Nous Bohemian

Caught in the Disquiet

(no subject)
aaronnavarre
I need a vacation!

Or at least it feels like I do. I feel like I don’t have time to breathe. It is not a bad thing because I am busy getting my art business out into the broad world and cease just being a regional artist.
That entails getting my own official site set up and working to make it look decent enough to be taken seriously by a potential client or agent. It also means setting up on line exhibits in other organizations’ galleries.

I had thought real world gallery hunting was hard. While it isn’t hard to find these on line galleries, sellers, and agents it seems to be this ceaseless drudgery of endless uploads and typing, typing, typing!
I don’t want to spread myself out too thin but I need to get as much exposure in as many galleries as I can handle
Also, to pick the right ones that have high traffic and the right kind of traffic- I.E. agents, galleries, serious collectors, and other businesses.

Hell, this is more time consuming than actually working on my art. Now I see why the better off artists have damned assistants. To handle all of this damned promotion.
I was never very comfortable with selling myself in the past since I was a very shy and extremely socially inept person for the most part. I made hermits look like social butterflies at times. I was constantly told I needed to have an ego to sell and not be so humble. Just not toot my own horn but to play the whole fricken orchestra!

My social life, both on and off the Internet has ceased to be for the most part. I am a driven person and I am not a very good multitasker. I tend to uber-focus on a project and have the attitude of “get it done now and right or don’t even bother working on it”.
That way of accomplishing things is both a blessing and a curse.
The only reason my Wife even sees as much of me as she does because she has been out of work ever since we got back from Illinois.
She heads back to the world of employ tomorrow and then I become a ghost in my own home. I virtually live in my studio. Either on this blasted contraption or at the easel. Though not nearly at the easel as much as I like or want to.

To add more stress on this situation we are planning a move, possibly if all goes well, back to Charleston SC. My hometown.

I am thrilled but also a wee bit stressed. Hmm..stress..expect to see that word in my posts a lot!

Don’t misunderstand though. It is all good stress but stress none the less. I have to tend to my paintings as well since I have another exhibit here locally. Luckily I am only under the time constraint of however long it is we will be living in Mobile.

Now to make things complete is to have my art sell more.
I have more plans to do this by getting a hold of local design agencies to offer my services so they can put nice, safe coordinating paintings in their clients’ offices and homes.

And here I always had thought I wouldn’t have to be selling myself as much while doing fine art as I did as a commercial artist.
Bleh…guess the only difference is I am now making interesting abstract shapes instead of designing catalogue layouts or labels on cans of peas.

For any interested to take a gander at some art and a few other things, I will put all relative sites here.

Home site: http://www.ehstudios.org

Online galleries:

http://www.ArtWanted.com/Kristof

http://www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/k/kristof/

http://nousbohemian.blogspot.com/

http://gallery.artistrising.com/HomePage/ArtistHomePage.aspx?AIID=32661

There will be repeated artwork of course but this will not always be the case and I only have so much on my hard drive at the moment.
…So…Amber got a new job as I said. Her previous employers fired her for the most uncompassionate thing I could think of. She had told them we’d be gone for about two weeks because her sister was dying and we need to help with the family aside from that as well. When she came back to work they tossed the old pink slip at her and gave the reason as “ you didn’t call enough”.
Guess she should had been more diligent as she watched her only sibling die…how selfish of her…right!?!?!


Shitheads..and to add lemon to the cut they gave the official reason of “Job abandonment” as to why she was let go.
Which pretty much screwed over her chance to even collect unemployment insurance.
It has been a very rough and tight month and a half.
Thankfully I had money coming in enough to pay bills and allow us to eat and have gas in the car.

I see it now though as a blessing in disguise. Her prior employers were hardly paying her a competitive salary and there were no avenues for advancement.
Now she is offered 3 dollars more an hour and that is just being a temp. If they hirer her permanently the bank account becomes even more thrilled.

I need a nap…oi

Pax ya’ll







Reposted from my friend Craig in reference to homophobia
aaronnavarre
Whether you are homosexual or not, you should repost this in support of your friends and loved ones who are. Love is not defined by color, creed, or gender.


I am the boy who never finished high school, because I got called a fag everyday

I am the girl kicked out of her home because I confided in my mother that I am a lesbian.

I am the prostitute working the streets because nobody will hire a transsexual woman.

I am the sister who holds her gay brother tight through the painful, tear-filled nights.

We are the parents who buried our daughter long before her time.

I am the man who died alone in the hospital because they would not let my partner of twenty-seven years into the room.

I am the foster child who wakes up with nightmares of being taken away from the two fathers who are the only loving family I have ever had. I wish they could adopt me.

I am not one of the lucky ones. I killed myself just weeks before graduating high school. It was simply too much to bear.

We are the couple who had the realtor hang up on us when she found out we wanted to rent a one-bedroom for two men.

I am the person who never knows which bathroom I should use if I want to avoid getting the management called on me.

I am the mother who is not allowed to even visit the children I bore, nursed, and raised. The court says I am an unfit mother because I now live with another woman.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who found the support system grow suddenly cold and distant when they found out my abusive partner is also a woman.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who has no support system to turn to because I am male.

I am the father who has never hugged his son because I grew up afraid to show affection to other men.

I am the home-economics teacher who always wanted to teach gym until someone told me that only lesbians do that.

I am the woman who died when the EMTs stopped treating me as soon as they realized I was transsexual.

I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I didnt have to always deal with society hating me.

I am the man who stopped attending church, not because I don't believe, but because they closed their doors to my kind.

I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most, love.

I am the person ashamed to tell my own friends im a lesbian, because they constantly make fun of them.

I am the boy tied to a fence, beaten to a bloody pulp and left to die because two straight men wanted to "teach me a lesson"


---IF YOU BELIEVE THAT HOMOPHOBIA IS WRONG... REPOST THIS

---IF YOU ARE IGNORANT... IGNORE

blech
aaronnavarre
.....sometimes I really hate looking at my bank balance on line....

Keeping in touch
aaronnavarre
Had been keeping a journal in my documents about the ups and downs of my transitioning. Figured I should be fair and put it here too.



Becoming a Man or

The diary of a Transgendered FTM

Tuesday, January 16, 2007
2:30 am

I started taking herbal supplements that helps boost testosterone production a few months ago. There has been some subtle changes. Maybe some of them are more imagined from hope by all of us or not. Either way it helps. I am starting to see some results though that is consistent with male puberty. Such as acne where I never have it ( at least to this extent), my voice cracking- especially during singing- ; the voice being a little lower, a hint of a mustache , and mood change.

The fact that I have grown a bit more aggressive is obvious as well as an increased libido.

I see the GYN at the end of the month and will be making damned sure they make medical note of the problems due to the size of my breasts. Dr. Smith says it will help my case to Medicaid to pay for a breast reduction. She backs me 100% as far as I can tell.

Not sure what the prognosis is for when this all may happen but I sure as hell will try to get rid of these things before the end of the year!

As for looking ,more male now, I am still having hurdles when it comes to waiters referring to me and Amber as ladies . ug.
Hopefully the lack of boobs, the short hair and hopefully more masculine features will help.

I am trying – again – to lose weight. I feel that the extra softness that the fat gives my all over appearance makes me appear feminine to most strangers. If I am less curvy and have a slimmer ( not so round and rosy) face….that problem will cease to be one.

I had thought of buying a prosthetic penis that I can urinate through so I can go to men’s restrooms. But then I think It’ll be a waste of money and I will get my bottom half worked on by then…

That is assuming Amber’s insurance would even PAY for that. We have the feeling that Medicaid will pay for the testosterone treatments though since my doctor will be the one approving it. They don’t have to know anymore info aside from it being hormone treatments and I am menopausal.

Also, there is a good chance I will get a hysterectomy since testosterone * can* cause ovarian cancer. I just need to keep “harassing” my doctors and not giving up until this happens.

I still feel like I am just deluding myself and have wondered if this is really who I am at times. I have many dreams of me being ultra feminine and that worries me. Does it mean I really don’t want to be male or that I fear this so I dream my worries about my choices?

All I know is , however it pans out, I have to be something ! I can’t stand being this in between, genderless, gender-confused, it !!



Sat. February 24th, 07
9:24 am


The whole GYN/OB visit I spoke of was a total bust. Not only was I told by the NP that they had nothing to do with my breast issue on the size but that it wasn’t “right” to be menopausal this young. She was convinced something was wrong. After blood tests saying my hormone level was too high to be so, I may have serious uterus problems, would need to take a pill ( by my CHOICE, of course; since everything was), etc, etc…

I was further more dismissed and regarded as a total freak and idiot when I nervously stumbled through my “ but I’m a transgendered ftm” routine; I was left with just more than feelings of frustration . Anger, depression, emotional self-abuse and so on ensued afterwards. I felt like a complete fool to be honest and like my face had been slammed into a wall over and over again.

So where it all stands now is I am waiting for my results to a biopsy to see if there is any other problems. I don’t see Vassar-Smith until next month and it feels like even the simple process of getting a breast reduction isn’t anytime soon.

I need more personal and consistent care with someone who deals with these issues. I can’t afford it nor am I sure I could find anyone locally; despite what the local transgender community says.

I still take the herbal supplements. I can’t afford the shots nor would I be able to get them legally prescribed at this point I am sure. I refuse to do black market and run the possibility of making myself ill or worse.

I am getting married to Amber next month. Well, it is really a “holy union”……since we are the same legal gender. Hell, can’t even get her on my bank account.

It is times like these that I wonder if it is fucking worth it to continue on this path to being legally and socially male or remain just as I am with the people around me seeing me as “male” and that will have to suffice .

I still wish for that stupid magic wand to just poof all the problems away. I am too old for that. I am just tired too as I write this so depression is gnawing at my head. It’ll pass. It always does.


Sat. 8th, 07
8:34 am

It took awhile to see Vassar-Smith mostly due to timing. We were out of town to be with Nicole and family. She passed away. Those two weeks I didn’t think about myself or the fact I had to reschedule an appointment. However when I finally did get to see her it went rather well. Luckily she refilled all my psychotropic meds as well as giving me a name of a plastic surgeon for my breasts. To say I was both thrilled and nervous is putting it mildly. Well that week I had to wait was torturously slow. We found out when we called for an appointment that the doctor she recommended had left plastic surgery and had been placed in another department.

However, the one we were sent to did. So, after fretting and anxiously waiting the day to see him came.

The original surgeon was female, which gave me comfort since she would, I feel, be more understanding. His name is Dr. Webb and was a breath of fresh air. Not only did he have an open mind and great sense of humor but he assured me I would get my breast as small as I legally could before it became a mastectomy. He also would move the nipple up so my chest would look even and “normal”.

I was also assured by him and his staff that they have never had a problem with Medicaid paying for breasts reductions that had a doctor’s backing. That means him and Vassar-Smith. So now is the waiting game . I was told it normally takes approx. 3-4 weeks until all the paper work goes through so hopefully by early to mid June I will go into surgery!

I have recently joined a forum for transgendered/transsexuals that is out of Birmingham. One of the members who is a post-op FTM called me and gave me a lot of good advice and information.

The best news was about hormones and a hysterectomy. He told me that there was a pharmaceutical company out of Texas that made testosterone and that a 6 month supply cost him around $60-$70. That is a hell of a lot less than I expected. I had thought it would cost me a hundred or more a month! All I would need is for a doctor to prescribe it. That is on the agenda next time I see mine. Hopefully it can be applied to Medicaid as hormone therapy and not have what hormone it is. Though I guess if that doesn’t pan out I can just buy the hormones out of my own pocket and have her write the prescription and give the shots.

I don’t know how much that would be if my insurance won’t pay but since it is a clinic that deals with people who can’t pay much or at all – I can’t imagine it would be too high.


He also informed me of a surgeon in Atlanta who gives hysterectomies to FTM’s and knows what paperwork to fill out so that Medicaid pays for it. The co payment may be around $200. He also, apparently, sees people quickly. He gave an example of one his friends who he gave a referral to and they were seen two weeks later !

It truly boggles my mind. Not only a $10,000 + operation costing me a few hundred, but to have it DONE before the year is up!!..In fact all of this is feasible if I am stubborn and keep pushing for it.

I am not sure what or how to think about all of this. Enigma( the one from the Birmingham forum), said that what he found out from his own experience and what he has seen others go through- that once it all starts it goes very fast and I will be surprised how quickly it all does fall into place.

I honestly had no idea how to feel or think. I have witnessed via movies/t.v. the struggle others have gone through. For some it was a constant, painful uphill battle. Some failed. Although a majority of them were younger. I feel that is to my advantage. I have had plenty of time to think on all of this and I am mature. Surely that is something a doctor, therapist, or judge would recognize.

On the other hand I have seen the opposite. But there is a lot of confusing information out there. Not just about the physical changes but all of the legal BS you need to deal with to be “male” in the eyes of local and federal government eyes.

From what he told me, the path to making sure you are male across the board ( driver’s license, birth certificate, SS #, marriage certificates, etc) isn’t hard just a bit time consuming.

I need to talk to him again while I can think straight and ask more definite questions. I was a bit addlepated and nervous when we spoke the first time. I am never very good on phones.

I feel like I am more in a race since we are moving in the Fall and I want to at least have two of the three impending processes towards being a physical male done before then.

Time will tell, as always.

A need for normalicy.
aaronnavarre
I'm sitting here using Nicole and Jeff's ( her husband) laptop in their living room in Illinois. No one is awake.The only sound is that of my typing and the oblivious gurgle from the fish tank in the library.

Amber and I got here Tuesday morning around 10:00 am and immediately went to Nicole's hospital room to be with her and whatever family was there. I will save a more drawn out post for later. I just can't do that now. I haven't the brain for it..just too tired.

Nicole beat her last heartbeat at 11:30 pm that same night.

It is all so surreal.

Watching Jeff's, Amber's and the parent's torment was nearly unbearable.It all doesn't feel set in the stone of reality yet- that she's gone. Maybe it will during the memorial serice Saturday. Maybe not.

The closeness of this family is absolutely amazing. That was a luxary I never had growing up and it is halien to me. At times it makes you feel te outsider. I guess all spouses go through that phase.

I do know this. I can't stand the thought of losing anymore of them and I cling jealously. I can't fathom going back to Mobile and slipping back into the routine of our life there. Amber feels the same. That is normal too.

But when something comes along and shakes your life up like a snow globe you hardly want to settle back into the same slot you started in. If my life is upheaved I want it done in totality. Don't drastically alter something so precious and expect blind acceptance of living as before.

The one basic rule in Qunatum Physics is that by merely observing one alters the" occurance.

I have been "watched. We have all been watched and measured. It seems only proper to follow the intrinsinct rules of physics and be allowed to change.

Yes a part of us was taken away but that means there is something to fill that gap- right?

What it is , how big or little it is or when it will happen is the mystery.

(no subject)
aaronnavarre
My sister in law is dying.
Seems so flat and cruel to say almost. I should really say, I guess, that she could have the prognosis of dying “any day now” if they can’t get her liver functioning properly.

As a result of the cancer she has jaundice along with many other problems associated with the sickness, chemo and radiation. This comes as no surprise to any who has either been through this, has known someone who has or just pays attention to the world.

My Mother in law has kept in touch with us for the duration of this trial. They are all up in Illinois while we are all down here in Alabama- feeling light years away. Even getting up there and staying isn’t a problem. But everything – such as they are in these cases- is in limbo and as a person with normal employment Amber hasn’t the luxury of having as many days off work as she needs.
In fact the company she works for only allows one day off for bereavement. It is obvious we need more than just one day. Amber and I do not want to go just because her sister is passed… we want to be there for the family and for us as well.

This is a common problem that many family members face when sickness strikes and they are scattered to the four winds. I also know they find ways to resolve this issue and attend the needs of the family.
My own are so few and near their end days as well. I am not even sure how to feel or to react. My heart aches more now just seeing Amber in pain. It sounds selfish but I am here with her and she is my wife…her pain is mine and it tears me in two watching her cry and feel so helpless.

To top it all off our friend/roommate/adopted sister is in the hospital due to her liver breaking down too. Though this doesn’t come from cancer but is due to complications and side effects of medicines she has taken over the years for her epilepsy. She also has three blood clots in her legs which is where the doctors are truly concerned at the moment.

My Mother, Step Father, two remaining brothers, sister in law, best friend are all on the brink here and it feels like everyone is just fading away from my life.

Why am I being so tactful and using so many euphemisms. It feels like everyone around me is dying. Dropping like flies.
There- I said it.

It all seems surreal to me.

In my therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder I have been learning coping skills; called dialectical behavior therapy.

The three I have focused on the most are non-judgmental stance, mindfulness, and radical acceptance.

The first skill is self-explanatory. Mindfulness teaches you how to be “in the moment”. To pay attention to the small things around you and not to dwell or reminisce about things you have no control over and only cause you more stress…. which leads right into radical acceptance.

That is acknowledging that something has happened, normally a “bad” thing, and then dealing with what to do next. Not to sit in denial and run yourself in emotional circles because that will do you no good. I may not be explaining the skill as best I could and on the outside of any who has never done this or know much about Buddhist teachings (which these skills are loosely based on)- look rather cold and distant but it isn’t. Nor is it stuffing emotions. It is allowing them to wash over you. You do feel them and you do validate them – you just don’t allow yourself (or at least try not to) be overwhelmed by the event and emotions that come with it to the point of stagnation.

It is definitely hard to practice what I preach. I don’t have all my shit together as it sounds in these typed words. This is for myself really. My own self gave therapy.
Some people turn to substances to escape, or spending money, sex, anything.
I turn to words and my art. In the end it is all I have. It is all I ever had that is my own to “control”.
Even then I wonder how much of it I actually do. These outlets seem to have a life of their own sometimes.
All I am focusing on now is keeping Amber distracted and letting her enjoy the moment. It is what we have.

(no subject)
aaronnavarre
.here goes..
As most know I paint for a living. Ah, allow me to amend..I paint for a living by theory. I am a professional, artist in the strictest of definitions. I have sold art. I have hung in galleries and entered competitions..

Currently though I am in this bog. I have plenty of ideas but nothing much is really being done. Lack of supplies helps that situation a bit but I can not blame my creative ennui on that completely.
Maybe it's depression? Ah, well isn't that lovely and fucking cliche' *laughs*

Forget the moaning and bitching. I'll just talk about my projects in my head and had started.
For my new oil series I was titling " Urban Mundancity", I was going to take these bleak but still dingy-pretty photos of places around town- such as a gutter, an old storage unit,decrepit buildings, street trash, etc.

They all though have some compositional element that is attractive and also makes a statement.
Aren't us artists supposed to do that?


eh.

I have the places I want to shoot already set up in my head but I never seem to have the camera or just forget..something gets in the way.

I have an odd little comic series on ArtWanted.com that was gaining slow popularity..I stopped it cold for now..

I started on a cool still life and it just stopped.
I had TWO commissioned pieces..not even hard ones to do and they are in limbo.
I am sure the clients think they are never coming.
Creative ennui..almost sounds an oxymoron
What the HELL is wrong with me???

I truly do not sit about and bemoan my life or bitch about ..fill in the blank issue...all of the time
Can it be depression? I sleep a lot or just veg in front of the tv..I'd rather go out ( the few times I want to) and spend money on trivial and/or impermanent things..such as eating out.


ug who the fuck knows anymore.
If any artist reads this and cares to comment on how they "got over it" I'd like to hear.

I have been asked to do 3 competitions....join a painting workshop..and hang in a local gallery yet I procrastinate.
I have done ok with my career ( considering) but the opportunities and open doors have never been as great as they are now. Fear of success? Maybe.

The thing is I should just do art..no matter what it is...I apparently am not too keen at this moment to sell.
I *do* obsess over art and artists..anything to do with any kind of artistic endeavor. I talk about it constantly...I watch movies dealing with artists..,Hell I see everything around me in a particular brush stroke and oil paint hue.
What the fuck gives eh??!!?



Cured... hallelujah!
aaronnavarre
No more pyschotropic meds..no more hospital visits...no more issues...yay I am perfectly fine.
I just need to come to grips with the fact I have used pretend illnesses as a scapegoat all these years.
After all...my Mother and Father only proved they loved me when they beat me or locked me in a closet or had sexual unions with me...it keeps a family together you know...


fucking idiotic doctors..I could go more into this but I just wanted to vent..rant...

blah blah...whine whine...boo hoo poor me!!....


fuck it all...

wedding plans and birthdays
aaronnavarre
With the wedding about a week away now ( 17th) things have picked up and family drama has crawled out of the woodwork to add to the stress.

Since our union can not be "legal" there is either intolerance,anger or indifference from Amber's side of the family. It isn't that they "don't approve" so much ( although it does sting) it is more that she is excluded from her rather larger family's normal celebratory nature when it comes to events such as this.

If I weren't what I was, she would had offers to have showers, cards,gifts...that normal thing first time Brides get.

With most of the flock either un-daunting Catholic or Southern Baptist, things have become tense.

Her Mother, Sister and various other closer family relations are "on our side" and have been arguing and giving lectures to the other members about how wrong it is to behave how they do.

A serious schism is showing and I feel both completely helpless and at fault for all of it.
I know better, but that is how it feels.



We are still excited and happy. We have our adopted family here living with us who support and love us strongly.

Even my Mother, who was a strict and rather close minded, old world woman; sent us the first ( and only) Wedding card and gift.
My openly and serious Christian Brother has sent his well wishes and not just because he felt obligated. I can tell what is sincere and what is bullshit from him .

We are holding it at the Unitarian Universalist Church with a nice , ordained Minster.

Lots of green candles, Vivaldi softly in the background and a small group. Simple.

Gods, I hope it is !! *laughs*. As for a honeymoon, well due to financial and time issues we will be home alone for the weekend for that. It is really all we need. Time to just bask in one another.



Now about the birthday. Our friend and daughter who moved in - temporarily at first- and now we don't want gone are a sister and niece to us.

Allaynna's 12th birthday is today. She is mixed black and white,almost six foot tall and beautiful. She is the same age ( a few months older) as my oldest child.

I can't be around him and his brother. I've become attached to Allaynna a lot faster than normal because of that factor I believe.
Her and her Mother came from poor, drug and physical abusive people. Because of my more than stifled childhood, it took me a long while to discover the world beyond my nose. Allaynna and Kristi will have what I never did for so long. It makes me feel so good to see to the well being of someone else and not because I want anything back..just to make them smile if nothing else. Alright, I need to cease before I get anymore sappy here!

Suffice it to say : even amidst the needless drama and negative emotions around us..I am happy and content.

ohm
aaronnavarre

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