Transplanted Life
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Harold Lloyd week at the Brattle last week, and 3-D week at the Coolidge the week before that, and I can walk to either. That's part of why I didn't post much; my addictions are well-known and I have Kate as an enabler.

But, also, I've sort of gotten to the point where there's not a lot to write about. My life isn't yet normal, but it's at the point where I don't have anything new to write right now. I'll be visiting Doug tomorrow to pick some papers up, so there might be some drama there, but my life has settled into a routine.

And, you know, I worry about that. On the one hand, if I didn't accept certain circumstances of my life, I'd be miserable and insane. But if I just accepted everything, that wouldn't be good, either. So I'm putting a resumé together, and finally including my Martin Hartle stuff on it. I learned it, I earned it, and to be quite honest, two years of answering phones and smiling at everyone who walks through the door is boring the hell out of me. I've got no idea what interviews are going to be like - I'm prepared to have a lot of applications thrown out as being ridiculous, and then a lot of interviews that end when I try to explain how I came to be me.

I figure I've got to do some work before sending them out, though. I "came out" to my friends and mom last year, and that worked out okay, but before I put references on my resumé, I figure I had better try and square things with my former employers. If I'm going to put someone down as a reference, I've got to convince them that this too-young-by-five-years girl is the guy who did VB development for them way back when. I suppose I could say I had a conventional sex-change, but if I anyone who knew the old me, well, they'll wonder where those four or five inches of height went. That would be pretty radical surgery.

There's also the matter of convincing WPI that I'm the person who graduated from there, in case anyone tries to verify my degree. I think that if I refer them to the people whose work was used to make the mind-swapping machine and the FBI, they'll co-operate, but I don't even know who to contact.

So, there's all that on my plate. I'm also trying to write something else; natural outgrowth of enjoying the writing aspect of having a blog but not having much new to say. Working on that's going to take time away from this, though.

What the heck is up with all that blank space? Anyone else having the page look weird?
Yeah, I got it. For a second, I thought the site was messed up... then I scrolled down. Amazing how some of the most perplexing problems have the simplest conclusions.

Interesting how that thing I just typed, stream-of-consciously, could apply to your situation. I'd say, on that note, just tell them. It sounds crazy, but you're obviously sane, and you've got the Feds to back you up. (On that, maybe you ought to check with whoever your contact is, if you've still got one, before officially declaring yourself to the world?)

Sigh... a transplanted life is clearly not an easy one. Have I mentioned that ever since I found your blog I've thanked goodness every morning that my body has not been stolen?

Not that anybody'd want it.

Keep on rockin'
Yep, I got the blank space too, and reloaded and got it again, and then clued in.

You do realize, don't you, that going public like this opens everything up that you anticipated? Local news picks it up on a slow news day, and you get "Christian" protestors, federal identity cards, the works. Then Jerry Springer calls, since transvestites who slept with their girlfriends' mothers is getting old. (Not to dissuade you or anything...anything that thoroughly ruffles the religious right's worldview is good.)
What's the alternative, though, other than staying where I am? I have knowledge and experience - and, arguably, a college degree - that I've been keeping off my resumé, and I'm tired of being paid about half of when the folks I remember going to school with are making.
Lifelong nerds don't hope for understanding from most people any more, so I may be the wrong person to ask. But I'd say, go for it.

To quote Schopenhauer (as well as prove the "lifelong nerd" part above):

"All truth passes through three stages: first, it is ridiculed; next it is violently attacked; finally, it is held to be self-evident."
What about admitting the sex-change and appearance-change without being too specific? Something like "Yeah, I used to be Martin Hartle, and I now look like this and answer to Martina. Check with the FBI, they will back me up. Yeah, it's a remarkable change of appearance. No, I cannot give you any more details. You will have to ask the FBI." This will tend to induce people into thinking it's just an unusually good job of cosmetic surgery, done maybe by some disguise specialists from the intelligence community for classified reasons. Note that you at no time SAID it was classified...
So, you get downgraded from "X-Files" to a more run-of-the-mill transsexual, as far as public perception goes. It might be enough to dodge Jerry Springer and the lunatic fringe.
There is that, although anyone who does a background check on me will see that I have Michelle Garber's social security number and such. Legally, I'm still her - just her with a new name that greatly resembles Martin Hartle's. Any claim or implication that I'm Martin won't survive much due dilligence.
It's also, as you pointed out, not going to explain the height difference. Or, say, shoulder or hip breadth. There being only so much medicine can do even nowadays.
Actually, I've heard that that sort of reconstruction is possible. I mean, hey, The Lives and Loves of a She-Devil is practically hard science fiction compared to my life.

(Or is the complete physical transformation just in the BBC adaptation?)
Why not just talk to the FBI and ask them to help you reconstruct *A* background? Not necessarily yours exactly, but a reasonable facsimile.

The alternative, you going mainstream public, from their point of view is a nightmare. I'm sure they'd like to avoid another 'suprise' - especially one of that magnitude.
You're the movie maven, but removing bone & nerve aren't exactly like removing the extra skin after a stomach-stapling. But anyway, Annie Nonymous's witness-relocation type of suggestion sounds pretty good. The only problem would be that it involves actual relocation.
Well, the other is that it really wouldn't solve my problems. I'd get a new name, get cut off from my friends and family, and a new home, but the new background I'd get would be basic to the extreme - as in, forget about a college degree, much in the way of references, etc. The system isn't set up to make the relocated folks successful; it's set up to make them anonymous. I'd rather have the first.

Besides, all the doctors and researchers who know about the nanotransmitter things are in the Boston area; if anything should go wonky with those, I'd rather be nearby.
I thought they came up with false credentials for you (i.e. high school diploma, college degrees & such) and squared it with the institutions in question. But maybe that movie in which Mel Gibson gets a new life and new job as a hairdresser is closer to the mark.

"This is not an ancient industry," remarked Dan Aykroyd in Chaplin, meaning movies were then too new for there to be experts, but I suppose you'd be close to what passes for expertise in nanoneurotechnology.
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