Sunday, November 30, 2014

Turkey Day - 2014

Years ago, I used to dread going to see my family on the holidays because of the traffic jams at the toll bridges. One Thanksgiving, my wife and I turned back because there was a 2.5 hour delay to get across one of the East river bridges. Because of that, we vowed never to visit on a holiday again, saying we'd visit the day before or after, but would not put up with holiday traffic. Some people might think that we were being hard asses. But we invited my parents up to see us for the holidays, but my mom refused - in part, because she didn't want to put up with the traffic, and because she claimed to want the whole family together - which usually didn't happen anyway. So, I held my ground while my wife was alive, and kept the peace where it was important - in my household.

Things have changed a lot since then. Both my wife and mom passed away, EZ-Pass was implemented on the East River toll bridges, and I do not have other holiday engagements (such as seeing a (then) girlfriend in Rochester and sharing the holidays with her family) that justify not being with my dad on the holiday. So I knew that I had to be there for my dad....

- - - - - -

Getting up this holiday morning, part of me was wishing that I could have gone to holiday dinner en-femme (something that absolutely will not happen while my dad is alive), as I feel much more comfortable and natural in Marian Mode these days.  Since I'm far from ready to go 24x7, much less to fully transition, I certainly am not ready to show this side of me to any of my family embers. So, I got into a clean, comfortable, and casual set of clothes that I've worn to work, and went down to see him. Traffic, as expected, wasn't too bad - except when crossing the East River, where bridge toll delay added an extra 1/2+ hour to my trip. Luckily, I allocated this time to my drive, met my dad at the time we were supposed to be at the restaurant, and got there about 15 minutes late. 

German restaurants are getting farther and fewer between these days. Luckily, there is a good one in my parents' old neighborhood - and I know that Koenig's will never disappoint me. The service is always professional, the portions are hearty, and the German dishes are done to perfection. So, I knew that my dad and I would have a good meal in a place where we could enjoy a good conversation without having to shout over the background noise.

All too soon, it was time to leave. And though I could have stayed at my dad's and chatted more, I felt that I'd better drive home before the worst of the traffic jams screwed up my return home. And, as expected, I encountered another bridge traffic jam caused by insensitive people who don't bother to get EZ-Pass for their holiday trips across the East River.

- - - - - -

On the way home, I received a text from one of the ladies from my Thursday night gaming group - the lady who offered to teach me how to ride a motorcycle.  Even though she's very busy, she's making the effort to keep in touch with this old lady - as I think she sees me as a kindred spirit, someone who understands what it's like to be born with the wrong genitalia. 

- - - - - -

Other than a few emails from GFJ earlier in the day, we did not exchange any emails later on in the day.  She doesn't yet want her sons to know that she is dating someone - even though it was their father who ran out on her over 2 years ago. I have no problems with that - some women are not comfortable with their children knowing that they are dating until it becomes serious. In GFJ's case, until her divorce is final, she needs not introduce her sons to information which could cause her trouble in the short term.

GFJ rarely has both sons in the same place these days. One is living with her right now, waiting for a job offer to come though, so that he can be on his own again. The other lives several hours away, and is usually around for the holidays. Having both sons around is likely disrupting her routine - as it would if I were in her place.

- - - - - -

As you can tell, there was little to say today that involved my transgender nature. Yet, for those who follow my posts, I think that this Thanksgiving is unique in its own way. In 2012, I spent it with my brother's family, and in 2013, I spent it with GFL. Hopefully, in 2015, I'll spend it with someone special.....

And on that note, I'll close out with the usual Thanksgiving tune....

Arlo Guthrie - Alice's Restaurant (Farm Aid - 2005)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Twas the day before Thanksgiving, and all in the sky.... SNOW!

The snow wasn't this bad where I live. But this year, the snow came on the worst day of the year for travelers - the day before Thanksgiving. And I'm glad I was able to stay home and watch TV while the snow fell....

My original plans for the day were to get up early, get showered and dressed (en-femme), and going out to see Vicki as she prepares a dish or two for her Thanksgiving dinner at her dad's partner's place. (Her dad has been seeing this same woman for years, but they maintain separate living quarters for reasons I am not privy to.) However, the snow got in the way, and I stayed home while Vicki did her prep work for her Turkey Day gathering.

Several times during the day, snow plows cleaned out the snow in my parking lot. Instead of getting out and cleaning off my car, moving it, and letting the plow clear my parking space, I decided to wait, and let the plow clear the spot out when they pass through (as they normally do) in the morning. So, when I was ready, I got showered and dressed, put some laundry in the machines, and then went out to clean my car and get a bite to eat.

- - - - - -

The slop that I expect to see on the ground for the next few days will likely get in the way of me going out en-femme. I do not have enough foul weather gear for either male or female persona, and female rain/snow boots in my size are very hard to find. So, I may have to find appropriate gear that I can use when in either persona, and hope for the best when in my feminine presentation.

Of course, winter wear is not as nice as what one wears in the less sloppy seasons. And I'll need to switch from the dresses and skirts I've been wearing to the "mom jeans" that I can wear in questionable weather with an appropriate sweater. If I can find tunics long enough, I'll wear them with leggings and stay comfortable.

- - - - - -

Hopefully, this will be a mild winter. As much as I enjoy snow, I hate the mess it leaves behind. And I hate how that mess effectively limits my feminine clothing options....

Friday, November 28, 2014

Another night at the Whine and Dine.

Would you believe that this dress was delivered to me on a Sunday - no extra charge!  As much as I feel that I looked like a blimp tonight, I received compliments on the dress at the Whine and Dine.

But first....

Last night, I didn't get to sleep until 6 am.  This wouldn't be a problem, save that I had a late morning breakfast engagement with GFJ, and I didn't want to cancel it. So, I had all my alarms set to wake me up at 8 am, giving me at least an hour to get ready before GFJ would be out of her nearby doctor's appointment. (I should have set the alarms for 9 am, as she was in the doctor's office longer than I expected.) Showering and dressing quickly (sadly, en-homme), I got myself ready for her call. Around 10:30, GFJ called, and we went to a nearby diner for breakfast. 

Once at the diner, I knew that coffee was going to be my best and closest friend. And I enjoyed the endless cup that most diners offer in this region of the USA. I was destined to be awake long after GFJ had to leave, and well through my therapy session held early in the afternoon. In therapy, I mentioned that I volunteer at the GLBT center - and then mentioned that one of my neighbors goes there, and suggested that I could help them.  (Yes, it's a white lie - but I don't want to open up gender issues with this therapist. In the future, I'll open them up with another therapist who specializes in gender issues.) And then, it was time for me to go home - just as the caffeine was starting to fade out.

Once home, I decided to wear this dress to the Whine and Dine. Checking my email, my friend J said that she would be going to her local diner early - she was famished.  So I had to rush - and missed her by 5 minutes or so. I decided to have a light dinner there anyway, and called J.  She came by, and kept me company while I had dinner. Then it was off to the Whine and Dine....

As usual, the weekly hen party at the Whine and Dine was fun. The conversations were great, and it was nice being with the ladies again. Someone brought a confection made with Oreos, cream cheese, and melted chocolate - YUM!!!!  It was hard to resist eating the whole container!!!! And, to close things out, the hostess of the meetup brought a dessert "wine". You may be asking - why did I put the word "wine" in quotes? Well, the answer is that the beverage was a cross between Chocolate and a Red Wine that tasted like a boozy chocolate milk.  YUM!!!!  I could easily have a glass of this before going to sleep every night.

All too soon again, it was time to go home. And I was struggling to stay awake. About 3 miles from home, something happened that scared me a little - and it woke me up enough to get home without any further incident. (Thank god that there was no cop nearby - I was sober, but would have hated to have to show my identification while en-femme....)

So I'll close out with two versions of an old Cole Porter tune about a lady who is way too considerate of her lunch partners....

Miss Otis Regrets (From the film "Night and Day")

Marlene Dietrich - Miss Otis Regrets (in Deutsch)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The more things change ...sometimes.

A while back, I had several responses to my Marian Mode personal ad while I was going out with GFL.  Today, history seems to be repeating itself again, as I got another response (a true positive) while with GFJ on a date. (I wasn't attached at the hip to my computer for email reading. Instead, I simply read my emails after she went home.)  So, there may be more women interested in people like me than the odds would first indicate....

The other night, I explained to GFJ what my being transgender would mean in a relationship with me. This is something that she'd need time to get used to. And then I mentioned that if I didn't find work in the career path I want, that I'd work in retail for a while until something better came along. I told her about the store manager telling me that I could work in her store - I wear all the clothes. And then GFJ mentioned that it would take more time for me to get ready for work, noting that she rarely does makeup, and can't remember the last time she wore a dress. I joked in response - well, one of us has to do it.

- - - - - -

Over time, I've learned to see the patterns in life. Not all of them are like the changes of seasons - many take years and generations to go through their cycles. Technology tends to repeat the old problems in new ways. We've gone from large scale computing to personal computing and back again several times in the computer age, and we've seen many hybrid types of computing evolve. Personal computing has become much more personal, and most people carry a cell phone with them which is many thousands times more powerful than the first monolithic machines portrayed in modern film. We've seen the political mood swing from ultra conservative to populist (and back) many times, and now, the large number of media outlets allows us to select news sources that reinforce our existing beliefs. Will this slow down the rate of change? Most importantly, we've seen social mores move from very restrictive to very loose, in sync with social/economic prosperity. Are we entering a period of ultra conservatism and restrictive mores? If the economy keeps getting worse, I hope that the transgender community doesn't get crushed by the larger social changes which may affect society by the swing of this social/economic pendulum.

- - - - - -

Why is this so important....?

Recently, I was at a Thanksgiving dinner held at our local GLBT center. And one gay gentleman was talking about the victories we have achieved in our battles for social acceptance. I countered, noting that one country in Central Europe had the greatest acceptance of gay people in the 1920's, and less than 10 years later, gays were being rounded up as social undesirables.

This conversation is a reminder that we do have a lot to be thankful for, but we can't take things for granted. We must remember that our acceptance by the majority of people may be related to the general prosperity of those same people. Assuming this is true, we must seek to have economic policies which promote both the general economic well being of the lower 80% of society AND provide for effective, complete education for all.  

So, instead of focusing only on what I am thankful for, I will also focus on what still needs to get to get done, in order to be fully accepted by society - and I hope that you do the same as well....


Turkey Day - At Last!  It's hard to believe that this feast day has come again.

As I write this, I must mention how thankful I am for what I have.  Not only do I have the resources to get me through a potentially rough period in my life, but I have the network of friends who will make it worthwhile to do so. Given where I was 5 years ago, the difference between total financial disaster and a major financial setback is like the difference between life and death to me.

- - - - - -

I am thankful that my romantic possibilities have opened up, and that there are people who would consider dating a transgendered person. Of course, until a woman has come face to face with both male and female personas and is comfortable with both, there is no way I can be absolutely sure she won't "run away" as K did a while back. I'll admit that my weight is a big issue (no pun intended here), but I figure that it is a general lack of romantic charisma that has gotten in the way of me finding romance for so long.

I am very grateful that I have been accepted as one of the ladies of my meetup group. This helps validate my experience as a transgendered woman, where my identity is validated each time I meet with these ladies.  Additionally, I'm grateful to have been accepted by the board game meetup groups I am a member of, as I feel totally accepted for who I am, and not what I am....

I am also thankful that I still have my extended family. Years ago, my brother and I weren't on speaking terms for over 3 years. Without going into details, it was a situation where someone was warned to stop talking - and that person continued, needing to have the last word. It took the death of my late wife to get the two of us talking again, and I know enough about life to avoid putting my brother into a situation where his ego will overrule his common sense.

- - - - - -

And right now, I am thankful for my loyal readers who find something of value in this blog. Hopefully, you will be with family enjoying a nice holiday meal.

On that note, I'll wish you the Happiest of Thanksgivings, and will write more after the holiday....

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Getting screwed, but not getting kissed

As I write this, it's the Sunday night before Thanksgiving, and it seems like I've been meeting a lot of women who have been screwed by others without getting kissed. No, I'm not talking of literally having sex without kissing. Instead, it's the figurative version of the phrase - where someone did another person wrong, and that other person has nothing to show for it.

Of all the ladies who have been at the top of my dating list lately, this trait of being hurt by others seems to be common to all of them. Although I have mentioned M (of Artoberfest) and her situation, I can't go into the situations between C (or Halloween night) and of GFL, for reasons of privacy. However, given that these two ladies are divorcees in different stages of their former relationships, one can easily read between the lines.

Given that I have certain resources, I have to be careful NOT to settle down with someone who can't take care of herself. Being open about being transgender is very important to me, as someone who settles down with me had better know the odds that I can keep my promise that I will keep my Mario persona active as long as we are in a relationship. So, by laying my cards on the table, I get a chance to see what a potential partner is looking for in her partner. Since I've already let go of one lady who I didn't feel would pull her load, I will have no qualms about letting go of others who will not be able to take care of themselves....

- - - - - -

The other night, Patty worried for me, being concerned that by being openly transgender, that I would lack for romantic companionship. In many ways, this is the risk I have to take.  If I'm seen as a "normal" heterosexual male, I'll be a great catch for many women.  The problem is that I am transgender, and do not want to surrender "Marian" in order to have a "normal" romantic relationship.

Tonight, I mentioned "Marian" to GFJ, and we had an interesting discussion on Marian, Mario, and how they relate to each other. She had to make sure that there wasn't a "third person" in the relationship, as there was a real third person behind her divorce. And though I would never make her participate in events when I'm in Marian Mode, I do want her comfortable with the existence of the Marian persona, so she understands that when I go out with the gals for a hen party, that I'm in the safest possible place I can be....

- - - - - -

On other matters....  

The Christmas shopping season is here, and it's time for all those in the closet to begin their yearly period of clothes shopping for their "girlfriends". Given a shopping list and sizes of each garment (excluding all lingerie, save sleepwear), a man can shop in the women's department without being embarrassed. And today (yes, it's Sunday as I write this), I received a dress I ordered, expecting to receive it on Wednesday or Friday.  So get out there and shop!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The first turkey of the holiday season

Right now, looking at a hot, juicy turkey makes my mouth water. But by this time next week, I'll likely have had my fill of the bird for several months....

- - - - - -

Even though I was awakened at 10:30 am, I did virtually nothing at home until almost 3:00 pm. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal, but the GLBT center was having its' big Thanksgiving bash tonight - and I figured that I should be there. So, I hopped into the shower, did one of my fastest makeup jobs that I've done in ages, dressed, and was out the door in a little under an hour. 

Arriving at the center, the signs directed people to an area of the building which I was never at before, one large enough to hold 100+ people. And the place was crowded!  After hanging up my coat, I looked for a friendly face - and ended up chatting with a few fellows for a while. (Not much chat - in this environment, men gravitate to other men, and women gravitate to other women even more quickly than in the "straight" world.) But my isolation was broken by one of my neighbors - one of the ladies who was at the hen party held earlier this year, (In retrospect, I should have guessed that she was a member of this center, but I always reacted to her asexually - she's not my type of woman.) And she introduced me to a few other people, including another one of our neighbors.  

I had a few pleasant chats, but decided not to stay around for the TDOR ceremony - I had some errands to run (one of which involved seeing if I could get a watch band link replaced where I bought the watch), and needed to be at the store by 9:00.  So it was off to The Avenue, and the saleslady was happy to switch the link on my watch with a better link from another watch she was selling. (I only wonder what will happen to the person who buys the watch left in the store....) 

After going to the store, it was off to the movies to see "Interstellar".  Although I decided to see the film in Mt. Kisco, they cancelled their performances for the day. So I doubled back to Elmsford, killing time and wasting gas to see the film. But it was worth it - although the ending was a little contrived, it made a certain kind of sense (given the logic of the film) - and was well worth spending almost 3 hours watching the film.

- - - - - -

So now I have to pick up the mess I have around this place.  GFJ is coming here tomorrow, and I want for her to feel comfortable - especially in the kitchen, as she will be helping me prepare and cook dinner....

As I often do, a tune to close out the entry.....

The Tornados - Telstar

Monday, November 24, 2014

An unplanned glass of wine with Patty

Given the snowfall in Buffalo recently, I figured that these wine glasses might make someone smile.... But it's also a reminder that winter is coming on. And when the thermometer reads 17 degrees before December 1st, we might just have a really cold winter coming up....

After being read the riot act by my doctor, I ended up staying indoors - and wasn't active until the late afternoon. I took care of some basic in-house chores (not many - my place is still a mess), and ended up watching old TV shows. But this all changed when I received an email from Patty telling me that she was up at her mother's place and had the late evening free. Following an exchange of emails, we decided to meet in Beacon (not far from where the Whine and Dine group meets) for a drink.

(Interior image of Chill Wine Bar, looking towards the front door)

The above shot doesn't do the interior of the place justice. There are comfortable seats and tables to the left, as well as comfortable seating in the front and rear of the place. And I was sitting immediately to the left of the tip jar in the right hand corner, waiting for Patty to arrive.

Patty was a little late, and the focus of our chat stayed on my transgender nature for the first hour of us being together. She has a hard time getting a handle on how someone can want to be of the opposite sex, and yet retain the sexual preference of the gender he/she was born in.  (She asked me whether I still enjoyed seeing/feeling/etc. women's breasts, and I said yes, and that drove us to several tangential conversations.) And then she was concerned about me finding romance, knowing that I have both a male and female persona, as she couldn't see herself being interested in a person with whom she could only share part of that person's life.  (She couldn't see herself talking to a partner who is mentioning a run in his/her stockings.... That's something she has been programmed is reserved to females.) I said - what would happen if the man she was interested in was a professional female impersonator - and she had no answer....

What can I say?  Patty is a typical example of the middle aged American female. Our generation grew up with much more rigid rules than our children's generation chooses to live under. So I don't expect her to fully understand me. (Maybe that's why we broke up over 12 years ago - it was ust possible that I sensed (at a subconscious level) that she would not be able to handle my transgendered nature.) But I'm glad we can still be friends....

Patty noted that I do show separate personalities when in male mode and when in female mode. She would love to see me be able to merge the two. One problem - my native communication style is more like that of a female - and works poorly in male mode. Actions that would trigger suspicion in male mode, are seen as warm and friendly in female mode. And maybe, because my signalling is working well, I am able to be much more relaxed and open - who knows????

All too soon, things had to end.  Patty had to leave for her mom's house, and I had to return home (with a stop at Walmart to pick up food for an at-home date with GFJ this weekend.) Hopefully, she will enjoy the meal and dessert.....   (BTW - The planned dessert is Bananas Foster.)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Taking Care of Business.... As best I can.

You'll note that this woman has kicked off her shoes and that her feet are up on her desk.  I wish I could be comfortable at work as she seems to be.

- - - - - -

One thing I've noticed that I've been out of work for a while is that I have less energy to do things. And now that I've been to the doctor, I realize that I have to find ways to get active and start working off my weight.  So, I'll probably look at going to a nearby health club in the cold weather, and see what I can do to get my blood flowing again.

I never thought that being unemployed would take this kind of toll on me. But I got lazy without having the routine of getting up by 6:00 am, and out the door by 7:30 am for work. Is this normal? I'll bet it is for many people - especially those whose circadian rhythm pushes the body towards being awake during the night.

- - - - - -

Rather than going down the boring path of reciting the troubles in my life, I'd rather focus on the little things of the day. For example, when I picked up my size 13-W pumps from the shoe repair shop, the owner's wife commented that the shoes were awfully large. And I talked about having a girlfriend who is even larger than I am. (My Ex-GF-M had feet as large as I have, but I no longer have her picture on my cell phone to display - even if I wanted to....)  Does this lady think those shoes are mine?  Maybe - but I don't see her every day, so it's not an issue....

- - - - - -

It's amazing how the ripple effects of my sister in law 's decision not to do Thanksgiving have affected people this year.  Please keep in mind that the host and hostess of my Thursday night game meetups had invited me to their festivities....  

  1. I accept the offer to be with my friends in Yonkers,
  2. My dad calls me up the next day, and arranges dinner for 1:30 pm.
  3. I mention to my hosts that I'd try to drop by late, as my dad's plans have changed.
    (I'd have to drive home, and change into Marian Mode to visit them....)
  4. My friends politely ask that I not stop by that late, as they will be doing "Black Friday" shopping.  But they would try to schedule another day of games.

Amazing, huh?  If I were out to my family, this ripple effect would never have happened.... But I'm not yet ready to do this yet - especially when I will still need to look for a job in Mario Mode.

- - - - - -

Shortly, holiday season will be upon us, and the baby shower for one of our game night participants will take place. I expect this to be a fun gathering - celebrating the transition for one woman from being a wife to being a wife and mother. It'll be a privilege for me as a trans person to be part of this bonding ritual.

This afternoon, I finally got around to downloading the gift registry for my friend, and plan to buy her a few things from it.  She's a sweet lady, and has always been a friend to me since we joined the Thursday night group. She'll never be a very close friend - we're of different generations, and do not have that much in common. But I like the lady, and want to see that our group starts her off right on her path of being a mother....

- - - - - -

Well... I'm going to close out this entry with a video clip for a change....

Dick Van Dyke Show - "Where did I come from?"

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Searching for more than one thing of value....

It's closing in on the 6 month mark, and I've barely had a nibble in my job search for months. Things could be much worse, so I'm trying to stay optimistic during this dry spell.  But this is not the only thing I'm searching for - I also want to find a stable person with whom I can share my life with. And though GFJ is at the top of my list, I can't say that she is "the one" yet....

- - - - - -

Today was the first time I've been able to be en-femme for several days. Because it was cold, I decided to wear leggings under a tunic. I realize that I need several long tunics, as I don't want to be wearing pants during the cold weather - they make it even more obvious that I do not have a good set of hips.  Unfortunately, I had to tear apart my closet to get at the clothes I wanted to wear - and I was late for my volunteer stint as usual.  Today, I found myself doing a little bit of work, but much more talking with a woman who married a M2F Transwoman. It was very nice talking with her, and I wouldn't mind getting a chance to talk to her wife about her transition experiences.

Our chat was very informative, as she told me about the CDI (Cross Dressers International) group in NYC, and how nice a group it is. However, the main reason I didn't bother going to any of this group's meetings when I worked in the city was that I didn't feel comfortable having to switch from being en-homme to en-femme, and back to en-homme to go home - all in a single evening.

- - - - - -

After spending half a day at the GLBT center, I called Pat (my former hypnotist) and visited her. It was nice getting together again with Pat, as we caught up on a lot of things.  As usual, I was able to help her with her computer, trying to duplicate some CDs of Pat's own material. One problem - Windows Media Player did not give positive confirmation that this CD burn had taken place, not did it eject the disks we inserted as we expected. Yet, we were able to copy Pat's stuff to blank CDs, and she will be able to use them the next day.

One thing of note that Pat mentioned to me is that she sees a true female when I visit en-femme. She has picked up on my natural female body language, as well as my feminine conversation style. To her, I'm a completely different person when I'm en-femme than when I'm en-homme. And she feels that I would be a perfect TG representative for the GLBT center, given that I appear genuine in my female presentation - and could easily mix with "civilians", helping to raise awareness among the general population about the transgendered.

- - - - - -

Shortly after leaving Pat, I picked up a quick bite to eat on my way over to game night in Yonkers. While on line at the fast food joint, the my motorcycle friend (see post: "Another Manic Thursday") called, and wanted to know if I'd be at the meetup. I said "of course", and she made the effort to come, knowing that she'd be dog tired for her graveyard shift at work. Thankfully, I had the lap dock (see post: "The middle of my week is always long") in the car, and I was able to give it to her later in the evening.

But first, it was game night - and I played the first of the games downstairs in the basement, It was COLD down there - this area was never meant to be lived in during the winter. My next game was upstairs, and finally we played "Incan Gold".

This is a fun game, and is easy to learn. Somehow, I had a knack for the game, as I had a feel for the odds of a bad card coming up at the wrong moment.

All too soon, the evening had to end.  My friend (who now has the lap dock) had to run, as her shift started at midnight. And I had a doctor's appointment in the morning. (My Dentist appointment is on Monday, and my Therapist is on Tuesday.  AARGH!!!!)  

So on on this note, I'll close out this entry with a tune....

(Doctor, Doctor, give me the news) I've got a Bad Case of Loving You.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Boredom attacks - news at 11!

For the past few days, I've been dealing with a lack of energy and a big dollop of boredom. If it wasn't for the Gala I went to last Saturday, I probably wouldn't have bothered going out of the house at all.

Sadly, winter is coming in, and this limits my ability to go out en-femme. As I write this entry, we are expecting the first major cold spell of the season. And even if I wasn't completely booked for the next few days for events requiring that I be en-homme, I would still have to leave my dresses in the closet and go out in something warmer (such as heavy sweaters and insulated leggings) - as most natal women will be doing over the next few days, because the wind chill factor will make it feel like it's 15 degrees outside.

As I mentioned to Patty in our last exchange of emails, it's hard for me to avoid being bored at times, as I'm not interested in spending money just to escape this feeling. (If I were still employed, things might be different. But I have to get used to ways of occupying my time that minimize the use of money.) So I try to find things to do. Yet, there's a part of me that simply needs to rest - and that's what I've been doing a lot of these days.

- - - - - -

As I write this, the upcoming cold spell comes at a good time for me, as I have to be en-homme until Thursday. Tuesday will be my first day that my lower legs will get zapped free of hair. When done, I'll trek across the river to see a former boss for lunch, and later on that day, my co-op board meeting. Wednesday won't be much better, as I am taking Lili out for lunch, and then going into NYC for a PMI chapter meeting. However, Thursday's weather will only be marginally better, as the high temperature will only be 39 degrees....

- - - - - - 

Hopefully, by this time next week, I will have received one more new dress - as illustrated in the photo below.  I have multiple ways I can wear it, so that it can be useful in 3 of the 4 seasons....

The dress has enough color in it to keep it from being boring, yet it can work well during the cooler months of the year.  If I get it early enough, I may be able change into the dress (on Thanksgiving eve) and visit friends after a visit to my dad while en-homme.  If the dress is not here by then, I'll still be able to wear it the day of the baby shower....

- - - - - -

And now to get some sleep....

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Quickie: On the science of being Transgender

(Image of "Fraternal" Twins)

Considering that there are many elements to being Transgender, I figured this article may be enlightening....

FAQ on the Science of being Transgender

It's meaty enough that I am taking the time to continue reading it after I've posted it here for your inspection....

I'll be back to my usual posts tomorrow....

Transgender Day Of Rememberance - 2014

I'm not one for making a big deal of commemorative events. However, given the large number of transgender people who have suffered, and continue to suffer in this world because of the hatreds taught by inflexible traditionalists, I feel obliged to post a link to GLAAD's web page for initial information, and this link for events you can attend: Transgender Day Of Rememberence - Events.

I plan to continue with my regular posts tomorrow....

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One can't make this stuff up - But someone has to....

As my regular readers know, I have a friend named Lili who was there for me from the days I first started going out en-femme in public. But with some friendships, there is a price to be paid. And with Lili, it is the price of dealing with her as she mismanages the problems in her life.

Just as I was about to get showered, dressed, and go out in the world en-femme, Lili called to vent her frustrations regarding the problems of the day:

  1. Pet sitting for her son and future daughter in law.
  2. House maintenance, while dealing with a non-paying renter who she is trying to evict.
There may have been one other problem, but most of the conversation focused on these two issues.

- - - - - -

Her son's animals are poorly trained, and turned their place into a shambles. When they came to Lili's, they didn't get along with her pets. When Lili tries to walk their dog, it pulls her hard - and hurts her. She should not be dealing with these animals. The current problem is that her son and future daughter in law are going on a one month trip to see her family in Vietnam, and they want Lili to take care of their pets.

Lili is worried about what her son will think of her if she says "NO!" and I kept telling her that you are his mother - you do not always have to be liked. You will not always be around for him, and that he will have to learn how to think ahead and take care of issues (such as pet care) for himself. But she kept worrying about what they will think of her, instead of Lili doing and saying what is best for her.

- - - - - -

Lili's tenant has always been late with her rent payments. Over the years, Lili mixed business with friendship, and allowed this toxic woman into parts of her life which should have been walled off. For example, to make it easier for Lili, she delegated the management of the two family house to this tenant (who I'll call renter #1 when I have to distinguish her from the other tenant, who I'll call renter #2). Renter #1 always collected the rent from renter #2 (in cash) and passed it along to Lili. This summer, Lili found that renter #1 gave renter #2 permission to erect a pool on the property when Lili said "Absolutely Not - NO POOLS!" (I've reported this story elsewhere, so I won't go into the details here.) And that's when Lili ended all pretense of having a friendship with renter #1, and when all sorts of problems started happening in the two family house shared by renter #1 and renter #2.

The eviction process has already started to remove renter #1. (Lili expects renter #2 to leave shortly after renter #1 is gone.) And the septic system is now backing up. Lili asked me what to do, and I said that you're in a game of cat and mouse - get on record by calling someone to fix this problem, as you don't want to provide renter #1 with any excuses to justify non-payment of rent. (A smart person knows how to force a septic system to fail, and I wouldn't put damage to the system past this piece of white trash - even though she'd have to live with it....) Lili acts as if this woman wouldn't want to live in filth to spite Lili, and I kept reminding her - we're dealing with white trash who will cut off their noses to spite their faces. Lili's afraid to admit that this woman will destroy herself to "get even" with Lili for enforcing her rights....

- - - - - -

Why is this so important?

Being transgender, we have a lot to risk if we mismanage our lives. For example, we must be brutally honest with ourselves once we sense we are "different", and then be honest with others who will get close to us. But brutal honesty is very hard. Years ago, I enjoyed wearing my late wife's nightgowns. She knew about this, and told me - don't do it on our wedding night - and I didn't. Could either of us have expected me to progress to where I am today - a transwoman who goes out and about en-femme without much thought (save to what I'm wearing that day).

One woman I dated many moons ago had recently gotten a divorce from a gay man. She knew this man to be a bisexual before marriage, and he professed that he could maintain a marriage to a woman. Well, when he came out as gay, it shocked her. When she met me and found out that I enjoyed wearing silky things, she professed that it didn't bother her. But having been burnt by her ex, she was afraid - and ran away after a couple of months. Sadly for her, his dishonesty (he was hiding a gay relationship throughout their marriage) hurt her more than once. And this is why I feel that we have a duty to be honest with others up front - so that they can never justify our transgendered natures as excuses for their unhappiness.

It's not easy to be honest with ourselves when we are taught to repress our feelings and our memories. Many TG's do this in order to save ourselves from shame and ridicule. We must learn to see things for what they are, and not for what we want them to be. The real world provides all too many examples of toxic people. And we could do worse than to NOT read good or bad into the individual actions of any person, but to allow our instinct to determine a pattern to these actions and then judge the pattern. In the case of Lili's tenant, all the actions point to this person trying not to pay her bills AND being spiteful when Lili wants to end both business and personal relationships with her. Only by learning how to see an objective truth, we can take control of our lives....

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A glass of wine, a little black dress, and a damaged heel.

Finally, a night in a little black dress! I wasn't sure of what to expect when I got to the gala, as I didn't know what I signed up for.... If you're thinking that (in part) I'm thinking of my social conditioning from childhood, you may be right. But for the most part, I didn't know how much work I'd be putting into tonight's volunteer effort, how much time I'd have to socialize, and how comfortable I'd be with this crowd.

- - - - - -

This was my first day in full torso shapewear in a long while - and I'm glad I don't have to wear it every day. The headaches of going to the loo are an inconvenience in my normal female presentation, as I have to "tuck" to present a flat front. But to do that while using shapewear designed with a woman's plumbing in mind is something else. (To be fair, I know of no woman who has good things to say about going to the loo while wearing these garments.) So I made sure not to drink liquids like a fish, in order to minimize the number of trips to the loo. 

Arriving at the gala, I said hi to several people, most of whom were dressed very informally. (It didn't make sense for these volunteers to do their work in formal wear.) And I was assigned to help set up things for the silent auction. After that, I ran the reception desk for a half hour or so, and met a very nice fellow - a F2M transman.  R stands about 5'1", and is a handsome fellow. But (as I'd expect), he has problems dating due to his plumbing configuration. (I won't say much more about him, except that I like him as a person, and hope that he finds what he wants in life.) About 30-45 minutes later, I was relieved from the reception desk and had the chance to socialize a little before going back to the desk again.

Eventually, it was time for all of us at the desk to go inside the party room and mingle with people. (And it was during the mingling period that I tripped on the middle of the floor and did some (then) unknown damage to the heel of one of my shoes.) I met a lot of nice people and had a few nice chats. One of these people was a transwoman who does an occasional bit of standup. (Since I do not yet have permission from her to write about her in this blog, I'll avoid personal details.) We hit it off, and had a nice chat about life outside the party area, and returned in time for a speech from Brendan Fay, recipient of the Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer Equality Award.

Once the award was made, it was time to auction off something special. The new director of the center worked in the recording industry before landing here. And she had a very important gold record in her possession - a gift from a well known singer, part of the GLBT community - and was putting it up for auction to raise money for the center.

Although I forgot what the gold record sold for, it did a solid for both the center (which got some needed money from this auction) and the new director (who can claim a market based value for her donation on her tax return). Later on, the new owner of the gold record can do the same thing, and continue the pattern of good works.

I rarely dance, and tonight I was glad to sit while others were on the dance floor. When I finally left the gala, I changed into a pair of flats when I got to my car - and found out that I pulled the heel off my shoe when I tripped. (Just like a lady to trip in her pair of heels.) So, I left those shoes in the car for a trip to the shoe repair shop, and drove home to rest after a long day....

- - - - - -

So, to close out the entry, a tune from a well known singer.

Melissa Etheridge - I'm the Only One

Monday, November 17, 2014

Meditations while the TV makes noise in the background.

Today is a day I'm spending en-drab with GFJ. While waiting for her to arrive, I've got to thinking about how far I've progressed in my journey towards the feminine. And I consider myself very lucky to be where I am so far.

When I first started on this path a couple of years ago, I was afraid of what my neighbors would think if they noticed I was wearing anything feminine. Little did I know that one of these neighbors would invite me to go to her church - and be very comfortable with me attending as a female. It is something more than just perfecting my feminine presentation - it is likely the development of a authentic feminine personality to go along with that presentation.

Over time, I have gotten much more comfortable while en-femme. Although I still have to think about whether it would be acceptable for me to participate in a group while en-femme, it is not the big decision that it once was. Yet, I still have some complications - It makes sense for me to stay away from certain groups if I know GFJ was likely to be a meetup participant in that group. The last thing I think she would want is to come into contact with me in Marian Mode before she's ready to see me in person that way.

- - - - - -

The fact that my plans are to continue living in two genders will create confusion and frustration for as long as I do this. Having a romantic relationship is much harder when the person you're with has a potential issue with your alternate persona. But having certain friends also becomes harder when one is juggling multiple persona. For example, my former boss (retired) and I are having lunch next week. Not only do I have to make sure that time is available on my schedule, but I also have to make sure that I'm in the correct presentation on that day. This can get quite frustrating. Even worse, is the fact that one person who I want to keep as a friend goes to the same therapist that I go to. So, I have to keep this side of me away from this friend, as I would prefer to discuss gender related issues with a therapist much more familiar with these issues than my current therapist (who has claimed that he'll be retiring to Hawaii soon).  Of course, I haven't told anyone in my family about being transgender. Luckily, none of my family has come to my apartment in years (save one visit several years ago from my brother to work on fixing my bathroom's water damaged walls), and I doubt that I'll have to hide physical evidence of my Marian persona in my apartment from them anytime soon....

- - - - - -

I've written about my job search way too often. But I ended up walking into one of my favorite clothing stores recently, and again, I was told that I'd have no problems finding employment with them. As much as I'd rather have a higher income working in my chosen industries as a project manager, business analyst, or mainframe programmer, there's a part of me that would be very glad to begin working as a female - even though it could become a problem for me later on. What would happen if I did find the job I want, but started out en-homme?  Would I be able to transition in the future?  If I were to find work in one of many large firms, the odds are that I could transition in most of these firms. So I'm not ruling out the corporate world for my next position.

- - - - - -

But back to dating....

One of my milestones that I must achieve before settling down with one person again is that we must be physically intimate. If we don't click in this area, then we will likely not be able to maintain the glue that binds us together. (Ex-GF M was lacking in long term chemistry, and there were than enough other problems there for me to escape the relationship while I still could do so. Whereas, the chemistry between GFL and I wasn't very strong to start with, and it petered out because we didn't nurture what we had when it made sense to do so.) Therefore, it is important that GFJ and I click in this area. Another milestone is that the next woman in my life sees me in person as Marian, and still wants to continue the relationship. I'll have to be careful with GFJ in this regard, as I had the experience of introducing Marian to one woman way too early....

- - - - - -

More and more of my life is being spent in Marian Mode, with little left to make me want to stay as Mario. I figure that if I'm still working as Mario by the time I turn 65-67, I'll have to make a hard decision - do I want to live full time as Marian? And if I do, do I want to go through full transition?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Credit cards, a little black dress, a baby shower, and a game or two.

Unlike many people, I've been lucky enough to have a decent credit rating. But when it came time to pay for this weekend's presence at the fund raising gala, having a good credit rating wasn't enough - I also needed a card that was properly validated....

When I first lost my job, I opened up a new checking account, and was offered a credit card at that time. Although the card has been in my possession for almost 6 months, I didn't know that it wasn't properly validated - the sticker was already off the card, something I don't remove until I've made the customary phone call to the credit card company's voice response system. So, when I tried to use it to pay for my ticket at this weekend's gala, it was declined. Thankfully, I had another card at my disposal, and I now have an opportunity to wear a LBD this weekend.

- - - - - -

After today's volunteer stint, I went home and took care of the issue with the credit card, and prepared to go out again. Looking at my email, I was reminded that I was invited to Thanksgiving dinner at the house of the people who host the Thursday night board game meetup. Having touched base with both my brother and my dad, I felt it better (for my brother) that I skip Thanksgiving with the family this year (my sister in law has a bug up her ass regarding me - her problem, not mine), and take advantage of the generous offer of my friends in Yonkers. (So, it was important that I ask when I'd be expected - as I may want to bake something for the occasion.)

Tonight's weather was expected to be miserable. The further North one went, the more likely that enough snow would stick on the ground that one would see lawns covered with an inch of snow in the morning. However, where I was likely to be driving, we'd have a sloppy mixture hit the ground, and one would have to be extra careful for the first snow of the season. So I took it careful on the drive to Yonkers, and was a little late - but not late enough to miss the first round of games.

After the games ended, one woman (E) and I started discussing a baby shower for our pregnant game player from Ukraine, and I think we now have a date for it. There is still so much up in the air. And it will be a very small baby shower, as N (my Ukrainian friend) has only a small network of friends in the USA. More importantly (for readers of this blog), it will be the first baby shower that I attend, and it will be a great learning experience for me!  (Could you imagine me getting married in female mode, and this same crew holding a bridal shower for me?  Nah....  But it's a nice dream!)  

- - - - - - 

E now has both my email and snail mail addresses. I can only imagine what the mailman will say to himself when he sees an Xmas card addressed to Marian Johnson, and not Mario Marinara. It is getting much more important that I get my act together and get a separate phone for use in Marian Mode - she is so much more popular than Mario!

And on that note, I'll close out the entry.  No music tonight - I'm just too tired to look for a good tune.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Happy Birthday, and all that jazz....

No, it is not my birthday. Today (as I write this) is the birthday of the woman who organizes the Whine and Dine meetup, and next week it will be Lili's birthday....

- - - - - -

Getting up this morning, my cold had mostly gone away. This was good, as I wanted to go out en-femme today - for the first time in several days. Like a typical woman, I have an overflowing closet, and yet almost nothing to wear. So I settled on wearing the dress below, knowing it would be perfect for tonight's meetup.

The only difference between this snapshot and what I was wearing is that today, I wore black tights instead of sheer pantyhose. And I think the outfit looks much better with black tights....  (And I received compliments about the dress in several places, one of them being at a store that competes with the one who sold me the dress.)

But first....  Lili.

Sometimes, I can get frustrated with Lili - she is a needy person who doesn't realize that she makes her life worse by depending too much on a small number of friends, instead of a small dependence on a large number of friends. And today, her phone calls triggered that frustration before we met for lunch at a local pizzeria. This frustration is caused because I have grown beyond my need to have Lili as a friend. But I'm not the type to give up a friend unless the relationship turns toxic. And right now, Lili is simply a needy person, and not a toxic person.

At lunch time, it was off to Lili and the pizzeria - where both of us decided to have lunch orders of dinner dishes. I was more than happy with the amount of lasagna on my dish. But Lili, seeing my plate was smaller and less filled with food stuff than hers, put some of her dish on my plate without caring whether I wanted more food. (She'll never be successful with lap-band surgery until she breaks the food habits she's learned over a lifetime. That's another story, and one I've told way too often.) But she did make one comment on the food that was salient - it wasn't that good.  

All too soon (for Lili), her appointment with her therapist was upon her, and she had to leave. That gave me the opportunity to check on some things before going North to the Wine and Dine meetup. So after a quick freshening up, it was off to Catherine's to see if there was anything that said "buy me" - and there was only one candidate, a red dress with a chevron pattern.  (See below.)

But without a significant discount from list price, I wasn't going to buy the dress today. Next, it was a trip across the river, and down to Newburgh where I'd stop at The Avenue, hoping to connect with my favorite saleslady. Although she wasn't there, I used the opportunity to pick up two pairs of tights and a pair of foldable flats that I can carry in my handbag and use when I've gotten tired of wearing heels. (No, they are not for everyday use. They are like the doughnut spares found in the trunk of many cars - serviceable, in a pinch, but not meant for long term use.)

Then it was off to the Whine and Dine - where I was one of the first ladies to arrive for a change. There was a large carrot cake on the table, as the organizer of the meetup was going to celebrate her birthday with the ladies from the meetup. My friend J would likely be glad she wasn't there tonight - the two ladies who rub her most the wrong way (M and S) were finally there again after an absence of several weeks. She'd also be glad that she didn't come, knowing that the ladies she dislikes also brought some cards and gifts for the birthday gal. (Most of the ladies who came, like myself, did not bring gifts - we simply shared in the good times.) But there were new ladies at the meetup, and the restaurant was filled by us whiners and diners....

As usual nowadays, there was an icebreaker used to promote conversation between us ladies. And this week, we were expected to pull a question out of a mason jar and answer it in front of the group. In my case, I tossed my original question because it was a lousy icebreaker. ("Have you ever thrown up in public?") And I replaced it with a better one. ("If you could exchange lives for one day with someone famous, who would you choose, and why?") When my turn to speak came around, I mentioned Harpo Marx's life, his participation in the Algonquin Round Table, as well as his many friendships - and somehow, I had them wishing they could have known Harpo as well.

Again, the time to leave came way too early. And I'll miss being just another one of the ladies for another week....

So I'll close out with a lesser version of a well known tune.....

All That Jazz - From "Chicago"