Facebook and Life

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A few weeks ago I did a very healthy thing for myself. I deactivated my Facebook account. I didn’t close it – it’s still there if and when I want to go back to it – but it’s in a state of suspended animation for a while.

There’s a couple of reasons for this. The two reasons are kinda one in the same, but I view them as two different reasons.

The life I have now is very different than the one I had growing up. I’m very much a liberal atheist, and I am very sure of what I believe. I know what I believe works for me, and you’re not gonna shake me from it.

The life I had growing up was one of a conservative Christian. It never really clicked in my head. I was just mostly going through the motions because that’s what I was expected to do. There were always a few times when it was too much (such as “sanctity of life” Sunday, where an old white guy would lay in hard to the women in the room about abortion… I always felt so bad for a woman that was there and had had an abortion in the past and didn’t know this was coming), but by and large it was my world. I’ve written about this many times on this blog.

The thing is, for the rest of my family (outside of my brother), this is still their world. They still believe all of this stuff. Or at least have done a good job of convincing themselves that they do.

I use Facebook mainly to keep up with family things, and be able to see photos of my sister’s kids. That’s where the problem was.

Seeing the constant stream of “Like if you love Jesus” things, or the “thoughts and prayers” things, bothered me a lot, but by and large I could tune it out.

That was, until this election season came along. That was the other reason.

The constant negativity around the 2016 election that was ending up on my Facebook feed was too much.

I’m LGBT. I’m proud to be LGBT. I get offended when people run their mouths off about how Trump is the best LGBT candidate ever, when his VP choice not only supports, but funds Gay Conversion therapy. People that honestly believe this stuff are totally clueless and don’t really understand what it’s like to be LGBT in this country right now. They’ll post stuff like that, and then talk about how LGBT people are destroying America… that because we now have gay marriage, their god is going to destroy this country… just… stuff like that. 😦

I couldn’t take it. I bailed. My life has been a lot better ever since. The constant reminder that I’m an outcast and how my views are nearly 180 degrees out of sync was hard.

The last straw was the recommendation that I join the group “Christians for Trump.” I know that Facebook works off a social graph – and that since a lot of people I’m connected to are in that group, it suggests it to me as one I might like too. That’s just how it works… but it was a reminder how different I am than my family. I decided I didn’t wanna hang out with people like that anymore.

So now I’m back to Twitter, Second Life, and this blog. The same way I was for a long time before Facebook.

I joined Facebook for one reason… it was a sneaky way to come out of the closet to my family members. It allowed them to see that not only am I still around, but actually, my life is pretty decent, and I’m not a monster that’s out to anger their god. Or something. That whole thing worked! They now know who I am, and it’s mostly okay.

Maybe it was just time to leave.

I’m Dyslexic

Here’s an interesting and not widely-known thing about me… I’m super dyslexic.

I’m fine with words. I really only have an issue with words when I get extremely tried, and I’ll start swapping whole words randomly. Like I’ll say “table” instead of “horse” or something.

What I really have a problem is is numbers. I cannot read numbers out loud with any degree of accuracy. It’s very frustrating. I can see the number, I can do math with it, but the moment I go to say it? I’ll say it wrong nine out of ten times.

Even worse than reading numbers is someone telling me a number and expecting me to do something with it. This comes up at work all of the time, since I’m getting better about helping to manage my team’s workload using JIRA. My boss will ask me something like “who’s working on BUN-2932” and I have a really hard time with it. She knows it’s an issue, and says “oh right, numbers,” and will send it to me via Slack, but it’s terrible. Triage meetings are the worse when we’re going over huge amounts of open issues and trying to talk about them.

The things that are the hardest are numbers that sound like. “67” and “76” might as well be the same number to me. And “35” and “53.” (The word sixty-seven vs seventy-six. And it took me four tries to type that just now.)

I’m pretty good at coping with it.

I don’t allow people to read me numbers and expect me to do something with them… I insist they use an IM program to send them to me. IP addresses are equality hard. I won’t read someone an IP since I know I’m gonna get it wrong no matter how hard I try.

Some folks have picked up on the weird way I read phone numbers. My phone number as a child in real life was 360-1283. I would read it as “the six oh, twelve eighty three.” I break the second part of the number up into two numbers, each two digits long, which makes it two numbers to me instead of four.

I was a cashier in High School briefly, and I made people mess up on sooooo many checks. (Remember those?) I eventually just gave up and would point to the display on the register and say “this is your total.” And yet, I was one of the fastest around at making change… just as long as I didn’t have to say any of the amounts out loud.

It’s extremely frustrating. I’m glad my boss at work is willing to work with me on it. I’m a really smart person, but somewhere in my head the connection between the part of the brain that can process numbers orally and the part that does math and understanding is miswired.

So now you know! 🙂

My Feelings on the Super Bowl!

Super Bowl City

It’s the day before the Super Bowl, so I figured I’d write about it. 🙂

Normally the Super Bowl doesn’t mean very much to me. I don’t really pay attention to sports (other than baseball a few times a year), but I’m a bit more emotionally invested in it this year because it’s here in San Francisco, and I’ve had to deal with it. The Super Bowl City has the heart of downtown closed off, right in front of the Ferry Building, where I go to get to and from work. It’s been kinda a mess for the last two weeks and I suspect that when it’s all said and done, we’ll deem the Super Bowl a very expensive thing that cost the city a lot of money.

All that said! 🙂

The theme of the last eight or nine years of my life has been “be someone that makes you happy.” I like it when people are happy. Them being happy makes me happy.

I’m not into sports, and that’s okay. Most people aren’t into Second Life like I am, either. And that’s okay, too. Everyone being different is what makes life so much fun! If were all the same, life would be pretty boring.

If you’re into sports and the Super Bowl, then that’s great! I’m happy it makes you happy. You being happy makes me happy, too, so it’s a nice win-win. 🙂

I like being around happy people. That’s why I never say no to an invitation to go to a Super Bowl party, even if I’m mostly going to play with your pets and eat snacks. Playing with animals and eating snacks makes me happy, so it’s a win all around. (Plus some of the commercials are kinda funny. That’s neat, too!) To me, Super Bowl Sunday is a chance to hang out with people that are doing something that makes them happy, while playing with pets and eating snacks. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon, if you ask me. 🙂

I’ll never mock you for being into “sportball” or laugh at you for liking things I don’t like. I’m happy you like them, and that’s all I need to know. ❤

Practice, practice, practice!

Since I’ve been working on this site today for the first time in almost a decade, I decided to go look at an old version of it in the Internet Archive. (Don’t do that, it’s boring as heck.)

There was one page that had something I like on it a lot today:

“Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.” – Ray Bradbury

One of the old versions of this site had that quote on the top. I said that I hoped to be a great writer someday on the same page. I’m not sure if that ever came true, but I do receive praise for my ability to communicate things via written word at work. (They’re even starting to let me post things where customers can see it, something I never dreamed I’d be doing!)

I guess Mr. Bradbury was right. Keep doing something and eventually you kinda get good at it. 🙂

Welcome to my new blog!

I made some changes today!

I’ve started pulling some of the posts I’ve made throughout the years over to this site. I’ve had bunnynet.org as my domain since 1997, but mostly only used it for email in the last 15 years. (There was a site here long long ago, but it’s been forgotten to the ages.)

The bulk of what’s here right now comes from LiveJournal. There’s nothing wrong with LiveJournal, but I wanted to start collecting things on my own domain instead. I’m also able to make it a lot more “me” here, which is cool! I think I’ll keep on cross-posting over there for a while, at least.

Looking back at my old post is really interesting. There’s some at in the pre-2012 era where I was still very deep in the closet and are worded as such. I thought for a while about going back and editing them to swap pronouns and such, but decided to just leave them alone. It is a record of how things actually were, and it’s my own history. I don’t want to rewrite it.

For people have have been following me on LiveJournal, I don’t expect a lot will change! I’m just gonna write things here, instead. 🙂

I still gotta clean things up. I was never good at categories and tags, and I need to fix that. I’ll be tagging posts over time and trying to get my data clean.

Into the modern area of blogging I go!! 🙂

Reflections on my Austin Trip

I just got back from Mephit Fur Meet! Before I got there I spent a few days in Austin, TX, near where I used to life. It impacted me in a way I wasn’t expecting.

I lived in Austin for four years. I’ve been here in CA for 21 months.

At this point in my life in Austin, I felt much more at home than I do here in CA. I’ve been trying to figure out why this is so.

A few things have come to mind. The main thing is that I live in Alameda. I like the town a whole lot, but leaving via car is difficult. There’s four bridges and one tunnel to get off the island. That’s it. (I take the ferry to work, I don’t drive.) The bridges dump you onto I-880, which is ALWAYS backed up. Even at 3am. And heaven help you if you have to get onto I-80.

The tunnel drops you off into a part of Oakland, where, as a translady, I do not feel safe. I have been harassed and catcalled there more than anywhere else combined. It it just a very toxic place and I don’t like to go there. When I do take the tube I refuse to get out of my car until I get to my destination.

I tend to leave the island via car two or three times a month, at the most. I will go weeks at a time where the only time I leave is via ferry to get to work.

When I do decide to try to leave the island, I have to make sure that I REALLY want it. It’s a big commitment. The level of effort needed to leave the island is huge. I can’t predict how long the trip will be.

When I was in Austin last week I took myself on a tour of some of the old places where I used to go hang out, and it was just kinda refreshing to me that I could just drive places and it was no big deal.

I went into a grocery store, and parking was free and abundant. (Neither of those happen here. Even if parking is free, it’s usually hard to get.) When I got inside it was “just a grocery store.” It wasn’t a place where the products are 100% organic, GMO-free, and they sing songs to the kale twice a day so that it doesn’t feel bad. It was… just a grocery store.

When I went out to lunch with my old team, at the end of the lunch we went to Starbucks in the mall across the street from the office. It was no big deal… we were able to find parking, get out, get our stuff, and get back in a hurry. I’ve tried going to a mall three times since I’ve been here, and only one trip was successful. The other two times I couldn’t find parking, and one of those times people kept honking at me and cutting me off, and I got so stressed out that I broke down and started crying in the parking garage. 😦

(I haven’t even though about going to a mall here since then.)

Two years into my stay in Austin I had way more friends than I have here. It’s not because I don’t know people here – I do – but a lot of them are in the South Bay, and it might as well be China. Getting from the East Bay to the South Bay can, literally, take hours, all because of traffic.

For goodness sakes, I pay $2000/mon in rent, and I’m back to using a laundromat like I did in college. I don’t even have a dishwasher. Sigh.

Then there’s the issue of the constant fear that I may come home some day to a notice on my door that my rent is going up up 30%. That’s happened to a bunch of people in my building… there’s 31 units in this building, and five turned over just last month for this very reason. The uncertainty about where I’ll be living at the end of the year totally sucks. (My lease runs out 12/31.)

So I have been asking myself if the quality of life I have here is better than I had in Austin, and that’s not an easy question to answer.

I love my job. It is the best job I’ve ever had. (Really, that’s what keeps me here! If I didn’t have that, I’d have left a long time ago.) It really makes a lot of it worth it, but is it worth the burden of living here? I don’t know.

But here’s the thing… my job would let me move, if I really wanted to. We have offices in other parts of the country, and some folks work remotely 100% of the time.

Making it even more complex is that I feel somewhat like a failure. I’d wanted to live in the Bay Area for a long time. Now I’m here, and I’m learning that it’s not as cracked up as it seems. I like this part of the country because this is where my industry is located – I work in the Internet industry and most of it happens right here. Sometimes I’ll look at the address of a company when I’m looking at their website, and realize that their office is just a few blocks away from mine… and I think that’s pretty cool.

I made it! I’m where I wanted to be. But now that I’m here… well, it’s hard. :\

I’m not going to do anything quickly. My lease is up at the end of the year, and if it doesn’t go up by much, I might just stay for at least another year. I don’t know.

I doubt I’d go back to Austin, since Texas’s protections for transgender people is nearly non-existent. But there are other parts of the country that I haven’t seen (and even other parts of the Bay Area), and a lot of those are very welcoming to transgender folks. We’ll see, I guess.

Siiiiiigh. :\

Luck

I am one of the luckiest girls in the world, I think.

I said something last night that I am so lucky to be able to say, and it just now occurred to me what I said.

The summer summit at work is coming up in a few months, and I’ve been invited to go. It’s in Boston this year, so that means I have to fly out to Boston for a week. While we’re there there will be a swimming party, which is kinda a tradition for the Boston office.

Except, I’ve never been in a bathing suit post-transition. I don’t own one. I’ll have to get one. That in and of itself is kinda scary, but I can deal.

What I said to the lady that does electro on my face is this: “Oh, I’m not worried. It’ll be in the safest environment I could be in, really. It’s just my coworkers. They all know who I am, my story, support me, and really love me. I couldn’t ask for a safer and better place to go out in a bathing suit for the first time, really.”

Wow.

Yeah, so, that’s just normal to me, but wow am I lucky. Most transwomen fight just to stay employed as they transition, but I’m in a place where not only do I not have to do that, but they love me and are 100% behind me and supportive.

Yay. ❤