December 11, 2007
More Trans Talk – With Megan Jenna Wallent
Remember SNL’s “Coffee Talk” w/Mike Myers? Hilarious (and offensive!). I just thought of that, given the topics for today….
Ok, a bit of cleanup before I get to the meat:
Mary, this is your fault, since you said that a blog w/o trans talk was “boring”. At least do your own S-I-L the honor of reading then, huh? <smooches>
Ok, I’m not gaining weight. This sucks. Don’t be hatin’ me for being skinny. You get robo-jaw (bones broken, titanium and wires, muscle issues), see how much you can eat, and then see how weak you feel. Believe you me… I’d gladly weigh 10lbs more right now to be able to run again. (or at least have the cardio endurance if not the bone strength for it.)
Fave quote from today: “You are funnier when you aren’t on drugs. Don’t ever go on drugs please.”
I’m sorry Fabian. (See comments, and Rants ‘n Raves). “Fabian-bot” wasn’t true, although DAMN funny. (not an excuse).
No hatin’ on the main blog (thats reserved for the “Pages” (the things at the top)). As a result, see “Crappy Look Counter”.
There are new pictures to be seen. I liked the SBS (side-by-side) look for the comparo, so I did it again (yes, no makeup).
I’ve heard feedback that the ( ) style of writing I have can be funny, but “confusing” or “hard to follow” (esp when it gets to ((()))). Part of it is my charm (read: suck it up), but yesterday was a little out of control. I need to follow my own advice “Use Fewer Words”.
No, I’m not “Gay for Tom Brady”. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Hillel is. See FAQ.
If you want to see a page here called “Anh Sez”, please comment for it (or against it). Here, the lovely and talented Anh-O will get her own page to impart her “Pearls of Wisdom”. Some examples (might include (some of these might be repeats) (because they are good (but I wrote/transcribed these so it may be different when she does))) (D’oh – did it again!):
Anh Sez: “If you aren’t ashamed, don’t act like you are ashamed.”
Anh Sez: “I’m not picking you up still you stop crying. I’d prefer a smile.”
Anh Sez: “Solutions, not problems.”
Anh Sez: “Megan, you are beautiful and I love you” (Ok, I freestyled a bit there… but she DOES say that – but she wouldn’t put mushy crap like that on HER page).
Please vote! Anh will do what YOU want. (Uh, I can’t promise that – I do not live in a democracy w/my wife. She is clearly the Supreme Ruler for Life, and I’m ok w/that.)
New Book Title Ideas: “Smile and Wave”. I can’t decide to subtitle “How I Transitioned with Grace and Poise” (not sure if I have the first yet, I think I rock the 2nd) or “How I Transitioned and was Still Me” or “How to Transition and Still be You”. Honestly, “The Tyrrany of Lables” was too angry – I’m not angry. Also, BTW, the t-shirt ideas “Don’t you wish…. hot like…” Wow, that was super snarky and rude. I’m sorry about that.
Sorry, not going back to add stuff to yesterday. The future people, the future. Short version: PEPS QA Moms Rock the Hizzy. Wine 100.5 (101 give me WAY too much credit) is a great way to meet people. Stars on top of trees make me cry. Also, Samwich likes blueberry pancakes. Duh. Need I say more?
Ted, call me. Please. I miss you. Really.
I’m made out of helium these days – so light! I thought, well, but hydrogen is lighter, why not that. CUZ IT EXPLODES. Right, love those noble gasses.
Anh had to stay home to watch the builders fix broken stuff in our house, so she couldn’t come w/me to court this morning to file papers. Name changes in King County are very easy – file papers w/the District Court Clerk in the AM, and the nice person takes some money – not much – and then tells you to come back to see the judge (who asks you all the same questions that are on the paper, but he or she has a robe, and talks formally). I’ve been to court a lot, so I wasn’t stressed about it (for work people – for work – remember I work at Microsoft – we get sued. I worked on stuff that people sued us about. Different blog – not here – I just didn’t want anyone to think I was a felon. ACK.).
But, this morning lovely Jenny was going to take me to Barney’s to go get makeup. So, she also decided to come with me to court in exchange for a bus lesson. (I’m a Seattle Metro dumbass though. Anh’s the pro. I know how to get to and from downtown from my house on one bus, and how to get up and down 3rd Street for free. I also know how to take the 545 to and from work (although that requires a connection)). (There I go again) . I taught Jenny what I know, we got to court (although I got off too early, which Anh demo’d to me when we all went back later. See “bus dumbass” comment above), and filed papers w/the SWEETEST clerk on the planet. I had last minute decided to change my middle name not to Jen, but to Jenna, so even though I had printed out all these (well, 2) forms all nice and neat like (girly), I crossed out stuff and rewrote it. I have guy handwriting. Ugh. She nicely retyped it all. While there, waiting for her to finish (Smile and Wave, Smile and Wave) and after she told me that I would appear w/the judge at 330pm in room E301, I saw a sign related to passport payments. I ask:
“You do passports?”
“How long for expedited?”
‘Yup – its quick. You can even just do it w/me when you come back today after you see the judge.”
“I’m in. Have a great day, see you after!”
“Great! (Big Smile) Good luck!”
New task – Kinko’s post makeup – SCORE! Jenny from down the block knows how to get makeup done to take pictures (she’s a pro!). (No, I’m not friends w/J-Lo. Although Jenny from down the block is *nicer* than that other J person – guar-an-teed).
We go to Barney’s on Pine St. and see Marina Pirkle, who hooks me up. Here’s my makeup plan though. I basically don’t want to wear it. I only went today because I didn’t want to look bruised for the judge. However, now we have reason #2, because I need passport photos, and those will be 10 year artifacts. I really REALLY don’t want to be bruised on that.
I know Jack about makeup. Really. I couldn’t put it on to save my life and not look like bozo (yes, the clown, and not in a good way – if there even is one).
Marina was nice and patient and listened to me blather a lot. I felt nice ‘n pretty. Thanks!
We then go to Kinko’s (or FedEx Kinko’s) because they rock at passport photos. A year ago they went digital – you don’t buy the pix before you love it. This is good. Two shots, Jenny picks. I think I look a bit, um, harsh, although not bruised. I think makeup made me look older, not younger (Marina – not your fault baby – its all me) and harsher and more angular. I could just be crazy. It is possible.
Anyway, after all of this, we stop at Red Bowls, which Jenny tells me is the official lunch spot of Jackson Fish Market (www.jacksonfish.com). This is Hillel, Jenny and Walter’s company. No, no fish, just beautiful software and great experiences. Check out Invitastic (for invitations w/o foof and fuzzle – just invitations – and it works!) and “They’re Beautiful” (virtual flowers). I know there is more coming – these guys are GREAT! (We also went to the Official Coffee of JFM where I got the Official Latte and also the Official Blueberry Muffin, which Officially prevented me from passing out at least six times today.)
We bus it back home (woo hoo!), and I bring Anh lunch. On the way, I hear Hillel needs a lunch buddy, and he stops by to share Red Bowls and other stuff w/us. He took the photos of me “with” makeup. At this point, while I like the Kinko’s pictures as artifacts, I don’t feel like me w/a painted face. I know some people do, but I don’t. I really don’t. So, after sitting with this feeling for about 30 mins after he took the pictures (can’t do makeup and not take pix, and I owed the site after not taking any for a day.) I thought to myself “If I’m more comfortable when I see the judge, I will be less nervous. And even if the judge sees a bit of a ‘stache and some bruises, she’ll probably understand, and if she doesn’t, I’m just helium baby, and it will roll right off this noble gas.” (Yes I just admitted to being a windbag. Have you SEEN how much crap I write?)
I say to Anh – “What do you think about taking all this off before I see the judge?”
Anh Sez: “Do what will make you most comfortable.”
“I’m taking it off. Explain how.”
Anh Sez; “Duh, Soap and Water?”
Did you sing “There’s a hole in my bucket” in music in 3rd grade? I did. This reminded me of that.
So I cleaned up, we rolled downtown on the #3, and got to court so sprightly and quick I knew in a moment it must be time to get my name OFFICIALLY CHANGED. (Sorry, have been listening to Christmas music a lot – these phrases stick like organic peanut butter).
We go up the stairs to floor 3 (more on that later), go to E301, and sit in court. There are probably 30 people in the room, about 25 waiting for name changes. Promptly at 330pm the judge comes in, we all stand, she says sit, we sit (you do what judges say unless you likety like like jail. No shit. Once, a lawyer friend of mine said “I never went to see Judge [Likes-to-Throw-Errant-Lawyers-In-Jail-For-Contempt] w/o a toothbrush in my case.” Huh, glad I got a BS in CS and not a JD in “I could go to jail if I have a bad day today.”)
No no, I don’t mean to freak anybody out – nobody is going to jail today – especially not me!
The judge sits, and just rolls through the instructions for the name change. Ladies and Gentlemen, you get called, you stand in front of one of the microphones, she asks, you talk – loud for the recording and for the court reporter, you get your papers from my clerk, you go to E327 to get said papers recorded, you get as many copies as you paid for, done. She goes through this in a way that make me thing “you do this once a day, every day, every week, every year”.
Here’s the thing. In every system there are rules. If you know the rules, you can play by the rules, and things go great. Rule #1 – know the rules. Rule #2 – play by the rules. If you fail on #1 and are not prepared, you loose the game. Different games have different penalties for losing, esp. for dumbass reasons (like failing on Rule #1). If you are in court, do you and your progeny a favor. Know the rules. The Internet isn’t just used for porn people – (see Avenue Q – funny – not hilarious – but funny. “Everyone’s a little bit Racist!” – that was the one hilarious part) – it can also be used to know all the rules in advance – and get cool stuff like online forms that you can pre-fill out and be really super prepared. Judges and Clerks and Reporters LOVE you if you do this. Trust me.
Ok, so the first dude to get called should have read this before today. He was late. This is Rule #0: When you go to court, and you are told to appear at Time X. Make sure you are at court at Time X, minus 30 minutes. Trust me. The judge gets to be late. You don’t.
Court Clerk: “Case #XX, in the matter of Mr. Ima Late Dude.”
Ima Late Dude shows up and opens the door as the word “Dude” (not his real name to protect this I’m sure very loving and special, but misguided person) is spoken.
Mr. Dude has already failed Court 101. Rule #0 – broken. He missed big parts of content of Rule #1. Oh Dude. Oh…. Dude.
Now, when the judge said “Stand in front of one of the two microphones” she very clearly didn’t say “Please sit in one of the chairs that are on by the table that contain said microphones.” Nope. I didn’t hear that. Neither did all of the rest of us who were there to change our names that day (and who followed Rule #0, and also got some handy Rule #1 info).
Ok, I screwed up. I numbered wrong. There’s a really important rule. Maybe it’s a corollary so I don’t have to go negative on rule numbering. I’ll call it:
“Ima Late Dude’s Corollary That I Learned on 12/10/2007: Don’t make the judge not like you. Its super bad form, dude.”
Now, its not ‘Don’t piss of the judge.” That’s called the “I don’t like Jail corollary” – but I already have gone there. Can you tell that I REALLY don’t want to go to jail. NB that once in court on MS biz, that a judge advised me that I was known to him as “The Chief Infringer” (as opposed to the inventor of a patent). Let me tell you, in my role as corporate representative and now “The Chief Infringer”, I was right invested in understanding every possible rule, theorem, corollary and postulate about how not to piss of this judge. I got my JD in how not to make judges angry.
Ok, Mr. Dude now makes mistake #2. He walks up to the table, and touches one of the chairs.
Judge: Mr. Dude, please remain standing.
Mr. Dude: (confused) Uh, ok.
(Mr. Dude also broke another rule, which is “dress like you fit in”. In court, people wear their Sunday Best. Or at least Thursday Best. One with two neurons working together as a team in their noggin doesn’t go to court wearing Lazy Sunday clothes. I’ll let you decide for yourself what part and day of the week Mr. Dude was dressed for. Hint: Not the “Best” part of Sunday.)
Mr. Dude, then reaches out to grab one of the table mikes. Strike #3. Called. (Backwards K because the bat never came off his shoulder.)
Judge: (irritated) Mr. Dude, please just *stand* in front of the microphone.
Mr. Dude: (more confused) Uh, ok.
(This is the good part)
Judge: (Now HIGHLY irritated, me wincing in pain for Mr. Dude and the repercussions of said dumassedness that he has demo’ed quite well. I then think “Maybe he’s a plant to make us all feel more relaxed, because clearly we all at least knew Rule #0 – be on time – and then some. So, we are going to better than him! Nah, he’s just a dumbass.) Mr. Dude…. If you were here *on time*, you would *know* the process because I took the time to tell the rest of these nice people who where here on time what I expected. It’s unfortunate that you were late. Now, Please. Let’s proceed. Answer the questions that I have for you. Do you understand?”
Mr. Dude: Uh, yes. Yes, I do.
She swears him in – he looks like he might just screw the pooch on this one too, but he makes it through understanding that he needs to tell the truth.
Judge: “I see here on your form that you haven’t provided a reason for wanting to change your name. That is required. Can you tell the court what that reason is?”
Mr. Dude: “It’s a name I wanted since I was 8.” (Ed. I’m not making this up. I’m really not that creative.)
Judge: Ok then, so Mr. Ima Star Dude (Ed. Again, first and last names – made up – middle name – this is what he wanted. Really. No shit. You can get the record from today. Go to court in Seattle (county court, its on 3rd), Go to E327. Ask them to give you the PUBLIC RECORD from the 3:30 PM Name Change Session in Room E301. You will see that I am not BS’ing you. It will cost you maybe $5.)
Knowing that Megan doesn’t make shit up (unless she’s winking at you): Priceless. (Sorry- could NOT Resist). I’m sometimes a little evil. Sorry….
There are other questions, but he does ok and he walks out Mr. Ima Star Dude. The really funny thing is that unless someone told him AFTER, and he knew to take the paper that the nice judge and nice clerk just gave him there to get them filed (because that’s the RULE) then his name isn’t REALLY Mr. Ima Star Dude, its still Mr. Ima Late Dude, because again, if you don’t follow the rules, it doesn’t count.
The rest of the folks do just fine. They get their name changed, and the judge nicely demos that if you follow some very simple rules (including Megan’s Rule – Smile and Wave) that she is super nice, and just here to help.
Of course. Its alphabetical. I’m a “W”. No Zuckerman’s in the house today lookin’ for a name change, so its all me.
Now, for everyone else, two interesting things happen.
One: They are called by their current legal name. They are asked if their requested name that’s on the form is what they really want, and not fraudulent, and not bad in some other ways.
Two: The judge reads, in open court, the reason for the name change as written, and asks if this is the truth. Of course everyone says yes, because they are the one’s that wrote it.
I’m at this point, fully 100% expecting that I will be called as Michael John Wallent, and the very nice judge will ask me if I’m really a transgendered person and that is Megan Jenna Wallent really the name that I think is more appropriate for the gender that I will live the rest of my life in. I’m ready. Peace and Love. Bring it. I can do it. Anh-O is here. Samwich is here. I grab her hand, give it a big squeeze, and wait for the “Crappy Look Meter” to go up by about 10.
Ok, Peace and Love, Smile and Wave, you can do it Girl!
Clerk: “Case #XX, in the matter of Ms. Megan Jenna Wallent, Ms. Wallent?”
WOW WOW WOW. These folks rock! They KNOW! They are trans-friendly. I never would have guessed.
Big smile now….
I stand up, get sworn in (I’ve done all of this before – this is EASY), answer all the easy questions, and I’m ready for the hard one, and the SUPER NICE judge says:
“Do you affirm that the reason for name change stated on your form is true?”
Me: “Yes, your honor” (they like that)
Judge: “It is so ordered”
I Smile (don’t wave though – its not called for), turn, collect my paper, saying that I’m now legally Megan Jenna Wallent, and go to E327, and go see the nice clerk from this morning. Give papers, get 10 copies, submit passport app (already done, but she checked it 2x – I liked her a lot and told her at the end. She smiled.) Note that my Passport is going to be M for the foreseeable future, since to the Dept. of State and the Passport Agency, you are not an F w/o a vagina (or at least w/o testicles), and you are not an M w/o a penis (with our without testicles – plastic works). This honestly seems a bit, um, pedantic, no? Birth Cert, I can see. Maybe, if I’m squinting. But passport? Whats next? Draw and Quarter all the Trannies to see if there really is a little devil inside, and if not, then they will sew you up all nice-like? Really, do they care?
I have to say, WA State DOL – you rock. A letter from a Dr, I’m down w/that as bar to jump over.
But I digress (snarkily – sorry, this is just something that should be easier but it isn’t. If you are about human rights, work with your brothers and sisters like me to change the law to let us change one little letter on some papers. It makes life easier for us, but harder for who exactly? There is zero need to make people who go through this jump any higher or over any more flaming hoops than we already put there ourselves. End of rant.)
We exit court – we take the elevator cuz I don’t feel great – sugar low – have some muffin, much better. We go walk to dinner and meet up w/some of Anh’s local sibs who I haven’t seen in a week (Mary) or two (Joseph), its great, we go home, watch some TV w/the Samwich.
The most exciting thing that happened post that is Samwich discovered that eating TP, while it may look yummy, isn’t. Samwich – for the record – it’s not a big roll of marshmallow, even if that’s what the bear on TV implies. That bear is a *liar*.
I did have a long chat w/my friend Val (Hi Val), and we bonded.
Oh, I make mistakes too. One of the ways that I found out all the cool rules in Washington State is by going to the website of a local counselor who is a real aid to the trans community – Dr. Anne Lawrence (www.annelawrence.com). Under “Transsexual Women’s Resources” there’s a cool link about “Washington State Resources’, where all the rules are listed.
One of the things it covers is how to get an F on your license, even if some of your parts may be considered by some to be M. Rule #1. Make an appointment. D’oh!
Prev plan to go to Olympia tomorrow to DOL and achieve goal of getting license with right pic, right name, right address, right gender may crash and burn. New plan. Call early – grovel. Special Adjunct to Rule #1 – when you screw up rule #1 in some way – admit it, act repentant (and I am), and ask for forgiveness and help. I hope this works, or I have some juggling to do. Will update on efficacy of said grovel.
Anh-O and I said I love you a bunch (bo-ring, right Mary?), then I started Blogging.
And scene. I’m going to bed. Its 227am.