Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Occupy DC

(remember the poll....  If you want to see the background, it's here.)

Just a quick note: I went to Occupy DC last weekend, to look around.  One tent in particular caught my eye, and I didn't take a picture, dammit.

Outside the tent were three pairs of high heels I would have grabbed if I had been in a shoe store.  Above them was a sign: "Camp Sexy."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Recap

This is a love letter to my good friends.

Six hundred posts in about eighteen months ~ a little under six hundred days.

What started as a way to tell about my upcoming "flying pretty" episode has gone on for a bit longer than I expected.  I've made a few friends and picked up a few readers.  I found an outlet for my urge to write.

And I've enjoyed every minute of it.

Where else did I stray to?  There was my first clothing swap, dressed.  My obsessive overplanning and obstinate underdressing.  There were various Halloweens and one Mardi Gras.  I wrote a few polls, which I haven't yet thanked you for: the polls are important to me.  Growing up as a budding crossdresser, yet certain I was alone in this... it helps to see that there are others who are so like me that it's scary.  And I find it really interesting to see what other paths my peers have taken.  And I hope it helped others the same way.

I've talked about shopping, makeup, shoes, shopping, manicures, pedicures, jewelry, shopping, and fashion (see sense, fashion: has none).  I've waxed philosophical about waxing.  Did I mention shopping?

I've talked about my friends: my female friends and my t-male friends.

I've covered hinting at and teasing civilians and their (non-)reactions. I wrote about two Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremonies.

I've lamented that I am a current crossdresser (because I'd like to see how it feels for the first time).

I've written about going out and coming out and being outed.

I've covered stories and no more stories.  I've gone from I care to I don't care.  I think both of these are life-changing events and I shared them with you pretty much in real-time, as they happened; as they are happening.  And I'm glad I had y'all to talk to.  You are my therapists and my sounding boards.  And your (over 1200) comments make me think, smile, and cheer.

I've shared some reader thoughts and influences readers have had on me.

I've talked about (and shared pictures of) my panties, socks, and camisoles.  I still owe you some cami pictures, I think.  I posted cartoons, and talked about them ~ and that's about as far off-topic as I've ever strayed!

I've met some readers and other t-gals and shared those experiences with you.

I covered my travels to and in Topeka, Dallas, Richmond, Tucson, Sierra Vista, Colorado Springs, Las Vegas, and I'm sure I'm missing somewhere.  And there was a second clothing swap.

I talked about plans that were made and (sigh) never became reality.

I've told you more than I've told anyone else in my entire life.  You know more about me than my closest family members.

Did I mention I've enjoyed every minute of it?  It bears repeating.

I've been re-reading this, looking for a close, and I just realised it sounds more like a suicide note than a love letter.  It's not.  A long time ago, I looked at the number of visitors per day.  I chose a round number a bit below that number and decided that if the readership went below that number for a week, or if I couldn't think of anything to write about for a week, I will shut down the blog.  Since then I doubled the number and as long as all eight of you stick around, I'll keep writing.  All seriousness aside, I hope to double it again someday.  I know, it's hard to spread the word when most of my readers only know a few potential readers, but I seem to be doing OK, although nowhere near the Stana Stratosphere (did she say 6000 a day?).

I'll admit that I'm not sure what my next post will be about, but I have a big box of muse food ready and I know she'll come through.  She gets her energy from you, and turns them into ideas and prose for me.

And while you're here, I know my muse would love it if you took the poll.  After all, it was her idea!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Don't Ask, Can't Tell

(this is it: my 600th post!)

"So, what did you do last weekend?"  "Saturday, we had some friends over for a barbeque.   And Sunday, I went to a Transgender Day of Remembrance" event at a little church in Fairfax."  "Really?  Why?"  "Well, I'm transgendered, and it's sad and scary how many other transgendered women have been assaulted or killed or lost their livelihoods just because of how they dress and who they are."

Yeah, right.  Like that water cooler conversation is ever going to happen.

Often I chat about a variety of things with friends or co-workers.  I'm sure you do as well.  And I'm sure we have the same problem.

We have to filter.

The other day, we were talking about airport security and problems we had going through.  I could top them all, but I couldn't say "I went through security dressed as a girl."  I couldn't even say "I have a better story than any of you but, alas, I can't tell it."

There are lots of thing I can't, or at least shouldn't, talk about.  Even simple things like "I always read (whatever) blog."  "Well, my day isn't complete if I don't catch up on Femulate."  Not gonna happen.

Sometimes, I talk fashion, or women's clothing, when the topic comes up.  When someone (invariably male) says "you know an awful lot about that" I say "it's a hobby."  I think they assume learning about women is my hobby.  Well, it is.  If this ever goes further, I'll write about it here.  I suspect ANYTHING I say would be considered a joke, and laughed off.

But I can't really talk about the clothing swaps.  We were talking about car problems and I told about my tire blowing up and me calling Geico and the manufacturer refusing to honour the warranty.  I didn't mention that I didn't change the tire myself because I was wearing a nice dress and I didn't want to mess it up.  That really makes the story, I think, but... can't tell.

I was talking to K, who works in my office, a few days ago and after we were done talking shop, I commented on her shoes.  Snakeskin, very high heel, very pointy toe.  She said they were very comfortable.  I said they wouldn't be for me; my feet are VERY wide.  She said her toes stopped here and she touched a point before the skinny part started.  She said she used to be a tomboy and she had to change just three or four years ago, when she took this job.  I told her that I thought that was scary, because it means I could become a girly girl in just a few years, if I had a mind to.  I know, I said "scary," but I meant "exciting."  Can't tell.  Must filter.

She said that the hardest thing of changing her wardrobe was having to wear heels to work.  I said I wore heels to work once.  She assumed I meant like boots with heels and started describing what she thought and I interrupted and said "no, shoes like yours."  She gave me an odd look and I said "it was Halloween."  She asked no questions, and changed the discussion to how she takes Halloween off, because traffic is always horrible that day.

A few days ago, I noticed she was wearing a Jockey camisole, under her shirt.  I recognised the lace pattern; I have a few just like it.  I really wanted to say something, but... well, even as just a guy commenting on clothes commenting on what's really underclothes is sort of off-limits.  And to say "isn't that a Jockey cami?" is definitely in the can't tell category.

Stana posted my picture on Femulate recently.  I felt like a celebrity, except it's more like I committed a horrible crime.  I had something to brag about, and couldn't.

I mentioned not long ago that I wanted to get something from Freecycle, but didn't request it because my wife and I knew the offerer.  It would have been wonderful to say "if you have any more castoffs in my size, let me know!  And I may have some things you'd like."

I typed my real surname into Facebook.  There were a bunch of people I'm somehow related to but have never met.  I was mulling how stupid it would be to join the group and say "my last name used to be *****" when I saw my wife's picture with a "I married a *****" next to it.  Heavy sigh.

I'm sure you all have similar stories: things that were funnier, stranger, more surreal because you were dressed when it happened.  And now you can't tell anyone, outside of our little circle.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Think About It

(one day to go)

Brewster Rockit, like the Stargate shows, takes place today but with a twist.  That has nothing to do with what I'm posting today, but it means they can incorporate current events into the strip ~ one of the things that makes it funner.  Tim Rickard is a funny guy, and I love his art: I'd call it "lazy superhero comics."  It seems like the images are cookie-cutter, but it works and it works well.

Oh....  Ensign Kenny is the equivalent of the "Star Trek" ensign who you know will not make it back to the Enterprise.

I had to read this one twice before I got it, but it was worth it!  Click to make it large enough to enjoy.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I Just KNOW He's Looking for an Excuse

(two days to go)

Lio (with a little bar over the i) is a very strange boy.  He's kind of Calvin, if Hobbes was a giant squid.

He never talks, he loves odd animals, and I am always amazed that Mark Tatulli also draws Heart of the City, which I featured once when he had Dean dressing as Heart for Halloween.  Heart is a little girl, Dean is her nerdy boyfriend and they are as different from Lio as night is from cucumbers.  Or something.  It's like finding out that Charles Addams did The Family Circus.  And if you don't know Charles Addams, google some of his cartoons and prepare to be amused.

Anyway, here's Lio.  (That's him in the first and last panels)

Friday, November 25, 2011


(three days to go)

OK, new poll.  I thought I hid it yesterday but seven of you found it anyway!

I underdress.  I don't mean that I wear shorts to jeans occasions, or I wear jeans to dinner parties (although I sort of do that too, when I'm in drab).  I mean I crossdress, underneath.

As my male socks tear, they are replaced by women's socks.  I no longer own any male underwear.  I sometimes, especially in colder weather, wear pantyhose or tights under my slacks.  Although I usually wear socks over pantyhose, I usually wear black tights without socks.

I own no male undershirts.  I do own a number of camisoles and under a heavier shirt I'll wear a lacy one with thin straps.  Under a lighter shirt, I wear a more "tank top" type of camisole.

I have worn a waist cinch under my shirt/pants.  I don't do that often though.  On rare occasions, I've worn a bra under my clothes.

I know that some of us never underdress. I know that some of us overdress ~ we wear "passable" female clothes.  I have a few shirts that button on "the wrong side," most of my jeans are women's jeans, and my shoes are from Aerosoles; my casual shoes are women's New Balance.  Some of us wear a bit of makeup all or some of the time.

But that's another poll for another day.  Please take my "underdressing" poll.  I'm curious.  And feel free to e-mail me or drop a comment if you checked "something else."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2011

(four days to go)

Last year, I had a heckuva time finding the little Metropolitcan Community Church of Northern Virginia.  This year it was easier.  I parked a few doors down (it's in a row of connected commercial buildings) and walked around a bit.  When I saw a car that seemed to be cruising and looking for something I'd walk up, ask if they were looking for the church and point them in the right direction.  Last year, I was late because I was looking.  I wanted to help other (literally) lost souls.

I'll be skipping the clothing swap this weekend.  For the TDoR service, they requested canned goods or clothing for TransGender Health Empowerment (THE) in DC and I had a nice blouse and two really nice skirts (that, alas, didn't quite fit) put away for the swap ~ they came with me to the church instead.

Before the event, I spoke to the reverend I spoke to last year after the event ~ she remembered me; not surprisingly, I didn't remember her.

I sat at the end of a row with a seat between me and the woman to my left.  We didn't chat; our only interactions were a nod when I sat down and, for the final song, we all held hands.  While standing and singing and holding her hand, I felt a nudge from the other side and a man from the chorus was standing next to me, smiling, and holding out his hand.  A row came out of somewhere ~ I don't know if this was choreographed, but it seemed like everyone had two partners by the time the song ended.  The woman on my left squeezed my hand and we smiled at each other.

Afterwards, there were snacks and coffee and I didn't stick around.  I couldn't see myself socialising, although I did seek out a couple of choir members to tell them their singing was magnificent.  There was a woman from THE who made a rambling, emotional speech ~ she knew some women who were the victims of violence in DC ~ who I wanted to seek out after the service, but I didn't see her.  I wasn't sure what I was going to say to her.  Maybe I was just going to give her a hug and leave.

I sent an e-mail to the reverend after the service, which I'll echo here:


It was nice to see you again.  My prayer is always that next year, there will be no need for a service like this but when I saw there was an update
[in addition to the list of women murdered, there was an "additions" sheet], well, my heart sank again.

I planned to stay for snacks and coffee afterwards, but could not.  In many ways, it's easier for me to be out as Meg than it is to be around crowds, even crowds of people I have much in common with ~ potential friends.

I have a couple of questions: is there an agenda or topic for your Friday night trans session?  About how many people attend?
[They list a "T Peer Led Support Group" in their calendar, and the reverend mentioned it to me that evening but there are no details on the website]

The music was powerful, the choir was fantastic, and I had the same experience as last time.  Afterwards, I was energised.  I can't think of another word.  It's similar to how I feel when I return home after time out as Meg: I have a lot of energy, I feel like I can do anything.  It seems strange that I would feel like that after a remembrance service but...

I've been encouraging my readers to go to a service or ceremony every day this week.  One of my readers, got up in her church and mentioned TDoR.  My synagogue has an e-mail list, but I don't think I could show the same level of courage that she did.  I have given myself an action item: next August (so there's plenty of time) I will meet with my rabbi.  I will tell her about Meg and what the TDoR is (if she doesn't know) and ask that it be mentioned for the congregation.  Two years ago the synagogue had a booth at the gay pride events in DC.  I was out of town but if I was here I had planned to join them.  If they can sanction and put some gold behind reaching out to the gay community, I think they'd be open to the transgendered community.  I keep hoping we're the "next frontier" in the struggle for equality.  I keep hoping it's our turn.

Again, thank you for hosting this powerful service, and giving those we lost a voice one more time.

I do hope next year I learn TDoR has been cancelled due to lack of need.

I hope I never see the name of a friend (and that's every one of you) on the TDoR program.

I'll see if I can scan in parts of the program next week.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Breast Poll Part Two

(five days to go)

The second poll was for those of us who aren't planning on going a more permanent route.

But for now...
I use water/jello/other liquid
  7 (6%)
I use rice/polyfil/other particles
  8 (7%)
Silicon forms for me
  50 (49%)
Foam forms are fine
  10 (9%)
Other padding (write and tell me what)
  4 (3%)
It's all me, all natural
  22 (21%)

In the second poll, the eight responders who said their bust is natural somehow jumped to 22.  This is what has been giving me so much trouble.  I don't see how this could be, but I really want to be one of those 22!

Half of you (like me) use silicon forms.  I think they can't be beat, if you need help.  And lord knows I need help.  Lots of help.  I sometimes put something behind the form just because the form back is concave and  I am not convex.

Way behind are foam forms (too light, no bounce) then liquids or granules of some sort.  Four of you said "other" but no-one enlightened me.  Socks?  Hose?  Tissues?  Styrofoam molds?  Nuts and bolts?  I haven't a clue.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

This Has Gone On Long Enough

That poll has just been sitting there for a long long time.  It should have been a pretty simple poll, but something doesn't add up.  But I've thought about it long enough.

There were two parts:

Breasts: I want them
I've had/want implants
  7 (6%)
I'd consider implants
  16 (14%)
I'm on/I'd consider hormones
  31 (27%)
I'm taking/I'd consider herbals
  10 (9%)
I've tried/I'd try hypnosis
  2 (1%)
Padding is just fine, thank you
  37 (33%)
It's all me, all natural
  8 (7%)

About a third of you are perfectly happy with padding.  I am too, I think.  The most important thing is they can be put away if necessary.  Growing my own ~ well, not so much.  I think I have to be further on the "I don't care" path for that.  That's not to say I'd never be there.

I think I've taken a big step down that path, at least internally.  At least when talking about who I am and what I do.

But maybe not.  I decided if anyone asks me if any item I'm wearing is women's clothing, I'll say yes and say that I enjoy women's clothes.  A caveat: it does depend on the audience.  If it's the guys from the weekly poker game, probably not.  If it's at our weekly meeting with the customer, no.  If it's a couple of co-workers, yes.  If it's one or more friends of mine (not friends of my wife) then yes.

A few months ago, I would have sidestepped that question.  It has, however, never come up, even when I'm joking about a woman wearing men's clothing, or talking about how women can wear anything but men are limited.  And at the same time, I'm wearing a women's shirt or slacks or flowery socks.

Another seven percent are sufficiently endowed to not need or want any artificial enhancement.  I envy you.

But that leaves an amazing 60% who'd like breasts full-time!  I really find that surprising.  I may, at some time, revisit this and break the I may/I have questions into an either-or situation.  I mean, I'd consider hormones, but probably reject the idea.  That's a lot different from someone who's on them now.  It's like the difference between involved and committed: in a ham and eggs breakfast, the chicken is involved; the pig is committed.

Six percent had or want implants.  A couple of you would consider hypnosis ~ it might work, and there are actually programs you can buy or download to give it a try.

And almost 40% of you would take or are on hormones or herbals.

For me, it's a hard question.  Hormones will work, but there are side effects.  Herbals *may* work, but there are the same side effects.  There are so many estrogen impersonators out there and so much anecdotal evidence of their feminising capabilities that I won't say they're a fraud.  I think it depends on the particular woman.

Implants work, but I've heard that they're not really permanent.  They'll certainly give you breasts, but if you're interested in adding to your hips and butt, well, no.

But hormones are not "breast pills."  They're "girl pills" and there are psychological changes as well as physical ones.

If someone passed sentence and said "you can stop dressing forever, or ramp it up a notch with implants or hormones..."  I'm not sure which I'd do.  I'm really not sure. 

But I do know "stop dressing" is off the table.  And maybe that's another poll someday.

Monday, November 21, 2011

It Goes Both Ways

I was in Ulta a couple of weeks ago.  I wrote about my shopping experience that day.  I never said "they're for me" but I kind of made it clear they were.  The saleslady and I were both fine with it.

A few days ago, I went back to the same Ulta to buy a curling iron for my wife.  I know she needs one, and holidays are coming up so....

I am gender-enhanced but follicle-impaired.  If I just let my hair grow, I'd look like the Klingon woman here, only with a lot more forehead.  I haven't let my hair grow in a long time ~ shorter hair hides better under a wig.  In fact, in my younger days I used to get a haircut roughly twice a year.  Now I get my haircut before each crossdressing opportunity.

So I went into the Ulta, looked around a bit and then a young lady asked me if she could help me.  I told her what I want and she became my personal shopper.  While we were looking, I said "Can I tell you a secret?"  She said "sure!" and I leaned close and stage-whispered "it's not for me."  I enjoy making people laugh and I got a few seconds of enjoyment.

Unfortunately, I won't remember her next time I'm in there, when I probably will be buying something for me.  But if she remembers me (possible, though unlikely) I'll say "can I tell you a secret?" and "it's for me."

And an open note to SometimesSpanked: c'mon local girl ~ don't hide.  Drop me a note.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Duplex

It's Sunday Funnies Day.  It's also the Transgender Day of Remembrance.  If anyone goes to a local event, please let me know what you thought of it, comment or e-mail.

I was going to grab more Lila, but all of the ones I save are sort of T-related.  If not directly, they have to do with fashion, or how women behave, or something relevant.  So I'll hold on to those.

My second thought was to just go through my collection and post the few that made me laugh the hardest.  But ~ I ran into a bunch of The Duplex and decided to share.

Glenn McCoy authors The Duplex.  With his brother Gary he also does The Flying McCoys.  Both are funny.  The Duplex is sort of about two apartments (duh).  One is occupied by a guy (Eno) and his dog (Fang); the other is a woman and her dog.  It seems like there used to be a lot more dichotomy cartoons, showing how the bachelor and bachelorette behave differently, but now it's mostly about Eno.

I trimmed the best down to just a half-dozen or so.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lila's Back

I've been chatting with John Forgetta, the writer of The Meaning of Lila.  I featured Lila last Saturday.  Lila, as I mentioned to John, is both the woman I want and the woman I want to be.  There are a few of those that I've met, but I think Lila's the only one in the funny pages.

I'm not sure how eyeballs translate to earnings in the on-line comics world, but would you mind just checking out today's strip and asking your friends to check it out?  The worst that could happen is you spend a couple of minutes ogling Lila and her friends.  The best is you could have a good laugh as well.  I haven't seen today's comics yet, but odds are it'll be good.  And tell your friends and let's see if we can make a noticeable bump in his numbers.  And if you enjoy it, keep reading and let your local paper know it's worth having.  I have.

This is a sequence from September.  A quick synopsis: Lila is single.  Her mom wants her to stop being single, preferably with the help of a doctor (during my chats with John I found out Lila's mother is Jewish.  It all makes sense now).  Lila is seeing a doctor (who she finds really boring and who calls his mom "mommy") but that's enough to get Lila's mother in wedding mode.

Read and enjoy and click to enlarge so you can enjoy the artwork.  And, can I have the dress after Boyd's through with it?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Girls' Day Out - All Good Things Must End

But first a public service announcement: please consider going to a Transgender Day of Remembrance event this coming weekend.  It's everywhere.  Show your support so maybe next year no women will die because of who they are or how they dress.
The ladies, Liz and Erin

After saying goodbye to Erin and Liz, I drove back to the hotel, making a short stop at a gas station.  The other patrons ignored me and I ignored them.

Many years ago, after my first solo, I stopped at a gas station on my way home.  Since the solo was at a friend's party, this was my first real, live, on-my-own mixing with people.  No matter that it was kind of remote from actually talking to someone, as if I went into a grocery store or something ~ I was out, on my own, being a woman for the very first time.

I thought about that night and I felt like a whole lifetime was compressed into the few years since.  I was now about six years and eight months old.  I guess that makes it about eight girl years to one guy year.  I have a lot of catching up to do!

The walk back to my room was anti-climactic.  No-one was around, and I was too tired to do something silly like tell the desk clerk I left my key in the room.  And I would have had to call the clerk from the back room anyway!  And by now, I'm sure the driver told everyone "wait til you hear what I saw last night!"  I still wonder if Andrea let the driver in on her own nonstandard lifestyle.

I didn't want to change when I got back, as is the norm now.  But it was after five, and that meant it was more like eight pm to me.  I just had a drink at lunchtime, and I was a bit hungry from the walking and a bit tired from a pretty full and extremely fun day.  Plus, with my camera being recalcitrant, I couldn't get any "I'm back" pictures.  I puttered around the room a bit, moving clothes and repacking and when I got to the point that I had to pack what I was wearing, I reluctantly decided to change.

Yes, I could have gone out to dinner dressed but I think I was done for the day.  I'm not sure how I'd do if I put myself in a position where I had to be Meg for a couple of days or more.  I'm thinking of putting myself to the test next month, but I'm not sure it'll happen.

All good things must end.  Alas, all fantastic things must end as well.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Girls' Day Out - A Day at the Museum

Liz, crashing
Erin Sets Me Straight (again)

Liz rode with me to the Pima Air Museum, since my car was a bit more comfortable than Erin's.  We caught up a bit on the ride and I had a wonderful time, chatting and people watching.

The museum is pretty good.  I was very surprised ~ it seems to be a well-kept secret.  Many of the planes are outdoors, and there are five or six hangars with indoor exhibits.  My biggest complaint was the terrain: it was kind of sandy and the heel on my mid-heel shoes sunk in sand more than once, putting me more than a little off-balance.  I thought these were the most comfortable shoes I'd ever owned, but I think the uneven paths (and no paths) tempered that a bit.  No matter ~ even after a full day the shoes felt pretty good, although I wouldn't want to try running or dancing at that point!

While Erin (the smart one) went back to her car to get a more comfortable pair of shoes, Liz and I tried the space docking simulator.  She went first and seemed intent on crashing into the Earth.  I used her effort as my lesson and docked easily (don't tell Liz if I had gone first I probably would have ended up orbiting Saturn).

Erin knows more about aircraft than anyone I've ever met.  She transitioned ten years ago, and in an earlier life she avoided a court martial by accepting a discharge ~ for being caught dressed.  I don't think even this post-DADT era would prevent that.  We've maybe moved from third-class to second-class citizens but wherever we're heading, we're not there yet.
Liz, my cute skirt, and Erin

You can read a bit about Erin here.

We spent pretty much the full day looking at aircraft and chatting endlessly.  At lunch, we decided to go to the one hangar we skipped because it didn't sound that interesting.  I'm glad we went.

That final hangar was the 390th Memorial Museum.  It's kind of a museum within the museum and it's dedicated to one squadron of B-17s based in England.  There are banners around the museum telling the fate of the planes and crews of each plane and there was one restored B-17 in the hangar.

But the best part was when an elderly docent came up to us and said "ladies, this is the best day of all of the days I've spent in this museum!"  I thought he meant meeting us, but instead he went on to explain to us "ladies" (and he included me!) that a flier from the 390th had visited and was there right now.  He had told some stories about the war to the docent and it turns out he (the flier, not the docent) was reported Killed In Action.  When informed of this, the 90+ man quoted Twain: "reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."  I considered going over to him and saying "hi.  I'm what you were fighting for" but I wasn't sure his heart could take it. :)

I'm the pilot!  We're DOOMED
The docent offered to take a picture of us and I think he considered the plane to be the main attraction.  It's sharp in each picture he took, but we're fuzzy.  Ah well.

Before we got in our cars, I wanted a picture of each of us in pairs: Liz and Erin, Liz and me, Erin and me.  That's when we discovered my camera was seriously misbehaving.  No matter.  It was still a great day, and, as I said, a dream fulfilled: my first Girls' Day Out.

I hope I'm not boring anyone, but please consider going to a Transgender Day of Remembrance event this coming weekend.  It's international.  You don't even have to travel to another country!  I'll be at the Fairfax event.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Girls' Day Out - The Next Logical Step

(Before getting to the post, I want to say again: Please consider going to a Transgender Day of Remembrance event this coming weekend.  I'll be at the Fairfax event.)

"So how did you find the women in Tucson?"
"I just opened the door marked 'women' and there they were!"

I walked up to the men's room door, turned sharply, and went into the women's room.

It was as empty as the hotel corridor.  I picked a stall, closed the door and... the door wouldn't lock.  I went into the next stall and the lock was good enough.  I hung my purse on a hook, moved everything I had to move and sat down.
A little digression here.

I bought an incredibly stretchy and tight Spanx-type camisole to replace the ones I couldn't find but knew I brought with me.  Funny thing.... Friday night, I found them in the only compartment I didn't empty completely.

I brought a "club" dress with me.  It's purple, a tad short, very stretchy and I love it.  There's a problem: there's a li'l bit of a bulge.  I thought I might buy something to hide that and be able to wear it if I went out with some of the ladies.  When I tried the dress on over this camisole it looked great and there was no sign of a bulge!  And this was without my constant companion, my waist cinch.  I found the perfect undergarment!

Click to see the cami/top effect.  Or to stare at my boobs. :D
I also picked this camisole because it had a higher neck and the scoop of the top I was planning to wear was a bit low.  I wanted a kind of "crescent moon" look.  I wasn't even looking at the slimming aspect.  I even picked a large because the straps are further apart and I'd get a better look, even though I thought a medium would work, because it was so stretchy.

In reality, it was so tight that I couldn't even pull it over my head!  I had to step into it and pull it up.  But, again, the look was great.

I had a choice of three skirts that I bought last week, as I mentioned before.  I decided to go with the longer skirt, because it just looked and felt great.  If it was a few inches shorter I wouldn't have minded, but it was swingy, pretty, and fit perfectly.  But I really needed my cinch, so I had the cinch and camisole.

I didn't get to wear that dress, but I wore the cami under my top as you can see above.

OK, back to the ladies' room.  My stockings made things a bit easier but I still had to figure out where to put the skirt, skirt lining, cinch, camisole, and the bottom of my top.  Then I had to get everything back to where it was, and make sure everything was smooth and straight.  It was a pain, but such a singularly feminine experience that I really didn't mind.  I'm always in awe, every time I do something for the first time that women do regularly.  And I'm glad my hose was hosed so I had on the stockings.  And I'm glad I at least knew that stockings/garters go on before panties do!

I touched up my lipstick in the stall and exited a still-empty ladies' room.  But that wasn't my fault or my plan.  It's like the empty hotel lobby: if someone was there and wanted to interact, that was OK, but I wasn't going to look for people to interact with.  Especially there in the ladies' room.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Girls' Day Out - It Starts with Breakfast

Meg at the Museum.  Ain't I cute? :D
Of course, for Meg, nothing starts with breakfast.  It starts with getting up early, showering, shaving shaving shaving, makeup, choosing an outfit....  My purse, at least, was ready from the previous night.  I didn't have to put everything away from that evening so that made my life a bit easier.  But I did have to put everything away before I left the room.  This is not an "I care" situation.  I don't leave a messy room for housekeeping.

My GPS had problems finding the restaurant.  I finally set it to the highest house number on the street and it said it would take 15 minutes.

Just before I put on my top, skirt, shoes, wig, and jewelry I checked google maps.  It found the restaurant.  It turns out the street name changes slightly as it leaves Tucson proper and it was actually about 30 minutes away.  And it was now 30 minutes before I was to meet Liz and Erin.  I packed everything up and finished getting dressed as quickly as I could.

I again walked out through an empty hall, into an empty elevator, through an empty lobby to my car.  There wasn't even anyone behind the desk!  I assume whoever is keeping an eye on me (I think she's also my muse) was keeping me out of harm.

The drive to the restaurant was uneventful and Liz and Erin were waiting outside for me.  After introductions, smiles, and hugs we went inside.

I was treated as a lady just as much as the other two were.  We chatted our way through breakfast and eventually decided we needed to move on if we were going to do anything else that day.  Erin knows way more about aircraft than any ten people I know, but she had never been to the local air museum.  I like aircraft, and I have been to several air museums: two near DC, the Intrepid in New York, Wright-Patterson (Ohio), Warner-Robbins (Georgia).  I figured this was a local museum, good for an hour or two.

As we were about to get into our cars, Erin received a phone call.  While she was yapping, I decided it might be better for me to use the ladies' room here rather than at the air museum.  Liz offered to accompany me; she knows I'm a bit worried about using the restroom.  I decided I needed to solo, so I did.

Some housekeeping: Please consider going to a Transgender Day of Remembrance event this coming weekend.  I'll be at the Fairfax event (alas, in drab, unless something amazing happens).

Also Joan who commented yesterday ~ drop me a note, OK?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Girls' Day Out

One of my dreams is to spend an evening, or a day, with the girls.

It's rare.  I wish it was less so.  The only time I'd really consider a Girls' Day Out was when I went to lunch with my old boss and coworker on (almost) Halloween.

If I stretch it, I could call the clothing swaps Girls' Days Out, but they're really not.  I just happen to be in a room with a few dozen ladies.  I could go to the Running of the Brides and be in the same kind of group of women.  Well, there would be the added excitement of possibly getting stomped to death.
Liz, Meg, Erin

Even the lunch was not really a Girls' Day Out.  For a real Girls' Day Out it would have to be a planned event.  I was sort of sprung on my old boss.

So I'm back at zero.  There were a few times I went out with the women who did my makeup, but that was one-on-one.  Or when I went out with Kim (for shopping and nails ~ wow).  Or when I went out with Liz... it was a special day because she's a special lady, but still... one-on-one.

I finally had my Girls' Day Out.  We had a plan to spend a day together.  We did, just the three of us girls.  Or at least two girls and Meg.  But I was accepted as one of the group, and that made a great day exceptional.

Here we are at the Pima air museum.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I know Brewster Rockit has appeared here before.  This one seems obvious but it's still the biggest laugh I've had in a long time!  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Or Mine

In the strip The Meaning of Lila by John Forgetta, Annie is Lila's adopted daughter.  Boyd, sitting on the couch in the first cartoon, is her gay BFF.  Dr Fine, standing, had adopted Annie for a while and still helps out the perpetually broke Lila.

It's a fun strip and Lila often wears some of the hottest dresses in the funny pages.  Too bad it's not more widely distributed.  It deserves a larger audience.  The strip has evolved since I stumbled on it, sometimes in a sitcom kind of way where a trail of life-changing events happen but at the end all is as it was at the start.  Her friend Drew got married and pregnant yet she's now once again single and childless.  Lila got fired, found a new job she was really ambivalent about, lost it, and now she's back at her old job.  I hope Annie's a long term change.

Another possible Boyd dressup cartoon is below.  I don't recall actually ever seeing him dressed.  I do wonder if Mr Forgetta, the cartoonist, is confusing sexual orientation with gender identity.  There's obviously a long history of that in the humour field ~ does anyone remember the Billy Crystal character is Soap?  

For a long time, I wasn't absolutely certain Boyd was gay.  Mr Forgetta seemed to dance around it and, quite recently, decided it was OK to be more explicit.  I think the crossdress stuff is just there for punchlines, but I don't know.  (That's Lila's friend Drew on the left.  They're both hot, IMO.)

 And I'm only including this final strip because clearly Annie and I were on the same (funny) page.  This came out the day after my Christine O'Donnell  made her debut!  Make sure you click on each picture to get the full impact.  (Alan is Dr Fine's partner.)

For me, Lila's a must-read every day.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Me Neither

Stana and I are on the same page.

I believe, no matter what our destination might be, we all are following the same path from "I care" to "I don't care."

I've written about this before. I think it's important.

Think about where you are on your trans-journey.  Now think about where you've been, not where you're going.

I go out dressed, too occasionally.  The first step out the door, or the first step beyond my comfort zone, is always a little anxiety-producing.  Maybe some day that will stop.  Maybe not.  That's the way forward.

But I can still remember the first time I went out by myself.  I went to the mall, and other shoppers probably thought I was an escaped prisoner.  I watched everyone, to see if I knew someone.  I kept to myself.  I didn't interact with shopkeepers... in fact, I only went into department stores where it was unlikely a salesperson would say hi to me.  I cared what everyone thought about me... even people I didn't care about at all!  It took me ages to step out of my car.  Care, in this context, translates to fear.

My goal is to not care.  I've had a few small, almost accidental, frontal attacks on changing "care" to "don't care."

One was when I showed a picture of Meg to my manager and she asked if it was for a party or "something that you do, sometimes?" and I admitted it was the latter.  In the post I mentioned this (one of my first posts!) that that was incredibly liberating.  Instead of going a single step on the "I don't care" path I took a football-field sized leap.

Another was when I had my past-life regression and, when the hypnotist prodded me about ever wearing costumes, I admitted to him and the ten women in the room (including one friend) that I crossdressed.  And that's another early early post!

I think going with my friend from New York to the Jon Stewart rally last year was another big jump, although he just assumed it was for Halloween, and my wife's friend who was with us assumed the same, even though I made hinting jokes every time I spoke to her for weeks afterwards.

A number of years ago, I was in a K-Mart buying some panties and possibly women's socks ~ I don't recall the details.  I had left the cart for a moment to look at something else and I ran into a friend and her kids.  We chatted, I made some lame excuse for looking for a computer or similar thing and I abandoned the cart.  I cared and I didn't buy something I wanted.

Once, I was walking towards a Marshall's and I ran into two sisters I worked with years earlier.  They had just come out of the Marshall's.  We chatted, we caught up a bit, and I continued walking... towards the nearby CompUSA.  I cared and missed a shopportunity.

A couple of days ago, I was in an Ulta.  I wanted to get an eyelash serum (more in another post) and an eyeliner pencil.  A young lady said "can I help you?"  The I care me would have said "no, I'm just looking around."  Instead, I said, "yes.  I'm looking for the L'Oreal eyelash serum."  She helped me find it and I said "I'm also looking for a decent eyeliner pencil."  She pulled out one she liked and said "you just twist it... you never need to sharpen it."  I said "I've never had luck with those.  It seems the tip just breaks off."  She found me a regular pencil, which I bought.  I chatted with the cashier, but not about makeup, exactly.  She did ask me if I wanted to join whatever Ulta club there is and I declined.  But I don't care.

When I was in Sierra Vista, I walked into a wig shop next door to my hotel and made clear that I was looking for a wig for myself.  I don't care.

After I assembled my charm bracelet, it sat on my dresser for a couple of weeks before I wore it.  That was a quick trip from I care to I don't care.

I think I care comes from the peer pressure that started when you started going to school.  I also think we should outgrow that need to fit in.  I think it's not only liberating, it helps you get what you want and what you need.  "Um, it's for my sister.  She's about my size" gets you an ill-fitting dress.  "Can I try this on?" gets you the dress you want, in your size.

I haven't reached "I don't care" all of the time, even with strangers.  I still glance around before I hold up a skirt to see if the length is what I want.  I still look down the aisle before I peruse the women's shoes in Payless, but that might be habit.  I now go into various women's shoe stores such as DSW without much thought.  Baby steps on the path.

I'd love to know what your biggest leap from I care to I don't care was.

Care for people.  Care for animals.  Care for those in need.  Care for the ones you love.  As for what the people around me think?  I don't care.

And make your own priorities.  My wife would be upset if I was out... sometimes I think that's the only thing that keeps me as far in the closet as I am.  But if it came out (like at the hypnotist)... I don't care.

And happy 11/11/11 everyone! That's a once-in-a-lifetime.

I'll be writing about Erin and Liz and my fantastic Saturday starting Monday.  Cartoons for the weekend.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dinner with Dorothy, part II

Andrea took the pictures
Dorothy had a favourite Italian place picked out.  It was a longish drive and she drove.  I don't know the town and my eyes are not that happy at night.

Eventually, we arrived in a very active part of town.  She said it was near the uni, which probably accounts for a lot of the people in the streets.  It was like Georgetown in DC, or Provincetown on Cape Cod, or almost anywhere from midtown down in Manhattan, or Charlottesville in Virginia, or Chinatown in London. 

There were lots of college-age kids, lots of little boutique types of shops, lots of restaurants, and not a lot of parking.  Being Halloween week there were quite a few costumes.  We went into a shop that was selling costumes ~ I was tempted to buy something and change, but I'd rather be just me.  I go out so rarely, I want Meg to be out.  Maybe next Halloween I'll feel more comfortable in a girl costume.  Maybe something like an old western saloon girl dress, or maybe a Renaissance dress.  Or supergirl.

No idea why we traded places
There was a 30 minute wait for a table.  I was hungry, it was late, but I didn't even notice.  Dorothy is a wonderful woman.  She's very friendly and very likeable.  Some of the shopkeepers knew her and she more-or-less introduced herself to the ones who didn't.  I think I mentioned that she's like the anti-Meg.  I think if you averaged her outgoing attitude with my introversion you'd end up with a clear extrovert.

But we had fun, we talked non-stop, and if anyone was watching us, they would have thought we were lesbians.  Don't get the wrong idea!  By that I mean, we were both checking out the young ladies walking past.  There were some very pretty outfits on the ladies strutting past our table.  We both liked the waitress' skirts.

Afterwards, Dorothy asked our waitress if she could give us a "Kodak moment," and she happily obliged.

Then we chatted the whole ride back.

I already wrote about what happened back at the hotel, so you can just look here if you missed it.  Andrea was great, and a wonderful surprise ending to a wonderful evening.  Andrea took these pictures.  In the second, Dorothy was saying to me, in a sing-songy voice, "my boobs are bigger than your boobs."

I had promised to meet Liz and Erin at 9 the next morning.  I was still trying to stay on eastern time and not have to get up too much earlier than normal on Sunday, so I wanted to get up around 5.  I also already wrote about what happened after I went up to my room, so I won't bore you with that twice.

But I really didn't want the evening to end.  If I didn't have a full day planned for Saturday, I probably would have encouraged Dorothy to hang out and I would have stayed up all night with Dorothy and Andrea.  Maybe we would have invited the van driver to join us.

Dorothy, by the way, is divorced (the too-common story), and spends 90% of her non-work time as Dorothy.  I can only fantasize about what that's like.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dinner with Dorothy, part I

Tucson Arizona has about 520,000 people living there.  That comes out at about 2,800 people per square mile.

Fairfax County, where I live, has about twice as many people in about twice the area.  But Fairfax is weird.  In the middle of the county sit the cities of Alexandria (where I work), Arlington, Falls Church, Vienna, and Fairfax City.  Fairfax is pretty big and there are sections which are pretty underpopulated as opposed to the close-in suburbs.  Alexandria and Arlington together are about a quarter the size of Tucson but have over 340,000 people.  That's around 8,300 people per square mile.

I didn't know these numbers when I drove from Sierra Vista to Tucson but when I was warned there would be "lots of traffic," I considered that A Good Thing.

It meant I could leave early and co-workers will think I was smart because I was beating the traffic.  It also meant I didn't expect my trip to be any longer than usual.

Tucson traffic is to Washington-area traffic as a home aquarium is to Sea World.

So I started my day extra-early and left by 3 or so.

The plan was to meet Dorothy around 7, for dinner.  If I could get there early, Meg would join her.  If not, well, that was less than ideal but a possibility too.

I got to the hotel in plenty of time and Andrea (the "A" of recent posts ~ she said I could use her name) checked me in.

I'm probably going to repeat some of what I wrote starting with this post ~ I was pretty busy and disjointed last week and I'd like to try to be a bit more orderly.

At 5, it was time to get started.  I was in my room early enough to shower and moisturise and shave my face and touch up arms and chest ~ just a little bit.  I did my makeup and dressed and loaded my purse and put on my wig and jewelry and slipped into my shoes exactly at 7 ~ just as the phone rang.  It was Dorothy.  She had arrived.  She said she was going to look for a parking space but I said I could come out to the parking lot.

I stepped out of my room to an empty hallway.  I got into an empty elevator.  On the main level, I thought the lobby was to the right, but it was to the left.  I took a step to the right with my left foot, then realised I was going the wrong way so I crossed my leg and stepped to the left with my right foot.  I probably looked pretty stupid doing that, so, of course, I had an audience.  Someone was close by, also heading towards the lobby.  I walked on, with the gentleman right behind me.  I wonder if he would have offered to help me up if my manoeuver resulted in a fall.

Andrea was still behind the desk, and I saw only one other person ~ a woman sitting on a sofa which faced away from the front desk.

I have a habit of focussing.  I don't know if it's a bad habit, but it has served me poorly on occasion.  I am known to walk into a room of people I know, talk to the one I was planning on talking to and walking out ignoring the others, even if they're riding tigers or on fire.

My focus was on meeting Dorothy in the parking lot.  I smiled and nodded to Andrea, I looked at the woman on the sofa who said "hi."  I said "hi" back, because that's what Meg should do, right?  Internally, I noticed that she had a deepish voice, like mine, and maybe my voice is OK after all.  But I kept walking.

I didn't see Dorothy's car in front of the hotel, just the airport shuttle.  I went out to my car to grab something (I can't remember what now) and looked around.  Then I had a flash of insight and I called Dorothy.  She said "hello?"  and I said "did I just walk past you sitting in the lobby?"


I didn't pick her.  She picked me, but thought I was trying to lose the guy who was close behind me!

I went back in, we said hellos, and went on our way.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Another "One of Us?"

I've been seeing this ad for American University recently.  Look at the girl on the right.  Look at the way she walks, the way she holds her arms, the way she reacts as compared to the girl on the left.  And she only has her back to the camera except for a brief second at the start of the video.

I'm suspicious.

I can imagine the girl on the left saying "I'm so proud of you, going out dressed for the first time!" as she pats her on the back!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Did I Mention That I Overpacked?

There was no way in the world that I was going to be able to stuff my regular shoes into my bag.  I bought a huge duffel bag while in Arizona.  It folds pretty flat, and the idea was that I would pack it into my regular luggage when travelling out and put my overflow in the bag when travelling back.  I mean, there are two consignment shops right near my office, plus stores like Marshalls.  I wonder if they have a different selection than they do in Virginia, but I haven't had a chance to go in yet.

With the skirts I bought, and the panty I mentioned, and the fact that I couldn't pack around the breast form boxes like I did when heading out my bag was completely stuffed.  Every little pocket was packed, and I could barely close the zippers on the main compartment.  I put a little overflow into my computer bag.  I dumped papers I could reprint at my home office, even though I hate wasting paper.  I left behind a half-full bottle of Nair, and a can of shaving gel I bought in Sierra Vista.

And I had two choices when I left Tucson: I could pack a lot of stuff into the duffel and probably have to check it, or I could pack a little into it and it'll flop around like a pea in a pillowcase.  As flat as I could make it, the duffel wouldn't fit in my suitcase or my computer bag.  So I took the other choice: I left it in the hotel room.  I hope someone on the staff made good use of it.  Maybe my friend A.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Funnies

More Piraro.  He's not on my regular funnies page so I don't know how I got so many of them, but I did.  My favourite is up first and Very Large, if you click on it.  The others are more normal size.  I had to pick and choose.  He's very odd and very funny.

I'm a huge Escher fan!
Nothing new under the sun
Sounds like my oldest
Not uncommon, unfortunately

Saturday, November 5, 2011

"Can?" "Have To?"

Bizarro, by Don Piraro
Don't subscribe to the Funny Times!  If you see something scanned here, that's where I got it and I want to be first.

OK, get the Funny Times.  It has great cartoons and columns and it's my preferred reading when I'm on travel.  I try to carry things I'll read and toss, but sometimes I clip and bring home half of the paper!

Caution: there's a lot of political humour in there, and they lean left.  My conservative readers will probably not find that part of it funny!

Friday, November 4, 2011

OK, Why Stockings?

Click if you wanna
I brought several pairs of hose to Arizona.  In fact, I overpacked to an amazing degree, even for me.  I tossed in two black stockings, each textured.  One had the stripes you could see in the photo here (Friday night, after my evening with Dorothy).  The other had little raised dots, like the fabric was bunched up, in a pattern.

I also brought nude hose and, just because I have never tried them on, a new black garter and two pair of black stockings.  One had a very fancy top, lots of lace; the other was plainer.

Not unexpectedly, I didn't have a chance to try on the stockings all week.

Saturday, I pulled out the other black hose and went to put them on.  The left foot had a little run, but it was at the toe and wouldn't show.  I pulled the left leg up and stretched out the right.

The right leg was in horrible condition.  There was a run up the calf and a hole in the toe.  And I don't even remember ever wearing them.  They were still in their packaging, although the package was open.

The black hose went into the trash.  I didn't want to wear the nude hose, so I pulled out the garter (suspender to the UK girls, and I bought it in the UK, on sale for £2).  I had to adjust them, something I have rarely done before.  Attaching stockings is one of the hardest things women do!  No wonder so many wear hose even though they profess to hate them!

There's no "turn it around and close it" like with bras.  You have to do the back one behind your leg, and if it's adjusted too short or too long, you pretty much have to adjust it behind your back.  Even if you can turn it around (sort of) for one leg, you can't turn it once one leg is attached.

But it is a very feminine feeling.  I'll probably do it again, if my skirt isn't too short.