Monday, August 31, 2015

Sunday without GFJ

This was the scene last night, where GFJ and I walked through a town's Italian Fest (read: loud music, with stands selling hot food, fried dough, and other goods that would make your cardiologist jump for HIS joy.)   We had just spent 10 minutes walking on the Putnam Country section of the NYC Putnam Line rail trail, and we wanted to see what this local fest was like.  And we got to see Lake Mahopac near sunset....  This is one of the few times that I wish I owned a shore front house, like the ones on this lake.   Yet, I know it's only a fantasy, as I will likely never have enough money to do so.

- - - - - -

This morning, GFJ had to leave, going off to a Christening being held out on Long Island. And this gave me the freedom to be in Marian Mode for the day.  Although I didn't make it to church (I was way to tired to go), I still had time to do the other things on my list - one of them being a Gal Pals meetup.  And as usual, this group's leader cancelled the meetup - proving that it was a waste to join this group in the first place. (We've never met - I know that whatever is influencing her decisions, it is not me or my presence.)

So the big question is - what did I really want to do?

By the time I got moving, I ended up going to the Palisades Mall and looked at the clearance rack at Lane Bryant - where I found nothing of interest.  That's just as well - I can't justify spending money I don't need to spend.  While there, I sent out a few text messages, and reconnected with some people I haven't seen in a while.  Unfortunately, one of these people didn't respond - but I have an alternate way of getting in touch with her.

I'm setting myself up to have a lot of social activities going on in the near future - and this is a good thing. The more I experience the world as Marian, the more comfortable I'll be in this presentation, and the less likely that I'll want to spend any time as Mario.  For example, I have already marked the days in my calendar for my last therapy appointments - and shortly after the last one, I'll get my ears pierced.  I can't wait to wear nicer jewelry when the holes heal.  (I saw some very nice and elegant costume jewelry at Lane Bryant - and almost bought it in advance of need.)  But first, the holes have to be punched....


Sunday, August 30, 2015

GFJ and me on a quiet day

The closest thing of note for me in transgenderdom today is that I'm already started to make plans for the upcoming week..... 

- - - - - -

As usual, when GFJ is around, I am in Mario Mode all day.  This doesn't mean that I'm not making plans for the future.  For example, when a transgender acquaintance wrote me to say that she couldn't meet me as planned on Tuesday, I scheduled a get together with NM (from Artoberfest).  After I see my ex-boss (retired) for lunch on Tuesday, I will see NM for coffee afterwards - albeit en-homme.  It'll be nice to catch up with two people on the same day. Additionally, I have scheduled another get together with BXM - its been over 2  weeks (if I recall correctly) since we last met.  And, even if the Whine and Dine crew don't take me up on my suggestion to meet at Max's on Main, I will be getting the chance to see WDJ again before she moves out of the area.

- - - - - -

Eventually, GFJ and I got ready to go out - and we decided to see "Ricki and the Flash".  It was a nice, entertaining piece of fluff geared for a baby boomer audience.  Will it win any awards? No! but it gave Meryl Streep a chance to flesh out the type of roles she's played in her long career.

Unfortunately, GFJ hasn't been feeling that well lately, and will be seeing a doctor soon about a GI tract problem that she's been having.  In short, she's had to switch to consuming liquids, because solids are giving her pains while foods digest.  She's had this happen to her before, and it has gone away.  To be safe, she's scheduled an appointment with her doctor, and is being careful.  But it does feel strange when I order a dinner, and all she is having is a cup of chicken noodle soup....

- - - - - -

Not much else to report.  But tomorrow should have some interesting activity, as I might be able to go to church, see another movie, and attend another women's meetup....

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A quiet day, with GFJ coming over at the end.

Getting up this morning, I had several choices to make.  Do I want to do laundry during the day, or can I let it wait?  Do I try to meet a friend like WDJ for coffee, or do I wait until next week? None of the choices were major ones. Instead, they were the types that a person given to procrastination could easily defer.

- - - - - -

There were several paths I could have taken for the day, and the one I took was that of rest.  I did a little work for NPW, and then made a choice:
  1. Do I see Pat?

    - or -
  2. Do I go to a Gal Pals meetup, where only 2 people have registered?

    - or -
  3. Do I call WDJ, and see if we can meet?
Well, Pat wasn't home.  The organizer of the Gal Pals meetup doesn't have a good track record with me. (Later, I found that she cancelled the meetup due to lack of potential attendance.) The only logical thing to do was see WDJ - so I made the call, and we had an early dinner at the I-84 Diner. 

The food at the I-84 seems to have been going downhill lately, as my friends and I have noticed a few disturbing things as of late.  Their cheesecake is lacking something it always had, as if someone replaced a good ingredient with a lesser quality ingredient.  And now, I'm noticing the same thing happen to its main courses.

WDJ and I enjoyed a nice meal, and a couple of waitresses came over to chat.  One of them was the daughter of someone that WDJ knew, and the other was my favorite saleslady from Newburgh.  (Did I ever mention that she does shift work at the diner in addition to working at the store?)

- - - - - -

All too soon, it was time to go. And for the most part, that's all I can say about the evening.  GFJ came over, and it was the end of my Marian time until Sunday....

Friday, August 28, 2015

Clearing up some loose ends

Often, when I decide on a theme for my daily posting, I have no clue about what image I will use at the top of the entry.  So, I usually look for an image related to the theme (in today's case, a search for "Images of Loose Ends") and choose something that seems best related to the topic.  And the above image is an example of what "Loose Ends" really are. However, most people never think of literal loose ends.  Instead, they think of tasks left undone, that should be taken care of.

- - - - - -

In my case, the day started with two things on my task list:
  1. Rescheduling the appointment with my GP until he has received the results of my sleep test.
  2. Calling the offices of one of the providers of services for my recent colonoscopy, and clearing up a problem with them.  My insurance provider delayed paying them their customary and negotiated fee, and the provider came to me for payment. 
I'm a procrastinator - and this sometimes gets in the way of me getting things done. In the case of the insurance problem, they flagged several payments as unpaid - and it took me a while to make an easy correction that freed up the payments.  So it is something I usually compensate for, by trying to get things done early - allowing me to forget about them. This was one case I didn't do what I should have done, and it will likely cost me more time than it's worth....

- - - - - -

Although I thought I'd have a good shot at cruising with Lili on an earlier alternate date, her work schedule won't permit it.  (I didn't think anything would come of it - Lili doesn't always realize what her schedule looks like days/weeks down the road, so she will make suggestions only to have to change them later on.)  I may end up calling the same outfit to see what their rates look like - and possibly pay the single surcharge to take this cruise....

Lili thinks that we'd have no problems on a cruise going South, landing in Bermuda, the Bahamas, or one of many Caribbean Island nations.  I told her that this is not a viable option for me, and she said to pose the question to her niece Becky (who recently had GCS).  And this is what her niece said:

You should be very careful. If you travel to a country where being openly LGBT is illegal like Jamaca or the Dominican Republic and you are found out you could end up in jail. While in port you are under that country's jurisdiction and subject to their laws. I'd suggest you pick a destination where that's not a concern. 

I suggest an LGBT-friendly travel agent. You'll thank yourself later.

- - -

Show her this and see what she says: 

But Lili still wants to go on vacation somewhere with me...  She is now talking about subsidizing a Europe trip, or of going somewhere in the USA.  I have a feeling that I may end up going somewhere inexpensive without her - as I won't want to be traveling in the cold weather....

- - - - - -

Back to my task list for the day....

I made sure to call my doctor to postpone my appointment until after he gets the results of the sleep test. But I didn't bother to call the anesthesiologists' office - I figure that they could wait another day, as I was too lazy to get to them in the morning.

Once I got moving, it was off to the GLBT Center - where the scheduled job search support group was supposed to meet.  However, no one was prepared for anything - their "Golden Boy" did not bother to set up anything for us, nor did anyone show up.  So it was a completely wasted session there - save for one thing - I made a few phone calls (as Marian) to make sure that attendees to this weekend's fundraiser had the correct address.  And I noticed one thing - my female speaking voice is getting better with practice.  Now to make sure to attend sessions with a speech therapist, so that I develop proper feminine speech patterns.

After the GLBT Center, it was off to an early dinner with Lili, where we discussed potential vacation plans.  Although GFJ is comfortable with me vacationing with Lili, I only feel this way while on a cruise.  We have very different interests, and I doubt that she'd enjoy spending a lot of time going to museums in a city she's never seen before.  And then it was back to my place for a little while before going to game night....  

I spent more time at home than I planned before going to game night. So I was too late to be part of the group playing "Room Service" in the next room.  However, a group of us started playing Quirkle - and I won both games.  Our group was getting a little bit rowdy (in a subdued way) with the style of jokes we were telling.  (The kids were in bed, so a little innuendo could go a very long way.) And then the hostess came over - and I won another game of Quirkle.  It was a wonderfully successful day of games. But I'll miss it next week, as the host family will be on vacation....





Thursday, August 27, 2015

A cruise not taken with Lili

When one plans anything with Lili, one has to recognize that she is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.  Like last time we planned to cruise, she gambled on the cruise that we wanted to stay open until the last moment - and it sold out.  So, we're not cruising this year....

I'm not as upset as I could be at Lili.  She is worried about the health of an aging dog.  I'll bet that she has to put this dog down by the end of the year - and that will be heart breaking for her.  I am free to do something else - and will likely do it, if I can arrange to see one of my long distance friends.

I have a friend from the AOL Widows/Widowers who extended me an open invitation to see her - and I'd like to take advantage of this offer next month. However, she hasn't been the easiest person to reach - so I'll have to look at going somewhere else.

Washington, DC is a ready made destination.  But, on a limited budget, does DC make sense - especially, if one has already been there 3 times already?  Boston is an expensive town.  Philadelphia is less expensive, but there aren't that many things there one can do. So what's left that's affordable?  I have some ideas, but they will have to wait for a while....

- - - - - -

Lili has a nasty habit of ignoring the potential dangers to a Transgender person if he/she travels to certain "less progressive" countries - such as those in the Caribbean.  If one takes a look at this article, one sees how someone who is part of the GLBT community could be at serious risk in the Bahamas.  Since many Transgender people who present in their identified gender look like "vanilla" crossdressers, it is even harder for someone like me to just "blend in" and go stealth. No matter how much I tell Lili about this risk, she ignores it, as she lives life according to her own direct experiences, and not based on the reported experiences of others.

Later this afternoon, I will be going to meet Lili and attend a gathering with a new Meetup group.  This is a group that I (in Marian Mode) would have attended, had I found it meeting at an acceptable (and inexpensive) venue.  Tonight's venue is "Martinis and Meatballs" - where one could buy a martini, and then have as many meatballs as she wants.  I'm looking forward to this gathering, as I'll be meeting a new group of women - and be in my comfort zone.

I had two reasons for pushing Lili to do her own registration.  First, her therapist wanted her to join meetups - not me.  And I may work best when I am piggybacked into a women's group by a cisgender female.  All I have to do is keep Lili from using the wrong pronoun....

- - - - - -

Of course, Lili was a bit nervous when going to the meetup.  And I am very glad that she didn't run away because I was late.  When I arrived, she was at a table with two other women, one of them with her husband.  This was not the table for Lili to be at - she had nothing in common with the people at the table, and she was stuck (by the nature of sitting down) talking only with people at the table, or who came to the table.

After an hour with these people, Lili bid the table a fond adieu - and left.  I took this as an opportunity to start chatting with the meetup's organizer (the lady on the left in the above photo), and one of her friends (who just happens to work with the lady on the left). I had more fun with the time I spent with these ladies than I did at the table where I first sat down. As much as Lili says that she's good with people in a one-on-one situation, she is very bad when she needs to be a little bit of a social butterfly....

Later on, when I left the venue, I called Lili to see what her reaction was - and she wasn't happy. I guess that next time, I'll have to make her my "plus 1" if we're going to a gathering together.

- - - - - -

When on the road, I chatted with Lili, and suggested that we consider another week for the cruise.  She suggested a date - earlier than expected.  Hopefully, this date will come to fruition. But first, Lili has to be really sure that she wants to go away for a week.  Since I wasn't in a rush to go straight home, so it was off to Stew Leonard's to do some shopping.  Although I spent more money than expected, it was money well spent - even with the purchase of 3 lobster rolls, which are perfect for a summer's day lunch.

Sometime tomorrow, I'll find out whether Lili really wants to go on a cruise - and whether I will be making alternate plans to get away by myself.  Either way, I need to get away for some "Marian Time" and leave "Mario" in his closet....

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Back from the sleep test, and more....

As I left off, I took a sleep test last night - and I hardly slept.  At least, I can say that I have no idea of how much or how long I slept, as I felt as if I were awake most of the night.

- - - - - -

Going in to the hospital for a sleep test is an interesting experience.  First, one goes to the main entrance of the hospital to be processed - shortly before that entrance closes - and then become the last scheduled patients of the day to be "treated".  After waiting around for a while, the sleep technician comes and escorts you to the sleep study center, where you change into your bed clothes - and then get wired up for the study.  Once you've got all the wires connected, and only after they have been testes, do you get into bed and attempt to sleep.  (This is something I'm obviously bad at doing, based on how I perceived things last night.)

Normally, I wouldn't even bother trying to sleep until 1:00 am.  But I turned off the TV after the Yankees won the ball game (in extra innings), and I couldn't keep my mind from spinning - even though I hadn't had caffeine or alcohol in over 24 hours.  I must have fallen to sleep at least once, as I was awakened by the tech adjusting one of the sensors on my forehead.  But after that, I don't feel like I got any more sleep.

Since I won't get the results back from the sleep center for 10 days, it makes sense for me to postpone my visit to my GP for a few days, so that I can cover everything with him on a single visit.  Hopefully, I can get this taken care of by month-end, and get another sleep test (with CPAP unit) scheduled by mid-September. (This will give me a little time to get used to the unit before going on the cruise with Lili.)

- - - - - -

After I left the sleep test, I chatted with GFJ and then went home to take care of things.  My weekly status review at NPW was scheduled for 1:00 pm, so I switched into Marian Mode - and went to NPW's office on the other side of Tarrytown.  As I talked with the lady I work with (I'll call her NPWJ), it's all but certain that we'll choose the easier to implement package. We divvied up the work, and I'll have to set up a meeting with the vendor for next week for some more detailed questioning....

- - - - - -

As I left NPW, I called WDJ.  She's close to making a serious decision which will affect her life, and I'm hoping that all turns out right for her. Although both of us were free, she did not take me up on my suggestion that we meet for coffee - the weather near her place was very bad at the time (thunderstorms and heavy rain), and she wanted to rest.  But that still didn't get in the way of me making it up to Newburgh to chat a little and to try on some outfits. (No, I didn't buy anything - the jumpsuits I tried on made my lower torso look more masculine - and fat -  than I wanted.)

So it was off to Catherine's (where I found nothing of interest), and then to J.C.Penney's, where I tried on a dress. 

The dress was hard to put on (it had a zipper in back), but once I was wearing it correctly, it made me look hot!  (Too bad that I just couldn't afford to justify buying yet another blue/teal dress.)  And again, I bought nothing - and that was the effective end of my day.....

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The hottest day of the year so far - and I have a sleep test to go to.

As I write this, It's hot as hell outside, and the slightest exposure to the outdoors air drains almost all the energy out of me.  Hopefully, this will make it easy for me when I take my sleep test....

- - - - - -

My plans for today were simple - see my therapist, take care of some errands, and then go for my sleep test.  Since I'm writing this before the sleep test, I'll have something to say about it tomorrow.

When I reached my therapist, we chatted about his upcoming move to Hawaii (and his retirement). Then, he asked if I had any issues with losing him as a therapist - and I said "No".  He was glad, knowing that I had worked through a lot of issues over the years - but you could tell that he wished that he could have gotten some movement from me about my weight.  And I guess that any movement on this front will have to come from within, and not from an authority figure.

I'm glad that things are ending, as we closed up our session with a mention of politics.  And given that he is typical of the GOP base, there is little nuance in his position.  He asked me where I stood, and I mentioned 3 people I might support - one Democrat (not Hillary), and two Republicans (neither will win the nomination).  He was surprised, as Bernie Sanders is an open Socialist.  But I am not as worried about socialism as he is. I prefer an economy where the power of the rich is checked and balanced - and am willing to pay the price in the overall wealth and growth of that society.  This is a problem as old as societies themselves, so I doubt we'll ever see an answer that pleases everyone, or that is considered optimal.

Thankfully, I have only 3 or 4 more sessions with my therapist - and then I am free.  What will I do when I don't have to schedule 1 day per week as Mario? Will I spend all my time as Marian, save when I am with family or with GFJ? That's a question I won't bring up with him....

- - - - - -

Next, I was off to meet Lili for lunch.  It looks like the cruise we originally wanted to take won't be available.  So I figure that we'll end up taking a different cruise, or not taking one at all.  Not taking the cruise won't be such a bad thing, but I will end up finding something else to do / somewhere else to go in Marian mode.

Lili has a dog who is one step away from being put down.  And knowing Lili, that dog is more important to her than any cruise - and she would feel very guilty if something happened to the animal while she was away.  This is very understandable.  But the dog is getting old, and soon, Lili will have to face a very hard decision.  Until then, she takes care of her dog as best she can.  And here is where Lili's humanity shines....

- - - - - -

Finally, it was back home to prepare for the sleep test.  What can I say about it?  I have questionnaires to fill out, and papers to sign. What I know for sure is that I'll be paying 20% of the total, and it hurts! 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Another day with GFJ, and a Job Application

As you can guess, I had no time en-femme this weekend.  GFJ was over on both Saturday and Sunday, and didn't leave until 10:00 pm tonight.

- - - - - -

In yesterday's blog entry, I mentioned that I was planning on applying to a job, but had some complications that I had to think about before I send out the paperwork.  Well, I figured out what I plan to do.  First, I had to find out WHO would receive the email I'd send to VNY. Next, was to cobble up a form of my resume that downplayed my IT skills, and upplayed my management skills. And then I wrote the following cover letter:

I saw your job posting on NPW's web site, and felt that I would be a good fit for your job opening, as one of the many roles I’ve played in my career has been that of a project manager at "Megabank".  I have had to prioritize and manage multiple tasks, work both as an individual and team member contributor, maintain schedules and meet deadlines, as well as having a flexible personal schedule (due to weekend and late evening work).  Given that I have worked with computers for years, I’m sure that you’d find my skills in this area more than satisfactory.

I look forward to discussing how I can be of value to VNY soon….

Of course, I used the gender neutral version of my given name, so that I have the maximum number of options available to me IF I get an interview.  Assuming I am invited into the office, I will discuss the issue of being trans - as I would like to use this position as my steppingstone into a second career as a female.

- - - - - - 

Yes, I'll have to deal with my "transness" carefully, as I don't want to spook this person.  But, given my volunteer experience at the GLBT Center and at NPW, I believe that they can say that I present a proper female image - and can fulfill the duties of the job in that presentation.

PS: Shortly after I sent out my resume, I got a response.  The job posting had not yet been taken down when I applied, and the decision had been made before my resume hit the hiring manager's desk. Such is life....  It would have been nice to have a chance to be employed as a female.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

It's hot as Hades outside - that's why God created Air Conditioning!

Today is a day spent en-homme for 2 reasons:
  1. GFJ is coming over.
  2. The weather will be too hot to spend any time outside as Marian.
I could have used another day en-femme before removing my nail polish, but am more than happy that I had the greater part of the week this way.

- - - - - -

There isn't much I can say about today - I wasn't en-femme, as GFJ was coming over, and I wasn't expecting to do anything en-femme until Tuesday - after GFJ left, and I had my bi-weekly visit to my therapist.  However, I can talk about a problem I've had (and will likely cover again in another canned post) that I've discussed with several people, including GFJ.


When I decided to contact NPW (the "vanilla" non profit I now volunteer at), I went through an agency I'll call VNY.  (I haven't disguised their names too much.  However, I want to insulate them a little from any publicity triggered by this blog.)  I visited VNY en-femme, and was referred to 4 agencies, NPW being one of them.  Several months later, I finally made contact with NPW, and it took a couple more months to start with them.  (NPW is understaffed, and needs to bulk itself up in order to function as an effective agency, as well as survive.)  Recently, VNY put up a job posting:

Manager, Service Events and Corporate Relations (Full-time)
Position Description:
One of the ways VNY seeks to promote volunteerism in our community is by supporting local companies who are looking to develop or enhance their employee volunteer program. Reporting to the Senior Director of Volunteer and Corporate Engagement, and part of a two person team, the Service Events and Corporate Relations Manager will be responsible for developing and executing customized corporate service events, supporting the implementation of large scale county wide community volunteer service initiatives, maintaining relationships with existing corporate clients and cultivating relationships with new companies.The successful candidate will have a commitment to volunteerism, the ability to build partnerships with and bridges between the for profit and nonprofit communities, a “can do” attitude, and exceptional organizational skills.

Strong administrative and organizational skills; ability to prioritize and manage many projects simultaneously
  • Excellent interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and as a member of a team
  • Broad based computer skills, Salesforce experience a plus
  • An understanding of corporate timetables and expectations
  • Experience in nonprofit organizations and event planning
  • Ability to maintain own timelines and meet own deadlines
  • A flexible schedule
  • Good sense of humor

Being a project manager in my former career, I figure that I meet most of these qualifications, save the experience in non-profit organizations and event planning.  I know how tight funds are for non-profits, and I know I can learn how to plan events.  So why not apply for this position, even if it pays less that 50% of what I used to make?

I have a minor conundrum, a potential problem that may get in the way of me landing this position.  Although my resume can use the familiar version of my name, which does not indicate gender.  Like "Pat", the familiar version of my given name does not indicate whether I am a male or female. So how do I respond when/if they call to give me an interview?

This question has been posed to several people I know in the GLBT community, as well as GFJ, and I got the following two responses:
  1. Don't say anything, and go as Mario.  You (Mario) are different enough in appearance from Marian that no one will recognize you. (Bring up the issue of Marian later on.)
  2. You are very good at presenting as a woman.  If VNY is willing to hire you as a woman, then legalities are irrelevant.  You still have to give a valid social security number, and the associated record has M on it.  You can't hide that, but if VNY doesn't care, and everyone is open and up front, your willingness is the only impediment.  And you don't have to have surgery to make it "legal".
    For myself, I wouldn't maintain two identities.  If I couldn't see 7x24 transition -- not talking about surgery, just the transition -- I wouldn't go for it.  If I could see transition as possible, and I thought I could do the job, yes, I think I'd go for it, and use the new job to kick off my transition.

    This is an opportunity to transition WITH A JOB.  Right away that's a huge advantage that many transitioning people don't have.
As I write this, I'm not sure of what I'm going to do.  But I will send in a cover letter and (Non-IT) resume over the weekend and see if I get called.  If I were to get this position as Marian, it will be very interesting living most of my life in female mode. And each step I take along this path has convinced me that this is the direction I want to take.  But with each step, I know there will be some serious prices that I'll have to pay - and I'd better be sure that I want to pay them.

What are these prices, you may ask?  First, I'm not sure if GFJ would want to live with me if I were going out to work en-femme, then spending a good deal of my time socializing this way.  Would she be confident enough in her femininity to be comfortable with another female (albeit socially) in the same household?  Next, could my family deal with this?  (I wouldn't want to say anything to my 87 year old dad.  Transition would not take place until after he passes away.)  A while back, my brother and I joked a little about my chances for getting hired if I were female.  What would he say if I actually was working this way, and spending the bulk of my life as a female?  (And I'm not even talking about going through surgery, and "completing" my travels along my path.)  Could I afford to lose the few friends I have that know me only as Mario?  These are big prices to pay to be Marian!

Compared to many, I have it easy.  The person who gave me the advice to have VNY hire me as a woman said:
The harder question is whether you are willing to present as a woman for as much of the time as the job may require.

To me, this is the smallest price of all I'd have to pay.  I am comfortable presenting as a woman, and that includes both the niceties as well as the headaches of living as one.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Pot luck with the Whine and Dine folk

As the day began, I had several things on my plate:
  1. A "To Do" list which included setting up a sleep study after fits and starts.
  2. A chat with a fellow from a "coding academy" to see if it's worthwhile for me to attempt to get back into computer programming.
  3. An evening with the Whine and Dine gals, a pot luck supper at one of their houses.
Of these, the latter is the one I looked forward to most, as I could be Marian with the gals. 

- - - - - -

Setting up the sleep study has become a little bit of a surreal experience.  About 2-3 weeks ago, I called someone on a Wednesday, and emailed the information to her - and never got a call back. So after some delays, I am now confident that things are finally moving forward, and that I will soon have an appointment set up....

Next came the coding academy.  They have several programs - part time is the equivalent of a grad school course - and is priced accordingly. However, full time is much more expensive, and does not leave one any time to have a life.  At the age of 58, I'm not sure if I want to go through this hassle to get back into technology again.

One of my to-do list tasks was the payment of bills. OUCH!  I'll always be sensitive to money flowing out of my bank accounts, and lately, more so than before. At least I was able to save a bit of money over a long career, and will be able to get by for a while....

- - - - - -

In the past year or so, I've enjoyed my time out as Marian - and I have no reason to stop doing so.  If GFJ were to say to me: "Give up Marian, and I'll stay with you." - I would respond: "Sayonara."  There is too much of me that depends on my Marian persona that I don't want to give up.  Marian is more sociable, more caring, more nurturing, more authentic, etc. than Mario is.  About the only important things that Mario has is the default body configuration that makes it easier to function in this mode.

Tonight's visit to S's house (from the Whine and Dine) is a perfect illustration of the above point. When I arrived, I was warmly greeted by S and M.  (Please, no snickers from the Peanut Gallery.)  As other women arrived, I was treated much more warmly than I ever would had I been known as Mario.  And the occasional joke I made was enjoyed more, as it was not told to elevate myself in the group, but instead to bring an honest smile to their faces.  (e.g.: I told Groucho's joke about the "Secret to Marital Happiness," and it got them all laughing, as they expected something serious until I dropped the punch line on them.)

Unfortunately, WDJ didn't show up.  She may not have felt comfortable driving there on her own, or she may have had another more pressing priority.  Either way, she was missed by all. At least, I know that S invited her - or, that is what I was told by S.  I found it interesting that two of us brought cakes from the same bakery in Peekskill - it's a local not-so-secret of this area that Home Style Desserts bakes some fantastic goodies!

All too soon, it was time to leave.  M followed me out to Route 9, and then she was off to her house.  As for me, I got stuck behind a slow moving truck - but still got home in time to see my favorite check out lady at the A&P down the hill from me.  Hopefully, some information I gave her will get to the one non-management, full-time worker they have working there. (I won't go any further into this matter, as my advice involved seeing a lawyer if a certain event happened.....)

- - - - - -

Sometime tomorrow (as I write this), GFJ will be coming here from Connecticut, where she just attended her niece's wedding.  Until certain things are finalized, I have little reason to push her to introduce me to her family. But, if things haven't changed by the end of the year (or, next Summer if I change my mind on the timing of things), I may start looking for someone who even better fits my needs....

Friday, August 21, 2015

Volunteering and a Mission Impossible

No matter how old I get, I will think of this crew as the "Impossible Missions Force".  Tom Cruise is a pretty boy next to these TV veterans - and will never have the gravitas held by Peter Graves.  But TV and Movies are always recycling old successful ideas every generation or so, and our kids will likely think of Cruise when they think of the "Mission Impossible" franchise.

- - - - - -

Last night, I didn't get much sleep - and I'd have stayed in bed, except for two things.  First, I had to be at the GLBT Center for my weekly afternoon stint. And if this wasn't a good enough reason to get out of bed, I had my monthly visit from my cleaning lady scheduled for the afternoon. I set my alarms for 9:00 and 9:30, and hoped for the best.  Of course, I was moving by 9:00 - so I had some time to do a little more research for NPW before leaving for the GLBT Center.

Arriving at the GLBT Center, I found that they had no plan to use me today. So I got involved in looking up prices for donated books, separating those books that they could make a profit from selling online apart from those books that they might as well send to the dumpster or to the Salvation Army. Unfortunately, Kelly is back doing a Thursday volunteer date again, and her incessant talking was driving me nuts!  (She is well known for her ADHD, and could use a dose of Ritalin - but that's another story.) The director of the center sees the book processing as a waste of resources, and I think that she would love to kill it off. But she has to deal with her second in command, a man who is a pack rat - and does not know how to purge stuff that won't sell from the stuff that sells. Instead of letting Kelly determine the disposition of books that have little or no value, she delegated that task to me - and I got rid of 6 large garbage bags filled with unsaleable books.

Once I was done with the books, I proceeded to chat with the person who will be implementing their new contact/event management platform, and I showed her what I've done for NPW.  Although they will not spend the kind of money needed to buy the package we will likely use at NPW, they needed to know what could be done with similar products, so that they could "steal" some good ideas. (And in my case, I could show that I could do the work of setting up their future environment for them - this would look good on my resume.)  Hopefully, the employee in charge will use me as a resource on this project....

- - - - - -

When I was done, I had about 3 hours to kill before going to the Board Game meetup. So I ended up going to the Drafthouse and seeing "Mission Impossible".  As usual, It was a mind numbing way to kill some time - and the movie was a pleasant diversion. After the movie, it was off to play some games.  However, the hostess retired early, and I was in no mood to play the game that 4 out of the 6 of us were playing. And since my hip was bothering me, I figured that I'd sit on the sofa and chat while the game was being played.  However, by the time this game was done, it was 10:15 pm - and I wanted to get into the car early enough that I could chat with GFJ. So I apologized, mentioned my aching hip, and left early....

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A day spent at home (for the most part)

If I could have gone out this way today, I would have.  I was not in the mood to get dressed while doing work for NPW, and I did not need to go anywhere or do anything.

- - - - - -

Don't think I was completely idle today.  I spent several hours working on setting up the NPW environment in one of our potential vendors' systems, and learned a lot in the process. The decision will come down to 2 options:
  1. Choose the more powerful system, and spend a lot of time and effort (that we can ill afford now) to get something that exactly fits our needs for the long term.

    -- or --
  2. Choose the less powerful system, and with minimal effort, get the system we need now - even though we will need to migrate to an Option #1 solution some time in the future.
As much as I'd gain a lot from the experience I'd gain in choosing Option #1, I don't want to recommend it, simply because NPW is a very small non profit - only 1 employee and 2 volunteers.  And I think that the person I work with believes the same thing.

- - - - - -

One of the things GFJ has been nagging me about is scheduling my sleep study.  Well, I finally was in contact again - and I should have a date set sometime tomorrow - if I'm lucky.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get everything done, and get a device to end my snoring by the time that Lili and I go on our cruise in the Fall.

This will be my first real vacation in 2 years, and I'll be going - even though I don't have a job yet.  Like last time, I'll be cruising en-femme, and will not have any of my male wardrobe with me to fall back on. I will need to have an excellent feminine presentation to enjoy the 7 days on the ship - and I think this will not be a problem, as I now have 2 more years of experience in my feminine presentation.

- - - - - -

When I cruised with Lili, we had a different itinerary than with the cruise below.  Instead of stopping at Portland, we stopped in Bar Harbor - a nicer town in which to spend a day. In addition, the other cruise had a stop in Newport - a place I'd like to see again.  But why a stop in Portland, ME?  As I see it, Freeport, ME is only a short taxi (or bus) ride away, and there are a lot of people who would enjoy a day at the outlet stores there. 

Sun New York (Manhattan), NY
Mon At Sea

Boston, MA 8:00am 5:00pm
Portland, ME 7:00am 5:00pm
Saint John, NB, Canada 8:00am 4:00pm
Halifax, NS, Canada 10:00am 6:00pm
At Sea

New York (Manhattan), NY 8:00am

This cruise itinerary is repeated several times through the Fall on one cruise line.  Although the cruise line is not my favorite, for the price we'll be paying, it's perfect for our needs.  Lili will spend her evenings playing the slots and sitting at the blackjack and 3 card poker tables, while I'll cozy up with a good book before going to sleep.

- - - - - -

Now I have an interesting conundrum - something for which I need to make a decision within a week.  So I might be writing about the resolution to my dilemma before you get the chance to read this post.

Months ago, I visited a volunteer agency as a step on the way to get the volunteer position at NPW. Of course, I visited it en-femme. This volunteer agency has a position open (far from my former pay scale) that I'd be comfortable filling.  The big question is: Should I apply for the job, and then appear for an interview en-femme? There are enough potential complications between this opening and my presence at NPW that my dual gendered nature could be an issue.  But then, who knows?  Any ideas?