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A2Z – Expression

Blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - Expression

 

Okay…  today I’m going to again share my gingerbread cookie drawing.  The one I did to accompany my session at Breaking the Silence.  I think it explains the basics of Expression, Gender, Assigned Sex, Sex, Sexual Desire, and Affection rather well.  After all, that’s the entire reason I created it.

the ginderbread illustration by Tobi-Dawne Smith

So…  at it’s most basic?  Expression is “all this” – and if you could see me you’d see me waving my hands and fingers over my entire body from my head to my toes and everywhere in between.  It doesn’t exactly translate the same way to a blog post as it does when I do it in person.  😉  Your outward expression of gender doesn’t have to match your assigned sex, your actual sex, or any particular gender.  It just just how you feel like presenting yourself at any given time – and there is no wrong way to express yourself.

I have to be honest.  I’m kinda glad we’re on “E” with this challenge.  Sure, my blog posts have been really fast and easy to write since the challenge started.  I find this type of thing really easy to talk about.  It helps that I talk about it with such a range of people on a day to day basis.  From toddlers to teachers, I talk about orientation a lot and in a lot of different ways.  So writing about it comes fast and easy.  But I miss the challenge that comes from writing about myself and following the whim of my muse.

It really is a far greater challenge to share about important parts of my day, and how those things led to moments of self discovery or laughter.  Sure, it means I end up with the occasional “sorry for being so boring today” post.  But generally, it’s a very satisfying part of my day.  It allows me time to put everything into perspective.  It is time for me to reflect on the days joy or frustrations.

Expression.

That’s really what this blog is all about.  It’s about my expression of self.  What I feel, who I am, what’s important to me on any given day.  And this challenge, to a degree, has robbed me of that.  It’s a good thing this is such an important topic or I’d be likely to scrap the whole darn thing at this point.  😉

Expression.

It is an exceedingly important part of who we are.  Without it?  (get ready for the exceptionally geeky reference dead ahead)  We might as well be assimilated by the Borg.  Taken into the collective, sharing a mind…

Expression.

It’s easy to think of it as the least of the parts that makes up our orientation, but when it is robbed from you?  It’s easy to see it as potentially the most important.  Without it, we are but shades of ourselves…  lost, and without the will to communicate.

So value your ability to express yourself, through the way you look, the things you do, how you interact with others…  Express yourself freely and without regret.  BE WHO YOU WANT TO BE!  Be the very best you, you know how to be, and inspire others to do the same.

 

banner for the a to z challenge

How I envy the resiliency of youth

I’ve been out sick the last couple of days.  I’m still sick today, but have a little less cold and flu medicine in my system – which gives me a spank more lucidity.  So figured I should make an attempt to post something through the haze in my head.

One thing I envy children is their resiliency, their ability to bounce back and to just keep going.  Lily-Ann is the one who passed this virus on to me, but did it knock her out?  Heck no.  She had the sniffles, but was determined to just keep on keepin’ on.  Her contagious period occurred while she was out of school on the weekend, and she wasn’t about to miss any of the fun.  She had a runny nose, but was otherwise unaffected.  Me, on the other hand…  I’m a wreck.

I was out cold all of yesterday, stuck in bed, loaded with a plethora of remedies (both home and store bought).  Drippy, sore, cranky, and exhausted.  And today I’m not much better – though trying to make due with a little less of the store bought remedies…  but as soon as I’m done this blog post it’s back under the covers for me.

There isn’t much I envy of children, but that ability to bounce back is truly a remarkable thing…  and it’s not just virus related.  They have an incredible capacity to fight back, to push until they see things righted.  If only we could harness that power – the good we could accomplish.

Ahhh well…  That’s enough musing from me.  My typing skills are getting worse the longer I’m attempting lucidity.  And I’m also beginning to drip on my keyboard – and that’s the kind of lovely image I strive to leave y’all with.

So TTFN.

Keep your friends close, and your netti pots closer.  😉

Go the F to Sleep…. please?

ACK!!!!

Child will not sleep.

We finished our usual nighttime routine and laid down in the dark at 8:20.  It’s now 9:40 and she is still awake.  If I didn’t log on to blog anyway, I’d have lost my mind.  It’s bad enough when I lay in bed at night unable to sleep, but laying in bed waiting for my night to start for over an hour???  Holy crap.  Talk about wanting to bang ones head into a wall.  Jeepers.

"go the fok to sleep"

Neither the girl nor I sleep without melatonin.  We just can’t slow our brains down enough, so we just lie awake for hours.  Thankfully, with melatonin it’s usually no more than six – eight minutes in the dark for the kid and equal for me.  Of course, she takes less than a third of the dose that I take.  Well…  usually.  Tonight she’s had twice her regular dose which is about half my regular dose (don’t even ask how much of the stuff I take when I’m away at a dog show, YIKES!).

I think the excitement over the Valentine’s Day party her pre-k class is having has got her too wound up.  This girl, like her mommy, loves to give.  Even Yule and Christmas don’t get her wound up enough that she can’t sleep.  But the excitement over giving everyone in her class a home made bookmark and individually wrapped and decorated cupcakes?  Too awesome for sleep.  Of course, I’ve now had to pull out the big guns and told her that if she doesn’t sleep she will be too tired to actually go to school tomorrow.  So no sleep means no Valetine’s party.

Well. I thought we almost had her there.  A couple minutes remaining still…  but nope.  She’s thrashing all over the place again.  Ugh.  Wish me luck.  Got to get this kid to sleep and no idea how the heck I’m going to do it.  Pretty quick I’m going to be forced to tag out and get her Dad in here to double team her.  Good freakin’ grief.  Oy!

Generally Dissatisfied

I’m feeling generally dissatisfied tonight.  Just too much going on that I’m really not all that happy with, and no time to sort it all out just now.  …and this isn’t due to my January blah’s.  It’s not a blah feeling, and it’s not January.  😉  This is me, wishing I could just shake the snot out of people and tell them to wake up – but I’m too tired to put that kind of effort out.  So for now?  I’ll just gripe briefly and feel dissatisfied.  It’ll pass, one or two things will get worked out, and I’ll be back to my chipper self.  Right now though?  I’d be quite happy to take a paid vacation somewhere…  most anywhere…  anyone wanna send me some place?  Please?  No?  Well, ya can’t blame a grrrl for trying.

I don’t know.  People can’t move forward as a group when there’s dissension.  Discord and argument for their own sake?  I’ll never understand it.  Work together, compromise, make change happen.  Create progress.  In a small grassroots group this should be easy.  It has always been easy in the past.  Even when we’ve disagreed we do so peaceably knowing we need to work together for the common good.  Two or three people causing strife for what seems like the fun of it.  It doesn’t benefit anyone, and I just don’t get it.  Give the wrong individual the illusion of power and see the friction they can create.  And that’s what’s happened here.  One person voted into a position in the interim…  temporarily.  And it’s a role with no power, a figure head, someone to present to the public who can put voice to the decisions the executive has made…  and suddenly there is no end to the conflict.  It’s a comedy of errors that has resulted in near-atrocities, that thankfully for the long standing reputation of another board member was able to be smoothed over.  Ugh.  So many of us have considered just walking away, but the idea of leaving all our hard work to bring things this far in the hands of individuals who would run things into the ground?  Not something we’re willing to do.

There you go.  That’s my gripe.  Volunteering is sooo not worth this type of headache, but there are some things we do for the good of the collective, things that most people will never have any idea we’ve done…  things that need to be done.  It falls to us.  Often because there is no one else willing to pick up the torch.  So it’s onward, and we truly hope upward.

flame

If I try to pass the torch, will you be there to pick it up and run with it?

Breaking the Silence

The last several months I’ve served on (and last month and this month have chaired) the board for Breaking the Silence.  It’s the fifteenth year for this annual conference that focuses on breaking down walls and barriers in education for Sexual Minorities and Gender Queer individuals here in Saskatchewan.

When Don Cochrane (the founder and force behind Breaking the Silence) asked me to join the board this year I couldn’t say no.  The youth of our province deserve the very best we can give them, and helping to bring this conference together is just one way I can help provide that.  And not only am I working behind the scenes, I’ll actually be presenting at the conference as well.  I’ll be leading a session I’ve nicknamed “Gender, Sex, and How the Heck I Fit into it All.”

There will be several “streams” of information presented at Breaking the Silence this year.  My session can be found in the youth stream, but there are also sessions on health, education, and research.  We’ve also got Ivan Coyote presenting the keynote the night leading into the conference.  If you’ve never heard her, I’d say it’s time you did.  She is absolutely fantastic, and has created a new performance piece specifically for this years conference entitled “As Good as We Can Make it:  On bullying, collective responsibility, and actually making it better.”  It should be amazing.

So yeah!  Check it out!  You can find all the details at:  http://www.usask.ca/education/breaking-the-silence/index.htm  And this year there is even online registration (with different price schedules to fit most any budget – including students and the under-employed).  Want to know more?  Feel free to ask.  Otherwise, I’ll plan to see you there!

Breaking the Silence Poster 2012-1

breaking the silence logo

First Class Puppies!

So, yesterday evening was the first drop-in handling class of the year down at the SKOC.  And it was the first ever class for Alice and Deedee, our Chihuahua puppies.  It was a first for me too…  the first time I took puppies of my own breeding out to a class.

You know?  You do your best to prepare them.  To give them a solid foundation.  To help them be confident, brave, outgoing, and friendly little things.  But in a world of giants, you never really know if you’ve done enough.  There is always more you could do.  So that first real test can be a little nervy – for them and you.

My girlz are rockstars!  Clearly I had nothing to worry about.  First time in a new building, surrounded by dogs who were more than ten times their size (some way more than ten times their size), tons of people, noises, smells…  it’s an overwhelming experience for people – forget two little dogs no more than ten and a quarter pounds COMBINED.

Alice and Deedee did great!  Tails up in the ring.  Stood on the table (well, they were a little squirrely, but it was their first time).  We had no pretzel puppy action.  No tangled leads.  Generally confident, happy puppies, all set for this new adventure.  It really got me excited.  These guys are going to be a blast at the shows this year.  I’m SOOO looking forward to it.

I mean…  okay…  I was ALREADY looking forward to it.  I knew they were awesome.  They are smart, sweet, cuddly, typey, good looking, sturdy, generally fabulous pups.  But the experience in class just confirmed everything for me.  It’s not going to take much work at all to have them become little superstars.  It’s going to be a fabulous year!  Yay Deedee!  Yay Alice!  And Yay for me and Em (my co-breeder and fabulous friend)!

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bubbling with excitement

Yep.  I’m excited.  It’s February, and it’s gonna be great!  I wish I had the energy left after my busy day to share it all with you, but for now, I’ll just ask you to be excited with me without knowing all the details.  🙂

I’ll try to post my challenge for 2012 here tomorrow.  I think it’s a good one, and hopefully a few of you will take it along with me.  It’s a journal challenge.  I’ll be scrapbooking this particular journal challenge, but whether or not you scrapbook, I think it will be worth doing – even just typing along.

So, that’s it for tonight.  I hope your tomorrows are all filled with promise!

Good bye to January and it’s blahs.

It’s no secret that with January comes my annual case of the blahs.  The holiday festivities are over, there is little going on, it’s the coldest month of the year, and my thoughts are of Spring and the fun of the dog shows that come with it (yet it’s still too far away to really begin any of the planning or fun).  There are good things in January…  like my Dad and my brother’s birthdays – both which happen to fall on the 11th.  But over all?  I’m happy it’s drawing to an end.  I am SOOO ready for February!

Winter Cat - an image and poem I downloaded from FB

Family really does rock pretty hard.

I’ll be honest.  I’m a little too brain-tired and body-weary to write much tonight.  In the afternoon we headed out to Winter Shines, an annual Winter festival here in Saskatoon.  The girl got to go for a pony ride, and visited with a bunch of animals at a mobile petting zoo.  We checked out a bunch of amazing ice sculptures, and took pictures on the ice throne.  After checking out some of the goodies at the farmers market (which is located right on site) we each picked out a treat to snack on, and then headed out to Diefenbaker hill for some serious sledding.  We took my youngest sister home and snuck in a visit with the ‘rents before heading home for some supper and a little Princess and the Frog (a la Disney).  But before any of this?  I got a little scrappin’ in.

part of my "monthly lily" series, this one is for September 2011 and was created using a kit by Queen Pamedalah.

Today was a wonderful day.  We created all sorts of new memories, and I got to scrapbook another great memory from this past Autumn.  All in all?  I’m a happy camper.  Days like this, full of family, really do rock!

Lighting Bug and a Vet Visit

I have to say, I’ve never seen a bug come and go so fast.

The girlie and I were reading our nightly chapters and all of a sudden she heaved.  I grabbed a cup that was sitting beside the bed.  She began sweating profusely, and was burning up.  She vomited about two tablespoons worth, and cooled right back down.  Feeling fine again.  The whole thing lasted about six minutes.  Now she’s sleeping soundly  Have you ever heard of some type of bug that is lightening fast like that?  It was just crazy.  I’m very relieved she’s feeling right as rain so quickly…  but jeepers.

As for our other news, the puppies had a vet visit today.  They got their DAPP shot (their one and only shot), were weighed and inspected.  Deedee weighs in at a whopping 2.2 kgs (which is roughly 4.8 pounds) and Alice is a massive 2.5 kg (roughly 5.5 pounds).  Okay, so they are absolutely a perfect size for female Chihuahuas – and right about where I guessed they were.  But still.  They are big compared to the other two – especially Marnie, who may not be itty bitty for a Chihuahua, is pretty darn tiny compared to the rest of them.  In no other breed is size so wide spread.  Can you imagine another where you can show a dog who is 1/3 the size of another both in the same breed?  The vet said they are both in great condition, and was impressed by their temperaments as well.  What can I say, the girls are awesome!

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