Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"American Transgender" mini-review

[NOTE: I write this on an iPad, with a 21 month-old asleep on my lap]

 Male or female?  Boy or girl?  Most of us can answer that question without a second thought.  But for some people, the answer isn’t so simple.  Go firsthand into the daily lives of three people who are transgender, and witness their struggles for acceptance and the triumphs and hardships they face along the way. 
--from 3 Sisters Pictures promo for "American Transgender".

"American Transgender" TONIGHT at 20:00 EDT on the National Geographic Channel.

"American Transgender" is a documentary from 3 Sisters Pictures about three individuals, one Male-to-Female (Clair) and two Female-to-Male (Eli and Jim)' who have "transitioned". "American Transgender" is neither gross (à la the Thailand sex change video) nor shock theater (Rupaul's Drag Race) and, for you parents, it's perfectly fine for children--unless you object to the entire subject.

The piece offers good insight into the areas of gender identity, gender transition and parental reactions "I was just getting used to 'gay' and now..." I'd have liked more on the parents/families and friends and associates.

BTW, Eli's mum looks remarkably like Liza Manelli. Just sayin'.

Other than being one of those "Roll Tide" Bama fans, Eli styles himself just a good ole boy from down South. I could care less about football, but I'm on Planet Texas and one is legally required to give Bama fans grief here... Clair just wants to be a regular girl and Jim went from being a reclusive girl who avoided her peers in school to a bit of heartthrob and model in the trans community. BTW, both Clair and her identical twin brother "came out" as teenagers.

"American Transgender" briefly addresses the offered statistic that "50%" of transgender individuals have been assaulted because of being trans--Jim was attacked at bar. On a side note: there have been a rash of assaults and killings of transgender people back home in D.C. I think "American Transgender" could have delved into the negative experiences some transgender individuals experience--including being thrown out and disowned by family--however, a run-time of 48 minutes can only cover so much material.

"American Transgender" has high production values and tight edits.

 If you're looking for an overview and understanding of these issues--this is a good start.

"Lights! Models! Guest list! Just do your best, darling."
--'Edina', "Absolutely Fabulous"

{Edited 09:57 02 MAY 12}

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Do you know how to identify a Brain Aneurysm?


Symptoms can resemble "intoxication" and/or "heat stroke"

What are the symptoms? (from webmd.com)

Most brain aneurysms cause no symptoms and may only be discovered during tests for another, usually unrelated, condition. In other cases, an unruptured aneurysm will cause problems by pressing on areas in the brain. When this happens, the person may suffer from severe headaches, blurred vision, changes in speech, and neck pain, depending on what areas of the brain are affected and how bad the aneurysm is.

Symptoms of a ruptured brain aneurysm often come on suddenly. If you have any of the following symptoms or notice them in someone you know, call 911 or other emergency services right away:

A sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches.

Neck pain.

Nausea and vomiting.

Sensitivity to light.

Fainting or loss of consciousness.


Cerebral Aneurysm (from wikipedia.org)

Symptoms for a cerebral aneurysm occur when the aneurysm pushes on a structure in the brain. In the case of a cerebral aneurysm, the symptoms for an aneurysm that has ruptured and one that has not ruptured are different.

Symptoms for an aneurysm that has not ruptured:


Loss of perception

Loss of balance

Speech problems

Symptoms for a ruptured aneurysm:

Severe headaches

Loss of vision

Double vision

Neck pain and/or stiffness

Pain above and/or behind the eyes

Risk factors for an aneurysm include:




-tobacco use


-high cholesterol

-copper deficiency

-increasing age.

Do you know how to identify and remediate heat cramps/heat exhaustion/heat stroke (Heat Casualty)?

Heat "injuries" are NOT, repeat NOT, something to be taken lightly--especially in minors (read: children)--and can result in long term health issues, permanent disability(s), mental/cognitive impairment and/or DEATH.


According to the Mayo Clinic: In general, doctors recommend that the "average adult" drink eight (8) or nine (9) eight ounce (8 oz) cups of water per day. (ref: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283).

If you are "thirsty" it is already too late. HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE.

Drink water--not coffee, not soda, not "pop", not beer--WATER.

If you suspect a heat casualty--CALL 911 or seek assistance IMMEDIATELY

U.S. Army Common Task Training, Skill Level 1 081-831-1008 (SL1) - Perform First Aid for Heat Injuries

Performance Steps

1. Identify the type of heat injury.

a. Heat cramps symptoms.

(1) Muscle cramps of the arms, legs, or abdomen.

(2) Excessive sweating.

(3) Thirst.

b. Heat exhaustion symptoms. (The first five occur often. The others occur sometimes.)

(1) Profuse sweating with pale, moist, cool skin.

(2) Headache.

(3) Weakness.

(4) Dizziness.

(5) Loss of appetite.

(6) Heat cramps.

(7) Nausea, with or without vomiting.

(8) Urge to defecate.

(9) Chills (goose flesh).

(10) Rapid breathing

(11) Tingling of the hands and/or feet.

(12) Confusion.

c. Heatstroke symptoms.

(1) Flushed, hot, dry skin.

(2) Headache.

(3) Dizziness.

(4) Nausea.

(5) Confusion.

(6) Weakness.

(7) Loss of consciousness.

(8) Seizures.

(9) Weak and rapid pulse and breathing.

2. Provide the proper first aid for the heat injury.

a. Heat cramps.

(1) Move the casualty to a cool or shady area or improvise shade.

(2) Loosen the casualty's clothing unless in a chemical environment.

(3) Have the casualty slowly drink at least one canteen of cool water.

(4) Seek medical aid if the cramps continue.

b. Heat exhaustion.

(1) Move the casualty to a cool or shady area or improvise shade.

(2) Loosen or remove the casualty's clothing and boots unless in a chemical environment.

(3) Pour water on the casualty and fan him unless in a chemical environment.

(4) Have the casualty slowly drink at least one canteen of cool water.

(5) Elevate the casualty's legs.

(6) Monitor the casualty until the symptoms are gone or medical aid arrives.

Note. If possible, the casualty should not participate in strenuous activity for the rest of the day.

c. Heatstroke.


Heatstroke is a medical emergency that may result in death if treatment is delayed. Start cooling measures immediately and continue while waiting for transportation and during evacuation

(1) Move the casualty to a cool or shady area or improvise shade.

(2) Loosen or remove the casualty's clothing unless in a chemical environment.

(3) Spray or pour water on the casualty and fan him unless in a chemical environment.

(4) Massage the casualty's arms and legs unless in a chemical environment.

(5) Elevate the casualty's legs.

(6) If the casualty is conscious, have him slowly drink at least one canteen of cool water.

Note. Watch the casualty closely for life-threatening conditions, check for other injuries, and seek medical aid.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Grandma Cynthia's Pot Roast--overnight, Crock Pot style

-2 Lbs rump roast (in this case cut in two pieces)
-Whole, skinned onions (I used eight this time)
-Whole potatoes with skin, washed (I used like six big ones)
-Beef gravy

Put meat, onions and potatoes in Crock Pot, season as desired--do NOT, repeat NOT, add salt*.

*: Salt will leach from ingredients during cooking.

Cover with gravy, up to top/fill-line.

Set Crock Pot for eight (8) hours on low.

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