Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Talkin' Bout a Revolution

Is this how it begins?

I was at work Sunday evening, and it was quiet enough at times that I could listen to the background music that was playing. I've talked at times about how mellow and downtempo the overnight mix is. The afternoon/evening mix is poppier, featuring a lot more mainstream pop music, and the songs are spread out further in time, with stuff from the Seventies and Eighties strung out amidst the more contemporary material. I was coming back to the desk from running some supplies to a guest, when I caught a snatch of Tracey Chapman's "Talkin' Bout a Revolution". There's a line that goes, "Finally the tables are starting to turn."

That brought tears to my eyes. I have tears in my eyes all the time now, and I don't know how to make them go away. It's not all internal. I'll try to explain.

There's an ongoing court case in Texas. Nikki Araguz, a widowed transwoman, is fighting to get her late husband's (a firefighter) suvivor benefits. Her in-laws are trying to get the money themselves, and they've hired attorneys to get the court to void the marriage by finding that Nikki isn't really a woman. This makes me angry to no end, but what can I do about it from here?

Over the weekend there was a political shindig in Las Vegas called Netroots Nation. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) participated in some sort of Q & A. She was pressed on the issue of getting Congress to act on ENDA. Her response was to say, "Make me." I know it wasn't intended as a taunt. Rather, she wants the LGBT community to make noise with their Congresspeople, to drum up the money and votes that'll be needed to pass the legislation. I tried that back in the spring. I sent an email to my new Floridian Congressman. It was a form email, because I couldn't muster the words to personalize the message. Naturally, his office sent back a form response.

From where I stand, the tables don't seem to be turning at all, and certainly not in our direction. I just don't know what to do about it. I barely have control of my own life, so how am I supposed to make the government do anything?

I keep hearing that Congress is more concerned with jobs and the economy. As I see it, ENDA is a jobs and economy issue. How many of us are in the closet because we know we can and will be fired if we make ourselves known? How many trans people are out in the world working shit jobs for little pay because of legally-sanctioned discrimination? If we could all get decent jobs and not worry about our job security, wouldn't we have more money, and funnel that money back into the economy?

Sometimes I feel like I don't have any recourse. I don't own a weapon, and I don't know that I'd do anything with one if I had it. I don't want to become a "Ticked Off Tranny" with a gun, but I'm tired of falling back.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

World War II: Worst TV Series Ever

I didn't write this. I don't even know the writer. A friend of a friend's friend pointed me toward it, and I feel compelled to share.


That's some of the finest satire I've read in a long time.

Around the World

I've written here a few times about my ongoing war with spam commenters. The first fake comments came from Chinese spammers, sending links to their chat/porn sites. A few days ago, I got one leading to a Japanese porn site. Saturday evening I got two comments saying "You have a nice blog," along with links to what appears to be a Polish-language banking site. I say "appears" because I don't trust anything I can't read.

This makes three countries I'm getting readers from, in addition to the legitimate site traffic. This is a positive thing, right? My blog is at least being seen by other people, even if it's not the audience I'm looking for. This reminds me, I need to look at Google Analytics. I haven't checked in a while.

Apparently, I Write Like Cory Doctorow

I write like
Cory Doctorow

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

For anyone who doesn't know, Cory Doctorow is a blogger and a science fiction novelist. I am embarrassed to admit that I picked up one of his books and couldn't get into it. Does anyone else have that problem with my writing?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Makeup Test

I haven't worn makeup since January, but I've tried to maintain my supplies and refresh from time to time with new products as they catch my eye. I tend to stick with stuff that works, but every once in a while I'll try something totally new, especially if I'm bombarded constantly by TV commercials and print ads in every publication.

One product I'm always looking at is mascara, as my lashes are not especially long or thick. Maybe it's because I'm technically male, but most mascaras don't do much for my eyelashes. Today I tried two different products: Maybelline's Volum' Express the Falsies in Blackest Black and Cover Girl's Lash Blast Fusion.

Maybelline Volum' Express the Falsies

The ad copy promises to "instantly build 8x more volume without clumping" and to provide "the look of 300% more lashes". Maybe I didn't get it on thick enough, but I didn't see more volume or extra lashes. I see upon reflection that they suggest that the wearer repeat coats "until false lash look is achieved". That could mean wearing a LOT of mascara. Ugh. It's bad enough that I have to wear a lot of foundation. I can usually get by with minimal use of eye makeup. Maybe I'll give this product a go when I can wear full face, but at this point I'm disinclined to recommend it.

Cover Girl Lash Blast Fusion

Here I must confess that I was a little predisposed toward this product. I like the original Lash Blast formula, and I always got good results with it. I only went out and bought the newer product because it was time to replace the other stuff, and I thought I'd combine replacement with a demo. I found that I got both length and thickness with this product. I definitely give this one my thumbs-up.

I can't find any of the print ads, but I've seen in the small print for one of these products that the model is wearing false lashes in addition to the mascara, and further that for best results one should wear both. I have to try, hard sometimes, to avoid looking like a drag queen, and they want me to wear false lashes AND heavy mascara? I think I'll pass.

Almost forgot: I trialed a new eye shadow with these mascaras. Cover Girl have a new product they've been cross-promoting with the Lash Blast: Smoky Shadow Blast. This is a two-part product featuring creamy shadow built into a double-ended pen. One end features a soft color on a rounded applicator. The other end is pointed, with a darker or more "bold" color. I don't like their choices of color combos. The colors they place together are complimentary, but not necessarily what I'd call the best choices. Perhaps they did this on purpose, in order to sell more shadow. Or maybe they expect their customers to be less picky. I don't know. I tried out one called "Purple Plume". The step one shadow is a pale, pinky lavender, and the step two is a purpley bronze. Neither shade looks very purple on the skin, but I think they looked okay.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Crossdressing: You're Doing It Wrong 2


A man was arrested in Mexico City for attempting to smuggle baby Titi monkeys in little pouches attached to a girdle he was wearing.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Nice Try, Spammers!

A few weeks ago I went back to moderating comments, because I was getting tired of weeding out all the links to Chinese-language chat and porn sites. This has not been a bad idea, because sometimes these would-be advertisers are the only people posting comments to this blog. That's not a complaint, merely an observation.

Anywho, I opened my Gmail box to find another comment awaiting my attention. The poster's name was listed in Chinese characters, so I was prepared to eliminate it out of hand, but I like to give everyone benefit of the doubt. I clicked through to my Comment Moderation page, and found the following message:

"We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box."

Looks like someone nicked a bit of wisdom from a greeting card, and I would have allowed their comment, save for the link on the end to another porn site. So, to the spammers I say this, "Good show, and SOD OFF!!"

Monday, July 12, 2010

After Another Long Hiatus

I have returned. I've been logging in periodically to read and comment on others' blogs, but I haven't felt much like posting. I've done some comment moderation. I wish I could say I was surprised, but the only commenters these last three weeks or so have been spammers planting links to their Chinese-language chat/porn sites.

The last weeks have been eventful, and yet not. I called Dad on Father's Day and found him in the hospital, down with a bout of near-fatal septicemia. That's when an infection gets into your bloodstream, and in his case it had gotten to both his heart and brain. While recovering from that, he had both a heart attack and a stroke. His life is no longer in imminent danger, but his health problems brought to the surface the long-seething conflict between my brother and my stepmother. Thermonuclear war would be less destructive. I wish there could be peace between them, but I don't think it's going to happen.

Back in May I wrote a little about suicide. I am sorry to report that my consideration of that has continued. Some days it's just not worth getting out of bed. I broke down and called a good friend, and she told me that suicide ideation can lead to actual suicide. She went on to suggest that I call a suicide hotline, if for no other reason than to find a counselor to speak to. The young woman who answered the phone talked to me for a bit, though she seemed a little out of her depth. She did give me the number of a counselor who billed on a sliding scale. That, I am sorry to say was less than productive. She started off by asking me about my religious affiliation, if I was "right with Jesus". I told her I was an atheist, and the discussion went downhill from there. I thanked her for her time and hung up. Then I called my friend back. Friends who love are always better than any quack sitting in an office.

On that note, I re-connected with one of my oldest friends via Facebook last weekend. She's the only friend from my teenage years that I didn't go to school with. We were also an on-again, off-again romantic thing, the closest thing in my life to "friends with benefits". I can say without equivocation that the best sex I ever had was with her. We hadn't talked on the phone in almost seven years, and I haven't seen her in more than ten, but talking to her, it was almost as though no time had passed. Naturally, she's in a relationship, and I won't interfere with that. What does it say about me that I would if she wanted me to?

Work is both stressful and sustaining. I'm finally getting forty-hour weeks, but it's meant taking on a 1500-2300 shift, and I always get that on the heels of working 2300-0700. I've always preferred double shifts to working back-t0-back, but the extra money is nice. I've been able to do a little shopping, which has helped me feel more like myself. I bought myself a couple of sleepshirts (one has the art from U2's War on the front) and got a manicure and pedicure last week. The new color is Nicole by OPI's Jade in the Shade, if anyone cares.

On top of all the other stressful events, Spot died last week. I don't know what got him, but he hadn't been "right" since the middle of June. We had to put all the animals outside one morning while we flea-bombed the house, and Spot did his best to try to get away and walkabout. A couple of days later he got out of the house somehow, and didn't turn up until early evening. He didn't have any visible wounds, and I gave him a bath just in case. His behavior changed. He wouldn't hang out in my bedroom much, and took to hiding in cabinets or up on shelves. Last Sunday I realized that I'd gone all day and hadn't seen him. I found him on top of the dresser in one of my nieces' bedrooms. I gave him food and water, and after a time he moved into the bathroom and laid on the tiles. He got up occasionally to shift position, but he didn't leave the bathroom at all. He was lying there peacefully when I left for work Monday night, and I found him in the same place Tuesday morning when I returned. His breathing was rapid and shallow. I spent some time cuddling with him, then laid down for a nap. I woke in the afternoon to find he was gone. We buried him deep in a hole in the backyard. I loved that cat with every fiber of my being, and I like to believe he loved me back. He will be missed.

That said, I got my pick of the kittens remaining from Twilight and Freckles' litters, and I chose the one that seemed to like me best. He's sleeping in the space between the keyboard and monitor as I type this. I haven't settled on a name for him yet. I might ask for some help here before too long.

Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm still kicking down here.