Thursday, October 31, 2013

It's Fun to Stay at the IPMC

My outing started with an unusual note.  It seems like I never see anyone when I'm in the elevator or
 lobby.  I generally only take the elevator down when I'm in heels anyway.

On the fifth floor, the elevator stopped and a young woman with two young daughters got on.  I said hi, she said hi, the girls didn't say anything, and we rode down.  I had to remind myself to exit the elevator without waiting and holding the door (although it would have been appropriate, since she had to herd those cats.  I think.  I don't know all the rules yet).

The hotel was very quiet when I walked in.  I saw a sign directing visitors to the meeting rooms.  There was a restroom between the entrance and the meeting room so I thought I'd take care of business while it was quiet and no-one might think to follow the "intruder" to see what she's up to.  No, that's never happened, but I try to plan ahead and be safe and non-annoying no matter how I'm dressed.  The ladies' room was empty while I was in there.

There was no sign-in desk this time, but I was greeted by a man who thrust a "visitor's choice" ballot into my hand and explained that I should vote for the model I thought was best.  I thanked him and talked briefly about the models at his table and moved on.

I spoke with many of the guys who were exhibiting models.  It was kind of lunch time, so people were
Yes, it's paper
leaving tables unattended.  I complimented several guys on their fantastic models and said, more than once, "now I won't build for the next few months because I'll remember how good these were and know I can't do the same kits justice."  Which is true.  I'm not an artist nor extremely serious modeller.  My current works-in-progress include a Very Large Dalek and an Edmund Fitzgerald.  The ship isn't going together well, but I feel confident in blaming the model (even though I could never design anything like this myself).  The eggcrate just isn't adequate, and the fore/aft sections don't mesh as well as they should.  On the other
Also paper.  The treads are made one piece at a time
hand, someone had a spectacular Notre Dame ~ I have the kit and put it aside when I started doing the same structure Over and Over again.  It can be tedious, especially if not every one comes out perfectly.  The same builder had a Japanese plane transport ship that had about two dozen perfectly identical Zeroes on deck.  Each was no more than an inch and a half long.  Each had a shaped fuselage and wing.  If I didn't go insane before finishing, the first and last would resemble each other as little as the starting and ending word in a game of telephone played by nursery school students.

I spoke to one guy who's name I recognised as another old timer. 
Paper Laura Croft was very complex, according to the builder
We had spoken last time I was there (at least five years ago).  We both remembered one modeller who had a plane with spinning propellers.  I said "I remember.  It was hooked up to a fueling truck which contained the batteries."  When we were done chatting, he said "it's nice to see you again," which is really special, if you think about it.

Near the end of the second room, one guy said "you're Meg from the list."  I was floored and said "how did you know?"  He said my picture shows up next to my posts.  I had asked a question about the convention and he had answered it.

I asked him to point to give me some scale!
I did chat with several guys I'd met in years past (in drab).  I didn't identify myself; I wasn't identified.  I still don't know if that was the right course of action.  I'll see if anyone (including me) starts talking on the list and take it from there.

Halloween bonus below.

Click to read

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Simple Pleasure ~ Ear Piercing

No, I haven't done it.  No, I haven't decided yet, in spite of your overwhelming vote.  I still have to get over that queasy feeling when I think about punctures to even decide if I want to do it or not.

In response to one of my negatives (having to have an earring in 24x7 for several weeks), one of my readers suggested a "Labret Retainer."  They're cheap and almost invisible.  And tempting.  But there's another problem.

As part of my decision, I would either need to skip it or own it.  I'm not out to hide it.  If I'm ashamed or uncomfortable with the piercing I shouldn't do it.  I won't do it.  I didn't do other "obvious" things until I reached a comfort level.  It's part of the decision process.

("obvious" things means obvious to the casual observer, to steal a math phrase.  My charm bracelet, most of my socks or tights, shirts that button the wrong way, and so on)

Halloween Bonus From Bound and Gagged

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Convention Logistics

update to fix bad editing

As I mentioned yesterday, Saturday was the International Paper Modeler's Convention.  It was less international than in years past, when we had a few exhibitors from Europe showing their wares.  It still occupied three meeting rooms in the hotel, with 30 or so exhibitors and some very cool models.

As I also mentioned, it's a pretty casual affair and Meg doesn't do casual well.  I went with a cowl neck sweater, long wool skirt, and boots.
as casual as I get

I did my own makeup for a change (Charity was out late the night before and I didn't want to wake her).  I'm running low on foundation so I brought my bottle along in hopes I could stop afterwards to replenish.
My full day plan was to go to the convention and look around for a while (and maybe shop), then maybe go to the Nordstrom's Rack that's pretty close to the convention hotel to look around (and maybe shop), then down to the mall to buy that foundation (and maybe shop).

I wanted to be home by 4:30.  My friend Sharon needed a place to put on her Halloween costume for a little bar hopping with the local t-group.  I decided to pass on that, but I could certainly offer a safe place to a friend.

The day started off as expected, and I had fun at the convention.  I was there for a couple of hours (that story is set for Thursday) and then I found Nordstrom's.  I looked at dresses and shoes (but I didn't buy) and then walked over to the Dress Barn and Ross that were in the same strip mall.  I spent some time at each, but no money.  When entering Dress Barn, there was a woman sitting at a small table who wanted to know if I wanted to get some "free" Mary Kay products "and some pampering."  I declined, partly because of time, partly because I didn't want to hear what I'd have to do in order to get the "free" treatment and product.

I still had some time so I headed south towards the mall.

That's where the rest of my time went.

It seems that, between the time I purchased my Prius with the built-in GPS (four years ago) and now, Sterling was overhauled.  The GPS tried to get me on the road I needed to take, but it kept telling me to get on roads that ended, or turned into housing developments.  It wanted me to get off what seemed to be through roads.  I was never sure if I should follow the traffic (much of which went into other shopping centres) or the GPS or just head south or east, towards home.

Several backtracks later, I ended up on a very backed up road with the clock ticking and my be-home-by-4:30 deadline looming so I skipped the mall.

I stayed dressed while Sharon came and changed.  When she left, I changed (my burgandy cowl dress again) and went to a nearby restaurant for an uneventful (but not especially tasty) dinner.  Proper pronouns and titles as expected, at dinner, which made up for the mediocre meal.

Sunday was game day at Star's house and it was already late when I returned home and changed.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fright Night

(Writing before the event)

I'm going to do something that's different this Saturday.  Different, and a bit scary.

I have been cardmodelling for a long time.  Once a year, there is the "International Paper Modeller's Convention," which, for the past 14 years, has been held in Northern Virginia.

I've also been mildly active on their list for a long time, sometimes (but not often) contributing.  But I haven't been to the convention since maybe 2008.

Over the past 18 months, my male self has dropped off the list as far as anything active goes.  But Meg has filled in the (small) void.

I have spoken with many of the guys (it's almost all guys) who exhibit at the convention.  Some know me by sight when I walk in.

Not this time.  I plan for Meg to make an appearance.

I'm not sure if I should say "remember me?  I know I look different, but, hey, it's been five years.  What do you expect?" or if I should just be Meg.  Or say "hey, it's me.  It's costume season and I'm going to a party from here."

I expect to get some attention because most women who visit are there with families.  A single woman will stand out.  A single overdressed woman will definitely stand out.

And that's another problem.  There might be a larger concentration of kids there than I'm used to, as well as a larger ratio of guys-to-girls than I'm comfortable with.

It's late in the week and I'm still not sure what to wear when jeans is considered dressing up for this gang.
I'll be going alone, which means the first thing I'll need to do is check any butterflies at the door.  Especially since I'll know the guy at the registration desk.

I have one saving grace: nobody notices women over a certain age.  I'm beyond that age.

I'll have a report and pictures over the next few days.  I expect it to all be good.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Not Funny

I mentioned Close to Home last weekend.  I suggested it might be the worst strip ever.  Instead of posting my usual Sunday funnies here, I recommend you take a look at this blog post.

I leave a short excerpt here.  This is a bit that doesn't contain not-for-the-kiddies language.

THE WRITING: This comic is a deft combination of two overused clich├ęs in comics – a desert island gag and a “____ For Dummies” reference. The result is spectacularly forgettable. THE ART: Line variation can really help out a drawing sometimes, but McPherson likes to draw body hair and grime with the same pen he draws everything else with, I guess. This man doesn’t look like he’s been marooned on an island. He looks like he was mercilessly beaten with a cactus.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Disney villians dressed as princesses for Halloween.  I pulled the image from here.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Peeking Out

Last week, at a meeting, I noticed one of the women I interface with had a Coach badge holder around her neck.  It had a clear plastic side and a classic Coach brown pattern on the obverse.

The other day, we were chatting and the badge holder was turned with the Coach side facing out.  I said "cute badge holder" and she said she loves it for travelling because she puts her driver's license in there for airport security and she can just wear it through the metal detector.  I said "well I carry one of these" and pulled out my Coach mini-wallet.  She said she'd seen those and loved them.

No other comment on what I was carrying.  Or my Pandora bracelet.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Small Change

I haven't been wearing my charm bracelet daily now.  I've been switching off with a borrowed Pandora bracelet.

It has a handful of charms, like in the picture at the top right on that page.

What I like: it's easy to change beads if you wish.  Open it, slide them off, slide new ones on.

What I don't like: it's easy to let it slip and drop beads all over the floor/under the bed/wherever it's most inconvenient.

Also, with few charms they have a tendency to slide under your wrist instead of lying nicely on top.  It falls low on my wrist, but I presume if more beads are added it would have to sit higher.

This one has
* a purple patterned glass bead
* a silver owl
* a flowered purple glass bead
* a small silver heart
* a Jewish (six-sided) star
* a green faceted bead
* a high-heel shoe and
* a light grey daffodil-type flower glass bead

I wear it irregularly, switching between that and my regular charm bracelet.  Meg hasn't worn it, although she might next time she goes out (at the most recent games, I wore a bracelet that matched my earrings).

No-one has commented on the bracelet yet.  But I also got new glasses (alas, boy frames) for the first time in years and no-one's noticed that either.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Simple Pleasure ~ Extremes

This week's poll: would you meet someone who only knows you as a female, when you are in drab?  For instance, a t-friend you met as part of a group, or the woman who does your mani-pedi.  Assume they know you're trans.  The choices are:
* yes, if s/he's trans too
* yes, if  s/he's a civilian only
* unqualified yes
* no

This one's important.

When I'm in drab, I have on girl clothes under my male clothes.

When I'm dressed, I dress... well, not to kill but maybe to maim.  I certainly am one of the dressiest women in whatever venue I appear (trans group getogethers excepted).

Since I'm either in drab or drag, I'm always either underdressing or overdressing.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Civilan Games Night ~ At the Games

This week's poll: would you meet someone who only knows you as a female, when you are in drab?  For instance, a t-friend you met as part of a group, or the woman who does your mani-pedi.  Assume they know you're trans.  The choices are:
* yes, if s/he's trans too
* yes, if  s/he's a civilian only
* unqualified yes
* no

This one's important.  And the results so far have surprised the heck out of me!

At the start of the evening, we all sat around and introduced ourselves and talked. 
Who's imitating whom?

I'm starting to introduce myself as simply "I'm Meg" instead of "call me Meg."  As I go out more, I feel like Meg is more a part of me.  A couple of players use nicknames; I think I can honestly consider this mine.

There weren't any new players, I think, but there were some who I've never run into before.  Meg was as welcome as anyone.

Eventually I said "why isn't anyone playing games?" and we split into tables.  Some people played hearts, some played King of Tokyo, a
We're green ~ one square from the endgame!  W00T!
Blokus game started up.  I'm starting to know many of these games.

I played two games, both of the party variety.  One was Cranium, which I had played before.

Cranium is kind of a cross between Trivial Pursuit and Pictionary, with Charades thrown in.  You might have to act out something (either vocally or mime or charades), or hum or whistle a song, or draw something (sometimes with eyes closed) or make something out of clay.  There are also word questions (definitions, unscramble, spell backwards) and trivia questions.  Due to the fact that my team was able to avoid most of those categories except trivia (until the end when you need to answer one question from each category), we eked out a victory!
Havin' a good time.

I avoided things where I may have to speak up.  When we did ones where you could act as a person, I passed to my partner (she did an amazing "Kramer).  When there were mime or charades act outs, I took the lead.  Each turn someone not on the team of the player has to read a card.  I tried to not do that, but if I was closest and no-one reached, or someone said "Meg?  Do you want to read?" I always agreed to do so.

I'm often at a disadvantage when we get to the geek stuff.  I think geek is generational, like other trivia.  One of our questions was about cloning a Wooly Mammoth that was thawed which led to me making a comment about "using frog DNA to fill in the missing bits" and that led to a series of Jurassic Park references.  I assessed the table and said "I bet I'm the only person who saw Jurassic Park on opening day."  One of the guys sitting across from me shook his head.  I said "what were you?  Four?"  He said "how old do you think I am?"

King of Tokyo at the rear table.  Pandemic in the foreground
Me ready for a round of sleep.

He has very long straight hair (he should try dressing, if he hasn't) and I would have thought 24 would be about right (Jurassic Park came out 20 years ago on my birthday).  But I did some quick math and figured the youngest a kid would probably get to see that (on opening day: parents couldn't check it out first) would be ten.  So I said "thirty."  He looked surprised and said "that's exactly right."

Six of us went downstairs to play Catch Phrase, where you split into teams and pass a gadget that has a card with words or phrases in it and you have to give clues that your teammates can use to figure it out.  You need to do this quickly.  The game is fast, and we played three rounds.  And that meant I did a LOT of talking ~ describing the word(s) or trying to guess.

The fun thing about party games is, people get excited and blurt things out.  On different occasions, from different people I heard exclamations such as "how did she know that?" or "it's her turn" directed at me.

They're a good bunch of guys and I had a great time.  Sometimes, I think the games are getting boring and maybe I'd like to do something else, but this is becoming comfortable.   They're having a Halloween thing this coming weekend, and I'm thinking of going (the t-group is also doing a restaurant/bar hop that same night) if I can think of a costume.  So far, I haven't.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Games People Play

This week's poll: would you meet someone who only knows you as a female, when you are in drab?  For instance, a t-friend you met as part of a group, or the woman who does your mani-pedi.  Assume they know you're trans.  The choices are:
* yes, if s/he's trans too
I love this dress!
* yes, if  s/he's a civilian only
* unqualified yes
* no

This one's important.

A couple of days ago, we had another civilian game night.

It's been a month since I've been out and I was looking forward to it.

The weather is getting cooler, and I took advantage to pull out a deep red cowl neck sweater dress.  It has a very full, pleated skirt that takes on a life of its own.  The shape of the dress was such that I didn't even need my padded panty.  It somehow emphasises what little I have and turns it into something resembling curves.  So I was somewhat more comfortable than I might have been.

I did have to remember, after a summer of maxidresses, I had to be a bit more, um, demure.  Sitting on the floor wouldn't work.

I added brown tights and boots and the black bag I used at the renfest and I was ready to go.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Funnies ~ Rubes

This week's poll: would you meet someone who only knows you as a female, when you are in drab?  For instance, a t-friend you met as part of a group, or the woman who does your mani-pedi.  Assume they know you're trans.  The choices are:
* yes, if s/he's trans too
* yes, if  s/he's a civilian only
* unqualified yes
* no

This one's important.

Leigh Rubin's Rubes is a fun strip I've featured before.  Here are nearly a dozen to brighten up your Sunday morning.

Two Death cartoons?  But they both work well.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Same Artist. Hmmmm....

This week's poll: would you meet someone who only knows you as a female, when you are in drab?  For instance, a t-friend you met as part of a group, or the woman who does your mani-pedi.  Assume they know you're trans.  The choices are:
* yes, if s/he's trans too
* yes, if  s/he's a civilian only
* unqualified yes
* no

This one's important.

Caveat: Pick the absolute worst comic strip ever (I'd nominate Close to Home) and I can't do as well as he does.  I can't draw, I can't come up with a premise, I can't come up with an idea seven days a week, year after year after year.

But, hey, c'mon.  I think Fred Wagner's just coasting here, unless he makes it a theme, with all sorts of different forest creatures wearing heels.  And if it wasn't the "girl" content, I probably wouldn't have noticed.

And I just realised, I don't recall ever seeing another article of clothing (shown or implied) on any of the animals here.  And the strip is called Animal Crackers.

Stana should LOVE this one! :D

Friday, October 18, 2013

Going to the Birds

First, the poll: would you meet someone who only knows you as a female, when you are in drab?  For instance, a t-friend you met as part of a group, or the woman who does your mani-pedi.  Assume they know you're trans.  The choices are:
* yes, if s/he's trans too
* yes, if  s/he's a civilian only
* unqualified yes
* no

This one's important.

I have a bird.  She's a baby cinnamon pearl cockatiel, born in mid-June.
Ain't she cute?

She doesn't have a real name yet.  She doesn't really have a gender yet.  I call her "she" because, well, why not?  If she turns out to be a he, she won't be offended, I'm sure.  I mean, I never am.

So I've been mulling over a name.  I'm leaning towards gender bending names, but I'm still open.
  • Lola, or Arnold Layne: two musical gender benders.  Plus, Lola has the "Damn Yankees" siren aura.
  • Holly: Another musical reference ("Walk on the Wild Side") AND a Red Dwarf shout out.  Holly was the ship's computer which appeared as a head on a monitor.  In one episode, he met his female counterpart ("Hilly") and between seasons, he had a "head sex change operation" and, although still called Holly, presented as Hilly.
  • Dil, from The Crying Game.
  • Mr or Miss {something}, although I'm not sure what.  Doubtfire, possibly.
  • Daphne or Josephine, from Some Like It Hot (or Hildy or Buffy from Bosom Buddies). (And if you're curious, look at :) )
  • Rebel ("not sure if you're a boy or a girl").
  • a random name that means something to me, like Catan (a game I enjoy) or Gem (short for "Gemini," since she's a Gemini.
  • Brewster, McCloud, or Louise from "Brewster McCloud," the story of a boy who made wings to fly away (good movie, by the way!).
  • Icarus or Daedelus, also people who made wings but the temptation to call her "Icky" or "Daedy" would be too great.
  • Neil, as in Neil Young.  She's a Cinnamon Pearl, he wrote Cinnamon Girl.
 I like Gem, but I think she needs a two-syllable name.

I've been calling her Gem anyway.  I don't think it will stick.

Sometimes, we call her "Boo" or "Chicky Boo" which I really don't like but it seems natural and is growing on me.  To find out why, look here.

Frankly, if we're going with an Animaniacs, I'd go with Buttons or Mindy. And if she's a talker, I will work hard to get her to say "OK lady, I love you, bye bye."

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I Must Have a Hole in My Head

At least that's the way you voted.  It was 10:1 in favour of getting my ears pierced.

I still have a serious problem with punctures.  I don't even like seeing a nail in a tyre.  Discussing tetanus shots, I recently recalled that, every spring when I'd start to work on my roses, no matter how careful I was I'd get a thorn right in the middle of a knuckle.  It didn't matter if I was barehanded, gloved, or wore a gauntlet.  And the memory still makes me shudder.  I saw a friend put in an earring and it gave me the willies.

So in addition to the other minuses, which can probably be overcome, I really need to get over this one.

Now, a question in the poll position....

Would you meet someone who only knows you as a female, when you are in drab?  For instance, a t-friend you met as part of a group, or the woman who does your mani-pedi.  Assume they know you're trans.  The choices are:
* yes, if s/he's trans too
* yes, if  s/he's a civilian only
* unqualified yes
* no

This one's important.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Simple Pleasure ~ Getting Organised

(note: if you see a new poll off to the right, please ignore it until Thursday morning when I'll explain it)

Last week, while Charity went on a date (to a concert), I took advantage of a quiet apartment to do some closet reorganisation.

I try to keep clothes organised but it doesn't always (ever?) work.  I want dresses, skirts, tops together.  I want new things, things I've never worn, near the front of the closet.  Within groups, I want favourites in front of not-so-favourites.

Instead, things get jumbled together.  When I see something I don't think I've worn (or it still has tags on it), I put it on a chair to Deal With Later.  This means a pile of nice, unworn clothing wrinkling on a chair.

I bought a new hanger that holds four skirts ($4 at Marshalls).  I push the limit by putting two on each clip and that means a bit more space in a not-very-large closet.  I put some things I won't ever wear, even around the house, into the "swap" bag.

I cranked up the mp3 player and got to it.  It took me well into the night but the closet looks better, the chair looks happier, and I didn't have to worry about waking anyone up while I was dropping hangers and saying bad words because I dropped more hangers.

(aside: I have a USB turntable.  The turntable has an audio input so I can plug a tape deck into the turntable.  It also came with some simple software so I can record whatever's playing on the turntable or tape deck.  I also have at least 400 cassette tapes (maybe as many as 600 ~ they're hiding everywhere).  So I've been copying cassette tapes to MP3 and playing a few bits and pieces of each so I can label them.  I'll start putting them in my mp3 player in the car so I can listen and decide what to keep and what to throw away.  So far, I've copied in 75 tapes and it looks like I haven't even made a dent in the original mountains of sound.  So when I'm doing things around the apartment I just put on one of the converted cassettes and enjoy.)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hiding Our Heritage

I have a confession to make.  Two actually.

I'm Jewish.  And my name is not Meg Winters. 

When the name Meg came into my consciousness (it was my name during a "past life regression."  I won't discuss whether I believe in them or not; I was subject to a few like this one), I knew it was one of many short forms of Margaret.  Margaret is one of those magical girl names which have dozens of nicknames: Meg, Peg, Marge, Maggie, Peggy, and on and on.  (Side note: I once asked a woman I work with, who introduced herself to me as "Kimberly" if she ever used a short form of her name.  She said "like 'Kim'?" and I said "well, yeah.  Or 'Burley'."  Yes, I lived.)

Margaret is never a Jewish name, often a Catholic name.  A couple of people assumed "Meg" was short for "Megan," but being over the Age When Everyone Was Named Megan, I never thought of that.  I doubt there's a woman my age named "Megan."

I'm not sure where Winters came from.  Winters is a good British name, not a Jewish one.

So when I introduce myself ("call me Meg"), there's no Jewish clue.  Even if I offer my last name, there's no Jewish "tell" there.

I don't hide my heritage.  At game nights, I spoke with other "members of the tribe" and identified myself as such.  But I'm hesitant....  "I belong to ....  Where do you belong?" might mean a story.  "Me too!" could be awkward, especially since nobody's acknowledged that I'm not what I appear.

I'm sure that's true of other girls I meet at t-events.  We choose names that may or may not match our heritage.  I never looked at a list of names and said "I need one that reflects history" and declared myself to be "Sarah Berkowitz," any more than Mike McMasters said "Abigail O'Toole.  What else could I call myself?"

But we lose something.

I don't have a clue as to how important this is, or how to fix it, but I've been thinking about it a bit.  A lot.

And I'm open to ideas, readers.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Something New!

Typical molded bra
During my short trip to the beach a few weeks ago, I found a lingerie store.  They had a wide variety of "bra bags."  I had no idea what this was for.  It came in two sizes, normal and Oh My God.  Apparently, they're for packing "molded bras," something I was also unfamiliar with.

I don't have any molded bras.  I don't have any plans to purchase any.  But the way I pack my forms is awkward.  I wrote about this before.

Basically, I keep them in the box they came in, which has molded plastic inserts fitted tightly into a cardboard box.  I put the form in the box and turn the insert over so it can sit tightly on the form.  Then I put other clothes and such into the boxes so I have less empty space in my luggage and so the inserts don't shift and get damaged.

The forms I prefer are basically a bag with liquid(ish) silicon inside.  Break a bag and buy a new form.  My forms are the most expensive items of girl stuff I own.  Nothing else comes close.

Bra bag varieties.  The final six are "panty packs"
A few times I just packed the forms into plastic bags and then carefully into my clothing.  That's not good enough.  While the airport gorillas were tossing about my luggage duing one trip, one broke.  Thankfully, this was both on the way home and confined to the plastic bag.  When I last looked, they were still useable, but I should seal that hole.  For all I know, by now the one with the hole has completely emptied.  I haven't checked.  I bought a new pair.

So the idea of a bag I could put the forms in was tempting.  They had several different patterns and styles but I weighed the plusses and minuses....

Plus: they would keep the forms in place and hopefully allow them to travel unharmed.
Plus: it's smaller than the box.

Minus: they'd still need some packing material to ensure they stayed still, same as the box.
Minus: they're sort of pricey.

And the deciding factor: I don't travel anymore.  If I change jobs, I'll revisit.

Besides, I know the absolute best way to take your forms with you:

Stick them in a bra and wear them.

If you want to learn more about molded bras, see below.

Copied from


A molded bra - or, more accurately, a bra with molded cups - is exactly as it sounds. This style bra is made by a machine that forms the cups around a mold, using heat - so they hold their shape. And, molded cups are made from synthetic fibers.


  • PADDING? It can, but then it isn't just a molded bra - it's called a contour style bra with a molded cup.
    A molded bra cup is also typically unlined - but it can also be lined, depending on the brand.

  • SEAMS? Sometimes. A molded bra is most often seamless, but some styles can have seams in the cups, which will provide extra support, although it is rare. The bra shown on this page has molded cups with seams.

  • UNDERWIRE? It can. Molded cups are designed to hold their shape without underwire, and you'll find them in some wire-free bras. But, there are also plenty of molded bra styles that do have underwire, like the one shown by Cosabella.
Molded bra cups will keep their shape. So when you pick up a molded bra, the cups will look rounded.

Several bra styles can have molded cups, like padded bras, contour bras and T-shirt bras.

Molded cups are designed to help shape your body, since most women aren't perfectly "rounded". (Let's face it - "round" and "perky" doesn't always go hand-in-hand with "real" body shapes.)

Molded bras come in all sizes. There are some positive aspects, as well as some negative features of this bra style, relative to your size.

Women who wear a small cup size might like the extra shaping a molded bra cup provides - but, often a contour cup will be even more flattering.

Women who wear a large cup size may like that a molded bra offers some shaping without bulky padding.

Some women may find that since a molded bra has cups that are pre-formed in a specific shape, this style bra doesn't always match up with their natural body shape.

A molded bra is a great style to wear everyday, if it's a style that fits your body type. It is a bra style that works well with all types of clothing - from a clingy t-shirt, to a fancy dress.

This style bra is also perfect for a special occasion, because you can find one with pretty details like a fancy lace overlay.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

More Fusco

Yesterday was an oddity.  Actually, the Fusco Brothers are often oddities.  But who am I to talk?

Here are a few more.  You'll notice that most of them have one of the brothers on a shrink's couch.  Mr Duffy has some themes he likes to repeat, sometimes with great effect, sometimes not so much.  In addition to the couch, he relies on the bar hookup, fly in soup, lawyer talking to judge a lot.  He also uses the floating question mark (or exclamation point, or both or many) to excess, sometimes incorporating the fact that they're there as part of the joke (the metahumour I love so much).  I'm surprised there's only one in the five strips here.

The animal is a wolverine, not a dog.

I want that shirt!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sounds Like the Start of a Story

"I know you don't want to, but it's for the good of the strip" followed by other rationalisations until Alex agrees.

Keep talking, Lars

Friday, October 11, 2013

Old News, But Worth Sharing

This was posted on the Associate Press blog in late August.  I like their style.

Update: The following advisory was sent to AP member editors and other subscribers on Aug. 26, 2013, at 6:03 p.m.:

The Associated Press will henceforth use Pvt. Chelsea E. Manning and female pronouns for the soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning, in accordance with her wishes to live as a woman.

Manning announced her wishes last Thursday after being sentenced to 35 years in Fort Leavenworth military prison and a dishonorable discharge from the U.S. Army for revealing U.S. secrets to WikiLeaks, the anti-establishment website.

Manning’s statement was reiterated, with additional detail, in a blog posting ( and an interview with The Associated Press on Monday by defense attorney David E. Coombs.

The use of the first name Chelsea and feminine pronouns in Manning’s case is in conformity with the transgender guidance in the AP Stylebook. The guidance calls for using the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.


The following note was sent to AP member and subscriber editors on Aug. 22, 2013, at 7:46 p.m. ET:

The Associated Press policy as stated in the AP Stylebook is to comply with the gender identity preference of an individual.

At this time, the AP is seeking more details about the gender change statement attributed to Pfc. Bradley Manning that was read Thursday on the “Today” show in the presence of defense attorney David Coombs. The typewritten statement said “I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female,” and asked supporters to use “my new name and use the feminine pronoun” in gender references to the U.S. Army soldier. Manning’s lawyers had raised the issue of gender identity during the trial, but Thursday’s statement went further.
Manning was sentenced Wednesday to 35 years in Leavenworth military prison for providing secret U.S. government documents to WikiLeaks, the anti-establishment website.

With Manning in custody and unavailable to comment, the AP is seeking additional information about the statement from Coombs, who did not immediately respond to email and telephone messages.

For the time being, AP stories will use gender-neutral references to Manning and provide the pertinent background on the transgender issue. However, when reporting is completed, the AP Stylebook entry on “transgender” will be AP’s guide.

That stylebook entry states: “Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth. If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly. “

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Toes on the Beach ~ A Different Experience

A few weeks ago, I wrote about wearing sandals to the Fringe festival.  I was in drab, with painted toenails.  I walked around DC for quite a while, and noted people's reactions, or lack thereof.  Almost universally, it was the latter.

Labour Day weekend, I went to the beach for a day, again in drab and shorts and sandals and my pedicure from a few weeks ago, which is holding up quite nicely.

From where I live, a trip to the beach is, at best, a 3-1/2 hour drive.  A day is enough for me; I can tolerate an overnight because it lets me watch the sunset/sunrise over the water.  Budget being what it is, I decided a day was enough time to enjoy a walk on the sand and a wander through town.

My Sunday was pretty much: long drive, walk through town, walk on the beach, wait out some thunderstorms, walk back through town to feed the parking meter, walk back to the beach (I had to park about a half-mile from the water), walk in the sand and around parts of the town I'd missed (window shopping, mostly), then back to the car.  There was a dinner stop on the way home, not far from the beach, then that long drive home.

There were a lot of people in the town, beach, restaurant.  When I got home, I realised I didn't look to see if anyone pulled a face (good or bad), or even noticed my toes.

I guess I'm still on that path towards "I don't care."  Which, I hope, is my destination.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Simple... Pleasure?

I've been trying to keep my nails looking nice.  They have a habit of breaking and I've been using Nailtiques formula #2 to both harden my nails and give them some shine.

They still break, but there's no breaking bad.  So to speak.

However, I noticed that my right thumbnail has a split right in the centre of the nail.  It's about an eighth or sixteenth of an inch deep, depending on how short my nails are.

It was puzzling, until I realised that every day, twice a day, I open clasps on both my necklace and bracelet with that exact spot on my fingernail.

I need to find a fix for that.  I can't do clasps with my left thumb though.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Still Nothing

A follow up to yesterday's kinda-coming-out to the office fashionista....

Since showing her the Renaissance Faire photos, I showed her pictures of my Halloween "costumes."  I showed her my office drag and said "see?  I did wear heels" and my "Christine O'Donnell" picture.  She commented that I'm set on that hair, because I was wearing the same wig each time.

Actually, I had on a different wig each time.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Forward, Into the Past ~ Sharing

Before going to the faire, I spoke to the office fashionista about it.  She has a two-year old son. Her husband had attended faires, but she and her son had never been.  I told her how much fun it is, even for small children.  When I told her I'd be going in costume supplied by a friend of ours, she immediately responded "pictures!"

She said she wanted to see me "in tights" and suggested that men had more costume choices than women.  I hadn't thought about that, but she's right.  I agreed and now I wonder when that changed.

I also told her I didn't know what my costume would be and that I didn't ask, although I would to make sure I'm bringing the right stuff of my own.  She said "like shoes?" and I agreed.

I admit to being a bit worried about bringing pictures of Meg in to the office.  I'm not about to say "don't tell anyone" so anything she would see would become an open secret.  I decided that was OK.

I also had levels of admission.  I wasn't going to tell stories, but if she didn't ask, I wouldn't tell.  I sorted my pictures into groups: performers, other guests, "our group," jousting....  I sorted the pictures in each group so they made some sort of sense.  The "us" group I sorted as:
* a group shot
* me
* Charity
* jousting
* other shots of the group, including a few of me buying the garland.

I showed her my other "guests" folder first so she could see some of the various costumes visitors wore.  I pointed out the "typical" girl costume as well as some of the "upper-class" costumes.  I'm far from being an expert on the times, but I think most women were dressed as middle-class women of the time.  A few had dresses such as titled women might wear.  Again, that's conjecture.  I am a good example of the adage "those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it."  I didn't learn, and I had to repeat history several times, when I was in school.  ;-)

We looked at the performer pictures, and the jousting shots.

Then I pulled up the group picture which I identified with "when we all met up, I got a picture of the group" which left ambiguous whether I was part of the group, or the picture taker.  I then identified them from left to right.  When I got to Meg, I said "this is me."  There was silence and then she burst out with "it IS you!  I was wondering who that was... maybe a distant relative or something."

I showed her the pictures of me at Star's house in my costume, and at the faire.  I showed her my sandals, which meant my painted toes.  She said "I'm going to paint my husband's toenails!"  She also said, in response to another (guest) costume, that she wanted to see her husband in tights (this was before she saw the Meg pictures and thought I would be wearing tights).

We went through the rest of the pictures.  At one point she said "Interesting.  Your friend isn't wearing lipstick and you are."  I said "I'm also wearing eye makeup.  I had to look like a girl; she didn't have to."

She loved my garland.

I told her I had never in my life been addressed as "m'lady."

When we were through, after comments on how I had gone "all out" for the faire, I made a decision I had been putting off.  I had two pictures of Meg, pre-faire.  I wasn't sure if I should show them.  She hadn't asked any questions implying I did this more than once in a lifetime and I thought that would surely go where I maybe shouldn't.

But I did.

I showed her a full-length that brought out an "oh my!" but no questions.  I told her I HATED the shoes.  She said "did you ever try to walk in heels?"  I admitted I had, and she asked if it was hard.  I said "I didn't have much trouble."  She said "that's good."  But she didn't ask why I was wearing heels.

The only questions that showing her the pre-faire pictures brought out were "so you knew what kind of costume you were wearing."  I said we discussed it right before the faire, but I didn't have any details.
She didn't ask about where the hair came from, or shoes, or dress, or anything else.


She did wonder if she could get her husband to dress like that, and said "I don't thimk he could pull it off like you did."

She also suggested, if I did this again, she'd enjoy dressing me up.  I'd enjoy that too.

And if I can figure out an easy way to add a photo album page to the blog, I'll put up some of the other photos.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Funnies

A little assortment today.  Click to enlarge Adam @ Home, Sherman's Lagoon, In the Bleachers, Cornered, and Sylvia

I love a little metahumour

Saturday, October 5, 2013

You Go Herb!

Just one Herb and Jamaal cartoon today.  Click to enjoy the artwork.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Forward, Into the Past ~ Getting Sloppy

I wasn't ready to change when I got back to my apartment.  That seems to be on a case-by-case basis.  Sometimes, I'm ready to change when I get home; sometimes I want to just stay dressed all night.  It was a few weeks since Meg last made an appearance (her only one in September, by the way), so maybe that's an indicator.

I did remove my shoes and contacts, but I stayed in my dress for dinner.  By the time that was over, it was almost 10:30 and my alarm is set for 5:15 on work days.

I reversed my makeup removal routine.  My old procedure was to get out the makeup remover (I have a few; I'm not sure which one works best) and cotton pads and clean up my eyes and lips.  Then I shower and scrub to get rid of foundation, blush, etc.

In my new routine, I shower first.  It takes less time and fewer pads that way.

Sunday night, it was late when I stepped out of the shower, brushed my teeth, and hopped into bed.

Monday morning, I was sitting at my desk at the office when I suddenly remembered that I did NOT do the final makeup-removal step!  I remembered that, in the spirit of the Renaissance, Charity went easy and natural on my makeup and colours.  I was mostly worried about runny liner and mascara.  I finished what I was doing and went to the bathroom to take a look at my eyes and lips.

Fortunately, they looked fine.

And interestingly, there was no panic/moment of panic over getting caught with makeup.  I was even thinking of saying "a group of us went to the Renaissance Festival yesterday and I had this GREAT costume...."  (And I did show one of my officemates my photo, but that's another post).

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Forward, Into the Past ~ Stopping at the Cat House

Charity had committed to watching a co-worker's cat, starting on RenFest day.

We changed out of our costumes and into street (for me, that's Meg) clothes at Star's house, and since the apartment was near their house and mostly on our way home, I agreed to stop while she checked on the kitty.

She had the key to the apartment; we drove over and parked kind of far from the front door (not intentionally, and we had done a lot of walking already that day).  We walked over and she opened the door.

Well, not quite.

The key didn't work.  she tried it; I tried it; a woman in the next apartment showed up and I explained what the problem was and she tried it.  (Note: Meg explained, she still helped, no questions asked.  Hooray for our side!)

Charity knew that the co-worker had a boyfriend (also a co-worker) and she had his number.  She called him up and, yes, he had a key to her apartment, and yes, he could come over in about 15 minutes.

We loitered.  Charity had told only one person at work about Meg.  Fortunately, it was he.  She had not only not told him on the phone how I was dressed; she didn't even mention that I was there.

We discussed, and I had no interest in waiting in the car so we both loitered some more.

He showed up, Charity introduced us, and we went in.  It turns out he had just driven the cat owner to the airport an hour earlier so the cat was covered, but if we hadn't gone, Charity wouldn't have known about the key (it was the wrong one) until early the next morning and that would have been difficult.

Mostly I hung back while they chatted, mostly about the kitty.  Later I found out that he didn't know I was her roomie.  He thought I was just One Of Many trans friends, which is interesting.

Not long after that, a transwoman brought a pet into the animal hospital where Charity works.  The employees were happily making fun of her (behind her back, of course) while Charity was busily telling them to KNOCK IT OFF.  I hope more of them get to meet Meg.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Simple Pleasure ~ Underdressing

(since several of you have asked, let me say that I am a government contractor, my building is closed, all of my government counterparts are home but I'm still slaving away on my project and will probably even get paid on time for my toil.  Don't ask what I think about the whole closure thing ~ my blood pressure can't take it anymore.)

I want to follow up on last Wednesday's "don't adjust your strap; people will notice" post.  By the way, check out the comments for that post.  You guys had good suggestions.

I enjoy underdressing.  It brings a bit of my hobby into every day life, and I find that relaxing.

Today's hint: don't push it.

I had my charm bracelet for quite a while before I decided it was either OK for me to wear it out, or I didn't care if anyone noticed.  Remember that care-don't care spectrum I've written about many times.  If you're not there today, you'll get there soon.  If you care what people think today, you'll get over that and wear what you want, what you're comfortable with.

There's no point in wearing bright pink undies if you're going to spend all day checking to make sure the inseam on your pants didn't split.  They didn't, and you look silly.  So if you notice you keep reaching for your buttseam, wait a bit.

Same thing with pulling your pants down so no-one notices your hose or tights or cute socks, or anything else you decide to wear.

You'll be ready soon enough.  Wait until you can cherish the experience instead of spending a day in constant panic.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Forward, Into the Past ~ Men In Skirts

I wasn't the only one.

also cute rendresses

actors advertising their show

guest and cute rendress

shopkeeper.  We had a nice chat.

C'mon.  Sneakers?  Not a costume.

random performerware