Allison M.

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

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Very perceptive

I wanted to share in this quick post realization that dawned upon me late today at work.  As I mentioned in this post from early last week, management at the organization to which I’m currently assigned has set forth on a departmental realignment.  This is affecting me in a big way, in that I’m in the process of shedding a couple of important duties, including one that… well, let’s just say it affects our organization in a significant way.

As a natural part of this reorganization, I’m in the process of training the person who will take responsibility for the duties I’m shedding.  We’re right now in the early stages of training, and naturally, this person has been asking lots of questions, including those I’m stumped on and don’t know the answer.

To be clear, asking questions, be they few or many or large or small, is a very good sign for any new employee.  It means that they’re trying to absorb the ins and outs of the role, as well as the whys and what fors.

But with those questions, they’re also finding out something else:  What kind of situation are they getting themselves into?  This was made to clear to me when, late in the day today, I sat down with the person I’m training after I had caught myself up on a couple of e-mails.  She had a talk with our manager concerning a report I’ve been trying to catch myself up on and that she started helping out on.  And it’s a big report, too, both in size and in importance.  How important, you ask?  Let’s just say it’s a rundown of some of the stuff I’ve missed doing because I’ve been caring for my other tasks.

When I rejoined my new colleague, she made a very astute observation to me:  I’ve been in over my head.  Oh, and I landed in a rather bad situation when I joined this organization 9 months ago.

And you know what?  She was absolutely right in her observation.  In my time there, I’ve been trying to put out one fire after another.  And in the past couple of months, circumstances beyond my control let that fire grow into a five-alarm inferno.

But the good news is that she seems to understand the situation.  And while she admits she may not be able to solve every problem that’s resulted from all this missed work, she will try her darndest to care for it.

But this afternoon, at least, she revealed a very important trait that every good employee should have:  The trait of being very, very perceptive.

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Good (to be away from work) Friday

The day I write this is Good Friday.  I won’t get into the religious aspects of this day in this space, but I will say that one good thing for me about this particular Good Friday is that I have the day off from my work assignment.  The office I’m working at is closed all day and everyone is enjoying the three-day weekend.  And after the past three weeks, a three-day weekend is coming at the right time.  Thanks to an abrupt staffing change, manpower has been short-handed (again), meaning a lot has been plopped both on my plate and that of my colleague.  That we both work under a demanding manager who has a stern, unpleasant demeanor and wants immediate results, or as timely results as possible, doesn’t make things any more enjoyable.

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A vital voice

I want you, the fair readers of this blog, to take a look at this outfit:

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Saturday morning, I made a quick trip to Target.  No, if you’re inquiring, I wasn’t there to add new purchases to my closet, nor did I bring any new clothes home.  However, while walking past the women’s clothing section, I saw this mannequin with a nice pleated skirt and a simple pink top with… well, just read what it says.

Saturday was also a troubling day in the national news.  If you haven’t heard, You Know Who got his man on the highest court in our country.  Ugh.  And it comes after a nomination period that saw said man be accused of gross misconduct in his younger days, including not one, nor two, but three women coming forward to claim he sexually abused them when they were all younger.  More disgusting was the fact that said man vociferously deny those claims, which only exacerbated his bad character and made him look more guilty than he likely already was.

And yet, a group of mostly old, misogynistic men saw fit to put him on the highest court in our country.

Now, I know it’s impossible for our side to win every battle.  But when a battle this important and this hard fought finds our side on the losing end, it’s hard not to feel disappointed.  But through the disappointment, I saw the message on this outfit at Target and thought… yeah, I needed that message on Saturday.

Matter of fact, that was a message everyone needed on Saturday.  And today.  And every day during these dark times.

With those with evil in their hearts and dark motives on their minds threatening our community’s hard-fought freedoms, or at least just waiting do us harm, we should be a “vital voice…”

Yes, it’s good to be that “vital voice” for what’s right (not for the right side, if you know what I mean).

It’s best to be that “vital voice” to stand up for those who go without.  It’s necessary to be that “vital voice” to stand and defend for those in our LGBT+ community who feel threatened for living as who they are, and should not be discriminated because of who they are.

It’s important, now more so than ever, to be a “vital voice” who can stand up to the bullies in our country and the men (well, they are almost all men) who are making all of us live in fear only because they’re living in fear of women who aren’t afraid to stand strong.

I cannot profess to being all that articulate in voicing support for the downcast and others like me in our community.  Indeed, there are those much, much better than I’ll ever be in being that “vital voice.”  But at least I can use this platform, small and unpolished as it may be, to highlight those who think positive and stay strong and never yield or give ground to the hateful.

Even if our voices are small, let’s all speak up together… for when we do, we will be come the VITAL VOICE (note the all caps) that is so very necessary at this time.

(Oh, the outfit? The shirt especially? A certain friend of mine is really big on social justice and standing up for the disadvantaged. I imagine she may want to buy that shirt the next time she’s at Target. Walk the talk, friend. *grin*)

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Okay, a real quick post for all y’all about how I’m doing.  First off, it’s all good.  I’m busy at work, and during one of the busiest times in our department.  And I’m in the midst of a five-week, one-hour-per-week volunteer commitment, which I’ll pick up again tomorrow afternoon.

However (and you were sensing a “but” coming on, weren’t you?), all isn’t fun because… well, for the 2nd time in a month, I’m fighting off a rough cold (hence the title of this post).  Last month, a day after attending the OutReach Awards Banquet and while taking part in my trans group’s support meeting, I suddenly got a nasty sore throat.  Later that evening back home, I started getting the aches and stuffiness, which led to a not-so-restful sleep that night, what with waking up every couple of hours with aches and stuffiness.  It was so bad that I scrubbed my usual Sunday morning plans to head to the gym, rather just taking a mid-morning catnap.

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A quick thought or two on this Spirit Day

While I wrack my brain over how to write my next big post (okay, it might not be that big), I want to make note of something that almost escaped my mind:  Today is Spirit Day, which has been held the third Thursday of October every year since 2010.  It’s a day set aside for LGBTQ awareness and support, and was initially created in the wake of bullying and suicide incidents among gay youth.  Spirit Day is meant to honor the LGBT youth who, sadly, felt taking their own lives was the only option to end their hurt, and also to tell the LGBT youth of today who are bullied that there are those who are very supportive (the color purple is prominently used to deliver that message).

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Busy, busy, busy

Just enough time this morning for me to say… wowzers!  This September has certainly been a busy one for me so far!  As previously noted, I had a busy Labor Day weekend (ironic, isn’t it?), with not only a visit with relatives but a unexpected fire alarm.  Then last week, I was feted for my 15-year work anniversary at my place of employment.

But that’s not the end of it, not by any means.  I’ve already attended a couple of support group meetings this month, the most recent of which saw us send off one of our group with well wishes (she’s moving to California).  Then, Male Mode Me will have big volunteer opportunities coming up not only later this morning but also late next week.  And on top of all that, my little sister is getting married at the very end of this month, meaning there’s another out-of-town trip awaiting me (I’ve already got the hotel room booked).

While all that is well and great (especially the support meetings), two really big things for my female side have been on my September schedule, one already occurred and one still awaiting me.  I don’t know about the results of either event, meaning I must go into detail on them later.  But I will describe them briefly here:  This coming Saturday, I’m set to go to another poetry reading.  It’s won’t be at Mother Fool’s, where I performed poetry as Allison for the first time, but rather at another coffee house I scoped out in male mode during the summer.  That means this week, in addition to working for a living, I’ll be busy writing new poetry and/or deciding which of my previous works of poetry I should present to the audience.  What’s more, I’m looking forward to seeing at least one familiar face in that crowd (they know who they are *grin*).

Perhaps more exciting than being behind a mic and in front of an audience, this past Sunday I had the privilege to be in front of the camera… with a real, true professional photographer behind it!  Very late last week, I learned of a LGBTQ-oriented photo shoot event, and I knew I just had to take part, even if it meant skipping a necessary Sunday trip to the gym.  So, I got all dolled up, went over to the east side of town, and joined several other folks from Madison’s LGBT+ community in getting our picture taken.  I don’t know how my pictures turned out, as it will take a few weeks for the photographer to sort out everything.  But it’s safe to say that I am anticipating seeing the results.  When I do, I will further go into detail about my day on this blog.

So, yeah, it’s definitely been and will still be a busy September for me.  Speaking of which, I gotta get going and head off to work.  Speaking of work, I’ve been putting in some required overtime.  Yeah, I’ve been one busy girl.


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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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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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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Winter is (mostly) conquered

As I write this, it’s March 21… or as is also known on the 2017 calendar, the 2nd day of spring!  Yeah, I’m a bit excited about it.  Well, more reserved than excited.  I mean, it’s great that the days are getting longer, which really perks up a person.  But since I live in Wisconsin, my enthusiasm has to be tempered a little bit, since winter has a tendency to reel right back and bite us in the *ahem* backside when we least expect it, even if winter can be as relatively tame as the now concluded winter was here in Wisconsin.  Today was a reminder that spring takes its time pushing winter to the past:  Sure, it was mostly bright and sunny, but the wind was brisk and the chill was present.  I’m not one to regularly check the thermometer, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the temperature didn’t rise above 45 degrees.

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