was able to do everything I had wanted to do. The high points were being named interim president of ISMA and being an official at the Oswego Speedway. The low points, being named the interim president of ISMA and my treatment the last month of my NEMA career. It was those times that I learned the hard lessons of politics and the personal agendas that dominate auto racing on all levels.


I tried to retire at the completion of the 2005 and 2006 seasons with grace and dignity. Most importantly, own my own terms. Foolishly, both times I withdrew my resignation at the request of two NEMA leaders. Only to be lied to and pressured out by those same two, in late 2007.


For many, many years I missed many a function or get together due to my dedication to be at a race event. The money and vacation time lost, was a bargain compared to the fun and enjoyment spent with the fans and competitors, before, during and after a race event. These times are no
longer existent and have decreased steadily. I find myself at events spending more time miserable and looking forward to leaving as soon as possible. This past season I'm finding myself miserable, as I sit a judge, criticize, and bitch about the things being done wrong. Why am I paying money to be miserable?


I owe the sport nothing and it owes me nothing as well. Why look beyond, when it's just not worth it.


Granted, a surprising number of racers stayed loyal to me through my transition. But as time goes on I'm becoming much more aware of those who've chosen to avoid me. Three years ago, they were going out of their way to speak to me, now simple eye-contact appears to be off limits. Now some of these same people go out of their way to avoid me.

What fun is there in wasting gas, money and time being unhappy or shunned? This not only goes for competitors, but 'friends' too including the majority of people I used to go to Indianapolis with. Admittedly this is a minority but it is becoming more and more obvious. I'm not contagious and I'm certainly not looking at them any differently than ever before.


The above does not include in any way shape or form the people of the Mod Chick Mafia, the 23 Douglas Racing Team or racersbored.com.


I spent this past weekend at a race Seekonk, MA. Granted I went in to the weekend in a foul mood, as the night before I had to put a cat I adopted nine years ago, to sleep. But every time I crossed the NEMA pit area, I was finding myself more and more resentful. Granted I had few I had wanted to stop and see, or at least wave 'hello' but I knew with my own mood, I had best stay away. Fortunately, Sunday my attitude improved a bit and I was able to stop in and say hello. Granted, I knew I was really saying goodbye, but didn't want anyone to know it. This time it was for the last time.


I knew going into the weekend it was the end, but by the time the Pro Stock feature mercifully ended. I was at wits end and my sense of humor had run dry. Completely.


Since 1980, my season has usually ended at the Thompson World Series. It runs this upcoming weekend. This will be my first true test of the rest of my life. For the first time in 28 years, I won't be there.


The 2008 season got off to a lousy start with the untimely passing of Shane Hammond and never seemed to improve from there.


When something you love becomes a chore, it's best to just walk away. Why ruin everything I had worked for, with a constant negative attitude.


The last checkered has flown and my personal Musco lighting system has been dimmed for the final time. The gates are locked and I'm slowly walking away.....trying not to turn back for one last glance at a place I loved.
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The View From MySpace

Well i didn't really know you but I know that you and my dad go WAAAAAAAAY back and you might even know my mom....(I was looking at pics on your myspace and that was when my mom and dad where still married....and i showed her who you where and she said that she missed you either way)!!! You seemed like a very nice person and I wish I could have gotten to know you more....along with other people that my dad talks about and tells stories about all the time!!!

Shelby G.
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WOW. I dont even know what to say. when are we going to be able to see each other? Now I'm really regretting not being at Classic this year. You & I came to know one another thru racing. I hope you consider me one of the "few" who have not "shunned" you since your transition. While I've stated several times that it is hard to understand what you went thru, are going thru and why, I have always found you as an asset to my life... then and now. Maybe for completely selfish reasons i find you more interesting now than ever before. Maybe its because of your transition and my curiosity... but i digress. I don't know how to give you KUDOS for this blog... since it makes me sad to hear this. but, I appreciate your honesty.

I hope you will make some exceptions. I don't get out your way hardly ever (except for racing). maybe i'll have to make an exception and come to see the fall colors (they were SPECTACULAR in northern MI last weekend), or to a hockey game over there. in any case, PLEASE stay in touch!!! I do not want to lose YOU my FRIEND.

Robert G.
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Well...I can't say I didn't see this coming. I could tell you were uncomfortable on a couple occasions when I saw you and I wondered how long it would be before we wouldn't have the chance to sit and bullshit. I think it sucks that you aren't going to be around. But now I find myself wishing that I had not been pulled off in one direction or another when I did get to hang with you, so that I could have spent more time bullshitting and enjoying your company.

Bobby G.
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You have made a huge choice there! Good for you! This is another one of them crossroads in life that we make a decision at. You have made so many changes from your past and screw what other people 'think'. You are a great person an a great friend to me and so many others! I am glad to have turned to you at Lee Speedway that night and asked if you were the person from racers bored! The one year that I was involved with TVMRS was great to spend with you. Although this is NOT a goodbye, it is a welcome to a NEW you!! HUGS!!!

Lisa P.
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im gonna miss you not being at the track now who is gonna sit with me at Star and Oswego when they have supers and mods i respect your feelings about racing its gonna be a bummer not seeing you at the track but i guess we can still go see lil Jimmy and other shows take care

John A.
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In all seriousness (yes I can be serious) Im very proud of you. Not only is it a difficult task to walk way but to be yourself and be public with your feelings and reasons. Its not easy to walk away, never mind walk away and say exactly how you feel. Your a tougher chick then you let on to be. Just think more beach time.

Michelle

Post Op Depression

Originally posted on October 14, 2008

Post Op Depression

Current mood: blah

To steal a subject from Karyn, I must admit a lot of people have asked if I regret any of the past. I have been known to say I wish I had the courage and strength to make the change twenty years ago. But after I did the Montreal radio interview, my friend Jim from Oswego wrote to me and drove home a great point. He said "I'm glad you waited because had you not, we
never would have met" And he was right.


I probably would never have worked at Lee USA Speedway, which led to ISMA, Oswego Speedway and NEMA. I probably wouldn't know any of my racing friends. I probably wouldn't have met some of the fine folks at Newbury Comicseither. That list could go on and on. Some of those people became better friends than when we had first met. But the people are the main reason why I could never have gone stealth.


Do I wish I had made the change sooner? Without a doubt. But if it meant giving up the people I now know, I'm glad things went as they did.


As the weather is turning to fall, I'm truly finding everywhere I turn, reminders of a year ago this time coming to the forefront of my mind. Last year was so hectic with appointments, shopping for Montreal, when I got back from Montreal, other necessary preparations and just the general excitement of a new future. It very much brings me down that I wasn't able to truly
appreciate those times. As nervous as I was, it was in hindsight quite mentally stimulating, but nerve wracking time. I'm finding myself depressed missing those times very much. And last Monday, I finally realized that I was falling into the typical 'post-op depression'.


No, I have no regrets, but I certainly miss having my mind so occupied and that I've fallen into the boring 'same ole' routine that I had years ago. I was fully aware that I was missing those times. I just wasn't aware that it was in all actuality depressing me.
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The View From MySpace

It is hard sometimes getting caught in between what we have and what we missed. I look back on all the experiences that I would never have and sometimes wonder "what if". But now there are too many precious things that have given my life richness for that "what if".

When I look back on just a few short years ago the "richness" I'd gained didn't mean to me what it does today. That is to say I was living for them instead of being able to enjoy what I gained for myself. This changes has given me that perspective and in some respects without being on both sides, I doubt I would be able to comprehend that.

With that said I can certainly say without my change and yours, we probably would have never met. We can always look backwards fondly but it is much more exciting to look to the future.

Karyn
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I'm glad you waited, too, but I understand completely how you feel. I often feel the same myself: if only I had told my parents when I was younger how I felt. And in a way I'm also glad I waited, because I'm not sure my parents would have been as accepting back then.

Jamie
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Glad you're not a man anymore...Now you are a woman who can reason and understand and well....just plain get it. Men can't, don't and never will....glad you came over to our way of thinking.....

Kristina S.

This Yo-Yo or So Called Life

Originally posted on September 30, 2008

This Yo - Yo or So Called Life

Current mood: forgotten


It's funny, ok, maybe it's not, how life can tease you with good, only to bitch slap you with backhand.


Last week someone stole the "Nobody Knows I'm A Lesbian" sticker off of my car's rear window. Little do they know, I had a brand new, larger one at home ready to put on.


Saturday night I went out for dinner and drinks with Karyn & Diane at Margarita's. It lasted five and a half hours that just totally flew by. It was clearly the most enjoyable Saturday evening I had spent since the night at Boston Pizza in Montreal, back in January. Finding two people that share my love of music and sense of humor is amazing. We met via the Telegraph articles and have traded e-mails almost daily. I knew we hit it off when we met and had dinner in August, but Saturday things rose to an unprecedented level. I definitely see two life long friends here, and I'm quite happy things have clicked so quickly. They are quite interesting and fun to talk with. I'm very much looking forward to the next time.


But today, I find the my best friend ----, for over twenty years, was in the area for the third time in a month. I often get e-mails stating "Next time I'm in the area, we'll get together for beers". But neither my home or cell phone rang any of those three times. No e-mail, no nothing. We used to attend virtually every concert together, one hundred plus Monarchs games, countless Bruins, Celtics & Red Sox games, many, many beach bar runs, and traveling all over the northeast in search of good restaurants. We shared the same taste in music, humor and sports. The only thing we disagreed on was politics. He a staunch Bill Clinton, NPR loving liberal. Me, an American. When I first started discussing my TG issues, I knew the one person that would stick by me, would be ----. Wrong.


A person I work with, that shared a lot of our likes, we brought into the fold seven or eight years ago. a few weeks back mentioned ---- was in town over the weekend. Hmmm, never got a call. Today that happened for the third time in a month. The person we brought in, came into my office several times today to discuss the things that they did yesterday, with never even a
concern of note that these were the things and places that ---- and I used to go and do and brought him into the fold. Never once a call from either. Never even a of regret or second thought in his discussion.


I did get an e-mail five or six weeks back from ---- when he needed something. It also included the over used tag line of "Next time I'm in the area, we'll get together for beers". Too bad it was
all a lie.


Funny, I thought with the transition, it would be the extreme conservative friends that I have that I would lose. I'm totally shocked that it was the close friendship with a supposed ultra-liberal that would turn out to be the one that was worthless.


I've had the feeling this was coming for two years, but being a loyal friend found it hard to believe. Guess I was correct in what I really didn't want to believe, was indeed a fact.


Good news is, Karyn & Diane.


Good news is, the MCM have a dinner set up for this Thursday.

Photobucket


Good news is, only two weeks left of racing for me. Hopefully, after 28 years, to never to be involved again.

Bad news is, I'm going to miss the Thompson World Series for the first time since I started going in 1980. I just can't justify the hotel or driving back & forth both days plus the $75 pit admission, just to spectate.

Bad news is, Jerry Rich found out I'm going to his Oswego Hall of Fame induction, as much as I tried to keep it a secret.

Good news is, I'm Irish, I'm hurt, and I'm pissed. But I certainly will not forget. No way, no how. And I certainly will not come out on the losing end.
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The View From MySpace

No matter how much we joke and throw eachother under the bus I totally feel for you. It sucks. No fluffy way around it. ----- is missing out BIG Time. Love you bitch

Michelle
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Aw Cyn, I'm sorry to hear about your friends poor thoughtless treatment of you. Like I wrote in email yesterday he probably has no direct problem with you but is insecure of how others will perceive him. Either way he's a weak minded human being.

Like you I expected to lose all my friends because they were staunch conservatives. Even Diane's family are all headlined conservatives and yet, these are in fact some of the people that cared about my well being over the shell that they view.

Your beauty, wit and warmth are all things that your friend will miss out on (His loss). It just gives the rest of us more of you so we don't have to share. The reality of it is something you knew from the beginning of transition and it is something we are all taught. If someone has to be so shallow and treat you so poorly over who you are, then they were never truly a friend to begin with and then why would you want a friend like that.

Saturday night was awesome and it went so quickly that it was hard to believe we were even there that long. It was certainly the height of our weekend. On the side, Dee is happy because now she has someone else on her side to gang up on Karyn. The funny thing is that it is nice having people that care enough to do just that

I hope you are OK and know that you have friends that like you because of who you are...

Karyn
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Sorry that you lost a friend that way... :(

and someone actually stole a sticker OFF your car? wow.

Jeremy
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Cyn, perhaps you were forgotten by someone, but you in general will never be forgotten. You're too wonderful a person.

I think like the sticker it's unfortunate that an old friend is not around anymore, but at the same time you have a blossoming new friendship with two lovely people. Someone walked off with a really cool sticker, but little did they realize you have a new one ready to go. Likewise someone walked off with a friendship, but little did he realize you have a new friendship developing with Karyn and Diane.

Hopefully I'm not being too simple or out of line with the sticker analogy, but my point is that life and relationships are very malleable, perhaps more than we like to admit. In the end we always find a way through and find those who will stick with us and those who, for one reason or another, need to go.

To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.

Jamie
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Bad news is... the lesbian sticker is gone
Good news is.. you don't need a sticker to show the world you're a gorgeous girl lover
Bad news is.. You aren't coming to our Halloween Bash/B-day party;
Good News is... You're ALWAYS welcomed at our house
Bad News is... this "friend" you speak of is a dick...
Good news is... Me and Harlan LOVE YOU!!!
Bad News is... You're Irish
Good News is... You're a pissed off Irish-ite...
Bad news is... ummm, I'll just end it all here...

Fuck 'em all...I LOVE YOU GURL!!!

Melinda
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Politics, Nashua Telegraph & Weight Gain

Originally posted on September 28, 2008

itics, Nashua Telegraph & Weight Gain

Current mood: frustrated

First and foremost, no politics will be mentioned in this or any near future blogs! LMAO Karyn & Andrea are two good people whom would get along if they actually met. Karyn is a firecracker who posted some great comments to the Nashua Telegraph stories and has become a great friend via the In Transition series. She loves a lively debate. Andrea, I met through the now defunct Geezerteezers.


Second, congrats to Karen Lovett and Corey Perrine from the Nashua Telegraph. *The Telegraph was recognized with 26 awards – including 10 for first place – at the New England Associated Press News Executive Association's annual fall conference Friday night at the Grappone Center.


The more than two-dozen awards represents the most ever received by The Telegraph in this contest in recent memory. Staff photographer Corey Perrine was responsible for 13 of those awards in the photography and multimedia categories.


The Telegraph's six-part In Transition series of stories that examined the state's transgender community was recognized for its writing, photography and multimedia. "A deft hand with many essential details makes this series of stories the winner," the judges wrote. Here is a summary of The Telegraph's awards:


>>>First place<<<
Feature Story: Karen Lovett and Ashley Smith for "In Transition."

>>>Second place<<<
Photo story: Corey Perrine for "Becoming Cynthia."

>>>Third place<<<
Multimedia: Corey Perrine for "A New Woman," part of the In Transition series.*


Congrats to both Karen & Corey. I haven't known them very long, but I certainly miss having them around.


As it's getting darker earlier in the evening, I'm still getting flashbacks of my surgery recovery period. Being home with a flu for a few days certainly brought back a lot of those feelings. I can only imagine what it's going to be like when we turn the clocks and it gets dark really early. I
still can't believe what a blur that time period was/is.


They say recovery can take as much as a year and I'm finding that they were not joking. Things are vastly improved down there, but still I'm quite numb down there. Not enough to be pain, but enough to be distracting at times, especially if wearing heavy pants or jeans. Taking the air conditioner out of the window and bringing it down a flight of stairs was a quick reminder
that I'm not 100% and paid the price for it.


I did get some time with my friend Melinda whom is moving back to New Hampshire, from Memphis. Unfortunately the place we chose, had incredibly loud music and it was difficult to have a quality conversation. But I believe she'll be home around the first of October. So we'll have to do a re-do.


Shockingly this morning a first happened. For the first time since my full time experience and since surgery, my mother shocked me this morning by saying how nice I looked! Careful folks, hell is about to freeze over any minute now.


I've also found out that two good friends, Carol Haynes & Jerry Rich are being inducted to the Oswego Speedway Hall of Fame this year. Jerry not only being a very good friend, but also an idol (as mentioned in the Classic weekend blog), and as much as I was looking forward to NOT having to attend any racing banquets this year, I am going to have to attend Oswego's banquet
for their induction. Which has me searching through the closet I had just cleaned out, as the weight I've gained since March is becoming an issue. I was at a lower weight than I had been in over a decade, pre-surgery. Immediately after surgery I lost another ten pounds or so. But with the 95% loss of testosterone and the change in metabolism, I'm weighing more than ever before. Sighhhhhhhh...............


I'd kinda like to make this banquet my last hurrah in racing As since being heavily involved since 1980, I've had enough. Strange considering in the early-90's I usually attended between 90 - 110 races per season. But now, other than seeing a handful of friends at each race, I really have zero desire to be at the track (any track), and usually can't wait to leave. I'm also finding myself nitpicking the things the tracks are doing wrong and that list seems to getting longer every race. Could 2009 be the year I finally make a clean break?


* Denotes copy borrowed from the Nashua Telegraph.
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ADDENDUM ADDED 2/19/2012

Thanks to Mike Douglas Sr & Mike Douglas Jr, I still haven't made a clean break from racing.

The above mentioned to debates between Karyn & Andrea aren't represented in the "Hanna" post due to Andrea later deleting her account, hence all posts went bye-bye. That is also a reason why many friends especially Gaily are not represented in the "The View From My Space" additions.
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The View From MySpace


Oh Gurl, don't worry about the weight, you looked great last week. Harlan has already paid heavily for the Tequila-induced comments toward my rad-ass Mom and me LOL JK

Congrats on the Telegraph's awards. That's really cool they were recognized for their outstanding work.

I think your schedule for 2009 is already filled and as far as I can see there are no slots penciled in for races--well maybe races to the restroom, I WIN!!!! LMAO

Melinda
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Ok fess up, the only reason you put my name in here was to see if I actually read ALL your blogs; right?

I promise not to talk politics because quite honestly, like you I'm sick of them!

I think the Telegraph awards were awesome for more than one reason. I think that it was good having this issue brought out into mainstream society. More people need to understand that we are , just people. We are just dealing with things in the easiest manner we can. I think they picked the right people for that article in you, Jenn, Gerri and Anne.

The 2nd thing that I loved about these awards were the fact that they fly in the face of all the people who didn't want this story in the paper and didn't feel this was newsworthy. Hopefully by earning these awards the Telegraph can see the value and in turn gove us more positive exposure.

Your weight is a NON-ISSUE you look awesome! Besides they say that a little weight gain is a side effect of transition. Hopefully that weight is in the right spots and it just that your body fat is redistrubuting.

Congrat's on the compliment from your mom. You must have felt like you day was going to be way out of whack LMAO! ..

Lastly to your friend Andrea~ I hopeyou were teasin when you said I scared you, it wasn't my intention. If that is truly the case I am sorry for that and hope that we can start off on a better footing ...

Karyn
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Buuuurrrr I did notice a chill the other morning. Your always beautiful remember that.

Michelle
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This is so much awesome news! Thank you again so much for working with The Telegraph to tell your story. If you wouldn't mind, could you also pass on my thanks and congratulations to Karen and Corey, too? I know I've said this a few times before, but this series of articles means so much to me. My mom lives in Nashua and read every single one of the articles. It really helped her to understand my experience by being able to read about your experience and the experiences of others.

I think it's wonderful that your mother gave you such a nice compliment! Hopefully she has many more for you yet to come. ;)

Jamie
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Clothes & The Past (Thanks Hanna)

Originally posted on September 8, 2008

Clothes & The Past (Thanks Hanna)

Current mood: touched

For a weekend that was supposed to be spent in Thompson, CT, I actually accomplished quite a bit. The remains of Hurricane Hanna spoiled any racing for Saturday and a phone call from Mike Douglas Saturday evening, informed that the new motor wasn't ready and we wouldn't be going to Thompson on Sunday.


Wednesday after returning to work and reality, I came home as Rudy Giuliani was speaking at the Republican National Convention. I had no desire to watch or listen to any of the RNC but just as I went to bed Sarah Palin began speaking. I had been impressed with her credentials but when she began speaking, I had a whole new interest. Unlike Hillary, Palin spoke to me and like a human. Hillary liked to speak in a forced, phony, screeching tone. Not to mention, Hillary was extremely condescending when she spoke.


Sarah Palin, whom you would think the feminists would be proud of. But the next day I found the feminists hated her. Guess in order to impress them you must dress and look like a man. Goodness forbid you actually had children and a career! Guess some people will never be pleased.


Being a New Hampshire resident, home of the first primary, it's easy to get burnt out on presidential elections, as the candidates have started campaigning here two years prior to the primary. Plus my being home in recovery from surgery for a month in the heart of the primaries, I was at the point that I never wanted to hear the names Clinton, Obama or McCain again. Sarah Palin has re-sparked my interest.


Funny enough, one to the transgender Yahoo groups I belong to, but have been contemplating leaving, had it's leader post some anti-McCain propaganda. It was quickly followed by a Palin bash by another member. I had to stir the pot and post a few pro-Palin rants. It got a debate going which got kinda heated. Of course the above mentioned leader complained about the negative tones things had taken. Forgetting that she started the whole mess.


A few weeks back while on vacation, I had been looking for a coat I couldn't find. I went to a basement closet and found a shock. All of my old dress pants. I thought they were long gone. Someone at Goodwill will hit a goldmine as they were all immaculate and like brand new. Over time I had been cleaning out clothes, I had donated two full garbage bags full to TSHavenHouse, and I had given quite a few to some off the guys at Newbury Comics.


One my first day home from Oswego, I got fed up with my closet being over stuffed. I decided I could use the room in the closet that the pants previously used. I took out what I thought were going to a handful of John's shirts. Turned out to be many, many more than I had anticipated.


Saturday, seeing Thompson was rained out, I had planned on organizing my bed room which is like having 20 lbs of things in a 10 lb bag. I got the closet straightened out, and went to make better use of the storage bins under my bed.......I found yet more of John's shirts I had forgotten about and a box full of shoes and boots. I could have used those boots last February and March when I was still quite tender from surgery. But I had forgotten there were there. Things could have been easier if I knew they were there......


I also went through various cards from pre and post surgery. I also found the note Karen & Corey had left me immediately after my surgery, which I found the next morning.

I think over the years I collected so many clothes because being raised by a single parent, although I was always dressed neat and clean, times were undoubtedly tight. I had also kept a lot of John's clothes simply because what if I had chickened out of surgery or something had made it fall through. At times, during my real life experience, I tended to dress up a little more,
trying to help pass as Cynthia. Even my friend Carrie chastised me in Montreal for not dressing down more often, LOL.


But I guess there's no going back now, but sometimes it's still difficult to let go of some of the past. Clothes are just a small reminder of that.


Today I did more work around the house. Note both days I spent doing things that I thought for sure I would accomplish in my recovery time off.....little did I know, LOL. "Thought" being the key word.


But I took some time to go into my playroom, lay on the futon and watch some of the Patriots game. Memories came crashing back. This was the first time I had done that since January 20. The day the first Telegraph article appeared. I remember that night before staying on that futon, chatting with members of Racersbored.com knowing that sometime after midnight, Karen's first article would be posted. It was very late but I was very thrilled with the final
results. The next day was spent on that very futon, watching the Patriots vs the Chargers and the Giants vs the Packers. Fielding text messages and tons of e-mail from friends and well wishers as that Thursday I was leaving for Montreal. Just watching the game today from the same location brought me right back.


I would have thought those memories would have dulled by now. I'm starting to believe they never will. I just wish I could have appreciated them better as they happened. I hope they remain this fresh for the balance of my time.
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ADDENDUM ADDED 2/19/2012

It was but a few weeks later that I learned to dislike Sarah Palin, like everyone else. LOL
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The View From MySpace


Oh Cyn, I love you, but Sarah Palin????? No, no, no, no!!! She and her right wing religious zealots will have people like you outlawed. PLEASE keep doing you're homework and re-think this!!!!

Lola

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Classic Weekend 2008

Originally posted September 5, 2008

Classic Weekend

Current mood: happy

Some people look forward to Christmas. Some people look forward to their birthday (day/week/month, depending on the person) But I look forward most to Oswego Classic Weekend. Granted it's bittersweet because Labor Weekend is the unofficial end of summer.


I made my first trip to Oswego for Classic back in 1981 and have been every year since, excluding 1985 and 1986. It's truly the one time every year I get extremely pumped up for. Even when I had started my last suicidal stage back in July 2004, I knew had to see one more Classic. It was a few weeks later that I had the final breakdown and came clean to myself. Had the Classic not been so close, I may not be here today.


As a kid on a super modified crew, I was told wondrous things about this magical place. I was also forewarned not to mess with the Oswego officials. Not that we ever messed with the Star Speedway officials, but the riot act was read to us several times. When I got there, I found all
the hype was true. I was in heaven.


But early that first day, I was sent to ask an Oswego official a question.
I found one and asked in fear. This official answered my question but then asked me a kind of sarcastic question. Not that he was being rude, it was his way of joking with the racers. I hastily sputtered out an answer and quickly returned to our pit spot. That person, would be an inspiration to me years later when I became a Lee USA Speedway official, because I saw and
admired the way he ran a pit area at Oswego and at all of the ISMA shows.


Later we worked together when I joined ISMA as an official, we hit it off great. Jump ahead to 2008, this person was the person whom called me the most when I was in Montreal. The sarcastic guy I feared 1981, remains one of my best friends in racing or life today. That person is Jerry Rich (aka JR).


When I worked for ISMA and later Oswego, JR gave me a key to his house which I still have and anytime I'm in Central New York, I have a home where I'm welcome 24/7. I stay at his house for Classic Weekend now and this year was the first time I had seen him since surgery. It was a great "Welcome Home"


Thursday JR and his girlfriend Linda Hurn, went for dinner, after which I left them to head up to the track for "Party In The Pits", which this year was kinda lame, but I did get to see one of my MCM sistas and her boyfriend Rich. We made the best of a quiet night, and found hot buffalo wings and plenty of adult beverages.


Friday I went bargain shopping as last year I found some great clearance sales at a local mall. This year didn't disappoint either. Then I headed up to the track to see the first day of winged super modified racing, but more importantly, a lot of friends I hadn't seen in a year. Getting my Trina hug and seeing Debbie, Samantha, Barry and tons of others was awesome. Did I mention the Trina hug? If the MCM ever needs a "NY Sector", Trina would be a perfect candidate. In fact Samantha asked for me to bring the MCM with me sometime. Look out Oswego, if that ever happens


The whole time I was gone, I feared my mother would put the stray cat in the animal shelter.I've really befriended this cat and he, me. To think I'm 300 miles away, having fun, but more worried about a cat that's not really mine.


I had shut off my cell phone around 1:00 a.m. Saturday. I got up early on Saturday because I hadn't seen my host, JR since I left him after dinner on Thursday. When he needed to get ready to head to the track I returned to bed and turned on my cell phone, in case some one up at the track was trying to reach me.


My messages signal went off. WTH??? I got two messages from my mother to call ASAP and before heading to the track. She left me a number I didn't recognize to call her at. Was this a message from Friday that didn't come through? I tried calling home twice. No answer. Had there been a fire? I relistened to the message and got the 'strange' number. It turned out to be a local hospital.


My mother had gone for her annual physical Friday morning and all was fine. I talked to her around 2:00 p.m. and all was fine. At 4 p.m. she got a call from the doctor. "Get to the hospital, NOW" was his message. Her blood platelets had dropped to 4,000. Normal is 150, 000 to 400, 000. She left thinking she'd be back. The stray cat was in the house sleeping, locked in with my two cats that dislike the stray. Mother didn't return home until Sunday morning. Luckily her friend came in on Saturday and fed the three cats and let the stray outside.


Saturday, I spent more time with friends and went out to have lunch on the shores of Lake Ontario. As we dined, the sun broke out and remained that way for the balance of the weekend. It was the perfect Saturday and Sunday weather wise. Just after I got to the track I spent time in the pit area, seeing more friends and stealing another Trina hug. When I went to the grand stands a dear friend, Melinda had called, but as I listened to her message, I couldn't call her back, One I was at a race track, where it remained quite loud. Two, I was with friends it would have quite rude and three, she likes long phone conversations. Not today I can't.


After the race Saturday night, I wisely returned back to my temporary home knowing Sunday would be an early and long day. Plus I was going to return home immediately after that afternoons races. Not knowing if my mother was home and in what shape the three cats were
in.


Early Sunday morning my mother called and she was being released, I could enjoy my last night in Oswego after all. I had breakfast with Linda Hurn and after as we headed to the track, my sister from Montreal, Sonja, called. I couldn't speak to her as, One it's illegal to use a handset cell phone in NY while driving(bad enough I wasn't wearing a seatbelt in NY), I was with Linda, and Sonja too doesn't know the meaning of a short phone conversation.


When getting to my seats at Oswego for Sunday, I've had the same tickets for about 15 years and sit next to the same people for all of those years. I don't 'know' them but know enough about them. They always liked having me there because if they didn't understand a race procedure or call, they could ask me.


Well just before the Classic was about to get pushed off, the guy next to me turns and asks "I hope you don't mind me asking, but how long have you been a woman?" I think this made my whole trip! He was great and very understanding. And impressed.


Classic Sunday came and went . It was a good race and beautiful weather. I saw a lot of friends that day in the stands and in the pits after. I was glad I was able to stay longer than I had anticipated. As I left the speedway that night I walked to my car with a former driver that raced under me when I worked at Oswego. He had also worked with me at a NORA show that I was the race director for at a show at Adirondack Speedway.


NORA had started strong but seemed to fizzle out. But towards the end of our conversation, he mentioned that NORA needed a director like me whom told it like it was and stuck to it, like I did those shows. I replied I'd be glad to. I liked working with those guys. They hated my strictness as race director but they listened very well. I guess the fact that I still worked forISMA but this called outlaw (USA sanctioned) show anyways, much to ISMA's dismay, helped. Could I be returning to the racing circuit in 2009?


Just maybe I will………


But it was great to see Joe K, Bobby G,Chuck H, SuzyNotISMA and all I've forgotten to mention in the above.


But on the way back to JR's, the incredible need to urinate every five miles was unbearable. Even when I didn't really have to go. But it felt like it every time. BADLY.


Monday morning I got started early on my 5 ½ hour return home. Still with this incredible need
to urinate, despite the fact that I had nothing to drink so far. When I finally went the razor blades struck. Great! Thanks to a urinary tract infection , my 5 ½ hour trip became a 6 ½ hour
uncomfortable trip.

I always get so pumped up for Classic Weekend, that coming home has always depressed me. Years ago I discovered to take Tuesday off in case one of the race days gets rained out and moved to Monday and it allows Tuesday to recover from the climax let down if I'm home on Monday. As I about an hour from home, feeling depressed about returning home, I got a text message from Mike Douglas Jr, whom was wishing he had been in Oswego like in the days his father had raced. His message read simply "This is the part I always hated about Classic", meaning returning home. I could only reply "Understatement" I knew his sentiments exactly.


Tuesday was spent doing errands, going for urine tests, chasing prescriptions and returning to my cribbage league in Auburn, NH for the first time in over a year. But my heart was in Oswego. A place I love, with people I love.


Yes, the stray cat was still here safe and sound. quite happy to have me home, as I went to sleep with him sleeping and purring on my chest. A similar situation I awoke to Tuesday morning.

Counting down to Labor Day 2009.
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ADDENDUM ADDED 2/18/2012

The "stray cat" is still with me and named "Skippy" and I never did return to working as a race official on a regular basis.
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The View From MySpace


i missed u and every 1 else last weekend... more than you'll know

Robert G.
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Awesome blog! Thanks for the shout out!! I was rather bummed on Monday that it was all over. The week spent up to Classic week there is such build up and then the let down after it's over. It was good to see you.

Sue K.
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Wow! Sounds like you had an emotionally and action charged trip! Happiness, sadness, stress, fear, excitement - is there any emotion you DIDN'T feel on this trip??? I'm sorry to hear about your discomfort, glad to hear that you are home safe with Pepper and I look forward to seeing you soon!

Lola

The Soundtrack Of My Life

Originally posted on August 24, 2008

The Soundtrack Of My Life

Current mood: thoughtful

It's not exactly a secret that music is a major factor my life. Music is also the soundtrack to my life. Certain songs can bring me right back to certain times, places, and events.


Almost anything by Loverboy, off of Genesis' "And Then There Were Three" or "Abacab", or Van Halen's "Fair Warning" remind me off my first girlfriend.

I remember 'buying' my first lp at the Jordan Marsh at the Burlington Mall. It was the Beatles "Revolver" and everytime I hear the countdown to Taxman, I remember listening to the lp lying on my mothers bed for a nap. Strange considering it was 1967, I believe. I was three. Also one of my earliest memories was getting The Beatles "Second Album" and the Chipmunks "Sing The Beatles" from Santa. I guess that was 1967 or 1968.


I distinctly remember a lot of late 1960's songs the first time I heard them and the events surrounding them. Especially lps I got for my birthday or Christmas. I distinctly remember hearing "Sgt Pepper" for the first time one Saturday morning in June 1967 and where I was the first time I heard the Beatles "White Album". Certain songs just bring me back to family events, especially Chicago Transit Authority, "Sunshine Of You Love" even Smokey Robinson's "Tears Of A Clown"


The Who's "Tommy" and the Lyres "On Fire" will always remind me of my first true love and John losing his virginity. The Rollings Stones will also always remind me of her.


There are certain CD's and songs I can not play after my April trip to Montreal. King Crimson and some Beach Boys songs will just bring me back to that tear soaked drive. The Beatles "Free As A Bird" will remind me of the death of a friend. He was dying of cancer, but the night that song debuted in the mid 1990's, was also the night I learned of his passing.


The list could go on forever, but essentially, music is always there and will always bring me rightback to certain places. Lot's of 1970's sings bring me back to summers going to Hampton Beach, either listening to Dale Dorman on WKBO or hearing the music from blanket to blanket or from the Ocean Boulevard vendors. Heck even the Police's "Synchonicity" lp or Asia's debut lp remind me of Hampton Beach because those summers, no matter which blanket you walked by, you heard a song from those records.


A few years back, when I was in my suicidal stage, Paul McCartney's "Listen To What The Man Said" as 'the' song for me. It brought me back to the summer of 1975 or 1976 at Hampton Beach. What I was calling a 'happy place'. It had nothing to do with the lyrics just the time and place it brought me to. It is probably what has me alive today despite the fact that I kept it on repeat in my CD player for hours and drove a nearby co-worker bonkers. LMAO.


Obviously I survived and I thought all of my ex's were aware of my transition. But today I was coming home from a birthday party in Claremont and I heard a song from Julian Lennon, "Now You're Heaven", that brought me back eight or nine years.


I had met a recently divorced nurse in a small town in NH. We quickly hit it off. I'm quite positive my humor is what attracted her to me. But we had some great times together. Being the sappy hopeless romantic I am (no wonder my ex girlfriends aren't shocked by my transition) I really fell for her and thought she was the one. I had just come off a relationship that was one-sided (hers) fiscally, and mentally taxing on me. She in turn was happy that I could keep her laughing as well as get her off multiple times.


She was fun and exciting. She taught me things that I never knew before and was damn erotic. Many people were jealous that I won her favor, including the chief of police in the small town in which we met. One of my favorite sex stories, is the we made love under that police chief's office window. LOL. But I was head over heels in love she was more interested in the laughs, fun and sex. I guess today it would be called 'f--k buddies'.


We never broke up, just drifted apart. But I can't hear Sheryl Crow or the "One Fine Day" soundtrack without being brought back to her and those crazy nights out till 3:00 or 3:30 a.m. when I had to be at work at 8:00 a.m. Last I knew she had remarried to a doctor. Something fiscally I could never compete with.


I had filed her way back in my mind and had almost forgotten about her. Today thanks to Julian Lennon, she came crashing back. I hope wherever she is, Gail doing well.


And Gail, have you heard any good rumors lately...........
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ADDENDUM ADDED 2/18/2012

When e-mail people about my transition, whether they had heard or were just inquiring, I always started off with "So ______________ have you heard any good rumors lately?"
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The View From MySpace

have about 5 of these "soundtracks to my life" blogs started and never finished. I could never put it as well as you have here. :)

Lola
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Glad you decided to stick around. ;-{p

Jeff B.
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"And Gail, have you heard any good rumors lately..........."


ah yes, my favorite line.

Karyn

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dear Sir Or Madam Would You Read My Book

Dear Sir Or Madam Would You Read My Book

Current mood: relaxed

Thanks to SuzyISMA, I realized I hadn't updated my blog in a while. Sorry about that.

I had my stress test and before I even started my blood pressure was elevated, but I did the test and passed with flying colors. It took about a week or so after but the pain finally left my arms and I was feeling back to normal. Best we can figure it must have been a virus of some sort.


My brother was home for the first time in almost two years. But the visit was extremely anti-climatic and I hardly even saw him. Not surprising but still disappointing.

I've still got the stray cat that I found two weeks ago. He's a great cat but I still need to place him. But he does follow me around, almost like having a dog instead of a cat. He's going to have to go to a good home. But I have become quite attached.


Physically the surgical area is getting better though things still are a bit tender at times. Still Montreal seems all so long ago, it amazes me that it was just six months ago.


I did make my first trip to Hampton Beach post surgery. I was still a bit nervous as this would me the most undressed I had been in a busy public setting, but things went great. No problems what so ever. If I can pass that, I should be able to pass any test! I'm looking to return this coming Wesnesday with the "Original Cyn", something I'm very much looking forward too.


I'm taking this week for vacation. Being out for six weeks earlier this year I really wasn't planning on it, but I'm really getting burnt out and three weeks ago I decided I needed one. Seeing I still had 15 days vacation time to use by the end of 2008, this was the time. Work is going fine but Newbury is really burning me out with the extra hours.


Not much is planned on vacation, but the previously mentioned beach trip. Tuesday will be full of errands and seeing the original therapist that actually saved my life so many years ago. It will be the first time she see's me post-op.


The first rainy day (probably Monday) I'll spend time cleaning out more of John's stuff. I held on to a lot of clothes 'in-case' but I can't go back to being John even if I wanted to. I don't. But it's one of the chores I figured I could get done while recovering from surgery, little did I realize when I made that plan just how much surgery would knock me physically.


Increasingly I'm finding that first month post op to be a blur, but every now and then I get deja vu which brings me right back to the time and place. It seemed like it took forever then, but now it seems like a flash.


But vacation got off to a great start. Tonight I had dinner with Karyn & Diane. Karyn had introduced herself after the second Telegraph article had printed. Though we trade e-mail almost daily, tonight was the first time I had met her in person. She & Diane were awesome. We all love music and have a similar sense of humor (watch out world). As a couple, they remind me very much of the Original Cyn and I. Too much so. Not a bad thing granted. But I'm looking forward to getting together with them more often. Down to earth, fun, honest people are hard to find. These two are keepers.


Between meeting these new friends, the MCM and getting closer with old friends, the whole transition has been very positive on the friends side. Now it's time to start putting myself out there on the romance side. Problem is, it's been so long that I don't even know where to begin. And that is a scary thing. Very, very scary.
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The View From MySpace


The trip to the beach is a big step. That's awesome! I can imagine you were very nervous. I'm glad it went so well. I can't believe it's been only six months since your surgery, too! That was about the time I started to get to know you. It seems so long ago but it isn't.

Jamie
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It was such a pleasure spending time with you. You're a cool chick and we had a blast. I only wish you had mentioned the beach trip at dinner, congrats!

Karyn
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Look at that, a shout out to SuzyISMA!! Now that is a blast from the past in both our lives!! Man how we have both changed. Now it's more like Suzy NO ISMA!!

Sue
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Hi Cynthia,
Jerry (Rich) just has to run his mouth. Hahaha. I was glad he brought the newspaper clippings for me to read. It filled in a lot of gaps and questions. I am very glad you are doing well and are happy. It will be fun to get to know you as Cynthia...once I get over the giggling. Sorry, but since you are the first person I have known that has followed the path that you have. So giggling is my strange way of being with someone that is so different in appearance than I used to know. It is my own problem and support your decision completely.

I hope there is time to see you over Classic or if you should come prior to that (I will have more time then).

Lee

Strangest Week Yet

Originally posted on June 22, 2008

Strangest Week Yet

Current mood: lethargic

As I've noted before, I've not been feeling well and I've been unusually lethargic the past 6 weeks or so. In fact my last personal blog (not the Gerri Telegraph article one) had things in it that had been written three weeks prior.


But in a good start, I received an e-mail from Karen at the Telegraph. It was subject titled with my name which I found strange. But in turn, it was simply a forwarded e-mail, hence the title. It was a friend the I grew up with, from grammar school through high school. Plus we worked together for years after and had a lot of fun. But we lost touch just after his wedding in 1989. He found me again via the Telegraph article.

We made contact and he's really happy for me. But without directly saying so, informed me that some of my old friends couldn't comprehend or approve the change from John to Cynthia. Their problem. Not mine. But he's happy for me and proud of me. To add a strange twist, he's the boss of my next door neighbor. Small world after all.


The next day, a former co-worker contacted me via MySpace.It was great to hear from her for the first time in years and unbeknownst to me she had been following my progress all along, via my blogs. We had our share of spats but over time understood each other much better.


But that same night, I did a rare thing, I called in sick to Newbury Comics, I had not been feeling well for sometime but that Friday it seemed to have peaked. Or so I had thought. I was not feeling well at all and spent that night sleeping from aboout 5:30 in the afternoon, on. I believe it was the first time I've called in, in about three years.


The next day, despite my beloved supermodifieds running at All-Star Speedway, I elected to take a weekend off from racing and go to the Ribfest in Merrimack. A wise choice, as this will now be listed as a 'can't miss event.'


Sunday, Gerri's article was published along with a sidebar stating that this was the last of the Nashua Telegraph's "InTransition" series. Strange considering they had been photographing me and interviewing me since my return from Montreal, for a post-op article. Both the print and the web site had it, so it wasn't in error.


The next day Karen (formerly the door) wrote me to explain that although the monthly series was completed, some newsworthy stand alone articles will be done. Those plans possibly include my follow up article, but pretty much only if my mother agrees to do press (she won't) or if I become involved in a relationship (don't see that happening in the foreseable future). I'm writing off any further articles.


Karen & Corey did a great job and they are both super nice. It was my pleasure to meet them. Just meeting fellow TG's Jamie & Karyn made the time spent on the Telegraph interviews all worthwhile, plus the old friends it had put me in touch with.


But Wednesday all the drama peaked. I woke up feeling like garbage. I just didn't feel right all day. I was working at Newbury Comics and around 6:30 a former co-worker, Chad, came in. I knew I wasn't feeling well but this is about the time I really started feeling ill. I couldn't even concentrate on our brief conversation.


Major league heartburn, nausea, a pounding headache that would come and go. I could feel my blood pressure up and was incredibly light headed. By 9:00 my arms were aching and my fingers were fat and numb.


Being Irish and stubborn I stayed till 9:30. But I literally felt like death. Barely hanging on. Plus I had to pick up my mother who was dropping her car off for repairs. I told her my symptoms and she was like 'get to the hospital'.


I came home and called ask a nurse and they had the same advice. So I went. While hooked up at the check-in, the nurse asked if I had a history of irregular heartbeat, I said 'no' and she replied 'well you do now!' LOL


They did all kinds of checks, my heart rate and blood pressure were all sky high, but they got it all down after three hours. Everything looked ok, so I was sent home just after 1:00 a.m. But I have a stress test this Thursday. I've been feeling better but still have a headache and sore arms.


Friday I made my first visit to a NEMA race since my forced retirement. I had a few people I really wanted to see and say hello to. My reception was great by some, but surprisingly lukewarm from former 'friends'. I had planned on attending many other races but after the mostly cool reception, why waste my time, cash and gas.


People love ya when they may need you for something but if you can't benefit them any longer, they don't even care to know your name.

Excluding the Oswego Classic, if I never set foot at another race track it'll be fine by me.
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The View From MySpace


They interviewed me and my kids back in September and October of last year. I just took a while to publish that piece.

Karen also shared with me that other articles may be written, but not put on the front page as the series articles were.

Gerri
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My Mom mentioned reading that article when we talked on the phone last night! I should read it when I get a chance. I've only met Gerri briefly at the conference at PSU but she seems like a wonderful person. :)

Jamie
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love ya and racing stinks......Don't wait so long to tell us when your not feeling well. I knew something was up. I have those motherly senses too you know.

Michelle
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"Major league heartburn, nausea, a pounding headache that would come and go."

You're pregnant! Congratulations! ;)

All kidding aside, I hope you are feeling better. Please be careful and DON'T BE STUPID! You're not one of those stupid, stubborn males (anymore!) that refuses to go to the doctor and take care of themselves until it's waaay outta hand! I'm worried about you!

And don't worry about those that can't accept Cynthia. I know that's easier said than done, but I guess you can look at it this way: John had 40 years to be out there in the world. Some people met John and loved him and some people met John and didn't care for him and some people didn't like John until they really got to know him. That's just how life is, for everyone. Cynthia is now getting out there and meeting people for the "first" time. Most love her, some are confused by her, and for others, Cynthia just may not be their cup of tea. Believe me, I'm not plenty of people's cup of tea, and frankly, some people just aren't mine. Don't put too much stock in those people. Just remember all the people that know, love and admire you - there are so many of us, you should get through with NO problem. In fact, I bet if there was a popularity contest between John and Cynthia... you get the point. ;)

Lola
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wow cyn....that IS a strange week. I am glad you are feeling better, but whatever the stress test shows, you better BEHAVE! Don't push yourself so much, and take more days off!!!

Mary
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Life In A Square Circle

Originally posted on June 17, 2008

Life In A Square Circle

Current mood: blah

First, thanks to everyone for the birthday well wishes. It was very much appreciated.

Second, congrats to Andrea on her safe surgery and return from Thailand and to Karyn on her name change. Proud of both of you. Now I need some good news out of Jamie's camp.

One recent Tuesday while getting my nails done, a subject came up that reminded me of some of the mischief my friend Steve and I used to get into just after graduation. In telling some of these stories, I realized I hadn't seen Steve in almost a year, and a life long friend was going to be surprised, with some changes to myself. When it came to mischief, Steve was usually the instigator, me the enabler. Funny because Steve's parent's used to be kind of restrictive with Steve, but if I was going wherever, then they had no problem with Steve going. I also told the girl that looking back, it's lucky Steve & I are still alive. LOL


Wednesday was the interview with Natasha Hall on Montreal radio. It went ok, she seemed inquisitive and upbeat about the subject at hand. I was a bit nervous at first, but was getting better at keeping answers down to sound bites by the time it ended. I was told it was going to be 45 – 60 minutes, but it wound up being 30 minutes. I also thought it was going to be based more on Dr Brassard and Montreal itself, but it basically was a recap on the Canadian Press article.


Friday night while working at Newbury Comics, out of the blue, the above, mentioned Steve came in. Talk about strange luck. I told him how I had just been talking about him. He obviously never mentioned the changes but I could see a bit of confused look in his face. But as left he left one of his last comments about the mischief fun we had was "We're lucky we're still alive" How true it is.


I've been trying to get back to basics though. I've been out of touch with a lot of people. Some for a few years. Some for a few weeks. For some reason, my energy level has been tapped for the past month and a half. I've been for tests and things look fine, but I'm ungawdly tired no matter how much sleep I get. It may be time to put Newbury Comics into the past. But if I've been out of touch, it's not you, it's just me. What little free time I get, my energy level is nil. I'm sick of feeling tired and sick, but I just can't shake it.


I did attend an all day seminar that was put on by the NH Mental Health Counselors Association, which was put on as a continuing education for therapists. It was Advanced Studies for the Treatment of GLBTQ Clients. I figured I might be in over my head, but I wasn't at all. I guess the "school of life"taught me more than I thought. I did have a great time and made some great contacts. I do see a major career change coming. It's just a question of when.


Yesterday while out doing errands, the XM 80's channel had a rebroadcast of a Casey Kasem American Top 40 from June 1986. Just proving how much music really is the soundtrack to my life, hearing a lot of those songs brought me back to a lot of fond places, people and times I had forgotten about. It also brought back memories of the repressed depression I was holding in back then. That was around the start of it all. I knew it, but no one around me did. I now look back and just remember how miserable I was, and how thankful those times are past. Granted I miss some of the people, and some of the times that I could have enjoyed better, but I know they are best left in my previous life.


Granted I was 16 when my idealistic life came crashing into reality (1980 SUCKED) But it was late spring/early summer 1986, that I can honestly say I went from the harsh reality of being a kid to being an adult, and it was a rough period. But thankfully I survived. I'm still kinda shocked that I did, in hindsight.


I need to stop looking back and just face forward. The sun is much brighter and warmer in that direction. But damn, the past sneaks up when I least expect it.

The For The Article That Never Printed

Following surgery, the Nashua telegraph was supposed to do a post surgery article. I sat with Karen Lovett at a long painful lunch at the Olive Garden. surgery's fault, not Karen's, LOL.

Plus I did a video interview with Corey in mid February and a video interview with Karen in early April.

But Karen had asked me to keep track of things I needed to learn to do different post surgery. Below is a brief, unused, yet comical exchange, that happened in May 2008.



Hi Karen,

I forgot, you had asked me to keep track of things I've had to relearn. So far, there is only three.

1. How to dress for a wake/funeral without being over or under dressed.
I was used to gray pants, black shoes, white shirt, tie & coat.

2. The proper 'hover' technique in a port-a-potty. I certainly don't want to touch anything. And now that paranoia had me keeping a bottle of Purell in the car and a monster sized bottle of Germ-X in my race day bag.

3. How to and what colors to apply for make up, after being sun burnt on my face, with my glasses on. Leaving me with that raccoon appearance. I passed that test...phew......

Cyn

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KAREN'S REPLY

Hi Cynthia,

This is great...and I'm laughing out loud at numbers 2 and 3.

Karen