Friday, July 31, 2015

A day indoors, and schedules changed

For the most part, the only things I had on my docket for today was going to do a volunteer stint at the GLBT center, and then spend an evening with GFJ before she headed down to Baltimore to see her sons.  And things changed - GFJ is not going to Baltimore, and I have her for the whole weekend.

- - - - - -

Waking up today was a problem - because I slept early and with breaks, I didn't feel decently rested until late morning.  And then, I found out GFJ's plans changed.  So I figured that I'd bail on the GLBT Center for the day and spend my time cleaning up the apartment for her arrival.

Cleaning up the place generally means that I make the place as presentable as I would for my cleaning lady - including getting most of the existence of Marian behind closet doors. And that's what I did shortly before GFJ arrived. However, I didn't have to be as careful as I am with the cleaning lady - GFJ knows about Marian (as you've seen in other postings), but I try to get Marian out of the way to make GFJ more comfortable.

- - - - - -

GFJ asked me a question - Was I glad that she'd be available all weekend?   And of course, I answered 'Yes'.  But that's a 'Yes' with a trade-off connected to it.  I love having someone who is interested in me next to me. Yet, I'll miss the chances I would have had to be in Marian Mode tonight (at the board game meetup) and for the rest of the weekend.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Catching up with things at the Non Profit I volunteer at.

One thing I realize about myself - I need to touch base with someone on a regular basis, in order to keep me focused on moving in the right direction. This applies to me in regard to doing any work. I need the monthly visit from my cleaning lady to make sure that I don't let my place get too sloppy. And this applied to me when I was working for my former employer. Even a quick 5 minute chat was enough to keep me on track. Too bad my former boss didn't even bother to have time for that most of the time I worked with her.

- - - - - -

Last week, I touched base with the woman I work with at the non-profit, and we agreed on a weekly meeting to keep things up to date.  My plans for the day were to talk with one of the vendors of the CRM platforms we are planning to use (we still have to choose one), gather my notes, and then go into NPW's office to chat with the woman I work with. 

The chat with the vendor went well.  It's strange dealing with these people in Mario Mode, while I deal with the woman at the non profit in Marian mode. But until I have voice lessons from a professional speech therapist, I have to be careful - as my "feminine" voice still sounds masculine over the phone.

Shortly after talking with the vendor, I drove to Tarrytown to NPW, where I had my chat with J. She was very happy to see some progress, and to see that we have the ability to do what we need with this package.  Hopefully, we'll be able to wrap up the decision making for the system selection before she goes on vacation. And it'd be nice to be able to perform a complete implementation, putting another notch on my resume - albeit a small one.

- - - - - -

After my meeting, I decided to call a few of the "usual suspects" to see if any were available to get together. Sadly, none of them were available.  So I ended up driving home, figuring that I'd go out again later.  Alas, this was not to be - Lili was tired, and so was I.  By the time I might have been ready to go out again, it was too late - and I decided to stay home for the rest of the evening.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A change in plans - No Whine and Dine tonight

Last night, I was chatting with GFJ, and we discussed getting together tonight for dinner. Of course, this means that I'd be skipping the Whine and Dine group - But it's just as well, because of the heat and humidity expected that I'd suffer with in an outdoors dining venue....

- - - - - -

Getting up today, it made more sense not to bother to get dressed as Marian, as I know I'd have to change back into Mario to meet with GFJ for dinner.  I was very glad that I had a few things to do to kill some time, as it's easy to get lethargy take over.  One of those things was to experiment with one Membership Management system, and see what its capacities are. Some of the things we need aren't there, but I think we could use workarounds to accomplish our goals.  However, I still need to find out more things about the other product, as it will be likely that I may be the person implementing things - and being the person who gets the blame if things go wrong.

Another of the things I had to do is make some calls regarding my healthcare.   Again, I put this off, as there is a part of me that is very uncomfortable talking with people.  (This is part of the reason why I ended up in data processing - machines are easier to deal with than people.)  When I have nothing at risk, I am comfortable with people.  But when there is something important at stake, I am uncomfortable - and this is a problem.  I figure that I'll make the above call in the morning, as I have to find out whether I send in a big check, or whether I tell the firm who sent me the bill to contact the health insurance company.... 

- - - - - - 

When I finally got moving, it felt strange going out as Mario.  But GFJ wants to see me this way.  We had dinner at the buffet in Newburgh, and took our time discussing plans we made to take a little trip together. (I'd better get cracking now, to get a few days' entries written in advance.)  Leaving the buffet, we both noticed how comfortable it became outside. There was a part of me that regretted not joining the Whine and Dine crew - but there will always be next week.... 

Our next stop was the movie theater about 5 minutes away, and we went to see "Train Wreck".  In many ways, this was a typical Amy Schumer comedy - but it was a pleasant bit of fluff.  Sports fans might like the film, as there are a few cameos from several well known professional sportsmen/women. (No, I won't name them - why spoil the surprise?)  But the film is a nice love story with a happy ending - a good movie for a "date night".

- - - - - -

Eventually, the movie ended, then GFJ and I had to part.  She'll be at my place on Thursday before she starts her drive to spend time with her two sons in Baltimore. (I'll have to cancel this Thursday's game night in Yonkers - and will deal with it on Thursday morning.)  I'll miss her, but as I joke: My aim is getting better! :-)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hot as Hades, but I finally made it outside.

Here's another picture from the wedding.  I just received it today, and I had to blank out BXM's face before posting the picture here.....  Too bad that I can't get more use out of this dress. Although I was wearing the wrong bra that day, I loved how good it was making me feel when I wore it.  (Too bad that I can't show you the unedited picture - BXM has a pretty face when she smiles.)

- - - - - -

Back to today....

I avoided going out because of the heat. But I finally decided to go out, as I wanted to find out more information in regard to my application for a grunt job at The Avenue, as I knew that the store manager had returned after an absence of over 4 months.

On my way to The Avenue, I got a call from GFJ.  She wanted to meet for dinner.  I told her that I was in Marian Mode, and she deferred on dinner. However, I suggested tomorrow night, when I could make sure that I'd be in Mario Mode - and then skip the Whine and Dine crew and their outdoor dining in Newburgh.  (Even though tomorrow should be less humid, it was still over 85 when the sun was going down - not pleasant for this T-Girl.)  We chatted for about 30 minutes or so, and then she noted that she was falling out early, in part because she woke up at 4:30 am.  So it was just as well that we didn't meet - she'd likely be falling out on the way home, and I wouldn't want her sleepiness to cause problems.

As I arrived in Newburgh, I noticed how extra warm it was at the mall, as the newly resurfaced asphalt was radiating more heat than I would have expected.  When I went into the store, DD had not yet arrived.  Instead, I had a chance to speak with the store manager and an assistant manager who kept the store running in her absence.  And I found out that the hours I'd be able to work weren't that compatible with their needs. But they wanted me, and I was told that. Chatting with the store manager, I found out how much they expected her to work - and that is a little steep. But she gets benefits, so I'd consider her position (in a pinch) if it were offered, if only to get benefits.  (Imagine the interesting flip flop in life - 3 years ago, I was coming home from work in Mario Mode, then spending time out in Marian Mode. I could now be coming home from work, then spending time in Mario Mode.)

Hanging out any longer would have interfered with their work more than I could justify, so I bugged out and went home the long way (via Woodbury). I stopped into Home Goods and picked up a picture frame for a photo taken of me at the wedding, and then drove home. Although I'm not going to place this on public display when GFJ's here, I do want to have a small photo framed - just to have it around....

- - - - - -

Shortly after I got home, GFJ called.  We discussed our plans for the next few weeks, and figured out when we could get together.  It looks like I'll lose an outing or two in Marian Mode this week, as she may preempt both the Whine and Dine group and my Board Game group.  And then, we may get comped for a stay in Atlantic City (how she has these credits, I'm not certain, but it does concern me a little), where Marian will be in the closet for a little over 5 days.  (I guess that I'll have to stage a few posts before then....)

And the night is still not yet over.  I was texting BXM, and she's up doing laundry for her dad.  (He has a disease which is robbing him of his cognitive capacity, and is unable to care for himself.)  If she wants to meet at a diner for some herbal tea, I'll hop in my car and go.

In short, a very busy day - but not when most expected....


Monday, July 27, 2015

The answer today was much easier - STAY INSIDE!

It may not have been this hot - but had I went outside in Marian Mode today, it would have felt like it.  With a then expected peak of 94 degrees and 75% humidity, no one could be comfortable in this weather.

- - - - - -

As I write this, I am listening to thunder in the background. The temperature is still high outside, and I still am debating whether to go out or not.  Even so, if I go out, it'll be in Mario mode, as I am not willing to waste a half hour putting on makeup just to go to Shoprite.

I have effectively thrown away a weekend because of heat and humidity - and it doesn't bother me that much. If I were still working, I'd likely be upset. But without a job to go to on a regular basis, it's hard to care much.

- - - - - -

This week will be a little more busy, as I have things to do for NPW, and a set of deadlines to meet. But this is good.  I need things to get me back on a schedule - or, I might as well open up my 401k and retire - something I am not ready to do yet.

I am looking forward to the next Whine and Dine, although I might be bailing early due to the nature of the venue.  Given that it will be approaching 90 degrees until Wednesday, I will leave early if the gals decide to settle outside.  (One of the gals responded - if it is bad, the gang will decamp to another place about a block away.) So we'll see what happens.

- - - - - -

Until tomorrow.....  Ciao!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Do I or Do I Not?

This is Summer, and it's part of the time I am most uncomfortable en-femme.  If it's 90 degrees outside with any amount of humidity, it becomes unbearable for me, as the prosthesis I wear makes it feel like it's over 100 degrees - and there is nothing I can do to cool myself off.

- - - - - -

As I started writing this entry, I have a scheduled trip to the North Country lined up.  However, when I factor in Saturday's drive up will likely be in thunderstorms, an overnight stay, and a Sunday in 90+ degree heat and 65 percent humidity, bailing out on the gig may be the best thing I can do - especially with the extra mileage I've been putting on the car lately.  So, it makes sense to stall a little and do some of the tasks I've been putting off for a while - such as laundry.  Since my cleaning lady came, I know that I have at least 3 or 4 loads I can do, and that'll keep me busy for a few hours. 

- - - - - -

I ended up bailing out on the North Country gathering, knowing that I'd have a 300 mile round trip - something I really wasn't in the mood to do.  Instead, I did the laundry (2 of the 3-4 loads), and decided to rest. Could I have gone out en-femme?  Yes. But what would I do instead of eat and spend money?

- - - - - -

Tomorrow looks like it's going to be a warmer and more humid day.  Will I go outside?  Who knows?  If I do, I have no idea of where I'll go, or whether I'll want to see anyone. But I know I'll want to go out en-femme and then stay in where it's air conditioned.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Another visit with the Cat Lady

The real life "Cat Lady" that I've seen doesn't look this good.  But it pays for me to maintain friendships wherever I can, as it's hard to be lonely - as Lili's experiences have shown me.

- - - - - -

There were two things on my calendar today - one was a visit to the non profit where I volunteer, and the other was a drive to see the Cat Lady from NJ.  My only problem was that I had to change between the two appointments, and this would delay me quite a bit in getting out to NJ.

When I went into see my contact, she knew that I was behind on things, and we agreed on a timeline to get things done. Additionally, I'd be coming into the office on a regular basis, and this would make my life easier, as I would be able to focus the day around things I had to do, instead of letting them fall by the wayside.  So, Wednesdays will be my days in the office, and I will touch base on progress then....

After my short visit to NPW, it was time to go home and change back into Mario. I got out a little later than I wanted, and screwed up the drive to the Cat Lady's place. Instead of reaching her place at 3:30-4:00 pm, I didn't reach her place until 4:45 pm, as I took the wrong exit on the Thruway, and then took the wrong exit on the Garden State Parkway.  My mind was somewhere else other than on the drive....

Reaching the Cat Lady's house, I ended up going inside for a few minutes, an then the two of us went out to Sparta Township in NJ.  This is a small, but picturesque little town, and it is well worth going to if you're in the area - the lake views are very pretty, and the food at the restaurant we ate at was very good.

Along the drive, I got a call from GFJ, and I was glad that her name did not show up on the car's video display.  I figured that I'd try to reach her later on when I was free, forgetting that she was going out with friends.  Strangely enough, if I had known how bad the weather would be this weekend (hot and humid), I'd skip the time that I'd planned to spend in the North Country, and have stayed down here - where she'd have skipped something else to be with me.  AARGH!  (Of course, I would have never made plans to be with the Cat Lady if I had known I'd have had the option for GFJ to be with me....)

- - - - - -

Life is very strange - and at times, so am I.....

Friday, July 24, 2015

The week after....

A week ago, I brought a cake to the weekly board game meetup.  This week, I found out that the children of the host and hostess ended up eating most of the leftover cake.  (Thankfully, I wasn't there to experience the children undergoing their sugar rushes!)

- - - - - -

Today started out like it'd be a typical Thursday, save that I'd have to vacate the apartment before the cleaning lady arrived. Although I was up late last night, I was able to wake up early enough to straighten up the place, as well as cook myself a nice breakfast. However, things got complicated by the unexpected early arrival of my cleaning lady.  Since there was no way I could let her in, I asked her to come back some time in the afternoon.

Although there is some evidence of my Marian persona, the last thing I want my cleaning lady to notice (unless she is snooping in my closets and drawers) is my second wardrobe and associated accessories. However, I figured that it'd be safe to leave out a new picture of myself taken at last Saturday's wedding. And although it would likely have been safe to do so with her, GFJ would likely see that picture and ask questions. So I erred on the side of discretion, and left a picture of me from the cruise with Lili on the shelf. This way, no one who saw the picture would think that anything was amiss.  (If anything, they'd think the picture was a Miss. <g>)

It was hard to believe how quickly I could get dressed in Marian mode. My cleaning lady came around 11:30 am, and I was out the door before 12:30 pm.  Not knowing where she'd be, I made sure to exit my building via the other doorway connected to the downstairs laundry room.

- - - - - -

Arriving at the GLBT Center, I was given the task of contacting some vendors who participated in this year's Pride celebration, and thanking them for their participation. Although my voice is not as feminine as I'd like, others have said it's nice - and I made the calls. It's good to get as much practice as I can get in being Marian, instead of playing Marian. After making these calls, we were all surprised to have 2 new people looking for help in finding work. So it was off to the other room to talk with these two people and see how I could help them (with no planned activities). Things went well - and I'm pretty sure that I'll see these two again the next time we are scheduled to have the job seekers support group meeting.

Before I left, I was told that my set of ideas for a one-day transgender conference was good, and that they will be using some of them to develop the conference.  I mentioned that they should make sure that this conference does not conflict with any of the big name conferences being given in the fall (Fantasia Fair and Southern Comfort are two good examples), as they will want to maximize attendance from people in the community. They then suggested that I make a presentation - and I may end up doing so, as long as I can rope in an additional presenter who is F2M for the session. Since I've participated in open-ended question and answer sessions with my friend Lisa and her class, I figure that this would be another good opening for me in this area....

- - - - - -

Leaving the GLBT Center, I figured that I'd eat at home, taking advantage of all the cooked food waiting to be reheated.  And it was nice to save a couple of dollars on food, instead of another visit to Panera Bread. But then it was time to go back to Yonkers.  Before I left, I received a message from one of my W/W friends that I've been trying to reach for a while. Hopefully, I'll be able to reach her tomorrow, so that I can arrange a trip to Ohio to see her. (It's one of those "you might as well trips" - she's a great person, we get along as friends, and it'd be nice to take her up on the offer to visit - and see things like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.)  At the same time, the Cat Lady messaged me.  We keep jockeying to find a date that's good for both of us - and nothing works out well.  (But that's just as well in many ways.)

When I got to Yonkers, the temperature wasn't that uncomfortable. But inside the house where our weekly meeting is held, the AC wasn't on, and I slowly roasted while enjoying myself. GFJ tried to reach me, but we couldn't chat - and by the time I was free to do so, she expected to be asleep.

Hopefully, I'll have information from my doctor in regard to a sleep test that I need to take, as I want some answers for GFJ when I talk to her in the morning....

- - - - - -

BTW: One of my Facebook friends is my friend Lili's former nephew. Former, not because he passed away, but because today he (I should say "she") has undergone GCS and now has a body in sync with her internal identity as a female.  I hope to congratulations to the "new" woman, in person, sometime in the near future.....

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Another day en-femme. I could easily get used to this!

- - - - - -

For the most part, I spent today at home - knowing that most of the things I'd likely do would involve spending money, eating, or putting unneeded mileage on my car. But it was such a nice day outside, that I finally broke down and got dressed to go out towards the end of the afternoon.  Of course, that meant putting on a nice outfit and enjoying the freedom it gives me.

When I was ready to go out, I started to call the usual cast of characters to chat, and to see if any were available to get together during the evening. Everyone was busy, and I ended up taking a drive.  If I had realized how nice it was going to be, I'd have gone out earlier, and spent much of the day reading a book under the shade, and near the river. After a while, it was time to drive home - and that's when GFJ called.  When I'm on the phone with her, my voice is always in Mario Mode - even when I'm dressed as Marian. For now, the less that she has to interact with Marian, the better off she feels.

- - - - - -

As I returned home, I had to deal with cooking two things - some baby back ribs, and some Italian sausages. Knowing that the ribs would need some sauce, I emptied the remainder of a bottle of Peter Luger steak sauce into a shallow pan - and cooked the ribs in the sauce. (As much as their steaks have a great reputation, I'd skip their steak sauce since it has a strange flavor.) The sausages, however, were cooked without sauce - and they came out very juicy.  Sometime over the next few days, I'll have a feast - and then try to find space in my freezer for the goodies in the storage containers.

- - - - - -

The other day, I ordered 3 containers of Dermablend makeup.  Normally, I'd order 2, but with a bag of "freebies" that came with an order over $75, it made sense for me to get the extra container now, rather than waiting until next year. Given that sells these containers for $28 instead of $33+, I could afford to splurge a little - as I know that I'll eventually use this makeup for its intended purpose - making my face look much more feminine than it does without makeup.  This order came today - and now I have some samples to give away....

But enough of that.  It's time for me to finish this blog and do some cleanup.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Lili and Magic Mike

Considering the setting of the film that the Whine and Dine crew are seeing tonight, I figured it appropriate to post this picture from my visit to "Burlesque by the Beach" last week....

- - - - - -

Lili is one of those people who will never progress beyond a codependent state in life.  Although she is living alone, she feels a strong need to attach herself to someone to find fulfillment - and then get disillusioned, because reality never meets up with her fantasy. So I have to be very careful when I get together with her - never too long or too often, lest she snares me in her trap.

Today, I let myself be convinced to go with her for a pedicure....

When one agrees to do anything with Lili, there is always something else that comes up. More often than not, she has been having problems with her rental house. Today was no different. But she also had problems with the house she lives in, as the air conditioning hadn't been working - and her place was unbearable. Couple this with a dog who is in pain, and will likely need to be put to sleep soon, and with a friend who has dismissed Lili's style of gift giving (she may be getting tired of Lili, but won't say it to her), and you have a friend who is dealing with a mess of problems and needed someone to talk to.

I ended up driving over to Lili's place around 2:30 or so. Since I knew that Lili would be eating light (she has been staying on her diet), I stopped by the local McDonald's and picked up something to keep my stomach from growling.  While there placing my order, the heavens opened up and I would have gotten drenched if I had to place my order at the usual place before the drive-in window.  My female pitched voice wasn't carrying , so I ended up placing the order at the cashier's window - and still was getting wet due to the severity of the downpour.  There was no way that I was going to get out of the car until the rain stopped - so I was very glad that I could pick up Lili and drive to the nail salon.

Lili told me that she had to meet an electrician after we were done with our pedicures, and I had no problem with that - as long as I could make it to the Whine and Dine crew at 7:00 pm. (Of course, Lili forgets about my schedule when it's convenient for her - but that's another story.) So we both got our toes done, and it was off to the rental home.  When we got there, Lili realized that she forgot the key (it was in her car), and had to go back to her place.  One problem - this ruined the opportunity for us to have dinner, as I'd have never made it to the movie theater to be with the Whine and Dine crew....  I told Lili that we'd have to do lunch another day, and for me, it was off to Fishkill and the movies.

- - - - - -

Arriving in Fishkill an hour early, I made it to Panera Bread for dinner.  There were a couple of discounts on my card ready to be used, and this really helped me save a couple of bucks. And then, when I went to the movie theater (almost) across the street, the tickets were discounted for some unknown reason - so it was the start of a cheap evening.  Eventually, the gals from the Whine and Dine arrived, and we found a block of 15 (or so) seats for our group in two row of the theater. Ours was a rowdy crew, and they came well prepared for the movie.  Not only did some of the ladies bring candy and buy popcorn, but a couple brought bottles of wine and the cups from which we'd drink the wine. The women were well primed to have a great time watching the (almost) naked men on screen.

The Whine and Dine crew know that I am transgender, and this can provide for some very funny situations. One of which happened tonight, where one lady (who happens to be Black) was commenting that she didn't like the white stuff (in the middle of an Oreo cookie - implicit in one of her statements). She's married to an Italian - and this helped set things up for me.  I simply turned my head to her, and she knew she set herself up (white stuff, coming out of her husband), started laughing as she was telling me NOT to make the next (obvious) statement....

Although I am biologically a male, I was getting off on the reactions of the women to the actions of the men on screen. If I were a cisgender female, I'd have been hooting and hollering along the vein - spread my legs and pump me deep and take your time about it! Instead, I was enjoying the vibe from the women. Strangely enough, Magic Mike XXL isn't that bad a film for a male to watch - as long as he can get into the vibe of women enjoying a few studs on screen.  (I'm not interested in the men.  But this was another time I strongly wished I was born as a cisgender female....)

- - - - - -

When the movie ended, a few of us went to Charlie Brown's next door for a drink. Several of the ladies made positive comments on the dress I was wearing. Every time I get positive comments from several sources about what I'm wearing, I know I bought the right outfit.  And when I showed a couple of the ladies a picture of me from last weekend's wedding, I know that it too was the right outfit to wear for that occasion.

Although none of us knows where we'll be dining next week, I know we'll have a great time. As I've said before, and will say again - it's nice being one of the ladies!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Another adventure in Zap, Zap, OUCH! Land

Nothing planned for today save an appointment with my laser technician. And I was glad of that.  I was not in the mood to do much of anything, including seeing a therapist who (luckily) canceled our bi-weekly appointment.

- - - - - -

Sometimes, when I wake up in the morning, I have no clue as to what time it is, nor do I sync up with the time for a long while after having been awakened. Today was one of these days.

When I finally got up, I submitted a few responses to some on-line job postings, one of them looking perfect for me, given my banking background. Although I'm getting fewer hits these days (probably because I'm one of the long term unemployed), I'm still seeing an occasional response - such as one firm looking to see what my salary demands would be before potentially calling me in for an interview. Since this firm contacted me last Wednesday, and I've received no response, I figured that I'd drop them an email saying that my salary demands are very flexible, given the state of the current market - and that someone who was with a firm for more than a decade is not the type of person who jumps for salary....

And then, it was time to get my face zapped.  Since my appointment was later in the day, I got a laser technician who understands the value of icing a face to make the face zapping more tolerable. This time, I didn't cringe before the more sensitive areas of my face, as I knew that the pain would be below a critical threshold. 

- - - - - -

Later in the afternoon, I was bored and had nothing to do. So I figured it would be worth taking a drive to Newburgh, and see if my favorite saleslady (DD) was at The Avenue.  And she was!  Additionally, the store's official manager came back to work, so I might see some movement on the job application I submitted. While there, I saw a couple of jumpsuits that I had to try on - not to buy, but to see how bad they'd look on me.

The first outfit made me look very mannish - and it was a definite NO!

Without a woman's natural waist, but with my male pattern fat, this jumpsuit was a definite NO!  If anything slipped in my tucking, it would be obvious that there is a male body in women's clothing.  So I tried on the second jumpsuit, at the suggestion of a new saleslady.

In this jumpsuit, I could see myself adding some bling to it, and wearing it to a formal function. However, I'd need someone to zip it up and down for me. This is unacceptable, given my current situation. So, even if I could get the jumpsuit at $20, it would be a waste of money.

Not spending money is a good thing for me.  In two separate visits to Shoprite, I spent roughly $60 - and I need to find ways of plugging the money drain before the money I saved over the last year is depleted.  (I don't want to deplete my long term savings....)  At least, I know I have enough food on hand to get to the end of the week.... And then it's a trip to the North Country.


Monday, July 20, 2015

The day after...

At yesterday's wedding, one of the guests was sketching people seated at the table. The above sketch was of yours truly, while she was in conversation with a couple across the table.

- - - - - -

Today was a day totally spent en-homme, as I was scheduled to visit my dad and my brother for a slightly belated birthday celebration. This meant that I had to do two things before going to Long Island: (1) Remove all traces of my Marian persona's existence from the car, and (2) Make sure that all traces of nail polish were removed from my fingers and there was no left over makeup on my face from last night. Luckily, I thought of this last night, and there was no evidence of Marian that any family member would stumble in to if that member got in my car.

However, because I woke up late this morning, I was very late in getting out of the house. Instead of arriving at my dad's place at 3:00 pm, I arrived at 4:00 pm, as I dawdled a bit before getting showered and dressed, then on the road.  But it was just as well, as the restaurant I had picked out (Minado) was closed until 5:00 pm. However, the place was worth the short wait after we got there, as we were able to get seated quickly and get the freshest food available. (If you're in the area of any of this restaurant's 5 sites - GO!)

By the time we got out, my dad was getting tired.  So my brother drove him home, and then we went out in my car for a drive, so that we could chat a little. We ended up going past the US Merchant Marine Academy before driving back to Carle Place to sit down and have some coffee. (One day, I'll have to visit the museum at the USMMA. I never knew that this school was considered one of the US Government's federal service academies - and I'll have to read a little more about the place in the future.)

- - - - - -

While at Starbucks, I explained to my brother why I stated to him and dad what I want to happen with my assets if something were to happen to me. I noted that until I update my will, it doesn't reflect what I want to happen to my assets - and he could safely ignore it. (This isn't legal, but if I'm gone from the scene - why should I care much?)  I told him that I want to have done - and for now, that will suffice. But he now knows that I want my friend Vicki to be the executor, as I don't want him finding out about my Marian persona until I'm ready to tell him about it.

Soon it was time to go home.  He had to rush inside, because an ebay auction on a carburetor was almost over - and he wanted to place a bid on the "new" (unused) item whose last bid was way below what should be market price for the item. As for me, I had to find my way back to Westchester county, trying to find my way to the Bronx without suffering through a 2 mile long, bumper to bumper, traffic jam. And I ended up crossing into The Bronx using the Triboro bridge.

While on the road, GFJ called, and we talked about her mini vacation, her business, and her upcoming trip to help her son move to State College, PA.  It was nice being able to talk to her tonight - it'll be a while before we are together again....

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A wedding at the Morris-Jumal Mansion

Wedding Day!  And I finally got the chance to wear my new dress!  

 - - - - - -

When I was invited to this wedding, I was told that many of the people would be attending in some variant of "Steampunk" or "Victorian" garb. However, I didn't expect as many wedding guests to do so - including one cross dressing man, who was wearing his falsies in his corset for all to see!  

Later, as I would find out, there is another person in this picture of note. This person is known for throwing hedonistic parties for people in the sex-positive lifestyle. And (to rework a phrase), if one is in the community and haven't been invited to one of his parties - you haven't been trying hard enough.

- - - - - -

Getting up this morning, I didn't expect that I'd have so much time zipping up the zipper on the dress I was wearing to the wedding. It was at a point where I almost gave up, and would have quickly changed into a LBD I knew would fit and would be more than appropriate for the wedding. Luckily, I was able to get the dress zipped up - and I was ready to go out. However, this dress would be a little troublesome throughout the day, as one strap or another kept wanting to fall off my shoulder - and will be something I need to take care of when I find a professional seamstress who can do a proper alteration without ruining the dress.

Although it was hot outside, it wasn't unbearable. I had no problems driving to Riverdale (in the Bronx) to meet BXM. However, when I got there, Google Maps' Navigation led me to the rear entrance to BXM's apartment building, and not the front. This was a minor annoyance. But what was more frustrating is that BXM was running late, and she was still at the nail salon when I arrived. So I ended up going to the Starbucks down the street and killed a few minutes until BXM got back to her apartment.

Upstairs, while BXM was getting her father ready for the wedding, I was repairing her cousin's dress. The lace overlay on top of the satin dress had accidentally been damaged, and I figured out a way to fix it with a small amount of thread, so that it looked as if the repair was part of the lace pattern. By the time I was finished, the lady wearing the dress couldn't even find the area I repaired until I pointed it out. We decided to go to the wedding a few minutes before BXM, giving me a better chance to find a parking spot near the Morris-Jumal Mansion. I didn't know how lucky I'd be - I got a parking spot directly across from the main entrance to the mansion property.

Once there, BXM's cousin introduced me to several people as Marian - even though I am sure she knew I am transgender. And people were accepting me as Marian. Of course, it's hard to think "Mario" when I'm in the dress below....

The straps were sliding off one (or both) of my shoulders all day.  But DAMM!!!  I think I look great in this dress.  (What do you think?)

Even though the wedding was supposed to start around 4:00 pm - 4:30 pm, the bride and groom didn't show up until 5:00 pm - and by then, many of us in attendance were starting to feel the worst heat of the day. For some of us, the collapsible hand fans they gave us as part of the gift bag (being held in my left hand) helped a little.  For me, the fan was just ineffective - and was only a pretty artifact of the wedding. 

When the groom spoke, he noted how important music was to the two of them, and quoted many things from pop music, and the bride did the same. In fact, one of people at the "altar" recited The Beatles' "Here, There, and Everywhere" as part of their speech. This was a common meta-theme for the two of them, where at the later cutting of the cake - the string quartet was playing the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses". There was also a nod to the "sex positive" community - and I was surprised how many people in attendance were part of that community. In fact, Tristan Taormino was the Officiant of the ceremony - another ordained minister in the Universal Life Church (as is yours truly).

The wedding party and its guests had full access to the mansion during our stay there, and I was able to take a few pictures at various points during the gathering. If you're in upper Manhattan and want to visit a place for an hour or so - this might be a nice place to visit. But don't expect to easy parking....

Once the wedding ceremony ended, we decamped for the other side of the mansion, where tables were set up under a big tent. Instead of the usual dinner, we were able to get some finger foods, and then the wedding cake. But no dinner as of yet.  By 9:00 pm, we left the mansion, and walked a short block to a row house - in which a BBQ dinner was served outside, in the back yard. But to get to the back yard, one had to walk through a small book store, into someone's living quarters, and then step outside into the yard.  (If I had been thinking, I'd have gotten pictures of this layout - I'd have never believed it unless I was a guest there.) Since I was one of the first in the backyard, I commandeered a seat at the one table available to our party. (I'll bet that this was not a legal set up - not with the number of people, nor with the conditions under which we were eating.... But I won't complain.)  The food was very tasty, and I'd have loved to eat where the BBQ was cooked - if it was in a restaurant.

Eventually, the crowd thinned out, and BXM and I decided to go home.  On the ride home, she started crying about the loss (death) of her boyfriend last year, and all the unprocessed angst related to his death. Before I dropped her off, I asked her one thing - to unzip my dress, so that I could have an easier time of it when I got home. Given my experience with zippered dresses, I was very glad to have that extra pair of hands around when I needed it most....

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Burlesque by the Beach

Today was my day to go to the Coney Island Sideshow and then to see the late evening Burlesque show with a friend from Thursday night games. Although we didn't make it there in time for the Sideshow, we had a lot of fun at the night time Burlesque show....

- - - - - -

When I got up this morning, I had 2 things on my schedule: (1) A Doctor's visit, and (2) A trip to Coney Island with "M", my friend from Thursday night games. (To keep thinks clear, I'll call her YGM for now.) I was glad NOT to have too much scheduled for the day, as I didn't want to tire myself out too early in the day, knowing I still had a late night ahead of me.

At the doctor's, I finally got my referral for a sleep test. Now to make the phone calls to set things up, so that I can get things moving before Summer's end.  It'll be strange to be in bed with GFJ later this year, both of us having "Elephant Trunks" helping us breathe through the night.  (Now to find myself a set of men's pajamas....)

- - - - - -

After visiting the doctor, I took it easy and tried to rest a little before driving to YGM's place. Although I was running late, YGM was later than I was - and we ended up leaving for Coney Island at 5:30 pm. Of course, this meant that we'd miss out on the sideshow - but that gave us much more time to talk.  She noted that her husband will be looking for another posting next year, and that she will likely be moving.  But I'll always have an open invite to see her. (I guess when someone's an Army Wife, it's hard to build up new friendships because of moving from post to post.) 

By the time we reached Coney Island, it was 7:20, and YGM took the picture below:

We had a hard time fining a "Good" place to eat at Coney Island, as everything there is geared around fast food joints. So we ended up eating at Nathan's - and ended up sitting there for over an hour while waiting to go to the Burlesque show.  

Once we were done with Nathans, we went to the Burlesque show - "Ass Freaks 5".  This time, I snapped a few photos.... I'm not doing this show justice, but it was fun watching this show - especially with a friend who knows I'm transgender, but only knows me in female mode.

One thing of note - there was full frontal nudity on some the females from what I could tell.  I guess that NYC doesn't care much what goes on here.  Or, as may be most likely, that the making of the "Ass Art Assterpieces" (as seen in the last photo) legally turns the event into a protected form of art under NYC and NYS law - and exempt from prosecution....

Sadly, the evening had to end.  I was right in telling YGM that we'd probably get home by 2:00 am (on the dot, as I'd find out on arrival), and we bid each other farewell until the end of Summer.  I'll miss having her around, but I'll still be able to have this friend around for the better part of a year before she relocates again....

Friday, July 17, 2015

An unexpected birthday surprise.

This is much more grandiose than the cake which had a candle for me today. My cake was a miniature cupcake with a large candle in it, and it meant much more to me than many of the birthday cakes I've had in the past - as it was given to me (with a small gift) from the entire crew of my Thursday night board game meetup.

- - - - - -

When I got up this morning, I knew that the first person likely to contact me was GFJ - for two reasons.  First, she would want to wish me a Happy Birthday (as she did in several ways). And then, she would want to tell me the latest in her saga of the broken down computer.  And I was right on both counts. After wishing me a happy birthday, she told me that she still was having minor problems with Quick Books from last night which was causing a minor office disruption - but not that much that it would prevent her from going away to spend time with her sister in Vermont. By the time she made it to Vermont, it was not 4:00 pm as she originally planned, but closer to 9:00 pm, because of the delays caused by her computer.

- - - - - -

Since this was Thursday, I went in to the GLBT Center around 2:00 pm. And I noticed that the tone of the place is changing under the new director.  After about 9 months of her being in charge, she realizes that the center MUST have the kinds of activities that will keep it relevant in the eyes of the community it serves. So she has been trying to develop new social groups, as well as develop "one day seminars" to serve the needs of the constituent communities that the center serves - and this is where today's activities come in. One of the staff members had a task for me to do - figure out what kinds of topics should be covered in a series of discussions, in order to provide the transgender community tools to function better. 

Luckily, they had a copy of this year's program for the Philadelphia Trans Health conference, at which one of my Facebook friends (who I met in Provincetown about 3 years ago) attended.  Since this friend is in the process of coming out to the world (and will be specializing in Transgender mental health care in his new position), I won't say more about him/her until he/she is out to the world. (Pardon the pronoun usage here - I'm not sure of which pronoun this friend prefers for general usage, as he/she lives in both genders.)  

But back to the program....  I cribbed some ideas from the program, and generated my own list (at the bottom of this entry) for the review of the GLBT Center staff. Hopefully, they will build on my ideas while they are cutting things out of the list. They hope to be able to schedule this mini-conference on an upcoming Friday - but I'm not sure if this would be the best day.  More to come....

- - - - - -

After I was done at the GLBT Center, I ate dinner at Panera Bread, and then killed a little more time before driving over to play games.  I made sure to buy a German Chocolate Cake, as it would be my quiet, private way to celebrate my birthday with friends.  Little did I know that "the gang" already knew that it was my birthday, and that a candle would be lit for me to blow out....

We played several games, with the last one being "Quiddler". Because this is a word game, I had an edge - and won the game.  The game would have been just as enjoyable had I lost, but it was a nice thing to happen on my birthday....

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Transgender 101 – A one day event 

Medical, Legal, Professional, Personal, and Youth specific issues of Transgenders in the Lower Hudson Valley.

Topics to be covered: (Delete line items we may not want or be able to cover.)

 1. Physical Health/Mental Health.
a.       What are a transgender person’s rights to appropriate medical and mental health care?
b.      Health care with Transgender friendly/aware professionals – how to find them?
c.       Health insurance – Transgender friendly/aware firms – how to determine which plan best covers the special needs of the transgender community.
d.      Transition related health care issues (e.g.: Prostate cancer in Transwomen, Ovarian cancer in Transmen, etc….) and how to discuss transgender specific health care needs with professionals not experienced with transgender patients.  (Advocacy, if needed, when dealing with “resistant” individuals.)
e.      Selection of mental health care professionals – how do we make sure that our special needs are understood and addressed?
f.        Harry Benjamin standards of care, and why they are important.
g.       How the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) affects Transgenders.
h.      The pros and cons of physical transition. (Also: Which surgeries are available….)
i.         The importance of emotional support during transition and afterward

            2. Legal.
a.       Legal Identity Management – and how to get one’s legal name changed across all the databases (private and government) containing information about an individual.
b.      Transportation – use of identification.
c.       Protecting one’s family during transition – family law issues.
d.      Bathroom “Police” – How to protect yourself from legal issues in states which have passed laws which affect a transgender’s right to relieve him/herself.
         3. Professional.
a.       Transition to a new gender identity while employed – how to do it.
b.      When/how to discuss (or not) one’s transgender identity.
c.       Job searches – techniques one can use if employed or unemployed.
d.      Maintaining professional contacts.
e.      Legal rights of Transgenders in the workplace, and how to protect them.
f.        Keeping the roof over one’s head in the face of prejudice that may keep us unemployed.
           4. Personal.
a.       How to test the waters, and build new friends in one’s new presentation.
b.      How to come “out” to one’s family and friends.
c.       Finding romance and companionship.
d.      Dealing with the potential loss of a relationship (or several) when one transitions. Also, what happens to the family of the person who is transitioning.
e.      Dealing with social privilege lost and found while in existing relationships.
f.        Going “stealth” or not.  (Tools which may be used when discussing one’s past in the originally assigned gender.)
           5. Youth specific.
a.       Physical Health care – puberty suppression
b.      Mental health care – selection of specialists.
c.       Socialization of transgender youth in self-identified gender.
d.      Safe Schools for transgender youth – how the law can be used to protect transgender youth, and organizations which can be contacted for help.
e.      How a parent can advocate for one’s child when the other parent resists.
           6. Miscellaneous.
a.       A general guide to transitioning (medical, legal, etc.)
b.      Fighting bias against Transgenders / opportunities for outreach.
c.       Empowering older transgender people to protect their rights.
d.      Physical Safety – how to protect oneself from some Hate Crimes.
e.      Being Transgender and Religious – how to fill that spiritual need.
f.        Being transgender in selected minority communities – special issues that may need to be addressed to function effectively.
g.       Travel for Transgenders – how to be safe when traveling, how to manage risks when traveling, where to travel, what are your rights when “traveling transgendered”, etc….