Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Was Wrong

I wrote last night's piece in anger.  I was wrong.  Comcast haven't taken control of anything at NBC yet, let alone given anyone there instructions about how to run their networks.  Apparently KO's been looking to get out of MSNBC for some time, and they didn't know he was going to leave until he said it on air.

Politics USA: Olbermann Wanted Out

I like the line, "Stop organizing life around the people who don't get the joke."

The World Turned Upside Down

So I haven't been able to get online from home since late Thursday night, and to add insult to injury, the cable was out most of the night and following day.  So I didn't know that Keith Olbermann is out at MSNBC until I came into work last night.  MSNBC came in clear for about ten seconds during Countdown, then the screen reverted to black.

I don't really watch much television anymore, and I suppose that frees up five hours to do something else, or discover another program.  I read that they're going to shuffle their evening lineup around to fill the gap, starting with moving Lawrence O'Donnell's program into Keith's slot.  Can they still call it The Last Word if it appears closer to the middle of the evening?  I'll still tune in to watch Rachel Maddow, but she's the only one who's not on during my normal sleeping hours.  Don't get me wrong.  I like MSNBC's other personalities, but I don't see myself rolling out of bed early to watch Chris Matthews or Cenk Uygur.  No offense, guys!

Mom was the one who turned me on to the show.  We used to laugh together over the phone during his Worst Person segments.  Watching the show the last few years has helped me retain a little sanity by continuing something I started with her.  Now that's gone.  Thanks, Comcast!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm on Totally Jacked Up Aircraft Photos

I love to take pictures of airplanes.  This dovetailed nicely with volunteering at the Carolinas Aviation Museum when I was in Charlotte, because it was often possible to work and shoot photos at the same time.  The museum, in its original location was perfectly sited between two of the runways, and I got lots of nifty shots.  I also got a lot of duds.  Handheld point-and-shoot digital cameras aren't really made for shooting fast-moving objects.  In the older models there's a sizable gap between when you press the button and when the camera actually takes the picture.  Taking the kind of pictures I like to take was a learning experience, but I got pretty good at it.  That said, I still take lousy pictures from time to time.

I don't remember exactly when or how I discovered Totally Jacked Up Aircraft Photos.  Suffice to say that it provides a little spot of humor in the midst of all the serious blogs I read.  At first, I had no intention of submitting anything to the blog.  After all, I aspire to taking good pictures.  Why would I want to share my failures?

Errare est humanum.

Never Surrender

Friday, January 14, 2011

Filled In

In my "Moved" post from December, I wrote that I was going to get my nails done, and was thinking of going acrylic. For whatever reason, I never followed up on that little tidbit.

I got my pedicure in the usual way, but I talked to the nail tech, a nice lady named Kim, and told her how I was feeling. I thought acrylic nails were those plastic-looking things, but what she did was brush on this acrylic powder, and shape the nails that way. Once they were buffed into the proper shape, she gave me the American manicure I wanted. That was three weeks ago.

I am pleased to report that the acrylic held up great.  The polish was starting to look a little ragged the last few days, but it looked okay for work.  My nails had gotten long in the interim, and if they had been natural, I'd have worried about breaking them.

Today I went in for another pedicure and got my first fill-in.  This is where the tech brushes on additional acrylic to fill in the gap between the previously applied stuff and the nail bed, and then buffs it all down to shape.  For years I've been coming into salons and seeing the price list for "Full Set" and "Fill-Ins", without comprehension.  Now I understand.  I can be so dense sometimes.

After the last trip to the salon, I took photos of my nails to show off here, but a few days after my camera died inexplicably, so you'll just have to imagine how they look.

I'm a Bad Girl

Two Spaces After a Period: Why You Should Never, Ever Do It
It's the way I was taught to type, oh so many years ago. Writing on a computer is typing, is it not? I was trained to end a sentence, after the punctuation mark, with two spaces. Apparently this is improper, and has been for some time. How does one miss out on a point of style like that?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Did It

I said I wanted to change the title of the blog, and I did so.  Jenny gave me the idea.  I wanted to keep something of the old (my name) but I dropped the "Trans" and also the redundant "Blog".  I don't know about other countries, but here in the States, "jaywalking" is anytime one crosses the street anywhere but at a designated crosswalk, and in a lot of localities, that's a crime, albeit a minor one.  So it's got a subversive edge, something that's been lacking in me lately.

Edit: Since I posted this, I've discovered there is already a blog at  It seems I'm not half so clever as I thought.  Maybe they'll let me slide, seeing as I haven't tried to gank their URL or anything, but the writer of the other blog seems to be a law student, and they might be litigious.  Time will tell.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Changing The Title

"Jaye's Trans Blog" is what I chose to call this a little over two years ago when I kicked it off. It wasn't meant to be anything special, just a place for me to share and occasionally vent. Now it seems kind of ho-hum. Bland.

I'm thinking about changing the name of the blog. I'd like to use something clever (though not necessarily cute) that incorporates "trans". I liked the sound of "intransigent", but the dictionary tells me that means "unwilling to change". That's not me. "Stuck in transit?" "Lost in translation?"

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Changing Tastes

This isn't really a movie blog, for all that I talk about them off and on. If nothing else, they give me inspiration when my well seems to run dry.

I own a lot of movies on DVD, and for a while I bought them almost compulsively, but I haven't watched a lot of them in a long time. I used to say I didn't have the time, but the truth is that lately I have trouble sitting in front of a screen unless whatever I'm doing/watching is interactive, like a video or computer game. The much-mentioned Mass Effect 2 consumed many such hours last year. I haven't been able to get online at home for the past five days, so I've been trying to fill my downtime with other activities. I read some, Matthew Chapman's Trials of the Monkey, and made myself sit down and watch two movies.

The first of these was Joe Carnahan's The A-Team. I know, I should have known better. I've ranted before about needing brain bleach to scrub the horror that is Smokin' Aces out of my head, but I have a soft spot in my memory for the original material.

The original A-Team hit television when I was ten, and for all my internal turmoil, on the outside, I was very much a boy of that era. I liked action figures, and still played war games in the yard with the neighborhood kids, and liked to see stuff blow up. The characters were veterans of Vietnam, a conflict which still has a large place in American mythology, and I looked up to anyone who had been "over there". I also liked Robin Hood, and the idea of these modern outlaws helping ordinary people in need was appealing.

The film is a sort-of reboot. The story has been brought forward so that the characters are vets of the current Iraq war. The movie opens with Liam Neeson as Hannibal assembling his "A-Team" as civilians (or at least de-mobbed troops), then catapults them into the war to kick off the story with the "crime they didn't commit". Bradley Cooper (Alias), Sharlto Copley (District 9) and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (he's apparently an MMA fighter) round out the 'Team. Jessica Biel plays the leader of the DOD team chasing them, and doubles as Cooper's love interest. There isn't much story. Being a Carnahan film, there are lots of gun battles, and explosions, and some neat aerial action. Copley gives the standout performance as the crazy pilot, Murdock.

For all that, it was only okay. Is that damning with faint praise? Once upon a time I would have loved the movie, for all of the reasons enumerated above.

Yesterday I sat down and watched Whip It, with Ellen Page and Marcia Gay Harden. I loved it!

I wrote about the movie and posted the trailer back in 2009, before the movie was released. I've been interested in roller derby since it was resurrected a few years ago. It's one of those things I have to worship from afar, as they're never going to let a girl like me into something like that.

Ellen Page is Bliss Cavendar, a 17 year-old girl from sleepy little Bodeen, Texas. Her mom pushes her to enter beauty pageants, but she wants to get out and do her own thing. On a shopping excursion in Austin, she hears that the roller derby league are having try-outs. She lies about her age, and ends up finding her niche skating for the "Hurl Scouts". All of the skaters and teams have punny names: Eva Destruction, Smashley Simpson, etc. Bliss becomes "Babe Ruthless".

I laughed, a lot. I cried a little. All in all, I enjoyed everything about this movie. The acting is great from all the players. This was Drew Barrymore's directorial debut, and if she's this good starting out, I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

I talked to my sister-in-law about this, because I couldn't figure why the two movies hit me the way they did. She says I'm becoming a girl. Small steps, right?