Transplanted Life
Friday, August 27, 2004
Pins and Needles
Flight leaves at four. I am, as you might imagine, more than a little nervous. Not just about what I'm going to do once I get down there, but, well, the last time "I" was going to get on a plane... Well, I didn't leave town, did I?

Silly, isn't it? I mean, the flying didn't have anything to do with what happened; it was the making a clean break, which is not what I'm looking to do this weekend. Quite the opposite. But the human mind works on associations, and I must say that I can't help associating "going to the airport" with "waking up as somebody else".

Maureen and Carter are wishing me luck every five minutes. Maureen especially says she really hopes things work out for me, that my mom accepts me, especially since this happened to me, as opposed to being some bizarre choice I made, although I would say accepting it as opposed to fighting it like Carter is a choice. Still, Maureen says that that's just being practical.

Well, better get going; getting to one's plane out of Logan from Cambridge involves changing trains twice and then taking a shuttle to the airport, and then there's all the security. I should probably have left more than two and a half hours.

Thursday, August 26, 2004
The need to sleep is really inconvenient. It seems terribly inefficient to just shut ourselves down for a quarter to a third of our regular lives, especially when we can't just do it like plugging a battery charger into the wall and say, OK, I need six hours now. Or at least most people can't; I really envy the folks who have trained themselves to drop off for an hour-long catnap as soon as they close their eyes. I gather if you master that trick, you can survive on something like four a day. Then, of course, you get bitter that the rest of the world hasn't caught on and there's nothing to do at three o'clock in the morning.

That's a roundabout way of saying that this week has been wiping me out. I've been working a ton of hours so that this weekend and next don't sabotage my attempts to pay rent, I had two job interviews, so I've been kept busy. In fact, I went to this morning's interview site yesterday before realizing my mistake. Good thing I'd left myself plenty of time.

It hasn't helped that I've just been to worried to sleep during the hours designated for it. I'm going to see my mom - at least, the woman I remember raising me, even if she doesn't share any actual genetic material with this body - for the first time in over a year tomorrow. I'm going to ask her to accept something ludicrously far-fetched, and then, what, expect her to love me just as much as her "real" son. At the same time, Nat's going to be there, in her third trimester, saying that the boy she gave birth to knocked her up, proposed, and blew town.

How does one get to sleep when all these various scenarios are playing through one's head? I'm hoping it ends with her being proud of my for handling everything that was thrown at me so well, even if I don't always agree wtih that assessment, since it's the version of events that doesn't keep me awake nights.

So, let's see, what else has been going on the last few days? Aside from Carter and Maureen hogging the TV with their whole Olympic thing, not much. Kate, Jen and I saw a movie the other night - Before Sunset, which was good enough for me to want to find the first movie the cast made, Before Sunrise, although Kate says she couldn't find a DVD in stock anywhere in order to refamiliarize herself with it. They also gave me valuable fashion advice about this weekend, although they were in the same quandry as me - they know making a good first impression is hugely important, but we're not sure how much that impression should consist of "still your son inside" and how much it should consist of "well-adjusted young woman." It's a teaser. It was also the first time Jen and I have talked since the party, if you can call it that - I don't think she said five words to me all night.

I'm packing right now, and the suitcase I borrowed from Kate currently has about six day's worth of clothes in it for Saturday and Sunday. It's a bit silly, but I don't know what to decide.

Monday, August 23, 2004
I love technology
I got a box full of love in the mail from Nat today. Well, she probably doesn't see it as full of love, but I certainly do. It includes a few DVDs, a couple of toys, and the ReplayTV I/Martin bought about two years ago.

Those of you who have not experienced the joy and wonder that is the ReplayTV, or its worthy competitor Tivo, probably don't understand why I was so excited, and why I decided to dedicate the afternoon to hooking it up, making a trip to Radio Shack for the necessary wiring, etc. I ask a simple question - do you watch more than four or five hours of TV a week? Yes? Then you need one of these things. You hook it up to the cable line and the phone line (newer models than mine are ethernet devices). It uses a modem to download a TV schedule for your cable system, and then you go through that schedule and select what you want it to record. Or you can have it search the schedule for titles, actors, directors... all that good stuff. It spools what you've selected to a hard drive, for you to watch later. You can tell it to record every episode of a series (along with how many to keep), and it will do that automatically, even if the show changes timeslots or channels.

I know, I know - it just sounds like a fancy VCR. But can a VCR let you watch one recorded program while you're recording another? Does it have a "Skip 30 seconds" button on the remote to get you through commercials nigh-instantaneously? Heck, how about watching a program that runs at 8 at 8:15, and catching up by the end? And that's before you get to the feature that just blows everybody away, which is when you're watching something like a ballgame live, the phone rings, and you hit "pause". The show actually pauses, and you can pick right back up where you left off (along with fast-forwarding, rewinding, etc.).

It is the coolest consumer electronics toy on the market; Nat says she had to buy one for herself when I asked if I could have this one "back". She wound up with a dual-tuner beast with something like a terabyte of storage (okay, I exaggerate). Carter thinks the technology's kind of cool, but doesn't watch that much TV. I imagine Maureen will be somewhat appalled at the new bunch of wires in the living room at first, but it should be out of the way for now.

And it'll get used right away; I plan on recording the ballgame tonight while I'm at work and my roommates are watching the Olympics (and Carter tells herself she's all manly for watching sports, as if the Olympics count) and getting through it in two hours before I go to bed. Sure, you can do that with tape, but then there's the question of adding an hour or two of padding for extra innings or a hugely offensive game and not being able to actually start it...

Yeah, I'm coming off like a huge nerd over something that's not such a big deal. But, really, it's like multiple orgasms - it sounds nice to a guy, but you can't really conceive of how nice it is until you're experiencing it.

Sunday, August 22, 2004
Bleh weekend
You know how I said you eventually get used to working weekends and having days off during the week? You don't, you just get jealous and resentful of all the people coming in on their day off. And bringing their kids. I had to deal with two really obnoxious ones at the same time this afternoon, which is just tons of fun. As much as I always liked kids as Martin, a day like today makes me question Nat's enthusiasm and positive attitude about having one of those little monsters growing in her abdomen.

All the work this weekend left me with little time to spend with Doug or anyone else; I slept at Doug's on Friday night, but that was it. It was kind of a bummer to find out that he had a wedding of his own that he's going to next Saturday. In fact, we kind of argued, a stupid argument, considering everything, but it's the principle of the thing. I'd told him about Wei's wedding, and he apparently hadn't connected it as being the same day as his thing in New Jersey. I was wondering why he never told me, but he said that the groom was one of his closest friends in college, so he had RSVPed way back in February, before he'd even met me. At first, he had sort of suspected that we wouldn't be together long enough for it to be an issue, and then...

Well, there were accusations, that he didn't think of me really as a girlfriend or even a girl, or that I was being stubborn because Wei wasn't really my friend, that in terms of "Martina" she was just the friend of an ex-boyfriend, since I always say that I'm not quite Martin in another body, then I said that he was always trying to oversimplify the circumstances of my life... Well, no relationship's perfect. I must admit it was good to just bury myself in work after leaving his place yesterday.

(Aside - I was checking this page from his computer and saw that the logo didn't appear and the "backstory" links didn't work - is this a Doug's computer thing, a being logged in as me thing, or something else?)

Anyway, bottom of the ninth and if the Sox win this, they're within six games of the Yankees with six head-to-head meetups left. Time to give that my complete attention.

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