Saturday, August 27, 2022

Jumping With Joy

Some women's clothing has male analogs, like shirts/blouses, but some does not. For example, no male clothing uses a halter top. The first time I wore one it felt very weird: its physical sensations were entirely new to me.

I'm attracted to women's clothing that is uniquely feminine in this way. The pieces have been forbidden to me since childhood. I've bent gender-rules with some things, like floral shirts and colorful neckties but wasn't allowed to wear more feminine items when presenting as male in public.

Jumpsuits. I find them interesting. I've never worn one and always wanted the experience. So when I spotted a cheap one in a thrift-store I thought "Finally! My chance!" 

Obviously this jumpsuit isn't well-designed and not really the right size but I'm WEARING it. That's reason enough to celebrate. 

Oh, and I painted my toes white 'cause I want to be like the other girls; that's something they're doing right now. :)

Thursday, August 25, 2022


Photography, as a practice, appeals to me because it allows us to actively engage the world as we pass through it. And then take home fragments of our experiences.

I took this pic shooting into a reflective sphere. You're seeing an image of an image. I like how it resembles a painting.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Raison d'etre

The reason I began this blog a dozen years ago was to explore my femininity with friendly conversation, playful outfits and new friends. That was its raison d'etre.

It still is. The global COVID pandemic interferred, however, by making the process of creating outfit-posts exceptionally difficult. (They are harder than you'd imagine for someone who looks like me.) But not doing them is painful and that ache has been mounting lately. I realize I need to return to creating new outfits no matter how many obstacles stand in my way. I'll leap all of them.

So here's my first effort at a return. Hopefully they'll improve as I re-arrange my personal life. Comments and feedback are always appreciated, so fire away. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Turning 21

Our marriage is finally legal tomorrow -- it's turning 21 years old!

I have a full day of activities to surprise Robin with, capped off by a romantic dinner at a fancy restaurant on the water. Have a nice weekend.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

New Camera

Lately I've been shooting pictures with old, crappy cameras. It's fun to push these machines to their limit.

I wondered what would happen if I used a good camera. A new one, not used; modern, not vintage. It's a challenge of a different sort.

So I just bought a fancy new camera. I'm not disclosing its brand or price; just know that it has a Leica lens. Leica, a German company founded in 1869 -- that's 18-69 -- makes the best glass lenses in the world. Everyone agrees on that. The lenses in my crap cameras are cheap plastic.

I took my new baby out today for a stroll. Casual shots, nothing fancy. No tripod, no preparation; just want to see what she's capable of.

Wow! Sharp images. Rich colors. I'm pleased with the initial results.

Celebrity Sightings

I love good writing and recently-deceased Roger Angell was one of the best at it. Roger wrote for The New Yorker for decades, usually about baseball. Right now I'm enjoying a collection he published in 2015. Two stories in it made me laugh. 

In a piece on NYC celebrity-sightings Roger mentions his experiences passing stars on the street such as Paul Newman, Babe Ruth (Roger lived into his nineties), Richard Nixon, et al. Once he saw Harry Truman after Truman had left office. Truman was walking alone and Roger muttered a short compliment. Truman responded and they chatted a bit while continuing to walk. Roger writes, "Midway, a man I knew named Harding Bancroft -- a Times executive, in fact -- spotted me and my companion as we came toward him, and performed a double take worthy of the late Oliver Hardy."

The other story which is well-known didn't involve Roger. A woman stopped at an ice cream stand and ordered a cone. After she does she realizes that the man on line behind her is Paul Newman. Trying to remain calm she pretends not to notice him. She pays for her cone and walks away. When she reaches her car she grabs her keys but, what?, doesn't see her ice cream cone. Where did it go? She looks around and doesn't see it. She returns to the stand and explains her predicament to the counterman. He replies "Ma'am, you put the cone in your pocketbook."

Sunday, August 14, 2022

"The Shop Around The Corner"

If you like "You've Got Mail," you should see the original movie it was based on, "The Shop Around The Corner." Made by Ernst Lubitsch in 1940, that film stars James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan and Frank Morgan (who had just played the Wizard in "The Wizard of Oz").

A decade later (1949) MGM re-made this movie as a musical with Judy Garland ("In The Good Old Summertime"). A decade after that (1963) a new musical adaptation of the story opened on Broadway and was a success. That show was re-staged in 1993 ("She Loves Me") and again won over audiences.

Finally in 1999 Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan starred in "You've Got Mail," updating it with e-mail instead of letters. As a tribute to its source, Meg Ryan's store in the movie was called The Shop Around The Corner.

I find "The Shop..." to be even better than "You've Got Mail." It's smart, witty and emotional. It's writer/director, Ernst Lubitsch, was one of our greatest film artists and he considered this comedy to be his best work. Go check it out!

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

"Scenes From A Marriage"

Some art, made before we were old enough to appreciate it, deserves being experienced now.

I can't believe how good "Scenes From A Marriage" is. Made in 1973 by Ingmar Bergman, this six-episode Swedish TV series earned raves from everyone including Roger Ebert ("best of the year") and The New York Times. It was later transformed into a shorter movie but see the TV show for full impact. Libraries have it on DVD.

The ostensible subject is marriage but, more than that, it explores intimacy in relationships. Emotional, sexual and practical. Despite being made with almost no money the show entrances you by its deep writing and skillful acting (e.g., Liv Ullmann). It'll make you laugh and cry at the absurdity of human relations.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Solar-Powered Cars

If you visit an antique car museum you'll be surprised by some unexpected facts. A century ago there were hundreds of inventors, working at small companies, exploring diverse approaches to transportation. As we sought to replace horse-drawn carriages various possibilities were tried. Nobody knew what would catch on in the future so all ideas were considered.

Many of the new cars were powered by electricity. Their energy was cleaner than gas-powered internal combustion engines (ICE). Only sleazy political dealings gave the petroleum industry and ICEs commercial advantages that allowed it to dominate the automotive industry for the next hundred years.

As we now return to electric vehicles (EV) to combat climate change we're starting to see new car companies and designs emerge. The creativity of a century ago is emerging again in developing alternatives to carbon-spewing ICEs.

I'm sure you know about EVs but have you heard about solar-powered cars? Really! They're in final stages of development and one company will produce cars later this year (Aptera). Two other companies will open soon in Europe (Lightyear 0 and Sono Motors Sion). These vehicles charge their engines by solar panels and can also accept power from other sources. They pollute less than EVs and will become an interesting alternative. I plan to be the first kid on my block to get one!

Saturday, August 6, 2022


Hard as it is to believe, today is exactly 25 years since I first got on a motorcycle. Naturally this causes some reflection.

I ride motorcycles because I like to ride motorcycles. They offer real, intrinsic pleasures. Like the joy of dancing with nature's forces, getting thrills from fierce acceleration, and savoring the excitement of leaning deeply into curves. In short, motorcycles are fun.

I never cared or worried about their social status. I don't cosplay as a tattooed biker or resemble a teenage squid. I'm simply a guy who enjoys riding.

In the 1950s and '60s, motorcycles became cool. They acquired social cachet from Hollywood movies and national magazines that glamorized them as the pinnacle of social deviance. They were seen as forbidden toys for dangerous bad boys. That image caused many young people to try riding. 

The symbolism dwindled, however, and later disappeared. Today you might see a motorcycle in a brief cameo during an action-movie but they aren't the stars anymore; films aren't centered around motorcycles the way they used to be. This change diminished the interest of some young people in riding -- which is sad, because speeding through space on two wheels has real-world appeal.

As the motorcycling community gets older and smaller, I refuse to abandon an activity that makes me happy. I didn't get into motorcycles because of "society" (which is just other people's views); I won't get out of it for the same reason. As long as I can continue to swing my leg over a piece of hot metal, I'll do so.

"When the path reveals itself, follow it." 

(C. Strayed, "Brave Enough," p. 79)

"Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba." 

(H. Thompson, "Kingdom of Fear," p. 173)

Thursday, August 4, 2022

The Value of Money

If you keep your eyes open you'll see odd sights.

I was walking from my motorcycle to the Starbucks in Syosset. Something in the parking lot caught my eye. I mean literally *IN* the parking lot. 

A coin! An actual U.S. nickel. Judging from its half-encased position the coin got embedded there when the asphalt pavement was laid down; it'd be impossible to slip in after the pavement hardened.

An oddity as strange as this deserves comment. Perhaps a metaphor, perhaps humor. Any ideas?

I'm quoting Yogi Berra who said "A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore" -- and adding this nickel ain't worth anything anymore!