The Chronicle of Cait is time for me to talk about my lifestyle, my feelings, and what it's like to be me. It's a regular chronicle of the events taking place in my life. While it probably won't be a huge benefit for the anonymous reader, there are those in my life that I have trouble keeping in touch with. I'm hoping to share more information with that audience should they choose to read it.

Life has been moving very fast for me lately. I haven't had an opportunity to slow down and write for a number of reasons I hope to get into below. Sorry about the long absence.

Where Have I Been?

Most of you know that I've had some difficulty at work accepting the acquisition of my former company by another. At this point, how I feel about this new company is that our company went from making progress in improving our development process, as stressful as that was, to having to start over from scratch. Everything we worked towards is gone, and I find it super frustrating to watch each little bit of my handiwork to be wiped away by the efforts of this new company in order to align our processes with theirs.

In addition, it took more than eight weeks before I started seeing actual work. I mentioned last time that I was without an official project. That only changed recently, and the project I was assigned to is two months behind schedule with constant deadlines and a huge backlog of work. The training I did, while good for other reasons, wasn't actually helpful because the project I've been assigned to doesn't actually take advantage of most of those skills. The loose ends of old projects are still there, too. So I find myself occasionally being pulled into other projects, putting the work I have further behind.

But where have I been during all this? Surely, I could've typed that up sooner than now. The truth is, and this might come a surprise for some of my coworkers, that I'm looking for a new job. I spent the past two months dedicating all the free time I had to a job search that, while fruitless thus far, should eventually lead me to something less insane.

In the past two months, I interviewed with six different Philadelphia companies. Most of them were highly-rated, acclaimed places to work. I managed to get further than I expected, considering I was trying to apply a new skill set to these roles. With one of them, I was able to make a decent impression as a junior level programmer. I'm hoping that they might contact me in the future about some junior level openings which they didn't have at the time.

Finding a new job has always been my goal. I've only escalated the process recently. Both my partner and I are feeling stuck where we live. Our complaints include being too far away from friends and not having anything to do except stay at home. I miss the Philly nightlife and running around the city to see friends. I miss my family and my sister who just had her first child. Unfortunately, we can't leave until I find a new job.

State of Being Mental

All that effort took a lot out of me. Being rejected by all of my prospects left me feeling pretty down. I had been studying for interviews basically every night after work. Eventually, I broke down from pushing myself so hard and I find that these breaking points are so much more difficult to cope with now that I identify as female. I don't know what it is exactly, but I feel like estrogen changes the way I respond to certain situations, maybe it's that I feel more emotion now. I don't know. Anyway, I couldn't really do much more.

To make matters worse, I stopped participating in the hobbies I learned could help me feel better. All my efforts went towards the job search rather than caring for my mental health, which in itself feels like a full-time job sometimes. Nevertheless, I understood what I was doing and that I would eventually need some sort of relief, be it from accomplishing my goal or taking time to get my anxieties in order. When it wasn't the goal, I decided to take some time off work and focus on my own well-being.

So, I took about a week off. I used that time clear my head and clean up around my house. Essentially, I wanted to wipe the slate clean before attempting another go at the job search. I'm feeling pretty good right now, except for this cold I picked up somewhere. I learned a few lessons from my last job search that should help me going forward, but also I want to make sure to include time for my hobbies, such as blogging, exercising, and pet projects. If I can do all that, I'll be golden.

Garden Update

Plants! 🥒, 🌶, 🍅, & dill

A post shared by Caitlin Hoyle (@caitmarie.87) on

My little garden seems to be growing (pun intended) along quite well at this point. Shown above are my cucumber, tomato, dill plants, and my partner's hot pepper plants. We're hoping to pickle most of these veggies later this year.

New Family Additions

Take a look at this goober. (I stole this picture from my sister.) Isn't he adorable? This is baby James. He's the new addition to my family. I'm officially an aunt now. Congratulations to my sister and her husband!

Little baby James

Hyperlink Hoedown

Creating Your Own CSS Grid System

"I'm not a Bootstrap hater, but sometimes using a framework is overkill if all you really need is a grid. Here's how to make your own CSS Grids from scratch."

I don't spend a lot of time messing around with CSS anymore. I spend a lot more time writing up HTML that uses existing styles or something more complicated with event listeners. There's the occasional back-end development project too. However, I wanted to find a way to style the little project I started recently (more details to come) without delving deep into CSS frameworks. So I stumbled upon this blog and was delighted to see how well-described the grid layout system was. If you mess around with CSS ever, I suggest you take a look.

How American Healthcare Is Failing Transgender Patients

"The situation is miserable. In 2015, 28,000 transgender people from all fifty states took the National Center for Transgender Equality’s United States Transgender Survey, the largest of its kind. A third had a discriminatory experience at the doctor’s office. A quarter of the respondents “did not see a doctor when they needed to because of fear of being mistreated as a transgender person.”"

Just your regular reminder that access to health care as a trans person in the United States is still terrible. Support efforts like MyTransHealth (financially) in order to improve the situation.

Other Interesting Crap

That wraps up this edition of The Chronicle of Cait. Please come back next month for more details about my on-goings. Until then, please enjoy some other interesting crap about me.

  • What am I reading? The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • What am I watching? House of Cards, Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Sense8
  • What am I playing? Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead
  • What am I listening to? Various Podcasts
  • What do I want to buy? A New Job