Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Happy Belated New Year!

Wow, it's already 2018! (Although, on the Jewish calendar we're well into the year 5778.) Hopefully, I'll be better about posting this year. Last year, I tied with the year before on number of posts. Those last 2 years were my least active, though...The more I post, the shorter the posts will be. 

For my January wallpaper, the internet connection for my desktop is having issues at the moment. So, I won't be sharing the pic. (This app doesn't do well with pics.) Maybe in the future. It's of most of the main characters in Kekkai Sensen or Blood Blockade Battlefront. I think someone based it off of a screenshot of the 1st season's ending sequence. (So, if you've seen that, you have an idea of what it looks like. Others can look it up, too.) That song, Sugar Song to Bitter Step, was one of the best. The soundtracks to both seasons are great. It's funky and jazzy. Plus, the animation to it was cool and slightly cute. 

I didn't get a Jewish calendar again this year. I'll just go off of my google calendar. I did get a regular calendar that's weather themed. It has some beautiful pics. The only odd parts are that there are about 4 articles (one in between a few months each), and text for each day. The texts are info blurbs on weather in general and historical weather events. Makes it look very busy, has tiny font, and takes up about half of the space for each day. Not much room to add stuff. Even less when they have holidays listed. For this month's main pic it was taken on May 24, 2016, when numerous tornadoes hit Dodge City, KS. The storm produced a show of fiery mammatus clouds lit up by the setting sun as it moved away from Dodge City and weakened. It's cool looking. 

The month-long holidays for January are: National Candy Month, National Egg Month, National Hot Tea Month, National Meat Month, National Oatmeal Month, National Soup Month. Some are for important causes, some are to make you appreciate things you may take for granted, and some are just for fun. Apparently, it's all food holidays for the month. A lot of them seem vague, and you could do a lot with them. I usually have at least one cup of hot tea a day. I love tea! It feels like a soothing bath on the inside. Plus, the blends can be pretty creative, and just the plain stuff is great, too. Eggs are packed with nutrients, tasty, and interesting. I love the meats I allow myself to eat. Like, beef, chicken, turkey, and even buffalo. Good stuff. I probably could never be vegetarian because of that even if I wanted to. I have my own not so positive opinions on going vegetarian or vegan. The fanatics are scary, too. Oatmeal and candy are great. I don't particularly like having soup most of the time. I prefer stews. They tend to be heartier, and not mostly liquid. 

On New Year's Eve day, I had brunch with an old friend I hadn't seen in almost 15 years. That was back when we graduated high school. (Not sure if I saw her that day, so it may have been longer...) I only remember talking to her occasionally during lunch. I don't think we interacted often before. I still thought she was cool, and she also thought of me as a friend. We found each other several years ago through facebook. She reacted in some way to most of my posts. We didn't actually chat much. Last year, she was planning a trip back to the town I live in; and wanted to see me for at least one of the days she'd be here. Those plans fell through. I don't think she was able to even see family in the area. She recently moved about 20 minutes away from me. Much closer. She said she now has more time, and can meet up with people. She also had off that day. So, that's how that came about. The odd thing was she apparently doesn't have her profile up on fb anymore. However, we're still connected through fb's messenger...Not sure how that works. She has my phone number now, and said she'd rather call or text instead. The messenger's still texting, though...She likes most of my pics on Instagram, as well. That's interesting.

It was nice to see her. We talked a lot. Found out we have similar interests. After we went to brunch, she still wanted to chat more. So, we went to a local cafe. We were there for a while. I think she lost track of time at some point, and was late for something. She said she'd love to meet again either to have lunch/brunch together, cook at her place together, or something else. Sounded great. We'll see how that goes. It seems kind of surreal with not seeing or really talking to someone for so long and with them wanting to reconnect now. I like it, but feels a bit weird. 

I also have made a couple more friends on fb. One who found me through a couple of ace groups, and another one much more recently who met me at the local trans group. (I've made a lot of friends through this group already.) They're both cool people. The one I met face-to-face is non-binary, but leans heavily to the masculine side. So, he tends to say he's a trans man. Totally understandable, and awesome to know another non-binary person there. He's best friends with another member. They're both rather new to the group. We chatted for a while when I got home after the last meeting on messenger. I was tired and it was late, but I think we chatted for about a half hour. Longer than it should have been for the time. It was really nice, though. 

At the last local trans group, I ended up talking more than usual...I'm not used to talking about things that relate directly to me there. I talked about realizing I have gender dysphoria. A regular member was kind of rude about what agender people might be dysphoric about. (Not every agender person has dysphoria. Just like binary trans people.) I know she was just trying to understand, but it made me uneasy. A lot of things she said this time made me uncomfortable. She asked if gendered things can trigger it, does that mean it'd be better to have a little bit of both masculine and feminine qualities? She kept repeating this even though I told her: no, it means we wouldn't want either. Anything gendered can be dysphoric. If someone's androgyne, they might want what she asked. That's different. 

She also asked why I felt like I was breaking a rule or caring about how others perceive me. Why not just do what you want? Seemed to belittle how I felt, and some people jumped in saying they felt similar towards the beginning of their transition. She got a bit flustered. There were some other worse things she said that were inappropriate. If it was my first meeting, I'd be very reluctant to go again.

One of the new people said they were essentially questioning. They related a lot to what I said about my dysphoria, when I knew I was different, and how I realized. That was awesome to hear. They said they might have realized they're agender, after what I said. I think they're a bit more masculine than me, though. I think I'm really not leaning much either way. 

My gender expression (like how you want to dress/present) is different. I think I'm a mix that way. I know I like a lot of feminine things, and I'm realizing I might like more masculine things than I thought. This is of course what society deems that's supposedly 'gendered' a certain way. In reality, most of it really doesn't have a gender. Anyone can wear/use them. Anyways, I think it'd be interesting to explore this side of me more, too. If I do 'present' as a mix, I wonder how people will react? In a way, it sounds fun. In another way, scary. 

I also brought up chest binding. I've started to look a bit more into it. It seems the most recommended ones are either from gc2b or Underworks. There's apparently a lot of debate about which is best. I'm leaning more towards Underworks. I saw a really nice looking one on there. It's also cheaper than the same type on gc2b. All the reviews for it are positive. It's the most popular binder on there. Some of the reviewers were even agender. I was surprised by that and how many there were. That's a plus to me, for some reason...I'm thinking about their Ultimate Chest Binder Tank. It's long, and if I tuck it under my pants it's less likely to roll up. Plus, it might smooth out my belly just a little bit. I know it won't be much, but any amount is good with me. I think it's best with a tank top design, since it won't cover my arms, and might be less visible this way. The only thing is figuring out my size. Since I've lost so much weight, my bra size has gradually gotten smaller. (Not by a lot, but it's noticeable.) My current size is probably a little different than it was the last time I got one. They say if you know your bra size, it's easy to figure which size binder you need. I'll have to measure again. My new friend from that group said he can give me his binder that was too small, if it was my size. That was nice of him. It's a different design than I want, though. Him and another member brought up exercises and a few other things. I felt like a good chunk of the meeting was about me...

There was an ally who was new to the group. She's good friends with the person who made me feel uneasy. I liked her a lot more. She seemed a lot more respectful. She was a little odd. At the end of the meeting, she went up to me and said that I was brave. Why am I brave for talking about this stuff in a safe place like a trans group? Maybe it was because I said I was out to everyone? Still seems odd to me, but nice of her, I guess.

Dad and I were going to go to a New Year's Eve party at a couple's place. They've been family friends for a long time. Sadly, they had to cancel it, because their dogs were sick. I know one of them was having bladder issues last time we were at their place. Maybe it was related somehow. I hope the other dog wasn't too sick. So, instead, we had our own party at home. We ate a lot of snacks, watched things together, and saw the fireworks on TV. Not bad. 

On the 2nd, I went back to restricting my calorie intake. This time I'm shooting for as close to 280 calories for each meal as I can. It's a lot more balanced this way. I have a hard time with making my breakfast and 2 snacks big enough. Lunch hasn't changed much. It's a little more difficult to make my dinner smaller. It's an interesting dilemma trying to balance it all. I'm glad I have up to 2 treat days where I won't care each week. Gives me a break, at least. The problem with eating like this is the leftovers. It makes for more of them. I guess it can be looked at as a good thing, in a way. Won't have to make things as often, and it takes longer to get through things. Also, it's been more difficult getting enough protein each day. I need more than most healthy people, and I normally hardly ever reach half my goal for the day let alone to it. My Fitness Pal's app is amazing for keeping track of this stuff. 

I've been posting a lot of my meals to Instagram since the 3rd. Pretty much everything except for 'repeats' or most of the treat day stuff. Treat day meals are mainly shared if either I cook something new or I go to a restaurant. I've been listing the calories for each (except for treat day stuff). People apparently like this sort of thing. I mainly was doing it to better visualize what close to or on 280 calorie meals look like. I thought people would get angry with the influx of pics, but they're not. I'm gaining more likes than usual, and more followers. I'm just amazed. I started posting some of them on deviantART, and they seem to like them, too. I'm not even sharing them through groups on there anymore. Very interesting. 

I started writing another sequel to Alliance. It kind of hurts to write about something awful that happened to such a lovable character. Feels like my baby's hurt. However, it's part of the story...Other than that, I'm excited to see what happens next. I don't even know until I write it or the ideas come to me in my sleep. It just happens. 

Started writing a cookbook, too. It's mainly based on my mom's photo album where she stuffed a bunch of recipes in. Some have been passed down through the generations, her own things, a couple of Dad's things, newspaper clippings, from grocery stores, etc. A lot of stuff. She apparently started this in 1968. That's oldest dated one. Obviously some family recipes are older, but weren't written down until she did it later. The newest seems to be from the early 2000s. Interesting span of time. I remember, about 2 years ago, going through it and tossing out the really weird ones or ones I'd never make/have. That was quite a lot. There's a ton more left, though. 

The 1st recipe is a bit strange but interesting. It's coffee boiled over fire. They add an egg to it, and you cook it over coals. I'd be willing to try that someday. 1 of the 2 alcoholic drinks I left might still be good without the alcohol. It's a punch that family friends would make. The other one was one of her fave drinks. I couldn't toss it. Maybe someday I'll be able to have alcohol and try it. (I can't because of meds.) Other people who can have it might want to try it. There are a lot of recipes for Cornish game hens. I don't know why. We hardly ever ate them. I think with many of the recipes, she wanted to make them but never got to them. Some of them might have just been for sentimental reasons. There a a lot of Jewish recipes, and I've already made some of them. The ones I've used have been great.

I wanted to make all the recipes and add pics of each one to them, so people would know what they looked like. I realized I probably won't be able to do them all. I plan to make some of them, though. (More than the ones I've made in the past.) A lot of them sound really good. 

I also decided to try and do better about other parts of my health. I've been showering more often. It's been hard since I started feeling really fatigued about 2 years ago, due to my IBD. Last year was the worst that symptom, but I'm still going to try to keep up with this. Since I have a genetic skin disease (since both my parents had/have it, mine's worse than theirs), eczema, naturally sensitive, and more; the best 'schedule' for me is to shower every other day. If it's more often, I get reactions. Same thing with not doing it as often. My 'bumps' open up, they turn red, I get very itchy, more sensitive, eczema acts up, and more. It's not pretty. I was going for far too long between showers. With washing my hair, I shouldn't do more or less than every 3 days. So, my hair and shower need to be scheduled slightly differently. My hair gets pretty bad when I don't do it every 3 days. I've also been washing my face every night and day with a facial cleanser. Of course, with the exception of after or just before a shower (since I already wash my face with shower soap in it). I didn't do the cleanser before. Also, using lotion on my face after. The skin feels so much smoother, tighter, smells good, and is shinier. My shower soap seems to be helping a bit with my loose skin, too. I've got a lot of that. That's one of the downsides to losing weight (it's nasty), and it seems like it takes forever to tighten up. I don't have as many reactions with my skin now, too. Seems to be getting better. Also, my hair looks and feels nicer. So, hopefully my health will be better this year, and can keep it up. 

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