Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to work we go ... NOT!!!

Yes, it's another Saturday. And it's another day that I enjoyed the privilege of waking up late. 

Last night, I was totally bored, and had nothing to do around 11:00. So, instead of putting a movie in the DVD player and hitting "play", I decided to go out and see "Elisium" <sp?>. For what it was, a movie about a person from a dysfunctional Earth trying to save himself (and mankind as a proxy) by escaping to a"valhalla" in space - it was a pleasant diversion. But the writers larded up the movie with not so well hidden (even if there was any attempt to hide) metaphors to reflect the world of 2013. (Border fences, illegal immigration, illegal covert action, etc....)

So today, it'll be off to the tailor's to pick up the pants I left off last week. There are other things I need to do, I'm sure. But with the weather being warmer than yesterday, I'll be sure to do them inside air conditioned comfort.

Friday, August 30, 2013

I'm going on the cruise, but formal night may be a no-go.

My friend L (the jewelry lady) has lots of clothes in her closet, but very little formal wear (if any). So, it'll be no fun getting dressed up if I have no place to wear my fancy outfit. And if L can't glam herself up, we're not doing a formal night.

So what's a T-Gal to do?

As I see it, I have several options. First, give up on formal night, and let this outfit gather dust. (I hate that option.) Second, find enough things in L's wardrobe that she could get by with what she has, as long as she only needs to buy a minor item or two. (This is the preferred option.) Third, take L out on a shopping expedition. (I don't have the time this late in the game.) And lastly, lend L a little black dress. (She hates her legs, so this might be her least favorite option.) Hopefully, the second option will be the one that plays itself out.

Tomorrow evening will be the only night I can rummage through her closets and see if she has anything worth wearing. It doesn't have to be too fancy - it has to be simple and elegant. The odds are that nothing in her closet will be appropriate. So I have a LBD I can lend her - size 24....

On other matters - I tried to reach L (from Staten Island) today. She was busy during the day - and I found out that she just got a new cell phone. So, guess who is going to make sense of it for her.... Instead of meeting tomorrow, we're hooking up on Sunday. This is why I'll have Saturday free for myself. And I have more than enough things to do, one of which is picking up the pants I had brought in for alterations last week.

Backtracking a little bit....

Today was a work-at-home day. And this allowed me to start my transformation into Marian Mode around 3:30 pm, and was out the door by 4:15. Of course, I hit the local rush hour - and har to drive around the other side of a "mountain" to get around a 1 mile traffic jam. Having done that, it was off to Fishkill, then Newburgh, then Harriman, and back home. This was about a 100 mile round trip - and all to stop in several stores (including the local Ulta beauty supply) which I'd never enter en-homme.  (Tomorrow, I might decide to go to a lingerie shop - it'll be a good thing to break down any lingering awkwardness I can feel by being en-femme.)

But more tomorrow....  

And now, I'll leave you with an unusual rendition of a popular song....

She loves you

Why do they call this "Labor Day" weekend, when we're supposed to be off from work?

Today, I'm working from home - and feel much better for doing so. I took care of a lingering problem from last night, and I'm awaiting confirmation that all is right with that task before I sign off from work for the weekend.

With that being noted, I feel like the weekend has already started. Unfortunately, in the NYC area, it looks like there will be some rain from Saturday through Monday. At least it'll be cool. Right now, I'm thinking of going to a gamers convention being held nearby. Am I much into gaming? No. But it's better than being alone, and better than being with the wrong people. 

Later on today, I'll be making plans to spend some time with L (from Staten Island) - it'll be nice to see her, now that she's back from her vacation. Of course, she'll have a lot of pictures to show off - and none can do justice to what she saw with her own eyes. The big question will be - Will L be coming up here? Or, will I be going down there? But that's a question that'll be answered later on today.

Shortly, I'll have to sign back on to the office computer. So I'll have to sign off for now....

Thursday, August 29, 2013

New Wigs - Just in time for the cruise

After about 6 months or so of wearing the same wig, it's about time that I replace it. I've taken good care of it, but little things like tangled fibers take their toll on a wig. (And I have to be frugal right now, and can't justify a human hair wig with its' steep price point.) So, I decided to retire the old wig while on the cruise, keeping it as my backup in case of problems. While I was at it, I wanted to try out a new hair do. So, in addition to buying a wig in my usual style, I decided to buy a second wig in the same color - but in a more classic style. Hopefully, it'll look as good on my head as the old one does.

One of the problems some of us M2F transgendered folk have is dealing with large heads. That limits the number of wigs available to us. Couple this with our special needs (if one hasn't yet had FFS, facial feminization surgery) of minimizing our masculine jaw line with both makeup and a well chosen hair style, and we have to be careful. But, once we find a wig that works for us, we make sure to have at least one or two extra laying around - just in case....

I'm a heavy set person (an understatement, to say the least), and can get very warm very quickly. So, finding a wig that doesn't retain that much heat is essential for me to stay comfortable. And I haven't found anything like that yet.  So I stay in air conditioning all Summer. But when Autumn comes....   I'm like a little girl who gets to play with the newly fallen leaves!

So, I'll sign off with this little ditty....

I'm forever blowing bubbles

Quickie: Staycation Days coming up

I've talked about the cruise that I'm going on. But I haven't mentioned that I still have over 3 additional weeks of vacation I must use before year's end. Spending money to go all over the place will not be an option for me - it is likely that I'll be spending money on car payments, laser, and other bills that only come in during the last 2-3 months of the year. So I have to figure out what I want to do and make the most of these days.

Although I'm still hoping to make my planned trips to Philadelphia and to DC, most of the time, I expect to be doing New York like a tourist - taking in the offbeat sights that only NYC has to offer. I only wonder how many things I can do before it all gets boring....

Another shopping trip, and a small bit of damage to my plastic.

Well, I've made my list and have checked it at least twice. And I needed a clutch handbag to go with my formal outfit. Since I had to go to L's place to take care of her paperwork for our cruise, the least I could do for myself is to buy a clutch so I don't have to borrow anything else from Vicki.  At least this was my plan when I went to work this morning. But it almost didn't happen due to a computer problem I got stuck with taking care of - twice. (The problem happened once during my lunchtime, and then as I was packing up to go home.) Luckily, I didn't have to stay too late, and I made one of the trains I'd need to catch in order to stay on plan.

So, after cooking a couple of burgers when I got home, I started the process of changing into my prettier self. By the time I got out of my place, it was already 7:45, and I wanted to check out what they had at Marshall's (not much I liked) and what they had at Sears (which surprisingly had something that was just right) before arriving at L's house. After buying my clutch (a trivial amount of damage to my plastic), I noticed that I forgot to transfer my driver's license, car registration and insurance card into my woman's wallet and said to myself - Oh S**t!!! Thankfully, nothing happened - I can only imagine what would have happened if I was stopped for something.

Arriving at L's, I got to work with filling out her paperwork. Imagine the surprise on her face if she got told that she couldn't board the ship because she didn't even bother to print her boarding passes and/or her luggage tags.  At least, all her key information is now on file, and they have more than the mandated two weeks to process everything before the cruise. But her son also had problems with this paperwork - and was asking me a lot of questions, interrupting the movie we were watching. What's worse is that his girlfriend's paperwork is FUBAR, or may end up that way if they can't fix the name on her registration to agree with that on her passport. (Thankfully, she's a naturalized (?) US citizen, and needs no special paperwork to visit Canada.) So L's son, B will be working on that paperwork change in the morning.

I've sent a photo of the outfit I'm wearing on one of the formal nights to several women who know me in Marian Mode. Today, I sent a copy of that photo to K (remember her?) and got a response - It's a fabulous outfit, and I'll look stunning in it. So, with the clutch I bought, and the heels I've had for a while, this T-Gal is ready to party in style!

Tomorrow, I'll be running some more errands after work. One of those errands will be picking up topical anesthetic for my face, so that laser treatment doesn't sting that much. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to visit the laser technician while en-femme to pick up this cream, and then go out to the movies. One way or another, I'll have something to write about.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Quickie: Doing things right

One of the things I realize that I don't have for my "special outfit" is a clutch handbag for the little things (keys, lipstick, and a little folding money) that one might need when out on a formal night. My question: Do I borrow Vicki's clutch, or do I buy an inexpensive one of my own?


Quickie: Comments on upcoming cruise en-femme

As I've mentioned, when I go on my cruise, I'll be going en-femme. I'll have no male clothes with me, so I'll have to maintain a femulation for 8 straight days.... Well, there have been several women that I've corresponded with who have made comments about this.  One is concerned, thinking that I should go androgynous to board the ship. Another, once seeing the outfit I'm wearing on formal night said: "You go girl!" And the most interesting reaction is from the woman I'm dating - who wondered whether I'm going half en-homme and half en-femme. She had no negative reactions when she heard I'm going all en-femme, but seems to resist the idea of meeting me this way. Yet, she's comfortable with seeing pictures of me this way.

On the whole, I feel that there's a sense of "go for it" coming from some people, a feeling of "be cautious" coming from others, and a "I don't believe he's got the stones to do this" from a third group. Yet all seem to be accepting, and want to see pictures.....

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Transgender and the news... 5 basic moral triggers

Much has been made of Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning's announcement that she is transgender. I decided to avoid writing about Manning for a while, to see how quickly Manning would drop from the news, and how quickly people would drop Manning from active memory. So I figure now that things have calmed down a little, it's time to mention Manning....

I wonder why the media made a big deal about Manning being transgender. Could it have been an attempt to smear Manning with biased propaganda, so that people would feel nothing favorable about the person who leaked needed information to the public? (Would Martin Luther King jr.s reputation have survived, would his words have had as much power, had his peccadilloes been exposed by leaks?) Could it be a sense of curiosity, the public wanting to look at another sideshow freak? There are so many questions about why Manning's transgendered nature was brought up in the press.

Regardless of one's political affiliation, one has to watch the news with a critical eye. Both Left and Right sides of the political aisle manipulate the public with a simple set of tools - this usually involves invoking the fears of the affected social tribe. Yet, there is not that much difference between the underlying ethical values of Left and Right in our society. Yet, the subtle differences cause all the problems.  And the following clip that I've saved regarding a certain book that I have to get around to read illustrates the values of Left and Right

Jonathan Haidt of the University of Virginia and his colleagues have pinned down five basic "moral triggers," or the factors people use to judge right from wrong and that have evolved in human societies. Different cultures and even individuals  place more emphasis on certain triggers compared with others.
In a broad sense, they boil down to:
  • Harm/care: People are sensitive to suffering and have negative feelings toward those who are harmful and cruel. They value kindness and compassion.
  • Fairness/reciprocity: A history of cooperation means humans have evolved a sense of fairness and reciprocity, leading to altruistic actions.   
  • Ingroup/loyalty: People place moral value on those who do what's good for the group; are loyal to the group; and dislike disloyal members.  
  • Authority/respect: Humans tend to respect authority and tradition.
  • Purity/sanctity: The idea that we view our bodies as sacred. This idea ties into religious views about the body and human actions.
Studies have shown that liberals tend to care only about harm and fairness when considering whether something is moral or not, said Peter Ditto, a professor of psychology and social behavior at the University of California, Irvine, who is involved with Haidt's research. In contrast, conservatives have a more traditional moral structure, and tend to care about all five morality factors, he said.

So, I have to ask my readers - how do you think we've been manipulated lately? Do you think there are agendas of the "powers that be" that want to make us pawns? And, most of all - how do we free ourselves from the bullshit of others?

A normalcy of being en-femme

How long does it take to feel completely comfortable en-femme? 

I really should have phrased the above question as: "How long does it take for someone to feel 'normal' while en-femme?"  One might wonder why I ask this question.  But to me, this is an important question to ask, because there are differences between the person who dresses en-femme for an erotic thrill, and the person who dresses en-femme to feel a quiet calmness of being in one's own skin.

A while back, I had a conversation with a sister blogger regarding being excited when en-femme. I posed a question to this blogger - Do you think you'll simply feel "normal" while en-femme? And the blogger thought she'd always get a thrill. Several months later, both of us seem to be in the place where we enjoy the pleasant feeling of being en-femme, but that the feeling is one of normalcy - our normalcy. Being en-homme doesn't feel normal all the time, nor does being en-femme.

What does being "normal" mean to me?

The above question goes back to the issue of being comfortable. But it also includes a touch of being in a mode often enough that it is both comfortable and commonplace. At first, being en-femme did not feel normal to me, as I didn't have much experience in this mode. In many ways, it was like wearing a pair of shoes which haven't yet been broken in. One is consciously aware of things that don't feel "just right" in this mode. In my case, I worried whether everything I wore went perfectly with each other, whether my hair was perfect, whether my jewelry was perfectly appropriate for my outfit. In short, I worried about having a perfect presentment. There is one thing wrong with this - a natal woman accepts the little imperfections in her appearance. The Japanese idea of "Wabi-Sabi" seems to apply here, as a natal woman knows her beauty comes from the subtle imperfections in her presentation.

Over time, a sense of "normalcy" while en-femme tends to develop with real world experiences. One drops small pieces of food on "the girls", gets a run in her hosiery, makes minor mistakes in her makeup regime - and realizes that absolute perfection is not required to be feminine. Instead, one has developed a confidence in one's own femininity. And it is the projection of this confidence that helps us with our own femininity.

So again, what does it mean to feel "normal" en-femme?

Part of feeling "normal" means that one "forgets" one's natal past and is living solely in the present. If one were to ask a natal female what "normal" is, she probably wouldn't be able to answer the question in the way you intended - her experience in her body is in the here and now. She isn't thinking about being female, she just is. But for us visitors and immigrants to femininity, the issue of "normalcy" has to be a little different. The vast majority of us started to recognize our inner gender long after puberty has changed our bodies (for the worse).  We have had our voices drop an octave, we have had beards grow on our faces, we have had our bodies sculpted by the hormones which allowed most of us to achieve our biological destinies to reproduce. For those that visit the world of femininity often enough, or those who immigrate to it, normalcy is defined by a form of living in the moment, but with limitations - we have to limit ourselves to experiences where our bodies (or the sight of those bodies) won't betray our natal nature.

Now this leads me to another question or two - Do we want to stand out a transgendered persons, with presentations that leave much to be desired, as they betray our natal gender? Or, do we want to blend in, with presentations that protect us from being seen as anything but female (or male, for the F2M transgendered)? These questions illustrate a problem that all transgendered people face. Some of us want to pass through the world unnoticed. Others don't care if people see their imperfections in presentation. All of us must make that decision for ourselves. 

And back to "Normalcy"....

Although going through my routine of getting into Marian Mode is a pain in the ass, it's worth it for me. When I go out in the world, I'm perceived as female, or treated as such. Either way, I am comfortable. When I interact with people, I've been treated with respect. And when people invariably have conversations with me, we tend to be on topics women would choose, and not those men would choose. In short, it feels just as appropriate for me to interact with others en-femme as it has been for for me to interact with others en-homme. Isn't that what "Normalcy" is all about?  

Below is a picture of my normalcy....

It may not be a perfect normalcy (as the untold story of each of the blurred adults would illustrate), but it is one of being accepted for who and what I am, warts and all. And isn't this what we all want in life?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Amazing, just plain amazing....

Some people just have a knack of giving me things to write in this blog. Vicki is one of them, but I don't see her as often as I'd like. (And given that she's happily married, I'm glad that she takes care of his needs first....) But L, the jewelry lady, always has some "Sturm und Drang" in her life, and could provide me with starting points for good fiction, from her real-life experiences.

I won't go into all the details, but L rents out apartments in a house she owns, and one of the renters is also her cleaning lady. Twice in the past week, L has informed me that she found money missing from her own living space - and she doesn't know what to do. The first time this happened, several people, myself included, said to cut the cord with this woman. Even if you have no proof, you have enough bothering you about this person that you should work to get her out of your business and social life. Of course, L believed the story spun by S - L has considered S a friend for a while now. So it was no surprise to me that she noticed even more money was missing this weekend. L is thinking - what should I do? S owes me back rent, S will be taking care of my pets while we're gone, S will be taking us to/from the cruise ship (docked in Brooklyn) - I can't afford to let S go. I certainly would never have let this woman this far into my life. S can not hold a decent job, and she has likely been taking advantage of L for a long time now. And that bothers me....

Now, I know there's nothing I can do here. To get the services that S will be providing over the next few weeks, L would likely have to spend $600-$800 in cab fare for 3 people, another $600 (or more) to put her dogs in a kennel, and maybe another $200 in incidental expenses. So we're talking of maybe $1500 in services. But let's factor in another issue - S is way behind on her rent.If L throws S out for non-payment, she'll never see either her rent money or the money she'd otherwise spend on the services S will be providing us. What should L do?

Quickie: A mess in my apartment

Every other week, I have my cleaning lady come and take care of my apartment. However, I end up cleaning the apartment before the cleaning lady comes - removing most of the traces of Marian for the day, stuffing things like my nighties into the hamper, hiding baskets of folded woman's clothes into closets, etc.... Yet, I leave enough of a trace around for my cleaning lady to know that I have a girlfriend.

Today starts my bi-weekly efforts to clean up the apartment. However, it will not be as easy as usual, as I have to have my bags out to get ready for my cruise....

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Starting to prepare for my cruise.

Although my cruise is weeks away, I realize the importance in making sure that I pack enough of everything I can't either get on-board the cruise ship, or on shore when in port. For example, I must make sure I have enough beard cover in my "to-go" makeup case - it's something I won't be able to buy once I leave the NYC area. So, making lists and checking more than twice will always be a good idea.

Today, I took my "go-to" dresses and put them in my suit/dress bag. In this bag will be all the items I need for a couple of formal nights, including shoes, shapewear, hosiery, etc. that I'll need for these nights. I figure that this bag will only contain what I need for the formal evenings, and my other bags will hold what I need for the rest of my trip.

Now, I have not told my family that I'm going on the cruise en-femme. But they do know that I'm cruising. So, when I told my father that I was looking to buy an inexpensive camera to replace one that I think has a damaged lens, he promptly offered me his camera - something I may use, but not as often as he thinks, as it is old and doesn't have enough resolution to make me happy. But it will be a backup camera that I'll have with me on the cruise.

Another little something I'll have with me on the cruise will be a second wig. That's another necessity that I won't be able to replace on the fly. At least I was planning on buy a new wig anyway, and planning to retire the old wig. So if I have to replace/retire it on the cruise, it will not be a big deal.  (Does anyone know if there is any use for a worn out wig? And, if there is, who could use them?)

It's strange to prepare for a cruise as if I were a woman with certain extra needs. Preparing for a male is so much simpler - for formal nights, either a "dinner suit" or charcoal gray business suit is acceptable these days, with appropriate accessories. Then for the casual days, I could wear business casual the rest of the time. But as a woman, I have to be aware of many more nuances. For example, it was inappropriate to wear white shoes after Labor Day. (This was one of the minor stylistic issues.) But when women shift out of casual dresses (as the weather gets cooler) is something else. I am not used to making that shift yet. And I'm not sure if I have enough of a transition wardrobe.

Well - I have a little bit of time before the cruise, and I hope to make the most of it....

It'll be another week...

My commute to/from work takes a lot out of my life. Not only do I lose 4 hours out of each day, but I get home too tired to do much of anything but veg out. This is not good for my health, and this is not good for me getting into Marian Mode. So it will take a lot for me to switch over during the week - which will include going to a gaming Meetup being held next week.

But I can't focus on the future right now. Instead, I'm going to be heading over to my dad's place and maybe take him out for an early dinner. It's always good to see my dad, even though I spend half a day in the process of going to see him. He's 85 now, and I'll miss him dearly when the inevitable happens. And I'm grateful that he has all his faculties - I see what L goes through when we visit her mother on Long Island.

This coming week will be an exhausting one at the office. I'll still get pressured to provide dates for a project which the subject matter expert has done her damnedest not to provide effort and duration estimates for a work breakdown structure. (Pardon the project management jargon here - these are the sub tasks making up a project.) And we'll be expected to provide a fully plotted out schedule by the end of the week. There's not much I can do to cajole this worker, and I'll have to take the heat....

L (from Staten Island) will soon return from Hawaii - she'll expect to see me for most of Labor Day weekend. So I'll have precious little Marian Mode time coming up. And I'll cherish every second I get until my cruise.

Quickie: The best laid plans caused me to make lemonade

About a week or two ago, I figured that I could catch up with several people by taking Friday off. Well, due to my trying to fit everyone in this weekend, the only people I got to see were Vicki and L (the jewelry lady). I could have seen K had I left Saturday open. M bugged out, and didn't explain why, save she didn't want her bad karma to infect me. (Did I tell you that M is a Wiccan?) L (from New Jersey) didn't have this Friday free, and L (from Staten Island) is in Hawaii.

At this stage of things, all I want to do is maintain friendships with the other ladies - as I need to socialize with as many women as possible to learn the skills of female socialization. (Just looking like I belong in the role is not enough - I have to convince people when my mouth is open - a much harder task.

Alas, no one was available who I expected to be available. So L (the jewelry lady) got first dibs on me after leaving Vicki. Since Sunday will be free, I plan on finally getting around to seeing my dad - en-homme (did you seriously expect anything else?) I could use a few more days off, but that will need to wait for the cruise....


Update: M just emailed me....

One word for her being out of sorts:     Biopsy....

Saturday, August 24, 2013

And now I have the dressy "gown" to wear on formal night on the cruise.

Today, I went to Vicki's to pick up the embellished Black Jumpsuit that I'll be wearing on one of the cruise's two formal nights. Although it's a little snug, once it's on, it makes me look wonderful.  I can't wait to get pictures of me wearing it and then to share them with my readers.

The above is a picture of it on a hanger.  It's much prettier on a person - and that person will be me.  I can't wait - my cruise is only a short time away.

This is a garment which needs an assistant - for zipping up the back.  Bathrooms will be a major headache, as I have to disrobe to pull down my underwear and do my business - and will need someone's assistance to unzip and zip back up. But I learned something today from Vicki - women are very understanding, and virtual strangers will usually help out with zippers. Virtually all women have dealt with impractical garments to look stunning, and helping out with zippers is their way of insuring someone will be there when they need help with their garments.

I was pleasantly surprised when Vicki said I could have this garment (and one other, a LBD that will look absolutely stunning for other cool weather events). Vicki has lost a couple of sizes, and this outfit no longer fits her. And she has other dresses she can wear. So, if I'm lucky, Vicki and I will lose weight in sync with each other, and I will inherit a large number of hand-me-down quality clothes.

After spending time with Vicki, I took a pair of palazzo pants in to be taken up, so that the legs are the right length. Vicki picked the right place - it was owned by an Asian family (ethnic group unknown) who was glad to get the business. Yes, I have prejudices here, but they are for practical reasons - I would not have wanted a person of European, African or South American extract working on my female clothes, as I feel Asians have a greater tolerance for the transgendered, since, historically, they do not have as much cultural influence from Western religions. (Or course, your mileage will vary with the individual experience.)

Next was meeting up with L (the jewelry lady) as she shopped at a nearby Target for goods to stage an apartment she wanted to rent. $350 later, she had furnishings a plenty and made the two bedrooms look like cozy places. She'll be busy for a while, and I'm not sure if she'll have the place rented by the time we go on the cruise.  Now, her son's girlfriend (a virtual daughter to be) was with us, and she had no idea of how I look en-homme.(I was discussing my concerns about my passport having my male image, and me boarding the ship en-femme.) She was surprised how different I looked. As least I know that no one will recognize me....

As I travel down this path, I wonder how far I will go. There's a part of me that has gotten used to some of the benefits of being male - not having to disrobe in order to relieve myself is one of them. But I'd gladly give them up for the acceptance I seem to be having as I navigate through the female world. 

Quickie: Taking care of business - I hope

Today is another day where I let the sun rise long before I did. But I have some things to do, and one of them is visit my friend Vicki and try on a black outfit which I may be taking on the cruise with me. Another is finally getting the pant legs hemmed on a pair of palazzo pants I bought last fall, as I want to wear them soon....

Of course, I never seem to do all the things I set out to do on weekends. Why? The answer is simple - I never have the energy on weekend mornings that I need to have on weekdays. The daily grind is a drain on me, and I am not as energetic as I used to be when younger. So instead of dawdling around here, I'll get up now, get into the shower and start my day....

Friday, August 23, 2013

Taking a day off, and enjoying it en-femme

When I first scheduled this day off, I figured that I'd finally meet one of the women who responded to my "Marian Mode" personal ad. She had said that she was off on Fridays for the rest of the Summer, and today would be perfect for a meeting. Alas, that was not to be - and it's just as well....

Instead of getting up early, I was able to get up late and bring my car to the dealership for an oil change.  $500 later (which included replacing a 7 year old battery, some belts, etc.), I was able to get back home around lunch time and be able to leisurely shift into Marian Mode. So, at mid afternoon, I decided to go to Woodstock to buy a book of stamps. Before you start thinking that this is a long way to go for a book of stamps I could get in town, you'd need to know that I had another motivation for making this trip - I wanted to see if one person I haven't seen in 20 years would recognize me en-femme. (To make this more interesting, he and his wife had seen me in one of my wife's nightgowns about 25 years ago, so he might have a clue in the deep recesses of his mind.) Sadly, he had left work early, and was not in. So I left a message with one of the other Post Office workers to say that "xxxxx" said to say hello. Of course, that message might make more sense has I been en-homme. But, as I was en-femme at the time, he'll be totally perplexed when he gets the message... ("I don't know a woman named Marian!") I could only imagine what would happen if he gets the message in front of his wife - I'd love to be there in that case, just to make sure that she doesn't suspect him of cheating....

Before I leave the auto repair too far behind, R, the tattooed lady was there again - and we had another one of our interesting conversations. So I made sure this time to Facebook friend her (as I missed her invite last time) - and she'll be one of those women that I get together with en-femme.  (And I seem to be building up a large group of women who are very comfortable accepting me as a girlfriend.)

Back to Woodstock....

I almost didn't make it there on time, as there was an accident on the NYS Thruway between Newburgh and Kingston. But not meeting up with my acquaintance gave me some time to explore the town en-femme, and that I did for an hour. But on the return trip, I hit another traffic jam caused by another accident when crossing the bridge back to Dutchess county. At this point, I was ravenously hungry, and stopped into the local diner for something to eat. It was nice to be treated as a woman at the diner, with the door being held for me when I entered, and with me being addressed as Ms when being seated.

There was too much for me to eat, so I had to drive home to put the leftovers in the fridge. Given a choice to rush out to a movie, I decided not to bother - I can do that tomorrow....

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Random thoughts about preparing for the cruise.

Working from home today was exactly what I expected it to be - a way to recharge my batteries while accomplishing needed tasks. So I felt completely rested when I went off to get my face lasered. This probably helped me when the technician started to zap my face, because my face didn't feel as assaulted after the session as it normally does.

Now, when I go to laser, I put some anesthetic cream on my face, then I cover the face up in plastic wrap, so that (in theory) the anesthetic is more effective.  Does it work?  I'm really not sure, but I put faith (and $20) in the idea that it helps take away the worst of the sting. But I wish I could find a better topical anesthetic for the face, as the sting is painful. 

So, it's time for me to prepare for the cruise - I have a short time left where I can expect mail order goods to reach me on time for the cruise. And the first thing I took care of was the cranial prosthetic. Today, I placed an order for two wigs - the first in my usual style, so that I can retire the wig I use now, and the second in a new style that I can try out in the cooler months. 

This afternoon, I was speaking to L (the jewelry lady) and she said that it is nobody's business how I dress when I board the ship. She is right. However, until I have a successful experience of going through security, etc. in Marian Mode, I will feel a little nervous what will happen when I attempt to do so.

I have two 29" bags which I've had for years. They are bulky and they are heavy. Neither of them suit today's travel needs, where it makes sense for a bag to weigh as little as possible, so that the bag's weight minimally interferes with the amount of stuff that can be packed and still meet weight guidelines. (Last year this was an issue, as I had to shift stuff into my carry on when checking in for my flight to California.)  What made the decision for me was the experience I had on my last trip to Washington DC - where the rubber wheel broke just before I left for DC, and I had to repack with no time to spare if I wanted to make my connections to DC.  The two old bags I've had for 15 years now can finally be retired - and I can have more room in my apartment....

About a week before the cruise, I'll begin packing everything. I know this will include my traveling makeup bag, my other toiletries (including razors, shave gel, and other stuff I need to maintain my feminine appearance), and dresses, skirts, tops, etc. I intend to wear on the cruise, as well as appropriate undergarments and shapewear. But what else will I need to bring? If I were planning on a trip en-homme, this would not be a problem. But traveling en-femme AND not being able to refresh any important things which were omitted en-route can be a big problem if I'm not careful.  That's why I have to start planning now.

Although I have no plans to use the internet on board ship, I do plan to carry a tablet to keep in touch if I reach a local Starbucks with wi-fi. Right now, I don't own a tablet, but it's been on my shopping list for a while. I'm torn between a mini tablet that I can fit in my handbag, and a full sized tablet that I could use at home. I lean towards the Android tablets, as I hate the idea of paying extra for the Apple ecosystem. Apple may provide good value, but it limits my options too much. So I may stop into Micro Center the week before I leave and make a decision then.

Why do I really want to bother with a tablet? L and I have very different interests. I figure that I can enjoy a nice book or two on the tablet without bothering L at night. I'm the type of person that needs to be doing something, or needs to be watching something until I'm ready to pass out. And L is even worse than I am. So I need to do what I have to do to entertain myself late at night and keep the peace for a week.  (Yes, I make this sound harsh. But it's deliberate - many of us live alone, and have forgotten what it's like to travel with another person.)

Well, I could go on and on, but I've noticed that my thoughts are running on and on already, and that I'm editing them for clarity. So I'll close out with another little ditty....

Sentimental Journey

Quickie: Working from home and my last discounted laser session

Several times last week, I caught myself saying that I was off from work when I was working from home. The reality is that when I spend 4 hours a day dealing with commutation hassles, a day working from home is like having a day off from work.

Today, I worked from home so that I can go to my regularly scheduled laser session. After today, I will likely need more sessions since there is still a trace of dark stubble on my face. But I am able to go longer before needing to shave and reapplying makeup (including beard cover), so I know it's working for me. Unfortunately, I made the appointment for 6:45, assuming that I might not be able to work from home - and this interfered with my ability to go to a meetup in Marian Mode.

Shortly before my cruise, I may have the first of my non-discounted sessions - and that should tide me over for a while. My goal is not to eliminate all traces of beard - to do that, I'd have had to start this process about 5-10 years ago. Instead, I want my face to last long enough, so that I can get through an entire 24 hour cycle before redoing my face. When I have the time and money, the gray hairs not affected by laser will be treated with electrolysis. ZAP! ZAP OUCH!!!!

But right now, it's laser - and the technician says that I need up to a total of 20 sessions. For me, I'll monitor progress on a 6 visit basis. If I see and feel improvement, I'll continue with the project. When improvement stops, so will laser treatment - it'll then be time to look for an electrolysis technician.

Zap, Zap, OUCH!  on both my face and my wallet!!!!   OUCH!!!!!

People encountered in my NYC Commutation (Nothing to do with Transgender issues)

Each day I go to work, I take a combination of two transportation services. One is the Metro North Railroad which brings me in from suburbia to Grand Central. The other is the NYC Subway system which brings me from Midtown to Downtown with a transfer at Times Square. If you take the route I do, you'll encounter an unusual cast of characters all hustling for a buck by one performance art or another. Some of these artists are quite good, and I've felt good throwing money into their buckets. Others are quite bad, and I cringe when I'm stuck with them for a 90 second ride across town. But they are in the subway system rain or shine - and have found a home for themselves underground.

My favorite of these groups is a cover band that stakes out a place in Times Square every weekend. They never fail to draw a crowd, and people tend to enjoy them covering Beatles' tunes, as well as other name acts from that era. My least favorite is a fellow who makes me cringe - a fellow who got tired of singing "blessed this" and "Jesus that" for his tune, accompanied by his 3-string guitar.  Instead, he sings a capella in the Times Square shuttle, in an even less intelligible voice than before. And the most unusual of the acts was one I saw once at Grand Central, a fellow playing the Xylophone by juggling balls off the sound bars.

As one can easily tell by being a regular commuter, most of the acts involve music - although there were some good dance routines performed on occasion.  (The dance numbers take more time and space, so one usually finds them in the late afternoon at stations such as Times Square.) I've seen Mariachi bands, Steel Drummers (in Island parlance, playing the "pan"), choreographed dance routines, rock bands, two fellows dressed up like Sesame Street characters playing the Xylophone and Bass (the Xylopholks), Classical musicians, Opera singers, Blues men, and the most stereotype busting of all - the Ebony Hillbillies. (The latter group is quite good, and will be performing at a local festival held at month-end.)

Now, not everyone hustling underground are entertainers. There are religious people who make regular appearances, trying to help you deliver your soul to God. I figure that if God wants me, he'll let me know in a way I'll feel comfortable with the message. And this leads me to the garden variety mendicants. (That word sounds much better than beggars.) I've seen the homeless hustle for money for both alcohol and food (in that order). I've seen homeless women beg to feed their kids. I've seen people claiming to be veterans begging for help because the VA isn't handling their cases expediently. And I've seen people who've claimed that a lot of bad luck befell them, and that they needed money to pay their utilities.

Of course, there are beggars and there are the mentally ill. There are more than enough of them as well. I've had to duck out of an almost empty subway car because the stench from one person nauseated me that much. And then there was the person who relieved himself on the Times Square subway platform. One wonders why these people aren't brought to where they can get help. One also wonders why we don't clean them out of the system, so that the rest of us can have as pleasant a ride as possible,.

Luckily, not all of the "odd ball" characters are mentally ill. Many of them are perfectly normal people going about their business, not harming anyone, just trying to get by. For example I was lucky enough to photograph this person on my trek back to Grand Central. I wonder what his next stop would be.  (Given that he appears to be wearing a skirt, this is as close to a transgender issue I can come up with for this post.)  

But then, I looked at some older photos I had taken, and I think he is the same fellow I once photographed in Times Square.

Then, he was trying to duck me and my camera. But a $1.00 contribution to his welfare fund (the bucket he was setting out) made it possible to get the above picture.

If New York were a movie, it would have one hell of a cast of characters, don't you think?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Making a checklist and inspecting it twice.

Ever since 9-11, going anywhere by public transportation has become increasingly harder than it should be. Not only have we built up a massive governmental infrastructure to identify everyone on planes, trains, and cruise ships, but we have subjected the American citizenry to humiliation, inconvenience, and even the denial of the ability to use these transportation methods without due process of law.  It's disgusting to say the least!

Of course, business has found many a way to make 9-11 lemons into lemonade. When confronted with a smaller customer base after 9-11, they started implementing user fees - these fees now (for most airlines) mean the difference between turning a profit and going bankrupt. (Well, airlines have a tendency of going bankrupt - they have never been good investments, save for "vulture capitalists".) So, I don't blame the airlines for nickel-diming us. Instead, I blame ourselves for not demanding "full service" pricing instead of "al a carte" pricing. But that's a topic for another discussion on another day.

The cruise lines have taken a different approach to making extra money. Instead of openly changing the approach they use to extract extra money from their customers, they have presented options such as specialty restaurants as extra value options. Customers don't feel as if the cruise line is out to extract every last dollar from its patrons - and the lines have developed loyal followings.

How does being transgendered fit in to all of this? I have not found much on-line about people who have "cruised pretty", save a dignity cruise that is organized by one transgender organization. I'm going without any support group traveling with me. Will this matter? Who knows? But it's a risk I'm willing to take. The worst that might happen is that I won't be able to board the ship in New York, and I'll have lost a few dollars. Much worse has happened to me over the years.

So, tonight I've been going through the checklist provided by the cruise line to make sure that things are in order. I've already found that they have defaulted our room to having a queen sized bed instead of two twin beds. (L and I are not a couple, we are just friends.) That problem got fixed tonight. Next is the issue of the boarding pass - which has to be printed now, and used when it's time to go on the cruise. Since all my legal documents say I'm male, I will be trying to dress as androgynously as possible when boarding the ship. Hopefully, I'll not have any hassles that day....

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Yes, I am going on a cruise - and traveling transgendered

Often I have a hard time deciding whether this blog should be solely about transgender issues, or whether it should be about me trying to live my life in two genders. And I lean towards the latter choice, as it gives me more opportunities to say something interesting. Today is one of those times that I have nothing special to say about the transgender experience, and a lot to say about what is going on in my life.

Now, it looks like I'm finally going to finally join an elite club - people who travel transgendered. Unlike Kim, who usually flies pretty on business trips, I will be cruising pretty on my vacation. This will truly be a journey into the unknown for me - I could be paying for a cruise I can't go on because I might not be allowed to board the ship due to incongruities in my documents (passport, drivers license, etc.).  Maybe I worry too much - who knows?

So now the question is - what should I pack? I'll be traveling with L (the jewelry lady), and I'm not sure if she wants to do the two formal nights in formal wear. Of course, with me traveling en-femme, I'll have to wear something pretty on formal night - and Vicki has offered me the use of her navy blue jumpsuit made from a gossamer material. (If it fits, I'll get pictures of me in the outfit.) I think I'll still be able to stretch out the wearing of casual maxi dresses for the cruise, but I'll be packing a warm thing or two just to be safe.

Although I've already documented the potential issues in traveling with L, I am more worried about getting on and off the ship en-femme. I think I'll wear a pants outfit the first day, just to under-do the femininity I intend to project for the rest of the cruise. Afterwards, it'll be mostly dresses and skirts.

Of course, I intend to get lots of pictures.  Unlike my male persona, my female persona loves being in front of a camera. And I expect L will be glad to take those pictures. (Hopefully, I can get a few with both of us in the picture - I'd like to show my readers what she looks like.) It'd be nice if the two of us would be interested in the same land excursions. But I don't know if that will be the case. So I will be sure to be asking others to take my picture wherever I go on my land excursions.

L has said that she intends to go to the on-board casino and play the slots.  How boring!  I'm a fan of dice tables, and it looks like they support betting with $5 chips. So I figure that I'll spend a little time at the tables. But for the most part, I intend to enjoy daytime excursions, and catching up on some of my reading.

I'll have more to say soon....

Monday, August 19, 2013

After everything is said and done, it looks like I'm going on a cruise after all....

Believe it or not, after all of the headaches I've had to deal with, it looks like I'll be going on the cruise after all. Could I be a masochist? Maybe. But I need to get away, and my project that never ends seems like it will stretch on into late October at this point. So it's a safe thing for me to book the cruise. The only risk is being with my friend for more than a day at a time.

I've cruised twice before - once to Alaska, and once to the Eastern Caribbean. Given that I was en-homme for those first two cruises, it was fun and I was comfortable. But going en-femme rules out the Caribbean due to social mores on the islands. That leaves me with the Canadian trip - something much more safe for all concerned. 

Now, assuming that there are no last minute glitches, I'll have a choice to make - when in Halifax, seeing Peggy's Cove or seeing the interesting sites within Halifax. I think Peggy's Cove will win out, even though I've been there before.  (My memories of the place are very dim, as my last visit there was about 25 years ago.) That means the city of Halifax may wait for another visit.

Knowing L (the jewelry lady), she will likely invite one more person to share the cabin, and I'm not sure of how things will be. Three ladies sharing the same loo (one of them a T-Gal) will pose an interesting logistics problem. I need a certain amount of space for my makeup, my prosthetics, etc. wherever I go. Having a cabin with two people in it wouldn't be too bad. It's when the third is added to the mix that problems may ensue. But it's worth a gamble.  (Or, am I a glutton for punishment?)

There will be an advantage for having a third person in the room - I know that L can always pick on that third person for companionship if needed, and that I can get away and do my own thing. This may be the critical factor in the mix - there will be someone to distract L at all times.

With all this being said, and with what I've said in prior posts, it will soon be time for me to be distancing myself from L.  I can help her get into a place where she feels comfortable socializing, but I can't force her to grow. She'll have to do that on her own, and I have to get back to dealing with my issues - most notably, issues regarding my health....

But for now, the big question is: What do I wear????

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Frustration 101

Yes, I did spend the day with L, the jewelry lady. And I realize why she has so much trouble in her life - she really has no empathy for others.  Everything is filtered through one lens, her experiences, but without any compensation for the differences between her experiences and others' experiences.

As usual, I went to L's en-femme. And L started telling me about her close friend who stole money from her, and L asked me what to do. Like others who were asked the same question, I said to disentangle your business affairs from your social affairs, and then get this woman out of your life in both spheres. L's problem - she doesn't want to confront the thief. Instead, she wants to delegate the responsibility to another friend.  This is tacky at best. 

L is having problems with an ailing mother with dementia.  When we saw her mom today, her mom was complaining about pain. (Actually, I'm not sure if her mom even knew what she was saying - and I think that's related to the problem that ensued.) Her caregiver was slow to medicate, and did not want to hide the pain killer in a drink or some yogurt. Instead, she wanted to dissolve it in water, and have L's mom drink it.  At this point, a very loud argument broke out. I certainly didn't need to be in the middle of this, so I went downstairs for a while. (Too bad that L's mom couldn't escape from this mess - she must have suffered more from hearing two people shout at each other than to deal with any arthritic pain a 92 y/o woman may have.) Later on, I returned to the bedroom where all the commotion was going on, and the aftermath of the argument was still hanging heavy in the room.

Now, on the way home, L pestered me again to join Weight Watchers with her. I noted that as much as it would be a good time for both of us to join, it would be a mistake for her to lean on me for a meeting partner. We are both food addicts, and would end up sabotaging each other's efforts to lose weight. She'd decide that her stresses are too much, and self medicate - I don't need that in a partner.  Instead, I need someone like my friend Vicki, who has enough will power to remember why we're trying to lose weight and help keep both of us keep our eyes on the prize.

L really needs to learn how to socialize normally, and doesn't know what to do when the two people around her are taking to others. This is a common problem - Do I butt in? Do I wait for an opening and jump in? Do I try to get in to the conversation, and try to steer it somewhere I am comfortable? There are so many social conventions we take for granted, and L is not comfortable with many of them. That's probably why she's a loner. So when she suggested I join her in a meetup group she attended a few years ago, I was a little concerned - she wanted me to go with her en-femme to a woman's meetup group.  (She has no clue about the M2F transgendered and problems in women's groups. Women have a right to defend their personal space, and L has no idea of the tensions that exist.) I said that I'd accompany her as a guest on one key condition - that the organizer of the event be told that I'm transgender and approve of my attendance. (Of course, I'd go en-femme, so that I'd be accepted as the female I want them to see.)  Sadly, L doesn't understand others' feelings, as she desensitizes herself with food and with shopping. So she overreacts when she should be keeping her cool, and that's a great frustration.

Why am I talking about someone else, instead of talking about myself, you may be asking? This is the second time that I've seen L go nuts - and I don't like it. There is no need for this much "Sturm und Drang" in life. She went from 0-100 faster than a 'Vette sipping nitro! In a way, I'm lucky that we haven't been able to make the cruise reservations (I would like to be en-femme for an entire week), as I'm not sure if I could stand her for a week. There is only so much frustration a sane person (male or female) can stand.

Of course, my frustration didn't end when I left L's place. I had a wristwatch fall off my wrist and land in between the center console and either the driver's or passenger's seat. And in the dark, I couldn't find it.  Ouch!!! What a frustrating thing!!! It could be worse - If L didn't buy two watches for me (which I paid for), I'd be without a lady's gold watch to wear..... Sooner or later, the old watch will show up, and everything will be OK.  Until then, I'll make do.

So, in keeping with my usual theme, here's a tune which may fit today's occasion...

ps: Where's the "Fat Lady" when we need her?
      There's too much singing getting in the way of a good tune, and I want it over soon!!!    :-)

Quickie: Going out with the Jewelry lady and a random thought

Sometime later today, I'll be trekking over to see L, and from there doing her Sunday rounds. As I wake up this morning, I'd rather not do this - but I've already committed myself, and have nothing better to do anyway.

Of course, it'll be another day en-femme. 

One thing I've noticed in life is that I tend to meet people before major events in their lives. Sometimes, I'm a catalyst (with several of my ex-girlfriends meeting their long term partners shortly after breaking up with me), and sometimes, I'm a bystander (seeing several move after developing friendships with me). So, I have come to think that people who are ready to be around me are open to change. I wonder what that means for me....

As readers of this blog know, I never had any children. My mom always asked us - when are you going to have kids? Though there's a part of me that misses this experience, I'm glad I didn't have children for the sake of having them. And I would have loved to have pranked my mom the same way this couple pranked the future grandmother....

A bun in the oven

Meeting friends from the North Country in NYC

Last night, I noticed on one of my friends' Facebook pages that he and his wife were coming to NYC for the weekend. So we decided to try to get together for dinner at a Brazilian BBQ in a Hotel in Long Island City, just across the river from Manhattan.

This morning, we confirmed our dinner plans, and I spent most of the day relaxing around the apartment. It was one of those days I was glad I had nothing to do, and I did exactly that. So, around 2:30 pm, I finally got myself into the shower and got dressed.  (I find that I have a thing for long, maxi dresses....) Driving down to the city, I planned to do some window shopping for clothes (women's, of course) and them meet my friends. But then I got a message - my friends were only leaving Albany at 5:30 pm, and I wouldn't be seeing them until 8:00 pm. In for a penny, in for a pound - and I said OK, I'll kill a couple of hours with a movie or something, and meet you at the restaurant at 8:00.

Well, I had time to kill, so I decided to look at what Lane Bryant had in stock. Luckily, there was nothing that interested me. But when I got to The Avenue, that's where the story changed. Although I couldn't find a simple white bra in my size (something I could use), I did find the new shipment of shoes - which included several items in a size 13-W. I tried on 3 pairs, and two of them were loose - something amazing with my experiences in trying on women's shoes - I never have loose fitting shoes. The third fit just right, though the pair was more comfortable than good looking.

Now, I have to make special mention of the sales help in the store. As usual, there were the usual assortment of polite and friendly female sales help. But this time, there was an attractive, slightly effeminate (probably) gay man amongst the sales help. And he fawned over me (and others) trying to be of help.  In fact, he brought me the three pair of shoes I mentioned in the previous paragraph. He made a comment on the dress I was wearing, and pointed out a dress in the same material, but in colors more suitable to the fall. Of course, I had to try it on - and I love it instantly. So it leaped into my arms and out the door it came with me.  (Thank god for plastic!) This fellow made me feel good, and found something I didn't know I wanted to buy - that's the sign of a good sales person.

So I still had time to kill and an empty stomach telling me to put something in it.  And it was off to "Slider Central" for some "belly bombers".  (I grew up on the darned things, and I haven't had any in months - so the craving had to be sated sooner or later.)  I figured that I had a couple of hours before eating again, and having 2 or 3 would keep my stomach from growling until my friends got in from Albany.  Unfortunately, I spent over a half hour in the joint, as there was someone in front of me who ordered a full case of these things to go, plus enough other food to feed Patton's 3rd army.  By the time I was able to eat, I still had an hour and a half ahead of me to kill.

Leaving "Slider Central", I noticed that the Hutchinson Parkway was backed up from the City Line to the Whitestone bridge - so I decided to take the Triboro to Queens. (Please don't ever call it the RFK bridge around me - RFK was a carpetbagger who didn't do much for this state, and the recent renaming was for political reasons only.)  I found a parking spot a block away from the restaurant with time to spare, and walked to the restaurant and waited.

My friends finally came, and we had a great dinner.  I found out how troubled their lives were (due to their exes) - things I won't go into here.  (Let's just say that it's better to take a lot of time to choose a truly compatible spouse, then to rush into a marriage and later get divorced.)  And then a friend came to complete our table of six.  D is the first natal woman who asked me about being transgender, reading me right away. But she didn't get the whole story right with guesses - she thought I was in my 30's, and not in my 50's. And then I teased her, knowing how she knew my host. I said that "From the minute I first saw 'R', I could tell that he had nothing to hide with me." (R, his wife M, and their friend D all are naturists (read: nudists) - and, I've seen him nude at the "poly parties" we have up North.  She laughed loudly!

Unfortunately, it was time to leave - all too soon, and I asked to have our pictures taken.

Although you can see M, and have an idea of what D looks like, there were two children with us. So I have to make sure their privacy is bring protected - for their sake and their parents.

But the day wasn't over.... No, not by a long shot.  

On the way home, L (the jewelry lady) called me to tell me she had a problem with her OKC account.  Actually, she has two accounts, and the "Bi" account was showing when she was trying to see her "Straight" account. I know what's wrong - but will need to be on her system to fix it. And that will probably be tomorrow, when we go into NYC for more jewelry and then to Long Island to see her ailing mother....

More on L tomorrow....

And I'll close with a little ditty that is the theme of my Widows & Widowers group....

We are Family

Saturday, August 17, 2013

What to do? What to do? What to do?

It's Saturday, and I still have no firm plans of what to do for the day. All I know is that I have to be in Long Island City around 6:00 pm for dinner, and that around 9:45 pm in the Lower East Side to see something at the NYC Fringe Festival.

So the big question is: What will I do for the rest of the day?

I'm thinking of driving down to Stillwell and Surf (that's a long haul from here) to get some tube steaks and then see a Side Show down the block. Sadly, Brooklyn hasn't been the same since the Dodgers left - Ebbets Field was a much better place to enjoy a tube steak and a brew to wash it down. (It's Summer, and this gal can't help but think of the Boys of Summer. <g>)  At least there is a minor league ball club (Brooklyn Cyclones) making its home at Coney Island these days.  But this T-Gal is not in the mood of staying outside of air conditioned comfort...

I know I'll think of something - and I'll put it all down here after I do....

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tonight, I was a civilian....

This was a night as a civilian that I wasn't planning for. 

It's been a while since I've seen my niece, and we've been trying to get together and see the Edward Hopper exhibit at the Whitney museum. Well, I texted her today, and she responded - Let's go tonight! Instead of going straight home and taking care of laundry en-homme so I could go out tomorrow en-femme, I went to the museum.

It was a perfect night to catch up with her - we spent most of the time listening to the docent talk about Hopper and his drawings. (The exhibit tied together his preparatory drawings with the paintings that came out of his efforts.) And two of my favorite paintings were in the same place at the same time - "Nighthawks" and "Gas". The most interesting the docent mentioned was a quote from a Modernist painter - "Hopper is not a great painter. But if he was a better painter, he'd be a lesser artist." There's something to be said about a literalist at the top of his form in an age of abstraction - his work makes you think, while abstract art tends to make you react.

Tomorrow, with a minor exception or two, I plan to spend the entire day en-femme. If I decide to see something at one of the NYC Fringe Festival venues, I'll drive down to the venue, it'll cost me more in gas and tolls to get to the venue, but I will be comfortable - and that's the important thing for me. 

I think this is going to be a great weekend....

A Meetup with Civilians

Yes, I did go to the meetup. And I did go as Marian. (Actually, I used the feminine form of my given name - and it's a little strange at first hearing people refer to me by that name instead of the short, familiar version that can be used for both males and females) And I was comfortable from the moment I arrived.

Let me backtrack a little....

Today was the last day that I am staying home so that I can take a virtual class that starts at 8:30 in the morning. No matter what, I have to show up at the office tomorrow, as I have a biometric screening scheduled for 9:45 am - and by 10:00, I'll be craving food in a big way. I've appreciated these past 4 days working at home, as it felt like I was on a mini vacation - being spared the hassles of spending 4 hours in transit each day was like having two days off.

And now back to the present....

My cleaning lady arrived at 3:00 pm, just as I was finishing up the last of my on-line meetings that I was holding remotely. I didn't feel any guilt about ending my day early, and taking care of errands to keep me out of her way.  It was 4:30 when I returned, and she was gone from the apartment. So I took a little cat nap, and figured that I'd rest a little before changing into Marian Mode for the night. Well, I rested a little longer than expected, and would have been late to the meetup had it not been pushed back an hour due to the host's business priorities. 

So, I was the second person to show up for the Gaming meetup (Games like Scrabble, Apples and Oranges, etc. - not games of chance where money is wagered.) And I was called Marian (I'll use my public name here) for the first time by a civilian who had no inkling that I was transgendered. As others came in, I settled down next to a small group and started playing a game which was Scrabble like. Afterwards, it was a game called "Cards Against Humanity". (I can't describe it quickly, but we did get some good laughs out of the game.) And then it was onto a game called "Anomia". This game I was playing under a severe handicap - I couldn't respond quickly without risking letting my male voice come out.  (And it did once. No one said anything - I wonder whether they noticed the gaffe.)

By the time I was ready to leave, it was about 11:30 or so.  I had a very pleasant time, and the group treated me as the lady I was presenting myself to be. I'm pretty sure that I'll be returning to the group - but it will be a rush to do so twice each month.

Now, this brings me to the obvious long term question - how far do I want to go with socializing as a female? If I ignore dating and having a girlfriend, I could easily get into changing into Marian Mode every night and socializing this way. It could be extremely rewarding to develop new friendships as Marian. But would this be a kind of fraud? The answer is not a simple one. If our friendship is not one based on sexual interest, then does it matter what set of genitalia I have under my skirts? Or, let's say the woman recognizes me as transgendered, then does it matter that I don't bring up the issue of my gender?

Right now, I want to go to as many meetups as possible in Marian Mode, with one proviso. I have no intentions of going to singles dances, or "women only" meetups. The ideas here are: (1) Not to pose as a woman out to date a man - I don't have the equipment or the inclination to give the man the "happiness" he'd want.  (He'd also feel betrayed if he found out my secret.), and (2) Not to impinge on a female-bonding experience, unless invited by members of that group to join in. (I doubt that will happen....) In short, I want to leave my sexuality (physical and/or spiritual) out of the social equation....

So, given that I was at a "Gaming" meetup tonight, I'll leave you with this little ditty that almost fits the theme of the evening....

Luck be a Lady - Sinatra