The Ride of a Lifetime.
The Ride of a Lifetime.

Bi-Monthly (?) Update: Catching Up

Illustration for article titled Bi-Monthly (?) Update: Catching Up
Photo: Car2Go

It’s been a long time since I’ve written one of these and a lot has happened in all of that time. Let’s see if I can collect my thoughts together long enough to form a coherent diary entry!

Advertisement

My last actual update entry was in October. We have a lot to catch up on! Oh boy. Here. We. Go.

Cars

Meet Laura!

Illustration for article titled Bi-Monthly (?) Update: Catching Up
Advertisement

I haven’t yet finished my offroad project, but no matter, I have a new daily driver! This beautiful convertible smart looks a little worse on the inside than it does on the outside. However, the repairs aren’t too bad and I can complete them relatively quickly. For the first time in 6 years, Tucker will be retired from daily driver duty.

I’ve completed my inspection of my new cabrio and here’s what needs restoring in order of severity:

- Tyres - Front two are serviceable but the rears are trashed.

- Headlight stalk (?) - Parking lights don’t work unless you turn on the rear fog light and turn on the high beams, then turn both off.

Similarly, the low beams don’t work unless you turn on the fog light, turn on the high beams, turn off the rear fog light, turn on the parking lights, turn off the high beams, turn on the high beams, then turn the switch to low beams. Oh and the high beams don’t work at all...only when pulling the stalk back to flash them.

- Cleaning - I’m not sure how these 450s get so dirty inside, but this one is just as dirty as Chelsea was. I’ll actually get before and after pics that’ll make a detailer blush.

- Protecting the convertible top - It feels very untreated, bad news for the salt belt. I’ll treat the top.

- Convertible top mechanism - It works...sorta. It’s very slow and gets stuck. I’ll first lube the tracks and crank down the tension rods a little. I’ll just work down troubleshooting steps on Evilution to easiest to hardest until the thing starts working.

- Rust removal - The subframe was bottomed out on something, probably a curb. It’s rusting in that area. While that’s not a big deal, I hate looking at it. Away it goes!

- Convertible top roof rails - Huh, of all the things to start rusting on a smart 450, I’d never thought the roof rails would be the first. There are a few specks of rust on these things...somehow. I’ll clean them up and protect them. Maybe this is why the 451+ rails are plastic?

- Radio - Someone replaced the Grundig unit with a generic Pioneer system. If we’re going to go aftermarket, it has to have an an aux jack; so this one is getting the boot. Otherwise I’ll just find a Grundig.

- Interior parts - I’ll need floor mats (I’ll make my own), a cup holder, headlight stalk/wiper stall caps, and a new clock pod. I’ll also need to see why the A/C button on the safety triangle doesn’t work. I may have broken it while inspecting the clock pod.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Bi-Monthly (?) Update: Catching Up

To start my restoration project on Laura, I’ve purchased a working clock pod and a new headlight switch.

Advertisement

Health

Illustration for article titled Bi-Monthly (?) Update: Catching Up
Advertisement

As far as weight goes, I’m doing much better better. I started out last year to this month at about 247-250 pounds. I got down to 200 even by September/October of last year, then I gained back 12 pounds. I’m now back on track to losing that weight again. It’s hard for me to find the motivation to work out and eat better considering my current living situation...but I’ve recently found oh so much motivation. :)

Transition is going well. I’m at the point where it’s time for me to get my one and only surgery (bottom surgery). However I want to be at 200 or below before I go for it. I have to hurry though, as soon I will no longer be on my dad’s super sweet insurance and you’ll never know what the White House will do next either..

Advertisement

Self-sufficiency has also been the name of the game for me. I know how to do my own hair (from relaxer to dye) and anything I don’t know how to do I’m learning how to do it as fast as I can. I’ve learned that such stills are actually pretty great at avoiding transphobic people and getting reamed by those same exact people.

I’m getting better at my workout routine and getting my eating under control, so hopefully I’ll be able to seek surgery before the Summer begins!

Advertisement

Happiness

This one is a hard one as I’ve been going through so much in the past year. However I am happy to say that I have reached relative stability with my happiness. Using the tools I’ve learned in therapy I’ve for the most part successfully been able to reframe hateful thoughts into something that is at least neutral. I still have awful days, and that’s to be expected.

Advertisement

The biggest help for me is positive affirmations. I keep little notes around that nudge me to love myself more. I tend to make decisions that help others in spite of myself. Since forever, my personal hierarchy has been that I always come last. I’ve been working (with good progress) to change that so that I do believe that I matter, and that my own priorities should often come before others. Yes, sometimes I do feel like a jerk, though I also have to remind myself that having standards doesn’t make me a jerk.

Illustration for article titled Bi-Monthly (?) Update: Catching Up
Advertisement

Hobbies!

Well...I’m no longer flipping phones! Instead, I’m building computers just for giggles.

Advertisement

I first started by building my first ever gaming computer. This Ryzen 3 machine has a little bit of everything in it, from a GTX 1060 to a SSD boot drive. It was awesome building it and it should serve me for years! I called it the “DC-10-60". It’s a portmanteau of “DC-10" and “GTX 1060".

Illustration for article titled Bi-Monthly (?) Update: Catching Up
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Bi-Monthly (?) Update: Catching Up

My second build is that green one there. It’s powered by a Pentium G4400 and a GTX 550 TI and it’s called the “Falcon 550TI”, mixing the Dassault Falcon 50 and the GTX 550 TI into one.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Bi-Monthly (?) Update: Catching Up
Illustration for article titled Bi-Monthly (?) Update: Catching Up
Advertisement

The third is this adorable box. It’s an ASRock Deskmini with a Core i3-7100 in it. This one is called “Legacy 630", mixing the Embraer Legacy 600 and Intel HD 630 into one.

It was primarily made for a desktop as a laptop experiment, but it mainly just became my flight sim rig. FSX really only cares about CPU speed, not SSDs or cool GPUs.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Bi-Monthly (?) Update: Catching Up
Illustration for article titled Bi-Monthly (?) Update: Catching Up
Advertisement

And finally, the monster of my current project! I recently got a free dual socket motherboard with 4 CPUs, two quad cores and two hex cores. Using that as a base, I decided to build a sleeper PC using an old Dell Dimension 4100. I gutted the Dell then modified it so that it can accommodate the massive server board and a drive. Now I just need a few more parts and some paint to put it all together.

When finished, it’s going to be two sockets, twelve cores, GTX 750, and 16 GB of memory beast. It’ll be called the “A340-750", a delightful mix of Airbus A340 and GTX 750.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Bi-Monthly (?) Update: Catching Up
Illustration for article titled Bi-Monthly (?) Update: Catching Up
Advertisement

Now on to some less fun things...

Personal Situations

Future entries about family will be different from here on out. In these past months, I’ve had people try to weaponize my own diary against me. I did make it out of these hairy moments relatively unscathed, however they did teach me a lesson.

Advertisement

In hindsight, publicly talking about family problems relating to my transition may not have been the greatest idea.

So with this reboot of talking about my life, I’ll be changing the format, at least a little. Judging on the feedback I get, I’ll make further adjustments.

Advertisement

With that out of the way, the home situation right now is no different than it was back in 2015. In other words, it’s not great and I’m bleeding money at a breakneck pace. I was supposed to move out again around the time I got the fourth smart. I’m pretty sure you can conclude what happened to my moving fund.

I’m only back at home because the alternative was living next door to a psychopath who probably would have burned my house down. Thankfully unlike 2015 I have the tools and the power to get myself out of it.

Advertisement

And for those who are curious, I moved out of my house because the current tenants were stealing from me and the previous tenant was being the violent girl that she is. I didn’t feel safe and had begun to hurt myself as an out. My brother now lives in the house and hopefully he buys the darn thing already so I can stop bleeding money to a house that I don’t own or even live in.

Dating

Oh, so here’s a fun one. As many of you know, I met Miss Tesla not long after coming out. I never really got the chance to be a single woman outside of losing my virginity to a guy who sexually took advantage of me. I then spent nearly three years with her, with our relationship coming to a close in July 2017.

Advertisement

Since then, I’ve been navigating the world as a single woman for the first time ever. I spent a lot of the time simply recovering from a deep depression and from my breakup. Much of my life has simply been just staying alive and not completely falling apart emotionally.

And just when things started getting better, I was sexually assaulted. That event sort of sent me on a tumble. I knew it was unsafe to exist in public spaces, but that was supposed to be a safe space. That wasn’t supposed to happen. I’m still not sure what I would have done had he succeeded in his plans. It, destroyed me.

Advertisement

2018 brought a sort of a reset button, if you will. I’ve learned a lot of lessons about being a woman in short time and I was able to frame those thoughts in a way to make me stronger. I used those thoughts to make me a better Mercedes,

With my much improved confidence, I decided to get back into dating!

Illustration for article titled Bi-Monthly (?) Update: Catching Up
Advertisement

Keeping with my current theme to keep my partners anonymous, their real names are replaced by the brand of the car they drive or their dream car...Exceptions to this rule include Miss Dodge, who will now be known as “Drug Dealer Girl”.

One thing I didn’t expect in my new journey in dating is that people like me much more this time around. For the majority of the dates I’ve been on this year, they messaged me first and asked me out first. It’s refreshing! As much as I love wining and dining people, it’s lovely to be on the receiving end too.

Advertisement

What I did not expect dating to turn into was another life lesson. After going on a date with Miss Toyota that showed that we weren’t really compatible, I dated Miss Dodge (a different one) for three weeks.

What really drew me to her was that she is a Jalopnik reader. She even knows one of the UpperMidwestKinja guys! But...outside our connection with cars, she just wasn’t the girl I could see myself being with forever. I didn’t feel that “fiery affection” for her. Ultimately I broke up with her because dating her gave me panic attacks, not because of that former bit. This is a lesson I will learn the hard way...

Advertisement

I then met Miss Honda. Miss Honda had everything I wanted in a future partner. She was cute, she was nerdy, she was weird. She checked every single box for me, except for distance. However, I didn’t feel that “fire” for her.

At first, I blew that off. Here I was, dating someone who fit the “dream girl” bill. I thought maybe that I’m older with mores experience of the world, I shouldn’t expect my partners to make me so gushy that forming sentences. Or maybe, maybe since I’ve been sexually assaulted that I don’t let my walls down that easily, and the gushy feeling is something I have to grow into?

Advertisement

I dated her for two months under this flawed premise. I enjoyed every second I spent with her...just, that magical feeling was not there. I didn’t want to kiss her all over, I didn’t want to explore the world and space with her...I loved her, but I wasn’t “in love” with her. At times I felt like I was settling, that I said yes to the first person who gave me the time of day...not that I was actually getting into a healthy relationship. So, I made the hard decision to break up with her while the relationship was still young.

The lesson I learned here is that if I don’t feel gushy for a potential partner while texting them and/or on the first date, I’m not likely to feel it at all and I’m doing the person a disservice by trying to force myself into feeling it by diving into the relationship.

Advertisement

It didn’t take long for that theory to be tested and proven...

For Me, March Is Always The Best Month Of The Year.

Illustration for article titled Bi-Monthly (?) Update: Catching Up
Photo: SpaceX
Advertisement

Last week, a cute guy (we’ll call him “Starman”) messaged me on OKC. He seemed pretty amazing, so I bit. I’m glad I did. :)

We had our first date on Tuesday and...oh my gosh...That gushy feeling...there it is. What’s even better is that I felt it stronger for him than I did when I met Miss Tesla. That is an extremely good sign. I didn’t have a theoretical set of checkboxes for the perfect guy...honestly I never thought I’d ever date a guy. However, it doesn’t matter what boxes I may have drawn up, he beats them into submission.

Advertisement

I can’t stop smiling. On Wednesday I came into work and I smiled end to end all day. I can’t say I’ve been this happy in...maybe a couple years? It’s reported that his day went about the same way.


Hopefully this is the start of an upward swing for me that lasts a long time. My biggest goals in the next few months are to continue losing weight, try to get bottom surgery, and further try to enjoy this beautiful world with a partner at my side. ♥

Advertisement

About The Author

Mercedes came out as transgender on Halloween in 2014. She’s now a transsexual and despite being three years into it, life still manages to throw a surprising number of curveballs. Despite such, this is still the best decision she’s ever made.

Contact: the_smart_car@yahoo.com

Share This Story

Get our newsletter