Archive for November, 2012

Going Home, Days 6-7, 8/18-19/12: Deliverance

November 30, 2012

A former Econo Lodge, now closed, in Austintown, Ohio, where we spent a lovely final afternoon of our trip home.

Nov. 14, 2012

Here we go — the last installment of the epic Going Home saga, where Alexis and I and our yellow Penske beast left western Ohio Saturday morning with the goal of getting home to Connecticut by the end of the night. And as we found out, the road to good intentions is paved with hell.

For Going Home, the Prequel: Loose Ends, click here.

For Going Home, Day 1, 8/13/12: Leaving Fresno. Not., click here.

For Going Home, Day 2, 8/14/12: Sharing Needles, or Not Even out of California Yet, click here.

For Going Home, Day 3, 8/15/12: The Wrong Toins at Albuquoique, click here.

For Going Home, Day 4, 8/16/12: Amarillo by Lunchtime, But Let’s Wait ’til Oklahoma, click here.

For Going Home, Day 5, 8/15/12: The Big Push, click here.

For the entire Going Home series, click here.

The last day of the trip — or so we hoped and thought — began maybe a little more than an hour after the previous one ended, in that rest area on I-70 in western Ohio. The Saturday light was just starting to bleed into the darkness, black slowly dissolving into deep blue.

I descended the steps of the truck again to hit the women’s room, and I realized something: I needed a shave. I felt the stubble on my face, nearly a day’s growth — not nearly as much as in my boy days, but I could feel the slight coarseness of the stubble — and realized that I needed to do something about it, to be able to pass, especially in case of emergency. And I couldn’t shave in the women’s room, as anyone could walk in on me. Total pain in the ass. Electrolysis is near the top of my wish list once I get hired again and get working again. IF I ever work again at this point …

So, on to Plan B. Rough it. I opened the trunk of the Camry, took the razor and shaving cream from the well-worn Target bag I was using for my meds and toiletries, grabbed some napkins, climbed back in the cab, removed the makeup from my face, poured some bottled water into my hand and started splashing my face. I then lathered, shaved and cleaned up, alternating between handfuls of water and swipes of paper towel. A little messy, but it did the trick.

Then I reapplied my face — nothing too fancy, just enough where no one would read me — and then we were back on the road.

And one last time … showtime!


Baaaaaach! Buckbuckbuck!

November 24, 2012

Nov. 24, 2012

Thanksgiving weekend has taken on an extra dimension over the last couple years. It’s now my high school’s alumni weekend, and most of the five-year reunions now take place at the school the Saturday evening of Thanksgiving weekend, when they assume most people who’ve moved away will be home.

And on those off-reunion years, there are class nights on Thanksgiving Fridays for the individual graduating classes at various local restaurant/bars.

And since it was the first class night since I moved home three months ago, your humble author was thinking of attending last night.

Actually, I was there — just a few feet away from the backroom where this was taking place — and chickened out.

As you might imagine, this gave me great pause, as I’m out and living very confidently as Frannie 2.0 in the everyday world. What the hell’s going on here?


Five Songs, Part 100

November 24, 2012

Joe Franklin — the man, the myth, the legend. But not a singer. He left that to Eddie Cantor and Sophie Tucker.

Well, nothing stupendous or colossal or big! big! big! or any of those other stellar adjectives that Joe Franklin, the self-styled “King of Nostalgia,” used to use on his show as I put together this mini-milestone 100th installment of Five Songs.

(And if you didn’t grow up in the New York area and/or are of a younger generation: The imitable-yet-inimitabe Joe was the king of late-night television, having hosted a talk show in New York (and Jersey, when Channel 9 relocated across the river to Secaucus) for 43 years (1950-93). While he interviewed hundreds of thousands of nobodies, there were a few somebodies as well: Jerry Lewis, boyhood pal Tony Curtis, Paul Newman, Barbra Streisand, Buster Keaton, The Ramones, “Weird Al,” They Might Be Giants, occasional visitor Tiny Tim. First time I really tuned in, in college, The J.Geils Band was on, Freeze-Frame era, splattering the studio with paint and having a couple of beauties present Joe with a six-foot-tall trophy for being the “King of Television.” One day, I’ll tell you about how I helped start an international Honeymooners fan club with his help. And the first link above is to a wonderful documentary called 50,000,000 Joe Franklin Fans Can’t Be Wrong.)

That’s because, well, it’s Thanksgiving weekend, and I’m wondering if anyone would even be looking at what I have to read, since everyone’s wrapped up in the post-holiday. (Hell, I wonder if anyone even reads it in the best of times …)

So, I digressed. Anyway, I wasn’t gonna hit the Christmas tunes yet, but since I butchered this song and smeared the reputation of Ms. Veronica Bennett Spector Greenfield at the tail end of the annual Thanksgiving-night Vomitorium at Cafe Nine in New Haven, I had to somehow make amends. So one Christmas song and the rest totally random. Enjoy the remainder of the holiday:

Frosty the Snowman — The Ronettes

Couldn’t I Just Tell You — Todd Rundgren

Omaha — Moby Grape

Rhythm — Major Lance

On Easy Street — Freda Payne

Ask Aunt Fran: Healthcare

November 18, 2012

Well, it’s been a long time, kids, but welcome back to another installment of Ask Aunt Fran, where you, the curious reader, ask me, the curious woman with a little something extra, questions about this transgender-type trip I’ve been on nearly five years now.

If there’s something you’ve always wanted to ask about transfolks but were afraid to ask — well, don’t be afraid to ask! That’s what this here blog thang is here for! If you have my email or my Facebook page, just message me in private; otherwise, email me at Unless you want the notoriety, all questions will be anonymous. And — my version of the lawyer-weasel disclaimer: The answers I give are pertinent to my own situation. Every transperson’s trip is different; your mileage may vary.

Anyway, this comes up in the thick of Transgender Awareness week (Nov. 13-19), so the timing couldn’t have been better. I had dinner and coffee the other night with a friend I hadn’t seen in years. She knew about the transition, but it’s the first time she had seen Frannie 2.0 up close. And she had some questions.

And one resonates very loudly with me personally and the trans world in general:

“What do you do about healthcare?”

You mean besides grope and stumble and get lucky a lot?

Details coming up …


Five Songs, Part 99

November 16, 2012

The Elegants, turning a preschool ditty into a doo-wop classic. But those suits had to go.

Well, while I try to finish the last installment of my epic Going Home saga and wait to see Lincoln (which opens tonight) and wait for Thanksgiving and wait for Mercury to come back out of retrograde and wait to hear on a big job I interviewed for two weeks ago, might as well keep myself amused with the latest installment of Five Songs.

Two things to captivate your interest: 1) The second “Little Star” link is to the 1957 demo version of the doo-wop classic (interesting, but doesn’t hold a candle to the classic single version); and 2) Note the similarity in the ending sax parts on the following two songs (an early-’70s rock classic and a rare mid-’60s Northern soul gem, respectively). Anyway, have fun …

Little StarThe Elegants

Walk on the Wild Side — Lou Reed

Wee Oo I’ll Let It Be You Babe — Louise Lewis

The Waiting — Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

I Tell No Lies — The Escapades

Going Home, Day 5, 8/17/12: The Big Push

November 14, 2012

Beautiful skies from the driver’s seat. Interstate 44, somewhere in Missouri.

Nov. 11, 2012

Welcome to the sixth installment of the epic Going Home series, in which our beleaguered heroine, who, searching for work after losing her job in California’s Central Valley for the second time, does the Okie in reverse — travels Route 66 (well, at least the modern version) eastward as she travels to her new life in her old haunt of Connecticut, accompanied by her staunch and steadfast friend, Alexis.

For Going Home, the Prequel: Loose Ends, click here.

For Going Home, Day 1, 8/13/12: Leaving Fresno. Not., click here.

For Going Home, Day 2, 8/14/12: Sharing Needles, or Not Even out of California Yet, click here.

For Going Home, Day 3, 8/15/12: The Wrong Toins at Albuquoique, click here.

For Going Home, Day 4, 8/16/12: Amarillo by Lunchtime, But Let’s Wait ’til Oklahoma, click here.

For the entire Going Home series, click here.

My cell phone alarm at the Will Rogers Inn, in Will’s hometown of Claremore, Oklahoma, went off at 6:30. That was about six hours for me — surprisingly not very restful, considering it was the most sleep I had gotten all week. I’m guessing it was a combination of the accumulated stress¬† — the load-in, the running back and forth (and the car malfunction) before we could even leave Fresno, the various monkey wrenches thrown at us, the occasional white-knuckle fights to keep the truck under control — and the adrenaline that was still coursing through my body despite my general weariness.

But I was up, even if I was dragging by that point. And so was Alexis. We were checked out of the motel around 8. At this point, the heat wasn’t a factor anymore; it didn’t matter, really, what time we left. As long as we got home …


Going Home, Day 4, 8/16/12: Amarillo by Lunchtime, But Let’s Wait ’til Oklahoma

November 12, 2012

The payoff for all our truck stops and fleabag motels: the Windmill Restaurant, Exit 1 off I-40, Texola, Oklahoma.

Nov. 1, 2012

The fifth installment in my epic move home from Fresno to Connecticut — accompanied by my most gracious co-pilot, Alexis — found us traveling through three states in a day. Clearly, we were getting somewhere — say, at least halfway across the country — but we were getting antsy to get home.

For Going Home: The Prequel: Loose Ends, click here.

For Going Home, Day 1, 8/13/12: Leaving Fresno. Not., click here.

For Going Home, Day 2, 8/14/12: Sharing Needles, or Not Even out of California Yet, click here.

For Going Home, Day 3, 8/15/12: The Wrong Toins at Albuquoique, click here.

For the entire Going Home series, click here.

Just as was the case the first night in Needles, we couldn’t get out of Albuquerque fast enough. Too bad, because it’s a nice-looking city, and I’m certain that, had we had ample time, and had we been able to find a motel parking lot big enough to accommodate us in some place that wasn’t fleabag, then we’d probably have dug the hell out of it. Oh, well, if I ever get the chance to motor west again — not likely at this point — I’m sure I’ll give it a second chance.

No time for what-ifs, though. We made our way out of the city under cover of darkness once again, sometime between 3 and 4. (And again, time starts to meld and twist when you’re doing a lot of traveling all at once.)


Five Songs, Part 98

November 9, 2012

Lou Christie Sacco — just a good-looking kid from Pittsburgh with a great falsetto.

Hi. Nothing too elaborate this week in Five Songs, just some music for a chilly mid-November Friday evening. And something to distract me from my latest writing in the Going Home series. Just some quick hits that came up through a combination of a fertile imagine and the shuffle play on my media player. Have fun and stay warm:

Lightnin’ Strikes — Lou Christie

The Oogum Boogum Song — Brenton Wood

Stoned Love — The Supremes

She’s My Baby — The Fleshtones

Bring on the Dancing Horses — Echo & the Bunnymen

Going home, Day 3, 8/15/12: The wrong toins at Albuquoique

November 5, 2012

Hmmm … this don’t look like a decent motel!

Oct. 27, 2012

Here’s the third day of my epic move home from Fresno to Connecticut, accompanied by the lovely and talented and wonderful Alexis.

For Going Home, the prequel: Loose Ends, click here.

For Going Home, Day 1, 8/13/12: Leaving Fresno. Not., click here.

For Going Home, Day 2, 8/14/12: Sharing Needles, or not even out of California yet, click here.

I set the cellphone alarm for 1 a.m. That would give us four hours’ sleep. Neither of us wanted to stay in Needles any longer than we had to. And especially in our bedbug-infested room at the Best Motel. But we needed some rest. But I also needed to get us on the road, and if I could make up for lost time from the first day and the load-in day — ease into a routine where we left earlier and retired earlier — then I wanted to do that.

Besides, we still had a long way to go. One day down — it was now Wednesday morning — and we were still in California, even if we were just across the Colorado River from Arizona. But Alexis brought along an old Rand McNally road atlas, with both a map of the U.S. and larger maps of the individual states in alphabetical order. And I would look over the map at different stops.

Rather than be daunted by the long stretch of road ahead, as I looked at the national map, I viewed it with joy. I mentally tried to figure out just how far we could get from day to day, how much of a chunk we could take out of the map,¬† and how soon we’d get back to Connecticut. The road might get boring at times, but the payout come the weekend would be well worth it. I hoped.


Love those fortune cookies, Part 23

November 5, 2012

Well, I keep hoping that each of these fortune-cookie fortunes will come true, or at least point me closer to where I’m going. I get some many of these fortunes that seem particularly relevant to my life that one of them has to totally come true. Right?

Take this one from last night from the Hibachi Grill in Orange. A crowded house on a Sunday night (I’m guessing with people who, like me, had a feeling the Giants would lose to the Steelers and didn’t want to see it). I had the only table-for-one in the whole place. And I got a deformed cookie whose fortune was crinkled into the crimp of the plastic wrap.

And when I unraveled the part of the slip of paper that survived, this is what it said:

“A beautiful, smart, and loving woman will be entering into your life.”

At my most optimistic moments this year, I’ve been telling myself, “Money happens, the job happens, love happens.” The job seems so close now that I can taste it. Maybe, just maybe, this is all finally starting to fall into place?