Monday, October 31, 2011

Disaster Averted!

I'm going to start at the end, then go back to the beginning and work my way forward.  I'm doing this because It Is Late Sunday night and I still haven't unpacked and gotten everything ready for work tomorrow.

The last thing I did before parting ways with Liz and Erin (keep checking back; the story's coming) was take three pictures: Erin and Liz, Erin and Meg, Liz and Meg.  When Erin tried to take the Liz and Meg picture, my camera decided the memory card was unrecogniseable.  I tried reseating the card, I tried connecting it via cable to my computer....  Nothing would work.

I came home around 4 or so and put the card into my computer reader.  It happily asked if I wanted to format it.

I had a great time with Dorothy Friday night, and Liz and Erin on Saturday.  Twelve stars on a scale of one-to-five.  But I would have liked to have those pictures.

Erin (left) and Liz
[techie on]
I downloaded a free disk editor, HxD.  I saved the card image as a file.  I opened the file with a hex editor and searched for and found images.  I hoped the images were contiguous, stretching from one image to the next.  I wrote a little c# program that looked for jpeg headers: I found 246.  I extended the program to save the data from one header to the next and...  I got 246 pictures!  A couple are corrupt, many are from a long time ago (and I had formatted my card recently).  I didn't get those last couple of pictures, but almost all of my trip is back!
[techie off]

So these are a couple of (cropped but unedited) pictures from one of my best weekends ever!  Click to enlarge.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I Need Self-Control

(more on Dorothy in a day or so....  And on Liz and Erin and my Saturday in Tucson)

A friend is starting a political blog and wanted some advice.  He's thinking of using wordpress.  I told him I have to political blogs using wordpress, but I don't do much with them or anything fancy even though there are a lot of options with it.  I also mentioned I have a blog using blogspot, the google blog website.

He doesn't know about Meg.  I knew when I wrote it that I was asking for trouble, and I wasn't sure what I'd say if he asked to see the blogspot site.  I'm still not sure, but I don't think it's important: it's been over a week and he never asked about it.

I know....  One of these days....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

It's 11PM Arizona Time

2AM on my own personal clock.  I just got in from a fabulous time, dining and yapping, with Dorothy.

I thought Dorothy was going to be waiting in her car.  I walked past a woman sitting on the sofa in the lobby.  She looked at me and said "hi" so I said "hi" back and kept walking.  When I couldn't find her, I called and said "were you that woman sitting in the lobby?"  She was.

The end of the evening was also delightful.  Dorothy is the anti-Meg: she talks to everyone.  She started talking to the woman behind the counter at the hotel ~ I missed the start of the conversation but I think Dorothy said she looked familiar.  When I got to the counter, the woman said "is this lifestyle or Halloween?"  I was taken aback, but Dorothy immediately said "lifestyle" and we magically found another very accepting woman!  We had a great chat.

Details to follow.  I have to meet Liz at 9am and I've told you how long it takes Meg to get ready!

Oh... an open note to Lizzy, who wrote "Zevon rules!" after my post the other day: on a trip to London I stumbled upon Chinatown.  I started walking up and down streets until I found Lee Ho Fook's.  I didn't get a big dish of beef chow mein, but I did score a matchbook!

Friday, October 28, 2011

I Better Be Ready

I walked over to KMart during the day Wednesday and I picked up one of these.  They had that camo finish, or dark blue.  Neither was my first choice, but I picked a blue one up anyway.  It folds flat, weighs little, and if I can make a little room in my regular bag I can carry it on my trip, empty.  I bought it now so I could bring home my extra skirts.  I may also buy something in Tucson (if I find anything interesting or unusual) and I STILL might try the ballet flat idea.  If I do, I'll need to carry my male shoes, which are bulky and will never fit in my bag without other considerations.

I also spent five on a pack of three trouser socks.  If I wear the flats, I'll need thin socks.  Not that I'm saying I'll do it yet.  But I'm ready.

One disappointment here: I cannot wear my cami or cinch under two of my shirts.  One shows every strap; the other is a nicer material and a bit clingy.  Under either, I can see the straps (and one of my camis is shaped for my bust so even though the cup material is thin it still bunches and shows a bit.  A bit too much.  If I leave off the cami, there's a bit of a "muffin top" above my cinch.  I'll wear my denim shirt again today so I can wear my cinch and that nice cami.

The plan for today is to meet Dorothy for dinner in Tucson.  If I can get there early, Meg will meet her.  If not, well, at least I'll be wearing all women's clothing.  It's not much but it's better than nothing.

Before I left for work I got rid of as much hair as I could, except for a close facial shave.  The dress I'll probably wear has 3/4 sleeves and my top has long sleeves, but for some reason I decided to completely shave my arms and underarms.

While here, I made a list of everything I brought so I can use this as a serious starting point.  I'm going to make three lists from that one: Things I Must Bring, Things I'd Like To Have, Things I Can Replace.  I must bring my contacts.  I'd like to have my wig (because it's tricky to replace), and most makeup is easy to replace.

Wednesday night, I did a dry run, trying on my padding and shoes and top and each skirt.  And, even with all my planning, I still messed up.  I am certain I took out a white plain Flexee cami.  I remember noticing that it was very stretchy and was shaped for my bust.  But it didn't make it to Arizona.  I hope I put it away!  My top is a scoop neck and almost too low.  I wanted to wear a higher neck cami underneath so I'd get a kind of "crescent moon" shape.  I think if I'm careful it'll be fine, but I'd rather have the extra layer.

Sometimes, I amaze myself.

Oh....  One of the skirts I picked up at Goodwill had the original tags from Macy's.  It's lined, multi-gored, very swingy and I like it alot, except for the length (just below knee; I'd prefer just above).  And the original price on this $7 skirt was $59.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Prep (Continued)

Sometimes, dressing takes precedence over common sense. If you've been reading this blog for a bit, you know that's true for me. It may be true for you as well.

Tuesday, after I wrote my Wednesday morning post, I did a couple of things.

I Took a Little Risk
No need for lawyers, guns, and money though. I took a little break from work and went to the Goodwill store. The Goodwill store is about a hundred paces from my office. Remember I said I maybe wanted to find a skirt that would fit better than the black one and would go with the purple top? I picked up three for about $12.  Believe it or not, there are three more I wanted to buy but I left them on the rack.  If I was smart, I would have bought a brown or black top instead.

So I not only had to hope I wouldn't run into one of my coworkers either in or near the store, since I had parked right in front of the office I had to walk the length of the parking lot with a bag that said "Goodwill" on it. Mission accomplished though.

I Broke the Bank
In a manner of speaking. My luggage is full to bursting. I overpacked, and now I have that panty and three more skirts. I went to the mall after work to see if I can get something light, foldable, nylon, and zippered to put my overflow in and, in the future, bring with me to handle overflow. A strap like a shoulder bag would be fine. I can put clothes in it and bring it on the plane without wondering if my suitcase will explode.

Part of the problem is my forms. My old ones are failing rapidly, and I think it's because of my taking them to see the country. I put them in plastic bags, but they're soft silicone and the thin plastic shell is separating from said silicone and they're not the wonderful boobs they used to be.

I mentioned a few months ago that I bought replacements. They each come in a cardboard box with a hard plastic insert to hold them in place. These take up a lot of room in my suitcase, so I haven't brought the boxes before. This time, I had a brilliant idea so I brought them, in their boxes.

I took out the plastic insert and put the form into the insert. I packed some panties around the concave side of the form so they wouldn't collapse if placed upside down. Then I placed the box over the plastic insert, so it's held into the "bottom" of the box. Then I put more undies and other soft small items around the convex part of the form. So now, I can use the box to store not only the form but some clothes as well!

They travelled well, but I hadn't thought it through. I have less clean clothes to pack around the forms on my way home. Hence, the search for a little extra bag, for the clothes I can no longer pack into the forms box.

I looked in the small mall on Tuesday after work, but found nothing. Next up: Walmart, Target, Kmart, all near the office.

I Overdid It
My "waist training" became too much too soon. Around 1030, I moved the belt another notch tighter.  In the evening, I measured: my normally 34" belt was notched down to 31". By 1230, I realised I had overdone it and I had to back off. This sort of influenced my decision to head for Goodwill and another skirt.

Tuesday, I felt crappy.  For some reason, after getting only four hours of sleep Sunday night, I decided to make up for it by only sleeping for four hours Monday night.  After 300 I just could not fall back asleep.  I'll feel better by the weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Monday night, after work, I was very tired.  I had to get up before 4 to catch my plane and the flight and work made for an overlong day.

I had a long list of things to do (as usual) but only got to a couple (as usual).

I cleaned my contacts.  I try to do that several times before going out, since I rarely wear them and don't want bacteria to build up on them and cause problems when Meg goes out.  A recent optometrist said that's no longer a problem but....

While in Tucson, I looked at Spanx  I had heard great things about them for figure taming, but there were so many varieties that I wasn't sure what to get/what I need.  And the price tag sort of scared me off.  I saw a panty with a butt pad built in.  I often thought of looking for hip and butt pads, to give me some sort of figure but never bought anything.  I looked at the price: $68!

I kept looking and saw a panty with removable butt pads.  $16.  I picked one up, size medium.

Monday night, I tried on the clothes I brought with me.  I tried on my two dresses with my new panty.  One that I hope to wear is very stretchy, very sexy, and somewhat clingy.  It shows a bit of a bulge, but I wanted to see if I could minimise that.  The new panty is very tight and... the little bits I don't want to show almost don't show!  I put on my bra and cinch and dress and....

It looked awful.  I have bumps and angles and other bulges on my waist.  It looked better without the butt panty.  My other dress looked pretty good either way.

I tried on the skirts I brought.  Believe it or not, for one day out I brought one top, two dresses, three skirts, two pairs of shoes.  In one way, it's dumb because I have to carry all of that, but in another way it's good because I get to play with some in-house dressup.  OK, it's dumb.

I have a purple scoop neck top.  I brought a brown-and-white skirt.  I'm not sure they work together, but that may be what I wear.  Remember I tried on all those skirts last week?  I also said I have a list of skirts and such I had previously tried on.  I picked a black skirt that I had listed as "very good" previously.  I tried it on.

It barely zipped up.

I also have the long black and white skirt I wore to the swap a few weeks ago.  I think I'd rather wear a shorter skirt.

So Tuesday, I decided maybe a bit of "waist training" would help me with that black skirt.  To work, I'm wearing a (male, alas) polo and women's jeans.  Under, I have a very lacy camisole.  The straps show a tiny bit but I'm not that worried.  I'm also wearing my cinch, something I've often considered doing at work normally but didn't because (a) I didn't want my wife to notice and (b) it makes going to the restroom difficult.  I also tightened my belt a couple of notches further than usual.  I know that literally "tightening your belt" will help trip your waist, but it takes time.  I don't have a lot of time, but I want to try and maybe wear that black skirt.  If not, I'll plan another trip to the mall (Thursday maybe) and buy another skirt.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Still On That Path

I've mentioned the path from I care to I don't care before.  I'm looking to make a leap along that path, but I'm not there yet.

I have decided I really like ballet flats.  They look comfortable, and cute, and there are lots of variations on the basic style: bows, colours, patterns....  I found a few pair in my size in Payless and was tempted but I didn't buy any.

Here's what I want to do.

I want to buy a basic, plainish pair and wear them for my next flight.  I'm tired of unlacing sneakers, taking them off, putting them back on, lacing them back up.  Any sort of loafer would be OK, but my only "nice" loafers are heavier and I don't want to carry them on my trip.  And even though they're Aerosoles,  they're still a bit uncomfortable for a long flight.

But the ballet flats are clearly women's shoes, no matter how plain or basic black they are.  Plus, I need to take valuable luggage space for my sneakers which are large and bulky.  I could carry the sneakers on and change on the flight and just wear the flats through security, but I don't want to carry them.  And what if my luggage is somehow lost or misdirected?  Here I am with only ballet flats, either to wear home or to my customer.

So there are lots of reasons not to do it, even though I'd like to wear them.  I think one day I will, even though the reasons will still exist.  I think the real reason is, I still care what others think.  I'm still afraid I'll run into someone I know at the airport.

But here's what I'd like to do: in Tucson, as Meg, go to a shoe store.  Buy plainish black ballet flats.  Wear them home.

I don't think I'll do it, but I'll let you know in a few days.

On my way in yesterday, I did stop at a Payless in Tucson.  They had patent flats for $17 and a clothier material flats with a sort of flower at the front (I really can't describe it so I have pictures of both here instead.  Click to enlarge) for $10, both in my size.  I didn't buy either but I may go back on Saturday.

One more thing: I received a comment from an anonymous reader about someone named SrilaE-mail me and tell me more.  If it's relevant, I'll post.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Westward Ho!

This is being posted while I'm in the air heading towards Houston, where I'll connect to Tucson, where I'll get a car and drive to Sierra Vista.  I'll get in to Tucson around 10, and I should get to SV by noon.  I'm thinking of taking a little time to check out the Tucson mall, which is about a dozen miles north of the airport, before I go.  I can get an early lunch (early for Tucson.  It'll be 1, eastern tummy time, when I land) and check out the shops before getting on the road.

In a comment a couple of days ago, one of my friends asked why I plan so much.  For, say, my Richmond trip or my Meg-at-the-rally day not so much planning was necessary.  But if I get to my destination without a wig or my pads or my contacts, well, that's game over.  She did have a good point though: I should have a list of "must haves:" things like the above items.  I can always buy cosmetics or clothes.  Even if I forget a razor, I can get another.  But breast pads are tough (and expensive!) to replace.  And I'd rather not get another wig (although I may go wig shopping anyway, just for fun).

And I almost made an error this time.  I'm dressed for work while in the air, since I'm going straight to the office.  Normally, for SV, that means a polo or similar shirt and jeans.  But you may recall I'm going to be removing my body hair over the next few days.  That means I'd show up Monday with hairy arms and Tuesday without.  Will anyone notice?  No.  At work, no-one even noticed my haircut, or my eyebrows.  But I don't want to answer questions, on the slim, outside chance someone does notice.  So I'm wearing my new denim-ish shirt today.  With a spaghetti-strap cami underneath.  The material isn't very heavy, but it's heavy enough to make the straps and details disappear.  I think.  Oh... this particular shirt looks like it could be a man's shirt, except some of the thread is pink.  No idea why they did that, but it's the sort of thing that I would have considered a show-stopper a couple of years ago.  On my journey to "I don't care," it's OK.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


While I was at the mall getting my haircut, I went to several mall stores, department stores as well as smaller shops.  I'm still looking for a polo shirt or two.

Too girly, right?
Old Navy suggested Eddie Bauer.  Eddie Bauer only had a shirt that looked more uni than it really was, once I got it home.  No problem.  It just goes on the other side of the closet.  I think if I had bought a more "neutral" colour (I go purple) it might have passed.  I may still bring it and wear it in Arizona.  It has a bit of a scoop neck, five or so (smallish) buttons, and it's not a single colour.  It has lighter purple patches on the shoulder and elbow ~ you can see it here.

I looked at a table of shirts and a woman came over and asked if I was looking for a particular size.  I said "large" and we found one in the stack I was looking through (white, at the time).  I brought it over to the register and the same woman was there.  I asked if I could try it on.

This is new for me.  I've (rarely) tried on women's clothing while in drab, but never brought attention to it.

She said "are you sure you wouldn't want to..." as she pointed to the men's side of the store.  I interrupted with a "yes."  She shrugged and we walked over to the fitting rooms.  She unlocked one for me and it fit rather well, but I wasn't sure about the white.  I looked at the other colours and chose the purple.

I then walked over to Land's End where I told the helpful woman who asked if she could help that I was looking for a polo shirt.  She said "women's?" and I answered in the affirmative.  She said they had a sale on summer clothes and pretty much everything was gone.  I did find an oxford-type shirt and a sort-of denim shirt: it wasn't really denim, but a lighter cotton in about the same colour.  I bought both and tried them all on on "dress night."  They fit fine.  Now I have two more girl shirts for the boy side of the closet and one seriously maybe.  If I do wear it (in Arizona), I think it'll raise eyebrows but it may get glossed over as an east-coast style.

I haven't decided.  And here it is, packing day!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Maybe Just a Tad Extreme?

Although if I were a different species, I'd probably want to be male.  We're the only ones who screwed it up!

I would just like to say that it is my conviction
That longer hair and other flamboyant affectations
Of appearance are nothing more
Than the male's emergence from his drab camouflage
Into the gaudy plumage
Which is the birthright of his sex

There is a peculiar notion that elegant plumage
And fine feathers are not proper for the male
When ac---tually
That is the way things are
In most species

Anyone recognise the lyrics (without googling)?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Rectifying the Situation

On Wednesday, I wrote "And I just realised it's Thursday and I haven't picked out what I want to wear in Tucson yet!  I need a top and skirt, and a dress."

Well, I guess I get an extra day.

Once again, I skipped out of work early.  I made up some time in the evening, but I knew no-one would be home for a couple of hours and I wanted to try on dresses.  I did, and I screwed up, slightly.

When I just spend some "try on" time, I write down what fit, what didn't and I figure I can refer to that when I'm ready to go out.  It seems, however, that each time I go out I have some slightly different plan.  So I ignored longer skirts, but I decided I wanted a more casual look my last couple of times out so I went with longer skirts.

Now, I have less body hair than usual, and I might be going out to a club or something in the evening.  I can't be out too late because I have a very early flight the next morning (pre-6am), and, as I mentioned, I'm staying on eastern time.

So I was looking for fancier dresses than I usually wear.

My first cut involved pulling out nine dresses to choose from!  These are all dresses I've never worn out before; they are just a bit too fancy for a day at the mall, or a bit too short, or a bit too something for me to wear.  I have worn a variety of dresses; they all seem to me to be "day dresses," the kind of thing I might wear to work to be stylish but not overdo it.  I could be wrong.  My fashion sense is poor.

Once I went through the nine dresses I was considering, I kept on going.  I pulled out a couple of sheath dresses and a couple that were hiding in the back of my closet ~ I liked them, but I never considered them for a day at the mall, so they went back into hiding.

And, for the umpty-umpth time, I wrote down some notes so I could go back and pick out a dress without trying them all on.  That, as I've said, means nothing beyond this weekend when I pack.

Here are some of my notes (additional notes in italics):
Black longsleeve velvet dress - very short, OK for clubs (love this dress!)
Black with stone accents at collar - a bit tight, short
Blue tiered w/flower accent and belt - length OK, a bit tight at bust, looks kind of shapeless on me (very dressy, kinda wear-to-a-wedding dress)
Horizontal print, belt, black waist - knee length, not bad
Black mini w/attached b&w jacket - OK, needs black slip
Gold mini, tight, length OK (when standing!) (not sure if it's "me")
Purple stretchy - bulge shows, otherwise GREAT.  Needs underarm shave, full slip (I've always wanted to wear this dress!  I LOVE it!  I need a gaff!)
Grey mini - No Way (Probably swap)
B&W Button Front- OK, bunches in front a bit, short
Blue knit - needs cami.  Neck low in back, but OK right now.  Bulge shows.
Purple w/short back zip - nice!  3/4 sleeves, almost knee length (sexy, but I don't know why)
B&W top, black skirt, side zip (hard to zip) - nice!  Knee length
Purple scoop neck kind of low, back zip, pockets - very nice (neck sb OK, but barely) (a possible)

 So I still don't know.  I may pack the purple stretchy dress and see if I can make it work.  I may go with the black velvet dress as well.  I'll probably bring two, wear one.  The purple 3/4 sleeve is another possible, but it's kind of heavy which means it'll take up more luggage space.  I'll also look at the scoop neck again.

I also need to decide what top/skirt to bring.  I still haven't decided if I'm going with a long or short skirt.  It'll probably be in the mid-70s during the day and around 50 at night, but I think the look is more important than the weather.  I wish I knew what I was going to do while I'm there!

Oh, that little screw-up: I have some shoes I want to try and I didn't.  I should have been wearing shoes for the hour or two I was trying dresses on.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Two Bits? I Wish!

For the record, I'm old enough to  know it, but not old enough to remember it.  My "shave [wax] and a haircut" cost almost 500 bits!  Extra bonus points to anyone who knows why twelve and a half cents is a "bit." :)

Yesterday, I skipped out on work early.  It's OK; I had to put in a ten hour day on Tuesday.

Before I go out as Meg I try to get my hair in order.  I got a haircut, I had the back of my neck waxed, and I had my eyebrows waxed.  My waxlady was very thorough.  She went somewhat further than just my neck, remembering that last time I said I might want to wear something sleeveless and if she could take care of what would be uncovered, I'd be grateful.  She went partway down my back, so maybe I can wear something with a lower back.  Usually I look for high backs.  I looked in a mirror when I got home.  With a camisole only my neck and upper back looks clear.  She didn't do the back of my shoulders, so I need to nair/shave that but it's worth a try.  I'll be sure to bring something sleeveless to Arizona.

I always have a nice chat with my waxlady.  She was surprised I didn't bring pictures of my latest outing, but I told her about the swap and Vanessa.  She assumed I was getting ready for Halloween; I told her I had no place to go, but I'd be away on business and meeting some girlfriends (I hope).  I told her that it takes me a couple of hours to "transform" but this is really the start of the process.

I asked her to do my brows "just a bit" more than last time.  I think they look good, but for fun I asked the haircutlady if she thought my brows were "trimmed too much."  She said they look a bit too curved.  I said "well, if I go out as a girl for Halloween, I'll be set."  She laughed.  I would tell her, but one of her coworkers is someone I know quite well.  I also know her kids and her husband.  My wife barely knows her but they have many mutual friends.  So that won't happen.

I have not shaved or otherwise de-haired my arms, hands, legs, feet, chest in a few weeks now.  I don't like the look but because Meg won't be out until the end of the week, I plan to take care of the pre-processing while I'm there.

I don't want to change my clock to Arizona time so it'll be early to bed and early to rise for me.  The office opens early and most people are done by 3 anyway.  I don't like getting an early dinner.  I feel old getting dinner at 4.  I just need to remind myself it's really 7 by my clock.  I plan to be in bed by 8 or 9 local, and up by 4 or so.  This means I'll do most of the things I usually do in the evening, in the early morning hours.  But I do plan to remove hair each evening.  I haven't decided how yet; I'll probably pick up a bottle or two of Nair in Arizona and stink up the room each evening.  Does anyone know a better hair removal chemical?  I'm open to suggestions.

And if i do a good, thorough job I may brave the world in a sleeveless or nearly so top so I can show off our handiwork.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Coming Up Empty

I went to the Springfield mall, which is near my office and not very impressive.  I was hoping to find polo shirts, or something similar, at the Penney's there, but struck out.  I had looked in a Macy's a few days earlier so I didn't look again.  There is a Target in this mall, and they had a few shirts that would work.  One had long sleeves and I didn't like the only colour in my size.  The other styles had nothing in my size.

Also in Penney's, but they had an "Arizona Jeans" department in the Junior department.  They had some polos, with cap sleeves.  I saw that they also had Arizona Jeans in the men's department.  I asked someone if they had a misses section for that company.  It seems they do not.

I also went to Landmark mall, sort of on my way between work and home.  I tried the Land's End store in the Sears there ~ nothing.

I could look in Marshall's or one of those stores, but I find that it's better to only have a vague idea as to what you want when you shop there.  It's so unlikely you'll find the item you want... well, flexibility is the watchword.

An anonymous (local) reader suggested the Ralph Lauren outlet store ~ there is one in Woodbridge, not too far from my office.  I looked at the Lauren website and was a bit disheartened: the short sleeves were probably too short; the long sleeves looked OK but the shirts were around $100 each!  Target ($10-15) was much more purse-friendly.

And I just realised it's Thursday and I haven't picked out what I want to wear in Tucson yet!  I need a top and skirt, and a dress.  I'm thinking one of the scoop tops I scored at freecycle, and I have a lbd that I think I could wear to somewhere clubby, if I end up there.  Now....  Long skirt or short skirt?  And which shoes?

I actually have a love-hate relationship with choosing clothes.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Expect the Unexpected II

My wife is a therapist.  I tell friends that I'm her greatest challenge.  She's never figured out that that implies I'm her greatest failure. :D

She often tells me about clients, without naming names or giving any identifying information.

She's told he that she has had a couple of crossdresser clients, but that's not why they're seeing her so they don't really talk about it.  Not long ago, we had a discussion about one of her gay clients.  She urged him to come out to his friends.  I asked if that meant I should come out to my friends.  She was passionately against that, but couldn't (or wouldn't) explain how that was not hypocritical, or at the very least, extremely insulting to me.


The other night she told me about an female client who got stuck in a job she doesn't want, doing something she doesn't like.  She discussed what she does and does well, and they brainstormed about ways she could maybe turn something into a career, or at least a way to make some money doing what she likes.  One skill, my wife suggested a few ways she could turn that into a career.  She also mentioned that she had some cosmetics training and thought she was quite good at it.  My wife suggested she might find a niche, such as "doing makeovers for men who like to dress up."  That's how she expressed it to me; I don't know what wording she used with her client, or how she reacted.  When we have some time alone, I'll follow up and see if I can find out exactly what she said.

An aside: right before posting this, I checked freecycle and found WANTED: Dresser.  I am so tempted to reply!  "I may not be exactly what you're looking for but...."

Monday, October 17, 2011

OFFER: Exactly What You Want

I see that in freecycle a lot.  Except it always has a second line.  The second line is either "but not in your size" or "when you're out of town and can't pick it up."

Freecycle, for the uninitiated, is a local free exchange.  One is set up in a community and people post OFFER to get rid of stuff, TAKEN when someone picks it up, WANTED if they need stuff and RECEIVED when something they want becomes theirs.  WANTEDs are discouraged.  Someday, I'm going to get a list of everyone on the list by posting OFFER: 2010 Ferrari.

So when I'm home I see "OFFER: Two Garbage Bags Full of Women's Clothing."  Wow.  People don't freecycle junk (as a rule) so I read further: "Dresses, skirts, tops.  Most are XL but some are 18 or 1X."

Sometimes, the last line is Petite, small, some 2s.

Or I'll be in Arizona or somewhere else and it'll say "size 12 tops, size 8-10 skirts, must pick up today."

Or I'll be home and I'll see the TAKEN before I even see the OFFER.

One recent offer:

2 nice black dresses, (YAY!) both size 18. (BOO!)


OFFER: 6 Women's Skirt Slips  (OK, I'm interested)
Sizes range from size 12 to 2x, 3x, 4x. (maybe not)


OFFER: Women's shoes, size 11
A pair of brown flats and a pair of black wedge sandals with stones along the top.

Gone before I had a chance to read the offer.  By the way, I scored a few pair of 11 or 12 shoes ~ none were really nice or useable.  But I wonder if there are other women like me on the list.  (I almost forgot: I scored these platforms that someone bought for a costume and wanted to get rid of.  I want to know the story behind that!  I'm sure they were for a guy's costume.)

Here's one I liked:

OFFER:  3 Bali Bras, New in packages.
2 size 42 D
1 size 40 D

Not my size, but I really wanted to meet the owner!

They've offered gowns, bridesmaid's dresses, prom dresses, business suits, but mostly I pass.  There are women who can use them for an affair they wouldn't be able to go to, or a new job while they're down on their luck.

One of the most frustrating:

OFFER: ladies clothes size 10 - 14
Business clothes, dresses & suits. Current style.


I copied the message to a new message on my Meg e-mail account, to be a bit more anonymous and imply they'll be taken by a woman.  I started typing my response.   I remembered to copy the sender's address into the To: field and...

It's a friend of my wife.  I know her too.  She knows me.

The most recent was OFFER: red skirt and I had to look.
Jones New York red, 100% pure wool skirt. Originally a size 14, has been altered to a size 2-4. It's 18.5 inches long, about 13.5 inches at waist, and 17.5 inches at hip line. In excellent condition(worn maybe a couple of times).

Why oh why couldn't they alter it down to a 10 or 8?  A thirteen inch waist?  Are they kidding?  Babies are born with bigger waists!

Recently, I saw:

OFFER: 4 women's Banana Republic shirts, size L
3 of the same shirt in black, teal and deep purple - stretchy shirt, size L, scoop neck with applied crescent detail around neckline.

1 grey ribbed knit shirt, size L, with scoop neck and ruffle, button detail down the front.

Great shirts in new-like condition.

The grey one is a bit scoopier than the others.  I tried the grey one and the purple (as representative of the other three) with a padded bra to see if they were too low or too see-through or too unwearable for some reason.  They're nice, they're stretchy, they're almost but not quite too low, they have 3/4 sleeves and they're hanging in my closet.  I think one will make it to Tucson.  I've been looking for solid tops to wear with patterned skirts.  I have many of those.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Polo Anyone?

In Sierra Vista, the uniform is casual bordering on slob for most of the guys in engineering.  The women wear jeans and polo or other casual tops.  I have limits as to how casual I am in an office, but polo shirts and jeans or khakis seem OK to me.

I have women's jeans and and other women's casual pants.  I have a couple of women's polos, but not many.  The tricky part is generally the sleeves.  Cap sleeves are the norm and are, of course, out.  A-bit-too-short sleeves don't bother me at all.

I've been going to department and big box stores looking for polos, without much luck.  There are lots in the men's department but nothing on the other side of the store.

For those of you who are wondering why I eschew men's polos while seeking out what is virtually the same shirt from the women's department, the simple answer is I have no idea.

But I do.

After I scored the freecycle Banana Republic shirts I mentioned yesterday, it occurred to me that I'm looking for shirts in all the wrong places.  I bet Banana Republic has polo shirts.  Or Land's End.  Or Old Navy.  The shirts here are all at Land's End.  There are several styles and uncountable colours (but do guys wear pale pink?  Or long sleeve polos?)!  I would like to find better prices though.,  Does anyone know are resources I missed?  I'd rather shop in person so I don't get something that seems OK but has a cutout back or is mesh or something unexpected.  I hate returning things.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

And Isn't It A Great Feeling?

Brian Crane is not a household name, like Schultz or Trudeau or Pastis, but his Pickles strip is among my favourites.  A (mildly t-related) example follows.

Sunday, I will have a regular post, instead of a non-cd cartoon.  I haven't written ahead, but I think I have some things to say before I head for Arizona next Monday.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Expect the Unexpected

I am going to Sierra Vista in about ten days.  I have a strange position at work.  I'll pause while your creative minds try to figure out what sort of strange position I'm in.


OK.  I work for a subcontractor on a government contract.  That means my company, S, gets paid from the main company, C, after they get paid from the government.  My travel expenses go to S which approves them if I'm lucky; they then get sent to C which rubber-stamps it and send it to the gov which has all sorts of audits and oversight.

I wrote to my bosses (at C and S) and said I'd like to return Sunday instead of Saturday.  I'll pay the extra day's food, lodging, rental, and I'll fill up the car Saturday early so I'm using my own gas on my day off.

The people at C approved, as long as I am not using contract money for personal use.  I haven't heard from S, but I don't think it'll be a problem.

So I came home for the tricky bit.  I told my wife I'd be going to Arizona early on the 24th and working until late on the 28th.  And instead of coming home Saturday, I'd be staying an extra day so I can meet some "people like me" and spend the day there.  Her comment?  "Where's this?  Phoenix?"  I said "Tucson."  She said "How far is that?" and I reminded her that that's where I fly out of ~ it's the closest airport to Sierra Vista.

NO complaints.  NO arguments.  NO nothing.

She often goes to different seminars, or day things with her friends on the weekend.  I think this is why she's OK with me staying away for a day.  I hope to meet with some ladies from SAGA or Tri Ess.  And I really hope to see Liz again.

I am nervous and excited.  And nervous.  Did I mention that?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

That Clothing Swap VII

Finally, just to prove I was really there, I asked Kim to take a couple of pictures of Meg.

My next trip out: I don't know.  They keep threatening to send me to Arizona again, but I can't get a definite date or duration.  My hope was to be in Tucson during Pride in the Desert.  I admit I am somewhat apprehensive about that, but ready to go.  I think my problem is crowd size, but it's pretty far outside my comfort zone as well.  If the timing works, I'll go.  My ideal was to go out before the weekend (travel today) and return in two weeks, spending the intervening weekend in Tucson.  But if they want to send me out next week, I'll go out as early Saturday as I can and spend at least a few hours there.  I'll stay in Tucson until Sunday afternoon and Meg can drive down.

This is still a possibility.  You'll be the first to know!

What Is It About Girls and Shoes?
Meg, Happy sand Relaxed

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

That Clothing Swap VI

I goofed.  Swap V showed up out of order.  If you missed it, it's here.

Today, I just have a couple of pictures of the swap and swappers.  I had to capture this little princess someone brought with her.  I really wanted to say something to mom, but I didn't know if she'd be weird about me around her daughter.  There's so much misinformation and misconceptions about misses like us that I didn't want to chance it.  That was probably stupid of me.  I think I'm too sensitive to what the civilians are thinking. 

I do know what most of you are thinking: why didn't my mom put a dress on me and take me to a clothing s


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Meg Let Me Do It

I was never one for costumes.  Meg, of course, is an exception, which makes me think I don't consider that a costume.  I need to think about that more.

But last Friday, in memory of one of the greatest innovators of our time, I did "Steve Jobs drag" at work.  I wore sneakers, jeans, and a black mock turtleneck with the sleeves pushed part way up.

I bought the top a few years ago.  I was signed up to do a presentation for a group of teachers on how to teach kids to create computer games.  A couple of days before, I came up with the idea of doing the Steve Jobs ensemble.  I went to a local mall and started hitting women's shops, telling mostly the truth: I said I wanted a long sleeve black mock turtleneck I could wear.  When asked, I explained it was what Steve Jobs normally wore when he did a presentation and I was doing a tech presentation and I thought it would be fun, the salesladies were still in the dark but in the "sale's a sale" mode.

Here's the little lie: they invariably asked why I didn't look in the men's department, and I said "I did.  Nobody has one.  So here I am."

I also wore girls' jeans, socks, and sneakers on Friday.  No surprise there, except maybe to the people at work.  If they knew.

Most people in the office didn't notice what I was doing.  One guy did, and he was sending people my way without telling them why.  Most still didn't get it.  The program manager, the head guy in the office did, and I went by later and said "wait 'til you see what I have planned for Halloween."  He said "now I'm scared."

I have nothing planned, but maybe the door's open just a crack.  Even though "Steve Jobs drag" was acceptable there, I'm quite sure "office girl drag" won't be.

Monday, October 10, 2011

That Clothing Swap IV

The Shoe Table.  Wow.
I didn't want to spend too much time at the swap.  I didn't want to take too much advantage of my wife's accommodations.  It was hot hot hot and I was sweaty.  It was a potluck, but I didn't have anything to eat because of the location: it's in a county government centre, with a constant police presence.

I just had a thought: next time, maybe I'll head off any problems and go to the little booth where they keep the police so they don't annoy the people and tell them, if necessary, I'll be using the ladies' room.

I wandered, I looked, I schmoozed.  I was a bit uncomfortable with the crowd so after an hour or ninety minutes I left.  I was there well before the swap began, so I was there for two or two and a half hours altogether.

I did fine a nice long skirt which I've worn around the house and it's really comfortable and pretty, and I picked up three pairs of shoes.  The blue pair fit well, the patterned pair was OK, and the nicest pair, those patent platforms, was Just Too Tight.  And they were all size 11s.  And be sure to click on the shoe table, above, to zoom in and see those spectacular (way too small) bone platforms on the table!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

That Clothing Swap III

Lynda and Shannon
As an aside, twice in the past couple of weeks I wrote a post and forgot to actually post it, which is why you early birds and Brits and Ozzies didn't see a post on time.  I'm in the midst of a cold right now, and I'm gonna use that as an excuse for my latest error.  No excuse for the other one, but I'll think of something.  Probably after I'm through with this cold!

Another aside: my toenail looks horrid, but it doesn't hurt to put pressure on it.  I tried on some shoes the other day, and they felt OK.  Since I still have exposed under-toenail-skin I don't think I can get a pedicure but...

So I pulled out of the garage and no-one was around.  I drove the same way as I do to work, because the Shoppers Food Warehouse where I was going to buy soda and ice is less than a ten-minute walk from my office.  I was mildly worried that someone from the office might see me, but that's always a possibility and I live with it.  Sometimes, I hope I'll see someone.  Other times, not.  Still others, I don't really think about it at all.

Stylish Swappers I didn't chat with :(
At the supermarket, I got a couple of smiles and I smiled back.  Does that mean I was read?  I don't really care.  I'd rather not be read.  I think they enjoyed my outfit and how stylish I looked.

Read or not, to me I was just another woman shopping that day.  And most shoppers, as usual, ignored me.  The cashier was helpful, getting the ice out of my cart for me, which was nice.  I did notice he refrained from saying "ma'am" or that other gender-specific word.  Maybe he always does that.

Someday, I hope to get a "Miss."  I'm not hopeful though.

By the time I got to the swap I was already sweaty.  Kim had just arrived and her husband was unloading the car.  I took out my stuff, making several trips with the soda and ice and getting wetter each time.  The air conditioner inside was either off or really weak ~ it was hot, and as women arrived in waves it just got hotter.

Before I went to the swap, I challenged myself: I was going to speak with random people at the swap.  I didn't set a goal, but I was going to start conversations with strangers.  This is harder than going out dressed, for me.

I did it.

As I wrote earlier, I told the woman with the polka dot shoes that she had the best shoes at the swap.  I commented on clothing women picked off the tables or racks, if I was nearby: "that's beautiful!"  "I wish I could find something like that in my size" "that would look great on you!"  "I love your earrings."

And so on.

Sometimes I got a small smile and nothing else in return.  Sometimes I got a warm welcome and some nice conversation.  Shannon and Lynda, pictured here, were friends who came together and Shannon, in particular, was gregarious and friendly and treated me like any other lady.  They posed for this picture.  Lynda is a swap member and she brought her friend with her ~ I'm glad she did.  I think whenever Meg is out and feeling good she meets at least one woman like that.  And at the swaps, if no-one else is around I know Kim will be, and she's one of the most outgoing women I know.

One funny thing: one woman approached me and asked me to delete her photo.  We chatted a bit; she doesn't like her picture taken.  I don't know why she wouldn't.  She's a nice looking woman, in her 40s maybe.  I deleted her picture and later told her that I was carefully watching for her and ensuring she wasn't in any pictures.  She apologised for her "quirk" and I said I'm glad she told me.  Oh... for those who were wondering, when we first spoke I carefully noted what she was wearing so I could find her later.  You know I'd never recognise her after that first encounter otherwise!  And that's my quirk!

There was only one other t-girl there and we spoke a tiny bit and I asked her if she wanted her picture taken; she said no, so I avoided her too.

I respect all comfort levels, even as I encourage people to step out of theirs and I step out of mine.

Friday, October 7, 2011

That Clothing Swap II

Meg, Ready to Roll
It was way too hot for Meg.  But I went to the swap for three reasons:

1. I promised I'd bring soft drinks
2. I had a big bag of swappables filling up my closet
3. It was a Meg day out

Item 3 is trump, of course.

After much sweating, I decided on a new long black-and-white skirt, bare legs, and the purple top and wedges I wore in Arizona.

My family was home at the time I wanted to start, but this was the last day of the 4-H fair.  Originally, they were going to the beach that day, but she postponed it for the fair.

Normally, I resign myself to changed plans, but this time I told her that she needed to take my son to the fair early and stay the whole day.  It was my son's birthday and we'd go out to dinner later.  To my amazement, my wife agreed to this.  She tried a couple of times to change plans ("it turns out we don't really have to be there at all!"), but I pushed back.  She promised she'd get out early, but she never does.  This time she did, and I made a point of thanking her both for that and for giving me the day.  I spent a lot of accumulated husband points that day.

In spite of that, I got out of the house at the latest time I wanted to, to get to the swap on time.  Sometimes, it just takes me a bit of time to get started.  I don't know why; it just does.

Before I started, I put my car in the garage so I could "sneak" out.  I pulled out my purse and clothes and makeup and jewelry and wig and, of course, my detailed list of everything I needed to bring/do/wear.

I put an ice chest in the car for ice.  Kim (the lovely lady who runs the swap) said she'd supply ice but I knew she'd need  some to get started.

So... that detailed list.  I originally planned a leisurely shower, shave everything, get ready starting at 7:30 and finishing at noon.  Yes, that's a long time but I had done no pre-shaving and I wanted to maybe change my mind about clothes.  Besides, I always expect to take more time than I do.

Instead of 7:30, I got started at 9:30.  I was done shaving and showering at about 10:10.

By 10:30, I had my contacts in and my makeup ready.  I moisturised and put on my foundation and eye primer.  Twenty minutes later, I had my eyes done and fifteen minutes after that I had my lips and powder done.

I chose jewelry and put on my undies and pads.  I had hoped to try on some tops and skirts but I went with my first choices.  I put on my wig, loaded my purse and it was only 11:30.  I wanted to leave absolutely no later than noon.  That meant I had time to take a couple of pictures before I left, like the one here.

And a note:
No post tomorrow.
Izzie, Mikey, Irving, Sam
We're the boys who eat no ham

Thursday, October 6, 2011

That Clothing Swap V

There's not much more to tell.  I stopped for gas on the way home without anything interesting happening.

I had a great time, and I felt good.  I didn't have time to enjoy that good feeling for long.  I still had to change, and I did want to take my son out to his traditional birthday dinner.

I have some pictures of swappers and clothing that I'll post over the next couple of days.  Today, Paula, I wanted to show you that, yes, there were some women in dresses there.  I want that dress.  I told the owner that I loved it and that I can never find dresses like that in my size.  She wasn't interested in conversing, alas.  I blame the surprise factor.  People don't expect to see me and some have an easier time of regaining their composure than others.  Fortunately, most seem to be OK.  I liken it to finding someone in a wheelchair, or a guy in a horrible toupee, or someone with extreme piercings, like those giant hoops that stretch the hole in your ear to inches across.  It's unexpected, and the kind of thing your four-year-old would stare at.  I admit Meg is in that category.  I'm glad I mostly deal with adults.

The second picture is Meg and Kim, our hostess.  I like Kim.  She's fun to be around, but she is one of those people who will walk up to strangers and have conversations like she's known them all their lives.

Once, we were out at one of those discount places that has racks of clothes and thousands of shoes.  We looked around; alas, all of the shoes were 10 or smaller.  There was a guy there who was looking at shoes and surreptitiously slipping on a pair here and there.  I pointed him out to Kim.  We were going to a t-group meeting later.  (I think I owe you that story, don't I?)  She walked up to him, and started to chat.  I saw them looking at me and they talked for maybe ten minutes.  When she came back, I said "what did you say to him?"  She said "I invited him to come to the meeting tonight.  I said we could give him a ride, and gave him my number so he could let me know if he can make it."

As we were walking toward that shop, a sudden breeze came up and blew my skirt up.  No show, but I had to push the hem down.  Kim saw an older man looking at me, probably hoping for a show.  She looked at him and said something like "nothing to see here.  Sorry.  Better luck later."  He laughed.

We're very different people, but she's a great friend of the community, and she's very special to me.

That Clothing Swap

The Best Shoes at the Swap!
This is what you call a cop-out.  The swap was August 7.  It's now two months later and I haven't written a word about it except for the pre-swap post.

So today, finally, I'm not going to write about the swap.

I usually write a few days in advance, and I move things around as Life Happens (or, better, Meg Happens).  So, for example, I had a post for the day after I met with Joanie but I bumped it because I was feeling so good when I got home that I just had to write about it.  Normally, Meg comes home and has to change and scrub and she crashes after all that and it's hard to write.

And right now, I have nothing to write about.  OK, that's far from true.  I have a long list of notes and ideas and I'm still stiffing Vanessa and that's wrong but my Muse isn't helping me.

But nothing's ready.

So, for the next few days, unless something changes, I'll be writing a bit about the swap each day and posting a photo.

And, ladies, I recommend going to a swap.  It's a great chance to be surrounded by clothing and women.  This is as close to Eden as I can imagine.

Although all of these pictures are on the clothing swap site, I decided that I'd try to avoid having the faces of random women on this blog.  So you'll see backs and profiles more than faces.  If someone is quite in the background, I'm making a judgement call that that's OK.  Although everyone seemed OK with me at the swap, some might not like to be seen on a T-blog.  What are the odds that anyone would find their picture here, or someone they know would say "hey, you're on Meg's blog?"  I figure the chances are minuscule and I'm being overly concerned, but I just didn't want y'all to think I'm just a really bad photographer.  This was deliberate editing.

The picture at the top of the post is, as I wrote, the best shoes at the swap.  I told the owner that, and that I loved her shoes.  I did that more than I expected, and surprised myself every time I did it.

Here she is, from the back.  She's pretty and I wish I had a better shot of the front of the dress ~ it's pretty too.  Click to make it larger.  And it was nice to not be the only woman in a dress there.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Halloween 2008: Strike!

I should have used "Yer Out" at some point, shouldn't I?  I need to edit better.

I forgot to mention: I asked C for pictures.  She had taken a few, reluctantly, with her cel phone.  I think the reality was a bit much for her, even though she had seen Meg before.  I say this because of her attitude, and because she is a prolific photographer.  The final time I asked for a picture, she told me the phone had died and she lost all of her contacts and music and pictures.

I don't really believe her, but I never said so, nor would I.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Couple of Things

Saturday, I had a suddenly free few hours.  I spent two of them trying on skirts and writing information on them down in a steno pad.  I'll try to make a spreadsheet out of this soon.  I know, I wrote about this a couple of months ago, and I tried on a couple of dozen skirts then.  Those were on hangers in my closet.  The almost-twenty I tried on Saturday are in boxes in my closet.  I put a couple in the swap bag, and I broke my rule and kept a few that I'll never wear outside, but they're so cute (and mostly short) that I couldn't bear to part with them.  A few more that I labelled "shows bulge" I should have swapped, but maybe I'll find a good gaff or a better way to tuck and they'll be wearable.  I hope so!

I also kept some "schoolgirl" skirts.  I don't know where I found these, but you know the type: short, wide, and plaid.  Fetish stuff, I suppose.

I also came across a pair of shoes I've never worn out, even though they fit pretty well.  They're brown wedges with long ribbons that I suppose I wrap around my calf and tie.  Maybe that's why I never wore them ~ I'm not sure what to do with the ribbons.  But for the short while I had them on they felt really comfortable.

I also finally had time to try on the shoes I got at the last swap, which I still haven't written up.  I have notes, so hopefully when I get to it I'll get it right.

My new travel schedule has me in Arizona for two weeks.  If I can arrange it, I'll get my weekends on each side and travel Monday and Friday.  In between, I'll keep my Sierra Vista room but I'll also get a room in Tucson for the intervening Saturday and I'll spend the night up there.

I don't know when I'll be there, but it might be the last two weeks in October.  This means I'll miss Pride in the Desert.  That was a long shot anyway.  I was also a bit concerned about going there.  I think it's a reach outside my comfort zone, but I would have done it if my schedule worked.  I will be there if my schedule changes!

As soon as I have my schedule firmed up, I'll contact some ladies I'd love to meet.

And, overplanner than I am, I'm already working on how to easily separate what I need for work with what I need for play so I can bring some of my stuff.

But I have no solid plans for anything right now.  So, of course, my most recent fortune cookie says:

Your present plans are going to succeed.

It figures.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Halloween 2008: The Delivery

She did my makeup, much more subtly than I do  natural colours on the lids, bare eyeliner, light mascara (I LOVE mascara), more bronze-than-pink cheeks, just some gloss on lips (I usually use gloss over lipstick) but she's doing me a favor ~ I'm not going to say "no, do it differently".  Although, in hindsight, if I did, she would have with no complaint. 

Another surprise was, her nephew (20 or so) who's staying with her came home while she was making me up. He sat in and chatted with us while she was doing my face. I don't know if she knew he was coming back and said nothing to me, or if it was a surprise to her too. But that was also an inhibiting factor in my asking for bolder makeup -- I didn't want him to think this was more than a Halloween costume.

Remember what I wrote yesterday about being in that bad indecisive place? That's where I was at that time.

When she was done, we couldn't decide where to go. There are no major malls near her; the closest one was right by my office (my previous and current company both) and I was apprehensive but I figured, what the heck.

One thing that I had mentioned was that maybe I would surprise my old boss, Z, with my costume.   C thought this was a good idea.

So off we went. As we were getting into the car, I asked C to take a couple of pictures with her cel phone, the only camera she had with her.

We went into the mall. First we went into a "New York & Company" store where she tried on a couple of tops; I didn't see anything that appealed to me there. After she did so, I had to ask her to please not call me by my boy name, especially when calling across the store!

By now, it was after 11 and I suggested that she call the boss, see if she wanted to join her "and a friend" for lunch. She said there wasn't a lot of room in her back seat so she'd pick Z up and drive her over to the mall. While she was driving, I wandered into an H & M store and tried on a couple of skirts. Trying on clothes as Meg was a new experience. One skirt I really liked but I didn't want to buy it because I didn't want to basically admit that I did this regularly.  If Z saw the bag, it would kind of give that away.

This was a problem: I wasn't sure if I wanted to say to the boss "this is what I do" or "this is a one-time thing". I should have made up my mind first. (See bad place, above.)  Since then, I've told her the whole story.

C took her time coming back so I wandered into a couple of stores and around the mall a bit. Finally, she showed up at the restaurant. They paused so C could look for me. I walked up to them and smiled at C. C kept talking to Z, who looked at me. Z looked me up and down and put out her hand and said "hi. You must be C's friend. I'm Z." I started to say "Hi. I'm . We used to work together." But before I even got to my name her jaw dropped, she let out an "oh my god!" and she hugged me. She later said that she thought I looked familiar but didn't know who I was or that I was a guy.

We had lunch. The hostess said "can I help you ladies?" The waiter referred to us the same way. I love that, but back then it was unique, affirming, and empowering. Most of the conversation revolved around goings on at the office and with C's status since being fired. I wasn't thinking clearly enough to say "this is my first 'lunch with the girls'. Can we talk girl instead of shop?" so it wasn't as satisfying as I had hoped.

After lunch I walked back to my car to get my boy clothes and makeup remover. In this mall, I park in a small lot in front of a small strip of stores across a road across from the Lord & Taylor. So to get to my car I have to walk past about thirty shops, through Lord & Taylor, across the parking lot, and across a street (4-way stop and crosswalk) to the smaller lot.

By now, my feet were hurting from the shoes. I forgot to put band-aids on my little toes and I was getting serious blisters on those toes from the rubbing. So I was walking slow. I had to go from the restaurant to my car, get my boystuff, and walk back across the road again. The closest family restroom was near the Lord & Taylor, so there wasn't a lot of walking back at least.

Normally, when I cross that street, the cars ignore anyone crossing, unless they're pretty close to the car (and sometimes they're ignored even then).  I try to give pedestrians a wide berth when I'm driving there but rarely wait until the clear the crosswalk. Unless it's a nicely-dressed or nice-looking woman; in that case I wait and watch and relax for a minute.

As I said, I was walking slow because of my shoes and the skirt but the cars all waited for me. I'll assume they wanted to watch the babe crossing in front of them.  Hey, illusion and fantasy go together.  Besides, I might have been far enough away to look good.  I look better the further away you are.  From space, I'm a beauty.

Changing back took only 15 minutes, including removing all of the makeup. I was out of the office for probably four hours, but I made that time up on the weekend.

I would have liked to do this in the office. And I would have liked to get another woman on the old team who I was friendly with in on the surprise.  But I was still apprehensive and she loves her gossip.

One reason I was pushed to do this was because this I thought this may be the last chance I get. Next year, Halloween is on a Saturday. 2010 it's on a Sunday. 2011 it's on a Monday and I'll be 57 and who knows where my friends from that old company will be. Or where I will be.

One other thing about C: I asked her, shortly after I admitted indulging in my hobby: "do you mind crossdressers?" She said "no." I asked, "how about if your guy crossdessed?" She said "yes." I think this is common.

All in all, it was a fun day.  It was far from perfect, but I still felt great at the end of the day.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I Could Do This All Day

As I said yesterday, Jim Unger is a very funny guy.  I just picked the first half-dozen cartoons I had in my files and they were all good.  Today, I present Herman.  Tomorrow, we're back on the Halloween trail.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Watch Out for Us!

I've been a fan of Jim Unger's Herman strip for a long time.  I think I first found it when I thumbed through a Herman book at a bookstore and had to buy it so I wouldn't look like a complete idiot standing in the store, laughing until I couldn't breathe.  Alas, due to health reasons, Mr. Unger retired in 1992.  In 1997, "classic" Herman cartoons once again started appearing on the funny pages.  The ones you see today aren't really truly old.  He updates them occasionally.  They're still funny.

Halloween 2008 resumes Monday.