A Lovely Surprise :c)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I have mentioned that the past few weeks have been busy even by my standards.

Work has been more insane than ever.

And I wound up spending most of last night, and a large portion of early this morning, helping my sister C with her school work.

I was, and am, quite literally running on fumes.

But then I got home and received the biggest - and most unexpected - gift of my entire transition.


I will spare you the gory details about work, but essentially I took over a project from one of the more, er, challenging people in my office this week.

This is quite literally a completely different job than being a technical writer. I have been learning on the fly, and genuinely enjoying it.

But the politics and blame game that seem to accompany every single task on my plate continued unabated.

I had to simultaneously learn a completely new skill set *and* completely new software that was anything but user-friendly.

The person from whom I took this project over, and whose sole responsibility is to complete these tasks, literally had four months to get this done.

They did not.

Instead, I was informed that I, a total novice, should be able to complete this task in "say, 4-8 hours."

For a major sales presentation tomorrow.

With no training and no materials to help me learn.

Long story short - I got it done.

I worked 40 hours the past three days to do so.

But it is done.

Thank goodness!

Now I am temporarily back to only trying to do two full-time jobs there.

But at least these are jobs with which I do have experience.

Thank goodness for small blessings!


On top of that, I wound up being up nearly all night last night helping my sister C with her homework for her Masters program.

She is simultaneously working two stressful, full-time jobs (ER nurse and trauma nurse) *and* getting her degree - at a full-time pace.

The reason for this back-breaking pace is to allow her to pay for my nephew C's entire college education - tuition, room and board, food, all of it - as well as her own education.

I have been working 50-60 hour weeks for months, on top of a daily 2-3 hour round trip commute, plus taking care of the myriad tasks associated with transitioning.

And I am a slacker compared to her! lol

My sister C has been my staunchest supporter from the moment I told her.

I have tremendous admiration for her determination to make a better life for both herself and my nephew C, of legendary (well, in his mind at least) Conversations with C fame. :c)

(Start with the first post in that series if you are unfamiliar with my nephew, btw. His Majesty's insights must be appreciated in their proper context, after all. You will not regret it, I assure you!)

I was getting ready for bed last night when she called me in a panic, asking if I knew what a thesis statement was and how to defend it.

I gave her a brief rundown and asked if she had to produce one.

"Yes! And it's due tomorrow at 8:00 AM! This is my final class before my summer break *and* my vacation from both jobs!"

"God, I hate this class! What does this have to do with being an ER nurse, anyway?"

"Well," I speculated, "It shows analytical skills, the ability to synthesize large amounts of information quickly and accurately - "

"Oh, shut the hell up, would you? I'm an ER nurse, not Judy Blume!"

"Sorry. Didn't realize it was a rhetorical question."

 "I mean, why can't this be about some subject I actually care about?"

"Like what?"

"I don't know... a sucking chest wound, or severe cranial trauma?"

"I'm sorry, sis. Those sound much easier to think about in excessive detail."

"I know, I know! Anyway... do you think you can you help me? I can pay you."

Right. As if her unwavering love and support were not payment enough.

Again, cutting to the chase... we got 'em done.

All three of them.

(Girls rule!!!)

When it was all over, around 3:30 AM, I told her I was proud of her for her hard work.

"Thank you, sis," she said. "I couldn't have done it without you."

"Sure you could. But I'm glad I could help."

"I still don't get it. How does summarizing some book helps me when I need to crack open someone's chest some night?"

"Well, it would depend on how heavy the book is, one would think..."

"Go to bed, Cass."


Sister power rules!


Anyway, on to the gift I teased at the beginning of this post!

I did post last night - something I had worked on in bits and pieces the past week.

I simply added it to my blog and posted it, without my usual daily check on whether any of my friends have anything new for me to check out.

I worked over 12 hours today, and got my task done there as well, as I noted above.

It was nearly 100 here today, with dew point near 75 (think southern Alabama in July - it is that kind of hot and sticky - shudder).

After stopping to reward myself with a well-earned toffee nut iced coffee at Starbucks (decaf - I am not that crazy after so little sleep!), I came home and finally thought to look at Blogger.

I noticed my daily hit count was nearly quadruple its normal level.

My first thought was that I had been hacked.

Until I saw that the vast majority of the hits came from Calie's blog.

What had she posted there to cause this, I wondered?

A restraining order against me?

An expose on my secret life of shame as a hopeless, diehard Seattle Mariners fan?

I had to check. So I went to her blog...

And found this:

Ever Meet Another Blogger?





To say I was taken by surprise is the understatement of the year!

What a lovely, kind gesture, even by Calie's impossibly high standards on both counts!

I refrained from writing about our encounter solely out of deference to her privacy.

As my friends here can attest,  I have spoken to them non-stop about that lunch, and specifically about Calie, ever since.

Calie was, amazingly, even sweeter, kinder, and lovelier than I could possibly have hoped for. As she mentioned, once we started talking it was as if we had known each other forever.

My only regret is that our time together was so short. Cruelly, unfairly short.

But that only whetted my appetite for more. (Can you say "road trip," boys and girls?)

Calie is the first online friend I have had the honor of meeting in person.

And it is a memory I will treasure forever. Even if I don't look anything remotely like how Calie described me, much as I wish I did! lol

(For instance, as I noted on her blog, she neglected to mention that the literally 60 second walk from my home to the diner on a chilly, albeit moderately humid day left me perspiring as if I had completed a 60 minute workout. :c) Sadly, this is par for the course, and *not* from nerves!)

I was so sorry to see Calie go. As was the seemingly infatuated duck who began to follow Calie as I accompanied her to her car around the corner from the diner. (No, I am not making this up!!!)

Once I realized Calie's besotted aviary admirer was bent on following her - all the way back to the Left Coast, apparently - I distracted her long enough to allow Calie to escape.

As we both watched Calie's rental car fade into the distance, I turned to my new friend.

"She's pretty great, huh?"

He stared at me in mute agreement.

Or perhaps his longing gaze was directed at the dinner rolls I had wrapped up.

In either case, I left him one of the rolls to help ease his longing, be it of the nutritional or lovelorn variety.

 Because really, that's what friends are for, is it not?


Thank you again, Calie! Love you, girl!


For Calie, a song from an artist we both admire greatly:

Goosebumps. Every. Single. Time...


Halle on July 20, 2013 at 9:00 AM said...

Cass, I won't ask how you do it all, because for a long time it has been clear that growing up trans is great training for being flexible and caring.
As well, some of the smartest, most capable people on the planet seem to be trans.
You are a poster girl for all of that! :D

Cassidy on July 20, 2013 at 10:04 AM said...

Aww... thank you, sweetie! :#)

While I suspect my role is to bring the average closer to the mean lol, the sentiment is still very much appreciated!

I would also add that being trans clearly makes for really, really great friendships, hon - and YOU are proof of that!

Thank you so much, Halle, just for being you!


Calie on July 24, 2013 at 7:29 PM said...

I agree with Halle. Thanks for the shout-out, girl!

Cassidy on July 25, 2013 at 7:32 PM said...

Once again, thank *you* Calie! I am still blushing a full week later! :#)

Hugs & love,

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