Stochastic Musings – On Art and Other Musings, Part 2

| Jul 20, 2009
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Kalina Isato does get around: Nineteenth century art classes, fine dining in upscale venues, her own art exhibit, writing books on how to be the best T girl you can be — and she even finds time to spend a day at an amusement park! Did we mention she has a full time job as well as her writing duties for TGF? We don’t know how she does it (could you bottle that for us Ms. K?) but if you want all the details on what she does then you’ll just have to read her Stochastic Musings. Is that Kalina and The Iron Chef? Click “more” to find out.

I finished my class on nineteenth century Impressionistic art in Europe and was awarded an A-, which blew my perfect grade point average. Oh, well. For the final, we had to memorize the titles, artists, and dates of 300 paintings and compare and contrast ten of them that were randomly selected. I also had to write my heart out in the two essay portions of the test. It was a sick exam. 110 minutes of mindf— hell. My wrist hurt for a day after I finished the exam. I finished my ten-page paper, which ended up being closer to fifteen, on the androgynous works of Paul Gauguin. Gauguin claimed he was an androgyne even though he looked like Jesus Christ in cowboy clothes. He was, however, a very influential figure in the art world. Here is my paper in Adobe PDF format if you’re interested in reading it. I got an A on the paper.

I’m taking more pictures for my art gallery exhibit at The William Way Community Center in November and December. Do you know how hard it is for some transsexuals to not smile? Smiling is easy for a lot of them because they’ve been conditioned to do it in front of cameras, but to capture pictures that represent a fleeting moment and still show the girls in a positive light is more challenging. The opening reception will be on Friday, November 13, 2009 at 6 p.m. to 8. If you can make it, please come and see my art gallery! The address is 1315 Spruce Street, Philadelphia. Their web site is here. All of the images will be for sale and a percentage of the proceeds will go to the community center.

My friend Peter and I went to The Barnes Foundation in Merion, PA to see Dr. Albert Barnes’ extensive collection of what he calls “visual ensembles,” but what we call eclectic juxtapositions of junk. There were many fine works in the collection, including Matisse’s Joy of Life, Seurat’s Poseuses, and some Renoirs, but there were many clunkers by relatively unknown artists whom I swear were on LSD when they were painting! What the hell was Chaim Soutine thinking when he painted his warped, melting images? Barnes has a very unique philosophy on arranging works of art. Okay, it’s not unique; it’s just weird. The galleries are proof that when you’re super wealthy, you can say or do anything.

Last month, I got my hair colored and cut and now it’s grown out to what it was before the hair cut. My hair stylist told me to come back in August for a haircut. I’m glad she’s on the same page as me with hairstyling. Now that my hair is well-conditioned and the hair of my cowlick reaches the tip of my nose, I have to keep my hair back with a headband. I just wear my hair like this wherever I go. To the left is me in my office at work. Because my hair is thick, it always finds a way to loosen itself from the headband creating a front hair poof. It’s not quite a supermodel poof, but it’s cool. I like it. I got “miss’ed” at the post office yesterday morning with a tee shirt and jeans and not a lick of makeup. Not bad for a girl who is 40+. I’ll take the “ma’ams” and even the “sirs,” so long as I’m not called “it” or “he-she.” I have to work on my voice more. It’s cute that I sound like Bugs Bunny and, in truth, Asian women tend to have a certain Bugs Bunny quality to their voices, but I’ve got to train my voice to be more female-resonant. It’s hard to sound like a woman in a club with loud music, though, since you sometimes have to yell when you talk to be heard.

Even with my headband on, the most conservative people in my office haven’t said anything yet. One of the professors who has known me for a long time mentioned that he liked my hair. We went through a long discussion of transgender stuff. I showed him a picture of me from last week’s party. “My God,” he said, staring at it, “you look like one of my co-eds!” He might bring his daughter, a gender studies major in college, to my party. On the bus yesterday, I sat next to an older black man who helped me pull the stop cord to signal the driver of my stop. That was kind of him. Bet he wouldn’t do that if I had short hair!

Nobody’s ever called me a picture whore to my face, but a lot of people allude to it or tell me they don’t care for pictures. I feel that pictures are a vital part of documenting our development as transgender women. One of the things I’ve always enjoyed was dining at fine restaurants, the kind where you can see and be seen. Out of the 125 fine restaurants I’ve been to, Morimoto in Philadelphia is one of my faves. There aren’t enough fingers and toes on a person to count the number of times I’ve been to Morimoto; I’ve even met the man as you can see in the picture. Another famous celebrity chef, Jose Garces, walked up to my table at Amada the first time I ate there and asked me how I liked his $75 lobster and seafood paella!

I liken myself to the war veteran who has pictures to prove that he or she was in battle in a foreign land. I enjoy my life and that’s what my pictures show. Many people forget that this SuperCutie battled cancer and won! That’s why I love life so much. You silly, silly people who don’t know how to enjoy yourselves end up staying at home and sulking about how bad it is to be trans are missing out on a lot of fun. I encourage everyone to amass lots of pictures of themselves in all of the places they’ve been to. Don’t live a lie by staying at home and concocting ways to insult others who live their lives to the fullest.

My friend Ryan took me to Dorney Park, an amusement park near Allentown, Pennsylvania. Ryan is a 30-year old videogame designer and plans on incorporating my likeness as a character in his new videogame. We rode on the Wave Swinger, which was pretty tame, and then we went from beginner to advanced by riding on Hydra. My hair was never the same after that ride, Ryan remarked. I was just happy that I managed to keep my visor on my head during the ride!

We rode on a replica of a steam-powered train called Cedar Creek Cannonball followed by a ride on the slow as molasses Zephyr train, which is basically the oldest ride in the park. We did the Scrambler next before getting a bite to eat, which was basically amusement park fare of chicken, shrimp, and fries. We rested for a bit before we hit the Ferris Wheel, Musik Express and Wild Mouse. When we first entered the park, we wondered why everyone was lining up for Wild Mouse, what looked like a cheesy kiddie ride. When we got on it, we understood why. Imagine several 180 degree hairpin turns that make you feel like you’re going to die followed by a drop that’s not that high, but when you’re in a pint-sized coaster car, it seems like a drop as good as any medium-sized coaster. More turns and mini-drops follow. Wild Mouse was our favorite ride of all. I actually screamed on it and I never screamed on any roller coaster before.

“It is so cool taking you out,” Ryan said, “because other tgirls would never go out during the day.”

“I’m not like other tgirls,” I replied with a smile. In fact, most tgirls probably wouldn’t go to an amusement park on a crowded day during military appreciation week. Ryan had the look of a thug boyfriend, so that was cool. There are many advantages to being with a guy who is three inches taller than you. It’s also cool that Ryan appealed to my fun side. I don’t know of many 50+ year olds who would consider taking me to an amusement park.

I kept thinking that I might get read by a lot of people and I might spook a couple of women and kids in the women’s restroom, but nope. I’m sure I did get read, but nobody looked spooked.

My friend Peter treated me to dinner at James, rapidly becoming my favorite restaurant in Philadelphia. Chef owner Jim Burke was recently a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation award, the most coveted prize in the food and beverage industry, and one look at his imaginative cuisine shows why. His modern American cuisine incorporates the finest ingredients that you’re already familiar with and presents them in nouveau ways that tickle the senses. The host and hostess were nice enough to give us the best table in the house with a great view of both the restaurant and the bar, but we balked at the size of the table which looked like it was meant to seat more than two people, so we asked the hostess to re-seat us. Their second choice was less than stellar, right next to the restrooms, so I pointed at the table I wanted, the corner one along the wall and it was perfect because I got to see everything and everyone around us.

The foie gras terrine was an added item not found on the menu and it thoroughly satisfied my foie gras craving. The duck ragu tagliatelle is a personal favorite of mine. I could eat that every day for a year! The dover sole was a new experience for me and I can tell you it was frickin’ awesome! The lightly crisped potato outside made it look like an egg roll, so it was basically an awesome fish egg roll filled with perfectly tender, succulent fish meat. Yum yummy! Peter had a soup, ricotta cheese and nuts plate, and the Jamison farm lamb loin. I sampled a bite of his lamb and it was as good as I remembered. We shared a trio of sorbet as dessert. The trio included hazelut praline, lavender honey, and blood orange.

The drinks at James are all made with pressed juices, so be prepared for a treat with anything on their bar menu. I had a Strongberry Lemonade and a Cava Cocktail. Peter had the James-hattan. We went to the 10 Arts Lounge at the Ritz Carlton for Wyeth Wild Berry Mojitos (10 Cane Rum!) followed by 12th Air Command to watch ASIAC’s Jaded Lounge show and ended the night at XIX with a much-needed Pepsi. I met a blast from the past, Mark, at 12th Air Command who said he was still in love with me. We only went out to dinner once! Many others said the same thing as Mark, that I looked gorgeous that night. Everything just kind of worked together well. I give much of the credit to my top. I had a discussion yesterday with my coworker about how JLo is so pretty because she does a “natural look” with flesh-toned lip gloss and a dewy face. That’s exactly how I’m doing my makeup this summer. “Most tgirls with matte faces look like mannequins,” my coworker said. I will admit that a dewy face sometimes looks shiny when hit by a camera flash.

My book, Passable, is now finished. The book is 210 pages and weighs 1.25 pounds. It is an ambitious work meant to help transgender girls learn about and develop one of the keys to their success in their transgender lives. I draw from many, many examples in my life and others, go into various do’s and don’t’s, citing specific examples, and help girls understand that passability requires more than just having confidence. There are so many crossdressers and transsexuals who can benefit from this book. Order your copy by clicking here. One thing many of you may not realize is there are gender therapists using my previous books for their research!

Are you ready to learn the secrets to becoming super glamorous and super passable? Just order copies of my videos, Secrets to an Awesome Makeover, Natural Makeup Techniques, and Totally Natural available here.

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About the Author ()

I've been active in the transgender community since 1991 and living as a full-time woman since 2010. My books are internationally recognized as some of the best makeup and transformation books for male-to-female crossdressers and transsexuals. Each book is chock full of good information and some have stories that will inspire you to be the best woman that you can be. More than just makeup and transformation books, they are sources of inspiration and portals into my life as a transgender woman. Over 3,000 women just like you have learned from these books, many of whom have gone on to become beautiful, passable, and successful in whatever they do!

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