Thursday, April 30, 2009

What I've Been Up To

I've dropped a couple of notes the last couple of days about news items, but nothing about myself since my accident Saturday morning. I spent the weekend in bed, rising only to watch a little TV and surf the net. I did get in a little "Living Dead" on Halo 3 on Sunday, and wrapped another campaign on Mass Effect. I've racked up almost all of the achievements for that game. I just wish Bioware would finish the sequel; nothing else in the Xbox universe seems half as interesting as this series.

The junkyard trip yielded nothing, so we fell back on cosmetic repairs to the truck which will have to hold until I can afford new parts.

I did take a nice little stroll to the library Tuesday afternoon, in search of something new to read. I didn't find anything to my liking, but the walk in the outdoors was nice.

As of now I'm back to work. I spent most of the last five hours catching up on my paperwork (four days worth). Now that's all out of the way, and I'm killing time till folks start to check out. I'm working straight through the weekend (again) but it looks like I'll be able to attend my New Life meeting Saturday evening. I'll have to pull off some quick-change artistry to get out of femme and back into homme, but I've done it before. Clark Kent ain't got nothin' on me. ;)
Besides, I'll be relieving the FNG (my relief auditor) on the desk. It'll be interesting to see how he reacts to me in my favored form.

Before I forget, I must apologize for not answering my email last week. I fell into a kind of funk, which may or may not have had anything to do with my illness. As I said way back at the beginning, sometimes I have good days, and sometimes bad. Caroline, I did have a look at your photography. It's beautiful stuff. I only wish I could zip over to Scotland and see the stuff up close and personal. The web images are great, but I like to experience art in the flesh whenever possible.

Matthew Shepard Act Passes the House

The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 has passed in the US House of Representatives. Now it goes on to the Senate, and from there to President Obama's desk. Obama wants to sign this thing, unlike his predecessor, so the Senate better not frak this thing up. Before the vote, Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) made a speech where she claimed that the 1998 attack on Matthew Shepard was a simple robbery, rather than a hate crime. Is she a Ditto-head? Or a Newscorp sock puppet? Matthew Shepard's mom was sitting in the gallery, not too far away. Keith Olbermann named her his "Worst Person in the World" tonight.

Monday, April 27, 2009

No One is Safe

It seems the "Craigslist Killer" wasn't just looking for GG dates. I'm not sure I approve of hooking up via the same site where I unload my old video game systems. I had a look at some of the personals on there. Ewww. I'm not going to try to tell anyone how to live their life, but please, ladies and gentlemen, be careful out there.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Had an Accident

I had a little accident this morning. Last night was, as I think I mentioned before, the last of eight worked in a row. Due to a combination of circumstances, I was not relieved at work until 1030 in the morning. Sometime over the course of my shift, I came down with gastroenteritis, one of those 24 to 48-hour stomach bugs. Three different times from 0400 to 0900, I spent time in the restroom making donations to the porcelain god. I went one more time before I left the job. I was feeling tired and drained, but I was okay to drive. Or so I thought.

It was very warm when I left the hotel this morning. So warm that I should have let the truck air out before taking off. Alas, I had been at the hotel for nearly twelve hours, and I was sick, and I just wanted to go home. I rolled the window down, blasted the fan, and cranked the radio. In an ironic turn of events, one of the songs that played on the way home was Lady Gaga's "Just Dance", with that line "I can't see straight anymore". I was a mere mile from home, exiting the Western Freeway onto London Boulevard, when I blacked out and hit a guardrail.

There's nothing like a sudden burst of adrenaline to startle one into wakefulness. I think I OD'd on adrenaline. I couldn't stop trembling. I managed to drive home, where I discovered that I smashed the left front parking light and the left rear turn signal/brake light.

I was uninjured, but the adrenaline on top of my stomach bug just made me queasy. My brother and a mechanic friend of ours are going to pick through a junkyard tomorrow to see if they can locate replacement parts. Unfortunately, this puts paid to my airshow trip, because they won't let you onto any military base in a vehicle with that sort of damage. My gastro thing seems to have run its course, but I'm not sure that wandering around the ramp at an Air Force base in the hot sun all day is such a good idea anyway. If I'm feeling up to it, I might wander down to the riverfront and play tourist for a bit, taking pictures of statuary and boats and whatnot.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Small World

I met another transwoman last night, at work. She turned out to be someone I checked in in drab about a week ago. She came down to the lobby shortly after I came on shift and asked if it was okay if she hung out in the lobby en femme. I took a moment to see how she was dressed (a sweater and skinny jeans with pumps) and told her it was cool. Then I told her I was trans, and she relaxed.

It was busy last night, but between dealing with assorted guests and their lunacy, I got to chat with her a bit. She lives overseas as a civilian contractor with the military, but occasionally returns to this area for business. She doesn't know of any support apparatus where she is stationed, so I consulted my online references, and showed her a couple of links. Naturally I threw in a link to this little work in progress. ;)

After a little while, she disappeared up to her room and returned in a different hairpiece. She asked if I could take her photo, so she could see how she looked. I was happy to; any excuse to handle a camera is a good one.

This little interlude eased the loneliness I've been feeling. It's always nice to make a connection.

Before I forget, I managed to get my way regarding this weekend. I reminded my boss that I had put in a request (a month ago) and that I've worked six weekends in a row. It took some surgery on the schedule, and made it so I've had to work eight nights in a row (tonight is number 8), but I'll be able to go to Langley this weekend. Plus, I'm getting to borrow a decent camera, so I'll have photos to show.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!

Allen Andrade was convicted of first-degree murder and of a bias-motivated crime in the murder of Angie Zapata. This story has been covered elsewhere by better writers than me, but I had to get my word in when I heard the news.

My Followers

I just wanted to drop you all a line. In the beginning of this blog, my only followers were friends of mine, people I see in person on a regular basis. Then a few more came in who are more long-distance. The rest are people I don't know at all. That's cool, I suppose, but I just wish I knew a little more about you. My email is listed in my profile. If it's not too much of a bother, could you please drop me a line? I'm feeling a little lonely out here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Because I Said Something

In my last post I bitched and moaned about not getting off to see the airshow at Langley next weekend. We've been petsitting for my dad the last week, and Saturday afternoon I was out walking the dog, when I heard the unmistakable roar of piston aircraft engines, approaching fast from the southeast. I looked up just in time to see a B-25 Mitchell

flying wingtip to wingtip with a P-51 Mustang

They were flying really low, and when they were directly overhead, I could feel the rumble of the engines deep in my chest. I watched them from the moment they appeared over the roof of my building until they disappeared over the horizon. I see and hear jets all the time, but there's something primal about the sounds of the old machines. It also warms my heart when I think about the love and pride of the people who keep them in the air.

I'm still going to be miffed if I can't go next weekend, but I've been partially mollified.

Addendum: I completely forgot to mention that I talked to my supervisor on Monday, and we reworked the schedule so I'll be able to go. I've also managed to secure a camera for the weekend, so I'll be able to take (and share) pictures! I guess a girl can get a break.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sometimes a Girl Can't Catch a Break

In lieu of anything really going on in my life, I have spent some of my most recent posts griping about work. This is more of the same.

I don't mind working weekends if I have to. For a long time when I worked in Charlotte, I couldn't get a weekend off to save my life. It reached a point where I stopped thinking of weeks the way most people do, because my breaks always came midweek, rather than weekend.

Since I took over the full-time auditor slot at this hotel, I've had most weekends off. I lost my regular part-time relief auditor almost two months ago. A part-time person filled in the first weekend after that, and I have worked every consecutive weekend since. I just looked at the schedule for next weekend, and discovered I am working yet again.

A month ago, I put in a request off, so I could attend the Airpower over Hampton Roads airshow at Langley Air Force Base next Saturday or Sunday. I'm set to work Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so it looks like it's not happening. I suppose it's just as well. I haven't been able to secure a decent camera since my A330 died, and attending an airshow without a camera is an exercise in futility.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Not Quite

I was standing up at the front desk at work yesterday, and one of my female coworkers asked me about something, I forget exactly what. One thing led to another through the course of the conversation, and I ended up blurting out, "I'm transgendered!"

There was the briefest of pauses, and she said, "Jaye, I never would have guessed you used to be a woman."

I guess I can understand her confusion. I present as a man most of the time, but I wear earrings and long, polished nails.

So close, yet so far away.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Another Magazine Story

I have a subscription to Esquire. I've been reading the magazine since the early 90s, and I've been a subscriber for about eight years. When I was younger, and still wrapped up in trying to be a man, I read this magazine religiously. It was like a bible of masculinity. There are a ton of men's magazines out there. I picked up this one when most of my fellows were reading Maxim, FHM or Stuff. Esquire is like those magazines, but not much. It's written for a more mature audience. Not much more mature (it is written for men, after all).

Anyway, the theme of the May 2009 issue is "How to Be a Man". I'm reading it, but not because I want to be a man. There are some interesting bits in here: a couple of recipes, some interviews with various persons, and a series of very striking portraits. Other than that, I'm overdosing on the testosterone. It is as though I've lost all capacity to be interested in the material. The "Funny Joke from a Beautiful Woman" isn't even funny this month.

I've never been what anyone would call a typical male, anyway. I'm not interested in sports. I can do some basic auto repairs, but I'm happier if I can pay someone else to do it. I'm an airplane nut, but my interest over time has grown away from performance specs towards a purer appreciation based on aesthetical considerations.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Not Much Going On Here

My last post wasn't intended to be "Alas, pity poor me", but I fear it came out that way. I don't have anything on the go right now. I was off from work the last couple of days, and I'm working through the weekend. I went in for a couple of hours yesterday morning for training, and afterward went to get my nails done. This occasioned an impromptu shopping trip, as I went to the job in close-toed shoes, and forgot to bring a pair of flip-flops. There's an Old Navy just up the street from the job, and I ran in there to get some cheap flip-flops. Naturally, I managed to find a pair with wedge heels. I could have spent a lot of money in there, but I restrained myself. On the way out of the store, I did snag a purple Earth Day tee shirt.

The nail salon hadn't been open long when I went in. It was my first visit in three weeks, so they were happy to see me. Really happy, as I got the works: mani (and I needed a fill-in on my acrylic thumb), pedi and eyebrow wax. I had them do my toes with OPI Teal the Cows Come Home, which is kind of festive. You can see it in the photo above. It's like a party going on all the time.

Edit: I want to point out that the nails in the photo above are not mine. That photo is just the prettiest illustration of the color I could find. My fingernails are actually painted in OPI Bubble Bath, which is a really sheer pink. It's very subtle, which means I can wear it to work and no one hassles me.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Love and Marriage

This is a little something I wanted to write about, but was waiting for a cue from outside. A couple of days ago, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the state's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. On top of that, I just finished watching a documentary on MSNBC: "Born in the Wrong Body - Tying the Knot". It told the stories of two couples trying to get married: one half of each couple was transgendered, a transman in one, and a transwoman in the other. It was nice seeing these people get to places they wanted to be in their lives, and to see them finding real love. I miss love.

I wasn't involved in too many relationships before I got married. I've written before of what a disaster my marriage was. I will not soon repeat that. The first few years after D left, I told people that I didn't want to get into another relationship. I was finally on my own, and I didn't want to enmesh myself with another person until I sorted myself out. I occasionally met someone who found me interesting, but that interest always evaporated after they found out about me being trans. I've also met a few people who didn't want to be with me because I'm pre-op. I don't know that I'm ever going to be post-op, so if that's going to be an issue, it's here to stay, the period at the end of my sentence.

On a related note, I was propositioned in the parking lot at Wally World last spring. I was putting my groceries in the truck when this car pulls up. The window slides down and this brother (can a white girl call a black man a brother?) tells me that he was "checking me out" in the store, and was wondering if we could "hook up". All at once, I was both flattered and put-off. I took a breath and told him I was in a relationship, and that my girlfriend didn't like boys. I was telling a story, but oh how I wished it was true. He drove off in a huff. Afterwards, I realized he just wanted sex, quick and dirty. I haven't had sex in almost six years.

I can only imagine the species of hell I might've experienced these last few years if I had still been attached to someone. I see the travails of my friends in those circumstances, and I feel empathy, but I wouldn't want to be where they are for anything. It's a good thing, I guess, that I have no children. It's going to be exciting enough trying to explain to my nephews that their uncle wants to be their aunt. There is one being in this world who accepts me unconditionally, regardless of what I'm wearing, and that's Spot, my cat. As long as I keep him fed, we're good.

In the meantime, I have met a few lovely people who like me and support me, and are totally okay with my transness (is that a word?). Most of them, alas, are in good, strong relationships, though. When I was younger, I might've approached them. I was a big believer in the second coming of free love in the early 90s, and I was bi and open to open relationships. Now though, I would never poach on somebody else's relationship. I'd rather fall on my sword. People keep telling me that a special someone is out there, but I don't know that I believe in that any more than I believe in everyone's favorite Imaginary Friend.

That's enough of that.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Messing Around With the Blog

Don't get used to the photo at the top. I'm just playing with the layout a bit. I have scads of photos on my computer, but I don't have very many that I've taken, that don't have jets or machines or fuzzy creatures in them. I've dabbled in landscape photos a bit, and this one was taken in 2007, when I was still living in Charlotte. I call it "Angry Sky".

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Let's Go to Iowa!

Yesterday, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a ten-year old law banning gay marriage is unconstitutional. You can read about it here:

The only way to overturn this would be to amend Iowa's constitution, and any amendment must be passed by two consecutive sessions of the Iowa General Assembly. Each session lasts two years, so it would be 2012 before such an amendment would pass, if such a bill were able to be raised and passed during the current session.

In case anyone wonders, I'm not trying to turn this into "Jaye's Gay Blog". Gays aren't in exactly the same boat as transpeople, but I feel like we're traveling in the same direction, more or less. Good news for one party may lead to good news for the rest of us. Maybe Obama will move forward with ENDA as part of healthcare reform. One can only hope.