Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Quickie: Scratching an itch

Why did I call this entry "Scratching an itch?"

One of the things I've noticed is that I like to go out en-femme at least once each week. Unfortunately, this is not always a possibility due to weather, family, dating, and other social engagements. Yet, I make the effort.  If it is too hot, I'll try to go out for a short while and take a drive in air conditioned comfort.   But tonight was comfortable enough for me to go outside without feeling too hot.

I hopped into my car, drove to the store, and bought a new sweater and a new maxi dress. Did I need it? Probably not. But it will be nice to have on the cruise. If I really wanted to get the maximum value for my dollar, I'd go to that consignment shop that I visited with Vicki several months ago. (Maybe I can suggest another visit in the fall?)  

Please note that tonight's purchases were not the "scratching an itch" type - I saw them on sale, and saw that the sweater and dress combination fills in a gap in my female wardrobe.  Since I will have money at the end of my week (a condition many of us don't have often), I splurged a little.  Now, I have a little bit more color in my closet and can't wait for the opportunity to go out in that dress....

So I'll leave you with this little ditty.  It has nothing to do with anything I said, but it's an interesting tune and performance....

Miss Otis Regrets

Quickie: Seeing a friend, noticing a difference.

Due to circumstances, I've had the interesting experience of seeing friends en-homme that I usually meet en-femme.  In the first case, I went to the weekend party upstate.  In the second case, I went to see my friend P (the hypnotist) after my bi-weekly visit to my therapist.

Now, whenever I chat with P, she always finds a way to bring up conspiracies, looks for ways to blame "powers that be" for keeping people dumb so that the elite can extract more wealth from the system, and shows her ignorance (in the guise of being informed) by saying that the mainstream media ignores news such as Bradley Manning and the Wikipedia leaks, when I've just been listening to coverage on MSNBC.  In short, she looks for ways to rail against a system which has little interest in the "little people" - and this can get frustrating at times. So when I visit P, I have to be prepared for a political conversation.

Last night, P noted something very interesting - whenever I get into female mode, I tend to have a completely different body language, completely different vocal inflections, and interact very differently - as if I was a natal female. (She picked up on this in two different political discussions, when I would be under more stress than normal.) Even when I simply raise my voice's pitch into the lower female range, she notices that difference even if I'm in male mode. 

So what does this mean to me?  Well, when I can find some time in my schedule, I will go to a meetup or two en-femme without telling people who/what I am.  If asked, I'll mention being transgender.  But if not, I'll see how I'm treated.  If Meg's experiences in the DC area are any guide, I should have a great time.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Quickie: About to buy tickets for my cruise.

Sometime in the next day or two, I'll be visiting my friend L (the jewelry lady) and making reservations for my cruise. Because of her mother's health, we're going to get travel insurance - just to be safe. I intend to travel en-femme - and the part that scares me a little is getting on board the first time.  Why?  Because I have to have my male ID with me, and it will not match my female image.  But I'm not worried about how I'll be treated where I'm going. And if all goes right, I'll see the sights below as part of an excursion.

Can you guess where this is?

And a bonus to the person who can tell me where the local post office is in this town.

Where is Grace Hopper when we need her?

Where is Grace Hopper when we need her?

(Cueing the sound of the first 4 notes of Beethoven's 5th symphony now….)

As I started writing the text for this blog entry, it was almost midnight, and I'd been on a conference call for approximately 5 hours, for a computer related problem which had no end in sight.  I won't go into the details, but it involves being told that a mechanism for inter-system communication is working in user acceptance testing, and finding out when we went live that it doesn't work.  So, while the technicians try to figure out what is happening, I've been thinking of an appropriate topic for tonight. 

At first, I thought about writing more about this weekend, looking for an excuse to post a few pictures of horses....

That would be cheating....

Yet, I would like to say something profound.  But I have nothing much to say tonight - I'm way too tired to do any serious thinking.  

So I'll close by revealing seven magic words that I hope bring a smile to you.

With these words, you will have a new understanding of issues you have contemplated.

If these words were spoken years ago, we would have entirely different influences in music, movies, and language.

If these words were spoken years ago, we would have a much smaller national deficit.

If these words were spoken years ago, we would have had far less turmoil in America.

If these words were spoken years ago, all our great cities and our small towns would be prospering.

If these words were spoken years ago, we would have far less violence and have far less need for gun control.


"We should have picked our own cotton."


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Quickie: Seeing L after a weekend in the North Country

When I first started seeing L, I told her about my friends in the North Country and this caused no problems for us.  She accepted that I would be traveling "up North" and seeing my polyamorous friends.

I do not identify as polyamorous, but am "poly-friendly".  And I can see myself as a secondary member of a triad, as I am someone who now is comfortable having a partner who "has a life" when I'm not around. This does not mean that I don't want a one-to-one relationship with a woman.  It only means that I am open to other types of relationships.

L has accepted me so far.  But I wonder what will happen if/when she exposes herself to more of my unconventional life.  Will she bolt?  If so, that will be sad.  Will she embrace it?  If so, that would be a pleasant surprise. I won't ask for her to live an unconventional lifestyle.  Yet, I'd like for her to be comfortable being with me when I see friends who live unconventionally - I don't want to risk losing the people who have entered my life in the past year or so....

Life is interesting, isn't it?

So I'll leave off with a little ditty - it may not fit perfectly, but....

People are Strange

A Day at the Races

Years ago, I had my "Night at the Opera" at Lincoln Center, and it was quite a letdown.  I couldn't tell when it was over, because I didn't hear any fat ladies singing. <g>  It would have been wise to follow in J.H.Marx's footsteps and arrive when it was over, and proceed to a restaurant for some home made "Duck Soup".  So I found that I had to drive North to spend the night with some friends, and then spend "A Day at the Races".

For those who didn't pick up on my sense of humor, I have always enjoyed the wit and wisdom of a certain J.H. Marx, better known as Groucho....  And I couldn't resist a chance to use a few of the Marxes' movie titles when writing this blog entry, even though I am taking a "Humor Risk" in doing so.  (Look that one up in the IMDB!)

Before I drove North, I saw my friend L (the jewelry lady) for a slice of pizza. (She thinks I have "A Girl in Every Port", but I really don't.)  By the time we were done, I didn't have the time to stop by "The Big Store" to do any shopping en-femme, so I got on the road and headed to see my friends. When I arrived in the North Country, I did not stay "A Night in Casablanca", nor was I at a hotel that provided any "Room Service".  Instead, I was at C & A's place enjoying their hospitality for the evening.   Although I would have been happy to eat some "Animal Crackers" when I arrived, it was nice to have some pizza for the second time that day.  

Isn't it "The Story of Mankind", where men go by themselves to play games, leaving gals to talk among themselves?  Well, this night wasn't much different. Since Friday nights seem to be A's night for games with the guys on their big screen TV, I was left alone with C to watch movies.  Although we can be intimate and share details of our lives with each other, there was no "Monkey Business" going on between us, as I slept on the couch watching TV.  (I'd have been awake all night if they had reruns of "You Bet Your Life" on, but I didn't that show listed for GSN that evening....)

So, the next morning, it was off to the diner for breakfast - and then off to the races.  As I mentioned in a prior blog entry, it was too warm for me to go out en-femme - so I went in boy mode.  I'm envious of C, as "I'll say she is" a vision of beauty.... 

I'm envious of her - she has both the figure and a natural charm which can be seen in these two pictures.  (I'm also envious of her hair - it's all real and a natural part of her, unlike my cranial prosthetic, and much cooler in this weather.)

Arriving at the track, I first thought that I might have been "At the Circus", because it was such a festive atmosphere. So we found a place under the trees, planted our lawn chairs, and settled down for the afternoon. We had a great day watching the ponies run, watching people, and discussing life in general.  (We discussed many things -  my desire to "Go West" and settle down on the Pacific Coast in my retirement, my attraction to M, as she is the type of gal who could get very kinky, and who would love to tickle me with some "Horse Feathers" she had lying around the house.  In short, some of what we discussed is my desire to be "Love Happy" again and give "Too Many Kisses" to a special woman.)

After the big money race, the Jim Dandy, it was off to our friend, Johnathan's for the monthly gathering. Since everyone is expected to bring something to the party, and we couldn't keep food with us all day at the track, it was off to the supermarket.  Of course, I didn't buy any of "The Cocoanuts" there.  Instead, I bought my usual cheesecake and it was off to our party.

Sooner or later, I would have to drive home.  And at 10:30 pm, I started out on my 3 hour drive. Somehow, I must have been protected by "The Deputy Seraph", as I made it home safely, when by good measure, I should have pulled over to the side of the road and napped for 30 minutes. Since it was very dark outside, I entered "The House that Shadows Built" and fell asleep until 10:30 this morning.

Given this theme, I'll leave you with this little item....

The Unknown Marx Brothers

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Quickie: Going to Saratoga, and seeing friends from the North Country

It's been ages since I've driven to the Capital District of New York to see my friends up there. One of the reasons for not driving is that the weather has been hot, and I want to be comfortable when going anywhere, doing anything in Marian Mode.  Well, this weekend should be cool enough for me to visit my friends in Marian Mode, and it'll be fun to do so.

When the weather is cool, I no longer bother having my boy clothes as a backup - I don't feel the need to be able to switch back into boy mode for anything. However, when the weather is hot, the cranial prosthetic (my wig) makes it feel 15 degrees warmer than it is, as my head is not radiating heat as well as it would with an exposed scalp.  I wonder how some M2F post transition transgendered women deal with this "headache".  (Maybe I should contact Kathleen at Genderblog for advice?)  

Today, I plan to bring boy clothes (and all my male accessories) with me when I travel North.  I wish I didn't have to do so.  If I'm uncomfortable because of the heat, I'll have to shift to boy mode to be as comfortable as possible.  (I try to stay in air conditioned comfort as much as possible in the Summer - no matter whether I'm en-homme or en-femme.)  When I'm with the friends who are hosting me for the night (C & A, who were down here earlier in the year), I'll be comfortable, because it'll be cooler in the evening.  During the day, things will be different. Being in the sun is very uncomfortable.  I'll probably be OK when we are at the track - they have air conditioned areas.  But if I'm at the party I usually go to (which the three of us will attend after being at the track), there may be no shade and little breeze.  So shifting to boy mode may be essential to being comfortable.  

I hope I don't need those boy clothes....

Overnight in the North Country

Yesterday, I met L (the jewelry lady) after her therapy session.  She noted several things, such as a list of activities her therapist instructed her to do before seeing her again, such as going to Weight Watchers and going to a gym.  (I could do the same....)  But it feels good that this time around, the therapist is trying to develop traits in L that will help her eliminate the extremes in the glucose roller coaster that L has been on that affect her moods.

What I found most interesting (in retrospect) from this meeting is that L may just be ready to take action to improve her well being. After that, a second thought comes to mind - L has to shop for a new health insurance policy.  And being single and self employed, she would pay an exorbitant fee for insurance.  That is, until Obamacare takes effect next year.  Beginning in October, people like L can buy insurance on the health care exchanges at a reasonable price. (I'm not going to get into the merits/demerits of the ACA - New York and California's experience show that rates will likely go down for people like L, and that's all I care about right now.) So, I'll likely help her navigate the path of purchasing insurance.

When L called, I had already changed into Marian Mode for my trip upstate. (See picture below.)  So our meeting was the first time I went to a local eatery in Marian Mode. After I left her, it was on my way North to see C & A.  Although Google says this is a 2 1/4 hour drive, with traffic, it is more like a 3 hour drive door-to-door. But it was a pleasant drive. 

Arriving at my destination, I met C and one of their friends in front of their house, relaxing in the comfortable weather.  (It's expected to be warmer the next day - more about that later.)  So, we BS'd outside, then went inside before the sun went down.  C and I talked a bit, and watched a copy of "Flight", the Denzel Washington film.  (It's a very powerful film of a pilot with a substance abuse problem, whose life keeps going downhill until the film's end - not necessarily a film I'd go out of my way to see.) 

After the film ended, C had to go to sleep.  When one thinks of it, it's a strange (but perfectly logical) experience for a natal male (presenting as female) to ask a woman for help unhooking a bra.  So after unhooking my bra, she was off to her bedroom to sleep, and I was allowing the TV to put me to sleep.

Waking up this morning, the TV was in the process of shutting itself down.  I reactivated it, and was watching the usual Saturday morning fare. Since no one has gotten up yet, I decided to take my morning shower.  But this time, I decided NOT to get into Marian Mode.  They expect it to be muggy this afternoon, and I don't know how comfortable or uncomfortable it will be in the afternoon with my wig on.  So I figured it would be best to go out in boy mode.

Hopefully, I'll get future invitations to C & A's place.  They are a great couple, and I'd like to get to know them better....

Well - it's off to get a cup of coffee, then a late breakfast before going to Saratoga, and then to the monthly gathering that brought me up here in the first place.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Quickie: Going to meetups - in stealth, as Marian?

When I met M last night, we talked of many things.  One of those things was the possibility of me going to meetups in Marian Mode.  And M said I should go this way - I present well enough to do so convincingly.

The thing that concerns me about going to social functions in stealth mode is that I have not been out and about for a full year.  I am not 24x7 in this role.  How could I be presenting myself well enough to be accepted as a female, when I do not have my voice where I want it, when I do not have a fully female body language when in this mode, and when I do not have enough experience in this role to be seen as if I were a natal female?  Yet, enough people have told me that I present myself well enough to do this, that I should go as Marian.  (It's a little surreal hearing this from a woman who you've dated twice en-femme, who has an interest in being physically with me as a male, who would have no problems with me if I were 24x7 in Marian Mode....)

Let's say that I do this, and go to meetups in stealth as Marian.  I'll have to squeeze time away from dating - something that I'm not sure that I want to do. Of course, if I decide to try to go to meetups on weekdays, I'll have to develop an ability to convert from boy mode to girl mode very quickly AND drive to the meetup early enough to make going there worthwhile.  Things are exhausting enough for me during the week as it is. I hardly need to make things even worse.

But I may just do this soon, once the weather cools off a little....

Seeing someone for a second time....

Let's get something straight - I don't want to be in a relationship with two women at the same time.  I want to be in a relationship with a reasonably healthy woman, with good habits that I'll gradually take on myself.  (I find that in some respects, I pattern myself on the people I'm with....)

With that being said, I'll start off noting that I saw M for a second time.  Although there are issues, she is very comfortable with the idea that I could live 24x7 en-femme, as well as enjoy some of the kinky things that other women in my life could not.  (Sticks and stones may break my bones, but whips and chains excite me....)  There is a side to M which gravitates toward the unconventional.  And I can see us having a lot of fun - if I were to have a relationship with her. That might not be the wisest thing to do, as I broke up with a woman I dated for 8 years because she was encouraging me to be unhealthy - and this woman may not be the healthiest of types either.

So, what am I to do?  First, the answer is be careful. Be very, very careful....  L is a very nice lady.  But so is M.  Both have a good education.  And both are easy to talk with.  I certainly don't want to screw things up - I could very easily be a friend to one while having a relationship with the other.  L is not yet completely comfortable with my feminine persona.  M has only met me this way.  In fact, she took the picture below.

There is something about wearing a maxi dress that's sensuous and comfortable.  I could very easily get into wearing them all the time, except when natal women aren't wearing them.  And M has only seen me in them.

But back to women and not what women wear....

After my date with M ended, I called L (the jewelry lady) to tell her what's up.  And she's trying to "help" me decide on what to do, even though she's made a muck up of her own dating life.  All I want to do is keep her informed, and to hash this out in my head by talking about it. But I think I'm going to see M again.  It's important that I find out how much chemistry I have with each of these women, as I need to know whether the chemistry is strong enough for building a foundation for a relationship.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Quickie: Seeing a new friend for dinner - en-femme

I've been trying to connect with a female friend of mine for a while.  However, our schedules have been horrible, and have prevented us from meeting.  Tonight, we get together for dinner a second time.  When she called me back, she asked how I was coming.  And I said - I'll look the same as when I first met you.  To the people on the train, this meant nothing.  But to us, it says volumes. How would she recognize me without a dress on? ;-)

More to come later....

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I'm at a loss for words, but I have a full closet.

As usual, I don't have a lot to say today.  But I've found that topics spring up without thinking about them, and today it's my closet.

In other entries, I've noted that I lost my wife some years ago.  Her closet space has been used mostly for dead storage since then - that is, until I started building my second wardrobe.  Now, there are as many articles of female clothing in that closet as there are articles of male clothing in the other closet.  I guess I'm also at a loss for closet space.

Believe it or not, this is a blessing.  A healthy natal woman would have a closet filled with classic pieces that never go out of style, and that were made to last.  Over time, I intend to have the same - but for both genders.  No longer can I afford to buy clothes that I will not use, as I have no place to store them.  And unlike my late wife, I have no intentions of making the mistakes that got her into debt.  

Yes, there are a few more casual items I want to hang in my closet.  These are the clothes a natal woman would wear when going out and about outside of work.  To do this, I will force myself to prune the collection that already is in my closet, so that I have space for new clothes. But now, I can pick and choose pieces of higher quality than what I currently have in the closet.

Will this get in the way of me in a future relationship?  Maybe.  This could be a big problem if I'm dressing better than the woman who becomes my companion.  But it may not be a problem. Some people simply want to learn how to improve themselves, and do not hold it against others if those others do things better than they do.

But as long as I look better than "Laughing Sal", I'll consider myself a modest success.....

Laughing Sal
At the Musee Mechanique,
San Francisco, CA - Pier 43

Quickie: I must have been tired....

Sometimes, I fall asleep right after dinner and wake up in the middle of the night.  Last night was one of those occasions....

I've never been much of a morning person, and getting up at 6:00 am for work has done one hell of a number on my ability to get enough sleep.  But this is the price I pay to have a job these days.  Compared to when my job was in the suburbs, I'm losing about 2 hours of sleep every weeknight.  This has done a number on my ability to get in any Marian Time.  In the past, I could get home before 6:00 without having to think about needing a shower to freshen up (after work) in the summer, due to the half hour each way I spend traveling between Grand Central and my Downtown office.  Now, I don't want to do much when I get home other than vegging out.

Each night, I try to write entries in this blog either as soon as I get home, or just before I go to sleep.  Tonight, I fell out before 9:00 pm, and woke up around 12:30 am.  And I realized that "OOPS!  I didn't get my daily blog entry in...."   So, what was special about today?  Not much.  It was raining when I reached home, and it dampened my desire to get into Marian Mode and go out.  Maybe I'll do so tomorrow. 

So I'll leave you with this ditty....

Another Day

Monday, July 22, 2013

Quickie: Miscellaneous Thoughts for a Monday

Doesn't the title of todays entry apply for most of us?  Much more so now than when I was younger, I work to live -and- not live to work.  But this weekend will be different than most - I'll be able to stay in Marian Mode for the better part of two days.

A while back, a couple of friends from "The North Country" invited me to visit them for an overnight visit.  And if the weather holds out, I'll be able to go up en-femme and stay that way until I get back home.  This is a treat for me at this time of year.  With one exception, when I've visited the North Country, I've traveled en-femme.  Until C & A's visit to NYC this Spring, they had never seen me en-homme.  (At least, until I showed them a picture on my cell phone....)

My friend C and her husband A are wonderful people.  C lost a lot of weight (thanks to a medical procedure), and is still getting used to having a thin, "doctor approved" body.  And she is an inspiration - as her experience reminds me that I lost weight once, and can do it again. The trick will be ramping up my level of physical activity - something which had been impossible in this heat wave.

Swimming is one activity that one can do in Summer.  But I'm not comfortable in cold water or hot air.  So I was pleasantly surprised when I went into L's daughter's pool yesterday - the water was almost the same temperature I prefer for taking Summer showers.  Although I could not do laps, there are some calorie burning activities one can do in a backyard pool.  And I did one of them....

I'll be looking to get and stay active when the weather cools off a little. Walking will be the perfect exercise then, and I plan to do just that. But in the 100 degree weather we've had lately, the best exercise I can get is walking up my stairs, opening the door and sitting down - why get heat stroke?

Since most people love Summer, I'll leave off with this little ditty....

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Getting closer to making a decision

This weekend, I had the pleasure of being with L.   This was the first time I stayed the night at her place.  And we had a very good discussion of how we fit together, and some of our potential issues, one of them being my transgendered nature.   

As I've said earlier, I would not consider transition while in a long term relationship with a woman.  That would require a lot of work *and* would likely destroy the relationship I consider more important to me than my physical image.  L is slowly getting her mind around the idea of me being in public in women's clothes, and is even getting her mind around the idea of being in public this way.  So I know not to rush this process if I want a relationship to last with her.

But I mentioned a decision....

I'm leaning towards shutting down my dating site profiles, or at least suspending them for a while.  I'm not sure of when I'll make that decision to do so.  When I do, it will be when L has indicated she is comfortable enough with my feminine persona to commit herself to me.  Until then, I do not intend to actively pursue new relationships.  

What is it that seems to be making things work?  First, neither of us needs to rush anything. We've been around the block a few times, and do not need anyone else in our lives to complete us.  Instead, we are each looking for a companion with whom to share the ride through life. Neither of us have put all our eggs in one basket, and we enjoy similar and compatible things.  

Of course, things may get in the way of us having a relationship.  But for now, I'm starting to develop that level of comfort with her that I haven't had in a long while....

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Squeezing in time en-femme

As I may have mentioned earlier, I try to go out en-femme at least once each week, usually on weekends.  The logistics of me getting home from the city early enough to prepare myself to go out en-femme on weeknights is awkward at best, and I wouldn't have enough time en-femme most nights to make the effort worthwhile.  This week has been no exception.

Anyone living in the NYC region for the past couple of weeks knows it has been too hot to go outside.  For natal women, this would be the time to wear as little makeup as possible, as perspiration would ruin the effect.  For transgendered folk for whom makeup is a must, going outside would be like a vampire trying to enjoy a bright sunny day.  And like vampires, we could only go out after sundown, as it started to cool off enough to make the trip from air conditioned house to air conditioned car to air conditioned venue a viable outing.  Last night was one of those outings.

In one of yesterday's "Quickies", I mentioned that there was a train derailment which prevented me from going into work - so I worked at home.  This was a benefit in two ways.  First, I could be ready to morph into "Marian Mode" at least two hours earlier.  Second, I wouldn't need a "cool" shower to both clean myself and cool myself off from 100+ degree weather.  So, I was able to get a night in with my friend L (the jewelry lady) en-femme.  It was also very nice to see her son and his girlfriend for dinner.  

Since I'm trying to leave a few movies in the theaters available for dating purposes, we ended going back to L's place where we hit the on-line movie rental option - and saw "27 Dresses".  It's a sweet film in many ways, and a nice "date film" that one can rent for those nights one wants to see with someone.  But in my case, it's another of a large series of films (of many eras) which I can watch again with others, introducing them to things they've overlooked.

Why do I mention the word "overlooked" in regard to film?  

Most people seem to be passive consumers of media.  They go out to films expecting one-time-only enjoyments, getting bored if something isn't novel.  So we get more films with gratuitous explosions, car crashes, gun shots, and other special effects. Horror films have gone mainstream, and pornography has become passe.  When we're not getting those boring themes, we get comedies where every other joke is sex related.  The quiet, subtle films that require multiple viewings to be appreciated are overlooked - so films like "27 Dresses", "The Story of Us", and "I Married a Dead Man" are often missed.  Some of these films are sweet comedies, others are character dramas, and others are imports which would not get an audience in the USA.  I look for these films, and will share them.  This weather has been perfect for that - especially since we no longer need to run down to Blockbuster to view the films we want to see.

But back to being en-femme....

I enjoy going out to movie theaters because it is a place where one can go out en-femme, be comfortable in this weather, and know that people are looking at some place other than you. The theater is a place where the M2F transgendered person can feel safe, as one can avoid interactions with people unless you want them. And, if you live near a big city like I do, you can watch a lot of great, overlooked films at a local movie revival house.  Given a choice between "The Purge" and the Hitchcock classic, "Dial 'M' for Murder", which would you rather see?  For me, there is no question - I go to my phone and dial that M - pronto!  (Did I tell you that I have a copy of an old album "Music to be Murdered by" with music introductions by the master himself, Alfred Hitchcock?  It's worth the money, just to hear Alfred again....)  

So on that note, I'll leave you with this tune:

Funeral March for a Marionette

And for those who want the abbreviated version (the way I grew up on this tune)....

Funeral March for a Marianette (abbreviated)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Quickie: A man to who I am grateful in this weather

Sometimes, it's not about my transgendered nature.  Instead, it's all about being human.  This post is about being comfortable.

Growing up, my parents either couldn't afford air conditioning, or simply didn't believe in it.  So, when I was a kid, I had a contraption similar to the icebox of yesteryear that looked a lot like today's air conditioners - save that it didn't do much good.  Since I can't find a picture of one of these contraptions, I'll try to describe it....

First, imagine a box the size of an air conditioner which has vents in front and back for air flow. Now, put a fan inside the box.  On the top of the box, place a compartment in which you put ice and water, and at the bottom a drainage spigot for melted, warm water.  Warm air is cooled by ice and water, and blown towards people in the room.

Of course, this contraption depended on one having an adequate supply of ice and water, and we didn't have enough of the former.  So it was a blessing when my parents bought their first air conditioner and put it in my room upstairs where it was needed most.

So, thinking of today's heat, I have to give thanks to one man.  He may have passed away many years ago, but he has an impact greater than many men will ever have in our lives....


Quickie: Train Derailment

The fates must be telling me something....

Last night, I left my office a little early for my bi-weekly therapist appointment.  And I was still late, as I forgot that when the appointment was rescheduled to Thursday, that it was for 6:45 instead of 7:00.  Yet, I had no problems - I was the last appointment of the day, and 7:00 was no problem.

Turning on my radio for the ride home from the therapist, I thought I heard something strange and put it in the back of my head.  But when I was watching the 11:00 news, it stood out very clear - a freight train carrying garbage derailed at a critical choke point near Spuyten Duyvil, preventing all Hudson Line service from making it to Grand Central.  This morning, the extent of the damage is clear - instead of hours, service may not be restored for days.  I may be working from home on Monday as well....

So I get to work from home in this heat wave (something I wanted), but miss an opportunity to meet one of my readers (something I didn't want, as I was looking forward to meeting another blogger).  Since I don't have this person's phone number, I hope she'll see this entry before she leaves on her trip today.... 

Some more thoughts on feminine presentation

Over the past year, I've been posting entries in this blog, some of which have pictures.  As you may have noticed over the past year from the pictures I've posted, I have become more confident and secure when out in the world en-femme.  

Do I pass?   I'm not sure.   But I'm always treated respectfully.  I'm finding that quite a few transgendered people that are out and about in the world are now getting respect, when in the past we may have been looked at as if we were sideshow freaks.

When I see Kim's postings of her travels en-femme, I see several things.  First, I see someone who is confident in her presentation. Then I  see someone who has always has dressed tastefully, as befitting a woman her own age when traveling en-femme.  And I see someone who looks enough like a natal female, that people not inspecting her closely will take her for how she is presenting - as a female.  Then, there is Meg.  She has posted about going to "civilian" meetup events, and being accepted as "just" another member of the group.  I'll bet she had a case of the jitters the first time she went out in public.  But now, she's a model for the rest of us. And, of course, there is Stana.  She is currently discussing topics submitted by her readers, and has given us clues to how she maintains a life in two genders.

These three ladies gave me ideas of what I needed to do in order to go out in public - before I even met them.  What do they all have in common?  Confidence!  Even if we don't pass, we give off enough feminine cues, that people will interact with us as female if we act as if we are female.  This means that our behaviors must be in the range that people consider feminine.  It means that our body language must be that of a female - much more animated than the average male.  It means that we must avoid topics of conversation that are typically masculine, and gravitate towards topics that are typically feminine. (e.g.: avoid sports, and talk about relationships.)  It means that we dress in ways that are appropriate to women of our age, and to be careful to be understated when doing so.  In short, we should think of ourselves as emulating women our own age.  If we do, the few masculine cues we give off will be overruled by the much larger number of subtle feminine cues we intend to give off.

It would have been fun to wear many of the things young women wore in high school and in college.  Wearing those clothes in middle age would transmit the wrong cues - that I am someone who doesn't know how to dress, and would then trigger greater notice of the discrepancies between my appearance and as the woman I am trying to emulate.  Luckily, in my case, there is still a large amount of clothing that is appropriate for a middle aged woman to wear. But one of the tricks of being a woman is fine tuning clothes to fit an occasion, and with an accessory or two, fit a completely different occasion. That's something us transgendered people need to learn quickly - unless we want to spend a lot of extra money bulking up a feminine wardrobe - something many of us don't have.

Tomorrow, I'll be meeting one of my blog's readers for a late lunch, as she is passing through town on her way to catch up with her wife and vacation....  This gal has gradually developed the confidence to go out in the world in female clothing.  Does she pass?  I'll let her talk about this in her blog.  But it's a testament to her courage that she plans to travel to NYC en-femme.  With practice, she'll pick up the skills to send off enough feminine vibes that people will ignore the masculine cues she also transmits.  And then, like a bird spreading its wings, she'll fly like that bird and have a great time, knowing nothing can stop her anymore.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Quickie: I'm Melting! I'm Melting!

Yes, we've broken a record at NYC's 3 regional airports today - a temperature of 100 degrees was reached at Idlewild (JFK), La Guardia, and Newark.  OUCH!   Taking the subway uptown was terrible.  And, they don't expect that the temperature in NYC will drop below 80 degrees this evening, so it will be gruesome going to work in the morning.

Of course, this means that it is highly unlikely that I'll get into "Marian Mode", unless I can be indoors in air conditioned comfort 99% of the time.  One consolation though - I may be able to visit L at her daughter's place, where there is a swimming pool in the backyard.

I hope you enjoy this clip....

I'm Melting!

Dating - It dates me....

So, tonight I went out on a date with a new lady, J.  She's a nice woman, but appears older than her years.  In the process of doing the right thing, she has taken on responsibilities which shouldn't be hers.  (Yet, I'll respect her for doing this, as the "proper" raising of two children to adulthood is always a good thing - especially when the biological parents are not responsible enough to do this.)   No child comes with an instruction manual.  And in the debate of "nature vs. nurture", this time "nature" wins.  J is responsible and has some aspirations, while the children....  Let's say that that they can't see the future consequences of their actions.  If I weren't seeing L, I'd make a case for seeing J.  But I'd rather go with the person I've gotten to know, and assess longer term options with her towards the end of summer.  

But one good thing came of this date - I am getting much better and more comfortable revealing the TG side of me.  I figure that if someone balks after chatting with me for an hour or two, then she would have felt much worse if I waited a few dates....  Who knows?  I may end up stumbling into a woman who enjoys having the man in her life also be her best woman friend....  (One can dream....?)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Quickie: It's now confirmed - I'll be attending a "Hen Party".

Yeah, right.....  A while back, I mentioned that I told the managing agent of my co-op that I was transgender.  Tonight, after the meeting, I mentioned this to another friendly board member - and we will have a weekend hen party after the summer ends.

As I see it, the more that I'm "out", the easier it becomes.  I need as many opportunities as possible to get out in the world en-femme, associating with women, and picking  up on those things I wouldn't have learned having a masculine upbringing.  And I'm looking forward to this hen party.....

Monday, July 15, 2013

Quickie: It's a not so rare a day these days...

The weather in the Northeast has been terrible as of late.  The jet stream has migrated North for the Summer, and we're stuck with the heat and humidity from the South.  It's terrible!  And once I got home, I decided NOT to get into "Marian Mode", but instead to strip and get comfortable in front of my air conditioner.

Would I rather be outside?  Yes, if the weather would not leave me dripping wet by the time I reached my car.  But knowing that I have to go outside in this heat again in the morning, I'd rather rest, and maybe get enough sleep to wake up without the alarm for a change.  Sadly, I don't see this weather pattern changing until next week - and I'm not looking forward to my morning commutes....  (I can only imagine how uncomfortable I'd be if I had to wear my wig every day AND travel to work via the NYC subway!) 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Quickie: Chicago - It's my kind of town...

Today, I met K, and we went to see "Chicago" on Broadway, as a birthday treat for the two of us.  (Our birthdays are a week apart, and this weekend was a perfect time to celebrate....)  So, we met on the train to NYC, then made it over to Times Square for the play.  

Chicago is a story of celebrity homicide - and I do not do the tale justice.   If you've seen the movie, it is a wonderfully cynical take on the justice system in Chicago in the "Roaring 20's", and a fitting play to watch, following the Zimmerman ruling of last night.  (My favorite quote - the lawyer saying: "if Jesus had me as a lawyer and $5000, things would be different today...." Wonderful sacrilegious cynicism at its' best!)  This is one of the few plays that I would consider seeing again - in part because it is cynical, and not sweet.  

K and I will be seeing each other as friends.  It's too bad she can't get over me having two persona.   But at least I have a friend....

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Quickie: A lost chance to be en-femme....

My dad is 85, and I don't visit him enough.  And I had forgotten that I said I'd drive down to see him today.  So I had started to get showered and dressed to go out in the world en-femme, and he called....  So away went the breast forms, the wig, the comfortable clothes.  And out came the shirt, the slacks, and all the accessories for me to go out en-homme.  :-(    

Now, I wanted to go out, as I had an opportunity to meet someone new en-femme.  Given the distance between us, she would only be an occasional activity partner.  But it would have been nice to see her.  And we had been discussing vacation plans, both of us looking for inexpensive trips to take this fall....   It would have been a very pleasant conversation to have in person.  

Such is life....

Friday, July 12, 2013

As usual, the best laid plans....

Tonight was supposed to be a nice evening with my niece.  In many ways, I'm envious of her - she has a confidence that only a young adult can have about her.  But it didn't come without a price.  In her case, she had to move out of the family homestead much earlier than she would have otherwise.  Luckily, the problems which caused her to move out have mostly been resolved, and she has good relationships with her family.

But back to the story....

There's an exhibit at the Whitney museum that I want to see - Edward Hopper's preliminary sketches for some of his masterworks.  I've had the pleasure of seeing "Nighthawks" in both New York (at the Whitney) and in Chicago (its normal home).  But this will be the first time I'll have gotten the chance to see the painting along with his sketch.  And it would be another great opportunity to bond with my niece.  Sadly she is a little ill, and we will try to make it next weekend.

Of course, when people get sick, it's usually more than one person who is doing so.  In this case, L (the woman I'm dating from Staten Island) is also down with something.  She was supposed to to Jersey and spend some time with a friend.  Instead, she has been eating Chinese Chicken Soup with Dumplings. (Can I help it if the "Jewish Mom's" matzoh ball soup is replaced with Wonton Soup, and screws up a story?)  So, she'll see her friend on Sunday - and I hope she'll be better for that visit....

As for me, I spent the evening alone.  Not much to do but relax - and that I did.  Of course, my best laid plans didn't work out.  But I needed a break - and got one.

For tomorrow, who knows?  If I'm lucky, I'll get another chance to get into Marian Mode - and maybe take a drive to Woodstock for the hell of it....

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Quickie: Zap, Zap, OUCH!!!! (The Aftermath.)

This was my fourth time with the laser, and the pain level never seems to go down.  But there is much less beard growth now, and I can see a time that there won't be any at all.  This was also the first time that the technician mentioned a dark spot on my face - something that she shouldn't zap.  (Luckily, that spot never had beard growth, so it's a minor note in the process of my debearding.)  I should have known to be a little more careful, as I found that I forgot to tip the lady.  But I was in luck, because when I noticed my forgetfulness, I was still in the area, and could easily drop back into the salon and hand her the tip....

So, what should I do with an evening where I have nothing much to do?  Of course, get into Marian Mode - and I did just that.  With a freshly zapped face, the makeup covered up the reddish splotches, and with my new dress on, I was good to go.   If I were in the mood to do some damage to my credit cards, I could have snapped up some good bargains.  But I'd rather spend money on the September cruise.

Now that gets me to speak about L, the jewelry lady.  Since I was bored, and had nothing better to do, I dropped in to see her, her son, and his girlfriend.  And it was a pleasant hour or so.  But when I got home I realized I made what could have been a very costly mistake....  I forgot my license, car registration and insurance card in my male wallet.  As I said in the first paragraph - I should have known to be a little more careful....

Quickie: Zap, Zap, Zap, (Again)

Today, I'm working from home, so that I can get my face lasered.  Zap, Zap Ouch! (Again).  As much as I hate how this feels, my face looks much nicer now - and I don't have to use as much makeup as I used to use to have my face look presentable.   I'm looking forward to the day that my face is clean - and that I can put on a minimal amount of makeup before going out in the world.  And I can see that day coming....

I'd like to get to the point where I can get home from my day job as a male, and within a half hour or so, transform myself into a emulated female and go out for the evening.  It'll be a very nice feeling....

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Quickie: Paella

I have a former coworker coming over tonight.  She's on her second marriage, and there are problems.  Sadly, her husband is the type who finds no coincidence in the fact that there are 24 cans in a case of beer and there being 24 hours in the day.  Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if he had a Kristoffersonian breakfast and dessert on a Sunday morning coming down.  But enough of drinking - although W.C.Fields was funny, the serious topic of drinking to excess is not....

A modified form of Paella is on the menu for tonight.  And there will be lots of leftovers for my friend to take home.  Mind you, I expect to have leftovers to last me a long while - and I may end up having them for both lunch and dinner for the next couple of days.  

You may wonder why I mention dinner....   It's rare that I have someone over for dinner.  And I enjoy having people here.  But I haven't been lucky enough to have people over for years.... Maybe this will change soon.....

The luck of the draw

Well, I went out to dinner with K, and had a nice evening.  Whatever may be going on with her and her other activities, it looks like the key reason she broke up the relationship was that she couldn't get a handle on me having two presentations.   

It's a strange thing - two people who could under normal circumstances have had the best of relationships have a "little thing" like clothing get in the way.  K noted that the world would have no problem if she dressed like a man.  But go the opposite way, and there are many elements of cultural and social programming that affect how one reacts.  (My wording, not hers.)  So, thought the door might open, my best path is to be good friends, and pursue romance elsewhere - with someone like L....

What does luck have to do with this? 

It's rare that one finds a person with whom you'd get along well, and with whom one could consider a long term relationship.  But over the course of several years, with millions of people dating, it's not that rare at all when dealing with a large population.   But, throw in a complication such as being transgendered, and the number of compatible mates in a region such as the NYC metropolitan region shrinks from the thousands into the low hundreds.  And this causes people like me problems - we either have to hide our nature (and commit a form of fraud), talk about our nature (and risk rejection), or lower our standards (and be with someone who doesn't help us be the best we can be).  With all I've talked about over the past year, in my heart, I'm still not absolutely sure of which is the best choice for us.

Luck has a lot to do with finding a suitable mate.  But it also takes a lot of effort.  My friend L (the jewelry lady) bemoans the fact that I seem to have a successful dating life, and she does not.  A lot of this is attitude - I'm getting used to rejection, but I'm not used to letting go of women.  I come from a position of "dating poverty", where it was always hard for me to meet women and maintain relationships.  Now, it's easier for me to meet women - but my transgendered nature still makes it hard to keep those relationships.  So I have to date more women to get the same results as most men would have dating less often.

I've tried to advise L that she should be more selective on one side (stop dating men beneath her station), and to be less selective on the other (expand the types of people with whom she'll date).  But without healthy self esteem, she will never have the luck I'm having so far.  

But luck isn't just luck.  Part of it is skill.  Part of it is putting one's self in a position to best take advantage of opportunities that may come your way.  And I intend on doing just that....

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Quickie: Seeing K tonight for dinner

Does my pooka have friends?  He/She must have some, as K emailed me and invited me to dinner.  (It's the celebration of another 584,000,000 mile round trip --- think about it for a year.) Since I had nowhere else to go and no one else to see, I said yes....

This will be the first time I've seen her since her email.  I wonder how it will go.  No matter what, I know I'll have an enjoyable dinner....

Monday, July 8, 2013

My pooka has been active lately....

For those of you who don't know what a pooka is....

“Pooka. From old Celtic mythology. A fairy spirit in animal form. Always very large. The pooka appears here and there, now and then, to this one and that one at his own caprice. A wise but mischievous creature. Very fond of rum-pots, crackpots…” 

Well, a pooka has blessed my house for many moons now, and is a very welcome guest.  Yes, I often find that things are missing, only to find them later on in places I'd never dreamed of looking.  Right now, the pooka is playing a game with me - will I find my inexpensive digital camera before I decide to replace it?  And, it's also hiding my late wife's jewelry from me.  

Some of you may be thinking - I have a cleaning lady, why not blame her?  Well, when I've left reasonably large sums of money lying around in my dresser drawers, I doubt she'd bother taking a $40 camera....  Therefore, it must be my pooka playing tricks on me.  

Now, you may be asking me - what's his name?  Unlike Harvey, Elwood P. Dowd's pooka, mine is shy and won't introduce himself.  Also, unlike Mr. Dowd, I don't hang out in bars, nor do I drink alone.  So I wonder why my pooka has attached him(?)self to me.  I have a guess or two though.  One of my favorite Bugs Bunny cartoons had our waskally wabbit crossdressed - and it seemed perfectly natural.  But after wabbit seasons and duck seasons, it's now Elmer season. And I don't have anything to bag my share of Elmers!   (You had to see the cartoon.)

To be serious - I do get frustrated when I can't find things.  And I've been unable to find that darned camera for a couple of weeks now.  Maybe I'll end up filling up another couple of boxes for the folk at Goodwill while I perform my search - who knows?  But I know one thing - going through my closets (again) might be a good thing to do when it's too hot to be outside, and too comfortable inside to bother being outside....

So I'll leave you with this little ditty - and I'll bet that you never knew there were words to the tune.

Merry Go Round Broke Down

and the version I grew up on.....  (pardon the sound quality)

Daffy Duck's version of Merry Go Round Broke Down

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Quickie: Going to the movies with L

Tonight, I went out to dinner and a movie with L (the jewelry saleslady), and I asked L to take a picture of me.  (She had trouble with the camera on my phone, and I had to show her how to use it....)

Too bad we didn't get an indoors or daytime picture - the dress looked real nice.   

But I noticed a difference in attitude about me and about L....  I'm a person who says that if I don't have a handle on things the way I'd like, that I'll figure out a way to do so - or ask for help in doing so.  L, however, feels she can't make a change - as if the pain of change is not worth the effort.  I'm starting to feel very sorry for her, and am hoping that she is unable to commit to the cruise.

You might ask why, at this date, do I want things to change?   Well, after having a filling meal, I felt no need to stuff my face with sweets when going to the movie.  As much as I knew that I'd later be wanting a sweet, I knew that I didn't need any while watching the movie - that would be mindless consumption of "food", empty calories which provide no real enjoyment, as the movie should be doing that.....  L, on the other hand, wanted to stock up on candy at the Walmart next door, and brought some chocolates into the theater to munch on.  (Let's not get into the ethics of bringing food into a theater - that's another discussion for another time.)  Shortly after the movie started, she started munching on the candy - and I politely declined after a small bite. But I know that she really wanted an eating partner, something I don't want to be.

This leads us back to the cruise.  L is the type of person who wants to get the most out of the buffet on board.  I know buffets are a weakness of mine, and generally stay away from them. On a cruise, I know I'd be OK, as I can graze a little, go away, and then come back and graze again. If I have a good eating strategy, even a buffet on a cruise won't be an issue for me.  But with L around, I could get led into temptation, and I don't want that.

So keep your fingers crossed that I do the right thing - whatever that may be.

And I'll leave you with this humorous tune....

Junk Food Junkie