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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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Posted: 5:40:00 PM
“‘Holly Hobbie with a strap-on’ was my nickname in college.”

A very old photoI set out to write a very different type of post, related tangentially to the photo to the left and more about a post in a friend’s weblog from last night. For better or worse, though, my mind and fingers conspired to write a very different one.

See that kid to the left, standing out in a field of wildflowers, posing for dad? That was me. I’m not sure how old that photo is, mind you, but I am probably no older than five. There would be a whole lot of things in that child’s future, and that youngster would cease to be several times over.

I’m not that kid today. Not even close. There’s not a thing in that photo that exists in the same form today. That field is now the home of some 25-or-so old homes in a largely developed suburb of Los Angeles, and the plants are likely only memories (at best) to those who once saw them. The fashions pictured are long out of fashion, and while the clothes themselves may still survive (in some fashion!) in or around an orphanage in Rosarito, Baja California, I rather doubt it.

My Aunt once wrote about the processes of the body, and how every cell in our body is replaced every seven years. With that in mind, that kid has been replaced six, or possibly seven times. There is nothing pictured that remains a part of me today.

It is hard for me to look back at this child and feel a direct kinship. There has just been so much change. Yet there are things I can look at in that photo and see, ever so slightly, who I am today. The profile hasn’t changed much. The brows look a lot like they do today. Even the paunch of a belly remains, although I’d rather it was closer to the size shown in this old photo.

Just like this kid, and just like the replacement of cells, I am different on other levels. The way I looked at the world then — in a time before Watergate, the fall of Saigon, and even/odd license plates determining when you could buy gasoline — would probably be foreign to me today.

There are so many things that separate me from the world of that kid. That person is distant to me, beyond both who I am today, and before the experiences I typically equate with my childhood. In a lot of ways, I don’t know if that is good or bad. Heck, I’m not even sure what the metric would be to make such a determination.

Every day we change, and nothing remains the same. Cells are replaced. Experiences temper our beings. The society we live in reflects itself within us. We can change so much so as to be nearly unrecognizable.

There are times in my life where I wish the Gwen of now could go back and talk to me in the past. I’d like to let that struggling transwoman from the early 1990s know that she’ll do okay. I’d love to be there for that young Gwen who was victimised as an eight year old, and hold her tight. There are other times when I’d rather let things lie as they were. I’d rather the me I was in high school remain there. This young child in the above photo? I’d like to think that this was a time before a lot of troubles, and I’d prefer that it remain so.

I wonder, though, what the me of my future would tell the me of today? What lies around the corner? Will I end up as different to the me of that as of yet determined date as the child in that photo is to the me typing these letters?

Cheers,
Gwen

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Posted: 7:29:00 PM
Some seriously lucky feet!

How did I miss this tidbit? The Walt Disney company traded a sportscaster to NBC in exchange for the rights to Oswald The Lucky Rabbit.

For those of my five readers who are Disneyphiles, you may recall that it was the loss of Oswald in the late 1920s that led Walt to come up with a certain mouse character. The loss of Oswald was always something that has stuck in the Disney craw — but maybe now, not so much.

Will we be seeing a “Fab Six” in the future? If anything, the hare needs some real estate in Toon Town.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 5:27:00 PM
This week in “Bob”

This cold I’m fighting is in that altogether lovely phase where I start coughing up matter from my lungs. Altogether unpleasant, but given my track record, this is typically the last bits of unpleasantness before I’m better. Until then, I’ll be spending some time with my friend, Vicks DayQuil.

The weather here — a heavy-duty rainstorm courtesy of the good ol’ pineapple express — it not really helping me. It’s not a cold storm (as I type this it’s 61°), but it is rather damp.

Of course, my health issues are minor compared to what my mom’s dealing with right now. She has been largely incommunicado, being in a county-run hospital where she hasn’t even a phone at her disposal. My sister has been passing the information back and forth (thanks, Megs).

Anyway, I said they were probably going to pin the bone. That was entirely correct. There are, it seems, three breaks to contend with, and they can’t even necessarily see enough in the X-rays to really plan out the next steps. They’ll have to do that when they open her up. This all sucks.

In other family-esque news Bon now has a LiveJournal ([info]bonkinawolf). Not sure how much she’ll use it, but I know that there are many times she reads my LiveJournal friend’s list over my shoulder — so this will make said pursuit that much easier for her.

All of the above made writing the column a pain in the tuchis. I struggled through it last night, getting five-hundred words in and decided to toss it all and start fresh. The second try was better, but I still feel like I had to work a little too hard on this one. We’ll see how it looks on Thursday.

Other than that, not much to report. We got our state tax refund this weekend, much of which will catch us up on household bills and other needs. It also allowed me to gain a new purse, something I’ve needed for, well, almost as long as I’ve had my old one. Still in a holding pattern on the job, too, but I should be hearing something more this week.

I’ve got a couple other things I’m mentally massaging right now for tossing in here, so more soon.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Posted: 10:46:00 PM
Another little moment when I realise that I’m old.

Don Knotts passed away. Some remember him best as Barney Fife, or even as Ralph Furley on Three’s Company — but for me, it’ll always be The Incredible Mr. Limpet, with a dash of Luther Higgs from The Ghost and Mr. Chicken tossed in.

All of his films would often make it to the also ran stations in the Los Angeles basin, and my mom was always a fan of those weekend movie matinees on KTLA and such. He knew how to play the nervous guy long before Woody Allen brought his nebbish to the screen.

Yes, I know that [info]auntyjen will also want me to note that Don Knotts also performed in the film The Love God with my friend Aleshia.

I should also note that Don Knotts’ co-star in Cannonball Run II, the late Abe Vigoda, turned 85 yesterday. Thanks for all the fish, Abe.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 9:09:00 PM
As a child, you have a doll. You see this doll, sitting in her chair

I find myself somewhat inspired by a discussion I had with a friend of mine while sitting in a rather pretty garden in the world of Second Life this afternoon, where things tended to revolve around one’s childhood.

As I’ve discussed here before, I was a latch key kid. As soon as I hit the 4th grade and started attending middle school, I was given a key to the front door. It was a magenta-coloured, anodized key that lived on the same chain as the “identification tags” purchased through my elementary school. My parents were both trying to build my father’s photography business, so I would spend many an hour on my own after school — typically from 3:00 p.m. or so when school got out, all the way to nearly 7:00 p.m. in the evening.

For the first couple of years at Dean L. Shively School, they had an open campus. This meant that I was able to go home at lunch. I’d make the brief walk home, fire up the stove and cook myself some Chef Boy-Ar-Dee or Kraft Dinner while watching the noontime showings of The Gong Show or Family Feud.

It would be years before my sister would come along too: at this time, I was very much an only child.

We had this huge backyard. even through adult eyes, it was ginormous. We had an outbuilding that had served as my dad’s first studio and, before that, the home of the White Mountain Springs Railroad. There were two back lawns, a large patio, a rose garden, and a built-in swimming pool. I could build worlds out of a clump of dirt — and that much room afforded me a multiverse to call my own. I also had no shortage of books to read and toys to play with: there was plenty to occupy my time.

Yes, as I’ve mentioned before ‘round here, it was due to the freedom afforded to me during this time that I was able to not only learn about transsexuality, but I could explore my own girlhood thanks to some of the older dresses my mom had in a side closet as well as cautious use of her makeup. It amazes me to this day that I was never caught at that.

It’s due to this latch-key existence, though, that I find myself pondering if I had a “boyhood” or a “girlhood” — of if I can even consider it either. It is hard to gender those times when I was with myself alone, and able to explore my own world.

I have to highlight that: it was a time alone. My days at school were not pleasant ones, and all that made it much less likely that I would want to spend time playing out in the neighborhood. More than this, too, I was a bit Garbo-esque: I wanted to be alone back then. I saw little desire to spend time with my contemporaries. What, really, was the point?

It really wasn’t until my 7th or 8th grade years that I started to do any exploring in the neighborhood, usually spending part of my post-school time at the South El Monte Public Library, or skateboarding around the community center.

Of course, these too were solitary pursuits.

That said, I don’t look back at these as bad times — nor, for that matter, would I consider them good times. I’m a pragmatist, I suppose, and just look at them as what they are: a point in time in the history that makes me who I am. It’s these experiences that made me fiercely independent, and also have bred into me a strong introverted streak.

Do I wish I could have experienced life as a young girl? Yes, but I don’t know, really, how it might have been different. My high school years — which I intend to discuss in this journal in a couple months or so — would have been entirely different, but I’m not totally sure on my middle school and younger years. I suspect there would have been distinct differences at school — bullying me for being effeminate would not have had the same appeal, after all. But the time at home would have likely been able the same, all things considered, I suspect.

I cannot change what is. Perhaps if I had the ability to look into the universe next-door, well, I’d love to see the differences. That would be intriguing.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Friday, February 24, 2006

Posted: 10:44:00 PM
Closer to the bone

The latest on my mom: the hairline fracture I mentioned is located in a most unfortunate spot. The break is on the neck of the bone, just below the head. That’s the “ball” of the ball joint in the shoulder.

It cannot be put in a cast. They will be operating, likely to put a pin or other such thing to put ‘er back together.

This is scary to me. I know my mom is a tough person. She survived pneumatic fever and being hit by a truck as a kid. She weathered a tough upbringing, particularly when her mom and dad separated, and she had to live with a physically abusive relative. She’s always worked hard for every piece of ground she could manage.

She’s also sixty-four years old, and not as spry as she once was. Honestly, I worry, as there has been a lot going on in her life lately as it is, and this will only add to her stress — which will not help her heal.

I guess, really, this is just one of those times were I’m realising that my mom is mortal, and that kinda scares me. I mean, I know my folks will not be around forever.

Now I know that they won’t be here forever. I already had to deal with some of that with my dad, when he fought (and won) against bladder cancer. Yet I don’t like to think about it. I like to think of them being around.

Part of that, too, is that we finally seem to have a relationship, my mom and I, that is healthy and productive. This after all the stuff folks go through with parents as a teenager, then all that transpired during my transition. I fear losing that.

I’m reminded of what happened with my Cousin Robert, and how I managed to have a member of my blood family (other than Megan, ‘natch) also be a member of my chosen family — only to lose him a handful of months later.

What I really want is to just rewind this week. If anything, I could have called my mom and told her to watch out for that rug by the back door. Unfortunately, there’s no mulligans in the game of life.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 8:27:00 AM
Friday comes but once a week!

We’ve reached the capstone of the week, now let’s finish things off!

This asshat was apparently paying more attention to the conversation on her cell phone than the road ahead of her, and ended up losing her arm in the rather horrific accident that followed. How’s the phone? still clutched in the hand of the severed arm. I hope she isn’t roaming!

Now then, a helping and a half of fun links, to make up for the short list last week.

Very cool panorama photos. (QuickTime or Java required)
Katamari Damacy, the 2D arcade version! (Flash required)
How about a little toothpaste for dinner?
When iPods meet Pez dispensers, and more!
Be sure to see the video for the Off-Road Commode. (Windows Media required)
A place for John K’s stuff!
“Come Join The Fun” (MPEG Player required, possibly NSFW)
I’ll never again think of Idgie as overweight.
Speaking of Idgie, her first web page.
Download some pop music from the 10s and 20s!
I loved these Sesame Street characters. (Flash required)
End depression... via anal constriction?
So what is 42, anyway?
Everything you wanted to know about Yma Sumac! (Flash required)
If only we had a fireplace in the bathroom!
Get lost looking at some cool, old adverts.
Kill Bill meets Super Mario (Flash required)
Just looking at this page’ll make you feel geeky.
Uh... that looks like more than just a butt print. (Possibly NSFW)
How will Greg win the surfing competition now?
Freudian slip... pers!
The loneliness of the abandoned bicycle.
Because, admit it, you’ve always wanted to write in 1337.
Take a 1960s-era tour of Club 33!
No, I won’t be doing this to Little Car.
Gotta be a hoax, or a very old joke.
Must be seen the be believed! (NSFW, QuickTime required)

That should hold you for a while! Enjoy your weekend!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Posted: 5:31:00 PM
Hope floats

Just a quickie: I have heard from the GLBT non-profit I interviewed with: things were delayed at their office, hence the lack of communication this week. I’ll be hearing from them next week.

More soon!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Posted: 6:12:00 PM
Pity, party of three.

As I was writing that last entry, I got a call from my dad, letting me know that my mom fell at home, possibly dislocating her left shoulder. She’s at the hospital right now, getting checked out.

I’m still waiting for a call on the GLBT non-profit position. If I do not hear anything by tomorrow afternoon, I will be calling them.

Then, on top of everything else, I seem to have developed a case of the Martian death spore that’s going around. Not a pleasant little cold, if I say so myself. It’s one of many things helping to wake me up between 2:30 and 4:30 over the last several days, which probably explains a lot of those unusual time stamps on e-mails and LiveJournal comments recently.

(Update: Not dislocated. Turns out it’s broken. Worst possible time for it, too.)

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 5:57:00 PM
Gianna

Last night, Gianna Israel passed away.

I first came across her back when I was still running the Transgender Community Forum on America Online about a millennia ago. She was doing a regular column aimed at the nascent trans community, and I felt her “GenderArticles” would be a nice addition to the site. After a few e-mails, details were hammered out and the pieces begun to come up on the site. I even had her on once or twice as a guests in the old forum.

Since then, we’d kept in contact as best we could via e-mail and phone. She asked me to write a forward to a book project she had in mind. Eventually this became a different anthology project, and my role became one of several writers.

When she fell ill several months ago, the project was put on hold.

In all of this, I’d actually only met Gianna in person one time. Many years ago — I believe it was at a counter protest to Fred Phelps a company at San Francisco City Hall — I noticed this woman carefully off to the side. I approached her and said hi. She told me who she was, and that she’d come by to see me.

I was going to see her again today, but clearly that was a plan destined not to happen. She passed away around 8:00 p.m. last night.

No idea what is next. There may be some sort of memorial that will need to be planned. Those of us she tapped for the anthology are looking at completing it in her honour. Really, I guess it’s just too early to say what’s next.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Posted: 11:44:00 AM
Refresher course

Back from the long weekend, with not too much to report. I’ve already posted about Buffy Sainte-Marie Day, and it was also pretty evident over the last couple days that blogger.com was having issues, making it a challenge to get anything to stay up on my ol’ weblog.

The problem was that posts were posting, but were not saving to blogger.com’s own database. This meant that any subsequent update would wipe out the post that came before it. Most unpleasant. It looks to be fixed, now, and I’ve restored the errant postings to the ‘blog. There are still a couple duplications on the LiveJournal syndicated version — sorry LJers, it’s a by-product of how LJ aggregates feeds, I suspect.

Today, though, I’m back to nervously waiting to hear from the LGBT non-profit I’ve interviewed with, in the hope that there will be a second interview for yours truly. I’m hopeful, of course, but waiting always makes me worry. Natural habit of mine, I suppose.

Otherwise, not a lot to report about. Bon had to work yesterday, so we really didn’t do any special holiday things. Just business as usual ‘round here.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Posted: 2:02:00 PM
Evening-tide undulations

So yes, last night was the 2006 annual observance of Buffy Sainte-Marie Day. I’m mostly recovered.

Behold the Scorpion

For the uninitiated, the above is a scorpion bowl. It is a concoction of rum, brandy, and orgeat syrup, with orange and lemon juice. The volcano flame in the middle is provided by a dash of 151 rum. Oh, and somewhere in that bowl I’m sure, they pour a snootful of pure evil.

Of course, by the time we all split a scorpion bowl, most of our little crowd — [info]misti_de_novo, [info]jaquiregina, [info]widowhawk, [info]mcbrennan, [info]satoribee, Christine, Heather, Bon and I) — had already had quite a few different drinks at our disposal. This included mai tais, a mojito cubano, a zombie, a (single person) scorpion, a Gilligan’s island, a couple peachy chi chis, a pair of blue hawaiians, a rum and coke, and assorted non alcoholic drinks and glasses of water.

Bon and Gwen

Needless to say, Buffy Sainte-Marie was well toasted, as were some of our crew. I’ll not share too much here, though: what happens at the Conga Lounge stays there, etc. I do remember all the details, though. Even the whiffle bat story.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Posted: 8:23:00 PM
...and now, a girly moment.

Hair!I seem to be suffering from a case of bloggrhoea today. Three entries in one day!

(Entry reposted due to a blogger.com database problem over the weekend. Apologies to those who’ve seen this before)

As I was getting myself together, I happened to have a moment of musing on my hair. I realised that I’ve probably not told the whole story as to why I have such long hair here before.

It starts, like so many tales, with me as a youngling. I used to get into arguments with my mom over the length of my hair. She prefers a clean, well-groomed look and — as she believed me to be a young boy back then — this meant a hair cut each time my hair just began to stretch down to my collar.

I used to hate those haircuts. My mom would make sure that the hairstylist, Christina, knew that in spite of my protestations, my hair was to be short. It was never, mercifully, a buzz cut, but it was always short in length — far shorter than I ever wanted.

I guess I should not complain too much about it. At least I never had to go to a barber shop for a trim. No, my mom would take me to her regular salon. Initially, that was Playgirl Coiffures, a fine example of a late 1960s cum early 1970s salon. Big hair dryers, faux gold fixtures, orangey-pink walls, and so on. We then followed that stylist into her own salon, Lido something-or-other, which had the mirrors and ferns that dominated the ass end of the disco era.

But unlike any of styles I would have preferred, I always left with the exact same cut. All work up front — and not much of a party in the back, either.

It wasn’t long after I was out of the house that I started to grow it all out. My mom was beside herself with it, I’m sure, but that hardly mattered at that point. When I finally did come out to her, one of the earlier things she said was, “well, that explains why you grew your hair out.” Ya, well.

I’m not always the most femme woman out there. I tinker with car. I don’t wear skirts and am only rarely seen in a dress. It’s almost unheard of that I’ll be in heels, and if I am it’s only for a very special occasion. My long hair, however, is my one big “girlish” thing, that one thing that I was always denied as a kid, and now have that chance to do. I’ve let it grow, aside from a periodic evening out of the ends, for nearly fifteen years.

It’s actually gotten a bit too long for me now, and it’s likely that the next time I see my stylist, Darryl, I will ask for a fair amount of reduction. We shall see.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 6:41:00 PM

Four entries in search of a theme.

(Entry reposted due to a blogger.com database problem over the weekend. Apologies to those who’ve seen this before)

I.
I was driving home from the store yesterday — after getting some quick, last-minutes goods for the interview (like something to keep my blasted dress shoes from sliding all over the place) — I glanced into my rear view mirror to see that the SUV driver behind me was wearing oversized, comedy sunglasses.

I muttered, “oh, it’s gonna be one of those days.” To no-one in particular, of course.

It also reminded me of why I like living in the San Francisco Bay Area — because people will do things like have pillow fights in Justin Herman Plaza.

II.
The interview last night, as previously mentioned, went well. I felt very relaxed with the three people who interviewed me, in part due to the atmosphere of the workplace, and in part because I had met two of the three before.

Of course, G-ddess had to throw a curve-ball. All the drilling this week to try and be ready for all the common interview questions? Useless. They came up with some great and very different-from-the-norm question.

I actually feel this was better, overall, because it allowed me a bit more spontaneity. I was relaxed enough to give good answers, and was given things to answer that had some great substance. All that, well, only makes me wanna work there more.

III.
There was one question I wish we’d tackled in the interview last night. One thing I suspect might have been a concern with my background is that I am really known for my transgender-specific work. Or, more accurately, people only think of me for transgender-specific work. It’s a bit of a misconception, in my opinion, given that my work has often put me into GLBT circles, and that I first started doing activism over issues of religion in school back in my high school days. For better or worse, though, people assume that my sole focus is transgender-based work, and that I would not desire to work in a broader spectrum. Not true.

IV.
I’m busy trying to understand the concept of pecking orders. Well, that and the old crab pot analogy are something I’m always picking at, so it’s an ongoing part of my thoughts more than something that’s new to mind.

I was thinking of this today, looking at some blue collar worker’s work van, plastered with a pair of bumper stickers decrying all he has to pay into welfare. I found myself wondering why he was so passionate about such, versus looking at anything else that eats his paycheck.

Of course, this also led me back into both GLBT politics and dealings specific to the trans community. We’re always looking to fight with each other, and show that while we may be sneetches, but at least we’ve got stars on our bellies.

Indeed, I think this is why it’s why we have acronyms like GLBT in the first place. Not to show who is included, but to make sure people know who isn’t. This is why, IMO, phrases like “sexual minorities” are a hard sell. You’ll have people worried that this means that sexual minorities they aren’t comfy with will be included — not to mention you’ll never get the trans community to accept such a term in the first place.

Meanwhile, we stay small, and don’t look at those who benefit from all of us staying powerless and small.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 8:16:00 AM
Hey Hey, It’s The Friday!

Friday is here! Time for some fun!

First off, asshattery of a rather painful sort. Apparently, this fellow did not have access to viagra or all those other goodies, and decided that putting a pencil in his penis would be a good way to keep ‘er hard. Yes, this is a story that can only end in pain.

Now then, how about some fun stuff. A lighter list this week, as I’ve been busy “burning ants” over this job opportunity.

Valentine’s Day Cards from the Star Wars universe.
Up to thirty arms — but why do you even need one?
Caffeine makes for a better nap-time!
This looks like way, way too much fun... (QuickTime required)
...and so does this.
Because you’ve always wondered how Hitler would eat watermelon.
The best sci-fi films... that were never filmed.

There ya go! Enjoy your weekend and — at least for some of you — I’ll see you at the Conga Lounge for a little BSMD!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Posted: 10:46:00 PM
There was no planet we did not rock.

Home from the interview. If I say so myself, it went very well. I would dare say that if I don’t get this job, well, it will not be because of the interview.

More than this, I felt very comfortable with the people I interviewed with (there were three people: the executive, another staff member, and a board member), and would really like to work with them. It really seems like a good fit.

Next step: they have other people to interview, and they intend a second interview next week. They expect to hire in two weeks.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Posted: 4:47:00 PM
Better than Valentine’s Day?

Happy John Frum Day!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Posted: 11:59:00 AM
The St. Valentine’s Day Snippets

The most tasteless Valentine’s Day card ever. You may be offended. You’ve been warned.

• For those of you who might have a good answer to this: How many references is appropriate to have on a references list. You see, I’ve got around 10–15 available to me, but I’m not sure if that isn’t overkill. Then again, part of the position stresses building collaboration between other organizations, and most of my contacts reflect a “who’s who” of local LGBT and related organizations.

• Today is going to be spent focused on this possible job, yet again. In addition to the aforementioned reference list, I’m busy reading “201 Best Questions to Ask on Your Interview,” looking up information on AB 537, and working on my interview strategy. Yes, I’m taking this rather seriously, perhaps even to the point of mild obsession. I want this job, and I’ll do all I can to get it.

• I actually did it the other day. I now own a cell phone. It’s a cheap, little Motorola, wired into a “pay as you go” service.

I hate the damned thing. It’s nothing personal to the service or the phone: it’s just how I am about phones. No offense to those of you who love your phones — it’s just not my thing.

Only one person has the number to it other than me, and that’s Bon. So that’s okay.

• I’m rather looking forward to Buffy Sainte-Marie day this year. Of course, I hope that all goes well with the interview on Thursday, which will make it all the more fun on Saturday. Nevertheless, there is still likely going to be a Zombie in my future, if not some time spent with a scorpion bowl. Potent potables!

• Speaking of things tiki: I must have this dress. It’s a reproduction of a 1963 Enchanted Tiki Room hostesses dress, and I groove on it on so many levels. I love Humuhumu’s story about it all, too.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Posted: 1:58:00 PM
Yes, that scream you heard coming from East Bumblefu¢k was me.

They called. I have an interview for Thursday afternoon for this GLBT non-profit organization position I’ve mentioned a couple times. They sound quite enthusiastic about having me in for the interview.

Looks like its time to brush up on those interview skills, and get my references together. I wish I had a chance to get my my hairstylist before then, but I’ll do what I can.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 3:39:00 AM
Five percent for nothing

I’m seriously keyed up about that GLBT non-profit job I mentioned last Thursday. It’s not what woke me up at 2:00 a.m., but it is what has helped keep me awake.

I keep thinking of how perfect the job would be for me. All the requirements fit me, all the duties are things I would want to do, and the pay is well above my baseline.

It’s better than collecting owl vomit, that’s for sure.

Of course, I could be totally out of luck with it. All I’ve done is submitted my résumé, as may have plenty of other talented, qualified people. For all I know, there could be other folks within the local office of said organization who are gunning for the same job, and who may that much better of a chance at getting it thanks to their connections.

I actually tried to work off some of the anxiety yesterday. Bon and I washed Little Car, we finished our taxes (the last of my 1099-MISCs finally showed up this week), I organized my desk, I finished Leslie Feinberg’s new book (I have an advance copy, as I’m reviewing it), and I cranked out my column.

I hate being this keyed up about it, though — though I do look forward to them setting up an interview with yours truly.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Posted: 3:01:00 PM
Mauoli Hanau, Buffy!

Yes, it’s that time again. Buffy Sainte-Marie Day is nigh!

To Buffy Sainte-Marie!

Don’t be scared of the spiffy Photoshopped artwork (her arm is pastede on, yay!) — it’s really an informal gathering for no better reason than to gather. Consider stopping by and trying some of the best tiki libations in the local area (at least until Forbidden Island opens). We don’t bite (unless asked).

The Conga Lounge is also very BART friendly (very handy, given the potency of their zombies), and has its vibe in the right place. So why not pop by?

Oh, and why Buffy Sainte-Marie? I told the story last year. The short version: why not?

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 12:51:00 PM
Friday Time Again!

Although delayed by a Blogger.com server issue, well, it’s Friday, and it’s time to make with the fun links!

Asshats first, of course. Rather than Danish cartoons and the Muslim reaction to same, let’s begin in Council Bluffs Iowa, with this wonderful example of humanity. He’s accused of kidnapping his own wife and downloading child pornography. The best — well, worst — part? His “Contract of Wifely Expectations.” Unbelievable.

Then there’s the teacher who opted to showed a 33-year-old movie on Faust, the opera. You can guess that a whole lot of hilarity ensued from parents accusing the teacher of promoting devil worship.

Me? I’m promoting fun links. Here’s they are:

From Disco-Tex and his Sex-O-Lettes to The Goldwaters.
I can think of far more than just 50.
Am I Spock... or not?
Not only a Legomaniac — but also a serious geek.
For those with donut cravings. (QuickTime required)
Vintage lingerie seriously rocks.
You know it would happen: FSM tentacle pr0n! (NSFW)
The four horsemen were last seen mounting up.
The good old one-trick ponies! (Flash required)
Nowadays, you can put a PC into anything.
Why I looked at my dad’s Playboys as a kid. (NSFW)
You know it would happen someday.
Stephen Colbert’s novel — now downloadable!
Seriously cool chalk art.
This guy works with a bunch of dummies!
I wish this was a bit longer, and an MP3. (Flash required)
You can tell it’s for women, ‘cuz it’s purple!
“These young squirts are sure all wet!” (NSFW)
You look like you need an overload of cute.

That’s it! No idea what’s with all the pornish stuff in there, but enjoy — and have a fab weekend!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Posted: 8:39:00 PM
The New What Colour Is My Underwear.

A couple hours ago, I heard about an opening within a local GLBT non-profit organization. One that is local to me (even more local than San Francisco proper), that sounds like a challenging and wonderful opportunity, that pays well, and that I have what looks to be the perfect skill set for.

Of course, the deadline for résumés is tomorrow, which is why I’ve spent the last several minutes re-writing my basic résumé, trying to tailor it to the position. This is ironic, considering that in most positions out there, discussing my work in transgender community stuff would be a liability.

Let me tell you about yesterday. I wasn’t originally going to discuss this here, but I went to a job fair yesterday at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center. I had to leave fairly quickly after getting there, but not due to any time constraints. I just felt totally out of place. My résumé is not going to get me an administrative assistant position at California Pacific Medical Center — even if they would hire me.

I left there pretty quickly, and I suspect some of the other transfolks found me rude that I didn’t really seem to be interested in socialising. I’m sure that anyone who happens to be looking for gainful employment goes through a lot of self-worth stuff — but I’m also sure that those of us who are transgender get a heaping helping more than anyone else out there. If anything, it was the wrong place for me to be yesterday, because I swear they were playing KFKD on their overhead speakers: I’m a sucker for K-Fu¢ked.

Mind you, yes, I still do indeed have the opportunity at the school. I’ve not given up on it, they have not given up on me. It’s just taking some time, and now were at the stage where I need to shell out money that I don’t have for fingerprinting and a T.B. test.

Yet this other position, the one I mentioned up top, is just so right. Indeed, it feels almost too right, and I find myself worrying, too, that I should not get any hopes up for it. That way, when I don’t get it, I won’t be all that disappointed. Some attitude, eh?

That said, it could just as quickly be a message from G-ddess, giving me what-for over my attitude yesterday. “I told you she had a sense of humour”, as the Meteron said.

So tonight, I’m finishing up this résumé revision, and finalising my cover letter. It will go out via fax either tonight or tomorrow. Good vibes are most appreciated.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Posted: 2:00:00 PM
Are you lost if nobody’s found you?

So I’m heading down Market Street on my way towards the Civic Center BART station. I was in a bad mood, but that’s a story for another time. I’ve got the iPod on, and George Harrison is singing about his gently weeping guitar.

Just before I hit the escalator down in the station, a woman with a piece of rolling luggage stops me. She a little short than I, probably around 5’ 10”, African-American, thin-framed, and attractive. She speaks with a British accent, saying that I look like the person to ask, and querying me if she can get to SFO from BART.

I tell her yes, and give her the quick directions: downstairs, head to your left, get a ticket, go in the station and wait for an SFO train on Platform 1.

Of course, this was way, way too much information in one quick burst, so I tell her that I’ll show her what she needs to do. I take her downstairs to the BART fare machines, show her how to get her ticket, and lead her toward the platform. She was very grateful for all the assistance I was giving her, and complimented me profusely.

It was at the BART ticket machines that it dawned on me that this woman and I had something in common, history-wise. When we descended to the platform, she also mentioned such in some veiled comment about how “us girls” need to stick together or some such.

She was on her way to the airport after visiting the City, and on her way to Sydney for Mardi Gras. We talked for a while, about how the City has changed (when she last hit San Francisco, the Motherlode was still around), and the state of things in the States in general. We also exchanged contact info.

She also let me know that if I do make it to the UK, I’ve got a place to stay.

I’m not sure why all that happened, but being a believer that little happens without a reason, I’m sure it will eventually come back to me.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Posted: 11:19:00 AM
Suck it, Punxsutawney Phil!

In case anyone ever wondered why I live in California, in the San Francisco Bay Area, here’s the reason: this is my weather Dashboard Widget from around 11:00 a.m. this morning.

Dashboard

Clear and sunny. Temps in the upper 60s farenheight.

I’ve spotted my first robin, and lesser goldfinches have been eating in the yard. Bon and I had a barn owl flying over us during our nightly stargazing. All the trees are already in bloom.

Some much for those six more weeks!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Posted: 6:11:00 PM
I’m no Shehezerade

A couple acquaintances recently suggested I write an autobiography. This is something I have long been opposed to. Here’s some of my reasons why.

Over the last fifty years, there have been countless transgender autobiographies and biographies written. Some of these are pretty good, and many of them are downright awful — but each of them, in their own way, already tells a lot of my story.

If you look at what makes such a text interesting, it all falls along well-worn lines: exposition, conflict, resolution. We get all the early history, all the strum und drang of the difficult formative years spent trying (and often failing) to conform. We then have the time spent trying to rectify all this, and the increased trauma of going into a gender transition. Finally, we have the transition itself, capped off with a brief chapter or two to wrap things up and reassure the humble reader that all is resolved and life is now happy.

On one hand, I can look at my own story and see how it can fit that same narrative. That it can makes me less interested in writing it. You want my story? Read the biographies that are out there, and you’ll get the basics.

On the other hand, much of my story is messy. Fitting it in that narrative erases some of the more complex moments, and also erases the fact that I’ve probably been through more “notable” times post-GRS than before.

This also raises the next point. Just how much that I’ve experienced is really of note? I actually do not see my life as being all that remarkable. Others may disagree with me on that, but I find it hard to examine my own experiences and see Where the moments that make a good story come into play.

Writing such a thing seems — to me — like a product of ego. That one feels their story is interesting enough for other people to want to snap up a copy of it. For better or worse, I really don’t operate with much of an ego around such things. I can’t see how my story would even be interesting enough.

When I do my column, sure, I rely on my own life experience. I use them, though, to explain an opinion or an issue. This is where I think my strength lies. I’m an observer, in my opinion, more than I am an active participant. Such would preclude an autobiography, I would think.

All this said, I ask you, the reader: am I off-base here, or spot on? I’d especially like to hear from other writers on this — but I also suspect that a lack of replies will also answer the question nicely.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Posted: 8:47:00 PM
The cold, itchy millet of reality

The other morning, I had the oddest dream, involving a late 70s made-for-television Star Wars television show, that paired Darth Vader and Han Solo on their own ship, which looked like a cross between the orb room thing of Vader’s and the Millennium Falcon. Meanwhile, the rest of the original cast was on some other big white ship, where they had a kind of Love Boat storyline. Cruise Director Leia, Purser Luke, and your Bartender, Chewbacca.

Mercifully, I woke up, safe in the knowledge that there would never be any bad made-for-TV stuff from the Star Wars universe. Oh, wait.

Anyway, it was the usual provision run today, which contained few outstanding moments worthy of inclusion here. Well, except perhaps for the guys who were grooving on Little Car as we drove down the road (this happens relatively often), and the stop at the thrift shop which garnered us a three-volume set of albums on the Illuminati. Conspiracy nuttiness, ahoy!

Also, as a special treat, thanks to a killer price on whole, cooked dungeness crab, Bon and I feasted on fresh sea bug.

Oh, I found out today as well that my most recent column has been excerpted — heavily excerpted — on the fan site for Zachary Travis.

Otherwise, it’s been a quiet, mild day ‘round here. I’m pondering some other things that may eventually become entries in the near future — but nothing just yet.

Cheers,
Gwen

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Posted: 9:10:00 AM
‘tis Friday, and the slithy links!

Friday time again, and links galore are in your near future! First though, it’s a bumper crop of asshats.

I know I’m a long-time Apple nut, and therefore have my biases, but I’ve gotta start with this fellow, who apparently does not know how to control the volume on his iPod — and thinks Apple owes him a new set of ears for it. Who needs personal responsibility, anyway?

Of course, there are also the fine folks of AT&T and Verizon, who seem to be want to wring more money out of the Internet. The site is a bit over the top, but the message is clear: this has gotta be stopped.

Now then, there’s also these three teens who — after getting probation from a judge due to their prom-night drinking, went out and got drunk. What makes this worthy of a buttock bonnet? They posted the photos of same, including drunken ridicule of the judge himself. Welcome to your jail time!

Finally, the story of a fellow who had to ditch his plane in the ocean, “surfing” back to the mainland on the driver’s door. A heroic tale worthy of a James Frey book? Perhaps, given that the “ditched” plane is safe and sound in its shipping crate.

Now then, on to the fun stuff.

I remember the stir these album covers caused in their time. (Possibly NSFW)
A dandy way to display a very nice scrapbook.
This is the ultimate! (Flash required)
Steve Jobs, the icon. Er, icons.
MP3s: Devo with Neil Young, and Electric Boogaloo! (MP3 player required)
Have a word with Flickr!
Actually, I think the missile launcher is rather cool.
A better deal that a Nigerian 419 scam?
Some very absorbent slippers.
Cy the cat — including an adorable t-shirt!
This animation is... so gay. (Flash required)
How do you do “10 sexiest robots” and miss Maria?
“We’re smashing high prices!” – Fred Rated (QuickTime required)
I gotta get a Mooby!
A fascinating collection of famous edited photos.
Get hooked on David Hasselhoff’s feeling! (Flash required)
These are the absolutely coolest ‘bots... ever.
Now I know how I’d like to paint a room.
I just love sites by nuts. Really, I do.
Remember: Wildcat Loves You.
Getting a tattoo? Don’t get these.
What is it with people putting dolls in compromising positions? (NSFW)
Timing is everything.

Another lengthy list — enjoy, and have a good weekend!

Cheers,
Gwen

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Posted: 3:25:00 PM
Barbie, Zachary, and Baby New Year.

For those who watch for such things, I have updated the writing section of my website, in order to include the three most recent Transmissions columns.

I am particularly pleased with the pieces on Hollywood and Barbie, even if the latter is a bit “fluffy”.

Cheers,
Gwen

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All text copyright © Gwen Smith, not for republication without permission.


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