Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Don't Ask, Can't Tell: Oh, The Agony

I've written a few times about what I call "don't ask, can't tell."  These are things we can't talk about because our lives are compartmentalised.  With my civilian friends, I can't talk about most of what I did at the beach.  With my trans friends, I can't talk about aspects of my job or family.

I did something that is causing me pain in both upper arms, and some mobility limitations.  It started in my right arm and then wandered over to the left one.  It will pop and hurt and not move in certain directions.  It's not my shoulder ~ it's kind of in the middle between my elbow and shoulder, which doesn't even make sense to me.  I'd expect joint pain, not between-joint pain.

Last week, walking to my cube, an officemate was standing, stretching his arms and twisting.  We spoke about how it can be a pain (literally) to get old and he explained his problem and I explained mine.  I finished by saying "I think I have some more mobility now."  But I had to bite my tongue instead of finishing that thought with "yesterday, I could put my bra on by reaching around instead of turning it and fastening it and turning it afterwards."

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Can't Find My Way Home

(That's the last Steve Winwood reference.  I promise.)

We had a nice breakfast the previous day at the pancake house and decided to go back.  There are two branches of Stack 'Em High Pancakes on the island.  The one we went to the previous day was about a mile south of the hotel; the other a few miles north.  We were planning to head north to explore Duck and maybe some other towns on the other side of the bridge so we went to get breakfast at the joint to the south.

I wanted to revisit it.  One of my "passing" tests is if I'm remembered.  If someone thinks "older woman customer" they're not going to remember me.  If someone thinks "guy in drag" they probably will, just because of the novelty.  But there's another issue now, which I'll get to shortly.

I wanted to see if the woman behind the register remembered me.  I wanted to see if "Czechoslovakia" would remember me.

Travel Meg.  NOT a "travel mug"
So, of course, when we entered the "greeter" was a guy who definitely wasn't there yesterday.  The cashier also was a guy.  I said "you weren't behind the register yesterday, were you" and he said "my wife and I own the restaurant and we switch off."

We had a different waitress as well, even though we sat in the same small area.  There was also a different coffee bringer; instead of the guy calling us "beautiful ladies" a woman asked if "you girls would like some more coffee" which was different and pleasant.

(by the way, I don't remember where but I do remember hearing a "sweetie" and a "honey" reference to Meg during the trip.)

Either the husband told his wife someone asked about her or she was just making the rounds but she showed up shortly after to say hi.  I asked about the waitress from yesterday, the Czech girl and she said she was off today.  I said "I was going to just ask 'where is Czechoslovakia?' but you'd probably say 'Eastern Europe?'" which earned me a laugh.

She didn't say anything like "nice to see you again" or "you came back" or anything implying she'd
Breakfast (Tuesday)
seen us before.

At the end of breakfast, I did go up to the register (she was behind the register again) and said "I'm just curious ~ do you remember me?" and she said "yes.  You asked for the special... no, the usual." and she laughed.

So there's my problem now.  People remember my male self because I joke with them.  Did she remember me because of my stupid comment or...?

We drove up to Duck and stopped at a couple of shopping centres there.  We stopped and shopped and headed back north around noon.

One surprise before leaving: we stopped in a small self-serve shoe shop.  I said "we can look for shoes for you but these kinds of shops never have shoes in my size.

Well, never is a bad word.  There were many pairs of 11s, although none were wide.
Meg's ice cream and rainbow sprinkle fix (Tuesday)

And, surprisingly, I didn't see any shoes that both looked wide enough and I was in love with.

One more shoe store note....  At the checkout there was a little tank with a snail in it.  A sign identified it as "Alex."  I asked if it was a boy snail, since they gave it a boy's name.  The woman behind the counter said she didn't know if it was a boy or girl.  I suggested letting the snail out and see which kind of shoes it heads for.  If it goes for the stilletoes, it's a girl.

Again, I'm getting more comfortable making "gender" jokes and seeing if anyone picks up on it.  So far, no-one's said a thing.  I'm going to pretend that's because I pass so well that they don't think I'm anything but a ciswoman.

We took the bridge away from the island and went north through Norfolk and Virginia Beach and other southeastern Virginia cities.

Heading from the Williamsburg area towards Richmond we decided it was lunch time and stopped at a Bojangles.

Northern Virginians say that the Mason-Dixon line isn't at the Potomac River, it's at the Occoquan River.  South of that landmark you hear southern accents, and it can be like a different world sometimes.

We made good time.  Traffic was light.  (DAM!  I said "no more Winwood references")

Meg in rural southeastern VA?  Not a problem.

Meg for four days?  Not a problem either, although if I wanted to go for five I'd be doing some serious shaving first.

Maybe next trip I'll try a two-piece bathing suit.

Monday, September 29, 2014

At the Beach ~ An Aside

Tuesday at the beach, Charity and I stopped in a toy store where we picked up a couple of games for us.  Mostly, the store was very kid-oriented.  Charity is more of a game geek than I am, and she spoke at length with the clerk whereas I just interjected with opinions of games every now and then.  I also walked around the store and found components for a play kitchen.

That's not unusual.

What was unusual was, every box showed a boy playing with the kitchen.  There was not a girl in sight.

Stupid me, I didn't take a picture of that section of the store.  But it kind of looked like this:

and it reminded me of this:

We're making progress!  Maybe if more boys learned it's OK to play in the kitchen, there would be fewer sons living in their mom's basement after college.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Funnies: Against the Grain

Against the Grain by Ron Therien is one of those strips I lost track of years ago.  These are from 1999 or 2000.  It appears the strip goes on.  It might be better to zoom than click-to-enlarge these.

Oh....  Over the years, these are the only ones I saved, but I embargoed (the best) one and you'll see it soon.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Unintentional Transformations

These two short sequences come from Big Top and Liberty Meadows.

Stucco the Clown (Big Top) has always been unruly (bordering on evil and cannibalistic)  so a "clown whisperer" has been brought in.

Liberty Meadows is, well, just a medication error.

Please click or zoom to make them readable.

That's Luann standing behind Ralph.

Friday, September 26, 2014

We Interrupt The Beach Story For This Important Bulletin


I am now legally divorced.

This is considered a "life event" for corporate (in)human resources.  Of all the life events (marriage, birth, death, etc) this is the only one that's both a joyous and a sad event.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Inlets and Outlets, Part II ~ Inlets

Shana Tovah to the members of the tribe out there!

After scoring the pottery, we headed back over the bridge to the Outer Banks proper.  We headed south instead of north, to stop at the Oregon Inlet.  We kind of overshot it and drove down the island a bit, then turned around and parked near the marina on the inlet.  We walked around, looking at boats and enjoying the sunshine.

By now, lunch was definitely overdue and dinnertime was approaching fast.

Charity and I both enjoy games and I knew there was a game/toy shop on the way back.  We stopped and looked around.  It seemed to be mostly kid stuff but there were some games for non-kids in a rear corner.  The store was pretty empty but we talked games with the guy behind the counter and picked up a couple because, somehow, we neglected to bring a game or two on the trip.  And new games are always welcome anyway.

Before we left, we asked about places to eat.  He suggested a couple that were along the beach, on the way back to the room.  We stopped and skipped the first one he suggested, but stopped and dined at the second, The Red Drum Grille and Taphouse.

It was quite crowded, but I'm getting used to crowds.  I people-watch; in return, they ignore me.

I did what's becoming normal: chatting and joking with the waitress, and basically being a normal restaurant patron.  And, again, I was treated as such.

Being a short, straight drive to the hotel, I had a mixed drink.  Being a restaurant on the beach, I had the fish and chips.  Both were good.

We returned to the hotel after dark and played one of the new games in the room instead of taking a walk on the beach.  And it was a good night to get to bed early.  Tomorrow would be the long drive back to Annandale.