Friday, April 30, 2010

I'll Have My Red Snapper Sauteed In Light Sweet Crude Please

If this doesn't sicken you, then I don't know what will. This is picture of my beautiful pristine Gulf of Mexico, despoiled by 210,000 gallons of light sweet crude oil a day, being spilled into it!

There are effective devices mandated by more responsible oil producing nations, that will remotely shut off the flow of oil in the event of a spill, but our business centric governmental representatives (read that as Republicans and shameless blue dog Democrats), thought that too much of a burden on corporate enterprise!

Well, I hope they enjoy their fetid, belly up Gulf shrimp, grouper and snapper, sauteed in a pan full of of light sweet crude! Sons of bitches!

Melissa (feeling terribly cynical tonight)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Oh, My Aching Muscles!

Lying dormant for six months isn't good. When spring comes and the yard work resumes, all of those muscles that had lain fallow over the winter have to be pumped up all over again. I know.....pumping up is not exactly something that we are particularly fond of, especially when it comes to upper body muscles, but when there is work to be done and no one to do it for you, there's not much choice. My legs stayed in shape over the winter, from riding my stationary bike, but I didn't realize how much my upper body had deteriorated, until I went out yesterday and pushed the lawnmower around for a couple of hours, and then went out again today and raked gravel off of my grass, back onto about 150 ft. of the road out front. The gravel had been pushed onto my grass, when snow on the road out front was plowed several times this past winter. The gravel had to be raked off the grass, or my lawnmower blade would have been destroyed after a couple of mowings.

The raking really took it out of me, but I also wanted to bring down and cut up the big pine tree limb, resting in the shoulder of another branch of the tree it broke out of during the last big winter storm.

If you click on the picture and enlarge it, you can see the limb in question, leaning against the tree it broke out of. The heftiest part of the limb is up in the tree, and out of sight.

I was worried about trying to cut this huge 10" diameter limb, while the bulk of it still rested up in the tree, so I tied a piece of coax cable I had leftover from when I installed my satellite system to it, and tied the other end to the trailer hitch hole on my truck's rear bumper, then I simply put the truck in gear and drug it to the ground.

The chainsaw that I got for an absolute steal from my support group girlfriend and fellow blogger, Sophie, worked like an absolute charm in dismembering this giant limb and it's branches. The saw, which I purchased from her for a third of the price of a new one, was in nearly brand new condition, and started up easily, with only a few pulls required. The blade was sharp, and it cut through the limb like a hot knife through butter. I wanted to cut up some more storm debris, but by then two hours of raking and limb dismembering had taken it's toll on my withered muscles, and I had to call it quits for the day for safety's sake. Handling a chainsaw is something I don't like to do when I am fatigued. The nearest hospital is a good forty miles away.

Melissa XX

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It Was A Great, Albeit Exhausting Day Today!

The temperature was in the mid 60's (F), a perfect time to get outside and do little yard work. I didn't rake up any of the leaves last fall. For those of you who are regular readers, you know I had more important things occupying my mind at the time. You've seen the trees that tower all around this place. Keeping up with falling leaves is a major chore, that involves raking the entire yard every week for a month or more, until the last tree has finally sheds it's last leaf. Last fall, with my sister passing, I just couldn't be bothered with it all. So...I just let them fall to the ground, where they had lain all winter. I was hoping that mother nature would take her course, and that by spring they would be less of a problem to deal with.

Today it was finally time to do something with them. The crab grass that never ceases growing over the septic tank drain field lines, was sprouting foot high shoots above the leaves. So down to the shed I went, and broke out the trusty Honda, high back wheel push mower. I put a mulching blade on it last summer, so today I left the chute off, and the trap door closed on the discharge, to trap everything inside the mower housing, where the mulching blade could chop it all up.

Ha! I'll never rake again! The yard was covered in full size oak, poplar, maple, gum tree, and a multitude of other specie's leaves from last fall, and in just two passes with the mower they were all reduced to a fine mulch! A couple more years of natural bio-degradation, and they will add their molecules to the top soil.

It took about two hours of pushing that mower up and down the inclines of my back yard. In some places the leaves were so thick, that the motor stalled and I had to restart it. By the time I put the mower back in the shed, I was fairly well knackered, and soaking wet with sweat, but the yard sure looked good, and there were no more foot tall shoots of crab grass, for some stealthy little blood sucking tick to lie in ambush on, waiting to transfer himself to my unsuspecting leg.

Ticks! I hate them! They are the scourge of the wilderness. I've had two acquaintances hospitalized with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever after being bitten by ticks, and I have two permanent purple marks on my thighs, where Lone Star ticks latched on to me while doing yard work, and I didn't discover them until it was too late to easily remove them. I worried about Lyme's disease, but although there was inflammation around the immediate site of the bites for a while, there was no bulls eye rash. They are tenacious little buggers, and when you try to pull them off they refuse to let go, so their nasty little mouth parts detach and stay under your skin, where they fester.

Now days, I saturate my shoes and socks with Deep Woods Off insect repellent, before I ever step out into the yard to do any work, and once I'm done, off come the clothes, and a full body inspection ensues. I haven't found an attached tick in fifteen years (knock on wood!)

Tonight I was watching Glee. What a great uplifting show that is! And the talent isn't bad either. If you ever think that a feminine voice is impossible for someone born male, you have to hear Chris Colfer who plays the gay character, Kurt Hummel on the show. He has a lovely voice, and sings like an absolute angel! If you close your eyes, you have no idea that a male is singing.

Oh, and if you are looking for some very feminine Goth, Myth, Magical, Fantasy, or Romance styled clothing, jewelry, gifts, or accessories, check out They have some beautiful stuff!

Melissa XX

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hiding Our True Natue

Unless we're out and proud, we all do it.....hide little aspects of our transgenderdness. Today I was reading the latest blog from TiresiasRedux and her post brought it all home for me. Do I pluck my eyebrows too much to go out undetected in boy mode? Are there any traces of eyeliner left from last night, when I decide to go to the grocery store the next morning?

Tomorrow I have to go to my mothers for our weekly supper. Mom knows I'm TS, but has never once embraced it, nor has she ever seen me en femme, consequently she remains in complete denial about my true nature. Last week, because of another commitment, I begged out of going to supper, so I had an extra week to grow my nails out. I tend to keep my nails longish to begin with, and as long as I don't have to make any public appearances in male mode, I keep at least a few coats of clear nail polish on them.With two weeks since the last time I was at my mother's, they are just now getting to the feminine length that I really like. The trouble is, how do I go to my mom's with very girlish looking nails? They are sure to be noticed and will surely spark unwanted conversation. Normally, just before I leave the house on Monday evening, I will remove any polish I have on, and file my nails down to a length, that while not particular masculine, is not particularly feminine either. I hate doing that, and I don't want to file them down tomorrow for an hour and half visit to my mother's. I really don't want to take my nail polish off either, but then I don't want my nails to be the main topic of discussion at dinner.

I just hate these sacrifices that I have had to make all of my life, for the sake of other peoples comfort, and really, that is what it's all about. We who are trangendered, have no problem at all with out gender identity expression. It's always other's who freak out at the slightest exhibition of gender variance, leaving us to scramble to make sure we've left no telltale signs, that might upset their delicate sensibilities.

I don't want to create a scene, but I have half a mind to show up at my mother's tomorrow evening in full boy mode, but with unshortened nails, sporting a fresh coat of clear nail polish. My sister and my niece if she is there, will surely understand, but my mom and bro-in-law
will surely freak out, and that will in turn make me uncomfortable, so of course I won't do it, and I will secretly hate them for it. This is no way to live.

Melissa XX

I've Always Loved Sock Monkeys

This has to be one of the coolest commercials I've seen in a long time.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You!

We've all met people in our lives who have hurt or disgusted us. Some way more than others. I can remember several times in my life, when certain people seemed to go out of their way to hurt me. Ultimately I survive their attacks, but I afterward this feeling would always come over me, that I was glad I wasn't like them. Well, in 1977 along comes former Beatles/Pink Floyd engineer, Alan Parsons, with his hit progressive rock album, I Robot, and what should appear on it, but this tune:

I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You

If I had a mind to,
I wouldn't want to think like you.
And if I had time to
I wouldn't want to talk to you.

I don't care
What you do,
I wouldn't want to be like you.
I don't care
What you do,
I wouldn't want to be like you.

If I was high class
I wouldn't need a buck to pass.
And if I was a fall guy,
I wouldn't need no alibi...

I don't care
What you do,
I wouldn't want to be like you.
I don't care
What you do,
I wouldn't want to be like you.

Back on the bottom line,
Diggin' for a lousy dime.
If I hit a mother lode,
I'd cover anything that showed.

I don't care
What you do,
I wouldn't want to be like you.
I don't care
What you do...
I wouldn't wanna,
I wouldn't want to be like you.
I wouldn't want to be like you.

Those are the lyrics. Now listen to the real thing. It's much better when put to music.

Melissa XX

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I was just reminiscing about when I weighed only 170 lbs. That's 12.4 stone to my UK friends. That may seem heavy to some of you, but for someone who is 5'14" tall, that's pretty thin. It's been ages since I was that weight, and since then my weight nearly doubled at one time. Yes, I'm ashamed to say I ballooned up to 304 lbs.! Direct suicide is not always the result of not being able to resolve gender identity issues. My complete lack of resources and inability to transition in my early years, or to even connect with any other transgendered people, instead lead to a total sense of dissolution, that eventually almost killed me. In 2004 after several episodes of nearly passing out at work, I was diagnosed with type II diabetes, and knew that I had to make some changes, or I would be found dead at my desk one day. I began a regular exercise program, radically altered my diet to reduce saturated fats, simple carbohtdrates, and excess salt. The result was I lost 80 lbs., and brought my diabetes and blood pressure under control, without having to stay on the dangerous drugs that were prescribed to me. I've done pretty well ever since, but two years after retiring, I found that I had slacked off a good deal on the exercise, and had let my weight gradually rise to where my clothes were fitting very tight. I resisted the urge to buy larger sizes again, and redoubled my efforts on portion control and exercise. I've been making steady progress, and today I was pleasantly surprised that a pair of white denim capris that fit so well last summer, were a pretty good fit today! I still have a bit of a roll above the waistband that needs to go, but they looked especially good in the butt and the thighs! An hour a day on the stationary bike, can literally be a pain in the ass, but it really does make a difference when you stick to it.

And speaking of reminiscing:

I know I'm showing my age, but does anyone else remember sweating and grinding on a dance floor to this number? Written by Otis Redding and Jerry Butler, it appeared as the A-side of a 1965 hit single by Otis Redding - and subsequently appeared on his third album, Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul. (Links courtesy of Wikipedia)

Melissa XX

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Where Is My Inspiration?

I'm sitting here sipping Cabernet, and listening to.........well, I thought I'd listen to Vivaldi's, The Four Seasons, played by La Scala Philharmonic, Riccardo Muti conducting, but apparently I left Dvořák's Seventh and Eighth in the CD player, and they are playing first. This is a mistake to be sure, but knowing how much I love Dvořák, I'm sure you can imagine just how thoroughly and utterly dissapointed I am........not! I can live with it. Vivaldi will be on soon enough.

Anyway, I was wondering just what am I going to tell you tonight? I didn't know.........I was thinking of talking to you about the new summer clothes that showed up in my mail box today, but you don't want to hear about that, do you?

What's that I hear you saying? Yes? You do want to hear about my new clothes? Oh! Bless you dear girls! You're really far too kind!

Well........I received not one, but two packages in the mail today! One containing a pair of five pocket guava stretch capris that had been back ordered for about a month. These will compliment the pale pink pair I got a month ago. The second package contained a really cute little pair of embroidered denim shorts. I'm going to love these when the really warm weather arrives! I love the fact that they are very short. The trend in shorts this year seems to be Bermudas that end at just above the knee cap. I hate them! They are so unfeminine, and do absolutely nothing to flatter the legs. It seems like every year we have the fashion faux pas of some poor misguided designer foisted upon us. Well........we don't have to accept them now, do we? What? We do? Just because all of the other girls will? I don't think so..........but then I've never exactly been a conformist either.

The next thing out of the package was a cotton Henley in a wine color. I got this to go along with the one I already have in orchid. They both look great with a pair of jeans, shorts, or capris. Great for casual spring, or summer wear. But...........the top I was really looking forward to getting.............the pièce de résistance, was this purple blossom ruffle blouse. It looks even cuter on, then it does in the picture.

Oh! I nearly forgot! This one also arrived to day! Its very similar, albeit a bit more colorful than this one that I got a couple of weeks ago.

Well, this concludes my blog entry about my new clothes. You can now go to my profile, download a picture of my face, paste it up on your wall, and throw darts at it. Some choice comments to contemplate while aiming for my eyes are, "Why you superficial, narcissistic bitch!" And, "Really Melissa, do you honestly think we give a crap about your ugly old clothes?" Or, "Come around here wearing that shit, and we'll throw theses darts right in your face, not your picture!"

Uh-oh, I think I just revealed mental health issues. I've got to be careful about that. ;-)

Melissa XX

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Is It Possile To Scratch One's Eyeballs?

It seems that all of the trees are blooming at the same time. The result, other than a constant layer of yellow pollen on my truck, is a near constant miasma of pollen swirling through the air. My sinuses have held up fairly well this spring, just giving me a few sniffles, but my eyes are a different story.
See the lower picture? Well, that's my eyes! Except my eyes are brown, not the very pretty lavender shown above. I only wish!

They itch so, and I want to scratch them so much, but I can't scratch my eyeballs! I can however scratch the rims, just inside of the eyelashes. Ahhhh........what a relief!

Fortunately, my eyes don't look as bad as this little guy's. I thnk he may have liver problems.

Melissa XX

Leslie Ann's New Public Blog

For those of you who don't know, Leslie Ann took her older blog, Out Of My Mind private. Because of this, updates to that blog are not showing up on Blogger's dashboard. She has started a new public blog, Don't Be Like Me mainly for posting her thoughts on music, but she will also use this blog to notify us when she has new content on her TG blog, Out Of My Mind.

She is missing many of her past followers, because she has to invite you to come to her private blog, and many of her followers had no email address linked to their profiles. So if you want an invite, you will have to send her an email, so she can send an invite back to you. She wants you to do this, because she misses you. Her email address is linked to her profile on her new blog.

Melissa XX

Hell Bent Bugs Risk Broken Necks To Enter My Home.

My back lit windows must be very inviting targets indeed, for the spring and summer night fliers. Sitting here typing at my keyboard, they are nearly driving me to distraction with their daredevil attempts to fly through the glass panes of my windows. What a rude awakening it must be for them to realize, that there is an invisible shield between them, and the golden glow emanating
from my windows out into the surrounding darkness.

Because the lower sash has been raised to accommodate a window air conditioning unit, occasionally some of the brighter ones will find their way inside, by way of a small gap between the upper and lower sashes. Once inside, drawn to the upward shining beam of the torchère lamp, they go stark raving mad, flying ever more dangerously close to the hot bulb, until they eventually succumb to its heat, or until I get annoyed with them and resort to chemical or kinetic warfare.

Bugs are something one must put up with when living in the woods. I have already encountered three yellow jackets in the house so far this spring. All three met an untimely death. They never fail to realize that they are entering a death trap, when they find their way inside my home. I learned my lesson, when I was stung by a wasp, while reaching for a towel the first spring I lived out here, and was stung again a few years later, when reaching my fingers underneath of the handrail going down my deck steps. The sting of a wasp is much worse than the sting of a honey bee. It feels feels like a hot, acid dipped needle being thrust beneath your skin. Definitely not something you want to have happen more than once. Wasps, yellow jackets, and bumble bees are always buzzing around the house in spring and summer. The most interesting of all are the bumble bees. They actually bore perfectly round holes into the wooden deck timbers, to nest in. I first noticed this, when I saw a little pile of sawdust on the deck, just outside the balusters. I went down off the deck to see the other side, and noticed the perfectly round hole in the wood, where I had seen a bumble bee flying around a few days before. The mud daubers are also fun to watch. They are a species of brown wasp, that flies off in search of some fresh mud. Once they find said mud, they scoop up as much as they can carry, and then fly back to my house where they fashion the the mud into tubes to house their larvae. Then there are the paper wasps and hornets. They are miniature pulp mills, chewing up microscopic wood fibers, and regurgitating them as a paper pulp, that they build their nests with.

Then there are the black widows spiders. They love to hangout under the vinyl siding and especially around my trash cans. I may have told you all this, but once when taking trash to the dump, a black widow spider descended from the bill of my cap, down to in front of my nose while I was driving out of my neighborhood. This was possibly one of the most frightening experiences of my life, and I immediately slammed on brakes, jumped out of my truck, and began what must have looked like a St. Vitu's dance, jumping and flailing at myself until I was sure the spider was gone!

Spring is in full swing now, and summer can't be far away. We have had exceptionally warm weather, and it has truly awakened all of the hibernating vegetation, not to mention my hibernating feminine spirit. Not that it was ever totally asleep, but by late winter for some inexplicable reason, it often seems to go into the doldrums . I always hate that, and I'm glad to see the spring usher in a return to more feminine sensibilities .

I received some wonderful news this weekend. Two of the people I care the most for here on blogger, actually got to physically meet up with each other, and if reports are to be believed, they had the most wonderful time together! It's so nice that we can go on-line and give each other our love and support, but when sisters can actually commune in person, that's extra special! A big shout out goes to sweet Caroline, and to the very lovely Lisa! Apparently they were able to have a great time together, without being buried in volcanic ash, like the victims of Pompeii and Herculaneum! Lots of love to both of you girls!

Melissa XX

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Crying My Eyes Out To A Poignient Moment In A Chick Flick

I'm sitting here watching the schmaltzy 1984 film, Until September , starring Karen Allen, and Thierry Lhermitte, all about an all American girl, Mo, who misses her plane in Paris, carrying her tour group and her luggage, and meets a young Frenchman, Xavier, who first takes her for sport, but soon is overcome by their chemistry and falls for her. They go through the usual reticent movie courtship dance, and finally reach a point of irresistible attraction. What's not to cry about a movie like that? Especially when you see him hesitate and sheepishly retreat to his apartment, leaving her standing at her threshold next door, wondering what to do. Then in the very next scene, she is ringing his door bell, and when he answers, they leap into each other's embrace! I'm sorry, but I couldn't help it. When I saw that scene, the flood gates just opened!

Melissa XX

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Middle Aged Brain

Have you ever heard a middle aged person pause while trying to collect a thought, then say they just had a senior moment? I listened to a very interesting report on this subject on NPR's All Things Considered this evening. It seems that by the time we enter out twenties, our brains begin to lose processing speed, and eventually as we get into middle age, our brains drift off into a kind of day dream default mode. In other words, whenever our brains aren't taxed with trying to figure out a problem, we sort of go into automatic pilot and our minds wander. A good example of this phenomenon, is suddenly realizing you have been driving for 20 minutes, and you have no recollection of the turf you just covered. Your brain is so used to the task at hand, that it just automatically handles it, while you drift off into thought . This can seem scary when you realize what has just happened, but if an emergency arises, you brain just automatically brings you back into awareness.

Another effect of the aging brain, is that it becomes difficult to recall data, that isn't constantly update in your memory banks. A good example is remembering names. You would think that the brain stores familiar names all in one place, but no. It seem that an intelligence somewhat akin to Microsoft has engineered our brains, and bits and pieces of this information get stored in different places. When a middle aged person has to recall the name of someone they haven't seen in a while, they often can't recall the name, without some kind of memory prompting clue, to retrieve all of the different bits out of their various memory banks, and reassemble them for us. The memory isn't lost, it's just been shuffled around, and relocated in inconvenient places in our brains.

I experienced this first hand tonight. I have a CD of Johann Strauss Favorite Waltzes. While looking through my pile of CD's for something to listen to, I have come across this CD case several times, and have opened it up, only to find that he CD was missing. I thought it was lost forever. Tonight I opened it again, and suddenly it struck me that I had once listened to it years ago, in a portable stereo with a CD player in my master bathroom. The portable stereo had long ago been removed from the bathroom, and now resided out of sight in storage, where it was no longer played. Ahhh.........yes, I thought, that's where it is. I went to where the boom box was stored and flipped the CD open and there it was, a pristine CD recording of Strauss Favorite Waltzes. I pulled it out and transferred to the CD player in my computer room, and I am listening to it now even as I type. The Emperor Waltz is on right now, soon to followed by Overture to "Die Fledermaus" OP. 362, then onto visions of the shuttle coming in for docking in 2001 A Space Odyssey, as On The Beautiful Blue Danube, OP. 314 closes out the CD.

Getting older doesn't necessarily mean that we are slowly and inexorably drifting off into dementia, quite the contrary. Middle age brains are actually much better at some things than youthful brains. They are better at understanding a complex argument or situation, discerning if someone is a crook or a charlatan, managing finances and many other things. As we age, our brains may lose processing speed, and it may take more concentration to learn new things, but in many ways, our minds are sharper and more focused than when we were young.

Melissa XX

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rest In Peace, Thou Good & Faithful Servant

Today, I said goodbye for the last time, to a dear old friend. When I moved into this house over 17 years ago, I went to Wal-Mart and purchased a brand new Sharp Microwave oven. At a mere $45, she was a steal. She wasn't anything fancy, and at only 700 watts, she wasn't the most powerful microwave on the shelf, but she was just the right size for the little corner counter top, where I wanted to place her in my kitchen. I used her several times a day, every single day that I was at home for the last 17 years, and she always did exactly what I expected her to do. She cooked my morning oatmeal, my omelets, and the ham, egg & cheese for my breakfast sandwiches. She warmed the soup for my lunches, she steamed my vegetables, and cooked my fish, stews and chili for supper. She boiled my pasta and my rice, she reheated my coffee, and whenever the power went out in a storm, I missed her so!

Today at lunchtime, I tried to reheat some leftover chicken gumbo. I set her timer for two minutes, and pushed her start button. Her light came on, her fan began to blow, and her turntable began to spin. Two minutes later, her bell went off, and I opened her door, and pulled out a cold container of soup. She's an old girl, I thought. Maybe she just needs more time. So back into the microwave the soup went for another two minutes. When her bell went off for the second time, I opened the door once more, only to find that the soup was still cold. She tried so valiantly to do my bidding, but she just couldn't muster the energy to heat my soup. It was her magnetron, the very heart of a microwave oven. The old girl was done for. I felt so sad for her. She had served me so well for nearly two decades, and I took her for granted the whole time, rarely ever cleaning her as I should have. I shall now take her to the county recycling center, where I will donate her skin, organs and skeletal remains. In her honor I began to think of the Chinese factory worker who so expertly assembled her. Being paid no more than a pittance, he/she probably assembled thousands of microwaves over the last two decades, and raised a family on the meager wages earned doing so. Thank you, whoever you are! You did well!

Sad as her death was for me, life must go on, and that means I still need to cook, so off to town I drove this afternoon, in search of a replacement for my good and faithful servant. Wal-Mart is always a good place to go for a good price on appliances, so that's where I drove to. They had several models on display. I felt sort of like Goldilocks, as I looked them over. Some were much too big, and others were much too small, but in the middle of all of those, I found one that was just right! It was an Emerson, about an inch bigger in all directions than what it was about to replace, and at 1,000 watts, 300 watts stronger than my now defunct Sharp. A bit prettier too, but can it give me the service of my faithful old girl? Only time will tell. Here's a picture of the new girl, next to my very old and extremely faithful Sunbeam Hotshot hot water dispenser. That appliance has been plugging away for close to thirty years!

The old microwave had been sitting in this exact location for 17 years. When I pulled it out, I found some very old foil packs of ketchup, and clear plastic packs of soy and duck sauce from various take out restaurants. They had all been gnawed into, and had their contents devoured by mice. In return for the delectable sustenance I gave them, the little ingrates left me their droppings! Needless to say, before the new oven was put in place, I donned elbow length rubber gloves, and scrubbed the entire counter with disinfecting 409 kitchen cleaner.

Melissa XX

Sunday, April 11, 2010

And The Virtual Kewpie Doll Goes To Brittany Lynn Roche !

For being the first to tell me what kind of flowering tree I have at the end of my driveway. The answer was an Eastern Redbud. Honorable mention goes to Sophie, who confirmed it for me, by describing its heart shaped leaves.

Thanks, girls!

Melissa XX

What In The Hell Is Wrong With Me?

Here I am again, crying my eyes out to Dvořák's 9th Symphony! Why does that music rend my heart so? The great Luciano Pavarotti above all others, always brought tears to my eyes, with his truly lovely tenor voice. What is it about beautiful music, that makes us shed tears? What kind of music makes you weep?

Melissa XX

Spring Is Bustin' Out All Over!

Actually, it's bustin' out even more than in this picture, which was taken four days ago, but the main reason for this post, is to ascertain the species of the magenta flowering tree in the picture. I have lived here for over 17 years, and I still don't have any idea what it is. There are trees just like this, all along the sides of I-64 into Richmond, but just this one on my entire 4.25 acre property. A virtual Kewpie Doll goes to the the person who can tell me with metaphysical certitude, exactly what kind of tree it is.

More on last night's support group meeting.......when I got there last night, and set my lasagna down on the kitchenette counter, the first thing I noticed was that there were already two pasta dishes there, not including mine, but nothing at all vegetable based. There was a ham and macaroni casserole, a ziti and chicken casserole that admittedly had a few carrot slices in it, some potato salad, something that resembled date/nut bread, a Whitman's Sampler (chocolates), some pork barbecue, some very delectable peanut butter cookies, some muffins, and a few other things, but not a green, yellow, or red fibrous vegetable in sight. I'm thinking maybe I need to teach these poor girls how to eat, so next month, maybe I'll bring a huge bowl of salad, and an assortment of salad dressings. Whattayathink? Will they appreciate it, or will they say, "Veggies? Blech!"

Melissa XX

Friday, April 9, 2010

I Am The Proud New Parent Of An Adopted Chainsaw

I just got back from my monthly support group meeting tonight, where my girlfriend, Sophie awarded me custody of her nearly new Craftsman 18" chainsaw, for a third of the price of a brand new one! I know our girl has treated it gently, so I'm not the least bit concerned that it isn't brand new. In fact I'm rather glad that it has been tested on the job, and certified OK by someone I trust. Thank you Sophie! It's going to come in handy in the next week or so. I still have winter storm debris to clean up, and now that the leaves are coming back on the trees, I have a poplar tree that must come down, because it is blocking out my satellite signal.

Once again I had planned on getting out of the house by no later than 6:00PM, but as usual I wasn't ready to leave then. I don't know what's wrong with me. I know how long it takes to get into town, and I always begin my preparations with plenty of time to spare, but no matter whether I'm going to my mother's for Monday night supper, or my support group meeting, I never seem to be ready to leave, when I need to . Somehow, I always manage to piddle away the time. I knew I was running a little late when I left the house this evening, but when I was three miles down the road, and about to enter I-64 to Richmond, I glanced down at the clock on my dashboard and it said 6:24! I couldn't believe it. The potluck supper starts at 6:30, and I still had over forty miles to go, so I set the cruise control for warp 7, and down the highway I flew. I managed to get to the meeting by just after 7:00PM.

My contribution to the potluck was a Stoffer's lasagna. I baked it in my convection oven, and all went well for the initial baking, but then you are supposed to remove the film covering from the pan and let the top brown for 10 minutes. I added an extra layer of mozzarella, since they never come with enough to give them a nice cheesy top. So back in the oven it went, and I set the timer for 10 minutes. Ten minutes later the bell went DING! and I opened the oven door to see a lasagna that looked like it had been browned with a flame thrower. Well......maybe not quite that bad, but it was VERY dark brown! It turned out to be not that bad, and I was glad to see that several people tried it and one very sweet girl even said she liked it that way. Bless her heart!

I am pleased to announce that the khaki skirt I wanted to wear to last month's meeting, but couldn't because I feared I would have a stroke from all the blood that it was pushing up into my brain whenever I sat down, now fits and I was able to wear it comfortably all evening long, and in fact I'm wearing it even as I type. Credit the success to a redoubling of my efforts on the stationary bike, and bit of portion control over the last month. I'm still not where I want to be, as last summer's shorts and capris are still a bit tight, but at least I know I'm getting there.

The guest speaker at tonight's meeting was Lady Ellen, of Le Femme Finishing School who came with her transgender husband, Kayla. Lady Ellen and Kayla put on a very entertaining slide show of the do's and don'ts of being a lady for the MTF's, and even offered some how to's, for the FTM's. Lady Ellen is a wonderful married woman, with a teenage daughter, who is completely at home in the trans scene. She does MTF transformations, glamor photography, and hosts transgender parties in her home in New Jersey. She is planning an all trans gender fashion show in a hotel ballroom in October, complete with a runway, singers, all transgender models, and even a few drag queens for fun. Would that everyone could be as comfortable around us, and as accepting as she is.

I am really beginning to like our dear Madam President. Less than a month away from her GRS, she was especially adorable tonight, blushing at jokes and making quips of her own, in her sandals, short denim skirt and cute floral cap sleeved top. I had to give her a big hug and a good luck wish on her surgery, before I left. It's taken a while, but I am getting more and more comfortable with the girls in this group, and for a very shy loner, that's saying a lot. I really need to make more of an effort to get into Richmond, and join them at the lesbian bar where they hang out a couple nights a week.

Melissa XX

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hey! You Didn't Tell Us You Had Your Ears Pierced!

Well...........actually I didn't. I've been too lazy to make the 90 mile round trip to the tattoo parlor in Richmond, but I stumbled across these Magnetic Earrings on line. I didn't even realize that magnetic stud earrings existed, and when I saw these, I thought, no way would a magnet that small be able to secure an earring, but the website said the magnets hold them securely on either side of the ear, so I decided to give them a try.

Do they stay on? Yes they do, as long as you don't accidentally knock them off while brushing your hair. They hold so good in fact, that after a few hours, I had to take them off, because they were pinching my earlobes, just like a pair of too tight clip-ons.

Melissa XX

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bermuda High

The Bermuda high is a summer weather phenomenon in the eastern US. It happens when a high pressure system exits the southern east coast, and brings tropical Gulf of Mexico air up into the mid-Atlantic states. We are about to experience a Bermuda high early this week. Temperatures will soar to near 90° F by Tuesday. (Thank you Véronique for the HTML tip, you're such a sweetheart!)

This is exceptionally early for a Bermuda high. They normally don't appear until early to mid summer. Is this a harbinger of torturous things to come? One of those God awful long hot, and humid as hell summers, reminiscent of a Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell movie, that leaves your clothes soaking wet with perspiration, rings of moisture under your sweating glass, and you seeking refuge in front of the cooling breeze of an air conditioner?

By the end of the week, temperatures are forecasted to be back to normal spring time averages, with highs in the mid to upper 60° F range. Of course I love the Bermuda high! What better excuse to don a pair of white cuffed short shorts, a scooped necked cap sleeved pink tee with ruffles on the bodice, and a pair of strappy white sandals, after a miserable long cold winter?

Bermuda high? Bring it on!

Melissa XX

Is 90∘Normal For April 6th?

Well, if you live in Arizona it might be, but not in Virginia. After a very cold and miserable winter, we seem to have come full circle. Its been in the upper 70's and 80's for the last week, and it's supposed to get up to 90∘this Tuesday. Normal highs for this time of year are 65∘. We never had a normal lead into spring. It went from cold to warm almost overnight. The upside is, it's perfect weather for the shorts, pretty tops and sandals that make a girl feel girly. The downside is that it brings out the wasps and yellow jackets, that love to find their way into the house. I have had to resort to chemical warfare against two of those winged beasts already this spring. There is nothing more disconcerting, not mention painful, than coming out of a shower, reaching for a towel, and receiving the searing hot stinger of wasp in a finger.

Another monster that appears every spring, is the beast below.

My neighbor bought a gasoline powered, back pack leaf blower a few years ago, and it has become her undying obsession. Usually no later that 10:00AM, she has the machine from hell strapped to her back, and she spends the better part of the daylight hours, fighting a losing battle against nature. The wind and all of the trees we have around here, ensure that her a daily battle is one that she can never hope to win, but she is either a trouper, or a mad woman. She never gives up. Unfortunately, there isn't a single room in my house where I can go, to escape the noise of the obnoxious thing, and its constant starting, stopping, and starting again. It is not unusual to have to suffer this indignity from 9:00AM, until sundown, weather permitting. There have been times when I wanted to to confront her, and do something very unholy with her wretched machine, but realizing that wouldn't be very ladylike, I have manged to restrain myself........but soon I will have Sophie's chainsaw, and with all of the lumber on my property that needs trimming, it will be time for payback!

Melissa (feeling a bit wicked tonight)