BBC2 are spoiling us tonight (for a change!), as there are actually three programmes in a row that I want to watch, whereas normally it's rare to find three programmes in a week that are worth watching. Starting at 9 o'clock we have Never Mind the Buzzcocks, followed by Coupling, and then the new series of The Office which is cringe-makingly good television.
If anyone was planning on ringing me tonight, don't bother between 9:00 and 10:30 because I shall have the phone turned off.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 6:03 pm
Die So Fluid
I've uploaded the photos I took on Friday of the DSF gig. I'm annoyed that I've mislaid that other (bigger) memory card, as I was only able to get 10 pics with this measly little 4MB card, and of those four are duffs. But here is one of my favourites, of Grog and Al:
And if you want to know what they sound like, you can view the video to their latest single "Disconnected" here.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:49 am
Sunday, September 29, 2002
This 'n' that
I gave myself the luxury of a nice long lie-in this morning, as I'd stayed up late last night to watch "Tin Men" starring Danny DeVito and Richard Dreyfus. I sat up in bed and read some of my book, plus yesterday's Guardian Weekend magazine, which contained a fascinating article about Dr Charlotte Bach. She had postulated that sexual deviation was the mainspring of evolution; what was remarkable about her was that on her death it was discovered that she had been a man all along.
I got up at about midday, and as it was nice and sunny I spent most of the afternoon in the garden, working on my bass guitar project (see my guitar blog for details).
And that's about it really.
Back to work tomorrow. (Groan)
posted by Gina Snowdoll 7:47 pm
Saturday, September 28, 2002
Die So Fluid at Swindon, last night
Last show of the tour. What can I say? Absolutely excellent... which is what we've come to expect from Die So Fluid. It was a bit of a weird venue (and took some finding) - funny shaped little room, tiny little stage. The Swindon crowd hardly went wild (there was no morris dancing, like in London on Monday) but they seemed quite appreciative. Fave songs: "Will is Dead" and "Spawn".
I took a bunch of photos, which I'll upload on Monday (need to do that on my computer at work, unfortunately).
Thanks to Grog, Drew and Al, who were all groovy. When I arrived at the pub at just after 8, Grog and Al were sitting at a table with the B-Movie Heroes (other band on the bill) and Grog called me over and said "Pull up a stool and join us". Which was nice. Had a good old chat with Drew about guitary things too. Hope I didn't bore him.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:06 pm
It was nice to see an old friend of mine, the lovely Mistress Em, on last night's installment of Robot Wars. She was in the Widow's Revenge team, who were the wives and girlfriends of the Razer team, and ended up getting their robot well and truly trashed by their male partners' machine.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:55 pm
Friday, September 27, 2002
Tonight I'm off to Swindon, home of the now legendary Magic Roundabout, although it isn't on my agenda to visit that particular landmark.
No, I'm off to see the fabulous Die So Fluid on their final date of their current tour. I reckon they might be glad of a familiar face in the crowd amongst all the Swindonites (weird folk that they are).
Hopefully I'll get a few photos too.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:39 pm
Last night's telly
Well... the "final ever episode" of The X Files was shown on Sky One last night. Lots of questions were answered, and past plotlines were pieced together into a coherent whole. But after three-quarters of the way through the story, it fizzled out. The last part of the programme was most unsatisfactory. What was the big secret - the truth that Mulder had discovered and couldn't tell Scully? (Perhaps he did say, but with his mumbling it's hard to tell what he's saying half the time). Why was Mulder seeing ghosts? (Just a clumsy story-telling device, I reckon.)
Basically the programme - the whole series - finished with Mulder and Scully being all lovey-dovey, and it was going to be happy ever after for the two of them. Never mind the shadow governments and aliens running about the place. So, yes it was an anti-climax. And what of poor old John Doggett and Monica Reyes? What became of them? Those two never had a fair crack of the whip. Their inclusion in this final episode did feel like an afterthought (after all, who needs them? Golden boy Mulder is back!). It would have been nice to have seen a hint of the direction their lives might have been heading in, with perhaps a relationship between the two of them on the cards.
As for the first of the new series of The League of Gentlemen - brilliant. The show seems to have evolved, and is less like a series of set pieces and sketches, but has a coherent storyline running through it.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:05 am
Thursday, September 26, 2002
To be TV, or not to be
So, yeah, as you may or may not have realised, I'm a tranny. But I've got a confession to make. The Die So Fluid gig the other night was the first time I've worn make-up in ages. I think the last time I actually got myself fully glammed up was back in June when this photo was taken. (BTW, I've lost about one and a half stone since that pic was taken).
I don't know why it is, but I've grown weary of the whole transgendered scene. I used to really enjoy going out to the clubs, and would go to extraordinairy lengths to do so (as explained in fuller detail in my "Tales of Crossdressing" - see links in the sidebar). These days I feel I really can't be bothered, and it's very hard to explain why that is. I think if Ron Storme's club was still going I would make more of an effort (and I'm sorry, but Andrea's excuse for a Storme's night in a gay pub in the East End of London is hardly a worthy successor). The WayOut Club is just too noisy for me (I really intensely dislike the shite dance music that they insist on playing there) and I never liked the Charlie's venue anyway.
Besides which, going out is only fun when you're with people who you like and whose company you enjoy. I used to have so many friends on the scene. But many of the people I used to see out and about at the clubs seem to have vanished in more recent times. Perhaps they grew weary of the scene. There's a whole new crowd who go out now, and to be quite brutally honest, I find most of them quite shallow. Lots of wannabes and look-at-mes. For me, a night out in London is an expensive business, so if I'm going to do it I'd prefer it if it was certain that I'd have some good friends with me.
Total Clothing Rights was founded in May 2002 by a small group of male cross-dressers who became disenchanted with the notion that one had to "pass" as female in order to wear feminine clothing.
To us, it seems preposterous that a person should be forced, or even encouraged, to permanently or temporarily change their gender if the only motivation is the desire to make a fashion choice traditionally associated with another gender. Such coercion, whether it comes from the medical establishment, society in part or as a whole, or even a support group, constitutes a fundamental breach of our Human Rights to dignity and freedom of self-expression...
I sort of see where these guys are coming from, although I get the impression that they think to wear a bra and falsies, and to don a wig and try to make yourself look female is bad.
I agree that one should be free to wear what one wants, irrespective of your gender. A man should be able to wear a skirt or a dress in public if he so chooses, and not have to worry about being ridiculed. These are fair enough arguments, and these guys are to be commended in having the courage and conviction to stick by these principles.
Thing is, in practice it doesn't quite work like that. I myself am no stranger to going out and about as a guy wearing make-up. We're not talking trying to look like a woman, we're talking man in make-up; similar to Eddie Izzard's style, if you will. Monday night for example, I wore pvc jeans, my black boots, Damned t-shirt and leather jacket, and I had my fingernails painted purple (which they still are now) and on my face I had a light foundation, black and gold eyeshadow, black eyeliner and mascara, eyebrows pencilled, and a smidgen of lipstick - slightly smudged a la Robert Smith of The Cure (just to give my lips some colour). It was my basic guy in make-up look, black leather and pvc, slightly androgynous.
But getting to the gig like that I was subjected to stares and titters (especially for the first bit of the journey walking to the station in backward Didcot). It's crazy. Yeah, I'm a man wearing make-up. So what? I actually looked bloody good (even if I do say so myself), but I found it quite waring being stared at on the tube, etc. So fucking what? When Annie and I were taking the tube to King's Cross, the man sitting opposite her looked like he wanted to kill me. His body language started off being really defensive, turning his body away, sneering, looking away in disgust, etc. And then the scowling and the glaring began.
And this coming from a little man in a tasteless light blue coloured suit which looked like it was made out of the sort of material that pyjamas are made from. Bloody hell! How dare he judge me by my clothes. You could see the cogs and gears in his brain whirring away; "Bloody pooftah" he was thinking. Bastard.
So, to do this kind of thing on a day-in day-out basis... I don't think I could take it. Can you imagine if I took things a stage further and also wore a skirt or high heels? (Actually, I did used to go out as a guy in make-up and high heeled boots, but they are not practical if you've got lots of walking to do). Yes, it is a basic human right to be able to express ourselves howsoever we choose. But putting it into practice is a right pain in the arse.
Besides, I like the "girly" tranny thing. I wouldn't wear a slinky dress and stilettos as a guy. That would look silly. You need the big hair and the glitzy make-up and - dammit - you need the tits! And let's face it, most women don't wear slinky frocks and silly strappy high heels. Unless they are going out and dressing up. Which is the same as what I do. I go out and get myself glammed up accordingly.
Except I don't have the inclination to go out any more.
Tonight I'm going to curl up on the sofa in front of the telly, as Sky One are airing the final ever episode of The X Files. I want it to be soooo good, to answer all the unanswered questions that have been posed over the last nine years, but the cynic in me is expecting it to be an anti-climax.
And I'm going to have to set the video recording, for whilst I'm watching The X Files finale, BBC2 will be showing the first in the new series of The League of Gentlemen. Apparently, this third series will be a lot darker. I can't wait!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:07 am
How did I do? Well, I was shortlisted. Which was nice. No prize money though. (Damn! Will have to think of another way to pay off my credit card bills. Perhaps I could auction off my high heel collection?)
* How many other weblogs will be using that headline?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:20 am
Wednesday, September 25, 2002
No to radio
Re: the Radio Leeds thing, I emailed the woman from the BBC back and explained that The Liar was just a bunch of silly stories, etc, and did she think she was emailing the right people?
I don't know what she thought The Liar was, or who we were. A professional lying agency, or something?
I received another email. I think the penny has dropped now.
Perhaps I should have gone on, and - in true Liar tradition - lied through my teeth about everything. Had I been at home today, I would have been sorely tempted.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:41 am
As some of you out there know, I contribute to a website called The Liar (which hasn't actually been updated for a little while now). It's just a bunch of very silly stories, really; a bit of a piss take on tabloid journalism.
Well, this morning I received this email:
For a change this is a REAL and TRUE request!
I edit a call-in programme for BBC Radio Leeds which today will be looking at whether its ever right to lie. For example, women of a certain age may not want to reveal it... you may not want to give the truth when your friend asks if her bum looks big .. and, on a more serious note, what do you say to a relative if a doctor tells you they are dying?
Obviously you are in a perfect position to talk about lying and I wondered if a member of your team might be available to join us on the phone for a brief interview on the subject between 12 and 2 today?
Please call as soon as possible
Bloody hell! I really don't want to do it, even though I realise this could give the website some much needed publicity. I'm too scared! I'd get all tongue tied. Anyway, the site's just a bunch of daft tales. What more can I tell them than that?
It wouldn't be quite so bad if I was at home, but having to do a radio interview from the office would be bad news!
Karen, if you fancy doing this, you're more than welcome. That's if you are braver than me.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:25 am
Had some very vivid dreams last night. I dreamt that I was attending a musical festival in some town, where whole buildings were turned over to acts. In one venue I was watching Elvis Costello and his band perform and somehow I found myself on bass guitar for the last song. I wasn't exactly playing it badly, but I didn't know how the song went so I was making up this really eccentric fuzz bass part as I went along. Which was interesting.
Then after that someone came over and introduced Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders to me (like, she'd wanted to meet me!) and we had a good old chat and got on like a house on fire. Then I spied my friend TinTin out the window, sitting beneath a staircase with some lad. She had a bleached blonde punk hairstyle again, which she hasn't had for ages, so I excused myself and went dashing down only to find that she'd vanished and there was a group of other (foreign?) people sitting there, who I then got talking to.
Then I went back to the guest house where my family were staying, and my sister and her husband were in the jacuzzi (nothing new there - they're always taking baths), and they were asking me if I'd seen anything good, and I was telling them about playing bass for Elvis Costello and meeting Chrissie Hynde. And then some other stuff happened, and I don't remember much else.
Well, I reckon, there's clear indications of a desire to perform, but apprehensiveness that I'd be crap. Why Elvis Costello I do not know, as I've never been a fan particularly; perhaps I'd heard that he doesn't suffer fools gladly, so being in his band and trying to impress him could be a tall order. As to meeting Chrissie Hynde, I've got no idea what that was about. Sister and husband hogging the bath I do understand; whenever we're all staying at my parents you can hardly get to the bathroom for those two.
And then there's seeing TinTin, but finding she's vanished when I go to look for her. Perhaps this means I ought to contact her as I've not seen her for a little while. I did ask Captain and Louisa if they'd seen her a couple of weeks ago, and they said she's still in Brighton but has been moving around a bit and things have been hectic for her. Think I'd better try to get in touch.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:06 am
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
Whoops! I didn't really say much about the gig, I was just so busy whinging about the train home and feeling shite today. But what can you say about Die So Fluid? They were excellent as always: very powerful and melodic too for such heavy music. Nice to hear a different set of songs (I think they played all three tracks from the new single) and Hey! Was that a guitar solo on the last track they played? I've not heard Drew play a solo for ages.
Also thanks to the band, Al, Drew and Grog for taking time to talk to us, and especially to Grog who went whizzing off to find a decent pen with which to write a "Happy Birthday" on Annie's CD.
Also good to meet all the mob: Barney (a.k.a. Dirty Lion), Bettie Bunnie, Dan (a.k.a. Captain B), various other people whose names I can't remember, and of course the good Herr Doktor Philisophikous.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:24 pm
Last night I went with Annie to the Water Rats in King's Cross, London, to see Die So Fluid and C64 who were supporting. Met loads of people from previous gigs, online, etc and had a good old natter. And Eeeeeks! even Mia turned up! Not seen her for ages. Not much to tell really, just another great gig. Oh, and got us both copies of the "Disconnected" single which Grog signed for us. Which was nice.
Caught the late train home. Which was delayed outside of Reading AGAIN (why does this always happen to me?) supposedly because there was someone trespassing on the line.
So, it's late at night and it's dark. I know just the very thing to do: I'll take a stroll on the railway line. That'll be a jolly splendid wheeze, eh chaps?
I apologise if I appear to sound negative but with that kind of attitude someone deserves to be mown down by a speeding train. Except that's not fair because it traumatises the driver and some poor buggers have to go clear up the mess.
The whole thing did not put me in a good mood. Can you tell? I got home hours late because of this complete idiot and I still had to get up at the same time for work this morning. I feel shattered.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:49 am
Earthquake hits UK! Did you feel it? I was up late, laying up in bed reading my book, when suddenly came the strangest sensation. My door, which was just behind my left shoulder, started rattling violently, and my poor old addled brain - trying to make some sense out of something it did not understand - told me to open the bedroom door having decided that the cat was trying to come in and that suddenly and inexplicably he had the strength of a tiger! Then the whole bed seemed to vibrate and "travel".
It felt as if the whole house was in the grip of a giant hand and someone was shaking it. "What on earth was that?" Karen cried out from her room. "Is the house falling down?" I in all seriousness told her that I thought the only thing it could have been was an earthquake. It was the only explanation that made any sense to me. Which was preferable to the other option, i.e. a nuclear detonation. (For some reason that didn't occur to me).
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:32 am
Sunday, September 22, 2002
This weekend I'm busily involved with my guitar project. I've only logged on now whilst I'm waiting for my brushes to dry out a bit before I continue with the next phase.
Yesterday I had a trek into Oxford in search of that most elusive of things: coloured dye or wood stain (i.e. NOT wood coloured, but proper colours). I eventually found some in Homebase where they custom mix a colour for you. I chose a turquoise hue.
The afternoon I spent stripping and sanding the neck of the guitar, filling in holes with woodfiller, all that kind of thing.
In the evening I was able to relax, crack open a bottle of wine. Watched the film "East is East" on Channel 4, which I very much enjoyed, and rounded off the evening with a Billy Connolly video.
Today, it's back to guitary things again. I'm shortly going to make a start with applying the woodstain. Am worried about it dripping, but these things have to be done. Wish me luck.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:59 am
Friday, September 20, 2002
Desperately trying to get tickets but the website mentioned does not seem to have them on sale yet. Unless they sold out already in five minutes flat.
Dave Spikey - Jerry "The Saint" Sinclair from Phoenix Nights - has his own website. Very interesting, and nice to see a performer's site that is actually written by the guy in question.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:10 am
The X Files at the end of the tunnel
Most of last night seemed to be spent watching The X Files - two episodes back to back on Sky One. I think it's a shame in some ways that it's coming to an end, because I like the "new" agents John Doggett and Monica Reyes and don't think that they have been given a fair crack of the whip. I think they should dump all the Mulder baggage that they have built up, even let old Scully leave the series, and carry on producing entertaining TV shows. Perhaps they could have lost some of the convoluted background plots that stretch throughout the series and quite frankly are so complicated and downright boring that you wonder why they bothered. But it's not going to happen now.
After The X Files I was to be found sitting on my bed with my guitar (Which one? you cry. The Fernandes, I answer) flipping through The Damned's "The Light At The End Of The Tunnel" song book that I'd bought off eBay. What a revelation! Songs I've loved for years, and this book has provided the key. "Hey I can play this one. And this one. AND this one."
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:34 am
Thursday, September 19, 2002
OK, which one of you out there has made a wax effigy* of me and is sticking pins in its head?
Please stop it. It hurts.
* either that, or you've stuck my face onto a Barbie doll
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:26 pm
I'm still having problems thinking up stuff to write for this blog. I've not got any witty anecdotes or stories to tell right now. I've had a few things on my mind, so writing the blog has not been a priority.
Meanwhile, life goes, although nothing particularly momentus has happened to me recently.
I'm currently reading "Carter Beats The Devil" by Glen David Gold as recommended by several of you out there (Mel definitely mentioned it) and so far it has been an enjoyable read.
Also I've recently finished watching series 1 of Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights on video. I just love that programme; it almost makes me wish that we had a Phoenix Club locally for I'd be along there like a shot if it was like the one portrayed in the programme.
This weekend I will most likely be continuing with the guitar renovation project. Next job is to strip the varnish from the neck, and sand it down to the wood. I may also apply a dye to the body that I've already stripped and sanded.
Mind, it all depends on the weather, as I need to work outside, especially where the use of paint stripper is concerned.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:50 am
I hadn't eaten all day, so as soon as I got home I dived into the kitchen and made a scrumptious veggie fry up. Except it wasn't fried, so it was even better! (Health-wise, anyway). I had toast (brown bread) with mushrooms, vegetarian lincoln sausages and a portion of baked beans. It was like a banquet to li'l ol' hungry me!
So, I sat down to eat it, switched on the telly, and ... Arggggghhhh! The Top of the Pops 2 Marc Bolan special was just finishing. I'd meant to video it but had forgotten in my haste to grab some grub.
Did anyone out there tape it? Does anyone know if it is repeated?
I see that TOTP2 is on again tomorrow, but it's not Marc Bolan this time. Steve - you may like to know - one of the acts they are featuring is Blancmange, who we were talking about not too long ago.
Speaking of Marc Bolan, I must be really slow, but I've only just put two and two together and have realised that his partner Gloria Jones was the same Gloria Jones that recorded the Northern Soul hit "Tainted Love" (which of course later became an even bigger hit for Soft Cell).
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:22 pm
Kara - if you are out there...
I just sent you a really long email in reply to the message you left in my comments last week. But the email was returned to me as being undeliverable. Please mail me.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 4:01 pm
I can't think of anything to say, so here's a picture of one of those "Hod-duh-duh-duh" style lawnmowers, so beloved of Eddie Izzard.
I'm finding this whole blogging thing a bit of a chore right now. I'm not really in the right frame of mind for it.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:59 am
Monday, September 16, 2002
Eeeeeks! I scored 10 out of 10 ("You got 10 right! Pop star. You are a worthy successor to Alan "Fluff" Freeman") on the BBC's Are you Top of the Pops? Quiz. It was just as well they didn't ask any questions about recent editions of the programme. I've not watched it for years, and have only glanced at it once or twice in the last decade or so.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:26 pm
I'm not in the best of moods right now. This weekend I was kept busy with the guitar renovation project, which is going very well, but things were marred for me by a series of emails in which - for some reason that I don't really fathom - I was trying to justify myself to someone who obviously thought I had a problem or was Bad Person.
Well I'm not a bad person, so screw you! Just get off my case. I've actually got a few serious things to worry about at the moment which it is not my business to write about here or on email because they involve friends of mine.
As for trannies, I am really seriously thinking that the whole bunch of them are fucking loonies, and shallow self-obsessed selfish pretentious loonies at that.
I don't want anything to do with any of them. I totally sick and tired of their hysterics.
And I'm sorry if my earlier (now deleted) comment of "Piss off the lot of you" upset any of my regular readers and friends. I didn't mean you guys. I'm sorry.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:58 am
Saturday, September 14, 2002
Such a tease
The whole of this afternoon I have been stripping.
Whoah! No need to get over-excited. Or - in an opposing scenario - no need to run away screaming! I've actually been stripping varnish from off of the body of a guitar that I'm renovating. Just a little project that I won't bore you all with here. But I shall be writing about it (and showing photos) on another blog I've started expressly for such guitar-related matters, so if you're interested drop me an email (can you "drop" an email? Hhhmmmm... Well, you can now, I've just decided) and I'll give you the URL.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 5:24 pm
I'm sooooo tired. This is not how a Saturday morning should feel. What on Earth was up last night? It was so hot (well it was here, anyway). I couldn't get to sleep, and Karen was farting about downstairs with al the lights on, which kept me from sleeping too as I was anticipating her banging up the stairs, noisily, sticking the fan on in the bathroom, etc. And now she's talking about getting this part-time job which is working nights. I don't think I can handle that; all the comings and goings at unearthly hours.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:36 am
Friday, September 13, 2002
It's Friday! End of the week and all that malarkey!
Mind, I felt I needed a drink last night. Which means I ought to take it easy tonight, as I'm not supposed to be drinking too much alcohol at the moment.
Watched the final episode of Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights (which Channel 4 listed on-screen in dyslexic fashion as Phoneix Nights ... I'm very observant like that, you know); I'm sorry this series has come to an end already. What am I going to do now? Well... I nipped out and bought the first series on video yesterday, so I've still got that to look forward to! (More Hurrah! But where's the website, Peter?)
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:53 am
Thursday, September 12, 2002
Feed the birds
Karen was asking me about my "bird seed ones". I think she must have been referring to my home-made falsies made from old stockings and filled with rice.
To have a pair of falsies made from bird seed would be a Bad Idea. Just imagine if the birds got wind of them? I have visions of being attacked by flocks of birds, all eagerly pecking at my ... ahem ... chest. Alfred Hitchcock could have made a film about it. Actually, perhaps that's why the birds ran amok in The Birds... Tippi Hedren had bird seed in her bra! Of course, I should have guessed!
Rice is a far safer bet. The only worry with rice-filled falsies is that you may get caught in a sudden torrential downpour and find yourself with a bra-full of rice pudding.
At least you wouldn't go hungry.
By the way, there are some fantastic photographs on that Tippi Hedren website. Go visit - it's fabulous!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:47 pm
When I got home last night I was greeted* by a surprise present in the post.
Which was nice!
* Well not literally, it didn't get up and say "Hiya Gina!", but you know what I mean.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:04 am
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
Post Office Encounter
My trip to the post office wasn't uneventful, as I ran into an old colleague of mine there, a guy called Kevin who I've not seen for 12 years at a guess. It turns out that he's now working in the little bookbinders workshop that you office staffroom overlooks! How weird is that? I could go get myself a cup of tea and wave at him through the window.
Anyway, I've given him my business card, and hopefully we can meet up for a drink some time. When we worked together we were part of a completely mad group of people; there are so many stories to recall, and so so many "Whatever happened to...?" questions to be asked.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:29 pm
Errrrrmmm... My mind is a blank today. I can't seem to get focussed on anything, let alone think of something original and/or witty to post on the blog.
Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. In the meantime I suppose I ought to get myself down the post office to send off some of these eBay bits and pieces.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:08 am
Tuesday, September 10, 2002
All the fun of the ...
The fair is in town (Oxford, that is). What jolly fun.
I hate fun fairs. They are nothing but a travelling con-show. And how they get to peddle their trade using that name, I do not know because it contraves the Trades Description Act on two counts and it's only two bloody words. It ain't fun and it most certainly ain't fair.
Perhaps I inherited my cynicism surrounding this topic from my Dad. He never had any time for such fripperies and actively discouraged us kids from wasting our pocket money in such a depraved manner.
Conversely, I love British sea-side towns, which are often bedecked with the trappings of the fun fair. Make of that what you will; I don't understand it myself. I suppose I must like the lights and the bright colours and the gaiety of it all on a purely visual level, but am simply not interested in becoming involved in any way with any of the "amusements". Perhaps it's the way this tackiness is juxaposed with the timelessness of the sea; it sort of puts things in perspective: the mightly ocean versus a few man-made whizzes and flashes that are ultimately irrelevant in the cosmic scheme of things.
Errrmmmm... OK, so I'm talking crap now. Better go and get a cup of tea.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:29 am
Monday, September 09, 2002
After Saturday's post it HAD to happen. Someone has just found this site using this search.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:45 am
And check out the official Etch-A-Sketch website too. I hadn't realised those things were still being made.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:42 am
Saturday, September 07, 2002
Tales of Crossdressing #4
As this is supposed to be the blog of a crossdresser, I suppose I ought to write another one of these. There are all sorts of stories and anecdotes that I could relate from my years of going out and about as a tranny. The trouble, I find, is just getting these stories ordered in my head. Perhaps I should chat to Sherri and Tamsin, reminisce somewhat, and see what tales we can remind each other of.
But for the purposes of this entry, what I want to talk about is breasts.
One of the questions people ask me most often is, "What do you do for, you know... breasts?" Sometimes the person asking the question (who is nearly always female) will not actually say that last word; she'll just sort of vaguely indicate her own bosom region.
I have to admit, somewhat shamefacedly, that until recent years I was still using a home-made pair of bra fillers. These were basically a couple of old stockings, tripled up to 3 layers thickness, and filled with dried rice. Well, not quite filled solid; the whole point of using rice was to achieve a little movement in a bra filler that is malleable.
These home-made fillers would be stuffed into the cups of a wonderbra. A wonderbra that is slightly too small, so that it gathers up a fair portion of your actual flesh and rearranges it into a very pleasing cleavage. It's quite amazing - wondrous even - the effects you can get from a wonderbra. (See photo). Another admission is that I've used the same bra now for years and years. It has fallen apart on me, and I just get a needle and thread out and sew it up again. I do have others, but I just have a preference for my "old faithful".
Mind you, there was that time at Tamsin's birthday party when I fell asleep dressed and woke up in the wee hours of the next day... THEN I bloody knew I was wearing that thing. Ouch!
They have a pleasing effect, wonderbras, but it feels so good to take them off. A bit like certain other "tools of the trade", high heels for instance.
And don't get me started on corsets.
Proper silicons are definitely preferable. They move much more naturally, and the shape fills out the bra very nicely indeed. They are bizarre things though. When you first get them out of the box they feel cold and clammy, but they warm up to your body heat, and after a couple of hours out wearing them, they get quite toasty. I remember my first time trying out a pair whilst out at Ron Storme's a couple of years ago. I found myself absent-mindedly adjusting them and feeling them; they felt sooo nice! "Don't mind me," I told people standing around nearby, "I'll just stand in the corner and play with my tits."
But my favourite falsies story concerns a tranny called Sarah S who was quite well known on the London scene a couple of years back (I don't know what's happened to her now, she seems to have done a vanishing act). At the time she was the darling of the WayOut Club, and her photograph seemed to be on every other page in the then-current edition of the Tranny Guide.
One night we were out at the WayOut club when it was at the Tiffany's venue (on Minories, near Tower Hill in London, and around the corner from the current venue, Charlies). I think I must've gotten ready before arriving, possibly in the hotel before hand, but whatever, I was already all glammed-up and made-up and looking fabulous (even if I say it myself). Sherri was getting made-up in the changing rooms at the back of the venue. They used to have this room set aside especially for the purpose, so that people could arrive at the club in male mode, get changed there, then at the end of the night get changed back again. Anyway, Sherri was in there, as were a few other people, and I think I'd popped in to have a chat with Sherri and to see if she wanted me to fetch her a drink from the bar.
Anyway, Sarah S had come in - or rather her male alter-ego - and was busily transforming herself whilst chatting away quite merrily, when she suddenly exclaimed "Shit! I've left my silicones at home."
And so, she had to resort to Plan B, which in effect saw me dashing into the Ladies toilets on her behalf (the toilets were at the other end of the club), diving into a cubicle and grabbing several yards of toilet roll. As I emerged, there were a couple of trannies finishing their make-up in the mirror and eyeing me quizzically as if to say "What do you need all that loo-roll for?"
I just looked at them, smiled and - holding up the mass of toilet paper - said "Sarah S's tits".
I don't think that this completely destroyed her reputation but it caused much merriment.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:44 pm
...and it's "Can I borrow your lipstick?" from him
We appeared a good deal in drag; it was not something I particularly adored doing, but I didn't mind it. I suppose that working all those years with Danny La Rue gave me a good deal of confidence. I did get a certain je ne sais quoi from Dan. It was a very glamourous time at his club; no money was spared on the look of the show and our clothes were looked after beautifully. We all cared about what we looked like. It was not just the female costumes; the men all had splendid suits made by a tailor call Paul, in Berwick Street, in Soho. I felt at ease in drag in The Two Ronnies mostly just because I was used to being in stage clothes; it was something I had to learn over the years, so I am quite good at swishing about in dresses.
Ronnie Barker always says he hated appearing in drag, although I think, if you counted up, you might find that he had actually done so more often than me in The Two Ronnies. His wife Joy absolutely loathed seeing him in a frock, but Anne didn't mind at all seeing me in frocks. She was used to it and it didn't surprise her, having worked with Max Wall, who often played in drag, and having performed with the Crazy Gang who were always dressing up as women. Rather grotesquely. Anne often tells the story of going to Marks & Spencer in Glasgow, when I was playing one of the Ugly Sisters in pantomime there, and Emma or Sophie was misbehaving and she told them off sharply, "Will you please try to behave yourself? I'm trying to buy some tights for your father." The very sensible Glasgow lady assistant looked aghast.
Ronnie Corbett, High Hopes
Ah yes, Berwick Street, Soho. I've spent hours going around those fabric shops looking for material. There's some truly fabulous stuff in these wonderful emporiums. Beautiful fabrics in every colour, pattern and texture imaginable. A couple of years back, you see, a lady from work offered to make me a dress from whatever material I chose. In the end I went for a deep red with gold flecks in it. In retrospect I think that I made the wrong choice. Not fabulous enough. (The material I really wanted to choose was too similar to something a friend had recently bought for a dress she was having made and I didn't want to be accused of copying her). Last time I tried that dress on, it was too big for me anyway. *Sigh* ... One day I'll go back and I'll get it right this time. If I can find another willing dress-maker to help me out.
Anyway, the Ronnie Corbett autobiography is great; really well written and very entertaining. Who'd have thought it? I bought it for £3 in one of those cheapo book shops (The Works in Oxford).
After yesterday's rant about the "evil munchkins", Meg has pointed out that one of the judges of The Guardian's Best British Blog competition is in fact the designer of said munchkins.
I don't suppose now would be a good time to moan about my Archives not working properly (What has happened to the links from April through to August of this year?) as Ev of Blogger fame is also on the panel.
Well, I wasn't going to win anyway. I only entered because my mum went on and on about it. I submitted my application form simply ages ago, but last week my mum asked me about the competition, and I told her I'd forgotten all about it. I'm sure she thinks I stand a good chance, but she's a mum. That's her job. (Well, it's not actually, but thinking that your offspring are talented, etc, does kinda go with the territory).
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:25 pm
Things are not very good at home at the moment. Karen (housemate) came home very upset last night announcing that she'd handed her notice in on the spot after having been hauled into see the personnel officer and being made the scapegoat for others' incompetence.
Obviously this is worrying from a financial viewpoint too. I hope she gets herself sorted soonest.
I'm not going to go into any more details as it's not my place to discuss her personal life.
JP - if you're reading - you might want to give her a call sometime as you two were good friends for quite a while and I think she could do with some support from friends right now.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:43 am
Thursday, September 05, 2002
This film thing on Saturday is most likely a no-go, I'm afraid. The person who contacted me gave scant information; all I knew was that it was in Notting Hill, that the short film features a scene at a transvestite's house warming party (and I supposedly would play one of the tranny guests), and that there wouldn't be any payment. Quite vague, don't you think? Last night I emailed back the following:
I'd still need a lot more information to go on. For example, an extract from the script for the scene in question. Obviously, I'd need to know how you were going to portray the transgendered. If it was mocking or in any way derogatory I would definitely not be interested. And a bit more background to the whole project, about you, and under what circumstances the film is likely to be shown.
Also I'd have to know things like what to wear, whether there are changing and making-up facilities available (imperative), how many other people - transgendered or otherwise - involved, whether we'd get fed and watered, etc (after all, it would cost me best part of £20 to get the Notting Hill).
Sorry if it sounds like I'm bringing up too many issues here, but these things are important.
So far I've heard nothing back. If filming is on Saturday I'd say time is short. Methinks this whole thing has not been planned very well.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:44 am
What are those shite little graphics that loads of bloggers seem to use? You know the ones, the horrible little cartoony person that, I suppose, is meant to resemble the blogger him or herself?
They all look the bloody same!!!! And they all have 5 o'clock shadow; even the women.
God help you if you really looked like that.
That's why I never go to blogmeets. I have nightmares that I'd meet a load of these freaky little munchkin people. They look like they'd go for your ankles, and I don't want a nasty rash around my shins from their stubbly chins, thank you very much.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:58 am
Recently I've been something of an eBay beast, selling all sorts of bits and pieces that were just cluttering up the house. I used to have a large Doctor Who collection and some of the books and videos are quite collectable and fetch good money, so I've been auctioning these off gradually.
Last week in the Oxford branch of Virgin , I found a couple of Doctor Who VHS tapes - The Ark and The War Machines - both of which were early stories featuring the first Doctor, William Hartnell, and which were being sold off for £4.99 each. So, thinking that I could sell them for more on eBay, I snapped them up pretty smartish.
The last couple of nights, out of curiosity, I watched The War Machines, and you know what? It was bloody good. I haven't enjoyed watching anything so much on telly (or video) for ages. The picture quality was excellent (this being a restored story), the portayal of a swinging sixties London was quite intriguing to see (a portrayal actually from the time, and not an Austin Powers style re-hash), and the script was quite good too, even possibly predicting the advent of the internet (WOTAN linking up to all the computers throughout the world).
Just watch out if your PC starts hypnotizing you. You could well find yourself in a warehouse building war machines.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:26 am
Wednesday, September 04, 2002
Can someone tell me...
...why there's been a sudden jump today in the number of page hits to this site? I've checked the stats and I can't see any pattern.
If you are not a regular reader, please tell me how you came here, what links you followed (use the comments below).
Intriguing. Someone has just emailed me to ask if I fancy getting glammed up and being an extra in a short film this Saturday.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:57 pm
I'm still really pleased with the seven string guitar I bought off eBay last week. It has to be my Buy Of The Year. However, being second-hand it does have one or two dings to the paintwork.
However, it is a lucky coincidence that the guitar is the exact same colour as the nail varnish that I've been wearing for the last couple of weeks, so it was really easy just to dab a little into the chips in the finish of the guitar and so disguise them. And before you ask, I was wearing the same colour nail varnish before I ever knew what colour the guitar was.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:47 pm
Spotted this morning at Oxford station: the author Colin Dexter. I wonder what he's doing now that he's killed off Inspector Morse? (First person to answer "getting on a train" gets a virtual slap).
Also spotted: a black rabbit in Oxford. We've got a number of these living wild in Didcot; this is the first time I've seen one this far out. They must be breeding, I tell you.
Oh wait a minute, that's what rabbits do, isn't it?
Update... It's most likely that Inspector Morse creator Colin Dexter was on his way to this.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:06 am
Tuesday, September 03, 2002
Whoopi Goldberg in a stupid hat
Oh dear! A re-run of Star Trek: The Next Generation is on telly right now as I type this. It's funny how it looks more dated than the original series. It has not stood the test of time at all. Things that really bugged me about that series were:
Wesley Crusher (obviously). Too many plots were spoilt by the boy wonder (played by Wil Wheaton, and no, I'm not linking to his fucking blog) implausibly outsmarting EVERYONE and saving the day. All suspension of disbelief was well and truly lost.
The bloody wooden woman, Councillor Deanna Troi or whatever her name was. Was she just a shite actress or what? And how come her uniform had a much lower neckline than her famale colleagues?
The supposedly mysterious Guinan, as played by Whoopi Goldberg in that ridiculous hat. If she was so all-powerful, all-knowing, then how come her duties seemed to consist of serving the drinks in Ten Forward?
The Doctor, Beverley Crusher, was occasionally annoying too, especially when she started all that simpering. But this list looks like I'm picking on all the female chartacters. I thought the replacement (female) doctor they had in series two was much better.
Other than that it wasn't too bad. And Michael Dorn as Worf was quite amusing because he seemed to spend his entire time shouting.
And it had to be better than the follow-up Star Trek spin-offs. The cast of Deep Space Nine were a motley 2-dimensional crew, the only really interesting characters being the Ferengi bar-keep Quark and the shape-changing constable Odo. And things got worse still in Voyager when over half the crew seemed to be superfluous to script requirements as far as I could see. Lieutenant Paris was a total waste of space, as was Harry "Oh look, I've been abducted again" Kim. What was the point of that pathetic character? And whilst the guy playing the vulcan Tuvoc turned in a most impressive Leonard Nimoy impression, the only character of any real depth was the holographic Doctor.
As for the prequel, Enterprise, well I totally lost whatever faint glimmer of enthusiasm I might ever have had for the franchise when this one came about, so I can't comment, although I do realise that Scott Bakula of Quantum Leap fame plays the Captain. The only thing that interested me was that they originally intended calling his character Jeffrey Archer, which was mildly amusing.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 6:18 pm
On returning home from work last night, I had several pieces of mail that the postman had delivered earlier in the day to sort through. One of these was the WayOut newsletter. But whereas this had always in the past been a cheap black and white photo-copied and stapled effort, here it was now transformed into a glossy full-colour magazine, boldly entitled Utterly Fabulous! (Sounds familiar).
Congratulations are due to Vicky Lee and the WayOut team for this re-vamped and vibrant newsletter. I actually sat down and read it right through, and looked at the photos, whereas normally I would have just glanced at it quickly and then thrown it to one side. My overall impression was that it was a nice little publication, a bit like The Tranny Guide in miniature. Just the kind of thing that the UK tranny scene needs. (And very interesting to learn that the WayOut are now opening a restaurant too on Saturday nights).
...and speaking of Julie Andrews, as we were in the last entry, allows me to segue neatly into this week's Deer of the Week feature, bearing in mind that she sang the now legendary "D'Oh, A Deer" song in The Sound Of Music...
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:30 pm
Speaking of Captain Birds Eye, apparently the guy that plays him (or used to play him - I'm not sure which) was one John Hewer and starred opposite Julie Andrews in The Boyfriend.
So, know you know!
This information comes to you, via Yours Truly, from Ronnie Corbett's autobiography High Hopes, which I was reading last night. Strange that I should come across that little snippet so soon after Captain Sensible's Captain Birds Eye observations.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 5:36 pm
The Damned, Oxford Zodiac, 31 August 2002
Unfortunately we were too far back in the venue for me to get any better photographs than this. But that's what happens when you arrive late for the gig, i.e. just as the band are taking to the stage. Mind, we had a good excuse, as we had been on the tour bus having a drink with the Captain.
But I'm getting well ahead of myself.
Let's start at the beginning. Late afternoon, I met Tamsin at Didcot station and we went back to my house, grabbed something to eat and got changed, etc. I didn't really have the time to do make-up, so I just spiked my hair a little, jumped into a pair of pvc jeans and dug out the old leather jacket. We caught the train to Oxford, and from there we took a bus up to the Cowley Road.
(As an amusing aside, on the bus a couple of girls sat in the seat in front of us, one of whom was a really pretty goth girl, and was occasionally referring to a piece of paper that I assumed must be directions for getting somewhere. I wondered to myself if they could be going to the gig too, but didn't like to ask. Well, the funny thing was that we met the goth girl at the end of the gig, and not only was she "Kitten" from the Damned message board, but also the directions she'd been reading on the bus, where my directions that I had posted onto the message board earlier in the day. Oh how we laughed!)
Anyway, we went first to the Hobgoblin pub where we met up with Ghost and (mad as a balloon) Eloise who were also message-boarders. Oh, and Al Fiendish who's another one, and someone I've met at Damned gigs in the past. We sat in the beer garden and had a drink, but Ghost and Eloise looked like they'd take AGES to finish their snakebite and blacks, so we - Tamsin, Al Fiendish and I - decided we'd go on to the venue itself and let the others catch up with us.
Outside the venue was parked a big double-decker tour bus. And on the pavement, having a jolly good rummage through his luggage, was dear ol' Captain. So, naturally we had to go and say Hi. Al said Hi, and then buggered off, because he said he still had to sort out his ticket to get in, but Captain asked Tamsin and I to wait a minute whilst he rummaged (and his rummaging could put Sherri to shame) and then we could go for a drink. So, we joined him on the tour bus, which was really plush, and went upstairs into this lounge area, where we met up again with Cap's girlfriend Louisa.
Captain was desperately scrabbling around trying to find something for us to drink. He said he only had the one bottle of beer, and that all they had in the fridge was a yoghurt.
"You can't go and see The Damned and have a yoghurt!" he said. I was almost tempted to have the bloody thing because I thought his comment was so funny. Anyway, he somehow turned up a bottle of Smirnov Ice for Tamsin, and called to Pinch (the drummer) who was downstairs and asked if there was anything to drink down there. Pinch obliged readily with a whole bottle of Jim Beam for me to help myself from. Yum!
So, we sat and drank and chatted and listened to the new Electric Prunes album. But soon it was time for The Damned to take the stage, so we had to make our way into the venue, and of course it was really full by then, which was how we came to be right up at the back. (Which was where I came in on this story). But no matter, for the venue was still quite small and we had quite a good view of the stage even from where we were.
The band played a blinder of a set - they seem to get better and better each time I see them - although Captain did experience a few guitar problems, and blaming the heat (it was stiflingly hot in there) told the audience that his amp was suffering from the moisture in the air. (Afterwards he told me that he thought it was his guitar lead that was to blame).
Whilst the sound guys were checking over the guitar equipment, Captain and Monty (keyboards) treated the audience to a quick rendition of Captain's 1982 No1 hit "Happy Talk". Luckily the guitar problem was soon fixed, so we didn't have to endure "The Snooker Song" (as heard on BBC1's Big Break).
As well as brilliant songs, some of the inbetween song banter was quite entertaining, taking in such subjects as Doctor Who, Captain Scarlet and Captain Birdseye. "That's too many Captains," commented Sensible, and went on to talk about how Captain Birdeye was once again a bearded old guy, after the misguided marketing approach of a year or so ago when the advertisers tried to turn him into a young hunky guy. This I found very interesting as I seem to remember talking about this very subject on the Damned message board a little while back. I'm sure Captain looks in every once in a while to check up on what we've all been saying.
Captain also ranted about the Party in the Park event, to be held at Oxford's South Parks the very next day, and had a moan about such untalented crap as Gareth Gates. This was inspired by a conversation that we had been having in the tour bus beforehand! Glad to know that I can be of service.(However, despite what another reviewer of this gig suspected, I had no influence over the choice of Wreckless Eric's "Greatest Stiffs" being played as the warm-up music before The Damned got on stage. Bloody good choice though.)
Halfway through The Damned's biggest hit single "Eloise", Dave Vanian asked the audience if there were any singers out there, and duly invited one young lad with a blonde spiky hair up onto the stage and handed him the mike. The lad sang the rest of the song, and Dave went over to Captain's microphone and shared duties on backing vocals. It was an inspired move, and most entertaining, and the guy singing was a really good sport. "Thank you, Billy Idol," called Captain as the song finished.
As ever, "Smash It Up" ended the set, albeit with the recurring guitar problems during Part 1, which meant Captain had to stop the song, and unplug and re-plug in the guitar, but as soon as Dave started singing the audience were whipped up into a frenzy.
And before we knew it the gig had finished, and with no flying debris as the Oxford Mail had predicted.
We hung around for a while afterwards in the club, had a few more drinks, spoke to Captain again when he re-emerged ("Where's Sherri?" he kept asking me. You're in trouble, Shel. I told him you said that you were off to do something more sophisticated instead).
However, time was getting on and Tamsin and I were both knackered. We had arranged that we would share a taxi back to Didcot with Ghost and Eloise, but they didn't seem to want to stop drinking and partying. So, big bad nasty Gina had to insist that it was time to make a move (Sorry Eloise). And then we had fun and games trying to hail a cab. But we got home eventually at approx 1:30, in one piece, although just a bit sweaty and tired out.
Roughly in order, the set list was:
Wait For The Blackout
Would You Be So Hot If You Weren't Dead
13th Floor Vendetta
Plan 9 Channel 7
I Just Can't Be Happy Today
Under The Floor Again
Neat Neat Neat
Smash It Up
Looking forward to the next time!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:58 am
Sunday, September 01, 2002
Late night last night - had a crazy time at The Damned gig in Oxford. I will write up a proper review of that tomorrow, and hopefully include some photos too.
Today, I've just been taking it easy, chilling out and playing the guitar (new 7-string is fabulous!).