Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy


I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto...

Hurricane Sandy arrived Monday.  She was bad.  The hardest part now is dealing with loss of electricity.  You can't do anything these days without electricity.  Ninety percent of Long Island was knocked out and restoration will be slow.  Days, even a week.  I'm finally able to post this by using battery power and a public WiFi.  I'm still out of power at home and my office.

The winds were fierce.  I stayed at work until the last minute on Monday, which was foolish because going home was rough -- I had to run an obstacle course with downed trees everywhere.  Several times they completely blocked the road and I had to double-back.  I made it, though.

Almost every block has entire trees uprooted.  Many pulled down power-lines.

At home, a big branch broke off the tree in front of my house, blocking the walkway.  Despite it weighing hundreds of pounds, I dragged it off to clear a path.  Doing so, I fell twice on my ass and sprained 27 muscles.  I've been accused in the past of being a "macho idiot" at times and I stand convicted.  When situations call for it, I pull out my boy-side.

I hope you all are okay.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Party

We had a great time last night.  Debbie, Nicole, Jamie, Robin and I went to Jewel and we had lots of fun.  Here are some pics.









Halloween Reminder

Don't forget to join our online party!

All you need do is wear a costume.  Any costume will do, and if you can't get it to me before Halloween, send it afterward and I'll tack it on.  (Send your picture to or leave a comment with a link to it.)

We want to see your creativity!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Can Men And Women Be Friends?

Researchers are studying heterosexual men and women in platonic friendships to see how sturdy those friendships are and whether both sides are on the same page.  The answers they're finding are noteworthy.  Let me quote directly from a recent report:

"The results suggest large gender differences in how men and women experience opposite-sex friendships. Men were much more attracted to their female friends than vice versa. Men were also more likely than women to think that their opposite-sex friends were attracted to them—a clearly misguided belief. In fact, men’s estimates of how attractive they were to their female friends had virtually nothing to do with how these women actually felt, and almost everything to do with how the men themselves felt—basically, males assumed that any romantic attraction they experienced was mutual, and were blind to the actual level of romantic interest felt by their female friends. Women, too, were blind to the mindset of their opposite-sex friends; because females generally were not attracted to their male friends, they assumed that this lack of attraction was mutual. As a result, men consistently overestimated the level of attraction felt by their female friends and women consistently underestimated the level of attraction felt by their male friends."

These findings make sense to me.  They match my understanding of how men think.  Do they correlate to your experiences?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Appreciation and Joy

Thank you everyone for your wonderfully compassionate  and sage thoughts today on the bathroom question.  I was looking for advice and you guys really came through.  Your comments help me understand the situation a lot better.

After reading your words, I tweeted how fortunate I am to have supportive friends like you.  You make such a big difference in my life.  Previously, I felt isolated  and had no one to discuss issues like this with.  Isolation magnified my sadness -- but now it's gone for good.  Simply knowing there are people as kind as you out there gives me strength and hope.

As you may know, my birthday is coming up (Nov. 3rd).  It's my tradition to buy myself a present I truly like.  I started this practice after realizing nobody will get me what I want because I'm unusual.  Treating myself remedies that.

I just ordered something online that I've wanted my whole life.  It wasn't expensive and will be dearly appreciated by me.  I bought a purple dance-leotard and matching tutu! 

For fun, I often visit a dancewear website to browse and dream; this time, I actually bought something.  It'll arrive before my birthday and perhaps... maybe I'll take pictures.  Then again, just having a pretty dance-outfit is a great gift for me.  I'll enjoy it more than almost anything since, to me, it represents the life I want to have.

Do you buy yourself something for your birthday?

Social Reality

I want to bounce something off you guys.  It's actually a serious subject and I invite your honest opinion.  I value and learn from your comments.

Next Saturday, I'm going to a Halloween Party at a fancy restaurant with four other women.  We're going to eat, drink, laugh and have fun.  We'll be a mini-party in the midst of the larger, public party.

As you know, I'll be wearing the costume on the right.  So will Robin.  We'll look alike.

When the five of us head to the restroom, we'll travel as a group... up to a point.  At a critical juncture, I will have to split off.  The other four women will continue on to the Ladies' Room, laughing and keeping each other company.  I, on the other hand, will have to veer off into the Men's Room.  Looking like this.

I'll miss them.  I'll miss the opportunity to chat while we refresh our lipstick.  I'll miss being part of the group we were going in.

How do you feel about this?  It's not merely concern for other people's feelings that will keep me out of the Ladies' Room; it's also the law.  In almost every area of this country, it's illegal for a person of one gender to use a bathroom designated for the other gender. 

Some of you rebels have reported that you sneak into Men's Rooms at concerts to avoid long lines in Ladies' Rooms.  I'm okay with your lawbreaking. :)

There are a small number of communities that have made it legal for transgendered people to use a restroom consistent with the gender they are presenting, even if that isn't their biological sex.  Those well-intentioned laws aren't always recognized, however, and TG people are often harrassed when they try to legally use those bathrooms.

Two years ago, when I was dressed as Alice Kramden, I faced the same situation.  We were in a large catering hall for several hours.  Each time I visited the Men's Room, I got bewildered looks.  Comically, men near the door double-checked the sign, thinking they'd made a mistake and gone to the wrong room. 

More seriously, I felt awkward applying lipstick at the mirror inside the Men's Room.  I didn't feel comfortable doing that there -- the men who passed me wore sour expressions of disapproval.  But I wasn't going to not do it.  I wanted to enjoy the party; I needed to fix my lipstick.  Appearing in public that night was a big step for me, even under the cover of Halloween.  I wasn't going to let condemning strangers prevent me from pursuing my dream.

Your thoughts on this subject?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Outdoor Clothes

For the longest time (and sometimes still), I kept happiness away by not buying certain clothes -- i.e., items you wear outdoors.  My thinking was that, since I can't go outdoors dressed in these clothes, they are a waste of money.  But not having them to play with saddens me.  Deeply.  The pieces are so pretty and I like to play make-believe even indoors.

My attitude changed when I saw an outdoor coat at my local thrift-shop for a ridiculously low price ($4).  A latte at Starbucks costs more than that.  So I bought the coat.  Its blinding, furry whiteness amuses me.  Here, I'm accenting it with new purple gloves and a scarf from Old Navy ($10 total).

Let me also show off my cute new booties from Payless ($26).  Amazingly they had my size (12).

Have you ever worn a metallic skirt?  I almost didn't buy this one because I worried it would look weird but, putting it on, it's kinda cute.  It adds energy to the outfit.

The purple top came from Old Navy where I found it in a clearance rack ($5).  I like how it fits and shows off my curves.

Now that the outdoor-clothing dam has been broken, I want to find a colorful pair of rain-boots to jump in puddles with so I can giggle...






Sunday, October 21, 2012


The world is bigger and stranger than we think.  We tend to inhabit the same places and assume that's all there is.  But occasionally someone shows us what else is out there.

My friend Jamie looks for interesting subjects to photograph and, today, she lured me to a hotel down the block which, unknown to me, was having a reptile expo.  In fact, over a thousand people were there, looking at and buying exotic animals from 110 vendors.  I've never been to such an event before and never seen reptiles up close.  They are fascinating animals.  Some photos are below. 

I got a little squeamish when I learned that most reptiles eat other living animals.  The vendors were selling such animals as "food" for the reptiles, which upset my concern for all creatures.

Have you ever cared for a reptile?  Or seen one up close?













Saturday, October 20, 2012

Halloween Preview

I made my costume!  Actually, I made two identical costumes, one for me and one for Robin.  She'll be Max with brown hair; I'll be Caroline with blonde hair.

Creating the costume helped me improve my sewing skills and learn about something useful called fusible tape.  I also made my necklace!  Caroline wears a distinctive necklace in every episode, so I went to Michaels, bought beads and supplies, and re-created the way it looks.

We're going to a party with three girlfriends next Saturday so there'll be plenty of action photos of our group.  Let me entice you with a simple picture of what the costume looks like.  I tried to reproduce the outfit from the TV show as accurately as I could.  What do you think? 

What are you dressing up as this year?  Don't forget to send in a photo of yourself and I'll post it on our virtual Halloween Party.



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Getting Older

My birthday is approaching.  It always gets lost in the excitement over Halloween because it's only three days later (November 3rd).  I thought I'd use this quiet occasion to reflect on how much things have changed during my lifetime.

When I was young, there were no cellphones. If you wanted to make a call, you had to use your home telephone or go find a payphone. Payphones were in booths with doors on them, so you could take your suit off and become Superman without anyone seeing.

When I was young, there were record stores everywhere and people bought vinyl records to hear on their turntables.  Nobody carried music around with them like you can today.  It wasn't until the Sony Walkman was created in the 1980's (using cassettes) that you could listen to music outside your home.

When I was young, there were no electronic toys or devices.  For fun, you rode your bicycle around the neighborhood and checked to see if your friends were home.  Nobody ever looked at a monitor because there were no computers.

When I was young, everyone in America watched the same TV shows and there was only one late-night option -- "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson.  Johnny amused us even when he wasn't funny and everyone heard the same jokes.  Cultural critics say there will never be another Johnny Carson and what they mean is that no TV performer will ever again command the attention of the entire nation.  Now, the television audience is fragmented by many viewing-choices.

When I was young, you had to go to a movie theater to see a film.  There were no DVD-players or streaming Internet video.  Videocassette players didn't arrive until the 1980's.  You couldn't watch movies at home, so you joined the crowd at a movie theater.

When I was young, most women were homemakers and working women weren't allowed to wear pants.  In the 1960's, women lawyers were held in contempt of court if they dared to wear pantsuits.

How much change have you seen during your lifetime?

Monday, October 15, 2012


Have you ever wanted to look glamorous?  Really, super-glamorous?  I have.  Often.

I've dreamed of wearing an elegant outfit with sparkly jewelry.  An outfit that would fit in at a fancy Hollywood party.

Tonight, I put on a long black dress -- with feathers!  Matching heels and long velvet gloves.  Chandelier earrings and, best of all, a new cuff bracelet made of beads.

What do you think?  Have you ever worn anything like this?





A Halloween Party For Everyone

I love Halloween because it's a holiday with no rules.  We can do what we want.  What I like is to create a costume, go out in public and see what others have come up with.  Halloween is a party where everyone is an artist.  The atmosphere is always collaborative and spirited.

I've told you about the costumes I'm designing this year (I'm making them from scratch) and, certainly, will show you pictures.  One of my readers (Cassy) who doesn't have a blog just made a suggestion I like -- for us to hold a virtual Halloween party here where everyone can show off their costumes.  This will give everyone a chance to display their ingenuity.  Plus, if you have a blog, we'll link to it and you'll get new viewers. 

The rules are simple.  Everyone is invited.  I'll put the post up on Halloween so just send me a picture before that day.  You can e-mail a photo ( or leave a comment with a link to a photo.  If you have a blog, I'll link to it next to your picture.

Join the party!

P.S., For those of you whose pictures won't be ready until after Halloween, no problem -- send them to me whenever they're available and I'll add them to the post upon receipt.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Meeting Lynne

The reason I have had so many blogger meetups is because I live close to NYC.  When people come to visit the city, they offer me the chance to pop in and meet them.  People don't come here to see me but we take advantage of the opportunity that's created by their presence.

Today, I had the eminent pleasure of meeting Lynne, whose blog is Practical Paralegalism.  I had high hopes for this encounter.  They were met and exceeded.

Lynne is a very special person, someone whose heart is as big as Saturn.  In her personal life and online, Lynne offers compassion and love to those who need a helping hand.  She is truly exceptional.

Lynne lives in North Carolina where she's been blogging for four years while pursuing a demanding career as a paralegal.  She came to New York with her husband Rob to visit Kaitlin, the oldest of their three children, who recently took a job here.  (It's an exciting position with a famous ballet company.)

Today was a beautiful fall day with sunny skies and crisp autumn air.  We met in Central Park where a dog-event was underway.  After admiring the pretty doggies, we dined at a lovely sushi restaurant.  This is Lynne's very first visit to New York so she is wide-eyed and enthused about everything she sees.

During our lengthy conversation, I discovered we share many traits.  Our personal connection is natural and I felt instantly comfortable in Lynne's presence.  We spoke about our experiences with blogging, what we've learned from it, and how blogs can help people grow in important ways.  We dished about our favorite bloggers and expressed our deep affection for one in particular (Megan).  I'm honored to have Lynne as a friend and seeing her in person deepened our bond.

Lynne's friendly husband Rob is equally charming.  He and I enjoyed a fun conversation about baseball.

Here are some photos from our day.  What are you doing this weekend?