Friday, April 30, 2004

People who know how to make salsa

From the pages of my written journal

I sit here in the airport waiting on a flight to San Antonio for the wedding of a college friend. They’ve all known about me for close to a year now, and some of them saw me this past fall, albeit before facial surgery. Bob, who recently moved to the Bay Area, came over for the Super Bowl a few weeks before my FFS. This will be the first time all of them have seen me post FFS. I think they’ll all do fine.

The wedding is tomorrow and I fly out on Sunday, but I fly to Phoenix, AZ for a consult with the good Dr. Meltzer. Actually, it’s more Scottsdale. It’s kinda weird because I used to live in the Phoenix area a long time ago. It’s almost like revisiting areas of my life that I’m now basically retracing on my way to womanhood. Well, actually, I was so young at the time, that I don’t remember much from living there. And one day, I may have to visit Louisiana in order to change my birth certificate. I’m lucky, that state does allow the change. This is not my first time to San Antonio as well, as I visited there when I was a kid when my dad was training in the service.

Anyway, I went shopping this week for a dress to wear to the wedding. I found a nice Nine West pink and white dress, and found some shoes and a cardigan the next night that will go with it. I couldn’t find a handbag, though.

Damn, they’re saying there is no meal service on this flight even though we fly out at 10am and arrive at 3pm. I have to go buy a lunch to take along...hold on.

I’m back...yeah, like you’re going somewhere. I’m on the plane, now, though.

Anyway, when I was out shopping, I picked up a bowl of soup then headed for my car. As I was walking along, I passed by a young girl and probably her mother as they exited a coffee shop. What made this unique was the mother’s comment as she walked behind me: “Do you think that was a girl or a boy with long hair?” What the hell, huh? So, although I would loved to have said something to them, I didn’t, but I did decide to stop into the coffee shop to see for myself. You see, I’ve also been told by an acquaintance that there was a fairly young beautiful T working in one of the area cofffee shops because my acquaintance used to work with her at a different branch. Since I don’t drink coffee, though, I’m never in a coffee shop. I walked in and saw 2 guys and only one girl. She was slightly shorter than me and had lovely straight dark hair. I saw no indication of her being T, but just in case, I did flash her the secret transsexual bat signal. No reponse.

Yesterday morning, I got a call from a T who had attended the Dr. O seminar I put on late last year. She said she was at the Cocoon House. I asked her if she’d like me to stop by later that night. She said, “sure.” I was headed into the city, anyway, for some TGSF stuff, so I was able to stop and chat with R, A, and L for about an hour. Although swollen, all of them were looking great. A & L already had their voices back and were flying back today. R just got her nose packing out and looked like she was doing pretty good with minimal bruising after 5-6 days. I don’t know exactly what it is, but there is like this almost instant bond with a lot of T’s around the same age going through the same events.

After visiting with them for about an hour, I was off to the TGSF stuff. It was a lot of the usual, but I found out that I was elected to the Outreach position with TGSF, so I’ll be involved with those activities over the next year.

I also met another 29 year old person who’s trying to figure out her journey. It was the first time I’d seen her at an event. We chatted for a while about how most of the area groups, although filled with very nice people, are usually much older. I told her I was usually one of the youngest ones at TGSF events, but that I had a group of friends that were closer to my age. I told her that I’d introduce her to them sometime. The thing is, though, I don't want to force any of the transition stuff on her while she is still figuring everything out.

This past week at work, we’ve interviewed two guys to replace my former boss who departed right when I was out for FFS. Robi and I still meet up with Y a few times for lunch just to say hey and all. Anyway, during the course of the interviews, and mainly towards the end, I try to get a feel for how they are reacting to me. I start out with, “How do you like the Bay Area?” The first guy goes into this spiel about it being incredibly expensive here and it’s almost impossible to buy a house. If I hadn’t spent 40k on FFS, pushing 20k on electro, and who knows how much on a new wardrobe, I probably would have been able to afford a condo with a roommate. But, being T leaves me basically only able to rent.

So, the second guy rolls into how he likes the diversity in the Bay Area. Good answer. He says he’s a huge people watcher.

The next question was, “What type of people do you not like to work with?” The first guy says “closed minded people” while the second one says “prima donnas.” They’re both good answers, althought the first is probably better in my case.

Somehow during the conversation with the first guy, we get on the subject of his kids. He said he had a son who was a senior and a daughter that was a sophomore, but that their son was a special needs child. He said it wasn’t a normal life, and wondered what it would have been like if his son was normal, but he cared for his son no matter what.

So, then I hit them with my news telling the first guy that I don’t live a normal life either and the second guy that I’m about as diverse as they come, as I recently transitioned from male to female. The first guy said he had no problem with it, as well as the second, but the second guy said, “I wouldn’t have known.” He said his sister was gay and had kids. He lived close to her and was the male influence in the children’s lives. How cool, huh?

You’re probably wondering why I told them. Well, the way I figure it is that I have a hand in the selection process, so why not make sure they are going to be OK with it. I’ll be out next year with SRS, so the T conversation is going to come up sooner or later. When I explained this to Blonde Rachel last night, she at first wondered why I told them, but after hearing my reason, she totally agreed with me.

OK, well, yesterday I was kinda reviewing all of the wedding and travel stuff for this weekend and I noticed that we’re not invited to the actual wedding, but only the reception. Well, damn. I bought this nice summer dress and accessories. I packed it anyway, and threw in an extra top I can wear with some of the other stuff I brought along. We’ll probably (hopefully) do something after the reception since it ends at 11pm, so I’ll need more than a summer dress to go out in anyway..

Monday, April 26, 2004

Numb Nose

I had another weird dream last night, and this is probably my anxieties playing away in my brain. I used to have dreams in college and high school that I was late to class or had missed a ton of classes and was sitting in class taking a test. And, I used to dream about my family catching me dressing or buying women’s clothes up until I came out to them.

Last night, though, I had a dream that I was having SRS and a breast augmentation. I was on the operating table and felt him messing around down below. There was no pain, but it felt weird. That’s about all I remember from it. Hopefully I won't have these dreams for the next year.

Since my zapper was so kind, I was able to get in a few more electro hours tonite. I’d had her stay clear of the nose to allow it to heal since the incision line there is still quite visible. But since I needed to get started on it, and I have a wedding to attend this weekend, I asked her to hit the very sensitive and painful area right under the nose. She worked her way up from the side of the upper lip and I braced myself. The closer she got to my nose, the more it hurt, and then....nothing. I barely felt anything. It appears that the right inside part of my nose is numb. She said she was able to work some incredible art since I couldn’t feel anything in there. She moved to the other nostril and.....instant pain!!! Youch!!! OK, so I only have half of the nose numb.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

California Dreamin' 2004

Another busy weekend. Well, it feels pretty busy. I’m back into the electro routine, and was at the usual restaurant to pick up dinner for my zapper and I. There used to be this one bartender named Brandon who was usually there to take care of me, but I haven’t seen him the past two weeks. I wondered if he would be able to recognize me since there are very few people who saw me before and wasn’t informed of my changes, and now had the opportunity to see me after.

Speaking of people knowing me before and seeing me after, there is this really cute girl at work named J who saw me on Friday, walks up to me and says, “So, are you going by K... now?” I told her it was Kara now. She said she’d seen me back that first week but didn’t recognize me until I said something to her in passing. She also said she had been left out of the loop and didn’t know what had happened. I was really surprised since my news usually makes its way around pretty fast.

Anyway, after electro on Saturday, I was scheduled to attend California Dreamin’. Dr. Meltzer, who I have decided will probably be my SRS surgeon, since that flight from Arizona would be the shortest home, was giving a presentation in the afternoon. Dr. O was scheduled to present right before him. Since you pay for the whole day, I figured I might as well catch both seminars. I was a little early for Dr. O’s seminar, so I sat outside Carla’s reading Dr. Meltzer’s SRS info that his office has previously sent me. I saw Mira and Dr. O pull up and walk toward the entrance. I decided to just sit there to see if either of them recognized me. They didn’t. Hee hee. After a few more minutes of reading and then packing my things up, I headed in to say hi to Mira and Dr. O. I said hi to Mira first who recognized me once I got close and said something. She seemed pretty amazed, but then again, she always seems quite friendly when she sees any of us. She made sure that Dr. O was aware that I was there, and he even gave me a hug. Ahhhhh. Sure, the guy gets a bad rap for saying some of the same things to everyone in his consults and he’s very proud of his results, but deep down he’s a really nice guy that cares a lot for the TS and TG community. Yeah, he tells everyone to lose weight, but that’s because it makes it easier for him to produce good results and it’s good for the patient to be in good physical shape to make it through surgery in a healthy manner.

After his presentation, Dr. Meltzer came in and both of them began talking to one another. OK, now how often is a TS going to get the doctors that change her life drastically for the better all in one place? Dr. O has already worked most of his magic, and I’ll hopefully be able to get in to see Dr. Meltzer inside the next year. Yeah, I have basically decided upon him. I have had a number of friends already go to him, and I have a few more friends headed to him this upcoming year. Anyway, so I asked Mira if she would take a picture of me with both of them, and after interrupting their conversation with Mira’s help, I did.

Dr. O, Kara, Dr. Meltzer

Dr. Meltzer talked about all of his procedures, although I was really hoping he would go more into his SRS procedure. He also went over his breast augmentation procedure, and from the results he presented, he does a pretty good job. Of course, no surgeon is going to present bad results. Anyway, that’s something I will consider for next year. 

Both of the presentations ran a bit long, but I was able to chat with a TS I met several years ago, but hadn’t seen recently. She has been full time for a number of years, but is still trying to take care of the finances for SRS. I told her my plan to have the surgery inside the next year, and that I was still looking for friends that might be headed there around the same time.

Speaking of friends, since I was in ugly mode again this weekend, I invited a few over for fajitas and a movie. I picked up Win a Date with Tad Hamilton. Although it was a fairly simple movie, it was still quite cute and entertaining. I’ll give it a thumbs up, although I’m glad I waited to catch it on video. Also, since the presentations did run long, wouldn’t you know it that everyone else would be running on time. Yep, they called me while I was on my way back to my apartment saying they were at my door and no one was there. Doh...sorry guys.

When I take the pain killers for electrolysis on the weekend, I often find myself just kinda ‘blah’. Because of that, I don’t usually do much on the weekend since I’m just worn out. Combining that situation with a little aggravation over people not communicating what they were bringing, I started to become a little irritable. Unfortunately, I think I took most of that irritability out on Claire...probably because, well, I consider her a really good friend who has a fairly good grasp on reality. Perhaps I was reaching out needing some type of consoling. Who knows. I called her today, though, to apologize for my rude behavior.

Anyway, Rachel worked up some great food in the kitchen, while Amy provided some nice marinated chicken for cooking. “JoanB” also brought over a little steak to cook up, and Rachel did her best with my meager utensils at hand.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Phone calls before work

I take care of the TGSF hotline on occasion, and ended up replying to a nurse in the San Quentin Prison who was looking for information on supplemental doctors to the one they have now. He said they have a number of transgender residents that need to have their hormones, and they only have one current doctor who works with them.

Anyway, he called at 6am this morning thinking I would have my mobile phone off. Wrong! I’ll have to tell Dad that I found one of his long lost relatives.

After obtaining his address to send some information to, I was back to bed. In between that time and the time I woke up about an hour later, I had this weird dream. In it, I was outside and saw Kevin Spacey ride by on one of those large bicycles from the late 1800’s. Then, I’m in some type of facility, but I’m not sure if I am visiting my mom, or her me. Up front, I have a funny conversation about how two muppets sound alike - one being Yoda but I can’t think of what the other one was, nor can I think of any muppet that sounds remotely like Yoda. I went back to Mom for what appeared to be some type of board game. Then, and I realize that my dream jumped, her and I are arriving at a party for Dr. O. I catch a glimpse of myself in either a mirror or a glass and I have short hair, but still appear female, but look more like a soft butch dyke. At that point, I woke up.

My hair stylist called right before I left for work. Yep, two phone calls before I even went to work. Anyway, she said she was moving residences and remembered that her and I wore the same size shoes. She said she’d bring in a box next week if I was interested. I told her sure and would stop by her salon to take a look. What a benefit it is to live in this area...either that, or I have been extremely lucky. Almost everyone I have met here outside of work has been so wonderful with my transition. Perhaps I just choose good friends. :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Doctor, Doctor, gimme the news...

Last month, I called my health provider to set up an appointment to get the lumpy mass on my testicle checked out. I mentioned it to my therapist that I couldn’t tell if it was a lump on my testicle or if it was in the vas deferens. Either way, she said I should probably get it checked out, although she said the worst that could happen to me would be the removal of the testes...which wouldn’t be that bad. Anyway, they never called me back on that first attempt. So, I called again last week. I had to explain that even though I was living as a woman that I was transitioning and still had some male parts below. She said it was a first for her. Initially, she was going to send me to a gynecologist, but I told her it would probably be best to see my general practioner since a gyn probably wouldn’t know what to do. She agreed and set up an appointment for yesterday morning.

After the normal nurse routine of weight, blood pressure, and temperature, she asked what medications I was taking. I rattled them off, and this time the nurse didn’t ask me how to spell any of them, nor did she repeatedly ask for the name of my medications. Hey, perhaps they are getting better at this. Anyway, my doctor came into the room and asked how I was doing. He said I looked great and we talked a little about the general medical side of my transition. I explained to him what I had done for FFS. After the small talk, he examined my right testicle and found that it was the vas deferens. Good news for me!!! He said I probably noticed the lumpy mass since the testicle had become smaller and the mass was now more noticeable. He said it was nothing to worry about. Whew!

Two Months Post FFS

So, I’m two months post-op FFS. I’ll start from the top and go down. First, the top of the scalp is still numb, and lately it has been itching like the dickens. It mainly itches around the edges, especially in front. When I brush my hair in the morning, it feels so good when the bristles rub that same area. Oh yeah, I can’t feel the areas that do, they just itch. When I scratch that area, I can’t feel anything.

The feeling in my forehead has fully returned, so has the feeling in my lower lip. Both were slightly numbish after surgery.

The swelling in my nose has slightly subsided, and there is a bump on the upper left area. Dr. O said it could be bone bruising and that I would have to wait to see if it was swelling or just misshaped. The inside portion of the nose is still very stiff, but it has loosened up enough that I can now move it side to side a few millimeters...but it’s still very stiff when I do that. For those wanting to know, I still can’t pick my nose, which kinda sucks when having to clean things out. For those that didn’t want to know...sorry about grossing you out with too much information.

The upper lip is still a bit restrictive since it’s attached to the nose. The area that was cut out between the bottom of my nose and the top of upper lip area is still a bit stiff, too, which probably leads to the restrictive feeling. My chin is still a bit swollen, especially on the two bump areas on each side. My jaw muscles are still a bit sore as well, especially when biting down on anything hard. I can mainly eat about anything, although I still watch it with the harder items. I’m able to open my mouth wide about 95% of what I used to be able to, and that last 5% will probably come over the next month or two.

The inside of the mouth is still a pain. The incision he made along the base of my bottom gums is still very tight and restrictive. It almost feels like I have been wearing a chin strap for the past two months. The incision scar looks a bit freakish, but hopefully it will all return to slightly normal with time.

The scar line under the chin is still raised up, but the exterior of the scar looks pretty minor. It should continue to subside over the next few months to a year.

One weird thing is the tricky part of touch. When I touch the upper portion of my nose, I can also feel it along my right eyebrow. When I touch the outer orbital rim of my left eye, I also feel it a few inches above my left ear. Weird.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

a la mode

On Wednesday I was in the city to do a little shopping with some friends, then helping Amber on Thursday to scout out a party location for later this year. We went out for a little Mexican food afterward.

Since I was due for 4 hours of electro this weekend, I knew I would not be in too much of a happy mode to go out and about, so I decided to invite some friends over who have been through the same thing. After electro, I get a bit swollen, along with being slightly red in the treated areas. I call it ugly mode. So, now I have Me-mode and Ugly-mode. So, I picked up some raw pizza dough and sauce, along with some toppings and salad stuff, and had a little pizza and movie night with some friends.

Claire, Brooke, M, Lida, and I chowed down on the pizza, with Amber showing up later on with some dessert. We watched Pirates of the Caribbean...well, I think Lida and I watched it, while the others fell asleep during the course of it. Claire, Brooke, and Amber crashed at my place, but Brooke left early in the morning since she usually doesn’t sleep much. Claire made up some awesome French Toast this morning for Amber and I. I haven’t had that in a long time.

I’m now 2 months post-op FFS. I’ll talk about where I am with recovery next time.

The Dynamic Duo

Robi, Pete, and I were in another meeting on Wednesday when we diverged again. This time we got on the subject of the different dynamics between male-male, female-male, and female-female situations. I said I was used to the male-male and the female-male dynamic, but was still getting used to the female-female one. I told them that I got much better service over in Receiving now compared to before, since that entire area was basically made up of men. The male-male dynamic kinda sucks when you ask someone to do something for you. There’s just nothing the other person is working for in that type of situation, but when it’s a girl asking a guy to do something, they almost seem to go out of their way to get it done...just to impress her...especially if she is pretty.

It’s a very powerful dynamic.

I told Robi that I was still getting used to the female-female dynamic. It was much easier getting women to do something for me as a man than it was now as a female. It’s the same thing before with the guys, but only in reverse now. I believe Robi said it was better to treat this new dynamic by getting them to sympathize with me and my request. Hmmm...this is something I am going to have to work on.

Brin, a fairly new hire that sits near me and has been very positive with my whole transition, asks me if I am dating. I’m not sure what her reason was for asking that question, but I told her that the dynamics of dating right now just don’t exist. Another coworker was right there in our conversation, and he kinda blushed at that point. Hmmm...don’t know why.

Hey Rocky, watch me pull a booger out of my hare

On Wednesday, I found some of the joys of having straight unrestrained hair. Because of the straightening method, it’s suggested that you not tie the hair back nor even put it behind your ears for the first few days. Throughout that first day, I noticed that my hair likes to work its way to my mouth quite frequently. I also sneezed one time and found that, well, an expelled booger found it’s way into my hair. Yuck!

15...there’s still time for you

This past Tuesday I was in a meeting with Robi and Pete. Actually, we were between meetings and just kinda chatting. We somehow end up on tangents quite frequently in some of our smaller meetings. This time, we were talking about a cake party later on that day for a woman who just got married. Then we started talking about weddings. Robi mentioned what she would do..or perhaps what she wouldn’t do...for her wedding. She also then states she has me pegged for a foofy white dress wedding. I tell her it wouldn’t be foofy, but more like a simple white dress with no lace. I wouldn’t get married in a church either, basically because I’m not religious and not many churches will preside over a transsexual wedding. I’d rather do it outside anyway. Anyway, I think planning for a wedding at this stage is quite premature, but just like a 15 year old girl, I can still dream.

Later that day, I had my hair treated with a Japanese hair straightening method. It didn’t turn out quite as well as my stylist would have liked, but it looked a lot straighter than it used to be. He only charged me half price and told me to call him again in three weeks to see if he could touch it up.

On my way home, I heard the Five for Fighting song, 100 Years. I cried. It’s a very sad song that reflects on different stages of life, but always comes back to “15...there’s still time for you”. Being T, it also hits hard as it talks about all of the things a lot of us will never have. The main theme of the song is that if you are 15, you still have the rest of your life ahead of you. He also sings of other ages at which we have things in our life occur...22, 33, 50, 67, and 99, and how they are just moments that all occur in our life. “’re on your way” is one of the lines near the end, and since I’m 33 and on my own unique way, it does hit kinda hard. Death has always been a hard thing for me, and I know there’s no putting off getting old, but you just have to enjoy the life you have. My life is pretty screwed up being T, but I have to make the best of it and live my life to the fullest.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Misery Loves Company

Last night, I just hung out and watched TV. I spotted one channel that had deaf families debating whether or not to have cochlear implants for their children. One family was more into preserving the deaf culture, while the other pondered giving their child a chance at a normal life. The debate then centered on what was normal, and that a deaf child could still have a normal life.

The way I see it, why not give a child a chance at a regular life. We have technology to enable some people to hear again. There are some that say that misery loves company, and that they are just trying to keep more people deaf so that they won’t be all alone.

This topic also rings true in the TS world. There are some TS out there that say transition wasn’t hard for them or that they have had remarkable physical results with their transition. They’ll say that their SRS results were wonderful, they have sex with guys, and have plenty of orgasms. In truth, though, there are some girls that have major troubles with transition, both physical and psychological. Some TS have so many troubles with their SRS that they basically can’t have sex, or the sex they do have is not pleasing. Problems range from inability to orgasm, to inability to accommodate their partner, to unpleasing aesthetics. A lot of these girls, just in general, end up alone, and thus will lie to get other girls to go through the same thing and join them in their misery.

I cannot exist as a woman with a penis. It’s not fulfilling to me. I will be pursuing SRS. I know the risks, but I follow the doctor’s guidelines on pursuing a complication free operation and recovery. I may be physically miserable afterward, but the psychological misery right now is definitely enough for me to know that SRS is the only answer.

For instance, a coworker whispered to me on Friday that a male friend of hers that came in to her desk to get something asked her who the cute girl was. He was referring to me. When she told me this, I whispered back, “Now, now...don’t cause any trouble.” Later that day, though, I queried her for more information on this guy who asked about me. But I mean, come on, I can’t do anything until after why even tempt myself. Also, it’s probably better from a safety point that I not place myself in a situation where a pre-op transsexual gets her brain bashed in.

Speaking of being able to get out of having my brain bashed in, I made it out for a run along the bunny trail today. I ran, not hopped, most of the way, unlike this past week where I had a few short runs during my 3 mile walk. It felt good to get back out again, but I’m nowhere near where I was...but still able to outrun most would be attackers....I hope.


For those that believe in the Easter Bunny....Happy Easter. For those that don’t....Happy Sunday.

Amber, Claire, and I took Amy out for her 29th birthday this past Friday. We had some awesome Korean BBQ. Yum. I kinda felt like the old hag of the group, though, since all three of them are now 29, while I am just a meager “29”. After we ate, we headed to find a cafe, and after one block of walking, Amy says she has to pee.


There was a cafe nearby, but Claire and Amy said the bathroom was gross there, and that they knew another one just a little ways down. OK, so we’re walking, and walking, and walking...and, well, it wasn’t warm in the area that we’re walking. In fact, we’re less than a mile from the ocean to start with, and the chilly ocean breezes are definitely cutting through us. I joke to Claire, “We’re almost to the ocean” at which point Amber then let’s Claire in on the sarcasm of my remark. So, we head back the same way we came, only to have Claire realize that the cafe she was thinking about was the other way, and only a block away.


Anyway, once we warmed up, the topic turns to doing something else. Amber says, “Bowling!!!” in her hilariously cheerful manner and charm. I find a place to bowl in the available yellow pages, and off we go. I’m not sure if everyone was up for it since it’s not the most femme thing to do, but we decide to try it. We also stopped off at one of their nearby pool hall places “just to see if there were any cute boys there”, as Claire puts it. Anyway, we bowled. It was ok, and I had a fun time. Claire, however, likes to note that I am extremely competitive...both times in which we’ve played some type of sporting activity, pool and now bowling. Perhaps I am. I play to win, but I’m also a good sport. I’m not going to let someone else win just because they suck, but I will help them gain confidence and experience in trying to better themselves.

What’s really funny, though, is this morning I caught on TV the first ever women’s NCAA bowling championship. One of the old schools I used to square off against on occasion was in the finals. The women on the winning team for each game, though, were hyped up. They were totally pumped. Talk about! So, is our society set up such that men cannot show sensitivity and women cannot show competitiveness?

Saturday morning, I went for electrolysis. On my way in, I usually grab my electro a latte to ensure that she’s in a good mood and loaded with caffeine. Plus, she coffee. I usually head to Starbucks for her usual latte, but after talking to her on the phone, she says, “In the spirit of not relying on foreign markets for their oil, why don’t you stop off at that other place”, so I do. I order, turn around, then spot Amber sitting at one of the tables. She hasn’t seen or heard me yet, so I casually walk over to her table. I knew she’d be in the area since she was having her car worked on, but I really didn’t think we’d run into one another there. Anyway, I had a few minutes to spare (actually a lot, since my electro was running a little behind), so we chatted for a bit. She got to see me in ugly mode since I hadn’t shaved in over a day and wasn’t wearing any makeup. Soon, hopefully, I’ll have the facial hair back to getting zapped on a weekly basis with not much showing through.

Anyway, we did two hours on my cheeks. I’m looking less hairy, but I still have the lower half of my goatee. We’re saving that area for last since it’s still a bit sore. Hopefully next week most of the hair on my face will be gone, although it will still be regrowing in some portion or another. I have a wedding at the end of the month I would really like to be in some type of decent shape for.

My zapper and I usually have some nice little conversations during our sessions. Because I’m on pain killers, though, I don’t always remember what we talked about. I took a Vicodin this time, the first time to take it for the pain. It didn’t last as long, nor perform as well as my usual stuff, which I will probably go back to next week. During our discussion, though, we somehow got on a subject that’s a little sore for her. She mentioned that a lot of the people that she has worked on and built a friendship with, have often just ceased their friendship once they are done with zapping. I told her that we’ll be friends forever since I have so much hair still to zap, including the stuff downstairs as well as my hands, feet, etc., where I don’t want to see any hair. Then I told her I’d invite her to my wedding if I ever got married. She said she wouldn’t come because it’s hard for her to be around people who have moved on to a “regular life”. She has a pretty good life now, owns a house, makes a very good income in her business, is well liked by many of the TS community...but just wants more. I don’t blame her.

After electro, I was looking pretty shabby, so I just headed home while grabbing some comfort food for the road. I was sir’d going through the drive thru...gotta work more on the voice. I think it made it harder to do the voice since I wasn’t in full femme regalia, but more andro. I psyched myself out.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

The worst daughter in the world

Doh! I forgot to call my mom again. Ggggrrrrr! My memory is really going. I left work at 8pm again...a little too late to call her since she’s two time zones different. OK, OK...I’ll definitely make up for it on Friday.

This whole week has been kinda messed up for me with the time change and being sick early on. I was still sick Sunday night and Monday morning, so much so that I slept in until 11:30am. It was horrible...I woke up at 5am with a stomach ache and hallucinations while trying to sleep. I stayed up for a while, then went back to bed before the alarm went off around 7. The head and stomach were still hurting, so I called in to work and told Robi I wouldn’t be in until noon at the earliest. I think I made it in by 1pm, and stayed late to try to get caught up. And since I slept in, it was hard getting to bed on time Monday night. I didn’t sleep that well again on Monday night, and thus made it to work a little later than usual. It’s been that way all week long, except I started sleeping better Tuesday night.

As I was taking care of some stuff late tonight, a coworker and I start talking. She asks if she can ask a personal question. I say sure. She wants to know if I have had THE surgery. I tell her I haven’t had surgery down below since I have to live as a woman first, but that I have had facial surgery. I then showed her some of the things that were done. I also had to explain what hormones do and don’t do, and that what voice change I do have was earned with practice.

She also asked me about my hair and if I had done anything with it. I told her no, since they said to wait 1.5 months until after surgery. She said it looked a little frazzled and that I should get the split ends cut. She also talked about some different products. The thing is, I’ve tried a ton of different products, and none of them seems to work so good. She brought up a straightening iron, or a curling iron, but after having a stylist tell me she wouldn’t be able to iron out my hair in an hour, I have kinda given up on ironing it myself. She also mentioned a few other items, but what always came back to my mind was the split ends thing. I looked tonight, and almost all of my hair looks pretty good on the end, it’s just that my hair goes everywhere. It looks frazzled because it’s super frizzy. I’ve also been going fairly poofy this week, because next week I have an appointment to have my hair straightened permanently. Yep, I’m going for the straight hair. Well, I’m going for mostly straight. I had a consult with the stylist this past Saturday, and he says that he’ll be able to get it mostly straight, but that there might be some waviness to it. I think I can handle wavy, just as long as it isn’t super frizzy curls. So, stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004


Six dollars and ten cents. That’s how much last week’s paycheck was.


I looked at the itemized listing and it said I had 80 hours of unpaid time, plus six dollars and ten cents for travel reimbursement I had been chasing down a problem a few weeks back. I managed to get a hold of someone in payroll and they thought I was still out. Doh! So, I managed to get them sorted out with the benefits guy who had my letter from Dr. O sending me back to work. They are supposed to be mailing a check to me...making up the past 2.5 weeks. If my tax returns hadn’t come in this past week, I’d be getting a little low...although not that low. It’s nice to know, though, that things will hopefully be returning somewhat to normal. Unfortunately, since my paycheck had no money in it, I will again have to send in a check to my 401k loan. Hopefully they don’t default me on this due to the stupid error.

Speaking of stupid, I forgot to call my mom for her birthday yesterday, and tonight when I remembered as I was heading out of the office, it was well past 10pm her time. Tomorrow, I promise.

That's what friends do

I was on my way to the city last night to see KateW and her mom in the Cocoon House, when this guy in a truck on the freeway cuts right in front of me. You’d think I would be used to it because they do it to me every time I’m out on the freeway....but nooooo....I still get upset. I gave him a dirty look as I went by him....but he never saw me.

Do you ever notice that when someone you don’t know does something very annoying to you, you feel this horrible disgust for them...but when it’s a friend, you just let it slide. It’s always different for friends compared to others we don’t know, but then again, that’s why they’re our friends, right?

After saying “hi” to a much improved KateW and her mom still in very good spirits, I went over to have a little talk with a friend. Ms. Friend has been going through a rough period with finances and some of the ugly side--effects of GID, so I went up to talk to her about her situation. That’s what friends are for.

We talked over salads and a pizza, discussing her different options if she runs out of money while unemployed. She has a few opportunities coming up, but because it takes a while for money to start coming in once you do get a job, I was especially worried about her short term situation. She also said that a few other friends had called her with different possibilities, so she does have a few options if things do not go well. I told her I could let her stay at my place, but there wouldn’t be that much room.

Her transition has progressed fairly well, and she seems to have done well in her past year, but there are still a number of residual items to work out when you transition so fast. I was also worried about her well-being since it’s hard enough in this world being unemployed, let alone being a transsexual who has lost, hopefully only in the short-term, some of those dear to her. It’s also hard being alone in this world. I know.

When I was in a large store having some recent pictures developed, there was a person at the door asking for donations for some charity. I didn’t give. I felt bad. I’ve become much more self-centered in my journey. I’ve worked fairly hard for my money, gave up 10 years of my life just trying to be a man earning a decent wage, and now I’m using that money to finally be me. I didn’t give to the woman at the store, but I do give to friends. I bought my friend’s dinner and made her take home the leftover pizza because that’s what friends do.

Sunday, April 04, 2004


I’m usually one to do things strictly by the book, especially when it comes to my health. Well, this weekend, I didn’t. So sue me.

Dr. O and Mira state waiting 3 months after FFS before returning to electrolysis or laser. Unofficially, it’s been stated that no one has had any trouble beyond 2 months.

I have a lot of things going for me...I’m short, I’m fairly thin (although still quite muscular), I still have most of the hair on top of my head, I have a decent job to afford FFS and SRS, I have parents that still love me through my transition, and I live in one of the best areas of the world in which to transition. One of the biggest detractors from my transition, though, is my facial hair. I have very coarse, dark persistent facial hair. I spent the first 150 hours basically thinning the stuff because I didn’t want people at work noticing tracks of hair that were missing after an electrolysis session. I didn’t start stripping the areas until I felt that the remaining shadow was light enough. That was over 100 hours ago and I still have a ton of hair. And, of course, not being able to have electrolysis the two weeks prior to FFS and three months after is hard to deal with when you’re trying to move on with your life. So, I talked to my electrologist about my situation. I told her I was ready to come back this week, 6.5 weeks after FFS. I asked her to turn the power down to minimal and to not “dig”, which she sometimes has to do to get some of those nasty little boogers out. Since she works with strictly galvanic power, she said I should be fine. We’d take the normal sanitary precautions, and if there were any bad reactions, we’d stop.

So, yesterday, I had 1.5 hours of electrolysis across the upper lip and under the lower lip. Ahhhhh! Finally, less hair. It’s pretty dense right now, though, so it’s still going to take a while before we start clearing in 4 hours again. Yes, 4 hours. That’s the lowest I have been on full clearing time....or, well, mostly clearing.

Yes, I’m breaking the rules. So be it. I’m taking my chances. It’s my life, my face, and my skin. I’m taking full responsibility for my actions. I know the risks, but I need the hair gone. I need a life. I want to be able to go out into the world. I don’t want some guy to see me from a distance, approach me, then beat the crap out of me when he sees my facial hair. That’s not a good situation.

So, don’t do as I as they recommend and wait. Most people will wait, simply because they hopefully won’t have the persistent hair that I have, or they will have taken care of all of it before going through FFS.

So, after electro yesterday, I had lunch with Brooke. Wow, she can really pig out. The girl is skinny as a rail with a bottomless stomach, and keeping up with Ms. Jones is basically impossible. I had a doggie bag. She didn’t.

I cruised up to see the visiting KateW from the UK who had her FFS this past week. Claire and Amber were already at the Cocoon House when I arrived. KateW was 4 days post-op and looking pretty good. She still had the nose packing in, which came out earlier today, and was very woozy from the entire affair. She mentioned that she didn’t have much recollection of the past four days. We asked her if she remembered Claire visiting her the first night, and she said she only remembered her being there. I asked her if she remembered my visit, and she basically looked at me as though I was kidding. I asked her if she remembered us taking a lap around the ward. Ahhh...that caught her memory. She said she did remember it, but only when I brought it up. That is one of the nice things about the pain don’t really remember much from the entire event.

Anyway, after visiting with KateW, I had dinner with Amy, Amber, and Claire....yep, those three again. Trouble follows them around...well, at least that’s what they like to call me.

Anyway, I’m tired. I think I ate something bad yesterday as my stomach has been feeling woozy since the middle of last night.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Adding things up

It’s basically been over a week since I wrote in here, but I guess you could say I haven’t had that much new to say. Well, just nothing major to say, so maybe as separate items they were small, but together they all add up.

This past weekend, I put a note up on an FTM board that I was ditching all of my guy clothes and if anyone was interested in some of the clothes, they’d better get a hold of me soon. Bobby, who I met during the Cotillion, gave me a call and stopped by Saturday afternoon. He picked up some ties and a few shirts, but otherwise we just kinda sat around and chatted for 4 hours. We had some pretty good conversations, including a hypothetical situation:

So, Bobby, what if they could switch our genetics around and I could give you my Y and you could give me one of your X’s, but in doing so, you’d now be half white, half asian (Bobby is Chinese). Would you do it to be genetically male, yet also be half-asian and half-white?

He said “No.” He’d rather be an FTM with his original ancestry than a genetic guy without it. I told him I’d have no problem being a half-asian/half-white genetic woman, instead of a white MTF. I’d be ok with any race, just to get rid of the GID.

The following day, last Sunday, I hung out with Claire and Amber in the city, then met Amy, Rachel, KateW from the UK, and KateW’s mom. We ate some thick pizza over at Zachary’s again and talked about KateW’s upcoming FFS. As I mentioned a few things that I had gone through with my recent surgery, such as the depression about 2 weeks after it, she said she'd read my journal and was prepared to deal with it if it came up.

I stopped by to see her in the hospital Wednesday night. Yep, train wreck, but she was doing pretty good. She didn’t have much bruising, except for a little under the eyes, and she was quite mobile. Claire had visited the previous night and told me that KateW was quite coherent. KateW said she remembered a little from the previous night, but not much. I told her she probably wouldn’t remember much from my visit as well, and that her memories would probably be more vague than sharp.

Claire mentioned that KateW had thrown up blood at least once before she visited and that it appeared Kate’s already made it through the worst of it. Kate was still fighting through some of the remnants of having a catheter when I visited, but hopefully she got all of that worked out. Yes, people do have discomforts they have to work through with surgery/FFS, but I guess I got fairly lucky with my first two nights in the hospital. But since the drugs have a memory loss associated with their use, you don’t really remember much of the discomforts.

Claire and I had dinner after my visit. She’s still working through some of the facets of her transition, so it was good to talk to her about it. Claire has come a long way over the past year, and her essence has really shown through.

The following morning, I got up early to meet the owner of one of my main vendors for coffee, although HE was the only one drinking coffee. We talked a bit about my transition and how things were going with it. He also talked a little about his own family, and how they’d all dealt with some of the dynamics of a particular situation. I think a lot of people are afraid to admit that they are seeing a therapist, but once people know about my transition, and the accompanying details such as my own therapist visits, people seem to open up to me on occasion to talk about their own little secrets.

He also asked about how things were going at work, which many people ask me, and I simply say that things are going pretty good....quite nonchalant, in fact. I told him about my therapist’s 5-90-5 rule, with 5% really supportive, 90% not caring, and 5% morally opposed, and that I’d run across the good 5 and the non-caring 90, but hadn’t seen the bad 5 yet. I told him they usually come out later on, and I’m sure that they are around....somewhere.

Tonite, Amber drove over to just kinda hang out. We ate some Japanese food, her some soup and sushi, while I downed some Rock N Roll (grilled eel), a Chicken Roll, and a regular California Roll (sorta-crab with avocado). Again, we talked about different aspects of our lives. Doesn’t all of this seem very Seinfield-esque? I once joked with some friends that there was a new reality show coming out called Sex and TSity about 4 transsexuals who lived in San Francisco who talked about sex and life, but never really did anything but sit around and eat. They all laughed at the reality of the situation.

Anyway, after dinner, I remembered that one of my friends was working her usual Friday routine as a bartender in a local bar. We walked a few blocks to the place, then, after spotting Kathy at the bar, sat down right next to her. Kathy only noticed that someone was moving to the seats she had her coat on and promptly moved it as we approached. Julie grabbed two napkins and went into her little speech about her already announcing last call, but that she could get us something if we liked. She looked right at me for a second, then went, “OMG, I didn’t even recognize you.” Kathy basically said the same thing when she noticed Julie’s response.

We all chatted for a while about my recovery, our different jobs, how I was obsessing over my nose, and the program Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, with Julie’s boyfriend telling us how he shaves his face after having watched the program. I’d met Julie’s boyfriend before about 3 months ago when I was still presenting as a guy, and wasn’t sure how he would react, but he seemed fairly ok with the entire event. And like I said, he was very social in the discussion about his face shaving.

Little milestones this past week included new bank checks, a new name plaque, new business cards, and my new bank card. Cool....but I still have a ton of name change items to work on.

Anyway, I think I’m caught to bed