Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Oh for pitty's sake...

SO I wrote about abuse, changes, and so forth back in March and how I'd taken deliberate steps to put some healthy distance between myself and other people. Two in particular. One of whom is my brother (In his word my only living blood relative) who has badly, or completely unmanahed bipolar disorder. Now I know, that in severe cases, it can result in numerous hospitalizations over a persons life and that it sucks. I get all that. I understand it makes it difficult, or even impossible for some of these afflicted people to see reality. I get that it means such things as delusions, paranoia, and so much more. Yes, it sucks.

My bro, he's just crazy enough to not be in a ward somewhere, but having him come all unglued and try and lay guilt trips and other tools of psych warfare on me? Sorry, that's too much. After a month of no contact with him, I started trying e-mail. Guess what happened? He's turned it in to the same kind of armed hostility BS the phone was. All because I called him on one of his many seriously crazy delusions.

As someone who, for reasons too many to list here, has been through the whole ID bit of late I know what a nightmare ID can be these days, especially if you don't have it. I know just how long and tedious a battle getting ID can be, even if you have most of your other papers in order. I've been there, done that, burned the T-Shirt. I'm something of an expert these days. Because of my late husband and his psychotic parents I had to change EVERYTHING, including my social security number and do it all in sealed court proceedings under the watchful eye of Homeland Security. Lucky me, Homeland Security has a file on me, not because of anything I've done, but because of the steps I had to take to protect myself from Earl's parents.

I'm told by Homeland Security and the Social Security folks that I'm the only person since that horrible day in 2001 who has managed to have her SSN legally changed.

How does this relate to my crazy brother you ask? Simple. He's been telling me for a while that there are so many things he can't do because he's lost his Social Security Card and Birth Certificate. He's put off doing anything about it for so long that he's in a catch-22 zone. Why? Because somehow, in this day and age, he doesn't have a current, valid photo ID with his current address, no bank accounts, no credit cards, nothing, not even a library card. So in ways, he doesn't exactly exist. He cannot get a photo ID without BC and Social Security card, but he can't get either one of those without a photo ID to prove he's him. Like I say, catch-22.

So he tried to convince me he just took a long trip to Minesota, Florida and the Virgin Islands. That cell service sucked down there so he couldn't call me, and didn't have access to the net to write me. His only blood relative. Mind you in one months time there's just NO way he could have fixed all the ID problems so that he could get on a plane, nor did he have a credit or debit card to even get his boarding pass. Plus, he's got the same cell service with the same carrier I do, and they support calling from the Virgin Islands with no trouble at all. Not even an extra charge. Trust me, I checked. He neglected to factor into his craziness that he couldn't have called me if his life depended on it because, after my last post on the subject in March I changed my number so he couldn't call me every day, sometimes three and four times, to drive me crazy with complete bullshit.

But I'm the horrible evil little bitch troll from hell because I called him on his delusions. And then he has the nerve to say he's a free citizen and I have no right to start all this crap with him. Yeah, right. I get it, I'm lower than pond scum, I'm the puss that feeds on the pond scum...

Give me a break, I mean really!

And he wonders why his only living relative would treat him like this.

Yeah, right... We live in a time and place where "Papers please" isn't a polite request, it's a demand to prove they have no immediate reason to ship you off to a camp somewhere. But he's a free citizen... Yeah, one that doesn't exist... With his scruffy beard and mustache and olive skin, even WITH ID he'd be subject to extra scrutiny, let alone a Wheelchair, "service dog" and all the rest of the crap and tons of meds he's on. Oh my god, it's a freakin nightmare!!!

I remember traveling with Earl back before real ID and TSA, he had connections into his body for dialysis and other problems, and that was a nightmare, let alone all of my brother's problems...

But hey, I'm the crazy one according to him....

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Changes, "Power" and life...

There is a mystique in and around the trans community that transition automatically means losing everyone in your life. Friends, family, co-workers, everyone. As more time passes I don't know that It's all the fault of the transitioner. As a group in a very general sense we spend a lifetime subjugating our own closest needs for those of the people around us. Eventually the pressure of our own needs drives us to address things closer to ourselves. Cthis is when everything changes, and the people aroundus see our own needs as uncharcteristically selfish.

Because we spent so many years so focused on others needs utterly out of balance, when we swing towards a more sustainable position it throws everything out of whack. Those around us who depended on our focus and apparent lack of needs are confronted with something cannot possibly really understand.

The outward signs are all clear, why to be sure It's nearly impossible to miss. I mean really, most people see NO reason to "change" gender, however what we are talking about is deeper than that. It's about "change" period. We are changing and It's way deeper than gender.

Human beings are, at worst, heard animals. At best, shining beacons of individuality. The "social contract" is just very elaborate window dressing on the tired old concept of the alpha male. It's the realative safety of a place for everything (or everyone) and evrything in It's place. It's all about the alpha making the rules and having everyone follow then. Going against these rules is seen as a challenge to more than just the gender binary, but to the vertical fabric of time and space.

It's hardest for so called male to female transitioners because it seems, however subtly, like we are turning our backs on the "power" of "male privlege" and moving into a weaker position in society. Female to male transitioners don't usually see nearly as much trouble but I've often suspected that is because they are moving to a position of strength and if you will, "taking" power.

What throws things so out of sorts for male to female transitioners is that while we seem to be moving to a relative position of weakness, it's anything but. We are in fact taking more of our own "power" back than ever before in our lives. We truely become it would seem a wolf in sheeps clothing, because women aren't after all supposed to be this strong...

More to follow...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Tao Of Lightening

Lightening, aside from being one of my favorite forms of fireworks, is possesed of a simplisity and balance so few people ever look at. It is, all at once an natural expression of incredible power and fury, and yet the peace and serenity of a perfect day.

From a technical standpoint, lightening is a balance of positive and negative charges seeking equilibrium. In effect a perfect example of the Yin and Yang in the world around us. All that power, all the energy seeking, and finding, before our very eyes a balance. It is Chi, and the flow of Chi, a tributary in the river of life. Like a river it is going somewhere, flowing, peaceful, ebulaint and an example of Wei Wu at work.

Like a river, helping water to seek and find balance, so to is the "fury" of a Lghtening Bolt a river. Helping positively and negativly charged electrons seek and find a harmonious balance. What seems to us a flash of violent power, is in fact the path of least resitance. Doing the work of find balance, with out working at all.

Technically what happens is an ionization corridord opens between the earth and sky, sky to sky or in very rare cases earth and earth. What this means in effect, is an invisible electric line is formed for the briefest of moments, and in what seems to us a single flash, balance is achieved. In reality, faster than the eye and the brain can usually process information, electrons move back and forth along the invisble wire, or river, allowing the electrons to balance.

If you meditated, and slow yourself down enough, you can actually see what is two, or more strikes in exactly, or nearly the same place. Sometimes even three strikes or more strikes. What? How do you ask can slowing down enough allow you to see something that happens at the speed of light? I mean it is after all lightening we are talking about here!

Simple grasshopper. Mindfullness is a form of meditation, during which we reach the stillness of each splinter of time resolves itself as unique and individual as a snowflake. Very much like a camera taking a picture, every moment becomes a snapshot you can watch, absorb, appreciate and chersh before you move onto the next.

In one of the Star Trek Movies, Data (the android) mentions being "Tempted" by the Borg Queen's offer for all of 0.68 seconds, which is an eternity for an Android... Not somy dear Data, not so! 0.68 seconds is an eternity for anyone who knows mindfulness, of the power of finding stillness. 0.68 seconds is just over half a second, and when looking at light, a varitable eternity. When you have reached the Tao of lightening, 0.68 seconds is indeed and eternity for anyone.
Like the first rays of sun at sunrise, or the last rays at dusk, when apprecaited in the right circumstances, it seems like the time slows, and even stops. In classic cloud to ground lightening you'll see energy, electricity, surge from the cloud and arc like a static charge toward the ground. It actually takes something like several tenths of a second for all this energy to navigate the "inoization corridor" or river I mentioned before. Then a second strike travels in the opposite direction along this same pathway.

It's quite breathtaking to watch, and with practice as easy as floating down the river watching the sky or shore pass by.

The Tao, or way, of lightening is Wu Wei Wu, "Do without doing" and very easy to percieve once you get used to it!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What was broken, now is fixed with a little bit of help...

First, mad props to Karyn for pointing out that my e-mail links were broken. Went in and fixed those fairly quickly, but am embarassed to say they never should have gotten up there in that condition. Such is life I guess when you are, as I was at the time more focused on the creative side than the QA side. Hope anyone who tried to e-mail me using the broken link will forgive me. I have to be honest, I had so much fun making it, and it looked so pretty, that I wanted to get it up there for the world to see. Yeah, and I used to be a CIO of a startup in MA a bunch of years back, so I really do know better. How strange life can be no?

Just for reference, here it is again, and this time it works!

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Beach...

I've written about my beach before, it's actually known to the rest of the world as Bradley Beach in New Jersey. I'm going to miss it when I'm in Colorado. There is something especially soothing about the waves as they break against the shore, and while I have a hour long recording on CD I made a while back, it's only part of it.

In the interests of reaching a point in my life in the not terribly distant future when I can contribute to the "Our Stories, Our Lives" project Donna Rose has mentioned on her blog, I picked up a halfway decent HD MiniDV Cam. The Flip while nice, just wasn't blowing my skirt up, I wanted a bit more. Anyway, today was simply perfect weather, and I made a beeline for the beach after I had lunch with a friend.

Honestly, I'm very connected to this beach at a kinda deep level. It speaks to me, it has as all beaches do, there is something powerful, visceral even about a beach. A powerful and yet soothing confluence of earth, sea, and sky. In many different disciplines, including Wicca, it's refered to as the zero point.

Simply put, it's all this latent and powerful energy there, as the four elements of nature come together in one place, in something of a balance. Earth, Air, Fire and Water all in one place. Standing there in that mix of energy and allowing myself to "Tune in, turn on, and drop out" of my daily problems. Meditation you know!

So anyway, I wanted something more than a bagful of sand, jar of salt water and a CD. HiDef DVD of my beach, well now that's a keepsake! So, I "broke in" my new camera and filled up an hour long digital video tape which in the next few days I'll burn onto DVD and have for as long as I want to keep it around. I'll also be able to use some of the footage I shot as a background for upcoming vblog entries I'm going to make. So it'll work out nicely.

Plus, having a reason to spend several hours in the sun at the beach wasn't such a horrible thing either. One of these days I'll get up to Hampton and Rye beaches in NH, Salsbury, Gloster, and Rockport in MA, and York and further north in Maine. Spent many, many days, weeks and more there, and love them as much. Some of my greatest moments have been spent on that part of the Atlantic coastline, there's also Virgina Beach that I need to get back to one day.

Ironically enough, Bradley Beach in Jersey is the first (and so far only) beach I've been swimming at. Over 40 years old, spent my life around water, and decades mediating along the shoreline, but it was only three years ago I finally did anything more than wade in up to my ankles. Three years ago I finally swam in the ocean for the first time... Since then, it's been hard to get me out of the water. I missed the 2006 swim season healing from surgery, but more than made up for it in 2007. This was the beach that took my ocean cherry so to speak, and so it's important to me.

Now, I've got some of it preserved in digital video! When I get it moved off tape, I'll put some of it here. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the glow!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Not a bad day at all!

Was feeling energetic today, got an early start, and had a busy day! Had lunch with my friend Barb and then decided to take a test run of the car packed to the gills as it is. I've been a touch twitchy about visibility, being able to see where I'm going and so forth. Ran out to the highway, down to the next exit, and then back across to route 9 to get a real feel for things.

Hopped down to PepBoys and picked up some really cool adjustable blind spot mirrors that attach to the wing mirors on the car. Cleaned the mirrors and then attached them in place. Kinda eyeballed the adjustment of the spots and set about to test them. Back up 9 to 195, and then back towards the house. The spot mirrors did, do a great job and I'm so much less twitchy about driving 2000 miles with the car packed to the roof.

Came back to finish packing the car, and it dawned on me to look for the charger I'd bought a year ago for my still camera. It's a multipurpose AC/DC charger that came with plates to fit other Canon cameras. While my still camera [Canon 20D Digtal SLR] is burried in the car, and not something I was planning on using for the trip, my MiniDV is another thought completely. It happens to be a Canon as well, which wasn't planned, but just as well. While technically only noboby is lucky enough to have something they bought a year earlier be compatible with a new purchase, I was blessed. I'm sometimes known as "Almost Nobody" since it tends to run in the family anyway... After all, my sister IS "The Nobody" everyone talks about. The new charger will charge my 20D batteries AND the new MiniDV camera, and in fact has!

So, all around a really good day! Handful of other things to do here to prepare and I'll be on the road again! Today was a really good day, and I have a better feeling about this trip...