Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The second of a couple of days en-homme

As you can guess, I love the intermingling of tastes in Indian food. And that was on the menu for the evening. But first....

A while back, I saw a woman for a date and let things drop, as I had a couple of women who I was more interested in dating. After things ended with GFL, we got together again for anther date, and things went reasonably well. So we arranged to meet on the first available date on both of our calendars.

L is a nice woman who works as a special education teacher. The stories she can tell about her students, her classes, her bosses, etc. would be more than enough to fill a book - if it weren't so politically incorrect. Sadly, people need to hear these stories, just to dispel the idea that underpaid teachers can solve the world's problems.

So after a long day of trying to get a wireless adapter to work with an old computer (a topic which deserves its own post), I went to see L - lead footing it into New Jersey. We had a pleasant Indian dinner, and I told her about my life in a critical light.  I figure that if she's interested in me after this, she may be the type of person who could handle my TG nature.

Will we meet again?  Who knows?  

Now to close out this entry....

Chuck Berry - School Days

Monday, September 29, 2014

The first of a couple of days en-homme.

As much as I'd rather have been in a comfortable top and skirt, I was in male mode today. I had a date to see K, a woman I was dating before I settled in with GFL, and I wanted to have a good time today. Additionally, I wanted to find out how interested she might be in resurrecting a potential relationship, as she already knows about this side of me and there would be no need to hide anything....

K and I  met at a mall near her house, and we proceeded to drive up to Woodstock in my car. It was a perfect day for such a drive - the air was cool when we started, and the trees were starting to get the colors  seen in the picture above. When we arrived, we walked around town for an hour or so, and then proceeded to the Little Bear.

The Little Bear is one of the best Chinese restaurants in the region, and well worth going out of your way to visit.....

Seeing this sign, I finally learned why this hamlet is called Bearsville, but back to the story....

Of course, K may not have been sure of this before lunch. But after a bowl of Pickled Cabbage & Pork Soup, Moo Shu Pork, and Mango Chicken, she is now one of the true believers in this restaurant. If she was looking for something other than friendship, she would have signaled it by letting me pay for her. Instead, she paid for her share.

After lunch, we went back to town and explored some more. But sadly, the day had to end, as K had a 6:00 dinner scheduled with her mother. So I drove her back to her car, and bid her a fond adieu.  It's nice seeing K as a friend, but I'd have liked a little more - as there was unfinished romantic business with us from many months ago, and I'd like to know if a spark is still there but being hidden.

- - - - - -

While I was out gallivanting, L sent me a couple of messages - instead of spending the afternoon together, she wanted to have dinner instead. I have no problems with this. It's nice to have an afternoon to myself, and to be able to get things done that I'd otherwise not find the time to take care of....

- - - - - -

Sometime during the day, I'll need to contact Vicki and present her with options for our visit to NYC. As much as I wanted to see "Pageant", seeing "Money Grubbin' Whores" makes more sense. Either way, I'll be en-femme for this trip. It'll be nice seeing Vicki - especially with her losing weight. And I'll finally start getting serious about my weight loss, now that the fall is coming on, and I'll have nothing better to do than to get some exercise while things are comfortable to do so.....

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Yonkers and Games - One just can't win!

Luckily, my Yonkers meetup looks nothing like this!  Although they are playing the same game I was playing at this week's game night (Dead of Winter), ours was a more intimate environment. And, as usual, I lost! But in this game, nobody won....

One of the things I notice when playing games is the very different styles of communication that men and women use - and tonight was no exception. There were 5 of us at the game table - 3 males (C, E, and R), 1 cisgendered female (N), and me. Much of the time, the 3 males kept debating what was the correct way to make a specific play, so that we'd have the greatest chance of winning the game.  They were extremely competitive, and inattentive to N and I while we sat and waited for the 3 men to get back to the game.

Competition is inevitable when men interact with each other, Early in the game, the side discussion involved movies and whether a particular Sci-Fi role could be played by a Black man. One of the men was stating that a character from Star Wars could have been played by a Black man, while another was arguing that there would have been even more continuity errors because the character's offspring were lily white. So I should have known what to expect when I sat down at this table to play the game. If I had it to do over again, I'd have hung out in the other room and played a different game with two of the three other ladies in attendance.

This game took a long time to play - and much of that time was due to the 3 men arguing with each other. There was a clash of egos, and I'm glad that my inability to project a loud female voice prevented me from getting involved in the argument. Strangely enough, this inability helps me with women, as I am forced to wait until others are ready to listen to me. But back to the men....

Towards the end of the game, there was another argument regarding who would "take the hit" and have his piece removed from play. Of course, once the piece was removed, the logic of the game made a win impossible. Both C and E were going at it (civilly) until C decided to walk away from the game. Thinking about it a little later, I was a little upset. Testosterone reared its ugly head. And, as expected, caused unneeded angst that could easily have been avoided.

On that note, I'll close out with a tune befitting a cold winter....

Dean Martin and Martina McBride - Baby, it's Cold Outside

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sad news from the Cape

It's sad when someone is dying of cancer. But it's even sadder when that person is losing her mind, and is no longer enjoying her remaining time on earth.

- - - - - -

The other day, I told my friend's husband, S, that I was going to be on the Cape around the time of Fantasia Fair. (I may visit P'town, but I won't be attending any of FF's functions, as I can't stay for at least half a week.) And he responded with the following (edited to protect privacy):

She is not at home since last Wednesday! between telling anyone who would listen that "I was going to kill her" and otherwise talking about 'killing herself' she got placed outside the home at a 'senior's skilled nursing care facility'.  You may call her, just ask for .... 

We are trying to place her in a similar facility closer to here but these things take time. It is not likely that she will return home, at least for right now anyways. I walked into her room yesterday with the dog and she was on the telly with her friend from Colorado telling her I was dead (and my Mom) in  a fiery car crash. she has been watching too, too much "Law and Order!!"

Today, I received the following news (again, edited to protect privacy):

Social worker at facility has called a meeting to discuss the next 'phase/location(s)' of B's care. You haven't missed much. B reported me to an "elder care agency" alleging neglect, and was telling everyone that 'I was going to kill her!' and abuse. By last Tuesday night we were both screaming at each other; so I walked around the block and then 911'ed her. The police came instead of fire and talked to each of us and the next day she did not pass the morning Nurse visit. That is why she is no longer at home. Her Daughter and her ex are 100% sure I am not the problem; LUCKY FOR ME.
Also our innkeeper in New York stopped doing any filing/bookkeeping/bill paying/taxes over 18 months  ago. We were so pissed we had B add a Codicil to her Last Will shortening the delay that T would have to raise funds from a year to three months. B's daughter will definitely sell the house as a private residence the very first chance she gets.
I am clear and home free because she has a "sole proprietorship" which does not survive her death. I have begun to have an attorney put together a c-corp filing. Why a "C?"  Due to SSI, I must limit my income to less than $700/month and all other income will be income of the corporation.
I feel really bad for how B had to go; but paranoid delirious??????

Sometime in October (around FF time), I will end up driving to the Cape and visit P'town for a day, and then drive back, visiting S, and maybe B at whatever nursing home she's in.  At this stage of things, it doesn't matter whether I am en-femme or not - she won't be in a position to complain much.

Before I do this, I'll get in contact with B's former partner and get what her take on things is - and proceed accordingly. From what I've read so far, S is at the end of his rope, and is simply trying to take things one day at a time - and prepare (as best he can) for the worst. I gave him some advice, but not about widowhood. Years ago, B told me of some of the aggressive moves she made with her finances - and some of those moves may come back to haunt her estate. Hopefully, S was not aware of any of those premarital financial decisions, and if he was, knew how to isolate himself from any potential fallout. (The moves were legal, but would cause no end to frustration for the person settling her estate....)

- - - - - -

Hopefully, things will change for the better with B. And I am grateful that this isn't me. But what would happen if I were diagnosed with a terminal condition? I've survived my wife by 18 years now, and I still miss having someone by my side. Being transgender does get in the way. Yet, I wouldn't change anything, as the devil I know is better than the one I don't know. 

- - - - - -

And, on that note, I'll close out with a somber tune....

Mozart - Requiem in D minor

Friday, September 26, 2014

Hopefully, my luck will change for the better.....

No matter what one says, life is always a gamble. Sometimes, the wheel comes up on zero or double-zero, fouling up the 50/50 odds our minds expect to see in most games of chance. And like the gambling tables, the odds are always against us in the long run.

It's been 4 months since I lost my job, and I haven't had an interview in almost a month. It could be easy to fall into the trap of depression, but I have no intention of letting this happen. Having had so many opportunities to be en-femme over the last month has been a great help to me. And tonight, being en-homme will feel a little strange - as I have again gotten into the habit of going out in the world en-femme.

Looking at this picture, I believe that most people would see only a large, overweight, middle-aged woman. And from how people react towards me, this would seem to be the case.

As I write this, I have to go to a co-op board meeting this evening, and will not be able to go to this week's Whine and Dine meetup. It's just as well, I've been spending too much money lately - even though I'm still within my budget. But I wish this meeting was on its' original date (last week) and not for tonight. Thankfully, my work for the board is only one or two hours per month, and it isn't that bad, considering that we have a managing agent taking care of many of the little details.

Lili has presented me with an opportunity - something I may end up pursuing next year, if my search for something related to project management doesn't work out. She'd be willing to show me the ropes in selling things at flea markets, etc., so that I could earn a small living on weekends. Of course, as long as I don't go to office buildings as she used to do in the past, I wouldn't have to deal with showing my male id when entering a building. This way, I could work as Marian, and not have to go back to being Mario in order to earn money....

Life is very strange - and very much like a poker game. Not everyone starts out with the same number of chips, nor can they start out with the same hands. Yet, with education and experience, some talented people can rise to the top, while others are perpetual losers.  I've been lucky to have been given a good hand and a decent amount of chips to start with, and have a stack tall enough to weather a few bad hands. 

And on that note, I'll close out this entry....

Tom T. Hall - Deal

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Munch Munch Munch

I finally decided to get vetted at a "munch" so I can visit the BDSM club at its new location, somewhere in the Hudson Valley. Given the controversial nature of this type of activity and the reputations of the people involved, I will not name the new location, or give details about any of the people I had dinner with tonight - especially when a Connecticut club was raided by the ATF without any real justification. However, I am at liberty to reference some of what was said at the munch, as well as how I was treated....

- - - - - -

As usual, I got myself moving very late in the day. By the time I left my apartment, I had to make one decision - go to NYC and hope I can get to a theater by 6:45 pm, so that I could see "Pageant" at 7:00 pm. Given that I'd be operating on too slim a time margin, I decided to go to the munch instead, figuring that 1 hour would be more than enough to get where I needed to go.  Little did I know that 1 hour would barely be enough time, as Westbound traffic on Route 84 was backed up from the bridge to well past Route 9. Luckily, I was able to use the Mid-Hudson bridge to get to where I needed to go. I was very glad to have had the address of the munch with me on the cell phone, as it was at a different diner than I expected it to be. (Strange... I've been in the area many a time, and never noticed the other diner.) But this diner was only a minute or two away, and I was on time for the munch. Looking around, I saw two familiar faces from the HV Poly group - and I knew I was in the right place. 

The HV Poly group comes from all over the Hudson Valley. And so does the contingent that enjoys BDSM activities. You can easily guess that I enjoy being with any group that accepts the transgendered as "normal" (whatever that word means) individuals. So I sat down with the group, and exchanged the usual pleasantries. As they say: "Sticks and stones may break my bones. But whips and chains excite me." One of the more notable things said at the table, was one man's claim to be able to find any natal female's G-Spot. (Of course, this excludes me.) And a woman replied that this "Dom" would have to be subject to punishment for every female's G-Spot he didn't find. This could get to be quite interesting a scene!  

As usual, I was a little overdressed for the occasion. But I think you'd agree that I appeared as if I were a woman who left work and went straight to the munch. And, given the weather, I think that adding the sweater was a good idea - especially with the temperature expected to drop into the 50's overnight.

- - - - - -

All too soon, it was time to go. So, I figured that I'd pick up some stuff at a Walmart on the way home, and then get some sleep. What I didn't know was that Lili would try to call me just before I got home - and tell me a continuation of her story from the other night, along with some information which made her soften her position in regard to her tenant.  Luckily, Lili and I weren't on the phone too long, and I was able to take care of this blog entry....

- - - - - -

I'm not sure if I closed with this tune before, but I hope you enjoy it....

Tom Lehrer - The Masochism Tango

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Settling down for another Thursday Night.

Yes, it was another game night in Yonkers last Thursday - and another night where I lost in the games I played. But that's OK with me - I go there to be with people and relax. I don't go there to make winning my highest priority.

Tonight was unusual in several ways. First, our Ukrainian lady dropped by to drop off a birthday cake - I can't help but think that this was a case of "Hello, I must be going" for her, as she wanted to be with her mother one last day before her departure to "the old country". So we put candles in the cake, lit them, and celebrated her birthday before she left.  (Did I mention that I tried sing in a higher register than usual?  I'm certainly not going to sing in my usual male register!) Next, one of our usual participants didn't show up - I hope nothing is wrong with him. And then, I had a chance to play games with the ladies - just the three of us gals playing Settlers of Catan, and then Quirkle.

Supposedly, this is the number one board game in popularity - and it's easy to understand why. First, it is an easy game to learn, but a hard one to master as the board layout changes with every game. Second, one does not have to do a lot of reading to play this game - most of the time, one can look at the artwork on the cards and the pips on the dice to know what can/will take place next. Third, it has the negotiating aspect of "Monopoly" where players can trade properties (in Catan, resources) to achieve their ends.  Would I play this game again?  Yes. And now that I know what to do, I can get better with practice.

After game night ended, I made a run to Walmart in White Plains, where I picked up a pair of sneakers (for my male persona), a storage container for my summer wardrobe, and some no-show socks that I can use with my female sneakers. I figure that I should take care of the clothes I own, as I may need to make them last much longer than I originally expected.

And now a tune from which you can get a rounded education....

Groucho Marx - Lydia, the Tattooed Lady

Kermit the Frog - Lydia the Tattooed Lady

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Quickie: Halloween Costume

Halloween is coming, and I think the most affordable costume for me will likely be that of a nurse. I can get an inexpensive nurse's dress, stethoscope, and a pair of white shoes for a little bit over $50, and could use the shoes again at some later date.  Of course, with a catalog listing of "Peaches Uniforms Women's Double Collar Cross Dress", how could I resist?

Only one problem - Where can I find a legitimate nurses' cap to complete the costume?  Any touches I can add to make me look like a real nurse would be perfect.  Do you have any ideas?  (I'll probably make up a fake id card, and use "St. Elsewhere" as the name of the hospital where my character would work....  (Should I say that I work with Dr. Kildare, Marcus Welby, Ben Casey, or Johnny Fever? Dr. V. Frankenstein would be way too obvious for today's generation....)

Pot Luck

My original schedule for Sunday was (1) Finally go to church en-femme, (2) Attend the Hudson Valley Poly group's Pot Luck dinner, and (3) Catch up on some on-line courses offered by the outplacement firm. I only got to do one of these things due to sleep patterns and a call from Lili.

After seeing my brother's crew on Saturday, I got home, wrote yesterday's entry, and then went to sleep around 5 am - there was no way I was going to be up at 8 to be ready by 9:30 am, so I hit the snooze bar, and blew off activity #1, leaving activity #2 and #3 on the table. Around 11 am, I got up, got dressed (wearing one of my summer maxi dresses for the last time this year), and drove to Sherry's for the pot luck dinner.

Arriving at Sherry's, I found that the key code still worked to get into her building, so I walked up to her place and knocked on the door. When Sherry let me in, I found that our group was half as large as expected, and that the cheesecake I brought wasn't needed - we had way too much dessert already. So we had a great conversation for 2 or 3 hours before things broke up. (One of the things we discussed how I might breach the topic of "the lifestyle" with my niece.... And none of us had good answers, but realized that this needed to be done, based on Sherry's experiences with her daughters.)

- - - - - -

Driving home from Sherry's, I stopped by the mall as some of the stores were preparing to close. (Sears was open to 7, Target to 10, while the rest of the stores were closing at 6.) It was strange being in JC Penney as the doors closed, and having to exit via a side entrance, reenter the mall, and go through Sears to get back to my car, so that I could go to Target. Why was I shopping?  I wanted to see if I could find a slip in my size.  And this was a futile effort - not even Lane Bryant carried them.  (No, they didn't have slips in their lingerie area!) I guess I'll have to order them online, and wait for them to come....

- - - - - -

Shortly after leaving the mall, Lili called - she was extremely upset in a way I never heard her before. So, it was over to Lili's place where I expected to hear a long sob story. But I knew it was going to be worse than usual when she changed her food order from 2 Chicken Parm heros (submarine sandwiches, to those of you from outside the NYC area - in my small area of Westchester county, they are also called "Wedges") to add a full pizza. Lili was on a binge, and she wanted someone else to eat with.

Arriving at Lili's, I was regaled with the story about how one of her friends, a tenant in one of her rental properties, betrayed her and allowed the other tenant to have a pool on the property all summer - and lied about it. Lili is extremely concerned about pools, as one of her acquaintances from her youth owned property with a pond on it and had legal problems from a trespasser ignoring all the posted signs who got hurt and sued the owners. The owners lost virtually everything they owned, due to an asshole who didn't care about the warnings posted around the pond and then getting what he deserved for his stupidity. So she is right to be extremely sensitive to this issue, and was sobbing throughout this story of betrayal.

This tale started a couple of months ago when the other tenant asked to put a pool on the property. Lili's friend, a tenant/property manager called Lili, and Lili said "NO!", and thought that this would be the end of it. Her friend was supposed to look after the property for Lili, so Lili expected that this friend would report if anything was amiss. The other day, Lili got a call from one of the rental house's neighbors, and was told that the tenant was parking cars on the street, and mentioned that the tenant's offspring were playing in the pool. Lili was livid! Lili called the tenant who asked about having a pool and he fessed up to things. But her friend kept on with the lying - and Lili went on the warpath.

Things are much more complicated than one would expect - Lili has gotten a lot from her relationship with this former friend including: (1) a person to take care of her dogs while Lili was on vacation, (2) a cleaning lady who would work cheap, (3) a chauffeur who would drive her to the airport (or cruise ship dock, as was the case last summer), and more.... So it's going to hurt a bit, as Lili finds other people to fill in for this former friend AND finds other people to take the place of her former friend in the rental property, as this person has been consistently late in paying her rent.  Too bad Lili didn't take my advice and keep some walls between herself and this person....

- - - - - -

I ended up making Lili feel a little better before I left - somehow, getting her to vent allowed her to speak about what was really affecting her so much - and it wasn't what you would first think. Lili had never had the chance to grieve the loss of her dog (who recently died of cancer), and this grief exploded unexpectedly. Lili now wants to get another dog to replace the one she lost - but realizes she isn't yet ready to do so, which is some small growth for her....

It may seem like an interruption to mention this, but I plan to go to a "munch" to get vetted for a regional BDSM club (which I'd attend as a voyeur). Lili wants to go to this club, and would blow off a needed session with a therapy group to do so. Given where Lili is emotionally, I said that I'd look up the meeting (a little lie) and tell her when the next one was - which would conveniently after a few therapy sessions. She needs therapy, and is looking for excuses not to go - and I won't provide them.

- - - - - -

I'm going to go back to sleep for a while - and get back to work on taking the courses from the outplacement firm in the two weeks I have left that I can use its services....

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

Patti Page  How much is that Doggie in the Window?

Monday, September 22, 2014

You're in the Army Now!

Originally. my plans for this weekend were to party with my polyamorous friends from the North Country on Saturday, and then visit another group of polyamorous friends on Sunday. My nephew's going away party got in the way - and I was more than glad to change my plans for him. But I likely won't be able to travel up North until November, and wish I could be in two places at once....

If you didn't catch this in earlier posts, my nephew is going into the Army, and by the time you've read this, he will have started at boot camp.  Although I'm not the kind of person who would have done well in a highly structured environment, I hold a certain respect for those who can function with this kind of discipline - and this is what my nephew will learn in his time at boot camp.

- - - - - -

But first....

Due to many little things, I haven't been able to get down to see my dad for a while, and I made sure to have about an hour and a half with him before we went to dinner. One of the things I found out was that my ex-girlfriend from "da Bronx" was still at her parents abode, and was taking care of her mother who is now suffering from Alzheimer's. My dad commented on the fact that she ended up being screwed again by her parents, as the reverse mortgage on the family homestead in Florida will eat up what little inheritance she was promised by her dad. (I'm glad I bailed from this relationship several years ago, as I wouldn't want to take up the slack that her siblings aren't taking up in familial responsibility.)

And onto the going away dinner...

When I spoke with my brother the last week, he mentioned that we'd meet at a restaurant walking distance from his house. But, my brother changed the place to a nearby Brazilian Churrascaria (think of heaven for people on an Atkins diet) and didn't tell me about it. To make things worse, my dad thought we were meeting at a different restaurant than my brother told him, so we were 10 minutes away from my brother when I decided to call him for information. Now, my brother is under a lot of stress - and the two of us were talking past each other as I was asking for information.  I needed to know one thing - what street he was on, while he kept trying to give me directions. We were both frustrated - and my dad tried to be the one to calm me down. (I calmed down quickly - my dad didn't understand what happened was a common communications error between two people.) So when I finally got there, both my brother and I apologized to each other - and all was right with the world.

Unfortunately, the restaurant was very busy, and even with a 7:30 reservation, we had to wait until 8:15 or so. It was nice seeing everyone again - especially my niece, with whom I've gone to various museums.  The great news for the day was the fact that she now has a job in the field she wanted, and is well on the way to making a good start in her career. Where it gets interesting is that my niece and I both have an interest in the Folsom Street Fair (how to survive Folsom Street Fair) and Burning Man. So I'll have to find some quiet time to ask her some questions - tactfully and in confidence. Does she know of events such as Geeky Kink Event? If she does and goes, I will want to make sure I don't attend the same events that she does. Additionally, if she does go, I may have to tell her about my Marian persona - and ask her to keep things quiet. Of course, the conversation I was having with my niece was interrupted all too often, and but we agreed to meet for some museum hopping - where I will get the chance to ask her some questions without family being around.

It's been such a long time since I've seen my nephew, that I didn't recognize him. He has a baby face (just like his dad), and with the right prosthesis, could be made to look like my niece's big sister. (But I'll never tell him that - especially now that he's going into a testosterone soaked environment.) The Army will be good for him, and I'm glad that he'll get a very useful skill in exchange for a 6 year hitch.

All too early, the party broke up. My niece and nephew were off to gallivant with people their own ages, my step nephew (and his girlfriend) were off to "wherever", leaving the 4 oldsters at the table to take care of things. 

On the whole, it was a nice evening - even though I sacrificed a chance to be en-femme.

- - - - - -

Of course, a tune to close out the entry....

You're in the Army Now (March)

Sunday, September 21, 2014


You'll note that the "Little People" in this picture are mostly "normally proportioned", save that they are small. Since "The Wizard of Oz" was filmed, medicine has thankfully found treatments for this type of dwarfism during a child's growth stage, leaving us with a much smaller number of dwarfs.

When I go to my Thursday night game nights, the two children are often referred to as "Munchkins", and are allowed to join the adults for a quick game before they are put to bed for the evening. They are cute kids. But I'm glad they aren't mine - I don't have the energy anymore to deal with youngsters on a full time basis.  Of course, one of the kids wanted to play "Munchkin" this week, and he was playing with is dad on the other side of our table....

The next night, I finally got a chance to play this game - and it was fun. As usual, I lost (I'm a terrible gamester), but enjoyed the time spent playing this game.

The Friday venue is not yet a regularly scheduled venue. The husband and wife who own this house just moved in a couple of months ago, and are still working on making the place habitable - especially for the husband, who is big, and could use a bathroom fitting his needs. When I got there, several games were in full swing, and I had to wait for about 30 minutes before I could get into a new game.

One thing I noted was that there were only three women at this venue (if you include myself) out of twenty (or so) game players - an extreme imbalance which I haven't seen in any of the other venues so far. But I figure that women gamers are still more cautious than their male counterparts, and they will come when this becomes a regularly scheduled venue.

When we finally started to play Munchkin, it took a little while for me to pick up the game. And for a competitive game, we were overly cooperative for the first half of it - until people came close to winning - and that's when the "knives" came out, bringing the underlying nature of this game to the forefront. And this is when the game became really enjoyable.

After this game, we got into chatting before starting the next game. And this is when I found out that the hostess enjoyed being with gender variant people - no wonder why she was glad to see me. (Our discussion then shifted into interests which she might not want me discussing here. But I can say that she and her husband were friends with V, her husband B, and her girlfriend from lower Westchester.) It was nice to see a dovetailing of friends from my various, seemingly unconnected communities that I hang out with.

All too soon, the games had to end. The hostess mentioned that she would likely have another gaming night in mid October, followed by a Halloween party - with games and horror movies.  I'll be certain to attend, if otherwise not engaged.  (I now wonder what costume I'll wear....)

And now for a fitting tune....

Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead  

(Sorry about the video quality....  I wanted better views of Munchkins.)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Good things come to those who wait (by the mailbox).

Although I am very comfortable now with shopping en-femme, I still order some things for delivery by mail. It's not because of embarrassment (as it would be in the past). Instead, it is because ordering some small items (such as my makeup) is easier and cheaper when done on-line.

Lately, I have found that many stores have a lot of web-only offerings. For example, when I go to The Avenue's web site and select "Casual Dresses", 9 out of the 12 offerings shown are only available on-line. If one is embarrassed to shop en-femme in person, this may not mean much. But I like seeing how certain garment fit on me, as I've found that shopping for women's clothes while in a male body (no hormone treatment yet) while en-femme is a great time saver - I rarely buy anything anymore that I have to send back because it doesn't fit or look right.

Today's delivery was makeup - foundation and concealer. I swear by this brand (Dermablend) - even though I apply it differently than their recommendation. Yet, I find that it does do exactly what I want it to do - give my face a uniform skin tone, and working well with the beard cover I use on my upper lip and chin to give me a natural color.  Could I find Dermablend in stores? Maybe. But it's easier for me to shop on-line, especially when I know that I'm buying the same product on a repeating basis.

One of these days, I may end up having my face done over at Sephora, and trying out some new products. But this is where I still feel uncomfortable - having a woman work on my face close up, having no doubts that I am TG when she works on me.

- - - - - -

Soon, I expect to see another product come to me in the mail. This time, it will be a tunic from Ulla Popken, which would work well with leggings. I figure that winter is coming soon, and I need a comfortable wardrobe of things I can wear that are feminine, but adapt well to my body.

However, there are still some minor gaps in my wardrobe that need to be filled. For example, I do not have appropriate winter boots for going out in the snow. This is something which will need to be purchased on-line, as I know that my women's boot size will likely not be available in stores for a reasonable price.  I also could use a new coat - but this may be something I'll find in a store.

I'm glad that I bought most of my female wardrobe before I lost my job - I would hate to be starting this process of feminization while unemployed and with an uncertain income. At least, I'll be able to wear these clothes no matter whether I find a job or not. And, if I'm unemployed by the time summer starts next year, I'll be well set to live most of my life 24x7 - albeit on a much lower income....

Friday, September 19, 2014

Keeping in touch with humanity - it can get expensive and confusing.

It's hard to keep up with my friends and acquaintances. Some, are only available at breakfast time. Others, for lunch. And then the rest, at dinner time. We all live on different schedules these days, and it's interesting trying to arrange something which should be as simple as meeting up so we can chat.

My friend Maria is hard to connect with these days, as she has many responsibilities to take care of - including keeping her baby grandson relatively secure, given the instability and immaturity of her daughter. So we haven't been able to connect with each other in roughly 3 months. Vicki is a little bit easier to connect with, but even there, we can't connect as often as we'd like. So when opportunity present themselves to get together with my closest friends, I take advantage of the opportunities and see them.

Now, let's add in a few more complications: board game meetups, therapy sessions, women's dining meetups, dating, seeing special acquaintances, and then hanging out with Lili, and I don't have much time left. But each time I see someone, there will usually be some expense - breakfast, lunch, dinner, or coffee. And if I'm seeing people as often as possible - it gets expensive, and keeping things straight can be quite confusing.

- - - - - -

There is a woman who I've been chatting with who responded to my "en-homme" personal ad. She has no idea about my female persona. So, I may have dodged a bullet when she couldn't make the Wednesday women's dining meetup in July - I certainly wouldn't want for her to connect Marian to Mario on her own.

The more that I go out en-femme, the less I can allow for an easy connection between my female persona and my male persona. This means that I will likely need to take my "en-femme" personal ad offline, so that single women will not see pictures online that tell them that I am a natal male presenting as a woman.

I figure that I will end up having one night of board games, and cut back on nights with the gals, so that I can have time and money to see my friends. And then, I'll have to be much more careful in spending money on dates, as I can't justify multiple dating threads until I have another job lined up.

- - - - - -

It's obvious that I'll have to find more things to do that don't involve spending money if I want to keep meeting people (regardless of whether I am in Marian mode or Mario mode). But what is available out there?

And now for a tune to close out the entry....

Barrett Strong - Money (that's what I want)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Miscellaneous nuts and bolts in the supply cabinet

Sometimes, I don't have much to write about, and yet want to fill my readers in with events and people I have referenced in other posts. This quick entry is meant to fill in some of the blanks....

- - - - - -

Job Search - I think the well has run dry at one firm with whom I was getting a lot of successful responses to the resumes I submitted. So I'm looking for new places, and am even considering work at one place which is geographically undesirable, but has no chance of going out of business.

- - - - - -

Dating - One woman I dated (see: Another date, Another Question, Another Quandary) just got back to me and said that she doesn't have time for dating in her life. Given the headaches of seeing her the first time, I do not believe this to be a BS excuse, but a nice way of saying that there is not enough chemistry to move heaven and earth to date someone who lives 90 minutes away.  (This saves me the headache of revealing that I am TG.)

There was another woman who said that my weight and being TG were not deal breakers. Although we exchanged some emails, she has not expressed interest - so she's coming off my list as well. Soon, I'll feel like the fellow in Sam Cooke's Another Saturday Night, who has money but no woman to be with on a Saturday night. But for now, it allows me the freedom to do things for myself on the weekend.

- - - - - -

Health of Friends - On occasion, I've mentioned my friend, B, who owns the Bed and Breakfast in town. I've been trying to find a date which I could drive to Cape Cod and see her before she dies, while she's able to appreciate my visit. Well, it looks like this window has passed. I've been in contact with my friend's husband, as well as her former partner and best friend - and she's in very bad shape. When I exchanged emails with her husband, S, I found out that she was delusional.  Unfortunately, I don't think there will be a window to see her before she passes - but I may try to drive up to the Cape for a day during Fantasia Fair, and see if I can meet up with a couple of friends in the evening for a drink after FF's activities, and then see my friend the next day.

- - - - - -

Social Engagements - Sooner or later, I'll have to cut back on the number of times I see my friends, and start increasing the money I'm saving while I still have some money coming in. Although I am spending less now than when I was employed, there is still a lot more I can do. And, I have both a pension and a decent emergency fund to tide me over util other income streams can kick in.

- - - - - -

Family - This weekend, my brother is throwing a "going away" party for my nephew, who is going into the Army for a 6 year hitch, and will come out with a very salable skill. Unfortunately, this interfered with my plans to see my polyamorous friends in the North Country, and I may not be able to see them until November, due to conflicts between my Widow/Widower weekend and the weekend of my High School 40th anniversary reunion.

- - - - - -

Clothing - This week is the first time I've felt a chill in the air for quite a while.  It looks like I'll soon be packing away most of the summer stuff I own, and bringing out the winter clothes. Of course, I have found that I'll need another pair (or two) of "mom jeans", as well as some more long tunic tops appropriate for winter weather.

- - - - - -

And on that note, I'll close out this entry with a video clip appropriate for this time of year....

George Carlin - Baseball vs. Football

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Living in two genders - one has to be good to be accepted, if one is to be accepted at all.

Years ago, Jack Benny made a joke - and it still resonates.

A mugger attacked Benny and said:

     "Your money or your life!"

After a minute, the mugger said:

And Benny responded:

     "I'm Thinking!   I'm Thinking"

Too bad he couldn't play the violin as well as he could make us laugh. He was an unquestioned master of timing - and has never been equaled or surpassed by any comedian since his day.

- - - - - -

Jack Benny in real life was a very generous person. And there were so many times that he had to give a friend money and ask the friend to pay the bill - as many people wanted to say that they were stiffed by cheapskate Jack.   

At least Jack Benny only had to put on a dress as a gag, and not because he was expected to wear a dress as a regular part of a wardrobe.  However, for us transgendered folk that have to live in two genders, it is important for us to be presentable as possible in the two genders.

One of the things I feared when I first started going out en-femme was people's reactions. (I've mentioned this before in other entries.) And I had to overcome this fear while improving my presentation, finding reasonably safe place places to practice my skills until I achieved a certain skill level needed for me to take risks with people outside the community (civilians). Many of us don't get the chances that I did, and still associate only with transgendered folk while en-femme at places like GLBT Bars and TG Conferences.

There is a limit to the levels of skill in regard to a female presentation that one can develop without access to natal women. One has to learn color coordination, proper wardrobe selection, makeup application, among many other skills - and do this in a crash course. But when one has access to natal women with these skills who are willing to express their comments about presentation quality, one can smooth off most of the rough edges in presentation very quickly.

- - - - - -

We all have to think about what is most important to us in life. One of the bloggers I've read says that her highest goal is to become a woman.  I'd rather her say something like "she wants to perfect her female presentation, so that she presents the same image to others that she has of herself inside."  If her brain is already telling her that she is a woman, then she is only fixing her body to correct its image.

Why is this important?

Being clear about what we want from life is very important - especially for pre-op transgendered folk.  As a transgendered person, one can't undo any corrective surgeries that are done which affect one's genitalia. So one must be sure to get the decision right before any surgery. Thus, I support the Benjamin Standards of Care, which requires a one year (minimum) real world test for transgendered folk prior to being considered for GCS.

Luckily, I'm not in a rush to change my body.  (If I did, I'd have already dieted and lost several dress sizes.) But if I ever decide to make these irreversible changes, I plan to take it slowly. First, I'd consider partial FFS (facial feminization surgery) to make my face more androgynous. And only then would I consider a next step (whatever that would be) - after a real world test. One could consider voice box surgeries (quite risky), or accept the fact that one would require voice training. But eventually, one gets to thinking about GCS (Gender Corrective Surgery).  And one had better have gone through all the needed hazing rituals to get to this last step.

Why do I care so much?

Lately, I've had the opportunity to explain being transgender to several people. And it is important to me to get things right, as I expect that I will not be the only transgendered person they will encounter. I want to make sure that each transgendered person who goes out in the world does not look like a parody of the preferred presentation gender - as that will get in the way of those who follow in our footsteps.

We, as transgendered folk, have only one chance to make a first impression when we meet new people. And we have only one body that we can change to fit our internal image. So we have to be very careful in making decisions. And after those decisions are made, we have to be good at being ourselves - as we will be held up to a higher standard than the cisgendered. We need to be accepted by the cisgendered world, so it is important that we don't put any roadblocks in the road to our acceptance....

- - - - - -

On this note, I'll close this entry with a video clip of two comics at their peak.  The setup - Jack Benny wants to make some money on the "You Bet Your Life" show, but Groucho does not want his friends on the show, so Benny goes on in disguise as someone else....    Enjoy!

Jack Benny and Groucho Marx - a clip from Jack's show.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A day at the "Lili Pond"

Over the years, I have found my friend Lili to be one of those people who always needs help with many of the tasks in life. Often, I don't have problems helping her. But sometimes, she can get on my nerves. 

Today, the two of us went down to Manhattan to pick up some costume jewelry for her to sell at her traveling road show. I had planned to go to my neighbor's church for a 10:00 am service, but realized that my lack of sleep the night before could be a liability for me. So, I figured that I'd get an extra 2-3 hours of sleep, and then start preparing to go to the city at noon.

Since this is the first cool day we've had in a while, I figured that it would be a good time to break out a pair of leggings and pair them with a new top I bought a couple of weeks ago. 

Wearing leggings can be tricky for me - not only do I need to make sure my torso is fully covered, but I also need to make sure that my "manly jewels" are properly "tucked" for a feminine appearance.  So wearing leggings is something I avoid as much as possible, until the weather changes enough to justify this change in wardrobe. This way, I can wear tunic length tops (or some dresses) with leggings and still look feminine.

Now if you look closely, I have not been able to avoid one problem of an overweight transgendered person wearing unaltered feminine clothing - my tops fall down a little further in the rear than in the font. This is because this Baby ain't got no back (as Sir Mixalot might put it.) None of the prosthetic hip pad makers for the transgendered make hip pads in my size. So it's a little easier to "read" me when I'm presenting as female and wearing tunic length tops.

But back to Lili....

Around noon, Lili picked me up for our excursion into the city and out to Long Island to see her ailing mother. As usual, we hunted for a free parking space - and eventually found one. Then it was off to the wholesaler from whom she buys most of her jewelry.  

Inside the store, Lili wanted me to buy a lot of jewelry that I found too loud and too flashy. But that's her style - as she has a hidden desire to include me in her (admitted) addiction to buy pretty things, even though she's not going to wear them. I knew not to let her dictate what I was going to buy, but only buy items I felt comfortable wearing. And I spent about $25 for some rings and some necklaces that I thought would look good on me.

Once we were done in the city, we trekked out to Long Island to see her mom - and it's always a sad thing to see this ailing woman - who is no longer able to take care of even the most basic of tasks needed to take care of her body's needs due to Alzheimer's. Luckily, Lili's family is able to pay for a group of caregivers and nurses to take care of her mom's needs. Lili's mom's main caregiver, S, knows my birth gender, but makes sure to try and use the correct pronoun whenever I'm there. For some reason, she likes me - and that's fine with me. So I'm comfortable if Lili screws up a pronoun now and then at her mom's house, as my "secret" isn't really a secret.

Soon, it was time to go - and I couldn't have been more glad. Lili and I trekked back to my neighborhood, and had a nice BBQ dinner. After dinner, Lili dropped me off at my place - and she drove back to her house.  One problem - someone (her son or future daughter in law) screwed up the settings for her printer, and I couldn't help Lili over the phone - so it'll be another trip to her place to fix a simple problem. Such is the price I pay to have an adviser on all things female....

Back to being transgender and learning feminine ways....

The way I see things, I am probably "read" about 5% of the time. Although I haven't been openly mistreated when presenting as female, I know that it is a risk. Lili discounts this risk, as I think that there is a part of her who wants me to accompany her when she eventually moves to a lower cost area for living. I know enough to be very careful where I travel (or live) as a transgendered person presenting as the opposite sex from that on my documents.  Up North, I've found that I am accepted as a female virtually all the time. But I think that in the more rural South and some inland states, I'd likely be subject to potential problems because I do not pass 100% of the time. Should I be this concerned about mistreatment? If the hate crimes against the transgendered  that continue to be reported are an indication of problems that could affect me - the answer is a definite YES!

On that note, I'll close off today's entry with a mellow piece of classical music....

Claude Debussy - La Mer

Monday, September 15, 2014

A day doing nothing - and I needed it.

This is my internal image of myself when I relax - a middle aged woman enjoying the sun with hardly a care in the world. The reality is very different - imagine a person with the following amount of fat under her dress.....

You'll note the droopy breasts and the apron of fat on the body prosthetic (used for Mrs. Doubtfire) in the picture on the left. And you can imagine the extra weight that I'm carrying around.  I feel like Divine (the performer) at times, save that I am not going out to clubs, performing for an hour, and then exhausting myself by dancing for an hour or two after that. And I find it amazing at times that others can be in worse shape than I.

I do not mean to say I'm doing the right things - I am not. Instead, I only want to note that I have a long way to go on this feminine journey of mine. If I want to look good in more types of clothing, I'll have to bring myself down from a size 28 to a size 18. But I now fear doing this while I do not have a long term income stream. I don't want to replace two wardrobes without being able to afford doing so.

Of course, I try to dress in both age and size appropriate fashions. Some of them work for me, and others do not. When Robin Williams dressed up in the Mrs. Doubtfire character, his character played the character of a frumpy old Scottish lady. But older middle aged women do not have to look frumpy - and I want to look as good as possible. So I keep a record of how certain outfits look on me, and I try wear things that I think work for me, and not to wear things that don't work for me.

Currently, there are almost 400 images that I've collected of myself in various outfits in this folder, and over time, they have shown a greater number of successes than failures.  Hopefully, as time goes on, there will be a much lower percentage of failures and a higher percentage of successes....

- - - - - -

This afternoon (as I wrote this entry), I received word that someone else got the position I interviewed for in the middle of August. It didn't surprise me. If I were the person they wanted, I'd have been contacted much sooner. Did this affect my want to get out and about?  Probably not. But it did put a damper on my mood. So it was good to relax and process the feelings that came up.

Could my size and age have been factors in not getting the job? Maybe. But I think it was my qualifications - I was in the middle of making the shift into project management, and my skill set is neither fish nor fowl - my computer skills are obsolete, I do not have enough seasoning as a project manager to command my old salary, and I haven't been able to figure out how to best market the skills I have. Thus, I advise to any young person reading this blog to keep a set of hot skills in one's inventory, and not to allow those skills to become dated - even if it means leaving a job with bronze handcuffs way too early....

- - - - - -

It is now early evening as I write this, and I know that I've wasted most of the day. If I were to get dressed, about the only thing I could do would be to go to a movie (nothing seems interesting), go shopping at Walmart or Target (as they are open late), or go out drinking (something I don't do). So, I may end up doing some long delayed laundry.

Is doing nothing important? You bet it is! Sometimes, we all need some time to veg out and recharge our internal batteries. But batteries must be used in order to have value - and that means I must continue my search for work. When one falls, one gets up and continues forward - and I intend to do just that. And if I get extra time in Marian Mode, that's a bonus!

And on that note, I'll close out this entry with something lighthearted....

Harpo Marx Speaking - A perfect voice for radio.