Wednesday, 25 February 2009

More political idiocy regarding censorship and the internet

Internet censorship, filtering, or blocking is wrong, period!

There were two articles today on The Register that got me annoyed:
There are three simple reasons why I think this current push for censorship is wrong:
  • It is impossible to block everything that seems to be covered by the crazy legislation and any attempt will fail and have a detrimental effect on the service provided by ISPs for all customers. Seriously, this just can't be done, don't even bother trying and use the money in some more constructive way.
  • It is inconcievable that an organisation that can objectively assess content could be created. There will always be political, religious, or other personal bias in any assessment. This is also an unavoidable fact and the only solution is to not allow anyone to meddle with the free flow of content.
  • It is very clearly wrong to do something that is illegal (excepting that grey area where laws may be dubiously applied or questionable themselves). However, people should be at liberty to *think* anything they wish and by extension (I know this is a bit of a leap) to express this in words, pictures, sound, or anyway so long as no illegal act is commited in this process.
The last point is probably the most contentious, I would guess that most reasonable people would accept the first two as likely correct even if they may still believe, naively, that there are solutions.

I think the key thing is that censorship is a slippery slope towards criminalising thoughts and ideas. While you may find something that someone wrote, drew, generated on a computer or produced in some other harmless (i.e. no-one was hurt, abused or taken advantage of) way, totally abhorent I don't see a reason to prevent this act alone.

People do have 'illegal' thoughts, you cannot control that, well not in a morally acceptable way. People also depict illegal acts in writing, pictures and even sound - a simple example would be a horror film. We already have the crazy situation where, with the extreme porn law, you're actually allowed to participate in activities that are actually legal but which you can no longer photograph!

If the energy people waste on moral/polictal crusades of this nature was put to better use we could solve alot of the worlds problems overnight!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Where did you all go?!

I know it shouldn't matter but I do like to see my list of "followers" of my blog grow. It started with one or two and slowly passed the 10 mark and was, until yesterday sitting at 17 which I was quite pleased with!

Now it's dropped to 13! I've lost 4 people! WTF!?

Hmmm, don't think I said anything too controversial in the last few posts so no idea what is going on there!

Please come back, all is forgiven :D

Monday, 23 February 2009

Google Maps on C902

This is a quick gadgety newsflash!

While I was in London we wanted to search for tube times, buses, or something like that, so I said I'd just search on Google on my phone - the web browser on the C902 is pretty good and the online connection from O2 is fast and, with my contract (and loyalty bonus/discount) I have unlimited (usual fair use clause applies) access.

Anyway, I just clicked on the bookmark for Google and then maps and it offered to download the application to the phone, hmmm, sounds okay, might be neat, okay lets do that.

Having installed the app it then proceeded to triangulate the location of the phone to within about 1km!!!! Now that I didn't expect!

Yes, I know that the C902 can do this but when you get this phone from O2 they have stripped out all of the location services and when you try and access the configuration menu for this it complains that you need to attach a GPS device. So I didn't really think that a downloaded app would get all that stuff working but apparently it does!

So I had a good play with the searching and location service and I have to say I was really just so impressed - what a neat piece of technology!

My Dad ...

... spoke to me yesterday!

It was completely by accident really, I phoned home just to chat to my Mum about the weekend while I waited for the train back to Manchester. Instead of my Mum answering the phone (as has been usual) my Dad answered!

I was a bit taken aback and at the same time very happy!

We chatted about computers and work and all the usual things that we always did discuss. He sounded happy as well, and kept chatting. He did ask where I was (London) and why and I said I was down to see my specialist and also to see friends. The bit about the specialist didn't get any questions so I left it at that and talking about the opera and everything else.

It was such a wonderful conversation and my euphora lasted for about a minute after coming off the phone and then I started to wonder what was going on and how much my Dad knew. I also started to doubt whether I'd got things wrong and that we had been talking all along (that's certainly what it felt like) which was really disorientating.

I was reassured by a quick chat with a friend and, when I got back, I had a talk with my Mum and it seems that she is only filtering bits and pieces to my Dad. He apparently can't deal with the whole trans thing and simply is ignoring it and doesn't want to know.

I think this sounds a bit better than him ignoring me so I guess I could try and keep communication going but without actually seeing him, e.g. e-mail/phone/etc. Then maybe gradually he'll get to deal with it more. It's going to be a slow process, but at least it's a process!

Not sure about this new outfit ...

You can find all sorts of things when you hit the charity shops. I was introduced to shopping for clothes this way by Deborah and so far I've always managed to find things that are quite impressive in terms of labels, condition, cost, etc.

I wasn't really convinced at first as I've always been a bit of a snob and maybe just not adventurous enough, but in the current economic climate and my situation it seems like a good move. Also every charity shop excursion so far has turned up clothes that I've really liked and have worn so it's clearly a successful way to shop!

Anyway, I spotted this outfit on Saturday and something about it just grabbed my attention and I had to get it! The size of the jacket/skirt was just right and well it just seemed too good to miss ... however I'm really not sure it's me nor have I any idea when I am going to get to wear it!
Certainly it's different to everything else I wear and it's going to need a bit of tweaking to get the right look - for example I'm not sure about those boots with it! Hmmm, definitely not my normal attire, really not sure about this at all!

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Hormones ...

... more of them in fact!

Bit of a mix up with my test results - they didn't include a testosterone count which means that it's difficult to know if my levels are completely right. However, the value of 253 for the estrogren isn't as high as it needs to be, around 400 is more like it.

So, I'm now on two patches! The extra one is half the dosage, so in total I'm on 150micrograms/24hrs. My levels will be checked again in 3 months and then I may still need anti-androgens or possibly the hormones will have done the trick.

I guess it's just a fairly slow process to get levels correct and it is a little frustrating in some ways. Then again, I am getting some of the beneficial effects of the estrogen already (on the old dose) so my body is responding which is a good thing. The anti-androgens are apparently for stopping the testosterone and do not in anyway contribute to feminisation - that's what the estrogen does. Potentially the testosterone may reduce to the right level with just the patches alone and more pills won't be needed, which will be good.

Anyway, I'll see how the extra estrogen effects me over the coming weeks - could be 'fun'.

More pictures from the weekend ...

Saturday, 21 February 2009

A night at the Opera

First, apologies for the pic quality, the C902 phone I have has an LED flash. However it also has PhotoFix - the original of this pic was much worse! Anyway Deborah has much clearer pic on her camera, will upload when I can.
So this is me at Madame Butterfly in which our mutual friend Sue was performing in the chorus.
It was a good night and a great introduction to a bit of culture!
Will write more about the weekend when I have a keyboard and more pics.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Chorley FM ...

... apparently not 'coming in your ears' as Peter Kay said. Saw this in the underpass at the station and thought I'd post this for Lana as we were talking about this very topic!

London bound again

I'm on my way down to London again for another check-up appointment with Dr Curtis. This is the 3rd trip down and I guess I'm feeling pretty blase about it all since I'm so use to the journey and the experience of seeing a specialist.

There is probably more to discuss this time though and I think at this point the reality of what I'm doing is setting in and the hormones are, as I've mentioned, having mental as well as the physiological effects. I think a friend put it best when she said that I'll be feeling like I need to find myself, another also commented about the sense of a loss of control. I think the only other thought that I would add to this is the desire to be close to someone, a longing for the company of friends to talk to as well as someone special to be there to care about me and who I want to care for.

Hmm, there was an awful lot of flowery/poetic language in that last paragraph, will try not to make a habit of it!

Anyway, I'm actually sat on the train looking like a proper geek at the moment being as I'm connected to the internet via the 3G broadband dongle and I'm also doing some work (though this is rather slow going as it takes ages for the code I'm working on to compile, run, and then invariably fail requiring the whole process to be repeated!

But back to the mobile brodband: sometimes it's just nice to have some useful technology that just works, it makes the day just that little bit brighter :D

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Blood Test Results

I got my results from the blood test I had last week which are important given that it's the first check of my levels since starting hormones and will be used by Dr Curtis on Friday to figure out if I need more/less/different medication.

I can't say that I really understand all of the numbers but there is one thing worth bearing in mind; when I had my original tests done it was in my old name and gender and everything was 'normal', now it's the new me and everything is still 'normal' but that obviously means something completely different!

Obviously I need Dr Curtis to explain what all the numbers mean and whether there needs to be any changing in the hormones I'm taking (I am quite a high dose now anyway), but it does look like my levels have adjusted properly and this would explain what I have been going through over the past weeks/months. In some ways I hope I don't need any adjustments to what I'm taking as it's not entirely pleasant as it is!

I do feel quite good about the results and it's making me feel like this is more real - which is pretty scary and encouraging at the same time. I'm starting to feel that my body is (slowly) becoming more feminine, even if it is just small changes at the moment and there is still a long way to go. I think the more noticeable the change the better, in some ways, that I will feel.

It is beginning to dawn on me that this is really happening and that in itself is a strange feeling. I have done everything that I needed to to get to this point but I don't think I ever really believed it would happen. I guess I just thought that nothing much would change and that the tiny bits of sellotape I've been sticking to myself would have no affect.

Thinking about this I feel that I'm slowly changing what I do, how I dress, act, etc from something that is an act in a way, an imitation, to the real me. I guess I feel more justified to dress and be how I am now that there are actual physical/mental changes. I still worry about how I come across (so need to work on my voice, etc) but am now more relaxed in some ways because I feel less like I have to try to be something than I am that thing anyway ... just very new at it.

Hmmm, rambling now! More when I have something interesting/useful to say!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

"I'm going slighty mad" (sung to the Queen song of the same name)

I've never been really good at talking about in-depth things in an, erm, well, in-depth way. Careful analysis of the blog posts will reveal that they are essentially quite superficial and in some ways more of an escape than a reality.

In some ways I think this is ironic: I have spent alot of my life in denial and now that I'm living which should be my ideal reality I'm hiding from that as well. I think that really this is another one of those coping strategies: I really can't handle reality at all and need to have lots of things to distract me from the sheer horror of it all.

It's also difficult to tell what I'm going through because, as well as hiding as much of the 'crazy' from everyone else as is possible, I hide it from myself. It occurred to me tonight that in some ways the craziness in my head might have been an early clue as to the gender turmoil. I don't mean to imply that, as a rule, females should be in some way mentally unstable but that they 'think' more about things partly due to the fact that there are apparently more connections intra-hemisphere connections in a womans brain.

This may be psuedo-science (please someone correct me if it is) but my theory as to why I'm crazy is that I have an over-active imagination that is partly caused by simply having so much stuff being triggered in my head - I can't just take things as they I, I imagine to the nth degree and this just causes so much to deal with. The only thing I can do is distract myself (hence the obsession with computers and similar - I am a geek, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I *have* to be like that to stay sane).

I think the hormones and what I'm going through in my life and making this all worse. It's harder to keep a lid on the crazy stuff and I can no longer just carry on as if everything is normal and that I'm just happy go-lucky. I'm trying deperately to hold it together but I think the more I do that the harder it gets and the more the craziness leaks out.

It is even worse that I don't have someone special in my life to dump all this on. Though this is probably a very good thing for that person.

At the first stroke ...

... The time will be 08:06 according to the wall clock. My sister gave me this for Christmas and only just got round to putting in up with the help of my son (who knew all the numbers :-D). Anyway i think the clock is really cool and brightens the room.

Thursday, 12 February 2009


Something else that was said tonight was that my new identity had 'killed' the old me. That I still sounded like the old me but didn't look the same and was no longer 'me'.

I've just been thinking about this and I think it's one of the things that hurts the most. I am still 'me', I still thing about the same things, still have the same personality, still care in the same way. My new identity hasn't killed off the old - I'm still here, it's still me inside!!!

I know this may seem at odds with the fact that I am obviously different in many ways but it's still also a 'me' that feels the same about alot of things inside and it hurts to not have that recognised or acknowledged and to be treated like something evil and destructive.

Coping strategies

I've probably mentioned innumerable times that I am stupid, but I don't think anyone really takes me seriously on this, or if they do, the understand it to mean something different, e.g. that I'm not very clever which isn't really true, I *am* quite clever. I'm just incredibly 'stupid' at the same time.

I just spoke to B and she is very upset. One reason for this should be patently obvious: Valentines. It's not likely to be a happy time for anyone going through a break-up or living with the aftermath of one. Sobbing on the phone has got to be one of the saddest sounds ever.

I should be distraught at the moment, I should be totally beside myself with sadness and the utter unfairness of not having a partner, family or any of those things I once had. I am all alone - which is a very sad thought - shouldn't I at least be a little bit angry with the world for this?

But I'm not like that. For the most part I just accept what is going on. I would dearly love to have everything back but I don't think about it since it just isn't that way. I'm really too stupid to see how hideously sad the whole situation is I'm just plodding on with my life because there is nothing that is going to fix any of this.

Someone may say that I'm being selfish and self-obsessed and that's why I don't feel sad or angry or anything like that. This would be a credible explanation if what I have was so much better than what I had. I got to lose so much and haven't replaced it with anything in return. I'm not living the life of Riley or anything like that and I've got no prospect of some magical happily ever after, completely the opposite.

But the bottom line is that I *AM* stupid. I am too stupid to fully understand the pain that I have caused others and myself and the full ramifications of the situation that I am in.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Lego ... (Legis, Legit, Legimus, Legitis, Legint) ... Snow

The above is a picture of my handy-work from today: finally got the Lego tidied up a bit and put into better/cleaner containers than the ones that had been up in my parents loft and then collecting dust in my flat for so long. For the curious the 'containers' are the pack of six draw dividers that I bought from Ikea yesterday - got several packs!

Anyway, the weather outside *did* seem fine and sunny and I just thought, after being in this morning sorting bits of plastic I thought it might be nice to get out on my bike and go for a little cycle around with my son. Is isn't meant to be one of my weekends but I thought there was no harm in asking. Seems he liked the idea so we met up at our local park.

Sadly the cycling didn't last long; he was very tired, it was cold and then it started to snow quite heavily! So after maybe only 30mins I had to call his Mum so that she could come and pick him up and take him home. He did ask where I was going and if I'd fit in the car and I had to say no. B emphasised that I couldn't fit in the car and had to cycle home. That hurt quite a bit as I'd have liked nothing more than being able to spend some more time with my son. Life just sucks sometimes.

So I set off back home and realised that, while I love driving in snow, cycling isn't so much fun! Ended up with a rather cold face that was been attacked by driving snow! Was a nice little bit of exercise and more evidence (if it was needed) that I'm seriously out of condition - more jogging with the Wii is needed I think! Hmmm, waiting for the Wii exercise bike attachement!

Oh, and the Lego, Legis, Legit, etc - well that's Latin (there's a definition here on Wiktionary - no idea there was a Wiki for words!) and I always think of the present conjugation of the verb when I think of Lego ... yes, I'm a geek, sorry!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

New jacket for Lucy?

I was just going to email this to Lucy but frankly I'm too lazy to bother with the hassle of transferring the pic to the laptop! Anyway, saw this in River Island, reminded me of Lucy in her Shane look! Reminder to self: there was also a nice white shirt and grey waistcoat that I want in the same shop!


I shouldn't have done it and I feel terribly guilty now but I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later and in particular now when I am feeling a bit (understatement) self-concious and not happy with how I look/feel/am/etc.

I may have mentioned that my usual approach for dealing with people looking at me is to just let them look. Most only glance and then don't bother to look again, others do seem to need a longer look but, on the whole, don't seem to be doing this in a malicious way so I try not to make them feel uncomfortable and I look away so they have a chance to see that I am perfectly harmless and 'normal'.

There are some people that do stare too long and sometimes I will look back to kinda make a point or I'll mumble something to myself after they have passed - usually something derogatory; I reason that anyway who has to be rude and stare that long is either not a very nice person or stupid.

Anyway, I was feeling a bit self-concious today and also was doing things which have lots of 'old' memories associated with them; going to Ikea and the Chinese super-market (yeah I know, I have a bizarre memory for things). I had a few incidences of whispering and pointing in Ikea, and I stared back quite pointedly at one young guy since he seemed to be staring way too long. He did look away and Idid think that if he looked back I was going to pout or blow him a kiss or something but thankfully the occasion never arose.

Also noticed a bit of staring in the Chinese supermarket but also there was a guy there who acted in a very polite and well-mannered way so I guess that balanced out - and I wasn't in there long so didn't really let anything bother me. Oh I should say as well that there was a girl in Ikea who I asked for help to find something and she was really nice and helpful and even told me how to go against the direction of the arrows on the floor (I think the bizarre Ikea shopping experience deserves it's own blog post, if I go again I'll come up with more words on the subject).

Anyway, got to the Trafford Centre and felt a little on edge as the place seemed to be full of kids - and not the nice cute kind, the annoying teenage variety that seem to wander around in groups and act all tough/cocky/stupid. Actually there were some groups of kids who seemed to be quite young, maybe some were not even teenagers yet. I may be an over-protective parent but I wouldn't let my son wander around the Trafford Centre on his own, unsupervised like that!

Anyway, didn't get that much attention but to spot a few people staring and did try desperately to ignore it until finally a group of girls whispered, pointed, and then doubled-back to have another look and, as I turned to walk away from the window I was looking at I ran straight into a full on stare from this young girl. And I snapped.

"You shouldn't stare, it's not nice"

Not exactly witty and not really how I wanted to handle the situation. Also I think, of the group of three, she seemed to be the youngest (maybe 12 if that) and least childish. I think I probably scared her a bit by even saying something to her.

And it was wrong to snap. I know being trans means you have to deal with an awful lot and sometimes it does get too much and there are plenty of times when you really just want to turn round and make a comment, or shout, scream, or do something! But, I still think, if at all possible, you need to just try and be a good example. Screaming, shouting, and making a fuss isn't going to make any difference or if it does then it might be negative rather than doing some good.

Trying to carry on as normal is, I believe, the only way to go. Unfortunately that is an incredibly hard thing to do, though really it's just another piece of hell to throw into the whole trans life and relatively no different to everything else.

And I guess that is the lesson from today, even someone like me who is, as my friends will atest, infruiatingly understanding and calm about everything and everyone, even I can snap because really there is so much, for want of a better word, shit that you have to deal with. It's also worth bearing in mind that there isn't an 'easy' or 'lucky' way to go through this, it's hell no matter what, the only difference is how well you can hide all that from everyone else.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Transition tips

I was going to try and be smart and do numbered transition tips but frankly I'm not that organised (though I am much better with numbers than I am with names) and really my experiences and random useful (hopefully) information is scattered in a rather ad hoc fashion though-out this blog.

Anyway (I use that word alot), it's been a hectic week, work wise, and also from an emotional point of view as well I guess, and it's only with the clarity afforded by sitting down and relaxing with a few glasses of red wine that I can attempt to put something coherent down on, well, keyboard.

I think the lesson from this week is patience. I think I got myself feeling bad because I jumped from noticing some minor signs of development/progress to assuming that I should be completely there now and then seeing that I'm nowhere near! So that then made me feel bad and almost took me back to the beginning of how I felt.

Also at this point I started to have alot of doubts about what I am doing (I wasn't going to write about this but, red wine, feeling like writing lots to what the hell). It almost got to the point where I started considering just packing everything in. Some of these feelings are down to the fact that I am really begining to understand and feel what I have lost and am desperate to try and get it back.

I have said before that I had a home, a family, a partner, and essentially a life. I'm not sure that it is possible to convey in words how much it is possible to miss those things when they sound so simple; they are things that alot of people have. I think the only way that I deal with not having them is simply by not thinking about it. This is a bad approach. I say this from the comfort of my delusional (and wine enhanced) bubble, if I think about it just a fraction the pain is unbearable but might be something I should face rather than avoid.

I think doubts are to be expected and, as with everything I'm going through at the moment, patience and perspective are needed. I know that hormones won't make me into a woman, but I need the physical, and mental, changes to happen to help me see myself as I truly am (sorry, that sounds cliched). At the moment I'm seeing what is there at the moment and, objectively, that isn't anywhere near what I feel I should be.

The bottom line is that this is a long and diffcult process and nothing happens overnight. It's equally not as easy as it may look and there are lots of ups and downs. While everyone else may realise that sometimes it's easy to forget it yourself and end up feeling down, confused, and unsure how to go on.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

And ...

... she's back!

Had a brief IM chat to Lucy this morning! Pretty impressive to be back online so quickly ... though I guess it would be hard to keep me away from the internet after missing so many hours of online time!

She's reasonable comfortable (expecting the numb bum - sorry Lucy had to mention that) and in no real pain which sounds good (well amazing really!). Obviously still tired and didn't seem to the jump at the chance to update her own blog (bah!, no dedication lol) so a few more days before back to full strength and online presence.

Also apparently has to stay in the hospital bed for 5 days before being able to finally get up and move about. I suspect she will be going insane with boredom by then :D

Wish you a speedy recovery hun!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Lucy ...

... has had her op, which went well, and is now sleeping and starting the recovery process. Thanks to Del for letting me know. More updates as I get them.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Missing them terribly

Emotions seem to be sneaking up on me at the moment. It's all very well trying to put a brave face on things and carry on as normal but it still hurts.

I saw my son this weekend and he had to leave at 12 to go to a party, which was fine, not going to stand in the way of his social life. Didn't think anything of him leaving, it was just one of those things it's happened many weekends before. No real impact, just got on with things, until I opened the fridge and saw the cream cake that he was going to have but which we forgot about.

I know it sounds silly but something little and insignificant like that really did upset me and I suddenly missed him lots.

I'm missing my old life quite a bit at the moment. I miss having a home, partner, son, family and all those things that you're meant to have. I miss being there to look after B and my son. I guess the relationships between us all are getting better now but in some ways that just makes it worse as it's easier to see the good things without there being tension in the way.

I don't feel too well at the moment either, nothing serious but kind of dull headache and cold-like symptoms. I feel quite tired too - certainly this weekend I've had irregular sleep and have dozed off after reading a bedtime book with my son and then woken up about an hour later feeling quite disorientated. It's kind of a similar feeling to when I use to travel and would come back jet-lagged and fall asleep in my sons room.

The flat is cold also and that doesn't help, neither does the fact that I haven't got any proper exercise in ages. I just want some warmer weather or a warmer house (well a home is what I really want) just so I feel a bit more comfortable.

I best get to bed now, I'm up late tonight when I really just feel like falling into bed and sleeping ... but gotta get up early tomorrow.