Reflections of a Photograph

Reflections:  Here is a word that has been used many times in the English dialect for many generations.  It has been widely accepted in our modern world, and its two most common uses are to describe the image in a mirror, or looking back into one’s life.  Webster’s defines “reflection” as:  re·flec·tion (ri-ˈflek-shən), noun;
1

: an instance of reflecting; especially: the return of light or sound waves from a surface

2

: the production of an image by or as if by a mirror

3

  a: the action of bending or folding back b: a reflected part : fold

4

: something produced by reflecting: as a: an image given back by a reflecting surface b: an effect produced by an influence

5

: an often obscure or indirect criticism : reproach

6

: a thought, idea, or opinion formed or a remark made as a result of meditation

7

: consideration of some subject matter, idea, or purpose

8

obsolete: turning back : return

9

  a: a transformation of a figure in which each point is replaced by a point symmetric with respect to a line or plane b: a transformation that involves reflection in more than one axis of a rectangular coordinate system

A simple word, “reflection” but carrying such depth that most common man does not truly understand what it means when one says they are “reflecting” upon their life.  I decided, to add depth to this long entry, i would define just what it means to “reflect” on one’s self as a whole.  As for the name “Reflections of a photograph”, that was not just a creative name i chose to come up with.  In whole, i see my life, as a photograph.  I percieve the world as a photograph, but more so, the image of myself, i percieve it as if i were looking at a photograph.  Much like it was a picture, already taken, and i am seeing it as a reflection of the world around me.

On the note of perception that is another word that people seem to confuse these days.  Perception or to percieve is a word i believe we have taken for granted, much like the word reflection, and it has lost a large portion of its depth and weight as time has progressed.  So, in the sense of laying everything in this entry into “perspective”, i’m going to give you webster’s definition of “perception” and “perspective”. 

Webster’s defines perception as:  per·cep·tion (pər-ˈsep-shən), noun;
1

  a: a result of perceiving : observation (see perceive) b: a mental image : concept

2

obsolete: consciousness

3

  a: awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation  b: physical sensation interpreted in the light of experience

4

  a: quick, acute, and intuitive cognition : appreciation b: a capacity for comprehension.

And before we get ahead of ourselves, let us not forget perspective.
Websters defines perspective as:  per·spec·tive (pər-ˈspek-tiv) adjective;
1

obsolete: aiding the vision 

2

: of, relating to, employing, or seen in perspective  

— per·spec·tive·ly adverb

I find it rather amusing that Alexander Pope’s definition of percpective has become obsolete in modern times, as that is exacatally what perspective was meant for.  To aid vision, it is more commonly used in drawing to give definition of distance and angle.  But in this entry, it is used as it was meant to be years ago, as a visionary aid.

With all this said, i will return to what i was saying earlier, how i see the world, as a photgraph.  A picture taken from the perspective of a photographer, captured as a reflection of the world around him or her.  However, like a photograph, I have begun to see my image of the world becoming quite old and worn.  Like a photograph, faded, scratched, gray beginning to take the place of the color, the original crisp qaulity of the image begining to blur, making the original scenery and the people with in it grow obscure.  The edges begining to chip away, and yellow, leaving an image that was once pristine and new seem very weathered and old. 

Old…i truly hate hearing that these days.  I am not going to hold back, i am not going to hide anything in this writing.  In fact, that is one thing i pride my writing on.  I am not afraid to hand it to you like it is.  I am not afraid to tell you off, or to give you the most grotesque image i can muster when describing something.  Nor, am i afraid to show you enigmatic beauty, describing an image so beautiful it would burn your eyes out if you beheld it with your naked eyes.  So, in this entry, i am going to give it to you all with that same visceral imagery.  For a woman who fears little, i have never been so utterly mortified of something so inevitable in my life.  My growing age.

And no, this is not some whinny, emo, bullshit entry about how i dont want to get old.  Grow up people, no one wants to get old its inevitable, however, it is a compilation of thoughts on my life as i grow older.  THough i have stricken my age from record after the writing of this entry, i see  no reason to further account the numerous years compiling upon my being, VF has made it known my age, and for those few cults i have joined before i wrote this, my true age is out there if you’re truly that bloody curious over something so trivial, you can find it.  However, after this, my age on my page shall be falsly marked.  IF this bothers you, i really do not care, so your comments or what you believe to be your clever snipes are neither welcomed, nor will they be kept around to amuse the countless mindless masses who lack the life or intellectual capacity to truly process this entry anyway.

I suppose you may call it vanity if you wish; my strange phobia with my age.  Does anyone truly want to grow old?  Or is it the pathetic planet’s obsession with making the ideal marker of beauty some anorexic blonde bimbo?  At least that is Amercia’s idea.  Japan’s ideal doesn’t make it any easier.  Double D boobs with long legs, a wasp waist, and hips and ass that are rediculously out of proportion.  Let us not forget the impossible hair, make-up, skin, etc that both sides of the world consider to be “beautiful”.  I will not bullshit you by saying that for a woman who tries to ignore every idiotic ideal of gradure out there, that some of this convoluted, sexist, backward thinking, ego-manical bile that the world spews out at me from all sides on a daily basis, doesnt penetrate my barriers.  It gets in there, regardless of the amount of resiliance i’ve built up against the laughable levels of stupidity it represents.  I am a woman, regardless of my birth gender and the backwards opinion of the masses, and i get vulnerable.  Who doesnt want to always be beautiful?  Man and woman alike?  Anyone tells you differently they are either lying, have rediculously low self esteem and hate themselves, or dont understand the actual definition of “beauty” and “self esteem”.  I will spare you another websters definition it is a moot point irregardless.

I suppose one should welcome the coming of age.  It brings wisdom, experiance, and access to things we couldnt get when we were younger.  However most of things, if not all, are of little conciquence to the wrinkles, gray hair, and countless aches and pains that follow.  I suppose that is another reason that i fret over such a frivalous thing as my age.  I am, have always been big into keeping my body healthy, working out, and expanding my mind while strengthening body and soul.  I used to be able to do some pretty amazing martial tricks.  Half the time now i’m afraid i’ll break a bone.  I doubt i would, but that fear is still there.  Fear can be a powerful motivator.  And our own minds seem to motivate us far better than anyone or anything else in the world.

As my age grows onward, i begin to give serious thought to my habits in life.  The way i have lived and am going to live in the future.  I argue with myself to give up smoking.  I argue that it is bad for myself, i dont give a damn what everyone else says, whether my 2nd hand smoke bothers them or if it is bad for the environment or other such media, mind numbing, garbage.  I dont give a damn what the rest of the world has to say, i argue we all begin to die when we are born, least i have the common bloody decency to choose my way of dying and go do it damn quietly!  I dont give a rat’s ass what bothers you and what doesnt. 

It is bad for me, and i can listen to my body when it tells me it is smothering my lungs and poisoning my blood.  Course i wasnt given much lung capacity to work with to begin with.  I was born with a dent in the center of my chest.  Its a weird birth defect where the sternum and rib cage slope down and inward on the one side causing this little dent to form directly in the center of the chest.  Good news is, it makes my cleavage look amazing, bad news, really inhibits my lung capacity.  Smoking doesnt help this i’m sure you could gather.  And NO, i dont want your sympathy, or your “you should really stop smoking, i know some steps that work.”  Keep that crap to yourself.  I’ve quit before.  When i’m ready, i will quit again.  If i do not, it is my own choice and i will NOT make excuses and i do NOT want your help!  I will ask if i want it, till then SHUT UP!

Of course, its not just my physical condition that is effected by my age.  My mind is as well.  This may seem odd, as the body ages you are supposed to gain wisdom and great insight.  I can agree with that to a point.  Gaining age does infact grant deep insight, you gain wisdom.  I have graduated college, been through highschool, traveled the world, seen and heard things that many people have not, and i have probably forgotten more about the English language and litterature than most common people will ever know.  However, have you ever seen a person with dimensia or Alzheimer’s?  It is not a pretty picture folks.  Wandering around without even half a clue where the hell you are, who the hell the people around you are and having to wear a diaper is not a fun way to spend one’s elder years.  It does not paint a pretty picture of that old, all-knowing sage.  And before anyone comments on how ignorant that description was of someone with dimensia or Alzheimer’s, let me tell you i’ve had family with both, and it was painful for me to watch them forget all the people and things that made them happy.  I wept for them, as they suffered in their fog of memory lapses, i felt their torment as they struggled day and night to grasp fading threads of their fragmented memories.  To hold those fleeting remnants of their past together.  Fuck you, if you think i’m ignorant!  Those were some of the most painful sights i have ever had the displeasure of having scared across my long term memory!  I told you already, i will NOT hold back when i write so deal with it or go away!

Spiritually age has taken its effect on me as well.  No, i do not consider myself a “religious woman” by modern terms.  I do not pray every night, to any diety per-say.  I do not often seek guidance to my life’s deepest questions and concerns.  I do not feel the need, nor the desire to do so.  I am definately not Christian, in fact i have a deep seated disgust for the Christian faith.  I accept it as a religion and bare no true grudge is disdain for those that practice and/or worship within its bounds.  I do, however, bare a bitter hatred, deep-seated and border line psychopathic rage driven to those that persist in shoving it down the throats of those who do not see things from their percpective however.  As if “god” has written you a personal memo on how he wants this world to work.  I will spare you my rant on how i feel about you people.  Save to say, if you try to “enlighten” me to your ways, i will castrate you! 

Spiritually, i am pegan.  I believe there are forces out there we could never hope to understand, merely take the messages they give to us, and do with them what we can.  Perhaps that is what possessed me to write such a raw, and indepth entry which has been posted across my many planes of advertisment.  I do not honestly know.  But in more tangible means of spiritual emptiness my age has brought me, is my lack of companionship.  I have many friends and enemies i keep a variying lengths.  Those of you out there reading this who do not know me personally, i count you as neither friend nor enemy.  As my qoute upon my VF profile states: I am an equal opportunity dispenser of rage.  You will either hate me, or love me for my depth of opinion and insight.  I do not hate nor love you for how you take this all.  It simply is what i have written.

Loneliness grips my heart in painful ways these years.  Being duel natured as i am, it is difficult to find a person i can truly be fully committed to.  And before you ignorant masses out there start yammering away i’m going to cover a few things right here and now.  If you havent figured it out i am a transgender female.  Love me or hate me for that i dont give a damn!  I’ve heard it all and beat the ever loving piss outta my share of gay bashers in my day.  I maybe getting on in years but i gaurantee you aint any more impressive than the lot that’s come before you.  And those of you i cant physically beat down, i can mentally out maneuver.  And when all else fails, a bullet between your eyes will end your stupidity rather quickly!  Take your troll-minded, hate spew somewhere else.  You dont intimidate me and truly, no one wants to hear your  mouth anyway.

And for those of you out there still spewing that hippy-dippy, star-child, “love is all you need” crap, WAKE THE FUCK UP!  That crap may have been true back in the 60’s and 70’s;  hell it may have even let you squeeze by in the 80’s.  But it doesnt fly now-a-days.  Back in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s things were better, least as far as things were in America.  I cant say much for the rest of the world, i was either not born, or too young to remember all of the world’s problems back then.  But speaking strictly from the view-point of American events, the economy was booming, hell, our money actual was backed by gold!  It wasnt just paper that was printed, who’s only value was the amount of it there was in circulation.  It doesnt make sense to me either folks but look it up.  Its the truth.  America had an industry, we exported as much as we imported, yeah, we had wars!  yes, we had poverty, yes we had unemployment we had it all.  However, back then, the cost of living was reletively equal to a person’s income.  You could get a job so long as you were willing to work, and if “love was all you had”, well, welfare actually paid for things.  By the time the 90’s and the new millenimum rolled around, industry closed down and flew over seas, where they pay kids and women in sweat shops a qaurter an hour to do the same jobs we used to get paid 12 to 20 dollars an hour to do.  Welfare no long covers anything, and lets face it, the American dollar is about worthless.  Not to mention, for as much as i love technology, internet, cellphones, computers, video games all the good things tech has brought us, has also brought us the darker side.  Try getting a job with a criminal record now.  Try getting a good corporate level job with bad credit.  Its not going to happen.

Being a Transgender woman leaves me in a very obvious conundrum.  I’m half a man, and half a woman.  Kind of uncomfortable for most people.  I dont blame them, when i was a young teen, before i understood and accepted what i was, i wouldnt have touched me with a ten foot pole.  No, there was no pun, or true ignorance intended there.  More just a statement of fact.  I wouldnt have showed any malice toward myself, just would not have been able to deal with my situation in the terms of a relationship.  Most women, who want a relationship with a “man”, desire the man to be, well, a “man”.  In the traditional, old-fashioned sense of the word.  As for women who wish a relationship with another woman, typically they desire a relationship with a woman who has all the required female parts.  I do not.  And vice versa can be said for all the men seeking a relationship with a man or a woman.  This narrows the playing feild.

Again, not even getting into my own personal personality as it is another moot point.  Any relationship has to get passed the many quirks of the people involved, i do have a certain eye for beauty and i have a healthy sex drive.  And dont even start with that “physical beauty doesnt matter and sex is not everything” line of new-age crap!  Are you REALLY going to sit there and try to hand to me that you would spend the rest of your days with someone who’s face was so hideous in your eyes that the very sight of them made you want to gag and vomit?  If you answer yes to this question you are SERIOUSLY selling yourself short!  No one, and I mean NO ONE should EVER be THAT desperate!  If you are, you need to seriously access your own life before you try giving ANYONE else advice!  As for that “sex is not important” line of crap.  You people have already been scientificly proven to be blowing smoke out of your asses. 

Scientists have done studies, asked several people, and pretty much tested the theory till they were pretty much beating a dead horse over it.  Physical attraction HAS to be there!  If you are not PHYSICALLY, meaning you want to fuck your partner, attracted to the person you are in a relationship with, you guys are not going to last.  Like most things in life, if there isnt a bond, of body, mind, and soul, its doomed to failure from the start.  This also means there must be a healthy sexual relationship between the two of you.  You notice i said healthy there.  This doesnt mean you have to be bumping uglies with each other every second of every day.  And it doesnt mean you have to have the karma sutra memorized or start “experimenting” with weird ass shit that either of you arent comfortable with.  Just means you should be getting intimate regularly.  Not forcing it, just letting it come naturally.  Granted, learning some new moves/positions and mixing things up is healthy for both of you.  But doesnt have to be outside your comfort zones.  All that said, i’ve found it hard to find someone i feel fully attracted to and safe enough around.  As i grow older, that list of people grows shorter and shorter.  I’ve become depressed, seeing other happy with people, those that are truly happy, mind you, and have not settled for “what they can get”.  That line of thinking makes my blood boil!

Other than my carnal desires as a healthy, sapient, though slightly morbidly insane, living, breathing human being; and my woes that most people face as their age begins to my number of years and beyond, i like to reflect back at the things of done.  My accomplishments, my failures, and the many people who have won my “WTF!?” award.  No, there is no real prize for winning my “WTF!?” award.  Its kinda like winning the Darwin award.  For those of you who dont know what the Darwin award is i’ll explain.  Its a figurative reward, and in some places i actually believe they give an actual award to the surivors of the people related to said individual, named after Charles Darwin, who created the theory of “Survival of the Fittest” and/or what many people have lovingly nicknamed.  “Only the Strong Survive.”  And to amuse those of you who STILL may have to earthly clue what the hell i’m talking about.  It means, that eventually, the weak, the stupid, the slow, the cowardly, or anyone, anything that is not capable of taking care of itself, will be left behind and eventually die.  Call it cruel, call it inhumane, but it is an act of nature to preserve and reward that which is able to adapt, evolve and survive on its own and to punish, cripple, torment, and eventually kill off that which cannot.  However the award is not given to those who survive, no, its given to those idiots that do something so utterly stupid that they die or become maimed beyond recognition.  An award, thanking them, and their surviving kin for reminding us that only the strong will survive.  And, eventually, dumb asses will kill themselves.  Sparing us all the trouble of dealing with their stupidity for another day.

My “WTF!?” reward, goes out to those who deserve a Darwin reward, and those that have proven just how low they will go to reach a level just above their fellow man.  Leaving behind, all the people that were once their supposed friends and loved ones.  These poor, sorry bastards that they stepped on, sold out, and in some cases, killed off to get to where they are today. 

Myself, as a human being, being spiritual and considering myself at least slightly above average intellect, prefer to follow the teachings of the druids, buddah, wicca(in some of its aspects), and the code of Bushido in my daily life.  Though the latter i consider more a code of conduct than a way of life.  Saddly, its depth teachings of honor, dicipline, and spiritual enlightenment dont really fit in our modern world.  But, much like the 10 commandments, are pretty damn good rules to follow in your daily life.  But there are moments, things i just cant wrap my brain around, people or events that just defy every rational thought of good nature.  These people, who earn my “WTF!?” award, surpass even the lowest level of cognitive thought within any species known to humanity.  I often think these are a species not of our world.  When i start describing them, most of you will get what i mean.  If you dont, then you probably deserve a “WTF!?” award yourself.

First up is a man we all know and love, or hate, or love to hate, or maybe just hate to love.  Our own; President Barrack Obama.  You sir, earn a WTF!? award from me.  And i’m not afraid to admit i voted for your dumb ass!
Obama came onto the scene strong.  I rode in on the torrent of hatred and disdain of our second WTF!? award winner, President Bush, promising “change”, symbolized by the “first african american president” in office.  To be honest folks, all racial jokes aside, and not touching his name.  The only true “change” this man has ushered in is that white people and african american people can agree that you sir, are as big a political tool as the presidents that proceeded you sir.  I have no love of politics or anything our government does.  Its all a big game of who has the most money to pay their way to the top.  The corporations pay for what they want, and they get it.  Unless you have the money, your opinion really doesnt matter.  But this is a man that talked a huge game, and delievered nothing.  The saddest thing about this all is, he proved the people that hated him right, and the people that actually gave him a chance her let down massively.  If ever there was a bigger WTF!? moment, i dont know of it.  Thank you, president Barrack Obama, for once again proving that our government is about bloody useless!

Our second WTF!? award winner, proceeded our current president in office.  Of course, the every lack-luster, dim-witted, war mongering, oil stealing, daddy’s little boy.  President George W. Bush.  I mean, what can i really say about this man that hasnt already been said?  Here is a man that i dont even know how he became president.  He was a clown at best!  Only the most backward minded, slope cranialed, cave-man couldnt tell this tool of a man’s entire purpose through BOTH of his terms was to gather as much oil from the middle east as possible, and finish what his daddy before him started.  I used to watch his speeches because i found it comical to watch the man that was SUPPOSED to be representing our country as a whole, stumble, mumble, and fumble his way through politcal protocol.  George W. Bush, thank you for disgracing our ENTIRE country as a whole, and giving rise to the common thought that all Americans are backward, red neck, hill-billy, goat fuckers with the equivalent IQ of a turnip!  You sir, are an ASS!

My third WTF!? award i would like to give to the American movie industry as a whole.  Never in all of my years have i ever met a bigger group of SLACKERS!  The movie industry, since its conception, as been a great way to not only show of some of the brightest names in American talent next to the music industry, but also, show case America’s creative talent and imagination.  I prefer books myself, or animation, but I do enjoy a good movie.  However, Hollywood’s concept of what can pass for a “block buster movie” has seriously become questionable as of late.  I could forgive Hollywood’s obsession with turning every book ever written out there into “the next big hit”, in which they completely and utterly BUTCHER the plot line.  Or have the events so totaly out of order or dumbed down i could have watched my 5 year old reenact it and enjoyed it more than the disrespectful extrament Hollywood tried to pass off as their “telling” of the writer’s work.  And i could forgive the industry’s strange desire to force feed its audiance the same old dead tired plot over and over again.  Halloween, Halloween 2, Halloween 3 etc etc.  Blade, Blade II, Blade III etc.  Underworld, Underworld 2, Underworld Rise of the Lycans.  Which feature the same acter/actress trying aimlessly to relive his or her last role that will be worth remembering, and the one character that when their name mentioned in the future, will automaticly be related to.  “Wesley Blade Snipes”, Keanu Neo Reeves, etc.  However, does it ever stop!?  Really?!  How many times can we beat the same dead horse before it just gets old?  I mean how many times can these characters do the same damn thing over and over and OVER again before we as the audiance can write the script for the movie ourselves? 

However, has it really gotten to the point, where there is so little talent in this world that we have to make movies about comic books, video games and…worse yet…board games!?  Really Hollywood?  BATTLESHIP!?  Are you really REALLY that strained for talent?  Or is it just the fact that humanity is so bored and so numb to this that we’ve no standards anymore?  And that we will pay the exhobinate prices at the theater just to watch crap!?  Hollywood and the movie industry, WTF!?

Oh, OH dont think i’ve forgotten you, Video Game industry!  You’re ignorance to your fan base has not escaped my notice, nor will it go without mention.  I dont know whether you are better, or worse than the movie industry, but you are most definately a winner of my WTF!? award.  Does anyone really remember the days when gaming was actually fun?  When you put a game into your system, or your computer and you could sit there, just sit for hours and have a good time?  When games were a form of entertainment as well as a challenge of hand-eye coordination or sometimes even mentally stimulating?  I remember those games.  Games that the family could play, and even ones that, if they werent meant for younger children, you could play by yourself to relieve pent up aggression or you and a friend to team up or just beat the crap outta each other while enjoying a bowl pretzels and some mountain dew.  WTF happened to those games?

The gaming industry has become just that.  INDUSTRIAL.  I dont begrudge anyone their game time.  Mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, auntie phil, uncle bill, little suzie, little jimmy, or frank the bum down the street.  Everyone should have the awsome chance to play a video game and/or own a system at least once in their life.  Its a great time kill, and as i stated earlier, can be great for improving hand-eye coordination and can even sometimes be mentally stimulating depending upon the type of game you choose to play.  However, what i do find in-blody-tolerable is that these “part time” gamers, have become the deciding factor in how the gaming industry has developed.  Mass Effect 3, Skyrim, World of F’n Warcraft!?  What is this crap people!?  The fact that anytime i want to play a game with a friend i have to go online, pay a monthy subscription, plus download hours worth of patches and updates just have the server drop me after five minutes of game play.  Dont get me wrong, DLC is good for keeping games running smoothly and adding new content to already good games.  But if it was crap to start with, adding rainbow sprinkles to it doesnt make it less CRAP!  Video game industry, you have earned yourself big WTF!? award, for turning gaming into “pop culture”.

One last, very special reward i would like to give out, goes out to someone very special to me.  Someone, who shall remain nameless and shall henseforth only be named, “cousin”, yes i have more than one, but the story that proceeds will explain their identity without them being named, that i had the uttmost trust and respect for.  Who i would have DIED for, that list is very short mind you, whome i loved with all my heart and considered to be above all others in the food chain, until most recently.  This, very special WTF!? award goes to you “cousin”, for the greatest slap in my face i have ever had. 

So, get to the main meat of the story here, cousin and i were best of friends.  I called him my “brother” most of the time cause, well, he was like a brother to me.  Like the brother i never had.  Kinda like Yin and Yang we were, the same but different, we helped each other out no matter what the cost, no matter what the problem, no matter how far apart or hard things were, we were there for each other.  Oh we had our fights, and they were bloody ones too.  No one ever came out on top and no one walked away without injury.  Physical or otherwise.  Needless to say, cousin and I were tight, very tight.  We made a deal  years ago, we would go over seas together, to Japan, or Taiwan, or somewhere similar.  And before you ass-hats out there think this is some petty bull-shit about one of us went but the other didnt and one of us is now jealous we both were in Taiwan together till recently so shut up and just read on.

Cousin, yeah, he was awsome.  Paid for my ticket, set me up with funds, everything!  I griped and bitched and moaned that i didnt want him to pay my way but he did it anyway.  Out of sheer kindness, see he’d been there before and has been living there awhile so he had some connections and such.  Nothing really illegal, notice i said “really”, just a few loop holes.  He comes home over the christmas holiday and we leave after new years.  Train ride out to pittsburgh, then flight into Taiwan.  Helluva long flight btw, and yes, i made it through all the airports WITHOUT smoking to give you an idea of how strong my will is.  Now, cousin is telling me he has this all set up.  I’m going to get a visa, for those of you who arent familiar what this is, its the equivilent to a “working permit”, if you are not from Taiwan, when you go there you get a “landing visa”, this is only good for 30 days.  You are SUPPOSED, to have a return flight already scheduled for when your landing visa expires.  If you wish to stay longer, you need to have a “visa” which just means you are working in the country, married to a native there, or some reason for being there that the government finds legitimate to allow you to stay there longer.  Most common, is a work permit.  Needless to say, i got into this country with a 30 day visa, but a plane ticket that was scheduled for six months, yes, SIX MONTHS after my arrival in Taiwan!  How this works, i’ll explain.

So, i’m supposed to have this visa already set up and ready to go, just have to join this modeling agency, yes, a modeling agency.  FYI, when i went, they absolutely loved me.  And i was to start working as a teacher.  I was supposed to have my visa within a week or two tops.  I went with it.  My first lovely DISASTER, happened no sooner than right after getting off my arrival flight in Taiwan.  Passing through customs and immigration they checked my bags, passport, paperwork stamped my paper work and sent me through.  I had arrived in Taiwan, and i was quite happpy.  I turned to give cousin a big hug, just to see them deny him entry.  Naturaly, i’m confused.  At this point i had little understanding of the chinese language, so i couldnt really understand what all was being said.  And the english dialect spoken in a strong chinese/taiwanese accent can be difficult to understand.  Not poking fun, its fact.

So i sit here, waiting for cousin for like 3 hours!  I’m starting to get worried, I know he had been sent to main land China before do to Visa issues, i was hoping and praying to whoever was listening that this wasnt the case.  Remember how i mentioned i’m not very religious?  yeah this is why!  The immigration officer comes walking up to me and hands me a note, tells, she then proceeds to guide me down into the lobby below, all the while explaining to me that cousin will not be joining me, as his visa status has problems and he will have to fly to mainland china and stay there till sunday or monday.  We arrived in taiwan that friday, at 9pm! 

I believe my reaction to this situation was rather mature and acceptable considering the circumstances.  I listened to the officer, as best i could, went down into the lobby, set my luggage down which i had now been juggling between hands for 3 hours, and stared at the floor for an hour, my brain was completely blown.  I was in taiwan, all alone, no idea how to communicate, no clue how to get to my apartment, very little money, and i was quickly getting tired.  Was i afraid?  I was utterly terrified!  My arrival in a country i had always wanted to visit wasnt enjoyable, its Traumatic!  Stuck in an airport lobby all alone, in a country with mixed emotions on Americans, let alone a woman with my “specific” gender issues, and no earthly clue how the hell to get from place to place.  I spent most of my time, curled up in a ball in the corner of a couch shivering, starving, lost and confused, crying and just wanting to go back home.  However, i’m not a helpless woman.  I pulled myself together, and quickly learned how to count NTD, or New Taiwan Dollars.

I also read the note i was given, it was very gross instructions on how to get out of this position, cousin had managed to get a note to me before he was shipped off to China.  Again, without giving away identities, i had to catch a bus, at 8am, it was now maybe 3am, i had to wait 5 hours till the buses even started running, get to the main Taipei station, where i would call his fiancee, who from this point on will just be known as “fiancee”, and have her guide me to my apartment from there.  He even wrote down the phone number for me.  Taiwanese phone numbers are huge btw.  Simple enough, but i had to survive 5 hours.  As i stated earlier, i quickly learned to count NTD, and navigate the airport lobby.  And i made my tiny self as fiersome looking as i good.  I managed to form coherent enough sentances to get a bus ticket to the Taipei main station and buy a phone card so i could even call fiancee.  Then, did my best to instruct her, on exacatly where the hell i was, and follow her instructions home to my apartment where she was kind enough to give me some food, as i had eaten all of a bowl of ramen since arriving in taiwan at 9pm on friday and it was now, 12pm saturday!  I ate a donut, and passed out.  I spent the next day or so sleeping, and exploring the area around my apartment.  Taipei Taiwan is a big place, and the part of the city i lived in was huge.  I learned how to find my way around on my own for the most part till cousin got back from China.  I was half starved, but i learned to fend for myself for the most part.

I cant tell you much about that week-end in Taiwan.  Between being traumatized, starved, and sleeping for almost 2 days straight, i just remember the initial fear, the shock.  Fear…is an amazing motivator friends.  It pushes the human body to do phenominal things.  I remember thinking while i was in the airport, “this is it.  I’m going to get beaten, raped, and taken away to some slave trader warehouse where i’ll be sold to the highest bidder.  I’ll never see my friends or family again.  And worst of all, i’ll never see my son again.  He’ll be forced growing up not knowing either parent.  And there is not a damn thing i can do about it.”  Thoughts like that have dramatic psychological effects on the human mind.  For some, it crushes them with fear, doubt, causes them to lock up, to sit in the corner and cry, awaiting their inevitable fate and accept what is to come without even trying to change it.  For a moment, i was crippled with fear.  Its natural, and unless you have ever been in the same situation, you couldnt hope to fully understand.

However, my true nature came out after i allowed myself to cry, to accept my fear, and to allow my mind to seek out a solution.  Rather than become crippled with fear at this possible impending doom i may face, i let it fuel my resolve!  I would go as far to say, i became out right enraged at it!  I refused to let myself fall apart, to let myself be consumed.  So, i used this new found energy to get my ass in gear and figure out how to get myself out of the mess i got stuck in.  So, i lost my first week-end in Taiwan, but i awoke when cousin returned a changed woman.  But this was just the first of many disasters.

The second, came a few days after cousin arrived home from mainland china.  We went to the modeling company.  TO save their pathetic rep from being most utterly smeared, as if that were my intention to smear specific people and places, i would give names, locations, websites, numbers and anything else i could to decimate them utterly.  However, since it is not, the modeling agency shall hence forth be known as “Agency X”.  So, we visit agency x, my knowledge in this is, that it is a modeling agency, specific to taiwan, and they work with both native and forign talent to make ads, advertisments, and other such media.  While under contract with the company, they would give you a visa so your time in taiwan may be extended.  Needless to say, the old saying about assumptions holds true even in taiwan.  So i go through the fun little song and dance, i get all dressed up, hair styled, make-up, nice clothes, hot little outfit, nice shoes the works.  I like to get dressed up once in awhile just like any other girl.  And if people are going to take pictures of me and tell me how hott i am as well as give me constructive beauty tips, i’m all for it.  And that’s exacatlly what i got.  However, what i didnt get, was the reason i went through this indroginous song and dance in the first place.  My visa!

Apparently, the person that was handling cousin, who was SUPPOSED to be handling me as well, got fired for doing something stupid.  He commited some kind of infidelity in the bathroom with another model and got caught…really?  Some people just dont know how to keep it in their pants.  To be honest, for as much as this annoyed me, i strangely held little malice toward this individual.  I found it more droule that they would get fired a week before my arrival and for of all the ironicly stereotypical things at a modeling agency, sexual infidelities.  So, that pathway to my visa extension was blown.  More annoying was the fact that i actually signed a contract with them, and they had no real jobs lined up for me.  A moot point if you ask me.  A lot of paper work and wasted money on photographers but i dont like people telling me how to do my job so i’m not about to start doing it to them.  Though sometimes i wonder if some businesses could stand to benefit from some of my cynical insight.

Though, i was disheartened by this ordeal, i bore the weight of it with stride.  I returned to learnig my surroundings, the MRT, which is like a subway, only it goes above ground, and all around the island connectiong all the major areas of Taipei taiwan, and practicing my chinese as i slowly mastered my surroundings.  Cousin did give a valient effort in trying to get them to give me something, however his attempts were saddly futile in the long run.  Thus brings us to our next big disaster.

At the time, cousin was working for two schools, one of which was looking for an English teacher, which i have a degree in.  The school shall not be named, but the boss in which i had an interview with, to protect her identity, she henceforth be known as “twit”.  Yes, twit.  If you were there you’d understand.  So, cousin calls me a few days after our last ordeal with agency x and lets me know that twit really wants to interview me.  In order for you to understand the events i am about to discribe, you will need to know that before even my arrival in taiwan, twit, cousin, and myself had an agreement that when i arrived in taiwan, twit would give me at least two weeks to get my bearings before i would accept her job.  Mind you by this point it has barely been a week and twit is already blowing up cousin’s phone to meet me.  Though her interest in me is welcomed, i am hardly ready to start teaching when i myself am still learning.  Cousin and i end up in a verbal arguement over this whole thing.  Eventually, i settle that by the start of the new week, i will go do my interview with twit and we will discuss terms of a job.  Simple enough.

Or so i thought.  I arrive to meet with twit, again, looking very nice, however professional, like a teacher, rather than like a model this time, and i proceed to do my interview.  Twit, turns around and tells me she is not accepting applicants at this time, and even if she were, i have not spent enough time in taiwan, in her eyes, to be ready to teach.  This would have been a very fair assessment if she had not BLOWN UP COUSIN’S PHONE FOR ALMOST A WEEK NOW WANTING TO GIVE ME AN INTERVIEW!  Thus why she has been named “twit” for this entry.  I really didnt have much to say to twit after that.  I have trouble thinking DOWN to that level intelligence.  If she didnt have the position available, or if she felt i hadnt been in taiwan long enough to begin teaching, why blow up cousin’s phone and get us arguing over it then?  My only true explaintion for this level of brainless buffonary is either, cousin did not explain the situation properly, or the woman is truly just a “twit”.  I would believe the 2nd over the first, as i have heard similar from others who have interviewed with twit.

The third and final disaster came in the form of a suggestion cousin made to me for finding a job which would offer me a visa.  Mind you i was tutoring in english, but tutoring does not offer a visa.  So i was working persay.  But not regularly.  Though this suggestion was in good nature, the thought behind it lacked to say the least.  After all, for as much as i learned in the short time i was in taiwan.  I still considered myself very much a tourist.  He suggested i look for work outside of taipei city.  Innocent enough.  So i did.  Sure enough, i was given an interview in a city, who’s name has illuded since returning to america as i could barely pronounce it while i was in taiwan.  With a man who i will lovingly nick name “gentleman”.  Gentleman was very interested in meeting me and offering me a position within the institution he taught it.  As well, his own english skills were very refined.  Some of the best i had heard in a native born in a long time.  He was impressively refined, and very helpful.  However, there was one slight problem with this.  To travel to the location of the school, it would be the equivalent of traveling from Altoona PA to Pittsburgh PA on a daily basis.  For those that dont know how long that would take, its a 4 hour trip.  If i had a car or bike while in Taiwan, this wouldnt have really been an issue.  However, the only way to reach this school, was to go by bus and the ride was not cheap.  Doing the math, yes i sat down and tried to figure it all out to make it work, unless they paid me a large some of money, till i got enough saved up to move there, i would long starve before i was able to move.  If i did become narcoleptic from lack of sleep considering the amount of travel time i would have to deal with.

By about this point, it was obvious that my time in taiwan was coming to an end.  I was, deeply saddened by this.  I had had little time to actually see what i wanted to see of taiwan.  I really would have liked to pilgrimage to the temples.  Studied a little with the monks there.  Spent some time on one of the beaches, walked through the wilderness, or even just spent some time enjoying the night life there.  My entire month i was there was spent on this seemingly hopeless quest for money and survival.  Did i learn anything from it?  Only that my initial perspective of myself was right.  I am capable of doing anything i set my mind to.  And that the asian culture is a vast and beautiful thing.  Its people are intriquite and most are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.  I even began to fall in love there.  I had a feeling i would.  However, to be honest, what was my experiance really like there?  Traumatic, taxing, and when i had to leave, i had to deal with more issues solving that problem i mentioned earlier with having a ticket that was for 6 months rather than one month.  Cousin helped me with that as best he could.  It was nice getting a vip treatment.  When the government says you have to go, you gotta go.  And they will move you to the front of any line to make sure you get out of their country.  And they will act as if you are the most important person in the world.  So for a moment i felt like a vip.  Its fake folks, dont wish for it.  People will say and do just about anything for you if they know their asses are on the line!

So far it doesnt seem like the WTF award fits cousin does it?  He did everything he could, and though the screw ups we all made could be shared equally, neither of us deserved flak for trying our best.  No, the WTF part is coming up next.  roughly 3 months after my return to the states.

So, i’m sitting here, busting my ass to try and find work, money, anything other that fucking charity or hand outs to make ends meet.  I give to charity, and no you selfish bastards i do NOT write it off on my taxes!  I give because i WANT TO HELP not because i get a tax write off!  People that give only to write it off make me sick!  I give to charity, but i will NOT accept it.  Charity goes to those who truly need it.  I’m not that bad off…yet.  So i’m busting my ass, trying to get work, not easy with a criminal record, but i’m trying.  But i’m also trying to have SOME standards.  I mean i’m not above cleaning toilets.  Hell, i clean my own, and i’m not the only one that uses it.  And cleaning toilets may not be glamourous but its better than rumaging through everyone’s garbage or old slobbery food!  No, i’m not washing dishes!  I wouldnt even mind that if i could get a position other than dish room bitch!  Pun intended there.  I’m told i’m over qaulified to work at mcdonalds.  Go figure right?  So, here i am busting my ass to get money, not being very successful, but trying.  In the mean time working on my second book, taking care of my son, and trying to get a legal name change, which comes with seas of red tape mind you and expenses.  See the coorilation between money and red tape there?  All the while trying to make the best out of what i’ve been dealt.

When along comes a message from cousin.  Rather than sit here and qoute the message i will give you the general idea.  He comes at me, asking me why i am wasting my time doing everything but accepting more money from him to help me with my name change, that which i am not 100% sure of the price yet, on top of which, i dont like accepting more from him after i already feel responsible for screwing up originaly while i was there.  Then, now that i already feel like a pile of dung, he says, not in exact words but the general meaning is there, that if i keep doing nothing, like he knows what i’m doing when we’re almost 13 hours apart from each other, everything will end up just the same as it did in taiwan.  Insinuating this was all my fault, i am a royal fuck up and perhaps through my entire traumatic survial experiance, i could have some how gained some deep insight into how the fuck any of this all worked when to begin with, i was under the impression he had this all set up, and through all these disasterous events which i shouldered and bared the back lash of, i percisviered and never once blamed HIM for.  Well, thank you for letting me know, this is all my fault!  Thank you, for making me feel all the more like the worthless outcast, garbage-heaped, deviant, slacker, fuck-up, loser of a tool that society’s scewed image of its own self has already heaped onto my shoulders which i must continuely bare the brunt force trauma of daily ALONE already.  Thank  YOU, sir, for being one more person, who thinks because they made it, WITH HELP, mind you.  A person who made it, with the help of others, and by having the ability to EXPLOIT a loop hole in an already flawed and fucked up system, who made it on the broken backs, bones, and shattered dreams of others, now thinks he has the right to JUDGE some else who wasnt so damn fortunate.  Who gave charity, and i, who so foolishly accepted it, now has the right, because they have some how acheieved a level so far above me, one at one time the looked to me for guidance and support, me who helped them with out ever asking for anything ANYTHING in return.  Now, you are hoillier than thou, because YOU who took MULTIPLE times to make it, are there, and I am not have the RIGHT to judge me!?  When i have circumstances you couldnt even HOPE to understand, i am less than you?  And you have the right to judge me!?

You know what, if i didnt love you so much, i’d kill you!  But that is my weakness.  I love too much, for as much venomous bile as i spew at idiots, and for as sharp as my tongue is, and lightning quick as my wit, for as deep my insight and vast my intellect, i have one major flaw that people use agaisnt me over and over.  And the ones who are around wonder why every fucking day i grow more and more cold and bitter.  I love people too much.  I hold it in and hold it in until i explode and end up doing more damage to myself than i do others.  Well fuck you, and your hoillier than thou attitude!  And fuck holding it in anymore.  I will say what’s on my mind and i will say it so the whole damn world can hear.  And if you dont like it you can go eat a big fat dick! 

You, cousin, sir, earn a very special WTF!? award.  For being one more person i allowed to hurt me so deeply with just words.  It was NOT my fault shit fell apart.  I did everything, EVERYTHING you asked of me!  And i’m STILL busting my ASS to get back to where i wanna be.  And i will do it, with, or without help.  As i do EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE!  ALONE!  As i said, you’re lucky i love you so much, or i would just shoot you.  Its easier than dealing with the emotional toilet i have to deal with daily.

In closing, i would like to say, to the rest of you out there, that may have found some of this offensive.  Too bad!  If you dont like this, why did you read this far into it?  I commend you for reading something all the way through, but really, if you dont like something, just walk away from it.  Unfriend me, ignore me, better yet.  Go die somewhere!  I didnt write this for your amusement, i wrote it to get out what i had bottled up inside.  Trust me, i think i’ll do it more often, very theraputic.  Try it some time.  I dont need millions of fans to love this, i just needed to do it for myself.  And to be honest, it felt really really great!  Kinda like being really really horny, and finally getting off.  Yeah much like that.  Like a weight lifted off your shoulders.  Really, the only one that lost sleep here tonight was me.  But i’m used to that.  I couldnt sleep so i wrote, and wrote till i got it all out.  So, if you dont like it, or were offended then unfriend me, ignore me, whatever.  But dont compain to me.  Cause i honestly dont give a fly fuck if your ego was bruised.  Get over it!  You’ll live.

Good night world.  We’ll have to do this again some time.  I enjoyed it

 

~ by shad0wrav3n2014 on August 24, 2012.

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