Saturday, March 30, 2019

Spring is Here - A Car Talk Flashback

Thanks Car Talk for all the fun!!!!
I miss you.

Why is everyone so tired on April 1? We bet you'd be tired if you'd just finished a grueling 31 day March!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Friends Friday - Wine Paring Dinner

At Bistro Ten Zero One 

Getting Out

Women + Wine is a Meetup group I joined recently to attend a wine paring dinner. I am always somewhat nervous about a new group; "will they be open/accepting, and friendly?"  My fears were unfounded and everyone was super friendly. There were only 4 of Women + Wine group at this elegant dinner with about 20 others that made up our mixed group/event; couples singles of all ages.  The featured wine was Chateau Ste. Michelle from Washington State.  

Here is how the Women + Wine group list themselves on Meetup:

What we're about:  People who enjoy wine are the best people in the world -- we think so anyway. If you agree, join Women + Wine to connect with other women in the community, explore the city and of course, enjoy a glass of wine together. We will enjoy social and educational events in Palm Beach County. This group is targeted towards young-er professionals mostly between the 29-55 age range. Sorry, guys this one is just for the ladies, though we might sneak you in on occasion. 

We met in a private hotel dining room, Bistro Ten Zero One, and a few had already arrived when I entered. I immediately noticed that each place setting had four wine glasses. There were candles and to start the evening we had cheeses, slice meats, fruit and both white and red sangria. I found my four new best friends of the Women + Wine group and soon found myself talking to others. One guy freshly back from skiing at Lake Tahoe was proud of the app on his phone that showed his downhill speed of 66 mph. We talked several times during the evening and he was one seat over from where I was seated. One of the ladies seated next to me was a therapist in the school system.  She was very interesting. 

Yes, I will attend other events hosted by this group.  There was unfounded trepidation on my part and in the end happy I made the effort. Meetup is a great source for Escapes. 

    The Evening's Five Course Menu

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Become A Well Dressed Woman

"Hello Bombshell" list "The 101 Things That Happen To You When You Become A Well Dressed Woman."

Think of it like the domino effect. Dressing well is that very first domino that triggers a series of positive events in your life. Dressing well is one relatively small, yet significant, self-improvement step that can serve as momentum to living a most beautiful life. 

Here are my top 10:  

  • Your self-confidence increases.
  • You feel good about yourself.
  • Which makes you smile more. Hence, people smile at you more.
  • You understand the difference between Fashion & Style.
  • You hate feeling underdressed.
  • People compliment you and you accept the compliments graciously
  • Dresses become more comfortable to wear.
  • In group settings, people want to hear what you have to say.
  • You’re more engaged with life.
  • You become happier!

Who would’ve thought dressing well could impact your life so much. To level up your look and style is not easy, but I promise, it’s a fun and worthwhile journey I invite you to embark.


Check out the whole list and aspire.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

How did “Some Like it Hot” challenge gender norms and censorship rules of the era?

Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon

Quick Answer: Some Like it Hot ignored regulations of the time and told a raucous story of two men who dress in drag and join a girl's band to escape the mob. In doing so, they learn about being female and subvert expectations of gender identity in the 1950s.

The Motion Picture Production Code (popularly known as the Hays Code) was officially in place from 1930 until 1968, dictating the moral and ethical content of American films so that moviegoers would not be subject to what it considered degrading material. Despite that later end date, many say the Hays code actually died closer to 1959, following the release of movies like Billy Wilder’s Some Like it Hot, a film made without the code’s approval, effectively raising a middle finger to the organization and stripping the agency of its hold on Hollywood. A gender-bending story of two men dressing in drag to escape the mob, Some Like it Hot is packed full of sexual language and innuendo, was condemned by the Catholic League of Decency for being “seriously offensive to Christian and traditional standards of morality and decency,” was banned outright in Kansas, and, wondrously, received six Academy Award nominations. The film now claims its place in history as one of the greatest comedies of all time, featuring fantastic performances by Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe’s last major role, and Wilder’s courageous and hilariously forward take on gender roles.

Some Like it Hot put society to the test and challenged moral complacency. The movie hints at homosexuality, studies the male gaze, speaks to female objectification and misogyny, and condemns male insensitivity. As the two male characters (dressed as women) move in and out of various relationships with members of the same and opposite sexes, they blur gender lines and question whether masculinity and femininity are as opaquely binary as society supposes or whether they are constructs facilitated by mannerisms, attire, and perception.

One progressive idea permeating the film is how dressing as women educates the males about the discriminatory challenges of being a woman. From day one, they are frustrated by the endless sexual advances they receive from men. “I’m not even pretty,” Jerry (Jack Lemmon) says to Joe. “They don't care -- just as long as you wear skirts. It's like waving a red flag in front of a bull,” Joe replies. Upon arriving at a hotel, the men are eyed up by the gaze of every rich old fellow lounging on the patio, and Jerry quickly gets his butt pinched by a zealous old millionaire in an elevator. “Now you know how the other half lives,” Joe says. In this way, their cross-dressing provides the two males the opportunity to become more sensitive toward and understanding of women. Still, that lesson, along with much of the film’s humor and legitimacy, only works under the conception of a two-gender system. In today’s landscape of acknowledging a spectrum of sexualities and genders, including transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, the film’s foundation cracks. But this is to be expected from a piece of art that was challenging the gender assumptions of 1959.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Gender Ideology

The President Of Brazil Made An Anti-LGBTQ+ Statement. 
Trump Nodded Along.

From Refinery29 
By: Natalie Gontcharov

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and Trump 
During his visit to the White House on Tuesday, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro said in his remarks that the U.S. and Brazil stand side-by-side "in their efforts to ensure liberties and respect to traditional family lifestyles, respect to God, our Creator, against the gender ideology or the politically correct attitudes, and against fake news."

President Trump vigorously nodded along with the entire statement, as the video below shows. The statement, which has several concerning parts, has not gotten a lot of media attention, but it's worth focusing on what exactly Bolsonaro meant by "gender ideology."

Bolsonaro, who has been called the "Trump of the Tropics," said in 2013 that "Yes, I am homophobic — and very proud of it." He has also said that he would rather have his son die in an accident than be gay, and that parents should beat being gay out of their children. He has tried to wipe references to LGBTQ+ rights, feminism, and violence against women from Brazilian textbooks. Meanwhile, Trump stood with him, proclaiming the two countries' "shared values" and exchanging soccer jerseys.


I was curious what "Gender Ideology" entailed.  Here is what I found at a Sociology research site

Gender ideology and gender role ideology refer to attitudes regarding the appropriate roles, rights, and responsibilities of women and men in society. The concept can reflect these attitudes generally or in a specific domain, such as an economic, familial, legal, political, and/or social domain. Most gender ideology constructs are uni-dimensional and range from traditional, conservative, or anti-feminist to egalitarian, liberal, or feminist. Traditional gender ideologies emphasize the value of distinctive roles for women and men. According to a traditional gender ideology about the family, for example, men fulfill their family roles through instrumental, bread-winning activities and women fulfill their roles through nurturant, homemaker, and parenting activities. Egalitarian ideologies regarding the family, by contrast, endorse and value men’s and women’s equal and shared bread-winning and nurturant family roles.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Denim Skirt - Revisit

Today's Denim skirt is a great choice from Banana Republic; regular, tall,  petite.  For me it is a combination of the straight skirt and denim that I like. Denim skirts are casual but can be dressed up with the right accessories and shoes. A great pair of chunky heels pumps like my Cole Haan Kendra pumps complement and the canvas inserts in the shoes keep the look overall casual. Almost any style/color on top works with denim. Keep a watch on this Banana Republic skirt - Today 40% off. 

I love the direction that Tory Burch is going. Her popular signature ballet, Mini flats have allowed the expansion into clothing, sandals and purses. I am sucker for rich leather and Tory's iconic logo you see everywhere these days.  It is amazing how many Tory sandals I see being worn by teens at the mall taking into account the  excessive cost.  

I see the Tory "MILLER HOBO" bag as an investment item.  


Friday, March 22, 2019

Friends Friday - Truth Or Consequences

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
I have been wrestling with a delegate situation at work for the past three weeks. Let me start with saying that this is not a transgender-related issue, so no need for you to continue if you want this drama to go there. 

My HR director skillfully navigated the E-Verify self-inflicted problem and I was happily settling in and contributing on a daily basis. I do enjoy working! This is my fourth non-profit gig and know the ins-and-outs of posting, processing, acknowledging gifts. Plus I am a query SQL/data base expert. I am not a big fan of the Raiser’s Edge software product, however, it is difficult to counter the most used and successful tool in the market. It is designed to comply with fundraising/accounting best practices and help non-profits navigate potential legal/ethical issues. I am good at using the package. 

Not long after I became a full-time employee, request started from my immediate boss to change already posted/processed/acknowledged funds and appeals. Both of which are tied to the separate and interlocked accounting system. I could see that these changes were to enhance and consolidate her overall year-to-date totals against goals. I became suspicious of some of the request and worked to stay within acceptable accounting practices. I was new and eager to please. 

Next, the request became murkier. I was told to enter gifts that were not posted receivables from accounting. I said no. After refusing to enter these amounts as gifts, I was told they could be entered as pledges and the donors payments/gifts would come over time; thus, she could still count the income. I agreed to enter these only if there were recorded amounts (pledges) with signatures. After researching these, I found that only half had signed forms. The pressure became intense. I questioned the remaining “pledges” and in writing (e-mail) said I would only enter signed agreements. I was painfully aware of the consequences of my action at this point. This was no way to start a new job.  

The next business day, I was called into my bosses office and was presented a form to sign, stating that I would do what I was told and was given a date/time to have the demands done. I signed the demand letter to avoid being terminated on the spot. I returned to my desk and completed my resignation letter so I could leave of my own volition. I submitted my resignation to HR at the end of the day. My letter only stated that my supervisor and I had irreconcilable differences in a business matter. When pressed, I went no further.  

Thus ending a three-month contract project and six-week employment stay. I took the job seriously. I liked the job. I liked the place. And I liked the mission.  I appreciated being part of a team, providing a service of which I agreed and could relate. 

I am disappointed and do question my actions. Should I have been more flexible/understanding of my supervisor’s needs?  Or, did I do the right thing, sacrificing my job in the wake?  Comments please...

Several of my friends at work have already reached out to say they miss me. I miss then as well.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Spring Training

Bull Durham, the movie 1988 - (how could it be that long?) is memorable in several aspects. It was a good sports story, well acted and had stars that were easy on the eyes. Susan Sarandon was at the top of her game (pun intended) and dressed the part throughout the movie. The white, off the shoulder, dress shown above and the black and white check skirt were winners. Also, Kevin Costner encouraged the young and coming ballplayer, Tim Robbins, to wear garters and hose to work on his pitching skills.  Loved it.    

The garter belt scene is hilarious and the sexual chemistry between all three of the main characters is great throughout the movie.    

Rhonda 1988 
What made me think of this movie tonight is that the restaurant where I had dinner was packed with spring training fans and ball players. Florida has always been a major training site for the start of the Major League Baseball season and West Palm has always hosted sever camps. One stadium in West Palm host the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals teams. In Jupiter where I live, we host spring training for the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals. 

This time of year we are inundated with fans and teams for the approximately six weeks of spring training. Several exhibition games daily within a few miles of each other. If you are a baseball fan, come and join the fun.

If you are still in the snowy north, put this movie into the "VCR", (remember those) and enjoy a good sports movie. And the outfits are pretty good as well.  




Monday, March 18, 2019

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Friday, March 15, 2019

Friend's Friday - A Museum Reunion

The Norton Museum of Art - Reunion Group

Last Friday evening a group got together at the newly opened / redone Norton Museum of Art here in West Palm Beach. I worked there for about three years and we called our evening, a "Reunion". It was so much fun seeing people I had not seen in years. 

Working at the Norton was Rhonda's second job and was my first interaction in a large non-profit; daily interaction public/visitors and co-workers. I handled all accounting for the incoming donation and membership processing. It was mostly database work however occasionally I would meet with members.  Also we had weekly evening events where I assisted and worked at our annual black-tie / evening gown, Art Ball; an elegant evening. 

I came away from my employment there with several close friends.  We have made the effort to stay in touch and regularly have lunches and dinners. This evening's  "reunion" was posted on Facebook and we spent the evening together remembering the good times we had working together. We were greeted with hugs by several that are sill employed.  

Glenn Tomlinson, the William Randolph Hearst curator of education at the Norton is someone I knew well when I worked there, and was quoted talking about the grand opening in the Palm Beach Post:  

On top of the renovations, I am excited for new and revamped programs the museum offers. Art After Dark, the program which brings speakers, artists and films to the museum, was moved to Friday nights, extending the museum’s normal closing time of 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. In addition, there are more events geared toward families such as celebrating the Chinese New Year and Black History Family Day.
Tomlinson, who has been with the museum for nearly two decades, said "it’s incredible to share the new space and art with visitors".

The remodel (almost complete rebuild) is stunning.  Invest 100 million and this is what you get!  The new entrance is build around a large Florida banyan tree with contemporary art, (typing eraser) set in a reflecting pool. There is new art and old pieces I remember from wondering around while I worked there. 

The collections include American, Chinese, Contemporary, European, and Photography.  All of which were well curated when I was there and are expanded. Some of my favorite moment there were the morning of the opening of a new exhibit. All of the employees would get an "insiders" tour given by the curator.    

Thanks everyone for including me in the Reunion evening. I will go back soon to just look and marvel. 


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Different For Girls - 1996

There is a movie from 1996 that touches on transgender dating; an interesting subject to explore someday.  

If anyone ever had any doubt that a male (transgender or not) could play and carry a feature movie playing a female lead, they need look no further than the 1996 movie, "Different for Girls".  Here is the summary from IMBd.

Karl Foyle and Paul Prentice were best mates at school in the Seventies. But when they meet again in present-day London things are definitely not the same. Karl is now Kim, a transsexual, and she has no desire to stir up the past while she's busy forging a neat and orderly new life. Prentice, on the other hand, has charm but is a social disaster stuck in a dead-end job. His main talent is for getting them both into trouble. Amid the squabbles, they start to fall in love. One night, Kim invites Prentice to a romantic dinner at her flat. Prentice, finding the seduction unexpectedly effective, freaks out. He proceeds to make a public display of both of them and winds up in court. Humiliated and angry, Kim runs away. Only she can save Prentice now, but will true love triumph for a new made woman and an aging punk?

The lead character, Kim, is convincing, sincere, and wins our hearts.  Her goal is to just live her life until Prentice disrupts everything.  

The full movies is available on YouTube - Enjoy.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Feminine Differential - Unmentionables in ER

Victoria Secret Very Cheeky Pantie Nude.
"I am in love!"
Unmentionables are items too shocking or embarrassing to be mentioned by name. Let's go there and use the word.  "Panties!"  Here is another post where I discussed this as well. 

I would say about 90% of my unmentionables "down there" are female designated underwear. Of course at work or socially, boxers or briefs would be so out of place. Even downright inappropriate. In androgynous mode, my cotton bikinis just feel right for a number of reasons.  

My opinion, once you (man) wear women's panties, you will never want to wear boring men's underwear again. Take a look at the list below from Quora.  The question; "Is it okay for men to wear panties?" Share your choices/reasons.  Hint, there are no wrong answers.    

The primary reasons are:

  1.     Comfort - Material is far more comfortable.
  2.     Design - Their design look sexier and more fun than men's.
  3.     Colors - Pink, peach, parrot green, violet, blue, maroon, yellow, skin, grey, white, black - every possible color under the sun!
  4.     Variety - bikini, hipster, G-string to boyshort...
  5.     Touch and feel - Amazing. It embraces you like your girl friend - deeply in love with you.
  6.     Excitement - Every time I wear them, I get a positive energy in my body and mind.  
  7.     Adventure - No details needed. 
  8.     Feminine aspect - It definitely shows one's interest in the feminine aspects of life. It virtually gives a man one aspect of women's experience.
  9.     Less expensive - In India, the Jockey women panties are priced at least 25% lower than men's underwear.  Maybe not in the US?
  10.     Sexually stimulating - No surprise there.... 

Of course I have experienced interesting, near embarrassing events. Like my trip to the "Emergency Room".  Share your story and I will share mine. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Dress Jacket

One of the ladies in my new office dresses very professionally every day. The office is not over the top in styles and some days she is over-dressed, especially on casual Friday's. My style is to be observant and to dress at of just above the norm. Showing up your boss or the executive director is not going to win friends or respect.  

There is one item I see her wear regularly that is worth emulating; a well styled professional jacket. This works  especially well in the business meeting that are out of the office or any meeting with a potential donor for lunch. 

I went today to my local court house to pay for a traffic violation (another story for later) and stopped in at my local Macy's on the way home. The above  "Lauren Ralph Lauren - Striped Knit Blazer" fit well and would look great with any of the above items.  It is a maybe purchase.  I was even thinking it would be great with a LBD. I believe the jacket is part on this spring's ('19) collection so not on sale yet. What do you think - Feminine and dressy? 

Monday, March 11, 2019

A Gender Reveal Party

The first time I heard of a “Gender Reveal” party was a few years back, my  mind raced, unsure what was involved. Could it be so obvious as in the Big Makeover's “Reveal Party”?  Should I have a big Gender Reveal Party and invite all my friends?

It did not take my mind to long to catch up and understand that it is similar to a pre-baby shower, where interested family and friends were made aware of an upcoming baby’s gender. 

Let’s take this to a time in the future when a baby is born, declared to be alive, human and ready for life. The child is allowed to grow and do all things childlike; run, play a sport, choose toys, and clothing that reflects childlike innocence.  At a time when the child is ready, they choose. They declare “I am a ….." Thus a “gender reveal” party to honor the decision. 

 A Kentucky mother’s creative and colorful way of honoring her transgender son has won her global praise.

Heather Lundberg Green of Louisville told HuffPost that when it came time to celebrate 20-year-old Adrian’s birthday, she decided to stage a photo shoot acknowledging the fact that he had come out to his family as trans just two months earlier.

The result was a playful take on the gender reveal photo trend ― only in this case, the images announce that Adrian identifies as a boy. Green didn’t spare on details, either, sporting a faux pregnant belly in a few of the images, and having Adrian wrap himself in blankets like a newborn in others.

Heather Lundberg Green celebrated her 20-year-old trans son, Adrian (center), with a stunning photo shoot.

The response to the photos ― which have been featured by People, USA Today and NBC, among other outlets ― has been “warm, supportive and empowering,” the mom said.  Read the whole story and see the heart warming photos.  

Maybe not so far off in the future. We can hope.... 

Friday, March 8, 2019

Friend's Friday - Via Cafe Flora

"Surrounded with colorful bougainvillea, fountains and manicured gardens, Cafe Flora is enriched with gracious hospitality in a polished 'secret garden' atmosphere. Owners Heinrich and Pamela seek to inspire and transport guests, providing a rare combination of sophisticated cuisine appropriate for Palm Beach's formal, white-linen dining destinations with the warmth and hospitality of a neighborhood favorite. Tucked away from the bustle of Worth Avenue in a picturesque courtyard behind Hermes and Jimmy Choo, camera-shy celebrities and other local notables often seek refuge in dining at this 'hidden gem'."  Palm Beach Daily News 

Caitlin, myself and her two friends had dinner last Thursday and what a wonderful evening. This is an almost all outside dining experience in a beautiful Worth Avenue Via.  A beautiful evening with just enough warm lighting to give the whole area a glow.  No sweaters, jackets or coats required - February in Palm Beach!  

The evening started with the Thursday evening meetup at the Palm Beach Colony and it had been exactly a year since we last visited Cafe Flora. We walked from the Colony down the world famous "Worth Avenue" to the outdoor cafe. We were not disappointed with the food, ambiance, or company. Thank you Caitlin.  Another fun escape.  

Cafe Flora - Palm Beach 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Conchita Wurst - "Rise Like a Phoenix"

I love the way he/she define her own feminine style  

Wurst is an Austrian recording artist and drag queen portrayed by Thomas Neuwirth. She came to international attention after winning the Eurovision song contest in 2014 with "Rise Like a Phoenix".