Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve - 2013/2014

Yes, it's another year end. And I've written this post ahead of time, so that I do not have to think about having to write an entry tonight - when I'd rather be popping a cork on some champagne and cuddling with GFL.

For the past few years, I have dreaded what might come in the following year - and I've been "pleasantly disappointed" that I was wrong with my prognostications. But sooner or later, I may be right - and that what's bothered me for a long time. This year, I'll start hunkering down for the worst. And that means fewer trips that involve "Shopping Therapy". In many ways, this is not so bad - I've fleshed out most of what I need for a full female wardrobe. About the only thing I don't have is a bathing suit (and special breast forms meant for chlorinated water) - which will be needed if I ever take a cruise with Lili again.

What will happen in the new year? Only time will tell. But I hope that my lucky streak continues. And if not, I hope to deal with it. Either way, I'll be writing this blog and chronicling what happens on my path towards the feminine....

So for a traditional way of ending the year....

Auld Lang Syne - Sissel

My last times en-femme in 2013.

Although I'm writing this late Monday evening, I'm scheduling this post for Tuesday morning....

I finally know what I'm doing for New Year's Eve - visiting GFL, and spending the night with her. In many ways, this is the best of possible situations, as this weekend's cold spell and snow may put a damper on us getting together for the weekend. My friends in the North Country will understand things - I will likely be there in two weeks time for the next monthly gathering. And though I'd enjoy playing games, I'll enjoy being in Staten Island more than I'd enjoy being in Yonkers.

Around 5:00 pm or so on Monday evening, I decided to get into Marian Mode for the evening. I called P (the hypnotist), and her evening was screwed up. Her 20+ y/o car died all of a sudden, with no juice available to operate the emergency flashers. She was lucky to be able to have her car towed home (I'm glad she still had one last AAA tow left for the year - I wonder whether they will cancel her membership next year.) But this results in a problem for her - she can't afford to rent a car, and my old car has yet to be repaired for her use. Hopefully, she'll be able to get to her New Year's festivities, and get a car back on the road soon.

A little while later, I called Lili - and she was getting home from a visit to her mother. She was in no mood to go out again, and I wasn't in any mood to go to a house that needed some serious work being done by her cleaning lady. So I decided to make a run to The Avenue to pick up a couple of pairs of tights (it will be getting cold this weekend). Although I drove all over the place this evening, I simply needed to get outside.


Today will be my last time en-femme for the year, as I will be meeting Lili at the wig store, and making a decision whether to buy the wig I tried on this past Saturday. I plan to delegate the haggling to Lili, as I know she should be able to save me another $25 or so - some of which I'll give back when I take her out for lunch.

If all goes right, I'll purchase the wig, and will be having it stretched to fit my head. Then, maybe on Saturday, I'll pick up the stretched wig, and leave the other wig for cleaning. It'll be nice to have one wig for my head and one kept in reserve....


Once I'm done with lunch, I'll rush home, change into boy mode, and then go to GFL's for the holiday. One of the things we'll be discussing is spending some time away together. My "never-ending project from hell" limits me in what I can safely do given corporate politics. GFL found a great deal for a 5 night Puerto Rico trip, $800 pp, air included - but I couldn't say yes because of my blankety-blank project. So it looks like we'll be spending a couple of nights in Atlantic City over a 3 day weekend.  

Hopefully, I'll get to GFL's early enough to have a nice dinner at a place not doing a special New Year's Eve affair.  If not, we'll figure something out. But I know one thing - we will be at her place when the ball drops, either cuddling on the couch or cuddling on the bed. 


So I'll leave you with some New Year's related clips and tunes....

New Year's at Holiday Inn - Fred Astaire

Let's start the New Year right - Bing Crosby

Monday, December 30, 2013

Miles behind us and many more to go - some thoughts for the day.

As I've mentioned, I'm a follower of several blogs written by people in the transgender community. Some bloggers have come to peace with themselves, and no longer feel a need to share their lives with others. God bless them. Others, still share of themselves, hoping that they can make it easier for those who follow them. There are some who are choosing transition, who document their trials and tribulations along the way to this destination. And there are others who do not choose transition, but instead choose to live bi-gendered lives, sharing with others what they feel safe to share. From all these blogs, I've learned a lot of things about others which, in turn, have helped me learn a lot about myself.

On each of our journeys, there will be trials and tribulations. In one case, the announcement by the blogger that the "he" will soon become a "she" has resulted in the breakup of the family. In another, even the fact that this person is transgender was part of the reason for a separation. Yet, when things are handled carefully, in some cases, the relationship endures, and the family survives. To use an old phrase, "Your mileage may vary." And each of our experiences is unique.

One of the people I met at 2012's Fantasia Fair recently went and had her nails done with her wife. This wife loves her spouse, no matter what gender in which the spouse is presenting at the moment - and even she has her limits. And I think that will be true for virtually all of us. Recently, I have been in contact with a woman who has been living as a woman for over 15 years now, and she still has problems related to being transgender - there are a lot of "tranny chasers" out there, people who want to score with a "tranny" (I dislike the word in this context) and put another notch on their belts.

With all the pain I see people going through on the blogs and in Facebook postings, I still can see glimmers of hope in the 20-somethings who are entering adulthood. They tend to be much more gender fluid than my generation ever could be, and they are comfortable with the GLBT communities as a whole. Children are being diagnosed as transgender at an early age, and their puberties are being suppressed long enough to socialize in their chosen gender and to transition without having to deal with having the wrong gender bi-morphic body characteristics for their chosen genders. We've started to see greater sensitivity to transgender issues in the media, and we have supporters who have come out of the woodwork for us. 

For many of us, the positive developments will be too little too late. But for me, they have come just in time for me to spend part of my life the way I want to spend it. And I hope for those that follow, that they have a much easier time of it than those that went before them.

Rushing towards the new year? It'll come soon enough.

Sometimes, I wonder whether I do enough to take advantages of the opportunities presented to me in life - or, whether I should be doing more with my life. One of my friends (I should say, a woman I was once dating) commented that one of the reasons she broke up with me (though not said at the time) was that I was always juggling my schedule, and she wasn't high enough on the list. Well, thinking back on things, I can see that she may have had a point - but she should have understood that I was a busy enough person up front.

Recently, I had the chance to take an inventory of the number of nights after work that I spend doing various things, and half of them are taken up by therapy, co-op board meetings, and games meetups. If you assume that my weekends are now taken up by GFL (or, when I was dating this lady, one or two dates over the weekend), most of my calendar is booked tight. And yet, compared to many, I still have a lot of wiggle room.

This year has seemed to pass much more quickly than others - in part, because I have chosen to spend more of my time with other people than before.  About 10 1/2 years ago, I started dating a woman who I'd be in a relationship for 8 years. And I became much more isolated than I was in the past, and fearful of the outside world. In many ways, I couldn't wait for my story to end - I couldn't bear to break up with this woman, and was afraid I'd have to face the worst of the unknown with no one by my side. Time couldn't pass quickly enough for me. Once I broke up with this lady, I started going into the outside world and started to enjoy myself again. Now, time seems to pass too quickly when I'm out of the office.

Getting out and about en-femme has helped me quite a bit as well. Developing my feminine persona has pushed me out of my comfort zone many times in the past year, and it has resulted in me taking two of my biggest risks: going on vacation completely en-femme, and joining meetup groups in Marian Mode. Now, I don't feel any worry about going outside en-femme and taking care of my normal activities. And yet, there are things I won't do en-femme. It is not because I am afraid of doing them. Instead, I don't go out in these situations because of a legitimate risk of harm. (e.g. Cruising to the Caribbean or Latin America and disembarking for the day could pose great risk to me in some of the countries there.) So, like many women, I have to be very aware of my surroundings and be prudent about the risks I may take.

Acceptable risk should be very important to a transgender person. If one thinks there is no risk in exploring one's feminine persona, I pose an incident I had happen to me this year. Shortly after I started going to meetups en-femme, I was driving my car home and the transmission died on me. This would be a major pain en-homme. But imagine how I felt being en-femme, not a natal female, and having this happen to me, Would this be an acceptable risk for you, the reader? That's why it will always be very important to assess reasonably possible risks before starting to go out en-femme.

This year has been very good to me and my feminine persona. But I'm afraid that next year will pose some serious hardships on me. That's why with all the boredom and frustration I have at the office, that I hate to see this year end - I like what this year has brought me, and I don't want it to end. 

As I noted - the new year will come soon enough. And until then, another pair of tunes to enjoy....

Groucho Marx - The Funniest Song (something for his 3 y/o daughter)
Groucho Marx - Dr. Hackenbush

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Quickie: A day spent indoors with nothing better to do.

Normally, if I had nothing to do on a weekend day, I'd shave my face, chest, arms and legs, put on some pretty clothes, and go out and about in the world. And with GFL still feeling down with what may be the flu, I have the golden opportunity to do just that. But with the rain outside, it puts a big damper on my mood.

So, today, I decided to stay in my jammies and snuggle under the covers while watching TV. As I write this, I have the movie "Lincoln" on in the background - as I'm amazed at the subtleties I'm noticing in the film. Most interesting is the use of light - everything seems tinged with a touch of darkness, except towards the end of the film, in some scenes where the climax is about to happen, or after it has happened.

There are other films that I may decide to see later on. But if it stops raining, I may just go out for a while.  It will be too late to go into the city for a museum run, to go shopping, or to do much of anything else while en-femme. I could visit my friend P (the Hypnotist), but I simply don't have the emotional energy to deal with her if she goes on a political rant.

So I'll leave you with a little tune....

The Cascades - The Rhythm of the Rain

Quickie: A New Year's Eve Conundrum

As of now, I have no idea of where I'll be on New Year's Eve.  Assuming GFL is feeling well, I'll be with her, spending a quiet evening at home with her and her dog. If not, I might be playing games in Yonkers, or overnighting in the "North Country." And I won't have the faintest idea of where I'll be until the last minute. AARGH!!! 

With the above being noted, I'm not looking forward to the New Year, as it will likely have way too many changes waiting for me than I would like. But, as one could say - "any day that you have a roof over your head, food in your stomach, clothes on your back, and food in your stomach can't be all bad...."

I'll have more to write later, once I've had the chance to speak with GFL and figure out what we're doing today....

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Saturday on my own

GFL and I decided not to have me come down, as she wasn't feeling that well. As a result, I had a free day to myself - but not in the way I wanted it. After some hemming and hawing, I decided to go out for a drive, and maybe do some shopping. So it was off I went to the wig store in Yorktown, and then in the general direction of Danbury.

But first, it was a stop at the laundromat to pick up some clothes.... In the past, I only stopped at the shop en-femme when one or two of the ladies were there. Now, I don't worry what any of the ladies will think. Yet, I will be careful when the owner is there. (If I were 24x7, I wouldn't care - and would take my business elsewhere if he didn't like it....) And since women seem to be less judgmental about my en-femme presentation than most men, I feel I am safe with women knowing my little "not-so secret".

When I got to the wig store, there was one lady there (with her husband, who was working on the copier in the back) - but she was not acting like a customer. (I later found out that she cleans the store, and is suffering from cancer herself.) We got into a general nature chat while the lady who sold me my go-to wig looked for another similar one in the back. Although this wig was not the exact same wig I use now, it is close enough in style to look good on my head. But I don't trust what this lady and the saleslady said on their own merits - I'll bring Lili back for an opinion before buying the wig *AND* to haggle a little, to get the price down to the same level I paid for my current wig. (The saleslady noted that my wig needed a cleaning - something I wanted to take care of - and this is why I want two wigs. If one wig can't be worn, I want a second wig, so that I always can have something on top of my head.) 

When I reached The Avenue, I noticed that this store location was going out of business. It seems as if the landlord jacked up the rent, and the chain decided not to pay it. (This may be true, but it seems a little interesting that the store shutdown comes at the end of January.) While there, I saw a sweater I liked.  Although it is not right on me right now, it will be when I lose some weight. (Now, if only I can get some women's slacks that will go down a size or two with me before I have to give them up to charity.....)

At this point, I decided to head back to New York, and have some dinner. And that's what I did. The movie, "The Wolf of Wall Street" was playing, but I'd have had to miss dinner for this showing - and I decided not to do that. This meant that I was not going to be able to watch the movie tonight. So with a brief stop at the supermarket, it was back to my home and to be in for the night.

So I'll leave you with tunes from someone you'd never think of as a singer. (And one of them charted!)

Mary Kay Place - Painting Her Fingernails

Mary Kay Place (as Loretta Haggers) - Baby Boy

Mary Kay Place and Willie Nelson - Something to Brag About

Quickie: GFL is feeling under the weather

Today is a day I'd prefer to get dressed en-femme, and take a drive upstate. However, I may have to go to Staten Island and take care of GFL. For the past few days, her cough has not gotten any better, and she may need to go to the clinic to get looked at. And I will be there for her if she asks for me to be there. 

I hate it when someone is sick - as this means someone I care about is hurting, aching, or is otherwise uncomfortable. As much as I feel helpless to fix the problem, the person doing the real suffering is going through a lot worse than I am.  And I feel sad that all I can do is to be there for that person if I'm wanted. (Some people prefer to be alone when ill - and I respect that.)

GFL has more issues to deal with than just being sick.  Her grandson is ill, and her daughter is taking him to the doctor to see what is ailing him. The person who is working on redoing her basement hasn't been there for a week, and is not answering her calls. (GFL thinks this person has been drinking a little too much over the holiday season, and feels unable to work - possibly due to severe hangovers.) In one sense, the basement still looks better than before, but it must get done soon. Once her daughter has to get back to work, it will be much more difficult for GFL, as she will then have babysitting duty added onto her list of things to take care of.

Of course, while I'm writing this, I have a TV program on in the background - and it is a show covering how humanity survived the Black Plague. How fitting!

Friday, December 27, 2013

A date with my niece

Today was my last day at the office for the year - and I was bored shitless. If it weren't for the fact that I was meeting my niece for a museum hop in the evening, I'd have boogied out early and gotten into Marian Mode.

At the end of the day, I went over to Barnes and Noble to kill some time, and then I took the subway to the Frick museum on 70th street. While underground, I came across the group below.

When I caught them, they were playing a Motown hit - and they also had a nice crowd. If I thought I had some time before meeting my niece, I'd have stayed longer instead of taking a couple of photos.  Now, it was North to 68th street, then a walk over to the Frick. 

From what I can tell, the Frick does not normally have free viewing hours on Friday nights. But there was a special exhibit with special viewing hours (which will end in less than 3 weeks) of paintings by the "Dutch Masters", including Vermeer's "Girl with Pearl Earring". (This picture is one of my favorites, and I wish I could paint with such precision and life....) And as expected with a very popular exhibit, there was a line halfway around the block. While waiting on 5th avenue, I caught this shot of the Empire State Building from a distance. (Sadly, no giant on the building - this is real life.) 

I only wish I was using a real camera, and not the one on the cell phone to capture this shot. Luckily, the line moved fast, and my niece reached me before I was about to go inside.

It's hard to believe that the Frick was once a private mansion - it's a perfect setting for most of the art inside it. And Frick left his mansion and art collection to be enjoyed by society - which it does.  I'll certainly be going back again.... Since I couldn't take pictures of the art on the walls, I had to settle for a shot of the fountain in the middle of the museum.

You'll note that there is a picture hidden by the fountain. That picture was the reason why my niece and I changed our plans from going to MOMA to going to the Frick.  I'm including a photo of that painting below.

It looks even more impressive in person. (In some ways, this woman's face reminds me of my niece.) This is one exhibit that I would have felt more than comfortable paying full price to see. There were other "Dutch Masters" on display, and I was impressed by what the artists were able to accomplish in their medium.

Alas, it was over way too soon (the rest of the Frick's exhibits were off limits), and it was time to leave. My niece and I decided to go to MOMA next week - and I've invited GFL to come into Manhattan to meet my niece before she's gone.

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

You ought to be in pictures.

The last game night of the year.... (probably)

Today, I had a laser appointment scheduled for 6:00 pm. This meant that there was no way I was going to go in to the office when little of consequence would take place, and most of the staff would be killing vacation days before the end of the year.And yet, I had some work to do - as they mis-processed some incoming data, and I was available to fix the problem.

I got no flak from my boss for working from home. However, she might be looking at me a little askew, as I wasn't reachable for a problem that happened yesterday - and this was traced back to my cell phone number not being on record. Now, it will end up being on record - and I'll be disturbed at the damnedest times. But I'll skip over that for now.

Laser, as usual, hurt like a bitch when the technician did my upper lip. However, the other areas of my face hurt much less - as if most of the hairs have been cleared. Next time I go for a face zapping, I'll be there at least 1/2 hour earlier. This will give me more time to change into Marian Mode and go to my games meetup than I had today. However, the 6:00 pm face zapping wasn't the cause of me being late for the meetup. Instead, I had to take a call from someone trying to place a rescue dog with Vicki - and this call took up the better part of 1/2 hour, as I explained why I thought Vicki would make a great care giver for another dog.

Eventually, I made it out, knowing I'd be late for the meetup. And on the way there, I placed two calls: the first to Vicki, and the second to GFL. It seems like GFL is still feeling under the weather, and is getting concerned that the work on her basement is not progressing according to any schedule. What makes things even worse, is the fact that her contractor has been missing a few days lately - and she doesn't know in advance that she'll have a free day, where she doesn't have to stay around the house. This is also screwing up my schedule, as I don't know whether she can make it up here to spend the night - and I'd like to spend some time in Westchester on weekends now and then....

I was lucky when I reached the meetup - there was a game about to be started where I could jump in and play.  However, I lost that game. The next game (Yikerz) was simpler and much more fun - it was played with powerful magnets, and the aim of the game was to get all your pieces on the board without forcing a piece off the board, or attracting it to stick to your magnet. And I won both games.

All too soon, it was time to leave - and I left, looking forward to my next time in Marian Mode with people who enjoy my company that way....

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Reflections on a Christmas just past....

When I'm not sure if I'll have access to a computer, I try to prepare postings in advance and have their posting automated via several tools. This Christmas's postings were not an exception - they were prepared a couple of days in advance, and set to post without my assistance or intervention. So the earliest I could post anything up to date regarding the holiday was today....

Leaving for work on Tuesday, I missed the train I intended to catch by 5 minutes - I could see it in the station as I was driving into an empty parking lot. So I decided to turn around, get a freshly made egg sandwich at the local deli, and go to work on the next train. Christmas Eve was an expected light day at work - and these expectations held true. With the exception of answering a couple of emails, I had nothing to do except baby sit things until an early holiday dismissal. And that dismissal came soon enough.

So it was off to the ferry for a day and a half in Staten Island. At the ferry terminal, I caught the gentlemen below doing some great Motown tunes.

This is the first time I've seen these gentlemen, and I hope it's not the last.  By the time the ferry came, there were more people gathered around these fellows than at the ferry gate.

Being the day before Christmas, the ferry was much more crowded than usual. It was the first time that anyone asked me to take my bags off the bench so that someone else could find a seat. And I didn't mind doing this. But before I did so, I noticed that my duffel bag needed repair - and I plan to do this when I have a chance.

GFL met me at the ferry, late as usual, but she had a story to tell that put any complaints I had on the back burner. It seems that she had some chest pains the night before, and spent the better part of Tuesday either taking care of her grandson, or in the hospital emergency room with chest pains. Although the doctor eventually cleared her of having had a heart attack, she does have to take it easy - and that means: "No Heavy Lifting" for a while. (Guess who did the lifting of things for the next two days.) This meant that she was not able to wrap her presents, and it meant she was way behind on things by the time she picked me up at the ferry terminal. Add to this, that she wasn't feeling that good, recovering from a cold, and I wished she could have stayed home over the holiday.

Shortly after picking me up, we went to her cousin's for Christmas Eve dinner.  If I weren't already seriously overweight, I would have been after this night. There was no way I was going to skip a chance to indulge in eating Alaskan King Crab legs, and other seafood that I rarely get the chance to eat. We had a good time, and both of us fell out shortly after we made it back to her place.

The next morning, Christmas Day, we exchanged our gifts. As much as I love what she gave me (it fits my style perfectly, but I have no place to put it), I almost wish she gave me something else. I can't complain, as I know how much she was thinking of me, and know how much effort it took to get me the gift below.

Considering that "The Addams Family" was one of my favorite TV shows and Movies, this pair of dolls fits my style perfectly.  Even the theme song made it near the charts. So this gift is a keeper!

Given that GFL was not able to lift her uncooked ham out of the downstairs refrigerator, guess who was in charge of moving it from refrigerator to stove top, then to oven, back to stove top, to car, and then into her cousin's house for eventual consumption. (I didn't mind doing this.)  But before we left, GFL had an conversation with her mother, and it ended up with GFL not taking her mom to the Christmas party. (No, GFL did not cause her mom not to go - her mom has some problems I won't go into here, unless GFL says it's OK.) 

On the way to the party, I saw something on the side of the road that I have never seen before. GFL was running late and wouldn't turn back. I put a mental note to pass back this way on the way home, as I wanted to get some pictures of this object when not in motion....  So, we finally arrived at the Christmas Party, and some of her family asked about her mom - and then a smaller number were telling GFL that she had a duty to drag her mom to the party, and that her mom had a duty to come. If I had heard one of her relatives hector GFL in this way, I would have given him a piece of my mind - as I had to deal with this with my late wife and doctor's visits, and I still hurt a little thinking about this. But back to GFL and the party....

Like the day before, there was an early "meal" and a later "meal" - both times, enough food was served to feed Patton's 3rd Army. And again, it was hard not to overeat.  If I didn't have to be available for another day of work where I'll have nothing to do, I'd have stayed over GFL's for another night.  But I couldn't skip work, so we left the party early.

We returned home the same way we went to the party, and yes, the aforementioned object was still on the side of the road. And even GFL understood the significance of what I noticed, and stopped to take her own pictures. To satisfy any curiosity you may have, I'm including a photo of this object below....

Yes - Normally, this car is moving and taking pictures of the street it travels on. In this case, I got a picture of it standing still - a very rare sight in this part of the country.

It was a little sad when I left GFL at the ferry terminal - she was still feeling under the weather, and I know she'll soon see doctors for her chest pain and for the cough that isn't going away. I can't help but wonder what will happen next to her....  Even feeling this way, the view of the metropolitan skyline always gives me some comfort.

Arriving at Grand Central, the light show I talked about in a prior entry was still going on - and I caught a few more pictures of it, which I'm posting below.

Shortly afterwards, I was on my train home.  I struck up a conversation with the female conductor a little too late to have a lot of fun. But I did get the chance to show her a picture of me at Fantasia Fair - and she couldn't believe that it was me.  And I know we'll have a longer conversation the next time we're on the same train together....

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Normalcy - is there anything more that we can ask for at this time of year?

I haven't said much about being transgendered lately, save having this blog serve as a document for my daily activities. Why, you might ask, am I doing that? Well, after one has broken through the initial fear of going out in the world, sometimes it's best to chronicle one's activities so that others who follow in our footsteps can see how normal life becomes once a fear is conquered. But on this day, I'd like to address the idea of "Normalcy" again.

What is "Normalcy?" I have addressed this subject before, and will do so again with time. There are many answers to this. Each person will define it differently. And each definition should evolve to fit the needs of that person. In my case, "Normalcy" involves being able to go out in the world as a female and be accepted as such, as in the picture below.

You'd have a hard time seeing anything awkward about me or the people with me in this picture. That's important to me. Sometime next month, Maria and I will be going to this meetup together after having a nice dinner together. And my "Normalcy" will be extended to include having friends with me on occasion when I go to meetups with "civilians."

My "Normalcy" will be, by definition, unique to me. And I am lucky so far, to have many of my friends accept me for who I am - no matter in which gender I am presenting at the time. Some of my friends see a difference in personalty, a difference in expression, a tenderness that exists when I am in female mode from that when I am in male mode. Yet, others see the same person coming through in either presentation - the softness that is masked by my male persona comes through in my female persona, but the person underneath the clothing is the same.

Part of my "Normalcy" seems to involve me testing my limits - something I tend not to do in male mode. I have little problems "outing" myself if I feel little risk in doing so with a person. Some people look at this as outreach. I don't. Instead, I look at this as having a simple conversation with someone, and sharing something about myself that they might find interesting, but not offensive. In short, I'm treating my transgendered nature as something that is statistically normal and assuming that it can be a safe topic to bring up with the right people.

Can this risk taking cause me any angst? Yes, especially if I feel rejected or ostracized by people. But this has not been the case so far. Each time I have opened up to others has been rewarded by good conversation and a possible new friendship (if done with a local "stranger"). I've found that people tend to be more accepting than I once expected. However, I still have to be on the lookout. There are people who are very religious who would consider what I do to be an abomination. And that's why letting the other person talk about him or herself is so important. People love to talk about themselves, and letting them do so can give us enough information to help insure our safety in risky situations - helping us know what to do and what not to do at the time. Sadly, the necessity of caution has to be part of the new "Normalcy" as well.

I expect that my "Normalcy" will evolve a lot over the next year. Part of this evolution will involve finding more places in which and more people with whom to interact as a female. This poses the question - Will I reject my male persona? Probably not. Right now, it as much a part of my "Normalcy" as my female persona. And this is good for the moment. Over time, this may change. But I'm taking things one day at a time, and seeing where this journey into femininity will lead.

So I will close out by wishing you a very Merry Christmas, and leave you with this tune.

White Christmas - from "Holiday Inn"

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday Season Gratitude

Many of us have lost both friends and family by coming "out" of our closets. Some of us (like myself) have to live part of our lives inside a closet due to the trade-offs we make. In my case, it's having both a job and relationships with my family. With others, they may be protecting friendships as well. But most of us have at least one someone they can lean on in times of stress. And this is the time to show that person (or collection of people) how grateful you are to have them in your life - as I am trying to do here....

Compared with many, I have a lot to be thankful for. I still have a job. I still have my extended family. I still have a romantic relationship. I still have my friends. I could go on and on with this list, but I think you, the reader, will get what I mean.  When I hear of the problems my friends and family have to deal with, and read about the problems my acquaintances have to deal with, then I am grateful that I have a relatively light burden to bear.

Some of my readers are able to be with their families at this time of year - and I hope they are grateful for that. (I'll be grateful to be able to spend time with GFL and her family.) Others will have their special friends - and I hope they are grateful as well. But for those who are not able to be with their friends or family at this year, I hope next year, that things will change, and that they can be with the special people in their lives.


On other matters - do you have any ideas of what Santa will bring this year?  I certainly don't. (I should clarify that - my dad always gives me money, as he knows that I know more of what I want and need than he does.)  GFL doesn't know what I'm getting her either. 

I'm lucky to have GFL in my life this holiday season. Last year at this time, the woman I was serious with decided to break up with me to get back with the man with whom she never fell out of love. (Problems go away by themselves.) And I'm glad that I did the right thing by telling GFL about my transgender nature before we got physically intimate.

Merry Christmas....

And, I'll close this with another one of my little ditties....

Snoopy and the Red Baron 

Quickie: Christmas Eve, and I'm lugging gifts again

Originally, I was thinking of working from home today, and then working from home on Thursday. But I had second thoughts, as going to the office would make it an easier trek to the ferry on this day before the holiday....

So it's off to the office I go - and loaded with gifts. Of course, the weather will get colder this afternoon, and they expect some flurries to complicate things.


I wish I had taken the time to watch the light show at Grand Central. When I passed through there the other day, I saw the tail end of the show - and couldn't get my camera out quick enough to capture some stunning displays that celebrated GCT's 100th anniversary year.

You'll note that the latter picture has the number "100" in it. I missed getting a picture of "GCT" in the 3 windows 10 seconds beforehand.

If I'm lucky, I'll get to see this when I go home tomorrow night. If not, I'm glad I caught part of this show....


Although I have posts coming up, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas in advance....


Monday, December 23, 2013

Oops! My breast has fallen and it can't get up.

I'll bet you're wondering what happened with an entry title like that.  Well, when I got home from Xmas shopping, I noticed a strange feeling - it seems like my breast form decided to slip out of my bra and start falling down.  (I hope it didn't come loose until after I sat down in my car for my final drive home. I'd be embarrassed if anyone saw me with one breast falling down because the front bra hooks came loose.....

But I'd rather speak about the evening I had....

When I got home, I knew this was the last shopping evening before Christmas - and whatever presents I had yet to buy had better get bought now. So I changed into Marian Mode, and started driving the back roads towards Danbury. Well, not even 10 minutes into my trip, I hit a line of red lights. It seemed like someone couldn't stop to make a turn, and T-Boned a car driving through the intersection. There were several fire trucks at the intersection, and no way to get through it. This caused me to rethink my plans, and I turned around so that I could shop locally.

GFL had indicated that she needed a new nightgown. This ended up being one of the things I bought. Lili got a book that I hope she'll read, and practice the exercises in it - this should help her attack some of the problems in her life. And I even got some candy for GFL's mom. Lots of driving around for things I could have bought earlier in the shopping season. But it was worth it to get out in Marian Mode.

After getting all the gifts, I decided to eat at a local diner.  (This is why I hope that my breast form didn't start slipping until I was back in the car.  I don't like to use the tape to keep my forms in place, but after tonight's incident, I will consider doing this - especially when wearing a front hook bra.)

On the whole, it was a good evening. If anyone noticed, they will forget it quickly. (Or, at least, I hope so....) 

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

Christmas Dragnet

Quickie: Last Minute Christmas Shopping

Yesterday, GFL gave me an idea of what she could use for Christmas. So I'm going to the store tonight to buy her a nightgown. But I am also going to look for a simple gift for her mother - something that is hard to do, considering that her mom doesn't take much of an interest in anything any more....

Of course, I'll be shopping en-femme, and it will be my last time to be this way until after Christmas. I've been looking for opportunities to get into Marian Mode whenever possible, and I've been finding them. And this last pre-Christmas trip will also allow me get me a little something that will make my life easier when getting into Marian Mode. (If I get it, I'll send a picture with some text in a follow-up entry.)

So, until later.....

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Birthday Ceebration with Dad and a Night with GFL.

It's been a long weekend.  I'm exhausted and it's not even 10:00 pm on a Sunday evening. I'm not complaining. I got to see my dad and I had a chance to spend a night with GFL. 

On Saturday, I went down to see my dad using mass transit. Last year, this was a 2->2.5 hour trip from the Northern suburbs to Western Nassau county.This year, it took me a little longer than that, because I missed a train at Penn Station (NYP), and had to wait about 45 minutes for the next train to where my dad lives. Now, for those of you who have never been to the LIRR concourse at NYP, it is reminiscent of the 9th circle of Hell - except that I'm told that Hell is much more comfortable and easier to navigate. Adding to the torture at NYP was an inability to reach my dad - his phone was out, and I had to call my brother to arrange to be picked up at the train station.

On the way to NYP, I stumbled across the person below, and was entertained for a minute while moving through the Times Square station from the shuttle to the 7th avenue line.

This lady was very good, but the only thing I could think of while she played the violin was how another tune was used in a Warner Brothers' cartoon with Bugs Bunny. (And that's another story for another day.) So I made my way down to the 7th avenue platform and saw these fellows on the Uptown platform across from me.

Although I can't remember what they were playing, they were good - and I wish they were on the Downtown platform, so that I could hear them better.  

And now back to my dad....

It was my dad's 86th birthday, and we decided to go to a local bar and grill for  a burger and brew. And that's what we had. But leaving the place, my dad softly tapped a car as he was trying to get out of the parking lot and make room for an oncoming car from the direction we were heading. After a little commotion (most of it from the over-excited driver, and not my dad), and making sure that there was no damage, we were on our way again with my dad behind the wheel. Unfortunately, he is getting to be unsafe behind the wheel, as he drove aggressively through the side streets on the way home. This made me very nervous, and determined to call my brother as soon as I had a free moment. I dropped off the presents bound for family members, and took the wheel of my dad's car to get to the train station for the next leg of my long day's journey....

Now, I was off to Penn Station, looking to make a subway connection to the Staten Island Ferry by 4:30 pm. The train should have gotten us into NYP on time, but the connection to NYP was delayed getting into Jamaica. So I made the 5:00 ferry with time to spare. Yet, GFL was late (as usual) picking me up at the ferry terminal. We dropped my bags at her place (one containing Christmas gifts, and the other containing a fruit basket my uncle sent to my dad, but dad didn't want), and then went out to eat.

I won't go into everyting that transpired that evening, save that we had a nice, long chat, and went to sleep early (stress being on the word sleep). But part of this conversation referred to my transgendered nature. I refer to my two persona in an unusual way, which I have noted in other blog entries. When in female mode, I refer to my male presentation as my brother. And when in male mode, I refer to my female presentation as my sister. GFL knows enough to want to make sure that I am not a schizophrenic, and after this conversation is very comfortable with what I'm doing. She understand that I'm using this convention, in part, because if we're in public, anyone over hearing our chat won't turn a head. And if in private, it's an easy way to refer to the presentation - without blending the genders. GFL also mentioned that her nightgowns and pajamas are all starting to get ratty, and showed me one. Guess what I'm going out to shop for before the holiday - one for her, and one (in a different pattern) for me, both to wear on a cold Winter's evening....

The next morning, we woke up early, so that we could be ready for the construction people to work on her basement. But the contractor had to cancel out for the day - a family member was in the hospital for an emergency, so we had the day to ourselves!  Yay!!!! And this meant going out to New Jersey to do some errands before I had to return home. 

Sadly, the weekend ended too quickly, and I had to leave. But I'll be down there again on Tuesday, and I'll be glad to see her.....

Saturday, December 21, 2013

An unexpected delivery before dinner

Yesterday (Friday) was a day where, with certain knowledge, I'd have been able to be en-femme most of the day, and take a leisurely ride to Woodstock to go shopping for some special jewelry. Unfortunately, my cleaning lady came very late in the day, and I couldn't start my transition to Marian Mode until she was safely gone AND I could leave things (like the boxes I use to store my breast forms) out in the open for convenience in putting them away....

I usually leave the apartment while my cleaning lady, N, is working. And I return well after she's gone. In this case, I returned around 5:00 pm and found two packages from Woman Within. In one bag, was a poncho sweater I ordered and an inexpensive blue coat. In the other bag was a long sleeved black mock turtleneck that I bought to go with the poncho. And I think I got the look right, if the photographs below captures my image correctly....

And, in case you're wondering how I looked without the sweater on, here's another picture for you....

When Lili called me on the way home from Hartford, I suggested dinner - and she eventually said yes. (She got lost on the way back, but that's another story for another day.)  So I proceeded to get dressed in the outfit seen above, and meet her at her place.

Over dinner at a local place, Lili mentioned that she knows the fellow she broke up with is not right for her. But she still wants someone to scratch her itch - and would want that fellow for a booty call. (She's making a mistake, but some people learn the hard way.) As for me, I had someone with whom I could enjoy dinner - and a pleasant conversation to boot. (It'd have been nicer if I could have spent time with GFL, but with stuff over both her beds, she'll have enough work getting room for one person to sleep tonight.)

Lili is a regular at this restaurant, and introduced me to a woman (a waitress), including me in their chat. It was nice to hear this lady address us as "Ladies", with me being recognized as part of the sorority. (Whether or not I was "read" was another question - I was simply enjoying socializing in the role of a woman.)

All too early, it was time to go home. And I did so via the mall, where I was in Sears when half the lights went out. (They were on a timer, and when the store is open very late at this time of year, someone has to reset the lights for normal "open" status.) Of course, I passed by Kohl's, and this store will be open continuously until 6:00 pm Christmas Eve (like a few other stores). So I went in, and decided to look in the women's clothing section - and saw a nice pair of trousers in my size. I couldn't resist trying them on in the fitting room - and decided to buy them,

Now, I knew it was time to go home. I blew my budget for the day in shopping missions, buying my brother's present as well as a present for myself. At least, tomorrow will be another day - and I hope to see my dad before going to see GFL for the evening.

So I'll leave you with another Christmas related tune....

Ray Stevens - Redneck Christmas

Christmas time - and the obligatory gift giving

It's hard to believe that it's Christmas time with the temperature expected to reach the 60 degree mark at the Winter Solstice. But it is. And with that time comes the obligatory visits to family to exchange gifts. This wouldn't be so bad, except that I have to be in two places - Long Island and Staten Island. And, as they say - "You can't get there from here." Actually, in my case, you can't get to either place without a minimum of two or three transfers on mass transit.

My dad turned 86 this weekend, and I have to visit him to drop off his presents, as well as presents for my brother's family. This year, there is one less gift to give - my nephew, B, from my sister in law's first marriage is nowhere to be found. In some ways I feel very sorry for B. First, (to use an expression), when brains were being handed out, he didn't get a full serving. Next, his biological dad poisoned his relationship with my brother and his mom, causing no end to problems as B was growing up. And then, B had a substance abuse problem. B stole from his friends and family to pay for his addiction, alienating everyone who could help him along the way. He was kicked out of houses where he'd live with family members, and finally, kicked out of my brother's house for the second time. Frankly, my brother's family is better off without him, as he was pulling the trigger on my sister in law's alcoholism - giving her the excuses she needed to fall off the wagon. (And that's another story for another day.)

Back to my dad and his birthday. It's a minimum of a two hour trip to see him via mass transit. But, I prefer to go to him via mass transit these days, as a trip to Long Island and then to Staten Island (with all indirect costs included) by car would likely cost me $70 or so, when most of the net cost via mass transit is free, as I already have my commuter pass that I use on a regular basis. The trade-off is time - I'll spend 4 hours in transit today, with another 3 tomorrow. (Although my time is worth more than $10/hour, I can't afford to wear out my new car as quickly as I did the old one. So for a 150 mile round trip that I can keep off the car's odometer, it may be worth it to use trains, subways, buses, and ferries to achieve my transit goals.)

So, I'll take my dad out for lunch, and then get back on the road for my trip to Staten Island. I expect to reach GFL by 4:00 or 5:00 pm or so. And we may not have as much flexibility in what we want to do, as we may be working on cleaning up a pile of things in the middle of her basement. But, with possibly one exception, all the gifts destined for Staten Island will be delivered as well today.

You'll note that I'm spending no time in Marian Mode over the next two days, save for the time I'm in my nightgowns. As much as I'd prefer to be en-femme, my dad will never see me this way, and GFL has yet to see me this way - and I prefer her to do so for the first time when visiting me, and not when I visit her. In addition, the wig I now wear retains more heat than my old wig, and when the weather gets warm or humid, I have a harder time staying comfortable. (This gives me much more of a reason to lose weight - I hope I start doing so soon, but I keep having a hard time resisting temptation lately when food is in front of me.) But before then, I plan to revisit the wig store and ask the lady who sold me my wig if there's anything I can do to be more comfortable AND ask if she can get me another high quality wig in the same style and color as that I'm wearing now. (I want to be able to spend even more time, if possible, in Marian Mode, and I'm already looking for ways to deal with the Summer's heat that will eventually come.)

But until then, another little Christmas Ditty....

Dogs barking "Jingle Bells".

Friday, December 20, 2013

Miscellaneous odds and ends - good for making sausage?

Just for fun, I looked for the person who took the following picture of Meg and I on Facebook....

Sadly, I have been Facebook defriended. This is not a big deal. I haven't been in contact with her in months, and we were never close in the first place. But it would have been nice to have been able to say hello the next time I'm in DC.


Now that the Winter is almost officially here, I am thinking about arranging another trip South sometime in the Spring. If I do so, I'll have to burn off some vacation days, spend some money, and give GFL the chance to join me. It's the latter that could create the most interesting wrinkle, as GFL has yet never seen me in person in Marian Mode, nor has she yet traveled with me in any mode.

Assuming I can afford to take this trip South, I'm looking at spending a day or two in Philadelphia (the Mutter museum and the US Mint would be near the top of my list of things to see), a day in Baltimore (where I'd want to see the B&O Railroad Museum), and then a couple of days in DC before returning home. There are people I want to see in all three cities, and if I schedule this right, I hope they will all ve available to see me.

Ideally, GFL would be with me for this trip. But 5+ days with me en-femme might be too much for her to deal with. So, I'll see how we travel together for a simple overnight trip first - and then bring up the idea of spending more time with me. We're getting to the point where we should be spending more time together - and I'd like to see whether we have what it takes to make this a long term relationship.


Of course, being with GFL means that many of my weekends have been booked up. This has gotten in the way of me seeing Lili (when she wants to buy costume jewelry to sell, then see her mom afterwards), as well as other friends. This is normal with a relationship - but I'm one of those people who needs 8 days in a week.

I'm not blaming this problem on GFL - both of us have friends and people we can meet and spend time with. I just like spending time with her than with some of the people I know. Where I do have a concern is that I'm not as able to spend as much time with Lili, Vicki, Maria, and P (the hypnotist) as I'd like.

Since I've already met GFL's family and many of her friends, it is time that I get the chance to introduce her to my friends and family. And the only way I'll be able to do this is to schedule things carefully when she's up here - which hasn't been in a while due to things like her basement overhaul that I've noted in prior blog entries.


Thinking of booked up weekends, there are many things I'd do as Marian that I wouldn't do as my male self. I guess that there is a part of me that wouldn't mind going to a church once in a while - but to a GLBT friendly one. Luckily, many of both Unitarian and Episcopalian churches are inclusive - and that includes the two churches in my little hamlet. One thing I can say for certain - even with this new Pope, you will not find me in a RC church - especially the one in my town.


It's hard to believe that this is the last weekend before Christmas. And I'm almost done with my shopping. Amazing, huh?  Not really, when you consider that two gifts are gift cards from Panera Bread and Starbucks. But it may provide me with one last opportunity to buy a jewelry gift for myself. And this may involve a trip to Woodstock - I'm not sure yet.


It's time for me to get away from this computer for a while.  So, I'll leave you with this Christmas ditty - appropriate in times where domestic spying is in the news....   Enjoy!!!

Ray Stevens - Santa Claus Is Watchin' You

Thursday, December 19, 2013

New York City in Holiday Season

December is usually the best month to visit New York City. Although it is Winter (by most people's reckoning), it is usually quite comfortable going out (albeit with a coat), and pleasant. This is the time of year that the city gets decked with all of its' finest. The tree is up at Rockefeller Center, the famous stores have decorated themselves for Christmas, Grand Central is decorated for the holidays (at least Vanderbilt Hall is decorated with tiny shops that are only open during holiday season), the toy trains are on display in the NY Transit Museum annex, while the Nostalgia Train runs on Sundays underground.  One could say a lot about other months of the year, but December is prime time in New York City.

Tonight, I had to run into NYC for a professional society meeting. This season is one of the few times I don't mind making an extra trip to New York when I don't really need to do so. But it felt very strange putting on a men's suit - especially since I haven't worn one since last year's meeting. (And I could tell that I put on a few pounds, when my goal was to lose more than a few.) I was lucky to make it to the inbound train on time, as I was stuck following a school bus on my way to the train station. And I was luckier still, as I had to spend an extra few minutes hunting for a parking spot. But all was worth it... I made the train.

Although the people who set up this train set tried to include a New York City landmark or two in the layout, for the most part, it is a typical Lionel train set on steroids.

Beneath the above trestle, you'll find men at work laying track. (And the men move - as was the case with old Lionel accessories.)

There may be no mountains in the NYC subway system, but there are tunnels. And below is a shot of old "Redbirds" coming out of a tunnel. (It looks much better in person, when you can see the trains move, instead of seeing the blur from a moving train.)

And for a better view beneath the trestle....

Of course, the Redbirds had to stop at an Elevated station.  Too bad that it wasn't long enough to load all the cars.

And now we are at the side of Grand Central. You'll notice that there is no access to the former Pan Am (now Met Life) building....

And who'd have thought that the Empire State Building is so close to Grand Central. I'm glad that they did the right thing, and properly displayed the giant ape in all its glory.

After killing a little time, I made it to my meeting. Before entering the main room, they had a photographer who was taking professional pictures of all of us at the meeting. The photographer noted that, for a better picture, I should take off the lanyard on which I keep both my commuter pass and my work ID. (This would cause me a problem later on.) At this meeting, there was a lady who made a presentation on her firm's initiative to retrofit the Empire State Building and make it more energy efficient. It was a good presentation, but it wasn't as good as last year's presentation. Instead of staying for the year-end chapter activities, I had to run home. But not before getting at least one shot of the light show being played on the West windows of Grand Central. (I wish I had more time to enjoy the show. But I had a train to catch and only minutes to spare.)

I can only imagine how nice it would have been to see the whole 30 minute "performance". Maybe next time, when I come back from seeing GFL....?

But my confusion hadn't ended yet.  When I got to my train, I couldn't find my commuter pass, nor could I find my ID card for work. There was no way I was going to pay an extra $25 to get home, so I got off the train and searched all my belongings with me for the pass and its lanyard. The one place I didn't look was where I usually put it - around my neck! Somehow, I must have had the thought to put the lanyard back around my neck, so that I wouldn't forget it. And I did forget that I had done so. DUH!!!

It's getting late, and I want to get comfortable. So I'll leave you with this little Christmas morsel....

Elmo and Patsy - Grandma got run over by a Reindeer