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Long Weekend at Lake Metaphor

Field Notes In/On Transition.

I decided a few weeks ago, to take a long weekend over the Canada Day weekend. Not because I had any plans to go to fireworks, or “The Lake” (which is Canadian for getting the hell out of the city for a few days; whether there is an actual lake involved matters not, though it is nice to have around) or anything like that. In fact after my Sunday coffee, I stayed home, ate snacks and played games all day. 

However, I did wear my red & white for the momentous occasion of levelling up my current Fallout 3 character Dinah (and for Canada Day). She’s handy with a shotgun, and apparently has a stalker. This game seems to have a stalker in it, if you play a lady character. Typical. But it’s a fun “open world” game where I spend most of my time sneaking through a beautifully ugly post apocalyptic landscape, occasionally killing off mutated creatures or “raiders”, who have obviously graduated from the Mad Max Bad Guy School of Villainy. So, yeah right up my alley.

 I told myself there was a faint hope that I might tear myself away from the game long enough to check out Commercial Drive on a Euro Cup final/Canada day celebrations. But as I progressed in my game... I rarely left the sofa, except to check my facebook, grab a nosh, until around 11pm or so, which is my usual “get ready for bed, then read a novel (currently Kem Nunn’s Unassigned Territory), for an hour or so before nodding off”. 

Part of me of course sees all the time I spent the last few days off playing video games, as a complete waste of time... but that time spent wasting time has helped me clear some cobwebs out of my brain, and like writing this blog, it seems to help me sane as I transition; something you do need to be able to turn off, now and then is your brain. 

I really am just trying to live my life, as I always have and yet, as subtly as can be possible: change how I present myself. Something this radical, changes your own perception of what you do with your days, where your inspiration, procrastination (there’s a reason these words end rhyme ;p) come from. Mine occupy the exact same space. or so it seems.

This is something I have just now begun to be able to put into words; partially I think because of the really nice visits I have had in the last week with two of my oldest friends. I have a friend who has been very successful with his first novel. He was in town for a few days, and set aside Thursday the 28th for us to hang out.

Old friends can bring a perspective,and for me are a test of where I'm at. As each person sees the new me, and sees that this is the slimmer happier version of that younger fatter, angstier me.

We did the typical Vancouver rainy day thing of going for coffees, skytrain rides, long walks, catching each other up on our lives (he lives in Winnipeg, and travels a lot, whereas, I live near Commercial Drive, and rarely leave a 15 block radius from my house) I think he saw and appreciated how much happier, and content I have been since starting transition. 

Ang (my nickname for him, from our University days - pronounced And-dge) extended an invitation to go to some local lit-scene event at the Main St. Legion (which really is the best Legion in Vancouver BTW) But I was cash poor, and not feeling up quite yet to casual beers with writers I admire, a few of which I know casually from poetry reading around town. Just like I’m not ready for lipstick and dresses at work quite yet, I’m not quite ready for events in really straight bars either. It’s a vibe more than anything, knowing what I’m ready for, and knowing when to back off, has been a strength of mine so far in this transition. Confidence, Me? I know, right? It’s weird being who you really are. I’ve done lots of the blustery over confident thing before, enough to know when I actually believe what I’m saying.

Also in town, is my pal Woo (another nickname, that many people use for her) who these days resides near Denver (it’s all very South Park, she assures me) and visits family and friends around Vancouver when she can. We hadn’t seen each other in a year or two, except of course on facebook. Which, really I might not be doing this, were it not for that social network, and it’s ability to reach so many people who have been so awesome about what I’m doing.

On Wednesday we hung out after I finished work (I left early to work at home to try and figure out some crazy scheduling issues at work) ... we have got to hang out a few times and Woo has been so super supportive and seems to be able to relate to me as Josie, more than anyone else so far (no pressure, Woo!)... But we’ve always had a kind of “galpal thing” going on I think, even when I had dumb clumsy Uncle Testosterone banging away at my insides. Of course the first time we met, we were surmising, was when I went to a party at her place “en femme” back in the mid 90’s. 

I have to mention the great Japanese restaurant we ended up going to after deciding to get dinner. Kishimoto, on Commercial drive. (link) Easily the best Okonomiyaki I’ve had since I lived in Japan, and the Unagi sushi was amazing as well, along with a couple of ice cold Kirin Ones... very nice. I told Woo whacky stories about my time in Japan, and we laughed and both took some weight off our shoulders, while filling our bellies with cabbage, eel, rice and beer. 

Though Woo told me later that she overheard the Japanese lady next to us tell her caucasian friend that, In Japan they usually use more cabbage in the okonomiyaki, that they too ordered, we think, partially because of our very loud appreciation for how delicious it was.

Actually though, I ended up feeling really bad, as I was leaving; I forgot, for some bizarre reason (alcohol, perhaps?) how to say “gochi so sama desu”... as I was leaving, which is the traditional thing to do at a Japanese restaurant when you’ve had an exceptional meal, service, time. (or are just really polite) It took me ’til much later in the evening to recall the phrase.  

Short term memory is the first thing to go they say.

Which leads me into the weekend... I had Friday off as well, and went out as I would on saturday or Sunday, for a coffee, hang out with acquaintances who happen by.... I only stayed an hour and a half or so, in which time I worked on this blog a bit, and surfed the net, while casually listening to a bunch of proto firemen chat in that oh so masculine way about their training, and hockey, soccer, and (uggh) UFC. 

I don’t miss being a boy at all. Not that I can’t or won’t talk about hockey or soccer. Most of my friends call it football, but as a Canadian I reserve that term for both American and Canadian football. The Canadian variety being all I really care about, though. 

I’m very casual in my following of all sports except hockey. I loathe the whole UFC, MMA thing. Uggh. concussions are a big problem in Sports these days, and these sports basically are all about giving people concussions. Bloodsport is not my thing. I really don’t get the attraction. 

Those firemen were certainly cuties, but oh so macho in their yakkety yak, that for me, it was really off-putting, and maybe a bit frightening. (though they paid me scant attention, if any) I gathered my skirt and went off to Value Village to spend money I didn’t have. Luckily it was one of those times when restraint was easy. I only bought a couple of shirts, that will easily fit into the rotation I have going now. I spent just enough to max out my points card, so I can head over on payday and get some stuff for 30% off.

On Saturday, after my usual coffee, and lovely chat with my coffee pals (the Becky & Sean Show! :p) I went for the first time to my pharmacist’s all skirted up. To get hypertension meds, and not pick up yet more stuff I need but don’t need at the drugstore. For some reason I was a bit nervous about going in “as myself”, but as usual, no one said anything untoward, or even paid any attention that I could see, to how I was presenting myself. A lot of my fears, tensions about being so “out” are really fading. 

I spent most of the rest of my long weekend immersed in Fallout 3 and snack food. For once though I don’t have any guilt about all the hours I wasted playing this silly game. I feel as levelled out as my character is levelled up. I really am starting to feel like the world is not ending, that I actually have a hope of surviving the post apocalyptic nightmare that is the 21st century, with no bigger issues than getting my spending under control, at the same time as I finally deal with all these things that have been gnawing at my real life, like radroaches, or  baby deathclaws. 

My sleep has been really good recently, I think just for this reason. I don’t feel all this stress in my back, from work, transition, life, that normally I have to stretch out, or read away with hours of late night Sci-Fi reading, game playing or movie watching. Heck my shit is so together I even have my next blog post after this one is already percolating and will likely be hitting your screens fairly soon after this one.


  1. I am Loving that floral dress!

  2. Thanks! me too. wish I had weather to wear it once in a while. ;P


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