Quelle Blogue!

Quelle Blogue was dedicated to my marriage (2003-2006), Crossdressing, and National League Baseball

Makeup, Sweat, and Blood

Sunday, February 12, 2006
I know, I know. I've been out of things for a while. Much stress etc. coupled with the trauma of losing my gig in November. Things are better now, though there was a rough patch in January...but, as I'm trying to make a return to blogging, first a happy story.

It was my birthday this past Friday, and I went out and had a great time with several of my friends. On Saturday, as I did last year, I went out and had a makeover done at the Makeup Center on 55th Street. They did a nice job, and so I changed into my new jeans, emerald top, and crocheted shrug and headed out with folkmusicienne E. to have lunch before we got our nails done.

The French place we ate at set the tone for the afternoon: sweaty. We were downstairs and the heat was pretty bad. It didn't help that we shared a bowl of onion soup.

We walked over to Bloomie Nails next door, and had a very nice time getting pampered--they even did my fingernails while I was sitting in the pedicure chair, very princessy. This was the second time I had gotten my nails done en femme, and it was really nice. (One of the people at Bloomie Nails even recognized me.)

After we were done, I still had some time to kill before I met one of our fellow MHBers for drinks, so E. and I walked up to Broadway and 62nd Street. I had decided I wanted to see "Transamerica" (review to come), and we had enough time to hoof it. Not enough sense on my part to change shoes, though.

I had brought two pairs of shoes with me: emerald high-heeled Orsay pumps, and patent black sandals with a low heel. But because of the rainy mist on Saturday, both E. and my makeup artist convinced me not to wear the pumps (probably for the best, the heels are high enough that I can probably only go about 150 feet in them.) After the pedicure, I didn't want to ruin my nails, so I put on the sandals, instead of wearing my boy sneakers again. This was a mistake, as my feet were completely chewed up by the walk.

It also didn't help that I didn't realize which theater I had to go to. The theater I thought was the right one (Lincoln Cinemas on 62nd and Broadway) wasn't showing it, so we walked up to 67th and Broadway, the big Sony multiplex. There E. left me--she was on her way to meet some friends. I went to a ticket machine, only to find the movie wasn't playing there, either. (Meantime, I was a lone trannie amidst a huge crowd of date-going New Yorkers.) I pulled out my cell, called Moviephone, and got the address of the theater again. So out I went, into the rain and wind, feet shrieking in agony. Finally I saw that the theater I was looking for was across Broadway from my original destination. I arrived late but the movie hadn't started yet.

I mostly enjoyed the film, but the theater was hot as hell, so by now between the rain and sweat, I'm not sure how much makeup I still had on. I hustled home, changed into my evening dress, and had a good time hanging out at a bar in the W hotel and the Swan.

So all in all I had a good time. Somewhat to my surprise, I found that I really liked wearing jeans--I need to get some more pairs.

Is this thing on?

Friday, December 09, 2005
Hello...hello...is anybody out there?

I've been away for a while, but I'm back now. Not much posted today, true, but I'll try to be more regular in adding things here.

It seems I will have more time: as long-anticipated, I got laid off on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving.

I'm mostly positive about this turn of events; I have some checks owed to me, and now I have the chance to really give writing for a living a try. So I will.

Either that, or work at the local Blockbusters. But I don't think it will come to that.

The Latest From the Home Office in...the Kitchen

So as part of our never-ending apartment reorganization, I have moved my desk into the kitchen.

We have a galley-style kitchen--basically, a long hallway with the sink, refridgerator, and counter-space on your left as you walk to the bathroom. But because we live in a "dumbell" tenement--the buildings are shaped kind of like an I-Beam, so that there's an air shaft between them--there's a little nook in the back of the kitchen. That's where I moved to. This required cramming the cats' automatic litter box into the bathroom--it's roughly the size and shape of a Normandy landing craft--but I managed to accomplish that after liberating an extension cord from the phone and caller ID box.

So far I like it. I have a window on the air shaft, which gives a little light if not much of a view, and there's a radiator next to me, so I should keep warm. There's a picture of the Empire State Building over my desk. I have plenty of light, and a lot fewer distractions, which is nice, and now Darling Wife can study and I can work without bugging each other.

After all, I'm going to be at this desk for a long time, I think, so I had best get comfortable.

St. Nicholas Day

December 6 is St. Nicholas Day. To be honest, I don't know why this holiday hasn't caught on more--it involves chocolate and shoes.

My family has always followed the German tradition of putting our shoes out the night of December 5, and the next day they were filled with candy and little presents. The Dutch take the holiday far more seriously--for them, it's the main gift-giving day, and Christmas is for church.

There's a good Wiki article on the subject if you're totally confused.

Also, I went down to the MHB couples' meeting. For the first time in three meetings, I crossdressed, but very simply: little black dress, a pink shrug, tights, and cute heels with a silver bow on them.

We had a good meeting and actually got a lot of partner dialog going this time. Thank goodness.

That may have closed my cd'ing for the year, though; I'm trying to grow a holiday beard for our Christmas party.

Happy Halloween

Monday, October 31, 2005
Well, happy Halloween! The Crossdresser's High Holy Day.

Mine wasn't so good. I was all set to go to a party on Friday when a trans friend of mine who was also going called to say that the fire marshal had shut the place down.

I was too busy the rest of the weekend to go to anything else. So tonight I'll just go to aikido and spend some time at home with DW.

I'll miss wearing my Little Red Riding Hood costume--I looked pretty good in it--but like DW says, "It's Halloween every other week around here."

Symbolic Illogic

The other day we (mostly me--Darling Wife has a lot of studying to do on the weekend) were cleaning the apartment. It gets pretty shabby during the week, so it takes a lot of work to clean it up.

I was in the bedroom straightening things up. So I made the bed.

You must know something about me: I can spend hours counting the heads of angels on a pin, and tend to see a world fraught with symbolism. These are the hazards of being brought up by people trained by Jesuits and of an education in literary criticism.

To get to my point: I made the bed, and turned down the top of the bedspread to try and make it look nice. I was about to move on to another task, when I was struck by something.

I looked at how I had folded the bedspread. The line was really ragged. It didn't look neat, and it didn't look nice.

Then I realized: I hadn't folded the bedspread. I had symbolically folded the bedspread.

Which leads me to trans stuff. (You knew this wouldn't just be about how bad a housekeeper I am.)

There's a lot of things I do in my femme presentation that are, well, symbolically done. I have a hard time with my eyeliner. When I do my nails, they tend to come out pretty badly--badly enough that I probably should have just not bothered, or just done clear polish (like most of the women I know do.)

Some of this is lack of experience, and lack of the finer muscle control women generally have. But I wonder how much is that I'm content to just make a gesture at femininity, to put up a (badly executed) gender marker as a sign that hey, I'm really a girl.

And I see this a lot in the trans community when I go out. People who have gaps in their presentation that no self-respecting woman (at least, no self-respecting woman who would wear makeup and feminine dresses) out in public.

I mean, my wife agonizes about the details of her outfits: what shoes go with her pants, whether they in turn go with her coat, whether her makeup works with her outfit, etc.

But I don't see this a lot in trannie land. Sure, much of this is because people just haven't practice. If you dress up at most one time a week, you have a lot of catching up to do.

However I don't think that's the only reason. I've often noticed--in myself and other transfolk--an attitude of "if I do x, and y, then I will be z" where z is Catherine Zeta-Jones.

And I don't know if this is a trans thing, a male thing, or just a coping method for a very painful and bewildering existence.

But I wonder if this is also a part of the common observation about the "sluttiness" or ultra-femininity of many tfolks' presentation. Because they are using markers--symbols--to stand for their internal feelings. Whatever those are.

I don't know. This is a lot for a bedspread to carry. But I'm trying to learn mindulness, and one of the consequences of that is paying attention to details.

Anyway, I fixed the bedspread. There was still a lot left to clean.

Update on Kitty

Wondercat is doing much better. We've been giving her lots of medicine--antibiotics and liver pills--and her recent test results showed improvement.

She's also been getting the tuna she likes (special cat-safe tuna, that is) and has started gaining weight.

She's also much perkier and getting back to her old self.

Thanks to everyone for their kind thoughts for my little fuzzball.

One Little Word

Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Why is it so hard for me to tell my wife without reservation that I won't transition?

I mean, I've stated here many times that I think transition would be a disaster for me. When I look at my life and compare it to people that have transitioned, I just don't see it.

After all, I actually like a lot of things about my male body. When I look in the mirror, I'm happy with what I see. I don't ache with the sense of lost possibilty, don't have a horror of disassociation from my reflection.

And in general I'm very happy with my, uh, anatomy.

In fact, there isn't a lot of similarity between my mild but chronic gender dysphoria and the persistent, agonizing sense of being in the wrong body that transsexuals suffer through.

Except, of course, that I wear the clothing of the opposite gender.

Except, of course, that when I was a little boy I used to wish that I would wake up a little girl.

But the point is, of course, that I'm not a little boy anymore. I've grown up into a person who is trying to acheive harmony between his conflicting gender states. Who is generally pretty happy with looking like a man--except that occassionally I want to look like a woman.

That's all. I don't want to live my life as a woman.

So why is it so hard to say that categorically?

Is it because I struggled for a long time with it, and I don't want to feel like that was in vain?

Is it because people just don't get crossdressers like they do transsexuals? That they can't see any inbetween space?

Is it because I can't, either?

Is it because I'll feel like I'm betraying a deep part of who I am--and is that because on some level I don't think that my feelings are "real" or important unless they lead to transistion? Is it fear of feeling like a pervert, or a shallow person because I just want to wear a skirt?

Why is one simple little word so hard?

Why isn't it simple?

Update on Kitty

Friday, October 07, 2005
FIV and FLV came back negative. I think corona virus did as well.

The veterinarian wants to put her on antibiotics and liver medicine.

So the prognosis is better but it's frustrating not knowing the cause of the problem.

United We Stand

I've had an up and down week here in the Trans Community (pat. pend.)

On Tuesday, Darling Wife and I went to the second MHB Couples' Meeting (formerly the Couples' Dinner....though actually a bunch of us met for dinner first.) It was a good meeting and I had fun.

I didn't crossdress for the meeting. I wore my floral shirt and pinstriped slacks. It was fairly weird to not crossdress around so many people who were crossdressed. I'll have more to say on this subject later, when I've sorted out my feelings.

This week on the MHB boards helen tried to raise a serious thread about her feelings about having Betty present as male for a few days, and her feelings about not having the "wow, what a catch" sentiment she got from other women with Betty-as-boy when she's with Betty-as-girl.

It was a heartfelt post and could have led to an interesting discussion...but for the defensiveness of my trans "sisters."

Look, I get being defensive about being trans. It's a huge burden, a constant drain on your energy and well-being, and you just get sick of having to constantly defend yourself.

But at the same time, why is it that so often in my "community" the only thing that can unite the majority of transpeople is the belief that their partners' don't know what the fuck they're talking about?

I know, I'm painting with a broad brush. I'm not leveling any accusations at anyone specifically. It's more a matter of tone.

And I'll freely cop that my "wear the tranny hairshirt" pose that I seem to fall into a lot on the boards ain't necessarily a better way to handle transness.

But I still was pretty disheartened over how things turned out. helen ultimately locked the thread, as it was getting too contentious.

Being trans is painful. Being the partner of a transperson is also painful. Trying to play games over who hurts more doesn't do anything to relieve either person's pain.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

United, in States of Fear

So last night we get the word of a credible terror threat against the subway system. We get those every now and again, but this one was much more serious; they made arrests, they had evidence.

I got on the subway with more trepidation than usual this morning...but a train was pulling up as I got in the station, so I jumped on the first car.

Did a quick pan up and down the car before sitting down.

There was a kid near the front with an empty--I think--backpack on his lap. He was clutching something in his hand and looked pretty nervous, especially after I gave him a look.

So I rode a few stations. Glanced over from time to time. Kid's still twitchy, still clutching something. A closer look reveals it to be a watch.

What the fuck, I think.

I don't want to be a jerk and jump off the train just because I'm afraid of some kid. But I don't want to end up a victim, either.

Does it make me sound more or less paranoid to mention the kid was dark-skinned? Probably latino, but I couldn't really tell.

I got off on 28th street and waited for another train.

Nothing happened. I made it to Brooklyn in one piece.

Welcome, welcome. To the state of fear.

I grew up being afraid of being blown up without warning. So this is nothing new.

But I'm going to ride my bike in next week.

Bad Kitty News

I had to bring Wondercat to the vet yesterday. She had been having some discharge around her eyes. We thought it was just a head cold...though she's also lost some weight, as the other cat hijacks her food a lot.

The vet, though, noticed that the whites of her eyes were yellow. In short, she has jaundice.

That means liver disease of some kind. We don't know what, yet.

Of course I'm sick with worry. I'll know more later today when the lab results come back.

Wondercat is the sweetest, most gentle little animal you'll ever meet. I hope she's going to be all right.

I'm not dead

Friday, September 30, 2005
Though it feels that way sometimes...

No excuses for the long delay. Been busy, yes, also have some paying writing gigs. But still.

My arm is much better and I went back to aikido on Wednesday. The arm still hurts a little, but not much.

It turns out I did break a bone spur on my ulna. And sprain a ligament. Luckily, I don't need surgery.

Oh, I also got hit with pay cut at work. Hip hip hooray. Yuck.

And my new laptop is driving me nuts. The cheap-ass company I bought it from didn't provide a restore disk. Now, I had to be Ms. Computer Professional and do a clean (i.e., erase the hard drive) install of XP Pro; since then, I can't get it to boot properly. Sheesh.

As I type this I'm doing the third clean install of Windows since I bought it.

If this doesn't work, I can send it in to the company and they'll restore it to factory settings. For $50.

What a racket.

I'll be back soon with more gender issues, just wanted everyone to know I'm still alive and well and feeling ok.

Shielded in my Armor

Thursday, September 08, 2005
I went down to the first MHB group meeting at the Gay Center on Tuesday. Had a great time, the conversation was typically wonderful.

But while I was putting on my makeup I found myself thinking about my relation to cosmetics, and what they mean to me. And what I'm trying to say.

Truth be told, I hate wearing as much makeup as I do. But since I still have my beard, I have to wear foundation (and pretty heavy foundation at that.) Once you do that, you have to do other things. At a mininum you need to wear blush to put some color back on your cheeks.

I usually wear eyeshadow. Sometimes I use just a little, but usually I have a lid color and a contrast color, which helps bring my deep-set eyes out a little. I usually wear mascara and most of the time put on a little eyeliner, not that you'd notice.

Had I my druthers, though, I'd probably just put on a little lipstick and go. But my beard and bone structure get in the way.

I really hate how greasy I get after an hour or so. Yuck.

On the other hand, makeup makes me look feminine, which is really gratifying to me. It's something that really only women do (at least, the way I wear makeup) and so that helps my gender dysphoria somewhat.

And wearing that much makeup is a clear feminine marker.

My Darling Wife usually wears makeup, at least when she goes to class. For her, makeup gives her confidence.

But the truth is, she really hates the fact that she doesn't feel confident without it. That the only way she can trust in herself is by hiding herself.

I hardly think she's the only woman to feel that way.

On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with presenting a professional appearance. In my experience, it goes a long way in indicating your seriousness.

For example, I'd be disinclined to hire any man who didn't bother to wear a suit to an interview with me. Call it prejudice--it is. But a respect for tradition and a willingness to sacrifice comfort mean a lot in a first impression.

For women, though, the problem is that for most people the image of a professional woman is also the image of a sexualized woman. In other words, she has to wear makeup and a skirt. And usually high heels.

Talk about your Catch-22: to be taken seriously you have to wear clothes that ensure that you won't be.

Some women manage to do it without buying into that trap. I'm really glad they do, so that their daughters won't have to. But I can't even imagine how tough it must be.

Meanwhile, Darling Wife has been wearing less makeup this week, and leaving her hair in a ponytail.

But she still corrects her professors. God bless her.