About a month ago my Android smartphone died and I tried to return it to T-Mobile Germany to have it repaired under warranty. Unfortunately T-Mobile showed that they utterly disregard their customers and I'm still stuck with a broken smartphone and useless warranty on it. I have contacted the European Customer Center (ECC) about this who will try to mediate in this case between T-Mobile Germany and me. Hopefully things will work out there. On a happier note, my girlfriend gave me her used phone: a Galaxy Nexus. As she just upgraded to a new phone due to extending her phone plan (yay for European carriers), this was most welcome. She had only owned it for a month herself as she got it as a brand-new replacement for the previous phone which had an unfortunate accident.
In the bus earlier today an old man sat down near us and started talking enthusiastically about this new tablet was that he got, how he was able to stay in contact with his daughter in South-America and others every single day so easily. For someone who must have been around 80 years old he seemed quite eager to use new technology. I thought it was a very positive thing. Definitely worth a few smiles.
My girlfriend and I went to go exchange a halogen light transformer for a working version at a DIY store. As the transformer's packaging had clearly been opened before we knew that the damage inside the unit had been caused by the previous owner, despite it being sold as 'new'. Exchanging it was no problem, just that we had to go pick it up at another location as the one we visited didn't have it in stock. Thus we traveled by bus to said next location and got it there no trouble. On the way back to the bus stop we saw a cat pawing wildly at a bird which was fluttering around on the snow near a hedge. Without a second thought my girlfriend jumped into the fray, chased the cat away and cradled the bird to her chest.
It was clear that the bird had been injured at its leg, with blood visible there on the lighter feathers in that area. We surmised that it'd probably be alright, so we decided to take it home. During the trip home which was by bus and foot the bird seems to calm down at first, but by the time we arrived at the apartment and took the elevator up we noticed that the bird had become very quiet. My girlfriend exclaimed worried that she thought it had breathed its last breath just then and there. Upon taking the bird into our place and putting it down we had to sadly conclude that it had indeed died. We are now waiting to bury it.
It's odd how quickly things can change like that. First we were happy we thought we could save this bird and already could see it fly off again to join other birds. Then gradually it became clear that the bird would not make it, until we had to accept this as a fact. Even though we didn't know this bird for longer than minutes its passing still had an impact on us. Even though we could not have done anything. Upon closer inspection it turned out that the bird had been mauled by the cat and likely sustained internal trauma due to this. Also one of its eyes had been damaged. The shock from the event combined with the stress kept it alive for a bit longer until its injuries became fatal.
We both watch quite a few of those animal cop shows on TV where they save injured and maltreated animals and we have a lot of respect for these people. No doubt they see a lot of animals die every day or week despite all of the care given to them.
Moving on, amidst all of the happenings (both sad and happy) there does seem to be a steady course towards calmer, happier weather. This and next month are still going to be a bit tough for both my girlfriend and I as many things either happen legally or hopefully will work out financially. My girlfriend should have her first name(s) changed to further complete the breaking with her former family, and I have the disciplinary hearing against one gender team which has made my life a living hell the past eight years and counting. Hopefully for both of us this will mean calmer times.
Regarding the hearing next month, I'm currently working on notifying media channels and bloggers around the world about it and the general case so that they will hopefully start carrying news about this matter as well. It's about time us intersex individuals can stop being forced to distinguish us and can finally blend into the wide variety of shapes and colours offered by humanity. There's so much more than black and white.
I'll be publishing a press release on the hearing soon and will continue to do so over the coming months as the case proceeds.