A Look Into My Crystal Ball

So Kandi, any further, future desires?

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Good question, not sure how to answer it.  My female life has evolved and will continue to do so.  My 100% desire every time out is interaction with others.  My favorite way of doing this is attending an event.  Therefore I love the art museum parties, the NCMC concerts, any place I can bring my absolute A game and know I will be recognized for having done so.  It’s my addiction.  I will continue to seek more and better public events to become a valuable part of.

My continued involvement with certain organizations may lead to more interesting things.  I’ll probably get more involved with A Prom to Remember.  I may get more involved with one of my theaters.  I meet people all the time that may lead to more interesting things for me to get involved with.

If you are asking if I sort of have a bucket list, I’ve already done quite a lot.  The one thing, the single thing I would give anything to do would be to be an actual bridesmaid in an actual wedding.  Going to happen?  Probably not.  But the thought of being completely immersed in that experience thrills me to no end!  The dress shopping process, both for the bride and the bridesmaids (one cute outfit)….the bachelorette party (another cute outfit)…..the rehearsal and dinner (still another cute outfit)…..the spa visit getting my hair done, nails done and makeup done……the wedding……the reception.

I’m not sure where this will all go.  It certainly depends where my life in general will go.  My pecking order will remain unchanged regardless: husband, father, friend, provider, athlete (broken down right now) and then Kandi.  If I were allowed to be completely selfish, to not consider anyone else in my life, I would do everything I can to be more feminine (mostly involved in the expensive, permanent removal of all hair) and I would dress daily.  I would do all of the things one does during their day, dressed.  But I would then, at some point in each day, get cleaned up and back to me.  But being selfish is not who I am and doing so would dramatically change that pecking order.

I am very happy right now.  I am in a good place.  Both sides of the puzzle that is me are in good places.  My family is doing well, I have solid friendships.  I am able to get out as Kandi frequently and do so in ways I enjoy.  Is it perfect?  Of course not, but it’s pretty good.  Having both accepted Kandi and allowing myself to be happy (a big key) has made all of the difference.

 

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Monday, Monday…

On this Monday, I lined up a shift at the science center, giving me an excuse to get out and enjoy the weather on the harbor.

I have so many exciting and cute outfits queued up for the next few weeks.  On this day, I wanted to wear an admittedly slightly short lace skirt as part of a casual outfit.  It’s funny, I literally think nothing of walking through a crowded venue now in a skirt like this.  It’s no different anymore than when I wear a t-shirt and shorts in my “regular” life.  So I went with this cute, off-white lace skirt, a pink v-neck t-shirt, neutral heels (almost a necessity now with my very slowly improving achilles) and silver accessories.

When I got to the science center, they asked me to be a wayfinder (answering questions and pointing people in the right direction) instead of working the information desk.  People who enter the building through the parking garage either need to be pointed to the Rock Hall next door or to our elevators since our escalators are currently down.  So I cut a deal.  I told them you get me for three hours on my butt or two on my feet.  I really prefer a two hour shift anyway, it gets me out dressed, I give some time to an entity I like and then I can do something else off of that.

On this day it was hotter than the surface of the sun, so I did a few things, but cut the day short.  I toured a local A/C challenged art gallery, Cleveland’s LGBT Center, had a cocktail at a favorite watering hole (also A/C challenged) and walked though the West Side Market (no A/C).  I collected a few complements along they way, mostly telling me I was very well put together.  I walked into the West Side Market with a striking African American woman in a gorgeous red dress, so of course I told her she look beautiful and that I loved her dress and she said (this is where I am blushing) that she was thinking the same about me.  How sweet!  I keep getting rewarded for my visibility.

Before the day started, I took advantage of the perfect sky on the harbor.

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It’s good to be a girl!

A Museum Double Dip

I cannot resist a crowd, so I booked a shift at MOCA, the first official day of the FRONT festivities.  The streets in the area were closed for a big party and there I was again, smiling and greeting visitors.  My role this day was greeting visitors to a specific exhibit, a 15 minute 3D video.  I spent about three hours there, engaging in a few wonderful conversations.  I was frequently mistaken for the artist, which I quickly explained I was not and had no real talent.  There are two things I have learned.  I fool no one.  Also, there is zero question, I am accepted, I am in many cases admired, because I am confident, proud of who and what I am.  The acceptance and positive feedback I get is exactly because of this.  If I “passed”, I would not receive as much positive attention.

Now I must tell you about the single most special moment I have ever had as Kandi.  I was sitting on my stool, greeting visitors to the exhibit I was working.  Generally, I make eye contact with visitors, passers-by, whomever, smile and gauge the reaction (99.9% positive) from there.  An attractive blonde woman walked into the exhibit, really not making any connection with me.  She later exited the exhibit and walked toward the adjacent gallery when she turned around and said “I have to tell you, you are beautiful.  I cannot take my eyes off of you.”  Okay, I melted.  I waived her toward me and wrapped her in a big hug.  Yes, I cried and am also doing so a bit now writing this.  [Please understand, her reference to me being beautiful had nothing to do with my appearance, I obviously didn’t “fool” her.  It had everything to do with my being myself and doing so confidently.]    We talked quite a bit, holding hands the whole time.  A connection, a moment I may never forget!

Once that all wrapped up, it was over to CMA (The Cleveland Museum of Art) for my first time working the Kusama exhibit with the general public.  With a constant flow of visitors, the time flew by pretty quickly.  We have sold tickets to visitors from 48 states (Alaska and North Dakota being the only hold outs).  I had conversation after conversation with folks from Maryland, Southern Ohio, Florida, Connecticut and of course, Cleveland, Ohio!

My day started with a quick stop at a special event at my local Soma, getting a gift certificate, allowing me to add to my growing panty collection for almost nothing.

I may be smiling too much!  I noticed on this day, while touching up my makeup in the ladies room, that I smile with my eyes.  As a result, my eye makeup (the pictures you see are usually very early in my day, right after completing my makeup) has a tendency to get smeared lower than intended under my eyes.  That coupled with the bags I have there have me sometime looking like a raccoon.  Oh well, no one is perfect.

I am pretty darn proud of this dress!  I saw it at a Goodwill sometime back and tried it on.  As you can see, it fits very well and I was thrilled to see it is an XS!  Nobody knows better than I do that women’s sizes are not standard, they run all over the board, but to wear a pretty XS, well you know this girl was feeling her oats on this day!  Here she is….

 

I headed home, cleaned up, did some shopping with my wonderful wife followed by dinner and I look back on a day well spent!

Top 10 All-Time Favorite Songs #1

Before I reveal my all-time favorite song (how exciting is this?), here are a few songs that just missed the cut:  In Between The Lines (Michael Stanley Band), Like a Hurricane (Neil Young), Crush (Dave Matthews Band), Stone Blue (Foghat), Year of The Cat (Al Stewart), Love is the Drug (Roxy Music), Low (Cracker), Telegraph Road (Dire Straits), A Girl Like You (Edwin Collins), Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding (Elton John), Hey, St. Peter (Flash and the Pan), I Ran (A Flock of Seagulls), One Last Kiss (J. Geils Band), My Sharona (The Knack), Kiss and Tell (Bryan Ferry), Eminence Front (The Who), Love is Like Oxygen (Sweet), Stupid Girl (Garbage), Dangerous (Big Data), Harder to Breathe (Maroon 5), Crazy (Gnarls Barkley) and Feeling it Still (Portugal. The Man).

So, my all-time favorite song: Miracles, Jefferson Starship.  I won’t even engage in an argument on this, Marty Balin had the best voice in all of rock history.  I am simply talking voice.  Too bad he didn’t use it enough.  Almost any Starship song featuring Balin is a gem: Runaway, Count on Me, With Your Love, pure perfection.  I could listen to Miracles on an endless loop.  It’s just a beautiful song.  I love listening closely to the backup singers and what they are singing.  Unlike most of the songs I have detailed, this one evokes no real memory, I just love the song.  Always have, always will.

Next week, we begin the next Top Ten list.  I feel like Letterman now, without the beard.

Top 10 Joyful Experiences #6

 

I ADORE this dress!  It was a 90 degree day and I felt on top of the world.  I started by visiting my stylist, who tends to my brows, always in male mode.  So I paid her a visit as Kandi.  Then I did a little wig shopping, where I got my first shorter wig, a style I tend to prefer now for many reasons.  Walking down the street, I received a complement on my shoes, which made me feel special (I remember it to this day).

Finally, my violinist friend played as part of a brown bag concert at a local cathedral.  I enjoyed that immensely, the whole day just perfect.  I’m not sure there is anything better that spending the day in a dress knowing you look very pretty and others notice it as well.

I Know, It’s Too Short….

…. for a woman my age!  But this was a special night.  The opening VIP reception at Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland (MOCA) (http://www.mocacleveland.org/), celebrating the opening of the big FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art (https://frontart.org/), so I figured I’d take things up a notch and was well dressed for an eclectic collection of art aficionados.

The dress and the necklace were part of recent Charming Charlie’s hauls.  I was so privileged to wear this dress for about 8 hours and I felt wonderful!  You simply cannot get more feminine than this.  The shoes, perfect!  The dress, so cute!  The necklace, the perfect complement!  Many, many complements came my way this evening.

I stopped for a bite to eat and a cocktail on my way, getting out a bit early to take advantage of….okay, to take advantage of looking so cute!  Then over to MOCA where I am truly appreciated and feel right at home.  I basically greeted our 400+ VIPs, one smile after another.  My memory isn’t what it used to be, but I do remember welcoming folks from Boston, New York, Washington and Chicago to our fair city, all so very complementary.  Bottom line, I had a ball!

The best moment was an elderly gentleman and Veteran (he was wearing his Veteran’s hat) who was there with his wife.  They were both well into their 80’s.  She was very stylishly dressed and was patient with her husband, as he was slow, walking with a cane.  I smiled as they walked past me and as she was waiting for the elevator a few feet to my right, she told me I looked beautiful!  Wow, what kindness.  A few simple words that meant so much!

The biggest new exhibit is, well I’ll let you figure it out….

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There are dresses and there are dresses, but this one was special!