Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

By The Pros

I've seen color-blocking done by bloggers with separate pieces of clothing; I've seen color-blocking done by clothes-designers with a single item (e.g., multi-colored dress).  But I've never seen color-blocking done by constrasting outer-clothes and deliberately-revealed underwear.  Until now...



The picture is from the professional photoshoot in GQ magazine of popular new actress, Kat Dennings, who is the alt-rebel half of the "2 Broke Girls" cast.

What do you think of the look?  What do you think of her?  Have you seen the TV show?

A more interesting question to me is -- how often do you deliberately show your underwear?!

Workouts


Two weeks ago, Callie and Lauren started an initiative called Bloggers For Health which is exactly what you expect -- a series of posts, on Saturdays, promoting better health.  Each Saturday has a different focus, provided by Lauren.  Participants, of which there are 18, write about their experiences on that topic.

I am eager to join this initiative because I know the importance of good health.  Not only does fitness improve the quality of your life, by giving you greater energy and enthusiasm, it also affects the quantity of your life.  Too many people in my age-group suffer debilitating illnesses (e.g., diabetes; heart disease) that are entirely preventable.  After a few decades of living poorly, your body will exhibit negative consequences we could have avoided by simply being a little more active.


Today's subject is workout plans.  I'm going to approach it from a general perspective.

The best workout plan is the one you do.  You can have the most ambitious, elaborate plan -- but unless you implement it, it's empty words.  The key is actual action.

Some bloggers are going to give you a detailed calender of exercises; I'm going to give you an idea.  The most important thing you can do for fitness is to move.  Moving our bodies is natural exercise and critical to health.  Studies find that people who physically move more during the day have better overall health.

Like many of you, I have a demanding job and little time for luxuries like formal exercise.  So I figured out how to squeeze physical movement into my day in an easy, organic way.  There is a Post Office a quarter-mile from my law office.  Two or three times a day, I walk to the Post Office and mail stuff.  This adds up to a mile or two a day, plus the walks give me a welcome break from a stressful atmosphere.  Being away from my office relieves stress and oxygen filling my lungs during those walks renews vigor.

In addition to this, I do the following as regularly as I can.  One day I do simple exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, leg-lifts and squats.  The next day I use a Nordic-track which is like walking with resistance.  A third day I lift light weights.  On the fourth day I rest.  Then I begin the cycle over again.  It's important to work different parts of your body and rest between exertion so your body has time to heal itself.  It takes roughly 48 hours for muscles to re-build.

What do you do for exercise?  Do you walk much?

Feel free to join Callie and Lauren's healthy movement.  Go here.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Girl Scouts

A 7-year old child who dresses in girl's clothes and plays with girl's toys wanted to join the Girl Scouts.  The child was turned away because he has "boy parts."

Later, upon further inquiry by the child's mother, the Girl Scouts admitted a mistake was made.  Under their policy, transgender children are allowed to join and participate.  Here's the story.

The existence of transgender children is not a myth.  I have a friend whose young son pleaded relentlessly to live as a girl.  My friend, who wants the best for her child, decided to allow it after consulting with numerous mental health professionals.  The child is now entering kindergarden where she will "present" as a girl and use a girl's name.  To protect my friend's privacy, I'm not going to say any more about their story other than to report that the child is now happy.

When I was young, I told everyone who would listen that I'm a girl and want to be treated as one.  I did everything possible to live as a girl, but to no avail.  Nobody recognized the validity of what I was saying.  Nobody accepted my decision.  I was told I was wrong and that I needed to straighten up.  When I protested further, punishment was applied in swift and persistent manner.  I realized I had no choice and learned to live as a boy.  The path of true fulfillment was denied me.  I hope some young people have better fates.

I applaud the Girl Scouts for their enlightened policy -- they accept any child who identifies as female.

Were you in the Girl Scouts or Brownies?  Did you have fun with them?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Acting My Age

Okay, so I've been the 16-year old girl trying to look sassy.  Now, I'm her 38-year old mother trying to re-claim youth and look stylish.  Mom's outfit is a little snazzy -- but not too much.  Don't want to go crazy...  :)




Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blogging

Over the years, I've learned something surprising -- blogging means different things to different people.  Why we blog -- and its importance in our lives -- varies.  This came to light yesterday when, reading your comments about my last two outfits, you reduced me to tears.

I was so touched by your remarks that I couldn't contain my emotions.  Your heartfelt kindness, your sharing of fashion tips and your supportive encouragement all hit me like a tornado.  You gave me something I've ached for my whole life -- female comraderie.  For one of the first times, I didn't feel isolated and alone.

When I started blogging, I carefully observed the culture of the community and what other bloggers do with their sites.  I learned that the impetus to blog differs among us.  For some, it's merely to display their daily clothes.  For others, it's a way to make friends.  For many, it's a forum to develop our personal style.

For me, blogging is a means for expression -- expression in ways I've always craved but for which I never had a social outlet.  The blog has become the central outlet for my pent-up instincts. 

Over time, it also has become an incentive for me to dive deeper into female-life.  I shop more, I study women's clothing more, I pay attention to news and social phenomena that are invisible to most men.  Blogging -- and your presence here -- is accelerating the speed of my journey toward happiness.

I noticed some people start a blog, discover the demands inherent in the form, and then disappear.  I was shocked when this first happened because I mistakenly believed blogging is as important to everyone as it is to me.  But, apparently, it is not.  For some, the role of blogging in their life is trivial and, balancing effort against gain, something they could abandon.

I cannot ever imagine stopping my blog.  It gives me so much.  It opens doors and puts me in touch with wonderful people like you who, for the first time in my life, "see" me and are nice to me in ways I cherish.

How important is blogging to you?  Why do you blog?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Opening The Door

I've always wanted to shoot outdoors but felt too intimidated.  Today, I gathered my courage and decided to do it, no matter what.  There was perfect Fall light which I wanted to use.

The best thing about outdoor light is the color-saturation it creates.  To maximize that, I chose an outfit with extreme colors.  The top is new, from New York & Co., on sale for $29.  I'm in love with my metallic gold flats from Payless for $16.  The pants were a serendipitous find deep in my clothing bins.

What do you think?




Friday, October 21, 2011

Hot Stuff

One of my mottos is: "It's Never Too Late To Have A Happy Childhood."  That means we can always seek happiness, even if it's past the customary time for it.

Growing up as a boy, I missed out on a lot.  I never got to play with things girls do at various points in their lives.  I envied those activities  from afar and figured life would never present me the opportunity to enjoy them.

Well... as you saw from my Prom Project, I've decided late is better than never.  There's nothing stopping me from doing anything I want now as long as I don't mind being called silly.  To that charge, I plead Guilty!  If people want to criticize me for acting silly, I don't care.  What's more important is the joy I can grab by pursuing my dreams, however late.

One of the things teenage girls explore in their development is dressing sassy.  Wearing clothes that emphasize their physical beauty.  Many girls, I'm assume, experiment with how far they can go in attracting attention.  Later, as they mature, they scale back to a comfortable place.  That must be an interesting process to experience.

I am not a teenage girl.  I don't have an attractive body.  But... I'm curious about how it must feel, emotionally, to play with this.  I'm curious what sassy clothes look and feel like.  I'm curious how close I can get to mimicking feminine beauty while realizing I don't possess it.

I apologize for the long introduction but an idea popped into my head when I went to the Mall last weekend.  With two girlfriends, I visited Charlotte Russe, a clothing store for teenage girls.  I saw a pair of short red shorts with an attached black belt that blew my mind.  It recalled my teenage years when girls wore "hot pants."  I would have sold my soul to be able to dress like that then.

Yes, it is silly for me to wear these clothes now, but I'm not going to get arrested so let me try.  When viewing the following pictures, please keep an open mind.  And then tell me what you think...




Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Birthday Gift

There are only two weeks until my birthday (Nov. 3rd) and I know you're racking your brain trying to figure out what to get me.  Rest assured, I'm aware of your plight.  Being helpful, I'm going to tell you what I want which should make life easier for you.

There are a range of acceptable gifts.  For those of you feeling flush, tell your driver to take the Bentley out to Bergdorf Goodman, Ally's favorite store.  When there, ask the salesperson to steer you to the Marchesa Couture section.  (It's behind the velvet rope, keeping out the riffraff.)  With a swipe of your American Express Black Card ($3,960), you can make me smile with this beauty...



If you hear someone has already gotten me this, don't despair.  Simply head over to the shoe department and order up a pair of these Christian Louboutin heels in size-13...



For those of you less financially endowed, ride your bicycle to the local Dollar Store and buy me a tubetop, preferably one with a lot of sequins.  You know how tacky my taste can be. :)

Finally, for those of you who REALLY love me, you can get me my dream gift -- a 2012 BMW K1600 GTL, the new version of my touring bike.  It has the greatest engine ever put on two wheels with technological innovations worthy of a space-shuttle.  For only $23,000, you can make me the happiest little girl on the block...



For those of you who kinda like me a little but not that much to reach for your wallet, expressing a lukewarm birthday wish on my blog is always nice.  I mean, it's better than nothing. :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cleaning My Closet

I learn from you guys over and over, on innumerable topics.  One thing I noticed in your blogs are posts about editing one's closet. 

That makes sense.  Clutter can overwhelm and confuse us about what clothes we own; sometimes we even forget what we have!

I've been wearing women's clothes my whole life, from age six on -- but never nice ones.  For most of my life, my clothes were cheap and ugly, hidden away in dark places, taken out for my use but never seen by anyone else.  Organizing those clothes was unnecessary; they were simply crumbled up in plastic bags.

That changed two years ago when I started wearing clothes more seriously and then blogging with them.  I started buying slightly nicer stuff.  At first, those clothes were still cheap and ill-fitting; gradually, I began buying decent garments that fit my body.

Initially, I was grateful to just explore fashion and didn't worry about looking good.  I was going through a learning phase.

That development came to mind today when I spent an hour going through everything I own.  I discarded a third of my stuff because those items don't fit me, are torn or ruined, and can't be re-worn by anyone else.  I organized what was left over.  I never knew how many belts I had!  Nothing had been segregated, so I found old scarves and skirts mixed in with shirts, belts and hosiery.

Now, each category is separate which I believe will enhance my future outfits.  I can see my array of belts, scarves, handbags, tights, etc.  Without even trying, I already started building new ensembles in my head with what I saw in front of me.  I'll make greater and better use of what I own.  I've always had mixed feelings about buying new clothes because of my concern for their environmental cost.  Minimizing that activity by using my existing wardrobe more makes me feel better.

How often do you edit your closet?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Boy Mode

I went to Roosevelt Field Mall yesterday with two girlfriends (Nicole and Jamie).  The mall had a special Fashion Events theme, with runway shows and store-promotions.  It was fun!

Before going, I took some pictures 'cause you never see me in boy-mode.  Here's what I look like when I'm not in a frilly dress...


I wore a belt that really pleases me.  I got it at a "transportation" museum in San Diego (Balboa Park) where I went to ogle motorcycles.  The belt is made from a real seatbelt from a car!  Here it is...



Completing the outfit are my Van sneakers in royal-blue.  I love these...



It's not easy to find style in boy-clothes but I try.  I choose bright colors and nice designs.

I'm curious: do you think I look different, better/worse, in one gender or the other?  Do I create a different impression dressed as a man?  Any observations from you on this would be very interesting for me to ponder.  Thanks!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Jumping For Joy

This morning, after a hard week at work, I woke up cranky.  I knew if I didn't turn that mood around, my whole weekend would be wasted.  And who wants that?

Inspired by a tweet from my good friend Sara, I made a strong cup of coffee.  Sipping it, I was delighted to discover one of my other friends, Toadmama, had written beautiful things about me yesterday on her blog.  I actually blushed from the super-sweet things she said.  Nothing... absolutely nothing is nicer than when friends laud you in public.  My mood started to improve.

Then I figured... I have a little time before diving into chores today.  Let me use that opportunity to play dress-up and show you a few treasures I dug up recently.

I bought a new top which has a style I've never seen before.  It really appeals to me.  What do you think?



I also got a new skirt which is lovely.  It's see-through but with an attached beige slip.  The hem has lace trim.


Here's the whole ensemble...



You may have spotted a new cuff-bracelet.  It has green stones and is very cute.  Here's a better look...


With a little effort, my weekend brightened up.  How is yours going?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Female Life

Gender is a complex subject.  It would be helpful to hear your thoughts on the topic.

What is it that you feel makes you a woman?

Is it your biology?  The way you present yourself to the world?  The way the world sees you?  The way you dress and adorn yourself?

Is it your life-experience?  The way you interact with others?  The way you think and act?

Is it your secondary sexual characteristics?  Is it related to the ability to bear children?  Are people who've given birth more womanly than those who haven't?  Are infertile women less female?

Does your gender reside in your body, your mind, your reproductive ability, or your social presentation?  Do you have a gut-feeling or intuition that you are female?  Does gender lie in such self-knowledge?

Some female Olympic athletes learn, after testing, that they possess a chromozonal mutation that didn't announce itself in any previous way: their bodies are conventionally female with normal genitalia; their childhoods and upbringing were normal for girls; and their lives are typically female.  Yet scientists says these women are not biologically female in the strict sense.  What are they?  (Further discussion of this here.)

You've probably guessed this is not an academic subject to me -- I've been having a conversation about gender my entire life.  What makes us male, female, or something else?  What am I?

If you have any thoughts, please share.  Thanks.

(Drawing by Megan.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Extreme Fashion


Earlier today, Bonnie tweeted this picture and asked if anyone would wear this in real life.

Would you?  With carefully applied tape?

(I'd wear it to a fancy party, but I'm not a good example of female propriety...)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Paul McCartney


Everyone my age had an opinion about The Beatles.  Back in the time before cable and Internet, the media had fewer outlets and every one of them was crowded with images and talk about The Fab Four.  You couldn't escape them if you wanted to.

A common game was to ask people which Beatle they liked best.  Their answers were clues to people's personalities.  Paul McCartney was dubbed "the cute one" and he's never lost his boyish good looks.  Even at age 69, he's a handsome man.

Paul just got married to a woman from where I live (Long Island).  They met in the Hamptons.  She comes from wealth and looks younger than her age (51).  Paul's first marriage was a dream -- he and Linda were soulmates and they spent every night together for thirty years despite his many professional commitments.  After Linda's death (1998), Paul made a horrible mistake in marrying another woman who turned out to be evil.  He divorced her in 2008.

Let's hope this union works out.  Any thoughts?


Monday, October 10, 2011

Money Pumpkins



I played a Halloween joke on Robin last night that turned out great. It's a prank designed for children but, hey, Robin was naive enough to fall for it.

The idea came to me when Robin said she'd never carved a pumpkin. That meant she didn't know what to expect when doing it. I bought a pumpkin, brought it home, and last night we carved it.

Before doing so, I secretly slit a tiny hole in the bottom with a knife, slid a dozen coins into the pumpkin, and patched up the hole.

So, I told Robin the first thing we need to do is cut the top off and scoop out the innards. As Robin was pulling pumpkin-guts out with her hand, she saw money! Coins everywhere! Nickels and dimes and pennies. She squealed in delight and looked at me for explanation. I said, "You got a Money Pumpkin! Those are the special ones."

Then Robin spent ten minutes racking her brain trying to figure out how the farmers got money into their pumpkins. She wondered if they used special seeds, if they sprinkled coins while the pumpkins were growing up... she couldn't figure it out. Finally, I couldn't conceal my glee any longer and told her the secret. She slapped her forehead and couldn't believe how silly she had been.  She admitted I really tricked her and she conceded it was a funny joke.
 
Do you have any favorite Halloween tricks?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Adventures In Dining


I love good food and am adventurous in my dining.  Fortunately, New York has a panoply of places to eat of every ethnicity.

One of my favorite cuisines is Northern Indian food.  I especially love Tandoori cooking, which uses a clay oven markedly hotter than a conventional oven.  It sears food like grilling does -- extreme high heat cooks the outside of food with delicious crispiness while trapping moisture inside.  Plus, food put into a Tandoori oven is marinated in spices and often coated with an attractive orange glaze.

Last night I went to a great Indian restaurant on Long Island (Rangmahal).  I had Tandoori vegetables which were phenomenal.  I cook fairly well, but could never make anything as tasty as this.

I also tried something new and different. "Lassi" is a yogurt drink similar to a smoothie.  It is usually offered in fruit flavors like mango or strawberry.  Real Indians drink it savory with salt.  The restaurant last night offered lassi in a flavor I'd never seen before: green chili!

When I ordered it, the waiter warned, "Are you sure?  It has a real kick."  I said, go ahead, hit me. It was delicious. The flavor was like a cup of hot chili peppers had been put in a blender: the taste of pure green chili peppers. And, yes, it had a serious kick which is totally unexpected in a yogurt drink.

Have you ever eaten Indian food?  Or anything else different lately?