Things are Pretty Okay!

Looking back at my most recent series of posts I was little embarrassed at how I only seem to write about bad stuffs! I guess that’s correct, most of the time, because lately I’ve been using writing to work out emotions.

But it kinds gives a bad impression of me! I am not an unhappy person at all! In fact, things are actually going pretty well. 🙂

I am very quickly settling into my new life here on the West Coast. My budget is finally starting to recover. I’m not there yet, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, at least. It’s still going to be tight for the next 12-18 months or so, but after that, things should start getting better. I’m very happy about this.

Transition stuffs are going very well. I’m still not up to the full dose of HRT yet (my doctor starts you off slow and works you into it, to make it as easy on you as possible), but I think we’re getting close. Every four weeks I go into the office and she takes some blood work to see how I’m doing. My meds are adjusted based on the results of that blood work. It’s a lot more scientific than I thought it’d be, and that’s pretty cool. (And quite comforting! Yaaaaay for data driven decision making!) Even more of a surprise is that she does NOT monitor hormone levels directly – she uses my Prolactin levels instead. As of three weeks ago I had finally left the male range, but I’m still a ways away from the normal female range for a non-nursing female of my age. This stuff takes years, after all. 🙂

Today I wore a dress outside of my apartment for the first time in my life. I figured I’d just test the waters and try it when I went to make my breakfast run (there’s a bagel shop I go to so much they greet me by name when I walk in). I figured it was a really safe place to experiment with. Well, that went so well that I didn’t change clothes the rest of the day. It’s an amazing feeling to me! Both in how people react to me (I’m no different than any other lady in the place), and that I’m so comfortable with myself at this point. At lunch I accidentally spilled my drink and the manager at Taco Bell was all like “Oh, it’s okay Miss, we’ll clean it up! Here, let me get you a new drink!” It was a nice feeling!

Last Friday I wrote a skirt to work, again for the first time, and it also was a total non-issue. I even went on the Muni train to see my therapist and took the ferry to and from downtown San Francisco… looks like the thing that was holding me back was me… which is kinda normal for me, I think.

The emotional side of this is very different than I figured it would be. Both in the timeline and how strong it is. I’m already becoming a very different person. Here’s an example… last week I went to see a foot doctor about a constant pain I’ve had in my right foot for many years. (It was never a problem, really, until I moved here and started walking a lot.) I showed him the back of my shoes and how it’s all torn up inside and he was kinda shocked. After that he looked at my feet and quickly determined that I have Achilles Tendon Bursitis on my right foot. He mumbled something about “need to get a drop of steroid in there” and told me to flip over on my belly, which I did.

He then injected my foot with a cortisone shot. OMG did that hurt. Like, really, really, really hurt. I was hurting so bad that I just started crying right there in the office. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of “I need to cuddle something,” but I didn’t have a plushie with me, so I just cuddled with my purse. (It was the only thing I had with me. I didn’t know this was coming, or else I would have brought a friend with me.) The doctor could see I was hurting (duh), and was like “It’s okay sweetie. Take as much time as you need to recover. When you’re ready, get your shoes back on, and let me see you walk around the office a bit so I know you’re okay.” So I sat there in the doctor’s office, cuddling a purse and crying for a few minutes. It wouldn’t have gone down that way before… I would have just walked it off. Nor do I think it would have hurt so much, testosterone is good at covering up things like that.

I am _totally_ not complaining here! I like the new me! Very very much so. It’s just very different than before, and I know I’m roughly three months into a 24 to 36 month thing… so there’s still a lot more to come.

My new job is going great, too. We just wrapped up a really big project that’s pretty much been my whole world at this company. (It kicked off right as I was getting there.) I’m excited to see what comes next, as there’s a lot of things coming in the future, and all of it is going to need support from Ops in some way.

I talked with my team lead for a few minutes this morning. I said that when I knew how big of a project this was going to be (a few months into my employment), I decided to step back and focus on the things I’m good at, and then pick up other holes in my knowledge later. My goal was to take the day-to-day heat off the rest of the team so they could work on the project work. He then told me something that, to me at least, is a really big compliment. He said that one of the things they saw in me during the interview process is that I’m a really good Production Engineer. They knew they’d be able to drop me into the Production environment and thrive right away, which I have done. The holes in my knowledge are over project work – things that happen before something gets to production – but the actual part of running services in production is my thing.

I’d never really thought about it like that, but yeah, that’s exactly right. I do thrive in a production environment. I understand very well that my customers are the company’s customers, and that we want them to give us money… and they do so with the machines I’m running. I kinda find some project work to be really boring, while other people thrive in it. (And other people hate the pressure of working on the front lines!)

Needless to say, I know without a shadow of a doubt I’m in the right job and that I love what I do. It’s a small company, so who knows how long things are gonna last, but for right now, while the band is together, I’m really enjoying it. I’m doing my best to savor it while it lasts, because it may not last for forever!

I could go on and on here. 🙂

Lots of things are going very well. I’m sorry that the last few months of posts were completely negative… it’s not actually like that! I guess things are so good that when bad things come along they seem reeeealllllly bad and I turn to writing to work out my emotions.

Lop lop lop! 🙂 ❤

Doors

The last few months have been very interesting for me. A couple of doors have closed and several others have opened. Life is like that!

A giant project at work just wrapped up, and the team I was working with was very successful. We’ve gotten attention from all over IT and said we were a “model for how Sysadmins and Programmers should work together.” The project was to work on the speed of our online catalog – which is the biggest application on the website, and the one that receives the most traffic. It’s been great to dig into the “hard problems” and figure out what was actually wrong… which wasn’t any one thing, but a bunch of things that all combined together equaled a giant mess. My background as both a Systems Engineer and a Java Developer has been invaluable.

The data speaks for itself. Before:

http://www.webpagetest.org/result/110513_N8_KMSY/ (11.9 seconds from here in the US, and you don’t want to know what it was overseas!)

And here’s that same page today:

http://www.webpagetest.org/result/110806_SG_18C9G/ (3 seconds!)

I’m getting started on another project now that’s like this one, but it’s for an internal-facing application that WebPageTest can’t hit. (Well, the public version anyhow!) The new app I’m working on is one of the most hated apps internally… if we can deliver the same type of results people will be very happy. (I dunno if it’ll happen. It’s a lot more complex than a catalog page.)

The last few months have not all be positive. The biggest door that shut is that after four years I have made the decision to leave the staff and Board of Directors for Rocket City FurMeet. This year was pretty rough, and something happened on Sunday afternoon that set in motion a series of events that ultimately led to me stepping down six weeks later. (I won’t go over what happened here on LJ out of respect for RCFM. It would not be a healthy thing for them or myself to rehash what’s already been settled.) RCFM was a big piece of my life the last few years and it’s been weird not having it there, but it was just time for me to move on.

Do I have second thoughts? No. I did at first, but now I am sure I made the right decision. It was a hard one to make — I had invested many hours of my time into that convention. I wrote the registration tool RCFM used the last two years completely from the ground up… I went from nothing to (what I think is, anyhow) one of the slickest convention registration systems I’d ever seen. This year myself and a friend ran the registration room, and while we were both totally green at it, the lines never got very long and not once was the computer system a bottleneck. I’m still quite proud of that and I’m kinda sad that it won’t be used anymore, but that’s just a risk I took when I invested so much time into something like that. Oh well!

Do I miss it? Sorta. I miss what RCFM was when it was “what furries do on vacation.” It had changed so much the last few years that I hardly recognized it anymore and certainly was not the convention that I fell in love with.

Once I recover from the stress that the last few weeks of RCFM caused I’ll consider myself a free agent and look around for another con that might need some help — hopefully one that’s closer to Texas this time! If I can find some folks to go with me I’ll make Furry Fiesta my “spring” con and keep MFM as my “fall” con.

On a happier note, I have been dieting since RCFM and have managed to drop 23 lbs so far. My goal is to drop 30 before MFM (Labor Day). I don’t think I’ll make 30, but it’ll be 27-28, which is excellent no matter how you look at it. After MFM I don’t intend to stop and would like to be down 50 by Christmas. My trainer at the gym thinks I can drop 100 in the next year, but I think he’s crazy. 🙂 I do intend to take a little bit of a break around MFM and have some fun with my friends. I won’t go nuts, but I will allow myself to go out to eat with friends if the opportunity presents itself.

I have been fighting the urge to get on the scale more than once a week. I have an “official weigh-in” every Monday morning on my bathroom scale, and then I never get on it again for the rest of the week. I’ve made the mistake of getting on a scale every day before and driven myself nuts – it’s amazing how much your weight can go up or down over the course of a few days. The key is that you want it to trend downward (or remain the same, I guess)… but you’ve gotta know that it’s not going to be steady no matter what you do.

I am at a crossroads at work. When I started this job I promised I’d give myself two years to see if I was a good fit or not. I’m coming up on the two year mark and I’m still not sure of the answer to that question. I go back and forth and have good days and bad days — but I admit that’s totally normal in any job.

What has me concerned is trying to figure out what the career path is for me here. It’s not very clear at the moment. My heart is in the web and has been my entire professional career… but there’s only so many places for a web person to be at this company. I’m not qualified to work in R&D and not really all that interested in being a manager. (The thought of having to deal with people and budgets all day sounds TOTALLY unappealing.) I like hard tech problems. I like solving hard tech problems… but I don’t want to get myself right back into the same position I was in at Mad River where I’d been promoted as far as I could go and was backed into a corner.

And that’s what I’ve been up to the last few months. I’ve been working crazy numbers of hours, getting really stressed out at life changes and dieting. That sums it up in a nutshell. 🙂

Oh, and on a totally random note, Apple’s AirPlay and the Remote App for iPhone is awesome!!