Blog

I have had a busy week...but I'd say a productive one.  Just about every night was filled.  Monday night was freelance.  Tuesday was touring the local cable access channel.  Wednesday was electrolysis and Thursday...today...was a drama filled night.  Let me 'splain....no....there is too much.  Let me sum up.

We'll start with Tuesday.  Tuesday was a 12 hour work day.  I got to work at 9:30 and I got home at 9:30.  Work was work, but after work was interesting.  The artists co-op non-profit that I'm now working with is interested in producing a children's television program.  They also want to do a bit more video which involves finding equipment.  We have nothing right now.  So we went looking for places to get gear from.  The cable access station was a good option because they charge one flat fee for a year.  With that fee, we can take out the gear as much as we'd like.  Unfortunately they have restrictions too.  So we're working on that.

The tour reminded me of working at TV10.  For those of you reading that don't know what TV10 is, it's the campus cable station at UW Eau Claire...my alma mater.  I ran that station for a year and was involved with it for over three.  Anyway, the capacity of this cable access station was similar.  The biggest difference was that TV10 had slightly newer broadcast gear.  The cameras were XL series and GL series from Canon.  Good cameras.  We'll have no trouble with those.

Unfortunately they require people to go to training sessions, and that includes three nights of equipment training.  They will not waive the training session for me despite me knowing more about video than the person running Channel 14.  That was recognized by David and Mark, the two artists.  Mark even pointed out that Mary, the person running Channel 14, seemed to be aware of it too.  I could teach the training course, and I have to go to it.  Very patronizing... I'll do what I have to though.

I think there's a lot of potential with the children's program, especially if we find funding.  I think I can help with that too.  I know of educational organizations that might fund a program like that. Here's hoping.

My electro appointment went well, and I brought my camera.  So I'm all set for my next podcast.  I just need some supplemental shots to wrap around my "remote shoot" footage.  I'll probably shoot that Saturday.  So watch for the new podcast soon.

The only other thing that happened Wednesday was related to another Children's project I'm working on.  It's an educational set of videos to help supplement education.  It's a great idea and has potential to go a long way.  The problem, as I mentioned in a previous post, was that the shoot was conducted with cameras that were...sub par at best.  The image quality was terrible.  Wednesday I took a look at the footage and my worst fears were realized.  The footage is completely useless.

One of the cameras has backfocusing issues.  So that means the characters are in and out of focus.  The colors are badly muted, which removes all the vibrance and character of the puppets.  There's no lighting control.  The nat lighting was a wall of windows and direct afternoon sunlight.  So, areas of the shot were totally blown out, while others were in shadow.  The optics of the cameras were so bad that the image looked totally flat.  Not to mention the cameras themselves are old Hi-8 cameras with an effective resolution of smaller than standard def.  The guy had the cameras set up at three angles, all of which were two shots.  So there's no way to creatively cut them.  They were shot too high, so you can see behind the stage. To top it all off...he had them all set to full auto.  So any time the colors changed on screen, the iris auto adjusted.  To put it simply...the footage is total crap.  I cannot use it at all.

So...I had to do something.  I couldn't just leave it at that.  I didn't know how to tell John, the creator of the project, how things looked.  I decided on sending him an e-mail and just being straight forward about it.  I told him flat out that I didn't want to offend or step on toes.  I just wanted to make the project the best it could be.  It was hard, but I spelled it all out, and I hoped for the best.

Today I got a response, and thankfully, he took it well.  It gave me a huge sigh of relief.  Then later, I got home and saw that my office phone had a voice mail.  I checked, and it was the camera guy saying he wanted to move forward anyway.  He wanted to take what we had and put it on youtube.  I didn't know what to do because...I didn't mention earlier...this guy has no concept of how to communicate visually.  None of the footage that was handed to me was coherent or communicated any sort of message.  Even John told me he was confused by it.

I got really tense and at first attempted to e-mail the guy back.  I stopped mid composition and called Chris for advice.  He told me to call John and talk it over.  I did, and John and I had a good long talk.  Turns out John and I are on the same page.  So we're going to work it out.  I'm glad, because I would like to see this project happen and really make a difference for kids.  I didn't want to have to back out due to quality issues.  I truly am starting to feel like a video tech advisor and a producer.

I'm definitely feeling high strung and stressed of late.  So much so that I'm getting a canker sore.  That happens any time my stress levels get high.  Must be my body's natural pH level changing.  Anyway, I'm pushing forward with the flash site.  I decided to get a book on Actionscript, which is the programming language behind Adobe flash.  It's a powerful language, and it'll help me get this project done.  Turns out...I already know most of the syntax.  For the project I am doing at work, I mastered Javascript.  Actionscript is based on the same structure.  So it'll be a breeze for me.  I'm excited about that.  Plus, this will really help my marketability for getting a new job.  To have not only javascript, asp, ajax, xml, html, css, and sql, but also the standard programming  language for adobe flash, flex, and air....that's fantastic.  I think I'll delve into ruby next.

Funny thing is...I'm enjoying the reading.  Who'da thunk I'd be reading text books for fun after college? I must really be a nerd! Either that or I just miss learning...or I suppose the writing is good too. Crazy though.

So yeah...it's been a dramatic week.  I'm glad tomorrow is Friday.  Tonight...I'm going to bed early.  I'm Tired!!! I went to sleep at 2:15 last night.  I don't know if that's when I fell asleep, but I didn't sleep well.  So, hopefully tonight will be a better rest. Sweet dreams all!

I just finished watching the movie "Imagine Me and You" with Piper Perabo and Lena Headey.  It was a beautiful story.  I cried a lot watching it.  I recommend it to anyone looking for a love story...but also a loss story.  Piper and Lena are beautiful.  I felt so much like Luce (Lena Headey) throughout most of the film.  She's in love with the woman who is married.  I know how that feels...not so much with the woman that is married part, but with the woman that is unavailable or unattainable.  At one point they talk about falling in love at first sight.  The emotions described were the same feelings I felt when I first saw Sondra walk in the room.  I'll probably never experience that again in my life, but I think I am a more complete person for experiencing it then.

Really I started thinking though...about my sexuality.  I think I've started to come to an understanding.  I don't think there's a true label for me.  If I were to describe my attractions, I'd say I'm physically attracted to women 90%, men 10%.  Sexually though, I'd say I'm 5% women, 1% men, 94% asexual.  I've struggled with this idea of what my sexual attractions are for years.  I thought maybe as I got older, maybe they'd become more apparent.  Maybe as I transitioned, things would be clear.  Maybe if I found the right person, I'd become this very sexual creature.  Really though, I think I'm starting to come to the conclusion that I'm just mostly not interested in sex.  I can't say that I'm completely not interested, because there are moments.  But overall...it just doesn't matter to me.

I guess this just confirms what I've been thinking for a while now.  I'm not looking for a sexual partner.  I'm looking for a companion.  I want a best friend that's there most of the time.  I want someone to cuddle up next to, and someone to share secrets with.  That's it.

Still...I don't even know if I am designed to be with someone.  I've been alone for so much of my life that I think maybe I'm just best off alone.  A big part of me wants to take some sort of vow. Not of celibacy...because being asexual really makes that vow a waste of time.  I don't know if there is a term for taking vow to be single..but that's what I've been thinking about.  I wonder if I'm happier alone.  I really do.  I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on that.

I just thought I'd share what's on my plate at the moment.  I'd say it's a long list right now.  I didn't even include my job related obligations either. Feel free to share your thoughts of my craziness.

  1. Freelance Flash site - underway
  2. Freelance HTML Site with scripting - quoted
  3. Children's DVD project - editing phase
  4. Organic Arts various work - on my desk
  5. Organic Arts Children's program - planning phase
  6. Video Podcast - pre-production
  7. TransLife / Genderverse coding - database plan set
  8. Finance software design - database in development
  9. JessicaJaniuk.com website - on hold
  10. Transcending Productions website - also on hold
  11. New Demo Reel - planned in my head
  12. Update Resume - would be nice to get to
  13. Apply for jobs - also would be nice
  14. Book on gender - outline in place
  15. Touch up some photos for friends that I took last year - ready when I am

Remember a couple months ago when I was recently broken up with, and I remembered back to my college days.  Remember when I talked about how it was great to be busy all the time because it kept me from feeling lonely? Remember how that was my plan...to keep busy all the time?  Well guess what? It happened.  As they say, be careful what you wish for.  I am busy as hell.  I've got shit going on every day.  And when I don't have shit going on, I have freelance to do.  All of that is good though...right?  I think so. Anyway, on to the news.

Today in Iraq....wait...not that news.  I meant the news about my past busy week.  I'll start with Tuesday.  Have you ever sent yourself 60 thousand e-mails in a matter of say...15 minutes? I can now add that to my list of accomplishments.  There are a few things you're not supposed to do in programming.  One of them is to close your database connections when you're done with them. Another is to not eat Cheetos and then mouse or type getting cheese all over the keys.  Probably the most important one though...DO NOT RUN AN INFINITE LOOP.  Guess what I did on Tuesday?  Can't guess.  Oh yeah...infinite loop.  I forgot one key line that's all of 11 characters: rs.movenext.  That line says to the loop...great...we're done with this item, what's the next one now? So due to that, it never got to its end point.  The loop I ran sent out an e-mail to myself each time through.  I managed to completely back log the e-mail smtp on our web server.  We had to reboot the dev server and stop the smtp, clear out as much as we could, and then restart it all.  At least I didn't manage to crash anything.  Oh...and of course, it was the last function I had to code before the software was ready to go. Figures huh?  There's nothing like that feeling of "Oh No" when you hit run, and suddenly your e-mail inbox is flooded with e-mails that say "FAILED" in big capital letters in the subject line.  How fitting and...when I look back on it...hilarious.  I should have taken a video and posted it on the failblog.  Oh well.

I want to clear up a controversy in my life, which is an intended dramatic overstatement.  In my last post I suggested that I may have had a date this past weekend.  Well, I lied.  Sorta.  A friend of mine bought a shiny new car. In fact, it was a Mustang.  I was offered a ride in it.  This also happens to be a trans friend of mine that I'm somewhat attracted to.  So...call it slightly wishful thinking. Ultimately, neither of us had time.  So it didn't happen anyway. That should clear things up.

Speaking of relationships, I had an odd one start recently.  I got a facebook e-mail from someone I hadn't seen in years.  It was one of the girls that lived in the neighborhood when I was in grade school.  I remember hanging out with her sister a few times.  I didn't really spend any time with her though.  So it was a little odd.  It was basically saying hi and that she heard about my transition and thought it was cool.  She wanted to chat.  She IMed me through facebook and we talked.  During the conversation, it came out that she had a crush on me back in the day when I was a grade school boy.  I said that it was interesting and told her I was pretty oblivious to that stuff back then...cause I was.  We continued to talk and she made mention that she apparently still has those same feelings.  This came as a shock because I don't even know this girl.  I really don't remember even talking to her.  I don't know her now.  She doesn't know me.  So I was a little creeped out.  Then after that, she was like...you drive a green focus don't you? I've seen it parked at your parents house.  Yeah...at this time here's what's going on in my head:  *red lights flashing*  *alarms going off* warning!! warning!!      Yeah...way creeped out at that point.  She offered me her number and wanted me to call her so we can meet.  I've stayed off facebook and I didn't write the number down. I'm now up to two creepy stalker types, and one of them lives within driving distance.  That's no good.

Random stuff...my car passed emissions testing.  I made sure my credit cards are officially enrolled in the payment plan (for some reason, one wasn't being included).  I've been eating well lately.  And I'm making a lot of business contacts.  So that's good stuff.

Speaking of the business, this past weekend was a video shoot for the Children's program I'm involved in.  I have to say, I was not impressed with the technology brought in to shoot this promo.  We had three Hi-8 cameras...not digital 8...just good old analog Hi-8.  There were no lights.  The microphones weren't bad, but the guy wanted to route a wireless lav into a cassette deck.  Wow.  I used my hand held camera to shoot some behind the scenes footage, and I found it sad that my tiny little camcorder captures a much better resolution than the Hi-8 cameras could possibly get.  This will be interesting.  Anyway, the puppeteer for the show wanted me to meet with an arts organization for possible involvement.  So we set up a meeting for Monday.

At the meeting Monday night, I got to meet the man who founded the organization and heard more about what they're looking for.  Turns out I'm just what they want.  They are looking for someone with video skills that knows the net.  I can use them for grant applications, and they can use me to boost their marketability and visibility.  Turns out they want to produce a children's show too. This one would be a traditional half hour program with segments.  I'm excited! I think we could easily get a grant to produce it.  I'm all for it.  It's a non-profit organization too.  I'm covered under their liability insurance, and I'll get a share of the gig money when I shoot the video for it.  How awesome is that?! Doors opened and none of them closed.  So I'm all in. In the meantime, they're also going to help me search for women in business grants too.  Maybe I can get a red!

Lastly, tonight I finally got to meet a trans friend that I've known for several years.  We started talking when I was in college. Apparently her son was going to UWEC too.  I went over to her house and met her and her partner in person.  They also have a cute boxer puppy! We talked, had dinner, and watched a movie.  It was nice.  It's not often I get to meet friends like that.  We're very different in age.  Both of them were about as old as my parents.  It was fascinating to me to see two trans people so religious too.  One would not expect to go to a trans family's house and say grace at the dinner table, but it happened tonight.  It was interesting to hear them discuss the movie too, which was "A Walk to Remember" starring Mandy Moore and Shane West.  They would make comments about how one was meant for the other to heal them and what not.  I remember making comments like that back when I identified as a christian.  It was different for me, and yet in a lot of ways, it was refreshing.  It makes me happy to see that not all transpeople go through the negativity I internalized after getting kicked out of a church.  So yeah...I had a good time...and did I mention the food?  Steak? Damn!

And here ends the reading.  I'll be doing my best to get the next podcast out this weekend.  It's been hectic! I'll get to it though.  Until next time...

Today was an interesting day.  I got a lot done at work, and ended up staying until just past 7:00 pm.  My lunch was interesting.  Mike and I headed to the Outpost to enjoy some soup and a sandwich, and instead I got sushi.  I don't normally like sushi, but this was good stuff.  Upon walking in, we came upon a fountain which was...interesting.  I call it the Georgia O'Keeffe fountain...take a look and you'll understand why.

I think that gives you the idea.

Anyway, at least the day ended nicely.  I had a great conversation on the phone with a trans friend of mine.  It was the first conversation we've had on the phone in something like five years.  It was nice.  I'm sure we'll talk more often now.

I hope I sleep well tonight.  After all that stress at the end of the work day, I'm kinda feeling it.  I hope it doesn't affect my dreams. Wish me luck!