10 January 2010

International wig purchases

I have a favourite brand and style of wig, which I have in 2 different lengths. The brand is New Look and the styles are Alicia (normal length) and Alicia XXL (almost waist length). Every photo of me in a red wig is one of those wigs. They are fairly cheap Chinese made wigs, but the brand is not sold in Australia and doesn't appear to be available directly from China, so has to be sourced from the USA.

I have black and blonde wigs in a different brand which don't frame my face as well and the blonde is the wrong shade, so I decided that I would buy an Alicia in black and another in the whitest blonde available and, if I was happy with them, I'd order both colours in XXL later. The eBay seller that I previously bought from is gone, so I started googling the brand and style.

The whitest blonde available seems to be colour 60, a silver white from the grey range.

Not happy! After looking around at the various sites, I settled on cosworx, who had the best prices by far. They had the Alicia for US$30 against others around $35 to $40, and the XXL for around $48 against others around $58. I got most of the way through ordering them before discovering that they don't ship outside the USA. I don't think that they even ship to Canada!

Maybe I'll have to try my luck with another eBay seller. Hmmm.

09 January 2010

"You're beautiful!"

I had a new experience yesterday. A woman said "You're beautiful!" to me, and meant it. Amazingly, she already knew me as a male, and she said it after she had realised who I was. :)

I had been intending to get out a few times while I was on holidays, but aside from the cafe nights that I go to throughout the year, yesterday was the first time that I got out. On Thursday night, an infrequent crossdresser from the next suburb showed up in a chat room and informed me that their partner was away until Saturday afternoon. We arranged that, when she got home around 10pm, she'd come into the chat room and let me know, and I'd go and visit for a while.

With the late evening visit in mind, I decided that I'd go out shopping during the day and stay dressed until I got back from visiting her. I had a late start and ended up having lunch before I ventured out. I drove to Westfield Kotara, and had just about given up doing laps of the carpark and was on my way to the exit when someone got into their car and left, giving me a space quite close to one of the entrances.

I had 3 things that I was really after. A wide black belt to go with a certain dress, which I'll probably wear to the cafe within the next week or two, a new black bag to replace the too-small backpack style one that I've been using for some time, and wrap dresses. I walked around looking for belts in some of the cheaper shops without success.

While I was walking around, I had a woman from a little stall apparently selling hair straighteners or curlers ask if I'd come over to their stall, obviously intending to try to demonstrate their product on my hair... Since I'm quite attached to this particular synthetic wig and she apparently had no idea that it was a wig, I declined. :)

I worked my way through the more expensive places, and found a nice black leather belt and a bag on sale at Esprit. The belt had a RRP of $69.95 and a discounted tag showing $34.95. The bag had a RRP of $89.95 and was reduced to $33.95. I decided to look around at a few more places including a specialist bag store, but ended up going back to Esprit. When I took the belt and bag to the counter, the belt turned out to be reduced even further, meaning that I paid just $26.95 for it. It wasn't until I was typing this blog post that I looked at the receipt closely enough to realise that the bag is polyurethane and not leather, but with the frequency of use it's likely to have I doubt that will be a problem. It matches the belt and my black leather Tony Bianco stilettos, so it'll do. :)

Having finished at Westfield, I decided to drop into 3 op shops that I often go to, and have bought many clothes from. In two of the three, some of the staff have seen photos of me, but only one had seen me en femme before, and that was some time ago when my makeup wasnt as good as it is now and I was in a brunette wig. The two women I recognised at the first shop didn't show any sign of recognition, the staff of the second didn't even look at me, but I only managed about a minute in the 3rd shop before the first woman realised who I was.Apparently I smiled too much, and my smile is (un)fairly distinctive. A few seconds later, the manager came out of the back room into the shop and looked at me. Her expression was priceless. It went from a normal neutral look of someone who is busy with her work to jaw dropped wide open in about a second. Once she'd picked her jaw up off the floor, she exclaimed "You're beautiful!" She took 2 photos with her phone, the other woman took one photo with her camera and one with my mobile.

I didn't find any wrap dresses, so I'm intending to try to get out again sometime next week to look in a few other places. Maybe I'll scour the local op shops for Tightrope brand dresses in size 14, since that's what my two favourite dresses are.

Sadly, after hanging around in the chat room until 11pm, the girl from the next suburb didn't show up, so I changed, showered and went to bed.

As I mentioned in my last post, I set myself a goal of getting out on average once every 5 days this year, double my average from last year. By the and of the 8th, I'd been out twice, and I anticipate going out again next Tuesday, which is the 12th. Looks like I might be revising my goal to average once every 4 days!

02 January 2010

Wrapping up one year to make way for the next

I'm not having fun with blogger so far this year. Yesterday, I typed a blog post, went to add an image and the whole thing vanished. Not fun. I couldn't face starting again, so I left it for a day.

Today, I'm doing a wrap up of last year and looking forwards to what I'm hoping for from the year ahead. In part, that means I'm looking back over my blog posts from last year and following up on things that I think need wrapping up.

I had two friends pass away last year. Pip, who was in a photo I posted back in March, passed away from cancer. She was in her 70s, had lived a very full life and will be remembered by many, many people. The other friend was Patrick, a fairly quiet man who emphatically disliked people in general. Patrick was mentally ill, drank himself to death in his 40s and will sadly be remembered by few people. I mourned for both of them, but was unable to attend either of their funerals.

Back at Easter, I blogged about almost bumping into one of my wife's cousins while out shopping. I saw him at Christmas, and nothing was said. This fits with my plausible deniability post back in May, where I concluded that most of my wife's relatives know but choose to pretend not to. Also back at Easter, I mentioned that my sister-in-law's husband had asked "Who is Alice?" Some time later, my sister-in-law made it clearly obvious in a message to my wife that she didn't approve, but has since behaved towards the male me exactly as she did before. I suppose that's a good compromise position. I have no idea whether any of them would accept me as a female and for now, I'm not going to push the point.

Over the past few months, I've been making a conscious effort to look after my fingernails. I have been constantly reminding myself of a line that I think I read on the Beauty Heaven forums, which said that nails are jewels, not tools. I don't remember who wrote it, but to whoever it was, thank you. Things that I would have done with my nails in the past, I now consciously stop myself and find some other way of doing. As you'll see in the photo, my nails are now of a nice length, and they're not artificial! Most of the time, I simply wear a clear coat on them to protect them but a few times recently I've put some polish on them. I considered painting them in alternating red and green for Christmas, and even went and bought bright green and red nail polishes, but decided against it because I didn't want to push the point with my wife's relatives.

A few months ago, I added another school friend who now knows about me. She commented that I do makeup much better than she does. :)

The neighbours have been quiet recently. The one who I outed myself to online and blogged about last January and April only talks to me intermittently, but that's always been the case. The neighbours on the other side still have me guessing. A few times through the year, I'd come home from dinner out and the light would be on in a room alongside my driveway but by the time I put the car in the garage and walked out, the light would be off. Whether it was coincidence or they were turning the light off so that they could look at me, I don't know. I have no idea if they know or not, but am assuming that they do. We got new neighbours across the street a few months ago, and a few times when I came home the woman would be standing in the dark on their front veranda smoking by the time I put the car into the garage but I haven't seen the little orange glow for some weeks. Like the next door neighbours, I'm assuming that she knows.

I did a quick count of the number of times I went out for dinner with the girls in 2009. It appears that it was 33 times, down from 36 the year before. I only got out a total of 4 other times, including the one belly dance class that I blogged about some time ago. They are fairly disappointing numbers when I look at them. I averaged going out about once every 10 days. I'm not going to call it a new year's resolution but I'm intending to try to raise that average to better than one in 5. The only way I'll achieve that is to get to the cafe a lot more often, do a few more dance classes en femme and get out shopping more often.