February 28, 2007
So, I got to reading her blog, being curious about what it is like to go through the transition from being male to female. For reasons that are unknown to me, but are likely perfectly reasonable, I can't tell too much about Gwen, really.
I don't know what she did or was like when she was still "he." I don't know what happened with friends as she began the transition. I don't know how or when she came to the realization. I don't know a lot of stuff.
I'm a little bit interested in the actual medical aspects of the transition, like the electrolysis, hormone therapy and the like. I have lots of indiscreet curiosities about things like the redistribution of body fat and what not.
Her video from her holiday party is very cute. It's nice to see her so giddy about her dress and hair. (Jewel did do a great job and it looks like your hair is growing out well. Please don't do that perm again!)
But I am very curious about the social nuances about which Gwen is learning to be aware. I am not aware of all the characteristically male things I do, so what are they? How do women do them differently?
Perhaps it's because I'm a gay man, I have allotted some of my brainspace to fashion, make-up, and hair. I don't wear dresses. I don't wear make-up. I don't do hair. And yet, I have information in my brain about it. What the hell kind of blouse is Jessica Simpson wearing on the cover of Cosmo this month?
Did Gwen grow up like me, paying attention to these things, or is she learning them fairly recently?
I ask because it is fairly common for Male-to-Female transsexuals to pursue hyper-masculine behaviors prior to starting their transition. Many have had military careers or are body builders or other such things. The move to female can be very difficult for people who are very practiced at being male. How do they break the habit?
I wonder if Gwen has any gay guy friends who might help her with clothes and jewelry and the like. (Consider higher waisted dresses to offset the broadness of your shoulders. They'll help give you the illusion of having fuller hips.)
Being transgendered is completely alien to me.
I've seen a three or four transgendered women on the train since I started commuting from Astoria. There was one of them that I am pretty confident no one else on the train clocked. She looked like a million dollars. Tall, lithe, poised, and graceful. She was dressed very nicely. Sexy without being trampy. And I'm sure lots of straight guys on the train checked her out. I had to look very closely to put all the pieces together. How did she do that?
I have a lot of random, disorganized thoughts about transexuality. I don't have a pressing need to organize them, either, so it's hard to say where I was going with this post when I started it.
Mostly, I just wanted to say that I checked out Gwen's blog and wanted to give her some link love.
Well, the other night, I had a dream that I was standing in the living room talking to my roommate and he was holding a plate on which there was a green, clear ball. In the nature of dream things, it was a grape, a marble, and an odd egg. But it was rolling around on the plate and it rolled off the edge and started to fall to the floor.
In my dream, I lunged to catch the grape/marble/egg so that it wouldn't touch the floor and get dirty or break. (Forgetting, of course, that I'm perfectly capable of stopping or rewinding time in my dreams.) Well, in real life, I sat up in bed and lunged also with my hand extended to catch the falling object.
It was just funny to me that there was no perceived transition for me between my sleeping and waking state. I lunged in my dream just as I lunged in real life and suddenly I was awake with my hand extended out over the side of the bed as if to catch something.
It would have been even more freaky if I had actually caught something in real life.
My back is sore from coughing so much.
My throat is sore from coughing to much.
My head hurts.
I have a fever.
I'm not hungry.
February 27, 2007
Well, I have a website of the day calendar here at work and the website of the day is the Old Man of the Mountain scrapbook site that is maintained by the new Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation.
Apparently, there used to be this giant rock that had the appearance of a person's face and in 2003, it fell down. You'd think that would be the end of it, but no. The scrapbook site is dedicated to people writing sad notes about how much they miss this rock.
It's a rock. No one carved it to look that way. I don't imagine it looked like a person from other angles. It's just a rock, but you would think it was Michaelangelo's David or Bernini's Apollo and Daphne the way people act about the collapse of this rock.
Here's a favorite from the scrap book:
First off, let me start by saying that commenting on public affairs is not something I normally do. The discussion on the Old Man is something that to me is important and a sacred symbol of our state. Last year on a canoeing trip, I had the opportunity to show this state treasure to a person from another country.This was after already being on the road for several hours and looking forward to home. This added to the time by another couple of hours. I've seen the Old Man many times and suppose I was starting to take it for granted. Upon arriving I realized how unique our state symbol was. My friend was awestruck by him and it rekindled my pride in the Old Man. We must put it back. When this generation passes, our state symbol will be forgotten and a trivia answer without it. I want my daughter to be able to gaze upon it in her lifetime. She will know it has been fixed but her imagination will carry her to the same sense of awe my friend had upon seeing it. This is our state's identity and we must put it back for the generations to follow. God may have put it up and taken it down but he transferred ownership upon taking it down. Now it's up to us to return it to its glory. The old man is still there, he just needs to be put back together, in a sense.
Sincerely, J. G.
Really? Sacred symbol? Is there nothing else good about New Hampshire? Is there no other reason to go to that state?
And they want to spend more money tacking the rock back up? What the hell?
This rock is just like those grilled cheese sandwiches that look like Elvis on eBay or the footprint in a mudpuddle that looks like Imelda Marcos. I mean, who cares?
I have a cold today and this sort of thing is putting me in a foul mood toward my fellow man.
Please continue your mourning process.
February 26, 2007
It's clear: I have TB and I'm dying.
Goodbye, cruel world!!!
That's right, I am a silly person who actually thinks the cashier at McDonald's is in full command of at least an 8th grade education.
At the same time, this naivete leaves me gobsmacked when people like Jay Leno do their "Man on the Street" bits where commoners are asked simple questions and, to the amusement of the host and seemingly the audience, they return idiotic answers.
Apparently, idiocy is far more widespread and profound than I thought and I shouldn't give people so much credit.
I was reading over on the Scientific American blog:
28 percent [scientific] literacy means that 72 percent of Americans aren't literate enough to understand the average science story in a newspaper. But according to Duncan, it gets worse:
This level of science illiteracy may explain why over 40 percent of Americans do not believe in evolution and about 20 percent, when asked if the earth orbits the sun or vice versa, say it's the sun that does the orbiting--placing these people in the same camp as the Inquisition that punished Galileo almost 400 years ago.
Stop. 20% of Americans think that the sun revolves around the earth?
Oddly, the evolution thing doesn't surprise me since I was raised among redneck religious fanatics. I actually went to a school that taught Creationism for two years during my grade school education.
But revolves around the earth. Really? Seriously?
I wonder if these are people who just don't know or if these are people who vehemently insist on a geocentric view of the solar system.
That question is the concern that the author of that blog post brings up when he points out the error in the alarm expressed over these statistics.
I can't help but point out what I feel is a systematic error in his, and many other scientifically literate folks' thinking:
The equation of a lack of scientific literacy with religion, creationism, cultural conservatism, ignorance and a general hostility to science and technology.
[emphasis in the original]
Basically, just being ignorant of science isn't the same thing as being a religious whacko who is actively antagonistic toward reason, science, and technology. Although, this begs the question in my mind of what methodology are these people using in their lives to understand their environment.
I'm not ready to discuss at this moment his argument that those who oppose his view are not merely ignorant (lack knowledge of relevant facts) but stupid (willfully evading the facts), but I did want to express my astonishment that so many people are one or the other.
This means that if I walk into the subway after work and I start asking people about the revolution of the sun and earth, then about 20% of people will give me the wrong answer. That scares me.
My company has all these special task force teams to make sure that our servers know about the time change and don't mess anything up. They've emailed everyone instructions on how to make our computers and blackberries be ready for the change, but apparently that won't stop us from being barraged by updates of all of our meeting requests ever received.
I don't get it. Why is this such a problem?
We do Daylight Savings Time every single year. It's just on a new date this year. I guess I can kind of understand why this might be weird for a server, but why can't I just sent the time forward manually on my desktop? Why can't they do the same for the servers?
It's so weird.
I went to my local Chinese eatery last night and on my way I passed a girl who was hugging a South Park doll and cooing to it like it was a baby and I wanted to walk with her and listen to what she had to tell it. And then there were the 9/11 conspiracy theorists I spent time reading about on the internet. I even read that Popular Mechanics book about them. And then there are all the alternative religion folks, like scientologists and Hari Krishnas.
Well, thanks to Diana Hsieh I have a new group to read about: LaRouchits. (I prefer to name them without the final E.) Can I just ask one question? (Two.) How have I never heard of these people before?
Check it from the Washington Post article:
"This is from Plato; don't worry," Hamler says. "Let's say you have a square with an area of one, what are your sides going to be? That's right, one times one is one. Your area is one. Now, what I'm going to need you to do is double the area of the square. Physically, how could I produce a square with the area of two?"
A square where each side is two won't do. Its area would be four. "Once you investigate things like this, what you automatically run into is what is called the paradox," Hamler says. "You run into a problem that lies outside the way you are already thinking . . . You are going to have to think outside the way you were thinking to make this discovery, to make a breakthrough."
You could draw a square where each side is the square root of two -- but that number has an infinite decimal, with numerals stretching on forever. "How can you have a finite measurement?" Hamler asks. "How can you have a discrete side?"
So the problem can't be solved?
"No, it's doable," Hamler's friend chimes in. "There is a solution. But you are coming to see for yourself right now what happens when a system of thinking is, in itself, not adequate for the creation of something that you are looking for. When that's the case, if you are not willing to change the way you are thinking about it, you are screwed."
"That's what the baby boomers are, screwed," Hamler says.
I'm pretty sure Plato wasn't a COMPLETE idiot, so it really takes a crazy person to go down this road. It reminds me of those people who think that things don't have edges. (Long story.) Or the people who think the world is flat.
I just want to sit down and talk it out with them. I really want them to explain it all top to bottom. They could never do that, but that's what I want.
I think if I were heckled by those people, I wouldn't know what to say. I'd just be like, "I do not even understand what this person is talking about. It's English and it's grammatical, but that string of words makes no sense. Am I being heckled by Noam Chomsky?" Something like that.
It's just soooo... not here in reality with us.
But these people are scary because they hurt people, so I don't actually want to meet them. But if they could be like in a room and I could be on the other side of a two-way mirror while they give speeches or something. I might be interested in that.
I get on the train at the Broadway stop, which is the fourth stop from the last stop on the line, Ditmars. According to rumors from my friend who lives over there and gets on the train at the Ditmars stop, the train fills up there. Then, it goes to the Astoria stop where more people pack in. Then it goes to the next stop, I forget what it is, where more people pack in. Then it gets to the Broadway stop, where I pack in.
There are three, I think, stops after that before the train gets to Manhattan and at each stop, more people try to pack in. At some point, people seem to start trying to get a running start in order to jam into the train.
I am happy to announce that I am not yet with child, but I do expect to conceive before too many of these train rides. I do not expect to know the father.
At the Lexington stop, 75% of the people get off the train, though, without so much as a 'thank you' or a 'I'll call you.' This is because clearly all that before was just meaningless talk to get into my pants and break my heart and because the Lexington station is a place where you can change to lots of other trains.
I don't know what the solution is to this. I thought about just urinating on everyone around me to see if they move away, but I think it might be a better idea if MTA would just send more trains out to us in Queens. Of course, I think if they did that then it might lead people in the outer boroughs to the erroneous conclusion that they matter at all. That's just crazy talk right there.
February 24, 2007
I stole a few glances at him and recognized that I did not find him physically attractive, but deduced that he was probably also checking me out. I made a point to not let him see me looking at him. (Among us gays, allowing someone to see you checking them out is the first step in initiating a flirtation.)
I read my book while I waited.
When the train came, he got on my car and walked around as if to look for a seat, but returned to the front of the car and sat right next to me for the entire ride.
He didn't say anything, but he shifted nervously a little. Since we were in the little two-seater spot at the front, his every move took place against my hip. I continued to read my book.
I noticed him looking over my book and whatnot. When I got off, I noticed him watching me walk away from the train.
But not once did he even attempt to strike up a conversation on our 15 minute train ride together.
Fortunately, he didn't get off at my stop. That would have been too weird.
I think that if you were serious about a relationship, it is next to impossible, if not impossible, to make a successful friendship out of it. Some people do it and do it often. I have no idea how because it makes no sense to me and I've never ever been able to make it work.
Well, The Cuban and I (so called because he is actually Cuban. Well, he's American, but first generation from some Cubans.) went to dinner and we had a fun time.
So, he invited me out to drinks with him and his best friend.
When we dated, The Cuban and I had a great time. We laughed a lot. We did fun things. We got along great. And I met his friends and they all loved me, especially his best friend. So, going out for drinks with them was not a weird request.
So, I went.
Weeeellllll, one thing led to another and we wound up talking about getting back together.
Why did we break up in the first place? Because he's a Christian. I always check before going out with someone or on the first date to make sure they don't believe in any hoobie-joobie mumbo jumbo garbage. I do not have time for it in my life.
Well, The Cuban led me to believe, perhaps unintentionally, that he was agnostic. I will grudgingly accept an agnostic if all other factors are in place. But he's not agnostic. The man is Catholic. He just doesn't go to Church.
I didn't really figure this out until after we dated for about a month and a half.
I know, you're thinking, "How do you miss a crucifix around someone's neck for SIX weeks?"
I didn't miss it. He never took it off! But when I asked him if he believed in God, he responded saying that he isn't religious. When I asked him why he wears a replica of a corpse affixed to an ancient execution device, he told me it was a family thing. I don't talk about religion very much and I also tend to be rather trusting of people to be forthright with things, so I didn't probe very much.
But it bugged me and I did wind up asking more questions and he admitted that he is Christian.
I dated him for a little while longer after that, but decided I couldn't take it.
He's a nice guy. We get along great, but there's more to a relationship than laughs and physical attraction.
I started worrying about our kids. What will they think when one daddy tells them not to believe in made-up magic crap and the other one is hanging corpses around their necks and flinging water in their faces?
An it's merely my own restraint and a sense of common courtesy that keeps me from openly deriding people's religions every time I encounter it. I work with a lot of Jews and Catholics, too, so I'm VERY restrained.
As I told another friend of mine, when times get hard, I don't want a man who will fall to his knees and pray, I want a man who will stand up for himself and kick some ass.
And forget the hard times. What about the good times? How can I possibly talk to a Christian about some esoteric point of science or economics or ethics or epistemology when I can't even trust his intellectual methodology? It makes no sense! Physicists don't call up L. Ron Hubbard (Yes, I know he's dead.) to see what he thinks of their experiment results.
So, that's why I won't date Christians and why I broke up with The Cuban.
Well, when I saw him again, I remembered all the things I enjoyed about him, but the inner conflict came back. How can I date someone with a fundamentally different view of reality? What is the best possible outcome for a relationship like that?
Well, I concluded that I can't. So, last night, via IM we got into it again and this time it's over for good, I think.
If you're at all interested, an excerpt from our chat appears in the extended entry.
I can't even begin to list all the good lines.
February 21, 2007
Some petfood company or something has been giving out hats and doggie treats in front of Madison Square Garden recently apropos to the Westminster Dog Show that was held there recently. Well, one of my coworkers picked up one of their goodie bags and yesterday he and some of the other guys were goofing off and someone dared him to eat one of the bacon doggie treats, Schmackos.
Well, he freaked and was like, "No! Trey come here! I'll give you $5 to eat this doggie treat."
And I was like, "Ok. $5? How about if I just eat a bite or half of it. $5 is kind of cheap for a whole treat." They were kind of big.
But they all pitched in $5 and paid me $20 to eat two of the treats. So, I ate it.
They thought that was hilarious and started talking about eating other things and they offered me $100 to eat a can of wet cat food. I told them I would do that.
There was a brief bidding war with some other people offering to eat it for less, but the organizer was dead-set on seeing me eat it and I told him it would take $100 if he wanted me to promise to do it.
So, he got a bunch (20) of people to pay $5 each to come watch me eat it in the conference room. They paid up and I kept my word.
It was pretty gross. I only gagged a little once. Watch carefully around 1:25 and you'll see me heave a little. That was the one moment when I slipped and actually smelled what I was eating.
The flavor itself wasn't the worst in the world, though.
It kind of ruined my appetite for lunch, though, because I was full. No, I did not feel sick or get sick from it.
My boss was worried about liability and stuff, so he avoided being associated with it in any way.
For the record: cat food is not poisonous. I'm sure a steady diet of it is not ideal, but one is unlikely to die from eating one 5.5 oz can of cat food. I know this and that's why I was willing to take the money for it. Further, even if I were wrong about that, I am not the sort to hold my company liable for my foolish judgment.
So, for the record, should I die tonight from eating Friskies' Chicken and Tuna Dinner with Gravy, I want you to sue Friskies for making poison. but do not sue my boss of my company.
Yesterday, I ate two doggie treats for $20.
I just realized that my You Tube debut is of me eating cat food. Hmmmm... Stardom is looking slightly less glamorous than I had imagined. I wonder if this is how Jim Carey felt after The Mask.
The gravy was the worst. It was very salty.
The food itself was had the shape and texture of tofu that is made to be the shape and texture of meat. The flavor was similar to a mix of tuna and chicken.
I only gagged once and very slightly when I caught a whiff of it, but I held it in and finished the rest off with out any problems.
Update: Here's a reenactment from YouTube:
I've asked to do it before lunch so that I still have an appetite for my chicken pot pie afterward.
Although, this is chicken AND tuna... with Gravy! So, I might not need my pot pie after.
February 20, 2007
- Mae West
Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.
Keynes advocated government intervention in trade and centralized economies, so it comes as no surprise to me that he would say something so profoundly ignorant and idiotic as that.
That statement is not even close to what Capitalism is. I would restate the remark something like this:
Capitalism is the astounding principle that the greediest of people will work harder and harder to benefit themselves only to end up benefiting everyone else even more.
Still not QUITE true, but better still than that first bit of blather.
They're called "Schmackos" and they're made with real bacon. They do not taste like bacon, though. They're dry, salty, and have a very light, smokey flavor.
Update: Now, they're offering me $100 to eat a can of cat food. I told them to bring it in and I would think about it.
I had a fever. My throat was swollen and painful. The worst part was the headache I had, though.
Fortunately, late in the afternoon, it seemed that my fever broke and my appetite returned and I ate a little bit.
This morning, I'm up and around again. I still have chills and sweats a little bit, but my headache is gone and my throat isn't as swollen as yesterday. I'm even at the office although my coworkers may not regard that as a good thing.
Sadly, I don't have time for this sickness. I HAVE to go back to my new apartment and finish painting tonight. Tomorrow night I HAVE to pack my current apartment up because the movers will be there Thursday morning.
February 18, 2007
Meanwhile, I still have to paint my apartment.
Yesterday, I spent most of the day riding out to Long Island to Ikea and when I got to my apartment, some friends of my roommate's were crashed in my room and the power was out, so I didn't get any painting done yesterday.
Today, I made it out there and I started priming the walls, but I had to prime EVERYTHING. I got through about 95% of it but the trim is very slow work.
So, on top of not feeling up to snuff, I have to get up in the morning to work out with my trainer, go to work, and then head back out to Astoria to do some more painting.
The move is on Thursday, so I don't have a lot of time to screw around.
I should eat something, but I'm not hungry at all. I think I'm just going to go to bed.
According to Cardinal Edward Egan, Archbishop of New York, the city's massive condom giveaway is "tragic and misguided" and "the only way to protect against sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and AIDS is through abstinence before marriage and fidelity among married couples.
The reference is to this which isn't of much interest to me.
Does anyone else find it ironic that there is a whole army of celibate people out there going around issuing statements telling the rest of us what we should do about sex? Either these people are the most obnoxious, presumptuous busy-bodies ever or they are actually undercover gods of sarcasm. I prefer to think the latter.
I would like to dissent from the Cardinal's statement by proposing some other solutions, though:
- Stone all fornicators and infected persons.
- Stone adulterers, homosexuals, witches and sorcerers. (Look out Harry Potter, you agent of Darkness.)
- Castrate children who show signs of being infected by the Devil's philosophy of Death. And then throw stones at them.
- Charge scientists (but only the ones who denounce evolution as the Satanic lie it is) with inventing a way for people to make babies in fish tanks without any need for sexual contact at all. And then... wait for it... wait for it... burn people who have sex AKA sexmongers at the stake. (And then throw stones at them.)
- Restart the Inquisition to find the sexmongers. Arm them with stones, natch.
- Stone people who like to mind their own damn business on the grounds that they will stand in the way of the Inquisition.
- Stop with all this demonic electricity. Disenfranchise Black people, Jews, Gay men, Women, and non-landholding males and return to feudalism. Throw more stones.
That's just a start. Feel free to make more suggestions in comments.
The constant, lengthy, circuitous qualifications of every statement is frustrating.
Again, for reasons not clear even myself, I'm sitting here watching Meet the Press and Tony Snow is nit-picking with Tim Russert about incredibly inane points made in various, obscure press conferences and press statements made by people who seem to be otherwise people of little consequence. I think that's the definition of "blowhard."
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