Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Leap second [look first]

Well we saw Milk. It was really good and as with most movies (even funny ones) I cried. Sean Penn was amazing as Harvey and Josh Brolin was downright scary as Dan White. The movie brought back memories of growing up in the bay area and seeing Harvey on the news. I had clients and friends that knew him. I was working at a bay area TV station when Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk were murdered by Dan White. I remember people screaming when news hit the station. It was 12 days after the Jonestown massacre and everyone was more than a little on edge. November was a month of bad news. It seemed to me that the world had lost it. I had figured out I was bi so I identifed with what was going on but it was long before the LGBT umbrella. I met my first openly gay man friend in 1971 when I started doing work experience at a cable local origination TV station. I had already been with several guys by that time. He committed suicide in 1975. I think he would be amazed to see me now.

I have been reading about the leap second that will be adjusted this year. I don't think it will be as crazy as Y2K but in the TV broadcast world you might see some artifacts. Computers sometimes burp at time changes.

We are staying in for New Years. I am going to pop the bottle of French Champagne I got as I was leaving Paris.

I wish everyone love and strength for 2009.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Bash 2008

Yesterday we spent the day with Sandi's family in Napa. Sandi's daughter has an awesome cottage near a vineyard in Napa. We ate well and had some nice wine to go with it. I tried posting a picture to Twitter using my iPhone and Twitterrific and wow it worked. Here is the picture.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

I am so happy to be done with Christmas. Yaaaaaa! Let the after Christmas sales begin.

I topped out on Christmas music about half way though the day yesterday. I heard Run, Run Reindeer covered by every artist about every third song.

Do you all believe the Pope, the Vatican's answer to GWB? What a bunch of crap. I am so, so, so very happy to be done with that part of my former life. Just because you were born in to something and your parents made you do something does not mean you have to continue it. Oh Pope please curb your dogma.

How people can be LGBT and continue to be Catholic is beyond me. It's like those wind up toys. Wind them up and with watch them fight with themselves. Done, done done.

I was reading a post someone put up about how if Jesus came back and saw all the people wearing crucifixes he would freak. It is kinda like someone taking a picture on the worst day of your life and posting it everywhere.

Hey maybe the church will come out with a special edition cross with a transwoman in a cute top and skirt.

We are going to see Milk tonight. You might see us. I will be the trans woman with big trans cross target on my back!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More like Christmas than last

We hit a few holiday parties over last weekend. There are still more to come. My partner brought the Christmas music along on the drive to our first party. I was driving, listening to the music and totally loving it. I was surprised how nice it was. I kept wondering why it sounded better. I thought back to last year and remembered how last year sucked. because of our salon. I remembered hating hearing Christmas music last year.

In December of last year we were trying to decide what to do about the hair salon we owned. We had purchased it a year and a half before. The business had not exactly gone according to plan. We had one surprise after another from all the things the former owner did not disclose.

Even though we are dealing with personal bankruptcy because of the salon, I am much happier this year .

If anyone is dealing with the same issues right now I feel for you. It is tough running a business. I have had several and this one in this economy just did not work.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Yahoo's new direction and Twitter

Tech Crunch posted a piece about Yahoo and the new open application platform they are developing to develop an social open web.

It will not be based around anything like Y360. Look for changes in your Yahoo profile in the time ahead.

I found this today on Twitter from a person I follow. It is kind of a Hot or Not / Twitter mash up called Twit or Fit? I am going to watch it over the next few days.

On the same line of my Blog yesterday here is a Twitter feed about the Death of Media. The New York Times and Gawker and others featured information and a link. After I started following that said they hit 5000 followers.

I am thinking the fact that Yahoo stopped y360 is the best thing that ever happened. I feel like I have discovered a whole big new world outside of Yahoo.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Laying off people and saving trees [multitasking]

I have been watching in amazement as the economy unravels. I think we are going to see changes like no one has ever seen before ever.

Magazines and newspapers are folding at a high rate ;). I stopped taking the newspaper long ago. We traveled so much it was too much work to turn the newspaper on and off so they would not pile up by our door. As much as I loved having the Merky News to have and hold they would pile up by the door after we read them. At some point we would carry them down three flights of stairs and across the parking lot to the recycle bins. It seem wasteful back even back then.

Yesterday when we were shopping for treats to bring to a holiday party a nice woman asked me if I had a second. [Pet Peeve Alert] I could feel that get ready for the sales pitch feeling coming on. She asked me if I wanted to take the Merky News for 30 days for free and as a bonus I would get a $50.00 gift card to Safeway. I love to chat with people even over stuff they are trying to sell. I have played this game on the phone with sales people over this same thing. I explained I am morally opposed to wasting paper since the Internet is where I get news from these days. I can travel anywhere I have a connection and get the news I like. I followed the pre-election festivities from France so when I came home I was not it total culture shock.

I recently revamped my Yahoo home page and made some adjustments to my news. I had some feeds that had died like Planet Out. They must had a falling out with Yahoo or something. I added a bunch of blog sites feeds I like and reformatted the page. I have a lot of those new feeds now in to my Google reader so when Yahoo fully tanks I will still have a place to read news.

News is moving away from the heavy hitters. The Tribune filed for bankruptcy the New York Times is getting there.

You can see a lot of my favorite blogs over on my list to the right. One of my favorites is Gawker. They have been following the death of print. They have had some challenges as well. They have cut back on Valleywag writers.

I remember as a kid getting the Sunday SF Chronicle comics and sitting on the family room heater vent in my bathrobe reading the Sunday comics. I used to get Scientific American, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Popular Electronics and oh remember TV Guide? I learned a lot of my electronics knowledge from Popular Electronics.

Gawker has some memories as well of some other magazines some with interesting covers. Even skin mags like Playboy are not safe from the crunch.

Check out how Mac World has slimmed down.

Do you have any favorite magazines you remember? Are they still alive?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

2000 year old brain

I was just reading how scientists found a well preserved 2000 year old brain.

I remembered the interview with the 2000 year old man that Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks did. What is he smoking?

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I am a member of Linkedin. It is a cool way to find work by networking with people you know. It is a social network you can keep up with friends but also find new work. They also have groups on it now.

I was reading on someone's tweet a link about a super connected people on Linkedin. Check it out.

LinkedIn's Most Unusual Members: Meet The Super-Connected

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


One year ago today I converted to Buddhism. It has been such an amazing year. A lot of really wonderful things have taken place in my life. I am very thankful for all of it.

I am planning on going to the 2009 Tozan in Japan. It is the 750th year anniversary of the Buddhism I practice. I have always wanted to go to Japan and now I will be able to go to the head temple and chant. Chanting gives me such peace and happiness. I am so excited about going. I am hoping I will get to see some of the people I met at the temple in France there at the head temple. I am traveling with the friend who introduced me to Buddhism.

One of the wonderful things we get when we transition is the opportunity to examine everything in our lives and decide if we want to keep it or not. It's not just about clothes and flesh. It's about being happy and having everything fit together. I realized after talking to my friend I had been living as a Buddhist for a long time but did not know it. Being Catholic just did not give me what I needed and becoming Buddhist has given me more than I ever expected. I have met a lot of wonderful people that live true to themselves. Isn't that what it's about?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I am being followed

I got on Twitter a couple of weeks ago and have been playing around with it to link up my status on my sites. It is kind of stupid because a lot of what it has been used for has been 'What's April eating?" when I put our sumptuous brunch of leftover apple pie and bacon up on Friday. I also posted about how I was on vacation the week before.

The last couple of days have been very interesting on Twitter. Twitter was the source a lot of the news coming out of the India Mumbai tragedy. It was like a stream of mini blogs. The topic #Mumbai is there if you search for it on Twitter it is where I found the link to the live TV coverage. I watched a lot of it. I also looked at all the Twitter messages. There lots of messages posted and there was and still is a dialog going on about who is responsible and what should happen next using Twitter. Between the video and the postings the world has shrunk yet again.

In reading all the Twitter posts and reading peoples profile I found a link to Barack Obama and decided to follow it. I got a notice today that now I am being followed. Here is the email.

Hi, April.

Barack Obama (BarackObama) is now following your updates on Twitter.

Check out Barack Obama's profile here:


It is amazing to have a connected president. Using Twitter you could have a lot of people voice their opinion on a given subject with some visibility.

So then I started thinking about how if Obama can see my tweet (that's what you call a Twitter post) I would say how I would love to be the US ambassador to France. I was also reading about the gentleman Bush appointed. OMG! Can you say thanks for the donation any louder W?

I think I probably speak more French than Mr. Stapleton after reading that article. I have roots in France. Who do you think President Sarkosy would rather see at a meeting? Me or somebody like Craig Stapleton. Well Craig is on the way out anyway.

You can link to me on Twitter as levisagedavril

It's a lot of fun.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

I am sorry for what is still happening in India.

I am thankful to be back home with my honey. I am thankful for my kids. I am thankful I still have a job. I am thankful we have a new President. I think this is an exciting time watching the economy evolve. I think of it as being like that feeling when you are at the very top of a roller coaster looking down there is that rush of adrenaline and all of a sudden you are racing down hill at a high rate of speed.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

Warm regards,


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Some Paris Pics

Our Ford Mini Van

Road to Meudon at rush hour

Metro Station

Champs Elysées

Near Champs Elysées

My Metro stop

Hallways in Porte de Saint-Cloud Metro Station

Monday, November 3, 2008

Out of State Mormon Money Funds Yes on 8


Out of State Mormons Just Gave $3 Million More to End Gay Marriage
New Mormon Total = $22 Million!!!

LOS ANGELES, CA – With days to go before the second most watched election in the nation, the really big Mormon money has been pouring in from Utah, Idaho, Nevada and Arizona like never before.

Led by Alan Ashton of Lindon, Utah who gave $1,000,000 on October 29th, the Mormon Power Grab by funding 77% of the Yes on Prop. 8 campaign has gone off the charts. Ashton is a Mormon and grandson of David O. McKay, President of the Mormon Church from 1951-1970. He made his fortune in software.

The new Mormon money total contributed to pass California’s Proposition 8 is now a staggering $22 million dollars!

Just 8 out of state Mormons have given $2 million of the $3 million total in the last week alone. These are the 8 who have given $100,000 and more:

Alan Ashton, Lindon, Utah $1,000,000
Hartford Holdings, Provo, Utah $300,000
David Moon, Alpine, Utah $200,000
Michelle Adams Watterson, Cache, Utah $100,000
Roger Bayer, Salt Lake City, Utah $100,000
Katharine, Garff, Bountiful, Utah, $100,000
Belinda Vandersloot, Idaho Falls, Idaho $100,000
The Vineyard Group (Cardon & Haitt Families), Mesa, Arizona $100,000

There are dozens and dozens of more Utah, Idaho, Nevada and Arizona individuals and businesses that have given between $1000 and $50,000 since our last Mormon Money Watch on October 24th for an additional $1 million. They are listed on the California Secretary of State’s web site:

Now with the additional $3 million of late Mormon money contributed over the last 9 days added to the $19.15 million previously given by over 59,000 Mormon families, the new total is over $22 million. This makes Prop. 8 the largest Mormon political undertaking in the 178 year history of the Mormon Church.

There were reports circulating on the blogs recently that the big out of state Mormon money was going to come in late to avoid scrutiny, and that of course is just what has happened.

On June 20th, three days after same-sex marriage became legal in California, the top leadership in the Church, known as the First Presidency, sent a letter to be read to all Mormons to "do all you can to pass Proposition 8." The Wall Street Journal reported on September 20th, that church members were told "their souls would be in jeopardy" if they do not donate money. Since then they have pushed the other leadership of the Yes on Prop. 8 campaign aside, and have taken over all facets of the campaign.

Please take a minute to read this excellent column from today’s Salt Lake Tribune by Columnist Rebecca Walsh:
It details why the Mormon Church has taken over this campaign and raises many questions as to its motivation.

Californians Against Hate was organized by veteran political consultant Fred Karger in July of this year to act as a truth squad, and tell the world who is funding California’s Yes on 8 campaign. It has recommended certain actions against some of the major contributors, and continued to publish its “Dishonor Roll” of all the $5,000 and over contributors to the Yes on 8 campaign which it posted on its web site:
-- end --

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Remember when you had to worry about crazy neighbors altering your Halloween candy?

We have a big problem.

No On 8 needs money

I just send another $100.00 to support the No On 8 campain. The opposition is pouring millions of out of state dollars in to yes. Oh did I mention it is mainly the Mormon church behind all the contributions to yes on 8?

They have even launched DoS attacks on the No on 8 website.

We need to come up with 3 million in 3 days.

If 8 passes here it will impact other states. We need to act now. Even if you live out of California please contribute.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Hardest two days ever

The last two days in Paris were thick with emotion. In the short time I have been in France I have come to love the country of my great-grandfather. I wonder why he left such a wonderful place where he had such deep roots. I guess the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. I am thankful he did come to the US because I am thankful to be going home to the US. I told my friend Anna last night I will cry on the plane about leaving France and the friends I have made here. It's normal, I have been through it before. Leaving and saying goodbye are always hard. But this time there seems to be something different. Maybe I will figure it out maybe not. I felt it when I first got here. I felt a very deep with France and the French people.

Thursday I packed. I have excess baggage and it is always easier to send it back Fed Ex. It took me a while to get three boxes ready. I moved most everything from my closet to my suitcases except the clothes I was going to wear on the plane. I filled out the forms and put the boxes down at the front desk for pick up.

Later on I headed out to the perfume store I had been in a couple of days before when I asked about a particular scent I was looking for. It was closed by the time I got there. My client had called while I was walking there about coming over for a drink. They were at a place not far from work we lunched at a few times. I hung out with them and we chatted about many things not about work. I told them how much I loved France and how I was going to cry on the plane tomorrow. One of the gentlemen told me how at another company he worked for the people from the US could not wait to be out of France. I don't get it, how could someone even think that. We finished our drinks and I headed off to dinner.

We have a regular place we have used as a meeting place and watering hole called Les Agapes. As I walked over that way I soaked in the sights and smells of a walk I had made many times. I saw the Taxi stand, the rental bikes and the cat on a leash. We have seen this cat many times out with the man and woman who own her. As I approached Agapes I could feel it coming. I felt the tears start to flow. I had to stop a couple of times pull my self back. One of the owners of Les Agapes Joel has been so sweet to me. We went from the French air kisses on each cheek to one day he decided to kiss me on the lips. It has continued that way until tonight when I came in and did the air kisses. I could barely speak tonight let alone speak in French. I knew this was going to be my last meal in Paris. Tears were flowing freely now and he sat me at my table. I was at such a loss for words especially French words to tell him I am going home. I called one of my friends to explain to him what was up. He knows this women. I met her when I first arrived and she speaks French and English.

I had very nice dinner with some mushrooms in a garlic cream sauce. Yummy! For the main course I ordered the calamari. See the picture.

I was lucky there was only one other customer in the place so it was a perfect night to be there and not worry about everyone seeing me so upset. I was eating and I heard Bob Marley's No Woman No Cry come on the music he keeps behind the bar. Joel came over and said he put it on for me. More tears.

For dessert I ordered a little chocolate cake that was warm and has melted chocolate inside. Joel's daughter Melanie who is the chef brought it to me. She said "Chocolate is good for morale" I knew she was right from the first bite. It was a perfect dessert for my last night in Paris.

I gathered my self up and kissed Joel goodbye. As he was seeing me out the door I snapped our picture with my iPhone.

I had a wonderful last evening in Paris.

Plumber beware

Joe the plumber, the new national celebrity had better take a hard look at the business he wants to buy. In my experience when we had our hair salon business was insurance costs, power, rent and the ever-increasing triple net where the landlord charges back to the tenants every little expense. Workers compensation insurance costs were a very big drain as well.

Ya it's a wonderful time to be buying a business. I bet the current owner is selling it cheap since the housing market is doing so well. Joe please, take a good look at the big picture. If you are paying any taxes you are doing well.

And Joe if you do buy the business, don't take out a loan to do it. You stand a better chance of making a profit.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Adieu Paris

I found out Thursday my project here in Paris will not continue to the next phase. It is a let down. It is also a relief. I have so enjoyed being here. My great grandfather emigrated from France to the USA in 1806. I still have relatives here. I have not had a chance to meet them. I think I will have to come back when I don’t have to be at work 5 days a week and have some money to see more of France.

I have made some friends here out side of work. I am happy for that. I went to go see my new friends perform last night. I spent an hour walking around looking for the place. I never found it after walking all over Saint Denis. I had a few new male friends I met that wanted to take me somewhere and do something. I know the word for drink and it wasn’t that. It’s hard not having full control of a language. I know horny it looks the same in any language.

The day before I met another friend after she met with her doctor to get her levels checked. The doctor did not have the results. I told her I just look online to see mine. The medical care here in France is good but same things are just like back in the day.

I met my friend near the Arc de Triomphe. I had another gentleman follow me like a puppy on the Metro. It’s a good thing I don’t where I am going because once I realized I was going the wrong way I did a u-turn and left him. Anyway my friend has a new Black Mercedes. I don’t know how people can spend that much money on a car. It is pretty cool though. Something about cruising down Champs-Ellysees in an expensive car is just right. It makes me forget about my personal financial struggles.

We ended up in the Saint Denis area. They have some shops with sexy lingerie, cute cheap boots, sex shops mixed in with other businesses. Walking is hell in Paris. Who thought cobblestones were a good idea. It is hard work walking in any kind of heel. You really risk your life or sometimes just look drunk even if you are not.

We had a nice dinner at a pizza place after trying to decide what and where to eat. It was pleasant and we talked about the things we all talk about, transition, ex’s, hormones, the future, the past. She is not yet full time. She has lived in Paris for 16 years and plans to complete her transition after a move and possible job change. She says she has a 4-year plan.

After dinner she took me on back to my place via the scenic route. In my opinion Paris by night everything is scenic. It is all so beautiful day or night.

I am going to miss Paris. It still seems a little like a dream to be here. I am glad my partner was able come and share it with me. Our two months here flew by. I was planning on her being back. It will be good to be home. To be able to be together again with Sandi. I miss her so much. To be able to sleep in our bed with our cats, see my kids and deal my part of the financial collapse. I am not sure exactly when I am leaving. I have some finishing up to do but it is soon.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Farewell 360

I closed off my 360 page today. Deep Freeze. If they come up with a cure for 360 death I may come back.

The early days of 360 were very amazing. I met some wonderful people not just in the trans community but from all over. In the early days it was exciting. There was nothing like it. At the time MySpace had grown so much it was not very stable. It was hard to get logged it with out it balking. YouTube was in the early stages. Now I have a program on my iPhone that works really well. It changed my mind about MySpace that works really well so I will spend a little more time there.

Here is the link

I am also working on getting Blogger to be how I like. Seeing how things work and how I can make it more personal. I really like how it just works. It not only works it works fast.

I have also been spending some time with my YouTube today finishing my profile looking at videos I had. Figuring out how to post ones I like on my page. Looking at a lot of amazing videos that are on there. I have a lot of video I have shot I need cut together and post.

Here is my like to that.

It's cold here in Paris today. I went out for a while to the farmers market for a bit. I got some lettuce, apple pastry, 2 Pain au Chocolate, some grapefruits, and this spicy dip I love. I have some favorite booths I stop at. The gentlemen always are happy to give me big smiles at a little flirt. My French has gotten a lot better sounding so they like to chat. One gentleman told me he likes French with a California accent.

It is supposed to rain today but I have not seen it. I was hoping it would. I love big rain. Maybe later. I made some nice soup. I have the music on and I am just sitting looking out at Paris. I am in Boulogune Billancourt which is on the edge of Paris. I have a 5 min walk to work.

I met another TS here in Paris. I am really happy to have someone to hang out with. She is very sweet and is still working on her transition. She is a guy at work and a woman the rest of the time. She has an ex and kids so we have a lot in common. She speaks several languages so she helps me to improve my French and I help with her English.

I have been working on a political blog I have little bits and links I am putting together. I will work on it and post it pretty soon.

Oh for those I have not met yet a little introduction. I am a 53yo TS. I have lived full time for over 4 years now for the most part stealth except for all the people that knew me already at work and life in general. Life is good and I am very happy.

I wish happiness and success for everyone.



Saturday, September 20, 2008

Passing (as French)

I was looking and the last posting I had was a while ago. I am still in Paris. It is getting cooler as Automne has arrived. The spring and summer were wonderful. I was lucky enough to have my partner Sandi here for 2 months.

The picture is from the firedrill we had at work. A woman I met at work was nice enough to take my picture in front of the waterball.

My French is slowly improving. I can say things with out freezing up. My accent is improving and I can almost pass as French. My main French interaction in French is around food. At least I am not starving. Some words I use without the two step process in my head of translation. I still have a ways to go as I really don't feel I can carry on a full conversation. Everyone is supportive of me learning more French and am determined to improve. I have decided to keep reading my French Dictionary to help me understand more words.

Last Sunday I took the train to Amsterdam for the IBC conference. It was a 3 day thing. Two days of travel and one at the show. It was nice to see some of my friends there. I met some new people. It was funny getting off of the train still wanting to speak French. The Dutch speak English very well. I was not there long enough to pick up any Dutch. I enjoyed listening to it. I have an Ex-Pat friend there but she was out of town when I was there. She wants us to move there. We had a wonderful dinner at the Supper Club in Amsterdam. It was an awesome place with wonderful music and I danced a lot of the night away.

It is a beautiful day here in Paris and I need to get outside. Catch you later.

Love to you all.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

2 Weeks back in Paris

The picture is of the best Pate' de fois gras in Paris!

I have been back in Paris for 2 weeks Monday. You would think I would be thrilled to be back but it is bittersweet. Sandi and I were here together for 2 months of the 4 I spent here. Now I am back by myself. It is no fun sleeping without her. No amount of pillows make up for skin to skin contact.

My first week back I was very depressed. I finally realized I needed to get out to get some sun and exercise. That helped my mood quite a bit. Going to the Buddhist Temple here helped as well. I have been chanting everyday and that helps as well.

I am working to get my condo out of foreclosure. I missed a couple of payments and my good friends at the bank promptly did the nasty on me. I personally think this is all arranged to make anyone with out a minimum of a million dollars indebted to the government as a renter of a government owned property. I know I am in good company.

I have to come up with a lot of money between my payments to my ex and the bank it leaves me with about $100. The good thing is I am on site and all my expenses are paid by the company. Paris is a expensive place to live. I have to come up with $700.00 to pay off my bankruptcy lawyer so I can file. Money troubles always add to depression.

This election is depressing. McCain is in my opinion a few bricks short of a full load. I think he is too old and after all he has been through he should just rest. Palin is just downright scary. I don't need some gun loving, right wing woman a heartbeat away from the presidency. I think she is a nut case.

Obama is criticized for being young. I would rather have someone with a new thought and fresh view. Old white men has got us in to a big mess in the world. It dates way back not just with Bush. LA used to have one of the best rail systems until Standard Oil, Goodyear and the car companies managed to get it all ripped out. There is no going back. Europe has one of the best passenger rail systems. The subway here in Paris is awesome. With a little walking and the subway I can get where I need to go.

Next weekend I am off to Amsterdam for the IBC trade show. It is the broadcast show here in Europe. I am taking the train. I am looking forward to it. It will be a big adventure and I have never been to Amsterdam before.

It feels good to get all this out. To much work and no play makes April a depressed girl!

I am heading out for the day.

Love to you all,


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Please don't mind the mess

I am just moving in.