Tsunaide te

So here I am. I’ve got a friend working on a nifty little banner logo for me, because my trusty old laptop is buggered (power pin in the case came unwelded), taking my pro software with it.

The post title is the name of a song I particularly love, used in the anime of Fullmetal Alchemist; as may be apparent from the blog name, I particularly love this show. I’m using it because the main character, Edward, is a person living with a disability (he’s lost an arm and a leg, literally; he uses some advanced prosthetics to get by), with almost no family left alive, and I like the mental image of me as being the Fullmetal Feminist. I did give brief consideration to being the Fullmeta Feminist, but thought that might be a level of meta too far.

If there is such a thing.

So who is the Fullmetal Feminist? Well, I’ve been around the webs for a long time, mostly posting as CaitieCat, a nickname (my first one ever outside my family of origin) given to me by a former paramour, and used both at Shakesville and at FreethoughtBlogs, where I’ve done guest posts.

I’m 47 in a couple of weeks, and a translator of German/French/Russian to English, as well as an academic editor/proofreader, by vocation. I deal with chronic pain from a car accident when I was 21; my particular problem is degenerative disc disease, which has so far cost me two inches in height (with probably another four inches to go before I’m done shrinking), my ability to play my beloved football (soccer), and the daily need for a cane to walk with.

I’m also a serious depressive, and that, along with the chronic pain, is to be my “special focus”, if you will, of this blog. That doesn’t mean it’ll be all doomgloom and painbrain all the time; I enjoy a fair bit of geek culture, and intend to write about that as well, such as Supernatural (call it a guilty pleasure) and a whole bunch of anime that’s a little off the beaten path (Ghost Hound, House of Five Leaves, Mushi-shi), along with geek staples like BSG, Doctor Who, and so on in that manner. Expect things like a Supernatural rewatch from the feminist point-of-view (and with a ’67 Impala, you know it’s gonna be a bumpy ride), or news, or whatever else comes to mind, alongside the primary foci. The comments will likely be strictly moderated, because I’m not the least bit interested in dealing with jerks; they can go freeze their damn peaches wherever they like, just not here. Expect an explicit comment policy before too long. Comments in not-English may happen, if I can arrange that; posts in not-English may also happen. I’m comfortable in French, German, and Russian, and can get by in Spanish and Japanese reasonably well.

Enough, Cait. Let the nice people get on with their AROTE*.

* AROTE: Arbitrary Rotation of the Earth; an acknowledgement that we don’t all live in the same places, so I may well greet you with AROTE, rather than presume you have a day ahead of you when I do.

I’m a trained linguist, and will often talk about things languagey; this is my avocation as well as my profession. I didn’t do my MA or PhD because in 1992, when I graduated from my BA, I enrolled in an MA programme that I soon after dropped out of, so that I could play “Catatonia” in my bedroom, a solitaire game that I do not recommend. I drew the “Go to Hospital, do not pass Go, do not collect any wages at all” card after a few weeks of playing, and when I came out of the hospital, realized that the reason I was so down was that I needed to transition.

So old boy-name me, whom people thought was a man, went away, and new girl-name me showed up. I’ve been around ever since. I left academe because in 1992, I knew I didn’t have the mental strength to deal with transition and the horrific transphobia then extant in most places.

For one tiny example, the last place I’d worked before transition wouldn’t give me any reference, not even admitting that I worked there, because, in their words, “no-one by your name has ever worked here.” This didn’t fill me with hope about how I’d end up doing in academe, with opaque hiring practices and no protection for gender identity (at that time) in the Charter of Rights here in Canada.

In fact, in those days, I couldn’t change the marker on my ID until I’d had certain specific surgery; I lived for 12 years between transition and surgery with the daily fear that any interaction with police could end up with me in the “boy jail”, without any recourse. You want highly-law-abiding women? Make that threat to them, that they’ll be put in jail with the men if they do anything wrong.

I’ve not had so much as a speeding ticket since I transitioned.

The song…the song helps me feel a little less overwhelmed. In brief (it’s Tsunaida Te, by Lil’B, a Japanese rapper), it’s about not letting go of someone’s hand when they really need you.

Why am I overwhelmed? Because despite my chronic pain issues, i’ve been trying for 26 years now to live within the means I can raise. But as they’ve gotten worse, the time I can work each week has shrunk. I’m now down to about 25 hours a week, that being the maximum I can sustain working. I can do short bursts for longer, but I pay for them later.

Which has led me to the now. Today’s the 1st. That’s rent day. Everything I have in the world is $400, and my rent is more than twice that. I’ve applied to the local welfare programme, which could help with some small amount after I get enrolled in two weeks, but that’s not going to keep a roof over my head. I’m not in urgent danger of being thrown out, but I was late paying last month, and I doubt they’re feeling any more charitable this month.

I can’t afford to move. There’s just no way. I have a rent-controlled apartment $100 less than others of the same type in the same building, and it’s perfectly located for someone without a car and with mobility issues: my pharmacy is a mile away, as are three different grocery stores, my bank, and so on. Also, no way on earth could I raise first & last months’ rent, let alone pay for moving, or get Internet service (without which, I can’t work).

Because I’m just setting this up today, I don’t have a PayPal donate button set up, but if you find you’re in a spot where you could help, well, I could sure use it.

Honestly, if I can end up with even $800 in, I can get my laptop fixed and pay off my overdue charges for Internet, as well as make rent; might even have a few shekels left to make some flyers to drum up more business.

So that’s me, for a start. I’m also, as I mentioned when I’ve posted over at Miri’s Brute Reason blog: CaitieCat is a 47-year-old trans bi dyke, outrageously feminist, and is a translator/editor for academics by vocation. She also writes poetry, does standup comedy, acts and directs in community theatre, paints, games, used to play and referee soccer, now uses a cane daily, writes other stuff, was raised proudly atheist, is both English by birth and Canadian by naturalization, a former foxhole atheist, a mother of four, and a grandmother of four more (so far). Sort of a Renaissance woman (and shaped like a Reubens!).

Thanks for reading. And hey, if you’re able to drop a few bob, you’d be helping me keep the door with as low a wolf-content as possible. My e-mail address eharte66 is scattered in this sentence in bold type at-gmail, as I’ve not yet set up the blog dot-com to have profile and stuff.

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10 thoughts on “Tsunaide te

  1. Yay, I have a new blog to add to my feed. 🙂 Your comments on NFTB (and elsewhere) are always worth reading (and much appreciated), so I’m really looking forward to seeing you blog!

    • Oh, thank you, Sunil! I’ve really enjoyed NFTB so much, especially for a committed xenophile like me, I truly value the opportunity to get a look into someone else’s life in its context. 🙂

  2. Hello!
    I’ve read some of your writing on Shakesville and FTB, where I lurk but rarely comment. I love the title of your new blog – “Fullmetal Feminist” sounds really powerful. (I am also a fan of Fullmetal Alchemist – I’m rewatching it at present along with the Mark Watches blog and falling in love with the characters and the story all over again.)

    • OH I KNOW RIGHT? I love this show so much. My partner got me the full second series (Brotherhood) two weeks ago, and they’ve been running in a more or less continuous loop since then.
      One thing I’m noticing on rewatches is how many times characters from later in the series show up in the background of another character’s scene. The one where Chang Mei is in the railway station and drops all her groceries, and Grumman in disguise helps her pick them up, if you watch carefully, you can see Izumi and Sig Curtis pass by in the background. They have no lines, and aren’t in the episode otherwise. It happens a bunch of times, and I’m loving watching them SO MUCH. I’m becoming such an otaku, but I can’t help it.
      If you want another series that had some interesting feminist ideas in it, check out Rideback, a short series about a ballet dancer who becomes a kick-ass rider of these awesome robot-motorcycle hybrids, because of her ballet skills. How cool is that? A ballet-dancing protagonist. 😀

    • How did you- *gaping mouth* I’m kind of flabbersmacked, or gobgasted, or something. This isn’t even the same e-mail addy!! *looks confused*
      It is fabulous to encounter you, ma’am, I ended up losing all my old bookmarks when my computer died – well, I have them, just not on this loaner – and just got out of the habit of going some places (like Daily Kos, for instance, not just you!). I definitely want to come back! I’ll come by tomorrow, see about getting caught up.
      You’ve no idea how absurdly happy it makes me that you showed up here. 🙂

    • It was completely serendipitous! My partner follows a lot of atheist/feminist blogs, and he saw you comment on something (at BlagHag?). He emailed me that he saw your name and it linked here, and sent me a link to the site and news that you were back. 🙂 I was very excited to find you again!

    • That’s so wild, it’s weird how small the Intertubez can be sometimes. I actually posted a few guest posts on Brute Reason (Miri’s blog), too, which got me back in the habit a bit. I’m thinking about writing a couple today, and I’ve got the DVD all queued up ready to carry on with my Supernatural project. I’ve got seven shows done already, and I’m trying to get to 10 to 12 before I start running it. I want to allow for my depression by having a buffer already done.
      I’m so glad you showed up, too. I’ll come back by the ‘Screen in the next couple of days. Having a bad one today, sleep was imperfeect, so I’m slower moving than usual. :/ But colour me happy for the “of all the gin joints in all the world, she had to walk into mine” setup line. 😀

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