The Evolution of Cass: Christmas Edition

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I was perusing my photo library today, and thought it might be interesting to post a timeline of myself over the past five Christmas Eves. I know I've changed, although others clearly see just how much far more than I do - or can. In any case, here we go...

2010 (note the goatee):

2011 (1 month on hormones):

2012 (13 months on hormones; I was sick as a dog when this was taken):

2013 (25 months on hormones, 10 days after going full-time):

 2014 (three years on hormones, just over one year full-time; this was taken a few weeks ago):

I included this one with my hair down for comparison, even though I usually pull it back into a ponytail.

It's been growing like weeds the past year - although being wavy/curly, it had to grow out before it started to grow down. It's also become much thicker (and it was fairly thick to begin with), which is quite unusual, I think.

I plan to let it grow as long as I can; fortunately, my stylist tells me it will keep growing, and that it should look OK as it does. I can't wait until I can put it up in a bun. Perhaps by next Christmas Eve? I guess we'll see.

In any event, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. Thank you all for your friendship...


One of the great Christmas songs, "Christmas In New York," courtesy of The Pogues and the late Kirsty MacColl. This is a terrific live version from 1988:

Still Here, Pt. II

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hi everyone. I apologize for my scarcity again. Unfortunately, I've been struggling recently. I haven't been feeling well for several weeks, and I'm afraid it finally caught up with me. 

I prefer not to go into details, but I can say that more than one factor is at work. I went full-time just over a year ago (December 13 2013 was my first full day as myself). It's the best thing I've ever done, and I truly love living as myself at long last.

That said, anyone who's transitioned will tell you that any issues or problems you're dealing with don't magically disappear once you go full-time. That has been the case for me.

Friends had been expressing increasing concern over the past few weeks, until things came to a head last week. Their level of their concern convinced me that I need to address this sooner rather than later. 

And I am. I've come too far, and worked too hard, to do anything else. I'm proud of how far I've come, and how much I've acheived. 

But my work isn't done. There are still things I need to work on. I've already started taking steps to do just that. They won't be solved overnight; they didn't develop overnight, so that's to be expected. 

It's been a long, hard road. And right now I'm tired from the journey. But I know what I've accomplished, and what I've overcome.

When you transition, you learn the importance of determination, and persistence, and taking the long view. They've helped me get where I am. And they're going to help me work through things now. I am going to do what it takes to ensure that 2015 is the best year of my life. Bank on it.


I want to thank everyone who has reached out the past few weeks; it means more than you can know. Thank you all. I want to add a particular thank you to my partner-in-crime, April, who has been there - and then some - when I've needed a pick-me-up. Thank you for everything, sweetie. Love you. xoxoxo

If I don't post again before Christmas, I want to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season, regardless of which holidays you do - or don't - observe. Merry Christmas, everyone.


A few songs from one of my all-time favorite Christmas albums, A Charlie Brown Christmas. I never, ever tire of the show itself, or the soundtrack, by the great Vince Guaraldi. It's been a constant source of comfort; this year is no exception. Here's the opening track, "O Tannenbaum":

And his lovely original, "Christmas Time Is Here":

And, finally, "Linus & Lucy":

Happy Holidays, all...

Still Here

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hi everyone. Apologies for my recent low profile. This time of year is not my favorite, for a number of reasons. The past few weeks have been particularly intense and challenging, part of an ongoing stretch that has been the most intense period of my life. 

So much has happened, both good and not-so-good. On balance, it is definitely more on the positive side... but it's been an up and down ride. 

Truthfully, it's been a bit down the past few weeks. I prefer not to go into details, for personal reasons. I can say that I am proud of the progress as I have made in the past 6-7 weeks. That said... that kind of progress doesn't always come without heartache and pain.

I owe a heartfelt thank you to my fellow blogstress April, who was there for me, literally within moments, after a very traumatic experience. She came through in a major way. She understood exactly how I felt; she was able to help me put it in perspective. I will always be grateful to her for that. I love you, hon.

I plan to post again later this week in what I am fairly confident will be a more upbeat post. I have some news I have been wanting to share for some time, and this is the time to do so. I promise I'll try not to be so scarce as we move forward.

Finally, I want to thank Nadine, of Nadine's Spirit, who reached out to me today just to check in. That was a very kind gesture, and is what prompted me to post tonight, on an evening when I ordinarily would not have. Thank you.


I posted a few recent pictures just to show that all hasn't been doom and gloom here. My makeup skills are slowly evolving - bearing in mind, of course, that there was, and is, ample room for improvement. :) Kidding aside, I keep working at them, even when I am feeling less than chipper. It's important to have a positive focus at those times, even if it's just practicing makeup.


While the season is difficult, I still love Christmas music. Here are a few Christmas instrumentals to round things out.

Toronto's Bruce Cockburn:

Also from Toronto, Barenaked Ladies:

New Hampshire's Ed Gerhard, who has released two gorgeous acoustic guitar Christmas albums:

Hope you found these soothing...

HRT: Year 3 (a/k/a Mammaries Can't Wait)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Yup, another year gone by! Hard to believe - that I keep thinking up stupid boob-related puns, that is. :)

Kidding aside, this video is about the changes I've seen the past three years - in particular  the last three-four weeks. It's pretty remarkable. Hope you agree. :)

The Talking Heads song I've forever besmirched with my dumb pun, originally recorded for their classic 1979 album Fear of Music. This version is from the equally good live album, The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads, released in 1982:

Talking Heads are one of those groups I really wish I could have seen live. Alas, I was too young at the time. Their music is as relevant today as it was back in the 70s and early- to mid-80s. Not many artists you can say that about...

The Video Onslaught Continues...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Yup... it's time for yet *another* video from yours truly. One again featuring shaky camerawork, questionable wardrobe choices, and ill-advised attempts at humor. Hmm... this sounds like a porn video, actually. Which, come to think of it, would do wonders for my view count... Anyway, that's an idea to set aside for another day. >=)

But for now, settle back and enjoy another installment of Cass's Coulda-Been-A-Blockbuster. :D


So my friend R was nice enough to braid my hair for me again on Friday, as I had plans later that evening. After arriving home I chatted with (who else?) April (no prizes for guessing that! lol) until nearly 3:00 AM. I watched an episode of Treme, which I'm FINALLY getting around to at long last, and then, at long last, prepared to go to bed.

I undid the braid, bent forward, and shook it loose. When I flipped it back up and looked in the mirror, I saw this... and burst out laughing - because this was what I saw!

(BTW, that was my attempt at the "Boston-tough-chick" look. I needed to apply at least one more tube of pink lip gloss and add hoop earrings to really pull it off though...)

I laughed and laughed (did I mention it was after 4:00 AM?), and was telling a friend today that I could walk onto the set of L.A. Law or Dynasty circa 1986 and no one would have batted an eye. We are talking BIG hair here!

I much prefer it pulled back off my face, but these were too funny not to share. Hope you got a kick out of them!


I've been listening to a lot of Bob Dylan, The Band, and The Byrds this week, what with the release of the latest Bootleg Series release of The Basement Tapes. These are the sessions Dylan held in the spring and summer of 1967 with what would soon become The Band, literally recorded in the basement of the home the band was renting near Woodstock New York. I thought I'd include a few songs from those sessions here.

First up, "Million Dollar Bash." The joy they were taking in simply playing for the joy of playing is infectious:

The Band's "I Shall Be Released," featuring Richard Manuel's haunted lead vocal:

And finally, The Byrds, doing a great live version of "This Wheel's On Fire," co-written by Dylan and Rick Danko:

The smokin' guitar solo was courtesy of the amazing Clarence White, one of the great guitarists of all time. He was killed by a drunk driver in 1973 while loading his gear following a show in 1973. He was 29 years old.

Here's one more, Nashville West," featuring White's mind-bending guitar technique.

Roger McGuinn - not exactly a slouch on guitar himself - would routinely introduce this song by saying, "Clarence is gonna pick one for you now. And I'm gonna try to keep up." You can see why here!

New Video :D

Friday, November 7, 2014

Hi everyone. Things have been moving along - so fast I can barely keep pace. I just made a video to cover some of it. There's more to come - good things, too. But for now, this gets the ball rolling. :-p

Hope everyone has a great weekend! And thank you for being so wonderful! Love you all! xoxoxo

The Incredible Shrinking Cass (a/k/a A Little Less of Me)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

I'm shrinking.

I just didn't realize it until last night.

Yesterday was the first day that felt like winter here - a cold, soaking rain, 30-40 MPH (48-64 KPH), and temperatures in the lows 40s F (4C). I attended a concert - Bruce Cockburn, a longtime favorite, who was wonderful, per usual. 

I was cold all day. No, scratch that - I was fa-ree-ee-zing. Ever since I started HRT, I spent most months other than June to August shivering. I wore a cami, a long sleeve t-shirt, and a heavy hooded sweatshirt all day - indoors, no less - and I was *still* shivering. (As I write this I'm in bed, wearing a flannel nightgown and huddled under flannel sheets, a blanket, and not one, but two afghans - and I'm *still* shivering.)

So, when I was headed off to the concert, I went to my closet where I store my winter clothes and pulled out the leather jacket I received for Christmas about five years ago.

It's a boy's coat, but I was able to wear it last winter without much of a problem. And it fit fine.

Then I put it on.




One thought flashed through my mind: 

I'm shrinking!

I looked like a little girl trying on Daddy's coat! lol

I mean, it just hangs off of me now. And it fit perfectly last winter. Not anymore, clearly.

I wore a pair of capris to work a few days ago. They've fit... well, honestly for most of the year they were, umm, snug.

No longer.

My co-worker R called out to me after I walked past her.

"Those are so loose on you, hon," she says. "You look like a girl wearing her boyfriend's jeans!"

And she was right. Again... they were hanging off me.

I've been running since the beginning of August.

When I began, I could run literally run for one minute before I needed to rest.

Ten days ago I ran for 60 minutes (5.5 miles) without stopping.

I've lost 22 lbs. in three months. And I've lost 32 lbs. since the beginning of March.

My goal is to lose another 15 or so pounds. That will get me back to what I weighed from my junior year in high school until I started this job. Really, what I've weighed for most of my life.

I don't think I realized just how much of an impact the running has had.

Now I do.

This was what sealed the deal (I took these earlier this afternoon):

If you told me I would look like this at the beginning of August, I would have laughed at you. I still can't believe it's me. The past few days have been such a revelation. In the best ways.

I'll be writing more about this. But for now, suffice it to say that I'm beginning to see the woman so many people have been telling me they've seen all along.

BTW, this was me wearing the jacket last night:


More later, everyone. Love you all! xoxoxo


A few from Toronto's finest,  Bruce Cockburn.

Here's what's probably his best-known song (in the States, that is). This is "Wondering Where The Lions Are," from his 1979 album Dancing In The Dragon's Jaws:

Another you might know - "Lovers In A Dangerous Time," from 1984's Stealing Fire:

And a personal favorite - "January In The Halifax Airport Lounge," from 1975's Joy Will Find A Way:

Cass's Halloween Pics :)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Just a few of the costume/outfit I wore at work today. (It pulled double duty as you'll see below.) More to follow with my *other* costume. :D

I did slightly better in the eyeliner/mascara/lipstick attempt today. Not much, but that's OK. A little each day will add up to a lot in a short period of time.


Yes, that's right: I was one of Josie's Pussycats today. :)

Here you can see my entire outfit.

After work I had my makeup done professionally for the Halloween party I attended tonight. Here's a sneak preview.

The makeup artist and the owner of the salon - neither of whom I'd met before today - were both incredibly gracious. It was a wonderful experience. I'm going back for a makeup lesson in two weeks. She assured me I will pick it up in no time at all if I practice every day. And I will. So stay tuned. :)


A "guilty-pleasure" song from Ryan Adams (who's a long-time favorite of mine, so no disrespect is intended):

Musings: Messin' With Makeup

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hi everyone. Hope you're having a good week.

Once again, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has reached out this week. I would not have gotten through it without all of you. I can never repay you for the kindness you've shown me. Although I know a few of you will ask.

(Kidding! I kid!)

I'm feeling a bit better every day. My sister and nephew C have been unbelievable. They are the rock on which I stand. I will treasure the exchanges I have had with my nephew the past two evenings for the rest of my life. He is a remarkable young man. I plan to write a post just about him. He deserves that and much, much more.

I plan to write more about the past week in the days to come. I've learned so much about myself, and about what is truly important to me. And I'm taking steps to make those things the top priority in my life.

Do I wish I had started these things sooner? I do. But as several friends have pointed out, everyone's journey is different. This is mine. I have a lifetime of regrets already; I am done with adding more to the list. The past is done. All that matters is this moment. And the moments to come, and ensuring that I live each one to the fullest. If I can do that, the future will take care of itself.

I thought I would share a few pictures to show some progress I've made in the past few days.

I've mentioned how much makeup has become... well, an obsession for me. As you probably guessed, it was never really about makeup. It was just a symbol of something far deeper.

Now I know what that was. And I say "was" because those things are NOT going to hold me back any longer.

I promised myself on Monday evening that I was going to work on my makeup skills every day from now on.

But then I caught myself.

"No," I thought. "You aren't going to work on it; you're going to play with it."

I'm a writer. I know how powerful words are. And there's a huge, huge difference between doing something as work and doing it as play.

I am finally living as myself. I've lived a life almost devoid of joy for nearly all of it, for a number of reasons.

Well, to hell with that.

I'm Cassidy.

I'm proud of who I am.

And I'll be damned if I did all of this work to continue living in fear. Because that's what I've been doing since I went full-time.

No more.

(I would like to thank a certain fellow blogstress  - an admitted blonde, who is also notorious for her continued failure to grasp the inherit majesty of our bovine brethren and sisters - for helping drive that point home to me. Forcefully. :D Thank you again, Kelli. :))

I'll be writing and doing videos in the weeks to come about the concrete steps I plan to take to get to where I want. But for now, I thought I'd share a few photos to show the results of how I've spent the past few mornings and evenings.

I took these just now. I'm basically wearing just eyeliner, mascara, and lip gloss. My skills are... well, there's a huge amount of room for growth, let's put it that way. :)

But I choose to look at it like this:

This is the very best I could do today.

Tomorrow, I'll do a bit better.

And the next a bit better than that.

If I keep that attitude, again, I think my skills will start to pick up.

So, here are a few shots of where I am as of today, October 30, 2014, on this part of my journey.

I think these are... well, they're a decent start. With enough practice, I think I can figure out a fairly good look that will work for me. It will take a while, and some experimenting, and playing around with different things. But it's going to be fun. A lot of fun. I get to use myself as a blank canvas every day. It's going to be interesting to see what develops.

Speaking of developing, I included the first photo, of me with the glasses, for a reason.

I noticed a few days ago that they suddenly looked, well, different when I was wearing them.

I wondered if I was imagining things.

But a few days later my friend R told me that they're too big for my face.

And she's right. They are.

But they weren't just a few weeks ago.

It's subtle. But things are clearly continuing to change in both the emotional and physical aspects of my transition as it moves ahead.

More to come about what I plan to do about this soon. And I'll post more in-progress pics as I move forward.

It's been an emotional, exhausting week. And there are big challenges ahead. But if I keep focused on doing my best each day, I will be OK.

Because I'm Cassidy.

And I'm a girl.

And girls rock.

Night, all. I love each and every one of you.


I've posted this song before, but it's probably the best song I've heard about friendship, so I wanted to post it again. I'm fairly certain this is a different version than what I previously posted. But even if it isn't, it's a magical performance of a beautiful, moving song. I dedicate to all of you.

Thought for the Day

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be


Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in


You can add up the parts
but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

== Leonard Cohen, "Anthem"


Thank You

Sunday, October 26, 2014

This video is a small gesture of appreciation and gratitude for everyone who has reached out today after reading my most recent post. You have helped make an awful few days more bearable.

I hope to respond individually over the next few days... but for now, I hope this conveys how grateful I am to have all of you in my life. Thank you all. I love you.

Alone In The Dark

It's 3:41 AM on Sunday morning as I write this. I gave up trying to sleep several hours ago. I spent nearly two hours working on a post to summarize how I am feeling right now.

But I just read it, and it does not come remotely close to getting across how low I feel. As I usually do, I try to distance myself from how I feel through the words I use.

Well, I can't do that. Not this time.

I don't think I can get across the intensity of the pain I feel now. But I need to try.


Friday, October 24, 2014

It's been an awful week, the latest in a string of them. There are various reasons, which I may go into at some point. But for now, suffice it to say that I have been feeling as low as I have felt in a long, long time.

I was meeting a friend for dinner tonight, and at the last possible second I noticed this dress in my closet and decided to try it on.

I'd bought it a year ago, but frankly I was too fat to wear it, thanks to the Biblical run of calamities the past two-plus years. But after three months of intensive running it fits... well, better than it did. (But not as well as it is going to fit with another three-six months of running.)

I was glad I tried it on. I still don't feel great, but I forced myself to go out and get relatively dressed up to do so. Just like I've forced myself to keep running during this tough stretch. More on that in another post.

Anyway, a few shots of my first Little Black Dress. And also my messy living room, provided at no additional cost to you, the reader.

Hope everyone has a good weekend...


A favorite song from one of my favorite bands.

A Chat To Help Our Community

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hi all, and happy Thursday evening. Hope everyone is having a good week so far.

I've been meaning to post this for over a week, but just now had the opportunity to finish it up.

Several months ago my friend Nadine, over at Unordinary Style (and you should all check out her blog if you don't already do so :-p), wrote a post about an interview she did with a graduate student, Petta-Gay Hannah, who is writing her dissertation on transgendered/non-traditional individuals.

As you can see from her post, Nadine genuinely enjoyed taking part in Petta-Gay's project, and encouraged anyone who was interested to contact Petta-Gay to chat with her. Like Nadine (and like many of us), I welcomed a chance to do something for our little community.

Accordingly, I contacted Petta-Gay,  who turned out to be just as nice as Nadine had indicated. I've included the details below, so I will cut to the chase by saying...

I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. :c)

Petta-Gay is very nice, and clearly very smart. We spoke for about two-and-a-half hours. It was quite casual, and not at all academic or stuffy. Essentially, we had a long conversation. Her questions were thoughtful and well-considered, and not at all intrusive. She stressed repeatedly that I could simply decline to answer any question I might have found uncomfortable, but that was not even remotely a concern.

Once we finished, Petta-Gay asked if she could follow up if necessary to clarify an answer (I suspect that was a polite way of saying "if I can't decipher Cass's weird semi-Boston accent" lol), and of course I agreed. We've touched base several times since I've done the interview, and each of those has been as enjoyable as our intial chats.

I would encourage anyone remotely interested to contact Petta-Gay. I think her dissertation will be a valuable tool in helping others understand our community. And you will also be helping a really, really nice person. It's a win-win, in other words! I hope as many readers as possible are able to do so.

I've included Petta-Gay's information here, below the jump. (you can also find it at Nadine's post). Thanks everyone!

Cass's Media Conquest Continues: My First Video (Plus... A Bit of News!)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hi all! Hope everyone had a good week.

This will be brief, as it's late (nearly 2:40 AM - blame extra-inning playoff baseball games).

That said, I *do* have something to share: a bit of news, and...

Something else; now, what was it again?

Oh, that's right...

My very first video! :D

Yes, that's right; in my ongoing quest to conquer all media platforms, I've expanded my realm to include poorly filmed, shakily edited, semi-coherent videos. Lord help us all. (Community Access Cable... you're next!!!)

This is the first in what I hope will be a series of videos, depending on whether or not this one crashes the Internet and/or leads to one too many libel suits.

This is basically an introduction about myself, and what I hope those theoretical future videos will cover.

And that leads me to the second item mentioned above: my news. What is it, you ask?

Well, guess who went from not being able to run more than 60 seconds at the beginning of August to running for 35 minutes (and approximately 5k, or 3.1 miles) as of last Friday, October 3?

This girl, that's who!!! :D

Stay tuned for more on why I've become a runner (I love being able to say that!), why I decided to start making videos, and what is coming up in the weeks and months ahead on Cass's calendar. Hope you enjoy the video!!!


A few run-themed songs to round out the post. First, the great Del Shannon, playing Late Night with David Letterman in 1986:

Next, Jackson Browne's 1977 ode to being on the road:

And finally, this stunner from what is arguably Kate Bush's masterpiece, 1985's Hounds of Love album:

Thanks for reading (and watching)!!!

Cass Gets Bang-ed (a/k/a My New 'Do)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Happy Friday all! Hope your weekend is off to a rousing start.

As the title indicates, my weekend began with a trip to the hairdresser to get my 'do done. :) It's been two months, and the color definitely was in need of a serious tune-up.

Last time we went with a really, really dark red, which was a lot of fun. But this time we opted to go back to the strawberry blonde look we'd been using previously.

I'm really pleased with the results, as usual. J, my stylist, is a true artist, as I tell her every time I see her. She is wonderful. She was amazed at how long my hair is getting, as were the other stylists, none of whom have seen me for two months.

It has to be the hormones; I've read that hair growth is a potential side effect, and that is the only reasonable explanation for both how fast it's growing and how much thicker it's become. I am not complaining, believe me!

We dug out a photo of me from my first visit 18 months ago, well before I was full-time. As J noted, "you're a totally different person now." Even I can sense that, although I clearly don't see all of the changes they seem to see. (More on that another time.)

Anyway, the reason I wrote this post is alluded to in my perfectly innocent, not-at-all-a-double-entendre title. ;) After the color was done, J got to work trimming the split ends so my hair continues to grow "like weeds," as she put it.

Suddenly she became very animated, stepping back with widened eyes.

"You know what we should try, hon?" she said. "Bangs! I'll bet it would look super-cute!"

S, another stylist, immediately chimed in, saying she thought it was a great idea.

I said what the heck? You only live once, after all. :D And as J pointed out, I can always just pull them to the side if I decide I don't like the look.

Well, that turns out to be a moot point. :) Once I put on my glasses to see the finished product, I gasped. I look *so* much like my sister, who also wears bangs, that it was uncanny. (As April sagely noted, "It's almost as if you two are related!")

J straightened my hair, something I usually don't do, mostly because I like my hair wavy. But I like this enough to want to replicate the look fairly frequently.

In any case, you can judge for yourself right now. :c)

Next up is getting my eyebrows shaped. Several of the other photos I took convinced me that it is past time to get 'em done. My electrologist did a very good job, but several friends whose opinion I respect a great deal all have told me separately over the past 7-10 days that there is still room for improvement. So I will get it done. And soon.

Hope everyone has a nice Saturday! Stay tuned for more posts in the days to come!


I celebrated my new look by stopping off at Starbucks across from the mall where my salon is located for some baseball chat and iced coffee with my barista friends. R was in charge of the soundtrack for the evening, and happily he decided it was a Who kind of evening. Far be it for me to buck that trend!

I've always linked these two songs together in my mind - as does Townshend, apparently, since they close Side 1 and open Side 2, respectively, on the original LP:

I always marvel at the contrast between Daltrey and Townshend's singing styles. It's remarkable how well Daltrey's gruff, blunt tone contrasts so beautifully with Townshend's more fragile, vulnerable voice. It renders them capable of capturing a range of emotions neither of them could reach alone, which is what makes them such a great team.

One last track, this time Pete's original version of "Pure & Easy," which Daltrey quotes so memorably in the vocal tag at the conclusion of "The Song Is Over":

Lovely Blogger Award (Plus Seven Things About... Me!!!)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hi everyone! Hope you are enjoying the weekend! I have several posts nearly ready to go, but I wanted to start with this one - because I, of all people, was given an award!

Yup, it's true, and it came courtesy of my Canadian friend Ashley, from beautiful Edmonton AB, who included me in her list of bloggers to receive this honor:

Thank you so much, hon - that was so sweet of you!

Nothing in life is free, however, including this award. :D Happily, though, the strings attached to this honor are a pleasure:

  1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you. (Done!)
  2. List the rules and display the award.
  3. Include seven facts about yourself.

  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and let them know about the award.
 (OK, I punted on this one, but I did my best!)
  5. Display the award and follow the blogger who nominated you (if not already!). (I am no Cass-come-lately lol, since I was smart enough to begin following Ashley months ago!)

Coming next: seven facts about... me!!!

September Gurls

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I'm hard at work on what is turning into several lengthy posts, but in the interim I had to share something.

I watched a stellar documentary over the weekend: Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me. Big Star was one of the best bands to emerge in the Seventies - and one of the unluckiest bands of all time. To say they were snakebitten would be putting it mildly.

They recorded three albums: #1 Record (1972), Radio City (1974), and Third/Sister Lovers (recorded in late 1974/early 1975, but not released until 1978). All three are masterpieces - and all three were utterly ignored when they were released, for reasons the documentary covers. They were touched with tragedy as well, in particular Chris Bell, one of the co-founders (along with Alex Chilton).


Their music is timeless, in the best way. Great art endures, and finds its audience. Their influence can be heard in hundreds and hundreds of bands who followed in their footsteps (R.E.M., to name one, has always been forthright about the enormous debt they owe Big Star).

So... with that in mind, I thought I would share one of their very best songs here, in part because the title is appropriate for the time of year, but also because it is an utterly transcendent song. "September  Gurls" was written by Alex Chilton, and appears on Radio City. It really does not get any better than this:

Here's another masterpiece, "Thirteen," written by Chris Bell, from their first album, #1 Record:

I could go on and on... but instead I will invite you to explore them on your own. You won't regret it - promise. :D

Oh, and here's a picture of this September Gurl...

This was taken earlier today, pre-electrolysis (and yes, this is my favorite blouse, as you can tell from how many pictures show me wearing it! :D). I'm a bit less chipper at the moment, needless to say! lol

Radio, Radio

Friday, August 29, 2014

Hello everyone! I am happy to report that your humble blogstress is writing this on the very first evening of her vacation - yea!!!

My plan is to do some serious writing next week while I am off; we shall see how that goes. :c)

In the meantime, though, I thought I would do a catch-up post about my recent radio miss-adventure, since it was, you know, nearly two weeks ago at this point. It even resulted in some good news - and totally unexpected good news at that!

But before I do, and at the risk of ruining the suspense of whether I did, in fact, single-handedly bring down an entire radio station… I want to mention that I will be on the air again with Mike on the Mic, this time from 9:00-11:00 AM Eastern here in the States. You can listen online at; I will also post a link to the archived version (as a comment to this post) once it’s available.

With that bit of business out of the way, I invite you to follow along below the fold! :D

On The Radio

Friday, August 15, 2014

This is just a heads-up for anyone who might be interested. I'm going to be on the radio tomorrow on WMFO-FM (91.5) here in Boston with my good friend Mike on the Mike. In addition to his regular 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM show, he's filling in for the next shift as well. 

So, listen in as we take turns playing songs, telling terrible jokes, and making libelous comments (not necessarily in that order) from 11:00 AM-1:00 PM (EST). The show is called Something About the Women, so expect lots of great songs from female artists.

You can stream it live online ( or check out the playlist in the archives (added several hours after the show ends) here:


Speaking of great female artists, an appropriate song from Joni Mitchell's classic 1972 For the Roses album:

And here's my favorite song from the album, "Cold Blue Steel & Sweet Fire":

Pics & Thoughts from Newport 2014: Pt. II

Friday, August 8, 2014

Hello everyone. Hope you all had a good week.

To be honest, I simply haven't felt like writing lately. I have lots to write about, and lots of half-written posts... I just am not feeling the need to work on any of them at the moment.

I'm still pretty beat; it's been a long, less-than-fun... well, few years, as a glance at the blog would show. I'm fine, but I suspect the toll of that journey is a big part of feeling this way.

But instead of feeling guilty, as "the boy" would have, I'm just going with it. I'll start writing again when the mood strikes. Perhaps it will be tomorrow, perhaps a week, or a month, or more. I don't know.

I have things I want to write about, because it helps me process them. But right now, I want to simply be. I've been consumed by a number of activities and episodes, both professional and (especially) personal that have required expending a great deal of energy, but have offered little - or, if I'm honest, no - return.

Well, that is going to change. And the beginning of that process is learning how to take some of that energy that I've been expending on other things and other people and start spending it on myself.

It's about time, to be blunt.

Because if I don't do it, then no one else will.

So... I will.

Pics & Thoughts from Newport 2014: Pt. I

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hi all! I returned from Newport post-festival last evening, and wanted to share a few photos I took with my iPhone. I have more on my camera, but I'll need to transfer those to my laptop later today. I guess I'll share those in another post.

Follow below the fold for all of the exciting details!

Happy Monday(s)

Friday, July 25, 2014

I was working on a post, but, as so often happens, life moves so quickly that keeping up is well nigh impossible. In this case, though, I am very happy to adjust on the fly.

It all started last week. I had to attend a wake, sadly, and needed to purchase a new dress appropriate for the occassion. I found one in short order, and headed for the cash register. 

I was rummaging through my purse trying - fruitlessly, per usual - to find my wallet. 

Suddenly something caught my eye. I looked up - and saw a dress that literally stopped me in my tracks. 

For the first time I ever thought to myself, "You MUST buy that dress."

There was only one on the rack. 

I checked the label; it was my size.

Without a moment's hesitation I dropped it into my cart and headed for the register. I never even looked at the price. Not that it would have mattered; I was going to buy it. I couldn't explain it; I was drawn to it. 

It was shortly before closing time on a weeknight, so there was only one person in line ahead of me, a woman in her sixties. She glanced up as I passed her, then turned around.

"Hon, you are going to look adorable in that!" she said, unprompted. 

"Oh, thank you," I replied. "That's very sweet of you to say."

"It's perfect for you. I can tell just from looking at it in the cart," she said.

No sooner did I reach the next register when the cashier, also in her 60s, held up the dress and exclamed, "Oh, my!"

I asked her if something was wrong.

"Oh, no, dear," she replied, smiling. "It's just that this dress is perfect for you!"

"Thank you," I said, amazed. "The lady in front of me just now said she liked it too."

"No wonder," she said. "It was made for you! I'm jealous; I can't pull off this  type of dress. But I can tell you;re going to be cute as a button in it."

Needless to say, THAT was a first for me!

My friends J & T had me over for brunch on Sunday. We hadn't seen each other in person for a full year, so I decided to dress up for the occasion and wear it for the first time.

I loved it. It felt wonderfully feminine. *I* felt wonderfully feminine. 

They complimented me on the dress, which was very kind of them. J also complimented me for bringing a sweater (I pick things up quickly, you see).

The best part of this saga, however, was still yet to come.

Monday did not start off well. Work has been even more chaotic than usual, which scarcely seemed possible. Long story short: the crisis du jour was resolved, and we finally, mercifully, finished this project  (other than a few stray documents I need to update once I am given the information to add).

Near the end of the day, I was having a relatively intense work-related discussion with my friend A, whom I have mentioned in this blog before. She is extremely smart, very sweet, quite stylish, and also quite lovely. (Those traits are not necessarily listed in order. ;-p)

We were discussing several of the issues that had been uncovered over the past few days when A suddenly stopped speaking. She stepped back and looked at me for a long moment. It felt as if she were seeing something new.

 "What's up?" I asked.

"Cass... you look absolutely gorgeous today!" she said, smiling.

"Oh, thank you, A!" I said. I am certain I was blushing furiously. "That's such a lovely thing for you to say!"

"It's true," she said. "You really do look beautiful, Cass. You need to wear this style and these colors a lot more often. They really suit your looks, your coloring, and your personality."

I was - am - incredibly flattered. I am not used to anyone really noticing me. I don't say that seeking pity, or out of self-hatred; it is a simple observation. I didn't want anyone to notice me for most of my life. I preferred to lurk in the shadows, where it felt safer. Lonely, but safer.

People do seem to notice me now; I was actually working on a post about the recent rash of total strangers coming up to me to say something about my hair. It's happened a half-dozen times in the past few months, which is hard to belive. As R and S have pointed out, though, "people like gingers." Apparently so. lol)

I am still shocked, pleasantly so, that A would be moved to say that to me. Quite truthfully, I don't see what she must see; I still see him in the mirror, or at least traces of him, every time. I certainly don't feel cute, or pretty, let alone gorgeous.

Perhaps that will change as time goes on and my memories of being "him" fade further. (It is already happening, just as my friends predicted it would. I catch myself referring to "the boy" more and more often as if he were another person altogether - because, of course, he was.)

For now, though, it is wonderfully, incredibly affirming to have someone I look up to in terms of style and presenting oneself pay me such a lovely compliment. 

I have a feeling that moment will stay with me for some time to come. I am smiling right now just typing these words. Perhaps all of the hard work and heartache and stress are beginning to pay off.

I look forward to finding out in the days, weeks, and months to come. :c)

Here are a few shots of the dress in question. I love my expression in the first one; I have no idea why on earth I have such a mischiveous gleam in my eye though! lol

And here I am wearing my glasses:

April calls this one my "sexy librarian" look. I will take that - with the caveat that I cannot WAIT until I can put my hair up in a bun and *really* complete the look. Check this space in one year's time, I suppose...


I am on vacation, as I noted in my last post, and am writing this in my hotel room after returning to downtown Newport from Day 1 of the Folk Festival. It took me over three hours to drive here from Boston, which is typically a 75-80 minute trip, but it is all good.

I saw Band of Horses and Ryan Adams, both of whom were terrific. (The new album from Mr. Adams is going to be a barn-burner, if the songs he debuted during his set are any indication.)

I posted clips of both acts in that previous post, so here's one of another act I am very much looking forward to seeing this weekend: Shovels & Rope.

Aren't they just too cute together? They're a husband and wife duo; their second album is due out in a few weeks, and I am very much looking forward to hearing some of the new songs from it.


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