Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Very Special Weekend, Part II

Friday morning, I had hoped to get up and out early but we were enjoying each other's company and it was later than I hoped when we were done with breakfast and ready to get ready.  Aeify is a lot of fun to be around.

Flashback: A couple of weeks earlier, Aeify sent me a picture from a shop.  She wanted a new dress or two for DC and was trying them on and sending photos.  One was a long sleeveless purple dress which was nice.  Another was a short sleeved green dress, just below knee length, which I really liked.  I texted back my approval and "I wear a 12."

AND we're both Gemini!
She showed up with two identical dresses, one for her and one for Meg.  She asked if I really wanted to wear the same dress and I said "why not?  People will just think I'm your mother" and we haven't outgrown the mother-and-daughter look.

After Aeify did my makeup (she's much better than me, in case anyone had any doubt) we took a couple of pictures and left for DC.

One other makeup note: Aeify surprised me by filling in my lips with the lipliner pencil.  I thought it was called lip LINER because you drew a line.  She said that the lipstick stays on better if you fill in with the pencil first.  I'm always happy to learn a new trick!

Before arriving, Aeify asked if we could see Batman on opening day.  I didn't even know it was opening that Friday but I said sure, and started looking for theatres.  It turns out it was in a couple of Smithsonian IMAX theatres and mostly sold out, but I did manage to get us tickets to the 4pm show at the Air and Space museum.  Air and Space had the first IMAX in the DC area, and it's where I saw a little 20 or so minute film called "To Fly" ~ it was incredible, but I had never seen a popular film on IMAX before.  The American History museum has a larger screen, but it was completely sold out.

We drove to Ballston Commons Mall, probably the easiest nearby place to park and get on the metro, and I found out quickly that the identical dresses were going to get some attention.  As we sat down and turned to look at the map I heard someone from across the car say "are you two twins?"  Aeify didn't hear this, but I mentioned it to her and ignored the asker as if I didn't hear him either.

I decided this was going to be an experiment ~ are people going to react to me (us) more today because we're "twins" or about the same as during the rest of the weekend?

We got off at the Smithsonian exit and walked across the mall to American History.  First we headed to the "first ladies' gowns" exhibit and discussed which we liked and which we didn't and why.  In the past, I pretty much ignored this exhibit, but with Aeify it seemed irresistible.  We wandered the museum and we definitely got more attention than I usually do when I'm out dressed alone.  There were some comments (all positive, all aimed at the "twins") and lots of smiles.  At first I was kind of self-conscious, but I started to enjoy it and relax.  Actually, it was all relaxing.  I slept fine the night before ~ no pre-outing jitters keeping me up ~ and was calm and relaxed all through the getting ready rituals: shower, shave, makeup....  Maybe it was because I knew I'd have company (although that could have been a reason to be MORE anxious) or because I was out a couple of times recently or maybe this is a new phase in Meg's life or, well, something else I don't understand yet.  But I don't remember being anxious or nervous or excited or ANYTHING except calm and ready to go out as "girlfriends."  Even taking that first step out the door ~ I didn't look up and down the street to see if someone's watching me walk out as I usually do.

With 90 minutes or so to go until the movie we walked across the mall to Air and Space.  Aeify stopped to eat (I wasn't hungry) and we got on an amazingly long line which just got longer and longer, snaking through the museum.  Waiting was OK.  I enjoyed just spending time with Aeify as much as doing something.  She's a wonderful lady, and I can only hope she found me as interesting as I found her.  And, of course, it is an incredible feeling to be out and about and treated as a girlfriend.  I do admit, some habits die hard.  Remembering to replace, let's call it chivalry, with common courtesy.  So if I'm at a door first, I'll keep it open for the lady behind me, but not stand aside and let her through first.  But I really want to stand aside!

After Batman, we headed back to the metro and had dinner at the food court at the mall. 

The only "I shouldn't" moment I had was at the museum ~ there was a line at the ladies' room and I didn't want to stand in line.  We went to a different one where open stalls were rare but findable.  And I learned some bad words to say about women who "hover."  I mean, come on!  At least clean up after yourselves!

And I want to say that I used the ladies' both before and after the movie.  I generally don't expect to go three hours with a bathroom break.  The rooms were crowded both times and were not a problem at all.  I'm getting more comfortable going into a room where ladies do not expect men.  I didn't stand around though ~ into a stall, washed my hands and OUT.  It's becoming more natural but I must admit ~ I need to retrain my body a bit.  When I sit, no matter what I want to do, my body says "time for number two, right?" and I have to fight that urge.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Very Special Weekend, Part I

Aeify came to visit.  She's looking to move out of Memphis, and I was honoured with the possibility that she'd consider my area for her future home.

I know it was probably a bad idea, but we agreed she could stay in "my" house.  For my housesitting gig, I'm barricaded in the basement and it is a big enough house ~ four more bedrooms and two baths upstairs.  If we wanted, it could be a bed-and-breakfast setup, where the only time we'd meet would be in the kitchen, and the only reason I'd know she was here was I'd have some sheets/towels to wash.

But we've been corresponding a bit and so I took off Friday (she arrived late Thursday) and we spent quite a bit of time doing tourist (and Meg) things Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

I think I now understand there's a difference between acceptance and Acceptance.  My wife accepts.  She doesn't approve, but she accepts.  Aeify Accepts.  I decided to greet her in a top and skirt ~ I didn't tell her that's how I'd be dressed.  I just did it.  I also decided to put on a little eye makeup ~ mascara and liner.  She came in and we said hello and she never mentioned my outfit, never acted as if anything was unusual or unexpected....  Not even a giggle.  Most women (my wife included) would have said something to the effect of "what's this about?"

It was like that for the weekend.  She was nice enough to help me with my makeup, but didn't care if I was dressed to kill (or at least blind) or if I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

We spent a little time chatting after she arrived but, as I said, it was late and I had a lot planned for the weekend.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Just Being Random

These all showed up a few days apart and made me laugh.  So I'm sharing.  I'm also using that line from Shoe.  Shoe is a strip that was always fun but remained fun even after the original artist died.  That's unusual.  Loose Parts, Rubes, and Ink Pen have appeared here before.

Please scroll down.  There's a surprise at the end: a picture of Aeify and Meg.  Can you tell us apart?

Aeify and Meg

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mine's As Funny As The Original

Which isn't saying much.

Does anyone remember the original Dennis the Menace?  I mean, before he was watered down for a more popular audience.  In the beginning he definitely was a menace.  You can google some old cartoons and you can see when he changed....  There's a clear clue.  When he was a mean little kid his eyebrows slanted down towards his nose.  Then the brows became less sinister and so did he.  And less funny.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sneak Preview

A couple of days ago, I was:

- e-mailing Rachel about getting together. 
- planning a repeat visit to the UU church this Sunday.
- looking into going to a TGEA meeting next weekend.
- considering joining a local T group for their big 3rd anniversary party.
- prowling meetup for an event Meg might enjoy.
- talking with another friend or two about going out together.

No more.  The homeowner e-mailed me.  He's flying back on Tuesday, but his daughter will be staying at the house starting tomorrow.

So I can now print up my plans, look at them, sigh, and stick the paper in a shredder.

I got a lot done during my housesitting gig, but not as much as I wanted.  My eyes always were larger than my stomach, so to speak.

I brought a lot of reading material and barely scratched the surface.  I brought a lot of clothing and am bring back a lot that I haven't tried on yet.  I didn't really figure out how much Meg I want in my life, if I was the only one involved.  Well, maybe I did.  I did not figure out my marriage.  Well, again, maybe I did.

I did a lot.

Meg went to therapy, synagogue, and church.  I let Meg take over the house, and that was nice and I learned I need more discipline or... she'll take over the house.  I learned I need to organise her makeup and jewelry or I'm as much of a mess as always when it's time to go out.  I like Stana's tackle box idea for makeup and I was thinking of a multi-draw cabinet or several boxes for jewelry so I can separate and sort necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets by gold, silver, other.  Right now, it's baggies for both.

Maybe I did figure out how much Meg I need at home.  I occasionally changed into a top and skirt when home, but not often.  Maybe that's right, for me.  I enjoyed trying on outfits to see what to keep and what to toss, and learned it becomes a chore after, say, a dozen changes.  But it's a trade-off, because there's the overhead of putting on/taking off the undergarments.

Maybe I did figure out my marriage....  As it stands now, it's not good, and I think the current crisis was caused as much by the direction my wife is now taking as it is by me.  And it all feels bad.

And last weekend Aeify visited.  I learned what it's like to have someone accepting, truly accepting, with me.  It was a girl experience I would love to repeat.  Short version: we went to DC to sightsee, to see the opening day Batman in IMAX, to a clothing swap, to Old Town Alexandria.  I was the happiest I have been in years, and that goes back to what precipitated my "alone time."  And I am still reconciling that weekend with my life, marriage, and future.  And I couldn't be more confused if I was Gregor Samsa (feel free to look it up).

But my weekend story is for next week.  However if you follow that link for Aeify, you'll find her version of events. ;)

(a private note to my late father: Happy birthday, dad.  I miss you.)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Answers Questioned

No therapy post.  I just don't know what to say anymore.  My individual therapy is tomorrow and I think there will be an update on that Monday.

Meg has been out a bit and I haven't written about it yet: I saw the new Batman movie, went to another clothing swap, wandered the museums of DC as well as the shops of Old Town Alexandria.  I'm organising my posts and I'll be writing soon.  A preview of my museum/Batman outfit appears here, but there's much more to this than a field trip to DC!

Today I'd like to address a couple of recent comments.

A week or so ago, Dani asked me how I weather the, um, weather.  It has been hot, in case anyone didn't notice, and dressing is definitely better in cool weather than warm.  Dani wrote:

Since I know the heat and humidity in DC is, if anything, worse than here in Philly, how do you deal with it when dressed?

She noticed I have switched to bare legs to help keep me cool, but wanted to know more about the layers dressing requires.

First of all, I'd rather wear hose.  I have a variety of flaws ~ spider veins is the biggie ~ which I'd rather hide.  But virtually no-one wears hose in the summer in this town.  I could go with a coloured tight as a fashion statement but any sort of leg covering in the summer here will attract extra attention.  But the real reason for the bare legs is, I had my toenails painted and I want to show them off.  I have many more closed-toed shoes than open but I'm rotating among my (three) open-toed sandals just because my toenails are pretty.

Yes, I'm that shallow.

Meg has not been out for very many years.  I used to consider Meg to be available when the temperature was above 50 or so (10C) since I don't own a coat.  I had a couple that I picked up via thrift shop or freecycle, but they take a lot of my limited closet space so I passed them on to someone else.  I also considered 80 an absolute upper limit for comfort: forms sweat, a wig is hot, makeup is heavy, and I usually have some form of shapewear underneath ~ most often, a waist cinch which is tight and heavy.  But I've also worn a cinch and shaping camisole, or at least a camisole to cover up the boning in the cinch.  I also like slips and often wear one... one more layer.

If you go back to the very beginning of my blog, I was ready to abort my airline travel if it was too warm.  It was really at the limit I had set.  I still don't know if I would have gone if the temperature would have been higher.  I now think I'll fly again, but on that day I truly considered this a once-in-a-lifetime event.  Cancelling would have been depressing.

And I was warm, but not horribly so.  I was OK, but I was also indoors a lot of the time.  And that kind of set the scene for my future outings.  Since then, I was out in Las Vegas when it was well over 100.  And that day when I had the flat tire it was around 100, if I recall correctly.

I'm glad I don't limit myself any more.

By the way, Stana used to be "put away" for the summer.  Not any more, and I believe her rationale was, other women don't lock themselves indoors during the summer so why should she?  I say, you go girl!

And for the dress in the picture, I skipped the shapewear completely.  The cami is because it's a tad plungy for me.  And I did the same for my "clothing swap" dress.  It seems a high waist helps.  I did not know that.

Karen also wrote and scolded me for sounding like a "cub reporter" and giving the who, what, where, when, and why of my weekend out and ignoring feelings and my personal reactions.  I frantically updated Wednesday's and Thursday's (UU church) posts per her suggestions.  I'm still not very good at writing the feelings behind my dressing, but I'll try to pay attention and improve.

I'd like to add a general "feelings" comment: before going out, I am anxious.  I don't lose as much sleep as I used to.  Once I start getting dressed, I get very calm and that usually persists until I get home.

I also was more anxious Wednesday (before Meg's therapy appointment); the calm that engulfed me while showering sort of persevered and kept me feeling good for the next outing; the new calm from Friday lasted through Sunday.

All of that said, I keep doing new things, stepping out of my comfort zone, and I can't tell if I'm nervous because I'm in unfamiliar territory, or if it's because I'm Meg in unfamiliar territory.

While getting dressed Sunday for church I suddenly got a little anxious.  I attributed that to going to church by myself for the first time ever in my life.  I was not particularly nervous going to synagogue Friday ~ it was new, but I knew what to expect there.  The therapist's office had the element of surprise (for her), which is, as I have said, a bad idea.  But I was fine.

When I got to church, they wanted me to sign a mailing list thing ~ I declined.  I also did not take a welcome packet.  I said "I'd rather look on the internet for the information than waste paper."  I did fill in a name tag and was suddenly shaky because my handwriting is horrible, for a female.  Using a sharpie on a name tag did NOT make it better.  I scribbled "Meg Winters" ~ it was barely readable ~ and I took it off during the service.  But other things, though outside my little closet, were expected and OK.  I expected to be greeted, to talk to someone about joining, and so on.

Like makeup, going out and interacting takes practice before you can do it without screwing up.  Or at least screwing up too badly.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Little Oopsie

I think the "bug out" I wrote about was a little warning from my Muse to me.  I was thinking of ordering a couple of Meg items while I was there ~ I'd order from Amazon or Zappos, places that I know do not follow up with snail mail catalogues and such, and, if they did, it would be innocuous.  But if I have to run away for a couple of days, and that's when the package arrives....  I don't make any assumption of privacy.  That comes from the kind of companies I work for.

I'd hate to come back to the house and find an open box with, say, my new corset or platform pumps sitting out.  I do need to hide less, but I don't need to be stupid about it.

(I was going to label this "Danger Will Robinson" but I have the nagging feeling I've done that before.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Moving Out/Moving In

As I mentioned, I had to move Meg out of the house and back in again.  I was out for two nights right before Meg's first outing of the summer.

Originally, there were 22 boxes and bags, including my male stuff which of course could stay in the house while I was out.  If anyone poked around they'd find shirts, pants, non-standard socks, and, oddly, no underwear.

I had to move nine boxes and thirteen bags out of the house.  I left some stuff at my house: I picked up some stockings and a garter belt on freecycle; I left that at home.  As much as I enjoy them and want to try them, I have more "must" stuff than "want" stuff.  I do have a goal!

The reason I still had 22 packages was I had sorted things, so I had, for instance, a bag of tops and a box of skirts to replace the larger box of stuff.  The dresses moved into two bags.  Some packages stayed home.

I brought in my tops and skirts that I have tried and left most at home.  I kept a few that I really like, on the assumption I'll be going out in them during the next few weeks.

I left my now HUGE swap bag at home.  I think, by swap day, I'll have enough other items that even if I don't pick that up to swap I'll have plenty to share.

I also decided to leave all of the shoes I've tried on and want to keep (about ten pair) except for the two pair I planned to wear that week.

At the last minute, I decided to leave dresses I've logged (except for a few that I really want to wear ~ the ones that are nice enough or too heavy for summer, for instance, can stay home.  Then I changed my mind again.  The dresses I tried on were the "A" dresses ~ ones I'd pick first to wear out.  I need to try on and perhaps swap those "B" dresses.

I also left a bag with makeup stuff I won't need (fake nails and such) and my old wigs at home.  I do want to try on wigs and get rid of what isn't Meg, but I can bring those another day.

So I'm down to "only" seven boxes and six bags.  I wonder what the neighbors think of this moving in and out dance?

Actually, I'm only mildly in "I care" mode about neighbors ~ in addition to picking up the newspaper in sandals every morning, I was doing yardwork in shorts and sandals the day of my move ~ the shorts were kind of obviously women's shorts (do any men's shorts have cuffs?) and my bright red toenails were on display for all.  No-one came by though.  I guess 100 degree temperatures discourage all but the most diehard walkers.

If anyone came down to the basement while I was at work last Wednesday, they'd know something was up.  Even without opening a box they could look on the bed and see a wig, forms, jewelry.  Makeup is out in the bathroom.  A hanger has not only my dress but my bra, cinch, slip, and panties hanging from it.

I've been very anxious for a number of reasons: work, marriage, Meg.  Some of Meg is caused by the hiding.  I think I learned a lesson while I was breaking my back moving items.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Back In The Closet

By Saturday, July 7, Meg had pretty much taken over the house.

An upstairs bedroom had a table.  Her makeup was on the table, ready for a dry run before going out.  Tops and skirts to try on, as well as a dozen or so dresses, were hanging in that closet.  She put aside looking at tops and skirts so she could find a dress for Wednesday and Friday, when she'd be out.

The basement had the rest of her stuff: a drawer full of panties, more clothes in the closet including a copious number of camisoles waiting to be tried on.

And so on.

I was definitely enjoying this freedom, which definitely improved my overall mood and outlook on life.

Then the homeowner called.  His college-age daughter would be staying Sunday and Monday.  "You can stay, of course," he said.  "No I can't," I said.

So Sunday morning involved rapid fire dress and shoe try-ons, followed by The Packing of Meg.

Some stuff made a one-way trip.  Skirts and tops I like mostly stayed at the house.  I don't need 25 or more of each ~ I'm not going out that much, and I have more that I haven't reviewed yet.  I brought back five skirts and two tops.  I don't know why I didn't leave more dresses, but maybe I'm more hopeful that I can get out more.  I'm more likely to wear a dress than an outfit.  I just love them more.

Most items stayed in the car.  And now I'm back in the drawers/closets/etc and I did get out last week, so it wasn't horrible.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

We've All Been Through This

But usually it's a self-inflicted injury and we get over it.  From Cornered.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Notes from the Field

I kind of kept my eye on the clock Sunday morning as I was getting ready for church.

It took about 35 minutes to shower and shave ~ shave everywhere.  I was pretty clean-shaven but I still had to go over everything... everything since I didn't know how short my sleeves or skirt would be yet.

Drying and moisturising and contacts took another ten or so.

It took about 40 minutes to do my makeup, but that's not a fair test: I royally messed up my eyeliner and had to do it over.  Then I realised I had done my liner before my primer.  I use an Urban Decay eye primer which is opaque and it covered my eyeliner a bit so I did it AGAIN.

Taking everything off, including taking a shower, took about 15 minutes.

My first thought was, I'm taking a lot of time to create and dismantle Meg but my second thought was, I have to spend a lot more time as Meg once I'm dressed so the time dressing is small in comparison.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Spiritual Meg, Part IV

I know this is Therapy Thursday.  If anything interesting happened in therapy, it'll appear tomorrow.  I wanted to do this as a consecutive set.

I walked in and the couple in front of me greeted the greeter.  I guess they were not newcomers.  The greeter introduced himself to me and I did the same.  I saw a "welcome" table so I went over to that.  It was (wo)manned by two church members who very enthusiastically wanted me to sign to get on their mailing list, or at least get a name tag.  I did the latter.

I was a bit nervous as I put my name on the tag.  It was hard to write with the sharpie in any event; my name came out shaky and not at all ladylike.  I wasn't sure if my reaction was due to the fact that I was Meg or that I was at church.  By myself.  I have been to a variety of churches, always in the company of someone who knew what to expect.  I had no idea what to expect.  But if I didn't pass, no-one gave the slightest hint.  I do believe I was the only t-girl in the place.  I do not believe I was the first.  To jump ahead a bit, the reverend, from the pulpit, recited a litany that sounded like it came from an equal employment handbook: "sex, race, colour, sexual identity" or some variation.  She did include "gender identity" at least once, and she mentioned "gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender" more than once.  She did not look at me when she did so.

I did not chat, as it was time to go in.  I did thank them and ask where the sanctuary was.  I found a seat about half-way up the aisle where I came in.  There were two other women sitting further down the row.  I sat on the end.  I was calm then ~ I was Meg and I was going to have a new experience.

Near the start of the service we were offered the opportunity to introduce ourselves to someone nearby whom we did not already know.  I met the woman next to me, the gentleman in front of me, and the two women and young girl behind me.  The girl looked surprised ~ I'm guessing most adults ignore the children and that was the reason for the look. ;)  I did not hear her whispering to her mother "mom, did you see that?" or anything along those lines.  I also did not say "what the heck are you staring at, shorty?"

There were about 160 people there, of all ages.  I could hear a baby crying during part of the service.  I saw some (not many) pre-teen children, but there was also a separate something going on for children.  There were young couples and elderly parishioners.  Most were underdressed ~ compared to me.  I don't recall seeing any men in suits.  I did see some skirts and dresses, but also shorts and jeans.

I was a bit disappointed by the sermon.  I was hoping to hear more about the premise (mentioned yesterday) but she digressed into a discussion about how community is paramount, and what she considered the difference between individuality (good) and individualism (bad).

I wanted to tell the reverend what brought me in ~ it was kind of odd, how I was brought in but there was a long line waiting to speak to her and I did not wish to wait.  I was going to grab a cup of coffee at the snack following but I did not do that either.

I did enjoy myself.  I did have another foray out as Meg.  And everyone treated her just as she'd like to be treated.  I hope I returned the favour and gave a positive impression of our community to those who noticed (ie, everyone).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Spiritual Meg, Part III

Ready for church
I was surprised too.  I didn't expect to go out again that soon.

A little background is in order.

Saturday, I went for a walk (in drab ~ I just wanted some exercise).  I walked toward a nearby shopping centre to see what they had.  Walking took about ten minutes.  I wandered around there for a short while (it was hot) and then headed back.  On the way I saw a sign for a Unitarian Universalist church, very close by.

I've been a bit curious about UU and when I got back to the house I looked at their website.  I found a reference to Sunday's service:

“Moving Beyond the Isolated Self.” Shakespeare gave the advice “This above all: to thine own self be true.”  Discovery of self is an important part of being fully human, and imperative for interacting in the world.  How do we know ourselves, and be true to ourselves, in relationship with others different from us?  That is the religious question for the 21st century.

The psychology bit that's stuck in my brain right now is my wife's comment ("how can you love someone when you don't love yourself") and my response ("how can I love myself if I can't be myself?") meshed beautifully with that little blurb.

I decided Meg needed to attend the service.

I also decided that, since the website suggested dress anywhere from weekend casual to business casual ("wear what you're comfortable in") I'd go with a top and skirt.

Blouse detail
I spent the next hour or so choosing an outfit.

It took a while just to get to the "finalists."  Since I don't wear dressy tops and skirts often, I had many I had never worn and I wanted to try every one of them!  Some tops were pullover, some button-down (dressier, right?).  I chose sleeve lengths from long to cap (my body hair is still somewhat under control).  Skirts were short, knee length, mid calf.

A female friend helpfully whittled that down to just 20 possible combinations!  Sunday morning, I "modelled" each of the 4 skirts and 5 tops that made up most of her outfit choices, and asked again.  The winner is the picture at the start of this post.  I like the blouse and wanted to share the detail, hence the other picture.

At 9:55 I was ready to go.  Services were at 10, but less than a half-mile away.  I arrived in the parking lot with other worshippers, and followed an elderly couple across the gravel parking lot (they're doing construction) and the long walkway up to the main building.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spiritual Meg, Part II

Bulletin: I had Univision on this morning for a few minutes.  The women who host  Primer Impacto wear the most fabulous dresses, and it's usually followed by a brief promo featuring another nicely dressed woman.

Today, the promo was replaced by a man wearing a long silver earring.  He then pulled the earring off, and some words appeared on the screen.  I caught Soy and Ella and did a little googling and found:

Por Ella Soy Eva  [For her, I am Eva]
A contemporary romantic comedy with a twist. Elena, a successful single mom, falls in love with a macho man named Juan Carlos, but when he tricks her to win a business deal her heart turns cold. To win her back he’ll do anything - and is forced to swallow his pride (and machismo), transforming himself into a woman named Eva.

It started last night and runs every evening at 8 Eastern.  Spanish, anyone?

NOT What I Wore!

I went through the double doors and saw a "Sanctuary" sign with an arrow.  I walked past the office and saw two women standing further down the lobby.  Both smiled and introduced themselves.  I offered my hand and my name.  I asked where the sanctuary was.  One woman pointed and said "it's right through here, but we have a pre-service wine-and-cheese ~ you can go in and meet some members."


You all know me by now.  I really don't want to schmooze.  I looked puzzled (it was 6:35 now) and asked "when do services start?"  And the other woman said "in about two minutes, so you won't have much time to snack."  I tried to look more disappointed than relieved and followed the crowd.

There were probably between 60 and 80 people in there.  It was an older crowd; I saw very few people younger than me.  The rabbi and cantor (they lead the service) were both on holiday so someone else was leading.  I didn't really care.  I sang (softly) the prayers that I knew, read responsively when it was required.  I was in a row to myself.  An older woman sat in front of me and a couple behind me.

Many services start with members greeting those around them.  I was prepared for that.  This one did not.

After the service there is usually wine and bread (ritual stuff) and some food: fruit, cookies, coffee and such.  I went into the room where they had the food, grabbed a small cup of wine and went to look at a board with pictures of the congregation.  I figured I'd stay for the ritual part and then move on.  A woman came up to me and introduced herself.  I returned the greeting.  She asked if I was a member and I admitted to not being one.  She started to pick up literature about the congregation and I told her where I did belong and she desisted.

I tried to keep up the conversation ~ asked her if she was on the membership committee (obvious); asked about the man who led the service.  They did the blessings over wine and bread and I excused myself with "I have not had dinner" and "it was nice to meet you" and "the leader did a wonderful job."  I discarded my cup and had an uneventful drive home.

And I wish I had some pictures at the synagogue, but they have varying rules about pictures and I did not want to step on a custom.  And that reminds me of a very funny joke that's too long to include here. :D

Two Meg appearances in three days.  W00T!

 Oh...  I ignored this dress before going.  I wish I wore it instead of the wrap.  The wrap looked good but this one is HOT.

Hey...  Did I say "two Meg in three days?"  It turns out it was three Megs in five days! ... continued ...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Spiritual Meg, Part I

Friday night, I planned to go to a local synagogue.  I deliberately planned to not go to my synagogue.  I know a lot of people there and I don't want to encourage gossip.  And, although we are a fairly liberal congregation, a lot of the people I know are older and maybe not so open to seeing the guy who fixes their computers in a dress.  I think most people wouldn't recognise me, but all it takes is one.  And they may recognise my voice, no matter how Meg I make it, it still has that New York nasal undertone.

I was going to go to a synagogue in Burke.  At least one reader attends there, and I used to be a member until maybe fifteen years ago.  Then I checked the map ~ it would take almost 40 minutes to get there.  The services started at 8, which was OK.  Many reform synagogues switch to a "summer schedule" and have services earlier during the summer months.  More conservative synagogues match service time to sunset.

I knew there was at least one reform synagogue closer to me.  A quick google found it.  They have services at 6:30 during the summer.  I know they're a smaller congregation.  I knew I could get out of work early.  I looked at my options.

430-530: dinner time
530-730: get Meg ready
730-800: drive to synagogue, probably be a few minutes late

415-615: get Meg ready
615-630: drive to synagogue
830 or so: home, dinner

I went for the latter.
Meg before synagogue

I could be home from work in plenty of time.  I had already picked out a dress and undergarments and had a plan.  I decided to stop on my way home at Burlington to see if I could find some new jewelry (yes) and to look at some dresses (no).  I picked up some groceries next door and went home.

I showered, shaved close everywhere, and was way ahead of schedule.  I considered making dinner before I went, but I wasn't really hungry yet.

I put on my dress and... I didn't love it as much as I thought I did.  I tried on a few different dresses and finally decided on the one pictured here.  It's navy, wrap style but not a wrap dress.  The deep V required a cami; I wore a black shaping camisole which looked pretty nice.  But when I was done, everything was different from what I originally put aside!  (A female friend said "that's a very girl thing to do".)

I went outside ~ again, no-one was there ~ and had an uneventful drive to the synagogue.  I easily found parking and walked in, just a couple of minutes late.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


These were my laughs for the week.  Strange Brew and The Knight Life.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

This Could Be A Problem

I'm running late, but here's a "cd-ish" cartoon.  So which room should we use?

"Buzzy?"  Really?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Meg Is Going OUT

In her shortest sleeves ever

Therapy the Meg

Friday the thirteenth falls on a Friday this month!  And happy semi-anniversary to a special friend.

Long long post.  It should be two.  I hope it's worthy of your time.

I started my "Meg" session by pointing out that I know two factual things: Surprise (like Meg showing up for an appointment) is a bad idea.  Also, surprise is fun.  And I opted for fun.

I asked her about my entrance, and what she thought.  I have mentioned before that, if I could have a "superpower" it would be to read the minds of people when they first see me.  I can't generally get an honest response, and I'd love to know what people think of Meg.  Ugh?  Wow?  Guy?  *yawn*?

I told this to the therapist.  She said she thought I was another doctor's patient until I spoke to her.  Then she recognised me from my photos.  This, of course, is foreign behaviour to me.  I'd never be able to identify someone from a picture I'd seen three weeks ago!

I talked about something that does trouble me a bit.  I have thought about how I see myself in five and ten years.  I believe most people would see a progression: moving up the ladder in five, running the department in ten; or downsizing in five and retiring and travelling in ten... something like that.

My career is stable.  I expect to be working in ten years, doing what I'm doing now for some project or another.  My home is a black hole: in five years, I'll be an empty nester, but my marriage is a house with a shaky foundation and I don't know if it's going to get shored up or fall down.  It is, to me, an unknown.

But Meg....  I hope to be doing more things, have more experiences ~ greet the five year mark with more memories and more ideas as to what I want to do.  Maybe I'll even find a regular Meg activity that I enjoy that I'll do weekly or monthly.

In ten years though....  Meg will be 68.  I don't think Meg will be around in ten years.  Although I think Meg looks somewhat younger than I do (and the therapist agreed but didn't attempt to put a number on it), I don't see myself as an elderly woman.  If I didn't enjoy seeing Meg in the mirror, I wouldn't do the dressing.  I think.  But I do, and I don't think I want to see an old woman looking back at me.

Maybe ten years is an underestimate.  I hope so.  Or I may be wrong.  I've noticed as I grow older, older women are more attractive to me.  I do appreciate younger women as I did before, and I can easily imagine myself with someone, say, 21 years younger than me (yes, I border on the delusional).  But I see more women well over 40 who I think look GREAT, especially those who dress GREAT.  I admit I notice clothes before the wearer.

So maybe a 68 year old Meg will look 50 or so and I'll keep going.  The 5/10 years is just a "look in the future" after all.  It's no more an exact number than "forty" was in biblical stories (mostly it meant "a lot").

I know women live with growing older and losing their looks daily.  But it's a gradual thing, and that's easier to understand and live with.  I miss my hair, but it would have been worse if I woke up one morning with a bald pate.  Gradual was better.

Meg is not continuous.  Meg is a series of snapshots.  Some of the images are months apart.  I find it a bit scary.

This is all a detailed and roundabout way of saying, it means there's less of a Meg influence in my life now than I might think.  I need to work on this.

I had mentioned to M earlier that a possible future is one without Meg.  She brought this back up and said she can't imagine me being without something that's so big a part of my life.  She also said she couldn't think of a comparable activity that other people get involved in.  I agreed.  I had done the same exercise.

My wife believes this is not a big part of my life.  I have been doing stream-of-consciousness writing and one prompt Thalia offered me was based on something my wife said ~ that I can't love someone else if I don't love myself.  My question to myself was, how can I love myself when I can't even BE myself?  For the record, I need to write more on that one.

I also mentioned that my wife thinks I'm a narcissist, because I mentioned in one of our first couples' sessions that dressing has a "narcissistic component."  I told M that my ego and self-esteem could fit in a medicine dropper.  M said she maybe has a different definition of narcissism ~ someone who only talks about themselves.  I said "well, look at us.  All we ever talk about is me!"  She said "And your wife!" and I said "only how it effects me."

A good point: I said when dressed I look in mirrors a LOT ~ she said "so do women."  I also pointed out that I know exactly one t-gurl who does not have copious photos of herself.  Some who consider themselves non-passing take pictures from the neck down.

I was reminded of an old Gary Shandling bit where he said his new girlfriend was too self-centered.  "Everything is about her.  I took her to dinner and she got too close to the candle on the table and her hair caught fire.  She was all like 'I'M on fire!  Put ME out!'"

Meg in therapy
At the end of the session I reminded M about the "narcissistic component" and asked if she'd take my picture.  She did.  It accompanies this post.  Clicking will enlarge it.

I wanted a photo in the office manager's chair ~ Meg at her new job. :)  But she said there would be people in the office so I didn't ask.  It would look weird.  Even I could see that.

As I left, the people in the office looked, but had no comment.  Since I planned to go out to dinner, I grabbed the ladies' room key and used the facilities before I left.  This was a one-toilet room, no problems.

I saw no-one else as I walked to my car.  I found the local Giant and parked a decent walk away.  I try to leave closer spots for people who need them.  Or are just narcissistic. :)  I then noticed that the restaurant I was looking for was way at the far end of the shopping centre.  So I started walking through the lot, past people who looked at me (I smiled back at the women) or who were lost in their own world.  I walked past a Dress Barn but it was now 7 and I was more interested in eating than shopping.  And I really truly am trying to downsize.  I keep telling myself that.

The restaurant was closed.  I walked back, past that Dress Barn which insisted I need a new dress.  I stood firm and went to my car to get a reuseable grocery bag.  As I walked up the parking lot aisle a football-player-looking man walked towards me.  I had a moment of worry, then looked away, as I usually do with men anyway.  He walked past and I got my bag.

I saw the man in the grocery store.  I HAVE to stop worrying.

There was nothing unusual in the grocery store.  I didn't interact with anyone until the checkout.  I chatted with the cashier who I think almost said sir.  What I heard was "How are you this evening, {pause} ma'am?"  I kept up some chit-chat and she asked if I needed help with my (one!) bag.  I smiled and said "I'm not that old yet" and she laughed.

Back home, as I said, I didn't change until after 11.  And Thursday I slept right through the alarm.  I didn't even hear it.  I was having pleasant dreams and I guess they were loud and drowned out the alarm.

Last night I covered my son and picked up another pair of open-toed shoes.  The wedges were a tad uncomfortable after a couple of hours.  And I have to mark these earrings.  The right one pinched my ear quite a bit.  The pain of a tight clip-on earring is, in my opinion, unique.

I may go out tonight.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Therapy the Sixteenth

First, I don't know if I mentioned this, but the office I'm now in is officially designated as a military installation.  That means access to general websites, including personal mail, is restricted.  So I cannot publish comments until the evening now.  Just sayin'.

Couples' therapy: no t-issues, and somewhat depressing.  Every time I leave, I am more worried and anxious than the time before.

Before therapy
My individual therapy yesterday, however, was interesting.

I got home later than expected but not very late.  My job involves people calling random meetings, usually for late in the day.  So it's hard to plan things like Meg At Five.

I put on my black-and-white dress, some gold jewelry, and got to the office about fifteen minutes early.

The first appointment was earlier and the office manager was there along with another therapist and a couple of clients waiting.  The second was late and the office was empty when I walked in.  My therapist (M) said for late appointments like this, she gets her pick of offices since no-one else is about.

Wednesday, I showed up and saw a father and two young sons leaving.  Inside, the office manager was there, another therapist, a young woman doing her intake paperwork, and a couple sitting at the other end of the waiting room.  No-one paid any attention to me.  I am still never sure if that's good or bad.  I assume it's because no-one notices a woman over a certain age.

My therapist came out, looked at me, and invited the couple into her office.  I was confused.  I thought it very possible that I was mistaken and she wasn't my therapist.  I've mentioned my face blindness.  It rarely fails me.

For some reason, she came back out a minute later (the office was empty at this point) and I went up to her and said "I believe I have a five o'clock appointment with you."  She denied the possibility, said she has a standing appointment with that couple.  She asked if I would wait until 5:45, when they were done.  I pointed out that she was running late and it would be 6, but I'd wait.

If I wasn't dressed, I wouldn't have waited.  During the session, I mentioned this.

But I won't get into that now.  Because I was an hour late, and I'm writing this at 11pm on Wednesday and it's long and getting longer (the post, not just this sentence) and I'm still Meg (yay!), I'll continue Friday.

But it was all good.  Except the wait, but, hey, I was dressed.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Meg Day Afternoon

Yesterday I had my couples' therapy session.

Today, I have my individual therapy session.

Meg will attend.  I will leave work shortly before 3 and be at my 5:00 session in a nice dress and heels.

I have a couple of reasons for doing this:

* I want her to experience Meg.  I don't know how much interaction she's had with someone who regularly crossdresses.  I know I'm a different woman now than I was when I first started going out.  I want her to know Meg is real.

* I want to focus on the trans issue as it fits into the marriage.  As I mentioned in my latest couples' therapy post, my wife asserted that I don't love myself.  I thought about that a lot and I wonder how much I can love myself when part of me is hiding in that closet we mostly hate.

* I want to go out dressed to a new venue. :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Why I Do This, and Why I Don't Do This More Often

Among the "things I can't do at home" for Meg are simple, female things. There are some I really enjoy, one in particular where I feel like I've become privvy to a secret thrill that only members of the girl club know about.

I refer to the pedicure.

I've had a few, and I've had my nails painted twice.

Why I Do This
Thursday, after work, I went to my favourite spa lady and had my third.  My toenails are bright red, as you can see ~ a reward to them for putting up with that toenail surgery.  But, as many of you know, there's more to a pedicure than polish.  I don't care for the prep, where they poke and prod at your cuticles,  although it is nice to be pampered.  I do like the massage chair.  But the whirlpool foot bath and the foot/leg massage are both wonderful.  I have a suggestion: get out some oil or lotion and give your SO a foot massage.  Finish with pressing on the ball of her foot and rubbing it with a circular motion.  Maybe there are internet instructions somewhere that give a better description.  I say "finish with" so that wonderful feeling is fresh in her mind when you say "please... my turn now?"

Because I had the polish and close-toed shoes (I was in drab), I had the pedicure first.  Then I sat at a station while she gave me a manicure, which is also pleasant but not on par with a pedicure (although she does that massage action on the base of the thumbs ~ also very nice.  And it's nice to hold hands with a woman for a half-hour).  I had my fingernails buffed, not polished, but they look polished.  And they stay that way for a week or two.  None of the other ladies paid attention as I was getting my nails painted, or to my painted toes while I was in the manicure area.

My main reason for going was to have my back waxed.  I don't plan on wearing a backless gown ~ I have grown to dislike body hair.

She did a fine job of causing me great pain.  I limited my response to soft "ow's" but I was really ready to say "thank you, we're done now" at more than one point.  Next time, I will ask her to start at the top and work down ~ I really don't need anything below mid-chest hairless, except if I'm out shirtless (a rare event) so if it gets to me, I can say "stop now" and still achieve my goal.  Anything below bra level can remain hirsute.

But now, if I wear a cap and boxers, the only hair you'd see is eyelashes and eyebrows.  And I say "boxers" because I don't shave my legs all the way up.  And no, I will NEVER get a bikini wax, for two reasons: one, I'd be uncomfortable with the spa lady getting that intimate with me, and two, I hear it REALLY hurts.  No chest wax either.  My chest hair seems to grow back fast and wiry so I may try Nair or some variation.

I mentioned my eyebrows, and I also had her wax them.  She took off a bit more hair than last time, I think.  They look a little feminine, but I doubt anyone will notice when I'm in drab and hopefully people will notice when I'm in Meg.

Now, all I need to do is get out before the weeds take over.  Maybe it is time to at least get a backless evening gown. :)

Why I Don't Do This More Often
I'm not a fan of pain, but I know it'll stop when she stops.  I can deal with that.

The pain that doesn't end is the cost: she hit me with a $130 bill (and I offered a $25 tip).  That's my clothes budget for the year.  That's what keeps me from the monthly mani/pedi/brow wax.

Monday, July 9, 2012

My Life At The Moment

I do have work to do during my retreat ~ serious work, and I'm taking it seriously.  I'm not sure my wife is.

Part of my work is to figure out how to keep my marriage functioning ~ to find a way forward that we will both enjoy, and that will nurture us both.

Another part of my work, however, is to explore how much Meg I need in my life.  To that end, I'm taking advantage and doing Meg things that I can't do at home.  So far, it's been simple things.

Meg's stuff is OUT.  I can leave her clothes and makeup in readily accessible locations.  I can spend time at home doing what I call "playing dress-up" ~ it's more than that, of course.  I've said many times that I have too many items, and I want to get rid of what I will not wear out.  This is harder than expected for a couple of reasons I'll explore in another post.  It was eye-opening.

I need to see which shoes I can or cannot wear.  This means at least a couple of hours on my feet in each pair of shoes, something I can't do back home.  Same with earrings: I have many and some Really Hurt Really Quickly... but I don't remember which.  I'm writing down notes on what works and doesn't and I'll find a new home for those that don't work, or at least try cushions for them to try to make them work.

I'd like to practice makeup a bit.  I'd like to practice my "girl voice."  These are things I cannot do at home.

A lot of these things, such as shoes and earrings and voice I can do while I'm doing other activities, so I consider them "free," as far as taking time from my retreat.

I'm also removing a lot more hair than I ever have.  Right now, I can go out wearing a sundress.  Except I don't own any sundresses because I could never go out wearing one before, so I never bought any.  I could go to TJ Maxx or Burlington or Dress Barn or Marshalls or any of the other off-brand shops within a couple of miles of the house, but I'm trying to reduce, remember?  (Refer back to "harder than expected", above.)

I'm spending a bit of time on these activities, but I'm also rationing my time so I can still do the other things I need to/want to do.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

More Zits and a Little Bit of CD

I reprinted the Zits Halloween cartoon a week or so ago.  I thought I should pull out a few other Zits to share.  The next day, the first one below appeared.

It looks like Jeremy (the son) is getting blue polish.  I can't tell what's being done to the dad.

Now, I've never had a pedi over anything but that little whirlpool.  What's with the ottoman?

And, if she's just getting her nails painted, well, that's kinda boring and I can understand.  But she should have gone for the full "spa pedicure" and they'd be saying "when can we go back?"

Anyway, it's followed by four "Pierce had his wisdom teeth removed" cartoons. 

But this one was just so timely....

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Definitely An Enabler

This is the second Close to Home cartoon I've printed.  CtH has been in the Washington Post for several years and has made me laugh exactly once.  And he's had one "CD" cartoon.  Alas, they were two different cartoons.

Now he's published one I'd put in my "CD-ish" file.  Those are the cartoons that are CD, with some imagination.  I definitely think she's trying to introduce him to a lifestyle she finds interesting.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Therapy the Fifteenth

We spent the first $35 catching up, which was pleasant enough.  Then we got down to business and the pleasantness... vanishes.

My wife has decided we were "in love with the idea of each other," not with each other.  She says the problem is mine: I don't love myself enough to love another.  She accused me of not using my time to do the "hard work" repairing this relationship will require.  This is without actually asking me what I've been doing.  Or, for that matter, if I agreed with her diagnosis.

She also keeps repeating that I am taking a vacation from her, which is not what I'm doing.  I've said many times, in many ways what I am doing.  I think the best description I've come up with is, it's a retreat ~ a place where one can step back from life and look at the big picture and see how you'd like to fit into that picture and how you can make that happen.

All that said, I'm going to stop doing the couples' therapy posts, unless something occurs is relevant to this blog.

As it is, it's way too personal and way too depressing.  No matter how she looks at the relationship at this point, I'm going to continue doing that hard work and I hope to write a wrap-up post when my gig is over ~ one with a happy ending.

I will write a bit about my individual therapy thing ~ there was no visit this week, but visit three will be next Wednesday.  I hope to make it eventful.

I had a bit of "don't care" fun Wednesday and Thursday, and I'll write about those events next week.  Please check out the funnies tomorrow and Sunday.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

When Life Hands You Lemons...

(note: it's supposed to be therapy day but time ran out.  That should be tomorrow.)

Yesterday, I was back with the family.  I was actually a bit nervous about how this would go.  The boys will be fine.  But when I'm alone with my wife, I feel like I'm under attack.

No t-activity for a couple of days.  Tuesday, after work, after therapy, I waited for my older son to call.  He took a bus down from NY and I told him I'd pick him up.  He wanted me to stop for pizza and then I plan to be staying "home" overnight ~ there's a lot to do, getting ready for the 4th.  July 3rd at my house, for the past few years, has involved getting all sorts of bits and pieces together: tables, tablecloths, a 10x10 tent, signs, 30 or so pounds of sugar, hundreds of cups, coolers... and we wash lemons.  Boxes of lemons.

On the fourth, my son's 4-H group has its big fundraiser of the year: they sell lemonade at a local fair.  We begged my oldest kid to come down because he's a tremendous help.  I spend the day schmoozing with the other parents and looking at the other booths.  There's a lot of jewelry for sale and I can sometimes sneak a piece for myself.  This year, things went a bit different, and I'll write about that another day.

We skipped fireworks because all of us were pretty exhausted by the end of the day.  I barbequed in the evening stayed over again, and took my son back to his bus early in the morning.  I learned that I need to stay away more ~ the issues start up as soon as we're back together.

It's a lot of fun, really.  It's near the top of the ways-to-have-fun-in-drab list.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Momma's Got A Brand New Bag

 OK, more than one (they're for sorting) and they're old bags (I like to reuse).  I also like musical references.

I have hung up most of the clothes I brought with me.  I brought a lot ~ more than I have hangers.  My goal is to go home with fewer items than I brought.

The bags are for tops, skirts, dresses, swap, goodwill, laundry, trash, keep.

Tops, Skirts, Dresses
As I try on each item and decide I like them, they will go in the spreadsheet (did I not mention the spreadsheet?) and appropriate bag.  As of this moment, I have tried on twenty or more tops and skirts.   I'll write about the what-to-keep dilemma soon.

I brought panties that I may or may not love.  If I wear a pair and don't love them, they go in the trash bag.
I also have a lot of socks, mostly women's socks.  I either need to buy large (rare) or stretchy.  Some are just uncomfortable because they're not large or stretchy enough.  Some I love but there is now a toe or two peeking through the worn tip: trash.
My male clothing that is worn, torn, threadbare will go in the trash as well.

NO tops, skirts, dresses, bras, camis, nighties will go in the trash, unless they're in bad shape.

ALL tops, skirts, dresses, bras, camis, nighties that are deemed in good condition but not right for me (fit, style) will go in the swap bag.  Just because that beautiful pink minidress is too short for me, or that sheath dress won't quite zip up... it may not be right for me, but it's not fair to leave it in the closet when someone else might go out and look good.

Male clothing that doesn't fit or isn't my style will go to Goodwill or The Sal or some thrift shop.

I haven't had an opportunity to go out yet, so I haven't caused any of my Meg outerwear to need laundering.  But my civilian clothes I want to keep go in the big laundry bag.  I don't plan to do wash for a while.  Also, nighties and camis and panties and socks and whatever else I wear go in the big laundry bag.  I shouldn't have to do laundry for up to three weeks ~ and that will be because I ran out of civilian shirts.

After laundry, clothes will go in a "keep" bag.  I have more slacks and camis than shirts.  When they get laundered just because they're in that bag, I don't want to put them in the "not worn yet" closet or drawer so I'll put them aside.

Don't I sound organised?  I'll see how long it lasts.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sticking With the Old Favourite

I am trying on tops and skirts when the lights and air conditioning work.  I have tried on a dozen or more of each, and mostly I have been wearing my favourite bra underneath.

When I was in a lingerie shop in AZ, I asked what size she thought I should wear.  I told her I usually wore a 38C and she suggested I might try a 36D ~ going down a band size means going up a cup size, although I've never understood why.

I believe I wrote about hunting a 36C and 36D bra in the same style so I could compare how they fit and how the forms looked.  The 36C was too small for the forms; the 36D looked and felt right.

Or so I thought.

I put on the 36D Sunday night, after power came back and I wanted to try on some tops and skirts (note: they're not outfits.  Some of the combinations are horrid even to my impaired fashion sense).

I put it on, then pulled on my cinch and a shaping cami.  This is probably overkill, but that's what I put on.

After a few minutes, I had to change bras.  I have no idea how I thought this fit, except I didn't try it long enough.  It is positively painful to wear.  Now, I just have to find out if the swap takes bras.  They're practically new.

Besides, I think C looks pretty proportional.  So no D bra.  Hmmm...  I wonder if parents who name their daughter "DeBra" think about that.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Wasn't That A Mighty Storm?

Friday night, I decided to take a break and try on some clothing.  It's not my primary task that I set for myself, but I do want to cull my wardrobe.  It takes a lot of closet space and I'd like to make my task of figuring out what to wear easier.  Fewer items would help.

Around 9pm, I was chatting with a very good female friend, describing what I was trying on next and it's disposition.  I wrote "the lights are flickering and it sounds windy.  I better shut down."

But I didn't shut down right away.  I chatted for another minute or so and then put the machine in standby.

Windows 7 actually does something right: if you put it to "sleep" mode, it both goes to sleep (low power fast restore) and hibernate (copy everything to disk so if power goes out you can get it back).  I wanted to take advantage of that.  I usually have a lot of windows open.

I waited until it went into sleep mode ~ the power button started flashing amber.  Then power went out.  Dam.  I thought for a second and realised if power comes back on the computer might try to wake up.  Power popped back on and it tried to wake up, just as I pulled the plug.  I knew I lost the race and it would be a mess when it came back on.

It was dark and I took off what I was trying on and moved the clothes I had tried on as best I could and, by the light of my phone and non-stop lightning, I got ready for an early night.

Saturday was mostly a reading day.  There was no power, many traffic lights were out, trees were down.  There wasn't much damage at this house, which is good.  I do have some cleaning to do.

The basement is the darkest and coolest area of the house.  Even with temperatures reaching 100 the basement was comfortable but I needed to be upstairs to read.  NO trying on clothes.  It was too hot.  Mostly I sat around in just panties.  NOT a pretty sight.  Trust me.  Pictures will not be forthcoming.

During the day I tried to find out what the situation was at my home.  There was no answer to phone calls to either my wife's cel or my landline.  She didn't answer e-mail.  My son didn't answer his phone.

So I braved the heat and the downed trees and the blank intersections and drove over there.  The trip took more than twice what it should: I couldn't take the most direct path out of my temporary neighborhood because of a downed tree.  I tried to go up a connecting street on the way to my house ~ closed due to power lines down.  I couldn't get into my neighborhood by the most direct path because of another tree.

Cel service and power were out at my house.

My wife was going to go away for the day but she decided this was a sign that she shouldn't go (I'm not the only one who listens to the universe).  My son was to go to a friend's house for an overnight.  Even though they didn't have power they did go.  First they drove up the street to look for a cel signal so I took advantage and raided my closet.  I brought back over 60 tops and a dozen or so dresses.  I have a lot of trying on to do.

At bedtime, lights were still out and I went to bed early.

Sunday, I went out for breakfast.  My son called later ~ he needed to be picked up and couldn't get hold of his mom so I went to get him.  Before and after that, I sat on the screened porch reading.  I don't have any shorts with me so I took off my shirt and put on a grey herringbone miniskirt and hoped that if a neighbor looked over it looked like shorts.  But later, with a critical eye, I knew that no-one would mistake it for shorts.  I don't care, much.

At 4pm Sunday, after 43 hours with no power, lights came back on.  This was a fast-moving storm that started in the midwest and made a straight line for the DC area.  There's a name for the storm: derecho.

From the Washington Post:

The storm that whipped through the region Friday night was called a derecho (duh-RAY’-choh) , a straight line wind storm that sweeps over a large area at high speed. It can produce tornado-like damage. The storm, which can pack wind gusts of up to 90 mph, began in the Midwest, passed over the Appalachian Mountains and then drew new strength from a high pressure system as it hit the southeastern U.S., said Bryan Jackson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Unfortunately, there's no tornado-like warning.  No houses were down ~ the damage was more like from a hurricane than a tornado.  But it was bad and most of us were lucky.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Really.... I'm Still Here

If anyone missed the storm that blasted from the midwest through the DC area, well, I didn't.

Friday night there were high winds, sheets of rain, and continual lightning, followed by trees down, structural damage and power outages.

Mine came back around 42 hours after it went off.  And I'm one of the luckier ones.

I'm trying to find my notes and I hope to be back on track for tomorrow morning.