30 November 2014

ObserVation: The Naming of Cats...

ver the years, one sees the different trends in naming children. The fluctuations are influenced by film characters (we have trekkie friends that named their daughter Jadzia), idols in the music business and characters from books. 
Some parents have a hard time in choosing. They want to give their child a head start with a name that will stand out above the rest, so they look to exotic places and go through endless lists on Internet sites. Here in Germany Nordic names were in trend a few years ago, some unpronounceable without a phonetic life support system and in some cases leading to a lifelong hassle of having to repeat ones name more than once to all and sundry. 
Some parents take a well-worn name and start to add “i”s and “y”s, leaving out or swapping letters around until it looks different, sounds exactly the same as the original and gets the maximum number of points in a game of Scrabble. 
And of course there are those traditional parents who make a list of all relations going back at least three generations and without looking, stick a pin in the list hoping for at least the right sex. Although I get the impression that, this is not always a criterion to try again. 
Maybe we could follow Charlie Chan's example, who just numbered his sons. It would be a darn sight easier that way and would give the child time to select his or her own. If dolphins choose their own call sounds to interact within the family unit, why can't we? 
All my life I have had experiences with incorrect pronunciation, it started at school when I was nine. It was an emotional argument with a new teacher who thought he knew better that I, on how to pronounce my family name. I went home miserable and told my father. The next day he went with me to school and had a "word" with the teacher. Of course the teacher got his own back. From that day on, I was the only kid in my class that was demonstratively called by my first name. This you can imagine was not to my liking, especially when I was among my class mates. 
What is interesting is that here in Germany hardly anyone has difficulty with my family name. It’s only when I get calls from English speaking countries that I have to go into education mode. You may have gathered from this that I'm not talking about Abigale’s family name. Of which there are two different spellings with the same pronunciation! Don’t we make language difficult for ourselves! 
My parents’ generation had usually two middle names, my generation one. We are now down in many areas to only one name before (or after) the family name. If in the future, this trend continues the complete name will disappear and everyone will end up with a User ID.
[Ed: I think we are already there..]
Really!

[Ed: Really]
Oh gawd.. 


There is a group of people that can choose their own names! I have the privilege to be among them. Some of us will only use it for identification within selected communities others will go so far as to legalise it with a new ID. Whatever the reason, we chose it! Of course, our motives in choosing a name are as diverse as when our parents made their choice for us. 
The other day I reflected on why I chose Abigale. What I did not want was a name of someone I knew personally; I would always compare myself in some way with how I remembered her. Not in the way of looks, more the mannerisms and persona. With this in mind, I made a list of girl names to choose from, somehow without much thought a name just came to me. To not be "run of the mill", I chose Abigale in the spelling that my autocorrect keeps trying to change into "Abigail" (this time I let it). 
I also have a middle name, Belinda. This also follows the "don't know anyone" criteria. The name Belinda I connect way back to a song from my youth. It was the title and the text was about someone with that name. Unfortunately, after so long I can't remember the artist or the melody. All I know is that it was my one my favourite song for quite some time. I am quite net-wise but I still can't find it. If anyone can help me find this song, I would appreciate it. 
I think my names will be around for the duration, I am happy with them. There are some people that are not so happy and with little forewarning change them with the result that they disappear momentary from Google or leave corrupt links in the blogosphere. I think they both know who I'm talking about. I know it was totally unintentional, it can happen. Having an online presence can bring difficulties with it. I was clearing out multiple copies of my Celtic Tree Icon in Google with the affect that in some, but not all, the comments I left sprinkled about in early November have now turned into grey warning triangles! 
That was harmless; something’s or people disappear for more drastic reasons. 
This will be a subject for a future post.
[Ed: That sounds ominous!]
Not really, but something I feel I need to blog about.


The Naming of Girls is a difficult matter, 
It isn't just one of your holiday games; 
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter,
When I tell you, a girl must have three different names... 
T. S. Eliot / A. B. Stuart

21 November 2014

DeptStore 3rd. Floor: Hair

air has for me always been something fascinating especially when it is long. Mrs. A has it half way down her back. She spends a long time keeping it in check and would like to shorten it, but knows I like it the way it is. She constantly has to tie it back or pile it up on her head to get it out of the way. I keep being encouraged to practice some braiding. A couple of times in the past I have tried a few basic braids, but nothing really complicated. You know when it gets complicated; you need that extra hand to entangle yourself from an unlucky manoeuvre. 
I have a tick for Celtic Art and knots in particular (you only have to look at my blog layout) and have been collecting braiding patterns, some with Celtic knot work. My pin board has quite a number of examples that I would like to try out. If I go through the pin collection with Mrs. A. to see what she would like me to try, there is a good chance that afterwards will come the question "Who is this Abigale?" I think I will have to approach it from another angle, by surfing with her and just happen to “find” my pins along the way. 

Since I has started to fill my wardrobe with ..
[Ed: wardrobe? you mean the dozen boxes stacked away in the cellar]
Ok, yes it’s all in unlabelled boxes and yes, in the meantime I have no idea what I have and yes, it takes ages to find anything I want to try on with the rare occasions I’m alone and yes ..

..  sorry about that, my mind wanders off now and then. It is just so frustrating having to stash everything away, instead of hanging the clothes correctly in a wardrobe. With using overfilled boxes, it is almost impossible to keep them wrinkle free. 
There was something..
[Ed: Wigs?]
Yes, wigs that was it. 

I have until recently no experience with wigs; my mother never wore one and therefore I had no chance to try one on when growing up. No school plays with a prop and costume cellar to rummage about in. Moreover I never had the opportunity (why should I have) to go to a wig shop or stroll around in department stores and scrutinise the difference styles/colours and get funny looks or be asked awkward questions. As it is such a personal accessoire, I think when in drab mode, it would probably be easier to buy makeup and lingerie than a wig. I’m not sure on that one, as I have no experience with either. The only thing I have bought over the years was the odd lipstick. You all know how it goes:
While trying to look somewhere else at least two flybys to check the location of the target, third flyby with pickup, then to the next deserted pay counter collecting a few odd items along the way as camouflage, overreact while paying, forget your change, take bearings on the exit, head down and run as slowly as possible, if you’re lucky, jerking your head back up just before hitting the glass door, on getting out side, check the booty and realise it has not only the wrong number but also the wrong make and therefore a totally different colour, dam!
[Ed: I take it you speak from experience?]
What do you think!!
[Ed: okay, just asking..]
It is amazing how this is the one accessory that can transform the appearance of a person so drastically (a wig not lipstick). When one looks at the transformation videos out there, makeup is one thing, but at the end when an appropriate hairpiece is added the change really hits you.

Abigale has to-date accumulated 3 wigs since she started her online shopping spree in March, all in the very, very low price range. I know you have to give out good money for a realistic hairpiece with after styling to get it just right. I’m just starting out and buying something expensive just to find out it doesn’t fit and the colour and style doesn’t say something to “me”, is a waste of Abigale’s rapidly depleting budget. Anyway I could put the money to better use buying shoes. 
I selected three different styles/colours/length, a long blond one, a black/red with strains and a full red head. This whole thing was all rather experimental. See the thumbnails to get an idea (rolling your eyes is allowed). I just wanted to see what I would look like with a full head of hair in typical girl style. What stumped me to begin with was size. Not all wigs I looked at gave any indication of size and this limited my selection somewhat. Of the three I selected, two were 60 cm and one 58 cm. I measured the circumference of my head beforehand and knew that the 58 cm could be a tight fit. 
I wasn’t sure if wig size was in some way the same as my feet killing experiences with shoes, where a 9 is not necessary a 9. No matter I went “ahead” and bought the 58 cm anyway. 
I won’t go into details of the fight I had with the blond one. Trying to get myself and “it” orientated correctly beforehand and the numerous failed attempts at bodily contact. Coming up for air and seeing a wall of hair, sometimes it was the long bit upfront sometimes the short bit. Then removal, untangle, orientate and try again. The 58 cm was tight and I couldn’t get the hook done up at the back.  
After all this I do believe they have a life of their own.  
There is something I can now talk about from experience which I only read about before; it’s a hothouse under a wig! Unfortunately, I tend to sweat somewhat anyway and my self-inflicted fitting session was in the middle of a heat wave, did I sweat! Most of the time it was water and not hair getting in my eyes! 
I must say girls, my wig off to all of you who can spend a day under such a contraption! 
I will not inflict you (and never will) with pictures, let's just say you would have fallen of your chair laughing, I nearly did. I looked absolutely ridiculous. 
Will just have to look for something more fitting my age.

20 November 2014

Windows: Graveyards I

s we have All Hallows / Halloween behind us for another year. Some of you will have taken the opportunity to dress up and hit the town. Others myself included, would have sat at home wondering if they have the guts to take the plunge and go out or wait until next year and repeat the wondering. I have no experience of going out dressed to the “nines” or any other number! And it will probably stay that way for some time.

I have been pretty na├»ve about this, but I didn't know that Halloween was used as an opportunity to dress and get out! The first I heard, or in this case read, about it was in Stana’s blog (of Femulate fame). I must admit the only event at this time of year that got me “outside” was Guy Fawkes Night with bonfire and fireworks. I wasn't that much of a party goer in the past. I only remember my parents going out to a "Witch & Tramp" party in the evening, giving me the chance to have my own private “costume party” behind closed doors. 
In the city where I work we have the largest LGBT community in Germany. Here the main event of the year is the Christopher Street parade for letting it all hang out so to speak, well you know what I mean. I would not be comfortable in getting out with the crowd in a district where I could get recognised, and I would get recognised no matter how much makeup and female covering I used. No matter, I will think of something one day. 
On the Halloween Friday I was working late due to an audit (got home at one in the morning – highlife on the streets- luckily ran nobody down, alive or dead). Over the evening I was off and on chatting online to E with a dozen other chatters about her going out (E lives in Hamburg and therefore we were in the same time zone). Someone brought up the subject of sleeping in a graveyard and surprising people in the morning when sitting up – some people have weird hobbies. It got me thinking of my own experiences with graveyards. 
[Ed: yep, she’s just as weird].
Leave it! Anyway I thought I would at least relate a harmless event relating to said locations from my past. 
When working in London, a colleague A, wanted to go to a rock concert over the weekend and suggested I tag along as we both wanted to go but not alone. As A's parents lived in the near of the event, we could train down on the Friday after work, stay overnight and get to the gig early. We arrived at the concert and within a short time we had lost sight of each other among the 150.000 crowd that had turned up. One of the problems been on ones tod, is when one needs to spend a penny. I only had one option, to pack my rucksack and leave the patch of muddy ground I had squatted on. Even if A had been there holding the fort, I'm not sure if I would have be able to find him again after my long sojourn to the distance toilets. I can’t remember that much about the music (no I was not high) apart from my favourite group Pink Floyd who played for the first time Atom Heart Mother… 
[Ed: to give you something to do while she rambles on, please let me know the date of the concert, sorry no prizes].
 … The live music went on late into the night, delayed mainly due to the difficulty getting the groups in and out of the area. At about one in the morning they were playing music from tape and it didn't sound like it was going to stop at all. As I had long given up trying to hassle a sleeping space among all those bodies and with the loud music in the background I decided to go for a walk to get away from it all. 
The country lanes were dark and deserted and I had no idea where I was going. By the time the music had died down to the level of my tinnitus, I started to look around for somewhere to sleep. Eventually I reached a village and on the outskirts, a church. I went and sat on the steps trying to decide what to do next, it must have been about two o’clock by this time. It was either start back without a nap or crash where I was. I was beyond caring where I put my head down at this point. 
There must have been some moonlight as I could see outlines of gravestones. Never one for missing the opportunity of wandering through a graveyard even at this late hour, I set off. Walking back and forth along the rows of graves, I found two that looked newly occupied. They were just mounds of fresh earth waiting for their boarders and head stones and there in the incline between them a perfect place to layout my sleeping bag. Without further ado, I was flat out and "dead" to the world! 
The next thing I remember was being suddenly awake. It was light and peaceful. I was disoriented for a moment, then realised where I was, turned over and dropped back into sleep.
And then there was this bell ringing somewhere off stage… 
I was suddenly back again, this time with a panic building up due not to my current location, but because it was Sunday morning and the bell meant human activity in the church. The last thing I wanted was to be found taking up real-estate space in a graveyard! I packed my rucksack and moved off as quickly as possible. 
There was no irate vicar running after me with his cassock flapping in the wind, no little old lady with an arm full of flowers for the altar, fainting as I sat up saying in a husky voice "good morning dear". Only a bleary-eyed gestalt wanting an egg and bacon sandwich and a hot cup of tea to stop a rumbling stomach. 
It was a long wait; only in London on the Monday morning did I feel back in the land of the living.

19 November 2014

Windows: My first time ...

y first recollections of trying on female attire goes back to the time I was still sleeping in my parent’s bedroom. I must have been 9 or 10 because after that I had my own room. 
In the mornings from my bed in the corner, when the chance arose, I would watch my mother indirectly and off hand as possible as she put on her nylons. I was fascinated in the way she treated them with care, making sure the seams were straight and ultimately the contortion act of fastening them to the back of her girdle. I would get a questionable look if I hadn’t turned completely away at this point. 
Oh, I just had to try them on! I won’t say it was a compulsive fixation, but dam nearly! 
One day when my mother was in the kitchen I sneaked into our bedroom, took from her draw a pair and scrambled under my bed in the corner. It was semi dark and I slid them up my legs, I could hardly see what I was doing and it’s a wonder I didn’t ruin them. The feeling was beyond all expectation, electrifying! 
At this moment, my mother called me and I automatically answered! She traced me to the bedroom and as she came and looked under the bed I tried to hide my legs up behind me! She asked what I was doing there with no mention of what I was trying to hide. I gave a feeble excuse of playing coalminers or something, she said ok and left. 
When it was quiet and my pulse had normalised I got out removed the nylons, blew off all the fluff and dust they had accumulated under the bed, rolled them up and placed them back where I had found them. 
No indication that I was “found out”.
I was now hooked!