Monday, August 28, 2017


Being outdoors lately has rejuvenated me. I even look younger, don't ya think?

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Best Surprises

I went into a thrift-store yesterday with no intent to buy anything. In fact, as I walked in, I lectured myself that I don't need any new clothes so I shouldn't buy anything. But... I saw this amazing green polka-dot ensemble from the 1970's and couldn't resist.

Could you?

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Fashion Keychain and Small Pleasures

I savor small pleasures. Often troubled by larger stuff (like gender and work), I extract as much joy as possible from little treats popping up in my life. Like seeing a bird suddenly appear outside the window or browsing thrift-stores for overlooked gems.

Two small pleasures arose this week. Not sure if you'll understand but let's see...

I was buying a new pair of Vans sneakers at the mall (I got the b/w checkered ones). At the register, I saw a cute keychain -- it's a tiny red sneaker made from the same materials as real shoes (canvas and rubber). I snagged and incorporated this trinket into my daily life. It makes me smile every time I touch it.

What kind of keychains do you use?

A second pleasure is a shirt from my favorite motorcycle-gear company. It's the stiffest, heaviest shirt I've ever seen. It's as stiff as wood and heavy as stone. They say it'll soften with wear and washing, which is something that'll be fun to watch (and feel). The shirt's style is very cool -- retro working-class worker, like what train engineers used to wear. The manufacturer is named "Prison Blues" which suits the style. I plan to wear this beauty often and treat it like an old friend.

What small pleasures are in your life?

Monday, August 21, 2017


I went down to Florida this week to see my dad. He's 87 years old. It was good to spend time with him. Are you visiting any relatives this Summer?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Motorcycle Camping

I like learning new things. Researching what gear is available, figuring out how to use it, and then experimenting in the field. It's a process I enjoy. I'm in the midst of a new learning-curve for outdoor adventure.

Nature and motorcycling both appeal to me so I thought about combining the two. Camping while travelling by motorcycle is a unique creature: it requires extra equipment which needs to be attuned to the storage-limitation of a bike. You want enough gear to be comfortable but not too much to overload your storage-capacity.

Hotels are nice but expensive. Paying $100-200 every night adds up, especially when you can save 90% of that cost at a campground. I plan to take longer trips in the future (as I wean myself off work). Including some camping on those long trips will lower the overall expense and add the fun of sleeping in the woods.

I've spent the past few weeks looking at this situation. Figuring out what I need, where to put it, and learning if my choices work. After a trial-run, I'm happy to report I'm set!

For sleeping, I got a tent that's large enough for two bodies but compact enough to store on my bike. In addition to a sleeping bag, I know from experience the most important ingredient for outdoor-comfort is a sleeping pad. Pads keep you off the cold ground and offer cushioning. Mine is self-inflating and an inch-and-a-half thick. All my gear came from the best outdoor store around, named REI. It's a coop where I'm a member and get good discounts.

I have enough basic cooking equipment to make a simple meal and brew coffee. That's adequate for overnight stays. My days will be spent riding or hiking so I don't need more camping stuff than this.

Next month I'm riding up to Maine to camp in the wild. Do you like to camp?

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Vixens Roll

Saturday night is coming and we're getting ready to roll!

But before we fight The Cute Cougars, we need to select our outfits and do our makeup. I couldn't decide between a chic look and a playful one so I tried both. Which do you prefer?

The fun shirt came from a local boutique and inspired this post. The belt was snagged in Canada (Talize) while shopping with Suzanne (only $2.99 in Canadian money). I love thrift-stores!

I hope your weekend is a great one!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Crisis Averted

I can't even say the number. In a few months, I leave my fifties. Forever. And enter uncharted waters. All year I've been agonizing over this passage. I haven't mentioned my dread to anyone because it's that serious. Existential.

My fear is not simply growing older but, more importantly, losing the opportunity to be young. Active, adventurous, animated. I don't want to give that up for a dreary future of early dinners, AARP and cultural irrelevance. I don't want to be a sexagenarian.

Fortunately, I've come to my senses. I realize that I'm still in control of my destiny. The real determinant of my future -- my own choices -- is helping me avoid a crisis.

When I was 39, I faced a similar situation. I feared 40 meant the end of my youth. After deliberation I reacted to the event positively: I took stock of my life, fixed what was wrong and steered toward happiness. It's not a coincidence that that is when I started riding motorcycles, a passion which has enriched my life for twenty years.

What bothers me about turning... um... the next number is its common association with old age. Senior discounts, retirement, Medicare... I'm not ready for that. I want to continue my exploits, not slow down.

I plan to do that. And my sustained efforts to maintain vitality over the past decade are paying off. I feel physically fitter than I did ten years ago. Since 2010 I've made vast strides moving toward a more authentic life. I added several good friends and deepened my personal connection to everyone I care about. I even squirreled away some money with smart investments. In short, I've made good choices and their benefits will be reaped in the future. So what am I worried about?

I suppose my fear is foolish; the thing that needs to change is my outlook. Society won't define my future; I will. As long as I remain curious, eager and open to life, I can live my way and that will be satisfying.


Have you ever worried about your age? How'd you handle it?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

AllyCat On The Prowl

I'm happy with the outfit I wore today. And have two things to tell you about it.

First, I never would have bought this dress if Suzanne and Patti hadn't given me the courage to try it on in a store dressing-room. The dress doesn't stretch so buying it without a try would have been too risky. What a pleasant surprise in the dressing-room when I discovered it fits!

Second, I realize that lately I've been lazy with my makeup. Makeup is usually the last thing I do for a photoshoot and, by that time, I'm tired. I tend to slap on the minimum and get going. But my face deserves -- and needs -- better than that. To transform my masculine features into feminine ones takes work. I should do that work. I know I should. Hey, I'm talking to myself here...  :-)


A Rare Moment In Time

There was a period (1965-1975) when men's fashion was fun. Colorful, experimental and fun.

I lived through that period and exploited its sartorial freedom for gender-bending. In 1973 I wore a top to high school that was sold as male clothing, but man, it was wild! Skin-tight knit fabric with brightly-colored floral design and a thick, brown elastic band around the waist -- which left 3-4 inches of skin exposed between it and my pants. Even teachers noticed and commented on it (negatively).

Here's another example from that time. Thoughts?