Friday, July 20, 2012

Makeovers by Face It Photos

Me (I wish I looked that good!)

OK peeps, y'all don't hear me plug a business very often, and when I DO, it's usually because I am deeply impressed and because they treated me very well. I think that I've plugged Delta airlines and the Holiday Inn chain of hotels here before because both have greeted yours truly with open arms and an honestly inviting attitude for years now.
Well, I’m plugging a new one today – Face it Photos.  The young lady that runs the joint used to digitally alter photos professionally and can do what I consider to be nothing short of an incredible job with a run-of-the-mill photograph and give you something awesome in return! Not only that, but she does it for a VERY fair price, more or less asking only for your donation – as little or as much as you can afford and think fair. As an example, for this photo that she made over for me, I sent her $15, and that makes it by far the least expensive makeover that I have ever had, and all without my ever leaving the house!

Tears literally filled my eyes when I saw the photos that she did for me, because I just can’t believe how young and beautiful she made me look. I figure that if her work can have that kind of effect on me, it is worth sharing with you. So go and give her facebook page a quick look and consider what she might be able to do with one of your photo’s!



Oh, and do me a favor?  Tell her that you heard it from me, would you? I’m not going to get kickbacks or anything like that, I just want her to know that we spread the word and try and take care of people that are good to us.


Friday, July 13, 2012

The Quick Change Artist (Detroit June 2012)

It’s been a while since I last traveled pretty, and that has been for an assortment of reasons.  For one, the summer heat is brutal and makes it tough to look and feel your best. It’s hot for anyone, but when you add hip pads, breast forms, nylons, and a face caked with makeup, it becomes truly unbearable.  The other reason I’ve been flying in boy mode is because my wife has become increasingly unhappy with my activities and has been letting me know this pretty much every chance that she gets.
As I was packing my things for this week’s trip, I was running around in shorts and a new t-shirt when my wife made a comment to me.

“I like the way you look in that shirt.” She said with a smile.
“This ol’ thing? I just found it hanging in my closet.” I replied with a grin. After a brief pause, she started laughing and then replied.
“You are so broke in the head. You have no idea what is in the boy side of your closet, but I’ll bet that you know every single thing you have hanging on the other side!”

Of course, that’s just plain silly, I thought to myself, because I have a really shitty memory and way too many female clothes for me to even come close to recalling each and every one of them! I suspected that I wasn’t going to be doing myself any favors if I told her that though, so I let it ride and only replied with a laugh. She wasn’t done though. . .

 “I miss Matthew.” She said with a forlorn look on her face. It took me a second to realize what she had said as it seemed kind of out of context.
“What do you mean?”
“Just that – I want Matthew back.”
“Umm , I never left. I’m still here ya know?!”
“Yeah, but it seems like ‘Kimberly’ is taking over.”
“Hell, I haven’t traveled as Kimberly in over a month!”
“I still think you’re obsessed with it.”
“I don’t know if that’s entirely fair. I go to great lengths to only do this when I travel and am away from home you know? You never have to see it or deal with it, so I’m not sure why it is a problem for you. I can’t help thinking that maybe you’re obsessed with it.”
She decided to change her angle of attack after that comment.
“You know, every single time you leave the house that way, you risk our family.” She said. I wasn’t entirely sure how to respond to that one, and was a little taken aback by the anger in her voice.
“Sweetheart, you know that your mother has already told everyone in your family right? I have no idea how she found out, but she made sure that everyone else knows now. What risk is left?”
“How about your job? If they find out that you are misrepresenting the company when you are traveling on their time and money?”
“I’m not representing them this way – I wouldn’t dream of going to a customer like that. How I travel is my business.” I replied, getting more than a little defensive.
“I just miss Matthew.” She said again.
“Baby, I’ve never changed. This is me, and has always been me. I honestly don’t know what to tell you if that makes you so unhappy.  I hate to say this, but maybe you should decide if you want me anymore. I know that this is not what you signed up for or expected, and I do understand that. If you can’t stand to be with me, I’ll let you go. I don’t want you to leave, but I I’ll let you go if you want to.”
Funny thing – you expect that I would recall her answer, but I was so upset that I guess I don’t. Obviously she didn’t say “get out” though . . .

I didn’t share this to air my dirty laundry in public, I just figure that I always share the amusing and fun stuff with you so it’s only fair to also comment on the bad things that happen and on the consequences that go hand in hand with my choices. Sigh . . .

So Monday morning I found myself back in the Austin airport as always, and I made my way to the US Airways counter. The ladies there still aren’t quite as friendly as the Delta folks have become with me, but I think that they are warming up a little. It goes without saying that I had the full attention of all of the women behind the counter as I stepped up. We exchanged the usual pleasantries, just minor chit-chat and nothing of note, and then I made my way to the security check area. As I was removing my shoes and sparklies, an absolutely stunning woman wearing a flawless “business woman” dress looked at me for a moment and then approached.

“You aren’t Linda are you?” she asked, very hesitant and clearly pretty sure that I wasn’t.
“Nope!” I told her with a laugh.
I wonder if she has found Linda yet?

After I put all of my things onto the x-ray machines belt, I made my way over to the body scanner to wait for my turn to go through it. For just a brief moment I was delighted to find that there was a large fan behind us, desperately trying in vain to cool all of the folks waiting in line. I say I was delighted for a moment, because that’s all it took to realize that I was in trouble! The cute summer dress that I was wearing was made out of a very light material, and it very much wanted to help me do an impression of Marylyn Monroe. One second I was prim and proper, and the very next second the skirt of my dress was trying to climb up to my ears. Needless to say, I frantically grabbed at the dress and held it in place against the offending breeze while I waited my turn with a bright red face.
I’m pretty sure that I didn’t show anyone more than is proper, but I’m not positive. . .

After I boarded the airplane, I was off in my own little world, listening to my music and reading a book on my IPAD, when an off duty flight attendant took the seat directly in front of mine. I had to laugh though, when part way through the flight she went to the lavatory for about five minutes, and when she came out she was wearing casual clothes and had her hair down.

“Now that was a quick change!” I told her with grin.
“I know! You get pretty good at it with practice!” she laughed.
“I’m especially impressed given the lack of room in those bathrooms! There is hardly enough room to sit in there, let alone change clothes!”
We laughed about it for a minute or two, and then she started telling me about how her divorce had just been finalized, and she was going to meet some girl friends for her first night on the town as a single woman in 17 years. The thing that struck me was how very happy she seemed at the whole idea!

I had one giggle moment that was work related while I was in Detroit. The machine I was repairing uses several gold plated mirrors, and sometimes these need to be cleaned, so I asked my customer to show me the way to the men’s room so that I could run the mirror under hot water. He was leading the way, and I was following him while carrying a $4000 mirror that was still at around 190 Celsius (HOT!). There were several men leaving the restroom as we entered it, and he turned to me.
“Do you want me to hold it for you?” he asked as we entered the men's room. Of course he was referring to the mirror, but the guys that were leaving the room didn’t know that, and the looks on their faces was priceless!
“All things considered, maybe you should consider rephrasing that question?” I asked him.

When I returned my Avis rental car, the lady that took care of me was one that I have dealt with several times before, and she happily greeted me.
“There’s my favorite girl with the killer shoes, and oh, those are awesome!” she said.
“Thank you!” I laughed
“So - how did you like the car?” She asked while pointing at the Ford Flex I had rented
“I loved it. To be honest, I don’t care for the boxy outside, but the interior is awesome.”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought about the outside too, but I really like the car.”
“I liked it too. Can I have it?” I asked with grin.
“Sure! I’ll trade you the car for the shoes?”
“Your on!” I told her, and we both laughed at the absurd trade.

I think that the Detroit airport must set their equipment to be a bit more sensitive than other airports, because I’ve been breezing through the body scanners for months now with no problems, but I hit a brick wall here. As I exited the scanner, I turned to look at the display that shows the inspector that I am either good to go, or shows them where they need to inspect my person. I groaned as I saw that it was marking my chest area and my waist. The chest area is no great surprise as I was wearing breast forms, but I still have no idea why it flagged my waist. Anyway, the inspector apparently wasn’t happy with the results and asked me to enter the body scanner again. I’ve been frisked quite a few times, but this was the first time that I’ve ever been asked to go through the machine again. The only flaw with that plan was that another woman had already entered it and was standing there with her hands above her head waiting for them to scan her. The inspector asked her to step back out of the machine but the woman apparently didn’t hear her and so continued to stand there with her hands up.
“Ma’am!” The inspector called out firmly to her. “Please step back out of the machine!”
The poor woman turned dark red as she put her hands down and backed out, and I turned dark red as I re-entered and took her place.
Nothing changed on the second trip through though, and I still wound up getting frisked. This time they even took swabs on my hands and put them through a machine. The woman taking the sample gave me a regretful look that seemed to say “I’m sorry about this” and so I tried to lighten up the mood.
“What? Do I look like a terrorist or something?” I asked with a laugh.
“Not at all, it’s just procedure!” she replied
“Sure sure . . . “ I said with a skeptical and sarcastic tone of voice, and gave her a wink.

I’m sure that you’ll all be happy to know that she didn’t find a trace of any explosives on my hands . . .