Colin’s blog post…

We are starting to get into a world where, instead of having it where you buy a video game and can play it forever, we just can’t. Look at a game like Dark Spore. It was an okay game I’ve heard. I have two copies and I can’t play either, unless I somehow get a crack for it or a server emulator, which is stupid. There are people who probably saw the game and bought it after the servers were brought down. I know that because that’s when I bought mine…

If you’re interested in reading more, please head over to Colin’s blog here.

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What is trans…

Sleepy Colin posing filteredI woke up this morning to a call from my daughter Kait and, while we were chatting, Colin woke up and sleepily leaned against my door frame.

I loved the way he looked and managed to get a shot of him, which was nice because he’s usually not fond of having his picture taken. I guess the promise that he just had to stand there and do nothing was a bonus.

Kait and I commented he’d look so much prettier if he shaved his face and he immediately went to the washroom to do just that. I’d love to have a shaved version of the photo but he was too awake by the time he finished shaving. The picture still looks good though. Trans is beautiful.

Colin and I had a little talk yesterday after he said he wasn’t trans, which would definitely be a surprise. Obviously nothing would change either way but it’s nice to know if something that integral to his identity was still a thing. It turned out he thought you were only trans if you were actively transitioning but he still was female. I explained that if he still was female and was born with a penis, he was trans whether he was transitioning or not. It was the feeling female and being perceived as male that made him trans, not the act of taking hormones or having surgery. That sense of disassociation when he sees himself in the mirror… that sense of joy when he’s seen as a woman. As he subsequently explained to me, he feels female but is upset he’s never going to transition.

Colin’s getting tested for ADHD this month and, hopefully he’ll get put on a medication that will help him keep his scatterbrain in check. This is something he’s looking forward to. It’s not just missing part of the definition of transgender, it’s keeping track of his teacher’s lectures and remembering the information long enough to finish homework and write tests. It’s hard to be in school and miss half of what the teacher’s saying, even when he’s concentrating.

As usual, gender is not the forefront of our lives. Colin is much more interested in anime and computers. And now is time to combine both. We’re going to watch an anime called Planetarium on the computer he just rebuilt. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

The little bits of our lives…

“Mom?”

I stopped putting on my shoe. “What Jeremy?”

“While we’re on our walk, could we stop and pick up a computer? It’s only $15. And it’s right here!” They pointed at a circle outline which encompassed a 5 block radius. It was near where we were walking but still a decent hike to even the nearest part of the circle.

I mentally groaned. If they picked up a computer, there was no way we were going to continue on our walk on a gorgeous wooded trail, something I’d been looking forward to all day. And we knew nothing about the computer. I explained that to them. They immediately texted the person who almost immediately texted back. It was right near where we were walking and he was willing to meet us in an hour. The excitement on Jeremy’s face made me agree.

They babbled all the way to the bus and the whole half hour long bus ride then for the whole twenty minute walk too. We got to the man’s apartment and Jeremy’s jaw dropped. It turned out the man’s job was finding deals on lots of computer parts, fixing them up, and selling them on kijiji. Jeremy was in computer heaven.

“This is the $15 computer,” the man said, “and this is the $25 computer.”

It was my jaw dropping turn. I’d picked out a tiny $150 netbook when Jeremy offered to buy  me one (the cheapest computer at the store) but it was very slow… like can’t manage Facebook slow. I needed a new computer… especially a $25 one. It was the beginning of the month so we bought both.

Then came Jeremy’s time to shine. They checked my computer, decided the hard drive was way too small and swapped it for the one in the netbook.

“Don’t worry Mom, it’s not the hard drive that makes it go fast, it’s the CPU and the RAM.”

Then Windows had problems so they tried me with Linux and Ubuntu. I couldn’t use my programs on either so they sorted out Windows and got that reinstalled. Through that whole time of uninstalling and installing, Jeremy kept all my photos, novels, and scrapbooking graphics safe. And now I have a computer that will actually load Facebook.

On Sunday we went down to the lake to watch the full moon rise over the water (and take pictures). Unfortunately it rose over the tiny bit of land to the east but I got a few good shots of the moon rising over rock piles at the shoreline while Jeremy got an amazing short video of the waves rolling in.

full-moon-over-rocks-close

A bit blurry but still cool

Jeremy’s waves video…

We were almost home when I heard the friendly “mow” of a cat greeting us. I immediately replied back as Jeremy said, “Mom! There’s a cat!”

I looked over to see a beautiful grey and white long haired cat walking through the brush beside the path all the way to the fence. It squeezed through and stayed for a moment, long enough for us to note the lack of a collar, then it ran back as a dog drew near.

“Mom, we need to take her home,” Jeremy pleaded. “She doesn’t have a home and she’s going to freeze to death soon.”

I looked at the tiny area of brush and the townhouse complex behind it. “Hon, she has to have a home. She’s got long fur, she’d be covered in burrs if she was abandoned.”

Just then a man and his four little dogs stopped by and looked at the cat behind the fence. “Such a pretty cat,” he mused. “Too bad someone dumped her. She’s been here begging for a few days now. The cat lady had food set up over there…”

He gestured down the path to a section with trees between two buildings. “… but someone keeps setting his dog on them and knocking down their shelter.”

“Fine,” I said to Jeremy. “Let’s take her home.”

We coaxed her out and Jeremy carried her the rest of the block while I debated naming her Mariposa and finally settled on Luna because we’d found her under the full moon.

Once we got her inside, we realized how filthy she was. Brushing turned her into a mixture of tabby and white and she was laid back enough to let me pull burrs off her belly. Even the embedded ones. And she was gorgeous!

luna-under-my-bed

The next morning I got up and started calling. The vet clinic, the humane society, animal control, a local animal rescue. Then we hauled her over to the clinic and… beep… they found a microchip. She turned out to be Tarzan, a 1 1/2 year old male (I also stink at sexing cats). Tarzan had been rehomed nearby because of his extreme laid back behaviour. Behaviour which allowed their puppy to shake him by the neck. He’d jumped off his new owner’s 6th floor balcony and, of course, couldn’t get back home after that. His original owners live an hour away and came that day to pick him up… despite us being in the middle of a power failure that engulfed half our city. We’re talking traffic jams for miles. But he’s safe now and back home. Smudge looked for him for a day.

And I have another frog. This one is an albino African clawed frog. He’s quiet during the day but I can watch him swimming while I drift off to sleep at night. He had a sibling who escaped this morning and was found by the kittens. He was alive when I found him but died about an hour later from his injuries. My remaining frog is named Lucky. He’s not nearly as adventurous but will hopefully outlive all my other frogs. Plus I have a filter now, which will help Lucky’s breathing and my sleep.

I still stink at endings so here’s Lucky (in the back) and Not So Lucky making jazz hands in the front.

albino-clawed-frogs

Baby steps…

I had my breakfast on my balcony today, while Jeremy slept in. The sun streamed down on me while I read a book on my phone and sipped my hot chocolate.

balcony bliss

Yesterday I went for a walk with my friend J and her dog to the local dog park. I warned her that I looked like hell and was not very chatty. She didn’t mind and told me I could come in my pjs if I wanted. Which was actually tempting until I lifted my shirt to put on deodorant and took a good whiff.

She sent an old computer home for Jeremy too and zie went into raptures over it.

“Oh wow! Mom! This thing has a molex connector. I can’t believe it!! And the power box is dead but I can fix that. I’ll just have to set it externally because it’s a Dell.”

I got the Dell part, I already knew they can’t be modified or upgraded without certified Dell parts; although Jeremy apparently had a work around for that. But molex?

“It’s the connector that came right before the sata connector,” Jeremy explained patiently.

I still didn’t understand but I know when I’m out of my depth so I just smiled and nodded. Soon the computer was not only set up but online and connected to our network. Well, Jeremy’s network. Zie has it set up, modifies it regularly, and looks at a wave graph to make sure our connection is set up to a barely used frequency so it can go faster.

The only computer class this kid has ever taken was a basic keyboarding class. I fought the school board for years to allow zir to take computer classes but they insisted it would be too hard for zir. Meanwhile zie’s already planning that the next computer zie gets will run DOS “because that would be fun to learn”. I was a teen in the 80’s. Fun and DOS are not words I’d ever used in the same sentence before.

And then there was last night. Jeremy laughed and talked to zir new computer for several hours while setting it up. Zie laughed while I made dinner, giggled and ate dinner while watching The Young Turks, ran to the bathroom to vomit, and continued laughing.

Jeremy settled back down with TYT while I checked my dinner post on Facebook to see when I’d served zir (technology is wonderful sometimes). A half hour earlier. Was that long enough for zir to have absorbed the medication? I quickly called the pharmacy and headed to Google “how long does it take effexor to get into your system”. What popped up was more relevant to zir than me…

“How long does it take for Effexor to work? Sleep, energy, or appetite may show some improvement within the first 1-2 weeks. Improvement in these physical symptoms can be an important early signal that the medication is working. Depressed mood and lack of interest in activities may need up to 6-8 weeks to fully improve.”

This would have been so nice for the doctor to tell me. I’ve heard the two week line before but I’d gone into the hospital feeling between 0 and 1 on a scale of 0 to 10 and went up to 4 by my first appointment. I knew I was still having problems. I knew things weren’t right. I wish someone had told me it would take over a month to reach anything close to “normal”. I honestly thought I was losing my mind.

I sat on hold, singing along with the Everly Brothers. The pharmacist interrupted the second song to tell me zie’s fine. It’s absorbed within 20 minutes.

I’m trying to take things one day at a time and break everything into manageable pieces. Some days are easier than others. This month I don’t qualify for any sort of assistance so I’m sitting here grateful for my obsession with stockpiling food. I have a list of papers I need to obtain (along with some lovely phone anxiety). My application for disability is timed, which means I have to start filling that out on top of applying for Employment Insurance (which I qualify for).

*deep breath* it will get done.

I’m grateful for the friends who message me, visit, and call (even from California). I’m not the best conversationalist these days but I try. I’m grateful for my family who I’m seeing tomorrow. We’re going to the garden centre and I’m going to plant a fairy garden (complete with fountain). Last, but not least, I’m grateful for my kidlet Jeremy who can be annoying as hell some days and almost certainly has Pathological Demand Avoidance (a diagnosis I found when sent a link by accident). But zie also is funny, kind, and supportive… offering me hugs when needed and suggesting I go sit in the rocking chair and rock if I seem overwhelmed.

My next baby step is a walk to the lake with Jeremy where we’re going to try to get photos of the almost full moon rising over the water. It will be fabulous.