The one voted most likely to die a spinster in a tumbledown house of cats and laptops.
Here is where I talk about trans stuff, mainly from a chipper disposition. Also, occasionally, I'll embarrass myself by pontificating on subjects I know nothing about or hitting "Publish" on a regrettable angry post, only because I'm no good at being angry through text.
The funniest thing is, Kara is not that sexual pre-N52.
She has certainly had her share of relationship, but most of them are minute occurrences...
To everyone that saw Iron Man 3.
“In regards to
my usage of the drug…
It modified my personality
To the extent that I was
I was like a…
Okay, Tumblr, sit down. You want some ice-cream? No? Okay. *twitch* Little weird, I mean… it’s ice cream, what’s the matter with you? Never mind. I think it’s time we had a talk about… feelings. No, there’s no need to be scared about the introduction of a new concept, it’s not really so new at all! I believe you kids call them “feels”.
Because it’s widely agreed that when you start chemically introducing surrogate ovaries into your body, you’ll experience a lot of… eyes… leaking… stuff. I’m always quick to point out that I was no stranger to crying before starting on the oestrogen, by the way. It was something that happened, I would say, with an above-average frequency for my supposed gender (disclaimer: basic stereotypes).
A friend used to say she was looking forward to the onset of “hormonal tears” which slightly irked me at the idea that I was a cold, emotionless shell at the time, but also because Hormonal Tears sounds like the name of a particularly bland indie rock band. Their new album, “Revved Up City” is out now.
There were times at work when I’d have to blink back tears for the gender attitudes of my colleagues which were, or appeared to be, just about crawling into the 19th century and the grim feeling of pointlessness at having to go through transition amongst them. I’m not sure how fair a statement that is though, I think other places at my employment level in my area wouldn’t have faired much better.
There was also that Google advert, where the woman designs and makes old-school satchels? That one got me. “Oh my god, she followed her dream and it all worked out really well!” *blub*. Given my history of antipathy towards advertising, any reaction above flat-line to a commercial is deeply shameful for me.
It’s okay though, because I get to balance that one off against the other Google advert where the creepy guy emails his ex-girlfriend with the serial-killer stroke stalker bullet list of all the reasons they should get back together. *shudder*. There’s just no need. But I digress.
The roots of this seemed to start in the period of the Day Ninety post, difficult to tell though because of my already existing crybaby status. There was an incident around Christmas, I was heading back home from a heavily boozy party, not a care in the world, doing okay with the whole concept of walking when suddenly I was defeated by an deceptively flat area of ground.
As falls go, it was a proper one. You know the thing in the mid seasons of Family Guy (maybe still, I stopped watching it) that was completely overdone and never really got funny beyond the first time? Holding a knee wound, sucking air in through the teeth and exhaling with an “Aaaaah!”. Yeah. Literally that.
The next day, woo! Walking was a very painful affair. I still had to go into town to get something and while doing that the pain was so great that I thought to myself “I’m going to have to abandon this now and get home because otherwise I’m going to start loudly crying. Perhaps even sitting in a shop doorway too. *hobble* *hobble* *sob* *hobble* *sob*.
And so it goes on. Thankfully I didn’t totally let go of the ability to just hold the tears back almost enough to be undetectable, but I can get that stinging behind the eyes at the drop of a hat now. Bus was late, something sold out in a shop, a sad news story, you name it! You want to put Wreck-It Ralph on? Okay, but be warned…
I don’t resent it at all, in fact there’s few things more mentally cleansing than pushing the things that bother you through your eyes in liquid form. I never understood why the nose has to join in too. I’ve been in public with the filled-up, red eyes but, thankfully, so far kept the full-access mess of snot and tears to my own personal spaces.
And when I’m done, wipe eyes, blow nose and okay then. Now where was I? Let’s get back out fightin’!
(image: “Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said: Weeping with Philip K. Dick” by James Clayton and shared under a Creative Commons license).
(published on day 208, culled from a very bitty draft).
The first three months of oestrogen down, plus a little over for blood test results and the GIS to get back on track after the Christmas break, left me with an appointment to meet the pharmacist on February 1st. Which means, I’ve just counted to check, a disappointingly overdone Day 102 when we all know 101 would have been a much nicer number.
The timing was cutting it fine too, even with an extra box of eight Evorel patches to cover early-learning mistake replacements, the day the appointment took place was a regular patch-change day and I’d used my last one on the previous Tuesday.
According to my blood tests, my oestrogen levels were still considered to be low, so I was transferred from the cautious introductory trial period of 25mg patches to a Quad Damage-grabbing 100mg. Stick one of these bad girls on and I’ll easily be able to stop a runaway train with my bare hands, surely! (I have not tested this theory).
This time I have enough patches to see me through six months until my next appointment in August although there’s no extra pack for less-than-careful placement this time which I can see as being something that will come back to bite me in the arse. I haven’t been this careful with placing sticky things since I got all Tidy OCD with my Pocahontas sticker album.
Also included in the prescribed relief package were two syringe-based servings of Prostap, one to be gleefully pushed into me that same day and another for an appointment three months down the line to ensure my body remains gloriously uncontaminated by testosterone. Lovely!
And onwards, into the exciting world of a hundred delicious micrograms of oestrogen, HO! Well, okay, estradiol which is one of many different types of sex hormone chemical gathered together under the neat umbrella term “oestrogen”. I don’t really need to understand it to slap the patches on my thigh do I?
I’ve also, despite having seen many trans documentaries, never really looked at the staple, sensationally gratuitous and, some would argue, needless shots of the surgeries because to be honest I’m far too squeamish for that sort of thing and I really don’t need to know in that much detail.
(this account of day 102 on hrt was published on day 191. I’m catching up!)
Whenever I look around the trans regions of Internetland’s various social network venues there’s always a fair amount of “Omg I’ve been doing hormones and testosterone blockers for just over five minutes now and nothing is happening, halp!” (seasoned with light exaggeration) and, you know what, it’s entirely understandable.
You wait for years to pluck up the courage to be what seems to be the one dissenting voice amongst a million happily-served Gender Binary customers that when you finally do stand up and shout “Hey, get me the manager, this is boolshiiiyit!” who wouldn’t want stuff to start happening straight away? We want it yesterday, dagnammit!
We all know that Rome wasn’t built in a day but there must have been someone high up in city planning saying “Look, all I’m suggesting is if we just get a few more contractors in here we might start getting a move on! Look, the signwriters have done their job! I’ve got a room back there stacked to the ceiling with ‘ROME’ engraved stone and you’re not even started on the viaducts yet!”.
I like to think I’m old and wise enough to play the patience card though; the long game; other metaphors. It’ll happen when it happens, you know? Not that I haven’t been tempted to overlap the use of the oestrogen patches, leave the outgoing one on an extra twelve hours after applying a new one to squeeze every drop of delicious chemical from them.
I’ve also worried, on account of getting my fix through transdermal patches, that they’ve not been doing anything for me. I’m either sticking them in the wrong place or getting superstitious about which side of the body has the best absorbtion. I’ve walked under ladders without a care in the world, crossed paths with black cats and broken more mirrors than I can care to remember then turned round and laughed in the face of fate that such things might actually matter, but I’ve taken irrational thought to religious degrees when it comes to the placement and positioning of small transparent patches. Crazy.
Because the changes are so slow, they don’t get spotted so easily with the naked eye, and I am far too lazy to get into a daily regimen of measuring and graph-drawing. But other things happen to make changes clear like working during winter wearing a skin-tight top under my work shirt and discovering, rather irritatingly, that unless tucked in the bottom hemline fabric was getting into the habit of slowly riding up and gathering around my waist. Well hello there, miniature hips!
The principle yardstick for gauging development, however, is still the breasts as if anyone would ever consider such news a surprise. At this point the progress is far too minor to be considered in need of a bra, although a little too perky to get called “m*n boobs”.
The aches aren’t quite what I expected, far from being the dull thud of foreground pain there’s extended moments of tingles and throbs which to me was just like tiny notifications that work was being carried out. “Hey it tingles!” “That means it’s working!”. That kind of thing.
It’s also worth noting that the left breast seems to be getting a little ahead of the right but that’s to be expected, breasts are rarely the same size and although light chest hair is slower to grow back and finer, it’s still occuring which is mildly annoying. The paranoia that I look like Captain Caveperson overrules the basic fact that it’s barely visible but I still know it’s there. And that’s what counts. It’s still early days.
All in all it’s going really well, in fact I give oestrogen four and a half out of five stars. Quotes for the poster: “Rip-roaring!”, “A barnstormer!” and “Cool ranch dressing”.
ps. I dragged the “hrt60” post in for an overhaul and, large chunks of rewrite because it had been bugging me for a while how dreadful it was.
(this account of day 90 on hrt was published on day 182. Please excuse my laziness)
Yesterday, for no other reason than I need more hours at work in order to put some money aside and maybe not end up as a Poundland transsexual, I attended an introduction course for - okay, let me brace myself before saying this - “climbing” the “corporate career ladder” to the level of “team leader”. *dry retches*
I’ve worked at the bottom rung of the retail industry for years now, mainly in supermarkets, and mainly for one main reason; the uniforms are pretty androgynous. Years of questioning myself but absolutely needing to put miles of distance between myself and The Group Labelled “Men” That I Was Perceived To Be A Member Of But Hated Like A Million Burning Stars, there was no way I’d ever be doing a job that required a shirt and tie. No way.
I am deeply conflicted about this. I can absolutely do the work involved with being a team leader or even mimsy middle-manager at a supermarket. Hellzapoppin’ I’ve seen some of the people that do it already and oh emm GEE they don’t so much make it look easy as make it look like a barely-trained, unshaven chimp could do it.
So yes I can DO the job. I just can’t CARE about it. Capitalism and I are not exactly on speaking terms. Some people are a friend of Dorothy, I’m a friend of Marx. I’m not given to giving a motor-propelled, flying monkey’s cuss about the store’s profit and loss. This is not my dream job. This is the opposite of my dream job. I can, at least, look at the bigger picture and take inspiration from Ron Swanson with the idea that I can bring the system down from within. And challenge myself to move out of my comfort zone.
As for the course, and the picture above, apart from seeing an induction video for what to do with bomb threats in which I learned that you should put the fake bomb inside a building but the REAL bomb OUTSIDE for maximum body count, we had ten minutes and a bunch of asinine magazines to create a collage representing ourselves.
I really hate this exercise, it’s filed with the question “Where do you see yourself in five years?” at the same level of avoidance by vague misdirection. With a group of strangers, the best they can hope for is the lightest of scratches on the surface. That, and I’ve made a lifetime skill of keeping myself secret. Old habits are hard to break.
Not only was the amount of time for the exercise short, the range of materials we had to draw from was even shorter. Basically we had the epic riches of a bunch of supermarket magazines, aimed either at staff or customers.
Featured on “my” collage is; a selection of booze, billed as “a healthy breakfast” in my presentation which got a laugh (yay); some pretty lollipops that were only chosen because they looked pretty, in reality I prefer savoury; “Fresh, natural”, self-explanatory; and a be-socked foot billed as my job is mainly done on my feet but secretly a tribute to Monty Python.
The collection of symbols to represent cussing is probably the only real truth on there, and came from my thought process that in a serious forum I couldn’t really put swears as one of my defining interests, it’s just not the done thing. And for that reason alone, on it went. YOU CAN’T CONTROL ME.
We’ll see how it goes, and how many “inductions” it takes me to me do a little bit of sick in my mouth. I almost just did it then thinking about it. Go me.
…So, when I wrote the “Day 30” report, day sixty had already passed. And the reason I didn’t consolidate them into one post is because I thought of this totally kick-ass title. Well, like the other titles in this Oestrogen Day Count Series (and it is a series), they reference something in the sphere of comedy that I love so I didn’t even think of it, someone else did. That said, the linking and appropriating was all my own work. Mostly.
So, previously on Oestrogen Rangers, the only notable happening in the first thirty days was baby-soft skin, and did you see how long the post was? Why do short and to the point when you can all too easily fly off on a tangent about salad? Because I read a lot of Salad Hate on the internet and it’s wrong! Get yourself a nice dressing and, yeah, okay, it’s not about that right now…
And here’s the other thing. I noted the day when the Day 60 post was forty-two days late. Day 30 was forty-two days late, it would have been super-sweet for the next one to have the same lateness index. I had a whole first two paragraphs all planned, it was going to be awesomesauce. At the very least awesomegravy.
Sadly, typing a big chunk of text on a smartphone is both annoying, difficult and painful for the neck. Then there’s that Blank Page problem of mine, plus Tumblr was not allowed at the library, what are you going to do? Go and type it up at a friend’s house? Naaah. You can’t get comfortable in someone else’s set-up, someone else’s situation all up in yo’ grill! That would’ve been reason #2 if the library allowed Tumblr.
So here we are, day 143 but let’s just pretend it’s day sixty, hey? And if the title didn’t give it away already, the second thirty days were predominantly ruled by the booty. There was a particular day when a noticeable increase in bounce and verve was added to my usual baggage. In short, an increase in junk in the trunk, and it was entirely welcome.
Closer to Day 60, I had reason to wear a pair of old trousers (long story, and knowing me with a keyboard that could so easily become a massive story), they fit around my waist just as fine as they always did and wear almost splitting at the seams around my thighs and arse.
Add to that the continuing decrease in leg hair visibility which was pleasing as well. Being at the lighter end of the ginger spectrum might mean I have to endure electrolysis for facial hair instead of faster, costlier laser (and it hurts) but it’s a trade-off with the sort of body hair that was never super noticable in the first place. Either way, seeing less of it ain’t going to gather anty complaints from me.
And there you go. Sixty days down. I’m told the first sixty are pretty uneventful and all the really good stuff starts really happening after the six month mark so the best is yet to come. All I will say is this:
Best. Drug. Ever.
(photo credit, “booties” by _arktoi shared under a Creative Commons License. Do you see what I did there?)
I bought a new motherboard and, for the first time in three months, I am typing at a Real Computer in my own flat, not even at the library! “Real” because your laptops and tablets are all very nice, but if loving desktop computers with the wires and monitors and keyboards and mice that all need to be plugged in is wrong then I don’t ever want to be right.
Of course, there is good news. For all the people that would snort derisively at the love affair I have with my bedroom-based Procrastination Engine, for the three months that I was forced, as if with a crowbar, away from it I. Achieved. Nothing. I know! Talk about wasting a golden opportunity to finally get round to building Moonbase Alpha.
Instead I fell back on the entertainment staples of a pre-internet time, digital versatile discs piped through my outdated CRT television that takes up more space in my living room than I do, good old BBC Radio 4 and, wait for it, books. I read books!
I managed to finally join the elite club of people asking “Wow. Why on Earth did it get cancelled?!” in the direction of Firefly and Deadwood, both of which I loved to an almost-illegal degree. Both of a very similar theme too, albeit being set centuries apart, and one that I’ve never really been that keen on - the Western.
Sandwiched in between Firefly and Deadwood was Serenity which was… a good film. On its own it was all the things you’d want from a sci-fi movie, but right at the top of the long list of things I loved about the TV series were 1. the costumes and 2. the music. The strong Western element was toned down a bit too much in Serenity for my liking but, hey, the cast was still great and oh emm gee, why on Earth (or off it) did it get cancelled?!
Also processed through my eyes and ears were seasons one to three of The Wire. Again, no access to broadcast television and little desire to move away from the treats contained in my Steam library caused me to miss that one, and in a way I’m glad. It means I can enjoy it now and move seamlessly from one season to the next with zero waiting time. Patience is a lovely thing, I’m even making “Mmmm, maybe I should…” noises at Game Of Thrones now.
Then the books, the memoirs of David Mitchell (Back Story) and Simon Pegg (Nerd Do Well). Two people born in the 1970s that made their way into comedy writing and performing through very different routes, via Cambridge and Gloucester respectively. I thoroughly recommend them both, they are riotous romps and no mistake.
So there you go. I’m not entirely sure why I wrote this. Maybe just because all my internet stuff has been performed through my phone for enough time to make Jesus’ stint in the wilderness look like a walk in the park with a chip butty (obviously lovely, and on a really nice day too, early spring) and I’m just showing off that I have a physical keyboard again.
I mean crikey, I have some catching up to do, I’m on Day 136 of my oestrogen and I’ve only documented up to Day 30. Don’t blame me, the library computers didn’t allow Tumblr, blame the people that pan for porn in every possible subject.
But that’s all for now. Hi! How are you?
This post is late. By about 42 days. Let’s be honest though, anyone with a good sense of classic literature knows 42 is a good number and resolves all blame for anything.
If you do need a reason, my beloved (unashamedly referred to as “my darling child” recently) desktop computer is broken and I’m left to type this on my mobile phone which, while not impossible - it has a good enough size screen for a keyboard and I like to think I have slender fingers as opposed to fat sausage hands - is enough to kill what little motivation I have for writing, at least the Already Difficult “starting” bit.
Besides, typing large chunks of text is not what these phones, or necks, (or, as it turns out, the Android Tumblr app) were designed for. Maybe I need a miniature, makeshift lectern. That would help, actually.
But anyway, first thirty days of HRT, you say, young ‘un? Well, let’s see now… *leans back in the rocking chair, bringing a clay pipe up to my mouth and lightly blowing to form bubbles which float playfully across the candle-lit, gothic-furnished room* I remember the day we finally shut down the means to production of the testosterone plant, that was quite a battle. The sky was alight with the trails of rocket fire. And when it was over… ahh… when it was over. It was like every Christmas you’ve ever known all happening at once.
Okay, text-based over-acting and sub-sub-SUB-Hollywood metaphors aside, the “battle” was a syringe of stuff, injected into my bum by a nurse moments after the true purpose of the appointment, to discuss my progress in medication for quitting smoking. It was just tacked on by me, “Oh, hey, I have another appointment for this in a few days, would you care to do it now?”.
Because, the thing is, the injection for stopping testosterone came three days after my body’s first introduction to oestrogen patches. So the first milestone was Nothing, But The Sense That Something Might Be Coming Soon.
The next -and only- major milestone in this time segment, apart from the Real Feelings vs. Placebo feelings was while playing one of those modern “video” games you may have read about in the press.
My hands, and therefore arms, were both preoccupied but an itch on my upper arm prompted me to, in a very undignified manner, scratch it with my chin. There was a pause, a double-take and an expression that could have won awards in an advert for fabric conditioner. “Oh that is VERY soft!”.
And there you go. Hopefully being far from disappointing for such a large chunk of text comprising of 90% fluff, that’s the first thirty days. To look at it now it seems very underwhelming, but after essentially thirty-seven years of preparing, waiting and, well, nothing… It could be the least eventful but most overwhelming of all. We’ll see about that.
There’s extra bits of theory that I’ve already posted about and may need to expand upon soon, but look at this. I am no good a brevity.
Please note the marvellous Tumblr “Ask” feature if there’s anything you feel I’ve missed. I’ll try and get days thirty to sixty in the next couple of days.
I wish my computer worked. :(