I’m seeing people online talking about CalExit, a proposal by which California leaves the USA and strikes out on it’s own. This has come up because Californians feel frustrated by the Electoral College, but it’s also got the weight of tech companies behind it.

The Electoral College does reduce the importance of people’s votes when electing the president. This is especially true for Californians. However, there are other solutions aside from declaring independence. One doesn’t even need to amend the constitution. There is a proposal in place to switch to the popular vote which is enactable on the state level. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would not do away with the college, but they would switch to merely formalising the popular vote. This seems easier to arrange than independence and would solve many of the grievances people have this week.

Californians can also see several other reasons for independence, largely based on the idea that we are weighted down by the rest of the US. This might be true economically, but we should take a look at where California is politically. It’s at the vanguard of the US. We, collectively, are just as stupid as the rest of country. But we’re stupid first. Californians have already had a go at electing a right wing media personality with poor politics and inadequate experience. Twice. Ronald Reagan was a disaster who took our schools from best in the country to, well, …lower property taxes for people who don’t move often, yay? And then the governator, who was better than people feared, but actually still terrible.

California had it’s demographic shift to being majority non-white several years ago and had it’s hateful freakout at the time. Pete Wilson was elected, proposition 187 passed, and the state set out to make migrants as miserable as possible. One of Wilson’s first orders was to deny prenatal care to migrant women, thus increasing birth defects in new born american citizens. That administration, voted in by Californians, vindictively spread misery wherever possible. And then white people were in the minority anyway and the sky didn’t fall. Many white people just got used to it. To the extent that California is now less racist than other parts of the US, it’s only because we’ve been through the other side of demographic shifts that cause racist whites to suddenly become extra-terrible.

Indeed, California may be done with it’s demographic shift, but it’s still got far rightists. The largest KKK membership in the entire US was in San Bernadito county. The state has the same urban/rural divide as everywhere else. That incident a few months ago with fascist stabbings was in Sacramento. Leaving the union will not make us safe from the fascists in our own borders.

But let’s talk about what succession would actually look like. California is the most populous state, with a large economy, tons of industry, including tech and Hollywood, it has seven of the US’s ten largest cities, at least one major shipping port and a whole lot of military bases, R&D and federal stuff, including Edwards Airforce Base (where the Space Shuttle used to land), and the NASA Ames Research Center. California is dismissed by east coasters as quaint or whatever, but they would sure miss us if we were gone, and not just because we grow all their almonds and avocados. Which is exactly why they’re not going to invite us to leave.

California: I’d like to secede now please.

Red states: That’s unpatriotic. And besides, we didn’t get to. Keep sending us porn and taxes.

Blue states: We empathise with you, but no. We need you.

There’s a reason there’s an even number of states in the two party system and why Hawaii and Alaska joined around the same time. If we leave, that’s one less blue state, with a massive number of representatives. Our fellow blues will not want to lose us. And the reds want the stuff we make and grow and would resent us for seceding where they failed.

So what next? Another civil war? Nobody wants to leave that badly.

There is, however, another way. Tech companies want to leave because they have visions of some sort of libertarian utopia. Where they are freed from regulation, but somebody competent is planning things so that the lights stay on. These ideas are mutually exclusive, unless we just give control of everything to google. The tech bro vision for the future of California is self-driving google buses taking rich people around, while poor people conveniently vanish. There’s other differences and issues this is papering over, but the tech companies could actually bring about Californian independence.

However much facebook wishes to deny it, it was them that elected Trump (and it’s them who have a convenient list of everybody’s race, religion and political views, should the government ever ask to see it). Their filtering algorithm separated people into red and blue milieus, so people on both sides never saw each other’s posts and a whole lot of untrue news stories got passed around. Pro-Trump stories got more clicks, so actual cottage industries sprung up writing fake pro-Trump news. This was monetised, thanks to Google’s advertising program, which also doesn’t care if it’s sat next to complete shit, as long as it’s getting eyeballs. Both platforms, desperate for viewers, let utter trash proliferate.

So how would facebook give us independence? The same way it gave us Trump. Only via constitutional amendment.

Blue facebook: The amendment is actually a Russian plot. We need California.

Red facebook: California gives us nothing but homosexuals, tofu, and pron. They’re evil. We would be better off if those Satan-worshippers were all barred from the US entirely.

And, because there are a lot of red states, even if they aren’t very populous, they would pass the required referendums for an amendment letting us go. But at the expense of LGBT people, sex workers, religious minorities, vegetarians and everyone else who gets othered, not just in California. It would make the country an uglier place than it already is.

And now, hugely demonised, we have our independence and have lots of almonds and no currency or trade agreements. Since this is a Silicon Valley plot, we can get bitcoin and learn to love instability. But what about freedom of movement? Since we’re evil incarnate, we’re not going to be allowed just to hop across borders. Want to go to New York? Better get a visa.

Indeed, let’s talk trade deals. Like Britain, we won’t even be members of the WTO. It can take years to join. NAFTA is probably out, due to not only us being evil, but Canada wanting to discourage Quebec from following our lead. I could imagine getting a good deal with the country that ruled us until 1848. Mexico might demand freedom of movement. I would be 100% ok with this, but it’s a very different future than the one tech bros are envisioning.

Also, remember all that US military stuff? The US government might want to be compensated for it’s property loss. So it would still be several years of sending them our taxes. We could try to do without any military stuff, but as we’re in range of North Korea’s nuclear missiles, we probably won’t. Indeed, since we’ve got google, who loves automated solutions, we’d be in grave danger of building killer robots. These would be drones, with weapons, that act without direct operator control. There’s a push to ban them by treaty in the UN, but we wouldn’t be signed on to it. This is one part of the tech bro future that I’d rather avoid, completely.

California is also not water independent, so we’d need to either buy water from Nevada or let Los Angeles go. Indeed, climate change may force that anyway. Every place on earth is dependant on water and climate, but this is especially clear in California.

The Trump future is terrifying, but getting out via amendment will take years and it would probably be too late by then. Getting out by revolutionary action is also a scary thought. Neither is showing any solidarity with people in other states who also need to be safe from fascism. And all of it ignores that facebook and google, the most emblematic software companies of silicon valley, are not victims of fascism as much as they are the platforms which allow it to flourish. And the data repositories which will allow it to achieve it’s ugliest aims.

Adventures in American Healthcare

A few days before I left England, my ear began to itch, in the spot where I used to have a cartilage piercing. I didn’t worry about it, but scratched at it, absentmindedly, thinking I really should do something about it but then forgetting. Then I got on a 10 hour flight, followed immediately by a 16 hour train ride. I got to my dad’s house and felt exhuasted and my ear was irrated to heck. I caught a glimpse of it in the mirror and my entire ear was red enough that I could step in for Rudolph and save Christmas, in case a holiday movie suddemly formed around me.
My dad took me to see a doctor at an “urgent care clinic.” This is American for a walk-in clinic. First, a nurse took my contact details and then told me to wait in the lobby. The primary feature of this was a large flatscreen TV showing adverts for prescription drugs. “Feeling stressed? Ask your doctor about Damitol. Damitol can help with burts of impotent rage. Do not take Damitol if you are already taking Fukitol. Side effects of Damitol may include becoming red faced, excessive sputtering and fatigue. Damitol works best when combined with diet and exercise. . . .” Blah blah blah. They had a 5 or 10 minute advert for a diabetes drug. Then they had a minute or two of random health-related information, then another advert. It was all branded as CNN Health.
“This is weird.” I said to my dad.
“I think it’s just general information about insulin . . . oh. That is weird.”
A nurse took me back, weighed me, took my blood pressure, pulse and temperature and asked about allergies. All interactions with healthcare providers in the US start with weight, blood pressure, etc. I explained about my ear, which was significantly less red by then. She took notes and left.
A moment later, the doctor came in and I repeated my story. He looked at my ear for 5 seconds and prescribed sulfa antibiotics. “They’re cheap,” he explained. I asked something about my ear and he said it was probably a staph infection and they tend to respond to sulpha.
“Staph?!” I thought.
“Unless it’s MRSA,” he continued.
I quit listening to his list of dire diseases. I asked about side effects and he started talking about posssible allergic reactions. “In the worst case your mouth and tongue will swell up and . . .”
“I just wanted to know if it was ok to drink or not.” I interrupted.
“If you drink, it will make the allergic reaction hit more quickly . . .”
I stopped listening again. Then I went out to the front to pay. Actually, my dad paid. It was over $100. Then we went to a pharmacy, where the drugs were only $14. They really were quite cheap.
The pharmacist explained that they might upset my stomach, etc. i had forgotten that in the States, you get this information from pharmacists and not doctors. Probably because we were in Washington state, she didn’t mention that I should stay out of the sun.
So I started taking antibiotics, wondering if my British GP would have prescribed them. he certainly would have poked my ear several times first. I also started putting hot compresses on it. It hurt if anything touched it, so no wearing headphones or hats or sleeping on that side.
Last night, on the 8th day, it was bright red again. And still hurting and warm to the touch this morning, so I resolved to go to a clinic. I called the one closest to my house. They weren’t answering, so I called another which was taking a holiday and then another and another. Every clinic seems to be closed today, except for one 3 miles away, which said it was open, but the recptionist was busy. I cycled over. It was closed.
Finally, I tried the Berkeley Free Clinic and was startled when a person answered. I described my woes. “You need to be seen,” he said, but they couldn’t see me before Monday. “Do you have money or insurance?” The person asked. Money, yes. Insurance, no. He suggested that I go to Highland Hospital. “They have an urgent care clinic. Go to the emergency room and they’ll direct you.”
I faffed around for a bit and finally got on a bus. Highland is an emergency-only hospital with a reputation for highly organised, professional helpful staff in the midst of the complete chaos.
I asked for the urgent care clinic and was told it had closed down. They said they just do it all in emergency now. The intake person said it was fine that I wasn’t having an emergency and took my ID and told me to sit.
I got called up to a triage desk and a nurse took my temperature pulse and blood pressure and asked about allergies and past illnesses. “When was your last tetnus shot?” Then she asked what the problem was and gave me a red wristband to indicate that I have allergies. She told me to wait in a different room.
I got called back to a different desk where I was asked for ID again, address, emergency contact information, mother’s maiden name, social security number, whether I had a job and a GP and many other questions. “Did you come by car or bus?” Then, she told me to wait again.
A nurse called me and walked me over to a bunch of cublicles. “Wait here for a moment.” He said and then vanished. A while later, a woman introduced herself as a doctor and I repeated my entire tale of woe. She looked in my ears and then prodded my ill one a bit. She said it was a minor infection and would probably go away on its own, but decided to prescribe me new antibiotics. She told me to keep sitting there and a nurse would come.
The nurse had the prescription forms. “You have to take these every 6 hours, which is a pain in the ass.” She looked at my warm, but no longer red ear and wondered why I had been given a prescription at all. She lead me to wait for a financial advisor. While waiting, I heard an announcement calling the trauma team to assemble, saying a type 2 trauma would be arriving in 8 minutes.
The financial person asked if I had a job and for ID. I said I worked in England. “So you’re not a resident of California?” Well, I kind of am, I’m just studying abroad. I gave her my expired drivers lisence. It has the wrong name on it. This did not help clarify matters. She said I would need to provide pay stubs to prove my income. I said they were in England. She sent me to wait to talk to her supervisor.
I looked at the information provided to me while I waited. “Cellulitis usually clears up on its own.” No mention of staph or mrsa. The financial person called me back.
“You’re not a resident here.” We began again. I finally gave up. She asked what had happened during my visit. “Oh, that won’t cost much anyway.”
“How much will it be?”
They don’t tally it up for a couple of weeks. In my experience, a trip to an emergency room is at least $400, so I really hope this will be billed as if their clinic still existed.
I took the prescription to Walgreens pharmacy, despite knowing that they have a 1000% markup on some drugs, including ones I got from them in the past. 7 days of the new antibiotic cost $60, but if I spend $20 to enroll on their discount program, I could get it for $30. Obviously, they have a large markup on antibiotics also. Charming. I enrolled in the program. The form I got explained that it was not health insurance. No kidding.

Post Script

The bill from Highland came out to $283, which is a lot less than I’d anticipated.

Letters to State Represenatives

Dear Honourable _,

I am writing to ask that more resources are allocated to higher education in the state of California. I’ve read that the regents of the UC system are voting to hugely increase fees. I’ve also read that the CSUs have been cutting services like library hours and doing no new admissions this spring.

While I understand that the state is having a budget crisis, the degree of cuts to the university systems and the size of fee increases is alarming. It’s actually cheaper for California students seeking a professional graduate degree to go out of state or even overseas. Our universities are excellent, but they must also be affordable to the populations they were established to serve. Raising fees may also have a detrimental effect on their standards as some of the most qualified students are simply unable to afford to attend and those that do attend can’t access the libraries except during limited hours.

Cutting the university system is short-sighted and foolhardy. It plunges middle class families into severe debt and puts education out of reach for much of the working class. Given that the Bay Area economy essential runs on brain power, this is not only dooming the would-be-students who cannot afford an education, it potentially harms all of the industries of the area. Our short-term downturn will become a long term one if we squander our human resources in a sort-sighted attempt to save money.

If we have to cut something, why not the prison system? It costs far more to house a convict for a year than to educate a student for year. Furthermore, every execution costs millions of dollars. Surely that money would be better spent on a young person’s future than ending a life. How many millions or billions of dollars do we spend on enforcing nonsensical anti-marijuana laws? Again, wouldn’t it be better to reduce student fees than to put somebody found possessing a joint through our justice system. If we neglect education in favour of prisons, I fear that over time we’ll need more and more prisons and have less and less for education until the outstanding know-how of the Bay Area is just a distant memory.

Thank you for your time,

C. Hutchins
You can find your two state legislators here.

Will be in California . . . for a funeral

Timanna Bennett died. I don’t really know what happened. T was a good friend for a long time. I’m flying out tomorrow. T’s memorial service is at the Mills chapel on Saturday, 14 February, at 11am. There will be a potluck reception afterwards. As far as I know, T was the first of my Mills friends to die. A lot of people who knew her then seem to be planning on coming. I think some of them fell out of contact since, but T was just such a remarkable person.
I will post more about her later, but right now I just can’t. I should be packing to travel anyway or washing some of the many dishes that I shouldn’t leave in my sink for two weeks. I’ll be in the Bay Area until the 23rd. I hope to be able to see as many friends as possible while I’m back, especially if I haven’t seen them for a while. I didn’t see too many people when I was home for Christmas, but I did see T, thank gods.
My cell phone number is 917 355 5064. That’s a New York number, but it rings in my pocket.
This is all very distressing.

I am in Califronia

I am here until the 23rd, when I’m off to Oregon, and then back again for a few days after xmas and then back to London.
If you want to hang out, call my cell phone: 917 355 5064. That’s the same number I’ve had for the last year or so. Heh, but I’m using the physical phone that I bought in 2003. It doesn’t take pictures, but it does calls and SMS which is all I really ever want to do. People look at me funny when I pull it out though. I feel dinosaur like. That and the only sweater I have here is one owned by my dad in the mid 80’s. I’m very retro with the prehistoric phone and the Cosby sweater.
My plans for this evening have fallen through. Everybody is busy for the holidays, which is reasonable and to be expected. It’s really weird being here for some reason. When I left last February, I wondered if maybe I was making a huge mistake leaving someplace where I so thoroughly belonged for someplace that I so totally didn’t. Now I don’t feel it here either, but maybe that’s jetlag.
I wish other people still blogged. It was easier to keep up with people when we were all reading each other’s blogs. Twitter is just not the same.


I don’t feel engaged on the Prop 8 thing. Some of this is distance, certainly, but not all of it. I mean, I have benefited personally from Same Sex Marriage. My (now ex) wife and I got married in Canada in 2003. And then, alas, got divorced in California in 2005, in what was likely the state’s first ever same sex divorce.
The value of divorce as a civil institution is extremely high. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out and couples need a structure to disentangle their finances and lives. As divorce is usually an adversarial process, having things like precedent and laws protects both halves of the divorcing couple. Otherwise, the stronger half of the ex-couple would steam roll the weaker half, whether that strength be emotional or financial. Divorce is an important right for that reason and also for tax consequences. If you own property, as in land or a house, it’s going to most likely change ownership status during a divorce. If it’s a divorce, the state doesn’t ask for taxes on this transaction, which is good because splitting up is already incredibly expensive.
So my disengagement with this isn’t because I don’t see the value of gay marriage. I’m very much aware of how it has helped me. But when they started same sex marriages in California, the larger gay rights groups put out word that a ballot measure was coming and asked gays to please look presentable. Which meant: no men in dresses. Because people like me are embarrassing.
Obviously, LGB people should have all the same rights as straight people. But this battle for marriage is incredibly normative in a way that makes me feel uncomfortable. No, I am not just like you, Mr. Cis Hetero, and I refuse to pretend that I am. Which means that I’m not really invited to the party. And despite that exclusion, we lost anyway.
We can’t have ENDA protection for trans people because we’re too weird and gays come first. We can’t have marriages for visibly-trans people because we’re too weird and gays come first. Not that we have either of these things, mind you, but just in case let’s make sure trannies are out.
The support-gay-marriage “cause” on Facebook, which is a pseudo charitable thing one can join, is attached to the HRC, a gay rights group which actively lobbies against trans people and gives assloads of money to Log Cabin Republicans. Are you fighting to be included in the right wing? Is it your dream to be an oppressor instead of oppressed?
I want our side to win. I want the State Supreme Court to decide that narrowing the Equal Protection clause of the state constitution, or declaring marriage not to be a fundamental right, would be a major revision and not a minor amendment, as this would seem logically to be the case. I want marriage for everybody, including me. But can we stop pretending that all queers are just like straight people except we happen to fall hopelessly in love with people of the same normative gender? Because I’m tired of being told to keep quiet and these kinds of normative lies leave too many of us unprotected.

Why we lost on Prop 8

The SF Chronicle wrote a bit about campaign strategy:

That allowed Prop. 8 opponents, worried that many voters were not enamored with the idea of same-sex marriage, to run a TV campaign that almost never mentioned gays or lesbians or showed them in an ad. Instead, the ads charged that Prop. 8 supporters wanted to take away rights from a single, unnamed group of people, which just wasn’t fair.

If we’re not even willing to name ourselves as citizens, why on earth would anybody want to support us? If we’re ashamed of being LGBT, then why are our rights valuable? If this strategy NEVER WORKS, why do the mainstream campaigns keep using it?!
If we want rights, then we have to be gay and proud, not weirdly lurking and hiding. Same sex couples deserve the right to marry! Stand up and say it!
In other news, holy cow, Obama won. oh my god.

In the KFJC Pit

This afternoon, Polly Moller and I went down to Los Altos Hills to play in the KFJC pit. KFJC is the radio station at Foothill College, a community college. I took classes there during the summer when I was in high school. And I listened to that radio station when I was a teen, but I’d never been inside of it before.
They lead us down to the “pit” which is a room full of CDs and records with enough space in the middle for a small band to play. I was looking at all of them, since I listened to this station so much when I was a kid. On one wall was tubs full of 7 inch punk records. I saw Bratmobile sort of casually stacked at the edge. These records changed my life! These actual records! Not, like, a different instance but the same pressing, but these actual physical pieces of vinyl opened up my world when I was 16 and then I was in the room with them.
They started calling up sound engineers so that somebody would come over. One finally did, so we did a sound check. There was so much hum and the right channel was out on my headphones. So the sound guy jiggled the headphone cables and I separated the audio cables from the power cables, as they were all snuggling together. Then we improved for about 25 minutes.
I played my “Simple Sample” program. I didn’t know I was going to be playing this ahead of time, so I played the version I had put together for the ETC gig. It has joystick control. It also has a bug in the timing thing that I need to find and squash. Polly played flute and also toys. She read text from a spam message. The text is totally bizarre. I hope she posts it so I can link to it. It has some really disturbing images that come up in it, like with some sort of giant bug, ala Naked Lunch. I sampled her and mostly just played it back, since she wasn’t into the pitch shifting. I added a garbling thing that I originally wrote to mangle Bush, (which I played at ETC along with porn samples.)
I haven’t started officially live coding yet, but I’m at the point where I will confidently modify a program during a sound check. The coming lie detector piece is written to allow live code modification. Because I’m lazy and it’s easier than making buttons and stuff to change states. And that piece is why we were at KFJC. We were there to promote the Edgetone Festival. So after we played, we were interviewed. Well, mostly Polly was interviewed because she is on the board of the festival and because she already knows those guys and finally because I was struck shy by being some place so cool.
Then we packed up and went for food.
The set seemed ok, but Polly was sad because yesterday would have been her 11th anniversary with Paul if he were still alive. It’s the first one she’s marked since he’s gone. She got a tattoo on her back yesterday in honor of him. It’s the Two of Cups, which is a tarot card that had special meaning for them. She spent 3.5 hours having needles pushed into her lower back. It was intense. The tat looks cool, though. It still needs some color work. Her artist is really cool. Seeing that happen really made me want to get another one. A tuba to go with my bass clef? A modular synth front panel? (yes!!) A bike gear and chain? A trans pride symbol? A peace symbol? All of those? (yes!!!)
M ex has a peace symbol around the same spot I would want to put mine. It might be a little weird, but it’s hardly unique for a Berkeley radical to display a peace sign, so I think it would be ok. I’m leaning towards the trans pride symbol, but also wary, in case I want to go stealth or something. Which is stupid, because I’d have to go into hiding or something and give up my career and it would still only out me to people who know this symbol.
Um, anyway, my time is mostly scheduled with practicing for our show on the 23rd. Which you should come to.


The lyrics are now in the comments for this post.

Les Hutchins & Polly Moller @ the Luggage Store

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Hey Bay Area people, I’ve got a show coming up on 3 January in San Francisco. Start out the new year with live music!
I’ll be playing laptop, didjeridu and some synthesizer. Specifically, I’ll be using my live sampling application, as heard in Paris, Berlin, the Hague and now San Francisco! It will be a duo with monster-flutist Polly Moller. (Note that she is not literally a monster but her flute playing is what you would get if King Kong or Godzilla played flute – and were really good at it.)
If Polly’s name sounds familiar with you, it’s because she was the lead of the flute-fronted rock band that I played in some years ago. Her flute playing then, as now, was full of agro tones and weird-awesome sounds that you don’t expect from a flute. She’s also really fun to improv with and her sounds work really well with electronic processing. I can do stuff with her that I haven’t been able to do with other flutists.
(Also, just to add, I’m awesome too.)
The show is at 1007 Market St in SF at the Luggage Store Gallery. It’s easily accessible via BART or muni (take the N line from the Caltrain station). Admission is $6 – $10 sliding scale. But if all you’ve got is $3 or $0 or something, they’ll still let you in.
The show starts at 8 with Jen Baker (Trombone) and Damon Smith (Double Bass). Those two formed half of the Just in Time Quartet, of which I was a member. Damon was also my bass teacher. He’s really cool and knows how to throat sing. Jen is also cool, but I don’t know her work as well.
Then at 9, Polly and I are on for 45 minutes or so.
I know some people have been curious about my Evenfall Minimodular synth. Polly describes it as “vintage” but it’s less than 10 years old. They are, however, rare. A guy in the south bay made them. At the time they were new, they were absolutely your best bet for starting into analog synths. It’s small, portable, yet a fully featured modular. Like an Arp, it has a bunch of normalized connections (it doesn’t need to be patched, but can be). And it’s got a MIDI in. The Evenfall guy thought it would be a raver’s dream. I don’t know if the trance/house folks ever got into this, but, it really should have been their dream. It’s flexible enough to be anybody’s dream, since it’s modular. I’ll be patching it and otherwise being arty. So here’s a chance to see / hear it in action.
The poster image is kind of random. I was hoping to find a picture of Polly and I together, but then gave up and used this snapshot I took of a peace sign at the Cesar Chavez park

Adventures in Healthcare

Over break, I noticed a strange and itchy mole on my back. Since I’m at very high risk for skin cancer, I just got it removed for testing. In case anybody cares, I will compare and contrast my experiences with a previous mole removal in the US.

So several years ago, when I had a weird mole, I went to a dermatologist in California to get it removed. He had some sort of student with him, also male, whom he addressed instead of me. He explained to the student what was going to happen when the mole got removed. Also, he went on to note how he would eventually remove the (queer-themed) tattoo on my back. “I like my tattoo.” I protested. He still not address me, but explained to the student that I would one day grow up and come to my senses.
I can’t recall about anesthetic. I have a recollection of the procedure being uncomfortable. He used a round gouging tool which popped the mole out pretty quickly. Then, he stitched it up. I came back some time later to get the stitches removed and to get my lab results which showed that the mole was nothing. Which is good because he didn’t get the whole thing when he took it out.
This time, I went to a general practitioner in the Netherlands instead of a dermatologist. She only had me pull up my shirt instead of remove it, so she never saw my tattoo. Also, there was nobody in the room to talk to but me. We chatted a bit. She used a ton of anesthetic, so I didn’t feel anything at all, which is good because it took much longer. I didn’t look or anything, but I suspect that she used scissors instead of a tool. It took several minutes to remove.
She gave me two stitches which will come out in a week. Lab results come back in two weeks. My back itches even more than before now, but doesn’t hurt. Augh, the itching.
Thanks to the dermatologist from a few years ago and other medical experiences, I’m always pleasantly surprised when a doctor treats me as a human. Yeah, I’m gender non-normative and queer, but I’m still a person.