Rest In Peace Justin “JewWario” Carmical

One of the online personalities I have watched for a couple years has sadly killed himself.  I’m not going to write a article summing up what happened.  A dozen other websites have done a much better job at that than I ever could.  In short I feel utterly destroyed.

Out of everything I have ever seen Justin in I think this video is what I will always remember.

Goodbye Justin, it was far too soon.

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No Red Kettles

For some unknown reason I am finding it hard to actually write stuff here especially when I am actually accomplishing something pretty awesome.  I will try to keep this blog more up to date but I’m not the most organized person and I have to balance blogging with work, sleep, and having a bit of a personal life.

Anyways moving on, on December 6th Zinnia Jones and I launched a website called No Red Kettles in which we sought to make people aware of the bigoted past of the Salvation Army to coincide with the Salvation Armies bellringing season.  We published a few pretty great articles and got some media attention from the Huffington Post, CNN, Advocate, and others.

Most of the response we got as part of this effort was positive and I feel we did respond rather well to the few bits of negative response we did receive.  One lgbt news site “LezGetReal” wrote two articles about us without contacting us for comment, both of which I think are poor examples of journalism as I will cover in a later blog entry.

As of today we were able to attract 9,782 views in the month of December which is pretty nice for a new group.  Add to that all those who were exposed to our message through the various media outlets that covered our efforts and I think we did make a difference.  Obviously there is much more we could of done and are planning to do next year during the bellringing season including starting earlier and attracting more media attention.

This really is my first experience doing something as an activist that was successful and I am starting to come to understand a method to campaigns like this.  Starting one of these campaigns generally only costs the $10 it costs to register the domain name.  All I have to do then is put the website up on my Linode VPS, write a few articles and contact some media outlets.  All in all its a good investment on the small amount of effort and money that is required.

I am considering creating some sort of group that would be responsible for brainstorming these campaigns, as well as running them.  This group is starting to evolve naturally just from the people I work with but it may be worth creating an actual “legitimate activism organization.”

So what’s next?  Well the cable channel A&E has reversed its decision to suspend Phil Robertson from the show Duck Dynasty following his racist and homophobic comments in a CQ magazine interview.  It appears that A&E has done this out of fear of controversy.   I think its about time we inform A&E that promoting a racist and a homophobe isn’t the safe bet.   ZJ and I are currently working on a new site wherein we will put pressure on A&E as well as those companies that advertise during Duck Dynasty.

Announcing Logic-Con

So I enjoy staffing and attending conventions and I enjoy Scientific Skepticism so I combined both of these interests and started Logic-Con a science and skepticism convention.

It’s going to be a lot of work and I have become the con-director by default which is equally exciting and scary.  I started with registering six different domains to make sure that we didn’t end up with someone making a similar site and as well as helping any congoers that go astray.  The other domains all redirect to the main domain of course.  I then recruited some of my friends and affiliates to be staff members and created a “master todo list” of things I thought we needed to do to really get off the ground.  It seems like a lot of work but it helps to be able to break things up into smaller parts.

So yeah if this at all interests you check out the Logic-Con site and maybe post in the forums.  We will be posting updates about our progress whenever we can.

Book Update #1

So I have been working on my book project for about a month now and it has been quite a bit of work but I also feel I am starting to get used to this whole “research, read, and take notes” process.  So far I’ve read about six out of my now thirty plus list of books that I have chosen to read.

Right now I do most of my reading during downtime at work and I keep a notebook on hand to take notes on things I feel I would like to mention or research further for my book.  I fear being too derivative but on the other hand I really do want to contribute something to the conversation so this means there is a lot of information and concepts that I feel I need to understand fully before I write anything.

One of the problems I am facing is every time I read a book I end up finding six other books that I need to read.  In the end if I don’t ever write a book I will be a rather well versed in theology.

I also have been taking some breaks from this project to read other books specifically Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK by Gerald Posner which at five hundred plus pages did take a bit of time to read through but I thoroughly enjoyed.

Writing a Book

I am currently working on writing a book on Atheism and Skepticism.  I have never been been very confident with my writing so this is quite the task for me but I thought it would be worth a shot.

Fortunately there are quite a few books on this subject.  I really don’t feel that I want to write a book without reading these books because I would like to actually contribute something to the conversation instead of just stating something that has been better stated elsewhere so I am compiling a reading list that at this point is about thirty books long which I expect to get much longer.  I am taking notes while reading but I am also concerned with my book being “too directive.”

I do most of my reading at work due to having a lot of downtime there and while I read I take notes in a notebook on various points and topics that I would like to research further or expand upon in my book.  I am then organizing these notes and my further research in a private wiki I have set up.

I will be posting occasional updates from time to time about this project but don’t expect this to be done in a few months.  This is my first large writing project and I am doing it part-time and working on it between my time at work as well as conventions, tabletop rpgs, and whatnot.  In short this may take a year or two.

Waiting to Transition

I haven’t written anything about being trans in quite some time so I guess I should give an update on how things have been going on with that.  In short no progress has been made.

Almost two years ago I got the letter recommending hormone therapy from the psychiatrist I was seeing at that time.  I also found out during this time that there are no doctors in Eau Claire who I can go to prescribe hormone therapy for me.  I have asked around and asked every doctor I have seen and it appears that my only option is to go to the Twin Cities for treatment.

When I got my letter I was rather poor and soon afterwards I was out of a job.  Two years later I am making a comfortable living due to the combination of my part-time job and my social security disability benefits.  I also know have my own car so there is more hope for me to get hormones and I do have an appointment in December with a OB/GYN who specializes in hormone therapy for transfolk that another transgirl friend of mine recommended to get hormone therapy.  Due to my autism I do now have Medicare as well health insurance but I am unsure if I will be able to use either of those for this appointment.

Another thing I am considering perusing is getting an orchiectomy which put simply is the removal of the testicals.  It would mean I could stop having to deal with testosterone so that’s one less pill to take with my hormone therapy and of course that would mean that I would have a lot less body hair issues.  It would also make tucking easier and less painful.  Also it would serve as a rather effective contraception.

Due to some weight over the last couple years.  I am not chubby by any means but none of the few girl clothes I did have no longer fit me.  I have some makeup but I really don’t know how to apply it so I don’t tend to wear it due to not wanting to look weird.  I have been trying to shave religiously sometimes having three hour shaving sessions in the shower but often my depression gets in the way.  I have an epilator but it takes a long time to use and hurts quite a bit.   I guess I need to go shopping for clothing and makeup with another girl as well as possibly get an appointment with a electrologist for a more permanent hair removal option.

My hair has gotten quite a bit longer and I am happy about that but it also looks more “headbanger” instead of being all that feminine.  I am currently looking for a hair stylist that can give my hair a more feminine cut.  Every time I tell a hair stylist that I want a more feminine cut it just ends up looking super boyish.  I sort of feel that I have to find a hair stylist that I can sit down and just give them the “trans speech” so I don’t have wild hair but I also don’t end up with a boyish haircut.

My friends know to call me Sarah but to the rest of the world I present entirely as male 100% of the time and that makes me rather depressed but whatever I do to present as a girl I don’t feel confident that I’ll “pass” so I just don’t do it.  So yeah I am progressing very very slowly and that’s sad.

Convention Psychics

In the last year or so I have started to see psychics setting up booths at the various anime/geek convention that I attend in both artist alleys and the vendor rooms. At first I really didn’t think much of this practice except for some small private ridicule but now that I take some time to think about it I don’t actually think this is as harmless as it appears. At best a psychic is a scam artist  in the guise of a entertainer and at worse they are a dangerous scam artist helping legitimize a particle that leaves many people penniless or worse off.

I understand that conventions do not always have the option to be selective about their vendors or artists but in the same way that a convention shouldn’t allow vendors to sell counterfeit merchandise they shouldn’t allow cold readers to practice their “craft” because they call it entertainment.

In a way this is similar to the issue I have with “Hentai Rooms” or “Hentai Events” which I do plan to write a blog entry on later.  In short the issue I have with such rooms and events is that quite a lot of the hentai featured in such rooms tends to be scenes of rape or sex with minors and this contributes to a larger overall societal issue.  If there weren’t people being scammed by Psychics and everyone who paid for the service understood that it was bullshit I would be less against it.


Not going to start doing point by point review of movies here because I don’t foresee being able to attend enough movies to really be a “movie reviewer” and there are other blogs and online shows that do it better.

So I wanted to see “Gravity” on its opening night on Thursday.  Mostly because it was really the best day for me to go see it.  Unfortunately the only theater in the area that had it during that time was the one in Menominee which is thirty minutes away and is a bit far to drive for a movie when we have two movie theater in Eau Claire but whatever it was nice to go to somewhere different.

So I have seen quite a few movies set in space and this movie feels the most like it is actually in space.  This has a lot to do with the sound design.  It should seem obvious that there isn’t any noise in space but that is something that a lot of movies and shows do forget.

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are great in this movie.  I could easy foresee how a bad performance from either of them especially Bullock would of made this movie unwatchable.

So yeah this is what I’m not doing movie reviews because all I have to say is go see it and if you can stand 3D go see it that way, it’s worth it.