Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kat - Lost... and searching.

Maybe I've been fooling myself, thinking that I can just become this new person. Trying to make this life my own. Living here, everyone already has this preconceived idea of who they think I am... who they think I should be. Every time I try to take a step forward at establishing my mark on this life, something seems to pull me back... prevent me from being me.

It was probably the anonymous comment about my life being "boring" that helped me the most, to realize just how much these defeats were draining me. I've settled into a dull, nearly lifeless existence. I never realized just how much I'd let this whole thing beat me down.

It took the help of some good friends to make me realize that my happiness, my health, relied upon my being able to be myself... whoever that may be. And that to do that, I need to move away from familiar faces, people who expect me to be someone else. I need to go somewhere where I'm free to discover myself... my life... my future.

I'm not sure where I'm going, or how long it'll take... and I don't know how often I'll be able to check-in... but this is something that I have to do. I have to find myself.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Arthur/Penny: You have GOT to be kidding me.

I try not to be a total hypocrite about objectifying women. I have, after all, done my share of it in the past; I was, after all, a man. So when I meet a guy and he has a conversation with my chest, I tend to let it go. It is a bit uncomfortable for me, but getting upset about it tends to be counterproductive - not only are you focusing his attention on your breasts even more than it already was, but he's now less at-ease (which can be useful) and sometimes comes away from it thinking of you as a bitch (which is seldom useful). I've learned some tricks about it over the past year (it wasn't a big deal when living Liz's life, because she's a bit flat-chested and I was often standing next to Lyn and her eye-magnets). If you're sitting, stand, or vice versa; it changes the guy's eyeline and most men will realize that they've been impolite and make an effort afterward. Keep a scarf of wrap in your purse or desk draw for days when it's bugging you. That sort of thing.

Similarly, I don't act snippy when some girl is using what she got to her best advantage; I've enjoyed the benefits of that far too much in the past and, to be frank, still do, a little. Twenty-five-plus years of being trained to appreciate the female form doesn't just go away because something else is now supposed to excite you on a chemical level. I may have a little more insight on what a girl is going to get male attention, but I haven't found that makes me appreciate it less.

This is a roundabout way of trying to get you to believe me when I write that I did not resent the idea of spending the week filming bits about the "Spy Girls", the Stealth's dance team, to use as a feature story on the pregame segment of Saturday's game and during the recap programs, along with inserts during the game coverage.

It's been an interesting week. George was technically the producer, and he was good at making sure all the technical stuff was in place, but he gave me a pretty free hand with the interviews, arranged to do some new pick-up stuff based on what the girls said, and I'll be spending a good chunk of tomorrow with him in the editing room. It's a lot like writing a commissioned article, just with a lot of extra steps and different media; it came pretty naturally.

I liked the girls, too; I found out that many of them see this as a stepping-stone to a job with the Raiders or 49ers, or looking for modeling or television work. Some of them are just doing it part-time, because it's something the enjoyed in high school or because their nine to fives make them feel drab or uninteresting. I wound up giving a lot of Drew/Rick's business cards out to the first group, and I sympathized somewhat with the latter; I know what it's like to want something different from the life you're leading.

I was surprised by the intensity of some of them, though. Most of the cheerleaders I knew in high school were pretty cool people, but as Annabeth (not her real name) pointed out, there was likely at least one queen bitch among the cheerleaders I knew, and those were the ones that had ambitions to ride their looks, by and large, so there could be a lot of backbiting going on when I wasn't looking. It's like anything else - you may have been the best at something in school, but then you get fed into a situation where you're not just competing with the lesser lights who happened to live in the same town, but a whole ton of people who were the best around where they were.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun, the closest thing to actual journalism I've done while at CalSports, and sort of makes up for not getting chosen for the Tokyo trip.

Until this morning, when George tells me that one of the other producers had the idea that, since we were doing a theme of highlighting the dance squad this week, wouldn't it be neat if I wore the dance squad's outfit tomorrow? Sure, the camera doesn't point inside the booth that often, but it might be fun during pre and post!

I was not amused, to say the least. It is one thing to not mind when someone is checking you out, or understand the impulse, but asking me to do that is something else altogether. This felt like something I could actually be proud of, and they want me to make my body the focus of it? Not cool.

Still... George and "Rick" (Drew doesn't use his own name much these days) both say it would be good for me to be play up my attractiveness a little, demonstrate I'm a little more willing to use it. So I'll probably dress in the stupid cheerleader costume tomorrow night.

I've got no idea what Nell's father is going to think of this. At least my mother isn't around to see it.

-Art/Penny

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Jaci - Helping Kat

I left Nick's last night shortly after Kat had called his place. On the way home my cell rang. It was Kat. "You're never going to believe what just happened to me," she said. I said, "what?" She went on to tell me that she had met this guy a couple weeks ago and went on a motorcycle ride with him. She was totally confused about whether she liked or even could like him but wanted to at least explore the option. She then told me I called his house a little while ago and a girl answered. Apparently he already has a girlfriend. By this point bells and whistles were going off in my head. "Is his name Nick by any chance?" I asked Kat. Kat said, "Yes it is." I told Kat that I was the one she had talked to and I apologized for being so mean to her. Jealousy had reared its ugly head and made me snap at Kat without a real reason. So once again, Kat I'm sorry!

I've decided that Kat needs some help. I know she is sooo confused about the whole guy/dating thing but i think she just needs to step into it and give it a try. Maybe after a few dates with a couple of different guys she will feel more comfortable. I know it can't be easy for him, err, her.

There is a band playing at the bar in town this weekend and with it being St. Patrick's weekend it should be pretty busy. I think I will take Kat down and introduce her. I know that Trip knew a lot of the people that will be there but Kat never really went to the bar and to be quite honest needs a bit of help these days to step out of her shell.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Jaci - My Man

So I have this great new guy. He is totally sweet and lovable. Who would have thought that such a guy really exists let alone around here. We went riding on his motorcycle today. I love the sense of freedom that I get when I'm on the back of a bike, even though I know my doctor would probably kick my butt if he knew what I was doing. There is no better feeling than the wind whipping through your hair as you snuggle up to a nice warm guy. After we got done riding we went back to Nick's place. He cooked me dinner, even catering to my craving...Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Who can beat that? We cuddled on the couch after dinner and watched The Bourne Ultimatum.
Imagine my surprise when the phone rang and Nick asked me to answer it. I was never more shocked than to hear Kat's voice on the line asking for Nick. I think I bared my fangs just a bit when I said, "What are you doing calling my man?" Nick looked shocked. I glared at him wanting an answer. I put Kat on speaker phone but didn't tell her. Nick and I listened as Kat fumbled for a reply. "Um, uh, is this the number for the Nick that lives on Lake St?" "Yes it is, " I replied. Kat said, "I didn't know he was dating anyone. I'm sorry," and hung up. I put the phone back and looked at Nick. Nick said, "I gave her a ride on a my bike a while back but thats it. " "Its all right I trust you," I replied. What truly amazed me was that I really do trust Nick. He accepts me for who I am and he's totally enthralled with the idea of the babies. He loves it when they kick and he can feel them. Its so nice to have someone to share this with.

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Arthur/Penny: Rejected!

Man, am I glad for the team to have a off week right now. February has been ridiculously busy, as even though there were only three games (and no crazy parts of the schedule where the Stealth is playing at home in San Jose one day and then up in Canada the next), I've had to do a lot of anchor work because a good chunk of the rest of the on-air talent is covering spring training for the A's and Giants, or covering basketball and hockey. February and March are a time when the network's staff gets spread pretty thin, so I'm at the desk a lot.

And that's part of why I won't be getting to go to Tokyo. George told me yesterday, saying that since they don't actually broadcast the games, they can only really justify sending a two-person team (talent and camera/sound), and they're opting for one of the people they have who are more closely associated with baseball, who have been around the team during spring training, etc.

I guess that's reasonable, but it's disappointing. Less reasonable was the part that he sort of joked about, that the cameraman would wind up having trouble fitting me and any Japanese people I interviewed or profiled in frame. I actually wouldn't be surprised if this was the actual reason, because it does make sense from a certain aesthetic point of view - I'm a six-foot-tall woman, and there are guys who get uncomfortable being interviewed by me on-camera. I've been there, and I can say from first-hand experience that the male of the species does sometimes respond badly to having to look up to a woman. Heck, I've exploited it at times.

But this really does wind up gnawing at me, because as much as I've come to accept that this is going to be my life from now on, and I like being tall and strong and healthy, I hate being treated like a freak. I already know I am one, but nobody knows it goes deeper than being a sort of tomboy.

If that's not enough, I've been getting rejection letters for my book. I'm not totally surprised; it's my first real attempt to write a novel, and structuring a good mystery turns out to be really hard. Still, it's hard to take, especially having someone else's form as I do. I always used to say that I didn't work on spec much because it's just bad use of one's time to do the thing you get paid for without getting paid when you could be doing a paying gig, and for the most part I believed it. Of course, it's also been so long since I did spec work that I've forgotten just how painfully personal each rejection can be. It sucks being told that you're not good enough, and when you submit to multiple places, you get told again... and again... and again.

I actually cried when I got the first rejection letter, and then had a panic attack over whether that was an Inn thing - had I been female so long that I was starting to react like one? Had becoming a girl changed my body that much, so that I'd react to failure with tears and self-doubt purely because of endocrinology? I don't think so, but how can I know? And now that I have actually cried over that, what's it mean? Does it mean that my sex is asserting these sorts of responses, or would I be crying over it if I were still a man? There seems to be no right answer.

Some of the reasons really wound up bugging me, too. On the one hand, I know I'm not really great at fiction yet, so I should be able to accept being rejected on merit. Still, some of what's in the letters has really bugged me:

* "We have no place for new authors in our mystery imprint's publishing schedule."

* "As much as we like your concept, we do not feel that your name has national visibility."

* "We think the book has real promise; have you considered working with a co-writer?"

* "... a ghost writer?"

A ghost writer... I threw a bit of a tantrum at that; calling Drew and telling him not to send anything to that publisher the next time around. He talked me down from that, reasonably pointing out that it's not a good idea to hold grudges against corporations, but undid a lot of good will by saying that I'd face nothing but frustration if I kept trying to live my old life. Be a sportscaster and spokesperson, he says - you've got the face, voice, and body to be a good one and you'll be happier just going with the flow. Otherwise, you'll drive yourself nuts trying to be something you no longer are.

Suffice it to say, he hasn't been getting any for the last week. In a world where a stripper can win an Oscar, I figure I can write a few mystery novels.

-Art/Penny

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