sistawendy: (drama)
After dinner & dessert with the Tickler & friends, I went to the book launch party for Problem Glyphs by Eliza Gauger. (Her last name rhymes with "pager". I'd been pronouncing it wrong.)

Gauger is an illustrator. A few years back, she asked people to submit their problems and she would draw a sigil to fix it. Yes, that's a little bit woo, and the drawings certainly look woo with their rich symbolic vocabulary and mythological allusions; Gauger's love and knowledge of several different mythologies are deep. Gauger says that she herself hasn't been into the woo since her teens and I never was, of course, but something about those drawings makes me keep wanting more. It seems almost like engineered magic, black and white drawings that are always mirrored. She's done hundreds so far, with no end in sight.

My favorites among the sigils are the more recent ones with more details and higher concepts: a cephalopod's tentacles drawing a map of land, or a sewn-together bride of Frankenstein holding giant sewing needles with lighting passing through the eyes.

One thing that's absolutely arresting about the drawings is the problems that got submitted: everything from scholastic angst to surviving rape to mental & terminal illnesses. Gauger, who's no stranger to mental illness or sexual assault herself, says she gets migraines from reading them sometimes, which isn't all that surprising.

Like so many artists she says she doesn't like talking about her art and isn't that good at it. I can attest that the second half of that is bullpuckey. She's really articulate, both in writing and in answering questions off the cuff. I can remember oh, almost fifteen years ago when she was an irritant to the Elder Goths on the Board. She's matured a lot.

Lots of People in Black were there, a few of whom I knew. I felt almost like a big city Bohemian. I now have my copy of the book, pre-ordered way back, signed by the artist, plus a small raffle prize.

Have I submitted a problem? Yes, and you know damn well what it is. As I told her, she may have drawn the sigil without my knowledge because a) I keep finding more of them in various corners of the internet, and b) she hasn't published, electronically or otherwise, anywhere near all of the ones she's drawn. There were even some in her slide deck that I'd never seen before.

Queer? Yes. Cute? Shyeah! Available? I don't think so, and that's a damn shame, quite possibly.
sistawendy: (hopeful nun)
Eats with m'boy the last couple of nights. It's a little mysterious to me why pho tastes so good, but I know why my chicken in white wine reduction doesn't suck: years of practice, good ingredients.

Making progress on my birthday party plans. Banquet permit obtained, as is my booze shopping list. I've been trying to get in touch with a caterer I know for a recommendation. He doesn't do that kind of gig anymore, but he knows who does.

And now for something completely different: superstition. Remember my split toenails that have been healing slowly and painfully? Well, that's gone on for more than a year and a half. I suspect that the US political situation won't get better until I no longer get stabbing pains in my toes, which I predict will be right around the time of the solar eclipse. The right one is comfy in the boots I just bought, and soon the left will be too.

If this entry is too dull, I promise you there are weekend shenanigans planned.
sistawendy: (hand staple forehead)
Hi. My name is Maura and I have a boot problem.

It all started when Diminutive posted about these Fluevogs on a certain other social media site*. I was one of many ladies of a certain esthetic who swooned.

But I hear you say, "Good grief, those are expensive!" That's right.
"Don't you have a closet full to overflowing of black boots already?" Yup, I sure do.
And if you were psychic, because I apparently never posted about it, you'd remind me that I've already bought a pair of boots this year for my birthday next year, so I have not even that flimsy excuse for such an extravagance. Ah, but the ones above are absolutely perfect. That is, if I can last in the heels, which is a possibility only because Fluevog makes diabolically comfortable heels.

But they're beautiful. I love them. They're perfect for my birthday and plenty of other occasions. I'll use the earlier pair as a backup, I guess; they're more practical and would actually make a decent replacement for my black patent Docs, whose uppers are starting to crack.

The boot problem that faces me when I get home is finding space for all of them. Some will definitely have to go, and that will hurt my heart.

I'm contemplating not telling my mom about this. And I tell my mom everything. Yes, everything, until she tells me she doesn't want to hear any more, which is admirably rare. This is exactly the sort of frivolous, spendthrift behavior that she doesn't approve of. And she disapproves of femme things and people in general.



*The one whose preposterous founder is considering running for president.
sistawendy: (skeptic coy Gorey tilted down)
This is one of those entries when I feel like I need to write something if only to ensure people I didn't get eaten by a grue, but I don't have much of interest to write about, I'm afraid.

I no longer have any excuses not to work on the Lambert House database schema & UI again; I have everything I need. I wish I were as enthusiastic about it this time as I was five years ago, but now it just seems like a bureaucratic (and programming) grind that may be pointless, depending on the whim of city officials. The reporting requirements never get any simpler.

The Wendling was at my place last night. I yelled at him when I got home from my bike ride and found the bathroom window shut because it's hot out and I was sweaty. He said the noise bothered him.
"I have earplugs. I'll give you some."
"They're uncomfortable for me."
Goddamn Asperger's.

Speaking of heat, despite or maybe because of all the smoke from wildfires in BC and relative warmth in the Seattle area, I've been sleeping really well. Or maybe I'm still making up for Saturday night.

Speaking of Saturday night, I have an... interesting night planned with the Tickler this coming Saturday. And by interesting I mean maybe a little terrifying. Longtime readers can probably guess what I mean; it's the sort of affair where I met her. Mental note: shave and trim all the things Saturday.
sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
Spent Friday night at the Merc because I was at loose ends. Two drinks, left by midnight. Still zombiric the next day. Respect the absinthe.

Last night? The 20th anniversary night for Ramiro Gutierrez's Uniting Souls crew at the Monkey Loft. Dayumn. Three stages, 10 PM to 10 AM. It isn't often that I regret having to bug out of a club night before 0400, but it was all that. Highlight for me: Griffingrrl going hard in a sparkly dress. There were a couple of big (OK, big in the house scene) headliners.

Today: the first zappy in nearly two months still managed to hit all the needed areas in the allotted 90 minutes. That was a pleasant surprise.

Unsuccessfully attempted world domination while really, really tired. Ended up sleeping from 1700 to 2000 tonight. I can afford two nights out a week financially, but not really physically anymore. Oy.
sistawendy: (wtf laughing)
Ex and I had to bop all the way out to the outer suburbs to cancel our safe deposit box, the last account of any kind that we held jointly. Yes, we split the phone bill. Yes, we split the car insurance & registration. And oh yeah, we sold a house a couple of years back. It's good to be well & truly done with divorce tasks, more than nine years (!) after starting down this road emotionally and two years legally.

Ex, to my small embarrassment but no great surprise, tried to get out of paying $80 one last time, but nope. We could have if we'd jumped on it a couple of weeks ago, but between Ex's arthritis and her stepmother's broken bones, that didn't happen.

What was weird about this was how we act when we're together: we talk non-stop, about our son, about our parents, about the news. I felt a little sorry for the bank employees. I found myself wishing we were having lunch instead of in a bank branch. It's bittersweet - still - to hang out with the woman I once believed was Ms. Right. (Yeah, I know a lot of you don't exactly share that sentiment. You have a point, and you've made it. Now hush.)

You want to know why so much of my life is devoted to the search for the new Ms. Right? See the above paragraph. Most of the people reading this who have primary partners found them at ages significantly younger than I am now. Maybe my son's right, and I'm ducking foomed. Ex expresses a healthy skepticism of the wisdom of the young. I sure hope she's right this time.
sistawendy: (smartass hester)
I've been wondering lately which is worse for the RSI in my wrist: vigorous, frequent jilling off, or the integrated, flat rectangular keyboards with chiclet keys that come with Macbooks? Evidently it's the latter. I have fancy new Kinesis Advantage keyboards at work and at home, but I've also been a bit... reckless otherwise. I'm feeling some ill effects, maybe - it's hard to get away from the chiclets completely - but nothing compared to months past.

This is good news, to say the least.
sistawendy: (flirty hippy)
On the way to get my hair done yesterday I ran into A, the seamstress who'll be doing part of my birthday ensemble. Fun fact: years ago, I dated A a few times. I knew A had just had a bad breakup and was looking for a place to live & sew. She still can do the commission and wants it. (Whew!) What I wasn't sure of was the identity of her erstwhile partner & apartment mate: N, who holds the distinction of being the only woman ever to grab me by the hair, get me up against a wall, and make out with me. As much as I love having several of my buttons mashed at the same time, the sensible side of me says I dodged at least one bullet.

Drinks on Phinney Ridge* with [personal profile] minim_calibre Tuesday evening. It was a bonding experience: two middle-aged queer ladies with kids and much else in common. This only happens once in a purple moon, and I wish it happened way more often. She walked me home down the ridge, and then asked which way back up to her car was least likely to trash her knees. Aw! And yikes!

Yesterday, an increasingly rare dinner at home with the Wendling followed by dragging him up the ridge to catch the sunset. Good: he whined about that less than he used to. Bad: he expressed the opinion that I'll never find Ms. Right. He makes the absolutely ironclad point that it gets harder as you get older. Thanks a lot, kiddo.



*Cocktails for me, mocktails for her, because reasons.
sistawendy: (skeptic coy Gorey tilted down)
I went to Lambert House to do trans group for the third week in a row. There are supposed to be three facilitators who rotate, but last night's called in sick with three hours to go. I was low on sleep, but I was also the only one who could make it, so I came in.

Back when I did my volunteer training at the end of 2011, I was one of several new volunteers who wondered what we should do in the case of youth talking about suicide. Well, after all these years it happened. I asked the youth if they were actively suicidal; no, thank God, but they've been thinking about suicide off and on since they were eight years old. And I'm beyond relieved that I didn't get that creepy something's-weird-and-they're-hiding-something feeling that I got from Dag. I told the other volunteers in the house what I just told you and left a note in the database. It's pretty much out of my hands until next week, when I'll be there as scheduled for the fourth week in a row.

The ACA took a big step towards repeal today. This could mean that Ex will spend every penny I give her in alimony on drugs to stay ambulatory. I'm amazed she isn't freaking out online yet.

Fuck. Fuck parents who don't get it. Fuck sexual predators. Fuck soulless, gutless politicians. Fuck greed-crazed billionaires.

Fuck.
sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
This is another one of those entries that got delayed because I was doing too much.

Party #1: My employer's annual marketing conference always ends with a big party. And marketers are notorious, at least among engineers, for how much alcohol they put away. Such social. Very booze. Wow. I spent much of the evening with a devastatingly attractive & stylish straight woman with cute queer hair from NYC; she was that cool.

Strippers, etc.: I'd kind of felt guilty about not going to any of the Tickler's burlesque shows, so without really being invited I met her at the Debauchery night at Neighbours. It was to be the last one after six years of monthly nights of queer, non-profit "stripping", as the MC and producer put it. She was verklempt pretty often. The Tickler had performed at that night and knew everyone, but she was in the audience with me that night.

Maybe my attitude toward it was colored by running on four hours' sleep from the previous night, but as expected, it didn't knock my socks off. There were a couple of performers that I really liked - one of them reminded me of Opium, serial "winner" of Bang for the Buck - but the rest I could have happily missed. And yes, super queer, super gender-fucky, and body positive. The good news for fans is that a new night, Queers Queers Queers, will start up next month with a different producer.

After the show, the Tickler & I hit Molly Moon's for ice cream for her approximate birthday. Then she drove me home, for which I sincerely promised to give her endless head. On the way home around 2330, I got a text from Ex saying that my ex-stepmother K had broken her foot and was in a hospital in Redmond. Since I was the only one with a car, could I please take her home?

Le sigh. So I drove out, still in my red satin party dress and killer 'Vogs, and got K around 0100. She was dizzy & nauseated from the drugs they gave her, and narrowly missed my car with her barf. If you'll recall, she's a bit of a hoarder, which meant I couldn't find the walker she insisted was in her garage full of junk, just crutches. I must have taken half an hour to get her the forty feet from my car to her house. I made it home just after 0200. Ex, Exbrother (who had to fly up from CA again), and Mr. Right Now (who's married to somebody other than Ex and therefore eligible for serious karma) took over from there. K's own kids are out of state, but I think they're getting in on the action, too.

I took yesterday off because zombie, except for the monthly queer lunch at work for which I'm the organizatrix. Then party #2 at Diminutive's* charmingly 1950s house way up in the north end. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of pretty, Goth AF, and maybe kinda sorta queer women - I'm never really sure about Diminutive & her friends - many of whom remembered me better than I remembered them. Do they remember me because I'm trans or do I fail to remember them because Diminutive & friends can be relied upon for quantity & quality of alcohol?

Enough wacky hijinks for a while, I think.



*Diminutive's name is the diminutive form of mine. Also, she's tiny and I'm not. I love that.
sistawendy: (stern nun)
Remember that five-minute version of "How to Change Sex the Easy Way" I was working on? Well, I delivered it last night.

Lesson #1: If you know you're going to be speaking in a hall with excellent acoustics for unamplified music and not a small, dead room, you'll want to talk slowly. I didn't go quite far enough in whittling my 45-minute talk down.

Lesson #2: Talking fast makes some mics - in this case a cardioid headset - crackle. The sound techs asked me if I could talk slower. You know, this talk I'd practiced several dozen times with precisely 15 seconds per slide. 'Not so much,' I thought. They dispensed with the cardioid; luckily they had two other headsets.

Lesson #3: Microsoft Powerpoint needs to be banned. Like so many MS products, it doesn't seem to understand "I want it here."

The talk itself went OK. I almost failed to notice one slide transition, but the boozed-up audience helped me out. I think I got the point across that my way was the easy way by far, even though it wasn't that easy. It seems to have been well received.

Mine was one of two queer-themed talks. The other was an excellent talk by a bi woman about, well, being bi. It was nothing new to anyone who knows (vast thundering mobs of) bi people as I do, but it was stuff that did need to be said.

Oh by the way, there as an adorable lesbian from Arizona who delivered a talk about her guinea pigs. No, really. I hung out with her a lot at the party afterward, natch.
sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
Poutine and mighty fine absinthe at the Gainesbourg with J & R Friday night. It's almost as if they're keeping their killer selection a secret - you have to ask for the list, at least these days - and they've got the best stuff in town. Strange.

I attempted to have a date with Much Younger Woman at the Merc on Saturday night, but she bailed at the last minute due to brain issues. Le sigh. I'd even dressed sexy.

Was a sleepy zombie yesterday, but still managed to take care of business. Currently at StartupCo's annual conference. Grenade is here again. Much excitement tomorrow and the next day, some of which will take me away from my son. I'm not pleased about that.
sistawendy: (butterfly)
I just learned, a week after the fact, that "bathroom bill" initiative 1552 did not get enough signatures to be on the ballot here in Washington state. This despite the 1552 proponents' ties to deep-pocketed national organizations including the Family Research Council, and all the lies they told to get signatures.

How did I miss this? Not reading enough in Zuckerberg's data mine, probably. I can't say I regret that, though. My son, who usually finds out about things later than I do because I'm a Twitter addict, knew before I did but didn't tell me, which now that I think of it is kind of weird.

How did it happen? Sure, trans folks had an organization in Washington Won't Discriminate, and I know I've done what I can to throw cash and raise awareness. But mainly I think it's because the mighty, the awesome Evergreen State doesn't suck.

Will it happen again? Probably. It happened before with I-1515, and witness how long-lived Tim Eyman's odious career has been even years after it largely stopped being successful.

I have taken the anti-1552 sign down from my front window, and cancelled my vandalism plans.

ETA: I'm kind of hoping there will be a victory party like the one for 1515. That was fun.
sistawendy: (amused eighteenthcent)
I made dinner for m'boy last night, which wouldn't be noteworthy except that I hadn't done so in about a month. After dinner, as I did the dishes, he scoured the neighborhood for the latest issue of The Economist. Happiness. I do wish, however, that he would walk instead of drive because my neighborhood is walkable and not that well supplied with parking. I'm afraid living on the east side (of Lake Washington, i.e. Seattle's eastern suburbs for you non-locals) taught him some bad habits that he has yet to unlearn.
I've been practicing the bejeezus out of a five-minute version of my talk "How to Change Sex the Easy Way" for a series of talk to be delivered at StartupCo's annual marketing conference next week. The founder of the company asked me to do it, and I wasn't about to say no because of him, me, and all my trans peeps.

Twenty slides, exactly 15 seconds per slide. It's kind of brutal. I've had to ditch a lot of the emotional content of the original 45-minute talk that I think is the best part. I'm a tiny bit worried that the talk won't go over well even if my delivery is right on. All I can do now is polish the delivery.
sistawendy: (mad woman)
Back into the work groove, which always involves fighting fires more than it ought to.

Lambert House last night. I finally got around to asking the director, Ken, what to do about folks in trans group who suck all the oxygen out of the room. This is a frequent occurrence, and I'm not proud to admit that I've never really known how to deal with it, so I didn't try.

Also, I told Ken about my tabling at Pride, especially that people wanted to know about the house's financial situation. He was hoping he could get some pro fundraisers on board before he had to message that, but he might have to reconsider, he said; props to him for being careful. As usual, I got an earful about incompetence and skullduggery at city hall, and stuff I need to do to the database to protect the house from it. I'm on it, but only time will tell if it's soon enough.

The Wendling is back with me for four nights to make up for when I was at Critical. I'd barely seen him for two weeks. Yeah, I missed him. He put his clean laundry away before I got home without needing to be reminded. That made me inordinately happy, and I told him so.

Other things that make me happy:
  • Making plans with the Siberian Siren to make plans for the Folsom Street Fair.
  • Planning a date with Much Younger Woman.
  • Getting a record recommendation from the Tickler that I have no doubt is solid.
  • Hearing from Ex that an old college chum has tracked me down, but doesn't yet know about my sex switcheroo.
sistawendy: (hand staple forehead)
For the first time in maybe ever, I've binge-read a comic series.

In the last, what, eight days? I've bought and read all seven volumes of Saga. It is, in the words of one friend, unreasonably good. Yes, it's a space opera with a bit of "Romeo & Juliet" in the story, but it's also got everything from extended family dynamics to social commentary to mild pornography. Saga has it all: heart, mind, and looks.

Writer Brian Vaughan, who's worked in film & TV, says he set out to do something that would be prohibitively expensive to film. Good on him. And unsurprisingly, it's published by Image. I have yet to read a title of theirs that I didn't like.
sistawendy: (weirded out)
Party weekends like Pride leave me with a messy apartment. I can't not clean it at the earliest opportunity, which is how I spent all my non-work waking hours yesterday. My apartment is spiffy, and I am at peace. Am I hausfrau* material, or what?

But before I could finish cleaning, I had to take the bus home. As I got up to get off, I spotted my neighbor B. He asked how Pride weekend was for me. I said, "It was..." and racked my brain for the right words.
"The end of the game," said some skinny blond dude next to us as he looked at me intently.
"The end of the game?" I didn't quite believe my ears.
"The end of the game."
Mercifully, the doors opened right then and B and I got off without our interlocutor. "I don't know what he meant by that," I said, "and I'm not sure I want to."
"Yeah," said B, "I noticed him earlier. He's on something, and I'm pretty sure I know what." It isn't hard to guess: meth. You see, my bus spends most of its route on an ugly arterial that runs the length of Seattle's lily white north end, with one concentration of substance abusers downtown, another one at the far end of its trip, and relatively more tech industry stiffs like B & me in between**.

From the Dept. of Happy Thotz, when the Tickler bailed on Pride she said we should make plans. You know I don't sleep on that stuff; we have a hot date planned for Saturday.



*I once referred to myself as a hausfrau in front of my first queer kiss. She told me that her mother did the same. Holy Oedipal Lesbian, Batman!
**I speak of Lake Union, Queen Anne, Fremont, Wallingford, Phinney, Green Lake, and (south?) Greenwood.
sistawendy: (butterfly)
I got gussied up Saturday in my new red satin halter dress and took my son to the Greenwood car show, which was just up the ridge from my place and a lot of fun. It's a combination history lesson and nostalgia trip, with a little culture mixed in: m'boy didn't know what a low rider was, and there were some beautiful examples. (I had to explain them to my mom over the phone later.)

There was one bummer, though: Sitting in a lawn chair near one of the cars was a lady in her sixties. She complimented me on my outfit and asked, "Do you do shows?"
'Uh oh,' I thought. "No. In fact, I'm not sure what kind of shows you mean."
"Drag shows."
"No."
"Aren't you a man?"
"No."
She apologized profusely. "I understand your confusion," I said.
My son was standing with me the whole time. Once we were out of earshot I said, "Welcome to my life." I suppose it could have been worse, but it could have been a whole lot better as well. Happy Pride, indeed.

On to the Broadway street fair - the Wendling declined my invitation - where I got to see a few queer peeps. Plug: Asylum Leathers. I tried their posture collars, and got a nice leather mask for sleeping. No, really, that's what I use them for.

I ran into the Siberian Siren, who lives nearby, and grabbed some Indian eats with her. When we eat together, she complains about work and I complain about dating, which seems fair to me. The SS had decided to pre-funk her party, which was a nice way to take a load off but conflicted with the Dyke March. On the way to her party, I got to sheepishly answer one friend's question about why I wasn't marching. I'd rather not do that again.

The Siren's party got off a slow start. It took us a while to get a table all together because we weren't on time; the SS's chronic lack of punctuality seemed to have infected the whole party. But once it got going? Oh em gee. I don't want to look at another alcoholic beverage for a while.

Sunday? Parking lot party and parade. No SS or AJ, though: laid low by the party the previous night. It was heartening to see [profile] dementiana walking - for the first time since '05, she said - with the Goths. I learned that in addition to the regular Leather Pride flag we all know, there are leather boy and leather girl flags.

This is my major complaint about Pride this year: all my lady friends - the Tickler, E from work, even the SS on Sunday - bailed on at least part of the festivities, so it was kind of lonely for me. When I got to the Seattle Center, I remembered a few years back when I went with Temptress - her first time - and we got to be dirty old women together. Dammit, I need a girlfriend who's into Pride as much as I am. I need a girlfriend who's into a lot of things as much as I am.
sistawendy: (stern nun)
Last night I skipped the Trans Pride march to set up & staff the table for Lambert House at the rally in the park that followed. That was more intense than I expected: I must have spoken to at least a hundred people in ones and twos over the course of three or so hours about the house.

Categories of people my fellow volunteer S and I talked to, in decreasing order of number:
  • People who just wanted to know what we were about - we're a safe place for queer kids to be together, basically, plus activities, and a few social services. I got the impression that there are people who instantly understand the value of a safe space by and for queers, and there are people who don't. I'll give you one guess as to the queerness of each group.
  • People who wanted to volunteer! I only had a handful of paper applications, so I sent people to the web site and handed out volunqueer coordinator B's business card liberally.
  • People who wanted to know how the fund raising is going. Many people knew about the eleventh-hour loan we got last year and the consequent capital campaign. I know what's going on with that better than most volunteers by virtue of hanging out with the director to do reports, but even I don't know much. I do know that we need six- or better yet seven-figure donations in the next few years if we want to keep our house.
  • One therapist. I got to give him the special clipboard.

I got mysteriously cold after the sun went down, possibly a blood sugar crash from the absurdly early dinner I ate so I could be on time. S took pity on me, saying she'd tear down - I'd done most of the setup after literally running down the questionably parked B, who's no good at giving directions. I administered Molly Moon's ice cream and warm Guinness at the Merc immediately, but I completely struck out at finding anybody I knew who wanted to party on the Hill last night. Even the young Burning Man campmates I ran into were calling it quits early. Weird.

Picked up Saga, vol. 2 - so much tasty plot! - and came home to m'boy, was reminded how much I don't miss his clutter & mess in my apartment, and went to bed.

Today's plan: work out, get gussied up, Greenwood car show & pizza with m'boy, hit the Hill for the street fair & dyke march, and the Siberian Siren's party. If you want to meet up with me, late afternoon is your best bet.
sistawendy: (hopeful nun)
I've taken a few steps recently to combat repetitive strain injury:
  1. I now use a Kinesis Advantage2 keyboard at work. The layout is different enough from my old Microsoft Natural that I'm still climbing the learning curve after about a week. It may necessitate getting another one for home to prevent the hangover of switching back and forth.
  2. Not using any damn built-in laptop keyboards. I swear those things are a major problem. I do have an MS Natural at home, but until recently I was only using it on my work machine, not my personal one.
  3. Ahem. Jilling off about half as often as I used to, which means it's less time-consuming as well. Ah, the tribulations of sex reassignment surgery, as mine was called at the time.
So is all of this working? I think so, but it's a little bit soon to tell.

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