Monthly Archives: March 2012

Do Not Adjust Your Set

"I checked the index and this topic isn't covered." Image: snowangels.com

It’s been a while since Transman has written anything related to being trans. (By the way, one of his sons hates the abbreviation “trans.” The lad wants full words; he does this to his friends, too, especially when they play online games … “Write out the whole word or I will not help you on this quest” or “You put a comma there; it should be a semicolon.” Transman’s son should have been an 18th century grammarian. Transman needs to hire him to edit his work–but not this post.)

"Indestructible bracelets? I need an indestructible bra." Image: daily mail

Transman was thinking about some of the drawbacks of prosthetic devices that some transfolks use. Sure, these manufactured body parts help fill out a transperson’s clothes, but much can go awry.

His transsisters who haven’t had much breast development sometimes use a little something to fill their bras. They complain about getting things the wrong proportion or having things shift around when they’re in public.

"This is how the pros do it." Image: the sportsman's daily

Transmen who boost the bulge with a prosthesis have similar issues. Sure, giving the boys a little tug to readjust may help a transman look like any other guy, but what about when he tugs too hard and his little fella takes a dive south and winds up giving the world a one-eyed peek from beneath the transguy’s pant leg?**

What is the etiquette at times like these? As far as Transman knows, Emily Post and Miss Manners have never given tips on how to handle these situations.

If you’re an observer, should you say something along the lines of, “excuse me, but you dropped your, um, penis/breast”? No. It’s probably best to look the other way and pretend not to notice anything out of the ordinary. Gents, whatever you do, do not offer to give the ladies a hand with their boobs.

If you’re a transperson and your man-made body parts come up for air in public, how should you, erm, get a handle on the situation? One of these approaches might work:

3. Point to the sky, scream, “Oh my God! Run for your lives!” and while everyone is distracted, pick up what you’ve dropped.

2. Kick the mutinous body part across the room or street and yell, “Get thee behind me, Satan!”

1. Nudge it over next to someone else and walk away before anyone notices you.

** Actually, there are all kinds of undergarments available to help prevent “wardrobe malfunctions,” but it’s still fun to play on the darkest fears of humanity. If only there were a way to work clowns, spiders, and heights into this.


Friday Five–the World Music Version

A couple decades ago, I would have been listening to something loud and uptempo to get the weekend started, but this week I’m going gently into that Friday night:

Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson records and produces much of his music in whatever house he’s living in, which helps give it a timeless feel in contrast to the over-produced crap churned out by most major label studios. His writing has been compared to Bob Dylan’s and he performs under the name The Tallest Man On Earth.

This is mellow for Taha who combines all kinds of musical styles. The Algerian-born singer first hit big with raï music, and continued to borrow from a patchwork of punk, rock, folk, Arabic, etc., until he developed a style that is all his own and crosses musical and linguistic borders. Go find his version of “Rock the Casbah” for a little extra fun.

Ali Farka Toure’s parents gave him the nickname “Farka,” which reportedly means “donkey” because he was a stubborn boy. Young Mr. Stubborn grew up to be one of the world’s most influential guitarists. He also became mayor of Niafunké in 2004 and used his own money to build infrastructure such as paved roads and sewers for the impoverished town. He died of bone cancer in 2006.

Biréli Lagrène pays nods to Django Reinhardt, as he combines swing, jazz fusion, and post bop styles. As John L. Waters wrote in the Guardian, “Hearing him is like watching an expert ­juggler throw more china in the air, not worrying about the ­occasional drop, while the audience gasps and grins with pleasure.”**

Serge Gainsbourg’s song was criticized by the Vatican and banned almost everywhere upon release … read all about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Je_t%27aime…_moi_non_plus Look, Right Said Fred, this song really is too sexy.

** http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/jan/24/bireli-lagrene-ronnie-scotts-review



So long, Harry; give Mr. Death some hell

Harry Crews: Real, Honest, Brutal. Read him. Image: Theglobeandmail.com

One of my favorite writers in the world died yesterday. I can’t add to the obituaries that are already out there, but if you consider yourself a writer and you’ve never read or heard of Harry Crews, do yourself a favor and get your hands on some of his work. Fiction, nonfiction, autobiography–it doesn’t matter; it’s all good. Even when he was writing made-up stories, every single word was the truth with a capital “T.” Studying his stuff, taking it apart line by line, you can learn everything you need to know about writing–real writing, writing that comes from the heart and kicks you in the gut.

Note: The language may not be safe for work, but if your boss walks in, just punch him in the throat and keep listening.

And finally, the New York Times obituary:

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/reading-crews-a-novelist-as-swaggering-as-his-characters/


‘How To Work with Voodoo Potato’

Someone’s bot used that as a search term. At least I hope it was a bot and not a real person looking for something so sinister as voodoo potatoes.

"Me and the Spud Brothers are coming for you!" badly manipulated image:transman and wpclipart.

Completely unrelated (I hope), are some folks who’ve given The Adventures of Transman a shout-out via award nominations. While Transman is kind of lazy and not feeling up to full-participation, he wants to formally say thanks to the following:

Laments and Lullabies–Sara claims she’s looking for a voice and place to fit, but Transman thinks she has a totally distinctive voice and others should be trying to fit in with her:

http://lamentsandlullabies.wordpress.com/

Meizac’s Blog–a mom who has returned to school with the ultimate goal of making her children call  her “Dr. Mommy.” Transman understands. When he finished his Ph.D., he insisted on being called “Professor,” until he realized many who heard the moniker expected him to be stranded on a desert isle. Then, he went for being called “The Doctor,” but then the BBC warned him about copyright infringement:

http://meizac.wordpress.com/

Eggkins Diet–Transman has a strong dislike for eggs, but he loves Eggkins. In addition to recipes and ideas for getting healthy, Eggkins includes some pretty cool pieces about how the body works and how food is a part of the culture:

http://eggkinsdiet.wordpress.com/

Liquorstore Bear–Okay, LB tagged me and I can’t run far without needing my inhaler, so I’m including him here. A blog that has a little of everything and a lot of humor. Liquor reviews, twisted horoscopes, creative pieces … oh just go check it out for yourself:

http://liquorstorebear.com/


Just Burn All of These

"Oh, Transman, clothes aren't included as 'found art.' You really do need to enter a brick and mortar store and plunk down cash to look good." Clinton and Stacy as themselves. Image:Jezebel.com

A while back, a couple of the gals in Transman’s office were joking about nominating him for a turn on What Not To Wear.

“They do guys, too!” one of them said, giggling.

"Do you know how many times I've told this kid to cut his hair and put on a damn tie?" Sean Connery as Transman's dad. "Dammit, Dad, at least I have a pocket square. Man, I'm about to bust out of this vest; no more Twinkies for me." Johnny Depp as Transman. Image:sulekha.com

Transman went back to his cubicle scratching his head, not really sure about the show or his coworkers’ assessment of his style. Granted, Transman does buy most of his threads at thrift stores and occasionally helps himself to the “we’re moving and don’t want to haul this shit” pile of clothes at his complex’s laundry (yes, he washes the clothes before wearing them). Still, Transman does try to look presentable most of the time despite what his father might tell you about Transman looking “like a damn hobo.”

During Transman’s recent hospital stay, he had a chance to see the show because he couldn’t get the TV remote to work and the television was stuck on TLC. As fate would have it, they were running a What Not To Wear marathon. The only thing Transman could control was the volume, so he slept for hours with the sound turned off and the bluish TV glow washing over him, comforting him, reminding him of how TV had pretty much raised him. When he was awake, he turned up the volume to hear Stacy London and Clinton Kelly tear down and rebuild the wardrobe of a hapless school teacher aiming for an administrative post.

As the credits rolled, Transman drifted into a troubled sleep ….

He awoke to find himself and the contents of his dresser in a New York studio. Stacy was frowning as she and Clinton pulled out various items of clothing.

“Oh my god, Flatt and Scruggs meet the Rat Pack,” Clinton laughed as he held up a denim suit with pinstripes.

Clinton dropped the suit into the garbage can next to him.

Stacy let out a bray of laughter as she held up a concert shirt with bleach stains on it.

“Lemme guess … sentimental value?” she asked. “Who listens to Toad the Wet Sprocket, anyway? They actually put on concerts?”

Not me, Transman thought. Stupid dreamscape. I only listen to cool music. Well, except for the 80s tunes you’ll find buried deep in my iTunes library, but Toad the Wet Sprocket? Never!

“I swear, it’s not mine,” Transman protested. “I always changed the station when ‘All I Want’ came on.”

Stacy gave a snort of disbelief as she made a perfect three-pointer into the garbage can.

Clinton hoisted a pair of lace-up moccasin boots and then doubled over in laughter, gasping something about “Hello, it’s Easy Rider. Peter Fonda, we’ve found your boots!”

As would only happen in a dream, Transman grabbed at the boots. “Please don’t throw those away! I need those!”

“Buh-bye!” Clinton said and let the boots drop.

They made him try on a few of his go-to outfits:

"Yes, this is my daily wear for the office. I think it sets me apart from the cubicle crowd," Transman said. "Yeah, and puts you right into the padded cell crowd," Stacy said. Image: theultimateplaylist.com

"And this is what I wear when I'm hitting the town; I don't want to look like all the other the douchebags at the bar in their Abercrombie shirts," Transman said. "Yeah, I bet the honeys are lining up when you walk in the door," Clinton said. Transman was shocked to hear him use the word "honeys." Image: rollingstone.com

After laughing and tsking their way through Transman’s mini fashion show, Clinton and Stacy gave him some advice on the kind of things he should look for when they turned him loose in the shopping district the next day.

“Well, since you’re 4′ tall, you really need to find a good pair of boots,” Stacy said. “Possibly even stilts.”

“You’ve got the right idea with the layers to cover that belly of yours,” Clinton said, “but you need to stick to one main color in your suit. It’s okay to add a pop of color with your tie or pocket square, but only a solid color suit. Plain shirt, too. No plaid, no polka dots–“

“What about stripes?” Transman asked.

“No. No patterns for you!”

“But …”

“No!” they said in unison.

The next morning, Transman hit the shops:

Transman thought he was doing okay by sticking to the mostly neutral suit and hat. Clinton had said he could use a tie for a pop of color. A scarf was just an overgrown tie to Transman. Image: top-people.starmedia.com

"I got your boots right here, Ms. London." Transman considered Cadillac fins an appropriate accessory. Image:popblerd.com

Clinton and Stacy burst into the store where Transman was digging through piles of tweed vests. Clinton was brandishing an old-fashioned scrap book full of pictures of Paul Newman. “This! This is what you need to go for. Classic, timeless. Usually one color. Often free trade.”

Transman tried again. "This?" he asked. "NO!" Clinton and Stacy yelled. Image:rolexblog.blogspot.com

"THIS!" they yelled at him. Image:thegrassskirtblog.com

After getting Transman into Clinton and Stacy-approved clothing, they sent him off to be “purtied up” by Carmindy. Her bubbly cheer was fizzled by Transman’s dour look. “I’m not wearing guyliner, so don’t even suggest it.”

"I usually get along with all the guests on the show. Transman's kind of a jerk. He smells weird, too." Image:carmindy.com

“Okay, um,” she said, looking desperately for something to suggest. “Lots of men use moisturizer. You have some red patches on your cheeks.”

“It’s eczema,” Transman said bluntly.

“Well, some concealer might camouflage that scar on your chin.”

“So would a beard,” Transman said.

“Okay,” Carmindy’s eyes lit up. “Hair is usually Nick’s territory, but if it’s on the face, I guess I could have a go. Have you ever considered a chin-strap beard? And we can wax your eyebrows–“

Transman jumped out of the chair.

“You’re off your rocker, lady!” he said, and pushed her makeup kit onto the floor.

“Nooooooo!” she wailed as tubes and powders and brushes scattered. And like a vampire that has to stop and count mustard seeds, she started picking up the items one by one, allowing Transman to escape …

"What can I say? Transman has tragic hair." Image: candieanderson.com

He ran down the hall and ducked into a room.

“All right, then,” a voice said behind him.

Transman turned to see Nick Arrojo approaching him, brandishing scissors and grinning.

“Calm down,” he told Transman. “I’m here to help.”

Transman checked the door, but it wouldn’t budge. He feinted left and then ran right around Nick.

“Come on, Transman, don’t be like that,” Nick said. “You have a lot of natural wave we can work with.”

“They’re cowlicks,” Transman shouted. He ran to Nick’s work station and searched for something to use as a weapon. A hairdryer. What am I gonna with that? Gently warm Nick’s fingers until he drops the scissors?

“Have a seat, Transman,” Nick entreated as he got closer.

Transman picked up a comb.

“Stay back,” he shouted!

“It’s okay, Transman,” Nick’s voice was changing, getting higher.

“It’s okay,” the voice repeated. “Wake up. I need to check your vitals.”

Transman blinked his eyes a few times. The shift nurse was standing beside his bed.

“You were having quite the nightmare,” she said and smiled. “Those pain meds can do that.”

Transman's dad shows concern: "What happened, son, did your barber die?" Transman responds: "You're just jealous because I have hair."


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