27 September 2013

No Tinkerbell this year

This morning, I looked at my diary and realised that I have a nail appointment on Wednesday 16th October, ahead of the Lindy Charm School on Sunday 20th. The obvious thing to do is to get my nails done red.

A conundrum arose, in that I planned to go to Halloween in Cardiff on Saturday 26th in essentially the same outfit as last year, including having my nails done in the same glitter green polish. That would be in the same fortnight between nail appointments as the LCS. Okay, so I'd have to change the polish myself between appointments.

Except that I was also considering going to Chromefest on Sunday 27th, and that would definitely be a 1950s outfit event, for which I'd want my nails red again.

So I began considering options such as applying Magic Tape (special sticky tape that is designed to be removed without damaging whatever is underneath it) to my nails, and painting it green so that it could be peeled off to reveal the red for the Sunday.

So far, so good.

Then the wheels fell off.

It doesn't appear that I'll be doing Halloween or Chromefest this year.

Instead, I'll be helping my wife's relatives who will be moving house that weekend ~ into the house that we're buying to rent to them!

26 September 2013

You can't hide with Google around

I mentioned a few days ago that I had chatted to a makeup artist who stopped me at IMATS to tell me that she read my blog, and joked that she was stalking me on my blog.

Out of curiosity, I wondered if I could find her using Google search. The first search turned up a web site that I suspected was hers, so the second search was an image search for the name of the owner of that site, and the very first photo result was her.

It took around 2 minutes to go from "I wonder if I can find her" to "Yes, that's her", while looking at her Facebook profile photo! Of course, I sent her a friend request. :-)

While it's good that you can easily find something or someone that you're looking for, the downside is that someone else can do the same to you. For example, I postulated that if I can find someone that easily, surely with the right search terms (probably a very small number of words), it would be trivial to work backwards from my female online persona to my real world life.

The answer is yes, it is. Then again, with how out I am on facebook, and in real life (particularly with my nails), I don't greatly care if people join the dots.

25 September 2013

Lindy Charm School again?

It appears that the Lindy Charm School will be coming to Newcastle again in October. They are down on numbers and may have to cancel if they don't get more takers, but if the numbers are good enough for it to go ahead, I'm hoping to be there like last year.

It's basically the same course again (except that the afternoon seems to be listed as only 2 hours instead of the 3 hours that it was last year), but after the mess I made of the 1940s 3-roll last weekend, I'm convinced that I need to do the course again because I just don't remember much of what was covered. If I had practised regularly starting straight afterwards, I would probably have been fine but having had so much else happening in my life, that simply didn't happen.

I will try to see if I can further boost the numbers, as the woman who does my nails expressed interest in doing this course when I was talking to her about it last year, and her daughter did a mini version of the same sort of thing run by Miskonduct earlier this year. If I can convince one or both of them to go, it might be the difference between it going ahead and being cancelled. Sadly, the daughter is doing her Higher School Certificate this year and the date may be in the middle of her exams so she's unlikely to be able to go.

A small complication that arose with the date of this year's workshop is that my wife will be away, and I'd normally be doing the solo parent routine for a few days. I don't want to take my 10yo son to Miskonduct, as that would either mean that he would be hanging around in the LCS workshop or downstairs in the shop. Either way, I don't want to impose him on either the LCS presenters and the other participants, or on the Miskonduct staff. Fortunately, I may have solved that problem but the solution will probably mean about 4 hours driving on either the Friday evening or the Saturday so that he can stay with my wife's relatives in Sydney and be brought home by my wife on her way home on the Sunday night.

A small side effect of that arrangement, or indeed any arrangement involving my going to LCS on the Sunday is that I'm likely to be in full 1950s girl mode when my parents in law deliver my wife and son home...

I also need to get my hair trimmed before I do the LCS workshop. I just realised that, aside from doing the fringe myself and getting my wife to trim the hair on the nape of my neck occasionally, I haven't had it trimmed since just before IMATS last year. That's about a year ago!

23 September 2013

IMATS Sydney 2013

I made it to IMATS. There were a number of things that I intended to mention in this post, but having had a rather big weekend, I'm not sure that I'll remember them all!

As planned, I drove to Wahroonga, caught a train to Town Hall station and walked to Darling Harbour. I didn't wear a 1950s style outfit because I haven't yet bought a suitable handbag. I did, however, decide to do a vaguely 1950s eyeliner and a 1940s 3-roll hairdo (the same style as I wore to the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival but unfortunately it didn't turn out anywhere nearly as well as it did last time).

In spite of the fact that I didn't get out between the last outing that I posted about and IMATS, I didn't have a confidence problem. In fact, if anything, Saturday's outing to IMATS showed me that I have my inner f... you, as Linda Karen calls it, in spades.

Quite a bit of the time, I knew that I wasn't passing and I really didn't care. Nobody confronted me, and beyond some laughter in the background at Town Hall station that I have no idea if it was even directed at me, I wasn't even aware of anything more overt than people looking at me funny.

The only person that I bumped into who I already knew from Beauty Heaven and Facebook was Caitlin, who I first met at the First (and so far only) Newcastle Beauty Heaven Meet-up.

I also had an interesting conversation with a makeup artist from Mayfield (a suburb of Newcastle) whose opening words to me were "I read your blog!" She then went on to joke that she had been stalking me on my blog, reading the various stories and, in particular, mentioning that she thought that I was talking about the Mayfield Subway restaurant in my posts about going to Subway en femme. I informed her that no, I was actually talking about the Cardiff one (yes, this is the first time I've mentioned which one it is). My memory for names is shocking and unfortunately I've forgotten her name but I'm hoping that she'll contact me and let me know. The photo above was taken by stalker. :-P

The shoes I wore while travelling were the mustard joggers that I wore when a group of us went to the Estee Lauder staff shop back in 2011. I also wore ankle socks over my pantihose because those shoes really don't suit wearing without socks. The heels that I took with me and wore while I was in the venue were the orange suede Tony Bianco stilettos that I bought at about the same time as the dress, and have worn with the same outfit before.

Remembering last year, I took both a knitted lap rug and a cardigan. I also read the program before the event and planned which presentations I wanted to see. Because I decided to get up at 4:45 (45 minutes later than 2011 but 15 minutes earlier than last year) and took longer getting ready than I had anticipated, I arrived part way through the Eliza Campagna / Dana Nye presentation and decided to skip it and wander around the stands instead. I went to the Rae Morris presentation, which was on the main stage.

After grabbing some lunch, I had just about decided to give up and head home. I changed my shoes back, and then decided to do something that I've avoided on all previous outings. With all of the underwear that I wear to achieve a reasonable simulation of a female shape, I basically have to strip below my bra to use the toilet, then dress again afterwards. As you might imagine, that can be a time consuming process. As it turned out, many of the exhibition halls were empty, so there were a group of toilets far enough away from IMATS to be quite quiet, which included a disabled toilet. Using my wheeled case as a table, I stripped off, did what I had to, and dressed again as quickly as I could while still taking time to make sure that everything was how it should be.

I then changed my mind about heading home, and went back in. I sat down to watch Eve Pearl's presentation on the open forum stage, and realised that this was where the cardigan and lap rug were needed. The main stage has partition walls most of the way around, which help to control the cold air that blows through, whereas the open forum is cold and draughty as I noted last year.

I stayed to watch the presentation of the student competition, wandered around the stands a final time then headed home.

On the way home, I decided to put fuel in my car before I drove home, as I didn't want to have to get off the freeway on the trip home and knew that I didn't have enough fuel. Big mistake, and one I won't make again. It was only a couple of kilometres to the service station, but when I got there, there were cars queued 3 to 4 deep for every bowser. Because my car runs on LPG, I was able to be very cheeky and, when the car in front finally made it to the petrol bowser, I was able to park within about 20cm (8 inches) of that car and use the LPG bowser at the same time. I'd already parked and was opening the fuel door on my car when the guy got out, walked to the back of his car, realised that he couldn't walk between them and walked around the front instead. Once I'd paid for the fuel (using my male credit card with no issue), I had to drive around several back streets to get back to the highway just a few metres the other side of the service station.

On the plus side, I was very aware that I really didn't care what others at the service station might have thought. On the minus side, the whole fuel exercise added over 30 minutes to my trip, whereas getting fuel on the way out of Newcastle would have added 10 minutes at most.

03 September 2013

Saturday outing

With all of the things that are going on around me at present, I didn't expect to be able to get out until at least my nail appointment on Wednesday. An issue with a web site that I have to use for much of my work left me rather limited on what I could do for the last 3 days of the month, which culminated in my making the decision to not even try to work on Saturday.

So, for the first time in 5 months (yes, Kurri Kurri was 5 months ago!), I did my makeup, dressed to coordinate with my orange nails and went out shopping. It was also my first time trying to use different shades of foundation for highlighting and contouring. The contrast between the shades seemed to be so subtle that I wasn't sure whether it actually worked at all or not. I'll have to try it again and make more effort not to put the base colour over the highlighted or contoured areas. I'm thinking that next time, I might do the base colour first, instead of doing it last and trying to fill in between the other shades and running over the edges of them too much.

My outing on Saturday was largely a direct result of seeing a dress advertised as a clearance item on Miskonduct Klothing's facebook page. The one that I most wanted sold before I could get to try it, but there was another one that looked like it might also work for me. The reason for wanting another dress even though I'm yet to wear the last one that I bought is that if I wear a 1950s style outfit to IMATS, it's probably going to have to be a straight skirt, as I don't think that I'd want to try to do the full skirt on trains and walking from Town Hall station to Darling Harbour and back. The fullness could also be an issue in IMATS, both in crowds and sitting in seminars.

At Miskonduct, I tried the dress that I was hoping to try, and decided to get it. I have realised, though, that I need a suitable handbag and some flat shoes to go with my red and orangey red 1950s outfits, and to that end my next stop was Charlestown Square to look for shoes. It may have been my lack of practice, but I felt that I didn't pass as well as I used to. I visited Sharon at the Tree of Life store, had a look at a few shoe shops and on the way past looked at a few other shops. I found a red lace parasol at one shop for $50 but wasn't sure if the shade would be right. I also spotted a temporary clearance store that had a white lace parasol which I think was $30. I'll probably have another look next time I'm there.

Having felt that my presentation wasn't as good as it should have been, I was inclined to change back into male mode to go to Subway to get dinner. In the end, I did go in girl mode because it would have taken too long to change and there was a risk that the shop would be shut by the time I got there. While the staff have changed since I last went there en femme, I go there often enough that I know most of the current staff. When I got there, there were 2 people working, including a friendly petite young brunette girl and a nervous young male trainee. When I queued up, the girl looked over, obviously recognised me, smiled and then continued serving the person she was already serving.

By a subtle shift in process at the register, the girl made sure that the guy served the person in front of me, so that she got to serve me. I didn't catch exactly what she said the first time, but I think it was "You look different tonight." The subsequent several times, it was "You look really good tonight." :) That helped to make up for the odd glances that I got at Charlestown Square.

Unfortunately, Sunday was back to the reality of work. I have been so busy that I didn't even have time to type this post until now, and even now I didn't really have the time. I considered going to the cafe night tonight, but by last night I knew that I had work that I simply had to do this afternoon and tonight (much of which I'm yet to do), so the cafe night simply wasn't an option.

I also hoped to go to my nail appointment tomorrow en femme, but the same client who I met with in between my meeting with our architect and my nail appointment a fortnight ago insisted on an appointment on Wednesday afternoon this week. Having that already screw up my plans meant that working out that I'm going to have to do several other work related errands before my nail appointment isn't as big a blow as it might otherwise have been.

We have an election coming up on Saturday and, for various reasons, that means that I won't be getting out en femme. If I get a lot of work done over the next few days, there's a remote chance that I might get out again on Sunday but I'm not really all that hopeful of that. Ideally, I'd like to try to get out at least twice before IMATS, to get myself more organised and more confident than I am at present.