Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Two days as Mario

It's been a while since I've been Marian, and not because I didn't have the chance. Instead, I was inactive for a couple of days last week, and didn't switch back to being Marian when I had the chance to do so over the weekend. Sometimes, it's just easier for me to stay as Mario - especially when the weather doesn't want to cooperate with me. But this wasn't the case for the past few days. Instead, it was because the few times I went out, that I had to go out as Mario, or I didn't want to take the time to make a decent presentation as Marian.

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Monday came, and I had to confirm lunch with my ex-boss. He's a good fellow, and we see each other way too infrequently.  So there was no way that I was going to blow off this lunch for a day out as Marian. Both of us confirmed lunch, and then I drove to West Nyack to meet him. Traffic on Route 287 was bad, and I wasn't sure if I was going to make it on time. I needn't have worried, as I was ahead of schedule. So, when I arrived at the mall, I had time to kill - and enjoyed a quick chat with Lili.

Around 12:30, I walked over to the restaurant, and waited a few minutes for my ex-boss to arrive.  We enjoyed a pleasant lunch, and then it was time to go home. I was surprised to find that both traffic jams that interfered with traffic on my way over were gone, and I enjoyed clear sailing all the way home. On the way, I stopped to pick up a set of passport photos. Then, it was over to my apartment - if only to put my "to go" cheesecake slice in the refrigerator.

Although I could have gone out afterwards, I didn't.  Instead, I took it easy because my GI Tract was still playing games with me.  For all I know, I could be drinking way too much liquid, and this could be playing havoc with a GI Tract still on the mend from the week before.  (It's either drink water, or eat. And I don't want to nurture a habit of eating because I'm bored. So I try to drink when I get that urge to eat when I'm not really hungry.)

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Tuesday came, and I had two things on the schedule that demanded me to be Mario for the day.  The first of these was an appointment with my dentist. Given that I'm unemployed, I always feel a bit of sticker shock when I go to see him. But having good teeth is very important to me. The second thing was my co-op board meeting. Although the board knows that I'm trans, I always will attend as Mario until the day I decide to live as Marian 24x7.

Lately, I haven't been able to get to sleep until late in the evening, and I didn't bother getting out of the bed until it was almost afternoon. This isn't as bad as it seems, as it allows me to get a full night's sleep - albeit at a time 4 hours later than most people get their sleep. So I wasn't too surprised to see that I had about an hour to get ready for my dentist appointment when I finally made it out of bed.

After I was done with the dentist, I chatted with a new patient who was filling out a form.  We were getting along great. And since I never expected to see her again, I decided to show her a picture of me dressed as a nurse for Halloween.  She said that I looked better as a woman than as a man.  (That's how I feel as well.) There's hope for me yet!

Later on in the afternoon, it was time to go to the co-op board meeting.  This time, it was a meeting filled with good news. As usual, I can't go into details here. But I can say that one of the problems we've talked about in several meetings is being addressed, and we have the full cooperation of one of our business partners to get the problem resolved.

Even though this was a Mario day, I feel very good about the day.  And I will be very glad to be back in Marian mode tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A political rant

Sometimes, we all have too much time on our hands. And we look for ways to burn that time, as there is often nothing worse to deal with than being bored. For me, blogging is one of the ways I cope with the problem of nothing to do and nothing I want to do.

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Over the past few weeks, I have gotten totally disgusted by what is happening in Washington, DC, and the people who are now in charge. The G-20 meeting has just ended. and the world has signaled that it will move forward without us. Climate change, world trade, and defense agreements are being rethought with the assumption that the United States will no longer take a leading role for the foreseeable future. It's a sad day when many feel that Germany's Angela Merkel is now the leader of the free world.

At home, things are just as bad for they are for us in international fronts. For example, we have seen an anti-transgender activist being appointed to a gender equality post. It seems as if there is a cultural war on progressive policy, and that Trump and his cronies want to cement us firmly in the past and not the future. We have actors/writers such as Carl Reiner, who at the age of 95 is telling Justice Kennedy of the Supreme Court NOT to retire, as to prevent Trump from cementing his legacy with another very conservative justice. There is only so much that the Democrats can do to slow down the GOP Tsunami, and they have focused on mobilizing people to protect gains which have been made towards universal healthcare.

As I write this, the media has been making a big deal about Trump being "owned" by Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit. But then, with all the connections between Russian Operatives and Trump (before and after the 2016 election), what sane man or woman doesn't believe that the Russians control Trump?  And yet, the GOP does nothing because it is afraid of the masses who believe everything that comes out of Trump's mouth.

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Since this is not a blog that focuses on politics, I must go back to the main focus on life as a transgender person. And so far, I am very concerned, but not afraid for our future. Our rights seem to be protected (for now) in the states which protected them in the past. There is only so much that the Federal government can do without stepping on States' rights. For those in "Red States" who have few protections, I feel sorry. There is not much that can be done while the Trump-Pence regime is in power in Washington.

We, as transgenders, must find new ways to mobilize, so that like the Gays, we can be considered a group whose rights can't be ignored. When I went to the GLBT Center the other day, I found out about a deal which enshrined protections for Gays into New York State law. But as part of that deal, transgender rights were cut out of the law. Although activists are working to change this, it is not enough. We must develop the same grass roots support that Gays have, so that our needs will no longer be dismissed by people in power.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Quickie: Dennis Miller's Rants

Recently, I had the pleasure of reading Dennis Miller's Rants.  Although the book was published in the mid 1990's, most of his rants are still true today.

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What's so important about reading a book written over 20 years ago?  Well, one of the things that was reinforced for me is that history tends to echo from one generation to the next.  Things we complained about in the 1990's are still being complained about today. Humanity as a whole learns slowly, learns unevenly, and learns imperfectly.  Each generation has to relearn the lessons of its predecessors, and it takes many generations for collective wisdom to evolve.

Right now, we live in a very polarized society. This is not new. We complained about George Bush in the same way we now complain about Donald Trump. (Trump truly deserves his criticisms.)  Before that, we complained about Reagan, Nixon, and other presidents since John Adams took office. We will eventually recover from this disaster named Trump - we have recovered from much worse.

With this being said, it doesn't make me feel any easier. Our rights as transgender people are now under attack by the wingnuts of the GOP, and we can not afford to just ride things out.  The big question is: What can we do to minimize the damages caused by the GOP rank and file until sanity reigns again?  Hopefully, someone will have a good answer - and soon!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A week at a glance.

When I went on my cruise, I knew that I was going to get far ahead of schedule when I returned, as I already scheduled posts for publishing well into the time I returned. This post is my way of restoring the normal gap between my daily events and the time my posts are made public.

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I let the last alarm from my electronic devices wake me up, allowing me to squeeze every last moment of rest out of the morning. Looking at my schedule, I saw that I had to go to the monthly Arts Westchester volunteer meeting. So, I couldn't roll over and go back to sleep for a change.

Around noon, I got showered and dressed, then out the door I went. I arrived at Arts Westchester a little after 2 pm, and found no events that I wanted to volunteer covering. So I figured that I'd go home after a brief stop at the Christmas Tree Shop in Hartsdale. Just as I got out of my car, I met the lady from the Yorktown wig shop. We chatted a bit, and then went on our ways. Once in motion again, I went home for a little while before taking a drive over to Danbury to do some clothes window shopping. There was nothing in Lane Bryant that I wanted, so I ended up going home.

At home for the night, I mistakenly sent a message to the wrong woman from the Whine and Dine to say that to answer a question of hers (why wasn't I coming to meetups any more?) that I'd give her the answer in person.  But I must have made a Freudian slip by sending the message to the wrong person.  AARGH!  It could have been much worse if I intended seeing any of these people again.

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I got up early for a change, but didn't do much other than to do laundry and start straightening up the apartment.  Although I chatted with GFJ for a while, there wasn't much going on with GFJ, Lili, or my brother. So I prepared for an 8:30 pm dinner with BXM.

Unlike previous trips, I assumed that BXM would be a little late. So I buzzed her at 8:30, and warned her that I'd be there in a few minutes. And then, as I was getting off the exit for her place, I did the same again - just to keep her moving, and not to have to wait for too long. And this proved to be the right thing to do.

Neither of us had a clue about where we wanted to eat, save that we didn't want to eat at a local diner. So I started slowly driving North, and made it into the area of Yonkers where my late wife worked. Since this wasn't the best place to find a place to eat around 9:00 pm, I figured that we could drive over to The Bayou in Mount Vernon for some Cajun grub.  It took us a couple of minutes to find a good parking spot. But the restaurant wasn't crowded, and we were able to sit at any table we wanted.

We had a good chat, BXM venting a bit about her family and how they did not support her when she needed them. We talked about her dad, and how she will need to be the one that makes sure that a DNR order is obeyed. We talked about my transgender nature, GFJ, the Cat Lady, and RO - and how the person I may settle down with will need to be able to accept me both as Marian and as Mario.

Around 11:30, we decided to leave and go back to her place.  On the way, one of those stop light cameras flashed.  Did I go through a light or an intersection?  I doubt it. But if I get a ticket, I can fight it, as I have someone in the car who will note that i mentioned a flash before I reached the intersection where I stopped for a light.  We stopped at the supermarket for a minute so she could pick up some stuff, and then it was onward to our homes.

It's been a long time since I've driven the Saw Mill Parkway after midnight, and I noticed little things on the way home that I never noticed before. One of those things was a fellow on a motorcycle using his phone's GPS and Map to guide him home. It is amazing what modern technology can do for us it we let it do so....

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Normally, I am not conscious enough to be awake for Morning Joe. But for some reason, I was conscious enough to hear him replay the segment from the Steven Colbert  Late Show where he announced his resignation from the Republican party for reasons of principle. Over the years, I've grown to respect this man as a Conservative thinker, and I respect him even more now, as he is putting his principles over party loyalty. Shortly afterwards, I was totally brought out of semi-consciousness by a phone call from Vicki. One of the people at her firm quit, and they had an immediate need for someone who could be attentive to detail. Vicki explained some of what the job entailed, and told be to get a resume to her post-haste. This was looking to be a very good day indeed, and it wasn't yet 9 am.

Not everything was going to be good however. I received an email from the leader of the FFGoWs telling me that I have been removed from the group. Although I know it was not WPB who pulled the membership, a couple of ladies complained to the owner of the group, and she reluctantly removed me.  It's not easy being transgender, when there is still a lot of prejudice against us.  (Mental note: Ask Fran about her attempts at socialization when I see her next.)  Now, I have to find other groups that will welcome me, and maybe be a little bit more careful to cement my position in them.

In a little bit of a depressed mood, I drove down to my speech therapy session and met with my therapist in training. As one might say, you get what you pay for - she is inexperienced, and is learning how to manage her time. But I figure that part of the problem is that one can't learn that much in a Summer session - and she's having to cram a lot into a short time. Yet, I did have the pleasure of meeting her supervisor, and she gave me a couple of good ideas of how to improve the qualities of my voice that I will need to practice on in the next week.

Once done with speech therapy, I drove to Long Island to see RO. We had a very enjoyable time doing a little bit of shopping, then having a Chinese dinner near her house. (Not too near - my brother lives nearby, and I didn't want to run into him.) We talked of many things, and she announced that she was treating me for dinner as a birthday treat. On the way back to her place, I found that she could be a travel partner - and I'll keep that in mind. But I also learned the one most important thing - she sees me more as a woman, and would not want to lose me as a female friend. There goes the idea of having her as a romantic interest....

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Unlike most Thursdays, game night was cancelled for the week.  The hosting family was making their place safe for one of their parents to visit, and they didn't want to worry about everyone being there during the cleanup and the parent's visit. So I had little reason not to plan for a Mario Mode day today - especially when I considered that I needed to get a passport photo taken sometime in the afternoon.

So, as usual, I awoke to the sounds of alarms from my electronic devices. And I got my butt moving, knowing that the cleaning lady would likely be coming some time in the afternoon. Not only did I rush to straighten out my place, but I made sure to hide most of the indication that Marian exists.

Lately, what annoys me about my brother is that he always seems to run things without planning.  Yes, he may plan things according to a schedule at work. But outside of work, he is a different person. By noon time, I still did not get any word about when he'd start his drive to the trail head, and it made me wish that I didn't volunteer my help for his hike.

My brother finally did call around 1 pm, saying that he didn't know when he'd start his drive. And then, he called back to tell me about a low-ball offer we received for renting the family homestead. I had my concerns because the price was too low, and that the prospective tenant was offering to pay a year's rent in advance. Even with cash in hand, the last thing I'd want to do is hand it to someone when I could do better with it in my hands. This makes me worry. I ended up talking to two people about this offer: Lili and GFJ. And they had diametrically opposite reactions. Lili said to see if the woman would go up 10%, and if she did - take the offer. GFJ had the same gut concern that I had - drug money. How many people would have roughly $30k+ available to pay a year's rent in advance?  Although I know people who could do this, I know they never would do this.

Later on, I received a call from my brother. He was only starting to get moving around 7 pm. With a 2 & 1/4 hour drive to the camp site ahead of him, then 30 minutes to unpack the car, and another 30 minutes to the Bear Mountain Inn where I would meet him, I had time enough to make a leisurely dinner for myself.  With rain expected for Thursday night and all day Friday, I'd bet that this hike would be very unpleasant for them all.

During the evening, I chatted with GFJ, and found out that she was going to be free on Sunday.  Since I already made plans with the Cat Lady, there was no way that I was going to break a date at this late juncture. Do I feel a little bad?  Yes. But it's been months since GFJ was here, and I'm not sure if I want her back here again - unless she is willing to accept me as Marian as well as Mario.

Around 9:30, I called my brother, and he was only then approaching the trail head. Given where I expected him to be, I knew it was going to be a very long hike for him. So I was glad to be able to meet him at Bear Mountain to get him back to his crew. As soon as we got out of the parking lot, he noticed a noise coming from the front end of my car that I've noticed for a while. Although the dealership did not find this problem (they didn't bother to look for it), my brother confirmed what I thought it was in the first place - and told me what I should expect to spend on it. (I'll file it away until my next pension check comes in, and then get the work done.) In the rush to make it up to my neck of the woods, they had forgotten to pick up a few things on the way out. So I made a quick detour to the Walmart in Woodbury, in order to pick up these sundries. Although he couldn't find hiking poles, he did find a warm weather sleeping bag that my niece would use and a short cable with which he could charge his cell phone.

Driving from Walmart, the GPS told us to take a different route than expected. Driving along back roads, we ended up going to the outskirts of Greenwood Lake. The trail head was reasonably well marked, but the crew was out of sight.  My brother thought that he had forgotten a flashlight in his car, but he lucked out - it was in his pocket.  I'm glad that I got him near where he was going to spend the night. And I'm even more glad that I was going to spend my night in air conditioned comfort.

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I awoke to find a text on my phone from my niece. They were camped a short distance in from the road where I left my brother last night. This is one time I was very glad to no longer be an outdoors person, as I can't imagine that I'd want to spend a long weekend outside in wet, hot or humid conditions.

At this time, I knew that this was going to be a Marian Mode day. But I didn't know all of what I was going to do for the day after I was done with my volunteer gig at the GLBT center.  Only one problem.  I didn't have the emotional energy or the want to get out of bed. So I took it easy, apologized for "Double Booking" my day, and stayed in.

Late in the evening, GFJ called, and we shot the breeze for a while. If I hadn't already scheduled seeing the Cat Lady, I'd have scheduled to do something with her on Sunday. As it was, I chatted, but made no effort to invite her over for a Sunday activity. Lili would say this is the right thing to do. But I'm not sure about it. Given what happened 3+ months ago, I'm not in a rush to do much of anything with her right now  Yes, I miss sharing my bed with someone. But I don't want to share it with someone who might not be there in a year or two, given our past history.

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Last night, I got no word from my brother or my niece to tell me that they were OK.  I am not worried. The Harriman State Park area (especially as you get closer to Bear Mountain) has several cell phone dead zones, so I figured that they must have hit one where they camped for the night. However, it was very hard for me to get to sleep.  Even though I was in bed before 2 am, I was still wide awake around 5 am. So I expected to be a little tired throughout the day.  I'll bet that it was easier for my brother to go to sleep than it was for me....

When I eventually woke up, it was a little bit after noon, and I realized that I had to get my day started.  As expected, my brother camped in a cell phone dead zone. Sometime after he got moving, he got a cell signal and texted me to let me know he was OK.  Since this was going to be a good day for hiking, he should be able to make up some of the mileage he might have lost in yesterday's rain. Sometime in the early afternoon, my brother called.  Having started the hike near Greenwood Lake, he had only made it to the Arden area, and asked me to shuttle him again - this time to his car, so that he could pick up the kids and drive home.

I still had no energy. So I again took it easy and stayed in the house for the second day in a row.  Today, it was not depression.  It was simply because I had nothing to do, and I wasn't in the mood to do much of anything but watch TV.

Later in the day, I had the opportunity to chat with the realtor who was showing the family homestead to prospective renters. I explained what I was looking to see happen, and I think she may be someone I can work with for a while. And then, I got a response from Maria, allowing us to schedule a late breakfast towards the end of the month. All in all, not a bad day for someone who did almost nothing.

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I hated lying to GFJ about my plans for the day. But it was easier to say that I was going to visit my father after transporting my brother back to his car, than to tell her that I was going out to see the Cat Lady.  If GFJ wants to coordinate her schedule with mine, I have no problems doing so. But I will be careful about making her a regular visitor to my home.

Thinking of things to do with the Cat Lady is a little difficult.  She's not good at making suggestions, and I'm not in the mood to make an expensive crossing of the Hudson to reach NYC with her, and then have to cross back into New Jersey to bring her home. So we usually get together for a nice dinner and dessert afterwards. I'm sure that both of us would like to do different things, and I think that while we are both free on weekdays, we can do a little exploring in day trips.

So when the day started, I knew that I was going to play cab driver for my brother.  But I wasn't sure of where and when I'd be picking him up.  The Google Map Location that my niece sent me was wrong - and this caused me to get very frustrated at my brother when he wouldn't let me finish my question and thought. (Sometimes one has to use common sense when dealing with Google's directions - and a trail location on the NYS Thruway did not make sense for a trail head.)  Luckily, both of us cooled down, and I got him to his car.

After I drove home, I tried to rest and waited for an email from the Cat Lady to tell me what our plans might be. Sadly, after a weekend of being with her daughter and grandson, she was not up to getting together tonight. Just as well, I was also having stomach discomfort, and may have needed to be near restrooms much more than I'd have liked.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

An interesting weekend that started en-femme

This weekend started off with the following on my schedule:
  1. Friday: Seeing my niece (and her boyfriend) at the Neue Gallerie in NYC.
  2. Saturday: Seeing the Cat Lady for dinner in NJ
  3. Sunday: Going to a Meetup in Rosendale, NY with GFJ.
It was going to be a busy weekend, and only one of these days I'd be able to spend as Marian

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Friday started with me waking to the sounds of rain outside. I don't like going out in the rain, as I spent many a day outside riding an overloaded bicycle and delivering papers in the rain. This was always an unpleasant task in bad weather, and it was much worse when I had to collect money from the customers. Thankfully, these are all memories now, and things I never want to relive.Hearing the rain, I was slow to get moving, and I didn't get out of bed until a little before 10 am. And then, even when I was moving, I didn't do much until 11:30, when I realized that I shold put in some volunteer work at the GLBT center before trekking into NYC to see my niece.

When I got to the GLBT center, I ended up not doing that much work.  Instead, I donated a couple of suitcases, and sweaters to their thrift shop for later sale. And then I got to work, plugging a computer back in and getting it working for the next employee to whom it will be assigned (This was a no brainer for me, though I did take advantage of female privilege by asking a fellow to plug the phone back into a socket I couldn't reach.) Most of the time I spent there, I chatted with a woman with whom I developed a certain rapport. She invited me to the center's book club. And later, I said that I would love to meet her spouse one day.  As Rick Blaine (Bogie's character in "Casablanca") might put it: "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

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Leaving the GLBT center, I knew that I didn't have that much time to get to Pelham to make a 4:05 train. Traffic flow worked in my favor, and I was able to park a block away from the train station - giving me about 10 minutes to make the train once I parked.   While on the train, I exchanged a few messages with Joanie, and we agreed to meet at her mom's nursing home in 3 weeks. It's been a long while since I've had the chance to see Joanie, so finding a time where the two of us can be in the same place seems like a miracle. And I will finally get the chance to talk about being transgender and what my "plans" are for the future.

Even with a little delay getting into Grand Central, I made it to the dining area before 5:00, and had a leisurely light meal before taking the bus to the Neue Gallerie. As usual, I was at the museum before my niece, and was waiting a few minutes for her and her boyfriend to arrive.  When they arrived, I immediately saw what my brother did in this man.  He is intelligent, well spoken and seems to be a responsible person.  I could see the chemistry these two young adults have, and my niece could do worse than staying with this man.  Soon afterwards, we entered the museum, and proceeded to see the works of art I wanted to see: Klimt, Klimt, and more Klimt. Need I say more?  My niece and her boyfriend were stunned by the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer - I (a.k.a.: "The Woman in Gold"), and the boyfriend thanked me for including them on this trek into NYC.

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Once done at the museum, we took a bus downtown, then walked over to Tipsy Scoop - where we feasted on booze infused ice cream.  YUM!  While we were eating the ice cream, the heavens opened up, and we finished our treat under an awning while the rains came down.

After we were done, we walked back to Grand Central (with a stop at Starbucks along the way). Arriving there, I bid my niece and her boyfriend goodbye - but not until I got a picture of the two of us together. Shortly afterward, I got on the train - and off at Pelham. As I got off the train, the heavens opened up again and I was wet by the time I made it to my car. Luckily, I wasn't dripping wet, and was able to dry off by the time I made it home for the night.

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After a lot of walking around on Friday,  Saturday came with me being in the mood to take every device trying to wake me up at 9 am, and throw them all across the room.  For the next two days, my plans called for me to be in Mario Mode.

As much as I could have been doing things before seeing the Cat Lady, I put off chores such as laundry, so that I could stay comfortable as long as possible. But I eventually had to get moving, and out the door I went around 5 pm, so that I could make it to her place on time. On the way there, I had a nice chat with GFJ, albeit, saying that I was driving to a FFGoW meetup - which I originally planned to attend until the Cat Lady signaled that she'd like to see me. 

I was a little bit early when I arrived, so I killed a few minutes before pulling into the Cat Lady's driveway. And then we were off to a new restaurant. As we entered the place, I had a bad feeling about things, as the noise level made it hard to talk.  Although we were quickly seated, it took a long while to get water service, and even longer to get our orders taken. There were other things about this place that were turn offs, and both of us wanted to get out as soon as we finished dinner, so that we could have our dessert elsewhere,

Lili thinks that the Cat Lady may be a little nervous with me, as her chat style makes it hard to break in, and that she may be trying to avoid uncomfortable silences. I don't know for sure, but it takes me a long while to get comfortable and in sync with the Cat Lady. Contrast this with GFJ's style, and one can see why I enjoy hanging out with her - even though we don't have that many common interests. On the way to the ice cream stand for dessert, the Cat Lady's chat became easier for me to adjust to, and we enjoyed a nice chat. She asked me why Lili and I never hooked up, and I said it's related to our communication and thought styles. But I then said that it's because Lili is attracted to men of other races - her ex husband in Chinese, and her (on/off) boyfriend is black. Could my relationships with other women be making the Cat Lady a little nervous?  Who knows?

After we had our ice cream, I dropped the Cat Lady off and drove home. Around 2 am, GFJ texted me to tell me that she had a 104 degree fever.  I said it was hospital  temperature, and if the fever doesn't break quickly, that I would drive her to a hospital. (Could you imagine me driving up to the Catskills late at night and without sleep?)  So I told her to call me if she needs to go to the hospital, then tried to fall asleep.

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Sunday morning came, and I was glad not to have gotten a call from GFJ. Somehow, I got a milder form of GI Tract problems that I suffered the previous weekend.  From 5 am to 11 am, I was visiting the porcelain throne to expel the contents of my GI tract.  AARGH.  At this point, there was no way that I'd be going back to the Cat Lady's place (I had an invitation, as I no longer had a Rosendale Meetup scheduled), and there was no way that I was going to go out as Marian feeling the way I was in the morning.

Even though my symptoms were over with by noon for the most part, I figured the safest thing to do would be to stay inside.  I was in contact with the usual cast and crew, Lili, GFJ, and the Cat Lady. Yet, I laid on my bed sleeping, for the better part of the day.  Would I have liked to be doing something else?  Of course.  But it was much safer to be sick at home than to be sick in my car....


Friday, July 21, 2017

Quickie: Game Night - I don't always win, but I always seem to have a good time.

Game night in Yonkers.  I don't win often. But I always seem to enjoy myself.  Today was no different....

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When I got up, I did nothing about getting moving. It took me until late afternoon to get showered, made up and dressed. And I ended up going out the door around 6:30 pm. By the time I made it to Panera Bread for dinner, it was about 7:00 - and I was starting to get hungry. So, instead of ordering a "super size" meal as I ordinarily would, I decided on the cup of soup with a half salad. I think that the eating habits that I changed while cruising will stay with me if I reinforce them properly. But I digress....

Once done with dinner, I drove to the meetup. When I arrived, I received a text from YGM. Was I going to game night?  Of course!  So she said she'd be there in 15 minutes. Entering the door, I proceeded to put a bag of potato chips on the counter, and then sat down at the gaming table.  Of course, I totally blew it in the first game, as I didn't even score a single point. AARGH!  But I had a good time.

Although I could have a second game (such as "Code Names"), I sat it out, so that I could chat with YGM. When she got up to play Code Names, I decided to give her and another woman a neck massage while they played the game.  From what I can tell, both ladies enjoyed this relaxing stimulus.

The evening ended too quickly. Yet, all I wanted to do is go home and relax.  Tomorrow will be a busy day, with me going to do some volunteer work, then seeing my niece (and her boyfriend) at the Neue Gallerie. So it's time to get comfortable and relax.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Quickie: Travel en-femme.

So far, I have had the pleasure of traveling en-femme via cruise ship and via Amtrak. I have yet to fly en-femme, as well as taking a cross-country train trip en-femme. Hopefully, I will be able to do these trips sometime before I retire.

In my en-femme travels, I have expected and prepared for experiences much worse than I have had to endure. The worst headache I had to deal with was extra security screening when I arrived in New York after my 2015 cruise. Most of the people I encountered couldn't give much of a damn about what I was wearing, as long as I presented them with valid government issued ID at appropriate checkpoints. This was true in the USA, Canada, and in a couple of the Caribbean islands I visited with Lili. Strangely enough, people checking my papers at American checkpoints gave me more minor "annoyances" than at any other country's checkpoints.

What does this have to say about my future travel and how I should plan for it?  Well, I fell that I should always keep aware of our country's political environment.  As much as Trump has betrayed the few GLBT's who supported him, he has not had that much effect on the GLBT's who travel around this country. We are an issue that (right now) is of no concern to the TSA. Even though they participate in "Security Theater", most actually want to keep America safe from real harm - and they do not see us as causing any problems.

Will I travel by air while en-femme?  If HWV wants me as a travel companion on a planned trip to Hawaii, then I'm game to try flying en-femme. If Lili decides to fly to Britain and cruise around England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Irish Republic, I may be game - if I get word from people in these areas that I will be safe traveling en-femme. But if it means that I fly to areas that I consider unsafe, I will not do so.  We live in changing times, and the changes worry me a little.