Sunday, October 31, 2010

One More, and Then I'll Stop

Someone Took My Picture

They use it as a gimmick to advertise their website. They take pictures, give you a card with their site and a number. Your picture is in their gallery under that number. Sort of. Mine was off by about 30.

Another Pic

Sorry for the format ~ I had to crop out my wife and J. I didn't think they should be left in here. Click to make it larger. And less fuzzy, I hope.

Please Stand By

More rally. Click for big.

More Later. Yes, This Is Me

Click to enlarge

Rally Report Coming

I'm writing this at 730 pm on Saturday. P & J spent some time in DC and spoke to some of the guys setting up. They told them the best way to get to the rally, and suggested getting there at 8 or earlier! We agreed to get out by 715.

I awoke at 5, but didn't get out of bed until 545. We left for the rally at 815 or so.

The point is, I'm beat and probably won't write a report before Sunday morning. If you're reading this, I didn't. If you're not reading this, then I did and you're (hopefully) enjoying the report.

See? That didn't even make any sense.

Look back around 1 or 2, but with company here I may not get to it before Monday.

Today is Halloween. It's our national holiday. I hope you get a chance to embrace it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rally Day!

It's 715 and I Am Ready To Go.

My friends were surprised. P said "you look way too comfortable in that." J didn't know who I was until I said "Hi I'm Christine O'Donnell".

It's way too early, but they said to get there at 8! We're late already. I've been up since 5. I got started at 550 or so, so about an hour and a half to get ready.

Instead of my usual calm once I start getting ready, I was nervous this time. I think it's because my friends are here, the boys are here.

I want to take notes of each encounter, but I can't think of a discreet way to do that. I hope to get a lot of pictures, and I hope my memory does the day justice!

I have a lot of lines I hope to use. Some are Christine's. Some are mine. I'll let you know what I used or didn't when I get back.

I now go where no (wo)man has gone before! :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Dry Run ~ Update!

There may be another update later.

Washington plans to be cold. The pre-rally show starts at 10am, so we're going to have to leave pretty early. To leave here by, say, 8, I will have to get started at 6. I don't know when I'll eat breakfast. And my guests will be pretty much on their own.

This morning, I retried the three suits, along with my new O'Donnell lipstick (not bad) and my new t-shirt, which has longer sleeves than I thought. I shaved WAY up my arms and didn't need to. That doesn't mean I didn't want to, but I didn't need to. I also am trying to get used to the hoops, longer wig, and pearls.

I am layered up.

Layer one: bra and cinch and tights
Layer two: full slip
Layer three: t-shirt
Layer four: skirt and jacket.

I'm hoping my legs don't freeze off.

I'm also trying my new shoes. I wore the thrift shop shoes for about two hours, mostly standing and walking and walking up and down stairs. They felt fine. Then I switched to my new payless pumps. They look good and feel good except for that ingrown nail. They really push down on the nail. I think I'll have to pass on the pumps for now, and go with the other ones.

Hold on. Did I say "retried the three suits???" Yes I did. "Why?," you ask.

Because I wanted to see how each looked with just the t-shirt top. Because I wanted one last shot. Because I'm worried that, even though the dark blue is the length I like, it's a bit too short for sitting at the Mall and the weather.

Long hair lesson learned: swinging your head makes your hair move in unexpected ways. This includes coming in contact with your mouth. Lipstick is sticky, when it comes to hair. How do you girls do it? Shaking my head makes it look like I'm eating a hair sandwich.

In order to hold an event on the Mall, you need to request a permit. I think it costs $50, but there may be additional costs and requirements (like port-a-potties) depending on the expected crowd.

This is from the rally permit request:

10 a.m.-noon: Pre-Pre Show
Video montages/music will play on the Jumbotrons around the venue to entertain the crowd as they gather.
Noon- 1 p.m.: Preshow
12:00-12:40: The Roots will play for the crowd.
12:40-12:57: Comedian (TBD) will warm-up the audience.
12:57-1 p.m.: Video countdown & intros
1-3 p.m.: Show
1-1:05: Singing of the national anthem (musical guest TBD)
1:05-1:20: Jon Stewart welcomes the crowd
1:20-1:30: Stephen Colbert enters
1:30-1:35: Benediction by actor Don Novello
1:35-1:40: Poem read by actor Sam Waterson [that's the Park Service's incorrect spelling]
1:40-1:50: Jeff Tweedy and Mavis Staples perform
1:50-2:15: Stewart and Colbert perform
2:15-2:20: Sheryl Crow performs
2:20-2:30: Guest speakers make brief statements, both live and taped (TBD)
2:30-2:40: Musical guest (TBD)
2:40-2:40: Sanity and Fear awards -- pre-taped footage.
2:50-3: Stewart and Colbert's final statements

Finally, here's the unofficial Christine O'Donnell kit. Get yours today! Only $299.95! Click for full size. Yes, I know you know that.

Why? You Ask

Before I get to the relevant post, today is Get Things Ready day. I'll post a follow-up later or tomorrow morning. I don't know when. Remember, I'll have company and I'll be out most of the evening. Please bear with me!

Latest weather: freeze alert for tomorrow morning! Come out and watch me freeze.

On to the Whys.

Why the logistics posts, the things that can go wrong posts, the step-by-step posts, the random thoughts posts?

I don't have hard figures. (Personally, I have hardly any figure at all.) From what I've read and from my own experience, I'm comfortable making a scale which will cover all males. For lack of a better name, I'm going to call it the Femme Scale.

At one end is men who've never worn women's clothing, who'd never want to try. Civilians.

At the other end is the 24/7 gurls. My scale covers men, so there is a cutoff point. I'm not sure where it is. Maybe it's hormones, or surgery, or implants, or when a born male decides "I am now a female." OK, now you're a woman. You're not part of the scale.

The scale is for men.

For the gurls who still identify as male, let's call them Full-Timers. They're still on the scale, at the "always" mark.

If you drew a graph it would look like this:

The straight line is a fudge. There's no linear scale for the bottom. It's not "fully dressed 1 hour per year", "fully dressed 2 hours per year" up to "fully dressed 8760 hours per year". There's no straight line from "never" to "always" at all. And there are no numbers for "lots of men" and "few men".

Where does the guy who dresses once a month in the house fit in? The one who dresses once a week in the house? Is the one who goes out once a month "further" to the right than the one who stays in but dresses daily? How about the underdressers?

Most people don't climb mountains. But you could wake up one day and say "climbing Everest is on my bucket list. I'm going to join a party today!" You're now at the small end of the "mountain climbing" scale, but you didn't get there by climbing progressively higher mountains, or doing solo climbs. There are any number of paths to the "few men" end of that scale.

Someone might wake up and say "seeing what it's like to be a woman is on my bucket list. Today's the day!" And maybe today's the only day. Or maybe it's the start of the rest of your life.

We're all different.

But I'm making a scale anyway. The endpoints are there. The line assumes that there is a progression from never to always.

Most men will mill around in the "never" pool. Some (a few ~ call them "us") will venture towards the "always" side.

If we left everybody in, the males who read this blog would all cluster in a small group near the "always" side and the straight line would become a ski jump.

If I remove the "nevers" the number of men drops a lot. Let's keep the ones who are curious, and just drop the "over my dead body" guys. What about the guys who put on panties once because their wife thought it would be sexy, or they ran out of underwear, or just wanted to see how it looked? You can leave them in or take them out. Without a linear scale, it doesn't matter.

You didn't think you'd need math for this blog, did you? :)

Anyway, some studies say 10% of men would be left. And the readers would be more evenly spread out.

You know where I stand. I won't summarise. On a linear scale, I'm much closer to the "always" end than the "never" end. We're all part of a small group. I'm part of a smaller group.

Here's where the progression kind of makes sense. If I made a list of What We Do and had everyone check off what they do, the list could be arranged in such a way that people would check off items until the stopped because they never went further. Or haven't yet gone further.

Confused? Here's an easier-to-understand list:

__ finished elementary school
__ finished middle school
__ finished high school
__ at least attended some college
__ completed a 4-year degree
__ at least did some graduate work
__ received a graduate degree

People would keep checking lines until they had to stop. It's unlikely anyone would skip "finished middle school" but check "finished high school".

So if I made a list like:

_ at least occasionally thought about wearing women's clothing
_ at least occasionally wore panties/hose/stockings
_ at least occasionally wore a bra
_ at least occasionally dressed completely as a woman
_ at least occasionally went out wearing women's underclothes
_ at least occasionally went out dressed completely as a woman
_ always went out dressed completely as a woman

with lots and lots of other items in between, people would generally check every box until they stopped checking boxes. And from those results I could re-order the list so that there would be fewer gaps in people's lists. Maybe I'd have to swap items 4 and 5 to reduce a gap.

So, back to my original question. (I'll wait here while you go look. You've probably forgotten it by now.)

I believe there is a progression. I believe we're all career or at least hobbyist mountain climbers and our goal may not be Everest, but it might be Ranier. Or maybe just the Appalachians. Or maybe Lombard Street in San Francisco. It doesn't matter what your personal destination is.

If you're a male reading this, you're on the scale and probably on your own journey. If you say you're not on a journey, I would bet you are and don't realise it.

As I said, I'm near the skinny end. If you're further on the scale than I am, you're probably not reading. If you're nearer the beginning of the scale, you probably are.

I'm not a teacher. I'm not a mentor. I'm trying to share ~ to show that, hey, it may not be easy but it's doable, and it's worth doing. Here's a roadmap. It's not the only way, but it's kinda sorta working and it could work for you. You can go out, be the only drag for Halloween at work, get on a plane, join a group of women being women, find your comfort level and push it and watch it stretch.

Join me. Tell me where you are. (e-mail me at Maybe after Halloween I'll write that scale and see if enough people are interested in sharing their answers.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Logistics, Part 5 of ?

My afternoon update.

There shouldn't be too many more parts. There are less than 48 hours to the rally!

Friday, I hope, will be final check day. I just found out that P and J will be hitting town around 1pm. That makes my free time shorter than I'd like. NO makeup dry run, just clothes. I want to wear each candidate pair of shoes as long as possible. I want to get everything together in one place. I want to load my purse, along with a sticky list of What I Don't Have Yet in there so I don't forget anything like SUNGLASSES! I almost forgot SUNGLASSES!

Yesterday, I had my nails done. I showed my manicurist, V, my "target look", that picture of Christine, and told her I'd like my nails done in a female fashion, even though I would "probably" cut them down Sunday, and I said I'd like my brows done just a bit arched ~ I do need to be male more than female, but a little bit would help.

Normally, I would have hesitated to do all that because in the next chair (and they're packed pretty close) was a woman maybe 30 years old. She obviously just came from the office. She was wearing a dark, shortish skirt set that I would have liked to wear, and was getting French nails.

But I didn't hesitate nor whisper. I didn't say "I do this sometimes" because she didn't ask.

The woman in the next chair said "can I see who you're trying to look like? I mean, if you don't mind." I turned the picture so she could see. She said "should I be surprised I don't know who that is?" So I told her. She did recognise the name. V thought it was Sarah Palin. I said "Palin's hard. O'Donnell is easy. I've memorised most of the stupid things she's said." From the lack of further conversation from the next chair, I think she didn't agree with me politically. She was still paying attention. A couple of comments to V got smiles or laughs from my neighbor.

I said it was for Halloween. I didn't say it was for the rally. I've either told people I know I'm going to the rally, or that I'm going to wear a costume to "a political event." I haven't made the connection for anyone. Why? I don't know. It seems safer (smarter?) to let people know after the fact. Sometimes I go with my gut.

I had my nails buffed instead of polished. If P was not coming, I might have gone with clear polish.

She asked if I wanted my arms waxed. I said no, I'd shave, but can she do my hands? She could.

I did shave my arms last night. V suggested that I only needed my hands waxed because of the suit sleeves; I said it has 3/4 sleeves so I could go just a few inches further, but that would look odd if I wore short sleeves the next day. My arms are hairless to t-shirt length. I'll see if that's enough on Friday.

V wants me to come by on Saturday. I may, but it'll be hard to explain. "No, I'm just doing this for Halloween. Well, rally's over. Let's go shopping!"

Hard to explain.

So now my nails are rounded, my brows are slightly arched, and I'm $75 (including a $15 tip) poorer.

I've pretty much spent my girl budget for 2010 AND 2011.


First, I got my brows waxed and a manicure yesterday. I'll write that up for an afternoon update. Check back around 12 or 1.

Latest forecast: partly cloudy, high 64. I'll take it.

Before I get into this, I hope everyone knows the difference between a mall and the Mall, here in the Washington area. Meg has been to malls before. She's never been to the Mall. I'll try to remember to capitalise as appropriate.

I've been going over my past trips out. It didn't take long; there are way too few.

They're all different in some ways. Saturday will be unique on many levels.

The past:

Makeup: often, a stranger did my makeup and I went out. Sometimes, it was with my makeup lady, sometimes not. Sometimes she came to my house (or I went to hers), sometimes at a mall. Once a friend (to whom I came out) did my makeup. Sometimes I did it my own makeup.

: mostly, it was visits to a mall, or while out of town, or while going out of town so I was among strangers. But for the last two Halloweens I met with people I worked with. And there was that Mardi Gras party: some friends, some strangers. The clothing swaps and my day with Kim and Nikki (I owe you that story) were unusual: I spent some time with two women who knew me as "me" but first knew me because of Meg.

So what's so unique this time? Lots and lots, and it's mostly scary.

* I'll be out with friends and family. That's new. We'll go out from the house, spend a day together, and return to the house. I'm trying to figure out what to do when I get home. I'll probably clean up and change. It would be funnier if I said "I can't wait to change out of this suit!" and came back down in a skirt and top. I think, no matter how the day went, my wife wouldn't see the humour. But I'll have a skirt + top ready.
* I'll be in a situation where I may (will) meet people I know who are unprepared.
* I'll be riding the metro ~ new experience. I will be part of a huge crowd.
* The crowd at the Mall will be big, possibly unruly, definitely undersupervised. All it takes is one wise guy. Or nut.
* There Will Be Cameras. I doubt I'll be picked out of a crowd that may be as large as 200,000 people, but who knows. Part of my reason for the costume is the humour possibilities. Someone in charge may see that possibility. I suspect everything in a live show is tightly scripted so this is a tiny tiny possibility. If they do something like invite people in costumes to come together, should I? I mean after all, it's not a costume. It's a character.
* I'll probably be interacting with random people. In previous trips, if someone spoke to me I could generally smile and move on. Here, not so much. I'm here to be a character. At the very least, I have to say "are you with the national media? I don't talk to the national media".

And although this is not unique, I'll be with lots of people. I think I've talked about my problem with people before, in any mode.

My anonymous friend Pat added a very flattering comment yesterday. (She does that a lot. I really don't mind!) In it she suggested "treading lightly" with my coming out. I thought about that and found a huge problem.

There's an old joke about the four frat boys who had a wild weekend and were too hungover to take a major test Monday morning. They told the professor they were out of town for a funeral and were rushing back and had a flat and no spare and had to wait for a tow and on and on. The professor agreed to give them a makeup test. When they sat down to the test, there was one question on the paper:

"Which tire?"


If I say to my friend (or someone we meet at the Mall) that "it seemed like a fun idea" or "I did Mardi Gras [and tell the story] and liked it so..." or "She's such a *#&^ing idiot I couldn't resist" or "what's scarier than Christine O'Donnell? A guy being Christine O'Donnell" or "Christine said to Mike Castle 'put your man pants on' and I thought I'd turn the tables" or anything like that and they talk to my wife separately and she says "yeah. He's got a whole closet full of dresses and shoes" I'm basically screwed.

I think no stories is going to be strictly enforced. If my wife says ahead of time "please say this is a one-time thing" I'll do that. But I can't ask her to learn my story and stick to it. That's neither right nor safe.

It comes back to why I don't lie. The truth is just easier.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lunchtime Bonus!

I've been trying to stick to one post a day, before 8am, but check back over the next few days. If I have anything postworthy (or non-inane) I'll put it up. Here's today's bonus:

My friend P sent the following old and only-mildly-funny joke to his list of friends. Sometimes he sends some good stuff. Sometimes not. It's exactly like your friends, isn't it?

P, you will remember, doesn't know about the costume nor Meg and he'll be coming to Virginia for the rally.

The joke:

A cabbie picks up a Nun. She gets into the cab, and the cab driver won't stop staring at her. She asks him why is he staring. He replies, "I have a question to ask you, but I don't want to offend you."

She answers, "My son, you cannot offend me. When you're as old as I am and have been a Nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything. I'm sure that there's nothing you could say or ask that I would find offensive."

"Well, I've always had a fantasy to have a Nun kiss me." She responded, "Well, let's see what we can do about that: #1, you have to be single and #2, you must be Catholic."

The cab driver is very excited and says, "Yes, I am single and Catholic!" "OK" the Nun says. "Pull into the next alley." The Nun fulfills his fantasy with a kiss that would make a hooker blush. But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying.

"My dear child, said the nun, why are you crying?" "Forgive me but I've sinned. I lied. I must confess, I'm married and I'm Jewish."

The nun says, "That's OK, my name is Kevin and I'm going to a Halloween party."

I'm very tempted to drop him a note saying "interesting choice of joke."

Halloween Logistics, Part 4 of ?

The weather forecast for Saturday: partly cloudy, high of 62. I'm glad the rally isn't today. Early this Wednesday morning, it's already over 70 but raining heavily.

I don't expect a good prediction more than a day in advance, but the weatherbug expects it to be 46 when I leave the house, and only 52 at the start of the rally.

This is a bit cooler than I'd like. I'm leaning towards tights instead of hose, and thinking about the second place suit (the light blue) because it's a bit heavier. The purple is even heavier, but I think the blues look more senatorial.

As I've said, Meg's a fair-weather friend. Cold and rain and snow keep Meg home. If I go shopping in the cooler months I brave the walk from the car to the shops and walk around the mall unencumbered by a coat.

But I'll be out for five or six hours (or more) and maybe a coat is in order.

My Tuesday schedule was:
work at the office
see a customer to return a computer
eat dinner
go to a seminar about college costs.

I'd rather not spend a lot of money on a coat or jacket. I'd like something I can grab quickly, wear once, and give to the clothing swap. Coats take up too much room in the closet!

Hmmm.... I wonder.... If I put enough stuff in the closet, maybe there won't be room for me in there. ;)

So, magically, yesterday morning, the thrift shop called. Their computer is broken and they want me to drop by. So now my shcedule changed: sneak that in before/instead of dinner. And reluctantly look at coats. And I'll see if they received any new shoes in my size. I mean, what the heck. I'm there already!

Follow-up: my pre-thrift shop customer was late, so I switched them. That meant no time to shop. And, as it turned out, no time for dinner (and I skipped lunch). I guess this will help maintain my girlish figure.


Wednesday (that's today) is interview, manicure with buff, not polish, brow wax (that's spelled "brOW Wax"), and anything else I think I'll need as long as I'm in the mall again. Maybe I'll look around the department stores while the red fades from my brows.

I'm going to try to work at home on Friday, so I can take breaks and do a clothing dry run, and wear my new shoes for a few hours. And I want to practice my lines. I won't know what people will say to me, but I want to be ready with what I say to them!

Oh.... I've been trying to figure out if I should tell my friend P about the costume before the rally. He's coming down with J, who knows what I'll be wearing. She'll tell. I know J.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mixed Emotions + Update

My friend P and my wife's friend J, both of whom were in our wedding party, will be staying over and going to the rally on Saturday. My wife told J about my costume. I'm trying to decide if I should tell P, or just wait and see what happens.

They've never met Meg and I'd rather they didn't know about her, except as a Halloween costume.

I have asked if people here and others in a local Yahoo t-group are going. So far, I haven't heard from anyone. If several t-folk come over, even if they're well-behaved, it's going to raise suspicions.

Assuming my natural manner and beauty haven't already aroused suspicions. :)

By "well-behaved" I mean not coming over and saying "I read your blog! It's great that you flew to Kansas as Meg!" but by being discreet. I'm really not worried about that. We're all in this together, and I think we're pretty good at imagining life when the pump is on the other foot.

I have other things to worry about.

I'm going to fall back on my new prime directive: No Stories.

I'm not sure how far I'm going to go in coming out. For one thing, my wife will be embarrassed. That is NOT my goal. I don't even want that as a side effect, but if it happens, it happens. I'll face the consequences.

For another, I don't really know how far I want to come out, right now. I really don't. I wish I could say with certainty, here's where I want to be. I can't.

And once the closet door is open, it's open. "Just kidding" only goes so far.

I don't plan to open my closet to show my wardrobe to either friend. I may open my personal closet ~ the one I spend too much time in. Do I open it just a crack, or all the way?

It's a matter of how I answer the question "you've done this before, haven't you?"

I feel comfortable with each friend on a different level, but I have to give the same answers. I can't tell one "it's something I do sometimes" and not the other.

So there are three possible answers, really. And two are "yes":

* "yes, it's something I do sometimes". I Am Out.
* "yes, I did Mardi Gras once". And maybe I'll admit to going to work last Halloween as well.
* "how hard can it be? Twelve year old girls do it". That's taken as a "no", but I didn't answer the question. It borders on story.

Answer one is the best, most honest answer. It's also one I don't think I'm ready to give. I may be wrong. I have a few more days to think about it.

Just to complicate matters: as I said, a client will be there. G (a personal friend) and her husband will be there. S (more of my wife's friend but she knows me) will be there.

If I see them there, they have to get the same answer.

There is a limit on "yes": no-one who knows my wife, can know more than she does. I won't admit to flying nor to the blog in this case. "What's the wildest thing you ever did?" will probably be the clothing swap.

The closet door is open. I'm just not sure how far. Or how far I want to open it.

And an update on getting ready....

Count this as Logistics part 3 of ?.

I picked up a monkey and black t-shirt. The T is from Ann Taylor. A very helpful woman showed me all sorts of inappropriate tops, even though I was very explicit as to what I wanted. When she found one I liked, she said "what size does she wear?" I said "it's for me". She looked shocked so I added "it's for my Halloween costume" and told her what I was going to be. She didn't think I could try it on because there were other women using the dressing area. I didn't push the issue. A medium and large looked about the same across the shoulders, but I'd rather have something loose than tight for this. A tight top will show all the support I need to cram myself into clothes and look like I sort of have a shape. The idea of a shell instead of a tank is, I can take off my jacket if I wish.

I asked for "a plain black shell, the kind that can be worn under a suit" in a few stores, and struck out in each. Not a story ~ if I said "a plain black shell that I can wear under a suit, they'll figure I mean men's suit, since, well, what other type of suit would I wear?

Old Navy was really annoying. They had various combinations of Henley, V, scoop, and crew neck T's. They had long and short sleeves. You could get anything ~ except for a short sleeve scoop which is what I wanted!

$20 was a bit expensive for a t-shirt, but it could have been worse ~ it was marked down from $48, which is probably more than I paid for the suit!

I also got my hair cut and neck waxed. I told the cutter that I wanted my hair neat for an interview and my neck clean for my costume.

She did a good job cropping everything, except a drop of wax got on the front of my shirt somehow. That will never come out. Scratch one shirt. The bad part is, I really like this shirt. The good part is, it wasn't a girl shirt. That would've REALLY made me mad!

My long short list is getting shorter:

* buy a small stuffed Mickey Mouse. I didn't see anything I really wanted at the Disney store, but I may have to settle.
* find everything I need and put it all in one place: suit, bra, panties, hose, shoes (and flats, just in case), cinch, pads, necklace and bracelet and earrings, wig, wig brush, makeup, contacts and contact cleaner, sunglasses, purse.... Is that all? That can't be all!
* call manicurist for an appointment (done ~ it's set for Wednesday) for manicure and eyebrow wax. I'll bring Christine's picture for reference.
* preshave arms, hands, legs, feet, chest. I've started.
* load purse: cash, metro card(s), license, insurance cards, credit cards, glasses case....

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Logistics, Part 2 of ?

Major Problem!

But not a showstopper. I just got an e-mail from a very good friend in New York. He's coming down for the rally too. He has not met Meg. I am now officially more nervous than I've ever been prior to going out.

So guess what? He'll be meeting Meg this weekend. I need to decide if I should give him a heads-up first. I'm thinking... no.

Also, my wife told me that a couple of couples we know through our kids' school will be there as well.

Me: then we'll see them there.
She: they won't recognise you.
Me: they'll recognise you.

Back to Logistics....

After work today, I'll get my haircut. I don't want strays peeking through under my wig. And I hate wig caps!

I have printed business cards to hand out. I printed name tags including extras in case one falls off, or someone wants one.

Sorry, no previews.

OK, one preview, but just because Petra had such a great idea!

She wrote: I suppose, btw, that you will be representing the T-Party at the rally?

So in addition to the name tags I was going to put on my jacket, I'm going to add a Proud Member of the T-Party tag. I wonder if my wife knows what I mean. I bet there are some people who will. I wonder if they'll identify themselves. Non-identification is a whole 'nother post.

So.... Are any of you guys coming? So far, I've heard nothing. One of my clients said her church is sending a bus. I'll have to look for her. She might have trouble finding me. But with my prosopagnosia, I'm pretty sure I won't recognise her either. And I will NOT go up to people I (think I) know and say "do I know you? I'm ". For the rally, I'm only answering to Christine.

I'm wondering if my costume will get a lot of attention or be roundly ignored.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Li'l Bit of Prep

I had a customer sorta kinda on the way to a mall, so I went. I spent longer than I had planned, but it worked out OK.

I entered through a Macy's. The jewelry counters were right by the entrance so I started looking for smaller silver hoops. I think the ones I got weren't really Christine's style. I picked up a pair.

Next on my list was makeup. I passed on Macy's and went to Sephora. A woman asked if she could help and I said "I hope so. How are you with colour?" I explained that I had a picture and I was trying to match that look, for Halloween. She called over someone else who she said would be better. The first SA explained to the second that I was trying to match a look in a photo. I showed them the photo, they both laughed, and the second SA went to work. She decided lipstick and gloss were called for and picked out ones that would match. She tried a couple of different ones on her wrist looking for the best match. I asked if lipliner was called for; she looked at me and said no ~ my lips were better than Christine's.

She also didn't know who the picture was. I asked; she guessed Palin. I told her she was a Senate candidate and most people probably won't know who she is, but this is for a political event.

She picked out three shadows and drew me a picture of how/where to put each on.

She picked out a dark brown/almost black eyeliner.

At one point, she asked if I was going to do my own makeup. I said "how hard can it be? Twelve year old girls do it". She grinned and I said "this isn't the first time I've done this". I mentioned that a couple of times, even though I really like having women teach me how to do makeup.

So yes, I had foundation. Yes, I had mascara. I told her I have a suit and hair and pearls ~ Christine always seems to wear pearls.

I'd love to go to the mall and show her how I look after the rally, but I think it'll be late, I'll be tired, and it'll be difficult to explain to my wife's friend. If she wasn't here, I'd consider a girl's night out with the local CD group.

There was a toy store nearby; I looked at monkeys but didn't see quite what I was looking for. I saw others at a Hallmark store, but I shall keep looking. No Mickey Mouses anywhere.

Oh.... I picked up the business card forms and nametag-size paper yesterday on my way to the interview.

I wanted to look at something to wear under a suit. I'm thinking plain black, maybe satiny. Yes, the dark blue has it's own camisole. I want something for those other suits too. I'm considering a cami or tank or T-shirt. With a T, I could remove my jacket if I want to!

No luck. I just didn't see what I wanted. I'll leave it on my list.

I went to Payless and picked up a new pair of shoes, pictured here.

My (very long) short list is getting shorter. I'll feel better when I have the cards and nametags printed and everything I want in the house.

Monday, I plan to get my haircut and neck waxed and I'll look for a cami, monkey, and mouse.

So here I am, $150 closer to Halloween. I'm glad this only comes once a year!

Saturday DC forecast: partly cloudy, high 61.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Here's The Rub

I realised I'll probably be sitting on a blanket on the lawn. I'm not sure how that will work in a shortish skirt. I need to practice.

I certainly don't want to stand for five hours!

I may bring a chair, but I don't want to block the view of the people behind me. That's also why I'm skipping the witch's hat.

I checked the votes. Dark blue wins easily. It had twice the votes of the other two.

The other two are exactly tied. I was hoping for a second-place suit.

Before I change to a different suit, I'll practice sitting on the ground and standing up and make sure I can be ladylike.

Tall order, I know.

If I change suits, I have to run the new one past my wife. She'll wonder why I changed my mind. And she'll wonder why I have so many suits!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween Logistics, Part 1 of ?

Well, no more than eight. There are only eight days until the rally. Yes, I'm a bit nervous. My usual pattern is, fall asleep gently. Wake two hours before I'm supposed to. Be scared to death for two hours as I plan the adventure. Go through the day sleepy.

Then it's over.

Eight days to go, and a lot of things are going on and need to happen.

Before I go on, I wrote this post yesterday for publication today and I have news:

I Have A Buy-In

I spoke to my wife's friend, J, who's coming down to the rally. She called and normally the calls result in either a hand-off or a "she's still at work. Try again later."

Instead she wanted to talk about when she'd arrive and where and how so I could handle that. Then she said "I hear you're going as a non-witch". She said she might have some scary witch props. A couple were kind of feminine, but she said "that should be OK since you're going as a female non-witch". At one point, she asked if I was going to buy a rally shirt. I said "I already have something to wear" and she said "true".

It seems someone told. Which means she's on board, not trying to figure out how to sabotage it.

I'm not sure how much my wife told her. I offered no details.

Later I told my wife that "it seems she knows". She deadpanned "she thinks it's hysterical". I said "everybody will, but you". No reply.

But I have a buy-in.

On To Logistics!

The long-range weather forecast is for partly cloudy skies,high of 56. That's a bit cool, but it works. I'll keep checking. I don't want to be out on a nasty rainy day. The rally is rain or shine. Meg is a fair weather friend.

J will be coming Friday to stay overnight. Although I do not want her to know, this is not a showstopper. She does make things more difficult. For one, my wife will spend some time with J while I'm getting ready. That makes it more obvious that I'm doing my own makeup.

Remember: no stories, but if she doesn't ask, I'm not telling. If she does, I may deflect, but No Stories.

I'll be out late (past midnight) Friday night. I'll have to get up early Saturday: I generally make breakfast. I want to get out of the house at 10. That means I start getting ready at 8. It also means I have to make sure the ladies know I want to leave at 10. I'd rather go with "the girls" than by myself.

Because J is here, I'll tone things down a bit. This will have the side effect of confusing my kids about whether this is a costume thing or not. :) For instance, I'm considering black hose or tights. This will prevent the "You shaved your legs for this?" line of questioning.

By the way, the shaving thing has me a bit concerned. My arm/leg hair mysteriously comes and goes. My kids have either never noticed or never said anything. If they never noticed before, this will bring it to their attention. That means more caution on my part in the future. On the other hand, people at work who know this was more than a Halloween thing don't even notice when I'm wearing a women's shirt to work.

I have a (very long) short list of Things To Do Before Halloween:

* buy a small stuffed monkey and a small stuffed Mickey Mouse. I want something I can attach to my clothes or purse strap.
* buy name tags or blank tags. Print name tags (I'll show y'all what I have in mind soon).
* buy some business cardstock. Print some cards (ditto).
* buy eggs, butter, milk.... Oops. Wrong list.
* bring the O'Donnell picture to MAC or Sephora and see if I can get a lipstick/gloss, eye shadow, and blush in the right colours.
* look for/buy smaller hoops (silver?). I think the ones I have are too big for her style.
* look for/buy shoes. Any excuse....
* make sure I have good black hose or tights! (note: I did this last night ~ good to go!)
* find everything I need and put it all in one place: suit, bra, panties, hose, shoes (and flats, just in case), cinch, pads, necklace and bracelet and earrings, wig, wig brush, makeup, contacts and contact cleaner, sunglasses, purse.... Is that all? That can't be all!
* call manicurist for an appointment (probably next Thursday) for manicure and eyebrow wax.
* call my favourite haircut lady, make sure she'll be available for a Thursday haircut and back-of-neck wax
* preshave arms, hands, legs, feet, chest
* load purse: cash, metro card(s), license, insurance cards, credit cards, glasses case....

Eight days, and I still have a full time job (and my after-hours job). And I have an all-afternoon interview next Wednesday (cross fingers, keep them that way). I'll keep you posted as I cross things off the list. One more thing to add to the list: I was planning on striking a couple of things off the list after work today, but I have another interview scheduled so I won't have time.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hair Today

This is the wig I plan to wear at the rally. Is it enough like my "target" O'Donnell picture?

The picture is from three years ago. I didn't know I bought those shoes that long ago!

Click to get it up close and personal.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Some Little Bits

Christie and Me

First, this --->
is the look I'm going for. Click to make her larger. I printed a glossy of this that I can go take to MAC (maybe) and ask if they have a lipstick in this colour.

Did you know that the first amendment says there's a separation of church and state? I had no idea!

Sorry. I was getting into character. :)

It looks like neutral eye shadow, mascara, eye liner, blush, pink-y-ish lip gloss, pearls, hoop earrings. I'll post a picture with the wig I'm considering.

And now the suit!

It looks like Dark Blue wins by a length.

I showed my wife the suit and said "this is what I'm planning to wear to the rally". She looked at it, frowned, and said "does she wear skirts that short?" I said "I don't know. I've never seen her below the waist."

That was her only comment. Discussion over.

One e-mail mentioned that the sleeves seem awful short. Now I'm wondering ~ please take a look. Are they? She mentioned that I should avoid the watch and bracelet. I think she's right ~ they make my arms look long. I'll drop the watch, but probably go with the pearl bracelet.

One More Thing

As I mentioned, I've never done a character before. I've done roles (for different reasons) but never taken on a persona. I don't count Meg ~ I'm just being me, ramping up the femme as much as I can (unfortunately, never enough).

I hope to think like her. Before I talk, I'll have to think "I'm Christine. What should I say?" or I'll have to have preplanned responses. I'll have a few, but certainly not enough for all of the different circumstances that can come up.

I'll try to have a Responses For All Occasions post soon. I'm open to suggestions. One hard thing is listening to her so I can get the feel of being Christine.

At the rally, I'm only going to answer to "Christine" so if anyone here sees me there....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quick Update

It looks like my wife's friend will be coming down for the rally. She'll probably be staying with us Friday night. She, not surprisingly, does not know about Meg.

For a variety of reasons, I'd rather she didn't.

Does this change my plans? No.

In an odd turn of events, I showed my wife the vote-on-a-costume site for the rally. She said I should dress up, and post my costume. I was surprised. I said "when?" and she only shrugged.

Last week, the rallies were combined into the "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear". I kind of expected that. There are a lot of humour opportunities in the contrast between the two personalities and goals.

My writing will be light for the next couple of days. I have an interview coming up (yay!) and they need some technologies I haven't used before so I'm studying in my spare time. You guys talk among yourselves. :)

I also received an e-mail about the interview ~ address, location, and such. It said:

Please plan for approx. 2-2.5 hours of time with us. Business dress is recommended.

Oh, I am SO tempted! And I have the perfect business dress too!

It occurs to me ~ if they want to hire me ASAP, I should probably wait until after Halloween to quit my current job. Just in case. If they want to hire me. If.

Remember this post about telling an officemate (and this one as well)? When I showed her the pictures I told her I have one thing I'm not telling her (flying). And I'd tell her on my last day.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Drop back a few days and tell me if you like
#1 ~ the light blue suit
#2 ~ the dark blue suit
#3 ~ the purple suit

Either comment or e-mail....

So far the dark blue is winning!

I'll announce my choice tomorrow or Wednesday. And PLEASE let me know if you're coming to the rally!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Get Out and Shop!

In response to my "fate intervened" aside, Elly suggested that now is a good time to shop for clothes because "it's just part of my costume".

That works, but not if friends see you shop. It will get you past the checkout with a minimum of blushing and stammering (been there, done that).

It won't work for me because I'm through with stories. Oh, I can see a time when I'll have to grit my teeth and spin a yarn but I'm hoping I will not get to that stage Ever. I'm hoping I can think fast and decide it's OK to react as I did in my past life regression event.

But if you want to get out the door and do a bit of shopping and need cover ~ Halloween is perfect.

In fact, this is the start of shopping season!

October: "it's part of my costume" works for almost anything you want to buy, including lingerie and makeup. When asked "what's your costume going to be?" you can either have an appropriate idea ready to relate, or reply "Oh no. Last time I told, it was all over the internet!"

November/December: "it's a gift" for the holidays works for almost anything you want to buy, especially jewelry. Makeup kits are more gifty than individual makeup items. "My teenage niece keeps talking about makeup and I thought this would be perfect for her!" Jewelry or clothing "for your wife". Lingerie, less so, because...

January/February: "it's a gift" for Valentine's Day works best for jewelry and lingerie.

Gifting works well for almost anything girly you want for yourself, but feel you need cover for. A pretty painting or wall hanging, a pink mug with "Sexy Lady" on it (or one like this), a shoe-a-day calendar (I bought one of these for my boss last year).... The list, like that last sentence, goes on and on. Go nuts.

Just keep two things in mind:
1. the sales assistant probably knows it's for you.
2. the sales assistant doesn't gave a ****.

Be ready to abandon that shopping cart when your friend turns the corner though! (hint: if you can, use a shopping cart so your friend doesn't see you with an armful and say "those panties can't be for your wife! I bet she's a size 4!" and you don't have to decide between "they're for me" and "they're for my mistress".

I hope to have time to present my costume idea to my wife today. Last minute voting is still allowed!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Revisiting the Dark Blue Suit

I was told this suit didn't look that good open. Here's how it looks closed, which is probably how it'll stay. How informal can a senate candidate be? Most of you preferred this suit. Last chance to vote! I plan to present my wife with my costume choice early next week.

Friday, October 15, 2010

She Knows (Thrift Shop)

I wasn't sure whether to label this Unspoken Agreement or Three More Items OUT or Meanwhile, Back at the Thrift Shop....

But I know she knows.

Halle mentioned "fate" lending a hand to keep her from getting caught without having to resort to telling stories. I often feel someone is watching out for me.

A few years ago, I was shopping for MegClothes at KMart (hey, it was on my way). I had some undies and socks in a cart and I had parked it so I could take a look at shoes. Walking towards the shoes I saw a freind of mine and my wife's, walking towards me with her two youngest children. We exchanged pleasantries and I continued on towards... something not feminine. I abandonded the cart.

Another time I was heading towards Marshalls and saw a woman I used to work with, and her sister. We chatted a bit and I veered right towards a conveniently-located computer store. They had just come out of Marshall's. A few minutes earlier and I might have been sprung.

I made a special trip to the thrift shop last Friday.

Driving there, I was in the right lane of the highway when I saw a van ahead of me. It was in the same lane and BACKING UP. I was able to get into the adjacent lane without hitting anything. A half-mile later, the exit I had to take was all backed up. An SUV with its front end destroyed was blocking traffic and cars had to gingerly go around it. Then at the end of the exit there was a disabled car just off the road. The roads here are one big construction area (the Virginia state tree is the traffic cone) so shoulders are generally non-existent. Someone decided to help the disabled car by sitting in the only traffic lane next to it as an eighteen wheeler tried to go around him!

I started to wonder if the gods were trying to tell me "this is a Bad Idea".

Or maybe they were just trying to tell me I'm too early, and CC is having a late lunch. :)

That's the problem with fate ~ you never know what it's trying to tell you.

A quick consult of the cards told me that the gods were not trying to prevent me from going. I did get to the shop, and I asked for CC. Someone said she was "downstairs" and went to get her. I looked around and waited. A few minutes later she came in and greeted me warmly. I showed her my business cards (which now have a line in purple about a discount for her customers) and told her I'd bring more if she needed them. She mentioned the computer was a bit slow, which is unsurprising. That also gives me a reason to follow up.

I didn't say anything about looking around. It didn't come up.

So I just started to look around.

CC came over after a minute or so and said "is there anything you'd like me to pull?" I said "I'm not sure what I'm looking for yet." She reassured me that there is no problem with me looking around and if I needed help to just ask. She then disappeared into her office and although I looked for her I didn't see her again that visit.

She knows.

I spent quite a bit of time looking around. They didn't have much in the way of casual dresses; they did have some party dresses, a couple of gowns, and a few wedding dresses. Remember, I'm focusing on Clothes I Can Wear Out, not pretty things I can wear around the house.

Shoes went up to size 10-1/2. Prices were more than reasonable.

I found some nice tops, but none in my size.

They had a lot of sweaters, which isn't what I was looking for that day.

They had a lot of jeans, but I prefer to get jeans new so it'll take longer to wear them out.

They had some outerwear (which I may need for Halloween) and racks of skirts.

I picked out two skirts. One was patterned, medium, with an elastic waistband and high slits on either side. The other was solid brown; it zipped up the side and looked like a really nice officewear skirt. I couldn't find a size, but it looked about the same waist size as the other skirt. I also looked at the larger shoes. There was one pair I liked.

I took those three items. The total cost was $7. I'm sure if CC knows, the cashiers know. I'm OK with that.

When I got home, the house was empty. Good: some try-on time! The patterned skirt came to just above my knees and the slits weren't as high as I'd feared. It fit well.

The brown skirt would NOT zip up. The zipper worked fine. My tummy did not. That will go into the swap bag for some lucky skinny woman.

The shoes are a bit snug, but not bad. I'd need to try them for an hour or more and see how they feel.

So two things have to go into the swap bag. It's a good thing I didn't sort through those camisoles yet!

Follow up: last Sunday, I had a chance to wear those new-to-me shoes for a while. They're a bit tight, but not bad. They're definitely possible for the rally. I will be going to Payless (at least) before then!

The rally will be mostly on the lawn. My favoured heels are definitely out. It's fat heels or flats.

These are the three items I bought. Click to enlarge. Or not. It's up to you. :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Suit Number Three

Of three. We're done. I have some others, but these are the ones I'm considering. This one fits fairly well. The skirt is very full; lots of material there. It has longer sleeves than the others, which may be important on a cold Halloween day.

The camisole in the full shot is red with red lace trim. The head shot shows a cotton cami, of the same style I mentioned with the light blue suit. I'm not sure why I fell asleep before that picture was taken. I had two. My eyes are closed in both.

Please click on the picture to see it in all of its glory!

And tell me what you think ~ in comments or e-mail!

Thrift shop tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Suit Number Two

This is a dark blue suit that I like but have never worn out. It's a three-piece suit: camisole, jacket, skirt. Alone, the cami fits a bit funky, and I'm not sure why. It might be a tad too small, or maybe I'm shaped a tad too differently than the target body.

With the jacket, it looks good, and I do NOT plan on removing my jacket!

I may wear this cami under the light blue suit, if that's the final vote.

Remember to click on the pictures to enlarge them and make me less fuzzy.

(Scroll down ~ there's one more picture there!)

One more suit tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Suit Number One

I have three. I'll get to the thrift shop story on Friday. This week is a suit a day. Feel free to vote.

So you all get a break ~ no long tomes to read for the next few days.

Feel free to click on a picture to enlarge it. I have to warn you ~ they're pretty big pictures. When you enlarge it, I don't look quite so fuzzy though. You get to decide if that's a good thing. :)

In the full-length picture, I'm wearing a light blue stretchy cami underneath. This picture was taken just about two years ago, as I considered something to wear for Halloween 2008. I don't have any pictures from that day, but I think I did wear this suit. That's a story for another day though.

I also have a light blue cotton camisole with green lace around the neck that I'm considering. First things first though: let's all pick a suit!

In the bust shot, I'm wearing a lace cami that I like but I don't think is my best choice. That picture is from Oct 2007. I was probably thinking of wearing it for Halloween, knowing I wouldn't.

As I mentioned I've seen pictures of O'Donnell in a similar suit, so this might be my best choice. But let's see.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Halloween Shopping

I picked up some costume accessories but haven't tossed anything, as I promised I would yesterday. I do have that giant bag of clothing for the swap, so I don't feel guilty about it. Besides, everything could fit in a pocket with room for my car keys, wallet, and an extra pair of hose in case mine run. :)

In the pictures I've seen of O'Donnell she's always wearing a pearl necklace. It seems like she has quite a few ~ I've seen several. Sometimes she's sporting a matching bracelet.

She also seems partial to hoop earrings.

Check, check, and check. Clearly, my budget doesn't allow real pearls. It doesn't even allow nice fake pearls. But the ones I bought look OK and all three items cost under $50.

The most amazing thing: I went into Macy's, went down to jewelry, found the items I wanted, bought them and left. I didn't get drawn into dresses or misses or lingerie. I did walk up and down past cosmetics, just because, well, I like to. But I bought what I wanted and left.

I know what you're thinking: typical guy. :)

Here's what I'll be wearing (click to enlarge):

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Spring Cleaning, A Bit Late

Happy 10-10-10 everybody!

In response to my day in the closet, my Anonymous friend (Pat?) wrote:

Good job of laying the guilt on my head. I really need to get into the closets to do a cleanout/inventory. I have stuff stashed away in several places and I really need to go through what I have and weed out the garden. My problem is that I have the bad habit of talking myself into keeping almost everything.

Eighteen months ago, that was me.

My default position is "packrat". Maybe it's backlash from growing up in a small apartment where there wasn't room for anything. Maybe it's because every time I get rid of something I need it One Day Later. I don't know.

With my girl clothes, it's much worse. Early on, getting each article of clothing was a chore. It took stealth or courage. I had discards from others. I stood in the store while everyone stared at me and laughed as I tried to get away with the "it's for a friend" ruse. You know what I mean ~ that's how it felt. I bought mail order, shipping to a PO box which I kept "because it's convenient", by which I meant it would be inconvenient if a friend saw a package from a women's clothing store, or even a department store and "why don't you open it? I want to see what you got."

So there's a tendency to keep what you worked so hard for. You'd keep your sketch that you worked on all day but feel free to crumble the drawing you did in a minute while playing Pictionary. My paycheck gets spent before I ever see it, but I kept the dollar bills I received for my patents. I worked for those!

And like Anonymous, I have clothes stashed away in different places. Shoes in my desk drawer and under my desk. There's a trunk in the basement with clothes and shoes. I've gotten better at consolidating though.

I don't think I ever told the story of how I got involved in the clothing swaps. I will. For now, let me just say that Kim, the woman who runs the swap, is a great friend of the community and when she contacted me about joining her first swap, she thought it was fine that a guy would want to give/get female clothing.

Kim seemed so nice that I knew I couldn't disappoint her and show up with little or nothing. So I dove into my closet and started looking at clothes and decided that I loved and wanted everything and Too Bad Kim.

I did want everything. I did love everything. I needed a different approach.

What doesn't fit? I'm not fat, but even though I wouldn't mind, I'm not going to get thinner. I've weighed the same more-or-less for close to twenty years.

So I tried clothes on. If it was too small, it went in the swap box. This is easier for tops and dresses. My shoulders are not going to narrow. The zipper that doesn't close now never will. The sleeves that don't button won't. Ever.

Get rid of those shoes that I can only wear for three minutes before screaming in pain.

Too big? Well.... I kept most of these if I liked them. I can wear them, at least around the house. Back then, I was in more than out. Now, I'm focusing on getting rid of what I can't wear out of the house (more below).

How many black skirts do I need? Technically, All Of Them. But pick one, grit teeth, get rid of it (skirt not teeth).

That's how I started. I got rid of boxes and bags of clothes. I still had a full closet.

For other swaps there wasn't as much clothing, but as I said, I'm looking at clothes I can wear out of the house. So see-through tops that show hair I can't get rid of are OUT. Too too short skirts, too tight skirts (there's only so much I can hide!) ~ out. I kept a couple of short skirts because I do like them around the house, but most are gone. If I ever decide that I can get rid of that body hair I can buy new tops. There are thousands in every store. The challenge is finding nice tops that cover.

Each swap, I think "this is it. I'm out of stuff". It never is. I never will be.

And there's always places to shop for more clothes.

My new rule is: clothing in, clothing out. If I buy a dress, I will get rid of a dress, or top and skirt, or pair of shoes.

And I literally just remembered ~ I have a few cotton camis with the built-in bra-type material. I don't like them under tops or dresses: I prefer lighter fabric. I don't like them under male clothing: the bra elastic is uncomfortable. It's a good thing I still have that bag! Out they go!

Even though I'm getting rid of old friends, I'm discovering clothes I forgot I had, or never even wore because they got lost in the crowd. And it's an enjoyable task. Changing clothes every five minutes is something I can do all day. And, last Saturday, I did.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

An Epiphany

It may not have seemed like it, but I think yesterday's post marked a new direction in my life.

I think those moments are rare.

Friday, October 8, 2010

More Than All the Facts

Life got in the way Thursday. I did have time to go shopping for some Christine O'Donnell accessories (more later) but I did not have time to go to the thrift shop.

Today, barring interruptions from life, will be the day.

I have been e-mailing my wise and beautiful friend Amanda. She helps me think clearly (that is, "not make an idiot of myself").

I see a few ways this can play out.

First, one of two things can happen:
* I bring in cards and talk to CC briefly about where to leave them, ask her to call me if she needs more or has questions, etc.
* I bring in cards and CC isn't there. I'll talk to an assistant, let her know why I'm dropping them off, and ask her to tell CC to call if she has questions. Tell her I may follow up with CC just to see if they're being taken and such.

I hadn't considered CC not being there before.

Either scenario is OK, but they make the next step different.

If CC isn't there, I'll probably just go and look at clothes and maybe buy some things, without comment. I may say "I'm going to see what you have here" just as a way of saying "I'm done talking now".

Amanda thinks cover stories are a bad idea.

I said she is wise. You'll have to take my word on beautiful.

She is so right. The comments were leaning towards "at least tell her it's for Halloween", but I now see that that is not the right way to go.

We (us gurls) do that too often and I vow to stop now. I mean, google lost bet crossdress and you'll get ten thousand hits (literally) from guys who wanna be gurls who are basically begging someone to tell them what they should wear. The sad part is, they think they're fooling someone other than themselves with the "bet" story.

No more stories. If anyone catches me telling cover stories, remind me that I'm falling into bad habits and I should stop.

Stories are for fictionmania.

No more stories.

I hadn't considered CC not being there until I was writing to Amanda. It's easier if she's off, I suppose. But that would make it harder for me to go back in the future to look around, because I don't know when CC will be there, and it might be awkward. I could say "I bought some clothing last time I was here, and I wanted to see what's new today." I could then let the conversation go where it may (keep reading).

Amanda wrote: "What is your reason to go? Just take cards to her? Buy dresses? Or have her 'know' that you cd?"

Dam good question. It is not my goal to come out to her. But that might be a side effect. But it's also avoidable, without resorting to stories.

And there are good reasons to avoid it. For starters, I’d be completely out to someone I barely know. I try to control this part of my life. If I tell someone, I'm fairly certain they'll keep it close. Or it's to someone who doesn't know anyone I know so no harm can really come of it.

That's not quite true. I've posted pictures. There's that whole six degrees of separation thing. If any of you started sending my picture out with "this is a guy. Does anyone recognise him? Here's what I know...." I'll probably be out.

I don't lose sleep over that possibility. Another tg blogger was always careful with details of her life. In one post, she gave enough details that with only five minutes of research I found her full name and address. I wrote that she might have given out TMI and she said "I don't care". (I paraphrase.)

Maybe at some point I'll out myself. I don't care ~ except there are kids who don't know. So I mostly don't care. Ninety-five percent don't care.

With CC, I don’t know if she’ll tell everyone in the shop and when someone picks up a card say “he shops here. He buys dresses for himself.” Or she might be the model of discretion, and consider the fact that the store is getting money for her charity the overriding issue.

If she outs me, I probably won't be back. If she's careful, I might send gurlfriends.

I don't have to come out to her to look around her store. I can do the same "I'm just going to look around while I'm here".

Maybe she'll assume I'm looking at books or furniture or men's clothing and ignore me. I'm fairly ignorable.

Maybe she'll go back to my comment from my last visit and ask "do you want to see some dresses for yourself?"

I am ready to say "yes. Twelves usually work. And how are your shoes organised?"

Maybe she'll just say "we have a lot of things here. Feel free to look around". Maybe she'll offer a discount or credit, since I did that computer work gratis.

Maybe she'll ask who I'm shopping for. Here, I'm not sure what I'll say. I may 'fess up. I may say "the holidays are coming up" ~ she'll assume I answered her question, but even that's a bit more dishonest than I like. I have been known to do that though, and not just with tg issues. An answer like that will almost always be met with a "let me know if you need any help" from a sales assistant in a shop. But a "who are you shopping for?" leads to outright lies (against my philosophy: see my earliest posts).

No more stories.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Preview, Not A Review

Since the time I wrote the chicken post and the time I left the office, things changed.

I received a call from a new customer with an emergency. I set a time that would allow me maybe 30 minutes to look around the thrift shop. That's not a lot of time, but it's better than nothing. Besides, I still wasn't sure what I was going to do there: just drop off cards or look around as well.

Then I received a call from a woman I know from a couple of (non-tg) e-mail lists. I don't really know her, but I do admire her. She asked if I could do a favour for a friend of hers who's having some problems (the computer problem is minor; his other problems are life-threatening). The computer problem has to be resolved by tomorrow. The only time we could meet would be right before my first customer, pushing her back a bit.

So the thrift shop visit would be reduced to just dropping off cards.

I want my options open. So I skipped the thrift shop for another day.

I had several comments (go for it, mostly) and a couple of e-mails (mixed) on how to handle the thrift shop. I know I don't think clearly when I'm too close to an issue. If anyone has any ideas, please comment or drop me an e-mail.

I may go there today or tomorrow. I don't want to wait much longer; she'll probably forget what I said by next week. Note to readers: if I walk in and she says "so have you decided to try on dresses today?" it won't matter what I decided. I'm in. :)

So the comments right now are split between:
* yes
* yes, it's for Halloween

The second yes is still the chicken's way out.

The big problem is, she knows who I am. Mostly, I shop anonymously. I hand over a credit card, but that's just a name. My cards have my name, phone number, e-mail, website....

I left cards and brochures at some of the clothing swaps, but I was still anonymous. I didn't stand there, dressed in my finest, handing out cards. The cards sat on a table. There was nothing to connect the woman looking through the clothes with the name on the card. Besides, my name is somewhat androgynous.

So I've offered all the facts. Your opinions are welcome.

Over the next few days, I'll have some pictures of suits "Christine" might wear to the rally. I'll also need to talk to my wife about my Halloween plans. I will report.

Right now, things are up in the air. I don't know if my family will be in town. I don't know if out-of-town friends will be dropping by (maybe to stay with us!). I don't know if local friends expect me to ride in with them. I'll keep y'all posted.

None of these are showstoppers. They're just things I don't know.

Oh.... and I'll have probably One More Post on the thrift shop.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Yes, I'm A Chicken

I had a call yesterday. A woman wanted help with her computer.

That's not unusual. I had three other calls from women I don't know who wanted help with their computers. It's what I do, when I'm not sitting at a desk or... you know.

(Actually, one wanted help with her phone; I told her what to do. Another was from outside my area. The third I helped over the phone.)

This woman (CC) said she ran a non-profit in the area. From her description, I knew the exactly what organisation she meant. They have a thrift shop that I often go past on my way home. I've seen it many times; I stopped by once to look around (alas, they were closed). Kim, who runs the local clothing swap has brought the leftovers there. I mentioned these things to CC who was pleasantly surprised that I knew about her group.

She said she had "lots of viruses". I was skeptical.

I had one after-work customer. The thrift shop, oddly enough, was directly on my way home from that customer so I told her I'd stop by and gave her a time.

I walked in and was surprised at both the number of customers and the amount of goods. I thought it was like most of the other private thrift shops I'd wandered into ~ small, crowded, eclectic, bare of customers, organised but only because the shopkeepers had little else to do.

Clothes on the left, furniture on the floor, books on the right-hand wall, tchotchkes everywhere. I'm sure they had things I didn't notice. Mostly I was noticing the clothes.

The racks of clothes were organised like the Goodwill stores I'd been in: by colour rather than size. The closest rack was tops or suits (I couldn't tell which from where I was standing), with whites, creams, browns, reds, trailing off on a long long rack. The rack was double-sided and another rack was behind it. All seemed to have tops or suits on them. I later noticed that there were more pairs of double-racks behind them holding skirts and pants. Smaller multi-level tables had shoes on them. Probably not a lot of 11s, but a lot of pretty nice, and nice pretty, shoes.

CC was tall, blonde, slim, in her late 20s I'd say. She led me into her little office near the front of the store. The room had a large one-way mirror just to the left of the computer so while I was working I could spy on the customers.

It was mostly one bit of scareware but I had to yank it manually since it broke most of the tools I use. I was done, including starting some scans, in about an hour.

I found CC and told her everything seemed to be good, but sometimes they reappear and please let me know if that happens. She asked what the charge was, and I told her to consider it a donation to the shop.

What I really wanted to say was "let me go home and get some stuff. Point me to the changing room, lock me in tonight and tomorrow morning we'll call it even."

What I did say was "you have a lot of stuff here. Maybe I'll look at some dresses before I go."
CC said "Wednesday we collect furniture so we'll have a better selection then. If you want to come back then you can probably find what you want."

I think I wrote about those points where you can take two paths and have to decide. This was one. Smart move: say thanks and walk out. My move: "OK, but I said 'dresses' not 'dressers'."

She didn't miss a beat. She laughed and said "sure. They're in the back."

Another decision moment. Here's where the chicken Meg took hold and wouldn't let go. There were at least a dozen women in the shop, both workers and customers. Brave Meg would have said "thanks. I'll see what I can find." Mildly-brave Meg would have said "I'm thinking of going to a Halloween party as Christine O'Donnell ~ maybe I can find something inexpensive here."

Chicken Meg smiled and said "I can never find my size at places like this." She just said "I'm sure you can. What size are you?"

I need to be more ready for people like her. I really do. I'm not.

I said "I don't know. I'd have to try it on." She said "Eight? Nine? Look around."

Chicken Meg: "I'm just joking." She said "you wouldn't be the first."

She had asked if I wanted to leave some business cards or flyers for her customers. I only had one card with me, but I said I might come back to drop off cards, and maybe offer a discount to her customers. I really shouldn't ~ this is not the clientele I'm targeting. People who shop in thrift shops often can't afford my rates for repair.

But later today I'll be at that same customer picking up a computer. I'll stop by the thrift shop again on my way home, cards in hand.

The question is, will I say something like "remember when I was joking about getting a dress for me? I was joking about joking. How's your selection of 12s?"

Or I may just cluck a couple of times and lay another egg.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Keep Fear Alive!

I'm not sure what the Oct 30 rallies are going to be like. I don't know if they'll be separate/competing events or if they'll be co-operative or at least on the same stage. I suspect they're still working on it.

For Colbert's rally, he suggested coming in your "scariest costume".

Jon Stewart hasn't made a comparable comment (so far ~ I haven't seen the last few days yet).

I'll be going to one or both. The worst case: I'll be in my civilian clothes. There are some circumstances that will force that. Best case, of course, I'll be in costume. Girl costume is the only costume I'll consider.

Before Colbert's comment, I was just thinking of doing generic drag. But he got me thinking and I'll do a specific female.

Who I'd be is pretty much a no-brainer.

Christine O'Donnell tea party candidate for the Delaware senate.

She's so darn EASY!

Let's look at the specifics:

1. Long brown hair. Any longish wig will do ~ her hair changes constantly. Do a google image search ~ you'll see.

2. Talk with a squeaky voice. I can do that. It's not terribly squeaky, but sometimes she sounds like she's trying to do a girl's voice. She always sounds like she's trying to explain the idiotic. It's like she's just hearing her ideas for the first time and thinking "that's not right."

3. Bring a little stuffed Mickey Mouse as an example of O'Donnell's claim that scientists were "cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains." Honest. She said this.

4. Bring a little stuffed monkey as an example of a monkey that's not evolving into a human, disproving evolution. Honest. She said "why aren't monkeys evolving into humans as we speak?"

5. Witches hat is optional, but probable, although it would annoy the people behind me.

6. Wear a suit. I have some. I have one that's very like the one in the first picture. I'll post some suit pictures over the next few days.

7. Pearls. I can get some. Maybe with a matching bracelet. No wedding ring. No engagement ring. Listen to her talk for a few minutes and you'll stop wondering why.

8. Hoop earrings. I can get those.

9. Keep some of her stupider comments in mind, like:
Masturbation is adultery.
There are weekly school shootings.
Just because you have medical bills doesn't mean you weren't healed by god.
A socialist economy is when 50% or more of your economy is dependent on the federal government.
There's as much, or more, evidence of creationism as there is of evolution.
AIDS prevention gets too much money.
Obama is 'anti-American'.
I wouldn't lie even to save a Jew from the Nazis.
I won't talk to the national media ~ except Fox news.
I dabbled in witchcraft.
I studied at Oxford.
(the aforementioned comments on evolution and interspecies experiments)

I have never seen a picture of her below her waist. For all I know she rides around on a little platform like this:

But I'll assume not and I'd like to see what sort of hose/shoes she wears. I'll keep looking.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Halloween in Art

From Heart of the City. Heart is the little girl. Dean is her best friend. Dean can't find an original costume for his favourite holiday. Click to enlarge.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Not a Great Day

A good day though.

I never know how long the family will be away when they go somewhere. I have to plan for the minimum time.

Today, I figured they'd leave around 8 and be back no earlier than 1. Five hours is enough time to get dressed, enjoy being dressed, change back, shower, and put everything away. But I had some things I needed to do, so as enjoyable as getting fully dressed is, I decided to pass.

It turns out they were gone until 4pm which means I could've had eight hours, enough time to do my best (or worst ~ I never know how it'll turn out). On the other hand, I told my wife to call when she left to head home (they were over an hour away). She knows that means playtime while she's out. Instead she called from 20 minutes away ~ if I was dressed I would have enough time to throw everything into the closet and lock myself in the bathroom to take off makeup and start a shower.

Instead I had planned today to be:
1. clean out the closet day
2. look for Halloween options day. More coming soon!

For (1), I took almost everything that's not on a hanger of my closet.

So, other than me, what's in my closet?

There are two rods running the length of the closet. On the left side is boy clothes. On the right side is girl clothes.

Face the boy side and look at the shelf above the clothes and there are (left to right):
* Ten or so shoeboxes more-or-less stacked up. Each box has an A B or C on it ~ A's are the shoes that fit the best for going out. C's I can wear for short periods, mostly around the house, but they're so cute I can't get rid of them. Y'all understand, I think. The ten boxes are about half of my shoe inventory.
* Three large shirt-gift-type boxes stacked up. The bottom one has lingerie ~ slips, a cinch or two, some nicer camisoles, the type that are clearly for under only. The top two boxes have jewelry.
* Small bags with removers ~ hair and makeup. There's no reason that the "removers" are together. I just noticed they are.
* Boxes with breast forms.

Face the girl side and the opposite shelf has:
* Several of those shirt boxes stacked with skirts in each. Each box has a sheet of paper in it that describes each skirt and how it fits and how much (or how little) I like it. The sheets are way out-of-date, because I don't put things back where they belong.
* My "drag bag", also out-of-date. The idea of this large box (like the others but deeper), was to keep everything I'd need if I wanted to dress. I could grab a dress or skirt and top, and shoes and that box and be ready to go. It's a Real Good Idea and I should keep it up-to-date. It's my go-to box if I need a wig or cinch or something else I really want and can't find.

On the floor below my boy clothes are a stack of two 2' x 1' x 1' boxes. The bottom has some miscellaneous girl clothes I rarely wear, or might never wear. The top box has clothes I'm more likely to wear. The back of the closet has another box like the two on the floor. In it are other clothes I rarely wear. On top of that box are two bags large grocery bags with bras, cosmetics, a purse or two, some hose, lots of miscellaneous girlwear. Between the box in the back and the two stacked boxes are plastic grocery or department store bags with stockings, pantihose, tights, thigh highs, and some boxless shoes (like these, for instance). Wigs might be in a box, or the drag bag, or a bag somewhere. Just cluttering the floor are bags with various clothing, and stacks of clothes I haven't figured out what to do with yet.

There are also other non-girl things in my closet, believe it or not.

Today, after everyone left, I took off my shirt and sweats and took almost everything that wasn't on a hanger out of the closet. The stacked large boxes. The bags on the box on the back. The shoes and stuff between the boxes. The "drag bag". The lingerie box. Everything girl that was just sitting on the floor.

Then I got to work.

I grabbed a laundry basket to put clothes for the next clothing swap in.

I started sorting clothes and trying on all sorts of things.

A couple of nightgowns and matching robes. One I like; one goes to the swap.

The six skirts I got from a freecycler. Three I loved, and they fit nicely. One I didn't love and it goes to the swap. One I loved and it's too loose (swap). One I don't have particularly strong feelings for, but it doesn't fit anyway (swap).

Other skirts I picked up in shops, on travel, or from who-knows-where.

There were fewer tops than skirts ~ some I liked, some I didn't, some didn't fit. I had bought some, others were freecycled. The laundry basket is getting fuller.

Some dresses and skirt sets that were in the big boxes. Most were long skirts, which is probably why they were in the boxes. Some I tried on and thought "why isn't this front and center for my next trip out?" Others ~ laundry basket.

I tried on three skirts that are now definitely on the "A" list. Two were grey, one was black and all looked and felt incredible and fit perfectly. An item goes on the "A" list if I try it on and think "I don't ever want to take this off!"

I tried on several wigs and I put a couple (like this one) in the "never again" box and labelled my top four favourites from 1 to 4. I put aside the wig that I think will work best with my costume.

I put my drag bag back together again, although it's now a real bag and it's in that top box along with clothes I like a lot but don't have room to hang up, and two bags of nightgowns ~ one long, one short. I need a couple of new shorties.

I didn't have time to sort through makeup; I put my previous "A list" makeup with the drag bag, as well as the jewelry I wore last time. I didn't have time to go through that either!

I made notes about the clothes I tried on, what I liked, what I didn't, which bras fit best (I tried on several of those too).

I put the bag of thigh-highs into the bottom box; I never wear them. I separated out tights, hose, and stockings into separate bags.

I labelled some bags (LONG NIGHTGOWNS, TIGHTS, CLOTHING SWAP) and put everything away where I can hopefully find it again. I wrote down what is in each box.

Am I done? No. But my closet is a nicer place. And considering the amount of time I spend there.... I'm happier.

As for (2), I tried on three different outfits. Any will be good. As I said, more is coming soon (probably Tuesday).