Thursday, October 29, 2015

Girl Colors

The palette of colors available to women in fashion is wide. There's practically no hue off-limits. That's not the case for guys who worry if a color makes them "look gay" or appear effeminate. Men censor their color-selections and chide buddies who cross the line.

When I wear female clothes, I explore the full range of available styles and colors. Nothing is out-of-bounds. My masculinity is not at stake so wearing pink or purple or pastels isn't a problem. To the contrary, I'm attracted to feminine hues.

My eye caught a skirt-suit at the thrift-store today. It's a color I've never worn. In fact, I don't even know what it's called. The best I can say is it's green but I'm sure there are better words denoting its particular shade. What would you call it?

And what do you think of the style of the suit? Should I take a licensing test for real estate broker?



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Transgender Model

A young woman, born male, just won the TV competition, "Holland's Next Top Model." During auditions, she didn't reveal her transgender past because she didn't want it to become a distraction. Her story is now being reported widely (Cosmo and HuffPo).

What do you think of this? What does it say to you?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Mature Fashion

You watch me play with youthful clothes. But my desire to experience femininity goes beyond that; it reaches every stage of female life. Including experiments with old lady clothes. :-)

A few months ago, I started searching for modest skirt-suits. The daily outfits middle-aged women wear to the office. Humble, unassuming coordinated skirts and jackets. There's a subtle charm to these clothes. They lack the flash of tight dresses and decorated leggings but have an appeal. To me, anyway. Clothes like the skirt-suit displayed below. They allows me to dream about a real female life. A life I wish was mine.

Keeping in line with the modest approach, I chose simple jewelry and plain makeup. Did you know it takes as long to apply subtle makeup as it does to put on flashy stuff?

What do you think? How does this look come off? Should I change my name to Maureen?



Saturday, October 24, 2015

Age Means Nothing

Tonight I'm going to a surprise birthday party for my pal Jerry. He's turning 70. Seventy! My God, how is it possible that I have friends who are that old? Easy...

Age means nothing. It's who you are that matters. I've met adults in their thirties who behave like elderly people. And free spirits like Jerry who are ageless. Not to mention myself -- in two weeks I'll turn 58 and yet you'll still see me wearing mermaid tails and tutus. Go figure.

I met Jerry fifteen years ago through motorcycling. He rides and was friendly from the outset. Jerry tells amusing stories of growing up in Brooklyn in the 1950's. It's funny stuff. And he's talented in the saddle; lately he's been teaching riding-skills to newbies. Jerry is vibrant, active and youthful. He bears no sign of aging. He could be 40 or 50 if you didn't check his driver's license.

How 'bout you? Do you act a particular age or are you ageless? Do you have friends who are younger and older? How do you feel about age?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My Birthday Gift

My birthday is often overlooked because it comes right after the hullabaloo of Halloween. People are too hung over from wild costume-parties to remember me on November 3rd. So I've learned to take care of my own needs. Plus, friends rarely give me what I really want so I buy myself a special present. I've decided what to give myself this year. It needs some explanation.

You may have heard my motto -- It's Never Too Late To Have A Happy Childhood. Mine was full of male-centered activities like Little League. Scared ten-year old boys praying the ball won't be hit to them so the grown male coaches don't yell at them for missing it. I endured that life but I didn't enjoy it. What I really wanted to be doing was dance.

Yes, dance! I love the grace of movement. Even more, I love the costumes which are femininity on steroids. Dance outfits are hyper-cute in all the right ways.

Confession: I look at dancewear catalogs with aching desire. Of course I'm not ten any more and can't fit into girl's costumes but they do make ones for adult women. And they're super adorable.

Nobody has or probably ever will buy me a dance costume so I guess it's up to me to fill that void. I'm going to buy myself one for my birthday. I don't know if you want to see it so I may or may not take pictures, but I'll certainly put it on and dance around the house. Crank up the tunes and look out!

Do you buy yourself a gift for your birthday?


Monday, October 19, 2015


I have a question for you. A real, serious question about which I'm clueless and curious.

As hard as I try to be feminine, I freely and frequently acknowledge that I wasn't raised as a girl, didn't have female experiences in life, and wasn't treated as a woman in public. Lacking these experiences, I can't and don't claim to truly understand what it means to be female.

I dined recently with an attractive woman. She's beautiful in the conventional way -- slim, great figure, long blond hair, pretty face with symmetrical features. The kind of gal who could model if she chose to.

Talking openly about her life, she told me she values the "power" she has. She used that word. She described it as the source for preferential treatment she receives and has always received. She never has to pay for a drink; she gets shown the best table in a restaurant; men are drawn to and orbit around her.

This surprised me. Sure I know that physical beauty is prized by women and men, but I didn't realize that it conveys privilege. I didn't know you can trade on it. Use it. Exploit it even. I didn't know others would actually treat you different -- better -- because of it. Having never lived as a woman, this phenomenon is completely outside my life-experience.

Is this true? Is physical beauty a source of power for women?

If it is, are there any ethics about using it to obtain better treatment from others? Or are beautiful people simply more deserving of privilege by virtue of our human nature?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Return Of Happiness

Good news!

The police called and told me a guy was arrested yesterday riding my motorcycle. He was on the Stony Brook college campus. It's unclear if he was a student or visitor.

The bike was impounded and is being held as evidence. I hope to get it back this week. I'm praying it wasn't damaged too badly. At the least the ignition wiring had to have been stripped because the thief didn't have a key.

They found the guy when a routine license-plate search reported the bike as stolen. What kind of half-wit steals a motor vehicle and doesn't change the license plate? They teach you that on the first day of Auto Theft 101.

Honestly, I'm relieved. I was starting to suffer from rider-withdrawal. It's is a real, debilitating ailment. Ask any biker.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sexy Spud

Most commercially-made Halloween costumes are lame. They're constructed of cheap material and ridiculously expensive. Plus, it seems like 90% of costumes for women are excessively-revealing and marketed as "Sexy [Whatever]."

One guy made fun of this situation by parodying it. He made fake costumes and secretly put them in a Halloween store. Some of them are funny, like these...



Thursday, October 15, 2015

My Halloween Costume

Every year, to entice Robin into wearing a Halloween costume, I come up with ideas for complementary costumes. Two costumes that go together in some way.

This year I had the bright idea of... Colonel Sanders and a chicken. How clever is that?!

The only problem is deciding who gets to wear which costume. To address that, I tried on both costumes to see how they look. Here are the results.

We're going to a party on Halloween and afterward you'll see what we wore. What are you dressing up as this year?



Monday, October 12, 2015

Back In Black

Longwood Gardens is a beautiful botanical garden in Pennsylvania. Last March, I visited it with my blogging-friends Meghan and Megan Mae. (Report and photos here.) When I heard the garden was having a special outdoor light-show, I decided to return, this time with Robin. We went on Saturday with nice weather and a large, polite crowd. (You could tell we weren't in New York any more by all the "Excuse me"-s and "Thank you"-s.)

Inspired by the setting, I tried to make my photos more artistic than usual. I hope you enjoy them. We had a wonderful time and I highly recommend you visit the garden.









Saturday, October 10, 2015

Artistic Niagra Falls

Here are two pictures of the falls I took last week to which I just added some artistry. The water in the falls is actually green from the minerals it carries.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Why We Blog

We blog for different reasons. I realize and respect that. So when other bloggers talk about objectives that differ from mine, I accept and support their efforts. For them. My goals differ.

Like me, you probably see a lot of young bloggers consumed by the goal of attracting large numbers of viewers to their sites. Often, they pimp for sponsors and seek to make money from their audience. They give advice (often erroneous) on how to draw a crowd. And they seem oblivious to the corrosive consequences of blogging for sponsors instead of themselves.

All of us would like to be popular but, early in life, I learned that's not a good path to happiness. In childhood I discovered that it's more valuable to be interesting than popular. I can be happy in a room by myself; I don't need approval from others. My contentment is not dependent on the opinions of other people.

My blog reflects that. I'm not trying to be the most popular blogger; I'm trying to be the most interesting blogger. I reveal my authentic self to you; I play with self-expression; I exercise creativity with surprising results. These activities give *me* joy. If sharing them amuses you, that's great but, ultimately, I'm blogging for myself. And it works. After more than five years, I'm as enthusiastic about blogging as when I started.

How 'bout you? Why do you blog?

Pumpkin Minion

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Social Progress

Social progress for groups like women doesn't come easy and isn't always smooth. Often, it encounters obstacles.

Last night I watched a baseball playoff game (Yankees v. Astros). I instantly noticed that one of the three broadcasters was a woman. She provided "color commentary" which is useful analysis of the players and game. Her contributions were smart and interesting.

I later learned that the female broadcaster, Jessica Mendoza, made history last night as the first woman to call a nationally-televised MLB playoff game. I also learned that Jessica was an accomplished softball player. She was All-American four times while at Stanford University and a member of the United States women's national softball team from 2004–2010.

That's the good news. The bad news is that there was a large sexist backlash against her appearance. Many men, mostly young, objected to Jessica's presence. They tweeted offensive remarks like these:

"Why do i turn on baseball and hear a woman's voice in the broadcast booth?!? we watch sports to get away from women."

"No one wants to hear a woman in the booth.. i will not listen or watch those games she is on."

"SOS there's a woman talking during my baseball watching."

"she stole a MAN'S job!!!"

I'm not making this up: it was reported here. One woman responded, "It's not surprising that so many men hate the idea of a woman talking baseball, it's surprising that so many are okay SAYING it."

Many people like to believe that we've overcome sexism but comments like these show there's still work to be done. Telling women they aren't welcome in male-dominated environments is not only wrong, it's harmful. It holds women back from being full members of society.

What do you think?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Niagra Falls

Niagra Falls is intense. Nature at its most powerful and majestic. Really beautiful.

Downstream from the waterfalls are turbulent white-water rapids. Class-6, the most forceful in the world. Watching them is hypnotic.

Robin enjoyed the trip. She turned off her phone and immersed herself in the experience. The scariest part occurred in an underground cave leading to the main waterfall. As you approach the cave's opening, the roar of falling water grows louder and louder. Just before Robin and I exited the cave into a thunderous, wet unknown, she turned to me and said words I will never forget. She said, "You go first..."