Friday, December 31, 2004

Running in the Rain

It’s ironic. I spent the first day of this year running in the rain, and here on the last day of the year, I did the same thing.

It seems like we are definitely in the rainy season here in San Francisco as it has rained the past few days. As I took off for my run this afternoon, I knew that I would most likely get wet, even though it appeared we were between rain showers. San Francisco doesn’t get much rain after May or June, and since I didn’t start running again after surgery until around April, I really haven’t run in the rain much this year. Tonight, though, I definitely noticed one of the downsides to not having a brow ridge: large rain drops. They seem to hit more often and with a little more force now that there is less to shield my eyes from above. Oh well, I think I can live with a little rain in my eyes compared to living with male features.

So, although it rained on the first and last day, the year was still full of a lot of days with sunshine. There were some definite down periods, but there have been a lot of bright spots this past year. I already know that it’s going to rain again tomorrow, but I don’t mind. I know there will be a number of cold, rainy days to come, as well, but there will also be a lot of sunny days to follow.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Hut Hut

I’m just back from Christmas with the family. Things went fairly well, and there were zero - count them - zero confrontations. I was called ‘he’ a few times, but it was no big deal.

I will have to say that this trip was quite positive, and I think the family seems to be taking my transition relatively well.

Anyway, last Friday’s trip was a little entertaining. Unfortunately, due to my flight schedule and the NFL’s schedule, I missed the first two hours of the Packer-Viking game that started at 2pm Central. I arrived in Chicago around 4pm, found my gate, then found the closest TV. (I’d previously asked for game updates on the flight into Chicago, but the powers that I weld do not seem to work on flight attendants...female or gay males, alike.) The score was 24-21 Packers ahead, on my walk from one gate to another, but once I found the TV, Minnesota tied it with a field goal.

As the game went on, the Vikings unfairly pinned Green Bay near their own end zone due to a non-call on what should have been a touchback. On third down, Favre threw a pass that was picked out of the air by a linebacker and returned for a TD. A guy standing near me in the crowd of people watching the game cheered when they scored. I told him, “Hey, you’re rooting for the wrong team!”

As time progressed, people started heading for our plane. The guy I ‘scolded’ also headed for my gate, and as the last few remaining people headed down the ramp, I left the game with 8 minutes left and the score 31-24, Vikes.

As I was walking down the ramp, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be ironic if I’m sitting next to the Viking dude?” Sure enough, when I got to my seat, I actually found him sitting in it. He moved to the window seat when he realized he was in the wrong seat. We chatted for a while about the game and how I would have bet him had the Vikes not scored that one touchdown. Kiddingly, I asked him, “Are you going to be OK when you find out the Packers came back to win?”

He asked me the same question if the Vikes won.

We also talked about our trips into the Midwest. He was visiting his girlfriend who was studying to be a doctor. He was an engineer in Virginia. I asked him a little about his job, then told him I was an engineer as well. Why is it that most people don’t seem to believe that I’m an engineer? Is it because I’m a woman?

He also called me a good flight buddy. I guess guys like it when a girl can talk football and job related stuff.

Anyway, we chatted about the fact that neither of us had friends in the area and that it would be cool to hang out if either of us were bored (since I thought I’d be staying near the city). Since I stayed at my sister’s, though, I never made it into the city. He did give me his number to call him to hang out, but I just called him last night to bug him about the Packer’s win, coming back to score a TD and the game winning field goal while we were on the flight.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Pre-SRS update

Two days ago, I received a call from Dr. Meltzer’s office. They were checking up to make sure things were OK.

I’m still going through the information packet they sent, initialing where I need to, and will send it back at the very end of this year. Why? Well, I’ll also be sending the payment for SRS when I send back the signed information. Since I don’t want this tax season to look totally suspicious (as though it doesn’t already), I figured I would put FFS on 2004 and SRS on 2005.

It could come back to haunt me though. You see, there is a magic income cutoff that separates the 15% federal tax rate from 25% tax rate. With my medical deductions for transition this year, I’ll be fairly close to that cutoff. Hopefully I’m not shy of it by a couple thousand dollars, which could have been added simply by paying for a portion of SRS a little earlier.

Anyway, the good news with the money situation is the nice credit card offer I received from my insurance company. They offered 1.9% APR for life on all purchases before January 31, 2005. I can't even get a loan with a percentage close to that. Since my SRS payment is due well before that date, I figured I’d place as much as possible on that card since I’m expecting a fairly large federal tax refund in 2005. When I looked online at the credit limit they provided, I almost bonked my head on the ceiling (even though I wouldn’t have been able to feel it). Let’s just say that there was enough credit to put all of the main SRS on it.

So, I’ve also been thinking about having breast augmentation during SRS. I’d like to have bigger boobs, but it would also be nice to have them naturally. Unfortunately, my “girls” haven’t grown much, if any, the past 6 months. Dr. Meltzer has performed quite a few BA’s, especially on T’s. After seeing another pair tonight, I’ve now seen two of his results up close. Although both of the examples I have seen had the areola incision, I’d still prefer to have either the armpit or bellybutton incision. I don’t believe that Dr. Meltzer performs the bellybutton incision, and he doesn’t prefer to do the armpit one, but there’s no way I would do the crease incision. Although the areola incision doesn’t look that bad, I can still see it, and I’d worry about losing nipple sensation.

During the phone call with Dr. Meltzer’s staff, I asked if there was any time available during my SRS to also have the breast augmentation performed. They checked and said that there was enough time to squeeze it in (no pun intended). They said they’d probably need to know about a month before the surgery, at the latest, so they could make all of the arrangements before surgery.

Today, though, I pondered whether or not to call Dr. Meltzer’s office to order my own sort of Christmas gifts. I didn’t, though. Perhaps I should wait to see if Santa leaves anything in my stocking first.

Otherwise....peace, goodwill, and a Coke (Pepsi, etc.) to everyone.

Merry Chrismahanukwanzakah!!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Conversation Killer

Tonight I was at the final exam for my dance class. It consisted of showing up at the instructor’s house for a small party to watch the taped performances from last week (which I decided not to participate in since I would have had a hard time making the practices, missed a few weeks of classes with surgery, and wouldn’t have been able to participate both of the nights they performed).

All of the girls that were there were pushing their early 20’s at the oldest, with the instructor having kids nearly as old as them. Some of them talked about the days when they used to be a cheerleader in high school, which is quite evident with the way they were able to move their bodies. we’re watching the performances, one of the girls, who was not in class last year when I was still a guy, calls me ‘he’.

Although I’m fairly secure with myself, it still bothered me that someone who never knew me as a guy was calling me 'he', and/or, thought of me as a guy. I’m sure some of the other girls who were in the class last year probably told her who I used to be, but she’s the first one that didn’t know me from before that has called me ‘he’ or ‘him’.

I think this is a signal for me to move on from this class. Although the instructor and the people in the class were very supportive, it’s still annoying having someone use a pronoun they probably never would have associated with me had they not been told.

After that party, I was off to another party....a farewell party for a T friend...who was not out to any of the other people attending the party. So, the people that were there were also not aware that I was far as I knew.

During the course of the night, I was sitting across from my friend’s brother and the brother’s wife. Ironically, she had the same name I used to have, and started talking about the relationship between her name and her brother’s name.

“I used to have a brother that had the same name as you," I said to my friends’ sister in-law. "I remember him mentioning the same phonetic characteristic."

"Used to....", she inquired.

I paused. "Yeah....used to. But it's ok......he moved on to a better place."

Good job. I just killed that conversation. I guess that really wasn’t the best way to bring up any reference to things I already knew, but which were in relation to a previous life as a guy...with a different name, a different past, a different set of body parts, a different dynamic.........just different....

I guess we live and learn as life goes on. Perhaps I should use “have a friend” instead of “had a brother” if I ever want to talk in the future about things relating to my male past.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

One Month

...ago today, I had my second hairline advancement. Compared to the main FFS, this has been a walk in the park. Sure, there was the funky bumpy incision line, sutures, staples, bloody hair, and numbness, but it’s been so much easier. All of the swelling was basically gone inside a week, and the incision healed up fairly nicely. It was definitely tight and still is to a degree.

The numbness really sucks, though, especially since I had most of it back after FFS. I’ve felt the itching, the shooting pains, and the weird sensation that feels like things are kinda crawling around on top of my head...especially in the front temporal areas. Hopefully the numbness will heal up faster than last time since Dr. O didn’t cut all the way across my head, nor did he have it peeled down at all (whereas in the main FFS, he had the skin pulled down in order to work on the sinus cavity and forehead for a few hours).

Otherwise, it’s been a fairly easy recovery, although I’ve only exercised twice since the surgery. The fun part to this, though, has been watching people cringe when I tell them I was awake thru the whole surgery. That’s brought up a few stories of other people’s experience with their wisdom teeth. Ahhhh...the moments we all share.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

What to do with old underwear?

So, I’ve been cleaning out a few items in my room and moving things around. I’m trying to simplify my life and possessions. Based on my roommate, I may be moving sometime soon...which, of course, is complicated by SRS on the horizon. Plus, I just have way too much stuff that I need to trash a bit of it.

Some of the stuff I have run across is stuff that dates back to when I was a kid. Unfortunately, a few of these items have my old name on them, and are no longer relevant. A lot of them are so old, though, that they weren’t even relevant before the name change. The hard part, though, is throwing them away.

What do you do with stuff that holds a lot of memories of your youth...a time when my mind wasn’t fully ravaged with gender dysphoria. It was a time of simplicity, a time of innocence, a time before I couldn’t see past the gender wall that slowly built up in my mind.

But now, I must decide on the things to keep and the things to throw away...which memories to hold on to, and which ones to let go.

Sunday, December 05, 2004


So, I had another busy Saturday, went running late into the evening, and decided that I didn’t want to spend another Saturday night at home. I’d heard a few acquaintances would be at Diva’s and that they were having a celebration of sorts, so I decided to jump in the shower and head out for the evening.

I arrived slightly before 11pm, which ensured that my entry was free...a slight bonus for being a girl. The celebration was for Cassandra, a local transsexual who was in a CSI episode on November 18th. I’d seen her before at AsiaSF, so I’d already known for a fact that she was quite stunning.

So, the first guy to start talking to me was a guy named Mike. He was an OK dude, and fairly respectful to me. We chatted for a while. The second guy to approach me was a little taller than me, dark hair, and slightly overweight. He wasn’t very attractive, and was very hesitant, to a degree. His hesitancy, though, led to a few surprising questions.

“You ever fucked a guy up the ass?”


“Would you fuck me up the ass?”

“ But if you ask around, I’m sure you could pay one of these lovely ladies to fuck you up the ass.”

“I don’t need to pay for it,” he said, and then stomped off. And they wonder why tranny chasers get such a bad rap.

The third guy asked if I wanted to play pool. I told him, “sure, why not,” although I did tell him on the way to the pool table that I wasn’t a working girl.

Cassandra was working behind the bar near the pool table on the almost empty fourth floor. Throughout the night we’d already heard a few tidbits about her being on the show, how she was selected at a little shindig the producers held at AsiaSF looking for dancers, and how they’d changed the lines on her from her initial script to the actual taping.

When I was home for the holidays, I found out my dad had a woman working for him who used to work on the X-Files when it taped in Canada. I, being a huge X-Files fan, asked my dad to ask her about David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. After spending an afternoon at my grandmother’s while my Dad finished work, he said she said, “David Duchovny was an asshole, and Gillian Anderson and her started out as roommates when the show began. But later, Gillian married one of the producers, developed a lot of insecurities, and then became an asshole.” Sounds like Hollywood turns one into an asshole.

So, I asked Cassandra if the actors that play Gil Grishom or Catherine Willows were assholes since she was in a scene with the two of them. Cassandra said that William Peterson was actually a really nice person, and was very close to the character he played. She also said that Marg Helgenberger was also pretty cool, as were most of the people that she dealt with from the show. Someone else commented that things are usually really comfortable on a set when the show is doing well and people are nicely paid.

When 2am rolled around, they started kicking us out. The dude who asked me to play pool (who I also found out was an HR director) asked me if he could call me sometime. I told him I wasn’t really into guys right now, but he was still very polite.

Well, it’s nice to know that not everyone is an asshole.

Saturday, December 04, 2004


Coworker Mark, L, and I were standing around late yesterday afternoon just kinda chatting before the weekend began. We were talking about the Survivor episode that ran the previous night. Mark commented about some of the women sitting around plucking each others eyebrows with their fingernails.

“That’s what girls do, Jeff,” I remarked.

L and Mark just stared at me.


Whoops. You see, Jeff and I were coworkers back in the Midwest. Mark reminds me a lot of Jeff, and I’ve even told Mark that. In fact, I’d commented to him a few years back that I was sorry if I ever called him Jeff.

I'd also just mentioned something about the show's host, Jeff Probst, so the name Jeff was fresh in my head.

Both of them, though, had a little fun with it. And of course, I found it amusing, as well, that I had used the wrong name. Mark even decides to quip, “I get a mulligan.”

Saturday, November 27, 2004

My book report

I spent the past 4 days in the Midwest visiting family for Thanksgiving. Things went well, and I was able to spend time with both my immediate and extended family. (I even ran into a college friend and his wife, who I recognized just 2 people ahead of me as we boarded the plane today). There were a few slip ups on pronouns and my name, but they all made great attempts to call me Kara and her/she. I even tried to be on my best behavior by not talking politics or anything about transition/surgery stuff unless directly asked.

On the flight home, though, I was finally able to finish off the book “The Man Who Would be Queen” by J. Michael Bailey. Although there were parts of it that were put together quite well and dealt with a lot of the issues for both gay men and transsexuals, he doesn’t really perform any solid research. In fact, he throws gender identity out the window. He basically instills a lot of men do this, homosexual transsexuals do this, autogynephilic transsexuals do this. He also seems big into calling and thinking of gay men as feminine. To me, gay men aren’t necessarily feminine, they are, and they are all different. He throws labels around but doesn’t define his labels. Perhaps he sees them as feminine because they are more confident in who they are, and aren’t afraid of living up to the stereotype of men having to act like men (tough, unemotional, rigid). But he doesn’t cover any of this, which to me seems like common sense.

He also states a lot of the general theories, that gay men have more psychological problems because, well, it’s not easy being gay (it's amazing how much stress the straight community can create), but then he rants into another theory...because their brains are more like women, and women have more psychological problems. Whew. It seems like a lot of passive aggression to me, even though he says he’s pro-gay and pro-T.

Finally, he talks a lot about transsexuals. He seems to place all of us into two general categories...homosexual transsexuals or autogynephilic transsexuals. A lot of people like to do this, categorize us, it seems. Why? Anyway, he says that we’re either a feminine version of gay men, or we’re men who have created an image of attractive women in their own bodies...that it’s actually a sort of paraphilia. The funny thing is that he says he’s just speculating, and even he himself says that it is basically impossible to understand another person without ESP, which he doesn’t believe in. He says that we must look at overt behavior that somehow signals fundamental similarity. The thing is, I don’t think he looks enough at the bigger picture, and even when he does, he just wants to feed and water his own ideas.

When I emailed him earlier this year concerning his book (which I hadn’t even started at that point), I asked him if a lot of the characteristics he mentioned were survival mechanisms. He said they weren’t, without even giving them consideration. He also even notes that he doesn’t know why autogynephilia transsexuals are attracted to being women. So, basically, he just wrote a passive aggressive book that puts forth a lot of his ideas in order for him to gain credibility and popularity (he even admits that some of the general ideas he (and his 10 year old son) came up with had already been popular theories, but his new ones would cause controversy). His ideas though, are based on skimming the surface of something he just doesn’t know enough of.

Let me shed some of my own light with my own theories. There are a variety of reasons people are transgender...ranging from womb issues to developmental issues....nature, nurture, and who knows what else. There could be genetic predispositions, chemical contaminants during development, or developmental issues dealing with other psychological messes. This could affect gender one sees themselves. Secondly, there is sexual preference, or orientation. Although identity and orientation are separate, they do affect one another. Transsexuals tend to find at least three general ways of dealing with their situation. Some seek “shelter” within the gay community, some withdraw from society to a degree, and some try to put up a male facade in order to hide their identity. T’s can be in one or more of those categories. Some can also abuse alcohol or other drugs in a way to escape from reality. The way one seek’s shelter is also affected by their orientation.

Transsexual feelings also vary in their intensity. Some are able to control it, some aren’t, some find a release for it, and some end up killing themselves. Cultural factors can also influence the ability and desires to transition, or just remain as either hetero or gay males.

As far as I am concerned, we’re all different, and to put us into two separate boxes is absurd, ridiculous, and just plain ignorant. People who do decide to transition though need to weigh the consequences of transition and understand what they are doing. Otherwise, people can do whatever they want.


While putting together this webpage/entry, I was looking around J. Michael Bailey's webpage that I linked to above, and ran across statements by some of his staff. It basically said that all gay men like masculine men and all lesbians like femmes. I found this preposterous. And since I happen to be one of those that is opinionated, I sent the student an email (which might have been a little too harsh):

    Hey Gerulf,

    I was reading over your bio on Professor Bailey's site, and you mention that lesbians don't want butches. Wow, how wrong could that be. Take a look at Craigslist and see for yourself. Lesbians like all types of women.

    Perhaps you need to talk to a few more lesbians before making such statements.


His response:

    these findings apply to group averages but not do every single person.

    Gerulf Rieger, Square-Master
    Department of Psychology
    Northwestern University
    2029 Sheridan Rd
    Swift Hall #102
    Evanston, IL 60208

To be honest, I find any scientific approach to behavior that's constructed with absolutes based on "averages" to be basically worthless.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Double Digits

A friend and I had dinner last night, during which we briefly discussed the aspects and logistics of our upcoming SRS’s. Her labiaplasty is slightly after my vaginoplasty, and like my trip in July, we’ll both be hanging out together...except, well, I’m having the main surgery. She noticed hers was less than 100 days away...which meant mine was less than 100 days way as well.

No one would probably expect anyone to discuss some of the physical aspects of SRS using sushi, but we did - both of us laughing over the similarities between a penis and salmon-covered sliced sushi. Wasabi became the testes. I asked her mainly about the position/location where the erectile tissue ended. I think for most male bodies, the erectile tissue runs thru the penis (obviously), then along the underside of the perineum before disappearing into the body. She told me there was still some there, probably to act as an anchor of some sort.

So, yeah, SRS is just around the corner - Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Superbowl, MLK Jr. Day, then Happy Vagina Day. I received the final copy of my second letter last week after having received a draft copy that needed just a slight tweak.

I also visited with my primary therapist last week. One of our two topics was, of course, SRS. I mentioned to her that some of my friends toned down the event simply because going full time was their main event. Other friends (plus stories I have read) indicate that SRS was their main liberating experience. It was that final step - that last memory of a vestige that still made them a man. I told her this was similar to an astronaut dreaming all of his/her life of walking on the moon, or going into space. It was something - that driving ambition - that led them to pursue something few would ever experience. I can’t imagine the emotion and awe that someone like Neil Armstrong went through in the time leading up to his historic journey to the moon. Is it similar to what a lot of TS go thru leading up to SRS? What happened after he walked on the moon? What type of ambitions does one have after walking on the moon?

Anyway, I told her that going full time and having FFS was a huge event for me. I welcomed finally being me. I knew there would be pain and a long recovery time. Although it was a physical change, it was more of a social event. People recognized the change from male to female. SRS, though, is also a huge event. This time, though, it’s more of a physical journey. Few see what I have below the belt, and I, of course, see it any time I’m naked. This one will be for me. It does, however, open up quite a few social doors, as well as closes several more. Anyway, they are both big events for me - yet for very different reasons.

Finally, Dr. Meltzer’s pre-surgical information packet arrived last week. I skimmed over it, but I haven’t read it in detail, yet. I was also finally able to reach the Meltzer crew to schedule labiaplasty for next summer. I’m also down for body contouring around the waist for more of a feminine figure. Now, my big debate is whether to schedule breast augmentation during either surgery. I was really hoping that my natural breasts would reach a size that I felt comfortable with, but unfortunately, they have kinda puttered out slightly shy of an A cup. I haven’t seen any growth in basically six months. If I do choose to have breast augmentation, I’m not likely to get them very big. I’m just thinking a regular B cup, which still gives plenty of room if they decide to grow more down the line. But they also have to be changed out every 10 years...which kinda sucks.

Last week I received an email from Trista, an old high school semi-girlfriend. She’d recently seen my name on one of those high school reunion websites, and emailed me asking about the “Kara” thing. So, I emailed her back, and gave her the scoop.

Like almost everyone I know from my past, she never thought I would do what I’m doing now. She thought I was very shy as a high schooler (which I was) and wasn’t sure I really liked her or not. I also disclosed something I’ve observed from my limited dating history. I was often attracted to women who were relatively smart and athletic. I told her I wasn’t sure if I was physically and psychologically attracted to her, or if I just tried to live vicariously thru her since I thought we’d be very similar if I had been born physically female. It’s probably a combination of the two. She took things quite well, though.

I’ve also noticed that two of the women I have dated had curly brown hair. Coincidence?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Day of Remembrance

...was yesterday. I spent most of the day volunteering at Genderblast V. I met a lot of the younger crowd, which was mainly either FTM or others who did not appear to be blatantly gender variant. I even ended up chatting with an AP reporter who was doing a story on TS youth. She wondered where all of the younger MTF’s were. Good question. Well, many of the ones I know online are either more worried about living stealth, are too busy with college, or are playing DDR and video games. The others could be sleeping after spending a night working the streets. OK, I’m stereotyping - but, unfortunately, that’s what some of the TS youth are doing - not all by choice, to a degree.

As that started to wrap up, I was off to the SF LGBT Center to work as the site coordinator for the 6th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. Susan and I met up, grabbed a light bite to eat, and then received last minute instructions from Gwen before she headed out to the march site. She also dropped off a lot of the setup supplies. Susan got the sound going while I organized most of the rest.

The marchers were actually early, and about half of the 500-600 people filed into the room. Gwen started off with some symbolic words before a few more speakers spoke.

I simply cannot put most of the evening into words, but the most somber part of the event was the reading of the names of people who died in the past year due to anti-transgender violence. There were 21. Several were nameless. One died less than 10 miles from where we stood. One non-T died protecting several transpeople. We can’t bring any of them back, but we can remember them, honor them, and let others know who they were - that they didn’t deserve to be killed simply for being themselves.

By the end of the night, my feet were hurting pretty bad. I did a lot of rushing around being basically the stage manager. I had a good time doing it, especially since it was my first time to do such a job...which leads into another subject.

After Susan and I finished putting everything away, we grabbed a bite to eat at the diner across the street. We talked about the event and how I enjoyed being stage coordinator. We talked about careers. She mentioned that she could see me as a publicist of some sort. I told her that I’d recently taken an abbreviated online vocational aptitude test. The result: Engineer. Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either, but it still popped up my current occupation. I’ll probably look at more in-depth tests, but they cost money.

Dr. Frankenstein, I presume

I usually don’t get up this early on a Sunday morning, but I was off to the city for a date. A date with a guy. He’s a doctor. Today, of course, he’s going to be pulling staples out of my head.

I pulled into Davies’ parking structure around 8:30am and walked into their otherwise empty office. I heard Dr. O and two others in one of the exam rooms - one was having her nose packing removed. After they were finished, he called me back to the examining room where he examined my 9 day old incision.

“You’ve healed up quite well,” he said.

He then proceeded to pull the staples out of my head. They don’t hurt too bad when he slides them out - about half to a quarter of the pain of electro. They bled slightly and he patted the area with some gauze. When he was finished, I ran my fingers along the incision line - noticing two rigid objects still in my head on the left side.

“There’s still two on this side,” I said.

“Let me check. Well, how about that, there sure are.”

He then pulled those two staples out and rechecked the other side, where he noticed two others.

Dr. O then proceeded to tell me the story of one woman from Seattle who pulled out a missed staple on her flight home. I’d heard a similar story or two, which is why I have checked my head both of the times I’ve had the staples removed.

He asked if I had any questions. Sure....I always have questions:

“How long before I can shower after just having the staples removed?”

“Wait about 30 minutes.”

“How long before I can start exercising again?”

“Wait until next weekend.”

“OK, I guess I won’t be able to eat as much on Thanksgiving.”

After that, he said he was headed home to blast some music that the neighbors hated. Too funny.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Post-hairline advancement

Well, the surgery part went well. I was in and out of the OR in less than an hour. It started hurting before I even made it out of the OR though, and that, coupled with my upset stomach, made yesterday not much fun.

M and I’s surgeries were adjusted back a little with some type of hospital function, so Kathy and I only had to be there by 9am. I changed into the gown, reviewed paperwork with the nurse, and had the IV entry port placed into my arm.

After a while, they wheeled me down to the surgical waiting area that I fell asleep in last time. Mary-Lou, of Cocoon House lore, stopped by to tell me she would be in the OR with me, as well as Pam, who also stopped by. Dr. O also stopped by to check up on everything, said M’s surgery went excellent, and that he would be in his office until things were ready to go.

So, Pam wheeled me down to the OR, a trip I didn’t get to see last time. Yeah, I finally got to see the OR. It smelled very sterile; sterile in more of an anti-septic way than a “fresh” way. I moved from the gurney to the OR table. They hooked up the IV, put my arms in these little pads along the sides of my body, placed a bunch of blankets over me, placed sensors on my chest to monitor my heart, placed these gooey pads on my legs (which they said were to ground me for the cauterizer), and then called Dr. O to tell him things were ready. I felt calm, but yet, I was also nervous a bit, evident by the small amount of shaking in my legs.

The nervousness began to dissipate as the magic juice in the IV ran thru my veins. My legs stopped shaking. With the different sensation, I asked, "Is the magic juice flowing?" I think I heard someone chuckle.

Dr. O looked at my hairline and I again mentioned that the right side was higher up than the left, which made the right side the place to start. He shot me up with the local anesthesia, and after it had taken hold, he began to use the cauterizer to cut thru my skin. I knew this as I heard the popping sound of the electric knife cut and sear my skin at the same time. He’d initially told me that he’d probably get 15mm out of each side, but as he worked on my right side he said, “I’ve got good news, it looks like I can get 17mm on this side. No wait, 18.” Nice!

After he made cuts along the upper and lower portion of the skin he would remove, I kinda felt him peel it away from my head...actually, heard it more than felt it. He sewed the incisions together where there was open skin on one side, then used the staple gun in areas where there was only hair to keep it together.

He then moved on to the left side and I think he said he’d get about 16 or 17mm for it after he’d already sliced and diced. Again, the cutting and popping, along with the peeling away of the skin from my head. He sewed the opening together, then used the staple gun again. Before I was even out of the OR, it started to feel very tight and began to hurt. Dr. O looked over the results and said it was very symmetrical, and that I was a great patient. Awww...thanks.

They then stuck my hair in a plastic bag and washed off the area he’d worked, to get rid of the blood and goo around the surgical site. The surgical area and the rest of my head was then wrapped in gauze and I was shipped back to the room I started in. We met Kathy on the way back, and we all rode up in the elevator together.

The recovery nurse made sure I was well taken care of with apple juice and some graham crackers. I was thirsty since I hadn’t had anything to drink since the night before, even though I peed a ton right after getting back to the room (likely from the IV hydration). I was feeling the pain pretty good, so she gave me a Percocet after I ate a little. Unfortunately, things felt a little off in my stomach. I was able to walk around pretty easily and was still quite conscious, so I was ready to go home. Kathy pulled the car up and the nurse helped me downstairs. We waited in the lobby for a few minutes for her to pull up, and at the same time, saw the Scott Peterson guilty verdict posted all over the TV screen. The results of the trial were far from the thoughts running through my head.

I then guided Kathy out of the hospital area and back home. I’d brought some of my stuff along in a plastic bag, and had that as a back up...just in case. As we pulled near my place, I felt my stomach start to rumble. I cleared everything out of the plastic bag as soon as I could before I let forth the first of four solid pukes. It was all apple juice and graham crackers. I felt a lot better after that, and Kathy didn’t seem all that grossed out, but was happy that I had the bag to throw up into, instead of her car.

I took a Vicodin about 3pm since I figured the Percocet probably came up with the graham crackers...but I took it alone since I worried about puking it up again. I snoozed for a few hours then tried eating again...this time applesauce and water. About 30-45 minutes later, I was puking in the garbage can again. This time it even came out of my nose. Do you know how nice it is to have applesauce dripping out of your nose? Not very.

I tried some hot cocoa a few hours later and was able to keep it down. After that, I went to bed...sleeping about 1-2 hours before waking up each time. I got up around 5am and ate a little Cheerios...which actually stayed down. Yeah!!! I slept a few more hours then ate a little more cereal which seemed pretty easy on my stomach.

The pain is much better than yesterday, but I’m still taking an occasional Vicodin. I just took the head dressing off about 2pm today, and showered to get the rest of the goo out of my hair. I’m very swollen in my forehead...all the way down to the upper portion of my cheeks on the sides of my head to the upper area of my nose at eye level. My right eyelid is turning black. My new hairline isn’t as good as I thought it might be, but it’s also still very swollen. I guess I’ll compare the results when the swelling goes down. As for now, though, I look like a Vulcan...except for the ears.

As for the areas of sensation, it’s very strange that I still have a very small triangle of feeling in the very front that exists between the two incisions. That triangle of sensation ends about 4cm back from my hairline. The areas around the new incisions and up towards the crown of my head, however, are numb like before.

Live long and prosper.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

That’s where they removed the horns

So, tomorrow I’m up for a hairline advancement. I’m becoming a usual visitor to Dr. O’s office, although I’ve only been there once for surgery thus far. Considering the initial consultation, escorting Courtney there, my own review of pictures and down payment, the pre-surgical visit, the day of FFS, the removal of sutures and nose packing, the removal of staples, the 3 week checkup, the 3 month checkup, the 6 month checkup and hairline consultation, and finally tonite’s pre-surgical visit, I guess I’m a veteran to some degree.

So, tonight we reviewed where he would cut and the likelihood that I would again loose sensation on top of my head. He explained some of the medications he will use to relax and numb me, and Mira went over the do’s and don’ts for the next few days.

I also talked to Dr. O a little about the option of using extra skin to plump up the nasolabial fold. He said that there probably wouldn’t be enough skin, and he didn’t think it was a good idea. He mentioned another filler, similar to the one I already had injected, as well as some plastic surgeon colleagues that might be able to do a good job with some of my own body fat. I’ll check with Dr. Meltzer to see if he is good at doing the nasolabial folds since I’ll probably have him perform the body contouring.

I also happened to run into a friend as I walked into Dr. O’s office. M yelled “Kara!” from the waiting room, and after conversing for a few minutes, we found out we had back to back surgeries scheduled for tomorrow. Wild. And we didn’t even know about one another’s schedules. She’s having the trachea shave before my hairline revision.

What was nice is we decided to grab a bite to eat after our pre-surgical visits. She ironically chose Fuzio’s in the Castro, a place I’ve visited often with Dr. O activities. We chatted a little about the paths each of us was taking, mainly, though, about her new path. This is her first surgery, and is basically dipping her toe in the water to check the temperature.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Ten minutes, five for fighting

I don’t write in my journal about everything that’s happening in my life. Some of it shall remain private...for me, and for others. I do try to write about personal experiences, though, and try to keep it as close to the truth as possible. Sometimes sarcasm may intermingle with the words I compose, causing the message to become a little foggy. For that, I’m sorry. It’s just my writing style. Hopefully the message shines through. For those that just see the fog, understand that I do not mean any serious discourse to anyone. I may complain or rant, but a lot of it is just frustration over a lack of support from a system that says one thing but practices another.

Anyway, today, I made travel arrangements for Thanksgiving. Let’s just say that even the airline webpage was giving me trouble. Most people will be happy to see me, but others....well, we’ll see. I’ll just hope for the best.

So, my mind wandered a bit today, slightly stressed about traveling home to see some of the family. After returning to my desk from a meeting, I looked at my phone. “1 message” was in the window. It read:

“Hi. Five For Fighting is going to be playing in just ten minutes. Call me.”

It was from Amber. She’s in Boston visiting a friend the past few days. She also left a voice message: “yo yo yo, Kara, hey, when you get this message give me a call...quick. Umm...I’m over here in a particular Borders and you’ll never guess who is actually right here playing. Five for Fighting..oddly enough...”

I call her back. No answer. I leave a message. A few moments later, my phone again tells me I have a text message. It reads:

“Hey. Sorry, I was talking to John...!”

OMG...I am so jealous. I call her back. In the background, I can hear someone on a microphone talking. Amber finally says, “Hey, I’ll call you back.” She does.

All I hear is a guy talking again. It’s John. I can tell he’s introducing Superman. I’m stoked. He begins to sing. Even though I heard it over a cellphone, I will say it was still very cool. Thanks Ambs!!! You made my day. Hopefully I’ll get the whole story from her sometime.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


I went into the 2000 election thinking that Gore had a good chance since everyone would see that Dubya was a bonehead and he was just riding the coattails of his father. I was wrong. This year, I kinda knew going in that Dubya would win, I just hoped I was wrong. I wasn’t. After rereading last night’s entry, I guess I’m just a sore loser.

Coworker Mark, though, was able to provide some lighthearted humor today. Yeah, Mark’s not that bad a person. We often chat about a variety of, politics, reality TV, transition, etc. Today, was of course, politics.

It’s nice living in California and working in a technical industry. Most of the people I work with are liberals to some degree, and only a few here and there are Republicans. It’s far different from all of the other places I have ever lived where I was always in the minority.

So, Mark and L were discussing yesterday’s election when I perk up with “Hey, did you see that more women voted for Kerry over Bush?

“All women should vote for Kerry!” Mark exclaims. “If you’re a woman or a minority, you should vote Democratic because Republicans are the ‘white man party’.”

After a little more discussion, Mark tells us that his oldest daughter, who must just be in like 1st grade, had a mock election at school. He said his daughter said she voted for the Democrats, just like her Mommy (and Daddy, although she emphasized the Mommy part a lot more), who won 15-3 in her class. She then turned to her father and asked, “What’s a Republican?”

Mark, in his usual wit, responds with, “Well, you see, Honey, there are some people who (just aren't that smart).”

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The fat lady is a hummin'

As I write this entry, it looks like George Frickin’ W. Bush is going to be our fearless leader for another 4 years. Great.

It’s not that I have a problem with Republicans, it’s that I have a problem with homophobic freedom-stealing bonehead hypocrites. Republicans...Democrats...most of their policies don’t drastically affect me. Dubya and his fellow religious fanatics, though, preach one thing, but practice another. Sorry, I’m just venting.

So, what do I mean? Well, George likes to talk about the US being in Iraq and Afghanistan to “extend the peace by seeking to extend the benefits of freedom and prosperity across the globe.” Yet, here at home, 11 states decided to take away the freedom of gay couples by not allowing them to share benefits between two loved ones...or to share a relationship with someone they love. Who led this march against freedom??? Was it Hitler? Nope. It was George W. Bush with his constitutional amendment proposal to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Why can’t we have freedom for all...and not just the few that George seems to approve of?

There is a way around least in California. Unfortunately, if this loophole were abused, it would probably mean bad things for people actually trying to transition....even the possibility that they’d strip away legal recognition of our correct gender. There is a DMV form (DL 328) that allows one to change gender. It has both “transitional” and “complete” check boxes. All one needs is a licensed therapist or physician to declare one person in a same sex relationship as transitional and they would now be man and woman...male and female...husband and wife. Could we just say that one of the partners was labeled as the “man” or “woman” in a relationship? Who’s to say that one of the couple doesn’t express as being more masculine or feminine? What is gender...what is gender identity? Basically, it just requires a sympathizing physician or therapist. Of course, that would probably remove the “licensed” part before their job title if they did sympathize with the loophole.

So, anyway, people seem to have this that the conservative party has really been able to manipulate. What are people afraid of? Well, they are afraid of terrorism, homosexuals, and anything else that might destroy their children and prevent them from raising them how they want to raise them. I can see why people are afraid of terrorists...they strike anywhere and they strike with the intent to kill. In our country where we are a mixture of so many races and cultures (something I think is a strength), one can move around with relative ease...well, within the more metropolitan areas, that is. In other countries, though, people sometimes stick out.....perhaps like a black person in Japan, or a white person in the middle of Africa. People are afraid that terrorism can happen here...and they are right to be afraid, especially with ol’ George raking the coals in the Middle East. But, people should not be afraid of homosexuals. Gay people are just like regular people, except they just happen to like others of the same sex. This doesn’t make them immoral, or child molesters, or monsters. Hell, I’d rather leave a child with a gay person over a priest any day of the year. Damn, there I go getting myself in trouble again.

So, here we stand...a nation divided...with one side easily preyed upon by their Iraqnophobia and homophobia, and the other side wondering who voted for this bonehead. I see both sides...and to be honest, I voted for neither Kerry nor Bush. I voted for the Green Party. I voted for them because they are one of only a few parties that actually support LGBT rights. It was my statement to both the Republicans and Democrats that they suck. Honestly, if I would have voted for Kerry, it would not have been a vote of support for him, but merely a vote against Bush. Don’t worry, my vote didn’t matter...simply because in California, there are an overabundant number of Democrats. I wouldn’t have voted for the Green Party had that not been the case.

But, I did vote. Although a mere squeak, I made my voice heard. I doubt anyone heard it over the fat lady singing.

Tell ya what, why don’t we just let the fat lady sit on George for a while and see how he likes it?

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Trick or Treat?

So, I’m picking up a California Club at my favorite deli tonight, when the woman who’s making my sandwich is talking to another woman who is working on another item.

“My son dressed up in drag last night.”

My ears perked up.

“No way.”

“Yeah, he looked pretty good as a girl.”

“What did his father think?”

At this point, it was hard to hear, but I think she said that he didn’t really care. That’s good. Hopefully their son does not have GID...which is most likely the case. However, there might be some young children who dress up on Halloween because they do have Gender Identity this potential case, a young boy...simply because it’s a lot easier in everyday life for a girl to dress as a boy than a boy as a girl.

Happy Halloweiners

“Don’t do it,” Courtney whispers over the phone. Why does she do this to me?

“It hurts like crazy. Don’t do it.”

“But Court, the pain goes away with, that’s why they give you plenty o’ pain killers. Amber hardly had any pain at all.”

“Amber doesn’t know shi....”

And so went a conversation with Courtney earlier this week. She’s been in Canada having her SRS with Dr. Brassard. She had the one stage SRS (vaginoplasty and labiaplasty together) unlike Amber who just had the vaginoplasty when I went with her. Courtney is still in considerable pain, so much that she still enjoys telling people, “Don’t do it.” Unfortunately, SRS is the only option for those of us that do not associate with having a penis. The pain goes away, the GID doesn’t.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

I talked Amber into going to the Five For Fighting concert last night. I’m a pretty big fan of John Ondrasik and totally enjoy his music, especially renditions of Superman (It’s Not Easy) and 100 Years. I’m not exactly sure why his music hits a chord with me...perhaps it’s the romanticism, the poetry, the emotion....dunno. One thing both Amber and I noticed (at separate times, of course - must be the difference in straight and bi women) was that there was an exuberant amount of women in attendance. With the show in The Fillmore, we stood only a few rows back of the stage, so we were able to enjoy his onstage antics.

Unfortunately, the concert prevented us from seeing the eclipsed moon and the Boston Red Sox’s breaking of the curse (a definite sign of an impending apocalypse). John was kind enough to not only tell us a little more about some of his songs, his life with children, how small changes and a song he thought someone else could sing (Superman) would help him break out in the music industry, but he also told us of the Bosox win. He said he was glad he wouldn’t have to play 100 Years for them in another 14 years.

I also spent yesterday at a midday therapy session. Typically, I usually spend about an hour with my therapist chatting about things on my mind or asking her questions concerning transition in general. This time, though, I was with a different therapist for about an hour and a half. Why? I have to have a second evaluation from another therapist in order to obtain a second letter for SRS. Yup - the second letter. She’d asked me to kinda summarize my life up to this point in order to hopefully speed things up during the session, as well as provide her information for when she later writes the letter. Luckily, I’ve attended a few younger transitioner support group meetings that she has hosted, so we’ve known each other for about a year. Anyway, things went well and she sees no problem writing the letter. So, although transition isn’t easy, sometimes it can be. I guess it just depends on the setting.

Monday, October 25, 2004


Time really seems to fly. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into a year, and a year turns the outie into an innie.

Let's just say that I've been busy.

I was in New England this past week for work, and was fortunate to spend one night hanging out with Reise and Elisa. We grabbed a nice bite to eat, sipped some hot chocolate, and played pool to the sounds of cheering fans rooting for the Red Sox to crush the Yankees in game 7.

I flew back to Cali. Worked. Dance class. Worked. Electrolysis. Slept in. Worked. Slept in. Worked. That took me up to Sunday afternoon for a meeting with Gwen Smith and company working on the details of the Day of Remembrance that rapidly approaches. After that, you guessed it, more work before finally turning in last night.

This week promises to be just as busy with dance class, an appointment for my second letter for SRS, a concert, and the grand transgender holiday of all holidays this weekend - Halloween. Now, I just need a costume.

Monday, October 18, 2004


Pulled from the pages of my written journal. Pardon the length of this entry - it was a long flight.

I'm on yet another flight - San Francisco to Chicago, then on to New England. It’s an emergency run to a vendor that continues to cause problems. Luckily for me, though, an online friend or two live fairly near to the area I am visiting. Reise lives just outside the airport I’m flying into, and Elisa, who I met in Chicago and again at Meltzer’s, lives about an hour away.

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to get some thoughts down concerning SRS and life. When I visited with my therapist recently, I told her my biggest hang-up with SRS deals with attraction. I think I’m still attracted to women, but yet, I know that I’m also attracted to men - but it’s in an entirely different way. I’m attracted to the beauty of women - their curves, hair, hairless skin, warmth, and their softness. There is also a societal connection of some sort - something, possibly just friendship. In men, I’m attracted to their strength, muscle, firmness, roughness, a clean look - yet unkempt to some sort. The attraction to them is also a completeness - key to lock, pen to paper, peanut butter to jelly - one doesn’t exist well without the other.

So, my biggest hang up comes down to the attraction to women. If I end up with a woman, it would be nice to have penetrative sex - sex in which both were able to experience it at the same time. But yet, the times I did have sex with a woman, I dunno, it just didn’t quite seem right. Yeah, it felt nice, but it didn’t quite feel right. Sometimes I wonder if any lesbians wish they had a penis just to have simultaneous sex with their partner. I bet there are a few (who aren’t FTM’s). Anyway, that’s my hurdle. If I end up with a guy, SRS is no big problem, and really, lesbian sex, from what I hear, is still quite fun - even without a penis. And come on, sex is such a minuscule part of our lives, yet many of us think about it all of the time. Why create so much pain over the remaining dysphoria when I can have SRS and worry about the sex part of it later?

Another little fear about SRS for me is getting past the feeling of no longer being “special.” I’ll just be another girl - one that....cannot have children; has larger hands and feet; has larger shoulders, smaller hips, and a larger waist; and will be creeping up on 35 by the time she’s healed.

Believe it or not, I have a small garden - very small. Actually, it’s more of a remnant of a garden. A bell pepper plant survived from last year. A while back, I saw a huge green pepper on the lower section of the plant. The hard part about the pepper plants that I’d planted is that I had green, yellow, and red - so it’s hard to know if it’s a regular green pepper or one that hasn’t ripened from green to yellow or red. When a slight red tint appeared, I knew I still had a little time before I should pick it. Gradually, though, it ripened into this really nice red pepper. Here was this half dead pepper plant trying to survive, and yet, there on its lower branch was this remarkable, pristine red pepper. The thing is, I almost didn’t want to pick it because it was so beautiful. It made the plant special, and if I took its sole pepper, well, then, the plant would no longer be special. It would just be a plant without any fruit. But then I thought, “It’s still special to me” and “It’s not the fruit that makes it special, it’s the amazing ability for it to survive that does.” It will still be an amazing pepper plant to me. With that, I reached down to the pepper, grabbed it firmly, and ripped it away from the plant.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Battle for the Planet of the Kates

I visited with Kate one last time before she flies out tomorrow. We had dinner in the Castro at a nice little restaurant that had some soft pasta for her to eat. She has all of her bandages off and is looking pretty good. Her nose/forehead profile looks great....and is very close to the shape I was actually hoping for. Now she just has to battle thru the psychological trauma of saying good bye to San Francisco and the Cocoon House - places that have become her safe haven for recovery. She’ll also be saying good bye to Dr. O and Mira, two people that have helped change her life in ways many of us will enjoy for as long as we breath. The main part of her battle, though, will be dealing with the possible depression that follows such a momentous event in a person’s life, as well as the “coming down” part of it as she readjusts to her regular life.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Like a Book

Joe and I flew down to LA for a day trip to deal with some business problems. We had a conversation on the plane discussing his ability to “read” a person after talking to them for 5 minutes. He said it worked really well with women in bars. So, I asked him to read me.

He said I was strong willed, as evident in my job, and that I was very opinionated. He said he actually didn’t see me as an engineer, but as more of a chemist or a teacher - possibly 5th or 6th graders - teaching science. Hmmm....I have to say that he was hitting some good points. For a long time, I kinda wanted to be a teacher, but the money just isn’t really there. He said he also saw me wanting to be a coach since I was pretty athletic. I told him he read me pretty good, except 5th or 6th graders kinda annoy me, and that I’d probably work better with high schoolers.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Conquest of the Planet of the Kate's

After watching a little football and talking with Joe, I visited with Kate a little more. She has one last night with the nose packing in and she will be home free on that aspect. She’s made it past the hardest part of FFS - the first three days out of the hospital - but she still has the long term effects to deal with. Although most of the physical pain has subsided, the psychological pain will continue for a little while.


I’m traveling for work tomorrow with another co-worker who works out of Texas. He was flying in tonight and I figured we’d meet up after work to chat about tomorrow. Since Mikhail and I, along with L recently, usually watch football on Monday night, I invited Joe to watch with us. We decided to watch the game at one of the local hotel’s dining areas with huge screens. I got there a little early to secure a decent table, and the bouncer working the front door asks for my ID. At first, I thought I misheard what he said, but, I thought, “OK, they must check everyone as they come into the bar area.”

I sit down and wait. Soon, Mikhail shows up. We chat for a little while, and then order some food. As we are waiting, I ask him if the bouncer carded him. He says no.

L shows up and he orders something that he can eat according to his South Beach Diet. As we are sitting there watching the game, I ask him if he was carded. He says no as well.

The game proceeds further with my Packers totally getting trounced. Since I’m mainly there to talk with Joe about tomorrow, I turn around once in a while to see if I can spot him when he comes in. On one turn, I spot this blonde haired woman walking in. The thing is, though, instantly, I knew she was T.

So, because my Packers are getting killed and I need to pee, I head to the bathroom. I get a better view of the T and confirm that she’s definitely T. As I exit the bar area, I stop by the bouncer and ask him why I was carded and my two friends weren’t. He points to the sign across from him that says anyone looking 30 or under should be carded, and he guessed me around 29-30.

When I walked back in, he says, “Plus, I really wanted to talk to you.” Well, I’ll give him credit for trying, and for being honest.

When I returned to our table, I found that the T had moved spots and was now sitting at the table directly behind me. I almost wanted to say hi, but in the T world, you learn that you just don’t out someone even if you know that she’s T. You just don’t know how someone will react. Sure, if someone came up to me, I’m sure I would be fine, but most people can’t pick me out of a crowd. This girl was wearing a blonde wig, a froo-froo skirt, and a classy semi-tank top. She had male musculature, similar to mine, although she was a bit taller. L thought she looked quite nice.

Once half time rolled around, we all started making our way to the exit. I finally found Joe, who was in a booth on the other side of the bar and sitting by himself. He hadn’t seen me when he came in because he “didn’t expect me to have my hair up like I had it.” The T, however, had left shortly before we all decided to leave.

Funny thing, though, is that hotel was the first place I ever basically went out dressed in girl mode, besides the few late nights I did it in the Midwest. I’m sure this T looked way better than I did that first time, and all I did was walk from my hotel room to my car, never even pondering the courage it would take to go in the bar in girl mode. It’s wild how far I, and most who travel a similar journey, have come.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Escape from the Planet of the Kate's

After the workshop, I visited Kate at Cocoon. She’d escaped from the hospital earlier that morning and was now resting in her upright position. A very pretty girl answered the door for Kate, but disappeared into the back room once I was in.

Kate was very swollen. Duh, huh? She was only 2 days post-op and had the usual chin bandage, nose cast, and nose-base bandage. Despite the surgery, Kate was still surprisingly quite talkative.

I showed her how to make a smoothie, which for something that I actually made, tasted really well...probably courtesy of the excellent food items that Tricia and Mary-Lou stock the frig with. I also showed Kate where the bandages and tape were for changing the nose dressing. Otherwise, it was just a nice afternoon hanging out in the Cocoon House.


Awhile back, a few of us from TGSF were invited to attend a workshop being presented by Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons who were holding an international conference in San Francisco. They asked if we would talk a little about our transitions as well as have a question and answer session after that.

So, after Roxy, Dawnne, Alli, Tyler, and I had breakfast at a diner near the Castro, we spent a little time chatting with a few interested souls. We’re all a bit different ranging from Roxy who’s in her mid-50’s and transitioned at work, but doesn’t plan on SRS; to Alli who is a few years younger than me, but like many T’s, doesn’t quite have the financial resources for SRS; to Dawnne, also in her 50’s, who used to be one of the most homophobic right-wing religious Texans in the south, but who has now embraced who she is; to Tyler, our only FTM attendee who likes where he exists within the gay male community. Oh, and me, too.

They had some interesting questions including how we came to self acceptance and what our sexual orientations were...and everything in between...although it was hard to answer questions relatively fast with 5 panelists and a variety of backgrounds.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Beneath the Planet of the Kate's

I stopped by the hospital tonight to check in on Kate. She was garnished with the usual bandages when I arrived at her room, but surprisingly, she was quite conscious.

She was in the same room that I was in; the same room that Claire stayed in. When I dipped into the bathroom to get out of the way of the nurses, I spotted myself in the mirror...the same mirror I looked at myself post FFS for the first time. I hadn’t looked in this mirror since then. It was eerie revisiting a path I took what seems like ages ago - yet, just 8 months have passed.

To be honest, when Spock, Captain Kirk, and Bones debated if “life is but a dream” throughout the quite horrible Star Trek 5, I always kinda thought it was sort of a stupid conversation. But the more I live my life, I’ve come to realize that life is more a dream than anything else. We only exist in the present which comes and goes, leaving only our memories as a record of the past. The past tends to fade, and soon, it becomes simply a dream.

FFS almost seems like a dream now. It’s sorta weird seeing old pictures of me, simply because I have become used to seeing me now...and not as someone that I wasn’t. The memories of what I went through - of staying in the room that Kate now resides in, of seeing my new, yet very swollen, face for the first time - seem distant. And one day, this entry will be but another dream. And then, one day, my whole life...just a dream. And then someone else will dream until all of the dreams are dreamt. Row, row, row your boat......

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Planet of the Kate's

Another Kate is in town...this one from the UK. I swear, it’s an invasion...not only from the UK, but one from the Planet of the Kate's. Run for your lives.

We chatted over a little pasta, with a chocolate souffle a la mode for dessert. Although all of our stories are different, they are, in a way, very similar. After watching Nip/Tuck the other night, they mentioned that the TS community is leery of outsiders poking around into the personal life of other TS, but yet, one TS and another TS can almost create a bond as soon as they first meet. It’s a different type of bond, separate from friendship or love, that’s almost indescribable. We’ve shared a view, a vision perhaps, of life that many people will never see.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


Tonight’s episode of Nip/Tuck had yet another sensational fictitious story of a TS. And, of course, she was super hot with the only way anyone knowing she was TS was if they had a really long large penis. gotta love Hollywood. OK, yeah, I know a few hot T's that you’d probably never guess were once men, but these girls still have very small things that give them away to the trained eye. The two TS characters in the episode that had speaking roles (that were obviously played by genetic women), though, were flawless.

What wasn’t flawless, however, was some of the research for the episode. Although they did well with pronouns, threw around a few transgender words properly, and talked about some of the issues, they messed up with some of the basic stuff that T's would know.

For instance, the TS character was taking Spironolactone but was also 17 years post-op. Normally, once one is post-op, spiro is no longer needed...especially 17 years after SRS. In fact, sometimes testosterone in very small dosages is administered simply to increase libido.

They also had an FTM character who was describing his trip to the open-trough urinal and peeing with the rest of the guys, having had a newly constructed penis, of course, yet he had no physical sign along either forearm - the typical donation area for penile tissue.

One day, though, we can hope to have just a plain-ol’-boring normal-looking TS character on some TV show...but then again, would we even watch it if he/she were that boring?

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Co-worker Mark

Ahhh...yes, Mark is still around. He, and a few others, have started loosening up around me instead of being so rigid all of the time. As JoanB told me recently, “They start to forget.” She’s right. I’ve felt it lately as people start to joke with me and have warmer conversations.

Anyway, I have been totally swamped at work lately. I’m fixing a lot of problems, and they continue to come in, it seems. Problems left, problems right, problems all around - problems which I get to solve. Fun.

So, I’m working later than normal this past Tuesday - so is coworker Mark. He walks by my cube and we chat for a few minutes about why each of us is there so late. He then mentions that he is still screwing up the pronouns but that he is trying to get them right. We chatted for a little longer, and then he asks me when the BIG surgery is. I cut him off as he stumbles for the right words to describe his inquiry, and tell him that it’s scheduled for early next year. He asks if it is a long surgery and I say that it’s typically only 4 hours or so. Then I ask him if he wants to see pictures.

“NO HO HO!” he says, and cringes as he shuffles off. I, though, sat there chuckling for a few minutes.
I was driving along the freeway into the city today when I spot an Eclipse, a car similar to my own, coming up along my left side going pretty fast in the fast lane. As the car zooms past me I notice that it’s velocity slows until it’s not longer going faster than me, and slowly drifts back to my position before matching my speed for a few seconds. Through the corner of my eye, I can tell the passenger is looking at me, so I look over just briefly to see him wave at me. As they slightly increase their speed to get in front of me so I have to look at them, I see the guy looking back at me with one of those innocent friendly smiles. They then move over into my lane and as they drive off I see the passenger wave at me through the sun roof. Ahhhh...thanks guys, you made me smile.

So, I was headed to the city for a meeting with SF TEAM, a group I initially started with several years ago...although we were called something else then. I haven’t participated lately with my surgery and everything else that has kept me fairly busy. I figured it was time to get active again.

As I sat waiting for the rest of the people to show up, it was just myself and another in the room. Feeling the silence to be way too awkward, I finally strike up a conversation. I recognize her, but don’t fully remember which of the two people she is. Unfortunately, I guessed wrong, but recovered quite nicely by asking some questions on how things are going for her. Her name is Theresa Sparks - San Francisco police commissioner, 2003 California Woman of the Year, and Civil Rights lobbyist who just happens to be a transsexual.

It also happened that a friend named Mikayla, who has previously been on a Discovery Channel program, had been contacted to do a follow up program on where she was now. She has recently started working with the SF TEAM group, and the Discovery Channel people wanted to film some of our interaction. She’d also put out an invite to some of us about having a round table discussion last night, but I told her I had electro and figured I should probably address that instead of worrying if I am on TV or not. Plus, they already had an excellent representation including Gwen Smith and a few others.

Once we changed rooms and settled into the relative seating, the cameraman decides that the best shot for about 30 seconds is less than a foot from my head. Hmmm..he must be a Dr. O fan. Seriously, though, he was parked on my interaction with Mikayla for, although short, too much time at an uncomfortable distance. I didn’t think they would start filming so fast as we all filed into the room. And as soon as I sat down, he was right there. Anyway, Mikayla mentioned that they did some similar stuff on her previous taping session, but it was all cut for the hour long presentation. Most likely, I see them doing the same with our meeting.

After the meeting, I went upstairs in the LGBT Center to say hi to Molly, one of the people heading out on the Marriage Equality caravan. They’re traveling from San Francisco to DC, making stops along the way to talk about marriage equality. Along for the ride are several couples who were married in San Francisco who had their marriages voided when California’s Supreme Court nixed all of the ones that were performed earlier this year. Wish them well, and if anyone is near their route, they might try to catch them...or visit their website to read the blogs.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Going Home

The airport terminal is far from brisk. In fact, it almost seems as dead as a retirement home. Except for the occasional announcement and the view out the terminal windows, you’d never know that it was operating.

Two days ago, though, I competed for the women’s alumni in an NCAA sporting event. I know I’m not the first, but I did finally compete. I met my friends and fellow alums Friday night to chill at a local bar - enjoying free sodas from the male bartenders - one of the perks.

After arriving at the event site, I checked in with my old coach, now the assistant athletic director. She confirmed that I was competing for the women’s alumni team and said that the current coach made the call. I later thanked him at the team picnic.

Before the event began, though, I was worried that I would feel like an outsider in the event - like I didn’t belong, but once it began, I felt quite comfortable...felt like this was where I did belong. Although I didn’t provide a superstar performance, I wasn’t horrible either - in fact, we’ll just call my performance average, although not too many 34 year old women likely could have performed as well.

Anyway, we partied with a few other alumni that night, although I’m clueless if they knew or not. I, of course, didn’t ask or tell them either, though. One of the brothers of an alum was also there, and he later introduced himself, started chatting with me, and asked why I was so quiet (I’m usually not). I don’t know if he was trying to hit on me or not, but he was about to turn 24 on he was a bit too young no matter what.

We recognized another person as we skipped around to a few bars (no dancing available at any of the ones we visited). After a few had said their “hello’s”, I walk up to him as Tracy is standing by his side. She introduces him, who I already know, of course. Playing along, I say, “Oh really?” in a half-valley girl, half-blonde way. I introduce myself as Kara and ask him if he remembers or recognizes me. He asks me for my name again and says that I look familiar, especially my big dark eyes. “Hah!!!” I thought, “What a player.”

He still can’t place me, so I step in and tell him I changed my name.

“Why,” he asks, “are you in the witness protection program?”

OK, I’m really starting to crack up and Tracy is still there enjoying the conversation. Then I tell him I used to be - male nickname - at which point his jaw drops and his eyes light up. (I should start taking pictures or something.)




“This is who I am.” He nods and says, “OK” - and life went on. Tracy just smiled and said, “I wanted to see where the conversation was going to go.”

Most people were pretty cool the entire time, with pronouns being the biggest problem.

I drove to my parent’s place yesterday, while also saying hi to my aunt and grandmother. Pronouns were again a huge issue, but I let them slide. I know they are super supportive, but they are just having a hard time breaking past the 33+ years of knowing me as a male. I think correcting people makes them seem uncomfortable - and I just hope that they can correct themselves over time. Dad and I watched a shootout between the Packers and Colts, hopefully spending a little time trying to rebuild the bond.

One of the best lines of the weekend, though, belonged to a fellow alum. In response to a question if I wanted any alcohol, I said, “No thanks - I don’t drink.”

My friend pops up and says, “You still don’t drink? I guess some things just don’t change.”

Yeah, I guess so.

I'm now somewhere between Denver and the Bay Area

I swear, the person sitting next to me on this flight is really a jack rabbit stuck in the body of a man. Luckily, he’s talking to the woman across the aisle and not me. Unfortunately, his rabbitism prevented me from sleeping any further. It’s almost like a continuous rock climber - those who insist on pulling on the seat in front of them as they exit or enter the aisle of their seat - on the side of my chair.

Anyway, I just had a 3.5+ hour layover in Denver which allowed myself and Becca, who lives in the area, over two hours to converse over a late lunch. We’d met in Chicago several months ago, when a number of us from a T forum got together. Like many of us, she hasn’t had it easy, but she’s making her way through several of the initial items involved with her transition. She’s starting out right around the age I started, so hopefully, in a few years, she can reach a point where she, too, moves on in her life. In fact, she may be able to reach it before finishing. She’s at a point where she’s figured out what she wants to do, and is going to school to move into a new career. I’m jealous, frankly, simply because I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up.

As we chatted, we both enjoyed a Turkey Pesto sandwich with a side of Caesar Salad at a nice little French Bistro outside the security area. When it was time for me to go, Becca looked down at the security area and says, “I’ve got one word to say. Moo.”

As I walked back and forth through the roped off areas, she was right, I felt like cattle. I think jack-rabbit-boy got in the wrong freakin' line.

Friday, September 24, 2004


Pulled from the pages of my written journal

As I write this entry, I’m sitting around a gazebo in a small town I used to live in. It’s amazing that I lived over a fifth of my life here. And now, here I sit again. It’s eerily strange.

The sky is slightly blue, with a definite layer of humidity still hanging around into the latter part of September. I hear birds, and bugs, and too many vehicles without proper muffler systems. Half of these cars probably wouldn’t even pass smog testing in California. And the bugs...I don’t remember hearing the bugs in California. I do remember the way the front of my car used to look after driving down the freeway on a summer night. The layer of dead bugs used to be incredibly thick, even a good car wash wouldn’t be enough.

Now, I feel a light sprinkle softly sounding on these pages and the ground around me. I wonder - could I return here? Could I live here again? When Rachel #5 and I recently chatted about old street corners, she said she had a hard time revisiting them. To me, it’s not necessarily the physical aspect of revisiting places I once lived, but more the psychological aspect (which was similar to what Rachel was expressing to me). Although I told people that I’d still be the same person, I’m not. I’ve changed - grown, to be more precise - shedding the layers around my true essence...something that was at the core of who I always was. Revisiting aspects of who I wasn’t and having people associate with me now as who I was - I don’t know - it’s sort of unfulfilling to me. I know people try to honor my change, but sometimes that history of who I was still plays a key role in their interaction with me. And yet, why do I come back? Why do I hold onto the connection? Is it the core person reaching out for friendship? Unfortunately, the reach, or perhaps the attempt, is affected by bias, discrimination, and fear.

As I wrote those last words, some old coworkers walked by on their way to lunch. Only one person recognized me as they strolled by, with him asking the others, “You know who that is, don’t you?” I heard one of them softly ask him, “Who is that?” A few were shocked - to say the least, but they put that aside to spend a little time eating lunch with me. There were a few casually curious questions, but I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all - well, maybe a little nervous at first. They also tend to use my old nickname - because it unfortunately still works - but which I prefer not to be called. Oh well.

After flying into the Midwest last night, I hung out in a mall (finding this awesome little navy blue hoodie that I’ve been searching well as browsing some nice clothes and jackets in Nordstrom’s) to kill a little time before catching up with three old friends. Eleven years ago, I lived with three guys when I found a job out of college. I had attended college with two of them, and one of them went to high school with the fourth. So, at that time, it was the four of us living in a small town working as engineers right out of college. Joe had already been there a year, and Jamie had been around for about 8 months when Craig and I moved in. We had a fun time - although we did keep the place looking pretty good for four young people. All three of them ended up marrying a local girl and having children. Joe and Craig both moved on to a larger city while Jamie stayed put. They average their 2.3 children now and live in very nice houses with well paying jobs. They are everything that men in their mid-30’s are supposed to be. I’m glad I found myself, though - sparing the destruction of a possible family. And yet, I wonder if the family instinct, particularly the children aspect of it, will ever kick in. Psychologically, I still feel very young, yet still fairly mature.

Craig mentioned that he had escaped from “bath night” by hanging out with the group. He dreaded the two-hour torture of washing his son and daughter. I asked how it took two hours to wash two kids, and he said that his daughter had to take a shower and take all of her kitchen toys in there - and she made him shower, too. And then he had to apply this lotion on her, which left grease spots on the walls whenever she bounced off of them. He absolutely dreaded “bath night” as it ate up his own free time - time he needed to unwind and relax from a stressful job. All of them liked having some time free from the family and job stress, but yet, they wouldn’t trade anything to give up what they have. They say they dread certain parts of it, but one day they’ll look back and reminisce about all of it. We all move forward, though, pausing to look back at times just as a reminder of where we’ve been.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Weathering the Times

My organizational group at work had a sectional picnic/BBQ on Friday, so I was only at work for a couple of hours...probably more than a lot of them, though. Only a few of my group actually knew me before going full time, so most of the people only know me as Kara. The few that did know me "before" are pretty cool, so it was a total non-issue with the group. Since our smaller group has now been moved to more of an engineering group, the larger group is primarily male. I’ve worked with some of them lately trying to solve some major problems, so I have been able to get to know them a little. I have no idea if they know or not, and if they do know, I don’t know if they care or not. The most important thing, though, is that I really can’t do anything anyway, so why even worry about all of it?

I did take off late into the afternoon, though, to have my roots straightened to match the rest of my hair. (If only I could have my sexuality straightened out as well.) This hair straightening stuff though is going to be too expensive for me to maintain. Besides, it’s not really fully straightening it, but more like taking the super frizz curl out of it. I guess I need to come up with another option sometime over the next 5 months.

Amber called while I was sitting in the chair (almost falling asleep at some times), and since I was near where she was shopping at the time I finished, we hung out for a while as she shopped for a gift, as well as some new clothes. She’s so tiny (especially for being a T), that she can wear these totally awesome little outfits. I’d call her a word that starts with a B and rhymes with “itch,” but she’s too nice a person to do that to.

Last night was Hayward’s Pride. It was one block long. In fact, it probably could have been less than that if things were a little more crowded together. I was there with the other TGSF outreach chair to assist in handing out information. Unfortunately, the high pressure system we had over the Bay Area moved out and was replaced by a low pressure system that ushered in coastal winds and lower temperatures, almost making it feel like winter. (Yup, I’m a weather nerd...and I heard, “OK, Miss Weathergirl” a few times.)

Anyway, there were a few of the usuals, as well as one girl who is fairly young (in the MTF sense of the word) and just starting out on transition. I couldn’t imagine being back in that type of situation, but at least she has the opportunity to talk to a few others around her age. I didn’t really have anyone around my age when I first started out...well, no one that I had access to talk to, but I did find some over time. And now, with different transgender and transsexual forums all around the internet, one can actually find a variety of friends with some of the same interests.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Down Under

I walked into the porn store tonight, and after the guy asked, “Can I help you ma’am?”, I responded with, “Yes, I’m looking for a magazine with up-close pictures of vaginas."

So, why was I in a porn store looking for a magazine with up-close pictures of vaginas? Well, I wanted to take a look at some of the different varieties that are out there...and there are definitely a variety. I have SRS approaching and I’d like to have a reference as to how they approximately look. I haven’t really seen one up close and personal...with the lights on, that is. Plus, Amber has pictures of her SRS results on her website, so I kinda wanted to compare things. It's too bad I won’t be able to see her labiaplasty results before I have my own SRS. I’ve seen another friend’s labiaplasty results, but Amber is a lot closer to my frame and size.

The guy helping me, though, leads me to the magazine racks and says that some of the “girls for girls” magazines will probably have what I am looking for. He almost seems nervous or awkward with what I’m sure is a rare appearance of a woman in his shop. He hands me a Playboy version to view, which even I know is not going to have much in the way of vagina shots. Playboy is more into boobs and being pretty than showing vaginas. Some would call them tame.

So, next I moved on to a Hustler version of “girls for girls” which was much better, but I found the best pictures in a magazine called “Just Girls” which I had never even heard of. It appears to be a UK magazine. Hooray for the Brits!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Managing Change

Yesterday, I was in an internal training class.  It was called “Managing Personal Change and Transition.”  Hmmm...right up my alley, right?  Actually, it dealt with personal change at work due to the “layoffs” and the organizational shake-up. Let’s face it, most of us live for some amount of routine in our lives, yet we also hope for a little bit of change...just enough to make each day different.

Drastically changing things, though, causes a lot of people to feel quite uncomfortable. Trust me, I know. Perhaps I was able to really connect with the seminar simply because of my own change, but I know quite a few people that found the two hour training to be quite boring. Many of the things we learned though, could be applied to people either going thru transition, or to the loved ones of those in that same transition. I think this course would really benefit anyone who has a friend or family member going thru transition.

The motto “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” came up a few times during the training. These are obviously people with a rigid way of thinking. One always needs to be looking at different and better approaches to a variety of things. That’s how we grow. I suppose some of it comes down to perspective.

For instance, some people would say that I was successful as a guy and that there was no indication that I was unhappy or had these transgender issues. If I’m not broke, why fix me, right? Well, I was broken...people just couldn’t see it. They grew used to seeing me broken and thought that’s how I always was. I lived for 30 years with barely a relationship to my name. I was progressing in my job, but I wasn’t happy. I was able to function in society...but to a bare minimum without people thinking I was too withdrawn, and I was hurting inside. I was simply a bike without inflated tires. Sure, you could ride me, but you wouldn’t get anywhere fast and without much effort.

So, I’m going to steal part of the seminar and list it here. It can be applied to a person in transition or to loved ones going through the changes:

Tips for Managing Your Own Personal Change
Realistically look at the situation and separate the myths (fears) from reality. 
Questions you can ask regarding accepting change:• To my knowledge, what exactly will change?
• Why might this change be needed?
• What are the problems that this change is designed to solve?
• What questions do I need answered?
• What are my concerns? How do I feel about it?
• How will I choose to deal with this change?
• How can I demonstrate support for this change?
• Overall, what will make the change go as smoothly as possible? 
General Stress-Busters:• Take time to rest and eat well
• Arrange a quiet time each day
• Exercise/take a walk - it can relieve pent-up feelings and stress 
A New Beginning Checklist:• Do I agree with the reasons for the change and understand why it is needed?
• Do I have a clear picture of the goals and objectives of this change?
• Do I know the steps and actions that are required to reach these goals?
• Can I support the change and commit to its accomplishment?
• Do I know what my specific role will be as a result of the changes?
• Can I identify the things that I might lose? Can I be okay with this?
• Can I list exactly what will be different for me? What will be the same?
• Have I found ways to honor and say good-bye to the past?
• Do I understand that it is normal to feel somewhat confused and uncertain in the middle of change?
• Do I have short-range goals that I know I can achieve?
• Am I looking for creative opportunities to contribute?
• Am I taking time to relax and emotionally regroup?
• Am I keeping a positive mental attitude or do I need an “attitude adjustment”?
• Am I planning to celebrate the “new beginnings and opportunities”?

Surprisingly, I also have trouble changing to some degree...perhaps I have my own little fear of the unknown. I placed an ad on a local forum as a woman looking for a woman. In that ad, I didn’t mention the T stuff at all. I received a number of responses from quite a few attractive and active women. The hard part, now, is connecting with them without feeling rejected at some point when they find out I am T. Do I want to speak with them on the phone...or will they be able to tell from my voice? Do I want to meet them for lunch ...or will they be able to tell from my appearance? I’m sorta afraid....afraid of rejection. Then why did I do it, right? Well, I’d like to sorta not be alone so much. Sure, I have friends and coworkers, but they can only provide so much of what a person has been missing for so much of her life....companionship. One day, I hope. One day.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Hey Doc, it hurts when I’m a man

Last night I had a dream that it was the night before SRS and I was talking with the doctor about to perform the operation...except it wasn’t Dr. Meltzer. Nope. It was Al Gore. Yep, former Vice President Al Gore. Except, well, he was a doctor...and I guess, well, that would make him Dr. Gore. I don’t know if it was my subconscious trying to be funny or what, but that’s probably not the best name for a doctor to have.

I also interviewed a potential new person for our group. Yep, despite the “layoffs” that happen here and there, we’re still hiring. So, using my therapist’s recommendation, I asked him near the end of the interview, “We have a transgender person working you think you’ll be OK working with a person like that?”

He says, “Oh yeah, I haven’t got a problem. You know that transgender kid that was killed in Newark? EDDIE was a neighbor of mine. HE was gay from the get go. I never had a problem with HIM. So, yeah, I would be OK.”

Although he meant well, he’s like a lot of other people that just don’t get it. Oh, don’t worry, I won’t let the male name and pronouns prevent me from choosing him, but I don’t think he was the right fit for our group based on his experience.

One of the funny things, though, is he asked, “Would I be working with you?” with a sorta half puppy-dog-look, half-”oh yeah”-look. He isn’t the first that’s asked me that. Engineers! *sigh*

Sunday, September 12, 2004


Time to do a little catching up.

Men are quite funny creatures. With the right motivation, they are almost dangerous. A week or two ago, I finally got around to getting a new phone. My current phone company threw a nice little incentive at me, so I figured it was time to upgrade. So, I’m in their store and the dude helping me is doing everything he can to get me the best deal. He’s asking me where I work and checking for any corporate deals. Then he’s asking me for the employer of my relatives and friends, and even diverging to another arm of the US military service in order to find something. I finally tell him that I don’t want him to get me or himself in trouble, and just go with no corporate deal. As he’s lining me up with the basic phone, he asks me if I want the next version up. I ask him how much more it is, and he says, “Eh, I’ll throw it in for free.” Cool. Now I have no idea if he does that for everyone, or only for the girls. Either way, it rocked.

The army of Kate’s

Another one of those Kate’s was in town visiting Dr. O, and a few of us from the forum decided to get together for dinner and conversation with the visiting friend. We met at a nice little restaurant in Noe Valley called Firefly. Rachel #5 suggested it, and it turned out to be a great choice. I’m not big on fish, but the Grilled Wild Salmon Filet with Corny Pearl Pasta, Sauteed Chard Chanterelle Mushrooms and Sauce Beurre Blanc was excellent. I even decided to enjoy dessert with the Warm Flourless Chocolate Cake With Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce. It was all exquisite, and although it was a bit pricey, it was definitely worth it.

You still work here?

As I was walking across campus on Thursday with my sun glasses on and just striding back to my desk, I see one of the guys from the noon-time sports walking towards me across the bridge. He only makes it out once in a while at noon, sorta like me the past year or so. As we approach one another, I kiddingly ask, “You still work here?” in reference to some of the latest “layoffs.” He stops and kinda stands there dumbfounded. I think I entertain him for a few more seconds until he realizes who I am. You know, I keep forgetting who I’ve been reintroduced to, and who I haven’t. At that point though, he starts smiling and saying, “amazing” a few times. He then says that he didn’t know who I was, and then when I asked him if he still worked here, he thought he would just play along for a little while. When I got back to my desk, I found he’d already left me a message apologizing for his conduct. I told him there was no need to apologize as he was reacting in a very positive manner.

Motivation, again

As I was doing a little grocery shopping yesterday, I picked up a few items I needed for breakfast the following morning. As I’m checking out, the guy is doing everything he can to find the special deal on the brand of cereal I’ve chosen. I finally have to tell the guy that there was no special even though he continues to think that it’s two for one.

Are you ready for some football?

Yep, it’s football season again. I have two fantasy football teams this with my family and friends, and the other through my old coworkers that we started up in ‘95. Getting thru the draft (I called in) was a little unbearable as numerous old coworkers were still calling me by my old name as well as using male pronouns. Luckily, I wasn’t able to hear it most of the time.