Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's Becoming Routine

But not boring.  Maybe routine is the wrong word.  Maybe "normal" is the word I'm looking for.

Sometimes, it's kind of a chore.  There is a lot of work, a lot of prep.  It's like enjoying painting your house but hating the sanding and filling and so on.  It's like wanting to fish but hating to clean your tackle and load your reel.

So when I go out, there's around two hours of preparation involved.  Sometimes, it's kind of a zen thing, where I just get lost in what I'm doing; more often, not.  I still have to think about everything so I don't miss anything.  And the prep gets to be more fun, the closer I get to going out.

Shaving or other hair removal can take thirty minutes or more.  Including a shower where I do even more shaving brings the total up to 45 minutes to an hour.  All chore, most of the time.  Sometimes (rarely) I just do it without thinking and that's not bad.

Makeup prep is OK.  This is where it starts to be enjoyable Every Time.  Toner, moisturiser, cover stick mean the best part is starting.  Once my contacts are in, I'm out of makeup prep and into the actual makeup phase.

Foundation starts the transformation and once I have it on, I feel like my male self is fading away, to be replaced by the self I want to be, and will be soon.

The colour is hard but that's OK.  I'm still not secure in my skills.  I too often smear my lipstick into my cupid's bow when I press my lips together.  Most of the time, I look at my eyeliner (which I probably had to take a q-tip to, to get rid of smudges or slips) and sigh and decide it's "good enough."  I'll never be perfect.  One day, I'll get close and that will be as close to heaven on earth as this girl will ever see.  Mascara is pure pleasure.  I don't know why.  I just enjoy the way it goes on, the way it makes my eyes look.  Eyeshadow is always a crapshoot.  I figure nobody's looking at my eyes as closely as I am, so if I think it's OK then others will think it's OK.  I always feel like I have to do my best in every phase of getting ready ~ the better I do, the more passable I am (or at least, I'll avoid the second and third look that will give me away faster than a glance will).  That means shave every hair on every bit that might show in the event of a wardrobe malfunction.  Long sleeves mean shaving arms to my elbows.  Elbow-length sleeves mean shaving to my shoulder.  Pads have to look realistic, not overdone.  I am neither Dolly Parton nor an 18-year-old girl!

I enjoy clipping on earrings and putting on a necklace and bracelet and rings.  I even enjoy filling my purse.

Sliding on a dress or skirt, putting on my heels....  It's ten minutes out of two hours, a tiny percent of the prep but it's just pure joy and makes the rest worthwhile.  My wig is always the last thing and I have to smile when I look in the mirror.  Meg is looking back, and she deserves a smile.

And when I smile, she smiles back.

Tonight (last Friday, actually), it was casual Meg ~ denim skirt, pretty top, boots.  And I don't have to wear my best dress because even though it's still a special occasion when Meg goes out, it's also a chance for her to be more casually femme.  Sometimes.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Simple Pleasure ~ Almost There

Yesterday morning, I took off my nightgown and put on fresh panties, a bra, tights, a waist cinch, and a camisole.

Since it was a work day, I put on a button-down shirt, nice slacks, and my ubiquitous New Balance tennies.  All were from the women's department, but I was dressed as a male.

Before I put on my shirt and pants, I realised I was at a turning point.  I could have put on my pads, wig, makeup and a dress and I'd be dressed as a female.

I was going to say "just as easily" but it's certainly not as easy.  It's the difference between two minute dressing and ninety minute dressing.  It's also the difference between having a nice day and having an awesome day.

I really didn't realise how close I was, how thin the shell is around the female middle.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Presenting the Opposing View

This is all over the interwebs.  I just grabbed a copy.  Funny thing is, I'd go for the other side most of the time.  The rest, I don't really care.

Why Men Are Just Happier People!

What do you expect from such simple creatures!?
  • Your last name stays put.
  • The garage is all yours.
  • Wedding plans take care of themselves.
  • Chocolate is just another snack.
  • You can be president.
  • You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
  • Car mechanics tell you the truth.
  • The world is your urinal.
  • You never have to drive to another gas station because this one's just too icky.
  • Same work, more pay.
  • Wrinkles add character.
  • Wedding dress - $5000; tux rental - $100.
  • People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.
  • The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.
  • New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
  • One mood, ALL the time.
  • Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
  • You know stuff about tanks.
  • A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
  • You can open all your own jars.
  • You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
  • If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.
  • Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
  • Everything on your face stays its original colour.
  • Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
  • You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
  • You almost never have strap problems in public
  • You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
  • The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.
  • You don't have to shave below your neck.
  • Your belly usually hides your big hips.
  • One wallet and one pair of shoes, one colour, all seasons.
  • You can "do" your nails with a pocket-knife.
  • You have freedom of choice concerning growing a moustache.
  • You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives, on December 24, in 45 minutes.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Worst. Photo. Ever.

Simply dreadful.
At the Birchmere.  From Charity's phone.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013


I was never cute.  But I sure would love to wear the style of clothing she's talking about!

It's nice to know that "real" women have dressy oh-my-god-I-can't-wear-this-outside that they'll wear around the house too.  I thought it was just me.  Oh... the strip is called Reply All.  It's pretty uneven, and I'm still not sure I love the art style, but girl strips always catch my eye.

Click to make it readable.

Friday, January 25, 2013

By Popular Demand

Here's the two-pager Christine was kind enough to put together for her Soiree.  Be sure to read carefully.  I misremembered her simple rules as "Shoulders Together," "Lift Legs" and "Back Up."

NOT as effective.  Please click each image to enlarge.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Game Night ~ Private Party

When we were at the (civilian) gamers meetup last week, Charity chatted with one of the women (call her S) at her table.  I didn't have the chance, but later Charity told me that S has a trans partner.  S also invited Charity and Meg over for a little private gaming.  We went last Monday.

For the event, I decided on a repeat ~ I wore the purple dress I wore to the Birchmere and a pair of black pumps.  Charity had to work so I did my makeup and my lips are lighter than usual ~ I like it.  Charity chose the colours. 

Click the pics to enlarge.

Andrea, S's partner, looked GREAT.  She wore a skirt-and-boots that looked fabulous.  AND she gets to skip the wig.  Grrrrr.

They have a huge selection of games ~ I mentioned to Charity that some gamers at the GLBT game group were playing Ticket to Ride and it looked interesting, so Charity suggested we play that first.

After the game (I won't mention how badly I was beaten), we decided to go out to a nearby diner.  It was very quiet, and we were treated normally.  I admit I was a bit apprehensive about the diner, but the food was good, the conversation better, and the only bad thing was I forgot to get a picture or two after dinner.

We returned to their house, took a tour, and played another, sillier game involving monsters trying to take Tokyo.  Since dice were involved, Charity won.  She has amazing luck in games of chance.  A week or two earlier, I taught her Yahtzee.  She managed to roll a Yahtzee (or two!) in each of the first few rounds that we played.  I don't think she zeroed anything.  In about the fifth round, a few nights later, she managed SIX YAHTZEES IN ONE ROUND.  I shan't be playing poker against her.

Meg and Andrea
S mentioned that Andrea had never had the "twelve-year-old sleepover" experience so she had a sleepover for her, complete with mounds of nail polish and Teen Beat magazine.  It sounds like S is as comfortable with the dressing as Charity is, and that's great!

It sounds like an ordinary evening, but there was a Meg first: she spent an afternoon/evening with another couple, doing normal couple things.  That made it extraordinary.

I hope we'll have a repeat soon.  I'm ALWAYS up for games, and good company is the icing on the cake.

And did I mention that Charity baked a cake and brought that to the game?

We also signed up to go to Drag Queen Bingo at Freddie's Beach Bar Wednesday (yesterday).  One of the civilians at the game group suggested it.  Unfortunately, those plans were spoiled, but the woman who organised it said she was thinking of doing it again.  We'll see.

Below is a poor picture of the foursome.  It was very dark and I fixed it up as best I could.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Simple Pleasures: It's My Choice

For the past few years, I went out when Events Beyond My Control allowed me to go out.

At home, I looked for what I called "the perfect storm."  I looked first for days when my family would be away, preferably for three days.  The first night was preparation, the next full day was a Meg day, the next morning was for putting everything away.

Sometimes, things just worked.  The family went skiing and I not only had one of my first "escorted" outings on one day, the next day was a Mardi Gras party that Meg attended.  The family went to the beach on the exact day I would be able to fly to Kansas ~ the start of this blog.  That was actually a bit of aiming on my part: I delayed going a week (since I could) and when my wife kept changing dates, I worked to keep her on track.

Travel was wherever I would go, traveling in drab (with two exceptions) and dressing at my destination.

Now, I can go out every night if I want to.  There's something to do almost every night ~ the t-girls go to a club a couple of times a week; the gamers or other civilian meetups happen most nights.

The simple pleasure?  I have a choice.  I don't have to go into OhMyGodIGetToGoOutIBetterGo mode.  I can look at how I feel, and what my schedule is like (do I have three hours to get dressed/undressed?) and know that, if I skip this opportunity there will be another.

It's like a weight has been lifted.  The pleasure of dressing has gone up.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

All Dressed Up and Somewhere to Go ~ Some of the Ladies

As promised, a few photos from the soiree.  Click to enlarge.

This is the Christine photo from yesterday,
uncropped so you can see her wife Pam
and some of the ladies

Pre-sitdown schmooze

I had the pleasure of having a long chat with Pamela

A few more ladies.  I did not get everyone ~
I was having more fun talking than taking pictures!

Monday, January 21, 2013

All Dressed Up and Somewhere to Go - Part II

I wish I could remember everyone I spoke with.  I wish I could have spoken with more ladies.  Everyone was nice ~ no exceptions, although some were exceptional.

Two personal issues prevent me from enjoying "happy hour" type events.  I've spoken of them before.  Briefly, I'm a classic introvert.  The new-agey definition is, extroverts gain energy from people; introverts gain energy by being alone.  It's pretty accurate, at least for me.  I feel drained if I'm around people too long ~ it's hard to describe.  Sometimes it borders on panic and I've been known to leave rather than face a group milling about.  The other is my prosopagnosia (I don't recognise faces).  So I often find myself in the embarrassing position of introducing myself to people who remember me and wonder "what's wrong with this woman?"

Knowing my limitations helps with the first issue and having an accomplice helps with the second.

After a bit of schmoozing, we sat down in the large living room.  Twenty or so chairs were arranged in a circle so the ladies could sit and talk and listen.  Charity and I (and a couple of others) sat in the gallery ~ the living room is somewhat sunken and Christine put a few chairs above and behind the circle.  Think theatre balcony.  I believe Charity, Kacey, Rhonda, and I sat up there.

Christine had the newcomers (about a quarter of the group) introduce ourselves and tell a bit of our stories.  All I'll say is, we're a pretty diverse group.

I don't know what's normal here.  I expect I will after a few soirees, but maybe not ~ no-one said they do the same thing every time.  But at this meeting, Christine led a VERY useful and informative session on helping us to pass better by simply sitting and standing in a more feminine manner.  She handed out a little two-pager which I keep on my vanity so I can have a reminder of what to do.  One of my "New Years resolutions" is to try to improve my mannerisms ("improve" in this case is make more feminine) to the point where I have to think about it to seem male, not to seem female.  I'll talk about this and other resolutions in the coming weeks.

For the record, Christine is a great role model.  Her movements and mannerisms would never give her away.

Including Pamela, Christine's wife, there were four ggs there.  I was SURE there were five or six.  I won't say which of the ladies were that perfect.  I also won't divulge conversations ~ if you wanna know what goes on, sign up for the next one.

I'm pretty sure I'll be there.

Tomorrow: mostly pictures.

Today, I just wanted to include a picture of Christine as she was explaining poise to us.  She demonstrated "how not to stand" in the photo on the left, and on the right, well, it's just a typical pose.  I wish I had her natural poise and posture.  It would make Meg's life so much easier.  I fear I'm closer to the Neanderthal on the left, most of the time.  I think I have until the next Soiree to practice!

Left: NO                       Right: WOW

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Brewster Rockit: Just Plain Stupid

Sometimes I enjoy stupid.  Here's a weeks' worth of Brewster.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The First One. Duh!

I mean, really.  Which manicure looks like more fun?  No, I'm not even going to bother with a poll on this one!

The second cartoon was printed here last July, but they're kind of complementary so I'm printing it again.

Friday, January 18, 2013

All Dressed Up and Somewhere to Go

Like many of us, I like to dress UP when I go out.  I have limits though: although I don't mind being the most dressed up woman when I go somewhere, I want to be at least somewhat close to the next most-dressed-up women.

If jeans are normal attire, I'll wear a casual skirt and top and hope there will be some other skirts in the room (there usually are).  I dressed up a bit for the Birchmere, unsure of what other women would be wearing.  I kind of expected jeans but, as I mentioned, a few women were dressier than I was.

Last weekend, I was FINALLY able to attend a private t-gathering.  There are two local groups.  One goes to the local t-friendly club once or twice a week.  The other has a get-together in a private house.  I figured this is not just an opportunity to not only get out of the house, but also to meet some t-girls, meet some SOs, and Dress Up.  I figured that anything short of a gown and I wouldn't be the dressiest there.

So I wore a gown.

No I didn't.  I wore a nice dress ~ dressier than I'd wear to the mall or a folk club.  I've had this one in my closet for a long time and I've never had the right occasion to take it out and wear it out. 

It's a tad short.  It's dark dark blue.  It's velvet (or velvet-y anyway).

I added blue tights; black patent pumps; my longer, blonder wig; a borrowed necklace and some other jewelry; and Makeup (and nails) By Charity.

Nails by Charity
Having gone out the night before, I could skip some of the shaving and brow plucking.

We had an uneventful drive up to Christine's house.  Most of the other members had arrived already and we headed for the drinks-and-nosh room.

There will be more Monday and Tuesday.  You regulars know what the weekend will bring.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

More Games

Charity, with her rainbow headband

The pictures here are from the game night.

I wrote about the gamers meetup on Tuesday.  They have a lot of events, and they have a couple of periodic events I need to think about.

They occasionally have an "adult" game night, whereing they allow as many women who want to join, join.  But they limit the number of men to the same as the number of women.

They also have "guys games" nights and "girls games" nights.

The gang's all here
I'm not sure about joining either the adult or the gender-specific games.  If I did, I'd insist on being in the girl role.  But I'm not going to bring that up.  Yet.

Oh... remember I did a poll a while back about "should I tell a civilian group about Meg before I go?"  You overwhelmingly said "NO!  Just go and have fun."  I went and had fun, and it seems everyone else did as well.

And I also polled "should we dress alike?" and you guys said "no" (roughly 2:1).

We didn't.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Simple Pleasures: Visualise Your Goals

You, or someone you work with, might have a goal picture on their desk.  It might be a picture of the Swiss Alps, a Porsche, a sailboat.  It reminds them that they're working for a reason: for a dream vacation, car, getaway.

I am not delusional.

I don't expect to ever have a shape like the drawing in the tag below (although I've been inching my belt tighter). 

I don't expect to ever have legs like the woman in the other picture (but my legs aren't too bad).

But it's nice to dream.  It's nice to look at those pictures while I'm shaving/brushing teeth/putting my face on and think that maybe someday...  Someday...


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Good News, Everyone!

As Professor Farnsworth would say.

There was a gamer meetup last weekend.  This is a pretty large meetup group, and there's a waitlist often forms soon after the meet is announced.  This kind of makes sense: if you're a serious Axis and Allies player, you probably would have trouble finding people who share your passion for that particular game.  So when there's a group that wants to get together for a non-mainstream game, or non-mainstream type of game, the people are going to jump at the chance to play.

It's not unlike me and opportunities to dress.

A couple of women came in late.  The first one through the door let out a loud "hiiii" and both were greeted by the host.  The host mentioned that there was room for a one more player at the table nearest the door.  There were four men and one woman at the table at that point.

The woman in front suggested the other woman join the five.  She agreed and sat down to play "Betrayal at House on the Hill."  Only one person (the guy on her right) had played before so he explained the game to everyone else, answered questions, etc.

Everyone was treated as if they were old friends playing a new game ~ even me, the sixth player.  Charity went on to another table to play a different game, and, because my game ran On and On, she played a Battlestar Galactica game afterwards.

The other woman at the table was, in my opinion, dressier than me.  She wore a long full skirt, a blouse I'd characterise as "peasant," glittery nail polish, jewelry I coveted, as well as makeup.  At one point, I asked her where she had picked up something to drink and she said "I'll show you."  She got up and led the way into the kitchen and showed me what's where.

That's the way it was the whole night.  I made small talk with some of the other players, made jokes, and kept referring to myself as a "little girl."

For the record, the game had tokens to identify each player and a card that gave the characters "characteristics" ~ sanity, strength, speed, knowledge.  The card had two sides and the only one left was a little girl.  On both sides.  I was 8 or 9, depending on which side I used.

I even felt comfortable enough to make a "clothes joke:" when five of us were being chased by a zombie (which hve a "speed" of two), I said "can I give him my boots?  That'll slow him down to a one."

It felt like outreach.  I hope the next time the group meets with a trans person they'll feel even more comfortable.  I'll be back as Meg; I won't be attending a lot of their events because I don't really want to spend three hours getting ready/unready too often.

Yes, I was read.  Yes, I expected to be read.  No-one said anything or asked any questions (I'm bracing myself for when we get to know each other better ~ questions will probably come).  But one woman at Charity's table wrote her after the event and said that her partner was T and maybe we could get together for a little game event.  Small world, isn't it?

By the way, we had a bit of a tight schedule that night.  Charity worked late and she barely had time to come to the apartment, change and GO.  Even then, we were a bit late.  On the other hand, I got to practice my makeup.  I think I did a credible job, but I will confess: I enjoy having Charity do it.  Both for the pleasant time and wonderful results.  Because she had to rush in and rush out, we stopped at a diner after the games.  As we pulled up I said "uh-oh" because there were two police cars in the parking lot and not many other cars.  I was joking.  I expected nothing that would warrant a real uh-oh and in fact figured if, on the off chance anyone got nasty....

In the diner, the waitress seated us, and the cops were at the table behind and to my rigt.  Across from us, a couple with young teen girls sat down, and in front and to my right a party of about ten or twelve sat down.  If anyone noticed us, they did a superb job of hiding it.  I think I look at people more than people look at me.  At the checkout, we talked to the waitresses about delivery and joked a bit before leaving.  It was about 11:30 at that time and had we left the apartment around 7.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Playing Gay-mes

OK, I'm behind.

Before going out
I went to the GLBT gamers meetup over a week ago.  When I arrived, the organiser was there and he directed me to a table where a game was just starting and they had room for a third player.  The guy at the table was teaching the game to a woman at the table and I introduced myself, sat down, and we started playing something called "Global Thermonuclear War."

No, not really, but I bet most of you know where that one came from.  We played a game called "Manhattan Project" which was interesting but I made a tactical error and chose to keep the teacher off-balance while the other player succeeded in her goal. 

While I was playing a couple of adults and some kids sat down at the next table, playing Risk.  A third table was formed by three guys playing "Ticket to Ride," which had something to do with Beatles trivia. 

Showing Charity's artwork (eyes)
Again, no, not really.  It had something to do with building railroads and it looked a lot simpler than building atomic bombs (which is what we were trying to do).  I would have stayed for another game of something but I had to change and get my son later that afternoon.

What was missing was any attention or comments because I was dressed.  Not even a look from the kids.  Not even a comment on how cute my outfit was.  Ah well.

I wanted to get pictures of Meg playing, but I wanted to respect the privacy of the other players.  I don't know if they all fit under the GLBT umbrella, or if some came because, well, it's hard to find people who want to play Manhattan Project.  But anyone in that room might have been uncomfortable with being associated with a GLBT group, to outsiders who might stumble upon my blog.
The big picture

As t-girls, I think most of us can be confident that if our photograph was published it might be identified as a guy, it most likely wouldn't be recognised.  But the men and women there are not "in disguise," as I was.

Next time, I'll ask.  But that's for next time.

The fact that they joined a specifically GLBT group instead of a generic gaming group implied that part of the goal was to play, part was to be with community members.  And, of course, the gender community is different from the orientation community, but I wasn't treated as an intruder.  I was treated as a gamer.

But this time, Meg was out with a group she has never been out with before ~ always hard for me, whether male or Meg.  I interacted freely, which is something I'm still becoming comfortable with.  There was zero discussion (at least while I was there) of anything but games, which was cool.

Every outing, every interaction boosts confidence.  Right now, I'm not sure what I'm looking for, as Meg.  I can't be sure if I'm looking for new experiences, or to do Things I'd Enjoy as Meg.  There could be a problem here: there is a limit to the number of new experiences I can have.  If I decide gaming is something I'd like to do regularly, I can go again and again ~ every time out is different anyway.

Style note: Charity picked up the sweater and skirt for me.  She wanted to check out a new Goodwill that opened along her work/home route.  I was looking for a winter/casual look and I think this worked pretty well ~ well enough that I considered it for my next outing but changed my mind at the last minute.  Charity also did my makeup.  For my next outing, Charity had to work late so I did my own face, which is good.  I need practice, but it's hard to pass up an offer from Charity to work her magic.  She didn't attend this meetup though.

See?  I really did go out!
The outdoor picture was taken by me, with my camera sitting on my car, after the meet.

Last weekend, I met with a "civilian" game group and a trans group, both meeting people for the first time. 

My relative nervous levels:
Civilians: high.   People I don't know, and I don't know how they'll react to someone they're really not expecting.  But I had an ally there.

GLBT: medium-high.  People I don't know, going solo, people who might have an agenda I do not share.

Trans: medium.  People I don't know, and may have formed cliques that I won't be able to break in to.  (Not their fault; I've mentioned that I'm a classic introvert before).

Stories to come.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Just Funny

I don't post enough Dilbert.  Scott Adams is a master at putting two laughs in four panels.  Here's an example from the end of last year.

How do you know when you're done?  In the 21st century, it's probably when whatever you were doing on your cell phone is done.

Oh, what the heck.  Here's some more Dilbert:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I Need to Read More Shakespeare

I've never read Twelfth Night.  I do suspect there aren't a lot of reindeer in the play.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Stiletto Economics

I know Lenore Skenazy through the Funny Times, one of my must-reads every month.  You might know her as the mom who let her 9 year old son ride the New York subway alone.

I'm not sure how I found this column, but it deals with the type of fashion that I think appeals to a lot of us, both to wear and admire: high high heels.

Was it a hooker convention?

No, I know for a fact it wasn't, because I had been invited, too. It was simply a suburban bat mitzvah — a coming-of-age party for a sweet eighth-grade girl and her hooker friends. Er ... her fashionable 13-year-old friends in their 5-inch high heels. (And 5-inch skirts. But that's another story.)

Apparently not content to simply tower over 13-year-old boys on their own two feet, the girls donned stilettos to approximate the models in the magazines. But little do those girls realize they also are approximating the leading economic indicators.

You can read the whole fun and clever story here.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Letters. We Get Letters. Lots and Lots of Letters (part II)

Someday, I'll learn to not underestimate my readers.  I said "nobody will get the letters reference.  Everybody did."  And I guess it started with Como, but Dean Martin used to use it on his show sometimes, and the most recent time I heard it (it was still a while ago) was on Saturday Night Live.

And my mother used to like Perry Como (and "Sing Along With Mitch") so I'd watch it too when I was a tiny tot.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Penny Clare added a comment to my clear nail polish post which I'll copy here in case you missed it:

Be VERY careful with the Nail Envy. It has ruined my nails - I am having to wait for them to grow out. They have become weak and pitted and brittle. Really nasty to look at without some kind of clear coat. If you notice ANY change in your nails you don't like, stop using OPI right away. I waited far too long because I loved the pale pink top coat. Penny p.s. I think Revlon 955 base coat may be better, but only time will tell.

The OPI product has worked fine for me.  Some reviews say the gloss is minimal or absent, but mine look good.  I know there are lots of ways to mess up my nails (Nair-type products seem to do a number on them, for instance) and I wanted y'all to be aware of her experience.  You all know that everybody's body acts and reacts differently to chemicals.  I'd suggest you follow Penny's advice generically: if you notice ANY change, stop using that product.

And if you were expecting my usual overlong posts, use the extra time to check out Penny's blog.  She's a British HHG fan and cute.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Simple Pleasures: Trying On II

(the poll is almost closed.  Every vote counts!  Next weekend, Charity and I will be going to a T group meeting.  I suggested we do the matching dress thing again.  Should we?)

Last week, I wrote about wearing earrings around the house because they really need a long time-test to ensure comfort.

Shoes have the same issues.  Interestingly, I can tell if men's shoes will be comfortable after just a short time.  Women's shoes... not so much.  I need to try shoes for comfort for several hours of standing and walking before I hit the street (that sounds bad, but I can't think of a better way to phrase it).  On days when I'm wearing tights, even if I don't change, or don't change fully, if it's convenient, I put on a different pair of heels.  In addition to putting aside the painful ones, I have a spreadsheet with information about each pair.  I rate each pair:
* wonderful.  Well, I have yet to find a pair I'd feel comfortable wearing all day and night, but a couple of pair are close.
* good for x hours.  I try to estimate how long it will be before I say "enough!" and put that in the spreadsheet.
* not really good.  I want to wear these shoes!  They're beautiful and painful but maybe I can wear them for an hour outing.  Maybe.
* no ****ing way.  These go to the swap; maybe someone else  can make them work.

I have swapped a few pair that I'd miss if my memory was better.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Letters. We Get Letters. Lots and Lots of Letters

(and NOBODY is going to get THAT reference!)

Please take my little poll.  Charity and I will be going to a t-event this coming weekend.  Should we repeat the matching dress routine?

My Birchmere Epilogue prompted a comment from Marian (whose post inspired my post).  She wrote about the dressing euphoria wearing off and dressing being 'normal;' I said, for me, it's still both euphoric AND normal.

In her comment, Marian said being Marian "would always be special, and better than being in drab. But I'm not sure if it would be as much of a high as it was when new."

I wonder if it ever reaches that point.  I wonder if I'd just not bother dressing if there wasn't the rush I feel now ~ but I think I would.  And I think I'd go further to keep that high.

That's why I'm looking for new venues and experiences.  I have limits to what I'll do (sorry, gentlemen! :D ) but I will keep crossing the great wall that surrounds my comfort zone.

I've mentioned before that wearing panties under my "normal" clothing was difficult the first time.  I checked my pants several times a day to make sure I didn't split a seam and someone could see (gasp!) panties under my pants!  Now it's normal.  At first when I'd wearing pantyhose, I wore socks over them, until I realised that if anyone could see over my sock they'd see I was wearing something hard-to-explain on my leg.  Tights are a several-times-a-week item now, in a variety of colours and patterns.  I always wear a cami under my shirt.  If my shirt will support it, I'll wear a thin-strap and/or lace cami.  If my shirt and cami will support it, I'll wear a bra under everything.  Today I'm wearing purple except for my black slacks and sneakers, beige cinch, and white bra: tights, lace cami with thin adjustable straps, panties, shirt.  Only the shirt comes from the men's department.

And by "support it," I mean I take a critical look at my shirt in the mirror and ensure I can't (or can barely) see my undergarments.  I make no effort to hide my tights.

Marian wrote, "[r]ight now, everything is new."  I try to keep everything new by doing something I hadn't done before.  Sometimes I wonder if I should go slower with new things so I can wait for the "normal" mindset to appear and then find something newer but I don't really control the rate of change.  I do things when they occur to me.  Well, that's not really accurate.  I do things some indeterminate amount of time after they occur to me.  Sometimes, I have to mull over whether my new idea is a good one, or at least a safe one.

I had a great time at the Birchmere.  I have an opportunity to go out this Sunday and next weekend, meeting new groups of people each time.  I'll impose on Charity to help with my makeup and wardrobe choices and I'm sure when I'm out it'll feel "normal."

And euphoric.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Playing Games

Quickie poll....  Next weekend, Charity and I will be going to a T group meeting.  I suggested we do the matching dress thing again.  Should we?

Yesterday, I went to a board gamers meetup.  A GLBT board gamers meetup.

I went in a bit apprehensive because I expected to be the only T.  Although I had sat in on GLBT gatherings before (educational, not recreational), this was the first time I would "stand out" as Meg.

I was also a bit apprehensive because I didn't know any of the games they were planning on playing.

And, to add to my discomfort, I didn't know anyone there and I assumed they pretty much knew each other.

And, I wanted to get some pictures of Meg out at the event, but I didn't know if any of the guys wanted their pictures taken ~ I know some have no picture on meetup; I suspect they're in their own closets and don't want people to know about them, at least not yet.

I wore a new-to-me cowl neck sweater and skirt, and my brown boots.  Charity found the sweater and skirt at the local Goodwill, but they look nice ~ almost as if someone had bought and donated them together.  Hmmm...  My second cowl neck.  I had never worn a cowl neck before.  A new look for Meg, perhaps?  I like it but I also like necklaces and they seem pretty incompatible.

I wrote the above Saturday night, before going out.  (Ignore the future tense, I guess.)  If the post stops here, then I didn't have time to write more Sunday night and it will come soon.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Looking back to Christmas:

And forward to the New Year:

 And a little New Year's philosophy:

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I Don't Get It

Mike du Jour is a new (to me) strip.  It appeared in the Washington Post when Richard Thompson sadly was forced to retire.  Mostly, it hasn't been remotely funny.  I keep hoping.

I don't get this one.  Is it what he wished for?  He doesn't look happy; he looks bewildered.  Is it a (not funny) joke on "foundation?"  And I don't think the "Make a Wish Foundation" has anything to do with birthday wishes.

I don't get it, but I approve of the results.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Before and After

I bought a Caboodle makeup case at Ulta.  It's not the cutest case ever, but it's large and roomy and it's an amazing improvement over what I had before.  What I had before was these bags sitting on the floor of the closet.  It was mildly organised ~ if you enlarge the picture, you can see labels on the bags....  Things like "blush" or "mascara."  There were two bags of makeup and the overstuffed bag on the right is my "A" makeup ~ everything I need, in minimal quantities, for travel.  I only keep colours and items I really like in there so I know I can just toss it in my suitcase and go and I won't need to shop at my destination.  Now, I'm going through my makeup a little bit at a time ~ I'll try a new lipstick every couple of days to see if I like each and toss the ones I don't ~ again, a simple pleasure is I can throw out stuff without hiding it in the trash where no-one will find it.

Because I found myself making two bags for (for example) lipstick, one labeled "lips" one labelled "to test" I thought maybe it's time for a case.

Below are three pictures of the... I won't call it "finished product" since I think it's still a work in progress.  I want to find small boxes for the large bottom section and I may move the pencils around ~ there are three pencil holders on each side and i have lip liners on one side and eye liners on the other.

I feel good about having everything in one box instead of six or eight bags that I have to pull out of the closet every time I want to go out!

The whole, um, caboodle

The eye side; makeup on the bottom

The lip side