Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Naming Names

I'm named after my father.  Technically, he is Ralph Sr. and I'm Ralph Jr. but, to distinguish us, my family called us "Big Ralph" and "Little Ralph."

I have to tell you that being called Little Anything is annoying to a teenage boy.  I also wasn't thrilled to have an obscure ethnic name when everyone else was Jim, John or Bob.

Currently, I know a dozen Megans/Meghans, including my good friends MeganMeghan and Megan.  What's it like to have a common name?  Is the inevitable confusion a pain?

My favorite name is possessed by my good friend Aimee.  She explained to me that it's the French version of Amy.  Her ancestors are French Canadians.

Do you like your name?  Is it common or obscure?  Did you ever want to change it?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Different Lives

A female photographer created an interesting series of portraits.  She imagined herself married to several different men, living several different lives.  She took pictures of these alternatives.

I find this fascinating.  Here are a few of her "lives" and a link to the story.


 
 
 

 
 
 




Sunday, August 31, 2014

Being In A Hard Place

Some of us face hardships in life.  Those who are different usually experience pain from social rejection and inhospitality.  Becoming sad is unavoidable when that happens. 

The big question becomes -- What do we do?  How do we react to our difficulties?  Do we crumble?  Do we fight back?  Do we abandon hope for a happy life?

I'm friends with a blogger in England.  The name she uses online is Lotte (short for Charlotte) even though IRL she's a middle-aged man with a wife and a child.  Lotte describes herself as a crossdresser (as distinct from a transsexual like me) but we both fall under the umbrella term "transgender."  That's her on the right.

Lotte is in pain right now.  I can sense it because I know her pain.  It's profound sadness emerging from regret.  Lotte isn't living a life that gives her happiness and feels penned in by her circumstances.  To address this, she's started writing deep, soulful posts on her blog.  A second installment just appeared ( here ).

If you have insight into how to find joy in life, you may want to offer Lotte advice.  Or hope.  Or support.  I tried.  When you know someone's pain, it's easier to feel empathy for them.  And empathy expands our humanity and ability for connection.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Jagged Justice

It's been a long time since I've been able to wear nice clothes.  Work has been too demanding and I woke up Tuesday feeling sick.  At first I thought I had a cold but, after consulting the Internet, I realized I have Ebola.  Oh well...

During the week, I conceived an outfit which turned out well.  Its centerpiece is a skirt.  I've never built an outfit around a skirt before.  Have you?

The skirt's print is chevron, which is often used by Missoni.  I'd love to say I bought this skirt for a thousand dollars from a haute couture designer but, truth be told, I snagged it for $12 at Charlotte Russe.  I spotted it on the rack and pounced.  The shoes are from Torrid, also $12.  Both steals, in my opinion.

Your thoughts on these pieces?

BTW, this outfit reminds me of the funniest blog-post I ever read, written by my dear friend Ashley.  She posted it here.  The story is worth a visit.  Ashley has the best sense of humor.  At the time (2011), I gave Ashley an award for Post Of The Year (POTY).  With that award, Ashley retired from blogging and is now living in leisure on a remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by handsome man-servants and ripe coconuts.  :-)


 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Beauty

If you don't see beauty around you, look closer.  I took these on my walk around the neighborhood.


 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Blue Suede Shoes

I was shopping for women's clothing and thought, "Oh, what the heck, let me take a peek at the men's department."  I lack the same enthusiasm for men's clothes that I have for women's, but the sales in the store I was visiting were superb (Sak's Off 5th).  So I looked and am glad I did.

I found an attractive pair of blue suede shoes by Cole Haan.  They have a wingtip style with -- hang on to your hat -- blue soles.  Beautiful blue soles.  Normally $200, they were half-off.  Given their sturdy construction and good materials, I'm sure I'll be wearing them for a full decade.  That's $10 per year.

You may know the song "Blue Suede Shoes" which was performed by Elvis Presley.  Elvis didn't write the song, though; it was written and first recorded by Carl Perkins.  Carl, in my opinion, was a much better singer than Elvis and I prefer his version.  It's more authentic.  Have you heard either version?