Sunday, 30 April 2000 (the only time)
I'm in Daljeet's on Haight when an employee notices the somewhat ratty but omnipresent fishnet on my right arm and comments that fishnet shirts are on sale. One things leads to another, and...
In the dressing room, I had another of those all-too-rare moments when I'm looking in the mirror and not entirely believing what I'm seeing. In a good way. Damn, it worked on me, particularly over the black sports bra and waist-cincher, not to mention I was actually made up for the first time in over a week. I looked very...dark. And practically trim. For as much as I was convinced that I've been putting on weight, Paige had told me earlier in the day that not only did I not appear any chunkier, my waist had actually dropped a couple inches since last time. Don't have any clue how that happened.
So I bought the shirt, of course. Once home, I tried it again, this time sans
the waist-cincher. And it still worked. Wow. Okay. Serious paradigm shift here...
Saturday, 29 April 2000 (pets or meat)
Shaved this morning for the first time in a week and a half, and a week after having gotten zapped. I think I gave it just about enough time. Going out tonight seems an option, except for having to get up early tomorrow morning. Whine, whine, whine.
Note to myself: in dreams, leave bums alone. Bad things can happen.
Friday, 28 April 2000 (gunshy)
No way. I really used to do this on a regular basis? Hell, I was already downtown by this point? Weird.
I'd forgotten how nice it can be to get to work early. Before the crush of the morning commute, before the sun gets over the horizon, before HE gets here. I was even able to park in the Batcave, which means I don't have to worry about either feeding a meter or getting ticketed. I would have just taken the train so I could do some reading, but there's a fucking baseball game at Pac Bell Fucking Park, so public transportation is best to be avoided tonight.
The reason I'm here this early at all is an old-school deadline crunch, owing to the standard-issue back-asswardness of the Marketing Department combined with The Den Mother's meddling. Of course, cleaning up after other people's messes is why they keep us around at all.
When I got home last night I watched the previous evening's
South Park. I've been getting a little disappointed by their
reliance on zeitgeist over the last year (yeah, frivolous sexual harrassment
lawsuits suck ass and hate crime laws may be of questionable merit, but
damnit, where's the pure imagination that brought us Scuzzlebutt?), but
Matt and Trey more than made up for it with their parody of the Elian Gonzalez raid, airing all of
four days after the event occured. Wow. I am duly impressed. Meanwhile, over a month
we've been working on this damn project and still nobody is sure what the
hell it is or what it's going to look like...
"Good god, you've put on so much weight! What happened?"
"Well...um...I had a Mountain Dew on Friday morning, and at lunch, I washed down a bunch of store-bought but strangely addictive tempura sushi with a Coke..."
"Diet or Classic?"
"Do I really have to say? The point is, I should have been drinking water, I know, but it was a long day that wasn't going to end anytime soon, and I needed to get the blood sugar up, and..."
[very calmly] "Diet. Or. Classic."
[looking down at feet, which I can barely see because of huge midsection] "Classic."
"That's it! You're fired, and you'll never work in this town again!"
Then again, maybe it won't go quite that way.
Thursday, 27 April 2000 (a warm place)
My brain pulled one of its favorite tricks this morning, the ol' "thinking you're waking up from a dream but really you're still dreaming" routine. Took me from a (comparatively) pleasant dream to in bed, but with something terribly wrong. Then I woke up for real and saw it was much later than it should have been. Wasn't planning on shaving this morning anywayI'm giving my face as much time as I possibly can, and maybe setting a new record for myselfso I just skipped showering altogether. Reminds me of the old days, plus my hair has that neat "day-old Slick Works" look, so I just put it up in a high ponytail and that was that. Sometimes the best thing you can for your hair is to leave be.
It's "Take Your Kids to Work" Day, but thankfully Leigh doesn't seem to be participating. I met her kids at Autodesk a few years back and they were nice enough, but as always I prefer to keep my contact with children down to the barest minimum possible.
On the plus side, it appears our insurance plan is now includes
at least partial coverage for laser eye surgery. Ooooooooooh.
Neato. I want. Even with the coverage it's still expensive and
it's hardly the only surgical procedue on my wishlist, but...the
history of glaucoma in my family could be a problem, though.
(Another legacy from my father's genes. Thanks, dad.)
I don't have glaucoma just yet, however, and I'll self-medicate, I
Vacation? Time off? Perchance to relax?
Yeah, sure. That'll happen. Somewhere along the line, I think
I gave up the right to untense.you
never said forever could ever hurt like this
Wednesday, 26 April 2000 (it means a lot, coming from you)
My apparent template for dreaming: keys to the (figurative) palace are granted, then subsequently lost, usually without having gotten so much as a glimpse of the inside. Maybe that's my otherwise relentless unconscious taking a small measure of pity on me. It's much easier to handle the loss of something if you never fully grasped its true nature in the first place.
I honestly don't remember if the person I overheard said, "[The Fidget Queen] will be out through Wednesday" or "until Wednesday." I guess I'll find out in the next hour or so.
Oh well. That was a nice break while it lasted.
I haven't shaved yet, not since last Wednesday. I don't dare. My face continues to heal, and the swelling is gone, but there's still a lot of redness. I don't want to damage my skin any more than necessary, and shaving can be traumatic to it under even the best of circumstances.
I'll probably wait until at least Saturday. The real mindfuck comes from the light hairs which survived the zapping process for obvious reasons, Phil ignored those in favor of the darker, more visible oneswhich gives my face a somewhat fuzzy texture.
Aaargh. Just so long as it's all better by Saturday after next, though I'd be even happier if were presentable by this Sunday. I'll be going to Paige's both for a possible refitting of the dress I'll be wearing for the fashion show (though it may not be necessary since I'm probably overly paranoid about my weight), and also to try on some of her other designs for a photo shoot for her catalog. Even if I'm not entirely photo-worthy by then, I'll still be trying the stuff, and the pictures will be taken another time. Getting to play dress-up on that level is definitely worth having to be in Redwood City by 9am on a Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, I see that tonight it's Bondage A-Go-Go's annual Betty Page Lookalike
Contest. Ouch. That would do unspeakable damage to my ego...although I do want
to go back to BAGG sometime. I've always had fun there.
remember when you used to seem relevant? when it felt like maybe you mattered? how many pieces of silver did you get in return?
Oh...my...lord. I just heard a voice I didn't expect hear again in a very long time, if ever: Conk. He got my number from my father and left a message on my voicemail. It doesn't sound like my father told him much, and though he's aware of The Ex and I breaking up, there's any of a number of sources he could have heard that from.
I feel guilty saying this, but he pretty much tops the list of people I've been hoping to avoid. Do pardon this blast of religious intolerance, but born-again conservative xtians do not exactly have the greatest track record in accepting the concept of transsexuality. I'm still not sure I've forgiven him for the grief he gave me about taking student loansnot knowing a damn thing about the system, he was convinced that HIS tax dollars were funding MY education, and that just wasn't right. He wasn't too nuts about me going on unemployment around that time, either, in spite of the money having come from my own paychecks.
I don't want to explain things over the phone, but I'd feel dishonest not saying something,
particularly considering he may already know...shit. Shit shit shit. This is
the problem with my form of cowardice: running does not always equal hiding.
and oh so sick i am
It's just all part of the trip. It's just all in my head. Gotta remember that.
Tuesday, 25 April 2000 (digging in the dirt)
why, hello! make yourself at home. somehow, we always knew you'd return...
It's happening again:
I miss Roderick's.
my, you're just so fucking noble it hurts, huh?
Monday, 24 April 2000 (vivere est cogitare)
The faux-Nixonian jowl swelling has gone down, but I still appear to have suffered a severe acne outbreak. I'm confident it'll clear up in the next two weeks, though.
The dream is over, kids.
If I must use a parking meter, at least it's good ol' 666.
So my electrologist, he of the leather fetish and permanent makeup, said not a word about my buetz or my vertical eyeliner. It's hard not to feel slightly snubbed.
As I was heading home, the Vicodin Crash hit hard. I'd taken six in the two hours before the session began, and at least another six or eight before we were through. The law of diminishing returns demands that they would cease to be effective after a while, but in fact the pain was very manageable.
It did fuck with my emotions, though. It always does. But I didn't cry. Came close, but was somehow able to hold it back. What triggered it was when he started working on underneath my chin without having used the anesthetic spray first; I meekly asked him if he'd be so kind, and he said that he was almost out of it. Oh. Well. Of course.
Makes perfect sense, doesn't it? Don't support systems always go away? Don't the things that you cling to, the bits of hope, the things you thought would get you through the bad times, the shelter from the storm, that which numbs pain, isn't that what always go away? Is there anything more ephemeral than the belief that you can make hurt stop? That you'll somehow move past it, that things will get better? When you've reached a point where you can look back and realize that as painful as they were at the time you made the right decisions, and that you're doing okay now and all is right with the world, and then you make another and things start to slip again, and...
My eyes were watering, but through sheer force of will no tears escaped. He was working on my neck at the time, and I wonder if he saw my throat gulping. I did everything I could to distract myself, but it was like the narrator in Fight Club, trying their best not to think of words like heat and sear. But sometimes there's no room in your mind for anything else.
My next appointment is in about a month, the soonest I can get in
since he's going to be gone for a few weeks. After that I'm going
to resume my old schedule, if not moreso. Maybe every weekend.
Looking at myself 48 hours later, my face has mostly resumed its
usual shape, but there's a little red spot for every hair that was zapped.
Where there isn't a red spot (and in some places where there is),
wouldn't you know it, some black hairs are already visible. Whether
they survived through Saturday or first emerged in the hours after I
got off the table, I don't know. But it could be a sign that I'm
not taking this seriously enough. I was once going twice a week,
and perhaps it's time I start doing that again. And while I'm at it...
On the negative side, the one decent person in the department's upper management triumvirate just announced he's resigning. Among other things, this gives The Den Mother much more power than she already had, and will inflate her already bloated sense of self-imporance to pointy-haired-boss levels. Worse, this makes her Brian's immediate superiorI am again worried that he's not long for this company. Like anyone else who bails, I can't say I'd blame him.
I wonder if I can get her to turn her guns on The Fidget Queen.
She's been so successful at clearing out the good people,
perhaps a little Machiavelliosity is in order. Not that I'd
have the foggiest idea how, but it's a lovely
fantasy all the same.
There are a few churches in Bolinas, but the one you can't help but be aware of is the one whose sign you see shortly after entering town (provided you've successfully found the unmarked exit): the church of St. Mary Magdalene. Heck, I didn't even know that she'd been sainted, but if so, the sainthood of a prostitute gives me a newfound respect for Catholics. (I'd certainly love to read her book in the Apocrypha.) On this most holy of days, however, the sign was partially covered by a sign directing people to the reggae show happening later in the day. It's all about priorities.
We met Lee and his girlfriend Kate at Smiley's Schooner Saloon. Across the street was a barbecue of some sort, including a person in an Easter Bunny costume (no, they weren't getting barbecued) and vast quantities of meat. I also noticed a man in what appeared to be a sundress, short hair and large hoop earrings. I figured it was probably Pearl, a quasi-tranny I'd been told about before; indeed, my first trip to Bolinas had ostensibly been to meet him.
The other reason for the original trip and been to check out the Freebox, which was closed by the time we'd arrived. Not this time, though. The Freebox is essentially a large storage shed in which people put things they don't want anymore, and other people take it. A no-cost thrift store, and you could never be sure what you might find. Lee claims to have found his first computer there, and has since amassed a large collection of used monitors from it. (Beats the hell out of SF thrift stores, which tend not to take computer equipment at all.) No computer equipment this time, though Maddy did score a very nice pair of shoes, and I got a black Donna Karan blouse which fits as snugly as the Lenore shirt. For free, why not? After seeing what else downtown had to offer, and keeping a safe distance from the person in the Easter Bunny costume, we headed into the residential section. I swear, there must have been new street signs put up since August, because they seemed much more visible. It's as though someone actually wants them to be seen at night, and frankly, I have hard time believing that.
The first stop was a bread delivery at a farm, many large bags of day-old bread for chickens. It was the first time I'd been anywhere near livestock since my aunt in Coalinga passed away, if not longer than that.
Then it was to Lee's mother's house for the rabbit sexing. (They breed rabbits; it being a major religious holiday with rabbit imagery was simply a coincidence.) I did not participate, natch, but merely watched as Lee violated the private parts of many a cute little bunny. Many defecated in response, but that's just part of the job and Lee took it very much in stride. When you're raised in nature, you accept it as...well, as natural.
Afterwards, we ate what was technically brunch (being that it was after noon on both a Sunday and a major religious holiday), though nobody dared speak the "b"-word. Lee's mother, whom I first met back in August, seemed a little surprised by Maddy referring to me as she, and to her credit asked point-blank why. I have to admit, I tend to admire people willing to do that, although it may just be the faulty brain-mouth filtering so common amongst older hippies. Lord knows I've observed it before. She said my voice and my height kinda sealed gender question for her, and the current condition of my face didn't help much, either. Talk about a reality check. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but there are also going to be times when you ain't gonna fool anybody at all.
I answered her questions and explained everything as best as I could, including granting her request to the effects of the hormones on my breasts. Again, I have to respect anyone with the temerity to ask.
It was beginning to get tempting to head back home, since the drive over Mt. Tamalpais is enough of a bitch during the day, let alone when the sun goes down. The sun was still fairly high in the sky, though, and Lee had an offer which was too tempting to decline: hiking. Wow. Hadn't done anything like that since time immemorial.
After a quick jaunt back downtown to get munchies for the trip (only to discover the stores had closed "early," as in mid-afternoon, for Easter), we headed out. We drove a fire road up Mt. Tam, even more narrow and windy than the one we'd driven to Stinson Beach to get to Bolinas but with much less traffic. Occasionally, we stopped and Lee would point things out, including a comparatively aerial look at Bolinas. It occured to me that between going into net-hermit mode and dropping out of the SF scene probably hadn't done anything like this in a long timethat is, have a captive yet willing audiencealthough Kate seemed quite used to it.
We reached our destination and parked. Kate and Lee had taken Kate's car, and apparently Lee will be getting a learner's permit very soon, to be followed (in theory) by a driver's license. Lee driving. I still haven't wrapped my brain around that one.
Neither Maddy and I were exactly dressed for hiking, but we didn't let that stop us. My buetz at least had traction, which hers did not. This didn't stop me from banging my right knee, hard, into a large rock onto which I was climbing. I can't say I was too surprised when we started to veer off the main trail; I had no doubt that Lee knew where we were going, and even if he wasn't entirely certain, it still seemed perfectly logical for him. oooh, what's over here? one way to find out...
While we struggling up admittedly slippery moss-covered rocks, he was scaling up waterfalls and fallen trees. Kate also seemed very much at ease in this environment, crawling fairly deep into the rocks over a creek to collect stones. Lee was particularly enthusiastic about collecting a certain kind of poliwog from further up the river. Being from Fresno or Clay Center didn't matter: Maddy and I were city goths, and they were nature goths. And I respect them immensely for it.
We'll most likely be visiting his actual home in Santa Rosa sometime in the next couple months. And I'll be more appropriately dressed, damnit...or, at the very least, not quite as hideous...
Sunday, 23 April 2000 (martin luther zen)
Being dragged to church always sucked, but it was worst on Easter Sunday. For reasons I could never understand, the ceremony was much longer than on other Sundays. As far as the big days went, at least xmas mass was kinda cool, being at midnight and all (the darkness beyond the stained glass windows usually provided enough novelty value to help me make it through), and of course with xmas the next day. But, Easter? What the fuck was there to look forward to with Easter? Nothing. Just another Sunday, hot and sunny, with school to return to on Monday. Yuck. And yet it was treated like some big event, even bigger to some people than xmas.
It is, sadly, sunny outside, but at least not too hot. I look like I'm storing food in my cheeks for the winter, and my very welty skin is still sensitive to the touch. All of which is to be expected, but I can't help thinking this is as bad as it's looked in a while. Phil didn't skimp with the post-treatment iodine yesterday, although he was being very conservative with the anesthetic spray at the time. I don't know if that would make a difference, but I suppose it could. I was certainly glad at the time that I'd loaded myself down with vicodin as much as I did.
Anyway, off to Bolinas.
Saturday, 22 April 2000 (somniferous)
Upper lip hair is the most insidious force ever to evolve. Every time I've gotten zapped in the last year, my upper lip hair has been cleared. The patch on the very underside of my head, between my chin and my throat, has only been cleared a occasionally. Usually we run out time before we get to it.
I haven't shaved since Wednesday morning. The patch behind my chin is mostly empty, with a few hairs here and there.
My upper lip? It looks like I'm intentionally trying to grow a moustache.
It is wrong. It is so very, very wrong I cannot even fully express it.
Which is why I'm getting zapped today. It's bad enough that I've chunked out so much recently (I don't know what I weight, I'm afraid to step on the scale), but with the show coming up...
Lee, however, called last night. Seems the little guy won't take no for an
answer; we're seeing each other this weekend, that's all there is to it.
To say I'm touched is putting it mildly.
Today simply will not doI'm going to be majorly dopey when I get home
(I hope), not to mention Mina's coming from getting fixed and declawedso we're meeting at noon tomorrow in Bolinas.
I won't be at my best in terms of appearance, but that's okay. He's
seen me a lot worse.
I'd forgotten how grass makes it very difficult NOT to think about
what's on my mind. It inhibits my ability to actively not
think about things.
you seem to have developed a taste for extreme darkness.
The wound heals, and sometimes there is no scar. Is this necessarily a good thing? How then can you be reminded, know you've learned? How can you say to the world, i was hurt, it was painful, i'm wiser now, i won't let you do this to me again?
And what if you're so afraid to even look, you never know if it's healed?
the light is dimming. tread carefully.
I just left the granddaddy of all stuttering, halting, idiotically apologetic messages on Lee's answering machine.
I felt a surge of relief when I head the click of the
machine taking over. I wonder if it's
a retardation specific to gen-x'ers, or just me, that
I will often prefer leaving a message over actually
talking to someone. That seems very wrong, and yet I've
been this way since long before the internet, so the
alleged "distancing" effect of modern technology isn't
quite it. It's certainly a shift away from Paul Westerberg's
defining take on the subject.
The designer, however, is sounding very enthusiastic about his new job,
though it's a familiar story: they're in Mountainview, which is a lousy
commute, but the words "IPO" are practically burning on his eyeballs.
I guess the crash hasn't dimmed everyone's visison about the untold
riches to be provided by the web. Then again, maybe he's just so
desperate to get out of here, it seemed the most attractive port.
I wish him well.
Apparently someone decided that the babyporn fetishists aren't getting
enough gratification from two-dimensional images, however, as I recently
saw Anne Geddes dolls at Target. Admittedly, my first thought was,
"Cool! Dead baby dolls!" (No, honey, it's not dead, it's only
sleeping.) I wonder how long before Operation Rescue
starts covering them with blood for their protests.
So, it's not all bad.
Okay, actually, I did discover that I make another of the useless
directors ("Senior Art Director," to be precise) nervous. Good.
That's how it should be.