Sunday, November 25, 2018

Lost In The Crowd

The impulse behind most of our blogging is to share our thoughts and experiences with others. Why else would we devote sizable effort to write and post pictures online?

But what most of us learn early on is that putting stuff out there doesn't guarantee a big audience. Or a small audience. Or even anyone. It is manifestly not true that "if you built it, [they] will come." (That's a cinematic reference to "Field of Dreams", a famous drama about baseball that's worth watching.)

It's ironic that opening ourselves up to the world can feel isolating. When we create wonderful posts and get only a few comments, we're sad. We want to be heard, we want to be seen. That's a natural human emotion.

My reflection on this led me to an insight years ago -- we have to blog for ourselves, not for others. Their reaction (or even existence) can't be why we blog. If you need validation, find another, more effective way to get it. The online world is too big; we get lost in obscurity. Unless you're a celebrity or actively promote your blog, you won't get a thousand comments. Or a hundred.

I blog to express myself. My authentic, individual self. Whether the audience is large or small doesn't affect my satisfaction in creating artistic content that displays my true nature. This benefit may not be as significant for those who have and can express themselves in real life; I wasn't able to do that during the first fifty years of my life. In the past decade, through this blog, I've seized freedom which enables me to grow as a person in deeply-important ways. Just being able to admit attraction to feminine clothes and female-associated activities is life-altering for me. Hiding that attraction is painful and stifles my personal expression. Engaging in desired activities satisfies life-long dreams I never thought I'd be allowed to pursue.

Are you happy with the audience-size of your blog? Does it meet your needs?

A big part of my enjoyment in blogging is having the opportunity to exhibit my photographs. Pictures I take while traveling, while dressing up, while searching the world for beauty. I recently noted, in a picture I took on a trip to Montreal this Summer, that the motorcycle-trunk is reflecting the landscape and clouds. Isn't that beautiful?

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Biker Buddies

The best part of riding last Sunday was seeing Bob and Jaime, my closest motorcycle-friends. I met these guys when I started riding two decades ago.

Since 1998 Bob and Jaime have taught me tons of stuff about motorcycling. Both are certified motorcycle-instructors with years of experience on two wheels. On top of that, they're fun. We have great times together, like a memorable motorcycle-trip to Nova Scotia (Canada) that Jaime organized.

We're friends for life!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). It's on November 20th every year.

Twenty years ago a transgender woman, Rita Hester, was murdered. The following year a vigil was held to honor her memory and to commemorate all transgender people whose lives are lost to violence.

While most people say they know someone who is gay, few believe they've met someone transgender. That's bad because hatred grows in voids. People fear the unknown; it's not until we meet someone different that we realize our common humanity. It's our responsibility to learn about the world and understand others, including those who are different.

Today is a good occasion for that. You can get helpful information by clicking here.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Champagne Run

It's 37 degrees and I'm heading out on one of my favorite annual rides -- the Nassau Wings Champagne Run. After boisterous breakfast with old friends, we head east to the wineries on the North Fork. We visit five wineries, buy multiple bottles for holiday gifts, and cap the day with dinner at Cliff's Elbow Room. A good time all around.

Here's a pic from 20 years ago, before my hair turned grey.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

In Deep Water

I've never worn a dress like this one -- and, for me, that's reason enough to try it. I found this lovely item in a thrift-store at a low price ($10).

What do you think? I enjoy wearing it and wish I could in a more public setting.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Life Before The Internet

Given how we live today, sharing pictures of coffee on social media, it's hard to remember the fabric of life before the Internet. And yet that existed, for me and everyone else older than thirty.

I got my first e-mail address in 1996. Surprisingly compared to most people, I still use that address (although the company-name changed three times when the business was sold and sold). When did you first get e-mail?

The fact of this sea-change in personal and social experience occurred to me this morning, ironically while reading Facebook. An acquaintance made mention of one of the best television shows ever made ("Yes, Minister" and its sequel "Yes, Prime Minister"). "Yes, Minister" was a British political satire far smarter than anything American TV had the guts to produce. Its lead-actor was one of the most talented, acclaimed thespians ever to act on television, Nigel Hawthorne.

"Yes, Minister" was broadcast in the early Eighties. I watched it on the single television channel here that showed British comedies (where I was also introduced to "Monty Python's Flying Circus").

Nigel Hawthorne performed in dozens of movies, television shows and theatrical dramas. You've probably have seen him in small roles without realizing it. In 1994, Nigel starred as the lead in "The Madness of King George" for which he was nominated for an Oscar.

I was a big fan of "Yes, Minister" so when I heard Nigel was going to perform on the Broadway stage in 1990, I leapt at the chance to see him in person. He was amazing. He played author C.S. Lewis in the play "Shadowlands." (The play was later turned into a movie starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger, both getting Oscar nominations.)

The story climaxes with the death of Nigel's character's true love. Raging with grief, Nigel howls to the Moon in agony. Being physically in the room as this legendary actor bawled with extreme emotion was moving beyond words. It was an experience I'll never forget.

Nigel won the Tony award for that performance, deserved recognition for exceptional achievement.

At the time -- 1990 -- there was no social media to write about my memorable experience. No blog-post, Facebook note or other record now exists to memorialize it. The only place it continues to exist is in my mind. That feels odd now.

If you drink a cup of coffee and don't post a picture, did it really happen?

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Birthday Pen

For my birthday, I requested something special -- a new Montblanc pen designed by Marc Newson. Newson is the most acclaimed designer of our generation. His work is in museums around the world and he's represented by the prominent Gagosian Gallery in New York. TIME magazine named Newson one of the 100 Most Influential People.

Newson designed this pen for Montblanc where it's sold to benefit a charity named (RED) which raised $46 million for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

Robin and I visited our local Montblanc boutique yesterday where they treat us like royalty. I wanted this pen for its vibrant red color. Handling the pen increases its appeal -- not only does it feel good in your hand but the cap is magnetic and moves toward the pen with pleasant gravitation. The pen feel magically sensuous.

Now I have an instrument to write you with!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Happy Birthday To Me

It's my birthday!!

I've always cared about my birthdays and had the good luck to have a mother who fussed over them. My memories of childhood birthday parties are fond. Cake, gifts and celebration.

In my mind, I'm 40 years old so let's just call this the 20th anniversary of that date.  :-)

Friday, November 2, 2018

Looking Back At The Year

Wow, this year flew by. It's November already and 2018 is almost at its end.

When we started the year, did you make any New Year's resolutions? Or just think about how you wanted the year to go? If so, what are your thoughts now? How well did the year compare to your hopes and expectations?

My review is positive. I clarified how I want to live the rest of my life and made concrete plans to turn that desire into reality. I'm 60 years old and looking at 20-30 years (assuming good health). I know exactly what makes me happy (friends, travel, motorcycling, living authentically, writing, blogging) and what pains me (work and its stress). The trick is to find a way to do more of the former and less of the latter, which is really a financial issue. As soon as I can afford to stop working, I will -- but I need a stockpile of cash to live for another 30 years without diminution of lifestyle. That's the goal I worked on this year and I made real progress.

How 'bout you?

P.S., Bonus points if you can identify the building in NYC with this statue.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Bevy of Brushes

My birthday is Saturday and some of my friends have sent gifts. Among my favorites are mermaid makeup brushes from my good pal Ashley.

These brushes are so cute! And timely: my existing brushes are a decade old and I'd just been thinking about replacing them. Ashley read my mind.

Have you ever seen anything so adorable?!