About:

It's my hope to post entries here about my life and experiences as a trans-woman who also happens to have bipolar disorder. This is my way of making my voice be heard, and bringing attention to the issues that myself and others like me, face every day.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Starting Work

Tomorrow is the day, I start work in the morning. I'm nervous about it, but I think I'll manage alright with it. I'm not sure about what my regular hours or anything will be, but the next few days should get me all filled in on everything. I'm hoping that once the store opens in the next week or so that I'll be able to adjust my hours to better match with Stef's more. Tomorrow is from 10 - 6 and will probably be the same the rest of the week. I hope they open a bit earlier than that once things get going. I'm hoping more so to try for 9 - 5, but we'll work things out. All I can do now is go ahead with things and hope for the best.

I'm hoping the hours aren't going to screw with me too much. I'll be getting up by 7 every morning and not getting home until at least 7 PM. It's just because there's an overlap in the times she has to get to work and gets off and when I do. I just don't want to get burnt out from being up and about too much every day. Oh well, I'm going for it, that's all I can do; make the best effort I can put forth and hope it all works out.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Got A Job

I got 2 calls on Monday in regards to jobs that I had applied for. The first one was for a job that a friend of mine recommended me for, and the second was for spirit halloween. The first place just had me come in to do a full application since I had just sent my resume, and spirit actually asked me to come in for an interview later in the day. I went to the interview and things went really well. I was told I should be getting a call today after the person that interviewed me talked to her manager, and loe and behold I did. She said they were going to hire me, I just had to fill out a few things online and I go in on Friday to get everything else out of the way. I’m not sure when I’ll start, but I should know more after Friday.

I’m happy about it, but at the same time disappointed that I didn’t get one of the full time jobs. This one only really guarantees me a job until November. I’m keeping my options open though. The one I stopped by to fill out the application for may want to do an interview soon, and I hope they do and choose to hire me. I’ll take it in a heartbeat because it’s full time year round employment, and that’s what I really need. The good points of this are that once I start I’ve got work experience that I can list on an application to increase my chances of being hired somewhere else.

I do have to admit that I’ll miss all the free time I’ve had up until now most days, and I hope they don’t try to work me too much. It’s a start at the very least, so I can’t really complain about too much. I actually had to turn down an interview today from a craigslist ad I sent a resume to that called me. It’s like suddenly everyone wants me. I’m kind of scared, but at the same time excited. Finally the 90 some applications I’ve put in over the last few months have paid off. I just hope this will make it easier to find future work.

Also, Stef got her dad to look at the car the other day. He helped her fix a few of the things needed to be fix and changed the oil. He seemed to think that the problem is the sensor since it's still doing the same thing even after the oil has been changed. The engine hasn't been making any strange noises or acting up after all this time, so I'm hoping he's right and it's a quick and easy fix. There's no leaks that are apparent, so aside from some of the smaller stuff that need to be fixed for it to pass inspection we're doing alright.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Trying Not to Lose Hope

It's been a rough few days for Stef and I. A bunch of problems all seemed to happen at once, and have been stressing us both out.

We went to our appointments at the clinic Tuesday night, but she had gotten a call Friday about them needing her financial information again. She brought what they needed along, but when we got there we found out that she needed to be there before 5 with the information. They wouldn’t see her for her appointment because she didn’t have it there on time. They had left a message but didn’t mention needing to be there with it at a certain time, so we didn’t rush to get there. I did manage to talk to the person in charge and get her another appointment for next month and prescription refills at least.

On the way home from the clinic the oil pressure gage dropped down low enough that the light came on. We were both hoping that nothing would happen before we got home, and thankfully it seems to be holding up and the pressure only drops when she’s sitting still. We decided to take her car in for an inspection, since it needs one, and try to get the oil changed too. First of all the guy told us he couldn’t change the oil, then it failed inspection over a bunch of trivial stuff. He was going to give it a strike for having a damn gps holder stuck on the windshield until she pulled it off. It’s all stuff that can be replaced fairly cheaply individually, but it adds up. The guy tried to bullshit us about the brakes being almost worn out when they were replaced within the last year.

It upset her a lot and I’m just hoping that we can get all this stuff taken care of for a reasonable amount of money. We’re both scared and hoping for the best, that’s about all we can do. Get the stuff fixed that needs it and hope that it takes care of everything.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thinking

I came up with an idea for a painting today. After watching several documentaries lately about the economy and how corporate America works, I decided to do a picture of big corporate tower with a jolly roger flying from the top. It’s my way of showing just what I think of the people I consider this country’s pirates. It’s saying that I think the CEOs of these big companies that pull in billions a year and then outsource to Mexico or some other country are no better than pirates. They just find more sneaky ways of taking you money, and aren’t as direct as “give me your money or I’ll kill you”. It’s more like give me your money or I won’t provide you with food, clothing, and shelter.

I watched a Michael Moore documentary the other night with Stef called The Big One. We didn’t realize until we started it that it was from the mid 90s. We decided to watch anyway, but what it mostly dealt with were how the executives of these corporations would, at the peak of productivity, decide to move their factories to another country to “remain competitive”, in other words, to make even more money. Three billion a year just isn’t enough. The thing that struck us both was how it didn’t seem almost 20 years old. The issues are the same even today.

In the movie Michael Moore is at one point singing with Rick Neilson from Cheap Trick. They were singing The Times They Are A-Changing by Bob Dylan. All I could think was the times aren’t changing. If anything it’s the same old problems only ten times worse. We give tax breaks and bailouts to these people, just so they can keep doing what they’ve been at for over 20 years. One guy in the film said it perfectly. If the rich get all the money and don’t spend it, who’s going to buy the 30 thousand dollar cars, who’s going to buy all the products these companies produce when no one can afford them. The money doesn’t go back into the economy; it’s sitting in some off shore bank account collecting dust. If the money doesn’t come back into the system it’s going to break down. These people seem more interested in making third world countries prosper than our own. Shouldn’t the welfare of our own country come first?

It can be argued that if I buy the products that these companies produce then I’m just feeding the monster I want to destroy. Yes, I do buy quite a few things that I’m sure they make, mainly food. Why do I do that and not change my lifestyle to buy more local and organic foods? Because I’m not made of money; I have no job and I’m living on food stamps. I get 200 dollars a month to feed myself and my girlfriend, and it’s always tight. I do try to look for local made produce and organics, but normally I’m looking what’s the cheapest I can afford. If that happens to be something made locally I take it, if not then I don’t have much of a choice. It’s either make that 200 stretch or go hungry. I can’t raise my own livestock, I can’t hunt where there are no places nearby to hunt, and I don’t have the room to grow a garden.

I make what I have last so that I can survive, and I’ve sure as hell given up a lot just to get where I am now. I may buy some products these companies make, but that doesn’t mean that I have to like it. I don’t like that there aren’t more affordable options, because if there were I’d take them. I don’t want to give a dime to those people, but sadly they’ve permeated society to the point where you don’t have many options. You can give your money to one criminal or another; take your pick.

This painting will be my symbol of frustration that these corporate pirates are allowed to legally bring this economy to its knees. It’s a symbol of my anger that I am forced in many ways to hand my money over to them. It’s a symbol for all people that feel like these companies have taken advantage of them. I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said before; I just choose to create something that can say more than I ever could in this blog. A picture is worth a thousand words, but I want to make one worth millions; millions of people that are sick and tired of dealing with the economic and social problems that their ancestors tried to fix a hundred years ago. They fixed them, and then their children, who never had to grow up with those problems, slowly dismantled much of their work.

If I sound angry it’s because I am, and I want more people to be angry about this. I know I don’t offer any solutions, because anyone who payed attention in high school history class should know what needs to be done. We need another Teddy Roosevelt; another FDR. We need to do something about these obvious monopolies that have turned into the proverbial elephant in the room. This is one more reason that I paint. I don’t want to make pretty pictures, I want to make people think, I want to catch their attention in a way that someone rambling on and on never will. I want to help makes the times start changing again and start another cultural revolution. Say anything against my message that you want, but even if I don’t agree you have thought about this, and thus my work is done.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bad Day, Good Ending

This weekend didn’t exactly go as I had expected. We managed to get up in time to try to get to the pride event by around one. It started at 11 and I knew I wouldn’t get Stef out of bed before then, so I figured being a little late would be a good thing. It would give people time to show up more. As soon as we were about to get on the highway we saw that there was traffic. After a few miles it was bumper to bumper as far as we could see, so we got off onto route one, which runs parallel to the highway. That was also backed up for miles.

We almost ran out of gas because we set out thinking it would only take about half an hour to get there. We had enough so long as there was no traffic, but just as Stef was calling her mom to let her know that we might need them to bail us out and bring some gas, we saw a gas station at the top of the next hill. Then we get back on the road for another hour before we actually get into town. A normally 40 minute trip at most took over 2 hours. We didn’t get there until 2:30, and of course it started raining, and when we pulled into the parking lot dark clouds moved in and it poured. There was hardly anyone there, we went and ate and came back at 4, an hour before it was supposed to end. It was dead and we just decided to not even get out. We ended up walking around the old town area and checking out some of the shops. The first place we decided to go was the shop where I had left my number with the guy about a potential job in the future. I talked to him a bit while were in there, he runs the place pretty much on his own, so he’s on the fence a bit with hiring anyone. So we looked around a little and I got an old Judas Priest vinyl.

We saw some paintings on the walls, so Stef told me I should ask about it and if he sold any by local artists. He told me that he was hoping to have a show in the shop in the next couple of months with work by local artists, and he said to bring some of my work in and show him sometime. I had luckily brought 5 pieces with me in the hopes of selling them to anyone at the pride event that was interested. The shop actually turned out to be one of the local sponsors of the event too. I told him I’d come back in a few minutes with some of my work. I brought it back and showed him and he seemed to like what I had. My recent tree painting and my one I did last summer about LGBT discrimination seemed to be the favorites. He said to add the shop on facebook that he’d like to possibly get some of my work in the show, to stay in touch. That made the day worth the trouble to get there. The prospect of getting my work into a show and meeting other artists and potential patrons is so much more than I even expected out of Saturday.

To add to the awesomeness of the day, we went into an antique shop after all of that. I wasn’t expecting much. I had seem some old vinyls in there before of bands I like, so I wanted to check it out. When were looing at some in the back I told Stef that I didn’t see much I was into, but that if I saw a Doors album I would have to buy it. I’m a pretty big Doors fan, in spite of my usually being into metal and industrial. We walked up towards the front where there were some more of them, and sitting on a stand on the wall I saw it, The Doors: LA Woman, original vinyl with the plastic and old store tag still on the cover (not unopened though). I grabbed Stef’s arm and said oh my god a few times and told her to look where I was looking. It was 12 dollars and I grabbed it and bought it. To me that was the perfect ending to a day that I had all but given up on.

I have plenty of incentive to get my ideas painted now. I’m hoping everything works out with that art show; it would be a huge help with getting my work out there. Above all, I want to meet other artists and make friends in the area. That way I can both learn and take inspiration from other people’s work, and possibly have some local connections that may help me with a job or something. It definitely helped boost my spirits a bit, and I can use all the good times I can get right now.

Friday, August 12, 2011

New Wave of Creativity

Just when it seemed like things were starting to all go to shit at once, it seems like I’ve gotten a new wave of inspiration to hit me. It all started with the painting I made the other day. It got back into the mindset of creating things, and that’s always when I’m at my happiest.

I also got phone call earlier today about a potential job. I had gotten frustrated about an online application to AT&T that I just spent an hour doing, I was rejected by email 5 minutes after it was done. I got pissed off and decided to go paint and take my mind off of things for a while. The phone rang and I scrambled to drop what I was doing and answer. It’s not a guarantee just yet, but it was someone from an area grocery store that I applied to in July who asked if I was still looking for work. I said yes, and he said he would probably call me back in the next to set up an interview. With any luck maybe I’ll get that job. It’s not as good as what I was hoping for a week ago, but it’s better than working fast food. If I’m offered the job I’ll take it in a heartbeat.

Back on the subject of painting, I guess it popped up at just the right time to keep me from losing my mind. Getting one done again kind of got the gears turning again and I just want to keep going and do more. I’ve been browsing through deviant art the last few days to get inspiration from what other artists have done. I like the work on there, because so much of it is by people at a similar level to me. It gives me the chance to see work done in techniques that are possible for me to try and not fail miserably at. I’m not plagiarizing by any means, I want my work to be unique and my own idea, but at the same time I have to draw those ideas from somewhere. It’s given me a lot to go on, and I’m hoping I can get some more of those ideas down on canvas soon.

I may have found a new market for some of my work. I got some small little 2x2 inch canvases a while back, more out of novelty value than anything. Today I decided to paint a cherry tree branch on one, something really simple. I showed our landlady and apparently the cuteness level is way up there. I’ll never make a ton of money on them, but considering they cost something like a dollar fifty each I can charge five a piece and make a small profit. The cuteness factor can really sell a lot of people, so I’m thinking of getting more once I’ve used what I’ve got. It’s pocket money at the least.

I have to try to balance out time for art and time for applying to jobs, but I think I can manage both. It’s probably going to be a big influence in keeping me applying. I need to be able to tear myself away from the computer and do something I enjoy for a while. I’ve gotten into the mindset lately that if I stop worrying everything goes wrong, when what I really need to do is take some time to calm down and breath. Art is what does that for me more than anything. I turn a classical radio station on and just immerse myself for a while. When I’m painting it’s all I’m thinking about, the ideas that I’m putting into that particular piece are what’s on my mind. I love getting my hands dirty with paint, and setting the brush down and smearing it just right with my fingers. You probably couldn’t tell any of that by how concentrated I look while I’m working, but it’s what I live for. It’s all worth it when I step back and look at what I’ve done and know it’s finished. Painting makes me feel like my time isn’t a complete waste; like I have something more to show for a day than a bunch of applications to places that probably couldn’t care less about me. I feel productive because what I’ve done is right there in front of me and tangible. I get to look at it and know that it went from nothing to something, and that I did it.

Hopefully I’ll hear back about that job soon, I’m still applying to other things in the mean time though. I can’t count on one interview. I’m going to try not to stress too much, although that’s always easier said than done for me.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Not Giving Up

I called about the job interview on Monday. I was told that they had made someone an offer and were waiting to hear if they were going to take the job or not. Needless to say, I didn’t get it, so it’s been a pretty crap week for me. Everyone keeps telling me to not give up and keep trying, and I don’t plan on giving up. I wish I could, but I’ve got too much on the line to just let go and not try. I’ve got nothing to go back to if I can’t get a job and make this living situation work. I’ve got a room in a house in the middle of nowhere, living with grandparents who aren’t getting any younger, in an area with far less jobs than there are here. It’s like a black hole. If you’re older you come to that area to retire. If you’re born there you assimilate and go into whatever local business pays the bills, or leave at the first chance and only go back to visit.

My back is against the wall and I’ve got nowhere else to go. I’m still applying to places every day; I won’t let that slip. It’s getting harder every day to find new places to apply to. I’m even reapplying to several of them. I’m right back where I started; backed into a corner with no place else to run. I have to work my way out somehow, because there are no other options. Before I made this move I swore I’d do whatever it takes to make it work out, and that’s what I intend to do still. I’m doing this for myself as much as I am for Stef. This is something that I’ve known I was going to have to do one of these days, and it has to be done. I want to make a better life for myself, and I just hope that after all is said and done she’ll still be a part of it. If it wasn’t for her I’d have never made it this far on my own.

Fredericksburg is having a pride day thingy this weekend, so we're thinking of going. I'm hoping that I might meet some people that could offer me a job or help get me in touch with someone who could. There's several businesses in town that are sponsoring it, so maybe I'll get lucky. Every other job I apply to has 100 other people applying to it also, so I really need a lucky break or some inside information to get ahead at this rate.

On a lighter note I started painting again the other day. I had been racking my brain lately for some new art ideas to make myself feel at least somewhat productive. I got a little inspiration from Stef telling me all the time not to give up on the job hunt. It’s nothing too special; I actually did it in about 4 hours. Anyway, here’s a picture of the latest work. I’m calling it persistence.

Persistence

I've got another idea I'm going to start working on soon. I won't say what it is yet, but I'm hoping I can make it even better than this one.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Job Hunting Continues

Still no word back on the job I did the interview for. I called Monday to ask about it and was told that they haven't made a decision yet, which is both good and bad for me. Good in the sense that I still have a shot, bad in the sense that it means so are all the people that were there too. I'm still applying for other jobs in the mean time though, I can't really count on one interview. I'm trying, but my list of places to apply gets shorter every day. I'm running out of places to try, and going on the 3 month mark since I started applying. I just hope something comes through for me soon.

On a more positive note I did at least have a good weekend. I went with Stef to an anime convention in Baltimore; my first ever actually. I'm not usually much for anime, but she's trying to get me into more of it. It's working a bit, although I'm kind of particular about which ones I like. It started off rather slow for me on the first day. I think mostly because it was all anmie stuff and I was still in the mindset of not really being into it. Things got better by the second and third days though. We did some things that I was actually into and had fun with, so overall it was a good trip to me.

The only thing that really sucked about it was how much I was on my feet. We had 7 people in a 2 bed hotel room, and we got up and were out of the building by 9:30 each day, if not sooner. We usually didn't get back in until 12:30 or 1:00. So I was pulling 14 and 15 hour days, then getting up and doing it all over again for 3 days. It was brutal on my feet, but thankfully I managed. It was honestly worth it if for no other reason than it was a weekend away from home to at least somewhat escape all the stress.