Up for a stroll 05:30 in the old industrial patch near Hastings where I used to live. Just near the big warehouses that double as music studios. I walk towards the sun rising over Grandview.

Lucid? Almost lucid?

A crowd of people run South, up the bicycle path. It's like a cross-section of Vancouver is out jogging this morning.

I turn North. Wow. There's a lot of people here.

I pull one woman aside. 

"What are you doing?" I ask.

She turns - close-cropped graying hair and a retroreflective blue-striped tracksuit - a smirk.

"Helping you dream" she says.

And she runs off.

 

Hermes has been trying to get my acknowledgement, my attention, my respect for some time.
__________________
 

Imagine  a jagged mountain shaped like a kolrabi, top and bottom.

It floats, slowly rotating two or more kilometers above the rural valley.

Like a Laputa. But this is no refuge for idle intellectuals. The minds here are honed and their edge tested.

Well, maybe not that honed. I am in slow orbit of its mass, π/12 off the equitorial. Its Higgs Bosons, tilted and skewed off of spacetime by psychic whim, keep it heavy and high off the earth and me, attuned to it with the help of my suit, in freefloat around it. I lost my grip some time ago, likely having blown a test to scale in properly. I can only hope not to make an ass of myself on the way in.

The main equitorial dock rotates into view. And oblong rectangle and much more 

Okay. Adjust my descent. I twist my mass a few degrees, but I'm not skilled, not powerful enough to make it. I'm going scrape hard, then slip out of orbit. It's a long way down to the Earth - or more likely, and worse, it's a public rescue. Not a fall, but a fail.

Rotate the mass of the pod and slip the aft into the Earth's well 10% and invert the spacetimeplane on the reverse. θ -> π/12? I think. My teacher thinks. She thinks in my head. I think in her head.


We think.

And the sixty or so students within do that. Their/our applied subjectivity gently nudges our mass-existence onto the slope of the Earth's gravity well on one side and away from the other. The structure, tugged by the Earth, tilts. Mass shifts. I float/coast/freefall...

...through the dock. And inside. Uninjured.

It's like Giger took up interior decoration. It's like termites ran Ikea. It's alive, sort of. Not like us. Obediant yet terrifyingly dominant. Smooth. Peanut coloured, pea, and muted saffron. Rounded, arched, rippled. Translucent lights added with orthodox electrics powered by repurposed digestive acids. Beautiful.

I float across and into the main classroom, rotating on my back and looking "ahead" through my shaggy brown hair and over my nose-ring. I coast down, and gently pitch until I land on the foot-high radial ripples that are our chairs, our benches. I catch my breath.

My instructor, our psychic queen in her heavy diving suit, smiles.

Well done. She thinks, and turns to the class.

What? Oh. Was that the test? Is she pleased. I slipped off. I fucked up the climb. Was that a set-up? Or just an obvious consequence of my behaviour that she foresaw and... used?

My mark is solid. I am in the top tier. There is another like me. I catch a glimpse of her. Like the rest of our class our uniforms are beetle-like; leathery, chitenously armoured and symbiotic. Tendons for strength-amplification and gas-cycling lumps that keep us alive and tethered to the psychic mass. We are perfection in utero.

"You are going to be going into the deep unconscious" she speak not with her cortex but with her larynx, as she does when she means business.

Oh. This is the final exam. Right.

"You will be walking around the world. In the dark. For about three weeks. You will be facing the deep subconscious fears projected from one of your classmates."

I've heard of this. This is what separates the children from the women.

"This is a 3 out of 13 on difficulty. Pack food. Team up."

And a tent. Something to bound your space and shield your subjectivity from that monstrously infinite holy blackness.

Also - the scale actually goes from 1 to 13 and then over from 1 to 3 again in the "lethal to all" super-range.

We're babies at this.

And yeah. I'm scared.

I catch her eye quickly. Not the teacher-queen; the other one like me. Except she is pale and black-haired, with black-framed rectangle glasses. Fifteen years old. Picture Homura. But I know her in waking life. This is Brook, just under different circumstances. Eyes brush past. We know. We are among the best of grades but we are not social alphas. We learn because we love it. And we do not want to stand in the alphas' way. We let the social acknowledgment of peership fall slack and turn away.

But her and I on a team? Unstoppable. Or at least optimal. Not really fair to everyone else though. We should take along someone who is struggling. Not someone who fails because she makes trouble. Just someone who is a bit behind. I mean, how else would this be fair? Or a proper challenge?

And, another question seemingly unrelated - whose fears will be actualized in that dark place?

Ah. Of course. To keep it fair.

No.

Our Queen doesn't believe in fair. To keep it a challenge.

It will be one of us. Her or me.

Is it "Challenge Accepted?"

 


Damn the alarm clock. That was just getting good.

 

 

Consider. The offer of dream-help.

Consider: Watching "Hearts of Darkness." About the making of Apocalypse Now.

Watching Coppola talk about growing by facing your fears by becoming them, then moving past. Watching how messed up US/Vietnam-war films are, and how incredibly colonialist just-short-of-hate-speech the source text is. My fear of being a bad person. Of being thought a bad person. Facing that. A recent incident that prompted two earlier posts is the penultimate exam. Facing that. Coming out better, one hopes. Still facing th
at. To be thought is to become? No, too weak. I'll need to do something more direct. This is going to take awhile.


Consider:

What lacked in my life that I struggle to make up for?

Body/identity integrity. Ostracized. Bored.

This by contrast: Gender integration. Included by those who matter. Engaged, eager and challenged.


Consider:

Night-terror-like spatial distortions in closing my eyes under the effects of Wellbutrin



Consider:

Eleanor Lamb. Emma Frost. Homura Akemi and Sakaya Miki. Psychonauts

I really missed having a media-archetype-saturated science-fiction dream


Consider:

Dreams of acrobatics in lunar G

Dreams of trying to find gender euphoria in adolescence that were interrupted by waking, much like this one, because I was on the wrong track. Am I know in this residual pining? If so, how? Detect and fix. The solution is in fear. In becoming it.

 

 

Langara Blackboard Online Learning System.

You allow us to do tests from home, maximizing the effective use of classroom time. And for this, as a business student and entrepreneur, I commend you.

You also allow the game of "answer question, take a sip." And for this I commend you too.

Having finished my marketing quiz, I need to go lie down.
Schools that offer metalwork:
Read more... )


Glass:

Read more... )

Comics and Cartooning
Read more... )

I kick ass

Oct. 10th, 2008 04:43 pm
I have a sunburn across the bottom of my face. This is why you wear goggles.

A shower has mostly washed off the scent of burning. I am not sure if I have little burns on my neck, where the molten sparks landed.

I pacticed using a device that sends a current through a steel wire, so that when you touch it to metal, it gets enough amps to melt. When it does so, the arc flash is brighter than the sun.

I have cut pretty things in steel, ground them with a machine that shoots out sparks (and, if it's broken, shards of grinding stone) then sanded them with a machine that tends to smoke. Said pretty things look awesome.

Then I finished making a hammer, borrowed some sandpaper, and wrote a report.

Tomorrow: Kelowa.
Washroom follies )

"I'm a girl." I say. I say it awkwardly - the way you'd say "Uh... I've worked here for five years" to someone who warned you, "customers aren't allowed in this part of the store."

"You're... a girl?" A cocked eyebrow and a face that broadcasts uncomfortable incredulity giving way to plain homophobia. Like she doesn't want to think about it.

Read more... )

On Sunday, I went to Burnaby lake to enter a psilocybin-induced altered state. Each time, I discover new things.

I realize:

1 - Where I am right now may not be perfect, but it is the product of a long series of sensible choices; good decisions under disorienting cirucmstances. I guess that's good.



2 - (Speaking of "sensible choice:") Gender identity still confirmed. I have noticed that when I strip away habitual anxiety, there's a charming , sometimes happy, and often bewildereed me underneath who is more or less who I thought I would be. She's 21 though. Read more... )

3 - I feel sad and kinda distant. There has been a lot of loss and change recently. My Aunt died a month ago. There was no body to see, and I think I'm starting to feel it.Read more... )

This said, in the last few more-lucid days, I have found the following:



(4) It is really good to see some of my old friends. We will hang out more often.

(5) Going to BCIT from SFU is like going to the moon.Read more... )
Oh yeah. Things feel like they've gone back to "normal." Don't know why. Like the world returns to balance.
New boots:

They're black with the tinyest bit of gray trim, made out of kevlar and rubber, have a steel toe, and look like something the S.W.A.T. team would wear.

And, as far as the Canada Revenue Agency is concerned, they're a work or school expense.

I start the trades program on Tuesday. Even if all else fails, I will come away with tax-deductable topping boots.
And... I'm done.

My post-bac diploma in Women's Studies (with a Gender Studies focus) is now complete.

This is actually what I came to Vancovuer to get years and years ago, only to find out that such a thing did not exist. SFU was well-known for women's studies (in part because there ain't exactly a lot of competition in this province), but "women's studies" ain't exactly "gender studies" - at least not at SFU at the time, nor would I have been exactly welcome.

But things change. SFU's gender studies program started and grew. Some of the profs in the women's studies department bucked the department to bring in new content. Other departments brought in relevant courses. The climate liberalized and someof the classes have men in them (who aren't too sensibly scared or irritatingly lily-livered to add their perspective). Oh yeah, and I seem to be a girl now*.

So yeah. I can haz diploma. One with grad classes and final projects. While it's called a "post-bac," it's basically the same as a grad diploma, only cheaper for a part-timer.

And my grades are good. If I wanted to, I could use this to apply to some sort of fancy academic whatever.

But I got what I wanted; what I moved to this city to get. It's overdue, but I'm good.

And now to go learn how build and repair household technology.



*Living on The Drive will do that to you
At present, I am editing students work as part of compiling it into a wiki on local queer history.

HOW THE HELL DID THESE ART STUDENTS GET TO THIRD-YEAR-PLUS UNIVERSITY WITHOUT KNOWING HOW TO WRITE?

HOW?

WHAT ARE WE TEACHING THEM?

I find myself stopping every few sentences to try and figure out what the hell the authour is saying. Or trying to say, and failing.

As I edit, the page count is steadily dropping. Superfluous clauses and sentences fly off into the ether, never to return.
The last six days have seen two (well-researched) papers, an exam and a visit from my Mum. I'm taking a "weekend" until Wednesday. Then I finish the wiki and I am done my diploma.

At the SFSS, it looks like they'll be putting through some badly needed constitutional reforms that should keep our student union from going the way of other student unions. Specifically:
- in our bicameral board/forum structure, the board can no longer vote in the all-departments forum (instead of having a large chunk of the votes)
- forum now chooses the body that oversees the board elections, (instead of the board)
- only members of the student society can campaign in its elections and referenda (instead of "oh hi, I didn't know you went to school here. How is it that you can take two weeks off to campaign for your friends exactly?")

This last item is not actually about the CFS so much as the recent tendancy in Ontario for people from school B to (somehow take time off to) campaign for their friends at A, then their friends get elected and repay the favour. Or the candidate who had help from a professional campaign coordinator. Or staff who aren't students.

I'm keeping my distance from the SFSS, but it's good to know that the work I did will have an impact.

Oh, and they're converting two of the washrooms they lease as single-stall-lockable semi-disabled-asseccsible (you still have to push/pull open the door) unisex.
 1. Geography paper on Port Metro Vancouver
 2. Media analyses for gender studies
 3. Group presentation for geography
 4. Short paper for gender studies
 5. Revised geography paper on the world market for helium (70% complete)
 6. Gender Studies Group project (60%)
 7. Gender studies final paper (30%)
 8. Geography Final Paper (0%)
 9. Geography Final Exam (0%)
10. Wiki (15%)

11 Graduation

Event

Mar. 7th, 2008 09:49 pm
Friday, March 14th

B.Y.O.Gender, 8pm, Highland Pub, $3-6pm sliding scale

A Night of Gender Performance, Games, Contests, Prizes, Music and Dancing!  It's our traditional end-of-QAW party, and everyone is invited!  Unleash your inner gender!

Featuring DJ Like the Wolf, who you may remember from a little disco called Bent. This is also a benefit for the Trans Youth Drop-in!

This should be even better than last year's - and that's saying something.
Plus I'm one of the judges.
Being sick is irritating me. I want to be at work, kicking CFS ass. It's the big push now. We're expecting their cross-Canada "volunteer" swarm starting today.

Looking forward over the next months and years, I can see a lot of long-term endeavors that have structured my life coming to an end.

And then what?

Let's keep in mind that structure, purpose and meaning are a matter of perception.

I started asking myself this question just shy of two years ago. I stopped thinking of what I should do (whatever that means), and instead turned towards what I want. Or what makes me happy. Or whatever is worth it to me.

                The city also lacked a secure jail and, from October 1849 to May 1851, prisoners were detained on a ship in San Francisco’s harbor. This makeshift, floating prison was surrounded by hundreds of other vessels that had been abandoned by crews rushing to the gold mines, and prisoners easily and frequently escaped.

-------------------------

The second shooting occurred on May 14, 1856 when James Casey, a politician on the Board of Supervisors, shot and killed James King of William1, the editor of a popular local newspaper. Certain that Casey and Cora would escape conviction through a corrupt judicial system, close to 3,000 men stormed the jail four days later, armed with rifles and a canon.

                                                                                                                    - Clare Sears.
                                                                                                                                    "A Dress Not Belonging to His or Her Sex"
                                                                                                           

1 James King had adopted the descriptor “of William” (his father’s name) to distinguish himself from other James Kings who lived in his hometown of Georgetown, Maryland.

Very, very glad to be back in Vancouver. Wow. CFS = dysfunctional. More details available in person.

Being in Ottawa gave me the chance to think about anything other than the CFS, such as my career plans - a topic of some ambivolence. After some consideration, I think that this post-bac and student union work is actually a good thing to be doing with my time. The main problem is a perceived lack of respect that comes with the "failure" to "leave school and get a real job."

Waitaminute. This is a real job. It has real responsibilities such as the  UPass, clubs, making staffing decisions, dealing with the CFS and running a grants committee for a nonprofit with a membership the size of a midsized town. It just happens to attract incompetents, pays poorly and required me to re-apply four months after getting it.

And I'm in school for good reasons - I like the material, it feeds into my career plans, better qualifies me for an MBA, and even provides me with the knowledge to do my current job better.
Before venturing into the land of the damned, I require a protective amulet.

Erk - uh, too much Prehistory of Religions for me!

I should say before I go to Ottawa for the CFS conference, I want to get my ears pierced. I'm looking to do this on Monday.

Any suggestions on where I should go? Where I should avoid?


In any case, my Prehistory of Religion class kicks ass insofar as it takes "an experiential approach to the foundations of human spirituality."

Or, in other words, "assignment due in week 2: talk to a tree. Week 3: find the sacred axis in your house, and report on the closest thing you've had to an ecstatic experience. "

And so on.
It's been too long without a gender update.
Before I begin, I would like to say that I hope I can someday put "changed sex" on my resume. It's a job in itself; one involving a lot of research.


Projects
Ah, yes. This is where some of you may come in.


I'm getting really good at being direct. I'm proud of myself; very proud
Happy New Year all.

Nineday is the close of week zero and a good time for summaries and resoultions:
Thus... )

In other news: to date, four people have stated that "Sasha" doesn't sound, or simply isn't, an androgynous name. Two said it's a boy's name; two, a girl's.

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