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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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Posted: 1:50:00 PM
Adam’s Snippets

• The next few are going to be challenging, I can tell. I’m jumping when the phone rings, just waiting for that call that summons me to Hayward for the verdict — or lack thereof.

• I’ve also been getting a lot of traffic from reporters. The most recent have been PlanetOut and the San Jose Mercury News. Oh yes, and lots of news cameras. One can look at footage from throughout this whole process (though I’m still actually seeking footage from a Channel 5 interview from October of 2002, which would be the earliest), and see me go grey.

• Thanks to Jacqui ([info]jaquiregina) for the two boxes of Sen-Sen that arrived on my door-stoop today. It’s been a long time since I’ve tasted that bitter confection. Much appreciated.

• Also in the mail today was a copy of the DVD-R of the AMCRC Nationals. It’s 840 photos, including some donated by a certain Gwen Smith. I’ll spare my readers from sitting through ‘em all with me.

I will force you to look at the following two photos, from that same point in time. This was from a different CD, which arrived the other day.

Gwen, Mary, Little Car, and Rosie

The above was taken before heading to SF Pride, hence da’ Menace shirt. That’s Mary, with her Rosie, and me with Little Car. Pardon the condition of the garage.

Driving Little Car

This was taken on the way to SF Pride, though the car is still all polished up from the show. I really like shots of the car in motion, even if she looks to be standing still in this one. Is it me, or do I look really big in that car?

• I’ve not written anything here on the devastation along the Gulf Coast. I’m horrified and awed by the overall destruction. There are also folks I’m worried about there. It’s all so overwhelming.

• By the way, NPR did a two part story on this in 2002. Fascinating, and ahead of its time. You’ll need RealPlayer.

• Finally, and the big news after all this talk of death and destruction: I’m going to be a Matron of Honor. I can’t give all the details yet, but a good friend of mine is gettin’ hitched — and I’ll be heading to her neck of the woods in October.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Monday, August 29, 2005

Posted: 11:37:00 PM
Care for a bowl of Kaboom?

I fear I’m becoming a Quentin Tarantino fan. This comes from catching a bit over half of Kill Bill, Volume 2 tonight, and having caught Kill Bill, Volume 1 and Jackie Brown in recent weeks. I’d already seen those other two films with the people in snazzy suits.

Tonight was the right night for such, though.

Lemme back up. Yesterday, I had to do my column. Now you know that (to pull even further into reverse) I had this big party on Saturday. This meant that the usual provision run was Sunday. More than this, it was a writing week, so writing a column was in order.

I really tried to get the column out of the way early, I really did. I just couldn’t. I made it through four different drafts, each about 200–300 words, none of which resolving themselves. I didn’t get it finally hammered out until just after midnight, which isn’t far from my usual timing anyway.

When I trundled off to bed, Bon woke up. This meant a few extra minutes of watching the developing situation in the Gulf Coast. I’ll avoid all Katrina and the Waves references.

So I made it to bed at a touch before 1:00 a.m. This would not be a major problem if it wasn’t Sunday night. You see, court was Monday, and to get down to Hayward on time, I get up at 4:00 a.m. You can do the math, ‘cuz it’s too hard for me right about now.

Today was more closing arguments. DuBois (attorney for Jose Merel) was up first, complete with the World’s Worst Power Point Presentation®. I won’t bore you with the details, though he certainly bored me.

After lunch it was Thorman, the attorney for Michael Magidson. That was a heaping, steaming, pile of cow flop. You know, Gwen Araujo did such horrible things to those guys. If she’d only have apologized instead of deceiving them, she’d probably be alive today.

Pardon me while I, well, do something unpleasant.

So anyway, fifteen hours after waking up, I made it home. A couple hours after that, I was watching the bride do nasty things to Elle Driver, which was after she did nasty things to Bill’s brother.

Somehow, it just fit.

So now it’s 11:30 p.m., and I’m still not asleep. I will be soon, I hope. The trial goes to the jury tomorrow.

Has anyone seen a Hattori Hanzo sword sitting around? I’ve got some big vermin to take care of. As if.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Posted: 2:07:00 PM
Party Time! Excellent!

The party was fab. We had nine attendees — [info]jaquiregina and Muliebrity Confection, Christine and Heather, [info]kosmic_kat, [info]satoribee and [info]mcbrennan, and [info]misti_de_novo and Steve. Bon, our roomie, and I played hostess, and we filled our little home to the brim.

Food

Food-wise, we had a bounty of unusual — but quite tasty — treats. Above is the plate of chocolate and strawberry Pocky that greeted guests, as well as a shot of me (well, my well-blurred hands) prepping the hedda hopper drink toppers. The last of this trio of shots is a bowl of asian chips, coupled with a bowl of wasabi guacamole.

Also present was a plate of vegetarian larb (a chopped meat salad typical to Southeast Asia) made with mushrooms, and a herb feta salad served in lemon cucumber cups. Bon really outdid herself with the food.

More food

The piece d’resistance was the astro weenie ball, which was inspired by an entry on the G-d Bless Americana website. Bon and I put our own touches, including some crab legs and sugar peas. Is it food, or is it a centerpiece — why it’s both!

Astro Weenie Ball

We also had no shortage of other food available, as guests brought any number of extra trimmings. Salads, cream pie, chicken, and a whole lot more was available.

The night wasn’t all about food, as we expected our guests to perform oral — er, we expected everyone to read a little something of their choosing.

Bon started us off with Small Green Snake, and showed off her 1337 book reading skills by reading the book upside down and facing away from her. I followed it up with a rather poorly crafted sex scene written by non other than Ed Wood. Other selections included a speech by Nelson Mandela, Where The Wild Things Are, a recitation from Inherit The Wind, the introductions to both Wicked and Massage for Cats, a piece or two from Where The Sidewalk Ends, National Lampoon’s Deteriorata, some personal writing’s of Jacqui’s, and some short haiku — and a steamy bit of writing that will forever affect how I look at twinkies — from da ’bee.

We also had some lovely parting gifts, including stretchy frogs, bubble-blowing fishes, and some mini crayons and paint sets, which I packaged in empty paint cans labeled with old adverts I scanned from 1960s-era Popular Mechanics magazines. As you can see below, Misti also discovered that the packing peanuts I included inside made great eyecups for protecting yourself from the content of the Weekly World News issue we had sitting out.

Party Pix

It was fun. We got to hang out with some old friends, and a few new ones. We algo got that chance to show off our humble abode. The gathering went about as long as it possibly could, wrapping up near Midnight only because some folks had to head to BART before it closed. I hope all that attended enjoyed their evenings.

Oh, and a note to those who attended: the pix of folks reading did not turn out all that hot, so I passed on putting them up on the ol’ weblog. If you’d like your shots, lemme know and I’ll e-mail ‘em to ya.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Posted: 4:22:00 PM
A space in time

Right now I have the briefest of moments to do a quick bit of catching up. So much to write about yet, so little time.

We’re about two hours off from everyone arrive here for a little house party. The astro weenie ball is prepared, I’ve got two bowls full of hedda hoppers, and bon has had the larb ready since this morning. No, really.

I still need to finish getting ready, which I’ll be doing after I finishing typing this. I keep going back and forth on what to wear. You know it’s bad when you find yourself actually contemplating the gold lamé blouse. Ah well, it’s only an accent away from being lame, so I’ll pass.

More, including photos later.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Friday, August 26, 2005

Posted: 4:21:00 PM
Friday Link Goodness!

As [info]StarStraf reminded me earlier, I’m a bit behind on getting these out today. What can I say? I’ve had a busy week (some may have also noted my absence from the ol’ weblog, for example), and I’ve got a shin-dig I’m putting on tomorrow.

Never fear, though, as the Friday links are here! — and it wouldn’t be Friday without that ol’ hiney headgear in place. This time, I’m not sure exactly who involved with this story is the asshat. They might all be, as a mother and daughter tussle in the driveway, a car hits them, and a security officer fires at the vehicle. It’s all a little on the special side of things.

Now then, fun stuff.

The best of the worst: cosplay edition.
I think I just shat-nered myself. (QuickTime required)
Related to that last link, and with Nimoy, too! (MP3 player required)
Ninjas have a home life!
Because nothing says romance like burning rubber.
Let’s have bizarre celebrations. (QuickTime required)
Some seriously disturbing stuff! (NSFW)
Now this is the way to lodge a complaint!
Just can’t get enough of bad album covers.
Really choose your own adventure!
Merit badges? That’s so gay!
Some products just don’t need to be USB compatible.
A Shoggoth on the Roof, the documentary! (QuickTime required)

Meanwhile, how about a clickie or two on the ol’ Freedom Forum? I’d appreciate it! Now, have a good weekend!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Posted: 7:40:00 PM
Dragon Snippets

• Now this is an effective piece of direct mail.

National Referendum

• So ya, I had to make a slight edit to my last post, thanks to the abscessed tooth of William DuBois.

Unfortunately, I did not found out about the postponement of closing statements until 1:30 p.m., when the court secretary let the handful of us standing outside know.

His tooth better be better tomorrow.

Gwen• A photo from the other day, showing some additional tinkering with my hair. It’s not bad, though I think it makes some of my facial features seem more angular or something. I still kinda like the shot, though.

• The last few days have been good for random quotes. Here’s a few.

“I was brought up on funk based hip-hop.” — Overheard in San Francisco, near Civic Center.

“Irony is only hypocrisy with style.” — Barbara Everett, in the film Looking For Richard.

“Buster’s gonna die... but he’ll look cool.” — Kari Byron, on Myth Busters.

“When I was a skinny man I wore size 30 in pants.” — from Leah Garchik’s San Francisco Chronicle column. Attributed to “large woman... in lingerie department”

• I’m still doing a lot of tinkering with the computer, though mostly in the “break it in” fashion. The Cool Mac Apps book is teaching me a few tricks, and I’m getting used to some of the differences between my old 8.6 and X, as well as features in the newer versions of software.

I should not even admit to the 15 minutes spent yesterday trying to find the darned paint can in Photoshop 7.

Fred!There’s still a lot more things to learn (I’ve only scratched the surface on iPhoto), and there are some things I’ve not even touched (iMovie, for one). That said, I really enjoy the upgrade. I can get through things a bit faster, and have more options available. Good stuff.

• To the right is Fred, the desperate candle. He was born the other day, just on a lark during a conversation with Bon about little-known cartoon characters. I had to draw ‘em.

Your job — should you choose to accept it — is to give ‘em a caption. Or not, I only drew him just for the hell of it.

• One of the benefits of the new computer is having the ability to read CDs again. Aside from this making it that much easier to listen to music, it also means being able to pull through some of the data CDs that I’ve had trouble with.

One of them was a disk of photos from the memorial for my maternal grandmother. I just had to share this one, from the “photos I thought would never happen” department.

Full Family

This is, from left, my sister, my dad, my mom, Bon, and me. The whole immediate family. I guess it’s all the more appropriate to post, given that today is my father’s birthday.

I’d call him, but he and my mom are on the way to Arizona via train.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Monday, August 22, 2005

Posted: 9:42:00 PM
You take the good, you take the bad.

Yesterday, Bon and I attended a great party for Misti’s ([info]misti_de_novo) significant other, Steve. That was spiffy. I’ll admit, I was in a rare mood, with my humour at a higher than average pitch.

It’s also not every day one gets to encase your partner in toilet paper, and win a prize for doing so. I have got to get a photo of that.

Meanwhile.

Closing statements in the Araujo re-trial will begin tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. They will undoubtedly continue throughout the day on Thursday, and possibly conclude Monday a.m. — the case will then go to the jury.

I’ll be there, naturally, and I hope that those of my five readers who happen to be in the SF Bay Area will be there as well. I’ve said that before, but this will likely be your last chance before the end of the trial for you to show your support. I also know that the family of Gwen Araujo, in particular, would like to see as many folks there to provide support as possible.

The trial is being held at the Hayward Hall of Justice, 24405 Amador St., Hayward. There is a sizable parking garage just across the street. From SF, take 880 south, exit Winton, then turn right at Amador. From BART, take the Fremont line, exit at Hayward, then hop a 92 (Chabot College) bus. Exit at Amador. The courtroom is on the second floor, #510.

Please come, if you can.

Edit: Court was cancelled today due to William DuBois (lawyer for Jose Merel) having an absessed tooth. Because of this, everything that was planned for today (closed-door jury instructions this morning, and the start of closing arguments in the afternoon) was delayed one day — so closing statements begin at 1:30 p.m. on the 24th of August.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Posted: 5:17:00 PM
Yet more ramblings about the weekend.

I am frightfully sore today. Bon and I helped a friend move yesterday, and I clearly overexerted myself: my right bicep has been screaming since right after, and both arms and legs are quite sore today. It’s been a while since I’ve had to do that, and I really should have started with less finessé. The first thing I took down their stairs was a sizable bureau, which was really a two-person job.

After the move, we wandered part of San Francisco, then went home and did a small amount of our weekend provision run, opting to pass on the rest ‘til today. In both San Francisco and Antioch, we ended up acquiring yet more books.

One of them — She’s Not There by Jenny Boylan — is one I’ve read before, so I can hold off on delving back into that one. I got it because it was a cheap remaindered copy, and because I think it’s one of the few really good transgender autobiographies ever written. Also purchased was a remaindered copy of The Road to the Dark Tower by Bev Vincent. Some good information relating to Stephen King’s masterwork, but one I can’t delve too far into because I haven’t finished the books being discussed just yet. Gotta do some things in order.

Of the “can and am reading” category, it’s Robin Williams’ (no, not that one) Cool Mac Apps, which has already taught me a few things I didn’t know about the standard Mac OS X programmes, and Matt Maranian’s Pad Parties.

The latter may indeed come in handy next weekend, as we host a house party. I’ve wanted to toss a “just ‘cuz” party for some time, and this seems to be the time. Mostly just an excuse to get our friends together and enjoy, though we are — of course — requiring all our guests to perform orally.

You people have sick, sick minds.

We’re having folks bring a little something that means something to ‘em to read out loud. It should prove an interesting and eclectic selection of texts, up to an including an excerpt of an Ed Wood book that I’ll be presenting. Be afraid.

More soon.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Friday, August 19, 2005

Posted: 12:57:00 PM
In the meme time.

A meme-ish thing I pullled from [info]rain_luong’s journal. Intriguing, and made me have to really pore through the music collection. These are not necessarily in any order.

List the five albums that have been most influential to you. Not your *favorite* five albums necessarily, but the ones that changed the way you play or think about music, or even the way you look at the world around you.

The Beatles, Abbey Road (1969).
This one album made me a Beatles fan. Because of it more than anything else, I find I almost always take a Beatles album with me when I travel — and when I do, its either Abbey Road, or Anthology 3, which includes songs from Abbey Road. Side two alone is a masterpiece, with some of the bands strongest performances. The guitar riff trade-off at the end of “Carry That Weight” always sounds joyous, and a perfect counterpart to the sparse instrumentation of “The End.” It’s also one that gets slipped in the player when I’m lonely, or when I just want to be one with my thoughts. In that way, it’s like an old, comfortable friend who just has to be there.

Elton John, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (1975)
Like Abbey Road made me a Beatles devotee, this made me an Elton fan. My best friend in high school got me into it, during a time when listening to Elton John was not considered cool. Although I already was well into “uncool” music at the time (I was, for example, this close to putting The Roto Rooter Good Time Christmas Band’s eponymous album on the list for that reason), this one gave me the ability to like it somehow openly. like Abbey Road, it is an old friend of an album, and one that I often prefer to listen to on good old fashioned vinyl for that very reason. The pops and crackles are simply a part of my experience.

Queen, The Game (1980)
While this is the second “rock” record I ever bought (the first was Led Zeppelin IV), this was the more important. It’s not been my favourite Queen album for many years (that would be Queen II, or maybe Sheer Heart Attack, or possibly something else on any other given day), but stuff like “Sail Away Sweet Sister” and “Save Me” are still some of my favourite queen ballads. It’s this album that made me the rabid Queen fan I remain today.

Suzanne Vega, 99.9 F° (1992)
As I mentioned in my reply in D.C. Simpson’s journal, this was an album that entered my life at an important time. I list it here, but it is really only the one that won the battle between it, Tori Amos’ Under The Pink, Melissa Etheridge’s Brave And Crazy, Kate Bush’s The Red Shoes, and k.d. lang’s Ingenue. These were all a part of the days when I was working up towards transition, and gave me encouragement, keeping me going even when I was unsure. Each of these albums are linked directly to that period of time. This one in particular, has “As Girls Go,” a song that is quite specifically about a male to female person. That said, that is not the song I have the biggest emotional ties to: that is “Bad Wisdom,” the song that was playing in my office the day I was fired from the job where I transitioned.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch original motion picture soundtrack (2001)
I first heard the song “Angry Inch” roughly two weeks before I travelled to Neenah, Wisconsin for GRS. It immediately became part of my “mix” for the trip. Perhaps a bit on the dark humour side, having that in the playlist, but then again I also included Pink Floyd’s “Careful With That Axe, Eugene.” When I saw the film on my birthday a year later, well, it entranced me. It was fascinating, and led to a couple more trips to the theater, deep discussions about the meaning of some scenes with my then-roommate, Christine, and the purchase of our first DVD player — specifically to watch the DVD. It ignited (well okay, re-ignited) my interest in glitter rock. More than any of these things, the soundtrack kept me moving along in 2001, which was a pretty tough year. Frankly, I needed to embrace my inner freak that year, and this album was the conduit.

There are zillions more I could list, ranging from David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and Wendy Carlos’ Switched on Bach 2000 — but I’ll keep it to the five.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 8:03:00 AM
Friday link time!

Yes, it’s the catch-up from last week Friday links!

First up, asshats! Consider this responsible parent, who will now spend five times more months in jail than her child is old. Her crime? Why sharing her bong with her 18 month old daughter, of course!

While she’s in the hoosegow, perhaps she can hook up with this extra-special inmate, who “accidently” swallowed a fork while in prison. It gets better, because he is suing the prison for negligence.

Meanwhile, let’s also note the reality-challenged folks of Focus on the Family who — while they don’t seem to have a page about not giving your toddler bong hits — have nevertheless put out some important tips on how to make sure your kids grow up gender normative and therefore (by their logic) straight. You’ll laugh, because if you don’t, you’ll cry.

Now then, onto the fun stuff!

Balloon art meets Reservoir Dogs! (QuickTime required)
Make a statement in the parking lot.
Two words that belong together: C’thulhu and Kitsch.
I always thought this was an interesting video. (QuickTime Required)
Star Wars III: The Backstroke of the West. (NSFW)
The horror... the horror... (NSFW)
How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Gunk That Comes Outta My Ears.
Behold the wonder of The Trannisphere! (Acrobat Reader required)
Man! What is that funky smell!
This would be great for Hallowe’en.
Too much time on someone’s hands, for sure.
Star Trek takes another step towards reality.
I can’t think of many things that are a bigger turn-off. (Possibly NSFW)
Let’s get Mikey to drink these. He’ll drink anything!
Need a hero? Make one! (Flash required)

Finally, how about a clickie or two on the ol’ Freedom Forum? As Bartles and James used to say, “Thank you for your support!”

Cheers,
Gwen

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Posted: 12:51:00 AM
Spin the dial.

It is hard to explain some things to people who’ve never been in my shoes — that is, who don’t know exactly what it’s like to be a transgender person — while most transpeople understand what I mean almost instinctually.

The other day, I was musing on appearance. Well, a bit more than that, but it was catching my reflection in the large mirror in the Enchanted Tiki Bathroom that started me pondering that I have managed, though this transition, to be myself.

That sounds clichéd at best. To many, it may seem silly; who else would I be? Yet, there it is, trite but true.

You see, growing up, even from a fairly early age, I knew something wasn’t right. Or, perhaps, someone wasn’t right. It didn’t take me too long to figure that out, especially thanks to learning of transsexuality when I was a kid. Unfortunately, knowing isn’t always half the battle. I knew what I was, I simply assumed that there was nothing I could do about it.

That’s the past. I did, after a fashion, figure out that there were things I could do, and I did them — and here I am today. I’m a bit over five years post surgery, about nine years on hormones, and nearly eleven years since I went “full time” in this gender of mine.

Today, everything just fits. My body has the right shape, contains the correct bits just where they’re supposed to be. The face that stares back at me in the mirror is the face I’ve long wanted to see in the mirror. Like I said, I’ve managed to become myself.

All that said, I find myself seemingly unable to explain it. Aside from my car alarm analogy, the best image I seem to be able to come up with is that of a combination lock. That moment when you turn the lock face to that last number, you tug on the lock, and it snaps open like it was meant to. Everything has just fallen into place.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Posted: 3:43:00 PM
“Clang, Clang, Clang,” Goes the Clango!

Okay, probably the last computer-related entry for a while.

I’ve been away from updating for the last few while I tweaked, and tweaked, and tweaked yet some more on the drive. Things are still a bit hit and miss here and there, but it’s largely in good shape.

This morning, I unplugged Gort, and moved Clango into the appropriate spot on my desk. I also hooked up the scanner (it has been hooked into Bon’s computer, QT-1, as Gort can not handle USB) and the cable for my camera (ditto). Kudos to Apple for making a programme that can actually talk to my Canon PowerShot A60 so easily.

Now then, enough with the computer. The next entry or two will be about other stuff.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Posted: 8:18:00 PM
More writing about computers.

So Clango is now upstairs, sitting near to Gort, and in the final stages of file transfers and such. All the data is present on both drives; I simply need to get everything into a modern and useful format.

I am currently a little less than half-way on importing my e-mail from my old Claris Emailer to Apple’s Mail programme. It’s a slow process thanks to a stack of e-mail that can be counted in the tens of thousands, and covering the previous seven years. I said I was a packrat, right?

Once that is done, all I need to really do is get my newsgroups to work correctly in MT-Newswatcher X, at which point I will be up and running, and will be able to complete the switch from one computer to the other. It’s a lot like work, this drive migration stuff.

I’ll probably call Clango ready to go on Monday, just after Mercury retrograde and everything.

The drive is fully set up thanks to the assistance of some friends of mine from Arizona who came by and took over the front room for a couple days. It was a social visit, giving us the chance to see their new (well, still under warranty, I suspect) baby. It was good to meet him, and I look forward to seeing him — and his parents — in the future.

Unfortunately, due to all the hubbub, I did not get the Friday links up. It’s actually an okay thing, as I didn’t have a lot ready for this week: they’ll be up with next Friday’s links, and it’ll all work out for the best.

Besides, I’ll probably be done with talking about the computer by then.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Friday, August 12, 2005

Posted: 12:07:00 AM
Drive it on home.

Here there be geeks

Much of today has been spent doing file transfers onto Clango (and his partitioned little buddy, 790 and Marvin). Mac OS 10.3.9 is running on Clango, and Mac OS 9.2.2 is kept handy on 790.

Doing this sort of stuff is a challenge at times: The old Palm Desktop application’s user file is not readable on the new drive, which may mean manual entry into iCal and Address Book. The old Explorer bookmarks did not quite transfer into Safari. Claris Emailer, while transferable into Mail, will take a bit of time to do.

I’ve got just about everything in place as far as the things I need to write my column. I don’t yet have all my needs in place for web development nor graphic design work — but if worse comes to worst, I can always use the old programmes under OS 9.

My initial feelings about OS X are good. I like the interface for iChat. I also like Mail and Safari, very much. There is, however, a lot of little changes to get used to as far as file manipulation and the like. Some things feel like a step backward, or seem less “free” from older versions of the OS.

The drive itself is a major boost. A lot of things move a bit quicker. I do not know if it’s the OS, the computer, or both — probably the latter — but web surfing in particular is extremely fast. It’s actually fun again!

More soon, including at least a little bit about our house guests this last day or so.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Posted: 2:56:00 PM
Much randomness was had by all.

Computer transition work continues.

It’s amazing how much stuff I’ve had sitting around on this computer. Much of the material on Gort (and the other partitions which I’ll not bore you with all the names of) is now sorted. A fair amount of stuff has also been either dumped or tossed onto ZIP/CD. The first first time in, well, years, I’ve got a surplus of blank space on the ol’ drive.

I had hoped to burn a lot more off, but the CD-R that a friend passed my way just doesn’t seem to want to work with Gort. So I’ll have to handle the transfer of materials the old fashioned way, either by burning stuff via Bon’s computer (named QT-1), transferring it 94MBs at a time on ZIPs, or moving stuff over when I’ve got Clango on the network. All are time consuming.

I can’t wait to start using the new equipment, though. Writing-wise, I can use just about anything, true — but a lot of my time is invested in design work as well as Internet-related pursuits. This is where things become difficult.

Because of the age of this computer, I can’t use a Mac OS over 8.6.1. Because of that, I can use a browser over Internet Explorer 5.0. Because of that, a number of websites have become inaccessible, or contain features that do not work with what I’m running.

Further, I noticed about a year ago that I was becoming hampered by the old equipment when it came to design work. I wasn’t getting the best PDF files for print, nor the most out of Photoshop. This will soon change.

Who knows, maybe I’ll also find out what these computer games are that all the kids are talking about.

Anyway... let’s talk about something other than the computer. Snippet-esque bits of randomness, ahoy!

• The latest newsletter from the AMC/Rambler Club arrived today. While it confirmed that Little Car didn’t win any awards at the meet (though Mary’s ‘64 Ambassador did take 1st prize in its category), they did include an edited version of my write-up on the event, that I originally put here in the ol’ weblog. Not the most prestigious place I’ve been published, sure, but I still grooved on it.

• I’ve been reading the book Blink by Malcom Gladwell. It’s better than I expected it to be, though a lot of what Mr. Gladwell is talking about just seems like common sense stuff to me. Still, his anecdotes are intriguing, and — at the least — provide a lot of fertile grist for me to chew upon. It also has inadvertently explained to me a lot about how I communicate online.

• I am happy to report that the thumb has been acting nicely for the last handful of days. I’ve changed some of the stresses it gets (mostly a shift on how I use my mouse and such), while some are difficult to unlearn (It’s my dominant thumb when it comes to hitting the spacebar). I’ve not yet gotten a compression thing for it, but I have iced it up and all. I’ll have to keep an eye on this, but so far it’s doing well.

• While I don’t do it often, I damn near had a shoegasm over a pair in the latest Coward catalog. If I had the money to spare, there would be a pair of lace-up granny boots on the way to la casa right about now. I dunno what I’d wear ‘em with, but I’m build an outfit around ‘em, for sure.


Come see the rest of my collection on Ooga-Mooga• The image to the right is a cool, automatically-updated sort of thing that displays a random mug from my tiki mug collection each day. A silly thing, yes, but still something I can groove on. I really need to figure out the code for such, because I could set up something like this for the Remembering Our Dead Project.

• I’m back to tinkering with my hair, working on yet another vintage look. Nothing to show yet, and I don’t know if anything will come of it, but it’s certainly going to be easier than the last attempt! I’ve also been wearing my hair with some of the same parts as what the final will have, which has been a switch from my usual ‘do.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Posted: 6:26:00 PM
Where’d all this crap come from, anyway?

Random catch-up time. Not a lot to report that I didn’t already hit in my most recent batch of snippets, so this is probably more an errata than anything else. These two pix, for example, I shot recently, but forgot about them.

Bad and Good?

The first shot, to me, typified a lot of what seems wrong with the radical evangelical Christians running around out there. Not the American flag sticker, which is fine and dandy, but that other one. Maybe I’m reading too much into a humourous sticker, but I would not be surprised to find that there are plenty of folks out there with this “some animals are more equal” way of looking at their faith. Sad, really.

The second one isn’t intended as a counterpoint, even if it is in the same pairing. It’s a pair of “tightie-whitie” styled women’s panties, complete with a faux Y-front. I had to laugh.

I also pulled a couple other shots I took one recent evening, to update the Enchanted Tiki Bathroom page. It’s hard to get good shots of that room, given the lighting conditions. Still, I’m pretty pleased with these.

Meanwhile, much of the rest of the week will probably be spent consolidating materials on my drive, burning off back-ups, and so on. This can be a task, as I tend to be a digital packrat.

Heck, it took a few hours today just to update my organizer software — getting rid of scores of text clippings where I’d stored phone numbers and addresses for the last year or so — and clear off some of the “stickies” that clutter my computer’s desktop. Still a long row of those on here.

Still plenty more to tackle, including the impossibly large pile of e-mail that currently resides on my drive. Oh yes, and I need to get mailers out to “sell” me to the schools, yet again. Also, Transgender Day of Remembrance work, and back the Araujo trial. Never enough time!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Saturday, August 06, 2005

Posted: 6:50:00 PM

Mary of Snippets

• to answer the tag from that meme that [info]kara_h put on me, here’s ten things in a day that give you a moment of joy. In no particular order.

1. Bon, of course.
2. Idgie, especially when she cuddles close.
3. Little Car, especially for all the appreciative looks she gets.
4. Getting happy little e-mails.
5. Tossing on a good album or two, and enjoying the music.
6. A solid ‘net connection and somewhere to surf.
7. Being able to help others.
8. Having the ability to express myself.
9. Being in the right body configuration, which never fails to please me.
10. Not having to chronicle a new anti-transgender murder.

I’m not going to tag anyone further, but if you want to do it, by all means — play along.

• One of the two LaserJet 5si MX printers that were donated to the Remembering Our Dead project by CNET has now been presented to Female to Male International, which should make work on the FTM Newsletter that much easier. Needless to say, they were thrilled with this.

The other has finally been placed in its new home in the garage. It’s too big and too heavy to get into the office. Now I’ll just need a mile or so of CAT-5 to network it in. Well, really only about 25’ or so. I’ll cross that bridge, eventually.

• Clango, my “new” G4 tower, is also coming along — albeit slowly. I’ve installed the second drive into the case. It was originally named Twiki, then Dr. Theopolis, and is finally named 790. Fans of Lexx will get the reference. I may end up partitioning that drive, which will be named Marvin — the only time I’ve re-used a name, though the original Marvin was never in complete use ‘round here. Clango will we the residence of my first use of OS X, while 790 is slated for a healthy dose of good old fashioned MacOS 9.2.2. Should I get a fresh copy of VirtualPC, Marvin will handle those duties, and run the ol’ Windows.

Still needed on this will be a keyboard, a mouse, a monitor, a power cord, and, yes, software. Oh, and more RAM: this has 256 between two of the four slots, which is excellent — but Adobe stuff will require much more than that. I’m also going to have to get ahold of stuff like the latest StuffIt, the Adobe CS package, and the Microsoft trinity (Word, Excel, and the Holy Ghost, er, PowerPoint).

• My mom sent up the golden mouse ears, mentioned before, and did indeed get a pair of the July 17, 2005 ears. She was also kind enough to send me the guide for the day. I rather groove on the addition of the 1955 park guide within that publication.

• Yes, I have been wearing the gold Mickey Mouse ears around the house today. I trust you are not surprised.

• The next few weekends will be busy, with friends hitting town from Arizona next weekend, helping a friend move to Oregon the next, and a house party the weekend after that. Hey, that’s every weekend in August!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Friday, August 05, 2005

Posted: 4:30:00 PM
Hedwig is like that wall

If there is one thing the nascent transgender community excels at, it’s tearing down each other.

It is something I’ve seen since I first became a part of the community. I saw one person pushed out of a position of leadership at a local support group because — even though she sought to help others, and to provide a “big tent” approach to the community — she was a transsexual, and the group was predominately crossdressers. Therefore, it was concluded, she could never understand what they were going through and further, had no place within that group.

Thirteen years later, and I’m still seeing stuff like that, most recently between this blog and the website of Helen Boyd. I posted a simple note from her site, some words that a third part wrote about this weblog. Now frankly, as I said then, that person is more than welcome to her opinion, and I’ve got no quarrel with her.

What happened in the ensuing days was more troublesome, as people from both locales began to attack each other, even dragging Helen Boyd — whose only “crime” in all this is owning the website that had the original posts on it — into this mix. Beyond this, well, things got even uglier, much of which Helen deleted from her site.

Helen Boyd is a friend of mine. Our lives are different, and I suspect we look at some of the world a bit differently, but we both have a passion. We both give a damn. We both dedicate a lot of our time, energy, and resources into trying to help our community in the ways in which she can.

Helen, also, has written a rather handy book, discussing her views as the partner of a crossdresser. One that, in my opinion, is the best text out there on its topic. Certainly leaps and bounds above some of the books on wives and partners that came out in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and worlds apart from Virginia Prince.

She’s a good person, a caring person, and she’s trying to help this community. If you have some beef with her, heck, she’s not hidden out there, and can be contacted quite easily. Frankly, none of this was about her.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: our community is small, as far as those who are willing to hang around, lend a hand, be active, and be there for others is concerned. We need not be the ones to tear down our own advocates, because there are plenty of other folks out there who are more than happy to do that for us.

Also, here’s what Helen had to say on this, reposted here simply so I can say, ”Me too!”

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 11:04:00 AM
Hot Friday Links!

It’s Friday link time, once again!

Let’s begin once more (with feeling), and head into asshat territory. Consider, for example, this good driver, who decided to open the door of her moving vehicle in order to spit. Unfortunately, she leaned out a bit too far, and yes, did not have her seat belt on, and had to chase down her own car.

Somewhere in the realm between the wearin’ of the butt bonnet and being a scam artist lies this woman, who pretended to be Saudi royalty, spending nearly one million dollars in the process. What makes this deserving of the posterior porkpie is that she is suing the credit card company that gave her the card, saying that they should have known she was mentally incompetent due to sexual harassment and after-effects from 9/11. And personal responsibility took another sleeping pill and went back to bed.

Now then, to the fun stuff:

Where’s your spot in the order of succession?
Tempting, but I don’t think I’ll do this to Clango.
Now that’s what I call obsessive!
I had a lot of these sets when I was a kid.
Go on, you know you always wanted to be a bunny!
Amazing the things you can find at the thrift store.
I really, really wish this was a parody site.
Somewhere very close to being the ultimate geek project.
Because we could all use a little warning from time to time.
Now you can go hunting for Lundberg!
Yes, but why not Lovecraftian nature hikes?
Sad, but I actually remember this show.
What’s stranger than a Rambler?

Finally, why not give a clickie or two at the old Freedom Forum. I’d appreciate it!

Meanwhile, more to come, shortly. Got a long one to write, methinks!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Posted: 2:48:00 PM
Why, the nerve!

A question for those out there who might know a thing or two about the anatomy of the hand.

Roughly a week and a half ago, I started to have an intermittent, uncontrollable, strong twitch in the thumb on my left hand. It would often be while I am doing tasks that would cause some repetitive stress on said thumb. Specifically, having my thumb against the side of my computer mouse, where I use it to guide said hockey puck, and the television remote, where my hand is in a similar position, and the thumb is used to change channels.

From Sunday to today, this twitching had ceased, and everything seemed to be right as rain. Unfortunately, it just came back a few minutes ago.

Anyone have any ideas? I’m sure it’s a repetitive stress thing, but I’m looking for something I can do to take care of this, or cause it to cease. I mean, other than just slicing the thumb off, which would be a real bummer.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Posted: 11:23:00 PM

The Little Snippets

• Now that I have verification that I can indeed say who donated the computer and the printers, I shall. The benefactor in question is CNET, and I’m nothing but thankful that they’d support the Remembering Our Dead project.

• Our roomie is on a trip to visit relatives, and the Gwen Araujo trial is in recess, as the judge is on his vacation. This means I’ve actually had a bit of time this week to spend working on stuff at home without interruption.

Of course, it’s also helpful that the roomie is out of town, if only because her parking space is currently taken up by that pair of high volume laser printers.

• I’m tempted to get this shirt for Bon — but I kinda suspect it’d be frowned at in her workplace. Fairly warned says me: there be HP spoilers ahead.

• For those who do tarot, a reading from today. I use the Robin Wood deck, which is a lot like the Rider-Waite. I also use a five card spread.

I’ve already interpreted it as I saw fit, but you may have some intriguing thoughts of your own.

1 - Question: Page of Cups
2 - Background: Eight of Pentacles
3 - Seeker: Eight of Wands
4 - Environment: Page of Pentacles
5 - Answer: Nine of Pentacles

• I still wish I could friends lock via blogger.

• Random fact about me: I grew up less than a mile from a Nike missle base.

Unfortunately, information about such is fairly scarce on the web: I had been looking for a shot of the main building, which caused a bit of controversy in its day — thanks to the large, plywood caricature of a bikini-clad female. Well, it was originally topless. Once the Pomona Freeway cut near there, said image was visible from travelers passing through.

Once in my early teen years I snuck into the then-decomissioned site. The underground part of the facility — smaller than you might think — was interesting, if dank.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Posted: 10:43:00 PM
Welcome to the 21st Century

Introducing Clango, as well as Lou and Mary.

Clango, Lou, and Mary

These were graciously donated to the Remembering Our Dead Project today. The drive — tentatively named Clango — will be pressed into service before too much longer, allowing Gort (a circa 1997 6500/300) to finally retire. Clango also came with a secondary hard drive tentatively named Twiki (though Dr. Theopolis might be more apropos).

Lou and Mary are monstrously large printers. One of the two — Lou, naturally — will be further donated to Female to Male International, which will likely be using it to produce the FTMI Newsletter. Mary will remain, and be used for Transgender Day of Remembrance related activities. She might, however, be living in the garage, and be networked to the upstairs office: she’s a big-boned gal from Silicon Valley, too heavy for me to carry upstairs and too large to sit in the room with all the other equipment.

You will note one thing in these photos, however. There is no monitor, keyboard, or mouse with that drive, nor are there any power cords whatsoever. Doubly unfortunate is that the monitor, keyboard, and mouse I’m using are not USB compatible. So, alas, I will not be using this equipment immediately.

Still, once up and running, these will vastly modernise operations ’round here!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Monday, August 01, 2005

Posted: 10:36:00 PM
Sweetness and light?

An interesting day. Perhaps even what I’d call a good day — which may be surprising, considering both the beginning as well as the nature of much of the day’s activities.

I should back up just a bit. Knowing that Monday was yet another day in court for the Gwen Araujo murder trial, I pushed to get my column out of the way a bit early, and actually had it in the can prior to 10:00 p.m. or so. Given that I can often finish up around 2:00 a.m. or so on some nights, this actually is a bit of a feat. I was also very pleased with the way it came out, and expect it to go over well.

Yes, I know I have two weeks to write my column, and yes, I know that I could be working on my piece for the 21st of August right about now. It’s just not my style of writing. But I digress.

Fortunately or unfortunately, this timing dovetailed with a massive download of exotica (thanks for your help, [info]jenndolari), which didn’t get me off the computer until a bit before 11:00 p.m.

Now then, my day started around 3:00 a.m. this morning. I suspect that my five readers are smart enough to do their own math, and can tell just how little sleep I have had in the last, oh, twelve hours.

I had actually intended to get up at 4:00 a.m. to get ready, but this long-past-its-welcome heat wave got me up a bit before I’d planned. This actually benefited me, allowing me to get through some actual e-mail replies before I had to hit the road.

Things at court were, in a word, intriguing. Unlike the first trial where they seems more unified, the defense this time seems to be spending a lot of its time attacking each other. Even today, I watched defense attorney J. Tony Serra (representing Jason Cazares) do damage to a witness for defense attorney William DuBois (representing Jose Merel), while defense attorney Michael Thorman (representing Michael Magidson) spent a portion of his time arguing about testimony Jose Merel (under the direction of William DuBois, no doubt) gave the previous week. This is a good thing, because we want these attorneys attacking each other rather than work together against the Prosecutor, Chris Lamerio.

Due to certain elements with the trial today — mostly thanks to William DuBois and his seeming inability to get his witnesses there on time — there was a lot of extra time for socialising outside the courtroom. A good thing, as I rather do like to hang out with Gwen Araujo’s family. I loved the fact that I’ve managed to build this friendship with them, rather than my earlier fears that I would be seen as some sort of ghoul there to exploit their lost loved one. The food at Mr. Chau’s was good as well, and I enjoyed all the conversation with Imelda, Delilah, and John.

It was especially nice to get some time with Sylvia Guerrero, Gwen Araujo’s mom. This second trial has been tough on her, and as such she’s not been in the court all that often. She was there today, and pulled me aside for a while just to discuss all the things that have been going on with her.

There were other positive things today as well. Actually, quite a few. I may soon have a new (well, never — even OS X compatible) computer thanks to the generosity of a friend. I’ve been given a tentative green light (from the one person I’ve needed a green light from: some of you know this story) for a book project I’ve dearly wanted to do, and I’ve been having the pleasure of assisting a transwoman who is just really starting out — and watching her, well, grow.

Oh, and I would be remiss if I did not also mention that there was also a person in a neon green dinosaur fur suit on the BART train I took home. This too brought a smile to my face, especially as I watched the expressions of the tourists getting on at the Oakland Airport BART station.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to take my sleep-addled body off to bed, for some much-desired sleep.

Cheers,
Gwen

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