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Posts Tagged ‘electrolysis

Mood: Eh, you know
Music: TAD-Candi

Why can’t every blog post be about cheese?  Srsly…cheese…so great. So, hello again, Internets!  I’ve been crazy busy lately but I’ve been having the urges to keep you, my virtual friends, appraised of the happenings in mah life.

Let’s start with electrolysis.  If you’re scoring at home, I’ve now spent just over $4000 and 70 hours on facial hair-removal.  Like I said in the title, the woman that tortures me for money and I just celebrated our one-year electrolyversaryaganza.   We spent the day in the way we spend all of our days together–she stuck a needle into my face, turned on the heat, and pulled out hairs while I made awkward conversation, tried not to cry, and paid her for the privilege at the end.  Srsly tho, we are making progress.  My small talk is getting less and less awkward…jk.   Within the next month or so, I should be able to cut down on the length of my sessions.  My face seems a lot more clear than it had this summer and it seems like she’s able to get a lot done all over my face and neck.  So, that’s good.  I can’t imagine how much longer this will go on (forever still seems entirely reasonable), but it’s beginning to feel like less of a lifestyle and more like an occasional hobby…you know, like taxidermy…or designing evening gowns for kittehs.  Then again, I think I’ve repeated that sentiment so many times that it’s beginning to sound fresh and new again.  But I’m funny like that, hope and grim realism springs eternal.

Recently, my virtual friend, Jamie started electrolysis and I had a couple of thousand words of unsolicited advice for her.  I won’t bore you with most of it, but it can be boiled down to electrolysis sucks and since you’re going to be doing it for the next, too-long period of time, hang in there and try not to worry about how long it takes or what did or didn’t get done that week.  Also, try not to touch your face too much afterward…and drink plenty of fluids…and eat at least one apple per day…and treat yourself to ice cream every once in a while…and kittens are nice.

When I was writing the advice, I had to really think back to the beginning and how awful it was.  I’ve had some painful, voluntary “medical” experiences, but electrolysis ranks among the worst.  Until she completely cleared it the first time, I would shed the pain tears every time she touched my upper lip.  Now, it hardly hurts at all and the lip heals faster than the rest of my face.  I guess it’s easy to lose perspective when you’re fighting something every week, but hard work does pay off, kittens.  And at the end, I’m totally getting an electrolysis merit badge for all of this hard work.  OMG you guys, we should totally start the Trans-Scouts and have sashes with little badges for every milestone we complete…also, berets.

Mmm, what else?  I started back to graduate school, click here for some hot, grad school action.

Work has been nutso-majutso and busy and frustrating.  Not in a bad, permanent way, it’s just that sometimes I hate development and computers…which is super unfortunate since that’s 75% of what we do here on the farm.  When I’m really having problems with, say, compiling a program, I get to feel like my forehead reverts back to Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer sticky-outy-ness and I start to drool and make a low durrrrrrrrr sound under my breath.  Acio illustrative picture!

Sometimes when I get a message on my fax machine, I wonder: "Did little demons get inside and type it?" I don't know! My primitive mind can't grasp these concepts. But there is one thing I do know - when a man like my client slips and falls on a sidewalk in front of a public library, then he is entitled to no less than two million in compensatory damages, and two million in punitive damages.

And I curse a lot, out loud.  So, that’s been fun and it won’t be improving until I finish this project.

Other than failing at that project, work is going well and people seem to be happy with what I’m doing.  And in September, I get to go to Washington D.C. for work!!!!!  It will only be for three days, and I have to, you know, work and stuff, but I’ve never been and I’m just about to pass out from the excitement.  Full-color Lincoln Memorial souvenir photos and tiny American flags for everyone! I keep having these fantasies about how me and my co-worker are going to stay in sexy hotels and be wined and dined by Washington’s Beltway elite.  Perhaps we’ll become embroiled in some international intrigue or be taken on fabulous, exclusive tours of all the best Washington landmarks?  Maybe we’ll be invited over to the White House for some late-night drinking and CoD:4 deathmatching with the President, Shelly O., and Al Gore?  Even if none of that comes true, I’m sure I’ll still have a good time.  And our hotel is dead sexy!

Two college classmates work at the USPTO in D.C., so I’m going to try and see one of them while I’m in town.  I sent him an email (the coming-out kind) a couple of weeks ago when I found out I was going.  After a few missed calls, we spoke on the phone.  The first thing he said was, “So, are you using some kind of electronic voice box?”  I laughed because it was kind of flattering and because he’s always been the type to ask the questions that no one else would think to ask, e.g. Hey guys, I think it’s time my girlfriend and I had anal sex.  How can I talk her into it? It was sweet and charming, in an invasive, off-putting way.  Still though, it’ll be nice to catch up with him and did I mention I’m super excited about getting to go to D.C.?

Finally, kittens, things may be improving on the Mom-acceptance front.  A couple of weeks ago, she sent me an email asking about how one would go about watching my YouTube videos.  They weren’t loading for her or something, so she wanted some help.  She also said that she really missed my sister and I and that she was trying to get used to “the new me.”  I kind of bristled at that.  I’ve talked before about whether the “but I’m still the same person” defense is valid or not.  After some consideration, I decided that I am pretty different.  I mean, I don’t think my core sensibility has changed, but I don’t think someone would figure that out if they hadn’t spent a lot of time with “the new me.”  Anyway, it makes me happy that I might be able to have a positive relationship with her again some day.  In her email, it kind of sounded like she wanted to come out and  see us.  I would love it if that happened.

Enough already!  I had better post this before someone else sends me a thoughtfully concerned email.

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: Rock*A*Teens-What Took You So Long
Music: East River Pipe-So Much Hate

I’m having one of those Friday nights. Oh, who am I kidding? This is my stock Friday night. Leave work late, eat dinner, do nothing, try not to think about it too much, then call it a night until electrolysis tomorrow. And I hate it. The house is too quiet, my thoughts are too loud, and I keep listening to the same four songs.

What Took You So Long by Rock*A*Teens

So Much Hate by East River Pipe

You’re a Bigger Jerk Than Me by The Karl Hendricks Rock Band

Up With People (live) by Lambchop

No, they’re not happy songs, but they’re not depressing either…more somber and introspective…like me, tonight.  So, is there any problem Up With People can’t solve?  Is there a whiskey-soaked, 2 AM insight that that song can’t provide, every time?  I don’t believe there is.  Every time that song comes on, it’s a light breeze on a summer’s nap, slow motion Roman candles, that second drink, and floating on your back in the lake after a sauna, staring at the stars.   Up With People will bail you out of jail, any time, no questions asked.

You’re going to have to excuse this next part.  I’m not feeling that great.

So, people are bullshit.  If you’re able to glean one lesson from what I write, let it be this:  you’re going to die someday and you will die alone.  You can arrange a lifetime’s worth of friends and family around your soon-to-be-lifeless corpse, but nothing can change the fact that you’re going to take those last few steps alone.  So, you might as well make a peace with solitude.  I have.  I don’t like it but I don’t have any other choice right now.  I’m letters away from an unhinged, nightmare epic of self-pity and recrimination, so let’s just say that I feel like I’ve been trying to truly connect with people and, so far, it doesn’t seem to be working.  I’m still hopeful that it’ll work out and that I’ll find my niche, but what do I do until then?

And that was my Friday.  How was yours?

Mood: Like somebody’s got a case of the Mondays
Music: Misfits-Night of the Living Dead

I figured it’s been long enough since you read about my feelings, so a little recap is in order.  The short version (but we all know you come here for the long stuff) is that everything is still going well.  I had some first day jitters again on Monday, but the rest of the week was much better.

Wednesday, I had two meetings, which was a first since I’ve been back.  The first meeting was for an awards committee I volunteered for.  The committee was made up of people from outside my division.  Three of them were from other divisions and the last was from one of the other organizations here on campus.  So, the people from the other divisions had presumably been to the meeting and heard all about me.  The guy from the other organization had no idea, so it was an interesting experience.  And there were only five of us, so I had to like, speak up and offer my opinions about who I thought should get this award. Later that day, I had my semi-weekly editorial review board meeting.  And that went well too.  On Friday, my boss came up to my office to check in on me and make awkward small talk.  He’s funny.  He always shuts the door so as to maximize privacy, but our walls are so thin, my neighbor can actually hear my hair growing.  So he’s not turning my office into a cone of silence, but I appreciate his discretion.

Outside of work…I still feel uncomfortable a lot of the time.  It’s like I need to try harder because I don’t know the outside people.  I still get out and run errands, but it’s nowhere near as easy as it was, say two years ago.  That’s getting better too, but I’d like to move on already.

I was still really tired during the day for most of the week.  I’m still thinking this is due to the stress of always being “on” and the low-level worry that goes with it.  My sister made a good point the other day when she said that the exhaustion could be a way for my body to reset itself from months of soul-crushing stress and worry.  I was able to get through Friday without violently falling asleep at my desk, but it was hard to stay up much later than The McLaughlin Group (omg I love that show).  So, I’m going to try and listen to what my body is yelling at me and take it easy for the next n days.

So far I’ve managed to get to work (but not on time), feed myself, and run a very few errands whilst looking presentable, but that’s it.  The house was a total sty by the end of the week, I still have about 132 more errands to run, and I couldn’t figure out a way or find the energy to exercise at all.  I’m still driving to work as getting it together enough to take the bus still seems, mathematically speaking, like a nontrivial problem.  So that’s the goal for the weeks to come…try to figure out how to manage the rest of my life without having to dump everything on Saturday.  My electrologist suggested that I should try to do one small thing (like vacuum) per night during the week after work.  I’m going to try doing that.  It actually upsets me when I let the house go and it usually means something is broken in my life.

So yeah, no more dumping on Saturdays.  I have electrolysis most every Saturday morning and, up until now, I had been playing Miss Mopeypantsfeelsorryforherselfallday, because, you know electrolysis is awful.  But that has kind of lost its luster of late.  The weather is getting to be the awesome and I’m looking less and less like a hamburger-faced freak afterwards, so maybe I should just buy myself an apology doughnut on Saturdays and get on with the rest of my life.  I have a four day weekend (neener, neener) this week and I’m going to try and have a good time with it.

In other news,

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

Mood: Ugh, Monday
Music: Swans-Beautiful Child

Wow, that Swans song came on and I’m always awed by their…majestic depravity?  If there was a band that could immanentize the eschaton or rouse dead Cthulhu from his dreaming  at R’lyeh, it would be them…or Current 93.

Anyway, as you can see by my cute, though odd counter-type thingy (which I originally introduced near the end of this post), I am getting pretty close to starting back to work (and thus beginning the rest of my life) as Anna.  It says 9 days, but Friday will be my last day here at work and the last time I try to present as male.

So yeah, I’m getting very close and I thought now would be a good time to talk about how I’m doing with all of this.   I hate to be all zen-like and drama-free, but I’m pretty much over it at this point.  I still have a constant, low-level anxiety and still think about it quite a bit, but I feel a lot better than I did.   I was almost out of my head with worry and anxiety when I came out to my first (and best) friend and my parents in late October.  Somehow, it got worse (high blood pressure, trouble sleeping) after I had decided on my schedule for going full-time and telling work.  I felt like passing out and like I was going to have a stroke-heart attack-seizure most of the time from right before I sent our HR person my packet on March 18th until I came out to my boss in our mid-year review meeting six days later.  As I said, even though I’m not 100%, I feel a lot better now and hope that the rest of the anxiety will drain off as I add more “since then” days to my counter.  And, believe it or not, I am really excited.  I’m scared and nervous too, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be great.

This is a good idea and the right decision for me, but it hasn’t been very easy.  I could still use about 2 hours of electrolysis every week, but I only go for 1.5 hours at most.  It’s a lot better now, but the facial hair on my upper lip is still visible on Fridays…everything else is invisible to the casual observer.   I’ve spent a ton of money on all of this…just over $4000 so far (over half of that on hair-removal alone) and plan to spend another $700-800 before I come back to work next week.  So, transition is like having another pet in the house that eats an extra $300-400 of food every month.  I think my electrolysis should taper off in the next few months, but I’ll need to spend some of that on buying clothes and building the rest of my life.  And let’s not even talk about saving for surgery…that is simply a bedtime fairy tale right now.  So honestly, I could have waited until I had more money or had gotten further along with hair removal, but you can wait your entire life for the right time.  I’ve done a lot of planning and waiting and I feel like now is a good time for me.

As per usual, here is a picture that I’d like to share with you….

Dr. Allison Mouser demonstrates her signature, though controversial, performance technique--butt synthesis.

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