Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween

It's now the day where it's safe for most of us to go out en-femme. And for those who aren't doing so because of being closeted, I hope you're making the most of this once-a-year opportunity to put on a frock and go outside. With that being said, today was a shopping day.  No, I didn't end up buying anything. But it was fun to get out and about in my new dress. And after a little touch up, it'll be off to games night in my lower county meetup.

Even though it's been over a year now that I've been out and about en-femme, I still haven't developed a truly personal style of dress. Lili has been a great help in keeping me from being too drab. I have to be careful about her stylistic advice. I'd really like more time with Vicki to develop a more elegant, yet casual style that better fits my wants and needs. 

So in a little while, it'll be off to the games meetup. The weather will be rainy and windy, so I'll have to be careful later on when I leave the meetup.

More later....

A long delayed visit with P (the Hypnotist)

Tonight, I simply wanted to get into Marian Mode and out of the house. So I called P (the Hypnotist) and ran down to her place to catch up on things.

P had a lot to be proud of. She had two magazine articles published in a new glossy magazine. (To protect her privacy, I won't mention the magazine or the subjects of the articles. But I can say that you'd recognize the person she interviewed.) If you didn't know the full story, one might think that P is a successful woman. However, she married poorly (and was divorced), and suffered health problems in what would have been her prime earning years. And now, she's living on a shoestring.

When I got there, she loved the outfit I was wearing....


Looking at it, I should have been wearing dark colored tights, and maybe allow the skirt to ride a little lower. But I can't complain much about this combination.


After taking the above picture, she showed me the magazine articles, and then noted that she needs to buy a new computer. It seems that her friend's husband wanted to "help" P make her computer run better, and in the process, put her computer in the shop because of a configuration that he screwed up. What made things worse is that he didn't volunteer to pay for the repairs that he made necessary. (Too bad it is the husband of her closest friend that did the damage - she's afraid to stand up for herself and risk the friendship. And I can't blame her.  If I were in that position, I'd have been shouting at the husband - LEAVE MY COMPUTER ALONE! It may have put a lot of things at risk, but I think he'd have listened if she started shouting at him to stop screwing up HER computer.) Another one of her friends is trying to get her to hop on the Apple food chain - something she doesn't need to do, and something she can not afford. It seems as if I'm the only honest broker of computer advice she has, because I have nothing to prove, no masculine notch to put on a belt.

So, now I'm committed to help her buy an inexpensive computer - and to make sure that these "friends" are not able to "Help" her with the new computer. Of course, P will trade her hypnosis skills for my computer skills any day. And I'll be glad to do this - maybe I'll finally get on track with the weight loss that I've wanted to restart for so long, and never seem to keep on track....

On the way down to P's, I called up Lili.  It seems like she was in a funk because of a problem she had the other day. To make things brief, she arranges her "sales shows" via an intermediate firm, to whom she pays a certain fee. This firm will place her in places such as Pfizer, Pepsi, Verizon and other large firms, and she will sell her Jewelry on site. Well, she had an ethical problem, where by doing the right thing, she got screwed royally.

When she set up her merchandise at this firm, she noticed that one vendor (who also uses the same intermediary) was selling illegal knock-off handbags. She mentioned to the other vendor that she shouldn't have these bags on public display - recent crackdowns for trademark infringement make selling these items risky.  And if the vendor gets caught, the intermediary firm could also be at big risk.  There was an argument, and Lili called the intermediary firm. That firm canceled the other person's contract then and there. But things were not over.  The other vendor poisoned the well for Lili, and made her persona non grata at the site, with the site's staff telling Lili that she was not welcome at the site anymore.  (It's amazing how lower class people will defend their "right" to buy $50 knockoffs of $2000 handbags!)  So Lili's in a funk, and it'll take a few more days to get out of it.

Tomorrow, I have to make my plans for the rest of the weekend.  On Friday, I'll likely go to see my dad on Long Island, as well as meet a friend for coffee who also has met a keeper via the dating sites. Then, on Saturday, I'll catch up with GFL - and spend some time together. There are not enough hours in the day and not enough days in the week for me these days - especially when it comes to en-femme time.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Quickie: Bring in a rush to change

Yes, it's another long weekend for me....  And another chance to be in Marian Mode.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to stay this way all weekend. But for the next day and a half, I will enjoy the time I have in this mode, save for the time I have to return to boy mode to see my doctor for my physical....

So, I'll have something to say a little later....

Which is better? Stealth Mode or being Out in the Open?

I pose this question to our community - is it better for a transgendered person to live life in stealth mode, or is it better to be openly transgender and be "Out"?

Why do I ask this?  Shouldn't we be able to about our lives, being treated with respect either way? The problem is that "Should" and "Could" are two different things. When the family of a 6 year old M2F transgender girl has to fight for their daughter's right to go to the bathroom appropriate for her gender presentation, it is easy for us to be victimized. When we are in stealth mode, we depend on out ability to "pass" to make it through the gender world. If one has a female enough body, female enough face, and female enough voice, one has a good chance of being treated as if a natal female. But those of us in stealth mode are invisible, and do not show the world that we are not freaks. 

First, let's try to define what I mean by being transgendered. In my mind, I look at it as being a person whose (in utero) gender development has left a dissonance between brain and body. The brain develops with a female pattern while the body develops along male lines. If being transgendered is diagnosed in a child before s/he reaches puberty, then hormone therapy can be started to stop the development of masculine physical traits, then later allow for the development of feminine physical traits. (Of course, there may be surgery, but I'm focusing on what a non-transgendered person will see when clothing is worn.) But there will always be people for whom this early medical intervention will not take place. And many of these people will have a hard time if they choose to live their lives in the gender in which their mind has developed.

So, back to being "Out"....

In places such as Provincetown (especially during Fantasia Fair), being "Out" is not a liability. We have critical mass in this community. However, we are not as lucky in many regions of the country. Those of us who do not exhibit enough feminine traits fear going out and about, as they know how cruel many people can be.  (I've experienced this first hand, but have enough of a thick skin to let it slide.)  So they live in the shadows. They may go to a GLBT bar, or GLBT gathering now and then, but they are not showing the outside world that we (and our community) are not freaks, that we are simply "normal" people whose bodies did not develop along the lines our brains have developed.

We are not yet visible enough in society to have our needs taken seriously. As I've noted elsewhere in this blog, I'm taking a middle path. I am open about being transgendered (save with family and career), and I go out and about en-femme when I'm in the mood.  There are others who have much more at risk than I do - they can lose family, friends, and careers, most of the things that give their lives meaning. Yet, we need to make ourselves visible - even those of us who can exist in stealth mode. If we find and use a similar political model to that used by the GLB community, we have a chance to have our needs met.

But the big question still remains - how do we get from here to there?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Quickie: And now for something with less controversy...

OK - I am safely off of my soapbox, and back on the ground again.  And just as well. A dress arrived from Lands End, and I can't wait to try it on....  Will I have enough room in my closet for it? Who knows?  But I know that when I put my laundry in its place, this dress will be tightly packed in the closed with a few of her companions....

Monday, October 28, 2013

Back doors and front doors

Before I begin, I want to let you know that I am not arguing for or against a position on a hot button issue. Instead, I am discussing back door techniques to ban a medical procedure which could be used against the transgender community, as well as back door regulations which are intended to negate a constitutionally protected right.

Today's post is inspired by a ruling which struck down Texas' law limiting the number of sites which may provide abortion services. It is similar in nature to a court ruling which affirmed the second amendment as specifying the right to keep and bear arms as an individual and not a communal right. 

Regardless of one's feelings are about abortion (pro-choice or pro-life), one should be upset about states putting in back door restrictions which effectively ban the procedure. Why you might ask? Many of the same techniques, the same methodology can be used against our community.  For example, religious fundamentalists could agitate for laws which restrict the transgendered to using bathrooms of their birth gender as a way of "protecting" others from harm.  Of course, that would be the tip of the iceberg - they could then restrict how we dress, and expressly allow others to discriminate against us - all in the name of maintaining social order.

To me, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled in Roe vs. Wade. Yet, if enough Conservatives want to have this ruling overturned, all they have to do is use constitutional processes to change the basic law of the land. It's the same argument I make about the second amendment. If the Liberals don't like it, work to get the constitution changed. Each time we make laws restricting the rights of the individual to benefit the larger society, we run the risk that we are taking another step towards tyranny. 

Why are the religious fundamentalists afraid that the freedom for a woman to have an abortion will stay the law of our land? To me, it's simple - if they can not control a woman's reproductive ability, they can not control the woman. If they can not control the woman, they won't be ab;e to control the man either. Is it any wonder that in a traditionalist society that a woman who enjoys sex outside of marriage is labeled a slut, and looked down upon?  (Please note that I believe that there are valid ethical reasons to oppose abortion. But I also believe that if a society compels a woman to bear a child, it takes on the responsibility to take care of that child if the woman is not able to do so. This social responsibility trade off is often dropped by the rabid anti abortion agitators.)

In the "Red States" we see laws regulating where, when, and how a woman may get an abortion. In the "Blue States", we see laws regulating where, when, and how a person may get and use a firearm. In both cases, reasonable laws can and should be made regarding these issues. But they should be made openly, and not via back door laws which indirectly prohibit the individual from exercising his/her freedoms.

So back to the transgendered community....

We keep seeing schools trying to restrict transgendered children from using the restrooms which correspond with their gender presentation. We see violence being directed at people perceived as transgender.  Why?  Because we challenge one of the Fundamentalists' most basic assumptions, and that scares them.  We challenge the idea of the gender binary. And the gender binary is at the core of how they organize and control their segments of society. If people can achieve their orgasms without following the directives of any of the so-called leaders, then these leaders have lost the most primitive form of control or influence upon society....

What should we do?

Well, as noted earlier, this blogger is not advocating a pro-choice or pro-life position. But we should fight against "back door" regulations or laws which restrict individual freedoms. Our position should always be - if you don't like a law, agitate to get it changed directly and openly. What good is the right to keep and bear arms if there is nowhere one can safely enjoy the legal use of firearms? What good is the theoretical right for a woman to have an abortion if there is nowhere that meets a state's requirements to provide these services?  We are directly affected by Fundamentalists and other social engineers using back door policies to attack the transgendered community. Therefore, we should force their behavior out in the open - where the mass of people prefer to just live and let live. 

Only by having social decisions made openly, will our rights be recognized....

Quickie: Finding time to be en-femme

Lately, I've been trying to find ways to spend more time en-femme.  The idea of going to meetups on a regular basis has been very useful in getting my butt out of the house and interacting with people. There's still more I can do, but I'm usually exhausted by the time I get home, and the last thing I want to do is go outside.

So I had mixed feelings when one of my meetup groups changed its scheduled night to Mondays from Thursdays.  I will now be able to spend two nights en-femme on some weeks, but will be a little exhausted on Tuesdays - my busiest day of the week at my office.

At least I have places to go, other than to go shopping....

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The end of a weekend en-homme

As I expected, I spent the entire weekend en-homme, and part of me was wishing I could have been at Fantasia Fair with friends I made last year.  Such is life.

Today started with a whimper - both GFL and I got up late, and she came in while I was in the middle of writing this morning's blog entry. So I posted an abbreviated entry, and said I'd get back to things later.  GFL and I had a pleasant and long conversation, talking about everything and nothing at the same time, and I noted that last year at this time, I was up in Provincetown at Fantasia Fair. She noted that I was lucky to have had the premonition that work would make it impossible to attend this year, as canceling my attendance gave me the flexibility to tell my boss I could shift my vacation around my project - and stay on my boss's good side. Of course, when I explained to GFL that FF would have cost me $600 (I forgot the exact figure) plus lodging and other incidentals, she said - that would have put a crimp in things, given you had to rush into buying a new car.  Imagine if on the drive to Provincetown, that the transmission died in transit...?  She's not against FF, her concern was all of the financial troubles I've dealt with this year.  (Who knows - she may even come up to FF with me next year, god and career willing.)

Once both GFL and I got up and moving, we had two key things to take care of today. First, we wanted to run over to Costco to pick up a good toaster oven to give her mom for her birthday. Second, we had to do some super light demolition in her basement, so that the HVAC people coming over tomorrow would have access to the back of her forced air heater. (The previous owners of the house made some dumb decisions in finishing the basement, one of which being to make the maintenance end of the heater inaccessible.) Of course, this meant that I might be getting a little dirty, as we removed some paneling to make access to the heater easy.

During this work, GFL looked into one of her closets in her basement.  And she offered me some of her dresses that she shrunk out of. (Too bad that they are two sizes too small.) Although she would not likely be getting excited over seeing me en-femme, she is comfortable with the idea that I will be dressing en-femme from time to time. And that is a big plus. But I noted to her that seeing pictures of me and seeing me in person are two different things. So we'll see what happens when she sees me in person for the first time while en-femme.

By the time we were finished, it was getting late.  So GFL reheated some stew, and it was off to the ferry.  When I got to the ferry, I had some time to spare, and I had a nice view through two sets of windows....


You'll note that there is no activity in the picture. Ever since 9/11/01, extra security measures have been in place in both Manhattan and Staten Island ferry terminals. And in this case, the area that allows passengers to embark and disembark from the ferries is off limits to the public, except when in use for the express purpose of getting on and off the ferries.

So after getting the above shot, I had time to kill, and had the pleasure of watching this fellow play....


It was a pleasure to listen to him play Besame Mucho. (This song became one of my favorites after hearing that the Beatles wanted to put it on one of their early albums, and couldn't find a way to do so. Other versions of it, including Diana Krall's, have made me a fan of the tune.)

Something I've noticed on many of my trips on the ferry is the presence of a Coast Guard boat accompanying the ferry as it crosses New York Harbor.  If you look carefully in the next three shots, you'll see a man on the deck of the Coast guard boat manning a machine gun as the ferry 




You will also notice that the escort is leaving us when the next ferry is about to reach what I call the "Hudson River Marine Corridor". In one sense, this must be easy duty - follow a ferry in both directions as it crosses the harbor. But in another sense, this must be hard duty - there is no room for error. If anything happens to the ferry on their watch, there will be hell to pay.

Of course, every trip on the Staten Island Ferry can reward its passengers with a view of the Statue of Liberty - and this passage was no exception.  The following is what I saw this trip.



Too bad I didn't have a real camera for my statue shots - it seems like any sunset shots I take from my cell phone come out a little grainy.

Shortly afterwards, we reached land. And it was time for me to take the subway, then the commuter rail back home.  Hopefully, I'll get more time to spend en-femme this week. Thursday will be my usual trip to my gaming meetup. But I may be able to meet with my friend M for a Thursday breakfast, followed by some time with Lili (her schedule permitting).  







Times Scare

No, the title of this blog entry isn't a typo. Instead, it's the name of a horror themed restaurant in the Times Square area which was appropriate to have lunch before seeing a Broadway.

But first....

This weekend, my blogging has been affected by being with GFL.  Instead of writing my daily entry when I get home from work, or late at night when the daily activities are over with, when with GFL, I'm writing them in the morning while there is peace and quiet in the house. And today, even that peace and quiet was disturbed earlier than I thought it would....

Yesterday, we went to see the Spiderman play on Broadway.  We had empty stomachs and time to kill before seeing the play, so we went to Times Scare for lunch.  The restaurant is a horror themed place, where the main dining room is made out like a cross between a funeral home's work area and a crematorium.  What a perfect place to visit just before Halloween.

To me, Spiderman is a mediocre entertainment made worthwhile by the acrobatics of the performers flying through the air using cable supports. (I'm a fan of drama, such as "12 Angry Men" and don't cotton much for musicals.) But I wanted to see this musical only for the acrobatics - and I wasn't disappointed. 

Afterwards, we went to an Alsatian restaurant for a rich dinner.  I'll hate looking at the scale when I see my doctor this Friday, but the meal was worth all the chastising I will get from him.  It was nice introducing GFL to a wonderful place in the theatre district.  (If you want to know why I don't name the place, it's simple.... You'll never find it unless you stumble into it, and it's always crowded.  I sill want my seat when I go there.)

But enough for now.  I'll post something else later....



Saturday, October 26, 2013

Brrrr......

Winter is coming...

Normally, this would not be much of an issue for me.  This year, I'm sensitized to it because of the shock to my body this weekend.  When I got up yesterday morning, I was in my usual rush to get to the train station on time, and forgot to pick up my winter coat.  This was a big mistake, as I needed that extra warmth to feel comfortable for the commute to work.

Later on in the day, this was again made clear to me when it was off to GFL's for the weekend. When I got there, she noted that her heat was off, and that the service man would be over on Monday morning. BRRRR!!!!  At least she has extra blankets on her bed.

Today, it will be off to Times Square to see Spiderman on Broadway.  This should be a fun entertainment. But I won't relish my time outdoors. But what does this mean to the transgendered part of me?

This week, I've noticed that a small number of women are still wearing dresses and skirts to work. Of course, they are pulling out their thermal tights to extend the dress and skirt wearing season (as I did, when I went to games night on Thuursday).  However, I expect this last gasp of the clothing season to end soon. And this will mean that I will be in pants when en-femme.

But I'll have more to say later on.  Right now, it's time to get back under the covers and get warm.








Friday, October 25, 2013

Game night - a pleasant aftermath

Game night has come and gone, and I'm about to become drab again.  

Today was a day where any schedules I would have made would have been subject to change. At the office, I was on a 6 hour conference call - and could have worked another hour or two taking care of little things. As it was, I was late for the train I planned to take home - and just as well.  I was able to respond to a query from my boss, giving her the idea that I'm putting in a full day. 

Getting home a half hour later than expected, I started my transformation process into Marian Mode. Although I'm getting this process down to a science, it took me longer than I wanted because of little things I kept taking care of.  (e.g.: I tried to transfer a playlist to my cell phone, and bollixed up the music player I like using.)  Even when on the road, I still had to take care of things - such as dropping off laundry and picking up a bite to eat. So I ended up being an hour later than I planned for the weekly gaming night.  (And I forgot to call GFL - I'll apologize to her in person tomorrow when I visit her....) At least, I was able to join in a game shortly after I arrived.

Tonight's games were nothing special.  Someone brought a game with a title like "Galaxy Trucker", and it was a totally boring game.  The second game I played (with a Japanese title I can't remember) had beautiful art work, and was fun to play.  Alas, the night was over way too early, and it'll be another week before I see this crowd again.

-------------------------------

As an aside....

I figured that fast food would be fast. Tonight, fast food was not as fast as I expected, as the people staffing the joint seemed burnt out from a nightly rush.  However, it was nice to hear someone address me as "miss"....


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Quickie: Game Night...It's starting to be a habit.

Tonight is game night, and most likely, my last time en-femme for the week. It's the one time each week that I am sure to be en-femme *AND* enjoy myself.

What is it like socializing en-femme? Much the same as if I were in boy mode, save that it feels much nicer. Can I articulate the feeling?  Not really. But I think that being en-femme, I'm not expected to compete much (or, maybe, as openly) even in an arena where competition is appropriate. And I think I'm accepted warmly by the two groups that I go to, simply because my personality fits my en-femme image more than when I'm in boy mode.  

So I'll leave you with a tune which fits in name only....


Games People Play

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Zap, Zap, Zap, Ouch - and so on....

Yes, it's time for one of my favorite things.... NOT!  Today, I'll be visiting my laser technician again for another 15 minutes of pain. Who says that being transgendered is easy?

I'm not sure of how many visits this will be so far, but I don't fear anyone seeing beard stubble after a full day out and about. In fact, I'm considering going without using beard cover soon and switching to a different foundation and powder for both ease of application and to avoid getting makeup on my sweaters, blouses, and jackets.

Of course, I have a long term dilemma to deal with. There will be limits to how far I can go in perfecting my feminine presentation, as I have to earn a living as a man, and I tend to meet women who'd leave me if I went to a 24x7 female presentation. So, living 24x7 en-femme is out of the question for now - and it's just as well, as I'm not driven towards a full transition anytime soon.

When I look at my face in the mirror, I see two different people depending on whether I have shifted into Marian Mode.  Each time I get out of my bed and start my routine, I see the face of a balding, partially gray haired, middle aged man in the mirror.  However, when I have completed my makeup routine and put on my wig, I see a completely different person - someone whose face I'd rather see in the morning. As I get older, the ravages of age will take their toll on my face.  Wrinkles (in the wrong places) will appear on my face, and I'll consider a face lift. Vanity? Maybe.  But, the lack of those wrinkles may be the things that help give my feminine presentation the benefit of the doubt. And I want to continue seeing that second person, the more confident female persona that has developed over the past year.

So, back to being zapped....

I wish I had started laser treatments about 10 years ago. All my hair was nice and dark then, and I'd have found the money to pay for removing almost all hair on my body, save that on top of my head. Of course, the laser technology wasn't as good then, and I might have skipped out due to the higher levels of pain I'd likely have endured. And, knowing what I know now, I'd have started using hair regrowth products such as Rogaine - I'd have liked to have my own hair on my head instead of artificial hair....

How long will I continue going for laser treatments you may ask?  As I see it, I'll probably go for treatments into the Spring as long as I keep seeing progress with my face.  

Zap, Zap, OUCH!!!



 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Gratefulness

As one would expect, I read the blogs of several transgendered people on a regular basis.  And I see the trials and tribulations these people are going through, and I am grateful that my life is relatively calm in comparison.

One of the problems that we have in the transgender community is that many of us are ashamed of who we are. Many of us feel like we are failures - we are not "man enough" when we are in male mode, so we overdo what we think is "manly". And, of course, we are ashamed of wanting to be women, when our external bodies, our upbringing, and our position in society expects us to play the male role.

I ask - why should we be ashamed of what we are? The more I read about being transgender, the more I realize that it is a condition which can be traced back to when we were in our mothers' wombs. There is no way we could have controlled our DNA, nor is there a way to have controlled the hormones that affected our bodies while in our mothers' wombs. Is there any reason to be ashamed of what we are?  

Some of us may feel like freaks.  Even sideshow "freaks" had their self respect while in the Circus.  (The other day, I had the pleasure of watching Freaks, and it reminded me that there were people dealing with worse problems than we'd ever face, and that they maintained their self esteem in spite of the society around them.)  Looking up Johnny Eck, the "Half Man's" IMDB bio, I was struck by the following quote:  

I met hundreds and thousands of people, and none finer than the midgets and the Siamese twins and the caterpillar man and the bearded woman and the human seal with the little flippers for hands. I never asked them any embarrassing questions and they never asked me, and God, it was a great adventure.

Why can't we have a similar attitude towards life?



  

Quickie: Where would I rather be?

Tonight looks like it will be one of the last perfect ones we will have for a while.  The temperature in the NYC area is perfect for an Autumn evening, the sky is not yet filled with rain clouds, and I can't enjoy it - I have an appointment that will kill the next 2 1/2 hours of my time.

Waaahhhhh!!!!!

You can guess that I'd rather be changing into Marian Mode right now and taking a nice evening drive to nowhere in particular.  That won't be the case....

But I should have something interesting to say later tonight.... 

Monday, October 21, 2013

A quiet evening at home - for a change....

Believe it or not, I do spend some of my time home alone....  Tonight was one of those nights. 

Although I had enough time to get into Marian Mode, I chose to relax. 

One of the things we, as people, forget to do is to take the time to relax. Our culture rewards the image of hard work - even if the image is false. The Protestant Work Ethic is often held up as an ideal. But it helps to distort people's view of reality - work without play becomes as meaningless as play without work.

Now that I'm on the tail end of an almost 30 year career with one firm, I am making sure that I take the time out to do the things that nourish me. And one of those things is to live part of my life en-femme as often as reasonably possible. But that doesn't mean that I am required to switch into Marian Mode when I get home and then go out in the world. That would be as much work for me as it is to make the two hour commute (each way) to Lower Manhattan each day, And my life is not only about the work I do, but also about the things I do to nourish my soul.

Readers of this blog may have noticed a few of those things as constants: going out to social activities en-femme (such as gaming meetups), dating (and now seeing GFL regularly), visiting my acquaintances in the North Country, watching old movies, going to museums with my niece, and even writing this blog. And, though I often have to deal with boredom, I also need down time to simply relax.

During this down time, if I get around to it, I will take care of some chores - cooking, laundering my female clothes (I usually send my male clothes out to the laundromat for washing and folding), sorting out stuff to be given away to charity (I still have a lot of unneeded stuff from the time my wife was alive), among other things that I do. But often, I will simply veg out. And yet, Lili wonders where I get the energy to do half of what I do, while I wonder how I get anything done at all.

So I'll close out with this little ditty - albeit, appropriate for the season that just passed....

Summertime Blues







Another alternative lifestyle community under attack

Although this post has nothing directly to do with being transgendered, it does have something to do with groups who are being marginalized in our society.

In several previous posts, I have mentioned the fact that I have gone to a BDSM club. Although it is not "my thing", I am fascinated by it, and might entertain going to a club again if I felt comfortable with the people there. And that leads me to what bothers me today....

Recently, I noticed in message groups on Fetlife that the BDSM club I went to earlier in the year (Feel Me Breathe) was closed down, and its furnishings moved to a new locale. Doing a Google search, I came up with the following article: Shutdown S & M Club; Owner - It's not over. The people of Kingston, New York are relatively ignorant about the BDSM community - there are no children on site, there are no mind altering substances on site, and there is no sex on site. In short, it's a club for those who like to generate an endorphin (or hormonal) rush via "non traditional" means.  It was a pleasant place with a mellow vibe, and one which I'd feel comfortable visiting again.

The BDSM community (from what I can tell) may not understand the transgender community, but they are accepting of us.  Like us, they need all the friends they can get. And, like us, they are under attack. Should we stand aside, or should we use our commonalities to build mutual support networks which benefit both communities?  Mind you, this would likely be a short term relationship of convenience between the two communities. But it would enable us to leverage the influence of our community.

If we were to do this, we need to get a better deal than we have gotten with the GLB communities - but it will not last for long, as our interests will likely be aligned only for a short term. We can not afford to alienate people from our older alliances. Yet, we can make them aware that there are others we will enlist, others who could be of value in campaigning for the rights of the GLBT communities as a whole.

Will we look for other communities who can help us? I'm not sure. Our interests do not cleanly align themselves with other groups' interests. But I believe that there some groups which would be a natural fit to help us - if only we look for them.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

A pair of pants, and Lili

The title of this entry says it all, and yet says nothing at all....

When I got home from GFL's, I had planned to take care of two things.  First was a visit to the laundromat to pick up a bag of laundry I left there on Thursday - which I forgot.  And second, was a visit to Sears to pick up a pair of woman's pants - where the price and fit was right. Well, it was this task which got completed, yet will force me to order some more stuff online, as the plus size section of the store didn't carry enough items.

Being large poses special problems in shopping - one of which is the lack of large size options available at the mainstream outlets. Yes, the plus sizes are carried. But they are not stocked as well as the rest of the merchandise. And this keeps getting in my way...

So after getting only one pair of pants, I decided to visit Lili again. Her son and his girlfriend were studying for the MCATs, and the girlfriend was showing a greater aptitude for test taking. This pissed off Lili's son - even though he was still in the top 10% of test takers.  We still have a long way to go when someone in his early 20's still is upset when his girlfriend can do better than he does.  For the most part, Lili and I were ensconced in another room, watching the comedy "Accepted".  This time, Lili was again comfortable with my choice in film - after the last "dud" she chose.... 

But after the movie ended, it was time to come home, and time to go drab again.  Hopefully, the time until this coming Thursday will pass quickly - as this evening at the gaming meetup will likely be the only time I can spend in Marian Mode this week....

Quickie: A quick time out en-femme.

The sun is out, the weather is perfect. What better a time to switch into Marian Mode and spend some time en-femme....

Well - I just got home from GFL's, and I'm about to switch modes.

More news tonight....

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A long weekend en-homme

Usually, on a long weekend, I will find some time to spend en-femme.This weekend was an exception to the rule, as I spent Thursday through Saturday on Staten Island with GFL Of course, this meant that I missed visiting my friends in the North Country again, and I won't likely see them until December at best.

The more time I spend in this relationship, the more complex my juggling act becomes, as I try to make time for me to spend time with GFL, to spend time with Lili and Vicki, to spend time with my friends in the North Country, and take care of the many demands on my life.

So, today was a couch potato day for me. After taking care of GFL's grandson during the late morning and early afternoon, we decided to spend the day watching movies on TV - a truly decadent way to use the day.  But there's a stong part of me that would have rather see old friends in the North Country - especially when it would have given me some time en-femme.

So I'll just say goodbye for now.....

But tomorrow, I go back home to take care of errands.  Picking up laundry will be one of them. And maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to spend some time en-femme before one of my few 5 day weeks before the end of the year.

I got my Candye!!!!

Candye Kane....

GFL and I went to New Hope on Thursday to see Candye.  And GFL thought Candye was better than my publicity.  Even better than Candye was her guitarist, Laura Chavez. I hope that Laura has a long and prosperous music career - and what better mentor could she have other than Candye.

It's hard to believe that I've been paying attention to Candye's career for over 10 years now. But I have eclectic tastes in music, and Candye is one performer who I'll go out of my way to see.  In fact, when I was at one widows and widowers gathering in San Jose, my then girlfriend and I drove to Santa Cruz to see Candye. And even though she was exhausted from her flight back from Italy, Candye put on the performance of a lifetime - which included the singing of the classic tune, "At Last", doing it as well or better than Etta James. Thursday's performance was another where Candye put her heart and soul into the music, and amazed everyone in the audience.

On the way home, GFL and I had a little more of our ongoing conversation involving the rules of engagement for the first time she sees me in Marian Mode.  We didn't make this the focus of our conversation - it was just one of the topics that came up. But, for the most part, out conversation was about Candye, the quality of her performance, and how her health may have affected how she interacts with her fellow band members during performances.



The next day, GFL and I spent it running errands and taking care of chores around the house. When we finally got moving, we trekked over to New Jersey for our shopping. (For those of you who do not live in the New York area, Staten Island is more a part of New Jersey than it is of New York. And many of the people who live on the island find it easier to do things in New Jersey than to do them in the rest of New York City.)  We went first to the Avenue, as GFL needed to buy a pair of boots.  Considering how I normally am dressed when in this store, it felt a little strange to be here en-homme helping a woman with her shopping. Next, it was over to Lowes to pick up some plumber's tape and a set of pliers for the bathroom work to be done later in the day, and finally to Wegman's for the food we'd be eating for dinner that evening. So, when we finally made it home, we started to replace the bathroom's shower head with one which allows the user to direct the spray anywhere he/she wants, and then had a nice dinner.

During our time out, GFL and I figured out how she'll first meet me in Marian Mode - at my place, when I'm almost ready to change back into the frog I am when in male mode. Taking things slow has been good for both of us. Honest talk has been very important to our relationship so far, and it may just make it possible for GFL and Marian to exist in the same place.




Friday, October 18, 2013

Quickie: To assist, or not to assist - that is the question.

In Kathleen's blog, she notes where she would draw the line in assisting a M2F Crossdresser in his efforts to look more feminine. I draw it in a different place - every M2F Crossdresser needs to be taught basic principles of how to look feminine. But I agree with Kathleen - one must avoid a cycle of dependency.

Why do I bring this up?

Well, many M2F transgendered folk need help in learning how to appear as feminine as possible, and need feedback to perfect their presentations. Support groups can do a lot, but in the end, one needs trusted female friends (or family) to provide that feedback. One needs to learn what to do without looking like a clown - something I've come close to doing at times. Natal women have developed their inner voice telling them what works and what doesn't work over many a year. We're trying to do that in a more compressed time frame.

In my case, I ran the risk of bringing the conversation too often to the topic of my presentation - and may have lost one acquaintance when I met her en-femme. (She was not a close friend, so it was only a mild disappointment when I lost her.)  But I think I've done relatively well in a little bit over a year that I've been out and about.

What does the M2F Transgendered person need to start on this path?
  1. One needs to be honest with one's self - one must see that one's internal body image and presentation do not match what society expects to see.
  2. One needs guidance on how to dress and how to use makeup.
  3. One needs feedback from as many people as possible.
  4. If one is lucky, there will be a local and convenient support group nearby.
This sounds easier than it is.... Our culture would rather numb us, give us a dose of soma, instead of having us take critical looks at ourselves. Then, because of social norms, we often feel ashamed to ask for the help we need. And, lastly, we need that dollop of courage to take the first step.

Now back to assistance.... What can we do to help?

For those who are able to go into stealth mode, we still have a responsibility to the rest of our community. Each of us have a duty to pay it forward to at least one or two persons - and that can be in the context of a support group, or one-on-one with an individual. 

So - one should offer advice if asked, but be aware of the trap of offering it too often. This might mean providing your packing list to someone. It might mean helping someone out with shopping. And it might mean a little bit of hand holding when the person does the little things that a woman will do when doing them for the first time - such as buying makeup. Define your limits up front, and stick by them if needed....

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Meditations on our body politic

I'm not going to discuss the recent government shutdown, the debt ceiling, or who is responsible for the recent chaos.  Instead, I am going to explore a weakness in our system that involves its basic design principle - inefficiency.

In the 1780's, our founding fathers had the responsibility of designing a system that would last, reflect American values, and prevent hot heads from causing too much trouble if they got to power. So we ended up with a design for a government which allowed hot heads to be represented in the House of Representatives, but those same people would be subject to semi-yearly elections. (The House was the branch of government elected by the people, and not indirectly via the state houses or the electoral college.) The Senate's members were appointed by the states, and had 6 year terms. And the President had a 4 year election cycle, but was elected by an electoral college and not by the public at large. Most decisions government would need to make could be done at leisure - and if one faction slowed things down a little, it wouldn't matter much. They also assumed that all office holders would be looking to preserve the system, and not subvert it. 

We did not have a parliamentary system - we had separation of powers to prevent government by a mob from tyrannically exercising power over the people. The founding fathers knew that they had to take input from the masses, but cool things down a little before anything was enacted into law. But what happens when you need things to happen quick, and you have one faction who has no interest in preserving the status quo.  Add in a touch of nihilism, and you got a recipe for disaster. That is what we've seen recently in Washington, DC.  And this is the type of situation where a parliamentary system shines - the party in power can keep things running until there is a vote of no confidence, or the regularly scheduled election forces the party in power out of office.

So, I'm proposing a 28th amendment to our constitution which would devolve some power to the states, and provide a safety valve to prevent our recent political game of brinkmanship from occurring in the same way again. The text is not perfect, and needs refinement. But if you like it - pass it on. We might just get people in politics interested in this idea....

----------------

Article 1: When two thirds of the states have presented to the President a document certified by both executive and legislative branches of each of the states calling for the recall of both houses of the United States legislative branch of government, that the President will have the power to, and be required to dismiss all members of the legislative branch of the United States government.

Article 2: The president of the United States will have the power to continue government spending at current levels (save in time of war, in which no limits will be imposed) and have the power to incur debt in the name of the United States as needed. No other laws or regulations may be added, removed, or changed during the period which congress is vacant. No appointments to any office of the government of the United States may be made while congress is not in session under the provisions of this amendment.

Article 3: Each of the United States will its Governors nominate replacement Congressmen and Senators to fill the vacated positions, to take office one month after the positions have been vacated.

Article 4: Each of the former legislators removed from office as a result of legislation from Article 1 of this act will be forever prohibited from holding any public office at the Federal or State level for life.

Article 5. Upon the first use of this act, term limits for all elected officials of the United States Government will take effect. No elected official may serve more than 12 years in any elected office during one's life, save that the Vice President of the United States may serve no more than 727 days of the prior President's term and still be able to be elected to 12 years as president in his/her own right.

Article 6: This act will become law, and part of the Constitution of the United States by the the official process for incorporating changes into the constitution, and must take place no later than 10 years following the enactment of this act.



Quickie: Progress en-femme

Not everyone is born pretty.  I wasn't, and it is work for me to maintain a feminine appearance. If one looks carefully at the pictures on my Flickr page, you'll notice some interesting mistakes in my presentation AND you'll notice how I've improved it with time....


My Flickr Page

Note: Newest pictures display first....

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What would you give to have been born in the body you wanted?

Most people will never have to answer the question posed as the title of this blog entry. But many of us do wonder what life would have been like had we been born into the gender that our minds tells us that we are.

In an article written by the late Danielle Kaufman, she notes that for the transgendered, changing our gender expression is not a choice.  "No one would ever do this unless they were forced to by their own psychology." Even though I am comfortable living in both worlds, I need to be able to express who I really am - and that is when I'm in Marian Mode. And that has an effect on many areas of my life.

This leads me to the question posed by the title of this entry.... I'm not sure of what I'd give up, but I know what I would have missed had I been born female. 

Most people who knew my mother wouldn't know this, but she was named after her mother. My mother's middle name is the feminine version of my masculine name. So, guess who was named after his/her mother - three guesses, first two don't count....  My mother probably wanted a girl to raise, and she got two boys.  (Or, she thought she got two boys. <g>)  

My mom was an extremely strong minded woman. One could say that she was an intimidating person - just like her mother. But she lacked a certain humanity - especially when raising her two sons.  Neither my brother nor I can remember a happy moment with her in it during our childhoods, save, maybe, the time she sprained her ankle walking on a log in rural New Brunswick, Canada.  (Yes, we laughed - it was like a cartoon character slipping on a banana.) And even as adults, she was an intimidating person who did not respect our limits.

So, what would I have missed had I been born female?  I am lucky that I didn't become like her. Although she had friends, I'm not sure if I could say that she had the love of her children that most mothers have. I might have become a strong willed woman, but I would have either have had to marry an overly strong man (like my grandmother did) or a weak man (like she did). Either way, there would be dysfunction passed on to the next generation - and, having been born male, I was lucky enough to see it for what the dysfunction was, and to make sure that it ended in my generation - at any cost.

Yet, I didn't answer the title question directly.  If I had been born female, I would have had the self confidence that I lacked as a young male. Danielle Kaufman notes: "I'd do anything to be able to be that way. I'd do anything to have a uterus, ovaries, and periods." I'm not sure that I'd do anything, but I could have dealt with the hassles of the female reproductive system. 

But, now I'm in middle age, and years of testosterone have done their thing to my body. I have matured with the privileges and liabilities that are part of most males' lives. And yet the question comes to me - Would I trade my male experiences for their equivalent female experiences?  I'd answer YES to that question in a heartbeat. 

Quickie: Another Crossdresser at work....

Someone posted this online, and I felt I had to share it....


Dagwood's alter ego.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I want Candye! I want Candye!

When GFL and I went to New Hope, PA for a day trip, we noticed that one of my favorite performers was going to be in town later on in the week - Candye Kane.  So, GFL and I decided that we'll drive down to see Candye perform on Thursday. If GFL wasn't in the picture, I'd consider going to Candye's NYC performance on Sunday, as I'd have fun going en-femme. But with GFL, I assume that I'll be going en-homme  ...and still having fun.  

About 10 years ago, I was introduced to Candye's music by a man who used to bring his traveling Music CD store to the office where I worked. The song that got me hooked on Candye's music was 200 lbs. of Fun (this link shows Candye performing the song as only she can do it). And I ended up driving to Flemington, NJ to see her perform as soon as she was in the region.

I have stories to tell about going to see Candye. And most of them involve women I was dating at the time I went to see Candye.  One of them involves being at a bar, and being the unintended victim of a person who enjoyed the performance and his booze too much. Another involves being on vacation in California, and driving from San Jose to Santa Cruz to see her perform. And my most recent experience was a drive to Albany, NY with a woman I had been dating - the woman I was with getting a little tipsy (to put it mildly), and it being our last date. But I will say that there's almost nothing better than to see Candye in Santa Cruz when the fog rolls in off the ocean, and hearing the song "At Last" come out of her mouth....

One time I went to see Candye, she said that she was Bisexual.  That meant, as she put it, that she could screw everyone in the audience.  She has a great presence, and loves to have fun with the audience.  But she's not a novelty act. She's a serious artist.

Well, I have to run. So I'll write more about Candye after I see her this week.  Until then, I'll leave you with some of Candye's music:


Candye Kane selections....







I said: "I'll be back...."

Much of this weekend was spent with GFL.  As much as this takes away from my "Marian Time", I cherish this time because I really enjoy being with GFL. She may not be the type of person I envisioned settling down with, but she's a definite possibility for being that person.

With this being said, late at night, we had the first of many conversations which will touch on my transgendered nature, and how we'll interact with each other while I'm presenting as a female. And her concerns relate to her being attracted to men, not women, as well as how we'll interact in public.  Of course, I do not expect either of us to be showing romantic attraction to each other while I'm en-femme. But she is still accepting of the fact that I enjoy being en-femme, and will go out en-femme. As I said, this was the first of many conversations that we will be having, and it is an important early point on my journey towards femininity. 

When I left GFL, my plans were to check in with my dad, and see whether he'd like for me to drop by and see him.  (I was already half way there, and would gladly have made the drive to see him.)  However, he was feeling a little sick (which my brother confirmed in a later conversation) and preferred to be alone. So I proceeded to drive straight home, and made arrangements to see Lili and see a movie.

Once I got home, it was like being in Grand Central Station - I received several phone calls, and this delayed my change into Marian Mode for an hour or two. But I eventually changed into the following outfit that I haven't worn since I was in San Francisco last year.


When I finally got to Lili's, she complimented me on the outfit, and said that the shawl made the outfit. I disagreed, but noted that the shawl was an essential part of the outfit. Instead, I believe that wearing black leggings instead of bare legs (in the picture below) made the difference. (Wearing a better wig doesn't hurt either....)


Looking at the two pictures, the hem of the dress is a little too high for an overweight middle aged woman my age. But that isn't the big difference.   The dress is the same. The shawl is the same. And the person (me) is the same. Instead, the first picture is of a person who is confident in her appearance, who has an idea of what works and what doesn't work for her.

Lili does not have the confidence in herself that I have. And it shows. Even though I face a constant struggle with food and my weight, I recognize that food is not the answer to my problems. I feel that I will eventually conquer the problems ahead of me, and that I will be a better person because of the struggle. When I got to Lili's, she was offering me a sandwich for dinner. Yet, she made way too much for the two of us, and several times I had to tell her that I didn't want more food.

By the time I took care of Lili's computer problems, it was way too late for Lili and I to go to the movies as planned. So we dropped off some mail at the post office, and it was back to her place for a movie on cable.  (I enjoyed "The DIsh", but Lili was bored.  Do not believe the claims that this movie is a comedy. Instead, view it as a pleasant diversion which defies easy categorization.) After the movie, it was time to go home. And the timing was perfect for me.

Sooner or later, I'll have to let Lili drift out of my life. She's given up hope on being able to be the person she wants to be - and keeps asking "Is it me?", "Why can't I find someone to be with?", or "Why are you (Marian) so successful?" Compared with one woman I dated for 8 years, Lili is much more of a pleasure to be with - because I have effectively set limits on what she can expect of me. And with GFL in my life, this drift will be easy to manage....





Monday, October 14, 2013

Quickie : End of another weekend - and it's go back to work Tuesday

Had a great weekend with GFL, and we discussed some of how we'll deal with my outings in Marian mode.  More to come.....

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Quickie: Four Dysfunctional Places

Considering the government gridlock and dysfunction in Washington, DC, I've had to consider a trip to several less dysfunctional places, where I know a tourist will find something to do.

Which one of the following would you choose?


  1. Molvania
  2. Phaic Tan
  3. San Sombrero

Each of these places seem more respectable than Washington these days.
What do you think?



Saturday, October 12, 2013

Quickie: The three little bears

How many of us remember the story about the Three Little Bears?




Sometimes, I think that life is that way for us.  First, it's too hot. Next, it's too cold. And finally, it's just right.  I think that's what it's like for most of us on our roads of self discovery.

When we're first exploring our transgendered natures, we are afraid of the outside world and what people will think of us if we step outside as our true selves. Then, we step outside, and the definition of being transgendered becomes too much of a focus in our lives. Finally, we learn how to balance the components that make up our personalities - recognizing that being transgendered is only one of those components.

But what happens if we don't find that balance?  What happens if we never become comfortable in our own skins?

Lately, I've been reading sad news from several of my Facebook friends. And I'm hoping that these friends escape their "Black Dogs" and get back into the light.  So I ask people one thing today - that if they need help, reach out for it.  Do not attempt permanent solutions to temporary conditions. 

Please remember: There is light at the other end of the tunnel - and it's not coming from an oncoming train.


Closing out the day, and starting a weekend.

Last Thursday, I was wearing this dress when my car broke down.


And this is what I put on after dropping off my rental this afternoon. It's a little snug on top, but Lili says it fits perfectly.  But I'm getting ahead of myself here....

When Lili and I were on the cruise, she had a nasty reflux problem that caused her to consider going to the doctor for a diagnosis.  Well, Lili is worried, as there are two diagnostic procedures that have to be done - and the hypochondriac in her is worrying about a terminal disease already/  So, after dropping off my car, I got into the dress above

My reason for seeing Lili tonight was to help her register for Obamacare.  The insurance she was getting (via her ex-husband) will no longer be available to her, and she needed something she could count on by January. Luckily, Obamacare kicked in.  So we logged onto the New York State site for the insurance exchange, and we proceeded to sign her up for care.  If anyone says that Obamacare is bad, the idea of an "Apples to Apples" comparison of health care plans available to individuals and families is worth all the headaches and growing pains we are experiencing.

The health care exchanges are not without bugs.  When we logged onto the New York State site, there were formatting errors, as well as database filtering issues which had yet to be resolved. But the darned thing (for the most part) worked. And I consider that miraculous, given what the programmers probably had to deal with - in both technology and politics.

Once we were done with health care insurance paperwork, we decided to watch a movie on cable.  Although the movie ("Bubble Boy") started off very slowly, at the point where I'd have normally have given up on it, the film started to get funny.  (I should have known the film was going be a little strange, when Danny Trejo plays an important and humorous supporting role in the film.) 

So, tonight, I leave Marian Mode for the weekend, and go back to drab, with a little less color in my life for a long weekend....



Friday, October 11, 2013

The headaches of getting to own a new car

Who'd have thought that the process of picking up my new car would take about 2 hours?  I certainly wouldn't. I figured - examine the car for a few minutes, and then about a half hour going through the paperwork which made the car mine. This was not the case - and the headaches of buying a car cut into my Marian Mode time when I least wanted it to. But first, a description of the day....

On alternating Thursdays, my cleaning lady, N, arrives to work in my apartment. In many ways, I over pay her for the work she does in this apartment. But she's honest, and that knowledge that I'll find all my valuables in my apartment when I get back is worth what I spend on her...So, not knowing when she would come, I rushed to get dressed in boy mode by 9:00 am. 

Since I was expecting to be able to pick up my car early in the afternoon, the first thing I did after getting dressed was to try and reach the person who sold me my car, and complete our arrangements for the day. But he was not around.  No one could give me an answer to the questions I needed to know: Was my car ready yet? When could I come in and pick the car up? So I ended up spending the day at home taking care of little things. By the time mid afternoon came, I was getting antsy. My original plans had called for me to pick up the car, get into Marian Mode, visit Lili (to help her fill out forms, and apply for insurance under Obamacare), and then go to Yonkers for a gaming meetup. And by 2:00 pm, these plans were blown. 

Around 2:30 pm, I ran a quick errand (dropping off some clothes at the laundry for cleaning), and came back to the apartment.  Startling N when I entered the apartment, I went back to my computer for a few minutes. She took a minute out and asked me a few questions regarding her application for the purchase of a co-op (not an apartment in my complex), and I was glad to oblige her. Then I mentioned that I wanted to get rid of my old car for a very reasonable price -  and she said that her son might be interested in buying the car and fixing the transmission himself. By the time 4:00 came around, I still had received any news from the dealership, so I asked N to give me a lift to the dealership. 

N lived in Peekskill for years, but never needed to take the back roads that I use to go to places East of Peekskill from where I live. So, when I directed her to use those back roads, she was a little lost - until she saw the local hospital. At that point she was amazed - she hadn't seen the hospital in years, and it was twice as large as she remembered, and she now knew where she was. So, we headed off to the dealership - and got there at the same time as the salesperson I was trying to reach all day.  N dropped me off (she deserves a special thank you for going out of her way), and now it was time to do business.


By this time of day, all I wanted to do was sign the papers, hand over the bank check, and drive my new car away. This was not to be the case. The sales person went to show me everything that he showed me and GFL this Sunday as part of his delivery process, but it was having a different effect on me than it would on the average buyer - I had paid attention to him on Sunday, and I got the salient points on how to work the car then. Instead of making me feel like a special customer, it made me feel like I was out of control - and I didn't like that. He wasn't paying attention to my feelings, only in completing the sales process. When we got to the point of synchronizing my phone with the car, he wanted to take control of my phone - something I don't like to do. We got almost everything working, save for music playing back through the car's speakers. He kept trying to get things working, and I said - maybe we should step back and ask for help.  Maybe we should look up my phone's compatibility before screwing anything up. Luckily, he gave up shortly afterwards, and left the task of synchronizing my phone to the service department.

So we headed back indoors, where he then did a round of introductions to the people I might be interacting with on a "regular" basis - as if I would be very familiar with them.  (Yes, I understand the principles behind this.  With my plans for the day being blown, this was also adding to my negative experience.) But meeting the man from the service department was a blessing - I was finally out of the hands of the salesman, and was with someone who could tell me whether my phone would work with the car or not. After 15 minutes, we got everything working with the phone, and back indoors I went to pay for the car.

Now it was my turn to deal with the finance department. This was their last chance to make profits off of me. And they presented the usual set of service contracts, and extra services on which they could make more money.  I won't begrudge them for doing this, and I listened to the presentation - even though I knew I wouldn't be buying these services.  (Adding $175 per month to my payments was not worth the price for the highest price option - especially when I know how overpriced these services are.) So, I signed the papers, handed over my bank check, and finally got the keys to my car.

The car was finally mine, and it was 6:30 pm.  There was no way to both see Lili and go to Yonkers in Marian Mode for a night of games. So I chose the games. (I could see Lili the next day.) When I got home and started to change into Marian Mode, my phone started ringing off the hook.  First, it was Lili - who was upset at me.  (I can't blame her - and I took the time to explain things to her.), and eventually it was GFL - who I talked to in the car. I didn't get out of the apartment until shortly after 7:30 pm.

I finally arrived in Yonkers, and got involved in some games.  It's fun being with people, with no other agenda but to do something mildly challenging, yet with little at risk but one's time. I told last week's story (without the change of clothes - this time, I wanted to preserve my feminine image with the group) to the hostess, and we chatted about the new car.  It was a very pleasant night of playing games until 11:30 pm when the gathering broke up.  And this week, I made sure NOT to take the Saw Mill River Parkway home....