A Day at the Disney Family Museum

I recently had a free day and took a trip to the Disney Family Museum that is located at the Presidio in San Francisco. The museum details the life of Walt Disney from his childhood until his death. It’s something I have wanted to visit the place since it opened and finally had the opportunity

Even in the summer, it is often cool in SF and so I wore jeans, a long sleeve t-shirt, and some low heel ankle boots.  They were doing construction work and the parking lot was closed and so I had a significant walk to the museum. I was gla.d I wore the boots since they are one of my most comfortable shoes. I have lots of pairs of boots, mostly with 1-2” heels and I really like them as they are both stylish and comfortable. For some odd reason I find boots to be more comfortable than pumps of the same heel height (someday I will  write more on that).  For a long time I had this rule that ankle boots were for pants and knee boots for skirts, but looking at what lots of other women were wearing I decided the rule was too restrictive.  The right ankle boots can look really “kicky” with a skirt and knee boots worn outside pants look okay too although its often a real “outdoorsy” kind of look. That is another topic for another day.

Anyway, the museum was lots of fun and very interesting. The museum is organized as a sequence of exhibits that you walk through from start to finish. It is organized chronologically and so you start out with his grandparents and end up with the creation of Disney World in Florida. There are exhibits that show his early animated features (including the merging of live actors and animation), how Mickey Mouse came about, all the technical innovations associated with full length animated movies like Cinderalla and Fantasia, and finally about how the theme parks came about.  There was lots of information about how it was working for him, both the good and the bad. I have always loved Disneyland and many of the old Disney animated movies and so it was really fun learning more about how they came about. The sheer creativity and energy of the man was really amazing.

Going through the museum in “femme” was a completely pleasant experience.  From the time I bought my tickets until my stop at the snack area at the end of the exhibit, I was treated nicely by both the staff and other visitors.  The only challenging aspect was the presence of about 30 elementary and middle school children on a late summer field trip. They entered the museum right before me and so we followed one another around for at least the first third of the museum. They seemed mostly bored since the museum is really about Walt Disney the man rather than a mini-Disneyland. They were bouncing off the exhibits and each other and generally being kids. I was a little worried since lots of bored kids and a tg can result in an unpleasant situation, but in this case nothing happened. I was just another uninteresting adult to them. Eventually I got tired of their noise and hung back while they moved on. The rest of the visit was entirely uneventful.

After I left the museum I walked around the Presidio grounds and towards the bay. It was a beautiful day, cool and a little foggy. I stopped and had lunch at a little sandwich shop and generally enjoyed the rest of the day. One of the great things about being tg in San Francisco is that basically no one cares, at least at the casual level of interaction that most of us experience. I have plans for an eventual post on that topic and so stay tuned.


Shopping on ebay

I am a complete ebay shopaholic. I bought my first femme item in 1999 and since then I have bought over 1000 items from various vendors. I have bought everything: wigs, tops, pants, dresses, shoes, underwear, makeup, and jewelry. Probably more than half of my wardrobe comes from ebay. For me ebay shopping is mostly about getting a great deal. I have no problem going out and shopping in femme, but doing it on ebay can save lots of money. It also sometimes serves as “femme time” when I cannot get out for one reason or another.

For my this post I thought I would share some of what I have learned over the last 10 years.

First, set a budget for what you buy. I have a rule: No more than $20 for any single item. This includes tops, bottoms, shoes, etc.. I cheat a little when it comes to dresses and suits but they are “really” two pieces (or at least that is what I tell myself). What I typically spend is usually a lot less, probably around $10-12 per item.

Second, really know your measurements and don’t believe sizes. If the item does not have measurements, don’t buy it. Women’s clothes have become “larger” over the years so that what is now a 14 used to be a 16 or an 18. It also helps to know the difference between Misses, Juniors, and Womens (or plus sized). A 14W is quite a different garment than a 14. Again the trick is to know your measurements and that of the garment.

Third, find your favorite designers and buy their items. I have 5 to 7 designers that make up most of my wardrobe (including shoes). I have found their products fit me well and leads to a consistent look. Your favorites will take into account your own style, your age, and your body shape. Of course one can always get something from an unknown, but the risk of it not working out is higher.

Fourth, buying multiple items from the same seller at the same time can result in significant savings in shipping costs. Usually they will “combine” shipping costs so that the total is less than for the same number of individual items.

Fifth, expect to toss anywhere from quarter to half of what you buy. It will not fit right, it will not look right, the color is not what you expected, etc.. Most of the time it will not be worth returning, even if the seller allows it. I think I have returned something maybe 5 times. They have all been dresses that  I paid between $30-40. If I have paid $15 for a skirt and want to return it, the postage is probably $5-7 plus my time. Usually it is not worth it. This is part of the reason why I have the $20 rule.

Sixth, if you are just starting out consider buying “lots”. These are usually used items that a seller has bundled together that are the same size and often coordinated. Sometimes one can get 20-30 items for $100-150. It is a great way to start a wardrobe. Of course, you will toss half of it but it is still a great deal.

Finally, figure out how you are going to pay for the items and have them shipped to you. Given my situation, I cannot have them shipped to my home and so I got a Post Office box (it is only $64/year) under my guy name. All my ordering on ebay is under my femme name but I still have it shipped to the PO box. The Post Office will usually accept mail for a PO box with a different name than is on the registration. I “trained” the people at my local post office by mailing all sorts of “dummy” items to my PO box using my femme name and so they got used to delivering it. I have never had them reject a real ebay package. If they ask I just say a friend is using my PO box while she is traveling and they are okay with that.

That is for now. If you have any useful ebay experiences please drop me a note.


A new blogger at Femimage


This is not Denae but rather Robin, her assistant here at Femimage. Denae has been blogging for almost 5 years and has decided to take a break from it for awhile. She has asked me to take over her blog for awhile while she takes a rest. I have been working with Denae since 2004 helping her with the web site and with her DVDs and videos but have remained mostly behind the scenes. When she asked me take over the blog I decided it sounded like fun. As a TG person, I have a different perspective on things than Denae and so the blog will reflect that. I will cover lots of topics including tips on dressing and shopping, my various outings “en femme”, general life experiences, and various random thoughts. I want to keep it fun and interactive and so if anyone has comments, please post them.

This is actually my second attempt at a blog. I started on about a year ago that focused mostly on my experiences flying across country “en femme”. You can see it https://ptrobin.wordpress.com.  After finishing up the story, of that adventure, I took what I thought was a short break but somehow never got back to it. Most of the posts were rather long and took a lot of effort to write and so I tended to avoid updating it. Prior to that I always was annoyed at people who started a blog and then just stopped updating it. Now I appreciate how easily it can happen. This time I hope to keep the posts shorter and more frequent. Hopefully you will enjoy my posts.