Thursday, May 31, 2012

Therapy the Tenth

After I brought up going on my expedition this weekend, my wife's main response was "we'll bring this up on Tuesday."  My unspoken thought was "do I need permission from the therapist?"
Much of the hour was spent on t-issues.  My wife professes to worry about me, because bad things do happen to us, but it's more, I think, about her.  She said she was worried about something happening to me, although in this instance, I'd be part of a group I'd even feel comfortable coming out to.  But her first comment was "it's on the campus where our son goes to school.  They'll see your name.  They'll know his name."  Which is baloney: except coincidentally, there will not be teachers or classmates, and I'd try and get credentials that say "Meg," not my male name.
She did ask if I ever worried, and I admitted I did ~ so I did as much as I could to mitigate problems.  Whenever possible, I scope out the area first.  I avoid iffy areas or unfriendly natives.  I also said I was much more nervous when I first started going out than I am now....  I'm in more familiar territory.  Stana said much the same in yesterday's post.  She said she's worried about going to her law school reunion because it's unchartered territory.
My wife was also concerned that I'd run into people I know.  I said that could happen, but I could also avoid those people if necessary.  Between us, I wasn't planning on avoiding people I know.  Some are peers, some are well-known.

A few of odd points:
My wife kept wanting to go back to the "origin" of my dressing.  I told her I didn't care what the origins are.  I spent a lot of time thinking about it and reading about it and decided it's unimportant.  She feels otherwise.
She also kept going back to my "shame" at dressing up.  She firmly believes I do this so I can be humiliated and laughed at by others.  She said "how do you know people aren't laughing behind your back?"  I said "either they are and I don't hear them so for me it's not happening, or they're not and it's not happening.  Either way, the result is the same and I don't lose sleep over it."  I said "and if I decided I wanted to play golf instead of dress up, you'd  think I did it so I could be humiliated by hitting balls into water hazards and shamed when I miss four-foot putts."
And, more troubling to me  than any of the t-items, the therapist asked if I ever worried about her.  I said I did, and I gave several examples and my wife said "I'm not sure I believe him."  I asked several different ways, to make sure she knew what she was saying and how I was taking it.  She stayed with it.
There has always been trust.  Now I'm not so sure.  Eventually I said sarcastically,  "I understand because I lie constantly."
I find that very troubling.   
Notes on the weekend: first, in yesterday's post I meant the doctor removed half of my toenail, not toe.  And I forgot one other item that worried me: I don't know what people wear to this.  I suspect it's business casual.
I also think it is possible I will be more out than I plan.  I also expect there to be newspaper coverage there.

It is an Event.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


If I can find a place to change Friday and Saturday, I may go out this weekend.  I have an event and I think the people there would welcome Meg.

I can probably get a room Friday night, which would solve most of my problems.  I can leave work early, check in, change, and go to the Friday night events, which are mostly register and meet-and-greet.

Normally, I studiously avoid meet-and-greets.  That's further out of my comfort zone than being Meg is.  And I will know several people here, including some rather well-known ones.

Then back to the room and early Saturday I can change and check out.  The main event runs until 2pm, and there are after-event events.

I picked out a few dresses to bring and I have all of my other Meg items put aside for quick packing.  I've been shaving arms, legs, etc, and keeping my brows trimmed.

There are two problems.

The first problem is coming home Saturday afternoon.  I need to have my son elsewhere and I don't know when it will end. I can probably say mid-afternoon and my family will be out of the house until 4 or 5 anyway.  This is where the negotiating comes in.  My wife is very against my attending, because there will be people who know me, and she's concerned I will be outed.  Actually, it's more than that.  I expect to see people I know and say "well, we've met."

The second issue is shoes.  Last summer, I wrote about an ingrown toenail on my right large toe (why don't they have names like fingers do?).  The podiatrist cut the left half of the toe off, down to the part under the skin and that seemed to solve the problem.

Seemed to.  The nail is not growing back properly.  There is a large, somewhat painful and hard lump under the skin which I think might be the nail not breaking through.  With changing jobs and insurance and schedule, I haven't made it back to the doctor yet.  But at the more formal events following my mother-in-law's death, I had to wear black sneakers.  My shoes pressed down in a painful way.

So I'm planning on skipping hose (most women do once the weather gets warm) and wearing open-toed shoes, but I need to try them on first.  My dress shoes had to come off within minutes.  I need to see how the open-toed shoes I have fit and how they press on that toe.  I don't have time to shoe shop; if I can't get some in-house shoes to work, I'll have to skip it.

I'll probably not have a chance to check out shoes until tomorrow night.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Didn't Ask, Told Anyway

I'm not sure I ever wrote about when I went to my office dressed for Halloween (see picture, right, of Meg at "her" desk).  I was looking through the archives and I wrote "I'll write about it soon" but I'm not sure I ever did.  I also alluded to it in this post.  I showed a picture of Meg at the Rally and got some reactions from people who had seen me dressed the previous year.

So I might owe y'all a story.  I know I wrote it up ~ I just may never have transferred it from my "Megnotes" file to the blog.

Anyway, the Friday before I went to my new job I had lunch with F, who I mention at the top of the post I linked to above.  We had a nice time, eating Chinese food and not talking politics.  She had written to me a little ketchup (as a good friend calls it) note and told me her marriage of 20+ years is coming to an end.  So I had another reason to want to talk to her (other than, I like her).

At the end of the meal, as we were returning to the office I told her I wanted to share something with her.  I told her that Meg was more real than the two times she knew about.  I told her my old boss, N, knew and S at the office knew.  And I liked her and I felt I shouldn't be hiding something that's fundamentally "me" from a friend.

She took it in without comment.  I haven't had a chance to follow up with her yet to see if she's still talking to me.  I think, if we made it through the 2008 election, she still is.

Monday, May 28, 2012


Follow-up on Tyler.  I wrote about the Washington Post article on Tyler, the five-year-old transgender youth last week.

Petula Dvorak followed up her article in her regular column which begins:

I heard from transgendered senior citizens who lamented their decades living a lie.

I got e-mails from confused parents who had their aha moment when they read Tyler’s story.  

And sure, I heard from the haters. The Internet troll employment benefits package apparently doesn’t offer vacation days, so they’re always there.

 The short version: there seem to be an awful lot of FtMs out there.  I don't recall her specifically mentioning MtFs, but she left some ambiguous.  Maybe there's room for some education here.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

What Kind of Drugs Does This Man Take?

Sometimes, I am just amazed at the stuff cartoonists think up.  I know he's been here before.  I have a bunch of his cartoons saved on my computer and each is funnier than the one before.  Of course, I had to change the sort order from "name" to "funny (least on top)."

(Personal note: Happy birthday, Aeify!)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I Hope This Isn't Why He Jumped

I just love this cartoon.  I have a new respect for eggs.

Friday, May 25, 2012

You're Invited (Results)

In my most recent poll, I asked if you'd like to participate in a wedding.

I would, and surprisingly, I fit in with the majority (well, the largest plurality if you want to get technical).

Out of 86 respondents, only 4 said they'd skip the wedding if they were invited in any capacity.

About a quarter of you would be a guest at a wedding.  I'd do that, and since I have more girl friends than Really Close girl friends, that's realistically the best I can hope for.

Almost a half would accept the honour of being a bridesmaid, and I think I would as well.  As a bridesmaid, you have support: other bridesmaids.  You have a group of women in the same situation as you, and probably some who have done this before.  And that's the problem with being the maid of homour.

About one-in-five would accept a request to be maid of honour.  I wouldn't, mostly because I'd start be being completely lost and probably finish by screwing everything up.  There will still be support, but not direct support.  I'd be way too afraid of forgetting something vital.

I also asked about your escort.  Although only four said "not interested" to being at the wedding, an additional two said they're not interested in response to this question.  Another four didn't answer.  I'm guessing they responded this way to say "I will NOT be bringing an escort!"

I tossed in a female escort dressed as a male, but in a regular wedding I think that would be seen as the "freak" couple, not as a male who likes to experience the softer side of life.  Only four of you chose this option.  A bit over a quarter wanted to being a male escort.  That's not my choice, but if I was told I could attend (or be a bridesmaid) only if I brought a male escort, or if a male friend invited me as his (female) guest, I would do it, no doubt.

But almost sixty percent said they'd go as a female couple.  My first choice as well.  I don't think there's anything extremely unusual about a female couple.  There are enough boyfriends/husbands who just don't want to go to a wedding that the female partner would bring a friend.  Add in the always-female-couples and I don't think two women attending will stand out.  Two men would look a little suspect, but, of course, it shouldn't.

Look for the next poll next week some time.  I'm still trying to figure out work and my work schedule right now.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Therapy the Ninth

Right now, I'm not sure if I should stop the therapy posts, or stop the therapy.

I observed that the therapy sessions have turned into refereed arguments.  We disagree a lot, but we don't really argue ~ except every Tuesday for an hour.

In what has become a rarity, my wife agreed with this assessment.

We also agreed that neither of us thought about ending the marriage until the therapy sessions started.  I didn't think that was supposed to happen.

T-issues have fallen off the table, because there are bigger issues here.  Yet in spite of all that's going on, the therapist tried to bring it back around to t-issues.  I was very confused ~ I didn't see that as at all relevant.

Something, maybe some things, need to stop.

In other news, I'm settling into my new job although it took almost two weeks to get my computer and access and everything necessary so I can do something useful in exchange for a salary.  And Dani made a good point about why the card has to stay in the computer but come with me when I leave ~ computers should not be unattended and unlocked.  But I've gotten into the habit of hitting that little flag key and L which locks the screen.  And I bet most of you do the three-finger-salute (ctrl-alt-del) and select lock.  Look up "windows key shortcuts" and you'll find a handful of things that little key does to save yourself a few seconds a day ~but of course Microsoft turns those seconds into hours and takes them away again with reboots, hangs, and other inconveniences.

Life in the 21st century.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What I Heard

You may have noticed the "prove you're not a robot" word has been replaced by two words.  The system is called "Captcha."

The basic idea is, a random, known image is created and you have to type in what the computer created.  If it matches, then a person typed it.  I have heard that you can be "close" (off by one letter) and still be accepted, but I haven't tested this myself.

The second word is the fun (read: nerd-friendly) part.  It's not a known word.  It's part of a project to scan in old books.  When the computer has a problem with a word or letter combination, it's put into the Captcha system as the second word.  It then tallies what humans think it is, and figures out the letter(s) by consensus.

We're all unpaid labour.  I'm not sure how I feel about this yet.  Am I part of a great endeavour, or am I being forced to supply my time and effort for free?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Badges? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Badges!

Actually, we do.  I do.

I now have a company badge for my new job, and I have a special government ID card which gets me in to certain buildings and allows me to access computers.

Once, I had to go into a women's prison.  The security was pretty amazing ~ it was easier to get into the Pentagon.  The building where I report every day is harder to get into than the prison.  I need that government badge, and both badges must be worn above the waist at all times.  If the badge is not visible, I am subject to challenge.  It is unlikely anyone in that area wouldn't have a badge.

Without the badge, one needs a red visitor's badge which will open certain doors (but not all) and an escort at all times.  That's after going through airport security.

With the badge, one needs to go place the badge on a reader and go through a revolving door.  You can leave through that door without showing a badge, but if someone steps into both sides at the same time the door stps and noisy things happen.

After that, is what I call an airlock: a little glass room with doors for and aft.  You show the badge and the door opens.  You step in, the door closes and then the next door opens.  It is not for the claustrophobic.  It is designed for Get Smart fans.  To exit, you must show the badge to the reader on the inside side.

Finally, you get to the elevator and up to our offices.  To get into the office area, you need to present your card and enter a PIN on the keypad.  You don't need the card to exit.  I mention this because I have been in rooms where you must present your card when you enter and when you leave ~ if you don't, the system "knows" you're still in the room and it won't let you back in.

Then your card goes into your computer to unlock it.  No card, no access.  Disks are encrypted so you can't hack your way in.

So it's possible to sit down, put your card into the computer, and decide you need to get rid of that last cup of coffee.  You go out and... you're stuck in limbo.  You can't get back in because you need your card.  You can't get into the airlock because you need your card.

Why am I mentioning this in a t-blog?  Two reasons:

1. entertainment value.  It is pretty ridiculous.  Any classified work is done in rooms with additional security.  No particularly vital people work there.  So I don't see the point, except to make the people who work there feel vital.

2. I now have two badges that are useable as ID for, say, voting or cheque cashing or airport security.  In both I am wearing women's shirts.  I made a point of touching up my gloss before each photo was taken.

Is it obvious?  Not unless you look closely.  So the point?  I'm wearing clothes I like in both photos.  That's all.  It's a small thing, but important to me.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Exposure Is Good

You can't get more prominent coverage than this.  This is the Sunday Washington Post page 1.  Sundays are popular for "fluff" pieces: this can be written in advance, and no reporters have to work on the weekend to produce it.  But Sundays are also good because circulation is up ~ more exposure.

In the main article it sounds like the writer is being careful to balance information with family wishes for privacy.  My balance issue here is one between wanting this information to get out with the possibility that the parents might make their child's life harder by doing so.  It's not easy for you or I to judge how much information to let out about ourselves, our family, our friends.  The stakes go up when it's a child, of course.

I applaud  Ms Dvorak.  She wrote a thoughtful article, stayed away from the journalistic balance problem that pervades reporting today, where nonsense points of view are given equal weight to factual ones.  I also applaud the parents and hope they've been reading Raising My Rainbow.

A separate article on drug options for treating transgender issues was also in the paper.  I was a bit concerned when I saw that, but it's about puberty blockers and further hormone options, not something Merck created to "cure."

The video at the start of the article can be found here, and a photo gallery is here.

In other news, The Post had this article from the Associated Press.  The long-overdue headline: A decade later, researcher apologizes for study suggesting gays can go straight with therapy

It feels like a good weekend for the community.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Thank You

I really appreciate all of your kind comments and e-mails about our recent loss.  I don't think I understood how important support is to recovery until this week.

Thank you.  I love you all.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I'm Only On #77

A reader was kind enough to point me at a British strip called The Princess.  Navigation is a bit weird ~ it took me a while to discover that the pointing fingers were their wayback machine.  (Yes, now you know something else about me.)

I was starting to worry about Sarah ~ she wore the same dress for the first 76 strips.  Now her dad finally bought her a new one.

The "up" finger will go back to the first strip:

As I said, I'm only on strip 77 but it's about Seth, a boy who's always been saying she's a girl, a princess named Sarah.  Her father is understanding and helpful; her mother ~ not so much.  I think that's changing, after a bullying incident by a boy who really likes Sarah but is very confused about it.

It's fun, it's worth reading... at least, so far.  I've mentioned my tendency to remain in motion unless an outside force acts on me, so I'll keep reading until I get to yesterday's (#258).  It's only updated twice a week, so it shouldn't take long to catch up and stay caught up.

Here's another key early strip, where she makes friends with a girl who's more boy than Sarah is:

Don't forget to click to get the big picture.

Go Sarah!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Another Another Shopportunity

A gg friend suggested a bra for me. She owned the same style and really liked it. It's from Cacique and I have a weakness: if someone with better fashion sense than me (read: almost everyone) suggests an item from the women's side of the aisle, I go for it. I especially like this woman's style, so I went for it. The fact that she sent me a gift card to cover the cost made it irresistible.  I ordered the bras (they had a two-for-one sale) the week before my job ended.

So one morning on my week off I went down to Lane Bryant. It seems Lane Bryant, Catherine's, Fashion Bug, and some other chains are all owned by the same parent company and you can get items drop-shipped to any of those stores. The Lane Bryant is near my old office and I was hoping it would get there before I left ~ it, of course, did not.

No matter.  I picked up the package and noticed that Lane Bryant Sells Shoes.  Lane Bryant, for those who don't know, is for more full-figured ladies.  They had shoes in 11W in almost every style they sold.  Alas, I didn't really like those styles so I didn't buy, but it was nice to  see all of those shoes in my size anyway.

I also saw a nice necklace and almost-matching bracelet.  The necklace was $30 and the bracelet cost less ~ and they had a "buy one jewelry item, get one free."  I decided at the last minute to pass though.

I looked through the nearby Dress Barn and wasn't impressed with what I saw.  On the other side of Lane Bryant was a Ross Dress for Less with more dresses than any other shop I have ever been in!  They had extremely long double racks and they placed them end-to-end with a space in between, so you could escape before getting too old, I suppose.  There were three or for rows of these racks.  One entire row (both sides) was large and 12's.  If I was more comfortable with sleeveless dresses, I could have bought twenty.  Instead I found three dresses I loved, decided I'd only buy two and agonised over which one to return to the rack.

I'm happy.  It's been a good week for clothing, and I also went through some other clothes and marked more than three dresses and two bras for the clothing swap.  I am sticking to my rule: if clothes comes in, an equal amount (at least) must go out.

I'm being a good girl.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Therapy the Ninth

Therapy was cancelled due to the death of my wife's mother early Tuesday morning.

Services will prevent my attending the congressional district convention on Saturday.  I believe I can still attend the state convention, but I lose out on this opportunity.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Another Shopportunity

I left a badge at home on my last day and I had to make a final trip to my office to return that badge.  I figured I'd use this as a chance to schmooze with a couple of the people in the office and to hit the mall and the nearby stores One More Time.

I started at the bicycle shop: my son wanted a lock for his bicycle.  From there, I went to Ulta, kind of right next door.  They offered a coupon this week, and I'm still on my lip gloss kick so I thought I'd see what they had.

What they had was busy salesladies and I didn't want to just grab something, so I left.

I went across to the mall and went into the Penney's.  They have a little Sephora area in the store and I again asked a saleslady to help me find a gloss in my shade.  She did, and I purchased a tube of Sephora "glossy gloss" in Creme Brulee.  I did as is now my habit: I told her I'm looking for gloss in my shade; I want to add shine, not colour.

From there, I went back to the Macy's.  I saw the same saleslady as last time, when I bought the pants and black skirt.  I've talked about my face blindness before, but I remembered she was slim, had long blonde hair, and a Scandinavian accent.  Once I heard her speak, I was pretty sure it was her.  I looked at the clearance racks and found a nice dress, in shades of purple and blue.  When I went to check out, she remembered me and I said "you suggested I get more colourful and here I am!"  She helped me look for a dress like the woman in front of me purchased ~ I really liked it ~ but it was also from the clearance rack and was the only one there.

There is a Payless in the mall that had a platform pump in my size, but I wasn't sure I wanted to spend $35 for them, so I didn't go back.  I did go across the street to the DSW and found nothing I liked in my size, and I went next door to the bookstore and also found nothing I liked, in my size.

At least I now have a new dress aching to be tried on. Next up: look for a place to wear it out.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Nontransferable, Transacting, Transcript, Transcribed, Transferable, Transparency

For what it's worth, I will be going to the Virginia State Convention this year.  I was selected to be one of the people who select the four delegates who will go to the national convention.  Yes, there are more than four delegates from Virginia; the rest are chosen by elected officials and other important people, not us grassrooters.  The actual total for Virginia is 132.  Of the four, two men and two women are selected at the convention.

I actually have no idea as to what is expected of me, so I started doing a bit of research.  I found a document called 2012 Delegate Selection Rules for the Democratic National Convention.  This is a generic document that describes how each state chooses their delegates.

I expected to find a one pager or, at most, a short document.  This is, after all, just for how the states choose delegates, not for the actual convention.

It is 98 pages long.

I read past the Non-Discrimination section and the Affirmative Action section.  When I got to page 7 and rule 7, Inclusion Programs (one long paragraph), I saw the first reference to LGBT:

The Democratic National Committee recognizes that other groups of Americans in addition to those described in Rule 6 may be underrepresented in Party affairs. These groups include members of the LGBT community, people with disabilities, and youth. The National and State Parties shall adopt and implement Inclusion Programs in order to achieve the full participation of members of these and other groups in the delegate selection process and in all party affairs, as indicated by their presence in the Democratic electorate. As is already the practice in some states, State Parties may use goals to achieve these ends; however, in no event may such participation be accomplished by the use of quotas.

On page 17, in the convolutedly entitled Regulations of the Rules and Bylaws Committee section I found Regulation 4.7, Rules 5.C, 6.A, and 7.  Paragraph B reads:

Rule 7 requires State Parties to develop a plan intended to secure the full participation in the delegate selection process of LGBT Americans, people with disabilities, youth, and other groups the State Party may deem necessary, commensurate with each group’s participation in the state’s Democratic electorate.  Consistent with this rule, State Parties must take reasonable steps to determine the participation of these groups in the state’s Democratic electorate.

and paragraph C.iii. says:
A program to achieve full participation by additional under-represented groups as required under Rule 7 [Inclusion Programs, copied above], provided, however, that in lieu of a separate inclusion program, a state plan may establish goals, with methodology, and timetables for the under-represented groups identified in Rule 7 (LGBT Americans, people with disabilities, and youth), as well as other groups the State Party determines to be underrepresented.

It doesn't bother me that LGBT seems to be closely tied to "and people with disabilities."  At least they didn't write "and people with other disabilities." 

They're trying hard to list under-represented groups so they can maybe someday possibly get them off the list of underrepresented groups.  It bothers me more that we're in an "underrepresented group" list.

I did a search through the document for "trans."  The results of that search is the subject of today's post.

We have a long way to go.

Monday, May 14, 2012

What's In A Name?

Walter?  Is That You?
I've been sitting on this for a week.  I wonder if this was intentional or not.

The woman vying for the title of Miss Universe in Canada is a transsexual named Jenna Talackova.  Her original last name was, in fact, Talackova.  She was born Walter Talako, or Talakov ~ I saw different references and I'm not sure which is right.  I'm pretty sure her birth name was not Talakova.  She said her mother suggested "Jenna" but I think someone put a lot of thought into this name.

Jenna Talackova = Genital Lack Ova.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day (and other stuff)

I hope you all got flowers, candy, and pampered today.  And I hope you did the same to the mom in your life.  Call it Karma or the golden rule or "what goes around, comes around" ~ it seems to be the way the universe works.

Also, please check out Wednesday's post and take the poll. And let me know what you'd like to see next.

The new job, my mother-in-law's health, and other stressors may cause me to miss a day or two.  If I do, please come back.  I promise I will.

Remember: Friday the thirteenth falls on a Sunday this month!

And, finally, happy fourth mensiversary to a special friend.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Variations on a Theme

It seems to be a popular topic.  My favourite is the last.  Yes, it is fun.  Thank you, boss, for recognising that!

As for #2...  John's a teacher?  She's also breaking Stana's rules for femulating.  Bad John. 

And why do the names of cross-dressing office workers always end in kins?

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Tom's They Are A-Changin'

I guess this is news because....  I don't know why.  Shock value?  Oh My God!  Someone is changing their sex!  Wow!

I'm sure it's a big deal for Tom, the same way it was for James (Jan) Morris and Richard Raskin (Renee Richards) and the now Jillian Page, among others.

The headline on the print Washington Post gossip page was

It's Tom for now.  Soon: Laura

and I had no idea what that meant.

The on-line version read:

Against Me! singer Tom Gabel plans to become a woman

and that made more sense than another on-line story that said he plans to "change genders."  I think I need to find the story editor and whack him several times with The Post style manual.  I'm sorry.  I'm not trying to pick a fight with those who call sexual reassignment surgery, gender reassignment surgery.  I just see gender as how you see yourself, and sex as what you are.  I know, others disagree.  I'm open to persuasion.  Until then... Whack!

The story in a nutshell: Tom Gable, lead singer for the band Against Me!, plans to take action on his transsexuality; he's not sure how far he will go at this time.  He is not attracted to men and plans to remain married.

I say "he" because I haven't seen any self-reference as she.  I mean no disrespect to the future Laura Jane Grace.

The Washington Post story can be found here, and an AP story, reprinted on The Post website is here.

But also take a look at Aeify's blog where she found a link to the band's The Ocean, and she includes the video and lyrics.  She also links to an MTV story.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Therapy the Eighth

There are a couple of preliminaries here.  First please check out yesterday's post and take the poll.

And second, before I get into this week, I want to address a private message I received on last week's therapy post.

The writer pointed out that a win-win in the baby scenario would have involved my wife expressing milk for later consumption.  I guess I was unclear: neither baby was ever interested in a bottle.  It didn't matter if it had formula, mom's milk, hummingbird nectar, or fine wine.  And no, we didn't try those all of those things.

The other point where I was unclear was about the three hours of screaming ~ he did that when he was hungry.  Other than that he was pretty quiet, mostly busy trying to figure out the world.  My wife rarely had to handle a screaming child.  I don't begrudge her that ~ she had to put up with night feedings which I never had to (could) do.  The point was, I lacked the thinking time I needed.

On to this week....

This was another session that did not touch on t-issues at all.  Right now, everything's taking a back burner because on Tuesday her family was suddenly faced with trying to come to a consensus about what her mother would want: with no intervention she'll have about a week of life remaining.

It's a difficult time all around.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Next Up: Bridesmaid Poll

Last week's poll was on whether you'd like to be a bride.
 Being a bride would mean starring in your own wedding.  That's a lot of expense, a lot of "being out," a lot of... well, there's a lot.  It means an incredible amount of comfort with your friends and family, once you get to the "let's do a ceremony" phase.

So let's step back a bit.

How about being a bridesmaid (or maid of honour) in the wedding of your friend the bride?

Your good friend is getting married and she asks you to attend as your female self in some capacity.  This is going to be a standard, real, civilian wedding.  Please choose the level you'd be comfortable with.  Your options are:

Attend as a guest.  Pick a party dress and shoes and gift.  Your invitation says "and guest."  Male guest or female guest?  There will be dancing and schmoozing and an attempt to catch the bouquet.   There is a second poll for you to choose whether you'd want a male escort, a female escort dressed as a male, or a female dressed as a female).

Be a bridesmaid.  The bride, of course, selects your gown.  You will attend dress fittings, the bridal shower, and the pre-wedding dinner.  This not a simple one-day thing.  You'll be dressed (and undressed and redressed) quite a bit.  You'll need to get outfits for the pre-wedding events.  You'll be paired with an usher and there will be more interaction with the guests, as a member of the wedding party.

Be the maid of honour.  You have all of the bridesmaid duties and more: you have to arrange a lot of the pre-wedding activities and support the bride.

And a little second mini-poll: Whatever role you choose, the expectation is that you should be escorted.  Will your escort be a male guest, a female dressed as a male, or a female dressed as a female?
Do you have any ideas for other female experiences I can add?  I have a couple of ideas.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Don't Get It

Menswear Chemise
But I guess I can wear these, right?  I mean without anyone looking askance, right?

The first one is listed here as a "menswear chemise."

I thought maybe it was a mistake.  I mean, I once found a Penney's ad for "men's skirts."  The others are on the Kohl's website; I first saw it in a print ad for Kohl's.

And they're all listed as unavailable.  So either that means they didn't sell and they ended up at Marshall's, or they sold out and there are a lot of men enjoying something sexy under their shirts.

Too bad they're sold out.  I don't really have a problem with wearing menswear, if they're going to add these to the repertoire.

Personally, I don't spend a lot of time in the men's clothing department, except to see what men are wearing so I can look for something similar in the misses' department.  But I really don't remember seeing a lingerie rack in the men's department.

I'll have to look.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Remember The Wedding Poll?

A few weeks ago, I asked you if you'd want to have the Ultimate Female Experience: giving birth.

Last week, I ratcheted it down a bit, into the realm of reality, and asked if you'd like to be a bride.  The idea was to think about the wedding experience ~ how far would you go.

Please Click To Enlarge
Eleven percent said they have no interest.  That's cool.  For some of us, just trying on the gown is at the top of our bucket list.  Some of us just aren't interested.  I can see that.  It's a lot of work.  But even though I'd be happy never wearing a wedding gown I'd be happy to wear one as well.  So that's not my choice.

I'm going to remove those 15 from the total ~ leaving 119 votes ~ and jimmy the percentages to match that new sample size.  The total vote can be seen at the bottom of the poll (for you purists).

Just three of you (about three percent) would just want to try on the dress and stop there.  Again, I'd be happy with that, but I'd go further given the opportunity.

Thirteen readers (about eleven percent) would want to try on the whole outfit ~ shoes and veil and accessories.  And adding these two categories together gives us more ladies than the ones with no interest.

Then there's the full wedding day preparations: makeover, hair styled, get the gown and everything perfect... just stop short of an actual wedding.  That's probably where I'd stop.  And I'd probably regret missing the opportunity to go further.  About an equal number of you would like to try on the full outfit as would like to do the full prep.

And now it gets interesting.

The following options are paired.  How much further would you want to go?  And would you want to go with a male groom or a female groom?

Keep in mind what the bride does at a wedding.  At the ceremony, she kisses the groom, at least once.  At the reception they will dance, kiss, cut the cake together, enter together....  And next up is the wedding night.

Even though I am admittedly straight, I can see the attraction of having a male groom: authenticity.  Consider it a role you're playing while all around are being real.  I could be sold on that, at least through the ceremony.  Maybe through the reception.  Not through the wedding night/honeymoon.

But I'd love to go on with a female "groom."  If it was someone I'd marry with normal roles, that would be even better.  I'm not much of a role player, and I don't like to be the centre of attention, but I'd go as far as the ceremony.  I might do the reception, but that might be too far for me.  And as for wedding night....  It would have to be with the woman I married, or would marry, or married that afternoon.  I'm just old-fashioned that way.

About forty percent of readers who'd like to at least put on a dress would like to go through with the wedding, with a female groom.  Seven would just do the ceremony, another five would do the reception as well, and 36 would like to consummate the marriage.

The male groom results are surprising.  Only one of you would want to walk down the aisle with a male groom.  Only one would want to go through the reception with a male groom.  But 39 more (a total of about 34 percent) would do the whole nine yards with a male groom!  If male was the only groom option, I'd be in the tiniest of minorities!

I'm not even going to guess at the reasons.  The problem with that gay/straight spectrum is, as we know, it doesn't really exist.  And when you through trans into the mix, it gets fuzzier.  Earlier polls revealed those of us who are "clothes straight" for example ~ we love women when in drab, we love men when in drag.  It could be I have more traditional gay readers than I thought.  It could be an experience thing ~ how far can I go in taking the female role?

If any of you would like to share your thoughts, I'd love to hear them.

Next up: I'll tone down the experience a bit.  And again, if anyone has a poll idea, or a female experience idea, please pass it on in comments or e-mail.

A quick summary: 11% no interest in wedding dresses At All.  22% say it's all about the dress.  36% want the wedding (or more) experience with a woman in a tux.  The final 31% want the full experience with a male partner.  What a diverse group you are!

Finally, let's look at the raw results. 

I have no interest in weddings or wedding dresses
  15 (11%)
I'd wear the dress
  3 (2%)
I'd wear the dress, shoes, etc.
  13 (9%)
I'd do the wedding day prep
  14 (10%)
I'd like the wedding ceremony with a female groom
  7 (5%)
I'd like the wedding ceremony with a male groom
  1 (0%)
Ceremony and reception with a female groom
  5 (3%)
Ceremony and reception with a male groom
  1 (0%)
Ceremony, reception, and wedding night with a female groom
  36 (26%)
Ceremony, reception, and wedding night with a male groom
  39 (29%)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Look! A Fire!

I've been sitting on this for over a month now.

In Sedan, Minnesota, there was a St Patrick's Day fundraiser which involved firefighters looking their prettiest for the onlookers.  Then a nearby vehicle caught fire and they went into action.  In my browser, I had to click on the blank space where the second video belonged to get it to appear at all.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sometimes, Bigger Is Better

(to my helpful anonymous adviser: most thinking people know anonymous advice is worth less than the vice presidency [reference John Nance Garner].  But thanks anyway.)

First, look at panel one of tomorrow's on-line Sherman's Lagoon.

Oddly enough, if I pulled that, it would be my last panel, so to speak.

But context is queen:

Click to enlarge as usual

Friday, May 4, 2012

Opportunity Lost

First, please go back to Friday's post and then take the poll to the right.  Today is the last day of the poll.

Today is also my last day at my current job.

I was filling out required forms for my next job.  The first form (there are over a dozen) was Personal Information.  The first item was Prefix.  It's not mandatory and showing in the pull down list was Select....

I pulled down the list to see:

I thought about it way too long and eventually left it unfilled.  Seriously, it's just a way I like to be addressed.  It's not legally binding or part of my name or anything.  If a married woman can choose Ms or Mrs, and a PhD can choose Dr or another title, why can't I choose Miss?  I mean, other than the obvious fact that I'm married.  For the record, United Airlines lists me as Dr.  Just because I felt like checking that box.  The local public radio station mail comes to Ms {my male name}.

Further down the list was the EEO form, which wants to know my gender (male or female) and ethnicity.  I left that blank as well, although given the choice, I would identify with the female gender.  If I had freedom to dress as I choose, I would not go 24/7 but I'd either be part male/part female or all female.  Even now, some days I'm in all female clothing, although appearing male.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Therapy the Seventh

First, please go back to Friday's post and then take the poll to the right.  Honestly, I keep changing my mind about what I'd want to do.

Things are happening both within and between sessions.

Story time:
When my first son was a few months old, my wife went back to work.  We "tag teamed" ~ I'd come home, we'd have dinner, she'd go to work.  She'd be gone three or more hours.

I'd hold a screaming baby the entire time.  That was my evening.

I sang, I danced him around, we went for walks (pushes) if the weather was good but he spent his time screaming.  He didn't want dad.  He wanted food.  Dad didn't have any food he wanted.

I held him, he screamed.  (note: our relationship has improved since then.)  My wife would come home, pull out the milk containers she conveniently carried around at all times and he would be happy again.

In hindsight, I see that there were two possible scenarios:
* I could hold a screaming baby whilst trying to calm him down (impossible until he discovered solid food). 
The result: two unhappy people.

* I could put down the screaming baby and do something else, like enjoy life. 
The result: one unhappy person.

There could not be a "two happy people" outcome.  But I never thought of putting him down.  I never had time to think about a solution.  All I had time to do was get screamed at.

Right now, my wife and I have nice chats with my (younger, still at home) son.  He's old enough and smart enough and wise-guy enough to be enjoyable.

Then he leaves the room, and my wife steers the conversation to relationship.  We no longer actually talk; I feel like when he walks out of the room I'm left with the screaming baby.  I can't think, I can't figure out what's wrong and what's right and how to get from wrong to right.  All I get is pummeled with new information, new problems, new issues.

There's no literal screaming, but I'm being screamed at ~ no thinking time.

Last Saturday, my wife suggested she should move out, get an apartment near the kid's school, and leave me in the house.  We have two different ideas though, as came out in therapy: she thinks separating equals end.  I think separating equals time without the screaming baby so I can THINK.

There are two problems though, and if she leaves me in the house only one is solved.  There's still the elephant in the room ~ my dressing.

Even if I'm left alone, I can't dress.  My college son comes and goes as he pleases.  Every time I go out, there's a risk neighbors will see me.  They can't miss my car.  I told my wife if I'm going to stay in the house alone I have to tell my oldest son about Meg.  I don't want him dropping by to what's still his house and getting a surprise.

A better solution would be for me to find an apartment right across from my new job.  There are townhomes and apartment buildings a short walk from the offices.  I can tell or not tell neighbors ~ she's out of the loop so she won't be embarrassed.  I can keep everything contained in one bedroom so when the boy(s) are over they don't see evidence of Meg.

She sees this not as an opportunity to see if I can get back what's been lost, but as an opportunity for her to not have to drive so far to bring our son to school.

I want to work on the relationship, but I don't have time or space.

I don't think things are ending.  I do think things are changing.

Half a solution is no solution.  I think I have the right answer, but I'm not sure she understands that half a solution isn't going to help.

I'm worried about the future.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I'll Help With The Testing!

First, please go back to Friday's post and then take the poll to the right.  Time's almost up!

My Supersize Me post inspired a reader to share a story.

He wrote about when he took a Mechanical Engineering class, many years ago.  We'll just say his college days go back a few years but probably not as far as mine (class of 1891).  It was in a day when an engineering class was male-dominated, and often male-exclusive.  The professor was trying to explain design tolerances.
This is the lecture, as he remembers it:

I will assume you gentlemen can visualize a ladies brassiere, a device to provide support for the cantilevered portion of a woman's body.  It is held in place mainly by the elasticity of the rubber in the horizontal section.  One edge has a series of metal hooks spaced along the edge.  The opposite end has corresponding columns of metal loops into which the hooks mate.  There are three or four columns of loops.  Each column is spaced about one inch further from the row of loops along the edge.
When the brassiere is new and the elastic is fresh and firm, the design is for the lady to hook into the loops closest to the edge. As the brassiere ages and the rubber loses it's elasticity the lady [ahem] will move the connection to next inward column of loops until the innermost column of loops can no longer obtain the needed tension for support.  At that time the brassiere is worn out and should be replaced.  If properly designed, and used as designed the entire brassiere should be ready for replacement at that time.

Worn out brassieres?  One of the paradoxes of the closet is, clothes get worn out without ever getting worn out. :)


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Don't Quit Your Day Job!

First, please go back to Friday's post and then take the poll to the right.  And thank you to all who responded.  This is really interesting to me!

So I tossed a grenade last Thursday and just left it hanging there.

My position over the past year has morphed.  Yes, it's only been a year.

I joined as chief engineer in what was the final year of a project.  There sounded like enough work that I could make an impact (let's face it ~ there's not a lot to engineer when a project is winding down).

There was also a successor project that was ramping up.  Let's call them Thing 1 (my project) and Thing 2 (the next project).  A few months later, the chief architect left Thing 2 and my manager moved to Thing 2 to take that position and I was moved to de facto technical project manager.  That meant some more paperwork, some more meetings, but still a position where I provide technical direction.

During my last Meg trip to Arizona management announced that the government wanted to stop Thing 1 and go full speed ahead on Thing 2.  I was given a choice of where to go ~ there was more work to do on Thing 1, but with reduced staff and scope; on Thing 2 I would fit in somewhere but they already had a chief engineer.  I opted for Thing 2 since I wasn't sure how long Thing 1 would be supported and they had a senior person who wanted to step into my role.

Bad choice, but the only logical one.

We've all got a mission in life; 
We get into different ruts.  
Some are the cogs on the wheels;  
Others are just plain nuts.

I'm no longer a cog.  Now just one of the nuts.  It looks like I have something lined up with another company, another project, another Government contract.

I'll be doing development, but I'll be doing solo projects.  That's not as good as being in a position where I can leverage what I know and what I do, but it's higher profile, quick turnaround, hopefully more fun.

It looks like there are only a couple of developers and a bunch of intelligence analysts.  I know a lot about intelligence analysis ~ enough to know that their jobs are secure if I'm the competition.  The first blog year, I was working with intel analysts pretty much exclusively.

There's zero travel in this new position, so Meg needs some new outlets.  I'm open to suggestions.

A Little T-Content

I had one interview for this position.  I wore my charm bracelet (although I thought about skipping it), lip gloss, and tights under my suit.  My hands and arms were clean ~ no body hair showing.  I wore Aerosole shoes.

I need to figure out how much Meg will be present in this job.  Certainly the bracelet and socks/tights will continue.  I may make an effort to show no body hair from day one.  I will have a little time between jobs; perhaps I will get my brows trimmed and try to keep them neat and on the femme side.  Maybe I can keep my nails buffed, now that they've grown back after the gel nail fiasco.  If I can find a good brown mascara that won't flake, I may consider adding that.  I don't have a lot of time to decide though.

I do want to start off on the right heel.