It always happens that right after I throw a McMassive Hissy FitTM over something that's horribly broken or frustrating, I find a fix to my problem that works out so well that my previous temper tantrum looks like just that.
I suspect that this is either a conspiracy to make me look even more childish than I actually am, or else it's the Cosmic 2x4's way of saying "You're my Special Friend."

Today I called the Philadelphia County courthouse, laid bare the situation and asked them if they could issue me a license. She said that as long as my driver's license said female on it, there was no issue. They'd mark the paperwork as "legal name change" and be done with the matter. No need for birth certificates or other certifications.

I was aghast. I told the clerk there what the Montgomery County court had required. Her response was, and I quote, "Oh, the people up in Montgomery County are a bunch of assholes."

I love Philadelphia. And Philadelphia loves me back.

Parallel to this, Jessie is now legally Jessie, which I know has been a huge morale boost at home. I only wish yesterday that I had been in as good a mood as Jessie was. Knowing that Jessie wanted to celebrate and that I was being such a downer over the whole marriage thing only made my depression seem that much worse.

I don't think I'll have any trouble celebrating tonight, though the real party will be next Wednesday, once we've got the license in hand. I'm trying not to get my hopes up unnaturally high, but things are really looking good
right now.


One of these days, I'm going to meet God. I intend to kick Him in the nuts, if he has them. Or tits, if She doesn't. Or ass, if Zie lacks those as well. Maybe all of them.

I am now two years post-operative. I have been living as a woman full-time for over three years. I have a passport and drivers' license that both identify me as female. I haven't received mail, electronic or otherwise, addressed to my old identity in nearly a year. My past life should at this point well and truly be behind me.

However, when applying for a marriage license in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, the clerk of the court is required to ask for parents' full names as part of the process. I dutifully supplied both of my parents' full names without question. My father's last name is Hughes. My mother's maiden name is Blysard.

My last name, of course, is Davis.

The clerk looked me strangely for a moment, then asked me for proof of my change of name. I blinked, blinked again and asked why she needed it. She said that normally she wouldn't but because my name didn't match either of my parents', that she had to have proof of continuity of lineage. I said I could probably find that paperwork, did so and returned to the office.

She looked at that paperwork and asked me for proof of my sex change. My drivers' license obviously wasn't good enough. Neither was my passport. I eventually had to find the letter from my surgeon saying that I had indeed been through the sex-change operation and that I was now a functional female in every regard. I promptly faxed this document to the clerk's office and called to confirm they had received it, whereupon they notified me that I would have to call back in a few days after the friend-of-the-court lawyer that reviewed all their strange cases had looked over my documents.

I waited the requisite two days, then called back to confirm earlier today to ask if they had finally gottem my license ready. The clerk's supervisor then informed me that I would need to submit an amended birth certificate
and that the letter from my surgeon wasn't sufficient as it wasn't from a recognized United States agency.

Santa Clara County, California—the county in which I was born—does not list sex on their amendments. All they amend is name.

I explained this no less than four times to the supervisor. Every time, all she said was, "Then I can't issue you a marriage license." She even managed to say it four different ways, I think. I was so livid at the moment that I didn't hear her too clearly.

"Livid" does not begin to describe my mood. Every person in the legal system along the way has openly admitted that had I not changed my last name, none of this would have ever happened. They would never have asked
and thus never have known that my name had been different. If I had, in fact, changed my last name to my mother's maiden name, they would have simply assumed that my mother had later remarried and never thought twice about it. However, since I
did change my name, they inquired and thus found out about everything else that they claim is sufficient grounds to deny me a marriage license.

The state of Pennsylvania recognizes me as female on my drivers' license. The Social Security Administration recognizes me as female in their paperwork. The Passport Authority recognizes me as female on my travel papers. However, because the county of Santa Clara does not list sex on their birth certificate amendments, the county of Montgomery claims the right to deny me the right to marry.

Now, of course, the thing I want to do is call them back and ask them if I can marry a woman. The supreme irony of being the groom at my wedding might offend, shock or otherwise horrify people, but at this point the people at the Montgomery County Courthouse have ruled that I'm not a chick, and in their two-sex world, that makes me a guy for the purposes of gettin' hitched.

What I'm probably going to do is find the closest county to Montgomery that doesn't ask all these stupid questions and doesn't have a residency requirement, then go there and get the marriage license and ceremony performed over some weekend in the near future. Barring that, I'm calling Santa Clara County and asking the clerk there if the amendment on my birth certificate can be... well... amended.

I am angry beyond words, and yet I feel strangely as if I have been given exactly what I should've expected. I allowed myself to hope that the people who could have made this happen would be better than they were, and I have paid dearly for my assumptions.


Anthrocon is already turning into something of a blur. That's how it felt at the time, too. Either I was helping Sue run programming, I was in my room sleeping, or I was out chatting with friends that I hadn't seen in a year or more. The only time I ever really got to just sit was during Uncle Kage's Story Hour, which is usually the single biggest "panel" at the convention and hardly a respite from the hordes.

I finally got to meet Ben Goodridge in the flesh, which after seven years of knowing him is probably a good thing. Strangely, we hardly talked about writing at all, but we did at least get the chance to play a quick catch-up game before hastening off to go attend to other duties. I also got another chance to see LeDiva, which is always good. I wish she lived closer; she seems the sort of person around whom I could really enjoy spending a lot of time. Plus, the Lansdale area can always use more gamers.

The only thing I personally didn't like about how things went is that I found out after the fact that I was supposed to be running a panel. The annual reading of the Eye of Argon had been scheduled Friday night, but I had had to work that day and so when Sue asked me if I was going to make it, I said I hoped I would. She thought I had confirmed that I would run the panel. I only thought she wanted me to participate. So, an hour after the panel
started, she called me frantically on the radio asking me where I was and why I wasn't in the room running things! I'm still embarrassed about this one, frankly. Next year, though, I'll know better.

Hopefully, I'll also be able to get time off of work next year to attend. This year, I've been fighting the Project From Hell, a supposedly simple test exercise that has become my driving focus for the past six weeks and now has a hard deadline of Wednesday to deliver. If I thought getting it done before was a problem, now it's downright painful. I'm still not entirely happy with how the automated scripts are handling it, and I've got to run everything from scratch again. I started to do that over the weekend, but the array of hard drives at work ran out of space and so I couldn't get any work done over the time period I thought I would have to do raw processing. So, this is going to be a nightmare few days while I frantically try to get this cranked out to the customer by Thursday morning.

I'm glad I got the chance to attend. More importantly, I'm glad I got the chance to help make the con a better place to be.

Of course, the day after I get back from such an exhilirating weekend, the Cosmic 2x4 had to make its feelings known again. I got to test out my air bag today. The driver ahead of me sped up to pass a dump truck, then slammed on her brakes at the green light at the next intersection when the siren of an approaching ambulance sounded. Her brand-new 2004-model car jerked to a complete stop in about two feet, but my old 1990 brakes locked and I slid into her bumper.

I couldn't have been going more than about 10MPH when I hit, but it was enough for the sensor to detect potential driver damage and deploy the SRS—supplemental restraint system, for once—right in my face. I wasn't even going fast enough to hit the airbag. The seat belt caught me instead, and so I was treated to a faceful of scorched talc as the bag snapped out of its hidey-hole. The whole car stank until I rolled down the windows and let the car air out while the other driver ran around panicking that she was in her boss' car.

I don't think the insurance will get involved. Nobody got hurt, neither of the cars suffered worse than scratches unless you count my air bag, and the cop that arrived when the other driver's boss called ruled the accident as a no-faulter. Plus, the other driver's boss sent the other driver back to work by foot and then claimed himself as the driver of record on the accident, so I don't think he's going to try to file anything at this point.

I'll still be out a hefty chunk of change replacing the airbag, but even that's preferable to having to replace the car again.


I put them on yesterday morning, and I'm still wearing them this morning. I had them off for a brief period of emotional instability yesterday afternoon, but then I was wearing them again inside of an hour.

Part of me is quietly disgruntled that I'm doing something as an exercise in self-delusion, and that's been one of my biggest fears for so long that the internal suggestion of pulling the wool over my own eyes, for any reason, makes me want to stop what I'm doing instantly and atone to some nameless deity for trying to lie to myself. I'm not, though. I'm not lying to myself about what I'm doing. I'm fully aware that when I look down and I see my shirt stretched out over my chest that it's not really me that's causing it. That doesn't stop me from smiling when I look in the mirror at seeing what I wanted to see when I first started my transition.

Even now, I find saying the word "breastform" out loud to be difficult. "Fake tits," while closer, is something to be said with a self-deprecating snicker, and thus isn't what I want. There is a part of my psyche that says that having gone through this entire process without wearing them, to do so now is somehow to cheapen what I've already done and rob it of its meaning. I don't wear makeup to cover my shadow. I don't lie about my past. I recognize that I'm not where I want to be yet, and I live with it. I don't try to hide behind crutches.

Why, then, does the simple act of putting on a shirt and having to work around my own chest make me smile the way I did when I first put on a skirt and went for a walk outside?

If anything, everything I've done before has been the "self-delusion", saying that I was happy with my body as it was. Yes, I want to be heavy-chested. Perhaps not as large, proportionately, as some of my friends, but definitely
bigger than I am now. I've wanted this since the beginning of the changes. I've known that when I crossed my arms across my chest that I wanted to feel my own breasts resting on my forearms, and that even with the forms I'm wearing now they don't quite feel large enough in that regard. I have such a hangup about feeling like I'm lying, to myself or to anyone else, that even openly saying that I want something like this I'm having to fight internally because I feel like I'm making statement that this is what I already am, not that this is what I want.

As Jessie pointed out, I was using the ladies' bathrooms for eighteen months before I had my surgery. I could say nobody could see what I had under my crotch, but with some of the cuts of jeans I like to wear that's not true

I'm not comfortable wearing these in public, but I've started to investigate alternatives.

Work is actually going well. I know since saying I had a job I hadn't really said anything else about my position, but that's mostly because in the last two months I haven't had the time to actually do much beyond work.

I've always said that I would rather be too busy than too bored. This job promises to test my belief in that idea.

I'm currently working with Bennie at an Evil Data Collection Company, which is to say my job consists primarily of taking slices out of a McHuge pile of data and serving them up to clients, or else I'm taking client data and then cleaning it and checking it against ours for consistency. It sounds fairly dull, and a lot of the job can be repetitive, but with the way the office runs it's rarely a dull moment, and those are usually a welcome reprieve from the rest of the craziness. 

Working with someone that was already a friend prior to the job has been an excellent boost to my morale about the company. My ramp-up time has been incredibly quick, and within a week I felt like I was being a productive
part of the team. The fact that I received a task that has literally taken me from my second week to next Tuesday to finish has been proof that my role here is fairly safe. This project is almost certain to be a repeat one, and every time I do it I get slightly better at it, which is a good sort of stability.

I know I bitch about the salary thing a lot, but I really do feel like I'm being underpaid. I have, in the two months that I've worked there, left half an hour early on three days, and put in at least three twelve-plus hour shifts to finish up projects that had to be done by a certain deadline. I can only hope that at the end of my six-month "trial period," my manager and the HR guy see the effort I've done as worthy of being rewarded. I've already been promised at least another five grand a year. I'd like to think I've proven myself worth more than that.

Sadly, I'm finding that the more money I have, the more things I find on which to spend that money. I've still got to get out of debt, but at the same time I'd like to be able to start planning for my eventual retirement and I've also
got getting into a house to consider. Then, too, there's everything that the aforementioned topic will cost to fix. Plus, that Jessie's asked me on a few occasions now to look into school and the associated costs. While in the long run I see that as a step towards larger income, I know in the short run that it will cost me more money that I'm going to need to start setting aside today to cover.

Right now, getting into a house seems like the fastest means of getting more income on the table. If I can get a duplex or triplex, or even a large enough single-occupancy house to give Kelly her own space, it should cost me less to manage than staying in an apartment. The extra money from that will free up immediate budgetary concerns. Putting money away towards retirement is a lofty ideal, but sadly I know it needs to wait until I can get other things paid off. Fourteen percent interest trumps ten percent dividends.


Life never stops throwing curve balls. It's all a question of how much effort one wants to spend in trying to catch them.

Money right now is really tight. I'm making more than I was on unemployment, but our bills have gone up by a larger factor than my income has, and the recent spate of expenses related to hosting the Bash this year have all taken their toll on the available money. Plus, I've been cutting some friends short-term loans. None of these are really a problem, but I keep forgetting I only get paid twice a month now, instead of every two weeks, meaning the money I make on each paycheck has to go just a wee bit further than it did before, and that stretching is hurting.

Right now, I'm in the precarious position of needing to wait until my paycheck clears to be able to pay rent. This should happen tonight, but then again I thought it would happen this morning and it didn't, so I'm staring at a bank account balance that may well dip briefly into the negative before everything catches up with where it's supposed to be. I hate it when that happens, I really do. I've got overdraft protection, but that's going to cost me if it triggers, and I can't really afford any more fees right now.

At least I know I'm getting a good chunk of change on Friday.

The budget woes are not directly responsible for my next big mindgame, but they do play a significant factor. I've become increasingly aware in recent weeks just how unsatisfied I am with the results of my transition. It isn't that I wish I hadn't started; nothing could be further than the truth. It's that I got seventy percent of what I wanted up top, eighty-five to ninety percent of what I wanted below, ninety percent of what I wanted on my voice, fifty percent from the laser, et cetera, and when you start multiplying all these percentages, the actual success rate seems very small.

I pass fine, but I'm still not really happy with what I see, and there just isn't the money right now to pay for any more changes, and what changes remain are all the costly ones like more electro to clear the last of my facial hair, surgery to increase my bust size, and the like. Maybe even a depth increase since I didn't take care of myself after my surgery the way I should have. 

That last is way down on the priority list, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't want it.

I considered for a while experimenting with falsies, but every time I think about it, I feel really icky and for the longest time I could never figure out why it bothered me as much as it did. I think I understand why, now. When
I started my transition, every time I undressed after spending a weekend or a day or an hour or whatever in what I considered proper dress, I would start crying uncontrollably. The illusion disappeared when I took away the trappings, and that distressed me greatly. Now, I'm afraid of going through that disappointment again. I know they're fake, and so trying them on will only make me upset when I have to stop.

Sadly, that seems to be my best option right now. At least, it's my most affordable one.

My credit card is still over ten thousand dollars in debt, which is a source of great frustration. I'm slowly paying the backlog of bills, but the number is intimidating. I owe more money right now than I'm worth in terms of hard assets, and that's a difficult thing to face. I hope by next year some time I'll be in an actual house and paying towards equity, but that's just a pipe dream for now.

So many things come down to money. I wish they didn't.

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