Tag Archives: First Event

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016

SeleenaK_1010sAs 2015 draws to a close, I thought I should comment briefly on a few things happening on my website as I close in my 9th year.

I’ve managed to stay on track through 4 versions of the site software without changing course too much.  But what has changed is the amount of on-site interaction I get from you, as well as the amount of effort I have to put into things to keep the site away from the hackers.

I don’t know why I get the vast majority of feedback and comments via email instead of on the site directly but I’m appreciative for every comment, no matter how it gets to me.  I mention this because I see a  change.  And yes, I know … blogs, in general, have moved from cool to boring.  I get that.

But the hackers … dammit .. visit me way more than you all do! hehe!  I have nothing financial on my site any more, and don’t require members to provide personal info beyond a username and email address.  Yet the reason they want my site, and so many others, is so that they can use it as a spam host.

If successful, they will send out a guzillion spam emails before the web host realizes and shuts them down.  And they’re not even interested in email addresses stored here; yours and mine.  They have their own list and just need a previously-honourable server to send from.

So, your passwords now must be big ugly long things in hopes of making them unguessable. Your computer’s IP address is  compared to a “ban list” before you’re able to log in and I manually compare the country new users claim to be from with the country where they’re logging in from to ensure a match or else I delete them.

Lots of work, really.

But I think my best options are:

  1. charge a small fee for membership.  Spammer won’t pay, but 99% of you wouldn’t either.
  2. remove the entire membership/sign in process entirely.  This would remove a big part of the mechanism spammers use to gain access but it also leaves all my  content (which I work so hard to produce) wide open.
  3. shut the site down and move my content over to one of the social media platforms, where security is ~their~issue and not mine

I won’t ask for your opinion on this because .. well, you know.  But I thought I’d mention this here to ask you for your patience when logging in, and ask that you report any issues you encounter to me in case I made a mistake while trying to repel the hackers.


SeleenaK_0735sOn a personal note,  my circle of friends is holding it’s own.  Not growing, not shrinking.  Some acquaintances, it seems, are not impressed by the way I present myself in a casual setting and it’s been mentioned to me twice in the past month.   Both times it felt very judgmental.  I have a couple genetic women friends who are also judged regularly when in public because they’re just not sloppy or plain enough for the no makeup, sweat pants and flip-flop crowd.  Oh well.  My real friends like me as I am.

Silly as it may sound, I’m okay being judged by the uninformed, or the religious, or up-tight public at large but I just can’t deal with it coming from within the community.   So I wish them well but I disengage.

I’m going to miss the First Event conference in Boston in January because of a  family commitment which I’m really, really looking forward to. But I’ll  be at Keystone again this year in March.  I don’t do casual well enough (lol) for the Spring Fling crowd so I’ll probably skip their May event.  Yet Scarlett’s Maine Event in Ogunquit Maine will be a definite ‘yes!’.

My darling and I just might do another mega roadtrip across the US again.  If I do, I’ll try to visit with a few of you along the way.

And finally, I looking forward to spending more time with my friends Pauline, Dianne and Dea.  Let’s all put on our dancing shoes .. and not dance at all.   hehe

2016 is looking like a fun year!

Happy New Year from my family to yours!

First Event 2015

Just got home from First Event in Waltham MA and thought I’d share my thoughts on the event.

This year’s event, presented as always by the Tiffany Club of New England,  was the 35th annual and was held on January 21-25 at a new venue – the Westin in Waltham MA on the western edge of Boston.

SeleenaK_3541sMy darling Kim came with me to the event.  We decided to leave  home for Boston on Tuesday but stayed Tuesday night in Auburn since it wasn’t possible to get an extra day at the Westin.  Some of you who have visited or ordered from  the  Glamour Boutique’s TG Fashions might be familiar with Auburn Massachusetts.

So we arrived at the event hotel early on Wednesday.  The hotel was quite impressive and checkin was very professional and smooth.  Undergound parking, very nice room, very elegant lobby and smiling staff.

Although parking and internet are usually at additional cost, both were free to those attending First Event.

Had dinner in the hotel restaurant on Wednesday evening with Xpressions friends from Canada, and Hera and Michelle from Klymaxx Unlimited in Provincetown.

On Thursday, after a rather pricey but fabulous breakfast in the hotel restaurant, I hit the event registration desk to get my name tag and event program before spending time socializing with friends in the hotel lobby area.  Also had a wonderful chat and a couple glasses of Merlot with my friend Samantha in her hotel room.

SeleenaK_3551sEvent registration wasn’t easy to find and was not exactly efficient but was relatively friendly.

On Thursday night, we were off to Club Cafe in downtown Boston using provided transportation.  The trip to the club took us down Boylston Street and the site of the marathon bombing.

Buffet dinner and Merlot was good and the drag show, featuring Judy Garland and Bea Arthur impersonators was very well done but I’m not sure how well suited it was to our crowd.  I stayed for the entire show but many left early.  Community Service Awards were presented prior to Ms Garland to Jennifer Levi, the GLAD Transgender Rights Project and to John Warrener, the founder of The Glamour Boutique.

Back to the hotel .. drinks in the bar! And a rather late night.

SeleenaK_3559sFriday was a shopping day.  After a quick breakfast and lots of coffee, I visited Hera at the Klymaxx Unlimited spot in the vendor area.   I bought some fabulous bling and Kim bought a very cool handbag.  I should have bought the glitter clutch purse.

Friday night dinner was an oriental buffet at the hotel in the ballroom.  It was excellent, and was followed by the fashion show.  Now, I’ve been to, and have participated in, fashion shows before but this one was the absolute best ever.  Great music and dynamic commentary, an awesome runway, a fast pace and gorgeous models.

To the other events that do fashion shows, consider learning  from this one.  It was that good.

My friends Samantha, Stephanie and Lauren participated and all did a wonderful job.

SeleenaK_3538sAfter the fashion show, we went for drinks in  my friend Pauline’s room.  More vino and it was wonderful, and the conversation was a lot of fun!

After a late breakfast on Saturday, I did a little more shopping.  Bought a very high quality, “gently used” pair of oxblood Italian heels from the Tiffany’s Closet fund raising shop for $15 .. my bargain of the year.  Enzo Angiolini’s are typically sold at finer department stores and these have barely noticeable wear similar to a store demo pair.  Not exactly sky-high stilettos .. they’re just under 4″  .. but they’ll be fabulous when I have to be on my feet all day.

Spent most of the day chatting with friends around the hotel.  Finally got to meet a girl I’ve been chatting with on and off for a decade.  Melissa is a sweetheart and I finally got to give her a hug in person.

I also got to meet someone I only recently started chatting with online.  Sara is a stocking lover like me and is totally gorgeous.

Saturday evening was the gala.  The ball.  The big event.  And it was wonderful! Hors d’ouvres, good wine, a nice dinner (I had the chicken and it was good.  Sorry beef people .. lol), the best keynote address I’ve ever heard (you can read about Wayne Maines here) and the fab jazz group, Dale LePage and the Manhattans, were there after dinner for dancing or listening.

SeleenaK_3568sBut what impressed me the most that night was how everyone looked and behaved. The evening was to be elegant and everyone looked elegant.  It was the first time I ever felt that everyone made the effort to look they’re best.   And it does something to the air.  The vibe just feels so right, and it was a fitting way to conclude a wonderful conference.

In summary, I wish I had made the effort to attend this event in the past.  In my opinion, it was one of the best events I’ve ever attended.  A good value, the  volunteers are efficient and nearly invisible, the organizers weren’t all about patting themselves on the back, the best keynote speaker ever, and all in a very, very nice hotel.

According to my friends who attended many seminars, the seminars were also very good.

From the comments made by organizers both online and in Waltham, there was 500+ in attendance over the 4 days although it seemed that just under 400 were at the gala.  Huge growth over previous years.

And lastly, one more shout out to the Westin in Waltham MA.  The hotel is beautiful, staff were excellent, no waiting for an elevator, great event room rate, wonderful restaurant.   The bar was cool too but it was a little difficult to get a drink at times, especially on the final night.

They made us feel very welcome and even posted on the event Facebook page prior to the event, to tell us they were looking forward to our arrival as well as to thank us when the event was over.  Very classy.

Grace,  Andrea and crew … you ladies rock.