By that I mean this blog entry has nothing to do with the transgendered community. It’s actually about the progress of my research work at the university, or the complete lack of progress. Researching in numerical methods mean that I have to be a good mathematician and a good programmer. I can say that I’m both (okay, I exaggerated), but the person that I inherited the code from was neither.
The lack of progress was because I unearthed a few bugs in the code. Substitute Samuel L. Jackson’s voice in Snakes on a Plane: “There are motherf****** bugs in this motherf****** code!” There are serious errors in the numerical method (for those who care and understand, the problem is with applying the Riemann boundary conditions for an aerodynamic problem: the boundary is applied differently in the left-hand-side matrix from the right-hand-side vector in the linear system for an implicit time-marching method) and also with the programming (properly declaring and dimensioning arrays). Now that I’ve put them into words, my second problem doesn’t sound so bad now.
For the record, FORTRAN sucks. Anyone who must program in FORTRAN for whatever reason should get a kiss and a hug for enduring the pain and suffering. Anyone who insists on its superiority should be shot. Okay, not shot, but at least severely reprimanded. F90 helped dull the pain slightly, but the standard is 15 years old, and it’s still not fully supported by everyone. Fifteen years ago I was cheering for my new 25MHz 80386. And then the old legacy code is a bitch-and-a-half to work with. Add the combination of poor compilers and debuggers, and lack of support of the Alpha processors, life can be, well, a bitch.
To old-school FORTRAN programmers in the world, please don’t use GOTO statements anymore. I hate you.
I’m enlisting help from another lab-mate’s today. Wish me luck.
I went to visit a crossdresser friend (Tammy) yesterday to try out some her newly-written music, which mean taking the subway across town at night en femme, carrying my violin with me. On the way home—already well past my bedtime—a man sat down nearby. (You can always tell which ones want to flirt: they sit too close in a near-empty train, but have enough common sense not to sit immediately next to you; they don’t take their eyes off your chest or legs; and they try to act too manly.) Soon after he started chatting up with me. “Hey gorgeous! What’ya got in there? A machine gun?” [giggle] “A rocket launcher?” [snort] “Like in the movies?” I gave him a dirty look, frowned, shook my head and left the train. It was my stop anyway.
On behalf of all violinists around the world, for the billionth time, it’s a frigging violin! The joke wasn’t funny the first time, and it’s not funny now.
For the past while, I’ve been thinking about how it feels to be a girl for a week, so at some point last week—when my research work stalled a little bit—I decided to take the week off and spend some quality girl time. This means doing all the normal day-to-day things, plus a few truly girly things, all as a girl.
SATURDAY Nighttime attire: satin nightgown
Between playing violin in a wedding gig and teaching violin lessons in yet a different part of town, Saturday was an incredibly hectic day. My “week” began after going home in the evening. I changed into my pajamas, and promptly fell asleep. My mom called me a few times, but while the phone was ringing within two feet from my ears, I never woke up. I bet I snored right through the night. I wore a very sexy satin nightgown, but I was so tired, I could have been wearing a straitjacket and it wouldn’t have made any difference.
SUNDAY Morning attire: Black & white sundress Afternoon: baby blue halter top, long white skirt Late evening: tank top, shorts, baseball cap for jogging
Still suffering from the long Saturday, I completely overslept on Sunday morning. I did eventually craw out of bed at 9:30am, and spent a couple of hours preparing for the week: shower, skin care, hair removal, make-up etc. I drove out to G Ross Lord Park, and walked around the park for a couple hours. With a 33ºC temperature and high humidity, I was drenched in sweat within minutes. In the afternoon, I changed into a light blue halter top and white skirt, which made things a lot cooler, and went to the library computer lab on U of T campus (air conditioned!), where I read some articles related to my research. I went jogging that night, for the first time ever as a girl, and gained new appreciation for sports bras. Tired and warm, I fell asleep wearing a pair of shorts and a tank top.
MONDAY Daytime attire: black t-shirt, red skirt Evening: blue sundress Nighttime: satin night gown
Monday was the day for me to experience the ultimate of life as a girl: a romantic date with a man. Okay, not really. “SS” and I have been trading e-mails for a few months, and we picked Monday to meet up. Most of the day was ordinary: I went to Chapters to read some new books, then took the subway down to Greektown area to walk around. Overall it was a nice day, albeit the temperature hovered at 36°C in the afternoon. I did have to go home and change before my “date.” Although, I really should point out that since I don’t really date men, a more accurate way to describe my “date” is that two people hanging out, only that one is a guy and the other one (me) was wearing a dress. SS and I went to places that are decidedly outside of the LGBT area of town: a nice dinner at a pub on Queen St, and a movie at Paramount. Turns out SS was even more nervous than I was about the whole thing. May be despite the repeated warnings I gave hime (“I’m not interested in relationships with men, and I don’t date men”), he really thought that he was on a date. At the end, my evening was civil and polite, but I don’t think I’ll see SS again. Thank goodness my apartment is air-conditioned; I wore the same satin night gown to bed that night.
TUESDAY Daytime attire: white button down blouse, baby blue pencil skirt Nighttime: satin night gown
I had another late start on Tuesday, because I watched parts of le tour de France on TV. By late morning, I was already feeling a bit uneasy about leaving my research work untouched for an entire day, so I went down to the computer lab on campus downtown. Wearing a pencil skirt kind of reinforced the notion that I’m there to do real work, and not to fool around. And I must have worked pretty intensely, because I completely forgot about lunch until well past 2pm. I walked out to Zelda’s for quiet lunch. Previously I’ve only been there on weekend evenings, and between the customers, the staff and the drag queen performers, it was always a zoo. So it was nice to be left alone for quiet time this time. I went back the library to work work until late evening (and forgot about dinner also). After dinner, I spent the night e-mailing to friends, wearing the sexiest of my night gowns.
WEDNESDAY Morning attire: black shirt, pinstripe pants Afternoon: pink halter top & white skirt Evening: black halter top, black flower skirt
Wednesday was my designated shopping day. On paper anyway. I went to Vaughan Mills Mall, north of the city, and window shopped for a couple of hours. This is the second time I went there dressed, and like the last time, it was uneventful. I’d walk past stores and not be interested in what they sell. This is what I decided: whereas my male alter-ego likes to buy girly stuff for Tara, but Tara doesn’t like shopping all that much herself. I thought of going to another mall across town for the afternoon, but decided against it because of how much driving is required. So instead, I went back, once again, to the U of T campus and did more research. My friend Robyn W and I had planned to get together for a drink in the evening, but at the last minute she cancelled because of work-related commitments. I went down to Church St for dinner anyway, and had a great time. The weather was good, and a nice happy crowd was gathering in the neighbourhood.
THURSDAY Morning attire: cotton pajamas
Somehow, when I got up early this morning, I didn’t feel like going out as a girl anymore. I knew that at some point towards the evening, I’ll have to go back to being a boy. I just didn’t think that I’d look foward for that. In any case, I spent the morning in my pajamas doing house cleaning, and then went back to work as a boy again. I’m still savouring this whole experience, and while I haven’t exactly learned anything profound yet (other than that sports bra is a necessity when you jog), the experience has been positive enough that I want to do it again one day, hopefully later this summer.
(Content Re-edited on December 4, 2012 with better pictures with the clothes that I wore that day.)
After I started going out dressed in 2004, I was looking forward my first Halloween. I wanted to make it a memorable occasion. That night, I decided to wear my green formal dress which, until then, had not been worn in public. I had bought that obscenely expensive dress a few years earlier, but never had the chance to wear it. (I found it in a liquidation store by coincidence, and paid only less than 10% its labelled price of $245 CAD).
I was among many t-girls getting ready for the evening at Toronto’s Take a Walk on the Wildside, a famous club/store/hotel for t-girls, and a safe and fun place to hang out. As I put on my make up etc, the obvious question that everyone asked everyone else was, “who are you supposed to be?” Having giving that question not the slightest bit of thought, I scrambled to come up with an answer: “I am the girl that I wanted to take to the prom.” I went about having fun that evening, proud of my witty response, and my stunning appearance.
After dinner in the Gay Village on Church Street, a bunch of girls went to a local club dancing. A note to everyone about dancing: it’s much easier to dance when you have titties and wearing a fancy dress. Whereas my male alter-ego was shy and awkward on the dance floor, Tara (or TJ as my friends call me) was right at home. Throughout the evening I found myself being hugged, flirted with, kissed, caressed, fondled and groped by both guys and gals. I felt wonderful: it is quite nice to feel sexually desired by someone else. Then two guys approached me, and explained to me, in detail, how I should have go home with them to have wild unprotected sex. Hmm. I didn’t mind the attention, but that was just too creepy. Then it struck me. As sexy and pretty as I was, there was a clear difference between me and “the girl I wanted to take to the prom.” She would have put out. I wouldn’t.
Recently I wore the same dress again to dinner with a friend I met through URNA, and the first time I wore the dress after that Halloween. As I walked back to my car a few blocks away from the Gay Village, some (gorgeous) guys and girls started flirting with me again. The flirting was as enjoyable as ever. One guy came up and told me how he wanted to take me home and give me the…well, it was the same thing I heard at Halloween. I smiled and shook my head. I guess one thing still hasn’t changed: I still won’t put out.
In some of my recent correspondence with other t-girls, I was asked (a few times) where my name had come from. I’m not entirely certain why it is important to know this, but I have nonetheless decided to set the record straight, or at least firmly crooked for good.
“TJ” are the initials of my male alter-ego, and a rarely used nickname in high school. When I first started going out, I was skeptical of making up a suitable girl name, so I shortened my boy name. Most t-girls I hang around with still call me TJ right now.
“Tara Jennifer”, or at least “Tara”, is the name I started using when I started my URNA profile in March. Note the initials “TJ”. As I started going out regularly, the “Tara” personality begins to develop. Admittedly that personality is really the same as my male alter-ego, and it’s not terribly exciting. (As my profile says, geeky and chatty.)
“Young” is the anglisized (sp?) version of a Chinese surname, generally spelled “Yeung”. It is not my real name. I use it because it is rather suggestive; afterall, I’m just a fairly “young” t-girl, aren’t I?
I had hoped that my first blog entry would be (a) funnier/wittier or (b) more profound or (c) more noticable, but this will do just as well!
Bottomline: Tara Jennifer — not my real name TJ — real initials and rarely used nickname Young — complete fabrication.
I hope this satisfies everyone’s curiosity.
Hugs and kisses to all you guys and gals out there!