Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Back In the Closet

by choice though.  Allow me to explain.

I've spent a lot of time over the past few days trying to settle into my new furniture.  I'm trying to only use the dresser for now.  (You can see the chest in the picture.)  Before, I had socks, underwear, t-shirts, each in their own drawer.  Socks and undies took three drawers actually.  The other drawers had pjs, sweaters, other miscellaneous stuff like bathing suits.

Here, I put sweaters, pjs, and bathing suits in a box and put them in a storage area.  I don't plan to wear them.

I then took all of the boxes and bags out of my closet where they hid so the furniture movers could work freely.  The result is in the picture at the top of this post.   The shirt boxes have lingerie.  The newspaper bags contain shoes.

My new dresser has six drawers.  That would work for my previous closet-based life, but now....  In addition to panties, socks, and t-shirts I have slips, bras, shaping garments, camisoles, tights, stockings, pantyhose....  It's nice ~ no, it's wonderful ~ to have everything in its place, but there's Too Much Stuff.

Part of the problem: I probably need a couple of dozen pair of panties.  That would let me wear a fresh pair daily for three weeks but I have sixty or seventy pair.  I have between 10 and 20 pair of tights.  I have 50+ pair of socks (if I include men's socks, which I'm phasing out).  Add in stockings, pantihose, thigh-highs and I don't have to do laundry for a season.  My wife has a few bras, probably fewer than a half-dozen.  I have a couple of dozen, but I like and wear my favourite three or four.

The result is an overflowing, stuffed dresser.

So it's time to backtrack.  I'm going to find some right-sized boxes (maybe shoe boxes for most of the items) and leave a few pair of pantyhose (black, nude, taupe), a selection of panties and socks and such in my dresser.  The rest will go in boxes in the closet.  Not because they have to be there, but because they belong there.  There is a huge difference.  My dresser will have a full complement of Things That Are Always Different: slips in different lengths, colours, styles and camisoles for instance.

It's a little more work this way, but I think I'll enjoy the result.

I'm learning.  I think I could use a mentor.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Matter of Timing

Meg will not be answering the door, frightening moms and kids alike.  The problem is, I can't get out of work until 3 at the earliest.  By the time "Meg" would be ready, it would be around 5, and most of the younger children would probably have knocked on the door while I was unable to answer.  It's more important (and fun) to me to hand candy and see what the kids are wearing than to be Meg on one particular night.

update: I wrote that about five days ago.  Since then, management has handed around a note strongly suggesting that the kids come to the building Halloween party tonight instead of knocking on doors tomorrow.  I think that is dumb, but I'm not in charge here.  I will suggest that, if, as they say, "many residents do not want people knocking on their doors," they could hand out a little door sticker ~ a pumpkin or black cat or witch or something ~ that people could put on their door to say "I have candy!"  That would also allow residents to shut down when they ran out: just remove the sticker.

further: blogspot decided this was a draft and didn't post it today.  I'm sorry if everyone thought I was lost in a sea of darkness.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy, The Aurora Is Rising Behind Us

I know this isn't a twitter account, but I'm going to update this post periodically during the day, at least once every couple of hours.  So if you see three or more hours go by without an update, it probably means power is out.

I'd love to hear from my friends on the east coast ~ comment, or send me an e-mail and I'll add you to the next update.

Mon, 7am: If you take a look at the National Hurricane Center site, you can see that the storm is not expected to make landfall for another 18 or 20 hours.  It will probably north of me but pretty close.  It's really pretty far out over the ocean right now, but it's a huge storm.  It's fairly rainy here; I wouldn't want to be outside.  And it's has clearly gotten worse in just the hour I've been up.  Wind is picking up; I can hear it beating the rain into the windows pretty much non-stop.  If I just woke up in the pre-mass communication days, I'd say "bad storm" and think nothing much of it.  Local schools are closed, today and tomorrow.  The federal government is closed today; since I work in a federal office, I'm on a forced vacation today.  Subways and commuter trains and buses are not running.  Stores are out of bottled water and other staples.  I don't panic in storms, but they can be scary and I'm a bit concerned at how bad conditions are when the storm is so far away.  I think I'll have breakfast before my choices are limited to cold cereal. :)

Mon, 9am: conditions are about the same.  Daylight is coming slowly ~ it seemed to be nighttime dark much later than usual.  I've turned up the heat in the apartment, so if power goes out it'll stay warm longer.  The big difference between this and a typical hurricane is, it's cool outside, with a cold wind.  I don't see any damage, but it's still not bad out there.

Mon, 10am: the rain must be lighter than it feels.  Lots of cars have intermittent wipers on.  The wind has become quite a bit gustier than an hour ago.  It's beating against my window, although the trees don't seem to be bending as much as they were earlier today.  I'll continue with this morning's task: moving clothing around and listening to the Grateful Dead.

Mon, 11am: Lauren in New England said the conditions are about the same as here.  The rain just started coming down in sheets.  A few minutes ago I noticed wipers were intermittent or slow; now no-one's trying to get away with intermittent.  11:30: I stepped onto the patio because, mixed in with the rain, I see large whitish drops which, if it was colder, I would swear were large, wet snowflakes.  On the patio, all I saw was water droplets coming down from the overhang.  But I am certain there are some large wet snowflakes mixed in here!  It's in the mid-40s temperature-wise, so I don't get it.  But there's definitely some snow!  Yesterday, either CNN or the Weather Channel had a reporter on-site in Asbury Park.  They mentioned that it's "Bruce Springsteen's home" (not exactly ~ he was born in Long Branch) but ignored the "4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy)" connection.  Them boys in their high heels, ah, Sandy, their skins are so white.

Mon, 12:15pm: I don't have the same priorities as most people around here.  Stores, as I have said, are out of staples and batteries.  There are lines waiting to buy generators.  My car is pretty full which means at least 300 miles of driving before I have to worry about gas stations being without power.  I have a couple of flashlights here, but I don't even know where they are and I don't have spare batteries.  I can go to sleep from sunset to sunrise, if necessary.  I charged everything with USB ports and batteries so I can keep my phone charged, although I can do that in my car in a pinch.  I kept making ice for the past few days and have a freezer full.  That means I'm using more electricity now to keep it frozen but I should be able to save food if power's out for a day or two.  I have a small ice chest for the same purpose.  The ice will also serve as water in case there's a problem.  There's never been one where I've lived in the past so I didn't join the line buying up water bottles by the case.  I have fruit, vegetables, and I bought some cold cereal and lunch meats in case I can't cook.  In the last big storm, many people were without power for a week.  I was out for two days.  I think I can survive without resorting to cannibalism.  That's a good thing, since I'm the only one here.

Mon, 1:20pm: it's suddenly lighter all around: the wind is lighter, the rain is lighter, the sky is lighter.  If it wasn't for the giant metal tripods storming above the treetops, destroying everything with beams of light I'd feel like the worst is over. :)  Now that I wrote that, power just glitched several times.  If you read this, you'll know my internet stayed up. :)

Mon, 1:30pm: the power glitches mean it's time to implement Emergency Procedure 14-A: put on coffee.

Mon, 2:45pm: another glitch or two, but not even long enough to reset clocks on equipment.  And I am not going to set clocks until this is all over!  There are lots of little flakes but overwhelmingly it's moderate rain and gusty wind.  I am going through boxes of stuff I moved here and I did find my dead battery holders (flashlights to you).  They're working perfectly, keeping my dead batteries safe and dry.

Mon, 4:20pm: wet, with a twist: it seems the carpet in each bedroom is wet under the window.  Something is leaking.  The walls are OK, but the carpet is wet.  Because the storm is to the northeast and rotates counter-clockwise, I get mostly northern winds.  My windows are all north-facing so the rain is blowing right into that wall.  I'll continue to keep an eye on the weather and especially the rugs, but I don't think we'll have serious damage in the DC area.  They are still predicting worsening conditions overnight.  And the federal government is closed again tomorrow, so I have less money and more time to clean this place up.

Mon, 5:40pm: not much change.  The wind is whipping, the rain is falling but I've seen worse.  And the newspaper website didn't open the storm story with 470,000 without power in the region  so I guess it's not too bad out there.  Yet.  My problem: I have a hard time when I can't go outdoors during a day.  I really want to get out of here for a bit!  Instead, I had an early dinner, and yay! power stayed on while I was cooking.  I haven't heard from my kids if power is on in their respective living places, but, again, it seems like it's mostly OK, at least so far.

Mon, 6:50pm: the wind is getting worse.  And this place definitely would benefit from storm windows.  I just lowered and closed all of the blinds for the first time, to try to keep the chill out.  I also found some moisture below the den window, but I think that's because there's a lot of vapor on the inside of the window.  I wiped it down and we'll see.

Mon, 7:50pm: it's hard to see what's going on now that it's dark and most of the windows are fogged up on the inside and drenched on the outside.  It sounds quite windy, and I finally decided to put on a pair of pants and a shirt (instead of the top and skirt I've been wearing) and go downstairs to check my mail and to gaze upon the world.  It's still there.  It does seem like we're getting a pale shadow of points north.  I'm sure my creek is flooded, but a friend who's very close to the south shore of Long Island is probably underwater, or watching the water levels closely.  He said power was acting up, and roads near his house were flooded.  Continuing with my beat-the-outage strategy, I'm going to take an early shower.  I have no windows in my bathrooms here.  I hope all of you northeast ladies are doing all right!

Mon, 9:10pm: the wind is getting worse.  The rain doesn't sound horribly hard, but it's being belted against my windows.  The ceiling in the bathroom is making an unnerving creaking sound.  One of my other on-line friends said he lost his kitchen addition and an eighty foot oak fell on his neighbor's car.  No-one was hurt.  I'm not sure where he's located.  Lauren in New England said her power was out but her generator was on.  Other friend reports show mostly scary conditions.

Mon, 10:10pm: I know I'm focussing on power.  That's obviously not the most important thing, but it's the first symptom of other problems.  Power lines are above ground here and trees have a habit of overgrowing the lines and snapping them.  A friend on Long Island reported his side and back yards are flooded and he heard an explosion ~ a transformer came down in a shower of sparks.  Anyway, power is still on both here and at my house, although I've been getting little "brownouts" where the lights all dim for several seconds but they've always come back on.  I'm running the dishwasher, hoping I'll at least have clean dishes if I'm offline for a bit.  The wind is really strong now.  My patio is set back maybe 8 or 10 feet from the front of the building but I still hear rain rapping against the patio door.  The creaks I heard in the bathroom seem to have spread, but I'm sure it's nothing.  And why does that sound like a "famous last word?" :)  So I'm going to bed now.  I have a post scheduled for the morning, and I'll update or post throughout the day if I can and if anything's going on.  Otherwise, I'll just post a little "still here" every so often.  Good night, all.  Stay warm and dry.

Tue, 6:40am: We're done.  It's cool, wet, and quiet outside.  I woke to the roaring sound of... nothing.  I'll go explore once it's light out.  I was hoping to wait until it got warmer, but it's about 40 now and I think that'll be about as warm as it gets today.

Vanity, Thy Name Is

Something like this
I have got to get a full-length mirror.  I was thinking of one that goes on the back of the door, but then I have to find a door with some distance in front of it so I can step back from it.  The updated apartments here have mirrored folding doors on the closets, but mine does not.

So I'm thinking of a standing mirror.  It's more expensive but it can move as my furniture does.  And it can come with me.  The hanging mirror would probably stay when I moved on.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Waiting for the Storm

The current forecast is for Sandy to do some real damage, but further north than me.  I'm in Northern Virginia, where power goes out if four people sneeze at the same time, so I may be off the air at some point in the next few days.  We should be fine though ~ send your warm wishes and good vibes to my neighbors to the north ~ Marian, Dani, Diane, Gwen, Stana....  Be sure charge up everything that can charge your phone, and to stock up on candles, batteries, non-perishable food you don't have to cook, makeup (hey, you might have some practice time)....

Until then, there's time for a good laugh.  And for a good laugh, I can always count on the McCoy brothers.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Interpreting Signs

Pickings have been slim lately.  I have plenty of older comics, but until I organise everything I can't be sure I'm not posting a cartoon I've already posted.

These are recent and "cd-ish."  The lack of good CD comics could mean that trans-people are no longer considered funny.  We're just people.  Or it could mean we're completely off the radar of the funny folk and not even worth thinking about, even as humour targets.  Like any good sign, it can be interpreted to mean anything you want it to.

So there's this Herb and Jamaal, the last strip I'd ever expect to see actual crossdressing in, which means it would be funnier because it's less expected.  When someone is telling a joke, the audience is trying to come up with the punchline.  It's automatic.  The best punchlines are the ones that are so unexpected the reader/listener is thinking "ha!  I know something funny she could write/say" and the next line is quite different.  (Hey, I've studied this stuff!):

Working It Out, below, is a horrid strip.  I'm just too lazy to pull it from my daily comics page so I read it.  The jokes are mostly visual puns and the jokes are not much better than when the Family Circus does a "Jeffy did this week's strips" strip.  That's not true.  I think they're not better than....

This joke stinks too, but it puts a man and purse in a work environment, and I'm actively looking to emulate.  And it looks more like a courier bag.  I'm really looking for a tote.

And the Meaning of Lila is one of my favourite strips.  I've presented Lila several times in the past and I'm sure I will again.  Here she's just trying to be nice to Yet Another Friend who's her age and getting married.  Lila is still single.

Boyd, her friend, is trying to coach her in being properly congratulatory.

Friday, October 26, 2012

40% Off! W00T!

I now have a bedroom set.  That means I have furniture with surfaces.  Given my normal slob tendencies, the surfaces will be covered with flotsam and jetsam* and my apartment will start on an inexorable slide toward mess.

That's the old me.  Whether I stay here, or move back or on, I want that part gone.  I decided that I'm going to iterate the goal I mentioned yesterday of getting rid of 50% of my miscellany: once I get rid of half, I'm going to start again.

I stopped in Sears to look for a few things.  I didn't find anything I liked except for this jewelry box.  $65 and 40% off.

One more girl item gets put where it belongs and I think I'll be smiling more when I walk into my bedroom.

I think a makeup organiser is next.

* I know I'm misusing the terms.  Mea culpa.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I Am Looking Forward to Today

In the couple of weeks I've been in the apartment, I've had good days, I've had bad days, I've had good days with bad parts.  I haven't had a bad day with good parts.

I've done a lot of thinking, I've done some reviewing of notes I've written over the past nine or so months, when I started looking at my life and seeing what was wrong.

I've done some crying, which is something I do so rarely that it was one of my wife's complaints ~ she said "I've never seen you cry."  I thought that was a bizarre complaint, but many of her criticisms were, I thought, bizarre.  That's all I'll say on that.

I've also done a lot of physical work.  I really did move suddenly.  I think I kept the idea in the back of my mind that I'd never take this step, and, to that end, I never took the smart intermediate steps of culling my junk.  I'm a bit of a packrat.  OK, I'm a lot of a packrat.  I'm not going to appear on hoarders ~ I've had clients who Need Professional Help: either an organiser or an arsonist.  Seriously.  That's not me, but I have a hard time throwing things away.  I'm going to re-read that book, I swear, or maybe the kids (who's taste is 180 degrees away from mine) will.  I'm going to sort those 1000 photos.  I'm going to need the shelf of range extenders/print servers/motherboards someday.  Honest.  I need that souvenir of Oktoberfest that I haven't looked at in 20+ years and don't even have a place to put it.  Same for those magazines (and I have a special place in my heart for that one from the month I was born).

So I've been moving things and tossing things and keeping things I know I should toss.  But I'll toss them.  My original goal was to toss a pile as large as the one I kept but then I ran into things like boxes of video and audio tapes.  I want to watch some of the videos and play most of the audios before I toss them, so they'll go but not right away.  And so on.  I am affirming "I am no longer a packrat.  I do not need anything that I can't wear or eat."  And I want that to be my baseline.  It's not, but it's a goal.

But that's not what I wanted to write about today.

I am looking forward to today.  My bedroom furniture arrives. 

I have various boxes in the bedroom, small boxes labelled "socks," "panties," "bras" and so on.  After the furniture guys leave, they'll all live in their own drawers.

I feel like I've taken a real step out of the closet and into the world.

I chose the set mostly because of the price and, well, the price.  It was available in dark wood and this washed finish.  I went with the washed, just to get something different than I've had in the past.  The first comment I received when it was shown was "Wow, that's Feminine!"  (Was she right?  I really didn't notice.)  I hadn't considered that, but it's a huge plus.  And a small minus.  Civilians (including my kids) will visit.  And if they comment on the feminine look, I'll explain why I bought it: price.

Anyway, I expect to be busy and happy tonight.  Too bad my mattress won't be here for another week.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Day Without...

I have three things:

1. some topics to write about
(b) boxes all over the floor in the master bedroom
III - furniture arriving Thursday.


That wasn't shouting so much as frantic activity.  And so far, my fantasy of what this apartment should look like is exactly that.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Not The Toes!

There's a hobby group I belong to.  It started as a Usenet group and became a listserv when they became available.  They have an annual convention and I've attended a few times, although not in the past couple of years.

The list moved last spring ~ the old list sort of died and there is a new list where most of the members migrated.  I joined them, but as Meg.

Many of the other members are a lot more serious about this hobby than I am.  They do great work, and produce product at an alarming rate.  What this means is, I don't have a lot to contribute to the list.  But I posted about some oddities I found, and to ooh and aah over some of the pictures others have posted, or links others have found.  My male self is completely off the lists.

I planned to attend the convention this year, as Meg.  It was last Saturday and I thought the timing was a bit of a problem but certainly doable.

Remember when I wanted to go to the VA Democratic convention as Meg and I was blindsided by The Return of the Ingrown Toenail.  I couldn't put on a pair of nice shoes and I attended in my traditional role instead.

Sunday, the week before the convention, was my first full day in my apartment.  I set up my computer on my desk, same as it's always been.

As I walked around the apartment in slippers or socks, I noticed the wood floor was kind of slippery.  I almost fell a couple of times and was worried about the irony of seriously injuring myself on the first day I don't have any sort of support nearby.  So the slippers and socks came off.

I sat at my desk, answering e-mails and then pushed the chair back so I could get up.  I put my foot on the floor and pushed back.  The chair casters were sideways and didn't turn so the chair didn't roll back ~ it p-u-s-h-e-d back, not easily.  My foot had less traction than the wheels and instead of the chair sliding back my foot flew forward.  Apparently, I tried to punt the desk out the window.  That didn't quite work, but the little piggie who had roast beef came to an abrupt stop against the metal leg of the desk.

I think Thalia, my muse, guides me.  She smooths my way when Meg goes out, and she helps me in many ways.  I really believe this, weird as it may sound.  She also tells me, in no uncertain terms, that I should not go out.  She does little things to make my trip less comfortable, and that's how I grow.  For instance, I shouldn't have flown on that hot July day ~ it was above my maximum outdoor temperature.  But I did, and it was great.  But when wants to stop me, she stops me, and her favourite weapon is my toes.  That little piggie is broken.  NO convention for me.  I'm not sure if I'll be doing any Halloween things this weekend.

We'll see.  I'm staying away from anvils and pianos.  One of them may fall out of the sky and land on a toe.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Last Night When I Walked Into My Bathroom, I Stepped In a Big Pile Of...

Shaving Cream!  Be Nice and Clean!  Shave every day and you'll always be keen.

Does anyone remember Benny Bell?

I generally shave my face every second day.  I don't look perfect on day two, but I look OK.  If I have a meeting, or have to spend time with a customer I change the pattern and shave.

Last week, I didn't shave Thursday.  I took off Friday to move so I skipped shaving.  I skipped Saturday and Sunday as well.

Sunday night, I wanted to take care of my upper body as best I could.  That meant face, neck, shoulders, back of neck, arms, underarms, chest.  I use a combination of my electric and hand razors.  And I left the cord to my electric at the house.

Not a problem.  I had an extra blade or two and several cans of shaving gel that I picked up at various times.  Some were women's gel, some were men's gels.

Sometimes, I use them, sometimes I don't.

Sometimes, I think they are a good and useful product.  Sometimes, I think they merely mark where you've shaved so you don't miss a spot.

I decided to start by using up any men's product.  I wet my left arm and shoulder, chose a can, shook it, and applied the gel to said arm, where it foamed into a nice soapy covering.  I shaved and started to repeat the process on my right arm and shoulder.  I shook the can and pushed the button and the can proceeded to hissssss and a jet of gel came out of the BOTTOM of the can.

The can was small and maybe half full, but it proceeded to hiss and sputter and spit for a long time.  I put water in the sink and the can in the water, to keep soap from covering the room.

I had noticed the little rubber stopper in the bottom of the can but I can't recall shaving gel ever doing this before!

When it stopped hissing I put the cover back on and put it down on the sink vanity unside down.  The result is what you see here.  This was taken three days later, and then it was tossed in the trash.

I did grab another can and finish what I started.  Shaving and a show!  This was a new experience and one I hope I don't repeat.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Deja Viewing?

Not really.  But I was looking at the cartoons that I really enjoyed last week and the ones that just about made me fall off my chair were the ones from Dave Blazek.  So here are a few more Loose Parts (and remember to click on each to make them more readable):

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Turnabout is Fair Play

Before getting to today's funny, an anonymous reader strongly suggested I not answer the door at Halloween as Meg.   I expect to be kind of out at the apartment, and the audience will be mostly moms, taking around their young kids.  If they seem uncomfortable I can break my "no story" rule and apologetically say I'm going to a costume party.  I'm not sure what they'll think if the see me dressed in the future.

This was on a site called humorswitch ~ in spite of the name, it's not all jokes about, um, gender switch or anything like that.

Anyway, I never look at it this way.  And if I repeat this (and I probably will) I'll want something stronger than the "I believed."

The comment reminds me of a Steven Wright  bit where he says he found his diary from when he was born: "Day one.  Still upset about the move.  Day two.  Everyone talks to me like I'm an idiot."

Friday, October 19, 2012

Comfort Level

Last Sunday, my first day in the new apartment, I put on a skirt and top and a little girlpadding and I did a good day's work.  I spent some introspective time, thinking about my present and future.  I emptied boxes, trying to split evenly between putting and throwing things away (or freecycling).  I watched the news, made my meals, listened to some music, answered e-mails, checked my daily web sites, and so on.  Other than how I was dressed, it was a typical day-in-the-life.

It wasn't always thus.

Many years ago, before I started going out, I would dress around the house.  My goal: change into women's clothing and either do a specific task that needed doing, or just do my normal routine. 

It never worked out.

I would dress and be distracted by the clothes, by the feel, by the hair, and I would do pretty much... nothing, except be dressed.  This happened many times: I would tell myself, I'm going to change and then work on a software project, or do some cleaning, or catch up on my reading, and I'd do...

It was weird.  I'm not self-unaware.  I knew what I did last time and said, by golly, it'll be different this time!  Except it wasn't.  It was always the same.

I don't know when it changed.  I think it was after I started going out.  At some point, a switch was thrown and I went from guy-in-drag to guy-who-happens-to-be-in-drag.

I like this better.  I mean, it's more comfortable AND more productive.

Have any of you had similar experiences?  I wonder if this is common, like purging.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

She Said What?

Jamie made a pointed comment on my blog the other day.  I was writing about how I'm taking advantage of my new living arrangement, and she seemed astonished that with all that's going on in my life, all I seem to care about is "the clothes."

Jamie, my life is not all about the clothes.  But this blog is about my trip towards femininity, coming out, going out, shopping, living my t-life as best I can.  And yes, it's about the clothes.

As I mentioned, I'm going to limit my "real life" to one day a week at most ~ probably Thursday.  I have lots of rules.  I won't be airing dirty laundry.  I won't be badmouthing, nor complaining about, my wife.  She can't tell her side and it wouldn't be fair for me to just give mine.  When I do write about the marriage, separation, future, I try (and will continue to try) to be evenhanded and factual.

And, again, the blog IS partly about the clothes.  I am looking for happiness and joy (not the same thing) and I am looking forward to going to my dresser and opening a drawer and pulling out a bra, a slip, some hose.  NO boxes hiding in the closet.  I want to pick out a pair of shoes by looking at what I have, not digging through shoeboxes where they used to hide.  I want to get a couple of "wig heads" to leave my wigs on ~ the way they're supposed to be.  These are things I've never had, and that, I think, will bring me joy.  They're all small things, but important to me, to my self-image, and maybe to my happiness.

And interestingly, Gwen wrote about much the same thing a couple of days ago.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yes, I'm An Idiot

After work yesterday, I did some furniture shopping.  As I usually do after work, I take off my gloss and replace it with lipstick and clear (glossier) gloss.  I've been doing this if I'm going anywhere but straight home.  At the house, I removed it before getting home.  Now, I leave it on.  I thought it was a tad glossier than usual today, but deemed it OK.

I arrived at my apartment to find a note: I had a package (a gift from a girlfriend!).  So I went downstairs to the office to pick it up.

So far, I have only seen two people in the office: the manager and a saleswoman.  Today, there was someone different looking through a file cabinet, her back to me.  The saleswoman is a blonde; she had dark hair.

When she turned around, she seemed surprised to see me.  I do have a habit of sneaking up on people and if they say something about being surprised I generally say "it's this face.  It scares everyone" but she just said "oh.  Hi."  I said "I think you have a package for me."  She asked if I had a slip.  Yes, several, in different colours and lengths.  I don't have any with me though.

Instead I said "I generally don't wear a slip."  She laughed and emphasised it with "I liked your joke" which I thought was odd.  She asked for my name and apartment and I told her.  As she was filling out the book so I could sign I said "and if I was wearing a slip I wouldn't show you."  There's a thin line between jokes and lies, isn't there?

Two takeaways: she was very familiar to me.  I can't imagine where I would have known her from.  She had what I would call a "nervous demeanour," and maybe it's just a type that I recognised and not a person.  She said she was just "helping out" so I probably won't see her again.

Also, did I mention I was doing the "slip" jokes while I thought I was wearing too much lip colour and gloss?  I don't think anyone sees what they don't expect.  I think I could wear my forms and not be noticed because, well, guys don't have breasts so I didn't see them.  I'm not going to do that experiment, by the way.

And one aside: I took a little break at work and wrote three posts, to cover the rest of the week.  And I left the file at work.  I can't easily move files from or to my work computer.  I have to use e-mail and I'm apparently not in the habit of mailing myself any notes and such at the end of the day.  Oh well.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

You Will Be Assimilated

Before I moved, I started my newspaper subscription at my new address.  I used the name "Meg Winters."  This is no big deal ~ I requested electronic billing so no-one's going to see Meg's name anywhere, except the billing department and the delivery guy.

But last night, I also changed my Amazon address, and set it up under the name "Meg Winters."  This means packages that come here will be addressed to Meg.  I wonder if the people in the office will wonder if the guy who wears lipstick/gloss is also Meg.  To be honest, I don't care.

I also understand that kids trick-or-treat in the building.  When I was growing up, my friends and I always did.  I'm thinking Meg will answer the door that night.

You Will Be Assimilated

Before I moved, I added a Washington Post subscription for my new apartment.  I did it under the name of "Meg Winters."

That's not really risky.  The bill will come electronically to Meg's yahoo account, and the paper just gets dropped at the door.  If the carrier has a name, they don't have any other information to go with it.  By the way, I pick up my newspaper before getting dressed, which means I open the door in my nightie.

But I also decided to add this address to my Amazon account.  Amazon lets you use a different credit card and name so it is now listed as "Meg Winters."

That means now I'll get packages and mail addressed to "Meg Winters."  I know the postal person won't know, but packages go to the office.  The people there know me already (I am a pain).  I'll be picking up packages for Meg.

I'm not sure what I'll say, but NO STORIES.  Maybe they'll figure the guy who wears lipstick and gloss is Meg sometimes.  Maybe not.

I don't plan to hide from the neighbors.  I'm not going to introduce myself with "hi.  If you see a woman come out of my apartment, it's probably me," but I won't hide.  I won't listen at the door before going out to make sure no-one is there, or sneak past the office folk when coming in.  And if Meg opens my mailbox and sees a "you have a package" slip, she'll go into the office and get it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Taking Advantage

As I mentioned, I moved into my own apartment Friday.  My back aches and my arms ache ~ even though movers did all of the large stuff.  I still moved more than I did during my summer sabbatical.  Right now I have too much stuff for too little apartment.  And I'm still not sure how I feel about all of this.  I think I've been too busy to think about anything, and then I collapse.

So far, I have worn no men's clothing since I moved.  I've worn men's-ish clothes, but no actual clothes from the men's department.  I have a few shirts so I can maybe keep this up all week at work.

Friday night I stayed at my house and I left with one of my last batches of stuff Saturday morning.

Friday and Saturday, I was in serious unpack and clean mode and kept to (girl's) jeans and (girl's) tops, but passable stuff.  Saturday night, my first in the apartment, I wore a nightie.  Sunday morning, I pulled a turtleneck out of the closet (I have a couple) and a long skirt and I wore those for most of the day.  It was cold overnight and I was cold until about noon.  At noon I shucked the shirt for a cami.  Shortly before dinner, I put on street clothes and bought a couple of grocery items and some Nair, and when I came back in I switched back to the cami and a knee length black-and-white skirt.  Last night, I wore a different nightie ~ I'm not picking and choosing right now; as long as it's soft and light I'll wear it!

I'm getting girlier house slippers tomorrow.

I'm not ready to go out yet.  I've been concentrating on getting the place in order and without a bedroom set it's hard to organise all of my Meg clothing.  I did spend a lot of time before bed getting rid of body hair though.  Step one.

Oh....  I'm pretty sure I broke the middle toe on my right foot Saturday night.  I hope this doesn't keep me from going OUT in the next week or two!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

See Head #3

(I really hate the new Blogger interface.  It marked this as a draft.  It was supposed to post Saturday morning.  I guess it's my "weekend funny.")

This had such promise, but the artist just wasn't thinking.  I mean, what would he wear with that head?  And if he chose another and the kilt, what shirt would go with that?

This guy needs more wardrobe choices.  And if he's anything like the rest of us, he'd have a LOT more girl choices than boy choices.

Maybe he's still at the indoors stage.  Or the excited-to-go-out-for-the-first-time stage.  Or maybe he's just dabbling.  Or his girlfriend got it for a little bedtime fun.  But it is among his "what should I wear choices.

And if it was me, and that was one of my options, I wouldn't even be thinking about it.  My week would be: Monday, #3; Tuesday, #3; Wednesday, #3....

And where does he keep the wigs/hats and such?  And if there was only one wig, he'd have left it on the head, which means maybe it's more serious than I was thinking about above.

Or maybe I'm just WAY overthinking this. :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Today Is Moving Day

Not quite everything's packed, but I'm taking the day off (probably) and the movers will be here in an hour or two (maybe) and I'll spend the day unpacking (unlikely) or looking for furniture (have to) or buying groceries (or starve).

Happy traditional Canadian Thanksgiving, and traditional Columbus Day, and I forgot to mention yesterday was 10/11/12.  And tomorrow There Will Be A Cartoon and Friday the 13th will fall on a Saturday this month.

Can anyone tell I'm very very tired?  Fortunately, I had my first houseguest at my new apartment.  His name is Mr Coffee.  Yay!

And I have an interesting roommate possibility.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Moving Out

(Since I was doing "Therapy Thursday," I thought I'd continue with my non-t life on Thursday.  If you're looking for t-content, there is only a smidgen at the end.)
The movers are coming tomorrow, so I'll probably be off the air for a day.
The whole experience has been very humbling.  I feel like a failure moving out.  I mean, I should be able to make something work, given almost twenty-five years to make it work.
And now that I've decided it may be time to move on, I'm getting confirmation from odd and diverse people.  
I told a couple of (male) friends ~ both responded with "congratulations."

I told a good female friend and she was nothing but encouraging.  In fact, I adapted this post from an e-mail I sent her earlier this week.

My wife told my sister we were having problems, and my sister called to suggest that, if I'm moving out, I shouldn't tell my mother.  I asked my wife "why would she say that?" and she admitted telling me that she told my sister I'm getting an apartment.  She said it like "of course I told you that."  I told her what my sister said about keeping it a secret and my wife said "that makes sense.  It'll kill your mother."  After we told the kids, I told her I'd tell my mother when I called because I don't want the boys to have to keep secrets.  She said "you should tell her."  I said "I thought you didn't want me to."  She said "I never said that."  I said "you said 'it'd kill her.'"  She admitted to that, but said "that doesn't mean you shouldn't tell her."  Doesn't it now?  It either means "don't tell her" or "dibs on the silverware."
I couldn't tell the kids at home because "they'd always remember where they were" when I said "we're having a trial separation?"  Really?  Give me a break.  We went to IHOP and I told them there.  She had to be present to make sure I didn't say "good luck with the nut" or something.  (For the record, I am very careful with what I say to the boys.  The prime directive is NO dissing.) 
My oldest and I went into DC to see Stephan Pastis (he's a big fan).  (I reminded myu wife in the morning that we were going and she said "he may not want to go."  Right again.)  On the drive into DC, I asked if he and his brother talked about the little bombshell ~ he said no.  I asked what he thought and he said "I expected this for at least 3 or 4 years now."
My mother's reaction: "I expected this for a long time."  AND she asked if I had a girlfriend.  I told her I'm getting a new stick because I broke the old one beating the ladies off. :D
I think I was the last person to know.  I should have done my sabbatical ten years ago, but then my oldest boy would have been 9 and it would have broken his heart.  He was always sensitive, and always my boy.  I remember when he was six or so and everyone came to the airport to see me off.  When he realised I was getting on a plane and he wasn't, he burst into tears.  I was so touched I almost didn't go.

 I've moved a ton of stuff, and a mover will move the rest of the boxes and some furniture.  My wife all but insisted I take the living room set (probably so she can buy another set).  I'll buy a bedroom set.  FiOS is in.  I need to get to another furniture store (I want to check 3).  I can get a serviceable bedroom set for about the price of twenty-five dresses.  I my stay through Saturday, because my son likes my Saturday breakfast and we can have Friday night dinner (we do some Jewish rituals) together.

I expect to be wearing skirts more than slacks in the apartment.  Even if I'm not dressed fully, I plan to dress comfortably.  And for me, comfortable means a skirt and a pretty top.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I have much to say but all of my energy has been used up packing, moving, making calls, and work work work.  Please check back tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Little Bit of Shopping

A couple of weeks ago, my house slippers sort of fell apart.  They were moccasins and one of the threads or whatever they're called tore and that left the top flapping open.  I decided to go to the local mall and look for new (girl) slippers.

I found a nice pair of Dearforms for $15 at Sears.  They had my size and they were fairly wide (as are my feet) and they actually fit quite nicely.  They're black with a pink inner sole.  I expect, in my own place, I'll get a more girly pair of slippers.

While I was there, I looked around the store, not expecting to buy anything else but I saw they had tights on sale, and I couldn't resists.  Two pair of tights and the slippers were the whole purchase.

A couple of days later, I made a special trip to a different mall because they had a J C Penney and they advertised denim shirts.  I wanted a new one; my old one had what looks like a sharpie stain on one sleeve.  Most girl denim shirts are embroidered or otherwise embellished and don't pass well.  This one was not and they had one left in my size.  It is now hanging in my closet.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I also picked up a couple of passable button-down shirts.  I think my October shopping is done.  I'm on a new budget now.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Best Laid Plans of Mice

I think I've spoken about plans and how they sometimes Just Don't Work the way we want them to.

A couple of weeks ago, the family suddenly decided to be gone for the bulk of the day and night.  My oldest was out of town, my youngest was going to sleep over at a friend's house after spending the day working on a group project, and my wife was with a friend, then going to a show and would be home late.

I could spend the day as Meg and not worry about when I got home ~ I always tell her when I'm going to dress, and I'd certainly tell her that Meg might be getting home after her so she could welcome/confront/avoid as she felt fit.

It was a work day, so I planned to get home early and go out maybe for dinner and who knows what afterwards.  It was also a stormy day.

As I drove down the main street of my neighborhood, I saw police tape blocking the street.  About 50 feet further down was another strip blocking traffic from that direction.  I saw a pedestrian and asked what was going on.  A broken tree branch, he explained, was lying on a power line and they blocked the street in case it decided to fall onto oncoming traffic.

I turned around, made the first right, went to the end of the road, made another right, and came in through the other side of the neighborhood.  No more problems.

Except power was out.  Meg can do many things, but putting on makeup by candlelight is not one of them.  Game over.

This past Saturday night, my freshman son decided he was going to the homecoming dance at his high school.  It would be a stag group, and then he was going to sleep over at one of the other kid's house.  My wife was again going to a show with a friend.  Cool, except everything Meg is at my apartment.  I haven't moved in because there is no furniture there yet.

(Aside: she did ask if I want to go to each show; for the past few months, time alone with her has been a painful, unhappy time and I declined.  I asked her to just let us try to enjoy ourselves; I tell her to change the subject; I just change the subject.  Nothing I can think of works.  So I decline.)

At bedtime, she was still out and... earlier that day I had moved all of my nighties to the apartment.  As much as I'd prefer to wear a nightgown to bed instead of pajamas (even though they're girl pj's), I wasn't about to drive to the apartment, get a nightie, and drive back.

Frankie Mouse: "the best laid plans of mice..."
Arthur Dent: "... and men."
Frankie: "what?"
Arthur: "and men.  'The best laid plans of mice and men...'"
Frankie: "what have men got to do with it?"

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Comics and Housekeeping

First the housekeeping....
* check out the comments on my "Fashion" post from a few days ago.  I have well-educated readers.  Lorraine pointed out that there are more "women's clothing for men" being featured, but I've seen this before and it's never caught on.  I agree with Dani that more casual office attire is the norm in some fields (mine, for instance) but jeans are over a century old western wear, and polo or golf shirts are cotton versions of linen shirts from colonial times ~ buttons instead of ties, but basically the same.  And I don't have any specific comments, but HI! Pat and thanks for the insights!

* I may be light on posting for the next week or so.  I will be moving and shopping to set up my apartment.  My computer may sit idle while I'm moving.  I don't think the pain of moving is going to be of interest to my readers so I'll stick to t-topics (and I have some and I expect to be getting out a bit this fall).  If I'm wrong and you gals want to hear about moving topics, I'll blab about that too.

* Hi Lauren!  Lauren is a new reader and just a couple of days ago, she went from being "Anonymous" and not having a femme name to Lauren.  I think she chose a name because I threatened to call her "Ann" for short. :)

And now....  A little more Loose Parts!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sometimes, Its Easy to Pass

But you do need to be more careful with that razor!  This is a strip called "The Argyle Sweater."  It's an eclectic strip.  I only see the Sunday one, and I really should check it out weekdays as well.

This one tickled my t-bone.  And while I'm at it, I added a second "sweater" strip.  And Scott Hilburn was featured once before.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fa Fa Fa Fa Fashion

A couple of things that have been on my mind....

Why do men's dress shoes have distinct heels?  Look at women's flats.  There are shoes with distinct heels, with heels that sort of just join the soles, with no heel at all, with any sort of transition betwen heel and sole.  But men's dress shoes always have a sole that goes the length of the shoe and a heel tacked on.

Why?  Frankly, a little more variety would make it easier for me to buy "passable" women's shoes.  So there is a bit of self-interest here.

What happened in the early 1800s?
Look at a painting of a group of men  from colonial America.  (Or this reproduction from a performance of 1776).  Men are wearing wigs or powdered wigs, the stockings over the pants, long coats, vests....  Now look at a photograph of men, just being men, not wearing costumes or period clothing.  Long coats took a while to go out of style, but I don't recall seeing any photographs from the Civil War of men in powdered wigs.  And it seems to be an all-or-nothing thing.  It's like someone decreed long pants, no wigs, clothes more like you'd see in an old western movie must be worn starting now.  I don't recall ever seeing a photograph of men standing in a group where half are wearing neckties and the other half are wearing....  What do you call that thing around their necks?

So what happened?  Was it a technological breakthrough that obviated their need, or did people one day just say "no, not gonna do that" or was it gradual ("hey look at George!  Still wearing a powdered wig!  That's so 1790s!")?

And why have men's fashions barely changed since photography was invented?  Al Capone could walk into a law office today and barely get a second look.  Women's fashions change with every season.  I know men aren't going to buy new styles every year.  Some guys want their three-piece suit or fat (or skinny or string) ties, and that's that.  But come on.  No long term changes?  It just doesn't make much sense.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Uh-Oh. It's Thursday

I haven't done a therapy Thursday in a while.  Therapy's over, and now we're looking for a mediator.

I started a lease on an apartment, a few miles from my house.  It's a two-bedroom apartment, and I may start looking for a roomie.  I'm not sure how that would work.  I'm a pretty private person.

I've thought about this a lot, and I honestly believe that, even if there were no trans issues, I'd be taking this step.

I've started moving things into the apartment but so far don't have important things like furniture or internet access.  I hope to be ready to not sleep on the floor in ten days or so.  It depends on furniture delivery and such.

Everything going forward is my responsibility, or my fault, depending on how you look at it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

On The Other Hand....

Here's a short article from the AP as printed in the Washington Post:

California enacts nation’s first law banning gay teen ‘conversion’ psychotherapy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California will become the first state to ban a controversial form of psychotherapy aimed at making gay teenagers straight.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Sunday that he had signed SB1172 by Democratic Senator Ted Lieu of Torrance. Lieu says the law will prevent children from being psychologically abused.

Effective Jan. 1, the state will prohibit what is known as reparative or conversion therapy for minors.

Brown says the therapies “have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.”

Gay rights groups say the practice is dangerous because it can put youth at higher risk of depression and suicide.

Conservative religious groups and some Republicans argue that banning conversion therapy would hinder parents’ right to provide psychological care for children experiencing gender confusion.

Anybody see a problem with this article? 

I have problems with the state getting involved in religious practices, but that happens all the time (ganja anyone?  how about multiple wives?).  But the religious groups involved won't admit this is religious ~ they call it psychology, which nobody with a degree believes.  The state can regulate that, but I'd prefer they didn't.  I don't want the state involved in decisions involving fetuses and consistency requires I not support this.  On the other hand, the government has a responsibility to prevent quacks from selling snake oil to gullible citizens.  Yes, this is one of those situations with many hands, and there's always another argument "on the other hand."

What is clear and wrong and I want to know if this is AP's interpretation, or if they're quoting "conservative religious groups and some republicans" but somebody doesn't know that nothing in the six paragraphs has anything to do with gender.  And if someone says "we need 'conversion therapy' to cure gay teens of their gender confusion," I'd be the first to sound the buzzer and say "game over.  Thank you for playing.  No parting gifts for you."

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Business Opportunity

Women, according to the article, change their shoes more often than they change their minds.

I can understand ~ matching the right shoes to the right outfit is important.

Yet, the same woman who wouldn't be caught dead wearing the same shoes every day wears the same glasses every day.

Covers for the frames in different colours/styles?  Maybe transparent frames and covers just on the back side.  Easily replaceable frames?  Mostly invisible frames, close to the face that you wear under the frames of your choice?  There has to be a solution.  I'm betting there will be a market.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Thank You Sharon!

I may go to a Halloween party this year.  It will be with a bunch of people I do not know, but it's a meetup group I may hang with if they seem interesting to me.  They might be somewhat younger than me which would be uninteresting to me.  I will only be going as Meg.

I was looking at a website for a possible costume.  Since I'd be in girl mode, just going in office girl drag wouldn't be right.  It's not a political group, so a Christine O'Donnell or Sarah Palin (or Hillary Clinton) would be off-target.  I was looking for something not in the "sexy" category (sexy witch/nurse/vampire/etc).  I considered stewardess, but I don't think that would mesh with this group.  A Dr Who or Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica character would be OK, but I didn't think I would do any of the few women in the first two justice.  I thought a Renaissance costume might be OK, or something like that ~ old west or southern belle maybe, but I think there'd be more RenFest people there.

Renaissance women would cost from $60 to $150!  Yikes!  I may get to wear it again at a festival, or with a different group at a different Halloween, but for a couple of times wear I would have a hard time justifying that much money.

Then my friend Sharon sent me an e-mail.  She was at Unique Thrift and they had a Halloween section and costumes were cheaper than the party stores.  I've been to Unique a few times (note: they are a chain ~ check the website for locations).

So Sunday afternoon I zipped down there and looked around.  I picked up a Renaissance gown ("one size fits most," $20) and I purchased a long straight wig (I wanted black, but I'll go with the reddish-brown) to go with the costume for $7.  I looked around at clothes quickly; I didn't see any dresses I liked, I skipped by the skirts and shoes and most of the tops, but I looked at blouses and picked up two "men's style" shirts for a total of $9.

I'll be trying them on before the end of the week.  If they don't fit, they'll get re-donated, probably to Unique.  And if the wig is not my style, well, there's always Freecycle.  Someone's doing Halloween and in need of a long straight wig with bangs.