12 December 2019

mid-December, 2019

I submitted my first manuscript to a journal last night! Now we wait. Then revisions. Hopefully I'll get something printed next year. Getting it submitted in 2019 was a big deal.

I gave my last lecture in my first undergraduate class today. It's been a blast. I got a really good group of students my first semester, and I got to teach a topic I'm passionate about. And I fulfilled a lifelong dream and taught as Ms Frizzle on Halloween.

I guess I'm moving right along in this Ph.D thing....

15 March 2019

Linguistic minority

I take a Discourse Analysis course in the Applied Linguistics department. Most of my classmates are international students, many of whom are studying teaching English as a second language. The computer in the classroom is set to display Chinese in most places that I expect English. Last night, the professor showed a YouTube video, before which an ad played. I saw a character with a Doge head and a three-piece suit, and all of my Chinese classmates started laughing. Everyone else looked confused. I thought about asking someone to explain what was going on, but I decided against it. I sat with the discomfort of being in the linguistic minority, for just a brief moment. My opportunities to experience that are few, and the discomfort is important.

Everyone was laughing, except for me. I didn't get the joke.

There are people who live with this all day long. Imagine if it wasn't just a joke. Imagine if it was class.
May I continue to check my privilege and strengthen my empathy.

22 February 2019

second semester, first year

i'm busy. i miss you all. school is good and life continues to happen. change remains the only constant.

31 December 2018

2018 in key dates

January 21: attended second Women's March

January 23: got on the jumbotron at a Penguins game

January 28: saw Wicked

January 29: got my official acceptance letter in the mail

February 5: concussion

February 14: the Parkland shooting

April 4: my cat died

April 17: hurt my thumb

missed six weeks of work on short-term disability, which included the final weeks of my last school year at the place I worked for 5 years

April 30: hand surgery (first surgery; first joint repair)

May 19: officially moved into Co-Lez's apartment

June 1: Dylan won Mr. Pittsburgh Pride Drag King!

June 19 (this sounds too early to be true): last appointment with my therapist of five years

June 29: got my Pittsburgh three rivers tattoo

July: turned 31

July 19: Foo Fighters concert!!!

July 26: last day at my clinical job

July 27: paid off the credit card debt left over from my four-years-ago marriage

July 28: Alec won Mr. Steel City Softball back!

August 1: moved to the middle of nowhere

August 22: started Ph.D school!

September: started asking for they/them pronouns in my new professional setting

September 17: my abusive ex's partner after me reached out

October 27: the terrible thing happened in Pittsburgh

October 29: committed to a mitzvah to forgive a grudge (still working on it)

October 31: officially out of my abusive relationship for longer than I was in it

November 6: voted a straight-party Democrat ticket

November 22: cooked my first Thanksgiving meal

November 27: met Frank Warren from PostSecret

December 7: finished my first semester of Ph.D school

December 20ish: found out I got A's!

29 November 2018

Time is a monster, part [X]

yesterday was one year since i found out i had been accepted to my phd program.

how did all of this happen so fast?!

26 October 2018


this has been buzzing around in my head for a few weeks now,
and i started to think
"maybe it's not prose.
maybe poetry will work"
so let's give it a try, i suppose.

something happened recently that hasn't happened since I was about 15.
I had to buy all new bras because
I gained a cup size.
my modest B turned full-up C.
my 17-year-old self rejoiced,
and my 31-year-old  self lamented.
above what this means about changes in my weight
and the steady downward march of my metabolism,
there is a gendered layer.
sometimes, I don't want any there at all.

I meet only fleeting dysphoria,
and I'm not concerned enough to change my body.
sometimes, it's still only right to go tits-out
(Rocky Horror comes to mind;
we are all called home from time to time).

I know I read woman.
if my chest doesn't give me away,
my voice will soon enough,
and my face probably already has.
I only ever pass as femme.
Part of what I have loved about this body
is that it provides such a supportive
structure for androgyny.
slight female.
there's so much room to build on that.
Did I just become
less androgynous?

I wore my binder to work today
for the first time.
No one bats an eyelash at my requests for "they,"
unless it is in shock that I didn't feel safe sooner.
I like to know where I am first.

18 September 2018


His partner after me reached out to me last night.
We had a few exchanges that ended after
I told them, "Trust yourself."

I hope it was what they needed to hear.

The whole time,

I remembered sitting on the floor

in the spare bedroom, back against the door,
listening to him scream on the other side
and waiting for him to give up,
texting one, two, three people
trying to make sure that I was sane and this was wrong.
That was the day I finally realized,
I deserve better.

It still took me three days to leave.

You got this.
You deserve better.
You know exactly what's happening.
Trust yourself.