Well, the day got off to a good start this morning, when I was nearly run down by a bus outside of Oxford Station. The bloody thing actually swerved towards me! Can you believe that? Needless to say, as soon as I got into the office, I was on the phone to the bus company. Or rather I would have been, except that nobody at their end was going to pick up the damn phone. So, instead, I wrote a lengthy email letter of complaint. In the afternoon I received a reply from someone at the bus company asking me if I could describe the driver. I mailed back and said, No, I couldn't - I was too busy trying to run for my life and avoid being splattered into the tarmac to take note of the driver's facial features.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:22 pm
Thursday, March 29, 2001
There's been a bit of a rumpus on the official Eddie Izzard message board at http://www.voy.com/13874/ over a certain picture of the man himself posted on the page, in which he is wearing a long coat, open at the front, exposing knickers, bra, stockings and stiletto heels beneath. And it also appears that he has breasts inside of that bra too. Some people loved the picture; others hated it with some vehemence. Some people argued that the photo had been doctored, or that Eddie's head had been placed on a female body in PhotoShop or some such graphical software package. It certainly caused a lot of arguments and divided opinions.
I confessed that personally I didn't like the picture, but wanted to defend the right of those who like the picture to enjoy it, and the right of the picture to be posted on an Eddie Izzard website. It is indeed a very bold statement, and - I think - if it makes people aware of gender issues - gets them thinking about these things - then that can only be a good thing. I didn't personally like the picture because I don't like the man's face on a female body thing. But I do not find it offensive! Speaking as a transvestite, if I'm doing the "femme" look, then I like to go all the way. If I'm doing the "guy in make-up" look (which I have been known to do) then I certainly wouldn't opt for the bra and falsies. And, speaking again as a tranny, someone who knows all the tricks, I have no doubt whatsoever that it IS Eddie's body, and that the pic HASN'T been doctored at all!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 7:28 pm
Actually, I'm just wondering, does anyone outside of the UK and/or Europe know what I'm talking about what with all this speak of roundabouts? I know they don't have roundabouts on the roads in the USA. Are they just a British thing? I'm not sure... I'm sure I've seen them in France. I don't know about elsewhere, but yes, I think France has them too. I'm sure there's been roundabout scenes in some of Jacques Tati's movies? Speaking of roundabouts in the movies (we have all the best topics on this blog!) I remember that scene in one of those awful National Lampoon's films where Chevy Chase and his family are holidaying in "Europe" and in a rented car in London, he gets stuck in the traffic flow on a roundabout, and cannot turn off it for some crazy reason, and they just keep going round and around and around, and getting more and more distressed all the while.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:48 pm
Tee Hee!!!! Wreckless Eric has posted a reply to my email (see my blog entry for Tuesday, March 27) about Swindon's Magic Roundabout on his website. Here's what he says:
You're very wise not to live in Swindon. How Mark Lamarr could say that I've got the mind of a goldfish when he comes from a place with a thing like that in it I don't know. Diana Dors came from Swindon - you've only got to look at the Hammer House of Horror films she did later on, and it all falls into place. That roundabout - there's something ungodly about it. The very fact that the cars go round the inside of it the wrong way - black magic. You're better out of it, Gina.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:35 pm
So tired... need more sleep.... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:00 pm
Wednesday, March 28, 2001
Grrrrrrrrrr... I've been filling in forms at work all afternoon - techie information that the company website's ISP needs. Gawd, I hate filling in forms. Is there anything more tedious? I can't wait until we employ that new IT person. It can't happen soon enough for me.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:50 pm
I finished reading "Popcorn" by Ben Elton last night. The book takes a look at violence as glorified by Hollywood, and considers the obvious questions of morality: is violence, murder and mayhem inherent in the mind of the perpetrators of such grisly crimes, or is it a learnt thing, inspired and suggested by the media? And what conclusions did the book come to? None. Nothing. Zilch. I can't even work out where Elton himself stands on this one. And as for all the hyperbolic reviews of this novel in the front of the book... well, all I can say is, what are these people on? Backhanders from the publishers, I shouldn't wonder, judging by the sycophantic drivel they've written. Black comedy? There was nothing funny about this book at all. It may have been written in a comic style, but it's hardly the barrel of laughs the reviewers make it out to be. Elton has written much much more enjoyable books than this. Disappointing.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:24 am
Tuesday, March 27, 2001
I was just on the Wreckless Eric website at http://www.wrecklesseric.com, reading Eric's tale of his recent trip to Swindon where he was playing a gig, and was amused at his impressions of what is arguably Swindon's most famous landmark: The Magic Roundabout. Here is the email I sent to the Wreckless Eric email list on that very subject:
Eric, I enjoyed your tale of the Swindon gig, but you exaggerated the Magic Roundabout in your rather splendid drawing. The Magic Roundabout is comprised of one large roundabout in the centre and five (not eight) satellite mini-roundabouts around the outside. The idea is you go around the mini-roundabouts in the time-honoured clockwise fashion, but for the central roundabout you travel around it anti-clockwise.
There are many routes that the motorist can take across the roundabout, although most panic when they see it and get across as quickly as possible using just one or two of the satellite mini-roundabouts.
It's a very bizarre piece of urban engineering, and must have been cooked up by some very very bored town planners. Either that or they had been partaking of some substance or other. Then again, we must remember this IS Swindon we are talking about, so anything to liven the place up is welcome.
Sherri has just emailed me a bunch of the "test" photos we did with the digital camera. The camera isn't really up to it, and too many of the pics are out of focus... but some show potential, and I've just loaded one onto my GeoCities site. Here's that same pic again. Whaddya reckon, folks? Have I still got it?
Eeeks! It's late Sunday afternoon, and Sherri has just left having spent the whole weekend here. Today she was doing lots of computery upgrades for me. Which was nice, and means I have a faster 'puter now and also a CD-Writer installed. Which means I'll be making lots of mad compilation CDs again - fave songs interspersed with bits of dialogue from films and TV shows (most of which are usually nabbed from http://www.dailywav.com/).
Yesterday, we spent most of the day doing a photo session, which we are hoping will yield some good photos for our Sherri and Gina website at http://www.sherri-gina.com. And judging from the test shots we did with a digital camera when checking the lighting, etc, it looks like we might have some good pics. Here's hoping!
So, yesterday the house was in chaos: all the furniture in the living room had been shifted around to clear a space - marked out with masking tape - for us to pose in. Sherri had rigged up flashes and lights all over the place, including one very bright and hot bulb positioned behind my plexiglass guitar - which had a paper bag over its head and a sheet of tin foil between it and the dresser door... I dunno what was going on - it was all to do with lighting (Duh!), reflections, shadow elimination and what-not. I just did posing! And my bedroom was in more chaos than normal - dresses and underwear and wigs and high heeled shoes all over the place. But back to the important bit - the piccies. I was pleased to find I was able to model dresses that I haven't been able to get into for ages - some have never seen the light of day - such as this gorgeous little glittery number I got from River Island back in '99 (I think). So, the diet does work! Hurrah! Oh, and this one will get 'em going - I posed for a whole load of pics in my little black PVC mindress and my new 7" platform heels bought in Brighton this week! Hey Hey!
In the evening we both stayed en femme but went more casual, and we got a chinese takeaway (that's three weeks in a row I've had a chinese now, though it's moved from Friday to Saturday this week), and watched nonsense on the telly. It seems there's always these nostalgia programmes on Saturday night, such as "I Love 1989" or whatever. I commented to Sherri that in 10 years time there'll be nostalgia programmes on TV in which they look back to 2001 and all the nostalgia programmes that we had! Then we drank copious quantities of whisky, and nipped into #UKTVSEX on IRC for a while. It was gone 2:00am when we went to bed, which meant it was really gone 3:00am as the clocks had just gone forward for British Summertime. More Eeeeeks! Needless to say neither of us arose until nearly midday on Sunday.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 4:25 pm
Friday, March 23, 2001
Phew! A lot's been happening over the last couple of days. I'm now back at home after my few days in Brighton. Yesterday I met up with TinTin and we went to a splendid Veggie Indian restaurant for a late lunch - all you can eat buffet for £3-50 each. Yum! While we were waiting for the happy hour at this place, we wondered around the Lanes for a bit and I found the most fabulous pair of platform high heels (7" heels - Eeeks!!) in a shoe shop (naturally). TinTin was impressed when I tried them on in the shop, and the assistant was amazed that I could walk in them (of course). So that was splendid.
Later we met up with TinTin's friend Becci, and Louisa, who of course, I know from the days when we used to frequent Transformer at Yazz's (pics on one of the websites somewhere). Actually, looking at the three girls - TinTin, Becci and Louisa - anyone would have thought they'd dressed up as the Powerpuff Girls deliberately! Anyway - we all traipsed off to the Concorde Two, where we watched an excellent gig by Wreckless Eric - he and his band were just SO good. Wonderful! Louisa had only heard one of his songs before ("Whole Wide World", which - I observed, Mark Lamarr seemed to be quite enjoying too), but I think she's a convertee to the Wreckless cause now!
Then The Blockheads came on. Eeeks! That Norman Watt-Roy (bass guitar) sweats so much that you could stick him in the Sahara and he could irrigate the desert! Excellent musicians, but none of them are very good vocalists, so didn't do some of the Ian Dury classics much credit. Thank goodness for guest vocalists Wreckless Eric on "Clevor Trever" (not sure what he was doing with that fuzz bass, though) and Mark Lamarr and Phill Jupitus on some other Dury favourites. Actually I got grabbed by Lamarr for a couple of yells of "blockheads, blockheads" into that mike on the song of the same name, then he moved onto TinTin - she kissed him and he ran off! Very funny. (See: http://www.blockheads.co.uk/)
Errrr... today... bit of a blur really. Not much to report (was deaf for ages following last night's gig). Travelled back home, and got here slightly before Sherri, who is here for the weekend.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:49 pm
Thursday, March 22, 2001
OK, I'm stealing a quick go on my Uncle's computer here. Yesterday I got into Brighton a little later than planned, thanks to cancelled trains, etc. Grrrr... it was only a bit of wet weather. Met TinTin at the station - and I did recognise her now she has long blonde hair, but it took me ages to realise her piercings had all gone. We went for a couple of coffees in a cafe in Sydney Street and met a couple of her friends. Then I had to be getting to my Uncle's house, so we headed uphill in that direction (puff, pant, wheeze) and en route stopped off at TinTin's flat so I could drop off the Wreckless Eric promo 6-track 10" record that I'd brought along with me for her (it could be quite a collector's item, and if she gets him to sign it, it'll be worth even more).
So then I trudged around to my Uncle's. Rang the doorbell. Nothing. Rang again. Several times. More nothing. Got my mobile out and telephoned in - I could here the phone ringing from inside the house. Still no response. Grrrr... So I phoned TinTin ("Can I come back?"). So - trudge, trudge, trudge, uphill back to TinTin's. Had a cup-a-soup and listented to some music. After a while I phoned my Uncle's and checking he WAS in, I got my things, hugged TinTin goodbye once more and then trudge, trudge, trudge again back to my Uncle's.
Later in the evening, my Uncle's collaborator and business partner Tony, kept on and on about going out for a drink at this little bar he'd found. My Uncle wasn't keen, and I didn't mind, but it seemed he really wanted to drag us along, so her phoned for a taxi. As we were approaching this bar I realised that I recognised the streets we were in, and said "Errr... what's this bar called?" Turns out it was The Harlequin, which I used to know as Marilyn's, and is a gay/mixed bar and a popular tranny haunt. It was weird sitting in there with my Uncle, with a small gaggle of trannies sitting just behind him. And I kept almost expecting Sarah Bonham to come waltzing in! That would have been interesting.
Somehow the conversation turned to why wasn't I wearing nail-varnish this time (as I normally nearly always wear it - I feel naked without it). I explained that I was just giving my nails a rest, a chance to breathe, etc. But my Uncle was insistent and kept on about it being bizarre me wearing it. So I asked him if he really wanted to know the reason I wear it, and he said yes, so I said "See that group of people behind you?" referring to the trannies (and I wish he could have been a bit more discreet instead of turning around and staring), "well", I said, "I'm like them, I'm a transvestite."
So that was quite groovy. I told my Uncle I was TV - the last person that I hadn't come out to. Hurrah!
OK, now it's Thursday. I'm waiting for my Uncle to get up, because we're supposed to be doing some work this morning (not sure what yet). And I ought to give TinTin a call and decide where we are meeting this afternoon. So, I'll sign out now, and might be back on later - or tomorrow - if I get the chance to use the computer uninterrupted for a few minutes.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:04 am
Wednesday, March 21, 2001
I'm just about to leave for Brighton; should be there about mid-day, then will meet TinTin for a coffee and then it's onto other exciting (Zzzzzzz...) things! I might not be able to post while I'm away, so apologies in advance if there are no more Blog entries for today and tomorrow. And possibly Friday.
Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:29 am
Tuesday, March 20, 2001
Sherri received this email today:
Dear Tripod Member,
We apologize for the removal of your site over the weekend. Due to some technical errors, we mistakenly removed several member sites and are in the process of restoring them. We did not single out you or your site, please accept our apologies, your site has now been restored.
Sincerely, The Tripod Team
Sherri adds: "I wonder if we should believe this explanation considering the number of mails they received complaining of our site being taken off."
I dunno. It all sounds a bit too convenient to me. What is certain is that someone screwed up. Nevertheless, I am determined now to go ahead promoting thew new version of the Sherri and Gina site as listed in the left-hand margin here. We'll keep the Tripod version as a mirror for a while, but I'd like to phase it out.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:26 pm
Recorded announcements would seem to be all around us these days. Those I particularly dislike are those you so often hear at railway stations when the announcement says something along the lines of "I am extremely sorry for the delay to this service", and I think "How is a recording capable of showing sorrow?" The whole thing is so insincere that I find it quite insulting to the intelligence of the passengers (or "customers" as the rail companines will insist on calling us).
Anyway, I was in the queue at the Post Office just now as I had a small package to send off to someone, and there was a recorded female voice directing each person at the front to the next available cashier: "Cashier number seven please... cashier number four please" and so on. That is, until cashier number 2 became available, and then a male recorded voice announced "Cashier number two please". This was seemingly simply because Cashier Number Two was a man, whereas the other cashiers were women. And I thought this peculiar. Are the public so simple-minded that they need a female announcer for female cashiers and male announcers for male cashiers? Do the Post Office think we are unaware that the announcer is a recording and not the real person behind the counter who we are about to interact with. Or do they think we need to be reassured as to the cashier's gender? What do they think we'll do if we hear a female announcer but are then faced with a male cashier? "Oh no, I'm going to freak out! This is to much confusion for my poor little brain!"
And what if the cashier was a transsexual? Would the recorded voice reflect the chosen gender of that individual? And in a another possible - albeit rather unlikely - scenario, what if the cashier was an androgyn, a person who rejects all notions of gender? Would the recorded voice directing you to such a person be sexless to reinforce their genderless status? And what if the cashier was a robot? Or a cyberman or a dalek? Would the recording be of a metallic grating voice? OK, I'm just being silly now, but I do think that having two sets of recordings to reinforce the gender of Post Office employees is bordering on the ridiculous.
And what if the voice announcing my train home tonight is female? Will my train driver or ticket collector be a woman?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:41 pm
I was slightly delayed in getting into work this morning. My train was held up because of "a swan on the line". ("It's a bleeding bird, innit mate?"). I've not heard that one before. There were looks of bemusement thoughout the carriage as the driver asked over the intercom if anyone knew anything about birds or was a member of the RSPB. I know a little about birds but am hardly an expert, so I - like everyone else - kept schtum. But, I do know that a swan is not the sort of beast you want a confrontation with. All the more reason to keep quiet.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:33 am
I forgot to mention an interesting article I was reading last night, from Saturday's Weekend Magazine from The Guardian. It was about self-proclaimed messiah David Icke (yes, the ex-football player and BBC sportscaster) on a book-signing and lecture tour of Canada. And moreover it was about the reactions of the Canadian people to this strange fellow and, in particular, the reactions of an anti-racist group who believed that Icke's talk of conspiracies involving shape-shifting lizards in key positions of power (including George W Bush, Queen Elizabeth II and numerous others), was some kind of metaphor, that in fact he was anti-semitic and having a pop at the jewish people. What the author of the article concluded, however, was that when Icke talks about 12-foot tall lizards, he isn't using any metaphors, he really means 12-foot tall lizards!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:23 am
Monday, March 19, 2001
Time for bed: I'm going to turn in with a Ben Elton novel. OK, he might be a best-selling author and all that - uninspired choice of book perhaps - but I've read a couple of his in the past, and found them to be nice li'l reads! Anyway, to bed...
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:48 pm
This might sound really dippy, but I really can't remember which photos I had on page 8 of the photo album on the Sherri and Gina website. For the new version that I uploaded again today, I've had to put a message on page 8 saying "piccies temporarily unavailable". I'll definitely have copies of the pictures as JPGs on my hard disk or on CD-R, but I can't remember which ones they were and referring to the filenames in the HTML document is no help, because for that last page - for some reason of my own - I had decided to rename all the JPGs with handy page8_$$$$.jpg type names. Crazy! If anyone can help, please drop me a line!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:43 pm
The Sherri and Gina website is up and running again! More Hurrahs! Well, actually, it's kinda merged with my Fabulous site, and now has a new domain name (or two): check out http://www.sherri-gina.com or http://www.sherri-gina.co.uk. Don't worry about the current layout too much - I'm going to totally re-design it soonest!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 4:02 pm
I just could not sleep last night. I don't know what was up; the ol' brain was just too active I guess. So, I'll probably be mega-tired tonight, and the effect will most likely be cumulative. So, it's just as well I'm only at work today and tomorrow. Then I'm off to Brighton for a few days. Hurrah!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:58 pm
Sunday, March 18, 2001
Ooh! This is interesting. I just found the following on my hard disk. It looks like an unfinished article I was writing on people who have influenced me:
Marc Bolan - a beautiful, girly-looking boy. My initial impression of Marc was that I too wanted to play guitar, although I'm sure his androgynous looks struck a chord in my subconscious too!
David Bowie - Mr Androgyny himself from the 1970s - obvious really!
Daniel Ash (guitarist of Bauhaus, Tones on Tails, Love and Rockets) - One of my fave guitar players and a very androgynous, statuesque, striking figure. The man was beautiful, although I don't think the years have been kind to him judging from the more recent pics I have seen. Wow, I used to do ANYTHING to try to copy his gravity-defying hairstyle. I'd crimp it, gel it, spray it, stand upside-down on my hands against my bedroom wall for hours...
The Avengers Girls - Diana Rigg - OK, so who doesn't remember Emma Peel (M Appeal) as the Queen of Sin in that wonderful piece of fetish-inspired imagery? Groundbreaking! Joanna Lumley - my favourite Purdy moment is in that episode of the New Avengers when she's rushing around in this building with all the jets of water from the ceiling hosing her down, and - for whatever reason (who cares?) - she gradually loses article after article of clothing and ends up sopping wet in her underwear and heels and she still kicks ass.
Debbie Harry - My first big time teenage crush! Y'know, I've been meaning to get myself a blonde wig and do a copy of her make-up for sooooo long now. And she had loadsa of style too - in her own quirky off-beat Noo Yawk kinda way. Those wonderful kitsch dresses and always high heels - I loved it - I wanted to BE it!
Eddie Izzard - a wonderful comedian and a major influence in my decision to come out. "Well", I thought, "if he can do it"... What an ambassador - we need more like him!
Rob Davies (guitarist with 70s glam rockers Mud) - Mud were a Elvis Presley goes glam sorta band, though the teddy boy outfits didn't really work for Rob, so they gave him these girly dress-like creations. Dangly ear-rings, enyone?
Tim Brooke Taylor (of The Goodies) - any excuse to slip into a dress, eh Timbo? Frequently used to stand in for HRH The Queen.
Shirley Bassey - With frocks to die for, this lady has STYLE, and knows exactly how a feather boa should be worn. She IS glamour personified.
Tim Curry - Camptastic - the original Frank'n'Furter, what more can I say?
Tina Turner - She's all woman but I still think of her as a drag queen!
Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah-Jane Smith in Doctor Who) - a lovely lady (I've met her twice), one of my fave Who girls, but a kind of anti-influence - she always had the most awful outfits on her excursion around the Universe with Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker's incarnations of the Doctor... She should have been SOOOO glamourous!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 7:09 pm
OK, here's what we're going to do. We are going to re-launch the Sherri and Gina website, but will use the webspace I have at easyspace, where I do currently have a website, although it is a bit of a cobweb! I have just now registered the domain names www.sherri-gina.com and www.sherri-gina.co.uk which we shall use for the re-launched site. So, who needs bloody Tripod?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 7:05 pm
I'm still fuming at www.tripod.com's decision - or rather the Lycos Network's decision - to delete the Sherri and Gina website because it allegedly "violated guidelines". I think it's far more likely that one of their employees is extremely narrow-minded and/or homophobic, because we did nothing wrong. Some of the good people over at the official Eddie Izzard message board have sent emails of complaint to Tripod. If anyone reading this wants to add their voice, please email: email@example.com.
I suppose that it wouldn't be too much trouble to re-build the site at a new host. But putting the site up elsewhere isn't the problem. It was a very well known site; it was popular and had loads of links to it from all over the place. The problem is in building all that up again from scratch. It was one of the TOP tranny websites - nearly all the major search engines would find it straightaway. That took a lot of achievement. Re-building the site is the easy bit ... getting all the links updated and getting us to the top of the search engines lists again will take a hell of a lot of work.
But it's most likely that Tripod / Lycos will not back down on this decision. If you read the small print on their extremely lengthy content guidelines they basically add a clause that says they can simply delete a site if they feel like doing so, just for the hell of it! In other words Tripod/Lycos are always right, so shut up and fuck off! You can't really win against that kind of logic. So, if we do go ahead with a new Sherri and Gina website elsewhere (and we were planning a new photo session for next weekend too!) it's quite likely that we'll do it with our own domain name this time. Keep watching this space!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:12 am
Saturday, March 17, 2001
I had a phone call from Sherri tonight, who said she'd had an email from www.tripod.com to say that they've shut down our website at http://sherri_n_gina.tripod.com because it "violated guidelines". What absolute nonsense. That site violated NOTHING. It contained some fun photos of Sherri and I - some glamourous, some silly, but nothing offensive - and a few What's New items. The site had been running since early 1998 and had never received any complaints. There was nothing offensive in it - simple as that. Tripod shutting down this website are just proving that they are tranny-unfriendly; this is a kick in the teeth to the tranny community. If this offends you too, then complain to them! Let them know.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:35 pm
Yawn! I arose late this morning, having had a marathon lie-in (for me), and emerged from the boudoir at 11:56. I dunno how I stayed in bed so long with the bleedin' neighbours banging and sawing. The complete shits. I think they must be building Noah's Ark in there. But somehow I got involved in some weird weird dreams: babies turning into cats, and some kind of cunning scratch 'n' sniff comic strip.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:45 pm
Friday, March 16, 2001
Poo! Bum! Arse! I've had one hell of a stressful day, and I don't want to talk about it. The only slightly funny thing was when I stormed off at work, and everyone thought I'd flipped and left. In reality I'd just gone to the staff room, where I texted a couple of people on the ol' mobile, and then I went to the bathroom. Everyone was really worried about me and I was greeted with a glass of wine to unwind with when I reappeared.
I got a chinese takeaway on the way home - yummy! (This seems to be a recurring theme - remember last Friday I went for a chinese too). The cat was very interested in the chinese food and the daft creature ending up helping himself to some - the crispy seaweed of all things!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:05 pm
Thursday, March 15, 2001
Hurrah! ...and on a positive note, today I learned that I've got a pay rise! And a tidy little bonus for this month. Not that I'll be able to flash the cash, be extravagant and buy lots of slinky dresses, high heeled shoes, and electric guitars (and I really fancied that Gibson Les Paul Standard Lite... drool); more like it'll be straight into my bank account and filling a scary hole!
Later: I've just got off the phone after a really long chat with TinTin. We're as bad as one another, and TinTin was saying she could imagine a soap opera based on the two of us on the phone to each other, and how funny it would be to see us sprawled upside down or in one of those awkward positions you can get yourself into wyhen you're on the telephone. And she's right! I so often find myself lying on the floor, upside-down, feet up in the air against the wall, bed or whatever, and I wonder to myself how I'd got in such a position. I think it must be a tradition or an old charter or something.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 6:36 pm
Grrrrr... OK, rant of the day: this morning, I held open the door for a woman who works in the office downstairs, and for my troubles I received a "Cheers." I hate that! I wish people would say "thank you" and not "cheers". "Cheers" does not mean "thank you"; it is a toast, a benediction, a salute when drinking. As a expression of gratitude, "cheers" is condescending; it's as if the person uttering that word cannot bring themselves to say "thank you" - or even a simple but friendly "thanks" - because in their eyes that would portray them in a submissive role.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:41 am
Wednesday, March 14, 2001
I went on over to http://www.officialdamned.com earlier to check out the photos from The Damned's current recording sessions in LA. There's also an MPEG of Dave, Captain and Monty taking time out and trying to teach the studio parrot some choice phrases like "ARSE", and "Vanian's a wanker". So, sensing a star in the making, I nipped onto the Damned message board and have started a petition to get the band to include the parrot on their album. Yeah, we want to hear Polly!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:18 pm
Weird... there was me yesterday, rattling on about Room 101, and I've only just been made aware of the outrage following Anne Robinson's appearance on last week's show. She wanted to put the Welsh into Room 101. How come racism isn't racism when it's the Welsh who are under attack? Anyway, I'm still reading up on this one, and I shall deliver my opionion on the subject later! But, for the meantime, I'd like to say Grrrrrrrrr...
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:05 pm
Oh yes, last night when I met up with Gillian - and her sister Jenny - we had a few alcoholic beverages (as you do) and then went to Pizza Express for something to eat. Pizza, in fact. Big surprise there, eh? Mine was called something like pizze el noci and was a pizza with gorgonzola cheese, spinach and walnuts! Yumtastic! And it was good to catch up with Gillian again, and Jenny too who I've only met once before when, apparently, I had blonde hair. Yikes!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:21 am
Tuesday, March 13, 2001
Room 101 is a BBC TV show - named after the room of horrors in George Orwell's "1984" - in which Paul Merton invites a guest to choose which things he or she thinks deserve to be put into such a grisly room. Last night's show featured author/playwright/actor/funnyman Stephen Fry whose choices included: New Age mumbo jumbo; supposedly "collectable" limited-edition plates featuring syrupy vomit-inducing artwork; and something he referred to as AQI. This stands for Australian Questioning Intonation (although some sources say the Q is for Querulous), and it is that ghastly habit - allegedly originating from the youth of Australia, although TV shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sabrina the Teenage Witch have also been blamed - of raising the tone of one's voice at the end of a sentence, as if you are asking a question. And I agree with the good Mr Fry ... I BLOODY HATE IT TOO!!!! What I really hate about it, is that it sounds insulting, as if the listener is too stupid to understand even the most rudimentary of concepts, hence the question mark at the end of the sentence. So, if someone says something like "...And I was standing there at the bus stop?" (raising the intonation at the end as if this simple statement was a question), my immediate reaction is Yes, I know what a fucking bus stop is, stop being so condescending, you git!
So - cut it out, kids; it ain't big and it ain't clever.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 4:32 pm
Oh yes, mustn't forget, I'm meeting up with Gillian after work tonight. I wonder where we'll end up; we normally go somewhere to eat after a couple of drinks. One thing's for sure, no chinese "all you can eat" buffets! Not after Friday night's bloat-fest.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:22 pm
I was caught in one of those pathetic rain-showers this morning, when the elements can't seem to decide whether a downpour is on the cards or whether just a light drizzle is the order of the day (I hate that - it hardly seems worth the effort opening up your brolly), and I was thinking, here we are in the 21st Century and we haven't mastered control over the weather, as predicted in TV shows such as Doctor Who, and so many other science fiction tales. And it reminded me of a piece I read in "The Mosquito Coast" by Paul Theroux in which the Dad from Hell, megalomaniac Allie Fox goes off on another one of his rants:
'The fatal mistake everyone made was in thinking that the future had something to do with high technology. I used to think that myself! But that was before I had this experience. Oh, Gaw, it was all going to be rocket-ships... Smellovision... Video-cassettes instead of school. Everything streamlined. Meals were going to be pills - green ones for breakfast, blue ones for lunch, purple ones for dessert. You popped them in your mouth - all the nutrition you needed... Stupefied people with pointy ears and names like "Grok" wearing helmets and living in chromeplated houses. Moving sidewalks, glass domes over cities, and no work except playing with computers and sniffing the smellovision. "Get into the rocket-ship, kids, and let's go have a picnic on the moon" - that kind of thing!' Paul Theroux, The Mosquito Coast
And this leads back to what I was saying yesterday about "tabloid television" and such puerile nonsense as Lesbians Behaving Badly (that's the second time I've enboldened that title - sorry, it won't happen again); as a society we are not evolving - we are devolving; people are getting stupider - or they are being brainwashed by the media and corporations into being stupid, being turned into good little consumers. I'm not going to go all conspiracy theorist on you all, but it has to be said, these things are happening.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:14 pm
Monday, March 12, 2001
Oh dearie me! There's just been a preview on Sky One for a television programme called Lesbians Behaving Badly. Sigh... we're well and truly in the era of tabloid television, it would seem.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:50 pm
Last Tuesday I was telling about Melanie's Top 100 Transgender homepages, and today I've received a message from her saying that she is shutting down the list. She goes on to say "We have had a new an unexpected addition to the family, and I would rather close the toplist, than let it continue unmanaged." Sounds like someone added a pornographic tranny site to the list. Disturbing! I've said it before and I'll say it again, what is the point of going to all the trouble and effort of effecting a feminine illusion if you're only going to spoil it all by hanging your willie out? Absolutely bleeding pointless.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 7:57 pm
Sunday, March 11, 2001
I've had a tiring but enjoyable weekend. Last night I met Annie at Liverpool Street Station in London and we went to Kentish Town to see Die So Fluid. An excellent gig, and after DSF's set we got to speak to Grog, who was as charming and as chatty as ever. Not a lot else to add really, except that I think I mixed my drinks a little and had a killer hangover that lasted well into Sunday afternoon! (Eeeeks!)
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:22 pm
Saturday, March 10, 2001
Yawn! Had a busy one afternoon yesterday when Mark visited Oxford. We did indeed have lunch at the Museum of Modern Art Cafe, but we didn't bother with the exhibition there because we couldn't see that anything inspiring was on. And what have they done to the bookshop there? It's just a couple of shelves and a table or two of books, whereas it used to be a really good shop full.
We also went to the Ashmolean Museum and looked at various bits and pieces ("it's a load of bleedin' plates and bowls, mate") and the Egyptian exhibits which were quite interesting actually. Then we went to the cafe in Borders bookshop because I was needing a coffee fix. I like it there for coffee because when you buy a filter coffee you get an enormous cup and the choice of about six coffees and then you can have a refill too. After that we wandered around some more, Mark bought a pair of headphones for his significant other, and then I was feeling the need for alcohol so we wandered along to the Turf Tavern (a quaint little city centre pub, which has been the location of many a pub scene in Inspector Morse) but we found the whole place was filled with bloody students, wearing some kind of ceremonial robes and speaking in outrageously snooty put-on accents (gits), so we legged it out of there pretty damn spanky quick. Every other pub we passed was similarly filled with studenty types, so we headed towards the bus station and The Old School, which is considered to be a "towny" pub and not too popular with the student element. Indeed, there was lots of room inside, so we had a couple of beverages, before moving on the Paddyfield (a chinese restaurant) on Hythe Bridge street.
Oh dear!!!! It was buffet night. Eat all you can for £10.95. Eeeks! Did I feel bloated afterwards or what? I felt like I wouldn't need to eat for another century! It was good food though, and we had chinese tea to accompany it. We caught the 20:40 train as Mark needed to get to Dorking Deepdene and I had to get home. I got home and Karen (who I share the house with) gave me a message that Sarah Bonham, my TS friend, had rang and said she couldn't make it over this weekend. Which was actually convenient because when I'd said to her to come over, I'd double booked and already had something lined up anyway. Then I watched the final episode of Adrian Mole: the Cappucino Years on BBC1, which has been a really well-done TV series, bringing the book to life beautifully. (I wonder what happened to my copy?)
Anyway, here we are: Saturday. I had a little bit of a lie-in, and I am just seeing to this bloggy thing and drinking a morning cup of coffee before I head upstairs to the shower. I'm still trying to make my mind up whether or not I should du-fuzz (i.e. all the bodily shaving stuff, that us trannies have to do now and again). I didn't do it last week, so I suppose I ought to.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:12 am
Friday, March 09, 2001
Hey Hey! Half-day off work! Hurrah! Yeah and Groovy! I'm expecting Mark to make an appearance very soon. So, the big question is, where to go for lunch? And then what to do after that? Possibly The Museum of Modern Art could kill two birds with one stone, as I don't know if the weather is going to hold up for wandering around Oxford this afternoon.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:11 pm
I was listening to Wreckless Eric's "Greatest Stiffs" CD on the train on the way in to work again this morning. The man is an all too often forgotten genius, and some of the songs he has written are as near perfect pop as you're ever likely to hear. Witness: "Out of the Blue", "A Pop Song", "Broken Doll", "Whole Wide World", "I Wish It Would Rain", "Let's Go To The Pictures"... the list goes on. And if you go to his website at http://www.wrecklesseric.com you'll find he's full of entertaining stories and anecdotes too.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:43 am
When I was talking about TV shows yesterday, I forgot to mention a really good episode of King of the Hill that was on Sky One last night, in which Bobby and Luanne have a disagreement and start playing practical jokes on one another. When Bobby goes too far and replaces some of Luanne's contraceptive pills with sweets, his parents Hank and Peggy decide to teach him a lesson and tell him that by not taking the pills Luanne will become pregnant, so that he must do the right thing and marry her. If you're not familiar with the show, Bobby is a 12-year old, and Luanne is his cousin, a dim-witted blonde in her late teens. Luanne goes along with the charade and "marries" Bobby in a fake ceremony. Then Hank tells Luanne that he just found out that Bill who conducted the ceremony is really a minister and that the marriage is therefore legal. Of course this is another wind-up, to teach Luanne a lesson too. All in all, a very funny episode. And - trivia fans - interesting to see a Bart Simpson doll in Bobby's bedroom.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:35 am
Thursday, March 08, 2001
I've just watched tonight's episode of The X Files on Sky One. It has to be said that the series is getting better again. I think in the last few series it was getting lost up its own arse, what with all the running story lines about secret governments, grand conspiracies, and crap about Fox Mulder's lost sister, before he went and got lost himself (Uh-oh, I spy a future returning plot line). I always did prefer the stand-alone stories to those that were part of the greater X Files mythos (it was all so bloody confusing and hard to follow what the heck was going on). I'm still trying to get used to this new chap who's replaced Mulder - Doggert or whatever his name is (Robert Patrick), although at least you can understand what he's saying!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:58 pm
Bored. I've just had a little wander around the centre of Oxford; had a quick look at the magazines in WHSmiths where someone was getting stroppy because he was getting nicked for, as he put it, "actually paying for something for a change." I also looked in Waterstone's, not that I need any more books to read for a while; I have a pile of unread paperbacks awaiting me at home as it is.
So, here I am back at my desk in the office. I was just thinking about how much of my life is spent here, and that it's a home from home really. So let's look at some of the things I have on and around my desk - I don't mean my computer and telephone - I'm talking about those little things that I have around me to make it seen a bit more "homely":
A "Scooby Doo" coffee mug. Very stained and currently empty.
A rubber mouse sitting on top of my computer monitor. Most the girls in the office hate it.
A rubber rat on my radiator (do we see a theme here?). It used to squeak when squeezed but some kind soul pushed its tail down its throat and dislodged the squeaking mechanism. Now it just wheezes if you squeeze it.
A pink Disneyland pencil, the end of which is bent around into the shape of a pair of Mickey Mouse ears. At the end there is an eraser which would be impossible to use because of the shape of the pencil. I like it because it's ludicrous.
One of those annoying Pin Impression executive toy things. I used to hide this, to keep people from playing with it, shoving their faces, hands, other bodily parts(!), etc, in it. But now, I think the novelty has worn off. Thank goodness!
On my partition wall, photos of: me and various people larking about at Ron Storme's; my friend TinTin from Brighton; Grog from Die So Fluid (formerly Ultraviolet, formerly Feline); me and Captain Sensible - both of us dragged up; and my best friend (and ex-fiancee) Annie.
A pair of headphones plugged into the CD-ROM drive on the computer so I can listen to CDs when I feel the need (usually if I'm doing lots of intense HTML coding).
The office digital camera, which I'll sometimes grab to take pictures out the window of whatever tickles my fancy (it was a couple of pigeons yesterday). Oooh Excitement!
A plastic squirrel that came from inside a Kinder Surprise chocolate egg, and dates back to 1999 on Brighton pier with Fi, Wolf and a few others.
Oh dear, am I sad or what?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:39 pm
It occurs to me that I haven't talked about any telly yet, so I'll have a little go now. Last night I watched Roswell on Sky One. It used to be called "Roswell High" but they changed the name to make it quicker to read.* Of course, Roswell itself is a little desert town in New Mexico, and scene of the now legendary saucer crash of 1947 (wasn't it? Must check) leading to subsequent military cover-ups, disinformation, etc. And then there was that film of the "Is it or isn't it real?" alien autopsy. But anyway, the programme started out nicely enough and looked quite intriguing, so I watched it. It's about this bunch of kids, late teens, who live in Roswell, but apparently they're really aliens and have some special powers, and they get into various scrapes with authority, and other aliens who look like people too (and whose skin comes off in great big clumps) but these others have an evil agenda. (Ooh-err!) Does that make sense? But half-way through, the demon we were expecting to see, that the storyline had been building up to, just turns out to be the smartly dressed female boss of one of the characters ("Oh, it's YOU") and all suspension of disbelief that a programme of this kind requires of the viewer is lost. That's when I started getting bored and my attention wandered, so possibly predicting this, those wily programme makers bunged in a big explosion type effect. Are tv and film makers getting predictable or what? And the other thing about that bugs me about this programme is that the male lead character is portrayed by an "actor" (I use the word loosely) very much from the David Duchovny school of acting. Fox Mumbler strikes again!
* The actual quote, from Bottom is:
Spudgun: See they've changed the titles to Emmerdale Farm. 'S just called Emmerdale now. Eddie: Yeah. Spudgun: Doesn't take so long to read. They've got a lot more time to do other things. Can pack a lot more story in.
Apparently, Michael Jackson mania in Oxford increased last night after I'd left to catch my homeward-bound train. The streets were really packed and there was mucho screaming to be heard. From the pictures I saw on the TV news he looked a right prawn - like a skeletal tranny, and now he's walking with the aid of crutches too - the story being that he'd broken a bone in his foot(?)... yeah, right, pull the other one Michael, we all know it's just another of your looney affectations.
I'm sure that Yasser Arafat and Salman Rushdie never had this kind of fuss or level of security when they did speeches at the Student's Union. And there was barely a squeak to be heard or a policeman to be seen when Kermit the Frog visited. Come on, don't tell me that Michael Jackson isn't a muppet too.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:19 pm
Tuesday, March 06, 2001
S'funny but this lunchtime I nipped out of the office for a wander around Oxford, so I could get some fresh air and get away from my computer screen for half an hour. I was making my way along St Michael's Street to get to Cornmarket Street and I couldn't help but notice the barricades outside the Oxford Uni Students Union building. Also the police presence, the TV camera crews and the crowds of people waiting all suggested to me that something was afoot. They often have famous people speak at the Students Union, but I hadn't seen this much fuss before. When I left work later on in the day, I noticed that the whole of St Michael's St had been barriacaded off, and even more crowds. Hhhhmmmm, I thought to myself, anyone would think that Michael Jackson was visiting. And, I've just seen the news and it WAS Michael Jackson. Eeeeks! So nearly in the presence of someone so famous! (Him, I mean, not me! *G*)
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:08 pm
Grrrr... The foot and mouth epidemic in the UK goes on, but what really annoys me is all the media's attentions on the poor old farmers who are seeing their livelihoods destroyed. What about the animals that are being needlessy slaughtered? It's damn right disgusting, and I can't understand why there's been no news coverage of animal rights groups repsonse to this. I for one, couldn't give a flying fuck about the dwindling meat supplies... these are all animals that shouldn't even exist in the first place. They have been manufactured so that they can be tortured, and now they are being so cruelly destroyed.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:52 pm
I'm getting very suspicious of some of the tranny sites listed in Melanie's Top 100 Transgender homepages - I think there is some cheating going on, especially when the not particularly inspiring site currently at the top of the list has the banner for Melanie's buried away on a links page rather than the home page, so that it takes quite a few clicks to find it. Either that or visitors to that site are trying desperately to find a way out of there! BTW, Melanie's is not really a Top 100 at the moment... more of a Top 10 (and occasionally a Top 9 or a Top 11). And for some reason, dear ol' Sherri's site never turns up.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:57 am
Brrrrrrrr... It's cold! Isn't it supposed to be Spring soon, now that we are in the merry month of March? This morning the sky was ice white, and the sun a silver disc with a few whispy clouds floating in front of it. I thought for a few moments that maybe it was the moon I was looking at, but upon searching the heavens for any other visible astronomical bodies, I realised it was indeed the sun.
I had to get to the station a little earlier this morning to purchase my weekly train pass. Why, oh why, can't they have separate queues for people who are going to take bleeding ages and those who are able to complete their transactions quickly and without fuss? Whoops! I started out today, being all literary in my descriptions of the morning sky, and now I've descended into a rant!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:16 am
Monday, March 05, 2001
Re: my earlier comment about the lack of second-hand Radio 4 at supersonic volumes this morning, apparently the BBC's broadcasts were disrupted by yesterday's bomb courtesy of the "real" IRA. Grrrr... They should have done a better job of it.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:29 pm
It looks like I could have a busy month ahead of me. I'm supposed to be meeting my good friend Mark (must ring him tonight). We've been friends for so very long now; since we were about 8 years old, or thereabouts. Although we were enemies for a while, and used to beat each other up in the playground. It's funny how kids can change allegiances at the drop of a hat, whereas adults bear grudges over years and decades.
Also I'm going to be meeting my good friend, Gillian, who used to be a colleague of mine, and was one of the first girls I took along with me to the WayOut Club back in the early days when I first came out of the closet as being a transvestite. I remember that first time when she and another girl called Kim, went to the WayOut with me. We went up to London on the coach, me having done most of my make-up beforehand. When we got to the club I nipped into the changing room that they used to have at the Tiffany's venue, and finished my make-up and slipped into my slinky dress, stiletto heels, wig, etc. Then I took my bag upstairs to leave it in the cloakroom. One of the great things about the old Tiffany's venue was that it had this long straight staircase leading down into the club from street level and you could really make a grand entrance coming down those stairs! So, I'd dropped my bag off and I was "slinking" down the stairs and I could see Gillian and Kim sitting on bar stools at one of the tables looking up and watching me. I strode over to them and said "Wotcha!" and they were like "Wow! it's YOU!" They'd been watching me all that time, had even seen me in boy-mode with make-up on, but hadn't realised this glammed-up vision was me. It was so funny and kinda flattering too. Anyway, I expect Gillian and I will go for a drink and something to eat in Oxford somewhere, and most likely compare notes on our disasterous love lives. Still, it'll be fun! Gotta have a moan to someone, eh?
Then on Saturday I'm considering going to see Die So Fluid in Kentish Town, London. Die So Fluid are a brilliant band led by the delectable Grog and kinda a reincarnation of Feline and Ultraviolet. I don't know if I should do the old make-up this time though. At the last Die So Fluid gig I went to I did the full make-up in sorta Eddie Izzard style (i.e. guy drag, not girl drag), but the gig was on at the Borderhouse and was part of a thrash metal night, and to put it mildly the audience were dead scary! Grog said I looked fabulous, but with some of the looks I was getting from people it was a little bit uncomfortable. I also had on my pvc jeans and high-heeled platform boots if I remember rightly. I mean there were other guys in make-up, but it was scary heavy metal make-up and I must've looked far too feminine in comparison. So, I think if I do go, I will most likely go in full boy mode. But perhaps with a drop of nail varnish! (I feel naked without it).
Then later in the month I must nip on down to Brighton to see my dear friend TinTin, and hopefully we'll go and see the gig by Wreckless Eric and the Blockheads at the Concorde II.
Errr... then at the end of the month on the 31st, Sherri tells me there's a whole load of peeps from one of the Transgender chat rooms going to Storme's, so I really ought to put in an appearance at that too! Eeeeeks! As I said, I think it's going to be a busy month!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:59 pm
Eeeeeeks! 7:10 a.m. is too damn early to get up in the morning! Grrrrrr... Still, it was either that or put up with being woken up by the bastard neighbours shouting at one another and playing Radio 4 at deafening volume so the whole of my house shakes, and then get myself into a bad mood for the rest of the day. Except, that they were quiet this morning. For a change.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:19 am
Sunday, March 04, 2001
Mobile phones... they're a load of arse, aren't they? And so exspensive to run too. I dunno, I just send a few text messages back 'n' forth and that's 10 quid gone. Oh yes, and Eeeeks! indeedy. So, apologies if anyone has tried contacting me on mine, but I left it turned off all week, and then forgot about it. Just turned it on now to see if I had any texts and the thing is outta juice, so I'm doing the old rechargy thing. Oh, and I still haven't got any credit on it. Soon. Perhaps.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 4:26 pm
It seems the stiletto is back. I've seen quite a few girls around and about, in the street, etc, wearing some gorgeous stiletto heels. And they were so definitely out of fashion for a while. Yesterday I nipped into Barratt's and saw some wonderful new styles, but Arrrrrggghhh!!! and Grrrrr!!! ... a big fat NOTHING in the larger sizes range. And looking at their latest styles on the http://www.tall-small.com/ website I am not very impressed. Absolutely nothing fabulous there for people such as me. If only I was a size 8... *sigh*
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:30 pm
BTW, for those of you who didn't see me at Storme's last week (which I suppose, is mostly EVERYONE), then I've got a new hairstyle. Eeeeeks! Oh yes indeedy. It's long and STRAIGHT, and it's dark with some red highlights. I think it's certainly got potential, and most the good peeps I spoke to a Storme's that night seemed to like it. It'll still take a bit of getting used to though, so don't be surprised if I do return to my more usual styles once in a while.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:25 pm
Yesterday, I went to a record fair at the Town Hall in Oxford. I spent 20 quid and came away with a few goodies. I got the All Saints album for just £7 mainly cos I liked the singles "Pure Shores" and "Black Coffee". I think my instincts were right because as I found out on listening to the whole thing, those ARE the best tracks. Perhaps the rest of it will grow on me, but I'm sure glad I didn't buy it for £13.99 or whatever HMV are selling it for.
I also got a Kraftwerk bootleg for a tenner - b-sides, remixes and a couple of live tracks. It's not great as an "album" but has one or two nice rarities on it that a Kraftwerk fan like me can appreciate.
And - I got a Damned single - "Don't Cry Wolf" on pink vinyl for just £3. I've been after that one for years. It's not exactly the holy grail for Damned fans, but it is still quite a rarity (just 5000 copies made). Speaking of the Damned, I dropped Captain Sensible a line the other day on email to say good luck with the new album which the Damned are flying out to LA to record. He mailed back and said thanks and that it was going to be a good 'un! I can't wait.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:51 am
So yeah, I've started one of these weblog thingies to keep track of my musings, about - you know - stuff. Please come back every now and again, as I intend to update it often!
Yeah, I know... good intentions and all that. We'll see.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:44 am