Friday, December 31, 2010

Bear With Me

It's in here somewhere.

I'm off from my 9-to-5 today.  I have an iMac that needs memory and returning.  My plan for today was simple:
* get memory, go to the bank, pick up groceries.  If all went well, I'd be done with the bank and Safeway and at the computer store as it opened at 10.
* install memory, return iMac.

The iMac owner is near a mall I sometimes go to.  I wanted to go to the Sephora and/or MAC store and/or department store there, and look for primer.  I'm still looking for some.  Maybe this time I won't be so coy about who it's for.  And maybe I can look for some clothes.  I still have the list of things I was looking for before the holidays.

So, return the iMac, go to the mall for an hour or two, head home.

I'd be all done by 1 or so.

Instead, I got a frantic phone call from a customer.  He's in the middle of a three-generation customer set.  His MIL, who lives between me and Microcenter was having problems.  It should have been a quick fix, but there were some problems, and some other issues I wasn't told about, and she's incredibly chatty, and I was there for well over an hour.

I picked up memory but the other errands were pushed aside.  So I had to do them after I drop off the computer, and skip the mall entirely.

But that's not why I'm telling you this.

Usually, when I'm at a customer I have a pad and pen and I can write down info as needed.  Today, the son-in-law said he'd take care of the bill, so I didn't bother.  I know the house, so I didn't need an invoice with an address.

I had to write down the network information and all I had was some receipts in my pocket.  Then I found a sheet of paper that I used when I was shopping pre-holiday ~ the sheet I mentioned earlier.  It has information on what I was looking for, for Meg: primer, passable shirts/slacks, camis, some other items that are clearly for women.  There was nothing horribly incriminating, but hard to explain maybe.  Especially to chatty customers who knew my whole family.

I made a mental note to keep an eye on that piece of paper.

I was working in the room where the router was, an office on the same floor, and one upstairs.  I already misplaced a router because I wasn't paying attention.

And then I misplaced the sheeet of paper.

I had already been up and down the stairs several times, trying different machines and configurations.  I went up and down again, looking everywhere, wondering what would happen if one of the customer-type-people found it.

As panic set in, I discovered it was in my inside jacket pocket.

I'd love to say I learned something from this, but I'm going to do it again.  I always do.  But I AM going to shred this sheet and keep a blank sheet of paper in a pocket.

For next time.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Best Ever

Today's post on Calie's T-Central blog is witty, insightful, pithy, and brilliant.  It's also mine. :)

And it doesn't even include the word "querent."

Thank you Calie ~ this is not only a great way for me to end my first year of blogging, it's also timely ~ I was so busy writing my first Android app I forgot to write a post!

And although I said thank you to all of you a couple of days ago ~ I can't say it enough.  Thank you, all.

And I'll understand if you jump over to t-c and read what's there.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Search Me

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I'm A Keith Knight Fan

Check out some of his cartoons.  Recently, he's been doing cartoons about his new baby ~ pretty funny stuff. 

He does a number of strips: The K Chronicles, (Th)ink, Life's Little Victories, The Knight Life, a couple of strips for Mad Magazine, and maybe more I don't know about yet.  And he does them all well.

Tg content there is rare, but this was a keeper for my crossdress comics file:

Definitely click on the picture to enlarge it ~ it's worth it!

By the way, Stana likes to create comics for her blog.  I'm not that creative.  All of the comics I post (with one exception) are as-is from the original artists.

I have saved a thousand or two comics over the years.  If no-one objects, I may post a comic or two once-a-week even if they don't have tg content.  I'd just like to share some funny content with my friends.

And if you're a fan of the comics and humour and you don't get The Funny Times, you should.  It's the only print monthly I get now.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Who Indeed?

At least she asked!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

For Me?

Thank you.  Coming back, commenting, reading my posts, e-mailing me, is the gift that keeps on giving.  I wish I could give something of equal value to all of you!

On a more tangible note, thank you to the two who followed an Amazon link (like this one) and purchased something from the website.  It doesn't matter what; if you start at that link (or this one ~ the subject of a post I'm working on) and buy something, I get a rupee.

(update: fixed links)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Clicker for bigger.

I hope y'all got what you wanted this holiday season!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Everybody Has A Secret

Update: She must like it too!

I turned on the weather channel and Maria LaRosa is wearing the same dress I really liked when I saw her less than two weeks ago. I always thought these ladies had access to an infinite number of outfits, and I'd never see the same one twice.

I wish I had a photo.  It's 8am Eastern ~ flip on your tv before 10 or so and let me know what you think.

I'm guessing she saw her name on the blog and decided to give me a second look. ;)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

So Close!

I always check Freecycle.  I use it to get rid of stuff, but I'm always on the lookout for clothes.

For the uninitiated,  freecycle has local groups around the country.  If you want to get rid of something, post an OFFER.  If you want to pick that up, write to the person; after it's picked up they post a TAKEN.  It's discouraged, but if you need something you can post a WANTED and then a RECEIVED if/when you get it.

I always wanted to post WANTED: Porsche Carrera GT, any year and then a RECEIVED.  Just to see what the reaction is.  Or post an OFFER and TAKEN for the same car.  I bet I can find everyone on freecycle that way. :)

Back to the real world.... here's what I just saw:

My feet grew after having 3 kids so sadly for me, my shoes don't fit anymore. Would like it if you take all and freecycle or donate what you don't want.

Enzo Angiolini black wide medium heel - great for every day in the office or an evening out.
Easy Spirit tan/beige with brown accents, medium thin heel - very cute.
Easy Spirit beige low wide heel.
Trotters navy, thin high heel - love these.
Easy Spirit black sling backs, medium heel - great for a night out.
Tan low wide heel - great for everyday, very comfortable
Munro navy flats - very comfortable, need a good cleaning
Ryka white tennis shoes.

Almost all of these were rarely worn - maybe once or twice and have just been sitting in my closet.

The bad news: they're size 10.  I need 11.  So close.

The good news: I'll keep watching for this freecycler.  She might be 11 now and getting rid of some of those shoes at some time.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Don't Mess With Texas

It's already a mess, and getting messier.  And I apologise for the politics, but this is important.

If you haven't been following, Texas is rewriting their history curriculum, and rewriting history at the same time.

They're removed references to Thomas Jefferson (that deist!), and separation of church and state, and even the fact that Hispanics died defending the Alamo.  They added sections on the "conservative resurgence" of the 80s and 90s, but no reference to liberal ideas.  They raise Reagan to superhero.  They teach McCarthy was a good guy, just terribly misunderstood.

Why should non-Texans care?  Because Texas buys a lot of textbooks, so the publishers are likely to try to sell them to other school boards.  These are the children who will be running the country some day.  I'd rather they didn't use their false view of history to run the country into the ground. I'm an unabashed liberal (I've been bashed, but not abashed) and if they tried to publish books that gave a false lefty view, I'd be against that too.  The key word is false.  If they wrote that the Kennedys saved America and slavery existed up to the civil rights movement of the 60s, and conservatives were a failed genetic experiments, I'd object.  We can't compete in the world if our children are taught rubbish.  The publishers assure us "it's so easy to print different books that this will be the Texas edition and it won't affect the thinking parts of the country."  I paraphrase.  After Citizens United, we were assured that that ruling would only have a minor effect on elections.  That lie will be in the next Texas history book, I guess.

Why should you and I care?  Here's what one of the perpetrators of this crime said:

Board member Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, objected to a standard for a high school sociology course that addressed the difference between sex and gender. It was eliminated in a 9-to-6 vote.

She worried that a discussion of that issue would lead students into the world of “transvestites, transsexuals and who knows what else.”

As a who-knows-what-else, I'm concerned.  A discussion of differences among people!  Heaven forbid!

Long live the master race.

If you think I'm exaggerating,  read this article in the Statesman.  There are lots of other stories from major publications as well.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On A Personal Note

Regarding a couple of recent comments....

Dani ~ I included you in my "reached nirvana" post because of what you've written.  Let me know if I misread something.  I remember a comment about not caring what others think, and being yourself.

Jamie ~ thanks for the earworm. :(

Monday, December 20, 2010

If Passing Isn't It...

Accepting yourself as you are, as you appear, is.  That's the crossdresser's holy grail.

If you're a secret dresser, waiting until the house is empty and pulling the shades, you'll probably decide that's not enough at some point.  You'll probably go out, either underdressing or wearing women's clothes that passes for men's, or fully dressed.  I don't know.  It's your journey, and I'm never sure what mine is so I won't even pretend to know yours.

If you're going out, you might get anywhere from nervous to terrified when you step out your front door.  You might look at everyone around you, wondering what they think of you, if they know you're really a guy, if they're going to react to that, either violently or loudly.  I'm somewhere in there.

Or maybe you step out the door and go about your (female) day, even if it is only once a month or twice a year.  Even if it is only grocery shopping or to take a walk in the park or go bowling (remember to ask for a women's shoe size!) or church (why not?) or a transgender support group meeting.

But you go out and it's just the same as if you were wearing a tie and wingtips.

When you do that, when walking out that door in a skirt and makeup is just... natural, two things have happened:
* you have defined yourself.  You are not being defined by others..
* you are passing better.  Confidence is a big part of the game.

And you've reached the real holy grail: peace with yourself, peace with who you are, peace with who you want to be.

I also think this is another reason some men think they've gone from transvestite to transsexual.  I believe they think they're transvestites until they break that self-acceptance barrier.  Then they can look further inward, to see themselves, to understand who they are.  You can't do that when others are defining you and you're trying to meet their expectations.  You just can't.

I'm a transvestite.  I certain of that.  But I also haven't reached the comfort level of many other crossdressers.  I hope to reach that level, and be able to not only walk out that door calmly but to look inward at what I feel and how I feel and who I am.

I'm certain I'm a transvestite.  I hope I reach that "holy grail."

I'm also a little bit afraid.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pass or Not

I watched the original Wall Street last night.

My second impression was amazement at how little the world of Wall Street has changed in twenty-five years.  I suppose it's worse now than it was before.  The twin towers are gone.  But the neighborhoods looked familiar, and today's headlines just show how much they underestimated the damage "investors" can do to the economy.

But my first impression was: Darryl Hannah has very masculine features.

On Friday I spoke about "passing at the fringes."

It seems more pronounced when her face is turned a bit, but if I saw this picture as one of Stana's "the femulated" images, I'd think it was a decent job, considering there wasn't a lot to work with.  Her square jaw reminds me a bit of John Travolta from his Grease days.

I apologise if I ruined "Splash" for you. :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Passing Isn't It

It's a lot, but many transgendered males do not and will never pass as women.  It's a fact.  Some I've seen are breathtaking.  Some, not so much.  As Meg, I'm never sure if I'm turning heads, or stomachs.

Passing has been called the "holy grail" of crossdressing.  Pat called it that in a recent comment.  I've called it that myself.

I was wrong.

Passing is wonderful.  Going out and being accepted is wonderful.  Being called "ma'am" is wonderful.

Every artist wants to paint like DaVinci, or Magritte, or Dali, or whoever is the master in her style. 

Every garage band wants to be the next Beatles, or Bieber (seriously ~ follow the link.  Is he one of us too?)

At some point, the artist or musician or skater has two choices: accept that she's never going to be the best there ever was, or be an angry bitter person who rails against the universe.

Accepting yourself doesn't mean you stop trying to improve.  One has nothing to do with the other.

The artist or musician or skater might be very skilled or gifted in her art, but she's handicapped because she lacks the magic spark that makes Michaelangelo, or Dylan.  Or the physical agility of Michelle Kwan.

All of us born male who try to reach for female beauty are handicapped as well, but in different ways.  Our hands are too big, our adam's apple protrudes too much, we have a bass voice, or angular face.

We can all, I think, pass, but many of us only at the fringes.  Maybe our features are more masculine than 99% of women, but there are women who could be our twins.  Maybe being six-foot-four is tall, but some women are taller.  My voice is masculine, but has anyone heard Bea Arthur?

Passing, as I said, is great.  But there's something that is more important, and something that's attainable by every one of us.  I think Stana and Dani are there.  I am not.

I'll finish this Monday.  Please give me your thoughts in the meantime.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I decided to watch White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye on Sunday.  No reason, other than I'm a huge Danny Kaye fan.  He was a genius who could do it all, and he makes it all look so easy.

I had never seen White Christmas before.  I knew it was mostly music and dancing glued together by the thinnest of plots, so turning it on about 20 minutes into the movie didn't bother me.

It started with a scene where the "Haynes Sisters" were doing a song about being sisters.

The movie was released the same year I was.  Back then, it took four years for a movie to reach television.

I never knew what movie this scene came from, but when I saw them singing, I knew what was coming next.

When I was probably four or five, I was playing and my father was watching, apparently, White Christmas.  Then this scene came in on glorious black-and-white:

I was spellbound.  Guys dressing like girls!  On tv!

I was four or five.

And I remember that fifty years later.  And for the past fifty years, I've been wondering what movie that was!

I just had a weird thought ~ some poor civilian is going to google "White Christmas Danny Kaye Bing Crosby" and find my blog.  Bring 'em on! :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Skirting the Issue

Recently, I was in a mall and I went into Sephora looking for primer.  Before the rally, the very helpful makeup lady gave me two primer samples ~ one for face, one for eyes.  I was hoping to get the same primers, although I really don't know which one is better than the other.  No stories here, but I was feeling playful.

me: when I bought makeup here a couple of months ago, the sales assistant gave me some primer samples, and I was hoping to pick up some primer today.

SA: do you know which ones she gave you?

me: no.  She put them into little containers.  There were two ~ one for eyes, one for face.

SA: does your wife know what kind, or were they for...?
      [I know she was waiting for me to fill in the blank, but I didn't]

me: all I know is, they were white and they did help the foundation go on smoother
      [after a bit of chatter, trying to figure out what I got and who they were for....]

SA: how about if I got you another sample, and wrote down the brand and style?  If they're what you're looking for, you'll know what to buy.

me: could you do that?  That would be great!

Now I know she knows it's for me.  I said that, without saying it.  But she couldn't be 100% sure.  Maybe if I was younger, she might have tried a kidding/flirting response since the (almost) direct approach didn't work.  Who knows.  But, as I said, I was feeling playful.  Maybe I'll try a repeat in a different Sephora and say I was given samples and "they really helped my foundation.  I'm looking to buy primers for next time."

If I'm feeling playful.

Almost two more weeks 'til shopping season's over.  With luck, I'll be at a mall today and off tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

He's Glad he Lost

A bonus post today. 

I had to link to this

I knew about the bet and the date (they'll be auctioning off tickets on that flight).

Like You've Never Done This

I turned on the weather channel Saturday morning.  In addition to the usual bleak forecast, there was a weatherlady (Maria LaRosa I think) wearing a very pretty short-sleeved fitted cranberry dress.  Unfortunately, she was standing at the weather map whenever I heard her voice and looked up, so I only got a waist-up look at her.  When she'd pass to her male counterpart, they always started with a full-length shot.  I wanted to see the rest of the dress, but I had to leave.

So I hit the button to tape the next half-hour and left.

I checked the tape this morning ~ I want that dress!  I wish I had a picture to share.

I also usually leave the house a few minutes after 6.  The last thing I do is flip on Headline News and see what Robin Meade is wearing.  I don't really like her, but she looks nice and dresses well.

Hey, if I get out of bed early enough, I turn on Univision and catch a bit of Primer Impacto (sound off).  All of the presentadoras dress beautifully.  I always loved to see B├írbara, but she just had a baby so she's off for a bit.  It's worth getting up to see Ilia and Satcha, and Jackie do the weather.  They all seem to like dresses or tops with at least short sleeves (which I like, since too much hair spoils the illusion), short skirts, and sexy shoes.  And the cameraman always takes a long shot of the ladies at one point or another.  The last minute usually has them sitting behind a glass table, so even getting downstairs at 5:28 is worthwhile.  I'd be happy with a wardrobe made entirely of their cast-offs.

And the nice thing about Univision at that time of day: most of the ads are promos and their shows are way hotter than ours!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Holiday Window and A Secret Story

As I mentioned before, this is the perfect opportunity to hit the stores and pick up a little female finery.

If you've never shopped, please go out and do it.  Write to me about your experience.  If you'd like to share, maybe I can add a post or three, or a special page for y'all.

If you're uncomfortable with "I take a 12" or "is this the right foundation for me?," add a cover story.  You're not fooling anyone though.


I think there's one story that works, if you really want to shop and not be caught out.

Saying "my niece is just starting to wear makeup and her mom said a 'kit' would be OK.  What do you have?" isn't going to convince anyone.

Saying "I'm looking for a nightgown for my wife.  She's about my size" ~ forget it.

Instead, print or type a list.  Or pull a page out of a store ad, circle what you're looking for and put a size next to it, if necessary.  Get help from a sales assistant.  First off, it is fun to shop with a woman, even if the real situation is just that you're shopping and she's a woman.  Second, it takes the eyes off a male shopping alone in the ladies or lingerie department or store.

Show her the picture.  "My wife left this out.  I just think maybe it's a hint.  Do you have this dress, or something like it?  I assume the 14 is her size.  Can I get a gift receipt?  How long do I have to return it if she doesn't like it?" 

Ulta is great for makeup shopping like this.  They always have a circular in the newspaper and you can circle some items and use the same routine: this is what she "hinted" at.  The makeup counters in department stores usually have special gifts "with a purchase" and the ads aren't very general.  You'll find a kit with a variety of cosmetics free with a $30 purchase but the items in the ad are all priced at about $25, so if you pick one, you'll hafta pick two.  But the department store counters often have a poster near the counter pushing something.  If it's what you're looking for, point at the sign and say "you probably didn't notice my wife and I when we walked past here a couple of hours ago, but she pointed at that and said 'I've been meaning to get one of those, and it's on sale!'  I told her we didn't have time so I could sneak back later."

Be specific.  It works.

Or just say "I usually take an XL top.  Can I try that on?"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Styles Change...

...and they change way too fast too!  You noticed it, I'm sure.  Guys don't care too much.  Their styles change slowly and they're never wedded to a particular product.  But we've all heard (or said) the common female style complaint: "I can't find my favourite lipstick/perfume/hose" or some other consumable.  Crossdressers notice it too....  We work hard to find the right foundation and then they discontinue it or change its name and the search is on once again.

But that's not what this post is about.

I wanted to put up a page with different women's clothes that I like and wear that can pass for men's clothes, but styles change so quickly that I can't find any of the items I bought, even if it was just a few weeks ago.  My no-iron button-down shirts are no longer available.  My comfy Aerosole dress shoes are long gone.  Even some of my favourite undies had different style names/numbers now.

I regularly wear tank tops under shirts.  They're fine, even under thinner shirts.

Usually I wear something like this.  Jockey often has 25% off sales and that's when I buy.  [You know why I'm linking to Amazon instead of Macy's, which has them on sale Right Now ~ if you follow that first link and buy anything from Amazon, I get a farthing and you get my (anonymous and blogwide) thanks.  And if I ever tell my wife about the blog, I can tell her it's helping to put our kids through college :) .]

But the other day, I wore a new (alas, male) shirt that has a heavier fabric so I went with something similar to this instead.  The one I wore had more of a design to the fabric (it's hard to describe) instead of ribs.  It was from Esprit, but, as I said, styles change and Esprit's website has nothing even remotely close to what I own.  It does have the lace around the neck.  The shirt and tank were both pink.  I'm sure it was fine.

The following day, I wore a grey (women's) button-down shirt and a grey (Esprit) tank underneath.

Not me :(
Now, with the cooler weather, I'm changing my casual Friday polo shirts (mostly women's ~ look for longer sleeves instead of cap sleeves) for denim shirts.  I have one women's denim shirt; I'm looking for more but so far without success.  I know I found this one in Sears, and I wish I bought two or three!

Under a denim shirt, I can wear something like this and not worry about straps or little strap adjusters or the general shape and lace showing through.  And yesterday, I wore something almost identical to that (in beige).  I'm always tempted to open One More Button, just to see if anyone says anything.  I don't give in to that particular temptation.

I also finally remembered to bring a lip balm into the office.  I like the "Softlips" but I haven't seen them in the stores lately.  (Hey!!  Amazon has them ;) ).The one I just wore down at work is "Mint Delight" and I don't even see that on the website!  I know I have Vanilla at my bedside.  A few years ago, I was in my manager's office and she had a lip balm that had a bit of a gloss.  I was using the same one (I forget the brand now) and I really wanted to say "I use that!" but she didn't know then and I kept my (slightly) glossy lips closed.

The lip balm I brought in was from Nivea.  In the past, I've bought the "Kiss of Recovery" or the "Kiss of Smoothness" but this time I picked up "A Kiss of Shimmer."  I was surprised at the colour (a deep peach), so I decided I had better try it on in front of a mirror, in case there's a bit too much shimmer.  The result: hardly any.  There's a bit of aroma, but not much shimmer.  Too bad.  I was ready for that.

Just one more thing while I'm talking about women's products....  Do you think "A Kiss of Shimmer" would sell if it was targetted to men?  Or "I Can't Believe It's A Girdle"?  Or "Soft & Beautiful Just For Me Hair Milk Shampoo"?  Guys buy "Shampoo".

I'm still hoping to alert you to items that I buy that are passable, but it's going to have to be quick hits: I found this, if you want it, here's the style number and where I got it.  Buy it now or look in the discount stores next week.

Oh.... I don't really recommend "A Kiss of Shimmer."  I'd like something a bit creamier.  I like the Softlips.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rally Report X: ...And Out of the Office

I caught up with D who works in the next building.  I only see her when we meet at the little cafe downstairs.  We talk when we catch up because she's the type who talks to everyone.  I know more about her than I do about most of my co-workers.  I had mentioned that I was going to the rally; she asked how it went.

D is the anti-me.

Not allowed to wear makeup but does        Allowed to wear makeup but doesn't

I said to her "I was there in costume."  She said "what was your costume?"  I said "I went as the scariest person I could think of" and she said "Christine O'Donnell."  Even conservatives think she's scary!

I told her I have pictures, and she gave me her card so we can plan to catch up and I can show her what I have.

We finally caught up again a week later.  I showed her the business cards I made to hand out and the pictures.  She was effusive, but to be fair, she's always effusive.  She said she couldn't believe it was me, and "you make a gorgeous woman".  I told her that I made her all by myself.  She asked who did my makeup; I told her I did.  She said the brown hair and bangs really showed off my blue eyes.  She also assumed "your wife didn't want anything to do with you."  I told her she was there, but not in the pictures.

I sent her a soft copy of one of the pictures. No response, and I haven't seen her since.

I think that's enough showing the pictures around the office.  I don't remember who had good or bad reactions to my visit last year, so I'm not going to hunt people out.  Plus, people in this industry lean more to the right than average Americans.  Not surprisingly, no-one's come by and said "I heard about the pictures.  Can I see?"

Exactly a week after I bought my makeup, and had my nails and eyebrows done, I dropped by the mall, hoping to visit three women who helped me: my makeup consultant at Sephora, the woman (V) who waxed my brows, hands, and did my manicure, and the woman at Ann Taylor who picked out the t-shirt for me.  My first stop was Sephora, where they said they never heard of the woman who helped me just one week earlier.  Cue the twilight zone music.

I did see V, who was doing a manicure for a twenty-something client.  She said she was disappointed that I didn't come by after the rally.  I showed her the pictures and she kept saying loudly "you are SO pretty!"  For some reason, before looking at the pictures, she got up and moved a few feet from her station.  I definitely got a mixed message here.  She moved away from the client and another employee as if she didn't want to show them the pictures, but kept LOUDLY saying the same thing over and over.  If we were closer, I would have turned the pictures towards the client so she could see.  If the other manicurist had come over, I would have shown her the pictures too.  I'm more than happy to get other opinions, and although "you are SO pretty" is fantastic to hear, criticism is welcome too.  Even hostility is OK ~ maybe I've been lucky and not had any overt bad reactions.  Maybe bad reactions are rare.  But it can't hurt to experience it and be ready for it next time.

I often leave my encounters with regrets over things I didn't do, but that's another post (and it'll be on T-Central, instead of here).

Ann Taylor was a long shot.  I've explained how I am with faces, but I was hoping the woman who helped pick out the clothes would remember me.  There were two young ladies there, and the woman who helped was maybe 40.  I couldn't really ask if she was around ~ I couldn't describe her at all, and didn't have her name.

Two strikes, and I'm out.

And unless someone points out something I missed, I'm through with the rally.

Maybe next year Meg will go to the American Progress conference.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rally Report IX: Meanwhile, Back at the Office

A few days after the rally, I printed five "Christine" pictures and brought them to work.  One woman here, S, knows.  Most of the people I showed the pictures to saw me last year, when Meg came to the office on Halloween.  Yes, I'll get to that story soon.  Yes, I've been saying that for a while.

I'll mention it if someone didn't see me last year.

I started with F.  I found her at her desk and I said "do you want to see something really scary?" I then showed her a picture.  I said "Christine O'Donnell came to the rally."  She stared in silence for a good five seconds before saying "is this for real?"  I assured her it was.  She wanted to know if I was really at the rally.  She said I looked better than last year.  I said "I should.  I had a year to practice."  F is an ideological opposite.  She'd think Senator O'Donnell, or President Palin, sounds just fine.  We still enjoy each others company.

F wanted to know if the same person did my makeup.  I said, no, I did it.  She seemed amazed.  She also said that I was the "talk of the office" last year.  I didn't know that.  I was off on my side of the office and most of the people are in the other wing.

I then talked to W who was at the rally.  I told her I wore a costume ~ I dressed as the scariest thing I could think of, and told her who.  The immediate reaction was an "oh god!" from the cubicle behind her.  That didn't sound promising, so I didn't show him the pictures.

I came by later to show W my photos.  She first asked who it was, then said "oh my god!  It's you" and started laughing.

I saw B.  I rarely have reason to speak with her, but a few months ago when we ran into each other, out of the blue, she made a favourable comment about last year.  So when I saw her, I said "you liked my costume last year, didn't you?"  She said "I LOVED your costume."  I showed her the pictures and said "this is this year."  She said I looked "better than last year" and I used the same I-had-a-year-to-practice line.  So far, no-one's questioned that.  If I knew her better, I might tell B about Meg, but my gut says not to.

A couple of days after last year's halloween costume, E came up to me and said, very ernestly, "you looked really really good."  I think if he wasn't married he would have asked me out.  So I dropped by his office and said "you seemed to appreciate last year's costume so I did a repeat."  He laughed a "wow" as he looked at the pictures.  No leering this time though. :(  He recognised that the pictures were of the rally.  He didn't ask about who did makeup or anything along those lines.  Darn civilians!

A note of explanation about the :( .  If it's safe, leering is OK.  It's another new experience I don't get to have as a guy, although I wouldn't mind that either (if it's from the ladies!).

I showed A the pictures.  A works for F, who suggested I show them to her.  She looked at them.  I said they were taken at the rally in DC last weekend.  She looked at the last then looked at me, then at the picture, then at me again.  I said "I was Christine O'Donnell ~ the scariest person I could think of."  She laughed and said "you make a very pretty woman."  I said "thank you.  I made her myself from a kit."  A doesn't know, and wasn't here last year so she didn't see Meg then.

I dropped by R's desk.  I don't know her well at all.  We chatted briefly once or twice.  S, who is R's boss, wanted to see the pictures but we haven't connected yet.  S sits next to R.  I told R I wanted to show S my rally pictures.  R said "you can show them to me."  She looked at the first one and said "who's that?"  I said "Christine O'Donnell.  She was a senate candidate in Delaware."  She looked at the second and I said "it's also me."  She looked at the third and said "no way.  That's not you."  She also said "you're very good at this."  I said "I've been doing it all my life."  She said "why?" and laughed and we didn't pursue that further.  I didn't remember if she was here last year.  She was.  She said she saw me and knew who I was but didn't believe it.

I had been trying to catch up with S, who I told a couple of months ago.   It took about two weeks before I finally did.  I showed her a few pictures and told her I had my hands and eyebrows waxed, and had shaved my arms and legs ~ all stuff she didn't really notice.  She remembered seeing the suit from the previous pictures I had shown her.  She then looked at me and said "I expected more.  These are too tame."  I said "like what?  Pole dancing?" and she said "fishnets at least."  I told her my friend (I showed her a picture of the two of us) was kind of uncomfortable and he would've freaked if I did more.  I want to say to her "if you want to dress me up to go out, let me know ~ I'll do whatever you want."  I doubt I will.

I wanted to show C my pictures, but she's hard to get hold of.  She only works in the office a couple of days a week and is often in meetings.  She's always out on Friday so she missed me last year.  I remember her saying she had "heard all about" what I did, and then said "you dressed like a chick or something," which meant she didn't hear all about it.  She just overheard something about it.  I finally caught up with her and showed her one of the pictures.  She stared at it, did the now-familiar "Oh.  My.  God." and I told her who I was supposed to be.  She said "you look like a girl" and I said "well, she looks like a girl."  She said, "no, you REALLY look like a girl."

I have a couple of more "victims" tomorrow, then I'm done.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Much Better

Alice added a comment late yesterday.

She wrote, in part,

I believe that the best definition of a transsexual that I've come across is a person whose brain gender does not match their birth sex.

Well, I just came across the best definition of a transsexual.  Thank you, Alice!

Much better than what I wrote yesterday.  Much much better.

Also, I received an e-mail making a point I glossed over.  I paraphrase:

I started dressing at a very young age.  Why did I dress that first time?  Why did I keep coming back?

Well, I started pretty young too.  Way before puberty.  I also liked girls, way before puberty.  Sexuality is wired in at an early age.

But I'm sure most TVs and TSs crossdressed at an early age.  I rarely hear of an adult who decided to dress for the first time and, hey, this is cool, isn't it!

Give some young children blocks.  Some will build a tower and knock it down.  Some will build a house.  They're both playing with blocks, but with different goals.

Some young boys will put on a dress because it gives them pleasure ~ something about it does.  Maybe it's the comfort of being more like mommy.  Maybe it's the feel of the fabric.  Maybe he likes the way he looks.

Some young boys will put on a dress because it's right.  He should be wearing a dress.  After all, the other girls are wearing dresses!

I just spent about twenty minutes staring at what I wrote, trying to decide if I should stop here or go on. 

I write a lot about me, because I'm familiar with the topic.  Sometimes I go a bit deeper than I'm comfortable with.

I am now reaching new heights.  Or depths.  I'm not sure which.

While I was growing up, my father worked long hours.  He usually worked Saturday, and a half-day on Sunday, as well as weekdays.  I also have a brother, four years older than me, and a sister 18 months younger.  I remember little of my youth.  I remember clearly resenting the fact that there were some things my younger sister would do with my mother that I could not ~ I had to wait for my father.  An easy example is making the transition from tub to shower.  My mother wanted to make sure we wouldn't fall and break the tub so our first few showers were shared.  She forged ahead; I had to wait.

I don't know if this influenced my "want to be a girl thinking."  I do know you all now know something I've never shared before.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Not That Old Joke!

Q: What's the difference between a transvestite and a transsexual?
A: Three years.

Or five years.  Or two years.  However you heard it.

I've been thinking about this a lot.  There are differences between the two.  And yes, I'm going to call it "two".  I'm going to limit myself to born males, although my gut tells me it works the same for those born female.  My gut is unreliable at best.

My two categories:
Transvestites (TV): men who enjoy wearing women's clothing.
Transsexuals (TS): men who believe they should have been women.  I'm phrasing this badly; it sounds like I'm belittling that belief.  I am not.  I'm just not sure how to describe a TS properly, without using a word like "believe" or "convinced".  "Men who want to be women" is wrong.  I'd love to hear from the ts community, to help me acquire the right words.

I'm using TV and TS for the trans- comparison.  If you have a word you prefer, feel free to make the substitution.

First, TV is a fetish.  TS is not.  That's one difference.  Maybe you're TS and at one time the clothes caused arousal.  They do feel nice.  I think the novelty of wearing silk and satin and lace would cause arousal in civilians.  Maybe you're TV and you don't find the clothes exciting.  I bet they did once.  That's what kept you coming back to them.

Second, TV and TS are separate.

You don't go from TV to TS.  You might go from denial to TS, or from "testing the waters" to TS.  I think if you're TS you know it.  Maybe not now, but eventually (hence the old joke I started with).

And you don't go from TS to TV.  You might go from confused to TV.  When I was little, I wanted to be a girl more than anything.  Well, that's not true.  I went through the "if I do this, tomorrow when I wake up I'll be a girl" phase and I bet many of you did too.  But I didn't really want to be a girl.  I wanted something that was beyond my grasp so I applied little kid logic.

"I want to wear a dress."
"Only girls wear dresses."
"Therefore, I want to be a girl."

A classic deductive fallacy.

Would I have been happy if my wish came true?  Maybe.  Maybe if I were a girl from age three or four I would have been a happy, well-adjusted mom today.  Maybe I'd be an unhappy woman, wanting to fit in but really not interested in men, as much as I think I should be.  Maybe I'd miss being a crossdresser.

But we're not discussing wishes here.

I'll be coming back to this in the future, probably after I get a bunch of e-mails and/or comments telling me I'm full of crap.  I'm open to discussion, and I'll be happy to debate.  I might be full of crap.  But I think my two basic points are right.

Monday, December 6, 2010

What I See

Michelle Rhee, the former head of the DC school system was on The Colbert Report a few days ago.

She did a good job for the DC schools and is a personable interviewee but I was mostly thinking "I really like her dress.  I wonder where I can get one like it."

See her (and the dress) here.  If you don't like Colbert, well, there's always the mute button. :)

Colbert likes to run to the guest, so it can appear he's getting the applause.  I would have preferred she walk onto the set, so I could see her outfit better.

Yes, we think differently from civilians.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Every Picture Tells a Story

Many of us would be thrilled with her reaction!
Plus, he has a ready-made wardrobe.
I hope she has good taste! :)
And, if not, he can buy "her" gifts in his style.
Now, if only her shoes fit too....
Hm... I wonder how he feels about her telling her friends.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lucky Boy

I've never tried this before. This should embed a flash video.  Hopefully it doesn't play all by itself.  I won't know until it posts.  If it refuses to be polite and starts making noise without being asked, I'll delete it!

If it doesn't work in your browser, try here.

How many of you wanted a sister like her?  And mom seems OK with this too. 

This is a Trident gum ad I saw a couple of days ago.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Comments on Comments

First, Louise wrote, in part "I have just come out to my wife."  Well, those are the kinds of stories I find irresistible.  Read Louise's at her blog, LouiseMostly.

Maria Victoria wrote:

Please don't pay so much attention to P's know, we know and probably he knows you were fantastic as looked beautiful...probably he is impressed and avoid say it.

I'm posting that in full for context, not for the flattery (which I do appreciate!).  OK, maybe just a little teeny bit for the flattery. :)

I've been thinking about why straight males are, shall I say, less accepting of crossdressers than they are of gays.  I might have said "more hostile towards crossdressers" or "find us ickier."  I'll be kind and stick with "less accepting."

I see three things.  In order of least to most important:

There's the time factor.  Gays have been in the public eye (or in your face) longer than we have.  We're still mostly very closeted.  So we're kind of stuck in a cycle here.  We're not out because we're not accepted; we're not accepted because we're not out.

Second, there's history.  Gays, before Stonewall, have rarely been portrayed in the popular media.  In the book The Maltese Falcon, Wilmer (slyly referred to as a gunsel) was clearly a gay character.  In the movie, that was pretty much hidden.  Crossdressing was never treated as a lifestyle; it was always treated with humour.  Until Psycho (where it was instead treated as part of a homicidal disorder) crossdressing was always a joke.  Man puts on dress.  Hilarity ensues.

But the biggest issue is, we pose a threat to male self-identity that gays do not.

Here's my take: a straight male looks at a gay male and says "eww...  but at least he's not competing with me for the babes, so that's cool."  Admittedly, some stop at "eww" and try to eliminate the "threat" to his "way of life" ~ he's afraid it might be contagious, or he might be the next "romantic subject" because he's so irresistible.  But most make the two-part connection.  Personally, I've always been confused that being gay is a "disorder" but hating gays is considered normal.  I'd reverse that.

A straight guy looks at a crossdresser and says "cute.  I wonder what it'll take to get her into my bed?" and then finds out she's not at all what he thought she was and he's back to "eww"... but now it's personal.  "How DARE he get me aroused?"  Without doing anything, just by being herself, the crossdresser has tried to make him her next "romantic subject."  In his mind.  He may even question his own masculinity ~ maybe not consciously, but it's there.  "I thought a guy was cute!  I must be gay!"

This is why I went to the Transgender Day of Remembrance service.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

More Mini-Heart Attacks

I received an e-mail from P with the subject:

What does this mean..

I thought "Oh.  Sh!t.  It went through after all.  Dam Dam Dam Dam Dam."

I opened the message.

It had to do with some files on his computer that he wasn't familiar with.


Then I looked further down my list of messages.

He did get the message I meant to send to myself.

He wrote "I guess this was meant for J?"

I think I'll go with that.  But how did he ignore that subject ("More fun with civilians")?  And if he's still talking to J....

I may still be in trouble.

Game Over Man, Game Over!

I've been corresponding with my wife's friend J.  J, you may recall, came down for the rally.  She's looking for advice on a new computer, and, well, I never pass by an opportunity for some "girl talk."

She wanted to chat about the list of good computer values I had sent her.  She got home late, and e-mailed, asking if we could talk earlier the following night.  I said sure, but at the time she wanted to call "I might be enjoying my Chanukah presents....  I'm hoping to get some new outfits.:)"

When we spoke, she started by asking if I "got any new outfits" and before I could answer said that she wasn't sure what I meant at first and then figured out that I meant "Christine outfits" and that that was pretty funny.

Throughout the conversation, my wife was sitting five feet away, so I couldn't say "I really need some dresses now that the holidays are here."  Instead I said "one can never have enough."

You know how in a tv show or a movie, a character is on the phone and doesn't want the other person in the room to know that the call is from a certain party or about a certain topic and he dances around the subject so as not to give it away?

"Oh hi... 'mother.'"
"Mother?  What are you talking about?  Is she there?"
"Yes, uh, 'mother.'  It was quite unexpected."
"Did you get the package?"
"Yes, it was exactly what I wanted."

And so on.  That was how I felt.  I really wanted to start an outfit conversation, and I'm sure she would have enjoyed it (she brought it up later), but my wife wouldn't have and so after a bit of innocuous small talk, we talked computers.

At the end of the conversation she asked what I did get.  I told her and she said "maybe tomorrow you'll get a new outfit."  I said "that would be nice.  You never know."  She said "or at least some nice heels.  You can always go to DSW."  I said "I'll write that down" and she laughed.

What I wanted to say was "you didn't like my shoes?" and maybe get into a conversation about how I didn't want to wear spiked heels on the grass and had considered boots but they were EXPENSIVE and besides most guys like the skirt-and-boots combination and I didn't want to get P too excited.

I suspect my little guardian angel ~ the one that's kept me from doing something fatally stupid all these years ~ was keeping my wife in the room so I wouldn't say something fatally stupid.

If we follow up via e-mail (about computers) I might thank her for the lead at DSW and say they don't have a lot in my size.  The problem is, I'd rather TALK than WRITE.  Talk is much more dynamic and fun, and I can see if she's enjoying it and end it if she's not.  it also does not leave a record she can forward to my wife!

Now, why that Alien quote as the subject for this post?

I wanted to remember the e-mail exchange between J and me, for a new post (this one).  So I snipped a portion and sent it to my work address:

I'm not expecting sudden laryngitis, so yes, I should be able to talk
tomorrow evening.  I might be enjoying my Chanukah presents though, and
not want to be interrupted.  I'm hoping to get some new outfits.:)

>  Thanks for working on this today! I have been sick since Thursday of
>  Last week and although I am beginning to feel better, I still have
>  Some kind of bug so am not sure if I will be up to talking with you
>  About this tonight(I won't be back home till close to 9:30 from the
>  office)
>  Are you able to talk tomorrow evening between 8 and 9?
>  J : )

Yes, she always signs with a smiley.

I copied-and-pasted this into a new message.  In Thunderbird, if you start to type the address it fills in the rest.  I typed the first letter, hit tab and added a subject ("More fun with civilians").  Then I hit send.

The "sending" window appeared.  It should have taken no time at all, but it lingered for a second or so.  I glanced at the message and saw that the address I had approved wasn't mine.  It was P's.  I hit cancel as quickly as I could

It did indeed cancel.  It said "send failed" and it wasn't in my outbox.

After I recovered from the mini-heart attack and thanked the angel for working late, I sent it to myself.

It's not horrible, but it would not have been easy to explain.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Have the Perfect Response for P!

But I will defer to the good sense of my readers and only open my mouth to touch up my lipstick.

I picked up a Nine West dress at Macy's today.  I can't find it online; not surprising ~ it was on clearance.  $50 for a $128 dress, and I had a coupon for an additional 25% off so it was about $38 with tax.  Not bad.  You too can have 25% off at Macy's!  If you order on-line for the next few days (through Monday), use code MACYSFF and you'll get 25% off (some restrictions apply).  Don't tell them where you got the code.  It's our secret. ;)

...or Get Off the Pot

In yesterday's post, I summarised an e-mail exchange with P:

...I wrote "I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the correct size. :)" to which he replied "I would say that all of DC saw that you paid close attention to detail.  ;-)"

So I think that thread's done.  I don't really have an answer to his last comment.  I do reserve the right to think up a comment.

I thought up a comment.

I should let it lie, but I have a tendency to beat things to death.  In this case, I'm letting it die, bringing it back to life, and beating it to death again.  I wrote:

Hey ~ I didn't want to look stupid.  I was O'Donnell, so I had free rein to act stupid, but not look stupid.  I do wonder how many people thought I was a girl.  Probably not many.

I'm not sure I understand his response, but I am absolutely definitely positively going to not respond.

Any comments I make are certainly in jest.  I would say that everyone not only got the joke, I am sure they were impressed with how you put "her" all together.  It was a *great* costume, and you should proud - I guess ;-)

I'm not sure.  Does he think my comments are not in jest?  Does he know and not want to step over the line and insult me, but also not want to encourage me?  "I guess ?"  If everyone "got the joke" then he's saying everyone knew I was a guy.  Right?  Or is he saying everyone knew I was Christine.

Maybe I should reply.

I'm just afraid that the next response has to be "it's something I do, sometimes" and, well, I'm just afraid.  Enough readers have expressed the same do-not-do-this that I will not do this.