Allison M.

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


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Random personal stuff (6/9/2019 edition)

6-7-2019 738-31pmYep, that’s me taking that selfie.  This past Friday night, I dolled myself up, put on this brand new pride-themed shirt I found at Ragstock, and went to Mother Fools for their monthly poetry performance.  I hadn’t been there since doing some semi-freeform spoken-word stuff last December, and hadn’t been a part of their first-Friday-of-the-month poetry events in well over a year.  I hadn’t been there for various reasons, including my job search last summer, just feeling dog-tired from the work assignment I have right now (more on that in a moment), and lack of creative poetry juices.

This time around, though, I didn’t want to make excuses to myself or wait any longer.  So, after I finished my work day late Friday, I made a bee line straight home to get changed into Allison.  It would have been a little sooner than late Friday had I not had to stick around for a couple of things I had been meaning to do all day at work (again, more on work later).

Still, it was amazing how I turned out after applying my makeup.  I’d say it took under an hour for me to slather on the foundation, blush, eye shadow, and lipstick, not to mention straighten out my wig.  (Note to self: The hair goes over the glasses’ arms.)  Oh, it also took an extra hour to do some extra shaving of my face and find the maxi-skirt and shirt I wanted to wear (my closet is always unorganized *sigh*).

But how did I do at the mic, you ask?  Well, while I was a bit rusty, especially with my less-than-perfect poetry intros, I did all right.  And even with the light crowd indoors at Mother Fools on what was an incredibly beautiful Friday evening (perhaps most of the regular crowd was taking advantage of that weather), it was a nice, accepting, and appreciative atmosphere.

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The not-so-ordinary mother figures (a Mother’s Day addendum)

I had a feeling when I wrote my previous post about Mother’s Day on Saturday night, I would fail to include a few important (to me) things about the subject matter.  Indeed, I had only made passing mention of three not-so-traditional forms of mothers in this world.  One of those was the single-parent setup, of which I was part of during my very young years:  My mother was a divorcee, and she looked after and provided for both my sister and I on her own for several years.  Even after she remarried, had another child, and took another job, she still cared for us and made sure we were doing alright even with our latchkey kid setup (she worked nights for a while, and Dad was on the road quite a bit).  Things weren’t always hunky dory, but we turned out okay for the most part.

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Allison is witness to a RAID!

As I noted in my previous blog post, I’m skipping participating in the Crazylegs Classic today, mentally recuperating from a very grueling work week.  However…

At least I did take the time to do a little something for me.  Friday night, I got out of the house, hit the town, and considered a significant event that occurred way back in the past.  June 28, 1969, to be exact.

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Image source: Stage Q on Facebook

This year is the 50th anniversary of the famous Stonewall riots in New York City.  As they occurred during an era of social upheaval in the United States (the late 1960s), they are widely considered to be the catalyst of the gay liberation movement and the modern-day fight for LGBT rights and freedoms.

With the golden jubilee of Stonewall upon us, the Madison-based LGBT theater group Stage Q commissioned an original play that reenacts that important night in history.  The result was RAID! Attack on Stonewall, which ends a 7-performances-over-2-weekends run at the Bartell Theatre this afternoon. Continue reading


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When even flowers couldn’t cheer me up

I want to show you a little something I received at my work assignment this morning:4-24-2019 804-43amI found this wonderful set of… violas, I think. (If you’re reading this and are a better horticulturalist than I am, feel free to correct me in the comments section.)  The chief executive officer of the organization I’m assigned to has demonstrated a cheerful disposition whenever I’ve interacted with her.  Even though I only get to see her on occasion, she is appreciative of those who work on the organization’s behalf.  Even a little grunt like myself and a colleague I’ll refer to as J.T. for anonymity’s sake.

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A little long and short

This Easter weekend will find me traveling out of town for my family’s holiday to-do.  Naturally, that rules out any chance for me to dress up as Allison and meet up with the CD/TG support I’m a part of.  But at least I had the chance to do so the past two weekends, including a Saturday meeting we had two weeks ago.

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A poem: “Road Map”

There are a couple of inspirations for this poem, the first being the sad anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which occurred 51 years ago this week.  The night before he died, Dr. King gave a famous speech that, while it seemed to foreshadow his untimely passing, encouraged his listeners to stay on the road to freedom and fairness, no matter how long it takes.  I saw a tweet this week by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that highlighted the anniversary of Dr. King’s death but also encouraged younger audiences to listen to that speech, saying that “King may have been taken, but he left instructions.”

The other inspiration is this week’s spring general election in Madison.  For sure, just as Dr. King promoted the rights and fairness of all people over half a century ago, it’s good that our progressive-leaning new leaders will do the same.  They learned from past generations after all, including the gentleman Satya Rhodes-Conway unseated as our mayor.  While he did seem to be well past his freshness date, public service wise (he did serve as our mayor over parts of 5 decades after all), he did have a reputation as a “progressive warrior” even before he first became mayor, not unlike a certain U.S. Senator from Vermont.

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A couple of spring election thoughts

A couple of thoughts that surfaced to the top of my mind the day after an important spring election.  Well, it was important here in Madison, and I’ll bring up why in a second.  If you had spring general elections where you lived, know that it was important for your locale as well, and that you exercised your right to vote.

Perhaps the most noteworthy election occurred in the city of Chicago, which in Lori Lightfoot will see only its second female mayor, not to mention its third African-American mayor. (That her opponent was also black and female made it an historic campaign.)  Lightfoot is also gay, and will become Chicago’s first openly LGBT mayor.

Lori Lightfoot’s victory is certainly noteworthy and historic in Chicago, certainly perking the spirits of her supporters and some optimism within the city’s LGBT community.  But here in Madison, we had our own significant election this week, involving the person pictured to your right.  Satya Rhodes-Conway has called Madison home for 20 years.  She served on Madison’s City Council for 6 years and had been working with a UW—Madison-based think tank when she decided to run for the office of Mayor of the City of Madison.

Satya was among 6 candidates for mayor and placed in the top two when the first round of the election was held in February.  The other person who advanced to this week’s election is perhaps best known by this moniker:  “Mayor for Life.”  No, don’t take that literally, but he did spend 22 years over 3 tenures as mayor that covered parts of five decades.  That and the fact that his viewpoints and fighting spirit matched that of most of the citizenry (progressive, radical) gave one the sense that he could be mayor for as long as he lived on this earth.

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A dream… or a Pride premonition?

At least a couple of times on here, I’ve described some of the crazy dreams I’ve had, not the “I wanna see my name in lights” kind of dream but rather the “deep in peaceful slumber” and “so lucid it felt as if it was real life” kind.  I had one of those very lucid dreams last weekend… but with some news this week, I’m wondering if it wasn’t so much a dream as it was a forecast of what was to come.

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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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