Blog, Sweet Blog

Posts Tagged ‘work

Mood: Wubba wubba Wednesday
Music: Current 93-Red Hawthorne Tree


Sort of...in a way



Holy cats, you guys!  I’m actually writing a Blog, Sweet Blog post for its own sake and not just reposting mah tumblrs.  Don’t get me wrong, tumblr is my new spiritual home and the place I spend most of my time, but we’ve been through a lot, this blog and I, and I can’t stop loving it just because its not tumblr. Besides, this post is relevant to Blog, Sweet Blog‘s interests, which is why I’m posting it here first.

It’s my anniversaries!

I started this blog (well, posted first anyway) on April 23, 2008, or  2.0767 years ago, give or take. I can’t begin to tell you how important this blog has been to me.  It wasn’t ever about attracting readers or experimenting with practical narcissism (those came later).  I’ve always considered this blog to be a safe place for dumping the crazy, discussing whatever, and letting the air out of my head.  I’ll be getting to this in a minute, but it’s easy for me to forget how turbulent the first six months of HRT were for me.   I had just ended a three year long relationship with, until that point, the person I loved most in the world and I was in the middle of chemically altering my body and mind.  I felt unhinged most of the time and happysadangryhyperdepressedenergeticlazy the rest — but not in a bad way, if that makes sense; it felt right and weird.  Anyway, I don’t think I would have done as well if I hadn’t blogged and exercised.

My little blog, bless her, has changed with me.  I’ve struggled with moving from more of a personal/transition journal to an everything blog featuring my thoughts and creative work.  I’m still not sure of where I want to take it, but I  kind of like that it’s all over the place.

I started HRT on June 6th, 2008.  I had started some other transition processes before then (started seeing a therapist, my doctor), but I think it’s fair to call that date the start of my transition.  So, let’s see, that makes me 1.097 years old, in a way.  I won’t ever be celebrating my “new birthday” (the old one is just fine) but I do keep the date on my calendar.  Like I said above, a lot has happened since then (here are the big ones).  I think the process of transition is never ending, but I feel much closer to the end almost two years later.  There are still more physical changes to endure (bottom surgery, the neverfuckingending weekly electrolysis), but I feel like I might have finally graduated to late puberty, at least emotionally.

The last anniversary occurred 1.0548 years ago when I changed my name and started back to work as the real me, the girl named Anna.  Life has gotten kind of weird since then, but work has always felt like a safe place.  I’ve had better and worse days, but no one has ever made me feel uncomfortable or anything but loved and valued.  I know that my experience, sadly, is not the norm and I can’t fairly attribute the ease of my work transition to any more than luck…ok, maybe a little bit of preparation and moxy helped :-).

Still, I’ve struggled with my career choice.  I really don’t think I would have become an engineer if I would have transitioned earlier.  I’m not 100% sure I’ll stay an engineer until retirement, but I feel a lot better about it than I did a couple of months ago.  If I won the lottery or totally stopped caring about my current life, I’d move to New York or Paris and trade engineering to become a professional artist/bon vivant/salonnière/cultural maven/woman-about-town.  There aren’t any plans to move in the near future, but I’m working on my writing and art in the meantime, just in case.

So that’s it, you guys, happy anniversary/birthday to me and Blog, Sweet Blog!!!  I hope the following years are way easier/better than the last two.

Mood: not so good
Music: Grizzly Bear-Foreground


The caption said, "Sparkie says, 'Choose Safety.'" but we all know who started that fire, don't we?


*ed. we’ve had three more since I wrote this. wtff?

Coworker instant messaging excerpt with regards to the FIFTH building-evacuating fire alarm we’ve had this month….

it’s not that i don’t love the occasional, random fire alarm, i do. in moderation, they’re a nice opportunity to hang out in the parking lot, catch up with friends and peep you guys in those orange hats. but when we have one every other week, i kind of feel like i’m in that story with the wolves and the crying. they make me want to stay in my office to see if i catch on fire.

Also, I’ve had it up to here (points to high place) with all this winter and it’s snowing. again.   GUUUUHRRRRRRNNNNNNGGGGGGAAAARRRRGGHHH!!!


Mood: Sick Sick Sicks
Music: the menu music from the (500) Days of Summer DVD


[merci.jpg]

Fresh, hot wonderful from the blog, Early Bird Special




Hey guys,

I’m in one of those moods.  I’ve been home sick for the last two days and melancholy, saturnine, lugubrious, and wistful (mostly wistful) for the last 11,680 days…give or take…and super-all-those-adjectives since Friday.

John and I just finished watching (500) Days of Summer and it made me feel ways about things.  I thought it was an ok, not great, movie, but it was inspirational enough for me to be writing about it now in lieu of the post I had planned on the joys of needle craft and the online beauty and wonderment I have recently beheld.  Stay tuned for that.

So, these feelings I’m having are about my life and the way it’s going.  There was a pivotal scene in the movie where the young man decides he’s (spoiler alert) had enough of his dreary, greeting card writing lifestyle and decides to, once and for all and finally, give his dream of architechting architecture a go.  I know, it’s a pretty played-out plot device, but as I was watching, rolling my eyes, I wondered, what would happen if I stopped rolling my eyes for a minute and actually, really tried to follow my dreams?  What would happen if we all did that?

I don’t mean to say we should all quit our jobs, move to Portland, and start an indie love rock band, but what if we found a way to work really hard at the one thing that made us happy?

Why aren’t we doing that, right now?

What are we all afraid of?

Because that’s what it is.  It’s fear.  Fear of…something…is keeping us from opening up that amazing cupcake shop, or going to art school, or spending every single waking moment of every day listening to all the songs we want to hear with the  people we love most in the world.

I’m also not saying that we’re all Emily Dickinson and Georgia O’Keeffe superstars either; most of us are just Annas and Johns and Jennifers and Chris’s and we’re all waiting around for life’s surprise ending.

We may not change the world or get rich with our one passion, but I’ll bet you a breakfast burrito and everything I own that we each have the power to make at least one other person happier.  And if we can do that, then we have a good shot at making two, five, ten, maybe a hundred people happier, if only for a little while.  If you’re able to find a way to combine doing what you love and improving the way we all spend the time we have left, then you win.

I’ve talked a lot recently about how I’m small-stepping my way to these other dreams; but I’m still afraid.

I hate my job.

There, I said it.  I only say that because it’s not for me.  If I was passionate about engineering, every day would be amazing, fulfilling, and rewarding.  But I’m not and it isn’t.  I think I can find a way to limp through it, but I hate lies and that is not a long-term, lie-free solution.  I’m afraid of losing it and being without money and unloved and wholeheartedly committing to the one or two things I actually feel some passion for.  If I put my everything into doing what I love and failed, what would be the point of going on?  I guess the knowledge that I actually, really tried for once would help me pick myself up and learn how to be marginal at a job I didn’t care for.  Maybe that’s good enough?

I don’t know, but I think we all need to spend this year figuring out how to let go and be amazing.

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: 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!

https://i0.wp.com/cache.gawker.com/assets/images/commenter/430000/432825_300.jpg

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: 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: Somewhat productive
Music: Pixies-Bone Machine

So, as I posted yesterday, I had my first day back and it went really well.  Oh, you want some detail and amusing anecdotes?  Fine, but I feel like I should say…you’re very needy and a little bit too interested in my personal life.  Maybe we should talk about that some time.  Not in an intervention-y sort of way, just an earnest, “I’m here for you honey, do you want to talk about it” over coffee kind of thing.

Amway, I got up earlier than usual to get ready.  I wanted to have enough time to do my makeup and get dressed without feeling the rush stress.  I had picked out what I was going to wear the night before (which is like the best thing ever and something I’m going to try to do henceforth) and it was an excellent choice if I do say so myself…knee-length khaki pencil skirt, short sleeved red crinkly blouse with white polka dots, a black long-sleeve crewneck cardigan, and black leather flats.  I thought it looked nice and it seemed to be professional, kind of cute, and def’ly not embarassing.  Sometime around when I was doing my makeup, I started feeling the nervous.  After the 1100th time looking in the mirror to make sure I looked ok, I said goodbye to the cat and got in the car.

The drive to work was long, but kind of fun…I did a lot of singing in traffic to take my mind off of the morning.  I got to work about 20 minutes late (I know, don’t.even.say.it.) and sat in the parking lot for a few minutes.  I was already late so I didn’t want to waste a bunch of time on second-guessing and reconsidering.  Like I said, I’d kind of done most of the worrying already.  I was still nervous about walking in the door, but I wasn’t not going to walk in, you know?  So I did.  And there were a bunch of people in the hall holding up a big sign.  I thought, “oh noes, they’ve been waiting for me with a big stupid ‘welcome back’ sign and now they’re going to be so mad.”  Turns out, they were hanging signs and stuff for the big boss that was coming later in the afternoon.  Still, no one said anything…which was fine becuase I prolly would have thrown up right on them and that stupid tie they were wearing.  I hate that tie.  Why do guys think ties with cartoon animals on them are appropriate to wear out side of their own closet?

So, I got into my office without passing out and locked the door.  I had to take a moment to steady myself and put away my things.  Within ten minutes, my boss was knocking at the door to check in on me (which was really sweet and he’s been so awesome throughout this whole thing).  He asked if I was nervous (check) and told me not to be.  After that, I opened my door “for business” and started looking at my to-do list.  My computer login had changed to my new name (cool) but there was some kind of problem with the emails.

The email problem is still ongoing even though I spent most of the day with an IT guy sitting in my chair (don’t be nasty, I sat in the other chair).  And that was kind of cool.  Right from the start he told me that he admired my courage and thought the meeting went well.  And it was nice because I had to deal with him and other people the entire rest of the day.  I’m sure I would have wanted to hide out, but I was kind of forced to put myself out there.

I waitied a long time to use the restroom.  I don’t think I’ve discussed it much, but, even though I’ve been mostly living this way full time for a couple of months, I’ve avoided using the bathroom to a ridiculous degree.  And I can’t explain it.  I think I look alright and I certainly belong in the women’s restroom (or much moreso than in the men’s), but…it’s scary.  It’s like I don’t want to offend people or be weird or anything.  So, I waited and finally went when I absolutely could not hold it any longer.  And like everything else, it turned out to be no big deal.  I’ve been feeling super dried out for whatever reason, so I was drinking loads of water and had to pee a lot yesterday.  So, I feel better about it, but it’s still a little bit nerver-wracking.  I think I’ll feel better after when I actually see someone I know in there.  If you’re keeping score at home, the restrooms are much nicer.  I’m not going to give away all of our secrets, but there’s a couch and magazines.  The men’s room has…well, not magazines, that’s for sure.

I grow weary of this exercise, so I’m going cut to the expedient bulleted list method of exposition…

-It sounds cliche, but the security guy I got my new badge from thought I was trying to play a joke on him when I handed him my old badge.  I assured him I was not and he continued to be nice and friendly.

-I went out to lunch and got”ma’am’ed” all over the place.

-It seems like a lot of people were out of the office or incredibly busy yesterday.  So not everybody got to see me.

-I must have spent a total of two hours in 1 minute intervals worrying about how I look.  And that wasn’t fun because it was more of a worried rather than vain thing.

-I work with a lot of guys and none of them thought to comment on how I looked.  My one girl friend said something nice, but that was it.  That doesn’t really bother me, because I kind of know how guys are.  Either they were too afraid or didn’t think of it.  Regardless, it would have been nice to hear something like that from one of them.  I swear I will not file a sexual harrassment lawsuit for the occasional, “you look nice today.”

-The boss guy gave a speech for everyone on campus at the end of the day, but I was so tired that I barely heard anything he said.  Yesterday was exhausting, really.  That’s one thing they don’t tell you in the brochure.  I think it’ll get better, but I’m still pretty tired today.

-I gave a guy friend at work my blog’s address (hey you) and that is weird.  Ok, it’s weird having everyone know my biggest secret eva, but it’s weird to also have someone know my motivations and be a party to my every internet thought.  Still though, he seems like a good sort and it feels good to just be honest for reals.  I might give it to another person.

-I didn’t get a card or any flowers.  I was kind of upset about that but I kind of understand…I wasn’t in the hospital and I didn’t experience a death, or have a baby.  And everyone was really busy yesterday, so whatevs.

-A lot of times yesterday, I caught myself wanting to edit something I was going to say or do.  Like, I still had to hide or didn’t want my neighbor to hear me.  I was able to talk myself out of it, but I’ve been doing it for so long.

-I spoke to a couple of people out in the hall while they were waiting for the grande queso.  This one guy, who I like a lot and respect, told me how he was really proud of me and how courageous he thought I was.  I thanked him but told him that I didn’t feel all that courageous.  I think that’s what a lot of people don’t understand…it’s either do this or be doomed.  So, it didn’t seem like much of a choice to me.  Regardless, it was really sweet of him to say that and be so supportive.  He’s someone I’d like to get to know better.

-The day ended better than it began.  I drove home and talked to Becca then Kaylee before bed.  I was really tired but I had so much fun talking to both of them (we lol’d, hard).  That was the perfect way to end the day, thanks you guys.


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 me...it'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.

copyright

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.

Click the button thing below to have a delicious li'l slice o' Anna cake* delivered to your emails inbox whenever I write something new!

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