Derailed Thoughts & Thoughts of Leaving the South

I’ve never been so surprised and so happy about the outcome of a vote.

The British people have voted to leave the European Union, and I’m thrilled for the longterm hope this brings me, that we will move away from central authority and back toward self-governance. Before I dive into the meat of this article, though, I want to mention what a UK citizen told me earlier on Facebook:

Let’s not even talk about how we’ll probably lose Scotland too. My point is yes we’ll survive leaving the eu but we really didn’t have to.

“…how we’ll probably lose Scotland…”

Shit, dude, that’s exactly the problem! That mindset you have, that Scotland is yours to lose! What the fuck? Scotland is Scotland’s! Scotland does not belong to the UK! Jesus! No wonder you’re in favor of staying in the EU! You think it’s perfectly okay to consider other peoples and societies as your property. How else could you possibly justify that statement? “We’ll probably lose Scotland…”

Fuck.

Scotland isn’t yours!

My reply to this, however, was more direct and focused:

If the differences between the Scottish and British people are so fundamental that this rift is irreconcilable, then a fracture between Scotland and England was inevitable anyway. If the British are so in favor of self-governance and the Scottish so in favor of central authority (tendencies that appear to reverse when we start talking of Scottish Independence), then it was never going to work out. And I think that’s pretty obvious–how many times has Scotland voted for independence? I think it is inevitable that they will leave the UK. The only question is when. And perhaps “What will be the final straw?”

Moving On

I want to return, however, to something that I became aware of last night, with the help of awesome patron and supporter Michelle, which is that… it’s bizarre that millennials, who I recently characterized as being “Changeists” without ideological backbones, were almost universally against Brexit.

There’s an enormous difference between “We want change at any cost!” and “We don’t even care what the facts or reasons are–we must not change!”

I think the distinction hinges upon what they consider “Progress.”

It’s no secret that “progressive” has come to mean two things in the west. First, it means being pro-tolerance, at least in the typical usage of the word (not my usage of the word that actually reflects is meaning).

Goodness, the links and inline videos… You can really get a complete picture of my ideology if you follow the trail, I guess. I like to think that it’s pretty circular, and that creates a large problem: where do I start if I want to express my worldview? A circle has no beginning. One thing I say will sound silly without having something underlying it, and if I say the underlying thing, it will lead to another underlying thing. Regardless, my “online presence” has pretty much dived straight into my ideology, so I started somewhere. But if you’re curious to get a complete picture of my worldview–the worldview of an atheistic shemale anarchist–then I like to think it’s becoming possible. Another central piece of that wheel, however, is my presence on Quora, which isn’t typically included in this circle of things that I do. Anyway.

We think of “being progressive” as a good thing, and no one wants to say that they’re regressive or anti-progress. So it’s automatically biased when used in any political context, because it paints a false dichotomy. If your position is “progressive,” then other positions stand in the way of progress. This is a deceitful tactic meant to discourage people from expressing disagreement, as it leaves you able, the moment they speak, to call them backward, “stuck in the past,” and “living for glory days that never were.”

I’m not a fan of that sort of thing.

At any rate, it typically means “tolerance,” or, at least, they say that it means tolerance.

Annnnd my thoughts just got thrown off because I made the mistake of emailing my colleague about paying me for some work I did Thursday, and he replied with his typical criticism:

I wrote you a $250 check Monday. How are you without money today?

Well, I’m not out of money, and I made that clear in the email I sent. I will be, after I purchase some important things.

But one would think this guy had never lived alone. I agree that a $250 check sounds pretty awesome, but what you have to remember is that… that was my paycheck for the week before. $250. A worker at McDonald’s working 40 hours a week at Minimum Wage makes $290, before taxes. That Minimum Wage worker, however, also qualifies for a lot of welfare benefits that I don’t because my employer is a small business. Even after taxes, the McDonald’s worker is still making about the same thing that I made, but most weeks I don’t make anywhere near that amount of money–I usually end up with $150 or $175. $250 was a good week.

Welcome to Mississippi.

But oh, no, everything costs the same here that it costs in states where people can get real jobs. Rent is cheaper here, but that’s it. The price of milk, gasoline, paper towels, cat food–they’re all standardized across the country, from Los Angeles to Boston, because they’re all bought from national chains that standardize their prices regardless of the local economy. This guy knows that I already subsist on a diet of water, ramen noodles, and bologna sandwiches–what the fuck else does he want from me? He knows that I quit smoking because I couldn’t afford it, and that I’m using a vapor device despite their horrendous consistency and my utter inability to find a reliably good liquid.

I mean, really. The only way I could cut down on expenses would be to die.

My television broke, and my only hope was to be able to get the service people down the street to repair it, because they do stuff like that and because I have a great business relationship with them. I’m not convinced that they even looked at it. After nearly 2 weeks, though, they finally called me and told me that they couldn’t fix it. So now I have a 22 inch monitor (which isn’t even 16:9, though it is at least a flat screen) that is the center of everything that I can do in my spare time. While it’s better than nothing, have you tried sitting on your couch and typing something on your 22 inch television? Because that’s essentially how my setup is–everything feeds from my computer, and my computer feeds into my television. A replacement 32 inch (which is smaller than the 72 inch that I used to have, but that my cats broke, leading me to switch to the 30 inch television that I had been keeping in my bedroom) 1080p television is only $160, but it might as well be $1600.

On top of that, my phone is fucked and I can’t receive calls. It needs a new battery, at the very least, but there’s a larger problem with it–any time I receive an incoming call, the display goes black and nothing will light it back up. I cannot see who is calling, and I cannot answer the call. My phone is totally unusable until they stop calling, and then I can look and see who it was. It could probably be resolved by reformatting it, but it would be less trouble to reformat my fucking computer. Given that the last time the battery drained, it took me nearly 3 hours to get it back on, I just don’t think the phone is worth putting much money or effort into.

Things aren’t made to last anymore, and that makes life very difficult when you’re me, because I simply can’t replace these devices that were designed to tear up and stop working. Sure, being able to replace your television for only $160 sounds terrific–until you bought a television a few years before and simply can’t afford to replace it now.

Plus, my graphics card is pretty much shot, and gaming is what I do with about 15% of my spare time. It can increase, if I’m particularly into a game. When I was recently playing Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D, for example, I was playing about 3 hours a day. Now that I’m using mods to wear the alternate outfits and was able to grab Resident Evil 6 on PC for like $6 (a game that I’ve had my eyes on for more than a year, and nearly purchased a year ago for $50–I have a love/hate relationship with RE6), I’m playing about 2 hours a day.

Or, at least, I was. Now, my graphics card simply stops working. Every three minutes or so, GPU usage will drop to 0% while CPU usage skyrockets, and my fps drops from 30 or 60 (depending on the game and settings) to 7 to 10. This lasts for about a minute, with the game being totally unplayable (I’ve found it’s best to just pause the game until FPS goes back up) in the meantime. Extensive testing has revealed that the GPU simply stops trying to process anything, but it’s not a heat issue. I can verify that. Not only is the case open, but there is an actual box fan on Hi blowing directly into my PC, on top of the CPU fan, three case fans, and the gfx card’s fans. Temp monitoring shows that the GPU never goes above 50 degrees (which is trivial for a graphics card), the CPU never goes above 60 degrees (AMD CPUs tend to idle around 45), and the motherboard occasionally hits about 65.

This has always been an issue, but it’s also one that I’d resolved. It seemed in the past that sometimes the GPU just wouldn’t “catch” properly. I’d boot up a game, it would work fine, and then FPS would drop to unplayable levels. The first time I experienced this was with Mortal Kombat 9, and I initially blamed the game. But I quickly learned that I could also boot up any other game, and it would do the same thing. In the end, MK9 simply became the “test game.” If I launch it and the fight begins still at 60 FPS, then everything is fine. But if the fight begins and immediately drops to 7 frames per second, then things are not fine. So I would reboot the PC, and then test again. Eventually, it would function correctly. It’s anyone’s guess why this happened. I’m an I.T. consultant, yes, and a damned good one, but hardware function and driver interactions operate at a level more specialized than I can handle.

The problem is more persistent these days, and I haven’t gotten it to “catch” in days. I’ve essentially stopped trying, and I believe the card is simply dead. That’s not the end of the world, since I needed to re-upgrade anyway, but that’s another $300 that I don’t have.

And am I really being criticized that I’m broke six days after receiving a paycheck that would make a Minimum Wage employee angry? It’s possible to live on such wages–I can attest to that, and I do attest to that–but it’s far from easy, and there’s very little luxury. It infuriates me to basically be living on Minimum Wage, in my own place with all my bills paid, and be criticized for not being able to make $1 pay for $1.50 of things. And if I’d known he was going to take this avenue, instead of just “Oh, yes, I’ll write you a check for the money that I owe you,” then I would have just gone without paper towels.

I can’t afford anything to break, and that has been the case since I returned from Vegas–something that will likely inspire me to go ahead and do that video. While I don’t blame the girl for that, I do blame the experience–and obviously, I undertook the experience–but none of that really matters. It’s simply the case. And it’s going to get worse before it gets better, as I become increasingly androgynous, breasts start to grow, and my hair grows–things that I’m not willing to undo or stop. The bottom line is that I have to move, but I can’t afford to move. I’m a goddamned college graduate with years of experience managing a company, managing large I.T. projects, and being the I.T. firm of multi-million dollar companies. Not only would moving allow me to get a real job, it would allow me to be transgender in peace, allow me to get my ID changed easily, and allow me to get hormones more easily.

Hm.

That’s something I need to really think about. Why… Why am I staying in Mississippi? I don’t even like it here, and it’s not like I really have a family anymore.

8 thoughts on “Derailed Thoughts & Thoughts of Leaving the South

  1. It is interesting to hear the talk about Scotland leaving the United Kingdom as a result of the Brexit. It reminds me what is really dysfunctional view that many people have toward relationships. Scotland doesn’t like Britian decision to leave the EU then they shouldn’t have to go along with it. They should do what they think is best for them. On the flip side, the possibility that Scotland would leave the UK shouldn’t be a reason for Britain to stay in the EU to please Scotland.

    When it comes down to it, we form relationships because it works for our mutual benefit. When there comes a time when that is no longer the case then the relationship should be ended and the parties should go the ways that works best for them with no hard feelings. The worse thing that could happen is for one party to expected the other one to go along because they think they can decide what everyone should do in the relationship or for one party to be submissive to the wishes of other to keep the relationship going.

    We should be independent to make our own decisions irregardless of what other parties in the relationship think and what they want to do and at the same time respect the wishes of others to be independent. If that means our relationship breaks up and new ones created then that is fine. That is just the nature of being individuals and making our own choices.

    I don’t know maybe I am not seeing the whole picture here. But WTF with that response from your colleague? Does your colleague think the two of you are married? Because their response reminds me of that. It shouldn’t be any concern of that colleague that you need money or how responsible you are with your money as a condition of payment for your services to them. To act like that they should pass judgement on your need for money to pay you steps outside the bounds of a business relationship in my opinion. You did services for them and you want to be paid for it therefore they should pay you irregardless of anything else about your situation.

    As far as staying in Mississippi, I see it beyond liking or not liking it or if you have family, but what is best for you. You should be somewhere where being there is a positive experience that helps you to achieve what you want out of life. Not drag you down or hinder you, which in my opinion, is what Mississippi seems to be doing to you right now. So to me moving seems to answer itself.

    The bigger and harder question is where to move to that would allow that for you. That is something you should give some serious thought and make and educated guess about what it would be and try it. After all you will not really know the answer until you move there and experience it first hand. Maybe that is the real fear deep down is that you don’t know. That you might make a choice that makes things worse for or no better.

    But I think that should be your goal even if it means doing a few moves until you find something that is a good compromise for you. Even if you cannot afford to move right now, at least make plans and have an idea where you would go when you can afford it. At least that way you have a plan to make your life better instead of being stuck in a rut. A rut where you have to fight to be you and hating yourself because of it.

    • I think I’ve made the decision to move, and the only thing for me is to accept that decision, if that makes sense. This was the final straw for me, as I type this out from across the living room onto a 22 inch monitor with a phone that I can’t tether because the jack is messed up, with a video card that isn’t doing anything but displaying output, and with me having spent the last of the money I had on critical household items that I need.

      This situation cannot endure.

      What if my car breaks down? What if I woke up Monday morning and needed a starter? Luckily, I am well-versed in auto mechanics and can diagnose and repair most problems, but that would do nothing to pay for the part. What if my CPU burned up? What if my surround sound broke? What if my GNX3 did stop working, as I fear it might? I simply can’t replace any of it, and that makes no sense for someone who is an actual college graduate in a tremendously useful field, with nearly a decade of experience in that field, and tons of management experience, not to mention someone who carves out 9 to 5 Monday through Friday for work, and then spends hours everyday generating content somewhere–one way or another, I work way too goddamned hard to be as broke as I am, and to be utterly unable to replace the few things that I actually care about.

      One of the biggest places of divergence between me and my ex-wife was our valuing of possessions. I don’t care to own a lot of things. I’ve said plenty of times that all I need is a guitar, a moderately powerful computer, a television, and an Internet connection. That’s really all I *need* to be happy. And the fact that I can’t afford those simple things is really fucking pissing me off, considering I’ve never been unwilling to get up and work. Part of the problem is that there’s just no work here. Another part of the problem is the transgender thing, which WILL make things difficult, but hasn’t really *yet*. But the reality is that I can’t handle things becoming more complicated, and when those “bare necessities that I need to be happy” are things that I can’t even have, I simply have to make huge changes. And my ability to make changes is pretty limited to just one thing: moving.

      As far as where to move, there’s only one place: Vegas. There are many reasons for that, but there’s one giant caveat: I wouldn’t do it unless “The Vegas Chick” fully understood that it has NOTHING to do with her. Vegas is a large city–probably larger than Memphis, and with a higher population–and there’s next to no chance I’d randomly encounter her at Wal-Mart or something. But I wouldn’t want to “pull an Armoured Christian” accidentally by her thinking that it had anything whatsoever to do with her.

      However, Vegas is perfect. Vegas is Sin City–I could be a shemale prostitute there and no one would give a damn. While I obviously would never go that route, the point is that it’s got a west coast mentality–which makes sense, as it’s only about an hour and a half from Los Angeles. The weather is great for me–I prefer hot temperatures, and it’s primarily the humidity in MS that kills me. Not to mention I have experience as a slot tech and know from experience that finding a job there wouldn’t be very difficult, especially with the other things on my resume.

      According to my math, $3,615 is realistically all I need to do it. That covers all necessary deposits and three months of rent, which provides me plenty of time to get set up and settled in. While that is a sum I simply can’t acquire in these circumstances, because I’m in a Catch-22 where I need money to go somewhere that I can make money, I am looking into things. $3,615 is also an estimate. Ideally, I can knock $500 by finding an apartment that allows pets without a pet deposit (unlikely though that would be, granted). I’m also estimating $600/month for rent, and can probably find one for $450/month since I only need one bedroom. Before I proceed, obviously, I’m going to look thoroughly into things (thank God for the Internet) and iron out exact figures, but…

      That thought has loomed over my head all day. What if I woke up Monday and my transmission was shot? I have no savings anymore–that was burned through when I returned last year. I have literally no safety net, and that simply won’t do as things begin tearing up. I have to make changes BEFORE there is catastrophic failure of that nature, but failure of that nature is inevitable. Cars break down. Transmissions die. I can’t afford to replace that car–I just bought it six months ago, and coming up with the money to do that nearly killed me, and I had to burn a lot of bridges to do it. There’s simply no option. I have to go where I can craft my own safety net, where it won’t totally wreck my life for my car to stop working because I could just take a taxi for a few weeks, or a bus. Or even walk–I’ve never been opposed to such things.

      There aren’t many cities that I’d be willing to go to. The west coast itself isn’t an option–the cost of living there is too high. Vegas has a pretty low cost of living because of its casinos–the city is expensive as hell for tourists, but very cheap for locals. New York is too big for me, Chicago too dangerous, Boston too religious, Miami too wild… Places further north than Boston are simply too cold for me. Austin, Texas is tempting, but finding a job there wouldn’t be nearly as simple as in Vegas. Atlantic City would be good to a degree, but also too cold, and southerners aren’t particularly treated well that far north.

      • Accept the decision as it is being the right one for you. Is that what you mean?

        I had to laugh at your “Pull an Armoured Christian” reference. Maybe we should tell him that. Might be what really needs in life. To realize that he doesn’t need to make up a fantasy life to feel important because he is important being the standard now for how a pyscho nut case is defined.

        I like your safety net reference. For all of us, what is important will break down at some point. We cannot live in a situation where there is no backup and hope everything works out. We need something to catch us when it does break down so we can get ahead again until we can fix it. Not sink deeper into desperation with no way out.

        While I was reading what you wrote about where to live, I was thinking about saying you should come over here. There is a place next door that is for rent at a cheap price. But that wouldn’t work for you. After all its noon here and the temperature is still below freezing. Besides I wouldn’t want you to take a cut into my IT business here. That would really piss me off :Yes I am very competitive when it comes to business 😛 LOL

        But from what you said, Vegas does seem like an ideal choice for you. As far as making the Vegas chick understand maybe you should cross that bridge when it happens, if at all. Sure there is the good possibility that you will never run into her in a city of that size. But what if you do? Would she recognize you anyway with the way your appearance has changed and maybe a legal name change? Even if she recognized you, it would only be a problem when you first moved there. When it could be assumed that you moved there for her. The longer you are there the easier it is to argue against that. After all if you moved there for her, why do it take you a month, six months or a year for you to make contact with her and only by accident. Yeah definitely a sign that you didn’t move there for her.

        If on the other hand, you start a dialogue with her before you moved there to make sure she understood then it would be extremely difficult to convince her. Then you will be held hostage by her as far as moving there. Better to let sleeping dogs lay and make a plan for taking care of her if and when does happen so your not caught off guard.

        That is a Catch-22 there as far as saving up money to make the move being in a situation where you have to spend what you have left to make more money. But at least you have a plan now and that is something. Maybe things will change after you get past these present difficulties that you can start saving even if it is just a little bit at a time. Just like things will fail, there is the chance that something will come along that will get you out of the Catch-22 situation you are in. Sometimes the problem is not the situation but our mindset that blinds us to the opportunities that come along and taking advantage of them

        • Well, it’s a difficult issue, for sure. I already emailed her to inform her and made it clear that I was not asking her permission; I just don’t see any way of avoiding that issue altogether. One way or another, I would mention it (it’s highly probable that she still reads this site, after all) somewhere, and that could really come off as a creepy thing. I would be creeped out if my ex was suddenly living in my area, especially when there is a long history there already. For all I know, though, she isn’t even alive anymore, so it’s mostly a moot point. She knows that we’ll never actually speak again, and I know that we’ll never actually speak again, and I consider the email little more than a courtesy.

          I mean, if she DID see me one day as I came out of a gas station or something, what would she think? I’m sure that she’d immediately call the police. That’s what I would do. I’d freak the hell out. Although she has moved since I lived with her, and I have no idea where she lives, that also means… that I don’t know where she lives. It means that in my search for a place, I could accidentally end up in an apartment complex two minutes from wherever she lives–or even in the same apartment complex. Given the history, I just don’t think it would be kosher for me to allow that possibility, of her taking out the trash one day and seeing me coming out of my car in the same complex she lives in. That would be scary as fuck for anyone. So I don’t see any way a “heads up” email could have been avoided.

          • Well I can understand what you mean about suddenly popping up and freaking out. Anyway I had an idea for your consideration. Back in my home state of Oregon there are a lot Indian gaming casinos. Being a slot tech maybe you might be able to find work in one of them and live someplace totally new. Based on my experience I would stay away from the southern part of the state where I grew up and lived until moving here. Not very transgender friendly in my opinion. But the northern part of the state (Eugene, Salem and Portland) are more transgender friendly. Just thought I would drop that by you to consider in your plans.

          • I have no idea how to reply to your message on GFM. Nowhere in the dashboard have I found it, and the only reason I even know I received a message is that it came via email. o_O

            Just wanted to let you know why I hadn’t replied to such an important message.

          • What a system they have. 😛 Thank for letting me know 🙂 How about skipping the middle man and sending the reply to michelle_kelly at notathoughtgiven.com 🙂

        • She knows me well enough to understand that the decision wouldn’t have anything to do with her, I think, and I’m confident she would understood why I simply told her. After all, I can’t imagine what she would think if she did happen to see me leaving a gas station one day, just minutes from wherever she lives. And I think she probably *would* recognize me–most people have, and she got to know me a bit more intimately than most people. Her best friend also works at one of the casinos, and there is a chance I’d end up as a slot tech at that very same casino. There are so many ways that she could end up finding out that I was there, and most of those ways would likely creep her out (like randomly seeing me one day).

          Realistically, it would be best if I simply picked somewhere else, but I’m not going to let her and that history get in the way of what is best for me, and I was in Vegas long enough to know that Vegas is best for me. Not only are there countless jobs there for someone with my experience and skillset, but the nightlife… It won’t be hard for me to make friends. The last thing I’d want to do is be bogged down while being a decently attractive and decently-to-moderately sexy shemale living in Vegas and making good money. My greatest regret has always been that I LEFT Vegas, and I’ve always been clear (even to her, in the months that we talked after I returned) that my biggest problem was all the missed opportunities. Well, there are only MORE opportunities for me there now. It is my Land of Milk and Honey. On the scale of comparing it to other cities, it is a 10, and the next closest city is Austin, and I’ve only got it down as a 5–that’s how much better of a fit Vegas really is for me.

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