March 28, 2008

The Opposite of Into the Wild

Posted in family, life, travel at 12:33 pm by Michael

Today starts “Spring Break” for my older kids.

It’s snowing. It’s cold. It’s gray. It’s Seattle. Its March.

The View From My Office, 3/28/2008

Time to get away.

We are going to the polar opposite of Alaska (at least in the USA) – Florida. More precisely, Disneyworld. All five of us.

Now this, this should be interesting.

Anyone want to guess what the “Crappy Look Counter” over/under will be for the next 7 days?

FAQ: Yes, we do plan on getting Samwich Mickey ears that say “Samwich”

FAQ: No, I will not be getting Minney ears that say “Megan”


March 24, 2008

Into the Wild

Posted in friends at 6:06 am by Michael

Over the past couple of nights, I’ve been watching “Into the Wild”. Jon Krakauer is one of my favorite authors – Into Thin Air and Into The Wild being two of his best…. I’m waiting patiently for the next.

It’s a very good adaptation of book to a novel, especially one which is seeming as hard to film (because the main character spends so much time alone – think “Castaway” without the coconut).

The main character, Chris McCandless (aka Alexander Supertramp) is the ultimate tramp and loner. He walks away from all the relationships that he both has and makes on his journey. He consistently tells everyone who he meets that relationships are transitory and unimportant – that the real relationship to be had is between the self and nature.

At the end, as the main character is dying, alone, cold and starving (sorry, spoiler), he comes upon a new perspective:

“No true happiness without friends.”

March 22, 2008

By Popular Request

Posted in life at 10:05 am by Michael

Ok, feedback heard. No posting about new hair w/o posting shots of said new hair.

Note that this is not what Sue did, this is me w/a blowdryer, which is dangerous.

Here’s some, click for bigger versions.

March 22, 2008March 22, 2008

Peri picked out the sweater and shirt for me…

March 22, 2008


Posted in friends, life, transgender at 7:30 am by Michael

I hadn’t had my hair colored since mid-November. While it’s not falling out, and is pretty thick, the sides of my head are probably 80% gray. If hair grows at half an inch a month, and it’s been three months, that yields a good inch and a half of gray. Root City! At least for me, I don’t have it on top of my head as bad, creating the part line gray.

Why no color for three months? Well, remember I have this whole crazy incision/scar line thing running from ear to ear up over top of my head? I was waiting for it to heal completely, which it finally did about two weeks ago (yea!). I really didn’t want to get the chemicals into the scarline – I thought that might not aid in healing.

Anyway, I made an appointment for Thursday night, after work, at Gene Juarez in Redmond. I’ve had my hair colored there before, and this is also where I got my hair cut all the time.

But that was still when everyone called me Michael.

The same person had been cutting my hair for six years there. Color was a new thing for me, I’ve only been doing that for less than a year, and I don’t have a regular “person” for that.

(Note, I’m going to use fake names for the people there. Really.)

I had stopped going to “Sue” for my haircuts more than a year ago, as I started to grow out my hair – first somewhat unintentionally, then more purposefully as I knew that I would transition. I really like Sue a lot, and loved going to her. She is great at what she does, and we’d chat about any number of things. I did go back a couple of times over the past year, and Sue really gave me a hard time. “Where were you? What’s going on?’. The last time that I saw Sue, I hadn’t transitioned, and I hadn’t come out publicly. I hadn’t told her.

When I walked in Thursday night, who was standing right at the counter? Sue.

“Where have you been?”

Sue is very direct.

She asks about Samwich, and the big kids, and Anh (she’s met them all). She says to me:

“You look different! So stylish, your long hair, your skin, nice jeans, what’s going on?”

Sue was looking right at me. She 100% recognized me, but didn’t notice that I was now presenting female. Not at all.

Sue says: “Your face looks good, but different, what did you do?”

I said: “I had some surgery on my face.”

“Anh let you do that?”

This went on for a minute or so, and then I leaned over, and quietly said to her:

“Sue, I’m transgendered. I’ve changed my gender.”

She looks at me, and says “Why did you do that?”

Oh, this is going to be a long conversation, but neither of us have time….. I say:

“Because it’s who I am. It’s all good. We are all good… really.”

She says: “Ok, but why didn’t you tell me! We need to talk more.”

At this point, the hair color person comes over, and brings me back to start with that process.

About a half an hour later, as I’m sitting under the dryer, Sue comes over, sits next to me, and we have a good long talk – although its honestly hard to talk under a dryer.

She says “I’m going to do your hair when you are done with the color. It could look better, I’m going to fix it for you.”

Again, Sue, very direct.

I agreed, and when I was done with the color process, I went over to see Sue, and she did my hair – little styling, a little cut (not much).

Sue chided me for not telling her, yet again. I told her about the blog, all the stuff we had done. She was first and foremost wondering about the kids – how were they doing. She has kids too….

As she was finishing up, she said “Well, know when you walk down the street, and say to people, ‘Hi I’m Megan’ they won’t even question it. Hair says a lot you know!”

Thanks Sue! Good to see you again…. I’ll be back soon.

Dancing with Samwich

Posted in life, Samwich at 7:02 am by Michael

Anh and Samwich were going out of town to visit family for a few days. Wednesday night, before they left, Anh had gone out, and I was taking care of Samwich. He’s been a bit of a bear lately (don’t blame the bear!). He can walk, he can climb up stuff (stairs, chairs, you name it), he tries to jump, and generally, just in motion the whole time.

At the pediatrician’s recommendation (the common one), we’ve limited his bottle and milk intake to once a day for the bottle (in the morning), and only 4-8oz of milk (either whole or formula) per day. This is to change him over from getting calories by drinking to calories through food, and to help change his food mix as a result.

Well, it’s working. The little dude is an eating machine. Since he never started on a pacifier either, the bottle for him became a calming/soothing mechanism – especially in the hour before bed, and in the morning (we kept the morning for now).

A month ago, if he was cranky at 7pm or so (an hour before bedtime), we’d give him a bottle, he’d drink it, play with it, get kind of relaxed, and then we’d get him in his nighttime outfit, read some books, and he’d do great.

Now, without the bottle, soothing the Samwich is a little harder. We didn’t want to just replace the bottle w/the sippy cup either, since that kind of defeats the whole purpose…

Anyway, after playing with him, reading to him, cuddling him, well, he was still the bear-shaped child.

I had to bring out the heavy weapons.


I put the CD in, turned up the volume, selected his song (“1234”), picked him up, snuggled him in tight, and started to sway to the music, singing along to the song, quietly in his ear.

1234 tell me that you love me more

He loves that part. Immediately, he calms down, hugs me hard, and really starts to relax. We get to the chorus.

Ohhh uh oh you’re changing your heart
Ohhh uh oh you know who you are

Now he’s really relaxed, and we are gently swaying in our living room lit by the lights of Seattle.

We get to the chorus again:

Ohhh uh oh you’re changing your heart
Ohhh uh oh you know who you are

He starts singing the “Ohhs”… I thought was going to melt.

I hit repeat on the CD player, and we did the song a couple of more times, swaying along, singing together.

It was a moment.


Posted in life at 6:46 am by Michael

Ok, maybe a few people do watch Good Morning America and Nightline.

Neither Anh nor I really thought that anyone would recognize us from the show. This is why I was so surprised for us to get recognized on the subway in Boston, and what lead to my non-great response to the person who said hi to me.

(Non-great in that while we said thank you, and smiled, we didn’t take the opportunity to engage with him. I should have at least asked “What did you think?” and had that conversation if he was willing. Lesson learned, see below.)

Last Sunday, as we were at the airport in Boston, I stopped at the food court to get some food to go for the flight. While I was standing at the register, one of the servers came by (she wasn’t waiting on me), and said “I saw your show on TV last week, good for you!” I smiled, said thank you, and then asked her “What did you think!” She said it was interesting, thought Anh was great, and thought it was a good piece overall. She had hot plates in her hand, so our conversation was brief.

I went to Malay Satay hut for lunch on Wednesday with a co-worker. When we walk in, the hostess asks me “How was your TV show?” She had been amazingly helpful in letting us get taped there, and I was really appreciative. We talked about it for a minute or two, and she asked “Well, what was it about?” I explained a little, and she just said “Ooooh, that’s interesting!”.

I have probably heard either directly or indirectly from half the crowd that was in the restaurant the day that the taping happened. It’s funny to hear about the different interpretations that people had about what was going on. Dating show? Recruiting Video? The fact is that people *were* looking at us – but because of the cameras!

Anh has been recognized a couple of times without me there as well… this I never expected either.

Oddly, most of the times that this has happened haven’t been in Seattle. (For both of us) I have two explanations for this: 1) People in Seattle don’t watch those shows 2) We do get recognized here, but for some reason (cultural difference here?) no one says anything. Maybe because it’s clear that we are from here. Who knows.

March 16, 2008


Posted in family, food, Samwich, transgender, travel at 11:44 pm by Michael

Saturday morning Anh, Samwich and I drove down to Rhode Island to visit my mom. It was Samwich’s birthday, and we hadn’t seen my mom in a while – good opportunity!

We usually don’t get a car when we are just in Boston, so Step 1 was to actually get a car. I usually rent from Avis, because I have a Preferred number with them (you can get this easily from them), and it makes the rental process easier. They have your license and credit card information on file, so it’s quick, and you get a bit of a discount. I haven’t yet updated my ID information with them yet, so I wasn’t sure how this was going to go. I didn’t even rent the car with my Preferred info, and just did it online without it. When I got to the desk to get the car, I gave the agent my license and credit card, and when he swiped it, it automatically came up with my Preferred number. Turns out that Avis uses your credit card number as your long term ID number. Changing my name with them was trivial as a result.

On the way down to RI, we stopped at Dunkin’ and got Samwich his first donut (it was his birthday after all). Loved it… but he loved smashing it more. Samwich is in food-smashing mode for most soft foods these days – bananas, bread, you name it. I think he’s looking for the treasure inside. Denied! He does eat the smashed bits too. (Not to go too far down the Samwich eating habits path, but Damn Samwich! Are you part penguin? Just about anything he puts in his mouth, he takes a bite of, then takes it out, looks at it, and then decides if its worthy to go back in or not. Sometimes he just sucks the essential juices out, like the salt-monster on Star Trek, and spits out the effluent.)

The last time my mom saw me in person was November 30th, the day after FFS. This is what I looked like:

Postop 24

In talking to her since then, she’s had a hard time getting that image out of her head, because there hasn’t been a live one to replace it. Yes, she’s seen pictures, video, and even the ABC stuff last week, but that’s just not the same.

Luckily, I was able to give her a new image… (sorry, we didn’t take a lot of pictures of me… this is the only one)

March 16, 2008

My sisters were both there when we arrived, as well as my niece and great-niece. I hadn’t seen any of them since November either.

When we arrived, it even smelled like home. They had put a turkey in to roast and my old(est) sister had made a cake/cupcakes. Smell is such a personal, deeply emotional sense. To me at least, a remembered smell can bring me back more quickly than any other sense.

I could see the relief on my mom’s face almost right away. She hugged me, then came back to hug me again a few minutes later.

We had a great lunch, Samwich loved his birthday cupcake, and spent the afternoon just relaxing. It was nice to be home.

My mom was/is still struggling with the name/pronoun thing. I don’t think for a second it’s because she isn’t respectful or understanding – but as *my mom* she has such a pattern of interaction with me, its hard to break. At one point, she said she was just going to call me “Michael Megan” so I couldn’t tell when she screwed up. Got to love the hardscrabble Yankee pragmatism.

That night, at about eight, I went downstairs, and noticed a good-sized water leak in the ceiling. Looked all around (up and downstairs), but we couldn’t find the source of it. I can fix a lot of things, but plumbing – that’s one thing that I’m not good at – clueless sums it up.

My mom is blessed with awesome neighbors, and she called across the street to ask for some help. Glenn helps my mom out a lot – he shovels her out, will help with house maintenance, and he and his wife both have been a real source of support for my mom since my dad passed away.

He came over – we (well, he swung the hammer) tore out the waterlogged ceiling, and saw that the leak was coming from behind the wall. We went upstairs, tore out some more wall behind the bathroom sink, and discovered that the joint on the hot water line was leaking. We then spent the next two hours repairing it (well, I held the flashlight, and did general helper 3 rd class duties). I love watching someone work who really knows what they are doing – doesn’t matter what they are doing. Watching my old(est) sister make bread is amazing – she used to be a baker in another life – always something to learn.

Glenn hadn’t seen me since last summer. You know what? If he was different in any way, I couldn’t tell. We were just getting the job at hand done – at 10pm at night on a Saturday. Glenn is a police officer in Pawtucket, and he’s one big, strong, tough dude. He’s awesome. Thanks Glenn.

After cleaning up the big mess we had made by tearing out a ceiling and a wall, we went to bed.

When we got up this morning, Ma suggested that we all go out to breakfast at her favorite neighborhood joint – Oatley’s. Rhode Island, even though it’s wedged between Boston and New York can be both very urban, but surprisingly rural. Just five minutes from my mom’s house is a huge turf farm. The vibe of her town is east-coast rural. Lots of stone walls as you drive around, not made for the look, but out of necessity from clearing the land.

My mom and dad used to go to Oatley’s five or six days a week before he passed away. She goes less now, but is still a regular, and pretty well known there.

We had our breakfast, Samwich did his penguin-eating, and as we were leaving (and I was across the room paying), one of the waitresses who knows my mom well came over and was chatting with them. Just as I walked over, she had to run, but my mom said to me “Well, I’m sorry that she didn’t get to say hi to my youngest daughter!”

After we finished up, we stopped by the cemetery to visit my dad’s gravesite, and to leave a ceramic bird at his site. This was harder for me than I thought it was going to be. Samwich hadn’t been there before, and as we were driving up, Sheila said “Samwich, are you going to say hi to Pa?” Samwich never met my dad, and my dad never knew that Samwich was coming. Anh was only a few weeks pregnant (we knew) when my dad passed, and it didn’t seem like a good time to tell him. (Long story).

As we were walking up to the site, Anh said “What’s that rumble? Is that Pa rolling over?”. Just some context here… we all in the fam have talked a lot about how my dad would have dealt with his only son coming out to him. This was on *all* of our minds as we walked up, and Anh, because of the way she is (fabulous) felt like the ice needed to get broken. Ma said “Well, I think he would have said ‘Are you happy? If so, that’s all I care about.’ Then he would have said ‘Jesus F#!$’ing Christ! What next?’ “

We all laughed…. That’s the way my dad was. I got a little misty just thinking more about it – thinking about how I was never able to talk to him about this.

Well Pa, I’m happy. We are happy… Your kids and your grandkids all love you.

We drove back home, for lunch had some pizza and a meatball grinder from Fillipou’s Pizza (401-294-4767 – on Ten Rod Road in North Kingstown – the BEST!), and then headed to the airport. Ma as she always does was a little teary and sad to see us go, but we’ll be together again soon (next month!)

It was a good homecoming – another “First” down…

March 14, 2008

I’m Back

Posted in Boston, family, food, Identification, Samwich, transgender at 7:38 pm by Michael

Well, not really, still in Boston.

Anh, Samwich and I went to Boston on Tuesday night on the redeye, and I worked here all week.

Honestly, after all the buzz from last week, I needed a bit of a blog-break. But, here we are, it’s Friday, it’s the weekend, and I’ve got some stuff to say. Here goes.

Commenters and Supporters – Thank You!

I sincerely appreciate the comments that people have posted, and the mails that have been sent – both with support and also questions. It’s all good, and it means a lot to me! Thank you.

JetBlue – Please don’t go out of Business!

As I’ve written about at length, we love JetBlue. Between lots of legroom, DirecTV on board, friendly crews, new planes, great website, good customer support, and reasonable and understandable pricing – by far is our favorite domestic airline.

Last couple flights though – scary – probably only 25% full. Now, for a redeye, this isn’t the worst thing in the world – for the passengers. But, you have to question in this day and age, how long empty flights can keep flying. Maybe it’s the season, or the day of week we fly (Tuesday), but I’m a little scared that the reliable redeye will go bye-bye.

Boston Cannoli Fest V2

Wednesday night we did a little cannoli-comparo. I’ve been a big fan of Bova’s for a very long time. The others in the big-three in Boston are Modern Pastry, and Mike’s.

We tried Mike’s and Bova’s again – side by side. (Large ricotta, plain (no nuts of chocolate chips). Yes, I realize that Italian cannoli are made from marscapone generally, but in the US is more likely sweet ricotta based – lots of discussion on that in this space back in early January).

I believe that we have a new winner – by far – Mike’s. The filling was lighter, and the crust thinner and crispier. The Bova’s entry was too thick – both the crust and the filling. The ratio here matters, and Mike’s was better.

Good Italian

Try Pomodoro on Hanover Street in the North End. The menu is small, but the food was in general very good. The chicken carbonara pasta and the veal with carmelized balsamic served with green onion risotto were both tasty and unique. Hallmark of a great Italian place – the simple things are fantastic. We had the fried calamari appetizer to start – it was light, crisp, hot, sweet, not chewy, and came with a (big) side of tomato sauce – which was light and perfect.

“Are you a man?”

Anh and I went to Filene’s Basement to check out jeans and some shirts, both for me and for her. There wasn’t a ton, but we picked out some stuff, and went to the dressing room. I was carrying Samwich in the baby carrier, and Anh had most of the clothes (I had a few). At the basement, you have to check in at the dressing room and get a number tag for the number of items that you bring in. As I was going through this process w/the attendant, she said to me:

“Are you a man?”


“Are you?”

“No, do you want to see my ID?”

Pause, still not giving me the number tag.

“No, really, do you want to see my ID?”

“No, that’s ok, go ahead.”

She was not convinced. I tried on some stuff, liked some, didn’t like others, and while I was, I was thinking about how to handle it – ignore it? Talk to her? Talk to the manager?

I decided to just take by bargains and run, and not say anything. I’m not sure if I didn’t have a “F” on my license what I would have said. It would have been harder.

It brings up the fundamental question of what it means to be male or female in general, in a public situation like this. Who is being protected? For what reason?

I’m still not sure what I think about this. Maybe tomorrow I will… Maybe not. Maybe I never will.

“I saw you on Nightline”

After dinner, we were taking the T (Red Line) from South Station to Kendall Square. We love the T, and really wish that Seattle had public transport like that. It was just about 9pm, and the train wasn’t too full. Just after we had gotten on, I noticed that there was a guy, probably a little older than us, with lots of facial piercings. He was looking at us pretty closely. As the train stopped, he looked at us, and said:

“I saw you on Nightline!”

Me and Anh almost at the same time said:

“Yes you did!”

He said: “Well, good for you!”

I almost asked him “What did you think?” or “How did you recognize us?” but I was afraid in many ways to break the barrier of anonymity that seems to exist in public places like this. Yes, he did reach out to us, but I wasn’t sure what to do except for smile and say thanks….

I looked at Anh and said (quietly) “I never expected that!” Anh said “Me too!”

Neither of us were freaked out – just a little surprised…

He got off one stop before us, and said the following to us as he got off:

“I wish you both the best of luck and may god bless you.”

I’ll take it that he was supportive from both the words and the tone, and I give him a ton of credit for reaching out to us, and I think we probably could have done more to reach back.

I honestly never thought that we would get recognized on the street, especially so far away from home.

Happy Birthday Samwich

Samwich is One. Congratulations Samwich! Thank you Anh for being such an amazing mom.

March 7, 2008

“What about the kids?”

Posted in family, transgender at 10:46 pm by Michael

As is well documented, we have three kids – Peri, 10 – John – 7 (almost 8 ) and Samwich (1 in a week!).

Many people have asked many questions about the kids – how did we tell them and how they reacted, how they dealt with my early transition and how they are doing now.

How Did We Tell Them?

The challenges for telling the kids included:
– what to tell them, and how to do it in a way that they would understand
– how to give them space to react and respond
– how to be “true” to myself, but at the same time still love and honor these precious little beings

We ended up telling them at the start of a two week vacation. Me, Anh and my mom sat down at the dining room table and told Peri and John that we had to tell them something important.

We first reassured them that no one was sick or dying, and no one was going away. (Their grandfather – my dad – had died about a year earlier, and they were still scared of that) We reassured them that we loved them, and that nothing about that was going to change.

I then told them that while most kids, when they are very young know that they are a boy or a girl, and their bodies match that. I said that I didn’t feel that way. That I felt more like I was really a girl, even though my body was that of a boy.

We told them that at the end of the year, I was going to start living my life the way that I really felt inside – as a girl.

We reassured them that we loved them, that I was still their Dad, and that our family was staying together.

We didn’t say a whole lot more.

John started to cry, and after that so did Peri. Anh reassured them that it was ok to cry and to be angry with me. That she was initially as well. We let them have their feelings, and didn’t try to talk them out of it.

This initial conversation was brief… probably only 10 minutes, or so. We all hugged, reiterated the central points – that we loved them, I was still their dad, and that we were still all together.

We just sat there for a while…. Both Peri and John were just sitting on my lap, and I was rocking them gently….

The next day, while on a walk, Anh asked Peri how she was doing, and then did the same for John (privately). At this point, they both said “Fine” but then “Angry”. She asked them if they had more questions, and they said no.

Over the next few days, life kind of went on, just the same as always. We didn’t bring it up. They didn’t bring it up – we were intentional about this. They needed the room to just feel what they were feeling.

After three or four more days, we checked in with them again. Peri really didn’t want to talk, but John did (I was surprised by that, given that he is two years younger, and an important two years).

I asked John how he was doing or if he had any questions, and he said:

“Is there any way to stop this?’
I said: “No, there isn’t”.

John then said one of the most amazing things I’ve heard though this entire process – note he was 7 years old at this time:

“Ok, I understand, if you stopped, you wouldn’t be being true to yourself, and that would not be the right thing to do, right Daddy?”

Peri was much quieter, and didn’t really want to talk to me about it for quite some time. She talked to Anh privately, but not as much to me.

John had another moment of brilliance later in the trip. My mom said to him “You look just like your Dad.” John says, without skipping a beat:

“Ha! But only until Thansgiving!” [that’s when I had FFS]

Dealing with the Early Transition

At home, for about three months before I transitioned, I would dress “fulltime at home” (oxymoron) in female clothes. Not ultra femme at all – jeans, t-shirt, etc. Not a lot different than what I had been wearing before. Before I did this in front of the kids, we talked a lot about it – gave them a lot of notice, and incrementally introduced it. We were monitoring the whole time if they were showing signs of stress or discomfort, and slowing (not stopping) if they did. After a while, as others came over (family and friends who knew), they saw that “nothing really changed”, and this was reassuring – in that I acted the same, Anh acted the same, and other fnf acted the same as well.

Dealing with The Transition and my FFS

I was in SFO for two weeks, and over a weekend. On that weekend, Anh went up to Seattle, and got the kids to bring them down. Partially to see me, but also to see Anh and the rest of the friends and family that were down as well. The time they were down was the hardest for me recovery wise – they got down on a Friday night, the day after FFS. Anh left it to them if they wanted to see me or not, and they both wanted to, with some trepidation. But after, in talking to them, they expressed that they were glad that they did – and I looked better (HA!) than they had feared.

Pre-surgery, we talked to them about their fears – and it really revolved around “change” and “loss”. “Change” in that I would “be different” in an unquantifiable way, and “loss” – mostly fear of me dying.

The lesson for us out of this was even though it was hard for them to see me in a hospital bed, bandaged up – that it *wasn’t as bad as they had made up in their minds* and as a result, it was a net positive. Fear of the known is easier to deal with than fear of the unknown.

Over the weekend, they spend the vast majority of the time exploring the city and being kids, and hanging around with their aunt and cousin – they loved it. They spent a little more time with me, saw me getting better, and in general were relieved.

Samwich was a little reserved with me when I had dressings on my face. As soon as all of those came off, I was just the same old Maddy to him, and he was 100% back to his previous big slobbery kisses for me.


The weekend we got back from SFO, Peri and John both had events that we were going to. This would be the first time that they would be in public with their dad Megan. We spend a lot of time talking to them about how to handle it – even minute stuff like who was going to drive them, who they were walking in with (us or their mom), etc. We talked to them about a proposed plan, and then asked for feedback – and they gave us great feedback. In the end, this was a fantastic day, and they felt included, listened to, and in control. This was our big takeaway – that they needed to feel in control, and have it be ok for them to say what was ok and what was not ok.

We have not heard of, nor have they told us of any teasing at school, at all. To the contrary, we heard a story of a mom who told her daughter who is friends with Peri:

“It’s your job as Peri’s friend to defend her. If someone starts to tease her or make fun of her because of her Dad or anything else, you need to step in and tell them that its not ok to do that.”

That was pretty amazing.

Peri and John still both call me Daddy. Its their choice what to call me, and I’ve told them that.

Anh and I refer to me as “Maddy” to Samwich. If he decides to call me Daddy, or something else in the future that would be ok too.

However, we are all pretty consistent about referring to me as “she/her”, and not “he/him”. 

Update From Tonight

I asked Peri and John tonight about how they were feeling, and if there were things we did or didn’t do that they thought we should do differently.

Peri Says: “Since you told us when we were on vacation, we almost had too much time together after that. I liked being with Ma [her grandmother] and Anh, but I was mad at you, and I didn’t want to be with you *all* the time.”

Peri Says: “You think initially that it’s going to change everything – you think that – even when you said that it wouldn’t, we didn’t believe you. But now, its like nothing has changed. I’m fine now.”

John Says: “You still look like Frankenstein, because of the line on your head with no hair on it!” [I let him touch it, and that made him feel better too]

John Says: “I wish that this didn’t happen. And I’m going to wish that it didn’t happen forever.”

We talked about it more… he asked me if I was done, or if there was going to be more change. I said no, that I was done. He got a big smile on his face:

“Its ok now because I know its done. Right now is ok. Just ok. Maybe even good.”

John Says: “You are the best daddy ever!’ (Peri chimes in with the same – I think they may be pandering.)

Overnight Mail

Posted in family, life, work at 9:01 pm by Michael


This was an odd week to be on national TV. From Tuesday night until Friday afternoon, I was at a training course for work. It was at the “Sleeping Lady Mountain Retreat” in Leavenworth, Washington, which is about two and a half hours east from Redmond, on the eastern side of the Cascades.

It’s a beautiful, picturesque place, with two drawbacks for the maniacally connected – a) little/no cell coverage b) no in-room TV.

So, there I was, trying to stay focused on this course (which was great!), and at the same time trying to see what was going on as a result of the airing of the Good Morning America and Nightline pieces yesterday. (btw, the streaming link is here:

In many multiday Microsoft and other management/leadership courses the morning of the second day and subsequent days start with “Overnight Mail” – that is an opportunity to tell the group how you are feeling based on the previous day’s learnings or questions.

I’ve hesitated to post much since the stuff on ABC aired – both to give it some time to sink in, but to really think about what I have to say.

Here goes.

First off, I have to thank all of you who have been so amazingly supportive and posted incredible comments and thoughtful emails. That was so nice to see.

Both here, and on other sites (like the comment stream on, there were more questions than comments, and these merit there own posts, which will follow.

“What about the kids? How did you tell them (the older ones), and how are they doing?”

“How on earth did you tell Anh? What did she do? What did you do?”

There were other comments, oh yes there were. I’m not going to dwell on the negative though, and I’m going to just let it go. If you think there is some other big question, that’s not answered on the FAQ, or that I’ve dodged in some way, please post it, and I’ll do my best.

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