Friday, November 26, 2010

"And you will be so happy to know,
I've come alone, it's over."


I'm a bit stumped on how to start this post. Not through any requirement to put out a massively important message, I guess it's just breaking in the white space. Did you ever get that feeling when you got a new exercise book at school? That first sheet was somehow sacred because it was unmarked and full of what might be. Then again, I may just be being a bit of a mentalist. ;-)

Anyway, let's start with some good news shall we? As way of a change ;-) Whatever synergy it was that's sent the old Black Dog on holiday has kept working its mojo. I've felt... well, just kinda normal over the last few weeks. Okay, as normal as I'll ever be (LOL) but you get my drift. It feels good, nay, very good, to just be myself once again. To be able to be enthused about life and if I am sad, to know that it's not forever. No more bouts of stooping under what felt like the weight of the world.

Sure, I get tired and things nark me on occasion, but they are fleeting moments in the long view. A good kip settles one, discussion or joking resolves the other. I no longer feel like I'm hanging on trying to avoid slipping down the slope. Neither am I parked up in a lay by staring into space, lost to the world, or obsessing on why dressing up could cure my ills. I didn't, I think it was an attempt at distraction - not that it helped. Still, whoever said humans made sense? All of that seems far away and in an unreal sense, a bit like it happened to someone else. I'm struggling to reconnect with that depth of sadness... not that I want to go there again. :-)

But, enough about me, what else has been going on? We had the Chameleons Christmas party on Thursday. Having had a buffet last month, we went for the option of having a Chinese meal to make the catering easier. Given that we were flush on funds, subs were waived and it was just a case of popping a few quid in to cover the food. I was lucky to get their early and put out the tables and chairs. It's not a lot, but it's one less thing for someone else to have to do. Besides, a little exercise helps doesn't it? After that, off upstairs to get changed. Funny, I've managed to resist buying a new dress this Xmas. There are a few I like the look of. I mean, Maddy had a fab number on that was a fitted, asymmetric little black number with this season's lace sleeves. But then I thought when would I wear that again? :-)

I packed just the two outfits, a red number from yesteryear - okay, the early 90s - and a purple dress I got at the Bring & Buy. The purple one didn't quite work, although I love the colour. So it was on with the body-con red dress. I saw a very similar number in New Look while out Christmas shopping for the Ever Lovely Mrs J. Why re-spend when you can re-wear? :-) Top off with my trusty slightly Gothic black lace cardy and I was good to go. Oh and I struck tranny gold with some bangles from Evans. Okay, highstreet chic, but they went on over my man hands... and after I caught Maddy wanting to try then, I did let her borrow a few. Hey, it was Xmas. ;-)

Oh talking of Maddy, I did pass her a sequined number I had from 3 years ago. It didn't quite fit right on me, but Maddy's shape is different to mine and she was rather chuffed with it. No point hanging on to stuff you don't use. I was hoping to bump into Kate and hand over some boots (not from Sophie - I'm coveting those LOL). But no show on that regard. I offered Alison my purple dress because I've tried it a few times, but it's never felt right. I've got to make a bit of room in my wardrobe! :-)

Make-up wise the look was a bit stronger and I dabbled with a bit of black eyeshadow (Urban Decay) via an Avon eye brush I bought last time. That and... oh, how dragtastic... false eyelashes. I thought I'd give them a whirl because it was party night. Dare I say, there were fairly easy to put on. I probably helped that I had a good pair of tweezers and some good glue. The cheaper glue took ages to dry, whereas this stuff was just the right level of stickiness in a few seconds. A couple of blinks later - and an audience (why?!) - I was fluttering away. I'd gone for a more natural shape and it did make a difference to my look.

Downstairs, Sandy, Tracey and Rebecca had decked out the hall with table clothes and tea lights. There was a Christmas tree and sparkly disco lights too. Folk mingled and there was lots of chance to catch up with friends. Tina had a new wig on and for a mo, I didn't recognise her. I had that nagging doubt that I knew her. Funny how hairstyle changes a person's appearance so radically. The Chinese food when down a treat and afterwards we had the raffle. Muggings here volunteered to pick the tickets out, although we had a slight problem with the wrong tickets in the bag. Adds to the fun I guess. A quick tidy up and it was time to crank up the laptop. I'd found an audio lead that plugged into the group's stereo, so it was soon tunes a-go-go. Nothing too Christmasy, some disco stuff, some kitsch, some heavy and some old school stuff.

I think we had about half and hour or so of dancing, then it was time to rush upstairs and get cleaned up. Maddy was kind enough to take a snap of me - on the stairs as way of a change - and then it was goodbye to everyone until next time. What a cracking night.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Landed by Ben Folds ]

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Still looking for answers if only one,
Turn my back the urge has gone."

Hey all,

I remember Monday fairly well. The journey to school, packing bags, wading through work emails. After that, everything seems like a bit of a blur. Not a drunken or robotic loss of memory, just... well, this big rush and then I found out it was Thursday. I like my time at work to go quickly, but maybe not quite so quickly! :-)

Funny, but as a kid, you'd be sat in your least favourite lesson - Maths, no French... no, most of them if I'm honest - and how the time dragged. A whole 40 minutes of being sat at a desk. But now? Forty minutes is just a good kip or a ride home if the traffic's bad. I wonder what it'll be like when I get to 60? Will I shut my eyes after reading the paper - or iBrick / eInk / stone tablet - only to find it's time for the Antiques Roadshow? Bah, iPods. I never liked them back then either! ;-)

What's been happening on Planet Jones then? Well, I do seem to be going into housewife mode at the moment. Yesterday I was beavering away in the kitchen... well, not so much gnawing through a tree to build a dam... but baking. I did say I liked baking and as it's Children in Need this weekend, Wee Man needed some suitable themed cakes / biccies to take to school to sell on. A quick mix with the necessary ingredients and one bag of brightly coloured sweets later, I was done. Tired, but done. It was worth it for his big grin the next day. Oh, and the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones and I had to test them. Strictly for quality control purposes I must add ;-) The Big Night is going off as I type, so I hope (if you're UK based) that you've put a few pennies or pounds in the collection boxes here and there.

I picked up another batch of anti-miserablist tablets from the doctor's today. Not that I've been back in the dumps. Wherever the Black Dog has run off to, he (or she) seems to have stayed from my door and I can't say that's a bad thing. I did have a touch of gender jealously this morning - if that's a term. I was sat waiting in the waiting room and I saw an old friend. She was dressed very nicely and for a mo, a little voice inside peeped: "Why not me?". I know the answer to that. The answer is, you can, but not with all the things you enjoy now. Priorities. Truth is, I don't have it so bad. Not when it comes down to it. Sometimes a little more femme time - if that's not an appalling use of the English language - would be nice, but equally, I kinda like being a bloke. It's certainly a lot quicker to get ready in chap mode.

I tell you what though - and on a clothes related note - I had to dress smartly for a do at my parent's place the other week. Shirt and tie. Okay, not exactly high end formality, but how it rankled. I really didn't like wearing it. Funny, for years I'd worn a shirt and tie to work - okay, not just a shirt and tie - you can get arrested for that ;-) But over the past year or two, I've stuck with jeans and various casual tops. Wait? tops? I mean t-shirt. Sorry I forgot men don't wear 'tops' - that's a tranny thing again. Doh. :-) Where I work, we don't see the public very much and perhaps when the Black Dog turned up... I kinda gave up really. I just ditched the plastic corporate image and stayed casual. Are corporates plastic? No, I meant I was.

So the do was done and I got changed before going home. As we drove back, I did wonder why I had disliked the style so much. It seems a funny thing to get your knickers in a twist over. Still, it was short lived and no great shakes. In other news, I've had a TXT from the Avon lady trying to organise our deliveries and I think, we're just about sorted for the Xmas Do at Chams next week. Well, I say sorted. I've still got to decide what I'm wearing. Trannys eh? :-)

Hope things are going well for you. Whatever you're up to!

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: The Island, Part I by Pendulum ]

Friday, November 12, 2010

"You can check it all out, it's the weapon of choice"

Hey all,

Nothing but good news this week... as way of a change ;-) No distant bark of the black dog. Maybe it's been blown away by the recent gales? You can but hope eh?

With a smile from Lady Luck and a few TXTs, I got the meeting agreed with the Avon Ladies. I had a slight wardrobe brain fail on the Wednesday and so I did my usual of packing two outfits. This time, the kilt-style skirts, new top, leggings, spare tights, two sets of boots and some skinnies just in case. Maybe that was a tad overkill, even for me, but despite trying to lay the items on the bed and decide, my mind was a bit all over the place.

So, heavy bag in had, I dropped Little Miss off at Granny's and made my way to Chameleons. I was very early to arrive, so I got the book out and headed upstairs to get changed. One of the good things about turning up early is if the room's free, you can set up. Sadly it wasn't, so I was upstairs and the extra half an hour gave me time to try mixing the outfit up a little. Funny, last time the plan of skirt + tights + boots hadn't worked, yet on the night all was good. Strange that. Do you find your opinion of an outfit changes when you get close to going out?
How the professionals do it.
Fully changed, I headed downstairs to find some of the others had turned up. Tracey and Sandi were about - if somewhat knackered after a very busy day. The evening rolled on and I caught up with Pat, Maddy and Alison too. No sign of Sophie (get well soon Mrs!) Then, as arranged, the Avon reps turned up. All three of them - I'll spare their names - and we had a good natter and Maddy had her make-up redone. Talk about tools of the trade: check out those bad boys! :-)

As they got the camera out for some photos for the Avon magazine, I nipped out to make more tea for them. Guess I'm not quite ready to see my mug in a magazine just yet. ;-) I've got some snaps of that, but they won't go on here unless she's cool with that. The make-up lady did a really good job on Maddy's eyes. Perhaps I should have paid more attention to the process, but I was talking with Sandi and Tracy.

We got talking about various things and conversation turned to the fight - is that the right word? - against depression. I found what both Sandi and Tracy had to say very interesting. Sandi: because she went through the mill as being Tracy's wife, and Tracy: as she went through trans issues and depression too. Bottling it doesn't seem to be the answer (obvious in hindsight), but equally, the BASEjump launch into transition isn't right for everyone either. Some yes, but everyone? Hmmm. Like I said last time, I'd be happy to flip between each role because I know I wouldn't make a passable woman. Honestly, that doesn't bother me and Tracy's comments were along the same lines.

Sam turned up later on and it wasn't long before we got out the famous Chams photo backdrop, or to use its technical name: the sheet. :-) There was much larking about and photos taken. I had a really good laugh. Again, just utter silliness and other such japery. After that, time to get changed and give Alison a lift back home. I thought it would be a bit mean to make her get the bus given the weather and the time.

All good stuff.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Weapon of Choice by Fat Boy Slim ]

Friday, November 05, 2010

"If you only knew what the future holds,
After a hurricane comes a rainbow..."

Hi folks,

How's things? All good I trust. In my neck of the woods? Okay now, but the start of the week... well, I think I had to prepare a spare bed for the Black Dog. Irksome so-and-so, he'd moved in over the weekend. Why I've not idea, maybe trans stuff or maybe just a slump in the old brain chemistry. I wish I knew. :-) Still, plenty of work and some good laughs with the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones and that sent him packing.

I've just got in - hence the later than usual post - from a very nice meal with Mrs J. Not so good for the waistline, but certainly very good for the soul. While we ate and talked - not at the same time I add, this wasn't McBurgerFC ;-) - there was the crackle and whizz of fireworks outside. All rather good to be honest. Oh... and while we talked about Christmas presents, it seems I may be lucky enough to get some trans things this time around: maybe jewellery or some new eye make-up. That I do consider a real treat. It's something we'd talked about once or twice, but it never happened. Guess we'll see what Santa brings, but it really made my night.

In other news, some of you may have noticed the It Gets Better Project that's been running on YouTube in the States. For those of you who've not heard of it, there's a series of videos from LGBT folk to LGBT youth... with the statement of the project It Gets Better. At least, it was LGBT folk imparting that while life sucked here and there as a teenager, it did improve. I think it's cool to see a number of non-LGBT folk getting in on the act. I hope that it'll drive acceptance onwards and kids who aren't the same as everyone else - no matter what or who they are - can feel good about themselves.

I think it'll be a while before I pluck up the courage to get all dolled up and film anything. I'd like to, but at the same time, I want to get over whatever is rattling unseen in my own head.... otherwise, I'd feel like I wasn't being 100% honest. To contradict that, it does get better. I'm not alone and 99.9% of the time, I'm cool with being trans-something-or-other. I've got a wonderful family and good friends too. 'Straight' friends and trans friends. My social circle includes lots of different people and for me, that works just fine. Certainly a world away from what I worried about as a teenager.

So, on that jolly note, I'll see you in a week. Look after yourselves.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Firework by Katy Perry... which - bless her - Mrs Brand dedicated to the IGB project. ]