Back to the States

The Driver's on his way over to take me to the airport, so I'll be heading out pretty soon. My flight isn't for another 4.5 hours, but I always like to get in early and just hang out for a bit.

My last day in Bangkok was spent pampering myself. I got a french Manicure and Pedicure, and I also changed my eyebrows.

Because of the language barrier I just pointed at the sign that said 'Eyebrows', figuring it was just shaping. Turns out it was tattooing! I saw her unpackaging a needle and ink and stuff, and spoke up.

Well, long story short, I saw the results and went ahead and did it. Basically it's just a little line on the far edge of my eyebrows. Anyhoo, I like the results, and the new shape. I'll post a pic later.

After that, I went to a salon to do something with my hair, and they straightened it, adding some fringe layers and stuff. I think it turned out rather well. Too bad the straightening only lasts a little while.

Well, that's that, I suppose. Thanks for the Memories, Bangkok- hopefully I'll have the time and money to make it back to Thailand soon.


The minifridge has really cheap beer

Well, tomorrow's my last full day in Bangkok. I plan to stay up through Saturday night until my plane ride Sunday, so hopefully I'll sleep off some of that 12 hour ride.

It's been fun and crazy here, but I'm feeling antsy and I'm ready to go home and get back to work. Yeah, it's a Shit job, but there's something comforting about it- sometimes I feel like it's a ship that I captain (well, second in command) and I keep thinking that people are screwing up and I'm not around to fix it.

Plus, with not much to do lying around in this huge hotel room, I've been thinking up new projects and I'm anxious to get back to the ole' lab.

I've also updated my Flickr account with a few new pictures- just teaser shots, really. I still wanna give my mug a bit more time to heal.

And finally, sorry about not replying to email- I'll try and get caught up when I get back.


What a Waste

I blogged about a month back about quitting smoking again because of a guest at the hotel who couldn't kick the habit.

After checking in with work I was told he died in his room yesterday- judging from what I'm told of his behavior in the days leading up to it, it was probably an OD.

Glad I wasn't there- it was bad enough the last time around when someone died at the hotel.

We all make decisions that we have to live (and Die) with- that doesn't make it any less sad, though.

Rest in Peace, James.


Ongoing Recovery

Sorry it's been awhile. Like I said in the last post, my days and nights just sort of ran together for awhile there, while I recovered. All my bandages were removed they other day, finally.

I've still got a bit of bruising- part of my chest is still purple and yellow, and I've had a small shiner under my right eye, but that's fading a lot everyday. There's still a bit of swelling around my nose, it can take months for all of that to settle.

My throat is fine, I think. It's nice knowing I don't have that protrusion anymore. No more needing scarves or chokers :)

Chest wise, it's been a little strange getting used to. Sometimes I'll look in the mirror and go "Huh- I have breasts!" I have to massage them about four times a day, which is kind of a pain but essential to provide both a more natural appearance, and to help keep scar tissue from forming around the implant.

I spent all of last week recovering, but yesterday felt up to heading out. It felt good, finally leaving my room. Nothing too notable, I just hung around some touristy areas. I also saw Indiana Jones 4, and I could see why it's gotten unfavorable reviews. But I was looking for a big budget popcorn movie, and I got it.

Speaking of popcorn, it was pretty interesting because it had a seaweed flavor to it. (They sell Lay's potato chips with the same flavor) Also during the movie, I think the national anthem started playing because everyone stood up as music played and pictures of the King were displayed. That was a fascinating cultural experience.

On the way back home, the taxi driver tried to quote me 400 baht for the ride back- four times what I knew it cost. I told him to use the meter or stop the cab so I could get out, and he caved and switched it on.

So, that's pretty much it. I'm thinking about trying to find a hair stylist this week, but the language barrier might be a problem in getting what I want. I might just postpone til I get back home, even though it'll be more expensive.


Back at the Hotel

So here I am.

Oof, what an experience. Right now I'm running at about 65%, though it's only been a few days.

So a little bit after my last full post, they came in to transfer me to the operating room. Pretty trippy, lying on my back, watching those fluorescent lights flash by.

Once there, I just sort of hung there chilling out for about twenty minutes while they went about some final prep. The "knock out" doc showed up, Wang I think his name was. He was kind of funny. Dr. Chett comes in and we talk a little bit, and then Wang takes his place and says that we're ready.

I asked if I should count backwards, and he said sure, from ten. Once I passed five I heard someone say Wow. At three, there were a couple of more. At two though, I succumbed. That moment hit me where suddenly my vision of the light above me turned ninety degrees and the next thing I know someone is talking to me while I'm being wheeled somewhere.

The first night was pretty weird. I was up pretty much all night, just spacing out. I don't think I was in excruciating pain, but any real movement hurt a lot, and every time a nurse came in all I had to say was 'Pain' and they'd give me some pills.

I had a couple of drains coming out of my chest to a couple of water bottles, and my nose was packed tight. The funny thing is I haven't had any nose pain at all. Though maybe there's some nerve pinching going on somewhere- a few of my teeth are numb. The doc said it's probably only temporary, but you never know- nerve damage is always a risk.

The next day I was determined well enough to go back to the hotel that evening. I didn't have that much swelling or anything.

So I've been recovering here, with a nurse checking in occasionally. Today she came by and took out the drains and the packing from my nose. That was a weird sensation- it reminded me of that early 'Iron Man' scene where he pulls the oxygen tube out of his nose. That stuff was way in there deeper then I thought.

Well, it's nice being able to breath easier again. Mostly I'm just laying down with Howard Stern playing in the background. Ta Ta for Now-

Still Alive

Sent from my iPhone


My Hospital Stay

So I'm here, all checked in and "settled" at the hospital.

I'm pretty hungry- I had to stop eating before Midnight last night. Right now I've got an IV put in- sexy.

My phone ran out of minutes and I didn't get a chance to get a refill card, so I haven't been able to call anyone. I used the phone in my room to call home, but Mom was already asleep.

The hospital here is pretty nice- it seems a lot fancier then SF General. The nurses are all dressed like a medical Soap Opera.

I've got Wi-Fi, which is good. I saw a locked access point, and when I asked the nurse she came back a little later with a WEP key.

So here I am, lying on a stiff mattress with a really large towel/blanket, dressed in an unflattering pink hospital gown. At least it's heavier than those paper things back home.

Yeah, I'm a little nervous, but statistically I should be OK. Here's hoping I fall into the Majority for once. I guess the part I'm most nervous about is the Going Under part. Which is probably ironic, considering all the times I've drunk myself to sleep.

Well, wish me Luck! Hopefully I'll catch up with you guys in a couple of days :)

Lara Blake (The Great)

One Down, Two to Go

So I had my consultation today with the Doc. I think it went well and I got a good vibe from him. He was pretty honest about what to expect and things like that.

After a little while I changed into a robe, had my hair put up, and was then escorted into an operating room for my Trachea Shaving. This was being done separately to limit the time I spend under general anesthesia tomorrow.

I was told I'd be in a "light sleep"and wouldn't feel too much accept a pressure.

So then a lot of time was spent washing my face and neck with iodine while an IV was inserted. The upper part of my face was then wrapped lightly in a green sheet, so I could only see lights and blurry shapes.

A bit later, my right arm started to feel a tingly cold as they pushed the sedative, and an injection was made in my neck.

It's kind of weird. I really did feel sort of half-asleep, where I was awake, but my mind kept wandering. The light and shapes coming through the sheet became part of a "waking dream" I was having, I think.

I did feel some pulling, and there was a bit of discomfort, but nothing that bad. Soon enough I was redressed into my robe (which I don't remember) and led to another area to lay down and rest. At this point I was awake, just really sleepy.

After a little while there I was given some antibiotics and antiswelling meds, and I got dressed again and was driven back to the hotel, where I slept for about 7 hours.

So, here I am, munching on room service. They don't seem to have a menu in the room- you dial down and a waiter comes up with a menu to take your order.

There is a bit of pain when I swallow- think Strep throat. It also hurts to turn too far to the side, or up. It's usually worse when I lay down, so I've tried to keep my head and neck elevated. Cold liquids are good.

Tomorrow is the "big day". I'm a little nervous- I think I have a fear about being put under. Maybe it's the possibility of dying, part. Well, hopefully I'll live to Blog another day.


Bangkok- Day 1

So just a few hours after touching down in Hong Kong, I soon found myself in Bangkok.

First off, air travel is amazing.

Second- what an experience this has all been. And I'm just getting started!

This is my first time in Asia, and getting by so far hasn't been too bad. Most of the people I've interacted with had at least a basic understanding of english.

The plane ride got a little bumpy, but nothing too bad. Typical of me whenever I go on a long trip, I spent a lot of time and money putting together a huge collection of entertainment to ensure I wasn't bored. And as usual, most of the time I just stare into space. That whole plane ride and I watched one episode of 'The Office' and 'The Simpsons'.

I did seem to fade in and out of consciousness alot. Must have been a combination of sleep deprivation and Xanax.

I was met at the airport by a driver the Doc sent out to pick me up. There was far less people with name signs than I imagined, but it was still early. It took me a few minutes to find him, but that's just because I didn't walk down the whole hallway. I ended up calling the Docs office just for reassurance and was told that yes, he was in fact there.

Before I left San Fran I ended up unlocking my iPhone. Wow, what a painless project. And I figured a jailbroken phone will hold me over til iPhone 2.0. Popped in a new SIM card, loaded up some time, and it works perfect. I even get Edge access!

The hotel room is great. It's about four times the size of my room back home- and half the price. (If I paid rent, that is) One annoying thing though is this little two inch stoop that runs across the bottom of the bathroom entrance, I guess to keep overflowing water from getting out- I've stubbed my toes on both feet against it. Twice so far. I finally laid a towel down across it since I seem to be to dense to learn any better.

So after showering and settling in it was 2PM, and I figured I'd do some light exploring. And by Exploring, I mean Shopping. So the front desk called me a cab and took me to MBK (20 minutes and it only cost $4.00. That's almost as much as a cab back home charges you just for getting in!)

So MBK is huge. And it's still not the biggest mall in the city. I walked around for hours, working my way through one floor and moving on to the next. It's almost like a flea market, too, as outside the typical shops is a labyrynth of tables and shelves that I barely touched the surface of.

I didn't end up getting that much in the end. Just a cool little hip pouch for only $12.00. Some candy. Kentucky Fried Chicken. Sunscreen and some some skin care stuff. Speaking of which, every other skin care item on the shelf talks about Whitening Power and stuff. Wonder what that's about?

Then I bought a Day Pass for the Sky Train and played around with that a lil, just riding around a bit to get a feel for it.

And now I'm home, and Exhausted. Tomorrow I get picked up for my consultation, and afterwards the doc'll perform the Trachea Reduction.

So I better get some rest. Good night!


Well, I survived the first leg of the trip. In Hong Kong, now. Wow,
that was a long flight, but I did manage to sort of sleep for a few

Its been awhile since I've taken an international flight, and after
stepping into the plane and seeing how big it was, a part of my brain
started screaming that it was impossible for this thing to stay in the

I will say that Cathay Pacific sure knows how to feed you.

Anyhoo, I've had a couple of hours to kill before my thailand flight
so I've just been exploring the HK international airport.

Pretty expensive here.

Hopefully I'll talk to yall later-

Chow for now!

Sent from my iPhone

Lift Off!

So here I am, waiting at the airport. About ten minutes to go before boarding. I'm a little nervous, and all the bars are closed- flying sober, blah.

Well, I do have some Xanax. I am feeling a bit of pre-flight jitters now.

Jeez, it's almost unbelievable that I'm actually here. There's a dream-like quality to it. I'm about to board a 15 hour flight to friggen' Thailand!!!

Whenever fantasy becomes reality, I always get a bit of a head rush. Maybe it's because I think too much about experiences, instead of actually experiencing them.

Well, whatever the case, what else can I say, guys? Wish me luck!



Met up with Stacia and we hung out for a bit before I had to go to the Airport.

We had a really deep conversation in the food court of a multi-billion dollar mall as we munched on Mussels and French Fries.

She was a little disappointed that I'm getting cosmetic work- apparently she thinks I'm cute as is. She said that I've changed a lot in the past six months since we really hung out- that I'm more mature, that I'm "blossoming".

Well I don't know about that, but with confidence I didn't know I had, I sort of waxed poetic about how beautiful her eyes were. Cliched, I know.

As we parted though, that confidence seemed to evaporate. We hugged, and I imagined looking down at her, asking her to keep her eyes open as I lightly kissed her lips. And then maybe she'd stare up at me for a second before coming back in for a deeper one.

And after our lips part, I'd say something witty, maybe a little sarcastic, and we'd chuckle and go our separate ways, occasionally stealing glances behind us.

This being reality, though, we hugged and parted before going out separate ways.

...Occasionally stealing glances behind us- perhaps longing for an alternate reality?



So, a bit of drama.

The Vegan had a falling out with the friend she was living with, so with nowhere else to go, she has come to stay with me yet again.

Unlike Stacia, she's an alright roommate. She should be out by June.

Hmm, speaking of Stacia, she called me the other day and said, ah, that she wanted to try being friends again.

Heh, why do I keep walking off cliffs over and over again?

Well we got together and hung out for a bit. It was fairly pleasant- she noted that I've changed alot in the past six months. She also noted I seemed to be a little more graceful. Well, I HAVE been trying ot work on my posture.

Well, we'll see how it goes.



Oof, last night was crazy.

I didn't get drunk, thank God. I probably wouldn't be able to function for the next few days.

It was pretty exhausting. First Me, The Vegan, Emmy, her Sister Cindy, and Kris all met up at Asia SF, a nightclub/restaurant with an hourly Drag Show. The food was pretty good, and the entertainment was, ah, flamboyant.

So I had fun. The Vegan left to work a graveyard shift, and the rest of the gang and I went out to a dance club.

Oh God. EXHAUSTING. We were in there for about five hours. Now I don't mind the occasional rhythmic ceremonial ritual, but bouncing around to a rib crushing bass line with lasers and epileptic seizure inducing strobe lights gets a little tiring after the first four hours. Especially in 4 1/2 inch heels.

(I didn't know we were going to a freakin' rave.)

As my body went on autopilot, my mind wandered a bit. I found myself thinking "So, this is what young people do." A part of me was also thinking that the whole club "scene" is a tremendous waste of time and youth. (If I was drunk though, I probably would have had more fun. They had already had Last Call by the time we arrived.)

Lot of weirdos there, too- I seemed to draw them all out of the woodwork.

I didn't end up getting home until almost 6, but all in all I would say I had fun. It was an experience. I got to hang out with friends. And I think I looked pretty hot, too.



Part of the pre-surgical requirements is to stop taking Hormones and Anti-androgens two weeks before surgery.

I've been off my meds for a week now.


Estrogen withdrawal is never fun. Dizziness, trouble falling asleep, break outs, hot flashes...

Not fun.

Haven't gotten too depressed, though. Well, I do feel a little glum thinking about all that testosterone running a muck in my body.

Well, just a few more weeks to go...

Anyhoo, I should be happy. Getting off from work for the rest of the month. Plus my 'Going Away but Hopefully Coming Back Safe and Sound' party is tonight. Smile. Be Happy.



Ended up seeing 'Iron Man' again. The first one I saw was an advanced screening in an out of the way theatre, so this time I wanted to be with a big audience.

Even better the second time around.

Mentioned that to Emmy and she smiled, saying I was a complex person. Like how I have a lot of varied interests, and many of them seem to conflict each other.

I've blogged about this before, so I won't get to into it. It's just nice having friends around who understand and accept me.



Been spending the last few days downloading shows and movies, and converting them for my iphone.

I wish I had some more money to buy something like the iPhone Juice Pack to extend the battery life, but oh well.

So far I've got about 21 hours worth of video entertainment, but that number decreases a little every couple of days as I break down and watch a show. But really, who can put off 'House'?

I've also got a USB powered 160GB external drive which I'm filling up. Ebooks, too. Plus, if I only feel up to listening during the early stages of my recovery, over six days worth of the Howard Stern Show.

Also got a load of Windows games too, in case I'm so bored I'll actually boot up XP. Now that I mention it though, I STILL haven't gotten around to finishing BioShock. Eesh, I wonder if I still remember how to play it.

I'm going to try and see a bit of the city and do the tourist thing the day before my surgery. And I'm hoping that I'll be well enough to get a couple of days of light sightseeing in before I fly Home.



Feeling much better today.

The Martini's helped. They were great- just like the ones Dad used to make me starting around my thirteenth birthday or so. (Say what you will about the guy, but he could mix up a stiff drink)

Yeah, it was tough seeing her again, but I reread that email I had sent her and all the reasons I pushed her out of my life in the first place came flooding back.

I suppose I tend to get nostalgic about past relationships to the point where I gloss over the negatives.

Ah well- guess that's part of who I am. Perhaps I can improve that aspect of myself with time.


Well, I suppose I'm doing a little better. I went home and took a nap, so now I'm just slightly hung over, listening to 'Love Hurts' and 'One is the Lonliest Number' on infinite repeat.

God Help Us.


Well, Stacia came by my work today to pick up some stuff she had left
behind all those months ago.

And I honestly didn't recognize her. She was as beautiful as ever- her
hair was just completly different. It was long and framed her face in
a way that, as I was busy, didn't even coalesce in my brain as Stacia.

I gave her her stuff, and got someone to fill in for me so I could
walk her to the bus stop. I brought up the possibility of us hanging
out sometime, but she said that last email I wrote was pretty bad and
she couldn't be friends with someone like that.

(it was a sort of psycho-analysis of her personality and our relationship.)

If this was a movie I probably could have thought of something
dramatic to say, but as the bus pulled up and she climbed aboard, all
that was said was her wishing me well on my Thailand trip.

Like a movie though, our eyes made contact as the doors wooshed shut,
and then she was gone.

So here I am listening to my 'Sad' playlist at a hotel bar, sipping
back Grey Goose Martinis.

Ahh, isn't life grand?

Sent from my iPhone



Well the Internet is down in the ole' office again. Hope I can get
that fixed soon.

Went with Emmy to a nail salon yesterday- a first for me. It was kind
of a cliché, being pampered while chatting. Mostly about Emmy's Guy

It was fun though, in a strange way.

Sent from my iPhone



Ugh, I'm getting old. I discovered a grey hair this morning! 25 and now it's all downhill.

My cardinal rules have always been Don't get Sick, and Don't get Old. It's kind of disheartening to realize that I am in fact aging and I do not possess some genetic quirk that has rendered me immortal.

Well, contrary to the tone of this entry, I haven't really freaked. I'll probably worry more when my knees give out.



Well, it was nice just staring at my bank statement and seeing all those thousands. After I took a screenshot for some reason, I went to the bank and completed the Wire Transfer.

I updated my spreadsheet and just felt this great sense of accomplishment as the "Amount Needed" field reached $0 when I typed in the final deposit.

I can't believe it's been six months, but here I am- I did it! Of course I have to thank my family and friends, who all pitched in and helped out.

After I emailed my transfer receipt to my Doc, I went out for breakfast for the first time in months and stuffed myself. I also posted some pics to Flickr- shots that 'The Vegan' took while I was cleaning my room, checking my email, and primping in the mirror.

And then, as I had the morning off, I slept all afternoon. So far, it's been a pretty good day.

Before coming to work tonight I managed to squeeze in an early viewing of 'Iron Man'. I liked it- it was pretty cool. Also kind of inspiring. Made me want to go straight to my workbench to cook something up.

But alas, here I am working the Grave Yard shift.

I went up to the bank today, attempting to make the Wire Transfer, but my check hadn't cleared yet.

So tomorrow, hopefully.

And thanks for the comments and feedback everyone!



That coworker is still sick, so I'm pulling in 80 hours this week. Back to back doubles until at least next week. Heh, and not a dime of overtime.

Ah well, I suppose I'm rich in other ways.

Anyhoo, I'm going to the bank today to send in the final wire transfer to my Doc. Oof, I cannot believe how quickly time has flown. Just a few months ago I felt like I was in a rut, not moving anywhere, and decided it was time to put my rear in gear and get this done now, as opposed to eventually.

Well, maybe it's just the high one gets from staying up all night and nursing a cup of coffee, but I feel pretty good right now. I believe I made the right decision to get this work done. My Mom has been worried ever since I told her- not just about my safety but that I might regret this whole transistioning thing after I do something semi-irreversible.

I really don't see that happening, but then again, the only thing I've found that I believe in for sure are possibilities (even if those possibilities are just illusions), so I won't say it's impossible.

Just exceedingly unlikely.

I'm excited about all this. I suppose though if things go horribly wrong and I die or something, yeah, maybe I'd have some regrets- if I have the time to feel them. But hey, something horrible is always around the corner. I suppose the trick is living a long, healthy life before it gets you.

Yeah, I can be a little dark at times.