Saturday, January 27, 2024

Talking with a rare set of parents


I'm not going to say how I know this pair of parents.  But they have a trans child, and love that child unconditionally.  If I were to live my life over, I'd love to have parents like this couple.  (No, I'm not complaining about my parents.  But I'm not sure of how they would feel if I came out to them before I hit puberty.)

Chatting with this child's parents, I was pleased to find out that they were disenchanted with the parental support group that meets while their children socialize with other trans kids.  Why is this a good thing?  Well, they accept their child for who they are: Male, Female, or Bi-Gendered.  They do not ask why their child identifies differently than the gender they were assigned to at birth.  They simply focus on what's best for their child, instead of the image of what they thought their child would be as an adult.  Others in the parental support group have major difficulties in this area, as they are dealing with their grief of not having a child growing up in the way originally expected.

What father doesn't want to see his son grow up to be just like him (in good ways)?  What mother doesn't want her daughter to grow up just like her (in good ways)?  It's hard on many parents to find out that their child is transgender.  There is no roadmap for this.  Parents have to "wing it" and find their way on their own, as many friends and family will insist that "this is only a phase the child is going through" or "this can be fixed with the right instruction."  But it's not.  Most transgender children know that there is something different about them from an early age.

In our conversation, I noted that I could never talk to my parents about being trans, nor can I talk to my brother about this today.  Most of my friends know I am trans, but some of my long time friends (who I haven't seen in years) would go nuts if they found out about this part of me.  So I have to be very careful, unless I want to burn bridges that I don't yet want to burn.  Thankfully, this trans child will likely not have this problem going through life, thanks to the their parents.

As I said earlier - their child is lucky to have these people as parents, and I am very glad that I know them.

Friday, January 26, 2024

I'm surprised that I never heard about this man before


The other day, I attended a meetup at a local brewpub where a weekly trivia night was being held.  Given that I am transgender, I was very surprised that I didn't know about this man, NYPD Detective Ori Harbor.

Mr. Harbor is the first openly transgender detective in the NYC Police Department.  I guess that my ignorance was caused by two things: (1) I rarely watch the old-line broadcast networks anymore, and (2) I often take it for granted that the LGBT community gets to participate fully in social life in this area.  

I will admit that I live in a news bubble that skews to the left these days.  But then, the American right wing has gone so far off the rails with its form of Christian White Nationalism. As a result, I discard much of what they have to say because their media of choice uses fear to keep people in line and to keep its plutocratic leaders in power.  

- - - - - -

A while back, I started saying that the one thing a MAGA supporter fears most are law abiding black men with guns, as they can't be intimidated (as a group) by threats of violence.  I'm glad that I have to amend this slightly, as I can include the LGBT community in the group that can't be intimidated.  With groups such as the Pink Pistols out there, I have growing faith that we can survive this wave of hatred and oppression that MAGA stands for.


Thursday, January 25, 2024

The day after


In many ways, yesterday was a day which I needed assistance to get what I needed to do done.  Today was very different.  I had the freedom to do what I wanted - even if all I wanted to do was rest.  And rest I did.

- - - - - -

Yesterday was the end of a disrupted sleep cycle for me.  Today, I caught up on most of that sleep, not waking up until noon.  For many of us that would be a weekend luxury.  But for a retired person, one has the choice on when to sleep and when to be awake.  And I find that being awake well into the night allows me to enjoy the peace and quiet that only occurs on the graveyard shift.

When I finally got moving, I wasn't sure of whether I should go to the bank on co-op business or not.  I'm glad I put this off until tomorrow, as there was another check I had to get cut -and I didn't want to get dressed as Mario unless I didn't have to do so.  This allowed me even more free time before going to a trivia night meetup being held at a local brewpub.

Around 5:45 pm, I decided to get dressed to go to the brewpub.  Although the weather was cold outside, I decided to wear a comfortable dress and head off to Ossining.  I'd never been to the Sing Sing Kill brewpub before, and was pleasantly surprised to find it across the street from the local police station. Given that Spring street has been the dividing line between Ossining's nice and not so nice neighborhoods, it was nice to know that Ossining's government and businesses are working to make the village a better place to live.

At 7:00 pm, trivia night started.  By 8:00 pm, I was starting to feel tired.  None of the questions were in any of my strong fields of knowledge.  Even so, our group finished in second place.  I was glad to be out of there by 8:30 pm, and began to wake up while talking to TCL.  After I got home, I chatted with RQS, and then fell out for a while.  I guess it will take a little while longer until my body's circadian rhythm is back to my "normal".

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

I couldn't sleep, and I had a long day ahead of me


The above caricature seems fitting for today, as I had to go in for my colonoscopy today and then be awake enough to deal with a co-op board meeting.  Of course, I didn't get much sleep last night, so staying awake until I'm back home would be the most important thing on my mind.

- - - - - -

Around 6:00, I drank the last of the ghastly fluid, and I spent the next 2 hours treating myself like royalty - if you get what I mean.  And then I had the last liquid of the morning, as I wasn't allowed to have any fluids within 2 hours of my procedure.  Shortly afterward, I got myself ready to go to the hospital, and Vicki was waiting for me as scheduled.  She noted that it was a little bit of a surprise to see me as Mario today.  But then, she knows me in both modes, and part of her didn't realize that I'd have to present as Mario today.

Normally, I'd budget about 30 minutes to reach the hospital.  That's about how long it took, in spite of a few slow moving trucks that got in the way.  But we were there early, and that worked to our advantage, as I still had more paperwork to take care of when we got to the hospital.  And then it was upstairs to the floor where my procedure was to be performed.

Of course, my doctor was running late with other patients, and our expected procedure time was being delayed 30 minutes. Getting into my hospital gown, I realized that I'd be handing Vicki two of my most valuable things: my cellphone and wallet.  So I made sure to hand her these things before I packed my clothes into a small bag that would follow me into the procedure room and then to the recovery room.  At this point, I was "in for a penny, and in for a pound."  Any ambivalence I might have had became meaningless, as I was committed for the next 2-3 hours.

By the time the doctor was able to get around to me, he was an hour behind schedule.  Vicki noted that the doc looked like a famous singer - and I agreed with her.  Soon, I was whisked away to the procedure room, and was unconscious a few minutes later.  When I regained consciousness, I wasn't groggy, but I knew I was off.  Having Vicki with me gave me the confidence that nothing would be missed when the doc came to tell me what he found - nothing to worry about, but tissues were being sent to the lab just to be safe. Soon, I was dressed and ready to go.  Vicki and I went to the local diner where we both ate more than we should have.  The food was good, and well worth the extra calories.  And then I was dropped off at my apartment, where I'd spend the rest of the day.

- - - - - -

Once home, I took a nap, and woke up just in time to start the co-op zoom meeting.  It was a struggle to stay awake, as I was still recovering from both a lack of sleep and being anesthetized,  But I made it through the meeting, and was ready to go back to sleep once I finished my dinner....

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

The day before, counting down the hours


Today was one of the two days I dreaded this week; this was the day I had to start my prep for my colonoscopy.  And the "fun" began when I had to think about what my last solid meal would be and that I didn't have any yellow Jello in the house as I thought I had.

One of the "pleasures" of the day involve having a light meal before noon.  Given that one should have avoided vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds for two days before the procedure, this limits a person to meals high on protein.  (I wonder how my niece, a vegetarian would deal with this limitation.)  On the day before the procedure, one stops eating solid food and starts consuming both laxatives and fluids to purge the remaining "stuff" from the colon in advance of the procedure.  Given that I hate to wake up early, I knew that I had to do so in order to have something to eat before the noon deadline.

Two hours after the last meal comes the laxatives.  And you can guess what's coming next.  Another three hours go by, and then I start drinking some ghastly fluid geared to keep this queen on her throne as much as possible.  If I had my way, I'd have already started to feast on a huge steak.  But I'm following doctor's orders, and putting up with a little bit of hunger for the evening.  (I can only imagine how I'll be feeling once the procedure is completed tomorrow afternoon.)

Hopefully, I'll be able to go to sleep a bit early tonight, so that I can wake up early and finish off the remaining 32 ounces of the ghastly fluid.  

More on this tomorrow....

Monday, January 22, 2024

A woman's work is never done - A short post


Tonight, I left RQS to take care of things at home.  But I notice one thing about her: She's always trying to take care of the little things that I'll let sit for a while. As much as I am grateful for this, I also wish that she could put down her burdens for a while and relax a little.  And this got me thinking....

How much of what could be perceived as male laziness around the house can be attributed to women taking on responsibilities too quickly?

A while back, RQS had a situation where her brother should have stepped up and taken on some responsibilities on his own.  (I won't go into details here.)  He didn't step up, and she had to take on the bulk of these responsibilities.  What would have happened had she not stepped up?  Chaos to say the least. Why do women let men get away with this?

- - - - - -

Years ago, a Jewish woman and I had a conversation regarding the roles of men and women in the faith. One of the prayers that the men chant has a phrase that thanks god for not being born as women.  They recognized the role of women in the family, yet treated women as if they are subordinate.  What lazy bums!!!!  Shouldn't the men be taking on more responsibility to make their women's lives easier?  Instead, they seem to be giving thanks to be allowed to be deadbeats.

Similar attitudes can be found in many faiths and cultures.  And having been raised as a male, I absorbed some of these values when young, and have had to work to erase the dysfunctional subset of values from my belief system.  Yet I wonder: Why don't more women just say NO and let the system that enslaves them fall apart?

Sunday, January 21, 2024

America gets the government it wants to pay for


Today's post will be short and sweet.  Around 10:45 am, I called Social Security to see about having Federal Taxes withheld from my monthly payments.  One problem - they do not have enough staff available to man their phone lines.  As a result, people can be kept on hold for over an hour.

Normally, I would find waiting 60+ minutes to reach a human inexcusable.  At least, SSA has a system where they will call a person back on the same number from which they made the original call.  Yet, I find this a little off-putting, and quite understandable given how many Americans think of the role of government and its funding.  

Americans like to think that we can get good things by paying prices for items that "fall off the back of the truck."  This helps to explain why government does so many things and does them in a half-assed way. It is much easier to say that we fund a wide range of services than to say that we fund none of them particularly well.  For example, let's talk about Social Security.  We charge employers and employees 7.5% of each employee's salary to fund future retirement benefits.  Yet, by 2040, the Social Security Trust Fund will run out of money, and benefits will need to be cut by 20%.  Instead of explaining to the public that longer lives require that we put more into the trust fund to pay for longer retirements, we keep passing the buck into the future as if we will get something for nothing.  So, we will likely find ourselves getting benefit cuts when we need them most.

At the end of WW2, the United States found itself as the dominant super power.  We invested in global military superiority for the sake of our prosperity - by fostering peaceful trade with our currency being the world's exchange standard, we could buy things cheaper than if another country's currency was the exchange standard of choice.  Yes, we made the mistake of exporting production to countries where labor was cheaper than in the US.  But we were able to maintain a standard of living as long as the domestic job market kept growing.  Unfortunately, it did - but in ways that didn't benefit the American worker.  Part time jobs without benefits became the norm, and both our government and its citizens started living on credit.

Sooner or later, we will have to pay the bill for borrowing more than we can afford.  Hopefully, our children and grandchildren will be able to do so.

An early dinner with a friend

  Last night, I mentioned to Pat that I wish I could have been born a cisgender female who looked like this when younger.  If I were younger...