Allison M.

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

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Random personal stuff (2/8/2019 edition)

A few personal things from the past week to catch you up on, going somewhat in reverse order.  First, I’m relaxing at home this Friday evening resting up from a pretty annoying head cold I may be (hopefully) in the final throes of.  No, it’s not one of those “stay home and deal with the pain” types of colds, rather one of those viruses that starts with a little bit of congestion, spends a day or two blocking one nostril, blocks the other nostril the two days after that, and leaves you reaching for the tissue box more often than you’d like.  Or much more often if there’s a lot of sneezing thrown in.  I think there must be a lot of dry air in the office I’m stuck in.

The only person I’m blaming for giving me this cold is Mother Nature.  She had the audacity to send Madison from bone-chilling -30º temperatures last week to +47º last weekend to single-digit temperatures and icy roads and pavements today.  Sure, I enjoyed that nice warm spell we had last weekend (who wouldn’t?), but the whiplash-inducing swings from cold to warm and back to cold again has been the frequent culprit of colds in my lifetime.  Oh, well, I’ll survive. Continue reading

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Random personal stuff (2019 polar vortex edition)

One of the nice things about living in Wisconsin is that the scenery is pretty awesome.  Whether it’s the urban skyline of Milwaukee or Madison, the majestic natural formations of places like Kettle Moraine, or the peacefulness of Door County, this state produces scenes that can be all at once tranquil, exciting, awe inspiring, and breathtaking, no matter what the season may be, including here in winter.  But the beauty of winter is served on a double-edged sword:  The sight of a snow-covered field or wooded area brings serenity, but it’s best appreciated when you’re indoors looking through a window.

Madison’s State Street on Monday (photo source: Wisconsin State Journal)

The past couple of weeks here in Madison have brought 3 different snowstorms of varying degrees of effect.  The most recent of those storms occurred this past Sunday evening/Monday morning, when a storm dumped around 6 inches of snow.

That Monday snowstorm was actually the good news of the week, and not just because the original Madison forecast called for more snow than that.  It ushered in what meteorologists call a polar vortex.  Basically, it’s Mother Nature leaving her freezer door open and letting a lot of chilly air escape.  This week, that vortex of cold, cold air dropped right smack dab onto the Upper Midwestern United States.

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Doing what they gotta do

A couple of things that struck my mind this week:  First, a fellow blogger of mine (no, I won’t reveal their identity) took to their blog to make a little bit of an announcement… er, well, a declaration, actually:  They wouldn’t be blogging as much.  This person has been a workhorse when it came to blogging, putting out nearly one post per day for their readers, or so it seemed.  They would post regular features.  They would share stories about their career.  They would comment on life in their corner of the world.  They would share their opinions, not being afraid to do so as frank as they may be.

But they also started that blogging was a burden, a near-daily assignment they had to do for the sake of doing so.  They have changed as a person since they started blogging, not having nearly enough time or drive as they used to.  Still, at least they took the time to announce to the world that, well, the world won’t see as many posts from them as usual.  And when they do see something new, the subject matter won’t always be the same old stuff they had blogged about before.

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Be it resolved (or not) in 2019

In my last post of 2018, I mentioned the sense one gets when looking at the last week of the last month on a calendar and asks, “Where has this year gone?”  I want to bring up another sense one feels on New Year’s Day morning, or at least I do:

When one thinks New Year’s Eve night, they tend to think of one of two things:  Sleep in the new year (as I have long done), or party (er, uh, PARTY!) the night away into the wee hours of the new year… only to suffer a major hangover on New Year’s morning and asking to turn off that bright light shining into their bedroom from the sky and/or that loud music that’s still pounding in their head.

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An enjoyable moment from my 2018

Whenever it’s the last week of a year, I find myself looking at the calendar on the wall, noticing the dwindling dates of December, and asking myself, egads, where has this year gone?

The gravity of knowing that one year is about to give way to another makes one think of all that’s to come with the new calendar on the wall as well as, naturally, all that occurred while the old calendar was posted.  And a lot happened in 2018, including something you probably know by now if you’re a frequent reader of this blog:  My having to depart my previous place of employment and eventually finding the current temp-to-hire assignment I call my new income source.

But rather than bore you with another post of the professional journey Male Mode Me took in 2018, or for that matter any other issues that popped up in my life this year, I want to lift my cup of kindness yet for one of the more enjoyable days of my previous 365 that should not be forgot.  At the end of September, I joined up with a Flickr friend and fellow male-to-female crossdresser.  The two of us first got together a few years ago at my apartment, at my invitation.  Back in the fall, my friend put out the call for someone to join her for an afternoon at her place, which she would have all to herself.  (Her wife doesn’t mind her dressing up but wants no part of it.)

My Flickr friend and I spent the few hours of that late afternoon trying on outfits, conversing (despite my not being a brilliant conversationalist), and just enjoying that “girl time.”  And, yes, we took pictures.  It was just these past few days that I finally got around to going through the photos from that afternoon.  First was this pic of yours truly in a leopard print dress and trusty leather belt you probably saw before on here:

Leopard print dress & black belt

And this dress I found earlier in September at St Vincent de Paul.  Yes, there are diamond shaped studs along the lower halves of the sleeves and above the hemline.  And, yes, it was love at first sight when I saw it, especially considering the fact that it’s in my size (8).

Black dress with studs

And here’s me in another item I found at St Vincent de Paul, a tank top all glittery in front-panel sequins.  I pair it here with a patent leather mini skirt I found at Forever 21.

Sparkly top and patent leather skirt

But the best photo of yours truly from that late afternoon was one of the last pictures my friend and I took.

Pinstripe suit & "Me" shirt

Yes, you’ve seen this “me” shirt I found in the Macy’s markdown racks back in March.  But the suit?  I had just bought this Who What Wear pantsuit earlier that very day before my dress-up rendezvous.  A few days earlier, I had actually noticed this suit on the rack at Target but didn’t think of purchasing it then.  After that, however, I thought about how my femme side deserves to have a professional look.  I mean, an endless stream of wigs and leather skirts isn’t enough sustenance for a crossdresser.

So when you look at me in this suit, you’re not just looking a crossdresser.  You’re looking at a human being who in 2018 went through the sadness of losing one job; regained pride in finding new employment; and for one Saturday afternoon, put aside the worries of the outside world and took the time to be… well, me.

It’s this day of meeting up with someone and dressing up for the camera that is one of the better moments I will want to remember 2018 for.  Yeah, the steep slopes and rough seas of this year will linger in the back of my mind, but my glass will be raised in honor of the good moments and good people I spent them with.

Here’s hoping when you raise your own glass at midnight tonight (or earlier if you like to turn in early on New Year’s Eve as I do), you’ll have your own happy moments and good friends you’ll remember from 2018.  Thanks for reading, and may you all have a happy and safe 2019.


Happy Holigays!

Happy Holigays (2017)

Back in September 2017, I posed for a professional photographer for the first time, doing so before the camera of Katie Berry at Smoketree Photography.  Three months later (December 2017), Katie, her partner, and their friends in the Everyday Gay Holiday art studio/collective on Atwood Avenue threw a holiday get-together for their friends in the LGBT+ community — a “HOLIgay” party.  While I’m not a party person, I jumped at the chance to doll myself up, snack on some food, and mingle with other LGBT+ people from the Madison community.

Happy Holigays (2017)

Being the photographer that she is, Katie set up a corner in the studio to let the partygoers use her fancy camera and snap a few free selfies in front of a festive “toyland/horse/holiday/winter wonderland” setting.  Not wanting to pass up a photo opportunity while looking fabulous, I took the remote and snapped a few photos.  There I was in red hair, soft sweater, and patent vinyl Forever 21 skirt, and Katie’s remote clicker in hand, smiling and being all beautiful for the camera. (Oh, the Santa hat was among the available props in the studio.)

Happy Holigays (2017)

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The beauty queens in my family

By now you’ve probably read my previous post where I sang the praises of Angela Ponce, who this week is competing for the title of Miss Universe 2018.  You also probably saw the first couple of paragraphs in that post and learned that I don’t get into beauty pageants too much.  Yes, I’ll still admit that the sight of lovely looking women parade up and down a stage wile a certain panel of luminaries pass judgment on their beauty and composure, has never been my cup of tea.

Perhaps part of my thinking on that is the likely rules that are laid out in such competitions, and how the members of said judging panel — and, for that matter, the viewing audience who doesn’t have an official say in who wins or is runner-up — interpret them.  No two judges or audience members will interpret those rules in the same way, nor do they have in their minds the same form of beauty, talent, and virtuosity that make an “ideal” woman.  By comparison, the judges and audience at a drag show may have similar ideas of the “ideal” drag performer, especially if performance is the biggest factor in judgement.

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Four years into this blogging thing

I’ve been too preoccupied this week with getting my car fixed, trying to catch up on tasks in my work assignment, and pondering what subjects to write about on this blog that I didn’t think of the significance of this particular date too much.  But since WordPress appears to be big on anniversaries…


Yep, it was four years ago today that I launched this blog and posted my very first entry.  Since that time, I’ve pounded into my keyboard, and onto this blog, lots of experiences to write about, positive things to trumpet, good people to highlight, fashionable things to marvel over, bad news to gripe over, poetry to express, and memories to share.

Writing this blog is not the easiest thing to do.  There have been times where I’ve wracked my brain on what to write about.  When I know when I want to write out, there’s also the issue of how to write it out; more than once I’ve edited and re-edited and re-re-edited a post.  And of course, there are still times where my non-writing, non-Allison real life can intrude and keep me away from writing a post, just at the time when my writing juices are piqued.

But at least I do make an effort to write, and when I do I get a cathartic feeling over me.  I feel truly excited to share my thoughts and feelings and good words to the world.  It all results in a sense of pride when I hit that big blue button in the corner of my screen marked “publish.”

Hitting that “publish” button also brings a little bit of anxiety, in that I hope that those who read it will like it.  But those fears vanish rather quickly, especially when seeing someone “like” my post or hearing someone tell me (especially in person), “You do a great job on your blog, Allison.”  Even a little bit of constructive criticism buoys my confidence; at least they aren’t saying out loud that my blog stinks.

But above all else, and no matter what anyone else may say, I get a feeling of expressing my true self to the world with every single post.  Yes, its all under a feminine nom de plume, but I feel secure expressing every bit of joy, heartbreak, disappointment, fondness, ecstasy… and pride in being myself and expressing who I am through words on a screen.  It’s a far cry from the moment 37 years ago when a shy, teased, and insecure 11-year-old first felt a feeling of comfort when putting on a feminine garment.

To all of you out there, whether you’re WordPress peeps or simple readers, I sincerely thank you for your support.  Whether it’s the form of good words, encouragement, challenges, applause, or just a simple hit of the “like” button, you’ve kept me going and kept me striving toward my desire to self-express my true self.  Here’s to four more years.

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Random personal thoughts (11/14/2018 edition)

Just a very quick about something I could have been doing tonight as I write this but won’t — perform poetry before an audience.  While getting all dolled up and reading my words before actual living, breathing people is something I’ve enjoyed doing, it’s also something I haven’t done since the end of June.

And tonight would’ve been a perfect night to do it again, because it’s the 2018 edition of Trans Monologues.  Does that name ring familiar to you, dear reader?  Well it should, for one year ago this month, I performed a poem at the 2017 Trans Monologues, which is the annual night of performances by trans and gender non-conforming talent put on by UW—Madison’s Gender & Sexuality Campus Center.

You’re probably asking why I’m not there in person tonight?  Well, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I’ve been trying to master this work assignment I’ve been on since the first full week of August, one that’s been naturally preoccupying my weekdays but also been lingering on my mind when I’m away from the office.  Needless to say, it’s pushed the desire to submit my work for consideration for Trans Monologues to the far back burner, so much so that I missed last week’s deadline for submissions.

On top of that, the outcome of this particular work day would have impinged on my enjoyment of performing had I actually signed up and performed.  How bad was this work day for me?  Well, let’s just say that I’ve fallen behind on a major task I’m responsible for.  But it wasn’t like I’ve fallen so far behind on it that I’m drowning.  Actually, I’ve squeezed in working on this task in between the other tasks I’m committed to.  But it hasn’t pleased the “dragon lady” of a boss I must report to please.  She can be curt and direct, is often demanding, and can come across as displeased if we create an error or come up short of her expectations.

So tomorrow, I will have a lot of catching up to do, in addition to the other regular tasks I must cover in this assignment.  No, it doesn’t leave me in the greatest of situations.  But at least no one in this office can say I’m not making an effort to perform admirably in this assignment.  And at least despite not always getting a positive read or encouraging word from the “dragon lady,” there are at least two other people who can give me words of comfort.  A peer of this “dragon lady,” who I partially report to, reassured me that I’m doing a good job.  Well, I sure hope so.

So while I may be too tired, physically and mentally, to attend Trans Monologues tonight, I know that I will be there in spirit.  This is a night where my trans sisters and brothers can shine, and do so during an era that finds the collective embrace and support we’ve been receiving larger than before, yet the resistance we’re facing is just as big.  Let’s show in our own special ways that we’re just as human as the cis-gender world, whether we’re singing, writing, performing poetry… or, yes, fretting over work.  Let’s knock their socks off!

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Some very happy returns

It’s been a few days since the 2018 general elections here in the United States.  As with every election season, the 2018 conclusion had some good, bad, and very best news:

  • The good news about that is that we no longer have to put up with awful campaign attack ads dirtying up the airwaves (at least until 2020 or *sigh* late 2019).
  • The bad news is that not every candidate with a forward-thinking viewpoint won their election (as the saying goes, you can’t win ’em all *sigh*).
  • But the very best news?  Well, let me get off this bullet point and tell you…

Okay, the very best news is the advancements of bright, shining, forward-minded political stars on Tuesday night, the biggest highlight being the biggest takeaway of the night, at least among many political pundits:  The Democratic Party gained the majority of seats the House of Representatives!  That means that America now has a little bit of a check and balance against You Know Who and his myopic, misogynistic, anti-everything administration.

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