Gluten-free pain in the-you know what

As you may or may not know, I am noticeably allergic to gluten. Unfortunately, it took a couple of hours of sick time for me to discover this. Gluten is that oooie-gooey protein found primarily in wheat, and also in barley and rye. From the Latin word for glue.

I stopped eating gluten at recommendation of my partner. After some time free of gluten, I inadvertently added some back (I ate the wrong pizza). I learned that in small amounts, there’s hardly any effect. More then I have all the wrath of pain that my former gluten-inclusive diet.

People often say: “Oh you will be so healthy from stopping gluten consumption.”
“Yeah? Lies. The food cost twice as much so you only get to eat half the food you used to.” Its not like I am a flat-ironed bleach-blond from Los Angeles who is following some new “fad diet” with my tiny dog in purse.

One of the redeeming factors for this forced-medical-change has been “gluten-free” products on the market. Common sense says that if you avoid Bread-Beer-Pasta (PIZZA) then you are pretty safe. My inner Italian is filled with rage and tears over this. My bella di cucina has no outlet for the wonderful breads I used to make. My California transplant to only become snobby IPA connoisseur…well you get the point.

So these gluten-free products and substitutions had included Omission Beer and Vans Natural Foods. That is until I experienced excruciating pain from consuming more than one beer and more than one waffle. Omission’s web site does say: “Omission beer may contain gluten”. As far as the waffles, this morning’s trip to Whole Foods showed 2 different packages. One read: “Wheat Gluten Free,” while the other read: “Gluten Free.”  These were side by side and may have been the mixing of new and old stock.

I experienced the exact same pain as eating “known” gluten products. Scratch 2 more solutions off of my menu options.

I was a good girl and went to the doctor many months ago. She had them draw blood and sample everything else to determine what I do not have: Coeliac Disease.

Symptoms: abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting. I am sure the official list is much longer but I will stick with the basic unpleasant ones.

I have received no pain from known-gluten-free products like meat, fish, fruit, nuts, dairy products.  

If you continue to suffer from “gluten free” labeled products, please comment.




Gender Roles: Fluid or Static

Recently, my partner and I had made things “officiale” in our dating adventure, as partners and as a couple. As such, we did not make it “traditionale” nor could ever do such. Her being a genetic woman, and Me being transgender/transsexual is another aspect to the mix, each with dual roles at times.

In spite of being horribly repressed and knowing I was a girl from my earliest memories, I was still socialized as a boy, and groomed as the “second son” or “auxiliary back-up plan for carrying on the family name” upbringing. Unlike my father and older (ahem) brother, I was sympathetic, empathetic, and kind towards women. They (women) were not property, slaves, nor punching bags.

What I do know now compared to pre-boy-puberty is that:
My relationship with Grace, my 3rd grade girlfriend from Barrie Elementary School in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, was not about controlling the other person. Nor was it ever a heated, hormone-driven, sex-goal relationship. We climbed trees, kissed, talked, played. She had a cool short haircut too.

As the “not so important boy-child” of the house, I got to freely learn cooking and sewing skills. I got to spend more time in the garden. I learned how to raise a few chickens for eggs. But I also had been conditioned to violence of men. Not that violence was acceptable, but that it was simply present.

 My lessons of how boys act around girls were largely taught by television and anyone who wasn’t related by blood. I am kind, sincere, protective, accommodating, thoughtful…I wasn’t always the way I am now. Even while repressing my girl-self, I was initially all these to everyone that I was in a relationship with…there were a lot of “high-maintenance” women in my life to make the one inside me go away. It obviously didn’t work, but that’s another story.

Her and I flow and ebb with “guardian/warrior” and “princess/waif” constantly and continuously. She cooks amazing meals; brings flowers that make me melt; and can take charge of any situation. I bombard her with cards, cuddles, and flowers; meals fit for royalty; and I sleep lightly with a watchful eye and ear to our surroundings. I’d happily flail myself between danger and her when needed.

I am still an odd duck. My curves and my body speak of my womanity, also does my grace, charm, and candor.. Ah, but my intimate social behavior towards a partner speaks of chivalry.

So I act like a boy at times.
So sue me!



It was January 2010. My best friend just got fired from the tallest building in the Queen City. It was a corner office at the top. (She is sometimes referred by me as “the other Scanlon” in conversation.)
I was employed with Old Navy. After Christmas, capitalist retail pigs traditionally slash hours after “The Season of Giving and Love & Peace” and Old Navy was no different.
The Gastonia Old Navy store I had just transferred to was closer than the 25 mile drive (one-way) to the previous location that in 2008, I had transferred to after fleeing the deeper south from being attacked by my brother for being transsexual-after which I was openly rejected by my family. (Its your fault he attacked you)

January’s schedule was posted! “4 hours this week and 10 hours next week? Really?”

Up until the 2012 EEOC ruling of “gender expression is a Gender based discrimination”, North Carolina (and most other states) could Legally discriminate trans or gender queer individuals OPENLY!
Old Navy (GAP Inc.) was a “diverse” company and had inclusive employment practices, for the most.

Without this Job, I was toast. It is really cold in Charlotte during January. I cannot move into my Camaro. Sure my friend would be getting a fat separation termination check but that wasn’t going to help my situation.
Amanda Scanlon was the friend whom after my first living situation of Zoe Vette’s all-girl band forgot my rent payments and she was 3 months behind on the mortgage; and Diana, the 58 year old quietly peaceful landlady who attempted suicide in front of me and so I moved into my Camaro again…Amanda was there to say move in, “its a big empty house with plenty of room.”

Amanda always fought with her parents about money, although the mortgage for the 3-story, 4-bedroom townhouse was always paid on time. They always wanted my rent money On Top of the mortgage for a dwelling occupied previously by only Amanda.
That January, I had an interview with the local Taco Bell as a manager. Through the interview, even as they looked oddly at me, I really was over-qualified for the job-with the exception of being a “black-listed” transsexual…well, they didn’t call back.
It was near the end of January and I put Sheila my Red 1986 Camaro RS on Craigslist…for sale.
Sheila was my first “girl car” I owned. Not a truck nor van, she was the thing that made me smile. It was my fantasy car from High School come to life, as I was a deeply closeted teenager and from dirt poor family, who’s father dealt coke and openly cheated on my mother-did I mention that he was a real Jack Daniels pistol-waving drunk?
$1000 cash for Sheila on January 30th. But, I slipped and fell on the ice making that sale (which physically hurt longer than a year).
I tearfully handed Amanda the cash and said: “What happens after this point, I’m willing to accept.” I owed rent and could walk or bicycle to work from Mount Holly.
My blood money tribute to her parents did not get dealt out quickly. Some bullshit her father said about how “people like her will be happier in San Francisco. Blah blah blah” Obviously he too didn’t know the damn difference between a transsexual lesbian and a drag queen gay man.

I researched anything EVERYTHING available to veterans and girls like me that would be available once I had arrived.
I had a social worker on the phone from the VA and had communication with various LGBT Center program coordinators too.

Amanda had bought my plane ticket for $100 one-way” and so I had to start sorting the few remnants of my life into even smaller boxes once again.
You see, its lifeboat survival principles: you can only afford less room. Photos, clothes, books to the trash. Things that might be sold. A lot of stored things (Amanda would dispose of later out of some crazy bored fit with her new psycho boyfriend). My first electric Guitar “Lucifer” and amp were to be stored and returned later. Lies…

All this packing time and preparations did not stop my recently adopted 15 year-old black and tan minature Dachshund Pumpernickel...
When Donna (my 2nd mother) was in the hospital for being attacked by a student, they needed someone to take the collection of Amanda’s aged dogs and to care for them (feed and clean-up after), as they don’t always hit the mark and were really old. “Bring the babies here.” I replied.

Pumpernickel was the cloudy-cataract-eyed one who picked me. (Coco and Jenny couldn’t be bothered by me.)
“Pumpy” was a puppy in youthful play, in spite of her poor vision and foul breath. I loved her and she seemed to love me back.

You see, this tiny little dog had infinite patience during this activity. She would just look at me “waiting patiently.” No time for runs at the park, days in the sun, no chasing squirrels…Lexi had to prepare for the crossing that lay ahead.

4am Eastern Standard Time on February 23, 2010, I kissed Pumpernickel good-bye for the last time as she died quietly in her sleep on the 25th, not but just 2 days after my departure.

I was hastily dropped at the curb by Amanda and given a hug so light that a hand shake would have been a warmer gesture. Amanda then proceeded to give back the necklace that I had given to her in friendship.
The sterling amythest heart pendant necklace was purchased at Zales of Wilmington, NC, as a gift to my girl within in my last days there before departing to see my birth family. This necklace had also survived being on me while I was choked and punched by the bastard who “wanted his brother back.” He was beating me to try to accomplish this…I had left from there for Charlotte.

“No, you keep it.” (confused) “I enjoyed the times we had as sisters, friends and acting stupid silly. You’ll see me again. You promised to make the crossing and to greet me in San Francisco with my dog and my guitar…”
Noon Pacific Standard Time, my flight had arrived at SFO-International Airport with just a carry-on of basics: pills, makeup, clothes-and nothing else.
The subway ride into the city is expensive and I was only given $100 of the $1000 from her, less the ticket price. Conserve money to eat.
“If I get off at 16th Street station, I can quickly walk to 3rd Street VA to meet the social worker.” or so I thought.
16th Street station is in the heart of The Mission. Its pouring so much rain, my umbrella fails as I walk past cat-calls and solicitations.
“Damn these blocks are so long!” I felt as I my walking progress had barely made a dent in the distance during the gale-force downpour. Very tired from walking in the flood, I arrive at the 3rd Street VA and speak to Mr. Stephen Something, social worker.
I was sent to 5th & Bryant shelter. It is full of smelly harassing men. I am registered and now have to wait.
NO SLEEPING!” They yell at the group. Some time past midnight (PST no less), I’m informed that they found a bed for me at some place in the Tenderloin. “Go and present my information at the desk?”
I catch the 27 Bryant bus.
After I get processed into a bed, I lay heartbroken to sleep at 1:30 am Pacific Standard Time. I had been awake since forever…

So that was 3 years ago today.


Keep your hands inside during the ride.

While we move through life with people, sticking a hand out to feel the rollercoaster…


Keep your hands inside, enjoy the ride.

This is an analogy for life. Don’t brag, don’t project, don’t gloat, don’t be prideful…

Sit your ass in your seat.

No photos.

Not going to be a second trip.


Photos & Shoes: Try them on for size

Greetings readers of tales from the rants of an Atypical Italian Woman!

Shoes are something we get to try on for “size”; we get to see briefly as they are viewed in a mirror.

Photos too can be something we can glance at and see how things are viewable from an outside point of view. Polaroids are the traditional medium for a shot of a model, or scene, that can give immediate feedback from a printed viewable medium.

Lately I’ve been gushing of things of the heart, staring at photos of me and her, posting them on social media sites or so. Its almost similar to those touristy places where the faces are cut out where tourists can stick their head through the hole and snap a shot. I can like what I see, or simply dismiss it as something that was a “snapshot in time” at the moment it was taken.

(Too often people get lost in the images & messages that a picture can send rather than placing value in the person, or at the very least not to get swept away in the notion of possibilities….)

Time is the truest test to the measure a picture-a snapshot of possibility.
Honestly, I like what I see but more importantly, I like how I feel in this “new pair of shoes.”

Perhaps we should go around with a stopwatch rather than a camera?


Sometimes it stops raining

Sometimes in life, it stops raining.
The air gets clear.
You can momentarily breathe.
Your head is out of the fog.
You may even feel your heart lighter.

Enjoy the moment the rain stops, you never know when it might storm.


Why I Quit Smoking for My Birthday


Why I never quit, and selfishly continued to smoke:

I was bitter, and alone,
With no one to simply be around-
the difference of catching lung cancer alone by my choice,
or not was my life.

Regardless of how long either I or my friends have to live,

I feel that would be dishonoring to my friends if its something I can prevent as the choice of smoking or not.
(nobody asked me to quit. My doctor once told me to quit. I’m not seeking any approval beyond my own conscience)

I’m writing this through my tears on the 8x bus.

And I’m now smiling through those tears,
with gooey smeared and running mascara…

It has been the first time I spoke to someone,
and they listened!!!
(and I listened to their story, starting at the last few chapters for openers)

And I knew if I was going to continue to smoke, by choice…

it would be like a big “fuck you” at my friends.

I cannot live with that.

They are the kind of people in a long time just to simply listen, without distraction, nor prejudice.

I pray to Diana that I never have a falling out with them,

At either rate, I think if I truly believe in the principle of honor-others or unto myself, then I will not be smoking cigarettes again,
in this life.

Thank You for listening.