Friday, February 25, 2011

"Sleep is not my friend"


If there was one underlying thread this week, I guess it would be tiredness. I don't think it's a lack of sleep per say, moreover, the lack of the right type of sleep. I never said I wasn't a fussy so-and-so. :-) While my cat powers allow me to sleep pretty much anytime and anywhere, I guess a full night's sleep without the audio terrorism by snoring's causing would be helpful. :-) Maybe I should be going to bed earlier, but there is only so much time in the evening and I guess I'm guilty of burning the proverbial candle late into the midnight oil.... or something like that ;-)

So, Chams this week and a party night at that. I have been looking at getting the group a small stereo, but the prices were a little steep for what we wanted. In the end, I borrowed some PC speakers and they seemed to do the job nicely. It'll save Sandi from having to lug her rather nice home stereo system to and from the venue. Borrowed speakers, so no cost to the group and small enough to be stashed away at the end of the night. Not that I was really up for dancing the night away. That was nothing to do with being a bit bunged up with cold, but more from the plate full of tasty Chinese food I had.

Image-wise I'd gone for the pink summer dress I got last year (maybe the year before?) and a black cardy to keep the chills out. Not that should have really, it was rather warm given a February. Normally it would be a case of black opaques, but I thought I'd risk layering up and going sheer as way of a change. Being a party, I'd risked the false eyelashes, but I think they'd seen better days. The wig was a bit of a talking point, but not in a bad way. I think with anyone changing their image such, people notice - especially women and trannys - and polite comment was passed. Gayna suggested it was a touch Mary Portas (LOL) - oh to have her wardrobe budget. :-)

The turnout was good and we had a number of new folk pop along: three in all I reckon. Some from just down the road and others much further afield. While making a coffee, Rebecca was saying how she heard how different things were in the 50s/60s. Apparently there was a shop somewhere in Hyson Green (an inner city district of Nottingham) that was trans-friendly. By word of mouth / letters (yes, pre-Internet wiz kids!), there would be a monthly meeting where trans folk would travel from miles around to get there. I guess - and given that being gay was a criminal offence back then in the UK - I bet everything was very hush-hush. How things have changed, trans folk can walk down the high street (well, pretty much), there's Sparkle, nightclubs and Joe Public - give or take the odd twit - isn't bothered. Hell, we're almost acceptable.... almost ;-)

Not sure if this'll make a regular appearance, but the iGoogle app on Spanish decided to share the following with me. Useful for trips aboard shopping perchance? :-) That reminds me, I lent Maddie a belt to go with her fabby dress... and the minx has run off with it! Trannys eh? ;-)

Take care,

[ Today's Lyric: Shampain* by Marina & The Diamonds.... and yes, I'm aware of the mispelling ;-) Oh and do Google for the video if you want. It's rather good IMO ]

Friday, February 18, 2011

"You gotta fight,
for your right,
to party"


It doesn't seem long since I was last here, typing away into the Blogger interface. Well, actually, that's not strictly true. Some afternoons have dragged by slower than a double dose of classroom based dullness. No matter how dry work may get, there is still the option to walk off (mostly), so that makes it unlike double maths on a Friday afternoon.

Sleep has been a little hard to come by this week. I have a very minor cold, but as the evil so-and-so has lodged itself at the back of my throat, I am now able to snore for England. That makes is less than conducive for a good night's kip for me, or the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones. Luckily, we have a guest room, so I've been in self-enforced exile to ensure we both try and get a good night's sleep. It'll pass in time. :-)

On a night that sleep wouldn't come readily, I flicked through a number of old blog posts and later on, some old photos. Funny how some events slip your mind and trying to truly remember what went on back then, isn't always easy. I also had a look at some old snaps too. Old tranny photos that is. It's funny to see how the wig styles I've had have changed and also see the subtle changes of aging too. I've uploaded a jumble of them to Flickr. One of the biggest changes is the shift in scenery. In the early snaps, they are taken in and around the various places we've lived. In the later ones, they're at Chameleons or on the rare times I'm out and about. History eh?

In other more serious news, but certainly less personal: the whole of the Middle East seems to be on the edge of change. I won't go into the full politics of it all, but the deeds of one man - Mohamed Bouazizi - seem to have been a catalyst. I guess I'm always hopeful that oppressive regimes will fall without bloodshed and a government the people want, will be formed. I know realistically that that doesn't always happen, but hey, I can dream right?

To get back on track, it's not political revolution I wanted to talk about. It is the effect one person can have. I mean, sometimes you look at an issue in society or the world and it seems like you are looking at a huge brick wall. One that reaches up into the clouds. You stand at the foot of it and you cannot look around, nor see a way through. Yet... there are those who are not intimated by that. They act and sometimes - maybe even somehow - history moves with them. So what about you? Have you stood up for a cause, or done anything that made a difference?

On a slightly related note, I read with some interest, a post by a mum on Roses Forum. She'd recently found out her 11 year old lad has been wearing various items of lady-gear (underwear, tights, shoes, etc) and - bless her - she signed up to the forum for advice. How cool is that? I know it's early days, but as one poster commented, it could be a lot of emotional weight for a young lad to carry. Having a parent who is willing to listen and even help - if that's what he wants. I think that's great news and I hope the boy in question find it easier without the emotional nay-saying we seem to go through.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Fight for Your Right by the Beastie Boys ]

Friday, February 11, 2011

"Keith's gotta big bouffant on,
We all got wigs, so let's go!"

Hi there,

A fistful of ideas about what to write about today and here I am, thinking how to break the white space and just get going. Oh, that seems to have worked. I think it helps - at least, makes it easier to write, if in someway, I'm having a chat with someone. Okay, sure, it's a bit one sided right now (Ed: no comment), but it's not IRC is it, it's a blog. :-)

Right! To business! What's been going on? Well, it was the anniversary of meeting The Ever Lovely Mrs Jones this week. Nearly twenty years now. Good grief and yes, she did say: You get less for murder. :-) To be fair, she did wait until I handed over a wrapped present. Best to keep your nearest & dearest in the manner to which they are accustomed! Thing is, I think as a youth, I didn't get the planning right - young love rarely does I suppose - so our anniversary isn't far from Valentines Day. Still, it does mean you can double up on gifts and get something flash. Not that I love shopping... oh wait. :-)

Thursday was Chams time and having made a few telephone calls last week, I was hopeful that Trends Wigs from Sheffield would grace us with their presence. As I was upstairs troweling over the cracks, I noticed two gents bringing boxes and some wig stands too. That'd be a yes then. Luckily, I'd arrived early and put some tables out. Bobby arrived and we had a quick chat with I put the finishing touches to the outfit for the evening (snap to follow).

After that, downstairs to have a chat and catch up with friends. Sarah had brought along the two page spread from a Leicester paper. It was the article about Leicester Chameleons. No relation other than we're trannys :-) I know that some folk haven't been happy about the piece, but really I thought it was positive and well written. Certainly not a 'freak show' or exploitative in any way.

The wig stock (Ed: is that a festival?) was nicely displayed and one or two items did catch my eye. As I caught up with Alison and Sam, Pat was first up to try a few. I don't know if there's an art or a science to picking wigs, whatever it is, I know I don't have it. Pat seemed to go for the try as much as you can option. Which I think is as good a system as you can hope for! Anyway, after trying on a few, she settled on a rather nice pale number.

Then, it was my turn in the hot seat. I'd spotted two I liked the look of. The first, a light treacle colour. The second, more your darker brown. The first seemed okay, so I tried the second. Not so good - a bit school ma'am, as Sandy described it. Now, I don't know about you, but decision making isn't one of my strong points. I always worry that I'll jump in without thinking it through... so, while the Trends men where busy with the next punter, I tried the mirror, checked my cash levels and generally stalled. I was most of the way there in buying it and the positive comments from friends sealed the deal. Thing is, and maybe it's my Scot's ascentory, why pay full price? ;-) A quick spot of polite bargaining saved me 10% and I got a trim thrown in too.

A trim? With a wig? Well, one of the chaps was a dab hand with the scissors and yes, the wig did need a little bit of shaping. It was a rather odd experience. I mean, in bloke mode I have a grade 2 with the trimmer. I've done the long hair thing (back in my 20s) and with having a bike in my 30s, I just got into the habit of keeping it very short. So there I was, sat looking into a mirror, a tea-towel around my neck to catch the (synthetic) hair, while I had my 'hair' combed, pinned and styled. I may go to the barbers, I've not a hair cut in over ten years, so it made it quite a strange but enjoyable experience. I did find myself looking by the chap cutting it and wondering what I'd look like. I can only assume that women have a similar level of fear when they're having a re-style. At least as a tranny, you can always swap back. There's no undo with scissors :-)

By the end of the night a number of the group where sporting new dos, so I think it was worth Trends coming along. I do feel a bit guilty when vendors visit and no-one buys anything. Still, with some sellers, that's down to stock and price. As Trends packed up, we wished them well and it was out with the photo sheet for some larking about. Well, you've just got to haven't you? ;-)

Afterwards, it was back upstairs to get changed and put all the glamour back in the bag for another time. While I was up their I did talk to a new lady - sadly I didn't get her name. She was saying it wasn't her first time at the group, but she'd not been very often. We got chatting a little and she was kind enough to say she did a little bit of a double take over my appearance. Now, I don't want it to sound like I'm blowing my trumpet here and I think I have to be careful how I say this (Ed: deep breath, Lynn). I don't want to rubbish the lady's kind words but at the same time, I can't make the break in my own head when I look in the mirror / photos. Equally, I don't want to fish for complements. Really, I guess all you can do is smile and say thanks, anything else I guess, would be rude.

Complements and the British eh? Will we ever learn? :-) On that note, look after yourselves.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Wig by The B-52s ]

Friday, February 04, 2011

"Now it’s the same room but everything’s different"


Blustery days - a la Winnie the Pooh - are here again. The clouds zip through the sky as if on some type of stop motion playback. Below, it's a bit more sedate - even if somewhat windy :-) How's things with you? Ticking along nicely I hope.

This year - at least in the UK - it'll be time for another census. How things have changed at Jones Towers in the last ten years. Before there was two of us and pets, now there are four of us and no pets. Come to think of it a few weeks, it'll be the anniversary of me dating the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones. Happy days!

I guess we're a traditional household, 2 kids, both parents work, there's two cars: pretty middle of the road and middle class too. We're not working class, not with what I or the Every Lovely Mrs Jones does for a living. Not sure why folk get on their high horse about being 'down the the people' by faking there working class roots.

Maybe it's because the middle classes are deemed to be the Great Beast in the media. All those Yummy Mummies and their Chelsea tractors, children dropped off at private school, the second home abroad or in the Home Counties. Funny thing is, maybe we're further down the social food chain - we're still lucky tho! - but, I don't know anyone like that. Maybe the stereotype does exist, but if it does, I've yet to have the pleasure (!).

So how have things changed in the last ten years? Clearly, Mrs J and I are older - now both closer to 40 than I think we're ready for. Still, time creeps up on you like that. Previously we were a couple, now we're a family. It's not always been easy at times, but that is life for you. Thing is, I had doubts about my abilities as a parent, even as a dad. Luckily, the kids don't arrive in teenager tearaway mode and you've got lots of small steps. Time to get your head around it.

Do I make a good dad? That I can't answer, you'd have to ask my nippers that. Plus, they may be biased as do they have any other frame of reference but their own? I'd like to think I try. Sure, I can be narky and lose my rag when pushed, but then show me a parent who doesn't get those emotions :-) I like to be involved and help out. Sure, work is important, but I get more out of family life. It's a bit odd to be pretty much the only dad in the playground or for sports day.

Does being t-something interfere with it? I'd say yes and no. On the upside, I think it opens you open to being a bit more middle of the road, at least, from a gender point of view. Less stiff upper lip and 'be tough', instead, more cuddles and talking it through. Personally, I doubt I'll be taking my lad (or Little Miss) down to the footy ground, but you can't have it all. My dad never did - he wasn't interested either - and it never affected me :-)

So have things changed a lot for you over the last decade? Maybe it's more of the same and you're settled in what you are up to.

Anyways, have a nice weekend.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Weather With You by Crowded House ]