Sunday, June 27, 2010

Toes Are Supposed To Point Forward, Aren't They?

About six years ago, I was morbidly obese, a condition I feel was directly contributed to by my very long term GID, and my complete lack of ability to do anything about it. After several episodes of nearly passing out at work, I was diagnosed with type II diabetes. Since then I have lost lost a very significant amount of weight. I eat a proper low glycemic index diet, and get regular exercise, and my blood sugar stays within the normal range now, but the damage to my body caused by prolonged high blood sugar was done. Part of that damage was diabetic neuropathy. A numbness in the lower half of my feet.

Last night, just before going to bed, I washed my face in the bathroom next to my bedroom. After toweling my face dry, I turned to go to my bedroom, and stubbed the little toe on my left foot. Because of my neuropathy, all I felt was a strange sensation. I looked down and the little toe on my left foot was pointing outward at about a 60 degree angle! I was shocked at what I saw, but since it didn't hurt much, I reached down and straightened it back out , and went on to bed. It didn't keep me awake, and although it has been mildly painful since, it isn't making me suffer. It's black and blue now, and I'm not sure if I just dislocated it, or actually broke a bone. I haven't done anything about it, because I broke the bone in the tip of my right big toe once, and wasted my time and money going to the hospital to get it checked out. After several hours in the emergency room, an X-ray, and an examination by an intern, I was told that I had indeed broken it, but nothing could be done about it. After all, they aren't going to put your entire foot in a cast for one broken toe.

So, we will see how it develops. I've had foot injuries before, and they can be annoying, because they take weeks, if not months to heal. I hope this heals quick. I was just getting over a nasty blood blister on my right foot, caused by ill fitting shoes worn while cutting grass. That finally cleared up, and now this.

After a couple of days of relatively normal summer weather, if low 90's can be interpreted as normal, the intense heat is scheduled to return again tomorrow, with temperatures once again soaring towards the century mark. It looks like we may be in for one of those long hot summers, reminiscent of the one in the movie, The Seven Year Itch. Now if only I had a lovely neighbor like Marilyn Monroe to share it with!

Melissa XX

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Only Ten Years Old, But On Her Last Legs

Don't worry dear ones............I'm not talking about a precious child here, just my Phillips bookshelf sound system. I bought it about ten years ago, because I needed a separate sound system from my big system in the great room, for my computer room, where I spend a lot of time. It just happened to catch my fancy one day, while browsing the shelves at Best Buy. A nice compact unit, with an AM/FM tuner, two cassette players, and a 3 CD changer. It has two detachable speaker cabinets, with seven inch woofers, a two and three quarter inch mid range, and couple of two inch tweeters. For a plastic bookshelf unit, it has remarkably good power and fidelity.

A couple of nights ago, after ten years of faithful service, the CD player went kaput. It had been giving me signals that something was wrong for quite a while, by eliciting the occasional skip when playing a CD. A few nights ago, the occasional skip became a chronic skip, making it impossible to listen to CD's.

I had to scramble to find a temporary fix. I had an old Sony boom box, so I simply substituted that for the first night, but I couldn't plug my TV audio into it, so another solution had to be found. Giving the house the once over, I discovered a portable Sony AM/FM/CD player that I hadn't used in years. It had a CD OUT jack on it, so I thought, well.......... Why can't I use this as my CD player, since the rest of the Phillips unit works fine?

I plugged the portable Sony CD player into the Phillips unit, set the controls to Axillary input, and put a CD in the Sony player. Then I pushed the Play button on the Sony CD player, and absolutely nothing happened! My batteries were dead. A quick replacement of just two AA batteries, and the CD player was off and running! The axillary amplifier on the Phillips unit instantly recognized the CD player's input, and I had my favorite sounds again! The only trouble is the Sony unit is just a single CD player, and I cannot stop and start it with the remote. looks like I'm going to have to bite the bullet shortly, and buy a new bookshelf unit.

We got a merciful break from the extreme heat today. It only made it up to 93°F, or 33.8°C! Tomorrow, and especially on Sunday, the insufferable heat is expected to return in earnest! 95°F/35° tomorrow, and 98°F/36°C on Sunday! I know I prayed for warm weather during our previous miserably cold stormy winter, but I guess I forgot the old adage, "be careful what you ask for".

I hope you are all staying cool! Speaking of cool, I know that the Alan Parsons Project is an acquired taste, but here is a cut from the Alan Parsons Project album, I Robot. I don't think I have profiled this particular tune before, but if I have, please forgive me.

And here's another, The Voice
Melissa XX

A Public Service Announcement

Lack of a corkscrew is never a detriment to opening a bottle of wine. There is always the Russian method of simply striking the neck of the bottle against a hard object, but then you have to strain the shards of glass through your teeth.

Here is a safer way to open your wine, using nothing more than your shoe, and minimal amount of muscle.


Melissa XX

Thursday, June 24, 2010

How Hot, Is Hot Enough?

Is 99°F - 37.2°C with a heat index of 107°F - 41.6°C hot enough? That's what it got up to today, according to the weather tracking station at a nearby airport!

Only Mad Dogs And Englishmen (and Americans, I'm afraid) Go Out In the Midday Sun

I had to go to the grocery store today, and since I didn't get up until almost 10:00 AM........yeah, I know, I'm a sloth..........I didn't depart until about 12:30 PM, long after a relaxing breakfast, and the obligatory cup of coffee. It wasn't too bad when I first got in my truck. It had been parked in the shade, and the digital thermometer on the overhead console read only 86°F - 30°C, but by the time I got out on I-64, it was reading 93°F - 33.8°C. The grocery store is about twenty three miles away, and of course there is absolutely no shade in the parking lot! My truck has dark tinted rear widows, so I parked with my backside to the sun, and left all four windows cracked open, to keep it from becoming a veritable oven, while I was inside shopping. Dressed as a male, but in short sleeves and shorts, and not giving a damn if anyone noticed my hairless arms and legs, I sauntered into the Food Lion. Instantly, I realized that I forgot they had announced, that they were in the middle of a remodeling project! My once orderly grocery store, was almost unrecognizable. The store was full of extra, temporary personnel, and the entire place was in a state of confusion. New displays had been brought in, and all of the aisles were being rearranged. Aisles that used to contain certain items were on the other side of the store now, and all of the aisles were littered with pallets full of items, that the temporary workers were busily stocking on the shelves.

Still, they were open for business, and I needed to get my shopping done, so I forged onward. It's a good thing that I made a shopping list of everything I needed, because not one single item in the store was in the same place it used to be, so I couldn't just go up and down the aisles and pick items out by memory. It took a bit longer, and I had to back track several times, but weaving my way through pallets of items, and workers stocking shelves, I was eventually able to fill my cart, and check every item off my list............well almost every item. I had a hankering for some barbecued pork ribs, but I didn't want to mess with the whole charcoal grilling operation, so I thought I would just cook them quickly in my convection oven. Thirty minutes and they would have come out lovely. But I didn't have a broiler pan, so I looked for some disposable aluminum broiler pans, but they didn't have any. They had aluminum baking sheets, stuffing pans, roasting pans, lasagna pans, and cake and cupcake pans, but not a single broiler pan. As you are all certainly aware, broiler pans have a deeply grooved bottom, so the drippings drain away from the meat; an absolute must when grilling fatty meat in the oven. I thought about substituting a roasting pan, but the thought of my ribs boiling in their own fat was not very appealing, so I gave up on the entire idea.

A girl has to stay regular you know, so I took a trip down the health care and pharmaceutical aisle, to find a jar of Metamucil (psyllium seed fiber) . Since I was diagnosed as a type II diabetic about six years ago, I try to avoid anything with added sugar, so I was looking for sugarless Metamucil, but all I could find was a small 30 teaspoon dose jar. I approached a young woman stocking shelves and asked her if they had a larger size in the sugar free variety. She casually looked on the shelf just as I had, and said no there was none. Then glancing down at my bare legs, and then looking up at my face with it's arched brows, she suddenly smiled and took a more lively and engaging interest in my request. Very sweetly she said, that there is probably some in one of stacks of items on the pallets scattered about, but she didn't know for sure where it might be. She apologized profusely, and gave me a very warm smile!

This particular store has three self-checkout aisles. I always use one of them, because I hate the way store clerks throw all of your goods into a dozen or more amorphously shaped plastic bags. That's way too many bags to have to deal with to begin with, and because they have no rigid structure, everything squeezes together when you pick them up. When you get home, you find bread, meat and fruit, crushed by cans and other hard objects.

When I was an Army brat in high school, and living in Frankfurt am/Mein, I used to work Saturdays at the US Army Commissary, bagging groceries and carrying them out to people's cars. It was there, that I learned the fine art of properly packing paper grocery bags. Cans, bottles and other hard and rigid stuff on the bottom, and bread, eggs, fruit and other soft stuff on the top! All frozen and refrigerated items were packed together in double bags, to insure they were kept at their lowest temperature on the way home! It was such a simple formula, but it seems to have been completely forgotten.

If you let the clerks in the stores pack your groceries today, you will get home to find your cold and frozen stuff scattered throughout your bags. Your cold stuff will be lukewarm, and your frozen stuff will be defrosting. Not to mention, that if you have a weeks worth of groceries, you will have 10 - 15 bags to carry into the house, instead of the two or three papers bags that I can easily pack all of that stuff into, far more efficiently.

After the bags were all packed and loaded back into the cart, it was back into the sun to load them into the truck. The temperature had risen another four or five degrees while I was in the store, and walking out of the air conditioning into the heat radiating off the asphalt parking lot, was like stepping into an oven! A store manager came by, just as I had finished unloading my cart, and with a smile, he offered to take my cart back to the cart bay at the entrance of the store. No notice or mention at all, was made of my totally hairless arms and legs. In fact the only visible notice, other than the girl in the pharmacy aisle, was by another woman who worked in the store, who came by my self-checkout aisle to verify my age, because I was buying some wine. She smiled and jokingly asked me, "Are you old enough to buy that?", to which I smiled and replied, "I certainly hope so!" Although I'm nearly 62, she gave me the once over, looking me up and down, then ran her her card in front of the scanner to approve my purchase. Upon leaving she glanced down at my bare legs again, then gave me an endearing smile, and said thanks! I do love those endearing smiles! Women seem to be so much cooler with gender variance than men!

The thermometer in the overhead console of my truck read 97°F when I pulled away. My truck has an excellent air conditioning system, but even with the windows cracked while I shopped, it took about five minutes after starting the truck up, to get the cab cooled down, however once I made it a few miles west on I-64, I was chillin' once again! Once the groceries were home and unloaded, the rest of the day was spent in air conditioned comfort, venturing out only once again a few hours later, to drive up to the highway and get my mail out of the mailbox. This time, completely as Melissa.

My sister and her daughter (my niece of course), are the two people I love most in the whole world! They are both exceptionally sweet, funny, and intelligent women. When I came out to them, my sister cried for me, but they both instantly accepted me! That was such a contrast from the way my mother and father reacted, when they discovered I was trans, decades earlier. They treated me like I was diseased, and need to be cured. That treatment initiated an emotional isolation that lasted for decades. I think mom and dad eventually got over the idea that I was a pervert, but they remained in denial about my transsexualism, probably thinking that if I just persevered, I would eventually overcome it. God love them, but I'm afraid that concepts as revolutionary to their generation as gender reassignment, were just way too hard for them to comprehend. And me, being the dutiful loving son, who always felt guilty about disappointing them, even though it seems no matter what I always did, I was just pushed farther back into the closet by their reactions. That's why it's so nice to have such a loving and accepting sister and niece!

It was my niece's birthday this month. She Often comes to my mother's for Monday night supper, so I thought I'd take her a card with a check enclosed, as a birthday present. The trouble was, I didn't have any birthday cards, but I did have plenty of left over Christmas cards. No problem! I selected a lovely card, with picture of a beautiful snow covered cottage, adorned in Christmas lights. The inscription inside that said, "May the warmth of this holiday season fill your home with happiness.", was scratched out to say, "May the warmth of this Birthday fill your home with happiness." A cheap trick.......I know......but my niece loved it! Did I mention that she is a sweetheart? Well.......yes, I did, didn't I?

The week after next, my sister (who is also a sweetheart, by the way!) and her choir will be going to France, where they will sing in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, among other venues! Yes, they are that good! I'm so proud of her! And in spite of the help that has been offered by several kind readers, I still haven't gotten around to figuring out how to embed an I-tunes file of her choir, from my I-Mac to my blog. Maybe one of these days I will figure it out, and you will realize that I am not bullshitting you about how good my sister's choir is. When I heard them for the first time, I was truly amazed!

Here is a little something special from Billie Holiday, to close out this post.

Melissa XX

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I Love Leonard Cohen!

Especially some of his earlier stuff. Here is Cohen in his youth, when in my twenties I thought he was just the coolest thing alive!.....Now a days?...Quite frankly?.....I think he may still be the coolest! I mean how can you not like someone, who spent several years in a Buddhist Monastery, and admitted that he secretly hated everyone in the the place? Oh God! The man is a treasure!

Melissa XX

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I Sweat Like a Whore In Church Today!

Don't worry though.........I don't think I'm in any danger of God hurling a lightning bolt at me. At least I hope not! Although I've had my fantasies, I've never taken to the life on the street. No offense to the girls who do. I'm not the least bit judgmental, and if that's their thing, who am I to question it?

No.......the reason I sweat so much today, was because we are in the middle of a heat wave, and with temperatures soaring above 90° F, I had to spend an hour cutting the grass around the house today after lunch. An hour was about all I could stand. I finished up, put the lawn mower back in the shed, and staggered back into the house, where the air conditioning and a tall glass of orange soda over ice, pulled me back from the brink of heat stroke! All winter long I cursed the cold and the snow. Now we have the miserable Mid-Atlantic summer heat and humidity! Combine the heat and humidity, and you get some truly muggy conditions! While the temperature was only 93° F (What? Only 93° you say?) today, the heat index (temp & humidity combined) was 98°F. Naturally after an hour of pushing a lawnmower around, I was drenched with sweat. Where is my yardman when I need him? I suppose the same thing could be said for my maid! Oddly enough, they are never here when there is work to be done!

After a hard day of toil and sweat, I decided that I deserved a good meal, so I drove to the nearest Food Lion (an American grocery store) and bought some fresh baking potatoes, a couple of New York strip steaks, and some Merlot. I'm not normally a big beef eater. I only have the occasional burger or steak. It's not that I don't love them, the fact is I do! It's just that we are constantly indoctrinated about the dangers of eating red meat, so I limit my consumption. I don't know why. I have no doubt that I will die of something totally unrelated to my diet! By the way, the grilled steak, steamed broccoli, and baked potato was absolutely delicious!

We had a hellacious thunderstorm roll through a couple of nights ago. Lightning was striking all around! I was at my computer, when suddenly the sky flashed outside my window, and at the very same moment I heard the crack of the lightning bolt! With all of the trees surrounding my house, that is way to close for comfort! The next day I surveyed the property to see if any of my trees had been struck. I didn't see any lightning damage, but a rather large dead tree did come down, and was partially blocking the entrance to my driveway. My girlfriend Sophie's chainsaw came in handy once more. Thank you so much Sophie, for selling it to me at such a bargain basement price! I've used it several times now, and considering the job it's done, I think I've already gotten far more than my money's worth! Today while going back to the shed to get my lawnmower out, I found two more limbs, that were blown out of the top of a poplar tree. I am surrounded by poplar trees and they are a real menace. This whole site was logged maybe 50-60 years ago to harvest it's hardwoods. The soft pines and poplars were left behind, so we have an abundance of them, and both are nothing but trouble during storms.

I went up to the mailbox on on the highway at the entrance to our rural subdivision yesterday to collect the mail. I opened the box, and instantly a huge smile came to my face. are probably asking yourself, what in the world could it be in Melissa's mailbox, that could possibly elicit such a smile? Well....staring up at me from the bottom of my mailbox, was a post card! I don't often get postcards. In fact the last time I got one, was when my sister was in England several years ago, singing with her church's choir. (They happen to be very good by the way, and have been invited to sing in Notre Dame this summer! If I can ever figure a way to embed the MP3 file she sent me, you'll hear just how good they are!) But was this post card staring back up at me, and instantly a huge smile came to my face. I knew just who it was from, and a closer look confirmed my speculation. It was from Caroline, Lisa and Lucy in France!

On the face of the card was a picture of a street scene in Collioure, a beach town they visited on the south coast of France, where they enjoyed a lovely meal and some wine together, while listening to the waves roll in from the sea! All three wrote a sweet note to me! Jokingly, I chided Caroline, saying that with her indecipherable handwriting, she missed her calling, and should have been a doctor instead! The French postal service made her handwriting even more indecipherable, by placing their postmark directly over the first three lines of her note!
Fortunately Lisa and Lucy printed their notes, so I had no trouble reading them. Later that evening, a few tears rolled down my cheeks, while realizing how sweet it was for them to think of me.

Here is a picture of me, that I took out on my deck earlier this evening:
Notice how lovely my complexion looks out in the daylight! That's a joke by the way. While not exactly horrific, the old acne scarring has always made me self conscious. Photographs taken indoors don't show them as badly, and I have to confess that I usually soften my pictures before posting them on line. I know...........phony, fake, could she? Well, all that I can say is that I'm human, and I have all of the insecurities of an average human being, and maybe then some. Now that I have gotten to know, and trust..........and LOVE so many of you, I don't so much mind showing my homelier side, exposed in broad daylight!

I have always admired the look of espadrilles on women in the summertime. I think that in addition to sandals, they are the perfect all around casual shoe for warm weather. I finally succumbed to my desire, and bought a couple of pairs. These arrived in the mail today:They have a 1 1/2 " jute wrapped wedge heel. At 6'2", I don't think I need a higher heel! I also have a pair in tan!

I've been listening to Pink Floyd's Echoes this evening, but the song I want to leave you all with tonight, is Roxy Music's Both Ends Burning. Wasn't Brian Ferry, just the greatest!

Melissa XOXOX

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I Wanted So Much To Be There With Them!

Unfortunately I couldn't. However, looking at this picture, I'm not the least bit sad at all! Don't they look just lovely? Just look at the smiles on their beautiful faces! Is that not happiness?

Thank you Caroline, Lucy and Lisa, for sharing your wonderful time in France with us! I love you, all three!

Melissa XX

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Question For The Blogger Braintrust

Does anyone know how to download an I-Tunes file from my I-Mac to a blog entry?

A Sad Note Left On The Pillow

Another one of my favorite bloggers has decided to shut down her blog, and delete her history. I completely respect her decision, and I fully understand why she did it. Her transition is now complete, and she is anxious to get on with her new life. There is no longer any need, and probably no desire to be conspicuously associated with the transgender community anymore. After all, who of us ever entered this exitence to become life long card carrying members of a static transgender society? No......all we ever wanted to be, was one of the girls.

I know without a doubt, that she still holds dear, all of us who remain behind, and I'm sure she won't decline any attempts at private communications, but the girl........uhm......make that the woman has moved on. Farewell sweetie! You brought joy to our hearts, with your exceptionally wonderful sense of humor and light hearted entries, as well as touching our hearts occasionally with your deeper thoughts. I for one, and I'm sure others as well, will sorely miss your presence. Your posts had become such a comforting fixture here on Blogger.

By now, I'm sure you have all figured out that I am talking about The Candyfloss Girl, our very own sweet NickyB.

Goodbye and good luck sweetie!
Melissa XX

Thursday, June 10, 2010

OK, I Have A Confession To Make

Several of you responded to my French in my last blog, by entering comments in French. Well, I guess I asked for it. I don't actually speak a word of French! I was just trying to be cute, and I used Yahoo's Babel Fish translator. But I'm finding out that doing that, can get you into trouble. Caroline pointed out in an email, that my use of the word baiser, can often be interpreted as rude! I never knew. Now I'm mortified that someone who does understand French, will think the wrong thing. To show you how imprecise the Babel Fish translator is, I copied Lisa's French comment, and pasted it into the translator, and here is what I got:

Lisa's comment - Salut Melissa, l'anniversaire Heureux. Je suis si content que vous avez commencé votre blog et estimez vraiment votre amitié. J'espère que nous avons beaucoup ans plus heureux partageant notre xx des vies

Babel Fish's translation - Melissa hello, l' happy birthday. I am so content that you began your blog and estimate really your friendship. J' hope that we have much happier years dividing our xx of the lives

Thank you Lisa, for giving a far better translation - Hi Melissa, Happy anniversary. I am so glad that you started your blog and really value your friendship. I am hoping we have many more happy years sharing our lives. xx

I think I'll refrain from trying to be cute from now on, and just stick English! But thanks just the same, for the lovely replies, French or not!

Melissa XX

What? My Blog Is More than Year Old?

Oh dear! Please excuse me!

While I was wallowing in self pity, I completely overlooked the fact that my blog has now passed the one year mark!

This has been a very positive experience for me! I have found a forum where I can reveal my true self, and in the process, I have met some of the most wonderful people! Thank you all, for the kind and supportive comments you have left here! I look forward to another year of revelation and self-discovery, as well as your thoughts and feelings, concerning not only my journey, but your's as well!

And now, for a few of my very special friends, but also for the rest of you as well (as long as you understand French).

Un baiser à vous tout !
Melissa XOXO

How Do You Get A Thought Out Of Your Mind?

I just caught a glimpse of a commercial on TV, about battery powered scooters for the handicapped. It showed a woman tooling around in her motorized chair. What was so disturbing about it, was how much she reminded me of my deceased twin, when her body and face was so distorted by the steroid drugs she was taking.

I thought I had handled my sister's death pretty well, and gotten over it, but apparently I haven't, and now all I want to do is cry. Janie, I miss you!

Love, from the sister you never knew you had.
Melissa XOXOX

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Is Music Trending Back To An 80's Sound?

One of the good things about living over half way to Charlottesville, from Richmond, is that I am in range of the University Of Virginia's student radio station, WTJU, so I get to hear the latest sounds that the hippest college age kids are into. I've written about this station before, and how much it reminds me of of some of the wonderful free form radio in the NYC area, back in the late 60's.

One of the trends I have noticed lately is how much of their music is reminiscent of late 70's and early 80's Progressive and New Wave styles, yet it's all new stuff. I always loved those sounds. In fact that era is one of my favorites. It's so refreshing to hear this trend, because frankly I thought that music got pretty damn boring in the mid 90's, and through the first decade of the new millennium. It seems that melody, creativity, and dynamism have finally returned to modern music, and I'm very happy to hear it, although I still don't hear it much on mainstream radio, but then mainstream radio in America, has usually been lowest common denominator crap.

Melissa XX

Monday, June 7, 2010

Out For Delivery At 7:31 AM, Delivered At 9:10 PM!

You'd think I lived in Timbuktu for it to take that long, but the UPS terminal is only 50 miles away. I flipped the light on and opened the door. As the driver climbed my steps, I said, "Boy! You're sure working late tonight!" As he handed me the package addressed to Melissa, he said, "Yeah, you're my last delivery tonight." ..........His last delivery?......Really?

UPS deliveries are supposed to be delivered by 7:00 PM. When I was still working, and all of my packages were addressed to my male name, deliveries consistently arrived by 9:30 - 10:30 AM. Packages were always left at my back door. But once I retired, I started receiving many packages addressed to Melissa.

I live primarily as Melissa when I'm at home, which means of course that I sleep in either a night gown, or a pair of women's pajamas. Since I've retired, I've pretty much become a night owl, staying up til 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. So I usually don't get up until 9:00 or 10:00 AM, and unless I have to grass to cut, or have some other outdoor chore to do, I usually stay in my night gown or pajamas, until after lunch at 1:30, or 2:00 PM, so I'm in no condition to greet people at my door. After lunch, it's exercise time for an hour on my stationary bike. This is normally done in a pair of elastic waist knit shorts, a tank top, and my white and baby blue New Balance cross trainers. What I do from then on, depends on what I have to do for the rest of the day. If I have to go to my mom's, or take care of any kind of official business, then I revert back to male mode, but if I don't, then I go into full Melissa mode, compete with hair (wig unfortunately, because of my alopeciated pate.) and makeup. It's usually anywhere from 4-6:00 PM by the time I'm showered, dressed and made up, depending on how early a start I get.

Now.....for the UPS deliveries. At first upon my retirement, they came regularly in the morning as usual, and I just pretended I wasn't home when he got here, and he would leave the package on my rear deck. The trouble was, unlike when I worked, my truck was now parked in my driveway every day, and as long as I was home, he saw it whenever he made a delivery. The truck is unique. It has very distinctive Vietnam Veteran tags on it, with my former Army MOS number as my tag number. I have passed him out on the road while driving that truck as Melissa, and I know that he has seen me. He even followed me up the highway one day, to within a block from where I turn in to my subdivision, and stopped one street down from me, and watched as I got out to check my mailbox, which is located on the highway out in front of our subdivision. I know this, because when I returned to my truck, I looked down the road and saw him sitting there looking at me. I was in male mode that time. Suddenly the deliveries started coming steadily later, by one hour increments. 10:00 AM became 11:00 AM for a while, then 11:00 became 12:00, and 12:00 became 1:00, 1:00 became 2:00, etc. It became very evident that he was trying to catch Melissa at home. Last Monday he showed up at 7:15 PM, but I hadn't returned from my Monday night supper at my mother's yet, so he was forced to leave the package on the deck.

I went to my mother's for supper again this evening, in male mode as always, and stopped at the grocery store on the way home, so I didn't get home until about 8:45 PM. I was so busy unloading groceries from the truck, that I completely overlooked the fact that the package I was expecting today, hadn't arrived yet. I put all of the groceries away, and since it was nearly 9:00 PM when I got done, I decided not to do a full transformation to Melissa, and instead just put on a denim skirt, a yellow polo shirt, and a pair of thong sandals. No wig, and no makeup.

I had just settled down in front of the TV, when suddenly I heard the signature rumble of the UPS truck's diesel motor, as it pulled into my driveway. Oh shit! I thought. I completely forgot the package I was expecting today, hadn't been delivered yet. I leapt from my chair, and scrambled into the bedroom, where I ripped off the skirt I had on, shimmied into the pair of jeans I had worn to my mother's that evening, stepped into a pair of loafers, and made it to the door just as he was ascending the steps! The look was so androgynous, that he never even realized, that the jeans, the polo shirt, and the loafers, were all women's!

You know, I don't blame the guy for being curious. I probably would be too if I were him, but doesn't that kind of behavior just seem a little bit obnoxious? I mean all we want to do is live our lives in peace. This all probably seems pretty silly to those who are full time in their Real Life Experience, or post-op, but really, haven't we've all been there?

The kicker? After he left, I pulled up my UPS tracking number on the internet, to see his final entry. It said, "Left With Man".

Screw him! One of these days he's going to be greeted at my door, by a 6'2" woman with an amorous smile. I hope it scares the living shit out of him! *wicked evil grin*

You just have to listen to this fabulous song:

Melissa XX

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Well, The Annual Picnic Came & Went..........

.....and I didn't go. I had been looking forward to this event for months, and wouldn't you know that it would come on a day when temperatures would soar up into mid nineties. I looked at the weather on several times this afternoon, and it was 93° F, with a heat index of 104°F, out here where I live. Where the picnic was being held, it was 95°F, with a heat index of 107°F! My apologies to the group for not showing up, but that's just way too hot to spend an afternoon in a wig. I was willing to go without make up, and considering how hot it was, I'm sure no one would have cared despite my facial hair shadow, but I drew the line at going bald. My support group is a cherished refuge. It's the one place I can always count on, to go to and be the real me. No one in my group has ever seen me as anyone other than Melissa, and for now at least, I'd like to keep it that way.

I went out and walked around the yard taking pictures for about fifteen minutes this evening and even then, though the temperature had dropped back into the upper 80's, it was still so humid that it was stifling, and I soon beat a hasty retreat into the air conditioned comfort of my house. This is unusually hot weather for this time of year. We normally don't get this hot, until July, but this has been a unusual year weather wise all around, starting with the early big snow last December, the two subsequent big snows in January and February, and then the sudden onset of an exceptionally warm spring. We'll just blame it on that guy, El Nino, he'll never know the difference. ;-)

Remember what it looked like here just a little over three months ago, with snow piled everywhere? Well look at it now!

And I even have hickory nuts growing!

A warm sweaty hug to all!
Melissa XX

Good Monthly Support Group Meeting

I walked into the conference room at the free clinic where our group meets tonight, and who should be the first to greet me, but our lovely group president, just back from the Papillon Center in Pennsylvania, where she had her GRS a month ago. We exchanged a warm hug, and I congratulated her on her triumph! She was looking absolutely radiant in her silky aqua print sundress and strappy white sandals, and seemed no less for the trauma she had just been though. She did say she was a bit low on energy, but you would never have guessed it, by the lively, just like old times way she took charge of the meeting! And to think this lovely confident woman, was the same timid creature, who refused to get out of the car a few years ago with her other TG girlfriends, when they stopped at a Sheetz, to relieve their bladders and get a bite to eat.

It seems that each time I go to a meeting, I meet new and interesting people. Tonight I met one of those girls who was with our president, the day she cowered in fear in the car. She lives out of state now, but is planning to move back, to join the staff of a local university. If I didn't know better, I never would have known she had a transgender past. She looked like a perfectly normal middle aged woman. She brought her husband with her. He has been a man all of his life, and he is the perfect gentleman. We had another around the room discussion, and when it was his turn to speak, he brought the house down, by introducing himself as a man, trapped in then body of a man! He then added that he was fascinated with all that he was hearing. Truly a nice guy! Why can't they all be like that?

Our mutual Blogger girlfriend, Sophie was there, and it was so nice to see her again. She is full time now, and has finally unloaded her house, and has purchased an RV, that she now has set up on a site in an RV Park. At close to 40' long, her new home on wheels is large enough to sport a master bedroom with a queen size bed! Far more roomier and luxurious accommodations, than she had aboard ships, during her career in the Navy.

Tonight I learned that our group has only been in existence, for a few years, 4-5 at the most. I have always considered Richmond to be somewhat of a backwater, but this information confirms it for me. It was twenty six years ago, that I sat crying my eyes out in a Richmond psychiatrist's office over my acceptance of who I was , after reading Jan Morris's book Conundrum. My shrink, as sympathetic as he was in confirming my transsexualism, could give me scant little advise as to where to find any kind of necessary transgender support. What a disgrace! This was 12 years after Jan Morris had her surgery, and fully three decades after Christine Jorgensen had her's! So many lives put on long term hold, or worse yet, terminally delayed because of an utter lack of societal awareness! And to think that there are still cities and towns all over America, that have absolutely no resources whatsoever, for their transgender citizens. By now, almost five decades after Christine Jorgensen had to go to Denmark to complete herself, full trandgender care should be an integral part of every medical and mental health facility in the country, and should be covered by every health care insurer.

Melissa XX

Friday, June 4, 2010

Rest In Peace, Thou Good And Faithful Servant.

Sad news, dear friends. My epilator is dying. For well over a year she has served me well, faithfully plucking hairs from my woolly body, two to three times a week. She must have plucked away for well over one thousand hours, but for the last few weeks she has been stumbling along in fits and starts. Today she nearly gave up the ghost, literally locking up every few minutes. I would have to shut her off, and spin her rotating tweezers with my thumb, then turn her back on again, to get her restarted. Then, a minute or two later, I would have to repeat the whole process all over again. Finally, I realized she was trying to tell me something, "Please Melissa, I just can't do it anymore!" Mercifully, I shut the old girl off for the last time.

I'm so sad that she is on her death bed. I was never more happy than when I got her last year. She was far better than any epilator I ever had before. With two large rows of rotating disc tweezers, she harvested my body hair, like a combine rolling through a field of wheat! The only thing she didn't do, was bundle the hairs up in little bales. Other than that, she was truly amazing!

But now she's done for, and tonight I ordered her replacement. I considered getting a model by John Deere, or International Harvester, hoping they would have one that did bale the plucked hairs, but alas, an internet search revealed that all they make is farm equipment, so I decided to get another Emjoi Emagine. The one in the link is from Target, but if you go to, you can get it for $35.00 less!

My presence at the picnic on Saturday is looking more and more unlikely. I would really like to go, but it's being held outside in a park, and the temperature forecast for Saturday afternoon is 93∘F! Now, I am follicularly challenged, and have not had my facial hair removed, so I absolutely have to wear a wig, concealer, and full makeup to look presentable as a woman. At 93∘with high humidity, I'm afraid I would look a complete fright, within half an hour of stepping outside my air conditioned vehicle.

I do have some very comfortable short shorts, and sleeveless tops I could wear, but it's the makeup and wig that trouble me the most. Because of the warm humid air, blowing in off of the Gulf Stream, summers here in Virgina are as hot and humid as down I Florida. In fact we often have hotter summer temperature than they do! Walking about my property for a half an hour or so in a wig and make up is about my limit, before retreating into the air conditioned comfort of my house. I can't imagine how horrible I would look, after several hours in mid 90 degree heat. I thought about the possibility of just showing up in drab, but not a single soul in my group has ever seen me as anything but Melissa, and I don't want them too either. It's the one place I can go where every knows and accepts me as the real me.

Melissa XX

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Busy Day Tomorrow

I'll tell you about it, but first things first.......

There is a lunker of a black fly buzzing about the room, and he's really vexing me! I've got a rolled up magazine standing by, and although he doesn't know it, his minutes are numbered. I don't know where they came from, or how they got in, but I've killed about six of them in the last two days. I hate the little beasts! They don't belong in the house! ........Oh wait, back in a sec! This one's about to die, he just lit on a wall......................

YES! The hideous little creature has been dispatched!

"As Coroner I must aver, I thoroughly examined her.
And she's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead."

"Ding Dong! The fly is dead. Which old fly? The Filthy Fly!
Ding Dong! The Filthy Fly is dead!"____With apologies to The Wizard Of Oz

Now.......about that busy day tomorrow. My monthly support group meeting is the day after tomorrow, and I have much to do. I have to shower and exfoliate, then do a full body elpilation, and give myself a manicure and a pedicure. I also have to pick out something to wear, but I also have lots of clothes to wash, because I have been so lazy lately. I went to the grocery store today, so I have a choice of either a broccoli, chicken, and noodle casserole, or a fresh platter of carrots, broccoli, celery, and grape tomatoes, and a dip of ranch dressing to take. The group is also having it's annual picnic the following day, so the casserole may have to wait for that, if indeed I go at all. It starts at 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon, and with a nearly one hour drive to get there, I would have to be showered, shaved, dressed, made up and ready to leave here by 2:00 PM. Now that I'm retired and stay up late, I don't normally get up until 9:00 AM. I've always been very slow to fully wake up in the morning, and I'm usually not fully awake and ready to do anything for another few hours. I remember when I used to get up at 4:30 AM to go to work, I was never at peak performance until after lunch, in spite of a 4-5 mile walk around the perimeter of the manufacturing site where I worked, at 7:30 each morning. So, I may have to pass on the picnic, or show up a little later, but it's basically an afternoon event, so If I can't get there by at least 4:00 PM, there isn't much point in going. I think I can do it, but I'll have to force myself to get going right after breakfast, and not allow myself to do my normal morning routine of sitting peacefully at my computer, idling away the hours.

I think I may have to buy a new epilator soon. I have an Emjoi Emagine, that I have been using several times a week for about a year now, and it's starting to act up a bit. If I apply too much pressure, the gears slip. I don't know if the gears are getting worn, or if it just needs to be taken apart and given a good cleaning. It's quite possible that some hairs have gotten caught inside, and are binding up the drive mechanism. In all other respects, it's been an excellent epilator. Far better than than the several Epilady models I had before it. I'll never forget my first Epilady. It was torture device that Tomás de Torquemada himself would have been proud of. It consisted of a steel coil, shaped into a loop, that was in turn rotated by an electric motor. As the coil rotated, hairs would be caught in the coil and yanked out. Ouch! I never got past my mid thighs with it. It was just too painful. Then in the mid 90's, Epilady came out with the current rotating tweezer design. It was much more effective, and consequently less painful, but it only had one small row of rotating tweezers, so although less painful, it was slow going. Then I finally found the Emjoi. It was a far superior machine. With two large rows of very efficient rotating tweezers, I could do my entire body in about 45 minutes. That was about the same time it took to do just my legs, with my old Epilady. It may not be the Emjoi's fault that it is starting to fail. Admittedly, I am a hairy beast, and although I have done a good job of taming my very tenacious follicular demons, I'm not sure whether they, or my epilator are being put through their paces.

Melissa XX