December 18, 2007

Vegas, It’s All Good, Even if Everyone Thinks I’m a Guy

Posted in food, Identification, transgender, Vegas at 1:06 pm by Michael

Getting to Vegas was amazingly uneventful. The security line I had a bit of a question on initially – how would TSA react to my new ID? Megan Jenna, but “M”? The TSA woman took a look at my ID, a look at me, and said “Ok, let me see here….”, and then stamped our boarding passes, and off we went. Now, I fully believe that part of the reason that this was easy was because I was traveling w/Anh and Samwich, but still – I was not given a hard time at all.

Our flight on Alaska left the gate on time, was early getting down here, and was just a breeze. There was even an in-flight, over the PA marriage proposal (she said yes). That was a first for both of us. We sat next to a player from the Central Washington University basketball team, who was studying Fashion Merchandising, and he talked about what he knew about playing basketball in Europe (interesting!).

The cab line in Vegas was as empty as I’ve ever seen it – cabs waiting for people! I honestly have never seen this before, and we are down here 6+ times a year. This time right before/right after Christmas (but up to the 30th) is very quiet.

We checked in to the Venetian – no line, no problem. (TIP: They have recently redone a significant number of their rooms – the new rooms are much better (upgraded linens, flatscreens, etc) – just ask for a remodeled room – same price, different floors). We did reserve the room in Anh’s name, because I don’t yet have credit cards that match my license yet (after the first of the year).

After checking in, we went shopping/browsing for a while (mostly for Anh!). The shopping wasn’t that interesting, but wow, interesting with how people would react to me. At virtually every opportunity, I got “Sir’ed”. A lot. Now, I wasn’t wearing a poofy coat or anything. I was wearing jeans, a top, and a somewhat tight overshirt. Unless there was a gynecomastia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gynecomastia ) convention in town, well, there was something else going on.

The only time that was even close to shitty (and maybe I need to count this in the “Crappy Look Counter”) was when we walked into a clothing store – Anh in front, carrying the baby, me right behind. The saleswoman (mid 40’s) says to me, with some stridency: “Men’s clothes are over there.” I say: “Interesting, I don’t need any though – thanks!”

This morning, I went down to get Samwich some breakfast, and again – t-shirt, sweater (somewhat tight), and fleece pants. I got sir’ed by the breakfast place lady. Then, on the elevator back up, a Venetian security guard got on (female, mid 40’s), and she remarked how cute Samwich is (he was in the stroller), then as I was getting off, I got the hearty: “Have a good day Sir!”.

Allright… I know I haven’t made this easy. My stache is dark. I hate it. I don’t wear makeup. I have very little jewelry on (only my wedding band and a diamond all-over band that Anh gave me in SFO – sweet). My clothes don’t exactly scream “Female”.

I have two thoughts on this, other than I have a long way to go till actually passing easily.

I saw a documentary a few years ago showing how innately people identify folks as male or female. They did an experiment where they used the “lighted dots” method – basically put “dots” on people on their nose, and then at the major joints – shoulder, elbow, wrist, hips, knees, ankles. Then, they asked people to walk and do other activities. They then videotaped it, then image processed the people out, and ended up with box/stick figures. They then asked people to ID the stick figure as male or female. The hit rate was > 95%. Wow.

Secondly, Anh and I were talking about how the default gender for people may be “male”. Just in written terms, when most people write and are referring to an unknown person, they refer to he/him/his. It seems noticeable when you read she/her/hers. So, we have this theory that for people to see you as female, you need to prove it on all visual cues. So for me, one big thing – my stache, and a bunch of little things – posture, makeup etc, make me “male” every time. Having one big “pro-female” factor – cleavage – not enough to overcome. In addition, the Dr. O surgery really does “work” – my forehead, hairline, lack of Adam’s apple, not to mention a much softer jawline… all softer and more feminine. However, this isn’t “enough” to overcome the smaller, but more important stuff mentioned above.

One other side comment – my voice. I don’t have the deepest voice, but it’s clearly male. I have intentionally not done anything to change this. It seems too personal to change. I know, my face, and chest, not personal? Hard to explain, but I don’t want to change it.

Anyway, is it frustrating? Sure it is. Am I upset, no, not really. Do I wish that I wouldn’t get immediately read? Of course I do. The words from another trans-woman at Microsoft’s words ring in my ears – I asked “What was the hardest thing in the first year for you?” Answer – rapidly: “Hair removal. I just couldn’t get rid of the little buggers fast enough!”

Well mustache and lower lip hairs – your day with destiny is next Friday.

Anyway, last night Anh and I went to L’Atelier du Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand for dinner. I won’t try to do a restaurant review here, but it’s amazing. This is probably our fifth time, and its always amazing. You sit at the counter, around the working kitchen, watch the chefs work (quietly, but in French). The tasting portions are perfect. Try everything – especially the Langoustine Fritters, and the Potato Pureee du Robuchon. For a more full review, check out what Hillel at Tastingmenu.com has to say:

http://www.tastingmenu.com/archive/2006/07-july/20060718.htm

After that, we gambled (lost – surprise! Odds and Math work!), then went to bed.

One other note, we are huge fans of “Noodle Asia” at the Venetian (right next to the sports book). We had lunch there today (as we do at least once or twice on every Vegas trip). It’s not super expensive, but the food is very well done. Great stuff there: Potstickers, Black Pepper Udon, Night Market Fried Rice, BBQ Plate (small or large)… again, try it all! We have found no better Chinese food in Vegas – at any price (and we’ve tried every one that we can find…).

Yes, I still love Vegas, even if everyone thinks I’m a guy.

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December 16, 2007

Three Weeks Ago….

Posted in coworkers, family, food at 9:40 pm by Michael

The normalcy of it all is kind of stunning.

Yesterday, we had Dim Sum for breakfast, saw the Chipmunks movie, then went to Sorrentino (Italian) for dinner with some friends (saw someone from my old team there too – Hi Peter and Seema!), then they came over and hung out for a while. Really.

(We did get our new licenses in the mail yesterday – only four days after getting the temps! Quick!)

Today, I made breakfast for the kids (blueberry pancakes for Samwich – chocolate chip for Peri and John). I watched the Pats v. Jets (no surprises in the result there – but the weather certainly held down the score). After the game, we went to get Santa pictures in Redmond, and we dropped off the big kids after that at their mom’s.

We had dinner at home… put the Samwich to bed, and packed for Vegas.

Why is this even worth writing about? Well, only three weeks ago, I was at the airport in Seattle, just about to get on a flight to San Francisco, where the next morning I would have my first surgery. It was my last full day in “guy” mode.

Three weeks. Thats it.

Lots has happened in three weeks (well documented).

Tomorrow we get on a flight to go hang out in Vegas, for fun, for a couple days.

I love normal life.

December 15, 2007

Name Calling

Posted in Christmas, coworkers, family, Identification at 2:21 am by Michael

Today at work, one of the folks I was talking to was asking about what my experience was like with people calling me “Megan” and “She/Her” vs. Michael and He/Him. As is in my FAQ, I said what I’ve said in that I’m not bothered by in the least it unless that there is real intent (to be mean/cruel/not accepting) behind it. I think I’ve introduced myself as “Michael” at least 5 times this week (on the phone, not in person).

Anyway, this person had an interesting insight. Basically, that while it may not bother me, to expect it to bother the “Name Caller” a lot if they make a mistake. The point was that people, especially at work, will want to be so kind, so accepting, that it will really bother them if they just make a simple error that really causes no stress in my life at all.

I said “Hmm… I hadn’t thought about it that way!”

Not an hour later, a co-worker, at the end of our phone call, ended the call (which was great!) with “Thank You Sir!”. I said “No problem, talk to you soon!” I did hear the ‘Sir’, but it bothered me not in the least – it was a manner of speech, and this person hasn’t seen me f2f yet, and we were on the phone, where I certainly *sound* like Michael (no changes there!).

An hour later I got an apology email. Wow wow wow. For the person who said this (who I know is at least an occasional reader of this space) I know you will recognize this story – and I don’t do it in a negative way at all – really! I bring it up because it’s a counter example (this whole thing really) of transitioning and being shunned. I’m being accepted, with open arms. Not only that, but people apologize or feel bad when they don’t do it “100%” right.

Maybe that’s why the “Crappy Look Counter” is only on 5 still? (There was a potential Crappy Look sighting today, but I’ll put it in the Curious Look bucket, which isn’t bad – and is not tracked).

We have the big kiddos (Peri and John) this weekend, so I picked them up at school after work (short day, I’m still on “vacation”). We came home, they played, Anh and I made dinner. Anh and I had some wine (Darioush 2004 Napa Cabernet  – we both like it – its super big and chewy). This was a great dinner (mashed potatoes, broccolini, chicken and lamb skewers) not only because we were all sitting around the table talking (Friday tradition), but even Samwich was in on the action – he had exactly the same food we all had. This was a bit of a first – we have given him table food a lot – but this was the first time that his meal was 0% supplemented, and he ate 100% of what we served (at least a bit – cut up – no teeth yet you know!).

Anyway, we are cleaning up, and John says to me (out of the blue):

“I’ve decided that I’m going to call you Daddy, Forever! Because that’s what you are, my Daddy.”

Now, you almost had to hear this. He said this with such gusto, and conviction. It was almost the way he said “I am going to call him Samwich! Why? Because its FUNNY!”.

The conviction and excitement is what made this – not the words. You can imagine these words being spoken a number of ways that would be concerning – not here.

I say: “Great John! That’s good with me, I am your Dad, and will always be!”

For the parents reading this, as a total aside, if you want to bawl, just get and read “I’ll Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. ( http://www.amazon.com/Love-You-Forever-Robert-Munsch/dp/009926689X/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1197712663&sr=1-1 ). Here’s what the momma says to the child every night while rocking him, as in infant, and then as he grows up:

I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my Baby you’ll be.

Warning: read this book a couple of times to yourself first, get the tears out of the way, then read it to your kids. I still can’t get through the whole think w/o loosing it. AND that was pre-hormones.

Ok, back to the main thread.

So, after John says this to me, I’m thinking “Maybe we should walk to get dessert?” I had this flash in my head “You’ll have to change clothes. (pause) Wait, I don’t have to!” For the last few months, when I was “fulltime” (I know, improper use of the word) at home, whenever we went out, I would have to change, and then change back. It was a pain in the bumtacular region, and I generally always felt “bad” when I did this. NO MORE! No changing. I said this to Anh, she smiled, and gave me a hug, and said “Well, Never Again, huh!” Exactly!

But we didn’t go out – kids had ice cream in, and instead we watched “The Polar Express”. Yes, I know, mocap is scary – the mouths and eyes look dead. However, as a holiday movie, its pretty fun. Samwich was awake long enough to see the “Hot Chocolate” scene and was mes-mo-rized. During the whole third act with the North Pole and the Bell, and that whole deal, John and Peri were just mes-mo-rized as well. They had these angelic looks… This was especially poignant since this year is the first year that they raised, and were confirmed in their suspicions about the existence, or lack thereof of the Jolly Big Man. For the last two years, Peri *knew*, but she wouldn’t admit it. (Proof – two years ago, her big “Santa Present” was a nice art easel w/supplies. I got it at Lakeshore Learning, and on the leg, there was a small imprint that said “Lakeshore Learning”. In the spring of the following year (3-4 months later), I noticed that she had carefully taken a pen, crossed out the “Lakeshore Learning” imprint and neatly written “Santa’s Workshop”. She never said a word to either Anh or I about this. She knew, but still believed.) Last year, John was extremely suspicious, but went with it, because hey, how can something so good, be false?

I think Peri and John still hear the bell… and I know I do as well.

Anita Rowland

Posted in family, friends at 1:21 am by Michael

At my age, you don’t often expect people that you know or work with who are contemporaries to pass away. I think I’ve known (would have sat down to eat with them) five people who were around my age (+- 10 years) who have, and each one of these early passings is just incredibly tragic. Well, I heard about another person who passed recently.

http://www.anitarowland.com/

I worked with Anita on IE, and on Avalon, and I remember her as a genuine, sweetheart of a woman who seemed to be full of life, interests, information, and just plain ol’ love of being here. As it sit here writing this, it just reminds me again how important it is to live every day – don’t wait – live it all – NOW. None of us knows when the gift of our special time here will come to an end.

To Anita’s family and friends, my deepest sympathies.

December 14, 2007

How are you? “Fantastic!” No, Really. “Really!”

Posted in family, food, friends, NE Patriots, Vegas at 3:02 pm by Michael

Yesterday was another pretty pedestrian day here on the two week mark since my face got discombobulated and recombobulated.

Marvin

Why was Bugs Bunny ever afraid of Marvin the Martian – that just doesn’t make sense. Marvin, besides having the special disintegration ray, had absolutely nuthin. And that hat – some sort of Martian/Trojan/Push Broom hybrid – again – don’t get it.

While I’m being random, wow, Legend seems super disappointing.  3rd time, same story – Vincent Price was one of the older leads…. Was this what that mystery trailer w/the crazy flying Statue of Liberty head was all about? Really? That’s all?

I can’t wait for the Pats v. Jets game. When the game gets to 72-0 in the 2nd quarter, I might have to slaughter a goat (or some Tofu – we are very inclusive here at the Casa).

Is anyone surprised by the Mitchell Report? Baseball Players Did Steroids. Wow, and amphetamines too! Maybe 162 games is a few too many to be played by humans on pure air.

I’m filling – yesterday morning was boring – Anh went out to the Dr, and then lunch w/a friend, and I stayed w/Samwich. We had stuff to do, so we did it – UPS, Home Depot for light bulbs (hard to find mini-spots). We then went to “Szechwan Noodle Bowl” in the ID in Seattle for lunch – met Hillel too… Great dumplings… good dan dan noodles –Samwich is crazy about those.

We did a bunch of house stuff (like put holes in our leaked ceiling to control further leakage – super exciting!)

At five yesterday I had my first scheduled therapy appointment since surgery. It was weird. I felt completely unemotional – most of the emotion of the past is just gone – not suppressed, just gone. While I absolutely have loved and valued my time with her, I feel like I’m mostly done with therapy. I’ll still go, but certainly not every week, unless something radically changes. WHEW!

I’ve gotten feedback from my therapist (and others) that I seem almost “hyper” these days. Well, here’s the deal – all the gender stuff, plus concerns about me and Anh were taking up “HUGE” amounts of headspace. That’s all just gone… all of that headspace is now open to be filled up with other stuff. Hence the increase in energy – it was always there, it was just doing background tasks before. Wow… what an unexpected benefit!

Last night we then went to our first post-transition work function. It was Debra’s (my last boss – written about many times before) staff/guest holiday dinner at Elemental in Seattle. Anh and I were the first to show up – was nice – had the whole place to ourselves, and got to share a private glass of champagne before anyone else showed up. Was nice… Plus, the place was super dark, so it was hard to see the crazy stuff going on with my face still!

As folks filtered in, we saw people we had met and not met before, folks who I’ve been super close to, and those who we have not been as close to. Overall, and this is pretty boring as well – I felt just normal. Anh felt normal. We talked with people about a lot of things. There were a couple of folks who have read tons of this blog (Hello!) and were talking about events that occurred in our lives like they had been there. This was both spooky and interesting at the same time. Boy, this blogging thing actually WORKS!

Universally, folks would ask: “How are you doing?” As avid readers of this space now, my answer usually ranges from “Great!” to “Fantastic!” When I’d say this, usually, I’d get a bit of a pause from the asker, then “Really?”, and I’d say “Really!”. I felt like people in general have thought that I would look dramatically, or unrecognizably different, or that I’d feel horrible still. I don’t and I don’t. In no way is this meant to disrespect the question – but just to state how clearly we have defied expectations. Honestly, it’s exceeding mine too!

With folks like Debra and others, they had a lot more questions about our experience in San Francisco, and how we are doing, and we talked about that too. I don’t shy away from it, but I don’t want to talk about it all the time – I expect this will tail off dramatically pretty soon.

We cabbed it home (city living!), and crashed… Today was a big day – my first day back at work (kind of). I had some stuff to do at work, and decided to come in from 10-3.

My day started beautifully, as I walked to my office and opened the door, I noticed that my nametag had been changed already by Tina (my longtime AA), and when I opened my door, on my meeting table were lovely flowers, and a frame with a card from Tina and my staff here. Wow, super nice! What a nice way to start your first day back.

I did all my meetings and work functions – and you know what? Fundamentally, it was just “normal”. Sure, people asked how I was feeling, but I didn’t get any weird vibe at all. We had work to do – and we did it!

I’m finishing this up now from my office here in Microsoft in Redmond (I’m still on vacation you know! HA!).

I’m looking forward to a couple of days of “Vacation” next week in Vegas, but then coming home for the holidays, and just continuing to enjoy life with Anh, with Peri, John and Samwich, and all of our friends and family.

Sorry… not much excitement for the past two days, but honestly, that was our life before, and its great to see it coming back to that.

December 12, 2007

“Do you know why I call you Megan?”

Posted in family, Nordstrom, PEPS, transgender, Vegas at 9:39 pm by Michael

That question was posed to me by Anh today. Super interesting reason, but you’ll have to read (or at least scroll) to near the end.

Note that the pictures page is updated – same series as always, front, both profiles. I took a full body pic as well, but I didn’t like it so I didn’t post it. Too bad. When I get one I like, then I will. Anh and I get dolled up tomorrow night for a company Holiday Dinner, so maybe I’ll post something from that. If there are no “Crappy Looks”

Crappy Look Counter is still at 5… no change since Monday.

Anh and I (and Samwich) are going to Vegas next Monday/Weds. Why? Some sort of convention? NO WAY! We are going to eat (lots – or at least as much as I can?), drink, gamble and shop. (Samwich gets a sitter for the non-kid-friendly bits – same one as always…) Standard Vegas trip for us – this is a cheap time of year, we usually do it in this timeframe (and lots of other timeframes too). THAT will be interesting to see how that goes. I don’t know if the crappy look counter will spike or flatline. Stay tuned.

Ok, so this morning we continued with the “Wow, we have a ton of stuff to do!” escapade, and since today Anh had to do online training for her volunteer tax preparation gig, I took Samwich to PEPS (or post-Peps). PEPS is a parent/baby group that’s county-run (http://www.pepsgroup.org/familyresources/newparentguide.htm). Basically, its local to your community, and a weekly, moderated discussion about being a parent and having a baby. Highly recommended for new parents, esp. first timers, but even for all your kids. You get to see other kids and how they are simul-developing (cuz there’s an age range for each group that’s only about 4-6 weeks), and also just talk to and hear from other parents (usually moms) and what they are doing, and how they are dealing – because its hard raising kids!

Anh is a member of a group right in our neighborhood and has really enjoyed it. This was my first ever meeting, even with three kids. Dads do go at times, and are always welcome, but its infrequent. I had just met most of these folks Sunday (see Sunday post), and we had a great time at the holiday party, so it was awesome to see them in a new context. Again, great time – good baby talk, good to see the other babies and what they are doing, great to hear how other moms (all moms today) do stuff, and good just to chat w/new people (I love to chat f2f!). There was even a little trans-talk at the end – we got there because we were talking about schedules, and I was talking about our pre-surgery schedule which most mornings included running w/Samwich and how he napped. I commented that I couldn’t run for a while (another month), and one of the people asked why, which turned into what I had done, which turned into a ton of thoughtful questions like “What will Samwich call you, and what do the older kids call you, and how do you introduce yourself?” (In short, Maddy, Daddy, “Parent of”, but if asked Who’s Their Daddy, I say “ME!”).

What I’ve found is when people take the time to ask really good questions it means that they are interested and they care, and that says a lot. Our deal here is different than most – I get it – but I got treated like one of the “Moms”. It was super fun. I loved it. I felt at home, at ease, and deeply respected. Thanks again, PEPS QA moms, you all are very special people.

I got home from that, all energized and feeling great, Anh was home doing her deal, and feeling great. (I know-BO-RING), then my clothes came from Nordy’s down in SFO – as promised – AWESOME! (See “Last Full Day in SFO” post for more Nordstrom Personal Shopper info – short version – DO IT!)

I then cleaned out my closet. Big deal, right? Well, this is where I got rid of 100% of my guy stuff. All in bags, ready for donation, post the family-pick-over. I also put a lot of my women’s clothes that weren’t “right” in that stack too. Talk about cleaning out your closet. I thought this might be emotional, but if anything it was way more fun than any closet clean I’ve done before. Zero Tears. And its way clean, which got me at *least* a smile from the lovely, and every-day-more talented Anh-O.

As I finished up with that, we decided to have dinner at home (still people working in the house – blinds and a Murphy bed today), so I went to the store, and then Anh made dinner (her version of Pad Thai (family fave) – its chewier, spicier, crunchier – bet you didn’t know that in addition to everything else great about Anh-O, she’s a fantastic cook.

So we sit down, are eating, almost done, and she says:

“Do you know why I call you Megan?”

Now, some short background. We talked about this A LOT “Before”. She had said that post transition that it was going to be hard to do. One of the reasons for the “Hall Pass for Calling me Michael” thing was that I thought Anh might have to do this for a while, and I didn’t want her to be the only one who had “Permission”. So, I was prepared.

But an amazing thing happened – ever since I came out from the first surgery, she has always (everyone goofs – including me), has called me “Megan”, “She”, “Her”, etc…

So, I wasn’t sure about this question, other than the obvious “It’s my legal name, duh?” But it was clearly deeper than that.

So I said, honestly “No, I don’t.”

She said: “Well, when you were in your first surgery, I was talking to people, in person and on the phone. All of a sudden I figured out that everyone else is going to get their clues from me about how to treat you – just like in everything – they get their clues from you and me first. But on this one, for you to be “Megan” and “She” to everyone else, I needed to start from me. So, I decided that to make this work, it was the only way, even though it was hard. But today, I don’t even think about you as Michael. I said goodbye to Michael the Sunday before. You are Megan to me – just Megan, and I love YOU and am proud to be with you.”

“Wow, you are amazing. I know how hard that was. Thank you, and as always, I love you!”

I can’t add anything to that it is so good.

December 11, 2007

Quick Update

Posted in Identification, transgender at 10:22 pm by Michael

Sorry, super tired, long day. No pictures. 😦 If you saw the “Resources” page and the new WA DOL stuff, you saw my morning. Sort version: No Same Day Service. Can take 10 days for them to generate a letter you can take to a licensing dept along with your $10 to go from M to F or F to M. That letter enables that. With Christmas coming, could be longer (but they will try not to have it be so). Each of those days will be stressful because with every day that passes, my license looks less like me today, and my legal name is wrong. What if I want to fly somewhere between now and then (or over the holidays)? Too much stress.

After some consideration, Anh and I decided two things. One – complex is bad. My letter was too complex – address, name, blah blah blah! Too hard to get right. Two – lets not make this any more stressful than we need it to be. I really want a license with my legal name. I really want a license with my new address. I really could care less about the “F”, esp in the short term. I’ve got bigger fish to fry. This is all easy stuff.

So, we got new licenses today. All that now needs to get cleaned-up for me is the F/M thing, but thats one letter on one piece of plastic. Ten Days, Ten Months, Ten Years – I’m not stressed. I just didn’t need more stress.

In the end, who cares? I don’t. I’m clearly speaking for just me and my situation and beliefs.….. (well, and Anh).

I DID get all stressed about this because I didn’t want anyone else to fall into this complexity trap… I feel blessed to have come after many folks who made this whole gig easier, a lot easier, and when I can trailblaze, I’ll take the machete, and give it a hack. Tonight, my arm is tired.

Anyway, I also mis-thought changing bank statement names, as well as credit cards. You need to do SS first, and let that update. I don’t know how long that takes – I haven’t done it yet. SS is a first thing, not a last thing. Here’s why.

1) Credit Card Companies Run Credit Checks.  All the time. If your name on your account doesn’t match the name on your SS # acct – you are in big trouble – e.g. no credit.

2) Don’t get audited. A SS# Name mismatch between W2, 1099, etc is an audit or worse invitation. E.g., “You didn’t pay your taxes right”. Banks give you interest – even if you don’t have a lot of money. That gets reported… etc.

But, I don’t have faith that I can change this w/SSA on Dec 12, and have this all be super perky and done in all systems by Dec 31. All money reated name things are now Jan 2 problems. I have a whole year to fix all money related items then. That should be enough time!

SMRT! In the words of Homer J.

That’s really it today. I’m tired. Good night!

More Trans Talk – With Megan Jenna Wallent

Posted in Barney's, family, friends, goooofy stuff, Identification, King County District Court, NE Patriots, transgender at 2:30 am by Michael

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.

“Today”

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?”
“Uh Huh”
“How long for expedited?”
“2-3 weeks”
“Really?”
‘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.

I’m last.

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.

December 10, 2007

Quickie

Posted in family, Identification at 7:05 am by Michael

If I seemed to trail off at the end of the next post, I did. I was falling asleep. I even did one of those “sdf.,s…s.” things… being a dumbass, I hit “Publish”, and had to fix at least the drool-written parts of it (the end). I tell Peri that stories have a beginning, a middle, and and end. Sorry last night didn’t have and end… I’ll get better.

Anyway, two things – about to go for a walk, just checking mail, and checking blog stats. New search term just popped up that made me SMILE big. No idea who, but someone searched for:

“Life with Samwich”

And got to me.

Ain’t it cute?

So this AM, we’ll go for a walk, then I go to court (Anh and the Sam-man stay here to wait for people to fix a leak in the roof – bad news in Seattle) to file papers to change my name. Then I go get makeup advice (thank you Jenny!), then I go back to court this afternoon, swear in court (COOL!), and walk out w/a piece of paper (or a bunch).

Fun stuff.

More later.

December 9, 2007

First Full Day of Part III: Life goes on, and its good!

Posted in family, food, friends, goooofy stuff, NE Patriots at 11:14 pm by Michael

This blog is now officially about a love affair. Mostly between me and Anh-O. But with Samwich, with Peri, with John, with all of us, with life, with the world, with what we own and what we can change. Just FYI. Hope you still love it. Oh, by the way, my nose still hurts.

Anh and I are sitting here watching SportsCenter (in HD, of course), laughing our asses off. (Note that Anh-O’s fave new fact for today is that when a ball is fumbled, it’s relatively common when in the scrum pile that the players are dirty bastards. Eye gouging and man parts grabbing being the most common (no kidding) (this was what made her belly laugh))

About what else were we laughing? Well, we want to make custom t-shirts for each of the kids (and for us, of COURSE) as Christmas presents.

So far, we have two for sure ones.

Samwich: “Boot and Rally Baby” There’s just no doubt about this one. This last couple of weeks showed that. It wasn’t just the Booting. It’s more about the Rallying. This dude  just rallies. Falls down – rallies. Ok, though my favorite non-rallies though (remember, my nose still frigging HURTS when I laugh and if I’m not laughing, I’m crying.) was at Nordstrom, when I was trying on stuff and there was the three-mirror deal, with the “platform” in front of this whole deal.

Ok, temporal breakin – Anh-O is sick of watching SportsCenter (even in HD? Wha?) we channel surfed and got a DirecTV Gift. U2, Vertigo Tour Recorded Live on channel 79 – just started. Love it. Bono in mid “Running to Stand Still”. U2 Joshua Tree at Foxboro Stadium (gone) was my first concert. It was spiritual. Everyone singing “40” on the way out… (“How long… how long to sing their song?” Forever baby! Yes, I know this is Psalm #40 – I got A’s in religion in Catholic Boys High School. Hello Irony?) These guys are amazing. Read what Chuck Klosterman (in Spin) wrote about Bono and picking up random kids and giving them a ride around Dublin and tell me you think Bono is a poseur. Dude is transparent and open and he is who he is. Love him.

Ok, back to our show. (Where The Streets Have No Name, Africa Version) So, Samwich, well, lets just say that he doesn’t have self-image problems. How do I know this? Well, if you put him in front of a mirror, he plays “Kiss the Baby”. Guess who he’s kissing? Duh, himself. How do I know this? Well, if you take a magazine and have a face sized pix of some other random – even beautiful baby – and do you think that he kisses that baby. Uh, the answer is NEGATORY! Dude loves himself, and that’s not a bad thing.

However, sometimes he goes a bit too far. The problem here at Nordy’s is that the little platform (Bono is now ragging on Bush and Blair, after saying that his first impression of America was with Kennedy and the space program and how that rocked. Now, into ‘One”, which is perhaps my favorite song…. Yes, I’m going to keep doing this. Sorry! You GO Bono! Anh-O and I are now singing this song together. It’s an official bloggable moment.)

Ok, sorry, another mid-entry – (Mysterious Ways – first encore). But, here’s the thing. I just touched my forehead. Sometimes I feel crunchy. EWWWW. Have localized said crunchy spot. I need to frigging restrain myself.

Ok to Samwich and his self-lovin’ little self. So, anyway, he’s in multi-Samwich world, which for him is like freaky land. “I get to kiss three of me? Wow, what a treat! Thanks Maddy!”. However this whole thing is a baby trap. (Its Bono’s birthday for this concert – they are going to play some new song – “original of the species” that they don’t play a lot – its for one of their daughters – they don’t specify. Sweet.) There is about a 1-4 inch gap between the little raised box

(OOH – “40”… this rocks)

Now, he goes in for the smooch, so gentle… so gentle. BLAM! He falls off and wacks his head. WAAAAH. Repeat. Frigging ad-infinitum. I say to Samwich, with all the love in my heart – “Honey, doing the same thing, the same way and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. I can’t have an insane baby. Knock it off.” Needless to say, this didn’t work, and me not wanting to be “Hello, this is the pot, kettle, you bitch, you are black!” with Samwich on this issue, have Samwich removed and restrained to prevent this love/hate relationship that he’s developing with himself. But, the topic was t-shirts, and even though I have now played the “exception proves the rule” game, he IS the Boot n  Rally Baby

(Ok, they are walking off to the crowd singing “40”. They get it. This was the best way to end any concert ever. They are geniuses. See screed on capitalism. Give them money. Sad its over. You are prob v-glad.)

Anh-O just tells me that she loves me, and that today (and yesterday) have been two of the best of us ever. Wow. Wow. Wow.

(Anh comments that perhaps that instead that this should be the Hate Story blog, where we describe all the stuff that pisses us off. Hello, Anh-O? – have you seen the Rants n Raves page – that’s where we do our hatin’)

WSOP 2007 on ESPN – no play-by-play… I know you are not sad. If something about the Pats crushing and humiliation of the Steelers (esp of the one dude who “Guaranteed” a Steeler win (and who got beat, what 81 times today – postgame interview: Brady, with a look on his face like “butter doesn’t melt in my sexy mouth”: “He is the one who has to go back to his team and face them”. Ok, please do yourself and your progeny a favor. If, at any time, any opponent of the Pats this year, in the time preceding said crushing says anything that might be construed as anything other than completely deferential, please do the following.

1. Go to the bank
2. Get all your money
3. Get all the money they will give you
4. Ask again. Beg if possible.
5. Go to closest airport. Fly to Vegas.
6. Go to nearest casino (a nice one though – like the Venetian)
7. If the points are less than the Pats -52, take the Pats with the points with 90% of all your money.
8. With the other 10% get drunk. Super drunk. You never know.
9. Wait for the money to roll in.

Its WAY easier than Underpants Gnomes. Do they know what step 2 is yet?

Ok, three pages, one t-shirt. More verbs, huh?

Ok, John – “Shut UP Samwich”. Samwich tends to love to sing whenever John is talking. And I mean sing in the most dolphin calling (but your friends can’t help you!) way. He does great for minutes, then launches into a stream of “Shut UP Samwich”, etc. He will think is funny.

For the rest of us, Peri, Me, Anh – still working it.

Oh, before I forget, I’m a total goon for data. I love watching the info about how people get here. Two days ago I was looking for search terms, and saw this:

“Poop in Hair”

Lets review. For me to get this, a human has to go to a search page (like Live.com –please?) And type that in. And see my site in some part of the list of results. My site is clearly not about “Poop in Hair” Is this some sort of odd fetish? Was this person trying to find “Remove Poop in Hair” but just want a little wonky and typed the wrong thing – I just don’t get it. But I laughed so hard that I almost blew my forehead off.

Ok, so this morning we had wanted to get up early, and walk about 5 miles… I succeeded on part #1 – the 256am wakeup, but the rest was not to be. By about 10a I was in the Tully’s shake state. Had some food, felt better, but not good enough. We eneded up blowing this off – and driving to Sorrentino for lunch which was great, Marena, who is always working there and also PG w/a boy was super happy.  That’s good for her!

Ok, I need to go to sleep. Don’t make me us this computer in a bad way. In part II, you get to read about Samwich and the blueberry pancake.

I’ll also talk about the ad-hoc wine tasing that we brought to a mom’s party, and how it was great.

Sleepy time now. See you all tomorrow.

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