Decided to re-open this blog. Using it to communicate with my Spanish speaking friends in Peru...blogs will be in Espanol for a while - Thank you ;-)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

2008 Introspective

Every time I log on I have the urge to go there. I know it is a shell, an empty husk but it still beckons with that mysterious fascination.I finish reading my mail and I catch up with my bills and my fingers suddenly slip and click on it's bookmark. I glance at the page I had carefully arranged, I check on the old messages and comments. Curiously, some people still update their blasts and what surprises me is that there are still people that are inviting me to be friends. Yahoo 360 is like a ghost ship, a ship abandoned by it's crew, to the dismay of many of the passengers on board... It also reminds me of my only successful attempt to establish a network of friends that shared a desire to express a feminine side, something that the mainstream couldn't grasp that readily.
An individual has very little say in the decisions of the huge corporations. It didn't matter if you signed a petition to keep 360 afloat. It probably was a huge waste of time to wait out and see what Yahoo came out with. I looked around but I didn't feel comfortable with any of the other places. What really was decisive in my intention to lose interest in the whole networking idea was me. The appeal vanished little by little.
There is a hidden cycle in all things transgender. Like in any group you want to belong to, you want to mingle with other like-minded individuals. I felt the need to establish contact. I needed information, advice and desperately needed to share experiences. You can't do that by being introverted. You start with a couple of pictures and some messenger gossip, until someone tells you to check a site that was competing with URNA. I found 360 easy to use and I was hooked. Until then I had given up on writing, but blogging gave me the hope that my muse would return. She bailed out after I quit college, have caught some fleeting glimpses of her lately but maybe I was just imagining things.
Yahoo 360 for me was not the physical network, it was more a state of mind a bunch of people were in at the beginning of 2005. By 2007 it had ran it's course, but I had managed to make some good friends and I had the honor of meeting some of them personally. A core of about 50 girls blogged constantly. We argued, there was drama but in all a sense of a network community was born. I can't deny that it was a web based community, with few anchors in the real world. But the support and camaraderie was real. 360 had the advantage that it could bring together many other Yahoo applications. Flickr for pictures, Yahoo groups for like -minded individuals and YIM for the gossip. Now, everything feels so disjointed and it feeds the apathetic fire.

So life goes on and even though most of it goes unrecorded on any blog of mine, lots of things happened since I moved in with Glenn. The idea that I am now introduced as "Laura, my girlfriend" still tingles my estrogen laden heart. I was looking forward to meeting some of the neighbors, but as Glenn told me, they're nice neighbors, they tend to be quiet and stay inside their homes. It is hard to get adjusted to living with another person again. There are so many things that need to be put away. A lot of things need to be thrown out. It is cool when you find stuff that you couldn't find before. I always thought that I would prefer to live by myself. But I am learning to enjoy Glenn's and Ms Kitty's attention. Past experiences had made up my mind that I was a loner, a maniac who wanted to find stuff in the same place as she had left them in the morning, before going to work. I must say I should have met someone as accommodating as G, years ago...

Socially, I think I have reverted to my earlier years. I don't go out and I am not online a lot. There are so many things to do! I have still to put away a bunch of boxed stuff. I come late from work every time. Lots of Over Time, which helps with the moving expenses. I do not know why I have shied away from the limelight. People who talk to me describe me as down to earth. A guy friend of mine, who I was chatting with the other day told me he was amazed I was not rude or mean when I answered his invite to chat. He was just curious about transgenders and wanted to ask questions. Yea, I know most of those invites are lewd, but once in a while you get the chance to educate, and it makes you feel good. I gave up on trying to attend the local TG group. I still feel like I am the stranger looking in to the political and legal involvement. I do support the LGBT and I do attend Pride but I have left it at that. Not only am I saving money but I think the SCC as a hub for social interaction has lost meaning to me. I think if I want to visit any of the friends I made in the 360 heyday, I can buy an airplane ticket and visit them personally. I have visited Riz on repeated occasions, and now that my kids are in Arizona, I may get the chance to visit some of my West Coast acquaintances. It is commendable of the SCC to unite such a daunting number of TG people in one place, but I always had a problem with crowds, eventually I would miss someone I really wanted to see. So yeah, no SCC this year. It is incredible the amount of SCC related blogs, blasts and comments that are out there. There is even a FlickrSCC theme, incredible!

Nicky's visit this summer brought me also to the realization that sharing life with my sons is definitely the priority. There is a bond that is very hard to ignore. I usually feel very upset if I don't hear from them daily. Sometimes they get in trouble with mom and there grounding includes phone call restrictions. I have made it a priority to have one phone for each child, plus unlimited texting. Sharing pictures and mini videos has become one of our favorite ways of communicating. I have been trying to improve my skills on video games, there are some records they still can't beat.

In conclusion, I miss the camaraderie of 360 but life has kept on going. My regret is that I lost contact with friends I still wanted to keep in touch with. This by the way is the last 360 posting. For those of you reading it on 360, please take note on my blast link. That is where I am going to blog from now on. The pic? That's my new haircut sans make up, cuz who really puts on make up at 900am to go to the hair salon? :-P


Renee said...

Your hair looks great!

360! is totally weird. I go back there to read a couple blogs still...a few friends still hang on, for some reason. I saw one person even opened up a second page over the weekend...that kind of blew my mind.

I'm deeply saddened that the West Coast will you have your attention from now on! I guess I'm going to have to pay Florida a visit.

I've never been to SCC, so it's probably not fair to comment. But I've been to lots of other similar conventions, and the problem with it is that it's all stuff, all the time. Too many people, too many events, everyone wanting to do something every minute of every day. I always feel pulled in too many directions in situations like that. I prefer a more relaxed itinerary. I'd much rather spend a quiet five hours with a friend (and her son) in a mini-van driving around the backroads of Michigan. :)

That said, if I had the money, I might attend once. It would probably be the only chance for to me some of these friends I've made over the last few years. I wouldn't buy a conference pass though. I'd just hang at the hotel and socialize.

Anonymous said...

I also still follow 360 for those friends who haven't migrated but it's really frustrating. Half the time I click on their new post and get an older one, and commenting is just as bad.

I loved 260 when it was working somewhat smooth. It's where I met so many great people like you and Remee and Glenn. It's great that you and Glenn a living together.

I don't think I could ever afford SCC. Too many more important places to spend that money. I know I'd have a great time.

AZ is too damn hot but there's some great people there.

Anonymous said...

I still feel jilted by 360. All I wanted when I went there was to see what the blogging craze was all about. Instead, I found I had stumbled into a community that was growing, as individuals and as a group.

It was truly synergy. That little virtual community fueled my desires to push my inner and outer walls apart. Now that it's fizzled, my drive to go out, connect, and challenge the world has gone sort of flat too.

But anyhow. It brought a smile to my face to learn that you were living with Glenn now!

Now I wonder what my password was here... really I do.

Anonymous said...

It's great to see youve found a home here, I still feel a bit wayward. My thoughts so closely mirror yours, in observing the cycle of life at Yahoo 360. I too found the whole thing so fascinating, and im just glad to have been a small part of it, and to have met some wonderful people who i hope will remain my friends. I signed on right around the 5th of Jan 2005, and made my final blog (without even knowing it would be my final, i just walked away) a couple of months ago. Very sad, but as a very close friend tells me, you gotta keep movin' on. Someday maybe we'll look back on it as our little Woodstock or something...a period of tremendous creativity, personal adventure and energy, generated by an uncanny sense of community and belonging. Thanks to you Laura, and everyone else for letting me be a part!

Le visage d'avril said...

Ghost ship is a good description. I have to admit it took me a while to leave too.