Saturday, February 28, 2009

Infowhore's Library - Braid

The other day I bought Braid for the X-box. When this game first came out I had downloaded the demo and loved it. Unfortuantly I had no money at the time, so I couldn't buy the full game. I removed the demo and promised myself that I would get this game someday. Someday came yesterday, eleven months after the game was released and I played the demo.

Why now and not sooner? Well I kind of forgot about the game. Which is not a statement about the game but a statement about how poor my memory can be.

Yesterday I noticed that X-Box live was offering Braid with a 33% discount. Seeing the name suddenly brought back the pure joy I had experienced with the demo. I quickly bought and downloaded it to my X-Box.

Braid looks like a standard 2D platformer however after the first time you rewind time you'll start to see there is something very special going on. At first you'll just be rewinding to recover from dying, later you'll walk through worlds were time moves as you moves forward and backward as you walk across the screen.

Did I mention this game looks gorgeous. Backgrounds look like paintings come to life. The music is lovely and soothing. Thus creating the perfect atmosphere to tackle time puzzles.

What I really like about this game is even when I am having trouble figuring out the solution to a difficult puzzle, I never feel frustrated or stupid. And when I do, I feel satisfied and really clever.

I also like the little homages to the Mario Bros. games. Like the carnivorous plants growing from pipes or the castles at the end of each world where you are greeted thusly:

That's all I got folks. I'm off now to save the princess. Uh, actually I have to go to work now, so the princess will have to wait just a little while.

Friday, February 27, 2009

I've had my transgender pendent necklace since the end of July last year. Since then not one person has asked me what the symbol stands for or made any type of comment about it. Until recently that is. If you've been reading you might remember that a couple of weeks ago coworker asked about it and I deflected her question.

Earlier tonight another coworker asked, "What does that mean? Boys and girls together with Jesus?" I got a little laugh at his attempt to decode the symbol. I tried to shrug off his question but he really wanted to know so I eventually said I would tell him later after we had closed the store.

He asked a couple more times before the night was over and I reiterated that I would tell him later. Later came and while he, his cousin who also works with us and I waited for the last of the closing reports to print he asked once more. I sighed and said, "It's the symbol for transgender." He then asked why I was wore it and I said because I'm transgender. To which he said, "What's transgender?" I was a little stunned and at a lost for words. I glanced at his cousin and asked him if he knew. He said he did.

I literly could not think of a good way to explain it. Right now I can think of several things I could and should have said. Finally I resorted to asking him if he knew what a transsexual was. He said yes and I said it was something like that. He seem satisfide with that and we went on to talk about other things.

So now I'm out to two of the people I work with. I feel good about it. I'm still not sure about coming out to anyone else. I know that I'm making it a big issue when it probably isn't. I may not have to though. I didn't ask the two I told tonight not to talk about it. I though about asking them to keep quiet but discarded that idea as being a bit paraniod.

I've said before that I think my boss might know but that doesn't make it any easier to broach the subject.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thinking about coming out

I've been doing some thinking about coming out as transgender at my current job. I did a little digging on my myspace blog and found the entry I made the day I came out at the deli I used to work at:

Today was my birthday and the day I came out as transgender at work. I hadn't been planning on coming out this soon but a few people found out a week ago and I decided it felt like a good time.

I made the final decision this morning. I updated my twitter and myspace status to say I was coming out today. I told my sister during the walk from the bus stop to our place of work(we work at the same place). As we walked in I saw my boss and began to feel real nervous and scared. He asked what was wrong and I told him nothing was wrong, I just needed to talk to him a about something. I began to feel like I had when I told my sister. After a minute of me trying to find the right words, he said, "Just spit it out." For some reason when he said that I felt a second of calm and was able to say, "I'm transgender." To which he said, "Ok I knew that." Needless to say I was stunned and any nervousness quickly left. We had a short chat during which I began to cry tears of pure joy.

After our chat I went to the bathroom to clean up, when I was done I went to find one of the few other employees who came in as early as me. I found her in the back and said, "There's something I want to tell you personally so you don't have to hear it through rumors. I'm transgender." And guess what she says, "Oh, I figured."

So yeah the first two people I tell had already figured me out. The third person I told also already knew because one of the people that found out last week had told him but he pretended not to know and let me tell him because he felt I needed to tell him myself. Which I did. After those three I found some co-workers who didn't have a clue but were fine with it. One asked if it meant I was gay. I said no. She asked if I was attracted to women and I said yes. To which she said, "Well if you think your a girl and you like girls then you're a lesbo." Which made me laugh.

I spent most of the morning feeling blissed out on feeling accepted.

Overall I had a great birthday.

I forgot I came out on my birthday. Rereading this made me miss the people I worked with but mostly it made me smile remembering a day where nothing bad happened, even though it could have.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Middleman News

I have some bad news and some good news for fans of The Middleman. For those who don't know The Middleman was a very cool show full of movie, comics and tv references. The show followed the adventures of Middleman in training Wendy Watson and her boss the current Middleman. Think of the Middleman as a one man MIB who's job is to investigate and cover up all manner of strange, paranormal and down right odd goings on.

First the bad news: The Middleman has been canceled and will not be back for a second season on ABC Family.

The Good news: The DVD set comes out this July and will be packed with extras and behind the scenes stuff. Also coming out in July is a graphic novel based on the unfilmed thirteenth episode of the first season. The graphic novel, titled "The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse" will serve as a season finale but will tie up enough plotlines to serve double duty as a series finale.

While I'm sad that The Middleman isn't coming back it's hard to be too down beat when Javier Grillo-Marxuach, creator of the series, is so positive about the whole affair. You can read his The Middleman Rumor Control FAQ on his blog The MiddleBlog. He has high hopes that The Middleman will continue beyond the graphic novel. I am powerless before his optimistic attitude and can not help but believe he is right and that The Middleman will return.

One last treat. A sneak peek at the character designs for the graphic novel by Armando M. Zanker via The Middleblog(click for bigger images):

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Girls with Slingshots / Work News and Thoughts

Today I arrived home to find a padded envolope waiting for me. I wondered who I knew in West Virgina as I read the return address. Throwing caution to the wind I tore open the end and discovered these inside:

I think I squeed with glee. My buttons from Girls With Slingshots had arrived. I wasted no time in attaching them to my backpack. When I get batteries for my camera, I'll be sure to post a pic. Until then just take my word that they look cool and not at all dorky.

Ah yes you might be wondering what is Girls With Slingshots. Well GWS(as much as I love the title it's a bit long to type it out everytime) is a web comic created by Danielle Corsetto. All you really need to know about GWS is that it's funny smart and at times sexy. I read through the entire archive in one sitting one night. This comic has comedy, romance, adventure and an Irish talking cactus. Let me say that again: It has an Talking Irish Cactus. What are you wanting for:

Trust me you won't regret it.


And now on to the other topic I wanted to cover my job.

So tonight my manager and I were talking and I'm not sure how we got on the subject but he told me if the lead assistant manager left he would recommend me for that position. I was a bit shocked and really didn't know what to say so I just kind of pretended he hadn't had said it.

Lately he's been giving me tips on how to manage, on delegating tasks and how best to order employees around without really ordering them around. He wants me to stand back more and let my crew do more of the work while I supervise. I find this very hard to do. I'm not used to doing nothing while everyone else works. I find myself becoming very uneasy if I don't do something.

I've never wanted to be in charge of other people. I never wanted the reponsibility. But the last two months has seen me leap from being a new hire to being fourth in the chain of command. I did not seek to be promoted but when the chance appeared I jumped at it. It makes me a little light headed to think I've come farther in a few months than I did in four years at my previous job.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Best Laid Plans.. Part 2

So now that my brain doesn't feel two sizes too big for my skull I wil regale you with the conlusion of yesterday which did not go exactly as planned but was still enjoyable.

After paying my bill at Tokyo Grill, I walked the two blocks to Hastings. I stopped momentaly in the airlock you enter through to browse the wall of TPB comics. A few items caught my eye but not enough to make me really want to spend money on them. Entering the store proper, I walked straight ahead into the music/game/comic/manga/anime/novoltiy section. (You know until just this moment I didn't realize that all that was thrown together while books and movies each have their own seperate sections.) I wasn't looking for anything in paticular or even looking to buy anything at all. I was mainly just there to browse around and kill some time. Walking past the rental games toward the comics I saw this:

What caught me eye, besides the beautiful cover, was the size of the book. It measures an impressive twelve inches by twelve inches, has 480 pages color pages and feels heavy enough to use as a weapon. It's a collection of short comics inspired by the songs of Tori Amos. The introduction by Neil Gaiman is a lovely story about how he was introduced to her and her music. Before each story is a page with the song title and lyrics that inspired it. With over 80 creators working on over 50 stories there is a lot of variety between the covers. There are love stories, mini adventures, slice of life stories, horror stories and some that speak to hidden parts of ourselves. The cover grabbed my attention, Neil reeled me in and the stories themselves have grabbed hold.

I decided to buy it almost imidiatly and spent the rest of my time lugging it around while browsing the toy/novoltiy asiles. I found a nice keychain in the shape of the BPRD symbol. I also saw this lunch box:

I almost bought it as well but when I opened it the lid fell off. On closer examination I saw the lid was not broken but poorly made. Looking at my Vault-Tec lunch box, that I got with Fallout 3, I can see the lid on my box is attached much more securely with small strips of metal that also function as hinges. The Serenity lunch box lid was attached to the rest of the box by a bent section of it's bottom lip that caught on another bent section on the box.

I seem to have developed a slight fondness for these metal lunch boxes but not as collector pieces. I like to carry a book with me but I don't like the book to get damaged by being shoved in my backpack. Enter the Vault-Tec lunch box which now protects my copy of American Gods. It takes up more room than the book alone but I can store more items inside if need be.

I didn't see much else of note during the rest of the time I spent browsing at Hastings. I left and returned home on the bus. I read a few of the stories in my new book and then played Fallout 3, which I need to write about soon.

So that was the day that didn't go as planned but ended well.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Best Laid Plans..

My plans for the day were derailed at 7:30 am when my manager came by and asked for the keys I was going to copy. The assistant manager, who has the other set of keys, didn't show up due to being sick. Not having any reason to get moving early I turned off my alarm and laid back down. I alone slept a few more hours before waking up enough to watch the episode of Sliders from the third season where Quinn meets his double who is a woman. While watching I got a phone call from my new friend Kino(nickname) and had a lovely chat about nothing in paticular.

After the lovely chat I took a shower and headed out to cash my check. Nothing remarkable happened on the way to or at the bank. Earlier I had mentioned to Kino that I was thinking about getting sushi or lunch however when I got out of the bank I was craving something meater. Looking around I saw a Texas Roadhouse which I had never been to before. Walking up to the front door I thought it was odd that the parking lot was empty just after lunchtime. This minor mystery was cleared up when I saw that they open their doors at 4pm.

Once more I looked around and saw that I was now much closer to the Tokyo Grill. Accepting this as a sign I settled(not that I was really unhappy) on sushi for lunch. I ordered a root beer to drink while browsing the menu. Printed on the chopstick wrapper was the following:

1. Tuck one chopstick under your thumb.
2. Hold the other between your forefinger and thumb like a pen.
3. Use your forefinger to move the upper chopstick. Now you can pick up anything.

Yes now I can pick up anything!

Since I have only been to Tokyo Grill once before I decided to pick out something different. After a little thought I ordered a spring roll, ell roll and a scorpion roll. There was a slight mix up and instead of a scorpion roll I got a monster roll. That's what Heather, my waitress, called it.

(This isn't the roll I ate but it's pretty close in appearance) 

I don't remember exactly what she said was in it but I think she said eel, shrimp and salmon. I enjoyed it. I had no other complaints and tipped well(I alway tip and usually in the high side).  Next time I'll get the scorpion roll.

I have a fierce headache so I will write about my trip to Hastings tomorrow.

Plans for tomorrow, ect.

It's my day off. I'd like to spend it at home relaxing, sleeping, reading or catching up with the shows that I have downloaded but not found the time to watch. Instead I will try to be productive with my time.

I will cash my check.
I will get copies of the keys I need to close the store made.
I will return my boss's keys.
I will do these things before noon.
I will get these things done by riding the bus.

At least that's the plan. If all goes according to plan I will be at the mall shortly before the movie theater opens. Of course there isn't anything I want to see except Coraline and I'm not sure I want to spend the slightly inflated price to see it in 3D again. Which leaves me in a bit of a lurch about what to do with the rest of the afternoon. I could just come home but that feels like a disappointing end to a productive morning. I want to do something after all that productivity. Maybe I'll just browse the mall.

Why do I feel the need to 'do' something? Well to be honest I'm starting to feel a depressive episode coming on. I get them about once a month. For a few days I just feel absolutly like nothing matters and everything is wrong with my life. I can see and know that those things are not true but it doesn't help me from feeling that way. I've found if I keep busy with work or doing things outside of the house that I don't feel quite so bad.

Today I felt like walking out of my job because I started feeling this way. The job where:

1. I just got promoted
2. Got a raise
3. Work for two of the nicest people
4. Who also care about doing a good job
5. While also caring about their employees.

I almost walked out because.. I can't even remember what almost set me off. But I didn't. I very carefully thought about all those reasons I just listed for liking my job and kept working.

My crew cleaned up the store and I finished the paperwork fast enough that we walked out two minutes till 10pm. Which is just about as early as humanly possible to get out without cutting any corners. This made me extremely happy and it's been my happy thought for the past four hours.

I've been thinking about moving from living with my sister and her kids to living alone. Not because I don't want to live with them and not because they don't want to live with me. It feels like something that I need to do. Which is probobly one of the worst reasons to do something and yet it's the best reason I can come up with as for why I want to move out on my own. I've started looking but there isn't much in the way of affordable apartments that are also close to bus stops or close to my place of work. In fact the closer I get to my place of work the higher the rent is.

This post has gotten a little long so I'm going to end it here.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'm back

I've been busy at work what with being promoted to team leader which means this past week I had to put in a lot of extra hours to prepare for Valentine's day and the days leading up to it.

Being placed in a leadership role has been a new experiance.  I've never felt comfortable telling others what to do.  I prefer to work along side people rather than over them.  

Today I was in charge of closing, that is making sure the store is cleaned and everything is put away.  Normally I would help out but today I worked a fifteen hour day and by the end my back was hurting so bad I could bearly bend over and even just standing still hurt.  My manager saw how much I was hurting so he took me aside and told me that I was not to do any cleaning, I was to supervise everyone else in cleaning.  Even though I was in pain it didn't really feel right to just watch and I sneaked in a little cleaning.  I've been off my feet for a few hours and my back already feels better.  I hope all I need is a good night's rest.

Something happened after work that has me a little worried.  First a little background.  A few months ago I bought a necklace with a pewter pendent that looks like this:

That in case you didn't know is the symbol for transgender. I bought it shortly after coming out at my previous job. I kept wearing it after I quit and got hired at my current job because no one knows what it stands for and no one has ever asked me what it means. Today after work while waiting for my manager to finish the day's paperwork a coworker asked about it. I thought for a second about saying what it really means but instead I just said it was personal.  She excepted my answer and didn't press the matter.  She did say she was going to look it up online and find out what it means.  

I want to come out at work eventually but I'm not really ready yet. If there hadn't been other people around I think I would have told her the truth. I think I could trust her to not spread it around until I was ready.  I'm a little worried about her figuring it out on her own but not too worried.  

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Going to the Movies

This weekend three movies are being released that I am excited enough about to want to see in the theater. In order of excitement: Coraline, 
Fanboys and Push.

Coraline because I love Neil Gaiman's stories and the look of the film is stunning. 

You know I have been interested in seeing how far 3D movies have come. I had consider seeing My Bloody Valentine but was very reluctant to due so because it is a horror movie and I'm not much of a horror movie fan. I understand Coraline is supposed to have some scary bits but I feel Henry Selick, Neil Gaiman and everyone who worked on Coraline will deliver a good story that just happens to be in 3D rather than a movie that depends on being in 3D to be good.

Fanboys because it looks like a fun geeky road trip romp.
Looking at this poster you can see it was origanaly slated for a 2007 release.  Yep I have been patiantly waiting two years for this movie.

Push I only heard about and saw the trailer a few days ago but it likes like a superhero movie but doesn't have the baggage of having fanbase it has to please.  My only concern with Push is that the characters will fail to use their abilities with a measure of common sense.


Only Coraline and Push wil be opening at my local theater. After very little thought I have purchased a ticket for the earliest showing of Coraline, to hopefully avoid a theater full of kids.

I'll be back with a review of the movie Friday night or Saturday.


Melissa McEwan wrote this on Shakesville:

Dear America:

Some women have noticeable curves. Some women have less noticeable curves. All of them are real women.

Some men hew quite closely to traditional male stereotypes. Some men's gender expression is wildly different from traditional male stereotypes. All of them are real men.

Some men and women are attracted to the opposite sex. Some men and women are attracted to the same sex. Some men and women are attracted to both sexes, or neither. All of them are real men and women.

Some women and men were born the same gender they will die. Some women and men will transition to another gender during their lifetimes. Some will opt to present themselves as gender-neutral. All of them are real women and men.

Some women wear pink. Some women don't. All of them are real women.

Some men eat meat. Some men don't. All of them are real men.

Some Americans are brown. Some are white. Some are black. Some are some combination thereof. Some are Pacific Islanders. Some are indigenous people to this land. Some are from families that owned slaves. Some are from families that were enslaved. Some can trace their lineage back to the Mayflower. Some are recent immigrants. Some are religious. Some are not. Some believe in one god and some believe in many. Some Americans think George Bush is a great guy. Some Americans think Barack Obama is a great guy. Some Americans don't like either one of them. All of them are real Americans.

I am a real person. And so are you.

Authentically Yours,
I have nothing to add except to say I whole heartly agree with this.

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is coming up in a little more than a week. In past years I've barely been aware that the day was coming. I've had little reason to keep track of it due to being single. It's a bit depressing for me to think about Valentine's day. I mean it's a day dedicated to expressing your love for your significant other, which leaves single people somewhat out in the cold.

This year is a bit different. No, I have not fond my true love or even just a love. What makes this year different is where I am working. The store I'm working for now sells cookie cakes and for Valentine's Day we sell heart shaped cookie cakes that come in gold and red foiled heart shaped boxes (they're very nice looking). This is the busiest time of the year for the store I've been told. We're expecting to sell around 250 heart cookie cakes and around 300 regular cakes over a period of four days. With that much business and due to my new position as team leader I'm going to be working open to close, fifteen hours, for most of next week. This is going to result in a very nice check. It will also mean I will have little to no free time during the days leading up to Valentine's Day.

The next part of my ongoing story is swimming in my brain. I am hoping to write and post it before V-week begins. In any event expect me to drop off the net around the 10th or 11th and to be back after the 15th.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


The above picture is of a space shuttle launch.

I'm watching Apollo 13 and thinking about space travel. I'm thinking how awesomely cool it is that people have left the planet. To go where no one has ever gone before.

And at the same time it is terrifying. This planet we live on is the only place were human life exists. Think about that. You can not survive out there unless you take everything you need to live. Air, water, food, and heat. There is literally no place to get more of any of those things out there.

I think about the big empty out there and feel so small.