Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Simple Pleasure ~ Choices

As I mentioned yesterday, I went in drab to the Fringe Festival.  It was hot so it seemed the right choice.

In the past, I'd never miss a chance for Meg to go out.  I was out in 100+ (38C) temperature in Las Vegas, for instance.

But now I have a choice.  I don't have to think, "when can Meg get out next?"

There were other T possibilities over that weekend, including a couple of one-time events, but drab civilian events are fun too.  And it's kind of important to not lose sight of that.  Unless that's your path.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Feet Don't Fail Me Now

From Caberet XXXY
I went to the Fringe festival in DC last weekend.  The forecast called for temperatures in the mid-90s (36 Celsius) and a good chance of thunderstorms.  From my last visit to the Fringe, I remembered some venues were hotter inside than outside.  In fact, throughout the first show the performers were wiping away sweat; before the show, they had spray bottles and were watering the audience.  The first photo here is one of the performers.  She was collected "secrets" from the audience.  More on her in a minute.

I did something I rarely do ~ I wore shorts.  Since I wore shorts, I went with sandals.  My toes were painted a couple of weeks ago and I didn't wish to remove the polish before going out... so I didn't.

I like to people-watch (I've mentioned this before) and through a train ride, long walks through DC (between shows) and sitting at the shows, I saw exactly one young lady look at my toes, look at me, look back at my toes, and smile.  Exactly one.

The performer also offered "tattoos" to audience members.  There were bench seats in front of the perfect for several days.
Before going to DC.  Yes, they're girl sandals (flats)
stage and to each side.  There were three or four small tables with three seats at each in the front.  I was at one of those tables, in the chair facing the stage.  She pulled out the tattoo and asked if I wanted one.  I said "sure."  I don't know what they were, but it went on with a spray bottle of water and it stayed on a LONG time.  Mine looked

I also said "I'm gonna make you walk" and pointed to my calf.  She put it on my (hairless) leg and made no comment about my nails.  Since the show was kind of raunchy (they started the show by pulling out a HUGE dildo and they slammed it down right on our little table) and she was making comments about audience members I can only assume she didn't notice.

The show was called Caberet XXXY: Who Do You Think You Are? and I thought XX XY, and the subtitle meant there was going to be gender content.  No ~ it was about being yourself (whoever that might be) and the XXXY referred to the fact that the show was XXX (it wasn't) but now there was a guy as part of the troupe (he had a little Y on his shirt).

After the Fringe
Ah well.  It was fun.  The show was put on by "Pinky Swear Productions" and that's what was on the tattoo (also on the condoms they left on the tables).

I took in two other shows, one was OK; the other was The Agony and the Ecstacy of Steve Jobs: The Musical.  I  saw Mike Daisey's original production, before the controversy.  It's a type of show I don't enjoy, but I enjoyed it.  I was afraid the musical would be dumb but it was excellent.  The main actor (there were five) looked a bit like Daisey.  He also played Steve Jobs at different parts, and he did not look like Jobs.  The original was just Daisey sitting on a chair behind a table for 90+ minutes speaking without notes but with an amazing amount of passion.

If there's a Fringe festival near you, it's worth going to.  You never know what you'll get but it's an inexpensive day's entertainment.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Why Knot?

At a previous game night, I wore a white skirt I had never worn before.

I'm kind of getting used to the fact that I can't just put clothes in the washer and dryer and wear them.  I check the label to see what I have to do.  Hand wash, machine wash cold with like colours, dry flat, iron to restore shape if necessary, tumble dry low, dry clean only, beat on stone in creek, and so on.

The white skirt label said


First off, the skirt is white and kind of see-thru even with the lining.  I wore a slip with it.  So why the heck did they put a black label inside?  Second, who came up with the bright idea of putting one label at the top in the back with garment construction and another lower down with the washing instructions?  Mostly, I've noticed they're near the hem; in this skirt they were about four inches below the waist.

So I tried: I twisted the skirt and knotted it but not too tightly.  I was afraid of ruining it.

The knot came out.

This was about a week ago.  Today was laundry day and I pulled out the skirt,  soaked it under a faucet, put it in the washer spin cycle.  From there, I twisted it tightly and knotted it equally tightly.

It worked!

Wrong (Smooth) on Left; Right (Crinkly) on Right
Crinkly Hem Closeup ~ click to see detail

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Sports Funnies

The first three are from In The Bleachers by Steve Moore.  He does only sports cartoons, some better than others.

To round out sports day, I also grabbed a recent In The Duplex (Glenn McCoy), a Real Life Adventures (Wise and Aldrich) and Shoe.  They're all golf-ish.  I think golf is the most popular sport for jokes and cartoons.  I can't count the number of golf jokes I know!  There aren't actually that many; I just don't count well.

this made me cringe :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Funny But Non-Visual

And not particularly trans either.  I was looking at Reddit at some of the crossdressing topics and I found a long exposition on someone's experience.  It was even duller than the tomes I write, and some of the grammar was annoying so I skipped to the end to see if there was anything worth reading in the middle.

He (his pronoun) finished with:

If you've read through all of that I applaud your attention span. If not, well as difficult as it has been for me to type out it has been somewhat lethargic.

Cathartic, maybe?

(happy birthday, Dad.  I miss you)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Civilian Game Night ~ Playing Around

C and D from last game night came in and we played together again.  A joined us.  She saw a game called "Scotland Yard" which she said she last played when she was 7 and liked.  The game was made for six, so two of us played two "hands."  When a new guy, Al, and a very nice girl, T, wanted to join we gave up our extra hands.  It was an OK game; I'd maybe play it once or twice more ~ there are two roles, and I'd like to try the other role at least once.  A said it was more interesting when she was 7, and I could see that.

We were joined by Charity, L, a woman we met a few weeks ago, and two other guys I didn't know, S and RT liked Cranium which some of the gamers had played before; I had not.  It involves trivia, acting, charades, wordplay, drawing, and clay sculpting.  Charity, D, and I made up one team; L, T, and A made up a girls-only team, and Al, R, and C were the other mixed team.
clockwise from left: R, C, Al, D, Meg, and L

I kind of loosened up playing the game.  I generally don't get involved in roles where I'm the center of attention in either drab or dressed, but I shy away from attention more as Meg ~ first off, there's a lot of talking and since there's a lot of noise coming from other games, it means I have to speak louder than I am comfortable as Meg.  I avoided picking cards and reading them, leaving that to other players but when there was a lull and no-one picked a card, I grabbed the next one and used my best Meg voice (still not nearly as good as I'd like it) to read it loudly.

Actions speak louder than silence.  I know people might be being "polite" or PC and feel like it's a personal virtue to treat that clear difference like it doesn't matter and then they can go home and pat themselves on the back.  But C and D sought me out to play a game, after our previous game night and the other players stuck around to play a second game after Scotland Yard was over.  When I was offered to be a "puppetmaster" for our team (some of the Cranium turns involved manipulating another person to mime the answer), L jumped up to volunteer to be the puppet.  And everyone stuck around to play Telestrations after that.  As we were leaving, I saw P who I was supposed to play chess with ~ she said she was sorry we didn't get to play and Next Time For Sure.  She was playing hearts with a guy, J, our host, and a woman who introduced herself to me as R (different R).  R asked if I played hearts, and I said I knew how to play and J said it was good to have another Hearts player.  So next time, I might try to play some traditional games.  A couple of people were playing backgammon as well, one of my favourite games.

And when I got home, I had six "good to see you" e-mails from different players!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Civilian Game Night ~ Something Old Is Something New

Click to enlarge, please
I have a folder with one full-length picture of Meg for each of the civilian game nights so I can try to not repeat outfits.  July's always a difficult month for my side job, which is where most of my spending money comes from, so I'm on kind of a tight budget.  NO new clothes, at least until things loosen up a bit.  And I do have things I like to do that don't involve Meg and they have to fit into that budget too.

So I dug into the closet and found a top and skirt that I had never worn before.  The skirt had a basic brown motif, and the top was solid brown with cap sleeves with elastic at the ends.  That was a new style for me, and once I got over the feeling that my straps were falling down (it was the elastic) it was fine.  I considered a shrug to cover that razor burn I wrote about the other day, but looking in the mirror I could see it was not very visible ~ certainly not compared to that Veet burn which I could explain away if anyone asked about.  I didn't think about what I would say.  Sometimes, it's more fun to ad lib.  (NB: no-one asked.)

I also had a pair of brown wedges I had never worn out before.  They have a wide ribbon that is supposed to be tied around the leg. I tried, once before, to wrap it up on my leg and tie a bow near my knee, but it didn't stay.  This time I wrapped it around my ankle a couple of times and tied the bow over my anklebone so each bow was on the outside of my leg.  I liked the look, but the shoes are of a material that does not breathe and were not my best choice for a summer (90+ degree ~ 32+ for my international readers) evening.  BUT my other brown shoes had high heels and seemed a bit dressy for game night.  These were clothing swap shoes, by the way. Best Price Ever.

Almost 30 people were signed up for game night, and I now knew several of them.  Last time, people sat around talking movies before settling down to games, so getting there a bit late would be OK.

Instead, we arrived early and parked on the street instead of in the development.  We crossed and walked through the parking area, past other people standing outside neighboring houses and chatting.  We and they kept top ourselves.

When we walked in, one person I didn't know was sitting at the dining room table while the host did some last minute cleanup.  We learned the other guest was J, and he wasn't interested in talking to new people.  He even said this was his "forced socialisation, otherwise I'd never go out of the house."  So we sat and waited a few minutes for other players.

S came in with "We Didn't Playtest This At All" which was just weird.  A slow round lasted a minute.  People would get cards that say "you win" and the game was over.  Or "everyone show from one to five fingers."  We would and the player read the rest of the card: "if you show an odd number of fingers, you lose."  Or it might say "odd... you win."  Or "match the player... you win."  Or some variation, so you couldn't think "I saw that card... odd it is."  Funniest play: one guy had a "show fingers" card, showed two, then read the rest "if you show an even number of fingers you lose" and he said "why did I do that?"

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Simple Pleasure ~ Saving Money!

I saved around $100 shopping at TJ Maxx.

I was looking around the local Maxx and I found three dresses that I really liked.  I knew that three would break my budget but I wasn't prepared to try them on at the store so I thought I'd bring them home and decide which one (maybe two) I would keep.

One, a maxidress, was too small.  I've never been a fan of maxis but they seem to be everywhere this summer so why not?

The second was a bit tight ~ it would zip but it didn't allow for a lot of arm motion and such.

Number three didn't look right.

I returned all three ~ $100 in the bank!  AND I got in some shopping time.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Best Laid Plans ~ Self-Inflicted Injury Edition

Prior to my last outing, I Veeted my arms, chest, upper back, underarms, and the back of my neck.
Maybe the would work.

Veet has been pretty forgiving, but this time I left it on the inside of my left elbow (only!) too long and it left a burn there.  It's nothing painful; it looks like red lines in the creases inside my elbow.  I thought about it and figured that's a minor issue and sleeveless would be OK.  I took a critical look and saw that I missed the same spot I always miss ~ I'm sure it has a name but I don't know what it is.  It's the very top of the arm, in the back.  It seems to be overactive as far as hair growth goes and I either miss it or it's seriously Veet-resistant.

The morning I was to go out, I pulled out my electric razor to clean the spots.

I know there are certain spots I should not shave with an electric because I get razor burns, similar to that inner elbow burn.  I'll get small dots of broken skin, like I ran a grater lightly over the skin.  I cannot use the electric on the inside of my elbows or knees, or on my underarms.

It turns out that spot at the top of my arm is another one.  I was left with a dozen or more little cuts on each arm.

Sleeves it is.  And I didn't think cap sleeves would work.

Monday, July 22, 2013

...And Back Again

We wanted to get some ice cream after the boat ride.

There are three options near the river, and all had long lines outside.  Instead, we headed back to Bilbo Baggins for dessert.

The maitre d' remembered us, and we went back to the (now mostly empty) upstairs.  Our waitress bent over backwards for the "ladies" and I appreciated that, even if the other two ladies didn't.

From there, we walked a block or so to where we split to get to our respective cars.

Although the camera was out the entire evening, I forgot to get pictures at dinner or on the boat.  I did take some fireworks photos and video.

Still, it was a nice time and I can add Meg On A Boat to my list of outings.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Funnies ~ This 'N' That

Here are a few random items that made me laugh.

Tomorrow, I'll finish up Alexandria, and the next few days will be about another civilian game night.

I was planning on a Meg outing to the Fringe Festival, but high temperatures aborted that.  I remember from a previous visit that the venues were often hotter than the street.

Cleats ~ Sports-Oriented strip

Cornered - One panel weirdness

Ballard Street ~ I think the artist is on drugs

Dog Eat Doug ~ a baby and a dog

Rubes ~ Far Side-ish

Dilbert ~ Business/Tech humour

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Beetle? Really?

OK....  It's more gender than CD but it also reflects back to something I've noticed.  We're not as complimentary as other women.  It seems women can always find something nice to say about something another woman is wearing.  I think there might be a couple of reasons for this:

* perhaps we're more insecure and we project that as critical of others.
* or maybe we subconsciously compare and we compliment those who pass better or are wearing something we'd like to wear, or something we think we'd look good in.
* or possibly it's not something we think about so we don't do it.

But Mort Walker is right: there is a lot to compliment in the World Of Women, not so much in the World Of Men, where everyone wears pretty much the same thing (and that's in the business and leisure world, not just the army).  As a man, I try to limit my compliments.  I'm sure the line between compliments and creepy is a fine one ~ if I told the office fashionista how much I loved her outfits every day she'd climb over the cube walls when she saw me coming.

click to enlarge

Friday, July 19, 2013

An Unexpected Journey... or There...

We went inside and found our table about ten minutes early.  Our friend C joined us just about on time.  In an e-mail earlier in the day, she said she had "a treat planned."

Our first choice restaurant was booked so we decided to go to Bilbo Baggins, partly because of the reputation and partly because of the name.  They had Hobbit-themed drink names (I had a "Pippen Punch," uncharacteristic for me ~ I rarely drink).

Dinner was fine (although we each agreed our food was a bit overcooked) and we were treated as expected.  we were upstairs (downstairs was mostly bar and European-style tables, I guess kind of in the Hobbit theme) and it was crowded, but no-one gave us a second look.

It turned out C was in Old Town earlier and she had the wonderful idea to get water taxi tickets.  There are water taxis that go from Old Town to various spots in Maryland.  Commuters and tourists use them and C got tickets that would put us on the river at fireworks time.

Our boat stopped at the National Harbor, just a few miles south of Alexandria on the Maryland side of the river, at 9:15.  It was supposed to head back at 9:30 but instead they stayed moored there and we watched the fireworks from the bow of the boat.  I found out that there are also fireworks at Gaylord every other week or so during the summer.  It was very close to the boat, on the Maryland side.  It was a smaller, lower display but we could easily see the more impressive Alexandria display .  When it was winding down, the boat headed back to our starting point and we saw a great many small boats heading home.  Whenever there are fireworks in the DC area, people get on their boats to enjoy the show without the crowds.

The boat was as crowded as the restaurant, and we blended right in.

Please let me apologise in advance for the next paragraph.

I like the water.  I had a boat for a while when I lived on Long Island, and it made a lasting impact on my life.  For instance, when I'm dressing I always back into my slip.

(insert rimshot here)

And since I lost most of you, possibly forever....  Richelle, you old hippie chick, drop me a note.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ah, Old Town!

So Charity, C, and I were going to have dinner in Old Town, Alexandria and then hang around for fireworks.

My goal was to get to Alexandria early and walk around downtown a bit.  There are lots of unique stores (as well as the ubiquitous ones) and I was hoping to do a little window shopping.  After circling the town, looking for parking, Charity and I walked over to the paper store where we saw our game-playing friend from last week.  She said she didn't see us at the most recent game event; we told her we skipped and will be going to one soon.  We chatted a bit, she pointed out some new items and by the time we left there was not a lot of additional shopping time.

Instead, we walked down to the river and along the waterfront.  I discovered that slides are GREAT for collecting tiny rocks ~ I stopped several times to shake them out of my shoe and eventually started walking on the grass.

We ended up at the restaurant about a half-hour early and I welcomed a chance to sit down and cool off.  It was at least 90 outside, and I was VERY sweaty.  I could feel drops of perspiration dripping down the back of my top onto the small of my back, and I pulled out a tissue to dab at my face and the back of my neck.  To top it off, before I left the house, I noticed that the tan line on my arms had faded considerably, which encouraged me to wear the cap sleeve top.  Now I noticed that my arms said "oh yeah.  We forgot to peel" and I had little circles of dead skin on my upper arms.

Ah well.

I still had a nice walk and a couple of normal interactions.  When I went to take a picture of Charity in front of the same fountain, a passing woman asked if we'd like a picture of the two of us.  I thanked her, handed her the camera and we posed.  Later, walking toward the restaurant, a woman was helping an elderly woman into a wheelchair.  She asked us where the celebration was and I told her about how far and how to get there.

The best was yet to come.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Simple Pleasures ~ Something to Keep In Mind

When you're thinking about telling your family or friends or co-workers:

"Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter."

-- Bernard Baruch

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Best Laid Plans (Wardrobe Edition)

During the (drab) 4 July get-together, one of the women suggested that we three go out on Saturday evening for dinner and fireworks over the Potomac River in Old Town Alexandria (it's Alexandria's 264th birthday).

A couple of days later I was at the civilian game night, wearing my white tank, sweater, white skirt, and wedges.  You saw the pictures last week.

After I was dressed, I thought, "this is casual and pretty.  I can wear this to Alexandria next weekend."

At the games, I chatted with one of the other women players and I asked what she did.  She works in Alexandria, in one of Charity's favourite stores.  That meant we'd be going to her store when we were in Alexandria, and she's already seen this outfit.  I don't want her to think this is my only skirt and shoes (I may go back to the original cap sleeve top I was going to wear to the games).  Heels are out ~ there are cobblestones in Alexandria, and we'd be in a park with unpaved paths of loose gravel ~ wedges or flats make more sense).  So I needed to pick something different for Saturday.

I found a new/old purple top with a fake "cami" underneath.  It's old, because it's been in my closet for a long time and new because I'd never worn it before ~ it still had the tags on it.

The top was a very thin and light knit and the line of snaps on my cinch showed through clearly.  Last week's top had the same problem but I didn't notice until the night was over.  So cinch off, shaping cami on.  I was going to skip my padded pantie ~ the skirt seemed to drape OK and it was hot and humid out.  Then I took a closer look and I could see a bulge where there should be none so the padded panty went on.  It's tight and covers a multitude of sins.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Is This Progress or Ignorance?

Or maybe it's just a really bad translation.  Either way, it looks eerily like they're collecting information that can be used for future gender and ethnic restrictions (they're also collecting information on religion).  I don't know if this census is anonymous or not ~ even an anonymous-appearing poll can have hidden identifying information.  I always hate the comparison, but this looks like the start of the tagging the Nazis did in the 1930s.

This is from an Indian Organisation.

The original story is from The Business Standard

'Transvestite' debuts in Economic Census

The gender 'transvestite' will make its debut along with religion in the Sixth Economic Census, a nationwide exercise conducted by the Union Ministry for Statistics and Programme Implementation, an official said.

"For the first time, transvestite has been included as a gender option other than male and female," Sunil Jain, deputy director at the ministry, told reporters here Tuesday.

He was addressing the media after attending a workshop for census officials at the Goa International Centre in Dona Paula on the outskirts of Panaji.

"Earlier, we had only two genders. Now we will list the third gender, transvestites, under the header of proprietary ownership," Jain said.

The Economic Census is the sixth such pan-India exercise conducted - the first was carried out in 1977 - to collect economic data and to tabulate a complete count of business establishments and units in the organised and the unorganised sectors.

Jain added that another salient feature was the inclusion of religion as another classification for the first time in the census.

"We will also list the proprietors' religion. Religion is a demographic feature and collecting religion-wise information is one of the directives of the Sarkaria Commission," Jain said.

The Sarkaria Commission was set up in 1983 to examine the relationship and balance of power between state and central governments and suggest changes within the framework of the constitution.

The Economic Census operation in Goa would begin from August and nearly 1,000 government employees would be involved in gathering data from all over the state.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Arlo and Ludwig

Happy Bastille Day, everyone!

Ludwig (the cat) has a major role in Arlo and Janis.  He's mostly just a cat, but he sometimes goes above and beyond just being a kitty.  In one short sequence, he (the cat, not Arlo) spoke ~ I'm reposting that here, along with three cute Arlo and Ludwig ones, and one bonus from The Middletons.  Remember to click to enlarge.  No, that doesn't work for your bust.  Trust me.  I've tried everything.

(The Middletons)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Big Nate

As I read this strip, I thought Lincoln Pierce really broadcast the punchline, but the visual is great and I wonder if it's more obvious (or hoped for) for us than civilians.  Click for the big picture.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pimp My Ride, Girl Edition

Last weekend, we saw a Nissan Versa with curtains on the side.  From our car, it looked like curtains you'd see on a hearse, but... cuter.  We took a closer look.  The curtains were neatly tied over the side windows.  The dashboard was covered with a thick layer of what looked like snow.  There were Hello Kitty seat covers (yes, you get to sit on Hello Kitty's face).  Little doodads were hanging from mirrors.  The rear window was decorated with a pillow, feather boa, and some flowers.  My only comment was, "I bet this is a girl's car."

Charity took pictures.  Click to enlarge.

side window

Rear Window

Front seats.

Hanging from the mirrors

Sorry about the reflections. :(

Front window

Can you see the "Hello Kitty" seats?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Who Was at the Game Night

During the evening, our host came over with his iPad and said "are there any Dr Who fans here?"  Charity and I both admitted to being such and he showed us two pictures of the eleven actors who played the doctor.

First, there was this picture of them in their "Dr Who" guise:

And then there was this picture of them in other roles:

He said that he didn't know who they were portraying, commented specifically on #3 (I forget who he thought he was portraying; maybe Worzel Gummidge) and mentioned that "two were crossdressed."  I did not say "good for them" or "all the smart guys do it" and he hadn't said it with anything other than a conversational tone.

The host is one of the guys who joined in the Cards Against Humanity later that evening.

Just sayin'.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Roles Model

To stretch reality, I live two lives.  I phrased it like that because it's not really two lives ~ maybe it's two sides of my life, maybe it's just whichever way I present with different people...  I bet many people show a different side of themselves at work, with friends, alone with their spouse, for instance.  One may show different sides of himself playing golf with his buddies or dining with his minister.

But those "two lives" cause me to live three roles.  I often have to think about who I'm with before I say (or don't say) something.  I've mentioned "don't ask, can't tell" (my male self among civilians) in several posts ~ I often can't talk about what I've done as Meg among people who know my day-to-day self.  I was discussing games with my manager (he's a Diplomacy fan) and I mentioned playing Cards Against Humanity last week at the civilian game night.

I might have said to t-friends, "there were three girls and one guy at the table and on at least one occasion I said 'I really don't want to read this card!' because it was kind of on the raunchy side," suggesting I was embarrassed, as a woman, to read it in front of a guy I just met.

I told my manager about this, but said "I was playing with two women and one guy and on at least one occasion I said 'I really don't want to read this card!' because it was kind of on the raunchy side," suggesting I was embarrassed, to read that in front of two women.

But there's also my "Meg among civilians" role.  I was talking with another Jewish player and started furiously thinking about my "back story" while we were talking.  If he asked about my bat mitzvah, what would I say?  I think if the roles were reversed, I'd avoid that, to avoid hearing a fable.  But I was trying to remember what the state of bat mitzvah was when I was 13, in my denomination.  I remembered that it was allowed, but more discouraged than required.  I could safely say that I wasn't bat mitzvahed, but my brother, of course, was bar mitzvahed.  And I had to remember the proper bar (male) or bat (female) ritual name.

I try to be ready, but there's so much I'd have to invent that I prefer to keep my mouth shut and hope for the best.

And there's also my "Meg among Trans" role, where I'm free to tell "nothing but the truth" at all times.  But not the whole truth.  The quintessential Washington question ("what do you do?") gets a vague response.  So does "where do you work?" and fortunately, we all know to avoid questions that pry too deeply into the male persona.

I just realised there are two sub-roles.  Within the "Meg among Trans" there are differences for girls who've only met Meg and girls who know both of me.  And there's a "Meg among Civilians who know about Meg."

I like to tell the truth in part because it's the easiest path.  Generally, when I can't (shouldn't) tell the truth, I try to change the subject or say nothing.  But the roles remain.

Hmmm....  I may start mixing in "roles" examples with Wednesday's "simple pleasures."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Game Night ~ At the Games!

Well, first, the close of yesterday's post wasn't quite accurate.  The skirt is lined, but still see-through in
sunlight.  I'm not a big enough celebrity to let people see through my skirt so I put on a slip.  I've found in the past that a half-slip and lining and skirt get in each others' way, so I opted for a full slip.  Parts of me were under five layers of fabric but the layers were still light and comfortable.  That's good: it was over 90 that day and a little warm in the house.

Foreground: Meg, C, D, and Cards Against Humanity
We got to the games a bit late, but people were still coming in.  There were about ten people already there and probably thirty people said they were going to be there.

People were sitting around the dining/living room arguing about the fine points of some science fiction show I wasn't familiar with.  We joined in when appropriate and introduced ourselves to whoever was nearby or coming in.  One guy, D, came in wearing a Queens College sweatshirt.  I asked if that was his alma mater (since it was mine) and it was.  He lived even closer to the college than I did.  It turned out we had other things in common and we joined him and a woman, C, who came in with someone we had played games with at other game nights.  Charity, D, and C all had played Settlers of Catan and there was a Star Trek version that D wanted to play.  It turns out the game isn't that difficult but depends on a bit of luck and the dice didn't like me much that night.  I started catching up near the end of the game but finished in a solid fourth place.

We were looking for a quick game and someone had laid out several decks of Cards Against Humanity, a suggestive if not downright dirty game.  The idea is, each player in turn pulls out a black card which has a sentence with one or two blanks and you have to pull out one (or two) white cards from your hand to match the blanks.  "Match" is loose ~ the player who chose the black card picks the best white card, and best might be funniest, most random, best fit... whatever the player decides.  So it's a fun and funny game.  We started with the same four players and two more guys joined at different points.  No-one was very serious about winning and losing (but when we left, I was tied with C.  I kept telling the other players "I'm pretty funny".  By the end, they agreed).

We had fun, met a lot of people, not one who minded or cared about or noticed (yeah, right) how I was presenting.  In fact, Charity and I were relative newcomers, and C was brand new, and I didn't see a difference between how I was treated and how they were treated.

Four other little notes:

* pronouns and such were always appropriate, although I thought I heard D refer to me as "he" at one point, but I might have misunderstood.  It was all "ladies" or "girls" or "guys" (hey, I do that too) and "she" and "her."  No prompting necessary, ever.

* as we were leaving, we stopped in the kitchen where a woman in her 20s and an older guy were playing blitz (speed chess).  I stopped to watch ~ I can't resist a chess game.  The guy had good position but made a couple of unforced errors and he lost the game.  But the players in the other room thought we had left so I had a few "fly on the wall" moments.  I heard my name mentioned, but in relation to the games and wondering if I had gone out with some of the other gamers.  Nothing was said that couldn't be said to my face, nothing about my being, um, a bit out of place, or anything that implied I wasn't just another girl gamer.  We (girl gamers) made up maybe a quarter of the group. 

* after the chess game, I spoke with the players briefly and the woman, looked at me and out of the blue said "you have beautiful eyes."  I said "thank you.  My parents made them for me."  Little things like that make my day.  (The compliment, not the eyes.)

* the next day, I found that several gamers (including the woman in the kitchen) sent me a "good to see you" (kind of a meetup "like") after the game.

Bottom line: if you haven't been out, go out!  There's a world out there that doesn't mind if you want to be yourself.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Game Night

Last week, we went to a civilian game night.  In the past, we've gone to the "overflow" game night but the host recently moved away.  The regular game night fills up pretty quickly so I was surprised and happy to get two spots.

I had reserved spots for the week before but I was exhausted and I gave up our reservations for a couple of lucky waitlisters.  And I had picked out an outfit for that night: a pinkish-salmonish top with crocheted lace around the neckline and cap sleeves ~ if it wasn't for the lace it would have been sleeveless.  I had purchased a long white skirt on sale a few weeks ago ~ I'm trying to pick up a couple of inexpensive maxi skirts, since they're both casual and the style this summer.  I grabbed a medium, on sale for $25 and tried it on when I got home.  Surprisingly, it was too large and I went back a few days later to see if I could find a small.

There was one, and it turned out it was no longer $25.  The price had gone down to $20!

For once, it turned out that the I-can-never-figure-out-women's-sizes dilemma worked in my favour.

Since I didn't wear the outfit last week, I thought I'd carry it over to this week.  Except there was a problem: the fourth of July intervened.

On the 4th, we were invited to a friend's house for games, a barbeque, and to watch fireworks.  (For my non-American readers, July 4th is American Independence Day and barbeque and fireworks are standard.)

But for the past several years I've helped my sons' 4-H fundraiser which is an all-day affair.  I passed by the Meg opportunity and offered to help again.

The fundraiser is outdoors and I'm a slow learner, so I came home tired and with sunburnt arms.  I did get to our friends' house in drab ~ they know both Meg and, um, non-Meg, so that's OK, but I'd rather be Meg, at least there.  The four of them were in the closing portion of a very complex game called "Seasons."  I grabbed some of their excellent food, watched the game, joined in the conversation... we never did get to the fireworks but it turns out we could see at least four displays from my apartment balcony.

But that's besides the point.

The point is, I burnt my arms in a distinctly male pattern: short sleeves line.  So I tried on a couple of shirts with longer sleeves, and finally reversed direction completely and wore a tank top with a sweater instead.  Silver jewelry, my new Aerosoles wedges and I was ready to go.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday Funnies ~ More Speedbump

Yesterday's was clearly an in-the-trans-closet cartoon.  Here's a little more of Dave Coverly's Speedbump.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Friday, July 5, 2013

Fur What It's Worth

Steffi went to a yard sale.  She saw something she wanted, but it was $50.  She talked them down to $20 and walked away with a mink stole.

Some of the ladies couldn't resist modelling it.




Joann (hostess) in fur and Claudia


Steffi, Queen of the yard sales!