Allison M.

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


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Random stuff (11/2/2019 edition)

Just thought I’d share with you a few photos I had already shared on social media but also want to share to you, dear blog readers.  And I must emphasize, what you’re about to see is indeed from this past week.10-31-2019 713-30amYes, nice and quaint, now isn’t it?  But it’s just a storage shed covered in snow.  That’s right, snow.  At the end of October.  You want more?  By all means, take it… because we had to drive through it.10-31-2019 711-02amBoth of these images were from Thursday morning, when Madison and Southern Wisconsin was hit with a way-too-early snowstorm.  And believe it or not, it wasn’t the first bit of snowfall we saw this week, as a not-so-nasty storm hit late Monday evening.

All in all, Madison received a reported 8.1 inches of snow between the two storms.  It also left us scratching our collective heads and wondering, “It’s way too early for snow.”  I mean, more than a few trees around here still have yellow leaves on them (don’t let the lack of leaves on the above pictures tell you otherwise).  But if we’ve learned anything from previous winters in Wisconsin, it’s that Mother Nature can disrupt things any time she pleases.  Yeah, Mother Nature is one cold, evil, scheming, calculating, uncaring, unsympathetic witch!

But amidst the treachery of this early winter, I spotted a bit of levity.  No, it didn’t involve footage of people frolicking in the snow, but something even better:11-1-2019 746-27amDuring my drive to work on Friday, I came across this sign in front of a dry cleaning establishment.  The intended message of the sign, of course, is to encourage people to bring their not-so-clean suits, gowns, etc. here and they’ll put them back into good use.  But to put it more succinctly, if you look good, you feel good.  In other words… look snappy, feel happy.

I got a kick out of the positive attitude of this sign’s message.  When you think of it, its words are also timely, as adverse weather, not unlike what we’ve seen this week, can prompt even the most hearty of crossdessers to stay inside.  But don’t be afraid to dress to the nines in your best outfit.  It doesn’t matter what season it is, whether you must bundle up first, or if your catwalk or red carpet is within the confines of your home.  Do so, and you’ll give Old Man Winter the fierce brushback [*insert diva finger snaps in a circle*] he clearly has coming to him.


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The light is fading from Prism

I’ve been busy the past couple weeks due to my current work assignment, my blog posts about the OutReach Awards Banquet (which you can read here and here), personal errands, and dealing with very loud neighbors who like to turn up their stereos’ volume to 22 (ugh!).  That’s not to say I haven’t kept up on other things going on.  This includes a significant news item that came about a week ago.

Image source: Prism via Our Lives Magazine (2019)

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may recall my posts earlier this year about an LGBT+ nightclub on Williamson Street that had been known for most of its history as Plan B.  Late in 2018, some drag performers raised a ruckus about being prevented from prepping for their show in a dressing room that was already less than ideal.  The subsequent reaction to that incident revealed lingering issues from Plan B’s customer base, concerns about not only the club’s direction but how its then-owners and staff (mis)treated the bar’s performers and clientele, especially female and black patrons.

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False start! (No offense?)

It’s the weekend, always a prime time to decompress from the work week just past, and recharge for the work week ahead.  For me, this past week was a significant one, in that I started a brand new work assignment through a staffing agency.  The assignment is at… well, uh uh, I’m not gonna tell you all.  I need to let Male Mode Me have his anonymity and professional dignity secure.

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Sitting towards the East

I’ve been away from WordPress for most of the past week and a half, and boy, has that time been eventful for me.  As you may recall from my last post, the work assignment I had been a part of was drawing to a close, and that I was in need of looking for new work to do.  I was already prepared that it would draw to a close.  Well, sort of prepared.  While I had already sent out feelers for new opportunities, I wasn’t yet mentally prepared to leave behind the organization, duties, and work environment I had gotten used to for 13 months.

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The 2019 OutReach Magic Festival

Last weekend was the third weekend of August, one in which Madison’s LGBT+ community celebrates and puts on a show.  Normally, that would have included a parade up State Street and a rally around the Capitol Square.  This year, however, thanks to city ordinances, police department demands, and organizational logistics, event organizers went back to the future, as it were…

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#TBT: An enjoyable first impression of Madison

There’s an anniversary in our family this week that I imagine we’ve forgotten about because we’ve been so busy.  I didn’t, however, although for a moment I forgot exactly which day it occurred.  For sure, though, it was in the month of May.  And definitely for sure, it occurred 20 years ago today (May 16, 1999).  This was the day that the older of my two sisters graduated from college.

Sis has been in the health care world for her entire professional life, and during the 1990s she went for further schooling, starting out at UW—Green Bay for a couple of semesters before transferring to UW—Madison.  And 20 years ago, our entire family spent the weekend herein Madison, where we all saw Sis walk up to that stage, grab that diploma, and turn her tassel from right to left.

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Why Allison’s skipping Crazylegs

At the time I write this, it’s not just Saturday morning, but the last Saturday of April.  On this day, traditionally, the Crazylegs Classic takes place.  As loyal readers of this blog may recall, I’ve run the 8-kilometer-long Crazylegs each of the last three years (2016, 2017, and 2018).  Each time, it was a great experience, though naturally the first of those three was the most amazing.

This year, however, I’m skipping Crazylegs.  No it’s not necessarily because the event’s 8K course will go nowhere near Capitol Square (its traditional, and inspiring, staging area), thanks in part to the same ridiculous City of Madison permit changes that will prevent an LGBT pride parade on State Street this year.  And it’s not because the finish line setup and post-race party wasn’t as fun as many of my fellow participants had hoped it’d be. (The east side of Camp Randall?  *ugh*  A DJ instead of a live band?  *yawn*)  And it’s not because that around the time this year’s race begins at 10AM, Madison will start to get whopped by a nasty spring snowstorm (miserable weather has never stopped Crazylegs before).

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Another one down: Charlotte Russe

If you’ve read some of my blog posts over the past year or so, you’ve sensed a lament of retail fashion and department store outlets succumbing to the pressures of nimble competition and owners who want to make a profit on their investment.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s selling clothes or toys, whether they catered to a younger or older crowd, or even if they were prominent in online sales.  If a store closes up shop, it leaves an empty space in your nearby mall/plaza/whatever, creates queasiness in city and mall managers, and definitely leaves a big pit in an avid shopper’s heart.

Unfortunately, what’s been a leading reason for these stores/chains shuttering is bankruptcy.  It’s been happening with Shopko, which declared Chapter 11 in late January and has announced more than several store closures since then, including their last 3 locations here in the Madison area.  For Shopko, not only is their misfortune the result of withering competition, it also involves keeping lining further the pockets of their vulture private equity owners.  At the beginning of this month, it was revealed that Shopko had to borrow over $179 million from financial lenders to pay dividends and “consulting fees” to the investment firm that owns it.  Some of that money — $13.5 million worth — could have gone to the State of Wisconsin in the form of taxes and other fees Shopko still owes the state.  Yeah, that’s a lot of money, and who knows what Shopko’s fate could be right now if it went to where it should have gone (i.e. the taxman, employees, debtors) instead of the fat-cat owners who want only one thing: A quick return on their investment. Continue reading


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Having to say hello to a goodbye

By now, you’ve perhaps heard of the hopefully happy news in the world of retail shopping:  Sears is going to stick around a little longer.  A couple of weeks or so ago, a U.S. bankruptcy judge allowed a plan by the chairman and biggest shareholder of Sears’ and Kmart’s parent company to stay in business, beating back challenges by creditors of the company who wanted a liquidation.

So, the judge’s approval means that Sears’ 425 stores will stay open, and its 45,000 employees will remain on the job.  While that’s good news, naturally, it’s not all sunshine and lollypops at the moment:  Sears Holdings has been under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since October, and since that time has closed several of its stores, including its location at West Towne Mall, just down the road from where I live.  And it still has to find a way to attract those who left it behind for the likes of Walmart, Target, and Amazon.

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#TBT follow-up: From Plan B to…

12-30-2018 1205-30pmOne month ago, I wrote in this post about Plan B, the LGBT-oriented nightclub on Williamson Street that you see in the above photo, and how wound up in a very unflattering light.  To sum up:  Back in December, some drag performers had a cow when club staff forbid them from changing in their usual dressing room.  The queens called out the club on social media, with some of them severing ties with Plan B.  Several other performers and patrons said “I can top that story” and called out club ownership for how they ran the club, one owner in particular for his treatment of staff and customers, and one security staffer for an incident with a black patron.

When the dust settled, Plan B was sold, with founding owner Rico Sabatini returning to take ownership of the club.  It also led to some reflecting of what Plan B became under the previous ownership — that is, a club that was and still is widely popular but lost its original focus of being a safe and inviting haven for the LGBT+ community.

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