Bounce Street Dance Company is just great

Today I went to see Bounce perform at Dansens Hus here in Stockholm. It was a show based on the film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (Gökboet in Swedish) but it is rather freely interpreted as always when Bounce are undertaking something. They had some really cool techniques in the show. Everything from lights, setting, how they used formal ballet class as drugs and of course dancing on a steep slope with harnesses.

Lift-off!

Discover Launch
It was rather intense even from the comfort of my sofa. I turned up the volume on my sound system and watched the launch on my 100 inch projector screen and is was a beautiful sight. Our first astronaut is on his way towards the International Space Station (ISS). Good luck, Christer!

I checked some of the Swedish news pages and it was interesting to see the difference in the reporting before and after. Before there was a lot of talks about waiting, costs and the need for space flight. Afterwords several reporters were very taken by the moment and words like “Completely insane” and “So beautiful” were said. Now I am waiting to see the live coverage of Christer Fuglesang´s space walks and also the live interview on TV4 on Friday.

First attempt “scrubbed”

STS-116 Crew with Swedih Astronaut Christer Fuglesang

Today I woke up at 0320 local time here in Sweden to have a look at the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery with the first Swedish astronaut Christer Fuglesang on board. Swedish Television (SVT) was broadcasting live but I was immediately rather disturbed by the quality of the recording. As usual the reporters did not seem to understand the subject at all and very posing a lot of rather strange questions. So I more or less turned off the sound and looked at my full screen image of the webbased NASA TV broadcast instead. I am a space-buff and really enjoy the technical NASA-lingo which actually provide some information of what is happening with images from the launch room and the pad. While that was happening SVT just hade studio discussion with some invited guests. The count-down proceeded down to T-5 minutes and was then stopped waiting for the final weather check from the Shuttle Weather Officer. Unfortunately they soon announced that the launch window had closed and the attempt was scrubbed. And what did the Swedish reporter asked !? “Oh…what a disappointed (turing to Sven Grahn) and how much do you think this attempt cost?”

And what does make my most annoyed is the repeated focus on Christer Fuglesang as a guy “who just waits and will not get his launch”. Like he has been on many crews and then the missions have been scrubbed. In fact the only time he has been officially named as a “reserve” was on the Euro-Mir projects back in 1995 when Thomas Reiter was selected instead. During that time Christer served as CAP-Com in Moscow gaining a lot of experiences of long space-flights.

Well, I look forward to a second attempt on Saturday and I actually understand that 30 % chance of suitable weather conditions means just that. Wouldn´t it be great to have NASA TV available on Cable TV here in Sweden. Imagine actually looking through Christers camera while he is doing his space-walk…

Have you flown the Viggen?

Well, today it happened. I was summoned to the National Board of Health and Welfare where they had their session to process my application for surgery and new legal sex. I went to the big red brick building in the centre of Stockholm and it turned up that they were located rather high up with a nice view of one of Stockholm’s many bridges. Apparently there were more people their for the same reason because the woman who met me told me to wait for an other patient to finish talking with the doctor. There was very beautiful woman there when I arrived. Tall, slender, long blond hair and a delicate face. I tried to figure out if she also was a transsexual but I thought not. However, I was soon called to the doctor and we sat down for a chat. He asked me a lot of the same questions as I have answered before but also some more philosophical ones about the concept of gender and difference between TV and TS. Of course I was asked a lot about my work as well. Then he told me to wait for the actual board session to begin and that all four patient were to be called into the room to see the board and they would take the chance to ask a few questions and then I had would have to step out while they would make their decision. Finally, they would call me in again to tell me about their formal decision.

When I stepped out the other four applicants were there. A young man with his two girlfriends, a rather small and shy blond girl and it turned out…the blond beautiful one was a TS as well! The young man was summoned first and came out for the first time looking a bit taken by the moment. However, he was quickly called back again and they all left hugging. The shy girl also went inside and did the same procedure. Me and the blond beauty started talking and she turned out to be a very sweet girl from western Sweden and we talked about are experiences and needs to talk to other TS-people.

My turn came up and I entered the room and there were 6 people and someone I think was the judge in the room. The asked me some questions about why I thought this was best for me, how I felt about kids, my experiences from relationships and what it was like for me at work. After all that one of them raised his hand and got a chance to ask me a question “You are a captain in the Air Force, right…why do you only have two stripes on your shoulders?” I was both surprised and frankly amuzed by the question so I said something about the need to adjust to how other nation’s ranks look like. The next and final question turned out to be: “I must ask you, have you flown the Viggen (fighter aircraft)?”. I was even more surprised and just said “Yes, I have and it was very nice”.

After that I was called in again and they more or less told me “Good luck!”

I stayed to see how it went for the last girl (yes, the blonde one) and we talked a bit more on our way down. Afterwords I went to my best friend and talked with her for a few hours. I felt I needed that and I remembered how nice it is to just sit down and talk about emotions and life together with a good friend. I realized that I probably must try to be more open about my (own) feelings and try to not always make everything a abstract discussion. Must talk like that more often.

Obviously not obvious…

So far I have most of the time written about fun things but of course my life has its problems too. Somehow I find it much more difficult to write about them here. However, I will make one try now. It is about things that I guess are not that obvious all the time. It is mostly work related and it has to about me and my transition. I enjoy my work very much and I think my transition at work have gone really well so far but I have realized that on the outside I appear to be ready and done with my transition. In reality I have come on half-way since I have been on hormones for less than a year and still have my surgery left to do. Even though I want it (a long for it) I am not “just like any other woman yet”. It hurts to remind people of that and still I seem to want them to think about that.

I am still “fighting” with my body everyday to look as feminine as like it too (and what the world around me expects). That means it does take much longer for me to “get ready” than both my female and male collegues at work. I sometimes complain about having work-related activities to start at 7.30 och 8 o’clock but that is just because I need to set my watch at 5.15 if I need to be a at work at 8 in the morning (50 min drive included).

Another thing is being on time. I now I have a problem with that sometimes. The thing is that I still have a bit of unsecurity related to my appearance and want my look to to be “just right” to feel good about myself and that can sometimes take an extra bit of time if I am standning before the mirror that morning “when everything goes wrong”. Early on in my coming out process I also developed a fear of waiting alone somewhere and feeling that everybody was staring at my. I managed that by coming exactly on time or a bit late so I would not have to stand there alone. These habits have a tendency to stick unfortunately even though I no longer feel that way very often.

Public dressing rooms is another thing I don´t do nowadays. I just don´t now which room to go to. So before my surgery is done I just stay away from them at all instead. That means that doing sports where there are public showers is not something I do. I also have not taken a public bath in 5-6 years I guess. At my work we have a requirement to do sports three hours a week and that becomes rather hard to fix as well. My male collegues can just set off an hour or so to change clothes, go jogging and get dressed again. For me that “operation” would take at least three hours. This will of course gradually change as my body gets more feminine over the next years but for now that is the situation. The worst part is that me being naive and believing people know that probably led to the fact that I missed my application to the Defence College this year. So being transsexual in the Armed Forces definately has its costs.

Switzerland – hot weather

Today I arrived to Geneva, Switzerland after a quick stop in Munich on my way south. I am here to meet a friend of mine of currently is living in Lausanne. From the Geneva Interational Aiport we took the train to Lausanne and it was pretty hot. No air conditioning. All these seem to be sold to the US or something. At least no one think they are necessary here in Europe for some strange reason. No it is late in the night and still rather warm…around 30 deg Celcius or so I guess.

Love on four wheels!

My MINI Cooper S
Today it happened. I just happened to buy a car…well it was maybe more planned than that but still…I took it for a drive, thought about for 20 minutes and then bought it. My old Volkswagen Passat was getting a bit old and rusty and it was time to get a more reliable car for the winter so a few months I started looking around. I had looked closely at both Toyota Prius and the Saab 9-3 SportSedan but then I found the Mini Cooper. At first I had planned on buying a new one because it is one of those cars that almost beg to be personalized with over 200 different options. It turned out that the delivery time was long, around November or so. So I decided to have a look at pre-owned ones and saw rather quickly that the Cooper S (sport edition) was generally more equipped than Mini One & Mini Cooper. I did not thought that the engine and sport chassi would mean so much to me, but it did! What a fun car to drive! So when I found a silver-metallic Cooper S I just knew it. This was my car. Isn´t she cute?

The Älgfilm crew 10 years after the last movie
Today we had a reunion for our moviemaking network we called Älgfilm (“Elk-movie”). It all started when me and my friend Johan started writing movie scripts when we were 12-13 years old or so. Back then we used my fathers Macintosh SE with a 9 inch black-and-white screen with MacWrite as the Word processor. Things happened and a few years later we had finished our first major film project called Target Sweden (Måltavla Sverige). By then most of our friends were involved in movie making in some way. Either as the occasional actor or handling cameras or simple special effects things. I had forgot about some of the less “serious” things we did but it now comes back to me that for a few years we spent a considerably amount of our spare time experimenting with making movies. Short ones sprung off an idea while meeting a few friends at someones house. Add a few guns (non-working replicas) and the improvised action scene was into play 🙂

Anyway this evening we had decided to gather as many as possible to show some of our movies, catch up and have a barbecue. Out of maybe 20 people in our network over half of them showed up and we had a very nice time laughing at our mistakes and seeing some of our childhood neighborhood. Some of us have changed quite a lot since we met, myself included. I felt really stupid when I thought a really good looking girl was someone´s girl friend but when I heard her voice I realized that it was one of us in the team. She had lost a lot of weight since then I since I had been working on the DVD for a week I only had those pictures of her in my mind. On the other hand I think she did not feel bad about my reaction – just as when people does not recognize me and think I am just some girl. It was nice to meet her especially since she is one of these wonderful people that early on in my transformation processes contacted my through my home page just to support me. These people have helped me so much.

Even though I usually was handling the camera in all our movies I must admit that it was with mixed emotions that I saw myself in movies. Even though it almost makes me turn my head away I realized that at that particular time it was me. Even though I thought about my gender identity a lot back then it never caused me any problems with my friends. Quite the opposite the moviemaking efforts sometimes gave me a way to express myself. For instance there is an unusually large presence of female “heros” or action characters in our movies 🙂

I have continued working with moviemaking after we finished our latest Älgfilm project but nowadays more on the documentary side so I once again realized what important knowledge I have got through Älgfilm. If we found the right script and everything I think it would be nice to try to produce a new feature movie again. This time in HD and with more modern technology overall. Maybe a few more real actors as well 🙂

Sweden-Paraguay 1-0

Maybe surprising for some of you since I guess I am not primarily known as a sports fan. However, at work we saw a need to “punish” a fellow work mate for getting married without telling us in advanced and surprise – he is not a sports fan at all. So we dressed him up as a Football fan with Sweden´s team shirt makeup and all and took him to a sportsbar in Uppsala. For my part I actually think the World Cup is somewhat interesting and I usually at least try to see one or two matches where Sweden plays. So I think it was a nice experience to see the match together with all these enthusiastic people in the bar. What a mood it was when Ljungberg scored in the 89th minute! Everybody shouting and jumping 🙂 It was a fun night and I actually got rather cought in the mood in the last part of the game. Would be fun if we make it to the next part together with England.

What a fun car!

My own car (Volkswagen Passat) is getting rather old and it is time to look for a new one so today me and a friend of mine went to BMW to try some of their cars. We started by taking a Mini Cooper for a drive and that was so fun. It really is like driving a very comfortable go-cart. I even took an extra lap in one of the round-abouts, just because it was fun. After that we also tried the BMW 320 Touring and it was a completely different story. Not as fun but incredibly smooth and nice in all aspects. BMW know how to make cars and it does not hurt that they offer good iPod integration in their cars 🙂

Oh, I have realized that my car probably must match the way I dress….but the MINI guys have already thought of that! They actually have their own clothing line with matching tops, skirts and dresses for each model of the car….that is so fun!