Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Doin' That Columbus Day Drag

Monday was a federal holiday.  I work in a federal facility and the building was, effectively, closed.  Government employees were off.  To me, that mostly means the escalators are not running, no-one is cleaning the restrooms every ten minutes, and, alas, there is no coffee available for blood nor money.

I went in, mostly because it's quiet and I can get a lot of work done without meetings, e-mails, etc.  I can just focus, which is where I like to be.

Normally, I wear "office casual."  I eschew ties, and I wear sneakers pretty much daily.  There's no

real dress code and there are generally three types of people at meetings: women, men with ties, and me.

I took advantage of no customers or government overlords on Columbus Day and went "all girl."  I wore women's denim jeans and denim shirt.  I had my usual women's undies and socks.  Girl bracelet and choker necklace (which I sometimes wear to work or out anyway), and the women's rings I normally wear.

But the shirt covers a multitude of sin so I wore my bra and a strappy camisole underneath.  But I thought I'd go for a little extra.

I have access to "chicken cutlets," silicon push-up pads that add a little extra.

I wore the cutlets.  I mean, why not?

I think, for the most part, they didn't show at all, but I also swapped out my usual tote for my crossbody bag and when I wore it properly it kind of emphasised my little extra.

It was a nice feeling to be a bit more femme at work than normal.  it was a nice feeling I may repeat.

At the very least I will come Veteran's Day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Timeline I, Part I: The Last Straw

(Email and comment response has been pretty encouraging!  I love you all!)

No marriage is perfect.  I don't think that's a revelation to anyone.  I never expected mine to be perfect, but I expected it to be forever.  We never had screaming matches or worse, but on a couple of occasions I had to walk away to cool off.  Any time I considered ending it, I thought that the possibility of not seeing my boys every day was worse than anything else I had to endure.  Plus, the issues were mostly ephemeral.

One issue that was not was the way I was considered.  My opinions or ideas had one thing in common: they were wrong and therefore ignored.

In the fall of 2011, my wife decided that the basement should be redone into a separate apartment or office or place where my mother could move or something.  Fourteen years earlier, when I moved my office down to the basement from what would then be my youngest son's room, I said I wasn't going to move again.

She decided I would move again, perhaps up to the dining room.  At the same time, she reminded me on multiple occasions that I had said I wouldn't move again.  I think it was a kind of "see?  You were wrong."  That would match her usual attitude.

I was adamant and I was completely ignored.  She made plans, had my oldest (who is pretty good at this sort of thing) design the new living area, and so on.  She moved forward, asserting I would move and ignoring my objections.

At the time, I was making regular trips to Sierra Vista for work.  On one trip in September I decided that I was through being ignored and if she told me once more I was moving out of the basement I was moving out of the house.  No discussion; I'd just go.

My oldest had just started college.  Although he was local, he was living on campus and I was getting used to the idea of not seeing my boys every day.  I didn't like it, but it was bearable compared to what had now become the norm.

For some unknown reason, after I returned she didn't mention my moving out again.

I'm guessing it wasn't time (see yesterday's post for my ideas on time).

Monday, October 20, 2014

Preamble: I Am Here (An Introduction)

History is written by the winners.  A lot of our lives are defined by others.

I'm going to risk boring you out of your collective minds and losing the readers I have by telling my story.

I am not going to start out with my Humble Beginnings, or Growing Up Confused, or even the first 95% of my life.

I have a story with a happy ending.  Yes, the real ending hasn't happened yet.  The hoped-for happy ending is "and he cured all illnesses and went on to live a healthy, productive life until he died at 951."

To get philosophical, I believe that each of us is here because of a series of astonishing accidents.  Richard Dawkins has often said that we owe our existence to a dinosaur sneeze or some other accident of nature ~ if a particular dinosaur was about to eat the tiny mammal that was destined to be the ancestor of man hadn't sneezed we'd all be a snack.  (I paraphrase.)

I'm where I am because of uncountable events, genetic and natural.  We all are. 

If some distant ancestor hadn't recovered from pneumonia I wouldn't be here.  And a delay of an hour over the thousands of years of recorded history might have meant a different sperm reaching an egg producing a different person....  It might have been an ancestor, or a mentor, or a man who killed the man who would have fathered the man who took the last seat on a wagon as my ancestors tried to escape some war or plague....

It wasn't easy for any of us to get here, and we made it without knowing our goals or even what will happen in the next minute.

So, to use an event many of us can relate to, instead of lamenting being born a man, know that if you weren't your amazing children would not be here now.  What might be a personal tragedy might really be a global triumph.  We all sacrifice.

But I'm way off topic.

I'm going to be writing about the last few years of my life (since I'm the only one who knows it).  It involves two main threads, and although it might not be a "and they lived happily ever after" story, at least it's an "and they are living happily" story.

This will take a bit over three weeks.  I'll still have some T content on Wednesday, and cartoons on the weekend.  If you want to come back at the end, I understand.  I kind of need to write this.  It's certainly cathartic to me.  It might inspire others.  It might annoy some.  So be it.

I've already written a post for the last day which will be 11 November (Veterans' Day in the states).  If I change schedule due to having to respond to comments, for example, the 11 November post will simply say "new end date: 14 Aug 2019" or something and I'll continue on.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Marriage in One Panel

Again, this weekend is marriage cartoons.  Take a peek tomorrow to find out why.

Glenn McCoy's Flying McCoys, Jim Unger's Herman,  three Real Life Adventures from Wise and Aldrich, and a Loose Parts (Dave Blazek).

Yup.  That's right.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Hi, all.

I'm not posting t-cartoons today.  The weekend will have probably the only cartoon topic richer than golf: relationships.  I do believe I didn't note the authors to Flo and Friends (a too-rare female cartoonist, Jenny Campbell), Kudzu (the award-winning Doug Marlette), or Mutt and Jeff (these are original cartoons from the mid-20th century by Al Smith).

Please check in on Monday to see what's going on this weekend.

Up first is marriage.  Click or zoom to make them more enjoyable.

Against the Grain ~ Brilliant!

Two Beetle Baileys

and two Flo and Friends



Mutt and Jeff is a goldmine of marriage jokes unto itself

Friday, October 17, 2014

Close Shave

(another aside: in less than two months, the final "sequential" day of the 21st century will occur: 12-13-14.  Sorry, Rest Of World.  Your final day has passed.  I really feel I should do something important and unusual to mark that day.)

While I'm talking product, I found something I love.

First, let me share an article my dear friend Sharon sent me, regarding the difference between men's and women's shaving products.  I will add that, the one time I tried a women's blade (Venus, I believe) on my face it cut me badly.  I will also say that I prefer women's shaving gel, even if they are the same and cost more!

The longest and most bothersome part of getting ready to go out is shaving.  Chest hair seems to grow at the rate of about an inch a minute.  I try to decide what I'll wear and shave my arms and legs a few inches further than I think I'll need.  The beach was definitely an experience.

I do sometimes wax, mostly my back.

I usually use an electric razor on hands and feet because the contours are difficult with a hand razor.  There are parts I cannot shave with an electric razor so that's not a complete solution.  My face benefits from a new blade.

Epilators, for me, are EXTREMELY itchy.  Depilatories have started to react with my skin.  Waxing is good but not something I can do to myself.

So mostly I shave.

And often I have nicks or cuts or other unpleasantries when I'm done.  Or I skip parts because there's just too much risk of nicks or cuts or other unpleasantries.

When I returned from the beach, I picked up some new blades.  I have two hand razors.  One (a five-blade fusion) is exclusively for my face because I want to ensure the cleanest shave and don't want to dull the blade on, say, coarse chest hair.  The other (a three blade Mach 3) I use for everything below my neck.

I wasn't sure what blades I needed.  I did get the five-blade fusion but I couldn't remember what I got for the other razor.  As I said, I tried using a women's blade in my face razor and cut myself something awful; I'm still not sure why.  But for body hair, I figured I could use the "Venus" blades.  From a product review in InStyle magazine, the Gillette Venus Embrace handle is the best.  Maybe next time I need a handle I'll get one and give it a whirl.

I didn't see the three-blade heads so I got a package of five-blade heads that looked like they'd fit on the handle I have.  The package said "Gillette Venus & Olay" and I figured, why not?
When I opened the package, the blades were in individual boxes and each head had what looked like
pontoons on the side.  I tried to gently run it over my skin and it stuck and the pontoons folded over and I thought I just wasted my money.

I checked the package.  It didn't say a lot but it implied you should wet the blade and, well, go for it.

I did.  I wet my arms and wet the blade and... was wonderful.  It did a fantastic job.  It glided (glid?) over my skin.  It left a lotiony/soapy residue but that could be rubbed in or washed off pretty easily.

Normally, I do arms one day and legs another and chest right before going out.  Instead, I stood in the shower and did EVERYTHING.

I will not recommend this blade for your face.  The sharp curve going from neck to chin causes the pontoon to catch.  But it felt good on my neck itself and maybe fine on parts of the face.  I haven't tried yet.

But I didn't have a single nick and shaving was actually pleasant.  Caveat: the lotion does not last as long as the blade.

Does anyone out there have anything better?  I'm a convert!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Keep On Tuckin'

A few years ago, I ordered a gaff.  I wanted to try one but never had.  Because the company stinks, I never did.  I'll write about that in a month or so.

I don't tuck and avoid skirts that would require it.  I have some tight panties and control garments that can facilitate, um, keeping things in place when needed but I have a few skirts and dresses that are marked "NOT FOR GOING OUT" because they show what should not be shown, unless you're taking an Anthony Weiner selfie.
Shop sign in Duck, NC

A few weeks ago, I received an unsolicited e-mail from someone at a company called "TransLingerie."

They are a Spanish company and they offered to send me one of their gaffs gratis.  Two weeks later, I had a small package containing a brand new black gaff.

It looks a trifle... I won't call it scary.  I'll say "uncomfortable."  That's always been a problem with gaffs.  I don't like the idea of thongs and all of the ones I've seen are thongs or thong-y.

I tried it on and it does hold well and it, alas, does do what thongs do.

I will give it a test next time I'm going out.  I'm not sure if I'll give it a trial-by-fire (like, wear it with a Really Tight dress I bought in New York last time I was up there) but I will give it a try and report here.