Allison M.

A crossdresser's thoughts on life, fashion, fabulousness, and (oh yeah) dressing up


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Why Allison joined Facebook (and other thoughts about social media)

In this post from late last month, I detailed the topic of my general presence online.  That post and the one you’re about to read were inspired by one of the “June Jour” topics my WordPress peep, The Finicky Cynic, posted on her site in June:  Thoughts about social media use.  As I noted in that post, I tend to think of my online and social media presences as intertwined with each other.  After that lengthy post about the online life, I will center this post on how I got to the “You Are Here” point on social media, as well as whether there’s too much of it and if I tend to rely on it too much (spoiler alert: There is, and I do).

I will start off by alluding to some relatively personal social media news:  I had mentioned once or twice on this blog that I was never keen to establishing an account on Facebook.  I gave reasons such as the controversy over Facebook requiring users to use their real names and not their stage name or preferred private alias, to the image of Mark Zuckerberg being a big prick (yeah, I got that from The Social Network).  And I still feel a lot of trepidation and hesitance over establishing a Facebook account.

And yet, out of necessity, I’ve established a Facebook account.

Now, you will certainly brand me a hypocrite for joining Facebook after expressing for so long how nice it was to not have done so.  But I have two key reasons for doing so, which I’ll get to later in this post.  First, I want to start off with my first venture into social media, Twitter.  As I mentioned in this post, I had never thought about answering the siren song of social media until a couple of months after getting my first full-fledged smart phone.  Before then, I had one of those basic flip phones for a few years, but with the rapid advancement of personal technology, that phone became oh so archaic by the time I bought my first smart phone in 2010.

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What happened to my old apartment?

I wanted to make note of a couple of things I discovered during last weekend’s trip to and from my class reunion, which I highlighted in my previous post.  Both of these have to do with two old apartments I had lived in during my 12 years in the Green Bay area.  (Yes, you non-Wisconsinites, that Green Bay.)  The first tidbit concerns the last apartment I lived in up there.  Actually, I take that back somewhat:  This isn’t about that apartment itself so much as it is about the plot of land kitty-corner from it.  On that 1-acre plot was a little red farm house along with matching garage and small barn, all closely situated within each other.

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Class reunion thoughts

Today, after 5 days away from work, I headed back to the 8-hour grind.  Strange as it may sound to you, I’m so very glad that I’m back to work.  That’s because the past couple of days were really, really rotten for me.  Oh, it wasn’t due to a familial or personal situation, though it was something related to my writing talents and to my status as a… uh, well, if you read my bio to the right of your screen, you’ll notice that there’s something different to it.  I won’t get into the details about why that’s the case on this blog just yet, at least until I’m all cheered up and willing to broach the topic.

Instead, I want to share some thoughts about something much, much nicer that happened to me during the three days prior to the past two.  Last Friday, I drove up to my old home town in… let’s just say Northern Wisconsin for a 30-year reunion of my high school graduating class.  How was it, you’re asking?  Well, it was a rather modest affair.  No, I don’t mean it was staid and sedated.  Try more like a quickly-assembled affair.  From how I understand it, were some classmates who would’ve loved to assemble a grand (or somewhat grand) to-do for our Class of ’87, including those who’ve organized our previous reunions.  Unfortunately, it appears that they were unable to do so this year for whatever reason.

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One very busy birthday girl

As you can tell from the starry pink banner and this post’s title, today (August 3) is my 48th birthday.  As has been the case in most of my adulthood, this day will be your normal everyday kind of day:  Work, work, work.  Maybe a card or a text from family (I already received one from Mom earlier this week).  Already a few birthday wishes added to my URNotAlone profile’s guestbook (a big “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” banner is added to members’ profiles when it’s their birthday).  And perhaps a little bit of relaxation when I finally get home.

I say “when I finally get home” as I’ve been a rather busy girl of late, especially with putting my nose to the proverbial grindstone at work.  And I’ll be pretty busy the rest of this month as well.  Here in Madison, a small, trans-oriented art and performance exhibition is scheduled for the last weekend of this month.  I’ve become so enamored of late by presenting my poetry and storytelling before live audiences (and doing so as Allison), which propelled me to submit my poems for consideration to this event.  If they approve, I’ll get all dolled up and step up to the microphone before my fellow trans sisters and brothers for the first time (hope it won’t be a tough crowd).

A weekend before that, Madison will have its annual LGBT pride event.  And the trans support group I’ve been attending will have an entry in the parade.  All of our “T’s” and “I’s” need to be crossed and dotted yet, but I can’t wait for Madison to see us.  What’s more, I’m hoping to march with my group as Allison for the very first time.  I’m so excited.

And this very weekend will be the 30-year reunion of my high school graduating class.  Am I nervous about it?  A little bit, as I wonder how much time, adulthood, and our current society have changed my fellow Class of 1987 graduates.  The reunion came, for me at least, on rather short notice, so I’m not sure how many of my class will be able to attend.  Still, I’m actually looking forward to the event… even though I’ve never been the party girl-type, nor did I socialize very much in high school.  Plus, it’ll be interesting to see how much our home town, a rather small Northern Wisconsin hamlet, has changed (for better and for worse) in the 5 years since our previous reunion.

So, yeah, not a lot of time for me to celebrate turning 48.  But as I noted above, I’ve gotten used to the 3rd day of August feeling like any of the other 364 days of the year, and that’s okay.  But know that if you wish me a happy birthday, I’ll send gratitude and thanks your way.  Hope you have your own very nice day.


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How I became so much cooler online

I need to lead off this post with a confession:  This post was originally going to be much longer and much broader in scope than what you are about to read.  I was inspired by a recent writing prompt by one of my WordPress peeps, The Finicky Cynic, about social media.  However, I originally chose to cover the broad online life in responding, as I’m one who considers my online and social media lives as symbiotic with each other.  But once I got to around the halfway mark of my post, I realized… wowzers, this post is turning into a very long read.  I also realized that just talking about the social media life is a long slog in itself.

So, to give both of us — you, the reader, and me, the writer — a break from the monotony, I will save the social media ruminations for a near-future post that, knowing me, I will edit and re-edit and re-re-edit before sharing with you… and use this particular entry to talk up the path my female side has taken on the World Wide Web.  (Uh, do they still call it that yet?)

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Trying to get things perfect

When reading this blog, you may have noticed I’m a budding poetry writer (well, I consider myself budding), and that just a couple of weeks ago, I took the leap of presenting some of my poetry as Allison in front of an intimate live audience.  That night was a real confidence builder not only for presenting my female side but also my writing abilities.

I do, however, consider my current poetry writing abilities as being at a less-than-perfect point.  So far, with one or two exceptions, most of my poetry subjects have been about LGBT themes and trying to meet eye-to-eye with someone who’s not necessarily part of our community, meaning subject outside those realms can be hard for me to interpret into prose.  As well, I’m one who wants to write, rewrite, and re-rewrite poetry (and some other blog posts) over time, doing so until it feels to me to be as perfect as possible.

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About a few words from Marlene Dietrich

For most of this week so far, I’ve been trying to write an epic post inspired by a certain site’s writing prompt.  I’ve had a hard time trying to formulate a response to that post, in part because I’m taking a look at the subject with a far-too-broad scope.  So, to keep my writing spirits up, I’ll fall back on another subject I’ve had percolating.  Take a look at the following quote I came across a while back from the famous actress Marlene Dietrich:

“I am at heart a gentleman.”

Ms. Dietrich was a woman known for defying sexual and gender roles.  I mean, she looked just as glamorous in a top hat and tails as she did in a cocktail dress, not to mention having dalliances with both men and women.  You could consider that quote a summary of Marlene blurring those gender and sexual lines.

Reading her quote, I took it to heart in a somewhat similar way, in that beneath all the wigs, blouses, skirts, dresses, pantyhose, and heels I may wear is a gentleman.  No, I’m don’t mean the “bro” type of gentleman who would drive a truck, down a beer or two (or several), root for the home team at the top of their lungs, and treat women as some sex object.  Au contraire, mes amis (or should I say, Im Gegenteil, meine Freunde to acknowledge Ms. Dietrich’s German background), for I try to emphasize the “gentle” in “gentleman.”

I consider myself the type who treats women of all stripes — young and old; black, white, or other; cis-gender or trans — with respect and dignity.  I feel it comes from the strong women I’ve encountered throughout my life, from those in my family to those in my places of employment. I’d dare say some of it comes from dressing up as a woman, too. While I may sometimes dress in an alluring and eye-catching way, I do it with the intention of presenting my feminine side in a respective way.

So, if you were to come across me somewhere (online, in person, however), know that while I may present myself as female, know that I am, at heart, a true gentleman.


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Allison in Madison: Two downtown art fairs in one weekend

Yep, you read that post title correctly:  Madison is such a cool city artistic-wise that we have not one but two separate, neighboring, coexisting — and free — art fairs that occur downtown on the 2nd weekend of July every year.

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The night Allison read poetry… out loud!

If you are a regular reader of this post, you’ve noticed that I’ve made periodic attempts at writing in a creative way.  One of those attempts has been the writing of my own poetry.  Now, I’m not the world’s most perfect poet (and I know it), but putting pen to prose… er, uh, actually more like putting fingers to keyboard to prose has stimulated my creative writing juices quite a bit.  Even if some of my rhymes fall flat, I still take pride in knowing that I took a creative risk.

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A coffee shop that isn’t Starbucks

Last Friday night (July 7), I took, for me, a really awesome risk:  Reading my original poetry in front of a live audience… and doing so in my feminine persona!  Here’s the deal:  I established an account with a certain social media service (which is a subject for a future post, I promise), and through it learned about an open mic poetry reading at Mother Fool’s, a little coffeehouse on Williamson Street on Madison’s near east side that’s been around since 1994 and serves breakfast, lunch, soups, bakery goods, coffee, conversation, wi-fi… and, yes, live entertainment.  (The above photo is from a post a couple of years ago about Willy Street as a whole.  Since that photo, Mother Fool’s suffered damage to its front entrance, thanks to a drunk driver turning the place into a drive-thru last August.  Mother Fool’s had to close for a while, but in due time the entrance was repaired and looking good as new.)

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A creepy moment… and a new not-so-creepy landlord?

Happy Sunday, peoples!  I finally have time to get back on WordPress this afternoon after what’s been a pretty busy and pretty eventful weekend for me.  In fact, it’s been much more eventful then I thought it would be.  I hope to expand in later posts about some of what I did, including taking part in a poetry reading.  I will devote this post, though, to something very, very unexpected.

I must preface that unexpected something, though, with something else that I haven’t had the chance to mention on here yet:  Our apartment building has a new(?) landlord.  If you’ve followed me on Twitter or saw me mention it on here at least once, you know that I’ve referred to my landlord as “Creepy,” as the owner (not the manager) had a rather snooty yet creepy speaking voice when I first spoke with her.  Well, last month, we saw a change around here, starting with a brand spankin’ new “for rent” sign in our front yard (two apartments in our building have been empty for some time) and a note taped to my front door.  They were both from a property management company that is pretty prominent here in the Madison area, and the note indicated they became receivers of our building and have taken over management.

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