Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

Pat commented on "life gets in the way" that she also has problems trying to decide what to wear.  I tell people (women, usually) if I was a girl, I'd be late to work every day, because I wouldn't be able to decide what to wear.  "Do I wear a pants or a skirt?  Skirt or a dress?  Long sleeves, short sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, cap sleeves, no sleeves, puffy sleeves, flared sleeves?  Which of the hundred of colours, patterns, materials?  Long skirt, mid calf skirt, short skirt, oh-my-god-she's-wearing-that skirt?"

But I wonder... if Meg went out every day, I'd probably have a better feel for what to wear.  I'd have some favourite outifts and some things I rarely wear but would, just to shake up the pattern.  I don't think it would be a real problem, after the first week, or fifth, or maybe fourteenth.

Part of the problem is, for the occasional dresser, it's like being told you can see one Broadway show ~ you think about all of the also-rans after you choose.

Before I went to dinner with Vanessa, I tried on two different blouses, rejected one as too casual without trying it, and I tried two different (black) skirts, and one dress ~ skipping two others I had pulled out but didn't think fit the occasion.

Imagine if it was a date!  I'd probably still be deciding.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Office, Part III

I mentioned K (here and here) and OM (here).  Quick summary: K is the office fashionista, who seems to have more shoes than Nordstroms; OM is the office frump, where every day is "same dress, different colour."

I decided to take notes for a week.  For clarification, OM wore a short sleeve, square collar, below-knee, back slit, back zip dress.  All that changed is the colour.  Black or white flats complete the ensemble (and I use the word loosely).

DayK, The Style QueenOM, The Predictable
Monblue fitted oxford-style shirt + men's style slacks + stiletto pumps black
Tuegreen short puffy sleeves button down fitted blouse + black short skirt + chunky heel, open toed, patterned shoes turquoise
Wedblue cashmere sweater, grey wool slacks, cheetah-pattern open-toe heels cobalt blue
Thured-based block pattern belted knee-length shirtdress, bone/snakeskin open-toe heels pea green
Fripurple button-down blouse with lace fringe, black slacks, mid-heel shoes teal

I really appreciate women like K.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I Care -- I Don't Care

A while back, I wrote to a t-blogger that, based on her recent posts, I easily found her full name and address.  I wrote to her to warn her that she might have posted TMI.  She wrote back:

I don't care.

At the time, I thought that was a flippant response, the kind of thing that someone might write if they DID care but realised there was nothing they could do about it.  It didn't seem like her at all, but no matter how well you know someone, it's always possible to be surprised by their reaction to a new situation.  And I don't know her very well.

Well, I was wrong.

Like many of us, at some point I was terrified of being found out.  Some of us are still there.  Some of us have progressed to "I don't care."

"I don't care" is a goal.  I'm not sure if it's the goal, like winning a game, or a goal, like using all seven letters.

"I care" is a fear response.  It's not "I care because I'm compassionate"; it's "I care because I'm scared of what will happen."

Vanessa and Dana, the two ladies I dined with, have progressed toward "I don't care."  (Yes, I owe y'all a recap of my time spent with Vanessa.)

I've progressed some towards "I don't care" but... I still care.  If I was suddenly on my own, I wouldn't care if my friends and neighbors and co-workers knew.  I think.  Since I'm not, I care because my wife would object to me being openly out.  Maybe if it was reality, she'd object less, but I don't know ~ and I care.

I care, but not as much as I used to.  I guess that means I'm less scared.  No care is no fear, and that's a good thing, even though "I don't care" sounds like a bad thing. 

There are plenty of causes and people to care about.  I'd rather my "care energy" was spent on the external than on the internal.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Washington Post "Night Lives"

This article appeared in the Washington Post a last Tuesday.  I'm not sure if I like it.  I'd like to see some human side to the people here ~ it almost sneered at the subjects, in a couple of places.  I'd like to finish and think "sympathetic" but this was mostly clinical.

Too much to hope for, I guess.

An excerpt:

At 2:30 a.m. the girls own the strip, K between Third and Seventh: escorts such as Staci, plus the $150-an-hour diva prostitutes and the homeless-and-hungry hookers who’ll jump in cars at a red light for spare change — all transgender or transsexual, male to female. They’re trailed by bashful “straight” boy groupies and older men who can’t quite transcend drag queendom, never mind pass with the aggressive elegance of Staci, who seven years ago was a chunky teenage boy from Alexandria sitting on that electric box at Sixth, watching the ladies walk K Street like a runway.

Follow the link for the full article, pictures, and video.  Staci wasn't shy about being on camera.

Lightening, wind, rockstorms, a dirty brown box, and a telephone.

Irene is still here.  The wind was pretty heavy and steady overnight.  Power went out around 1.30 this morning.  I awoke just before 4.30, noticed power was still out, but Irene was making her own lights outside.  A minute or so later, power came back on.  I quick look outside shows minimal damage.  I hope the rest of the coast is as lucky.

And if anyone gets the reference for my subhead, I want to meet that person!  Google, I fear, will not help.  The context, as I remember it: With the dimes thrown at his feet, the wanderer came upon us.  Dressed in translucent wrapping paper.  Peering out of a black cloud on a dark night.  And with him, that man brought: lightening.  Wind.  Rockstorms.  A dirty brown box.  And a telephone.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hi Karen!

Karen sent me the cartoon to the right.  She said she found it on "dating fails."  I assume she was just doing research. :D

Anyway, the picture file was labelled "want to flash people more often get a sex change."

I wrote back that I could see the sex change connection, only if she wanted to attract the men, not run away from them.

I've said many times (and wrote back to Karen): If a guy walks into a bar and shouts "I want to have sex.  Who's interested?"  He'll probably get laughs.  If a woman did it, she'd get a mob.

Then I started thinking....  I don't know what would happen if Meg did it.  I'd love to know, as a thought experiment, but not in reality.  Has anyone tried this, or heard of a crossdresser trying this?  I wonder how different the results would be in a straight bar or a gay bar (or on drag karaoke night like they have here).

A little side note: Hurricane Irene's coming.  It's supposed to arrive overnight tonight.  I filled my car, moved plants and light furniture into the house, but it doesn't look to be bad.  Around here, you never know if your trees will stand up to the wind and if the power will stay on.  BUT if power goes off, I've pre-posted for a few days.  You're all good. :D

I plan to post little updates on my facebook page, and maybe even a photo or two.  If I don't, power is probably out.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Probably A Mistake

I've been trying to keep my LinkedIn presence up-to-date.

I rarely stay in touch with people once they're out of my immediate sight. I haven't spoken to anyone from my last company since June. I used to meet with someone about once a month from my company before that, but since I moved away from that office we haven't been in touch either. But they are LinkedIn connections. I've tried to go back a bit further but people move around, or I don't remember names so I don't connect.  Yes, I could scan the list of employees at a previous company, but there might be, say, 40,000 employees and it's a bit time consuming.

Recently, on a lark, I connected to a high school/college friend I haven't spoken to in 20 years.  He's totally disconnected from everyone else I know ~ no common friends, family, companies.

I have an urge to connect to him on facebook as well, assuming he's on there.  I haven't checked yet.  No comment, just offer to "friend" him and see what happens.

As I remember, he was unpredictable.  He was also more conservative, politically, than I was.

I see one downside: if he matches Meg and his old friend, he can contact my LinkedIn contacts and spread the word.  I don't think he would, but it's a possibility.

I don't really see an upside, except it would be fun.

Am I being stupid again?  You guys have set me straight before.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

That Dating Poll

The dating poll was much more straightforward than my Gender Orientation poll, but it's still not simple.  The results are reposted at the end.

Before I forget, I want to thank everyone for taking the time to answer.  I really appreciate it.

You could choose more than one answer, and there were 85 responses from 54 polltakers, so many of you checked more than one box.  I'll be making some assumptions, so bear with me and feel free to tell me why you think I'm wrong.

The last question

10. Only girls for me.

got 20 responses.  Assumption number one: these 20 only ticked one box (although it's possible they also ticked question 2).  That leaves 65 answers for 34 respondents.

The first three questions go together:

1. I had a guy chat me up.  He clearly wanted it to go further, and it did.
2. I had a guy chat me up.  He clearly wanted it to go further, but it didn't.
3. I've had fantasies about a boy-girl date with me as the girl.

Seven people selected "fantasies," and seven actually had the experience.  I was surprised that five said they had at least some boy-girl action, and only two didn't.  I really find this interesting.  I wonder what the circumstances were for those five.  Were they in a situation where they might expect to hook up (gay bar, trans meeting with admirers present, something else?) or was it just a chance encounter, like Z in the original poll post?  If it was just something that happened, did they think they'd react as they did?  Was it just difficult to say no?  That would be two girl experiences in one.  And how about the other two?  Did they say no, did the guy change his mind, was it in an inappropriate location and you had nowhere else to go?

I'm in the question 3 camp.  But if a guy came on to me, I'd be in the #2 category.  But sometimes, I really don't know.

The next questions are for gurls who are interested in dating.  If I moved from fantasy to reality, I'd go with #4.  But maybe....  Let's look at the numbers:

4. I've dated guys, but it's like going out with my brother.
5. I've dated guys, and it's like going out with my new boyfriend.
6. I've dated guys, and it's like the red light district.
7. I want to date a guy, but I haven't yet.

Maybe the distance between 4 and 5 is too far.  It went from "no touching" (3 people) to "kissing or more" (16 people).  Maybe the gurls who dated had dinner, saw a movie, held hands, and just had a goodnight kiss on the cheek.  I could see myself there.  But maybe they had a necking session.  Or something more intimate.  This is really a category that needs a "fill in the blank" or "tell me your story."  And if anyone wants to, I'd love to hear it, either in a comment or e-mail.

Three people ticked #6.  I'm guessing we've reached the gender orientation: female/sexual orientation: gay slice of the pie.  I guess "drag queen" is the label (said the lady who hates labels).

Fourteen people went with #7.  I wonder if their fantasy is 4, 5, or 6.  Mine is 4, absolutely.  I think.  As I said.

The last group reversed the dating question: you're out with a t-gurl.

8. I want to date a t-gurl.  I'll show her a nice time.
9. I want to date a t-gurl.  I'll be on her like white on rice.

Eleven chose #8.  Here, I'm sure I'd be in that category, although if she was interested, I might hold hands or offer a kiss goodnight.  I do know I'd be uncomfortable treating her like a hot date.  I might do it, as a role-play, I think.  Or if I could convince myself it's a role-play.

If anyone wants to expound on how they answered, there are always comments (and if you write "private" at the start I won't post it) or e-mail.

The complete poll results:

Dating? You can check more than one answer, if appropriate
1I've had an experience like Z's, including a bit of necking5
2I've had an experience like Z's, but it never went anywhere2
3I've had an epiphany like Meg's, and I'd like to try a date7
4I've been out with guys when dressed ~ no touching!3
5I've been out with guys when dressed, and kissing (or more) was involved16
6I'm a slut when dressed3
7I've always wanted to try an opposite=gender date while dressed14
8I'd go out with a t-girl when I'm in drab and treat her like a lady11
9I'd go out with a t-girl when I'm in drab and treat her like any other hot date4
10I've dated only girls in the past, and girls as far forward as I can imagine20

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Play's the Thing

(an aside: we had a rare earthquake here yesterday.  5.9, nothing to you California Girls, but the largest in over 110 years here.  And the first one I ever felt!)

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we went to the DC Fringe Festival.

The follow-up post was about our first visit, when we saw two shows.  One was a one-man show where he talked about his experience with a drag queen; the other was a play with  a crossdressing character.

The following weekend we saw three more fringe shows.  One had a flamboyant gay character (and they denied he was gay), and one was a boy-gets-girl musical.  At the end of the second play, everyone, it seemed, paired up, including two guys who didn't seem to know they were gay until they found each other.

The last one had no gay or trans character, but I'm pretty sure one of the guys (and possibly both) was gay.

A few days later, we saw a play called "Birds of a Feather" about a pair of male penguins which bonded, hatched an egg and raised the chick together.

I'm not sure what this means.  Is gay/trans still so shocking that it finds a place in theatre so much?  I would've thought gay would have made more progress than that.  Trans, alas, I could understand.  Or are they all trying to make a "we area everywhere" statement?

A few months ago, I saw a revival of the iconic '60s musical "Hair."  They talked about gay sex (and other sexual variations) because it was shocking then.  No mention of anything trans At All.

Sodomy, from the muscial Hair:

Father, why do these words sound so nasty?
Can be fun
Join the holy orgy
Kama Sutra

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

White, White, White, White, White, White, Pink!

I spent a week in Cape Cod with my wife, my youngest and his friend, who I shall call Shrug because he'd go along with anything with just a shrug.

Me: "Do you want to have pizza or get tossed in the lion cage?"
Shrug: *shrug*

Anyway, we were crammed into a small house and of course there were no crossdressing opportunities.  There was not even a chance I could wear my nicer panties, because we were always in each others way, and since we each had our own bags it would be obvious who the undies belonged to.  So other than my (girls) sandals, (girls) shorts, (girls) socks, and bracelet, I was all male that week.

As I mentioned previously, I don't have any male underwear anymore.  I do have white cotton briefs, like these. (Oh look, an Amazon link [hint, hint].)  So I brought those along.

But for the last day, I had some nice stretchy Jockeys (these in "petal") hidden away in a compartment in my bag.  No chance of someone coming across these (in my size) in the dirty clothes bag before heading home!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Help a Friend

Back in February, 2005 and December, 2006, when Meg was first stepping out, I used a makeup lady to help me.  I originally found her on Craigslist (I posted a "wanted" ad) and she's the only one I used twice.  I think I used three other ladies during that time and then I started to solo, although I occasionally used salon makeup ladies since then, partly because it's very enjoyable.  I never love the results though.  They use a much lighter hand than I need to disguise the male me.

I still keep in touch with Teddy.  She does a lot of eclectic things as part of a creative career.  I first heard of the fringe festival through her, although I didn't see her perform.  She sends out general astrological e-mails, usually at the new moon.  Mostly, those serve to remind me to say hi and see what she's been up to.

What she's been up to most recently is, she wrote what's called "flash fiction" for a little contest and she asked her friends if they'd read them and vote for their favourite (hopefully, hers).  I thought I'd pass this on.  She's helped me, she's a friend of the community, and I'd like to help her out too.  You can read the stories and vote here.  No story is more than 300 words, so it's not a huge time investment.  And I liked her story, or I wouldn't have voted for it and posted this.

Meanwhile, I still owe pictures and stories from the swap, and from my dinner with Vanessa.  I also spent an interesting day in Provincetown last week.

I'm hoping to get out to Sierra Vista again next month, with a day in Tucson before I head south.  There have been some other little t-tidbits going on, and there's always new things happening, hopefully positive, in the t-world.  I hate that the only time we're in the news is when one of us gets beaten or worse.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Office, Part II

First a follow-up:  Those were all great suggestions in yesterday's comments, but I'm not sure they work with zombie mice.  I'll just continue to sleep in my motorcycle helmet.

J (male) and K (female) share an office.  K is the office fashionista.  She especially loves her shoes and sometimes I'll drop by just to tell her how terrific her shoes are.  But her outfits are also spectacular, and I enjoy seeing her around the office.

J is the office know-it-all, so if there are any questions about the project, or government contracting requirements, I go to him.

I went to ask J a documentation question, but asked K if she had a shoe room (she was wearing patterned wedges and I don't think I've ever seen her wear ANY wedges before.  She's definitely a stiletto fan).  J, out of nowhere, said he's been getting coupons for free panties from Victoria's Secret.  They were all addressed to him.  I said "maybe you should take them up on it.  They're very comfortable."  He said "it's too bad they don't have men's underwear" and I said "you can wear anything you want."  He said "boxers would be good" and I said "they have 'boyleg' ~ they're practically boxers, right K?"

J looked at me and said "you know way too much about this."  I said "it's a hobby" and he laughed and the topic changed.

I was ready to go further.  I was considering something about how I prefer Vanity Fair because they're a bit roomier but we never got there.

No stories. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Just Rambling ~ No TG Content

Really.  If you only have a limited time to do your tg reading, go elsewhere and read this later, if you wish.  I won't be insulted.  I will notice however. :D

Occasionally, I have a problem with mice in my house.  I'll be sitting at my computer in the basement and I'll hear feet scurrying across the ceiling above me.

I tried glue traps.  After catching a mouse I would carefully peel its little feet off the glue and put him elsewhere.  Then one mouse sort of laid down on the glue and I had to drown the poor thing.  No more glue.

Rather than torture the animal by leaving it in a glue trap, I bought a couple of snap traps.  After I caught the first one, I mentioned to my wife that I caught one and I'll have to bag it and toss it.  My sons looked surprised and said "why don't you just let it go?"  I said "this isn't a Tom and Jerry cartoon."

I got rid of the snap traps too.

Then I found little cage traps.  I had used them for squirrels but I didn't know they made them for mice.  I put a little peanut butter in the back of each, put two back-to-back along a wall, and after a couple of false alarms I caught the critter.  I brought him some distance from my house and let him go.

A couple of times a year, I'd hear the little footsteps in the ceiling and in a few days I had a mouse which I would take to work and let go in some bushes there.

A couple of weeks ago, the pitter-patter of little feet was back.  I check the traps daily, but I forgot to check the trap on Sunday morning.  Monday morning, I remembered to check the closed trap.

Mice weigh a bit less than nothing, so it's hard to tell if the trap is full or just closed.  If I set the trap down, sometimes it will rock and I'll know it's occupied.  But opening it might result in an empty trap or it might result in a little grey head with large black eyes and larger white teeth popping out.

I took the trap outside and c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y opened the door just a bit.

A tail flopped out.  Great.  I killed a mouse.

I tried to turn the trap so the tail would flop back in.  It didn't quite go back in and I didn't want to touch the mouse so I put it on the bench in front of my house, with the door almost tightly closed.  It was sort of out of sight.  I figured, after work I'll bag and dispose of the mouse.

When I got home I pulled out a couple of plastic bags, went to the trap, opened the door, and nothing flopped out.  The trap was empty.

Apparently, I made a bad situation worse.  A few nights later I heard a mouse in the ceiling.  I didn't catch one and it stopped.  But I still don't know if I have a mouse in my house, or if I have a zombie mouse in the house.  But just in case, every morning I check the trap, and then I check to make sure I still have my brains.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Groucho Said...

I wouldn't want to belong to any club that has me as a member.

Did you notice?  Blogger quietly changed "followers" to "members."

I'm not a trans community leader.  I'm certainly not the "leader" of the 105 friends I've made in the past fifteen months.

I am proud to be a member of the same club as y'all.

Just for the record, Groucho also said:

Well, Art is Art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now you tell me what you know.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


First up: I'm not sure she wanted me to say anything but a few people have asked so I feel obligated to let y'all know that Penny wrote me.  Nothing nasty has happened but if you want to send her good vibes, I think that would be A Good Thing.  Penny, if you have anything to say you can drop me a note and I'll echo it, or write a comment and I'll make sure it's seen.  You have friends in the community.

The Friday before the swap I had a short break after work and before the fair, so of course, I used it to look for new clothes.  I wanted to find a dress (always) and was looking for a casual top to maybe wear to a meditation-oriented Meetup.  I never made it.  I worked late on Monday, and met Vanessa on Tuesday and that was it for my short bachelorette time.

I knew there were a lot of discount clothing stores less than two miles east of my office.  I'd been there before, when seeing customers.  I didn't remember exactly where everything was though.

If you stand in the middle of the main intersection there you'd see Walmart to the southeast, Kohl's to the southwest, a shopping centre to the northeast, and another to the northwest.

I went to the northwest, just because it was closest and would (hopefully) offer variety.

I was somewhat disappointed.  The most familiar name was TJ Maxx, which I don't mind.  I spent most of my time there.  They have several nice dresses in stock right now.  By 'nice' I mean they have at least short sleeves, hems above the knee, a nice fit, colours I like, and low prices.  The one that was different enough from what I own and I really liked was available in 8, 10, and 14.  Not a 12 in sight.

The casual tops were mostly shells and looked like they belonged in the girls department, instead of misses.  No sale.

From there I went to Avenue.  I saw a few things I liked, but nothing in my size.  I asked a saleslady if I was in the 'women's' side of the store and she told me it was a plus-size store.  The smallest item they carry is a 14.  I didn't know that!  I also didn't see shoes.  I suspect if they have plus size clothes, they'd have plus size shoes.

I could see a Ross Dress For Less in the next shopping center, and I think they have a Marshalls' and a Dress Barn as well.  I didn't want to keep my son waiting at the fair, however, so I couldn't investigate at the moment.  I'll be back.

One other thing....  After I parked, I saw a tall black woman who looked good but moved... oddly.  I followed her as she walked to her car, but only caught a glimpse of her from the front.  She looked good, but moved awkwardly.  I think she was one of us.  She had a short dress and long hair, and she did look GOOD.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hi, Ralph!

Ralph posted a comment on one of my Gender Orientation posts a couple of weeks ago.

He was googling Sherman's Lagoon, searching for the strip I posted and he came across my blog.

I was amazed that someone would be googling a cartoon and find a trans blog and say "hey!  That's me too!"

I did check my history and found he was looking for Sherman's Lagoon with crossdress and a couple of other key terms, so my amazement lessened, but it's still pretty cool.

Check out Ralph's blog.  He has a different philosophy than I do, but we all need to get out and get our voices heard.  This has been coming out (so to speak) in  a private discussion I've been having with a prominent blogger and someone who writes a LGBT column.

I do think we need to get out and show our faces and raise our voices.  Gay rights, women's rights, civil rights were not won with anonymous leaders.  Most of us are still in the closet to some degree, and I bet the bell curve would be heavily weighted towards "completely."  Most trans persons prefer to keep a low profile.  I understand.  We want to live our lives and be accepted.  Blending is more important than leading.

Of course, there's also the possibility of failure.  Does anyone remember the "men's liberation movement" which started over 20 years ago?  I didn't think so.  The head man appeared on Donohue and a few similar shows wearing a skirt and claiming it was time for equal rights for men.  As near as I can tell, he's still a one-man show, although now he has a website.

Normally, I write posts off-line and copy them here and publish them   This one really started as a "hello Ralph" and nothing more.  The rest is the fault of my muse and the rainy Cape Cod weather.  I think future posts will expound on the above, and I think we need a "how closeted are you" poll.  I'm behind on my dating poll (mis)interpretation, but the results are still up and you can see for yourself where people fit.  It's pretty self-explanatory and, I think, pretty interesting.

Jeez....  I'm still doing it.

Hi Ralph!  And hi to all of my readers.  You're all spectacular people, and every one who's written to me has a story worth hearing, and I thank you for sharing.

And Penny ~ if you're out there, please drop me a note.  Another of the sad aspects of our anonymity is if something happens to one of us, there's no closure.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Office, Part I

Where I work now, there are about 25 people, mostly men.

There is an older woman, M, here. Actually, many of the women's names start with M so I'll refer to her as OM.

Today, she's wearing a single-colour dress. The hem is below her knees. The back zips up. It has short (not cap) sleeves and a squarish neck. There is a long slit in the back, long enough that, if you walk behind her you can see that she's wearing a white slip underneath.

I'm not in the office today (the skies in Cape Cod are supposed to clear today).  I'm going by history.  Over the past four months, that's been her uniform.

Although I don't know the colour, yesterday she wore a similar dress.

Every day, she wears a similar dress. Black, dark blue, tan, light blue, all solid colours. Replace the colour above and you have what OM is wearing on any given day.  I suspect as the temperature cools she'll pull out her stable of similar long sleeve dresses.

I really want to go up to her and say ARE YOU INSANE? I mean, part of the fun of dressing is the variety. My usual comment to women is, you have more sleeve styles than I have shirts in my closet.  Cap sleeves, long sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, short sleeves, sleeves with buttons, puffy sleeves, sheer sleeves, loose sleeves, tulip sleeves, slit sleeves... and I'm just getting started!

Not OM . Short sleeves.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I Also Bought...

Old Friends Loafer Moc
My on-line luck has not been good lately.

The slippers I ordered were too small.  I could see that without even trying them on.  I went back to the Amazon site and requested a return authorisation.  They're going back.

I thought I'd try again with Zappos, since the next pair I wanted to try weren't available in 12W from Amazon.  Yes, I'm going up a size and a width and trying again.

I also heard about earring converters.  With them, you can take a pierced earring and wear it as a clip on.  It sounded like a great idea, except for two possible problems.

* many clip ons are very uncomfortable.  I found a few brands that I really like; others are painful to the point of torture.

* they could be a budget buster.  I can just see me buying all sorts of earrings that I never considered before because I didn't have pierced ears.

But I was already on the Amazon site and they weren't very expensive, so I bought some.

By the way, I was told that craft shops often have earring converters.  I tried a couple of the big craft chains.  They had lots of jewelry supplies but, alas, no converters.

I picked up two different converters, shown on the left.  I haven't had a chance to try either yet, but I already picked up a necklace-and-earring set at Burlington.  The earrings are the wrong type: it seemed all of the inexpensive sets use the hook and I need the straight pin.  But I think I can straighten the hook and cut off the excess and use them.

The bottom ones came in packages of three pair.  No free shipping here.  The shipping cost almost as much as the products!

And, (thank you Stana!) I also bought the earring cushions shown on the right.  I hadn't heard about these either, until she mentioned them in her blog.  I'm anxious to try these with the new backs or some of my less-comfortable earrings.

If you're looking for any of these products, the  Barrel-type Clip Converters are $5.50 a pair; the three pairs of  Clip Earring Converter were $7.95 and the Clip-On Earring Cushions were $2.49 for three pairs. And if you click on any of those Amazon links and buy anything from the site, I get a peso.

And I will give my review of these products, if you'd like to wait.  Or, if you've used any, let me know what you thought and I'll post your experience here.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

ComicCon in the Comics

OK.  This is the post I had planned for yesterday before I noticed that I never posted the punchline for the previous Luann.  Quick background: slacker boy has the hots for goth girl.  I kinda like her too.  They went together briefly, but it never seemed like a match made in heaven.  In fact, a long story line involved them trying to figure out what they'd both enjoy so they could go on a date.  They're high school kids.  For maximum enjoyment, click on each pic.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Too Flappy?

Luann was featured here once before.  And I just noticed I never posted the follow-up to that cartoon!

So here is the one I posted originally, plus the two follow-up ones.  Click to make them more readable.  Or weird. :)

But....  I have newer Luann's which I'll post tomorrow.

Friday, August 12, 2011

First Swap Photo!

My friend Dani
Um, actually Dani has it. Dani sent me a picture of her in her new dress (seen at the right), so I sent her a picture of me at the swap. So if you go to her blog, EnTRANSed you can see me. Confused? Me too.

Oh.... Dani posts lots of pictures, and you can rate how great she looks!  Not that I'm asking anyone to stuff the ballot box or anything.  I'd vote, but I'm never sure if 1=best or 5=best.  If she let's you rate my picture make sure you find out first!  :)

She also likes playing with Comics I'd Like to See.

Be sure to click the little picture so you can see the Big Picture.  And be sure to check back if you like what you see.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

No More Body Shaving!

At least as of two days ago.  I really like looking down and seeing hairless hands, so I may try to keep them clean, but as for the rest....

As I mentioned, I'll be in Cape Cod next week and my hair situation is odd (it usually is).  Right now, my back and neck have been waxed, my chest is shaved down to the nipples, my arms and underarms and legs are clean (although that grows back rather quickly).  Hopefully, it'll normalise enough for shirtless and shorts activities next week.  If not ~ No More Stories.  I'll think of the right way to tell the truth.

I need to write up my clothing swap and dinner with Vanessa.  Please give me a few days ~ because the house on the cape is small, I may not be able to write until I return.  I will have a Meg photo from the swap tomorrow!

The short story: Meg had a fun time at the swap and if it wasn't 100 degrees inside the building she would have had more fun.  But she spoke with a lot of lovely ladies and that was really my stress point: talking to people, not going out.  Vanessa is an interesting gurl and I like her.  I hope we can meet again, dressed or not.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Coming in November

Adam Sandler will have a new movie called Jack and Jill.  Jack and Jill are twins.  Both are played by Adam.  See the trailer (but you have to sit through an ad first).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Life Gets In The Way

I have the house to myself from yesterday midday until tomorrow midday.

My original plan:

Monday evening: I was looking at local meetups.  There are a couple of political ones, and several "meditation" meetups.  I ignored the dance, run, exercise meetups.  Most start around 7, which means Meg could easily attend after work.  Many have just one attendee, which did not interest me.  A few had five or so, which I thought would be just right, even for an introvert.

Tuesday I was to take a day off from work.  Go into DC.  I've been in touch with one of my original makeup ladies; she suggested we get together downtown and we'd go around a bit.  I think it'd be fun to show how I've grown (it's been a number of years, and even though I don't practice as much as I'd like, I know I'm better than I was then, even with her expert help).  I was looking at local events Tuesday evening (and didn't find any).  I shouted out to the local TG "going out" group and heard nothing back.  I looked at Meetup groups I could crash again.  I did hear from Vanessa, who recently moved to my area (actually, we're practically neighbors now) and we're scheduled to meet for dinner tonight.  Vanessa and I missed each other when I was in Richmond (my fault) and I'm not going to miss her again!

Wednesday I was going to go into work late so I can put everything away in a neat, orderly way so I can find everything next time (like my favourite makeup, jewelry by style and colour, etc).  I have dreams I can fly too.

Life intervenes.

My wife has a little family get together Saturday in New York.  We'll all go, but instead of returning Sunday, she procured a little house on a salt marsh in Monument Beach.  That's right at the western edge of Cape Cod.  So we'll go from New York to Cape Cod and stay there for a week.  Unfortunately, I only have four days of vacation time right now ~ new job and all.  My job bills in two week, eighty hour intervals so I can take off five days next week if I can work six days this week.  So taking off Tuesday is out.  Working ten hour days is in.

It's a no-brainer.  As enjoyable as a day as Meg is, I just had one, I'll have dinner with a girlfriend, and I'll get to spend a few days fishing and being with my family.

If any gurls are up in that area and want to get together (alas, I'll not be Meg that week) let me know.

So I have a new schedule.

Monday: Closets Are for Clothes
So I spent last night organising tops.  Tops are slower going than skirts.  To try on skirts, I just need a cinch and time.  I tried on about two dozen skirts in about 45 minutes.  That's all of the skirts I have on hangers.  I have many more in boxes but I didn't get to them yet.  One type of clothes at a time.  I mean, I'd rather have some dresses, skirts, tops logged than only skirts and no idea what to wear with the one I like.  Right? 

For tops, I need a cinch and bra with pads.  So just getting started takes longer.  Then instead of pull on/pull off there are buttons or snaps or ties or sleeve buttons or any combination you can think of.  I tried about fifteen in over an hour.  A couple went into the swap bag.

Dresses, you're next!  Then camisoles. 

I tried on the skirt and shoes I picked up at the swap.  Yes, I'll write about the swap before I go away next week.  And I'll be posting from the capeI also had an excellent idea: photo inventory of Meg's clothes.  I need to figure out a good place to lay out or hang up the clothes so I can see the length of skirts and sleeves and I can take pictures of everything in my closet.  (Or I could just wear each.  Duh.)  What I do now is, I dig through the closet and say "I didn't remember I have this!  And it still has tags on it!" and then I wear something else that I was looking for and the new clothes gets sad and lonely.  Or I start trying to match the new item and get way behind schedule.  Yes, it's fun, but my time is often tight.  It would be better to see a montage of skirts, pick what I want, regardless of where I am, or who's around.

And now I know what I'm going to wear to dinner: my black and white dress.  Or maybe a purple fitted top and black tiered skirt.  Or a  black flower design long sleeve top and different black skirt.  Or a salmon cap-sleeve shell and a long multi-coloured skirt with my new gold jewelry and those tangerine wedges.  Or one of my block print dresses.  OK, I am NOT going to wear my long purple pleated skirt.  Well, maybe if I pair it with....

Vanessa!  I may be late! :D
Tuesday: Girls' Night Out
I'll be meeting Vanessa tonight for dinner.  Vanessa is far more out than I am.  Dana, the girl I had dinner with in Colorado, is far more out than I am.  I think I'm trailing the field.

Wednesday: Once More Nothing
But a day and a night out over the course of a few days is better than most months!  AND my clothes are more organised.  And I *did* wear a skirt and blouse when I got home on Monday.  Of course.

Please take the poll.  Details are in my introductory post.  I'll have dating poll results soon.  And notes from the clothing swap.  So far, it looks like I'll need to think about a questionnaire, how to distribute it, how to collect reponses, what they mean....  I may need to work with a pro on this.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I Shouldn't

But I've been playing around with my facebook profile.  If anyone wants to say hi or add me or whatever else one does on facebook, well, I'm out there now.

Michelle's been helping me navigate this beast.  It's not very well designed.  Maybe I should wait for google+ instead.

Please take the poll.  Details are in my introductory post.  I'll have dating poll results soon.  And notes from the clothing swap.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

It's Clothing Swap Day!

And I am not prepared!  I still don't know what I'm going to wear.  I don't know when my wife and son are going to leave.

Last week, I carefully planned my hours so I could take off early on Thursday and shop a bit before heading home.  I was going to look in a department I've never looked in before ~ activewear ~ for a comfortable top (explanation below), and of course for a new dress.  (No luck though.  I'll write about shopping soon.)  Friday I have a set schedule: I have to leave at 2 to get to the 4-H fair and help my son.  And my contract insists on 40 hours per week, no more, no less.

So of course I ended up in a meeting at leaving time on Thursday.  No matter.  I left earlier Friday and did my shopping first.

In my ongoing search for something to do on Tuesday, I looked to meetup.  There are a lot of meetups on Tuesday in Virginia, DC, and nearby parts of Maryland.  Many involve runs or walks or other exercise.  Many involve dancing.  A few are "ladies only" events which I'd love to crash but I don't want to make other people uncomfortable.

There were quite a few meditation meetups though, and that sounds like something Meg could do.  I'm waiting to see if there are any both nearby and with a few members attending.  Most just have one person attending, and I'm not comfortable with that.  I still have two days though!  And that's why I was looking for a comfy top ~ something that would work with a loose skirt for meditation, or maybe with sweats (I have Danskins that I bought for around-the-house wear years ago) for yoga (there were a few yoga meetups too).

Changing plans once again, my wife decided we could go out for breakfast.  That should work in my favour ~ if we get out early, then they'll be ready early and I'll have plenty of time to shower, shave, dress, buy soft drinks, and enjoy the swap.

I had a bit of trouble sleeping last night.  When I'd wake up, I'd be anxious.  That used to happen for about a week or more before I planned to go out.  Lately it's been gone completely.

What's different?  I thought about what started the adrenaline and it was Being With Other People, not the dressing part.  Being an introvert is a pain.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Surprise

Wednesday evening, out of nowhere, my wife said "so are you looking forward to Sunday?"

I replied "absolutely."  I thought this was leading to some reason that I couldn't/shouldn't go, which would be historically a good bet.  She didn't go there.

She asked what goes on there and it was totally unexpected ~ all I could think of was "people bring clothes.  People look at clothes.  People take clothes home.  The leftovers go to a thrift shop or women's shelter."  I completely forgot about makeovers, massage, manicures, pot luck food, canned or live music....  Although I did mention that I'm bringing a Large Quantity of soft drinks and such.

She also asked how I found out about the swap, and I told her I requested information on Meetup a long time ago and years later I got an e-mail from Kim saying she was holding a swap.  I wrote back and said "I may not be the type of member you're looking for" and explained that my gender didn't match my profile picture.  She said that she welcomes everyone and we've been friends ever since.

I volunteered information about her husband and kids and things she knew would make Kim "not my type" in case she was worried about something going on between Kim and me.

I told her where it's held, and how many people will be there.  I told her I checked the attendee list, looking for anyone I might know (I didn't find anyone). 

I figured, the more information I volunteer, the less she'll worry that I'm holding something back.

Mostly, I was just amazed that she was interested, no matter what her motive.

Hopefully, she realises that she goes out and does (many many) things with her friends that don't interest me, and I don't complain and she owes me, at least, one.

Follow-Up: It's not so surprising after all.  I wrote the above Friday morning; Friday night my wife comes up with the great news that my son doesn't have to be at the fair both days after all ~ he can take off one day!  I said "that would be Saturday, since awards and breakdown are Sunday" and he said "I can rest on my birthday [Sunday]."  She then asked the woman in charge who basically said he'd need to check in periodically to ensure the exhibits were in good shape on both days, but he can come in late if he wishes.

Later, I pulled my wife aside and said "please don't mess up my Sunday.  I'd like to start getting ready around 9:30, no later than 10."  She said "Oh.  I didn't know you were going in drag."

Yes she did.  I made it quite clear.

Then she tried "the fair doesn't open that early on Sunday."  So I checked.  It does.

I'm going Sunday if I have to get a room somewhere to change.

Saturday will be spent trying to not be angry.  But I'm angry.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Help Me Out

Unless you disagree with me completely.

(First, please take the poll.  An explanation of my questionnaire is in Wednesday's post.)

I exchanged a couple of letters with Zack Ford, who works at ThinkProgress, one of the few websites I try to follow for political points of view.  I've been pretty disgusted with politics at all levels for the past year or so, so I'm not as involved as I might have been.  In the past nine months, I've told off my congressman, my state senator, and my state representative.  They all know me by name and sight, so I'm not a voice yelling at a town hall.  (My state senator has met Meg, although he assumed it was just a costume).

Anyway....  I was steered toward an LGBT article by Mr Ford, and was although the title was promising, I was dismayed to see Yet Another Article about LGB, with hardly a T in sight.

Here's the note I wrote:

I was excited when I saw today's Tipping Point on LGBT Equality post.  I was less so after I read it.

Every point (save one) was T-free.  I'm still not sure why T was added to LGB.  Gender identity has little to do with sexual orientation, as you know.  Tacking on the T just helps increase the numbers of this minority.  It always reminds me of the way republicans court social conservatives so they can increase their numbers without inconveniencing themselves.

You know that T-rights are way behing gay rights.  Tacking on a letter does nothing to help us in our fight to be accepted.

I also looked at your first page of posts.  Two out of twenty have t-content.  It doesn't help.  It really doesn't.

Either drop the T or mean it.

I was concerned my demeanour was a bit harsh, but I didn't know how to make it more pleading than insisting.  Nonetheless, he wrote back and said he agreed that there was not a lot of T content, but he reports on other happenings and  if there's no T news, there's nothing for him to write about.  He asked if I had any ideas.  I paraphrase his note; it's not mine to post.

Well, I'm at a loss.  I don't think my goal is to get more T news out there, although I think the more people read, the better we'll be understood and accepted.  I'd like to get the T off of the LGB articles that have no gender content.  I haven't convinced myself that's the best solution.

I'm looking for ideas.  The e-mail ball is in my court.  Although there are other LGBT authors on the site, you can find Zack's posts here.

Meantime, check out Jillian Page.  She writes a column called Reflections of a Transitional Journey.  Her description:

I have been sharing my personal experiences during my transition from male gender status to female gender status for almost three years here. I am now legally a female after having sexual reassignment surgery in October 2009. I also talk a little about trans issues, though am no expert.

I think every newspaper needs one of these and I salute the Montreal Gazette!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

See Emily Play

If you're not sure what this week's poll is about read yesterday's post and take a moment to tick a box.  Thank you!

My wife and son will be at the beach Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week.  I never know when they'll leave and when they'll return, so my best bet for a "going out day" is Tuesday.

My manager is trying to stress test me.  He's piled on a lot of things that need to be done last April.  There's a slight chance I'll have to cancel Tuesday.  So far, when I've broached the idea of taking the day off, he's been fine with it.
TS Emily

And then there's Emily, which could cancel my wife's trip.  It doesn't seem so, but....

Assuming all goes according to plan:

Monday night will be good to do final shaving or epilating or depilitating or otherwise de-hairing, pick an outfit, organise my closet a bit more, and maybe start finding things for the next swap.  Maybe I'll have a bit of time to try different makeup, maybe find a new favourite blush or lipstick amidst the makeup bag.  Wednesday morning will be for cleanup: make sure everything is put away and ready for the family's return.  I'll go to work a bit later that day.

After dark, my eyes don't as well as they used to, so I'd like to go out during the day.  Maybe I'll do something at night, but probably not, unless it's at a familiar venue or right off a usual highway exit or something.  I don't plan to see any clients, although I would absolutely love to do that!

The problem is, I'm not sure what I'm going to do that day.

There's a lot to do around here.  I started looking:

museums: Been there, and there are no special exhibits I want to see.
shop: I'm not sure I'm in the mood, believe it or not.  I don't really need anything.  Maybe I could go car or furniture shopping... just for fun.  Or wedding gown shopping. :D
park: It's too hot to wander outdoors, although I might consider the zoo.
show: There's nothing going on that I want to see solo right now.  Same for movies.  I don't want to go alone.
other events: So far, I've found nothing for Tuesday.  Today's paper has a section on local happenings for the next week.  I'll check to see what's listed for Tuesday.  And Friday's paper has a weekend section that may list things extending into next week.
class of some sort: or a nature tour, or something like that.  It's kind of between sessions.  The local adult ed has lots of listing for the fall, but the summer classes are over.

I even checked the church where they had the Transgender Day of Remembrance last fall.  There's nothing going on that day.

I also considered going to DC and visiting my congressman.  He knows me by my male name.  I wonder if he'd recognise me.  Alas, it's summer recess time.  Maybe he'll have a town hall or something that day.

I'm not going to check my synagogue.  It would be too tempting to go to something there, especially if it was Rosh Hodesh (it's not).


Is anyone going to be around?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fishing Poll

What I really need is a questionnaire, not a poll.  I am serious about this, about the whole research bit I'm trying to do.  My goal, as I've said, is to better understand you (me, us).  I want to get a realistic view of the t-community, something I can share with my readers and maybe the general public.

My questionnaire would start with:

my birth sex is ______.
My current sex is _____.
My gender is _____  ___% of the time and ______  ___% of the time (and you can add more if you want to).

I don't think I'd offer choices at all here.  I might offer suggestions, so if a term is unclear, the suggestions may clarify it.  Fill in the blanks!

It would have questions such as:

I consider myself {straight/gay} with respect to my current sex, {straight/gay} with respect to my current gender image.

This might be followed with questions about whether you consider t-people male or female with respect to your personal gender identity/identities.

I'd have a section on gender expression.  I really have no idea how that will play out ~ there are so many options.

I think it would be about 100 questions long.  I'd like to get at least 1,000 responses.  I have far fewer than 1,000 readers, so it would have to be distributed way beyond this blog.  In a perfect world, I'd have at least a hundred others filled out by male and female civilians.

This week's poll is a metapoll.  I think it would take a lot of time and energy to put it together and interpret the results.

My dating poll was pretty straightforward.  I'm leaving the results up until I have time to write a couple of posts about the results.  I hope you enjoy the polls.  I find you all fascinating.  I mean that sincerely.

Oh... if you pick the last answer, please leave me a comment with an explanation.

Thank you all!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

See The Poll?

Now pretend you don't.  Until Wednesday morning, when my explanatory post will magically appear.

It's Me Day!

Monday, I left work a bit early.  I'll make up the time later in the week.  I had an appointment at 1:30.

My appointment was at the nail salon I've been going to for a bit.  It used to be right next to my office, but now that I moved it's about a 15 mile trip.

It's in a mall and I was early so I looked around at a few shops before going in.  My currently-favourite manicurist, C, was ready for me.  She started by asking what I had for her.  I pulled out pictures of my latest trips out (Richmond, Arizona, Dallas, Colorado ~ all out-of-my-room shots).

She once again thinned (just a bit!) and shaped my brows, and waxed the back of my neck.  She went above-and-beyond and cleaned up my shoulders and went down my back a bit "just in case" I wear something with a lower back.

She also gave me a manicure ~ no polish, just buffing.

I then went over to get my haircut and was surprised that the stylist was wearing a very stylish dress.  I've never seen her in anything but slacks before.  I really wanted to ask her where she bought it, but I did not.  I also would have been happy to show her my pictures, but I didn't do that either.

On the way home, I went past this giant thrift shop not far from my house.  I haven't been in there in a long time so I thought I'd take a little look.  I could have spent hours in there, but I focussed on dresses only.  I saw some nice dresses, but they were all small or medium.  When I found the larges, well, they weren't at all to my liking.

My original plan was to hit the bargain shops (Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Dress Barn and the like) later in the week.  I forgot that I have to leave early on Friday as well, to go to the 4-H fair and help my son.  I'm thinking that whatever I have is what I'll be wearing next week.  I still haven't picked anything out for the swap.

I'll figure something out, I'm sure.  Maybe one of the outfits I took to Arizona.

Monday, August 1, 2011

"So Anyway, Meg, What Did You Buy?"

Oh yeah.  House slippers.

Well, I looked at many but most were not in my size.  I had a few options left.
Daniel Green "Nikki"

I liked the Daniel Green "Nikki".  They had only this colour in my size.  Black, chocolate, rust ~ not in 11.  I was tempted, but I wasn't sure about that little rivet pattern on the front.  I mean, I wasn't sure how my wife would react, so I left them in the store.

Minnetonka Kitty Suede Moc
I also liked the Minnetonka Kilty Suede Moc.  I like the fringe, and it kind of related back to my past life regression episode.  I wasn't crazy about the colour (medium grey suede) though.  And even though they had eleven colours, that was the only one in my size.

Daniel Green "Meg"
They had the Daniel Green Meg in gold leather in my size.  But I had two problems with this slipper: one, I didn't think leather slippers would be really comfortable, and two, they are hideous.  But I liked the name :D .

I like the fact that sometimes, women's clothing (and wigs) are named as if they're your friends, instead of your wardrobe.

Minnetonka Cally Slipper
I went with the Minnetonka Cally Slipper.  It's a fairly traditional moccasin, and this is the only colour (cinnamon suede) they had in my size.

But instead of ordering it from Zappos, I went to Amazon where I found it a bit cheaper and if you buy it (or anything else) there by following this link, I get a rupee, or something.  But the real reason I bought it from Amazon is, I bought Meg a couple of other items at the same time.

Six days until the clothing swap.  Eight days until Meg hits the road again.