Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. Obviously it started out as a blog about my cross-dressing but it has developed a great deal since then. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the New Readers' Page above this and the tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Friday, 29 March 2013

Conversation


When I failed at therapy last year it came at the end of a conversation with a therapist that I did badly in. I was asked how I felt and I avoided the topic, instead talking of orchestral stabs of emotion where a lot happened at once but where it was over just as quickly. It wasn't until much later that I realised that I had used the wrong analogy and should have been using a metaphor. What follows is how I wish that conversation had gone.

Analysis, courtesy of 750words.com (you should go there):

Feeling mostly: Affectionate
Concerned with: Religion

Rating: PG-13 due to sexual content

Mindset: Introvert-Positive-Uncertain-Thinking
Timing: Present; Primary Sense: Touch; Us and Them: You
_____________________________________________________________________________


"When you're dressed, in female clothing, tell me: how does it feel?"

"Feel?"

"Describe it in your own words."

"It doesn't feel sexualised, if that's what you mean. I mean, I know that there is a connection, no denying that there is an element that leads to and aids masturbation. You know?"

"So you would say that you get turned on by the act of dressing?"

"No. No I wouldn't. I would say that there is a connection but I could get the same sort of feeling for masturbation from most things, pretty much anything really, the dressing is primarily associated with other feelings. I don't really have the emotional vocabulary to describe that fully. It's orchestral. It's the swelling of the woodwinds and the brass at the same time as the overture played by the string section, heavy on the violins but supported by the double bass. Somewhere you can trace the drums and the percussive accompaniment but this is slight. A piano takes the lead, coupled with some of the stronger elements of electronic music.

"It is liberation, it is freedom, it is me. I feel like me. In a way that I usually don't feel anything. In a way that there is usually a hole where the me lives - an emptiness and a longing for something is gone and replaced and sated. The best way I have to put it into words would be to liken it to Divenire by Ludovico Einaudi, where the piano rises against the looping rhythm in the background and there is a vision of a woman in a white dress running through a field in the middle of summer. Bright blue sky, scudding white clouds across it in a stiff wind and the crops still green in a wetness that follows a storm. She is running, arms out and running her hands through the wheat like fingers through a lover's hair. Her eyes are closed, her mouth smiling and open as the music swells around her and the camera pulls back to show us the openness of the world. It is the end of the film, a happy ending, and the credits are about to roll.

"The physical sensations are powerful, they are real in a way that normally life happens at arm's length. In day to day life there is a distance between me and what is happening, like a barrier or a wall that I erect to keep myself safe. When dressed there is no wall, the sadness is diminished and there are other things. It's not as if I am incapable of feeling when not dressed but when I am, or when I am in the mindset that I have when I am dressed, then the emotions are more real and more tangible. I laugh more easily, I smile more, I am open to people being open in return. I can feel happy without doing anything. There are still problems and issues that I am aware of but in being aware of them I can lay them to one side and concentrate on the moment and on the now. Analysis ceases, or is faded and turned down, the world becomes softer and the light becomes less glaring. Everything is less sharp, less harsh, more manageable. It feels as though the world can be weathered and understood, accepted as a friend and taken for dinner."

"I think you are drifting from the point. You mentioned masturbation. Do you find that dressing means that you are excited by your own appearance? I mean, is your sexual desire based on visual stimuli?"

"Being male, yes, I understand that my arousal is aided by having something that I can see, yes. But, no. No I do not find visions of myself any more a turn on when dressed than I do when I am not dressed. I mean, I avoid mirrors at the best of times. The only times that I really look at myself in a mirror are to shave or to do my teeth or to check that my tie is straight. I have been known to sort out my hair in a mirror. But no, I have no real desire to see myself, in a mirror or a photograph. Looking at me is the opposite of stimulation, it is more likely to cool any arousal than it is to bring it. And that is much the same for when I am dressed.

"My wife, now, she is a turn on for she is beautiful and she looks the part. There's something about the way she wears her glasses and looks at the world through them. She has an intensity that seems to cut through everything around her to focus on the main points of whatever is going on. I love her for her analytical nature. But, at the same time, she has a warmth and softness about her that I know I lack."

"And it is this that you try to capture when you dress? You wish to be like your wife, perhaps, to project as a woman?"

"I'm under no illusions. My features are nothing like feminine and what I look like or present as is irrelevant. Put it another way, projection can be done just as effectively without clothing as it can done be with clothing: how it is worn and what one does with clothing is more important than what it is one is wearing in the first place. Two women can wear the same clothes but have completely different outfits because clothes no more make the woman than does the weather - the reaction to them is what does the job. If I wanted to project as female I could do that more effectively online, where there are no physical pictures to get in the way, or I could simply behave more effete in public-"

"But in that arena, do you not feel under pressure to conform to what people expect of you?"

"Exactly! Yes. So if I were to dress in public then people would have different expectations. But they would still have expectations. I would feel no more free in public dressed than I would do if I were in male clothing in public. Man is born free but is chained from cradle to grave by convention. So I would feel constrained to behave a certain way, to behave a way that would be more to do with the people around me than it would be to do with who I am inside. When I am dressed, in private, I feel freer and I feel as though I can do anything. It is why the now is so immediate and accessible when dressed."

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Dirty

Last night I drank some beer, Greene King IPA again, and hung out on Google+ as has become my habit. Tilly was watching the first season of America's Next Top Model on DVD that she got for Christmas in an effort to research her novel (no, really) and gain the gumption to write something. We got takeout because Tilly is still feeling ill and grotty from the cold she picked up from the children. I attempted conversation but, if I'm honest, I was shattered and talking about ANTM wasn't really floating my boat. We held various mini-conversations but mainly we retreated to our respective laptops across the divide of a debris strewn living room - the remnants of a war that has never been fought and has never had a pitched battle.


Whilst this was going on I was, of course, selfishly indulging in Joanna-time on Google+ - posting articles on Feminism and various other things. I posted last night about feeling part of a movement and using something I read to try and get me some of that warm fuzzy feeling about helping other people. Anyway, up pops a chat window with someone who had previously commented on a post. He, for twas, had a habit of referring to me as "Ms. Joanna" which I confess I enjoy. We get talking. Now, obviously as I lie on the internet, he thinks I am a married woman. I initially stay vague, avoiding compounding the lie on the profile that claims I am female, but because I am a lightweight and because I am me I eventually decide to go the whole hog. Tilly is now my husband.

For whatever reason I start opening up to this hapless fellow, though he seems to encourage it, and I skirt (ha) around the reason for the distance twixt Tilly and I, chalking it up instead to bondage rather than cross-dressing. I am disturbed by my own behaviour on this one because I happily shared these aspects of my relationship with Tilly, of these failings in my marriage, with a total stranger. I did that thing that I do where I am scrupulously honest over the wrong things. If I wanted to be honest and have a good conversation I would have come out as male, explained the situation with Joanna time. But I did not. I played that lie and was, instead, semi-honest by assigning Tilly's behaviour to a man to whom I was now married. All other aspects of my life, the things I should perhaps have been more circumspect with, remained true.

And I knew I was doing it but did it anyway.

It was cathartic. It was... not what I expected. Was this man flirting with me? Was he just having a conversation with someone who he happened to think was female or was he trying to flirt with what he assumed was a straight female? What was I doing? It's the sort of conversation I've had again and again with people that I barely know - with colleagues and people that I knew at University; with girlfriends and close friends and people I just met. I am open, about some things, and deliberately vague on others. So that one issue becomes a focus and the context is lost - thereby eliminating meaning from the conversation and reducing it to a series of encounters that have no relevance in the normal running of my life. A defence mechanism that nevertheless leaves me entirely open to hurt and exploitation. Is this what flirting is? Did I flirt with a straight man as Joanna? What does that mean? Would it be a bad thing?

Is it cheating on Tilly?

Long before we were married and Tilly still said she was bisexual we went to a party at one of her friends. On the way back, Tilly being very drunk, she worried aloud that her and I couldn't work well. I would not trust her, she claimed, because, as she was bi, how could I let her embrace another female or sit next to them on a sofa? I would assume that any interaction that she had with a female was a potential affair, that she would be cheating on me to kiss and embrace a female friend even if there was nothing sexual. I explained that I did not mind - Tilly would know whether an act constituted cheating and I trusted her judgement. If she felt it was not cheating then I would not project my understanding onto a situation that I was not party to, that is, if she said it was not cheating then it was not cheating and if she thought it was then it was. My own views were irrelevant in that analysis. I loved her. It was her judgement that mattered to me. She was right, I am not, nor was I, bi and therefore the way bisexuality worked was as much beyond my understanding as would be alien language. I had to rely on her judgement. I am none the wiser these days.

At the time Tilly did not really derive much comfort from my explanations and reassurances. But she was very drunk and being completely illogical. This was a theme. In the end I simply told her that I trusted her completely and conveyed her home, as she continued to mull it over and vacillate between blaming me for her moral quandary and collapsing into tears that she would never know the touch of a woman because she was bisexual and I would assume she didn't love me. The exact situation is largely irrelevant. My own brutal logic in the matter, and determination to convey her home (I had work the day after) should not be discounted - I am pretty certain that however much I believed I was being rational and helpful I was also being cold and unfeeling. We were both to blame for the bitterness that night.

So do I count what happened last night as cheating? If I do, then by my own logic, I cheated on Tilly. If I do not, then by my logic, I did not. But there is a caveat. I never said that she should apply the same test. In the final analysis, it really boils down to this, an act of bloody catharsis: would Tilly count it as cheating? If so... I have cheated on Tilly. With a man.


I am not blameless, whatever the final judgement; I did type the words: "I am a dirty girl". I suspect that alone would be enough to be 'flirty' were I, in fact, a woman. Instead, I am male and lightweight whose own scientific knowledge precludes the "but I was drunk" defence, because alcohol does fuck all to our impulses - the feeling that it does is what alters behaviour, not the alcohol. And I know so if my behaviour changes it is because I choose to let it which means that I am both culpable and responsible.

Lies. As bad as adultery.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Equality

Just a quick entry. I've changed my avatar again because I read someone posting about how they had been buoyed and strengthened by the simple act of seeing how many people changed to support marriage rights for all in the USA. Their explanation as to how it had improved their self-esteem and filled them with confidence about who they were struck a chord with me. So, I decided to be part of that support for others.

I am Christian. I stand with the oppressed, the dispossessed and those forgotten by society. The reviled, the hated and the persecuted. The prisoners and those in need of forgiveness. I don't do it often enough and changing a profile picture is such a small act. From one to another, I am called to love you as God Herself does.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Drifting and drafting

Snow drifts. They are currently everywhere around where I live and they are huge and they are shifting. Monday they had to shut roads on my way into work but it hasn't snowed here since Saturday. By the evening roads were cleared again. This morning, the drifts were back, having cut off half roads and expanded in odd places. It was... very strange. On the way home, drifts have cut off some roads again. It hasn't snowed since Saturday! I think I quite like snow drifts, they are carved by the wind into quite wonderful shapes and patterns. Were it not for work I would stand and watch them as they shift and sparkle. Lovely, deadly and all round fantastic. A touch of the unobtainable, a touch of danger, and a touch of something beyond this world. I have never seen snow drifts before, so this is all new to me.

Secondly, poems. I have been thinking about that first draft I posted last night ever since I got interrupted by a waking Boy, so here is draft two:

One Way Only


Wear a dress? Of course,
Because he will grow out of it.
Cross-dressing a childhood phase:
Choices unmade so unembraced;
Love unbidden ungiven.

Snow drifts sparkle clear but deadly;
Salted earth mars crisp white orange.
Diversion: all traffic right.
Road closed ahead.
One way only.

Path less travelled, fork in the road
But not in bed nor spoons.
Backs turned, knives out.
Think! Don't drink and drive.
Slow! Reduced visibility.

Bitter coffee interlude, no biscuit.
Free recovery: await rescue.
Tiredness can kill: take a break.
Motorways merge, keep left.
One way only.

Crusts make your hair go curly;
Transition: a verb knows no nouns:
Sugar and spice but nothing nice.
Access only, no waiting.
High winds. Reduce speed.

Reflection in one direction.
Acts of blissful catharsis,
Bring all down to this.
Love is a verb.
One way only.


Monday, 25 March 2013

Extremity


A first draft.

The Boy can dress because the Boy will grow out of it.
Cross-dressing as a childhood phase,
Choices not made nor embraced.

Snow drifts cover roads,
Salt and earth mar yellow and black.
Diversion: all traffic right.

Path less travelled, a fork in the road;
No night-time spoon, an empty drawer.
Think! Don't drink and rive.
Free recovery: await rescue.
Tiredness can kill: take a break.
Slow! Reduced visibility.
Motorways merge, keep left.

Crusts make your hair go curly;
Sugar and spice but nothing nice.
Transition a verb from one to the next.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

In my head

What I should be doing is responding to comments and e-mails and checking up on friends and commenting on their blogs and commenting on Google+. I should be marking my guts out for the new week and finishing off a trilogy of lessons on Churchill and source technique. I should be doing more to bring attention to this and fighting to get something done.

A Muslim cleric has condemned to death Amina Tyler, a young 19 year old Tunisian who published a picture of herself topless, Amina posted on her Facebook account a picture with the phrase: “My body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone’s honor.” She is a member of the group Femen, a feminist movement emerged in Ukraine in 2008 performing their topless protests to draw attention. The unusual protest sparked rejected her own family, which is considered a “insulting the modesty of a woman” and Islam. “This young woman according to Islamic law deserves to between 80 and 100 lashes, but she did much more than that so she deserves to be stoned to death,” the religious Tunisian daily said “Assabah News” . Sign the petition here: http://www.change.org/petitions/petitioning-tunisian-government-amina-must-be-safe We the undersigned unequivocally defend Amina, and demand that her life and liberty are protected and that those who have threatened her will be immediately prosecuted.

I should be changing the world and standing up for the rights of the oppressed - no, really - and at least making moves to get my own point of view recognised in my own relationships, in my job, by my parents and around me in the world I live in. But I am not. It has snowed, it is cold and lethargy rules the roost.

I dug out a coat that I use for dressing up as a Soviet cavalryman from the Russian Civil War (I use it to teach a lesson on the First World War because I like to dress up and wielding a cavalry sabre gets the attention of my students) and used it to walk out in the snow with the family. It was warm, it was wonderful and, I realised quickly, it has been re-tailored for a woman. Tilly spotted it pretty quickly, but I pointed out that it was a male coat (the buttons fasten that side and it is an RAF coat from the 1950s, so unlikely to have originally been a woman's). I checked it more closely today after having ruminated on the lovely tight waisted feeling it brought and, sure enough, there have been alterations to shape the coat. Alterations that almost perfectly match the style of Tilly's own military cut overcoat. So, it's been changed to be worn by a woman (though some features, such as the coat tail fastening near the knees, have not been moved). And, you know what, of course I am ridiculously happy about that. It would explain just why I liked it better than the other coat that is almost exactly the same but has not been altered (same size, no rank badges) when I originally acquired the two of them waaaaay back around 2002-3. Actually, it would have been December 2002 as I used them in lessons the following term.

So, what I want to do now is don my skirt from Toby, the boots I bought ages back, the tights I own, a pair of knickers, my bra (stuffed of course) and the coat and go for a long walk in the woods. But I shan't. I shall probably mark my guts out and plan a trilogy of lessons.

Well, there you go. Stuff that was in my head.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Explanations

This place has not been updating like it should have been since the end of last year. For example, I went out to bid farewell to a much loved member of my Department last Friday and had some good beers and they weren't reviewed nor the night even mentioned on here. Instead the stress of organising a full day off timetable with outside agencies got to me and I posted here in a stressed milieu rather than simply talking about things that are important to me.

I have now finished watching the Thick of It with Tilly tonight - ostensibly a celebration of having survived the disaster of the day that I organised - and it has left me in a sadder state than before. For a number of reasons. I couldn't sit next to Tilly and then she spent the evening on her laptop. She's ill, so I can't raise my concerns about sex. I mean, it's been three months since we last discussed it but I suspect she will point out the fact that this makes it all I talk about these days. Given the stress of the last week and my generally dark thoughts about my job (having an old colleague return and a new one begin, both of whom are female and both of whom are better than I will ever be, for different reasons: returnee is just bloody good and the newb is an educationalist who can name-drop and use names from cutting edge educational theory tomes) I'm not sure it would reflect well on me. Who wants to have anything to do with a bearded depressive?

O me miseram.

I am indebted to a good friend for giving me something to smile about, and using appellations that shouldn't have the power they do, but they do. Increasingly I look forward to 'Joanna-Time' - yes, I've entered that stage of my journey - online. I look forward to people offering a few more terms of endearment simply because they assume I'm female. And I lie to get those terms of endearment. I lie for that feeling. I lie for that warm glow I get from being called feminine appellations.

Tonight's beer was Greene King's IPA. But I can't bring myself to review it because it came from a can. I read a few blogs about cuckolds. I wonder if they get more from that than I get from my own relationship. Would Tilly prefer it? I mean... I'm fairly certain she gets nothing physically from me, or indeed wants anything physical to develop.


We were discussing flowers the other day, well, I brought up the fact that I found it odd that there were no images on Google of men getting flowers from women (or other men) and wondered aloud why that was. Tilly asked if it was the sort of thing men would want, expecting a negative response, and I honestly replied that I quite like roses. She laughed a bit. Said: "Are you really just sitting there waiting for flowers?"

"No, are you?"

"Well, obviously not."

"But you like it when I buy flowers for you?"

"Yes, but that's different."

And there the conversation ceased. She changed subjects. She, and our spawn, have colds at the moment so there's not a lot else going on.

Wow, way to scattergun the blog, Jo!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Imperception

When things change they change so slowly that one often fails to even notice the change taking place. Without incontrovertible proof, many deny the change even happened in the first place, but there is proof and so I cannot deny that there has been a change.


You are one of God's mistakes


A sensually (mainly visual) sexual caption that mainly plays
on the perceptions associated with masturbation
and sex. It is exciting and I make no bones (ha) about that
but point it out as something of interest.
It is interesting to me how the first entry in this blog, that I shan't link to here, is all about trying to describe and capture a feeling for which I had no name. It was a feeling that I associated with, and was started by, the act of dressing. In this case of dressing in a Regency style dress discarded by my wife. It took the best part of a day, walking through the woods with my Boy strapped to my chest alone, to work out what was even happening with that feeling and to reach the conclusion that I was experiencing happiness. I was at a loss to explain it and merely logged it as something interesting. However, it came in the middle of a deluge that left me wondering about the efficacy of the feeling and the dressing as a whole. In effect, I was certain that I could not reconcile that feeling with the action and that I should strive not to.

This is more... wistful and playful. Just... nice.
After all, the general reaction of others to the pastime of dressing in clothes designed for the opposite gender is one of suspicion and fear and anger. To this day Tilly refuses to talk about the whole thing or to contemplate it. When I think about talking to my vicar about it, as I do sometimes, I am minded of the comment he made the last time (I should point out it was the most positive conversation I had with anyone about cross-dressing) about how he could tell his wife and give Tilly someone to discuss it with. I told him that I would ask. Tilly said she would rather not have anyone else know for my protection. By which she meant that she didn't want to discuss it. And I'm still giving her space on that about two years later.

I'm well aware of how it aches


It's actually really difficult to find pictures of
women in armour that is reasonable. Impossible
it would appear, to find pictures of young girls
dressed as knights for a fancy dress party.
I guess that means that Girlie dressing as a knight
is still more important to social equality than
the Boy dressing in a frock.
However, my own view has changed. At the beginning I was trying to see it all from her point of view. In that, whilst I did not agree that Tilly was right, I did want to try and understand her anger and her fear. I did think that perhaps the reason I was so private and secretive about the whole thing had something to do with the fact that there was something to be private and secretive about. I have blogged about it before. If I don't believe that my cross-dressing is something of a problem then why aren't I outing myself to my children? Why am I not explaining that anyone of any gender can wear a dress? Or trousers?

The fact of the matter is that Tilly is already doing this, but not out of any connection with what I do. My Boy has gone to bed and spent entire days dressed in his favourite piece of dress-up clothing: a white tutu with a frilly skirt. Because, hey, we're modern and hip and challenge gender roles. My daughter has dressed as a knight and rescued princesses (including the Boy) and has cross-played, to neologise, with her friends on numerous occasions. At least as many times as she has showed heteronomative play tendencies. And Tilly, like a good mother, condones these behaviours. I imagine that there is a feeling that the Boy will grow out of it and that the Girlie is merely challenging the patriarchy... well, okay, the latter point is more mine than Tilly's but you get the idea.

Yet you still won't let me in


Ah yes, the Left Behind series. I rather liked the
first adventure-style book. But then... well...
Also, a vengeful God.
And that's the point. Imperceptibly I have changed. I now view my cross-dressing in a much more controlled manner. I may not indulge as often as I like and I may not get the chance to discuss it, or even think about it openly, but I do recognise it as an essentially harmless activity. I have made it a part of me. My vicar said that he doubted it was something that "causes God to shake his head" and he may have had a point. I don't know about that, I really don't: my concept of a loving God goes hand-in-glove with a vengeful God that is in charge of Evil too - what can I say, I like my harshness - so he could well be deciding that my cross-dressing is enough to get me kicked into Hell, damnation or simply stagnation in job-hunting (the latter of which is real, so let's blame it on my cross-dressing because why not).

I don't have that much grey hair, but my boss does have
the same vaguely insincere smile. She's not that young
but she is much younger than I. Does that make me that old?
Probably.
A similar thing is happening at work with my new boss. Having spent most of the first year trying hard to get me out of my job and still being creepily open to me losing part of it, I think she is beginning to realise that I am actually on her side. I am a closed box. I can hear things and listen to people bitch and moan and I have no compunction to share this information with anyone. I remember that a friend of mine, Tim, was dating someone embarrassing back in Sixth Form and asked me not to tell anyone (embarrassing socially for various unkind and unfair reasons, I had no problem with her or the relationship). So I didn't. When he chose to reveal it I was able to act shocked. Afterwards he asked me about my reaction and I told him that he had said that I should act like I didn't know. I had. He was thankful, if confused, that I followed his instructions to the letter. It made it worse when I lied to him about liking Toby a long time later. I digress.

So now I'm breaking down your door


Yeah, that'd be... that'd be good.
Thing is, my boss has now noticed this about me and is using it. She confides about the failings of others in the Department, of her frustrations and her lack of ability to do certain parts of the job. Part of this confidence is down to the fact that I am still under investigation at work and so can't raise any of the issues that she brings to my attention that could get her investigated as I won't be believed. Nevertheless, she has learned that I work for the Department and that my main aim is making sure that things work smoothly and well, even if I am pants at evidencing it later or doing it in a way that a computer can track. I get the job done. I get the outcomes. It isn't pretty and it isn't management based but it works and everyone feels happy about it. To my mind the best management is when people feel supported rather than managed. I get more done that way and people don't even realise that they're doing me a favour. It is not a recognised management style.

What's the point of all of this?

To try and save your swollen face

Partly it is to record my changed feelings on my cross-dressing and the way in which the work environment has shifted a little so that, although it's not brilliant, it is at least better than it was when I started this blog all that time ago.

Though I don't like you any more

But also, nothing has changed.


You lying, trying, waste of space

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Odd Mood

It persists.

Some things to consider:
I would have liked that. Really. Especially the flowers one. I like roses. I like buying them for Tilly. I would like to receive some one day. Is it too much to ask? Probably.

STILL the only image I can find of a man getting flowers.
Is the desire for flowers so rare in men?
Oh, the image description says gay man. Huh.



There's the Pet Shop Boys in there. I know the track but I just can't pin it down. Gah! Going to bug me for weeks this one. It's Opportunities!

Two in a night? Been a while and not a beer in sight.

Night

I hate being me.

Anyone who has read any of this blog may well already know this information, so apologies for the repetition. But I do. On a training course today and I thought I saw a vision of a possible happy future. Ill-advised return to work to teach in the afternoon followed by a lazy evening in a nightdress while Tilly is out singing and a sure knowledge of impending disaster next week.

I am not functioning at anything resembling full, or even half, capacity and I have no excuses.

In my head I am planning clever things involving showing people that the State cannot protect the safety of the individuals who paid it their sovereignty in exchange for security because no one can defend against the truly sociopathic and motiveless. Possible novel? In reality I am awash with conflicting deadlines and confusion of priority so that I am at a standstill, that requires me running to stay there, in a whirl of workplace politics that demand I take part when what I want to do is hide in a corner and wait for it all to go away.

My quick reactions from the last month make interesting reading, apparently someone finds the blog boring. I am smiling at that. Thank you, nameless person, you took the time to respond - I am actually enough of an attention whore that I am touched by that!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Drum Beat

I finally got round to creating a new CD to listen to in the car. I had some older ones but they ended up being stowed for no particular reason in Tilly's CD case which was then brought into the house - leaving me with Closer to Heaven and a few Driving 101 CDs. Hmm. I like both, but travelling to and from my grandmother's funeral and my brother's wife's thirtieth alone meant that I got bored of them and they needed to be replaced.


The funeral was attended alone because of the children. Neither would really be likely to conform to my family's expectations of behaviour and the alternative of having them hang out at my grandfather's house in an unfamiliar city was... well, let's just say it made sense. It meant that I was unique among the mourners for being alone (well, mourner may be a bit of a strong term for me) but hey - this is what I signed up for in our marriage I guess. The thirtieth was similarly utilitarian in our case - it was starting at 7pm and was an hour's drive from home. There was no way that our children would have coped with that, if they are up past their bedtime then all of their pent up evil spills forth with vitriol.

Yeah, this is pretty much me at school. Except I had 20/20
vision and was male. Other than that, well, you get the
idea. Male socially awkward images didn't... well, I wasn't
a nerd and this sort of thing seems more me.
I know.
I know.
This meant that I was alone when my father and his wife brought up the fact that we have decided to home school. Wouldn't this mess with our childrens' abilities to socialise? Were we not denying them the fun of school? What about their academic chances? Was I not condemning my wife to domestic drudgery and suffering because she couldn't leave the house? Did school do me any harm? It was an attack, well-meaning, but an attack. I was counselled to avoid "mollycoddling" our children because they would find it harder to cope with the real world if I did that. I confess, I rose to the bait when asked if I enjoyed school. "Yes, I loved the academics there, you know I did, but I hated the social aspect. Did you forget I was bullied for most of my school life? I was made to feel ostracised and socially awkward. Hey, still socially awkward. No, my children are not missing out on socialisation. They are missing out on being told what to do and when to do it by people who care more about results than my childrens' enjoyment of what they do and missing out on sitting behind a desk being berated for getting answers wrong. Yes, I suppose they are missing out."

This
It's not for everyone... Actually, you know what? It is for everyone. Human society works best with home school or unschooling. Our present educational landscape was designed to support industrialisation, shift work and the dehumanisation of the workers so that they would accept discipline and their place in society, dammit, avoiding evils like equality and socialism. I'm not really a socialist, but I posit there is less evil in that ideology than there is in modern capitalism (and lets not forget that capitalism was born out of early Socialist thought, itself an offshoot of Liberalism). Oh, and Conseravtism isn't so much an ideology as it is a lack of ideology (though conservatism is an ideology). No, here I can rant a little autistically, and I feel the need to in this case.

Tilly raised the possibility of getting a tattoo this evening, the drum beat of the title, which is fine. I said "I don't really know what I'd think of you having another tattoo". She replied: "You don't have to think anything, it would be my decision."

It's not mine to wear clothes designed for women, that can be removed and require no permanent changes, but making permanent and public changes are her preserve to do as she wishes. I smell double standards at work here.

Except we don't share a bed.
Hell, we don't share a room.
Tilly's the man, BTW.
Because, you know, I needed to explain
that...
I have no issues with her having another tattoo, but her dismissive response drove home a point I've been mulling over for a few days vis a vis our lack of sex life. She was essentially saying that because I wouldn't see it, on her arm, very often I shouldn't really care. She's right. I haven't seen her in a state of undress since the birth of our son and in sexual state of undress I haven't seen her since a few months before we conceived our daughter (the lights are firmly off when sex does happen, at her insistence - she isn't a fan of seeing me naked or me seeing her naked). I shouldn't complain, but it's nearly been two years since our last sexual encounter, itself very much about stopping me complaining (I still burn a bit at her explanation of it as "I only had sex with you to make sure you didn't complain about it having been two years.") and, apart from that, there was the week when we conceived the Boy - well, three days - and that was all about having a second child. It was unfulfilling and mechanistic sex for procreation, with her buggering off after climax and returning an hour or two later and no foreplay at all. Before that we have to go back another two plus years to find some decidedly aggressive sex with neither of us really bothering about the other. Making love? I think we stopped doing that when Tilly moved in back in 2007.

I've babbled about that before here. I guess I still labour under the misapprehension that women want more emotional sex. That there is fun to be had aside from the act of penetration. But I'm a man, what do I know? A quick shag is all we men want, right? Dirty and swift - cum and it's all over, turn over and go to sleep. I don't understand why anyone would want that. I always thought that there would be room for play, for intimacy and for experimentation in the bedroom. Silly me. A few minutes of missionary and we're done here. Anything else is creepy. This from a woman who is, or was, bisexual. I can't work out what else has caused this shift in her appetite or the continued refusal to do anything about it beyond the odd hug here and there - we don't even kiss these days - apart from me.

Ah, plus ca change. Have some music.


Friday, 8 March 2013

Insulation

Just chronicling the fact that the more active I become on Google+ the less good I am at being nice to people that deserve it like Dee and Elle and Calvin/Caitlyn.

Now that I've had a beer (Ruddles County) and a takeout and I've been working late all week I am too tired and vaguely inebriated to go and post comments on their blogs. Consider this a kind of apology. Not enough, by any means, but an apology nonetheless.

This is very pretty and goes in my 'inspiring images' box.
Trees, forests, flowing dresses and a violin. It's like they
read my mind.
I've spent the week trying to find somewhere to buy decent women's clothes for a tenner and have failed. I have the spare cash, I even spotted a yellow skirt and blue blouse I would have liked, but have failed to marry the two. Instead I have not dressed since... well, it feels like ages but is only since here, I'd prefer to remember this one instead, and I am feeling sad about that.

On another level, a friend of Tilly's has split with her husband due to blatant and flagrant infidelity - which is fine. But Tilly says that he was "secretly on all kinds of kinky fetish websites" and that this means "there can be no sympathy for him" and "explains why he shouldn't see his children, actually". She didn't explain further but conversation showed that we weren't speaking of paedophilia, rape fantasies or violence. This doesn't leave a great deal, but it does make me fear the day when, and it's a when not an if, she finds my browser history. Will this blog count under her definition of what is enough to stop a father seeing his children? Part of me thinks it would. And that part of me was left pretty cold and scared by the discussion.

On that happy note, I'm going to try and leave you with a nice, uplifting, animated gif image.


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Hair raising

I am soooo close to paying money for this, for
example. I mean, wtf?
One of the odder things that I find taking up my attention of late is wigs. I mean, I've always had a thing for long hair on women and I've always wondered what that would be like for me. Equally, I've long known that I can't stand that feeling when hair is around my ears (coupled withe the not very attractive wax production) and that I have missed the opportunity to grow my own hair out to see what I would look like with long hair. I mean, now that I'm married and all, making huge changes to my appearance are... well, not possible really. Also, Tilly often talks about getting her hair dyed or doing things with it and yes, part of me is jealous. Vagina envy? I don't know. I am jealous is all.

So I've been looking at wigs online. Mainly on eBay, as if I could actually use that service to buy something and get it delivered in a way that would escape the notice of a. Tilly or b. work. After all, Tilly uses my eBay account, which is tied to my Joanna e-mail (because the e-mail predates all of this and was once my official e-mail address back when I thought one needed false names online to avoid being spammed or hacked) and parcels with wigs would be fairly large and hard to hide.

Or there's this one. A bit sillier, I know, but look at that
fringe!
But, you know, a part of me is seriously trying to work that one out. Like the boots that I obsessed over and then eventually bought or the dress that I looked for and then bought or the clothes that I obsessed over and then bought and then wore and then threw out on a whim. How long until this particular obsession causes me to splash out on buying a wig? Also, there's the news that my job is being restructured to the tune of me being £211 a month worse off. And, of course, I'm looking at spending double figures on a frippery that I shan't even be able to look after properly. Of course.

But, sorry, wigs.

In particular I've been drawn to long ones that have a fringe that would cover, or nearly cover, the eyes but not be long enough to tuck back over the ear. A bit like the idea of wearing lenses that would require me to wear glasses to see properly I guess. I mean, what's all that about?

Just a quick post tonight.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Acceptance

Joanna. Me. As I appear
on Google+.
Aspirational?
One of the odd upshots of the past few weeks is the comfort I now have with using my Joanna online identity. It has actually become easier posting as Joanna on Google+ than it is to use my actual primary account as myself. Interactions on there with people who only know my alter-ego is easier than most of the conversations that I have online anywhere else and easily more effective and honest than any conversations that I'm having in real life.

What follows is a very brutally honest account of my feelings over death of people close to me. I would strongly advise caution with reading further - it's not for everyone. I am very blunt with death. Very blunt. It may not be a good idea if you have any feelings at all on death or have experienced loss to read on. I take no prisoners. If that refers to you, and it very well might, don't click 'read more' and, instead, have a caption I like to lighten the mood.



This was created by the very talented Friedoline. I think it may be my favourite
production. I don't quite know why. But it has an ephemeral quality that I enjoy.


Friday, 1 March 2013

Randomisation

How I'd like to be right now
My grandmother finally died last week, on Sunday. It had been coming a while.

The Boy has been having bad sleep too, since his leg is now healed, and so I'm back in his bed until he settles down again. On the one hand, it's kinda cool that I get to spend that time with him as his Dad, on the other it sucks ass because I don't sleep if he doesn't and I lose about an hour trying to get him settled enough so I can come downstairs and do work.

The funeral is on Monday. I have sorted out work, but it's a ball-ache. And I'm on a trip on Wednesday. I hate trips. Too much stress and worry for me. I'm also being rather irritable at the moment. Hence the short sentences. And the bitching.
How I've felt all day

Tilly and I have shared no more than a hug since 14 February. Most evenings we spend apart on laptops. Again.

Still, am now part of the unofficial working group to keep our new starter off the RADAR and make sure support is in place but without making any overt moves to make it so - behind the scenes support: if she doesn't know we're doing it and no one else does, we're on the right track! I think that's a good thing. I hope it is.

Am wanting to dress. Or buy a new outfit. Or something. May have to settle for something.