It’s my birthday today! 55 AND STILL ALIVE! I’ve had Sondheim’s I’m Still Here on a loop in my brain all week.
“Good times and bum times, I’ve seen them all and, my dear, I’m still here.”
No one will ever be able to make me feel bad about aging because the amount of effort, energy, and chutzpah it has taken for me to get here and still have a smile on my face and optimism in my heart is impressive.
We’ve all experienced our fair share of bumps and bruises but by the time you reach my age, you have collected a big bag of rocks. When I was ten, my mother passed away unexpectedly, and for a very long time, I felt detached from life and lost in my grief. Along the way, I have survived being robbed at gunpoint, automobile accidents, breast cancer, eating disorders, depression, abusive boyfriends, and toxic friendships.
Hell… I fell UP the stairs the other day but I’m here!
On the flip side, my beautiful Geri has been by my side for 29 of my birthdays!! I can’t imagine how I would have survived this life without her by my side. There are also my friends and family (and internet friends like you) that simply accept the numerous changes and shifts in my life, rather than attempting to cage me in. You all love and accept me for the neurodivergent weirdo that I am, which provides me with a safe place to be my authentic self.
Long story short – I want you to know that on the other side of this hill, everything feels good. I’m still here!
This photo of Geri from a Tough As Nails show popped up in my memories and reminded me of something today…
Our roots are steeped deeply in punk rock. It’s where as young queer teens that Geri and I found solace, support and our core values.
Taught us to follow our beliefs and to be open to learn about others. It’s where our DIY entrepreneurial fearlessness comes from. Our knowledge that our strength comes from community! It taught us to flout gender norms and create spaces to be open and available to everyone (except nazis).
It taught us about tenacity and problem solving and gave us a way to walk through the world knowing that even though we were different – that didn’t mean we couldn’t make a difference.
Most importantly it gave us the freedoms to create. That creativity in all forms is our life’s blood and to always be creating.
How lucky am I that I get to do all that with my best friend and business partner Geri (photo posted with permission)
I realized I didn’t give some of you enough information. 🙂
I’m out of blogging practice.
I am taking Strattera every single day. My doctor recognized that I am very stimulant sensitive. I’m very sensitive to all medications (if someone is going to have a side effect – it will be me) and things like I can’t drink coffee or I explode is a good indication as well. LOL
She tried me on a child’s dose of Strattera and then we slowly bumped it up. The first thing I noticed about 30 min after taking my pill was that it felt like my brain would “click” and then everything would get REAL quiet. She said that was a good indication that it was working for me.
I have to take these meds with food or it gives me a bad stomachache so I make sure to have a good dense breakfast – usually All Bran type cereal (to help offset constipation). 🙂
The first 3 weeks were hard because it created panic attacks (a side effect) but I’ve had lots of previous experience with panic so I know how to calm my nervous system down. Once the 3 weeks passed – the panic attacks got a lot better. I do notice that they can flare up easily when my adrenaline gets spiked so I just have to be aware and take good care of myself if it happens.
And I know I don’t need to say this – but everyone is different and everyone’s needs are different – so what worked for me might not work for you. 🙂
Is it just me or did Instagram kill having a blog?
BTW This is my Instagram! 🙂
I’m such a visual person and I love expressing myself and what my day is like through photos and I find it difficult to update my blog via my phone so I just never sit down at my computer do it because having a phone in my hand has kind of killed me using my computer! Oy vey.
I wonder if I’ll ever feel the gumption to get back to blogging again.
Did I tell you that I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD? Being on medication has been a game changer because I no longer have a cacophony of sounds and thoughts rattling around in my brain all at once. It’s just so quiet in there now. LOL
I can sit still.
I can be more present and in the moment.
I can read again.
I can focus on one thing at a time – actually what I mean by that is that I am better at creating boundaries for myself around doing one thing at a time.
I have better boundaries. 🙂
I feel level.
I don’t spin out as much.
I feel more confident about myself.
I feel less tired because my brain doesn’t have to do all this extra work to present “normal”.
Taking meds has been a pretty positive experience. The first 3 weeks of taking the medicine was uncomfortable (side effects) but then things leveled out and now the only major side effect I have is constipation but I remedy that with a little extra fiber in the morning and I’m good to go.
The only downside so far is that because of my better boundaries around how many “spoons” I have in a day – is that I don’t have ten little projects all going at once so I sometimes feel like I’m not as productive.
It’s been a brain shift to not be down on myself for not being as “productive” because in actual fact – when I do focus on one project at a time – that project gets done with much more precision, and thoughtfulness and is completed in a timely manner.
I wish I had explored my diagnosis sooner. I had a few weeks of real grief about what my life could have been like if I had been diagnosed earlier. I was a child of the 70’s/80’s and nobody was talking about this stuff. Plus – fems present differently than masc humans so it probably wasn’t evident to anyone what was going on.
I will tell you that a lot of SHAME around school and how poorly I did – disappeared once I was diagnosed. I had a lightbulb go off with my diagnosis and realized it wasn’t my fault that I was struggling in school – I am neurodivergent and I wasn’t being supported properly. So… C’est la vie. When you know better – you do better. 🙂
I have not updated this website in a while!! LOL I am doing a “Dry January”. No phone. No social media. No reels. No scrolling.Hoping to reset my creativity! I don’t know about you but since the pandemic hit – I have been really doomscrolling on the phone to the point of making my mind into mush. It must be a self-soothing thing …
I have a few updates:
*kathy photoshopped in because she wasn’t there for the photo
1. Dec 31st was my last day doing the @officialgogos social media. I’ve been doing it for almost 13 years! 📆
I’ve loved this band since I first saw them on American Bandstand in 1981. It has been incredible to get to know the band members, their families and the crew. I was trusted to be backstage and to know details about how the sausage is made behind the scenes🤪 and I have so many special memories.
I am so proud of the work I’ve done for them over the years. Also big kiss to Anthony and Arnold for collaborating with me behind the scenes. And to all the fans that I interacted with via socials. I have met so many special people through this experience.
To be the voice of the band via the social media took a lot of creativity and thoughtful work and I loved every second of it. 🥰 Thank you Jane, Kathy, Char, Belinda and Gina for all the fun!
My sister from another mother 🙂
2. Yesterday was also my last day being @janewiedlin right-hand gal. 😭 I’ve been working for Jane as a personal assistant in some capacity or another for 15 years (maybe more) and it’s been so much fun.
Jane is exactly as she is in interviews. Funny, thoughtful, endlessly creative and has an incredible eye for detail. Plus she’s sweet as heck!! She trusts me with her social media, website, etc., and it means a lot. Having someone’s trust is a big deal to me. 🥰
Jane brought me into the GG’s fold and gave me many incredible opportunities to expand my horizons. It’s wild to think that we’ve been able to work together all these years and be in completely different countries – but we made it work.📱 My proudest part about this job is that we have been able to raise thousands of dollars selling Jane’s stage-wear/memorabilia for the various animal rescue groups she works with. It’s been a true labour of love. 🐶😻 I love you, Sweet Jane. Thanks for all the fun.
3. As I write this – I am on day 2 of not looking at my social media. Yesterday was so weird – I kept unconsciously picking up my phone and looking at it for no reason. At one point I found myself scrolling through FB and I have no recollection of opening my phone. The addiction is REAL!
In other news – My parents came over for a few days and we had a lovely visit. They have been cleaning out their library/office and brought over 27 boxes of books. I counted them all and it’s 752 books!! My upstairs loft/landing is FULL of books. Someone told me that you only need 1000 books to officially be considered a “library”. Ha ha ha.
I have no idea what I am going to do with these books – but I know I am going to enjoy a distraction-free month of January looking through and organizing them.
Some I will donate, some I will read and pass on and some are treasures of the past that I can’t wait to relish.
HI PALS!! I have been practising yoga with Ty Chandler since I finished cancer treatment in 2014. I can’t even begin to tell you how much her class has brought back my strength, flexibility, stamina and given my wandering brain a place to focus.
The thing I love the most about Iyengar yoga is the structure. Iâ€™ve learned so much about my body and alignment and now that I’m on the other side of recovery – Tyâ€™s classes have helped me challenge my body to new heights.
Sometimes during class, I will find myself upside down and marvelling at my new found strength.
One of the silver linings of this pandemic is that Ty started teaching via zoom and her classes have been my saving grace during this stressful time.
Since the classes are on Zoom they are now accessible to ANYONE anywhere. The best gift I have given myself during Covid is to spend time on the mat with Ty.
PRIZE ONE: -Personalized autographed copy of Vegan A Go-Go! -Gold-leafed fern pendant necklace made by Sarah -15 minute Zoom chat with Sarah (and Walter)where you can talk about a wide range of topics like; food, how to take care of curly hair, boyfriend advice, chihuahuas, etc 🙂
PRIZE TWO: -Sarah’s proof copy of Garden of Vegan that she used to edit the book before it was published. Book will have a personalized autograph for the winner.
PRIZE THREE: -Copy of 2003 HERBIVORE magazine with Sarah on the cover. Magazine will have a personalized autograph for the winner.
Makes meals that will be distributed through several Winnipeg organizations that are on the frontlines in trying to help communities during the COVID-19 and ever-deepening food insecurity crisis. Just $10 buys a high-quality, homemade meal that will be delivered to a frontline organization working to support its increasingly vulnerable community.
Full disclosure: this program is run in part by Sarah’s brother Chef Ben Kramer
Law Center changes law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can
live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of
their gender identity or expression.
Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating
for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their
futures. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice,
TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender
and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for
A simple recipe from a simpler time. My Mum used to make this for me when I was a kid. After she passed away I somehow ended up with her recipe cards and this recipe, in particular, gives me the most comfort. And a little comfort is what we all need right now. Plus itâ€™s also cheap as hell to make. Recipe is in my cookbook HOW IT ALL VEGAN!
Wow. It’s been almost a YEAR since I updated my blog. Yikes. I guess using social media has cut down on my blogging time down to zero. What a shame … ANYWAY … Here I am now and I have some news to share. Don’t worry. It’s good news.
I guess I’ll just start by saying that my husband is now my wife.Â 🙂
Geri has been struggling for many years with gender dysphoria and with the help of her therapist and myself has recently come out as trans. She goes by the name Geri and her pronouns are she/her.
This may come as a surprise to some of you but it wasn’t to me. This is something that has come up often in our 25 year relationship. We thought it was more of a kink but we now know it was much more than that.
The first question people have been asking me is if I’m ok and my answer is ABSOLUTELY. 🙂 Both Geri and I identify as pansexual (otherwise known as bi-sexual) and so our marriage hasn’t really changed. I’m in love with her. She’s in love with me. To quote David from Schitt’s Creek … “I like the wine not the label.”
So why a blog post?
We wanted to come out publicly for a few reasons. Our number one reason is visibility is important. With more visibility comes more understanding.
Trans people represent a small percentage of the population and therefore it can feel very isolating to be trans. So Geri and I are waving her Trans flag to say HI!!! We are over here!! We see you!!Â
Our number two reason is we wanted to share our “coming out” letter in case anyone reading wanted to use it for themselves.
Geri had a difficult time trying to decide how to come out. It’s a very personal decision and everyone comes out differently. Now that Geri has removed the “man suit” that she’s been wearing as protection these last 48 years – she is understandably feeling much more vulnerable.
Coming out as trans person in your late 40’s isn’t easy. Both Geri and I were raised in an era (the 80’s) of extreme homophobia and transphobia. Fear of people shunning us. Fear of how people will react. When we were in our teenage formative years being anything but Cis and straight made you a pariah. So our default mode is fear.
Our biggest fear about coming out was what it would be like to watch someone we care about processing the information in real time – because if their reaction was negative – it would be heartbreaking. So after much discussion, Geri decided to write an e-mail and send it to our loved ones.
We looked online about the best way to craft a letter and didn’t find many coming out letters that we liked – so in Kramer DIY fashion we wrote our own letter (see below).
We wanted to give our friends/family time to read the letter. Process it in their own time … and come talk to us when they were ready. We also included some GLAAD links so that we wouldn’t have to answer the same questions over and over again. 🙂
I’m happy to say that almost everyone on our list (that we sent the e-mail) got back to us right away with love and support. Only a few people haven’t responded and that’s ok … We send them off with love. Byeeeeee!
It made me realize that so many of these young people didn’t grow up like we did with shame and fear. It brought tears to my eyes to realize that gender and sexuality isn’t a big deal to so many of them and it filled my heart with hope for the world.
So that’s our big news. 🙂 We hope you will take this news with grace and joy for Geri.
If you feel like you want to say something negative – please don’t. There is enough negativity in the world. We don’t need more. 😉
Below is the “coming out” letter we sent to our close friends and family. We offer it to any of you who wants to customize it and use it for their own. We hope you find it helpful.
Thanks in advance for your support. I’m happy. Hope you’re happy too. 🙂 xoxo SARAH
Hello This is a big news letter from The Kramers. Have a seat. First off – Sarah and I are fine. :)Â
This is difficult for me to write but I wanted to share something thatâ€™s going on in my life, because I love and trust you, and I know you love me.Â
I am writing to let you know that I am a transgender person. Iâ€™ve known for a very long time and Iâ€™ve struggled for many years with my gender. With the help of Sarah and my therapist – I have come to terms with my place on the gender spectrum.Â
I am now transitioning.Â
I know this may seem shocking and that this may feel like it is coming from out of nowhere but I want you to know that I am ok. In fact I have never been better. :)Â
This is my coming out letter.Â
In the very near future I will be coming out to the world and living my life as female. I am still the same person that you have always known and loved. Iâ€™ll just be living more authentically as the true me.Â
As of right now I will be going by the name Geri and my pronouns will be changing to she/her.Â
I know you may have slip-ups with my gender at first, and that is ok. If you do slip up – you do not have to make a big deal out of it. Just correcting yourself is enough for me to see that you care about and respect who I am.Â
My transition is not going to happen over night and some aspects may seem fast and some may seem slow. I ask for your patience and support during this time.Â
I have included a few important links below for you to read. I would appreciate if you read these before you asked us questions.Â
TRANSGENDER F.A.Q. Â https://www.glaad.org/transgender/transfaqÂ
TIPS FOR ALLIES OF TRANSGENDER PEOPLE Â https://www.glaad.org/transgender/alliesÂ
If you feel like not responding right away, thatâ€™s ok. Take as much time as you need. I understand that this is a lot to process.
Sarah and I love you very much and we are happy to answer questions or talk about my transition. But please know that some questions may be too personal – so we will let you know when a question is over the line.Â Lots of love, xoxo Geri & Sarah (and Walter)