Friday, January 28, 2011

Lunch Rush

You might remember this story here. 

Do you?


If not I suggest you go familarize yourself with it.

Go on...

...I'll wait...



Now that you are familair with the fact that I don't go out to lunch anymore with people from work. It makes the all the more sense when you consider yesterday.

I ran out to grab an Itailan sub from a local little deli. 

They are amazing. 

It is a cool place where you stand in the middle of the line and shout out your order. Three people working the entire store and I do belive they bake their own bread.

After having done conveyed my order and was moving up to the casheir to pay for my order, the clerk turned around, grabbed the sub that was waiting and asked who's it was. 

The other one replied. "Oh that is hers right there."

Obviously she was pointing right at me. 

The really scary part. 

There weren't any other girls in the place. 

This is a big reason I have stopped trying to even go out as him. I just find it awkward these days and I never know what the response is going to be and whom I will be with. I really just want to avoid awkward moments.

I really have become a homebody.

Thank goodness life as him is rapidly coming to a close. 

It just isn't fast enough.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Kelli 202

Welcome to the next course everyone.

Today I am going to give you a little more about me. 

I need to cover a topic in greater depth and I feel it is important for you to know how I ended up where I am today.

However I am not talking about being trans or anything to do with transitioning.

I don't usually talk about this and should probably be careful what I do mention.

The topic?

What I do for a living. 

The first reason I don't talk about it is that it almost always goes right over peoples heads. 

Most of the time when I get asked. I just say I work in Information Technology or IT.

"So you work on computers?"

"Something like that."

"How can it be like that?"

"Well I have a rather unique skill set that is hard to explain."

When prompted to provide more information I give them a very high level remark about what I work on and with.

Which at that point causes their eyes to glaze over. 

Granted I have done a lot of different things in the field over fifteen years. 

But how did I get here?

In school, and I am referring to my public education, they made sure we took computer classes. Consider too that my parents had purchased an Apple II for me to fiddle around with they were just always a part of my life. 

Now my interest was the art and music software. At one point I wanted to create art with a computer but in that day and age I didn't know if was going to be as huge as it was now. Plus I didn't have access to any of those very expensive high end drawing and production applications. 

Really they were not hundreds or thousands of dollars but tens of thousands in some cases. 

Still I had fun with what I did have access too along with the fact that as a side benefit I actually learned how to use a computer. 

This is a skill that became invaluable as I was able to use my knowledge to complete homework assignments, write papers faster, etc. 

I have always been someone who, when learning something I wanted, would teach myself all the ancillary stuff so I would be better informed about the environment I was working on in general.

Didn't really matter what I was doing or working on I just have a very inquisitive mind and love to learn.

But I am digressing.

Sadly I learned that while pretty creative and somewhat talented I just did not have enough talent to make a go as a graphic artist. Plus I was terrible with deadlines. My old art teacher used to joke with me that I created some amazing things but never in a timely fashion.

Seriously I have two friends who are worlds more talented. The things they can whip up is simply astounding and they both struggle to work at times. 

With that in mind I still studied art in school, but I knew I had to find something else for a career. I decided to start taking accounting classes(I even took the first computerized accounting class). My Mom did it for a living at that time and it seemed like something I could do.

However once in college I drew the conclusion that accounting was simply not for me. I am not sure what it was but I think I was just burned out on it.

Not knowing what to do with myself and trying to find some sort of direction I realized I knew how to use a computer so why not look there. 

Thus I tried my hand at some programming classes.

While ok with it, it wasn't something I wanted to pursue greatly.

It was however during this that I learned a skill that later played a large role in what I do today. 

Since I was living at home during college and I was commuting to use the computer lab at school to write programs for homework. I realized I needed to do something at home. My little Apple II was not allowing me to do the work I needed anymore.

It's time had sadly passed. 

Now the issue was I was covering a large portion of my college expenses. Working full time as a shipping clerk. Extra cash was hard to come by. Not to mention personal computers were very expensive in the early 1990's.

So what to do?

I didn't know until one day I was sitting in the lab doing homework when a couple of the lab rats were in the working on a machine that was causing problems when they started talking about building a computer.

I interrupted: "You can do that?"

They then explained how you could buy the parts and assemble it yourself. Explaining a lot of the process. Along with how to locate the parts. There was no Internet and online ordering then. I had to track down local computer shows were a lot of hardware vendors would sell part. Shop around for the best prices. Plus asking a lot of questions and learning things I would need to know. Again I needed to accomplish something so I was going to learn all that I could. 

I cannot imagine living in the world and not willing to learn about things. Even if they are not the most important to you. The world is an amazing place full of amazing things.

Six months later I assembled a fully working computer, even loading my own operating system. I did it for a third of the cost of buying a new system from a large manufacturer.

The rest they say is history. 

Shortly after that my cousin got me into the company she worked as a programmer for. I got a contract fielding help desk calls for a large global manufacturing company. 

There I met a Network Administrator who taught me the basics of how a Local Area Network was put together and even tapped me to help rollout some of the upgraded equipment. Wendy was amazingly smart and fun to work with. I remember her being a huge Pink Floyd fan. 

After that ran out and the next contract didn't work for me. I moved on as an administrator at a moderately sized accounting firm.

A differing of philosophies there prompted my exit to a large consulting group that someone I knew from HS was working for. 

Thus began my 12 year career as a consultant performing all types of tasks and working any number of projects. 

I have worked with fortune 100 and 500 companies. Doing anything from systems management to world wide system migrations. I have traveled quite extensively around the united states. Missing a few opportunities to visit other countries. I have worked for some of the largest school districts in the state. Down to some of the smallest offices and clients you could have. 

I did eventually tired of the travel and constant rushed deadlines. Working for school districts was the worst as we had to pack eight months of work in to two and a half. Not to mention they never gave us enough lead time to properly prep as much as we could to avoid working ridiculous hours. 

I recall once working 120 hours a week for three weeks straight. I was a mess for sometime after that.

However three years ago I received a call from a local recruiter asking me if I would consider a local position with a large advertising firm. I had the craziest interview ever. Try all six team members all at once. 

In the end they were impressed enough to give me an offer and wait over a month for me to start as I needed to complete a project that I had assigned travel dates for. 

I have been here ever since.

Still I have worked with some amazing people and a number of women. Those that I have mentioned along with Marsha, a little California blonde who was the cutest hardware junkie you ever met. Maia who taught me a lot about messaging systems beyond the local office. Carol whom with we figured out how to deploy servers in a faster manner. 

While they were all helpful and fun to work with it really just came down to the fact that everywhere I went I have been asked to learn new things or expand upon what I have already learned. I am never afraid to learn it and I never said no. I did however always notice that woman had less of an ego and were more open to sharing information on things than the boys were. Which is something I have always done. I am willing to teach people who want to learn something and I am never afraid to ask questions myself. You just have to be willing  to learn and open to it. 

Many are not. Mostly egotistical men who think they know everything. 

I can tell you it doesn't matter who you are in the industry you cannot possibly know it all. It is a good engineer who can admit that.

And while I don't exactly love what I do it has been a good life and it at least has stayed interesting. There is always something to work on or issue to resolve. I have never really been bored.

I never imagined myself here twenty years ago, it just all kind of happened. I was very lost in college and life in general. It was a large part of keeping myself busy so I wouldn't deal with the issues that were bothering me. 

So today at the end of the day when someone asks me what I do, what do I tell them?

"I am a System Engineer/Administrator specializing in Storage Area Networks along with system virtualization and global directory services."

I do wear a lot of other little hats and deal with a lot of other things but those things are the majority of what I do.

And now you know.

Class dismissed.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Living in an Icebox

Actually I have this theory.

It is kind of crazy.

I actually do think that hell isn't a blazing inferno.


Not one sparkling ember.

I full believe that it is instead frozen.




I cannot think of anything that would be a worse punishment then to have to shovel snow for the rest of eternity.

Making you think aren't I?

I could very well could be onto something.

Moving on.

The real reason I mention temperature is the fact that we had a bit of an incident at the office to day.

A close encounter of the frigid kind, if you will.

There are two things you must know. One is that I am responsible for a large portions of equipment that is located in our datacenter. As this is a windy and considerable cooled installation. The average temp in there is usually just over 60 degrees.

Second is that my building, the one on the campus that I am actually in. Has very large windows as the exterior wall. What I am referring too is almost floor to ceiling windows and our walls are ten or twelve feet in height.

Now knowing that I can tell you this. It doesn't matter what time of the year it is, I am cold in this building. Even in the summer I usually have a light track jacket on hand in case I have to go into the datacenter or the air is unusually chilly. The other reason is that the layers hid what I actually look like underneath.

Winter is obviously worse.

Now I like winter, I love to ski and partake in a number of wintry activities. However I am usually dress appropriately for these types of pastimes. I am also moving around.

How else could I get a picture like this?

Which brings me to yesterday at the office. An all together different matter. My region had been beset upon by some crazy arctic air patters and we have been experiencing single digit temperatures.

Now I was aware of this and knowing my office I had three layers on.

[Editorial point; While I do indeed still love Winter, I also do not have the tolerance for cold that I once used to. Just another one of the changes I have had to learn to deal with. I just try to know what I am doing and wear more clothing.]

Yes I said three.

The worst part?

It wasn't enough.

For some silly reason some circuit crossed or some electron jumped when it should not have.


All know is it was around 55 degrees in my office and the vents were blowing cold air.

It was cold.

Blowing warm air into your hands kind of cold.

It was crazy. Everyone in the office was sitting in their jackets.

It took building maintenance almost the entire day to fix the issue. Whatever it was.

I could not get home fast enough, shovel snow, start a fire and snuggle up under a blanket with something warm to eat.

The ridiculous part?

After I was all nice and toasty warm again. I bundled myself all back up and took my dogs for a late night walk around a local park.

I just find the outside magical during winter and walking in the woods and the snow late at night is just too pretty and serene. It allows me to take my mind off of things and enjoy the moment. Even if I am with the dynamic duo.

That doesn't mean I wasn't snugly tucked into my bed with an electric blanket on as soon as I got home. :D

Friday, January 21, 2011

Positively Hurting

Yesterday I received a letter from my Father.

He and I have hardly spoken since the day I told him. 

Usually the only reason he talks to me now is to ask me to solve a problem on his computer. 

That is not very often either.

I understand he is hurting and confused. 

Explaining what being transsexual to some one else is like trying to explain to someone else what it is like to walk on the moon. 

Only someone who has eprienced it first hand will ever really know what it is like. 

Though I will give credit to those who at least try to wrap their head around it. At least they are making the effort. 

Getting back to the letter. 

Remember this is a post about a letter my father had written too me. 

I cannot give details or post the contents but some of the things that were said hurt me in return. 

Right now I don't know if I will ever be able to repaire the relationship between us.

I get that it is going to take a lot of work and effort on both our parts. 

Thought based on what he said I am not even sure he is willing to come to the table to talk. At least not now. 

To close it all off he basically told me he did not want to know what I was going to do and frankly asked me to not do it. 

In the end I was hurt, I cried, and took some time to gather my thoughts as to what I was going to talk to my mom about. 

As she found out about it and was given a copy of the letter to read. It just so happened she found out the day I happened to recieve it. 

Even though it did hurt, some good advice I got was that it was a positive. 

Which indeed it is. 

I cannot argue that. 

I have been waiting for something to happen with him. I just knew I couldn't force it. Not yet at least. 
It is what it is, his emotions finally coming out. Good or bad I got something from him.

How will I respond?

I don't know yet. I am taking my time with this one. I need to let the emotions of the moment pass a bit and then look at this with a calmer frame of mind. 

It is just strange how a bad reaction can be considered a positive event.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Heavy Rotation

I listen to a lot of music.

I also listen to a lot of variety in my music. 

Many a people have come to realize not only can I not be defined by what I listen too, I am not influenced by the music. 

I have listen and still listen to things that completely surprise people because I don't live the lifestyle that goes along with said genre of music.

I never have either. To me music is just a form of entertainment and I will almost always listen to something once. 

If I like it I will continue to listen to it. 

Music to me never gets old. Even if it may not be the in thing or it supposedly has pasted it's time, if I still like it I will still listen to it. 

Now while I have been all over the Internet looking for new things to listen to and I can list a bunch of singles, artist and albums that I have played and still play quite a lot. You must consider I have nearly 300 CDs and almost eight thousand songs. Yet lately I find myself coming back to a few albums right now. I do mean the whole album top to bottom. Something about them just seems complete and reaches out to me in different ways.

Maybe it is my mood or something I don't really know but I seem to select one or two of these up at least once a week.

Sleigh Bells - Treats

I caught the single Rill, Rill a few months ago on satellite radio, pulled up the CD online and instantly fell in love with the strangeness and crazy raw sound it had.  I would call it messy noisy ear candy. I now have a copy for myself.

Nirvana - Nevermind

I was never a huge alternative or grunge fan, in fact Nirvana wasn't a favorite band of mine from the era. However I was in my last year of HS when this album was released and witnessed the impact that it and the group had. Never had I seen anything like it and imagine I may not ever again. A virtually unknown band setting the world of music on it's head. Forever changing the musical landscape.

While I pick and choose from the genre I simply love this album and still do. A song popped up while shuffling through my collection not to long ago prompting me to sit down and listen to it again. It still moves me like it did and I didn't realize how much I had missed listening to it. Maybe it is a little nostalgia or maybe it really just is as good as I remember it. Some times I think it is the overall vibe of screw the establishment we are going to do it our way. Who knows, but I have been gravitating toward it now and again.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs - Show Your Bones

I don't know why but Karen O's vocals seem to carry me somewhere else. It is almost like they are fun, cheeky, emotional and deep at the same time.

Metallica - Death Magnetic

This is like satisfying my sweet tooth only it is my angry tooth. Plus they have always seemed to do angry and crunchy with such style and well written songs. While not my favorite album of theirs it just seems to match that angst perfectly right now.

The Dollyrots - A Little Messed Up

Cause they are fun and just seem to get better with each release. Plus Kelly just seems to say I am a girl but I can sing about anything. Plus they just have a cool Cali vibe I like.

Deadmau5 - 4x4=12

I listen to a lot of electronic, in fact I have albums that pre-date the likes of Daft Funk and The Chemical Brothers dating back to 1990. For some reason Deadmau5(pronounced 'dead mouse') just does things that can amaze me today, I haven't heard a disk that is bad or doesn't do something new and interesting yet. This new one is fantastic and I have been playing it a lot since I got in December. 

Ecanescence - Fallen

Because Amy Lee just blows me away and the power in her voice is amazing. It is kind of like my female angst disc to listen too.

The Prodigy - The Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One

I love DJ mixes, mashups and similar. The man behind The Prodigy does an amazing performance here, wandering genres, eras, and just seems to be having so much fun doing it. It wanders all over the map for an hour but never seems to lose it's way.

Ivy - Apartment Life

Lastly we come to one of my favorite artist. Everyone talks about Tori Amos and Little Earthquakes(which is an excellent album) but I challenge Tori fans to listen to Ivy. Every disc is very good and they are quite often put on shuffle when I am in the tub soaking. Yet Apartment Life just resonates in my bones right now. Every song just speaks to something in me and to so many different feelings depending on the song. 

Again there are so many good CDs out there some that are just always a favorite listen of mine but right now these have floated to the top for whatever reason. Also these are all CDs I actually own. I still prefer a physical medium to listen on when I can. Mp3 are nice and portable, but I still enjoy listening to a full CD on a decent system. I guess there is something about filling a room with sound that just feels nice.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I knew this was going to happen.

I was fully aware that I would have to let some things go this year so that I could facilitate others.

This is one of them that I am going to miss greatly.

There are only so many winters in one's life. There is only so much snow that will fall.

For years I have had to sacrifice not only not doing this but I have yet to fulfill my dream of going out west and carving up some of those amazing slops.

After transition is done, when all the major steps are completed and I am just rediscovering my life as me. I intend to rectify that. I will plan at least one large trip each year and depend where I end up living I will try to do as many small ones as I can.

In the mean time I will sadly have to skip any of my usual trips this year.

I will miss it.

I always do.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Swimming Up Stream

There was one small incident during the holidays that I forgot to mention.

It was rather small but it has lingering in the back of my mind.

My Brother called me on Christmas Eve, he was feeling lonely and melancholy. It isn't my fault that he moved six hundred plus miles into the middle of nowhere after his divorce.

I still talk to him but he can be difficult. He is like Mom in that regard only worse.

Still we talk about things he is doing, which considering where exactly he lives is not a whole heck of a lot at this time of year. Other than working, eating and staying warm.

Though our one common bond is our fierce passion for the hometown hockey team. It is indeed the things we discuss the most. 

The part that surprised me was the amount of emotions he displayed. Really I had not hear or seen that in him in twenty-six years.

He is feeling alone, missing his family and sons, and I am sure my issue, now that he knows, isn't helping matters. Also Christmas Eve has always been the bigger of the two days regarding the gathering of family. Which I am sure was adding to the mood.

The frustrating part was that through all that, the sympathy and kindness I showed him so he would feel better was lost when he made a comment to me about my  issue, that though he might have thought he was being funny, was not. It clearly showed his male point of view along with that he is really not getting it at all.

It was vulgar, tasteless and crude. 

I didn't get into it with him as I was having a hard time preparing myself to visit family for Christmas eve. These would be the same ones that dropped this fun one on me last year. 

I did inform him that the comment was not appreciated and that he wasn't understanding that was not the reason I was doing this. 

Sadly he stuck to his opinion. 

Maybe with time he will understand, but the man has a bad habit of not seeing the issue(It is a big reason he is now divorced) or not wanting to until it is too late. 

Death by avoidance if you will. 

I will keep trying but I cannot hold his hand forever. He either he comes to terms with it eventually and accepts me for a human being, not necessarily his sister, or it will be another lost relationship for him. As I won't tolerate this attitude if he wants to continue with it long term.

Fear not I have not written him off, but I can tell this will be another difficult road.

It does make all this feel very much like you are trying to swim upstream with everything rushed back at you trying to slow you down.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Merry, Merry

Even in light of my last post things have not been all bad.

The holidays for the most part while uncomfortable passed without much incident. 

I even got to spend Christmas night with B who invited me to an amazing party that night that was invite only. 

He asked me to come with him as he wanted to take someone who would appreciate the surroundings. 

It indeed was a beautifully setting and the food was amazing. 

I even indulged in a slice of cheesecake. 

I know right?!?

He is such an important friend right now I don't know where I would be without him. 

Sadly I did not get to see him for New Years Eve but I did wish him a happy one. 

I know I owe him a phone call too.

As for what I got for Christmas? 

Kind of interesting. 

I finally got one of these:

It feels like a tank and at five and a half quarts roomy enough to make some bigger dishes in without being huge. I have already made a Beer-Braised Chuck Roast that was very yummy and tender. Along with a pork shoulder that was even better.

I love the fact that I can sear in it then add tasty noms to gather flavor put everything back in then cook slowly in the oven. All in the same pot. Food is so yummy that way.

I am dying to make Chicken Cacciatore or White Wine Coq Au Vin recipes that I have. 

I also got one of these:

I have been wanting a good mortar and pestle for quite some time and this one is awesome. Perfect size at two and a half cups and very reasonable too but my goodness could you hurt someone with it. Solid granite is just that SOLID. The Pestle itself could be considered a deadly weapon.

A Sandra Lee cook book (the more I watch her the more I like her).

I also got the perfect jewelry box from a very special friend I have already half filled it. I couldn't find the exact one but it looks like this only a wonderful cherry wood grain.

Lastly I got the cutest little butterfly necklace that I simply love. I have been looking for something light and simple like this. It is very summery too, I know I will be wearing it a lot once the weather is warmer.

That was about it. The Dutch oven was rather pricey and it was a group gift to me as they know my love of cooking. 

So while my life was full of major stressors at least the holidays were somewhat quiet and I got a few things I wanted.

I hope all yours were as well.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Thumb Tacks

I am acutely aware that I have not posted much recently.

With the holidays I have had a lot going on.

I also have had a lot of issues rolling or smashing over me all at one.

I even had a freak out moment.

Ok, I am lying.

I have had a few.

Though the one I am most thinking of would be the public one where I lost my nerve.

Something that hasn't happened in a very long time.

I am not even sure what I want to talk about either. I simply have so much in my head right now I can't seem to focus on just one thing.

Or even just two or three.

Which is why I need the thumb tacks.

Really I don't have enough to mark all the places I have been emotionally in the last few weeks.

Thing is it hasn't felt like a rollercoaster.


I feel like I am everywhere all at once.

Not to mention my old friends fear and doubt have been riding shotgun and in the back seat.

It could be I have too much happening all at once.

I have a few friends I have to sit down and tell.

I also need to talk to HR in coming weeks. At least to start the conversation.

I seem to alternate between worrying about the upcoming surgery working to fully confident that the changes will turn out all right.

Mostly I seem to be settling on the former, that it won't work.

I am also worried that I am actually ready for the aftermath these changes will cause. I don't intend to be full time just yet and I can't imagine people not noticing.

For example I was out at a local mall this last weekend and I was doing my best to boy it up and I not once got called sir.

This amazes me. My natural hairline to me is such a dead giveaway. It isn't that it is thinning or receding but it does have a rather masculine shape.

What is going to happen when I look even less male than I do now? I think it is going to unsettle a lot of people including those who are expecting a boy.

The situation at home isn't good at all either. Which is generating a lot of stress as it could have a very far reaching impact.

I am just thankful I have some wonderful friends. Relationships that are more honest and real then anything I have ever had. People who chat me up to see how I am doing and to see if I am all right.

One friend made such a sweet gesture yesterday that I wanted to cry. Even though we haven't been talking like we used to it meant so much for her to offer what she did.

Another is just there to talk to, no how matter how mundane our discussions are I always feel better after I talk with her.

Things might be difficult now but I try to recall that I am a better person this way and I life should be better once all this is all done.

The big issue is getting everyone who has never met me to understand all this.

I do feel myself climbing out of all this but it is a slippery slope. Anything at this point would not help and I could end up back sliding.

It is a tough road.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!