Friday, May 25, 2012

"Home boy,
Everybody needs a home."

Hey all,

Given the British obsession with the weather, I feel it would be remiss of me not to say 'Phew, what a scortcher'. :-) So earlier in the month, it was rather nippy for May and it now seems that whatever Powers That Be seemed to have stored up the warmth and the sunshine for the last few days.

Luckily for me, I've today off. I'm at home looking after Little Miss because Granny - who usually looks after LM (bless 'em both) - is on a much deserved holiday. With the weather being so nice, it's been good to get out and stretch our collective legs. The dog seems to be enjoying it too, although when it gets too warm, she starts to flag. I guess it's been a bit of a part time week, as I had some more time off to take Wee Man on a school trip. Yes, three hours on a coach with pent up kids, although they were pretty good considering we were delayed by an hour due to traffic. Wee Man's group were sensible and somehow I managed not to lose any of them.... which was a bonus! ;-)

Last night was Chameleons and it was very much a quiet affair. The hot weather had put me off getting all dressed up. Much as I enjoy the chance to enjoy a dash of glamour, so to does the need to not feel like I'm about to melt override the previous. :-) The unusual suspects where around and it was great to catch up with people; hear what they'd been up to. Much as I like a bit of music and some dancing, there are times when just sitting back and having a natter are just as welcome.

On another note, I was visiting my parents the other day. Now, the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones' parents like to move around, whereas my folks are more stay-puts. So, somewhat obviously, they're still in the same house that I grew up in. Sure, they've decorated and extended the house over the years, but it's still pretty much the same. I suppose it's a bit odd in that when I go back, the village hasn't changed much due to the laws about Green Belt. Don't worry, I'll get to the point in a mo ;-)

If walls - and mirrors - could talk.
So there I was, stood at the top of the stairs daydreaming by looking out of the window. It was then that an old memory slid to the surface. I realised that the landing and the wall behind me would have been where I'd stand to review my early cross dressing attempts. I'd have been a young teenager back then. Sure, I'd sort have half dressed when I was a lot younger, but it was as I hit secondary school - hello, hormones - that I started trying to put outfits or looks together. I had an old shelf that I'd place against the wall and prop two the two mirror doors from the bathroom cabinet. It was just the right height for a young TV. ;-)

If memory serves me correctly, it seemed both a fun and very confusing time. I felt guilty that I would borrow Mum's heels or a skirt, but back then, the idea that I could buy my own things seemed terrifying. Funny how thing's change with time eh? I think the early teen period was okay and it was only when I got to 18/19 that things seem to become a bit of a mess. Still, I'm pretty sure that other folk - trans and non-trans alive - found growing up tricky too.

Still, enough of my prattling. How was growing up for you? Did you sail through it, or soldier on? Did you risk dressing in public - parties and suchlike, or what it much a case of staying firmly in the closet?

Take care,
Lynn

[ Today's lyric: Home by Iggy Pop ]

Friday, May 18, 2012

"'cause she new what she was doin,
when she told me how to walk this way"

Hiya,

As way of a change, this week I've been away on a course. Not the tucked away in a hotel type of thing, but just away from the cut & thrust of the office. This time around it was a change from the technical and on to matters of a team focus. I found the whole thing interesting, but I think that was mainly due to the people I was with (lots of new people for all over the firm) and all the conversational stuff that went on. People swapping stories and life experiences, that type of thing.

Anyhoo, during one coffee break, one attendee  mentioned that she'd been looking to study counselling, but given the travel required (the degree was down south), she decided against it. I asked why and she said she had an interest in CBT and suchlike. We had a bit of a chat about that and I mentioned that I'd been on a CBT course to help fight off the Black Dog. It was interesting to hear her view of the process and during the chat, I noticed another lady's ears prick up. At a suitable pause, she said "I heard you mention CBT. Did you get anywhere with it?" Cue a few questions and answers from the both of us.

Long and the short of it, this other lady had been battling against depression and as she came out (so to speak) with it, so did a number of things she'd been saying slot into place. Funny, we sort of bonded over that and as she said her issue seemed to be brain chemistry, rather than - and in her words "some deep, dark, terrible secret" I just nodded. I almost said 'gender issues' but I'm not sure if that would freak her out and once you're out, that's it. There's no bottling that cliché back up again is there? :-)

Tonight is Invasion, although time time around (Ed: or do you mean 'yet again', Lynn?), I'm not going along. It's been a busy week, but I'm wary that it bugs the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones and after the week she had at work, it felt a bit iffy going. Instead, I popped out Thursday night to visit Sophie and her house guest, Saffy. After dropping Little Miss off at Granny's, I snuck into the Centre and got changed. After that, it was a quick jaunt down the motorway to Sophie's place. I was a little late - as per! - as despite knowing exactly what I'd be wearing, Little Miss wanted just another episode of her favourite DVD before we left. Well, it would be rude to say no, wouldn't it.

Suitably dressed, I arrived to say hi to Sophie and Saffy. Soph was in Bob Mode which threw me a little, because I pretty much always see her in...umm.. her mode, if that makes any sense. I said hi to Saffy who kindly replied that I wasn't what she was expecting. What she meant by that - and I'm guessing in a nice way - I'm not sure! :-) We all had a good natter, plenty of tea and biccies while we talked (Ed: and talked) about various things. Again, it comes back to the fun of meeting new people and hearing what they've got to say. Different paths, different experiences and all that. There was also a spot of boot trying on, although how people where such high heels all night, I'll never know. Five inch heel plus platform, I'd never need a ladder to do the ceilings at home again. ;-)

One thing I did take away from the evening was the casual comment of the idea that we - the trans massive that is - seem to be drifting away from TV or TS. Yeah, I know, labels, labels, labels. :-) But stay with me for a mo, what I mean is - and at least from my own limited experience - the trans community seems to be blurring the line so that it's no longer all about surgery, or all about dressing. We seem to be mixing it up and folk following a path that suits them. Hey, so long as people are happy with their path, who am I to say what's right or wrong?

Take care,
Lynn

[ Today's lyric: Walk This Way by Aerosmith and Run DMC ]

Friday, May 11, 2012

"It didn't fit, it wasn't right.
Wasn't just the size.
They say you know, When you know.
I don't know."


Hiya,

It's been a strange and not always pleasant week. Nothing particularly serious, just a build up of life's little niggles. I seem to be battling with technical stuff at work and that coupled with a visit of Pink Fog  (more on that later), seem to be making a rather unhealthy mess. Still - and to coin a phrase from a far more educated chap than I - "When you're going through Hell, keep going." Not that I was going through Hell, morelike the distant suburbs. You know, the grass is a little warm underfoot, the air doesn't always reek of sulphur and the discordant wails of Justin Bieber is far off. :-P

So, Pink Fog? It's been a while since I've had a dose from that particular monster (Ed: she means a week according to her last Facebook post). I think it was late last week / over the weekend where I began to really feel the negativity of it. It's that creeping feeling of disquiet and sadness that something's not right in the way you look. Not so much the melodrama of "what is the point", but more the nagging suspicion that when you catch your reflection - in the mirror, your shadow or even a shop window - what looks back at you, isn't, well, isn't quite you. Perhaps more accurately, what looks back doesn't match how you feel on the inside. Don't worry, I won't be wheeling out the cliche about being trapped ;-)

I don't enjoy those feelings and I do what I can to keep them at bay. Read, walk, write, anything but sit about or look at fashion. Part of me worries that's a bit of denial - which in itself, is not good - while another part thinks that thinking about the positive elements of my life would be better. Is that wish for the mirror to show how I feel inside, just trans fantasy or a hint of something deeper? I suppose we all have doubts and fears, yet chuck the trans factor into the mix and for me at least, it all seems that the transgender stuff is the root cause (to use an ITism).

Still, I didn't do anything hasty and come Thursday night, such worries seemed far away. Yay for the good times! I was in two minds about going, or rather, two minds about all the prep that's required. Packing, a close shave, getting there, etc. I shouldn't have worried as it all came good in the end. I did have an eye make-up fail earlier on. I tried a new liquid liner but it just didn't work for me. Not so much wonky as just.... messy. I shall stick to my tried and trusted eye liner pencils instead. At least you can smudge those to alter the look. My loss was Maddy's gain though :-) Given I had to re-do my eyes, I put the usual pallet of browns and golds away, opting for some very soft pink and groovy purples. Well, it is spring time. :-)

After a quick chat with the Chams Massive, I headed off with Jess, Sophie and Maddy to catch up with the girls in the pub. Well, at least after I changed my shoes. I had gone for heels + leggings, but with thin tights, the heels were a mite uncomfortable. So, a quick change into my new flat pumps was required. Honestly, in flats, whatever next? I'll be in jeans and a sensible top next. ;-) We were earlier than usual, so there was chance for a good chat - a heart to heart in certain cases - and then a bit of Karaoke and a dance. All in all, a truly fine evening. Next week is Invasion, so I shall cross my fingers about attending that.

Oh, while I've got your attention (at least I hope so!), two surveys came out this week about what it's like to be trans. One's UK based, the other is a wider European one for LGBT folk.

Take care,
Lynn

[ Today's lyric: Just Like the Movies by Katy Perry ]

Friday, May 04, 2012

"Yep, I'd rather be called deadly, for my killer show-tune medley (Thank you!)
'Cause way down deep inside, I've got a dream."

Hello dear reader,

How are things on Planet You? Matters at Jones Towers are a little chilly; not from the emotional view, but the physical. The Jones Mansion is undergoing renovation work - an extension to the Polo Lounge (!!) - so we're without windows in certain parts of the house. Just the gentle breeze and occasional clap of canvas. Still, with luck, the builders will be back in to fit the necessary parts Saturday morning. I'm willing to forgo a Saturday lie-in for the sake of being able to feel my toes when I'm in the back of the house. ;-)

Earlier in the week it was the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones's birthday and armed with a shopping list, I headed into town to purchase a few gifts. I won't regale (Ed: bore? :-P ) you with what I got, it's more the vibe I got while out. It was the simple pleasure of looking for suitable items as presents. A look in this shop, a look in that. I did get a few bargains and Mrs Jones was pleased with them too. Guilt free shopping, you gotta love it. I did manage to avoid buying any shoes (Ed: another first, Lynn ;-D ), although I did get some new leggings from M&S.

The only negative part to the day was a stab of regret from the Pink Fog. I'm still not sure how it works, being trans - and really, I can only comment on my own feelings. Perhaps being at the cross-dressing end of the spectrum, I wonder if somehow the wires between wanting to look good and seeing a well dressed woman got mixed up somewhere along the line. So, yes, the Pink Eyed Monster did make a brief visit.... thankfully seen off by a bout of positive thinking and CBT Jedi mind tricks.

So frown in place I skulked from the shop, only to stop (figuratively speaking) as the ever welcome voice of common sense piped up: "Yeah, she looked cool. Sometimes you do too and sometimes you don't. It ain't all bad..." My thoughts continued down that route for a short time and the Pink Eye Monster was sent packing. Again, yay for good stuff and happy memories.

The Our Different Journey project is still going. We've been talking about it on and off during the week. A few decisions needed to be made about using certain approaches, or perhaps more accurately, suitable technologies. The original plan had been to use a blogging system to do the updates. Yet, as we've dug into it, it seems that's less appropriate and something more lovingly hand crafted may be more suitable. Watch this space, as they say. Oh, talking of ODJ, Jonathan posted his take on the Eight Questions and (IMO) it's a post well worth reading.

All that brings me towards something that started from an off-hand comment on Facebook. Before we dive in, let me set the scene a little. Years ago - oh, and older readers may like to hum New World at this point ;-) - back when I was at school, we had a careers week. The usual stuff of what will you do when you leave.  The teacher, someone who I won't forget because he didn't talk down to us like certain folk, but seemed to listen and encourage discussion rather than dictate. Anyhoo, said teacher, said that when it comes to careers, there are jobs, a career, dream job and fantasy. Jobs are something you do to get the money in; you may not like it, but it beats the alternative - that of going without. A career is something to work towards, I guess a goal of what'd like to you. A dream job is something you'll think wistfully about - perhaps being a top footballer, a TV star or a writer.

That left fantasy, which he didn't explain, but left the comment hang. In the end, someone asked about the last one and he smiled knowingly before explaining. According to Mr Smith, a fantasy job is a bit like a dream job, except it's something that you won't share with others. It may be because others can't see the potential in you, or you doubt yourself. It is, however, something you want to do. He went on to say that lots of people have them and if you put you mind to it, you may just make it.

To be honest, I didn't know what I wanted to do after school. Well, that's not strictly true: I didn't want a lot of hassle, I wanted reasonable money and to be happy. Add a few years to that and all I wanted was to be out of the small town I grew up in, but that's another story. So, fantasy job? As soon as he explained it, I thought drag queen and then I wondered how many of my peers where thinking footballer? :-)

It is a dressing up thing? Quite possibly. :-) Although to my amateur eye, it's high camp and laughs, not passing that's important. There seems to be large elements of performance to it (or so I assume) and between you, me and the search engines, I like that type of thing. If that makes me shallow, so be it, but I do enjoy making people laugh. Ideally it's with me, but you can't always be the comic hero. :-)

Have I made any moves towards exploring that field? No, not really. Not being able to hold a tune and the thought that some folk are upset by it makes me think twice. I have tried writing comedy and I find it very tricky. I find it easy to work with someone, or banter / mock the news, but to sit in a quiet room and come up with a routine, that's a talent I don't seem to have. To that end, I'm happy to keep this one as a daydream, rather than inflict my fashion sense and humour on the unsuspecting public..... oh wait, the photo stream. Damn. ;-)

But enough about me, what's your dream job?

Take care,
Lynn

[ Today's Lyric: I've Got a Dream from Disney's Tangled ]