Transplanted Life
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Friggin' technology
As chief of the apartment's IT department, I hereby ban Maureen from using anything electronic outside the kitchen. She forwards me something innocuous which somehow melts down both our computers. She tried to help by leaving me a note on the fridge after her crashed, but, of course, but I'm such an internet addict that the first thing I do when I get in is turn on my computer. That and this thing takes ten or fifteen minutes to boot up (which in and of itself isn't a good sign), so I have to get it started well ahead of when I intend to do anything.

I'd probably be better off doing a FORMAT C:, but Mo had stuff she didn't want to lose, so... I mean, that's just what I want to do after getting out of work. More trying to fix someone else's computer. It's silly, since I often spend a few hours on the internet after work anyway, but work in one's free time just stinks.

Of course, I remember a time when I liked working with computers enough that I did do computer stuff in my off-hours. And not just surfing the net, that's just using the thing, as opposed to doing something which has the computer as the point of the exercise. Natalie's got a box somewhere in Seattle with books on Java and SQL Server and even .NET that I bought without prompting from work - although the last was more about finding work than recreation.

But that's not happening so much any more. Sure, when I write an entry in this, I do the HTML directly rather than use the WYSIWYG interface. But when I go through the computer section in a bookstore, I'm not really tempted to browse much any more. I find I enjoy the actual writing process a lot more than the technical stuff to do it, which is kind of unexpected. I mentioned it to Maggie, and she brings up the whole guys-doing-math and girls-doing-verbal thing. Like she's one to talk - she always liked the 'rithmatic better than the readin' and writin' to the point where she's got lousy penmanship. Okay, she says, maybe it's just different brains. Maybe writing words is just easier than writing code for me now.

I wonder if there's something to it. I was happy to get this job because it would allow me to use my tech skills, and I like the job. But I'm kind of wondering whether it's what I want to do with the rest of my life anymore.

Monday, January 10, 2005
We all have dreams
I'm in the middle of watching the 24 premiere right now.

Someday, when the FBI finds any of the people Dmitiri was working with, I'd like a chance to toss a table aside while yelling at them. Probably don't have the strength to, but boy it would feel good.
More with Kate
Anyway, Kate and I are shopping yesterday, after seeing some movies. I don't know if I mentioned it before, but it's kind of a strange atmosphere in how it's not strange at all. Like, we've gotten along okay since I told everyone about who I was, but she's been a little nervous. Yesterday, though, it was almost like before she knew. She laughs at my needing all of five minutes in the shoe store, all "ha, I hadn't even considered that as some kind of clue". That's when she's asking what other girly things I haven't totally picked up on, along with getting weird about girls hitting each other.

Well, there is a box of jewelry in my bureau's bottom drawer that I haven't touched much at all. I just was never comfortable with it in the first place - look, I say, my earlobes have completely closed up, and there were a few holes. And besides, it's someone else's stuff. It's probably not valuable at all, but I'd feel bad if something happened, you know?

Michelle's jewelry is too personal, she says - did you buy new underwear right off? Yeah, but that was a laundry-related incident. Kind of a relief, really.

Later, when we were trying some stuff on, she says she wouldn't have been comfortable sharing a changing room with me two months earlier. But knowing that I could have switched back and didn't makes it more comfortable for her to be around me. Sort of cements who I am in her mind.

So I shouldn't ask if you would have gone for me if I'd done that. Thankfully, she laughs, rather than freaking out. I don't know, she says, you're nice, but I just can't really think of you as a guy. After all, even though you act like a guy, well, there is all the slutty stuff.

"The slutty stuff?" I mean, really, I did, like, one slutty thing last year. Sure, it was a big one, but come on...

Just saying, she says. And besides, after all you've talked about being a new person, she wouldn't know who this other new person was. "Why," she asks. "Your roommate rubbing off on you?"

"Hey, I just wonder sometimes. If things had gone differently, and you'd met 'Martin' instead of 'Michelle'. I mean, now, I wouldn't want to screw up our friendship or make it weird for you, but I admit, I do occasionally think of how the other me would react."

"Uh-huh. When else do you do that? When you get out of the shower, do you look at yourself in the mirror and think, 'yeah, I'd do me'?"

"Is there any answer to that that doesn't get me called a liar or a conceited bitch?"

"None whatsoever." It's okay, though, she says. We're cool.

Which is cool.

Sunday, January 09, 2005
Oscar catch-up day
Today was spent at the movies and shops with Kate. We're trying to see most of the likely Oscar nominees before the actual announcements; we'll miss some, but the ones that do get nominated will likely have their runs extended long enough to catch them. We're planning to go to the Brattle's annual Oscar party, and it's always good to be informed when heckling.

One of the movies we saw was Million Dollar Baby. Damn good movie, even if I have issues with what was brought up in the last act. Skip the next two paragraphs if you haven't seen the movie but think you might; it's good, which is a given with Clint Eastwood. Real good; maybe his best since Unforgiven.

Part of my big issue was that it gets into assisted suicide in the end. The girl was paralyzed from the neck down, with nasty bedsores and gangrene. Even in my previous life, I was never cool with the idea of assisted suicide. I wasn't religious, and I have a tough time imagining a desire to end one's life without the belief in the potential for a happy afterlife. Not having that, I couldn't understand it. Now, though, having experienced my thoughts and memories being copied from one body to another, it throws doubt into the whole idea of a soul that encapsulates those things. How can I believe that I'm more than flesh and blood and neural impulses, and thus able to live on after I do?

Kate looked at it from a different angle. If you and people like you were general knowledge, she said, what would the end of the movie be about? Maybe transfering her mind into that of some convict, either against his will or with his consent. Heck, the whole issue of whether girls boxing would even happen, or whether the girls with the urge to do so would just become men, maybe switching with guys who were transgendered or something.

There's that, I supposed. I had to admit, the scenes of girls getting in the ring and wailing on each other made me squeamish. Kate shrugged, said she understood somewhat, but haven't I wanted to deck someone in the past year and a half? Well, yeah, of course, but still...

Awwww, she says, and kisses me on the cheek. You still sort of think like a chivalrous guy. It's cute. Trust me, she says, based on boarding school experience - girls fight. Really, I should be glad that I became a woman so late in life. Guys, she said, only had one hair-pulling stage when they were really little. So, how else am I still a guy in my mind.

Well, I'm not buying anything pink today. Duh, she says, you're over twenty. I suppose.

... Okay, I just nodded off mid-typing. I think I'll finish this tomorrow.


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