Birthday wish list

So my birthday is coming up on the Friday after this one (June 29th) and I’ve got a few requests of my friends. Fulfilling these requests would make it a very special birthday.

  1. Pictures of fluffy bunny rabbits making use of the phrase “Hoppy Birthday.” Post to Facebook or Twitter.
  2. Someone needs to April Fool’s Day me. It doesn’t need to involve insane murderers or beach houses on remote islands, but it has to be ridiculously complex. Think Rube Goldberg.
  3. A mock epic about Mitt Romney’s battle for the White House.

Simple requests because I’m a simple girl. Get crackin’!

The doctor’s appointment came and went

So I should probably let you all know how things went at the doctor yesterday, especially since I haven’t talked to anyone since I got home. Honestly, I’m kind of having a hard time processing things. It was at UNMC, which is obviously a teaching place, so in addition to my doctor I dealt with her resident and a visiting med student from China who was shadowing her. I liked the resident and the med student didn’t say anything; at first I was worried because he was a guy and I have a hard time talking about trans issues around guys because I think they think I failed at being a man, but he was so non-invasive that I completely forgot he was there 30 seconds after we were introduced. My doctor was a tiny yet intimidating Eastern European woman. I think she may be Czech. I’m intimidated by Eastern Europeans because they seem incredibly blunt and forceful. It’s weird. I’m going to keep seeing her despite the fact that I’m worried that she is going to start hurling insults at me because she’s some sort of expert in transgender health, which is why she has people coming from around the world to shadow her. She also knows more about the issue than anyone else I’ve talked to: I wasn’t expecting to learn anything new, but I did. Apparently there have been rare reports of transwomen developing benign pituitary tumors after starting hormones. (She says she’s never seen it in her practice, but she does routine tests just to make sure.) She was actually quite complimentary: Part of the psych eval my doctors sent over included my GPA, and she was very impressed. Anyway, it was basically a two-hour interview session to make sure I was ready for all this jazz, then she cut me a prescription and took my blood for baseline levels so she could track my progress and check my thyroid levels (I had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis as a teenager and apparently that may be a problem). I go back in three months for another check-up. I need to have quit smoking by then. (I’ve already gotten on that.)

Anyway, I’ve been in shock since then. It just seems like things should be more difficult than they’ve been lately. I had a pretty hard time from 2007-2010 which pretty much resulted in me dropping off the face of the earth for a while, and now I’ve become conditioned to think that life is always shitty. These past two years have been so great that I’m expecting something life-shattering to be just around the corner. I don’t know, it’s kind of weird. I just hope I don’t become paranoid. Maybe things can get better.

There’s a lot more I want to say, but like I said, I’m having a hard time processing things, so I’m just going to leave it at that. Peace out. Thanks for your support.

Big day tomorrow

So first thing’s first: I changed the domain name because I don’t like clunky URLs, so update your bookmarks if you actually still use those (I just use history; not sure if I’m a weirdo, though).

Now onto the excitement! Tomorrow is the big doctor’s appointment to get me some hormones. I’m stoked beyond belief. Really, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to sleep at all tonight. I need to be up at 6:00 tomorrow in order to get there in time.

I understand that hormone replacement therapy is a long, drawn-out process, and it can take months to actually see any benefit, but still, the sooner I get started, the sooner I’ll start to develop more feminine characteristics. I did start hormones once before in 2007 before having to stop because of a severe bout of depression (the doctors say it wasn’t related to the hormones), and I started to notice changes about 6-8 weeks after starting. Mostly it was wicked sore breasts. Like, wicked sore.

I’m not sure what type of estrogen I’ll be on or if there will be an anti-androgen in the mix, but the doctor I saw last December said that she usually used estradiol and spironolactone. I’ve done some digging and there are people who swear by certain types of hormone treatments, but based on my research it all boils down to biology. Different people react differently to different hormones. I’m just going to go by my doctor’s judgment.

Okay, that’s all! Just wanted to keep you posted! Peace out!

Women and science

So being a major nerd for social progress, girls/women overcoming barriers, and science, this article on Jezebel brought a major tear to my eye. Totally embarrassing. In case you’re too lazy to click and read it, let me sum it up for you: an all-girl team just won the FIRST 2012 Championship with a device meant to help pasteurize milk in Nicaragua. Apparently Nicaraguan women don’t have easy access to clean milk, which results in all sorts of nastiness for them. Well, now they can drink their milk with peace of mind, thanks to an intrepid young band of femmy pioneers. Totally awesome.

This has got me thinking about that other article I wrote about about women in gaming. It seems like the STEM field is a major boy’s club. In fact, when I was talking to my doctor about starting life as a woman, the first thing she asked was, “Well, you’re not in any math or computer science classes, are you?” And she’s an MD! Why is it that STEM is such a boy’s club? I know, I know, there’s the whole stereotype of men being more logical while women are more about their feelings, but still, this is the 21st century. Shouldn’t we be past that by now?

I know I don’t really have room to talk since I opted not to go into STEM even though I am both interested in it and very good at it. I am thinking of going to grad school for philosophy of science, but it’s not really the same thing. However, one of my major concerns when it comes to going into a STEM field is the fact that I’m a trans lesbian, which is a triple whammy in that area: gay, transgender, and a woman. Really, I want to study physics and computer science, but I chickened out because I’m a wuss like that. My mistake. I now wish I could go back and start over and be a pioneering queer trans woman in a straight dude’s world, but I really don’t feel like being stuck as an undergraduate for another couple of years. My dad is talking about starting his own web-based software company and wants me on board as a designer, so maybe I can use that as an in to the world of computer science.

Anyway, enough about me, here’s why women should get into the hard sciences: women think differently from men. I know it’s probably not biological–it’s probably got more to do with social conditioning than anything like genes or innate neural differences–but still, the fact remains that there are usually marked differences between the ways in which women approach problems and the ways in which men do. If we only have one type of person trying to solve these problems, we’re only going to get on type of solution, when there may be other, possibly better, solutions waiting in the wings for someone with the right mindset to bring them into the open. It’d be best for the world of science–and the world in general–if we had as many different types of people as possible working on these issues.

Let’s make the world better. We can start by encouraging women and minorities to get into the STEM fields.

Shameless self-promotion time!

So my friends out there will tell you that I’m a big art buff and like to paint and take pictures and suchlike. It was actually my original dream before I found out I was better at writing (and that writing is easier because writing supplies are cheaper than art and photography supplies). My dream growing up was to be a bigshot photographer for the National Geographic. I still really wish I had followed that career path when I’m between daydreaming of developing video games and aborting attempts at novels simply because my pathological perfectionism makes me think that shitty first drafts are a sign that a work will never amount to anything. Anyway, I know a lot of people don’t know this because I rarely promote it aside from a little link way down at the bottom of this site’s sidebar, but I secretly have a deviantArt profile. I rarely post anything new on there these days because it’s so hard to promote yourself on that site without actually paying for some feature or other, which I don’t want to do unless I’m guaranteed to make my money back, but I just remembered that there are such things as photoblogs. While I don’t want to convert to a dedicated photoblog, I still thought I could use this site to promote my deviantArt profile and Google+ profile, since it seems that Google+ is where all the hip artists are hanging out these days. Anyway, I think I’ll make it a weekly thing, and if I get positive feedback I may start a secondary blog dedicated to my photos. Don’t know what will convince me to do that, since my reward to myself for three semesters of straight As is upgrading this little rinky-dink digs to a real live professional blog (look for the dot-com next Wednesday!), and if I’m doing that I dunno if I want to shell out for a second thingy unless it seems like it will pay out. But still, the very least I can do is get all you lurkers out there (I know you’re there, I get detailed stats here…) to go to my deviantArt site. (Like how I slipped the second link in there? I bet you know what to do…)

Anyway, starting at 9AM tomorrow, I’m doing something I call Fotography Friday (I heart alliteration, as anyone who’s read my poetry knows). I will feature a “new” photo every Friday, an Alice Edwardson original. (And by “new” I mean something that’s been on my deviant art for a few months/years.) I think this will also be good, because once I start my new job in August I’m gonna be putting the money toward hiring some models for a brilliant new philosophically-themed set I got the idea for last month, so I can promote that as well. Also, to make the shameless self-promotion complete, I think I’ll do an early bird special and share the week’s photo early on Google+ for the first couple of weeks. Maybe if I can get some real followers (most of my friends think it’s lame, but I think it combines the best of Facebook and Twitter), I’ll make it permanent. SO! Look me up on deviantArt and Google+ (Alice Edwardson) for previews, and if you like, come back every Friday!

Shameless! Simply shameless!

(P.S. I think I’ll be doing a spotlight on plastic cameras this month and maybe next, since I got a Holga 120CFN last summer for my birthday and despite the fact that it’s only a $50 toy camera I think it does some amazing shit and want to raise awareness for these toy wonders. Plastic!)

It was time for a change…

So as you can tell, I updated the look of the site. I wanted to do something to show off my mad plastic photography skills. The background and header images were taken at Sunken Gardens in Lincoln, Nebraska on my fancy-pants Holga 120CFN. If you like, check out my deviantArt page for more! To be honest, I kinda like how cheery this new look is. I guess it’s a sign that I’m maturing: I’m no longer queer Sylvia Plath all obsessed with black and suicide and suchlike. Yay for me!