Saturday, January 31, 2015

I'll Take A Dozen

Nobody ever invents useful stuff.  Like this.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Also at the Mall

While I was in the mall for my pre-wedding shedding, I decided to see if there were any Pandora charms I might like for our community bracelet (it's Charity's but I wear it too).  I wore it that day so I could see how new charms would look with the current ones and to ensure I didn't duplicate one that was already there.

I saw one I really liked, since it had the same elements as the ring we got as wedding rings at the Renaissance Fair (swans, crown, heart) and I waited for a sales lady.

When the saleslady arrived, I showed her my ring and we chatted about the symbolism.  I asked her about other charms I saw in their catalogue but didn't see in the shop.  Hint: the catalogue has retired items that are available on-line but not in the store.

The saleslady had a necklace that had some Hebrew letters on it.  Hebrew only has consonants; vowels are marks below the letters and are usually omitted.  Before really looking at it I said "is that your name," and I sounded it out.  It was clearly her name and I said "well obviously I should have read it before asking."

She was surprised that I had a Celtic ring and could read her name.

I also showed her my necklace, which was under my shirt but clearly a women's style.

But, like the haircut lady, no reason to mention my dressing arose so it remained unmentioned.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

While at the Mall

As I said, I also got my haircut.  I have a long time hair... I hate to call her a stylist since there's little to style but I'll stay with that term.

I have a long time hair stylist, N, and I always try to have her do my hair.  I also know the shop owner from outside the salon (our sons went to school together and we socialise at the state chess tournaments).  Because of that, I've always been cautious about telling N about Meg and have not yet done so. 

On occasions where I didn't come from the salon first, she always trims my brows, has seen but not commented on my feminine jewelry, and knows my aversion to body hair.

But I've always implied.  And every time I go, I look for an opening but one never shows up.  It's a bit odd to just say "did I ever tell you about my hobby?"

While I was previously married, I never felt it was the right thing to do because of the school connection and I didn't want someone telling my wife that she knew; that would be wrong.  I didn't care if it went the other way.

This time, I went in and felt it was really time to tell her.

Except... it didn't come up.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Calling Maxwell (Maxine?) Smart

It's not a shoe phone.  It's not a shoe-phone holder.  It IS a shoe phone-holder.

When we were in New York, we wandered through several of the holiday markets that pop up in New York City in December.  One, Vikolya, had, among other girlygoods, phone holders that looked like high-heel shoes.

There were a lot of shoes at the booth, but I was drawn to this one.  It reminded me of my wedding dress and it now sits on my night stand.  I look at it and think about how nice that dress looked and felt and wish I had a pair of those shoes in my size to wear with that dress!

If you have a few minutes and like girly styles, peruse the site for a few minutes.  They have high-heel ring holders and wine bottle holders.  They have bra and purse ring holders.  They have the cutest jewelry stands, and a lot more.  It's worth scanning through the site just to see how you'd decorate your vanity area, if you had one.  And they're a small family-owned business ~ my favourite kind.  Two of the principals are Viki and Olya.  I'm guessing the Russian lady (wo)manning the booth was either Viki or Olya.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

She Thinks I'm Joking

Prior to my wedding, I wanted to do my best to get all of the hair off my body.  I planned to wear tights and it's easy enough to shave my legs so I thought I would do them the night before.  My back and arms/shoulders are more difficult to clean up.  So I went back to my old salon lady.

I haven't seen her in a couple of years.  She has done my back and brows and maybe my arms before.  She knows about Meg ~ it's hard to get your brows done properly unless it's clear you want them girly, not just neatened.  She's seen photos as well.

She did my arms and back, as requested, and I had a not incredibly painful experience.  I also asked her to do my brows as long as I was there.  I reconsidered having her do my legs but didn't feel comfortable taking off my pants in the (closed room of the) salon, so I stuck with my do-it-myself plan.

For the dress I planned to wear, I didn't need to have my back done, but I like the feel of a hairless body.  Doesn't everyone?

After we were done, I was chatting with the receptionist/cashier while I paid.  I asked if they still used envelops for tips, and my waxy lady showed up and the cashier said "or you could just take care of her now."

The technician turned to the receptionist and said "he's getting married in a few days" and I said to her, "I have a dress picked out and everything."  The cashier smiled and, being funny, said "do you have a nice pair of heels too?"  I looked at my waxy lady and pointed at the cashier and said "she thinks I'm joking" and I turned and left.

As I left I heard her say "no, he's really going to wear a dress for his wedding" but not more of the conversation.

I did want to run down the mall so I could get my haircut as well ~ it was getting a bit long and I like my hair short under my wig.

After the haircut, I wandered around the mall, looking for a couple of things and found myself back near the nail salon.  The same woman was behind the register so I pulled a couple of Meg photos up on my phone and walked in and said "hi.  Remember me?"  She did and I said "I know you didn't believe me" and pulled up a photo for her.  My technician came over and wanted to see the pictures too, so I shared a couple and promised to return with pictures from the ceremony next time I was in the mall.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Casual Outing

A couple of Saturdays ago, I went to a game day in drab.  This is the one that has a mix of trans and civilians, and I've been to games both dressed and not.  On the first one where I went in drab, someone introduced himself.  I said "yes, we've met" and he was certain we had not.  So I guess my "Meg disguise" is a good one.

I wore my Mrs necklace, tights, girl jeans and a jean shirt, and a lightly padded bra and a camisole underneath.

A couple who were at the games previewed a costume for MarsCon the following week and I told them that Charity and I got married and one of our hosts was there, wearing a tuxedo.  I pulled out a few pictures and showed them around.  There were NO comments on the fact that I was wearing a dress.

So I am out enough.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Funnies: I'm A Funnies Fan

and there are a lot of good choices out there.  Most are available on free sites, although they can be a bit tedious to get (because you need to see ads constantly).

One of my favourite cartoonists is Keith Knight.  He's a busy man, writing and drawing "The Knight Life," "The K Chronicles," and "Th(ink)."  The strips are mostly autobiographical.  He also draws a couple of strips for Mad Magazine: "Father O'Flannity's Hot Tub Confessions" and "Bully Baby".

Busy busy man.

In another era, he'd probably be doing quite well for himself.  But now....  Everyone wants everything for free and it's hard to make a living entertaining people with still images.

Enter Patreon.  If you've ever wanted to be a "patron of the arts" (I haven't) this is your chance.  Keef (as he calls himself) has a page set up and you can donate anywhere from a buck a month and up to support his art.  Like kickstarter, there are levels for him and levels for you.  His page is here.  Some of his cartoons follow.  And at the bottom is me at, say, the opera.  So as I said, "patron of the arts" is not a description of yours truly (although Meg has been to a couple of plays recently.  She'll go ANYWHERE).

Click or scroll to enjoy.

Look!  A t-ish one!

The lady in panel 1 is Keef's wife.  Keef is the guy.

Me at the opera.  Or ballet.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Just a few makeup-oriented cartoons.  Even though they're not per se trans, I can relate.

Three from Betty, one each from The Meaning Of Lila, Ginger Meggs, and Zits.  The one-of's all have the "from monster to model" theme. Click or zoom to avoid eyestrain.

Oh... last week I skipped Saturday's cartoons.  My contract ends on Wednesday and that means it's Scramble For A New Job season.  I've been busy with my new full-time job (the aforementioned "scramble").

That's usually the reaction to MY makeovers

Friday, January 23, 2015

About the Substitute Dress

As I said yesterday, I had plenty of choices for "second place" on the ModCloth site.
The new dress is called "Tough Entre'acte To Follow Dress in Ivory."  The dress is pictured to the
Looks better on her. :(
right but follow the link above to see the best pictures.

At the site, you can zoom in and see the bow detail, the lace sleeves and the lace bodice.  You can see the very long back zipper that blends into the dress beautifually.

What you can't see is what's under the dress.  NOT THAT!  I mean the dress details.

It's lined, a soft lining in the same colour as the dress.  It has an underskirt over that with two layers of tulle.

The zipper, of course, has a small hook-and-eye at the top.  But it also has a thread with a snap on the end which attaches to the snap bit sewn into the shoulder.  Snap the thread around the hanger to keep the dress on the hanger.  Yes, I've seen it before but it's such a nice little touch.

It's also absolutely feminine ~ if I were to ask a civilian to pick one bit to wear as an accent on his clothes, he'd be flummoxed.

I can't say enough good things about it.

The only bad thing: I can't wear it to most places (although I did wear it at the wedding brunch and didn't feel self-conscious at all ~ but I was still flying high from the main event).

Here's how they describe it on the site:
  • Shell: 97% Cotton, 3% Spandex. Contrast: 72% Nylon, 28% Rayon. Lining: 100% Polyester.
  • Fabric does not provide stretch.
  • Machine wash.
  • Fully lined except sleeves. Sheer sleeves. Back zipper closure. Tulle underskirt.
  • Imported
On top of everything else, it's machine washable!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

About the Dress

There are a lot of places to buy clothing.  I get bombarded constantly with outfits wanting me to buy an outfit.  In addition to the obvious, like Macys, there's Zulily, Ideel, RealReal, and many more.  I can get something expensive yet temporary at RentTheRunway.

We looked at a lot of websites but kept coming back to ModCloth.

Modcloth has a retro style which just struck me as more feminine than most of the other sites.  And sometimes I'd see a page of dresses and think "I could order that page and enjoy every dress" or "if they ever offered a "we'll send you a surprise dress for $25," I'd order four and know I'd spent $100 wisely and well.

So I probably spent way too long looking at dresses, trying to whittle down my choice to just one for the wedding.  I found it.

It's called "Gilded Grace Dress in Champagne" and it's pictured to the right.  Follow the link for the best view.

I was a bit concerned about the see-through lace above the bust ~ I didn't think bra straps showing through would be a good look.  I have worn a strapless bra before and I could again.

I'm kind of on the cusp between medium and large, so I ordered a large.  It arrived a few days later with a couple of little hair clips included as an added bonus.

Often I wait a bit when I get something new until I have a reason to add the appropriate undergarments, like I'm going out (or just coming back in).  This time I ran to the dresser, put on the appropriate underthings, and tried it on immediately.

It didn't fit.

The back zipper would not zip.  I had to admit I needed an extra-large.

I was upset at first; I think going up a size is like a loss and one may grieve a bit.  Then I realised that when this style was "in" I was probably an extra-large ~ vanity sizing and all.

I put it back in the box and went back to the website.

Modcloth has an interesting return policy.  You can exchange an item, or return an item for full site credit (plus $5) or return an item for a cash refund (less $6).

I wanted an exchange.

The wedding was approaching and I spent a lot of time looking for this perfect dress already.

They were out of extra-large.

I decided to focus on Modcloth instead of the hundreds of other sites I looked at over the previous few weeks.  And I wanted to order something RIGHT NOW because The Date was getting close and I was getting nervous.  This meant the order and return would cross in the mail.  I wanted to make sure the price of the dress would be applied to the exchange.  So I joined one of their online chats.  Being used to tech companies, I thought I'd be connected to a limited vocabulary machine.

Oh... it was easy to pick a "runner up" dress and I love the one I chose.

Oh... I keep making it sound like I have this exquisite taste and can find the perfect dress but mostly I picked something and said to Charity "how about this?" and went with her exquisite taste.  Or she sent me a link and that went to the top of my list (or near enough).

The wedding dress, by the way, was the most expensive I had ever purchased, even with a 30% discount the site offered at that time.  It wasn't expensive; it certainly wasn't in wedding gown territory, but for a budget-minded gal....  It was in the equal-to-three-of-my-other-dresses price.  But I loved their dresses and it was to be a special, once-in-a-lifetime day!

I "spoke" to Joanne and she assured me the return would be credited (full price, no return fee) AND the (expired) 30% discount I had used would be applied to my new dress.  She even had me order it (in extra-large, sigh) while we were chatting and she applied the discount through her administrator magic.

I cannot say enough about the superb customer service.  In fact, they sent me a "how'd we do" e-mail and I wrote: I do have one major complaint about my interaction with Joanne....  There's only one of her!  I wish every time I sent an email or started an online chat or customer service call she was on the other end!

I also said, after my wedding I'll put something about ModCloth and my dress on my blog and I'll be sure to mention the phenomenal customer service.

Obligation met. :)

Final comment: they applied the credit as promised.  They applied the discount as promised.  The dress arrived swiftly AND it came with two more hair ornaments.  AND after the holidays they had reams of dresses at a HUGE discount but it's so hard to choose....  Go to the Modcloth site and you'll see what I mean.  And don't get lost in the separates, shoes, or some of the cutest tights I have ever seen!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Man Up, Men!

Last week, I scolded men for going to a "man's spa" to get a girl treatment.  I guess that's how some guys rationalise getting facials, pedicures, manicures... you know, a "spa day."

Then on Daily Steals I found a link to their "Men's Fashion Bags" page.  I snapped the page in chunks which are displayed below.

I enjoy carrying a purse.  It's very handy, and I think as more guys carry tablets, phones (or phablets), those reward cards for everything, too many keys (and car keys have that bulky transmitter now) and on and on, more men will carry them.  The crossover bag I carry now has a compartment for my keys and a pen, lip gloss (or lip balm if you prefer), and breath mints; one for my credit and insurance cards in my small (Coach) wallet; and another for my phone.  I could carry my 7" tablet as well but I usually don't.  It's black and I'd like more colour and size and shape options.

So maybe the guys who are buying these are helping me to get the cute bag I really want.  Or to just carry one I already have in my closet!

A couple of more purse things: I believe I mentioned that when I bought my wig we walked into the store (me in drab) and the woman behind the counter looked at my bag and said "hey!  I have the same purse!"

At work, someone mentioned my bag ("is that a purse?") and I explained that I'd rather carry this than rip my pocket with my cash, credit card wallet, phone, keys....  Then I said "I haven't filled it yet."  When asked what I had in it I said "my credit cards, house keys, two lipsticks and a mascara" which got the laugh I was going for.  And yes, this is another "funny to civilian, not to T" line.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Great Value, Ladies!

I don't like most places that cater to crossdressers.  They mostly seem to exist to take advantage of customers.

The world's gotten better with access to internet shopping but it still has a way to go.

That being said, I really like Glamour Boutique.  I've only shopped on-line but they have three physical stores.  When I (Meg) was in Las Vegas, I forgot that they had a store there or I would have visited.  There's another store that's only a little out of my way when I travel between DC and New York City.  On one of my trips up or down I need to get over my anxiety over wanting to get to my destination without hitting horrible traffic so I can stop and visit.

I haven't purchased a lot from them, but that's more because of budget than desire.  I have bought breast forms from them in the past.  When I have questions about the products, I send an e-mail and always receive a rapid reply.

Recently, I was just browsing the site and I came across this (direct link):

Wider Full Teardrop Breast Forms - CLOSEOUT !
Budget Breast Forms !!!
List: $145.95
Price: $19.95

I had been thinking about getting a small form, to wear under civvies when I get the urge.  I've been wearing "chicken cutlets" occasionally and wanted something small but more breastish.

The $19.95 price only covers the smallest forms.   The largest size is about $70.  The largest would also give you a pair of 42DD/44D/46C's and probably a backache. The size 4 (38C) I prefer would cost $39.95.

The copy goes on to say:

Soft Silicone Wider Full Teardrop Breast Forms that give full cup coverage in bras. The flesh colored silicone moves and feels real to the touch and give you that sought after 'jiggle'. Darker and life-like perky nipples complete the look. A slightly concave back ensures a perfect fit against the chest so these forms fit perfectly in bras and can also be used safely with medical adhesives or tape. 

I haven't tried tape or glue.  I can attest that everything else is 100% accurate.  They're not as soft as my $180 GL-2000 forms but they're amazing.  I may get an extra pair of size 4's.  And yes, the price is per-pair.

I will mention that the nipple is evident but not as prominent as other forms I've tried.  And you can cover a nipple with tape if it seems to be too much, but going the other way is harder.

Glamour Boutiques says they bought a large batch of forms and have all sizes in stock but once they're gone, they're gone.

I was impressed by both the price and quality.  I hate to sound like an ad, but order a pair and you'll want to tell your (t-)friends too.

Monday, January 19, 2015

12-13-14: Anti-Climax

After the ceremony, we decided to grab a bite to eat.  Unfortunately, the minister and her wife had already left so it was just the four of us.  Star knew a place that had a nice brunch and was only two or three blocks away.

So we walked in our wedding finery to the restaurant.

Star was right: brunch was very good.  And in spite of it being kind of crowded with families and couples, no-one paid any attention to the overdressed happy couple at the corner table.

Oh... I've noticed a change in myself over the long years.  When I was in high school, photography was my hobby.  I'd roll my own film which I'd develop and print.  I'd get proof sheets of color work so I could just print the few (if any) pictures I liked from a roll.  I took a lot of pictures.

Now, I'm taking fewer pictures, even when Meg is out.  Sometimes, I'll get a picture before leaving the apartment and completely forget while I'm out.

I only have this from the restaurant, which Star was nice enough to take.

I took off my veil; Charity kept her tiara.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Funnies: Single Panels

Last Sunday, I posted a few single-panels from Leigh Rubin's Rubes.  This week, two other of my favourite one-panel strips: Speed Bump and Strange Brew.

I HATE security!

This doesn't make me squirm.  If he had a drill....  Ugh.

I'm guessing the name is a tribute to Leigh Rubin.

Friday, January 16, 2015

I Meant to Take This Picture at the Park!

Can it be a wedding dress without this?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

It's Official Now! The Lady in the Robe Said So!

You may now kiss

or anything else that feels right

Can we go home now?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Simple Pleasure: New "Do"

A few weeks ago, I bought a new wig.  Until the wedding, I hadn't worn it out.  What do you think?

Veil not included

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

12-13-14: Almost There!

Simple is good.  Different from last time is also good.

We had no flower girl and no ring bearer.  We turned each other's ring around (as I wrote last week). 

Charity made our bouquets, her sister made announcements, we picked dresses and shoes together, I bought us matching necklaces (silver with "Mrs") to wear.
From Shabby Apple

Our attendants wore what they wanted.

No rehearsal dinner (we both know how to eat), no rehearsal, no "giving away."

No processional, no recessional.

No throwing bouquets.  No flinging garters.

Two brides, no bridezillas.

I was happy with everything.  Charity was happy with everything.

And I've been happy ever since.

Today is our first memeversary, and the third anniversary of our spending some time together.

Our wedding, in a nutshell.  Pics below

I "rotated" her ring...

...she "re-oriented" mine.

Monday, January 12, 2015

12-13-14: Getting Started

It was cold but not horribly so on 12-13-14.  Standing in front of the Potomac River for a half-hour was tolerable, and the reward at the end made any discomfort worth it.

Our guests included the minister and her wife, and our friends Star and Pooch ~ our oldest friends in this area.  In a new look for her, Star wore a dress (over trousers).  Pooch aka Andrea, I think would self-describe as "gender fluid" and I never know how they will present.  For the wedding, Pooch went classy and wore a tuxedo.  When some joggers yelled out "congratulations" I wondered if they knew when the happy couple were.  There were options, although only one of the small group presented male.

Both manned cameras, so the minister's wife filled a most important role, for me: guest.  And I'd rather have one guest than a roomful.

The reverend, who I knew from my neighborhood was ordained as a Unitarian Universalist minister was wonderful.  Her wife (they wed last Valentine's Day) was there and she also came to the Transgender Day of Remembrance where she met Meg.  This was the minister's first encounter.

As part of the ceremony, we did a brief reading.

Virginia law does not require a witness nor anything other than a licensed officiant to pronounce us married.  Except one thing.  The officiant has to administer a "willingness" statement.  No shotgun weddings in Virginia!  At least, any more

The minister had an outline for a ceremony and she worked hard to ensure it was gender-neutral (yes same sex marriages are now legal in Virginia!).  The original wording of the willingness statement from her outline said "[Name], do you wish for this man or woman to be your spouse?"  The idea is to strike one out, but we left it as written for Charity, and struck "man or" for the query to me.

The happy brides and our minister.  Charity made the bouquets.

I didn't know the bow should face out!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Funnies: Rubes

Rubes has been seen here on several occasions.  I have a few in my queue so....

Click or zoom to enlarge.