Sunday, November 29, 2015

Holiday Spirit

I wanted to get in the holiday spirit but figured it's way too early to put up a Christmas tree. Walking through Target today, I saw they have an inexpensive display-tree for ornaments which is perfect -- it lets me enjoy my ornaments without any fuss.

Do you have ornaments you want to take out? Consider this option.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Things I Saw Today

Even the most pedestrian of places has magical qualities if you look close enough. These were taken while walking down a suburban street near my home.





Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Bloggy Award!

For the past several years, I've given an annual Bloggy Award to the Best Blog Of The Year.  This year will be no exception.  The trophy has been ordered and preparations are being made.

The point of the Bloggy Award is to reward exceptional effort and draw attention to our best blogs.  That's a noble cause.

The winning blog has not been chosen yet. It'd be fun to hear your thoughts on possible candidates. Who do you feel blogged her heart out this year? Who would you like to see celebrated for her blogging effort?

Tell us in the comments. Feel free to suggest as many bloggers as you like. We all win when we discover other blogs.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My Holiday Outfit

This blog is my little acre of dream-world. A place where I can be myself. I share private confidences with you that nobody hears in the real-world and I show you outfits that are my fondest fantasies.

Today, I decided to dress up for Thanksgiving. On the blog, anyway.  :-)

I started with a colorful skirt made of real leather. Then I added a pink shirt from my closet. Finally, for the main attraction, I crown the outfit with a multi-colored blazer I found in a thrift-store yesterday. I wasn't going to buy it because the price was too high but a sales-woman told me that everything on the sale-rack is only $1.00. One dollar! That was fate. Destiny wants me to wear this beautiful blazer. Even if it is a little snug.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! If I dress up nice, will you invite me over for pie?





Monday, November 23, 2015

What's Your Superpower?

We all have a superpower. An ability that sets us apart from other mortals. We have a talent that's truly extraordinary.

For some, like Sheila, it's the ability to walk into a store, find the wildest, most eclectic items of clothing, and put them together into a cohesive outfit that stuns and impresses. For others, like Jodi, it's exceptional physical capacity; Jodi can run and swim for days. For a few, like Zoe and Fuzzy, it's an innate spirit of adventure that propels them on journeys the rest of us only dream about.

For me, it's a deep understanding of how both men and women think. My peculiar circumstance gave me this gift, which some consider a curse.

I was raised as a boy and have lived an adult lifetime as a man. I know male behavior, male society and male culture. To fit in, I learned how men think; what they like, what they fear. I know how to behave standing among men at urinals, how to make men relax in my presence, and how to achieve goals esteemed by male society.

In addition to this, I have some understanding of female life. Of course I haven't lived publicly as a woman but I've paid careful study to women and their lives for five decades. Every time I'm with a woman, I try to see what she's seeing. I ask her what she's thinking. I listen closely to her descriptions of life experiences. Some women are surprised at this heightened attention; most are flattered by it. My relationships and friendships with women have been mutually-satisfying due to it.

So, to a degree beyond that possessed by most people, I understand both male and female life. Sometimes I find this amusing; sometimes it's sad. There is a wide gulf between the sexes because our society, despite its proclamations of equality, is highly gender-segregated. For example, you may not notice this phenomenon because it's so common and feels so natural but as soon as a social group meets, men head off to talk with other men and women gravitate toward other women. Most people feel more comfortable in the company of their own gender.

This is my superpower. What's yours?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Winter Sweaters

When I was young, everyone wore sweaters in Winter to stay warm. Sweaters were a fun way to express your style. You could find one in every color and all kinds of materials.

I had a lot of sweaters back then. They were my quiet way of playing with fashion. I couldn't be criticized for them because sweaters are largely genderless. Wearing a nice sweater is not reason to attack a man's masculinity the way wearing a pink shirt or tight pants might be.

About 10-15 years ago, I stopped buying and wearing sweaters. I just realized this and pondered why. It's because of the popular emergence of fleece, a material that's inexpensive and warm. I have several fleece sweatshirts that are light-weight and very warm. They completely replaced my wool sweaters.

But now I miss sweaters. The feel of them. Their variety. Yesterday, I decided to buy a few new ones because the few old ones in my closet are in bad shape. I shopped at my favorite store for menswear (Brooks Brothers) and found this attractive herringbone sweater in real lambswool. What do you think?

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Holidays

It appears the holiday season has arrived. We're only a week away from Thanksgiving (and Black Friday) and any visit to a shopping mall will expose you to cynically-early efforts to seduce you into spending money.

My favorite holiday activity is sending out greeting cards. I've started assessing how many I need this year and who'll be lucky enough to receive them. I send out a lot (around 100) and hand-write them so the work takes some time. I'll probably start next week with that. How 'bout you: do you send out cards?

A second-favorite thing is getting presents. Who doesn't like presents? I've learned a trick -- when people ask what I want, I request stuff I crave but never get myself. I'm naturally ascetic and rarely buy myself nice things. It's good to receive those things as gifts because I savor them. A few years back, I asked for and received ridiculously-expensive caviar which was fun to try.

This year, I'm asking for two things I've always wanted to try but have never sprung for due to their high cost -- truffles and Iberian ham. Have you had either?

Truffles are underground fungi prized for the strong flavor and aroma. I've never had one and am dying to see what the fuss is about. Truffles are extremely expensive (thousands of dollars per pound) so they're usually shaved to spread flavor as efficiently as possible. They're available in paste and sauce from Dean & Deluca, a famous gourmet-shop in NYC. (Be warned that most "truffle oil" does not contain actual truffles but, instead, uses synthetic flavoring to mimic the taste.)

Another food I want to try before I die is Iberian ham (Jamon iberico). It is the best ham in the world, made from pigs raised in Spain on acorns and olives. The pigs are coddled and pampered which produces fine-quality meat. There is only one company legally allowed to sell this ham in the U.S. and the ham's price is high (around $96/lb.). You can get it in a sampler, again from D&D.

What do you want Santa to bring you this year?