Posted on May 28th 2005, 10:54 pm
Yes, I'm alive...barely. The semester is finally over. I managed a 2.87, which normally would disappoint me, but this time I'm quite satisfied with that gpa. It's actually better than I expected. The miniseries really did affect it, but I was thinking there would be more Cs. I got four Bs and only one C. Definitely could have been worse. Amazingly, I got the highest grade in my hardest class. That's pretty cool in my book. I got a B+ in Communication Research Methods. Go me.
The miniseries didn't finish up as nicely as planned. In fact, it's actually not finished at all yet. We have the last episode to cut together. I had hoped to have it done weeks ago, but the weather did not cooperate with us. Every shoot we had was on a shitty weather day. It started raining a few times. Eventually we got everything shot during finals week. Sad that we had to do it then, but such is life I guess. Overall I'm pretty happy with it though. We had a lot of fun and told a cool story. We'll run a marathon next year of the whole series.
My summer jobs were in question up until about a week and a half ago. I for sure had my TV station job for 20 hours a week. I didn't have anything to fill up the other 20 though. I had a meeting with my boss for the TV job, and it turned out they needed a web designer for the housing department. I said I could do it, and she hired me on the spot. There's my other 20 hours. Not only that, it pays better than the TV station job. Kick ass!! So I've been doing that this past week. I like it. Neither job has specified hours. So I get to pick when I want to work. I used this week as recovery time and slept in just about every day. I'm not going to do that all summer, but I needed it this week.
The cool thing that happened this past week was the last minute trip I got to take. Yeah, that's right...Jess got a vacation of sorts. I was personally invited to the National Conference on Gender in Washington D.C. I didn't think I would be able to go because of flight costs, but turns out the diversity office offered to pay for it. So I got to go on this trip pretty much for free. How cool is that? It ran from Thursday, May 19th to the 22nd. I had a great time, learned a lot, taught a lot of people about transgender, and even almost hooked up with someone. She got really drunk on Saturday night and started flirting with someone else though. So I just left. That's not something I care to deal with.
Riki Wilchins, the president of GenderPAC was there and I got to meet her. She was talking about how the organization doesn't have enough money to moderate the messages about gender that are sent in the media. I felt compelled to pledge to her that money in 10 years. I'm a fool. I can barely feed myself and I'm pledging 30 million dollars. I'm crazy. Still, I think it'll be possible and it's definitely a good cause.
I met a lot of really cool people though. I have pictures and I might post them. I'm not sure. I'd have to ask permission first. There were people from several countries there too. I met Emma from the UK. She was really cool. I need to e-mail her back to say hi. There was also Nikki from California I think, Nick from NY, Kelly and Bethany from Pennsylvania, Hat, Shawn, Tong, Min, Neo, and everyone else from Iowa. There were just a whole ton of cool people there. I look forward to next year as well.
Chris moved in next door. That's pretty cool. We have our own apartments, yet we share everything. So it's like we're roommates, but we're not. It works out well for both of us I think. We set up a wireless network to share the internet. That way we save on costs. Now it should only be 20 bucks for the net. Though, the speed is a bit diminished. We may up it. We made cookies last night, and actually we have a food plan in mind. Each week we will try something new with food. We're going to experiment and make something we've never made before and see how it turns out. It should be fun. I'll take pictures.
I saw Star Wars Episode 3 and I think I saw a different movie than everyone else. I thought it was crap. I got enjoyment out of it, but I just think George Lucas can't write at all. The character development was nonexistent. The lines were hideous. Watching Darth Vader yell "Noooooo!!" was probably one of the worst moments in film history. Nevertheless, the action was cool, Ewan MacGregor was cool, the cinematography was cool, and the CG was cool. I just don't think it warrants the ratings it's been getting.
Kevin lent me his Playstation 2 and DDR pads. So I've been playing DDR and getting pretty decent at it. I'm not one of those people that's addicted to it by any means. I play it once every couple nights and am getting fairly good at it, but I don't think I'll ever own it. It's a lot of fun though.
My friend Rachel told me that a coworker of hers...also named Rachel...was asking about me. She's a lesbian, single, and gorgeous. Unfortunately, my friend Rachel is moving to Seattle now that she's graduated. So she wasn't able to set up anything between her and I. So I made use of the fabulous facebook that we just got on campus and sent her a message through there saying she could ask me anything she wants. We'll see what kind of response I get. I'm not expecting anything to be honest. But it's kind of cool to know someone was asking about you...you know?
Speaking of people talking about you, I had electrolysis today. My electrolygist, Hilary, told me that she's been sending out information packets to the potential students. She also is an electrology teacher. Included in the information is a link to my facemorph, which is on my picture page. Apparently someone from Malaysia that was interested in the school called Hilary and told her that she needs to put realistic information in her packet. Yeah, she doesn't think that my picture is of a real transwoman. "But she's so pretty..." is what Hilary told me she said. Hilary just laughed and told her that I am a genuine TG person. The Malaysian woman may still not believe, but she'll be out here for her hands on training and will ge to meet me then. I can set her straight....er....queer....whatever. I just thought that was funny and a confidence builder.
Well, that's it for this immensly long diary entry. Until next time...which should be more often considering I have lots of free time now. Talk at ya soon.
Posted on May 16th 2005, 9:06 pm
Finals have begun, which means that over the course of this week my stress will get exponentially lighter with each day. My last test is on Wednesday at 3:00. I can't wait until it's over. This semester has been the worst ever and it's inches away from being history. Then comes the big weekend for me.
I didn't get to write about this yet, but GenderPAC personally invited me to their National Conference on Gender in Washington D.C. I thought that was pretty cool. Still, it seemed like it was not even remotely a possibility since I don't have the money for it. Thankfully, I got hooked up by the Diversity office. They offered to pay for my flight. My trip for four days to the conference is costing me a grand total of $75. I think that's pretty nice. It's just what I need. I've been wanting a vacation for a few years now. I finally get one, even though it's at a conference. So what, it's away from home. I also get to see my High School friend Paul. That should be fun.
Anyway, I'm going to be on the radio tonight. So I better go take care of my last minute things before then. I have a lot to go turn in. I'll write more soon since I'll have more time. See ya.
Posted on May 1st 2005, 8:27 am
I am very impressed and surprised by the local newspaper. They published my article last weekend. Since then several letters to the editor have been printed. Some of them have been good. Some have not. However, I have been periodically checking online to see what's going on. I noticed something today. Every day my article gets updated so that it's listed as first and current. They aren't printing it in the paper again, but they have been making sure it gets exposure online.
I would have never expected that kind of attitude towards my column at all. Apparently they thought it was well written enough to continually update it so it's seen. I am going to thank them for doing so. They're really helping make a difference here. I was told recently that usually newspaper's attitudes are usually very similar to the surrounding town's environment. This time that may not be the case. Good for them. If you want to read the article, go ahead. It's posted in the "TransLife Diaries" diary.
All of what has happened has definitely affected me though. I constantly have this feeling of fear over my head that something will happen to me because of this. I also am a little nervous for the community. I'm angry that the LGBT community center in the town has done jack shit about this too. I've done what I can for now. But that community center is nothing more than a social place. Many of us are frustrated that they don't actually reach out to the community at all. I'd have to say that I'm a little depressed too.
Yes...I did say depressed. Everyone always tells me how strong I am...brave...courageous...such a leader. Well, this fearless leader of yours is not perfect or fearless by any means. She deals with depression and loneliness. She has to put up with crap like this newspaper. She still struggles with body image issues. She has even been struggling in areas she normally doesn't...like school. My grades are not going to be pretty this semester. Not the most common for someone people would call a leader.
Anyway, I'm not saying this to make people worry. So please don't call me to make sure I'm ok. I will be fine. It'll be rough going for about three weeks. School will end and I'll be in a better, more relaxed and well rested place. I look forward to that day. In the meantime, I might be a little down and out. Please send me some of your good energy if you can spare any. I'm going to need it. Thank you everyone.
Posted on April 27th 2005, 9:37 am
That's the phrase of the semester for me. It's really the only way I can get by. I'd also have to say "walking zombie" fits this semester pretty well. So far this week I've totalled about 7 hours of sleep. It's Wednesday...so that isn't good. It being 3:30, one would think bed might be a good idea. Yet...I'm not in bed. Why? I have to dilate. Yes, the joy of dilating. If I skip, it heals shut, and that's a lot of money and pain down the shit hole. So, here I sit.
I got home about a half hour ago from the TV station. Kevin and I were working on episode 7. It's inches away from done. The scenes are cut, the sound is balanced, sound effects are in, split screen shots rendered, and credits about to be added. All we need is coherant music to mesh it together...yet we can't find working music. It's frustrating. The episode just goes all over the place right now. We tried for several hours and eventually had to give up and go home. It may be that we're over doing the music. A more minimalist approach to this episode may be the best.
Bailey commented on my last entry about how I must have several extra hours in the day. This is a prime example of how I get those extra hours...I simply don't sleep. Nor do I manage to do my homework. My grades are not nearly what they usually are. On Monday I got an exam back. I was proud of myself. I got an 85 percent on a really hard research exam. My prof said it was the hardest one and that she was proud of me. However, I have her for two classes. The exam in the second class happened a day later. I had spent all the freetime I had studying for exam 1. So...naturally exam 2 didn't go so well. I got a not so good grade. In fact, it was the lowest grade in the class, and any lower and I would have failed. She asked me what happened, and I told her the truth. I had to pick the battle that was more important. She understood.
Ultimately, I'm getting more experience doing this miniseries than I could ever get in class. The experience I'm getting is really amazing and enjoyable as well. I'm so proud of the show. My Women's Studies professor is a friend of mine, and when I was discussing this with her, she agreed with me entirely. She said "You'll get your grades back and feel that sting right away, but give it an hour or so, and you won't regret it at all." She said to me that my professors should understand that I'm making a conscious choice to do what is most important. That made me feel a lot better about the situation I'm in. So, I feel more motivated. However, with only about three more hours to go before I have to be up for class...I should probably get to dilation. Talk to you all soon.
Posted on April 22nd 2005, 5:21 pm
It's 2:00 am in the morning. I just finished watching season 7 of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. It was beautiful. I started crying about 2/3 of the way into the show. It was extremely well directed, scored, and written. The show as a whole has really inspired me. As we all know, I love hero stories. Since this transition began, I've wondered what female heroine I would find myself attached to. Wonder Woman was the first one, but she's not very realistic. Buffy is realistic....well aside from the slaying of vamps part. Her character is real, as are all the characters on the show. I've bonded with the series now.
Joss Whedon, the creator, is an incredible man. He is such a feminist and is brilliant as a storyteller. He has driven me to want to be a part of something like Buffy. I want to create a character, story, family, and legacy out of a TV series or movie that will touch people's lives in the same way. Oh and I found out Joss is writing and directing the upcoming Wonder Woman film. That makes me happy.
My life also changed today in a completely new direction. Well...I guess not completely new. I just wasn't expecting it. I interviewed tonight for the director of the commission of student senate that I have been a part of for a year or so now. I've been the LGBT chair since I was kinda thrown into it at random. I've enjoyed it, but never thought I would be director, or even want to be director. To this day, I'm still not sure I want it. I applied because I didn't want to see the commission fall apart. The only other people that applied had never even been to a commission meeting before. So I interviewed and got the position. Go me...I think. Basically I just threw a huge responsibility on my shoulders. All this time I've been complaining about having so much crap to do, and now I just gave myself more. Way to go me. I'm an idiot. Yet I think this will be a rewarding experience. At least it's paid.
So yeah, I'm not exactly sure how that will go. I think it's odd how it happened in the first place. Over spring break I was called by the student body president and asked to interview. Apparently their first slew of people weren't up to snuff. I find that to be odd since Lisa, the former director, re-applied. I know she's capable. I think there were just some politics of sorts going down, which is bullshit. I very much respect Lisa and know she deserves the position. All the same, I know Lisa is glad I got the position over anyone else. At least things will continue to run smoothly.
I'm about two hours away from my school right now. It's the general assembly of the statewide student organization that runs several conferences I've been to and stuff. They were the people that set up the meeting with the university system that I spoke at back in December. They've been pushing to get me to come to a GA for a while, but this was my first opportunity. Friday night is the committee meeting time, and then Saturday is the actual general assembly.
Friday night was pretty cool. All us queer people talked about statewide issues for LGBTQ students. One of the big topics was the actual implementation of the new gender identity and expression policy. We wanted to be sure it was being implemented. I enjoyed the meeting. Afterwards I met up with my lil sister. She goes to school in that town. I had been hoping our meeting could be fun since we so rarely get to see each other. I was wrong. The group of us that came from my school had to have a "delegation meeting" and talk about what happened at our meetings. So instead of my sister and I hanging out, she got to listen to boring politics talk. I felt bad. Still we got to see each other. That's something at least.
Saturday morning was really dull. The bulk of the first three hours was spent on electing a new president of the organization. It took way longer than it should have. I just wanted to go home. I had the miniseries shoot I wanted to be at, and I was supposed to meet Audrey to hang out. Sadly, I didn't get back until the shoot was over, and Audrey and I didn't get to hang out for long. Anyway though, the elections took forever. After that they spent a few minutes on resolutions, and then we got to awards. Now, awards ceremonies you're supposed to get an award at are ok. But when you know you've never been to a GA before and you're not getting an award....they're pretty dull. Again, I just wanted to go home.
Then....one of the people gets up and starts reading off this award. As he talks about the award recipient, the person sounds very familiar. After about 30 seconds, I realized he was talking about me. It was all about "this person who constantly puts herself out there even though the environment right now isn't the friendliest. She works hard, sets examples, and without her, gender identity and expression wouldn't have been added to the non-discrimination policy at all." My heart was pounding and I had a shocked look on my face. He finally said my name and I walked up there and gave him a huuuuge hug. What a huge surprise. I felt so great after that. In fact, I felt like a heel for wanting to go home so much. What a great way to get me to come back a second time. Give me an award at my first GA.
That night Audrey and I watched our friend Amanda's softball game. This is the same Amanda that asked for my number. Sadly I don't think anything will happen between Amanda and I. We're both too busy and can never seem to connect. Our schedules are inversed or something. Anyway, the game was cool. Audrey and I went to get food and she headed home. Later on my friend Kevin came over and we watched Requiem for a Dream. Despite the film being about drug use, it's very well done. Technically it's great. I love the angles and composition in the shots. Beautiful. The movie itself...kinda depressing.
I've been a bad student this semester. I don't entirely blame myself for it though. I don't think there's much I could change. My class load is just so stressful. Combine that with my three jobs and my volunteer work...yeah, that's a challenge. I haven't even tossed the miniseries in there yet. I have shifted around every few weeks at which class is falling behind. For a while there it was my web programming class. Thankfully I'm caught up in that class and going to it every time. Now my art class is falling behind. My women's studies too, but that one I'm not as worried about. I am not a fan of this art class though. It's three credits, yet it's six hours a week in two three-hour blocks. That's a long class. On top of that, the professor is a jerk. He's one of those "I only give As to the graphic design students" type guys. He's hated every one of my projects, even though others in the class have really liked them. I just get so much negative feedback that it's hard to care about the class. Right now I'm just trying to get a C and get myself out of the class. Originally I was going to take the second class in the sequence, but I decided against it. Instead I'm taking a technical writing course. After this class...that course is looking pretty good.
A week ago I inadvertantly made the newspaper again. This time I had very little to do with it. On Wednesday, a friend of mine who teaches at the local high school and is the advisor for the GLBT group there asked me if she could show my before/after pictures in her class on Thursday for their school's recognition of the Day of Silence. Of course I said yes. Friday she called me to tell me about the article in the paper. Apparently there was one boy in her 3rd hour class that had a problem with the pictures. He left the class and called his dad. His dad then called the Superintendent of the district asking for my friend's suspension. Following that, he called the newspaper and said that she was pushing her "twisted point of sexual view on his kid". They of course jumped all over it. Thankfully most of the article featured my friend talking about how the pictures and lesson were completely appropriate and focused on critical thinking and diversity education, which the school district has policies supporting.
Regardless, I'm not a fan of hearing someone insult me even if my name isn't mentioned. I decided to write a response to it. I spent a few days, called in a few friends, and eventually wrote a 600 word response touching on the issue of ignorance in the local area. I decided not to go with the whole "Hey....you're an ass for calling me sexually twisted" response and stuck with a more poignant, intelligent, non-argumentative response. I felt that it was more of a slap in the face to come off as an intelligent, well rounded, respectable, not sexually twisted person than to just get all in his face. The response ended up being twice as long as the letter to the editor section allows. I submitted anyway. The editor e-mailed me saying they would print it completely and in it's own column. They also wanted a picture to go with. So....which picture to use...none other than the one shown in the classroom. SCORE!!! The article will be printed tomorrow. I'm excited. I'm not the only one who is responding either. There's a professor on campus, as well as a few others. I think that kicks ass.
Last weekend I hung out with my friends Kevin and Nikki. We watched the movie "Sideways". I really liked it. I don't drink alcohol, and the movie was about wine tasting. Even so, it was great. The story was excellent, the directing was great, and the camera work/technique was really cool. Lots of interesting angles and choices for shots. I get into that sort of thing cause I'm a geek about film. Still, I'm glad the movie won an Oscar. It deserved it. I give it 4.5 out of 5 brownies. (My old rating system if you recall). I think the only thing that dropped the .5 points for me was the drunkenness in the film. I live next to a bar and see it enough. But that's the only reason. Great film.
No news on the internship yet. I've been waiting for more than a month now. They said that they would let us know if we were finalists by the end of April. We're getting close. The worst part about this is that I can't commit to a summer job. I wont know if I can work the summer for probably another month. I'll probably end up working a shit job this summer because of it if I don't get the internship. I know I can work at TV10, but that's only 20 hours a week. I'll have to look into another job on campus too. Something to fill the other 20 hours. We'll see what comes up. Of course that's only if I don't get the internship. I'm still thinking I stand a really good chance of getting in. I'll keep you all updated.
Since Buffy is over, I've had to fill the gap of a series to watch. I decided to watch an old favorite of mine: Sailor Moon. Yeah yeah, I know I'm a huge dork. Anyway, Sailor Moon was the first anime series I ever watched. It got me into anime. So, it holds a special place. This time though, I'm watching the japanese version. Holy crap is it different. There's more violence. There's gay couples. And amazingly there's a lot more episodes too. They cut out a lot in the english version. It's been cool. After I finish this, my friend Kevin loaned me "24" season 1. So I'll get myself hooked on that next. I figure the miniseries is a spoof of 24. I might as well get to know the series it's based off of.
The mini-series is coming along. In fact it's getting close to it's conclusion. We have shot through episode 8. That leaves two more episodes left. We shoot ep 9 tomorrow. I can remember the fun of the first shoot. I've learned so much since then about logistics of putting together a series. I feel so much more professional now. What shocks me so much is that people really like the show. I mean...I shouldn't be shocked. I just have gotten to expect that people don't generally like the in house productions at my station. This is different though. No one's done a full out series like this before. Plus, it's well written and executed. Even people in administration like it. I'm so happy about that. We've submitted it to the student independent film festival on campus, and we're also submitting it to a national college broadcasting competition. I really think it stands a chance too. People have walked by during shooting and given us compliments on the show. I've walked into rooms and said some quote from the series and people have recognized it and laughed. Courtney downloaded every episode and burned them to DVD. Oh, and we're also going to make a real DVD of it after it's all finished complete with blooper reel and special features. I've had people ask when they can get a copy of it. So, I know people are interested. How cool is that?
I think I'll end this tome with a happy note. Earlier this week my friend Kevin announced that he is throwing a "Jess Appreciation Party" this weekend. Everyone at the studio is invited. It should be fun. I was so flattered when I heard that. I didn't provoke it or suggest it at all. It was actually his and Thadeus' (the miniseries writer) idea. By the way...Thadeus is a very cool name. So that party is tomorrow night. I'm excited. I'll let you know how it goes. :) That's it. Have a fabulous weekend everyone.