Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oh boy! Was that ever good!

This post was written last night, but it got too late to post it, so here it is tonight!

As for the title of this post, I'm speaking of the spicy chicken wings I just got through munching on. Fried chicken wings, and cayenne pepper, yum! I went to the grocery store today, and as I've stated before, as soon as you enter the store with your cart, your senses are assaulted with the sight and smell, of warm roasted whole chickens, and fried chicken appendages. Even though I just had lunch a little over an hour earlier, they were still too much to resist. So I bought a ten pack!

I did restrain myself though. I only ate five. The remaining five will be left to fortify another weak moment! You can fortify a weakness, by giving into it, can't you?

What's that you say?.....You can't?! Oh, well.......then shame on me! I've experienced shame before........I can handle it again!

I thought I would drive to the store today, because tomorrow Tropical Storm Nicole will be barreling up the East Coast, and combining with a low pressure that has already been giving us abundant rain, both yesterday and today, and give us even more rain, and potentially strong winds. It was weird. Just a week ago it was in the upper 90's, and today the high was in the lower 60's. I had to wear a long sleeved shirt and a rain jacket.

The trip revealed that the trees in the Piedmont, have finally had it for this year. They are all in the early stages of withdrawing their chlorophyll from their leaves. Most leaves haven't turned gold, orange, red or amber yet, but they are much paler than the dark green they were only a month ago. The poplars and the weak woods on the other hand, seem to be in a rush to get it over with! The tulip poplars are already turning yellow and shedding their leaves like mad, while the weak woods are turning shades of red and orange and even purple! In three weeks to a month from now, the entire Piedmont will be at peak color.

I took the trash to the dump today, on the way to the grocery store. I tried to take as many fruit flies with me as possible, but the stirring of the bags as I cinched their tops, seemed to upset some of them, and a few escaped. This evening while eating supper, the ones remaining decided to join in. They were especially fond of my glass of wine, so I poured a bit in a glass just for them.

Here is my thought: The little fools! They're thinking, "Oh, boy! A glass of wine just for us!" They are probably such lushes, that they will dive right in for swim, and quickly become so inebriated that they drown! Well..........that's what I thought anyway! Turns out, they are more like glue sniffers! They just congregate on the sides of the glass, and get high on the alcohol fumes wafting up from the glass! Back to the drawing board!

I can't believe the bravery of one of our girl friends here on Blogger! Lisa just began her RLE (real life experiment) this week, and has already booked herself a solo flight to the Isle of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, for a week's vacation all by herself! Is she a brave girl, or what?! Lisa, you make us all so proud! Upon your return, we will be expecting a full accounting of your trip, accompanied by lots of pictures!

As the cool rain pours down, and splashes off of the A/C unit outside my window, I am listening to my favorite college radio station, WTJU. The TJU stands for Thomas Jefferson University, more commonly known, as the University of Virginia. The establishment of UVA was Jefferson's idea, and he did much of the design for the campus. It was the first university established around a library, instead of a church. Jefferson was one of America' most independent thinkers, and WTJU reflects that attitude, with a very eclectic, free form format. It's such a great break from commercial radio, and even from public radio, which is now having its horrid semi-annual fund drive, where they constantly break into your shows every ten minutes, and drive you crazy with their incessant yammering, about how it's our duty to to send them as much money as we can afford, all day long, for two solid weeks! WTJU is not affiliated with National Public Radio, but they are publicly supported too, however they seem to be able to do it with minimal disruption to their programs, and without boring you to death with incessant obnoxious pleas and platitudes.


24 hours later:

The remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole, have been dumping copious amounts of water on us all day, but it seems to have now moved off to the northeast.

I haven't yet heard any reports about flooding, because all of the heavy rain has completely drowned out even my strongest digital broadcast TV signals. Stinkin' digital TV!

In 2004 the remnants of Hurricane Gaston stalled over Richmond, and dumped everything it had on the city for hours on end. Richmond has a flood wall to keep flood waters from the James River out of the city, but this time the water was not coming downstream, it was coming from above. Well.....the city's custodians, never thought to open the gates to the flood wall, so when all that rain came down, it had no where to go! The City's Shockoe Bottom (the lowest point in town), suffered a flash flood that submerged the first floor of all of the bars, restaurants, art galleries and other businesses in the bottom! It cost millions to restore the damage!

Tonight I'm reflecting on some of the wonderful people I have come to know here on blogger over the last year and half. If I don't mention you tonight, don't fret. I love you all and will eventually get around to you too!

There is a lovely girl in Scotland, who wasted no time in welcoming me to Blogger, and giving me her friendship! You all know her as Caroline, but I know her as my BGFF! We are both Sisters of the Order of the Immaculate Epilation! We embrace immaculately hairless bodies, as a sacrament of our sisterly order, and of course we both view the epilator, as a sacred device! A smooth hairless hug to you, Caroline!

I have already mentioned our brave and wondrous little goddess, Lisa, who is now off to the Canary Islands all by herself, after just coming out full time! Where does this dear little woman get her nerve to conquer all obstacles in her path? I am so proud of her!

Next is Lucy! This lovely girl has survived the horrible ordeal of cancer! Now she is planning her future, as the woman she has always known she was! She is adorning her body with images that speak to her heart. Before I met Lucy, I was never a fan of tattoos on women, but this dear sweet girl has described the tats she has and wants to get, as an expression of her very soul. What I once found strange, I now find beautiful! Thank you Lucy, for opening up my eyes! You are truly a beautiful woman! I must confess, I have had to wipe away a few tears here!

And then there is Jenny, "The Large Blooming Flower"! All seven beautiful feet of her! I don't think I have heard of a more beautiful relationship, than what she and her understanding wife have! Far from being a menacing hulking giant, Jenny is a lovely sweetheart, dedicated to supporting her trans sisters. She is definitely an inspiration to all of us, especially us tall gals!

I would be remiss to not mention a sweet and intelligent sister up in Ontario. Of course I am speaking of Halle, who shares my taste for some very beautiful classical music, but also has a heart of pure gold! Thanks Halle, for being my friend, and for sharing not only your music, but your personal experiences with me!

Then skipping on down to Florida, we find Elly! Our road running Gold Coast girl! Elly, like Jenny is another sweetheart, whose wife has reluctantly accepted her trans status, and is trying hard to understand and accept it. A warm embrace to both Elly and her dear loving wife! Elly by the way, recently had to endure an episode of police harassment, while out taking a jog. Is there a Bronze Star equivalent for trans-people, who have to endure the assaults of the ignorant and the malevolent? If not, their should be, and Elly deserves one!

Now, there is an adorable natal woman down in North Carolina, who goes by the name of, The Cross Dressers Girlfriend. I have a great affinity for her, because long ago, I once thought that I was merely a cross dresser, and longed to have a girlfriend like her, who embraced my gender variance. I have long since realized, that I am way past being simply a cross dresser, but a part of me still adores girls like her. After all, I am a lesbian at heart, but I could never be the man her cross dresser is, and the man that she needs! Besides, I'm old enough to be her mother, for crying out loud! Joni, you do know that I adore you!

These are just some of the wonderful people I have met here on Blogger over the last year and a half. If I failed to mention your name, it doesn't mean for one second that I adore you any less. Of course I love you too! I'm just running out awake time, and if I continued on, I afraid I couldn't do you justice. Later my lovelies!

Melissa XX

Sunday, September 26, 2010

They're Baaaaaack!

No.....this isn't Poltergeist revisited. What I'm talking about, is the return of the flies! Every year in late September I am visited by a horde of zuzu flies. I call then zuzu flies, for lack of a better word. They are a small, but extremely aggressive and very vexing breed of fruit flies. They are fearless little buggers, that buzz about your face while you are eating. They fly into your nostrils, and aren't the least concerned with your attempts to swat them away! They are truly little flies from hell!

They are attracted to the remnant morsels of meals left behind in the trash can. I take my trash to the dump once a week, but there are always a few flying about the house to repopulate the trash can, as new material is added. I think I am going to have to resort to chemical warfare. Maybe a daily spritz of Raid will bring on their demise.

Another day in the 90's today! On the eleven o'clock news, I heard that this was the 77th day since last spring, that we have had temperatures of 90°F or higher. If this summer hasn't set a record, it certainly has come close to one.

I was re-reading this wonderful poem today:

Lewis Carroll
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

Does anyone know where I can obtain a vorpal sword? I haven't seen any signs of a Jabberwocky, but I think there might be a frumious Bandersnatch or two roaming the tulgey woods out back. And who knows, It might even help me slay a zuzu fly or two!

Melissa XX

Saturday, September 25, 2010

97 Degrees After The Autumnal Exuinox?

Well, it was the day after the Autumnal Equinox, but you certainly could have fooled me! The temperature topped out at 97°F/36.1°C! Shades of late July, and early to mid August! Actually, it wasn't just today, it's been in the upper nineties for the last few days. It seems as though, since summer had such a death grip on us for so long, she was really enjoying it, and simply didn't want to let go. She's had no concern for our suffering whatsoever. The bitch!

We get a summer like this every 7-10 years, or so. There is virtually no Spring, and by May, the temperatures are already up in the 90's . It stays that way through June and July, and into late August, then up and down through September. It's taken its toll on Virginia's reservoirs. They are all way below their normal banks, and municipalities are issuing restrictions on water consumption. No watering lawns, hosing down driveways, or washing cars!

Not a problem for me! Number one) I'm on a well. Number two) I have a gravel drive way, and number 3) my truck only gets washed whenever it rains!

Hey, I'm no fool! I've been thorough a much worse drought, and never lost my well water. In fact the last time we had a sever drought, the quality of my well water actually improved! In times of abundant rainfall, I get a large amount of black slate sediment in my water, but during periods of heavy drought, that slate sediment seems to vanish All I can chalk that up to, is the slower flow doesn't flush as much sediment out of the aquifer.

Near century mark temperatures or not, make no mistake about it, Autumn has arrived! The harvest moon is here! I tried to get a good picture for you, but with the humidity, the sky was just too hazy. So this Wikipedia Pic will have to do:

I also tried to get a shot of Jupiter, I don't know if you have ever looked at Jupiter, or Saturn through a telescope, but they are both sights you never want to miss, even if only on low power. I have a new telescope that I haven't used yet. I think it will soon be time to get it out. It's still a bit early. Tonight when I went out to take pictures of the moon, I was attacked by mosquitoes. A month from now those little buggers will be gone. Once they have gone into hibernation, planet and star gazing will be more practical. In the mean time, hear is a Wikipedia photo of the magnificence of Jupiter!

Someone here that I hold very dear (V), left a second comment on a recent blog of mine, apologizing for her earlier remarks. Of course there was no need for her to do that! I love her dearly , and respect her so much for what she has been through. It's very strange to to be apologized to by someone that you have always looked up to. You know who you are sweetie, and I want you to know that you could never, ever offend me! Don't ever be afraid to tell me the truth as you see it!

V has been a wonderful source of support for me, along with so many other perfectly lovely women. How could I not adore all of you? Just a little over a year ago, I was all alone. I may never reach the heights that many of you have, or will, but each and every one of you will always be a cherished sister to me.

Oh, and just in case you didn't know, V is for Veronica!

Melissa XX

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Difficult Balancing Act

While at my mother's on Monday evening, we were all sitting around in her den. She is approaching 90 years old, and has had a Life Alert wrist band for a couple of years now, but she has accidently set it off on several occasions, probably from bumping her wrist into things, as she walked about her apartment.

She got a flier in the mail for a new system from another company, and it turned out that they charged less per month for their service, so she ordered their system, and canceled her old service. The trouble is, Mom doesn't have a clue when it comes to anything technical. The equipment that she received in the mail consisted of a base station, that needed to be hooked up to her telephone line, a pendant with a pushbutton to wear around her neck while at home, and a portable device about the size of a cell phone to take with her when she went out. In the event of a fall, all she would have to do is push the button on the pendant around her neck, or on the portable device she took out with her, and they would talk to her on it, and find out whatever kind of help she needed, and send it on it's way. The mobile device had GPS capability, so they could locate her wherever she was. The only problem was, the whole system had to be set up and activated, and she didn't have the slightest idea how to do it. So my sister volunteered to help her. It turned out to be a very convoluted process of making several calls to the company that sold the device, checking that the base station was properly hooked up, then setting it up with a call, then setting up the pendant with another call, then taking the mobile device outside of her 12 story building along with a cell phone, so they could talk to her, and making sure they could communicate with the mobile device, before setting it up as well. The whole process took nearly and hour, and involved several back and forth phone calls! I sat there in amazement during the whole process, and wondered how in the world they expected old people with no technical experience, to understand their complicated set-up? Mom could never have done it by herself. It took her years to learn how to operate the digital timer on her microwave oven. Fortunately, my sister was able to do it for her, and she is now good to go!

I digress. What I really wanted to write about, was not being able to completely relax and be myself, even when I'm with the two people that have given me their loving support. On Monday evening for instance, while we were sitting around in my mother's den, and my sister was trying to activate my mother emergency help system, I just happened to notice that my niece was wearing a pretty new pair of studded red flats. She had her legs crossed, and in a typical female way, she was moving her foot around, and admiring the way they looked on her. I wanted so much to say, "I really like your new flats. Don't you just love pretty red shoes?", but how in the world am I supposed to say that when in male mode, with my macho bother-in-law, who I haven't come out to, sitting right next to her? I'm afraid that would have been far too weird! Not for me, but definitely for him.

In spite of some of my more critical comments about him in past posts, he actually can be a fairly nice guy, when he's on his meds, and he seems to have been doing that for the last several weeks. Other than an incident a couple of weeks ago, where he flung a morsel of food off of his fork into the face of my niece, as he gestured wildly without thinking ,while talking and eating (reminiscent of the time he soaked my pants and place setting at a nice restaurant, when he knocked his full water glass over onto me, while talking and waving his hands about), he's been fairly calm and pleasant, but even so, he is still completely clueless about anything feminine. He was raised with just one brother, and no sisters, and spoiled rotten by his mother, so unfortunately, he never learned to take females very seriously, and he is clearly uncomfortable when the conversation becomes female centric.

Because I live close to an hour west of Richmond, Monday evening is the only time, other than holidays, or tragedies, that I get to see my sister and niece. It's very frustrating to go there, and feel like I have to hold back on my self-expression, for fear of freaking out the one and only macho male in the room. The trouble is, I've always hated to make anyone uncomfortable. I suppose that's the main reason I never pushed my gender identity with my mother, once she made it clear to me early in life, that feminine behavior in boys was unacceptable to her.

When I first started out, at what turned out to be a 37 year career at my last job, I was still carefree, and innocent. I freely expressed my sense of humor, and I emoted without even thinking about it, but I soon found out that sort of liberty of spirit and emotion, alienated me from most of the males I worked with, and I gradually became withdrawn. Where I was once jovial, and felt free to joke and kid, I began to doubt my sense of humor. My humor was met with blank stares, or worse, looks bordering on contempt. Where I was once naturally compassionate, I began to withhold my compassion, for fear of offending their macho sensibilities. I had to shut myself down, and become a completely different person to get along with them. It ruined me, and I just hated it. My brother-in-law, as decent as he can be when he's taking his meds, still reminds me so much of those men I used to have to work with. I had hoped that when I retired, I would be done with those types of males, but now I find that I still have to deal with one every week, when I should be free to be my self around the two people I love most in this world. I'm slowly trying to push the envelope with him, but my need to be polite and accommodating is making it a difficult balancing act. It would be so much easier if I could just ignore his sensibilities, but I can't. If I did that, then I would be just like him, and I would hate myself.

Melissa XX

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cards, Colorful Bags, Chocolate Cake, & Good Cheer

Getting off the elevator on the tenth floor of my mother's apartment building this evening, my nose was instantly greeted with the pleasant aroma of some truly wonderful cooking. My first thought was, supper is really going to be good tonight, but as I proceeded down the hall to my mother's apartment at the end of the building, the pleasant aroma faded. Rats! Someone else was going enjoy that delightful smelling meal. Then I opened my mother's door, I have my own key. Hmmm.......smell's pretty good in here too, I thought! I saw mom back in the kitchen, so I walked back there to say hello. She had her electric frying pan out, and she was frying up some beautiful plump and succulent looking chicken thighs!

My sister, niece and brother-in-law were out in the dinning room, and the table was already set. Sitting next to my usual place, were two colorful gift bags, and an envelope! Hurray! They didn't forget! I opened the card first. It was from my mother and as usual, a bit on the sappy side, telling me what a wonderful "son" I was. Mom....I'm afraid, will forever be in denial about who I am. I told her that I was trans years ago, but I have never forced the issue with her, and she has never pursued it. She has never seen me dressed, or even seen a picture of the real me. She will always see me as her son. Since she's three months shy of ninety years old, I'm content to leave it that way. Enclosed within her card, was a very nice little slip of paper, with my name, her signature and some lovely numbers on it! Thank you, mom!

Now it was time to examine the colorful bags. The first was from my niece. She's 42, but still a kid at heart, and apparently she wants me to be one too! There were two items in the bag, I pulled out the first. It was fireworks! A package of Roman Candles! I said, "Oh good! Now I can set the woods on fire!" Then I pulled out the second item. It was a kit containing 80 balloons, a balloon pump and an 80 page instruction manual, with over 175 step-by-step-photos, describing how to make balloon animals. For the past few days, I have had a big red zit incubating on the end of my nose. I said, "Perfect! I've already got the red nose! This is all I need to complete my clown act!" For the next 80 weeks, she is going to get a new balloon animal to take home with her each week, after Monday night supper.

The next colorful bag, was blue, tall and slender, with the words Happy Birthday inscribed in colorful contrasting letters. It was from my sister. There was an envelope protruding from the top. I picked it out, and opened it. It was a card with a cute little kitten, hanging out of a pocket. Unfortunately, I inadvertently left both cards at my mothers, so I can't precisely remember the exact caption, but it was something pretty close to, "I just have one question. How do you stay so adorable?" How very sweet! I just love my sister! I think she really gets it! Since I came out to her almost a year ago, she has taken times like these, to quietly acknowledge the real me. Last Christmas if you will recall, she gave me a very lovely feminine scarf to wear with my winter coat. She is such a dear!

There was a reason that the bag containing the gift she gave me, was tall and slender. It had to be, in order to accommodate the lovely bottle of Don Miguel Gascon Malbec she gave me. It comes from the high altitude vineyards of the Mendoza region, along the Cordillera of the Andes Mountains. I'm having a glass of it right now, and it's quite lovely!

Mom's chicken thighs were wonderful, and were accompanied by corn on the cob, baked acorn squash, sliced red ripe tomatoes, and cheese biscuits. For my UK readers, a biscuit here in the States usually refers to a small, typically round cake of bread, leavened with baking powder, baking soda, or sometimes yeast, not the sweetened shortbread cookie, you are probably used to. When every one was done with the main course, out came the chocolate birthday cake, and I was treated to a rousing rendition of the following song:

Happy Birthday to you!
You belong in a zoo!
You look like a monkey,
And you smell like one too!

Humiliating.........I know, but a cherished tradition in our weird little family. After an evening like that, 62 doesn't seem quite so bad.

Melissa XX

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Well, here we are It's late September, and as Rod Stewart says,"I really should be back at school.", but unfortunately, my school days are nothing more than a distant memory. In just a few days the Autumnal Equinox will be upon us. Say what you will about the beauty of Spring, Autumn is my favorite time of year! I think because the summers here in the mid-Atlantic states are often so brutal, Autumn comes as such a blessed relief. But cooler temperatures and lower humidity, are not the only thing that makes Autumn so welcome. We have loads of deciduous trees, and if the conditions are just right, the entire Piedmont will come ablaze in mid to late October. Just up the road in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the peak time for Fall foliage is the Early to mid October.

Skyline Drive and The Blue Ridge Parkway run from north to south, along the Blue Ridge Mountains through Virginia and North Carolina, and in October the traffic along these two lane mountain roads, can be bumper to bumper with tourists out to feast their eyes on the beauty of a Blue Ridge Mountain Fall.

Tonight for supper, I lightly whipped up two large eggs, and poured them onto a plate lubricated with olive oil. Then I added onions, green, yellow, and red bell pepper slices, and broccoli florets. I topped that off with three thin slices of Virginia smoked ham, sliced ripe tomatoes, and seasoned it with salt, fresh ground black pepper, garlic powder, and a good sprinkling of grated sharp cheddar cheese. I covered it with another plate, and put it in the microwave for seven and a half minutes. The result? Heaven on a plate!

I was checking my email a bit earlier, and the president of my support group announced that she had posted pictures of several of our girls, including herself, enjoying themselves at the annual Southern Comfort Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. It takes place every year in September. Looks like they had a good time. Everyone who goes to this conference seems to love it. It's been going on for 20 years now, and appears to have become the No. 1 trans-gender conference in the the US. Hard to believe that it was going on for over ten years, before I ever even learned about it. I've thought about going myself for several years now, but I really don't have the wardrobe for it. My wardrobe consists almost entirely of just normal everyday casual clothing, nothing fancy at all, and certainly no ball gowns. Now that might be OK for the daytime activities, but from what I have seen of the evening's activities, everyone is dressed to the nines! Oh, well! There is always next year. As popular as SCC has become, I'm sure it will be around for a while.

Something else comes up every September. My birthday! Yes, on September 21st, I will be 62 years old. That's right.......62 YEARS OLD!
I came from the generation that said. "Never trust anyone over 30!", and
now hear I am, 32 years past that deadline! Ah.........the folly of youth! Young people can never see themselves getting old, then one day, they turn fifty and look in the mirror, and suddenly they realize that they too are old. They look back over their shoulder, and wonder where in the hell their youth went! It all seemed like yesterday, but no, it was twenty or more years ago!

September usually represents the aging process. We have all heard of May/September romances, between a young and an old person, but I like to remember the old days of September in my youth, when the colleges dormitories, and off campus inner city apartments were filling up with new students for the new school year, and the prospect of great weekend parties and promising chance encounters loomed on the horizon. Those were happy innocent times.

Speaking of September, I know I am showing my age, but here is a song that always takes me back to those days. It really is a great old song, and played by an exceptional band of the time: September, by Earth Wind and Fire.

Melissa XX

Thursday, September 16, 2010

No Trans Issues Here, Just Something Very Beautiful!

I have told you before of my love for the music of Gustav Mahler. If you will take a few moments to listen to the following, you will know why I love it so much. Edith Mathis sings, as Leonard Bernstein conducts. Please enjoy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'm Now Blogging From the Securty Of Texteditor

OK here we go. Because of all the trouble I have had lately with composing posts in the
blogger editor, and the protocol conflicts with Word, per Veronica's advice, I am using Apple Textedit. We shall see how this works.

As many of you know, I have had a problem with Blogger devouring some of my posts. Well
low and behold, I got an email today, from none other than my lovely friend Rachel in the UK, telling me that the post I entered last night, was on Google Reader! Very kindly, she copied it, and emailed it to me, so all I had to do was copy it again from her email and repost it. This time it got published, and as far as I know, the Blogger demons have not been able to touch it! Thank you somuch Rachel! You sweetie, you! I just wonder why Google Reader would keep it, but Blogger wouldn't. Strange, but Blogger seems to be going through difficulties lately.

This Textedit is a bit weird. You have to make sure that you don't exceed your margins, because it's such a basic word processor, that it does not automatically wrap your text around to the next line. It's kind of like using an old typewriter, where you have to manually hit the return bar to advancethe platen, and return to the left hand side of the page you are typing on, only this is even more primitive, because unlike a typewriter, there is no bell to warn you that you are running out of space on that line.

I went to my Mother's tenth floor condo for supper last night. My sister, niece and bro-in-law were all there. My brother-in-law delivered the most welcome news, that he would not be there for the next couple of weeks, because he has a high school reunion to go to, and then he plans to spend a week visiting his son and daughter-in-law in upstate New York! I'm sorry.....I know that's uncharitable of me. For the most part, he was actually unusually civil this time. Perhaps he has taken the hint, and is back on his meds. I don't know, but just the two of us actually had a very civil exchange in the parking lot outside, as we were were leaving. He really wouldn't be a bad guy at all, if he would just leave his ego at home, when he goes out.

I'm listening to the last two CD's in my collection of the Wiener Philharmoniker's Gustav Mahler's symphonies, conducted by Leonard Bernstein. Gloria sit Patri Domino, at the end of the second to last CD had me in tears! How did I ever neglect to listen to this wonderful composer, for so long? What a treasure!

Jenny blogged today about guilt. There are so many things that happen in our lives, that cause us to harbor so much guilt. Sometimes, when we have done something shameful, the guilt is justified, but often our guilt is foisted upon us by others, and in those cases we have to stand up for ourselves and reject it. We cannot allow others, no matter how close to us, to lay guilt trips upon us. I'm sure we've all had someone in our lives who has done this to us. In my case it was usually my mother. She was famous for making me feel guilty, whenever I disagreed with her plans for my life, which happened to be a frequent occurrence . When I was young, I fell for it. In fact I continued to fall for it until just a few years before my father died. They were visiting a few years before Dad passed, and I was sitting in my sister's backyard, after a particularly nasty exchange with my mother in my sister's kitchen, that left me in tears. My Dad said, "She really knows how punch your buttons, doesn't she?", and I had to agree. I asked him, "How in the world have you been able to live with her all of these years?" His answer was, "It hasn't been easy." I think that was the first time that I was ever able to connect with my father on an emotional level, and I really began to realize just how much I loved him. He had stuck up for me several time when I was growing up, and my mother was going crazy on me. Yes, she could easily do that, and she made me feel like I was the crazy one. It wasn't until I was much older, that I realized that she was the crazy one and not me. Thankfully after she discovered Zoloft, she has become a new woman. Not completely sane, but far more able to cope with disappointment, and much much more easy to get along with.

Just this Monday she announced at supper, that some distant cousin wanted to throw her a 90th birthday party on January the 1st, and this cousin wanted to know if all of us wanted to come. Well........this is a cousin that I have seen exactly twice in 62 years. She wants to have this party on Jan. 1st in the mountains of Pennsylvania! My first reaction was, "Well I'm not going." My mother's immediate response was, "Why not?!" I simply said. "Because I don't want to." In the old days, before Zoloft, she would have argued with me, about my choice, and tried to make me feel guilty about it, but this time, when I said I don't want to go, she immediately accepted that as a legitimate choice. Of course it also helped that my niece said she would have to work that weekend, and my sister also said she wasn't too keen on driving up there on NewYears Eve either.We all reassured Mom that we would give her a party in Richmond, where we could all attend, and if our distant cousin and her family wanted to come down, that would be fine too.

I hope you all got a chance to see may last blog, which I re-posted today, thanks to Rachel's rediscovery of it! It has to do with what a long way we have come, since the days before the internet.

Melissa XX

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

SCC Has Come & Gone, What A Long Way We Have Come

I lost this post last night, but Rachel found it on Google Reader and emailed it back to me. Bless her heart! Strange that Blogger would lose it, but Google Reader would keep it. Anyway, here it is, the mysterious disappearing blog post!

Well, another Southern Comfort Conference has come and gone, and all the girls who went are blogging about what great fun they had and posting lots of pictures, just in case we don’t believe them. Well..........there is no doubt in my mind that they had great fun, so I certainly believe them! I’m just sorry that I couldn’t join them this year.

I first discovered SCC totally by accident, while searching for trans related information about 7 or 8 years ago. I just happened to stumbled across a website for SCC, and it was loaded with pictures of transwomen and transmen, socializing and having a great time. I’ve wanted to go ever since I first saw it on the web, but the stars have never aligned themselves properly for me to make it. Unfortunately, the same was true this year.

Before SCC, the only awareness I had of of such gatherings, came from underground publications. Back in the late eighties and early nineties, I used to subscribe to two underground tabloids, that dealt with trans issues. Unfortunately those publications went by the horrible names of, Transvestia, and Femanine. They carried ads for transgender services, and for an annual transgender gathering in the Pocono’s.

This of course was in the days before the internet, and the only place to get any kind of contacts for trans related information, was to go to a porn shop, where those kinds of publications were sold alongside gay porn magazines, and some of the most bizarre sexual aids you have ever seen. I hated going into places like that. I only went a couple of times, and was deathly afraid that someone I knew would see me going in or out. But I did find some trans related publications, that contained contacts to other trans publications and people, and businesses catering to the needs of trans women.

What a lonely world it was in those days. Unless you ventured into one of those seedy porn shops, and purchased a trans related magazine or tabloid, you had no idea that there were others like you out there. Oh, there was the occasional letter from a trans person in Penthouse Forum, but they were so few and far between, that you could never really believe them. For all you knew, they were complete fabrications, but here in these underground publications, were not only mini biographies and testimonials, but actual contact information, and pictures of trans people exploring their inclinations and thoroughly enjoying what they were discovering. Unfortunately, you felt like you really had to go out on a limb to gain access to such information. I was so afraid to enter those shops, an afterward I was always afraid that someone visiting my apartment, would discover one of those publications. I was especially fearful of any female I was dating coming across any such stuff. How would I ever explain it? After all, I was still deep in the closet. Any revelation that I fantasized about being a girl, would have been disastrous to a relationship with any woman. Everything trans related had to be kept securely hidden. I even had to set up a PO box at the Post Office, to have any items of clothing delivered to, for fear that my fellow apartment dwellers would figure me out. I remember ordering a pair of black patent spike heeled pumps, back in the early eighties. I had to go to the Post Office and get a money order to pay for them, and had to go back to the post office to pick them up. I remember the male postal clerk giving me the evil eye, when I went to pick up my shoes. That was probably just me being paranoid, but I was afraid to ever order anything directly through the Post Office again!

Here is a transcript of a tabloid ad, for a Transgender gathering in the Poconos, back in 1992.


FOR 1992

Sept. 10, 11, 12, 13

$240.00/person double occupancy $395.00 male/female couples

Includes room….,Meals…..Taxes and All Tips/3 days

For Thursdays arrivals after 3:PM, additional $35.00 fee includes dinner, room for an additional night, and brunch on Friday. $50.00 required to make reservation. All deposit received before February 20 entitle you to a discount of $15.00 off total fee.

Beautiful lodge resort * Wives & Girlfriends welcome

No checks accepted 30 days before event dates

*Miss Poconos Pageant & Ball * Fantasy Ball * Pretty Legs Contest*

* Dance Parties w/Live Disco 8 Prizes 8 Broadway Style Entertainment *

*Workshops w/Video Image Consultant * and Demonstrations * Boutique *

* Professional Makeup and Hairstyling by Muriel $50

* For more information, call or write:

Fem Fashions 9 West 31st Street, Ste 7R New York, NY 10001


Make checks and money orders payable to Muriel Olive

MC/Visa accepted

Things are much better today! I only wish I was 30 years younger!

A big hug for all who made it to SCC this year!

Melissa XXOO

Well, The Blogger Beast Has Devoured Yet Another Post!

I composed half of it in Word, then pasted it here, then added to it, and saved constantly! When I went back to edit, the entire post vanished into thin air! I am thoroughly disgusted with Blogger! The problem that I have with using Word, is that it doesn't seem to match with blogger's protocols, so the text doesn't format properly, that is the margins are off. I don't have notepad on my I-Mac, so I don't know what else to do. This sucks out loud!

Melissa XX

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I’m so sorry for my intemperate outburst last night. After spending an hour and half composing an entry to my blog, I entered a keystroke, and suddenly all my work just vanished into thin air! I went back to edit posts to see if it was there, but no! This has happened to me several times before, and I was outraged, so I cursed. I’m ashamed of that. Since I retired, and am no longer under the daily stress of having to go to work and pretend I’m a guy, I rarely ever curse at all anymore, but this struck a nerve. When I write, it usually comes right off the top of my head, but it’s as real as if I was talking to you face to face. Suddenly I realized I would never see those words again, and I felt like I had been robbed! Well………it ain’t gonna happen tonight! On the advice of Veronica, Caroline and others, I am composing this post as a Word document first, so that it will at least be saved to my own computer, should the hungry Blogger decide to devour it as well.

I went to the grocery stored yesterday. That’s about a 35 mile round trip to the closest one. It gives me a chance to take a nice little drive through the Virginia Piedmont, an area of rolling hills, leading up to the Blue Ridge Mountains, from the coastal plain. It’s pretty country. Lots of woods interspersed with hay and cornfields, a few ponds, and the occasional cluster of subdivided lots. The hay fields had all just been mown. It was the last harvest of the season, and huge wheels of fresh hay lay strewn across them. Have you ever smelled new mown hay? What a wonderful sensation! Whenever I smell it, I envy the horses and cows that will be dining on it. Maybe it’s just the particular type we have growing here. I don’t know what it is, but when mature, it has a red top, and when freshly mown, it has a sweet spicy aroma that is very enticing! I really thing I could eat it myself! Lucky cows and horses!

On the way back I became acutely aware that summer is done for. Not by the calendar, since the equinox has yet to arrive, but by the more moderate temperatures, the long shadows across the road, and the clear azure sky, with nary a cloud in sight. In fact the only thing separating horizon from horizon, were the contrails of long gone jetliners. The high temperature today was only 79° F and the humidity was much lower than what it had been only a month ago. There were also telltale signs in the woods. Hints of amber, yellow, orange and red are just beginning to appear here and there. In a little over a month from now, the Piedmont will be ablaze with color! My favorite time of year!

In late October, it will also be one year since my twin departed. I can’t believe it’s almost been a year. For the most part, I am over my grief, but every now and then, something will trigger my memory, and I am overcome with sadness. Memories of Jane when she was healthy don’t do that. It’s just the memories of her during the end, when she was deteriorating, and I knew that she was on an inexorable down hill slide. I’m just thankful that she had very good hospice care. Oh, geeze! Just writing about it is making me cry. I have to stop it, or I won’t be able to continue this post.

As I write, I’m listening to Sibelius’s, Finlandia – Karelia Suite & Lemminkainen Suite. Sorry, no umlaut on my keyboard, so the “a” in Lemminkainen goes shamelessly naked. I was first introduced to Sibelius, by none other than the writer Jan Morris, when I read her account of her transition from male to female, in her autobiography, Conundrum. It’s been out of print for ages, and was even out of print when I first went looking for it in book stores, back in the early mid eighties. I finally located a copy of it in the Virginia State Library in Richmond, and checked it out, and what a revelation it turned out to be! Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. Although she was writing about her own personal experience in life, there were so many similarities to my life, that I almost felt like I was reading my own biography. I wept through the entire book, and when I finished reading it, I could not stop weeping. After years of denial, and beating around the bush, and trying to convince myself that I was just a cross dresser, I came face to face with the reality of what I actually was. There was no mistake about it anymore. I was indeed transsexual. So thanks to Jan Morris, for opening my eyes, and helping me to accept who and what I am.

All of the fall catalogs are starting to come out now, and once again I am enticed to splurge, but I’m really trying to practice restraint this time. I haven’t made an online purchase in over two months! That’s an excellent short term track record for me! I’m normally such a pushover for ads of pretty girls wearing pretty clothes, that I go straight to the order form, deluding myself into thinking that what she is wearing will be just as pretty on me. Ha! How could it ever be? She is nineteen years old, with a beautiful face, and a perfect body, and I am nearly 62, with an old face, and a body that I have absolutely no intention of describing to you!

I mentioned Sibelius’s Finlandia a while back, but I didn’t tell you that I am also listening to Sibelius’s Symphonies No. 4 and No. 5. Great stuff! Thanks again to Jan Morris!

As usual, I went to my mother’s for supper Monday evening. My brother-in-law wasn’t there, thank goodness, but neither was my niece, and I missed her. I asked her mother where she was, and it turns out she was at the “Criminal Pool” celebrating Labor Day. Now don’t get me wrong. My niece is a sweetheart, and definitely not a criminal, but the pool she goes to has been dubbed “The Criminal Pool”, because it is a private association, comprised of a lot of non-conformist and artistic types (read that: bohemian) who like to smoke weed, and drink a lot of beer and wine. Wonderfully intelligent and friendly people, but definitely not your average mainstream types. If I lived back in town, and I still thought I was a guy, I would probably want to go there too, since those are the type of people I hung out with when I was younger and still in denial. My niece is a sweetheart! She is a college graduate, but she majored in theater arts, and there is no job market for actresses. Consequentially she waited on tables for years, before securing a job with a national big box hardware and home improvement store. At 42, at least now she has a secure job with benefits, even though she never gets two days off in a row. Personally I would hate that. Being off on Monday, and then again on Saturday? Screw that, but when you have no choice, like she does, you do what your have to do to make a living.

Well, what do you know? Nine paragraphs written, and all of it is still here! I guess Veronica and Caroline gave me good advice after all! A big warm hug to both of them!

Melissa XX

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sorry About My Previous Post

...........but what can you say, when four or five paragraphs of contemplative text, is suddenly wiped out, and just cast off into cyberspace?

God Damnit!

I just spent several hours composing a post for my blog, and with one inadvertent keystroke, the whole god dammed thing disappeared! I'm getting more than a little tired of this, Blogger! What in the hell is wrong, and why can't you fix it?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mother Nature Does As She Pleases

I just went out on my deck to check out the night skies. Feeder bands for hurricane Earl are now blanketing Virginia, even though Earl is still several hundred miles away. If you click on the picture and enlarge it, you will see a spit of land projecting out from the North Carolina shore, out into the Atlantic. Those are the Outer Banks, and my brother-in-law's mother and brother live there. Fortunately, this storm is staying off coast, but it's hurricane force winds extend far out from it's center, so all tourists have been ordered to evacuate. Not so for the residents, who may stay or leave at their leisure.

My Brother-in-law's mother and brother, may decide that conditions are too dangerous to stay, and will be driving up to Richmond to stay with my bro-in-law. It would be nice to see them at my mother's for Monday night supper, but I'm sure that as soon as the threat has passed, they will headed on back home. I usually only get to see them during the holidays. My b-i-l's mother is getting on in age, and has lost a great deal of mobility. She deserves a good warm hug. My b-i-l's brother on the other hand, is a sweet guy, but just about the most boring person you have ever listened to. Boring as he may be, he's so darned nice, that you don't want to brush him off, so you listen to him, even though you aren't the least bit interested in what he has to say! Now that's what civility purchases for you! It's too bad his more arrogant brother has never learned that lesson.

I'm listening to Gustav Mahler's 1st symphony, and I have to tell you that it is perfectly magical! I absolutely love it! It really takes me away from here, and that is always what I look for in music, whether it be Pink Floyd, Dvořák, Beethoven, The Beatles, or Mahler!

Melissa XX

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Gender Equality Comes To Tropical Cyclones

Well.........I do live on the east coast of the US, with a major hurricane approaching, so what else did you expect me to talk about?

Tropical cyclones used to all be given female names, but now in the spirit of gender equality, they are now named after boys as well. Oh.......what a long way we've come! Witness Earl: a category 3 storm, now down graded from a category 4, yet still threatening the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Outer Banks are mere spits of sand, jutting out into the Atlantic. In my younger days, back in the late 70's and early 80's, they used to be one of my favorite summer haunts. I used to camp for a week every spring or summer on Ocracoke Island, just south of Cape Hatteras. They are very fragile bits of turf, extending out into what can often become a raging sea, and in the past they have paid the consequences. Oregon Inlet, that divides Nags Head from Hatteras Island, and Ocracoke Inlet, which divides Cape Hatteras from Ocracoke Island, were both created by major east coast hurricanes many years ago.

Indeed Hurricane Isabel in 2003, actually cut another inlet through Hatteras Island, that had to be filled back in, so that Hatteras residents could get off their island. That storm decided to make a bee line from the coast, right up through my back yard! Literally scaring the wits out of me, as I hunkered down for the night in pitch black darkness, listening to the wind howl through the trees, while limbs cracked, and whole trees fell with a resounding thud! I was sure the next thud would split my house in two, but thankfully I was spared. I did have five trees come down, including one rather large one that missed my house by not much more than ten feet, but the rest were either small, or fell away from the house.

Like tornadoes, hurricanes are a truly beautiful phenomena, as long as you can view them from afar. In the picture at the top of this post, Earl looks almost innocuous in scale. To get a true feel of the tremendous size and power of a hurricane, look at this photo of Earl, taken from the Interntional Space Station (click, then enlarge). Imagine 125-135 MPH winds beneath the clouds of that monster!If all predictions are true, Earl will stay about 150 miles off shore, but will still assault the beaches of the Outer Banks with hurricane force winds, destructive waves and dangerous rip tides.

I have some experience with rip tides, having once been caught in one off the beach at Ocracoke. It was like swimming against a river, trying to get back to the beach. I had actually resigned myself to drowning, then just as I was about to give up the ghost, my toes touched sand! Best luck of my life!

Melissa XX

When Will I Ever Learn?

I am so disappointed in Blogger! I just spent an hour and half, attempting to compose another post, and suddenly Blogger went off-line, and every single character that I typed, was lost! Edit Pages and Edit Posts, were of no help at all. It was all simply gone!

I hate to have to used Word to compose all of my on-line posts in first, but it does eliminate a lot of dumped internet posts. I suppose I could write the post over again, but at this late hour, I simply don't have the energy, and would forget three quarters of the relevant content, since it all came off the top of my head. I may be a night owl, but it's past three in the morning now, and it would take another hour and a half to rewrite it.

So, sorry my lovelies, but it's not going to happen, not tonight at least! Suffice it to say that It had to do with my gender identity, my inherited body shape, and a possible question of being born not only transsexual, but inter-sexed as well.

Oh, well, maybe some other time.

Melissa XX