Saturday, May 31, 2014

Take Your Real Self to Work Day!

From Jerry Van Amerongen's Ballard Streetand Jim Unger's Herman....


Friday, May 30, 2014

Faire Winds and Following Seas

Sorry!  Yesterday's post didn't get published in the morning!

So I went to the faire in drab.  I wanted to look around and maybe do a bit of shopping.  There's the
The outfit.
basic Renaissance Woman outfit:
bodice: long (pretty much a dress) or short (shirt length).
underskirt: if you don't have a long bodice, you can wear a skirt that extends past the outerskirt so you see a few inches of hem.
skirt: over the underskirt.
corset: maybe with shoulder straps, maybe not.

The skirt can be switched and you can wear the bodice as a dress and the other skirt as an underskirt.  And the underskirt is optional, when it comes down to it.

I don't have any of those things, but I decided to look and see what I could find at the faire anyway.

We looked at corsets.  I like the ones with straps like I wore last year, but mostly they showed more "modern" corsets, with clips in the front and laces in the back ~ the sort of corset you'd find in a fancy lingerie store.

That's what I was trying on.

We were looking and I was wondering what size would be correct when the saleslady in the picture from the other day came over and asked Charity what size dress she wore.  Charity said it was not for her and the saleslady laughed and turned to me and asked what size pants I wore.  I told her, she asked what colour I was interested in, and she pulled out a corset she thought would fit me.

Click to see if she falls out of her corset. :)

She explained how to put it on, and I tried on two.  The first one fit OK, a bit tight, but I wanted to try one one size smaller.  I do want to lose a bit of weight and sometimes I'm over-optimistic.

Some shoppers looked and smiled and moved on.  The youngish girl behind the register seemed to enjoy seeing me try on the corset.

At the end, I again pulled out the picture (above) on my phone and showed it to both the fitter and the cashier.

It cost way more than I wanted to spend, but I figure it's a one-time purchase that should last a long time, since I'll (probably) only wear it at the faires (although it does give me quite a figure!).

So I bought it.  I'll consider it an early birthday present to me.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

In Olden Days a Glimpse of Stocking...

...was pretty much nonexistent at the Renaissance Faire.  At least amongst the girls in costume.  In
not my hand.
fact, it was quite warm and probably none of the drab visitors wore stockings either.

The Virginia Renaissance Faire is on the small side.  It's in a winery in Spotsylvania (I would have preferred Pottsylvania, but...).  There was quite a crowd there; I suspect a lot of people came from downstate, to enjoy a faire without having to travel another hour and a half to get to the Maryland one.

The VA faire was more kid-oriented than others I've been to.  There were lots of educational activities and events kids would probably enjoy more than adults would.

At one tent, they were selling mail-type jewelry and accessories.  They had chain mail hacky sacks, the headpieces that look great but rip out huge quantities of hair when removed, and more.  I was looking at one piece and had no idea what it was.  Something similar is in the picture here.  It's that picture = 1000 words thing.

A salesgirl saw I was confused and came over and picked up a pink one and put it on my finger/wrist.  Then she turned to someone else and loudly said something about how amusing it was that she would put a pink bracelet on a man.

Before leaving the booth, I showed her the picture of Meg at last year's faire and said "it's not that big a deal."


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Boo Blogger!

My (quite unimportant) poll doesn't seem to be working.

As I said, the last time I checked and there were actual votes, it was overwhelmingly "love the glasses" with a few "like the glasses" and no negative votes.

It was about 24 hours before I checked again, and it's possible the results then were 34 positive and 300 negative.  But I'll be optimistic and assume if no-one sends a comment or note saying "ewwwwww" the results I saw were indicative of the final.

So glasses are now an option.

Mostly, in drab, I wear glasses.  I'd prefer to not, but with glasses, I have two options: leave them on for general work or take them off for really close work.  Hey, that's just the way my eyes like to be.

With contacts, I don't have that choice, unless I get flip-ups. :)

Game days, I bring reading glasses but they're not ideal.


Contacts are better because you all can see my purty baby blues better.
Glasses are better because they hold more than contacts. :D


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The "Girl"

My poll is broken.  It seems to be a blogger problem.  When I last checked, the votes were all for love/like but it was down for as much as a day before I noticed it was zeroed.  Stay tuned.

There was a girl at the Renaissance Fair last weekend.  I've seen this character before.  She tries to look as hideous and common as possible and acts (pick one or more) crazy, flirty, or witch-ish.

This one was dirty and flirty.  I saw her sit on a bench watching the king and queen receive nobility and other important members of the shire, and she would sidle over to the guy sitting next to her and lean on him or reach as if to put her arm around him.

I was behind her but I moved around to the other side of the little stage and used my high-power zoom to get a couple of pictures.

Lady?  You tell me.  I'm not convinced.

By the way, there were a number of kilts there, including one knee-length black pleated skirt.  Is that Scottish or just a guy wearing a skirt?

Monday, May 26, 2014

How Fitting

Yes, that's me, in drab, getting fitted for a corset in the front of a shop at the VA Renfest!  Click to enlarge.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Funnies ~ Ruthie and Strange

So I had a few One Big Happy strips that I liked (Ruthie is the little girl) and a few Strange Brews that made me laugh.  I present them here.  Click to enjoy.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Clearly, A Good One

1. He was out
2. He got to wear a tutu.

I'd call it a good day

Friday, May 23, 2014

We're Making Progress

and faster than I expected.

This story in the Washington Post was about my (nominal) boss:

Hagel: Policies on transgender personnel serving in the military should be reviewed

from the article: 

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday that he was open to reconsidering the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military.

“I do think it continually should be reviewed,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I’m open to that.”

(If you read the article, be sure to follow the link referenced in the story.)

So it's nothing certain, but at least it's on the radar.  No, I'm not planning on enlisting.  I was once told that I was "army material" but they were thinking Salvation Army.

But I agree completely with Secretary Hagel:

The “bottom line,” Hagel said, is that “every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it.”

Right now, trans will still get you a dishonorable discharge.  I don't think being trans is equivalent to being a criminal in the military.

One more thing to remember this Memorial Day.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Gang's All Here!

Erica, Julie, Linda, Christine, Meg, and half of an Athena

Hey!  There's the rest of Athena (r) next to Charity!
That's one of the performers up front

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Simple Pleasure ~ No Contacts!

Well, I've been talking about it and thinking about it for months now.  I've been haunting websites, comparing looks and prices.  I've been observing peers to see what they wear.  And I finally took that last step.

I bought girl glasses.

I have a lot of limitations for getting glasses.  I kind of like the "Tootsie" frames but my vision is bad enough that I'd look like Percy Dovetonsils if I wore large frames.

I have to get the thinnest plastic possible, to reduce weight and a couple of odd visual effects: at the edge of my vision, fluorescent lights can prism and straight edges bend.  It's cool, actually, but distracting.

I kind of like small frames but I have blended glasses (like bifocals but less obvious) so I need larger frames.

I kind of like rimless but they often aren't available in my prescription.

What was left were a range of frames I rated from "ugh" to "these are OK" but nothing I loved.  Plus, I like to change my accessories and now I'd be stuck with one.  Even though I often find an accessory I stay with (my Coach bag, my black pumps), I like the option of changing (I carried a smaller grey purse on Sunday; I'll be in open-toed shoes soon).  Glasses are too big an investment for me to change on a whim.

So I picked a not-too-expensive "these are OK" frame and now I have an option I didn't have before: I can skip putting in/taking out my contacts, which is like using a Microsoft operating system: sometimes easy, sometimes hard, always an adventure.  I've had nights where I try to put a contact in a half dozen times before it will stay in, and nights when I've tried a dozen times to pull one out, each attempt a bit more painful than the one before.

And it means I can shave a few minutes off of getting ready/unready.  I think you'll see these more in the future.
Take a gander and take the poll.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It's a Magical Place

One of the ladies in our local trans group (Julie) knows one of the regular performers in a local drag show.  She invited our group to join her at a recent show; she attends regularly, both in drab with her wife, and dressed (solo).

Julie wanted us to all meet around 730.  I left early so I could take my time finding a place to park
see anything different?
(parking in DC is not always easy) and so I could screw up EVERY ONE OF THE THREE ROUNDABOUTS I HAD TO GO THROUGH.  If I decided to stay on the outside lane, it exited the circle too early.  If I determined the inside would be better, it was blocked from where I wanted to exit.

We beat Julie anyway, and there were two other girls there when we arrived.  If memory serves, it was Linda and Erica, both looking lovely.

I was worried about what to wear.  I knew I could be as outrageous as I wanted to be; I was in a safe place but I did have to walk from the car to both the restaurant and the apartment so I went for what I considered "dressy" but not "clubby."  I've worn this dress before but it's been a while.  I wore it when I drove to Richmond in 2011 and to my therapist's office in 2012.  I'm still sticking to my safe heels (that toe is not where I want it to be yet) so I wore black hose to go with the black and white dress.  I did wear my hip/butt pads; the dress looked better that way.

I'll tell myself I didn't want to upstage the performers until I believe it. :)

The performers came by before the show and did a little private preview for each table ~ kind of like a warmup for the studio audience before the show starts.  Most asked us our names and introduced themselves.  None of the (almost all male) dining crowd cared or stared.  Even the queens just treated us as any other table, which I found interesting.  You'd think they'd consider us sort of kindred spirits, although for the most part we were a straight table. I'm guessing most if not all of the performers were gay.

Let's see....  There were seven of us.  As far as I could tell, we were the only non-performing transpeople there.  Christine (sans Pamela), our hostess for the soirees, was present (and she left before I got to say goodbye!).  Wearing a strapless dress was Julie.  Of course Julie was there!  It was her party. :)  And I have to mention Athena ~ this was her first time out!  I bet it won't be her last.  She seemed so comfortable and natural as a girl.  And, of course, Charity was there, which meant I could have tee martoonis. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Late Night Sunday

The local Trans group went to see a drag show at the Black Fox Restaurant in DC.  I've never been to that particular restaurant nor to a drag show.  So I went.

It ended around 11.  I'm starting this post before going out, so I don't know if I'll be awake enough when I get home to write more.  I may be able to add a picture (I'm only bringing my phone for photos so be forewarned).

More tomorrow if it's too late tonight.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Scoping It Out

Two takes on the colonscopy.  C'mon, admit it: they're funny if you're not having one.

And happy 21st, kid.

Now THAT would be fun!

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Just... Nails.  From In the Bleachers, Frank and Ernest, and Zits.

Friday, May 16, 2014

John Hodgman!

Last night, I was out a bit late seeing John Hodgman at the Birchmere with my friends Charity, Star,
and Pooch.

When I started getting ready, the sky opened up.  It poured and, being my usual Fair Weather Meg, I sadly put away my dress and went in drab.

I was sitting near the stage and Hodgman was picking on various audience members who were foolish enough to sit close.  That's a picture of how he was dressed when he got on stage ~ we might have had an interesting chat!  He spent about a half-hour in the dress channeling Ayn Rand.  Paul and Storm opened the show.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What Can I Say?

If someone asked me to go to a cocktail party or happy hour I'd say no thanks.  If they said, you'll probably have met maybe a half of the guests before I'd still say no thanks.

Sometimes, introvert trumps.

It's actually not easy, for me, to go to a soiree.  There is some history of going to soirees now, and it's all good.  So it appears the urge to stay out of crowds is deeply ingrained indeed.

click to enlarge!
I always prepare myself by planning to introduce myself to the nearest person.  Yes, that increased anxiety but oddly enough having a plan helps.

As I move around, I keep doing that, until I really can't.  I don't know what makes me hit that limit.  Fortunately, I'm not the only girl with that strategy.

It's just one more thing I don't understand about myself.

I met some new girls, and one spouse who had never gone out with her partner before, and I met Beth's partner, and I had a nice chat with Steffi.  I got to spend some time with our hosts, Pamela and Chris ~ always a high point of my evening.

There were many more, including, of course, Sharon, who was nice enough to drive us there.

And there was a crowd.  The picture above shows the girls who didn't mind having their picture taken (some did; some spouses didn't want to be in pictures).

Sam, keeping Julia steady
Meg and Christine, planning to take over the world
Because someone said I was standing "like a dude"

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Simple Pleasure: Cute Packaging

Badly Drawn Cartoon with Sappy Storylines

Oops.  Sorry.  I scribbled a note to myself that said "Wednesday post: PAN DORA."  I just realised I meant "Pandora."

Most days, I wear my charm bracelet.  As I mentioned a few months ago, sometimes, I borrow Charity's Pandora-ish bracelet.  It's a knockoff and is proving it by changing colour in a way that silver never should.  (One of my favourite rings is doing the same.)

On the bracelet is a star of David, a high-heel shoe charm, an owl, a barrel with hearts around it, and three glass beads.

As the discolouration worsened, I considered getting a new bracelet.  I wore the old bracelet to a Pandora store.  I responded to the saleslady's "can I help you" query with "I'm looking for a bracelet."  She said "who are you shopping for?"

I hate that question.  Is it anybody's business?  I'm always tempted to say "it's my mistress's birthday.  I'll be paying cash" but I don't.

This time, I simply held up my wrist and said "I'm looking to replace this."

She was helpful, but I was kind of annoyed at the question and not in a good mood while shopping ~ and shopping for nice things is something I normally enjoy.

After selecting the bracelet, she handed me off to another saleslady for some reason.  The first

saleslady said "he'd like to purchase this bracelet."  The second saleslady said "who are you shopping for?"
I frowned and the first saleslady jumped in with "he's buying it for himself" and then looked at me like she was wondering if she had it right.  I have worn jewelry to a store that's not for me ~ for instance, I've worn a necklace because I wanted to find matching earrings and didn't want the necklace to get all tangled or knotted or possibly lost in my pocket.  Of course, I didn't MIND wearing the necklace, but still....

I was going to just replace the old bracelet with the new one and leave it where it sits when it's not being worn and see how long it would take Charity to notice.  But the woman put it in its little box, and put the box in a cute little shopping bag which she closed.  Then she took out tissue paper and I was thinking "shouldn't the paper go in before the back is closed?" but she made two little decorations out of the paper and I knew I had to show the bag and spoil my surprise.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Saturday OUT

Heads up!  Friday the thirteenth falls on a Tuesday this month!

Saturday, I had an invite to game day with our t-friendly group, and to another trans soiree.  I think
Meg and Sharon, before the soiree
that would be my seventh soiree and my sixth game day with Star and friends.

I had a few options:
I could
* go to the games in drab and leave early.  Then I could change and go to the soiree.
* go to the games as Meg, wearing makeup ready to go to a party and change dresses between events.
* go to the games as Meg, and update my makeup and change before the party.
* go to the games (in either mode) and stay until Star throws us out and skip the soiree.
* skip the games and just do the soiree.
* skip a Meg day.

I looked at what's in my backlog, and what's coming up and decided I would give the games a miss.

I was also having a bit of a need-to-be-alone feeling and didn't feel comfortable being around the gamers.  They have all known each other for at least a half a lifetime and sometimes I feel lost among them and that introvert/lost feeling was gnawing at me.  I'm not sure how much of my decision was workload and how much was a need to be alone for a bit.  But I had a lot of fun at the soiree and renewed some acquaintances and met some new girls.

I love games, but I think I made the right call.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Casting Surprise

I like to get to shows early.  I generally get to shows early enough to memorise the playbill.

Not quite, but I like to see who's going to be in the show (never anyone I know), what's going to be in each act/scene, who's doing the songs (if it's a musical; if it's not, I skip that part). 

I look at what the actors have done before ~ sometimes they're pretty amusing as opposed to a bland CV.  I usually stop before I get to who's donated how much, but, well, sometimes I get there pretty early and look for long-lost relatives (not so much).

So I sat up straight when I saw the cast for Threepenny Opera:

First I noticed the woman playing a male and female (Jimmy and Nelly) role.  That's not that unusual in a small cast.  Ms Thorne played a gang member and one of the prostitutes.

Then I noticed Lucy and Ned being played by Rick ~ that's more unusual.  And Lucy is not a minor role, although one of the more-clothed cast members (I did mention prostitutes, right?): she's one of Macheath's previous wives (he seems to have had several and it's unclear if he's had any proper divorces).  Lucy was a key part of Act II and she sang a duet with Polly (the next Mrs Macheath).

And even from row 3, I didn't pick out Lucy as a "Rick."  I was pretty impressed and it added to my enjoyment of the afternoon.  "Jimmy" was more obvious ~ he was definitely the shortest gang member and dressed in a more androgynous manner than the rest of the gang.

The closest parking garage to the theatre connects it to a supermarket.  The first time I was at Signature I parked there and picked up some groceries afterwards.  When I returned to my car, the cast was in the same garage, heading towards theirs.  I was tempted to hang around "backstage," as it were, to see if I could catch up with Lucy, but it seemed unlikely and I did have a possible deadline for un-Megging.

The full cast and music is below.

it is enlargeable

Sunday, May 11, 2014

More Fusco

Duffy's Fusco Brothers reuse the same themes.  Among them are failure at dating, Lance and his girlfriend, fly in soup, laziness, and, starting a few years ago, courtroom (one of the brothers became a lawyer).

Here are a handful for your enjoyment.  Click to enlarge, please.

TWO Groundhog day cartoons?!?

The overhead ? and ! are a staple.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

What's All the Fus(co)?

Sometimes, the Fusco Brothers surprises me, at least from a gender angle.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Everybody's A Critic

Let me start by saying everything's good when you're dressed right.

I didn't know much about Threepenny Opera, except for a few songs ("Tango Ballad," "Pirate Jenny,"
The stage, from row C
and of course "The Ballad of Mack the Knife").  I also knew it was originally called "The Beggar's Opera."

The director (producer? screenwriter?  who's in charge?) moved the story to the near future, when the queen is retiring and Prince Charles abdicates in favour of William, who will ascend to the throne.

The songs were well done.  Polly has a great voice, and showed how great in "Pirate Jenny" and "Barbara's Song."  Jenny sang a powerful "The Flick Knife Song" (an alternate translation of the "Mack the Knife" you all know) and a great "Pimp's Tango" with Macheath.  That was where I was disappointed.  Look up the lyrics to "Pimp's Tango" and "Tango Ballad."  They're the same song, but in the former it's clearly a pimp/prostitute relationship; in the latter, it's more of "lovers that went sour" and I like that more.

Other than the setting, the story was pretty much as originally written.  But Macheath seemed to be all bark and no bite.  I'd give it three stars out of five ~ one for each Penny.

Oh... I wasn't the only t-girl in the theatre.