Monday, February 26, 2007

Now I'm not looking for absolution
Forgiveness for the things I do

Hello peeps,

What's this? An early post? Something to shocking to leave until the traditional Friday upload? No, not really. To make things a little easier to digest, this week I'll be posting the odd thing here and there to try and break up the wall of text that I normally do. With luck, there'll be something to read, maybe even worthwhile. But, hey, this is yet another t-girl blog. I could just rattle on about shoes. Ooo, shoes! (Ed: FFS).

Sage Wisdom

Wise man says: 'Man in light coloured trousers should run taps gently.'

Beige trousers, pink shirt. I might as well get a Angels' tie-pin! The New Man stuff has gone too far. :-)

Monday mornings eh? I'm with the Boom Town Rats on them personally. I was late in because I hung around at home putting the washing on (ooo, New Men eh?). Oh, and I wanted to know if a certain local chemist was flogging Dermablend. :-) Nuts, they weren't. So back to Googling for that one.

Part-time Evil

After Ms Nolan's comments about me being somewhat evil (perhaps the Diet Coke of Evil?), I thought I'd look up my namesake from He-Man: Evil-Lyn. Well, the similarities aren't startling - other than we seem to share the same eyebrows and hair colour (!!)

Looking at the picture, she seems to be fixing something (perhaps a career in IT?). If she had a jet bike and loads of mirrors, she was probably a serial killer. 

"No, the server won't be back on this afternoon. Eh? No, it's not a microwave you nordic nonce - it's a tape drive."

Breathe the Pressure

Later in the week is crunch time. I've got an exam (PRINCE2) and I'm really not looking forward to it. I am to exams what transvestism is to electability. Oh well! Better stop blogging and do some more past papers.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Can't dance - no pain, no gain, no show
Jump to the beat all night don't roll

Howdy partners,

Good week? I do hope so.

Fun with Wipe Boards

I was about to type: 'do you find yourself bored in meetings?' But really that's a stoopid(tm) question really. So, before you enter the 10th circle of hell, to help pass the time, why not turn up a little early and write down some outsourcing terms on the whiteboard or on the flip charts?

Chuck in some random percentages, a graph or three and include words like key staff attrition, customer return index, Capita vs Prometa vs Offshoring, OCP retention, projected staff losses, chainsaw cull, etc.

You can also do similar things for companies who are MS / *nix / Netware houses. Just pick your favourite opposing technology company and jot down some pointless buzzwords.

Now, sit back and see who bites... :-)

Snip, Snip, Snip

After everyone had set off to work, I got out the denim skirt I bought last week. A couple of careful snips later and I was the proud owner of a mid thigh skirt (see below). At least I could sit down in this one. Not bad for 3 quid 50 and five minutes work, although I doubt Den de Lisi has anything to worry about just yet. Unusually for me, I actually have a picture snap of this. (Thanks Sandi!)

Deliverance meets Butterflies

This week's Chams meeting had a Country and Western feel to it. Rather than sit about and natter, sometimes the group likes to do something. Frequently it's a quiz, sometimes a trip out, a theme evening (no, not gas masks or maids - Valentines or Tea on the Green). For a bit of variety, this time was line dancing. Sandi came armed with a couple of DVDs and Daphne provided the speakers (thanks girls!). After a few volume issues with the old laptop (let's hear it for open source DVD players) we got started.

The introduction had a short piece on 'what not to wear'. As per, the TG contingent were dressed inappropriately (in heels). Still, how hard could it be? It's just walking up and down right? :-)

There must have been about half a dozen of us (RGs and TGs) and my word the dancing was hard. I just about managed to follow the 'left right left, left behind the right' instructions when they were slow, but put it to music and we started to lose it. Daphne pointed out that it was very much like the famous cooking scene from Butterflies (no? Ask your mum then - just don't mention it's a tranny blog alright? She'll only worry). Still, the hardcore persevered (cowboy hats off to you ladies!) and we while we won't be winning any prizes - it was a good laugh.

Strangely, it was easier to line dance to Abba's Dancing Queen than the country numbers. Before you ask, that wasn't on the DVD, but while everyone was having a break, I fancied a quick boogie to something a little easier to dance to. Somehow I don't think the group would have been impressed with NIN's Closer. :-) Maybe next time we can be disco bunnies or salsa loons! Salsa? What the hell am I going to wear for that? Plus, who's going to lead? :-)

Google Stats

After last month's query about how busy are the big guns - actually, let's be lets be a little more literal - last month's query over how much traffic do the big blogs pull, Becky suggested (ta missus!) I try Google Analytics. I did this just after last week and it's quite interesting to see where folk are coming from to view your site. Clearly, most folk are English speakers (Ed: don't make a snippy comment about American English - especially wiv yor spulling) although there are a few people from further afield: China (everyone's cheap labour market, but shhh.. don't mention human rights, it means we get cheap goods); South America and eastern Europe too. Places not so far afield pop up on the map (Northern Notts). I wonder who that is? :-)

Courage

The other day I bumped into a mate from an old work place. That's part of the fun of these consultancy gigs: you never know who you're going to meet again as you flit our the Midlands. Anyway, that's not the point of this section. First, a bit of background: after I'd left the other firm, I heard that one of the network guys had come out and decided to transition. Fair enough, I thought, and that was the last I heard.

Anyhoo, while we were shooting the breeze I heard a little more about what had happened to Miss P (as we'll call her). T told me that Miss had decided it wasn't for her and - pre-surgery - decided to go back to being Mister. Righto, I mumbled in response - trying to feign non-interest. (Ed: Jeez, non-scene straight acting or what? FFS). I'll say it here tho, I think that took real guts. It's one thing to want to change your entire life, but it's quite another to put yourself through all the funs and games it involves, only to publicly admit that you made the wrong choice.... and to go back. Again, it takes a lot of bottle to do that. Respect.

Propaganda

Talking of work, I was recently shown an advert for a new messaging system. That's not the interesting part - the advert was a kinda Sex in the City meets Star Trek communicators thing about a fashion house. Again, the Enemy Within strikes a blow for TG creativity.

"Well, Bob, I was thinking we thrash out an ad about this messaging system. Y'know, like, showing how you can read your mail while in the server farm or catching up with meetings while on the shuttle bus. Guys?"

"You think so Jerry? What about doing a number set in a fashion house? Maybe a meeting with their big boss? They could talk all about the new colours for the season and maybe the PA could go shopping...Oh, the click of her heels as she heads down the street, mobile in hand, Radley bag in the other? To...errr. show that the system works when you're outside the office."

Ice Ice Baby

Sometime last year H. asked if I'd like to go ice skating with her and the girls. Being about as graceful on ice as a drunken hippo with greased feet, I chickened out and had some father + son time down the local park.

Ice skating? Well, it's just never appalled... until I caught Lisa Scott Lee on the ITV bruise-athon Dancing on Ice. Hell, her performance ticked all my boxes: fit young lady looking fab, Shania's tranny anthem (video) and what an outfit! I'm off for a boot fitting. Later, lovelies!

Friday, February 16, 2007

'Blood, sweat and tears really don't matter,
Just the things that you do in this garden'

Hi folks,

How's it going? There goes another a week...

Monday, what a drag

Despite the ropey pun, the week got off to a good start. I had a meeting out of town so rather than head straight into the office, I thought I'd try a few outfits out at home. In particular, I was wondering what I should wear on my feet for the line dancing at the next Chams meeting. Flats? Don't own any. Heels? Could be tricky. Boots? Possibly. After a quick practice dance to Queen's Crazy Little Thing, I decided on the shoes, not the boots.

I also tried (re-tried?) the footless tights look. Yeah, so it's a look that's really going to date, but what can you do? :-) I was quite pleased with that, so I think that's a yes for next week too. The only skirt that wasn't too 'pretty' or 'worky' was too big, so I made a mental note to get a new one. After all the shops had been packed with little denim number pre-Xmas. (note: astute shoppers will notice that that fact doesn't apply to women's fashion. Indeed, female fashion seems to move faster than a pop star seen with a line of Colombian dancing powder).

Armed with a few bob, I set off for a mosey around the shops during my lunch break. Clearly, fashions have moved on. Despite it being February, bikinis are now in the shops and New Look seemed to be packed out with shorts. They had some lovely wrap tops in tho! Shorts and bikinis, though? Just what you need for a brisk Feb morning. :-)

Primark came to my rescue, although I felt the skirt I picked up was a bit short. I tried it on when I got home and man was it *short*. Even with leggings underneath, you'd have to be careful sitting down. I felt like one of the Cheeky Girls meets Rocky Horror. Not a good look.

Ah, well, never mind eh? Shame tho, it was a lovely colour and had just a touch of sparkle to it too (just fab!). But, I took that back after getting a new one from a charity shop. That's on the knee, but I'm planning on cutting it shorter and fraying the edges a bit. At least I'll be able to sit down and cross my legs without flashing my backside to the world.

From miniskirts to metal

I did consider some skinny jeans - but while what seems like every woman in her 30s seems to be wearing them tucked into knee boots, I can't help but recall my days as a teenage thrasher where that was pretty much what I wore all the time. Black skinny jeans, obligatory heavy metal T-shirt, long hair and boots. Although to be fair, it was basketball boots, not knee boots. (God only knows I wanted some high heeled boots as a teenager!).

Talking of teenage years, I seem to mining my MP3 collection at the mo. I found myself digging out some old Metallica tunes to listen to the other day (After 3... chop your breakfast on a mirror...) Still, sometimes it's nice to go back only so you can see how music has have changed. It makes a change from the steady diet of Girls Aloud* and other poptastic beats I seem to be bending me ears to. Hmmm.... given my love of cheesy pop and dancing, I sometimes I wonder if there's a gay man without any sense of rhythm who listens to Coldplay and Texas? Ooops, that'll upset the Coldplay contingent, perhaps ex-thrashers shouldn't throw stones? :-)

( * The eagle eyed pop divas amongst you will have noticed the large number of lyrical references as post titles in my weekly ramblings. Is it a lack of imagination, a want to display what you like or is it just that the words mean something to you? I feel a Sky News text vote coming on :-D )

Music Please

Talking of music (coo, seamless link - I should work on TV) - did you catch the Brits earlier in the week? I must confess I really enjoyed the show and Russell Brand was a very good compare. I wouldn't say I was a fan, as his stuff on BBLB seemed to be more crass/shock that humour. Having said that, he was very good on Jonathan Ross late last year. On the Brits, Brand was very sharp and had me laughing quite a lot.

There were some great performances: Amy Whitehouse (what a voice!), Take That (great come back lads) and Scissors Sisters too (always OTT). The Arctic Monkeys didn't do a set, although they got two awards (good for them). Oasis were a bit of a let down - what has happened to the Great Unwashed One's voice? Hell, I'm no singer, but it was nasal, shouty and flat - and those were the best bits! Perhaps that explains why I was always in the Blur camp (hmmm... camp). Britpop has it really been 10 years?

The only downer on the evening was Joss Stone's plastic american accent. You're from Devon - get over yourself girl. I wonder if 50 cent will start doing a Yorkshire turn for his next album? (Tha's dancing t'sound of dub... Bangin in me t'club...). Plus, that outfit? Whippet length mini-dress, big hair and high heels. Actually, maybe I shouldn't be slating her... perhaps she's one of us. :-)

The Trannisphere Hive Mind

Over the last week or so, there's been proliferation of the YouTube video regarding TG kids. Oh trannisphere? I think the original term was coined by Siobian to mean most of the homepages and blogs operated by those of us who are too glamorous for one gender (or, trannys to you straight folk). Anyhoo, I have watched it and -

[CTRL C] I have now realised the irony that I am blogging about it even tho I was going to make some comment about not me not wanting to recycle what other folk have written about. Pants! My train of thought has completely gone.... (Ed: Wake up, Neo!).

Where was I? Oh aye: some of it is quite moving and again, hats off to those folk out there brave enough to give something back. Rachel also wrote (on her old blog) about mentoring. I think this could be a really good idea. When you're new to the TG thing, a lot of it can be overwhelming. The urge to dress, how to cope with the guilt and whatnot. Hell, we've all been there. So Rachel suggested that t-girls on the forums could put something on their profile which basically means that you can go to them with questions or for support. I don't think that it's a system that we'd use to encourage new girls on to the scene, moreover it's something we could use to help the next generation (t-generation? generation XY?) come through and find their own way after a little help. Sometimes, it's not about advice, it's just having someone to listen to you.


Friday, February 09, 2007

'I can see it in my own reflection,
Something funny's going on inside my mind'

Hey everyone,

How's life? Well I hope.

I'm slacking. I've sloped off from the office to hide out in the Staff kitchen. No email client. The mobile's on silent and my desk telephone is switched to voicemail. Just me, the lapop and a cup of herbal tea. Yeah, it's sooo rock and roll eh? I know I should really be doing some work right now, but honestly, I really don't give a monkey's. I guess it's a bit like stuffing your face full of cake. Deep down you know that the consequence is that you're not going to be able to fit in your kegs (translation: trousers) but at the time you just want cake. So it is with slacking. Still, like cake, slacking - in moderation - can be just what the doctor ordered. Well, unless you've got a Diet Doctor, but lets not go down that route eh?

Quiz of the week

I went out last night to NC and it felt good to be out and have a chat about complete and utter nonsense. Now, I don't mean that in a catty way. Moreover, you spend a lot of time at work (noticing a trend here Sherlock?) being serious and it's great to kick back and be yourself. Talk about inane things, last night's telly or swap silly stories with your friends. I also was welcomed with a hug from Daphne - which was unexpected but very nice.

Possibly the threat of snow kept a few people away, but the faithful (a.k.a the unusual suspects) made it through. We did the quiz and that seemed to go okay. It's very hard to judge the difficult of quiz that you've written. Clearly because you know the answers! :-) Maddie was the winner - enjoy your bottle of wine m'dear - with a score in the early 30s.

Maybe I should try and post it somewhere (if I had the javascript skills) and you could have a go at it. I wonder if you can upload files to Blogger? Hmmm...

Rise of the Machines

(BTW, those of you who don't follow technology, feel free to skip on the next section. But then I have to ask, why are you reading a blog? Ack. Go figure).

Earlier in the week I've noticed a few of those Mac vs PC adverts popping up around town. I'm not a dyed-in-the-wool PC user, if the system works then it's good enough for you. I really don't give a sh** if you've running Linux, Mac, BeOS, BSD or Windows. Actually, not totally true, I personally can't stand Windows 98, but that's only because I've had to fix the damned thing one too many times because it's just... pants. But in the main, things in most operating systems have moved on.

So what bugs me about the Mac ads? I think it's the smugness of some of them - the ads, not the community - to be honest. I think it's very easy to throw stones at a large target like Windows. Given the OS monoculture that we seem to be sailing towards, as a hacker, you'd be daft to spend your time targetting a niche computing platform (3% market share I hear) when there's a much bigger - and frequently easier - target for you to attack. With high speed Internet connectivity, your novice computer user has a lot to take in to protect themselves. I guess it's a bit like learning to drive in a warzone. :-) Sure, there are numerically less threats for Linux and Mac systems, but there are exploits out there. With Linux being the platform of choice for web systems, threats have risen because it is worth targetting that system.

Earlier last year, I attended a MS conference when they were unveiling Vista. "It's got a new an improved firewall," gushed the marketting droid. Right, so are we saying then that your OS is so open to attacks that machines on a corporate network have to be protected at all times? Hmmm.... that fills me with confidence. Still, provided it runs FireFox, I'll be happy :-)

On another note, I wonder how many spoof adverts there are out there? Has anyone posted '5,128* more applications and games on a PC', 'Works with your enterprise mail system', or '97% market share of hardware sales''? :-D Now, I'm not knocking Macs, they work and they're easy to use. What's not to like? What does bug me are the ads. No doubt one of the big wigs will see this and decide that he wants one. Come Monday morning the email will read along the lines of 'why can't I run the CRM and Core Finance apps on my machine?'. Well....sir... it's because you bought a Mac and those apps are designed for Windows. Still, there's always VMware if you want to slum it with the rest of us.

Perhaps the truth of it is that secretly I know I'm backing the wrong team. The Mac crowd are right and I'm heading down the VHS route rather than Betamax's Quality Street. 

[ * What did Vic Reeves say about statistics being made up on the spot? :-) ]

Hello Clarice....

This week's Real magazine has an article on the mind of a serial killer. I don't know if they were short of text on fashion or recipies, but it makes a change. The more I read it the more I began to wonder if I was a serial killer rather than a tranny.
"Dr Wilson says: 'Strangely, a common trait with serial killers is vanity. They tend to have a lot of mirrors in their homes and wear a toupee. They may have a website or a blog and are very concerned with their image and appearance.'"
Okay. Feeling slightly freaked out now. Let's just go down the list a bit more:

1. Large number of mirrors in the house / tend to be vain

Busted.

2. Keeps souvenirs to remind themselves of past exploits.

Hmm.... large number of photos and blog posts.

3. Everything tends to kick off about 25....

Hmmm... well, I have earlier memories, but my late 20s was when it all came to a head. I could no longer deny to myself that I want to dress up.

4. Frequently inhabit a fantasy world.

lol. Thinking about what you're going to wear to the next do, or when you could go out shopping..... Hmmm... Second Life... CounterStrike.... Isn't this most men? :-)

5. They just *love* chianti, liver and onions.

Okay, I made this one up. It's only liver and onions if they're a working class serial killer... For the middle class, it's fava beans (but only if they come from Sainsbury's).

6. You can live with one for years and never know.

Check.

Clearly most t-girls are a toupee away from a killing spree. So what have we learned from this? Well, if Becky's post about offers from admirers is anything to go by: admirers, you're only a few emails away from a shallow grave.

Sleep tight.... oh, and don't have nightmares. :-) 

Friday, February 02, 2007

"Paint your fingernails at night / Style you hair in the bathroom light"

Hey y'all.

Another week draws to a close eh? Time for another Friday night brain-splurge into the blog hive mind :-)

They came. They saw. They had Chinese food.

So Transpocalypse 2 (working title: Opus Dey Do, Don't Do Don't Dey) has been and gone. I've been reading the posts about those that went and it seems everyone had a good time. Meeting new folk is always nice (well, unless they're armed and dangerous).

Liverpool was just too far for me this year, plus I don't think going away for 2 days would have gone down too well. I'm not disappointed (no, really) as there will be other times. I was too late for the Birmingham shindig being a Janey-come-lately to the whole blogging thing. I wonder if Leicester would be suitable? Not that I'm trying to influence matters. Remember the trouble Blunket got into! Heh. Note to self: check out clubs + resturants in Leicester.

Care to comment

Last week's blogpost had a suprising number of comments to it. Fourteen last time I checked. If I get any more I'll have to change my name to Becky. :-) I wonder what the web stats are like for the big hitters? (Becky, Jo, Miss K and Siobhan). If you're reading girls, I'm curious. I wonder how much those stats stack up against more mainstream blogs / forums. Is it that most Interweb sites are niche sites as well tho? Again, other than the search engines and establish brands (newspapers, retail, etc). That is one of the best things about the Internet; that there appears to be something for everyone on-line. Human nature being what it is, however, some of the things you don't want to see or, perhaps, stuff you wish didn't exist.

Jumping back to the big league blogs, I was in the canteen the other day - queuing as per - when I could hear the guy behind me talking about the BBC podcast detailing other people's blogs. Wooo, did I have a touch of The Fear then! Ahh, but what's the worst that could happen. I'm outted (been there) at work (no thanks). I guess people would get over it. Things have moved on since the 80s. Hell, it's acceptable to be ginger. Well, almost.... :-)

UK Angels

Happy birthday to the UK Angels! Jo reports that the webring is now seven years old. Given the strange double-time that the Internet seems to operate in, that's quite an achievement. You'll need to start humming the Symphoney for the New World for this next bit. (BTW, that's the Hovis ad theme to the rest of us). There has been quite a lot of change in that time. Broadband, blogs, botnets and I'm sure there are other Internet technologies that don't begin with 'B'.

The Internet Wayback machine doesn't have an archive for that site, which is a little bit of a shame because it would be interesting to wade back through the content and see what's changed over the years. On the flip side, not having that option means that the data is a little more private. Privacy and the Internet. Now there's a time-worn subject (and ironic too). Getting looked at, but not by people you know. Therein lies the rub eh girls? :-)

Psychic Telephone

I've had a new telephone at work and it has Caller ID. I'm finding this semi-useful but I've not yet resorted to not answering the telephone. What would be really useful is a psychic version of the system. 'Is the person ringing me with bad news?' If so, then there should be a little set of traffic lights. Green could be 'do you want to go to lunch?' or 'the firmware's fixed it!'; orange would be they may want you to do something, but next week would be fine and red would be get the hell out of Dodge. :-)

The Big Quiz

Next week it'll be time to put on the gladrags and mosey on down to Nuthall for a night out with the girls. Well, fingers crossed. You never know what Fate has lined up for you. Maybe Mystic Meg does? Mind you if she's so bloody psychic, how come she doesn't own the Lottery?

So, I've put together a little music quiz: five sections starting with the 60s and going up to today. I've done around 5 questions per decade and I'm wondering if I should pad it out any more? What I may do is put together some genre questions on famous songs / artists: pop, alternative, metal, dance, rap, etc and give the girls a choice. Failing that, it'll be audience partipation and a rip off of Nevermind the Buzzcocks' Intros round. The quiz is all for a bit of fun; so, no pressure (pap pap pap). :-)

It's a tough one as music (like comedy) is a very personal thing. I'm trying to reach a balance of the difficulty of the questions against the genre of music. We all listen to such a variety these days and to be honest, I really like that. In the days of yore you used to be a metaller (or greebo I guess), an indie kid or pop tart. Music has shifted and merged so much that I think it would be dull to listen to just one small slice of what's available. There is a huge amount of cross-over and I find it fascinating how folk can continue to use the same instruments yet continually come up with a new sound or style.

"Oh we got both kinds. We got Country, AND Western"

Apparantly it's line dancing at the end of the month. This isn't something I've done and, as previous posts suggest, I don't really do organised dancing. It is, however, rather fun to push yourself and do something a little different. Hell, I'd not done Karoke before either and that was a scream. In some songs, quite a lot of screaming.....

Anyhoo, while I'm okay with whatever passes for dancing to popular beat combos of the late 20th century, but anything that requires memory AND co-ordination - forget it. Clearly I lack the true multi-tasking brain circuitry that true women have. Proof, therein, that I'm just a tranny.

I'm also wondering what to wear. Sandi recommended a denim skirt - I guess you should put your thumb in your belt loops in a Dwight Yoakam stylee. Only, I don't own one! Also, I don't fancy the idea of flat shoes. Line dancing in heels? A&E ahoy! :-) Maybe I should try some skinny jeans and put them in my boots....

BTW I can't believe that that look is back in fashion - it's so very 80s. Perhaps that's the point. Mind you, I passed the Uni in town this week and it seemed that every girl had on opaque tights, a denim mini and ankle boots. Great view, but it's not a look for me: they're early 20s, I'm early 30s.

We're digressing (as per) from the subject in hand to go back to talk about: when should you no longer wear a fashion? I've read, not if you remember it. Shoot, I'm a tranny, I could probably give you a run down of what my primary school teacher used to wear. (Actually, now I come to think of it, I can remember perfectly what she had on. Go figure. Clearly, I was non-standard from a young age).

Maybe I should take that as not if you wore it the first time around? Now, I don't really do mini-skirts. I have maybe three above the knee outfits (two wrap dresses and a skirt) but everything else is either on the knee or trousers. Other t-girls do and they can look very nice. Maybe they're just not for me. But who knows eh? Perhaps I should do what my lovely wife does and pull a few things out of the wardrobe, stick one leg out and then go back to what came off the hanger first. :-) Trinny and Sooz, are you reading this? :-P