New Year’s Eve Light Show

(10 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Sparkle Plenty

Another year comes to an end.  To tell the truth, I have trouble discerning what makes this New Year’s Eve any better than the last one.  Having seen 61 of them, I’ll estimate that I’ve been somewhat politically aware for about 50 of them…and very few have seemed to bring a better year.  And when there have been years that have been better, it has only been in some ways, not in all, and the improvement has been best measured by a micrometer.

So we start each year with glitz and glamor, hoping against hope that our dreams for a better world will bear some fruit.

Who am I to break such a tradition?

So herewith is my own attempt at a distracting you from any pains you may feel with shiny objects.


Tradition dictates that we make some resolutions for the New Year.  I made one earlier today:

I resolve to hold onto life…

…until there is a trans-inclusive ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act, current lying fallow in the House of Representatives), no matter how long that takes.

I’m aware of my past enough to know that most, if not all, of my resolutions for past years have been broken.  And I see no reason to believe that this year will prove to be any different, but I’m told that if we don’t keep hope alive, there is no purpose to living.

Of course I believe there is a purpose to living.  As long as I can help others navigate their lives to better situations, there is a purpose for me to be here.  I became a teacher for that reason.

I will remain a teacher until I have nothing more to teach.

Burning 1

Or, you, know, until I die.  As the years have passed, this has become more and more likely…as it does with all of us, of course.  We get old.  Our health deteriorates.  Small problems become larger ones.  The things we have ignored…or which have been ignored by our doctors…never seem to get better on their own, much as we would like them to do so.

Sometimes they become problems so large that all we can do is hope that someone somewhere will listen to our complaints…or that someone else will take us seriously.  And hopeless as it may seem, we pray that our health insurance should recognize our ailments as worthy of treatment and coverage, suspecting that the reason they have not been deemed worthy in the past is so that they can be classified as pre-existing conditions now.

Maybe I should point out about now that words are being included just so the shiny objects can be spaced far enough apart so as to look pretty.  It is also the case that if you click on any of the static images, a larger version should appear in a new tab (surmising, of course, that you don’t have so many tabs open already that opening another doesn’t crash your browser.

Burning 2

It is also the case that these images come in groups of three.  Those triads have then been arranged into slide shows to bring each group to completion.  The artist (me) hopes that they will actually work correctly.

Speaking of the graphics, my recent health problems have been alleviated somewhat by the calming nature of the act of creation.  At least I don’t notice the problems so much when I am composing an image as when I am doing something like cleaning the apartment, preparing clothes for the laundry, cooking dinner, or any of the other chores are usually partly done by me.

Not that I haven’t developed quite a fondness for cooking.  In the part of my life before my transition, I did cook “professionally” at a few restaurants (Pizza Hut, Sambo’s, and a few others), but cooking at home was not an avocation.  Since I transitioned, I’ve been told I have become rather adept at what I attempt.  Lately, however, what I attempt has been less challenging.  As soon as I publish this, for instance, I will be making some ham and cheese quesadillas from the leftover ham from Xmas dinner.  Add a little salad and then do a rice pudding for desert, courtesy of Uncle Ben and that should be enough.


Firecrack 1

Today was a Winter Wonderland ™ here in the suburbs of northern New Jersey.  We woke up to snow which fell for the entire morning, which is all well and good except for the fact that we actually needed to go somewhere.  Debbie’s iMac when kaput earlier this week, so we have been sharing mine.  We dropped hers off at the Apple Store at the mall nearest us; the called back yesterday with the news that repairing it would be more than the computer would be worth.

So today we ventured out into the snow, back to the Apple Store, to spend mega-amounts of her money and my credit to buy a replacement.  And we will have to venture out again tomorrow, after it has spent most of the night tonight snowing some more, to pick up the new iMac;  today it is necessary to transfer all the files from the old one to the new one, provided they can all be recovered.

Should we have done a back-up before the computer broke down?  Why, of course we should have, but hindsight is always 20/20.

Isn’t it?

Firecrack 2

One thing I know is that we’re not going anywhere tonight.  I haven’t lived 60 years without learning that one is putting one’s life in danger by going out driving on New Year’s Eve.  We have enough of the essentials of life here now so that we can settle down for a cozy evening…which would be much cozier if it weren’t for the constant full-throttle bickering of our new downstairs neighbors.  And to think that they aren’t even married yet.

But she’s pregnant, so I guess that’s why she tolerates this guy, who sounds like a major bully.  As far as we can tell, she teaches elementary school and he is unemployed, spending much of his time yelling at their dogs, at her, or slamming doors.

Just between you, me and the lamppost, we’re hoping that someday she throws him out and doesn’t let him back in.

Then again, that’s not really any of our business, I guess…except for listening for any evidence of abuse, or either her or the dogs.

Anyway, I’m rambling.

Firecrack 3

Then again, wasn’t that the point?  Ramble on and on until all the pictures have appeared?

Maybe it is time for some news.

You may have heard that the Obama administration hired a transwoman.  Amanda Simpson will be a Senior Technical Advisor to the Department of Commerce, working in the Bureau of Industry and Security.  Several people have sent me links to this.  I guess they wanted a reaction from me.  So I guess I will give one.

I would be much happier if any transpeople hired by our government were not selected on the basis of their work with defense contractors.

But that’s probably just me.  I’ll wish Amanda all the best…while hoping she doesn’t screw over the people somehow.  I am totally queasy about any government employee who comes from Raytheon, or any other company so reliant on war money for existence.


Fireworks 1

The further I get into this, the more I realize that I have way too many graphics for the amount of words I think I can come up with.  My brain just isn’t into sharing the words I currently feel like need to be said.  My better nature says, “Not now.  Not here.”  So I’ll give a shorter, hopefully friendlier version of the words…and save the other to groups of pics to share in the comments, provided anyone even shows up.  For all I know, you all may have actual lives to live and be out partying amongst yourselves. 🙂

The words?  How to assemble the words.

A major portion of my life has been spent with very few friends.  Acquaintances, yes, but friends?  Not so many.

What few friends I have had have mostly been lost during the major upheavals my life has gone through.  Most people have friends from their school days.  Not me.  Too much water passed under the bridge between then and now.

I have no friends from college.  I have a few friends from when I was married, but mostly we have lost track of each other.

Fireworks 2

The crises in my life have served to sever any bonds I have ever had…until I got online.

Even online, it has been too easy to misplace those people I have cared about and who have cared about me.

But over time, I have found a home in one place, a safe place in another, and have found some bonds that matter.

Here, in this place, there are some of those kinds of bonds.  I have more friends here than I ever thought I would have.

Now that I am 61 years old, I don’t want to lose these friends.  And I certainly don’t want to have to choose between people I think of as friends.

And I keep wondering why anyone believes I should have to choose which friends to keep and which to discard.  

Fireworks 3

That is exactly what it has felt like to me.  People who I have help in my heart as friends are asking me how I can be friendly with other of my friends.

How can anyone think that is right?

I’ve always held the opinion that if you can’t argue with your friends, then you have nobody with whom to argue.  But at the end of the day, shouldn’t the fact that we are friends win out?

I’ve always hoped so.

But then, what do I know.  As I said, I keep having my friends vanish over time.  It has made for a very painful life.

I’ve always hoped that eventually that pain would go away.

So maybe there’s a second resolution for the New Year:  I wish to keep the friends I had…and add more.



Skip to comment form

    • Robyn on January 1, 2010 at 01:24

    …and eat same.

    • RiaD on January 1, 2010 at 01:27

    to re-newing old friendships & making new ones~

  1. I hope this is front paged.  The pictures are glorious.

    And I know exactly what you mean in terms of needing hope but not expecting anything to really change, especially for us.

    I have been gently nudged to start writing GLBT diaries here, at least by a friend if not by Docudharma itself, but I just have little to say that would really make an essay.  Even though you mention things only peripherally, I wish you would add the GLBT tag to your diary, because I feel guilty and I think Docudharma as a whole pays insufficient attention to these issues.

    When people are focused enough on certain issues as to make arguing over possibly many thousands of people being executed in Uganda and/or Rwanda as a matter for petty political sniping, there just isn’t anything to say.

    When people are focused enough on certain issues as to make the daily destruction of people’s political careers in the military a matter of political football with back and forth accusations of bigotry because one doesn’t support a President as much as another might like, there just isn’t anything to say.

    I feel like I don’t want to be silenced, but in a way, I have been silenced.  You can only speak out for or against things a certain number of times before you’re just fucking repeating yourself over and over again.

    Unlike you, I’m not a teacher.  I’m not used to repeating myself over and over again.

    So as the new year starts, no I don’t expect anything to change, but what I do expect is that the fatuousness of our political system in Washington will gradually deteriorate and get worse and worse.  Now, it’s not just GLBT people who are plowed under and used as fertilizer, but vast huge lots of people.

    If that sounds negative, it should — but I hold some hope for people getting more and more pissed.  I hold out some more hope that the fatigue I feel, and that I think every GLBT person in America feels at some level, will translate into awareness — the form of which I cannot discern, yet.

  2. Thank you, Robyn.

  3. I hope you don’t have much longer to wait so you can truly enjoy the fruits of your courageous efforts.  Happy New Year to you.  And thanks for the fireworks!  

    • Robyn on January 1, 2010 at 02:34

  4. I couldn’t even read this yet the images were so overwhelming!


  5. Yowza!! Yowza!!….don’t know what that means but seems appropriate.

    • Alma on January 1, 2010 at 02:55

    Love the animations of the sets.

    New Years Eves seem strange to me now.  My Dads birthday was New Years Eve, so until the last six years we had Dads birthday party every year.  Sure some years we would go out afterward, but not most years.  So now every year something seems to be lacking and a little sad.

    I know what you mean about some friends.  My old best friend from school went down on my list of friends when she got religion and thought I should drop our gay friends like she did.  Needless to say I didn’t do it, and we grew farther apart.  I’ve also had friends that seem jealous of other friends, almost like they think you should only have one friend at a time.    

    • Edger on January 1, 2010 at 03:03

    Happy New Year!

  6. Honestly speaking, Robyn, I don’t think so much of what you have expressed here is necessarily “transgender” related.  Seriously!  Some of us have lost friends, or so-called “friends,” for a serious illness.  Some of us have lost friends because we were without a job, or, otherwise, just plain down on our luck!  But, on the other side of the coin, these conditions might be exacerbated by a life of “transgenderism.”  

    Best I can say, Robyn, believe in yourself, which I think you do — ain’t none of us going to leave a great legacy in this life, say, like, Beethoven, Mozart, Monet, etc., best we can do is try to be decent human beings — that WILL be our legacy!

    Your “kaleidoscope” art is “SUPERE!”

    The best, Robyn, to you and the rest of us aware beings — I think that those who suffer the most are those who care the most!

    • TMC on January 1, 2010 at 08:00

    to you and your beloved. May the New Year bring Peace, Happiness, Prosperity and, most of all, for you Good Health. Blessed Be

  7. Robyn – I love the show, especially the Fireworks series.  Interesting stories too.  

    Here’s to making and keeping friends.  

  8. http://www.enterprisemission.c

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