Sunday, November 29, 2009

I have a Christmas party to go to next week, and I still don't know the address. It's being held at the home of one of my support group's members, but I don't have a clue as to where she lives. At our last meeting, our group's leader said she would post the address on our private message board, but I've yet to see it. Fortunately we have our monthly meeting the night before, and I always carry a pencil and small notebook in my purse, so I guess I can always get the address, and then and copy it down. I hate to do it that way though. I'm a bit of a neurotic when it comes to the unknown, and I like to know as much about what I'm getting myself into, as early as possible. When it comes to going somewhere for the first time, I like to have at least several days to look up the address in Google Maps, and get a good picture of where I'm going, plus a good set of directions.

I guess everything will work out OK. Why do I always  have to worry so much?

I watched the movie The Incredibles tonight. I hadn't seen it before, and I thought it was quite entertaining. Excellent 3-D animation, and lot of good humor. It also had a few poignant moments, thank no less to the dialog between the ├╝ber sweet Holley Hunter (always loved her), as Helen Parr / Elastigirl, and Spencer Fox, as Dashiell 'Dash' Parr, her daughter. I feel so silly when a cartoon brings me to tears, but I've been doing it ever since I saw Snow White, as a small child. I can't help it. I guess I'm just a sentimental fool.

My deck was covered with fallen leaves again, so I swept it again today. Every time I have swept it before, it became covered in leaves again within two days.  So many trees, so many leaves! Fortunately, most of the leaves have been shed by now, so I was hoping this would be the last time, but as I was sweeping, I looked up on the roof, and it was covered in leaves! Eventually most of those will fall down on the deck, and I 'll have to sweep them off again!

I took  a small TV out into the back yard today, and hooked it up directly to my outdoor antenna, to see if I could tune my local digital stations in better than I had been receiving them. The reception had gotten so rotten, that I could only count on one out of 13 local stations coming in. Even after an hour of rotating my antenna back and forth, I couldn't get the optimum signal, I still couldn't get better than a 70%  signal on my strongest channel. Most channels are only coming in at in the 30-50% range. Digital TV has been a real curse for those of us living in outlying areas. Analogue was much better for us. We may not have received the best picture, in fact it may have been a bit snowy, but at least you could watch and listen to what was being broadcasted.  With digital, if the signal goes below 30% you get no picture at all!

My older sister emailed me today. We are both happy that mom made it through Thanksgiving, without feeling melancholy. Both of us felt it was good therapy, for her to shop for and cook Thanksgiving dinner. Even though she will be 89 on January the 1st, it was her idea to cook. She was always a mother and housewife, and that's all she knows. The big test, will be how she makes it through Christmas, now that my twin is no longer with us. I expect Christmas to be a little bit more emotional than Thanksgiving.

Melissa XX

Friday, November 27, 2009

Well......I'm Stuffed!

I went to my mother's for Thanksgiving dinner, and manage to down a plateful of roast turkey breast, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw, and something that came out of a cardboard tube, that appeared to be impersonating a bread roll, all topped off with a slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and a dish of rocky road ice cream. What? Two deserts, you ask? Oh yes! Thanksgiving after all, is a day of forgivable gluttony. To my credit, I did passed on the corn, and cranberry jelly, but mainly because I didn't need another serving of simple carbohydrates, and I prefer whole berry cranberry sauce to cranberry jelly, but then beggars can't be choosers. Actually, cranberry jelly isn't bad, when combined with peanut butter and bread, to make what is known in the vernacular, as a choke and slide. Helen....are you listening? Yum!

I've been slacking off on the exercise for the past month or so, and it is starting to show on my midriff. Can't have that! With winter coming on, and the urge toward more lethargic indoor pursuits, I am gong to have to redouble my efforts on the stationary bike. An hour every other day is just not going to get if, I intend to keep on wearing the same size clothes. Nothing is more depressing than having to go up a size, and it so easily prevented with a dedicated hour of aerobics, at least five days a week.

Mom, my sister, and my niece all remained in good spirits, in spite of the absence of my twin. It's been over a month now, and the reality of her departure is beginning to sink in, although I wouldn't be surprised if a tear or two is shed at Christmas, when her absence will surely be noticed more.

Speaking of Christmas, in one of my past blogs, I mentioned that I was going to get an advent calendar, because I haven't had one since I was a child. Well, in fact, I got five! One for my sister, one for each of my two nieces, one for my mother, and one for myself! The one in the picture at the top of this blog is mine. In four more days, I will be able to start opening windows leading up to Christmas, just like I did when I was a child. Hopefully my deceased Welsh grandmother will forgive me, for buying them from the Catholics! That's one of the lovely things about being an agnostic. I don't have any religion to feel superior too.

I hope all of my American friends had an enjoyable and peaceful Thanksgiving, and thanks to my friends in the UK, who sent their best wishes!

Melissa XX

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce? The folks in the picture above didn't eat them. From Wikipedia, here's what they did eat:

The First Thanksgiving was celebrated to give thanks to God for helping the pilgrims survive the brutal winter. The first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days providing enough food for 53 pilgrims and 90 Indians. The traditional Thanksgiving menu often features turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. Americans may eat these foods on modern day Thanksgiving, but the first feast did not consist of these items. On the first feast turkey was any type of fowl that the pilgrims hunted. Pumpkin pie wasn't on the menu because there were no ovens for baking, but they did have boiled pumpkin. Cranberries weren't introduced at this time. Due to the diminishing supply of flour there was no bread of any kind. The foods included in the first feast included duck, geese, venison, fish, lobster, clams, swan, berries, dried fruit, pumpkin, squash, and many more vegetables.

Down in Virginia, Jamestown colonist were gnawing on shoe leather to survive the winter, and apparently one desperate man gnawed on the remains of his dead wife.

I hope you all have something bit more palatable than shoe leather to eat tomorrow, and for those of you considering gnawing on a dead relative, please go to a homeless shelter instead. The food will be free, and the experience not nearly as creepy.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Melissa XX

I'm Unable To Comment On Certain BLogs Again

I don't know what causes this, but I logged on yesterday, and once again found that I was unable to post a comment on any blog, that has the Post A Comment box embedded at the bottom of the blog. This has happened to me several times now, and just as before, I can now only post comments on blogs, that utilize the pop up window for comments. This is so aggravating, because a good number of the blogs I follow utilize the embedded Post A Comment box, and now I'm cut out those conversations. When this has happened to me before, I scoured my blog and computer settings to see if I had done something to cause the problem, but could never find anything. This is a problem that just seems to come and go from time to time, completely independent of anything I do. Curious!

Thanksgiving is going to be a low keyed affair tomorrow. My brother-in-law is taking his daughter to his mother's house, in a neighboring state. My older sister and I thought about taking my mother out to a restaurant, but she decided she wants to cook, so my sister, my niece and I will be going to her condo tomorrow. That's fine with me. I'd much rather have a home cooked meal on Thanksgiving. Besides, there is just something a little sad about going out to a restaurant for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

I hope all of you have an enjoyable day with your loved ones.

Melissa XX

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Will I ever be the girl I long to be?

How many of us have asked ourselves that question? Most of us, I would imagine. Sooner or later all of us have to face the reality of our situations, and sadly, sometimes that reality is heartbreaking. The answer comes back to us, and it

For some of us, it is as though life has conspired against us. Deep in our hearts, we knew we weren't really boys, even when we were small. Oh, maybe we couldn't articulate it way back then, and if anyone asked us, we would say, "Oh yes! Of course we are boys!", but we knew! Deep down inside, we knew! There was just something about us, that was intrinsically different from every other boy we knew. We couldn't exactly put our finger on it, but we knew it had something to do with our dissatisfaction of having to live within the gender constraints imposed upon us. I still recall sleeping in my mother's red high heels, that for whatever reason she left sitting on my windowsill. I saw them sitting there when I went to bed, and I couldn't even think about going to sleep, until I had then on my own feet. I remember tiptoeing over to the window to get them. I didn't even try walking in them. I just carried them back to bed with me, and under the covers I slipped them on my little bare feet. They felt sooo wonderful! Like nothing I had ever felt before, and I wore them like a security blanket for the rest of the night! I wonder, how many real little boys would ever have done that?

We continued to grow up trying to think we were boys, but because we couldn't relate to other boys on a fundamental level, it made it hard to be one of them, but we had to be one of them, because no other alternative was allowed. We tried, but no matter how hard we tried, and God knows how hard we did try, ultimately we always failed. Our failings weren't glaring. We didn't stand out like sore thumbs. There may actually have been moments of masculine success, where we managed to put it all together just right. Like the time I struck out the side, three innings in a row as a little league pitcher, or later, when I joined the Army and became a soldier, and a squad leader in Vietnam, or later still, when I became an industrial electrician, in the all male maintenance crew of a large international chemical corporation, and eventually someone who planned the projects all of those men had to work on. But some how it never felt right. Some how I never felt like I fit in with all of those men, and God love them, while some of them were terrible brutes and buggers, many of them were nice decent men, but no matter how much I liked them, or how hard I tried to relate to them, I always felt a fundamental divide between us.

I wanted to live my life as a woman! I couldn't tell anyone, but I wanted it desperately! I wanted it so bad, but this was long before the internet, and at a time when knowledge of what to do, was the privilege of the few. Even the shrink I finally succumbed to seeing, because I couldn't stop crying, and who told me I was the first patient he had seen in his fourteen years of practice, that he truly believed was transsexual, couldn't advise me what to do. He wanted me to return for a fourth visit, but after I had revealed all to him, and he had no solutions for me, I saw no point in going back to him. I told him from the beginning, I wasn't interested in any long term psychotherapy. I knew who I was, and just needed help getting there. Gender therapy was obviously something that Richmond hadn't discovered at the time. Hard to believe, considering the population of the metropolitan area was close to a million people by then, but Richmond has always lagged behind Atlanta and Charlotte, when it came to modernity among the southeastern states.

Not knowing what else to do, I resigned my self to living with my gender dysphoria, and I tired to make the best of my life as I could. Relationships with women were totally eliminated. I just couldn't bare falling in love with another woman, only to be rejected by her, once she realized I wasn't really a man. I had been through that horrible pain three times before, and I was afraid a fourth time would be the end of me. So I immersed myself in my work. I thought if I took on more responsibility at work, I would could overcome my feelings of worthlessness. I applied for the position of project planner, and because of my seniority, I was chosen for the training. I breezed through the training, and after my test I was told by the training manager, that I received the highest score of anyone who ever went through he training before me. I went on to my planning assignments, with a false sense of confidence, buoyed by my test scores and subsequent compliments, however once I was assigned to a crew, I found out how little they cared about my qualifications, and how much they resented the fact that I wasn't one of the guys. Being one of the guys, meant going along to get along, something I just couldn't do. Men expect you to break the rules for them, but women are different. Women are rule followers, unless of course the rules are fundamentally unfair to begin with. Men don't care whether rules are fair or not, they only seek advantage, wherever they can. I just couldn't do that for them, so when I planned a project, I expected them to carry out my plans the way I laid them out, as best as they could. They never did. I would meticulously plan a project, and purchase all of the necessary fundamental materials, and they wouldn't use half of them, deciding on their own to take every shortcut imaginable, to get the job over with as fast as they could, so the could go back to sitting around, microwaving popcorn and chewing the fat. The job that had held so much promise for me, turned out to be just another big disappointment.

The resentment between me and the rest of the men was so great, that it actually began to amplify my GID. I was clean shaven at the time, and had been plucking eyebrows for a few years. My hair was also long. It was obvious to me, that whenever I had to meet with an engineer, a manager, a vendor, or one or more of of the men doing the job, they were uncomfortable being around me. This of course made me uncomfortable. Even though I've never been gay, I strongly suspected homophobia, especially since one guy told me point bank that I looked like a woman. I knew that regardless of my resources, which were sparse to begin with, I would never be able transition on that job.

I grew my beard out. I hated doing it. I hadn't worn a beard in over ten years, but it did seem to quell most of the absurd and irrational homophobia that many of the guys were feeling. It didn't however, seem to increase their respect for me as a man. I kept the beard, and hobbled through the rest of my career, until I reached retirement two years ago. In the mean time, my dysphoria, and the stress of my job caused me to take a lackadaisical attitude toward life in general, and I allowed my weight to balloon to 304 lbs. I didn't care, not until about three years before I retired, and I almost passed out at work a few times! When at my mother's one night, she checked my blood pressure. It was 185/95! That scared the living hell out of me! I was afraid I was going to die from a stroke, so I went to the doctor and found out I had developed type II diabetes. It was a wake up call, and I realized that important lifestyle changes were in order. I began to watch what I ate, and began a regular aerobic exercise program. I lost around eighty pounds, and got my blood sugar and BP back to normal.

For the last five years I have been able to keep it that way, but since I retired two years go, I also realized that I just couldn't keep up the full time masquerade. I'm 61 years old now, and my dream of being a beautiful young woman is long gone. I will never fully transition, but I refuse to give up on the beautiful young girl that still lives inside of me. She wanted nothing more than to be free, and she has suffered so much. I just love her so, and I feel so goddamn guilty for not being able to set he free. Now that I'm retired I want to give her every opportunity she can, to freely express herself. And why wouldn't I? I am her, and she is me.

Tonight I read Jenny's blog. I love Jenny! She is such a beautiful sweet honest woman! She wrote about her consultation with those who would be doing her GRS. They told her of three options: no surgery, cosmetic surgery, or full GRS. She wondered about option #2, since she wasn't aware of it. Basically it involved the creation of a clitoris and labia, but no vagina. At first she said she wanted full GRS, but later began to think about the advantages of option #2. You can read her thoughts here , but it brought home to me the importance of realizing that we don't have to all follow the yellow brick road, all the way to OZ! We are all women in our minds, regardless of what our bodies look like. We can take it as far, or as little as we like. It's all up to each of us to make that decision for our selves. Whatever that decision, it is imperative that we all support each other in it.

I'm so happy that this late in my life I have finally been able to make contact with like minded sisters, regardless of their current status, or final destination. I am an agnostic, so I don't profess to know who, or what God is, or even if God exists, but if he/she/it does, then surely God is far more magnificent than the petty sectarian creation that most religions worship. In the 60's, for the first time in my life I heard the phrase, that "God is Love! " I like that, and if that's the case, then God loves all of you, for certainly he/she/it knows the pain you have had to live with, and the suffering you have been through.

God love you!
Melissa XX

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I Feel So Ashamed Tonight

Last night I posted about my intention to drive into town tonight, to visit the girls of my support group at the lesbian bar. Several hours after I got up this morning, I thought that trip was in jeopardy, because I just couldn't seem to wake up. This is not unusual for me. I am a night owl, and I never seem to feel fully awake until well after lunch, but when lunch was done today, I still felt like going back to bed! What to do? I decided to hop on the stationary bike, and get a good work out. Maybe that would wake me up.

Ten minutes into the ride, I began to question my strategy, because I found myself pedaling with my eyes closed. This is something that I am not unfamiliar with. When I was still working, I used to take a hour long walk around the finishing pond, behind the plant where I used to work each morning, and often found myself walking with my eyes closed, so I continued to pedal and eventually I woke up. By then it was close to 3:00 PM, so into the shower for a shampoo, a good hot scrub and an exfoliation. 45 minutes later, after brushing my teeth and gargling, I pulled out the Emjoi. It had been several days since my last epilation, and I needed to yank out all of the emerging hairs, that were spotting my body and limbs. Epilation, while certainly no longer painful, still takes time, and when I was satisfied I was sufficiently hairless, it was already 5:00 PM, and I hadn't even shaved yet. I use a Norelco, because with my 61 year old loose skin, and wiry facial hair, it has become nearly impossible for me to shave close with a blade, without lacerating my face. I can get pretty good results with the Norelco, but it takes about 20-30 minutes to get my face as smooth as it needs to be, for makeup application.

By the time I was done shaving, It was 5:30 PM and I still had to do my makeup and hair. Makeup took close to another 30 minutes, and then I realized, I needed to wear a new wig, that I hadn't yet trimmed the bangs on. I took out the new wig, clipped off the tags and put it on. The bangs hung down to way below my nose. Now I know some girls like their fringe to hang down in front of their eyes, but frankly that drives me crazy, so I got out the comb and scissors, and started trimming. When I was done, I began to feel hunger pangs. I'm a diabetic, and when I feel hunger, I know enough to eat a high protein snack, so I made a small choke and slide (that's a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, for those uninitiated in ghetto slang). I gulped, I choked and the PB&J slid on down! But when I was done, I looked up at the clock, and it was already 6:45 PM! I should already have been there by then, and I still had nearly an hour's drive.

To make a long story short, I didn't want to show up at a quarter to eight, when everyone else would be finished eating by then.

It's the damn long drive! I hate living this far out! When I lived in town, I could have walked to that bar in 10 minutes! When I moved out here 17 years ago, I was still working a very high stress job, and coming home each night to an inner city flat, with virtually no privacy. I nearly went mad, and had to find a peaceful sanctuary to come home to each night. After fifteen years of making that drive back and forth five days a week, I came to hate it. I no longer have to go to work, but I still hate the drive.

So many of you left kind words of encouragement on my blog last night, and I feel so bad that I let you down by not going. Now I'm really in trouble, because Amy swore she would come and haunt me if i didn't go!

Melissa XX

Friday, November 13, 2009

Self Assurance: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow!

My good friend Leslie was a classic example of this syndrome this past week. Having just experienced the sheer joy of shaved legs, and being her innocent self with her girlfriends once again, after a long hibernation imposed upon her by life's circumstances, she no sooner returned from such bliss, when she tumbled once again into the despair of her Gender Identity Dysphoria.

Leslie's tumble was caused by insensitive remarks from her spouse, and alleged helpmate. My tumble, although not as hard, and not nearly as desperate as poor Leslie's, is caused by my isolation. My last outing as myself, was one week ago. Like Leslie, I enjoyed my outing, and returned home feeling very good about who I am. But unlike the very dear half-demoness & half god knows what Shinigami Liz, we humans require the social acceptance of others, to feel secure in our skins. Once a month, just isn't enough!

Save for one day a week at my mother's for supper, I am Melissa every day, but it's just me here at home by myself. Like any human, I occasionally have to pee, so I will pass a bathroom mirror 7 or 8 times a day. I may be wearing pink pajamas when I go for my first or second pee of the morning, but with a night's growth of facial hair, no wig, and no makeup, I nearly frighten myself half to death! Let's put it this way, you certainly wouldn't want me anywhere near your horses, when I look like that! Later on, with the magic of razors, makeup and a decent wig, I become a closer semblance of the human being I was meant to be. It is then, that I can look at myself in the mirror, and reassure myself that I am indeed a girl, deserving respect. But self assurance is one thing, the assurance of other humans is a horse of an entirely different color. That's much more assuring, yet much more elusive.

My group gets together socially at a lesbian bar in Richmond twice a week. I keep saying to myself after each monthly meeting, that I will go to one of the next social gatherings at the bar, but once a week has passed, I'm once again overcome with the reality of my isolation, and it's so hard to work up the mood for the two hour round trip commute, not even knowing who will be there, if I show up. On several Saturdays, I have planned to go, but when the hour arrived to leave, I just wasn't in the right mood. Mood is everything, when it comes to socializing. If you aren't in the right mood, no amount of trying will get you there. I have tried to force myself to be sociable when I wasn't in the mood, and it just doesn't work.

So tomorrow afternoon, I will once again hop into the shower, shave as close as I can without bleeding, dress and put on my wig and make up, and hope that when I'm done, I'll will be in the right mood to drive all the way into town, and take a chance on an evening with my new girlfriends. The nor'easter that has plagued the mid Atlantic states with rain and gray skies for the last three days, is finally clearing out. Hopefully the approaching sunshine will cheer me up.

Melissa XX

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Trimming Your Bangs At Home

I put cinnamon and allspice on my sweet potato tonight. It was wonderful! It made it taste just like Christmas! Lucy, bless her dear sweet big heart, reminded us today, that Christmas is only six weeks away. Have you all been good little girls & boys?

Christmas has always seemed to sneak up, then very quickly disappear each year, ever since I've grown up. I hate that. I loved the anticipation of Christmas to come, when I was a little child. It always started in earnest at Thanksgiving, when you saw Santa Claus in his reindeer drawn sleigh, in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, in New York City. One of the things that always focused my attention on the coming of Christmas day, was the Advent calendars that my sisters and I always received shortly after Thanksgiving. I loved them! I was always fascinated by the little windows that you opened each day, and waited eagerly in anticipation of the picture that lay behind the next window. As each small opened window revealed another Christmas story character, or various cherubim and seraphim, the anticipation grew, until finally on Christmas day, the grand window was opened, revealing the manger scene, with Mary and Joseph, the angels, the animals, the shepherds, and the wise men, all focused on baby Jesus, in all his innocent glory!

I am an agnostic, but I love Jesus! Is that too incongruous? I don't think so. I love Buddha, Gandhi and Martin Luther King too! In fact I love anyone who stands up for love. I'm going to get an Advent calendar this year. In fact I think I'll get several, and give them to family members.

Want to know how to trim your bangs? I got this in an email, from Hair, and thought it might be of interest to some. I edited out their obnoxious embedded sales pitches for various hair care products.

Trimming You Bangs At Home

Step 1: Shampoo and condition your bangs and the rest of your hair with your normal products designed for your current hair type, texture and condition.

If your hair is highlighted use either a moisture enhanced or color enriched formula. If your hair is dry from chemical processing, consider diluting the shampoo formula to protect your strands.

Skip any rinse-out conditioning products, especially on your bangs, that might make hair too slippery soft and more difficult to trim. If you must use a rinse-out conditioner, make sure that you limit how much you use and that you concentrate on the middle to the ends.

Step 2: Towel blot bangs. De-tangle bangs completely to remove knots. If your hair is prone to frizzing, apply a anti-frizz product before you blow dry.

Step 3: Blow bangs completely dry. If bangs are wavy or naturally curly, use a boar's head paddle or natural round brush to blow bangs completely straight.

Step 4: Optionally you can blow dry the rest of your hair at this point or leave the non-bang area wet. Either way, separate all the bang hair from the rest of your strands. Clip the non-bang hair up to keep it out of the way of the bangs.

Step 5: Locate a good mirror with a great light source for easy viewing of your trimming tasks.

Step 6: Separate bangs into three equal sized sections.

Step 7: Clip the two end sections away from the middle section. Firmly, without stretching hair, grab the middle section of bang hair hair between the index and middle finger of your dominant hand so that it forms a smooth even line.

Note: Do not stretch the bangs tightly or else you won't be able to accurately gauge the length as you trim.

Step 8: Hold your trimming scissors at a 45 degree angle to avoid crooked slicing when chopping straight across. Start very slowly and snip off tiny pieces of the bangs with the scissors moving from the right to the left. Finish clipping the middle section. Check the length. If you need more hair removed, repeat the same action cutting from left to right.

Continue moving back and forth, alternating directions, until the bangs are the perfect length that you desire. Avoid lifting your eyebrows or crossing your legs while trimming since this can also impact the ultimate length.

Note: Remember to take your time. It is better to snip too little hair than too much. While you can keep snipping you can't glue cut hair back on.

Step 9: Once you are happy with the length of the middle section, un-clip the right side. Using the finished middle section as a point of reference for the length you desire, cut the side section.

Remember to go slow and cut back and forth from right to left and then left to right.

Step 10: Once both sides have been trimmed, study the complete sweep of bangs from edge to edge. Make any adjustments to the middle or either side.

With a little practice and a good pair of trimming scissors you can definitely get the best bangs for the buck. Happy snipping.

OK! Now that you've been given this lesson, there will be no excuse for showing up at any Christmas parties, with anything less than perfectly fringed bangs!............but then, I could never imagine any of you, looking anything but fabulous at any Christmas party!

Melissa XX

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Queen Ida

Remember Queen Ida? I always loved her! She was always good for a laugh. Another Ida came on shore on the Gulf Coast on Monday, and she is no laughing matter. A pretty pitiful storm, as far as tropical cyclones go, but nevertheless her remnants will be inundating the southeastern US with heavy rain. I was hoping she would continue her right turn upon coming on shore, then blow on through Georgia and back on out into the Atlantic, but she decided to slowly slide on up the east coast, instead. The forecast? Rain for the next three days!

I happened to have Dancing With the Stars on the TV tonight. Why did I have to watch that? Few things will stir my GID faster, than watching absolutely gorgeous girls, in slinky revealing gowns and towering stilettos, reveling in their femininity in front of an adoring crowd. I've always loved ballroom dancing! You don't have to guess which gender I always identify with.

Nearly all of the leaves are off the trees now, consequently my privacy will be virtually nonexistent for the next six months. The deck was completely covered in fallen leaves, so this afternoon I decided to clean it off. Did my neighbors realize who that curvy brunette was, sweeping off the deck in her purple ribbed v-neck sweater and skinny jeans, or have they figured out by now, that we are one and the same?

UPS will be delivering two tubes of Prescriptives All Skins Mineral Makeup tomorrow. It's a great long wearing foundation, that is supposed to last for 16 hours. Not that I would ever wear foundation that long, but I have been know to wear it for 10 or 12 hours. Most foundation will start floating off of my face after about 4 to 6 hours, but this stuff won't. It's excellent makeup, but why in the world does it have to cost $32.50 per 1 ounce tube?

I had supper at my mother's again on Monday night. Everyone seems to be slowly getting back to normal. My brother-in-law has continued to come, and seems to be getting back to his old self. He still can't bring himself to take my sister's voice off of their voice mail recording though. Mom cooked a lovely supper of pork tenderloin, stuffing, mashed potatoes, steamed asparagus and glazed baby carrots. We had butter pecan ice cream for desert. She seemed to be in pretty good spirits, but at nearly 89, she is looking a bit haggard. I think cooking dinner for everyone on Mondays gives her sense of purpose, but I worry about her going grocery shopping at the Krogers next store, for fear she will take an ill-fated tumble. She has already fallen and broken her hip twice. Her problem is that when she gets her mind on something, she becomes oblivious to the hazards around her. The last time she broke her hip, she had a repairman working in her kitchen, and instead of keeping clear of him, she decided to do some work in there along side of him. She turned around to move something from one counter to the other, an tripped right over the guy, who was down on the floor working under the sink.

Rebecca had Marcie Bowers perform her revision surgery this morning, and according to her blog, all went well. Congratulations, and a speedy recovery to her!

Melissa XX

The New Music

I've been listening to my favorite radio station from the university of Virginia tonight, and I have to say I am ecstatic about the trend in alternative music today. For the last four hours, I have been listening to stuff with all of the creativity and melody, of the great avant-garde music of the early eighties. After the last fifteen years or more of very so-so music, this is a wonderful development. I first became aware of this new tend in music, while watching excerpts from the annual South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin Texas last spring, and have seen further evidence of it on late night TV shows, and even on Saturday Night Live. I can't tell you how happy I am to see and hear this new trend. By the late 90's and into the early millennium years, with the proliferation of grunge, hip-hop, and pseudo R&B, I thought a stake had been driven through the heart of complex melody, syncopation, or anything with a blues or jazz base. Banished were pianos, violins, synthesizers, horns, off beat percussion, and anything remotely resembling a hot guitar lick. What we became accustomed to, were very boring displays of four people, simply strumming electric guitars to a very predictable drum beat, while accompanying singers droned out boring angst ridden lyrics. Fortunately those dark days are gone and a genuine musical renaissance is in progress. Don't ask me who any of these new groups are, they are all new to me, and because I am old and out of the cultural loop, I couldn't tell you, but trust me, they are very good! WTJU

Who Are You Anonymous Follower?

You have me puzzled!

I tuned into my dashboard today, and lo, there were 41 followers of my blog. That's one more than yesterday, so being the curious cat that I am, I wanted to see who this new follower was. I clicked on "followers" and began to scan the avatars, for a new face. Up and down the rows I went, looking right, then left. Nope! No new faces. But wait! Down below, under "your friends"! What's this? A faceless gray silhouette? Next to the silhouette, where a name would normally appear, there is nothing but blank white space. Hmmm.............I thought. Maybe I'll just click on the avatar and see where that leads me. Ahh.......yes! Another picture of the faceless gray silhouette, but this time it has a line next to it saying, "is your friend", and directly below that is a link, with an envelope icon saying, "send a message". So, I think I'll send my new anonymous follower a message, and maybe they will tell me who they are, either real, or imagined.........but no! The link is dead! How does one do that? How does one leave comments on people's blogs, and register as a follower, with out leaving a trace of who the they are? Who can it be?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It Was Good Getting Back Out Tonight

I'm getting tired, can't you tell, so this may be short.

For those of you who remember, I missed last month's TG support group meeting, when at the very last minute, I had to clean up the shambles in my back yard, left by a furry marauding interloper, foraging in my garbage cans the night before. With only one meeting a month, it seemed like ages since the last meeting I attended on the first Friday in September, and I really wanted to make his one. Trips to the dump en femme are nice, and as silly as it sounds, they do help to reinforce my feminine identity, but there is nothing like direct contact with other accepting humans. So yesterday, with that in mind, I made sure all my girl clothes were washed and ironed. Today (Friday), I did my nails, then hopped on my stationary bike, and pedaled hard for an hour. Later I showered and ran the epilator over my entire body. It always feels so good, to be totally hairless. By 6:00PM I was dressed, made up, and ready to go. We've been hit with a cold front, and the temperature was suppose dip dip into the 30's tonight, so I wore my new black hooded zip front pea coat. If you have a JC Penney Christmas catalog, you can look at the women's coats and see what I'm talking about. In addition to that one, I also got the regular button front pea coat in chic red, and the hooded button front pea coat, also in black. Along with a long woolen coat, several corduroy blazers and several leather jackets, for the first time I'm in good shape for the winter as far as feminine outwear goes.

Not a lot going on tonight, just a demonstration by an electrologist, but the meeting was enjoyable nevertheless. Lots of conversation. I got to see several girls I met on my initial group encounter at the lesbian bar back in August, one of whom I just absolutely adore. She was the one, who first informed me of this group, when I first visited the web site, Pink Essence last summer. Another lovely girl in our group just started blogging here! I suspected that it was her, a fact confirmed in her subsequent blogs. Bless her heart! Apparently this sweetheart informed our group's leader, about the recent loss of my sister, because the leader called me aside and said she wanted me to come with her, so she could talk to me about something. I followed her out into the hallway outside of the conference room where we hold our meetings. She told me she was surprised to see me there, and she hugged me and told me how sorry she was to hear of the loss of my sister. It kind of caught me off guard. I am naturally a tad paranoid most of the time anyway (yeah....I'm that kind of nut), and silly me, when she told me to come with her, because she wanted to talk to me about something, I thought she was going to scold me for some errant breech of etiquette! I'm very shy in person, and until I get to know someone, situations like that can be very awkward for me. I'm sure I came off as a bit distant, and exhibited far less emotion than she expected. It wasn't until later on, when I could collect my thought's, that I could fully appreciate her gesture. I'm going to have let her know how touching her gesture was, the next time I talk to her.

With each successive meeting, I'm getting slowly more comfortable with these girls. They range from young too old, and are all very nice. I'm still not quite sure where I fit in. It appears that most of them are either post op, or actively pursing GRS. I am certainly transsexual. I've even been diagnosed as such, and wanted nothing more than than to fully transition when I was still young enough for my transition to be what I considered viable, but that was so long ago, and it was all for naught. Time and the ravages of testosterone, have taken their irreversible toll. I'm afraid that all I am left with is some ephemeral illusion. But ultimately gender identity is in between the ears and not between the legs, so should it make any difference? Not in my mind. The more I get to know these girls, the more I connect with them, regardless of what's between our legs.

Melissa XX

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Observing The Gibbous Moon

It's 11:11 PM Eastern Standard Time, not that crazy unnatural Daylight Savings Time. That was an invention of business, to extend the hours that people would go out and spend money. Oh I know the official excuses for it, but you will never convince me.

Anyway, what I was going to say was, I went out on the deck a few minutes ago, and it was just beautiful! The temperature was a cool 43∘F, and the sky was illuminated by a bright gibbous moon. My house was the only one with any lights on. Everyone in the neighborhood was asleep, but me. It's like that here every night after 10:00PM, most of my neighbors having to get up early, and trudge off to work in the mornings. Being a night owl since my retirement, I just love it. It's so quiet and peaceful then. Even the Interstate highway that runs east and west just north of this subdivision, is relatively quiet this time of night, with only the occasional lone car or truck going by to break the silence.

I'm sitting here in my computer room. I have the final game of the World Series on the TV, but instead of listening to the play by play, I have the sound turned off, and our public radio station on instead. Right now they are playing some beautiful classical choral music. I don't know what it is, but it's truly exquisite!

Oh, by the way! It's the ninth inning, and the New York Yankees are leading the Philadelphia Phillies, 7-3 with two outs to go. Looks like the Phillies are toast.

Melissa XX

The Great Giant Foo

Legend has it, that there is a great soaring bird, who’s excrement holds the power of life or death over anyone who is covered in it. The great bird is known as the Giant Foo, and as the legend goes, when the Giant Foo flies overhead and fortuitously dumps a load on you, no matter how sickening the prospect, you may never wash it off, or you will die! Your only hope is to wait, until it wears off on its own.

Sometimes I feel like the one of the Giant Foo’s victims. I’ve always been a day late, and a dollar short. One series of negative events always seems to follow another. No sooner does the dried out crust of the Giant Foo’s last droppings flake off, when suddenly the gargantuan reappears, and once again, I’m covered in fresh excrement!

The Sunday afternoon before last, I was in my master bath, and after a shower, and epliation, I was peacefully applying my make up, when suddenly I heard an unexpected knock on my front door. This is always very upsetting to me, because I moved 50 miles out into the country, precisely to avoid such uninvited visitors. Call me a hermit, call me a misanthrope, I don’t care. I just don’t like uninvited callers.

I ignored the interloper, and continued my makeup application. About 45 seconds later, I heard a knock on my back door! My eyes rolled back into my head! Oh, come on, I thought! Is this person stupid? I have a telephone with an answering machine, and I have a mailbox. There is never any excuse, save for a life threatening emergency, to come knocking on my door. Whoever it was never bothered to knock more than once on either door, so how important could it have been?

A week went by, and the next Sunday afternoon, the interloper gave me a repeat performance, only this time it was just one knock on the back door, then off they went. Now, I’m not fully out. I dress full time at home, and in my yard, and also for selected excursions off of my property, but I’m not ready to answer the door for just anyone as Melissa, especially when they come unannounced. It was probably one of my next door neighbors, both of whom are on the board of directors of our subdivision’s home owner’ association, in which case they most definitely have my phone number! Why couldn’t they call first? They still haven’t called!

I drove into Richmond yesterday for our first weekly family supper at my mother’s condo, since my sister passed. On the way out of the driveway, I noticed that a dead pine tree had fallen down on my property, facing the road out front. It wasn’t in the road, but nearly, and I knew I would have to cut it up and haul it away, or be charged by the home owner’s association to have someone else cut it up and haul it away for me. I’ll do it tomorrow, I thought, and off to my mother’s I went.

My brother-in-law and his daughter were there when I got there. A few days earlier, I had sent my niece a 20 year old Bonsai Ficus, as gift of appreciation for the way she cared for her mother in her last days. She really impressed me! I always expected her to be spoiled, selfish and irresponsible, but she turned out to be a wonderful loving daughter! She stuck with her mom through thick and thin, and I wanted to give her something to remember her by. It wasn’t until her dad told her that Jane was probably not going to make it through the night, that she told him not to wake her if she died, because she just didn’t want to see her mother dead. God love her!

Mom, while evidently still sad, and not very talkative, seemed to be holding up fairly well. Considering that Jane was without question her favorite, this was a good sign. At 89, she is still preparing a weekly supper for all of us. I think it’s good therapy for her. It gives her something to do, and to prepare for each week, and it makes her feel like she still makes a difference in our lives. She kept it simple this week, by making a fresh salad of Romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, red, yellow, orange, and green bell peppers, baby carrots, celery, red onion, hard boiled egg wedges, feta cheese, and chunks of chicken breast, all drizzled in a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. And of course it just wouldn’t be dinner at mother’s, without a basket full of “slightly” burned, brown and serve rolls! Not too bad this time! These were not the usually black hockey pucks. They were actually quite edible, without first decrusting them! Poor mom! Eight years with her new gas stove, and she still doesn’t know how to operate it. When she wants to broil fish, I always do it for her. She didn’t know how to use the broiler, and bakes them instead. They always came out cooked, but white, limp and flavorless.

The Foo Bird flies again!

Today was election day, so before I tackled the fallen pine tree, I went to County Line Baptist Church to cast my vote, for Virginia’s Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and House of Delegates Representative. The Giant Foo must have shit once again, because all of the candidates I voted for lost. I will have to wear that coat, for the next four years! The Foo’s political dumps are some of the hardest to live with.

On to the fallen pine tree. I have two chain saws, but anyone who has ever used one, knows what a pain they can be, when not used and maintained regularly. At first I decide to attack the fallen tree with a trusty hand held bow saw. That worked really well for cutting off the branches of the fallen tree. Just a few strokes and they were severed, ready to be thrown onto the brush pile. But when all of the branches were dismembered, there was a twenty foot long, 18” trunk to dissect. A bow saw can rip through small branches in short order, but an 18” tree trunk is another matter. I tried, but the blade kept diverting off to an oblique angle, and sawing through the log diagonally. It was taking forever, and frankly wearing me out. Screw it! I have a bad back, and much better things to do with my time! Off to the shed, for the chain saw.

The Foo Bird strikes again!

I bought a real nice brand new 18” Homelite chain saw back in 2004. I used it once or twice, then put it away in the shed. The next fall, Hurricane Isabel made a B-line straight from the Cape Verdes Islands, to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It came onshore just above Cape Hatteras, and proceeded north by northwest, until it came directly though central Virginia. What was left of the eye, came directly through where I live. It was still September at the time, so the all of the leaves were still on the trees, acting likes sails. Sustained winds were 45MPH. The lights went out at about 4:30 PM; no more TV or computer, so I turned on a portable radio, listened to the wind howling through the trees, at over 45 MPH. Plenty of gusts were still blowing at hurricane speed, 75MPH. I cowered in fear, as the darkest night of my life fell upon me. I thought about getting drunk to pass the time, but the sound of limbs cracking and trees falling outside, had me too scared to imbibe. If I was going to die from an oak tree, crashing trough my roof, I wanted to be sober when I met my maker.

By about 3:30 AM the storm had blown through and there was nothing left to do, but to assess the damage in the morning. Fortunately I had only five trees blown down, and I proceeded to cut them up with my new chain saw. My new neighbors to my right, also had a large oak tree come down, and it just missed the corner of their house. They had no chain saw, but they heard me using mine, and the husband sent this wife over to ask if they could borrow it. I told her I would be right over, as soon as I was finished cutting up my trees. When I was done, I went over to their place and saw that they had a huge oak tree just miss the corner of their house!

My saw wasn’t really big enough for their needs, but because they had none, I lent it to them, and told them to just put it back in my shed when they were done, and lock it up.

The Foo bird shits again.

The next fall I go to use the saw (my relatively brand new saw), only to discover that my neighbor had abused it, and it was now basically worthless! Essential nuts, that kept tension on the chain, were completely missing! Unfortunately they were bastard sized nuts that required a special wrench, so I had a hell of a time finding substitutes. Eventually I found some, that while needing a different wrench size, were the same thread size. By then it was mid winter, and I didn’t need the saw anymore so I put them aside for future use.

The return of the Foo!

When I got home from the polls today, and had no success with the bow saw, I decided to try and fix my chain saw. I struggled with it, using the new nuts to try and align the bar and blade. The substitute nuts worked, but it was to no avail! For the life of me, I couldn’t get the saw to start. I tried and tried again, but nothing, so I decided to fire up my very old 12” Eager Beaver. But the same thing happened. It just would not start. After a good 45 minutes I was soaking wet with sweat, and said F___ it! In frustration, I lifted one end of the fallen tree by hand (ugh!) and struggled to move it 90 degrees, back to the tree line. I was able to move it about one foot at a time, and each time I lifted the end of the log, it felt like my hiatal hernia was ripping in my chest! All the while I’m thinking, damn it, I’m a girl! I’m not supposed to be doing this kind of shit!

Sometimes it just sucks to be tranassexual, and yet I wouldn’t trade who I am, for the life of any cis-man in the world!

Melissa XX