Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What's On Her Mind?

One of my favorite bloggers isn't a fashion-blogger, she's a motorcyclist who writes about her travels and adventures.  Her name is Fuzzy and her blog is here.

Fuzzy put up an amusing post: a picture of her with an invitation to readers to supply what her thoughts are.  Here's the picture:

We both live in New York, about 500 miles from Virginia.  My suggestion for her thoughts was: "Hmm… it’s only another 250 miles to that new shoe store in Virginia… I can make it before they close."

What do you think she's thinking??  Be creative!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Holiday Weekend

 I hope you had a nice holiday and long weekend.  It's good to relax.

Today, I went for a long walk on the beach.  (Jones Beach, a landmark on Long Island.)

The beach is lovely this time of year: the air is crisp, the boardwalk is empty and the sun makes beautiful colors.  Here are some pictures.

Prince William and Kate

The American public doesn't often pay attention to British aristocracy, but some of my readers live in the U.K. and related regions and may have an interest in it. If so, how do you feel about Prince William (heir to the heir to the throne) getting married to Kate?

I'm relieved to see that Kate is more worldly and prepared for this peculiar new life than Diana (William's mother) was.  Diana was naive and suffered there.  Kate had many years to decide whether to enter this environment and she seems mature enough to make that decision wisely.

Any thoughts?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Broadening Your World

Some movies don't merely entertain us, they broaden us.  They expose us to people and situations we haven't encountered before.  With the empathy implicit in the medium, such films enable us to see more of the world which, in turn, allows us to understand things previously unknown to us.  That process is a healthy one.

If you're even a little curious about my early life, I highly recommend a movie that will both entertain and enlighten you.  At times, it's funny; at times, it's sad.  The movie accurately portrays the Procrustean conformity that modern society imposes on the subject of gender.

The film is called "Ma Vie En Rose," which translates to "My Life In Pink."  It's a French film (with English subtitles) made in 1997.

The film is about a family.  It explores what happens to the family when their young son, who believes he is a girl, starts to act like a girl in public.  A suburban block of bourgeois neighbors erupts in social turmoil.

The story is quite engrossing and will likely amuse you.  Perhaps it will also give you a small sense of what my life was like during childhood.

Charlie Brown

"Peanuts" was the most popular comic-strip of all time.

It spoke to everyone.  Young and old, liberal and conservative, everyone could identify with the beleaguered Charlie Brown, or the insouciant Lucy, or the befuddled Linus.  And, of course, everyone loved Snoopy, the hipster-dog.

"Peanuts" also had simple plots that were common human dramas.  We could all relate to them, including in our youth.

I just started reading the acclaimed biography of Charles Schulz, the creator of "Peanuts."  The book is surprising -- it explains how, for a comic as popular and cheerful as this one, its maker was equally as private and unhappy.  Schulz had demons and never found his way to true happiness.

Did you ever read this comic?  Did you like it?  Did you identify with any of the characters?

I once dressed up for Halloween as Charlie Brown and, throughout my childhood, I drew pictures of Snoopy on all my schoolbooks.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Cute, funny and romantic.

An update on the Rapunzel tale, told with verve and humor.  The characters are appealing and the movie has some good songs.

An entertaining night at the theater.


Would you spend $2,000 on a pair of shoes?

How about if they were made by Lanvin in Paris?

What if they were made of python and Mongolian fur?

What if they had 4.5 inch stiletto heels?

Tell me your thoughts...

Another Trip Outdoors

I hope you all had a nice holiday.  Let me tell you what I'm grateful for -- you!

I've learned so much from you about fashion and friendship.  Your sartorial advice has been frequent and sound; your friendly support has been constant and vital.  Thanks!

Here is an outfit whose very idea came from you: the classic belted cardigan.  I never "saw" this type of look before reading your blogs.  Plus, the first time I wore this cardigan, I used its attached skinny belt in matching color and several of you wisely pointed out that that belt didn't work: that a contrasting color and wider one would be better.  Of course, you were right; I wouldn't have seen that until you pointed it out.

I owe all my progress to you guys!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Helmut Newton

Helmut Newton is one of the most famous fashion photographers.  His work spanned four decades and appeared frequently in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.

Newton was born in Germany in 1920.  Being Jewish, he left the country as a teenager.  He travelled to Australia, then moved to England, and later lived in Paris.

Newton's photos, while beautiful, had a distinct edge which set them apart from conventional stuff.  Sometimes, his photos even had erotic charge.  Here is a sample of his photographs.  Tell me what you think.


I like baseball.  I played it when I was young.  Baseball has a poetry about it that's missing from other organized sports.

When I visit stadiums around the country, I always bring home a ball as a memento.  Every stadium sells balls with the logo of their team on it.  They're pretty, can be used to play catch, and serve as a reminder of the experience.

For my birthday, I asked Robin to get me a large wooden bowl in which I could display my balls.  (You have a dirty mind!)  Here it is: I like the way it turned out...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you enjoy the holiday.  Best wishes!


I just saw this movie on DVD (from NetFlix) and was pleasantly surprised: it's quite charming.

The movie follows four babies from around the world on their journey from birth to first steps.  The children are from radically-different places.  Ponijao lives in Africa (Namibia); Bayar lives in Asia (Mongolia); Mari lives in Japan; and Hattie lives in San Francisco.  Three of the babies are girls but their gender is hard to tell at that age.

Despite the absence of a plot, you're easily mesmerized by the babies' antics and development.

I was especially intrigued by the vast cultural differences of the babies' environments.  Hattie lives in typical American affluence while Ponijao chews dirt in the African desert.  Yet, in some ways, life in primitive societies has obvious advantages.

If you're in the right mood, this film can be fun to watch.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Advice Wanted

I need some fashion advice.  You guys always provide sound guidance, so I figure you're just the people to ask.  :)

I have a beloved red jacket which I bought in Memphis last year.  It was made by the man who designed clothes for Elvis and other rockers in their early years (1950-60's).  I showed it to you in my last post about NYC.  Here's a closer look at the jacket:

I love the inside of the jacket which is satin and displays a great logo:

Okay, so here's my question.  The sleeves have zippers at the ends which means you can flip up the end of the sleeves and show off the satin liner.  Ever since I bought the jacket, I've been debating whether it looks better with the sleeve-ends flipped up or left down.  I keep going back-and-forth...

What do you think?  Which way looks better?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Whole Lotta Shaking Going On

Had a great day today!  Went into New York City to see "Million Dollar Quartet," a musical about that special day in 1956 when Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis jammed together at Sun Studio in Memphis.

The show was great: superb performances threaded with history.  The whole audience jumped with joy at classic songs blasted with energy.

It was especially appropriate for me to wear my beloved red jacket from Lansky Bros.  I bought the jacket when I visited Memphis last year.  Bernie Lansky designed clothes for Elvis during his early years and this particular design (with vertical stripes) is exactly what Elvis wore before he became famous.

We also had a fabulous meal at The Delta Grill, one of my favorite places.  There are over 9,000 restaurants in NYC and only one serves New Orleans food: this one.  Even better, it re-creates the atmosphere of NOLA in every respect.  (I know this because I went to NOLA last Mardi Gras.)

By the way, what do you think of that shirt?  :)

I love being in the City: the air is electric.  Plus, you see things you never see anywhere else, like this young woman wearing a hat with ears!

Bustin' Loose

Most of the time, most of us pose decorously.  But, once in a while, the joy that comes from wearing pretty clothes incites us to cut loose and show the world what real happiness looks like.

Here are some of my favorite bloggers in the grip of fashion-excitement.  These pictures are sure to bring a smile to your face.

Winner of the 2010 "Leap For Joy" competition, Natalie shows us how to have fun.  She has a great blog showcasing her personal style and abundant energy.

Flying through the air with the greatest of ease, Tracy has the coolest job of any of us - she's a trapeze-artist.  I'm not kidding!  And her fashion-blog is always fun to read.

Voted "Most Likely To Blog" in high school, Ashley is the Glamour Queen of fashion-blogs.  She is impossibly beautiful and creatively stylish.  Her blog has substance and wit and deserves to be on your must-read list.

I don't know how Wendy got to South Africa 'cause she walks and talks like an American.  Every so often, however, she drops references to Guy Fawkes and Celsius, so I have to turn to Wikipedia to learn what she's talking about.  It's fun to have her as a global friend.

With enough personality for three bloggers, Sheila is everyone's favorite, the one you can't wait to see what she wearing.  What really draws you to Sheila, however, is the authenticity of her personality.  She's sweet, she responds to every comment, and she's Canadian.  She projects confidence and strength and her Wonder Woman poses are imitated all over the Internet.  I've never met Sheila but I love her.  You will, too.

If you want to make the next highlight reel, all you have to do is post a similar picture on your own blog.  Why not?  Fashion is all about having fun.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


My first outdoors post!  I'm so excited!

This is funny -- I was so nervous when I started that, for the first half of the shooting, I forgot to smile.  Then I remembered and brought the grin back.  Normally I can't stop from smiling when I wear nice clothes but the novelty of being outside totally overwhelmed me.

Okay, here are the pictures.  I couldn't figure out how to crop them on this computer, so forgive the excess space.  You can always click on the photos to enlarge them, if you wish a closer look at anything.

How observant are you?  In the next picture, there's something radically different.  Can you spot it?

Yup, I lost the skirt.  

I wore it initially for modesty and then removed it to see what would happen.  I know this sweater-dress is too short for me (I've mentioned that before) but I like looking at my legs.  And the neighbors didn't mind, so there!

One last picture, showing my cute boots:

What do you think?

Winter Fashion

I have good news and good news!
First, I figured out how to load pictures onto this borrowed computer so I can (and later today will) post an autumn outfit.
Second, I shot the pictures outdoors!!!!  Amidst the pretty leaves.

Finally, to tide you over, I just found the most attractive winter-clothing ever.  Made of wool and intended to be long-underwear, the top and bottom are super-stylish.  I’d wear the top alone for fashion-purposes, but there is a matching bottom if you want the warmth.
They’re available here: top and bottom

Friday, November 19, 2010


Tomorrow (Nov. 20th) is the "Transgender Day of Remembrance," an occasion created a decade ago to memorialize the many who are harmed and killed by violence simply because they're perceived to be different.  If you ever look at the facts and prevalence of those crimes, they'll make you cry.

It is a sad event.  There are vigils and memorials around the country.

I mention this event not to depress you but to create more awareness of the issue.  The first step to combatting cruelty resulting from prejudice is to educate people about what's actually happening in the world so they can understand and later oppose it.

P.S., I hope you don't mind that I'm posting a lot lately.  I post when I have something to say and, lately, my mind has been fertile.  I've thought about restricting my posts to an arbitrary number (e.g., one per day) but that's silly.  Besides, it's my blog and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to...

"Million Dollar Quartet"

I'm so excited!  On Sunday, I'm going to see a musical I've had tickets for since August: "Million Dollar Quartet."  Have you heard of it?

The show is based on a true event: a jam-session of four musical legends before they became famous.  One day in December 1956, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis met at Sun Record studio in Memphis.  Sam Phillips, the brains behind that powerhouse, brought them together and invited them to play together.  The result was magic.

We have second-row seats (I put a high value on good seats) and the reviews of the show have been raves.  The show received three Tony nominations, including for Best Musical.

Last year I went to Memphis on a BBQ tour and visited the studio where this happened.  It was amazing.  The place still has the same acoustic tiles, flooring and ceiling as when those legends sang there.  There is a palpable sense of history and cool pervading the space.  I wrote about that trip a while back on my old blog.

Do you like live theater?  What good plays or musicals have you seen?

Thursday, November 18, 2010


My computer-repairman says the virus on my laptop fried its hard-drive.  And, in addition to having to replace the drive, I need to buy (and wait for delivery of) recovery disks.  Darn!

I'm going through outfit-post withdrawal.  I can't load photos onto this borrowed computer and I lost all the pictures on my laptop.  I have to wait another week for the recovery disks, so there won't be any outfit-posts until then.

There is good news, though... I asked for a new camera for Christmas and expect to get it.  It's a fancy digital-SLR made by Nikon.  With all the photography I've been doing this year, I figured I really should upgrade from the point-and-shoot camera I've been using.  I used to shoot pictures with a film-SLR so I'm familiar with manual controls.  The higher quality this new camera is capable of will make my outfit-shots look better and that stokes me big-time.  Blogging has added so much joy to my life that I want to keep making it better.

What holiday gifts are you asking for?


A blogger I follow, Lorena, felt pretty yesterday.  She wondered why, since it wasn't the clothes she wore or that her hair was okay.  She just felt good.

We all love to feel attractive.  What does that for me is staying in shape. When I feel fit, my outlook is rosy and my view of myself soars.  Being physically strong makes you confident and sexy.

So... how do we get that way?

I start with the basics.  I walk.  A lot.  The human body is designed to walk and that simple movement exercises innumerable muscles in a natural manner.  Walking is easy to do, requires no equipment or gym and can be squeezed into even the busiest of days.

Plus it gets oxygen into your lungs which I've found reduces stress and lightens your mood.  The local post office is 1/2 mile from my workplace and, every day, I walk there two or three times.  The brief break always refreshes me and pulls my head out of the stress and aggravation of my day.  (And, dealing with bad people acting harshly, I have LOTS of that.)

I can do this while wearing a suit and being still "at work."  In fact, I find I sort work-things out in my head during the walks and return with new ideas and new vigor for getting stuff done.  The breaks are productive.

Do you walk?  What else do you do to stay in shape?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Basics

One of my readers (who writes a charming blog on her motorcycle-travels) mentioned that she's not sure what "transgendered" means and she asked me to explain it.  Because some of you are in the same boat, I'm going to address the subject.  Actually, I'm eager to be understood and, since few people have personally met a transsexual (we're rare, despite the disproportionate media-attention we attract), putting out this information is a public-service.

The basics are this: "transgendered" is an umbrella term for several different types of gender non-conformity.  Transsexuals, like me, are people whose gender-identity differs from what others commonly perceive it to be.

The most important aspect that needs to be understood is that we know who we are: we don't want to become the opposite sex; we are the opposite sex.  The problem is getting others to see and accept us that way.

Gender is a complex subject, more than most people realize.  It isn't answered by biology because humans can have physical attributes of both genders.  There are people, now called "intersexed," who possess biological gender-characteristics that are either ambiguous or belong to both sexes.  The South African runner, Caster Semenya, who was tested last year and found to have both female and male biological characteristics, is a good example.  Biology doesn't create two simple categories into which you can drop everyone.  There is wide diversity in nature which makes categorization difficult and the process of defining gender is always heavily freighted by culture.

Different societies have defined gender differently: did you know that there are several societies (including American Indian) that recognize three genders?

The current science on transsexualism focuses on development during pregnancy.  Hormones, which regulate a baby's development, cause the growth of a male/female brain but later, for several reasons, the hormones switch and start developing the rest of a body as if it were the other gender.

Not all transsexuals are intersexed, but some are.  I, for example, appear to have male genitalia externally but its internal development wasn't normal; after being observed by doctors for several years as a child, I had surgery when I was 10 years old to internally change things in that area.  A four-inch scar remains there as a reminder.

I know this is a lot of information to absorb, so I'm going to stop here.  I'll touch on some other aspects of the subject in the future and, if you like, share some more personal history with you.  I welcome any and all questions and hope I can help you understand this better.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Second Chance

One of the things I wanted to do as a child -- and was strictly forbidden from doing -- was learn to dance.  I love the grace and beauty of physical movement.  I am also transfixed by the bright, colorful costumes dancers get to wear.  The femininity of dance costumes appeals to me like a flame to a moth.  I can't take my eyes off them.

Of course, I was never allowed near dance costumes, let alone in one.  My yearning for dance and its attire has had to remain from afar.

Two years ago, I wondered: would it be okay now for me to get closer to this childhood experience I missed?  I suddenly realized there is nobody stopping me, so I ventured forth in that direction...

I found online sources for dance costumes and purchased a few items.  They are deeply satisfying even just to touch.  Their physicality satisfies my longing in a way that can't easily be described.  It feel like, at last, I am able to be happy.  I am able to be myself.

I've often dreamed of taking dance classes and, in private, I've studied dance through books and practiced dance-movements.  I don't know how much further I can take this but I dream about dancing frequently.

Do you have any dreams from childhood?  Have you ever taken action to fulfill them?  How did that turn out?