I’ve been to Peoria three or four times before and it pretty much bored me to death. I generally looked at my trips to Peoria as time spent in isolation, reading books, or cruising the internet in my hotel room. Oh yeah, once while surfing the internet I was interrupted by the sound of roaring engines out my window and discovered an air show taking place. That was the highlight of my trips to Peoria.
Well that all changed this trip! Kris , an Online friend of mine, turned me onto Lissa in Peoria. Sorry, I looked for her profile online to give you a link here bout could not find one. Well, the first day there was a tough and long one for me, so by the time I got a hold of Lissa, I was far too tired to get all dolled up, but figured I would at least go meet her in boy mode. When one friend goes out of her way to get you in touch with someone, and then that person goes out of their way to make time to meet you, you can’t just say “Sorry, I’ve had a tough day and don’t feel like it!” At least not if you hope people will go out of their way for you in the future. So, in drab mode, I grabbed my will power and headed out to a place called “Elbo Room” in downtown Peoria. This place was made with me in mind and has Karaoke every night. While most definitely friendly, it is not a gay bar. When I arrived, there were very few people there and I was chatting up the bar tender, a cute adorable woman. I doubt she had any idea at that point that I thought her blouse was almost as cute as she was! There we are chatting when in walks this tall woman. I kept looking at her and wondering if she might be Lissa but I really didn’t think she was TG so I kept quiet for a while. Then I noticed her looking around like she was looking for someone also so I gave it a shot.
“Excuse me, you wouldn’t be Lissa by any chance would you?”, I asked.
She gave a little laugh and agreed that she was, and that was the start of three nights of fun in Peoria! Turns out she is also a musician, also likes Karaoke, and is just bold and brave as hell. We have a LOT in common and chatted for pretty much three nights straight.
Well, the next night we returned to the same club, this time with me wearing something a lot prettier
than blue jeans!
I love this skirt! It's long and pretty and sort of hugs your legs as you walk. It just looks and feels pretty!
There was snow and ice all over outside, and a ramp entering the bar from the parking lot and you should have seen my entrance – the very definition of grace and beauty. When I came in the back door, it seemed like every head in the place spun around to look at me, and then my pretty snow covered little high heels and I went skating down the ramp! I kept to my feet but just barely. So much for a classy and dignified entrance.
So the next night we decided to do dinner. We met again at “Elbo Room” as it was someplace we both knew how to find. Just as my feet hit the ramp my memory kicked in about last nights entrance, but it was too late! Once again I skated down the ramp like a skier on the slopes! Fortunately, this time there was only one person there – another cute bartender.
“That’s the second time that damn ramp has tried to kill me!” I told her with a laugh.
We went to dinner at a place called “Po Boys”. It was sort of a Cajun place that kind of replicates a New Orleans street all indoors. The real cool thing is that they have live jazz/blues music. Both of us being guitar players, Lissa and I were both impressed by the quality of the band. VERY good music and a good performance.Oh, and not one person so much as gave us a odd look.
From there we went to a place called “Mad Dogs” where they also do Karaoke. Unlike “The Elbo”, this bar very clearly is a gay bar. Lissa kept stressing that I had to be careful if I came there alone as the bar right next to it is most definitely NOT friendly so be damn sure you go in the right door! We stayed there most of the night and left it at about 1 to return to the Elbo Room where we had left Lissa’s car. We hung out there for about an hour and it was fun as hell watching all the beautiful people there.
Every where we went, and I mean everywhere, at least 3 or 4 people came up to Lissa and hugged her. It seems that Lissa knows everyone in Peoria! I had a blast and now have gone from dreading time spent there to very much looking forward to it. The next time I go, I’m taking a guitar and Lissa and I are going to jam!
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
After the movie I went to the “Olive Garden” for dinner. While sitting in the waiting area waiting for a table to come free, two of the hosts went out of their way to strike up conversations with me. It was pretty clear they were gay and that they knew I was a CD, so I thought the gesture was nice.
When they took me back to the table he asked “is this OK, or would you prefer the corner?”
It took me a moment to realize he was trying to give me the option of sitting in an out of the way place where I wouldn’t be noticed. I smiled and told him I wasn’t all that shy or picky and would take what ever table was available. The waitress was a doll and only hesitated a second when she figured out I was a guy. After that I was “dear”. As in “What would you like a drink dear?” and “is everything all right dear?”, etc, etc. I gave her a $15 tip on a $25 dinner to show her how much I appreciated it and to maybe smooth the way for the next TG that came in. Can you see them now?
“Hey that crossdresser tips pretty good – I want the next one that comes in!”
Well, I can hope that’s the way it will go down any way. . .
The next night I’m afraid to say did not go so well. I completely lost my confidence and have no idea
why. I think I looked fine, at least as good as any other night where I felt on top of the world. It started off OK, even funny. I went to the book store and while I was paying for them the lady asked if I had one of their member cards. I said yes, but not with me.
"That’s OK, I can look it up by your phone number if you like?” She said
“Sure”, says I, and I proceed to give her the phone number. Apparently our card is in my wife’s name because she looks it up and then asks “Are you Dawn?”
I replied out of habit and without thinking about it.
“Nah, that’s my wife!”
DOH! Talk about a Homer Simpson moment. We both laughed, I grabbed my books, and left. Next I went to Macy’s to do some shopping. I had been there maybe 5 minutes when for no reason at all my confidence just evaporated. POOF! One moment feeling pretty and confident, and the next feeling like a guy in a dress. I’ve long since realized that lack of confidence will destroy my ability to even think of passing and so I called it a night. I went back to the hotel and got cleaned up, went to dinner as Matt, and just made an absolute pig outta myself with Steak and Pasta.
OK, most girls go for the chocolate when depressed – I’ll take Steak and Pasta thank you very much!
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Got the job done, got dressed, and headed into Philadelphia. Despite all the time I spend in cities, I still HATE the parking headaches and so I was immensely relieved to find a parking garage literally a few yards from the club.
When I got into the club I found an empty table and swiped it. This turned out to be fortunate as the place filled up shortly after I got there and then it was standing room only. The bad news is, karaoke didn’t start until late, everyone had their own little groups going, and so I sat there bored outta my mind and thinking that I should just head back to the hotel. About the time that I was seriously considering this, I noticed a young man that was sort of hovering around my table. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him start to walk toward me, think better of it and sort of turn around, just to turn back and start walking toward me again. I was just trying to decide if I needed to be concerned when he saw me looking at him and started talking.
“I’m starting to feel a little out of place here!”, he said.
“Me too”, I said, “but how come YOU are feeling that way?”
“Because I’m the only transman here”, he replied.
“Way cool! I’ve never actually met a transman before, feel free to have a seat!”
I took a real good look at him and have to tell you I would have never guessed he was TG.
Well, turns out his name is Cody, and he was there with a couple of friends and so can’t leave them to sit with me. He did however invite me to join them and so I did. We talked a bit and both sang a bit. Turns out Cody used to work there at Sisters when “he” was a “she” and I’m sure that must have come with it’s own set of head trips. He was very pleasant to hang out with and was the perfect gentleman.
Thanks Cody, thanks for letting me hang with you and your friends so that I wasn’t lonely and bored.
The bad news is that I received further evidence that I’m getting old. When I read through their karaoke book, I found maybe two songs I recognized. Apparently the music I know and love is too darn old for todays crowd. I think I sang “Time in a Bottle” and did it reasonably well. I can’t recall what the other one was, but I clearly recall that the key was way higher than I was used to or capable of singing, and so I made a complete ass outta myself and sounded terrible!
I think they call that “Death by karaoke”.
Wow, I am SO far behind in my blogging! What can I say, I’ve been very busy with work. Every
week I've been to at least one and sometimes two cities and often traveling on Saturday. That’s something I dislike intensely but sometimes you have to do what you have to do!
So, where to start?
Let’s start with Pennsylvania and Missy Anne and wife who I’ve finally been able to meet in person after talking to them for several months on-line! This was a first for me as these kind and gracious folks actually invited me to their home for dinner, and a darn fine dinner at that. For those of you that travel a lot, I'm sure that you will understand how much a home cooked dinner means to me. For those of you that don’t travel a lot, trust me when I tell you that you can get sick of restaurants, even the fine ones.
These folks live just a bit off the beaten track so I was a bit apprehensive while following the GPS’s instructions and was just starting to wonder if I had blown it when their address and home came into view. As I got out of the car, Missy Anne’s wife poked her head out the door and laughingly said “You better not look better than I do!” Trust me, there was no worry about that because she is gorgeous. She is a very attractive woman with one of those perfect little figures that most of us would kill for. Sigh . . .
Missy Anne is no slouch in this department either! It was so cute! They both had on almost identical outfits – shoes, A-line skirts, and blouse. My wife always hated the idea of matching outfits. <sniff sniff>
So these folks were wonderful hosts, making me feel immediately welcome and like a life long friend. It turns out that Missy Anne and I have a lot in common. A fascination for techie stuff, metrology, and music. She even pulled out her keyboard and we farted around with it for a while.
It turns out that I am the first TG that they have met in person! This is the fourth or fifth time this happened to me and I am really honored and flattered by the idea. I still remember the first Tgirl I ever met in person and she was a great influence. Very confident, proud of who she was, and a decent and honorable person.
Oh, by the way! If you have heard rumors about Missy Anne’s cheesecake I’m here to tell you that they are true – it was awesome!
Friday, January 18, 2008
The first night that I was there I met my friend Gina for dinner at English Ivy’s. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – English Ivy’s is a GREAT place to have dinner. The food is awesome and they are more than friendly there.
After dinner we went to “The Metro” where they do karaoke on Tuesday nights. The Metro is a nice place and the karaoke there can sometimes be extraordinarily good, with people that have real talent entertaining you for free!
The only thing I DON’T like about the Metro is that there is not a lot of seating and the place is filled with cigarette smoke. I can live with some smoke, but this place is filled with it until you feel like your going to choke on it. Even worse, when you leave there your clothing and hair REEK of the stuff.
Oops – I got off on a smoking tirade there – sorry!
So we had been there playing pool for a while when Gina got a call from Kara who was gonna
There was this awesomely cute GG that kept flirting with us. It’s funny, I thought I was over that teenage type angst with pretty girls, but every time she got close I became a nervous wreck, with my heart trying to thump it’s way out of my chest. I guess it’s good to know that maybe I’m not all THAT old.
Eventually Kara and I dragged Gina downstairs to check out the karaoke. When we got down the stairs a there was a woman singing. I don’t recall the song, but I recall thinking that it was ambitious and she was going to regret it. I was therefore surprised when she belted it out like a pro and the place just went nuts for her. I got up and sang something mediocre (don’t recall what) and Kara and I sat down to wait for her turn to go up. “She “ (remember she was in boy mode) got up and sang Frank Sinatra “Fly me to the moon”, and holy smokes the place got quiet as soon as she started singing. Remember this is a bar/club full of people talking loudly and having a good time, and they got quiet to listen! I swear it sounded as if Frank Sinatra himself were up there and everyone was looking at Kara like they couldn’t believe their eyes and ears. She was freaking awesome!
Well, it looks like Kara and I are both going to be in Indy in mid Feb and we may bring guitars with us this time. She says that there is a place called “Illusions” where it might be fun to jam. I can’t wait!
“Talbot Street”. This is kind of an alternative club where people of all kinds come to hang out, and they have a huge drag show with several performers.
I’d have to be honest that I’m not a big fan of drag shows for several reasons. Maybe it’s the musician in me, but I really dislike lip-syncing. I would rather hear someone sing poorly than to see them pretend to sing to a professionals recording . The other thing I don’t care for about it is the presentation itself. Huge, overdone eyelashes, garish makeup, etc. I guess I just don’t like that this is what most people think of when they think of a crossdresser. If it makes them happy, then more power to them, but I will never go out of my way specifically to see a drag show.
I met a couple of other TGirls there - Gina, Christy and another girl I can’t recall her name now. I also met Doc there. I know I might get flamed for saying this, but Doc is the only “admirer” I have ever met that doesn’t give me the creeps. He’s a gentleman and a nice person and it was nice to have his company.
I sure hope things go as planned and Kara and I can get the chance to jam in Feb.!