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Gwen’s Little Spot

The mental scribblings and daily doings of one transgender woman, writer, and activist, with content somehow deemed good enough to win a 2004 “Queery“ award.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Posted: 9:30:00 PM
Candid photography, eh?

So, I finally got around to clearing off the camera today, and — lucky you — ya’ll get to see a few photos!


UCSFFirst off, here’s me in action! This was taken in Toland Hall at University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), during their Transgender Day of Remembrance event.

It was taken early in my piece, as I made members of the audience raise their hands if I pointed at them. It’s a good, dynamic shot of me. That said, most shots of me speaking involve a certain level of movement, as I tend to move about a bit. Especially if I’m into what I’m doing.

Now then, if any of you happen to be at a college in need of a dynamic speaker... well, look me up already!


ThanksgivingSecond, here’s the Thanksgiving table(s), just before everyone sat down. It’s also proof that we need a bigger table for these sorts of things More on that shortly, when I start posting Popular Mechanics stuff again.

Anyway, here’s the table, complete with a vintage 1970s harvest gold tablecloth (the green place mats didn’t fit on the current table(s), unfortunately), a centerpiece made by Sylvia Guerrero (Gwen Araujo’s mom, and a good friend), and a wide assortment of our Fiestaware.

I rather liked how it all came together, quite frankly.

Upholstery

Finally, today, Bon and I did the last of the seat installation. Well, not exactly the last of it, as we still have some fine-tuning to do, but the heavy lifting is done. Let me say that this is one project that I have little desire to repeat!

Nevertheless, it looks great, and the fresh (and slightly larger than original) foam in the seat bottoms only adds to the comfort. I’m happy to finally — after wanting to do this for nearly a decade — have new upholstery in Little Car.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Friday, November 26, 2004

Posted: 4:40:00 PM
More wacky weblinks than anyone really needs!

Yes, I’ve been saving all of these up, ready to spring ‘em on you like a... um... like some thing I’d spring on you! Let’s kick things off with a three very special asshats!

With further ado, here’s your two-weeks-worth-plus-thanksgiving-weekend list o’ links!

First off, this woman who, after being struck by a train, has decided to sue Norfolk Southern for not waning people that trains travel on tracks. Sometimes, one has to wonder just how few brain cells are floating around out there.

Speaking of a lack of brain cells, a shout out to CB & Potts, a sports bar in Colorado. In an effort to raise money for a charity dedicated to the memory of a woman who died of alcohol poisoning — they offered free Jell-O shooters to the first 50 women in the door. Pure class!

Now my favourite, and future fodder for a Transmissions column, it’s gotta be those few who raised a stink about “TWIRP day” — a cross-dressing day — at the local school. and got it replaced with the downright disturbing “camo day.” The best part lies in this quote, “It’s like experimenting with drugs. You just keep playing with it and it becomes customary. ... If it’s OK to dress like a girl today, then why is it not OK in the future?”

Yes, you heard it: a school spirit event involving campy cross-dressing is the “gateway drug” to transgenderism and homosexuality! Perhaps they’d best top off their outfits with a butt bonnet!

Anyway — onto the fun stuff.

Why women live longer.
AMC Adverts, including the ‘64 full line brochure!
Warning: this site contains disclaimers that only exist in theory.
Hey! careful where you’re pointing that thing, mister! (MPG player required)
Pat Boone must be stopped!
A better comic book cover than the last one.
Vintage travel decals.
The story of the FedEx logo.
Be a tagger in the comfort of your own home! (Flash required)
So... how does one get pregnant, anyway?
The ultimate computer accessory!
Finally, the ultimate turducken receipe!
Heck with turducken, it’s whole stuffed camel!
The Perry Bible Fellowship. (Some NSFW)
The virtual bartender doesn’t know blue Hawaiians. (Flash required)
More Quantum Astronomy than I ever expected on Yahoo.
Adult! XXXX!
John Ashcroft... sings? (MP3 player required)
The helium boob! (Possibly NSFW)
Vintage La Vegas matchbooks!
Please, Xzibit... Pimp My Bed!
How to kill a mockingbird. (Flash required)

Bonus tracks:

100% bible pr0n!
Fold the best paper airplane in the world.
Products we don’t need: the cock tube. (NSFW)
Behold the wonder that is Skirt Man!

There ya go, a whole pacel of fun stuff! And yes, in closing, feel free to vote for this weblog ifin you’d like. I’d appreciate it!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Posted: 7:42:00 PM

Paint your snippets

• This has been an unusually quiet week. Well, only in comparison to the weeks leading up to it. I’m not complaining, as I need the rare downtime.

• The word of the week around the house is “turducken.” I’m not sure how this happened. Nevertheless, it seems that damned near every sentence seems to include the word.

• Last week saw me doing four speeches, including emceeing the Transgender Day of Remembrance event in San Francisco. I was most pleased with the way things went at the big event. I only had a couple speakers/performers arrive late, and only one other I expected who did not show — but that was very easy to work around. If anything, it kept the show tight, and that was a big improvement over 2003.

• I now have not one, but two brand new, official-lookin’ proclamations on the wall. Gavin Newsom sent a Mayoral proclamation recognizing the Transgender Day of Remembrance, and State Assemblymember Mark Leno sent a State Assembly version after the fact. He is forgiven for tardiness, given that he not only spoke at the event, but marched with us as well.

• I got new bits for the car today. Some used (but better than what I’m driving around with) trim pieces, and most of a windshield washer assembly. I saw “most” as the seller forgot to put in the most integral part of the whole system: the danged foot pump that makes it work.

Still, I’ve a note out to him for that bit, and I can work on everything else ‘til then.

I also got some old paperwork to tinker with, including an original bill of sale from another vendor. I’m a sucker for that sort of ephemera, especially as Little Car only came with its Owner’s Manual, some recent shop receipts, and nothing else.

• So what happened to “mecurochrome?” Why the heck was it pulled from the U.S. market? More importantly, can anyone outside of the country pick me up a bottle or two?

• Today was also a cleaning day, as we’ll have folks (our current roomie’s girlfriend, our former roomies, and our friend Jerry and his wife, Paula) over for Thanksgiving tomorrow.

The copper bottoms on the Revere Ware are polished, the Fiesta is sparkling clean, and we’re ready to go.

• Thanks also to the person who gave me a 2005 National Organization for Women calendar at the Transgender Day of Remembrance march. I greatly appreciate it.

• I intend to work on the car upholstery shortly, given that I do not have too many other pressing deadlines. Bon and I have already put in the rear seat upholstery. Though we need to do a reinstall of the seat bottom upholstery, just so it matches up with the top.

The fronts will be more challenging, especially as I work on the headrest install. More as this happens, of course. I know that my five weblog readers just love updates on the Little Car.

• Bon and I are somewhat ahead of the game for Yüle this year. The cards are almost done (we make ‘em ourselves!), and will be ready to send by December 1st or so. There is still holiday shopping to do, but that will come shortly.

• That Brian Wilson release of Smile I mentioned a while back? Should any of you get it, be forewarned. I still have various and sundry songs from it stuck in my head. The earworms are simply rabid on that one.

• Oh — don’t worry if you do not know what a turducken is. It’ll be explained in the Friday links.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Monday, November 22, 2004

Posted: 8:21:00 AM

I’m still slowly recovering from this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance work — to tide you over, here’s a photo from the march, courtesy of Bill Wilson.

March

Carrying flags are LeChara Johnson and James Robinson. On the banner, left to right, Theresa Sparks, Assemblymember Mark Leno, Marcus de Maria Arana, “what’s her name,” and Jacqui ([info]jaquiregina). Behind the banner and not so visible are some of the family members of Gwen Araujo, holding a large drawing of Gwen.

For those wondering: there will be an extra helping of links this Friday. Enjoy!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Saturday, November 20, 2004

Posted: 8:59:00 AM
Today is the day

(Please consider adding the below to your own weblogs and livejournals)

http://www.rememberingourdead.org/day/

Today, November 20th, 2004, we take time to remember those who have died at the hand of anti-transgender violence — including the twenty-one who have perished since last November 20th.

Just as it was them, so could it be any of us — and this is why we stand in their memory. It is only though unity — through the sheer force of numbers — that we can stem this tide of violence.

We stand as one to say, “no more!”

Cheers,
Gwen

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Friday, November 19, 2004

Posted: 7:49:00 AM

I’m so busy that I forgot to mention one important thing.

November 18th, 2004 was the 10th anniversary of the day I begun living full time.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Thursday, November 18, 2004

Posted: 9:52:00 AM

So if you clicked the link in the previous post, then you’ve likely read the article in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle about yours truly, Remembering Our Dead, and the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

I had my nits to pick with the piece — like the phrasing “death tally” or being described as having dirty blonde hair — but the article did lead to some fun moments yesterday.

For one, I was on BART yesterday, going into San Francisco for a speaking gig at City College. Having gotten to sleep the night before at 2:30 a.m. or so, and having to wake up at 7:00 a.m. make me more than a little tired — to the point of me sleeping with my eyes wide open for part of the trip.

We were nearing my stop, Balboa Park Station, when I looked across at a woman reading the newspaper. She had just picked up the Bay Area section, and I got my first look at where in the paper the photo was situated: front page, above the fold. In her hands, I was staring back at myself.

I muttered a quick, “Oh, crap” under my breath. I wasn’t expecting it to be quite as prominent on the page. I knew there was to be a photo and all, but I expected it to be below the crease, and much smaller.

Upon stepping off the train, I leaned into this woman, who had started looking at the front of the section. I pointed at the photo, and said quietly, “watch out for that one — she’s trouble.” She looked at the photo, then up to me, and realized that she was seeing double.

I then stepped off the train. My work there was done.

The gig at City College went well. The school Chancellor, who spoke at the event, singled me out early on, complimenting my work and discussing the SF Chron article. Overall, the shin-dig was well attended, and I had a chance to catch up with a lot of folks before Saturday. I was also able to off load the lion’s share of the 60-80 lbs. of Transgender Day of Remembrance postcards I had been toting around.

Then it was off to the SF LGBT Center, for a meeting to go over the site plan for the Transgender Day of Remembrance memorial. Before meeting up with everyone, I ducked into their on-site lunch place — called the Three Dollar Bill — and grabbed a Coke.

The cashier, after finishing with me, went back to his newspaper and — yes, you guessed it — picked up the Bay Area section. He immediately looked back up, exclaiming, “Hey, that’s you!”

“Yes, yes it is.”

“Cool. Uh, can you autograph it?”

“Sure — but it won’t get you anything.”

“Oh, okay. Cool.”

There were other moments like (but not as dramatic as) these, but it was odd to walk down the street or ride the train, watching everyone see my face and read that article around me. Now I know what a wanted criminal must feel like once their photo is spread all over the news.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Posted: 8:09:00 AM

I’m in a rush this morning, but one thing before I leave.

Read this thing.

There’s a couple factual errors, and the author did fall into a couple “traps” when it comes to trans reporting (the finger nail reference, for one). But it’ll get the word out, and that is good.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Posted: 11:57:00 AM

Well, last night was interesting.

I had an appointment at City Hall last night, to speak to the San Francisco Human Rights Commission about Transgender Day of Remembrance. This was due to them presenting a draft resolution recognizing Transgender Day of Remembrance on the 20th.

Unfortunately, not enough commissioners were present last night, so no proclamation from them -- best they can provide is a nice letter. Which is fine and well, really. One less thing to dust, or something like that.

I don’t feel this was a total bust, however, as it did give me a chance to speak before the board members who were present, and educate them further on the needs of transgender people, and specifically the rather high mortality rate we face.

Also good: I left early from home as BART had reported some delays. This ended up putting me in the city early (the delays were not that big of an issue by that point), so I stopped into the San Francisco Public Library for a while -- where I read a few 1964 Newsweek magazines. I can now tell you, for example, a lot of the public sentiment towards the Republican nomination of Senator Goldwater for the 1964 election. That wasn’t the good bit.

As I was heading out to get over to City Hall, I spotted Rink heading for the elevator I was riding in. I held the door. Now Rink and I come across each other at, well, damn near every LGBT event out there. He shoots photos primarily for the San Francisco Bay Times, which is the “competition” with the Bay Area Reporter. That is, the paper I write for. Nevertheless, this is a friendly rivalry, and at my or Rink’s level, it’s not even that.

So we caught up for a while on the local queer community goings on. He also did mention that he intends to shoot the Transgender Day of Remembrance locally, and passed me the e-mail for one of the reporters who are likely to cover the event. That’s a bonus.

I finally made it out of town just a bit after dark, and in my own neighborhood, the fog had really moved in. Driving home was a serious chore, with me slowly making my way down roads, pushing through the gray sweat sock that seemed to have enveloped Antioch and some points west of there. There were a few spots of < 10" visibility. Not fun.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Monday, November 15, 2004

Posted: 1:37:00 PM
High plains snippets

• Idgie — our cat, for those of you following along at home — has reached a new level of spoilitude. She already sleeps on the bed with us, taking up large swaths of landscape, but now she even has a toy with her on the bed. She’s curled up with it right now — a wee little sock, filled with catnip. Pathetic, I tell ya.

• With the Transgender Day of Remembrance now just days away, I am as tense as the aforementioned feline in a room full of rocking chairs. I just hope everything goes well, and I doubt I’ll be able to get any rest until the 21st.

On the plus side of all that, this year — to date — there are 174 individual events in 8 countries, 35 states, and Washington, D.C. A little less than half those events are occurring at middle and high schools, too. It’s all very cool, even if I can’t sleep.

• My most recent Transmissions column has garnered me more response e-mails than any before. I had a feeling it was on the mark, and this helps to prove it. I just need to be able to tap the good veins more often.

• The day my upholstery finally arrived for Little Car was also the day my bullhorn arrived. I think that’s a sign of having crossed firmly into “activist” territory, when you actually own one of those things.

Mine is 13" long and has a maximum 20W output. I’m such a size queen.

• One of the tricks I need to pull off this week is getting everything done that needs to be handled here at home, while simultaneously spending many of my days in San Francisco. I’ve got a couple gigs and such coming up in the city.

For example, today I’ll be speaking in front of the Human Rights Commission in San Francisco City Hall. That’s going to be a little one, more to formalize than anything else.

On Wednesday, I’ll be speaking at City College of San Francisco, in the Student Union. It’s part of a “Transgender Awareness Day” being held at from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. I’ll be sharing the stage with Cecilia Chung, Marcus Arana, and Janetta Louise Johnson, amongst others.

I’ll hit another college on Friday. This time, UC San Francisco, in Toland Hall from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. This time I’ll share the day with the Transcendence Gospel Choir and Sylvia Guerrero.

Oh ya, and there’s this little event happening on Saturday, too.

• This coming week there may be a fairly sizable piece in the San Francisco Chronicle on Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Remembering Our Dead project, and, well, me. The reporter was out here on Wednesday last, and the photographer came out to shoot Bon and I on Saturday. I hope the article is good and that the photos turn out well.

On the plus side, I only had to refuse one question from the reporter (“have you had the surgery” is one of the two queries I never answer for reporters), and the photographer never once tried to get me to do a “pulling a dress from the closet” or “putting on makeup in the mirror” shot.

He did try for one of me with the trans pride flag draped over my shoulders, though. That didn’t work out, thankfully.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Saturday, November 13, 2004

Posted: 9:22:00 AM

VI.

Gwendolyn Ann Smith, writer.

I never set out to be a writer, but there is something magical in writing, and you cannot deny magic. Indeed, we do not often get the chance to choose our fate — we only get the option of working with it, or trying to deny it.

I’ve opted for the former, and that made all the difference.

Now I doubt I’ll ever be a Steinbeck or Hemingway — let alone Robert Frost who I alluded to a sentence ago — but I know I can call myself a writer.

Oh yes, and some nights, the words just flow, and you can walk away from the keyboard energized and happy about the words that sprung forth.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Friday, November 12, 2004

Posted: 8:14:00 AM
Way too much Friday fun for one person!

One would figure that there would be less weird links coming my way, given that I’ve got about a zillion things to get finished nowadays for Day of Remembrance. But no, this is probably the biggest darned list of wacky and weird links than I’ve done in, well, at least a few weeks.

So let’s start off with an asshat or two, shall we? First off, an asshat emeritus for the man who said — in his resignation letter — “The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.” Oh, really?

To him, I say “Welcome to your nightmare!” (NSFW)

Or, if taunting the outgoing Attorney General isn’t your cuppa joe, then try out these fine folks who seem to think that shirts about “Big Johnson” are just fine, but a skirt that says “It’s all about Juicy” is simply too risque. I’m not so much defending the skirt, but let’s avoid the double standards already.

Now then, onto the fun stuff, finally.

The Indian Shankar Drum Ganesh Machine! (Flash required)
Oh, to have a place to install one of these.
Take the pledge — be a technical virgin. (QuickTime required)
The cellphone for a Star Trek geek like me!
Equal time for a similar Kerry-esque link.
Fred Phelps, now with a bad soundtrack! (RealPlayer required)
It only gets worse the more you click through.
Sadly, this makes some pretty realistic rants.
The post-election masturbation survival guide.
Helvetica vs. Arial: this time it’s personal! (Flash required)
Cephalopod Pr0n. (NSFW)
Behold the terror of the vampire... melon?
Teletubbies: nazi hybrid greys in disguise!
Fantasy fiction that’s too good to put down.
22 reasons why you shouldn’t post your picture on the Internet.
Television... be gone!
The llama song! (Flash required)
A 1930s Japanese sex toy catalog. (Possibly NSFW)
I’ve been on a flight like this.
Pictures of things in brown tape. No, really.
One heck of a nifty optical illusion.
The wonder that is hinata dolls.
Yes, them Internets even have sites dedicated to manholes.
Hitler the disco führer (Flash required)
The Inuit language goes high tech!
Yes, but is it in my shade?
Bellydancers and Harem Girls! (Possibly NSFW)
Overcoming cluttering behavior starts... here?
I hope they aren’t talking about my Little Car.
The space age design portal.
Is it Elvis Presley, or just a mixed drink?
Now that’s a glorified hamburger!
Kevin Smith didn’t need a magic feather after all. (Flash required)
“’Twas Beedrill, and the Starmie Gloom...”
A page about girls permanently stuck in cheesy animal costumes?
The world’s first robotic spanking machine! (NSFW)
Tie your own sumo garment!
Now this electoral map makes sense to me.

I always put the weekly plea here, and this week is no exception. If you like what I’m doing here, don’t let me stop you from voting for this ‘blog. I appreciate it when you do, ‘cuz it lets me know — in some odd way — that you’re enjoying what I’m doing here. So... ya, go ‘head and give a vote or two.

As a children’s radio host is purported to have said, “That ought to hold the little bastards for another week!”

Oh wait, it this mic still on?

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 8:09:00 AM

V.

The Internet really me down the path of being a writer.

I was running the Transgender Community Forum on America Online, and this gave me the ability to publish pages like crazy. This allowed me to provide information to a nascent transgender community back in the days before Netscape and Internet Explorer made the World Wide Web commonplace.

In 1995, while facing mounting bills and a lack of employment, a friend suggested I look into that Web thing, and learn how to code. While that’s a story for another time, this led to me having the freedom to self publish just about anything.

What did I do?

I put up the Remembering Our Dead website.

One of the first pieces of press on the project was a piece in the Bay Area Reporter, which largely focused on me. This led into a one-off op-ed in the BAR. A year or two after this, I was contacted by the BAR. They had been considering adding a transgender column to the paper, and my name was one that had been bounced around.

That was the start. Now, while I’m no Herb Caen or Molly Ivins, I do have some reach with my column. I’ve since ended up in several other papers — and with many, I only know my editors through the Internet.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Thursday, November 11, 2004

Posted: 8:27:00 AM

IV.

In my sophomore year — you may be picking up that I went through some growth during that point in time — I also had an English teacher that I didn’t much like. It wasn’t that she made us write almost every day (a journal entry three days a week, and another writing assignment at least once a week), I just did not like her.

She didn’t much like fiction, which was what I tended to read. Hence, most of the things I tended to read for enjoyment at the time were all but off limits for book reports or the like. She also once gave my best friend — the fellow who is now editing a literary journal, mind you — an “F” on a paper because a story of subduing a dragon (versus slaying it) was somehow displaying cruelty to animals.

She instead preferred that you write about your life experiences. As a sophomore in high school, however, I did not feel I had any worth writing about — and there were some topics I would never write about in that class, at least without first encoding them. She never said we had to do journal entries using the English alphabet, after all.

Nowadays, of course, almost all of my writing is based somewhere on my personal experiences, including both ones I’d had prior to my sophomore year, and ones I could not write about then.

Funny thing that, isn’t it?

Cheers,
Gwen

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Posted: 4:15:00 PM
This just in...

ANTIOCH, CA, November 10, 2004 — Residents were alarmed with high-pitched, girlish squeals of delight emanated from a residence in Antioch today, shortly after a large box was delivered by UPS.

Admit concerns of terrorism, flu vaccine shortages, and gay marriage, the worst fears of residents were realised: Gwen Smith finally got new seat covers for Little Car.

Seat Covers

This photo does not do ’em justice. They are gorgeous. I so want to install them right now. I’ll wait ’til post Day of Remembrance, however.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 7:54:00 AM

III.

I should have known I would end up in writing, somehow.

I guess I was sidetracked. Knowing that fiction was not working for me, well, I assumed that all writing would not work for me. I suppose that’s like assuming you hate vegetables simply because you dislike eggplant.

The thing is, I was already involved in writing by that point — even fiction, to a point — and had not even realized it. My assumptions were totally wrong.

In elementary school, I already loved the occasional writing assignment, and would go to great lengths to make such be just right. I recall one bit of writing — from 7th grade or so — where I went several pages over the requirements, typed the piece, and even illustrated a cover for this text.

Yes, my obsessive nature also goes back a ways too.

In my freshman and sophomore years in high school, I took journalism, and wrote for the school newspaper, the Lions Trail. Yes, Trail, not Tail. I suspect it had to do with El Monte being “The end of the Santa Fe Trail,” a historical fact that was hammered into the young minds of anyone who grew up in the area. But I digress.

Journalism class was really my first involvement with the world of the deadline, and while I developed some bad work habits back then — often pounding out editorials minutes before class — I still enjoyed the freedom of being able to speak my mind in print.

It was in my sophomore year that I met up with my aforementioned crowd, or at least the core of it. We met playing that ultra-geekish pastime of the 1980s, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. It wasn’t too long before I was the usual Dungeon Master (I assure you, I would feminise that title nowadays) for our group, and this meant preparing adventures.

This means writing these adventures, and write I did. One campaign, which was played over several years, became a weekly writing assignment for me as I fleshed out a chain of islands and formed the world for my player’s characters. It was a detailed world, based on Celtic myth and Norse, Roman, and Holy Roman influences. To even participate in this campaign, I required potential players to provide a detailed background for their characters (which I would weave into the overall story) as well as read a 16-page booklet I’d crafted that explained the ins and outs of that world.

I assure you, to say I went through reams of paper would be an understatement. Frankly, this all would be labeled fantasy fiction if it wasn’t merely a game.

Never mind that I did not write fiction.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Posted: 8:36:00 AM

II.

I was never going to be a writer.

In high school, I hung with a different crowd. Part of the difference involved a certain nerd-ish literacy. I mean, this was a crowd that read Shakespeare for fun, and that wrote not just because it was a requirement of our English classes, but for the sheer sake of writing.

I was a bit of an oddball in this group, but weren’t we all. I could write, sure, but my writing was poor. While others were crafting good, if somewhat sophomoric (we were sophomores, after all) writing, I just was never able to present any fiction that felt, to me, within the realm of the believable.

On the plus side, I didn’t necessarily have to be the best at this: my muse was in the paint brush rather than the ink pen, and I could amuse myself with my art. The assumption always was that while my friends would be the big famous writers, I would be their big famous artist who would do their cover art or some such.

Fate is funny sometimes, and nothing ever goes quite to plan.

This group I used to hang with has two writers nowadays. Well, two that I know of for sure. One of them — my closest friend of the bunch — is not only writing but is the associate editor of a college English journal.

The other is me.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Monday, November 08, 2004

Posted: 1:10:00 PM

I.

There is something magical in writing.

Last night was my every-other-week deadline to get a new Transmissions column out the door. I knew what I was going to write about, but I was dog tired and, as usual, inching up to hours before deadline.

Then I wrote my piece. It was a 950 word comparison of the election and Transgender Day of Remembrance, looking specifically at the “careful” approach both Deputy D.A. Chris Lamerio and the Democratic Party took in their respective elements — and how that approach led to their opponents’ victory. It’s a pretty politically-charged screed based on hearing Democratic leaders talk about “rethinking their strategy” one too many times.

By the time I have finished the piece, not to mention editing it to work within nine different papers (most with their own guidelines), I could have just snuggled into bed. I was still charged up, and found myself writing e-mails just to release the energy I’d managed to conjure up.

I slept like a log. Best sleep I’ve seen in weeks. Now, today, I’m still riding a bit of a charge from that little piece of writing, and wishing I’d had more space in that article. I could have really gone on. Heck, I might still, if only for myself.

Then again, I might opt to tell you about writing.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Friday, November 05, 2004

Posted: 9:02:00 PM

Play snippets for me

• The Transgender Day of Remembrance is the focus, of course. This year, well, it seems to have taken another step in its growth, with NOW putting it on their official calendar, GLSEN pushing it, and now, even recognition amongst employees of Boeing. Yes, the company that makes airplanes.

It’s somewhat hard to reconcile, as so much of the initial focus when I planned the Remembering Our Dead project was as a reaction to a transgender community who didn’t seem to care that so many of us were being killed. Now, with the event becoming something that is almost, dare I say, institutionalized, things are different.

Bon is actually working tomorrow. That is not a lot of fun, her working on Saturday. She’s trying to get her back room caught up, so I do understand — but still, it’s the weekend, and it’s a day we often do things on. So... Poo.

• I discovered that we have an A&W restaurant location only three miles or so from the house. Who knew? We still need a closer Sonic, though.

• I’m not a Buddhist, but I have a fondness for the lessons to be had in Zen stories and koans. Recently, I’ve been reflecting on this one, which makes a great deal of sense to me:

Two monks were washing their bowls in the river when they noticed a scorpion that was drowning. One monk immediately scooped it up and set it upon the bank. In the process he was stung. He went back to washing his bowl and again the scorpion fell in. The monk saved the scorpion and was again stung. The other monk asked him, “Friend, why do you continue to save the scorpion when you know it’s nature is to sting?”

“Because,” the monk replied, “to save it is my nature.”

I knew this one in the more common “fox and the scorpion” variation, and always kept that in mind — but this version made a lot more sense to me. It tells me much.

• Is it in my nature to really, really want an Ericofone? Especially a nice push-button version? They are just so darned cool, and would look quite nice in the front room. It’d definitely replace the ugly green phone we’ve got down there.

• The call came today, letting me know that the upholstery for Little Car is, indeed, complete. I may have it sometime next week or so, then I’ll have to install it. This will be a challenge for me, but I think it’ll be a good challenge at that.

Next up will probably be getting the new headrests recovered to match the seats. Eventually.

• All these snippets, and no one seems to have noted the common ancestry of the titles. Or, at least no-one has commented on it.

• Our washer and dryer (well, not ours per se, but the ones that exist in this town home we’re leasing) work well, but I’m surprised at how cheap some components can be. Today, for example, the timer knob broke off in my hand.

It’s just cheap plastic, and it is in plastic’s nature to wear out after a period of time.

At least the support person was nice, and I was able to just order a new one. Still, how about making something durable for a change, Frigidaire company?

• Bon knows me well. This morning she handed me two promo disks from her work. k.d. lang’s Hymns of the 49th parallel, and Boys Night Out, featuring the Rat Pack. Yummy stuff.

• Yes, I am deliberately avoiding saying anything about the election. I figure there are plenty of other people doing that for me. I will say this, though: I am sick and tired of listening to people gloat over Bush’s victory. You only got a couple million over the half-way point, and that’s not the definition of a mandate. ’nuff said.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 8:45:00 AM
Friday already? Why here’s some fun links!

This week, I’m going to try my best to avoid the obvious political possibilities of the asshat, and instead offer this special individual, who seemed to feel he could convert lions to Christianity — and was fortunate enough to live. In some strange way, I think he’s perfectly emblematic for this week anyway. Thanks to Star ([info]starstraf) for this one.

Now then, onto the fun stuff, and only one political link in the bunch.

Interior Desecrations!
Apparently, Leonard Nimoy should eat more salsa.
The inflatable animal fetish page!
Related to the last link, in some way.
Dog, cat, lion... eat. (Flash required)
Seriously cool: make your very own BatPhone!
We all could use some Kaotic Illuminated Adepts.
More fun with conspiracy nuts & orbital mind-control lasers.
Spot the hidden pictures.
Encyclopedia Mythica.
This is some seriously low humour. (Flash required)
The Space Food Sticks preservation society.
Miss Abigail’s time warp advice!
Thomas Kinkade: painter of crap.
Don’t forget, it’s a very purple country.

A relatively short list this week, as I’ve been deep, deep in the Day of Remembrance mines, preparing stuff for, well, just about everything. At least it feels that way.

Oh ya, and before I forget, why not give this ol’ weblog a vote or two, just clickie the link, give me a few stars, and vote away!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Posted: 7:03:00 PM
Thinking happy thoughts

The upholstery for Little Car finally made it through the heat press and should be finished and ready to ship by week’s end!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Posted: 3:31:00 PM
Don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos!

I VotedSo ya, I did my dirty, sinful business. Here’s the handy sticker they give you for doing so. I wish they’d have nicer stickers than this — or at least updated the design eventually — but what are ya gonna do?

Meanwhile, back to the Day of Remembrance mines for me. Too much to do yet. One cool thing, though, as reader Wendy pointed out: The National Organization for Women’s 2005 calendar includes Day of Remembrance on their calendar grid, and discusses the event on the November page. I need to get one of these.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Monday, November 01, 2004

Posted: 10:08:00 PM
Electioneering

I sent the following to family and friends this election eve. I concluded it with a series of quotes from various members of the Republican party and its supporters, which I’ve clipped here, just leaving the “meat” as it were.

“We hope this note finds you all well.

As you know, we are deep into election season, which means we are deep into the world of election-time rhetoric, attack commercials, and all the other dirty tricks that comes with the political world.

As such, we want to cut through some of that and talk about one issue that disturbs us greatly, and in light of this, ask for your support when you head to the polls.

For the two of us, this is an election that is focused on one major issue: marriage rights. You see, we married twelve years ago, and that marriage — like many others — ended up as a same-sex marriage in the eyes of the law.

In current law, even in this state, this marriage cannot be voided by the state. When we entered into this contract it was a legal marriage, and it currently remains so.

Unfortunately, the current administration wishes to undo this not only for us, but for everyone who wishes to wed — or is wed — to a partner of the same sex. Aside from George W. Bush’s clear support of the Federal Marriage Amendment, the IRS has started to disallow those in a same-sex marriage to file jointly, and the CIS has begin to disallow transsexuals of all stripes to immigrate via marriage.

Naturally, the way we see it, when people speak of “defending marriage,” well the marriage we see that needs defending right now is our own. With an administration working so hard to nullify our marriage within the Constitution of the United States, we find ourselves unable to support this administration on November 2nd.

We ask you, as our friends and family, to also consider not voting for President George W. Bush this year. It would mean a lot to us.”

Cheers,
Gwen

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