Friday, November 30, 2012

Meeting With Marian, Part III

(Read Marian's comment to yesterday's post.  She has that spot on, and it helps her a lot.)

Marian and I took a few pictures.  Mostly, we were having a good time and not focussing (HA!) on good pictures.

After the Newseum, we walked to the Smithsonian Natural History museum, mostly so we could see the Hope Diamond and the other gems, jewels, and jewelry on display in the same section.  They redid the exhibit since I was last there and made the Hope more accessible.  Lines were not bad.

We then walked down the mall to the Air And Space museum for lunch and to browse a bit.  Marian wanted to see the Enola Gay but, alas, that's at the Udvar-Hazy extension, about 30 miles away. 

I broke my record for using the ladies' room during the course of a day, even if I don't count sneaking in two or three times to photograph bad newspaper headlines/stories.  Neither of us was shy about using the facilities when necessary, except once in Air And Space.  There was a long line and neither of us felt comfortable there.  The typical Smithsonian bathroom was far from empty, but there were no problems.  Confidence scores a +10.

Unfortunately, I had to be back and changed in time to get the elevator key before the office closed.  I suppose I could have gone to the desk as Meg, but I'm not quite there yet.  I know eventually I'll get "caught" ~ and I put that in quotes because I won't really be caught.  I'll just be out, kinda like Marian and Tammy, the hotel maid.

That's kinda all I have to say, but I'll leave y'all with some pictures.

Meg at her apartment
President Obaama ~ she's one of us!

Marian at the Berlin Wall

Keep an eye out!  The sign says "don't touch!"

Best view of the Capitol

And Marian and infinite Megs!

Tammy and Meg

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Meeting With Marian, Part II

I forgot to link to Marian's side of the story.  You should take a look at her blog, Crossing T's and Dotting I'sThe link goes to the first day of her visit to DC.  I magically appear on day 2. :)

The plan was to meet Marian at 9.  I was actually a few minutes early, but I wasn't sure exactly which hotel was hers.  I found a hotel that had a big sign on the side: HOTEL.  I parked out front and decided that wasn't it and parked a couple of blocks further down.  I didn't see any other... I admit I was trying to finish that sentence with a different word for "hotel," something more interesting so I looked on and found, among other words, dump, fleabag, and flophouse.

I didn't see any other traveller accommodations, so I walked back to the HOTEL and, sure enough, that was it.  And it was 9 on the dot.

We had breakfast and chatted a bit.  Marian is a Noo Yawka who went to the same high school as I did, although I think we were a year or two apart.

Marian and Tammy and a great view!
After breakfast, I wanted to refresh my lipstick and use a private bathroom so we went up to Marian's room for a minute.  Marian sought out Tammy, a chambermaid who Marian sort of came out to the day before.  Tammy LOVED Marian, and gushed over how great she looked.  A little of that overflowed onto me, which was nice.  People like Tammy give me hope that maybe there won't be any more Transgender Day of Remembrances some day.  Some day.

And don't they look comfortable together?  That's Marian's magic passing superpower ~ she just looks and acts perfect.

We drove to the Newseum, wandered the building, and I solved a mystery.  The Newseum was not very crowded so I was a bit more comfortable with going into the ladies' room.  I figured my chances of meeting someone was low, and, as Marian pointed out, if the door opens I could just duck into a stall. 

Meg and an infinite number of Marians
The mystery: in the men's room, some wall tiles are replaced by badly-phrased news headlines or just plain weird story bits or corrections.  When I was there (in drab with a civilian) several months ago we wondered if there were different tiles in the ladies' room.  It turns out they're the same.  It also turns out they collected them into a book, "Correct Me If I'm Wrong" which I bought for my friend.  I also e-mailed him and told him I solved the mystery ~ he knows about Meg, but he expressed no curiosity about how I found out.  I think he knew and didn't want to really know.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Simple Pleasures

I can use my trashcan!

Before, although Meg was tolerated, I was careful to avoid anything "in your face" around the house.  Partly, it was because I didn't want the boys wondering why there was makeup in my bathroom trashcan, but partly it was respect for my wife's feelings.  The kids wouldn't care if there was a clothing tag in my trash (their job was to empty the garbage) but I don't need a sign that says to my wife hey!  I bought another dress! so I would put things that should go into the trash into a bag and toss them in the kitchen trash, or put them back in the closet until I had a couple of days free, or could put them directly into the trash that will go outside.

But now I have a trash can that I can actually use freely.  I know it sounds dumb, but it's a simple pleasure.

Clothing tags and receipts can go out immediately.

Makeup-covered q-tips, pads, cotton balls, tissues can just go in the trash ~ no gathering them up and shoving them deep into the kitchen garbage.

Empty makeup containers go OUT.  In the past, if I found, say, a lipstick I bought and hated, it went back in the closet with an immediately forgotten "I'll remember I hated the L'Oreal #146 lipstick and never use it again."

I don't have to go into my wife's bathroom to sharpen my eye liner or lip liner pencils.  The shavings can sit where they fall.

There are more simple pleasures.  I think Wednesday will be "simple pleasure day," at least for a while.

They all have one thing in common: each is incredibly liberating.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Meeting With Marian, Part I

Sometimes, when I get ready to go out, my routine resembles a well-oiled machine.  Usually, the only oil is on my face and I say "dam!  I have to get the oil-free foundation!"

Sunday, I planned to meet Marian in DC for a little girl time (that's little girl-time, not little-girl time).  We were to meet at 9 for breakfast and sightseeing.

I set my alarm for 6, and underslept ~ I woke around 5 and dozed a tiny bit but by 5:45 I knew I didn't have enough time to sleep, but also I knew I had to try (note to self: this always fails). 

It was to be a long day, going to DC, doing some final cleaning (this was the day Aeify was coming to Virginia), bringing my son to Sunday school (after changing!) and helping Aeify move in.  In hindsight, if I was smart I would have skipped visiting with Marian and slept.  We weren't done moving stuff out of the truck until 2am.  But, instead, I was Meg, and I wouldn't have changed a thing.

By 7 I was showered and shaved ~ I think shaving is harder if you do it twice in a row, at least for me.  Leaving a day between shaves works best, but I shaved thoroughly the day before because I was hoping I'd get out that day, too.  Alas, no.

By 7:45 I had my foundation on, my eyes done, a load of laundry in the dryer (sheets for Aeify's friend), a tape playing (I have lots of cassettes and I'm trying to decide what to save and what to throw away), coffee made and drunk.

All I had left was blush, lips, and get dressed.  My goal was to be out by 8:15.

I was ready to leave at 8:25.  The sheets weren't dry so SOMEONE had to sleep on wrinkly sheets.  And I wanted to take out the trash before I go.  I mean, I was certainly dressed for it!

The plan was to meet Marian at 9.  And 35 minutes would be plenty of time.  Maybe.  Around here one never knows.

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's Shopping Season!

If you're still a little shy about building your femme wardrobe in shops, this is your chance.  You have a free ride until Christmas.

This is especially useful if you can't have packages delivered to your house, so on-line shopping is out.

If you like to get lost in the crowds, go after work or on the weekend.  If you prefer a quieter environment, take some time off from work and go in the morning, when the stores open, or after the lunch rush but before whatever time people are getting off from work.  It won't be empty, but it'll be quieter.

And you can buy pretty much anything without fear.  Suppose you see an ad for a full makeup kit at Ulta.  Tear out the ad, walk into the store and find some nice young lady to help you.  "My wife wanted me to pick this up for our daughter.  Can you point me in the right direction?"  A few minutes later, you have a nice kit so you can go home and try new looks.  The same works for a book on makeup, fashion, style.

If you don't have an ad, write it down, or put a note on your phone.  Show it to the saleslady and say "My wife said I'm supposed to get this." or "My girlfriend/wife was drooling over this."  It doesn't matter if it's lingerie from Victoria Secrets or makeup from MAC or a dress from Old Navy.  There is always a woman in your life (hypothetically speaking) you could be shopping for.

Shoes are tricky.  Payless is always good.  You can get the saleslady to join the conspiracy: "can you help me?  I know my wife wants new boots ~ she says hers look ratty ~ and I checked inside and her old ones are size {whatever} and I'd like to try and surprise her with a new pair.  I figure, if they don't fit at least she'll be happy I tried and she can exchange them, right?"  By the way, check the Payless website: you can filter your store search by "has expanded 11-13 women's section."

Jewelry is a piece of cake.  The chatty jeweler is short-circuited because she knows most of the answers ("who's it for?"  "Is it a special occasion?").  You can get something nice for your wife or girlfriend, or something inexpensive for your daughter (pick an age in advance, in case she asks).

Go out, have fun shopping, and don't be nervous.  I used to get anxious shopping for Meg's stuff.  I still do sometimes.  Everyone is buying gifts right now, and even if they're a tad unusual, the saleslady might wonder a bit ~ I mean, guys don't generally buy a dozen panties for their girlfriend ~ but they'll just shake it off as typical ignorant guy.  He'll learn soon enough.

And if anyone has any other suggestions for buying items, spinning yarns, sounding plausible, add it to the comments.  I know there are many readers who want to expand their wardrobes but are uncomfortable doing so.

And the best thing: there's lots of stuff at bargain prices!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Arlo and Janis

I had to share the first Arlo and Janis, and I figured, well, I can't just share one so I added a few more favourites.

A&J is one of those strips where the characters age.  It's not real time like in For Better or Worse, but it's maybe half-real-time.  They have one son, so if he seems kind of young, that's an early strip.

I may have mentioned earlier that Arlo can be a tad suggestive and the Comics I Don't Understand website kept comics that might have an adult explanation on the "Arlo" page.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Me Too.... Or At Least I Try

I love Lila.  She's the fashionista everyone has in their office.  And she's the one I want to take girl lessons from!

Please don't change, Lila!

Friday, November 23, 2012

More on the Swap

After the swap, Aeify and I wanted to go to Payless.  She thought I needed black boots to wear with the dress she suggested for church the other day.  I told her there was one in the mall that was nearby and practically on the way back to the apartment.  I told her that they're planning to redo the mall but they've been planning that for a while and I didn't know when they'd be doing that.
We entered through the JC Penney, since I knew my way in from there.  The Payless was pretty close, but we could browse and walk the mall anyway.

Aeify looked at some skirts and dresses (well, I did too but she took the lead) and we walked to the little Sephora booth in the store.  I knew the mall entrance was near the Sephora stuff but I figured I must've been wrong ~ there was no entrance there.  Eventually, I went over to a cashier and asked where the mall entrance was.  She said the mall was closed, except for the anchor stores.  Yeah, I could see where I thought the entrance was, there was a new temporary-looking wall instead.

Outside daVinci Nails at the mall
I was scheduled to bring my son to Sunday school so we headed back to the apartment where I sadly removed my makeup (and nail polish) and went about our day.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

It's GiveThanksing Day!

It's good that there's a day to remind me to do what I know I should.

Thank you all for reading, comments, writing notes, being my friends.  I think if I lived in a vacuum I'd be less Meg than I am now, and I'd miss that.  You helped me grow, gave me feedback, and supported me when my life was kind of rough ~ especially this last half-year or so.

I hope to meet more of you this coming year (I met Lucinda Tease, the queen of the Classy DC Sisters, the other day).  I hope more of you are inspired to move further on your path this year (check out Gwen's blog ~ W00T!).

I wish all of my American readers could sit down to their Thanksgiving dinner today and say "I have to give thanks that I can wear this nice dress and heels to dinner today."

So, short and sweet ~ thank you all.  I wish I could share a hug with each of you.

I'll get back to the swap tomorrow.  I'll be writing about the Transgender Day of Remembrance early next week, and finally writing about my wonderful but too-short visit with Marian too.  But today's a day for relaxing and, well, I'm also thankful that a lot of people share their talent for writing and drawing seven days a week.  Remember to click to enlarge.  In no particular order:

I'll  take what she's losing!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Another Clothing Swap!

There was another clothing swap on Sunday.  It was the fourth or fifth I attended as Meg, and the second I attended with Aeify.  She was nice enough to do my nails the day before (after we figured out that I didn't have to go anywhere) and to help with my makeup.  I need to be careful: if I depend on her skills too much I'll forget how to do it myself!  She also convinced me that I could wear a skirt that was both one of my favourites and one I always thought was too short to wear out of the apartment.  She also recommended I wear my boots, also never worn outside.  They were pretty comfortable and I was happy with the choice.

Yes, it was a zoo.  But great to be with all those women!
We packed our Big Bag O' Clothes into the car and stopped at the local Safeway to pick up a hundred or so water bottles for the swap.  When we got there, the place was *packed* and, even though it wasn't quite one o'clock yet, the other women were attacking the tables and racks with vigour. (By the way, I held back on a few choice items because at the Transgender Day of Remembrance event they ask that you bring an article of clothing or some canned goods.  I brought a skirt, a nightgown, and a couple of dresses.)

I first spent some time taking pictures, chatting with Kim (the hostess), and chatting with some other women.  I felt free and safe to make random comments to start conversations ~ commenting on something someone picked up, or on the crowd, or how I loved what she was wearing.  One woman said she liked the swap because she never went to the "running of the brides" ~ Filene's Basement would stock their store with just bridal gowns, bridesmaids gowns, mother-of-the-bride dresses and so on.  They were marked way down and hordes of women would charge in at opening to find that perfect dress and just the right accessories.  I mentioned to her that she missed her chance: Filene's had closed a few months earlier.

At the shoe table, I was talking to one woman about a very pretty pair of pink pumps with artwork on the toe area.  While we were trying to discern the size (alas, her size, not mine) another woman picked up the mate.  The second woman never put the shoe down, and the woman I was talking to was equally determined.  I checked the table several times to see if one magically appeared.  I was planning on grabbing it and offering it to whoever had the mate.  I never saw the shoe appear, and the woman I was talking to vanished.  I hope she got the pair.  I'm not playing favourites ~ I just know she picked it up first and thought that should count for something.  I engaged the other woman and told her that I was talking to someone who picked up the shoe and was trying it on when the mate vanished, but she didn't take the hint and I didn't pursue further.

I also saw a woman pulling up a plaid miniskirt that I had donated two or three swaps ago.  I guess someone took it home, decided it wasn't quite what she wanted (or perhaps it didn't fit) and she brought it back to a swap.  I told her that that used to be mine and my conjecture about how it got to be hers.  She was in her 20s and she had a HUGE box of clothes.  She said she was planning outfits as she was picking up clothes and said "I can totally rock that skirt!"  I looked sad and said "I can't."  She laughed.

And I had a chance to speak to Steffi a bit.  She was nice enough to observe that I had lost weight.  I wish I had, but in reality, I was wearing a new padded panty (more later) and I think the bigger hips and butt made my waist look a bit smaller!

I picked up a tote that might work for my work bag.  Aeify picked up a dress that she wore for the rest of the day.  I think for me, right now, the swap is more for getting out and getting rid of clothes than finding new things, although that's definitely a bonus.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Swap Prep

Sunday was clothing swap day.  Aeify was nice enough to do my nails.

Beautician.  That's the more femme work for "technician" I was looking for.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Old Standby

I haven't posted any Loose Parts in over a month!  But when I saw the first cartoon here, I knew I had to post a few more to round out your Sunday.  Caution: put down your coffee and swallow before you read that first cartoon.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Breastplates? Really?

It's been two years since Adam showed up in my blog. And below that is a strip I never though would show up, even though both are just in the "cd-ish" category.

I still prefer "Garfield minus Garfield"

Friday, November 16, 2012

It's That Time of the Year Again

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is approaching.  Officially, it's 20 Nov, but there will be some events this weekend.  You can look for a service or ceremony near you on the website or on their facebook page.

This will be the first year Meg will attend an event.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

This Is A Dilemma

One of the meetups I was looking at is a gamers group.  They seem to get together A Lot.  I like games so I've been keeping track of the group.

They're planning an "Explicitly Adult Party Games" meet.

I don't think this is for me, but one thing caught my eye.  They're going to have a "truth or dare" and a "strip poker" game.  They listed both as "PG."

They also listed both as involving an equal number of men and women.  Since the men vastly outnumber the women who signed up, that means they'll pick men at random to play so the numbers stay equal.

So, if Meg joins does she go into the pool to play against the women, or does she add two players to the game (herself and one male)?

I think if that was the first time I showed up, I'd go into the guy side, because there's also a costume contest and they'd read Meg as a costume on a male.  If I showed up for previous events, I think it would be more of a dilemma for everyone involved.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What's Really Next? I Really Don't Know

I'll be going out.  I want Meg to do some mainstream things.  I hope to join some meetups or other non-t groups.  I plan to take an adult-ed class.  Fairfax county has a very robust adult-ed program, with lots of opportunities.  I need to find my comfort level so I know what to exceed.

I want to meet more transisters.  OK, that needs a different name.  But I don't want to go to "trans only" events, although I might.

I plan to do little things to make Meg more a part of my life.  I like my painted toes, and I think I'll keep the clear fingernail polish.  I may trim my brows a bit more.  I'm considering piercing my ears, but punctures make me squeamish and I'd spend too much on jewelry ~ even the costume stuff adds up.  I plan to keep the lipstick/gloss on and see what else I can add.  I may make my charm bracelet a little more femme.  I've mentioned that I want to replace my canvas bag that I carry to work with some sort of tote.  I'm just looking for the right one.  Maybe I'll get laser or electrolysis.

I'd love to find out about outreach.  Stana goes to universities and shares her story and answers questions.  I'd love to do that.  I've always been opinionated but never an activist or even an advocate.  Maybe that's something I should investigate.  I had a window of opportunity on this: my state representative, state senator, and congressman all know me by sight and name and we get along.  I might be willing to come out to push my issues.  I don't expect them to push trans issues here in Virginia, but they might have contacts, or people who'd like to contact me.  But once these people are no longer in office, that opportunity window shuts.

What else?  How much of the above will I do?  Those are other questions I don't know the answer to.  My life is officially in turmoil.  I'm not good at predicting what will happen next, especially under that cloud.

I do know two things: this will remain a part-time thing for me.  And Aeify will be Meg's friend and maybe be a big sister, helping her little sister learn to be a better girl.

At least I think I know those two things.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What's Next? I Don't Know

I really don't.

I've been spending a lot of the last month in top and skirt.  For the first two or three weeks, I was still organising things but I wore fitted or stretchy camisoles under my top, and put in my foam forms.  I wanted to get used to the shape, my silhouette, my image in the mirror.  My goal was to make that the norm.  Why?  I don't know that either.  I'm not going full-time, but I do know that I need to be as comfortable with my (girl) body as possible when going out.  Discomfort equals getting caught.  Calm confidence is a big part of passing.  Banging your boobs into everything is not something that a blending woman would do.

After a couple of weeks, I added a cinch to my wardrobe.  Unlike the forms, I left the cinch (or a cinch) on all the time.  I checked myself in the mirror to make sure it didn't show, and I'd even wear it to work.  My nighttime wardrobe is all girl ~ panties, nightgown, cinch, bra, and foam forms.

Starting some time in my third week I pulled out a bra I liked and started wearing that, mostly just with the foam forms but sometimes with my favourite silicone forms.  After I got my jewelry box, I'd pull out a pair of earrings every so often and see if I can wear them for long periods of time comfortably.  This was not a daily activity because sometimes it takes a while for earlobes to recover from bad clip-ons.

I'd also pull out a different pair of shoes every so often.  I should have been more religious about wearing them and tried a pair a day.  I do want to get rid of shoes I can't wear.  I need to make room for shoes I can wear!

So what's next?  I've been on my own for five weeks and not gone out.  Does that mean I've settled into an "indoor" girl?  I haven't worn a wig or full makeup in those five weeks.  I have been shaving, but I haven't been a fanatic about it.

Hmmm....  That's all "what's next" from the point of view of the day I moved out.  I'll prognosticate tomorrow.

Monday, November 12, 2012

I Screwed Up

I met with Marian yesterday.  I had a great time; I hope she did too.  We had breakfast, went to the Newseum, saw the Hope Diamond (and other historical and one-of-a-kind jewelry and lots of gemstones), and went to the Air & Space museum.  That's where I screwed up.  I misframed the photo to the right.

See the big orange bubble that says THRUST?  There was also one that said LIFT.

And right over her head, the bubble that got cut off,  said


It was perfect.  I was going to just post the picture with Marian and the subject "It's A Sign!"

Marian, come back to DC.  We need to try again!

I'll have more to write later in the week ~ probably Friday.  There's a lot on my mind.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Speedbump Again!

Before the cartoons, I want to mention that I expect to have a busy day today.  Meg will have breakfast and then do a little of the DC tourist thing with Marian from New York.  Then a quick change and help Aeify and a friend shoehorn her stuff into the apartment.  I am seriously hoping the second bedroom is actually a TARDIS.  Monday, I'm hoping to change in the morning and go with Aeify to drop off her friend at the airport, then into DC to meet with Marian again.  The changing bit is tricky ~ her friend might not be as accepting with Meg as Aeify is.  And it never occurred to me that I have some power to make an uncomfortable civilian less or more comfortable.  If I play it all as a joke, he'll probably feel more comfortable.  If I greet him with a hug and keep invading his space and acting as flirty as I know how, he'll probably freak. :)

Loose Parts, Far Side, Speedbump, Addams... some of the best strips are single panel with no regular set of characters.  Recurring characters perhaps, but not a single group that all of the stories revolve around.

And it's been around nine months since I shared any Speedbump.  As a bonus, one could maybe possibly sorta be T-related.  I mean, I can't sex drawings of turtles ~ can you?  And one hits a little too close to home. :D