However, must stop looking DOWN at myself, especially if I'm going to venture out in public! :-)
However, must stop looking DOWN at myself, especially if I'm going to venture out in public! :-)
- Heavy metal/rock; OR
- the Leonard Cohen/Nick Cave/Elvis Costello/Johnny Cash/Tom Waites intersection
(And of course there are umpty billion other genres they like - one likes new age, another likes classic funk, another lounge music. But I can divide nearly all of them between those two major groupings.)
At least I like some of the more accessible - but not overly cliched or soupy-romantic - varieties of classical music. The two major categories there, not so much at all.
Obviously I like women who are quite different to myself in some ways (although very similar in terms of politics, feminism and sexuality), and music is definitely one of those distinguishing factors.
So yeah, narcissism ISN'T the reason I'm queer. lol.
Pain is hovering at around a 2-3 out of 10. Right after I woke up from surgery, it was an 8, but that abated very quickly after a few good zaps of Fentanyl. That stuff gives you interesting dreams - mine seem to consist of reading copious amounts of strange and dense text.
They removed 900g of tissue from each side, which has taken me down to about a C-cup. The breasts look a bit smaller than that right now, because they are being squished in a compression garment. Here is a link to a pic showing them in the garment (no ickiness): http://flickr.com/gp/-trixtah/100HkR
They also removed the mole that's been under my right breast forever, lol. I have spectacular bruising down my sides where they did liposuction. Oh, and my nipples appear to have retained sensation, which, since they were moved at least 10cm up my body, is pretty awesome.
Dressings and stitches come out in 2 weeks, and I have to wear the compression garment day and night for that interval. After that, all going well, I wear it at least 12 hours a day for another 4 weeks, and then it may come off after that. I couldn't be happier with the care I've received and the work that was done.
It looks a bit gross right now with all the stitches and leaks and so on, but I'll do another pic after the 2-week dressing removal.
I wish I could say I got significantly more pleasure than angst out of you over the years, but that not being the case, I hope we come to a more satisfactory arrangement shortly.
Still, you weren't bad to look at, and did your best for me in terms of function, so for those things I am grateful.
So there's the other thing I'm doing, and this is much more immediate and significant. It's no secret to anyone that I dislike my breasts immensely. Other than the fairly constant feeling of body dysmorphia I've had since puberty, the frigging things are humongous by any normal standard. It might be better if I had a broader chest or shoulders, but I don't. In the physical sense, I don't get headaches, but I do get shoulder aches, neck pains, sharp pain in the outer aspects of my breasts, and they inflate like painful footballs once a month.
So, finally, I've got the money and the time, so off to the wonderful doctor who basically didn't even bother asking to have a look - he wrote the referral by saying "Shoulder pain?" Nod-nod. "Back pain?" Nod-nod. "Sick of it?" Nod-nod-nod. In Australia, if you have a GP referral, part of the cost of treatment is paid for by Medicare. I am VERY GRATEFUL for this, because it reduces the cost by nearly half.
I went off to the plastic surgery clinic last week - the only one in CBR the GP would recommend - and the experience there was reassuring and professional. Of course, taking off your shirt and having the surgeon take one look and say, with a look of sympathy, "I understand why you need the surgery" is really not the most positive experience one can have. However, I know what he meant. So that was done and dusted and I said YES PLEASE to going ahead with the procedure, with full understanding of the risks. He has a portfolio of breast reductions he has done, and there was a shot of one woman who ended up partially losing a nipple. I don't care if I lose mine, although I'd rather not.
The practice manager then went through the procedure and post-operative care process, and that was fine, although she was one of those overly-groomed het women who look like they want to escape from the room rather than deal with a butch dyke. And I was wearing my work suit and speaking nicely to fox her, lol. Well, I found it entertaining.
So, after giving them about 8 grand, I will be getting my breasts reduced by half - also reducing my breast cancer risk by half (my aunt's had it, twice) - to about a C-cup size. This is fine. And I'm booked in for the 10th of March. I'm extremely excited about this, as one might imagine - in the yay! and OMFG! senses, both.
Also, don't go to a clinical setting, get poked and prodded and photographed, and then play a video game featuring zombies for most of the weekend. It gives you peculiar dreams about body parts and weirdness. :-)
I'm used to feeling good at my job - any job I've done to date - and feeling barely adequate has been doing my head in. My boss is doing what he can, but his job is not to do my job, and I am feeling increasingly conscious of my inability to pull my weight properly as a member of his team.
So, definitely time to move on. I don't want to do purely technical work any more, although if I can find a role back in NZ after not being "hands on" for a couple of years, that would be fine.
What I've decided to get into, however, is technical documentation. I write fairly well, I'm good at explaining things in a fairly clear way, and frankly, the idea of getting into a line of work where I'm responsible for no-one else's output other than my own will be a relief.
With this in mind, I've applied for a course - the Graduate Diploma in Information Design - which encompasses technical writing of all kinds. It's a online-delivered course at the Christchurch Polytechnic in NZ, so I get to pay the NZ fees of around $800 for each unit (6 units in total). $4K for a post-grad diploma seems like an excellent deal.
The course brief is as follows:
The Graduate Diploma of Information Design is taught entirely online, and is designed to provide you with the skills you need to create effective user-centred information. Subjects studied include professional writing and editing, research and theory in communication, information analysis and management, document design, and usability testing. An internship is an integral part of this programme.
The intake for each unit is 15-20 students - which is fantastic after my experiences last year with Canberra Uni and their ridiculously over-subscribed courses - but I've dipped out on the first semester due to its being full. However, due to my "cool CV" which is totally in their "zone", apparently, (and previous quals) I am now pre-enrolled for July. Can't wait!
I'm all for making issues visible. Despite the naysayers like Gladwell, I do truly believe that social media allows word to get out there that might not necessarily have done. Sure, it's about the "cause du jour", what's trendy at the moment, what people notice. But that's no worse than what the newspapers pick and choose to publicise. And frankly, we do tend to care about what's nearer to us, community-wise (whether these are geographic or social communities) - it's a more developed kind of altruism that makes us consider those remote to us.
Having said all that, this FB meme irritates me immensely. The reason I feel it trivialises the issue is that NOT ONE of the solicitations I've seen provides any real information on child abuse - whether about the issue itself, or ways and means of addressing it. One of the things I enjoy about more-developed online communities, such as DW and even Reddit and so on, is that people use links. They cite things, they provide references, they suggest where to go next to help create meaningful change.
Changing a frigging icon does not. FB is powerful because it connects up people who would not have been well-connected before. People can publish information that they would not have broadcast previously. So I am just WAITING for more sophistication to develop around how to use this powerful resource.
In the meantime, if we do see these contextless posts, and it is an issue you care about, I suggest putting real information out there. Obviously, I couldn't feel more strongly about fucking child abuse - which is why my previous mild irritation about previous memes I have seen going around, complete with stupid semi-literate glurge and no pointers to constructive information, has finally burst its banks. If people want to change icons and post pictures, fine, whatever, if there is something REAL attached to it. Without context, it is trivial - a 30-second feel-good factor isn't enough..
And in the meantime, some secular charities are listed below that address child abuse. If you feel sufficiently well-financed and motivated, I'm sure they'll appreciate funds. And hey, FB has achieved something - it's prompted me to put this information out there (and bump up one of my own contributions).
http://www.childrensdefense.org/ - US
http://www.ccfaa.com/ - Canada
On the other hand, purely technical work was boring me a couple of years back.
Perhaps if this job was more like a traditional team-leader role than junior management ... It's hard to say, but these recent events have been food for thought.
For over two years, I've been suffering with something that appeared to be gastric reflux, manifesting itself as horrible nausea if I tried to lie down to sleep, and more recently, when I was just walking around as well. I was checked out for anything mechanically wrong and for helicobacter/ulcers a couple of years ago. Nothing. So I started taking antacid-type things to help me sleep at night, which worked, but was incredibly irksome (I hate taking drugs, except limited amounts of the recreational kind).
Then at the beginning of this year, I got a resurgence of a problem I suffered from for several months while living in England, when the nausea occurred almost constantly, and especially when I was walking around. Enough was enough, and so I took this homeopathic remedy.
And, it's GONE.
All the nausea and grossness I've been putting up with for over two years have entirely gone. I was hoping that the remedy would possibly deal with the walking-around problem and certainly was not anticipating any better result than that, but I have not had to take an antacid in order to sleep for several months either.
Can't rationalise it, but there you have it. I've tried a couple of other homeopathics for this (especially when it first started), but they did nothing at all. If it's placebo effect, then why would 2 remedies fail, and then another one just work? From the homeopathic perspective, of course, I finally took the right one.
Whatever, yay for having my guts back the way I like them.
One interesting concept is that of the world being illusion - and for someone who has a fairly relativist POV much of the time, it makes sense. And the whole quantum thing of the observer influencing reality.
I don't know if it's a Buddhist tenet, but the New Age wank of us creating our own reality tees me off. If you proceed on that basis, you also have to acknowledge that others are doing so as well. And that the amount of power and resources some entities can bring to bear can totally or partially swamp the little bubbles we try and construct for ourselves.
This is not to sound fatalistic: depending on our circs and relative amount of privilege, of course we have more or less agency in our lives, at least in terms of the absolute boundaries of our experience. And to some degree, we can choose to interpret or perceive those circs and our experience in a swodge of different ways. Maybe some of those are more "real" than others, but like society, reality often just seems to be a bunch of commonly-agreed parameters we tend to operate from. And yes, I include physical sciences in that - what we choose to study and observe is selective.
But having said all that, whether it is all Maya, illusion, this is what we are operating with. Our ape brains require context and filtering, and this is how we do it. It's important to remember that the ways we contextualise are infinitely individual and variable, and that we should regard any kind of absolute with healthy scepticism.
But to say that "reality" may be experienced on reaching some kind of nirvana, and that we are poorer for not getting there? Eh, I like how we mostly manage to deal with our conflicting versions of reality (of course, when we don't, it's BAD), and actually make something out of what we have. What we make and the satisfaction and occasional transcendance we achieve may be relative, temporary and illusory, but I prefer that to any system that promises rewards to only a few, after the right plot tokens are gathered.
Life may be a stage, and we just players, but some of us are great actors, and some tell great stories, and some create amazing illusions. And that can be valued for itself, in lieu of awaiting some final "reality" that it most likely just as constructed as everything else.
This was AFTER a several minute discourse among the same individuals on the benefits of slow-cooking, and the best ethnic cookbook out there (apparently a Croatian one is a win for my team).
And people wonder if feminism has achieved anything. lol.
(After that, it was all on regarding tonight's rugby game, but I'm all about people not feeling boxed in)
There's nothing wrong with pointing plenty of fingers at capitalism, but correlation does not equal causation.
In other news, the new Connie Willis book, Blackout, has arrived in Oz, and what a disappointment. This review on Amazon summarises exactly how irritating it is. Such a shame. Anyway, I'm not bothering to go back for Part 2 - the whole "miscommunication" trope was wearing on me a bit in To Say Nothing of the Dog, but this book tipped it way over. It's also EXTREMELY irksome that there is no mention of the fact that the book - nearly 500 pages - is part one of two, until you get to the end and find a very subtle (not) advertising blurb to buy the next. No thanks.
And cocktail invention of the month:
In a cocktail shaker lid, lightly crush two cloves. At 1-2 Tbl of overproof rum and heat over a tealight until bubbles start to form. Flame the rum, allow to burn for a few seconds and extinguish by covering the lid (with the bottom of the shaker, a glass, whatever). Strain the rum over ice in a short glass. Pour over a shot of light rum (decent quality, plz), 1/2 a shot Grand Marnier and a shot of orange juice. Top up with pineappe juice and stir. To be classy, make a twist of orange peel, flame it and use it to garnish the drink.
It must be said I'm glad I'm not living with anyone right now. I'm too fucked off to be civil to anyone. Meh.
Well, how nice to know my gaydar is working well.
It also helps if the woman my gaydar is twingeing over is attractive; I'm so crass. She even makes cocktails. I might buy her book too. :-)
Move over, Nigella, I say.
I am only one, only one, only one. Only one being, one at the same time. Not two, not three, only one. Only one life to live, only sixty minutes in one hour. Only one pair of eyes. Only one brain. Only one being. Being only one, having only one pair of eyes, having only one time, having only one life, I cannot read your MS three or four times. Not even one time. Only one look, only one look is enough. Hardly one copy would sell here. Hardly one. Hardly one.
Many thanks. I am returning the MS by registered post. Only one MS by one post.
Totally agree with the sentiments as well. :-)
But one person commented by saying in part, "But then generally, I don't get the whole "coming out" process for poly people. Just live your life and the people will either figure it out or they won't."
Obviously I'm just a big old queer with a chip on my shoulder, because this really irked me. And I had to rant in reply:
I know you're not precisely saying you are remaining invisible, but it's the more open people who ensure that we aren't ignored as a whole. Because being ignored is actually not that many steps away from being marginalised, excluded from the usual set of social rights, and then to outright persecution. No thanks, it's not long ago when I had no right to expect fair treatment in terms of retaining my job or accommodation.
I do however agree that people who get shocked and amazed when they give acquaintances confronting information that is not immediately welcomed with open arms are precious in the extreme. Not to wah on about privilege, but it's fascinating when (mostly) het white middle-class people realise that others will always consider them to be second-class citizens because of their "lifestyle choices".
I dunno, maybe I got a bit into lecture mode, but "letting people figure it out for themselves" is only a useful strategy when you're coming from a fairly secure base to begin with. I still don't overtly out myself at work, except to a selected few people, sometimes. Maybe I'm still paranoid, but fuck, we only got "rights" in NZ the year I officially came out. And given the whole gay marriage debacle, we still aren't fully equal citizens, according to most - I'm still not in favour of marriage as a whole, but this willful discrimination just serves to show we don't have "real" relationships and we're not "equal" in some fundamental ways. It's fucked up.
And I'm still fucking angry with Gillard, to give it some Australian context. Not that I can vote here, so it's all a bit moot.