Tuesday, January 20, 2009

...And So It Goes On, World Without End, Amen.

Hey, guess what! I feel good! I'm actually well for the first time in months. It's fantastic, really. I'm a little worried that this sudden access of energy and cheer is just the prelude to a manic episode, but what the hell... put the mania to work, I say! And that's what I've been doing the last few days.

I hit bottom with my cold/flu/malaise on Wednesday of last week, the cold medications were starting to do more harm than good, particularly to my gastrointestinal tract... and Wednesday night I decided to stop taking the NyQuil, and so didn't sleep at all; Thursday I was a complete wreck, I actually looked sick and exhausted (everybody commented on it)... so after finishing an important time-sensitive project, I just went home and slept all afternoon.

I tried to go to work the next day, but my body wasn't having it, so I called in sick and spent the entire day sleeping. And I do mean the entire day... I woke up for maybe two hours in the early afternoon, and a couple of hours in the evening, then slept all through the night and late into the next day (Saturday).

And when I woke up, I felt grrrrrrreat! I've continued to feel pretty great ever since, too, so I consider that day and a half a good investment of sick-time.

So on Saturday, I felt so good that I actually finished getting all the Christmas out of my house! It was a bit harder than I had expected, since I decided to make the most of the opportunity and actually went through the boxes and removed all the things we don't use anymore... putting anything that might have sentimental value attached into banker's boxes and throwing out anything that was broken or torn or useless (which turned out to be quite a lot). And then I went up into the attic and re-stacked things so that the boxes, when replaced in the attic, would all be in one place and easily accessed. Then (with Caroline's help) I got all the boxes and bags back into the attic and arranged the living-room furniture to its original formation.

Whew! I was beginning to think I'd never get that done! I was so thrilled with that, I went through my DVDs and sorted out all the ones I don't want anymore, set them aside for removal to Goodwill, and sorted the remainder into genres. Then Caroline and I watched Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, one of my favorite movies of all time.

It was a beautiful day, and I fell into bed with a sense of satisfaction that I haven't felt in absolute eons. And then I slept like a rock for ten hours.

The next day, Grandmother didn't feel like going to church, so I slept in some more, and then got ready to do a drag show... the first I've done since September! I felt a little rusty, but I managed to get all my stuff together for the Winter Extravaganza. And I even took pictures! In fact, I had the brilliant idea to photograph my progress as I put my face on... so at each stage, I stopped, set my camera on my makeup case lid, set the timer, and waited. Wanna see?

Step One: start with a clean, well-moisturized, close-shaved face. I recommend MAC shaving cream for the best shave... that stuff can't be beat. I also used Preparation H on my face earlier in the day, it tightens everything up nicely.

Step Two: I like to lay down a good matte foundation, a blank canvas as it were; I used Max Factor Pan-Stik (Fair/Pale) and l'Oreal mineral loose powder (Translucent), though since Max Factor has stopped making the Fair color, I think I might have to go back to Dermablend (which costs a LOT more but comes in a zillion colors).

Step Three: I tried something new with my eyeshadow, going for a smokey look that I hoped would distract from my wrinkles; I don't know what brands I was using, but they're loose powders and very good quality; I put the darkest brown in the crease of my lids, with a lighter rosy brown on the lids and under the eye, and a shimmering taupe under the brow.

Step Four: I like a blackest black liquid pen eyeliner for the upper line, I'm using Almay because I'm wearing contacts but ordinarily I don't care about the brand; the lower line and the eyebrow is brown/black pencil (the cheap kind...eye and lip pencils are not worth spending money on); I used Maybelline (I think) for the mascara, it's one of those two-coat types that really thicken the lash. I always put a little dot of liquid eyeliner on the apple of my right cheek, a little trademark I've been doing for years... the first time was to camouflage a zit, but it really balances my face so I adopted it permanently.

Step Five: contouring is one of the most important steps in feminizing a face; I use a brownish-rose blusher for this, outlining my face, outlining the bridge of the nose, diminishing my jawbone and browbone, and adding a false shadow under the lip. The lipliner is a pencil, also the cheapest brand from the drugstore, I swear the expensive pencils fall apart immediately, I've never got more than one use out of them.

Step Six: the frame of the hair makes such a difference to the face, I like to put my wig on before I finish my makeup to see if I need to make any alterations or additions before I finish up.

Step Seven: a fresh coat of pressed powder and a coat of lipstick finish the face; the clothes (black ballet tights, black boots, strapless longline bra, beaded corset, brown silk suit with fox collar and cuffs) and jewelry are my favorite part of drag, what I got involved in it for in the first place. I can't quite explain the oddly dissipated expression I'm wearing in this picture, it makes me look drunk. I got a lot of compliments on that pendant, it's actually a snowflake Christmas ornament that I got at Pottery Barn!

The finished product. I felt so pretty in this outfit, and it was really quite comfortable. The boots got on my nerves after a while, as did the underwires in the bra, but it was very slimming without being terribly constrictive.

And finally here I am with my good friend Jason, whom you may remember better as Angelique deVil. I had a really good time at the show, hanging out with Jason and Damon and all the Court folks whom I haven't seen in months and months. And the venue, the Bench & Bar, is so big that I was able to hang out comfortably without feeling crowded at any time (a frequent problem at smaller venues). All that combined with my already good mood, and I had a really fantastic evening.

And then I went grocery shopping afterward (after changing back into jeans and washing my face, naturally)... and it just goes to show how good of a mood I was in, I actually enjoyed it! I was smiling the whole time and even felt indulgent toward the patently incompetent checkout clerk. The fact that there were five separate absolute hotties wandering around the store while I was there helped.

Well, the next day was the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, which I had off from work, and in which I planned to clean my room. Unfortunately, the show on Sunday and all the manual labor on Saturday were a little more than the frame could take, and I had to admit that I'd overdid it just a trifle. I did manage to get some laundry done, and I cleaned out Claudius' tank, but most of the day I FaceBooked and read Dearly Devoted Dexter (which was amazing, I heartily recommend).

Now I have to go back to work, which will be a test of just how good I feel... and whether or not I'm feeling good or am just running manic. I'll let you know how it turns out. In the meantime, rest your eyes on this loverly specimen:

(I just realized this is the second time in as many months that I've used model Ashtyn Long in a post-punctuation. This image is the desktop wallpaper on my laptop, and I gaze and gaze and gaze at it. I think I may be falling in love again...)

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