Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pop Finds Pop Nutritious? Orly? Yarly.

Okay, I have to admit, there's a little part of me that is probably just wondering where youth went and how long I can cling. Of course, as I've always said, I turned 30 at age 12, and will probably remain 30 for the next 20 years at least (I'm 31). My personal perception of time has always been a little wonky, and I suspect that things are only going to get worse in transition.

But, so help me, I'm weirdly enraptured by the dance clubbing scene. The DJs (Tiesto, Oakenfield), the new performer-starlets (Katy Perry, Lady GaGa, and the like), and the veteran acts who against the odds keep hurtling themselves forward while being hungrily devoured by the others (Madonna, Tori Amos, and Peter Gabriel all come to mind), there's so much performance and production art -- some of it absurdly rich and noteworthy, some of it gallingly puerile -- being generated. I can't help but want in. It's peculiar, really, as it's so completely not the sort of thing I've ever participated in; my personal practice of "performance art" has pretty much always been extremely cerebral and traditional.

Actually, that does provoke a few suppositions. I have always been self-effacing in performance. I think authenticity has been exceptionally difficult for me, as Rachel has been crushed-away and silent for the last two decades. To perform authentically, to be present and genuine, has been crazy hard. I'd compare it to trying to walk on a half-thawed river: the first couple of steps seem steady, but then the "ground" wobbles and shivers, and as arms windmill everything shatters and I'm gone -- swept away downstream. And even if I manage to dance across through some sudden, superhuman dexterity, I'm shaken and unnerved, chilled, and the space I've crossed is a broken, slushy mess. That's what comes of pretending so hard to be what we aren't that we forget we aren't; burned bridges and scorched earth.

Monday, March 30, 2009


I think -- at least until I'm once again gainfully employed and no longer filling weekday afternoons with baby urp, naps, clicking on things and cursing iTunes (SO. MUCH. H8.) (I still love my iPhone, though) -- that perhaps Rachel should get a twitter account. Because, you see, pretty much everything I think of to post, during the daytime, is one-liner tidbits of context-setting banality. nice-ish, and necessary, but kinda tedious to build an interesting blog out of.

Of course, that's even sillier, really, when one considers that I'd have, oh, zero followers. Oh well.

Getting things done?

Well, let's see. I just finished securing a developer key for my XO, and am about to set-up an Xubuntu image for it. I also just replied to a nice lady from A Very Large And Attractive Company about securing employment therein. Technically, following-up on that lead was "the one thing I wanted to accomplish" yesterday. Better late than never, I suppose.

I'm not entirely certain why, but modern electro-pop-trance-dance music has been quite intricately bound-up in my memory of this past year of transition preparation (pre-transition? transition preamble? I wish I had a more precise and descriptive phrase ...). Nothing much more to say, there, right now, but it bears saying.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Now what?

My wife and daughter are sweeping leaves in the side yard, after scraping-out the silted-up drainage grooves in our lean-to of a garage. A cold, sunny San Francisco spring day is drawing to a close, and the beautiful, sleeping 4-month old boy on my lap has prevented me from effecting the merest hint of dinner preparations. When the yard workers come in from their labors demanding a meal, boy am I ever gonna catch it.

Oh well. They'll just wake-up my excuse :)

I had this tiny (well, 16lbs.; not so tiny, really, any more) marvel with me at a therapy session a couple of days ago, and I found myself saying to him, as I gazed with wonder into his eyes, "can you believe that when I learned you'd be coming, I almost lost my mind?" Then I teared-up and held him for a good long while, as he grumbled sleepily. It was such a shock, how unimaginably distant that person seems.

I've been thinking a lot, lately, about what I would like to accomplish with this blog. To date, I don't think I have much of anything in the way of readership, beyond one kind comment, and I'll admit that's something I would like to change. I have a private journal for when I simply must articulate something in text that's not for public consumption, and I do make use of it. Even still, I want to share this: I want to share the experiences I'm having with people who can appreciate them.

I don't think I'm at a point where it's feasible, in the next year or so, to get to an IFGE event or Southern Comfort, which would allow for some networking and friendship-founding. This is frustrating.

Also frustrating is the sudden re-entrance of the four-year-old onto the scene, screaming bloody murder about a previously confiscated Hello Kitty charm (US$1 out of a capsule machine). When it's being used to forcibly enlarge the infant's nostrils in the back seat, the toy goes away. The sense of this, sadly, is lost on her. Argh.

... and now, with the two laborers respectively cajoled and released off to the bathroom for a much-needed shower, I've entirely forgotten what on earth I was saying. Oh, yes, what I want to accomplish here, and not being able to network in person. Hm. Well, the short, short version is "I don't really know what I'm trying to accomplish, just yet -- can you tell? I seem to just be writing whenever talking is desired but unavailable." Anyhow. I suppose it's time to rejoin this blissful tide of banality (and continue to beat my head against the brick wall of a determined, overtired preschooler's ire). Perhaps I'll edit this post into something more coherent, later.


(at the end of January, 2009)

A fair amount of time has passed since last I wrote -- either here or elsewhere. A fair amount of life has occurred.

My son. My son is here.

He was born, beautiful, marvelous, late in November, and began changing lives.

Amazing tiny marvel in my arms, I often find that I can do little more than coo and murmur and smile as I struggle to salvage enough scraps of my eroded literacy to satisfactorily describe the delight and awe that keep flooding through me.

I am beginning and planning a transition; I am dicing with a vindictive fire, and playing in deadly earnest with my world in the ante; I am sleep deprived and impatient and fearful and resolute.

But each time I hear him draw a sweet little breath, each glimpse I catch of his tiny feet, I wonder what fear is. I kiss his downy hair and everything is happening as it should and must. As I cradle him and he stares at me, I table the dice and let the ****** burn.

For it's a drug, and I'm hopelessly addicted. I love this child. I, Rachel love this child. There is no burden of years of earnest, striving quasi-fatherhood to reconcile, no nomenclature to set aside. I accept myself from the beginning as both his father and his mother, and I understand myself as his mother. Whereas precisely six months ago, the idea of being father to my son terrified me, today in my heart I am his mother, and his Daddy, and I know he knows who I am, and I am at peace.

Sure, it's a thorny peace, with a high-energy 4-year-old, an exhausted-and-confused co-parent, a frustrating day job, and precious few full nights of sleep. But those are my beloved family who love me, and that is my life, and I cannot and would not change things.

Okay, maybe my daughter could be a little less bouncy after 8pm.


(2 months later)

I had this tiny (well, 16lbs.; not so tiny, really, any more) marvel with me at a therapy session a couple of days ago, and I found myself saying to him, as I gazed with wonder into his eyes, "can you believe that when I learned you'd be coming, I very nearly lost my mind?" Then I teared-up and held him for a good long while, as he grumbled sleepily. It was such a shock, how unimaginably distant that person seems.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Whistling in the dark!

On the whole, I'm struck by how sweepingly gnostic the process of transition is. Dreadfully little seems to be intellectually communicatable - we seem to reinvent wheels with excruciating regularity.

Perhaps we would be better-off with a collection of koans. Something similar to the AI Koans is what first comes to mind, although they're perhaps a little too narrow and strictly humorous. Still, really, who doesn't need a little more humor injected into this process, hmm?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Feeling a bit chatty

Things my daughter and I did this weekend:

  • I introduced her to TMBG. Win.
  • She found a pair of shears and shortened her [own] bangs.
  • She continued, and took several of her bangs clean off.
  • She continued, and took off most of her side locks.
  • She came out to see us, engendering shock and mildly hysterical laughter.
  • I took her to get the rest of her hair cut. She is now me at age 4. Different plumbing, of course, and wearing considerably more pink. It’s moderately disturbing.

Kinda cute, though. I really need to get my parents' old photo albums from the 80s scanned so that I can do some comparative photo spreads.

Not yet time to buy the 4-year-old headphones, no.

I introduced both children to They Might Be Giants, this weekend. Oh, dear lord, it's all over. I have never - ever - seen my children dance like that. Oh, fine, okay, the boy's only four months old, and I made him dance, but he LOVED it. And little girl of inexhaustible energy sang herself to sleep tonight with "Mammal" from Apollo 18. And couldn't stop busting-out with "SPAAIIIDAHHH ... He's our HERO ... AWWWWWwwwwww ...". Which, okay, was actually seriously disturbing a couple of times, especially in public.

I do sorta want to try to get her into some Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel, or maybe just Paul Simon, but it may be a lost cause. I'll settle for these Johns Most Eclectic, for now; it's a perfectly good start.

And, in closing, I have rediscovered tonight how much I really really enjoy Tears for Fears, even the annoying stuff. [brief rant deleted because hey, pointless negativity isn't really relevant, now, is it?] Ayup.

That is all.

No, really. It's great to be back writing to the disinterested Googlebots, and all, but it's Monday already. Oh, wait, I don't have a job to go to. Huh. Kingdom of Loathing time? Hmm.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I really, really have to wonder: what sort of representation do trans women have at BlogHer? Anyone? Beuller? I mean -- and I'm not being dismissive here -- MommyBloggers have carved-out a niche, there, and are a similarly genre-fied subgroup of "obligate" bloggers. Why should transition blogs be necessarily so much different? The lifecycle is rather similar, and I'm hardly the first to observe how transition is an awful lot like giving birth to oneself, right down to the hormonal confusion, betrayal by one's body, and periods of excruciating physical pain in a medicalized setting. Why shouldn't we trans women fill-out a similar niche?

And hey, those of us with small children can do double duty! I can already see the session title: TransMommyBlogging As A Radical Act ...

Okay, so I can dream, can't I? But really, I do wonder. Maybe I should just go this year and see. Hrm.


It’s been a very long time since I’ve written. I’ve had my hands full with living. A newborn in the household is probably all the excuse I really need, but there’s also been the experience of, after nearly nine years with a company, being laid-off. Whee. Why didn’t I do that last one three years ago and get it over with? Oh well.

Many things have come together and begun to make sense. Many more questions have opened-up. A few things have fallen-apart entirely. I suppose this is all normal, really, for any such suite of colossal life changes, but that fails to lessen the impact. There has been no time, no energy, and too little sleep. There have been no mute crises to voice, no burning questions to articulate, so there have been no words. And so there has been no writing. Only living, getting through each day alive and awake, and talking. So much talking!

It’s marvelous to be able to speak freely to my wife, now. Challenging, too, but no less of a marvel. Closing the yawning breach from six months of silently growing apart is hard, and I had begun to wonder if for us it might be impossible. I’m glad it’s not.

But now … now I’m beginning to feel the need to capture thoughts, again. I’m beginning to unfold, and I’m finding all manner of interesting details lost within the creases.

It’s dreadfully tempting to draw-out the paper metaphor a little: I’ve always had a peculiar philological love for the word ‘palimpsest’, and so it delights me to find it so apt. Certainly in most aspects transition (for me) is a process of completing the last chapters of Part I, then beginning Part II. Yet there are numerous ways in which it feels rather as if I am rubbing-out the older, irrelevant text in order to reinscribe this dirty, worn — yet irreplaceable and thus priceless — vellum with these sacred verses, newly translated from their cryptic forms of antiquity.

Hah. I wonder how many transitioning transsexuals have come upon that particular analogy, before, and thought themselves ever so clever. Ah, well. I’ve given up striving for novelty (or so I like to claim); to comport myself with grace is my remaining hope. And if I really mean that, perhaps I should get a little less enraptured of my own florid prose, hmm? As if.

But really, wasn’t I posting to capture a few thoughts that might otherwise float off and be forgotten? Wasn’t there some fragment of an idea that needed articulation, maybe a little exposition? Oh, yes, that’s it:

I wonder if, some years hence, I’ll note the birth of my son — and the coincidental internal transformations, as I began to pare and revise my wardrobe and care so much more about my deportment — as the point at which I ceased to lose socks.

Seriously. I haven’t lost a sock in the laundry since then. It’s a little bit creepy. Do the mad, vestokleptic demons that inhabit our washing machine also suffer from severe transphobia? Have I somehow miraculously exorcised them? I don’t think so. I’m still losing my son’s socks, left and right, so there must be some other mechanism at work. Go figure.