Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Oklahoma City Rocks!

OK, so as most of you reading this will know, I get around. Every week I’m in a different city and
sometimes even in a different country. Well, this week I’ve been in Oklahoma City. We all try not to do the stereo type thing, but I think most of us would admit to a bit of trepidation at the thought of doing drag here. Let’s face it, it’s dead center in the bible belt and best know for the cowboy types that don’t cotton to girly boys. Well, imagine my pleasant surprise when I find the people here all treated me like gold. I kid you not, the sales associates here treated me far better than any place else I’ve been. The ladies all asked if they could help, and even after you see “THE GRIN” show up indicating they just realized what they are dealing with, they not only continued to treat me well, but actually bent over backwards to be friendly. It was freaking awesome!

I had intended to wear my pants for the first time out and about. Tried them on but I just couldn’t convince myself to do it. I can wear pants any day, this is my only chance to wear skirts. So I took some pics, then dragged out a pretty skirt!

So the highlights – hmmm, where to start?! The first day I’m coming down the elevator and make the stupid mistake we all have – when the elevator stopped I assumed it was on the first floor and so I got off as a lady got on. It only took me a second to figure out I’d blown it and I turned back. The lady held the door for me and laughed.
“Wrong floor?” she asked.
“Yeah, I feel a bit silly. You would think I’d have elevators figured out by now!” She laughed again.
“Naw,” she said, “we all do that so your pretty normal.”
“I don’t think I’d be in a hurry to label me 'normal' just yet!” I told her. She thought this was hilarious and we laughed while the elevator continued.

I went shopping and was treated like gold. I mean it, these folks were just so nice and the SA’s all went out of their way to chat with me. One lady in Dillards asked me if she could help, and wondered if I was looking for anything in particular. I laughed and told her “Yep, anything that will make me look awesome and that I can afford.”
We didn’t find anything I couldn’t live without but she sure tried to help.

Went to dinner at the Habana Inn. This is a gay resort/hotel. I didn’t stay there so have no idea what the rooms are like, but the restaurant was awesome. I was told they just hired a new cook and he’s apparently pretty good ‘cause the food was great and the service was too. I definitely recommend their restaurant.

Got back to the Holiday Inn I was staying at, and since I felt confident,  I hit up the lounge. The bartender was a very pretty young lady and we chatted quite a lot. Turns out she lived in Santa Fe New Mexico for a long time and had known several cross dressers. She was so cool and it was really neat to talk to her. Several guests in the lounge came up and talked to me, all being very friendly. One guy was a lot of fun, smiles and just a happy attitude, but he started to concern me when he started asking about the job I was here to do. Told him I was working at the university and then he started asking where at the university. I could picture the whole story – against all odds this would turn out to be someone involved with the instrument I was here to install and I would be outing myself. I just played stupid – “I have no idea what department it is. I’ve got a name and a number and I’ll be calling him tomorrow.”

The next day was very similar. I got off work, got cleaned up and headed out to a mall I had discovered on the way to my customer. I decided to wear one of the new short skirts I bought in Indianapolis. So there I am, walking along, minding my own business, when this drop dead gorgeous girl in her mid 20’s walks rapidly toward me.
“What are you doing?” she says with a great big smile on her face.
Being nervous about the situation, my mind translated this to something along the lines of “What the hell are you doing?” so I was kind of nervous when I asked “I’m sorry? What do you mean?” Her smile got even bigger.
“What are you doing hon? I’m your bartender from last night!”
Holy smokes! This girl cleans up well ‘cause she looked nothing like she did the night before. She was just stunning, I mean drop dead gorgeous! She gushed all over me telling me I looked great, and that my outfit was awesome. Of course this makes her my new best friend! I asked her if she thought the skirt was maybe a touch too short, but she assured me it was perfect. Then she introduced me to her boyfriend!

The lady at the MAC counter saw me looking and stopped me as I walked by. I told her I’d heard lots of good things about them, and wondered if she had a foundation that might be able to hide a beard shadow. She gave me a couple of samples to try, but neither works for me. Looks like I will stick with the cheap Max Factor stick I use.

Went to dinner at the Habana again and was delighted with it. The waiter assured me that it was fine if I wanted to just hang out. I told him I was just gonna go back to the hotel . . “unless of course you know anyplace doing karaoke?”
“As a matter of fact I do!” he said, “its called the Boom”. So, I head to “Boom” and had a good time. The singers here were not of the caliber I’ve heard in other places, but they were nice, friendly, and it was fun.

My third day I headed out to a HUGE mall in OKC my customer had told me about. This time I
convinced myself to go ahead and try the pants thing and my cute pair of brown pumps. Well, the pants worked out all right but the pumps were a bit of a problem. Every step I took, my heels came out of the shoes. This is a pretty big pain and makes it very hard to walk, so I did the only sensible thing I could – I went shoe shopping! I found these killer shoes at Macy’s on sale.The SA there was really nice, treated me great, and it was just terrific. Now the “bad” news – these are at least 4 inch heels! They are SO cute, but hardly mall walking shoes! Well, what the heck, you have to have your priorities – cute or comfortable . . . I went with cute . . .
So now here I sit again in the hotel lounge writing this blog. With my new shoes on. Damn, my toes HURT, but they sure do look cute! :-)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

You gotta believe

WARNING - Proud parent moment ahead.
So my four year old daughter is "helping" my wife plant seeds in the garden when I hear her raise her voice to her mother. I can't tell what's being said so I walked up to see what all the fuss was about.
"Poppa," my daughter says as she walks up to me, "Momma wont give me any musical bean seeds!"
"What baby?" I asked, convinced I hadn't heard her right.
"She wont give me any musical bean seeds!" she says again, obviously upset.
"What do you mean 'Musical bean seeds' sweetheart?", I asked, thinking maybe I just don't understand. If you have had a little one, you know sometimes they don't quite know how to get something across to the stupid adults, so they sort of grasp at straws.
"You know," she says, "You plant them and when they grow into flowers they sing!"
"Awe little one, you are so adorable!" I tell her, trying to decide if I need to tell her the truth or let her have her fantasy. Since she is upset, mad, and yelling at her mother for not giving her these seeds, I don't think I have a choice. I kneel down to be eye to eye to her, and feeling like an ogre I start to talk.
"Little one, I'm so sorry, but that is make believe. It's pretend, not real. There is no such thing as musical beans." I feel awful. I feel like the Grinch that has just told a cute little critter there is no Santa.
Still on my knee and at eye level with her, my daughter surprises me by looking at me with pity in her eyes. You know, the look you give someone that just aint quite right? She reaches out with both of her little hands, places one on each side of my face to be sure I'm looking at her.
"You just have to believe Daddy." With that, she drops her hands, turns around, and walks back to the garden, leaving the poor dim witted Daddy dumb founded on his knees.
So, umm, does anyone have any musical beans I can purchase?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Neil Diamond I Ain't . . .

Back in Indy, and that’s cool ‘cause I like it here!

Kind of mixed reviews on the passing front though. My first day was dedicated just to travel, so I had most of the afternoon to myself. Realized that I had once again left my camera on its charging dock at home and got mad enough to go buy a new one that can be charged directly from my laptop. No more charging dock = no more forgotten camera! I figured 'what the heck', it would give me something to do so I’d go get the camera as Kim.

Dana and I had been trading emails again and she was gonna be in the area too. She only had a few minutes so we figured we would just meet at Best Buy where I wanted to buy the camera. We pulled into parking spaces right next to each other at exactly the same time and so had a good laugh. Dana stood there with me at the counter and we looked at the options and chatted for about 15 minutes before she had to leave. So there I am standing at the camera section and no one would come to help. Several walked by me and smiled in a very nervous way making it clear they were not comfortable dealing with me. I stood there for probably 10 minutes before a gentleman in a wheelchair approached and offered to help. It was clear pretty fast that he was gay so I sort of chuckled to myself thinking about all of the SA’s frantically combing the store for a gay SA to deal with the damn cross dresser. I couldn’t help myself and so I did laugh and asked him if everyone was afraid to talk to the old drag queen (me). He laughed, asked how long I’d been waiting, and then apologized. No big deal – frankly I’d rather NOT have an SA that isn’t comfortable dealing with me. Found the perfect camera and headed back to the hotel to take lots of pictures . . . you know, just to test it out!

Got to the hotel and was getting out of the rental car (A Mustang!) still having mixed feelings about the way I was apparently read so easy at the store. I was getting my shopping bag out of the car when someone driving down the highway started to honk over and over. I looked up and I swear this guy was almost standing up in the driver seat staring straight at me while driving down the road and honking at me! OK, that helped my ego a bit. I did Karaoke later on that night and sang one song - it sucked so bad that I didn’t sing any more.

Thursday night I got a hold of my gal pal Gina. She is a great person to hang out with. She came to cross dressing very late in her life – I think she said in her mid 40’s. Despite that, she’s very confident and very comfortable with herself. She has also been married for many decades.

My job had not gone as well as hoped that day, and Gina owns her own company so she is always off work late, so we didn’t get together until after 9PM.

Oh – the phone call I was taking here? That’s my son telling me the car I just gave him has broken down leaving him stranded. We had just traded in his last car because it had so many problems. My wife and I got a used car with a four banger in it, and we gave him our car because it has been VERY reliable. Well, not anymore. He had it three days and it broke down.
We ate dinner at The Metro instead of our usual English Ivy because I figured out that this is the best way to get a seat for Karaoke that starts at 10. I figure Gina is gonna stop hanging with me when she tired of the nerd that likes to sing. Anyway, signed up for a couple of songs. I’d noticed that I was always singing the same songs and so I chose a couple I’d never tried before just to stretch my comfort zone a bit. AFTER I signed up for two songs I’d never sang, I discovered that this is not just karaoke but a contest! What the hell, I let ‘em ride and what do ya know? I think I did them well! I sang Neil Diamond’s “Play me” and BJ Thomas “Hooked on a feeling”. When your singing, you know right off if your gonna suck for the whole song or not, but I felt like I was in the groove and was pleased with both of them.

The bad news though, is that like American Idol, they judge you on more than your singing. They judge you on appearance, stage presence, performance, etc. When the contest started, one of the judges read off all of the stuff you would be judged on, and one of them was “is your appearance appropriate for the song you are singing?” I giggled when I got the Mic and told the judges I was pretty sure I was shit outta luck on that point. The judges told me I sounded great and seemed sincere – one even gushed! She told me that if she closed her eyes, she would have sworn it was Neil Diamond singing. Hell of a compliment to me as his music was the first I fell in love with. The bad news is they did rightly slam me on not getting the crowd involved.

Next song I followed a guy that sang “Stroke it” and when I got the mic I asked everyone “How the hell am I supposed to compete with a song about masturbation??!!” That got a good laugh but unfortunately that was the only crowd participation I got. I sing fairly well but have the stage presence of a rock.

It’s funny, I was actually scared! I haven’t been that scared singing in front of people in a LONG time, but my hands were shaking! Go figure! Well I didn’t win, but that’s OK. It would have been a bad thing as I couldn’t have come back for the next round the next week and I would have just taken the position from someone that could have.

There was this one cute blond girl that got up and sang “I will always love you” after the contest was over and she was just awesome. I couldn’t help myself – I told her “Before you sang I thought you were cute, after you sang, I think your beautiful!” It gave her a good laugh but I couldn’t wondering if maybe I was acting like a guy? ;-)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Sisters of Worcester and Boston

As my last blog told y'all, my flights to the Boston area got all fouled up, but they did manage to get me there only an hour or so later than originally planned. Got to Wilmington where my hotel was at about 7PM and ran like hell to get ready in time to make the hour drive to the meeting of the Sisters of Worcester. By the way, I was politely informed that it's pronounced "Wurster" :-)

On this trip, I carried only one of my favorite outfits, and lots of others that I have not been wearing.
Sort of trying to force myself to wear new things instead of wearing out my favorites. The new thing I decided to try this time was a miniskirt!
This is the first time I've ever worn one. Thinking it looked cute as hell, I bought this one at least 7 years ago but have just never worn it for a few reasons. Some of it is modesty, some of it is worry about further promoting the "All Tgirls wear is slutty outfits" sort of mentality, and of course the concern that maybe I am too old at 42 for that sort of thing. Anyway, I said to hell with it and gave it a whirl. You know what . . . I loved it! :-) Any of you that have gone out with me probably know, you would almost think I'm going through menopause the way I tend to over heat and get uncomfortably warm when I go out. By the time I cake on enough makeup to hide the beard, then the wig to hide the bald head, I tend to get very warm. Well, wearing the mini sort of solved THAT little problem!
From hitting the hotel with bags packed to heading back out as Kim it was about an hour and a half - a new record for me!

I had a ball at the Sisters of Worcester meeting, they are a great bunch of ladies.
 I already knew the two on the right here, Caroline and Rita, and consider them friends. They both have great attitudes, are fun to hang with, and are just good people.

So the club they meet at had live music, so you know I loved the heck outta that! It was sort of a combination of karaoke, open mike, and her playing guitar and singing.

 This lady sings like you wouldn't believe, with a sweet and clear voice I'd kill for! Add to that the fact that she is from Ireland, and you have winning combination.

Now you know damn good and well there was no way in hell I wasn't gonna ask her if I could borrow her guitar and play a few! :-)

 Listened to a lot of music, assaulted everyone with my own playing and singing, and then called it a night. Apparently miniskirts impress people - on the way out to the parking lot a gentlemen followed me out and politely asked if I wanted company. I'm married and a good girl that doesn't cheat, but it was kind of nice knowing someone thought I was attractive enough to be interested in

So Friday nights the Sisters of Boston meet at the very hotel I was staying in. That is of course why I chose it! Sally got ready in my room and so we had lots of time to chat. When she got there I had 4 outfits laid out on the bed, desperately trying to decide what to wear. Sally thought about it with me for a while and told me I probably ought to go with the mini again. Since I really sort of wanted to do that anyway, I went with her recommendation - at least for the start of the evening.

Sally was also trying to decide what to wear. When she held this dress up by itself, I really didn't think it looked so good, but when she put it on I was stunned - doesn't she look awesome?

After the meeting, most of us headed out for a place called "Toast". At least on this night, it is a dance club primarily for lesbians. This place was PACKED, you couldn't walk in it, and it took about half an hour of fighting the crowd to get a drink. While I enjoyed the company, I would have to be honest that I didn't really enjoy the club much. Too many people in far too small a place, and music I didn't care a lot for. Oh well, can't win 'em all!

So here are assorted pictures from the evening:

Saturday, March 8, 2008

On the way to Boston

Well, as happens so often, I am sitting in an airport. This time it's the Austin Texas airport and I'm on the way to Boston. If you have read any of my blogs about the place, you will know it is one of my favorite places to go. They have a huge TG community there (Sisters of Boston) and they are the friendliest people you will ever meet. The only anxiety there is that my company headquarters is there so its one of the very few places I visit where there is the small chance someone I might not want to will see me. I figure the chance is SOOOOO small that it will not slow me down.

Well, I'm sort of trying to force myself to try different outfits so I only carried one that I normally wear. The rest are things I bought but haven't worn for what ever reason. Maybe it's the engineer in me, I dunno, but when I find a outfit or look that I really like, I tend to wear it to death. One of the things I've brought is a miniskirt that I have literally had for over 5 years but never worn - should be interesting to see if I have the guts to do it or not. Another outfit is a long blue stripped dress. I bought it a couple of years ago but convinced myself I was too fat or too muscular to look decent in it. Well, I tried it on yesterday when I was packing and think it looks pretty cute. Like the mini skirt, it should be interesting to see if I have the courage to actually wear it. We shall see!

As is so often part of air travel, my original flights were canceled. The flights Delta first offered got me in to Manchester at 11PM. I pointed out how often I give them my business and they were able to move me to American and now I am flying into Boston at 530 PM. IF my bags get moved to the other Airline as they should, then I think I can still make it to Worcester. I'll keep my fingers crossed!