Thursday, December 30, 2010

December 30, 2010 - why is LGB so far away from T?

i was recently asked the following question. So simple, yet so complex. although i don't think i gave a clear cut answer, here was my attempt, that i thought i would share with you all here today:

gender identity and sexual orientation are completely different things. the problem is that there seems to be a lack of information and lack of understanding as to what gender identity really is all about, and sadly, most LGB folks are so focused on their own internal issues with regards to sexual orientation acceptance, that the furthest thing on their mind is to learn about another group and their issues.

the T community never asked to be merged with the LGBs, that was an idea created by the cis/hetero community.

equally as much of an issue appears to be the inability for members of the T community to get along. likewise, i think this is also due to the fact that there are so many different issues. TG, TS, TV, all mean totally different things. and even worse, there does not appear to be any set of guidelines for definitions of such.

then you have cis folks out there who proclaim themselves 'experts' and are given such recognition by medical industry associations.

TS, TV, TG... which ones are fetishists? which ones are mentally ill? which ones have a biological birth defect? can some of these people be more than one? so many questions and no clear cut answers. nor are there any to be found. we are all different. nobody can label us. identity is something that is determined by oneself, and oneself only.

some of us are fighting for the right to change our ID without having to have surgery, while some of us are fighting for the right to obtain timely and affordabe surgery. some of us claim to be fetishists who think they need mental help. some of us claim we need hormones but not surgery, some of us claim we need both hormones and surgery. some of us want neither. some of us identify with the binary sex and gender categories and some of us don't.

we are a very confusing bunch. we can't even figure ourselves out other than to come to an understanding that the T community is an umbrella of individuals that have a major variety of perceptions as to who we are and how we feel we need to live our lives. with this in mind, we are essentially impossible for everyone else to figure out.

some people say they want to help us, while others appear to only want to build their own empires by creating theories about us.

would the various T movements be better off disassociating themselves from the LGB community? or tagging along? Can the TG, TS, and TVs accomplish their goals by working together, or should they be further disassociating themselves from each other? tough questions and no obvious answers.

what i think we are all fighting is society's perception of how human beings are or should be. combating and overcoming something like that is a huge task, and can't be taken on by individuals on their own, so we all need to find a way to work together to educate and advocate for the rights and needs of everyone in the T community.

as far as a T community, the biggest challenge is to actually get T people to come out from stealth. So many are happy to fade into obscurity and blend in with the rest of the cis world, and i certainly can't blame them. and heck, some of us want to rid ourselves of the trans label one we reach a point where we consider our transition complete, yet others feel quite comfortable retaining the trans label, and feel that transition never ends, but that life is a continuing evolving entity.

but communication is the first step, and it's nice to see that there is some interest out here in putting together some sort of collaborative environment.

Jennifer

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December 29, 2010 - Wayves magazine article

Well, i am sure that some of you out there may be familiar with a Halifax-based publication known as Wayves Magazine. Well, back in September, i was approached by one of their journalists to give an interview for an article about the apparent tension and conflict among the St John's LGBT community.

Well, after initially stating it would publish in November, and then postpone publishing until January, i see Wayves has published an article today. Sadly, i must bring to the attention of all everyone that some of the content is outright misleading and false. I am quite disappointed that a draft was not shared with me in advance for the purpose of factual editing.

First of all, the article misleads readers to believe that i have never been involved with pride entities in this city in the past, prior to the incorporation of St. John's Pride Inc. this is clearly false. Secondly, the article erroneously refers to me as the 'chairperson' of St. John's Pride Inc. Thirdly, the article erroneously states that all requests by St. John's Pride Inc. to meet with an entity that the article refers to as the 'former pride' , were unanswered.

For the record, and i think it is common knowledge, i have played a major role in the planning and delivery of pride events in this city, including a leadership role in a panel discussion on LGBT health matters, that occurred in 2009, and a day-long community stakeholder engagement session, that occurred in 2010. Yes, it is true that the self-proclaimed leaders of the 'former pride' organization, failed to recognize me as a contributor, but you can't change history. fact is, i was involved, many people feel that i did a great job, my work was documented in the media, and many people feel it was wrong for me to be excluded from recognition as being part of the entity referred to as the 'former pride' organization.

Secondly, i am one of three people who incorporated St. John's Pride Inc., and i am one of the Board of Directors of said company, but i am not, and have never been, a chairperson.

Thirdly, to state that all meeting requests were ignored is not entirely true. St. John's Pride Inc., has not formally requested to meet with any unofficial pride entity. I as an individual have attempted to arrange meetings with other individuals who have been associated with this perceived 'former' entity, and yes, most of those meeting requests were ignored (which is really unfortunate), but there was one meeting request that was accepted, so i will give them that.

Anyway, why does all this matter? well, i hate to see my reputation as an individual inappropriately tarnished, and likewise, i hate to see St. John's Pride Inc., inappropriately tarnished. and you know what? i hate to see the reputation of anyone inappropriately tarnished! nobody deserves to be inappropriately tarnished. newspapers are supposed to report the facts and attempt to limit bias. well, this particular newspaper seems to have been very selective with regards to which facts they published, which ones they elected to omit, and which facts weren't even correct.

Oh well, what the article did do well was highlight the fact that there is indeed a great deal of conflict and divide here in this city, among would-be leaders of the LGBT community. Unfortunately, and perhaps somewhat deservedly so, the article seems to make all of us look bad. But you know, i will say this. Conflict doesn't happen without passion and dedication, and better to have this than indifference. Sadly, i think the biggest enemy that all would-be pride organizations in this city face, is indifference and indecisiveness from the majority of this city's LGBT population.

While i was initially hopeful that doing an interview with Wayves would help combat the indifference and indecisive, and help bridge the divide among community leaders, i now fear that this article will not prove helpful in any of these aspects.

anyway, one final note, the article points readers to stjohnspride.org for 'more information'. As you can clearly see, this website is not functional yet. i was mislead to believe that this Wayves article would not publish until January. In fact, this article was to be the first formal broadcast of the existence of this site. I feel badly that the site is not ready yet, but my team is working away and should have something up there very soon.

Jenn

Monday, December 27, 2010

December 27, 2010 - Christmas Update

well, i made the decision to stay at home over the holiday season; partly because of the weather reports, which proved to be serious in terms of delaying flights and ferry boat trips, and partly because i was anxious to have a couple of nice long runs and a couple of long sleep ins. after 3 days of getting 10 hours of sleep, and after 2 days of essentially no running, i felt ready to give it a go this afternoon.

having not run more than 22k in one day since sept 26, i knew i would have to take things extra slow, and i did. i started by running over to burton's pond with a bag of bird seed. and after a lovely visit with the duckies, i ventured down the trail to quidi vidi lake, where i hadn't been for probably 8 weeks! then i did 8 laps around the 4k trail, stopping each time for a brief visit with the infamous greylag goose, who has lived down at the lake for many years. She was honking away at the many ducks that were also there.

the weather was 2 degrees, quite windy and drizzle on and off, which made for fairly nice running conditions. after 17k, i popped into the store to grab a powerbar and 1.4 litres of gatorade. then i carried on, lap after lap. at 20k, i was actually running harder and stronger! at 25k, i decided to do one more lap, before taking the final 5k jaunt home. at 28k, i could feel it in my knees, but my endurance was holding up nicely. i arrived back home at my door just under 5 hours after leaving. taking into account the duck breaks, i estimate i ran the 34k in about 4 hr 25 min. i can't help but feel extremely happy and excited about the run.

having now been home resting and stretching for a few hours, the legs really aren't that bad, and the chronic foot pain is not too bad either. in fact, the foot was never a factor in the entire run. well, i hope i managed to run off a few of those christmas calories.

this brings me to 2220k on the year, with 4 days left. i am hoping to get in a few more long runs and close out the year with 2300. with major surgery coming up in less than a month, i know i will have a long break in my training, but i am laying the foundation for what i hope will be a great year ahead. a little base building now should go a long way.

anyway, time to relax and cuddle with my cats and watch some bowl games!

Jenn

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December 21, 2010 - Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just as Bad)

ok, a little play on words (double entendre), as a tribute to blues legend T-Bone Walker, in my title. but yes, a major rain and wind storm here in newfoundland, which started last night and carried over all thru today. it was a rather challenging run home today, but i managed to survive, and even did so with a smile. it rains here so often that i am used to it. i think everyone else here is too. very rare to see an umbrella in this town! it is supposed to continue to rain all week, with very high winds all week too. hopefully the power won't go out! it always seems to happen at christmas, the ferry boats are not running, and many airplane flights have been cancelled, and there are stranded people all over the island. glad i am not one of them!

oh well, i will look forward to my next run in the rain tomorrow!

Jenn

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dec 18, 2010 - rainy week

well, 51.3 k last week and 46.4 k this week. i went for a run 13 of the past 14 days. it's great that i am consistently getting in at least a small run pretty much every day. i believe we also had rain 13 of the past 14 days, and ironically enough, it was the sunny day that i did not run (but i did go for a couple of long walks).

i ran a hard 14k last night after work, and that seemed to wear me out, so today was just a light 2.4k to the post office to get a few christmas things mailed, (hope they arrive in time!) Then i actually had an afternoon nap, which is rare for me. then the rest of the day has been relaxing on the couch. lol Hopefully i will feel more energetic tomorrow.

Jenn






Monday, December 13, 2010

December 13, 2010 - Brett Favre Ironman Streak Over!

you know, i always took pride in being an ironman of sorts. from 1990 - 2007, out of all the jobs i had and out of all the schooling i went through, i only phoned in sick once, for a half day - and that wasn't even due to sickness, but rather, due to a neck injury that i sustained at a Black Sabbath concert when a rowdy body-surfing fan landed on my head!

Brett Favre has not missed a day of work in 18 years, and given the business he is in, as an NFL quarterback, this is an incredible accomplishment that will never likely be duplicated. At the age of 41, he's still good enough to play elite pro football. Sadly, it has been a rough season for him, both in terms of his performance, and in terms of his body. He took a vicious hit last week that injured his shoulder, and it did not recover in time for tonight's Monday night game. Although i don't necessarily like all the drama that has been associated with him in recent years, from one athlete to another, and one ironman to another, i say congrats!

Jenn

December 13, 2010 - quick update

seems most of my posts as of late are 'quick updates', and i am sorry for that. However, i suppose it is good news that i am keeping busy with a variety of things.

i finally got some energy, and had a really good 20k run on saturday, and an 11k run on sunday.

looking forward to the week ahead!

Jenn

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bill C-389 - another step closer for trans human rights

Well, there was a 'standing vote' at the 'report stage' of the 3rd reading of Bill C-389 in Canada's parliament today. this bill is a motion to amend the Canadian Human Rights Code to add gender identity and gender expression to the prohibited grounds of discrimination section; as well, it will add gender identity and gender expression to the Criminal Code of Canada in the section pertaining to hate crimes.

This is a private member's bill that is open to a free vote (meaning that individual members of parliament may vote as they please and do not have to vote in accordance with political party platform or positions). the vote was passed with 143 yays, and 136 nays. the majority of liberals supported the bill, while the majority of conservatives did not. i have no information with regards to how others voted. but i do know that the following 'exceptions' occurred, as reported by xtra.ca magazine:

Conservatives who voted in favour:

-Lawrence Cannon
-James Moore
-Gerald Keddy
-Shelly Glover
-Sylvie Boucher

Liberals who voted against:
-Dan McTeague
-Alan Tonks
-Jim Karygyannis

Abstentions:
-Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia
-Conservative Lisa Raitt
-Conservative Dona Cadman

Conspicuous absences:
-Prime Minister Stephen Harper
-John Baird (at the Cancun conference)


I also know that two prominent Liberals voted in favour, including party leader Michael Ignatieff (my former MP when i lived in the western part of Toronto), and Siobhan Coady, MP for St. John's South / Mount Pearl, in Newfoundland.

Siobhan and I have exchanged words on a variety of occasion. She has expressed her personal support for this bill, and went so far as to give me a personal phone call today from Ottawa to make it known that not only was she supporting the bill, but that she had me in mind today as she voted. With this in mind, I'd like to publicly acknowledge and thank Siobhan not only for her vote today, but for her willingness to meet with me and discuss trans-related government policy issues on multiple occasions in the past. I'm not one to give political endorsements, and i won't do that now, but from a personal perspective, it appears that Siobhan is 100% genuine in her interest in helping out the trans community, and for that, she deserves credit and recognition.

Of course, this bill would not have happened if it wasn't for the work of NDP MP Bill Siksay, who penned the bill and put it forward in the house.

This is not the first time that such legislation has been presented to the House. on previous occasions, a similar bill died while going through the process, because apparently all unresolved bills get terminated when a federal election occurs.

Unfortunately, this exact same situation could occur, as the next stage of the complex bill processing process will not occur until late February, where there will be further debate and an additional and final vote.

As has been well documented here on my site, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador recently rejected the opportunity to provide directly-cited Human Rights protection for people under the grounds of gender identity and gender expression, under their newly revised and launched Human Rights Act.

The main opponents of this bill appear to be religious fundamentalists who believe that transgendered people are apparently a threat to public safety. Some are going to far to suggest that this bill will allow sexual predators to have access to public washrooms. this is clearly a ridiculous and non-existent threat. Transsexuals have been using public washrooms of their choice for many years. there are no official laws in Canada affecting the use of public washrooms.

i believe the statistics show that the majority of sexual predators are heterosexual males who are not trans in any way. likewise, you can search everywhere on the internet, newspapers, and tv archives. i guarantee you won't find even one story about a transsexual (transman or transwoman) who has molested children in public washrooms. i also believe that it is extremely rare for a sexual predator to pose as the opposite sex, while conducting their crime.

With regards to the claim that sexual predators will pose as transpeople specifically because they want to gain washroom access, well, as mentioned, there's no current law preventing people from using any washroom they darn well please. Will this bill make it more politically or socially acceptable for cisgendered men to use the ladies washroom, or vise versa? i say definitely not.

For those who are still concerned and want to police their washroom access, the simple solution is to require either proof of legal sex, or proof of transsexualism. Let's not forget that transsexualism is a biological medical condition. this requires medical intervention; which means that transsexuals have to see medical professionals, and will obtain medical letters. A so-called real trans person will have a medical letter stating such. Obviously, sexual predators will not have such a letter.

Ultimately, i hate to say it, but i think this Bill is likely to fail, unless some critical terminology and definitions can be formally created and recognized by Government. As was cited here Provincially, it is very tough to provide protection for a specific classification that is not clearly defined. with this in mind, steps need to be taken to define specifically, not only what gender identity and gender expression means, but under what context would such a matter come into play. Defining what is a transperson and what is a 'non-transperson pretending to be trans' is a very gray area. transgenderism is an umbrella term that represents all things trans. this includes everything from a classically-identified 'true transsexual', to your 'non-ops', to your drag queens, to your 'confused/questioning' and perhaps may even include 'transsexual impersonator sexual predators' (i.e. the sexual predators who religious leaders are trying to convince exist).

ultimately, what matters most here is that there is a very vulnerable small group of Canadians who face extreme daily discrimination from both private and government individual and entities. it isn't about washrooms. this is about transpeople struggling to obtain fair access to basic human needs, such as housing, health care, employment, and physical safety.
the fact that 136 members of parliament voted against this thing is a disturbing sign that at least some folks feel that providing equal human rights to everyone is not politically correct.

If this bill does fail, then government and taxpayers will have to pay another price - legal bills! The one way to force politically correctness, is to get an order from the judicial system. minorities over the years, have often gone to court, and won, over matters pertaining to human rights. this can and will be no exception. To deny someone, such as me, access to health care funding, or to reject my application for employment because of my gender identity and gender expression is clearly something that appears to be morally wrong, regardless of what laws are or aren't in place.

The pendulum of public opinion appears to be swinging. after years of transpeople being portrayed on televisions shows as freaks, the tv coverage as of late appears to be 100% positive. trans people are people, and we do many things that everyone else does, and we strive to achieve and attain the same things, and we need the same things to survive and thrive in this world. Most people i know seem to get it. It's time for politicians to get up to speed here! i'm sure there will be an official list posted very soon that will detail who supported this bill and who didn't. now is the time for transpeople and their supporters to get in touch and lobby for inclusion, acceptance, and human rights for all.

Jennifer

Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29, 2010 - 2007 stats, finally!

well, i'm not really sure why i never added up my km totals for 2007. perhaps because i knew they would be less than 2008. but funny looking back, it is clear as to why i ended up with ITB in both legs. too much, too soon, too fast, without a doubt!

Jan 105.14
Feb 163
Mar 165.59
Apr 218.05
May 313.3
June 355.2
July 481.1
Aug 237.15
Sept 242.6
Oct 129.4
Nov 266.4
Dec 235.1

total 2912.03

2008 total 3611.6
2009 total 4002.0

2010 so far 2028 (with 32 days left in the year)

net total from Jan 1/07 to present 12553.63 (the equivalent of running from St. John's, Newfoundland; to Big Sur, California; to Key West, Florida!)

(if you think i am joking about wanting to run across Canada one of these years, this last statistic should prove just how realistic this could be!)

Jenn

Thursday, November 25, 2010

November 24, 2010 - 2000k on the year!

Well, I've run 7, 8, and 8k over the past 3 days, respectively. This brings me to 2000k on the year. A far cry from where I had hoped to be, but still a nice milestone. My weight is down 11 pounds from where I was 2 months ago, so that is also satisfying. My goal is to drop down to at least one pound less than what I was when the year started, a goal that seems quite reachable if I can manage 5 good final weeks of running.

Jenn

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 23, 2010 - Canadian Music Legends in Town!



Well, two of Canada's best were in town tonight as part of their Spirit of Christmas tour. Big Pond, Nova Scotia's, Rita MacNeil decided to hit the road, and she twisted the arm of 1970s pianist Frank Mills to end a 10 year retirement to join her.

Rita opened up with a solo set of Christmas tunes that she had written. She was accompanied by a backing band consisting of a bass guitar, acoustic guitar, drums, and keyboards. Then Frank hit the stage and gave us a series of medleys that included both classic Christmas tunes, and solo hits of his own, including his signature tune, Music Box Dancer. Then they closed the show together with a set of more classic Christmas tunes, including Silent Night and Joy to the World.

Among the standout performances were Rita's version of Amazing Grace, and Frank's only vocal hit, Love Me Love Me Love. For an encore, Rita sang her lone non-Christmas song of the night, her 1991 hit Working Man. Then the finale was a lovely version of Silver Bells with Frank on piano.

The show was at St. John's Arts and Culture Centre. I was seated at the back near the soundboard, which was quite interesting to see. I had a chat with one of the roadies there and managed to score a copy of the set list.

After the show, both artists met with fans for an autograph signing. I had a brief chat with both and advised Rita that she was meeting another native Nova Scotian.

Rita and Frank are touring in support of a new album that they have released together as a team, that consists of Christmas classics, as well as a few original compositions.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

November 19, 2010 - quick update

just a quick update here. been a busy week. yet another job interview with the provincial government for a senior policy analyst position. as always the interview seemed to go very well. i guess time will tell if the 35th time will be the charm, or not!

smashed my knee into a coffee table this afternoon. not exactly something that will help my running program... lol

i attended the movie theatre for the first time in years, and saw a 3D movie for the first time. i was highly impressed with the special effects of the technology.

i also celebrated a friend's birthday this week with tickets to see Lonestar in concert, a nashville-based, texas-bread, country band that had a couple of major hits in the 90s. pretty good show! we managed to meet up with the singer and keyboard player after the show. much like every other musician from Nashville that i have ever met, these folks seem very down to earth and appreciative of their job and their fans.

i also made an impromptu appearance on the 6 o'clock NTV news on thursday, as i was a 'randomly selected citizen' who was flagged down in the lobby of the building and asked to comment on the latest contract signing between the Government of NL and a private entity in Nova Scotia with regards to the infamous Lower Churchill project. Not aware of the details of the deal, i danced around the question and never gave a straight answer, yet managed to ramble on for almost 2 minutes. afterwards the reporter claimed that i gave one of the best answers of the entire afternoon, and that they would definitely air my comment, and they did! go figure!

well, sore knee, and continuing problems with my left foot, have limited my running this week, and at this point, i have no idea what the weekend ahead will bring.

well, that's enough rambling for now..

Jenn

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 10, 2010 - Jennifer McCreath joins CPath; and consults with and for Eastern Health


Well, a recruitment phone call tonight from the president of Canadian Association for Transgender Health with a request for participation was too good to turn down.

CPath was conceptualized in 2007 and became a formal legal entity in 2008. Founders met at a conference of the World Professional Association for Trangender Health, formerly the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association - the creators and gatekeepers of the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care, the most commonly used and accepted health care protocol for trans patients.

CPath's mission is as follows: The Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (CPATH) is a professional organization devoted to the health care of individuals with gender variant identities.

As an interdisciplinary, professional organization, the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (CPATH) will further the understanding and health care of individuals with gender variant identities by professionals in medicine, psychology, law, social work, counselling, psychotherapy, family studies, sociology, anthropology, sexology, speech and voice therapy, and other related fields.

While i haven't always agreed with everything CPath has done or stands for, I was excited to join as an official member and will look forward to specifically taking part in some internal committee work that will focus on business development. The focus will be on corporate and membership governance structure and policy development.

As a member, I will now become engaged with a variety of health care professionals who have an interest in trans health. This will be my opportunity to promote stakeholder engagement - specifically, engagement with trans patients with regards to the way they go about making recommendations and position statements.

CPath needs to be considered the #1 body of knowledge in the country, with regards to providing advice and guidance on trans health matters. Sadly, the CPath brand name is not recognized here in the health care system of Newfoundland.

My other exciting news is that i have been engaged by Eastern Health as a consultant and advisor with regards to trans matters. Although i am not a medical professional, i have lived the transition experience here in Newfoundland, and i am more than capable of advising anyone of the global best practices with regards to transition, trans protocol; as well as speaking about my personal experiences and lessons learned from them.

Ultimately, to be perceived by both of these organizations as a valuable resource, is extremely exciting. I look forward to helping them both achieve their goals, and in the process, will hope to make life better and easier for transpeople all around the world.

November 11, 2010 - runny nose

well, it wasn't just my legs running today. i am dealing with a little case of the sniffles. oh well, a nice sleep in was probably good for me. i got outside for a light 7k run this afternoon. the cooler weather always seems to make the air seem fresher. i also had a nice 15k run yesterday night. the energy levels seem to be managing well thru this minor sickness. my weight is now down to 212 pounds.. just 5 more pounds to lose in order to hit my target requirement for january's surgery. generally having a much better week than last week, which was quite stressful due to a rather challenging change-management work environment.

the bad news of the week is that i managed to finish runner up in two more job interviews. i believe this now takes me over 30 analyst job interview since i changed my name to Jennifer, without success, so the frustration continues.

Jenn

Friday, November 5, 2010

November 4 2010 - quick update

yes i am still alive folks! i feel badly that i don't seem to be able to make as much time for this website as i would like to. But it's good that i have been so busy. it's been a rather depressing week but i am looking forward to the weekend ahead, where i hope to get in some quality runs and quality time visiting my favourite ducks at the pond.

my nov 1 weight in was an amazing 212 pounds - 10 pounds lighter than i was on sept 26 when i ran my 25th marathon. it is exciting to see the progress. unfortunatly, i have been hampered, yet again, by chronic left foot pain this week, due to the constant standing on my feet at work, so i have not run since sunday, and that seems to have caused a pound or two to sneak back on..

oh well, i'm hoping that i can survive tomorrow at work and then rest up for most of saturday, and have a strong quality run either that evening or on sunday morning, or both.

other disappointing news is yet another 2nd place scoring at a job interview. i believe that takes me over 30 failed job interviews since i changed my name to Jennifer. I am not going to sit back any longer now though. after obtaining feedback from the interview panel, i was not satisfied with their assessment and scoring of some of the questions they asked me, so i will fully intend to partake in whatever complaint or appeal process may be out there.



in other news, i was recently interviewed by an independant journalist for an article that will hit the stands later this month in Wayves.ca magazine - a publication that focuses on the LGBT community in the 4 eastern canadian provinces. based out of halifax, they always seem extra excited to find articles of worth in Newfoundland. The article will be written by infamous colleague Christian Corbet, from Corner Brook Pride Inc. i found it strange that he, of all people, would want to do a story about my newly created organization, and i even expressed concern that i did not want this article to lead to conflict within the community. But given his stake in the company i co-manage, it would seem reasonable to expect that he would say nothing negative or controversial about me, my organization, my stakeholders (both supportive and not).

Meanwhile, i have been very busy behind the scenes with my team as we seem to have a foundational structure in place. now comes the fun part as we will launch the company in a public way in an attempt to solicit buy-in, support, and involvement from stakeholders and other community members. lots of work to do, but i've recently brought on board, another a strong community leader, and the engagement process will continue as the networking contacts are being drafted. a website is also under development and should be live soon, complete with everything we'll need, including a logo, a web discussion forum, the corporate fine print, and a list of FAQ. the hours of hard work are starting to pay off!

other news, i have been engaged as a volunteer private consultant by Eastern Health. They have asked for my help to esstially advise a transperson, as to how they should go about creating a transition project for themselves. so that too, has added to my busy schedule.

i'm also in the early stages of organizing a transgender day of remembrance ceremony in this city for nov 20, and will be engaging, and hopefully collaborating with, the Aids Committee of NL, and via Frontrunners.

so lots on the go, and exciting times ahead!

Jenn

Sunday, October 31, 2010

October 30, 2010 - Buffalo Springfield - A Reunion For The Ages!


Last weekend in Mountain View, California, the remaining 3 surviving original members of Rock N Roll Hall of Fame members, the Buffalo Springfield, reunited for a live concert for the first time in, get this, 42 years!

Singer/songwriter/guitarists Richie Furay, Stephen Stills, and Neil Young hit the stage for a pair of gigs as part of the 25th annual Bridge School benefit concerts, an initiative to raise money for a charitable cause that has been organized and steered by Neil Young.


Members of the Buffalo Springfield initially met in New York city, circa 1964, as they were all young aspiring folk singers. As it happened, the music scene quickly switched to southern California and a wave of eastern musicians started trecking out west. Richie and Stephen had essentially given up on their work with the Au Go-Go Singers in New York and had made the treck out to Los Angeles. One day, they were stuck in traffic, when Neil Young happened to drive by the other side of the street in his infamous herse! Neil recognized the two guys and pulled over for a chat. Well, the conversation that took place in that car ride lead to the creation of a Rock/Folk band that would go on to change music history!

The Springfield took their name from a construction company that was doing road work across the street where one of the band members lived at the time. They would go on to create 3 studio albums as well as countless unreleased demos (that would later be released). Their greatest hit was a protest song entitled For What It's Worth, which is best known for the lyrics: "Stop, hey, what's that sound? Everybody look what's going down!"

Unfortunately, egos got the better of them all and this lead to the demise of the group, just 25 months later. Recently-recruited bass player Jim Messina and Richie broke away to create Poco with Rusty Young and George Grantham, while Neil and Stephen created an alliance with former Byrd David Crosby. A 'trade' between record label contract allowed Richie to literally be swapped for Graham Nash, and this allowed for the formation of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, who would go onto rock stardom with 6 top ten rock albums.

Poco, although not initially successful in terms of charting hits, became the pioneers of the newly-formed country-rock genre, leading to the creation of many other groups that would go onto super stardom, including the Eagles. Messina would eventually leave Poco to form a very successful due with Kenny Loggins, while Richie eventually departed Poco to work with another former Byrd, Chris Hillman, and Eagles songwriting partner John David Souther. All of these artists also released as series of solo albums.

Despite all being in their mid 60s, the band was in fine form, playing through an hour-long set of tunes from their three albums. Richie's voice was as strong as ever. a recently slimmed-down Stills looked and sounded great with his raspy voice. Neil wore one of his vintage 60s jackets and was content to focus on guitar for most of the night, allowing Richie and Stephen to handle the vocals for most. The night concluded with an all-star jam that also included opening acts Eddie Vedder, Elvis Costello, and Kris Kristoffersen, on a rendition of Neil's solo hit Rockin' in the Free World.
Although i was not personally in attendence, the magic of the Internet has allowed for the entire first concert to be made available for listening pleasure on youtube and other places.

Photo credits to Rolling Stone magazine!
for more information on these musicians, check out:
neilyoung.com
richiefuray.com
crosbystillsnash.com

Jennifer

Sunday, October 24, 2010

October 24, 2010 - lovely fall colours!






well, i had a good sleep in this morning, which was much-needed. shortly after 12 noon, i went out for a light run to the pond and back, and it was so lovely, that i decided to head out later in the afternoon for a second set. i ran 17k in total, and felt great all the way thru. i am now down 7 pounds in October, which is amazing. cutting back on the bread products seems to be the key.
Here are some of the many pics i took on my second set.

October 23, 2010 - weekly update

Well, it's been a good week for me. 2 separate job interviews for privacy analyst positions - both with arms-length agencies of Government. It will be interesting to see if these lead to work offers. I believe i am now up to 40 job interviews since i became Jennifer, with the only job offer being the job i currently have, as a file clerk. Despite these continued rejections, i actually seem to gain confidence with each interview. It's quite disappointing though, to get rejected, and even more so upsetting given that i have no idea of knowing for sure whether i am legitimately losing competitions, or facing discrimination due to being transsexual.

meanwhile, i ran 5 out of the 7 days, even with calf muscle pain due to the Cape to Cabot. I am finally starting to get into a groove. The best news is that i am now down 6 pounds in October! The careful eating has clearly paid off. Anyway, i will be pressing hard over the next 6-8 weeks to do as much running as i can, before the snow starts here!

Jenn

Saturday, October 23, 2010

October 17, 2010 Cape to Cabot Race

Well, it was a rather nice day for running last Sunday morning. I had a good sleep and felt good heading down to get the 6.45 am shuttle bus to Cape Spear. After struggling through the Provincial Marathon 3 weeks prior, and having picked my training up a notch, i came into this run with more confidence. I knew the hills would be tough, so i took things slow at the start. I was near the back of the pack, but running strong.

There was no pressure this year as all i wanted to do was finish in good health. It took me a while to get warmed up. The early hills really made me breath hard. I ended up running a very strong 11-15th k, which were mostly downhill. i ended up straining both of my calf muscles though, as i had not done very much downhill training, but to run those 4 k in 22 minutes gave me a strong boost of confidence. the run through downtown st. john's was fun, and the signal hill climb was mostly a walk, but filled with supporting fans. I crossed the finish line in a time of 2 hr 25 minutes, which was actually better than i had expected; with splits of 76 and 69 minutes. it would have been better had i not had to take 2 diarrhea breaks! I was pushing the body so hard that the stomach got a bit upset. Anyway, i am now one of only 32 people who have run and finished all 4 cape to cabot races. It will be my hopes to run a 5th next year, and put an end to the streak of consecutive slower times!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October 18, 2010 - Boston Registration Opens and Closed today!

Wow, history was made as the Boston Marathon opened registration this morning at 8 am EDT, and closed at 5.03 pm due to reaching full capacity. I suppose it shouldn't be a surprise to see an increase in demand for this race, given the fact that the marathon sport has seem unprecedented global growth in recent years, and given that Boston is the ultimate goal for most marathon runners. But to go from reaching capacity in 2 months last year, to 8 hours this year, must come as a major surprise to all. I suppose this is a good problem to have, if you are the BAA, however, there's definitely an issue here, as several thousand runners who have worked their entire life to qualify, will end up extremely disappointed if they were unable to get to a computer to register today.

It will be very interesting to see what they decide to do, if anything, to address this matter. Tougher qualifying standards could be implemented, a lottery system could be used, or a combination of both.

Although the BAA keeps stating that increasing capacity is not logistically possible, what they could do is add a third wave of the slower runners, but delay their starting time by several hours. That may be a way to get more people in and out of Hopkinton on race day.

Oh well, it was a bitter day for me, not because of this issue, but because i was unable to even attempt to register, as i had not run a qualifying time in the past 12 months. Oh well, i've got the rest of my life to work hard and attempt to qualify each and every year from here on!

Jenn

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dasher Doo!!!

It's not every day that i can get a really good picture of Dasher, so i decided that this one was worth sharing! The nickname Dasher Doo is courtesy of Kim, who compared him to Scooby Doo in terms of their love for Scoobie 'snacks' (in Dasher's case, his fondness of cat treats!) This picture was taken Oct 1, 2010.

October 13, 2010 - awesome endorsement!

The following endorsement appeared on my youtube profile today from one of my new supporters. I found this to be truly touching. It's great to know that there are folks out there who understand and appreciate both the importance and the level of complexities of the work that i take on.

"'Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.' You're a living example of this quote. Thanks for inspiring and empowering others in their lives, we are eternally grateful to subscribe to your channel, looking forward to more great vids to come."

Jenn

Saturday, October 9, 2010

October 9, 2010 - lovely fall day!

well, my weekend started out with a really nice strong 13k run from work to home then out to see some friends in Paradise. 7 hours later, (at 3.30 am) i hit the road again and ran home. these were two of the strongest two 9k sets i have run all year! i ran each set in approx 57 minutes, and felt strong all the way through! this even after a busy day at work.



Finally, a decent week to report on. so good that i will break it down:

sun 21.1k
mon 3.0
tue off
wed 9.50thu 14.90
fri 13.00
sat 10.10

hoping to push a little harder and get over 100k in the week ahead. it will start with a long run on sunday morning.

meanwhile, i took some time to visit the infamous local business, Lester's farm, to check out their animals and fresh veggies! here's a few pics:

Friday, October 8, 2010

October 7, 2010 - back at it



well, the ankle has improved to the point where i can now resume running. i have actually ran 4 out of the psat 5 days, including 15k tonight.





i am planning to gradually work up my weekly km totals to 120-140k per week, so that i can drop the weight that i need to drop.





A few more marathon pics finally surfaced..

Jenn

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October 5, 2010 - a pic surfaces!

Well, i guess when you run at the back of the pack, even when you are Jennifer McCreath, people don't tend to take notice of you. Here's the lone picture that has surfaced of me participating in my 25th career marathon, my 4th consecutive Newfoundland Provincial Marathon. Oh well, hopefully there will be more pics that surface eventually. I do know others do exist!

Jenn

Sunday, October 3, 2010

October 3, 2010 - fall movements

well, fall is here, as the temperatures are starting to get cooler. we had a nice lovely day though. it was about 13 degrees with mostly sunny. i decided to test the ankle for the first time since last sunday's marathon, and the run went fairly well. i did 21.1k at a slow and gentle pace. i ran over to kents and burtons pond, then to the store. i also fed the ducks some birdseed, which is always fun!

speaking of movement, i've added even more team members to my two non profit organizations, and we are getting very close to having some sort of official launch. this will likely include the unveiling of a new website (or two) as well as some sort of press release or press conference. We will also be engaging private businesses and government entities in the near future to discuss sponsorship and other types of endorsements. the momentum is starting to swing fast!

meanwhile, i have a job interview for a senior analyst position here with the provincial government's department of fisheries. looking forward to taking another shot at a job at that level.

Jenn

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September 29, 2010 - tender ankle

not exactly sure how it happened, but the marathon run has left me with a minor ankle injury which has prevented me from running since. i'm hoping it is not a stress fracture. oh well, not that i really needed to be running the first few days after a marathon anyway. but let's hope it heals up on the coming days.

Jenn

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sept 26, 2010 - Milestone Marathon

Well, after only logging 184.2k in 11 weeks, i lined up to run my 25th career marathon today, here at home in St. John's, Newfoundland. this was my 4th consecutive Newfoundland Provincial Marathon. i really was not in marathon shape, but i didn't want to pass up the chance to keep the streak alive, and run my 25th here at home.

running a marathon untrained and at 222 pounds really taught me to respect the distance today. this really isn't the type of thing one should do on a whim without proper prep work. but sadly, this was not my first time showing up at a starting line unprepared, so i have some experience to build upon. no matter whether you are an elite, or a back of the packer, one of the most critical success factors in having a good run is being aware of your level of health and fitness. knowing your limits is the key, and that's something i seemed to have analyzed well today.

the weather was about 7 degrees, cloudy, foggy, and drizzle... a typical Newfoundland day.. lol

the run went pretty much as expected. slow but steady. a personal worst time by more than 10 minutes, but at least it was a finish in good health, which was really the only goal i could expect to have.

my goal was to run about 7 minute kms from start to finish, at least on the flat portions of the run. there were several tough hills on this course, which slowed me down a bit. i was also marred by the requirement to take an unprecedented 5 bathroom breaks on the first half! this was not totally surprising as i have noticed some big changes in that regard as of late as my body continues to get used to estrogen therapy.

i was actually quite sluggish for most of the first half, but actually felt better from km 21 - 28. then fatigue and back pain started to set in.

my split times were 75, 84, 81, 87. the second half was much more hilly though, so this could actually be considered a quasi-negative split if you bell curved it.. lol

overall, it was humbling to run for over 5 hours knowing from start to finish that today would be a new personal worst, but at the same time, it was probably the most satisfying and enjoyable marathon i have ever run. no pressure at all today, just a gentle long run in the lovely countryside.

this was only my 4th road race in Newfoundland this year so far, so it was nice to be out there running among so many familiar faces. although i can only assume that most of the local runners are still extremely puzzled by my transsexualism, i can also tell that they respect all of the running accomplishments i have had over the past 4 years. Many folks said hello as they either lapped me or passed by on the out and back.

another highlight was seeing and meeting 4 members of the infamous Marathon Maniacs group, including 1 runner from North Carolina and 1 from Saskatchewan. there was also 2 ladies from Manitoba who were finishing up a tour of Canada in terms of marathons, having run a marathon in every province!

well, the road ahead is not likely to get easier. i need to find a way to drop 15 pounds in order to be deemed healthy enough for my surgery in January. i may have to make a tough decision to come off estrogen, at least for a while, as i just have absolutely no energy, yet i am always hungry, and have attained poor metabolism. oh well, it's not like i haven't overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges before. i relish the opportunity to attempt to do the impossible.. and this will be no different.

Jenn

Sept 25, 2010 - update

Well, it was a busy sunday past with the terry fox run, then the aids walk for hope. Here's a pic of me and fellow director of St. John's Pride Inc., Lorne King. We scrambled to put together a team for Pride at the last minute, and we managed to fund raise $20 for the Aids Committee.



Later in the week, i had a meeting with LBGT-MUN's directors, and again later on with their entire team (24 of them in all!). This is a student-run group that keeps a resource centre, as well as plans social and educational events for the LGBT community. The folks running the centre this year seem very interested and passionate about the same things our new corporate entity stands for. I hope to work closely with these folks in the near future on a variety of projects.







not been a busy running week though. in fact, only 1 out of the past 13 weeks have been reasonable for someone who is training for a marathon:

4.7, 1.0, 5.0, 7.0, 33.5, 81.2, 36.0, 13.5, 25.4, 32.1, 8.5, 24.1, 29.4k respectively. oh well, at least there were a few good runs in there in the last two weeks. and what's not here is the 50-70k of walking i did each week.

oh well, i am sure this can act as a lesson as how not to prepare for a marathon, and i am sure i will prove it tomorrow with a very slow finishing time. but you know, i have no doubt in my mind that i will finish, and no doubt that i will not set a personal worst.. so its nice to have some confidence, as well as peace of mind, with where my health and fitness is at these days.

Jenn

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September 22, 2010 - Igor hits

Newfoundland was hit hard with a category 1 hurricane yesterday afternoon. power has been out for half of the city for the past 20 hours. i had an adventurous run home from work, and hot hit in the eye with a few pieces of debree, but i am ok. power is on at work so i am here working away (and updating my blog.. lol)

Jenn

Thursday, September 16, 2010

September 16, 2010 - long awaited update

Well, it has probably been one of the busiest couple of weeks in my life. It's no secret now that i have been part of a team of local LGBTQ community members who have taken steps to create a formal legal non-profit corporate entity known as St. John's Pride Incorporated. I am excited to announce that as of September 14, 2010, this company came into existence.

I am sure many people will be wondering what this means in terms of the future of the 'pride week' in our city, as well as the future of existing websites devoted to pride week in our city. Well, as co-founder of this company, i can personally guarantee that our intentions will be announced in the near future.

But for now, i will say that this is a non-profit company, which means there is no 'owner' per say. The company will initially be legally managed by the three of us who signed our names on the articles of incorporation documents, but this entity really belongs to the St. John's LGBTQ community. The goal here is to engage everyone who has a stake in the pride concept. Initial corporate by-laws will be drafted up in the near future, and i can guarantee that they will be written in a way that ensures that this company is accessible, transparent and accountable to the public. Without these three things, we have no company and we have no 'pride'.

...in other news, speaking of Pride, i traveled to Corner Brook last weekend to both attend and speak at their pride week festivities, as well as formally meet with the directors of Newfoundland's first ever formally-established Pride corporate entity, Corner Brook Pride Inc.

these folks were awesome, essentially rolling out the red carpet for me. i think they were genuinely excited to have the founder of St. John's Pride wake up at 2.30 am and drive all the way across the island in miserable rainy weather, to attend their big day. they had a well-organized flag raising, parade, public speeches, and party in the park events.

considering the size of their town, the pride events were very well attended, probably 10 times more of the city attended theirs than did in St. John's this last July for our informal pride week.
also present in Corner Brook were the big unions, who were heavy sponsors, parade marchers, and speakers. my speech was short and sweet, but i touched upon the key trans issues of stereotype, health care, human rights, and access to public services.

after the events finished, i spend an hour meeting with their board of directors, and we had a really productive series of chats. it appears clear that we have some common ground and common goals, and i certainly hope that our two organizations will put our heads together to do some amazing work in the near future that will not only benefit our to companies, but benefit the LGBTQ communities in many other small towns in the province.



...i am also excited to announce that FrontRunners.org Newfoundland and Labrador chapter is also now live! we have already had 3 running events thus far and they have been great runs for me. Tony is actually the leader and he pushes me hard for what usually turns out to be 15k runs then a coffee social.

hoping to do the Terry Fox Run, and the Aids Walk this weekend. Maybe even the Harbour Grace 10k road race, but that is iffy.

The root canal is finally starting to get better, here on day 10, but it still remains sore and tender.



Jennifer

Sunday, September 12, 2010

September 11, 2010 - Corner Brook Newfoundland Pride!

just a quick note to say that i had a great day! i made the 7 hour drive to Corner Brook for their Pride today, and i had a great time. I was treated like royalty, as the red carpet was essentially rolled out for me to become one of the keynote speakers.

will write more tomorrow!

Jenn

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September 7, 2010 - the root of the matter

well, it's been a busy September so far. i have continued to have discussions with LGBT community members regarding their opinions and perceptions of the need for a non-profit organization to be created to do around-the-calendar educational, and advocacy work, and well as take on a mandate of providing support and social outlets for all.

After going non-stop, almost every day, for 6 weeks, i decided to treat myself to a long weekend break, and i rented a car and spent time relaxing on the beach, taking in what could be the last summery sunny weekend of the year. It was nice to try to park all my concerns for a while and just focus on some relaxation. Sure, i am always thinking about my work, but it was at least nice to take a break from doing it. It's hard to believe the summer is almost over. I always seem to feel as though i didn't spend as much time at the beach and the ponds as i would have liked to, but looking back, there were many wonderful swims this year.

anyway, i had an afternoon off work today for a rather unusual experience, a dental visit for a root canal procedure. although i take great care of my teeth, there was 'internal resorption' (essentially a hollow hole in the middle) developing, so it was important to get that cleaned out and filled in. all this huff and puff about root canals being painful and unpleasant are totally not true. it was a very routine procedure that took about an hour.

i felt fine afterward and made the long walk home, stopping to feed ducks on the way. then i went out for a light 8.5k run tonight, which was a much-needed run. i've only got 19 days left until my next marathon, and as usual, i am under-trained.

the best news of the month so far is that i have been extra careful with my diet and i have managed to drop a few pounds. i need to drop about 15 more pounds this year to be deemed fit enough for my surgery, so i have lots of hard work to do.

Jenn

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 31, 2010 - another month in the books

well, it wasn't much of a running month for me, but i kept very busy doing other things. it's great that i seem to have enough energy to do most of the things i want to do.

i've decided to proceed with a registration for the Newfoundland Provincial Marathon on Sept 26, which will give me something to focus on this month. it will be my 25th career marathon finish, so i am quite excited about that, and want to make sure i do as well as possible.

here's a recap of my monthly kilometres.

2010

jan - 271.60 - 271.60
feb - 205.90 - 477.50
Mar - 258.80 - 736.30
Apr - 213.70 - 950.00
May - 230.20 - 1180.20
June - 147.00 - 1327.20
July - 56.50 1385.70
August - 169.10 1554.80

Thursday, August 26, 2010

August 26, 2010 - quick update

yes folks, i am still alive. it's been a very busy week. will hope to update soon

Jenn

Sunday, August 22, 2010

August 21, 2010 - free concert!!


Quite the social day for me. i had a series of friends dropping by all day to hang out, visit my cats, and to discuss some business. Then i got a last minute call from a good friend late in the afternoon, who scored some free tickets to the Backstreet Boys concert tonight. I'm not what i would consider a fan, but as a music historian, i am obviously familiar with their big hits and their place in music history. turned out to be a fun show. i ran into several people i knew there. seems any big concert in this town is going to attract audiences of all types!

Well, it was not a very active week in terms of running. my left foot has been acting up again, so i only ran once - the thursday frontrunners event, as well as too and from the event. a strong 13.5k, even on a bad foot.

the foot is feeling better now, at least a bit, so i will try to have a solid run on sunday.

Jenn

Saturday, August 21, 2010

August 20, 2010 - Trans people in Ontario by the numbers


Taken directly from TransPulse Survey results, in Ontario:

***********************************************
DEMOGRAPHICS / First data released after lengthy Trans Pulse survey
Andrea Zanin / National / Tuesday, August 17, 2010
* Respondents were about equally split between MTF-spectrum (47 percent) and FTM-spectrum (54 percent).

* 50 percent make less than $15,000 a year. 21 percent make between $15,000 and $29,999 and 30 percent make $30,000 or more, with only 7 percent making $80,000 or more.

* 32 percent live in Toronto, while 68 percent live elsewhere in the province.

* 71 percent have attended college or university, with 43 percent holding a degree (including 7 percent with a graduate degree).

* 35 percent identify as straight or heterosexual, with the remaining 65 percent using a range of terms including bisexual or pansexual (30 percent), queer (31 percent), gay (11 percent), lesbian (14 percent), questioning (13 percent), two-spirit (9 percent), other (8 percent), and asexual (5 percent).

* 32 percent are in monogamous relationships, 12 percent in open or poly relationships, 44 percent are single and dating, and 12 percent are single and not dating.

* 86 percent are white, 6 percent Aboriginal, 4 percent Middle Eastern, 4 percent other, 3 percent black and 3 percent Latin American.

* 27 percent are parents.

***********************************************

...so, as we can see, the numbers indicate severe underemployment. for more information, see this Xtra.ca article.

Jenn

Aguust 20, 2010 - busy week

lots on the go. The frontrunners launch was a huge success! A small group, but a great time. It looks like frontrunners will meet weekly from now on - probably thursday nights.

Meanwhile, the local LGBT community building networking continues. lots of discussions with lots of people. hoping to get all the key players together for a meeting in the upcoming week.

rainy weekend in the forecast, which may mean more time indoors for me, but i hope to get out for at least a short nature walk to the pond. it will still be warm enough to jump in for a swim!

Jenn

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August 18, 2010 - Frontrunners.org Newfoundland chapter to debut tomorrow!


Thursday August 19, 2010. We will meet up and depart from the intersection of Mayor Avenue and Freshwater Road at 6.15 pm.

Then we'll run to Quidi Vidi Lake, arriving at approx 6.35-6.40. then we will do a lap or two (or three) around the lake.

Then we'll head downtown for Coffee at Chatters at 112 Duckworth St., Approx arrival time at coffee is 7.30 pm.

Depending on who all shows up, we may run together as a group, or break up into 2 or 3 groups based on slow, medium, and fast pace.

Everyone is welcome to join for the run and/or the coffee!

to RSVP, see this facebook event link:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=153219861359686

Jennifer

Sunday, August 15, 2010

August 15, 2010 - rest and recovery, and a focused new beginning

wow, quite the busy and stressful week for me. 3 alan jackson concerts, 2 job interviews, and a regular mon-fri week of work at my current job. all adds up to a need to use the weekend for rest and recovery. i had 2 really nice sleep-ins this weekend and didn't really do too much. i had friends over to visit my cats yesterday, which was really fun. i also took walks to the kent's pond both days, and sat in the sun and went for a swim. i also spent some time doing some much-needed cleaning up at home, getting laundry done, bathroom and living room cleaned, etc.

big week ahead as i and 2 colleagues will launch an LGBTQ Community Focus Group that will take on the following mandate:

- We want to create formal organizations that will provide year-round education, advocacy, and social events by and for the LGBTQ community and their stakeholders.

- We want to create an environment where all members of the LGBTQ community will feel welcomed and treated equally.

- We want to reach out to those who have been reluctant to get involved in community events in the past.

- We want to take steps to see that 'Pride week' planning and delivery becomes more transparent, accountable, and inclusive of the entire local LGBTQ community; and that Pride becomes a formally-recognized legal corporate not-for-profit entity.

- We want to reach out to LGBTQ people across the province, country, and planet, to form alliances so that we can work together to deal with common issues, such as health care and human rights.

more details to come on this matter as they become available.

Jennifer

Thursday, August 12, 2010

August 10, 11, 12 - 2010 Alan Jackson in Newfoundland!

Well, he's probably the hottest country music star in the entire world over the past decade. Alan Jackson has 50 top ten hits in his career, which has spanned over the past 20 years. 25 of those hits went all the way to #1 in the USA country charts. He, his band, and his crew loaded their gear into two of these big trucks and made the trip all the way out here to Newfoundland for 3 concerts in 3 nights. i was fortunate enough to attend all three shows.
The highlight was night three, when i had a seat on the floor in the 4th row! Alan's set featured a smorgasbord of hits. i think he played at least one song from each of his albums, including the newest one he is touring. He was accompanied by an 8 piece band that included a steel guitar, bass, piano, mandolin, drums, and violin. there was a huge presentation on stage with 4 big screens, as well as 2 additional screens hanging from the rafters.
Local musician Karla Pilgrim opened the show with a 30 minute set. Alan's sets lasted about 95 minutes.

Songs which were played all three nights included: gone country, summer time blues (eddie cochrane cover), i don't even know your name, livin' on love, small town southern man, who's cheatin' who, little bitty, a woman's love, drive for daddy gene, where were you, don't rock the jukebox, hard hat and a hammer, remember when, good time, country boy, its 5 o'clock somewhere, chattacoochee, where i come from, mercury blues (KC Douglas cover).

Bonus songs that were exclusive to one or two of the shows include: like red on a rose, tall tall trees, blues man, here in the real world, wanted, chasin' that neon rainbow, pop a top, it's just that way, song for the life.

overall, an amazing experience to have Alan come all the way out here for now one, but three concerts! all three were sold out, so hopefully this will convince other big names to come here soon!

Jenn

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August 10, 2010 - running machine!

well, after a rest day monday, i ran all over town today.. home to doctor to work to home to concert to home. 20k in total. much of which i ran at mid tempo pace or higher. a very strong energy day with some really good running drills. the momentum is finally building!

other big highlight tonight was the appearance of Nashville's hottest star Alan Jackson in town here in little old Newfoundland for 3 nights. this guy has 25 #1 country hits and played at least 20 of them tonight! i consider myself a historian of the country rock genre, but i haven't really given pure country or new country much of my attention over the years, but with this guy in town, i just had to check him out, and wow, what a great show!

Jenn

Monday, August 9, 2010

August 8, 2010 - a day behind

yikes, seems i have been playing catch-up for a while with these updates. oh well, better late than never. After a busy week, i didn't have the energy i needed to run to the beach. turned out to be a good thing, as the nice weather never materialized. i actually started running to the beach but turned around after 3k and ran back home due to a combo of fatigue, knee pain and foot pain. i spent the rest of the day resting.

that proved to be a good thing, as Sunday i did make it to the beach. I cabbed up there, but ran home (with my infamous heavy backpack) after 5 lovely hours in the sun. The ocean water at Topsail is still chilly, but you can at least get in for a refreshing dip. 16k on a hilly road with a heavy backpack in 25 degree c heat, in just over 2 hours... not too bad.

well, a busy week ahead with 2 job interviews, 2 alan jackson concerts, and hopefully, lots of sun, lots of running, and lots of pond swims!

Jenn

Saturday, August 7, 2010

August 6, 2010 - busy week, big decisions

lots on the go over the past few days. i've secured 2 more job interviews next week for positions in St. John's with the Provincial Government, including what will be my third kick at the can with the Privacy office for one of their senior analyst positions. should be very interesting to see if my latest resume experience within the Dept. of Justice will help my cause this time around.

I also made a tough decision to walk away from a second interview with the City of Toronto for what appeared to be an excellent one year contract doing privacy work. unfortunately, they would not cover travel costs for the in person interview, and i just couldn't justify the extreme last-minute expense for something that only had a 1 in 3 chance of materializing.

i've had better energy levels as of late, and have taken advantage of this buy resuming marathon-training, as well as adding on a variety of social events, in addition to my day job. I am committed to taking steps to bring St. John's' LGBT community and their stakeholders together so that we can become a stronger force in our ability to fight the battles that still need to be fought against society and Government entities.

I also want to bring different demographics of the community together so we can both learn from each other, and socialize together. taking a leadership role in legitimizing our Pride entity is also a key goal of mine, and one that could be a challenge, given the existing stranglehold a small segment of our community has had on the Pride concept for the past couple of years.

meanwhile, the weekend weather report is nice, so i am hoping to take a run up to Topsail Beach on one day and perhaps middle cove beach on the other.

Jenn

Thursday, August 5, 2010

August 4, 2010 - Regatta Run

well, the St. John's Regatta went ahead as scheduled today. We had a rare nice warm, calm day. It was rather cloudy all morning, so i decided against a run to the beach, but ran around town instead. i actually ran to and from the Regatta twice, as well as did a few laps around quidi vidi lake. 26.2k in total, much of which i ran in speed-drill or tempo format. Nice to get in some fine tuning for the first time in a while.

Jenn

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August 3, 2010 - nice day

had a nice walk over to kent's pond after supper tonight and jumped in for a swim. after 2 and a half days of cold and fog, it was nice to see some warmer temps again and some sun!

the weather report is promising for tomorrow, which means the city of st. john's will celebrate regatta boat racing day, the only weather-permitting stat holiday in the world! if the wind is too strong, it will be postponed on a day-to-day basis, and we'll have to work.

if it is really nice tomorrow, i may opt out of the regatta festival and head out to the beach! that is, if i feel i can handle the long run.. the upper leg muscles are still stiff from sunday's marathon. i had a light 2.5k run tonight.

Jenn

August 2, 2010 - George Street Festival!

Well, i decided it would be important for me to attend the George Street Festival, at least once. The idea of hanging out with a bunch of drinkers and smokers really doesn't do much for me, but in this case, Blue Rodeo was playing live in concert on a stage set up on the side of the road, so off i went into the rainy standing room pit. Blue Rodeo is probably the most successful Canadian band to never make it big outside of Canadian borders. These folks regularly sell out 15000 seat arenas here at home, yet struggle to sell 500 tickets at a small club down south. very strange. oh well, we love them and they are great!

i ended up making my way to the centre of the stage about 10 rows deep in the standing room, so i was actually fairly close! and the sound system was really good, hence drowning out the many drunk loud-mouths who wanted to chat over the band, or at least, attempt to.. lol

Blue Rodeo played a 90 minute set that featured a few new tunes, several old classics, and a few rare tunes that they dusted off from the vault. The highlight was Jim's amazing vocals on Try. he hit all the high notes without any trouble.

Here's the set list:

Blue Rodeo
George Street Festival
August 2, 2010

01 cynthia
02 it could happen to you
03 fools like you
04 one more night *
05 diamond mine
06 what am I doing here
07 don’t let the darkness in your head *
08 always getting better
09 five days in may
10 heart like mine
11 Candice *
12 rose coloured glasses
13 try
14 hasn’t hit me yet
- encore break -
15 til I am myself again
16 lost together

* - off new album

Jenn

Sunday, August 1, 2010

August 1, 2010 - Marathon #1 of 31 (just kidding)

well, it was two years ago that i first created this blog with the idea that i would use it to monitor my progress of my attempt to run 31 marathons in 31 days, as part of a training regime to prepare for a BQ, and to honour what would have been Terry Fox's 50th birthday.

Well, i ended up falling short of that insane goal, but i learned a valuable lesson: you can achieve great things if you set your sites extremely high. even in failure of that measuring stick, i still demolished every monthly endurance personal record that i had set. Looking back, that was an amazing accomplishment. 11 full marathons, 2 half marathons, and a total of 572.8k in a month.

Anyway, fast forward to today. Just a miserable 56.50 k in the entire month of July. 16 of which were at last weekend's Tely road race, and 12 which were yesterday. Miraculously, i managed to drop 7 pounds though, mostly due to healthier eating, lots of walking, and staying active.

Well, i woke up this morning around 5.30 am and was quite restless. i couldn't get back to sleep, so i decided to munch down a small breakfast. Then it hit me. It was August! The month which i traditionally have my best training runs. By this point, it was 6.45 am,it was 18 degrees and drizzle, with cooler fog in the forecast. I decided that it was the perfect time for a little test. You gotta start somewhere with a benchmark, so i decided it was time to see if i could run 42.2k for the first time in 70 days. This would mark only the 4th time since then that i had been over 25k.

Well, i got off to a sluggish start, as i usually do, but it seems the 12k from yesterday, that wore me out, actually acted as a good warm up. i managed to pick the pace up a bit when i hit the 5k mark, and coasted away. i ran with a bottle of gatorade, as i suspected it would be humid out. Running with a bottle in my hand may seem like an impediment, but it seems to actually help me keep a steady pace. first quarter in 69 minutes, and the first 13.6 in 89. then i stopped the clock so i could run inside for a gatorade refill, and back out immediately.

at 16k, i was finally finding my groove and i picked up the pace even more. as i hit 19k, i noticed i had a good chance at running a negative half split (2nd quarter faster than 1st), so i held steady and hit the half at 2.16.00. At this point, i was actually feeling stronger than i have since i ran Halifax.

I stayed out for a few extra laps at the pond before looping back home for another gatorade refill. i hit 30.2k in 3.14.00. i sprinted back down my street towards the Thorburn downhill and bolted it, so i could hit my third quarter in 67 minutes, which i did.

After a power gel, i was holding strong. at 35k, i started running even faster than i had all morning. a little fatigue was finally starting to kick in, but i kept pushing as hard as i could. i finished off my gatorade and finally ditched the bottle at the 38.5k mark. the final sprint was on! i flew back down the allandale road hill for the 3rd time (which is much more fun to run down, then run up), and hit 40k. looking at my watch, i saw that i was way ahead of my goal (run a 4th quarter in 67). Instead of coasting, i pushed as hard as i could to see just how fast i could do it. I still felt incredibly strong, considering how far and how hard i had run. i sprinted down the final road and clocked in at 62.58, giving me 4.25.58! This was almost 10 minutes faster than my fastest previous marathon of the year, which was Halifax.

69, 67, 67, 62.58 for 4.25.58 Those are really nice numbers. I honestly thought that i would be lucky to finish at all, and at best, break 5 hours. But to essentially come off the bench and run my 3rd fastest marathon time in the past 14 months (at my heaviest weight), was extremely exciting and satisfying.

Well, at least part of my title is correct. I did indeed run marathon #1 of this month! not sure if there will be any more 42.2k runs until my next official marathon, but the good news is that i've still got it. in fact, better than ever this year.

Well, Boston Marathon 2011 registrations opens in 78 days, which means i have 77 days to see if i can get myself into BQ shape. The goal that i thought was dead and burried, is now officially back on the table. All i have to do is shave off 40 minutes from today's run. with the right training and with 15 pounds of weight loss, this is very doable, as long as my health, especially my foot, stays in relatively good shape. Let the training program officially begin!

Jenn

Saturday, July 31, 2010

July 31, 2010 - cloudy day

well, after two extremely busy weeks, i treated myself to a nice sleep-in today. i didn't get to bed til 1.30 am last night, but i slept in til about noon. the rain had finally stopped, so i decided to head out for what i hoped would be a long run. it turned out to be very humid, so i ended up jumping in the pond with all my running gear on after 5k. the dip was nice and refreshing. then i carried on some more, but started to feel dehydrated, so i came inside after 12k for a break. then i decided to pull the plug on the rest of the run and just have a nice walk over to the other pond, where i fed the ducks and took a little nap on a picnic bench. then back home for laundry and another nap. hope i have more energy tomorrow.

well, i can only hope that August will bring more summery weather here. it has traditionally not been that great in recent years. i definitely hope to get lots more swims in the pond, as well as hopefully a few more trips to the beach. I also hope to start to pick my running back up a notch, now that these new SSRIs seem to be giving me a boost. Although BQing is long out the window, I want to run the Newfoundland Provincial Marathon in late September, for the 4th year in a row. So, i have some training to do in order to rebuild my endurance to where it needs to be to run a marathon.

Jenn

July 30, 2010 - A date, of sorts

well, i met a new lady friend during the pride bowling event and we exchanged numbers and kept in touch; and after chatting and trading e-mails for a while, we decided to get together for supper tonight. we fittingly decided to cash in a restaurant gift certificate, that i had won at the bowling event. We chatted for several hours, then moved onto a coffee shop and chatted some more. she and i seem to have really hit it off. We didn't officially call it a date, but it sort of was a date.. lol Not really sure where this is heading, but there definitely seems to be some compatibility. You could say that this has lifted my spirits even more than they already have been as of late. A great way to end off what was a great week.

Jenn

Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 29, 1010 - Poignantly

well, i googled myself tonight, as i do at least once a week, and i stumbled upon an online news site that i had never heard of, called allvoices.com, which appears to be based in San Francisco. They sent a reporter to the G20 protest 2 weeks ago here in St. John's, and the reported indicated that i spoke briefly, but 'poignantly'. the article was actually very well written and generally did a great job reporting on the event.

Poignantly.. as old and wise as i like to think that i am, there's a word that i had honestly never heard of. guess you still can learn something new every day!

Anyway, in other news, it's been a very busy week of networking as i attempt to build a a foundation for both Pride and Ngale. I've had chats with some folks from out of town, and i think it's time for the St. John's LGBT community to reach out to those in smaller communities in the province. As conservative as things may seem here in St. John's, it's even tougher in rural parts of the province. most LGBT people feel forced to remain closeted, and that's not good.

Jenn