Saturday, December 29, 2018

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Everyone Is Beautiful At The Ballet

The Nutcracker - National Ballet Theater of Odessa

While in Toronto Canada a few weeks back, I had the pleasure of seeing the Nutcracker Ballet. I am embarrassed to say this was my first time seeing the Nutcracker and I was blown away. First the story, then the dancing and then the familiar music by Tchaikovsky. Plus the graceful women on their toes. The performance was in the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. Here is a description of the performance from the National Ballet Theater of Odessa’s site:

The Nutcracker, a perennial holiday favorite, takes us on an enchanting adventure through a little girl’s fantasy world of fairies, princes, toy soldiers, and an army of mice. Be transported by this stunning full-scale production, with Tchaikovsky's wondrous score, choreography by world-renowned Marius Petipa, and 40 Ukrainian ballet stars in glorious costumes.This presentation is a part of this highly esteemed company’s first U.S. tour! Led by Elena Baranovskaya, former dancer at the Bolshoi Ballet, Mariinsky, and the Perm State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, The National Ballet Theater of Odessa is a national treasure in residence at the grand Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre.  

The old adage that “Everything is beautiful at the Ballet” was true for that evening. Arriving early wearing black dress pants, an off-the-shoulder black sweater top and high heel boots I felt right at home.  Even at elegant events here in Florida, many dress casually (tropically), however, that was not the case this evening.  Many of the ladies wore dressy cocktail dresses or elegant pant-suits with heels. I have never felt dressed more appropriately for an evening. I did receive compliments on the outfit and love it when that happens.  

There were many children there for the evening and yes, the little girls wore their best holiday dresses.  

I wandered the lobby before the performance and during the intermission admiring a large group of Christmas trees decorated as fundraising, auction items. The theater is very nice and well apportioned. Perfect for seeing this beautiful seasonal special. I now understand why this is such a favorite, year-after-year.

The whole evening made me feel elegant and seasonally aware.  A very special time.  

Monday, December 24, 2018

Night Before Christmas '18

Cross Dressing Night Before Christmas

A Rhonda's Escape Christmas Tradition

Posted to alt.fashion.crossdressing
 by Shae Guerin  2002-12-23. 


'Twas the night before Christmas, and all thru the house
I was making my plans to look more like my spouse
I carefully laid out my very best clothes
My bra and my panties, my slip and my hose

My stockings weren't hung by the chimney tonite
They were on me instead, feeling sensually tight
My dress was of velvet, a burgundy red
And on my long nails a new polish was spread

With makeup and jewelry, high heels on my feet
I was looking so sexy, and feeling so sweet
When out in the yard there arose such a noise
That I sprang from my bedroom, forgetting my poise

The moon on the snow with it's brilliant white glitter
Reminds me of lace, to set my heart a-twitter
When what to my long-lashed eyes should appear
But a person in red with a sleigh and reindeer

But I couldn't tell, was it a 'he' or a 'she'
The one with the pack was dressed somewhat like me
There in the sleigh was this 'cutsey' old flirt
With a white wig and makeup, a red blouse and skirt

The reindeer were sparkling, with rhinestones and pearls
And their antlers in ribbons, so they all looked like girls
When s/he stepped from the sleigh, to my eyes were revealed
Her knee-hi black boots with their seven-inch heels

Santa just blushed, but I stood there and smiled
And said, "Hello, my dear, can you stay for awhile?"
"Well you finally caught me", he said with a pout
"At this time on Christmas, folks are seldom about."

"I don't go enfemme very ofen at home,
Mrs Clause doesn't like it, so I do it alone.
"So when I give out goodies to make others smile
"I like to feel pretty and femme for awhile."

"So I ride off dressed up, from my hi-heels to wig,
"On Christmas eve night while I'm doing my gig."
I said, "Don't worry Santa, your secret is safe
Why don't you come in and just freshen your face."

We sat and we talked and vented our passion
For feminine frills and the latest new fashions
We finally parted with a hug and a kiss
S/he said, "I must go now, or some children I'll miss"

I went to my party and had a great time
With music and laughter and good food and wine
But when I returned and looked under my tree
I found some new pretties from sweet Santa to me

Lacy panties, a bra and a soft satin blouse
Perfumes and some candles to light up my house
But it wasn't the goodies that swept away my blues
It was knowing that Santa was a cross dresser too

So next time don't judge all the people you meet
By what they are wearing when out on the street
For in being ones self, there's no 'wrong or right' 

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! 

From Rhonda 

Holiday Eve '18

On this Christmas eve, I want to thank all of my blog friends for a wonderful year.  I will post later this week a year in review with photos; stay tuned. My views have increased dramatically this year as well with the best part being your comments.  I cannot tell you how much I value your comments, suggestions, questions and corrections. Please continue.    

Your patience with my politics and dyslexia is much appreciated. The blog is only two and a half years old and I have grown much utilizing the Google Blogger platform. I am more open and actually proud.  

As many of you prepare for family celebrations tomorrow, regardless of your faith, I do wish you peace. Peace comes from within. May the gift you give to yourself be acceptance, joy and happiness.

  Happy Holiday! 

Programming note:  Tonight at at midnight I will post the now traditional, "Cross Dressing Night Before Christmas".   Enjoy.   

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Non-Political Cartoons 12-23

So much has happened this week, politically, I needed a break. Thanks Diane for several of the cartoons and for the inspiration.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Friday, December 21, 2018

Friend's Friday - The Holiday Office Party

Holiday Office Party '18 

I have been filling in at a local non-profit for the last 4 weeks.  I did this previously about 5 years ago and they remembered me. Having nothing pressing going on, I welcomed the opportunity.   

Non-profit database work has become somewhat of a specialty and I enjoy the challenge. The organization is so worthwhile and the people there are super. Service to their constituency is the primary goal with community events as needed for fund raisers. Along with the day-to-day activities, supporting the development (fund raising) department, I make it a fun job. I have committed to full time through the end of December; possibly more as needed. 

I was re-introduced at an all employee meeting a few weeks back and was invited to attend their Holiday Party that occurred last week after work. 

It was a buffet dinner catered in their theater with a "Roaring 20's" theme. Some dressed in that attire for the occasion however, most wore their "that day" work outfit. I can attract enough attention, so stuck with a somewhat dressy red top, white pants and heels worn that day to the office. The office staff is about 80% female.  

It is so nice to be remembered and included in the party. This is a direct result of my post-retirement volunteering and getting non-profit experience that started about 15 years ago. I am not sure where this will lead; I will keep you posted.  "All dressed up with somewhere to go" again.

More details later on the job and going back to work.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Long Hair on Men: Only for the Young?

LENGTH IN NUMBERS The new hair club for men. Clockwise from top left: Kit Harington, Bradley Cooper, Dev Patel, Jared Leto,Chris Hemsworth, River Phoenix, Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Timothée Chalamet, Keanu Reeves. ILLUSTRATION: SEAN MCCABE

Today, shaggy guys are increasingly common. But the look still has its critics, especially when men fail to observe its expiration date.

By Jacob Gallagher
Jan. 10, 2018 11􀂄20 a.m. ET

JOSEPH KEEFER’S hair is longer than his girlfriend’s. Falling well past his shoulders, his mane outflows that of many members of the opposite sex. Yet the Los Angeles-based men’s fashion consultant wouldn’t think of chopping it off anytime soon. “At some point I’ll cut it when I’m older,” he said, “but I’m 34 and I’ve gotten this far, so I’ll hold onto it for a while.”

That Mr. Keefer has managed to “get this far” without incident shows just how acceptable long hair on men has become. Turn on “Game of Thrones” and you’ll spot Jon Snow (Kit Harington) tossing his trademark mop around militantly. Attend a New York Mets game and watch pitcher Noah Syndergaard throw fastballs, his blonde ’do streaming out from beneath his cap. Walk through an airport as I did recently, and 20-something men sporting Farrah Fawcett waves will have you doing double takes.

Of course, historically, it’s not as if crew cuts were the only option. In the 1968 Rolling Stones documentary “Sympathy for the Devil,” Mick Jagger and Keith Richards’s shaggy coifs are on full display. In the 1990s, the late actor River Phoenix was a Rapunzel-haired heartthrob. And if you want to get biblical, there’s always Samson’s abundant hair.

Though long-haired men are still not the norm, their ranks are, yes, growing, and while there are still critics who find the look unacceptable, they’re starting to seem out of touch. Even Samson is enjoying a renaissance: An action-movie reboot of the tale is coming in February, its hero sporting the requisite down-the-back hairdo.

As a Sikh, New York architectural designer Harry Chadha, 24, lets his hair grow naturally for religious reasons. It’s only recently that he’s noticed so many other adopters. “I joke that I’m the original,” said Mr. Chadha. When asked why he thinks others are resisting a clip, he cited a loosening of standards when it comes to the male image. “People seem freer about their appearance,” he said. Though it may sound implausible, Mr. Keefer has found long locks easier to maintain than a cropped cut. “I’ll condition my hair, but I mostly just run a brush through it before I shower and wash it,” he said.

There are complicating factors, however. Some guys think long hair has an expiration date. “Once it has a lot of gray, your hair might not look as good,” conceded Charles Mangan, a marketing director for Bravado, a New York merchandise and brand management company. Like others quoted, he is under 35 and feels that, trendy as it may be, long hair works better on those who haven’t yet encountered the scourge of gray hair and bald spots. Men like Colin
Farrell and Brad Pitt—once long-haired icons—have shorn their locks as they have gotten older.

Still, it is worth noting that in many workplaces (if not, say, the Senate), long hair is no longer verboten; none of the men I talked to had faced any censure at work. So if you look askance at a guy for his shag, ask yourself whether you want an outlook that’s increasingly out of fashion.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Beyond Proper X'Mas Shopping

I just received the above two items from Boston Proper.  Boston Proper is hit-or-miss on quality and many items tend to be a bit trendy, although reasonable in price. Over the years I have enjoyed their catalogs for simply the over the top femininity of many of their items. Fashion for the not too shy.    

These items (SO SEXY™ CUTOUT OFF-THE-SHOULDER TOP) and (CHUNKY CABLE OFF THE SHOULDER DRESS) were purchase on a whim during one of their December sales. I had hoped that the sweater dress would arrive in time for a last week party, but no such luck.   

I am very pleasantly surprised by both. The top was an add in to get my shopping cart up to a discount level on the sweater dress. They arrived today and after trying on both, they are keepers. I love this color (heather oatmeal) and it wears well with my hair and tan shoulders. Both of these will be perfect for a contradictory winter evening here in Florida, where only the semblance of a winter ensemble is required.  

Be forewarned on the sweater dress. It is every bit as short as it appears in the photo. If the model is the typical 5'10"+,  I do not know know how they got it to appear that length. I am petite and it is that short on me. 

The top is form fitting and has an under-liner built in. The quality on both is super.  I got the two for under $100 and likely you could get them for even less during the after holiday sales.  Happy shopping.

Note - Sorry for the headless models.  I did not have time to cut out the items from the models.  I will do better next time.   


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Feminine Differential - Eye Glasses

The Sexy Secretary or Librarian Look 
I have been wearing glasses since my mid 20's.  I am fortunate in that my vision has remained basically unchanged over the years and my glasses are for distance only. I am fine without glasses for reading and doing computer work. The last time I renewed my Florida Driver's license I needed to take the eye test and as I read off the letters without my glasses the examiner said "Nice guess, now try it with your glasses". So my license states "Restricted - Glasses Required".

Shortly after Rhonda emerged in the early 1980's I noticed the scuttle difference in male and female eye wear. There are different shapes with softer lines. Here is how eyeglasses.com describes the differential:   

Women's Eyeglasses Frames  - Women's eyeglasses fashions evolve every year, and the prices and choices we offer make it affordable to have more than one pair of frames. Although women's eyeglasses tend to have softer lines and more feminine colors than men's eye wear, most frames are unisex and can be worn by either women or men. With a range of prices, frame shapes, and materials along with a variety of color combinations for both eye wear frames and lenses, Eyeglasses.com makes it easy to buy multiple ladies eyeglasses to suit different occasions such as work, school, or leisure. Depending upon the frame, our female customers find that they can often order two pairs of women’s prescription eyeglasses at far less cost than they would pay for one pair of women’s spectacles at a regular retail eyeglass store. There is no reason today why women's prescription eyeglasses styles not only can be trendy, but also sophisticated. If you are looking for a retro or modern, bold or conservative, trendy or classic look, Eyeglasses.com has your style. Women nowadays are looking for shapes and colors that either complement or contradict their features. A “complementary” frame fits in well with the facial structure, as well as the coloring of hair, skin, eyes, and wardrobe. A “contradictory” strategy is one in which the eyeglasses are designed to stand out, to exude confidence, creativity, and to project individuality. There is no right or wrong strategy, and many women have several eyeglasses frames so that they have choice when arranging the daily assemblage.

'89 Sexy Secretary
Because my prescription has changes so little over the years I have amassed quite a collection of eye wear and have noticed that style recycle. Big sexy secretary or librarian styles popular in the '80-'90 are back and minimal-invisible style are less popular; don't worry, they will be back. I love choosing eye wear the accents my outfit or mood. I have elegant styles (invisible) for dinner out and casual playful styles, for fun.  

There is one other differential; your makeup does change, with/without glasses. Keep in mind that the eyes are one of your most important features and are typically the first facial feature noticed. According to Glamour Magazine: "Since glasses can sometimes make your eyes look smaller, the absolutely-no-makeup option is kind of off the table. At the very least, always apply black mascara to your upper and lower lashes for a full effect." 

I do vary my glasses and see them as a fashion accent. I am not sure if I look better with/without glasses.  At lease for driving, I always have my "feminine eye wear". How about you? Do you have feminine glasses and how did you purchase? Please share your "ESCAPEstories and suggestions for eye wear.  



Monday, December 17, 2018

Everyday Is An Adventure.

Works for Escapes As Well

I have been going out almost 35 years and as with many of us, Halloween was the anniversary of my first Escape. WOW, the excitement of that first escape. A restaurant costume contest. I have it written here.

Many assume I have transitioned and I have received e-mails congratulating me on such a successful transition. That is not exactly what I have accomplished.  To a degree, I have socially and professionally transitioned; totally transitioned - not.    

I belong to several business groups and have social groups that I attend. Professionally I have worked as a volunteer, administrative assistant, non-profit coordinator / fundraiser and now as a venture capital banker / startup Chief Operation Officer (COO). This takes up much of my time. Other times are spent androgynous with most assuming what they may. This presentation is mostly neither male or female; just me.   

I still very much value my time out in what I encourage and call Escapes. I do not believe that I will ever become tired or accept as mundane my adventures into the land of femininity. Even in a day where I may have a back-to-back business meetings, lunch with friends or music concerts, I still feel the excitement of choosing my outfit, doing my hair/makeup and heading for the door.  

Still, events occur that have a “first time” feel. I make an effort the savor experiences and see the challenge;  the thrill of daily experiences. I hope to always challenge myself and appreciate events as accomplishments. 

A few weeks back, after two business meeting, I was dropped back at my car to find that it would not start - dead battery. Certainly, something that has happened before. This time the challenge was, “How shall I handle this, presenting female?" I did not panic or even feel trepidation and went about dealing with the situation as always. Road service was called. A very friendly tow operator provided a jump and I drove across the street to get a new battery installed.  

To my amazement and liking in this situation, the female repair technician said: “Honey I will get you home in no time”. When quickly done, the price was more than originally quoted and she whispered to me, “I will honor the price and throw in free installation. Will that be OK?”  I thanked her paid my bill and was on my way. Problem solved.  

I hope I never transition to the point where life is dull and events do not provide challenges, interest or at the least, stories. 

What escapes adventure are you going to have over the holidays? Tell us the story.  

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Friday, December 14, 2018

Time Is Precious

A little followup to yesterday's post. The greatest gift you can give yourself is time.  Never to be wasted. 


Thursday, December 13, 2018

What Time Is It?

There was a time when getting older, a demograph to which I belong, meant being invisible, accepting limits, and being/going quiet. Oh yes, the proverbial rocking chair. Maybe it’s a “baby boomer” thing; we have never accepted limits and have challenged the norms starting with rock-n-roll, the min-skirt, civil rights and protesting needless wars. I love being where I am today. 

Baby boomers changed the world, ended a war, created a new culture of values and morphed our style and politics with every move of the Beatles. In the end, it was all rock and roll to us. We won the right to vote, and then turned around and voted for Nixon. (today Trump)

We baby boomers have been puzzling ourselves and the rest of world since then. Who are we? As we enter our 60s and (70s), we have to answer that question ourselves. If our high point was when we were 19 or 20, or what will be our second act?

One thing being a baby boomer embodied was to speak your mind and accept with caution We were indulged and told that our opinions mattered.  We were told we could grow up to be anything and collectively we fought for social change. Even today, I am far less willing to accept being quiet. Going quietly into the sunset… Never! 

To accentuate that fact, I am really starting to not care what other people think. I find myself smiling a lot and because of that, drawing others into conversations. I respect myself and want others to understand who I am. Maybe they can come to accept how I present. If asked a direct question, I answer it. 

Sure, we are a minority, being transgender. I had nothing to do with create this gender incongruity and have every right to live my life as anyone else. Not just live, but embrace my life. I am the master of my own history and my last chapter is yet to be written. I hope to make it interesting and it may even have a few plot twists.  

Getting older does cause one to understand that life does not last forever. I get notices every few weeks about a high school classmate that is no longer with us or someone that needs our prayers. Life is not finite, so sitting in the rocking chair and doing nothing should not be an option. Or worse yet, being/doing something that is inherently not who you are. Doing nothing is a waste of a human minute - the most valuable commodity on the planet. Something you will never be able to retrieve, no matter how much money you have. 

What are you going to do with your time today?  ESCAPE! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

How to Walk in Heels & Stilettos

Stanna had a great post on the "Triumph or Downfall" of high heels yesterday.  Interesting and my sweet post on the height spectrum is 3" to 4". And I do love heels.  

Below is a cute video on walking in heels.  Nothing new here but just a fun look at a great pair of legs, with suggestions on getting up to speed in heels. Someone else that loves heels as much as we do. Her blog. "Wendy's Look Book " is packed with fashion advice for the young at heart and heel enthused.   



News: This evening is my company's Christmas dinner and party.  It is held after work at the office's theater and all are expected to attend.  I will be there! Rhonda is working there again after having been there before a few years back.  It is a worthwhile and valuable non-profit, serving the year round needs of a community deserving the support. More later on the job and facility. I think I will wear my red heels.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Feminine Differential - What's Inside Your Purse?

I was always been fascinated by the contents of the female purse. It is the Swiss Army Knife of life. Anything short of a nuclear weapon can likely be found in the purses of a collective female group.  e.g., need a band-aid; a receipt from a Macy's purchase, last decade; or a discount restaurant coupon - all there. 

I emptied my everyday purse (amazed at what ancient artifacts I found) and decided to show what I consider my essentials. How did I ever function with just pockets? 

What's in your Purse? 


Monday, December 10, 2018

My First Car - An Impala

Two weeks ago GM announced the end of the Chevrolet Impala.  Here is the sad announcement in the Detroit Free Press:

My '65 Chevrolet Impala 
 General Motors plans to ax the Chevrolet Impala as part of its dramatic restructuring announced this week, ginning up nostalgia for a vehicle name that first appeared in the 1950's.

The Impala has been called one of America's most iconic nameplates, but after 10 generations, the current sedan appears to share little but the name with its ancestors even as it has had some notable milestones in the not-too-distant past.

My first car was a ’65 Chevy Impala. It was two-tone with gold on the bottom and a cream colored top. It had a 300HP / 327 engine and I switched the three-speed column shift and installed a Hurst Floor Shift. There were other things I did with the most notable addition being “Mickey Thompson Mag Wheels”.  The wheels were beautiful and what a nice addition to the overall look of the car with narrow white sidewalls. The car was a beauty. 

I have always loved cars and will not bore you with the engine modifications; needless to say, it ran very well. My choice would have been the "SS" version with bucket seats and a floor shift already installed, however it was not available at the time.  

From 1958 to now, America always had the Chevy Impala. That was one piece of nostalgia that I could count on every year. The ’65 was not my last Impala and I did replace it with a much more luxurious, ’70; this one dark brown, with a matching vinyl top and much appreciated air conditioning.  

Over the years I have had some impressive/unique cars, including several Corvettes, a Gremlin, a Pacer, several Cadillac and my current SL-MB. Without question, my beloved car was my first – The Impala.  Goodbye old friend.  

'58 Badge - The First Impala

Note: Anyone else remember the unique "Factory Engine Option" on the  '58 Impala?