Friday, August 26, 2011

"Back and forth through my mind,
Behind a cigarette..."


Funny how a day at work and a long lunch can sort you out - even if I did get soaked in the rain! Note to self: while an umbrella keeps the elements away, canvas trainers are not water resistant. :-) Maybe the downpour washed away my previous bad mood? Possibly, there's certainly a strange love of iffy weather within the British psyche. Maybe I should have gone with "I'm only happy when it rains." :-) Anyhoo, earlier I was feeling rather angry, or to be more accurate, disappointed/cross with myself. Stupid really, but then did when emotions make any sense?

I think the above came from a number of sources. Work - such that it is - plays a large part in most people's lives and when it doesn't go so well, so frustration arises. No doubt that'll clear in the medium term, but it's not a good place to be when you're stood near the proverbial fan and you can see the brown stuff being tipped towards it. :-) To be fair it's not the people at work, but a certain project I'm working on. The system is not fit for purpose and the further I go into it, so the worse it seems to be. I suppose it's the modern day equivalent of emptying the midden. ;-) At least the work the team's doing is going well. I just hope the vendor can get its sh** together before we have to either a) release it, or b) ditch it for something else.

The other part of it, is what happened at Chameleons. Again, this is not to do with the good folk there. Indeed, I had a great time catching up with friends. We held a small Bring & Buy sale to help top up the funds. The Ever Lovely Mrs Jones was kind enough to put a few items into the collection and they disappeared rather quickly. As I laid said items out, I did find myself thinking, oh so-and-so may like this. Luckily, most items went: t-shirts, a few fancy tops and a set of boots too. All went well, despite a slight eye make-up malfunction as I got ready. On another note, I seem to be struggling to find a decent pair of leggings, ones that remain snug around the ankles. If you know of any, please let me know! So it was one with the skinny jeans once again. Still, a fancy top gifted by Mrs J and funky nail polish added some colour.

Two new people joined us for the first time too. I'll spare their names as an accidental outing wouldn't be right. The two in question where... partners? Trans person + mrs, although they weren't married. I could have said boyfriend & girlfriend, but that always make me think the party in question is about sixteen. :-) Semantics aside, they were lovely and I hope they felt welcome. They weren't from far away, so with luck, they may be back. Always good to see couples come along.

So why the moaning and despondency? :-) Well, a number of the girls had decided to go into Nottingham for a drink and I was asked along (which was nice - thanks girls!). I've had this internal debate about visiting town before and while I really wanted to go, another part of me questioned the personal risk and I didn't want to snub friends staying behind. Firstly, I'd said to the Ever Lovely Mrs J that I wouldn't go into town. It's just a bit too close to home and really, you only need to be spotted once and that's it: you're well and truly out. I do know one of my (straight) mates was out on on the pop the other night. Wouldn't that make for an interesting conversation in the tea room? :-) Now, I'm getting to the point where I just don't give a sh** about the latter, but it's not all about me is it. There's Mrs J's feelings and, if the gossip really rattled around, what would be the effect to Wee Man or Little Miss? Some children can be cruel, so I'd rather not supply any schoolyard ne'er-do-wells with ammo. Much as it may frustrate me (Ed: there's that word again), sometimes playing it safe may be for the best long term. Hmmm, maybe we're back to what the psychologist said a few months ago: you're smoothing things over. There's a thought. :-)

Then there's the whole practicalities of it: where would I get changed afterwards? Kate was kind enough to offer the use of her pad to de-princess and while that was a lovely gesture, if I did drag (Ed: heh) her to town, we'd both have to leave at the same time. Ignoring that, I also felt a certain amount of guilt at leaving the rest of the Chams massive to tidy up the Centre, so in the end, I decided against it.

Ah, decisions, decisions eh? Clearly, it shouldn't be a big thing and if I look at the feelings in the cold light of day, really, is it that important? What would I have got out from going for a drink in town? By staying at Chams I did pretty much what I'd do anyway; talk, socialise and stay safe. There will be other times, possibly not so local, so fingers crossed!

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes ]

Friday, August 19, 2011

"Cyborgs - cybernetic organisms...."


How's tricks? All good I hope. The Jones Massive are currently away on a jolly. Not so much a jet setting adventure to shores and locales far from home, just a quiet little cottage away from it all. It's been a good holiday and one different from what we'd normally do. This time around, we've been doing more walking and ourdoorsy stuff. I think it's a good thing to break up the typical holiday choices and go for something a little different. This time around, it's very rustic and I'm really enjoying the open air, just getting out and feeling the sun on my face, etc. The dog seems to be enjoying the walks, although you never can tell with some pets can you? :-)

Although there's a television and WiFi in the property, I can't say we've done much viewing. Instead, we've been reading quite a bit. I wonder if it's the break from work that means you are less rushed? Rather than being flat out from work, you can afford to have a laid back evening meal, read to the nippers and then dive into a good book yourself. I use the word figuratively as I bought a Kindle the other month.

The Ever Lovely Mrs Jones has had one for a while, mainly because she reads a lot of books and given the portability of it, it seemed like a suitable gift. Anyway, it has taken longer for yours truly to invest. I find it a pleasure to read and the fact that I can get to older books instantly, very useful. With the WiFi connection, there's the chance to get the next installment of your favourite series too.

I am, again, somewhat in awe of how technology moves on. Digital books, smartphones that set up a mini-hotspot for you - hence this post, and other goodies. Just last week, Wee Man was talking to a school mate who'd gone abroad for his holiday. There they were chatting away via Skype, each one talking about whatever young kids chat about.... loudly. ;-) I know these aren't particularly new technologies, but to me at least, it is the jump from gadget to everyday that makes me stop and wonder at what's going on.

On another note, and one that's a wee bit trans orientated - I've been reading a fair bit of science fiction while away. I'll spare you the titles or a plot summary, but jump straight to it: a number of books feature characters who've been modified in some way. Either through injury, through necessity to survive or in some cases, just because they liked it. The old tranny powers tingle a bit (Ed: no, not in a kinky way! Honestly...) when I read these and think what would it be like to live in that time with that technology?

If biotechnology was that good, would you switch? Would you shape change? Be midway between sexes or maybe just stay as you are? I suppose the other angle to it, is how society might have changed to keep up with such alterations.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Mindphaser by Front Line Assembly ]

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Panic on the streets of London,
Panic on the streets of Birmingham."

Hi there,

How's things? For those of you in the UK, I hope that you've not been caught in any of the fallout from the looting. Yes, I did saying looting; IMO it's not a protest when you're taking goods from shops or setting fire to buildings.... while people are in them. Compared to London and other major cities, Nottingham wasn't too badly affected. Yes, there was a fire bomb attack on a police station - note that it was a small community office, which no doubt made it seem like an easy target. Luckily, no-one was hurt and arrests were made. I honestly don't know what the attackers were thinking.

Perhaps like a lot of people, I wonder how sections of our society have arrived at a world view where they feel they are able to do such vile deeds. No doubt, various proverbial fingers will be pointed - upbring, celeb culture, lack of role models, single mothers, government cuts, compensation culture, an inflated sense of entitlement - but really, will that do any good? Is there something now endemic within the British psyche and if there is, how do we get rid of it? My fears - other than it could happen again, is the other side of the coin: the crackdown against it. It wasn't so long ago I read a magazine article from a civil rights campaigner who was warning about we Brits selling our rights away over the terrorist threat. Yet, here we are, post-unrest and there's talk about new laws to shut down social media and messaging systems. I can't say I'm overly impressed with the idea of the latter. It seems too heavy handed and as I work in IT, locking a system off isn't easy.

Ponder, ponder, ponder...

Despite all of the above, generally speaking, I tend to shy away from commenting on events in the wide world. I suppose my feeling is there are enough people who write about said history / events and anything I add is pretty much going to be through my own personal bias. I should add that there's nothing wrong with the latter, after all, isn't that part of the point of the Internet; that you can talk about pretty much anything? Maybe there's another element to it, one that I keep this little ol' blog just about trans stuff and yours truly. A shallow monument to my ego? Possibly ;-) That or an interactive record of what goes on for tranny folk here and there. With most things, the truth lies somewhere between.


It being the second Thursday in the month, it was time for a visit to Nottingham Chameleons. Luckily, the weather had cooled somewhat and in fact, I saw a number of office ladies in thick tights and boots in certain cases. Not having to worry about the heat too much, I opted for jeans, heels and a suitable top. Me being me, I did pack two pairs of jeans - one set of dark blue skinnies, the other a pair of white straight legged ones. Top-wise, I wasn't 100% decided, so in went a few and I put two pairs of shoes in as well.

While I could decide on the skinnies, I couldn't quite decide on a top. Having got their early and done my slap first, it meant that as other folk arrived (Pat, Gaynor and Alison), they had use of the large mirror if they wanted it. I had a brief malfunction in the nail varnish department. I had bought what I'd hoped to be a toffee coloured polish, but once on - and as Alison said - it wasn't really me. Funny how some shades look really good on some folk, but on another, they're no good.

The evening itself was more subdued than the party atmosphere from last time. To be honest, I like the fact that the group doesn't revolve around having to have loud music and a theme every week. It let me catch up with friends after all. Emma and Sam decided to pop by, so it was good to catch up with both of them. Sophie had brought cakes along, although with yours truly being on a diet - and one that's working (yay!) - willpower did manage to win out and I only had two choccie biccies. The diet? Well, the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones said she wanted to tone up a little, so dutiful husband that I am, I've tried to fit in with the new approach to mealtimes and dog walking duties. To be honest, I feel much healthier, fitter and - shallow mare than I am - my clothes fit much better.... both sets. ;-)

In other Chams news, there's plans for a Bring & Buy next time and Pat's been trying to line up a visit from a local underwear retailer. That's likely to be October and the vendor has said he'll knock a few quid off the Internet prices, because we won't need postage on them.

The night wound down to a close and after the obligatory tranny photo shoot, all was tidied away with pots washed and lights switched off. All that remained was a quick (!) change upstairs and to wait for the caretaker to lock up. All in all, a cracking night out.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Panic by The Smiths ]

Friday, August 05, 2011

"And my feet dont fit in your sensible shoes"

Hi folks,

Midweek I attended a corporate seminar on something that seemed important at the time (Ed: Oh how you sing those praises, Lynn! :-P), which was a welcome distraction from the usual working day. Given the change of venue, many folk were in corporate mode and I did note a few interesting fashion choices. I really don't mean that in a catty way, but as the word is.

Some ladyfolk had opted for the summer dress and flats/gladiator sandals look. Yet, conversely, it seems we can't quite shake off the requirement for a spot of power-dressing. The fitted sheath dress, killer heels and the working day make-up. Not too much of the latter, just a touch to enhance, rather that distract. When done well, I think it's a great look and iconic in some cases. The catch is, I think, when it doesn't quite gel with the environment. Either too harsh or, as per last week, too warm: black opaques when the sun is shining so nicely?

Most of us reading this old blog will have no doubt spent some time in heels. If you haven't, a) you're missing out and b) why are you reading this? ;-) I guess my question is how certain ladies manage heels all day. I have some high heels that are very comfy - as such things go - but some (like The Ever Lovely Mrs J's knee boots) are only okay for up to four hours.... after that, argh. :-)

The funny thing about ladies' corporate-wear is that I do find it's a look I like. Not so much the more mundane skirt plus jacket, but the sharper edge of fitted dresses et al. Maybe because it's somewhat of a shift, at least compared to my usual dressed down approach to work. Is it that despite the wider wardrobe of El Tranny, we're still men at heart (or in the head?), so we aim for the more conservative colours of the corporate world? I'd say that was true for me, but as time has passed, so I've tried to experiment with different colours, patterns and styles.

I'm not saying I always get it right, but I think it's good to push yourself a little and keep trying new things. Well, within reason. The lurex hot pants and whale nets I shall leave to the twenty-something popsterettes.... and for the girl bands, something similar ;-)

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: You Freak Me Out by Girls Aloud ]