Allison M.

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


Leave a comment

What strikes Allison about “Pose” (from what she’s seen)

If you have a basic cable subscription or one of those relatively newfangled online TV accounts, perhaps you’ve seen this title card at least once… and if you have a keen ear, the high-heel clicks that accompany it.

posetitlescreen

The tile card for Pose (image source here)

Pose is a dramatic series whose first season ran a year ago on the FX network and debuts Season 2… holy freakin’ cow, this week?!

For the uninitiated, here’s a basic description of what Pose is all about:  Set in New York City of the late 1980s, the series is centered primarily around the subculture of the LGBT+ community known as ball culture.  In this environment can be found participants who are, more often than not, part of “houses.”  No, not a physical house per se, but rather teams of participants who glam themselves up, walk the stage, vogue, and emulate other genders (especially the one they weren’t born as) and social categories in ball events.  The object:  Making a good impression on the event’s judges and audiences (“10’s across the board!”).  The reward:  A trophy, personal pride in knowing that you and your house are top dog for at least a night… and the thrill of venturing outside your drab and nowhere-near-glamorous social, economic, and health-related circumstances.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Oscar, Oscar, Oscar…

Time to fire up that recognizable theme music and… oh, wait, this isn’t supposed to be about Felix Unger disdainfully looking at his roommate’s pig sty of an apartment?  Okay then, sorry. [sound of record needle scratching]  Yeah, this is about last weekend’s big event, the 91st Academy Awards.  And, yes, I’m late to the “pile on the Oscars” party.  In my defense, I’m still trying to shake off a very long, grueling, and stressful work week, so please give me some slack.

Anyway, it goes without saying that the Academy Awards are the most scrutinized entertainment awards show on the planet.  Even just hearing the word “Oscars” makes a human being consider at least one of three Oscar-related questions:  How glamorous were the celebrities on the red carpet?  Was the ceremony worth watching?  And were the actual Oscar recipients deserving?

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Allison still plays Scrooge (well, mostly) when it comes to Christmas carols

Three years ago, I went on a tear over something everyone’s ears will put up with at least once or twice, if not a heck of a lot more than that, this time every year:  The Christmas carol.  Shop at any mall or turn on any radio and it’s for sure you’ll wind up listening to some old chestnut of a carol.  It’s a natural occurrence during the holiday season.  It gets people in a holiday (and holiday shopping) spirit.  It can brighten one’s spirits.

And it can also get on one’s nerves, for various reasons.  One is that they’ve heard those songs over and over and over again.  Another may be that someone may not want music to get them into the holiday spirit, or at least certain versions of these carols.  And a third reason may be that some of these carols don’t have anything to do with Christmas directly.

Continue reading


1 Comment

Entertainment for men

No, this post isn’t about Playboy, though hopefully when you finish reading you’ll understand why I titled this post with that magazine’s former tagline.  This is going to be a rant about a recent controversy a certain fashion retailer got into.  That company is Victoria’s Secret, the (in)famous designer of lingerie and women’s wear that are nowhere near the dowdy floral gowns its founder frequently found on sales racks.  It’s a safe bet that the mall near you has a Victoria’s Secret selling scantily designed undergarments and/or a PINK store selling sleepwear for the college-age set.

Before I get into the controversy in question, take a gander at this photo.  (Gentlemen, don’t drool.)

00-story-vs-2017

Photo credit: Corey Tenold via Vogue

What do you see in that photo?  Obviously, you see a multitude of beautiful women.  That photo is from last year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.  Every year since 1995, and every holiday season since 2001, Victoria’s Secret sets up a very glitzy show to showcase and promote its lingerie, sleepwear, or whatever else they’re selling.  It’s not a sedate affair for sure:  The setting is elaborately designed; the music is live and pulsating; the costumes are extravagant; and the star wattage is high, with A-list stars both strutting the catwalk and providing the music.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Allison snarkily watches the Macy’s Parade… but sees something fabulous

As I indicated in my previous post, one of my Thanksgiving Day traditions (if you could call it that) is to hate-watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from New York City.  Well, that is if I’m not preoccupied with something else on Thanksgiving morning such as, say, traveling to see my family, typing my blog, or… I dunno, just recuperating after a short but tiring work week.

Yeah, ever since at least my teen years, I’ve never taken too much of a keen interest in parades.  And when I watched the Macy’s Day Parade (whoops, I keep calling it “Macy’s Day Parade”), it was because Mom either wanted me to help prepare our family’s Thanksgiving lunch or just didn’t want me cooped up in my bedroom.

Continue reading


1 Comment

Random Stuff: 5/28/2018 edition

Time to highlight a couple of LGBT-themed advertisements that have been released this spring.  Well, they’re lesbian-themed advertisements if you must be specific, but I imagine others in the LGBT+ spectrum might find something they’ll relate to in these ads.  The first was released last month in Great Britain for Malteasers, a malted-milk-covered-in-chocolate candy (think Whoppers, my fellow Americans).  The Malteasers ad I’ll highlight here features a quartet of women at some café or break area or whatever.  One of the four, whose name is Sarah… well, I’ll let her tell her concern.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Allison watches (only a little bit of) the Grammys, but enjoys what she saw

First off, I may be ranting in a couple of spots in this post, so please accept my apologies in advance.  Okay, as I’ve mentioned at least a couple of times on here, I don’t get into watching awards shows very much.  Oh, sure, I may sample some of the pre-show red carpet coverage.  And I’ll catch a moment or two of the ceremony as I’m surfing through the channels.  And I’ll certainly read up and/or watch some of the highlights the next morning.  But watching 3+ hours of one award after another and performance after another can feel like a tedious slog.  On top of that, there’s the fact that most awards shows occur on a Sunday night, when I tend to turn in early so that my body and mind (the latter especially) can rest up for the week to come.  (Notice I’m leaving out politics; a certain segment of the populace will sneer at whatever statement of social/cultural import a host, winner, or presenter may say, but I’ll never dissuade them from saying it, especially these days.)

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Random stuff (1/27/2018 edition)

After another long, tiring, downer of a week, I thought I’d use this Saturday post to catch up on some works of note from the accomplished actress Jessica Chastain.  And it’s not just about her acting skills, which I’ll dive into in a moment.  To use a common contemporary term, Ms. Chastain is one woke person, and not just because she wears black on the Golden Globes red carpet in solidarity for the Time’s Up movement.  Nope, Jessica Chastain talks the talk and walks the walk.  She has been a prominent voice regarding the issues of gender equality, safety, and misogyny that are plaguing Hollywood.  A particular concern of hers has been matters of pay equality:  When she’s negotiating to be the leading lady in a film, Jessica abides by a personal rule of seeking compensation for her talents that’s equal to that of the male lead (the “favored nation” clause).  Even if the producers balk or she must walk away from a plum role, Jessica takes satisfaction in drawing that line of fairness, no matter how many zeroes that paycheck may or may not include.  In other words, it’s not about the money; it’s about sticking to her principles of equal pay for equal work.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Random stuff: SNL’s Hallmark Christmas parody

Two days ago, I took a stab at writing, or at least sketching out, my own Hallmark Channel Christmas movie.  Yes, they’re the kind of movies that feature the same things and themes every time out:  Cute girl (played by a “Hey, I know her from somewhere” actress) falls head over heels for handsome man (played by a “Hey, I know him from somewhere” actor).  They find that magical Christmas spirit together.  And they’re films that are all shot on the same Canadian studio lot that doubles for Anytown, U.S.A. and feature ample amounts of saccharin-sweet goodness.

As you may have judged from my own attempt, Hallmark Channel’s long, long list of identical/interchangeable Christmas movies are ripe for the parody… preferably not by this amateur but by skilled people who can do effective satirical parodies on a routine basis.  Well, lo and behold, the people at Saturday Night Live took that ball and ran with it on Thursday.  Or, to be more precise, a couple of weeks ago.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Random stuff: The cast of “Pose”

Just a quick post to highlight some awesome news from the world of television.  Earlier this month, I had mentioned in this post news about a a series of open casting calls for trans actors put on by the Casting Society of America (CSA).  Part of the reasoning for the CSA-staged events is to help stem the bias (conscious or otherwise) in Hollywood toward casting cis-gender actors in trans roles; to counter the belief that there isn’t enough trans talent in show business; and to help spearhead a commitment toward a newer, more diverse generation of showbiz talent.

Apparently, Ryan Murphy was way ahead of the CSA.  If you’ve watched or read about any bit of TV over the past decade or so, you’ve certainly heard about Ryan Murphy, or at least seen his name in the producing, writing, or directing credits of such prominent series as Glee and American Horror Story.  And he’s not resting on his laurels, for word came earlier this year of his latest proposed project for the FX cable network, a dramatic series called Pose.  What will it be about?  Well, here, as first reported back in March, is Pose‘s premise:

Set in 1986, Pose looks at the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York:  The rise of the luxury Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene, and the ball cultural world.

Continue reading