Monday, June 30, 2014

Quickie: Concern for a friend

Vicki is one of those few friends that not only know me in both Marian and Mario modes, but has actively helped me refine and perfect my feminine presentation. This past Saturday, I found out that she had a heart attack, and will be going through a procedure that might result in a stent being put inside her to keep her from having further problems.

As much as many of the people I associate with have serious problems, and use me as a sounding board, I can say that Vicki is one of the two most sane and rational people I know that I can call my friends. In many ways, she is like a sister to me - albeit, a sister who is not on the phone everyday. 

Her procedure is scheduled for today - I am keeping my fingers crossed that everything goes as planned, that nothing unexpected is encountered, and that Vicki will be out of the hospital soon. 

A broken leg, and a day with my dad.

I did not break my leg. That would be adding insult to injury at this stage of unemployment. Instead, my brother broke his leg in a very nasty way, and he's going to be laid up for several months. (Hopefully, he'll be able to do many of his job functions from home during this period.) But as a result of this fracture, I was asked to visit my 86 y/o dad and take care of setting up a new router for his computer.

- - - - - -

When I got up on Saturday, I wished that I didn't have anything on my calendar, as it would have been a perfect day to get into a nice and airy maxi dress, and take a long ride up the Hudson River. With only two days that I could visit my dad, I certainly wasn't going to do that drive today. So I got dressed (en-drab), and proceeded to Long Island.

Arriving at my dad's place, the weather was warm, but not unpleasant. He told me why he bought this router (the original one had instructions only understood by computer geeks), and I proceeded to take the wrapping off the box and set the router up.  My dad wanted to chat (which I was not in the mood to do while performing the setup - that would be done later), but he sensed that I wasn't in the best of moods to talk while trying to make the setup as simple as possible. Once I got the router and his computer talking to each other (and fighting Windows-8 while in the process of doing so), he asked me to take care of my sister in law's computer. This computer had a vendor front end over the main Windows desktop, and prevented the start button from bring up a menu so that I could bring up the control panel.  Luckily, I found this vendor's icon for networking, and manually loaded the server id and password for a successful connection. (If both machines were running vanilla Windows-7, my work would have taken half the time it did....) Once I finished with the computers, it was back to the living room to chat with my dad for a while....

Dad then told me how my brother broke his leg. For a while, he has been having blood sugar problems, and has been dealing with them by drinking some orange juice when he sensed his sugar level was low. (No, he was not diagnosed as a diabetic - yet.) This time, he passed out with his foot under the door, and while falling twisted himself, and got a very nasty fracture. OUCH! This is the same side on which he got a hip replacement about 12 years ago. One can only imagine the memories of pain he must be digging up right now.... As they say - There but for the grace of God...

- - - - - -

Eventually, I had to leave. So, around 7:30 pm, it was out the door, into the car, and onto the phone. GFL had been in bed all day with what might be a summer flu, and was not in the mood for me to come over. (Given that she sounded like death warmed over for the past day and a half, I can't blame her for not wanting visitors.) Hopefully, she'll take my advice, and call out for "Chinese Chicken Soup with Chinese Dumplings (Won Tons)" so that she gets some nourishment.

Instead of taking the short (and smart) way home, I decided to take local roads so that I could pick up some "Belly Bombers" in Queens. Big Mistake! When I passed Citi Field, I hit bumper to bumper traffic on Northern Boulevard which was getting gridlocked. There were mobs of Columbian immigrants (legal and illegal) waving their country's flag from cars, on the streets, etc., celebrating a World Cup game. I could have walked faster than traffic was flowing, and the maneuver I made to make a left turn off the Boulevard was something they'd put in a "what not to do to make a left turn" reel.  (Traffic got gridlocked while I was in the (left) turning lane. I crossed non-moving traffic to the right of me, looped around the cars trying to make a left (which were blocking traffic in the intersection), and then came up from the intersection (for a car's length) in the opposite direction before making a right (my original left) turn onto my escape route.

- - - - - -

To make things worse, I got one of my nasty sinus headaches while on the way home. They almost always are on my left side, and when they end, I have a nose running a sub 4 minute mile. Today was one of the more nasty ones - when it subsided, not only did I have the usual running nose, but I started to sneeze uncontrollably for the next 5-10 minutes. Thankfully, I was home by this time, as I'd have had to pull my car over for the sneezing fit.

- - - - - -

Thankfully, I'm still in good shape. And I'll close out this entry with my usual little tune...

The Beatles - A shot of Rhythm and Blues (Let it Be sessions).

The Beatles - A shot of Rhythm and Blues (BBC Alternate Take.)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A short day

The above picture is a shot of Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller from Sugar Babies. I was lucky enough to have seen this production on Broadway when I was younger, and to remember a great line Rooney said when his face was in front of her amply endowed chest... "Who wants to be tall?"

- - - - - -

Exploring my femininity these days has sensitized me to things that most natal males would never notice - such as looking at a woman's chest instead of her eyes when talking. Thursday night, one of the regular participants at game night (a male) and I were chatting about politics (we shared similar views) and he couldn't focus and apologized. He explained that the word "Boobs" coming from the other conversation at the end of the table kept distracting him - and his male response made his ears focus on the other conversation....

But sometimes, it's my natal gender that comes out - albeit in a feminine translation. (It's easier for an older woman to acknowledge politically incorrect things about the differences between the genders than a younger woman - her knowledge is expected to be an insight, and something to be passed on to younger folk.) And one part of our conversation exhibited this - we were talking about the imbalance of males and females in the population, noting that there were more males than females in prime child-raising age, while there were more females overall. Without enough outlets for young men to relieve their sexual urges, men will go nuts. It's a blessing in many ways for men to hit late middle age, as lower testosterone levels allows men to be more rational....

Of course, we never unlearn the lessons from our natal gender. I have that "gut" understanding of what youthful testosterone levels can do - something which no natal female can understand. But natal women understand things that virtually no man can understand - such as the worry about getting pregnant when pregnancy is not wanted, and when it could be a risk to her life if she was "with child".

- - - - - -

So I'll close out with an old video clip with Mickey and Ann doing a number from Sugar Babies....

Mickey Rooney & Ann Miller - Tony Award Show Performance

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Meeting someone who was once on my dating short list.

Above is a typical scene from Katz's Delicatessen. The man and woman are talking about sex, but they have yet to get to that point in their dance where they would seriously consider each other for a roll in the hay, much less a long term romantic relationship.

Tonight,  I caught up with K, a woman who was on my short list until things got complicated, and we decided to stay "just friends". It's been almost a year since we last saw each other, and we were getting along as if no time had passed.  Are we on each other's short list again? I can't say anything without evidence. But when I joked around about going to New Orleans with her, she didn't lightheartedly try to being up the "just friends" situation. So who knows how things really are - but I'll play it K wanting me as a friend, and seeing what happens from there. )

This poses an interesting question - what would happen if K made a play for me?  The followup question would be - what should I do?  GFL and I may be going nowhere quick. K knows about me and "Marian Mode" and has seen me in person this way. She knows that I go to game nights this way, travel this way, as well as doing my volunteer stint. So if she wanted to be more than friends, she knows what she's getting into, and would be aware of everything up front. 

Reality can get quite complex for us Trans folk. Some of us are out in the open. Others have to be in stealth mode. And many of us are somewhere in between these modes.  For me, if I can be with someone who accepts both sides of me, it will be worth the frustration of not being able to go 24x7 to have someone I can love in my life.

So, instead of my little tune to close things out, I'll simply give you a link to a couple of video clips shot at Katz's and hope you have what she's having....

Meg Ryan - Scene from Katz's Delicatessen

Improv Everywhere - Movies in Real Life

ps: The woman giving the famous line in the first clip is Rob Reiner's mother....

Friday, June 27, 2014

An idle day? NOT!

Since I was a child, I've always been a bit of a night owl.  Mornings, when possible, were meant for rest - which made me out of sync with the rest of the world. In college, I took mostly night classes, as I often slept through the morning. And later on, I had to tell the women I dated not to feel guilty about waking me up in the morning - as if I had my druthers, I'd sleep through the morning and wake up around lunch time.

There's a part of me that's very happy to have a respite from the routine of getting up at 6 am, in order to be at work at (roughly) 9 am. I no longer feel sleep deprived, and this is a good thing. But am I idle? Certainly not. On a typical Thursday, I'll find something to do in the late morning before getting dressed (en-femme), then go do my volunteer shift at the GLBT center before going to games night. And on the days where I am idle, I feel much better than those last weeks at work, where my idleness was not chosen by me, but by a boss who didn't want me to start a task that wouldn't get finished.

- - - - - -

So, as usual, I ended up going to the GLBT center to contribute a half day of labor. Although the work was relatively simple (finding the mailing address of each congressman being petitioned, and seeing that the correct petitions went to each congressman), it took the better part of the afternoon. And yet, I felt more satisfied doing this than the enforced idleness of my prior job. Yet, I still hope to find a well paying position soon, and to be back in the saddle (so to speak) before I get too used to a life of idleness.

- - - - - -

After my stint at the GLBT center, it was off to do a little shopping (I needed to buy a file cabinet for some paperwork), and then to game night in Yonkers. This time, I can't remember the game we played, but it was fun - and I'd gladly play it again. 

- - - - - -

Of course, all too soon, it was time to go home.

So I'll leave off with this little tune....

The Beatles - Good Night

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Quickie: Meeting with an old friend - en-homme.

As I've said before, there are some people who do not know that I am transgender. Most of those people are men. Tonight, I met with one of those friends - and enjoyed a very good meal.  

For those of you who do not know Peekskill, NY, it is a small city on the banks of the Hudson River. The heart of town has seen many changes over the years. As stores left the heart of town, Peekskill suffered a touch of urban blight. Over the years, the city has attracted government offices, as well as many non-profit institutions which have kept the downtown area from total destruction. In the past few years, the city has seen a form of resurgence, where a land marked theater, some art galleries, restaurants and bars have made Peekskill a low keyed destination for locals to enjoy themselves.

I haven't seen my friend in a couple of years, but we've known each other for more than two decades, both of us having more than a passing interest in computers. So it was time to try a new place - The Quiet Man - named after the famous John Wayne movie. We talked about many things, but most notably work - my issues in my old job and his from his current job are remarkably similar. And we pledged to get together much sooner than last time....

Although I could use this meeting as one of the job search activities to be documented for my unemployment insurance, I doubt I'll do so - someone might think that going out for coffee would be enough for networking. I sent him a copy of my resume after I got home. Given what he goes through at his place, he hopes I find something better elsewhere - and I can't argue with him, given the lunacy of his office....

Searching through my closet....

My closet is nowhere as organized as this closet seems to be. I have way too many shirts, blouses, pants, skirts, and dresses to fit into a closet this size. In time, I intend to clean out the things I don't wear from my closet, with the idea that I'll have a more coherent feminine wardrobe - most items being in active use on a regular basis

Over the past couple of years, I have gone from having an empty closet to having one jam packed with my second wardrobe - from which I'm getting good use of these days. I have found that any erotic thrill I may have had from wearing women's clothing is gone. Instead, I feel a simple sense of normalcy, as if part of me is a woman caught in a man's body, and she's wearing things appropriate for her station in life.

Being unemployed is giving me the time to take care of small projects - and starting to cull items from my wardrobe is one of them. I've started to look at things I've bought, and am finding that there are many things that I've bought on impulse that don't really work for me. Other things have been given to me that don't fit my evolving style. And lastly, there are the things that I will wear, but do not have enough places to store them.

- - - - - -

For most of us, bring transgender and living as two persona can be a big pain in the butt. In other entries, I've discussed my problems in coming home in Mario mode, and then rushing to change into Marian mode before going out again. I've noted the feelings of being unauthentic, when in Marian mode with people, and changing my life story to fit my presentation. But I have it easy. One blogger I follow had to stay in male mode in order to have a place to live - once she revealed herself as TG, she was forced out of the family homestead. To many, we are neither fish nor fowl - and that frightens them...

Humanity's survival has often been related to its ability to label things, saying whether something is safe, whether something can be handled safely with thought, or is dangerous. The first label assigned to a person upon birth is gender - is it a boy or a girl? What happens with the 0.5% of the population who are intersex? Often, their indeterminate genitals have been mutilated, so that these children can grow up as sterile females. That solves one problem, but what about the 0.3% of the population who is transgendered? Our birth anomalies are not visually apparent - but are often detected when a child is able to vocalize his/her being in a body that does not match his/her internal identification. This is a bigger problem - the normal labels used to identify people aren't working and that can trigger fear. 

In tribal, and more ignorant societies, people who are feared are labeled as the enemy - and considered a threat. Witches are burnt at the stake, and heretics stoned to death. The transgendered get lumped into the "enemy" category because we aren't classified as "safe". But, as people become more educated, and more familiar with us, their need to label us as a threat diminishes. We are seen as safe anomalies - often outside the mating pool, but safe to have as friends.

- - - - - -

So, back to my closet....

Overnight, I have made some space in the closet by finding some clothes that I can give away. I've also made it easier to get at some clothes by putting winter stuff inside some storage containers. Categorizing its contents into "keep - in season", "keep - out of season", and "give away" has been of help in making my life a little easier. And like my closet, as society moves the transgendered from the category of "threat" to "safe, but different", we will have an easier time as well....

- - - - - -

And now, I'll close out with a country tune that references the contents of one closet...

Kenny Chesney - Keg in the closet


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Thinking about Summer and its discomforts

This past weekend, GFL and I visited the FDR mansion in Hyde Park, NY. Although it was a perfect weekend for a visit, the weather got me thinking about how hard it will be for me to be outside en-femme during the hottest months of the year.

As GFL and I walked through the grounds, the sun was beating down on us. Although it was very comfortable in the shade, in part because of the breeze, in the sun it was very uncomfortable - and this on a not-so-humid day.

The first of the above two photographs is FDR's grave site / tombstone. Given FDR's (and his wife's) importance in history, the burial site is amazingly modest and tasteful. And one can easily see why the family loved the area, with the view from the back of the mansion in the second photo.

But, as I said earlier, I couldn't think of how uncomfortable I would have felt had I been en-femme. When I saw Lili on Monday, I was wearing a maxi dress that would have been perfect for this past weekend. Yet, I was glad to be en-homme due to the discomfort caused by having to wear a wig. If I were ever to go full time, I'd have to solve this problem - as natal women don't hesitate to be outdoors in mild weather like we had this past weekend.

- - - - - -

Recently, I bought the dress I wore to accompany Lili to the movies. And I saw some nice swimsuits that I might have like to have bought and worn one day at a pool. One problem - I still have to solve the wig problem I noted above.  Over time, I figure that I'll need a swimsuit specifically designed for mastectomy patients - where the garment has pockets sewn in for inserted breast forms/enhancers. But until I have a place to swim as a female, the time to do so, and the money to afford this little luxury, owning a swimsuit will be a non issue.

- - - - - -

And, of course, I shouldn't forget being indoors.... My apartment gets very warm during the summer, and the air conditioners don't always do a good job of making it comfortable. So I often take off the wig when I'm alone. Since I am single, this is not a problem. But if I had guests in this apartment AND I wanted to greet them en-femme, this would be a problem in Summer....

So, I'll close out with a song that befits the upcoming hot and humid weather....

The Drifters - Up on the Roof

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Getting dressed in the morning - it can be complicated.

One thing good about being unemployed - I often have the choice of which persona in which I'll spend the day. The problem - I have one extra choice to make, and it can trigger many more choices that I really don't want to make....

When I got up today, I was wearing a comfortable nightie, and really didn't want to get out of bed. And if I didn't have to go to the bathroom, I wouldn't have bothered doing so. But now that I'm up, I realize that I have a decision to make - do I go out in Marian or Mario mode?

While I was working, the decision of "who" I was going to be for the day was already made for me - I was Mario during the day, and then would change into Marian on nights I went to games meetups. On weekends, if I weren't with GFL or with family, I'd be in Marian mode as well. Now, I have more options than before - and getting dressed in the morning can be confusing....

Sometimes, I find myself gravitating towards my Marian closet, forgetting that I have to be in Mario mode for the day. I often find myself laying more of my Marian wardrobe across my bed, trying to figure out what to wear. It's as if the inner female is calling out and saying - "Enjoy me while you can."  If I wanted to give up the idea of having a good income, I'd stay in Marian mode all the time.

- - - - - -

Since I had nothing to do this afternoon, I decided to accompany Lili to the movies. Although "How to Train Your Dragon - 2" would not be on my list of films to see, I figured that it was worth seeing just to get out of the house for a while. When I met Lili, I was wearing the $10.50 bargain I found at Target - and she said it looked good on me.  I noted that it was a pleasure to wear, especially since the fabric on the lower half of the dress is silky and very lightweight. 

Before we went to the movie, it was off to Panera Bread for something to eat. And when my meal was delivered, the fellow forgot to bring the chips I ordered. However, Lili made a big deal of it, and forgot which pronoun to use in referring to me. She can be problematic - when her mind is focused on something, she doesn't have enough horsepower to take care of the secondary issues. I'll have to watch out for this, as I can't afford for her to make this mistake if we go out to an all-girls meetup. After our meal, we made it to the movie - and I found it a very pleasant diversion.

Once the movie ended, it was time to go home. But I realized that I needed to go to the supermarket. So I went out, and saw my downstairs neighbor - and he waved at me. Obviously, he has put two and two together and has connected Marian and Mario together. At least he is accepting of me enough to give a pleasant wave....

- - - - - -

Over time, I am getting much more comfortable with my neighbors seeing me en-femme. If I'm asked, I will note that I am Transgender - and am not sure how far I will go on this path towards the feminine. I'm a little leery of discussing this issue among men, as straight males can't imagine what it means to lack the "male privilege" that their genitals symbolizes. Although some women have a hard time dealing with this as well, most women do not seem to have trouble with a Trans-woman, as we are not seen as competitors, but as new women looking to join the "sorority" only to bond with other women.

And to close out today's post, a Beatle tune mentioning how a woman was clothed....

The Beatles - Yes It Is (Take 14)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Quickie: Looking for resources for the community.

How many of us remember the "Yellow Pages?" It was the one place where the average person could look for goods and services in the community. However, in the age of Google, I find that I never bother with them any more. And I haven't seen the print edition in years....

For a while, I've been trying to accumulate a list of resources for the M2F transgendered woman, and what I have is incomplete. What I'm hoping for is that my readers would send me any and all useful links they may have, identify what they are used for (e.g. makeup tips, voice issues, clothing, etc.) and pass them along to me. From this list, I will sort them down, file them according to categories, and eventually open a resource page that would be of value to all in our community.

In the old days, they'd say - "Let your fingers do the walking."

Now, it's "Let your mouse do the searching..."

Gender - As much of a social construct as it is a physical construct

Here's a picture of Ceri Anne and I, taken as we were about to go our separate ways after a very enjoyable evening. Compared with her, I look very frumpy. But enough on that for now....

One of the subjects of our conversations was how our presentations define how others interact with us. I've shared events from my life, where my female presentation made it possible me to interact with women as if I were a natal female. Ceri has encountered the same thing, and related a story about being with female friends communally getting dressed for a party, and getting dressed along with those friends as if she were just one of the gals. (I related a similar experience with Vicki in an earlier entry, and I think it's a testament to our mutual femininity that we can do this.) Even on the subway, it was a nice feeling to have someone offer his seat to a middle aged T-Gal like me.... (I'm sure that Ceri noticed this on the short ride from Grand Central to Times Square.)

Although we are part of the same TG community, we read a different set of blogs - but Kim's blog stands out for both of us. And it is this blog that has encouraged us to "Travel Pretty." In Ceri's case, as I understand it, she's flying home en-femme for the first time (as one can see from her picture at the airport).

Now, I've ridden the rails en-femme. I've cruised en-femme. But I have yet to fly en-femme. And I hope to do this on my next trip out West (whenever that will be). There is something to be said about traveling as one's true self - even if we are a little bit uncomfortable doing so at first.

Last year, while on my cruise, I was in Boston and feeling very warm. Several women took what I was going through as a hot flash, and thought that I was going through menopause. (Little did they know that my wig was making me experience the weather as if it were 10-15 degrees warmer than it was.) There was an implicit sense of support in their words, as if "we've been there, and we're there for you" in what they said. It's as if the female is the side of our species expected to show compassion, nurturing others when possible. And when one is presenting as a female, I believe that one is expected to err on the side of compassion whenever possible - it's a way to demonstrate we are nurturers.

Women tend to communicate to show support for each other. Men tend to communicate to exchange information. As a result, men do not understand what women are doing when they seem to ramble on forever. Men have extracted the meaning of the problem shortly after a woman starts speaking, and get frustrated when a woman continues past that point.  Women get frustrated when a man doesn't understand that they are trying to establish a kind of rapport with a man by sharing their feelings. Yet, when a T-Gal is able to communicate as a woman in a woman's world, the T-Gal is often accepted as a woman - even if her natal gender is known. In short, exhibiting a respectable female presentation and communication style makes it possible to fit into the social construct defined as "female" and be accepted as such.

So instead of my usual tune, I'll close out with George Martin, Giles Martin, and Dhani Harrison, with a mix of Here Comes the Sun.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Circumstances Permitting

Ceri Anne - What should I say about this new real world friend I met for the first time?  (And no, I didn't take this picture of her - I'm waiting for the shots of us at Grand Central for posting in a later entry.)

But first, let me start at the beginning....

Earlier today, GFL and I talked, and we agreed that she'd be coming up here on Sunday. This meant that I had another day I could stay en-femme, once I took care of certain errands that required my male persona. So, I begrudgingly put on a pair of pants in the afternoon, and took care of these errands. But I had no reason to rush and change until I received an IM from Ceri.

Ceri was in New York for a business trip, and extended it over the weekend (as I understand things) to enjoy the city en-femme. It was a perfect weekend to do so - the temperatures were cool in the evening, and comfortable in the daytime, with none of the oppressive humidity or heat New York is known for at this time of year. And I noted on Facebook that if I knew she'd be available, that I'd make it down to the city to meet her.  Guess what? That IM came around 6:00 pm.

I hemmed and hawed a little about the invite to meet her for only one reason - I was just finishing a Chinese takeout combination, and I'd be rushing to make the 7:40 train into NYC. But I decided to do so, as I rarely get a chance to meet any of our out-of-town T-Gals in person. So I stripped off my male garb, did a quick makeup job, and got dressed in a simple frock, not something I'd wear to work or on a date if I were a natal female. Although I got to the station just on time for the train, the train didn't - it was over 5 minutes late. And it arrived at GCT even later. Fortunately, I remembered how late the Hudson Line tends to be lately, so I told Ceri to expect me around 9 - and it was perfect timing.

Ceri was wearing a beautiful blue sheath dress that I can only dream of wearing. It made me feel under dressed, and wishing I had decided to wear the frock below:

Instead, I was wearing this dress, perfect comfort for NYC at this time of year:

And we were off to the Elephant and Castle - an old standby, where we both feasted on Hamburgers, Fries, and Dessert.  (If you're in Greenwich Village, be sure to look this place up.)

We came close to closing down the joint - I was probably yammering away way too much. But Ceri got her words in too - but I won't tell the story of her life, save that she has to deal with many of the same issues that others in the trans community deal with. Yet, I sense a positive energy about her, a practicality, that makes me feel that she can deal with any and all of the challenges that life places in her way.

Alas, it was time to go home. By the time I reached Grand Central, the last true express home had left the station. So I had to wait 45 minutes for the next train. While waiting, I captured the following shot of the main hall at Grand Central:

I'll bet that most of you will never see the main floor this empty - unless you stagger home at the same time I was getting on my train. Before I go too far, "Stagger" is not the right word here. You'll see a lot more drunks staggering onto the train that leaves 1 hour later, as that is the last train to Poughkeepsie. And even more stagger onto the last train of the night, which only makes it up to Croton-Harmon.

Eventually, I made it home - LATE.  Metro North must be doing a bit of maintenance work near Spuyten Duyvil and Yonkers, as the train was stopped, and moved slowly through those areas. But I did make it home, and figured that I'd take the time to write this entry before falling asleep, as I'd be seeing GFL in the morning and wouldn't have the time to prepare a post before she comes....

So I'll leave off with a song about a man on the Boston mass transit system that could have been written about a New Yorker stuck on our subway (with different place names, of course)....

Kingston Trio - M.T.A.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The right place, the wrong time....

Last night, Maria called me as I was leaving my weekly Yonkers Games meetup and said that she'd be coming to my place to notarize my job separation paperwork. Tomorrow, I plan to mail it off, and I soon can collect on what effectively is severance pay - albeit as supplemental unemployment benefits. 

- - - - - -

Today was a day I planned to spend en-femme. So when Maria said that she was coming down here, to facilitate her daughter, S, meeting up with her boyfriend for a trip to the beach, I was of mixed mind. On one hand, I wouldn't have to put any mileage on my car unless I wanted to do so. However, I did want to go to The Avenue to look at a denim jacket that was marked down by over 50%. Additionally, I was a little apprehensive meeting S en-femme. (Mind you, it didn't faze her one bit - S had only one thing on her mind: to meet up with her boyfriend, and do what 21 y/o "kids" do outside of parental supervision.) Maria left her daughter in the parking lot, waiting for the boyfriend to pick her up, and we proceeded to the local coffee shop, where Maria told me of all the troubles in her life.  Alas, my time with Maria was way too short - she had a client to go to. So I decided to go up to Newburgh anyway and look at the jacket.  

I'm not looking for much - just a denim jacket which is a little feminine, giving off enough subtle feminine cues to help the acceptance of my female presentation. However, when I got to the store, it was closed. No sign was out in front explaining the reason for the closure. But I was lucky - one lady "shouted" to get the attention of the people inside, and we were told that the store might reopen tonight. (The long and short - there was a leak from the store's air conditioner, and it had to be cleaned up. A week after the problem started, they had to update the store with this week's promotions before the store could reopen.) It made no sense to hang around, so it was homeward for me.

I decided to loop past Woodbury Commons, and stop at the Target in the area.  Good thing I did, as I saw a nice Maxi dress that I picked up on clearance for $10.50! (Mind you, it is a dress I can wear through this summer, then give away. At this price, I don't expect much from it.) At this point, I knew that driving around would be pointless, so I drove home.

- - - - - -

It was a pleasant surprise to find that the first lady I met at NYS Department of Labor responded to an email, and liked what I did with my resume. She then asked about my listed skills, and realized that my tech skills were out of date. So she asked whether I was willing to be retrained - and I said YES!  (This is much more help than I received from the second lady I met. And it would be politically incorrect for me to discuss that second person - so I won't.) Who knows what will become of this email exchange, but I hope I'll get much better advice than I would have received otherwise....

- - - - - -

And before I close this entry out....  In about 6 weeks, it will be Vicki's 50th birthday.  That will be one gathering that I'll attend en-homme. 

Now for a tune befitting the title of this entry...

Dr. John - "Right Place, Wrong Time"

Friday, June 20, 2014

Schedules - keeping parts of my life separate from each other.

The above is an example of an empty calendar. Rarely, do I find myself with this much empty time in a day, much less in a week.

There are some activities in my life in which I'm always in male mode - such as when I see my family, GFL, and my therapist. There are other activities in which I'm always in female mode - such as the various meetups I attend. But how do I keep things straight? How do I minimize the number of times that I have to change modes? And, how do I make sure that I have enough time to do so, if I have to be in both modes during the day? Trust me, it's not easy!

Lately, I've been shifting some appointments, so that I can maximize time spend in either Marian mode or Mario mode. Some of these shifts would need to have been made anyway, as I have conflicts between my bi-weekly therapy appointments and my co-op board meetings. Other shifts are made for my convenience - such as when I'll shift my therapy appointments to days when I have other appointments requiring me to be in Mario Mode (such as a visit to the Department of Labor). 

One thing good about being unemployed - I can afford to spend more time in Marian Mode these days. And it is a blessing. With the exception of when I'm with GFL, I'm finding that I'm in Marian Mode much more often than I'm in Mario Mode. But this will change when I (hopefully) find a new position....

- - - - - -

Today, my calendar had several things on it. First was my monthly visit from the cleaning lady. Since I didn't want to be en-femme when she arrived, I got dressed early and got out of the house. Next was a stint at the GLBT center - where I took care of several miscellaneous taks involving the computer. Even though the tasks were a little boring, every little thing I do helps the cause - and I was glad to help. After this was a visit to the salon where I get my face zapped. This time, it was only the area above my upper lip. While waiting for my tech to be ready, I chatted up the receptionist (who may also own the place - I'm not sure), and she was open to getting together as girlfriends - especially since we live 5 minutes from each other. So I expect that I'll be in touch with her sometime in the next couple of weeks. And lastly is games night, where I've found out that one of the female regulars will not be there because of illness. 

So, when I looked at this week's schedule, I saw the following:
  • Sunday - Male mode with GFL.
  • Monday - Female mode, with games in Beacon
  • Tuesday - Male mode, with co-op board meeting in evening.
  • Wednesday - Open (either mode could be presented)
  • Thursday - Female mode (Volunteering, Laser, Games in Yonkers)
  • Friday - Open (either mode could be presented)
  • Saturday - Male mode with GFL.

If we give one each of the "Open" days to Male mode and to Female mode, one can see that I'm spending a little less than half of my time in Female mode. And if both "Open" days were in Female mode, then I'm spending more time as a female than as a male.

- - - - - -

I'm on a journey to femininity - and I love it. I have problems, but they are not insurmountable. But I still can't help but wonder - what if the next phase of my life is living as a woman 24x7, with a trade-off of no romance? Would it be worth the sacrifice?

Until I have an answer to the above question, I'll probably keep looking for esoteric music, unusual performances, and an occasional video to close out an entry. Today's tune has nothing to do with scheduling, but I found it interesting....

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A chance to do my nails

Although I got out of the house late today, I had a finally had a chance to do my nails. Even though the nail salon would do a better and longer lasting job, I wasn't in the mood to spend the money on a manicure - from which I'd have to remove the polish before the next time I see GFL.

My main reason for leaving the house was to pick up some anesthetic for tomorrow's laser session. Since the tech was there until 6 pm, I figured that I could get there around 4 pm, take care of errands, and still have the evening to do what I want to do. So I took a shower, did my nails and makeup, put on my wig, then the dress in the photo below - and out the door I went....

When I arrived at the salon, the tech was busy - so I waited until she freed up. This was only the second time she has seen me en-femme in person, And she said that my pictures don't do me justice - she was very impressed. (The only minor negative comment was that I should blend the area below my chin a little better - the same comment Vicki makes.) This made my day!

After I left the salon, it was off to get my car washed. I wasn't sure whether I should go North or South - part of me wanted to go back to The Avenue in Newburgh, so that I could try on some denim jackets on closeout. But I changed my mind en-route, as I would be back in that area later in the week when I meet with Maria for a late breakfast. And given the high mileage I've been putting on my car lately, I figured that the best thing to do would be to go home.

But I was bored, and I really didn't want to clean up my apartment in advance of my cleaning lady coming tomorrow. I remembered that the local art house cinema was showing a classic film tonight - and I figured that I'd go en-femme.

For a classic film lover like me, it's amazing that I never watched this film before. I won't say much about this film, except that Nils Asther makes you forget that he's anyone other than General Yen. Go rent it if you can!!!  It's worth the effort....

So now, I have to clean up my place. Since I am doing both volunteer work AND getting my face lasered tomorrow, I must make sure that I can get dressed en-femme and get out of the house before my cleaning lady comes in the morning. 

On a side note....

Tomorrow is games night in Yonkers. A couple of weeks ago, I noted that the hostess of the event offered to review my resume. This afternoon, I sent her the resume, and thanked her as Marian, noting that it is Mario who earns my living.

And now, it's time for a tune loosely fitting tonight's movie's topic to close out this post.

The Shangri-Las - The Leader Of The Pack

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Readin', Writin', and Respondin'.....

When I last looked for a job, I used both the personal ads and a headhunter to find my position. Who'd have thought that most of the early activities in a job search would have completely migrated to on-line systems in less than 30 years? But this may be an improvement, as it may help minimize the effects of age, national origin, race, gender etc. based profiling in the initial resume filtering process.

There's a part of me that would love to jump into a feminine identity right now, and look for my next position as Marian instead of Mario. This would be a mistake. It's hard enough to find work in this economy, so I want to maximize the chance that I find gainful work at a reasonable wage.

So far, I've replied to ads for several positions, but received only one reasonable reply. That's OK for now. Summer is coming up, and I have to find ways to make sure that I participate in enough job search activities to continue qualifying for Unemployment Insurance benefits. When the Fall comes, I expect to see more positions open up. Hopefully, I'll be able to land one of these positions before year end.

- - - - - -

Contrast this behavior to my dating situation. As much as I care for GFL, I'm not going to break things off right now. If we were to break up, I'd consider being a secondary person in a polyamorous relationship. So, I scan the ads in Marian Mode, and respond only when I get an indication that the woman on the other end may be interested in me. (I get enough false positives, that a quick response to clear things up doesn't affect me.) But even if I met someone with whom I'd want some kind of relationship, I'd still need to clear things up with GFL once and for all before going any further - If she wants to be with me for the long term, I'd rather stay with her. In short - I won't cross ethical lines (but I'll skate real close to them....)

- - - - - -

I'm starting to get to the point where I'd consider not having a romantic relationship if I could live as a female 24x7. I have more friends in this mode than I ever did as a "vanilla" male. And friendships are "things" I've craved since childhood. Could this be a response to the loneliness I felt in childhood? Who Knows? But, I don't want to reach my senior years without a wide network of friends, a network from which I have partners for most activities - dinner, games, travel, etc....

- - - - - -

As usual, a little tune to end the day's entry....

Sam Cooke & Jackie Wilson - Eveybody Loves to Cha Cha Cha

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Why does feeling normal feel so strange?

Over the past year and a half, I have chronicled my progression from a closeted cross-dresser to an out of the closet M2F Transgendered female. Yet, I am not planning for transition at this time, though I am moving more and more of my life to where I can live most of the time in Marian Mode.

Like many TG's, I was extremely nervous when I went out en-femme for the first time. And now, it seems very normal. Normal enough, that after a few days en-femme, that putting on men's clothing felt strange. The other day, I met a woman for a casual drink, and she couldn't think of me being a male - even after I dropped my voice an octave to show her proof of my natal gender. This is very strange to me - I'm exuding enough femininity in my presence en-femme, that any residual masculinity is overwhelmed.

Obviously, my presentation is very far from perfect. My voice can easily give me away over time. My size is another issue for me. And I do not have any feedback on my body language. Yet, I feel very comfortable (and others with me) when I am en-femme. But if I think about it, it feels strange.

- - - -

Part of me still feels like an impostor when I go out en-femme. I am comfortable, but I'm not always sure if I'm authentic. Given that I live on both sides of the gender divide, I tend to use the masculine pronouns when talking about myself - but that may be because I haven't lived that much of my life in the female role. I don't consider my soul to have a gender, but 50+ years of living exclusively as a male may have had an effect on my self identification. Yet again, it may not have done so. Does this have anything to do with me feeling like an impostor?

With this being said, I feel more at home in the female role. There's a part of me that wants to try things which are usually in the female realm of experience that are not usually in the male realm of experience - such as knitting. In fact, there's a yarn shop nearby, and I might go there to ask some questions about learning how to knit.

Socially, I feel more at home in the female role. The more I'm with women as a woman, the more comfortable I get in the role and the more normal it becomes. I may always get tagged as being transgender - but I'm being accepted as a woman. And to me, this might be all the authenticity I need.....

So I'll close off with a Carole King tune....  Not exactly what I had in mind but....

Carole King - (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman

Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day Weekend - Odds and Ends

Not much transgender stuff this weekend. But you might find something interesting towards the end of this entry....

For those who may have missed my 06/07/2014 entry, I recently met a woman who was interested in me for an en-femme, dominant "activity partner."  When I chatted with her, I felt that she was a little "off". She noted that she preferred being with men, but due to her divorce, she didn't feel comfortable dating them at the time. Shortly after getting together, she dropped contact - and send me an email that she found a man who could scratch her itch.  Hmmmm.... I'm glad I didn't invest any emotional energy in this person!  

- - - - - -

In yesterday's entry, I noted that one blogger was having serious problems. (Some of you may know this woman, but I won't identify her here without permission - even though she is open about her problems in her Facebook entries and in her blog.) I am pleased to report that she has resolved the most pressing problem for now, and will be able to continue with her life - albeit at a new address.

- - - - - -

Yesterday, I went to see my dad. There was a part of me that wishes that I could be open with him about my transgendered nature, I doubt I will open up this part of me to him. We had a good time, and were able to chat about many things before I had to leave for GFL's place. 

- - - - - -

After leaving my dad's place, I went to GFL's for the night. When I reached Staten Island, I realized that I should have picked up a present for her birthday before leaving for her place. (The present I wanted to pick up was a gift certificate for a massage at Massage Envy. And I figured that I've passed by the Staten Island outlet enough times, that I could find it on the way to GFL's - big mistake!) Neither of us were hungry for a big dinner - but we had a nicer night than we've had for a while....

The next morning, I woke up late. But after having a nice, but early, seafood dinner, we went back to GFL's to plant a tree that she received a month ago. It was nice to see the apple tree that she got for free finally planted in her back yard. Afterwards, we relaxed and then it was time to leave for home.

- - - - - -

On my way home, I stopped by the same Walmart I stopped in last weekend. And I realized something - I forgot which mode I was in (Marian/Mario) for a while last weekend, as I remember looking through the makeup aisle. I guess that my inner Marian is telling me that she wants to get out even more....

- - - - - -

As you can see, this was a quiet weekend. So, I'll leave you with a fitting tune.

Doris Day - Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars