This week has been a challenging one. Granted last week was fun. I got to stay in Vegas and teach there, which meant that in the evenings I got to enjoy the town a bit. That was good. I won some, I lost some. I think my biggest win was $70, which I used to buy some premium cigars. I think in all I lost maybe $40, which is a reasonable amount. I will say that if you go to Vegas, want a decent hotel room (with a full kitchen), willing to pay around $100 and don’t mind being directly on the strip (but can get a free shuttle to the Mandalay throughout the day/evening to go to the strip) then the Homewood Suites near the Vegas Airport (right across from it, actually) is a place to stay. The staff were amazing (particularly those during the Monday-Thursday shifts). I’ve stayed at quite a few hotels in my time but these guys were the best.
One day I’d like to return to Vegas for non-work reasons and just have fun truly exploring the whole city. I didn’t get to the older part of Vegas like I did last time and I would love to visit some of the more natural sites. Maybe I should plan a bike trip from Los Angeles to Vegas in a couple of years. I did stick to my workouts for the two weeks I was on the road (Toronto and Vegas) and my diet was so-so. It could have been better. I learned that Vegas Portions are a supersized version of American portions, which are, to my Canadian eyes, to big as it stands. Flying back wasn’t fun as Mother Nature had some nasty things in store. I lucked out in that I missed most of it, although I got snarled in the after-effects. I had ended up on a single stop over — Vegas to Los Angeles to NYC. The Vegas to LAX part was packed but LAX to JFK was really empty. Either way, I managed to get upgraded to business class and it made the flight kinda better. I certainly didn’t have as much inspect as I had when traveling from Toronto to NYC (they’ve added in at least two more search options). Interestingly enough through all my travel I never got challenged on my passport. My picture doesn’t match my face any more and, to be frank about it, I suspect it’s a white male privilege thing. The beard and simple moustache should have thrown up markers since my gender didn’t match but that means either no one was threatened, didn’t care or didn’t notice.
Upon arriving back, I decided to shave the beard (leaving the pencil thin moustache). It was kinda shocking to see my bare face again (I left a little on the chin). K did a double-take after I had shaved it and, I think, still trying to come to gripes with the new face. Heck, even I am. It was funny that when I had the beard, I could have sworn I saw my uncle P looking back at me. As hard as life has been in the past for me, I will say that it was my mom’s siblings and her mother that centered me enough to become the person I am, even if it wasn’t what they expected. I’m a rather self-centered child (a side-effect of being an only child growing up around adults, I suspect — not an excuse but more of an observation).
For the rest of the week, I had been battling a rather nasty head cold. All I can say is “Thank the gawds for the inventor of Nyquil!”. This stuff knocked me out for two days in a row, giving my body enough time to recover. And since this was an off-platform week for me (plus we got pummeled by more snow) it was great. As it turned out, K had a “Snow Day” on Wednesday. She squealed like a little kid when she saw all the snow falling. And more so when she began playing with it (making mini-snowballs). I treated her to some vegan hot chocolate and vegan marshmellows with a bit of not-so-vegan chocolate liquor mixed in. It was an awesome way to spend the afternoon as the sky fell down to the earth. It also allowed me to catch up on my Hulu queue and finally clear that out as well as get through the 3 NetFlix videos. The Beautiful Daughters one was particularly good. As a trans guy, I’m pretty privileged in many ways but the most important way is that I blend in a lot easier and am accepted far more than many of my trans-sisters are. This is probably part of why there was no issue with traveling between Canada and the US thus far. This video, which documents the first trans women version of the Vagina Monologues, is absolutely beautiful and shows some of the same difficulties that many trans women face that cis-gendered women face. And then some. If you can get the video and haven’t seen it, do so.
In other news, I’m hopeful that this year will be a good year for work. Some of my discussions with my managers seem to indicate so. The visa still looms large ahead of me and performance reviews are soon. I think I did well last year and I’m hopeful that it will be reflected pay wise. In the meantime, the company issued bonuses and let’s just say, the gov’t will be pleased with their cut of it (I hope I can get some of that back at tax time since that amounts to an overpayment). But my credit cards were also happy. I paid off my “cigar card” with part of it and paid off half of another (that one will be paid off completely in March). So life seems to be turning around a bit in regards to finances and such. Perhaps my dream of getting my top surgery done in 2011/2012 isn’t that far off now… eh.. we shall see.
For now, I have a cat to feed and a woman to romance a bit..