July 28, 2009

On Becoming

For some strange reason, I've been spending a lot of my time on youtube, looking at people's video diaries, as they transition from male to female; and female to male.

These individuals are usually reflective, often funny, many times insightful.  Concerned with recording their transition, they get excited about voice changes, body fat redistribution, hair changes; or sometimes record the sadness of not transforming quickly enough.  It becomes a rite a passage of sorts, and is fascinating to see their physical changes, and the intense elation that comes with finally becoming something they've always felt cheated out of.

The journeys are hard, physically painful and slow.  The operations are gruesome, and take away the very parts they were born with.  But I've never heard it described with such poetry and spirituality as Unmeasuredinstances does:

And you feel reborn.  And I remember thinking, Oh My God, this is real.  This is real.  It was the sweetest sleep of my life.  I can't tell you how important that process was for me.  A sense of being born, a sense of spiritual awakening.

Makes me understand the intense joy of Becoming.

July 19, 2009

The Fake Girlfriend

Today, I went for a long bike ride to look at Open Houses in Washington, D.C.  I went with a male friend who's looking for a place as well.

We stopped off at Firehook near the Capitol, where intense young people worked on their computer trying to catch up on their policy work.  On the street and in the coffee shop, we met three of his acquaintances.

This is the conversation that ensued, as soon as they were out of out of earshot:

007: Wow, your friends are ridiculously good looking

Friend: ...

007: Next time, how do I stand next to you, but make it clear we're not dating.  I mean, they probably totally discounted me, because they thought we were together!

Friend: No, you can't make it obvious!

007: Why?

Friend: Because I like having a fake girlfriend!

July 17, 2009

Random Observations

Thank you Mr. Fruit Man
I know I’ve already talked about him before, but the fruit guy in front of my office is awesome. He comes to D.C. early in the morning with his truck, unloads his carts full of trail mix, apples, cherries, grapes, plums, bananas and pears, and transforms his carts in vending tables.

This morning, I made a special trip to the ATM to get some cash and bought:

-1 apple
-3 plums
-3 peaches

All for $3! OK if you hail from the 1950s (when a cup of coffee cost 10 cents), that’s pretty shocking. But believe me, nowadays, $3 dollars for 6 pieces of fresh fruit is amazing.

Kitchen Appliances - not a bad invention after all
Also, as a follow-up to my post about the utility of kitchen appliances, two nights ago I was preparing meringues with the remnants of egg whites. I measured the sugar and crème of tartare…Only to find out that my roommate had taken the electrical beater to her fiancé’s apartment. I was left with a whisk to beat the eggs into stiff mounds.

After 20 minutes of near constant beating, I realized it was an uphill battle, placed my sloppy mix into the oven, and cooked the meringues for one hour. Needless to say, meringues without an electrical beater aren’t meringues…they’re more like a thin layer of protein and glucose, attached firmly to aluminum fold.

This is not how my meringues turned out at all

July 15, 2009

I'm going to be in a book!

Two guys, Sep Kamvar and Jonathan Harris, are publishing a book about "emotions", as reported in various blogs on the internet. They contacted me about my quote on May 8, 2006, a follow-up to a post on May 4, 2006:

Due to popular demand, I am reporting today that I do not have that weird worm-like feeling in my throat.

Though I am flattered that my picture will be in a book, I am a little alarmed that:

1) it will be the smallest picture on the page,
2) it will appear in the "weird" emotion section, and
3) my face will be plastered and obliterated with a quote about worms.

Anyways, if you see the book, entitled We Feel Fine: an Almanac of Human Emotion (scheduled to be released on December 1st, 2009), check out page 145.

I think I remember who took that picture in the first place, I'm going to have to thank him promptly and invite him to the launch party in New York.

July 14, 2009

Accumulating Stuff

I just came back from a lovely 2-weeks vacation to France (Lyon and the South), Croatia and Slovenia, but lost my camera there and unfortunately cannot share some pictures...

I'm glad to be back in D.C., but I now have to face impending deadlines and stresses I conveniently forgot about during my leave. One of my two roommates is getting married in September, and understandably, she will be leaving our apartment in August.

I am planning to buy a house in the next few months, and thus must:

1- Sort out my finances
2- Reapply for pre-approval
3- Find a house
4- Go through the buying process
5- Move

Oddly enough, the moving part has me the most worried. I am finding myself confronted by two opposing problems:

1-Not enough stuff
Roommate-who's-getting married is, little-by-little, moving her stuff out of our house, and into her fiancé's. And suddenly, we have no more blender. And vegetable peeler. And vanilla essence. And a small strainer.

And though I joked with her that she had more cooking utensils than Julia Child, I'm suddenly realizing that I DO need a blender, vegetable peeler, vanilla essense, and a small strainer.

2-Too much stuff
I'm trying not to put off the inevitably painful task of sorting through my closets and packing up some boxes. These are some of the items that are crowding up my closet:

-various garden tools and plant foods (I never garden)
-tons of Congolese Kuba cloths (I have no more space on my walls to hang them)
-liquors and other strong alcohols (I always end up serving wine with dinner)
-natural cleaning products (they don't work very well so I've switched to industrial-strength ones)
-waxing kits (I generally end up going to a salon to get my legs professionally done).

My room looks spotless, thanks to my huge closets. But I never open them in public, and the amount of stuff they hide will make moving monstruously difficult.