Jan 28, 2009

Sunday Mon Tues home

Waking up Sunday morning was going to be a mixed bag for me. On one hand I was going to spend time with my little brother who I missed dearly (I hadn't seen him in 4 years) and the flip side was leaving friends I really adore for another extended amount of time. Normally we only see each other once a year unless we work something else in. Luckily I talk to Kristi everyday but sometimes it would be nice to have her and Todd a lot closer because she gives me the kick in the ass I need.

Diane and I got up, ate breakfast, showered and packed. We made our first stop and Brad and Sherie's room to say our goodbyes and drop off the corona's left in our fridge and then off for a few minutes with Todd and Kristi. As we were getting ready to head down to the lobby my brother Rob showed up and reality set in, it was really time to say good bye. It always seem weird to me that we live so far apart and yet we are such a part of each other that when we get the time together it's a blast.

Off to Rob's house we headed and time to not only spend time with my brother but my nieces and my sister in law. I could not ask for better family then this bunch of Maynard's. From the time I saw Rob till the time I went home he had no problem using my new name, introducing me to friends and inlaws as his sister, it was quite toughing and very refreshing.  Early on I was very worried about how my brother would take my news, it was very unfounded on my part.

Tuesday was our day to head home, kind of depressing considering we had been with good friends, awesome family and great mid 80's weather. When we landed in Manchester airport the temp was 18 degrees and the car was covered in snow in the airport parking. After getting our luggage, getting to the car, cleaning it off and heading home it was about midnight by the time we pulled down our street. What's worse was that we had 13" of snow while we were gone and nowhere to put  our car without cleaning the entrance to the driveway where the plow left a wall of snow. At that point all I could picture was the cops pulling up wanting to know why I was running a snowblower at 12:30 am!!

All in all it was a good trip with some ups and downs, but it also gave me some answers I needed. Those answers make it all good in my book even with a few rough spots …

Jan 26, 2009

Sat Jan 17th NAMM

Saturday morning started out similar to Friday with a few exceptions. Our friends came down to breakfast with us this morning and we spent quite a bit of time in the dining room just talking. It's not hard to pass time with these friends; we always seem to have a blast together. I only wish we lived closer to each other.

One of the things that realize about me emotionally regarding transition is that I need to take better care of myself. I tend to get worn out much easier and when I tire things seems to be accented in a much grander way. This was probably part of the reason that Brad and Howie's conversation hit me as it did.

Add in waking at 3am on Thursday morning after getting to bed at 1 am. Leaving for the airport at 4am, boarding a plane to N. Carolina and then another to Cali, staying up late with friends and yet still waking up at my normal 6am and well, I'm pretty worn out. Amplify it to 2 days and I'm a basket case so Saturday in the dining room makes a lot more sense to me.

As we were sitting at our table a table not far away had some other people from our group. In that group was the guitarist for a metal band called "Jack Frost" I could feel the same thing I had felt the previous day and looked directly at the table. At the point I caught the conversation Jack was being told about me and he snapped his head over with his mouth wide open in a no f'in way type of look.

Now the first thing that should enter my mind is that the only reason they "know" about me is because they know me from the group, otherwise I would not have been the topic of conversation. When my brain rationalizes thought on little sleep it tends to go to an extreme so when Dee and I got back to our room I had a breakdown and lost it. I cryed hysterically for a while and that was the nature of the post where people got incredibly concerned about me and were trying to get hold of me.

In hindsight I understand where my head was at and I know that being that run down had a huge impact on my emotions that day. My general resistance to bullshit tends to be quite low and I need to pay more attention to that in the future.

After getting dressed (A little more conservatively) we headed out to the show. Kristi gave me shit about my choice in bras again lol. Saturday I was more determined to talk to the people I needed to speak with and had some really good conversations with the crew at Jackson and charvel, drank a lot of bloody mary's and had a lot of fun.

Later in the afternoon we were hanging out when we bumped into some of the members of Gary Hoeys band. Gary is a reasonably well know guitarist who made his original mark remaking such songs as focus and linus and lucy. Gary lives not far from Diane and I and generally every time we bump into him we chat. It had gotten to the point he knew us on site and would always make it a point to talk to us. This particular encounter would be different!

As soon as we realized Gary was nearby we headed over to say hi and see how he was. He saw Dianr and came over to hug her right away and started to chat with her, when he realized I was standing there he gave me a hug but it was at this point I realized things were slightly different. Gary didn't recognize me this time. As I tried to explain that he knew me he simply wasn't figuring it out and then one of his entourage called him because he had to be at an event. When he said his good byes he leaned over to give Diane a hug and a kiss on the cheek and then proceeded to give me a hug …. And a kiss on the cheek!

Ok in one sense one could say that it was the ultimate compliment, he saw me as I needed to be seen. As a female! But not being into guys and actually living as one at one time being kissed by him was a new experience that I wasn't prepared for. Talk about having conflicting feelings. The more I've thought about it the happier I am that even someone who actually knew me simply saw me as a woman, that's the jewel in the whole thing.

Not long after Dave Navarro of the red hot chili peppers and janes addiction came walking by. He was not more than 5 feet from me so I snapped a quick picture.

After I took the picture I heard someone in the group say there's Tommy Thayer. I've never met Tommy and for those who may not know, he is the current Ace in the band Kiss. Kiss was one of my favorite bands growing up and Ace was the reason I picked up electric guitar in 1978. It had bothered me quite a bit that Tommy is wearing Ace Frehleys makeup in the band now.

As Tommy was walking by I said Hi to him in passing and he actually stopped to talk to me. I didn't try to stop him, I didn't really even try to grab his attention, it was just a simple "Hi" I have to admit that as much as I hate the idea of him wearing Ace's makeup now, He was an incredibly nice guy and very down to earth.

After the show closed on Saturday we headed over to the Sheraton for some drinks and to catch the Andy Timmons Band, Paul Gilbert Band and the reformed RacerX. All in all it was a great show and one of those shows that you can only experience by going to NAMM.

After getting out of the show it was late enough that we decided to head back to the hotel. All of us had been in some serious foot and back pain form standing for so long so we had decided to grab a cab back to the hotel and Todd flagged the cab down. I should have been aggravated by what the drive pulled but it was so comical to me I just had to laugh.

After getting in a the cab and starting toward the hotel Todd asked the cabbie why he hadn't flipped the flag on the cab for the meter. Cabby responded that it was a flat rate of $10! $8 for the ride and $2 for the tip. Todd being from Chicago was smart enough to have no part of that and asked where it was posted. "It's not posted sir, it's just a policy"

Todd kept pushing the fact with the driver and even threatened to take his hack number and turn him in for it. The driver finally said fine, no charge sir but even Todd having good moral values just wanted to not get ripped off and wanted to be treated fairly. We gave the driver $8

Up the the room, some stupid raman cup o soup and off to bed we went.

Barring the emotional bullshit it had been a good day and I'm feeling good about things. Looking back on it I'm sure due to being overtired I made a mountain out of a molehill but hey, it happens to all of us from time to time. .


Jan 25, 2009

Friday Sept 16th

As mentioned in the Thursday post we had 3 women with us that have a very strong presence at times and they will tell you how it is. One of the issues that has plagued me is the fact that I now have a chest and I have a hard time having it show when I am with people who knew me before. In those instances I tend to wear a sports bra that pushes the girls down and sure enough my friend Sherrie called me on it.

Sherrie told me that when someone was intentionally trying to swear something that is smaller and hold them down that is stands out worse giving the opposing effect. In other words Karyn, you're not fooling anyone. It's hard to let the people who knew you one way see you in a totally different way and I tend to be self conscious about that.

Friday morning when Dee and I awoke we got up and headed downstairs for the included breakfast that the hotel serves. After we were finished and started back up to the room we stopped at our friends room briefly and headed back to ours for a shower. Today I had every intention of taking Sherries' advice and wearing my normal bra.

After getting dressed and asking Dee what she thought she pointed out that I had what appeared to be a red splotch on my cheek. That meant it would be a foundation day for sure. Foundation is a funny thing with me, some days my skin look very uneven to me and others it looks fine, today was one of those day that my skin wasn't going to play nice.

After getting ready and meeting up with the others we caught the shuttle over to the convention center and decided to head right up to the Charvel/Jackson booth. The big day had arrived and I had been incredibly nervous because I wasn't sure if anyone knew about what was up with me. Last time I was at the show I was Kevin, not Karyn. One of the issues I had previously been concerned over was how I would now fit into the group in a different manner and this was to be a big part of that concern.

I spent a lot of time building friendships and working relationships with some rather well known people from Musicians all the way up to major guitar builders. For a very long time I had worried that those friendships would suffer and I'd be shunned so when we entered the booth I had the biggest butterflies I'd had in a long time.

As we entered Mike noticed Diane and immediately came over and gave her a hug. Mike is a well know luthier who has worked and built guitars for some of the most famous people in the business. I am lucky enough to have several of his guitars but more so I had been lucky enough to consider Mike a friend.

After hugging Diane and talking to her, Mike turned and went back about his business as a rep for the company and then it hit me. Mike didn't even recognize me. I'd have to say that was probably one of the hardest things for me. I can totally understand why but I spent a lot of time nurturing those relationships and now I was virtually unknown … not cool .

Todd came over and asked me if I was going to talk to the guys and I replied that I probably wouldn't because apparently nobody knew, maybe it just wasn't the place. Todd explained to me that I was going to have to do it sooner or later and sooner would be better. At that point I swallowed my nerves and decided to say Hi to Mike.

I walked over and stood about 5 or 6 feet from Mike, he looked over at me, nodded and looked away. Geez I thought, this is going to be tougher than I thought. When he looked back at me the 2nd time he had a puzzled "why are you staring at me" look on his face. At that point I finally let the words roll over my lips. "Mike, you're not getting it are you" Mike looked at me again with a puzzled look and then all of a sudden it hit him, "omg I get it" he said. "You're looking a lot different" he stated. He appeared visibly stunned but I'll give him credit, he still seemed cool about it. At least I made some progress but it still kills me that I went from being known to being unknown so easily!

After a while and some walking around, several bloody marys and such we were standing off to the side when I noticed my friend Brad talking to his buddy Howie. Being an Empath and being very good at reading lips can be a bit of a bad thing at times. It became apparent that I was the topic of conversation and it hit me pretty hard. Was I being read? Was he not happy with me being there? All different things enter your head.

I did my best to pay attention after that throughout the day to see if people were ignoring me or whatever, I noticed no other "odd" looks but on a few occasions with friends I knew I was the topic of conversation.

I guess the highlight of Friday besides spending time with my friends was getting to see the Bangles do an acoustic set for daisy rock guitars. Emotionally it had been a terribly overwhelming day for me.

The Bangles

Suzzana Hoffs (Bangles)

At one point during the show we had been all standing around talking and one of the guys in the group who I didn't know looked incredibly familiar to me but I put no mind to it, I just assumed I had seen him with my friend before.

One of the girls suddenly blurted out "Ha, he looks just like that soup nazi dude from Seinfeld" when one of the guys in our group retorted "That's because he IS the soup nazi". It WAS him and the cool thing was that it was from my favorite Seinfeld episode, I just had to get a picture so Dee stood next to him and I snapped it. He seemed like a super nice guy and he was just in our group enjoying the show! Who would have thought .. right under our noses ..LOL

Larry Thomas (AKA The Soup Nazi)


25 things about me

A friend tagged me on facebook in a "25 things about me" post that you are supposed to copy and repost. I figured I might as well share it here.

1. I have a lot of close friends but I married my best friend
2. Music is the single most influential force in my life outside of family, without it I'd be dead
3. I view a guitar and a Marshall stack as therapy
4. I have very few true friends. I am very selective about who I trust. If you are my friend you are for a reason and for life
5. My heart melts every time I see my daughter and granddaughter
6. Without change I would be miserable and without change the people around me would be miserable
7. I believe that if you set a goal you have the ability to conquer it with the proper determination, there are no excuses only results
8. I fear failure and rarely do at what I want to conquer (see #7)
9. A good day is to tell the people I care about that I love them, it is a better day when I know I am loved in return
10. As tough as it was being a parent at 19, I wouldn't change what I've gained from it for anything
11. Few people get to view the world from 2 genders, some view it as crazy but I view it as a blessing.
12. When my friends hurt I always feel like I need to be there for them as a shoulder but I have a hard time asking my friends for help when I hurt.
13. I love animals, especially our dogs. I miss my timber wolf more than anything .
14. I love opening my eyes early to see my love sleeping next to me.
15. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day
16. I love to cook and it is one of a few things that puts me at ease and makes me feel good when others enjoy it
17. I'm not as organized as a could be, something that really needs to change
18. I am a die hard Red Sox fan and can never wait for the pitchers and catchers arrive announcement
19. I love riding my Harley and am very proud that my love rides her own with me
20. I am a staunch Republican because I believe in being fiscally conservative. I am socially liberal.
21. While finally having a chest is a very natural thing for me, I wish guys understood just how over rated it really is. They are always sore and they get in the way!
22. I finally realized why I never totally understood guys. I still don't understand them but now at least I know why
23. My favorite drink is tomato juice, I am an addict
24. I love playing with make-up and clothes. I just wish I could get over the feeling that others may think I'm crazy for it. I need to learn "who cares what others think".
25. I still have a bit of a wild streak deep down, I just need to find it again and when I do I will be back.

Jan 24, 2009

Cali trip day 1

It's obviously been a while without any updates or posts here for obvious reasons. I had started writing a new response from the plane Tuesday on the way home but there simply wasn't enough room to remain comfortable enough to type. The one thing I need in any creative way is space to be comfortable or my focus just isn't where it needs to be.

As previously posted Diane and I boarded a plane for California Thursday the 15th for the NAMM show, to hang with friends and visit with my brother. I could deem the trip a success with just a few minor bumps in the road. All in all, I got to hang with my friends, talk to the managers at Charvel/Jackson about some things, see some cool equipment and shows and spend quality time with family so even with bumps I guess it's all good.

Dee and I left the house at 4am Thursday morning bound for Manchester airport about 20 minutes from our house. I have to admit having an airport so close to home is spoiling me, I'll always avoid Boston's Logan airport if I can now. This translates into about 3-4 hours of lost time by going to Boston.

One of the things that had worried me about the NH drivers license is that we are not allowed to change our gender marker before surgery. In a lot of states the criteria is the name change and hormone replacement therapy, here it is more stringent. What worries me is having to show my ID with the name Karyn and having attention brought to that god awful "M" down in the right corner because it could lead to discrimination. I am happy to say this doesn't seem to be much of an issue and I'm beginning to think that people in a position of authority do not seem to even look at that part of the ID.

This would be the first official trip taken legally as Karyn so I had no idea what to expect at each turn. I dressed conservatively as I usually tend to do so it isn't as though I draw any attention to myself anyway. From the time we checked in with the airline, through security and so forth no one ever questioned my ID or swayed from addressing me in any manner other than female. It was quite refreshing to realize it was a non-issue as far as the TSA went.

After landing in North Carolina we were directed to the gate for our connecting flight only to find out that the gate number had been changed and we were in the wrong area. Because Dee is such a poor flier and has a lot of anxiety over flying, I try to minimize our time on the ground in between connecting flights so at this point I'd been a little concerned with so little time to get to a gate that we didn't know where it had been. It turned out to be just a little bit down the walkway to the next area.

We would later find out about the crash in NY. Ironically at the time of the crash we were on the same carrier, type of plane and destination (N Caroina) I worked at keeping this from Diane because I didn't want her to be afraid to get on the plane to come home.

When we arrived in Los Angeles we proceeded over to the baggage area and waiting for us was my little brother Rob. It was so nice to be met by family and it was even nicer of him to do that knowing we were going directly to our hotel first. Rob hasn't changed since the last time I was able to see him 5 years ago, he was a sight for sore eyes and it was slightly emotional for me. This was the first time since my changes that Rob would be around me. My little brother handled it better than I could have ever imagined and has easily taken to referring to me as his sister now instead of his brother. I could ask for a better little brother.

When we arrived at the hotel we learned that our room wasn't quite ready but a few of our friends had already checked in. I had received a text telling me that the rooms were nice and that they were full suites which was cool. Of the 3 wives that made this trip every one of them have the same take no shit attitude which is something I love about these women. When it comes to who they are, what they think and what they will open their mouths over they can easily run with the guys in the group. This would come into play a lot on this particular trip starting with check in.

As we were checking in a young African American male came down to the desk demanding toilet paper. We would later find out that he was already supposed to be gone from the hotel but they were having issues getting him to check out. In a foul mouthed manner he told the desk clerk he needed toilet paper and then questioned what the "F" they thought he was supposed to use, his hand?

Diane in an attempt to add levity to the situation replied "Maybe they expect you to use leaves" This turned into a verbal confrontation between said patron and Diane with Dee refusing to back down from him. Over and over she kept telling him, "Dude just walk away" apparently she knew she wasn't . LOL It finally took the front desk clerk to threaten having the guy removed by the police. He apologized to us and explained that this guy had been causing a lot of issues and using racial overtones to perpetuate it.

For the record and probably not a bad thing is the fact that I have non detectable levels of testosterone in my system now and that means no more testosterone rages. While I will always defend Diane the old me probably would have had one of those such surges and escalated the situation to a higher level. I would have been in this guys face for sure.

After checking in and meeting up with 2 of the guys Diane wanted to head up for a long needed shower. Todd and Brad decided to head over to the show early and the girls hadn't arrived yet. At that point it sounded like the guys would go over to the show (it closes early the first day) the girls would check in and after the show the guys would come back, we would head to dinner then party at the Hilton as usual.

Diane I and Rob headed up to my room and Dee hopped into the shower. A short time later our friend Kristi showed up. I had been dying to see Kristi again since the trip to see her and Todd in Chicago. As previously mentioned Kristi was the girl on 20/20 in December and from the time of my transition news has been one of my best supporters. I couldn't ask for a better girlfriend to have than Kristi. After getting our hugs out of the way, introducing her to my brother she stepped out of the room and then the 2nd knock came, Brads wife Sherie!

Sherie darted across the room and gave me an awesome hug as well and hugged Diane. It had been 6 months since we had seen Sherie as well. After some chit chat Kristi had come back and presented Diane and I with a belated Christmas present, a beautiful heart pendant that I absolutely love.

With the girls in the room the conversations started flying and my poor brother at times looked as though he was going to die. This was the first time I had been alone with all three girls without the husbands and I have to say that I felt incredibly included, I finally felt like one of the group and I felt very calm and at ease. All my worries about fitting in had been slipping out the window at that point and for the first time with other women, I finally felt like I belonged.

As time passed and gotten much later the guys hadn't returned yet and after some prodding we found out that they left us in the room and were drinking at the Hilton. ½ of me really didn't care, I was having a nice time and didn't want to let that go but we were all getting really hungry.

I'm not totally sure where all of this went astray and without getting deep into details it led to an argument between two of the girls and it led to Diane and I trying to calm things down. Unfortunately for me it was a tough situation because my friend ended up breaking down in tears with the other back in her room. My heart broke for her as we sat trying to console her. I had only wished we could have prevented the fight in the first place but I didn't feel as though my friend was wrong in the argument.

The day had been wrought with some highs and some lows, by this point being awake so long and through so much I had been pretty worn out. We ended the night with pizza delivery and went to bed.

More to come

Jan 17, 2009

just sayin

Sometimes being couragous isn't enough.
Sometmes being true is too painul
Sometimes to mend a heart it has to break
Sometimes in strength we expose weakness
Sometimes in safety we still see fear.
Sometimes walking with others still feels lonely
Sometimes reading others hurts too much.
Sometimes the hill is just too damn steep.

Some would say that being an empath is a gift to embrace and nuture. Having a gift as such opens your feelings up and makes your nerves raw. Sometimes I would just prefer not to be able to feel the negativety that oozes from the pores of some pathetic person who cannot possibly understand me or how my mind works.

It isn't a gift to walk through a room with thousands of people and be able to focus in on the negative energy directed your way from that one or two people. It's much easier to be numb and not know than it is to have a gift and let it hurt you. Being this way somedays is akin to being able to find that needle in a haystack and finding it in record time.

Today I am riddled with emotional weakness. Something I haven't felt in a very long time. I miss my home, I miss my family, my feeling of security .. Somedays, I'm just too ashamed for allowing myself to feel anything less than being happy and being me...

Sometimes, I'm just sayin and hoping that someone will actually listen and hear me. Today I cannot be someone elses rock, I need someone to be mine!

Jan 9, 2009

Just an update

It has been a long time since there was a true update around here, I guess I just kind of went into a little cocoon for a while and enjoyed just being. As was pointed out to me it's time to be a little creative again and come up with something to read. (Like I'm an interesting person or something)

I look back on 2008 fondly. I set out to walk a path and yet every step I tried to forge in the sand found me putting my foot exactly where a sister before me had been. I felt as though I'd never leave my mark in the sand but the most amazing thing happened when I looked back at the tracks …

I realized that there were footprints beside mine! All of us currently that is walking this path, together. There's no need for me to leave a mark when it's done so much better by all of us. I've suddenly become more at peace with the process I guess because I realize I have friends to make that mark with me ..

Jan 08 was one of those non-committal type of months. Ok I'll go fulltime in Jan, ok maybe not. It had gotten to the point that it didn't feel like 08 was going to be my year, I just wasn't emotionally ready to make the leap. Then Feb, March, April

It hit me sometime around late April in something Annah Moore had said to me over the holidays. I asked her how I set a fulltime date and hold myself accountable to it. It seemed like I could set the date but just continued to get cold feet in the process. Annah's Answer was awesome.

Apply for your name change!

OMG that was perfect! If I got a court date it was either do it or I probably never wood and I proceeded to do just that. Karyn became official in July 08 and went fulltime in November. I've been incredibly blessed with supportive family and friends. Some of which I see everyday and some I've never had the pleasure to meet face to face (Em) and I'm dying too. Without those people forging footsteps in the sand, holding my hands, I would have never found the courage to make the leap. I will never forget the emotional content that 2008 has given me.

2009 looks like it will be a quiet year for me. I say that now but it never seems to happen. The direction that I see is nothing more than just enjoying the year as myself with no major goals in mind. I'll take things as they come!

Dee and I had a crazy day last weekend that involved me dialing 911 for the police. We had stopped off to get some prescriptions at our local CVS and then walked over to the grocery store when I noticed yelling in the parking lot. A group of teens standing outside of a pickup yelling in at the driver telling him to "get the fuck outta the truck so I can kill you" stuff. Gawd I've come to hate the testosterone driven male teen mentality.

It turned into a big fight and I dialed 911. Everything was cool until the dispatcher said, ok sire may I have your name .. um, eh, yeah …

When the cops came down an interviewed Dee and I the cop said "Ok ladies" I need to take your statement." Hmm I guess that makes up for it .. (note to self 2009 goal~ work on my damn voice~) We received a phone call later that evening stating there had been 2 arrests made, thank you for getting involved and oh yeah you may be called to testify in court!! Oh yay …

I just did what I thought was right and regardless I'd do it again!

Next week is the annual music industry show in Anaheim California. I've forged some incredible friendships going to this show to the point it has turned into friends getting together to party for 4 days. Dee and I hope a plane for L.A this coming Thursday for the show and friends. While everyone knows this is the first official time that "Karyn" goes as when I last saw the others they knew the name but it wasn't legalized.

This trip has been weighing heavy on my mind as of late. I'm soo looking forward to seeing my friends, new equipment, partying with rockstars and such but there is one thins that is nagging me. Where I fit in now.

It was always easy for me before in one sense and hard in another. I learned to forge a persona to fit in with the guys, it's what we do to survive. All my friendships were driven by male freidns and I understood how I fit into the group as a whole. I understood that I had to act a certain way to "fit" in as a stereotypical male. This time I'm going back but I'm going back as me, as Karyn and I haven't quite figured out how Karyn "fits" into the group anymore.

Don't get me wrong, I adore my friends, they are some f the best people you would ever want to know so it isn't that. But for me personally or mostly emotionally I have changed. I need different things out of my relationships emotionally than I did before and that is something that scares me. It makes me feel like I'm 13 again trying to see where I fit into life.

I know it'll all work out and I know my friends don't give a hoot what I'm wearing or what I look like, they love me for me. At times though it gets hard personally feeling like you are obligated to be a certain way or fit in a certain way …. We'll see how it goes ..

After NAMM I'll be going down to spend a few days with my brother. I haven't seen him in 4 years. He has a brand new daughter that I've never seen and I miss him dearly. He hasn't seen me since the news broke so well again see how that goes .. .

Now I need to decide what I'm taking with me for the trip!


Hope you're all well ..