21 December 2016

Our home for broken creatures

I really have neglected writing for some time. I guess I've just been really busy.

A few weeks ago my friend was hit by a car in a crosswalk and broke her ankle and her wrist. She's been staying with us for most of the intervening time.

Now that she's had another surgery on her ankle and has a hard cast on both leg and arm, she's able to be a bit more mobile. We sent her home on Monday with her sister. She is still unable to drive, and will be that way for another month or two. But she's mending well and has been working from "home" and will be taking Lyft or the like to work soon. I think it's all going to work out.

I guess that was our third broken foster. I think I'll miss her just as much as the others. At least I get to see her again soon though.

20 December 2016

Trail Tuesday

It's been awhile! A couple weeks ago I found a new trail down in Douglas County. It's about half an hour drive, like the Jefco ones I frequent. I get about 9 miles out of it. Very nice. Two weeks ago when I went, there was only a skiff of snow in some areas but it was super chilly. The temperature was in the 20s, but the winds were as well. I wore my new soft shell pants and they worked amazingly. I'm happy with that purchase (using money I gained by selling old things on eBay.)

I was unable to run last Tuesday, as I was a day into the weeklong cold that everyone I know has been getting. It wasn't a bad illness, just some sore throat and sinus stuff ending in a cough.

Today I returned to the new trail. There was still several inches of snow on it from the storm a few days back. However, the temperature was in the 50s. And it was HOT. I actually took off my long sleeve shirt and wore only a tank top. The snow was pretty slushy in places and I can feel the effects of it in my hips from stabilizing. It was a very satisfying run.

I have about 18 miles more to run this year to meet my 2016 running goal. I think I can do it in two good runs next week.
The Front Range from Ridgeline Open Space. 

My confusion at the temperature. 

16 November 2016

A week.

It has been quite a week. I am not okay. I have been sleeping poorly. Eating horribly. Rarely exercising. The dread in my gut has not abated much. And as it was lessening due to time, there was an incident of hate right here in Denver. Today a woman's vehicle was spray painted with transphobic slurs and included "die". Right here in safe blue Denver. Again, I'm not all that scared for myself, but I fear for those who are visible minorities. It is not about me.

I don't know how to have conversations. I want to talk about my outrage, my sadness. I want to reassure my upset friends. I want to fight injustice. But I can feel my apathy creeping in. Shutting me down. I don't trust people anymore. People who say they are my friend yet do not show me. People who claim not to be racist but happily elect a blatantly racist man into the highest office. Replace "racist" with sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, etc. And you know, I'm not even that afraid of Trump himself. He's silly and selfish. But he's surrounding himself with advisors that only bolster this atmosphere of hatred and bigotry. And I fear those who voted from him. Those who wholeheartedly approve of his ways. People who would prefer I didn't exist, that so many of my friends didn't exist. This is not okay.

I am sick of "moderates" trying to say that it is okay. That is privilege. I am sick of the people who say that we are just sore losers. It's not about that. I don't actually have strong opinions about Hillary, but I have always had strong opinions about Trump. This is not about my candidate not winning. It is about losing, but it's about losing my voice. (Potentially) losing the accomplishments I, and people like me, have worked so hard for these last few years. It's about losing all the forward progress we've struggled for. And it is even about losing lives and livelihoods. Reports have come in of over 400 people being harassed and assaulted in the course of this week. Due to the color of their skin. Their religion. Their accent. Their gender presentation. It is not okay.

I am not okay.

The only glimmer that makes me do at least something each day is my foster puppy. She's super cuddly and doesn't make messes or noises. The perfect animal.

Video games help me not to think. Teagan helps me to play video games. 

09 November 2016

Thoughts on the Election

I have a lot going on in my head but I haven't been able to properly express any of it. I'm exhausted. I stayed up late waiting for the results of the election. I wept. My body shook involuntarily for hours.

Today I went to work and talked very very little. I cried on all of my breaks. Just reading the news. Well, reading posts that my friends put online expressing sorrow (grief, really), anger, despair, disbelief, confusion. And I mirror all of it.

The scene from V for Vendetta of gay people being pulled from their beds at night keeps playing in my head. It terrifies me and it cannot be allowed.

I think mostly of the youth. People of color now outnumber whites in America, and their children more so. Apparently some find that threatening. I am afraid for those kids. I am afraid for the children of immigrants and refugees. The Muslim and Jewish children. The LGBTQIA+ kids. Especially with Pence's hateful ideas about the use of conversion therapy for homosexuality. I fear the rates of teen suicides going up.

I also feel guilt. Guilt that I believed so strongly that Americans would make the better choice. That so many wouldn't choose fear and hatred. And that I wasn't more active in supporting those who needed it most.

I was assigned female at birth, and thus grew up with that social ideology. Being trans has made that former status invisible, but it is not forgotten. I did not transition because I hate women. I did so because I am not one. I stand for women's rights. Bodily autonomy in every way. Equality in every way.

I rarely fit gay stereotypes, but the fact remains. I am a (mostly) gay trans man in a world that just showed itself more hostile to people like me.

I am white. And from that privilege, I cannot speak to the pain that people of color of feeling now. I only pledge to use my privilege to help in any way possible.

I know that several old 'friends' of mine (not to mention family) voted for Trump under some notion that he was the better Christian choice. I will not forgive that. This man is nothing that Jesus would have approved of. He loves only money and adoration. I know that these and a great many other people would have been upset had Hillary Clinton won. People may have worried about their tax money. About their guns. Even about unborn fetuses. But right now, I am worried about my life. I am worried about the lives of my friends who live in counties and states that voted overwhelmingly red. I am worried about my friends who have an intersectionality of minorities. My Latinx lesbian friends, my Black trans friends, etc. What half the nation told us yesterday was that our safety and wellbeing is not a priority.

After all of this, I am a naturally optimistic person. And we will get through it. Progress cannot be halted. It can be hindered, but it cannot be turned back. This will prove a tough time for many of us. But I will tolerate no racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia, or victim blaming. I will stand up for everyone I can. We can and will fight for our right to exist

06 November 2016

Celestial Seasonings

Today, we went to the Celestial Seasonings factory. It was really quite amazing. I'm not sure why we'd never gone before, as it's only just in Boulder and I've been drinking many varieties of their tea all my life.

First we got to taste test so many teas: some hot and some cold. It was delicious. Then on the tour we learned a bit of history, like how and when the company started. And that all of their products are ethically sourced from around the world. And that every single tea is made and packaged at that facility in Boulder. Millions of tea bags every day. We didn't get to see the machinery in action, as it was the weekend, but it was really quite impressive. We went into the room with all the true tea leaves. Most of Celestial Seasonings teas are herbal and not actually tea, but they do have some black and green variants. That room smelled really good. Also the mint room was fun. It was very strong, but also very pleasant and cleared my chest more than I thought I needed.

We ended up buying several boxes of tea and some mugs with the tea box art on them. Not at all needed, as we have SO MUCH tea in the cupboard, but you can never have too much, right? Also, we have a lot of mugs. But this art is so cool! And look at the wee little mug!

Anyhow, it was a great day with a great person. Happy 6 years to us. 

05 November 2016

Some recent Films

This weekend I watched several movies. It was a long weekend for me and I don't generally watch movies. So the fact I watched so many is surprising.

One was Star Trek: Into Darkness, which was fine, but nothing to write about.

The next was Moonlight. Which was really very good. It was not fast-paced. It was simple. It was well-acted. It was worth seeing.

The latest was Eye in the Sky. It was a bit hard to watch, to be honest. But it is so relevant. It is about drone strikes. About weighing the lives of innocents in the vicinity when targeting potential/probable threats to other innocents. It brings up all sorts of moral issues. The impersonality of the strikes, the fact that the people making the decisions and even pulling the trigger are hundreds or thousands of miles away. The people in charge of the operation depicted were British. I think that added a layer to it. Because the US does drone strikes quite a bit differently, and with much less of a fuss about collateral damage. This was Alan Rickman's final film, and it was a great one. I highly recommend it. 

27 September 2016

Unloading some current events.

I've been really off lately. I haven't been running consistently even though the temperature is leveling off. Now my excuse is that it's too dark in the mornings. But that shouldn't stop me on my weekends.


I did get a nice trail run in last week. It was a bit hot and muggy, but overcast, so it was bearable. Also it made the rattlesnake I came across sluggish and not a threat. That was a first for me.

I have got to go to the mountains fairly regularly, catching some of the colors.

I have quite a bit of homemade wine in various stages of fermentation. Sometime I'll dedicate a whole post to that.

Also, this week I did something I've never done before. I took my work home with me. For the next few weeks we are fostering a very tiny min pin puppy. He has a broken leg, but it doesn't slow him down at all. Meet Atlas. 

29 August 2016

A day at the Beach

I went to the beach for the first time on Saturday. Now, I've been to the ocean, to the beach even I guess, but this was my first time when I could swim. And swim I did! I really enjoyed myself. I guess I never really understood why people liked the beach so much. I just figured you could swim in a lake just as well and forget those crowds. Turns out I wasn't quite right. The ocean does have quite the allure. And playing in waves is ridiculously fun, not to mention quite a workout. I of course didn't put enough sunscreen on and so I did end up with some burns. In places I've never been burned before due to the fact that I've never really exposed my back and chest to the full rays of the sun ever before in my life. So there's that. It was just a quick day trip thanks to Frontier's very cheap sales. It made for a long and very fun day.

I know nothing about waves. 

02 August 2016

Trail(less) Tuesday

My Trail Tuesday turned out to be partly trail-less. I ran/hiked a nice little 13er called Square Top Mountain just across the valley from Mt. Bierstadt. As is apparently the case with most 13ers, this did not have a clearly defined trail to the summit. Thus it was a bit gruelling, tromping up the tundra flanked mountain. It was partly cloudy, but not at all in the scary sort of way, just in the way that kept the temperatures low enough to be bearable. I had the trail to myself for the entire ascent. Only on my careful run down the ridge did I start seeing a few hikers. The parking lot was, of course, full of people hiking Bierstadt.

This was my first alpine run. All of the others have been foothills and whatnot. I've saved the space above timberline for 14er hiking. But this was a nice introduction. Even though I could not run to the top, and had to be super careful running down, the trail along the valley floor was quite nice. I will be looking for more runs/hikes like this in the future.
Mt. Bierstadt across the valley

Square Top among the wildflowers

Square Top Lakes and Bierstadt in the background. 

Panorama from the summit. 

Grays and Torreys to the left and Argentine Peak in the center. 

Obligatory summit selfie. 

And the shoes, of course. 

Elephant Heads, my favorite flower.  

So 2.5 hours, 7.5 miles and ended at 13,795 ft above sea level. A satisfying day. 

26 July 2016

a variety of things

Well, it's been some time. I've got some photos to unload.

Summit Lake up Mt. Evans road
 On the 4th of July, we took a drive up Mt. Evans and spent some time away from town.
wildflowers near Summit Lake
 In memoriam of a friend who loved horses, we went riding in Estes Park.
riding in Estes 
RMNP hike after riding. 
 Then hiking after.
last week's trail run, Centennial Cone Park
 Last week's trail Tuesday. It was a brutal run. Though I'm pretty comfortable doing 15+ miles now.
farmer's market I helped with on Sunday
 My friend works at a local farm and I helped her out at the marked on Sunday. I got a lot of really pretty veggies. So far I've made moussaka with fresh onion, eggplant and oregano (or was it basil? I'm hopeless.). I've frozen a couple of pounds of wax beans. Eaten some tomatoes and peppers. I still have all sorts of summer squash, cucumbers including a lemon cucumber, radishes, beets, rainbow carrots, kale cabbage, garlic and um... other stuff. Oh! And I got some honey. Super local and very tasty. I think that was well worth getting up early and spending a few hours in the sun.

12 July 2016

Trail Tuesday

Today would have been a prefect day to climb a mountain. It was clear, cloudless blue skies until well after noon. Just a smudge of haze from the not-so-distant fires. I'm sure the cloudlessness and the heat and the steady wind isn't helping those much.

I did not climb a mountain today. Instead I ran. Apparently the furthest I've ever run. Just over 16 miles along the High Line Canal. I ran nearly that far on the Beaver Brook trail a couple of weeks back, but did this run much quicker because I actually ran about 95% instead of having to power hike up hills.

Still like trails better.

I am really considering signing up for a trail race. It's daunting. I know I'm not fast. I'm also not very competitive. It's also never cheap. But I think it would be fun. Too bad I now work on Saturdays. I'd have to take PTO. There's also a 5k obstacle race I've had my eye on. The Rugged Maniac. I could sign up to be a volunteer and could get free race registration. I have to make that decision soon, as the volunteer slots are going to fill up soon.

04 July 2016

I can't keep up. So many bad stories on the news. So many people dying, suffering. I want to feel for them all. I want to recognize the humanity in every person. But it is exhausting. And it's oh-so-easy to call them "other" and get on with my life.

I know there needs to be a balance. I cannot conceivably feel for each and every one as I did on June 12. But I also cannot allow myself to ignore the news. I cannot be among the people who think their deaths are unremarkable.

I just don't know how to deal with it anymore.

21 June 2016

Trail Tuesday

A member of one of the facebook running groups I'm part of posted about the Beaver Brook trail from Windy Saddle Park. It is close by, just outside of Golden, and I didn't know why I'd never heard of it before. Turns out, we've hiked a bit of the trail from the Genesee side.

cactus blossom
I woke up late, but decided to go anyway. It was beautiful. And not too intense. One notable steep hill that was misery coming back up as it was toward the end of my run. The rest was just amazing. It did get way too hot for the second half of the run, but I had plenty of water and adequate shade as well as a couple of creek crossings to cool me off.

so many wildflowers
I will definitely be going back. I got 11 miles, but I didn't go all the way to the other trailhead, so there is more to conquer.

Clear Creek overlook. 

some exposure. Great trail!

15 June 2016

trail tuesday

A lot has been happening lately, but running helps me chill out and mostly not think.

I was at my parents' house on Monday and Tuesday and I made it a point to go for a trail run Tuesday morning. It was really fun to run the trails I hiked a lot as a kid. The trail up the canyon was closed off, which was new, and shortened my intended run, but I still got 5.5 miles in.

It had rained a bit the night before and the smell of damp sage and juniper was divine.

Later that morning, I walked with my mom and her dog and got several good photos of wildflowers. The high desert is a beautiful place.

Photos in no particular order because I'm lazy:

four 0'clocks

prickly pear cactus

scarlet falsemallow

indian paintbrush

rainbow and eerie light over the property

fairy trumpets

sego lily