Because I Simply Don’t Talk Enough.

So here’s the thing:

I’m turning this blog into a podcast. I bought the domain over at http://www.ClaireDeLunacy.com and I’ve migrated this blog over there.

In addition to the occasional scribblings you get from me here (or, er, there, in the future at least), there will be (God help us all) the Claire De Lunacy podcast. That’s right, a whole hour, every week, of yours truly, with call-in guests (it’s true!), some commentary, and a few new surprises (e.g., every tenth caller is randomly either hugged by a stripper,  hit in the stomach by a large, angry Hungarian, or given the power of flight*).

Every week starting NEXT SUNDAY, MAY 2nd, 2010, I’ll be hosting an hour-long free-for-all discussion covering topics (in no particular order) that I’ve posted here on Claire De Lunacy.

I already have the call-in set up, I’ll be posting the info as we get closer to the big day. In the interim, my dear, sweet friends, ruminate on these topics:

1) The hubbub surrounding Israel Luna’s odious “transploitation” film “Ticked Off Trannies with Knives.”

2) Clash of the Smitin’s: Unnecessary Remakes and Why They Suck.

3) And speaking of Things That Should Not Be™, a whole new slew of, er, Things That Should Not Be™ (got a nomination? SEND IT TO ME…NAO!)

4) LGBTidbits™ (Those of you familiar with my Twitter feed will recognize this topic. Everyone else, just be prepared to discuss the week’s LGBT news. Well, I mean, not SUPER prepared. There won’t be a quiz or anything.)

5) The Super-Fun Book Club of Fun-ness™ returns! Our book for the month of May is “American Lion,” a very compelling biography of Andrew Jackson by Jon Meachem (you don’t have to read the entire book for the first podcast, we’ll be discussing it in general and also you get to sit and listen to me explain how the SFBCOF™ works…I know, I know – does the fun ever START?)

6) Random Review: NetFlix for the Wii Or, as I like to call it, “My television’s desperate final ploy to remain relevant to my existence.” (as ploys go, it’s surprisingly effective)

7) SPECIAL BONUS TOPIC!  CASTING: UR DOIN IT WRONG We’ll be discussing how remakes SHOULD be cast, as well as remakes we’d like to see, and a whole bunch of other nerdy stuff that will make the non-nerdy among you (should you exist) throw up your hands and say “But I LIKE Matthew McCan’tActy as Dirk Pitt!

Eventually, I’ll be taking these podcasts into Audacity to strip out all the “erms,” and “uhhhs” and “Doyyyy” sounds. But for the first month or so, it’s the Wild effing West, baby! (something tells me that we’ll earn our “Explicit” rating within the first ten minutes. I know how you think, Hordelings!)

Each week’s info will also be posted to the web site, so don’t get your collective panties in a bunch if there’s something we natter on about that catches your…ear(?) and you don’t have a pencil handy.

I hope to hear from you, friends. It’s sure to be a fun time, or at least more entertaining than having your pinkie torn off by an iPad thief.**

*No, not really.
** OK, to be fair, some people might get off on that, so I will say it’s LIKELY to be more fun. You sick bastards.

It’s not my birthday…

Well the rain falls down without my help I’m afraid
And my lawn gets wet though I’ve withheld my consent
When this grey world crumbles like a cake
I’ll be hanging from the hope
That I’ll never see that recipe again

It’s not my birthday, it’s not today…

- They Might Be Giants, “It’s Not My Birthday”-

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.

-Louis L’Amour-

No, dear readers, it is NOT my birthday today. That cherished occasion lies nine months in the future. Today is auspicious, however, for at least two reasons:

A) Today was the last day of my IT career. I’ve left behind Very Large Corporation, Inc, and Information Technology alike in order to take up my bindle stick, pluck up my courage, and hop aboard a train bound for Creative Enterprise.

and

B) Today is my “rebirthday.” Exactly 2 years ago today, I received the precious blessing of the state court and changed my legal identity to match my actual one. I may be only two years old, but I’m advanced for my age.

It’s been a busy day, is the point.

I’ve been struggling for years to return to creative work, the victim of an odd (and, at times, cruel-seeming) paradox; despite having zero formal IT training or education, possessing what can only be described as mid-level technopathy led to the assumption that I was and would forever be a “techie,” despite both my frequent side projects in the creative arts and my own hearty protestations to the contrary. Eventually, the time I’d spent in IT (which was, naturally, time away from design and other creative fields, at least according to my resume) reinforced this idea; “Claire must be meant for IT because Claire’s in IT and Claire’s in IT because Claire’s meant to be there.”

Not pretty.

But, the wheel of life spins under our feet regardless of our forward motion, and eventually I was able to – through a series of contacts, design projects and a stubbornness so profound that mules roll their eyes at me –  procure my new position in Marketing and Social Media. My excitement is so profound that I’m pretty sure I’ve been levitating most of the day, which sounds fun until you stop at the grocery and can’t activate the little pressure-plate door opener thing.

But I digress.

As I was packing up my few remaining possessions and saying my goodbyes, I realized how deeply IT has affected me, both as a person and an employee. Yes, there have been challenges to my patience at times – ID-10T errors and PEBKAC abound – but for the most part, even the most grievous frustrations were ameliorated by that magic moment, that singular instant, when I solved someone’s problem. Money has never been a particularly strong motivator for me; my inability to manage it, coupled with the sort of disregard for material gain most people associate with terminal illness or religious mania makes it a poor carrot with which to lead me down the primrose path. However, put me in a place where I am genuinely and consistently helpful to someone, exorcising not just the demons from their Excel macros but the shadows from their workday, and I am a happy camper (provided, of course, that there is gratitude for services rendered…ingrates turn the knob of my Smitemaster 3000 to “11” ).

This has not been an ideal job – what job is, in the final analysis? – but it HAS been a useful one. It’s taught me many things about myself, and the kind of work, environment and interactions I require to feel as though I’m making a positive impact every day. It’s introduced me to some great friends, taught me that trust needs to be earned (not just given away like novelty tokens at a particularly cruddy fundraising carnival), and, perhaps most importantly of all, helped me to understand all the things I’m NOT as well as those I am.

And for that, I will be forever grateful.

It’s been a day of lasts – last login, last cup of tea, last casual sweep of Ice Station Zebra, last hugs and tears and laughs.There will be letters to write, e-mails to exchange, lunches to coordinate; there will be attrition as bodies both peripheral and central in my personal galaxy move closer or break orbit and disappear into space beyond.

But it’s also a day for beginnings. Here I stand, two years as Claire behind me, with (let us hope) many more ahead. The sun has not yet reached its apex; the future stretches before me, a road traveling through sunny heights and icy, shadowed lows. Having reached a fork, I’ve chosen what I hope is the right one, and focus my gaze on the horizon.

No, it’s not my birthday, my friends. But somehow, I still feel as though I’ve been given a gift.


With Memory and Honor

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2009

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2009

OK, kids, it’s time to get serious, because the violence against the TG community is very serious indeed.


This Friday, November 20th, marks the 11th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. This event is held to pay respect to those who have lost their lives to anti-transgender violence and reckless hate; it is also held to increase awareness within the community at large to this violence and the danger it holds, not only for gender-variant individuals but those who share their lives. In 2009 alone, 99 individuals worldwide have been murdered either because they were transgendered, were involved with someone transgendered, or – perhaps most unsettling of all – were perceived to be transgendered by their attacker(s). With the violence against the community escalating at an alarming rate (2009’s murders to date are more than twice that of 2008’s), informing the public and working to educate others is a key step in reducing these senseless acts and preserving the dignity, safety and lives of all citizens.I encourage you to participate in your local events; the light of awareness helps to dispel the shadows of ignorance and hate.
For more information, or to find an event near you, please visit http://www.transgenderdor.org or http://www.transohio.org.

In Which Our Heroine Becomes a Real, Live, Writer-Type Person

So here’s the thing:

While I have spent the greater part of my life transferring the cacophony that fills my noggin’ into squiggles on both paper and computer screen, I’ve been plagued by doubts (both professional and personal) about the likelihood of such tomfoolery providing me with a career.

Until now.

Recent events – a rise in confidence stemming from feedback on my writing; a return to school that has me remembering that I did not set out to be a pusher of papers and counter of computers for minor ducats and little thanks; and the slow but measurable progress of a life lived as myself rather than who others want me to be – have led me to apply for a job as a writer for a site called Examiner.com.

Basically, it’s a per-click deal – I get $0.01 for every click on an article I’ve written – and while I’m not planning on retiring to a sprawling villa in Barcelona with my earnings, I am planning to build my portfolio and use this to develop myself professionally and hone my craft.

My official title is “Dayton Gay Issues Examiner” for the Dayton, Ohio (duh) area. My first article will be (let us hope) posted later this week. I’ll let you know when it goes live, but in the meantime, please, stop by and visit my ridiculously dorky bio and picture.

Apparently, there’s already a Transgender Issues Examiner, but I’m hoping the overlap won’t be too much for the market to bear.

*cough*

Now, if I can just figure out a way to clone myself, I can finish my novel this year too. Or at least finish revising it for the 85th time.

Awesome People to Follow on Friday!

Hey, Readers!

I know that The Twitter is not for everyone, but if you do indulge in the occasional tweet, then you’ve got three new friends you haven’t met yet, waiting for you over at the Awesommolier.

Today’s Awesommolier post focuses on three members of the Faithful Horde who are must-follows! Stop by, get to know them, and be sure to click on the SocialVibe link to help bring art to hospitalized kids. There’s no better treat you can bring a sick or injured child than the gift of art!

(By the way, thanks to you, we’ve already provided almost 140 art projects to kids in hospitals! Your participation is super important, and it is also SUPER appreciated. I may be highlighting three members of the Horde every week, but you’re ALL People of Quality™. THANKS! )

Daily Dose of Awesome Now Available

Splendor in the Grass

"Splendor" is the word for it, my friends.

Today’s Awesommolier is now available, hot off the (word)presses! In today’s post, I review the new Pink Martini album, Splendor in the Grass, which is indeed splendorous. Stop by and check it out – and while you’re there, be sure to click on the SocialVibe link to help out The Art of Elysium!

Thanks bunches!

The Awesommolier Debut!

Don't worry, I'll eventually design something more attractive.

Don't worry, I'll eventually design something more attractive.

Morning, all! (Who am I, Dixon of Dock Green‘s first-shift doppelganger?)

This is just a quick post to promote The Awesommolier, my new blog that will, as I may have mentioned once or twice elsewhere, bring the Awesome to you.

Now, obviously, not every post will be about conspicuous consumerism and the attainment of free loot, but I thought it’d be nice to kick things off (insert your own lame boot joke here) with a nice little contest.

Also, even if Ugg Boots aren’t your thing, I encourage you to visit the site and click on the link for the Art of Elysium, the charity that benefits DIRECTLY from your participation via the Awesommolier. Ultimately, there’s nothing more awesome than helping others, and that’s what the Awesommolier is all about!

What is Awesome to you?

Hola, faithful readers!

One of the multiple hats I wear on the dark entity known as Twitter is that of the Awesommolier. What, you may ask, is the Awesommolier?

“None of your bee’s wax!” I will say. Then I will remember that I want you to read it, and shrug while smiling sheepishly.

The Awesommolier is an outgrowth of an idea I had for Follow Friday on Twitter. For those of you with actual lives, Follow Friday is a Twitter tradition wherein one recommends other Twitter users one thinks others would benefit from following. In order to instruct The Faithful Horde on who I thought they should I follow, I created the Awesommolier, a role in which I endorse things and people found to be Awesome in my sight.

About a week ago, a friend of mine said to me, “If these things and people are so awesome, you should tell people more about them, instead of just saying “Yo, Horde, this website/vegetable/Eastern European Glamor Model is awesome!”

So, taking their suggestion to heart, I have created The Awesommolier, a weekly blog dedicated to finding and sharing things I find awesome (while also supporting charity; by clicking on the Socialvibe link, you can help sick kids heal through, and learn more about, the arts).

I’m currently accepting suggestions, so if you’ve got anything you think other folks would love to learn more about, I’ll be publishing this week’s issue on Friday, October 23rd. Write-ups and pics are welcome; in future editions, I plan to partake of all things awesome in order to give a real first-person report for the curious and timid.

If it is awesome, and others should be sharing in it, we aim to let you all know! Send me your nouns, your verbs, even your gerunds to the e-mail at left, via this blog, or on Twitter (@LaBarceloneta).

Saying Goodbye

There once was a girl, and she was loved.

Loved by her parents, by her friends, even by her bratty little brother, who delighted in torturing her by, well, being a little brother.

She was a shy girl, but by all accounts as sweet and kind as you were likely to find in the human species. Behind her thick glasses were eyes that saw the world as inherently good, and a mind ready not to judge, but to seek out that goodness, and cherish it.

The girl grew into a woman, and found herself a man. The man was very gruff and hard, with a lot of rough edges, but over the long years of their marriage, her sweetness washed over him in patient waves, smoothing those edges and softening the jagged hardness of him, until people who’d known him as a young man would remark that he was as transformed as Saul on the road to Damascus.

The woman had two children, who she raised to be hard-working and brave and as kind as she. Later, when her bratty little brother, having grown up as well, had children of his own, she was as loving and generous an aunt as anyone might ask for, ready to dole out hugs or treats or gentle encouragement as the situation required. She was especially kind to her nephew, a child of odd and precocious nature, a bookworm and a smartass. Unlike so many others, she remained kind and loving to that same child when she became her niece.

There was once a woman, and she was as loving as she was loved.

Years passed. Toward the end of her life, she developed diabetes, and the complications that often arise with it. She was a woman long accustomed to taking care of others before herself, and so found herself spending a lot of time at the doctors, at dialysis, at the hospital. During what would turn out to be her final stay in one of these hospitals, she contracted MRSA after having some reparative surgery, and all too soon after that, she was gone.

We tend to take the warmth of the sun for granted until it passes behind a cloud, and this is how it was with my aunt Pat. We’d kept loose tabs on each other over the years, not seeing each other as often as we’d like, but maintaining a fundamental love that never faded, touching base at holidays and birthdays. And now that she’s gone, I find myself wishing for one more conversation about the day, one more story about my dad’s childhood brattiness, one more hug and a smile. The sun has gone behind a cloud, and I find myself ill-prepared for the chill in the air.

There once was a girl, and she was loved.

She still is.

OSI: “Rescue”

I’m once again participating in the poetry fun over at One Single Impression. If you enjoy poems and awesomeness of various stripes, why not pay them a visit?

This week, the prompt is “Allow,” a verb that affects a lot of us in very different ways.  For me, understanding that a life without risk is a life without reward was an uphill battle. By (slowly) learning to relax my guard, I’ve learned that being open may leave you vulnerable to harm, but it’s also the only way to really connect with yourself, the world, and others.

With that in mind, I give you:

Rescue

She was fond of rules
They gave a shape to her world
Reined in all her fears.

As if by saying
“You may do this, and not that.”
She was in control.

Such a flimsy shield
Against the terrors without and
The chaos within.

She told herself that
A heart safe from harm, a soul
safe from slings & arrows

Justified a life
Bound by reserve and distance
Of closing herself

Locked away inside
This fortress, her heart still sang,
Her soul still yearned.

But in those grey walls,
The song was heard but faintly,
her soul could not soar.

There came, then, at last,
A day when fear of chaos
Fell to fear of rot

And she saw the walls
As they were – not a fortress,
But a grim prison.

A shelter from harm
But also a barrier
To love and to life.

She threw wide the doors
Sweet summer wind rushing in
Warmth replacing chill.

Shoulders squared, she
Clung fast to heart and soul, and
Stepped into the sun.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.