Friday, August 31, 2012

This Had Possibilities

(the poll refers back to yesterday's post.  I'll take it down at the end of today.  Looks like I should do the right thing, not the fun thing. :) )
I have written about freecycle before.  As you may recall, you can join your local group and if you want to get rid of something you post an OFFER: and hopefully someone else thinks your trash is treasure and requests it.  Less often, someone posts a WANTED: to get something they need but don't have and hopefully someone has one getting dusty in the basement and gives it to the requestor.  All transfers are free.
I saw this WANTED in my inbox a few days ago:
WANTED: 5-6 yr old boy or girl clothing

Interesting, I thought.  A while back, someone wanted a princess Halloween costume for her son, and I wondered if this was something similar.  More likely, the mom just wasn't fussy about whether her daughter wore boy or girl clothing.  Or the daughter wasn't fussy.

Normally, I ignore OFFERs or WANTEDs for kid stuff.  I have no need, and none to give.  But I had to take a look:

Just wanted to know if anyone had any 5-6 yr old boy or girl clothing.  I have twins.

I admit it.... I didn't see THAT coming!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Another Don't Ask, Can't Tell

Before I start, a little quick poll: the lip gloss I use most, Clinique superbalm moisturizing gloss in Apricot, is about empty.  I generally put on my gloss in the men's room at work.  It comes in one of those squeeze tubes.  I will probably finish it in by early next week.  I can be careful (and proper) and toss it in the trash, or I can be daring (and sloppy) and leave it on the sink counter.  I'm tempted to see what (if anything) people will say to an empty tube of gloss in the men's room.

This Don't Ask involves a little potential parking faux pas.

As I mentioned, I went to DC to check out the museums and see Batman in IMAX on opening day.  I was wondering how to go.  I do not like to drive in DC so I figured I'd take the metro.  But right now I'm in Arlington which is pretty close to DC and to get to a station with parking I'd have to head away from the city.  That's annoying.  It'll take longer to go in and I get to pay more for the privilege.

I know a workaround though.  I can park at my office; I have a little magic card so I can do that.  From there I can get a free shuttle to the Pentagon and from there I can take the train into DC.  Not too bad, and it's unlikely that anyone I knew would recognise me.  It's not impossible, but it is unlikely.

Then I figured out that there was one little problem: to get on the shuttle I have to show my Department of Defense ID.  The Pentagon police patrol my office grounds.  They might not be as understanding as TSA was, when I flew.

I actually think this is a pretty amusing story, but I can't share it with my coworkers, now, can I?  "Guess what I almost did?  I almost came to the office in drag so I could take the shuttle but then I would have had to show my ID, wouldn't I?  That would have been embarrassing."

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Staycation: Wednesday

Returning home day is always iffy.  Morning is good ~ I slept in a favourite nightie, wore girl slippers around the house, and just enjoyed being Meg before becoming Me.  I lose a lot when I lose that "g."

I never know when the family is coming home, so generally I'm packed up too soon.  Before work, I put away most of my clothes and organised them better than they were on Sunday when I was aghast to see what my closet had become.  I had to work a bit late because I had a meeting and I had to make up for my early Tuesday.  I also had my final individual therapy session that day, which I wrote about separately.

So the evening wasn't much of a Meg evening, except for catching up on some mail to girlfriends and getting ahead with blog posts, and editing some pictures I'd have to hide if the family was here.  And everyone here knew exactly what type of pictures I meant!

So when my wife called to say she was an hour or so away I had my male facade in place, my female accoutrements hidden away, and the house was looking relatively clean.

Next time!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Staycation: Tuesday

The best bet for Tuesday was, some girls were going to Freddie's, as they did around twice a week.  But I'm still not sure I'd enjoy myself at a club ~ I need to reach the tipping point where spending time with the girls outweighs the discomfort of clubbing.  I do have some dresses that would be GREAT for a night out though!

Instead, I did laundry (boy and some girl clothes that I wore while housesitting).  I put away clothes from that housesitting gig and figured I'd pass on the going-out part.  I did something I've been wanting to do for a while: add some curves.

I have two pairs of padded panties.  One has butt pads, one has butt and hip pads.  I remember trying them on when I bought them and then putting them away.  Sara wrote that she was playing with some padded panties and that reminded me that I wanted to try mine again.  I had brought them for my away time, but there's a lot I didn't get to there.

The butt-only one has larger pads.  The other one has one too-small (or one too-large) hip pad.  Either way, they're not the same size.

Both are very tight.  Very very tight.

Then I realised that that's a good thing.  A very very good thing.

I pulled out a dress that I marked as "needs tuck" because otherwise there's a bulge where women shouldn't have one.

Not with these panties.  I was s-m-o-o-o-o-o-t-h.  And amazed.  And a bit sad, because some of the skirts and dresses I gave to the swap I loved but I couldn't get rid of the bulge, no matter what I did.

I also pulled out some old wigs and tried them on and took some pictures.  I still like the one I wear most the best, but I thought I'd share "former" looks.  I also have a long auburn wig but during my dig I could not find my wig brush and I know that one will need serious brushing.  It always needed serious brushing.

So the pictures are the result of shaking out each wig and running my hand through it to "brush" it.
Hey, it's just between us girls, right?

The first wig is, I believe, my first wig.  I'm not sure where I got the blonde one from, but I did wear that one out once.  The short wig I picked out of a catalogue and it's cute but you can see a bit of my "real" hair sticking out from underneath. 

And by the way, the last picture shows the truest colours in that dress.  And I decided I love that dress and will be wearing it out next time.

As for the wigs, I think I'll stick with my "new favourites."  Click the pic to supersize.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Staycation: Monday

A couple of weeks ago, we all went to New York for the weekend.  We came back Sunday night and my wife went to the beach with my youngest and a friend and her son.  Right now, it's impossible for me to take a few days off ~ it was hard to take off the previous Friday to go to New York.

Normally, family-away-time equals Meg-time.

The plan was for them to be at the beach through Wednesday, which means, in theory, three days of dressing if I chose.  Except the family wasn't planning to leave around 10AM on Monday (they left at 2), and coming home around 8pm on Wednesday, and of course there's sleeping and work which takes up, oh I don't know....  sixty percent of my time?  Right now, work crunch is starting and I really can't take much time off.  Normally, I would have done something like a half-day Monday for prep and clothing selection and such, then taken off Tuesday to go out, then used Wednesday afternoon to put everything away for next time.  That wouldn't work this week.

So Monday would be get-ready time.  I couldn't do any of that over the weekend, with the family in a small hotel room with me.

To start my preo, I waited until just after the shops opened.  I called and (yay!) my salonlady was available.  My 2pm meeting would end at 3, and I could make it to the mall by 4 so I set up an appointment for that time, to get my brows done and a manicure.  My nails are a mess, several broke or split randomly so I thought a professional fix would be a good idea.

The best laid plans... my one hour 2pm meeting ran until 3:15 so I left a bit later than planned.  But it was not too late.  I got to the salon a few minutes to 4 and had a nice time chatting with my salon lady.  I asked her to do my brows just a bit thinner and just a bit more shaped than last time, even though we agreed she wouldn't remember what she did.  I said I'd like to do that "just a bit more" each time I came.  She said eventually they'd just be women's brows and I agreed and said I'd tell her to trim them the same as last time at some point.

When I got home, I took some pictures so next time I can show her and say "just a bit more" than that.

My haircut lady was also available so I got my haircut ~ I like to make sure I don't have to worry about hair sticking out from under my wig (and I hate wig caps).

As long as the day was ticking on, I stopped to get some groceries and I looked at the cosmetics, specifically the lipsticks.  I decided I want to see if I can find a lipstick colour that looks natural as a way to switch from the gloss if I'm in the mood.  I settled on Maybelline #315, "Broadway Bronze."

I got home, and my planned early dinner was now a lat-ish dinner.  Not a big deal.  I had three things to do that evening: shave everywhere, pick clothing, and find a place to go.

I spent part of that time looking for something to do the following evening ~ I planned to leave work around 2, since I could work early and make up any short days later in the week. 

I didn't have a lot of luck finding a place to go.  The close-to-perfect place was that night: an GLBT group in DC was having a board game night.  There was no way I could make it though and I continued looking for Tuesday events.  I didn't find one, but thought I'd keep looking on Tuesday.  I did get to the shaving portion of my day, and then I opened the closet door to look for an outfit and a nightgown.  Uh-oh.

Staring me in the face was the realisation that after the abrupt end to my housesitting time I just kind of threw everything in my closet.  The rest of Monday was spent pulling clothes out of random bags, hanging clothes up, leaving boxes and bags out for further organising.

It's not as good as dressing, but it's nice to just kind of hang out with femme clothes for a while.  And it was very late before I got to bed.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


CPOW is the "comic pick of the week."  I read a lot of comics every day, and there are more I'd like to read but just don't have the time.

Some days, I look at the selection and yawn....  Like Friday, when I'm writing this.  Some days, I love as many as a dozen.

But every week there are at lease a couple that I have to save because I know I'll find them in a year or two and laugh all over again.  And if I don't, well, I was wrong and I hit delete.

I know I've posted Mother Goose And Grimm before because Peters hits on CD topics and usually in a very funny way.

Frank and Earnest is generally either a gem or a bust.  This one is a gem.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Get Fuzzy-ish

As I mentioned before, there are CD comics, and there are CD-ish comics.  The Get Fuzzy strips here are -ish.  I particularly liked the first one, but the second has a typical Conley misunderstanding, taken to extremes.  Click each for a nice, readable cartoon.

Friday, August 24, 2012

*sigh* ~ YES, It's A Purse

A while back, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post about how starting to wear makeup will result in guys carrying purses.

I don't carry a lot of stuff normally.  I have some paper ~ cash and credit cards and driver's license ~ in one pocket.  I gave up on wallets a long time ago.  I kept taking things out and not putting them back.  Eventually I figured the only purpose of a wallet (for me) is to know if I've used something recently.  I don't carry any keys, just my little Prius "fob."  I do carry a handkerchief in a back pocket.

But I've added a little packet of breath mints and a lip balm and now my lip gloss.

For work, I carry a portfolio where I keep a couple of pens and papers for notes, a business card or two...
stuff like that.

Until a couple of weeks ago, that's all I carried.  Then there was a couple of very rainy days.  I have a  tiny umbrella, but I'm the sort of person who's just as likely to forget the umbrella (or leave it in the car) as carry it.

Vendors at the Washington Auto Show have decided that reusable grocery bags are a useful and cheap giveaway so I picked up a few during my last couple of visits.  They usually hide in my trunk.  I dug around a bit and grabbed a smaller one.  My portfolio fit in there nicely, as did my umbrella.  Nice.  I could also put my travel mug in there.

Why would I carry my coffee cup to the office?  Well, no matter how large your mug is, you can fill it for the price of a small coffee.  So another part of my routine is to grab my mug in the early afternoon, grab $1.52, and head downstairs to the cafe for an afternoon fill.

Before I started carrying the grocery bag, I put the contents of my front right pocket (fob, lip balm, lip gloss, mints) in my desk to I'd have an empty pocket to put the change in.  This kept me from fumbling between little tubes to find the coins.  It also allowed for the possibility that I'd forget my fob, walk all the way to my car (a long walk) and have to walk back.  But now, I can put the miscellany into the grocery bag and as long as I remember that, I'll be good, even if I forget to reload my pocket.

When I leave my house for work, when I leave my car for work, when I leave work for home, I remember I have four things to carry: phone, portfolio, coffee, badge.  More than once, doing the "inventory" has kept me from leaving a phone at work, or coffee in my car.  Hey, it works for me.

Now, I automatically remember my umbrella as well, since it's in the bag.

Next time, I'll get one of these
The bag also has an overlong strap.  Others have a loop that's maybe 4-5 inches in diameter.  This bag has a loop that's maybe 9 or 10 inches in diameter.  That means it can easily sit on my shoulder.

I've also decided to vary my lip routine.  I bought a "natural" lipstick (more soon).  I've been wearing lip gloss during work, and the lipstick after work.  No particular reason ~ it's just what I'm doing.  Since I don't usually wear the lipstick but I don't want to leave it lying around in the car, it goes in the bag.

So I'm carrying a bag containing lipstick, maybe lip gloss and mints and my fob, over my shoulder as I walk the streets of Alexandria.

Yes, it's a purse.  I didn't even realise it, but....

It's a purse.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What Every Teen Knows (and I Don't)

I was in the men's room a few days ago.  I have gotten into the habit of touching up my lipgloss if there's no-one in there.  It was early in the day, and I hadn't even put it on yet.

Digressing....  My new routine involves bringing coffee to work.  Government office sadly means no free coffee.  I fill up a travel mug and sometimes just as I get to work it's all gone, sometimes not.  It all depends on traffic.

If I still have coffee, I also still have a twelve minute walk to my desk, so I swill coffee as I walk.

If I am out of coffee, or close to out, I pull down the little mirror over the driver's seat.  The light comes on and I apply lipgloss (sometimes with lip balm underneath ~ I think I get more shine if I do that).

If I do have coffee, I don't want to mess up my lips by drinking once I finish them.  So I wait until I get to the office and go into the bathroom to do my lips.

My place on the care/don't care scale still puts me on the side of "I care if guys see me putting on gloss from a tube" so I linger a bit if there are one or two people in the room.  If they're in a stall, I don't worry too much.  Gloss is good because if someone walks in while I'm applying I can generally "spread it around" by rubbing my lips together while I screw on the cap and put away the tube.

On this particular day, I had to use a stall myself.  There was a steady stream (ha) of guys using the restroom.  I figured I was out of luck.

Then I remembered what is second nature to most kids today ~ your phone is a mirror.

I pulled out my phone, and before I could even reach for the powe button, it went flying to the floor and skidded under the stall door.  The battery went in a different direction, as did the cover on the back of the phone.

Good idea, bad execution.  But after the phone was reassembled and restarted and I figured out how to turn the camera around, it worked pretty well.

Live and learn.
It's a better mirror than a camera at this distance. :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Therapies Are Made of This

The couples' therapist will be away for a couple of weeks.  My wife has come up with ideas that make the therapist and I look at each other in wonderment.  And that's not my imagination.  I've asked the therapist "do you understand this?" and she shakes her head and asks my wife what she means.  The explanation is usually not better than the original statement.

Last week's session started with her apologising for me.  I still don't know what for.  She said she "knows who we are" and related what she said was a pre-creation story.  I think she think she's God and I'm Satan (she called me her "worthy adversary."  She wants to spend her life with her adversary?  I'm confused.)

The previous week she told me that "I won."  She figured out that 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" and I'm a better-looking girl than she is (I won't comment on that!).  So I won.  I pointed out that many of my community friends (you ladies) agree that we hold women in high regard, but that only "proved her point."

These insights are not just limited to the sessions.  I get tired of asking her what she means at home now.

A recent example: I had a dream in which I was supposed to get on a boat.  There were a lot of people that I knew (in the dream) who were getting on the boat as well.  I got sidetracked and although I had plenty of time the boat left and when I awoke I knew that it meant I shouldn't "miss the boat."  I just kind of knew this.  What the boat was, I have no idea.  I told my wife and a day or so later, after thinking about it, she said "I wouldn't let you miss the boat."  I didn't ask what that meant, since I still didn't know what the boat was.

I finished my last (that is, last free) private session last week.  We spoke briefly about me continuing and I said "why?"  She said "I don't think you need it.  You seem like you've made a decision.  And even though you're uncomfortable with the future direction, well, we all are when we make major decisions."  We agreed I could always call if my situation changes and I need to talk.  But I think talking with my friends has helped too, and she's right.

I've been looking at apartments.

I'm still not happy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Open The Door Richard ~ Sometimes There Is Disappointment

L, who was at both the rally in DC (with Meg) and at the burial, is a casual friend.  She's an old friend of my wife.  She's a therapist and yoga instructor and we talk more when she needs computer help than any other time, although we had a good chat when she came down for the rally.  While walking through DC that day, my friend P was a bit anxious about where to go to find a good spot at the rally, and he walked ahead.  I kidded about him "leaving the girls behind."

But L is basically my wife's friend.

As I mentioned, I wanted to talk to her after the luncheon but didn't have a chance.  It seemed wrong to tell P and not her so I made a point to call her a few days later and told her that that was neither the first nor last time I dressed like that.

She seemed confused, both by my motives and my behaviour (calling her, not a callback).  I used my favourite description, "it's something I do, sometimes."  She had no questions.  The call was brief.

The next day she sent me an e-mail saying that she knows how I like to kid around and was that the purpose of my call?  I sent her a couple of pictures and said "not kidding, sharing.  I feel I owe you the rest of the story, since all of the other parties know."

She was concerned that I didn't tell my wife I called her ~ I may, I may not.  It doesn't seem important.  But L followed up with an e-mail saying she felt like she was hiding something from my wife and we shouldn't talk or e-mail anymore.  I sent her a one line "as you wish" e-mail so she'll know I got it and that, as they say, is that.

If I knew that would be the final reaction, would I have said "yes, I'm kidding.  I know, it wasn't funny.  They can't all be home runs."?  No.  I'm going to be honest, let the chips fall where they may.  No more stories.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Open the Door Richard - My Dead Head Friend P (continued)

Now, the Deadhead reference. 

For the uninitiated, Deadhead is the name for the die-hard Grateful Dead fans, the ones who travelled across country to see them, who'd go to all of the shows in whatever town they were in because each show was different, who'd meet before and after shows to share drugs and experiences and bootlegs, which weren't quite bootlegs because the GD allowed fans to plug into the soundboard so they could get good copies of their live shows.

Q: What did one Deadhead say to the other, when the drugs wore off?
A: "This music sucks, man!"

There are parallels between what he does and what I do.  I don't think P would deny his Deadheadishness.  But when we first met, when I was 25 or so, I dropped by his house and he was talking about the Grateful Dead.  I professed to not knowing a lot about them ~ they were not exactly mainstream rock at the time, in spite of Woodstock and points beyond.  P pulled out a wooden box that originally contained three bottles of wine.  I recognised the box: the company we worked for (where we met) gave them to employees as a holiday gift.

He looked at me and said "I'm not a Deadhead" and then he opened the box.  The bottles that originally graced the box were separated by wooden dividers.  But the wine was gone and each segment, serendipitously, was exactly the width of a cassette tape in a box.  The box was stuffed with tapes.  He proceeded to pull out several "must hear" tapes and without fumbling he grabbed the show from this night or this month or this venue and told me exactly which songs I had to listen to.

I've become a fan, but I'm not a deadhead.  I think the thing that separates us is, I can't stand the jams.  When I have XM, I skip around but always stop at the Dead station.  But I never chased after them, I skipped the concert scene, and always have preferred music to buy if I'm in the mood to buy music.  AllSongsBy is a great site ~ pick an artist and get a boatload of songs ~ but he'd probably stick to the Dead and Phil Lesh and Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia and maybe Phish while I'd listen to the Dead, sure, but probably spend more time on The Who and Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey et al and then wander over to Dave Van Ronk or Talking Heads or Dan Bern or Tom Paxton or Pink Floyd.

Anyway, if I called him a deadhead today, he would deny it no longer.  There are Dead cover bands which do a full show ("note-for-note," they claim).  We went to one and after two or three notes (literally) he told me where the show was, and what songs we'd be hearing in order.  He wasn't sure which night the show was, but narrowed it down to a couple.  It was like listening to Bobby Fischer reciting a game he played twenty years earlier.  So I dare him to deny claim to the Deadhead title.

Back when he pulled out the tapes, if I showed him my meager collection of clothes, or showed him some of the poor Polaroids I had taken, I would have surely said "I'm not a transvestite."  But if I had some clothing money (and the nerve) I would have bought women's clothing.

Now, I'd quibble about the word (I don't think "crossdresser" was in anyone's vocabulary then) but I wouldn't deny it.

When I asked him "what would you do if someone said 'you can no longer listen to the Grateful Dead?'" without hesitation he replied "I'd kill him."

I've thought about it before: if someone said "new law.  You have to choose, male or female full time," I'd toss my male stuff out in an instant.

At about the same time I post this, I'm going to send him a long e-mail about this analogy.  I'll post any interesting exchange.  As I said, pure civilian.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Price Is Right

Hilary Price, who authors Rhymes With Orange.  I added a little caption under each to explain why I chose it. 

I saved this for P, my deadhead friend

If only I had a friend like that!

Because this had me, um, ah, never mind

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Killer Heels

I like that she said "gods," not "godesses." I guess it's for when they get their drag-on.  I decided to add some Hilary Price for Sunday too, and came across the second cartoon.

I think Lou(ise) knows what she's doing!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Open the Door Richard - My Dead Head Friend P

First a comment on a comment to yesterday's post.  An anonymous reader wrote:

Don't paint all conservatives with the same brush. I'm a card carrying NRA member and a right wing conservative politically and economically but still a CD. I do not feel I'm out of the mainstream and should not be feared by the 'left wing' of the country (but I am).

Welcome to the blog, Anon.  I have friends all across the political spectrum and really there are two types of friends: the ones I talk politics with (like P) and the ones I don't (like J).  One of my son's friend's father works for a right-wing think tank.  I talk to him occasionally, but I avoid it because he likes to talk politics when he thinks he has a point.  I do not, and I don't return the favour.  I have a friend at my previous job who had an "I love Sarah" sticker on her wall and supported Bush, McCain, et al.  I've asked questions about her positions but a couple of days after one chat escalated into an argument I said "I'd like to talk to you about something."  She said "what?" and I said "anything but politics."  And we talk about anything but politics.

And I don't think we fear you, either for the gun carrying, politics, or the crossdressing.  And if you're ever in my neighborhood, let me know.

On to the topic du jour....

I met P for his dinner, my coffee, at the Chili's near my hotel while my wife met with an old friend of hers and our son entertained himself in our room (give him WiFi and he's happy).

We spoke about my marriage, my therapy, his marriage, his divorce, his life after divorce, and related topics.  Again, "ask the man who owns one."  At a lull in our almost-three-hour-squatting-at-Chilis session I said "but wait!  There's more!"

I then reminded him of the rally and my "costume" and said "that's not the first time I did that.  Nor the last."  And then he blew my mind.

He said, "a long time ago, you lent me a [vinyl record] album and when I took out the record, out fell a Polaroid of you wearing a dress and a long wig and my first thought when I saw you dressed for the rally was 'well, he's still doing it.'"

He never mentioned it before, certainly not at the time, which is definitely a good thing.  Being caught would probably have caused a purge (I've purged, but don't recall if it was before or after this) and pushed me further into the closet.  It would have changed our relationship, certainly for the worse.

He never mentioned it before.  Even at the rally.

Growing up in a two-bedroom apartment with a brother and sister and parents, it was hard to find a time or place to call my own.  I forget where I got the wig, the dress was probably my sister's, and I'd buy Polaroid film and put it in my father's camera and take pictures in the mirror (no timer or tripod).  No way I'd take a picture and let someone else develop it.  I did take some black-and-white, which I could develop and print myself.  But I had very limited hiding places.

One was record albums: pictures were flat, and my parents would never go in there.  My sister would ask if she wanted a record.  My (older) brother would just grab but I had records he'd never want to listen to and that was the hiding place.

And for all I know, the picture is still there.  I thought I moved them all to a new safe place when I moved out, but I guess I missed (at least) one.

We spoke a bit about the dressing.  He's a pure civilian, with absolutely zero interest in dressing.  He said in a subsequent phone conversation "when I'm with a woman, I'd rather get laid than wear her clothes" and I said "it's possible to do both."  I did reassure him I'm straight ~ like most civilians, even liberal ones (he has a lefty blog now), he is somewhat confused about gender and sexual identity issues.

But not horribly so, and he's open to further discussion.  And he's a good friend and a good resource in my troubled time.

A little follow-up.  Before saving this, I went through a box of records.  This is roughly my first 30 albums.  I made a couple of discoveries:
* The Who Sell Out (#12) and Bookends (#25) are both missing, probably misfiled.
* In OR-FM Double Golden, (#27) both discs were placed outside their sleeves.
* Magical Mystery Tour (#23) is missing its sleeve.
* The Daughters of Albion (#13 and nobody, not even Paula, knows them) has some drawings that made me think I hit the jackpot ~ but no.
* All sorts of filler came with the Beatles' White Album. (#15)
* Got Live If You Want It (#28) had two Polaroids in it, one mirror shot barely visible, one arms-length of yours truly wearing a long dark wig, a hat, a black-and-red striped shirt and what appears to be a jumper ~ the shot is a bust shot so I can't be sure.  No makeup.  I would not have had a prom date. :)

More on P on Monday.  This has gotten a bit lengthy, even for me.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Open the Door, RIchard ~ My Conservative Friend J

A mea culpa to my readers.  I didn't mean to have two posts yesterday.  I have some that are not current which I schedule ahead of time but the weekend was current and this was supposed to be yesterday's only post.  Today's and the next couple of days follow.  And a big woohoo to Paula, who caught the song reference.

My friend J is a conservative when it comes to economics, and middle-of-the-road on social issues.  Which is really the Libertarian point-of-view, if I'm not mistaken.  He's not the hire-your-own-police-force-let-the-poor-die kind of Libertarian, but if someone's not bothering him, he'll very happily not bother them back.

I did some software work for J many years ago, and we've been friends ever since ~ close enough that he is our youngest son's godfather, and our son's Hebrew name was chosen to honour J's father.  J is incredibly bright, always digging for more/better information, and seems to forget nothing.  That last point is important.

As I mentioned, Saturday morning was my mother-in-law's burial, followed by lunch.  Two of my friends, J and P, came to both events.  I haven't seen either in a while, although we often keep in e-touch, with occasional phone calls.  We had some opportunity to talk at lunch, but nothing really of substance (like, what's been going on in my marriage and my "time off").  I did want to speak with each for weeks now.  I remember (not first hand ~ it came out in 1901) the ad for Packard: "ask the man who owns one," and as my marriage got rockier I wanted to speak to my two divorced (one remarried) friends.  I didn't because they're also friends of my wife, and I didn't want them to have to worry about what they said at the luncheon or be uncomfortable and, as I put it "cast a pall over the funeral."

I did arrange to get together with J (sans wives) Sunday morning and P Sunday evening.  My wife had some old friends she wanted to visit with, and my sons wanted to spend time together so everything was covered.

Sunday was my wife's father's family bbq.  This was at 4pm, so I was clear until at least 2pm.
J and I met in a diner around 10.  I had eaten so I had coffee while he had breakfast.  We talked about a number of different things and then I said "and here's what K [my wife] doesn't want me to talk about."  And I told him about the therapy and how that was going and how the marriage was going and how I felt and he related some experiences which were very instructive ~ no advice, except anecdotal.  It also felt good to talk about this, even though I carefully stepped around Meg and any t-issues.  He is, as I said, kind of conservative and he can be a bit judgmental and I didn't want to tarnish a good friendship, even though I would have liked to tell all.

But remember I said he seems to forget nothing?  At one point he said "so what is this community you mentioned once?"  I had told him about meeting friends in Tucson and apparently said I met them through an "online community."  I said "You may not want to know the answers to some of your questions."  He said "I hear a closet door creaking" and I said "there are lots of closets."

So I said "remember what L said about me wearing a dress to the Halloween rally?  It's not the first time I did that."  I told him that it's something I do sometimes, generally when travelling.  He responded by telling me he had a "dead relative he's not supposed to talk about" who did the same thing.

He had no questions.  We spoke of other things, mostly the marriages (mine and his) and I brought up the dressing when it was relevant.  We occupied the table (whoops, he'd definitely object to the "occupy" reference) for three or four hours, I had enough coffee to slosh, and I thanked him for helping me.  He definitely did, in both thoughts about my marriage, happiness (he related a moment of extreme happiness), and in being the absolute first civilian I had come out to.

It felt good.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Boy or Girl?

There have been a couple of publicised cases of parents hiding their child's gender for a while after birth.  The first one I read about was five years ago, in the British tabloid The Sun.

Back in January, The Sun followed up with:

It's a boy! Couple reveal sex of their 'gender neutral' kid after five years

In typical Sun fashion, sensitivity was traded for sensationalism.  For instance, a picture of mother and son was captioned Boy, that's strange ... Beck Laxton is raising Sasha as 'gender neutral'.  Another caption: Free to develop ... Sasha's mum Beck thinks she is leaving her child space to become an individual.  Thinks?  The Sun, clearly, knows she was wrong.

I have two sons, 15 (last week) and 19 and I'm sure I made more than my share of mistakes as a parent.  Yet they're both pretty smart and making good decisions.  I won't say they're well-adjusted because I think that's a matter of opinion.  But I think they're each great and I'd never trade them for any others, of any sex or gender.


Open the Door, RIchard ~ Prelude

And nobody is gonna get that one.

The door, of course, is to the closet.  My closet.  Stepping outside our comfort zone usually involves not only doing something we've never done before, but opening that closet door just a bit more.

Saturday, after the burial, we had lunch at an Italian restaurant.  My wife's brothers came, some of her relatives came, some of my wife's friend's came, and a couple of my friends were there as well.

My friend J was sitting to my left, my friend P to my right and my wife's friend L was across from us.  Actually, her name is J but I don't want to confuse things.  Both P and L came to the rally in 2010 and spent the day with Meg.  Before he even sat down, P made a comment about me wearing a dress the last time he saw me.  L sat down a minute later and made a similar comment.  Well, she should know better so I said "it wasn't a dress, it was a suit" and she said "yes, a very tasteful blue suit" and then turned to J and said "the last time I saw him he was at the Jon Stewart rally wearing a woman's suit and... [turning to me] who were you again?"  I said "Christine O'Donnell, the scariest politician I could think of."  Both laughed and she reminded J about her "I am not a witch" comment and we talked about it briefly and that was that.  J, by the way, is quite the Libertarian and probably would have supported her.  I'm not sure.  He's also pretty lucid.

I had not seen P or J for quite a while and arranged to meet with J in the morning and P after dinner.

I had decided in the past that L deserved to know about Meg.  She's pretty liberal, pretty open-minded and the only reason I didn't tell her sooner is because my wife objects.  A lot of our recent therapy and discussions revolve around each of us being ourselves, being authentic.  I could tell her, now.

When everyone was leaving, J, P, and L were among the people who hung behind.  While I was distracted making plans with J, L got into her car.  I didn't think chasing after her to tell her I crossdress made sense so I didn't.  Opportunity lost, but I consider Thalia was watching and decided it was not the time.  I don't know her reasons, but I trust her judgement.  I may call her and tell her.  I may not.

By the way, I had on a man's shirt and tie and everything else was femme.  The only reason I brought a man's shirt was, it seems the collar is different on the women's shirts I own and ties do not sit propoerly.  They look the same, but they don't sit right.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's About Time

(to anon, yesterday's commenter: the shorts were short but not short short.  My wife thinks shorts for guys should be knee length or so.  I disagree, and mine were about a full index finger above the centre of my kneecap.)

Update: paragraph 2 was rewritten.  I need a memory upgrade.

I'm afraid to check my mail to see when Diane Michelle and I first tried to get together.  Each time I visit Long Island, always with family, I try to get together with Diane.  It's going to be in drab for both of us because, well, my family's with me and Diane prefers to sport a goatee.  It goes away when Diane appears, of course ~ and the result is amazing.

To be fair to both Diane and Karen (of FemmeFever), Karen did her Diane did her own makeup and Karen helped choose her hair from an extensive collection ~ and I think it is perfect for her.

I am poorer for not meeting Diane sooner.  We sat in a fast food joint and talked and talked until I so overstayed my welcome that I had to return to the hotel. 

Even though we were in our guys disguise, we spoke freely of dressing and going out and our histories and experiences and so on.  Diane is fun and interesting and if she wasn't moving to San Jose we might have some fun hanging out, dressed however.

And now I have to firm up some travel plans.  I want to dress, drive up to Philly to hopefully meet Dani, then up to NY to greet Diane properly and hopefully meet Gwen.  Then maybe I can get up to CT and meet my hero(ine), Stana.  In between, I can change and meet with a couple of LI guy friends.  And I'll talk more about them in the next day or two.

Thank you for coming out (so to speak) Diane!  And I'm sorry it was for such a brief time.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fun at the Fair

Once again, we did the lemonade stand 4H fundraiser.  I was wearing women's jeans shorts (which my wife deemed "too short"), a t-shirt and no visible hair but brows and lashes (I wore a cap :) ).  I went to all of the vendors at the fair.  I told several jewelers some variation on "I like this set, but I feel like I'm wasting money ~ you never have sets with clip-on earrings."  This was met with different responses, generally that I don't have to buy the set (but sets are nice) or a comment on how it's easier to make pierced earrings and almost everyone has pierced ears so that's what they do.

At one booth, I saw some nice jewelry and a woman of about 35 sitting on the ground.  At this point, it was close to 100 degrees outside.  I said "good idea.  It's cooler down there, where you're further from the sun."  She said "I forgot my chair again.  And I'm still young enough that I can get up easily."  I said "if you're going to insult your customers, I'm leaving" and I turned away and stalked off.  I could hear her laughing behind me, so I came back a couple of minutes later and we talked a bit.  She liked my charm bracelet; I told her I'm looking to replace the rose and she pulled out a catalogue of charms for me to look at.  She didn't have them at her booth however.  I made my "you never have clip-ons" comment and she showed me her one pair of clips ~ not very attractive earrings though.  I told her they weren't my style and pointed to a dangly pair that I said was my style.

  She said "have you considered piercing your ears?"  I gave her my best pained look and said "yes, and I decided I'd have less money if I did."  She caught on immediately and said "...because you'd spend it on earrings?" and I nodded.  I said "It's the same thing with shoes ~ I wear 11W and if they were smaller, I'd probably own many more pair."  She said "let me see your feet" so I moved around and she laughed and said "those are pretty big."  I said "there's not much variety in that size" and I wandered off to see what else was at the fair.

Later, I thought I'd have a bit of fun.  I scrolled through my website on my phone until I found a decent Meg picture and set it full screen.  I walked back to her booth.  She was now accompanied by her 2 year old daughter who her husband had dropped off.  I said "I probably just confused you last time I was here so I wanted to show you a picture of me wearing clip-ons."

She responded with a "no way" but then asked me where I go when I'm "like that."  I said "anywhere I feel like going."  She told me how, when she moved here from Utah, a friend told her she was going to take her to a "drag race," which the vendor thought would be a lot of fun ~ except it was the annual high heel race in Dupont Circle.  But she said it was still a lot of fun.

She was a lot of fun, and she told me if I go to the website to not order anything, but to send her an e-mail with what I want and she'd put in the order at 10% off.

I brought her, her daughter, and her husband lemonades from the kiosk "as payment for laughing at my jokes."

Sunday, August 12, 2012

For My Musical Friends

I can read music. I can play a variety of things... chess, poker, hanging with friends, for instance. On a more musical turn, I can play CDs.

But I found this hilarious ~ sort of Mozart Meets Mad Magazine.

And I know I have a lot of artistically talented readers.  I'll bet that there is a larger percentage of creative people in our community than in the general population.

All you can see is a little bit here ~ I wanted it large enough to enjoy even if it's incomplete.  But click on it and be sure to blow it up to its maximum size so you catch all of the little nooks and crannies. The directions are worth the price of admission ("rests are imaginary" "untie slip knot" "gradually become agitated" and many more).

And if anyone can play it, I WANT A COPY.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Another Reason to Get Out of the Closet

Well not strictly CD but...

AND it explains dogs and vacuums

We're not creepy. Honest.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Good News, I Hope

The Washington Post Jobs section starts with a half-page adticle (not sure if it's an ad or an article) about some aspect of job hunting.  Often they're about new entrants, and I skip those.  Sometimes they're for "over 50s" and I glance at them.  Last month there was one headed "Understanding the EEOC Process" which I gave a once-over.  I don't really know why ~ it doesn't interest me ~ but I'm glad I did.  There were two subheads and the second was:

Recent EEOC activity paves way for transgender equality

I searched the web in vain for this little article, but I wanted to share it.  So I typed it in.  Any errors are my own.

There have been very recent achievements for one particular community.  On April 20, the EEOC stated that it is discriminatory to deny employment to a person based on his or her gender identity, which followed a number of federal appellate and trial court decisions that gender-identity discrimination equates with sex discrimination.

This action was prompted when a transgender woman named Mia Macy was denied employment with a federal agency after the agency learned of her situation and transition.  The Transgender Law Center (TLC) brought Macy's case forward, and its executive director, Masen Davis, said, "This is a historic day for human rights in the United States... starting today, transgender and gender non-conforming people now have legal recourse if they face discrimination on the job.  We no longer have to be silent when we are fired or not hired simply for being who we are."

Macy originally submitted her notification of this discriminatory action to the TLC, after which the ruling was reported on April 23 by Metro Weekly, D.C.'s weekly magazine for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.  Initially, Macy's claims were denied and considered ineligible under Title VII.  Thus, Macy appealed her claim to the EEOC, and she was notified of its acceptance on May 18.

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality noted that there are more steps to take from here.  In an interview with Metro Weekly, she said there is a need to "keep educating employers that they now have a legal obligation to follow."  She also stated, "We keep educating trans people that they have rights that they may not have thought they did have."

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Halloween 2009 ~ Redux

First, I want to mention that I'll be on my own for a couple of nights next week.  I hope to get out, but I really want something interesting to do.  I've reached the point where I want to dress to do something, not just dress.


A couple of readers followed up on my Halloween experience.

One anonymous reader mentioned that some MAC associates are trained in doing makeup for men.  She didn't say if they were trained to do male makeup ~ hey, some guys wear it ~ or women's makeup on men.  I'm guessing the latter.  I suspect that, currently, that's a larger market.  Maybe some day, men wearing makeup will be for more than rock stars and Goth.

Another nearly-anonymous reader (she identified herself as MAM) wrote:

Meg -

If you were going to the MAC store again to have them makeover your face, what would you ask of them that you didn't ask then? Also, if someone (another TGCD) wanted a makeover for the first time, what would you do beforehand? And what would you ask the person doing the makeover to do?

Well, MAM, I ~ no scratch that.  I feel like John Wayne saying "Well, MAM" and that's not where I want to be.  (Or maybe it is.)

You have good questions and I wish I'd thought of them beforehand.  I've had my makeup done a number of times, and there is really a world of difference between doing makeup for men and doing makeup for women.  I am assuming my experience applies to a lot of us; I know it's not universal.

My best makeup was done by someone who has experience putting makeup on men.  She might have done crossdressers before (ideal), or done drag makeup (not quite as good ~ it's often more exaggerated, but she probably knows what to tone down if she has that experience), or she might have done theatrical makeup.  If she's doing makeup for actors she will have a good understanding of the relationship between light and cosmetics, know how to do makeup for cover, and know contouring and such that most women who just wear makeup don't know.

When I had makeup done in a department store, or a salon (Zoe's in the Fair Oaks Mall), or the MAC store each time she did "makeup for women."

Women want the least makeup they need.  In general, they have a good canvas for the paint.  In general, men do not.  Look at the average face with no hair or makeup and it's still pretty obvious which is a male and which is a female face.

Women want their makeup to enhance their appearance.  I want my makeup to disguise my appearance.  Jane wants to look like Glamourous Jane.  John wants to look like Glamourous Jane, not John.

Teddy did my makeup twice.  She's worked in theatre.  She understood the "disguise" aspect.  With a couple of casual (for her) swipes of colour she changed the shape of my face ~ at least the way it was perceived, and that's what counts, no?

So what would I do?

I'd avoid the mineral makeup.  Zoe's uses it and when I sat down the makeup lady looked dismayed and said "I was hoping you had brought your own cosmetics."

I'd definitely ask if she has any experience making up men.  I'd point out the difference between enhance and disguise, and let her know I'm looking for disguise ~ I do not want to look like a pretty version of the guy who walked in.

I might do the foundation in advance, although the makeup ladies are good at placing cover in just the right spot to minimise the bags under my eyes or that hint of facial hair that shows through after a few hours out.

I'd ask questions and compare experiences, although they never seem to like that.  They know they're the experts.  I don't question how they're doing eyes, since so many looks are possible, but I've asked questions about sequence (one put on cover after foundation!) and such.  I always assume the makeup lady knows best, and the result is always pronounced "great" even when I have my doubts.

And one more comment on comments.  I kind of skipped over the fact that I changed early because I had to get home at a reasonable hour and couldn't go home like that ~ my sons would be there.

But I really wanted to come in on Monday in a different outfit.  It's all I thought about all weekend.  I don't often obsess over fantasies but I really wanted to dress for Monday.  And I almost convinced myself I should do it.

And almost three years later, I still regret not doing it.  I could have still said it was a joke, as long as I didn't wear a dress on Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Halloween 2009 - Part III

At the office
Even though it was close to lunch time, I saw almost no-one in the parking lot or lobby.  I was going to go into the cafe on the first floor, just to say hi, but I didn't really want to have to explain myself or tip off anyone from my office who might be down there.

As part of my pre-Halloween visit, I scanned my card and replaced my male pic with one of Meg.  I left my name.  I put this over my card ~ we use contact readers so all I had to do was hold the card up to the reader to get into the office.

I went up (alone) in the elevator to the top floor.  I walked through the glass doors straight to the receptionist.

We do not get a lot of visitors.  We get groups of strangers in for training in the morning most weeks, but by lunch time they all have temporary badges and they are not going into the secure areas anyway.

She said "may I help you?" and I grinned and showed her my badge without saying a word.  She looked puzzled for a second, then burst out laughing.  I gave her a broad smile and headed towards the side where I sat (there are two sides, one is training, consulting, IT.  The other is finance, marketing, and things like that).

As I held the card up to the reader she was still laughing.

I walked past my desk to N's office.  She wasn't there.  OK, this wasn't good, but it wasn't bad.  I noticed S, our office fashionista, was talking to one of the guys from marketing.  I stood behind him, where S could see me while they chatted about this and that.  After a minute or so, S said "can I do something for you?  I'm S."  I said "I know that.  I'm ."

She let out a yelp that I was sure alerted everyone on the floor.  I saw our head of security who was maybe ten yards away look towards us.  S screeched "{male name}" and got up and hugged me.  She asked what I was doing dressed like that and I told her N suggested I do this for Halloween.

S seemed to genuinely enjoy my new personna.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do next.  I came in to show N and had no further plans really.  I usually interacted with about a third of the people on the floor ~ mostly the ones on my side of the office.  Marketing and other corporate activities... not so much.

But S took over.  She took my hand and brought me to the nearest employee, a woman who had an office on our side, but the opposite wall from my desk.  S introduced me with a made-up name and said I was there for an interview.  She offered her hand, we exchanged greetings and she saw my badge and started laughing.  Then when we left she joined my new posse.

Most of the people on my side were out or in training sessions or gone for an early lunch so S grabbed my hand again and off we went to the other section.  There she introduced me to one of the accounting guys by a different name and said I was "her new assistant."  Again, we got away with it for a short time ~ this time, he said something like "what do you think of {the company}?" and I said "I've been here for a year.  I've only been S's assistant for a little while" and he looked confused so I showed him my badge.

As S dragged me around the floor our little group grew, and camera phones appeared.  I posed for a couple of pictures, and pictures of my meet-and-greet were taken.  Each time, S gave me a different name and a different title.  When we got to accounting, I was the "marketing representative for the midwest."  When we got to marketing, I was in "product quality."  In shipping I was "the new trainer."  Each time I was greeted, usually with a handshake and once with a look that was so close to a leer that I got a little hint of what women have to put up with from guys just being guys.  He seemed VERY embarrassed when he realised who I was.  And I was VERY relieved that he was embarrassed. :)

Although our IT head came over to me later and told me I looked great.  Then he did the same thing a few days later.

I had a great time, but I hadn't met with my manager yet.  She was in a conference room giving a presentation for a potential client.

I told S that my goal was to meet with N and this was much more fun that I could have ever hoped for.  I thanked her profusely. She had to meet a friend for lunch and I was on my own again.  Well, almost.  A couple of the women came by to talk to me, which was unusual and nice.  Oh... the head of security saw me as she was walking through the cubicle farm on my side of the office and yelled out "hi {male name}."  I later asked her how she knew and she said "it was obvious."  But I knew she heard S's first squeal and my "secret" was out ~ to her.

N took this photo of Meg and her messy desk
One of the women went into the conference room and got N's attention and told her I wanted to see her.  She said it would be another ten minutes and this was relayed to me.

It was way longer than ten minutes, but I spent some time getting an idea as to what it's like to work in an office as a woman.  I continued with my usual routine, except for my usual coffee overdose.  I did NOT want to have to use the ladies' room.

N finally got out of her meeting and came to my cube.  She took some pictures and seemed to genuinely enjoy my "Halloween costume."  I waited around for her boss, J, to see me, but he was out of the building at a meeting and never made it back.  I finally returned to the mall and did a quick "undo."  I was back in the office looking male within a half-hour.

Even though I was the only one in the office "dressed for the holiday," I felt great, not embarrassed like I thought I might be.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it, and one of the managers sent out an e-mail to all staff commending me on bringing cheer to our normal end-of-month crunch.

Alas, I'm in what is technically a military installation right now.  I doubt there will be a repeat for 2012.  But maybe I can finally make it to the high heel race.

(Not long after this, I came out to S.  I figured she earned it, and I wrote about that here.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Halloween 2009 - Part II

In preparation for Halloween, I went to a few nearby salons, trying to line up someone to do my makeup. 

You all know how I plan and replan and overplan.  I had done my own makeup a few times by then, and I was comfortable with the results, but I wanted to have someone else do my makeup.  I had three reasons:
* mistakes were less likely
* it would take less time
* I had cover.  I wasn't ready to admit to the office that I dressed at that time.  If people commented on my makeup I could honestly say "I had a pro do it."

So, as I said, I went to a few nearby salons, trying to line up someone to do my makeup.  There weren't many.  Most opened too late to be useful.  One sounded hopeful but after speaking to her once, the makeup lady stopped being available.  I understand.  We can be a little much for some people.  I don't push myself at anyone.

By the way, there was no scheduled Halloween events at the office.  Other than a silly hat or two, I'd be the only "costume."

I figured there were still two options.

Before the big day, I packed my clothes, shoes, wig, jewelry, and makeup into a small overnight bag and headed to the office.

There are two malls near my office.  I planned to change at the closer, more upscale one.  I didn't expect them to open as early as I wanted to get to the office so I just brought my bag in the car and went to work.

A little while later, N came in.  She said "I thought you were going to dress as a woman!"  I corrected her ~ I said I'd wear women's clothing and I was wearing women's jeans, socks, a polo, sneakers.  I told her she'd have to take my word for it on panties.  (I use that line a lot and everyone agrees to take my word. :) )  She agreed to do that as well, but she also (rightfully) accused me of chickening out.  I told her I'd go change at 10 and be back at 11.  She was good with this.  I also wanted to make sure that she'd be in the office then ~ I wanted cover in case I came in and she decided to take the day off, or be on travel.  N was not the best at letting the team know her plans.

Just before 10, I went to the mall.  I took my bag with me and considered my two options.

One was to have someone at the mall do my makeover.  I walked through Macy's, and there was also a Nieman and another upper-scale store.  I planned to check them all out, but I wasn't crazy about the department store option.  Then I walked past the MAC store.  There were a couple of women working there and one customer.  I walked up to one of the women and she asked if she could help me.  I explained that I'm going to be dressed in drag and would like to know if someone in the store could do my makeup.  Once I convinced her I was serious, she wanted to know when.  I pointed to my bag and said I could change in about ten or fifteen minutes and come back.  She said that would be OK.  I said I may put on foundation and lipstick just so I don't stand out too much.  She said that was fine too, or she could do it all.  I asked her to please wait for me ~ I am serious and I will be returning very soon.  She promised she'd be available.

I went down the mall to the family restroom.  I had shaved as close as I could before leaving the house, and I made sure my arms, legs, and chest were clean as well.  I quickly removed my "male" clothes and put on my bra, pads, hose, camisole, half-slip, and heels.  I put on my wig and then realised I did not bring my favourite, but it wasn't a showstopper.  It was good enough.  I made a mental note to label the bags with my wigs ~ 1, 2, 3, and 4 ~ for my favourite down to the one I'd wear if 1, 2, and 3 were unavailable.  This was number 3.

I put on sunglasses and looked critically in the mirror.

Woman from the neck down, with a man's face.  I removed the dress and put on my liquid foundation.  I put on a coat of lipstick and my (women's, of course) sunglasses.  It wasn't great, but it was better and good enough for the walk down the mall to MAC in a somewhat quiet mall.

I put on my jewelry, packed away my other clothes and shoes, and walked back to MAC, enjoying the sound of my heels on the tile floor.  I avoided being looked at ~ when someone would look my way, or if I was even passing or about to pass someone, I did some "window shopping" and kept my gaze directed at the stores.

Meg at MAC
Back at MAC, I found the makeup lady had kept her promise.

One difference between MAC and the department store counters: the department store makeovers are free.  MAC cost $50 but you can put that towards a purchase.  I was OK with that, and I bought a couple of the products she used on me: powder and lipstick, and I picked up a foundation that matched the powder.  I can't remember; I may have picked up a blush as well.

My quick change wasn't as quick as I expected, and she took her time on the makeover but I didn't leave too much after 11, feeling fine and femme.

One difference between mall makeovers and do-it-yourself: the store employees want to do a female makeover on a female face.  My face needs a bit heavier hand than they use.  I think I didn't look as femme as I would have liked to, but I think I was OK.  I also think my number 1 or 2 wig would have made a difference.

Good enough.  I thanked and (over)tipped the makeup lady and asked for her card.  I also asked her to take a picture or two before I left, which she did.

Most days, I walk to the mall from the office if I want to get lunch there, or maybe shop.  Today I drove, just because the ten minute walk is a two minute drive and I wanted to be out of the office as little as possible.

It was time to face the office.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Halloween 2009 ~ Part I

I've written about some recent Halloweens:
2008: I surprised my old boss (the story is here and the next few posts)
2010: The rally in DC (that story starts here and goes on for a month or so)
2011: Tucson, sorta Halloween (with Dorothy)
2009: I owe you this one!

My old manager, N, was a nice woman and a good manager.  She worked with the team members to ensure that we weren't travelling too much, that we had the resources to do out jobs, and that everything was going smoothly.  I enjoyed working for her.

One day we were discussing an upcoming job.  She had already booked her travel but another obligation came up and she couldn't make it.  Since it was to be my project, I was asked to go in her place.  Then she said something that was straight out of chapter one of many TV fiction stories:

"It would be great if you could use my ticket.  It's too bad you're not a girl."

I said, "I could be."  She asked what I meant and I said I could "dress up" and maybe get away with it.  She laughed and asked for proof.  We went on to other issues about the upcoming trip.

I went home and printed "proof."  I found a not-bad picture of Meg and printed it out and brought it to the office a couple of days later.

It was probably a week after that that I finally found N alone in her office.  I asked if she had a minute and I reminded her of our earlier discussion.  She grinned and said "yeah...?" and I pulled out the picture.

She said "no way" and insisted it was my sister.  I told her I have a sister, but that's not her.  She kept looking between the picture and me and finally acknowledged that maybe I was telling the truth.  Then she asked "was this for a costume party, or is it something you do, sometimes?"

At the time, I was pretty deeply in the closet and my first impulse was to take her "costume party" line and run with it.  My brain was screaming "ABORT!  BAIL OUT!" but I also thought she phrased what I do perfectly.  I said "it's something I do, sometimes."

She said I had to come into the office like that.  I suggested Halloween, still a few months off.  She insisted I do so.  We agreed I would come in on Halloween wearing women's clothing.

We had little joking passing discussions about this in the following weeks.  I reminded her I was going to wear women's clothing on Halloween (actually, the day before Halloween ~ Oct 31 was a Saturday).

I, of course, wasn't joking.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

More Pickles

I don't like them on my sandwich, but in the funnies I kind of enjoy Pickles.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

You Could Have Asked

You might have been surprised.  There might have been a wholly unexpected dialogue there, Opal.

Pickles, By Brian Crane

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Very Special Weekend, Part V

Meg on the Potomac

We said goodbye to Kim and left the swap.  Aeify scored a scarf and a wonderful bracelet which she wore because it went with her dress ~ but she left it for me.  Aeify, by the way, is a big scarf fan.  I have yet to learn to appreciate the attraction of the scarf.

We found our way to Old Town Alexandria without incident.  Old Town is the waterfront part of Alexandria, and is a mix of historic homes and newer shops.  There are a lot of boutiques and few chains.  And there are a lot of restaurants.

We parked about five blocks from the Potomac river and walked up Duke street towards the water.  Duke at that spot is quiet, residential, old, and the streets are a mix of cobblestones and bricks.  I was glad I didn't have stillettos on.  My comfortable slides were not the most glamourous shoes I own, but they were without a doubt the best choice.

A shopping note: I didn't plan to get slides.  I like heel support because I don't want my shoes flapping and slapping as I walk.  I looked at several shoes and picked two pair of open-toed shoes before one of my Arizona trips.  One is the pink wedges that I love, and the other were lower heel with an ankle strap.  I picked up a box in my size, glanced inside to make sure it was the right shoe, and made my purchase.  Except I didn't notice it wasn't the right shoe: it was the slides I've come to love.

The weather wasn't bad.  We walked to the river and turned north.  We walked a few more blocks to some of the local attractions like the Cherry Blossom, a Mississippi River style paddleboat (funny thing to show a woman who lives on the mighty Miss) and we spent a little time in the Torpedo Factory.  That's a WWII factory that's been converted into a artist space.  There are dozens of studios where artist create their paintings, sculptures, and so on.  It's a unique sort of space and worth a little time.

We walked up King Street (yes, there are also Prince and Queen streets) which is pretty much wall-to-wall shops.  We stopped in some clothing and jewelry stores and looked around.  Mostly Old Town is out of my price range but it's fun to look, especially when dressed.
At Dinner
We were welcomed in various stores, got a "hello ladies" when we sat down to an early dinner at a Tapas restaurant and had a rather ordinary "girls' day out."  Yes, I used the ladies' room at the restaurant.

We also stopped in a "Life Is Good" shop and Aeify traded her cute shoes for what she said were the most comfortable flip-flops ever.  I was fine with my slides. :)

As we were walking back to the car, Aeify stopped to take several pictures of the houses and such.  Old Town is a picturesque area, and worthy of a stroll and some memories.  At one point, she took a picture of someone's house and landscaping.  The homeowner was nearby, trying to untangle a garden hose.  She came over to us and said "would you like me to take a picture of the two of you?"  We thanked her and handed her the camera.

We also went past a cupcake shop which Aeify could NOT resist.  She bought three cupcakes and took a picture of Meg and the pink cupcake box.  I didn't realise what a girly experience cupcakes are.  I thought they were just, well, little cakes.

That's pretty much it.  We picked up some groceries on the way back and I had such a great "girlfriend" time I almost feel guilty.  But it felt like my vacation as much as Aeify's.  I was relaxed and felt great afterwards.  I wish my "Meg life" was like this all of the time.  I've mentioned this before ~ the best way to go out dressed is to go with a friend.  I think dressing is such a solitary activity for so many of us that it's almost a drug high to go out with someone else.

Oh... one other thing, not t-related.  Aeify drove her rental back to the airport the next morning and I tagged along, figuring I could take a cab home before going to work.  We dropped off the car, checked her bag and saw a massive line for security.  We were hoping we could grab a bite first, but saw that there wouldn't be time since the security line would only be getting longer.  So I got on line with her and we talked and snaked our way to the front of the line.

Eventually we got to the nice TSA lady who took Aeify's ID and ticket and checked them out.  By this time, we were pretty much in the middle of a maze.  TSALady looked at me and I said "I just came along to keep her company.  How do I get out of here?"  She directly me to cross in front of the lines and go out through an unused aisle.  She didn't seem happy.  I was surprisingly not challenged as I cut across all of the lines.

And I do need to include one more picture:
Aeify's SECOND parallel park EVER :D

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Very Special Weekend, Part IV

(sorry early birds.  I screwed up Tuesday and scheduled my post for 6:30 PM instead of AM).

I had told Aeify about my recent visit to the UU church and we toyed with the idea of going.  We also thought about going to Old Town Alexandria for a bit before the swap.  Once again though, getting some extra sleep took priority and it was 10 (church service start time) when we started getting ready.

Aeify again did my makeup, very differently from Friday, and my eyes looked beautiful.  She said she enjoyed doing it because my lids are larger than hers so she has more area to work with.  I don't care why.  I enjoyed it and I wish I could do my eyes that good!  I think I need to have her come back, even if it's just to do my eyes.  I hope it's because she enjoys my company though.  (I'm sorry, Aeify.  I know you're reading.  I don't want to put you on the spot.  Honest.)

We had coffee but skipped breakfast and went to the swap, even though we were early.  I had a HUGE garbage bag full of clothes and shoes ~ definitely more than the price of admission for the two of us.  I promised Kim I'd bring 40 pounds of ice so we stopped at a supermarket on the way and picked up some bags.

By the way, I think I have the answer to my impromptu experiment.  We were mostly ignored as we shopped.  At the swap and as we walked Alexandria and ate dinner later, we were treated as two women.  I think identical dresses accounted for most if not all of the unexpected attention and Meg is just fine at blending.

We were greeted by Kim's husband as we were about to enter the swap location.  He remembered Meg; I introduced Aeify (the first of several introductions).  He graciously brought in the ice.  I stayed in role and let him. :)
Dianna Li (L) and Kim, our hostesses

When she saw the ice, before she saw me, Kim shouted "Meg's here!"  We hugged, I introduced my out-of-town friend and I gave Kim the Reader's Digest version of what's been going on in my life and caught up on hers.  I love Kim.  She's been through a lot, and always bounces back and never said "I have too much on my plate.  I can't do the clothing swap."  It's for charity and that's important to her.  There are now over a thousand members in her group.  She limited attendence to 150 and it filled almost immediately.

And Kim is another woman who Accepts, not just accepts.  But everyone there was wonderful.  I spoke to several women, I didn't see any clothing I wanted to bring home with me (a good thing), I had a little lunch and girl watched (there was one guy there with what was probably his girl friend).

When we first arrived, there was just a small crowd since the swap wouldn't start for another half-hour.  One woman started helping Aeify unload the clothes while I spoke to Kim and she started talking to both of us, telling Aeify how she wants to take all of Meg's clothes home with her but she'll resist.  There was a deaf woman there (I knew because I saw Kim signing with her) who was trying on a pair of platform pumps I brought in ~ they did not work on my feet.  I was trying to tell her that they were my shoes and looked fabulous on her, but I know one sign and that is only useful in traffic.  (Actually, I was told Meg can use another sign in traffic: look at the guy who's giving you a hard time, smile and hold your thumb and index finger up with about an inch of air between them.)  Anyway, I hope my smile and thumbs up gave her the right idea.

I LOVE that dress!
I also complimented one woman ~ she had a very feminine, very pretty dress and accessories I would love to own.  I told her that I was sad because I knew anything else she brought in was probably beautiful too AND nowhere near my size.  But I was free with my compliments ~ I try to make sure the fashionistas know their effort is enjoyed.

There was one other t-girl there and we chatted a bit.  She remembered me; I didn't remember her name, but I did remember that I should remember her (huh?).  We all chatted a bit and discussed upcoming t-activities that we might attend and meet again.

And did I mention Dianna?  She's the swap co-host and comes with her wife.  So yes, if you're looking for a t-friendly event in the DC area, the swap definitely works.  In fact, a couple of years ago someone in the group complained about "us" being part of the swap and Kim just dropped her.

Near the end of the swap I made a faux pas.  I wasn't thinking and decided to use the ladies' room.  I'm feeling more comfortable with that and I figured these women saw me there and were OK and it should be no problem.

In past swaps, Dianna brought in a couple of screens and they were set up in one corner of the room.  I studiously avoided that corner and never try on clothes at the swap.  This time Dianna forgot the screens.  Now ladies....  You're in a local government centre.  There are piles of clothing sitting out.  There is no changing room/changing area.  So where do you go?

I walked into the ladies room and saw a woman who had clearly just pulled on a pair of pants.  I saw several other women standing in the restroom and I kept my eyes at eye level and made a beeline for a stall.  I did my business and kept my eyes on my own as I washed my hands and left as quickly as I could.  No "HEYs" or "Get Outs".  No comments.  I did notice a smile or two ~ I think they were amused at my discomfiture.  That's OK.  I love to entertain.