Beyond the Embers of Bridges Glowing Behind Us

What might as well be considered my first batch of hormones arrived this morning via mail, with surprising haste considering they came from Germany. All in all, it was surprisingly cheap, there was no delay from customs, and the mailperson dropped them off this morning. It was only half an hour ago that I took the first one, though.

Although I’ve actually been taking .25mg of estrogen for the last several months, as I’ve said before, this had no real effect. At the time, I’d planned to slowly ramp up the dosage, but it was pointed out to me by an EMT friend of mine that hormones don’t work that way–which is something, honestly, I was already aware of and just hadn’t considered–and that I will experience mood swings and unpredictable side effects regardless of the dosage, because even the most natural gradient (one assumes that this would be a teenage girl) causes mood swings and unpredictable behavior.

So yay. I get to go through puberty again. Because once wasn’t enough.

But no, I honestly don’t mind that, and I’m old enough and collected enough that I believe I can keep a pretty good handle on my emotions and moods; I’ve always been a very “collected” person in most cases emotionally, and my first puberty was relatively calm.

I only took the first one about half an hour ago, however. I opted for a smaller dosage, because I skipped the laborious and tedious phase of referrals and specialists to just order them online (thereby saving both time and money). While this means I did save several hundreds of dollars thanks to the broken U.S. health system that will not be fixed by government intervention or legislation, it also means I’m not entirely sure what dosage is “right for me.”

What I want is rather simple. Decreased muscle mass, boobies, hips, and, gods willing, a rounding off of facial features. As you can see from the pic here, I have very sharp cheekbones, which isn’t necessarily bad, but I’m also no Victoria Justice.

Because I've nothing to hide.

Regarding my face, the only change I’d really like to see is a softening of my chin, which presumably would be accomplished by having fat cells accumulate in my face–which certainly sounds awful and unpleasant, not to mention not aesthetically pleasing–but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. And I’m not sure whether they’ll even do that, though it seems like they could; I just haven’t read of any examples online of facial features being specifically affected.

Alas, only rhinoplasty can fix that gigantic nose.

As I’ve now attempted to say twice, only to get all “Ooh, shiny!” and run down other topics, I waited several hours before taking them. For one, it was a pretty busy day of work, though everything I did was done remotely. It was possible at any given moment, however, that I would have to go on-site. Score one for me, as well: I deduced that a client’s Internet was down before they knew it, which made my company look fantastic.

It was important to me, for obvious reasons, that Aria take the pill. I truly hate this terminology, this speaking like I have multiple personality disorder. There is only me, and Aria is specifically not a mask that I use to present myself to the world. Aria is the removal of the masks.

In the long run, of course, there will be plenty of times when I have to take the pill while presenting myself as a male. For several months to come, I have to work as a male. Out of everything moving forward, the transition is moving fastest, and it has started to outpace other concerns, like “how the fuck am I going to work” and things of that nature. It will take a few months before my breasts are coming in, though, and it’s probable that they simply won’t grow to a point where they’re impossible to hide, but who knows. Before she gave birth, my sister was a C cup.

And my breasts are going to hurt badly enough already. Throwing a super tight sports bra on top of that, specifically to conceal the breasts, while taking extra care in public to not lean back and to always lean forward ever-so-slightly will be tedious, painful, and eventually impossible. I figure that I’ve got 8-12 months before that particular bridge absolutely must be crossed, which gives me plenty of time to make my name as a writer, which, to be honest, is about the only way this is going to be possible.

So if you haven’t bought my story, maybe you’d be interested. πŸ˜€

You could also donate directly, as sort of a Patreon for a blog except that it goes to a transition as detailed there: www.gofundme.com/ariatransition .

Unrelated Matters

I bought the PC version of Rise of the Tomb Raider when it launched on January 28, 2016, so that I could review it for Cubed3. Unfortunately, Square-Enix, the publisher of RTR, is terrible with review codes and didn’t provide one for the PC version, which inevitably forced me to buy it, because the game uses Denuvo v4, which hasn’t yet been cracked. It will be cracked, publishers. And to prove my case, I give you this:

Is Anti-Malware Dead? — MalwareBytes

That’s relevant to the discussion, because the virus writers are always a step ahead of the anti-virus writers. Anti-virus is, and has always been, reactionary; heuristics are new, weak, and generally ineffective. The people making viruses, finding exploits, and hacking systems will always be one step ahead of the people making anti-viruses.

But there are times when the anti-malware people appear to be winning, for sure. One of those was just a few years ago, when Kaspersky and Avira teamed up to sinkhole a huge number of malware servers. Encrypted, randomized URLs came into existence, evolving strings, and other complicated nonsense that I honestly don’t understand started happening, and the anti-malware people again find themselves attempting to react to malware, not proact to malware.

Denuvo’s strength is that it requires 64-bit systems. This means that all of Square-Enix’s games, and all games that use Denuvo, will not work on 32-bit games, with cuts out a substantial chunk of the population, but with a release like RTR let’s be honest: anyone with only 3 GB of RAM isn’t running RTR anyway.

The problem here is that the scene’s exposure to 64-bit debugging is extremely limited, and there are no good debugging tools at this point. Denuvo’s only strength is that it uses the latest architecture, and the scene hasn’t yet learned that architecture. Once the scene masters 64-bit debugging, Denuvo will be ripped to pieces. The Pirate Bay cannot be defeated. Piracy cannot be defeated, and you are absolute fools for believing you’ve won.

What was I saying?

Oh, yeah. So I bought the game for sixty freaking dollars. Not a big deal, really, and I will get reimbursement on that, so I’m not actually “out” $60. However, this trend of games costing $60 on PC has to stop. PC games are $50. Console games used to be $50, but publishers gave gamers the excuse of “Wah! We have to pay these licensing fees to Sony and Microsoft, so you have to pay more!” and bumped their games up to $60. The problem, of course, is that… those licensing fees don’t exist on open systems like PC. It’s just a blatant cashgrab.

On top of that, however, when I was writing my review last night (Cubed3 hasn’t posted it yet, but I’ll update with a link when it’s available), I found that there were five pieces of DLC available for the game, and that they totaled $30 in cost. Thirty dollars’ worth of DLC… three days after the game launched. This was, effectively, Launch Day DLC. I don’t care that the game was available on Xbox for a month previously and that the DLC was made after the Xbox game launched. The PC version launched on the 28th, gamers paid $60, and gamers did not get the full available experience.

In fact, the full experience presently costs $90.

My review of the game is a little tricky. With the 2013 reboot, I actually loved the game a lot, but it was entirely because of Lara Croft and her actress, and the wonderful voice acting and decent characterization/writing. It was a bit cliched, and it had too much “Break the Cutie,” but I have a thing for those petite brunettes–I’ve talked about it before–and throw in a sexy accent, and Lara had me wrapped around her finger. The game, not so great–I gave it a 4. Lara–10.

But I review games objectively, or as objectively as I can, and I recognized that my own liking of the game had nothing to do with the game, really, and had more to do with me and how I am. RTR diminishes Lara’s role considerably, and she is no longer the focus as the game explores the *sigh* relationship between her and her father *sigh* as she proves to the world that *sigh* he was right all along *sigh* and that he wasn’t crazy after all *sigh* so she can complete what he started *sigh* and follow in daddy’s footsteps *sigh*. But the game itself is better than 2013, so I gave it a 7.

What was I talking about 2?

Near the end of the review, I advised players who want to play the game to wait until the Game of the Year Edition or the Complete Edition. I bought Tomb Raider 2013 for $20 a few months ago, and it included:

  • all the DLC
  • Lara Croft & the Guardian of Light
  • all DLC for Lara Croft & the Guardian of Light
  • Tomb Raider I
  • Tomb Raider II
  • Tomb Raider III
  • Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation
  • Tomb Raider: Chronicles
  • Tomb Raider VI: The Angel of Darkness
  • Tomb Raider Anniversary
  • Tomb Raider Legend
  • Tomb Raider Underworld

Needless to say, this would have all cost $150 at least if I’d bought 2013 when it was new, and then all the DLC separately. I’m told that there is a way to access all the DLC in RTR for free, which I’d totally support because fuck Square-Enix for charging $30 for DLC three days after the game released, and that it has something to do with a bay-like organization of Long John Silvers, but I wouldn’t know anything about that.

Anyway, thanks for letting me shout at you for however long it took you to read this. Hope it was interesting. The Tomb Raider thing really deserves its own post, and I’m likely to give it one, but that’s going to go up at DiMezzo Gaming instead.

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