Category Archives: christmas

Christmas, Hockey, Genies, and 5% Obscurity

I think my last post went over the internet’s head, so I’m going to try and be more normal here. (The spam bots just didn’t know what to do. They were like, “click here >> for free Viagra samples, *confused face.*”) Shut up, me. THAT is not being more normal. That is being weirder.

Well… without the weirdness I think my brain wouldn’t know what to do with itself, it would just run around in helpless circles running into walls. Unfortunately I feel like most of the time my obscure things fly over people’s heads, not because they’re particularly smart, but because they’re just too obscure. Even Zoe, who famously laughs at  a good 95% of the supposed-to-be-funny things that I say, can’t laugh at everything; there’s that freaky 5% that you just can’t make sense of unless you’re me. And even sometimes to myself it doesn’t make total sense. When I’m feeling overwhelmed I’ll start thinking of unfunny, ridiculously abstract things, and then later on when I’m not in such a weird mood I’ll remember them and be a little freaked out at myself. Right now I’m a bit overwhelmed, after the insanity of today and yesterday. On Christmas Eve I went to my French grandmother’s house for most of the day, and it was pretty nice, but added on to a full day at my English grandparents’ house, it feels like too much. I’m glad that I can sit here in the darkness of my room and write a bit, and get away from the socializing and the people, and all that.

I got an excellent haul this year. A banjo from my grandparents, a couple comic books, a gift card for Chapters and a lot of money from the French side of the family. It occurred to me a while ago that I’m fairly well-off, even though my friends are generally much richer (since they live in the richest part of town); but my family isn’t poor. My mom and dad are kind of poor, but both sets of my grandparents have money, and that’s where I get the banjos and things from. I know that not a lot of people get nice banjos from their grandparents, and it’s too bad. Christmas would be better if everybody got what they wanted, or at the very least had a good family to spend the day with. I’m lucky to have both, and as cheesy as it probably sounds, I’m very thankful for it. We’ve got some issues going, but I’m learning that life’s sort of like that, as awful as it is. My dad isn’t doing well. My evil stepmother has totally lost her shit recently (big surprise!!), and their marriage is falling apart, so he’s anxious and upset constantly and I don’t know what to do for him. The other day we walked around the neighborhood downtown for a few hours, got pizza and cookies at the coffee shop and talked, and I think that helped, but otherwise I’m not sure what I can do. My grandpa bought him a little iPod for Christmas and I filled it up with all the songs I know he likes; and I might call him tomorrow to see if he’s doing all right. It’s really strange, because it feels like our positions are switched – a couple years ago when I was hiding in my room for months and hated going outside he was worrying about me, I guess, but now it’s the other way around; he’s doing badly and I’m worried about him. On top of that my mom is really sick with some digestive issue, and she’s been in pain for months – the other day we were driving home from my grandma’s and she was almost in tears because she was in so much pain. I don’t know how to help her, either, but it’s different because her pain is more physical rather than emotional like my dad’s. I’m trying to be better in general with her, less annoying and teenagery or whatever, but I feel like no matter how angelic I force my sinful soul to become she’s still going to be grumpy because of the pain she’s in. I’m happy that she’s going to go get a thingy done to work it out soon, and hopefully that’ll make her feel okay again. For my sake, a little, but mostly for hers.

She got me the Matt Smith season of Doctor Who, and I was really excited about putting it in tonight, but then I realized it’s on Blu-ray. Blu-ray! Holy fucking hell. Do the DVD companies understand that not everyone is rich enough to buy their fancy machines that (in my opinion) aren’t much better than the regular thing? I don’t want the extra features, I just want to watch the goddamn moving pictures. So we don’t have one – and I’ve got this beautiful box-set season of Doctor Who just sitting below the Christmas tree, unwatchable because goddamn Blu-ray. It’s not my mom’s fault, I guess she didn’t realize that it wasn’t a regular old-fashioned DVD set. I feel even worse about it because it must’ve been expensive and we don’t have any money. Now we’ve got to return it, or I’ve got to go take up residence in my grandparents’ house for a week or so to watch the episodes. They’ve got one of those infernal Blu-ray players, but I’m not at their house all that much anymore and, spoiled though I may be, it’s no fun watching TV when my OCD aunt is sitting across the room talking every three seconds – neither do I like having to do things I like with other people, unless it’s a thing specially done with other people. I never had any intention of watching Doctor Who with anyone else (excluding my mom, but she has a special place in this matter) – I intended to lie on the couch like a vegetable and marathon my way through the season on lonely Christmas holiday afternoons.

So, please forget my whinings. Christmas has been great, mostly because this year is the first in a really long time that I’ve been able to spend time with everyone without feeling like I’m being roasted alive by my anxiety. I’ve had some anxiety over my aunt’s (not the OCD one’s) new boyfriend, a slightly untrustworthy-looking French fellow with a large thick beard. His daughter, who’s ten, is nice, which may give some insight into how he is himself (I’ve noticed the attitude of the kid often reflects their parents), but so far I don’t know how I feel about him. I don’t outright dislike him, which is a good sign, but I’m wary about liking him, anyways. On Christmas Eve I spent time with everybody, played cards with my cousin and his dad, (both of whom I really, really like), and I must’ve done at least an hour and a half of Minecraft on my grandma’s iPad, which was probably necessary for my social anxiety or something, and dug so far underground that I hit the bottom and my eight year old cousin seemed impressed with me. I also built a three-story wood-and-stone tower which I’m proud of. None of that, of course, was worthwhile, but at least it was fun and kept my mind off being stressed out.

Today was busy, too, what with the English family getting together. It’s strange how I haven’t felt excited about Christmas for years – I look forward to it, but I don’t get excited anymore. It’s a little depressing. I woke up around seven this morning, and stayed in bed  being sleepy for about an hour, and had time to reflect on how when I was little, if I woke up after five I’d be running down the stairs for the Christmas tree and its presents, regardless if anyone had actually woken up yet. Now I don’t care as much. I like the family part more than I used to, and especially now that I can handle it all again.

After supper (which was delicious, and really British: roasted beef, mashed potatoes, vegetables, Yorkshire pudding, gravy), I went out for a walk with my uncle and my grandpa, and the dog. It was extremely cold. I also went out in the morning, and my grandma wasn’t sure if it was a good idea for me to go out again, in the coldness – but my grandpa said that it had warmed up from earlier, which, if you think about it, is a ridiculous thing, because it was at least -20 this evening. You know it’s bad when you’re at -20 and the temperature has actually gotten warmer. 

I need a new winter coat. This is completely uninteresting, I fully expect all the spam bots to skip this paragraph. But the thing is the one I have is not warm enough for the post-apocalyptic cold around here, and also, it just looks kind of silly. I’m sorry. That’s completely vain and stupid, but it’s true – it’s a dress coat, so it’s kind of fancy, and not made for standing outside for hours, or for going to skate on the rink, or anything. It’s a man’s coat, so at least I don’t look girly. I really like it for just walking around or going to school, but I’ve made my plans to monopolize the rink next to the library this year already, and I don’t want to have to do it in a not-warm-enough dress coat. Plus if anyone else is there (and here I’m getting vain again) I’ll feel stupid wearing it, especially since I’m not one of those terrifyingly competent hockey players that often show up on public rinks. I played hockey for about four or five years, so I’ve got reasonable skills, but for one thing, I’m five foot six and about a hundred and thirty five pounds, and for another I just can’t keep up with those guys who have been playing their whole lives competitively, skill-wise. I’ve got the worst wrist-shot in hockey history and I can only do good crossovers from the right side. I can skate backwards pretty well and I’m reasonably fast, at least, but that’s small potatoes next to the people who can do everything: the backwards, the forwards, the perfect crossovers, the incredible wrist and slap shots, the checking, the stick-handling, the everything. Besides I’ve got asthma and after about five minutes of skating I tend to wheeze and feel a little pass-outy. Playing hockey, I did pretty well, due mainly to my insane desire to not suck – by the end of the last season I had to quit from my general anxiety, but I was doing good. I’ve got great spacial sense (oh, thanks, Asperger’s!) and I can pass better than most other players, and not to mention my body checking (although it’s hard to body check teenage boys or men when you’re five foot six and have the bone structure and strength of, oh, wouldn’t you know it, a sixteen year old girl), but still! In the grand scheme of things, I probably suck!

So there! What was the point of that, anyway? I don’t know. I need a new winter coat. That’ll magically turn me into a five foot ten boy with a great wrist shot. (That’s what I would have been, anyways, had the universe not screwed me over at birth. Except minus the great wrist shot. Yes, minus that.)

Is this the part where the inevitable transgender crap finds its way in? God, I hope not. I try to keep away from that part of my existence for as long as possible unless I’m desperate to write about it. I don’t know. Lately, I guess, I’ve been just as desperate about it as ever, but there’s nothing, literally nothing, to do about it until the next time I see my doctor, which is in a few weeks. (Shit, a few weeks. Feels very long right now.) That’ll be after I get back to school, which is maybe a good thing, I don’t know, so I can tell my friends about it. But do I have to? How about I get a magic lamp and a genie comes out and says,

“You have thr-,”

“Yes!” I shout back, grasping the air in excitement. “Here’s number one -,”

“Wait,” he says, holding out a wispy-looking hand and staring at me with sparkling, narrowed eyes. “Think about it first.”

“Fuck you. Boy, boy, boy. All right?”

Now I think I’ll get my banjo, tune it, and go downstairs to play it for my mom. I hope my cat doesn’t run away and leave a dust cloud behind like he does when I take out my guitar. Anyway, merry Christmas, or Hanukkah, or whatever you celebrate (they’re all the same to me), and I hope that you have a good couple of weeks off work or school or whatever, and that the new year is a nice one.

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The Cellar Boy’s Tolkien-Inspired Version of What Happened at the Family Christmas Party

* See legend below for possibly much-needed explanations

Yesterday at my grandmother’s palace many folk from all around the land gathered to talk, drink, and eat tourtière made from meat that is found in no grocery store, which is, rather, hunted down in the wilds by the brave uncles of the family. Me and my mom (from the race of Men) came up to the great, sparkling white house, clad in our better garments. She went on ahead proudly, ready to deploy her social powers and prowess in the strange language of Quebecois French, as I lingered behind her, staring out past my helmet with one hand on my Sacred Book and the other stuffed into my pocket, where I hid a bit of elvish bread just in case the supper was too gross, or the meat in the pie was too moosey. We came into the grand entryway, where a forest of boots sat on the rugs beneath clouds of winter coats, and were greeted with a warm swell of conversation and the bustle of people. All sorts of folk were already gathered there. An old halfling woman, known for her odd ways, bustled up to me and stuffed a paper Christmas tree in my hand, telling me bossily to engage in the party game that I didn’t really want to engage in. Nonetheless I took the token, and then moved through the crowds to find my cousin, The King of Pistachios, tall and familiar, soaring above the heads of the French hobbits and even of some of the Men. We sat by the great fireplace and traded tales. Then we moved on to an alcove near to the grand kitchen, where hobbits and Men alike bustled to and fro among the enormous stoves, where full pigs roasted over flames that leapt higher than the heads of giants – and somewhere in that bustle of fire and food was the Hostess herself, that which Men call Grandmaman. No one knows if Grandmaman is hobbit or Man – she seems to be from the same kin as Tom Bombadil, mysterious and strange, but magical and wise to the land and its people and its laws – as well as its food.

I, who can give myself no title, and the King of Pistachios, and my fair mother sat in a quieter corner of the bustling palace, watching the hobbits, the Men, and the odd Elf go past. For the most part the gatherers were unknown to me, folk from distant places indeed, mostly hobbits, who take family connections very seriously – but there were Men among them, stout of heart, and a scattering of Elves who were somehow related. At one point in the night, while I stood near to the glittering Tree hung with its array of ornaments, and white birds cleaning their feathers deep in the musky pine branches, the door opened yet again, and looking up suddenly, I saw the Pale Queen enter, flanked by her two Men; her skin was even whiter than snow, and almost dusty, while her eyes gazed powerfully and her blue clothes caught the eyes of all who saw her. She was the sister of the Gentle Voice, who came after her, and was even more great; and after him, her lover, who has no title. They joined our party in the quiet alcove we had chosen for ourselves, and the Gentle Voice talked with my mother and with me, while we quietly went to get our food and eat it. One of the hobbit children ran past endless times with an unfathomable energy, and put pistachios (most of which had been already eaten by the King of Pistachios) into my hand as a game. Then he ran off again, and came back later; some wondered if there was Elf magic at work, which would explain that particular hobbit’s frightful energy.

While we sat there, the hobbits and Men conversed gaily, and glasses shattered quite by accident, caught up as people were in the spirit of Christmas – and Grandmaman whirled around, offering snails and melted cheese, which our company politely refused; in the air was cheer and fun and the careless happiness of such a momentous gathering. I talked some with the King of Pistachios, who, much to his misfortune, knew not the language of French. I myself spoke it little, and was more inclined to listen to the strange tales and  conversations that seethed in such a lively way in the air. I ate good food and talked just a bit with some other Men and hobbits, and so the feast passed in its gentle whirlwind.

At one time there was a whole lot of us gathered in the alcove, and we were talking. Even I was somehow caught up in the conversation, though I felt in danger of being foolish, with so many ears turned my way – and the lover of the Pale Queen, at one point, called me he. I am, of course, a man, though few can see it past the terrible curse that was bestowed on me at the time of my birth, when I was cruelly made a “she” – though, possessing some insight that the others didn’t, the man did call me so, much to the chagrin of one of the hobbits, who quickly corrected him. My fair mother, as fair as always, said that it was quite all right, a fine mistake to be made (for she is one who knows of my curse), but I am not sure the others heard. In any case, the issue was immediately dropped, and at that moment, overcome, I stole away from the table and sought a quieter place. In one of the enormous mirrors that line the great front hall of Grandmaman’s palace I looked at myself, and there saw a boy in his simple dark garments, with his Sacred Book still in his hand, and his eyes staring sadly from beneath his helmet, which he wore at all times to deflect the world’s unkindness, and the arrows or stones shot from above. Recalling the unknowing words of the man, I smiled, but it turned into a grimace, and I had to stop looking.

So the night then came to an end, and the hobbits, with  bellies full of bread, wine, and tourtière, shrugged on their winter coats and headed out into the night; the Men too, followed by the small number of Elves. I left with my mother and the King of Pistachios – we rode our horses out into the snowy nighttime, back into our small house upon the hill, next to the cold and perilous forest, and slept softly through the hours until the dawn brought snow and brightness to the land once more.

Legend

Tourtière:

tourtiere-cut-e1292808300322

– French people hunt various wild animals and stick them in a doughy pie crust, and we all eat it and like it.

Hobbits/halflings :

hobbits

– are these.

Merry Christmas.


Reflections on the Holidays, Christmas, Car Shops, Transgender Crap, etc.

Must I really say it? Okay, I will. It’s that time of year again, someone told me we have to be jolly, and you know, sugar plums. Whatever. I used to get really excited about Christmas, but the euphoria wore off by the time I was thirteen or so, and now the best I can do is feel mildly nostalgic and somewhat sad that happy things get less happy as time goes on. I accept that that’s just the way things are – when you’re little, everything is a big, honking, exciting deal, and then when you’ve gone through the same thing ten-odd times it starts to lose its shine, and then eventually it just feels more like Whatever. Great, more sugar plums.

I’m happy that my little cousins are happy – and I’m happy that after the holidays the outdoor rinks are going to be frozen. I’m also happy that I get to see all my family, and spend some time with the people I don’t see as much, and get to eat really good Christmas food at both my grandparents’ houses. Presents I care about less, but, you know – I still like presents. I feel vaguely obliged to start getting other people presents, but I don’t have any money (well, a few coins sitting around, but that’s for getting tea at Tim Hortons with two milk, two sugar, on my walk home), and I don’t really know what people like, either. My usual strategy to satisfy people on their birthdays or whatever is to make them a card, which seems acceptable, because since they’re hand-made people will now I care, without me having to get them a shiny new toaster or whatever adults like. My little cousins are easier to get stuff for – I gave some old toys to my cousin a while ago, and maybe they’ll like my old picture books this year. I wish Christmas wasn’t quite so centered around presents; and it isn’t, always, but presents are still sort of a given. Christmas isn’t proper Christmas unless you have a mound of wrapped-up presents under the tree.

At my mom’s house, it’s the only the two of us and the cat, so we don’t have to go all-out with the decorations and stuff. We have a poor, sad little fake tree with droopy branches that we set up in the corner by the patio door, which the cat really likes to hide behind (and when he was little he would climb in it and sleep there), and we’ve got a string of red lights to put up at the kitchen window, and some other odds and ends. Otherwise it’s pretty minimalist – we have our stockings, (even a tiny one for PK) and my mom will fill them with silly things like banana holders or fancy new pens, and I might pick up a little cat toy or two to stuff in PK’s stocking, and that’s all we do. At my English grandma’s, it’s a much bigger production – we have a real tree, with a veritable Mount Everest of presents under it for the whole family, and a row of stockings packed to the brim with stuff (as well as “overflow bags”, a thing I’m pretty sure wasn’t a thing until my grandma invented it), and a nativity set over the painted wooden fireplace that my grandpa made way before I was born. We’re not even remotely religious, but we still have the old nativity; traditionally I set it up, with all the ceramic figures placed very carefully around the tiny baby Jesus sitting in his pile of hay, but this year my grandpa did it, and he put one of the camels in the middle, with everyone standing around looking at it. It struck me as one of the funniest things he’s ever done – he says the caption for it is “What are you all looking at?” That just about proves how religious we are, substituting Jesus for a camel.

At my French grandmother’s, it’s also a big production – she’s got this glitteringly perfect-looking fake Christmas tree, set up like something in a high-class office building, with a whole bunch of other decorations, a nativity set, a little Christmas village on the mantle, and many, many lights. When the lights are off, it’s actually pretty amazing. Her house is huge, and they have lots of money, so we always get stuffed full of presents on Christmas eve (which is when the French Canadians celebrate Christmas and open presents). She makes a big turkey dinner with all the fixings, and she used to invite over the whole family (and that’s A LOT OF PEOPLE), but I don’t know if she does that anymore. In any case, I’m glad she doesn’t. I went to a wedding a few months ago and I have to say, it’s somewhat stressful, being boxed in by a hundred screaming French people. I think they scream just to attempt to be heard, because it’s hard to be heard when everyone else is screaming, too. Unfortunately for more English-oriented family members like me, in that situation very little can be understood – one-on-one, I can hold my own in a French conversation, but drop me into that mess and I’m useless.

I think I almost prefer the less-busy kind of celebration; like at my mom’s, where we’ll watch a Christmas movie and giggle over the bad presents, and the cat will try to eat all the ribbons. I don’t mind when the whole family’s over, but it gets overwhelming after a while, especially at my English grandparents’ with my great aunt who can’t stop talking because of her anxiety, which makes me, in turn, really, really stressed out. Plus my cousins are as loud as a hockey game crowd, even though there’s only three of them. I never like being showered with presents – since my mom and dad are poor, I don’t have to go through the awkwardness of accepting expensive gifts from them, but at both my grandparents’ I do. As if that’s a bad thing; it isn’t really, but the thing is I don’t really need all that, and I’m happy enough to get a banana holder and some fancy pens, when it comes down to it. And my cat doesn’t even know it’s Christmas – we throw him some crinkly toys and a thing of catnip just for the sake of tradition, and that’s it, he’s happy. I think his version of the perfect Christmas would probably be a bowl of oatmeal left unattended or something.

I don’t know what my friends are doing for Christmas; most of them are well-off, so they usually go away for vacations, while I stick around town standing by the not-yet-frozen rinks and staring longingly over the boards. I’ve been envious lately of my well-off friends who get the new game systems and everything – I’ve wanted the new 3DS since it came out, because of the new Pokemon games, and not to mention the new Zelda one, A Link Between Worlds – but neither my mom or my dad can afford it, and it’s even a bit steep for my English grandparents, I think. I’m sure my French grandmother could afford it pretty easily but there’s no way I can go right out and ask her. It’s somewhat humbling, when all your friends have the new things all the time, and you never do. Josh already told me he’s probably getting the new Zelda game for Christmas – he’s already got the 3DS and both versions of the new Pokemon game. So does Devin, and Daniel – everybody except me and my friend Mat, and I think we can sympathize with each other because we’re both kind of poorish. He has a giant hole in his living room floor, anyways. It’s covered with a board and you can see down through a crack into the basement. He also apparently owns a cat named Hunter, which I’ve never met, and, except for a bowl of cat food and a chewed-up Nerf dart, don’t really have much reason to believe actually exists, since it’s always nowhere in sight when I visit him. At least my cat comes to the door to see who’s there before he runs away to hide.

So, I am looking forward to Christmas, mostly because of all the family being together, and the food. (I admit a good portion of it is the food.) My grandma makes Yorkshire pudding for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I’m usually the rude person who eats five and everybody else has to have less. But I think it’s accepted in the household that the Yorkshires are there upon my request. She’s not making turkey this year, which is sad and also happy – sad because I love turkey, and happy because I don’t have to struggle to get around the fact that I’m going to be eating a giant dead bird that’s been baked in the oven for several hours and then cut apart.

I really like the English side of my family (of course the French side too), but they have a special place in my heart because I grew up at their house. There’s Nana, Eddie, Matt, and Auntie Heather, as well as the annoying, sweet-tempered Wheaten terrier, Roxy. I am constantly lobbying for the family to stop feeding Roxy whenever she begs – but they’re too nice to say no to a dog, especially when it’s a cute one. Roxy likes me, and she doesn’t bug me for food. When she does I just shove her head away and say No – and it actually works. When I come in the door she runs over to me, stubby tail wagging, and jumps up on me. I lean down to give her my hat, which she takes politely in her mouth, and then she runs away to sit with it on the couch and wait for me to come get it back. She really is pretty cute, if annoying with her constant search for food from people’s plates.

Today we had a sort of pre-Christmas celebration at their house, because part of the family isn’t coming this year, they’re headed to my aunt’s mom’s place, and my grandma wanted us to all be together once for the holidays. We got pizza from Pizza Pizza and decorated the Christmas tree, and I went out for a walk with my grandpa, my uncle, and my dad – we played with a glow in the dark Frisbee while Roxy ran around looking for things to eat that she isn’t supposed to eat. Now I’m here at my mom’s again, sitting in the ever-chilly darkness of my room – I even opened the vent the whole way, and it’s still chilly. Yet, during the night I always get too hot. There’s no solution to this, really.

Hey, tomorrow’s school. Wonderful. Actually, it might be getting marginally better lately – in History class last week we actually got play a video game that had to do with World War 2 – and among the group of girls I happened to be with, I was the only one who could fly the plane without crashing it instantly. ‘Wow, you’re good!’ someone exclaimed enviously, after I finished the level crash-free. Well, despite my girl-like exterior, I have been playing video games for years, and I contest daily with a group of teenage boys at lunch on the Wii. All that has given me some respectable video game skills, and my know-how with consoles in general is more impressive, I would say, than most “girls” my age. I fought for years to get good enough to beat my friends on Super Smash Bros., where before I’d just lose as badly as those girls in History class who kept crashing the plane. Now I do fairly well – I very rarely win, but I don’t lose as often. My favorite character (you can just skip this, if it’s going right over your head, that’s fine), is Sheik, who’s just Zelda dressed up as a boy. (Zelda is the princess in a video game series that you have to rescue, but in one of the games she dressed up as Sheik, who’s a mysterious character that can fight and do flips and stuff, who you initially think is a boy, until you find out later that he isn’t.) It’s super-ironic, obviously, and I wonder if the point is starting to rub off on anybody. “My favorite character is SHEIK, HE’s the best,” I said the other day.

I got one nod and two other boys that barely heard me. You tend not to listen very well when you’re playing video games, I understand that.

But Sheik, honestly, is pretty amazing. He’s fast and his final smash is the same as Zelda’s, which is a powerful light arrow that smashes into other characters and flings them off the stage, usually fatally. I don’t play as Sheik JUST because I like his attacks and stuff – I also play as him because I can sympathize with him, and I admire Zelda for secretly being so awesome as to masquerade as a boy while also being a beautiful princess. Like, yes – good move, Nintendo.

All right, the nerd rant is over. I don’t know if people properly understand the depths of my nerd-knowledge – I’ve played all the Pokemon games, (except the new ones), I was really into Yu-gi-oh a while ago, and I like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Star Trek – which is why all my friends are also nerds.  Josh is full-out obsessed with Pokemon and Yu-gi-oh, while I got over that stage years ago; now I’m just really obsessed with Doctor Who and Star Trek. Better? Meh. Honestly, probably not.

While I understand that girls can be really into those things, there are, nonetheless, no girls at Josh’s house at lunch, where we all go to play video games and argue about Yu-gi-oh strategies. I expect there never will be – and if there are, then the world is quite likely to end.

So I’ve got two more weeks, I think, before the holidays, and then a few weeks off to go look hopefully at the outdoor rinks and call my friends to see if they want to do some nerdy stuff with me, assuming they haven’t fled to somewhere nice and warm like Florida. I’ve never been to Florida – I hear it’s hot there. I don’t ever think I’ve gone on a Christmas vacation, but I don’t know if I even really want to, anyways; I’m looking forward to having a few weeks to gather back my wits, since they’ve been pretty much scattered to the winds from my four months of being at school. Wow, it’s been that long – it doesn’t really seem like it. Time doesn’t actually pass faster now that I’m at school – it just passes in a different way. In a less agonizing way, that’s for sure. There’s always the day-to-day agonies to suffer through, like not really having a friend in History. But there are high points; like doing Othello, and getting to be Iago when we read out loud. That’s the funnest thing ever, being Iago, getting to be really evil and screwing everybody else over. I got really into it and my teacher told me I’d done the reading super well – it always surprises me when teachers compliment me, since for most of my life at school they’ve more or less complained about me.

Next semester, after the big whoop of Christmas and the summatives, I kind of want to try out co-op – we had a presentation about it in class the other day, where some kids came in and talked about their jobs. (Also the co-op teacher was so polite about the issue of my gender that she called me ‘they’, which was the small victory of the day.) There was one guy who worked on cars, and I actually thought that sounded sort of fun – and I swear to God I’m not saying that to try and be manlier – but it doesn’t sound bad at all to me. I like working, putting things together, fixing things, and seeing how things work – so that might be somewhat high on my list. The only problem is I don’t know how seriously they’d take me if I said I wanted to do that. I am, after all, a somewhat short guy who obviously looks like, and is for the sake of argument, a girl. But I only miss 5″6 by the teeniest smidgen of a millimeter, so let’s just say I’m 5″6. At least that’s only 2 inches below average, and one above average for women. So not bad. Then, of course, there’s my incorrigibly girly voice – I try my hardest to banish all girly inflections, and I think I do it well, since I’ve never talked like that anyway, but in a car shop? I dunno.

“Hey, meet Brynn, he’s a boy. I think,” says Johnny the tall, gritty-looking car guy.

“Hi, Brynn,” says Bob, uncertainly.

“Hi!” I squeak.

“Say, Johnny, I dunno,” says Bob. “Let’s check the form again.”

Anyway, if not working at a car shop or at the gym to lift heavy weights in front of girls, then I think I’d like to do something with writing – like a newspaper job or something. I could write articles about being transgender, or about high school, or whatever. If not I could work with animals, like at the humane society. In any case, I think co-op would be fun – if it’s at all possible to sign up next semester, then I’ll do that. I’d rather work someplace than sit in class, anyways.

So maybe it’s time to put away the proverbial pen, because this post isn’t even about Christmas anymore, who am I fooling. I don’t imagine I’ll have much to write about until after my appointment with Dr. what’s-his-face-on Friday, which I’ll definitely need to write about, just to get it down and out of my head. I can’t wait for that. Meanwhile, I shall sail through the coming week like a small dog on a log floating in an uneven sea, clinging on for dear life while writing books and stuff. I don’t know, whatever.

See you later.