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Personal blog posts (old posts, page 14)

Amelia's blog posts

Slice of Life 3


Ok change of plans. Moxie needs more dietitic management food, we need more cat litter, my boyfriend needs caffeine, and both of us should probably have some breakfast. Plus, new trash service starts this week so maybe I should buy a recycling cart.

So, shopping it is.

Slice of Life 2


Today I need to design the hulls and impeller housings for the CreekFleet autobuoy project so I can get those going on the printers at i3Detroit. Probably should update my budget in YNAB.

Today is a shower day but my face hurts too much, so just washcloth and dry shampoo. Something is better than nothing, and all. I really need to time this better and make the day of laser a shower day, so I can skip the two days afterwards when the irritation is at its peak. I bet I can write a script to drive my task list and habit tracker based on my calendar events...

Then at 15:00, Postmodern Jukebox at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, courtesy of one of my longtime friends from PFRC, MTULUG, and mi2600.

Leftover calimari somewhere in there.

Slice of Life 1

Ok, I am awake y not happy about it.

I was up at Kettering yesterday, working as a judge for the Kettering VEX Robotics Competition event. Similar to the FIRST Tech Challenge I guess, but apparently much wider adopted (there are 20,000 teams for VRC!) and much better funded (they are an offshoot of the venerable IFI, Inc. and they have custom injection-molded field elements, new every year! That takes serious upfront capital and high volumes to make sense). It was a hell of a lot of fun, and the only misgendering I got was from the VEX official. The students were all super cool about it even though Friday was a laser day and so I could not shave.

Then we went to Sagano for dinner. Good times. I got calamari. Perfectly cooked. Also lunch today probably. I made myself a hat from a Ramune plunger. Also selfies are hard when the phone decides to do HDR.

I wore a brand new shirt from i3Detroit. It is a ladies fit! My first. And it is just so comfortable. Why are all my shirts not ladies cut? I may need to learn how to alter shirts.

Turbulent sleep though. Kept waking up needing to pee. I really need to figure out a way to not be on spironolactone anymore. But orchiectomy is expensive.

A woman takes a selfie in her bedroom mirror. She is wearing a purple t-shirt that reads 'i3Detroit Imagine, Innovate & Inspire' and blue jeans. Her dark hair is pulled back into a low ponytail.Heading off to judge VRC!
A woman takes a selfie at a restaurant. She is wearing a purple t-shirt that reads 'i3Detroit Imagine, Innovate & Inspire' and a brass pin that reads 'Member of the Esteemed and Well-Funded Trans Lobby'. Her dark hair is pulled back into a low ponytail. She is also holding very still with a Ramune bottle opener on her head as a HATHAT.

Dysphoria, In *My* Life? More Likely Than You Think!

So I have often said that I did not or do not experience gender dysphoria. After all, my transition is primarily fueled by gender euphoria, and I did not hate myself or my body growing up. I got along with the few friends I had, and had birthday parties and was a moderately successful Boy Scout. So, like, where is the dysphoria?

Yeah about that.

The other day in the LGBTQ in Tech Slack (which is wonderful by the way and I encourage all y'all to join if you want a safe space away from The Discourse), someone posted a cute little comic by an artist who goes by Xan. And, as I have been a little down for the count the last day or so sick, in between trying and mostly failing to work from home, I read through most of their archive.

And found their four-part (Parts 1 & 2, Parts 3 & 4) work on "Dial D for Dysphoria".

Now, many of their comics rang entertainingly/disturbingly close to home (even more so than Trans Girl Next Door which is also a gem). But those two comics just...

Well, tally them up:

  • Disappointment
    • Ayup
  • Dissociation
    • Ayup -- learned how to fake it really really well
  • Disgust
    • Meh -- though I really dislike body and facial hair, Jasper says that many women do so this might not be gender dysphoria.
  • Displaced
    • Ayup -- what do you mean, not everyone fantasizes about being a girl all the time growing up?
  • Disbelief
    • Nope -- 2001-03-26, I figured out that "being transgender" was A Thing People Can Be, and shortly thereafter figured that it might also be A Thing I Am
  • Disguise
    • AYUP -- Eagle Scout, camp counselor at a BSA camp for two summers, almost a counselor at a BSA Youth Leadership training workshop (Milwaukee called these "Powderhorn" but I hear that is a regional name) mom said, when I came out to her "we figured you might just be gay, we had no idea you were trans" (joke is, mom, I am (mostly (kinda)) gay...a gay woman)
  • Distress
    • Ayup -- you may see pictures of me pre-transition with a wild, unruly crop of facial hair...because I gave up. It was too much work to present "en femme" as I called it, so I just...stopped.
  • Disgraceful
    • Ayup -- those first few (many) times in college, buying my first forms, getting the first bra that actually belonged to me, hoping to all that is holy that I was not just gross and weird and creepy
  • Discouraged
    • AYUP -- See Distress
  • Disinhibition
    • AYUP -- While I knew since I was...not very old, I did not really embrace it until college. This was a part of me. This was me. This was me.
  • Discovery
    • AYUP -- Tumblr, Twitter, so many readings online, meeting other transfolk in person at college or elsewhere, one particularly cool person at i3Detroit when I first joined, the LGBTQ in Tech Slack. There are others! It can be done. And it is SO rewarding to do.

9.5 of 11...Wow. I suffered dysphoria and did not even realize it.

The Night Watch

I was reminded today of one of my favorite articles ever. Someone was talking in Slack about how regression and integration tests should take, like, 10 minutes max. Just parallelize the CI tests in your CD workflow and everything will be good!

I pointed out that many of us write code that cannot be tested in CI/CD contexts because it needs to be tested against a $45k piece of hardware. And then said this was like Jesse Mickens' epic rant about the disconnect between user code folks and systems code folks.

RIP Lady Purple de Pouncealot -- April 1, 2016 to September 24, 2019

My Lady Pouncealot, why does it grieve me so? But your heart seems so silent, Why do you breathe so low? Why do you breathe so low?

I loved you my lady! Though in your grave you lie, I'll always be with you, This rose will never die, this rose will never die.

She was a good cat. A hole in the ground is not where you are supposed to put cats.

(thanks to Cat/Yusuf Stevens for the sentiment in "Lady D'Arbanville")

Sailing 2019


Clark Lake Regatta was great! The local newspaper for the lake did a really nice two-part write up on the regatta this weekend. Dad and I are in Wayfarer #2413 "THX 1138: Stay Calm" and took ninth place overall out of 12 boats in our class:

Also, the thing I have been building in the i3Detroit machine shop worked amazingly well and was very popular with the other Wayfarer sailors. I need to get the details up online somewhere (probably the i3Detroit blog) to disseminate to the Wayfarer Association(s).

Thing I made was a magic box replacement for a Wayfarer sailboat. Uncle Al posted this on the Wayfarer Class Association website

Next-Generation Transfolk

We have been talking a lot on Slack about the new generation coming up, knowing the words that describe them, knowing that there are options to change. Knowing that transgender and cisgender are just different ways to be.

My generation, and even more so the ones before me, lacked even that knowledge. It is hard to ask for help with something you cannot even describe, much less expect someone else to understand that you need something.

I managed to get much of my knowledge, fortunately or unfortunately, from erotica, usually hosted on just the most godsawful gaudy "transsexual web rings". As you might imagine it colored my worldview. And taught me just. The worst things. Like, what the hell is up with the whole sissy/forced feminization thing? Seriously.

For the longest time, I struggled with the thought of "what if I started transition and discovered that actually this was all just a fetish!?" AKA the "am I trans enough/am I really trans or is this just a fetish" questions. Which a lot of people deal with.

Turns out, both! Totally OK to be turned on by change, and also to be transgender and transition! Funny thing about sexuality and gender identity being distinct things.

And it is so good to be online these days, where there is a plethora of good-quality information about how all of this works (to the best of our current scientific understanding)! I learn something new every day. Or relearn something I broke myself on in my formative years. I want to thank those around me for their patience with my stumbles.

And yeah honestly I deeply regret that I did not, could not, act on my need for transition back when it would have really counted, prior to or during first puberty. I regret every second of the 18 years, 5 months, 13 days that I never spoke up. Never asked for help. Never started transition.

But the past is past and there is little point in flogging oneself over it.

Have to move on girl, head held high.

Sailing 2019

Everything hurts today. Pushed myself too hard yesterday crewing for my dad on his new boat (a Wayfarer newly dubbed "THX 1138: Stay Calm." Did I mention my dad is an awesome nerd like me?). But we want to do well at the Clark Lake Regatta in a couple weeks, so practice practice practice.

But ow my ankles and lower back. One of the primary things crew does on a two-person boat is act as intelligent ballast; at most points of sail, the closer to horizontal you can keep the boat, the faster you will go, but the wind is trying to roll you around the long axis of the hull ("heel") so you have to put weight on the windward side of the boat. In strong enough wind ("heavy air"), this involves sitting on the edge of the boat ("rail"), hooking your feet under a strap inside the cockpit ("hiking strap"), and pushing your body out as far as you can away from the boat ("hiking out"). So basically I spent most of Sunday afternoon effectively holding a 200 pound sit-up, by my ankles.