Monday, July 27, 2009

Kate and the Wedding Dress

Recently, I finally have a chance to wear the wedding dress that I bought for myself awhile ago. I took a few pictures last week and posted them on Flickr. (As you can see, the link to Flickr is one of those last remaining ties to "Tara".) Since then, activities on my Flickr account have been non-stop.

There is something to be said about the dress though. I have never worn anything that made me feel as sexy and feminine as I did in my own wedding dress. This dress is incredible; when I put it on all traces of boyish thoughts vanish, and when I look into the mirror, all I see is a girl with curves. Hmm. Interesting. Kate is the blushing bride. Kate is all woman. That's quite a thought.

Would you join me in indulging in a fantasy then? First, I'll need some cosmetic upgrades to my body (ie: the proper "girl parts") to make me perfect. Men will want to have me; and women will be jealous of me. Then a wealthy and handsome gentleman will sweep me off my feet and then propose to me. We'll have a small wedding at an exotic locale. I'll look perfect in every way, my make-up, jewelry, hair, the dress. And then I'll be off to honeymoon in the arms of my lover, making passionate love as a new wife, day and bed, in the shower, on the balcony, on the beach. He will treat me like a princess, and dress me in the most exquisite clothes that shows off my glorious body. He will satisfy every one of my sexual desires, and take me to new heights in the joy of womanhood. In return, I will allow my lover to enter me as he pleases, many times a day. That's okay, because it pleases me too. I can be his perfect wife: a lady in the parlor and a whore in bed. We'll live happily ever after.

BUT WAIT! Take another look into the mirror and we're right back to reality!

No, life is nothing like my fantasy at all. I don't have the proper "girl parts", although once upon a time someone did offer to pay for my FFS and SRS and anything that may cost money, conditions attached of course. I've since decided that they weren't for me. (May by I'll write about this in the future.) I don't have someone rich to pay for nice clothes so that I can be around town all the time getting people's attention. I work. In a lab. Doing research that can change how engineers design airplanes. It's much more fulfilling than being eye candy. Life isn't all about sex with my partner; but we find ourselves no less satisfied. But what is much more important is that we're both genuinely committed to each other, not because of sexual desires--that will fade away in time--but because we're also close friends, like we had been for many years before we even started dating. We take up the challenges of life together, and we get to share the rewards together. Both of us are accepted as the persons that we are--imperfect, but infinitely precious. Neither one of us need to put on a mask to pretend to be anything that we're not.

Life is so much better than a fantasy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Love the TTC, but does it love me?

I started writing this blog entry a couple of months ago, but then I got carried away with work and going to conferences. Almost right after coming back from the first two (out of four!) conferences, I took the trip to Vancouver for my friend's wedding. I was so excited being about to "be myself" back in my home town, I started writing another blog entry, and that eventually got posted first. But I kept this entry, and here it is.

First, I've included a picture of me in my brand new dress. I picked it up from a newly renovated Suzy Shier store at Yorkdale Mall in Toronto. They had a special sale and all the dresses were only [slight gasp!] $30 each. I happened to have stumbled there by chance, and ended up picking out a few items. But my posting the picture—well, taking the picture in the first place—has nothing to do with showing off my dress, but rather to tell a story about taking the TTC.

Note to non-Torontonians: TTC=Toronto Transit Commission, as in those guys who run the ugly subway, antiquated streetcars and those expensive lemons they call hybrid buses here. But seriously, I love the TTC! It's one of the more effective transit system in North America. Without it, I'd have to drive all over the place.

The day after I bought the dress turned out to be a rather warm day, and I wore this particular new dress for a stroll on Thursday evening. I didn't want to drive out—still a tree-hugging gal from Vancouver at heart—and of course I took the subway instead. Have you ever notice how eager the train drivers to close the doors while people are still trying to get in? So this happened. I was at Glencairn Station, and the southbound train pulled into the station. While people were still trying to get out of the train, the chimes rang, and the doors started closing. The numerous people who wanted to get inside the train barely had time. Me? I was the last one. The door closed on me just after I squeezed through. Well, part of my dress was stuck outside the train. No wardrobe malfunctions, but I was stuck standing by the door for the next few stations...the doors opened on the other side of the train between Eglington West and Spadina. The left-side doors finally opened at St. George, which would have been my destination anyway. So I count myself lucky.

To the management, the union, and everyone who works for the TTC: if you want people to treat your employees with respect, it doesn't hurt to treat your customers likewise, at least once in awhile.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

No, it's not her

I spent the Victoria Day weekend home in Vancouver to attend a friend's wedding. I haven't spent much time in Toronto in the last few weeks, but it's still a great relief to be somewhere nicer than The Big Smoke. And aside from a few minor responsibilities at the wedding banquet. I was on holiday. So, armed with my brand-spanking-new DSLR camera, I roamed around town taking pictures, as a girl of course!

Side Note #1: In case you're wondering, no, I wasn't called to be a bridesmaid. I wouldn't want to be one anyway.
Side Note #2: Those DSLR cameras are great. But you should get some nice lenses.

Admittedly, it would have been more fun if I had someone with me to take pictures of me. But this works too. So over the weekend, I went to Jericho Beach, then Granville Island, then the Richmond Olympic Oval, and then Stanley Park on Monday. I still have much to re-learn about photography. It's been a long time since I took a photography course in high school. Anyway, on Monday morning, I spent some time walking along the Sea Wall at Stanley Park, snapping random pictures.

Side note #3: I tried to be as inconspicuous as possible, wearing a simple sweater and dress pants. That worked in Granville Island, but when every woman around is wearing shorts and jogging shoes, at the beach and at the park, you do stand out a bit.

While I was near the Nine O'Clock Gun, a couple jogged past me. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw that the woman kept turning back to get a good look at me. (I thought she had read me, and was going to make a big fuss about it.) But then she turned around to her jogging partner, and said to him, "No, it's not her." I assumed that I looked like her friend....but then, she continued, giggling, "They really look alike from the back, but this one's cuter."

So, whoever you are, you made my day!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Re-Inventing Me: Call me Katie

Boy, how things have changed!

Several years ago, when I first started going out as a girl, I called myself TJ. My friends from Wildside still call me that. It's was actually a rarely used nickname that I acquired in high-school, when I was a very awkward tenth-grader. TJ is actually the initials of my real name. When I started posting online profiles to meet other t-girls, I filled in the letters with Tara Jennifer. I'm not sure why I needed a middle name, but it seemed to be very common with other t-girls, so I went along. Added to it is a surname Young, which is the anglisized spelling of the Chinese surname Yeung. It is not real of course, but I found it rather appropriate since I am Chinese (okay, only 98% Chinese) and I was a young-ish t-girl in my twenties.

My life was--and still is--full of striking dualities. Often I'm a girl, but sometimes I'm a boy; I'm shy but also chatty; I'm a science geek--background in physics, math & PhD in engineering, but dammit, don't call me a nerd-- and a reasonably accomplished freelance violinist; I'm a serious intellectual and a crazy flirt; and I'm very intelligent, but sometimes I do the dumbest things.

Two life-changing events in the past year or so had put me in a little bit of a sabbatical. And as I get back into things, I feel that I need a fresh start. So, to re-introduce myself to the community:

Hello! My name is Kate, but you can call me Katie too. (If you must, you can continue to call me Tara or TJ, I won't mind. Afterall, "Kate" is no more real than "Tara".) The nice thing about these "girl names" is that I can change it whenever I want to. Not that I want to all the time, but I feel that in this case it is completely appropriate. Kate, hopefully, is a more mature version of my former self: less crazy chick, more woman; less flambouyant, more polished, more gounded; and hopefully less of a flirt, more composure. Fellow geeks: think of Kate as an upgraded, debugged, cleaned up version of Tara.

As for those life-changing events, if you had read the blog carefully (I dare you!), you would have read something about a PhD in engineering. Yup. I just got one. The "Permenant Head Damage", "Piled Higher and Deeper"...and whatever you call it. This has been a rather long and lonely intellectual journey. It had many ups and downs--more downs than up really--and had taken many different turns--some of them in the wrong directions. But at the end, it was very exciting to see all the pieces come together. It did mean that for the pat year, I hardly hung out on Saturday nights. Think: "Oh, it's Saturday. I really should lie down in my bed and sleep."

But as lonely a journey it has been, I never felt I lack companionship. Which brings me to my second life-changing event. I have found my life partner. My soul-mate. My best friend. And now we live happily together. We started out as close friends in my undergrad years..12 years ago, and after I moved to Toronto, we began a long-distance relationship, first through e-mail, then over the phone, and now we have a new life together.

Which brings me to the close of this blog. You probably won't find me on Toronto's Church St. as often anymore, but Tara....umm, Kate, is back!