Blog, Sweet Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Dad

A continuing series of reposts from my tumblr page,

On parents and cell phone texting…

The good news? My parents have recently discovered the joys of texting.

The bad news? “Reo tues state fair remeber old days along w pat benatar”

Translation from dadtext? Hello daughter!  Did you know that Pat Benatar and REO Speedwagon are playing at the Iowa State Fair on Tuesday?  I would love to see them and your stepmother and I are thinking of going.  The songs of that era bring back a lot of memories, both good and bad.  ‘I Can’t Fight This Feeling’ and ‘Love is a Battlefield’ got me through some tough times and I think attending Tuesday’s concert would be a fitting tribute to the memory of times gone by.  I’ll be sure to text you from the audience!  Love always, Dad.

An important dadtext update…

Anna: Hey dad!  Sorry, but i’m not sure what you meant by the last message.  Are you going to the fair on tuesday?  And seeing pat benatar?

Dad: Reo speedwagon yes we may go

Anna: Oh cool!  That sound fun.  Ours is all the way down in pueblo, so I usually skip it.

Dad: Rember the days we drove to find them reo

*long pause*

Anna:  Hmm, no, that doesn’t ring any bells.  Did we take a roadtrip in search of REO Speedwagon?  Did we find them?

You guys!  After that last message I wanted to call my father and check to see that he was ok.  And that he wasn’t, you know, drinking brown bag wine at work, again.

I don’t recall a childhood quest to find the lost REO of the Speedwagon, but I really wanted to keep messing with him.  Were they nice?  Did they reward us with rock and roll treasure?  Did we befriend any magical creatures along the way?  Did I get turned into a newt?

I make the fun, but it’s out of love.  I think it’s adorable that he texts me out of the blue sometimes, but these are too good to leave alone.  I hope he never stops!

Mood: I have the dread
Music: WBLS’s In Control from 7.14.89 feat. Ultramagnetic MCs and 3rd Bass

Margaret demonstrates the low point in Victorian-era Women's athletics, the wildly unpopular, Single-handed Trunk Drag.

I was watching Bram Stoker’s Dracula when I started writing this the other day and I realized, the first five minutes of  that movie are totally metal.

So Happy New Year, y’all.  I realize it’s a little late to do resolutions and wrap-ups (or so says John), but I wasn’t aware of any rules or time limits banning the writing of New Year’s resolutions after January 1st.  I figure, as long as I get something out by the end of January, we’re good.

First, let’s recap the major events of 2009…

-continued basking in the crappy, coming-out aftermath with my parents.

-CAME OUT AT WORK!!!  Seriously, in retrospect, this almost seems like a non-event, but, let me assure you, it was definitely an event.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget the megaWatts of energy expended in sweating worry, HR meetings, legal wrasslin’, and amazing letter writing before the big day, but it was all totally worth it.  It’s hard to believe I’ve been full time for 8 months now.

drove out see my father in Iowa for July 4th weekend, had a great time.  Also saw the mighty Sunn O)) in the mighty Big O.

-finally realized my cat might be trying to kill me.

-spoke at work conferences in both Washington D.C. and Mobile, AL…I should prolly tell those stories at some point.

-renewed my nuptial vows with my first love, Cheese.

-read some books.

went back to graduate school, got an A.

-battled King Ghidorah with Godzilla on Japan’s mysterious Monster Island.

tried internet dating and won.

-made up with my mother and she and my aunt came out to visit.

-had an unplanned gall bladder-ectomy.

-crowned Queen of Donkey Kong.

-won a caption writing contest and got my first professional writing rejection.

Holy wow, that was quite a year, hunh?!  I’ve read how some other bloggers didn’t particularly care for our old friend, 2009, but I thought it was pretty great.  I think my choice to (and following through with) transition helped a lot and waking up from the eight-year long nightmare of the Bush/Cheney regime seemed to lighten up the place considerably.

This is getting long, so let’s take a cheese break and meet back at the next, thrilling New Year’s installment, Viva la Resolutions!

Mood: Feh and meh
Music: Die Blaue Reiter-Victoria

Well, it’s not like I’m getting a lot of work done.  I got home at about 8 last night after driving most of the day and falling asleep on the couch minutes after walking in the door was the best I could manage.  I still have the sleep/vaca hangover and it’s been hard to get back into my work routine.  So I might as well blog.

Let’s start at the beginning…so, I had the worst time trying to get out of town.  I had scheduled electrolysis for my last day in town, a.k.a. Thursday.  I left work early to run some errands before the appointment.  I needed to refill my monthly prescriptions, but didn’t have any refills left.  I also wanted to change my name with both my doctor’s office and pharmacy.  Well, that turned out to be a 1.5 hour ordeal.  I had also planned to get my oil changed before electrolysis.  It had been a while since my last oil change and I had a long road trip ahead of me.  Long story short, I didn’t get my oil changed and was 15 minutes late to electrolysis.

The revised, post-electrolysis plan was to pack that night and get an oil change first thing in the morning (around 8 am).  Somehow, I kind of just fell asleep during packing my clothes and didn’t leave the house until after 10 am…I even unpacked at one point! I got my oil changed (at my new favorite, because they were so nice and fast,  oil change place) and was on the road by 11.  So, really bad start and I was beginning to doubt if I should go at all what with all the bad omens.

After leaving town, things improved considerably…right up until I got a fucking $175 speeding ticket in godforsaken Nebraska for going 91 mph in a 75 mph zone! Thankfully, I had slowed from a little over 100 (I even hit 120 once).

So, I hate cops.  Really.  I realize that police are a necessary evil and that such a statement is juvenile and that I should probably just be nicer and grow up and vote and pay taxes, but still.  And the one that stopped me didn’t do anything to make me feel better about the police.  He had all kinds of crazy crap to say, “Do you know why I stopped you?  Were you using cruise control?  Didn’t your little radar detector go off?  What do you do for a living?  You seem surprised that you’re getting a ticket.” and on and on.  I’m not opposed to speeding tickets, but the thing that kills me about cops is that they always want to play amateur detective and moralist with you.  I’m an adult.  I own a fast car with superior handling.  I am a skilled driver and I don’t drive recklessly.  If I have an accident in the middle of nowhere/Nebraska, I’m only going to hurt myself.  Just give me the ticket and let me get on with my life.  The cop that stopped me was one of at least 30 that I saw that day in Nebraska.  I never saw or heard from one state patrol car in Iowa.  The fact is, Nebraska is strapped for cash and they used the holiday weekend to raise money on the backs of nicer people that live in sexier states.

The drive was kind of nice.  I usually burn a lot of worry calories over-analyzing my presentation and voice.  I barely thought about any of that while driving, getting gas, or stopping for bathroom breaks…which was a nice vacation in and of itself.

Anyway, billions and billions of incident-free hours later, I pulled into Dad’s driveway.    He opened up the garage for me and let out a quick chuckle of disbelief.  He said something about how I wasn’t joking around and then gave me a big hug and said that I looked nice…Awwwww 🙂 !  I followed him inside and we got down to watching some TV and talking about nothing important.  I took a long while for my stepmother to come down and I was kind of worried about her reaction.  We’ve never been close and have had disagreements in the past.  She greeted and hugged me warmly and we never had a problem.  She said I looked just like my sister, which I’ve heard before, but is hard for me to see.  After that, we all went upstairs for some drinking and more talking.  I don’t think we talked about anything too serious that night, but it was nice to just hang out with them.

The next morning, we went to the farmer’s market downtown.  I took a long time to get ready (thankfully my stepmother took a little bit longer).  I asked my stepmother’s advice on makeup (Should I wear foundation?  Can you see my mustache?  Does this lip gloss make me look like a woman who sells herself, cheaply?) and what I should wear.  We finally got down to the market and walked around for a while before breakfast.  I was pretty nervous at this point and I was sure everyone was looking at me.  They might have been, but it wasn’t in a mean way.  Regardless, it’s hard to move past that feeling.  Someone might look at you because you’re just odd looking, or a tall woman, or because they like what you’re wearing.  It doesn’t always have to mean that they figured out that you’re trans.  Still though, I felt like I was sticking out and I think this is hard for non-trans people to understand.  Then again, it’s telling that my parents were not embarrassed to be seen with me and had a hard time understanding my discomfort.  Apparently,  I was able to cobble together some self-confidence and faith in my presentation and their behavior reflected that.  That’s a good lesson for all of us, little kittens.  Smiling, good posture, easy laughter, and lots of inappropriate winking are excellent substitutes for actual self-confidence.  Amway, I think a lot of us are,  initially at least, thinking about “sticking out” a lot of the time…and it sucks.  I think it gets better, but I doubt it ever goes away entirely.

It was kind of cold and rainy that morning, so we ducked inside a coffee shop for warm drinks and a respite from the rain.  I kind of felt like things were going too well and that we were being a bit too best-behavior-y, so I said…

Me: You know, you guys can ask me anything you want.  Honestly.  I have nothing to hide from you.

Dad: Is that your real hair?

Stepmom: Has transition been hard?

Me: Um, maybe we can save some of your questions for a time when we’re not sitting in the middle of  a crowded  coffee shop.

Dad bought some nice vegetables and cheese at the market.  He had planned on making steaks and I got the idea to make a summerific tomato, cucumber, and red onion salad.  I wanted to find some heirloom tomatoes for the salad but I had a hard time explaining them to my Dad.

Me: Oooh, we should get some heirloom tomatoes for the salad.

Dad:  What kind of tomatoes?

Me: Heirloom.

Dad: Never heard of ’em.

Me:  Oh, they’re really good.

Dad: Hair room?

Me: No Dad, heir-loom…like passed down from your grandparents.

Dad:  Oh, right!  Nope, still nothing.  What do they taste like?

Me:  Well, you know, tomatoe-y.  They’re just different, older varieties.

Dad: *blank stare*

Me:  Would you just buy these for me?

So, lovely hairroom tomatoes in hand, we took our leave of the market.  Dad and Stepmom drove me on a little tour around the downtown.  I lived there for a couple of years before joining the Army and it’s grown up a lot since.   For instance, downtown used to be a graveyard after 5 pm and now they have lofts and nightlife.  I had a brief moving back fantasy, but, thankfully,  I remembered that I hate Iowa’s weather and lack of culture and jobs.  Still though, living in the same city as your family can be nice.  Why don’t we all just move to Portland?

OMG, this is out-of-control long, so I’m going to wrap it up for now.  Tune in next time for fun with pronouns, shocking confessions, stepmother/stepdaughter bonding, boutique hotels, Home Alone XVI:  We Forgot the Cat!, me and my tarot, and the closest we’re going to get to a Disaster Area concert.

Mood: Monday, y’all
Music: Spacemen 3-Feel So Good

I really like the band, Sunn O))) and have been wanting to see them for years.  But, since they’re snooty metal art hounds, they only seem to play in hip, sexy cities like…New York City!  Tokyo!  Tel Aviv!  Paris! I always figured it would be a long time/never before a trip to one of those sexy cities and a Sunn O))) show aligned.  So, I was shocked and delighted to see that they had deigned to play some shows in the lowly Midwest and in a city that’s sort of close to me and to my heart…Omaha, Nebraska!

Once I saw that, I planned out a mini vaca in a matter of hours.  My father lives in Des Moines, IA (which is like three hours from Omaha) so I decided to make the drive out to see him then swing back to the Big O for the concert on Monday.  I’ll leave the Friday after next and drive all day to Des Moines.  We’ll hang out and celebrate America’s birthday, then I’ll drive to Omaha for the show and stay overnight Monday.

This prolly isn’t a great time for a vacation, but whatever.  It’s been a long time since I did anything fun for myself and it will be really great to see my Dad and the band.  This is the first time that my Dad will have seen me since transition, so it’s going to be kind of weird at first and I’m the nervous.  But, I’m sure that will pass minutes after I get there.  I’m so happy and together these days, it’s hard for people to not be charmed to death by my…happiness, togetherness, and death-inducing charm.  And bless his little heart, Pops seems really excited and is already making plans for our time.  I’m excited too.  I haven’t seen him in a couple of years and he’s been really supportive of my transition.

I haven’t written much about my parents and their reaction to the news of my transition.  The short version is that my father has been very sweet and has really been trying to make an effort to accept the new me.  Mom is…incommunicado.  We spoke at Christmas and I have received, maybe two, terse emails from her.  And I’m not sure why she’s had that reaction.  She isn’t extremely religious and is fairly liberal, politically.  So…what’s motivating this?  Maybe she feels like she failed as a parent?  Whatever, it’s all pointless speculation until she actually tells me what’s going on.  Lord knows when that will be and I’m not sure what I can do to improve our relationship in the meantime.  So, I’m very much looking forward to renewing my relationship with at least one of my parents.

K, back on topic…so, Sunn O)))…

…is kind of hard to describe.  They’re basically doom metal slowed down to the point of ambient, diaphragm-crushing abstraction.  The reason I want to see them so badly is because their shows are more like a physical, rather than musical experience.  They usually perform in black robes and pack a smaller venue with dry ice smoke, a single light source and many gigantic bass cabinet guitar amplifiers.  I think the result is like swimming at the bottom of a very deep, frozen lake and witnessing an ancient summoning ritual.  Or, kind of like…

So, I’m excited (and frightened) but it should be an unforgettable experience and a very interesting way to end Summa Vaca ’09.

Mood: I feel nice, like a warm blanket and a cup pf hot cocoa on a cold night.
Music: Part G-DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist

I just had to post this.  My Dad and I have been emailing each other a lot lately.  Today he sent me a short note with the subject “general election” and these words at the top…


Yes, my father composes his emails entirely in  capital letters and he writes in sentence fragments.  I fucking hate what Bush and his friends have done to this country, so I unloaded on dear old Dad with both barrels.  To wit…

Umm, I going to have to totally disagree with you about McCain/Palin Dad.  John McCain may have been a maverick at one time eight years ago, but he’s since become a Republican lap dog.  He’s as in the pocket of Big Oil as Cheney or Bush.  Do you remember how fucking abysmal the last eight years have been, Dad?  Remember how the economy’s in the shitter and how high gas prices are, how we’re in the middle of a totally unnecessary war that Bush and his buddies invented the need for that’s costing us about 12 BILLION DOLLARS PER MONTH, how this group of Republicans has managed to spend more than any other Democrat in the history of the US, how most of the world hates us now, and how this President has totally fucking failed to dismantle Al Quaeda or find Osama Bin Laden (remember, the reason we went to war in the first place?)?

John McCain is not going to change our country’s course one bit.  He’s too old doesn’t have the energy or strength of character to put any of his “maverick” ideals into action.  Yes, Palin is an alright looking woman but she is a corrupt and vacuous person who’s only government experience is running a town of under 10,000 and a year of running the least populous state in the union.  Plus, she’s a fucking Pentecostal…you know, they’re the ones that handle snakes and speak in tongues.  If McCain kicks the bucket during his presidency (which is likely), she’s going to make Bush’s marriage of church and state seem like the Spanish goddamned Inquisition.  Aren’t you tired of these religious nut jobs running things and telling you what to believe?  If you don’t mind watching as the US goes completely off the rails and if you want to see Jeanie’s son get killed in Iraq, in other words, if you really hate America, then yes, by all means, vote for McCain.

I think Obama is the next JFK.  He seems like the kind of guy that has the intelligence, strength of character, and leadership it will take to pull us out of the sinkhole that Bush has left us in.  I don’t know what you’ve heard, but Obama is not a Muslim extremist…he’s not even a Muslim.  I think Obama will enable the US to become a leader in alternative fuel systems (and not that E85 bullshit corn crutch) which will have the entire world at our doorstep again.  It’s likely he’ll end the war and use that money to fund our economic recovery and science/technology research, not raise taxes.  This country needs some serious change or we’re going to be watching its final act.  Obama is the only candidate I have seen since Clinton (and he’s better than Clinton) that can make real change happen…and he’s going to win.  You might as well get on the winning side now while there’s still time.  Tell your friends!

Ok, I’m done ranting now…that’s a long enough email.  Keep writing and if you have a decent pro-McCain argument, I’ll listen.

Do you think I was too hard on him?  I sort of regret it, but he’s a big boy and I’m sure he can handle it.  He should have known (and prolly does now) that I will not stand for such idle political chatter.  Stakes is high, y’all.

In other news, I finally managed to shoot the first three video logs for YouTube.  Once I got everything set up, it was pretty easy and kind of fun.  I still need to edit them and figure out some sort of funny intro, but they’re close to being done.

an introduction

Hi, I'm Anna and I love cheese!

This blog is a chronicle of my life and a catalog of happy ephemera. The About page has a little bit more information, but, remember, none of this is really's just a supplement, a thumbnail sketch, a mostly anonymous Intarwebs placeholder. I'm way better/less wordy in person. :-)

Oh, and if I wrote something about you and you thought it was mean or hurtful, I'm sorry. It's how I felt at the time, but probably isn't how I feel now. Chances are, I love you and I think you're awesome.


All content on Blog, Sweet Blog is copyrighted by me, Anna Hell. Unless otherwise noted, all photos, words, and content on this site are mine, created by me, and should not be used without my permission (or at least attributed and linked back). I try to embed links or quote original source material if I use another person's work.

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January 2022