Thursday, September 18, 2014

Just Another Manic Monday

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On the slim strip of land known as the Outer Banks, there is a (minor) road that parallels the ocean beach, and a major road that parallels that a couple of tenths of a mile further west. 

Our hotel faced the beach on one side and the minor road on the other.  A couple of blocks south along the minor road brought us to the restaurant.  Sidewalks are iffy but traffic is light.

We got to the restaurant and it was mostly empty.  We were greeted and put at a table that seemed to be in the "no service section."  Eventually a waitress came by and apologised profusely for making us wait so long ~ there was a mess-up and no-one was assigned.  I asked her if we get our meals for free because we had to wait and she said no but we could have a free appetizer, which was fine with me.

Dinner was good, the restaurant continued to be lightly used although more people came in as we ate.  I also continued to joke with the waitress ~ for instance, I mentioned that I didn't expect this much traffic but had to point out that Traffic was all they were playing since we came in.  She asked if they should change the music; I said no, I love it.  It seems one of the staff put together a Steve Winwood mix CD and that's what they were playing.  A little Blind Faith followed Traffic, and some Winwood solo work after that.  I didn't hear any Spencer Davis but maybe that was before I arrived.  I did hear "Low Spark of High Heel Boys" which made me smile.

I also seem to be more comfortable talking with civilians these days.  I'm sure there's a reason.

The waitress also gave us a free dessert and pointed us to their gift shop (does EVERYONE on the Outer Banks have a gift shop?) and said we were there on the right day ~ there was a ten percent discount twice a year and Labour Day was one of those days.

So we went to the gift shop and chatted with the woman there and looked at the clothes, jewelry, and other items they had.  I picked up a pair of sandals and we walked back to the hotel.

It was dark out now and I was determined to get all of my makeup off before bed that night!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Simple Pleasure ~ The World Has Caught Up With Me!

Readers know I'm a fan of colourful socks.  I wear patterned socks or brightly coloured socks, generally to match my shirt.  Many guys wear ties that add some colour to the otherwise drab male uniform; I don't do ties so I express my individuallity in my socks. Of course, the socks come from the women's side of the aisle so I have to look for a larger size or stretchy socks.

Woot has daily deals and a bunch of auxillary side deals.  I generally forget about the other deals, but last week I saw this:

These are men's socks!  Look down at the bottom of the page.

Now I have to decide if I want to stick with women's socks or encourage this trend by buying these men's socks.

And I need to stretch the envelop a bit more now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Come Monday, It'll Be All Right

The Jimmy Buffett song begins:

Headin' out to San Francisco
For the Labor Day weekend show

I just came back from San Francisco and Monday at the beach was Labor Day.  So there.

I was comfortable being out in my swimsuit.  I thought I might be self-conscious, but I was not.  I suppose, being out in a variety of clothing I'm not accustomed to over the past few years has eliminated my anxiety over being out in different attire.  I suspect, other than the "I need to shave EVEN MORE" issue, I would have been OK in a two-piece swimsuit.

click to zoom
I left my flip-flops at the hotel.  It was a short walk to the beach and I didn't see a need to wear shoes I'd just take off when I got to the water anyway.

I admit I did work hard to ensure everything was, um, in place before leaving the hotel.  I didn't want stray hairs showing even though there was a little skirt in front of the suit.  I didn't seriously overthink it....  I figured, it's late in the day and late in the season and I DID do a lot of shaving where I've never shaved before.  The beach should be quiet and if anyone wants to "girl watch" there will be much better viewing targets than me.
It wasn't really a different feeling wearing a swimsuit.  I've worn other (under)garments that covered just the areas the suit covered.  I've worn a leotard, for instance (although not out).  Panties and a camisole are not much different than a swimsuit, for covered area.  If I had any, I think I could even go with showing some cleavage.  Going out was more an "it is OK to wear this outdoors" attitude shift than anything else.  My normal dressing mode is "modest".  I see people (mostly women) walk to the curb taking out the trash or taking in the newspaper in pajamas or a nightgown or a robe.  I don't have that level of comfort.  It is difficult for me to just walk out of the apartment (to take out the trash, only a few feet from my front door) in my house slippers.  I've opened the door to bring in the newspaper wearing my nightie but that's also a comfort-zone stretch.

before going to the Port O' Call
So the difference was going out in what to my mind is underwear.  And although I would never open my door wearing just a bra and panties, as I said, I don't think I'd have a problem wearing a bikini or tankini.
I am not a swimmer, but the water was warm and we waded and splashed a bit and got wet when we didn't see the big waves coming and had another nice long walk, this time in the opposite direction from Sunday's.  The difference between yesterday and today was, I didn't care how wet I got, which was nice.  The same crowd ~ families, fishermen, other walkers ~ were there.  Same crowd, different faces.

When the sky started to get dark and we got hungry we decided to head for a restaurant just up the street called Port O' Call.  Another stretch: a swimsuit on the beach is one thing but a swimsuit "in town" required another stretch.  I wouldn't walk into a restaurant in a swimsuit but felt comfortable with a lace cover dress that was pretty short and very see-through.  And it was a couple of block walk to the restaurant.

For the record, I did put shoes on before going out to eat.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday, Monday

My first full day at the beach started with a lesson learned.  I did something unusual, and dressed as Meg yesterday and planned on doing the same today. 

Lesson learned: even though you don't HAVE to, take off your makeup completely.  I did a poor job on my eyes Sunday night and I had to get out the remover Monday morning AND spend extra time washing the old mascara and eyeliner off and making sure I had a good basis for that day's makeup.

A related lesson: your total prep time before going out is S+C+M+D, where S is shaving and
showering time, M is makeup time, D is dressing time, and C is time spent waiting for blood to clot, after you do a poor job at S.  Try to keep C to zero.  I had a little knobby bit just below and to the left of my nose that I hit Monday morning and it added 20 or 30 minutes to my prep time as I waited impatiently for it to resolve itself.  I didn't waste that time.  I stood there anxiously fearing that it would leave a blot that I couldn't cover with makeup, or never stop bleeding until it was time to go home.  I also took the time to get hungrier, since I didn't want to leave the room except in Meg Mode.

After I was finally ready, we went down to check out the hotel breakfast.  The breakfast room was full and the line for the waffle maker was long so we grabbed a light breakfast and sat at a table outside the room, near the registration desk.  We then headed out for our first full day in the Outer Banks.

We started with what could have easily been a walk: our hotel was less than a half-mile from the Wright Brothers Memorial.  We parked and walked to the main building.  We looked at the exhibits and caught the end of a talk.  We went outside walked over by the markers for the first day's flights.  Then I encountered my first problems of the trip.

It was hot.  And my wedges were a bit uncomfortable.

So we did not walk up to the memorial, at the top of a sand dune.

I acted as I always do, and I think everyone around us did the same.  I spoke to the information lady, the gift shop people, and others.

We were Just Tourists.

From there, we went to a shop where I felt very out-of-place.  No, not lingerie or shoes or jewelry. I'm fine with those.

It was a scrapbook store.  Charity's hobby is scrapping and she really wanted to visit this store and see what they had.  She also had a long talk with the owner.  I have less interest in scrapping than I do in football (for the record, very little).

That ordeal ended and we drove south to Roanoke Island.  I think I had been there once before, in a previous visit, perhaps just as an alternative escape route from the area.  The main bridge is backed up for hours on a typical escape day.

We had lunch at Po Richards, a sandwich place on the bay.  The lunch was good, the place was VERY crowded, the ladies' was single stall.  I asked the woman standing outside if she was waiting and she said "yes."  As opposed to, say, "which room did you mean?"

I don't like waiting outside the restroom but lines bother me a lot more than milling so I milled.

We walked along the water and took some photos, then saw a sign for shops so we headed toward the shops.  We looked at clothes in some unique shops (as opposed to the Same Old Shops you find in many tourist towns) but didn't see anything wonderful.  Prices were lower though; the post-summer discounts had begun.

I wanted to see the Manteo Maritime Museum, which was nearby but closed on Monday.  Alert: we went back on Tuesday and discovered it's not worth the entry price (free).

After we saw as much of Manteo as we wanted (it does turn out it was worth a second visit, which we did the next day) we headed back to the hotel.  It was late in the afternoon and we thought a visit to the beach was warranted.  I put on my new bathing suit and made sure everything was, um, under control.  Charity put on hers and we headed for the water.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Baldwin Medicine

More "Cornered" by Mike Baldwin, this time with a medical theme.

LOVE this one!

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Here are a few cartoons with a common theme.  Most of them aren't T per se, but I think most of us have a fondness for bras.  I've done Between Friends (Sandra Bell-Lundy) before and Preteena (Allison Barrows).  Preteena is a tomboy and I think the comics where her mom is trying to get her to be more feminine can resonate with us T's....  Why didn't our moms do that?

Between Friends is another cartoon I lost track of.

There are more Preteena bra cartoons.  I think I posted some already

The rough pencil drawings in C'est La Vie equals flashback

On the padding theme....

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sunday Evening at OBX

OBX is the local abbreviation for the Outer Banks.  If you see a car with a "country" sticker (you know, the ovals with three letters) that says OBX, it ain't a country.

It was past check-in time now and we went to the hotel.  I had to show my (male) ID and credit card to the woman at the desk who greeted us warmly and explained everything we needed to know about the hotel in pretty much the same tone and words as the other woman behind the counter used on the other checker-inner to our right.  And she ignored the ID mismatch.

I asked her what was available for breakfast, and what restaurants were nearby, and we went up to our rooms.

My room, by the way, was NOT t-friendly.  Or girly-girl friendly.  The lighting was poor, the bathroom had a pedestal sink with a curved top so it was hard to keep anything on it.  The only useable surface in the bathroom was on top of the toilet tank.  Even just brushing teeth required bringing in the brush and paste, doing the task, and bringing both out again.  For a beachfront hotel, there was no place to lay wet things flat, or hang them up.  There were a couple of wooden Adirondack chairs outside the room, on the common walkway between rooms, and some people laid their wet towels there but I wouldn't want to lay a wet bathing suit there, especially one that had the addition of expensive breasts!
For dinner, we went to a crowded (and not very good) barbecue joint.  This was the type where you order and pay at a window, then sit down and wait for your food.

As I've said before, I people-watch and the only person I saw even remotely interested in us was the older woman I mentioned previously who seemed to be unhappy with the presence of someone not like her.  I don't care.  I'll outlive her.

This was Meg's first big public event of the trip and it went smoothly.

It wasn't that late, so we went for a walk on the beach.  I didn't change into my suit; I just wanted to
See?  Post mani-pedi
spend a few minutes on the sand before the sun went down.  We walked maybe a mile up the beach and back down.  We edged past fishermen and other couples or groups or families walking and playing on the sand and in the surf.

We also went to an even more crowded place to grab some frozen custard.  It was like the kind of place you'd find on the beach in many cities, although this shop was a couple of blocks off it.  There was a window where you order, and another where you pick up.  There were a few places to sit down (more benches than tables) and a long line of families and high school/college age kids.  Kids of that age make me a bit nervous but again, everything was fine and they were all more interested in themselves than an older woman in their midst.