Monday, December 31, 2012

..And Concert Dressed (Part III)

(The poll is still open)

I hope y'all have someplace really dressy to go tonight and you pull out that sparkly gown you thought you'd never wear and get out.

Back on topic....

The Birchmere is general admission but not stadium seating ~ it has tables and they have a full menu.  Doors open at 5, there's an outer room where you can go to the bar or just sit.  Music hall doors open at 6 for dinner, and the show starts at 7:30.  The tables generally seat 12.  We were right in front of the central mike, at a table with two male/female couples and another couple of women.  The man who took our tickets said "do you ladies want your hands stamped?" which we did.  I wasn't sure if the restrooms were inside the stage area or in the bar area (it turns out the answer is "both").

The table was, starting at the stage: man 1, Charity, Meg, empty, empty, woman 2a.  Across from woman 2a (and heading back to the stage) was woman  2b, empty, woman 3, man 3, empty, woman 1.  The 1s, 2a and 2b, and 3s were together.

I don't hear well over background noise; Charity spoke with the woman who was diagonally across to her left a couple of times, and with her husband who sat at Charity's left.  He offered us some of his onion strings; we declined.  During intermission, I stepped out of my comfort zone again and when I saw the woman looking in our general direction started a conversation.

I need to work on my voice.  It starts sorta almost acceptable but as I talk it gets worse.  I wasn't that worried about it.  No-one I spoke to or sat near commented, cared, changed tables, shunned us, flirted, or in any way seemed to have an opinion about the woman in the purple dress.

We were overdressed (Charity wore a wonderful red dress; the picture is before we left for the show) but there were a couple of very dressy dresses and a guy or two in a suit.

Dinner wasn't horribly expensive for a you-must-eat-our-food kind of place, which is nice.  And the food was quite good.  I had a barbecued brisket, Charity had a vegetarian pizza and we were both full and happy with our choices.  Oh... when they were serving the food, the server was looking for "who ordered the ribs."  I thought I heard the man across and to my right order them, so I asked if he ordered them, to give him a chance to grab them before they went back to the kitchen.  He did, and I looked at the plate and said to him "I wish I had, too."  He smiled, but we didn't converse other than that.

I also kidded with the waitress a bit when I was paying.  I often do that when in drab, but not normally when dressed.

After the show, I bought two Uncle Bonsai CDs and I spoke to the members of the band a bit and had them sign the CDs ~ most of the audience came for Christine Lavin and many (like the woman at our table) knew nothing about Uncle Bonsai.  I wanted them to know that someone knew their music and enjoyed it for a long time.  They played a "Doug" song during their set and I told them I first heard them when they played "Doug At His Mom's" and they said it would be part of a five-part "Doug" series.  Now there are twenty-three.

Two things I didn't do when I spoke with them.

One, I thought about telling the woman in the group with the silver velvety skirt and sparkly tights (Arni) that I loved her outfit.  I forgot.

Two, well, I didn't think of this until the next day.  After talking to the male member of the trio (Andrew), I shook his hand (daintily, I hope) and said "keep writing!"  I wish I'd said "your music made me the man I am today!"

Maybe I should keep track of their new, upcoming songs.  Maybe one will include Meg. :)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

As the Year Winds Down....

(please take the little poll.  Explanation is here)

Enjoy an end-of-year laugh.  The first has a hint of gender; the second is Just Plain Stupid.  And funnier because I've been (a) watching old Muppet Show DVDs and I'm loving the Swedish Chef and (b) listening to some Jorge Jorgensen.  I know, they're both (supposed to be) Swedish but being an American, there's no difference between Sweden and Norway.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

No More Stories (Comics Edition)

Bennie the Bear has to just own up.  It's really for the best ~ and it's incredibly liberating!

click to enlarge

Friday, December 28, 2012

..And Concert Dressed (Part II)

(Please take the li'l quickie poll.  The explanation is here.)

We were ready in plenty of time.  The Birchmere is a local music hall that's been around for a long time.  I avoided it in the past for three reasons: I heard parking was difficult, the neighborhood was iffy, and my wife and I could never decide on what to see.  Our tastes were quite different.

A few years ago, the redid the venue and added on-site parking.  A couple of years ago, we finally made it to the Birchmere.  I can't recall what we saw there.

Purple Nails Too!
Christine Lavin and Uncle Bonsai were playing there last Sunday.  Christine is a left-leaning folkie whose songs have a humourous twist.  For instance, she has a song called "Regretting What I Said" wherein she apologises for wishing all sorts of bodily harm to come to her boyfriend because he decided to go on a (solo) ski trip without talking it over with her first.  One of her albums is titled "Cold Pizza for Breakfast" wherein she discusses the merits of just that.  "What Was I Thinking" describes her wearing a formal dress that she bought at the last minute that turned out to be awful, and letting her hairdresser try a new (perm) style on her ("what was I thinking? / I can't believe what I see / I look in the mirror / Art Garfunkel's looking back at me"), among other disastrous lapses in judgement.  And I'd like to note that the song she usually calls "Regretting What I Said" is properly called "Regretting what I said to you when you called me at 11:00 on Friday morning to tell me that 1:00 Friday afternoon you were gonna leave your office, go downstairs, hail a cab, to go out to the airport, to catch a plane, to go skiing in the Alps for two weeks. Not that I wanted to go with you; I wasn't able to leave town, I'm not a very good skier, I couldn't expect you to pay my way, but after going out with you for three years, I don't like surprises.  (And it's subtitled 'A Musical Apology')."

Uncle Bonsai consist of two women and one guy.  He writes songs, plays guitar; the women sing (he joins on some songs).  One of the songs they did was called "The Grim Parade" about how the kids in this family are lethal to pets; another was a "children's song" (and they air-quoted it as well) about all of the different monsters living in the house and how the kids should go to bed NOW.

So another outside comfort zone thing was going to a show where Meg Will Laugh.  I know my laugh is not very feminine, but Meg deserved a night out.  I'm ready for a comedy club now.  Or the Fringe Festival.

Charity didn't know either artist but I passed he a bunch of songs and she agreed it would be fun to see.  I think I can safely say we both enjoyed the show.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

...And Concert Dressed (Part I)

(before I get to the meat of the post, Marian asked what songs Christine Lavin did.  I don't recall them all, but she did Dan Fogelberg's Same Auld Lang Syne, I'm Glad He Can't Read My Mind, What Was I Thinking (with a new final verse about Mitt Romney), Christians and Pagans, Christmas Tree Story (a story she told her 3 year old niece many years ago), a strange version of The Twelve Days of Christmas, and more.  She brought up her and Uncle Bonsai relatives for a final song (another offbeat 12 days of Christmas).  She invited up Debbie Smith ~ she invites anyone local who was on the "Just One Angel" album.  Debbie played a song to an Irish drum which she played beautifully and did a wonderful O Holy Night.  Funny: she said she used to beg the pastor at her local church ~ I think it was United Methodist of Annandale ~ and someone jumped up and said "that was my mom!"  Small world.   And Christine finished her set by doing some baton twirling.)

I live in the bubble that is my comfort zone.  I don't like to try new foods, my default response to a new situation is "no."  I like what I'm used to.

It takes a conscious effort to pop that bubble.  Even though I step outside of my comfort zone regularly as Meg, I stick to outfits that I know I like, makeup the way I've done it before, colours I feel are "traditional" if not always age-appropriate.

For instance, last time I was at the salon, my beautician started painting my toenails purple.  (No fingers ~ I was in drab.)  Although my default is also to accept the advice of women when it comes to fashion, cosmetics, jewelry, I said "I prefer red."  She argued that purple was a more fall colour, but I insisted and I'm glad I did ~ I still have my red toenails and I get a little bit of pleasure every time I see them.

But Charity seems intent on breaking the bubble with startling regularity.

For the concert, we agreed on a purple dress that I've taken out several times but always put back in lieu of something else.  I suggested purple tights, which she thought was OK.  I was starting to like the brown boots but she said not with purple.  Then she offered to do my fingernails.  She suggested purple.

I didn't say no.

I'm glad I didn't say no.  I LOVED my nails and hated to remove the polish later.  (NOTE: I really wanted to leave the colour on for the next day at work and think I could have!  Virtually no-one was there and if I had to, I could've (ugh) made up a story ("my little niece wanted to paint someone's nails and I was her last chance.  She looked so sad when I said I had to take it off that I left it on."  Or "my roomate likes it.  Is it a big deal?" which is probably better but still a story).

She did my colours as well, and she gave my face a hint of purple (shadow, lips) that changed the way Meg looked in a way I also loved.  Please let me know if I'm delusional or if this is a good look for me (little poll to the right ~ and my ego wouldn't let me add the obvious fourth choice!).  And, yes, I understand "good" is relative.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Movie In Drab...

I'm sorry.  I characterise myself as an Anglophile, yet I have no idea what the appropriate greeting is for Boxing Day.  I may have to turn in my Red Dwarf videos.

On the Sunday after it was released, Charity and I saw The Hobbit (part one of, I think, seventeen).  It was the first 3D movie I've seen, and it was on an IMAX screen.

We planned carefully: showtime was 11:50, which meant I had plenty of time to get ready.  It ended around 3, and there were several restaurants adjacent to the theatre so we could grab a late lunch/early dinner afterwards and I would still have time to change and clean up before getting my son at 5:30.

In spite of all that, I went in drab.

In the past, if I had free time and an event that guaranteed it would be Meg Day!  The only thing that would stop me would be outside forces (like horrid weather) or inside forces (like a horrid headache).

It was what I used to call the "perfect storm," where everything came together perfectly for a Meg Day Out ~ better, because Charity would be with me.

But I chose to not get dressed.

Maybe that's another simple pleasure: I can dress for no reason, and not dress for no reason.

The movie was pretty good, the 3D was interesting, the food was tasty, the company was wonderful, and I had fun, dressed or not. 

Would it have been more fun dressed?  Maybe.  But it really didn't matter.

I think some introspection is called for, but I'm happy with my decision.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

New Lyrics

It's a tad uneven, but, hey, 'tis the season.

Merry Christmas to all!  Don't forget to don your gay apparel. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

My Kinda Christmas Cheer

Pre-post update: (if that makes any sense).  It's 4pm on Sunday, and Charity and Meg are about to go see Uncle Bonsai and Christine Lavin at the Birchmere.  This is another Meg first: first concert.   I won't count the rally as a concert.  If you must, it's her first indoor concert. :D

Merry (or Happy) Christmas, all! Have a wonderful and spiritual day tomorrow, and stay safe. I hope you wake tomorrow to find something awesome in your stockings!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Random Sunday Funnies

I just found these funny.  Speedbump has been here before; Dave Coverly is wonderful.  And sometimes even Beetle Bailey hit's a home run.  Oh....  The Mother Goose and Grimm is a preview ~ it won't be in the papers until the 30th but I wanted to include One Last Mayan cartoon.

Also a home run (so to speak)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Different Kind of Clothing Swap

He did it!  The Doctor saved the world again!

9 Chickweed Lane is one of my favourite strips.  Paula printed one of these in her blog, but here are a few more.  No words, just a bit of pictorial fun, just a teeny tiny bit cd-ish.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Something New

Charity and Meg will be going to a concert this weekend.  It's not a fancy place, but I'll pretend I don't know that.

If the world ends today, we'll probably skip the concert.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Padding My Account

Happy end-of-the-world day everybody!  In case the Mayans were wrong (and they don't have a good track record at predicting when civilisation is going to end ~ they missed theirs by quite a while), welcome to the reprieve.

A picture's worth a thousand words, right?  So here's today's 4000 word post.

I bought a new padded panty from HerRoom.  It's the one pictured to the right.  I looked for a while, hoping I'd find something I liked and looked realistic.  I was hesitant to buy one for a number of reasons:

1. It cost $44.

OK, that was pretty much the main reason.  For a girl who thinks $30 is a lot to pay for a dress, paying  $44 for underwear is a stretch (so to speak).

It fits pretty well.  It digs in at the front of the leg openings, but if I adjust it a bit it's fine.  It's also  a bit tight, but that hides Things That Women Don't Have.  The pads come out for cleaning.

I think it adds some curves and seems to subtract some as well (as I mentioned in my last swap post, Steffi mentioned that I had lost weight ~ I didn't but I put on some hips and I guess, relatively speaking, it looked like I lost some weight.  So YAY.

After I came in from a trip to Old Town Alexandria with Charity (I haven't written about that yet) I asked her to take three views with and without the panty.  The results are below.  The pads are in in the left-hand picture.  Zooming may help.  The side view shows the effect the best.

It's been part of my outfit each time I've dressed since I bought it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Simple Pleasures ~ Computer's Out of the Closet

In my house, my office was in the basement.  I might be reading a t-blog, or working on my own, or editing pictures for future posts when I'd hear someone come down the stairs.  I had a couple of seconds to close what I was working on and open something else.

No more hiding.  If Charity comes in while I'm working on a post, I can leave it up and chat (unless I don't want it previewed!).  I can point her to another t-blog that I found interesting, or share pictures and get her opinion of the best one to use.

I never realised how limiting it is to not even be "out" in my own personal space.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Not So Simple Pleasure

It really is a pleasure.  But it's not so simple.

My simple pleasures are things women do that I can do too.  They are both simple (wearing earrings to see if they're comfy for long periods of time) and pleasures (I do enjoy earrings, especially dangly ones that surprise me by touching my neck when I turn my head, or tinkling occasionally).

Charity wears scrubs to work and changes when she gets home.  She often changes into a dress because she knows I like them ~ I like to see them as well as wear them.

So one day last week I got home about an hour before Charity did.  I didn't have anywhere particular to go, but I shaved and dressed and stayed that way until bedtime (when I put my nightgown on).

I wore two dresses that I have never worn out, just to enjoy them ~ they're both pretty.  And I tried a different wig.  Any comments?

And I wore them just because I could: the simple pleasure part is, I don't need to plan a little Meg time now.

Monday, December 17, 2012

"...and I Always Carry a Purse..."

Phil Ochs fans know where that comes from.

My little bag poll results surprised me a bit.

About a third said "no purse, no way."  I expected that to be higher ~ purses are kind of obvious.  I searched for a while before I found one that I felt I could pass with.  I stretched that a bit last week ~ Charity presented me with a colourful Star of David pin, about two inches across.  I put it on the strap of my bag and moved it to my lanyard (yes, I need a stinkin' badge) for our holiday party.

Forty percent of you said you carry a bag at least part of the time.  A quarter of you said you might, and I'd like to add that I was in that category a month ago and no-one's said a word about it.  The remaining third said "no way."  I was probably there when I first thought about it, but then I started looking around and saw what men and women were carrying and decided it wasn't as much of a stretch as I thought it might be.  But yes, it's a hard one ~ you're adding something, not just changing something.  I'm still wearing socks; whether they're plain or argyle or flowered is just a matter of degree.  But I added a bag.

But Mandy commented on my poll said "you need an 'all-the-time' category" because she always carries a purse.  Since I spent a lot of time looking for a "passable" bag, I asked what she carries.  The answer surprised me, but shouldn't have.

I am very conservative in my normal dress.  It's very out-of-character for me to wear even the few women's items I wear.  Mandy goes for a more androgynous look.  Look closely at the occasional person who stimulates a "not sure" when you try to identify their gender.  There's always a clue somewhere.  It might be the shoes, or jewelry, or handbag, even if the brows are straightish, the hair short, the makeup non-existant, the clothes shapeless.

But sometimes it's a false clue.  An androgynous look with a purse causes the observer to say "aha!  Girl" whether the observed is or not.

This is where Mandy is.  I asked her to write about what she carries.  Take a look at her blog entry about purses.  I don't think I'd brave that red purse!  And hang out a bit.  She's getting added to my daily update list.  And I REALLY need to update my places I go list!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mostly Harmless

(aside: there are twenty future doctors, government leaders, star athletes, clergymen, musicians... we'll never know.  They were the latest victims of a nut with a gun.  I've ignored the White House petition site because it seemed frivolous.  I created an account and signed my name to several petitions requesting changes to our gun laws or at least a discussion of our gun laws.  I know it's not much, but if there's a chance of getting some sensible restrictions on guns ~ cop killer bullets, higher taxes on shells, close gun show loopholes, reinstate the assault weapon ban, restrict gun purchases to one a month....  We regulate cars, why not guns?

(I apologise for pushing my politics into this, but I'm sad and angry right now.  And if you're sad and angry and disagree with me, there's also a petition to arm all teachers and principals.)

The world is going to end soon, and it's not because an intergalactic bypass is being built and the Earth will be demolished because it's in the way.

Since this is the last Sunday Funnies before 12/21/12 (or 21/12/12 to most English speakers not living in the United States) I thought I'd point out that some cartoonists saw the comic opportunity in the end of the world ~ after all it's a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

Here's a sample, starting with Bizarro, some Arlo and Janis's, a pair of Brewster Rockits, and finishing with the Mother Goose and Grimm sequence.

"Drink up.  The world's about to end."

I Want One!

He's done this before!

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Today's Mother Goose and Grimm was pulled out of sequence.  I'll have the series and more tomorrow.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Lick Your Fingernail

Seriously.  If you're among the many readers who do not polish their nails, lick a nail.  Look at the way it shines, at least for the few seconds until it dries.

That's how a nail with clear nail polish looks.

When I first decided shiny nails were a look I wanted, I had the nail beautician buff my nails.  They looked nice, but my nails also started breaking at an annoying rate.  After a few visits, she mentioned that buffing thins the nails so they break.  So last time, I tried clear polish.

When you get your nails coloured, the beautician puts down a base coat, a couple of coats of colour, a top coat and maybe something to help it dry faster.  You still end up sitting with your fingers drying for ten minutes or more.

But all she did was a quick single coat of what was apparently top coat.  It dried almost instantly so I could go home.  It also came off almost instantly.  Within three days, some fingers were half-polished.

Charity offered to try to put a coat of clear polish on my fingers.  She tried the top coat and had the same results as the salon: within a couple of days it was coming off.

Then she put on O. P. I. Nail Envy nail strengthener.  It's been over two weeks and my nails look great.  They're trimmed to nothing because the ends are still breaking from being thinned and buffed (I guess).  But I think they have a more femme look than they did before and that's where each item I wear is converging: a more femme look.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Transgender Day of Remembrance, Part III

And Afterwards

After the service, I sought out the minister I met last year (not easy ~ you know about me and faces!).  Remember I went to the previous two years in drab, and I spoke to her each time.  So I almost fainted when I introduced myself as "Meg" and said I spoke to her at previous TDoR events and she said "I remember you!"  That's absolutely the LAST thing I want to hear under those circumstances!

It turns out, she remembered my blog.  I had given her the address and she took the time and trouble to visit and matched me up to my pictures.  Crises averted, although she has met Meg and the other me.  That makes her one of a small but slowly growing group.

From there, Cindy, Charity, Rachel, and I went to a nearby restaurant.  We had some t-chat, some girl talk, and some nice food in a mostly-empty restaurant.  I can't speak for the rest of the girls, but I did not want to leave.  Alas, Tuesday night outings means Wednesday morning work.

Here is a picture of the t-threesome and the program for the event.  Click on any to enlarge.

Meg, Rachel, Cindy (Lucinda)