Allison M.

Thoughts on life, fashion, fabulousness, and (oh yeah) dressing up from a full-time male who's a part-time female

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Allison empties a bookmark: #MoreThanMean

This morning, I was reminded yet again of the ongoing, very serious issue of misogyny directed at women through online and social media platforms.  One of my tweeps (and I won’t single her out here) had derogatory comments sent her way by some guy hiding behind an icon supporting He Who Must Not Be Named Because He’s Our Thin-Skinned Leader.  All my Twitter friend did was post a couple of witty criticisms directed at men who like… well, let’s just say men who like to post pictures of themselves snagging that big trophy trout on a fishing excursion.  The troll in question replied to her tweet with critiques (to use a less saltier term) directed at her Twitter icon, her physique (she only has a picture of herself from the shoulders up), and suggestions of… uh, inbreeding within her family.

Needless to say, I was disgusted with the flame directed her way, and I encouraged her not to take it anymore.  Personally, I took it a step further and reported this guy’s actions to the powers-that-be at Twitter.  I’m not sure if they’ve deleted his account yet (and he deserves it if they do), but at least my reporting him on my friend’s behalf also meant he was blocked from seeing my account. (Yay!  Take that, Mr. Troll!)

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Extended thoughts about a LGBT center somewhere

My previous post, which you can read here, had me talking about a place of higher learning not too far from my old neck of the (literal) woods establishing a LGBT resource and support center.  After I added it to this blog, I couldn’t help but think about it further…

First off, I can’t say enough how great it is for the University of Wisconsin—Marinette to establish a LGBT center.  I’m happy, of course, that it’s happening in the area where I spent the later years of my adolescence.  More than that, though, I’m happy for those in Marinette and vicinity who identify as part of the LGBT spectrum or are LGBT allies, for they finally — finally! — have somewhere where they can find resources; obtain information on healthcare, transitioning, support, etc.; or just find a safe, welcoming place where they will not be judged for who they identify as or who they may be attracted to.

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Allison clears bookmarks about an LGBT center somewhere

Please don’t let the title of this post make you think I’ve become blasé about the opening of a center dedicated to those who identify as part of the LGBT community.  That’s not the case, for any office or center, large or small, that’s dedicated to providing support, resources, or just a conversation place to our community is a vitally important thing to have, wherever it may be.  Now more than ever, it seems that these centers and the resources they can provide are important, even as our community has made great strides towards rights and acceptance.

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#TBT: Root canals

Before I get to the main purpose of this post, a side thought:  Whoever said that change is the only consistent thing in the world certainly knew a little something about the business world.  Case in point:  The team I’m on at my place of employment, which will soon undergo a reorganization and shifting of duties.  While I understand management’s need to “serve our customers” in an effective manner, no longer having a chance to perform a cool task you really enjoy doing can be the pits.  Oh, well.  The good thing is that I do still have gainful employment, and there’s always the possibility that another cool task may be coming my way (I love having a bit of variety in my daily work routine).

Another thing about this move that’s the pits is that some of the people I enjoy working with won’t be on the same team as I.  One of those people serves as inspiration for this post.  This afternoon, he went to the wonderful world of endodontics and undergo a root canal procedure.  Yeah, what fun, huh?

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Random personal stuff (4/9/2017 edition)

I hope you won’t be bored with my sharing a couple of tidbits involving my family.  We had our annual Easter get-together yesterday.  Yes, Easter isn’t until next weekend, but our schedules (namely, my little sister’s and her weekend with her daughters) had priority over the dictate of the calendar on the wall.  Anyway, we had our big to-do yesterday, and while it was enjoyable to see my family, it wasn’t as fun as in years past.  The reason for that was my other sister and her two daughters were out sick.  One of them, my niece and goddaughter, actually came down with Influenzavirus B late last week and has a 101 degree fever.  Yikes!

Someone else in our family also has some health concerns:  My mom, who has has had issues with her eyes over the past couple of years.  Every 6 to 8 weeks, she needs to see an eye doctor to determine how the pressure and bleeding is fairing inside one of her eyes, and if necessary, receive an injection of medication.  Yesterday, Mom let me know that she has cataracts that will need to be operated on.  Luckily (sort of), her doctor says her eyes are in suitable enough of a condition that she can put off cataract surgery until next year.  At least Mom is nowhere near the point where she’ll be losing her sight any time soon.

So, while the rest of us were enjoying our brunch and catching up on everything going on in our lives, I had fingers crossed in the back of my mind that my niece would get over the flu soon and that my mom’s eye condition would not get serious.  Something tells me that with the strong-willed women in our family, both of them will pull through okay.

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#TBT: “Powww!”

I’ve been away from WordPress for the past couple of days and I’m wanting to get back into the writing swing of things.  Trouble is, I had been wracking my brain about something to write about.  Then I came across an A.V. Club article about a certain Chicago television institution — Bozo the Clown.  Oh, sure, Bozo may have had a presence in other towns (he was not so much a character as he was a franchise, and I’ll circle back to that term later), but to many in Chicagoland, he was as much a part of the city as the Cubs, the Field Museum, and whatever they call the Sears Tower these days.  I imagine many natives of the city still believe this 16 years after Bozo’s show was cancelled by WGN (another Chicago institution in some circles).

But this post isn’t about Bozo or Chicago.  Rather, this is about a little something A.V. Club included in its article from way down deep into the Wikipedia wormhole (their term):  In the late 1970s and early 1980s, there was something called TV Powww, and it was literally a video game played over broadcast television.  So what, you say?  The premise was this:  A contestant watching TV Powww would be on the phone with the station (either as a random caller or as a name drawn from a barrel of entrants) and play some sort of a “target shoot” variant of video game they saw onscreen.

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Rants about lack of LGBT respect

Yeah, I was angry last Thursday.  And not because I heard about how lawmakers in North Carolina repealed that infamous “Bathroom Law” law that not only required transgender people in government and public buildings to use the restrooms that goes with the gender on their birth certificate, but also prevented local municipalities (like, say, Charlotte) to enact anti-discrimination policies — which, in turn, led to North Carolina losing a lot of lucrative business (like, say, college sports championships).

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A poem: “I See You”

Today (March 31) is the International Transgender Day of Visibility, which is a day meant to celebrate those who identify as transgender and to help raise awareness of discrimination faced by trans people everywhere.  (It should not be conflated with the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which occurs in November.)

I won’t get too much into the ins and outs of TDoV in this post, though I do recommend you learn more about the day (here is a good starting point).  What I do want to do is dedicate a few lines of prose (and passing references towards David Bowie and J. Geils Band) to this day and to trans people of all stripes, especially those who, by circumstance or choice, may not live out and proud.  While this prose may not be perfect, know that the words are meant to communicate my appreciation for you, whatever you may identify as.

“I See You”

I see you over there
Sitting all alone and scared
You’re not sure if you’re a boy or a girl
And it’s got your mother in a whirl

The world wants to put you down
And make you frown
They’re misguided for insisting you’re one thing
When you know you’re not what they’re saying

They want you to wear one set of clothes
A set in which you’ll never grow
For that, they think you’re an abomination
But, really, you’re an amazing creation

I know, they want to put you down
To keep you from wiping off your frown
You know you’re one thing
When everyone says you’re another
But to me, you’re more than a sister or a brother

No, really, you’re beautiful
Just the way you are
So don’t be afraid
Shine your own kind of light
Fight their darkness with your personality bright

Oh, I’m sorry
You don’t want to come out?
You do want to be the person you are
But you don’t want to scream or shout?

It’s okay, I understand
I have my own four-walled Neverland
Where I can feel free
And be who I know I be
Which is whatever gender I can be

But you want to be quiet about it
And, really, that’s okay
For it’s good, even better
To be more than whatever gender

But I do wish you can be free
You deserve to be who you know you be
Free from prying eyes
Free from disdaining eyes

Wait…  Please, wait…
Yes, I see you
And I do accept you
For you being you

No, it doesn’t matter to me
What gender you may be
Male or female
Maybe both, maybe neither

Know, though, that I admire you
And I will stand by you and with you
And help protect you
And keep the wolves at bay
No matter what the world may say
I’ll have your back until my last day

So go and be the real you
Do what you feel you can do
Whether you’re trans or non-binary
Or third gender or even spirit two

Fully displayed or in the closet
Know that you’re living honest

But if you’re not out now, don’t worry
For if the time comes when
You show the world who you are
There will be those who will call you friend

There will be those just like you
Or supportive and accepting of you
Who will have your back if you fall
And help you stand up and stand tall

I will be there with you
For today, I see you
And I love and respect you
Because no matter who you are
And no matter what others will say of you
You are living your life… amazingly
Just by being… you

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#TBT follow-up: Mallatt’s


Mallatt’s owner Mike Flint outside his Willy Street location in 2010 (original photo source here)

I usually save any “Throwback Thursday” posts for the actual date, Thursday.  But even though it’s Tuesday, I don’t want to wait until Thursday, even though the subject in question is, sadly, not going anywhere.  Back in October, I talked up in this post Mallatt’s Pharmacy, which has… er, rather, had two locations here in Madison, the older west side location on Monroe Street and a more generally recent east side location on Williamson Street.  Mallatt’s had a couple of locations outside the Madison city limits, but they were no national chain, that’s for sure.  Since it was established in 1926, Mallatt’s had been a nice, convenient corner pharmacy, one who’s much more intimate than those national chains (like, say, Walgreens) whose stores are sterile, antiseptic clones of each other.

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