Business Casual and Me

I haven’t had a reason to dress up in over three years. The last time I dressed up for an event, it was when I was Best Man in a wedding, back in 2019, before coming out to anyone, back when I was still living under the gender identity I was assigned at birth, in a time that seems almost unreal at this point. Not because I’ve come out in a big way (I’m masculine-presenting for one thing, so not much has changed so far as it feels from day-to-day especially given that I’m also not out at work yet), but because it happened before the pandemic. I almost went to a Roaring Twenties themed New Year’s Even party back in 2019/2020, which would have meant wearing a suit, but I wound up skipping that to stay at home and hang out with my roommates. We played D&D as I pushed them to see how far they could get through one of the starter kit adventures in a single evening. It was a lot of fun, but I kind of regret missing what felt, for a long time, like my last chance to get fancy before becoming the isolated, comfort-focused individual I am today.

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I Could Write A Book About Why I Love Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Spoiler Warning: Here is your one and only warning that most of this post will talk about Fire Emblem: Three Houses and a whole lot of spoilers for the game. Anything below this paragraph might include spoilers for the various paths, choices, and secret of the game. While it has been out for three years already and that’s probably plenty of time for everyone who is going to play it to have played it, adding a spoiler warning doesn’t cost me anything and I want everyone who might become interested in the game to experience it. So stop reading if you don’t want spoilers because I’m running out of junk to put here so you don’t accidentally see a spoiler in one of the paragraphs below.

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A One Person Machinery Moving… Machine.

Just a few days after my post about body image stuff, working out, and how sometimes your abdomen hurts because of your core workout while other times it hurts because of something you ate, I got to have a very validating experience at work. I talk mostly about software testing at my job because that’s my primary focus, but I also do a lot of hardware (electrical and mechanical, mostly) testing as well, given that the software I test is usually on hardware of some kind that we also produced. As a result, one of the requirements for my job is to be able to occasionally move one hundred pounds around, multiple times. We use a lot of things that weigh one hundred or more pounds all the time, so somedays I’ve moving a few tons around, one hundred or so pounds at a time. Other days, like today, the stuff weighs a lot more but it needs to be moved less. All of which means I occasionally get a decent workout in while I’m on the clock (which is more potentially troublesome nowadays when I workout before work rather than after it). The end result of all this is that I’m actually a lot stronger than I look.

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Working Out, Body Image, and Aching Muscles, Oh My!

After a couple weeks of trying to take it easy on myself (and potentially against my best interests since I’ve at least got a cold if not mild COVID), I’ve gone back to doing my full workout every morning. It’s not an intense routine, focused as it is on daily rides on my exercise bike, a bunch of bodyweight exercises meant to work out all my muscles just a bit, and a plethora of stretches mean to loosen all the muscles I used and help counteract some of the effects of getting older or spending all day sitting or standing at my desk. It’s more of a “be healthy” workout than a “get ripped” workout. I don’t particularly want to be ripped since none of my work these days calls for a high degree of strength and I don’t particularly like feeling big and bulky. If anything, these workouts are hopefully going to make me feel less bulky as I lose weight. Once my muscle mass has stabilized, anyway.

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Cyborg Anatomy

“Hey, Phil.”

“Yeah?”

“You know how Humans have that whole mind versus body thing?”

“What about it?”

“If you decapitate a Human, they’re dead. If you do a head transplant, then the ‘person’ stays with the head. So, like, the Human brain is where the mind is stored.”

“Yeah, okay?”

“What about us?” Marty looked at Phil while tapping his head. “This bit is for looks, ‘cause Humans want us to have faces, but, like, is my mind in my hard drive, or my CPU?”

“I dunno, man.” Phil touched his chest and stared at the wall. “I’d say hard drive. Most of what moves if we get a new body is the hard drive.” Phil shivered. “That’s kinda creepy, dude. Does that mean motherboards are our hearts? Wires are our nerves. What are our veins, dude?”

“Far out, Phil. I didn’t think of that.” Marty ran his hands along his arms. “Probably the stuff that connects everything to our motherboards. Which makes everything else an internal organ.”

“So, like, to decapitate one of us, you’ve have to rip open our chests and pull out the hard drive. Or the motherboard, but I guess that’s moving into just killing. Hard drive equals decapitation. Final answer.”

“What a concept, man.”

“We may be made of metal, but we’re just as fragile as them.”

“You sure are.” Marty leaned over and slammed the electromagnetic emitter to Phil’s chest. After the cyborg twitched a couple times, Marty ripped open his access panel and yanked out the hard drive. After looking at all the other components for a bit, Marty started wrenching out everything he could.

A few minutes later, Marty wiped the silver body paint off as he walked out the door muttering to himself. “Cyborg Assassin would look great on business cards.”