Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Laci Green deserves better

#StrongForLaci

Laci Green, who writes the Sex+ blog, has taken a break from tumblr and possibly youtube (accounts seem to vary), due to threats of physical violence and even death, as well as serious cyberstalking.  It appears there are two primary motivators for the nut cases threatening her.  First, she supposedly insulted the trans community by using the term tranny a few years ago.  She has apologized and took down the video.  In her overall body of work, she has not been transphobic, and has generally promoted a very open idea of who and how to love.  The other motivator is apparently a remark that some took to be Islamophobic.  She just pointed out ideas from Islam that she disagreed with.  But, she has also pointed out that she disagrees with ideas from other religions as well, and certainly wasn't suggesting that all Muslims or all people of religion x were terrible people.  Just the fundy-literalist-nutjobs (my terminology).

All that aside though, even if you were offended by what she wrote or said, it does not make it ok to threaten  to harm her!

This did get me thinking about my own reaction to terms like tranny.  Growing up a racial minority, I heard racial slurs now and then, and to be honest, I tended to ignore them, not feeling it was even worth the effort to get upset.  Pretty similar now.

But this also made me think also about how I feel when I see someone who is purposely playing with the gender binary, a genderqueer person, if you will.  I will admit that sometimes if I see someone presenting as such, I get a little ticked off momentarily, because I think, "hey, people like you set back public acceptance of transsexuals who just want to be a "normal" person of the opposite sex."  But of course, then I realize how stupid that is, and how it completely selfishly ignores everything I stand for as a sex educator (and for that matter as a parent/teacher/human being) myself, to be open and nonjudgemental of people based on their appearances.  The point is, I'd guess someone had a flash gut reaction to Laci's use of "tranny" and got all worked up without taking a minute to think it through, to find out that she did it without meaning harm, and when recognizing its potential hurtfulness, took it down.

Monday, July 2, 2012

APA Task force recommendations on GID

I'll comment after I read this.

Byne, W., et al. (2012). Report of the American Psychiatric Association Task Force on Treatment of Gender Identity Disorder. Archives of Sexual BehaviorDOI 10.1007/s10508-012-9975-x 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sears ad, gender stereotypes

from the blog Hot Rods For Girls (click photo for link)
I was flipping between the Stanley Cup game and the NBA playoffs last night, interspersed with various other channel flips, and rather annoyed that because of a contract dispute between my cable company and the local Fox affiliate's owners that I couldn't watch So You Think You Can Dance... where was I?  Oh yes, I saw a commercial for the Father's Day tool sale at Sears.  There's a Dad asking for a wrench from under a car that he's working on, and his daughter hands him a new Craftsman wrench with a bow on it.  The commercial ends with both of them under the car, and you see their legs sticking out side by side.  Cute, right?  Helps to break the gender stereotypes that little girls shouldn't be interested in messy mechanical things like cars, right?

So how come we don't see the flip side of that commercial on Mother's Day?  A little boy sewing a dress on a new sewing machine with mom, or something like that?  As always, it's about society seeing traditionally male activities as valuable and something to aspire to for a boy or a girl, while traditionally female activities are thought of as more frivolous, and therefore a step down for a boy to do.  It's really amazing to me that despite all the talk of gender equality and even all the real accomplishments of women's rights activists for centuries, that pervasive, insidious, and infectious thread of females (and female ideas, activities, etc) being inferior still has such a grip on all of us.  It can never be eradicated, but I wonder if it can at least be diminished to a minority view?

I (presenting as male) coach girls sports.  I see my players run the gamut from "girly-girl" to decidedly anti-feminine.  My approach to trying to establish that feminine does not necessarily mean weak or less sports-able, is to incorporate ideas, movements, and metaphors from both more masculine and more feminine arenas.  I might make allusions to football one day and ballet the next.  Hopefully, in some tiny way, this helps them to understand that whatever kind of girl/woman they are or want to be, whatever profession they go into, nothing about those decisions is any less valuable or valid because they are women.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Constant reminder

From Grace Helbig's vlog, Daily Grace:

Why do men have nipples?

Because it's God's constant reminder that they almost had tits!

sigh.
 :-)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Guy legs

Pro tennis star Serena Williams
I'm genetically blessed (?) or cursed with very muscular legs.  I don't do squats with weights.  Heck, since I made the conscious decision to coax my body towards my mind's feminine idea of it, I rarely use any weights at all.  I still run around when coaching, and I work out on a rowing machine, but theoretically, that should just help keep me trim and not really build muscles a lot, especially given the T-blockers and the E.  So I'm kind of annoyed that my legs look so much like guy legs.  I mean, I look hard at women athletes' legs, particularly those whose sports involve lots of leg work, and while lots of them have much stronger looking or more muscular legs than me, I think only a very few have the typical knee area (especially just above the knee/ lower thigh) that guys have.  You know what I mean?  Maybe it's because of the different hip to knee angle of women vs men, but guys quads are different than girls quads.  I suppose I could attempt to smooth out the difference by gaining a bit more body fat.  Unfortunately, I tend to gain weight almost anywhere except my legs (even on estrogen).  I guess I just need to accept it and hope that the casual observer will just assume my funny knees/thighs  are just weird, and not necessarily male.  Or of course, I could and probably should just dress according to my body like any normal cis-gendered girl would, and favor longer skirts/dresses or pants/jeans.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dressing still matters

Since I'm currently in a situation where I'm out only to my wife, my normal dress is more or less androgynous - women's Levi's, a T-shirt of some sort, girl sneakers, girl undergarments.  I work at home, so sometimes I'll switch to a more feminine blouse, but because my kids often drop by without much, if any, warning, that's the extent of my getting dolled up lately.  But I was sort of ok with that.  I'm on my hormones, feeling basically femme most of the time, though sort of in a princess-locked-in-a-tower sort of way.  It isn't ideal, but I felt like it was ok enough.

But then today, with my wife out of town on business, one kid out of town on spring break, and the other one at work for sure, I decided to doll up a bit.  Went to the trouble of putting on a little bit of makeup, put on a bra that pushed my little boobs up rather than squishing them flat, and a nice spring-ish dress and sandals.  I've been working in this outfit most of today now, though I'm going to have to change soon to go coach.  What's surprised me is how much more comfortable and happy I feel.  Sure, it could be coincidence, but even though I'm basically in girl clothes every day, there's something about letting my femininity really open up that makes me almost giddy.  Not totally unexpected, but still somewhat unexpected.  I had thought that when I finally transitioned, I'd probably mostly wear my usual jeans and T's but with a real bra instead of a too-small sports bra.  Now, I'm wondering if maybe I'm more likely to be one of those women who always dress smartly and look like they're going to work or coming from work, even if they're in the grocery store at 11pm.

Kind of fun to think about.

(picture is not me)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book Review: Eon by Alison Goodman

This is actually a review of both Eon, by Alison Goodman, and its sequel, Eona.  Realistically, reading just the first would feel incomplete, and I feel fortunate that I didn't come across these books until both had been released.  But that's just a minor pet peeve of mine: I like series of books just fine, but please make each book a self-contained tale that doesn't absolutely require further reading for a satisfactory story.  I realize that is probably exactly what publishers want in order to get us to buy the next book, but authors, please stand up for your artistic integrity and either wait and release a longer novel or figure out a way to bring your story to a close while leaving your story world open to further elaboration.  OK, getting off my soapbox now. :-)

So, Eon and Eona, which were first published in Australia as The Two Pearls of Wisdom and The Necklace of the Gods, are set in a pseudo-ancient-Chinese fantasy world in which the country is led and protected by the Emperor and a group of men known as the Dragoneyes.  The Dragoneyes have magical powers given to them by one of the 12 dragons (each named for a Chinese zodiac animal) in exchange for some of their own life force.  Every year, a new dragon and Dragoneye becomes the leader of the group, and the dragon chooses a new apprentice.

This year, one of the potential apprentices is a lame boy called Eon.  By the way, the names of the characters are all over the place - Eon, Dillon, Lord Ido, Baret - maybe the author was trying to make the point that despite the general setting, this is not a straight-on version of historical China with magic added.  For me, it was slightly annoying.  Back to the story though, Eon is lame, and as we very quickly gather, also happens to be a girl.  Dragoneyes have always been men, but Eon's master saw that she had a remarkable ability to commune with the Dragon spirits, and decided to try, despite the likelihood of death should their deception be discovered.  There is an awkward romance story woven into an overarching palace intrigue/usurpation plot, and a bit of self-discovery along the way.  About par for the course in young adult fantasy.  That's about all the plot I really want to give away so as not to hinder your enjoyment of the book.

So, as far as transgender themes go, the title character, Eon, is a girl who has been trying very hard to act like a boy and hide her "feminine problems" from everyone else.  There is a hint of the inner conflict, but with so much invested (i.e. her very life) in trying to be a boy, she sees the feminine in herself as a weakness.  Those of us who are TG but still in the closet can certainly understand the constant stress of hiding one's true self.  Interestingly, a supporting character in the books, Lady Dela, is a out transwoman, who is a member of the imperial court, and came as part of a tribute or gift from the leader of her lands.  Although the author is Australian, Lady Dela seems to be modeled after the Native American "two-spirit" transwomen who in some tribes were considered magical, like medicine men.  I found her form of transgendered living interesting.  She obviously identified as a woman and preferred to be seen as such, but when needed, she "disguised" herself as a man, and used her male strengths to her advantage.  The complications her gender brings to matters of love is written with a poignant authenticity.

The story is not particularly original for Asian fantasy world adventures, but it is mostly an interesting and pretty quick read.  The quality of the writing isn't great, but it's ok for the Young Adult category.  There's a surprising amount of graphic violence for the category, but maybe I'm just out of touch with current standards.  It didn't seem particularly gratuitous, so I wasn't particularly bothered, just surprised in places.

My overall recommendation is to get it if you are into asian-inflected fantasy.  If you aren't sure, it's at least worth a trip to the library to read through a little bit before deciding.

--

Thanks to Sally at Bibrary Book Lust for bringing this series to my attention!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fashion weeks

Yohji Yamamoto Fall 2012 via Fashionista.com
I think it is currently Paris Fashion Week, following New York, London, and Milan recently, and as someone with a mild interest in fashion, I've been following some of the fashion blogs' pictures from all the different runways.  One of the things that has struck me is how many of the fashions almost require the female wearer to be quite flat in the bosom.  Now of course, other styles are just the opposite, but I have to admit that it makes me happy to know that if the hormones don't make me any bigger (I'm barely an A cup), I can still feel perfectly feminine.  Obviously this isn't news to the millions of smaller-chested cis-women out there, but to us transwomen, breasts tend to be one of the things we think of as necessary mental pointers to the casual observer that we are "plain ol' women" and not something else.  Now, I personally would love to have larger breasts (despite my wife's complaints that big ones are a huge pain in the .. well... back, actually).  But I guess what I'm saying in a jumbled poorly-edited way here, is that my desire for bigger breasts doesn't quite balance out the discomfort with medical procedures and doctors.  Maybe that will change as I get closer to transitioning and if I am frequently misread as male.  I don't know.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Therapy for a Transwoman, Part 1

For a while, I went to a therapist.  The cynical may think that I just went long enough to get diagnosed and get a recommendation for hormones, but that's not the truth.  I enjoyed those sessions.  I stopped because of a combination of changing insurance and also a feeling that I wasn't progressing in my transition anytime soon.  Not her fault, by the way, I wasn't ready to move forward in my transition, and I started to feel like a repetitive whiner at my sessions, going on about how much I needed to live more openly as a woman, but at the same time saying there's just no way I can do it right now.

I'm writing this because I've read a bunch of blog mentions of about psych therapy lately, both positive and negative, and just wanted to add my generally positive impression about it.  For me, there was almost nothing I said to my therapist that I couldn't have said to my wife, and probably already have at one point or another.  The cool thing about a good therapist though, is that you get a generally unbiased person to bounce your thoughts off of.  A reality check.  Also, a good therapist can help you focus on the big stuff rather than fiddling around the edges with minor details.  For example, I might launch into my latest plan to make transition smoother at work by doing it gradually, figuring out who to notify first, wear pantsuits at first, and so on.  She lets me blather on for a little bit but eventually asks the salient question: so when are you doing this, and what's your wife think?  [note: what your spouse thinks is not necessarily important to every transitions transsexual, but I had already indicated to my therapist that my spouse's approval was extremely important to me.]  She helped me with strategies to talk about my transsexuality with my wife - how to explain it in different ways in case the language itself was a stumbling block.

I think it helped. Though she's very intelligent and knew that transsexuality is an innate part of my psyche, she subconsciously held onto the idea that maybe I wasn't really transsexual, and maybe "just" a crossdresser.  [I put "just" in quotes because I do not believe crossdressing to be a diminutive or lesser form of transsexuality, but from my wife's perspective the crucial difference was between my wanting to be a woman physically rather than dress or look like one.]  She totally gets it now, and as I've posted before, is trying to come around to a point where she's willing to try seeing me as a female now and then, and hopefully progress to being comfortable with me looking womanly most of the time.  The therapist's part in this (she has not met or talked to my wife) was basically giving me the tools to understand what my wife was feeling underneath the words she was saying.

Anyway, as long as I'm still in a holding pattern, I don't really see much use in paying for therapy, but I'm pretty sure that once I restart the transition and have to deal with all the challenges that will come up, I'll want to start talking to my therapist again.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Splish Splash

A splash of color can certainly help pull a person (such as myself) up a little from the depths of a self-pitying depression.  Obviously, it's not a miracle cure, but as the bulbs in my front yard sense the warmth of spring approaching, little pops of color start jumping out of the mottled brownish background.  One of the things I tend to do when I'm in one of my moods is to do a lot of female-stuff window-shopping online.  Although we are doing ok, money is a little tight, so I seldom actually buy anything.  Besides, whenever I do, I end up feeling really guilty for spending money on something that rarely gets worn, and even more rarely gets out of the house.  Anyway, I was browsing again today, and at MyHabit, saw a pair of reddish men's-style flats in my size!  I haven't decided whether or not to get them, but it got me to thinking that even when I'm in public and in drab, I should add a pop of unexpected color just for the heck of it.  Plus these aren't bright fire-engine-red.  I've seen guys shoes close to this color - just not something I would normally wear.  But why the heck not?  It would probably get a slightly raised eyebrow from some of the people who know me, but not enough to actually give me away as trans just yet.  It's not so much for the excitement of possible somewhat-desired-but-feared-so-in-the-end-not-wanted discovery :-) as just as a little reminder to myself that I can either stay down in the dumps or grab each and every happy moment, no matter how small.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hate is the wrong word.

I don't hate my current body.  I've had some really great times and done wonderful things with it.  So hate is the wrong word to describe how I feel about it.  Not too strong a word, just the wrong word.

I am thinking about this because I have been seriously thinking about losing the testes - having a bilateral orchiectomy done.  As I was doing the research on it, I ran across some blog postings that referred to stopping their testerone poisoning.  Now, I don't want most of the testosterone being produced in my body, and I take drugs to block many of its effects, but I wouldn't characterize it as poisoning.  Then again, being in my mid-40's, maybe "T-poisoning" has affected my brain and I'm in a false state of denial.  Haha.  Seriously though, having a male body is obviously a major cause of mental stress and sometimes depression.  But, it's also a body that my wife likes to snuggle with, a body that has been a source of fun and protection to my kids, and a body I was happy to have when horsing around or playing ball with my friends.

I wish there were more stats on us transsexuals.  I am glad there are documentaries and tv talk shows about transsexuals who have SRS, because it slowly helps teach the public about us.  But, other than "shemale" porn stars, how often do we hear the stories of transwomen who decide to keep their penis?  At least for now, it's an important part of my relationship with my wife, so I intend to hang onto it for now.  Of course, politically speaking, that idea would scare the hell out of trans-allies in government.  It's one thing to support a transwoman who has no penis, but it's a completely different idea to support a cross-dressing pervert who has a penis that can be used to assault real women in their public bathrooms!  Do researchers on transsexuals purposely avoid us for similar reasons?

I'm not sure if I'll ever get SRS.  I have a lot of reasons that I'd like to. I want a female body to reflect my female brain patterns.  But also a few important reasons I won't for now.  Does that make my transsexuality any less real?  The narrative of those documentaries makes it seems as though SRS is the one thing that "cures" transsexuality by realigning body and mind.  They imply that feeling the need for SRS is the big marker for a real transsexual.  If you aren't willing to part with all your male bits, then you're just playing at being trans, or at best, maybe you belong somewhere else under the "transgender" umbrella.  Or maybe I'm just in one of my dark moods right now, and I'm not appreciating that making the public see transgenders as regular people requires temporarily disavowing the less mainstream-palatable members of our community.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Being seen today.

Well, unless something unexpected comes up, I will be entertaining a guest at my house this afternoon.  I as in my real, "Viv", self.  This person (non-TG) has seen me both male and female before, and has been supportive, but because of various busy-ness in each of our separate lives, we haven't really seen each other in a couple years now.  Well, my male self has had a few short chats, but that's about it.  So I'm nervous.  Viv hasn't been seen by anyone up close - no not that way, just friendly chat and snacks/drinks - in a really long time.  On the one hand, it's a good opportunity to work on my voice and everything, on the other I hate not already being naturally "presentable".  Anyway, I'm looking forward to it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Out of the cave.

I work from my home office, which is sort of a literal cave, being in the basement.  It's also a metaphorical cave, because aside from a few specific scheduled interactions, I don't like to leave the house much, and rarely see a lot of people at once, other than trips to the supermarket (but I just do my shopping and get out).  This is sort of a form of self-preservation while I am still un-transitioned, as I realized this past week when I was visiting Boston.  While my lovely wife was at her work, I spent the day working on my laptop while sitting in Boston's Quincy Market.  In the morning, it's fairly quiet, but after about 11am, there seems to be a constant flow of people moving around, having lunch, etc.  What's really cool for people-watchers is the enormous heterogeneity - folks of all ages, languages, nationalities, cultures, economic classes, reasons for being there, etc.  And of course, there are lots of women.  And I'm not one of them.  I guess it's sort of a mild jealousy, although I'd characterize it more as just wistful desire.  But wow, being around lots of women really sets off my gender dysphoria. I've been depressed for days now, and I'm back home and "safely" ensconced in my cave.  It'll pass, I think.  I just needed to vent.

Monday, February 6, 2012

passing naked

well, not actually naked.  i've been thinking alot lately about whether or not my face passes for a woman's when I'm not wearing makeup.  I'm pretty sure that if I'm dressed in total guy drab, no one will look at my face and say, "Why's that girl doing drag?"  What I want is to be recognized automatically as female when I'm dressed either completely femininely or even androgynously.  if you've read earlier posts, you know i'm still stealth and have not had any surgeries.  My hair is long, so that sort of helps, but there are plenty of guys with long hair.  If I "cheat" slightly and wear tinted lip balm to help my lips look smoother, make sure my eyebrows are brushed down, and have my hair in a feminine hairdo (nothing fancy, just high instead of low ponytail, or roughly french braided instead of my regular low braid, etc) I think I approach passability.  Maybe.  I really really need to work on my voice.  Definitely the hardest part.  What I need to do is make a playlist of just the few songs that help me sing in about the right register for my femme speaking voice and sing along over and over again.  Sadly, I thought I was doing ok with my speaking voice for a little while, but then I recorded myself and realized that with my eyes closed or over the phone, it would definitely be assumed male.  Bummer!  So I've been trying to do lots of recording/playback to make sure any progress I make is real and not just in my head.  :-)


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Annoyances!

Does anyone else (who hasn't had bottom surgery) find the trend toward panties with narrower crotches to be extremely annoying?  I'm really not well endowed in the guy genital department, but it's hard to keep tucked with many of the latest panty styles!  Surely it can't just annoy panty-wearers with "extra junk"... I mean, even if I had my bottom surgery or if I was a natal girl with a vagina, they're getting to the point where surely they must ride up, right?

On a separate note, as pretty as lace panties are, they sure annoy the heck out of those of us who tuck. :-(

Monday, January 30, 2012

Energy sapping stealth

I'm 44.  That means that for probably the last 36 years I have been conscious that my body's gender does not match the gender of my brain/thoughts/soul/self.  And, probably for the last three decades, I've known that at least some people are actually able to do something about that problem - to reconcile their body and mind, and to live publicly that way.  I can't.  Not yet.  I'm the one ultimately holding myself back.  I mean, yes there would be all kinds of consequences, some friends lost, some family estranged and so on.  But in the end it's my decision whether or not I'm brave enough to deal with all of that.  I can't blame anyone else for that.  I guess I haven't quite got up the courage yet.

In the meantime, it occupies my thoughts any time I am not actively thinking about something else and let my guard down. I have the fortune and misfortune of living in the same (relatively small) city as my 20-something kids as well as my parents.  Either are prone to drop by without much or any notice, and I'm unwilling to attempt to come up with an excuse to prevent that.  I mean, as long as they've known me, my house has been open to them any time of day or night.  Why should that suddenly change?  That would probably set off all kinds of alarm bells in their minds anyway.  Of course, that means even when I think I have a bit of time to put myself in a fully female frame of mind and state of dress, my heart is pounding and I mentally rehearse "escape routes" planned to scramble to a lockable room where I can quickly get re-dressed in drab, should I hear the front door lock turning.  That is tiring.  Getting ready to go to bed each night and waking up each morning looking in the mirror at sadly male visage is tiring.

But the point of this post is actually not to dwell on the negative.  When I pop those little estrogen pills or anti-andogens in my mouth, I get a little zap of happy energy.  I posted about Rocksmith a little while ago.  In those moments when I am 99% sure that I won't be interrupted, I can get a heck of a lot of positive energy rocking out as a girl - whether that means short skirts or tight shiny leggings, high boots or high heels (or both), etc.  That re-energizes me.  When I wake up early enough that no one else in my family would be awake for hours, much less consider driving over for whatever reason, I do my exercise routine in running tights or yoga pants and a sports bra or bra top.  That can often give me the positive mental energy to get me through another day of living in the wrong gender.  And, to be perfectly candid, I can also get a little boost of the positive when I take advantage of nights when my dear wife is out of town on business, and I can sleep and perhaps play with myself sexually, as a female.

So yes, it is tiring and hard to stay stealthed, and yes, I still think I'll eventually need to transition publicly for my continued (?) sanity :-).  But for now, I have ways to keep myself going.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Giggles

OK, most people wouldn't necessarily find the ad copy on this cute Hapiru dress to be particularly amusing.  But I don't often see the word "tucked", and being a transwoman, the word brings something to mind that is probably not what was intended.


Now, I happen to like this dress already, but hey, if it keeps my "imperfections" tucked and hidden, then I'm buying a closet-full of these miracle workers!  :-)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rocksmith rocks! Sometimes in miniskirts and stilettos.

I've decided to start using this as a more general archive of my thoughts rather than just the trans-related ones. I'll still keep my other non-trans-aware blog since I'm still not out to most people in my life yet, but I want to keep integrating more and more of my life, online and otherwise, with the eventuality of my living life out loud as a woman... hopefully.
So, I'm starting with my latest non-work obsession: learning to play the guitar with Rocksmith! Until my first kid came along in my second year of college, I was a serious amateur musician - mostly classical, and really good on the violin, decent on the viola and string bass, and fair on a few other instruments. But, other than just messing around for fun, I never really tried to learn to play the guitar. Just from vague familiarity, I can pick out tunes, but I never bothered to commit any chords to memory or practice my fingering, shifts, etc. As my musical tastes have broadened over the years, I've wanted to apply myself to learning the guitar, but didn't really want to commit to actual lessons with a teacher (because of my work ebb and flow, it's hard to know when I'll have time). Then this Christmas, along come Rocksmith. You probably know about the pretend-guitar games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, but those games, while fun, really had very little in common with actually playing a guitar other than maybe building up a little finger dexterity.

For me, this more or less can take the place of a guitar teacher, at least for the purposes of learning the basics.  HOWEVER, I would also say that is because I've had years of lessons in other instruments, and I am very familiar with how to practice to get better, and have a realistic idea of how much time it takes (lots).  If you've never played a musical instrument before, Rocksmith may be a little frustrating, and having a real teacher help you with hand positions and other things the game can't see, is strongly recommended (by me :-).

So my lovely wife got me Rocksmith and a pretty yellow Epiphone Les Paul Junior Limited Edition electric guitar for Christmas, and I've been having a blast with it ever since.  I think part of it is the nostalgia of learning a new instrument again like when I was a kid, but mostly it's just about making music.  Oh, and of course, now I have a reason to wear the various over-revealing tops and micro-miniskirts, etc that no woman of my age would remotely consider wearing in public...unless they were some kind of rock star!!!  hahaha   I'll put up a pic sometime soon - part of the fun of pretending to play a rock concert is the dress-up, right!?

Anyway, I'm amazed at the technology that allows the Xbox 360 to be able to tell what I'm playing with great accuracy, and while the menu system isn't the most intuitive, there is a lot of content and I can't imagine getting through the whole game without learning to play pretty comfortably.  Some reviewers have had issues with synchronization of the sound, video, and the physical act of playing, but with my setup at least, I haven't had those problems.