Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Thursday, November 7, 2013

And Yet Another First

What is it this time you ask?

Could be a lot of things.

How about my first interview post full time!

Yep it happened.

Now I do apologize, this happened much earlier in the year.

March in fact.

As I started to prep this post I discovered that my old company had somehow made the connection that this blog was written by me.

Which did not bother me too much. I certainly became more careful about making sure I did all my site editing from home.

I just was not sure how much they were going to be reviewing it.

Which made me stop with several posts I had been planning and it really impacted my blogging. As a lot of my topics were work related and knowing the above I did not want to risk anything.

I also certainly did not want them to know I was looking for a different job.

Which brings me to now.

As I already announced I already found that job.

Which means the moratorium on job related posts can be lifted.

{Don't worry I will be extra careful about posting from the new place. Not that I have had any issues there yet.}

Now let us get back to the original story.

When I decided to actively start looking for something new or different I did not know what was out there or what I would find.

Really all I did was update my resume and try to see what would happen.

Honestly I was shocked in the first 48 hours I received six calls or emails.

Now some of those were fluff and I was not interested in the job at all but at least I was getting a response.

I also directly applied to a few companies is regions that were really interesting to me.

Interestingly enough not many responded back. I wonder at times if it was simply the fact that there was a girls name at the top of the resume.

I doubt I will ever know but it is an interesting thought. I do work in IT and it is largely a male dominated industry.

Still I was getting enough activity that it was not concerning me too much.

Fairly early on I was mostly exchanging emails and a few phone calls. It was when an IT staffing company called me and wanted to bring me in for a face to face interview, that I took pause.

For two reasons.

First, I had not yet interviewed with any one face to face. This could be daunting and was intimidating. How would I do. Would they accept me for who I am. Would I get read. Would my nerves get the better of me.

Two, I was not too impressed with what they had to offer. There was not really anything catching my eye.

Regardless after a little thought I said what the heck. Why not go. At least I will find out a lot about how I come across. Plus even if it was awful because of nerves. I would at least have gotten that first one out of the way. With the hopes that when a job that I really wanted came along I would not have to suffer those nerves as much.

The first reason did not matter too much since I could always turn down something I would not be interested in.

With that I schedule a meeting with their recruiting supervisor for a time after work one day shortly thereafter. Which would put the meeting around late March.

I told her I was coming from work but I still dressed in a nice sheath dress and jacket. Nothing I had not worn to my old job before but not a pure business suit either. She had no problem with it at all.

I will not kid you. I was nervous and scared.

Especially when I hit that lobby.

I was shaking.

My thoughts totally on the fact that I was going to come across awfully and fake.

Yes, I have my issues at times with being trans.


It is just the nature of it all.

Pair that with the fact that this was something really important. Even if I did not actually need a job right now the time might come where I was forced to look for one.

This was a big deal.

A really BIG deal.

All of that just really made me freak out.

Regardless I did my best to relax and waited.

The recruiting supervisor came back finally, introductions were made and she led me back to a conference room.

There she started to give me some background about the company and what type of positions they typically fill.

From there she started to ask me questions about my work history and myself.

Once I got started my nerves rapidly started to fade. Everything I had to talk about was about me. My skills and a bit of who I am.

Nothing was false. It was all me. Just with a pronoun change. That was easy to do since I no longer even think of myself as anyone but who I am today.

The conversation got easy and the whole thing went great. We even had a discussion at the end about dealing with life now as divorced women.


After about forty minutes of talking about my work history, what type of opportunities I was looking for, we just fell into general chit-chat about life.

By the time I said my good-byes and was walking out the door, I felt a million times better. I could do this. It was all the same stuff I have talked about before. It was all me with the fact that I was just being me.

It also did not hurt that she complimented my on my attire.

Total added bonus.

It was not just that either. Near the end of the meeting she complimented me on my skill set. How articulate I was. My experience. She finished with:

"And you dress really well too."


"Oh yes. You look great and I love the dress, but you would not believe how some people show up. It gets bad."

"Well thank you."

Even though nothing came of the meeting and the connection with that particular company(I got the feeling they were looking more for software developers). The experience I got from getting that first interview out of the way was worth it's weight in gold.

I used that boost to my self esteem to go on to interview at other places while I got offers from some and not from others. I eventually found the position I am now at.

But those stories are for another post.

Monday, November 4, 2013

It Was Bound to Happen

I knew there would be moments of awkwardness during my transition.

I was also aware that if could happen after.

My hope was that it would not actually occur too much after full time.

For the most part it has not.

I did, however, have something happen recently.

This past Labor Day weekend(it is a U.S. holiday for those overseas readers) I once again made an appearance at the Cabin.

Yes, that cabin.{link}

The usual suspects were there. Rogue, Pixie, Jester, Scholar, Professor, and Ginger to name a few.

There were even a few who were there during my winter visit, and even a few new people.

Overall the weekend was a blast. I surprised them with my cooking skills as I made them a fairly large batch of my famous baby back ribs. Most of this group had never had them before and the complements were off the charts.

I think my favorite comment was "These ribs are like crack!"

There was great conversations, lots of laughs, good food as I was not the only one who cooked that weekend(I discovered candied bacon FTW!!). Plenty of movie watching and table top gaming.

I even brought with me a new one I had recently purchased.

I big part of the reason I like to go is there is absolutely no agenda for these weekends(or weeks). Come, have fun, but do what you want too. Sleep. Eat. Watch a movie or TV shows. Game. Read or anything in between.

About the only schedule is breakfast in the morning dinner in the evening. Anything else and you are on your own.

It is very relaxing.

Yet the title of this post indicates there might have been an issue.

And you would be right there was.

It was brief but something did happen that I did not expect.

When I arrived Friday night, as I had driven up right after work, Scholar was giving me the run down on where I might sleep for the weekend.

We were walking around and he listed off the large shared bedroom upstairs, the studio apartment above the garage, the bunk room in the old cabin, the full bedroom in the old cabin, and the roost.

The roost?

I had no idea what this was.

It turned out to be a small bedroom above the outside bath house. This was a late addition to the property and the bathhouse is now largely a storage room. Yet the apartment is well insulated, powered, and other than having to duck to get into it, very roomy. Most people can stand upright and not have an issue.

As we walked down from that he wrapped up the list of options with the following:

"If none of that works for you I have a king bed in the basement I am very willing to share."

*blink, blink*

"Scholar did you just hit on me?"


"Seriously, why?"

"Well for one you are hot! I also have the extra room and I am single."

I looked at him for a second as I put my thoughts together about this.

"Scholar...I cannot. I am sorry but with someone I have known for so long I just cannot do it. Are you okay with this?"

"Yeah fine, I was just taking the chance you might say something different."

"I am sorry but no."

Thankfully this did not impact the weekend I had at all. It just made for one awkward moment. It also as not affected my friendship with Scholar at all.

It is just something I cannot do. As I explained to Pixie at a later time. One firm rule I have regarding all of this is that I cannot comfortably date or pursue anyone I was really close friends with before hand.

Pixie understood what I was getting at and confirmed that it was also just Scholar being scholar. He cannot help himself at times. Especially when he is single.

The biggest reason is not them either. I would just find it way too awkward myself. Trust me there is more than one that I would consider otherwise if I was just meeting them for the first time and they are not married, it would be a different story.

When I say too awkward I mean it too. It would be way too awkward for me.

Still I guess it was bound to happen at some point. One of my older friends was going to make a pass at me.

Nothing came of it, he has not tried again and I am still friends with Scholar today.

At least in this case it was mostly harmless.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Big News!

The news that you have all been waiting for is this.

I have gotten a new job!

After a few months of looking I found a job at a company that surprised me with their level of IT investment. Yet they are hugely successful in the online ordering space. With quite the complex and dynamic infrastructure.

Not only is the company and the people awesome(I have been here a week now and I love it), it is in an area that I have always wanted to live in. It will be keeping my in Michigan for the foreseeable future.

Yet I am moving away from the Detroit Area.

Well still within a reasonable driving distance, but far enough away that it is possible not to have to visit it at all if I did not want to.

The picture at the end of this post is a clue as to what area I will now be living and working.

Now I am sure you are wondering.

Why did I leave my old company?

Well it is for a number of reasons that I will cover over a few posts.

It will take a few as they were the reason I had to withhold a few posts I wanted to write for all of you.

Seems they someone how put together my few visits to my blog with it being mine. Oh well. I did most of my writing at home with only my editing during lunch. I also saved everything as files and put the final post on the site with a schedule time for it to appear. Often because I had enough material to write more than one thus I often finished them close together.

Well at least I did in the past.


I know I have been lax lately in posting. Life has been busy as I have just noted. Job searching is not easy these days.

Bottom line, I felt as if I lost my voice within the team(not completely but in the eyes of a few and that is all that mattered).

I also felt there was a climate change within the department that just was conducive for me to look for something elsewhere with the hopes it would be better.

Along with I really felt I had hit a roadblock with the any opportunity to further my career.

There is a lot to cover regarding all of this and I am busy preparing to move into my new digs.

So I will go over all of this in a few posts. From dealing with recruiters and to my first ever interview as me.

It also was not the first offer I got. I actually turned down two before I took this one.

As always who I work for will remain nameless. Just as the old company will remain so.

Even if they did not feel that way.

It is an exciting time here for me.

Monday, September 23, 2013

News Flash

By the time you read this I will be in Paris, France.

Life has been busy and great and I have some extremely exciting news that I will share with everyone,.

I will also now have the ability to write some post I have been sitting on as I will not have to worry about any repercussion regrading them.

I cannot wait to share everything it is HUGE news!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Memorial

This post is a bit late.

There is a number of reasons for that.

I have been an extremely busy girl since early July. In fact I was gone every single weekend in August.

It was so bad I could not even clean my room for a month.

I know because I did so finally for the first time this last weekend.

Before you all get judgmental. It was not a pigsty, but I definitely had some clutter that had built up and some of my traveling items that needed to be stored.

Which is why there has been a bit of a lag in my posting. It was not for lack of things to write. Nay, it is because I was so busy each week preparing for the next trip out of town.

Of which I have a few I am going to tell you about. First though I need to get caught up on this.

Mid Spring I had to attend the funeral of my Mom's sister. My Aunt.

Now this never came as a shocker, she had been suffering various health issues for a few years. Still last August she was diagnosed with a laundry list of things including two forms of Cancer.

We all thought the same thing, it was not a matter of if. It was simply a matter of when.

Even my mom held no delusions about this. Her relationship with her sister was strained at best but my mom helped and did what she could, but often during out monthly dinners I could see the thoughts in her eyes and hear it in her words.

My Aunt was on borrowed time.

After she passed we planned a memorial, not an traditional funeral since she was cremated, and we put her with the rest of the family.

Most of the close and extended family came out. Along with a number of family and friends. We then attended a luncheon after.

What I came to realize during all this was that a lot of these people were meeting me for the first time.

Several people wanted to know who I was since they did not recognize me and this was obviously a family event with very close friends. Most of them had all met before. Prior to transition.

It went fine, I caught up with a number of people and had several great conversations.

After it was over I simply put it in the back of my head and really did not even think about it until about late June, mid July?

My Mom and I had both been busy and with everything going on we missed some time for getting together.

When we finally had a chance to sit down and catch up, my mom brought up the topic of the Memorial.

While I was thinking the worse(why else would she be bringing it up), she surprised me with the opposite.

She mentioned to me that since the Memorial she had caught up with a number of people who had attended.

They caught her off guard by bringing up the topic of me.

Across the board they all said the same thing.

"Oh my goodness, she is amazing! She is beautiful, funny, and personable! We like her a lot."

Even the few of those who where not initially enthusiastic about the news of my function, were surprised and changed their tune about it.

My mom was beaming as she told me this. She knows how hard it was for me to do everything that I did. How many people could not accept it and the friends or family that I had lost over it.

She even told me about catching up with her Priest(Catholic) and his continued gushing about me. I had completely forgotten it had happened at the Memorial but my mom had introduced me to him while there.

He took one look at me and said the following to my parents "Wow! You have a very beautiful daughter!"

He looked at me "Your parents must be so proud. How many kids do you have?"

I laughed "I am sorry I do not have any at this point."

"Oh but you are young, you have plenty of time. Are you married?"

Again I laughed "No, I am not right now." (If only he knew I was a 38 year old Trans Woman who cannot have kids).

"Really? I cannot imagine a beautiful girl like yourself being single for long."

He turned to my parents "You did a really good job with this one."

I spoke up from the side with a twinkle and a smirk "I try not to tell them that otherwise it goes right to their heads. Then they are impossible to deal with."

He laughed at it and my parents just smiled. It was nice to see my Dad actually laughing a bit.

He caught up with my mom at church later to see if I had met anyone yet and if I had not to invite me to one of the singles events at the church. My mom just chuckled about the whole thing.

{I should point out that he is not your typical droll Catholic Priest. He is engaging, funny, a bit evangelistic in his delivery and really likes to connect to his audience. I can see why my parents like him so much. If I was not an Atheist I would want a priest like him at my church.

After my mom related it all She looked at me and said this:

"I am so proud of you. You have become yourself and not only do I see it so is the rest of the world. I was not expecting all those people to comment like they did, but they did. They are seeing what I am seeing. An amazing woman worth knowing."

I wanted to cry. As much as all the positive comments and praise are wonderful to hear. What meant more to me was seeing my mom happy and proud of me. All I ever wanted was to by myself and to have others on board and telling my parents how much they think of me means more than anything anyone can say directly to me.

It is things like this that remind me at times that all this was worth it.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

This One Time At Camp

I have experienced so many things over the course of the last five and a half years.

From thoughts, to emotions, physical changes, highs and lows.

So much so that, while surprised at times, I just did not think I could feel anything that would overwhelm me anymore.

At least not like things did when I was figuring all this out and struggling with all of it.

I have largely been furiously happy, enjoying life and even the down moments are no where near as bad.

As they say transition can be like a rollercoaster, full of ups and downs.

Yet just like a rollercoaster I thought all the big stuff was mostly done with(GRS being the only large thing left) just the smaller bumps and twists as I settle into life.

I could not have been more wrong.

Since I learned first hand there will still be moments that will be extremely profound.

Several of these happened during the first week of July.

Through a few channels, I discovered last year, the existence of a camp for transgender youth. The idea of it intrigued me greatly. I reached out to the camp organizers last year and was notified they would contact me the following spring once they had their schedule set.

I had actually forgotten about it until I got an email in mid to late April. They needed more counselors and wanted to know if I would be interested in interviewing.

I jumped at the chance and said yes!

And wow did I ever have to interview.

I had several email exchanges, one phone interview and one skype webcam one. I had to provide three references, professional included, along with a health form filled out by my general practitioner.

After all that, I got the green light to go!! Which surprised me a little since I had never been to a sleep over camp personally(only day camps). Never been a counselor at one either. All I really had was two winters as an assistant girls basket ball coach(eight and nine year olds). Other than that it was babysitting my nephews when they were smaller.

All I could hope to do was learn and bring as much energy and passion as I could. Then just hope for the best.

Thus I had to scramble around and find a decent airfare to travel to parts unknown.

Well not entirely unknown, but the location of the camp is never published for obvious reasons. I was just given an airport in California to fly into.

(I am not worried about revealing the California locale since it is such a big state. I could have been anywhere.)

I was able to find something reasonable and proceeded to get all the rest of my info and packing done.

Not to mention I had a crazy two weeks prior to leaving at work since we had a host of servers to exchange out on a lease refresh and they had to be shipped out by the 28th of June.

Still I was able to get ready to go and off to the West Coast I went.

The counselors had to arrive a day early to met and learn about how the camp would operate. Things we were and were not allowed to discuss with the kids.

We did this through early Sunday afternoon when we got a break before the kids arrived later that day.

There are so many moments that I witnessed over the course of the week. Yet seeing these kids come in with their parents, particularly my cabin, was truly something.

I was assigned to ten, eight and nine year old trans girls. I will call them girls because honestly they were. Every single one of them.

It was really amazing to see them just being themselves. More on this later.

What really touched me deeply was watching the support of the parents who were bringing them in. There might have been some trepidation and uncertainty but I truly got a sense that most of these parents were really trying to understand it and be supportive.

Others were just totally on board and just wanted to be the best parent possible.

Case in point was the little girl who was one of the last to come into my cabin(before anyone panics there were three counselors staying in my cabin. This includes myself, we were also fortunate to be sharing our cabin with one of the two nurse volunteers on staff that week) with a low fever.

Now if the fever persisted it was not going to be possible for her to stay. Still her mom had medicated her before they left and I was asked by one of our A-Team counselors(hey it is what they called themselves) to take her to the infirmary and keep an eye on her until dinner. Which included a few more temperature checks.

It was during this that I got to spend a lot of time with her and talk her Mother, Father and little brother. (He was a total cutie and a complete character.)

Her mom just talked with me for quite a bit and kept checking in on her before and after her parent meeting. She was just so focused on making sure she was ok. As she really wanted her daughter to stay and not have to go home.

It was just so cool to see her treating her daughter as a normal child.

However since I did not know how we were going to pass the time just yet. I grabbed a deck of cards and headed to the infirmary with my charge in tow.

First checkup her temp was normal. Without knowing what to do and not being able to let her run around. I asked her and she suggested we head down to the Art & Crafts area.

It was there she taught me to make vinyl lanyards. (I totally need to brush up my friendship bracelet skills for next year. My cousins taught me when I was thirteen. I think the last time I made one was around fifteen).

On the way down however we ran into her Dad who wanted to check in on her.

While talking he noticed the logo on my deck of playing cards.

They had the University of Michigan logo on them. Plus they were bright blue and yellow.

"Really? Michigan cards?" As he wrinkled his nose a bit at them.

"Well yeah, I live there. Let me guess you are an Ohio State fan?"

"No actually Notre Dame(not a fan of them either but at least it was not Ohio St). You live in Michigan now?"

"Yes. I have lived there my whole life."

"And you came all the way out here for this camp?"

"Yes I did."

"Why this camp?"

"Well I think it is a great idea and a worthy cause. Also it is a bit close to my heart being Trans myself."

I got a stunned second expression from him. I could tell that in that moment he had not placed me as trans. Simply one of the female counselors in his daughters cabin.

Nothing changed between us at that point. We still chatted about our college teams and discussed her daughter. I think this was a case with a number of parents, who seemed a little shocked when I told them something similar. Mostly because they would ask me if I was from the local area or state. To which I would reply no, I am from Detroit or Michigan.

{Really if my readers have not been able to figure that out where I live by know, I don't know what to tell you. For reals, I have posted pictures from two Red Wings games. Mentioned that it was the home team and the arena and city were printed on the ice in one of them. Sherlock Holmes would have a few choice words with you about your powers of observation.}

They would be surprised that I had come so far for the camp. I would tell them something like the story above. That the camp is a great idea, I feel these kids deserve a chance, and that because I was trans myself I thought it was really important to me.

I would get a quick second glance. It was again obvious to me that they had no idea until that moment that I was trans.

Nothing ever changed between us, but I think some parents were often wondering what kind of life their kid would have. Meeting someone like me who had her act together. Really just hit home that it was possible for their child to have a normal life. If they so desired. I think that because of a number of counselors are trans a lot of parent could walk away and think, just maybe that this is not so bad.

It adds a level of difficulty but it is not nor should it be as terrible as it is sometimes made out to be.

Now my patient and I bonded during that time. I know I am not supposed to have favorites and I did have so many amazing girls in my cabin. I laughed and cringed with them all. Other then one child who caused a stir doing something that they had never encountered before at camp. Without revealing details or the whole story I will just say she decided she did not want to be there and took matters into her own hands. I know what happened because it was on my watch.

Another had just way to much energy and no filter on her mouth. She would blurt out anything and everything. We constantly had to rein her in.

There was the Red Ant invasion Monday night that caused a lot of sleepless night for us the rest of the week.

Even with those crazy events I had a blast. I greatly enjoyed my time there. My Patient and I did a lot together all week as I was her activity director a number of times for her. We even did our swim test together. (you just have to prove you know how to swim to get an arm band and be allowed in the deep end). I laughed because she thought adults just knew how to swim. I told her not all do, we have to be taught also, but that I had known how to swim since I was little. Yet I still needed to do the test.

Which brings up an interesting side story. I had never been in a bathing suit or swimming since about 2008 maybe 2009 but I cannot recall. I had been having an awful time finding something I liked and felt comfortable in. As much as people tell me I have a bikini body(I do not), I am not remotely comfortable in one. I did manage to find a one piece that worked and I felt ok in.

This was something I was not sure I even going to be able to do. It came up Monday afternoon when I had to track down a counselor who I was helping put together the talent show on Friday. I located her in the pool and she suggested I go get my bathing suit and join in. I mentioned the above story to her and she challenged me again about it. I told her that I would build up to it, as I dangled my feet in the water, and that I was soaking in all the positive vibes watching the kids and other counselors.

She told me that if I needed encouragement later in the week to let her know.

Which I did and she did.

Day of, her and another counselor came down with me during their rest period and totally supported me. While I sat there, have a last minute twinge of doubt, She looked at me and asked what I needed.

"Rebecca, I need you to tell me to get over my shit, get into the pool, do my swim test so that I can enjoy swimming the rest of the week."

With a twinkle in her eye she wonderfully replied with  "Kelli. Get over your shit, get into the pool, do your swim test so that you can have fun the rest of the week."

I laughed but appreciated the humor. As we already know I did get in and enjoy the pool a few times that week. It did not hurt that Patient X walked in right before I got in asking me how I did my swim test. Which I then prompted we do it together.

There are so many things I can tell you about that I have taken away from this experience but I will cover a few that stand out in my mind beyond what I already talked about.

First was the profound thought as I stood and watched these kids being kids. Really that was it to, I watched sixty boys and girls being boys and girls. COMPLETELY forgetting the fact that these kids are trans. It would just click in my head and I would be simply in awe of what I was witnessing. It just so seemed like normal sleep over camp. Yet all these kids were just like me.

Not to mention how supportive these kids were of each other. Yes there were a few personality clashes, some he said/she said/they said drama. Which is typical in any group of kids.

One truly touching thing was the camp pairs up older kids with first time attendees. It was heartfelt and a total tear jerker to watch all these older kids get into it and completely support the younger ones. Not only that but often I would see the older ones stopping to talk to some of my campers all week long. To see a community of kids support each other like that was freaking amazing. The rest of the world could learn a thing or two about supporting each other.

Or the fact that during the talent show one of my campers was signed up to sing a song solo, but during her performance she got stage fright. Thankfully one of the other counselors suggest to the other girls in my cabin to go up and help her(I was on the other side of the lodge helping run the show so there was not a whole lot I could do). Yet not only did five of my other girls go up the whole audience also stood up and sang with her. I think three of us were sniffling in the back it was so sweet and cool to see.

There were also the two older teen girls that I had to help escort back through the airport on the day camp was over. Several kids were placed with counselors who were also flying out that day, as the kids were flying as unaccompanied minors. We got assigned to them to make sure they did not get stuck for any reason and made it safely through to boarding.

Both girls were from the greater NY area and just really had their stuff together since they were 15 and 14 in ages.

We even had a laugh when they both had me holding their stuff animal pillows in the security line as they tried to dig out their IDs. The oldest told me when I asked why she was laughing.

"You are a grown woman standing with two big stuffed animal pillows in the TSA line!"

I laughed back and answered "I can think of worse things to be holding so I will manage with the pillows."

They both gave me a big hug and asked if they would see me at the second camp on the east coast. To which I sadly had to reply no. As I did not have the ability to do both camps. Still I told the oldest I expected to see her back as a counselor since she expressed the desire to be one some day.

The other really cool thing that I took away from the camp was the other counselors. There were thirty of us with about twenty being trans themselves. Not only that but they were trans people of extreme quality. This groups largely had their act together. Most being in their mid twenties, several in undergrad, graduate school, just finished and even one starting Medical School this fall to become a doctor.

For once I felt as if I was surrounded by my peers. There was not a person there I would not want to hang out with outside of the camp setting. In fact I got contact info for quite a few of them and have kept in touch so far through various means. I had so many interesting conversations with them. They also seemed quite surprised when discussing things that I did not seem aware of or was lacking experience.

I told them that back home a community with people of such high caliber was virtually non existent or really hard to find(my hometown area is so scattered and it does not help that our downtown is in such poor shape that there is nothing to pull us in together). So much so that my life was very hetro-normal and that was the world I existed in. That meeting them was just as big a deal to me as meeting the kids.

Truly it was an amazing experience. Even with the red ant invasion, crazy adolescent drama, the one or two problematic kids, it is something I would do again without hesitation. I have already expressed my desire to return numerous times and I think I will be extended an invite in the future. Schedule allowing I would always love to do one of these each year.

Even so it is an experience I will always cherish and never forget.

Is it time for camp yet?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The One I Will Not Tell My Kids

Recently there was another event with the Irish drinking band that one of my older groups of friends follows around. This would include Rogue, Professor and Scholar.

This is the same band and venue were I had to explain to Rogue who I was.

This one was special since it marked the two year wedding anniversary of Rogue and his wife Pixie(she is anything but, though tiny it was the dress that she wore this night that I am using to create her nickname).

The hilarious part of this is the band that we were there to see played at their wedding too.

Even though they do not play weddings.


Rogue side stepped them and rented out the entire restaurant for the event, helps know the owner, on a night the band was going to be there.

There was nothing they could do but play their wedding.

In fairness they only asked the band to play their normal set and had a friend who was a part time wedding DJ handle some in between music and some of the wedding things that had to be announced and what not.

Most everyone there wanted to see this band anyway and since the band does not start until nine it allowed for the wedding stuff to largely be taken care off beforehand and left the party goers to fully enjoy the band. Which was all they really wanted.

But that was two years ago and I was sadly not there.

Thus being invited to see them again, this was now my third trip and flying solo that weekend, of course I went.

How did it turn out?

Well I like to sum it up like this.

Pixie, myself and several other ladies ended up doing five shots together before the night was out. I got groped twice at the bar, by the same drunk guy. Got stared at by five women all at the same time all thinking the same thing. "What are you crazy?!" Got hit on by Pixie's widowed Father(who is old enough to by my dad). Left with the lead singers number from the band and did not sleep in my own bed that night.

LOL! Just another quiet night in the life of your hostess.

Also I would like to point out right now that there was NOT a walk of shame the next morning.

Get your minds out of the gutter!!!

Makes you think though doesn't it?  :D

Now I will give you the rest of the story.

Now the five shots should be self explanatory. Granted I don't usually drink much anymore, mostly due to risk of migraines, I still can handle my liquor fairly wll and we were pacing ourselves fairly decently. Plus the bartender was making up what she thought was a kamikaze but we did not care. Whatever they were was mighty tasty.

Pixie had come up to me and asked me if I wanted to do a shot with her. As it was her anniversary and one shot was not really going to bug me. I thought why not.

Famous last words.

While at the bar two rather drunk men decided to try and flirt with us. Needless to say we were not very impressed. After they challenged us to do a more "manly" shot. Our retort was we would do whatever shot they wanted, as long as they were buying.

That ended that conversation rather quickly. Though there were a few sparse comments that we choose to ignore.

We got started and were joined by Mother Hen(I am using that as a misnomer since she was the one largely responsible for the shot count going up) for another shot.

Also joining us was the Keyboardist in the band. He was actually getting a drink but since we had one end of the bar and he new more than a few people in the group he joined us briefly.

As our second shot came we did a little toast and had our drink.

It was about this time that Drunk guy #1 decided to return to the picture and walked past our merry little group and chat up the Keyboardist also.

This put him rather close to me.

We were waiting for two others to join us in what would be a third shot at that time. When Drunk Guy #1 turned away from the bar and pretended to stumble into me. Placing a hand on my butt.

I caught it as it happened and sidestepped it a little but he still made contact.

I kept moving and he wandered away.

Pixie looked at me since she witnessed the whole thing and asked me if I know I just got groped. I confirmed that I did but was just going to ignore it unless it happened again.

We moved back to our chairs briefly when a couple of other girls decided to join us and back to the bar we went for another round.

It was during this conversation that Pixie mentioned to Mother Hen and Smurfette(she had a super cute blue dress so that is what I am going with) about the story of me getting groped during our first trip to the bar.

Smurfette asked "Does this happen a lot?"

I replied "Guys try stuff all the time for some reason."

Pixie interjected "Well you are really pretty Kelli, I mean they are going to be attracted to you."

"Well I know I attract attention but I really don't think I am that pretty."

Now when I said this we had the Bartender(female), the Waitress(she knows the group really well), Mother Hen, Pixie, and Smurfette. I delivered that statement and I swear to you all five of them simultaneously turned to look at me as if I was out of my freaking mind.

They were truly dumbfounded that I had just said that.

"Kelli you are easily the prettiest girl in here." Pixie stated.

"Girl you cannot believe that, you really are." said The Bartender.

Smurfette turned to me "Wow we really are the last to see it aren't we? Kelli you are very pretty!"

I am sure The Waitress and Mother Hen said something too but I could not hear they as they were more in the background. Talk about shocking as these are all women stating this to me. Usually I hear it from men or gay men. Yet these women are all my peers and they are telling me this.

It is rather profound when you think about it.

Also, for the record, Pixie is the only one who knows about my function and still thinks I am an amazing and incredible person. She has already invited me to a girls only wine tasting event she is going to host.

At this point we did our third shot and headed back to our table. Not much else occurred except that Rogue and another gentleman purchased another round of shots for our table.

I played it safe by sticking with water and Coke for the rest of the night in an effort to remain sober and I figured I still had to drive home.

The band starts wrapping up there show and there is a big toast to the crowd with the crowd participating. We stand up holding out drinks(still soda for me) and say the chant along with the band.

It is during this that I see a hand with a glass appear over my shoulder. Since I was at the end of the table away from the band I could not think of another friend this might be.

It is then I feel a hand on my waist.

I twist to glance over my shoulder and whom do I see?

Drunk Guy #1 yet again.


WTF!!! Really?!?!

When he see me turn he backs up.

I am furious but as this happens the toast finishes and I am distracted by the end of the toast. A quick clink of glasses and I set my glass down.

Rogue(who was standing next to me a half step forward) catches the fact that I am really irked and asks me what is wrong. I explain that it is the drunk guy from earlier. (We filled him in on the story).

Now Rogue is the protective sort and we turn together to find him.

Only he is gone.

Now there is a large partition wall that separates the bar from the dinning/show area. We proceed around it.


Dart outside?


He and his friend are gone.

Oh well. Rogue at least was a total gentleman and one was not going to let some drunk fool upset a friend of his and two, and he can back it up.

We decided not to let it bug us but it is nice to know that someone has my back.

After this we girls head back to the part as we promised The Waitress and The Bartender a shot on us for being so good to us all night.

That and The Bartender wanted to sample what she had been making us since she had totally made it up on the spot.

While we were waiting the lead singer came up to talk to the group. Remember he knows quite a few of them rather well and also has Smurfette up on stage to join them for a song.

Once we have had our drink he walks over to me and introduces himself.


"Hi, my name is Bard I play with the band." (Obviously I am using the nickname of Bard as he is a musician with a great voice.)

"lol! I know I did watch the show."

"I have seen you here before recently, how long have you known this group?"

"Well some of them are new, but people like Rogue and Scholar I have known for a long time."

"Really? How come I have not seen you here before?"

"Oh they have been trying to get me to come for years, but previously I was in a relationship where I was not allow to do much when my ex decided he did not want to attend."

"Well I am glad you came. Actually I noticed you at a prior show and I did not see you at a show in between. I was worried we had scared you off?"

"Oh no! You guys are wonderful but there is simply no way I can make all the shows."

"Great I remember that show and thought "wow we must have been terrible that night" It was not one of our better shows that night."

"LOL!! Good show or bad show I would rather come see you guys than, say, go to work. You are a talented and fun group and you obviously enjoy yourselves doing it."

"Oh well thank you very much!"

"You are welcome!! Do mind if I ask you a questions?"

"Not at all go right ahead."

"At the end when you were giving your closing acknowledgments you mentioned a few former students here, what do you teach?" (He also gave a shout out to Rogue & Pixie for their anniversary.)

"Oh I teach Spanish and French at a local high school."

"Really I am going to Paris in September."

That statement sparked a ten minute conversation that prompted him to offer to share some of his travel info and even some study guides to improve my French. So he gave me his contact info with a promise to get together in the coming days.

Now relax, he is sixty and married but incredibly sweet and a pleasure to talk to. Which should make it interesting. Besides how does one expect to experience life if you do not take chances and meet new people.

Never the less that is how I came to get the lead singers phone number.

With everyone saying their goodbyes for the evening. Rogue comes up to me and asks if I am ok to drive home. I answer that I am but that I am probably pushing it and if I make a mistake I probably register over the limit. Now mind you I do not even have a buzz going. I just know it is still in my system and I cannot change that.

Rogue tells me he would rather I drive home with them and he will bring me back in the morning to get my car. Since it seems he is not driving either and leaving his car there too. Pixie's sister is driving us to his house.

"Besides a number of us are going there and plan on playing Cards Against Humanity."

"Oh I am so in!!"

With that we headed to Rogue and Pixie's house, played Cards Against Humanity until 3:30 am. It was at that point we all felt we had too much frivolity and laughter for the night.  Some  people went home and the rest of us found sleeping locations there at the house.

Now I bet you are wondering what happened to the part about Pixie's Dad.

Well I wasn't really paying too much attention at the dinning room table but I was sitting next to him. Upon waking up at seven AM(damn you internal alarm clock). I lingered in the bedroom I had been assigned until I hear someone moving about upstairs.

It turned out to be Pixie's Dad who was making coffee. He offered to get me a cup of tea and we sat and chatted while we waited for others to wake up so that we could head out for breakfast and retrieve the cars.

Now a little back story. Pixie's Dad was married for forty years, he became a widower last year when his wife sadly died.

I thought he was sweet and nice, but did not really think anything of it. I felt this way because here he was the father of three daughters the eldest of which graduated from the same HS as I did. One year prior to myself.

Think about that. He is old enough to be my father.


Just not gonna happen. I also did not realize until later that the reason he stayed that night rather than going home with the other daughter was because I was there. He also came to breakfast because I was there. It dawned on me that morning that the man was hitting on me rather than just being flirtatious.

I just did not make that connection because I just thought he was out enjoying spending time with his two daughters. I also did not talk to him much during the show the night before.

What made me realize it, was in direct comment about talking with me again over our morning cups of caffeine and again after breakfast. As I did join Pixie, Rogue  and their brood for noms.

Pixie, slyly apologized to me later in front of him, mentioning that her dad was just looking for company and was not interested in dating yet.

I half wonder if she figured it out around the same time I did.

Oh well, he is nice but I am simply not interested.

I bid my adieu and promised to get in touch with everyone after they returned from Ireland and I from Southern California next month.

That concludes the story of how I ended up not sleeping at home and was hit on by someone who would be old enough to be my father.

Crazy, crazy, crazy!!!

I can hold my head high and say I did not intentional go out and try to have a night like this. I simply wanted to have a good time with friends and the whole story happened really organically.

When my best friend Laura contacted me the following morning I gave her the same summary I gave you at the beginning part of this post. Needless to say it generated a big of shock and some hilarious laugher later. As I was not even at home yet when I responded to her.

It still is pretty surreal that my life his going as well as it is. I would have never foreseen having stories like this. Glad that I can laugh at them later.

Most importantly I am living life to the fullest and I do not think I can express in words how amazing I think that is.

Life has really taken off in the last seven or so months.

No one pinch me I might wake up.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Margaritaville: Legacy of the Lost Scrolls

As you know D(Racer's wife) and I made a date for dinner and drinks.

The text exchange was rather funny as she mentioned a good Mexican restaurant that had great margaritas and good food.

I responded back jokingly that she had me at margarita.

 We picked a time and a date for getting together.

So how was it?

Well I got there after work at 5:30.

After many a laugh, some pretty good food, numerous stories and four margaritas we finally decided we should be responsible adults and make our way home at eleven at night.

It was a school night after all.

It was just so much fun getting to know someone you already knew all over again.

From the moment I walked in it was we started chatting.

We talked about our respective days. Got caught up on some larger life stories that we both had mentioned to each other but did not have the time to go into details.

Book, movies, art, music were all discussed.

We poked fun at silly people and some of the less than stellar human beings we have worked for.

We even got into the topic of me a little(it was the first time she was able to ask me some more in depth questions).

"Let me just say Kelli you have completely blown me away with who you are. I am also stunned how good you look. I cannot believe you are the same person."

"lol, that big a difference huh? Let me guess you were expecting something else?"

"I would not say that I was just unsure of how it would work. I mean when I was finally able to get home and talk to Racer about you I asked "how does she look?" He just told me you looked incredible and amazing. Which is why I had to go to dinner with you shortly after. I was so bummed about not being able to meet with that night, but my mom needed help."

"And what do you think?"

"Holy cow girl!! You have simple amazed me. Not only with how you look but who you are. I had so much fun meeting you at dinner. Poker night was a blast and I just had to hang out with you again. Even your personality is different. I mean there are some of the same things there but you are more open and relaxed these days compared to that engineer I met so long ago. I am really glad for you and glad that you are finally happy."

"Thanks D it is not an easy road to get here and a lot of people think they know what the issue is or how it works. Really they do not."

"I don't doubt it one but you are doing it well. In fact you really caught the attention of everyone at poker. Particularly Tilt's."


"Oh my god yes! Quite a few people wanted to know how we knew you. Who you were, etc. But we went to dinner with Tilt about a week later and he was all about you, asking all that and if you were going to come back. He also thought you were a really good poker player. He could not stop taking about you."

"Oh dear it sounds like he has crushing on me a bit."

"lol I would agree. Now are you coming back?"

"Oh definitely, I enjoyed it. As my schedule allows I indeed to be there."

Which I have been since this night.

She even mentioned a conversation with her hairdresser when the topic of a trans person popped up in the salon when she was there during a session.

I am not recalling what caused another patron to mention it but D's hairdresser made a comment to her that a trans person can always be spotted.

D disagreed with her. When questioned about it. D replied "I know it is not true because I have a friend who does not look like anything other than a woman." Her hairstylist then started rattling off the common tells in a trans person. To which D shot down every single one of them regarding me. Finally stating:

"Look she is small, only and inch taller than I am. Does not have any distinguishing features nothing. She dresses respectable and well. Even when she is being super casual. There just isn't anything there. She has a wonderful voice. Heck it is better than mine. Her manners everything just fits. So no you cannot always tell."

She told me her hairdresser was a bit taken back but D went on to staunchly defend me. It just goes to show how un-informed people really are.

D stated that from the moment she met me that this just made total and perfect sense for me.

The rest of our talk was just pure fun and idle chatting. All together it was a great time and we enjoyed each others company so much we have done it since then and are even planning another now that she is back from a vacation.

After the string of friends and even family that had an issue with me. It is astounding me the number of people who knew and now have no issue with the new me.

It seems with every step I take forward these days the more life seems to finally be falling into place.

And I really like that place.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Where's Waldo

Once again I am going to tease the general audience.


With a picture.

That's how.

Recently I posted how I attended a hockey game for my favorite NHL team.

This is the hometown team I grew up rooting for.

Well they are in the playoffs yet again.

Really it has been twenty-two years straight.

I know another big clue as to where I live but really, I had the name of the major city I live near and the arena printed on the ice in the last picture.

Google would have solved that riddle in a second.

Anyways we had such good seat this last time I managed to find an interesting picture.

Why is this one so interesting?

Other than a great action shot, it is the fact that yours truly is sitting in the stands in plan sight.

We even made the national broadcast.

How cool is that?

It was a lot of fun, a great game, but still I marvel at how normal life has become.

I truly am fortunate to being living my life as me.

P.S. I know once again teasing the audience. What can I say I value my privacy. There are people in the know who will be able to find me. As they have either met me or gotten to see more picture of me via email.

P.P.S. Also do not worry, I am working on the follow up post to my last story. I has a system upgrade and outage recently took up way too much time to resolve. I had to play catch up on other things first and get some much needed rest.

Monday, May 13, 2013

I'm All In: The Lost Scrolls Revisited

Now that I got you all caught up with the lost scrolls, I can tell you the next part of the story.

Since I now had Racer up to date on what was going on. We promised to speak again soon.

But that did not end up happening.

Not that we didn't talk.

Quite the contrary we did a lot. On the phone, IM and emails.

We were still IT engineers and we often share data. He also moved some of my personal services onto his hosting environment as I shut down my personal lab for the time being.

So there was plenty of chatter between us during my first year full time.

Yet we never had the chance to get together in person. I was busy, he was busy, I did not think he was blowing me off at all, it was just not working out.

Which brings up to early 2013.

He had an IT question for me about a platform I work heavily on. While chatting via IM about it he actually brought it up.

"Hey I haven't seen you in over a year?"

"You are right." As I realized this was, in fact, true.

"Can you go to dinner in the near future?"

I checked my schedule "Yes, I am busy this week but I am really free next week."

"Okay, perfect I have nothing next Tuesday. Let's go!!"

We chatted a bit more on logistics and venue. Settled on it quickly and that was that.

Tuesday came and we met. He arrived before I did as I had a longer drive. Plus it was starting to snow in the region(this was mid February).

I walked, shrugged off my jacket and sat down.

He looked dead at me and said "Holy F*#$!

Taken aback I questioned him.

"You look great!! I was not expecting this!"


Oh yeah, I had no idea what I was going to see, but damn. You look good and if did not know who you were I would not suspect. Wow!"

{It should be noted that I was not dressed in anything unusual. Simply a sweater and jeans tucked into knee boots. It was winter after all.}

I thanked him and asked him how his wife D was doing.

"Oh she is good, she wanted to come tonight but she had to help her mom tonight and with the snow coming probably won't make it."

I told him that was too bad and tell her I said hi.

Now I should note here that I knew both of them separately. I met her doing work for the company she was the office manager for and in charge of the IT consultants coming in. Her and I talked all the time I was there. Often if I need to kill and hour so I could head home rather than back to the office I would chat with her. We always got along.

As He and I worked together and when I was placed on a long term large project, He was the one who replaced me. Which is how they met. They did not start dating until about five years later and were married about two after that.

We ate dinner. Talked most of the night, enjoyed a frosty adult beverage or two. He asked a bunch more questions of me, we caught up on life and joked about a number of things.

It was a good a productive evening.

He promised to get together again soon...

...which did not take very long at all, within a few days he contacted me again wanting to setup another dinner. This time with his wife D.

It was my hunch there was some curiosity. It is to be expected at times.

So we setup a day the following week and I met the two of them for dinner.

Again I got a big hug from her as soon as I walked in.

Great dinner, good conversation it went amazingly well.

It got even better near the end when she asked me: "Do you still play poker?"

{back story here, Racer and I started playing poker with a group that was made up of people we worked with when he and I worked together. They wanted to learn how to play Texas Hold'em and so a monthly poker night was setup. Being a gamer of just about anything I was interested. Originally it was just guys only but on occasion it got opened up for wives and girlfriends. Me, being the gamer that I am loved it, even if the boys did get out of hand from time to time. I was used to it then and just stayed quite when things strayed too much.}

"I have not played in quite a few years."

"Would you be interested in a game once a month, our friend Tilt host a game these days and it is open to anyone."

I will use this poker term as a nickname since this man is a hardcore addict to the game.

"I would loved too!"

"Great we need more girls and you are an awesome player."

This was true, not to toot my own horn but after a few months of playing with those guys, learning the game and their tells. I started an impressive streak. In two and a half years I was finishing first or second most months. Even winning three times in a row. Only a few times did I ever go out early and even then I could usually outlast more then half the group and get close to earning money.

She informed me the next game was at the end of the week asked if I could go and I confirmed I could.

This brings me to the title of the story. I attend the poker game. There were three other girls there besides myself. Even though I didn't know most of the players or their tells I still managed to bust out Racer and two others, took more than a few pots of off Tilt, our host. Eventually placing third and winning eighty dollars.

Not too bad for a $20 buy in.

I had a blast, impressed the boys with how well I played, enough to get an invited back.

At the end of the night D and I were sitting on a couch chatting about things waiting for the boys to wrap things up. She looked at me and said "Oh hell, you are my kind of girl, give me your number we are so going out for drinks!"

Laughing I did just that and within a few days we settled on a place and a day to get together.

That brings me to the last part of this story.

To be continued....

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Lost Scrolls

I have a story to tell but I ran into a small issue.

I cannot find the prior post that I thought I had written about a friend of mine.

I found the original post where I had to talk with him early in my transition that produced some interesting comments.

Followed up by a conversation after he tried to offer me a position working for him.  Which caused more than a few sleepless nights.

Not because  I did not want or was not going to disclose to him. Rather it was the fact that I did not feel comfortable being a consultant on the road having to deal with clients, while transitioning.

I just did not feel I wanted to "explain" it to anymore more people than I had to.

That whole scenario was avoided when a large project that I had designed and got the chance to implement came to be.

Now I swear I wrote a post about the time I disclosed to him shortly before I went full time. For the life of me I cannot find it.

I looked through all my post archives. Scoured every post I had post or even written but not up on the site. I think I may have even burned out the search feature on my site.

I can recall writing it.


Where it went I have no idea.

I guess I need to explain.

No, there is too much let me sum up.

Racer(as I will call him as that is his hobby. Not kidding he has a heavily modified Mitsubishi Lancer Evo that he takes around the area for various weekend events and races in friendly competitions.) had long been wondering what was going on with me.

So shortly before I was going to start full time I finally managed to get our schedule so sync enough to have the "talk" with him.

I had to do it in his garage as he was in the process of changing out his racing seats for new ones. (There was some issue with how the others fit and they were causing him issues.)

Not a big deal as I know my way around things, granted i was not in charge of this, more I was just a glorified helper. Holding things in place, and tightening a nut or two. Generally being an extra set of hands.

This allowed for some extended time to talk about things. Which was funny because he actually guessed what I was going to tell him.

I kid you not.

I started my usual highly personal speech, digression for the time being would be appreciated, etc,. etc. Then, just before I got into the issue, he interrupted me.

"Can I take a guess at what this is?"

I was a little shocked but said "Sure."

"Okay, either you are getting a divorce or, and this is totally a wild ass guess, you are having a sex change."

I could not help but laugh, he was the only one ever to take a stab at it.

I explained to him that it was both. That my marriage long ago had failed but finances had force the delay of it happening. Also that the main reason I was there to talk to him was that yes indeed  was having a sex change.

(I found out that during the discussion that the day he told me I looked like a little boy he was already thinking I was looking more like a girl. Also that when I showed up on this day to tell he it was even more apparent. Which would be true as I was two months away from full time.)

I gave him the usual summary and a bit of data, then left the floor open for question. Which knowing him I would get a lot and I did.

Good questions, curiosity questions, even a few odd ones(that is just who he is).

I ended up being there for almost five hours as we talked about it, and all sorts of things that we had not caught up on in prior years. Also there were pauses as we worked on the car.

Still is was an incredible disclosure and in close competition with my disclosing to Professor in the best ones that I have had. For different reasons.

At the end he told me that while it would take a him a while to adjust to it that I would still be considered a friend. That as long as I was happy he had no issue with it. He understood the pursuit of personal happiness and the desire to be yourself.

He also stated that if work proved to be an issue that even if he could not hire me full time right then, he could offer me contract work for sure.

Which that I got a hug and said goodbye with the promise of getting together in the near future.

Which did not quite happen right away.

It ended up happening nearly eighteen months later...

...that brings me to the story I wanted to tell.

Monday, April 29, 2013

In The Shadows

Every once and a while something happens or I catch something out of the corner of my eye that brings a smile to my face of how worth it this all was for me.

Or even sparks a little moment of "wow, I love being me and where I am at now."

Before I tell you what it was, a bit of history.

Last fall, somewhere around late October or early November, I started running.

I had not done so with any regularity since HS. I did stopped after knee trouble and switched to cycling.

It started with both the BF and I wanting to get into better shape. Plus we have been toying with the idea of a co-ed adult recreational soccer league.

He played Varsity in HS and I as a child, plus intramural in HS along with pickup for a few years after.

It, however, has been a while for both of us.

Thus we started running.

Together as often as our schedules allow. Which is what I really enjoy, but also on our own to keep getting in shape.

I have been running pretty steadily since then, most of the time five days a week. Even in the snow and cold weather(though I have not been out when it has been below zero like some. /wink)

Still it has been dark or getting dark most of the time I have been out, since I go running usually right after work during the week. Plus with all the gloomy weather here in the Midwest I have been out on a lot of cloudy overcast days.

Which brings me to a very recent weekend.

I was out running and it was actually a nice day. Fairly warm with a cool breeze with very few clouds in the sky.

The noticeable difference was the late afternoon sun, bright and shiny, even if it was not truly warm out.

This made me enjoy not being bundled up in three layers trudging through the snow to get a run in. Not that I don't enjoy winter, and some of my runs have been hauntingly beautiful as I ran through a snow fall.

It was just time for a break from it.

Now I bet you are wondering what I noticed besides a nice cool but sunny day?

Well there I was near the end of my run, turning to finally face due East as I ran one of the last legs toward home.

When motion on the ground in front of me caught my eye.

Bringing my eyes downward to figure out what it was.

At first glance I did not notice anything but the top of my shadow. (I did mention the sun being out and right behind me)

Then I saw it.

There was not an object or animal causing the motion.

No it was my shadow itself... my pony tail rhythmically swayed behind my head as I jogged down the street.

I am sure if anyone saw me at that moment I would have had a silly grin on my face.

It is crazy how something so simple can affect ones mood so profoundly.

Amazing that I am at this point in my life today.

Simply enjoying seeing the swish of my ponytail in my shadow on the ground while going for a run.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Howler Monkeys

The natives are restless!

I can't blame them really.

Here they have been working like crazy to write new material and I cannot post any of it...

..for now.

Seriously I have two posts done and a third that was in progress when something happened.

I found out my anonymous blog is not quite so anonymous anymore.


As it turns out an entity in my life that plays a large role has discovered that I have a blog.

Not to mention all three of these blogs deal with this entity or at least mention it.

Now before everyone panics, nothing happened. I was just asked about it and was informed of a few things.

No harm, no foul as they say.


Those three post that I have in some was deal with this entity or involve information that I do not really want them to know.

Considering I was working on these posts about a month ago. I was ready to clean them up and post them.

Since then I have been wondering what to do.

For now I won't, much to my typewriters monkeys chagrin.

Yeah, to say they are not happy, would be an understatement.

The good news is that while I was pondering what to do about the other post I had some adventure that I need to share. So hopefully I can calm them down by giving them something to do.

Either that or they will start flinging things at me.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Again For The First Time: The Game

I have recently found myself doing things I never imagined I would ever be doing.


...but for the first time.

As myself.

I know I posted me out on the ski slopes last year.

Yet recently I found myself attending something in person, in over three years.

There I was sitting in the stands, my BF next to me(it was his idea and treat to take me), jersey on(yes, always when at a live game), when the thought struck me of where I was.

And that I was doing it as me.

So I snapped this picture right before the opening face off.

I had a blast. I love live hockey and seeing my home town team skating again great!

Yes, I know it is a huge clue as to where I live but hey, it isn't like I have posted what I look like these days...

...or my actual name.

...or where I work.

Still is it is a profound moment when you realize how much life has changed. Yet still is the same.

In addition how great it feels to be living your live freely.

Monday, March 18, 2013

An Interesting Anomaly

I have noticed something rather interesting lately.

I am getting smaller.

For reals!

Before I explain this a little back story.

In early 2008 after I had lost a lot of my extra weight I settled into wearing sized 8/10 and medium/large in women's fashions.

In the following years as I finished losing the rest of my extra weight and started hormones I noticed a few more changes. I even posted some of them for curiosity's sake.

I noticed even more after the second year of hormones, but about all that changed was I settled into size 8 and mediums a little more and not much else. Really I remained there for the next two years.

Which is where I thought I would stay.

Until recently.

Since late last summer I noticed a shift.

A rather significant one at that.

First during the summer I found myself finding mediums or size 8 shirts to be too large. Causing me to try on a size smaller.

Initially this fact did not cause any suspicion to be aroused. I know brands and designers "sizes" differ a little between them. There is always some fluctuation to be found.

What I was clueless about at the time, was the fact that I was doing this more and more frequently. I was rather oblivious about it. Mostly because I wasn't doing a ton of shopping that summer.

It wasn't until I was visiting my best friend Laura for Thanksgiving and we did some serious mall walking that weekend. Hehe true story we even did some midnight Black Friday shopping. Mostly just to view the insanity, but ended up scoring a few things for ourselves once the mob scene quieted down.

The crazy part was I was grabbing mediums find them too big and going to smalls, and in more than few cases an extra small. I bought exactly no mediums. I would say I got 70% smalls and 30% extra smalls.

I also noticed any dresses that were tried on I was favoring a 6 over an 8. Even fitting best into a few 4s.

I was shocked.

As I mentioned I understand designers can fluctuate their sizes between them. Yet this was too big a change to often for me to say it was that.

Once I got home I put it to the test by grabbing some of my old shirts and sweaters that I had in my closet that were not that old.

I was swimming in most of them. Especially if they were supposed to be a bit more figure fitting. Anything that was meant to be over sized and baggy was even more enormous and baggy.

This fact had me pretty astounded since my size and shape had largely gone unchanged in the last three years. Even stranger since my weight has hardly budged in the last five years.

Now I should make you aware that all of this was in relation to my upper body, below the waist I still a 6 or an 8. (I favor a 6 for skirts and 8s for jeans.)

Seriously no change there.


Everything else has.

I know this because all of that was not the most telling signs.


It was my feet.


I kid you not. I had noticed that I had been favoring a size 8 over 8.5(which was my typical size.)

Yet it was not my daily shoes or heels that made me take notice.

It was my ski boots.

A little background for those of you who are not skiers.

Ski boots are all sized the same. The length of your foot is measured in centimeters and that is where they start sizing a shell for you.

See the idea is the shell is designed not to be too much bigger than your foot. So that when it is buckled shut it compresses the softer inner foam liner around your foot. This fills in any gaps that might exist and the whole shebang becomes an extension of your lower leg.

Any gaps will cause you to have less control over your skis and often become uncomfortable as your foot moves around too much under the stresses of skiing.

The only differences between a men and women's boot is mens boots start and end at larger sizes. They are stiffer and a bit wider than a womens.

Meaning there is no difference when it come to sizing, you stand on a universal measurement device. Get your foot measured and they start trying shells on your foot to see how close you are to what they measured(Sometimes they have to go up a half size depending on the length of your foot).

This means a 27cm boot is the same in either gender. I know this because I know a few girls who are accomplished skiers and prefer the stiffness a men's boot has to offer for performance reasons.

The tricky part is if they will fit, because you start test fitting shells until you find what you are looking for then you clamp your foot in with the liner and start moving around walking, leaning, crouching in them to look for any spots that are pinching or causing discomfort.

This tells you if the boot will be comfortable or not as you ski.

[Word of advise for those would be skiers a good fitter will have you try on several pairs if they can find enough close to your foot size and always try getting fitted at more than one retailer.]

Well I had noticed my old boots were feeling off last year. They were about five years old so I was about due for replacing them.

Now this is where the shock comes in. My old boots were a size 27. Yes of course they were mens, but I knew that really didn't make too big a difference. Other than they were now feeling too loose. I ended up at that size because my foot measured somewhere between 26.5 and 27 back then.

Imagine my surprise when I got to one of my favorite ski shop, sat down with their fitter, pulled my boots and socks off, pulled on a pair of winter socks, and measured my foot.

I was just short of 25cm.

Double O_O

My foot had shrunk somewhere between 1.5 and 2 centimeters. Give or take.

I was trying on 25 and 25.5 boots. This was a huge change from my old ones. Had my foot really changed that much?

Maybe....but something else occurred to me.

I can tell you I always had a hard time fitting mens ski boots, I would try on a lot of pairs, and I do mean a lot until I found something that was really snug yet comfortable.

It never occurred to my why this was until now.

I also have a narrow foot.

As mentioned a ski boot is to very closely follow the shape of your foot. Men's boots were difficult for me because my foot never felt like it was ever being fully pressed in on all sides.

Putting a high end girls boot on(I am an accomplished skier, so I do want a full four buckle and rather stiff boot) shocked me as for once I felt it grab and hold my entire foot. Toes to heel, side to side.

It was a world of difference. My foot was no longer able to twist inside the boot. It felt completely snug but not uncomfortably so. Granted I did try on eight pairs total. Fussing with buckle settings and tossing out ones that might have pinched or pressed too hard in one spot. Enough to notice it anyway.

Settling on the ones pictured here.

[Total bonus on the color, as you do not get to pick it. Ever. Really I had a white and blue pair I liked along with a pair of Fischers that were bright yellow. Not to mention I tried on things that were orange, lime green, aqua and so on. Everything I wear has black, white, purple or some combination there off in it. So I totally lucked out on these.]

In the end though I am still in awe of the changes that have occurred. Even more surprised by the continued change. I certainly did not expect this since I started HRT at the age of 34..

Part of me does wonder, seeing that I was never very big to begin with, if I do have a smaller bone structure and it was simply weight and muscle mass making me appear larger. Now that more of it has disappeared or reduced my smaller frame is becoming more apparent.

Who knows really.

I will tell anyone who is trans that changes can and will happen, the younger you are the truer I think this is. Your personal results will vary and they will take time. I have personally experienced more changes in the time after I passed the twenty-four month mark than I did prior to that.

Crazy when I consider where I started and where I am today.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Cabin In The Woods

It has been a crazy few months and it will take a bit for me to catch you all up on it.

I am going to try though.

The first thing I need to cover is the story of a friend of mine who got in touch with me again.

I'll call him Scholar since he spent over ten years getting his bachelor's degree. (long story)

He is a friend of mine who also knows the Professor.

Which is how he came to learning about me.

Earlier this year, late summer  or early fall, Scholar and the Prof went to lunch. Scholar asked about me and Professor told him that he had not talked to [His Name] in quite some time. Which is true.

So the Professor contacted me to let me know that I was asked about. Since he knew it was my story to tell he left it up to me, but that he did not want to keep avoiding the question.

Fair enough.

I then reached out via text to Scholar and let me know that I wanted to give him a call and talk but that if I did so I would sound a little different.

Before I could call him he attempted to contact me. Unfortunately  I was in a meeting and was unable to answer it. Thus it went to voice mail. Which has a new greeting with a new voice.

Well that removed any chance of not completely shocking him.

I called him back as soon as I was able and when he answered the phone he immediately used the right name and was totally okay with it. In fact it turned out I was the third person he knew that had transitioned(almost 11 years in college remember?). Crazy fact was I was the second MtF and the other was FtM.

We set plans for a dinner in the near future(early sept)  and sat down for a chat that day over a few drinks and a meal.

It was a non event really as he was already familiar with trans individuals and really just wanted to get to know me better.

At the end of the evening he noted a few things.

"Well you still have your sense of humor, you are still a geek, you seem more alive and happy then I have ever seen you. Really you are much the same yet vastly different. Also sitting here talking to you for the last few hours there is no doubt in my mine you are a girl. A pretty cool and amazing one at that."

Closing out this meeting he asked me if I was willing to attend a show by a local Irish drinking band, that the group he hung out with the most, followed around and saw fairly regularly. They had been trying to get me to attend for years but my prior living arrangement would not allow for it. I told him I would love to attend and to let me know when the shows were, that as long as I wasn't tied up elsewhere, that I would make one.

Which promptly came up a few weeks later, alas I was unable to attend that once since it was a bowling night.

All was not lost as the opportunity popped up right after Thanksgiving when Scholar called me again to see how I was doing and to inform me that yet another show was happening the first weekend in December.

The good news was I was totally free that night and mentioned that I would be dragging someone along, as they needed a head count for seating reservations.

As asked Scholar who else would be attending, besides himself, I did not really know anyone else, except for Rogue.

(I'll call him that because it totally fits his history if you know it like I do. Besides it is my blog and I can use any nickname I want too.)

Rogue went to the same HS as myself, Professor and Scholar. Not to mention the four of us did a lot of crazy things together way back when.

However I had not even talked to Rogue in nearly eight years, meaning he was not high on my list of people to have 'the' talk with prior to transition.

I asked Scholar if Rogue had been told anything and he replied that to his knowledge nothing had been said. I also contacted Professor and he stated the same.

So the night of event comes, I go, dragging the BF with me(he is a trouper that one, sometimes he has no idea what he is about to encounter but knows I need the support), Professor even makes a change in his plans and attends for my sake. (I have some amazing friends.)

Upon arriving, I am introduced to everyone there along with Rogue. Now he was a little busy since he was doing the arranging of this event and wanted to make sure there were enough seat for all the people attending.

Thus, beyond a cursory introduction, we did not talk.

Yet interestingly enough we did sit across from each other and though at separate tables. (The group had two long rectangular tables but Rogue and I ended up directly across from each other even if there were two table between us. This is important later.)

Also, once we got settled in the band started fairly soon thereafter so I was forced to wait for a break between the sets.

At which point I tell Scholar and Professor to go grab rogue so I can have a chance to talk to him.

We get him outside and away from the smokers(all bars and restaurants in my home state no longer allow for it inside) to have the following exchange.

"Rogue, I do apologize for doing it this way, but unfortunately I did not have a chance to tell you sooner. While you might not have any idea who I am, you do know me though it has been quite sometime. There has been a great deal of change so unless you have some idea who I am, I will have to explain."

I gave him a moment during which his eye widened and he looked at me and said:

"I have a guess."


"Are you [his name]?"

"I was yes, how did you know?"

"Lol, well all night sitting across from you thinking you reminded me of someone. A few of your facial ticks. A smirk or look with your eyes that eventually clicked with me that you reminded me of him. So much so that I was tempted to call him and asked if he had a cousin that I never met who could almost pass for his female twin."

I laughed and said "Well there are some thing you cannot change."

"Honestly, I had no clue until you asked me if I knew who you were, I just thought it was one of those crazy circumstances where you meet someone who reminds you a great deal of someone else. I did not even make the connection until just now. So how are you?"

"Oh, you know same old, same old."

He gave a big laugh "Lol well your sense of humor certainly has not changed."

We chatted for a few minutes and at the end of it I asked if he ad any questions or concerns.

"Just one, Are you happy?"


"Good, I might still be a little shocked but I have no issue with it as long as you feel it was right for you."

"It was."

"One last thing."


"Will we be seeing you around more?"

"I don't see why not."

"Excellent, you have been missed."

It was this point where we needed to head back in as the band was going to start their second set. It was also time for me to leave. I have a busy Sunday morning and already it was late. So I said my goodbyes and headed out the door.

Now you would think that this would be the end of  my store. But nay, it is not. I only told you all that so I could tell you the real story. I mean this post is titled The Cabin in The Woods.

And I don't believe I have actually mentioned a cabin yet.

Well a few weeks after the music event, Scholar called me up and asked what I was doing between the holidays.

[Now before I go any further I feel I should point out Scholar's parents and extended family own two cabins in the norther part of our home state. His parents having the larger of the two properties mostly because they built a larger cabin next to the smaller one and connected the two with a breezeway. What would happened a long ago in a galaxy far, far away, is that between college semesters a bunch of us would head up there to unwind, game, ski, watch movies and generally have some fun before heading back home, and real life. I managed to go for most of the 90's before life took me in a different direction.]

At my current employment we have a full shutdown between the holidays. Mostly because our largest client also shuts down during this time.

I told him I was off and that I was looking to possibly go skiing somewhere.

"Why don't you come up here if you can, we will find room for you, there will be plenty to eat and you know you can go skiing form here. Besides, Scholar, Rogue, and myself already know, anyone else would be new to you. Nothing needs to be said just come up and be you."

I debated with this until the weekend before Xmas. Not sure what I wanted to do, but ultimately deciding I would go Wednesday night, ski Thursday, hang out Friday and if I felt uncomfortable I could head home at any time on Saturday.

Now I had to do a little work Wednesday after Christmas, which I could do from home, handle an appointment, so I needed up getting partially caught in a bad snow storm driving out Wednesday night. Thankfully I was able to drive  north enough to get out of it and the last two thirds of the trip were no issue at all.

It did however turn a three hour trip into five and a half.

Meaning I got there far later than I desired so I was only able to see a couple of people before I needed to get into bed since I was getting up early to leave to go skiing the following morning.

With only an hour, I only got to meet one new couple and spent some additional time with Rogue who helped me to find my sleeping arrangements.

Thursday was great all day on the slopes, for the first time in a long time I had total freedom since I had no one to babysit or teach how to ski. Not that I really mind I love sharing, but this really allowed me to go where I wanted, when I wanted and ski what I wanted.

I had a complete and total blast.

After getting kicked off the slopes in the late afternoon, I headed back to the cabin, stopping only to grab a bit to eat. I was starving and did not want to wait until I got back.

Upon arriving I headed into the main cabin to see if the shower would be free. I knew there were at least ten people currently staying there and I did not want to impede anyone.

What happened was not something I was expecting.

I ran smack into someone I knew...

...and who would know the old me.

Now this was someone who I had not physically seen in nearly fifteen years. He attended college with Scholar, which was how they met, and also how I met him. During those years in the mid nineties I saw and spend time with him a lot, mostly via proxy through Scholar. If you gave him enough information he would remember who version 1.0 of me was. Something else you should know. He has a history of being a player and a skirt chaser. Not deplorably so but once he becomes bored with her he would move on pretty fast.

So there I was just popping in the door which had me in the kitchen and he was right there in front to me. It took me a moment to figure out who he was as he was much older looking but the voice and personality were there. He had arrived that morning after I had already left for the slopes.

"Well hello! Who might you be?" He asked me.

"I'm Kelli."

"Well Kelli I am Jester. When did you get in?" I could see the interest almost immediately. [I'll call him Jester right now for the fact that he has this crazy sense of humor.]

"Last night."

"Then where have you been?"

"I was out skiing today."

"Oh, so your the skier I heard about."

"Yes I am."

"What are you doing now?"

"Well I wanted to see if the shower was free as I would really like to take one."

I managed to break that conversation off rather quickly after that, as I really wanted to take a shower. I should point out that he is not a terribly unattractive man. Being older than me, he is in fairly good shape, though he does smoke. Still had a full head of hair but it had receded back a bit.

He is intelligent, funny, and extremely charismatic but knowing his history I was totally not interested. He might be fun to talk to but it was not going to go any further.

Besides I have a BF I love very much and was certainly not going to jeopardize that. The point here is even if I was single I would keep him at arms length.

Still it was obvious he was very interested in me and once I was done getting cleaned up spent a lot of time where ever I was. He was baffled that I knew Scholar, Professor and Rogue as long as I have(which is much longer than he did) and he had never met me before. He  also could not fathom how an extremely attractive woman,  very intelligent woman, who had a great sense of humor had ended up divorced.

Over the course of Thursday evening to early Saturday morning he asked me out to dinner three separate times. All of which I politely turned down and mentioned that I was dating.

It didn't stop him at all.

But that is the nature of who he is.

However there wasn't any recognition from him that he linked me to the person I was before.

In fact Scholar even told a story that version 1.0 of me played a major role in.  He told it that way not shifting any details of the story at all. Yet he made no mention that the person in the story was also the same person sitting at the other end of the table. Jester even asked about it after the story was wrapped up.

"Hey whatever happened to that guy?

Scholar answered "I lost touch with him several years ago and have not heard from him since."

It was obvious he remember who the old me was but nothing was ever said nor any connection made that I was one in the same.

I can say he might have been persistent but he wasn't obnoxious about it. He was always polite but I always knew what his intentions were and where he wanted to go.

My guess is he finally decided to leave on Saturday because I was constantly rebuffing him and a few more people showed up including a former girlfriend of his.

I was still pretty crazy to receive that kind of attention all weekend long.

And THAT is not even the end of the story yet.

There was one other person there who came in Friday morning. I'll call her Ginger since...well...she is a ginger. Fiery red hair, pale skin and freckles to make a Wesley jealous.

Ginger is someone who I attended high school with along with Professor, Scholar and Rogue.

Again someone who knew the old version of me but was not involved with this version. It had probably been ten years since I last saw her.

She had no idea who I was and just thought I was new to the group. However over the course of Friday and Saturday, small tidbits were revealed to place just how I knew Professor, Scholar and Rogue. We were not making it hidden that I had known them for a long time, just sticking to the story that I was new for the rest of the group and that this was my first time up at the cabin. Up to where she asked me if I attended the same high school with her.

Which I think was the one item that really through her off, how could I possibly have gong to high school with those three and she not know who I was.

Which brought us to Saturday morning we were in the second cabin watching the new Doctor Who seasons(yes they got me hooked and I am just starting the David Tennant seasons) when the boys with us got called outside to rescue a stuck car.

Leaving Ginger and myself alone. I turned to look at her and she faced me, I could see the gears turning in her head(she is a highly intelligent person if a prone to a little flightiness). I asked if there was a question she had, I did so in a way I knew she might recognize. (remember you cannot change or hide facial ticks, which seems to be the only way others who knew me well can make the connection. Ginger knew the old version of me quite well and I know it was starting to each at her why she could not have met me before.

I could see the light bulb go off suddenly.

She said "Your [his name]!"

"I was, yes. How did you know?"

"Omg it was the fact Professor, Rogue, and Scholar knew who you were. I could not figure out how you could know them and I did not know you. Little tidbits of info including the fact that we all went to high school together were just bugging me. What finally did it was the mischievous little smirk you had and still do. You look so completely different and amazing, I would never have put it together otherwise."

She came around the projector and sat next to me on the couch, grabbed both of my hands and asked.

"Are you happy?"


"Awesome!" She then gave me a big hug. "Don't ever let anyone ever tell you this was wrong. I think it is incredible and I am so happy for you. I am so excited to get to know you again!"

And that is finally the whole story. I had a ton of fun and ended up staying until Sunday morning. I got to ski, game(I HIGHLY recommend Cards Against Humanity if you can handle an adult natured game, you will also find out how deliciously evil your friends are), get caught up on movies and some reading. I even get hooked onto Doctor Who. I met fifteen new people in all. Four other couples and their other single friend Moe. Which I can use as that is the nickname they assigned him, since he has the same first name as Rogue. I had a lot of fun doing some light bonding with the other girls.

Almost to a person they asked if I would be back. Of which I promised that as my schedule allowed I would.

So that is just part of my wild December. There is more to come but this post has already gotten long enough.

I still marvel at it all. How I am able to just be myself how few people see anything different other than the girl that I am. Even Professor, who has spend the most time with me recently both before and after transition said something recently when I was responding to something I did.

"OMG you are such a chick!"

Things like this make it all worth it. The pain, the fear. Much of it is gone and my life feels so clear and promising before me.

That does not mean I don't get a little craziness now and again.

Here is to a brand new year.