Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Did I sleep much? I'm not sure....

Although I won't have the results from the doctor until 10 days have passed, I feel that my second sleep test with the CPAP machine was a qualified success.  Hopefully, the doctor will agree with me....

- - - - - -

Yesterday, I spent my day doing mostly nothing, killing time before my sleep test.  Ideally, I would have gone and slept in my usual night wear - a comfortable short gown. But this would not have been either appropriate or useful during the sleep test, as some wires had to be threaded through my pant legs so that they could monitor what was going on by my lower legs.  So I made sure that I did my laundry, so that I had a freshly cleaned set of pajama bottoms to wear during the test....

Of course, just before I put the laundry in the washing machines (and before I removed it from the dryers 2 hours later) GFJ called to chat.  No, she had no idea of what was going on over here - it's the unusual coincidence that I often have of people calling me just as I'm about to do something important.  At least, I was able to get the laundry done with time to spare - even though I have a lot to fold and put away in my dresser drawers.

- - - - - -

When I got to the hospital, I knew the routine - and was ready for everything.  I had avoided both alcohol and caffeine for a full day, and was ready to fall asleep early.  I met a fellow there who had come to find out whether he could reduce the pressure setting on his CPAP, as he had an amazing improvement in his health over the past year (he lost over 100 lbs. simply by cutting out virtually all carbohydrates from his diet) - and he told me what he did to turn his health around.  (I may do the same soon - I'll miss things like pasta and bread, but I don't like the effects that carbohydrates have on me.)  And then it was time for our sleep tests....

I told the sleep technician that I wanted to start with the nasal mask first - and I'm glad I did so.  My breathing was much easier at rest, as both my sinuses and throat stayed open enough to allow me to breathe through my nose while at rest, instead of through my mouth - where normally I would have been snoring and have had problems due to sleep apnea. There was one problem - they did not have the chin strap I needed to keep my mouth closed, and this caused the technician to attempt to switch me to a nose/mouth mask after raising the pressure on the line.  As soon as I put the mask on, I knew I couldn't use it - breathing became uncomfortable, and my mouth was filling up with air.  Yes, I could breathe through my mouth with the mask on, but I'd have been very uncomfortable - and would likely stop using the mask because I'd never be able to sleep with it on.  So the tech put the nasal mask back on, and I was able to get some rest (if not sleep) during the rest of the evening.

Although I'll get the results back from the doctor in about 10 days, I expect that I'll be told that the CPAP has been approved, but to consider using the nose/mouth mask.  Consider, yes - but that's as far as it will likely go.  I was very comfortable with the nasal mask - but that's as far as I'll be able to go to get a healthy sleep.

- - - - - -

Once I was done with the sleep test, it was off to Mickey D's for some breakfast and coffee.  The coffee is what I needed most, as I had a laser appointment scheduled for later in the morning.  (Only after that could I risk sleep - I don't have anything on my schedule until the evening, when I see BXM.)  I tried calling GFJ once I had my coffee - but she must have been asleep.  Yet, by the time I got home, she was awake - as she sent several pictures to me via Facebook Messenger.

I wasn't sure until I got there, but this was my last laser treatment under the special I bought about 5 months ago.  And I think I got rid of the remaining dark hairs (for now) that appeared on my face.  (I'll also be glad not to go through this pain on a tri-weekly basis!)  On the way home, I got a chip in my car's windshield - on the passenger side.  As a result, I had a new chore to take care of - getting the darned thing fixed before the winter came.  So it was off to Safelite - where they completed the repair within an hour of my arrival.

- - - - - -

At this point, there was no longer a need for me to be en-homme today. So, it was off to the shower to remove the hairs on the rest of my body, then into Marian Mode for a bite to eat with BXM.  By the time I got to the Bronx, I was running on time - but I had to text BXM, so that we could find each other at the thrift store.  Although I found two pair of shoes that would fit me, I held off on buying anything there - as I didn't really need new shoes.

When we were done at the thrift store, it was back to BXM's house to feed her dad and pick up some clothes she had bought for me.  (Next time, I'll tell her to be more careful, as I'll need special shapewear to wear the one outfit that I noted in a prior entry.)  Once her dad was fed, it was off to a local Japanese restaurant to talk some more....  Only after we saw the last of the dinner patrons leave around 10:30 pm did we get the hint that it was time to go home. So I dropped her off, and drove home to get some (probably) less than restful sleep....

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sometimes, people just seem to call at the wrong time....

When one is out of work for as long as I have been, one notices the number of phone calls that are received on a home phone. And lately, with the exceptions of Lili and GFJ, the vast majority of them are from organizations looking for money.  However, the thing I've noticed most is the strange coincidence that these calls tend to come in while I'm watching a program (or movie) that I'm interested in.

- - - - - -

On Wednesdays (most of the time) and Thursdays, I go out to do volunteer work en-femme. Leave it to Lili to call when I'm trying to get showered, made up, and dressed to go out en-femme. She seems to have a habit of calling while I'm preparing to go out - as if she knows this part of my schedule, and is looking to disrupt it so that she could have a few minutes of company.

The other day, while watching an episode of "Fear the Walking Dead",  GFJ calls - just as the episode was getting interesting.  Now, of course, I'll have to wait until it's queued for on-demand viewing before I get the chance to watch the full episode. I know that GFJ is not trying to interrupt my enjoyment of this series, but sometimes, I'd like to ignore her call so that I can enjoy the show....

- - - - - -

This is the type of problem when one is always immediately connectable.  I hated wearing a beeper for this reason, and I hate giving out my cell phone number for the same reason.  I'm much more comfortable with being in asynchronous contact (email, texts, etc.) with people, simply because I am able to respond when I want to do, and not at others' immediate convenience.

Imagine what will happen when I'm working again, and en-femme.  Unless I'm carrying two cell phones, one for Marian and the other for Mario, then I might have a problem with someone calling me when out as Marian. I'm glad I didn't have to deal with this problem in the old job.

Tonight, I'm scheduled to take my second sleep test - this time with the CPAP in use, so that they can calibrate settings for me.  To allow myself to fall asleep and stay asleep, I'll be putting my phone into airplane mode.  Hopefully, this will prevent the last of possible interruptions that could cause me problems during the night....


Monday, September 28, 2015

A possible trip to Atlantic City

It's hard to believe that I'll soon be in Atlantic City again.  Given a choice between going up to see friends in the North Country (while en-femme) and being in Atlantic City with GFJ (while en-homme), what would you choose?

This is a harder decision than most people outside the TG community might think.  Being en-femme as Marian, is more authentic for me than being en-homme as Mario. If I had chosen not to go to Atlantic City, I'd have had almost a full week en-femme, with part of Friday being en-homme for a job fair in NYC. I'd have been able to get a Mani-Pedi on Tuesday, and still have good looking nails (in clear coat) for the whole week.  But I put a high value on romance, and GFJ and I do get along well.

I also had tried to schedule a meeting with another M2F transgender person for this upcoming Saturday before the trip to the North Country.  This person switched all legal identification from male to female several years ago, and has been living with full support from her family since then.  I'm hoping to reschedule this meeting for the weekend after I get back from Atlantic City.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get up to the North Country soon.  There are people I want to see again, and it will be a perfect time to get away from the house for a while.....

Sunday, September 27, 2015

GFJ meets Vicki

I've been trying to arrange a meeting between Vicki#1 and GFJ for months, and it finally happened. And as expected, both got along very well. 

- - - - - -

Vicki tends to be cautious about meeting new people.  There is a good reason for this.  A while back, Vicki and I used to be acquainted with a fellow who got himself in trouble with the law. Both of us bailed on this fellow, as he was a few french fries short of a happy meal. After meeting several of the girlfriends I've had over the years, Vicki tends to wait a bit - making sure of two things: (1) that the relationship has been there for a while, so she doesn't spend her time with someone who won't be around next time, and (2) that she has found out enough about the person to make it worth her while to potentially open up a new friendship.

Over the years, I've noticed something about how late middle aged women communicate - they often compare notes about the ailments they suffer and the medicines they take for that suffering.  I first noticed this when I was first widowed, dating a woman who was 15 years older than I was.  And I notice this now, when I'm with some middle aged women who are now my peers.  Vicki and GFJ were no exception to chatting about this topic, as they compared notes about the various ailments they suffered.  (By this time in our lives, I figure that the average person, male or female, is taking at least 5 pills on a regular, daily basis.)

The three of us had a great time, and we were surprised at how long we were chatting - Vicki was late for her return home to prepare her husband's dinner, which meant we were chatting for over 2 1/2 hours.  I'm pretty sure that the three of us will get together soon.  (And I'm pretty sure that my circle of friends considers GFJ to be a healthy addition to my life.)

- - - - - -

After Vicki left, GFJ and I did another set of laps around the oval in Yorktown before picking up food at Turco's.  Given a choice between the quality of meat at the local A&P and that at Turco's, I'd pick the A&P for my everyday eating, and Turco's for when I have guests over. But if I lived nearby, I'd be in that store almost everyday because of the pre-packaged dishes that I'd have a hard time replicating on my own.

Later on, GFJ and I went out again to see "A Walk in the Woods".  It's an enjoyable movie starring Robert Redford (who hasn't aged well) and Nick Nolte.  If you want an idea of what hiking is like - don't watch this film, as it is unrealistic.  However, if you want to glimpse a few beautiful sights along the Appalachian Trail - this is the film for you....


Saturday, September 26, 2015


I always expect a big dent in my wallet each time I have to replace the tires on my car.  When I last brought my car in for service, I was told that it's time to replace one pair of tires - and I was expecting to hear that the other pair to come on the following visit. Instead of buying replacements through the dealer, I figured that I could get a better deal by going to a place specializing in tires.  So this was on the top of my list of things to do today.....

- - - - - -

Today, getting up was an effort - I didn't feel like I had a good sleep, and I knew that I had to get moving early enough, so that I'd have enough time to take care of buying new tires AND anything else I might need to do - like laundry.  Although I finally got out of bed by mid morning, I didn't have any energy.  (I can't wait until the CPAP machine comes - I'll be a religious user, as I'm told I'll finally get restful sleep.)  At least, I was able to find my way to Mavis Tires before 3:00 pm....

I've always had good service at the Mavis on Route 6, so I figured that I'd go there again for my next set of tires.  The first question the salesman asked was "Do you want the same type of tires that are already on the car?"  (If I had bought my tires at the dealership, I'd have gotten the same tires by default- and they were only rated for 40k miles.)  However, I do something many people don't do - I buy better tires than what the manufacturer puts on the car, and get longer use from them for almost the same price.  (Why should I support the manufacturer's and dealer's low cost/high profit margin on tires?)  After waiting about 90 minutes, I was out the door - on tires which feel like they'll give me a much better ride than the ones that came with the car.

- - - - - -

When I got home, I received a series of texts from BXM.  It seems like she found a dress that she thought would look good on me - and bought it at her favorite thrift shop....

I am looking forward to seeing how this dress will look on me.  BXM says that she picked up another couple of things. And I can see how she deals with the stresses in her life - retail therapy.  Too bad I couldn't have been there to look at the outfit first.  If there's anything wrong with the outfit, the money is gone from our pockets, and we have nothing to show for it.

- - - - - -

Around 6:30, GFJ arrived - but we never made it to the health club.  Instead, we opted for a more leisurely walk around the track, followed by a light dinner.  By the time we got back home, we were both ready to fall out - and that's what I did.....

Friday, September 25, 2015

In the game of Musical Chairs, I got a seat in round one.

As I've mentioned in many posts, I've been unemployed for a while, and have been looking for a full time job for the past 16 months or so. The job that for which I had a phone interview almost two weeks ago called me back, and wants me to come in for an in-person interview!  It looks like I got a seat in this round of Musical Chairs....

- - - - - -

After receiving this bit of good news, it was off to the GLBT Center and an afternoon of volunteering.  Luckily, I didn't have to work with Kelly - she'd have chewed my ear off.  (She's a good person, but needs a dose of Ritalin, as well as something to keep her mouth from running a sub 4 minute mile.)  Instead, I was put in charge of figuring out how to get their new Smart TV to work *and* figuring out whether a problem they were having with a projector was caused by a setting or a hardware flaw.  Unfortunately, the problem with the projector was that of a hardware flaw - and they will need to send it in for service.

When I was done with the GLBT Center, I did a little window shopping before dinner at Smash Burger, and before going to play games.  (Although the standard Bacon Cheeseburger at Smash is quite tasty, they load up the burger with a lot of excess stuff, such as a mustard based sauce, that takes away from the overall flavor - which would be very good if it was a plain bacon cheeseburger.)  Would I go to Smash again?  Maybe.  But I'd be more careful in what I ordered.

- - - - - -

Arriving at game night for the first time in a month, I was the second (or third) person there. Shortly after I arrived, the rest of the gang came in - and we had two separate tables running two separate games.  It was a fun night - even though I lost in both games I played. And tonight, it felt like I was in a second home.....  

Alas, good things usually end way too soon - and such was my one full day in Marian Mode.  Tomorrow, I'll be out as Mario for a couple of days - at least until GFJ goes to dinner with her friends. And then, it'll be off to see BXM (if she's free), so that I can pick up something that she has bought for me.... 


Thursday, September 24, 2015

And now, a day completely en-homme.

There were only two things on my to-do list today - visiting my dad, and then going to a NYC PMI meeting.  If I had gotten up early enough, I could have also bought a set of tires - but I decided to stay in and relax.

When I got up and moving, I was about 1/2 hour behind schedule.  That was OK, as my dad was not in the mood to go out - he just wanted me to bring over a pizza, so that we could chat without him having to get out of his ratty jeans and into a clean pair for a trip to a restaurant. And that was fine with me....

Arriving at his house, I noticed that the doors were open - he wasn't using air conditioning. So I hoped that I'd be able to stay cool enough in order to avoid excessive perspiration, as I had to go to the PMI meeting later on.  We chatted for about 90 minutes, and then I drove to Astoria to park the car and take the subway into Manhattan.

One thing I hate about the parking meters in Astoria - they are credit card based, and sometimes have problems processing selected cards.  And that was the problem I had to deal with today - having had to try 2 cards before finding a 3rd card that worked for me. NYC should make a better effort to keep these machines in working order. But I was able to pay for my parking, and I made it into Manhattan 20 minutes earlier than expected.

Believe it or not, I was very glad to have made this meeting.  Even though I'd have rather been sleeping, I was able to stay awake because I didn't eat any of the sandwiches that they had out for us. (This is another reason why I know I need the CPAP machine for a better night's sleep.)  But even more importantly, I met a contact who gave me a good lead on a job.  There is a catch - I'd have to work in Queens, and would likely need to drive there.  I could do it if I had to - but do I really want to?????

I can't wait until tomorrow - I'll have a full en-femme day to enjoy.  And then, it's back to being a boy until the weekend ends....

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A day en-femme, and a night en-homme.

Today, my schedule was the opposite of yesterday - I'd start the day out en-femme, so that I could make my weekly visit to NPW. And then, I'd go home and change, so I could attend one of the two networking meetings at PMI that I'm scheduled to be at this week.

- - - - - -

Knowing that I'd likely wake up late, I made sure to set the alarms on my cell phone and tablet for the 8:30 time frame.  And as I wouldn't expect, I woke up a few minutes before the alarm. Taking it easy for a while, I ended up getting ready around 11:00, and proceeded to NPW at 12:30 - where I spent over 2 hours discussing what I did with the package, what could be done with the package, and what we'll be doing next.

Part of me is bothered a little that someone else is going to be roped in for the "look and feel" element of the web site. But I think it may be the right decision, as NPWJ wants to make the site look a little fancy - where I am a minimalist.  I err on eliminating clutter, making things easy to use.  This is the opposite of what most people do - but this is based on my experience in DP. We still have a lot to decide on before the system goes live. And as I said to NPWJ - "we're closer than we think, but further than we'd like."

Driving home from NPW, I noticed a traffic jam on Route 9a.  It seems like some motorcyclist got into an accident with a Tractor-Trailer and a generic automobile.  Given the position of the motorcycle, I'll bet that an investigation will be going on for a while....

- - - - - -

After I stripped off any traces of being Marian, it was time to go to the PMI meeting. It seems like more and more people are trying to enter the project management field these days, as I'm seeing a lot of inexperienced people at the PMI meetings lately. Given my relatively rookie status in the field and my personality traits, I'm wondering whether pursuing another PM spot was the right thing for me to do given market conditions....

I can't wait until my second sleep test.  Assuming I sleep well, I'll know why I've been feeling sleepy when I really want to be awake. And then, it'll be a wait for my CPAP machine - as I expect a delay from the time the results from the sleep test says I need a unit to the time I actually receive it.  And, I hope that by next month's PMI meeting, I'll be able to keep my eyes open through the whole presentation.....

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A day en-homme, and a night en-femme.

I have been running out the string of times I have left to see my therapist.  Each time I visit, he asks me if I have any worries or concerns about disconnecting from him after 14 years - and I say I have none.  Part of the reason is that he has helped me to grow over the past 14 years. And another part of the reason is that I have become desensitized to him and his style, and the law of diminishing returns seems to apply to his therapy.

Recently, I have done something very unusual for me - speaking out to an authority figure, and making that authority figure feel a little uncomfortable. In the past, I'd have held things in. But now, I was able to hold my own, and challenge him on several points - one of which is a world view that provides an excuse for other groups to hate a selected minority.

When we started talking, I mentioned that I had done some research into why Islam's prophet had a bug up his ass regarding the Jews, and didn't want to challenge him until I was sure of my research. Mohammad started hating the Jews once the Jews of Mecca refused to acknowledge him as "The Prophet".  My therapist mentioned that the Jews were hated over the centuries because they refused to give up their religion (true, and they make great scapegoats because of this), and because they accept and encourage abortion (a vicious untruth!)  His attitude on the abortion issue is radical, and it is affecting his reasoning.  I challenged him, noting that the orthodox provide for abortion for the health of the mother, and not as a form of birth control.  And we agreed to disagree.  But as he became more extreme, I became more moderate in my political beliefs - and knew enough that he was someone that I couldn't trust with my being transgender.

At least, before he leaves, he'll give me the names of two good therapists (both women) in the area.  One of them, he has had to use himself, for treating his son - and this is the one I may end up using, as SHE has her office nearby, and because I would rather trust a cisgender woman with my transgender identity than a cisgender man at this time.

- - - - - -

After my therapy session, I went home to relax for a few hours.  There was a message left on my machine from an agent who may be able to place me in a job.  He wasn't available when I returned his call, so I'll call him in the morning.  I still haven't heard from the hiring agent from the firm with which I had a phone interview on the 4th.  So I'll try to reach him tomorrow as well....

When it started getting dark, I decided to make a "Milk Run" to Newburgh, so that I could chat with my favorite saleslady, DD. So I changed into Marian, and headed up to the Newburgh Mall. I mentioned that WDJ was moving, and she asked me how to contact WDJ.  So I sent WDJ an email and a text message - neither of which were replied to.  (I hope things were all right with her.  But until I hear from WDJ, I won't assume anything.)  Although there was nothing I felt worth buying, I hung out for about 45 minutes while DD stocked the shelves with a new shipment of boots.  Then 9:30 came - and I was out the door....

- - - - - - 

Just before I started writing this entry, I got IM'd by Lili's Niece.  Becky is in the public eye, having a regular column published in a regional paper. But she is more known for her voice in the Transgender community - and I'll finally get the chance to meet her next week.  I'm looking forward to this....

Monday, September 21, 2015

Another Quiet Day - On the Putnam Rail Trail

The New York Central Putnam Division Rail Trail - a relatively easy scenic walk through Westchester and Putnam counties.  It's always a nice place to go for a walk when the weather is nice, and a go-to place for many people who live in the area.

- - - - - -

Over the past few weeks, Lili has been trying to sell me on the idea of visiting her at the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival.  She could have gotten free tickets for GFJ and I to attend this festival - but attending would have been geographically awkward for us, as it'd be a 90 minute drive for us to get there, and it would have forced us to get up and out of the house much earlier than we did on both Saturday and Sunday.

So what did we do instead?

The answer to this should be a little obvious - we took a long walk on the rail trail.  Normally, I choose places convenient to Routes 134 and 129.  Sometimes, I go a little further North on the line, and start from places in Yorktown.  But this time, we chose a point near the Granite Springs post office - and had a nicer walk than usual, in part because it's harder to find a place to park along the line in this area.

Before we started our walk, we had the pleasure of having a nice chat - and doing a little people watching, sitting in our car and observing a mother's interactions with her children. About 30-60 minutes later, we saw the same lady, as she was taking one of her children out to places unknown.

- - - - - -

When we were done, we ended up going to a local diner for dinner.  Slowly, but surely, GFJ is regaining her ability to eat a greater variety of foods.  But this won't get in the way of her upcoming visit for a colonoscopy, as her GI doctor wants to see if there is something in a new view of her intestinal tract that the previous GI doctor missed.

And again, all too soon, GFJ had to leave.  As for me, I got dressed for bed, and decided to take care of this blog entry before going to sleep....

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A quiet day inside the house

As I noted before, I am rarely en-femme when GFJ is at my place.  So, with the exception of the gender of one of the women above, this could have been a picture of us today - as we both ended up sleeping most of the day away, not getting out of the bed to eat until 5:00 pm.

It's rare that we are this inactive, but both of our general lack of sleep finally took its toll on us. But it provided us with the option of having a Jammie Day together, while the weather outside was less than optimal.  Yet, I know that we won't always be this lazy - GFJ has suggested that she buy her own local membership to the health club (that I should be attending), so that both of us could get a workout during the weekends we are together.

Previously, I've noted GFJ's GI Tract problems. Well, today, she finally made up for it - and I paid the price by eating a second meal when I wasn't hungry, then feeling bloated afterward. Hopefully, this won't become a regular occurrence.  However, she has her own Colonoscopy scheduled for October - and I hope that this helps the doctor figure out what is going wrong in her gut on a cyclic basis.

On the whole, I think that things are moving well between us. I just hope that the headaches stemming from her divorce in progress end soon - but slowly enough so that the two of us learn how to be comfortable with each other in stressful situations, and with enough time for me to pick up on any serious issues that should be deal breakers in a relationship....

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Another 9/11 anniversary, and traveling en-femme.

As I started writing this entry, it was Friday, September 11, 2015.  And if I were still working in Lower Manhattan, the annual memorial recitation of the victims' names would be a major distraction from getting any work done - many of the people still working in the building (after many rounds of layoffs) do their best to be elsewhere, so they can get their work done.  Of course, there are still a goodly number of people who still work in the building who were evacuated following the attack, only to be sited for months in overcrowded temporary locations.

Looking back on this date, I find it amazing how innocent most Americans were, and how insecure we were.  Up to Seprember 10, 2001, no one would think twice of being able to the arrivals gate to wait for incoming family and friends.  Much of our transportation infrastructure's design still reflects decisions made when all we thought we needed was minimal security.  Sadly, today's children will never know the relative innocence my generation grew up under.

- - - - - -

Why do I mention this?  What does it have to do with being transgender?

Well, most of us still travel, and some of us have had the pleasure of traveling transgendered.  (The highlighted link points to Kimberly Huddle's blog - a T-Gal who has flown a lot over the years, who I hope will be flying a lot again soon.)  I have had this pleasure, having taken a cruise while en-femme for a week.  And I choose not to give up to travel as I see fit.  Luckily, the National Center for Transgender Equality has posted a guide to travel for those with non-conforming gender presentations - a blessing for people like me, who need to know what our rights are before taking any risk,,,,

- - - - - -

Having traveled transgendered in my own right, I realize how careful one must be before deciding where to take a vacation, as well as what mode of transportation should be used. Currently, I still am legally male, and the pictures on my id show a bald middle aged male with a beard, and not the female with hair on top of her head and not her chin. So I can easily be harassed if the wrong people see my id. Hopefully, New York State will eventually allow people who hold valid drivers licenses with one presentation to also hold a separate state issued id card with photo depicting an alternate gender presentation. (I won't advocate for two legal ids - there are too many opportunities for fraud, and I'll accept an occasional embarrassment for society's rightful need to help prevent fraud....)

Soon, I hope, I will be taking an inexpensive vacation.  And I hope to be able to report another trip en-femme to you when I return....

- - - - - -

So, befitting the sad anniversary, here's a link to a song that says it all....

Gilbert O'Sullivan: "All they wanted to say."

Friday, September 18, 2015

The more I'm there, the less I feel I can contribute.

Lately, when I go to the GLBT Center to help out, the less I feel that I'm doing anything of value.  I see tasks that have been on their list for months, but have never gotten started due to institutional inertia - and no one asks why things can't be done better or faster.

Today, I was assigned the task of sending out a flyer to people who'd be interested in a 1/2 day forum on Transgender issues.  And thinking about how things are done at the center, much seems to be done in a bass-ackward fashion.  If an organization plans an event with external (to the organization) speakers, they should also be planning their publicity for that event long before the event is scheduled.  One can't afford to risk scheduling an event, have the speakers on site, and have no one in the audience.  And I didn't have an email list to work from - we just guessed at people who might be interested in coming to our event, and sent emails, hoping that some people would come to this event.

I was very surprised to find out the only list they had of college councilors may have been on their old email system - and it was lost to the world. A non profit's greatest asset is its collection of mailing lists - and the GLBT Center didn't have a clue about who should be contacted to publicize an event related to the Transgender community.  Contrast this to NPW, where NPWJ is very careful to take care of her email lists (as clumsy as this process is today).  I feel much more confident in NPW's ability to publicize its events - and prefer working with them....

- - - - - - 

When I was done at the GLBT Center, I drove home and changed clothes.  Instead of a T-Shirt and a denim skirt, I changed into a pair of dressy slacks and a pretty blue top.  This way, I'd feel much more comfortable blending in with other women, as I doubted that I'd see any other ladies in skirts or dresses on a rainy day. (I was wrong, but I'm glad I changed into what I wore to the Whine and Dine.)  And this time, I got to the restaurant on time!

There were only 4 of us at the table when I got there, and the background music came from a guitar player who over amplified what was being picked up by his microphone.  Although he wasn't half bad, and his choice of music wasn't upsetting, his volume made it very hard to chat.  So I had a much harder time chatting than I normally would.

When things broke up, I figured that I'd meet Patty and Steve (we agreed to meet after dinner via texting) for dessert.  However, Patty was on a later train than expected, so I killed some time by shopping in Walmart for some feminine items. And then it was a trip across the street to wait for Patty and Steve....

- - - - - -

This was the first time I met either one of them since Patty's mom died.  I certainly wasn't going to talk about anything private with Steve around. But we had a great chat, and Patty told me that if she sees a job posting that she thinks I'd be qualified for, that she'd pass it along to me. And all too soon, the day had to end.  It was just as well - It was time for Patty to snuggle up next to Steve, and for me to get home and snuggle with a pillow.  (GFJ will be down tomorrow....)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

I got dumped ...on, and I'm glad it happened.

Today, I found out that GFJ has become comfortable trusting me with significant details of her life - and it's a good thing.  However, this comes at a cost to her that I'd never ask - trusting me with details of the latest headache that she has to deal with from her slow moving divorce.

- - - - - -

Although I was at NPW today, I won't talk much about it, as there was nothing newsworthy about my visit - I got to meet the new employee, and showed everyone what we've accomplished so far with the new environment. I have work to keep me going until next week - and not much more to say about what I'm doing.

After I left NPW, I drove down to Yonkers via the Saw Mill River Parkway. When I got to Jackson Avenue, the road was blocked - Con Ed was doing repairs to some of their lines, and had to block traffic on the road.  This is a major headache, as one either had to go up to Ardsley or down to Tuckahoe Road to get to the other side of Yonkers.  Yours truly did something different - I was able to drive through the cemetery and go around Con Ed's work site.  I did a little window shopping at The Avenue, and found a pair of shoes that looked good, felt good, but I didn't feel like spending any money on.  Then, I returned to the same area (where the road blockage was still going on), so that I could go shopping at Stew Leonard's.

Leaving with a pound of frozen King Crab legs (cheap!), I rushed home - and had a nice meal  (too bad I forgot to melt any butter - the crab legs needed it), then decided to rest for a while.  Eventually, I got in the mood to go out - and called GFJ on the way to Walmart.

- - - - - -

I'm not at liberty to say much about GFJ's situation, but I can say that her Wasband is a narcissistic person, and that he has tried to hurt her by lessening the value of the joint marital assets that would be divided in a divorce settlement. Today, GFJ found out that certain papers were taken out of a locked cabinet, and she was livid.  Until the judge grants her exclusive possession of the house, the only safe place for her to store personal items is in her car - something I wouldn't recommend except in a pinch and only for the short term. GFJ needed to vent, so she vented first to a group of friends, who themselves are undergoing divorces, and then to me.

To give you an idea where some of the marital assets likely went, I must note that the Wasband was a very frequent visitor to a couple of Atlantic City's Casino/Hotels. And he had a very nice comp status at both of these properties. So, while GFJ spent a nice weekend kayaking with some women, he may have felt that he had a right to make her unhappy (like a little child) by ransacking the contents of the aforementioned cabinet.

- - - - - -

GFJ's group of in-progress divorcees is an interesting bunch.  Sadly, I'm not at liberty to tell any of their stories. But I must say that the men from whom they are detaching give the male gender a bad name.  What's worse is how slowly the wheels of "justice" are turning for these women.  In one case, the divorce has been granted, but nothing is final. The woman waiting for her settlement has been waiting for months, and nothing has happened.  Slowness in the courts is denying these women their rights - and there's nothing that can be done about it.

I only hope that GFJ can get her case moving again....

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Another - "Look, Ma - No Cavities!"

Another day en-homme.  Although I did go to the dentist today, I avoided going to see my dad because of what likely is record breaking heat.  And given that the thermometer in my car read 98 degrees, it didn't make sense for me to switch into Marian mode after visiting my dentist.

- - - - - -

Strangely enough, as long as I take reasonable care of my teeth, I seem to be able to get out of my dentist's office with a minimum of expense.  Although I no longer have dental insurance from my old firm, I will likely save money, given how little the dental insurance reimbursed me for my procedures.

When I entered the office today, I had to wait a bit, as the hygienist was backed up with one of her patients. Once it was my turn to have my teeth scraped, I walked to the back room, chatted a bit, and showed her a picture of me that was taken in June at BXM's cousin's wedding.

She was very impressed - the more I go out in the world en-femme, the less of a masculine aura I am able to transmit.  This couldn't make me happier.  And then it was time for the teeth scraping. Once done, I ended up having to wait again.  Another person was in front of me, and the receptionist had to spend about 15 minutes taking care of this person before getting around to me.  Thankfully, all I had to do was pay my bill - my next appointment was already set up.

- - - - - -

After the dentist, it was time for lunch - and then to the house, were I did some laundry.  Although I could have made the time to go out in Marian Mode, I chose not to - as it was still too warm outside.  This is just as well, as I had the chance to look at what was happening on my account.  And it appears that two people wanted to make contact with me as pen pals - including a 40 year old transgender (M2F) who has been living the last 7 years of her life as a female.  (I wonder how her family took it, and I wonder how their child is adusting to having two mommies....)

- - - - - -

Later on in the evening, after laundry, I had a text chat with GFJ.  And amazingly enough, she would have been comfortable if I were to cruise with another of my female friends while I was in Marian mode.  In many ways, this surprises me.  But she noted that I have always been open about my friendships in female mode, and that she is comfortable with me being with them as a female, as you can see in an edited version of our chat below:

Me: I have a question - Cruise may open up for me to go alone. But I'd have to spend $1500. Should I?? Looking to bounce a few ideas off you and see if something makes me feel better... 

GFJ: You have worked hard all your life and you deserve to enjoy life while you can. We aren't getting any younger

Me: Yes - chatted with my brother - he advised against it. I've been looking to go away for some time.... And I have a lot of money going out.....

GFJ: I hate to say it but you could be spending the money on medical bills. You need to laugh and enjoy life. Does your brother go out and enjoy life?

Me: Not as much as he should. But then, he spent a lot drying out his wife.... Lost a lot of time because of her.

GFJ: My point exactly. Go for it with gusto. Just like me going away this weekend. I may never have this opportunity again The weather was perfect

Me: That's also why I ask you... This would be a Marian cruise.

GFJ: I am fine with that. You have worked very hard at perfecting Marian, she too deserves time to relax.

Me: I had another friend (female) who would be interested in the cruise, but unless you were comfortable I'd pass on suggesting it seriously. You being comfortable with Lili is a lot.... And I am grateful.

GFJ: Tell me a little about this other person.

Me: BXM  is about our age - lost her boyfriend a year or two ago. Only knows me as Marian. Very grief struck.... I have no physical interest. Like the friendship, but she's not my physical type - way too thin.... Taking care of dad with ********  As I said - I wouldn't suggest it seriously unless you were comfortable - would prefer to go alone, than for you to feel uncomfortable.

GFJ: I am fine with it. I didn't answer you right away, Son called me. It would be nice for you to travel with someone. Someone to share things with. We are not 18 any more. I understand about good friends that are male and female. I hang out with friends and expect only friendship.

Me: OK - I was very concerned that I made you unhappy. To me, I'd rather build/maintain a solid, honest relationship with you than to cruise with any friend.

GFJ: So you don't like skinny girls. I figured that out already Lol. I was at the winery one day sitting with 2 friends at the table. One guy was watching the 3 girls at the next table and they were in their 20's. The other guy said they were too skinny and he has a daughter that age. He said he likes women mature and meat on them to hug.

Me: And I love the meat on your body!!!! I once dated a woman who could have been a trophy wife. She was way too thin for me.

GFJ: We both had a life before we met You have been very very good and understanding of my uncoupling with the Wasband and my sons. 

Me: Thank you... I know that your uncoupling has and will take up a lot of time. It can be a little unsettling on my end, but I accept that to be with you. Yes, we both have had a life - and it's because of that life, I think, we find each other worth the effort to be with. 
Me: BTW - W&D on Thursday again at Grand Centro. Want to see if WDJ is going, as this would be the last week she would likely be able to make it before moving. 

GFJ: See I am fine with WDJ too. You are open and honest about it and I don't see her as a threat. I understand that you have female friends, too.
GFJ: We have talked about this before and you also accept the fact that I like to go outdoors and do things.

Me: Thanks.... Yes, I am open. My dad taught me well. Years ago, he invited a woman for a business lunch. (Dad was a salesman.) She called up my mom (who used her maiden name in business) to find out whether dad was on the level - and that this was a business lunch.  Mom said - It is a business lunch - you can count on it. The woman asked, how do you know? And mom said - he cleared it with me before talking with you. I'm his wife.....

GFJ: Yes he raised you well. 

GFJ: Actually it will work out well. I have 2 functions on your cruise date.. A hike in the morning and a dress up function for my meetup group at night.  GFJ: You will have to warn your friend about the snoring. 

Me: I would... must find out whether she can make it. (She has several issues which could prevent this from happening.)  
As you can see from this chat, GFJ is a keeper!   About the only thing that she doesn't know is that I attended BXM's cousin's wedding as a guest. I did nothing there that I should be ashamed of, so this is not a problem for me.  (In retrospect, I should have told GFJ about the wedding. But it was a rare chance to get gussied up as Marian and go out as such.)  But it does make things slightly more complicated - and I don't like complications in this area....

The way I'm feeling, I'm not sure if I'll drop the hammer and go on the cruise.  Even if I decide to do so, the cruise may not be available.  And this may be just as well....



Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Another day doing nothing - but at least I got out....

While I'm sitting in my apartment, GFJ was basking upstate with this view.  Where would you rather have been?

- - - - - -

My original plans called for a potential meetup with Vicki for coffee or something.  But, I forgot that on Mondays, even holiday Mondays, she goes out with her dad.  So I took it easy again, knowing that I'd have to deal with hot weather outside - something I detest.  Even with all this, I decided to go out around dinner time - just to get out of the house.

Once I was out the door, I met a couple of people (one of which is on the co-op board) with whom I've chatted extensively, and we gabbed away for about an hour.  Of course, this made it impossible for me to stop in at one of the regional malls for window shopping. So, I ended up taking a ride to Stew Leonard's in Yonkers.  One problem - Stew's closed early for Labor Day, so I ended up going to a nearby ShopRite for groceries.

On the way home, I called DCD - and we were chatting all the way back...  It seems like his parents were hedging their bets (with advice they gave him), by chatting with the to-be ex behind his back.  (DCD has access to one of his parents' email accounts - and was able to read ALL the exchanges between them and his to-be ex and to-be ex-MIL and find out what their key concerns were - thinking if DCD lost, his parents would lose THEIR visitation rights to their grandchildren.  How screwed up can you get?  If I recall correctly, grandparents' visitation rights have been established in most states in the USA, including all of the 13 original states.

- - - - - -

As troubled as my relationship with my late wife was, I'm glad it wasn't tainted by a divorce. In my case, I would have felt very guilty had I found out that my wife had to suffer through cancer alone because we had gotten divorced. In DCD's case, he's dealing with a cluster-fuck of people and their misconceptions of reality. Hopefully, he will be able to find truly gainful employment before his to-be ex crashes and burns.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Jammie Day! Jammie Day!

I wish I could look as good as this lady in her pajamas. But today's theme is one of relaxation - doing nothing, when I had nothing better to do.

- - - - - -

Today would have been perfect for me to have done some of those "Sunday Only" type of things, such as going to the local church in Marian mode.  However, I had no energy to do much of anything today, and missed the opportunity that won't arise until GFJ is away doing other things on a Sunday morning.

However, this was a day dedicated to relaxation.  Although I have laundry to do, it will likely wait until tomorrow or Tuesday, as I'd have had to get dressed before going to the shared downstairs laundry room. And, given that I wasn't bothering to get dressed, I wasn't likely to add much to the laundry bag, save some minor items.

- - - - - -

One of the things I like about Jammie Days is that I can stay dressed how I want - comfortable - until I am ready to go out.  And this means that I'm usually in some form of cotton nightie all day - until I take my shower.  When GFJ is around, I'm stuck in Mario mode.  But when alone.....

But it can get too easy getting used to being relaxed all day.  Things get left undone, and one gets into bad habits.  I've noticed that I have gotten a bit more lazy than I have been in the past, and fear what will happen when I am working again.  The other day, I was asked (in a phone interview) about why I've been unemployed for so long. And I had to answer that what I had to sell wasn't what the market was buying. Yet, I made sure to mention that I volunteered at two non-profits to keep my mind from getting lazy. (And to a big degree, this is the truth - I do need some external influence to keep doing the right things in life.)  Hopefully, the interviewer was happy with my answers, and will call me back for a face-to-face interview.

- - - - - -

One thing disturbed my restful day - Lili.  In order to take advantage of a more favorable residency status in Connecticut for purposes of attending Medical School, her son married his long time girlfriend.  One problem - her son spent way too much money on a wedding ring, and Lili went "all in" to make sure that the ring's purchase wasn't made final.  As one would expect in matters like this, there was a lot of angry talk, and Lili again was not talking to her son.  (This has happened several times in the past, and Lili has always capitulated - giving her son what he wanted.)  In this case, Lili didn't back down (....yet), and she did try to reach her son - but he hasn't been answering her calls. So she called me, and wanted for me to call him on my other line while she was on the call.  This presented a nasty problem, as I didn't want to get in the middle of their argument.  So I said that I'd call her son, chat with him for a while, and then call her with the results.  Well, her son and I had a nice chat - but he doesn't want to talk with her for a while - yet might be willing to talk in a few days.  Lili couldn't wait to call back - and I let her call go to voicemail while on the phone with her son. Once I was done, I called her back - then told her that he's out of town hiking (true), that he was busy with things for med school (true), and would be available towards the end of the week.  She was very unhappy, but I stayed out of the middle, yet got her the information she needed without ruining my relationship with her son.

- - - - - -

On the whole, this was a good day to recharge.  When the work week begins, I'll have to make some calls in regard to a second sleep test, see my dentist, and take care of things like buying a new set of tires for my car.  (I hope that new job comes soon - I hate draining savings!)


Sunday, September 13, 2015

An afternoon with Helen

Sometimes the past has a way of interfering with a friendship.  In the case with Helen and me, we had a past, and she didn't want to risk reopening a part of it that was a mistake for the two of us. I'm not going to discuss our past, save that we were both widowed at the same time, and we've maintained a friendly relationship over the years.  She had some trepidation when she accepted my invitation to meet me in Mamaroneck for lunch, but I made sure it was at a public place that I was very familiar with (la Herradura restaurant) from my days working nearby.

- - - - - -

Shortly after we met today, I made sure to tell Helen that I wanted to meet only as friends - and that put her very much at ease.  She was not familiar with Mexican food, so I gave her some ideas of what to eat - and we both chose Fajitas - the easiest thing for her to get a handle on, and the least challenging thing for her taste buds.

We had a great conversation, and I think both of us were very surprised at how easily our chat flowed. She was impressed with my femininity, and said that I transmitted a very feminine aura.  We were relating to each other as two females, and not as a male and female who had a past that we wanted to put behind us.  In fact, our chat flowed so well, that we almost missed the time on our parking meters - and we put another couple of coins in the meters before having dessert (Gelato) at Sal's down the street.  Again, our chat flowed very well, and we again decided to continue our conversation by going to the nearby Starbucks for coffee..  Eventually, our chat had to end, and we both went our separate ways.  Hopefully, the two of us will meet again soon - and chat as the best of female friends! 

- - - - - -

As much as I could have other things today (such as see Lili), I felt like I needed the rest of the day to myself - and I vegged out at home.  Tomorrow, I hope to be able to get together with Vicki#1 for a while - and maybe find something else enjoyable to do....