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Mid July - 2003

Next week this time I will be in Las Vegas with CAT and Samantha, and a few other girls.  This is The Third Annual Traveling T-Girls Summertime Road Party  and this years event promises to be something really special for those that plan on attending.  The highlight of this years road party will be a Las Vegas style marriage.  More specific details of the event can be found by clicking on the link above.  Anyway, I am looking forward to getting back to Vegas and having some fun next week.

However, it's the middle of July and it's hot, humid, and thunderstorms seem to role through every time I have gone out this month.  Tonight was no exception, as my friend Sherri and I attended a performance of a show called "Diva Diaries" at the Performing Arts Center.  I have no idea if this show is going around the country, but if you should hear that it is playing in your area, I highly recommend that you attend, whether in drag or boy clothes; and please take a friend along with you.  Diva Diaries is about three aging Drag Queens, that have been together for 30 years, and now the club where they have worked all of this time is closing.  The playbill advertises this show as "Mama Mia meets La Cage," or vice versa.  Anyway, it is the last show of the last night and the three DQ's now have a chance to look back on their lives with the help of three younger DQ's.  The show is filled with music, laughter, and drama and the performers play their parts very well.  I don't have the time to tell you the entire story line, but what I will tell you is that from a personal perspective I began to empathize with the characters.  No, I wasn't a drag queen for 30 years, but I have been a Crossdresser for that long and then some.  Like the three characters in the show, I sometimes have looked back at my life as a CD and second guessed some of the choices that I made when I was younger.  I  sometimes think where, and what would I be doing today had I known more about being Transgender; and had I been able to accept this as part of who I am.  How would my life have been different had there been an Internet, or even if I known there were others like myself that I could relate too?  The first 20 years of my life were spent in the closet, and another 20 years were spent not being able to make a choice of what I really wanted to do. 

I thought about the first time I dressed in my sister's clothes, and the time that I was caught.  I thought about all of the hiding and sneaking around, borrowing, and yes stealing clothes from family members and friends.  I thought of all of clothes I had bought over the years,  then purging every few months, and then turning right around and buying more.  I thought about the hundreds of people like myself, that I have met in person and online, and only a few are still in my life.  In fact the only two TG's I am still in touch with form my early days are Kathy and Rhonda, both doing well and happy.  I am very fortunate that today I have a few close friends and many acquaintances, that are like me and have for the most part have made the choice to live and enjoy being Transgender.  I struggled with this for most of my life until events happened in my life that allowed me to make a choice.  Of course I have always had choices, as we all do, but like most of us at one time or another I tried, and really wanted to fit in to the mold, but life doesn't always happen the way we would like.  When I finally made a decision, one that I felt was best for me base on my personal circumstances, I felt such a relief and a lifting of a burden.  Today I know many others that are also struggling with this and I can relate to their dilemma.  To these people I would say be patient, life is a journey, not a destination.  Everything that happens to us happens for a reason, and this is part of our life experience.

At the end of the show, each of the aging Queens have been able to look back on their lives, and reflect on their 30 years together.  There were good times and there were not so good times.  There were highs and there were lows.  Most importantly, they have remained friends throughout this time and have honestly cared for one another.  As the door was closing on one part of their lives, a new door was opening to their future.  Most of the time I am not really happy closing the door to my past and opening the door to my future, after all I get comfortable with some of the past and the future is unknown.  But, since I have absolutely no control over life, I am constantly learning that it just keeps getting better when I let go and move on!

 

Early August - 2003

My trip to Las Vegas at the end of July turned out to be one of the best experiences I have ever had.  If you are interested, I have posted a brief story and some photos on the web site.  What I will say about the trip here is that besides the having a lot of fun, I spent most of the time with four really wonderful people.  Of course you already know CAT and Samantha, two very special people in my life.  On this trip we were joined by Dee, a very close friend of Samantha's and by Jenna a close friend of CAT's.  I first met Dee in Houston about 18 months ago, when we were all together for a New Years weekend.  I met Jenna almost a year ago at SCC, but never really got to know the two of then until this past weekend.    Almost from the moment I stepped off the airplane Samantha and I began exchanging our usual pot shots with each other.  Later when Dee arrived I discovered that I was not the only one that Samantha enjoys picking on.  But Dee, like me knows Samantha and so sometimes she got twice as much, or vice versa.  Of course CAT being the refined lady that she is always stays above of the barbs, innuendos, and pot shots; but seems to have a flair for making little comments that require a catty remark from one, or all of us.  Then there was Jenna, who from my first impression seemed a little shy.  However, when it came down to it; she could dish it out like the rest.  If ever I felt more comfortable, and more at ease as a female, I can not remember; as the five of us made our way around the town having the time of our lives in Vegas. 

As Lauren, I sometimes have doubts as to whether I look okay, and although I get  compliments, from other girls and admirers; it is very reassuring for me to get the opinion of a real woman.   It is important to me as a Crossdresser that when I am dressed, especially in public that I present a positive image as a female.  It would be wonderful to pass without being noticed, but the truth is that in public I get read.  Getting read is something that I accept, after all I am a man pretending to be a female, and realistically speaking passing as a female is not as easy as many people may think.  However, when I am comfortable with the way I look, it really doesn't make a difference whether I get read or whether I leave them wondering.  What is important is that I do the best that I can with what I have to work with, and that I try to present the appearance of a normal looking female that is appropriately dressed for the occasions.   Because we did spend a lot of our time in public,  whenever I was concerned about the way I looked.  So, I turned to Dee and Jenna for a shot of confidence and some reassurance that I looked okay.  Not that hearing it from CAT and Samantha wasn't good enough for me; it's just that I like hearing it from a woman.  So, as Lauren I still have some self esteem issues concerning my feminine appearance and demeanor.

All of that self esteem stuff aside, the trip was wonderful and I had a lot of fun with my friends.   If all goes as planned, I will be seeing them next month at SCC, and then maybe we might just spend the New Year in Las Vegas.  CAT and Samantha you know how much you mean to me, and Dee and Jenna thank you for a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, 20 August 2003

Today marked a special milestone for "Lauren's Lifestyle" the web site, as the number of hits on the index page went over the quarter million mark.  That's 250,000 plus for all of you sailors, marines, and airmen.  At the same time the individual pages have been viewed a total of 658,000 times.  A little less than 4 years ago when I first began my site I never would have dreamed of seeing these kinds of numbers. However, I guess that I must be doing something that people like, and hopefully I will continue to do so.  I sincerely want to thank all of you that find the time to visit the web site, and especially all of you that have written over the years and shared your personal thoughts and comments.  I honestly hope that what I do here somehow makes a positive difference in someone's life.  I also hope that if you feel the need to drop me a note just to say hello, that you will feel free to do so.  Some times my mailbox does get overwhelmed and I might miss responding immediately, but believe me I do read every personal email that I received, and I really do appreciate the love, support, and encouragement that is so often shared.  From the bottom of my heart I thank each and everyone of you, and wish all of you the best that life has to offer.      

                                                                                                              Lauren Elaine Thomas

End of August - 2003

In just about three weeks it will once again be time for Southern Comfort Conference in Atlanta.  This will be my fourth SCC and I am beginning to get a little excited about the trip.  Besides being the largest gathering of TG's in the world, it is that one time during the year that I get to see some of my friends that I only get to see during this conference.  These are the friends that I have met previously at SCC, or those that I have met when I had the opportunity to travel to other cities.  The actual conference doesn't begin until Thursday around noon, but I plan on arriving sometime late Wednesday afternoon so that I can get settled in, and maybe go out to dinner later in that evening.   

For those that plan on attending the conference there is a schedule of events and base on my personal interest I can attend a variety of workshops and seminars.  This year I promised myself to attend at least two seminars a day that might interest me.  What usually happens is that I get caught up in a conversation in the lobby and I end up not attending any of the seminars or workshops.  Of course that is just part of what to expect at SCC.  The seminars are for the most part designed to provide some good information to TG's and in some cases SO's,  sometimes I run into an old friend or someone new and we get to talking about all sorts of things.  Of course the one thing that I never forget to attend are the luncheons and the dinners.  I guest I would have to say that I really like attending SCC not for the good information in the workshops, but rather for the socializing that occurs in and around the hotel lobby, and during the meals.

Probably the most important part of this trip besides planning the travel, getting accommodations, and figuring out my schedule; is planning what clothes to take based on what I would like to do.  So, the first thing to do is to try and figure out exactly what I would really want to do for three and half days, and then how many times I plan on changing clothes each day.  Wednesday evening is real simple, since I am arriving late in the afternoon and I will probably be a little tired, I will wear something casual.  After all I just going to a bar in the middle of the week and I don't need to wear anything special, just something nice and something comfortable.  Part of my SCC experience is to help out as a volunteer.  My preference is to work with registration, as this gives me the opportunity to meet some of the other people at the conference as they arrive and check in.  However, I will gladly help out wherever I am needed.  Alright, so Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning I am going to be somewhere in the conference area helping out, which means I will want to wear something business like, although I could dress casual.  But for me, it will be something business like, as later there will be a luncheon.  Now, for the afternoon, I will most likely be going to a couple of seminars, hanging out in the lobby, or maybe a trip to the local mall.  Now, either way I can remain in the clothes I wore earlier, or I can change.  In this case I plan on changing into something casual.   

Now Thursday evening, since there is no scheduled dinner at the conference I will be going to dinner at a local restaurant.  Last year it was Agnes and Muriel's, and the food was great.  This year the conference scheduled the restaurant as part of a special event, so I will be returning again.  Agnes and Muriel's is known for down home cooking and a 50's, 60's decor; so it is definitely casual, or maybe dressy casual with heels and pantyhose.  I don't want to eat to much, because later that evening I plan on attending "Roxy Dumonde's" pajama party, which should be starting sometime around 11PM back at the hotel. The party  is not a scheduled event by SCC, but is something that Roxy does each year just for fun, and IMO as a way of helping to lighten up the atmosphere at the conference.  Anyway, the attire for her party is whatever is comfortable to the person attending.   My personal plan is to wear something sexy, something that will attract lots of positive attention from the other attendees.  Friday night there is a scheduled dinner at the hotel, which means I need to be wearing something nice, as there will be a lot of photos taken.  Then later I hope to go out to a local jazz club so  I probably won't need to change.  Now Saturday night is the last night of the conference and the night that most of us save our best for last.  The evening begins around 7PM in the lobby with lots of photos, then dinner and more photos, announcement from the SCC committee, then the evenings entertainment.  At the conclusion of the evening most of us end up in the lobby area for more photos, surrounded by a  few admirers, and a few hotel guests that are not part of the conference.  As of now I have not decided on what I will wear for this event.  But, I have narrowed it down to one of two dresses that I will bring with me.  One is short and the other is floor length, and either one would be very appropriate for the occasion.  So, which one I wear will really come down to how I feel Saturday evening when I'm getting ready.  Later that evening I really have no plan or thoughts of doing anything special, or even going out on the town.  Usually by late Saturday night, I am beginning to feel exhausted from living almost 24/7 as Lauren, and all I really want to do is sit on my butt somewhere in the lobby, and talk to my friends.

So, right now it would appear that I have a good plan, now all I need to do is gather up what I intend to wear and make sure I pack it all; and hopefully I will do this sooner than the night before I leave for Atlanta. 

Mid September - 2003

In less than a week from now I will be on vacation, and getting ready to travel to Atlanta for SCC 2003.  I am not really excited about the trip, but I am really looking forward to having about four days where I can get dressed and have places to go and people to see.  Honestly, I have really been bored since returning from Vegas, and with one or two exceptions I haven't gone out; and I was recently reminded that I hadn't updated my gallery in almost a month.  I think that part of the problem is that the last couple of times I have gotten dressed to go out to the local club, the weather was not cooperating.  August it is so humid, and even extra hold hair spray often doesn't work.  Then there are those thunder storms that seem to crop up just as you are ready to leave the house.  Of course real women make adjustments to these minor inconveniences, and if I really wanted to go out, so would I.  The truth about going out is that right now I'm just not in the mood to get dressed up.  A few times over the past month, I have thought about doing some photos, but then I blow that off because I don't have any new ideas.  I did have fun with the last couple of photo updates, some of the lingerie and sleepwear photos came out pretty good.  Of course once I got into doing lingerie photos, I began removing some items of clothing just for fun; and I probably got a little out of control.  

I love taking photos, especially when I have a new outfit or just because.  After all what is the point of me having a website if I not showing off my photos?  It's funny, my first trip to Vega in April, I took very few photos, none of which I posted.  However, during the trip in July I did a complete 180.  One reason why I didn't take many photos was that I really didn't want to attract a lot of attention.  The same is true when I am at home and I am out in some public place.  One thing I notice is that real females don't carry a camera around in their purse, and pose for pictures at various locations; unless maybe they 're  tourist!  I guess that is one of the reasons I enjoy SCC, besides the fact that it is a worthwhile TG experience, it is also quite customary to do all of the photos you want; and there are plenty of opportunities and locations to take a lot of photos.  I find that taking photos in clubs are annoying to others, and you have the worse possible lighting available.  Even at SCC you have to be careful as often there are others in the area that may not want to be photographed.  Most girls don't mind having their picture taken, but there those that are afraid that they will be recognized.  I have to respect their right to privacy, but at the same time, I have seen some of these girls in boy mode and the transformation that they go through to look like females is so good that there is no way that I would put the boy together with the girl.  

Finally, for those regular viewers of this web site that have missed seeing new photos of me for almost a month.  I will tell you that I have not lost my love or interest in being photographed, because I am still an exhibitionist at heart.  The problem is that I just haven't been able to come up with anything new for you to see.  However, you can believe that there will be a lot of new photos coming from SCC, and throughout the remainder of the year.  You know what would be really great would be to have my very own personal photographer; someone that would follow me around the conference, and the city of Atlanta, and take all of the photos I wanted.  So how's that for being a little self-centered and self obsessed? 

End of September - 2003

I arrived home from Atlanta and SCC 2003 early Sunday evening, and I was totally exhausted.  The turn-out this year was slightly smaller than last, but that did not detract from one bit from the over all fun and excitement of the event.  As I have mentioned before SCC is a Transgender conference design to provide information to members of the TG community from professional sources, as well as from those people that are walking the walk in the real world.  SCC is also a social event for those that attend, and for me it is one of the best social events that I have an opportunity to enjoy each year.  So with that in mind, let me just say that this years conference was all that I hoped for and more.  For the first time attendees I am sure that it was a wonderful experience, and for those that have attended previous conferences, it was a reunion with many old and dear friends.  For me it was made even better as I saw several old friends that I had seen in a couple of years and they were looking better than ever.  There seemed to me to be a lot of new comers this year and I was very much impressed with most, as they seemed to easily fit right in the SCC family.  There were two girls that attended this year that I especially got to know much better, Jennifer and Wendy.  I don't mean to embarrass them in anyway, but both girls had it together and I just wanted them to know how much I enjoyed seeing and meeting them there.  Jennifer and I have been exchanging emails for about six months and have developed a very nice friendship, so it was really wonderful that we were finally able to meet in person.  I first met Wendy through an Internet club we both belong too.  Before last week we really didn't know each other personally, but finally met Wednesday evening and had several opportunities to talk and get to know each other better over the next four days.  

On a really personal note, for sometime now I have thought about being in a romantic relationship.  However this has not been an obsession with me, nor have I actively been searching for someone.  Before trying to find that special person, I first wanted to determine exactly what who I wanted to be with.  Naturally speaking I am attracted to females and have been for all of my life.  However, as a Transgender person that is totally committed to living as a Crossdresser, the possibility of having a healthy and committed romantic relationship with a female has been virtually impossible, based on my personal experiences.  So, I really never think about meeting a female that will accept me as a Crossdresser.  Now I have had and continue to receive regular offers from male admirers, some asking to be friends, which I would seriously consider; while others are looking for a romantic relationship.  As flattering as some of these offers have been, I have not been able to reconcile myself to being in a romantic relationship with another man, simply because I am not physically attracted to men.  There is a paradox to my situation, and by now you may already know what I am thinking, and what I am about to say.  What I honestly feel would be a perfect solution for me, would be to meet another Transgender person that is also a Crossdresser; someone that thinks and feels much the same way that I do.   The reason why I mention this now is that this year while in Atlanta, I met someone that I was both mentally and physically attracted too.  Now this is not something new for me, as some of my close friends have heard me mention this on occasion.  Until last week I had never met another TG that I was really attracted too, and so this has always been just a thought or a dream in my mind.  I wasn't thinking or planning on meeting  someone last week, so this came as a real surprise to me.  I do have some reservations because this is something really new for me.  A lot this excitement and good feelings could have been the result of the euphoria of being at SCC, and so I really need to look at this over a period of time; because only time will tell if this kind of relationship can really work.  However during that short period of time I felt very comfortable being with another TG, and as a result I feel that this kind of a relationship can eventually become a reality for me; if and when I meet the right person and under the right circumstances.

Late October - 2003

As of now it would appear that my sudden and brief romantic experience at SCC was just that, "Sudden and Brief." I haven't heard anything for more than two weeks now, so I honestly think I may have scared the other person, or perhaps they just didn't see this experience in the same way that I did.  I wonder if this is how a real female feels after having a similar experience with a man?  Anyway, I've gone through the feelings, and have accepted the results and I'm okay.  However, I still feel that if I am going to be in any kind of romantic relationship, it will have to be with someone that is Transgender and enjoys this same special part of their personality as much as I do.  Since posting that those thoughts, I have gotten a few emails from other girls that have read about my experience.  There words were kind and quite positive, and I thank them.  I haven't received any proposals, but who knows it's still early.  I've do have my fingers crossed just in case there is someone that is interested and that is also a local girl.

Last weekend was the first weekend in almost a month that I felt physically rested, so I did something that I really enjoy doing.  I got out the digital camera and started taking pictures late Saturday night and again on Sunday.  I also did some pictures the previous week, which I am sure surprised a few people.  Taking pictures didn't surprise them, but it's not often that you will see me in a football jersey looking so butch, but I have always wanted to have some photos of me in my NFL favorite team jersey and so I finally did it.  The only regret I have is that I didn't think of wearing a nice pair of heels to sort make the shots look a little more sexy, besides spikes are illegal in the NFL.  Last weekend I went back to wearing some of my regular clothing.  I think I had photos of these outfits taken at SCC, but I enjoy taking some more at home where the lighting is better and I could fantasize that I am fashion model.  I still have two other outfits from SCC that I want new photos in, and I have a nice three piece linen suit that I am dying to wear someplace.  If I have the time on Sunday, I think I will spend it doing some more clothing pictures just to see how I look under the different lighting and without those outside distractions.

It's late Sunday afternoon now, I got up early this morning and did a few photos, none in the outfits that I said I was going to wear.  I found this really nice beaded top hiding in the back of my closet and wanted to see how it looked.  Also, I seemed to have gotten side tracked early this afternoon watching a football game.  Before I forget, last night my friend Terri and I attended the final Tampa performance of "Hewig and the Angry Inch."  Terri had seen the movie and knew what to expect, and my friend Samantha has seen the show in Atlanta two or three times, but has always be a little  vague about the story.  I'm not going to try and give a synopsis of the story, however I will just say that it was interesting, it was fun, and it was well worth getting dressed and going out for.  My biggest fear throughout the performance was that one of the cast members might approach me, as few a members of the audience always become a small part of the performance.  The show moves to Fort Lauderdale this week, so if you haven't seen it and your in the area, check it out. 

Right now things are quiet around here, and that's okay with me.  I am looking forward to the cooler weather and less humidity that comes at this time of year; and I think that there will be many opportunities to get out and do some exciting things as the holiday season approaches.  For now  I don't have any travel plans between now and the New Year, and it looks as though the planned New Years celebration in Las Vegas, just might be moving to the Southeast, specifically to the Tamps Bay area; and so that means I need to find out which hotels are planning to have a New Years party, and also some other things that we can do for fun.  

Early December - 2003

For anyone that might be interested, we finally decided to spend the New Year in Atlanta, which I thinks works out good for everyone concerned.   I was honestly having a problem trying to find something that was comparable to the glitz of Vegas, or the big city charm of Atlanta.  Last year Samantha was in Atlanta for New Years, and told me about the wonderful time she had at one of the hotels; which offered a special New Years Eve package.  I'm sure that something similar might be offered here as well, however I think when I began looking around it was just to early to make any definite plans.  So as it turned out Atlanta is more of a convenient location for all of us to travel, and as always Atlanta is just a really nice place to spend time and have fun.  Besides, who wants to spend New Years in a place where the daytime temperature is in the 80's and drops down into the 70's at night? 

It's been over a month since I last updated my photos, and I got to thinking about that.  Actually, last Sunday, was the first time I have been dressed and gone out in about the same amount of time.  I had been talking to someone I met online and they invited me over for the afternoon.  Nothing special, just two girls dressed and spending a couple of hours talking and getting to know each other better.  When I returned home later in the evening, I felt really refreshed and so I tried doing some new photos, some of which I have posted.  This was also the first time in a month that I have felt like taking pictures.  I don't think that I have become bored or complacent with dressing, as I actually dress just about everyday.  I just don't do the makeup, hair, and nails.  I think that for the most part dressing is just not a big deal to me as it was when I was younger, or when I could only dress at certain times.  Now days, I come home from work, take a shower slip into panties and something casual and settle in for the evening.  I have certain styles of female clothing that can, and do wear in public.  I shave my body several times a week, and my toes are always polish.  I may not have a manicure all of the time, but they look nice.  Every time I bath or shower, I use my VS body wash, spray mist, and lotion, and when I go to bed I sleep in female sleepwear.  Nothing fancy, just something feminine.  I spend my day dressed as a male, then once I get home I change into the female clothing for the rest of the evening and night.  I remember about four years ago someone commented to me that if they were in my position, they would dress and go out to the club every weekend.  I smiled at them, only because I know that for me I would soon get bored with that kind of lifestyle.  I can understand how they felt because to them I had the perfect situation for a CD, single and living alone.  Another reason I smiled at them was that this was not the first time that I found myself in this position.  Even when I was married, I often went out as much as two or three times each week dressed.  It was all new for me to going out and it was like an addiction, not caring about anyone else, because it was all about me and what I wanted.  Well, the results of that kind of behavior caused me a lot of problems, and although I no longer have to be concerned about someone close and how that makes them feel, I know that I was totally out of control and totally self-centered.  The fact that I am in this particular situation requires me to try and maintain some balance in my life.  Today, being a CD is a part of who I am, not who I am.  Not all of my friends are TG, and so if I spend every weekend dressing, I stand the chance of missing out on the companionship of other friends, and not fully enjoying all that life has to offer me these days.  I think that the last time I got completely dressed and went out was of all days Halloween.  Halloween is often referred to as a national holiday for CD's.  I can remember a time when this was so true for me, as it was the one day of the year when I could get dressed and go in public without feeling like I was different, just another one of those men wearing female clothing!  Times have changed for many of us, and Halloween is really just another day at least for me.    Anyway, this year I decided to go out to the club.  It was a Friday, and I usually don't go out on Friday's but this was Halloween and I expected that there would be a lot of girls out that night.  So, there I am at the club in blue jeans and a sweater.  The place was full of girls that night and most were wearing whatever style of clothing they enjoying being seen in.  A few girls went to the trouble of actually wearing a real costume, but for the most part most of the girls were dressed in club wear, which is okay.  This is what they wanted to wear that night, just as I wanted to be casual and comfortable in jeans and a sweater.  Later in the evening a local girl approached me and asked me why I wasn't dressed?  My only response was that I hadn't planned on wearing a real costume, but I did decide to dress as a girl in casual clothes!  Now next year, I will consider finding myself a really nice costume to wear, something feminine of course; not to impress anyone, but just because I think it might be fun and would be something different.

I still enjoy dressing up, and I love doing all the little things involved with my transformation.  Taking a bath or shower and making sure my body is free of hair.  Using moisturizing lotions and perfumed spray mist.  Doing my makeup and seeing Lauren come alive in the mirror.  Slipping into lingerie, a nice dress, a suit, or a pair of pants; putting on the jewelry, doing my hair, and then slipping my feet into a nice pair of shoes.  Finally when I am finished I enjoy modeling in front of a full-length mirror, and most of the time I am content with what I see looking back at me.  After going through this transformation, I really want to do something different than spend every Saturday night at the club, just taking pictures.  I feel normal and I want to do normal things, and I don't think going to the club every Saturday night is really normal for me.  I no longer get excited dressing as a female, because I have been doing it for a long time.  Today dressing as a female feels enjoyable, and relaxing for me, and that feeling is intensified when I am doing something that is fun and also enjoyable.  I don't have to always be doing something special, I can have a lot of fun just hanging out at someone's home having dinner, or watching a movie.  I enjoy going out to dinner, seeing a play, a show, or going to the movies.  To me these things are very enjoyable, and very normal; at least in my opinion.  This coming Saturday, a group of us are getting together for dinner and to socialize.  This is an opportunity to see some people I have not seen for awhile, and to meet a few others.  It's really not a big deal, but it is one of those normal things that I enjoy doing with other TG's.  I guess as I get older, and become more comfortable with the woman inside of me, what I really enjoy in life becomes a little more simpler, and a little less exciting.

  

Mid-December - 2003

As Christmas rapidly approaches I thought this would be a good time to express my gratitude and thanks to everyone that visits this web site, and especially to those who take the time to read theses pages.  It is my sincerest wish that all of you have a happy and joyful holiday season.  And that you are able to share this time of the year with family, friends, or with someone that is very special in your life.     

 

 

 

Happy Holidays and Thank You!

 

Early January - 2004

I hope that everyone had a safe and enjoyable holiday. I for one have no complaints other than it seemed to go by to quickly and before I knew it I was back to work.  Although I wasn't with my birth family this year, I did get to spend Christmas and New Years with two of my closest friends, both of whom I consider to be part of my life family. I spent Christmas with CAT here in Florida over on the East Coast. On Saturday we returned to Tampa for a few days going out that night to a local club. Early Tuesday morning we drove to Atlanta and on Wednesday afternoon we met up with Samantha.

This year we did something really different, attending a New Year's celebration at one of the local hotels in downtown Atlanta. This was not a Transgender event, but a totally mainstream affair. Needless to say I was slightly nervous, because unlike going to a play, or the ballet, this was a social event and people would be mingling around. Taking a deep breath we proceeded to the event and for the most part no one seemed to pay much attention. However, I soon began to notice the looks and became very conscience that I was being looked at by some of the other guests. With the exception of a one couple that didnít seem to care, I felt very uncomfortable in this situation and began to wish I had not taken the risk. I think that if those doing the staring had had been less obvious, or had just ignored me; then I would not have felt as uncomfortable. However, human nature being what it is; it is only natural for people to stare and to comment about things that are different. Iím not saying that these people were wrong for staring, or that I was wrong for wanting to be a part of this event. What I am saying is that I learned a very valuable lesson about being in the mainstream and trying to fit in. My night ended earlier than I had expected, as I felt it was best for me to take myself out of the situation. I donít feel hurt or bitter about what happened, as I said I learned from the experience and should I ever try doing something like this again, I will be better prepared. In many ways it reminded me of my first time in public when I attended a ballet with my friend Anne. It was my first time out and I was so nervous that I refused to look anyone in the face, and I sat through the entire ballet, while needing to use the restroom. One year later we attended the same ballet and this time I knew what to expect, and according to Anne I seemed more relaxed and more comfortable with the situation. The lesson here for me is that itís not up to other to make me feel okay, I must feel totally okay with myself and what other think, is really none of my business.

The following day we moved to another hotel and spent the day watching Bowl Games and relaxing. On Friday night we went to dinner then spent the rest of the evening at a bar called "Model Tís." After my experience New Years Eve, hanging out at Model Tís on Friday and Saturday was a relief and a lot of fun.  At Model T's I was surrounded by others like myself, girls I had met from previous visits to Atlanta, and a few new girls; and the only staring that I noticed was that coming from someone on the other side of the bar, the stare that I have become accustomed too whenever I am in a TG friendly place.  My experience at the hotel was a real reality check for me and despite how nice I think I look, there is more to passing in public than just looking nice.  As much as I enjoy going to places that are TG friendly, there is a whole world out there to enjoy and I intend of enjoying different things.  Hopefully, I will take this opportunity to improve myself both on the inside, and on the outside so that in the future I will not feel so uncomfortable in this type of event.

I will close this entry on a positive note by saying, as always the times that I spend with CAT and Samantha regardless of what we do, are always fun and exciting; and they have been some of the best times of my life!  And although I don't always say it, I love them both and now it's in print; just in case they happen to read this.  

Early February - 2004

I cannot believe that it is almost Valentines Day, when it seems like we just finished celebrating the New Year.  Anyway, these past few weeks seemed to have gone by very quickly.  I really didn't do much of anything in January, partly because I was down with the flu and as a result I got very lazy and just wanted to feel better.  I really fell behind on answering my email, which I am trying to remedy a little at a time.  I am especially apologetic to a couple of very special people whose friendship mean a lot to me.  I really need to let them know that I am alive and that I do care very much for them.  Brian from the UK is always sending me these really sweet electronic cards, and Lolita from Paris sent me a very nice gift for Christmas.  It has been awhile since I wrote them and so I need to really let them know that I think about them and that I do care.

Today is Valentine's Day and I hope that everyone has been able to share this day with their special Valentine.  As for myself I decided to do some retail therapy at the shoe store.  Actually, I was looking for a nice knit shawl or wrap to wear with my Valentine's dress tonight.  However, I was to lazy to go to the malls as it has been raining all day and the traffic has been terrible.  So instead I looked around the neighborhood at some of the local shops.  I was only able to find one in silver, so now I needed a pair of silver shoes to go with the wrap.  So, DSW was right near by and there were two pair that I liked.  Needless to say I couldn't decide on which pair and so I bought both, which may have solved the problem in the store, but again I will be face with which pair to wear tonight.  I still had some errands to finish and on my way I stopped by Stein Mart just to see if they might have any nice wraps.  No they didn't but they did have two pairs of shoes that I thought were really cute.  No, I didn't buy either pair but decided instead to just sleep on it.  

Late April - 2004

Finally after three months of silence I have finally updated the website with a few new photos.  As you can see the web site has a new look.  For sometime now I have been thinking of changing the colors, was well as reducing the size.  Mostly I wanted to delete some of the photos, which I no longer like.  Thinking about it was about as far as I went, as I figured it would be quite a task to go through each of the pages, and so I just thought about it.  Then sometime around mid February I began having problems with my PC.  For sometime I have been having some minor problems, but for the most part I ignored these minor problems so long as I access to the Internet and could maintain this web site.  However, when I was unable to work on my web site, and later I was unable to go online, I knew it was time to finally see what the problem was.  As it turned out my hard drive was bad and I had several virus that had corrupted the different programs.  I honestly considered buying a new computer, back instead decided to replace the hard drive for the time being.  Most of what I had on my hard drive I was able to download to a CD Rom, however when I tried reloading my web site I ran into some problems, none of which I could personally solve.  The simple solution would have been to take it back and have an expert figure out the problem, or get off my but and make those changes that I had been thinking of doing all along.  I chose to do the later and so I have the last few weeks redoing the web site, minus some of the pages.  My out and about photos where not deleted, but I have lost some and so far I have not be able to recover those sections from my old hard drive.  However I am working on the problem and hope to have it resolved.  In the meantime I at least wanted to get back some control of my site and continue to maintain it on a regular basis.

As you might notice, over the past few months I have not done a lot of photo taking.  Partly because of the computer problem and partly because I wasn't feeling so pretty.  I think that sometime I just get carried away with taking pictures and forget about the fun part of getting dressed and going out, and vice versa.  Even when I do go out, I really don't go out of my way to get really dressed up these days; especially if I am only going to a local club.  I rather spend more time on working on my makeup and hair, then throw on a pair of jeans or pants, a pair of nice shoes and go to the club.  It's not because I'm lazy, it has more to do with being comfortable and looking the way I really would like as a female.  I have never really been much of a glamour girl, although I do love to get dressed up for something special, but for the most part going to a local club isn't that special to me these days.  I often notice real women dressed casually and looking very nice in jeans and pants, at dinner and at clubs and I like that look and style.  For real women looking and dressing casual comes easy, as they have been doing this all of their lives.  I on the other hand feel like a teenager, as I am still learning and have to put as much into looking attractive and feminine casually dressed, as I would trying to look glamorous and feminine in a sexy dress and 4" heels. The only thing I'm missing is the hassle of wearing a corset, and the pain of wearing 4" heels for several hours. 

And on a final note, once again it is that time of the year when I to get celebrate the anniversary of my birth.  I doubt if my parents would have ever thought that their youngest son would end up wearing female clothing, talking about looking feminine and attractive, and complaining about to wearing a corset and 4" heels.  Anyway it's early Saturday morning and I have lots of errands to run.  It's been awhile since I have had a manicure and pedicure and since it is my birthday on Sunday, maybe I should do something nice for myself.  

 

Early May - 2004

Hard to believe that it is already May and summer is right around the corner.  Of course here in Florida we only have two seasons, summer and the first two weeks of January, February, or March, which ever one has the coldest days.  You know I actually know people that take a vacation to visit the mountains to in the fall to see the leaves change, return in the winter to see snowfall, and come back in the spring to see the flowers bloom.  I enjoy kidding them, but at the same time I understand that it's a welcome change for many and also quite romantic with the right person.  Having grown up in the Midwest, I am more fascinated with smelling the salt air and watching the ocean waves crash against the shore.  I love the blue-green water in the lower keys and I like the cool night air along the coastline.  I still keep in touch with my friends in the north, and so I am always reminded of the hardships of northern winters, and I am grateful that I live in Florida.

As you may notice I have been busy trying to correct some problems with this web site and the many different links.  Hopefully they are all working correctly so that I can get on with more important things like taking new photos.  I'm still considering what to do with the different photo pages that are not currently part of the web site redo.  One suggestion has been to eliminate some of the older events and just have the two most recent ones, such as SCC 2002 and 2003.  Or, just reduce the number of photos for each event.  The problem is deciding on what photos to eliminate and what photos to keep.  I would have to guess that there are at least 1500 photos from the various different photo pages to choose from, which will mean making some decisions.  What I think I will ultimately do is try and keep all of the events and just reduce the number of photos, making sure that there are a variety of photos of my friends, and some of the other nice people I have met at these events.  This way I can still have all of the events on the web site, and also have room for new events and photos.   

You may notice an increase of photos, as I have also been busy doing some new photos, which I hope that you will enjoy.  I skipped a trip to a convention in Philadelphia in late March and another one in Las Vegas earlier this month.  Instead I have chosen to remain in the area and got out to the local club, where I can get the chance to meet more of the local girls.  I still plan on making the "Fourth Annual Traveling T-Girl Road Party, which this year will be in Texas.  And of course I must attend SCC in late September.  Otherwise I plan on staying right around here and enjoying what this area has to offer.  This weekend Vickie and Roy will be coming into town for a one week visit and so we plan to get together with a few girls and have a couple of days of fun.

 

Mid May - 2004

Well, the weekend is over and tomorrow I am back to work after being off for four days.  I love taking time off, especially when I have plans to do something special and this was the case this weekend as two of my good friends Vickie and Roy came in from Nashville to spend a week.  This weekend was very special as we made plans to get together with some girls that are members of two online TG groups.  Debbie who is a local invited all of us to her place on Friday evening for dinner.  This was a great idea except for one small problem and that was that we were meeting around 6:30pm, which meant I would have to go out during daylight hours, which is something that I rarely do.  I have done it before, but I am really self conscious about it, as I live in an apartment complex.  Anyway, as I was leaving I noticed that my car was the only one I could see in the parking lot, so I felt better about that.  However, as I walked out of my apartment I ran into two of my neighbors, both young males in their mid 20's.  I smiled said hello and continued on my way.  Then as I was getting into my car, I looked to my left and there sitting on the patio of her apartment was a young girl having a cigarette.  Once again I smiled got in my car and breathed a sigh of relief.  I then took a moment to collect my thoughts and realized that this was really not a big deal.  Although these are my neighbors, we are not friends.  When we see each other from time to time we are polite and that's as far as it goes.  The good thing is that now they know that one of their neighbors likes to dress as a female, if they didn't know it already.  This was bound to happen at some point and I am just glad that it is over with and that from now on I really don't have to think about being seen when I leave my apartment.  This was not the first time that these particular neighbors had seen me dressed, however the times before it was late evening when I was leaving, or early morning when I was coming home.  Maybe they noticed then and maybe not, but now they definitely know whenever they see a female coming or going from my apartment I am sure they will put it all together.  I have to be honest and say that it made me just a little nervous, until I got in my car and took a deep breath.  Once I did, everything was okay and now I can smile about the experience.

As for the rest of the evening it was a lot of fun.  There were a total of nine for dinner, which included two females and I think everyone had a great time.  On Saturday we met at a local resort hotel for dinner, then finished up the evening at a popular TG Dance club. Early Sunday evening Vickie, Roy and I had dinner, and then around noon on Monday we did a little sightseeing around Tampa and St Petersburg.  We finished up the week on Thursday night at a local TG club, talking and listening to Karaoke.  Besides spending time with some good friends, I broke my buying blackout by purchasing a new skirt, black pants, a white blouse, and a pair of the cutest black strappy sandals, with a sling back.  I just had to have that skirt, and black and white are in this year, and the shoes, well last Christmas I bought the same pair and didn't like them, but then I saw them on sale for $20 and they looked awfully damn sexy to me now.  

 

Memorial Day Weekend

I love 3 day weekends, and I love 4 day weekends.  Actually I just love weekends, as this is the time when I can usually get out. Working during the week 8 - 10 hours makes it awfully hard to come home and then get dressed, knowing that you have to go to work the next day.  Of course there have been times when I have gotten home from work at 6pm and been ready to go out by 8pm, and back home before midnight.  The few times that I have done this I have actually felt pretty good, as it seems as though I am truly comfortable being Lauren for just a short period of time.  It is perfectly natural for a real female to come home from work, relax for a few moments, then get dressed and go out to the mall, or dinner, or to a show.  Of course it is much easier for a real female as she doesn't have to go through the changes that a Crossdresser goes through, or maybe I should say she doesn't take as long to get dressed.  I guess the key for a Crossdresser is to be better prepared and able to do their makeup in as short amount of time as possible.  Right now I am probably at 1 hour, which includes shaving.  Then there is the little problem of what to wear, so it is wise to have an outfit ready, one that you are sure of.  And then there's the hair thing to deal with.  I recently got rid of 6 wigs, as I didn't really wear them and I never really liked the way I looked.  I have two wigs that I love, they are two different styles, but both are similar in color, and seem to always look nice on me when they are styled to suit my face.  They are not the most expensive wigs, somewhere in the $40 range, but I have tried to take good care of them and so they have been well worth the price.  There may be other styles and colors that would suit me, and I would love to have a couple more wigs, especially like the ones I currently have, as well as maybe a couple of new styles.  However, I seem to have this luck where when I go looking for wigs I can't seem to find what I like.  The two that I really like I happen to buy when I really wasn't looking.  As for finishing up getting ready, shoes are never a problem, as I have so many to choose from, as well as jewelry.  On these short notice dress-ups I usually have to go without nail enamel, but as long as my nails are long and buffed that's okay.

Speaking of nails, once again I have let my nails grow quite long.  A year ago they were in terrible shape a result of my repeated use of acrylic tips.  I have always been fortunate that my natural nails were strong and that I could grow them long.  I love having my own nails long and manicured.  However, I saw an easy way of having long beautiful nails by having acrylic tips and I got a little carried away with them.  Acrylic tips are great, but are not practical when I have to remove them after only a few days.  Over time the damage to my nails and the possibility of infection convinced me that it just wasn't worth the risk.  I do plan on having my nails done for a trip to Texas in July and for SCC in September, but these are two special events.  Of course if my natural nails are in good condition I may not even bother with it.  

This is a 3 day weekend, so this would be a good time to get my eyebrows waxed, and get a manicure and pedicure.  My new favorite color of nail enamel is from OPI and it's called "London Bridge Falling Down Brown" and I think it is awesome.  I look around for it at several locations before finally buying it from the nail salon.  Then last weekend when I was out looking at the shoe sales, I found the matching lipstick and lip pencil.  I didn't go out last weekend, so needless to say I am kind of excited about this weekend, imagine being excited over nail enamel and lipstick.  So, the plan is to take care of my normal business early Saturday, then get my brows waxed, and then get a manicure and pedicure.  Then come home and relax for awhile before going out to dinner and then the club.  I am deliberately making plans to go out early, for dinner, which means another opportunity for my neighbors to see Lauren, but that's okay because I have no desire to eat at 10pm.

 

 

God Bless America!

On a final note, this is Memorial Day weekend, and this is a special weekend as it is traditionally the time that we show our appreciation to those who have served and died for our country.  This is also a very special Memorial Day, as we celebrate the new WWII Memorial, which commemorates the sacrifices of our country 60 years ago.  It is also a very special Memorial Day as once again we are engaged in a conflict which has taken many of our young men and women, and continues to do so.  So, on this Memorial Day I think it is important that we thank those that have given the ultimate sacrifice, 60 years ago, and those who are currently in harms way.  

 

Mid June - 2004

My, my, it's already the middle of June and that means that once again it's time for the "4th Annual Traveling T-Girl Summertime Road Party," sponsored by the one, and the only Carolyn "CAT" Turner, now of Padre Island, which is somewhere in Texas.  I have yet to see her new home but from what I have heard, the area is fantastic.  Actually the "Road Party" isn't until the end of July, but now is the time to start making plans, especially if I plan on flying.  CAT has already made plans and is working on a web page announcing the event.  Since CAT is in Texas, this years event will be in, you got it, Texas.  Imagine leaving sunny and hot Florida for sunny and hot Texas!  Anyway this year we start the party in Austin, which I understand is a great town, with lots to see and do, and coincidentally the former home of our current President.  The following day we moved to Houston, which I know is a great city, having spent a few days there one New Years not to long ago.  I recently joined a local Yahoo group called "Transgender Houston Cover Girls" and from their web site and emails they appear to be quite active, and so I am looking forward to meeting some of the local members.  I am also looking forward to a trip to the Galleria and some shopping, and also getting my first professional makeover from Jewel Dean, the owner and operator of Jewel's Boutique. Most of all I am just looking forward to seeing my friends CAT and Samantha, and having some good times as always with those two.

 

      I have Even More Thoughts  on the next page.

 

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