Allison M.

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


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Allison’s Jukebox: “Don’t Give Up” by Maggie Szabo

Do you remember my post from September where I added a song called “Don’t Give Up” to “Allison’s Jukebox”?  You know the one where Peter Gabriel sings of deep lament and Kate Bush tries to steer him toward the positive?  Yeah, I bummed you out with that one, didn’t I?

Well, let’s see if I can brighten up your spirits a little bit with another addition to my jukebox that just happens to have the same title, “Don’t Give Up,” yet has a background that nicely dovetails with the week we’re in right now, Transgender Awareness Week.  Please have a look & listen to the Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter/YouTube personality Maggie Szabo:

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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.

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Allison’s Jukebox: “Smile”

Even with a busy weekend ahead of me, I thought I’d keep my writing juices going by adding another tune I’ve been meaning to add to “Allison’s Jukebox.”  And it’s a relatively recent addition, I must admit.  The inspiration for this entry came from the podcast Crybabies, where guests talk about the things that make them cry.  The guests’ admissions about what activates their waterworks makes Crybabies a pretty candid show (and, yes, tissues are available in the studio during recording).

One episode of Crybabies from September of last year featured the actress Shannon Woodward, whose list of “crying cues” included a scene near the end of the film My Girl 2.  If you’ve seen that film, or at least read the plot synopsis at the link I just posted there, you’re probably familiar with the scene and the song that’s included.  “Smile” had its roots in another movie long before My Girl 2 or even the original My Girl was conceived:  Charlie Chaplin’s 1936 silent classic Modern Times.  That movie’s own final scene features Chaplin, in his tramp persona, sitting on the side of a highway alongside the film’s gamine, Ellen (played by Paulette Goddard).  The two are… well, rather than let me describe it to you, look and listen for yourself.  Listen especially.

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Random stuff: SNL’s “Handmaid’s” parody

Perhaps you’ve heard by now about a little series on Hulu called The Handmaid’s Tale.  The show, whose first season is being released episode-by-episode as of this writing and which has been renewed for a second season, is based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel set in a dystopian future where religious autocrats have taken over what used to be the United States; have stripped away human rights in general and women’s rights in particular; and have subjugated fertile women into a life in which they’re nothing more than, uh, baby-making machines for the privileged (and barren) upper class.

So far, The Handmaid’s Tale has been critically well received, and has certainly gained notice from those like… uh, [sheepishly raises hand] me who do not have a Hulu subscription (note to self: buy it on DVD if and when it comes out) for what have been described as powerful and engrossing acting, writing, and visuals.  Of course, one other reason for that notice is how it seems to be an ominous warning.  Even though Season 1 went into production well before You Know Who was elected You Know What, the show seems to serve as an advisory for what may lie ahead for society while You Know Who’s cronies desire to take away rights and make America in their own misguided image.  It’s part of the reason one critic has labeled the show the most important of this spring.

With The Handmaid’s Tale having such a dark tone and provocative subject matter, one would think it would not be ripe for parody by a satirical outlet such as, say, Saturday Night Live.  Well… one would be wrong.

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#TBT: How I first heard of the word “crossdresser”

“Skip!  Skip!  Can you maybe make it next week?  I hate to miss Brian’s birthday; and Friday, the transvestites are back on Donahue.”
– the title character, speaking to one of his alien brethren in a 1986 episode of ALF

I want to start this post with the definition of “crossdressing,” as found here:  “the act of wearing items of clothing and other accoutrements commonly associated with the opposite sex within a particular society.”

Why do I use that word?  Well, I first started dressing in women’s clothing back when I was 11 years old going on 12.  Even back then, I knew that putting on women’s undergarments or anything else feminine was considered taboo and against societal (and more immediately, familial) norms.  But while I knew the definition at the time, I didn’t know of the word.  To me, it was nothing more than “putting on clothing that belonged to my mom or my sister or, before that, what was found in that spare bedroom where we lived.”

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My Christmas tree (and a confession)

This post is to promote a new video I added to my relatively spare but strangely bustling YouTube channel, and it’s about the Christmas tree set up in my apartment this season.  But there’s something I must confess (no, not that):  I haven’t really gotten into the Christmas spirit this year.

Now, you’ve probably taken a glance at that video’s title and thought, “Gee, Allison, you have a tree and decorations set up, so you must be in the holiday spirit.”  Well, I decorate my apartment each holiday season for two reasons:  To let the great decorations I have in storage out of the broom closet for several weeks at the end of each year (and I have some nice ornaments), and to try to perk myself up and get into the holiday spirit.

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Random stuff (11/14/2016 edition)

With the news of… well, you know what happened sinking in, there’s this real need of sticking up for those who are likely about to become marginalized when January rolls around.  The below list made some rounds on social media late last week.  I came across it, read it… and agree with every word and their necessary significance.  There are a lot of groups who felt marginalized in one away or another before, and they’ll need someone — anyone — to stand with them now.  (The last line and its simple request are so beautiful, by the way.)

if-you-list-11-12-2016

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Promises I make today

So, show of hands, how many have freaked out non-stop the past few days?  Ah, a lot of you.  Yeah, [raises hand] me too.  Yeah, we are living in rough times right now, and I worry it’s only going to get worse, what with the deep divide and the loss of simple human decency that have clearly surfaced after and even well before the election of He Who Shall Not Be Named.

Which is why it was good to see the video added to YouTube this week by the actress Danielle Langlois.  If you saw this post I added on Thursday, you’re probably now familiar with Danielle’s video, in which she professes a set of promises out of a desire to help bridge the deep divides here in the U.S., from respecting others and their differences to having respectful discourse to having respect for Mother Earth.

Danielle Langlois’ video moved me, not so much by her list of promises but by her calm, stone cold solid line delivery.  And it got me to thinking… well, why is Danielle the only one making these promises?  And with that, I got up on Sunday, typed out a list of my own promises, slapped on a wig and makeup, got in front of the camera, and…

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Allison’s adventure with a parking lot ticket

So, are you sick and tired of American politics already?  Yeah, I am. [raises hand wearily]  That’s in part why I voted early.  Last month, in fact.  I went down to City Hall, filled out a ballot for my ward at the City Clerk’s office, got it all notarized and such, took an “I Voted” sticker and left.  (P.S.: I’m with her.)

But then there’s still weeks of campaigning to have to withstand, which is why I ventured out to the theater.  It feels good to take one’s mind off of which candidate shouted said what stance on which issue (or, more often than not in this particular election, didn’t).

But you’re only at the theater for a couple of hours, tops.  Venture back into the real world and you still have to withstand the campaign.  I mean, let’s face it, who hasn’t had an anxiety attack, several sleepless nights, and perhaps even had their stomach lining eaten away by this cruel, unsettling campaign?  And we’re only two days from Election Day.

So, to help ease your mind, and to tell an absolutely true story, I made this video yesterday (although I had hoped to do so earlier, since I’ve been so busy) about an adventure I had about a week after I voted.  Yeah, the show was good, but my problems with a ticket paying machine was memorable, in a way.  You’re asking why I made a video about this?  Well, I thought it would benefit from some visual embellishments.  And I hope it can take your mind off politics, if only for 5 minutes and change.  Let this video remind you to enjoy a live show, play it safe with magnets, and, most importantly to vote (even if the advisory about the latter is in a roundabout yet playful way).  Enjoy!

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Allison’s Jukebox: “New York Minute”

You may recall back in June that I wrote a post devoted to several songs that are not so obvious but are perfect representations for the LGBT community.  It was in that post that I informally challenged myself to add another recurring topic to this blog concerning interesting songs I’ve heard once or occasionally in the past.

And there are indeed quite a few worth writing about, so with that I launch a new recurring topic called [drum roll] “Allison’s Jukebox.”  Now, I must confess that I was wanting to start this topic with some epic wide-ranging dissertation on all the music I prefer now and grew up with, or at least a series of such.  But I’m so rip-roaring to get this started that the long essays will wait for another time.

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