Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Well, I didn't get laid off...


Ask me again at the end of July. They cut a few of us today, including I work(ed) with directly. Which is better than I expected. But they also essentially told us: more cuts coming in 7 months.

Yeah, that oughta motivate the troops, considering job performance has played very little into who's gotten the axe over the past 3 years.

Instead of talking about me, and my sad, sorry life, let's talk about the country, and its sad, sorry life. For instance, this:

So, the top story on MSN is "Who is Michelle Obama wearing?" Really? Seriously? That's what it's all about? Who she's wearing? Not even the gramatically correct "what" she's wearing?

I realize MSN, like most online sites post the story that will get the most hits, higher in the queue. So, I don't blame them, other than their expecting that will be what people will be talking about.

His great speech doesn't get top billing? (And I thought it was really good. And I have not drunk the Kool-Aid, to date.) "Restore science to its rightful place"? Fantastic! Respecting the rights of atheists? That doesn't deserve a headline? Reaction to the address? No.

Instead, we're going with the dress the First Lady is wearing and who designed it. Like that matters. (And I'm a goddamn crossdresser!)

Obama has talked about change, and talked about how the people have to affect change. Bully for him. I'm with him completely on that. But, nothing is going to change until these crappy little shallow nothing stories are buried away for only the truly stupid to read.

We're faced with unemployment hitting 10%. (That's one out of every ten people not working for those of you who are deeply interested in who designed Michelle's dress.) Stocks have lost on average nearly 40% of their value from last year. We've already thrown billions and billions of tax dollars we don't have at banks and businesses that have pissed the money down their legs.

And you want to know "who" the First Lady is wearing? Please.

I suppose I shouldn't come off so harsh. If you're reading this blog in the first place, you're not among the sheep. But then again, considering how few people actually read this, it doesn't matter. This rant made me feel a tiny bit better.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Today, or so rumor has it, I find out if I still have a job.

Or, at least, if I get to keep my job for a little while longer. See, I'm in an industry that is trying to kill itself. It's still viable, but the people who control it, are killing their golden goose.

And the industry scuttlebutt says today is the day they reveal their plans. Today. Inauguration day. No, it's not a slap in the face to the new administration. Rather, they hope no-one will notice.

Published reports indicate they're chopping 7% of the workforce. But, those same reports contradict themselves; they claim to know where the cuts are coming, and they claim to know the new direction the company is taking. However, if the latter is true, than the former is not.

I, and my immediate coworkers may be relatively safe, but I'm not counting on it. And even if they don't toss me out, I'm still going to lose some of my "family". Because that's what we are, even if we don't always like each other.

It won't be the first time I'm canned. The first time was during the last economic downturn, as Pres. Dubya took office. Ironic, no? In all actuality, I was let go a week before the election of 2000, and was so depressed, I didn't pay attention to who won, and who challenged it. I do remember traveling to Dallas, to look for work, stopping in a coffee shop between cold-calls, and seeing on television a Ryder truck escorted by police, media in tow, a CNN helicopter overhead. At the time, I wondered if OJ had gotten loose, and had hooked up with Tim McVeigh.

I think I'd rather be fired for incompetence than laid off. If you're fired for not doing a good job, you at least have the option to make yourself better. You can ask what the problem was, and work on it.

When you're laid off, it's for "economic reasons": things completely out of your control.

("Economic reasons" being shorthand for the CEO is only making $10,000,000 a year, and can't take a cut, even though their leadership may have contributed to the company needing to shed some fat in order to survive. "Economic reasons" meaning the board of directors is worried about the stock price day-to-day, instead of building a solid foundation for years of prosperity.)

But, there's nothing I can do about that. So, looking forward:

There's not much else in my field any more, because it's been gutted. There's not much else I can do. And even if the unemployment rate wasn't climbing to near 10%, there's not much else that interests me.

I guess that's the downside of loving what you do; hating everything else. I'm a job snob.

The line from "Say Anything" sticks with me: "I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that."

So, that limits my options. And I'm getting a little old to join the army, that fallback for a tough job market. I've considered something like a professional advocate. You know, working for the NCTE or another group, but I somehow doubt their coffers are overflowing enough to hire new staffers.

But, something will turn up. It always does.

And besides, I am still employed. For a few more hours, at the very least.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I'm surprised it took me this long to stumble across this photo.

You'll of course remember this guy from 9/11:

And a host of other events:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I gots nuttin' ta say.

So, I'll blog. 'Cuz I know there's stuff on my mind. And hopefully, some of it will take shape in random words. Blog as Rorschach Test, perhaps?

I'm back from vacation. Drove a long time on Friday, had a late lunch with the ex-, drinks with a college buddy, and completely snubbed my t-friends in Omaha.

Saturday, more driving. Lunch with another college buddy, and then a family reunion.

And that was the template until Tuesday, when I drove home, and my trip started over: lots of driving, snubbing a t-friend in Missouri, and more driving.

One might think that after 15 hours on the road, I'd have some deep thought to share.

No. No more, no fewer than usual. Perhaps because I was focused on making a vlog of the journey. For my guy identity. Because the guy identity has been dominant lately. Very dominant.

For more than a month, probably going on two, Ronnie's been almost hibernating. Until Monday, I had a full beard. (Now it's a stylist goatee.) I don't know why. But, it drives me nuts, this going-back-and-forth thing, these pendulum swings: in the days before the this swing to the macho side, I'd been gung-ho about everything trans... to the point where I was considering hormones, and wondering how I could pay for electro, or laser.

And the reason I don't, or haven't done anything like going full-time? Because I know the man will come roaring back, with manly interests, manly pursuits, and macho pasttimes. (Okay, as a friend pointed out that while I'm hardly macho, it's relative.)

And I don't purge or take down my online presence because I know Ronnie will rise again. I can't figure it out. But I know I just want a little consistency.

There. Whaddya know. A blog.

Changing gear: we had all 17 members of the clan together, for the first time since the summer of 2007. Those nephews are cute, but damn, they're loud. And kinetic. Hard for adults to have any kind of meaningful discussion, when the parents and grandparents are constantly chasing little ones.

And now that I'm back home, and everything is in its place, I find that I'm missing them. Maybe not missing them specifically, as I do like quiet, but I'm missing the human presence. I'm finding it to be a feeling not dissimilar from the blues I get after a fun femme night out. And that just solidifies my theory on that: Just because you're depressed after a night, or a weekend with lots of good femme time doesn't mean you're TS. It just means you enjoy having fun.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

This is what I mean...

The president-elect cast blame on "an era of profound irresponsibility that stretched from corporate boardrooms to the halls of power in Washington."


I'm tending to think any kind of bailout or economic stimulus plan is bad news. Why prop up a system that has obviously failed? So it can fail again?

If the fat cats and Wall Street weasels want the economy healthy, then they need to dig into their pockets and spend some of their cash. Layoffs only mean fewer people to buy things.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

In the news...

A German billionaire is the latest casualty of the economic crisis:

Aw, poor guy. If there was only something we could have done for him. Like included Volkswagen in the American bailout.

But, it's not too late for us to save others:

Good for them, I say. Larry Flynt doesn't need the money, and he knows it. He's just trying to draw attention to this sham.

Or, should I say "scam".

You see, an economy is considered healthy only if money is flowing. Changing hands at a frenetic pace. It's not doing that now. Why? Because most of the money is in the pockets of a very select few.

And what that select few doesn't seem to understand is that they can't make money if they've already got it all. Forgive me if I sound socialistic here, but the masses are tapped dry. We don't have any more to spend, and our credit cards are all maxed out. (Generally speaking.)

We sent all our money to the heads of the big corporation. We bought as much as we could, and then some. And instead of that money being redistributed through the salaries of many, the majority went to the few.

Now that the money well has dried up, those select few panic and lay off employees. Why? Because employees cost money. So, then we have even fewer people with money to spend. And how will the big wigs deal with that? More cost cutting. More layoffs.

Instead of trying to keep their companies and corporations healthy, CEOs and board are grabbing everything they can for themselves.

Want to revitalize the economy? Take that bailout money, and instead of sending it to the banks and the automakers, give it to us. It's ours in the first place. We'll use it to buy things. We'll pay off credit card debt. We'll invest it.

Voila! The dough flows and the economy chugs back into shape.

Of course, then we're right back to where we started from. For instance, did you happen to notice when gas prices leapt? Right as everyone was getting their last economic stimulus check. Speculators knew we could afford high priced gas, so they speculated the price of crude to ludicrous levels. What's to keep them from doing it again?

Nothing. Nothing but the realization that an economy can't function if only a few hold all the dollars. And sociologically speaking, that ain't gonna happen.

I don't know. I don't understand economics. If any of this makes sense to anyone, they're ahead of me.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A New Webisode

Head over to the Ronnie Rho Show page to meet Marianne.

Next up: Donna Rose.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Two Blogs in One! Party Pooper & Feedback

New Year's Eve was again a letdown. Oh, I went to a nice party, had some fun, but started getting the blues, so I left early. Alone. (I'm not whining. Just a disappointed eternal optimist.) I was home by 11:30. Poured a drink, popped an MST3K in the DVD player, and fell asleep in the chair, only to be awoken at midnight by fireworks. After which, I finished the drink, turned off the movie, and went to bed. My party-pooper-ness may be because I worked the early shift, and had been up since 4am, without a nap.

This morning though, I had committed myself to doing a polar bear plunge. That's where you jump in ice cold water for good luck/good health for the rest of the year. I don't believe submersing myself in frigid liquid will affect the future, but I went anyway, just to say I did it.

I did it.

And it was colder than you can imagine. Unless you've been swimming in water that's about 35 degrees, Fahrenheit. Or colder. But, it was fun. If that's the right word. Afterwards, the group I was with went out for a warm lunch and beer, and the conversation was lively and entertaining.

I really, really enjoy human interaction lately. And am finding myself less connected to the online world. Simply because face-to-face is so much more gratifying. Online, I feel like I'm typing into a void.

This springs from a conversation I had with D. Shellhammer the other night: Where's the feedback? We both agreed there isn't enough. We both produce "content" on the web, and find there's less and less reaction. (Again, not whining.)

Maybe my time at Yahoo 360 spoiled me, for there was plenty of feedback there. Or maybe not. I've been writing for TGForum for nearly 10 years now, and the comments and reaction from articles there are few and far in between. So, perhaps, it's just the audience.

My theory is that there are consumers and producers. And those who consume, don't produce. Of course, the producers may consume, but, once they become consumers, they cease to produce. Case in point: I read a lot of blogs here, but rarely comment.

I sense that I'm rambling, so let me end with this: The reason I publish content on the Internet, (be it blogs, videos, or even photos) is for comments, feedback and reaction. Otherwise, I might as well just keep a spiral-bound journal underneath my pillow.

You'll note the title of this blog. Anyone looking for deep thoughts would probably skip reading this entire entry based upon the first paragraph. So, I cleverly hooked you in, with a promise of more than just a "slice of life" entry. Did it work?