Electrolysis Trip #2 – Day 2 and 3

Another late post, but life is going at a million miles an hour. Then again Day 2 and 3 were remarkably quiet.

The biggest thing of course was a combined 10 hours of electrolysis I got. I sat as two wonderful people worked on my face at the same time for five hours. They got a large chunk of my face done. This included all around my mouth, almost to my chin and all the way up the left side of my face. Even now, two weeks later, I have a lot of smooth skin, especially above the lips (the important spot).

I had planned on going out later that night, but you can see from the pictures that I was feeling rough, I definitely wasn’t feeling feminine and we hid out for the entire day eating grocery store food and door dash Mexican food. It wasn’t a bad night.

The next day was a little better. I woke up feeling ugly duckling, but decided fuck it and I would dress up anyways. I got some looks from the locals, but no one had the cajones to say anything so we remained where we were, ate La Quinta breakfast and then turned in our room key (btw the Tempe LQ SUCKS, it was dirty, loud and at no time did we feel safe).

We then went and saw Charlie’s Angels. I enjoyed the movie thoroughly, albeit I admit it wasn’t “good cinema”. After that we went to Del Agave in Scottsdale and had a wonderful meal. The server/bartender Daniel was a great guy, I felt safe (probably the safest place I had felt in Arizona) and told us what to order that was the best, and he was right (and it wasn’t the most expensive dish).

 

Hubby was happy for real food

We had an encounter after the meal though, walking to our car a guy was walking his two kids. He spotted us and loudly proclaimed the following:

Dad: So kids, who are we voting for in 2020?
Kids: Donald Trump!!!

Yep, the asshole said it as an intimidation factor because he saw I was transgender. I thought momentarily about going over there and handling it verbally, but he had kids and I was feeling fairly vulnerable after the electrolysis, but I decided not to. I thought the hubby was going to kill him though, that is why I love the man.

I was surprised when we boarded the plane that a very conservative lady (with a church group) told her husband to let “her” through so “she” can get her stuff and she smiled at me. I cannot even explain how nice it was to have someone validate me, especially someone who looked fairly conservative, after the Trump asshole. It put me in a better mood.

We then got back to the airport, waiting around for a few hours and flew home. I always forget how much I miss it here until I land in the Pacific Northwest

Electrolysis Trip #2 – Day 1

This post is a little late, but last weekend we went down to Phoenix for 10 hours of electrolysis. The overall judgment is that it is always worth it, but it was really rough. I will break this up so you don’t get a wall of text, so lets cover the first night, Friday November 15, 2019.

The first thing that happened the week before was growing out my facial hair. I haven’t done it since August and it really set my dysphoria off. It was enough that I don’t think I could do it just for 90 minutes of electrolysis, the 10 hours is something I would go through this for though. I just can’t do short visits because I would have to keep my beard long indefinitely, and I can’t do this week after week.

2 days before electrolysis

The morning of the trip was awesome and stressful at the same time. I fell asleep around 10pm and was promptly awake by 1am, but I didn’t feel too tired because I knew we had to be up at 3:30 anyways, so I stayed up and played some video games (Judgment) and headed out very early when my hubby woke up.

Hubby is not happy.

 

Arrival at SEA-TAC with Pre-Check was worth the money for five years of coverage. We got through the system in a record time, and I didn’t even get wanded by the guard, although my bag got “randomly selected”… so no wand for me, but the poor bag wasn’t so Lucky.

Waiting at the airport was a little stressful though. It was the first time I had to grow a beard in three months and I just wanted to hide. Eventually I had to visit the boys bathroom for the first time in 7 months since I was way too masculine looking for the women’s without risking assholes, so the hubby and I both went in to the boys bathroom together, where I took a picture of how I looked.

I didn’t get looked at much, which was great with me, but surprisingly the boys bathroom was a lot more alien to me then I remembered. Not sure what the difference was, except it was quiet even though there were several guys in there. I never imagined missing warm bathrooms with voices. Weird isn’t it.

We arrived in Phoenix with little problems, although the steward was nice and gave me a hard time for “being in a band”. However when we talked (he was obviously flaming) and I told him I am trans, I showed him before and after  and he was floored (as was the other steward). He had a lot of questions, he thought it was funny a lot of people ask him about transgender people, and he would always explain “How the fuck do I know?”

We then landed in Phoenix, dirty, browns and browns, it is not something I would like to live at for the beauty of the landscape. We sat in first class as this other man in first class started taking everyone’s pillows and blankets and stuffing them inside his suitcase… WTF… We then got ourselves a fancy rental car… even had its own AC/heater temperature for each side…

We then checked in to a different then normal La Quinta… and that was its own brand of hell, but at least on Friday night it just seemed a little bit dirty and worn down. From there we got sandwiches at AZ Sandwich CO and hid out all night waiting for my 8am appointment. We watched videos, trying to use Hulu to stream, but that was limited results. Eventually we logged into Youtube and watched videos until we both passed out for our first day.

Sometimes good shows up

I post a lot of stuff that is a little more negative about transition. Today however I have some beautiful stuff to talk about.

I had been out auditing an agency and when I wrapped up I drove the 45 minutes back to town. On my way back I decided I wanted a Costco hot dog, and that is what I thought about the whole time.

I got to Costco and went through my Costco hot dog purchase. The lady behind the counter was super sweet. She called me sweetie like five times and it was a good experience.

I walked back to my car with the hot dog, excited by the bad for you goodness I got to eat when I sat down (it was too packed in Costco dining area).

That is when tragedy struck me…

There was much sadness and gnashing of teeth. I was going to go back to the office and cry when I decided I could afford a second hot dog.

I went back to Costco, walked in and went to pay for another hotdog. All the ladies in Costco food were calling me sweetie, asking how my day was, etc. it helped me some

When I was getting rung up I handed my cash and I mentioned I had to come back because I dropped my hot dog. All of a sudden she stopped and pushed my money away. A second lady was shaking her head and saying “Honey, no money from you, we can give you a new one”. Then they all started yelling don’t pay for it, just take it.

The girl who sold me the original hot dog was screaming from the dishwasher area in the back to give me a free hot dog as well.

I asked them like 12 times if they were sure, they wouldn’t take any money at all. That single unasked concern for me reassured me and made me feel better than I had in days.

I can’t express the good it did for me, except I needed to share it.

Thank you Costco workers for being you!!!

Bathroom Encounter

Gather around for a story of someone who is a royal fuck and why women talking in a bathroom still weirds me out. As a side note, this doesn’t happen in men’s bathrooms. There is an unspoken rule that you do not talk to each other, so it has been an experience learning that women do this differently.

It all started at work, for the most part I have good luck in the bathroom. Most women I see at work don’t hesitate with me being in the bathroom, but sometimes all the stalls can be empty, they walk in, see me and walk back out. It hurts but it is what it is.

Shitty things happen, and this time I am sitting in the stall at work, minding my own business. Someone else comes in and sits in the stall next to me. They just start chatting to me like they know me. We have two actual bathrooms side by side and both are women’s bathroom. I figure their friend probably was in the other one and she hadn’t realized it wasn’t her friend sitting in my stall.

I don’t know her voice but we have a lot of people in that department and I suspect she is across the hall. She then says “Don’t you hate they let guys in here”. Straight out says that to me.

It kind of shocked me for a moment since I know that I have to be that “guy”. Everything sort of froze for me and I went into automatic mode. A childhood full of stressful situations that have left me with PTSD, but also the ability to respond immediately to the situation.

My Bradley wit did overcome and I said “I know… guys shouldn’t be in here.” With my still masculine voice. I am fairly sure I had a bite to my word, one of those ‘wrong stall biatch’ and I could tell I had scored a pretty good hit.

I think she might have had a stroke at that moment as she went silent. You could hear a pin drop. It was that bizarre silence that is just momentary, but loud in its lack of sound. All of a sudden a scattered sound of cleaning up and then she whipped out of that bathroom like a roach scurrying away. I didn’t even catch a glimpse of her when I was finishing up, she was just gone.

At first I thought maybe it was a mean girl thing and she was saying it like that to fuck with me. Some people I grew up with would have approached it that way, a casual “oops I didn’t realize that was you”, but I think her bailing out so quick shows she did think I was someone else.There isn’t anyone else in my department that would have the nerve to do that kind of thing, so the more I think, I definitely believe she just made a mistake.

I was amused for a little while at work, then mad, then I just wanted to crawl home and hide.

I know I shouldn’t care, but it did bug me. I still think about it a few days later. I realize this is my future, and while it sucks, it is still much better than how I felt before I transitioned.

Odysea in the Desert

DATE DAY:
Where: Odysea In The Desert
Links: Odysea Aquarium, Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs, Four Peaks Mining Co, Pangaea Dinosaur Grill, Arizona Territory Trading Post
Date: April 25, 2019.

We decided to go out and have a good time the day before my surgery. We wanted to spend a little time having fun before I was knocked out of action for some time. The morning of our date we had some La Quinta breakfast, including the waffles we like so much (yes I am white trash).

We had noticed last time we were in Scottsdale that they were advertising a large aquarium. Being from Seattle and the Ocean we were a little skeptical, but also interested. We decided to go whole hog, treat it like a tourist destination and do everything.

We got there pretty early in the morning and found the aquarium was indeed open. We bought our tickets and on a whim bought other tickets for Pangaea for when we were done. Going into the aquarium I found it was really nice. Things were organized fairly well, and they had a lot of hands on exhibits. There were two specifically that I liked a lot.

The first thing we came across was the Sturgeon Cove where we got to pet the sturgeon as they swum by. It was interesting, and they tolerated it, but they didn’t seem to seek it out too much

This was just a lead up to my absolute favorite part of the day. The stingray tank. There is a large tank/pool that you can walk up to. Many stingrays are swimming in it, and when they see you they come rushing to you. You can pet them and give them attention and they will get pushy with each other to get our attention. It was pretty fantastic feeling the smoothness of them.

They hubby and I wandered around the rest of the aquarium, it was interesting, they had some nice displays. Unfortunately a lot of the tanks of fish I had already seen here in the PNW, but it really isn’t a bad aquarium, especially if you are living down there.

We then moved on to Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs, and found that was an incredibly large disappointment. I have been to other dinosaur exhibits and I was prepared that it would be lackluster, but this was just sad sad sad. It was more of a childcare exhibit, which is totally fine. However, they don’t make it clear what it is and that is on me for going to it anyways.

We lasted about 7 minutes in the exhibits, decided to bail and ended up getting bad photobooth photos before having lunch at the Pangaea Dinosaur Grill. I have to say the Gyro and Greek Fries was an awesome meal and it mollified me for the Pangaea Exhibit.

We wrapped up our visit with a trip to the Arizona Trading Company and picked up expensive tourist knicknacks for our friends, but while it was expensive it is still cheaper than the airport. Our final visit was the Four Peaks Mining Co, where I picked up cheesy bracelet and hubby picked up a fossil. Overpriced, but was still a lot of fun.

Overall, this day went really well, it ended with my pre-op surgery, which I will cover in my surgical post. The only sad part of the day is most of my photos did not work out, the iPhone couldn’t handle the speed of the fish or the dark, but I will get a better camera at some point.

Persian Sabzi Polo (rice dish)

Just finished cooking

Type: Side Dish (rice)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen fava beans
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Kalbi Pork, Sabzi Polo and Garlic Bread

Instructions:

  1. Rinse rice under tap water.
  2. Prepare parsley and dill by chopping them finely
  3. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil (not part of the ingredients above).
  4. Once boiling, put rice into water and boil until rice rises to the surface of the water.
  5. Drain rice of water, then thoroughly stir in oil and the 1/2 cup water from above.
  6. Add parsley, dill, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
  7. Place rice back on stove, cook over medium for 4-5 minutes
  8. Cover and simmer rice on low for another 40 minutes.
  9. Eat as much rice as you can. It is optional if you want to have a meat side dish, or just enjoy the tasty tasty rice.

Per Wikipedia: Sabzi polo (Persian: سبزی پلو‎‎) is an Iranian (Persian) dish of rice and chopped herbs, usually served with fish. In Persian, sabz means green, and sabzi can refer to herbs or vegetables. Polo is a style of cooked rice, known in English as pilaf.

The herbs used in sabzi polo vary, but typically include coriander, dill, chives or scallions, fenugreek, and parsley. It can be done from both, fresh and dried herbs.

Iranians traditionally eat sabzi polo with māhi sefid (“white fish”), the Caspian kutum, for lunch on Nowruz, the Iranian new year, with their family and relatives.

Peanut Butter Bar

Peanut Butter Bar

Type: Cookies & Bars
Prep time:  15 mins
Cook time:  35 mins
Total time:  50 mins
Serves: 12 pieces at least
Results: The hubby really liked this recipe. The peanut butter taste isn’t overwhelming and it isn’t too sweet. We did not make the frosting, it would be pretty sweet and without it was tasty enough!

INGREDIENTS

yep, lazy with less pictures this time.

BAR

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 16 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1.5 cup peanut butter (I used both because that is what we had)
  • 1.5 cup granulated sugar
  • .5 cup golden brown sugar, packed
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbs vanilla
  • 4 eggs at room tempurature
  • 2 Cups flour, sifted

BAR DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray coat the pan.
  2. Melt butter and peanut butter together then set aside to cool.
  3. Sift sugars and salt.
  4. Whisk in one egg at a time until combined.
  5. Add vanilla.
  6. Whisk in peanut butter mixture until combined.
  7. Sift in flour and mix until flour just disappears.
  8. Pour into prepared pan and bake (about 35 minutes).

Icing

  • 1 C confectioner’s sugar
  • .25 cup peanut butter, melted
  • Milk (based on your thickness preference).

Once bars have cooled, flip out onto a cooling rack fitted into a cookie sheet (to catch the icing).  Mix icing ingredients togther until of desired consistency.  Drizzle over bars.  Let icing set up and cut.

Oatmeal Pie

OATMEAL PIE 

Type: Dessert (Pie)
Prep time:  15 mins
Cook time:  40 mins
Total time:  55 mins
Serves: However many you want (6-8 is what seems reasonable).
Results: Pretty good, this initial recipe is a bit sweet for me but I really like it. I will attempt less sugar next time (not dark corn syrup, that is important) and update this recipe as I go.
Yep, lazy on the crust today.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3/4 stick (6 tbs) butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup regular oats
  • 1 unbaked, frozen 9-inch pie crust (I got really lazy here)
INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 325 and place unbaked, frozen pie shell on baking sheet.

2. Cream sugar and butter.

3. Mix in eggs, corn syrup, and vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl.

4. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in oats.

5. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake at 325 for 45 minutes or until crust is brown and center is just a bit jiggly.

6. Enjoy fully by eating it!

Old School Oatmeal Cookies

Old School Oatmeal Cookies

oatmeal cookies
Fresh baked oatmeal cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c. shortening, soft
  • 1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 c. oats, uncooked

Instructions:

  • oatmealcookies2
    Perhaps a little overdone

    Combine in a mixer the sugar, eggs, vanilla water and shortening together.

  • Add the flour, soda and salt in a separate bowl and stir together.
  • Cream the flour mixture into the sugar/shortening mixture.
  • Add oats into the mix.
  • Drop by the teaspoon onto greased cookie sheets (or in my case silicon baking mat).
  • Bake on preheated oven at 350 degrees for approximately 13 minutes (give or take based on taste).
  • Let sit for at least 5 minutes to cool down.
  • Enjoy

I think these are the best oatmeal cookies I have tasted in years.

Life Changes

Be still my beating heart, I am actually posting a typed entry along with a video :).

Things are undergoing some major changes, I have mentioned some but not very clearly. Today is my last day on the job as a State Auditor (tomorrow is my last official day, but I took a furlough day to take it off). I accepted a position with the County as a Senior Accounting Analyst. Its a lot of changes, but I think overall it is for the better. I start the County on October 8th (next Monday).

The biggest pros are money and travel. Currently as a State Auditor my pay is lower mid range for my profession, and I am almost capped out. The problem being is the state already has us under a 3% paycut due to the economy and no COLA (Cost of Living Allowance, increase for inflation) for the last four years. Supposedly this year we will get the 3% paycut back (no COLA still) but the state is short by almost a billion dollars again and we all know we wont get it back and in fact it may go up to a 5% paycut. This doesn’t include the fact that in the last four years my benefits out of pocket cost as quadrupled (yes four times) and the coverage has dropped so much its almost a why bother (but not quite).

Local and federal government (at least in Washington) pays more than state. My new job will start me above the max I can make with the office, the benefits are better and and cheaper. Both of these things alone are worth it. In addition I get my own cubicle, dear god how I look forward to that. I like moving around for the fact that if something goes bad I only have to deal with it for a few weeks. However, I am tired of working out of basements, electrical closets, no bathroom within five miles. Having my own space will be great.

Another reason I took the County job specifically is I have audited them three years in a row. I am familiar with the operation and the position I will be in. I will be directly across the table in conferences from where I hae been currently (meaning I am one of the people being directly audited). The people there are pretty damn cool as well. The Controller and the lead Analyst are both ex-State Auditors. The person I am replacing was also a State Auditor so they will understand that while I know how to audit fund balances and controls, I don’t have the other side experience. They are already prepping to get me training.

Oh, and  a side note, I have the same retirement. All local/state employees in Washington (except for three cities that have their own reitrement) use the same retirement, so I maintain my same retirement with no drop in contributions.

Another huge reason for the jump is travel. Right now I put 20+ thousand miles a year on my car for my job, depending on the audit. I spend up to 1.5-2 hours each way in travel (also depending on audit, probably at the moment closer to 1.5 or slightly less). I don’t get reimbursed fully due to state cuts and my work days end up being 11-12 hours for only an 8 hour job (that is the worst side, it can go down to a 9-10 hours normally). The County building is directly on the “Swift” route of buses. The Swift is a bus line that has something like 12 stops along its entire route (which spands from Everett down past my house in Lynnwood, approximately 15 miles). I live four blocks form a Swift stop, and the County is a Swift stop. It means that I can get on a bus, and 35 minutes later I will be at the County, not driving. 35-45 minutes is the absolute minimum drive for me with my new apartment so it matches up. Plus the County reimburses for the bus pass.

Another thing I hadn’t realized I wouldn’t  miss was lugging all my equipment. A overstuffed backpack with a laptop, and then a roller suitecase with printer, router, paper, manuals, and office supplies that i lug everday to whatever audit site I am on. Now I will just get my coat on, maybe bring a lunchbox and if I want to bring something I can use my own backpack, but I can mostly just walk on the bus with no luggage.

I have a lot of spite at the moment with the Auditor’s Office. I will probably post some on it later after I start my new job. Even with the spite though, I will miss some of my coworkers, and the ability to walk away after a few weeks. However, I have had problems in the office with supervisors so its not like I can walk away from that. So I guess I am wrong, its not so easy to get away from drama.

TL;DR: I am leaving the Auditor’s Office this week, this is my last actual working day. I start at the County as a Senior Accounting Analyst (basically a Fund analyst) on Monday for better pay, better benefits and my own actual cubicle :).

 

edit: I uploaded a quick video for those of you who don’t want to read. I am trying to do both video and post at same time. Oh and I didn’t prep for the video so my appearance not the best 🙂