Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Shorter nails...

At my most recent fill, the tech decided to shorten my nails a little - she decided they were long enough that they might be damaged in my everyday activities.  Her theory is that pretty nails "a bit shorter" will look much nicer than longer, but damaged, nails.   They're now about 15/16" to 1" long from cuticle to the end, down from about 1-1/8" to 1-3/16".  I was surprised.  "But until they exceed their former length, you'll only need fills!"

Then came "Let me give you something to think about..."  Two bottles of nail polish appeared, one light and one darker brown.  "Since you probably would object to wearing red or hot pink polish, either of these can also give you a new look.  Here, let's try them."  I sat there watching as she painted one hand light brown, the other the darker color.  Both polishes fully covered each nail in its entirety, including white tips, and gave my hands a different sort of femininity.  Needless to say, my preference was the was less noticeable.  But as I showed the techs (and customers) my nails, it was unanimous - the girls all thought the lighter was more stylish and contemporary.  Of course it was just a trial run, so she removed the paint immediately.  But I figure I'll end up wearing it at some point!

An impromptu trip across the bridge became a possibility for Thursday, once it became a bit warmer than the cold polar weather early in the week.  So I figured out I'd go over, but stop and change to a skirt and heels in the cornfields.   Like I did last time.  The outfit I had planned to wear:

With my black tights, and MJ heels, of course...

However, that plan turned "DOA" really quickly when I found I was adding a passenger - my wife wants to go along, and do some shopping "on the other side."  Needless to say, I'll have to settle for my usual old androgynous self on that trip. 

But I have a dentist appointment over there in February.  I can change into my skirt right after the dentist, and there won't be any problem...since I will be alone on that one!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A girl in Daisy Dukes, and another first for me...

Just before the snow started to fall here in Maryland on Tuesday, I (wearing my usual stirrup pants over pantyhose, turtleneck, flats and jacket) drove over to the gas station to buy some gas for the generator, in case it should be needed.  I noticed on the car thermometer that it was 31 degrees and made a mental note to "not" clean the avoid an icy mess. 

When I arrived, a car was already there, and I noticed it contained a 20-something girl who was preparing to get gas.  I got out and retrieved my credit card from my purse...then went to the pump, where I glanced up and noticed what the girl was wearing:  a jacket, a pair of very VERY short Daisy Dukes, bare legs and a pair of furry Ugg-style boots.    She looked up at the same time, our eyes met, we both smiled at each other as two women would, then went about pumping our gas.

Don't know whether she clocked me, but it seemed to be a perfectly normal woman-to-woman gesture.    However, remembering the 31 degree temperature, I truly was wondering if she was cold...because I was, even with pantyhose under my stirrups, and she was bare-legged.  Though she wasn't wearing "weather-appropriate attire" I found myself somewhat envious of her cute schoolgirl figure...and that she could look so good just doing day-to-day errands.  Maybe someday I'll look a quarter that good - and be very happy about it!

My nails are now longer than they have ever been...several are nearly 1-1/8" overall.  Fortunately I've figured out how to use my credit card at that one particular gas station (above) without needing a plastic glove, but I still need one at ATM's. I've been trying to get to the nail salon for a week but things (now including the weather) have been interfering.  So my nails keep getting longer (and that's not a bad thing.)  Accurate typing is getting more difficult now, and my nails click loudly on themselves as I move my hands, as well as on anything I touch.  But on the positive side, I've gotten compliments on them from women.  Wonder if the tech will shorten them at the nest appointment?  We'll see what happens!

Today was another first...shoveling snow in my house-dress, a sweater, and ankle boots over opaque tights.  Fortunately the wind wasn't as bad as had been forecast, the sun was out, and only a path to the propane gauge in the back yard was needed, to see if it was time to order a delivery.  (It was.)  Got the following pix...

No, I actually didn't freeze.  But I definitely noticed the cold, particularly when winds gusted and found their way under my dress.  I can only imagine how cold the girl wearing Daisy Dukes with bare legs must have been yesterday....

Monday, January 20, 2014

Quickie: Finally, some plans...

Not much that's noteworthy is going on around here right posts are becoming a bit fewer.   Winter is definitely not Mandy's best time to get a "night out of the suitcase, in a skirt."  With the antique car mothballed for the winter, and bad weather in the area so frequently, there just aren't many opportunities to get away.

At this point, it looks like the antique's spring test run will be a round trip of about 275 miles in early April, with one overnight in Baltimore, to check out the car's long-distance operation, after last summer's repairs.   Naturally, Mandy will be there in a least part of the time.  And androgynously the rest....!

An archive picture from the summer of 2012 follows...

This outfit's one of my favorites...loose, floaty and cool for summer...and it works so well with the recently-repaired necklace that Mom used to enjoy wearing!  I can remember it decorating her neckline as she dressed for many adult parties when I was younger...  Who would have ever dreamed that it would now be decorating my neck?

Eventually another occasion will arise for me to stay dressed all day.  Do you think flats work well with the above outfit?  Or, should I go with my MJ pumps as shown below?

At 5' 6-1/2" the 2 inch heels on these give me a little extra height, which is a good thing.  And they are so comfortable and stable that I can wear them all day, without worrying about twisting an ankle while I get accustomed to the odd angle heels force my feet to assume.  It should also be good practice, to prepare me for wearing something with a thinner heel of the same height, like the following:

I'm actually looking forward to someday slipping into traditional heels like the above in the morning, wearing them all day, and staying in them till bedtime.  There's nothing quite like the rhythmic, tapping sound made by walking on hard surfaces in high heels.  It's a pleasant sound which tells the world "Here comes a woman."

Someday soon, I want that woman to be me!   But I suspect it'll take a lot of work (and practice) first.  I've a long way to go!



Sunday, January 12, 2014

Quickie - Technology and the "plane" facts...

About 46 years ago, yours truly had the opportunity to take up the hobby of aviation, in "twelve inches to the foot" scale, instead of building plastic or balsa wood models of airplanes for display, as I had done since childhood.   Having always had a vision of being able to fly  (an airplane, as a private pilot) this was truly a dream come true, even though I was financially only able to be active for a few years! 

Above you'll find an example of one model of plane I had the pleasure to operate - a Beechcraft Musketeer model 19, with fixed landing gear and a Lycoming 150 horsepower 4 cylinder piston engine, 146 mph maximum speed, 117 mph cruise, and a 60 gallon fuel tank.  Its price brand new back then was in the under -$15,000 range.  Though I never seriously considered it at the time because I was in college,  and thus limited on funds, I've occasionally kicked myself in the posterior for not buying one brand new, instead of renting.  The Musketeer was easy to fly, and though I did not do much flying after I got my license, every flight in the left-hand seat was a new and fascinating experience.

However, technology moves forward, as does inflation.  The following beautiful Swiss aircraft turned up at a small airfield not too far from where I live.  It has a single engine, but that's where similarity to the Musketeer ends.  A turboprop 1200 hp engine, retractable gear, pressurized, 300 mph cruise speed, able to fly in known icing condition...and on and on.  As for the inflation part;  it costs upwards of $2.8 million - and holds 400 gallons of fuel.  Both are guaranteed to put a strain on just about anyone's Master Card. 

Upon researching, I was fascinated to see details of this beautiful aircraft, at  They have some fabulous videos of it in operation, which I really enjoyed.  Brought back lots of fabulous memories...

So whenever you see one of these beauties fly over, think luxury, speed, and (unfortunately) big bucks!

That black pendant necklace, which broke a while back (see it in the pic below) finally got some attention.  I had just dumped it in the bottom of my purse, and one day when I came across a small, family-owned jewelry store in a nearby town, I checked in with them.  "We can help you, Ma'am."  They were very accommodating, and for $6, put a new clasp on it.  The only downside is that the color is silver, but a little black paint will disguise it...and it's under my hair anyway, so it shouldn't matter.  I particularly like this necklace, as it belonged to Mother.  Getting it fixed means I'll finally be able to wear it again.

Necklace shown here...

The only other gender-related thing to happen lately (other than hearing 'Ma'am' when out-and-about), was a friendly discussion initiated in the post office lobby by a lady I didn't know (but obviously from town as she was picking up her mail.)   All the usual pleasantries, and we both addressed each other as "Ma'am." A very nice interlude!



Thursday, January 9, 2014

Finale, Big Apple c. 1972 & more "Early Mandy"

A few pics remain to post, from my visit to the Big Apple.  Here are the crowds lined up at Radio City Music Hall for one of the holiday shows.  I wasn't among them, however!  Just walking around town on the weekend...

The 42nd St. Subway Station, as it was back in the day...I used this stop the most of any on the system.  Does it look the same today? 

And the grand, well-decorated tree at Rockefeller Center skating rink...


A last view on the way out - LaGuardia Field.  Not sure what it looks like these days, but if I were betting, I'd bet it's a lot different now! (Notice the antique Yellow Cab!)


Now comes two more pix of Mandy, from her earlier days.  This is the sort-of- feminine hairdo that I wore everyday for a while, as I was growing out my hair.  It somewhat resembles the "bob," which is the direction I probably would turn, if I were getting my hair cut into a feminine style. 

My suit was a $29 wardrober special from one of my "girlie" catalogs, including pants, a skirt and the jacket/top.  I liked it a lot, so because I was making trips to Ohio each summer for car shows, I just left it (and a couple dresses) there with my friend.  That avoided having to pack (or try to hide) them.  Very convenient, for a while.

Once he abandoned the cross-dressing hobby, I offered to reimburse him the postage to send them back,  but for whatever reason, it never happened.  And subsequently we've lost contact.  At this point, almost 8 years later, the clothes probably wouldn't fit, so it no longer matters...but the suit did look nice (imho.)  

And a set of long red fingernails would have been perfect with it...

Summer 2006
In the following shot, I was out and about, sightseeing near Altoona PA.  This was taken at the Gallitzin tunnel overlook, on the former PRR main line.  (The view of the railroad is fabulous - if you're into trains, don't pass up a chance to visit.) Unfortunately there's a lot more "boy" than "girl" visible in this picture, but almost nobody was around, so it didn't really matter.  I want to get back there, this time in a more feminine outfit...

But that caboose was VERY nicely period dress!

Fall 2008

Thanks for bearing with me during this little "walk back in time"'s been fun to review "where I've been."  I just wish the future were a bit clearer, but all things will become so,  with the passage of time.  

Meanwhile, stay warm and dry with all this cold weather the Eastern US has been experiencing...

Saturday, January 4, 2014

More Big Apple, c. 1972, & Early "Mandy"

While visiting NYC, one of the notable places I enjoyed was the Guggenheim Museum, with its massive funnel-shaped architecture.  It's as appealing from the inside, as it is from the outside! And by unwittingly including partial views of some of the "cars of the day,"  I ensured a "time capsule" to enjoy in future years.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Due to my work schedule, one day I actually had some time off, which allowed me to join the studio audience of the Dick Cavett show, at that time on ABC.  (Hints at my age, doesn't it?)  Unfortunately I don't remember the show guests, but I do recall him being one of the more composed and dignified of the show hosts I'd seen.

His show remained on ABC until 1974, and then went on to CBS, PBS and others.  Then he moved into radio with a syndicated show from about 1986 - 1990. 

 The Dick Cavett Show, ABC

Back in 1972, security wasn't quite the concern it is today.  Two cases in times I availed myself of one of the long subway station at 58th St and Avenue of the Americas, which had several entrances, as a convenient way to access some nearby beaneries without a lot of walking out in the weather.  This was not usually a problem.  However, about 6 o'clock one rainy evening,  I was walking back to the hotel through the station.  Walking toward me, way down the empty platform, was a group of about ten scruffy-looking locals, each brandishing a billy club in one hand and smacking their other hand with, as if they were staying dry while looking for trouble.  Always alert, and with nary a security officer in sight, I detoured up an exit next to me, on to the street in a heavy rain, for the remainder of my walk.  Better wet than dead.  (I certainly would hope there is better subway security nowadays.... )   One weekend, I was in 'explorer' mode and found the stairs leading to the roof of my hotel.  Naturally, the door was unlocked and not alarmed.  My reward was some great views of NYC, and in addition, I found some seldom-seen architectural touches such as the below.  Nowadays, with security consciousness, a reward for exploring the roof of your hotel would probably be a ride in a police cruiser or paddy wagon...but not back then!

   Up On The Roof...

Anyone for a pretzel?

In 1972 these vendors seemed to be a staple on every NYC street corner.  I tried one, and didn't care for it.  Before I left the Big Apple, I found that I disliked not only the taste, but the smell.  So I tended to avoid their carts...

 Anyone for a pretzel?

On my way back from the Statue of Liberty tour, I grabbed a quick shot of the ferry.  Pictures found on line show that modern boats look a bit different now, so here's another classic "snapshot in time".

Following is the earliest known picture of Mandy, circa 2002. It, and its short introduction, were in the blog "Who is that girl, part 2" dated 6/27/12.   Additional facts about the pic;  I was wearing a borrowed wig from Kathy, as my hair would still scream "boy" -  it was not grown out yet.  And the dress I wore belonged to Kathy's wife, who was a big help to me, in doing part of my make-up that day.  Both she and Kathy told me that I look great in long dresses.

But as I progressed, I got the feeling I should include some shorter ones when I add to my wardrobe, to show a bit more leg...

Mandy circa 2002

I still have the following fact, I'm wearing it around the house right now, with a long sleeve top, to keep warm in the cold weather.

Mandy circa late 2004

I'm looking forward to some warmer weather - it would be fun to try wearing one of these dresses out and about!

That's all for now...


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Quickie - The Big Apple, circa 1972

Hope you all are having a wonderful day, after the big celebrations last night!

With little else to talk about, this post is regarding the past...namely, back to December 1972.  My gosh, from December 1972 to the present is now 41 years....time sure flies when you're having fun!

Back then, my new employer "treated" me to a 2 month stint in the Big Apple, as a participant in an On-The-Job training program for my new job.  Hotel room cost and transportation to and from NYC were covered by the company, but meals had to be kept within a very small (by NYC standards) per-diem, or I had to pay the overage.  I managed to get by, but learned quickly the menus of all the delicatessens and cheap restaurants in the vicinity of the south end of Central Park.  

Training was boring and repetitive, but I sure did have fun sightseeing... 

Those of you from the NYC vicinity can probably recognize what memory says (not absolutely certain though)  is the long shadow cast by the Empire State Building in the low December sun, taken from the observation platform. 

How'd a dude get his picture into this blog?????

Who's rhe dude?????   OK, OK - it's me!   I don't recall who took the picture (with the Empire State Building in the background)  unless it was another visitor, or the guard.  At that time, my camera was one of the old film-cartridge-and-flashcube-using Instamatics (you youngsters probably don't remember them), without a self-timer or tripod socket.  And, I wasn't out and about with anyone.  Guess that's going to forever remain a mystery!

I had experimented with female clothes in my younger days (Mom's things of course,  whenever she wasn't around),  and the internet, as we know it today, wasn't even a gleam in Al Gore's eye back in 1972.  The Arpanet (from 1969 till its lights went out in mid-1990) was sputtering along, and I had absolutely no computer knowledge, access or equipment.  Thus, the above picture was taken well before I knew about my transgender tendencies, or even what transgender was.  Needless to say, I looked (and mostly acted) like a dude, and didn't (yet) wear dresses, makeup or the like.  

When I found the above picture in my archives,  showing both towers of the original World Trade Center under construction, it brought back lots of memories of 9/11/2001.

At home on that fateful day, my wife was supervising the installation of our lawn sprinkler system, and at work, several of us heard about it from others by phone.  While maintaining a semblance of work output, we found time to stand in a co-worker's office, watching the telly as the carnage unfolded and the plane flew into the other WTC tower.   We all were saying prayers for everyone in harm's way.

As I saw the above pic again, after having forgotten about it for all these years, I couldn't help saying more prayers for all those families whose lives were up-ended, and who continue to suffer to this day...  And I pray that nobody else has to experience such horror.

At least something hasn't changed on the NYC skyline...

Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their day, as well as a very Happy New Year...