Transplanted Life
Saturday, July 31, 2004
Nomar to Chicago
I'll post more when I'm less angry.
Friday, July 30, 2004
Sitting home on Friday night
It seems wrong. We've more or less reached the point where I can call Doug my boyfriend, so I expect to be doing something. And, yeah, I still have enough of a guy's POV to look at myself in the mirror and think that this girl wearing something skimpy and driving guys nuts would be the natural order of things. Sure, I now know that that's pretty tiring, and expensive if you don't latch onto someone who'll buy your drinks - which, of course, is an especially skanky thing to do if you're seeing someone - but, geez, I feel like stepping out tonight. It doesn't hurt that I'm looking damn good. I'm never going to have a wasp waist - I'm sort of on the curvy side - but I've dropped a couple pounds this month, and they seem to have come off my midriff. A job where I'm on my feet all day, sweating from the heat and humidity before that last storm, and peer pressure from Maureen seem to have had a nifty effect on my waistline.

"Peer pressure" is probably not the right word, but living with her has kind of changed how Carter and I eat. Left on our own, we'll eat a lot of burgers and pizzas and Frosted Flakes (and not those "50% less sugar" frosted flakes... and, by the way, if you want low-sugar frosted flakes, put Equal on your cornflakes). With an actual body-and-soul girl in the house, though, we wind up doing the salad or other low-calorie things, just following her example.

But, anyway, I'm home because Doug's little brother is in town, investigating colleges. He said they were doing guy things tonight, and I smiled as I told him I like guy things, so he amended it to brother things. Whatever that is, especially when you're talking about a 14-year age difference - Doug graduated high school three months before Sean started kindergarten. I gather they're half-brothers, although apparently without the bitterness that sometimes leads to. Or so I'm told; Martin didn't have any siblings and I've never seen any evidence that Michelle has family of any kind.

Speaking of family... Got an email from Nat today, suggesting we head down to Florida to talk to "my" mother before she gets too round to travel. I suppose we really should; after The Party, she's the only really large figure in my life I haven't told, and she really should know about her first grandchild.

I really want to put it off, but Nat's right - she should learn about the whole thing at once, rather than bit by bit. Still, I can't imagine she'll be nearly as understanding of my keeping it in a year as Wei was. Or what she'll think of me - will she see me as any kind of family or not?

But it does have to be done; I'll see about getting some time off work sometime in the next few weeks.

Thursday, July 29, 2004
Posting this just after midnight, so read "yesterday" wherever you see "today"
So, we got all the hardware hooked up, but Verizon was giving me crap about setting up the sub-accounts for me and Carter. Really tiny little type saying "this veature is not available right now". Gee... thanks.

The whole DNC thing is weird. First, I'm not exactly sure what the attendees do when they're not nominating someone for President. Are there seminars on how to be a better Democrat? Panels on convincing people that higher taxes are a good idea or how to oppose gay marriage without offending that part of your constituency? Lectures on how to fight for better public schools? You never hear about those things, but isn't that what conventions are usually about?

Second, it's made the population of the city across the river odd. Lots of native Bostonians went on vacation, but from looking at the street, it's roughly the same number of people as came in for the event. The area around Quincy market was just packed, but it was mind-bogglingly easy to get a seat at a restaurant. No waiting at all.

Oh, and for the record, I found out that Martin/I was really missing out for twenty-odd years by being allergic to coconut. I had this coconut shrimp dish and it was absolutely delicious. It really amused Doug how much I was into it, and he asked if everything tasted different for me now that I was using different taste buds.

It doesn't, not really, any more than having green rather than brown eyes has changed the way I see. I remember that being a factor in one of the books featuring characters in the body of someone of the opposite sex I've read over the past year - it's become sort of a guilty pleasure, seeing what they get right and get wrong - and I suppose it may have happened a little, back a year ago, but it gets back to how memory and such is holographic. I don't imagine it took long for the visual parts of my brain to adjust how it interpreted data do render the sky in the proper shade of blue.

Anyway, coconut shrimp - good eating.

Then we saw Spidey 2 in IMAX. Still great - it's a shame Raimi won't get an Oscar nomination for this, because he just nails every second of this movie, and it's certainly a technical challenge. I know that's a fanboyish thing to say (and, yeah, "fanboy" still seems to be the proper term regardless of anatomy). The only shortcoming to "the IMAX Experience" is that Raimi and Bill Pope shot the movie scope, while IMAX screens are close to Academy ratio, so almost half of it was left blank. When Apollo 13 had the IMAX version, they used the whole screen. Understand, I only buy widescreen DVDs, but Ron Howard really seemed to want to use the whole field of vision for that one. Even if the screen is still 85 feet wide on Spidey, "only" 36 feet of the 65 foot height is used, which isn't that much larger than, say, the largest screen at AMC Fenway. It's impressive and a very clear picture with great sound, but it's not like seeing a real IMAX movie.

Getting back home was actually trickier; there seemed to be a whole bunch of random security fences thrown up between last week and today. No rhyme or reason to it, and I swear South Station changes layout on a weekly basis. Must be the combination of the convention and Big Dig.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004
It amuses me
We finally got our box of DSL stuff in the mail from Verizon today, after Maureen ordered the service a week and a half ago. I've got to get a wireless network card for this computer so that we can network everything properly, but soon we should be back doing the high-speed internet thing again.

The funny part? It arrived via UPS this afternoon, and Carter was all ready to dig in and start hooking everything up, but Maureen stopped her. Apparently, she said it made more sense to wait until I could spend the afternoon working on it. She says it's got nothing to do with me having been a guy or remembering being a guy or having a guy's personality inside or whatever, just that I used to work in IT, so obviously I'd have a better handle on this.

It's funny, because I remember sucking at actual connections and stuff - the Martin Hartle motto was something along the likes of "hardware is icky" - while Carter has always been really good at it. I can handle audio/video, but when it comes to setting up a computer, and installing drivers, and knowing network protocals and IP shit... Not my thing; I flunked Operating Systems in college and would probably be using a Mac if they weren't so expensive/software-deficient (at least, they were software-deficient when I first started using computers. Now, everything runs Microsoft Office anyway).

Still, Carter seems to think it's because Maureen's treating her like a little girl. I told her about Wei and that it's really not so bad outside of the closet, but apparently being patronized is better than being pitied for Carter.

Monday, July 26, 2004
I admit, I've been so wrapped up in me me me over the past week, that I barely did more than say congratulations when Maureen mentioned she'd found a new job that was starting right after she got finished at BioSoft. And by congratulations, I meant "thank god we're not going to be falling behind on the rent". That is, until I found out what the catch was - this girl who's barely old enough to drink got a job that I had applied for, working as an assistant concierge in a downtown hotel!

Granted, I don't envy her starting work in a hotel this week, especially on the concierge staff - you just know that the DNC people are going to be asking for all manner of impossible things, and although it's not Maureen's job to find them, she's doing all the legwork for the rest - she went in at seven this morning, and Carter says she didn't get back until about nine o'clock tonight, at which point she just immediately went in her room and hit the hay without bothering to take off her shoes or close the door. It kind of makes me glad I didn't get the job, seeing her like that.

Of course, that she did is kind of puzzling. It's not like she has a couple years of hospitality industry work on her resumé. Sure, I don't actually know the first thing about the hotel work Michelle did before this was my body, and I suppose it's possible that Shelley earned herself some absolutely terrible references, but geez...

Sunday, July 25, 2004
Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting, Saturday Night's Alright, Alright, Alriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight...
Freaking. Insane. Ballgame. A lot of Yankees-Red Sox games are like that, but this one yesterday? I swear, these two teams are like professional wrestlers, where the writers have to find new angles to make the same two opponents going at it again interesting, and somehow pull the trick off.

It's the kind of game where, even though I'd been working all afternoon and got off at six, I wound up hanging around the bar for another couple hours because I knew I'd miss something astounding during the walk home. It's also the perfect game to watch in a bar because generally a bar TV has the sound on mute, so that way you're not subjected listening to Joe Back and Tim McCarver talk. There is, after all, only so much Yankee/Jeter hagiography one can take.

If you didn't see it, it had everything - a benches-clearing donnybrook, a delayed start because of rain, beanballs, Kevin Millar mysteriously not sucking for another day, an apparently endless sixth inning, and a game-winning home run off Mariano Rivera by Bill Mueller in the bottom of the ninth. That left a lot of the out-of-towners who are filling the town because of the Democratic National Convention stunned, but once the first hit came, I felt like that ending was inevitable. Don't get me wrong, Rivera is a great relief pitcher, but I think half of what makes him effective is the legend that has been built up around him. Once a team gets that first hit off the supposedly-invincible Rivera, it seems like he can be vinced and vulnered like anybody else. Granted, that first hit is tricky to get, and this impression comes from watching the Red Sox, who have had a quite-frankly monstrous 1-9 attack the past two years.

So, that sent me home in a good mood, which was not quite dispelled by walking into a Maureen-Carter argument. Apparently, one of Marti's friends who was at the party had a nineteen-year-old brother, thought "Sam" might be his type, and mentioned that to Maureen. Maureen, having met this guy, thought it might be a good match, and had tried to set them up for a date sometime next week. This, as you might imagine, pleased Carter not one bit. I arrived sometime around "if he's so great, why don't you go out with him?", to which Maureen replied that it would be weird going on a date with her friend's little brother. I scooted throught the living room quickly and closed the door to change out of my work clothes.

A few minutes later, Carter comes in, grumbling. "The nerve. Why can't she just leave me alone?"

I mentioned that a month ago she was the one telling me that Maureen was actually a nice person and I shouldn't be worked about over living with her. "You know, if you told her the truth, she might lay off."

He didn't want to be treated like a freak, I asked if anyone treated me like a freak, and he mentioned Kate and Jen hadn't exactly called since the party. I said it was a lot to digest, and they'd come around. Sounded like I believed it, too.

Carter and Maureen both were in bed by ten, since they both got up early - Carter for work, Maureen for church - but I wasn't close to tired, and decided to head out for the midnight movie at the Coolidge.

Going to the Coolidge often involves waiting outside; they don't have that much lobby space, and for the last few weeks they've been scheduling Farenheit 9/11 for 10pm - and since it runs a little over two-plus hours, that means one of the two midnight movies on Saturday starts late; this week it was the Kung Fu one, Inspectors Wear Skirts. So I sat out in Damnation Alley - so named by the Sci-Fi marathoners who hang around that freezing wind tunnel early for the Sci-Fi marathon - and read a magazine, until I noticed someone sitting beside me.

"So," Wei said, "do I know you?"

Can't describe how happy seeing her made me. I had a stupid grin on my face even as I said something wishy-washy: "Well, I know you, but you've got to make that distinction where I'm concerned."

"And here I was hoping you'd give me the answer." She held out a hand, trying to guage whether it was raining or not, and sort of thought out loud. "At the party, you talked about Martin in the third person, but you always paused before doing it. Now that I'm looking for it, I do see little Marty things in the way you talk and act, but I didn't see it at all last year."

"Well, it's not an obvious place to look."

"Yeah. I mean, you and Kurt were doing each other. How can you be Marty and just jump into bed with a guy two months after...this."

I told her there was other stuff going on, that I was afraid of losing him to Denise, and that I had thought this whole thing was a test and Kurt was some sort of hoop I had to jump through to get back into that body again. It wasn't a healthy relationship at all.

"I can't imagine. I literally can't. I try to wrap my mind around it, but..."

"It's okay. I can't, most days."

"That makes me feel a little better. Anyway, here's the thing. I miss my friend. I've been worried about him ever since my Christmas card got returned-to-sender, and now I guess even though he's gone, there's still a big chunk of him in you..." At this point she reached into her purse, pulled something out, and handed it to me.

It was a wedding invitation, with and "ina" added to "Martin" and the "le" crossed out of "Hartle". I was speechless.

"It's Labor Day weekend, so I'll understand if you can't come--"

"I'll be there."

"--and I feel like maybe you should be in the wedding party, but you can't exactly be a groomsman and I'm not sure you're enough of my old friend to make you a bridesmaid--"

"That's fine. This..." I swallowed nothing; I haven't had enough reason for tears of joy in the last year to be really comfortable with them. "This is more than I hoped for."

She put her arm around me, kind of tentatively. "I'm... glad, I think. Just... don't tell Kurt, okay? He's not there yet at all, and I think I'm going to need the whole month to convince him."

I said that was okay, then they called us in for the movie.

Inspector Wears Skirts quite frankly stunk, but on the whole, I think it was a hugely successful night.


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