Friday, December 26, 2008

Recommended Reading

I got Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother" for Christmas.

I didn't really know much about Doctorow before I read this, apart from his appearances in XKCD, and mentions of his name in the same breath as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. However the premise of the book - tech savvy kids fight back when the DHS labels them as potential terrorists - sounded intriguing.

I read the first chapter after my Christmas dinner whilst in the reading room, and the only thing that stopped me starting chapter two was The New Doctor, and A Matter of Loaf and Death.

So last night I thought I'd just read a few chapters, and then have an early night.

I finished the book at 4am this morning.

You hear the phrases "unputdownable", or "I couldn't put it down" about books all the time, but this is only the second time I've experienced it (the last time was Nick McDonell's Twelve).

I highly recommend getting this book. And if you are feeling the pinch, you can even download it for free completely legitimately.

Spread the word


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Blue Rage!

Something that annoyed me the last two Christmases, and has now started to annoy me again is blue Christmas lights.

Seems fairly harmless enough. Just one of many colours of lights that people use for the large light displays on the front of their house, right?


There are two real problems with these blue lights, particularly when they are the only colour of light being used.

1) Emergency services
For some reason, these blue lights are the same blue as used by ambulances, police cars and fire engines. And if the house has any sort of obstruction outside streetlamps, trees or telegraph poles) the flicker of blue is just enough to add an extra thing to worry about when driving conditions are bad. Am I speeding? Do my lights work? Will I have to brake/swerve suddenly? etc...

2) My eyes!
The blue they have chosen also hurts my eyes. Its so far along the spectrum its bordering on UV and the frequency of light makes my eyes twitch. Grrr!

So in short, either dump these lights, or mix them with other colours to save my poor nerves and eyeballs!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Parenting fail

Disclaimer: this post is nothing to do with Shannon Matthews or Baby P.

I haven't had much to blog about for a while, so I thought I'd better post something to avoid rusting up completely. Here is a little tale about my neighbours, and their wonderful parenting skills.

As I left my home the other day, the couple I live next door to, were having a shouting match in the garden. He was standing in the doorway of their home. She was standing three or four metres away by the gate with their two young children.

Apparently the back story was that he had jokingly told the children that they were to have "wee and poo" for dinner that night. They thought this was hilarious.

She did not and proceeded to scream at him (in their presence), "You cant fucking tell them they're having wee and poo for dinner! They'll fucking repeat that shit at school!"


Friday, November 14, 2008

Kill It With Fire

As discussed in Identity Crisis I have been working on a little game design project.

"Kill It With Fire" is the name for my solo pen-and-paper game about maintaining a web presence while trolls try to bring it crashing down around your ears. Although it was mostly an exercise in design, it is actually playable.

The main design theory I was following was "system matters". The mechanics of the game had to be suited to the task at hand, practically as well as thematically. As play-testers have pointed out that the game seems repetitive and, at times, futile, I think I have captured the essence of holding back the mindless tide that is trolldom.

Kill It With Fire puts you in the role of a site-admin. Every day trolls assault your blog, forum, photo site, and even your personal life, but you have limited resources to undo their damage. You win by removing the last troll token on the board (representing . If at any point there are more than ten troll tokens on any one of your responsibilities you lose. Theoretically you could count the turns you survived before losing to compare your progress with others, but playing to a win or lose is usually enough.

You will need two regular six-sided dice and some counters (coins or tiddlywinks or fine) to play. The rules explain everything you need to know

Take a look and see what you think:

Kill it with Fire (File size 131K)

EDIT: File now located at

Sunday, November 02, 2008


So Halloween has been and gone for another year. I hope all the residents of the Trannisphere were able to take advantage of the season fora spot of dressing up. I certainly did. But before I discuss that...

Wasn't Dead Set good?

I had high hopes for the show, as Charlie Brooker is consistently entertaining on Screenwipe. But I also had deap-seated worries, because I hated the Nathan Barley series but found him pant-wettingly funny on the TV Go Home website).

I wasn't disappointed. It was funny, scary, and nicely satirical. There are some issues that pop up in horror that I have problems with (the ending Frank Darrabont's take on The Mist pushed those buttons), but Dead Set ended in a way that made sense, and felt right. Obviously as an optimist I'd have gone for a open-ended Butch and Sundance ending, but that's just personal preference. And it's out on DVD soon for those that missed it.

So, Halloween. I went out Friday night to The Wheel again, for their Halloqueen karaoke party. It was also my friend Hannah's birthday, so any excuse to dress up!

After Chrissy had hijacked my favourite outfit for herself, and Hannah had laid dibs on my goth wig, I decided to go for the old PVC witch look (sadly not as cool as Becky's one from the other year, but good enough). Unfortunately, despite trying it o weeks ago and loving it, I tried it on again Friday morning and had a fashion crisis - it didn't look right and I hated it!

Instead I went for a different witchy look, and dug out my top hat and skull staff. And when I got to Chrissy's to change I found she had a skull pendant and a cool bone bracelet which I horked, and had a last minute change to voodoo priestess. Sadly my pics are a bit blurry, and others were rather unflattering, so unless you scour Facebook, you'll have to imagine!

The night itself was pretty cool, and I met some new friends Amy and Shawnie. Amy hadn't dressed up, but Shawnie made an awesome Priss (from Bladerunner), and we spent the night chatting about all kinds of things.

Which reminds me - sorry if I didn't give you enough of my time Chrissy. You seemed a little distant (I think understand why) and I felt uncomfortable bothering you too much. I hope you get things sorted out.

But overall it was a good night, and I got to sing lots (even though I started choking to death during Love's Unkind)

And finally, the best story of the night:

While we waited for a taxi, we stood outside the pub with the smokers. There were around ten of us, and a couple of us were pretty big people. Plus we were completely blocking access to the pub door, you'd have had to push past, or go completely around to get in.

Which is why we fell about laughing when a muppet in a passing car threw an egg and hit the bottom of the pub door, completely missing everybody! A guy in a vampire costume made the observation that it was probably the throwers vestigial sixth finger causing some top spin that made him miss :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My new favourite webcomic

Thanks to some chatter on a forum I have discovered Shaenon K. Garrity and Jeffrey Channing Wells's Skin Horse.

Its got a sci-fi theme, but is set in the sort-of present, and is about a team working for the government dealing with problems caused by genetically altered sentients.

The main team consist of a sentient swarm of bees, a rehabilitated Victorian criminal robot, an intelligent talking dog, and a zombie with love of large calibre guns and mayhem. But it's Tip, the new member and token human, that sold me on the strip.

Tip is a psychologist and a crossdresser. He's also got bags of confidence and is a hit with the ladies. Which makes a nice change.

Check out this recent strip after he seduces a Black Ops scientist (Click on the strip to embiggen):

I spent last night reading the archives. Its funny, clever, and sympathetic to nearly all the characters (even the opera-loving mutant silverfish in the basement!) Its so nice to see a positive portrayal of a tranny online too. Especially when its not the central theme of the comic, just a character detail.

The archives start here

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Identity crisis

We denizens of the Trannisphere spend a lot of time keeping our public and private personae separate. However I have found a problem with keeping Pandora and "Bob" compartmentalised online - my ego.

I've just written a little solitaire game. The kind that uses dice and tokens. It has a vague tranny connection.

The problem is who do I assign the writing credit to?

Assign it to Pandora

  • No worries with outing myself
  • Can distribute it via the Trannisphere
  • Can't discuss the game in the gaming forums as I'm registered as "Bob"
  • Don't get to add it to my portfolio of work

Assign it to "Bob"

  • Can discuss the game on gaming forums
  • Adds to my portfolio of work

  • Tranny connection may raise questions
  • Can't put it on this blog

I suppose I could co-credit it, but that may lead to an inadvertent outing. And besides it just seems weird.

Any suggestions?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

"The nuts are complimentary"

Following on from my post on compliments (was it really as long ago as April? Eeek!) I'm going to postulate a theory:

If you want compliments (particularly as a tranny) find a group of really nice people, and get them drunk.

Last night I went out to my local gay-friendly venue for its karaoke night, and got one of the best compliments I have ever received, from a friend who had had quite a bit to drink.

My best friend Chrissy and her mates turned up half way through the evening, and Chrissy said that her brother and his new girlfriend were on their way too. I recently met her brother and we got on really well, so he was looking forward to meeting up again, and was interested to meet me as Pandora. I was also looking forward to meeting his girlfriend who was apparently "loud, American and a cosplayer".

When he finally arrived, Chrissy introduced him to me and all her other friends. Ever the gent, her brother kissed all the ladies present on the cheek and said hi. I was quite flattered that he was "playing along" and included me in with the ladies. Until he came back from the bar, shook my hand and said "We've actually met before haven't we?" :D

Later in the evening his girlfriend (who was exactly as described, but quite lovely) told me that while they were at the bar after doing introductions, he'd said that he was quite disappointed I wasn't there yet, and didn't know any of the girls he'd been introduced to!

Like I said earlier, he was rather tipsy by that point in the evening, but it still made me feel really good about myself.

(The title is from this joke if you were wondering)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Best disclaimer ever...

From The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen (Hogshead Publishing 1998):

Disclaimer: The words "he", "him" and "his" are used throughout this book as generic third-person singular pronouns. With this usage the author, a man of great gallantry, does not wish to imply that members of the fairer sex are any less likely to have astonishing adventures than their male counterparts despite their frailty, lack of education and great aptitude for giggling and fainting. He does not assume that flouncy crinolines and a décolletage like alabaster might make then any less able to engage in espionage against the French while disguised as a haddock, or that their extensive skills in needlepoint and household management would be anything but an asset when seducing the Empress of Russia. In short, he believes that in many ways women are just as brave, capable and interesting as men, and in occasional circumstances more so. Bless their little hearts.

(Quoted under fair usage as a review)

With a disclaimer like that how can you not want to read more? Heartily recommended as a rather interesting parlour game, and a damn enjoyable read.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Number 1: The KLF

I've been a bit negative recently, so this is number 1 in an occasional series of things that make me happy.

What Time Is Love America

Playing guitars, in armour, in a storm, on a viking longboat, the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu remind us what time love is:

Justified and Ancient

They're justified, ancient, ride an icecream van (make mine a 99 please), and persuaded Tammy Wynette to get involved in their silliness. I like to sing this one at my local karaoke haunt.

Doctorin' the Tardis

An early appearance under the name "The Timelords". This was my first exposure to Drummond and Cauty. An odd blend of The Glitter Band and the old Who theme.

More info on the KLF here

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Why I hate weddings

I had a long post planned, but it boils down to this:

A reading was given at the wedding I attended today about how the Bible sees marriage. Apparently the main thing it has to say (according to this reading) is that if there is an argument between husband and wife, and they cannot reach an agreement, then the wife must submit to her husband.

As an Equality and Diversity Adviser I was appalled. But it was my friends wedding, and I had to bite my tongue and seethe.

Aside: As a grumpy singleton who keeps getting wedding invites, I'm considering buying a ruined wedding dress and some toy spiders so I can attend as Miss Havisham

Monday, August 04, 2008

Bitchy rant

Well it turns out my ex isn't a useless cow, she's actually a lying bitch.

She was the one wanting to get back with me, but her track record of unreliability has been a major barrier.

I decided to give her a second chance and invited her to join me at a friends wedding. She was very excited.

And then, mere days before, she cancelled saying she had to work at short notice.

For most people this would be unfortunate but believable, but given her history, I was less than charitable and ignored her texts.

Sounds harsh maybe, but saying nothing was better than saying what was on my mind...

And then this morning I check Facebook, and see pictures of her out drinking with her mates on the night she was apparently working.

And people wonder why I am always so bitter and cynical...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Little Fluffy Clouds

Stephanie has introduced me to a cool new online toy! Wordle is a nifty little application that makes a word cloud of a bunch of text, or a website, or blog etc.

And for those not in the know, that's a visual display of the most common words sized by occurrence.

Pandora's Hideaway looks something like this:

(Click for bigger)

The key words seem to be "funny", "updates", "pictures". "Outfit", "genre" and "tranny" are quite popular too!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The (un)Official List of Tranny Cliches

Inspired by some chat over on Rachel's blog, I thought I'd have a go at compiling a list myself.

So lets have a think (and feel fee to suggest more)
  • Maid/Waitress
  • Nurse
  • Schoolgirl
  • Secretary/Businesswoman
  • Bride
  • Tart/streetwalker
  • Policewoman
  • Dominatrix
  • Can-can/Moulin Rouge dancer
  • Wonder Woman (or other super heroine)
  • Air Hostess*
  • Geisha
  • Lingerie
  • Any outfit showing stocking tops
  • Any outfit showing cleavage
  • Any outfit involving a greyhound skirt
I've done eight out of fifteen, which isn't bad..

For fun here's some general photography tranny cliches. And I'm not suggesting any of these are bad, just recurring themes in the community.
  • MySpace angle
  • Hotel room (bonus points for including the door, or being at a Travelodge)
  • Picture including a radiator
  • Picture with a fellow tranny
  • Posed on the stairs/landing*
  • Posed at home, extremely cropped picture*
  • Posed at home with background blurred or removed**
  • Posed at home with curtains closed and lights off*
  • All full-length shots*
  • Photo taken looking down at shoes*
  • Photo taken in the mirror
  • Blurry nightclub picture
  • Dressing service picture
  • Cartoon avatar (Simpsons, Zwinky, Meez etc)
  • Photo of clothes
  • Photo of make up containers
  • Photo of hotel room swamped in clothes and accessories
And finally, the tranny no-nos
  • Claiming a picture of a real girl as yourself
  • Claiming a picture of another T-Girl as yourself
  • Full-length photo with face blurred/obscured
  • Photoshopping your head on another body
  • As above and adding a fake teardrop tattoo
  • Photoshoping yourself into another location/background*
  • Having a favourites list of T-Girl lingerie shots with no pictures of your own
  • As above and not having a avatar :|
  • Only having photographs featuring your genitals poking out of underwear
  • Commenting a real girl's ability to pass as female***
  • Presuming everyone on Flickr is a tranny*
So what have I missed?

*= Thanks Steph
**= Thanks Lynn
***= Thanks Lucy

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Webcomic round-up

Thanks to hayfever, I don’t have much to write about at the moment. I’m sure you don’t want to know about our new photocopier at work, so I’m going to comment on the webcomics I’m reading at the moment.

XKCD - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.
OK, so I think all my readers are fans, but in case you are not, you really need to check out this funny, clever and sweet webcomic featuring the most expressive stickmen you ever saw. Updates Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Questionable Content - The life and loves of slackers
QC used to be a comic about a loser and his robot friend, but when Martin met Dora it spun off into an ensemble comic about their non-relationship and all the people they interact with. My favourite character is Hannalore – Martin’s OCD clean-freak neighbour. She’s such a sweetie. Updates weekdays.

Order of the Stick - Genre-aware fantasy adventurers
If you’ve ever played Dungeons and Dragons then Order of the Stick (OOTS) is for you. It follows the fortune of a group of adventurers in a fantasy world. But these guys know the tropes and clichés of the genre, and are quite prepared to exploit this knowledge. Art is simple, but the script is funny. Updates three days a week without warning.

Darth and Droids - From the creators of Irregular Webcomic.
What if Star Wars Episode One wasn’t a film, but was instead being made up as they went along, by a group of sci-fi gamers? Similar in concept to DM of the Rings, this affectionately mocks Lucas’s folly.

Goblins - More genre savvy
Goblins follows a group of genre aware goblins with funny names as they set out on a quest to become adventurers, level-up, and become powerful enough to defend their village. Despite its silly premise, this can be quite deep and emotional without warning, but it is better for it. My favourite character is “Complains of Names”. Supposed to update every Thursday, but tends to slip a fair bit.

A Softer World - A little disturbing...
Very funny, but often very dark, A Softer World makes strips out of captioned photos. Always odd, often harsh, always clever. Also check out the authors project Overqualified - a collection of gonzo application letters.

Something Positive - and Super Stupor, Rhymes with Witch, Midnight Macabre, etc
More harshness (see the first ever comic if you don’t believe me) but also a compelling soap opera about a group of friends. The cast has swelled since the start, but there's always something interesting going on. And usually a rather snide punchline. Updates erratically.

The Book of Biff - The man with big eyebrows
Biff lives in a strange surreal world. Everyday his one panel comic has him learning something important about life.

Monday, June 09, 2008

"Thirty Million Isk!"

Its plug time :-)

If you like your sci-fi to be low on explosions and high on witty dialogue, I might have the film for you!

"Clear Skies" is a labour of love. Ian Chisholm, aka Captain John Rourke, spent two years playing around with EVE Online and Half Life 2, and with the help of a few friends made this landmark film.

You don't need to be a fan of either game to enjoy this either (although there are jokes for those in the know). The plot is a basic sci-fi staple - a simple job that looks too good to be true - but its the characters that make it. We have a well spoken villain, a bickering crew, and a few contacts with mysterious backstories that hint at a bigger picture. OK and it does have some explosions as well.

Its not perfect - some of the dialogue is lost under sound effects, the cast are hardly professionals, and its only 40 minutes long - but its gone down really well in the fan community as it marks a radical departure from the usual EVE Online video of ship combat set to a rock soundtrack.

Don't take my word for it. See for yourself

Download the movie (450mb)

Download the trailer (26mb)

Read the epic thread at The EVE Insider

The EVE Insider thread also has links to the script and the out-takes.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Meme time

I got tagged by Lynn Jones on this one:

The requirements are as follows:
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Locate the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences on your blog and in so doing…
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

Setting up a narrow range of choices, then, should always be a part of your deceptions. The following are among the most common forms of “controlling the options: Colour the choices. This was a favourite technique of Henry Kissinger

-The Concise 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

I'm going to tag:
and Rachel

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hen night fun

On Saturday I went out on a hen night with some friends. We had a blast.

We met up at a rather nice pub with a beer garden and had a few drinks waiting for the hen to arrive. I thought it was the wedding she was supposed to be late for!

When she got there we went to town on her outfit: flashing tiara, veil, sash with flashing LEDs, L-plates, a big badge saying “Warning – Hen night in the area.” I also had a chuckle when some guys sat down at the next table and said “Uh-oh, hen night. Are we safe over here?” Apart from a couple of double takes, nobody gave me any hassle either. Even the staff seemed unfazed.

After a pitcher of something blue containing vodka, and getting to grips with our rude straws, we each had to pick a dare card. If we hadn’t performed the dare by the end of the evening, and well enough for the others to guess it, there would be a forfeit to pay! One of the girls asked what the forfeit was (smart girl – weighing up which was worse, her dare or the forfeit), but Chrissie had anticipated this. She said that the forfeit was a secret, but would be messy!

Sadly no-one ended up having to do a forfeit, so I don’t know what it would have been. Although my gut instinct is that it was just a way of getting everyone to join in, rather than an actual threat. I must ask her later what she had in mind…

When we finished our drinks we decided to move on. This took at least ten minutes as lots of bars have changed their names, or closed, and no-one had a strong opinion. I didn’t have a clue, I don’t often go drinking in the city, and I often stick to one or two places which are miles from where we were.

Walking through the city I regretted wearing heels, as despite Norfolk having a reputation for flatness, there are a lot of hills in Norwich and some are cobbled!

Aside: I’m not sure if any tranny-friendly shoe companies do flats. They seem to think all trannies want ridiculous stilettos!

After changing our mind several times we ended up in the Prince of Wales (that’s at the safer end of the descent into hell that is Prince of Wales Road). Still a bit quiet, but the Hen’s sister and friend were getting over their initial shock at my presence, and were nearly through all the silly remarks they had. More drinks again, then next door to Chicago’s. I’ve only been there once before, but I remembered it as pretty cool. Two levels with a balcony overlooking the dance floor.

Sadly health and safety has filled in the void over the original dance-floor to make a new one, but there was a beer garden – which pleased the smokers no end.

Unfortunately there was a bunch of scummy slappers who insisted on making snide remarks – not just about me, but the whole group (as we are all larger ladies). These trollops may have had slimmer bodies, but they looked like they were guests on the Jeremy Kyle show, and had personalities to match. There was an uncomfortable few minutes as the bruisers in each group sized each other up, but common sense prevailed and they moved elsewhere in the club and left us to enjoy our free champagne (another bonus of the hen night!)

Then came the next dilemma of the evening –which toilet to use? In the Prince I used the gents. It was still pretty light outside, and the place had more staff than patrons, so I played it safe, and prepared to explain my outfit as “fancy dress” if there were any problems, but it went without a hitch. In Chicago’s I was more nervous, but with an escort I braved the ladies and had no problems all night with “powdering my nose”.

Apart from the dance-floor and garden, Chicago’s also had some nice long booths with a big table and U-shaped leather benches, and we drank our drinks watching all the other hen parties come and go. There were at least four other groups and I was incredibly jealous of the hen in the ruffled white satin mini-dress.

Music was a bit naff though – far too much R n’B – although we got just enough classic pop for the hen to do her dare: down a shot every time the word “love” got sung.

By this time we were anxious to boogie, and had another debate on where to go. Eventually Liquid won, as one of the girls knew a doorman who could get us in free. We had some worries as one of the other girls was under 21 and had no ID, but it wasn’t a problem in the end. We got our drinks – and I did my dare to down my Malibu and coke in one – and headed for the dance floor.

For more grotty R n’B.

Another aside: I can’t understand the popularity of R n’B (“Urban” artists like 50 Cent and Nelly not classic Rhythm and Blues) in night clubs. It’s not easy to dance too, its not very sexy, and its tricky to sing along, especially if it’s a remix. I personally think the majority of people at the meat-market clubs would dance to anything if it gave them a chance to pull. Personally I prefer some good quality cheese if I want to dance (disco, 80s pop, 90s dance, current girly stuff like Girls Aloud etc).

But we had fun anyway. We got flirted with by a stag party; I got groped by a piss-head who got the message when I peeled his fingers off my hip; and the last girl to do her dare completed it by pinching a man’s bum.

The grown-ups in the group (me and Chrissie) were getting a bit tired now, and a lot hungry, so we called it a night and left the young-uns to dance. We stopped at the kebab shop, and then waited at the SOS bus for a taxi.

One last aside: The SOS bus is a fantastic idea. It’s a bendy-bus that parks a short distance from the clubs that is staffed by first-aiders to provide facilities for clubbers who are the worse for wear, but don’t need an ambulance. Somewhere to sit down and regain your composure, have a glass of water, get some relative peace and quiet, and just see a friendly face can do wonders. If you ever see them fundraising for it, dig deep!

As well as laughing at the antics of the drunks at the cash-point trying to act sober I also got to have my picture taken in the hen’s regalia (picture here). It’s not quite the same as the tranny-classic of the blushing bride, but a bride-to-be was good enough for me!

In the morning I had breakfast with the organiser who had quite an exasperated rant about the amount of stupid/ignorant/needlessly-rude people she witnessed making comments about me behind my back. She is very much of the opinion that people are allowed to be surprised, shocked or even amused by a bloke-in-a-dress, but there’s no call for snarky remarks (and that’s why I love you babe, mwah! xxx). A lot of people are already polite enough to keep their uninformed opinions to themselves, we just need the rest to follow suit now!

Friday, May 09, 2008

106 Books

Yeah, everyone's doing it.

Bold = I’ve read
Italic = Gave up on

* Anna Karenina
* Crime and Punishment
* Catch-22
* One Hundred Years of Solitude
* Wuthering Heights
* The Silmarillion
* Life of Pi : a novel
* The Name of the Rose
* Don Quixote
* Moby Dick
* Ulysses
* Madame Bovary
* The Odyssey
* Pride and Prejudice
* Jane Eyre
* The Tale of Two Cities
* The Brothers Karamazov
* Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
* War and Peace
* Vanity Fair
* The Time Traveler’s Wife
* The Iliad
* Emma
* The Blind Assassin
* The Kite Runner
* Mrs. Dalloway
* Great Expectations
* American Gods
* A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
* Atlas Shrugged
* Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
* Memoirs of a Geisha
* Middlesex
* Quicksilver
* Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
* The Canterbury tales
* The Historian : a novel
* A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
* Love in the Time of Cholera
* Brave New world
* The Fountainhead
* Foucault’s Pendulum
* Middlemarch
* Frankenstein
* The Count of Monte Cristo
* Dracula
* A Clockwork Orange
* Anansi Boys
* The Once and Future King
* The Grapes of Wrath
* The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
* 1984
* Angels & Demons
* The Inferno
* The Satanic Verses
* Sense and Sensibility
* The Picture of Dorian Gray
* Mansfield Park
* One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
* To the Lighthouse
* Tess of the D’Urbervilles
* Oliver Twist
* Gulliver’s Travels
* Les Misérables
* The Corrections
* The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
* The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
* Dune
* The Prince
* The Sound and the Fury
* Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
* The God of Small Things
* A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
* Cryptonomicon
* Neverwhere
* A Confederacy of Dunces
* A Short History of Nearly Everything
* Dubliners
* The Unbearable Lightness of Being
* Beloved
* Slaughterhouse-five
* The Scarlet Letter
* Eats, Shoots & Leaves
* The Mists of Avalon
* Oryx and Crake : a novel
* Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
* The Confusion
* Lolita
* Persuasion
* Northanger Abbey
* The Catcher in the Rye
* On the Road
* The Hunchback of Notre Dame
* Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
* Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
* The Aeneid
* Watership Down
* Gravity’s Rainbow
* The Hobbit
* In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
* White Teeth
* Treasure Island
* David Copperfield
* The Three Musketeers

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I tend to collect good advice, and spread it around when I can (although whether I listen to my own advice is debatable).

One such piece of advice is "Remember the compliments and forget the insults." Its a good one. Any time you are feeling down, or have been insulted it helps to remember that someone said you were funny, or pretty, or a good dancer.

I managed to get high praise indeed a few weeks ago (see Pandora 2.0. But another compliment, and ego-boost, has come out of that evening. One of the birthday girl's close friends is getting married in a few weeks time, and after meeting me as Pandora for the first time, has invited me to her hen night!

Fortunately its not going to be Ann Summers and strippers, but there will be drinking and dancing, and she might end the night handcuffed to a blow up doll ;-)

I've still got some time to think about it, consider the logistics, and make a definite decision, but I'm really looking forward to it. So much so, I've bought a new top and changed my hairstyle (pics to follow... maybe)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

"... I can sleep all day."

Internet meme doing the rounds:

bedroom toys
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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Smart casual

Here you go, my contribution to Gillian's Flickr Tranny Day

This is the outfit I considered wearing for Transpocalypse 2007, but decided not to, as it was a bit flashy for a restaurant.

Check out my Flickr Stream for a few more photos, including my retro Eighties look. (Lopsided ponytail and white stilettos!)

Monday, March 24, 2008


Gillian has declared on her blog that due to the trans-apathy around, she is committing to posting a picture of herself in girls clothes on Flickr.

Inspired by Gillian's enthusiasm I have taken this pledge too, and today took my pictures. They will be posted on Flickr on Saturday 29th March 2008.

Don't worry, I'll do a blog entry to remind you!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Fighter launch, originally uploaded by PandoraCaitiff.

I've recently finished watching the second season of Batlestar Galactica on DVD. As well as making me sad, angry, jubilant and excited all at the same time, it also rekindled my interest in space battles.

As a result I dug out some cardboard space craft I had made a long time ago for Ground Zero Games' "Full Thrust" game. They were a bit ratty, and had crudely made stands, so I gave them a touch up with paint, gave them a light wash of black paint to show "battle damage", and then a white drybrush to highlight the edges.

Once I'd done that, I noticed that the fleet was a bit lacking in smaller support craft so sat down and designed, assembled and painted some more based on the same stylistic principles as the existing ships.

Finally I just had to create a few civilian ships and two Cylon-esque carriers for enemies.

My plan is to referee a game at my local club where the not-Cylons ambush a small fleet and have to cause as much damage as possible before the FTL drives come online and allow the fleet to jump away.

For more pictures, see my Flickr set "Gaming"

Saturday, March 15, 2008

"I'm glad it had a happy ending..."

Remember last summer I had a little hoo-hah with V, the proprietor of Rasputin's nightclub?

(Don't worry if you don't, Although I'm not going to link to it and open old wounds)

I went into the club last night for the first time in several months. And late in the evening V called me aside for a little chat. It seems that while Googling her club's name she found my post, and the responses. And was none too thrilled.

Which actually has led to something good.

With the benefit of hindsight, and several months of cool down, we have now made our peace; and the ladies loo is available to me as long as I ask.

Job's a good-'un.

Monday, March 03, 2008

New picture

Thanks to my friend Chrissy B I now have a better picture of my outfit.

I'm much happier with that picture. Its clearer, and you can see the whole outfit.

Anyone interested in making their own falls should check out the advice at MookyChick, a fantastic website for all us babes with attitude.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Pandora 2.0

I finally got a chance to wear my new hair extensions at my mate's goth-themed birthday bash.

We went out in Norwich yesterday and had a bloody good time.

I was wearing this:
You're doing it wrong

Quite a lot of black PVC; black and blue acrylic hair extensions and the obligatory cyber-goth goggles. I also had spider-web pattern fingerless gloves, but hadn't put them on yet when the picture was taken. Sadly the black PVC knee-high boots aren't fully visible in the pic, which given the pain my toes were in by the end of the night is an absolute crime. But at least the hair went down very well.

In the first pub of the night it was the icebreaker that led me to have a really cool chat with a couple of girls doing the chola look. And when we got to The Catherine Wheel everybody wanted to have a closer look or a feel.

What really made my night though, were the compliments.

The birthday girl joked that she wasn't going out as she couldn't compete, and later in the evening her best friend told me that she was really concerned when she heard what I was wearing, but having seen it she was impressed.

Being told you are "pretty" by young ladies is also an ego boost (even if they were drunk and more flattering than honest!)

I also got two commissions to make more hair extensions.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


As a young sprog I enjoyed video games and spent many a happy hour feeding the machines with 10ps to shoot aliens, drive cars, and pick fights.

One of my favourite games was Final Fight, a side scrolling beat-em-up, and of the classics.

As part of my early development I was attracted to the characters of Poison and Roxy - two trollops who kicked arse in hotpants, crop tops and leather biker's caps. Sexy, tarty and badass, a winning combination to a young'un starting puberty.

It was only today that I found out that both are trannies!

A Capcom executive was unhappy seeing women getting beaten up, so the developers made them pre-op TS. When the game went to America they just replaced both characters with two male thugs, but the girls have appeared in other games since

"Let's set the record straight: In North America, Poison is officially a post-op transsexual. But in Japan, she simply tucks her business away to look female."
-Yoshinori Ono

Read more on the strange tale at Wikipedia

Sunday, January 27, 2008

And then up comes Zafo

And I'm like, "Yo, Zafo. What's up?"
And he's like, "Nothin'"
And I'm like, "That's cool."

My blog's been a bit silent this last month. The main reason is because I haven't been doing much of note. I've been spending far too much time playing Travian, and Dope Wars.

I might be getting some Pandora-time next month when my friend hosts a goth-party. Some of the attendees will be ex-workmates. Some are friends, some are "people I know". It'll be the first time any of them have met Pandora and since I don't have to see them regularly any more I'm not worried if any are less than supportive. Should e fun though. And pictures will appear on my Flickr is I get any good ones.

In other news, I'm still tabletop gaming and we're still having fun with SLA Industries. We've now got an agent and our first sponsors (Flying Jelly Attack Confectionery and Track Optics). My character, Horse the 313 stormer, and the other stormer in the group (Mojo, a 714) are also desperately trying to get their agent to blag tickets to the première of Johnny SLA: The Movie (a propaganda cartoon series they are worryingly obsessed with!) Its very refreshing to play a character who believes every bit of propaganda and spin he is fed. Horse and Mojo get a lot of laughs by playing it completely straight-faced!

And finally; the Lock and Load Battle of the Bands has been postponed until summer. So no regular gigs for a while then. Bum!


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