29 October 2010

A taxing time

It's almost the end of October, and I'm happy to say that I finished my tax return today. I'm not so happy to know that, after tax bills of a few hundred dollars each year for past few years, this years is shaping up to be thousands, and it'll be due before Christmas. :(

Even though I posted a photo of my eye makeup from the day when contemplating getting my lashes tinted, I neglected to mention that I went out en femme on Thursday last week. As well as my birthday, it was the opening of the main part of a massive extension of Charlestown Square. I got to blend into the crowds, much like I did when the bottom floor reopened a few weeks ago. This time, I wandered in and out of almost every dress and accessory shop in a quest to find the fascinator that I mentioned that I was looking for a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately, the flat shoes that I wore were new and quite uncomfortable. I don't know why it's so easy to buy comfortable black flats but impossible to buy anything as good in mid to dark brown. Over a week later, I've still got a sore spot on top of one toe where the skin rubbed in the shoe. The shoes limited my enjoyment of the day, and having noticed quite a few women in heels, I came to the conclusion that my 12cm (4 3/4") stilettos would have been a much better choice even though they take me up to over 6'3".

It's funny how, after shying away from wearing heels in shopping centres for years in order to blend in better, I'm now thinking that they would have been the best option. I don't know whether I'm just getting more accustomed to being out en femme and more people accept me for who I present myself as, whether I'm just getting less observant and am not noticing when people read me, or perhaps a bit of each.

Ironically, I bought the fascinator for next Tuesday at Charlestown Square on Thursday, but not during the day en femme. In the evening, after changing back to boy mode, I did the usual family Thursday night shopping outing, and dropped into one of the shops to get my wife's opinion of one of the fasinators that I was considering. She spotted a similar one that was much less complicated and had better colours, then I found one that was between the two for complexity, but the same colours as the one that she had found. Hopefully, other people will think that it's understated but elegant, as I do.

Now that I've got my tax out of the way, I have to catch up on sleep and on paperwork. Sadly, getting out en femme is probably not an option this weekend. I'd like to do a makeup trial for the new blonde wig that I plan to wear on Tuesday, but I doubt that I'll have time for that, either.

25 October 2010

The facebook fun continues

Since my recent post about a private message on facebook, a couple of other things have happened.

One was that I was informed that there was more to the story than the message on facebook indicated. Apparently his partner (who I don't think that I've ever met or even communicated with) had worked out who I am some time ago through facebook and reacted negatively. Hence, the message was not so much a response to a recent realisation but a way of letting me know that he already knew and that he wasn't being negative about it.

The other, more surprising thing, was that I got two friend requests that day from male customers who are also friends with the guy who sent the private message. Nothing specific has been said by either of them about who I am, but I think it's fairly safe to assume that what they're implying by their actions is that they know about me and they accept me.

A pessimistic interpretation would be that they are setting me up so that they can expose and embarrass me. If that was their intent, it would backfire and be a positive for me, as I am already being gradually more and more open about who I am. Being outed in an uncontrolled way would simply me a small bump on the road of life. :)

Facebook never forgets!

I recently got a facebook friend request from someone who removed me as a friend quite some time ago. I'll call her D for convenience. I was friends with D way back when we were on Yahoo 360. Back then, I had added a few people almost at random, just to get a few non-transgender friends on there.

One of them was D, who lives in a small town in country New South Wales, the same state as me. I figured that she was far enough away that I was unlikely to ever have direct contact, but close enough to feel like I was somehow connected with her because it's only a few hours drive from my home. Imagine how I felt when I realised that my next-door neighbour (who I'll call N for neighbour) was one of D's other friends! For months, I sweated about whether to say anything, and eventually sent N a friend request. She didn't accept, but still talked to me, albeit probably less than before.

Looking back on it all, I suspect that N thought that I was stalking her and had befriended D to get to her. When I moved to Facebook, so did D. When she started, I think that she might have used Facebook's friend finder to find people she knew. The result was that she sent an email to my Yahoo account inviting me to join Facebook. Because I was already on Facebook, but hadn't used my Yahoo email address to sign up, I sent her a friend request and she accepted.

Sometime later, D removed me as a friend and I noticed fairly soon afterwards. Having no idea whether it was deliberate or a Facebook glitch, I sent her a private message apologising if I had done something to offend her. In response, she sent me a friend request, which I accepted. Around that time, N told me that one of her other friends was from the same town and had met D and told her who I was relative to my neighbour. Not much later, D removed me as a friend and I decided that I was just going to leave it at that.

Imagine my surprise, then, when out of the blue a few weeks ago, I got a friend request from D. It seemed extraordinary, but I thought that if she had decided to reach out to me, I'd accept. I posted a comment on her wall, saying Long time, no see. :) but she didn't respond to it. I just left it at that.

A few days went by. I liked one of her status updates one day, and the next day she was no longer on my friends list. She had obviously removed me again. From her behaviour, it was fairly obvious that she had no intention of sending me that friend request. My first thought was that perhaps she had recently used friend finder and had sent me a request without realising it.

While thinking about composing this post, the penny suddenly dropped. It wasn't something that D had done recently that had generated the friend request, it was something that I did! A few weeks ago, I added my yahoo email address to my facebook profile, so that if someone searched for me using that email address, they'd find my profile. Within a few days, Facebook matched D's friend request from two and a half years ago to my profile through that email address and automatically sent me a friend request from her!

The net result is that D and N probably both think that I hacked something to get back onto D's friend list, and by accepting the friend request, rather than mending fences, I've probably made things worse through no deliberate action on the part of anybody involved. D and N, if you read this, I sincerely apologise for what happened, I haven't been stalking you and I bear you no ill will. If you ever want to be friends with me, let me know but otherwise I will leave you alone.

24 October 2010

more egg shells

I've finally decided to post something that I almost posted in my recent walking on egg shells post but cut out at the last minute.

I mentioned last year that I sent Facebook friend requests to a few of my wife's relatives. I haven't written about the result of one of those before. Some time later, my wife said something online that this particular person objected to. In a private message, they had a dummy spit at my wife, and at the end of it also dummy spat about me, making it very clear that they had worked out who I am and did not approve. Perhaps getting it out of their system was good, because their behaviour directly towards me has not changed appreciably. They have never said anything directly to me about my crossdressing. Whether their behaviour towards me will change if they read this post, I don't know. That's their decision. I don't plan to change my behaviour towards them.

In contrast, one of my wife's female cousins that I sent a friend request to last year almost immediately accepted, then sent me a friend suggestion to me for one of her other crossdresser friends. :)

22 October 2010

Lashing out

Back in May, I jokingly commented about considering going back to having my lashes tinted, which I used to do years ago but stopped because I felt that it was too feminine. At that stage, I was trying to increase the difference between my male and female appearances.

Frankly, I don't really care that much any more. I don't think that I would look worse as a male because of having my lashes tinted dark brown. I've had my lashes tinted both black and dark brown at different times and found that black was too harsh but dark brown was okay.

One reason in particular that I'm now seriously looking at getting it done again is that I always have trouble getting mascara onto the base of the top side of my top lashes, as can be seen in the accompanying photo. Tinting my lashes would really help with this.

There is a catch, however. I've been using the L'Oreal lash grown serum, which is basically white and is applied not only around the roots of the lashes but also on the entire length of the lashes as a conditioner. If I got my lashes tinted, I think that the lash growth serum would be a lot more obvious, and I don't want to change to using the mascara version in boy mode. That would be too obvious! About the only option, if it comes to it, would be to try to apply the lash growth serum to only the roots, then, once it has dried, take it off the rest of the lashes at the end of my morning beauty routine.

Hmm. Might have to look into beauticians close to home. I'm sick of traipsing all the way into the inner city for waxing etc, and the recent waxing I've had done has been distinctly, err, patchy. :p

More facebook fun

I did something the other day that resulted in my male and female photos being seen side-by-side by a male customer who is friends with my male profile on Facebook. The result was a private message, in which he commented:
lol, your an ugly bloke [male name] but you dont look half bad as a sheila,

i am guessing you realise that yours and Alice's pics are side by side i am also guessing it was meant to be that way.
The fact that he saw the photos side-by-side means that every friend of my male profile could also have seen the photos side-by-side. How many of them made the connection I don't know, but it seems that what has been a rather open secret for quite some time has become quite a bit more open. :)

15 October 2010


From time to time, I realise that I don't have the accessories that I want to set off an outfit perfectly. I like to wear charm bracelets on both wrists, a pendant and earrings. Because of the style of wig that I prefer, I tend to use a pair of clips or pins to hold the sides of the wig off my face. The only ring that I wear is my wedding ring. Because I have quite a few pairs of earrings without reasonably matched pendants, I often go without a pendant, particularly if I'm dressing down to go out shopping.

When I stop to think about it, I suppose it's odd that I want the pendant and earrings to match not only in colour but also in style, but when it comes to charm bracelets, I like them to complement the outfit and the other jewellery but to be different to each other.

Finding earrings and pendants that go together can be difficult, and finding charm bracelets, let alone ones big enough for my wrists, is always a challenge. One thing that has made it easier is that my wife does beading and jewellery as a hobby, and is able to make, alter and repair a lot of the sorts of costume jewellery that I wear.

For example, the necklace and earring shown in this post are from a set that my wife made for me. The photos are from the long lost photos from an outing in 2008, when they were new. These days, I often look at them and feel sad that they've tarnished, presumably because of a reaction with my skin. I've had the same problem with most metallic jewellery. I also find that cheap hair clips that have fake gemstones glued into them inevitably have some of the stones fall out.

In addition to the usual accessories, I'm currently looking for a fascinator for Melbourne Cup day on 2nd November. For those readers outside Australia, the Melbourne Cup is a horse race that is described as The race that stops a nation. People all over Australia have Melbourne Cup parties, including in many workplaces. A lot of people continue to party into the evening by going out for dinner.

Seeing as it's a Tuesday night and I'll be out for dinner anyway, I'm hoping to put together a suitable day at the races style outfit. I've got my eyes on a sterling silver pendant and earrings at Tree of Life that I might get in time for the event. I may also need to try to find some grey shoes to go with the pink and grey dress I want to wear, as I suspect that the bright pink shoes that I have are likely to be a bit too loud to really work with it. If all goes well, it will also be the first outing in my new blonde wig, so it could be a new (for me) dress, wig, fascinator, shoes and perhaps earrings and pendant.

I've reached a point where, to be honest, I have more dresses than I probably should have. I have also recently realised that I have several tops that I don't have skirts to go with, because I often buy dresses and tops in op shops in boy mode, but prefer to buy skirts when in girl mode so that I know if they fit properly with my hip and buttock padding. It might seem as if I would need the padding to try dresses, but in practice if a dress fits from the waist up, it's going to be the right size at the bottom as well. So, as of now I'm going to try to remind myself to look at accessories and skirts in op shops, not dresses and tops. I also plan to make more effort to look at accessories when I'm wandering around shopping centres en femme.

14 October 2010

New wig, new dress, out with the girls

A few days ago, I finally got around to trimming the fringes of a couple of the wigs that I bought a few months ago. Since wigs obviously don't grow back if you cut them too short, I prefer to leave it a bit longer than I'm aiming for, and do the final fine trimming after I've taken it off and on a couple of times to make sure that it's sitting right and I don't cut too much off.

Having got this one to what I thought was fairly close, I wore it to our regular Tuesday night cafe night this week, teaming it with one of the dresses that I bought in Cessnock a few weeks ago. Looking at the photo, I think that I'll be taking a little more off the fringe yet. :)

10 October 2010

Walking on egg shells

I realised recently that my blog has been gradually getting more and more vague when it comes to some of the people close to me. I'm not a spiteful or vindictive person, and I try to avoid saying things that might upset people around me. The result, unfortunately, is that I feel limited in what I write about, as if I'm walking on egg shells, afraid to put a foot wrong and make a mess.

Something that was said to me in an anonymous comment on one of my blog posts some time ago, which I mistakenly deleted when I intended to prepare a response to it before approving it, was that my blog was insulting to the people that I talk about. I've tried to understand the logic of that for quite a while, but haven't succeeded so far.

If I was naming people and saying negative things about them, I would certainly be insulting them. I don't think that I've ever said anything insulting about anybody in my blog. I've always tried to be objective and to simply describe things as they happen. The only way that someone reading my blog can know who I'm talking about is if the reader knows me and knows the people around me well enough to make the connection. If someone would be insulted by my describing their behaviour, does that mean that they feel guilty about that behaviour?

Perhaps the anonymous comment came from someone who felt guilty about their own attitudes. If someone can explain to me just why they think that I'm insulting people that I've written about in my blog, I'd love to know. I guess I might never know, and I'm not going to lose any more sleep over it.

I have an aunt who has chosen to estrange herself from one of my brothers and his family for over a decade, and seemed to have included me in that estrangement by deciding that I had taken their side. I went out of my way to try to reconcile with her around the time that I was considering getting involved in politics. After I decided that I wasn't going to get involved in politics unless I was open about my crossdressing, I visited her and told her about it. At the time, her response was basically that she didn't want to know, but as long as I didn't discuss it I could still talk to her.

Afterwards, I was very indirectly informed that I was never to visit her again, with a threat of violence if I did. Later still, I was told by my mother that my aunt was of the opinion that I had been lecturing her about accepting crossdressing. I've had no contact since, and it will probably stay that way for the rest of her life. While I'm not saying that I'm happy about that, I'm also not unhappy about it. We were estranged, I made an effort to try to fix it and she made a choice to reject me.

I think that I'm a realist. Not everybody is going to accept me for who I am, but if someone chooses to reject me, I see that as their problem, not mine.

09 October 2010

Sliptember and Blerktober

September was a 2-steps forward, one step back sort of month for me, and I expect that October won't be much (if any) better. A couple of weeks ago, I noted that I'd dropped 10kg in the 12 weeks to mid September. Over 2 weeks later, I'm 76kg, the same weight as I was back then, having fluctuated up and down between 76 and 77kg.

Being busy with work meant that frequency of outings also suffered during September. There were 4 Tuesdays in the month, so combined with the one monthly Central Coast cafe night, I had a total of 5 cafe night outings for the month. Sadly, I didn't have any other outings aside from those, which means 5 outings in 30 days, putting me one more outing behind my target for the year. Interestingly, 7th September was the 250th day of the year, so for a target of once every 5 days, I would have needed 50 outings by then but had 48. That's really not far behind.

Right now, I'm about 4 outings short of my target, but have an even more hectic month work wise. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I had planned to take a day off in mid September, but work got in the way. I planned another Friday off yesterday, and I did take the day off. Sadly, it was more a case of taking it easy to recover a bit from the exhaustion and sleep deprivation that I was suffering, and getting out en femme didn't come into the equation. Having not got out Friday, I had hoped that I might have got out today, but I got to bed so late that by the time I got up, it was too late.

For those readers not in Australia, the end of October is when tax returns are due. Because I run a business and we own (or at least have a large mortgage on) an investment property, my tax return is rather complicated. The tax software works only on Windows XP or newer, which I don't have, so I may yet have to do it on paper forms, which would make it even harder. Add in a quarterly tax Business Activity Statement that is due on 28th October, lots of work including a 2-day work trip to Mudgee late in the month and a local council Bulk Waste Collection in the final weekend of the month and I can see this month disappearing without me getting all my work done, let alone any extra outings. With only 5 cafe nights in a 31 day month, I'll still be further behind by the end of the month even if I get out one other time.

I've already scheduled one day off later in the month. Time will tell whether it ends up being a day out en femme or a day spent working feverishly on paperwork.

08 October 2010

Leaving the girl at home

I previously blogged about wondering about packing my girly stuff to travel, because I was going to Canberra for a few days with family. Sadly, work got very hectic and before I had a chance to even choose outfits for the trip, it was time to go. Consequently, I didn't even end up attempting to pack my girly stuff. When we'd packed the car, there was a little discussion about how empty the back of the car was, and I jokingly remarked that it was because I hadn't packed Alice's stuff.

Our first night in Canberra was Friday. We went out for dinner and to do some grocery shopping in Gungahlin. While we were in the supermarket, a comment was made about the back of our car being fairly empty, and our son took it upon himself to inform my mother in law that it was because we hadn't brought Alice's stuff. She didn't say anything at all in response, and the topic of conversation soon changed to something unrelated.

While in Canberra, I finished up having 2 days where I had most of the day to myself and could have dressed and gone out, if I had had the stuff with me to do so. It wasn't supposed to have happened like that, but our son was sick in the car on the way there, and decided that he didn't want to go in my car for the first couple of days there because the car smelt, so he went with my wife and inlaws instead, leaving me on my own.

I knew where a few of the op shops in Canberra were, thanks to the handy web site opshop.org, which not only provides a list of op shops in Australia, but also provides the locations on a google map. While in Gungahlin on the Friday night, we drove past the local Vinnies op shop, which was where I started on the Saturday morning. After finding nothing of interest on the dress rack, I had a look at tops. An orange top caught my eye, so I tried on and, being happy with the fit, bought it.

I then drove to Belconnen, where I visited a Salvos store and another Vinnies store. While I didn't find anything of interest in either, I was struck by how busy these stores were. Where a typical store around Newcastle might have up to about 10 shoppers at any given time, these had 20 or more people in each!

Because I started my outing rather late, I decided that it was close enough to lunch time, when most op shops generally close on a Saturday, and since there was no usable internet service where we were staying, I decided to instead go and find a shopping centre food court where I could access free wifi. By the time I'd caught up on facebook, blogs and emails, it was too late to go to any other op shops, so I made my way back to our accommodation.

On the Sunday, I did some chores including cleaning the back seat, windows and lights of the car, and doing a little bit of the rather large pile of work that I'd taken with me.

Our final full day in Canberra was a public holiday Monday. I spent the day with my son, visiting a couple of tourist attractions, with a brief stop in between at the food court at Belconnen to again use the free wifi.

By Tuesday morning, I was several hours short on sleep due to the fact that I wasn't sleeping well, and was being woken consistently around 6:30am. The drive home was fairly uneventful, but by the time we'd unpacked the car, I was exhausted. I lay down on the bed intending to get about half an hour of rest before preparing to go out for dinner. Over an hour later, I woke up and thought that there was no way that I was going to go out for dinner. I was simply too late getting started. In spite of that, I started getting myself organised and just kept plodding along. In the end, I arrived at the restaurant right on time. I was really glad that I did go, because not only does it mean that I haven't missed a week this year, but several other people came along including one who I've known on line for a few years but I'd never met in person before.