Writer’s Block

I missed a day in my writing goal. I was busy at work and too tired. I also have been having a struggle in deciding what to write about. Of course I can always write the truth, but I also know that the truth is not socially acceptable and I am not feeling ready for the hatred that results when I say how I feel.

So I don’t write because I know what I want to say but am afraid to say it. But to prove to myself that I can still speak honestly, that is exactly what I will do.

My life personally is actually pretty good. I am doing well at my new job in the Floral department at Hy-Vee and am doing rather fabulous at my video games. I have no complaints about my own personal health. However, I am now thinking of the two most important people in my life: My mother and my roommate River.

Last night my mom called me and told me about her tooth pain. We have been making payments toward what needs to be done at Stites Dental. The thing is that I no longer have the high income since I lost my former full time government job. Still I like working in the floral department better. I have a fundraiser for anyone who wants to donate to help my mother.

My roommate also planned on helping me with bills and rent but it’s hard to know what will happen with that because he may go into an alcohol detox program if he can find one that accepts small payments over time. He doesn’t have a lot of money or insurance. It’s surprising how people expect alcoholics to have money and insurance when those who truly need help the most are the least likely to be able to pay for it.

I only wish I was capable of fixing my mom’s problems as well as my roommate’s but everything costs money and that is the biggest obstacle I still face.

But at least I am doing great. Ever since my testicles were removed I have felt better than ever. I also started estrogen on April 27th 2021 and it has really improved my memory and mood a lot. It’s an amazing thing what difference it makes. I also have had physical changes too but I care more about how it has improved my mental health. I know I am ready for whatever challenges life throws at me and retain a generally positive attitude. But at some times I am terribly afraid of running out of money and being homeless.

But you know what I am afraid of even more than losing my own home and life? Losing my mother or my roommate. They mean more to me than words can express. Even though it seems like money is the most important thing, I know that it’s only value comes from what it can be used for. I don’t love money. I love my mother and I love my most excellent roommate, River.

That’s all I have to say today because that is exactly what I am thinking about at this moment.

I’m a Tetris Addict

I have played many video games over the years and yet there is one type of game so simple yet incredibly addicting that I keep playing. The game is Tetris. The concept seems easy enough but few practice to the point where they can react to the blocks falling at the speed they do in higher levels. I record videos of my Tetris plays and I keep improving. Once I played Tetris Marathon so long that I had a much higher score than anyone else in Independence Missouri.

As it turns out, there is a lot more strategy than just clearing lines. There are different play modes and different methods depending on which mode you are doing. If playing a mode where the goal is to score as high within a time limit, then dropping blocks into place fast is top priority. However, if the goal is to score high and there is no time limit, it makes sense to try for clearing 4 lines at a time, or even the legendary T spins, which are notoriously hard to do but score lots of points.

And then there is competitive Tetris which involves sending garbage lines to your opponents so that they top out and lose. Tetris has become a serious sport by this point and there are even yearly official competitions.

I see Tetris as a metaphor for life. We are faced with unpredictable things which we have to somehow fit together into our lives. We’re all connected in this life. Don’t you forget it!

Words with Friends

My roommate got me into playing the game Words with Friends. I’m not normally into work games but I got addicted to trying to make the highest scoring words I can. I even did some google searching to find the highest possible word score that has ever been done.

It appears that the highest scoring word in Words with Friends is oxyphenbutazone.It is the name of a drug that is no longer used because it caused too many problems.

The Facebook version allows only 11 letter words because the board is 11. The app for Words with Friends 2 however allows 15×15 boards and that must be how the person in this screenshot must have been able to play it. Still it’s extremely rare to happen.

There are actually multiple Words with Friends apps and I don’t know the difference between them. However the only one that is normally playable from a computer is the one built into Facebook. For that reason my goal is to play 11 letter words!

Because each player can have only 7 letters per turn, it takes some real luck getting the letters you need to pull of the really big words.

But sometimes even short words can score very high. My roommate played Biz for 122 points! That’s because the Z was on a triple letter score and the B was on triple word score. The placement of the tiles makes a huge difference. I know if I keep working at it I will beat even my roommate which is like the Words with Friends champion of the people I know.

Neither Pro-Life nor Pro-Choice

My background in discussing the abortion topic has led me to an interesting place in life. I am not your typical Pro-Lifer and many make the mistake of assuming I am Christian just because I am against abortion. But for the purposes of this post I am going to talk about the good parts of both of the main two sides of this debate. I believe there are more than two sides but we usually think of people as being either Pro-Life or Pro-Choice.

Pro-Life people are people who are opposed to abortion because they view the unborn babies as people the same as the born. Therefore killing them is murder. It really is that simple. Where it gets complicated is where they disagree on whether it should be legal or illegal and also what special exception cases it should be legal even if illegal most of the time. Furthermore beyond that people can still disagree on what legal action should be taken when abortion happens. All people, even those identifying as Pro-Life, will not agree on those details. They only need to agree that it is immoral even if they have other reasons for thinking it should be illegal.

Pro-Choice people are much more complicated and hard to understand. Some of them do not at all view the unborn as equal persons with a right to life. Some of them do believe the unborn should not be killed but that the mother has a right to abort because the person is living in her body and that the right to her body is top priority over that of the baby. What makes pro-choice people interesting is that generally they are for legal abortion but they may have different reasons for it and different opinions on the morality of it.

So Pro-Life and Pro-Choice are both Pro something, but it really comes down to what they mean by Life and Choice. My purpose here is not to tell people what their own opinions should be on the morality or legality of abortion but rather to dive into the interesting implications of these beliefs and what they could mean.

For example, how is Life defined? How is Choice defined? Does being Pro-Life mean that you are against killing all living things? Does being Pro-Choice mean that you are for all Choices that anyone could possibly make?

I think that is not the case. People rarely, if ever apply these terms to other aspects of their lives. But I think that being Pro-Life means that you also generally have to respect the choices that life makes. Living things do as they wish and not as you might wish. To be Pro-Choice however comes at a cost because some make the choice to end the lives of others.

This leads to a contradiction because some of us value some choices more than others and we also value some lives more than others. I’m no exception to this. I hope I never have to kill anyone, but I also know that in a situation of self defense or if I were defending someone I love from an attacker, I could possibly kill them in a moment where there is no time for conscious thought and I rely only on my autonomous animal instinct.

But there is one thing I do know very clearly. I do not kill someone who is not intending to cause harm. The unborn babies and innocent and are neither good nor evil yet. I don’t know who they will become. In a situation where I have to choose one of two lives to save, it will be the one who has done nothing wrong. This is one reason why I find the abortion topic particularly emotional. I see the unborn much the same as I see the ants in my apartment. They cause me no harm and I feed them and respect their life.

In my view most fully grown adult humans are not very kind and they hurt so many animals. Most adult humans do many evil things even worse than abortion. I would rather kill them than the unborn.

Maybe I am not so Pro-Life after all. I cannot say that I would never kill someone. At the same time, I am not Pro-Choice, because I know that I do not approve of most choices humans make.

So what am I? I am Pro-Truth. I have told you the truth of how I think and feel about these matters. That is the only thing I can promise you because I am not committed to all lives or all choices that will be made by you or even myself.

But I do believe in one thing. I believe in freedom of speech and that each person should be able to speak their truth. I believe that this is the best way to respect your life and your choices. I only ask that you do the same.

Trans Women are Women?

I want to write about a common phrase going around. The first is “Trans women are women”. The second, which is similar is “Trans men are men”. If you’ve been around medium or transgender forums or groups you will hear statements like this. Both of them are equally valid and equally interesting. Both of these claims bring up questions of the soul in ways that I have been thinking about.

First, it brings up the obvious questions: “What is a man?” or “What is a Woman?”. If the answer we give to these questions is simply based on what body parts we have or the sound of our voice, then it renders these statements meaningless. People can change their body parts through surgery and even change their voice with surgery and voice training. This leads to the idea that a man can become a woman or that a woman can become a man.

If, however, we believe a man or a woman has certain character qualities or roles in society. Then someone proves their manhood or womanhood in the way they behave. When a boy or man cries he is sometimes told he is acting like a girl or woman. Is that statement true? If crying makes someone a girl then any of us can be a girl!

But what about the reverse? What action does someone do to prove their manhood? In my experience, men think that the more women they have sex with the more of a man they are. This standard they have set automatically makes a virgin like me not a man at all!

The crazy rules society sets for us remind me of the many conflicting rules around who or what is a Christian. I was raised as a Christian and so I often compare things to this.

Some people say a Christian is someone who goes to church. Some say a Christian believes certain things about the death and resurrection of Jesus. Some say a Christian is someone who does good deeds and feeds the homeless or something like that. Which of them is right?

Maybe all of them are right and all of them are wrong. They are right because there are people who calls themselves Christians who do these things. They are also wrong because they think that their definition of a Christian is the only one.

All someone has to do to be a Christian is call themselves a Christian. If the Christians can do this, then so can transgender people. We can call ourselves male, female, nonbinary, genderfluid, or whatever other term people use these days. No one can say that we are objectively wrong, because nobody knows us like we can know ourself.

But what exactly is the truth? How can I know for sure that what I am telling people is the truth? I once asked Honesty the unicorn about this and I learned there is more than one truth. There is the truth of my body but also the truth of my soul. I will copy and paste that conversation from my book here so that you can fully understand the depth of it.

Chandler’s Honesty Part 4: Chapter 6: Which Truth to Tell

C: What is it that you say you can show me?

H: That telling the truth is not always as simple as you think. Sometimes there is more than one truth to tell and you might be torn over which to tell.

C: And how can you show me this?

H: With an example. When someone asks you if you are a man or a woman, which truth do you tell them? The truth of your body or the truth of your soul?

C: Is this a trick question?

H: Of course.

C: I do not know how to answer this question. There are too many assumptions, too many complications in how things are defined. What is the answer?

H: You can answer in any way you wish, but either way you are telling only half the truth, which can sometimes be very dangerous. So instead of answering either that you are a man or that you are a woman, you can answer: “It’s complicated”.

C: Yes, it is complicated. You’re right about that, but it does not do anything to answer the question.

H: Those who want to know the full story will take the time to listen to you explain the intricate details of who and what you are and how you feel. Those who don’t really care enough will hear you answer that it’s complicated and they will give up. This way those who only want to know what parts you were born with will go on to bug someone else instead but the more enlightened and curious will listen and get to know the real you.

C: Very clever! A way to sort between two types of people and save time when I don’t know which truth to tell.

H: This same technique can be used in other situations as well. If someone asks you if you believe in God, you can also answer that it’s complicated, because such questions are loaded with assumptions based on the culture, dominant religion, and the life experiences of the person asking. People think they know what a man or woman is and they think they know what God is but they don’t.

C: This is all true and sometimes it’s the best answer, but can I handle the complicated details of these things myself? Only after I understand it can I begin to explain it to those who want to understand me. I want to dive down and understand these things. Words very much confuse me because I assumed they had a meaning but now I’m not so sure. I know it’s complicated and you’re right. Sometimes there really is more than one truth to tell, but I want to know all the versions of the truth, not just part of it.