1 year, 5 months, 1 week

Hey there,

Things have reached a cross roads where the paths to choose from are infinite. I’m unsure where they all go and which to take.  Initially, I had been planning on moving back to Moorhead end of May early June, but the plans fell through with the people I was going to be moving in with. A couple people dropped out last minute, and the signing of the lease is on April 1st, leaving my friends in a sticky situation of being unable to find replacements (it’s in a house).  So that won’t be working.  They said they’ll keep me in mind once they find a new place.  After mulling it over for a week or so I decided that since Summer is coming up so fast that perhaps I should aim for end of Summer, early Fall. That way I have a few months to save up, keep momentum at my job(potentially ensuring a transfer to the Fargo location), have enough for a deposit and a couple months rent, and possibly find my own place.

I’m wanting to get the ball rolling on Top surgery.  As the weather get’s warmer and my shirts becoming tighter due to progress on my physical fitness journey, dysphoria rears it’s head more often than usual.  Wearing a binder is a pain, it restricts breathing, it’s becoming more and more uncomfortable.  I asked around and a trans brother of mine told me that MNcare has no enrollment date, so once I move to MN I can enroll.  He also suggested I make the phone call for a consultation to this really good reconstructive surgeon in the Twin Cities as soon as possible because the waiting list is about 3-4 months.  I’m starting to see that at this crossroads it’s perfectly okay to camp out for awhile, take out my maps, and plan ahead.

I finally got to see a dermatologist today! I got a refill on my Retin-A and then another topical called “Finacea” and also an oral med Minocycline.

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She told me that for someone of my skin tone (olive) the hyperpigmentation is going to take a long time to heal.  I asked her about the indentations on my face and whether or not they are going to cause severe scarring. She said it’s too soon to tell and that we need to just focus on getting the acne cleared up.  She told me that it’s a process, much like my transitioning.  It takes time.  I realized that this is an opportunity to really learn patience and self-trust.

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My face has really started to clear up.  I’m hopeful that once I start this new medicine it will continue to do so.  It’s all part of this journey.

Work has been going pretty well. Last weekend I had a late night, then early morning. As much as that sort of back-to-back shift is tough, I was okay with it because of what I had to do. At work we get food donations and one of the donations was a big one. I was tasked to cook an 18lb brisket.  I started it the night before mixing together a Texa’s-style rub and then wrapped it in plastic good and tight. It stayed in the fridge over night.

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I brought some mesquite smoking chips from home and when I arrived at work around 6:45am, I fired up the grill and prepped the chips. Then I put that beast in a big pan and set it on the grill at 250degrees. I let it smoke for 6 hours.  Then I prepped the oven and wrapped the brisket in foil(this is known as the Texas Crutch method).  I also put some mesquite chips in some water in a small pan on the second rack.  Ideally, I would have smoked the whole thing for 12-16hours. But since dinner has to be ready by 5-5:30pm where I work, the smoke first then oven method made it a few hours quicker.

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The smoked beast

The downside of this whole thing? I didn’t even get to taste it!  My shift ended at 2:45pm that day.  I was called into work today and apparently all the left-overs were gone.  The clients did say they really liked it.  This was a fun experience and I’m really looking forward to doing old-school barbecue experiments this summer.

I’m considering starting a food blog since I write so much about food anyway.  Could be a nice portfolio piece.

Here are a couple more things I whipped up:

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That’s all for now.  Looks like March is going out like a lamb this year.  Here’s to a good end of the month. Cheers!

-Ravn Thor

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