Truly, madly, deeply … stuffed !

Everything was going so well …

Things with Danny were getting back on an even keel… I had this great new idea for some of the things I want to put in my store in SL, a collaboration project that would bring some totally original designs in… I had a new semi-exclusive dress template that I’d forked out for, which was showing great potential, and I had loads of ideas for how to use and develop… my enthusiasm for building up the store was back on track… everything was going great !

And then this morning I decided to move all the Photoshop files for the new dress into another folder. They were still in the folder they had been in after I extracted them, but now that Danny had come up with a great name for the dress I could “file” it properly in my system. I created the new folder, moved the files across, then deleted the old folder.

“Mistake… Big mistake… HUUUGGE !”
Continue reading

Advertisements

My brain and a deformed strawberry… Any similarities ?

The good news is that Danny and I are slowly getting things sorted out. 🙂

We both love each other more than we can even express properly, and although things will be somewhat different from now on we are working together towards understanding each others needs and rebalancing our relationship so that it becomes something we are both comfortable with.

The past 10 days or so have been traumatic at times, I can’t deny that, and the proof has been out here for all to see… worse even than I have expressed at times.

I am beginning to be able to refocus though, and I’ve only cried once today so far… when I read Danny’s blog post and emails this morning

My brain has been in so many places at once lately that it’s felt a bit like this strawberry I picked from the allotment (veggie patch) this week…

Yes, there are NINE nodules to this one strawberry

Yes, there are NINE nodules to this one strawberry

I went to the doctor yesterday and subsequent to a lead she gave me I have found some more useful sources of information about my rights and options with regard to my gender issues, and also made a connection which has given me an idea and some much needed motivation regarding my budding fashion business in SL, but more on that in another post.

For now I have a cart at a cart sale to furnish, and I’m already running late !!! …

The Boys Vs. Girls Cart Sale

The Boys Vs. Girls Cart Sale

Keeping a record

My first selfie, in either life

My first selfie, in either life

A transgender friend of mine on SL posted a youtube link in the group chat one day a few months back.

She had been taking a selfie at some point every day for the past year to show the progress she had been making since she started on the hormones and had put them all together into a presentation, one picture a second.

Having interacted with her on odd occasions, both directly and through the group chat and meetings, having heard a lot of her story and having seen how open, helpful and sympathetic she had been to other group members it was lovely to be able to see what she looked like in real life and to follow the progress of her transition.

Looks-wise she’s just an “ordinary person”, someone you wouldn’t look twice at if they passed you in the street, but as the pictures had moved on her inner beauty, confidence and happiness showed through more and more, and it was a joy to see. Her future life as a woman is certainly destined to be a happy one.

Everyone in the group who saw the pictures was so complimentary and it was a lovely moment as we were all giving her verbal “high-fives” and “way-to-go”s.

So, although I won’t be doing it every day, at least not just yet until I can get on the hormones, I’ve decided I’m going to start taking selfies too and keep my own record of how I’m “coming along”.

As things stand I still have to live my day-to-day life as a man, which I detest, but after a year of not having it cut my hair is long enough now that it could possibly sustain some ringlets and I’m going to make a small pony-tail on occasions, even if only for the sake of tidiness.

I seem to be developing a little in the boob area too, but whether that’s some psychosomatic change that’s occurring or whether it’s because of an age-related body fat situation I don’t know, either way I’m not knocking it! In private I could possibly get away with wearing one of the smaller cupped bras, if I ever had the chance, and that tells me now is the time to start keeping a record.

Maybe one day I’ll be posting a link like she did.

All I have to work out now is how these modern camera-phone things work …

Legacy

Other than the obvious hearbreak of Danny leaving Second Life and of all my dreams being shattered, one of the saddest things for me as I look around the wreckage of this once-happy world is the bar we built together – Wolfsong’s Free Spirits.

It was Danny’s idea, he’s always wanted to own and run a bar. He selected the building, most of the component parts and all the posters and pictures, and little me (as the builder) did the modifications to the building to fit in with how he wanted it and then sat back and marveled each morning as another element appeared and the whole thing started to come together.

It has a games room upstairs with a playable Pool table and a Greedy table, even a couple of chairs up on the roof for people to just laze about and let the world go by, and almost everything in the place will give you a free item when you touch it… even the cat !

We didn’t run it as a business. The concept he wanted was that it should be somewhere where people could just chill and hang out and it wouldn’t cost them anything to do it… Wolfsong’s Free Spirits… what a great name !

That’s one thing about Danny that he brought from the real world with him into Second Life, his generosity of spirit, and examples of it were already evident to me when we first met.

I know that it really needed more attention from us that it received in the sense that there were very few hours when we could actually be there staffing it, and we only really ever ended up with one “regular” customer, our friend Zeph, but we did have plans for gigs by live artists and dj’s on special occasions, and everyone liked the general ambience of the place… Danny really had created a mini version of somewhere which could have had that real “Cheers” feeling about it.

It just seems to me such a shame then that in a few days, when the tier on that parcel runs out, Wolfsong’s will be gone. I almost wish somebody else could come along and pick it up from where we left off and make a real success of it, while keeping that original founding objective that everyone is welcome and “Everything at Wolfsong’s is Free”.

What a fitting legacy to Danny’s time in SL that would be.

Yes, he did actually do a whole shift one night jiggle-dancing behind the bar in a pink vest with a chicken on his head

Yes, he did actually do a whole shift one night jiggle-dancing behind the bar in a pink vest with a chicken on his head

I had watched Cheers from the very first episode, I believe, all those years ago way back in the Diane days, and it was while I was sat there thinking about the bar and the Cheers connection that something else occurred to me.

I remembered wishing so, so much that I could be Diane in Real Life… I don’t mean the actress Shelley Long as such, but just “that person… that woman“. Something deep inside me all those years ago used to moan and groan and churn and send little notes up to my brain saying “Please !!!… I really would be so very, very happy !!!”

Shelley Long, as she looked playing the part of Diane, was quite simply in my eyes the epitome of everything that it meant to be “feminine”, and the draw was electrifying, even though I was denying it.

And talking of denial, another realisation struck me as I sat in the allotment (veggie patch) supping tea from a flask this evening…

Now, 30 years later, I can finally come clean and say … Ted Danson, I FANCIED YOU BOY !!!!

Is it too late, 30 years on from those fun evenings and the endless laughter, to say that Ted Danson was RAWKING MY BOAT ?

OMG, what am I like ???? HAHAHAHAHA

*blushing like crazy*

It’s another of those instances where something from my past gets recalled and becomes obvious with the 20-20 hindsight that being honest about my true self allows.

And maybe that’s one of the reasons that I feel so much affection for Wolfsong’s Free Spirits. Danny and I were being our own version of Sam and Diane.

Cheers !

Wolfsong's Free Spirits, Celaeno

Wolfsong’s Free Spirits, Celaeno

Monday in two parts (2) … Stand up for what is right

Well it was a long and nervous wait to hear the outcome of the meeting, but the news is good! … I’ve had to be out of the house for a lot of today, but here is an extract from the email I found from Danny when I got home…

I have met with both HR and personally with the man who harrassed me. Both meetings went very well.

There is going to be a complete investigation of the Material Review Board and a complete audit of quality records. This may take weeks or even months. If this problem is as systemic as I suspect – all will be revealed and brought to light.

I am so very proud of him !! … And, of course, I’m relieved for him that he didn’t have to feel that he was being forced out of a job, because that would have been terrible for him and so unjust.

He said he needs time now to unwind after all the turmoil and of course I’ll give it to him. He knows I’ll be here whenever he wants to talk, but he’s certainly earned his rest.

Never be afraid to stand up for what is right!

Monday in two parts (1) …. Standing up for what is right

Danny has a very important meeting this morning out there in the real world, the outcome of which has the potential to change his life for ever.

For over 20 years now he’s worked for a company which makes medical equipment, some of which contains radioactive material. We’re talking scanners and the like here, big stuff. Important stuff if you happen to have cancer.

Companies that make this type of machinery have to have very strict quality control procedures when it comes to the parts and materials that go in to those machines, and Danny is involved in part of the Quality Control chain that ensures that everything is checked properly and that no sub-standard parts are used. It is something he feels passionate about, and it is something he believes everyone who works there should feel passionate about.

However…

Just recently he became aware that procedures weren’t being followed… non-qualified people further along the chain were seeing parts that had been flagged as sub-standard by himself and verified as such by qualified engineers and were marking them as fit for use and directing them into the manufacturing process. As a part of his work Danny saw the documentary proof that this was happening, and on more than one occasion.

His obvious concern was not only that it had happened in the cases he had found, but that it could actually be an endemic situation throughout the whole of the business, so he did the right thing… he sent emails to two of the managers detailing what he had found and providing the documentary evidence.

On Thursday, in front of the whole Department that Danny works in, a couple of unidentified guys came barging in to the office unannounced, made a bee-line for Danny, and starting demanding to know what Danny had meant by certain things in “these emails”, and waving them under his nose.

Danny was sat with his back to his desk facing these guys as they became more and more angry and intimidating.

Like me Danny is transgendered…. in physical form he is a 58 year old woman, about 5′ 3″, albeit of somewhat butch appearance and very much “one of the boys” in the factory.

As the guys became more agitated Danny quite rightly considered that it was time to go, as these guys seemed to be on the point of becoming physical. So he left the office, clocked out, informed the HR department that he was leaving for the rest of the day, and then filled them in with the full details from the safety of home.

What is wrong here ?

1) That ANYONE in a major pharmaceutical equipment manufacturing company can override quality control procedures at the stroke of a pen is beyond belief.

2) That it happens and then the people who are closest to the situation become complicit by not reporting it and having it stopped.

3) That managers who receive confidential emails then “act” on those emails not by paraphrasing or quoting parts of the emails or referencing “information received” but by obviously passing the whole email on to the guilty party/parties is appalling.

4) That there are people in that organisation who feel that is ok for them, as men, to intimidate and frighten a female memnber of staff to the point where she feels she has to leave for her own physical safety.

5)… and Danny hasn’t mentioned this himself but… It seems that Danny’s colleagues in the department did nothing to protect him, and from our conversations about this I would surmise that it was because they felt that if they tried to step in then they themselves may become the target of some form of physical abuse, such was the demeanour of the guys involved.

Welcome to Corporate America !!

Well this morning Danny will be having a meeting with his HR representative to dicuss the various aspects of this whole affair, and it is a meeting with the potential to cause major upheaval in his life.

Danny has suffered a lot of pain himself over the years through the loss of people dear to him through cancer, and is very touchy when it comes to seeing the company he works for putting people’s lives at risk. He feels that if nothing is done to correct the situation, if it just swept under the carpet, then he himself becomes complicit… and he is not the sort of person to allow that to happen, his conscience couldn’t take it.

In those circumstances he feels he would have no option but to leave the company for good, to walk away from it.

The way the whole place operates is a complete shambles anyway, all management layers filled by people who have no idea, and never enough workers – even less of the right sort – and all that has been putting a lot of strain on him and his health for a long time now.

So this morning he goes into a meeting which could have a dramatic effect on his life.

He starts work very early in the mornings so I’ve sent him an email there wishing him luck and so he knows I’ll be thinking of him and holding his hand through it all, and whatever the outcome nothing will change for me… he’ll still be my Danny… my hero.

Sometimes the answer is so simple

Yesterday was a very long day.

While I was preparing yesterday’s blog posts I was falling apart… too many images flashing through my mind… memories of our time together in SL; all the love, fun, creativity, plans, chickens, cattle, (let’s not go there), exploring, occasional tears, and uncontrollable laughter… the sharing… memories of how we have shared so much intimacy across the ether by way of caring for and consoling each other during the 10 months since we first met… images of the now-shattered dreams of our future together; the possibility of OUR veggie patch, the real hugs, the welcoming him home from work with a fresh pot of coffee and a comfy stool for him to rest his feet on as he unwound… more recently the thought of him working on an engraving after his retirement and me stood there looking down on him with a hand gently resting on his shoulder as I place a fresh cup of coffee carefully at the edge of the table… and, of course, the images of an empty existence in SL; the constant reminder that even though we were talking again it would never be the same; too much had changed.

I couldn’t breathe.

(Warning: Long post)
Continue reading

I’ll never walk alone

I don’t have that many friends on SL. It’s a personal choice based on my limitations … too many conversations going on and I get very confused, plus I don’t want to be talking to people ALL of the time, I have other things to do…. but the friends I do have are all being very supportive at the moment, and they’re being understanding toward Danny too, which shows that when it comes to choosing who I do want to have as a friend I make good choices in such things.

I need to be strong now…. I need to feel their strength and love behind me, lifting me up and helping me to come to terms with the changes and struggles I have to face, and giving me the strength to continue working with Danny to help him find answers to his own questions.

My troubles are nothing compared to some that others have to endure, I know that, but the pain is still real and cuts me to the very core. But the voices of my few friends speak loud to me, as if they were many more in number…

I hope (knowing youtube and copyright) that readers all over the world can see this and take their own strength from it…

When you walk through the storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm
There’s a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of the lark

Walk on, through the wind
Walk on, through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone

Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone