Friday, May 30

“They’re called Boobs, Ed.”

For all that this will likely be a tongue in cheek piece with snarky asides and some amusing visual aides; this is not an easy post to write. Most of the time I am at peace with my body. I can see it through the loving, lustful eyes of my wife. I remember the feats it preformed growing and feeding our children. I am confident in my ability to take care of business physically. I am the opener of stuck jars, the one who gets the tire iron moving, the primary mover for children, furniture and groceries.  My body is strong; it is powerful and capable of amazing things. And then I put on a bathing suit . . .
Let me start by saying: I am busty. Well Endowed. I have large tracts of land. (The last time I tried to get fitted at a department store, the poor ‘fitter’ ran out of letters well before she ran out of measure tape. I have to go to specialty stores and even there my selection is very . . . industrial.) My tummy has changed from my pre-children days, and the little pooch I’ve had since puberty has extra skin thanks to the triplets and Bam-Bam, the ten pound wonder. At six feet tall, I tend to balance out my middle, but my chest has been my largest measurement since high school.
Don’t get me wrong, the boobs can be quite fun. I never need to worry about filling out my bodice at Renn Faires or SCA events. I always have cleavage, even in a sports bra. My wife’s safe place is in my arms with her head on my chest. I was able to nurse and pump for my triplets for their entire first year and still have enough production to bag close to a gallon of milk (I wanted to donate it, as I had it in deep freeze, but couldn’t because I had been drinking tea with fenugreek and the milk bank wouldn’t accept it due to liver issues in sensitive babies).
They also suck. The back pain; the pain of underwire that is not wire, but cut sheet metal. The indents in my shoulders that I’ve had since before my 18th birthday. Not ever having a shirt that really fits unless I tailor it myself. Having the choice between swimwear that my grandmothers would find too matronly or getting something custom made and hoping I didn’t just waste an enormous amount of money on something that I end up hating because it never fits.
 Case in point, we plan on going to a waterpark without the kids as part of our honeymoon and so Hunny and I decided to get new swimsuits. We have a custom swimwear place near us, and even though they took my measurements there, made a list of detailed changes to the basic pattern to make it fit me, when I tried it on yesterday . . . I almost cried. My tankini top looked like a maternity prom dress. And the top was nowhere close to fitting. They have to remake the entire thing. I am crossing my fingers that what they come up with will be better than what they made the last time.
Ok, onto the visual aides.
Here are some examples of what I’m assuming people around me see based on their behavior when I go into a store in a low cut top or (heaven forbid) a bathing suit top (in the event I have to grab some forgotten supply on the way to play in the water).
From most Men:
From many Women (generally of the less busty variety):  
From the older generation (of any gender):

What this makes me feel I look like:
What I actually look like:

I just love body issues . . . don't you?
- Vixi
A quick reminder about comments:
I screen comments before they are posted. I try to answer respectful questions to the best of my ability. I don’t mind spirited discussion, and I understand that there will be people who disagree with the choices I (and my family) have made. Personal attacks and hateful or discriminatory remarks will not be allowed.

Wednesday, May 28

Arguing with Myself: Sticks and Stones

A Case for Compassionate Speech
*trigger warning – discussion of homophobic / transphobic slurs*
I want to say first that I am only going to talk about a small handful of terms used in regards to the LGBT community. I know that there are so many more that need discussion (both within this community and in our broader culture), but those are not my stories to tell, or iniquities to contend with. For some well stated arguments about some other terms that need addressing in our broader culture please check out Tanis Miller’s post on able-ism and AAfterwit’s post regarding the discussion of racist terminology. 
. . .
‘The first amendment gives me freedom of speech. If that dyke doesn’t like it, she can f@#%ing blow me . . .’  
‘I didn’t know tranny was considered offensive . . .’
‘I’m gay and I don’t have a problem with it. Why can’t that faggot take a joke?’
In the past few months there have been a number of incidents involving people in the public eye 
(or at least on public social media) making statements including terms that offended others. The public response to this tends to be outrage, sometimes at the person who made the statement, and often at anyone who takes that person to task for saying it.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that each of us has the right to voice our own opinions as we see fit. And the government agrees, since the First Amendment only protects from government action on grounds of speech.
This post is not about them.
I do believe that those who do not know (their reaction to being informed is usually to apologize when informed of an overstep) should be taken at their apology and allowed he chance to do better.
This post isn’t about this group either.
One of my wife’s friends (from before transition) commented on an anti-bullying article I had posted to face book about how “as a Mormon” he liked to open with a ‘mormon joke’ as a way of starting a discussion about the church. The problem being, most of those kind of jokes don’t have the same type of cultural stigma attached to them that slurs do. Someone is far less likely to be victimized, often violently by another for being openly Mormon. Religion has an element of choice that being part of the QUILTBAG spectrum doesn’t.
The line at where humor becomes derogatory speech is easier to define when the person using it is from outside that community.
It becomes much more difficult when it is a member of that group who has chosen to ‘reclaim’ that term as a source of empowerment. 
Here’s the thing, if you fit into this last group please understand that not everyone is in the same place in their journey that you are. That word may have lost its power for you, but others have not gotten to that place yet.  For them, every syllable is an act of violence against their soul, a way that people have tried to shame them into living someone else’s beliefs.
Words can re-open scars and propel people back into the darkness they are only just winning free of.
People don’t want your voice silenced, your truth stifled.
We all need to speak with more compassion, lest we cause more pain to those already hurting and scarred. For some, a small, unthinking comment can be incredibly destructive. So many have had wounds inflicted by those who should have treated them with love and kindness.  
Please don’t use your victory over the hurtful terms in your life blind you to how much potential they have to hurt others.
- Vixi



Sunday, May 25

They totally asked for it

So, here’s the Facebook conversation that transpired after I asked my friends (who I talked about in said post) to approve my most recent post (Summertime) before I put it online. I like to give people an out . . .  Please excuse the horrible shorthand (what can I say, it’s FB). At this point Alani hadn’t picked a name yet, so she was referred to as X.
Adoree: good to me!

Alani: No complaints here
I was gonna make a joke about how u could use the x for my psuedonym but i am afraid u will use them...Hahaha !

Adoree: hahaha
madame X

 Me: Do you have a preference for an online name . . . careful, don't tempt me.

 Adoree: (cept I think thats a porn star or something)

 Alani: Alani

 Me: she was forever known as Mrs. X, and had to sit with her face in the shadows
Alani is a good one.

 Adoree: lol

 Alani: Lol! First i was gonna say professor ....then came triple into my omg

 Me: and here I was thinking about those confession pieces (like on 60 minutes) where the person has decided to remain annonymous
how is it I'm the one that didn't go to the dirty place with it? that never happens

 Alani: Totally slipping

 Adoree: tsk tsk!

 Me: i know, i know. i promise to do better next time

 Hunny: Lol

 Me: careful now, I may have to pull a Bloggess and stick all this up as a post . . . .

 Adoree: It's ok, its still early

 me: that sounded like a dare . . . .

 Adoree: I double dog dare you?
I would say chili dog dear, but I learned what a chili dog is, and eww

 Alani: Standing here not knowing what to say....hmmm ...

 Me: i always heard it as triple dog dare . . . do i need to google chili dog? now I'm scared

 Alani: Yes triple lol!! Tho your youngest would say chilli dog adoree

Friday, May 23


The kids are out of school; yesterday was the boys’ last day. We kicked off summer by spending the afternoon hanging with my two best friends (Adoree & Alani) and their kids (between us there are a dozen children).  Our children have known each other from well before birth, and have grown up more like cousins than not. Bam-Bam has been head over heels in love with Adoree’s daughter, Princess (a year older than he is) since he was three. Her son, Daredevil, and Elroy are both Whovians, so there is much talk of sonic screwdrivers and TARDISs when we all get together.
. . .
We are less than a month away from the wedding (and so close to done with the preparations). All the jewelry is finished (made by me, of course. I’ll put up some pictures of the different pieces after the big day). We’ve managed to save a huge amount of money by DIY-ing many of the accessories (so far that list includes: two ring pillows, two flower girl baskets, bridesmaid jewelry for six, flower girl jewelry for three, bridal jewelry for me, an entirely different style of bridal jewelry for Hunny, invitations – I love Vista Print, the handfasting cord, the decorations for my shoes, the flowers for the ceremony – Hunny’s mom volunteered to put the arrangements together for us).  The details are coming together really nicely and the upgrades by the venue are turning this into a much higher end event than we had thought we’d be able to have.
For comparison, the entire cost of our very small wedding a decade ago was close to what we spent on just our dresses this time around. A friend made my dress for just the cost of materials. We had our first ceremony at the park we had taken prom pictures at; the rental on the park was a whopping $4. The potluck reception was at my grandmother’s house. It was perfect for where we were then but this time is going to be an event!
. . .
My camera has returned from walk-about (it disappeared almost a year ago and has only recently resurfaced), so I can actually share pictures again. So, yay for new tutorials! Any suggestions on what you guys want to see made?
I’m hoping that without as much of the school year craziness I’ll be able to actually spend a little more time writing, so thank you all who haven’t forgotten me while the real world has demanded my attention.
-          Vixi
(PS- anyone have a good laundry system to share? I am swamped and I feel like I’m not making any progress. I swear I am just washing the same three loads over and over and not making a dent in the rest . . .)