Friday, June 27, 2014

The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Boxing Gloves

Three months ago, I did an outfit post with a fun accessory -- pink boxing gloves.  After I finished, I thought it'd be a shame to put the gloves in storage so I had the inspired idea to share them with other bloggers.  I announced their availability and was excited to see a bunch of you leap at the chance to play with the gloves.

So far, the gloves have been worn by five bloggers.  They are now on their way up to Canada for three bloggers up there and then over to Europe.  There are more than a dozen people still on the list -- and always room for more.  (Just leave a comment if you want to play.)

It's been fun to watch different bloggers come up with creative ways to use the gloves.  Here are the pugilists who've entered the ring so far, with links to their blogs.  Who's your favorite so far?


Thursday, June 26, 2014

In Black And White

I saw a cute skirt last week and figured it'd find its way into an outfit.  Then, yesterday, I stumbled upon a terrific shirt in checkered black and white.  The shirt has French cuffs and cufflinks.

I paired the two together with some new strappy sandals.  I believe the ensemble works.  What do you think?





Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Steve McQueen

It just occurred to me that some of you may be too young to remember Steve McQueen.  Sadly, he died young, at age 50, in 1980.  During the 1960's and 1970's, McQueen was arguably the most popular -- and skilled -- actor in the world.  In 1974, he got the most money for acting in a film ever paid until then.  He had so much box-office clout that he could demand and get a percentage of a film's profits which, when they succeeded, made him very wealthy.

And, not insignificantly, many people believe he was the handsomest man on the screen.

McQueen had humble origins and that colored his personality.  He was wary of society, having been dealt a raw hand.  His mother was an alcoholic prostitute who gave him away to relatives; his father disappeared soon after he was born.  McQueen was dyslexic and slightly deaf.  Without parental guidance, he ran with street gangs and got into trouble.  He spent some time in juvie before doing a series of odd jobs, including working for a circus.

Hollywood is a land of make-believe.  McQueen stuck out as authentic and you sense that about him.  He did his own stunts, including motorcycle riding in "The Great Escape" and an enormous dive off a cliff in "Papillon."  McQueen created and drove in what many consider the greatest car-chase of all time in "Bullitt."

McQueen had real talent at driving cars and riding motorcycles.  For several years in the 1970's, he disappeared from Hollywood to race motorcycles and work on vintage Indians.  After his death, McQueen was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame for his positive work in promoting motorcycling.  He financed one of the best documentaries ever made about riding ("On Any Sunday").

The nickname given to Steve McQueen was "The King of Cool" and you can see why.  He had gravitas.  Unlike pretty-boy actors, he was the real deal.  Some quotations from him: "I'm not sure whether I'm an actor who races or a racer who acts."  "Racing is life.  Anything before or after is just waiting."

McQueen was married three times.  His second wife was Ali MacGraw, the "Love Story" actress who met McQueen when they were making a movie together ("The Getaway").  At the time MacGraw was married to Hollywood's most powerful man (Robert Evans).  She left Evans for McQueen, drawn by his immense charisma.

It was a shame McQueen didn't live longer to continue his work and enjoy life.  He died of cancer, most likely caused by exposure to asbestos when he was in the Marines.

Have you seen any Steve McQueen films?  What do you think of him?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Coney Island Mermaid Parade

I went to the Mermaid Parade today with four friends.  It was fun.  The weather was perfect and the parade was bigger than ever.  The new Mayor of New York marched in it, dressed as a pirate, and his two teenage kids were named King and Queen of the Parade.  (That's them in the first picture below.)

Next year, I want to be in the Parade and not just watch it.  I'll have to come up with a clever costume.  Any ideas?












Friday, June 20, 2014

Female Life

I have a question for you.  It's a serious question.

When putting on a clingy dress, do you pull it down over your head or lift it up from the floor?

When I first encountered tight dresses, I'd step into them and pull them up.  But, doing that, I'd have trouble getting my arms into them.  So I changed approach and started pulling them down from above.  Which usually works but sometimes my boobs get in the way. 

Either approach is difficult and I frequently have to wiggle and wrestle with my clothes.  I always keep a pair of scissors nearby when dressing because more than once I've gotten trapped.  There's nothing more embarrassing than being stuck halfway into a dress.

My mother didn't teach me these basic skills and I don't have a female mentor for questions like this.  Care to help out?

BTW, how do women do that magical trick in which they take off a bra without removing their shirt?!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

All Grown Up

I set a goal for this outfit -- I wanted to look grown up.  Mature yet stylish.  So I chose a womanly dress and paired it with chic sandals.  I added a belt for structure.  What do you think? 

By the way, these are the shoes I bought with that infamous "Senior Discount," of which we shall speak no more...





Tuesday, June 17, 2014


There are milestones in life.  Some are good, some are not.  I just hit a bad one.

It's fun the first time you're asked for ID to get into a bar.  Being "proofed" or "carded" is a sign of maturity.  You feel like an adult.  On the other end of the spectrum, however, nasty monsters lurk...

I went to my favorite thrift-store today to buy some strappy sandals to go with my next outfit.  As I approach the store, I see a big sign "Senior Discount Tuesday!"  Apparently they now give 20% off to seniors on Tuesdays.  Okay, that's nice.  Then I see that they define a "Senior" as anyone over 55 years old.  Holy crap -- I'm 56!

Calm down, I tell myself.  I'm not a senior.  I'm not old.  I'm middle-aged at worst -- and truly young at heart.  I instruct myself not to take advantage of the discount, even though I'm technically entitled to it, so I can maintain my self-image.  That's important.

I find some cute shoes and go to the register.  The cashier takes one look at me and chirps, "Senior discount today?!"  I grimace and say, "No thank you."  She studies my face again and rings up my order.  As I pull out my money, I vaguely realize the bill is slightly less than it should be.  As soon as I get outside, I check my receipt and see the cashier applied the senior discount to my order, saving me two bucks.  It even says so on my receipt.  Right next to "Senior Discount" it says "Old Person In Denial."

While I knew this day was in my future, I didn't expect it to arrive now.  So soon.  While I'm still young.  And healthy.  And full of vigor.

Please, somebody, say something comforting.  I'm dying here...

And The Winner Is...

Yes, Kati won the pretty yellow handbag.  And I'm happy she did -- Kati is the sweetest blogger on the European side of the Atlantic Ocean.  Kati lives in Germany and has a fun blog full of pretty outfits.  Go take a look.
Here's the bag which is on its way across the ocean...

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Magical Journey Continues...

A fifth blogger is donning the magical pink boxing gloves.  After the gloves began their journey in New York, they visited Oregon, California, Louisiana and are now in the oversized state of Texas.  Wheee!!

Wearing the gloves today is Hollie, a fine blogger.  Hollie's blog (Modern Colors) describes her interesting life down South with her cute son River and her husband whom she calls "an intellectual redneck."  Hollie is pregnant with her second child, who's due to arrive this Fall.  I'm lobbying to name the baby Stream.

Hollie is a community event planner and she's deeply invested in a Renaissance Faire in Texarkana.  Seeing her talk about the Faire, raise money for it, and post pictures of great costumes is a highlight of following her.  Plus, as you can see above, Hollie has a good sense of humor.  I like her.  Go check out Hollie's blog.

If you want to add yourself to the list of glove-wearers, just leave a comment.  They're heading next to Canada for three bloggers and then over to Europe.  Yay!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

I had a complicated relationship with my dad in my youth but, in adulthood, I reconciled the bad parts and chose to be kind to him.  That was the right choice and it's made both of us happier.

He's doing well at age 84, living down in Florida in a nice house with a pool.  He has a female partner and many friends.  After he retired from the police force in 1985, he and my mom moved down South.  (She died in 1990.)  He's traveled around the world multiple times and lived a relatively charmed life since then.  He's comfortable in all ways.

By contrast, my father's childhood was spent in war-time chaos.  He was born in Germany (1930) and grew up during World War II (1933-1945).  His hometown of Stuttgart was bombed, so he was sent to live with relatives in remote farmland.  In 1950, he came to this country on a boat and started to build a new life from scratch.  He socialized with other immigrants and met my mother at their local tavern.

My dad succeeded in creating a new life.  He found his soulmate (my mother) and a decent career (law enforcement).  My parents relished their family life for four decades.  My mother and brother passed away in 1990-1991 which was a blow: half of our family disappeared almost overnight.  But my dad and I survived and found new ways to relate to each other.  I'm going to call him in a few minutes.

What's your family history with your father?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Time Marches On

When someone dies, they freeze in our minds -- we view them as being that age forever.  We can't imagine them as the older person they would have become had they not passed away.

For example, John Lennon would be 74 years old now.  Can you picture him that old?

Lennon was tragically killed in 1980 at the age of 40.  An odd fact is that his son Julian is now older than Lennon was at the time of his death.  I noticed this when I saw a current picture of Julian, showing him a decade older (51) than I ever saw John.

My mother died young from breast-cancer (54).  When I passed her age, I felt strange.  My mother, a generation older than me, never lived to see the age I am now.  That's odd.

Do you ever think about age?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Better Pictures

I'm always trying to improve my pictures, both because I like photography and because I want to enhance images on my blog.  The better my pictures look, the more likely you are to visit.

For the longest time, I was unhappy with visual distractions in my indoor photos.  The end of a couch and other furniture took focus away from my outfits.  Even the unavoidable line where the wall meets the floor visually seems to cut my legs in half.

Then I found the answer -- a photo backdrop.  It's a simple tool used by pros to remove all distractions from the background.  You may have seen it in my recent photos.  (Lisa noticed it.)

I asked for one of these last Christmas and got it.  It was only $150 from a photo store (B&H Photo).  It comes with three different cloth backdrops (black, white, grey).  It works simply: a sheet of cloth hangs from a metal rod (like a curtain rod) which is suspended by two metal poles.  The cloth provides a blank background.  The rod and poles collapse so the entire thing can fit into a small bag.

Here are some pictures of my new equipment.  Do you want one?



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Reporting To Work

I got a new job as a secretary.  Oops! ... Executive assistant.  I hope my boss likes me!

What do you think of this outfit?  I really like it -- and the whole thing cost only $12, including shoes.  Everything came from a thrift-store (Savers).





Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Clothes are objects, but they can serve as more than that.  They can be symbols, reminding us of cherished memories.  Like the friendship of someone who gave an item to us, or a fun event we wore it to.

Women's clothing has special significance to me.  There isn't a garment I've touched that didn't touch me back.  Having been painfully deprived of female experience most of my life, I savor every moment in the midst of female clothing and grooming.  My senses and mind are heightened during those fortunate times.

Last weekend, I was hiking around my neighborhood and discovered a dozen garage/yard sales.  Apparently the neighbors coordinated and decided to use that weekend for unloading their stuff.

At first I was excited but my enthusiasm dampened when I saw that most of the offerings were crap.  Over 90% of the wares were undesirable.  Who wants stained plastic dishes or ancient technology (videocassettes?!). 

At one house, there was an attractive 40-something woman in charge with a husband milling around.  I spotted a rack of women's clothing in the back so I headed there.  On my way, the husband made an insulting crack pointing out the absurdity of me looking at women's clothing.  I ignored him.  His opinion meant nothing to me, whereas the possibility of adding a nice item to my wardrobe possessed real value.  As I suspected from seeing the lady of the house, the rack held delights.

While I was browsing, the hostess came over and touted her clothes.  "Most of these came from Lord & Taylor!", she bragged.  I picked up a blue print wrap-dress from BCBGMAMAXAZRIA.  It didn't have a price on it so I asked her.  She said, "I was going to ask $10 for it but I could sell it for $8...".  I told her $10 was fine; it's not my style to haggle; the dress is pretty.  She smiled and blurted out "It will look great with black boots!"  I said, "I'm sure it will."  I bought it and stuffed it into my backpack.  When I got home, I checked the company's website and discovered I had a steal -- the dress normally retails for $220.  I'll wear it soon on the blog.

I enjoyed conversing with the hostess.  If her unpleasant husband hadn't been hovering, I might have gone further with our conversation.  I'm sure, from her comments, that she realized I was buying the dress for myself.  I eagerly wanted to confirm that simple, important fact but I didn't want to provoke hubby into further confrontation so I kept that out of our conversation. 

I always try to find ways to communicate my true gender-identity to people but I disclose it only when I feel the other person is capable of understanding.  I never foist my social deviance on anyone without carefully anticipating their reaction.

Have you ever had a garage sale?  How would you react if a man asked to buy your clothes?

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Magical Journey Continues...

The magical pink boxing gloves are making their third stop.  After visiting the West Coast (Oregon and California), they headed east and are now in Louisiana.  Cajun country!

Wearing the gloves with aplomb is Sarah, one of my favorite bloggers.  I follow Sarah's blog because she wears clothes that I might choose.  Unlike some bloggers, Sarah is a real person, someone you'd consider a girlfriend.  I often ask Sarah for advice and she's always there for me with wise words.

Sarah works as a video producer.  Blogging was a way for her to evolve her personal style and it worked -- her choices have become stronger and bolder as she explores new fashion possibilities.  I relate to Sarah's use of blogging as a tool for personal growth and admire the progress she's made.  You can easily see her development by reading her old and new posts.

Check out the creative way Sarah played with the boxing gloves.  She used them to create a metaphor on how we battle ourselves internally.  That's so clever.

If you want, add yourself to the growing list of glove-wearers.  Their next stop is in Texas and after that, the gloves will go up north to Canada and then over the Atlantic Ocean to Europe.  If I hear from a blogger in the Artic, she'll be the last one to get them!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Sunny Giveaway

I just stumbled onto a solution that works for both of us.

You see, I have a problem.  I love items of female life but some of them, despite my affection, aren't practical for me because I lack opportunity to enjoy them in real-life.  Things like handbags.  And pretty rain-boots.  And Winter coats.

For the longest time, I craved these items but didn't buy them because my frugality trumped my desire.  Then I realized I can have the best of both worlds -- briefly enjoying the items (which justifies buying them) and later passing them on to someone who can use them in real-life.

I spotted this cute handbag in the window of a local boutique.  I walked past, stopped, walked back, stopped, thought about it, and weighed my craving for the bag against the impracticality of it.  Then, without committing myself, I went into the store and asked to look at it.  It was even more beautiful in person -- quality leather, nice construction.  And not inexpensive.

So... after carrying this bag on my arm in my last photoshoot, I'm now offering it to you guys as a giveaway.  It hasn't been touched except for that brief photography.  It's in pristine condition.

Everyone who comments on any post of mine during the next two weeks will be put in a hat for random drawing.  The winner, I assure you, will like the prize.  It's beautiful.  Plus, when you fold the handles down, it looks like it's smiling!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Welcome, Summer!

To welcome Summer, I wore an outfit that looks like sunshine itself.  Bright, yellow and attractive.

What do you think?  What are you wearing this Summer?