Gina Snowdoll: Eeeeeks! It's a blog!
Gina's musings on transgenderism, fashion, music, records, books, telly, life, the universe and everything

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Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Disappearing Act

I'm going to be away for a few days - back Monday, I think - so I will very likely not be able to post before then. Be good in my absense.

Karen - wishing you good luck for tomorrow!

Squeak soon!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 4:54 pm [edit] 

The campaign for big pretzels

Yesterday I was moaning about American shoe sizing. To illustrate that I am not anti-American, I post this entry to prove my agreement that in certain instances our US cousins have got things right when it comes to size.

This morning as one of my colleagues was buttering and marmiting a toasted bagel, I was reflecting on the fact that I have never in my life partaken of that particular bread-based snack.

Which led to me thinking about pretzels. I do like pretzels, but in the UK the proper American-style large pretzels are hard to find. In Britain, pretzels are small hard cracker-related fare approximately an inch long each and come en masse in packets in the same way that crisps (potato chips) do. Proper big bready pretzels are largely unknown. You can't just go into a bakers and buy a pretzel. I wish you could, because I love them.

The only place I know where you can buy these from is the AMT coffee stall at Oxford station; doubtless other AMT stalls also have them. Every time I buy a pretzel from AMT I want to ask, "but where's the mustard?" A big bready pretzel dipped in American-style mustard is a culinary delight!

I do like the little pretzels too. I like to try to bite out the middle knotty part without the other ring collapsing.

These things keep me happy.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 4:32 pm [edit] 

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Stupid American sizes

A few weeks ago I placed an order for a pair of shoes from Maple Drive Lingerie, hoping that they would get to me in time for my birthday. Well, they didn't. They turned up yesterday. Now, these shoes had to be imported from the States, so I suppose that was the reason for the delay. However, what I don't understand is this: Do all Americans have really narrow feet or what? What is the deal with all these really narrow shoes?

I deliberately ordered one size above my normal shoe size because on previous occasions I have found American shoes to be tight (and, yes, I realise the difference between UK and US sizing and had already taken this into account). I think I should have ordered two sizes larger because these shoes are still tight on me. They'd be OK if my feet were ultra-slim. But I can't say I'm impressed. I expect it's all down to sloppy manufacturing because I can't believe that they expect everyone to have narrow feet.

I think I'll have to stretch the shoes - pack something into them and leave them a while. I really can't be arsed with sending them back.

A pity, 'cos they are really lovely. Silver leather, clear-soled stilettos with a mini platform. I just don't know when I'll get the chance to wear them now. Hopefully in the not too distant future.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 4:43 pm [edit] 

A couple of things

Firstly, thank you to Richard for the link on Amorous Propensities.

Secondly, I'd just like to send out big hugs to Karen.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:03 am [edit] 

Monday, January 27, 2003

My birthday do

Shel and I stayed at the Chamberlain Hotel once again, which is literally just around the corner from the WayOut Club, which was quite convenient seeing as that venue was our destination for the night. Before getting ready we went down to the bar to grab a bite to eat by the way of a late lunch, where we were joined by Jo and Vanda, and then by Frankie and Wendy. Then we went back to our room to fabulise ourselves. The lighting in the room was not brilliant and I went a little overboard with my eye make-up. It needed a little repair work to tone it down, but I wasn't really 100% happy with my make-up job. I also settled on the aubergine coloured dress whilst Shel went for a mid-length sequinny affair.

The plan was to go to the WayOut restaurant for dinner. Shel reckoned we could walk it in 10 minutes, but there was no way my shoes - a pair of diamante sandals with 5 inch heels from the Magic Shoe Company - were made for walking. You should have seen me tottering over the cobbled pavement outside the hotel! Thankfully a taxi was approaching and Shel asked me, "Shall I?" to which I replied "YES PLEASE!"

We joined Debbie, Nicky, Zoe and WayOut's Vicky Lee at the restaurant. The food was absolutely first class, and having just finished my high-protein low-carbohydrate diet that very morning I was like a kid let loose in a chocolate factory! I had a gorgeous mushroom soup for starters and then a main course of salmon, with noodles and vegetables. It was absolutely divine. The lipstick needed a bit of a retouch afterwards, mind.

Debbie and Nicky gave us a lift back to the WayOut Club and having wished Tony on the door a Happy Birthday (as we shared that birth date; different years, mind you) we were soon inside and drinking and chatting away to people. Spoke for a while to Vicky and to Debbie from Thame who was a friend I used to see at the Oxford TV/TS support group meetings a few years back.

For some reason I seemed to end up talking about The Damned quite a lot. I think three different people asked me about Captain Sensible and if I'd seen him recently.

I have to admit that I drank an awful lot. Thing is, it was having no effect on me. I was knocking it back but felt perfectly sober. In fact, I felt most put out when Jo went to the bar just after 2 o'clock and came back empty handed, explaining that alcohol was no longer available (apparently they had been abusing the terms of the licence and the club had been raided the previous week).

But we wanted drink!!! So, we went back to the hotel and Shel and I joined Jo and Vanda in their room and partook of a snifter or two of scotch and had a few deep meaningful conversations, set the world to rights, etc, etc.

Well, that's the edited highlights really. What more do you want? We went out, we ate, we drank, we met friends old and new, we joked and talked bollocks, and a good time was had by all. The only fly in the ointment was that Tamsin was unable to be there with us.
Sherri and Gina, the WayOut Club, 25 January, 2003
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:01 pm [edit] 

Well...

I had a great weekend, thanks! I'll write some more about it later, the problem at the moment being that with the new office layout it isn't too convenient to be making any lengthy blog entries from work.

So stay tuned please, folks! I haven't gone all quiet on you.

P.S. Shall I do another caption competition? That last one was fun.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:26 pm [edit] 

Saturday, January 25, 2003

Oooh!

Cards and presents. Very nice.

Thank you.

I need to get my bag packed shortly. Off to the WayOut tonight with Sherri and various other people (not really sure who yet). Unfortunately Tamsin has had to bow out because she's not feeling well, which is a pity as we'll miss her. I was looking forward to the original Fab Three getting together again, but another time perhaps.

I'm still not 100% sure what to wear, but I've narrowed it down to one of three dresses - only because I know I have to pack something.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:39 am [edit] 

Friday, January 24, 2003

Queen of The Damned?

Over on the message board on The Damned's website someone has started a poll asking people to vote on the best looking female member... At the moment I am in second place... Nine people have voted for me!

Which is nice. And they all know I'm a tranny.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:50 pm [edit] 

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Grrrrr...

It's been a stressful couple of days what with the office move. Still haven't set everything up there, and it'll most likely not be before midday tomorrow that I get my computer there up and on-line.

Today, everyone at work had pizza brought in for lunch. I was good (am still on this high-protein, low carb diet) and had a salad, but I did give in and have a beer (well, the water cooler was still on the van) - my first since early July last year! I think I needed the alcohol because it's been a very trying time.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 6:36 pm [edit] 

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Spot the fake

Two of these pics are of me. The other is a celebrity imposter obviously intent on stealing my look. Can you spot the imposter?

Do you see what I'm talking about now? Perhaps I should get my revenge and have my hair spiky and pink, and I could whine and swear a lot.

Do you reckon Ozzy would even notice if I snuck into his place?
Gina, not Kelly
Kelly, not Gina
Gina, not Kelly

posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:50 pm [edit] 

Mistaken Identity

I just now went out into the office kitchen and a couple of the girls were in there leafing through one of those awful celebrity gossip magazines. "Whoah!" I thought, "Why is there a picture of me in that magazine?"

Then I took a closer look and realised it was Kelly Osbourne.

Eeeeeks! (as they say).
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:58 pm [edit] 

Monday, January 20, 2003

Too busy

Sorry, I've been too busy to write anything much. Tonight I even had to take work home with me. Thing is, I have to send the URL of the new website around to everyone in the company tomorrow so as to get feedback (a beta test, if you like) and there were still a few things that needed finishing off.

I didn't really want to be doing it in the morning, as I really ought to get packing when I get to the office. Talk about bad timing, but we are moving offices this week too! Everyone seems to have packed their things into crates ready for the move. Everyone except me. I've just been sitting there plugging away on the computer, trying to get the website finished.

So, I think I really ought to pack my stuff up, else I get left behind and get into a right old state.

STILL... the end of the project is in sight, so that's good, and then I'll be able to take some time off work. Hurrah!

And another thing to look forward to is that it's my birthday on Saturday, and I'm going out with Tamsin and Sherri.

PLUS: my high-protein low-carbohydrate diet finishes Saturday night! That means I'll be allowed toast again.

Do you think the word "Woohoo!" would be considered too inappropriate here?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:59 pm [edit] 

Inventors please note...

You know what would be a good idea? An umbrella that didn't turn inside out in the wind, and that you didn't have to keep fighting with.

Is that too much to ask?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:39 pm [edit] 

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Rentaghost

Lately, I've found myself thinking about Rentaghost. (Don't ask why. That's just the way my mind works). Now there was a classic kids TV show. It was a modest programme, no bells and whistles and computer effects and whatnot like you get these days, but it was good fun and imaginative, with a great cast and amusing story lines. Indeed, in the later series it started getting almost surreal, what with a phantom pantomime horse and Audrey Roberts from Coronation Street running about the place.

Looking at the Rentaghost website I am amazed to discover that there were eight series of the programme (if I had been asked to guess, I would have said there were about three series!), and saddened to find out that quite a few of the original cast have passed away.

Now, I'm curious enough to see if I can find any episodes on video. Off to eBay, methinks.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:01 pm [edit] 

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Speedy

I spent about three hours this afternoon changing over to broadband. First the engineer came and installed the cable modem. That was the easy part. Installing the software was a pain, because ntl in their infinite wisdom had neglected to send me my Welcome letter, and I had to phone them for a PIN number. That took ages, because of the inevitable being put on hold for aeons.

Then when that was sorted out, I hit another problem with the installation and had to phone ntl again. This time I was on hold for much longer - half an hour at least.

Eventually though, I got broadband installed, migrated my details across from the old dial-up account, etc, and Wow! is it fast or what?

Then I had to phone ntl a third time to ask them to disconnect my second phone line which is now redundant.

*sigh*

After being housebound for ages, I decided to nip around to the local guitar shop to buy some bass strings for the fretless bass, which still has the horrible flatwounds as supplied from the factory by Fender. But I was thwarted! The shop was closed because of damage caused by a burst pipe in the flat upstairs (so the note on the door said). Oh dear, I hope the damage isn't too bad - he's a very helpful chap in that shop and it'd be a shame to see his business suffer.

Now I going to watch part two of that Steven Spielberg series Taken. Part one wasn't brilliant, to be honest, but I think I'll give it a bit more of a chance before giving up on it.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 8:53 pm [edit] 

Friday, January 17, 2003

Just a quick post

I've had quite a heavy day, and have had neither the time nor the inclination to write anything here I'm afraid. (Until just now, that is).

I promise to write more tomorrow. I have an engineer from ntl coming over to set up a broadband connection for my computer, so I'll most likely be waiting for him all afternoon.

And on another note, I see that late last night, this blog reached over 40,000 hits! Wahey! That's not bad going.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:16 pm [edit] 

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Restless

I'm very very restless and unable to relax at the moment. I'm having sleepless nights and a stressful time at work as I have deadlines approaching. Thankfully, I've had the demo of the website put back a couple of days, so that should buy me some extra time.

I won't write any more today, and most likely won't post until tomorrow night. Bear with me please, folks.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 7:29 pm [edit] 

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Day 4

So, I'm on day 4 of this 14-day high-protein low-carbohydrate diet, and I'm doing OK mostly, although I've just discovered that I'm not supposed to have been having the smoked fish. I don't really understand why not because its high protein and has zero carbohydrates; I think it's something to do with the salt content.

For lunches I've been having a salad with added red cabbage, spring onions, mushrooms, olives and little pieces of cheese, and perhaps a dollop of egg mayonnaise too along with a piece of cold fish (must avoid that smoked mackeral in future though). Tomorrow I've got some prawns, so that shouldn't be too bad. For evening meals I'm mostly eating fish again. The other night I had fish with a stir fry of bean sprouts, red cabbage, sping onions, green pepper, mushrooms etc, and tonight I had an omlette with spring onions and mushrooms.

One thing you can say about this diet is that it does fill you up. If only it wasn't so boring!

What I'd do for a piece of toast!

I wish there was such a thing as a toast diet (i.e. that was actually successful as a slimming programme). I'd be in my element then - I'd be well happy.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:42 pm [edit] 

Busy

Very busy today. Might try to write something here tonight.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:47 pm [edit] 

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Unpleasantness

I am so tired this morning. Last night I simply could not get to sleep. The last few days I've been following the story in the news about Pete Townshend, the Who guitarist, having admitted to viewing child porn on the net for "research purposes" and insisting that he was not a paedophile.

Well, late last night the news came that he'd been arrested "on suspicion of possessing and making indecent images of children and of incitement to distribute such images". This was alarming, and some reason it really upset me. Please someone tell me this isn't so, I kept thinking to myself. I don't want to believe that Townshend could be a man who could do such evil things. It all has to be a horrible misunderstanding.

To a major music fan that kind of information is like a kid finding out that Santa Claus is a serial rapist. You just don't want it to be true. Gary Glitter and Jonathan King were different: both were kinda dodgy characters to start with, and you could believe it of them much more readily.

I really sincerely hope that Pete is innocent, and is guilty only of being very very stupid in this affair.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:27 am [edit] 

Monday, January 13, 2003

No carbs

I've just started this high-protein low-carbohydrate diet. It's a two week diet, so that should see me up until my birthday. Jeez, I'd never realised before how difficult it is to avoid carbohydrates. They seem to be in everything. I went shopping in Tesco yesterday and I was checking the labelling on all the products to see what I was allowed to have and what I wasn't.

It's not one of those "eat lots of meat" diets that Trevor McDoughnut and Co were warning the public about on ITV last week. It's a proper controlled diet with supplements and so forth. Anyway, I don't eat meat other than fish.

Lunch today was... errmmm... interesting. Basically, I had a piece of mackeral, a little egg mayonnaise, and a salad. Boy, do I hate salads! The very word "salad" is enough to set my alarm bells ringing as most people seem to think it is acceptable for a salad to be composed of 95% lettuce and perhaps some other traces of vegetable if you are lucky. Lettuce has got to be one of the most tasteless bland things it is possible to eat.

Actually, I couldn't finish my lunchtime salad. I didn't particularly enjoy it (only another two weeks to go) but at least my appetite has been sated for the time being.

Not sure what I'll have tonight. Perhaps a stir-fry of vegetables and another piece of fish.

I wish I could eat normally, but I only have to look at food and I put on weight. It just isn't fair.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:22 pm [edit] 

Another R.I.P.

Oh dearie me, another one lost. Poor ol' Mickey Finn of legendary glam rock band T Rex has passed away.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:26 am [edit] 

Sunday, January 12, 2003

R.I.P.

This afternoon I have been listening to CDs. I just played "Jive Talkin'" by The Bee Gees in memory of Maurice Gibb, who died earlier today.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 4:44 pm [edit] 

365 Days

Otis Fodder - 365 days - I found this link in yesterday's Guardian The Editor supplement. For the entire year of 2003 (January 1st to December 31st) Otis plans to "feature one mp3 file (every day) to download. The content will be focused on musical pieces, but will also include spoken word. Listeners of the incredibly strange and outsider realm take note, for this is the majority of material that will be made available."

Sounds great to me!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:58 pm [edit] 

The Great Sock Conundrum

I've just spent half an hour sorting through a great pile of socks from out of my bedroom. How come, out of a pile of thirty individual socks, I can only make a single pair? I don't understand how I could have accumulated so many odd socks. In truth, this is part of the reason why on an everyday basis I always wear boots. If you wear boots no one can see that you are wearing odd socks.

The odd sock thing is made all the weirder when you consider that I only ever buy black socks anyway, the theory being that if all my socks are black the whole "odd sock" phenomenon will be negated as one black sock could make a pair with any other black sock.

Except that this isn't so. There's the different lengths to consider, the thickness of the material, whether or not the sock is plain or ribbed, or if it has a band around the top, or is slightly elasticated. Even more disturbingly, I had never before considered how many different shades of black there were.

It has long been suggested by people too numerous to mention and/or quote individually, that there is a planet somewhere where lost odd socks go to. I very much believe that there must be some kind of Bermuda Triangle of socks, and that socks themselves inhabit an extra dimension and have the ability to slip through the space/time continuum at will. This would explain me having acquired odd socks that I have never seen before. As I said, I only ever buy black socks, so how come some of those I sorted through just now were blue, green and grey? Or do they dramatically change color in the wash?

The simple truth is that socks are a total law unto themselves and do not obey the laws of physics.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:29 pm [edit] 

In the cat-house

Why is it that my house always seems to attract cats from all over the neighbourhood? Over the years we have had so many different feline visitors coming in through the cat flap (which we need for my own li'l kitty so he can come and go) that I lose count.

I've spoken before about the squadron of cats I have seen making a bee-line for my house when I'm leaving for work in the mornings. The situation is just crazy. Is my home some kind of club for cats, or a feline sanctuary?

Or is it just somewhere to steal a bit of nosh and find somewhere warm to curl up and have a snooze?

One of the main problems is that my own cat just seems to let these visitors into the house. He puts on a show of bravado when we are around and makes a feeble half-arsed effort of chasing off the invading cat, but I get the feeling that he does this for our benefit, just because he knows that he should be seen to be doing this. In reality, I think he quite likes the visitors - even if they do steal his food. There have been several occasions when I've come home and found him sitting quite happily on the sofa or somewhere without a care in the world whilst another cat is in the kitchen scoffing his food like there's no tomorrow.

On more than one occasion I have found him and another cat quite happily sitting together on one of the beds upstairs! (The cheek of it!)

Anyway, the latest feline visitor is this lovely little fluffy black and white female cat; she can't even be a year old yet, and from the shaved fur on the side of her body it's obvious that she's been recently spayed. She's been in all the time recently and I can't chase her away as she just refuses point blank to be scared of me. I woke up this morning, opened my bedroom door to go to the bathroom - there she was on the landing at the top of the stairs. Later, after having a shower I found her coming out of my bedroom.

I figure she's just cold outside and wants somewhere warm to go.

Why do people get cats and then not let them in their own house? I don't understand that attitude, but it's one that quite a few of my neighbour's seem to have. Last year, someone had this little black kitten, which one night we found out in the garden in the snow sleeping on a growbag for warmth. Naturally we couldn't turn it away when it wanted to come inside the house, because obviously it's real owners couldn't give a toss about it.

Several times we've had cats take refuge in the house when there've been fireworks going off outside. On another occasion during a torrential downpour of rain, a neighbour's cat was literally hurling itself against the kitchen window, wanting to be let in.

I think locally, this place must have been "marked" by cats as a safehouse. Perhaps they leave scents outside to tell one another that the place is recommended.

All I know is that it costs us a fortune in cat food.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:41 am [edit] 

Friday, January 10, 2003

Caption Competition

A monkey playing a guitar. What more do you want?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 6:48 pm [edit] 

I didn't know you cared

Sad news: the writer Peter Tinniswood has died. I was introduced to his works initially through the BBC TV series I Didn't Know You Cared and later read all the books after my mother had given me a copy of the superb "A Touch Of Daniel" to read whilst I was sick in bed for a couple of weeks in my mid teens.

The books usually revolved around the exploits of a Northern family, the Brandons, and in particular the dour son of the family Carter and the irascible Uncle Mort. The stories were a mix of drama, comedy and pathos... very much like real life... although with a little bit of fantasy thrown in here and there. In places you could describe the stories as "black comedy", although they were very much watered down for the television sitcom version in which all the characters seemed to have catchphrases - the books were much darker in content.

A sad loss of a very talented writer.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:06 pm [edit] 

Running out of steam?

I must have had a website for about seven years now. At first it was quite a basic GeoCities affair. Just a few pages about me and some photos. Then, the photos section grew somewhat, and I started trying to get clever with the design. Very early on I used Cascading Style Sheets but abandoned them later as there were too many conflicts between the different browsers' interpretation of them.

For those first couple of years having a website was a novely, and I was forever tweaking it, writing new articles, adding photos, etc. But time passed and this all became a chore. Then in 2001 I heard about blogging and thought I'd give it a whirl.

I already had a front page which featured regular updates as to what I was doing, but changing the text, adding pictures, etc, meant using GeoCities' rather turgid and clunky file manager. Blogging with its "instant publishing" seemed to be the way to go, so I started this blog.

I also stopped writing exclusively about transgendered related subjects. I'd been immersed in the "scene" for years. What was left to say? I wanted to talk about books I was reading, bands I liked, TV shows I used to watch as a kid, playing guitar, all sorts of stuff. The blog gave me a forum for this.

To start with I thought, "this'll be easy, thinking up something new and witty to say each day". And for the most part it came naturally, despite certain people saying I'd never make it to the end of the year.

But now?...

Well, I just can't seem to get to grips with keeping up with my entries. Am I all blogged out? Am I just suffering from writer's block? Possibly it's a case of having been working intensely on a project at work, and not really having the enthusiasm for anything else much?

I'm not sure what the problem is. Sure, I can bang out a paragraph or two about any old drivel, but I really want to be writing worthwhile pieces that amuse and entertain, or else make people sit up and take notice of what I'm saying.

Whenever I've written one of my longer pieces about something - one of my essays(!) - I seem to get so very little feedback that I wonder if people see that it's a lengthy blog entry and say to themselves "Uh oh! Can't be bothered reading THAT."

Which is a shame. I put a lot of effort into some of those longer blog entries, but would people prefer I just write short throw-away pieces? I mean, I can write bollocks about what a prat Jamie Oliver is for evermore if people really want to read that kind of thing, but it's not very satisfying for me.

I need to re-focus. I've deleted just about all of the old GeoCities site - which used to be the main site, but now the blog has taken over. I've also bought 200MB of webspace so I can host my own pictures, and I have procured the domain name www.ginasnowdoll.com, although I'm not sure what to do with it yet. I may try moving the whole blog over to the new webspace, but my Blogger-generated Archives are in such a state of disarray that I am worried I may lose quite a few of them if I make the move. (Has anyone else tried moving from Blog*Spot onto their own webspace? Any problems?)

Perhaps I should bring back "Deer of the Week"!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:13 pm [edit] 

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Making plans (2)

The next question, of course, is what do I wear? I haven't seen anything nice in the sales... nor regularly priced in the shops for that matter.

Reckon I'm going to have to raid my wardrobe again and wear something old. Which is a shame.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:27 pm [edit] 

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Making plans

So, Shel rang earlier to check what I wanted to do for my birthday, and I said "I thought we were talking about going to the WayOut Club". So anyway, that's the provisional plan, if anyone would like to come along on the 25th of this month - well - just turn up!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:37 pm [edit] 

Big flakes

Hurrah! It's snowing and with nice big flakes at last!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:45 pm [edit] 

Champion The Wonder Horse

Champion The Wonder Horse

I don't know what has made me start thinking about Champion The Wonder Horse. I remember watching the programme on TV when I was a mere kiddie back in the 1970s. The programme was already very dated back then, and it was pretty lame all round really but those were the days when there were only the three channels to choose from - BBC1, BBC2 and ITV - so we watched what we were given, and on Saturday mornings and on school holidays we were served up all the old crap black and white shows that the television companies could find. It was cheap programming for them, and it kept the kids quiet for a while even if we did all moan about how shit it was afterwards.

I don't really remember that much about the programme other than that it was a sub-Western/cowboy series featuring a man in the obligatory stetson hat, his nephew Ricky, their pet dog Rebel, and the eponymous Champion The Wonder Horse. Oh, and there were always a band of villains of some description too - cattle rustlers or bank robbers or whatever - and the wily young Ricky would in true "pesky kid" fashion somehow find out that they were no-gooders and between them, the boy, the dog and the horse, they'd sort the baddies out, and then the kid's uncle would come along at the eleventh hour and then it was home for buttered scones for tea. Or something.

I always thought that the dog should have had star billing though, as it seemed to do more than the horse, actively attacking the bad guys, barking the alarm, trailing the villains, etc. The horse's one trick seemed to be to rear up on its hind legs, no doubt a deadly move when in close proximity to the horse, but not a lot of good when a bank is being held up. This was why us kids argued that the show should be called Rebel the Wonder Dog. We didn't really mean the diss the horse; sure ol' Champion was a fine horse - a splendid horse even - but not, we felt, worthy of the title of "Wonder Horse".

Of course this was the first of many animal-fixated TV shows. Who can forget Skippy the bush kangeroo? Or Salty the sealion? Or Flipper the dolphin? Fabulous crime-busters one and all! Where are they when you need them, eh?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:08 pm [edit] 

Dodgy

You know that the morning has gotten off to an ominous start when you go into the kitchen at work and someone is quoting Spandau Ballet lyrics.

*shudder*
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:18 am [edit] 

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Being drunk is 'a trick of the mind', say scientists.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:39 pm [edit] 

Anti-celebrity

The comedian Johnny Vegas sold his wedding photos for publication in Viz comic for £1 in an attempt to gain anti-celebrity status. (See story here).

"I don't like jumping onto the moral high ground," said Vegas, "but I find our obsession with celebs pretty crass. We knew someone would get hold of the pictures somehow, so we thought 'let's release them in an anti-celebrity way'."

Nice one, Johnny! Let the celebrity backlash continue!

posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:14 am [edit] 

Mistake

I did crawl into work today. The rail replacement bus service took a very imaginative route into Oxford. In fact it seemed as if it was heading in a different direction altogether, that it came as a big surprise when we did eventually reach Oxford. Mores the pity. I should have stayed in bed.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:09 am [edit] 

Monday, January 06, 2003

Home and away

I've been away the last couple of days; I went to visit Annie this weekend and ended up staying over Sunday night as I fell ill and couldn't face the journey back on the train, seeing as I had a migraine and all that.

I'm still not feeling 100% and am trying to decide whether to go to work tomorrow, as it is going to be a right pain in the arse seeing as the railway line to Oxford is flooded and trains aren't running. Yeah, they are laying on buses but on the news earlier they said that both the Botley and Abingdon Roads into Oxford are closed tomorrow so I am perplexed as to what route the bus will take to get there.

If I'm still feeling crap, I'm not going to be up for a long cramped slow bus journey.

I'm trying to convince myself to stay home. Can you tell?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:32 pm [edit] 

Friday, January 03, 2003

Searching

I'm trying out this search thingy (see left-hand side-bar). Its search function seems to work quite accurately but it's not that hot really because it'll take you to the top of the correct archive page, but of course you'll then still have to trawl manually through all the entries to find what you are looking for. (But if you're a canny Microsoft IE user, you'll do a CTRL-F and search the page that way).

I don't know if it really adds anything to the weblog? What do you all reckon?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:48 pm [edit] 

Irritants

The trade journal Marketing have published the results of a poll of people's most hated TV adverts (in the UK):
  1. Lotto - Billy Connolly
  2. Tampax - Mistakes it for a sweet
  3. Ikea - "Live life unlimited"
  4. Orange - "Your plan"
  5. Sainsbury's - Jamie Oliver skateboarding
  6. T-Mobile - Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf
  7. Barclaycard - Human hummingbirds
  8. BT Together - Computer game
  9. Barclays - Samuel L Jackson
  10. Fairy Liquid - Ainsley Harriot
I'm suprised the Lotto ad featuring Billy Connolly came out on top. It wasn't that irritating, the only thing that went through my mind each time I saw it was "What on earth does he think he looks like with that purple beard?"

And then there's my arch-nemesis Jamie Oliver... his skateboarding ad wasn't that bad, because it finished with him ending up in hospital in plaster casts, which is a piece of imagery I quite enjoyed.

The Samuel L Jackson adverts were the most annoyong out of this bunch; all that "I said... he said" stuff. It was one of those adverts for which you really have to flip channels until the danger has passed.

Actually, some of the one I hated most weren't listed, but I'm thinking mainly of car ads with really annoying music, such as that "Whhhooo-hooo" song by Blur. It's old, it's tired and it certainly ain't clever.

posted by Gina Snowdoll 11:45 am [edit] 

Thursday, January 02, 2003

Things to do in 2003

  1. Become the darling of the UK Tranny Scene
  2. Get a cushty job, such as writing my own magazine column, or something
  3. Record my debut album
  4. Buy lots more shoes
  5. Visit exotic locations and live fabulously
  6. Write my first novel and/or autobiography
  7. Get rich
Of course these are all fantasies rather than resolutions. Real resolutions include much more mundane things such as losing at least another stone in weight and sorting myself out financially.

Having said that if ever a potentially exciting writing job did rear its head, I'd seriously like to give that a whirl. As for recording an album, well I'd actually really like to do this, but a whole album might be too much to expect, but it'd be nice if I could turn out just a couple of songs. Perhaps I should aim for a single. Someone else would have to do vocals though, as I'm no songbird.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:19 pm [edit] 

Bloggies

The weblogging world's very own Awards thingy, The Bloggies, have come around once again. I don't know if I'll bother voting this year, as most of the categories don't really appeal to me. I'm not really that big a reader of weblogs. I dip into those that I list as my favourites over there in the margin, but I have little time for all the big noise makers. I hate to say it as it makes me sound ignorant, but the majority of them bore the pants off me. Or is that knickers?

Last year's runaway success, the Star Trek brat Wil Wheaton, was an indication of how prepared the masses are to suck up to celebrity, irrespective of any true talent or ability. Everyone used to complain about his character's presence in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but then he starts writing a blog and suddenly he can do no wrong.

I suppose Rupaul will get loads of votes this year in the GLBT category. I gave up reading that particular blog very early when (s)he announced the intention to ditch the use of capital letters when beginning sentences. Yes, make it a chore to read, why don't you.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 12:39 pm [edit] 

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Looking back at 2002

In JANUARY I discovered the delights of AudioGalaxy and so began the merry downloading of many albums worth of songs. Then later in the month I celebrated my birthday (a couple of days late) with friends in Cornwall.

FEBRUARY came and got off to a bad start when my computer exploded, but I managed to divert myself for most of the month with the ill-advised Lunchquest project. What was I thinking of? It was no wonder that I had to go on a strict dier later in the year!

Also in February, I was once again disappointed to receive absolutely bugger all in the way of Valentine's Day cards. Everyone else in the world seemed to be rubbing it in. If 2003 is similarly bad (which is undoubtedly will be) I think I will have to give up on the prospect of ever having a love life.

The month ended on a very sad note when both John Thaw and Spike Milligan died.

MARCH started with me being plagued with emails from the producer of Kilroy begging me to appear on some ghastly edition of the programme in which they could take the piss out of transvestites. Did they really think I was that daft? This month I also did something very rare for me: I went to the cinema, which is something I almost never do. I've not been since.

March was also the month during which the Great Caramac Search happened and the discovery was made that cats get high on valerian.

But, of course, the major thing that happened this month was the redecorating of my bedroom. The month ended with a gig featuring the wonderful Die So Fluid and the seeds being planted in my brain that I wanted a new guitar.

Oh, and the Queen Mother died, which I thought was thoughtless what with it being Rolf Harris's birthday.

APRIL got off to a good start with another Die So Fluid gig, although I don't seem to have written much about it - I think I went really because I wanted to speak to Drew about getting the new guitar. On a sadder note it was announced that Stepney nightclub would host its last ever Storme's night. End of an era and all that.

Then, in a mad moment, I began a semi-regular feature on the blog, the now legendary Deer Of The Week. (And don't you all miss that?)

And then the whole Moon Landings Hoax fiasco happened! Wasn't that fun? NOT. Still, at least I had a new toy to take my mind off all the nasty comments I was getting. And, I always had my books of course.

MAY saw me in thoughtful mood as I considered what the plural of Moose was, which led to my thinking about collective nouns.

I was trying my best to ignore the build up to "some football thing" that was about to start. Grrrrrrr... It's a world gone mad, I tell ya. Never mind, I was able to put such things to the back of my mind at a couple of excellent gigs: Die So Fluid once again, and the brilliant Swedish band (who I'd only just diecovered) The Soundtrack Of Our Lives.

Another discovery in May was eBay which could well have turned into my financial downfall.

Oh, and I actually got out and about on the tranny scene too!

JUNE came, as did the Jubilee celebrations... we had our own version, a bunch of queens dressed in gold. Here's me not looking my best. (Too many Lunchquests!)

Disaster struck when my source of free music, AudioGalaxy, were silenced by the courts. Ah well, easy come, easy go...

There was then a flurry of activity when I was interviewed for The Tuesday Twelve by Brian Harvey (the Friday Five was never the same again afterwards), and then of course there was my infamous Spot the Deer photo!

The month drew to a sad close with the death of Who bassist John Entwistle.

JULY was no sooner upon us than my weblog was discovered by The Guardian. Still no offer of a column in their magazine though!

July also meant time for some holiday. At last! Hurrah! Beginning with a splendid gig at the Shepherd's Bush Empire from my faves The Damned, then onto my Sister's in Cheshire, followed by a week at my parents in Pembrokeshire.

Oh, and the other thing that happened was that I ate my last ever piece of chocolate and started a serious diet.

AUGUST started off with a wonderfully atmospheric gig from Peter Murphy at Union Chapel in London, then saw me getting arty with a miniature camera and ended on another musical note as I acquired a 7-string guitar, and finished with another gig from The Damned at the Zodiac in Oxford.

In SEPTEMBER we experienced the earthquake!!!

And then there was another Die So Fluid gig at the Water Rats in King's Cross, at which I unexpectedly met up with an old friend Mia.

Alas, I did not win The Guardian's Best British Blog Competion (did we really think I would?) but I was shortlisted. Which was nice!

And guess who I went to see in Swindon at the end of the month? Yes, Die So Fluid once again! (How many times this year?)

OCTOBER began with yet another musical start, and it doesn't come much better than this: David Bowie at the Hammersmith Apollo! I still can't believe I managed to score tickets for that one.

The Guardian gave me another reference in an article about diarists, and listed me alongside such luminaries as Samuel Pepys, Ann Frank, Adolf Hitler, Edwina Curry and Jeffrey Archer. Errr... thanks for that!

At the month's end there was mucho excitement as I unveiled my new look to the world. Oh, and I'd lost lots of weight by this point too! Hurrah!

I started NOVEMBER considering my list of firsts, then went on to compile another.

On the 9th I made my long overdue debut at Trans-Mission - only my second time out in London this year on the tranny scene.

Things started to get desperate financially, so I had to start selling off part of my guitar collection.

Things started to get surreal when I received a bizarre email from a man with a woodpecker problem. After a second consultation I didn't hear back from him again, so I assume he's happy now!

DECEMBER saw me trotting out in stilettos once again when I re-visited Trans-Mission with Tamsin and Sherri. A fabulous time was had by all.

A good time was also had by all when I visited Croydon and met up with lots of friends, saw the excellent Christmas gig by The Damned at the Fairfield Halls and went to the aftershow party. I also met up with my friend Mark, and met the now legendary Kacroon for the first time.

The year was rounded off with the Christmas week spent in Wales making robot paper-chains with the kids and trying to avoid eating too much like everyone else was. (I was very restrained as it happens, and still haven't eaten any chocolate since the beginning of July).

And that brings us up to date.

I wonder what 2003 has in store. Stay tuned and we'll see together!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 5:01 pm [edit]