Friday, February 27, 2015

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

I'm off to see the Wizard! The wonderful Wizard of Oz. Her name is Jennifer and she lives in Atlanta. I'm bringing my dog Toto, too.

I hope the Wizard can find me a heart. And a brain. And courage. Then, I hope the Wizard will help me find a way home.

For the journey, I'm bringing pretty girl-clothes. I don't know if or when or how I'll be able to wear them but, as they say in the Boy Scouts, "Be prepared."  I'm ready!

It's time to sing a song. Sing with me if you know this one...

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can't I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pee-Wee's Back!

I'm a serious cinemaphile and can lecture on auteur theory, the history of film, and various aspects of this art medium.  So it surprises people to learn that one of my favorite movies is "Pee-wee's Big Adventure".  Directed by Tim Burton, the 1985 film is a talented work of art which made Pee-wee an overnight star.

Before that, I'd seen Pee-wee do late-night shows and was entranced by his extremely odd man-boy persona.  He's both mature and immature at the same time.  You've never seen anything like him.

Pee-wee made a second movie which was so bad we won't talk about it.  Then, in 1991, Pee-wee was caught with his pants down and he quit show biz.  The actor who portrays him (Paul Reubens) appeared in cameos since then (e.g., "Batman Returns"; "The Blacklist"; "Murphy Brown") but they've been under most people's radar.

Well... he's back!  Pee-wee is making a new movie with Judd Apatow.  Bow-tie is the new black!

Do you know Pee-wee?  Do you like him?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Beating Winter Blues

When the snow is higher than your car, you know it's Winter.  New York and many other places have record lows and lots of snow this year.  Short days, dreary skies and slippery sidewalks can be depressing.

What do you do to combat the Winter blues?

I focus my attention on long-term projects, like designing my costume for the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island.  Even though the parade isn't until June, the work necessary for a costume is extensive and doing it is fun. 

This year I'm also going to try something I've never attempted before -- gardening.  I plan to grow jalapeno and habanero peppers to use in spicy cooking.  Even though the actual outdoor growing must await Spring, the project needs preparation now -- drying out seeds and starting their indoor germination.

I'm also catching up on movies that I overlooked in the past.

What are you doing to brighten your mood?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

My Past

When I was in college, I fell in love with an artist named Maura. She was smart and cultured. Her round face was cherubic and her fiery red hair was strikingly beautiful.

Maura knew at age twelve that she was going to be a painter. She vowed to create art for the rest of her life no matter how impractical that would be. Happily, she has been able to do this for five decades. (She's the same age as me.)

Maura and I lived together for twenty years. She is a real genius -- and I use that word carefully. Of all the bright people I've met, Maura is the smartest. She sees things the rest of us don't. Maura now lives in rural Wales which is a good place for her. Quiet, contemplative and full of animals. Maura found New York much too stimulating. Like many artists, Maura is hyper-sensitive to her environment and couldn't handle the media-saturated culture here.

Maura is visiting me now for a few weeks. Being with her transports me back to my youth. We repeat our inside jokes, recall old friends and times, and generally feel connected to each other and our shared past. I snapped this picture of her today in Starbucks.

Are you friends with any of your former-partners?

Thursday, February 19, 2015


We all like to receive comments on our blogs.  Some of us enjoy leaving comments.  Making and getting comments is an interesting subject.

Why do we enjoy getting them?  Probably 'cause we work hard at our blogs and it's nice to know people are reading.  When visitors announce their presence and say something meaningful, it validates our effort.  For me, there's an added benefit because you guys are more experienced with female life and fashion so your feedback educates me.  I learn from you, almost every day.

Why do we like to leave comments?  Sometimes it's a way to be friendly.  To tell our online comrades that we support their efforts. 

Checking in on our friends is mutually-beneficial.  I take great pleasure in commenting on your blogs.  It feels like we're having a conversation.  My happiest moments are when a funny idea pops into my head while reading your blog which I can organically weave it into a humorous, relevant comment.  The prospect of making you laugh puts a big smile on my face.

What do you think about comments?  Do they matter to you?  Why?  Can you remember any that meant a lot to you?

P.S., I'm bringing this dress to Atlanta!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Snow Day!

We got enough snow today to give me an excuse not to work.  Well... that's not entirely true.  I knew the roads would be bad so yesterday I brought home tax papers to organize in the comfort of my warm home.

While I'm here, I'm squeezing in some fun.  First, an outfit-post because... why not?!  I can never get enough of doing these.  They bring me joy.

Second, I reviewed my entire wardrobe -- and tried on dozens of items -- to assemble two outfits for a trip I'm taking to visit Jen in Atlanta.  Jen is my dearest of friends.  For years, she has supported and encouraged me.  We e-mail, we Facebook, we even chat on the phone.  In two weeks, I'll meet Jen for the first time in person and say hi to her hubby and cute daughter.  Jen is offering to hold my hand while presenting as female so that door is swinging wide open.  :-)

The outfit below is an ensemble of thrift-store pieces, each of which cost less than $10.  That includes the red shoes which are the centerpiece of the outfit.  I swooned when I saw them. 

I hope this collection demonstrates that a whole can be greater than its parts.



Friday, February 13, 2015

Women Around The World

One of the nice things about New York is its ethnic diversity.  There are people from all over the world living here.  Due to that, businesses cater to each immigrant group.  I find it fun to visit such places, even when I know nothing about their culture.

On Long Island, there is a large community of Indian-Americans and dozens of restaurants that serve them.  There are also Indian supermarkets selling raw ingredients for Indian food (e.g., rice, spices, vegetables) and packaged Indian dishes.  Today, I visited one of these supermarkets.  What a blast!  It was like travelling to another country.

All the signs and products were in several languages from that region of the world.  I'm familiar with Indian cuisine so I bought several frozen dishes like Malai Kofta, Palak Paneer, Chhole and Samosas.  I don't know how to cook these dishes, so heating up frozen ones works perfectly for me.  I love "hot pickle" which are various fruits, like lemon and lime, marinated in spicy sauce.  I also love mint chutney which is so minty fresh you can't believe your tongue.

While browsing, I saw a rack of Indian magazines.  I couldn't read a word of them, but found the pictures fascinating.  I bought a magazine that is obviously intended for women.  The photos of beautiful models wearing traditional and modern dress are interesting.  Femininity and gender-presentation cross cultural boundaries.  Some of the pictures are below.  What do you think of them?

When I buy women's clothing and products, nobody ever says anything to me.  Cashiers just take my money, make change and bag the goods.  This time was different.  An adorable young Indian-American girl at the cash-register picked up the magazine, looked puzzled and asked me, "This for you?"  I said yes.  An expression of deep amusement crossed her face.  She chuckled and said, "You can read?"  I said no and explained I just like to look at the pictures.  She blushed and smiled broadly.  Our conversation was brief but memorable.



Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Jodi is a friend of mine who's truly exceptional.  In addition to being beautiful, Jodi is strong -- really strong.  She competes in athletic marathons where she runs, swims and bicycles for miles.  Few of us could do what Jodi does.  I admire her fitness.

Jodi has a fashion-blog which she's been very active on recently.  I think she looks great in bold colors and prints.  Her panache exudes confidence and carries the ball of bright clothing.  Many of us can't get away with bold clothes but they suit Jodi very well.

Here are some of Jodi's recent outfits.  Aren't they grand?!




Monday, February 9, 2015

Thank You, Internet

I'm old enough to remember life before the Internet.  Are you?

Back in the old days, we read local newspapers to learn what was going on.  The biggest conduit for entertainment was our television set.  We had phone books and encyclopedias.  To "look something up" took a great deal of effort.

Then, e-mail emerged.  I got my first e-mail address in 1996.  Gradually, the World Wide Web grew and companies started putting up websites.  Online information and resources replaced analog ones.  Today, you don't get a phone book delivered to your house; you go online to check virtually everything, like where that new restaurant in town is, when it opens and what's on the menu.

In two decades, the analog world shifted to a digital one, with everything available at our fingertips.  Now, you apply for a job online, you buy health insurance online and you shop online.

Do you remember the old days?  When did you plug into the 'net?

What brings this social development to note for me is a lovely gift from a friend.  Lynn is a sweet woman who became my friend a few years ago and has been my most ardent supporter.  Lynn always says nice things on my blog; we chat on Facebook and e-mail; and she writes on her blog about her family and scrapbooking.

Why does Lynn make me think of the Internet?  Because she lives in South Africa, halfway around the world.  I can't ever imagine finding someone that far away before the 'net made it possible.  Only through online communication were we able to forge and develop a friendship.  So, thank you for that Internet!

Lynn's sister, Wendy, also blogs.  I've been trying to persuade them to adopt me as their sister.  I'd leap at the chance to be related to these wonderful women.

Lynn recently gave me a necklace made of multi-colored beads.  It's several shades of orange and was handmade in South Africa.  Here's what it looks like...


Friday, February 6, 2015

How I Think

Putting together outfit-posts is a joy for me, but it's also a chore.  There's lots of preparation that goes into making myself presentable -- including stuff you never face, like shaving your cheeks and adjusting a wig.  Normally those tasks are pleasant but they are also work.

Two weeks ago I caught the flu and have been sick ever since.  That ailment, combined with snowy cold, has kept me from dressing up.  When I don't engage in feminine fun for a fortnight, my mood sours.  I get blue.  So I vowed to create an outfit-post today, no matter how hard it was.

I looked in my closet for clothes.  "Oh no!", I cried, "I have nothing to wear!"  Anyone else peering into that overstuffed room would say I'm delusional, but perhaps you understand my mindset.  I had nothing new or fun to wear.

So I popped off to my favorite thrift-store.  And found a cute dress for $8.  I added some silvery strappy sandals and silver jewelry.  Voile!




Thrift-Store Gems

Do you know that most thrift-stores carry music?  Old CDs, DVDs and even vinyl records.  They usually sell these items at ridiculously-cheap prices, like 25-cents.  At that level, there's no risk in trying something new.  It's fun to explore unknown music.

Recently I've discovered a lot of great stuff like the artists shown below.  I knew who they were but I wasn't familiar with their work.  Now I am -- and much of it is beautiful.  My long car-rides are more pleasant now.

Have you ever bought music in a thrift-store?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Bruce Jenner

I wrote about Bruce Jenner last November.  Many young people know him only from the Kardashian TV show and not from his heroic achievements in the Olympics a few decades back.  I discussed that laudable history.

In the past year, Bruce has undeniably set course on a journey toward female identity.  He's been keeping publicly quiet about the subject up to now, but it appears he's getting ready to open up.  He's negotiating terms of a blockbuster interview with Diane Sawyer.  Expect it in a few weeks.

I hope this transition goes well for Bruce and that the subject isn't ridiculed or mocked.  Transitioning is always hard; doing it in public is doubly so.  Tabloids have already staked out his comings and going, and one even photoshopped his head onto a woman's body.  If there's public interest in his story, they will continue to post unflattering pictures of him.

An event like this could educate many about an important subject.  Let's hope the story becomes a positive influence in society.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The View Outside My Window

Winter has arrived, taken up residence, and is smokin' a joint on my couch. Not sure if I'll ever be able to get rid of him.