Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Those summer niiiiights....

Out

Well last week at Chams was rather fun. A new girl turned up (Hi Simone!) and some old faces too. Ummm.. not that all of us have old faces... :-)

The new foundation worked a treat and H. asked to borrow it too. She seemed quite taken with it in fact. Women eh? Can't leave tranny things along can they? :-D

It's Leicester this weekend (hopefully), so I shall be pondering what to wear during Friday's management meeting. How are you supposed to pay attention when most meetings are soooo dull? Meetings, surely the devil's work? :-)

Surprise treat

I've been wondering about getting my ears pierced for a little while now. A number of men (yes, I am a guy, I'm sure some of you may struggle with that revelation [/sarcasm]) my age have had it done, so do I have the perfect cover? Anyone who makes a gag about mid-life crisis gets a Paddington bear hard stare. :-D

[Aside: semi-seriously though, I've had long hair (now cut off) and I ride a motorbike. I'm running out of ideas for a mid-life crisis. I don't fancy an affair. Any suggestions? :-) ]

So, I thought it would be best to discuss things with P. - after all, there's two of us in this relationship and communication is good right? We had a sensible and no-tears discussion about it and I take her point that while it would be useful for special nights out, the rest of the time, people will be wondering why I've got my ears done, but never wear earings. What made me laugh was P. saying I'd "look the wrong side of gay" and that would confuse people! Perhaps if I didn't have a buzz cut and perfect eyebrows. Then... bombshell... she says, why don't we have a look on eBay for some clip-ons? Two hours later of laughing ourselves silly at the shoes and clothes for sale, I've got two pairs of nice earrings arriving. Cool!

This weekend we may also be going shopping at Matalan. Now, I know some folk out there don't like the stuff that they do. Hell, I don't like all that they do, but I like enough to be able to shop there. P. has her eye on the spotty dress (she'd look great it in) and I'd like a gleg (sorry, a "peak" to you non-UK readers) to see what's new.

Secrets and lies?

I raised the issue of flogging some of my old gear on ebay rather than have it lurking around unused. "Like what?" P. asked. Ummm... a wig, I replied. That sparked off a series of questions such as were did I get it? and where you nervous when you bought it?. In case you're curious, Debenhams and 'yes'. That prompted a few more questions (such as when did I start, when did I stop and why?). These don't seem to weird P. out (which is good) but I'm a little nervous about talking about such matters. After years of hiding things and not mentioning certain topics (make-up, clothes, etc), it's a relief to be so open. So, in an SJP/sex-in-the-city stylee: are secrets corrosive?

It's all me-me-me

I stumbled across the following questions on Lizzbeth's site and thought I'd give it a go. Well, she did say I would fill it out. I hate to disappoint. :-) I'd be grateful that if you feel like cut and pasting, please leave a link (or your answers). The more the merrier!

1. First name:

Lynn

2. Were you named after anyone?

No.

3. Do you wish on stars?

Uh-uh baby.

4. When did you last cry?

All out floods and sobbing was during the stand-off in Crash (between the Egyptian shop keeper and the Little Girl's Dad). Most recently, I was a bit weepy at the end of The Constant Gardener too. What a wus eh? :-)

5. Do you like your handwriting?

No, it's terrible. Luckily, someone invented computers.

6. What is your favorite lunch meat?

Ham.

7. What is your birth date?

Never ask a lady that - even a part time one. Okay, Transtember '1842. :-P

8. What is your most embarrassing CD?

I tend to be pretty ruthless with stuff I don't listen to. I guess it would have to be an Iron Maiden CD from 1990.

9. If you were another person, would YOU be friends with yourself?

Probably not.  Apparantly, two virgos will fight like cat and dog.

10. Have you ever told a secret you swore not to tell?

I share 99.9% of things with my wife, P.

11. Do looks matter?

They're nice, but a sense of humour / positive outlook are more important.

12. How do you release anger?

If the occasion is suitable, I just let it out. If not, I fume for a bit and try to relax.

13. Where is your second home?

My imagination.... if that's not too trite.

14. Do you trust others too easily?

Yes. I should stick with my first impression rather than always giving people the benefit of the doubt.

15. What was your favorite toy as a child?

Lego.

16. What class in high school do you think was totally useless?

Statistics. Useful if you go on to do science maybe, but pointless otherwise.

17. Do you have a journal?

Yes and you're reading it. :-) I've two more: one that's bloke orientated (no, not tits and cars) and a technical one (deep geek stuff).

18. Do you use sarcasm a lot?

Only when my lips are moving.

19. Favorite movie(s)?

The Green Mile; Aliens; Blazing Saddles.

If someone could combine all three, that would be very cool. :-)

20. What are your (acceptable) nicknames?

A contraction of my male name, but only to friends & family.

21. Would you bungee jump?

Probably, but it would take me some time to get the bottle up. I hate heights.

22. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

My work shoes, no; I just kick them off.

23. Do you think that you are strong?

Physically or mentally? Physically, not really - bit puny to be honest. Mentally, I guess so. It's not like I go around thinking "don't f*** with me." I think confidence increases with age, there are things that you'd not accept when you're younger, but as a stroppy adult, that's no longer the case.

24. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Cookies and cream.

25. What size of shoe do you wear?

UK size 8, sometimes a 9 (in women's or men's). Perv. :-)

26. What are your favorite colors?

I like blue, although I find myself wearing a lot of pastel shirts for work (blue, pink, black etc but not white).

27. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?

Physically, my Desperate Dan jaw. I can also be grumpy and lazy.

28. Who do you miss most?

My late sister.

29. Do you want everyone you send this to, to send it back?

Absolutely! People are fascinating.

29. What color pants are you wearing?

If you mean pants as in "kecks", then red boxer shorts with white checks. If you mean american pants, then bootcut blue jeans.

30. What are you listening to right now?

The bird song outside and the drone of the computer fan.

31. What was the last thing you ate?

Pizza + garlic bread followed by fruit and some smoothie.

32. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

Shocking pink - somewhat garish and doesn't look right next to the other colours. :-)

33. What's the weather like right now?

A lovely spring afternoon, a little windy, but not too cold. (or at least it was when i started this post. Now it's pitch black).

34. Last person you talked to on the phone?

My mum.

35. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex?

How they're presented (facial expression, clothing, body language etc).

36. Do you like the person who sent this to you?

Yeah, I guess, I don't really know them, but they seem nice enough.

37. Favorite Drink?

Tea!

38. Eye Color?

Green.

39. Do you wear contacts?

Nope.

40. Favorite Day of the Year?

When the clock's go back in October. It means party season, autumn and Christmas is coming.

41. Scary Movies or Happy Endings?

I hate films when everyone dies at the end (unless their deaths go on to mean something). So... happy endings!

42. Summer or winter?

Winter. Dark nights, fires, cosy clothes, Christmas etc.

43. Hugs or kisses?

Both.

44. What is Your Favorite Dessert?

Creme Brulee.

45. Who is most likely to respond?

Not a clue. Hopefully anyone!

46. Who is Least Likely to Respond?

P. :-)

47. Where Would You Want to Go on your next vacation?

Somewhere were P and I can relax and have good time messing around with our little lad.

48. What Books are you reading?

The Tale of Johnathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

49. What's on your mouse pad?

I don't have one anymore since P. bought me an optical mouse.

50. What did you Watch Last Night on TV?

P. was watching American Idol, so I had to leave. :-)

51. Where was the farthest you have been from home?

San Diego or somewhere far north west in Canada.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Keep 'em peeled

Police 5

[cue Shaun Taylor's voice over]

Monday, 20th March in Nottingham. Where you in the vicinity of Boots the Chemist? Perhaps somewhere near the make-up counter? Did you see a young man in motor bike gear approach the No. 7 counter? Shamelessly he asked the young lady assistant for some help in buying new foundation. Not only did the young rascal engage in polite conversation, but he paid for the goods promptly and politely.

If you saw him, call Tranny-Spotters now. Remember, you could get a Community Action bonus.


Slaptastic

Yeah, I finally get around to buying some new slap and yes, I was very nervous. It's odd really. It's one thing to walk around a shopping centre dressed like a women, but it's another thing entirely to walk up and ask for make-up as as a bloke. Funny old world init? :-)

Still, the young lady who served me was very helpful and chatty too. Apparantly, a lot of blokes buy No 7. Really? I wonder if it's just a certain group of blokes? Who knows. I did a jawline test while there, because, frankly, I didn't want to waste my pennies. Looks like they'll be a test drive this Thursday, as Chams is on again.

Equal Ops?

Last week work put on a Diversity Training workshop with four actors and a presenter... ummm... acting out various scenes of discrimination. Each little sketch would be about 5 - 10 minutes and then we'd be invited to discuss the issues.

I must confess I was expecting the whole thing to be very dull, but it was quite the opposite. We had most of the "isms" (racism, sexism, agism - careful how you say the last one) but they also chucked in homophobia. The latter wasn't so much out-and-out hatred, moreover that one of the characters (is that right?) was struggling to come out at work. He was intimidated by your bog-standard stereotype jokes from one of the other characters and he didn't want to come out for fear of being judged. This, naturally, rang a few bells. :-) I wonder how many other TG / closet gay folk where in the audience thinking the same thing? Oh to be a mind-reader some days eh? :-)

I don't plan on coming out at work, although I know a rare few who have. Some have come out, others outed. I don't think I'd like the latter (been there b4) although seriously I do wonder if anyone would really give a monkeys. Perhaps office gossip for a week or three and then you'd be background noise.

Not that I plan testing that theory.

Until next time.... keep 'em peeled. :-)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Group socials and fashion

Chams

Last week's Chameleons was pretty good. There was a quiz, which to be honest, was rather tricky. Still, better to be challenged than to breeze through it eh? :-)

That's it for the next two weeks or so for me. The group move down to Derby and the next Leicester gig isn't until next month. On the plus side, it does mean I can kick back on Thursdays/Saturday and there's no mad rush around the house to get dolled up... only to un-doll yourself at 11.... and on a school night too. Adults eh? :-)

Roses

I spoke with one of the Admins the other night who explained in great depth some of the issues the forum faces. It seems that the forum itself, like many other Internet communities - was the work of one person. When this person is gone, whoever picks up the torch has a lot of work to do. I don't know the full ins and outs of the current cull, but it sounds like the hosting company aren't being particularly helpful. Apparantly the forum uses up a lot of CPU time - rather than just bandwidth - and this is making the hosting firm push the Roses group into fixing things. Easier said than done. I hear that it's the photo section that may be the root of the problem. What is a tranny site without photos? :-)

I can see both sides of the argument, but I wonder if the forum would be treated differently if it was a business. Mind you, if it was a business, would said firm just chuck money at the problem until it was fixed? Money, the ultimate lubricant? :-)

Slap - but no tickle

I've still not got anywhere with getting any new base. My new job does not have flexitime, so getting out at lunch for a perusal of the shops, is not as easy as it was. Last week we (P + me + the boy) were in town and I did managed to get some samples from Boots. The Assistant asked me, "is it for you or your wife?" I must confess I bottled it and said it was for her. I did have a small toddler on my hip at the time and this, along with the crowds, made me nervous.

I suppose the best tactic would be just to travel to an out-of-town shop and - to use a fancy management term - JFDI. Just f***ing do it. :-) Hell, I've got a five quid voucher and they're offering freebies. My Scots ancestry have almost forced me to go. :-)

The Times

Last week Times2's Fashion section laid out the good, the bad and the ugly of this year's trends. Actually, that's not strictly true. What they said (to paraphrase) was what you should keep, what you should shred and what'll be around all season. Apparantly wrap dresses are sooo last season (balls); boots should be flat (rubbish, shoes should be high! It's tranny law) and jeans skinny. Unless you're a size 10 bean pole - can you do skinny jeans without looking like a carrot? Hmmm. Oh yeah, bootleg cut trousers are no longer cool. Cool, maybe not, but they are a damned sight more flattering than drainpipes.

I find these types of articles rather fascinating and for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I like women's clothes (like, duh. See blog title); it's fashion vs style sometimes and lastly, what happens when the media gets it wrong.

In October time I read that winter/xmas was going to be back to black and boots would be square heeled and round toed. Yet that's not what I saw on most women. Shoes remained pointy at the front and on the heel. Colour was everywhere. So who dictates what we wear? The Fashion houses, the highstreet or some strange hive men where women-kind flock towards an image they can pull off? Answers on a post card to the usual address.

Aside: [ Y'know that's one of the plus things about being a tranny. When you're watching the ladies, it's kinda double win: you think how nice they look AND you think how nicely they're dressed. Vanilla men - you're missing out. :-) ]

On that slightly camp note.... TTFN

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

How time flies....

Almost Like Clockwork

Firstly, thanks for the kind words. My apologies for not making things crystal clearn. So much for the software author job eh? :-) I guess I better re do the make-up chapter in A Dummy's Guide to Crossdressing.

Right... Stage 4. Close your eyes and imagine there's a clock face over your right eye. The outside point (the bit closet to your ear) of the right eye will be 9 o'clock, the inner corner (near your nose) is 3 o'clock. When adding in the shading - wow, didn't that sound technical? - you want to colour in (!!) between 9 and 10.

When it comes to your left eye, this swaps around. Nine o'clock is your inner eye point (near your nose) and 3 o'clock is the outer point of your eye near (going towards your ear). Now you want to shadow between 1 and 2 o'clock.

Once. Twice. Just two times a Lady

Saturday at Leicester was a good laugh. A different group of people this time, as well as some familar faces (hi Amanda!). The Nottingham Massive made it down so I had a good chat with some of the girls (and real girls) from the local branch. There was talk of a beauty contest (stop that laughing at the back!), although strictly in a very light hearted manner. The idea of a swimsuit entry was thankfully mocked and abandoned. We had a group photo taken at the end of the night and hopefully I'll get my hands when the main web server is back on-line. H. loaned me her new boots (v. comfy), so Saturday's ensemble was black suede boots, diamond patterned opaques, a beige skirt and my old kitty kat top. Three liitle puss-cats from Debenhams. Old, but what the hell.

Thursday, well, I guess I'm spoilt this week as Nottingham is on too. Now, just what to wear? :-) I had the my new dress last time; pink skirt + white top at Leicester; faux shirt at the 1st Nottingham.... So.... New shirt and my charcoal skirt? GAH! It's so much easier at a man* I guess it depends on the weather. It's been chucking it down recently. Still, better that than a hose-pipe ban in about 3 months.

* Actually, that's a lie. It's easy for work. It's just suit and tie most of the time. As to going out. Well, then it takes a little bit longer. I guess you can take the skirt off a tranny, but not.... No, wait, that gag's not going to work is it. Bu**er :-)

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Eyes Have It

Okay, Lizz, you did ask and I'm (foolishly) going to share what H. told me the other night about eye make-up. Well here goes - but I cannot be held accountable for the effects.

By the way, any fashionistas reading this? Stop reading now! :-)

Are we ready? It's time for Listen and Learn With Lynn. Stop that sniggering at the back!

Equipment


  • A good light source.


  • A mirror (preferably not hand held).


  • Three shades of eye shadow (3 browns?)


  • A small brush - probably about the size of your little finger.


  • A smaller brush (!!) - hopefully angled slightly.


  • Dark eye pencil - soft tipped is easier.


  • Mascara


  • Plenty of make-up removal tissues / cleanser to remove and restart as necessary.


  • 1. Starting off

    Make sure you've got good light and you can see your face without any heavy shadow. While you don't need 100 Watts of halogen light, doing your face in poor light is difficult to pull off. But hey, don't listen to me, I'm just a tranny! :-)

    Apply your foundation / concealer as you would normally. Tidy your eyebrows up if you need to, either tweezer them or use some clear mascara to tame them a bit.

    2. First layer

    Take the brush and apply the base colour - which is the lightest colour - all over your eyelid and up to your eyebrow itself. When picking up the powder from the compact, give the brush a little tap to prevent it getting overloaded.

    You might want to start from around the socket and blend upwards. Then, pick up some more and blend downwards. Try to avoid overpowering your eye by piling on the colour. Also, you're not painting a wall, so you don't need a harsh line that stops bang on your eyebrows. If you need to blend things in, just use the brush unloaded to move the colour around.

    [ Wow, it almost reads like I know what I'm doing here doesn't it? Don't be fooled though :-D ]

    3. Second layer

    Okay, now take the next darkest colour and using the same brush, apply to just your eyelid. You want to start from the outside corner of the eye and move towards your nose. You will need to pick up some more powder to cover your eyelid. BTW, stay on just the lid with the top of the colour being the crease of your eye socket.

    If you need to blend things it a bit, use the brush without any colour on again.

    4. Third layer

    Still reading and not blind yet? Okay.... Now take the darkest colour from the compact. Starting from the outside of your eye, put a small amount of powder in a diagonal line / right angle triangle and blend inwards towards your nose.

    What do I mean by that? Well, imagine if your eye is a clock with the centre being your pupil. The outside corner of your eye is between 9 and 10. You want to colour this segment (starting from the outside) and blend carefully inwards. You don't need to cover the eye lid, so stay in this area and blend in a circular motion. You want the shadow to be soft, not harsh.

    If the line looks too harsh, don't be afraid to blend inwards / outwards. If it still looks too harsh, start again. ;-)

    5. Eyeliner

    Put your brushes down for now. Get your eye pencil and go all across your lash line on your top lid. Now, some magazines say to pull your eye lid gentle to keep a straight line. Others say not to. Personally, I like to start from near my nose and work outwards. H. - on the other hand - starts from the outside and works in. Experiment and find what works for you.

    Do you lower lid too, but don't go all the way from outside to your nose. I like to go from my outside to 2/3rds of the lower lid. So, I'm stopping just about a finger's breadth before my tear duct.

    If you want to blend things up a little, use a cotton-bud (or even your finger).

    6. Smokey Bit

    Get your small eye make-up brush and get a little of the darkest colour on it. Now closing your eye, go close to your lash line from outer to inner (temple to nose). Blend carefully.

    Load the brush up - not too much! - and repeat for your lower lash line. Don't be afraid to blend here with strokes left and right. Sometimes this can rescue a bodged eyelining.

    7. Mascara

    Clean off your brushes and break out the mascara wand. Remember, kids, don't pump the wand as you'll push air into the container and the make-up will dry out. Pull your best silly "O" face and apply carefully.

    Other sources of help

    Well, there you go. I did say I'd share and you use the advice under your own risk of looking like Coco the Clown. Last time I checked, Loriel had some great make-up videos.

    I think the main think with make-up is that there are no hard and fast rules. Just keep on practicing and find a look that you are happy with.

    By the way, if you've got any tips of your own, I'd love to know!

    Thursday, March 02, 2006

    Conversations

    Talking shop

    Widow Twanky has trained you well, but now, I am the master.

    Last Friday P. and I went out for a meal at a posh local resturant. If it's the midlands, posh means they put down fresh straw. But, hey, it was good enough for the Messiah, it's good enough for us. :-) It was a great night out. The company was excellent (her, not me!) and it was interesting to see what the other diners were up to.

    One of the high points for me was P. and I had a conversation about make-up and how you do it. Truth be told, it wasn't initiated by me and I learned (learnt?) a lot. I now realise I've been doing my eye-shadow wrong since day one and what a difference a set of brushes makes! H. said it was interesting to be able to talk about such topics with me as it's not something she'd do with her female friends. P's female friends are not girlie-girls (not that I am) so she doesn't talk about that type of stuff to them.

    Base!

    On Monday I decided to try out the sample foundations I got from Boots. Sadly, none of the colours I had were suitable. I guess I must be looking for Goth White. :-) I tried the Intelligent series freebie and while it was a little too dark, it felt fabulous. It went on smoothly and made my skin feel silky smooth.

    When I get chance, I'll pop in and try some other colours. It's either that or wait for the make-over offer at the next Chams meeting. Apparantly someone from Virgin Vie will be "in the house". Should be interesting!

    Perhaps there's truth in the old chestnut of "men are the new women." :-)

    Leicester Calling

    Saturday night rolls around again and I've got my evening pass to go. Woo hoo! Now, what to wear? :-D