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Diary of a Failed Laboratory Method

My thesis is one chapter away from completion, and it’d be three chapters away if I hadn’t made a strategic decision to give up on a certain measurement I’d been hoping to make.  That measurement has been a pox on my career since I first proposed it.  Even as I acknowledge that actually getting it would have been an impressive boon for my thesis, I am glad to see it go.

Continue reading “Diary of a Failed Laboratory Method”

Diary of a Failed Laboratory Method

Girl Pattern, Boy Pattern

Parents who want to do right by their children have a lot on their plate, and I do not envy their task.  It is far too easy for even the best of us to end up duplicating the errors that were inflicted on us, or picking up new ones from parenting trends with little basis in reality.

One reality that many well-meaning parents don’t know how to acknowledge is how to make sure that their children don’t fear disclosing their membership in gender and sexual minorities.  This society is hideously transantagonistic, and children notice this well before they have a word for it, and that can make them scared even when they shouldn’t be.

Continue reading “Girl Pattern, Boy Pattern”

Girl Pattern, Boy Pattern

Guayaberas and Banana Leaves

I hid them in a garment bag.  I couldn’t bear to look at them anymore.

Much of how I maneuver within womanhood was determined by my current environment.  I’ve been watching women and building preferences for as long as I’ve been alive.  The core of my style was settled long ago, pretending then to be a statement of preference for the other women in my life, with a tactile longing I only recently came to understand.  But its current expression owes much to where I am now.  Nearly my entire wardrobe is from the heaps of donations I’ve received, filling my closet to bursting and slowly being evaluated for whether and how I’ll actually wear each item.  The friends who provided these items have fairly different styles of their own, and I accepted their largesse knowing that I’d be picking and sorting through it as my style evolves.

Most of those friends are Canadian.  None of them are Hispanic.  And it makes me wonder.

How different would I look if I had recognized myself in Miami, instead of in Ottawa?

Continue reading “Guayaberas and Banana Leaves”

Guayaberas and Banana Leaves

Children and Disability

Ever since I turned 27, the thought of children has been on my mind. At 28, I am now a year older than my mother was when she had me. I always thought that my life would go a certain way. I would get my degree, get married, start a career, and have a baby. All of this was supposed to happen before I was 30.

Then I got sick, and one by one those dreams went up in flame.

I couldn’t go to medical school. Not only that, but I might even be able to manage a regular job let alone a career.

I got a degree, but unlike I expected my whole life, I am graduating with a bachelor with no idea of when or if I will ever be able to get more.

Some things changed, but not for the worse, just became different. Instead of a husband, I have a wife. The important part of that: the love, the support, the companionship remains the same. We live in Canada for now, which mean marriage for us is possible.

And then there are children. Continue reading “Children and Disability”

Children and Disability

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

Growing up I used to hear this expression a lot from my singing teacher. It usually meant that I was doing something with my throat or voice which, while sounding good at the moment, could do long term damage to my vocal cords. I’ve been thinking about this expression a lot lately.

Ever since it came up during a discussion with friends. I was explaining how some of my medication I seemed to take in order to deal with the side effects of other medications. The conversation turned into a discussion of side effects and I mentioned how almost all of mine have increased risk of cancer listed. I joked that the meds I were taking risked me dying a slow and painful death, however I take them to avoid dying a slow and painful death now.

I joked that I’m robbing Peter to pay Paul. Continue reading “Robbing Peter to Pay Paul”

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

Don't Make Me Pee In Your Fruitloops

It’s happening again.

Someone came up with a brilliant idea. Hey, why don’t we charge money for public toilets?

The reasoning is that by charging for bathrooms, the only people who will use them are people who actually have to go. Cut down on public sex, drug use, and raise money for the city all in one go!

Except?

Except this is just another example of how often the rights of the disabled are trampled over in the interest of “the greater good”.

What’s the big deal? It’s just a bathroom? If you can’t afford to use it, just wait till you get home?

Bathroom use is one of those interesting issues. On the surface we know that it effects everyone. One of the most recognized books in toilet training is literally called Everybody Poops. We don’t need to be socially convinced that people need access to washrooms. Where we make mistakes is in taking bathroom access for granted.

For the average person, if you need to use the bathroom, it is just a matter of finding one. You are able to devote a bit of time to looking for one, and if it takes a little while to find it, you are able to hold it in until you do. Chances are you have a restroom in your home and/or at work.

But some of us are not the average person. Some people are like me. Continue reading “Don't Make Me Pee In Your Fruitloops”

Don't Make Me Pee In Your Fruitloops