Monday, April 30, 2012

Another Shopportunity

First, please go back to Friday's post and then take the "bride" poll.  I'm thinking "bridesmaid in a friend's wedding" for the next poll.

My current office is not far from the Springfield Mall.  This is a mostly dying mall that has a couple of typical anchor stores (Macy's and JC Penneys) and one not-so-typical (Target).

I saw an ad for Macy's for a few different dress pants and thought I'd pick up a pair or two.  At lunch, I went to their website to see if I could get some details that are important to me: pocket style and placement and belt loops are important in Pants That Pass.  Some had what I was looking for, some did not.  All were pricey ($40 and up) but I wanted something new for the new job.  I also checked out the Penney's site and found slacks for $25 to $35.  I figured I'd start there.

Curvy (L), Modern (R) ~ look the same?
They listed several styles and they had lots of pairs of each.  Most were unacceptable ~ the one I had the most hope for ("Worthington Modern Fit Dress Pants") had front pockets that were useless.  I still don't carry a bag so I have to rely on those pockets.  If winter was approaching, I'd just dump everything in my jacket pockets but the warm weather is here so that's out.

They had a similar style, "Worthington Curvy Fit Dress Pants," which allowed for a belt and had useful pockets.  I wanted to try on a pair to see if the fit was too curvy for me.  It was hard to tell from the pictures in the ad.  From the front they looked identical.  I wondered if "curvy" meant it would be too loose in the caboose, so to speak.

Curvy (L), Modern (R) ~ too much butt for me?
You can take a look at both pair in the pictures.   Do you think curvy might be too curvy?  I really can't tell.  I have no idea why the pockets should be useless in the "modern" cut.  I'm sure they had a reason.  I did see several pants in ads which said "no pockets or belt loops for a cleaner look."

They had at least twenty pair, scattered over a few different racks.  They had sizes from 4 to 18.  They had tall and short and regular.

They didn't have a single pair in size 10, which is what I expected to need.  I may still order a pair on-line.  Or I may go to a different Penney's.  There are not a lot of them around here though.

On to Macy's.

I looked at different slacks that I saw on-line in different brands.  I settled on the Charter Club "Slim It Up" pants.  They had my size and I started looking for a fitting room.

I found one near to where I picked up the pants but a teenage girl was in it, and her father was parked outside.  I didn't think he'd appreciate it if I walked into the fitting room so I continued to look at pants and other women's clothing and wandered on.

As I wandered, a pretty 30-ish woman with long blonde hair and (as it turned out) a Swedish accent asked if I needed any help.  I said not at the moment.  I then saw a very nice black pleated skirt and decided I'd pick that up as well.  I walked over to the blonde saleslady and asked if I could try them on.  She said "on you?"  I was going to point out that it would be silly for her to try them on, or to mention that I neglected to bring any other body.  I just said "yes.  On me."  She said quietly "the fitting rooms are occupied."  Then she seemed to brighten up and said "but you can try them on downstairs."  I thanked her and headed for the escalator.

I made a concession to "care" on the escalator.  I shifted the clothes so the skirt was under the slacks and the tags were hidden.  I found a fitting room guarded by an Indian man who asked if I was looking for a fitting room.  I said I was and walked right in.

Inside the fitting room was a sign: This room is monitored by a same-gender security guard.  I had two thoughts: first, it is most certainly not the same gender.  And second, boy is he in for a surprise! If my dark brown lacy panties didn't catch his attention, and he missed the hem of my pink camisole showing under my shirt, he should have sat up and taken notice when I tried on the skirt.  I didn't care.

Both items fit well.  The skirt was a bit longer than I like, but I loved the wide elastic waist and the tight pleats ~ it has a sort of transparent pleated layer over a pleated lining that I found very appealing.  Yes, I have enough black skirts.  Well, I was clearly short one.  I have enough now.

The Indian man wanted to take the clothes to check them out.  I said I was going to look around a bit more.  What I really wanted to do was go back to the Swedish lady to check out there.

I went back up the escalator and found her at the same register.  She said "did you try them on?"  I said yes, and that I wanted to buy them.  She rang them up, and put them in a bag.

I've mentioned before that when I go out dressed I almost always have some regret ~ something I didn't do, or didn't do in a feminine enough way, or something.  Here's my shopping regret: she looked at me and said "you need more colour!"  I smiled and said "next time."  I should have started a little discussion about that skirt, which was very pretty, or asked her for some suggestions, or mentioned that the pants were for "everyday wear" and the skirt was for "special occasions."

I did not, and now that moment is gone.  I have to remember to slow down, remember it's OK to talk clothes when the person you're talking with is OK with it.  I can think of few ways to better spend my time than to talk to a saleslady about colourful clothing I might enjoy.  But if I go back and seek her out (assuming I remember what she looks like ~ I've talked about that before!) I'm not shopping; I'm stalking.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Not Funny, Really

First, please go back to Friday's post and then take the poll to the right.  The results as I write this are intriguing.  More than half of you want the full experience!

I had to fill out an I-9.  The I-9, you probably know, is to prove that you are eligible to work in the US.  I have gone through vetting for various levels of security in the US and Canada, yet I have to fill out an I-9 and show proof that I didn't sneak across the border.  That's pretty sad that you could be trusted with the nation's secrets, but... are you sure you're not a Mexican?

Anyway, the Not Funny, Really portion is the actual document.

Pages 1 and 2 are instructions.  They include a section labelled What Is the Filing Fee? which is followed by a paragraph that begins There is no associated filing fee for completing Form I-9.  This is followed by about another 40 words.

Page 4 is the actual form.  Remember, there are two pages of instructions.  All you need to fill in is your name, address, Date of Birth, social security number, and your status (citizen, etc).  That's it.  Two pages of instructions.  The rest of the form is filled out by the person who verifies your document.

Page 5 is LISTS OF ACCEPTABLE DOCUMENTS.  You can choose one from column A, OR one from column B AND one from column C.  I chose the egg drop soup, fried rice, and General Tso's chicken.

I skipped Page 3.  Page 3 is reproduced, in it's entirety, below.  I am not making this up.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Yet Another Female Experience Poll

(private note to Lisa: your e-mail's been hacked.  Sorry)

Last time, I did the "would you want to give birth" poll.  I think that's the ultimate female experience, one that no-one born with an XY can experience.  I did include breastfeeding, and there is anecdotal evidence that men can wet nurse.  I've never met one who claims to have done so, but I don't get out much.

This week, I want to focus on an experience we can have, but rarely do.  I know (again, anecdotally but I find it credible) that couples have done this.

It involves being a bride.

I'll go from the lightest wedding experience up to Xtreme Xdress Wedding.  I know this is a lot for one poll, and I hope you'll think about this (if you haven't already ~ and I know many of you have) and choose the best option.

Try on a wedding dress.  This is pretty straightforward.  You can shop or try one on at home, as your comfort level allows.
Try on a wedding dress and all of the accessories.  The shoes, the veil, hold the flowers, gloves if that's part of it.  And the garter, of course.
Get ready for wedding day.  This has to be an out-of-house experience.  Get your hair (wig) styled (while you're wearing it.  Get your makeup done.  Wear everything as if you're about to walk down the aisle.
Wedding ceremony with a female partner.  She'd be playing the male role.  Two brides is silly.  Since you're dressed as a bride, a civil ceremony is out.  You'd walk down the aisle, be given away (not necessarily by your dad), clergy will ask you to exchange rings and vows and a kiss.  Photographs and/or video will be taken.  Bridesmaids and ushers (or at least a best mand and maid of honour) will be present.  A flower girl and ring bearer are optional ~ you decide how big your wedding will be.  You're the bride.  It's your day.  Don't forget the receiving line and guests (yes!  There will be guests!) tossing rice or bird seed or blowing bubbles at you as you leave.
Wedding ceremony with a male partner.  Same as above but with a male groom.  I'm not going to differentiate between straight and gay readers.  Life isn't that simple and we all know it.
Wedding and reception with a female partner.  After the wedding there's a large reception or an intimate dinner for the party and a few guests.  It's up to you, but we're adding more pictures/video, cutting the cake, dancing with a variety of guests and wedding party members, and kissing when the guests tap their glasses.  And a few more hours in that dress.
Wedding and reception with a male partner.  You know the drill.
Wedding, reception, and wedding night with a female partner.  All of the above and you consummate your new relationship.  Honeymoon optional, but if you go, you stick to your roles.
Wedding, reception, and wedding night with a male partner.  I think unless we continue on to a honeymoon, moving in together, and living happily ever after this is the ultimate experience.

What do you think?  How far would you go?

The poll closes just about the same time I leave this job.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Therapy the Break

The therapist is off this week.

I don't know if others have had the same experience, but I can no longer have conversations with my wife.  Maybe it's because she's a therapist, but now every talk turns to something psychological or relationship-related.  I know relationships take work, but it's reaching the pecked-to-death-by-ducks phase.  It's starting to get to the point where I don't want to say anything because it'll get turned into something good she's trying to do/something I should be doing/how everyone we know has the same "relationship dynamics"/what we're doing wrong with the kids/what was done wrong when we were kids/etc/etc.

There's a lot of turmoil, and it's very stressful and I need to find some sort of equilibrium so I can calm down a bit and maybe sleep better.

Towards that end, on Monday I resigned from my current job.

Did everybody just groan or is that my imagination?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Havin' My Baby

Last week's poll was pretty straightforward, compared to some I've tried to do in the past.

The easy question: if you could, would you want to give birth to a baby?

I have an incredible amount of respect for women.  I see the pain involved in giving birth, yet I'm one of a litter of three so my mother did this at least two other times.  One friend almost died giving birth and was told to never try that again.  My sister-in-law did die in childbirth.

Women get connected to machines, needles stuck in your spinal column, broken blood vessels in your eyes, painful contractions while you can't sleep for up to a day, maybe a major scar across your abdomen ~ and that's just the giving birth part.

There's morning sickness, aching back, repeated ultrasound where you have to drink a gallon of water and hold it while they keep delaying your appointment, blood tests, bed rest, and that kick inside.  I know one woman who had a broken rib from her little karate pre-kid.

I agree with Florynce R. Kennedy, who said "if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament."  I also believe there would be a lot of childless couples and children without siblings.

And I'm not a fan of pain.  Until a dozen or so years ago, I hadn't even had stitches, much less surgery of any sort.  To do something where the end result might be an operation....  Inconceivable.

But I think I'd say, yeah, I'd want to do it.  I'd want to feel that kick inside.  I think it's the ultimate female experience.  I think I'd accept the challenge quicker if I knew surgery would not be necessary though, which puts me in the smallest group.  But I also think I'd want to try even if it might end in a large scar.  As long as it ends in a baby.  I know, there's not even a guarantee of that (one friend lost her baby at six months; a neighbor's got strangled in the umbilical cord when her water broke).

Over half of you want to have that ultimate female experience.

I assume if you give birth, you'd be nursing, or at least able to.  That's a whole 'nother kind of pain, but one that I'd take more willingly.  If, when my babies were getting baked someone said to me "you have to come in every day and get a shot and you'll be able to nurse the baby when he's born" I'd roll up my sleeve.  And I HATE needles.  It would be a twofer ~ breasts and the nursing experience!  W00T!

About one in five wouldn't want to have the baby, but would want to feed her.  And about a quarter of you said "no thanks.  I'm fine the way I am," which is cool too.

Now I want a debate between the ones who say "yes I want a baby" and "no, my wife can handle it."  Because I'm still not convinced I'd do it.

The final totals:

Absolutely, even if a c-section was necessary
  31 (45%)
Yes, but only if it would be a "natural" birth
  6 (8%)
No, but I'd be OK with nursing a baby
  13 (19%)
No way. Leave it all to the experts
  18 (26%)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Forced Crossdressing

I found a few stories about Tommy Tucker, who was not only forced to wear dresses and such almost all of his life, but he was taken on tours and shown off in his finest outfits ~ in an effort to sell war bonds.

Here's an article from Life magazine from the 1940s.

The story recently caught the eye of the Washington Post and John Kelly wrote about him here and here.

While I'm being a tad offbeat here, does anyone know what television series featured a male playing the female lead?  The audience was never told that the lead was, in fact, male.  Hint: the series ran for 19 years.

Send a comment with your guess. (update: as of 9am EDT there are two correct answers.  I'll post all tonight) (update to update: comments posted ~ you all [and one e-mail response] got it right.  I found this out as a Trivial Pursuit answer many years ago)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Big Sister is Watching

And taking  names.

I've made many friends since I started my blog.  Most are in the US.  At least one is on the European mainland, a few are in the UK, and one reader resides in New Zealand.

I'd love to be able to build a private database of who and where you are.  I'd like to do some travelling as Meg ~ the way my current job stands, I may not be travelling any more, not even to Tucson.  So I plan to propose to my wife that I (Meg) do a little solo holiday next year.  And I'd like the opportunity to meet at least a few of my until-then-online-only friends.

So if you'd like to drop me a note at with your city (or what city you're near, if you're off the beaten path), I can put everything into a file and see how I can best spend my time.  If you'd like to include something like "we can meet in drab only" or "I have to be in drab only" or "my job takes me to Anaheim, Azusa, and Cucamonga so maybe we can meet there" feel free.

Again, this is just for me ~ it won't be in the blog, it won't be shared with anyone else, it won't even be printed.  I may write to the readers I hope to meet and when my plans are firmed up say who I'll meet.  With permission, of course.

Yes, I do know where some of you are already, but it's all scattered throughout my e-mail.  This would help me a lot.

And even if it's a long trip, I hope to meet all three of you. :D

Sunday, April 22, 2012


In light of all that's going on in my therapy sessions, I got a kick out of this Herman cartoon.  Click to make it readable.

Happy Earth Day everyone!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Why I Like Being a Woman

When I can of course.  We all know the exaggeration is ever so tiny.

Friday, April 20, 2012

I See How It Starts

(last day to vote!  Please check out the post where I explain it all and make your voice heard!)

As I mentioned, I've been glossing my lips.  The Clinique gloss I bought most recently comes in a little hard plastic tube with a crimped end which has sharp edges ~ not pocket friendly.  The Chanel gloss is in a fairly long tube ~ maybe six inches long and wide enough that it looks like I'm bragging when I sit down.

I put on the gloss in the morning and touch up during the day, so I carry a tube in my pants pocket.  I have to go to the men's room to reapply, which is inconvenient, and it means if there are other guys in there I have to skip the application and try again later.  Same thing if the cleaning lady has shut the bathroom so she can do her job.

So the next logical thing is to carry a mirror.  I do have a lock on my office door, and that would mean I could re-apply there.  The easiest way is to get either a makeup mirror that closes, or to carry a compact.  That means a two- or three-inch square flat box will have to go into my pocket as well.  It'll look like I'm carrying a pack of condoms.

If I'm carrying a compact instead of a mirror, I probably need to wipe the powder off the mirror occasionally.  I do carry a handkerchief but tissues would be better so I don't get makeup on the hanky ~ hard to explain if I need it for other purposes.  I also take a tissue to the bathroom in case I'm sloppy with the gloss (I try to be careful).

So now, in addition to the necessities of 21st century life (house keys, car keys, wallet, cel phone... and I usually carry breaath mints (coffee and me up close is a bad combination) and it's convenient for me to have one or two flash drives on me) I now have a tube of gloss, tissues, and a compact.  And that handkerchief I mentioned.  And maybe some change.

If I happen to develop a hole in a pocket, then I have one less pocket to jam it all into.

I might as well carry a small bag, like a clutch or a small gadget bag or an oversize camera bag.

Except that's kind of awkward.  Fanny packs are easy to carry but not very office-friendly.  Something that can just hang on your shoulder would be ideal.

We all know what we really need, once we take our first step onto that slippery slope called "cosmetics."

We need a trip to the Coach store.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Therapy the Sixth

No T in the discussion at all.  But with each session I'm less optimistic about the future of my marriage.

I know, that's not the focus of this blog, but that future has a huge impact on Meg's future.

It is possible that I'll be in a situation where Meg can go out more, be herself more, not hide in her own house, but every silver lining has a cloud.  Whether I'll be happier or sadder, or sadder then happier, I don't know.  I'm jumping into uncharted territory.

I am very Newtonian in my behaviour ("a body in motion tends to remain in motion, unless acted upon by outside forces").  I once read a series of books as they were released ~ I was well into the 20s before it occurred to me that book 7 was the last good one and I finally stopped.  I have stayed at jobs long after the other rats saw the writing on the wall and jumped ship.  I lived in eight different places over my entire life ~ one for the first 21 years, one for the last 22.  I will do the same procedure every day before I finally think "there has to be a better way" and I'll speed it up.

I always thought of marriage as forever.  Therapy seems to be an outside force here, and I'm very concerned.

In my informal chats with friends I've made on-line and in person, I have come to realise that there are three reasons t-marriages end, most common to least common:
* the wife can't tolerate the t-behaviour and initiates the divorce.
* nothing to do with t at all.* the husband wants a more tolerant partner and initiates the divorce.

Except I think "nothing to do with t" is a lie.  I think even if both parties say "nothing to do with t," it's still the elephant in the room.  Paradoxically, I think I'd fall into the "nothing to do with."  No, I can't explain.

I'm speculating, thinking out options, looking at things I never thought about before.  I don't know what is happening right now and where I'll be in a year ~ or even six or three or two months.  As I said, uncharted waters.

And if anyone has any advice, please share.  Send a comment with private if you don't want it posted but want to stay anonymous.  Or drop me a note at

And I'm wondering if I should be writing about this at all in my t-blog.  But if you hung around so far, thank you for reading.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Little Shimmer

As I mentioned a month or so ago, I have been wearing lip gloss daily, at least at work.  I started putting it on before leaving for work, and then started bringing it with me to touch up during the day.

I did an inventory and I have seven (!) in my desk here.

I have been trying to buy coloured ones in my natural shade, but I don't think it's really that important.  Gloss is made to be translucent.   You don't want to cover your lipstick ~ just shine it up a bit.

I've also been avoiding the "plumping" lip glosses.  I may try one as Meg, but not for every day.  Occasionally swelling lips might be a giveaway.

I really like the one from Faces, but the local store is gone and I never saw that brand in any other store.  It seems there are no longer any Faces stores in the US.

The gloss is not quite my colour, but it's pretty natural and I get a good shine with it.  The colour is, I think, Cupcake ~ the name is a bit worn off.

I also like the one from MAC, as I mentioned in that post.  It also has a nice shine and a bit of colour.  Neither is pink, just a nice "natural" shade.

I have that tube of "Apricot" from Clinique ~ it's OK, no real colour, but not enough shine for me, unless I put it on thick and creamy.

Chanel #94 is very creamy, even when applied lightly.  It feels nice, and helped me to realise that there are three features of gloss: colour, shine, and feel.  It's not very glossy however.

I like Wet 'n' Wild MegaSticks because it has my name in it. :) .  The colour is "1A Crystal Clear" and although it looks pink it does go on clear.

The CoverGirl Wetsticks is actually clear and fairly glossy.  I'd buy it again.  Same for my L'Oreal "leGloss" ~ also clear ("#150 Naturally Nude")

I'd say Faces, MAC, Chanel, in that order, if I had to only own three.  But there are so many that, as I use these up, I'll try going to Sephora or Ulta (they have coupons!  Yay!) and see what I can find.

I have decided I'm a gloss fan.  It's staying as part of my daily wear, along with my charm bracelet and other girl items.

And a quesstion for my readers: the gloss that comes in a tube like oil paint ~ do you put it on your finger and then apply to your lips, or apply directly to your lips, as if it was a lipstick?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Supersize Me

Occasionally, friends (or even salespeople) ask what size bra I wear.  I tell them "whatever size I want."  At least for cup size, that's true.  I can go from 0 to 60, so to speak.

I think since I've been going out I've been wearing a 38C.  My favourite bra is from Bali.  It has good coverage so the forms stay in place, room for a little "extra" pad I sometimes put in, and it gives me a nice curve, I think.  I was wearing it in the photo to the right.

I've always appreciated and striven for that curve out at the side of the breast, but I'm still not sure how it gets there.  I see it often, but don't ask the owners, for the obvious reasons.  Is it because of the bra style?  The owner's size?  Because the band is too tight/loose or the cup too big/small?  If anyone wants to enlighten me, please do so.

Anyway, I went to Victoria's Secret as Meg a few months ago and was told I should be wearing a 42B but "we don't sell that size.  You can probably find a 38B that would fit."

When I was at Alice Rae's in Tucson, I was in drab.  The saleslady measured me anyway (and I told her I wear "whatever size I want to" but usually a 38C) and she suggested maybe I should try a 36D.  I haven't been bra shopping since (I have, like other items, too many).

By the way, can anyone explain why a form that works for a 36D works for a 38C works for a 40B?  I really don't understand that one!

Then a special friend sent me a gift certificate covering the cost of a bra (thank you!), and pointed me at the specific bra she thought I should buy ~ she has one and loves it.  Cool.

Except now I didn't know what size to get. The bra comes in 36D, 38C, and 42B ~ all of the suggested or current sizes.  It comes in everything from 36C to 44DDD, in fact.

As I mentioned a week or so ago, I was looking for a bra that wouldn't cost much, just for trying out.  I looked without success.

Friday, I found myself in a mall with a little time to kill.  This particular mall has a Target so I thought I'd look there and see what I can find.  I was hoping to find two bras in the same style, 36C and 36D.  I wanted something with full coverage, and not too expensive.

It seems $17 is the going price for bras in Target.  That meant a $34 investment, which is the price of a blouse or skirt or dress at Marshall's or a similar store.  And I could probably find a bra for less there, but it would be less likely that I'd find two of the same style in the sizes I wanted.

Bra Labels
I looked around a lot.  I finally settled on the Barely There rack.

There seemed to be three different styles of bra there.  One was sized in Small-Medium-Large which (a) kind of defeated the purpose of my experiment and (b) didn't cover 36D anyway.  The other two had little catch phrases on the tag and hanger.  The one I bought said "What Goes In Stays In."  I don't recall the other's catch line.  I didn't prefer one; I was looking for an almost-matched set.  (By the way, would guys buy something that said "What Goes In Stays In" on it?  I doubt it.)

So I spent the $34, bought the two matching bras and went on my way.

On Saturday, I had a chance to try them on.  I pulled out a favourite pull-over top and the two bras and my pads.

I have a set of forms I purchased from GlamourBoutique and I love them.  I can't say enough great things about them.  The only problem is, they're a bit concave and I am not at all convex.  I wish I was ~ just a bit ~ so I could wear the forms directly.  Sometimes I do, but the size difference is pretty dramatic.

Obverse side
So I fashioned a couple of different "underfalsies."  The one that works best involved buying a Styrofoam "egg", cutting it in half, cutting up an old stocking, putting each egg half into the stocking and putting that behind the form.  The stocking keeps the very coarse Styrofoam from irritating my skin.  It stays in place fairly well ~ it has been known to wander.

So I had four combinations to try: each bra, both with and without the extra pad.

That's when I discovered that there were actually at least four styles of bra on that rack.  I thought I took a good look at the labels but I was wrong.  I scanned the tag from each bra for this post.  One side is side-by-side above to the left.  They look the same, no?  I thought so.  Now that I take a look at the bottom drawing, I can see the bottom edge of the bras is different.  Look at the other side of the tags.  They sure look the same to me, except the script at the bottom on the 36C says Underwire while the 36D says Wirefree.  It turns out the 36D has three hooks and the 36C has two.  I don't know if the difference is cup-size-related or wire-related.

I think they're close enough though.  The 36C didn't cover the form well and was very tight with the extra pads in.  The 36D looked pretty good, gave me the curve I wanted, and felt good.  I usually close my bra to the tightest hook size; on this bra I used the loosest.

I know every brand is a bit different, but I feel I can finally take advantage of my friend's generosity (did I say thank you before?  Probably, but not often enough) and get that bra in 36D.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Why Baby Steps?

(please check out Friday's post and take part in the poll ~ if you're eligible!)

You're at the edge of a swimming pool that comes up to your chin.  You're not comfortable around water.  You can go in one toe at a time or jump off the side.

You have a self-wax kit.  You put on the wax and the strip and you can either pull it off carefully or just yank it off.

It's your first day on the job.  You're kind of shy, as a rule.  You've gone through the quick introduction of each of your new co-workers but you'll never remember everyone's name or what they do.  At lunchtime, everyone's in the cafeteria sitting around a couple of tables.  You can sneak away, and figure you'll get to know each person one at a time or you can walk in and say "hi!  I started today.  Mind if I join you?"

Baby steps are good if you're learning a new skill.  It wouldn't be smart to hop into a car for the first time and hit the highway, or try to play 18 holes or ski down the expert trail without some lessons and practice first.  Or make up your face and step outside without taking it slow first.

When you learn to walk, baby steps are good.

But in the examples I gave up top, baby steps serve to prolong the pain, or the anxiety, or whatever you're trying to avoid.

So why do we come out in baby steps?  Why do we wear a little mascara, or a women's scarf or shirt, or pluck our eyebrows a little bit too much, or tell one person or another?  I've done all of these baby steps and more (such as lip gloss, charm bracelet, women's socks, shaving arms and hands...) and each one is a new trip to Anxietytown.  I get nervous that maybe I went too far, that someone's going to call me out, that I won't have an answer to a question that I'm asking the other person to ask ("are you wearing lip gloss?").

Yet I keep taking baby steps.

I never thought about this until a gg friend said that her (cd) husband did some "baby steps" on a trip they took together.  That's a long-term problem of mine: I keep doing the same thing and it can take a long time, or an outside force, to make me realise that I should be doing things differently.

Enough baby steps.  Tomorrow morning, I will get up extra-early so I can put on my makeup before work.  I will come to the office in my nicest dress and finest heels.  I will send a brief note to all of my friends and family telling them how I prefer to dress, and that they shouldn't be surprised to see me looking like this in the future (photo attached).

I wish I meant even a single word in that previous paragraph.  But it's going to have to be continued baby steps for me.  Maybe that tomorrow will come some day ~ just not literally tomorrow.

Instead, I'll keep prolonging the pain and wondering why I don't just rip off the wax.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

This Is Good

(please check out Friday's post and take part in the poll ~ if you're eligible!)

I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard.  I would've enjoyed it more if my cough/cold was gone.

I know I've mentioned Jerry Scott (who's responsible for Baby Blues) before.  He writes Zits with Jim Borgman, a brilliant editorial cartoonist.

The guy with the chicken is named "Pierce."

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Maybe Yes, and Maybe No

(please check out yesterday's post and take part in the poll ~ if you're eligible!)

Ginger Meggs is an Australian comic that's been around for a long long time.  A long long long time.  Last year, they celebrated 90 years of Ginger Meggs.  Did I mention it's an old strip that's still in production?

Anyway, I enjoy Meggs as much for the simple stereotype characters (reluctant schoolboy, school bully, clueless dad, brainy classmate, etc) and occasional weirdness (pet monkey) as for the little sayings they put between panels every day.  Some are gems, some are trite, but they're fun to read.

This is from a couple of days ago.  Yes, it's predictable, but I like to imagine the conversation that follows.  I mean, I don't think Ginger's thinking like a civilian here.  Maybe his friend said "some do, and some don't" or "would you?" or "I'm trying to transfer!  You should too!"

If I could draw, I'd start an alternate Ginger Meggs universe.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Is 16,999 Clerical Errors News?

The headline in this Washington Post story read:

Why Britain has 17,000 pregnant men

and it went on to point out that, during the years 2009 and 2010, 17000 British men requested services such as "obstetric exams and midwife services."

Alas, they attributed it to data entry errors, where a code for one service was mis-entered as a code for a different one.

But my favourite quote comes from the authors of the original article (a letter, actually, to a British journal):

“We suspect that the numbers may, at least partly, reflect data errors.”

"At least partly?"  So 17,000 pregnant British men is newsworthy, but how about if there were 16,999 data errors and one pregnant British man?

Which brings me to my poll.

For my born-male readers (that's most of you)... if you could, would you want to give birth to a baby?  This assumes there's a way for you to pop out a little squalling infant.  Would you, even if that meant you had to be cut open so they could extract Junior?

I'm going to make an assumption here: if you want to give birth, you'll want to nurse the puppy too, so there's no "I'd love to have a baby but no way is she gonna latch on to my breast!" option.

I'm really curious to see what you write for this one!  Give it some thought.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Therapy the Fifth

I really have nothing to report, at least as pertains to the blog.

There was no t-content in the hour.  It was my wife's show; I barely said a word

The issues revolved around, mostly, my MiL, with whom my wife is having major issues right now.  We touched upon my mother, who my wife thinks I should be haviing issues with and doesn't understand why I don't.  Weird, huh?

Two little things:

I noticed last time that, as we leave, the therapist likes to put her hand on our shoulder, kind of guiding each of us out of the office.  So I made sure I was wearing a strappy camisole under my shirt.  Just to, you know, remind her why I'm there. :)


Why do I consistently type "therpaist"  when I mean "therapist?"  Almost every time, I have to go back and swap the p and a.  I don't know if this is a common finger misfire or not.  I know most UNIX gurus have a file that automatically changes grpe to grep (a common UNIX utility) because everyone seems to type grpe often enough that it's frustrating without the little hiccup-fixer.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


This stopped me in my tracks a few days ago.  I saw the subject first and thought it was from Zappos or Ideeli or something.

It was from my college son.

I half expected to find a note like:

Dad, I needed a shoebox and all of yours have pumps in them.  I was wondering why.

Instead, imagine my relief when I read:

I'm trying to find a pump that can pump chocolate and is pretty quiet.  Do you have any ideas?

He's doing some construction assist for a production of Willy Wonka and is trying to solve the problem of sailing through a chocolate stream.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Alas, It's Only Radio

The House Of Unspeakable Secrets
Anthology / Comedy / Horror
The House of Unspeakable secrets is a British program of comedy horror, presented in an anthology format.  Written by Earnest Dudley for British actor Leslie Phillips in 1967, the program was presented in eight parts.

I listened to this during my commute a couple of weeks ago.  It was far from horror; more like a detective or spy mystery.  And it the comedy was all of the wry British sort (subtle) ~ which I do enjoy.

Episode 5, Cold Blood, dealt with the hero, a hairdresser who's been pressed into service as a spy, being told he would need to dress as Marie Antoinette  for a fancy-dress ball.  He was adamantly against it, and they found a woman to take the role.

In episode 6, Behind the Mask, the lady injured her foot and the hero found himself without an alternative and he had to attend the party as Marie Antoinette after all.

And, as I said, alas, it's radio.  I love radio shows ~ drama, comedy, horror, variety ~ they're all fun.  Radio was called the "theatre of the mind."  Fred Allen referred to television as "theatre of the mindless."

Currently, I'm listening to a "Lights Out" episode, one of the many scary (well times have changed) radio shows.  I don't expect any t-content.

Are there any OTR (old time radio) fans out there?

By the way, it seems the whole series is available here.  But it wasn't very good.  Hey, there are good shows and bad shows.  I never know what's what until I listen.  But if you want a good show, grab a copy of Three Skeleton Key with Vincent Price.  No t-content.  But close your eyes and imagine the action as you see fit.  Then you might stay awake for a night or two afterwards.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Another "Deal" Site

I don't know about this site.  I've been getting ads popping up for them on my favourite comics website ~ I hope I'm being targetted!  I'd hate to think the average kid looking for Snoopy is going to get ads for this site!

Oh yeah....  It's called  The prices don't seem outrageous, and they have helpful sizing charts and information as well as some videos which I haven't looked at yet ~ the website seemed to be having trouble when I was writing this post.

While you're there, keep in mind that my birthday's in less than two months and it looks like my "waist reducing size" corset would be a 26.  Like everything else that we wear that goes over the waist and hips, the ratio is never quite right.

A quick tip: if you look at, say, the waist training corsets it's easy to separate the overbust from the underbust (per your preference): if the bust looks like the corset here, it's overbust.  If it looks like a halter top, it's an underbust corset.

I'd like to get a serious corset, along with a serious assistant to help me wear the darn thing.  I'll be checking this site for deals and maybe the perfect, irresistible corset.  And I'll still check my favourite site for All Things Crossdressing, GlamourBoutique.  I hope to visit one of their stores someday.  Someday soon.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Anyone Remember Her?

(first off, Happy Holiday!  I'd guess 90+% of my readers are celebrating one of the two major spring holidays, and I hope you're enjoying family no matter which way you lean.  And I hope you get to spruce up your spring outfit in some little hidden sort of way.)

I can't seem to shake this non-computer virus I've picked up.  All I have the energy for is one Keith Knight kartoon.  Keith does the K Kronicles, The Knight Life, and at least one other strip I can't recall the name of.  I had one of his cartoons in an earlier post ~ the only t-sorta cartoon I ever saw him do.  Maybe I should drop him a note and encourage him.

I have many strips that I saved on-line, and many others that I cut from the Funny Times (a great print monthly if you like to laugh.  Not so great if your politics lean right ~ the editor's politics lean left).

This one's about a local girl who made headlines a while back and was the subject of a Tom Paxton song!

Friday, April 6, 2012

HE's Caught Now!

 Just being silly today. And REALLY stretching the "CD cartoon" concept!

Bras for the One Percent

I wanted to get a bra in the size suggested by the wonderful ladies in Alice Rae's in Tucson, as I wrote about here.  She said I might want to try a 36D instead of 38C.  I wanted to get a 36C and a 36D, to kind of hedge my bets.  The problem, as many of us know, is that bras are expensive.

Macy's had bras and panties on clearance.  I had a little time after work to shop.  The ad in the paper said bras were $6.99 ($9.99 after the sale) and panties were $2.99 ($3.99 after the sale).  Another newspaper ad implied that the sale would go on through the weekend, but the ad I was looking at said "last day" and it was today's newspaper and I wouldn't be able to shop until the next day.

Even $9.99 was a good price.

I looked around and found the clearance rack.  On the way there were a lot of "buy two, get two free" but I didn't need four bras, especially at $30+ each.  I saw some "buy one, get one free" but they weren't in a style I thought I could support (HA!).

So I looked at the clearance rack.

Did you know they make "E" bras?  There was one on the rack: 32E.  Yes, 32.

There were 36A, 32DDD, 44B, and "Medium" and "Small," whatever they were.

No two bras were alike.  I thought I was shopping for snowflakes.  And no bra was one the average woman would wear.  I admit, I did want to meet the woman who said "YES!  A 32DDD!  Just my size!" :)

Padded bras, bras with inserts, demi bras, full coverage bras, soft bras, sports bras, underwire bras, all in sizes I didn't know existed.  I think if you took 100 random women and said "here's the clearance rack.  Find your bra" one would come away with a prize.

The other 99% of us are, as usual, out of luck.

I ignored the panty rack, but I did see that Vanity Fair, in my favourite style, were on sale: buy three for $24, get three free.  $4 a pair is a great buy.

I was very tempted.  If I found a bra (or two) I would have stocked up.  But, alas, I am not one of the one percent.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Therapy the Sick

The family's been sick last week.  I picked it up Tuesday morning and had to skip the therapy session.  We'll have one next week and then take a scheduled week off.

In the interim, we discussed my dress-up time and opportunities a bit.  Interestingly, several weeks ago she mentioned that she'd like for me to have more Meg days.  I reminded her of this during a discussion a couple of days ago and she had no memory of this at all.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sharon and Cynthia ~ Removing the Dam Polish!

Click to see The Big Picture

First, let me say I loved my manicure.  My nails have never looked so good, ever.
I had an uneventful drive home, and, as it was late, I didn't stay Meg very long.  I was trying to decide if I should take off my polish that night, or wait until the next morning.  I decided, since I didn't know how much time I'd have in the morning, I had better do it that night.

After removing my other clothes and makeup I put on my nightgown and started looking for nail polish remover.

I couldn't find any.  I knew I had some.  I thought I knew I had some.  Or maybe I knew I thought I had some.

I did have some, but I didn't know which bag or box it was in, and, as I said, it was late.  I was pretty sure I knew where my wife's remover was ~ under her bathroom sink.  I knew this because of the many times I had to remove everything from the vanity so I could remove the trap and retrieve a contact lens or an earring.

I hoped it was the acetone remover.  It worked so much better than the "gentler" one.

I found the remover.  It was the "regular" formula (acetone ~ yay!).  There was about a half-bottle.  That was enough.

I'm no expert, but here's what I do:

I put some remover in the cap.
I put a finger in the cap.
I wait fifteen or thirty seconds.
I remove the finger (from the cap, not from my person).
I rub the nail and most of the polish comes off.

I do all ten nails, then I tackle bits of polish in the cuticles with a q-tip dipped in remover.

Total time: ten minutes.  Fifteen minutes tops.

I admired the beautiful job she did ~ my nails looked perfect.  I wanted to keep the polish until it came off on its own.  I was so tempted to do that.  I knew I couldn't.  I imagined what my son would say the next day and how I couldn't explain it, really.  I imagined what the people at work would say.  That I could work through, but I didn't think I was ready for.

I put some remover in the cap.
I put my left thumb in the cap.
I waited maybe fifteen seconds.
I removed my finger (yes, from the cap).
I sadly rubbed my nail to remove the polish.

I looked at my thumbnail.  Not a drop had come off.  It was as perfect and shiny as it was a minute ago.  So I added one more step:

I panicked.

I grabbed a small metal nail file and started scraping the top layer off ~ I figured there was something in the top coat that was resistant to the remover.  I scratched it a bit (and I scratched my nail too) and tried again.  I now had a shiny red scratched nail.

I tried a couple of other brute-force things and then stopped panicking.

I went downstairs with my near-perfect nails and started googling.  I don't remember exactly what ~ "nail polish won't come off" "removing stubborn nail polish" ~ and I started wondering what I was going to say to the kid in the morning.

I found out about gel nail polish: you put on a coat, then "bake" it in with a UV light.  Bake in each coat and it is on to stay.  That sounds like what I was wearing.

Panic returned.

One of the sites said "do-it-yourself gel nail kits, usually include a remover."  OK, I can go to the CVS with my bright red nails in the morning and see if they have a gel remover.  But I still didn't know when the family would be home so I'd prefer to take care of this tonight.

More than one of the sites said "gel nails stay on for about two weeks and then you must remove the polish completely before putting on a new coat."  At least they had the hopeful words "remove the polish completely" as if this was a possibility.  I read on.

I work with computer problems.  Often, I'll find the same solution to the same problem over and over again with some others offered as well.  Usually, the common solution is not the best ("recycle the computer") and I have to figure out which of the uncommon solutions is the right one ("delete the registry key HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\Word\Templates") and which are stupid ("remove the CPU and rotate it 90 degrees").

So I looked at some different solutions and found one that was Just Crazy Enough To Work.

Ten minutes later, I had five strips of aluminum foil lying on the vanity.  I had others wrapped around each finger of my left hand.  Under each layer of foil was a cotton ball I had soaked in nail polish remover.

It looked like my fingers were growing into silver bananas.

I don't know WHY I didn't take a picture!  Dam dam dam panicky feelings.

I can still see in my mind's eye how weird my fingers looked.  I wish I could show you all.

The final bit of the formula: wait fifteen MINUTES (not seconds) and rub off the polish with an orange stick (HA!  got one!).

The soaked cotton for fifteen minutes was the key.  The foil was to keep the remover from evaporating and hold them onto multiple fingers.  I suppose I could have poured the remover in a bowl and sat with my fingers in it for fifteen minutes, but this way I could sort of do something while my fingers were soaking.  And I could crumple and toss each foil ball so I didn't have the remover smell in the bathroom.  Or I could have soaked each finger for fifteen minutes, but it was already after 1AM and that would stretch this exercise out to about three hours.

It worked.  I needed to go over a couple of fingers a second time, I needed to use the wooden stick to scrape off the polish in some spots, I used the metal file in some other spots, but it worked.

And my fingernails were now officially a mess.  They won't take a buff, they have gouges from my first attempts and from when the manicurist scuffed up my nails.

They still have the nice shape she cut them in to: flatish top, curved corners.  It's very subtle, unless you're looking for it.  And I am.  And, even ten days later, I do.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sharon and Cynthia ~ We're Having a Party!

It's another day and I still don't know what to write when I meet someone.

It's A Trick!
Cynthia is tall, slim, pretty.  Her current situation is sad but typical.  We were at her new apartment because she's currently separated from her wife and two young children.

(Honest, Cynthia is as much taller than me as I am taller than Sharon.  It's just the camera angle.  I don't know why, but I didn't take more pictures.  I should have.  Next time, I shall.)

Cynthia had spoken to some women about coming over for a little housewarming and then opened that invitation to a local meetup group.  Sharon knows Cynthia, and said she'd come with a couple of friends (I was one).

BUT the other woman we spoke to (who also knows Sharon ~ I think she knows everyone) couldn't make it.  I certainly understand.  It takes that perfect storm to get me out of the house dressed, and it happens too rarely.

When we arrived at Cynthia's we were late (but not terribly late).  Cynthia was dressed to party.  Sharon brought in a dress to change into.  I had a different dress in my car, and if there was a group I probably would have changed.

But the other women all begged out for one reason or another.  So the party was Cynthia, Sharon, me, music, and some wine.

I felt bad that the party wound up being a little gabfest, but it meant I got to know Cynthia and Sharon better.

I planned on staying an hour.  Again, it was just hard to leave.  Sharon is fun, and Cynthia is fascinating.

So far, I'm proud to say I never met a t-girl I didn't like.  We all have different stories, different pasts, different preferences, and a common bond that's stronger than blood.  Cynthia, Sharon, Vanessa, Dorothy, Erin, Joannie, and the other girls I've left out ~ I have enjoyed every minute of our time together!  And SOMEDAY I will meet Diane, up in New York!

And I think we have a project: Sharon wanted to meet at a mainstream place.  We're alike there.

Cynthia hasn't been out yet, except with t-groups.

She needs to get out!  No doubt.  I think she's ready for that big step, and I think she'd love it.  She's very outgoing and I think she'd be outstanding at helping civilians see that we're pretty much normal people.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sharon and Cynthia ~ Dinner

I never know what to write when I meet someone.  Someday, I'll meet someone and think, "why did I ever agree to meet her?  That was a mistake!"  But all of the girls I've met as Meg have been wonderful.  Sharon kept my streak alive.  And Cynthia didn't disappoint; I'll come to her soon.

I'll start by saying I am SO jealous of Sharon.  She's 5 foot 2 ~ she gets to shop in the 'petite' department.  She has a reasonable shoe size.  I think she said 8-1/2.  I admit, if my foot was smaller I'd have less money and less closet space because there are so many shoes I could not resist.  More than once, I've been in a store like The Shoe Dept and been thankful I didn't wear just one size smaller because I'd break the bank.

And she's pretty and passable and has a supportive wife.

AND she went up to Keystone last week: four days as Sharon.  Wow.  Just... Wow.  Maybe I can get her to write a little recap.

As we chatted over a Thai dinner, we discovered we had met once before, at Kim's private tg clothing swap.

We met around 7:30 and Cynthia's house party was to start at 7.  I wrote in advance to introduce myself and say we'd probably be there around 8:30.  We were way late and, Cynthia, I'm sorry we were so late but we were having a nice conversation and enjoying good food and, well, you know how girls can be.

We finally got the cheque, asked the waitress to take a couple of pictures (one is above), and headed to our respective parking lots and drove to Cynthia's.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Now This Is Just SIlly

Remember to be skeptical today ~ it's April Fools Day.

I know I've featured The Duplex before, most recently here, but yesterday's was just so silly I had to do it again.  Here's yesterday's:

and here are some recent ones that made my day: