The Times They Are A Changing

The so called leaders of the world are gathering in London for the G-20 Economic Summit, a last ditch effort to somehow keep the world afloat. It won't work of course, but it won't keep them from digging deep into their bag of tricks to prop up the real masters of the Universe, the corporations that really rule our world. They'll make a good show of things, make important speeches and generally act like they have the answers to what ails us. Hell, it might even work for a couple of years but ultimately, nothing anyone does will make a damn bit of difference and the world economy will continue to contract.

As I've said many times before, we live on a small blue planet orbiting around a strictly average sun in a strictly average galaxy in a strictly average part of the universe. In other words, we are alone in our own little corner of all that is known and for all intentes and purposes, it's a finite world and in a finite world, infinite growth simply isn't possible. As I've also said many times and will continue to say, we have been very blessed to have been alive during this one time only bonanza of cheap energy and easy living. For all of humanity, life has been incredibly difficult and labor intensive. For all of human time, people didn't live all that long, they were often quite hungry, cold in the winter and hot in the summer, more often than not they were sick and not a single one of them ever gave a thought to such things as retirement, the weekend or other fanciful things that we take for granted.

That all changed of course with the advent of the petroluem age and the resulting orgy we call the 20th century. Because of oil, food became plentiful, health care expanded and became much better, life expectancy shot upwards, mobility became something we take for granted, jobs became rewarding and offered the chance at a nice retirement and most of all, human population soared and soared. Today, there are over 6 billion of us and for some reason we are reproducing like mad, adding numbers that simply can't be supported on this planet we call home. It's been a great run, really it has. For those of us blessed to have been born in the 20th century, it's been a ride unlike any ever experienced and one that we will one day tell our grandchilren about as they try to wrap their minds around a world so plentiful that nothing they have experienced can compare.

We are at Peak Oil, Peak Natural Gas, Peak Uranium, Peak Water, Peak Air, Peak Food, Peak Soil and Peak Standard of Living. Like it or not, it's all downhill from here on out. You won't hear any of that this week, no political leader is ready to admit that the era of growth is officially over, but if you take a moment to dig around, the truth becomes crystal clear, the times they are a changing. In the short term, I suppose their might be a 30% chance that things will get better, we are currently living in a world that is awash in oil (due to dramatic demand destruction from the recession), but once that excess supply evaporates, it won't take long, we'll run into another wall and economic growth will once again stall and fall backwards. It might even repeat itself for a decade or so, short periods of slow growth seperated by energy driven constraints, but as global oil production falls off the bumpy plateau it's found itself on this past decade, even the short periods of economic growth will fail to come. Yep, the times they are a changing...

How True

From Kung Fu Monkey....

-- There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

Dating While T

I'm actually quite terrified of possibly getting back into the dating world but I just can't help but feel that I'm missing out on something. Now I know I'm not passable and probably never will be, but I like to think that what I lack in looks I more than make up for in personality, intelligence and what I have to offer. I tend to go back and forth between this desire to have a girlfriend and the curiosity of what it would be like to maybe have a boyfriend. I read a lot of blogs written by T girls and some of them have been quite successful at not only finding boyfriends, but also wives and husbands. At the same time, I've witnessed far better looking girls have no luck when it comes to dating so who knows.

Anyways, one of the better blogs out there belongs to Kara, one of the sweetest girls around. From time to time, she'll chronicle her dating exploits and it's always a good read. Like me, she's attracted to both men and women, though she's always able to put it a bit better than me. As I was reading her most recent posts, I began to think more and more about the possible pitfalls that often accompany dating while trans, specifically dating men. Now remember, I'm no expert on any of this, I've never dated a guy, but from what I can tell, when it comes to dating trans girls, men generally fall in one of the following categories:

1. The Good Guy- He's the guy that just doesn't give a shit about who you were or what you were born with. He loves you for who you are. For an example of this guy, see my friend NexyJo, she found him. If you find him, keep him.

2. The Afraid He's Gay Guy- This guy likes you and might even love you but his knowledge of your past makes him wonder if he might be gay. He doesn't want to be gay. My advice, run away, and fast.

3. The I'm Cool With It In Private Kind of Guy- This guy is wonderful in so many ways but only if you agree to never leave the house or tell any of his friends. He's more concerned with what his macho friends will say. Keep running.

4. The Tranny Chaser- This guy is only interested in having sex, especially if you still have your penis. He gets a feminine face, breasts and a dick. Keep running.

5. I Want To Be Cool With This, But I'm Just Not Ready To Be Guy- So much potential but when push comes to shove, it's just too much to deal with.

It's all enough to make my head hurt.

The Honeymoon Is Over

Unlike Republicans, who walked in lockstep with Shrub for 8 years, Democrats aren't afraid to call bullshit on one of their own. Obama is just weeks away from totally owning this financial mess and judging by his plan to stuff money into the pockets of bankers (make no mistake, it's Obama's plan), he seems intent on doing just that. The next couple of months will make or break his administration. If he keeps this shit up, he'll be one and done and the Republicans who actually caused this mess will ride a tidal wave of populist anger back into power. Fire Timmeh now before it's too late.

Not The Kind of Thing You Share With Your Mom

Credit: PostSecret

This was my favorite secret from today's PostSecret. If I had a boyfriend, and I kinda wish I did, I don't think this is the kind of thing I would share. For what it's worth, if I did have that boyfriend, I think I would too.

Our Proudest Moment

This past week marked the six year anniversary of the start of the Iraq war and somehow I missed it. Despite the claims of Dubya and Company, the war was never about terrorism or weapons of mass destruction, no, the war was always about securing our rights to the oil that happens to lie under the sand. Iraq is home to one of the world's great oil reserves and the US-Iraq war was the first of what promises to be more wars for those last few precious barrels of black gold. In a little over a century, the World (well, mostly the West) has used up over half the fossil fuels that took hundreds of millions of years to form.

The oil, coal and natural gas that fueled the orgy that was the 20th century will increasingly become harder and more expensive to come by. Make no mistake about it, the powers that be will do everything in their power to keep the system running but no amount of war, exploration or drilling will make one bit of difference and from here on out, our economies will decline, our populations will starve and our standard of living will go back to what it was during the 18th and 19 centuries. In a finite world, infinite growth simply isn't possible. So, to commemorate our six year anniversary in the Middle East, lets salute our brave men and women who have given their lives for the non-negotiable American way of life. It's all so tragic.

So Annoying

I wrote about this years ago on my old blog but it bears repeating. I just got back from my Wednesday night tradition of eating at Qdoba and reading the new LEO while waiting for the new episode of Lost to come on. Now normaly this is an enjoyable event, I wouldn't be doing for five years now were it not, but tonight's outing made me want to pull out my hair and bang my head against the nearest concrete wall all the while ripping my fingernails off one at a time. Now what would cause me to want to do that? Well, a pack of teenage girls, that's what.

Now I think we all know that around the 6th grade, most teenagers seem to go brain dead for a decade or so but with teenage girls, well, they take it to a whole new level. I'm not sure what's more annoying, the giggling or the hugs and screams upon seeing one another. Or maybe it's the way they talk so loud, about nothing mind you, or the way they just can't stop from making complete and total asses out of themselves. Whatever it is, I'm glad I never was one.

Ahhhhhh Choooooooo

As winter begins to fade from memory and warm spring days remind us that the hot and humid days of summer aren't far away, I am once again reminded why the Ohio Valley is not the best place to live if one has bad seasonal allergies. Like clockwork, my sinuses have gone all to hell with the blooming flowers and budding trees.

The Tulip Poplars are in full bloom, flowers are popping up everywhere and the Bradford Pears are a week away from their full white flower majesty. The grass is turning green again and the last of the road salt has been washed away, the outdoor dining areas are starting to open up and bulky winter clothes are giving way to colorful spring skirts and capris. In short it's a lovely season. But I can't enjoy this because I can't stop sneezing and my nose feels like it's a small amount of snot away from exploding.

It used to be that I only had the allergies in late summer and early fall but something happened about 3 or 4 years ago and I started suffering in the spring as well. It'll be this way till around the beginning of June and so, if you're looking for a good company to buy stock in, look up the pharmaceutical company that makes Claritin, I'll be propping their business way up.

Deep Thought

Despite being sure that I needed to do this transition, I can't help but feel that it was a mistake. If I had it to do over again, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't transition and my life would be so different than it is today, that is, it would probably be better.

We Mock Them Because It Is So Easy

As is usually the case, Atrios is right when he says that the Villiage Idiots are always shocked to find that they are being mocked. They live in a different world than us and as a result, they are so out of fucking touch that they have no idea that what they are saying, writing and doing is mock worthy. They truly are an amazing group of people and our discourse would be so much better were they to simply disappear from the face of the Earth. Anyways, here's Atrios:

It's Only Real If It's On The TeeVee

Or perhaps in the pages of a handful of elite publications. Or, perhaps, only real if one of Joe Scarborough or Jim Cramer's happen to see it. That's the conclusion I draw from watching these much mocked individuals being shocked to find they're being mocked.

I'm reminded of the time when Maureen Dowd was shocked to discover that people were criticizing the fact that she'd written the 4 millionth column making the point that Democrats are women unless they're women in which case they're men. People had been criticizing her for years, but not where her friends could see it.

For those who don't know, the amazing Digby was the first to use the term Villagers. It has come to mean those who live inside the Washington Beltway, in the Penthouses of New York and the media and politcal class in general. A good list of villagers would include:

1. Chris Matthews
2. Jim Cramer
3. Howard Fineman
4. Katie Couric, Brian Williams, Charles Gibson and any other nightly news anchor
5. David Gregory is a serious Villager
6. Maureen Dowd
7. Frank Hiatt of the Washington Post
8. Cookie Roberts
9. David "The Dean of Villagers" Broder
and the all time honorary Villager, though recently deceased...
10. Tim "Big Russ" Russert

They are truly idiots and so we mock them.

I'm Ready To Start Some Engines

I am so ready for the return of Open Wheel Racing. Formula One gets started in 16 days with the Australian Grand Prix from Melbourne while the Indy Racing League returns a week later from the streets of St. Petersburg in Florida. For those who only watch NAPCAR, you just don't know what you are missing. Driving an open wheel car at well over 200 MPH is one of the most difficult things to do in the world. Doing it wheel to wheel is even harder. The best of the best are coming and it won't be a moment to soon.

Here is a great video of a typical Formula One race. Unlike other forms of motorsports, F1 uses a standing start and with engines that produce 19,000 RPM, they accelerate faster than any other race car. I've been to quite a few United States Grand Prix's and I can tell you that there is no other sound like the whine of a F1 engine...

Next up is the start from last years Indianapolis 500. I was at the race and this video was taken in turn 4 as the cars come out of turn 3 (where I was sitting) and head into the straightaway and turn 1. Watching and hearing 33 cars go by at 225 MPH is something that I'll never forget. I'll be back again this year and am looking foward to the Memorial Day weekend and the Indy 500, the World's Greatest Race...

The Lame World

God that was awful. Move over Seinfeld, The L Word now has the worst series finale episode in the history of television. Having had a day to think about it, I shouldn't have been surprised, it was a horrible season six, but come on, this was just terrible. Evidently I'm not alone.

1 Down and 2 To Go

I saw the first of the 3 movies I've been looking forward to seeing this spring. Watchmen, as dark and violent a movie I have seen in a long time, opened up this weekend and I found myself front row center today, blown away by what I saw. I love dystopian tales and this tale of a group of very flawed superhero's trying to prevent a nuclear war between the US and Soviets during an alternate 1984 rightly fit the bill. I grew up during the 80's and though I somehow missed the groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name, I certainly could connect to what I was seeing. It was a fucked up decade and few of us living then had any idea how close we came to blowing up the world. Anyways, you can read reviews of Watchmen anywhere, but if you like dark and troubling films, go now.

Watchmen Trailer...

Movie number 2 is Star Trek, a somewhat darker take on the sci-fi classic and promises to be a fangirls wet dream...

Finally, I can't wait to see the latest installment in the Terminator series, this one called Salvation. Judgement Day has come and gone, most of the world is destroyed and Skynet is in control. John Connor leads the resistance against the machines and from what I saw today, it looks seriously intense and as dark if not darker than Watchmen...

Nobody Could Have Predicted

Lets see, you capture a baby elephant in the wild, take it away from it's family (yes, elephants live in families), bring it to America, keep it chained up all day, beat it till it performs out of fear, use cattle prods and metal hooks to get it to move and perform in a circus, make it give rides to children and then one day the elephant goes crazy due to being miserable and causes 15 kids to be injured. Nope, nobody could have predicted this would happen.

More than a dozen children were injured Saturday morning at the Indiana State Fairgrounds when a circus elephant they were waiting to ride got startled and caused some scaffolding to give way.

I have absolutely no sympathy for any of the children injured but I do feel for the elephant. I am sure that it was beaten once back stage and possibly worse. Anyone who would take their children to the circus and let their children ride a wild animal needs to have their heads examined. Enough is enough, stop this insanity and ban the circus already.

This, That and My First Spring Flower

Well, that didn't last long. I just couldn't stay away from blogging and seeing as how I'm in a bit of a better mood, I thought tonight might be a good time to share a few things. With that, let's get it started...

1. I went to see my therapist today and while I really don't want to share everything that we talked about, some things are best left unsaid, it was nonetheless a very productive session. I wish I could see her more often but seeing as how she's in Lexington and I'm in Louisville, well, the 70 miles tends to keep us apart. There are quite a few therapist here in Louisville who work with gender variant patients but I just have a special bond with Marcia and I'm just not ready to find someone local. Anyways, I wanted to share something cool with you. You don't have to watch the whole video below, just the first minute or so, but I think it's kinda cool that my therapist was almost Miss. America, she's the 3rd one called...

2. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of our big 14 inch snowstorm and I think I'm safe in saying that there won't be any of the white stuff tomorrow as the forecast high is 68 degrees. Though we haven't had a fraction of the snow we had last winter, this one seems to have been the one that will never end. We did have the big snow and ice storm in January but since then only an inch or two. No, it wasn't the snow, it was the damn cold. Just a few days ago we were at 16 degrees and now we are in the 60's. I hope we've turned the corner but I suspect Old Man Winter will rear his head again.

3. Speaking of spring, my first flower of the season is in full bloom. Now granted, it sits right next to my house and thus gets some extra warmth but considering how many days this week were well below zero, it's still pretty impressive.

4. Once again, John Stewart shows why The Daily Show is the best show going. If you missed it, Stewart took CNBC to task over their coverage of the economic crisis, using video clips of the networks stars being wrong, wrong and more wrong. Here it is...

5. I'm on record as saying that Lost is the best television show ever, though last season did it's best to make me look like a fool, and judging by the shows this season, I think it's clear that Lost has once again found it's mojo and is reminding us once again why it's so fucking great. Now if Sawyer ditches the amazing Juliet for the fucked up Kate, well, I'm going to be pissed.

6. To clarify a few things from my post from last Saturday, let me repeat that yes I am a very unhappy person but despite what I said, I don't want to give up. Yes, I'm very lonely and quite sad, but I'm hoping that I've bottomed out and that I'll somehow find my way out of this abyss that I've found myself in recently.