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The annual cocktail party that's become one of the highlights of my year was last night and was, as it always is, a huge amount of fun. It seemed weird not to be there all day as I have in previous years. In retrospect, the setting up and being there until the last guest staggers out the door was part of the event and I didn't have that this year. This isn't to say that I didn't have a good time. The lovely [personal profile] hometime and JB have been wonderfully hospitable and the party itself was still fantastic.

I caught up with a number of people who I haven't seen since this time last year and I had a couple of instances of "Have we met before, you look familiar." and similar things. This was actually huge fun and everyone who had to take a moment to realise who I was also said nice things. The dress I wore was an op-shop find from a couple of months ago that had to particular purpose at the time but which just had to come home with me. It's a spaghetti strapped sheath dress with a dark red underlayer and a black lace overlayer which I very much like. I swapped between a rather nice grey wrap and my usual black velvet bolero. The shoes were given to me some time ago by [profile] ms_killian and are heels which were tall enough to give me pause last time I wore them, but I managed to get medium squiffy in them this time without any real issues so I think I'm comfortable in them. I think I managed to avoid the enthusiastic small child look with the makeup. I think I badly need to play with this more so that on the rare occasions that I do use it, it holds fewer terrors for me. Maybe I need more frockup time generally...it's an empowering thing as I feel less uncomfortable and more like I might actually look good each time I do it. A fun thing in any case.

Back to work on Tuesday and hopefully to find that I've got a new position as team leader at work. I had a call on Friday as they'd promised, but only to tell me that they'd not yet made any final decisions. This job doesn't really have any downsides. The work is more interesting, it (mostly) gets me off the phones, it bumps my pay up a bit...really all good. I live in hope.
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Wedding anniversary blues aside, why have I been so grumpy lately? Time to think harder about diet I think and cycle more. The wig has been a hindrance to cycling as going out in public without it is essentially just not going to happen but I don't want to destroy it with sweat. Maybe I need to find a similar but cheaper wig that doesn't cost $340 for cycling.

Microgynon dosage dropped from two per day to one on 18/10/11. I will be getting a blood test mid-December to check how that's progressing but otherwise things should stay the same. My endocrinologist has left me to get the prescription for that from a GP so I suppose I'm my own mistress in that respect although for now, following his advice seems the cleverest course. I'm more or less comfortably filling an A cup now and seem to have hit a phase of growth so onwards and...er...outwards!

I think I'm starting to work out what Forth wears. This is still very much a work in progress but I'm starting to get a feel for what I do and don't like and am feeling less worried about playing with it. The pendulum for how I want to dress has definitely been swinging more to the girly lately, plenty of skirts and dresses. I found a cute tartan sundress which I love and I definitely want more of those, especially coming into summer. This would also be huge fun with a pair of docs for pseudo punk chick stompy goodness. Definitely more cute punk than spit in your beer punk but that's fine as I vastly prefer the former anyway. Op shop raiding for more of those is on the cards today and I want to hunt down more fun tights. The awesome red check pair I got from Target have more or less died and I wasn't clever enough to buy more while they were still there. There is apparently a specific tights shop on Glenferrie Rd, so I will start there. Richmond and Brunswick should probably be looked at as well if the weather allows. I suspect mixed mode transport (train and bike) will be the way to go today.
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I got off work early today (pre-arranged) to make an appointment with my therapist. We discussed my recent implosions and how I've at least partly resolved the more pressing aspects of them along with other ways in which I've progressed. I get the impression that he's well pleased with me which is nice. He also gave me the requisite letter for having my passport re-issued showing the appropriate gender, following the recent spectacular change in legislation from the federal government. They're now allowing passports to be reissued to show M (male), F (female) or X (gender neutral/indeterminate) simply on the basis of a letter confirming ongoing treatment for gender transition or in the case of someone who's intersex, an existing condition. Up until now, surgery was required. I'm very much looking forward to getting that sorted out.

Having someone who pays close attention to my development of identity but who only sees me occasionally does point up the incremental differences which I and others around me don't notice so much. Apparently my voice is coming along far better than I thought. In terms of visual presentation I'm starting to get really comfy. I now expect to be read consistently as a woman or at least to present well enough that nobody raises an eyebrow. I'm also starting to get a bit of an idea of What Forth Wears which is a bit of a breakthrough. There's still plenty I want to play with which I haven't yet but that will come. The warmer weather will open up a few more options which I've not yet played with. My ongoing op shop frenzy is filling out my wardrobe and even providing the odd bit of jewelery. This is actually a heap of fun. I'm getting to play with clothes and I have a couple of cheerfully willing accomplices which makes it even more fun. The odd occasions when I've had someone come shopping with me is great as it pushes me to try things that I might not have otherwise. The filling out process seems to have moved on from the bit of a plateau which I hit earlier so I'm rather looking forward to seeing how that goes in the coming months as well.

These months do stack up fast. I'm rapidly approaching the 10 month mark on hormones and starting to contemplate some sort of party to mark the one year mark (22nd November). Dare I say that with a little more personal resolution, the scary bits soon might actually be noticeably outweighed by the fun bits? I have new friends and new clothes and new me. I still have to gather some of the valued old bits together. for all that I keep saying that I can't neglect them, they've still somewhat fallen by the wayside. That's going to be part of the process of continuing to gather the bits together.
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Well that was a fun weekend. Yesterday was a Kerry Greenwood book launch for 'Medea' which was fun, as those usually are. I know she turns these things out as fast as is humanly possible but I could wish to see them more often. This was followed (as they usually are) with a meal across the road which included a glass of Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Porter, one of the more chewable beverages I've had of late. This was followed by a lovely afternoon/evening with [personal profile] montjoye which involved a trip to Spotlight mostly to get lace trim to help with the lining of the utterly spectacular coat that she's nearly finished and partly to get thread to suit the cloth which she so generously gave me. We then had yummy corn and ham and vegetablish soup while watching Sherlock Holmes and in her case, hemming her coat.

I got home to discover that [personal profile] tenbears's old van had vanished from where it had been parked out the front of my place for the past few weeks. I called him, he called me, the police called me and the matter was resolved this morning by 10B locating it parked up the other end of my street. This didn't really surprise anyone. The clutch pedal doesn't work, and it is therefore something of a challenge to drive any great distance if you don't know how to manage a manual gearbox without touching the clutch. We stripped it of everything of value, something the thieves made a complete non-attempt at it seems, and left it parked there as the battery is completely flat. Roll starting it is theoretically possible but I'm not sure I want to play that game in a narrow street with cars parked on both sides.

After that I immediately showered and changed as I had to be in Camberwell for a rather fun concert in which the soprano was a recently met friend who I suspect I'm going to see more of and who accompanied myself and [personal profile] montjoye and Ms J for a nice dinner afterwards. Music and dinner and conversation is a great way to round off a weekend.

On a slightly less pleasing note, it seems that people will still drop in "he", "him" and "his" when referring to me if they're not actively paying attention. This isn't a complaint per se because in every other respect people have been respectful and lovely. It does illustrate how I'm perceived though when that's the reflexive construction used. I'm guessing it's primarily the voice that's the culprit but it shows that I have a long way to go.
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I have been feeling encouraged lately. People have taken me shopping and given advice on projects and given me bits and pieces that will contribute to Getting Things Done™. So tonight will hopefully see the genesis of a couple of things.

The fixie needs its back tyre mended and its handlebars wrapped. I have recently been gifted with a set of bars that will likely give me the perfect amount of extra reach and drop. I’ll get the old grips off them tonight and fit them. They’ll probably require that I get a new brake cable as the existing one will be cut too short to suit but once I get that and some new bar tape, it’ll have a whole new character that I think I’ll love even more than I do its existing one, which is saying something because I adore that bike.

I have a voluminous man’s shirt that I bought from an op shop because it has a funky mandarin collar and I love the fabric. It’s huge though and a bulky masculine cut. I’ve unpicked the breast pocket and after receiving some much appreciated advice and help with pinning, the plan is to sew darts into the front and close the rear pleat so it fits as a long, feminine cut shirt. This is my initial foray into breaking out the sewing machine and deciphering out it works. After that I have cloth originally meant for shirts but which may well become sundresses or similar, possibly after making the first one out of an old bedsheet or something so that I can learn from my mistakes on fabric that I don’t care about. I spent the bulk of my lunch break making a foray to Clegs so I now have a little container with four different coloured pieces of chalk. I've been warned off using the blue or pink on white which is good because otherwise I would have. The other two are white and yellow so I suppose yellow is the obvious choice.

This will lead into making garb, just like I keep banging on about. I’ll start with something simple and there are plenty of things that revolve around sewing squares and triangles together so once I actually decide what to make, work out fitting get some fabric and stop sewing my fingers together I should be away. I really want to sort garb out because I’m sort of re-emerging into the SCA (booked for the Krae Glas baronial invest, yay! Going to sing, double yay!) and I don’t want to do that in my boy garb, no matter how much I like it and love that it was made for me. I’m also no longer dressed by Laurels and frankly I should probably learn to dress myself. I suddenly have a body and a social context that makes clothes interesting to me and they never really were before so this is all new. I’m having a blast exploring it and I’m delighted at the support I’m getting. This translates into a desire to toy with them in terms of making and modifying. Hello vertical learning curve which is always a fun thing.

The other part of personal appearance which will involve a vertical learning curve is cosmetics. It’s not something I plan to make much use of but at the moment I don’t dare because if I try to apply them I’ll look like the over excited 8 year old who decided to play with Mum’s makeup. This would be bad. So there will be purchasing and advice seeking and experimenting at home.

Other than that I have a nice enamelled cast iron casserole dish that’s going to be loaded up with leek and mushroom and tomato and lentils and olives and whatever else strikes my fancy…it’s about time I had something without meat in it and lentil bake sounds nice. Browning and deglazing the leek and stuff on the stovetop first before adding the rest of the stuff and baking should work well. I think it’s also time to move the chest of drawers out from under the loft bed where it’s a pain in the arse to get to and use that for bike storage and sundries as I always intended. This might actually make my bedroom a nicer place to be although I’m damned if I can work out how to get into the light to replace the dead globe.

Forty minutes left before I go home, I’ll be posting this as I leave work. Want to go home now.

[edit:]

Dinner cooked and yummy, bedroom largely reorganised and bike fixed (the brake cable *was* long enough and the other tyre worked, yay! I can ride it tomorrow and just need to wrap the bars). Useful cutting tools and conversation provided by 10B and sewing project relegated to tomorrow evening at the usual open house dinner and chat time. I think I'm pleased.
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I've had an account in DW for a while and it allows for crossposting to LiveJournal so I'll give it a shot now that I appear to have reached a critical mass of people I know posting here.

Today more or less marks six months of living alone. For all that I don't like some of the reasons for living along I've come very much to like having my own space. I've filled it with a clutter of stuff that in a lot of ways is me and shows how I've changed.

I added to that clutter tonight. The lovely Ms Killian told me of a sale in Target and arranged to meet me there. From that point, we collected armsful of clothes on sale and traipsed into the change rooms for a frenzy of Trying Stuff On. Yes, no, that cut suits you but not in that colour, you should get that one, that top doesn't go with that skirt but would be cute with jeans and and and...FUN! Also most educational. I simply haven't had the opportunity to really work out What Forth Wears. Some of the stuff I buy will be a failure and some of you will occasionally see me in stuff and shake your heads in disbelief. It's experimental. I'm going to try to avoid going overboard but I'm also going to explore and that will happen mostly in the context of safe environments ie. around people who know me and care about me. That'd be you. *points* So when I turn up to parties and other gatherings, that's my time to play with my appearance and it's when I will push boundaries.

So I'm going to ask that you be honest about stuff. It's nice to be told that I look nice but when that's all I ever hear I wonder how much is genuine and how much is just people being supportive. If I look like a shrieking tranny, SAY something. I may agree, I may not but much better than "Oh yes, the green sequined jumpsuit and yellow nail polish really suits your complexion."

A challenging thing but also fun.

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