Thursday, June 30, 2016

New Yorkers have heard of the sick passenger on the subway. Now, I've seen him.

On the way home from work tonight, I saw this commotion at Times Square while I was trying to reach the shuttle to Grand Central.  This gentleman had a bunch of EMT's around him as well as a few policemen from NYC Transit helping to keep order.  Of course, this meant that there was no one to tell us that one of the three shuttle trains between the two stations was not working, and that the mass of people had to find room for half again as much people as a train would normally carry between the two stations.

Reaching home, I decided to see Lili before she went away on a vacation to Europe.  Even she sees that I am totally exhausted at the end of the day, and told me to go home rather than stay around keeping her company.  This is just as well, as I was ready to fall out when I got home - but decided to find the energy to write this entry before passing out.

Of course, as luck would have it, when I sat down in the chair by my computer desk to write this entry, one of the wheels cracked - and I'll probably replace the chair instead of trying to find a replacement wheel. The armrests are shot, and it doesn't give me the support I need any more. So it's much easier for me to buy a good replacement instead of throwing good money after bad.

I can't wait until tomorrow when I can go out with the ladies again.  It'll be nice to be in Marian Mode one more time, and it'll be nice to be with a new group of women.

PS: The fellow in the picture was able to sit up by the time I left the station.  I hope he's OK now.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer, and I'm stuck wearing trousers

This lady looks very comfortable.  And it is on warm days like this that I strongly wish I had been born with XX chromosomes. Alas, that's part of being transgender - dealing with the many disadvantages of having a woman's brain in a male body....

- - - - - -

This is the time of year that it is comfortable to be outside, as the temperature is warm and humidity is not oppressive.  It will not last long, as New York City becomes Hazy, Hot and Humid from the end of June to the beginning of September. And it is very nice to see most of the younger women working there wearing their skirts and dresses.  (Yes, I love to look at a woman's legs.)  

The subway is starting to become oppressive, but I only have to deal with a 3 minute headway between trains, so the heat isn't that bad yet.  When I get off the train, the morning temperature in Lower Manhattan isn't that bad, so I usually make it in to work without smelling like I just visited the gym.  But this will not last.

Today, I arrived at the office a half hour earlier than usual, as I had to attend a meeting to discuss a change I was putting in for a client.  This meeting went well, and I was able to take care of a few other things until afternoon came.  And then... I had to get together with another analyst, and I got frustrated with her - and my voice got louder than I wanted.  (I have to watch out for that.  It can be a career killer!)  But we got back to work and did one of the things our boss wanted us to do. 

- - - - - -

Once done with that task, we called it a day - and I boogied off to a co-op board meeting.  HWV enjoyed the picture I took of her.  And when our managing agent came, I said that she should see the picture.  So, after the meeting, we showed her the picture and mentioned that she's smiling because of something other than the flowers in the picture.  I gave her one clue about where we were when the picture was taken - HWV was about to have an Orgasmic experience.  Our managing agent still had no clue, so I did my best "Meg Ryan" - and she was clueless.  It was only when I mentioned it was where "Harry Met Sally" that she had the remotest idea of a clue.

HWV and I will get together soon.  And we may meet at my place of work when her family comes to town, as the South Street Seaport is next door.  I'm looking forward to this summer event....


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Getting home and resting

I don't always have much to say, and today was another one of those days where much time was spent, and nothing was left to show for it.

- - - - - -

When I went into work today, I knew that I had to take care of something at the top of my boss's priority list.  We have a client meeting on Wednesday, and he asked me to get updates to a document taken care of by mid-day on Tuesday, so that he could review it before the client meeting.  I hope my edits meet with his approval.  What I didn't expect were tasks for another two clients dropped in my inbox.  I'm happy to get this work, but I will need to ask a couple of questions of my boss before actively working on these clients' needs - and one can be (and must be) taken care of before Independence Day weekend.

Without him being there, I knew that I could leave "on time" for a change, and get home by 7:30.  One question occurred to me.  Do I want to go out en-femme to do a little bit of shopping?  Or, do I want to stay home and relax?  Staying home was what I did.  After several days in a row where I got too little sleep, I figured that I needed the option to sleep early.

Arriving home, I found that my new insurance company is nicking me much more than they should for my CPAP machine.  (This is a problem when one switches carriers before the old insurance firm pays for the equipment, and the user of the equipment has to pay twice.)  I'll have to contact them to determine what has to be done, as I was halfway through a rental agreement, and I need to know what my current responsibilities are.  AARGH!!!   At least I have the cash to buy the machine outright....

- - - - - -

After settling in for the night, I decided to shop for a Mastectomy Swimdress.  Although it is still five months until I cruise with Lili, I should buy the swimsuit and swim forms now - and have them ready when I need them.  There was only one site that carried the swimsuit I wanted in my size, and I'll end up spending an extra $30 to get this swimsuit than if I could buy it in another size from another vendor. Of course, I need swim forms, and that will also set me back a pretty penny.  At least, the Breast Form Store  has what I want at a reasonable price.  I'm certainly not going to buy them locally, and pay twice as much for the same items.

- - - - - -

Thinking about Lili....

She's going to Europe with her Son and Daughter in Law.  Hopefully, she'll have a great time.  She would like to see me before she leaves, but I really don't have the energy to do so.  If I'm lucky, I might find some time to stop by on Wednesday.  If not, she'll have to wait.  Although I haven't seen her in a while, it's time that I see her soon.  She realizes that I have virtually no time anymore for being en-femme, except on Thursday nights, and when GFJ's away.  In a way, this is just as well, as it prevents me from being in the codependent relationship that would put my relationship with GFJ at risk.

- - - - - -

Right now, GFJ is in Seattle, and will soon be on her way to British Columbia.  Hopefully, she's having a great time, as this may be her last chance to do so before she has to work a "real job". Before she left, we had a nice chat, and acknowledged that going to places like Atlantic City are not that good for her. This confirmed my suspicions about how she earned all of those comps at the two casinos - she got bored, and gradually developed an interest in the flashing lights, loud noises, and random payouts found at the slot machines.  Now, I know that any vacation (or weekend getaway) we take must avoid places where gambling takes place. She may not be an out of control addict, but she recognizes that casinos trigger her to keep betting long after she should stop.  (You can see why I do my damnedest to randomize my play, and rotate among machines to keep from being programmed by them to keep spending money.  It's a bug worse than overeating, and I don't want that to become a new addiction for me.)

- - - - - -

I will go to bed early for a change, and hope that I have enough rest to make it through the day.  There is a co-op board meeting tomorrow, and we will be discussing some sensitive topics. (I can't say more than that.)  So, I want to have as much energy as possible going into this meeting, as I must be able to make the best decisions possible....

Monday, June 27, 2016

The most confusing day in some communities.

If you haven't heard the joke, it goes:

      Q: "What is the most confusing day in 'xxxxxxxx'?"

      A: "Father's Day!"

Well, there was no confusion for me today, but a hell of a lot of traffic to deal with, coupled with a minor GI tract ailment that took care of itself late in the afternoon.

- - - - - -

Last night, I got home late from the play, and didn't get to sleep until well after 3:00 am.  Of course, waking up at 7:00 am was a curse, and I made the mistake of removing my elephant before going back to sleep.  So I felt like I needed much more sleep when I started to get ready to see my dad. 

The traffic was terrible getting to Long Island, and I didn't reach my brother's house until 2:30 pm. Even then, my dad wasn't ready to go out to the diner (he wasn't dressed yet), so we gave him 45 minutes.  By the time we picked him up and brought him to the diner, it was about 4:00 pm.  My dad looks horrible, as he hasn't been eating much in a while.  By past standards, he looks emaciated, and this may also be a factor why his memory is failing.

Just after dinner, my GI tract wanted to tell me who is boss, and I was lucky to have a clean rest room nearby.  But once I was done, I felt comfortable enough to go out to J.C.Penney and pick up some clothes for Mario.  (I wish I could have been in Marian Mode, as there was a Catherine's "almost" across the street from Roosevelt Field.

Getting back from Long Island was terrible. If I had been able to get home quickly, I might have gotten into Marian Mode and called Lili.  But I didn't have plans for this, and was glad I didn't, as I only made it home around 8:00 pm.

- - - - - -

Could I have used more Marian time this weekend?  Yes.  But at least, I had a great night out on Saturday....

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A very busy day that started with a sad elephant.

I'll say she is....  

That's an old expression from the 1920's, and it is also the name of the Marx Brothers'  first Broadway play - something which hasn't been seen since 1924.  And tonight, it would be the high point of the day.  

- - - - - -

But first....

When I got up this morning, GFJ was laying in bed next to me.  My CPAP machine wasn't happy - it was reading a red, unhappy face because of the leak coming from my nasal mask.  Luckily, GFJ's machine had only happy faces - she had a good seal for her evening's sleep.  This was GFJ's last full day in New York before going on vacation to the Pacific Northwest.   Part of me wanted her to stay, and another part of me wanted her to leave - so I could change into Marian Mode for the rest of the day.  She recognized my conflicting needs (as well as her need to get everything ready for her trip ASAP), and left the apartment at 11:00 am.  This allowed me to get into Marian Mode and out the door by 1:15 pm, so that I could drive most of the way to New Haven - and buy the dress in my size that I tried on the week before.

I should have been in a rush to get out the door and I should have avoided the Connecticut Turnpike like the plague.  Not only was traffic jammed most of the way through Fairfield County, but I wasn't driving that well - I was being distracted and could have easily gotten into an accident had I been following cars any closer than I was doing.  By the time I made it to Catherine"s, it was almost 3:30 pm, and I was going to be late for my engagement with HWV for the evening. At least they had the dress - and I was able to snag it before it left the clearance rack.

On the way back home, I was doing 70+ on the Merritt Parkway.  But I wasn't driving that much faster than the traffic around me.  And I was able to make it home by 5:00 pm, about 30 minutes later than planned. So I called HWV, picked her up before stopping back at my place, and off we went into NYC.

We talked about many things, one of which was how being transgender affects so many parts of my life.  And this was good, as we got stuck in traffic jams on the way down to the theater.  We ended up finding a local parking lot which was charging an exhorbitant price for parking - but even at that price, it was cheaper than having taken the train and much more comfortable given the temperature outside.

Not having that much time for dinner, we stumbled into the first place that looked appetizing - and had a meal which was better than our surroundings.  Although I can't remember the name of this place, I'll be sure to pick up a card the next time I'm in "Alphabet City".  Luckily, this place was less than a block away from the theater, and we got there just before the show started.  We had to "Settle" for a pair of far right side front row seats - for which the only obstructed view was when "Chico" played the piano.

If you have a chance to see this play before it close on July 2nd, do so.  I'm glad I saw it when it was staged as part of the NYC Fringe festival, and am glad I had the chance to see it again with full staging for its one month run.  The fellow playing "Groucho" did a good job in his role, and did ad-libs appropriate for modern times - such as noting that when he was dressed as a fairy, that there are some bathrooms in North Carolina that he'd have trouble using.  What surprised me most was that all of the "Brothers" could play musical instruments when called for, and that the person playing "Harpo" actually could play the harp.  As much as I think that the staging of the "Cocoanuts" I saw 19 years ago was better, I think the effort put in by these people was more on target - as "Harpo" did his best to channel as much of the real Harpo as he could.  

One thing of note before I leave the theater...

While some orchestrated mayhem was going on onstage, we had some plastic fruit tossed our way from the stage.  I had some fun, and tossed back a couple of apples - but not in a way to disrupt the mania we were watching.  A couple of minutes later, "Groucho" mentioned us (two ladies) in one of his ad-libs.  It's nice being seen and treated as a lady....

- - - - - - 

Leaving the theater, we both wanted some dessert.  So we ended up at the Remedy diner on Houston street - where we both enjoyed a nice dessert.  But this wasn't the end of our night.  We still had to make it over to Katz's so that HWV could pick up a pastrami sandwich that could feed her for 2 days.

Trust me, HWV is not smiling because of the flowers she is carrying.  She bought them, and simply loves having flowers around the house.  No, she is smiling because the man behind the deli counter is carving up some of the tastiest food you'll ever get in a New York City deli.

Trust me, the pastrami tasted better than this left over slice looks.  I should have bought a pound while I was there.  

- - - - - -

By the time we got back to our car, it was about 11:30 or so.  Since neither of us were yet ultra tired, I decided to show her where I worked.  And then it was time to drive home - I'll bet that she fell out within 5 minutes of entering her doorway.  But I know we'll do excursions like this again.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

My closet runneth over....

Over the past few years, I've made regular additions to my female closet, while neglecting my male closet.  This is quite understandable, as I've had 58 years to perfect a male wardrobe, and less than a 10th of that to perfect a female wardrobe.  I've made mistakes, but have developed a style that leans towards wearing skirts dresses in many informal situations.

Today's woman leans towards wearing trousers more than I do.  Why?  They are very convenient - for example, a woman never has to worry about a pant leg being caught in a breeze and exposing her underwear. But this means that she surrenders one of the most feminine of garments to convenience.

The other day, I started moving winter clothes to my closet from storage containers, and placing my summer clothes into those newly vacated containers.  There was a large number of winter weight dresses in those containers, including sweater dresses that can only be worn when the weather is cold. This caused me to realize how many garments I've bought in the past few years and how little I really need to buy - unless I want to start wearing women's trousers in the winter.

But what are the remaining gaps in my feminine wardrobe (and accessories)?

For the most part, these gaps are relatively small and minor.  Although I own a pair of women's snow boots, I've yet to buy a pair of women's rain boots because it is hard to find an affordable pair in my size.  Next, I really should get a mastectomy swimsuit (as well as swim breast forms) - or, convert the regular women's swimsuit I own to have pockets for swim breast forms. Then, I could use a few long tunics - which would make it much more comfortable for me to wear leggings - the way many cisgender women would in informal situations.

Then there are the times I want to feel sexy....

Lately, I've noticed that clothes do help influence how one feels.  On Thanksgiving, when I wore the dress below, I felt sexy as hell....

What I didn't say to Lili, was that if I had the usual equipment found under a dress, I'd have gone on the prowl that night and looked for someone who could make me enjoy looking at at a nearby ceiling.  And this dovetails with a conversation I had with our co-op's president.  When I had our first meal with her as Marian, we chatted about impractical clothing such as corsets, garter belts with stockings, silky nightgowns, etc... We noted how awkward these garments are to wear, but how good they make you feel due to the effort it takes to put them on. We also noted things such as how it feels to wear silky stockings and how men never can appreciate how it feels to have a hand glide over a stockinged leg. It seems that there is now a part of me that is starting to react as a cisgender female would - where the clothes themselves enhance a woman's feelings of sexuality and of power. I'm also starting to think that a woman's power is linked to her sexuality in ways that even women are not conscious of - and so far, I'm only getting a small hint of what cisgender women know instinctively.

Of course, there is an element of frustration here.  I'd never be able to share this side of me with GFJ (assuming we were to last for the long term), as she wants a man in bed. And, there is little chance that I'd find a woman who wants a person like me.  So, it's a trade-off I'll have to make on my road to femininity.....

Friday, June 24, 2016

Fun and Games - I finally won one!

I wish I had a feminine torso.  Even with my weight, I could really be rocking in this dress!  And this is what I changed in to today for game night.  But first, a chronicle of my day....

When I went to work, I knew I was spending way too long to debug a problem with one of our clients' processing.  A condition triggered by program data resulted in the system going into an endless loop - something we can not afford to let happen in production. I knew I had to ask my boss for advice - and got the advice I wanted, as it was time to hand off the problem - even with incomplete data for debugging.  This allowed me to spend time on other projects which were in danger of being delayed. I was then tasked with changing the specifications for another client's web pages. Once I alerted him that I'd be in training, we adjusted the schedule to be a little bit more realistic than we were aiming at when he came to my desk.  And I doubt that I'll have any problems making this deadline.  

4:00 pm came, and it was out the door I went.  Although I missed the 4:45 pm train, I made the 5:11 pm train with time to spare.  So I ended up reaching my apartment by 6:30 pm.  Normally, I should have had no problems getting to the game venue on time.  But I had to make arrangements for this Saturday - where I'd be going to see a play with HWV.  We could have gone for something good, but expensive.  We could have gone for an off-Broadway play in a theater I've been to.  But we chose a lighthearted Marx Brothers' play being revived for the first time in over 90 years - "I'll Say She Is!"  Hopefully, HWV will appreciate my choice, and will want to accompany me to another play in the future.

I changed into Marian mode (and into the outfit you see me in above), and drove to the weekly meetup.  On the way down, I rang my sister in law, and she was telling me about my dad's deteriorating mental condition.  This saddens me a great deal, as I don't know how long he can stay in his own home. And I know that he'd quickly die if he went into assisted living.  Yet, this might be a blessing, as I remember how my father suffered when my grandmother's brain "went South" - and it wasn't pretty.  This weekend might be the last I see my dad in tolerable health - and I hope that he's up to it.

Reaching Yonkers, I stopped at CVS to pick up something (potato chips, pretzels, tortilla chips, etc.) to bring to the meetup. Of course, this meant that I'd be late - and I got there a little after 8:30 pm. We played 2 games while I was there, and I won the second - a game of Fluxx.  After games were over, one lady and I were talking of her bra fitting.  She found out that she needed a smaller band, but a much larger cup size. This was a literal case of one's cups runneth over.  Alas, her husband, like most men, will never appreciate what it's like to have these weights hanging on one's chest.  Only those who are transgender might even have a chance of understanding the problems of a woman like this lady.  

Before leaving the game venue, one of the regulars mentioned that his wife (who was there on Memorial day) wanted to get together with me for coffee sometime.  So we exchanged phone numbers, including the number on my "Marian Only" phone. This way, if I hear it ring, I know to answer in Marian's voice.  It's nice to know that I'm meeting people who really want to know me better - as Marian.  


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Quickie: A search for a dress

Last Saturday, I saw this dress when I visited YGM, and didn't buy it.  After getting the "Thunbs Up" from Vicki, I decided that I'd try to make a run over to New Jersey and look for the dress. 

You might ask - why doesn't Marian just mail order the darned frock?  Well, the store in Orange, CT had it in stock, but it was no longer available online.  So I figured that I had a shot at making it to the store in Paramus, NJ on time, but not the one in Connecticut.

I high tailed it out of work at 5:30, and made the 6:15 train.  One problem - we had a sick passenger, and she held up the train for 10 minutes.  So I made it to my station late, and had to rush putting on my makeup, etc. so that I could make it to Paramus before the store closed.  I was very lucky that the police weren't near me on my ride, as I was breaking speed limit all the way down - and made it to the store with 5 minutes to spare.

Unfortunately, the store only carried the dress in a size too small for me.  So I'll have to find an excuse to make it over to Connecticut while GFJ is out of town.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I've just seen a face....

I opened this entry with the opening lyrics to a classic Beatles' tune - "I've just seen a face."  Well, I saw that face yesterday, and I've had a hell of a time trying to find this person on the internet. No, I know who this lady is, and I have no intentions of trying to contact her in Mario mode.  But I'd love to see her again in Marian mode, and see if she recognizes me.

Unlike some TG's, I keep my brother and sister persona very separate.  I'm openly transgender, but I expect to be treated as a male when presenting as Mario, and to be treated as a female when presenting as Marian. This has usually been the case, with the occasional slip up by people who know me both as Mario and as Marian.  However, I've rarely been in the position to meet up with someone who hasn't seen me in ages, and had no clue that I was a closeted transgender when we knew each other. 

The map at the top of this entry carries a reference a woman I was engaged to approximately 35 years ago. I was commuting to Croton, and she to Cold Spring. We fell in love quickly and got engaged. The engagement lasted only 6 months, and we went our separate ways. She never knew that I was TG, and she never realized that I enjoyed wearing women's clothes in secret at the time. Although we were in contact with each other shortly after my wife died, we effectively haven't seen each other in approximately 30 years.  And last night, I believe that I saw her leave the same train station that I commute from on a daily basis.

Tonight, when I got home, I decided to try and find a few images of this woman on the internet.  Sadly, I did not find any - she does not have a Facebook page (from what I can tell), nor has she had any public photos taken of her - even though she has been an adjunct professor at several colleges in the area.  (In a way, I can't blame her for keeping her image off the internet.  With terrible reviews from her students, I wouldn't want to have a public face either.)

If I see this woman again, I'll try to stop her and see if she is the same lady I was engaged to many, many years ago.  No, I have no intentions of reliving the past - we are very different people from who were way back when, and I doubt that she's changed for the better....

BTW - If you can figure out who this woman is from what I've mentioned here and find a good picture of her, you will have earned my deepest gratitude....

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Monday, Monday.... Another Manic Monday?

Yes, it's time for another thought piece.  And I've been thinking about the rat race that most of us are in.  Most of work because we need to work. But we always seem to be increasing our expenditures, so that any extra money that comes in is accounted for in advance.

- - - - - -

When I got up, I had plans to have coffee with a former coworker.  Neither of us knew where we'd be meeting, but we knew it would be for coffee.  So as my day progressed at work, I got busy, and we arranged to meet at the Starbucks in Grand Central Terminal.  It was far from the best choice of places, but we knew we could always take a seat in the waiting room across the hall.

Both of us vented a bit about my former firm.  It has been around for many a decade, and the organization is a bit worse for wear.  They put all their eggs in one basket.  Unfortunately, when the cultural bias is towards dealing with high value corporations and not the retail customer, the organization will not be able to quickly respond to changes that obsolete its market position. So neither of us would bet on the company lasting another 20 years.

I figure that large organizations need external forces to check and balance greed.  Wall Street willfully looked the other way when the ratings agencies marked "junk" securities as "AAA", as they knew they could unload this garbage on an unsuspecting public.  (They bamboozled the pension funds that looked for high returns, and we got the crash of 2008.)  I got laid off because of decisions made at the highest level of my organization - none of which paid off for the stock holders.  And I find it sad that the people at the top don't see the need for mechanisms to keep people honest.

- - - - - -

What does this have to do with being transgender? 

Many of us are in a rush to transition.  They are so certain in their belief that they need to transition, that they are willing to rush into "the operation". I do not have that urgency.  When the time comes, I will have no trouble with the one year real life test - as a check and balance to prevent me from solving a big problem with the wrong procedure.

As I go further down this path towards femininity, I have to make hard decisions every day.  Do I rush home to get into Marian Mode, to go out and have several hours of authenticity as Marian?  Or, do I wait until Thursday, and accept that I will have only one guaranteed night each week to be Marian?  What about weekends?  Do I value being Marian more than being with GFJ?  There are so many questions, and I know I have to be comfortable with my eventual answer.   

- - - - - -

Given the choice, how many of us would choose to be TG, given the violence directed against our community?  None of us, I'd venture to say....  But we exist, and we have to make decisions to maximize our authenticity. And this means coming out, and unapologetically being in the world as who we are.  Some of us take our time, others do it quickly, and many never come out of the closet at all.  We all have a duty to make the world a better place by standing up against evil - evil directed against us, and evil directed against others.  Hopefully, what happened in Florida will serve as a wake-up call, and remind us that we must continually fight for our freedoms.


Monday, June 20, 2016

The high point of my day was a laundry basket

Normally, I attribute my sneezing to the allergies I have.  This week, I noticed a tickle in my nose just before I put on my CPAP mask, and I knew that I was in for the symptoms of a summer cold. So when I went to YGM's on Saturday, I was sure to have lots of tissues on hand, so that I could keep my nose dry. But I didn't expect that this would affect GFJ's stay...

As noted before, when I got home, I switched from Marian Mode to Mario mode so that GFJ would only see Mario this visit.  (This will be a problem in the long term if we decide to live together.  She will have to get used to seeing Marian in passing, as I will want to maintain the life I've built so far as Marian.)  When she finally arrived, it was time to go out to dinner - and I was dealing with a runny nose through the evening.

The next morning, GFJ had a decision to make.  She wanted to stay and snuggle, as this would be the last chance to do so for a while. (She goes on vacation next weekend, and will be away for 10 days. We likely won't be able to snuggle much until it's almost July.) But she didn't want to travel with a cold - and I can't blame her, having traveled once while dealing with the flu.  Unfortunately for me, she decided to leave.  But this allowed me to get another couple of hours of sleep.

When I woke up again, it was late afternoon, and the only thing worth doing was laundry.  I thought I had 3 loads to do. But I found out that I had another 2 loads stashed in the closet, plus another load of towels to do when I get around to them.  So, instead of going out in Marian Mode and doing something like visiting BXM or seeing Pat, I ended up lugging my laundry up and down the stairs to the laundry room.  At least, I got my exercise in for the day.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Saturday without GFJ

Most days, I end up talking with GFJ on the phone when she's not here.  There's often not much to say. But this is common among many people - we have relatively uneventful lives, and have little that breaks up our daily routine that gives us interesting things to talk about.  Am I being too critical?  Probably not.  I see life for what it is - a lot of repetitive actions taken over a period of time which preserves the integrity of the individual unit.  Damn, that sounds bleak - and I don't mean to be so.

But what makes life worth living?  (No, I'm not in a depressed mood here.  I'm just commenting on the nature of life itself.)  To me, it's the event that breaks up the monotony of life, and helps provide meaning by either something missing from or added to one's experiences.  Some cultures make sure that there are enough celebrations and ritual days to help people find meaning.  Others depend on the individual to develop his/her own experiences.  In either case, we find meaning through the disruption of routine, and not from the routine itself.

For me, I enjoy being with GFJ.  She's like that warm blanket on a cold day - she makes me feel comfortable and warm. Yet, there are times I could do without her - like today - as this gives me the chance to spend a weekend day or two with friends as Marian, and not Mario. In a way, this helps provide meaning to my life - the absence of GFJ and the presence of Marian.

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When I woke up today, I knew I need not rush to get out the door. But I had a daytime "date" with YGM out in Eastern Connecticut - something I rarely have a chance to do, given that GFJ is around most weekends.   I figured that leaving here would bring me to YGM's place by 2:00 pm, with time for 15 minutes at Catherine's for bra shopping.  Boy, was I wrong!  The rain was playing havoc on the roads today - and the Eastbound trip took me almost 3 hours!  But I did get those bras....

While on the road, I find that my brother was making an unplanned trip North, and wanted a suggestion of where to go.  There was no way that I'd consider meeting him today, especially considering I was in Marian Mode already.  So I told him to continue on Route 287, cross the TZ Bridge, and then head towards Bear Mountain.  (Later he told me that it was a great idea.  I'll bet that he wished he could stop by my place - but I wasn't going to tell him how close he was.)  All of this was going on while I was stuck in slow traffic on Route 95.

Arriving at YGM's place, I met her mom.  (YGM had not yet gotten home from McDonald's, where she often brings her kids to play.)  We chatted for a bit, and then YGM arrived.  After a little consideration (I had to be back on the road by 6:00 pm), we ended up going to the mall - where her kids could play, and we could talk about more important things. While on the road, he mom called and suggested a movie for us.  (She didn't completely "get" that I had to leave by 6:00 pm and that the two of us needed to chat about YGM's problems. After the call ended YGM noted - my mom thinks you are a cisgender woman, and it looks like she wants you as a friend. (Do I present that well?) After we finally got the kids away from us, our "intimate" chat started. Although things were going better for YGM, things are strained, and she's under stresses of her own that I won't discuss here. Hopefully, I'll get the chance to see her again soon.... 

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I was running late on the drive home, and I called GFJ to let her know that I was an hour behind her.  So she decided to do some shopping for her upcoming vacation.  (She needed a suitcase - among several things.)  This allowed me to get home, change back to Mario, and be ready for her arrival a little after 9:00 pm.