Trans Love is Love! (or, Thanks, Buzzfeed!)

So, check this out! The GF and I were featured in a Buzzfeed video! 🙂

OK, I gotta say, since this is my blog and blogs are historically where people go to complain and express their insecurities (thanks, LiveJournal), I wish I would’ve thrown on some makeup. Damn. 🙂 But The GF looks gorgeous, so feel free to just stare at her side of the screen the whole time. And I’ve always been low-maintenance – I shouldn’t start apologizing for it now.

But seriously, I’m so glad that Buzzfeed made this video (BIG thanks to Hillary Lauren Levine!), and I’m honored to have been a part of it. It’s so cool to hear the stories of the other couples they interviewed and know that some of them have been together even longer than us, and it’s awesome and inspiring to know that they’ve made it work and are even longer-term than we are and still so happy!

Yay, love!

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Veruca Salt: The Concert I Didn’t Even Know I Needed

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The GF is a huge Veruca Salt fan. Eight Arms to Hold You “got [her] through high school.” So she was super-excited when she heard that not only has Veruca Salt’s original line-up gotten back together, but they have released a new album (the awesome Ghost Notes – my current fave: “Laughing in the Sugar Bowl”) and were going to be playing in LA!

On my birthday. 🙂

The GF was torn – she wanted to go to the show, but she was also prepared to defer to what I wanted to do on my birthday, and if that didn’t include Veruca Salt, then so be it. So, of course, I said we should go to Veruca Salt on my birthday. I wasn’t about to deprive my boo the chance to finally see one of her favorite bands in concert. Meanwhile, I love live music, no matter what it is – and they’re the band that does “Seether” right? I remember that song. Oh, and that other one that goes like…you know the one. It’s about Spider-Man? 🙂 I wasn’t a huge Veruca Salt fan, but they were a female-fronted band from the 1990s, and I thought it’d be cool to see them live and see how their stuff holds up almost 20 years later.

We got the tickets a couple of months ago, and as I was brushing up on my Veruca Salt catalog, I realized two things:

1) Veruca Salt is awesome! Why haven’t I been listening to them all this time? and

2) I was so painfully mainstream as a kid.

I grew up during grunge. During Riot Grrrl. During a really great time in indie rock. But you’d never know it from what I listened to. I was a Top 40 girl through and through. I mean, I listened to those grunge/punk/rock songs that managed to make it onto the radio, like Nirvana, or VS’s “Seether.” The most “alternative” thing I listened to was Fiona Apple – but that was also at a time when Lilith Fair artists were popular, and songwriters like Fiona Apple were mainstream. I’ve never been the kind of person who was a geek about music. I’ve never been the kind of person to seek out my own stuff. I listened to the radio and relied on recommendations from people I know. I absorbed music when I was a kid, I didn’t seek it out. It was through literature and film that I expressed my tastes, not music. And so a lot of great stuff passed me by.

Talk In Tongues - El Rey Theatre 7/11/15

Talk In Tongues – El Rey Theatre 7/11/15

However, as fate would have it, whereas most people get more conservative as they get older, I’ve gotten more liberal – and in some ways, more radical (thought I’m still a moderate most of the time). And I’ve started to appreciate the music from my youth that was a little more alternative and rebellious. Don’t get me wrong – I am UNASHAMED of having listened to The Spice Girls and TLC. But that’s the great thing about music – or any art, really. It’s always there for you when you need it, even if you need it almost 20 years later.

The concert had a great first opening band in Talk In Tongues. I dug their sound from the moment they got out on stage. And then, I fell absolutely in LOVE with The Muffs, who were the most punk band I’ve ever seen.

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The Muffs – El Rey Theatre – 7/11/15

It was once The Muffs got on stage that I realized why this concert was so important to me. When I say that The Muffs were “the most punk band I’ve ever seen,” I mean that bassist, Robbie Barnett looks like Bill Nye, but plays like Dee Dee Ramone. I mean that lead singer and guitarist, Kim Shattuck uttered the phrase “I’m a grandma, but I don’t give a fuck” before launching into her next song where she proceeded to scream like a banshee. That is punk. A young person being all “down with the establishment” and “I’m a non-conformist” ain’t no thing. That’s kinda part of the job description. But if you can carry that attitude with you through the rest of your life. Holy crap, that’s amazing. That’s what I aspire to!

Veruca Salt - El Rey Theatre - 7/11/15

Veruca Salt – El Rey Theatre – 7/11/15

The awesomeness continued as Veruca Salt took the stage. Having never seen them play live before, I was totally transfixed by them. Everyone’s musicianship was on point, the vocals were amazing, and the energy – oh, the energy. I felt older than they are as I started whinging about having to stand for so long. Meanwhile, their energy never flagged. They brought the same in-your-face, feminist rebelliousness of their youth, but also brought all the wisdom they’ve acquired in the subsequent seventeen years of breaking up and getting back together. It was inspiring.

I needed this show right now. I needed to see women older than I am rocking the fuck out. It inspired me and reminded me that it’s more than OK to not “settle into” getting older, but rather, come into it kicking, screaming, and screeching. Happy fucking birthday to me!

New Words For Old Ones

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This weekend was a big deal. There are several things that happened – for example, I took a two-day filmmaking workshop that I’ll be talking about in greater detail here soon – but there was one thing that was the most important, and will (hell, it already has) change the course of my life.

In case you missed it, on Friday I posted an essay at The Mary Sue called “Why Sense8‘s Nomi and Amanita Are Everything (to Me),” wherein I reveal something pretty important:

My partner of two and a half years, about whom I’ve written here at the blog before, is a trans woman! 🙂

You can read a lot about it over at the piece. I’m talking about it here again, because I realized that, since I do write about my personal life here, as well as my professional, that the way that I write about my love life has to change. After all, my love’s name and pronouns have changed. She is a she. As for her name – I don’t really share that in my public writing, because privacy, etc (though if we both end up SUPER-SUCCESSFUL AND FAMOUS in our respective careers, I guess names will come up soon enough!). Usually, if I’m referring to friends, I only use first names (unless they have a public life online as well), and they don’t seem to mind, but I’ve never used my partner’s name. As of right now, she doesn’t put herself out there in that way, and I don’t need to do it for her. Still, she does understand that I write about pretty much everything, and nothing is written in public about her of which she doesn’t approve.

Which is why it’s taken me this long for me to talk about dating a trans woman on my blog. I was respecting her boundaries and her ability to come out in her own time, and on Friday – which was the beginning of Trans Pride here in L.A. – she decided to do just that! 🙂 I was so proud of her, and she’s already gotten so much support from our loved ones! Our close family and friends have known about her being trans since the end of last year, but it feels really amazing for her to be out now to the world. It changes everything in the best way in that, no matter what potential bullshit she might have to deal with in the future (and there may be a lot f bullshit), neither one of us has to be quite so careful what we say anymore.

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If you know me at all, you know it’s extremely difficult for me to keep my mouth shut! 🙂 Hiding feelings and experiences is not something I do well, nor is it something I want to do well. I firmly believe that feelings and experiences are meant to be shared, and that too many problems arise when too many of us aren’t open about what’s going on with us. That’s what leads to feelings of inadequacy and being alone and a weirdo – when we all toil away in our own corners of the world thinking that no one else could possibly “have it as bad,” or “think these thoughts,” or “be like this.” It causes us to turn our anger and insecurity and fear inward, and that’s the worst thing to do. That’s no way to live!

Anyway, I’m getting off track. The point is – she’s out, and I’m thrilled she’s out. As I continue with this blog, and my writing, I realized that the way I wrote about my life had to change. For a long while, when I wrote about my love online, I called her “The Boy.” First, because it was before I knew she was trans. Second, because even after I knew, she wasn’t ready for the world to know. But using that phrase became increasingly difficult the further along she was in her transition. Not only did “The Boy” hurt her, but it also hurt me to use. I hated having to refer to her that way, because I knew it wasn’t true. So, I gradually started trying to not use pronouns at all. I started using phrases like “my partner,” or My Boo, leaving the gender pronouns out entirely.

But hereafter, she will be known as The GF. 🙂 I’ve changed my old “The Boy” tag to reflect this and everything. I was thinking about sticking with My Boo, but being that her coming out is such a huge deal, it seems only fitting that I acknowledge her femininity in my nickname for her – even as I keep it short by using initials, because space.

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So, The GF and I went to Trans Pride this weekend at the L.A. LGBT Center, and it was pretty rad. Amazon’s Transparent was the sponsor, and it was so funny – pretty much everyone there and their mom was in some way related to the show. 🙂 Either they’d been an extra, or an actor in it, or something. Even The GF had worked on a project associated with Transparent! I felt like the only person there who simply watches the show! Anyway, I got there in the evening, but she’d been there all day watching all sorts of entertainment, meeting up with friends, grabbing food, and just enjoying the simple pleasure of being around people like her for once.

When I got there, it was just in time for the Awards Ceremony, and the VarieTy Show, both of which were really moving. The Awards Ceremony acknowledged two long-standing employees of The Center – one cis, one trans, one still alive, one who’d passed away – who’d gone above and beyond for the trans community. After that, the VarieTy Show, where trans singers, dancers, stand-up comics and other performers took to the stage and blew the roof off the place. My favorites? Alexandra Billings (yes, from Transparent!), who did a heartbreaking cover of Radiohead’s “Creep;” D’Lo (was in the project The GF worked on associated with Transparent), an actor who brings theater versions of his family on stage in a hilarious and heartwarming fashion; Ian Harvie (also from Transparent!) a HILARIOUS stand-up comic; and Our Lady J, a fierce musician with mean piano skills. The evening closed with a surprise special guest, Jenifer Lewis (you might know her from Black-ish or as Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray on Broadway, among a million other things). I had no idea that she worked so hard for the LGBT community, and that she was a part of early AIDS activism back in the day. Anyway, she brought the house down with Hairspray‘s “I Know Where I’ve Been,” which resonated with the LGBT crowd, and also because she sang it in honor of the victims of the church shooting in Charleston.

There was more of a party atmosphere later on at the Trans Pride after-party at Arena, a Hollywood night club. We went there for drinks, and to watch our friend HP Loveshaft/Lady Anastasia host her Pangaea Drag King Show. But after the show, the music came on…and was WAY too loud. I had Day 2 of my film workshop the next morning – and The GF and I are pretty much old people – so we didn’t stay long after our friend’s show.

Yes, there were some somber moments, but what I felt more than anything else that night was the high everyone was riding at a time when Laverne Cox is on TV, there’s an entire show centered around a trans woman on Amazon Prime, and one of the Kardashian-Jenners is a trans woman. The theme of the evening was “Our Time Has Come.” It certainly has.

And I’m so glad I get to follow The GF on this journey, wherever it takes us. 🙂

Pound By Pound: Thank You For Being Beautiful

 

Me at the Incredible Girl teaser shoot last night. I play Cupcake Dominatrix. :)

Me at the Incredible Girl teaser shoot last night. I play Cupcake Dominatrix. 🙂

 

Last night, as I walked through Sanctuary LAX wearing dominatrix garb during the shoot for the Incredible Girl teaser last night, a woman I’d never met stopped in her tracks and, completely earnestly and with no agenda, said “You are SO beautiful. Thank you for being so beautiful!”

That being the nicest thing a stranger’s ever said to me, I didn’t quite know how to respond! I said “Uh….thank you?” Then, mustering up some Cupcake Dominatrix (my character in Incredible Girl) confidence, I said “I aim to please.” 🙂

This totally reminded me that, no matter what I weigh, I’m actually gorgeous right now. And I have to say that during the shoot, as I caught glimpses of myself in mirrors dressed in fishnets, boy shorts, and a corset, I was rather pleased with my reflection. It’s easy to forget that it’s possible for you to look amazing when you spend most of your days away from other human eyes while toiling diligently at your writing in your apartment in your pajamas, so it’s nice to be reminded when you’re walking around in the world.

Anyway, despite having been too busy with writing-related stuff to work out the past couple of weeks, I did do my monthly measurements on the 12th. Here’s where I am right now:

Teresa September Stats (9/12/14):
Weight: 267.8lbs (-5.4lbs from last month / -9.4lbs since start)
Upper arm: 19 1/2″ (+ 1/2 from last month / -1″ since start)
Bust: 50″ (no change from last month / – 1/4″ since start)
Waist: 45 1/2″ (+ 1/4″ from last month / + 1″ since start)
Hips: 54 1/4″ (-1/8″ from last month / + 2/8″ since start)
Thighs: 33 3/4″ (no change from last month / +1/8″ since start)

So, apparently I’ve lost weight from areas on my body that I don’t regularly measure? I guess my calves and fingers are getting super-skinny right now. 😉

I will get back to working out. I haven’t been eating completely crazily, but I did have The Boy have to step in and warn me away from a bad habit (ie: eating ice cream too regularly). The Boy gave me a heads-up when it looked like I might start going overboard, and even though I got defensive, I eventually took what my better half had to say under consideration and realized that The Boy only did this out of concern for my health, and I was then able to stop and course-correct before going too far down a bad road.

Thank you, My Love!

Still, despite all this, I know that The Boy thinks I’m beautiful. Apparently, so do strangers in dungeons. 🙂

And so do I.

And I think you are, too. Yes, you. You reading this.

Thank you for being so beautiful. 

POUND BY POUND: Sweating on a Saturday

Even on a weekend.

Even on a weekend.

Even though I have a rule about weekend days being unstructured (I don’t set an alarm on Saturdays or Sundays unless I have something specific to do, I don’t have a “To Do” list, I tend to work on my personal projects rather than my paid work), I still wanted to get my workout done first thing. Because as we all know, skipping a day = skipping a bunch of days. Not gonna happen anymore. This morning, I had the benefit of company while I worked out, too! 🙂

The Boy, lounging while I work up a sweat!

The Boy, lounging while I work up a sweat!

Anyway, I got in DailyBurn’s True Beginner this morning – Strength and Cardio 1, by far the most difficult of the level 1 videos. Worked up a quality sweat, but I made it happen. And I have to say, having The Boy in the room really kept me in good form the whole time. After all, I had My Baby to impress with the amount of chair push-ups I could do! Not that he was really paying attention – he was reading stuff on his phone – but STILL! I can do 15 push-ups in a minute! LOOK AT ME! 😉

Anyway, here’s my Finish Screen for today:

TB Day 6 Screen

Tomorrow is a Rest Day, so I’ll be doing DailyBurn’s “Mobility 15,” which isn’t really a workout, but a way to mobilize your joints and do light stretching. I may or may not put up a Pound By Pound post tomorrow. We’ll see. In the meantime, I hope you all have been enjoying your weekends so far! Find some time to do something that really makes you happy! 🙂

 

Overdue Birthday Post

7-11 gives out free slurpees in honor of my birthday! How nice! ;)

7-11 gives out free slurpees in honor of my birthday! How nice! 😉

On my 35th birthday this year, the day started out feeling like all of my first choices for things to do were being crapped all over!

I wanted to go to The Waffle for breakfast, but when The Boy and I got there, it was under construction. What was worse? The sign up outside said “We will re-open on July 11!” My birthday is July 11th, and judging by the size of the hole in the ground, it didn’t look like it was opening any time soon. So, I was disappointed that my birthday was starting out so, well, disappointingly. BUT, we ended up going to Larchmont Bungalow, which I also love, and I had the best. Quesadilla. Ever. So that turned out all right.

THEN, we attempted to go to this spa place where we’d found a Groupon for a couple’s champagne/rose mani/pedi! $55 for 2 people including free champagne and a cupcake! WHAT?! So we went there, and of course the spa was all booked up. I’d been REALLY looking forward to that. We tried to go see a movie, but there was no movie that we could see that would let us out in time for my birthday dinner in the evening. Grr.

So, we ended up going home, getting my birthday slurpee (my birthday and Free Slurpee Day are the same day), putting whiskey in it, drinking and watching Before Sunset, which I’ve seen (and LOVE) but The Boy hadn’t. So…that turned out all right, too. Neither one of us has seen Before Midnight, so we’ll be seeing that soon, too.

But yeah, after a morning of running around, an afternoon watching one of the most romantic movies ever with the love of my life over honey whiskey (and slurpee) was pretty darned awesome. 🙂

Mairghread and Jason think me being an old lady in my mid-thirties is HILARIOUS.

Mairghread and Jason think me being an old lady in my mid-thirties is HILARIOUS.

Things started picking up steam at my birthday dinner at Midori Sushi. My friends Mairghread and Jason came out and I ate my body weight in sushi. We had some great conversation, and it was a good time!

Me and Heather (and my birthday flowers from her and Alexis!)

Me and Heather (and my birthday flowers from her and Alexis!)

The night got even better once we got to Sardo’s for karaoke! At first, I was worried no one was coming – I booked a table for 9:30, and my first guests arrived at around 10 – but once they started they didn’t stop, and in the end, I had a great group of some of my favorite peeps together to celebrate! Songs were sung, beers were swallowed, and a good time was had by all – despite how LOUD their sound system was! (Seriously, it was loud) One guy (who ended up knowing Heather) did an amazing mash-up to a karaoke track, calling it a “work in progress.” Another dude did a killer Bowie (Ziggy Stardust). And one guy sang the shit out of Melissa Etheridge’s Come to My Window! Seriously, I think Sardo’s is my new favorite karaoke place, because the people who sing here MEAN BIDDNESS. And I love that kind of atmosphere! Laid back and friendly – but taking karaoke fun VERY seriously. 🙂

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Ashleigh, Me, Heather, Alexis, Lindsay, Josh, Adam, and Eddie.

Ashleigh, Me, Heather, Alexis, Lindsay, Josh, Adam, and Eddie.

And of course, my friends were all about it. Ashleigh and Eddie made me squee with their version of Dammit, Janet. And Alexis was hilarious singing Somebody’s Watching Me. But, of course, the biggest Karaoke Slut of all was me!

Also, I think I had the most drinks purchased for me that night than I ever have on any birthday! The Boy and his bro got me drinks, natch, but then so did our waitress, who took a Blue Moon off our tab for me, and a random dude at the bar who was visiting L.A. and heard it was my birthday! Needless to say, by the end of the evening, my karaoke was FEARLESS. We closed the place down, and I had an amazing time!

My favorite photo of the night. Heather took this of me and Adam when I wasn't paying attention. Lurve.

My favorite photo of the night. Heather took this of The Boy and me when I wasn’t paying attention. Lurve.

The final part of my birthday celebrating was The Boy and me going to camp overnight in Joshua Tree (at the Indian Cove campground). It was a very different experience for both of us, which is precisely why I wanted to do it!

Nothing but desert surrounding the campsite.

Nothing but desert surrounding the campsite.

We camped in The Boy’s car, and there was a picnic table and a fire grate as part of the campsite. We spread blankets on the ground by the fire so we could hang out and lounge under the stars.

Campsite - blanket view

Campsite – blanket view

 

Campsite - picnic table view

Campsite – picnic table view

 

Sleeping arrangements.

Sleeping arrangements.

The thing that amazed me most about the desert? The QUIET. I’ve never been anywhere so quiet before. It was so quiet, that when we first arrived, I kept swallowing, thinking that my ears needed to be popped! But there was just nothing to hear. It was so quiet that, when we were leaving our payment for the campsite (through a slot in the wall at the ranger’s station, because there were no rangers!), the sound of the rope slapping against a nearby flagpole was SO LOUD. It was so quiet that whenever a bird flew overhead, we COULD HEAR THEIR WINGS FLAPPING. It was amazing, and several times we just sat for long chunks of time listening to the silence.

That is, when we weren’t getting drunk and silly. 🙂

The other thing that amazed me about the desert was how brightly the moon lit up everything. I was concerned that, even with the fire and the little lantern we brought that we might not have enough light. But it was a Full Moon, and it was huge in the sky, and it was so bright. It was so bright, I wasn’t even scared to take the flashlight and go across the way to the nearby outhouse in the middle of the night! (I’m not The Dark’s biggest fan. Especially out In Nature. But this was a piece of cake!) It was beautiful.

I loved being able to just talk with The Boy without other distractions. I loved the quiet. I loved the moon. I loved the beauty of the landscape.

What I didn’t love? THE FREAKING MOSQUITOES AND OTHER FLYING INSECTS THAT WOULDN’T LEAVE ME ALONE NO MATTER HOW MUCH INSECT REPELLENT I PUT ON! Between the moths swarming our lantern as we tried to play a card game at the picnic table, the mosquitoes biting the hell out of me, the big-ass ants keeping me from getting fully comfortable on the blanket I spread, because I was afraid they’d climb into my clothes…Let’s just say, next time I go into Nature, I’m gonna be Queen of the Citronella Candles. I’m surrounding my campsite with them. Oh. My. God.

However, the other lesson I learned, is that it was a DUMB idea to go camping in the DESERT in FUCKING JULY. There’s a reason why summer is the “off-season.” It’s because it’s hot as BALLS in the desert in July. So, I might have been able to cover up more and protect myself from the flying, bitey insects, but I couldn’t, because it was SWELTERING, and even having my long, loose, cotton pajama pants on made me feel like I was gonna DIE.

Yeah, we were planning on going on a hike the following morning, but after not sleeping well due to the heat, the bitey insects, and the uncomfortable car seats, the last thing we wanted to do in the morning sunshine was hike up a freaking hill. We woke up early, and skeedaddled to find some food in town, then sped out of there and back to civilization. 🙂

Still, it was worth it for the quiet and the beauty. Next time, though, I’ll be better prepared, go at a better time of year, and do it RIGHT.

A photo can't do that sunset justice, but I'll carry it around in my memory. It was gorgeous.

A photo can’t do that sunset justice, but I’ll carry it around in my memory. It was gorgeous.

HOTPIXEL POST: “THE HOT LIST: Karl Mueller – Writer/Director of “Mr. Jones”

Production still from Mr. Jones.

Production still from Mr. Jones.

Hey everyone!

Finally back to writing over at the HotPixel Blog, and this month’s Hot List covers a film that’s very near and dear to my heart (mostly because The Boy was the sound mixer on it). I usually don’t like horror, but Mr. Jones is a horror movie that makes you think and is anchored by a solid relationship between the two leads. I was able to talk to the film’s writer/director, Karl Mueller, about making the film, and the result is over at the HotPixel blog right now!!

EXCERPT:

This is writer-director Karl Mueller’s first feature film in the director’s chair. Up until Mr. Jones, Mueller had been working as a screenwriter and developed a strong working relationship with producer, Ross Dinerstein. Together, they worked on several projects, including 2012’s The Pact, another horror project. When that film did well, Dinerstein’s financiers were excited to embark on another, similar project, so he turned to Mueller, whom he already trusted as a writer, and asked him for a new story. This time, if they moved forward, Mueller would also get to sit in the director’s chair.

“It’s a tough thing,” Mueller explains. “There’s no ‘apprentice path’ to becoming a director. People who don’t know anything about the film industry will say things like Oh, well just be a second assistant director then a first assistant director! But if you actually work on sets, that’s a career path unto itself. Being an AD is a skill set unto itself, and – because there’s so few slots available to be the director, the boss of the set – nobody’s gonna naturally bump you up. You have to figure out a way to leap up a level or game the system. And there are a million ways that’s done, but for me, the thing I could create that could give me some leverage to get me in the director’s chair was a script.”

However, Mueller warns budding writer-directors not to be too ambitious budget-wise when it comes to writing their first, or even their first few scripts. “You have to make a certain level of script, within a certain budget,” he says. “You can’t just write the next Star Wars and say ‘I wanna direct this!’ That’s not gonna happen!”

For the rest of the article, or to post a comment, CLICK HERE!