Friday, November 25, 2011

"Open up your eyes,
You can't turn back the tide."


Hi,

Another weekly post eh? ;-) Funny, I had a collection of things I wanted to talk about, yet now, as I sit here typing, they've all scurried away to hide within the proverbial shadows.

(Ed: temporal time distortion approaching team.... Yes, Lynn did write this bit earlier ;-) )

If I look to my right and out of the window, I can see rolling hills, the near empty branches of trees and some rather bushy connifers. The sun's spilling out a warm golden light to the day and yet when I track up to the sky, it seems cold.

Other than the exercise of description and a push to get me to actually type something, the above seems fairly indicative of my mood. For the most part, all is well, yet there is this nagging gap that I can't quite put my finger on. I suppose like the occasional arrival of a cool, but unwelcome draft.

Anyway! Enough of the negative, on with the good news. Thursday meant it was time for a night out. As per, I'd planned two outfits, but my heart - or perhaps my fashion Spider Sense - wasn't fully with it. Luckily, taking a couple of items packed meant I had options.

I was a little late getting changing as I stopped to say hello to one of the staff who worked at the Centre. Sue was having problems with her email, so being the helpful sort, I offered my services and got things working. It's not like it took long and as the Centre staff have been good to us, I feel it's a good thing to help in return.

Leaving Sue to catch up with the email, I headed off to get changed. I've started to do my make-up first, mainly as that lets me chop and change outfits later to suit. That, and being an early bird, I'm normally finished with the mirror as the other folk turn up. I was pretty much done when the others rolled in. One of the new folk - Sarah I think - was kind enough to say some nice things about how I'd done my eyes.

Talking of make-up, Amy had bought herself her first lot and - by her own admission - not being sure over the how's and the what's, she ended up quizzing, Maddy, Alison and myself.... oh, and a bit of help applying said items too. It's not easy when you first start out and I know I'm still learning despite all the hours I've put in. ;-)

What with the computer fixing and make-over, I was a little late getting downstairs. The place was packed too - not that that's a bad thing. Indeed, quite the opposite as it means there's lots of folk to talk to and it keeps the group's funds topped up nicely. Maddy had printed off the posters for Nottingham Invasion. Bless her, the minx had sneaked in my gag as a tag line: "Men in tights: a Nottingham tradition." I'll slip Mel Brooks a pint when I see him next. ;-)

After 9ish, the place thinned out as a number of folk set off to The New Forestters. I sort of fancied it, but at the same time, it's a faff getting changed compared to the facilities at the Centre and as I was a bit tired, I gave it a miss. There are times where the need for a good night's kip overrides the Tranny Force ;-)

With the Unusual Suspects out of the door, so the evening rolled on. There was then the obligatory photo shoot (not that I'm complaining!), tidying up and sorting out the pots. After that, I scooted upstairs to get changed. I did delay a little as I wanted to try my shoeboots out. I was wondering if they'd be suitable for dancing in - seeing as it's the Xmas Party next time around (December 8th). The reminds me, I best get the group's web site updated and put something in the forum too.

Jayne's organising a meal out in Nottingham before Christmas and I hear through the grapevine that some of the Centre staff are going along too. How cool is that? As Sandi said, that's acceptance! :-)

Anyways, all in all a good night out with good company. I did make a bit of a boo-boo by almost forgetting to take my nail varnish off. Luckily Alison saved me from that one. Shame in a way, it was a lovely colour. ;-)

Oh, one parting shot before I go: if you've been watching My Transsexual Summer, are you getting a bit fed up of the employer's line of "what about the punters?" Personally, I don't give a hoot who serves me, so long as they're polite and my drink arrives on time! :-) I really hope that that programme help non-trans folk understand what some of our community have to go through.

Take care,
Lynn
x

[ Today's lyric: It's No Good by Depeche Mode ]

Friday, November 18, 2011

"You known I can't believe it,
when I hear that you won't see me."


Hi,

This time around it's a quiet week and as I've said before, quiet isn't necessarily bad. Sure, I don't mind watching a bit of drama second hand - so books or film - but experiencing it first hand isn't always quite so welcome. :-)

Midweek

Mid week I booked an afternoon off to do a spot of shopping. Not the trans stuff, but the more mundane things such as new bloke clothes. My trainers have reached optimum comfort, which in real terms, means they are in danger of dropping to pieces when I least expect them too.

I also kept my eye out for some Xmas gifts and when you spot something that's just right, it can pay to pounce on said item before you forget or it goes out of stock. I did spot some nice items for the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones, so on a whim, I decided to check another store. Luckily for me, that paid off as there was a Three for Two offer. Handy as I was already in there buying make-up, although sadly, there were no special deals on this time around. I also managed to get Wee Man's fancy dress costume sorted out for his mate's birthday party and remember to get said mate a present.

While looking for men's shoes, I did see some rather nice biker style boots. Okay, not what I'd gone in to town for, but hey, when fortune smiles eh? :-) I decided not to invest because I've got a few pairs of heels and with Mrs J's feet being the same size as mine, we pool our boot collection.

As Invasion Nottingham is on the cards for next month, I did try on a coat in New Look, but it wasn't really me. The Invasion gig has been masterminded by Sam and I'm hopeful that'll be a good night out. I know a number of the Chams massive are going, so fingers crossed. Maddy is working on a poster and when that's ready, I'll ask about re-posting it here.

I had read on-line about a series of new bras. Debenhams seemed to be the first to market and like most fashions and technologies, it didn't take long for competitors to catch up. To that end, I did try the M & S Double Size bra. I guess you'd call it a Wonderbra on steroids. I sort of worked with just the one set of boob enhancers (aka chicken fillets), but not with both and really, it didn't do a lot for yours truly. Perhaps on a (genetic) lady, it would work wonders. So back that went.

You researched what?

Being both a nosey so-and-so and part of what some folk call alternative lifestyle.... although for the record, I think we trans folk are born this way (baby), so it's not really a choice. To boil it down to a soundbite, I think the only choices elements are being open, closed or somewhere in-between. But that aside, I find studies into us human folk rather interesting.

Anyhoo, a friend sent me a link to a presentation called A talk based on A Billion Wicked Thoughts. Research based on sexual behaviour, in this case, pornography access within the Internet. The YouTube video is here and while it contains adult themes, it's not graphic, although some terminology may offend. It's also just under an hour, so happy viewing.

One of the items mentioned was the popularity of she-male porn (if you're short on time, it's about 22 minutes in). Larks, just writing that is going to produce some interesting search hits isn't it. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea! ;-) If type of 'entertainment' is that popular with straight men, does this explain admirers? Does it also go someway to answering the notion - incorrect in my view - that trans folk are always 'up for it'? What I mean is, if Joe Public keeps seeing images of trans folks in erotica and not the real world, does that twist mainstream society's view of us. Questions, questions eh?

On that note, cheery bye and have a nice weekend.
Lynn
x

[ Today's lyric: Don't You Want Me by The Human League ]

Friday, November 11, 2011

"Because the plot thickens every day,
And the pieces of my puzzle keep crumblin' away,
But I know, there's a picture beneath"


Hiya,

It's been a bit of a mixed week this time around. Mostly good, with what really shouldn't be a big deal. Shall we get on with it then? Oh and a brief apology as this week's entry is rather lengthy.

The Trans Factor

Channel Four recently started a new series called My Transsexual Summer. I guess that's following the idea of X number of folk of a particular type, get them under one roof and film them. There was a show earlier in the year called Seven Dwarves which featured - wait for it, wait for it - a number of vertically challenged people who shared a house. AFAIK there wasn't a bird from a glass coffin who did the housework. ;-) Okay, that's the last of the fairy tale gags, I promise! I guess it was a sort of old school fly-on-the-wall reality TV programme. As opposed to 'reality TV' where no celeb folk are interviewed, labelled (the funny one, the cute one, etc) and the subjected to events that wouldn't happen in the real world (Big Brother, etc). Maybe it's unfair to be so overly cynical of television programmes, especially as I seem to watch less and less these days, but a bad show leaves bad vibes.

I did watch it and I did feel for those of them transitioning. I mean, there are ups and downs associated with being trans. The whole coming to terms with it, being able to be yourself, buying the right clothes and going out. That last point splits into two: firstly, as a common-or-garden tranny, I spend my working life in Bob Mode and I don't have to face the Big Bad World in Lynn Mode unless I want to. To that end, I guess I'm shielded from the discrimination that full time trans folk may be exposed to... and as if on queue, there was a brief part showing bigots doing what bigots do best (Ed: that's right, acting like a w***er). That was something the Every Lovely Mrs Jones picked up on. She said that it was one of the things she worried about when I went out. Not so much Chams, but out to trans events; what if you bump into some thugs? You only need to be unlucky once, etc.

I suppose the personal safety bit comes back to a conversation I had with Maddy. Things such as being careful where you go, avoiding dark/quiet alleys (unless you're a vampire, vampire slayer or even both), etc. I don't consider myself to be female, although when it comes to being out and about, I do find myself thinking is where I'm going safe for a woman on her own? Simple things like avoiding dodgy areas or not being on my own when it's kicking out time at the local lager lout venue.

Worse things happen at sea!

I've been running low on the anti-miserablist tablets for a while. That was mainly due to me feeling fine and as such, I didn't feel I needed to go back to the doctor. Errk, wrong answer, Hans! Not getting my finger out to go see the doctor meant I was down to taking one every other day and yes, I did notice then. I started to feel like I was starting to circle around the dark, or perhaps more accurately, I could feel the depression beginning to come back into my thoughts. I think it was temporary as provided I'm on the happy pills (not that they actually do that), I'm okay. I suppose it was a combination of brain chemistry, thinking over what I saw on Transsexual Summer and the Tranny Force. The latter has been quite strong of late. What really worries me - terrifies me at bad times - is that's the route I'm headed for. Don't get me wrong, if you're walking that path, good for you. I'm not here to disrespect your choices, what I'm talking about it my fear of losing my family, the people I hold dear, the idea that going full time is my only route out of depression. Well, it scares the sh** out of me.

So I did my best to be honest with the doctor and not do that typically English thing of stiff upper lip / putting a brave face on it. I answered his questions as best I could and tried not to steer the conversation, just let it happen. Now, I've got another few months of tablets to keep the Black Dog at bay and I'm on the list to talk to a therapist. The doctor's word were: "for some, the medication is keeps you going until the issues are over, but if the underlying problem hasn't been addressed, they're not much more than a sticking plaster."

It made sense to me and I should be getting a call later in the month. Going on from the worry about full time, that fits in with a conversation I had with Sam. She asked, where is the compromise between the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones and myself? It's a tough one to answer, because each couple's relationship is complicated and unique to them. What works for one, may not work for another and other cliches. Without being rude, I suppose I can see her point of view. Equally, I can see Mrs Jones' wishes and 99% of the time, the fully carpeted legs / arms and non-pierced ears are fine. Just flights of fancy..... yet.... there are times when I feel locked away. I guess it's only human to want more, but at the same time, I'm fairly sure that going too far down the trans route will mean I run the very strong risk of losing the lady and children that I love. I don't want to pay that price. It's too high. Ahh, but if life were simple, we wouldn't need blogs eh? ;-) I'm hopeful that talking to someone professionally will help. Maybe it's not all trans related doom and gloom, merely an aspect of who I am? Maybe there's another something lurking within my psyche, or - as a mate once said - maybe you're just a morose c***. :-D

Out and About

On to brighter news! It was time for Chams again and all went well. The previous tenants departed on time and I had a nice chat with a member of the local council about it. The chap in question pretty much repeated the local clerk's position on the matter of us staying and that he - and the rest of the borough massive - were with us. If we're happy, they're happy. Good news eh? Oh and I got an email along the same lines.

It was also an evening of new folk. We had a visit from a young lad from Sheffield way. Bless him, he'd been waiting outside patiently and then after seeing me draw the curtains upstairs, he came up to knock on the door. "Is this the meeting?" comes a voice from behind the door.

At this point, I've got most of my lady gear on and I'm just putting my lippy away. "Which meeting would that be?" Thing is, we've had folk come to the centre on other business and you really don't want to be exposing Joe Public to a half-made up tranny at the best of times. Hell, it's not always safe to expose some of them to a fully made up one either. :-)

"The Chameleons Group?" At this point, I let him in and we had a good chat while Gayna and I finished getting ready. I'll leave the personal background aside, but the 'L' poor dear had been outted by an ex. Why do some partners do that? I think it's really low. What was good is that while some friends had been a bit funny about it, most were not and just accepted him. Maybe there's hope for us all yet eh? ;-) His current girlfriend seems much more accepting and encouraged him to come along. I think it's cool when folk fight the fear and come along.

Anyways, downstairs and feeling much chipper, I mingled and chatted. Later on Amy turned up and I had remembered to bring in my spare wig for her. She seemed very happy with it and as Maddy said, the jump between your male self and you with a wig on really helps with the self image. I wasn't giving it away, so I let Amy hang on to it for an evening's test drive. I've had a lovely email from her, which makes the organisation (well, what little I do) very worth while.


Val had been snapping pictures of the group on and off for a few months now. Not so much the posed tranny images we all know and love, but more crowd scenes: images of folk talking, life shots if you will. Anyway, her 'Valbum' was brought in and I'm hopeful I may be able to get a few to share within FlickR. I think it's a cool way to capture what's going on in the group. Talking of snaps, Gayna kindly volunteered - or was volunteered, I'm not sure! - to take a group shot of us.

We also had a visit from two new folk: one lady had been before, but many moons ago, whereas the other hadn't been out before. Understandably she was very nervous, so you do you bit to make people feel at home. Try to reassure them, get them a drink and let them settle in slowly. Jayne, bless her, also popped in to the kitchen to have a chat. It's good in that it lets people circulate and they're not stuck with having me prattle on.... like you are now..... Bugger. :-)

The evening few by and I enjoyed catching up with new and old friends alike. We had a quick photo session and then I joined the girls for a swift half at the local gay pub. I had said no previously, however this time.... I decided to go. I'd heard that the parking was right outside, so it was less than a stone's throw from the car to the bar. I didn't stay long because I was conscious of the time and I didn't need yet another late night. It was fun to be out after what would normally be going home time, that and a little long to chat.

Talking of night's out: Sam's planning Invasion Nottingham which I'm keen to go to (16th December). Not just because of it being a good night out, but because of all the hard work she's put in. I think it's great that folk grasp the nettle and organise stuff. Mrs J is cool with me going, so it's a case of sorting out something I can dance in. Step on! ;-)

Take care,
Lynn

[ Today's lyric: Falling to Pieces by Faith No More ]

Friday, November 04, 2011

"T.G.I.F"

Hi,

Not so long ago, the conversation at a tranny do swung around to blogging. I think it may be been Rebbecca who asked: when do you find time to write? The short answer is as and when. Of course being a blogger, a short answer strictly won't do.... :-)

Since my teen years, I'd frequently have a scrap of paper / notebook and obligatory pen too. Back then, I'd get ideas for a story, a joke (sometimes slight amusing) or an idea for a computer game or RPG. Now, the ideas tend to be for a blog post or a short story. An item of conversation or unusual circumstance will occur and a small invisible light bulb (Ed: no, I don't know what invisible light looks like either) would switch on somewhere above my head. My memory being what it is, I now write these fleeting thoughts down and come back to them at a later date or when I'm in the right frame of mind.

Maybe that cliche about the Muse rings true: I do find it easier to write when I'm in the right mood. It seems that the words come relatively easily and I can rattle off a good few paragraphs in what seems like no time at all. Most of the time, I'm happy with that, but there are also times when ideas don't come so easily. Then I have to really think hard - something I'm not so good at - and force an idea out, on to the virtual page.

So other than a small slip of paper to jot down my thoughts, there's also the where and the when of it. Again, if the mood strikes me and I have the time, I'll start up Notepad or maybe Yahoo Notes to jot down some ideas. Subject to making a gap, I may flesh the ideas out. Oddly, I don't tend to open the Blogger interface until I'm ready to upload something that's most of the way there. Sure, there's a little tinkering that goes on before hand, but if I'm lucky, I have something ready for Friday night.

That's the what and the where out of the way. I guess the 8.34 million euro question is the why? Partly because I like the process of writing: trying to tease my thoughts in to some coherent order and pick through what's going on in my life (Ed: she's making that last bit up, I'm sure). The other part of it is that here I can pretty much rattle on about anything I like. In Bob World - oh and that's Bob as in him and not bob as in "that's a lot of bob" (Ed: to overseas' readers, bob = sh**) - there are conversations that I just don't have.

Today for example, someone asked what I'd got up to the other day and the truth of the matter is that I'd popped out for a spot of shopping with a (trans) friend. I saw the most gorge dress (sadly too small and rather expensive, but hey, a t-girl can dream right?) and had a lovely long chin wag + lunch with Sam..... but [sigh], that's not the sort of talk I can have with work mates or folk I'm not out to. Hence this blog. It's a place where I can talk about the trans stuff, hell, any stuff. If I'm lucky and the post interests you good people out there, you comment and it sparks more conversation.

I may have mentioned this before, but I have my own personal deadline of Friday evenings. Sure, as I've just said, I do rattle off the odd post (like now) prior to that. Yet, perhaps a third of the time, I'll be typing away frantically after the kids are in bed, trying to finish a post off (like now). I guess part of it is getting my head around what's happened in the week, maybe even getting something of my chest and having the proverbial air clear for the weekend.

Looking back, Friday evenings had a certain magic to them: a level of promise of what might be. You had no school to worry about and indeed, in my adult life, it's been a long time since I've had to work a weekend. Going back a bit, I have worked shifts and I hated doing so. Again, we come back to the magical charm of Friday night / Saturday morning. Knowing you had to get up and haul on the shirt + tie one more time... Yeah, well, on the upside; I don't have to worry about that anymore.

I've mentioned time a couple of... times?... and if there's some hobby I want to do, something else has to give. There just aren't enough minutes in the day - or an evening in my case - to watch TV, read, blog, email, Facebook, etc. Perhaps there's a certain irony that with all the new television channels we have, I now watch less than I did when we had only four. There are some good shows on, but now I look at the reviews, shrug and just don't bother. Viewer apathy eh?

Anyways, that's enough chat from me for another week. Enjoy yourselves (not like that! :-P ) and stay safe!

Lynn
x

PS; I've updated the Resource panel at the bottom right of the screen. There are now more links to research into trans behavior and some help guides from the National Health Service.

[ Today's lyric: Last Friday Night (TGIF) by Katy Perry... which I guess doesn't mean Transgender Information Force. ;-) ]