Friday, July 29, 2011

Female Life

Today's question is:

Why Don't Men Understand Women?

I don't understand the mystery.  Women are straightforward and I've always gotten along with them.  I learned years ago that if you give a woman attention, respect and appreciation, she'll usually be happy with you.  Attention.  Respect.  Appreciation.  How hard is that?

Many of my male friends report that the women in their lives get mad at them and they don't know why.  They complain that the women are inscrutable and too emotional.  I ask my friends if they know what is important to the woman in question; they say no.  I ask them if they listen to her when she talks about her life; they say no.  I ask them if they compliment her; they say no.  Hmmm... I suspect the problem lies there...

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I've been working too hard lately and neglecting my personal needs.  One of those needs is to wear nice clothes and do outfit-posts.  Despite my fatigue, when I came home tonight I launched into my closet and looked for something pretty to wear.

The outfit I put together isn't special, but it is better than nothing.  Most importantly, it made me feel good to wear it while relaxing in front of the television.  We all need time off, don't we?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Some Of My Friends

Every so often, a photo comes along that grabs you.  Here are a few from my friends...

This is Fuzzy Galore who has the rockin'est motorcycle blog in town.  That's her under the helmet.  I had the good fortune to meet Fuzzy in person and she's a delightful person.  And, despite her protests, she's got style -- she wears purple sneakers with big white stars on them!

Poet is one of my favorite bloggers.  She's smarter than I am, so I learn from her analyses.  And she's cuter than most of us, so it's fun to visit her blog.  Here, the radical cropping of the photo reveals more of her personality than usual.  The picture really appeals to me.

If you don't know Tracy yet, you should.  She's an amazingly nice person.  She lives in San Francisco.  I had the good fortune to meet her recently when she and Ian visited NYC.

Daphne puts real effort into her fashion-blog -- her outfits are varied and creative.  I'm impressed every time I visit and she inspires me to try harder.

Blogger Meetup

Yesterday, I made an eight-hour roundtrip ride to Atlantic City to visit another blogger for the first time.  It was well worth the effort, even though I got caught in a torrential rainstorm on the way home.

It's massive fun to meet other bloggers.  This one, whom I'm not going to identify publicly to protect her privacy, used to have a fashion-blog that I followed for a year.  Now she has a private blog on more personal subjects.

We had a great time together.  She's exactly who I thought she was and we shared details of our lives.  I like her a lot and hope we become friends.

After a nice brunch, we shopped a little -- I love those tutus in Betsey Johnson's store! -- and walked on the Boardwalk.  It was almost 100-degrees, so walking outside was a challenge.  The best part was we never stopped talking.  We enjoyed each other's company in a natural way.

If you're reading this, there's a risk that someday a tall guy on a blue motorcycle might show up at your door!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse

She died today.  Only 27 years old.  What a shame.

Cinematic Art

There are certain films that affect us deeply because we see them at a point in our life when their meaning resonates.  Let me tell you about such a movie.

Growing up in boring surburbia, I hungered for art.  Real art.  Art that informs and transforms.  Art that opens doors to new worlds.  I wanted to explore and go beyond my pedestrian life.

I saw my first art-film in 1978.  It was glorious.  Not merely masterful, but amusing and transporting.  It portrayed an unknown time and environment, with complete verisimilitude.  It told a story as basic as a biblical tale. 

The movie is "Days Of Heaven", made by Terrence Malick.  Malick is one of the most respected filmmakers of our time.  His work is similar to Stanley Kubrick's in visual beauty and cosmic content.

The movie stars Richard Gere, early in his career, looking impossibly handsome.  And Brooke Adams whose face is remarkable -- her downturned lips look alien and her olive-shaped eyes are mesmerizing.  Her odd beauty is sublime.  And, central to the film, is narrator Linda Manz portraying an uneducated yet wise youth with an accent that fascinates me.  "I been thinking what to do wit' my futcha. I could be a mud docta. Checkin' out the eart'. Underneat'."

Malick has made six films over the past 40 years and they've all received critical acclaim.  His latest, "The Tree Of Life," starring Brad Pitt, garnered fervent praise this year at Cannes.  Malick is unusual for a filmmaker -- he was a Rhodes Scholar, studied at Oxford and, for years, taught philosophy at MIT.  An intelligent  man who ponders the real mysteries of life.  The exact opposite of a Hollywood hack.

"Days Of Heaven" was nominated for four Oscars and won one for Best Cinematography.

This film works on so many levels and succeeds on all of them.  It's a visual treat, a ticket to a different place and time, and an engaging story.  Something new and interesting happens in each frame.

If you're open to art, give it a try.  Thirty years later, I vividly remember each scene.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Musings

Hope you aren't melting from the heat.  It's bad everywhere.

I enjoy blogging for the personal interaction it fosters among us, not to compile numerical stats.  I'm not immune to a little vanity, however -- I'm human.  I peek at the number of my followers like everyone else. 

Unlike you guys whose followings grow fast, mine crawls at an incredibly slow pace.  A snail could beat it in a race.  I reassure myself that it's the quality of our interactions that matter, not the quantity, and that's true.  But as I inch toward 100, I can't resist the urge to pump up that number.  Would it help for me to take steroids?  Oh, sorry; that's a boy-solution.  How 'bout Spanx?

At the rate I'm going, I'll hit that milestone in November, just in time for my birthday -- another large number. :)

I want to tell you something about bikers.  We love stickers.  Love 'em to death.  They capture our irreverent attitude and adorn our helmets.  Motorcycle shops are full of them, right between the black leather jackets and skull belt-buckles.

There are thousands of possible slogans to choose among.  I've always picked one for each new helmet that I thought reflected my life at that moment in time.  My first helmet-sticker was "Good Kid Gone Bad."  That's exactly what my family and friends thought when I got deep into motorcycling at age 37.

My second sticker, when I started riding faster, was "More Balls Than Brains."  I thought it was a funny comment on my increased risktaking.

Here are the stickers currently on my two bikes and helmet.  The first poses an epistemological question.  The second is small and, if a cop can read it, constitutes a formal admission.  The last is the kind of sage musing we old people make.

If you were picking out a sticker, what would it say?  "So Many Outfits, So Little Time"?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Halter-Top Dress

Here's the new dress I bought on Sunday.  It's a halter-top which is a style I'm not familiar with.  It took me a little while to figure out how to wear it.  Are you guys comfortable with these?

I like the cut and color of the dress.  And I tried new poses and tricks to make the pictures more playful.  I hope you enjoy them.  Please give me your thoughts.  Thanks!

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Past, My Present

Here are three stories from my weekend...

To grasp their significance, it's helpful to know that I was a shy child.  Someone who rarely attracted attention.  My parents complained that I "always had my nose in a book."  My childhood was uneventful.  An avid comic-book reader, I suspected I had several superpowers but lacked the chance to deploy them.

Flash forward to today.  On weekends now, I switch from my trusted steed (BMW) to my fleet stallion (the speedy Yamaha).  On my racehorse, I push the limits of physics and prudence.  I accelerate like a rocket and lean so low in turns I can chew the grass.  I gobble daredevil adventure in big gulps.

On Saturday night, I rode to a friend's BBQ.  The Yamaha announced my arrival with a throaty exhaust-note and quickly garnered the attention of a bevy of boys.  They ran from the pool and ogled my bike.  Their excitement was palpable.  "Wow, man!  Cool bike!"  I laughed.  Forty years ago, such adulation would have meant the world to me; now, it's entirely unimportant.  I ride for what riding offers me -- visceral thrills; the impression others have of my passion are besides the point.

Second anecdote: Yesterday was a beautiful day in New York.  I decided to ride to an arts & crafts fair in Long Beach.  On the way there, I pulled alongside another motorcyclist.  I knew at a glance that this dude was the real deal and not a poser.  His confident demeanor and distinctive gear told his tale.  Closing up on him, I noticed he was rocking outlaw colors.  Authentic ones, not the faux-badboy look embraced by suburban imposters.  This biker was a genuine tough guy. 

I pull up next to him.  He turns to me and flashes a two-finger salute.  I return the gesture.  We ride together for a while.  We synch into perfect harmony.  Our bikes move as if they were connected.  We both savor the warmth of the sun on our bare arms.  For a memorable moment, our differences dissolve and our commonalities seam.  Finally, with a wave goodbye, my new companion splinters off and heads down an exit.  I proceed on to my destination, the fair at the beach.

Third anecdote: I'm walking through vendor-booths on the boardwalk.  I spy a cute halter-top dress under a sign saying, "All Dresses $10."  I stop, shop and haul away my prize.  It's bright purple; you'll see it later this week.

In the past, I've been too intimidated to shop publicly for women's clothes, especially in a crowded scene like this.  But I faced that fear, drained it of power, and now comfortably enjoy filling my closet.  Like decreasing-radius turns and outlaw bikers, social opprobrium doesn't scare me any more.

What did you do this weekend?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My New Companion

Today, I attended a local fair at the beach.  I had the good fortune to meet a new friend.  His name is Pandy.

Pandy asked me for a ride, so I took him home on the back of my motorcycle.  He enjoyed the wind blowing through his fur.

Pandy is cute and doesn't fidget much on the bike.  Nor does he complain when I talk endlessly about boring things.  Pandy is the perfect friend!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Making Cards Out Of A Blog Post

This is my all-time favorite blog-picture.  I took and posted it back in February.  That's me in the picture, wearing leggings and taking my own picture with acrobatic-posing and a self-timer.

Recently I had a great idea -- since I love this image so much, I had postcards made with the picture on them.  Some of you lucky readers might have received one in the mail.

In addition to postcards, I've also created greeting cards and posters of the picture.  You can get them here.  I'm doing this for fun, not money, so if anyone wants one of these, let me know and I'll send it to you; you don't need to buy it. 

Fun Photos

Looking at these makes me smile.  I hope you enjoy them, too.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Why We Blog

Everyone blogs for a different reason.  We put different things into our blogs and we hope to get different things out of it.  Have you ever stopped to ponder why you blog?  If so, please share!

I started blogging to stoke an ember of my long-suppressed gender-identity.  I doubted there'd be anyone interested or willing to listen, but I was wrong.  You responded with warmth and encouragement from the outset. 

After finding an audience of friendly people, I began sharing my life with you and I really enjoy that.  I blog to continue the conversation we are having.  I adore your input.  Your comments are sincere, thoughtful and supportive.  I learn and learn from you guys on innumerable topics.  At times, I feel that this is YOUR blog and I'm merely moderating it.

When I look at other blogs, I often see that they have larger audiences but their readers are less engaged.  Many blogs have more followers than this one, but they lack the intensity of participation that goes on here.  Comments on those blogs are often shallower and less personal than the responses you guys leave.  I'm not sure what I do to promote the serious, honest and lengthy comments you give, but I certainly enjoy them and I believe other readers do as well.  When you guys comment on each other's comments, I smile and feel this blog has achieved something good.

Does this make sense to you?  Why do you think people are so open and personal here?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Lightness

I picked up this casual white dress for $8 at Kohl's, simply to have something comfy to wear while Debbie applied makeup at The Prom Project event.  Surprisingly, the dress turned out to be better than just comfy; it's actually cute.  The cut and fabric suit me perfectly.  As a result, I've elevated the dress to outfit-material.

I added some pieces of red jewelry to bring out the color in the dress and have fun.  In Summer, you want to be lighthearted and not work too hard at fashion.  This outfit does that.

What do you think?