Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Quickie: Being Neighborly

I got home late from work, and found that I still had a minor problem with my car.  One of the tires has a very slow leak, and the "check tire pressure" indicator had come on.  (It's another trip to Mavis soon, as I probably have a small nail or something in the tire.)  Do you know how much of a problem it is to fill a tire with air in the dark?  I do now....

When I arrived at my apartment, I found one of my neighbors coming home herself.  We ended up chatting about many things, and it was nice to have a friendly face and voice awaiting me when I got to my house.  Although we chatted for over an hour, the time seemed to fly. 

There is a value in having neighbors you like and can trust.  And when one is Trans, good neighbors and friends become even more valuable than before.  It takes a while to build good friendships, and for us Trans folk, it may be harder because we could pose a threat to the way they look at and live their lives.  Being careful is very important.  As much as I'd like to say to others "out yourself, and stop worrying", this is not realistic.  It is all too easy to mistake common politeness for friendship.  So be very careful when you are ready to out yourself to your neighbors, and when in doubt - don't.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Quickie: It could have been much worse

This man's name is Eganam Segbefia. And over the past few months, this man's skills in playing his horn have improved quite a bit.  Of course, when one plays a musical instrument for hours at a time in the subway, one can get paid for practicing.  And though he's not at the point that I would buy a CD of his, I enjoy listening to him play when I reach the Times Square shuttle.

Today was my 6 month anniversary at work.  It's hard to believe that I've made it this long. Unless someone in authority tells me not to worry, I'll always be walking on eggshells. As they say: "That's why they call it work!"  So I'll focus on the other, more pleasant parts of the day.  For example, for the first time in a while, I was able to wear a long sleeved shirt into the office, as the heat and humidity was low enough to make it comfortable. (But it was not cool enough to chase the women out of their skirts and into trousers. So that's a small blessing.)

When I see this gentleman, he is usually playing a well known tune. Often, he plays "The Flight of the Bumble Bee", and I joke about swatting the bee.  If he plays the "Saber Dance", I'll joke and ask where the Cosacks are.And if he plays the theme from "The Godfather", I'll compliment him on playing "Family Music".

One thing I know - I'll miss seeing him when one of us is no longer in the station on a regular basis.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Visiting Long Island - again!

Three Pictures - and this should give you a clue about what my brother and I are dealing with in getting the house in a shape where it is ready to rent.  In all 3 pictures, you can see wallpaper which has seen its better day, and needs to be removed before we can start work on doing anything important in these rooms.  The bathroom has a sink and medicine cabinet that dates from when the house was built. In addition, the bathtub has a chip on the side. The kitchen has appliances which are at least 20 years old, and will need to be replaced before renting can take place.  But we will also need to replace the cabinets as well, as the ones we have there now look like crap.

Soon, we will have emptied the entire main floor of furniture, and our next tasks will involve tearing apart both the kitchen and bathroom.  These are tasks I want to put oft until the weather becomes cooler, as I don't relish doing this work in the summertime heat.  We plan to replace the kitchen cabinets with prefabricated items, keeping our short term costs as low as possible, and replace the appliances shortly afterward.     The bathroom will require more thought, as we will either need to replace the tub, or to fid a way to fix the chip.  And then we will need to replace the sink, medicine cabinet, and lighting fixtures with ones appropriate for the 21st century.

- - - - - -

I should have started where the day began - with GFJ.  She stayed over from Friday night to Sunday morning, and then left with a few friends to go to Bethel Woods, while I trekked to Long Island.  While driving to Long Island, I called Lili back, and she told me the bad news - her sister had died.  I couldn't say much to comfort her , especially when she had the choice of being in Connecticut for her son's minor surgery, or being in Florida for her sister's wake. Lili will be sitting Shiva for a while, and I will see her then. But I have duties to my family, and they come first.

Once I got to the family homestead, my brother and I went to open up a joint bank account for us to deposit joint funds related to our dad's home, insurance proceeds, and anything that can stay in our hands instead of going to the state or to the nursing home.  My brother told me that he dealt with the funeral parlor, and will be delivering a bank check to them in the morning for the prepaid funeral arrangements.  We still have to deal with issues of a promissory note to get access to the current value one of our dad's insurance policies, giving about half to the State for dad's care.  If I have it bad, my brother has it several times worse.  So I am not complaining.

So far, we have mostly emptied the living room of excess furniture, leaving only the entertainment center, a table, and a couple of chairs for us to sit on.  Today, we tossed a woman's dresser and an end-table from the master bedroom.  Next week, comes the men's dresser and bed headboard from the same 60 year old bedroom set.  Sadly, the furniture has turned into junk, and is not even good enough to give to a local charity.

Once we were done moving furniture to the curb, it was time to start taking pictures of items we want to sell.  There are a lot of them, and most are related to the machine shop trade.  Looking at some of the packages, they seem like they are decades old.

 But some of the items are more interesting.

I'm sure a railroad buff would love to have an unopened set of playing cards issued by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.  It is fortunate that I didn't open these decks when I was a kid.

- - - - - -

I'm not going to go into detail about the rest of my day.  Seeing my dad is always a little bit draining for me, now that he is in the nursing home and has nothing much to say.  He is my dad, and I'll be there for him no matter what.  But I don't always have to enjoy the "no matter what".



Sunday, August 28, 2016

Quickie: Thinking about work on a day off

In the shower this morning, I looked at the issues at work from a different perspective and it's just as shocking for different reasons. One of the issues I have is an inability to retrieve information which is in my brain when I need that information.  To illustrate, let's say that I've been working on antique cars all my life, and dealing with carburetors for regulating the air/fuel mixture for the engine. Then all of a sudden, one is working with fuel injectors (with a little more technology thrown in).  Now, one doesn't have to work on the engine to understand what is going on.  But one has to know how the pieces fit, and where they fit. And though I know how and where they fit, I'm having a hard time retrieving this information when called on.

I know there is a normal process of aging, where memory is harder to use for new things. And this is what frightens me.  From a person who always found it easy to pick up on new ideas, and was open to those new ideas, I am now a person who is having trouble using those new ideas - and is having trouble because of it.

Should I be worrying?  If so, I don't want to end up like my grandmother.  She went senile a little after my grandfather died.  I don't feel that I have anything to worry about yet, as what I'm experiencing is normal for my age.  But I can't help wondering - what if there was something wrong in my mental functioning that I should be worrying about and planning for?


Saturday, August 27, 2016

A blast from the past

This was truly a blast from the past - my former therapist called me from Hawaii.  Of course, he wasn't as interested in talking with me as he was in trying to reach out to DCD, another former patient of his.  Of course, he caught me at a bad time, and I made a little mess taking some ravioli I was boiling and pouring it into a colander so that I could respond to his call.

After I gave him the information he was looking for, we chatted a little about life.  He is finding Hawaii to be a very mellow place, with his "New York": style being a little too aggressive for the islands.  So he will need to change - and I expect that will be very hard for him to do. But Hawaii is a wonderful place in which to change one's life. And I wish him all the success he can have in doing so.

I started therapy with this man in 2002.  At that time, he was working out of an apartment, and shopping for a small home where he and his wife could raise a family.  Within a couple of years, he had bought that house, and shifted his practice to the new location. And I was with him until he shut things down in 2015 to move to Hawaii.

During the 12 or so years he lived in his house, he experienced a 20% net gain on his investment. (I won't mention dollar amounts here, but if someone did the research, they would be able to find the information I omit.)  And he paid everything off in 10 years. When we talked today, he mentioned that he respected me for my frugality with money AND what I've done with my money.  This was unexpected. Yet, when I see my consolidated figures on, I realize that I do have a lot to be proud of.  If I take away my share of the parental homestead AND take away the value of the insurance money I got when my wife died, I'd still have a substantial amount of money in retirement assets.

We chatted a little about my life, but I didn't go into any details.  And we chatted a little about where he lives, and again, not much detail.  But I do have an invite to see him if I'm ever in Oahu, as he's about 2-4 miles from Waikiki.  But if I were to go to Hawaii, I have one question, with a followup.  How much time will I be out as Mario, and how much time will I be out as Marian?  And if I'm there as Marian, would I want to see him this way?

Friday, August 26, 2016

My boss is back, and game night didn't help me tonight.

Game night.  Normally, it eases my tensions and makes me feel better.  But tonight, it couldn't overcome the depressed feelings that I got because my boss is back.

I won't go into details, but I didn't keep him informed (via emails) of what was going on in my project, nor did I call his boss in to be of help with Tuesday's meeting.  This got him really pissed, and he belabored the point way too much for me to feel good for the rest of the day.  Later on, he asked me some questions about why I made some choices, and I answered with a mention that I asked for help, and then got referred to a person other than who my boss would have asked for help.  Peeling back the onion a little, I showed him my email to this person, and he made a big stink about giving him a different answer than what I was looking for while he was out.  I think that he sees that the is something about how we relate to each other that is causing me to doubt myself, and also give incorrect answers to his questions.

What I don't want to tell him is that his way of saying I'm doing things wrong is so heavy handed, that it is triggering transference of problems from early childhood that bubbling up to the surface, and causing me to fail on the job.  All I want to do is make it to the day when I'm eligible for unemployment insurance - and then the firm can let me go.  I'll always be grateful for the chances they gave me.  But I don't need the stress he's putting me through, nor do I need the headaches from someone who misjudged me from the start.  (He is a good person, but we have never been able to get in sync with each other.) 

Could this be a subconscious attempt to sabotage myself going on?  Maybe.  But with my father being diagnosed with bladder cancer within the first couple of weeks of me working there, and his health decline through the past 6 months that put him in the nursing home, it's easy to understand some of the extra stresses I'm dealing with.  Add to this a 2 hour commute each way, and I really don't want to go into the office anymore.

Today was the worst day I've had in months, and it's because I see no hope in going into the office anymore.  I am now truly going through the motions to stay employed as long as possible, and will embrace unemployment when it comes. For a person who always worried a bit about money, this is a lot to say - especially when becoming Marian for a few hours can't break me out of this funk.

So I dread going into the office in the morning, as I'll have to deal with my boss for at least a couple of hours. And much of that time, I'll have to deal with him being very critical of my work.  All I care about is that I don't get laid off until after I qualify for unemployment insurance.  (Didn't I just say that before? :-)  )

Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Whining and Dining for the first time in a while.

"Bad Moms", the movie.  If you liked "Brides Maids", you'll like this film.  When I realized that the Whine and Dine group was meeting tonight and that my boss wasn't around to notice I would be leaving early today, the decision to go out for a night with the girls was a no-brainer.

- - - - - -

This morning, I realized that it would be my last day of freedom.  That is to say, it would be the last day that my boss was out.  So I made sure that the tasks for which he gave me grief last week were taken care of before he got back.  This way, he'll have no cause for complaint.

Strangely enough, I struck up a conversation with another of my coworkers as we left work, and he had similar, but not as extreme a set of issues with our boss that I have with our boss.  It's a matter of detail, and a matter of attitude.  Neither of us could say that we have a bad boss.  But we could say that he thinks very differently than the average person in our shoes.  My boss is a strategist, while I'm more of a tactician. Before I can see the big picture, some of the meta-details have to be pointed out to me, in order for me to be able to  see that picture.

I was glad to have left early, as I made the 5:11 pm train with a couple of minutes to spare, then got home early enough to read some of my email before changing into Marian Mode.  But I still ran a few minutes late, as I got to the theater as the rest of the Whine and Diners were taking their seats.

Bad Moms is reasonably amusing.  And if you are a cisgender female, you'd laugh at the jokes much more than I did, as you would have more of the mothering experiences than I ever will. There is one scene with a "Hoodie" and uncircumcised manhood that is hilarious - and probably more so if one has female genitalia, simply because of the point of view being expressed by the women on screen.

After the movie, it was off to Charlie Brown's (next door) for some drinks and a bite to eat. I wish I could have stayed a little longer, but I have a 6:00 am wake up call - and I want to be well rested when I see my boss in the morning.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Another good day at work - will wonders never cease?

I only met this lady once. And in one 60 minute presentation, I remembered her forever.  And now, I'm approaching the age she was when I attended an ACM meeting on Long Island to hear her speak. For the most part, I see very little activity in the ACM these days.  The ability to program a computer became common by 1990, and by 2000 the age of "Big Iron" was almost over. Yet, my career with these machines lasted another 15 years or so, until the business that gave me a good paycheck became obsolete.

- - - - - -

Today was the second of three days where my boss was not around. And this made things much easier for me, as I did not have him commenting on what I did and didn't know.  So when I had a meeting with the client, I was able to breeze through my agenda (admittedly short) and get key information about this client's needs.  If I had more time to prepare, I'd have had a longer list of questions to ask of the client.  But I think he was glad that I took up as little time as I did, as he was booked for back-to-back meetings all day.

As much as I could have stayed late and gotten more work done, I decided to go home and take care of my own needs. Although I have another two loads of laundry to take care of, I'm not going to operate washers and dryers in a laundry room where the lights aren't working. I'll take care of this need tomorrow or Friday - it all depends on whether I am able to go to the Whine and Dine tomorrow to see a movie with the girls.

- - - - - -

I was talking with GFJ this evening, and started cleaning off my desk. Her mom called, and she forgot to call me back.  Both of us are exhausted, and I'll bet that I miss making it to the dealer's service department for overdue periodic service this weekend.

And now back to cleaning up near my desk.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Finally, a good day at work!

Are you surprised to hear that I had a good day at work?  Well, my boss was out, and I didn't have to deal with him over my shoulder breaking my confidence in myself.

Enough of that....

- - - - - -

Do I really want to talk about work?  My job responsibilities are to work with clients, figure out how to fill their needs using our system, and see that the software customization for our clients works as expected AND as wanted by the client. 

My survival on this job depends on keeping a hard to please client happy, as well as regaining the confidence of my boss in my knowledge of the job, and my ability to do it.  Given where I am right now, I doubt I will survive, and am already thinking of my next chapter in life.

The big question is: Do I want to retire early, on significantly fewer assets than I planned on using in my retirement?  I could do so, but I'd have to watch my spending - something I haven't really done carefully since I was in my 20's. Yet, there would be benefits, such as being able to live as Marian 5 days each week.

- - - - - -

Recently, one of my readers (I won't say who she is) mentioned that this might be a good chance to bite the bullet and do my social transition.  I'm not sure if I'm ready to do this yet, especially with my dad in the nursing home.  The shock of finding that his son wants to transition to being a female might push him over the edge.

When I last saw my dad, he broke down into tears and started apologizing for being a failure.  My brother told him that he was abused, and he was able to raise two sons to adulthood without them suffering as he did.  (He wasn't going to talk about the terror of our mom - that would have pushed our dad over the edge.)  My brother tried to show my dad that he lived a life to be proud of, and that we still see him as the father figure from our youth - even though his body is betraying him.

- - - - - -

I hope to take a few pictures of the family homestead before we start to fix it up, then post them here for my readers to see. The house was built in 1941, just before WW2 started - and it has "good bones."  We have a big task in front of us - to make the house rentable before the end of October. Once medicaid realizes that my dad will no longer be living in the family homestead, my brother and I will be stuck with paying taxes on the property. I'm not complaining - we didn't pay for the house, and now it's time for us to put money and effort into the property.  And if you were to look at the property, there are 3 places where we can put a few dollars and get a big bang per buck.

Usually, there are two places in a house where one can get a good return on investment.  One of these places is the kitchen.  And the other is the bathroom. Both kitchen and bathroom have hideous wallpaper.  We will be stripping that away and repainting the walls. But that is the easy part.  In the kitchen, we must remove an ugly counter/island, install new cabinets, and replace all of the major appliances (stove, dishwasher, and refrigerator). In the bathroom, we have to either replace the tub (or fix an area where the porcelain chipped off), retile the floor, install a new sink/vanity, and replace the medicine cabinet and lighting fixtures.  But after 75 years, the floors also need to be sanded and refinished.  Emptying the house AND sprucing it up has to be completed by the end of October.  It's going to be a very tight schedule at best.

- - - - - -

Now that you know what has been going on in my life, I find it amazing that I get any time out as Marian.  Today, when I came home, I saw one of my neighbors.  She knows that I go out as Marian, but sees me as Mario.  We got to talking about a problem that we've had with a couple of our neighbors.  Both are incapable of living on their own, but no one is taking the responsibility of getting into the assisted living situation both mother and daughter need.  Although I'm a member of the co-op board, I'm also a resident of my building, and have a right to talk about events that I know about from means other than sitting on the board.  So I told her my opinion of this family, and noted that I wished they could be pushed out - for the safety of the rest of us.

- - - - - -

Who knows what will happen in the near future?  But as the "Chinese Curse" goes: "May you live in interesting times."  Unfortunately, I live in very interesting times these days....

Monday, August 22, 2016

Another day visiting Long Island

Sunday again.  And this meant another trip to Long Island, killing time I'd rather be spending as Marian.  Making things worse is the weather.  We are in the dog days of summer, and the heat wave we've been in is not expected to break until later in the week.  AARGH!  Even my brother said it's going to be brutal in the house.  So he turned on the A/C at 10:00 am, so that the place would be tolerably comfortable by the time I arrived. 

Strangely enough, today was one day where my brother got to the house before I did, and was already working on things.  We figured that it was too hot to work in the upstairs area of the house, so it made sense to sort through a lot of papers.  But my brother had no rest - he was called away for Fire Department business twice while I was there, and he had to suit up twice before being able to stand down.  So he didn't get much done other than moving a desk out for bulk item collection later on the week.  Whereas, I got much more done, sorting through paperwork that needed inspection.  This included finding my dad's Social Security card, something which we thought was lost to the ages.

When we were done, we had a bite to eat, and then went to see my dad.  Dad was in a very sad frame of mind, feeling very helpless, and a bit ashamed of his situation.  My brother tried to console him, but it was the first time I saw my dad cry - save for the death of my mom. After we left dad, my brother and I both thought that it would have been better for my dad had he died. And sadly, I feel this is the case, knowing that I'd want to commit suicide if I were in my dad's position.

It's a damned shame that life is this way.  I wish there was a better way for us to exit life than what my dad will be dealing with in the nursing home. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

My day out as Marian

Where do I start?  By the time I got moving, it was about 12:30 pm.  It was too late for things one does in the morning, but not late enough to say that I've wasted the day. 

- - - - - -

When I got moving, I called my new friend from OK Cupid (let's call her OCP for now) to shoot the breeze, but not to allow things to go further than being friends. I already see enough red flags that could get me into trouble, so all I want is to build a friendship with someone who accepts me as Marian, and is willing to have a friendship with me.  We were on the phone for an hour, and by the time we were done with the call, it was after 3:00 pm.

Although I had planned to be out of the house before 3:00 pm, I didn't mind taking it slow because the temperature was in the mid 90's with high humidity. Given that Vicki wasn't going to be available until 6:30 pm, I killed a little time by shoe shopping at The Avenue in Yonkers, and then slowly making it back up county to see Vicki.

Vicki and I didn't make a decision about about where to eat until I was already in Yorktown.  So I posed a few places to her, and then we settled on Little Sorrento on route 202/35.  We had a very enjoyable, and then talked about our current job situations.  She was a little shocked, but I said simply - sometimes a job is not a good fit, and a smart person doesn't give away his/her soul for a job late in one's career.

- - - - - -

After dinner, I called OCP again, and found out that she was really sick.  Her blood pressure went through the roof, and that explained her problems earlier in the day.  So, after that call, GFJ called - and I told her that I was on my way to the movies.  This was a true statement, as I was not yet in the mood to go home for the night.  Instead, I decided to drive to Fishkill, shop at Walmart, and then see a movie. 

One thing I like about going to the movies for the last show of the night is that most of the time, the theater is relatively empty.  By choosing the late show, one often has a better choice of seats, and one doesn't have to wait as long on line for a ticket. Many times, I've been one of a handful of people in the theater, and it's nice to be able to stretch out a little. So when I decided to see Star Trek, I realized that it would be a formula picture. And it followed the predictable, and comfortable pattern that I expected.  The only thing I couldn't predict was something in a scene close to the ending, where a picture of the original cast was shown on screen - a last homage to the original crew, three of which are no longer with us....

And on that note, I'll end this entry.  I simply don't have much to say today.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Quickie: Getting out and about in my new dress

Yes, I posted a picture of me in this dress the other night.  But I felt like going out. And I felt like wearing this dress again.

- - - - - -

During the day, I dreaded most of the time I was spending at the office. Not only did I have an excruciating status update with my boss, I kept getting further behind in what I had to do.  To make it worse, I get an email telling me that the mother of my nosy neighbor downstairs had just passed away. So, when 5:30 PM came around, I was very glad to get out of the office and go home. 

Since GFJ is away, I shifted into Marian Mode, then took a drive to see Fran and Kelly at a venue where some music was being played.  Sadly, I got there too late for the music.  But I didn't get there too late to see Fran and Kelly.  Nothing changes with them.  Both march to their own drummers, and both live life in a way that they can be oblivious to the outside world.

Once I left the "Fran and Kelly show", I got a call from GFJ.  I proceeded to tell her about my day at work, and drove home over the back roads, so that we'd have a chance to chat.  Yes, I wish she were here.  But I won't look a gift horse (a weekend where I can go out in Marian Mode) in the mouth....

- - - - - -

And now for the riddle of the day.  No, I'm not asking you to solve this, but I'm wondering what this could be....

Yesterday, my neighbor in the next building found some stuff left on the table on her patio.  There were some pages written either in Chinese or Japanese, an electronic gizmo of some sorts, and her name was written in English on one of the these papers.  Can anyone can pose a rational explanation for these items?

Friday, August 19, 2016

A night I could have gone and played some games

It was a long day at work, and it could have been much longer - except it was Thursday, and I usually leave the office around 4:00 pm.  However, several things got in the way, and I was stuck there until 5:00, and could have easily stayed another couple of hours. Although I will not say how I screwed up today, I made a mistake that could get me in big trouble if anyone notices. Yet, it should fall through the cracks with no ill effect, if all goes right.

- - - - - -

By the time I got home, I could have rushed to get showered, changed, and out the door as Marian, then made it to game night.  This was not the case.  I have a rough time limit, that if I don't feel I can make it to game night by 8:30 pm or so, then it isn't worth going.  So, with an ETA of 8:45 pm, I knew I wouldn't get to play any games without being a little disruptive to the flow of things.  As a result, I changed direction, and decided to do some retail therapy in Newburgh.

I arrived around 9:00 pm, enough time to look around for interesting clothes, and to shoot the breeze with the salesladies there.  Of course, DD was there.  So it was like old home week.  Sadly, she told me, that the former manager's husband had a series of strokes, and that she had to quit to take care of him.

There is a woman my size who orders online, and returns items she doesn't want to the store. That is how I found a dress that fits and looks good on me in the clearance rack.  It's a shame that The Avenue only carries Summer dresses in the store. But more suburban women prefer the convenience of trousers, and as a result, the stores carry the clothing that sells in their markets.  At least they carried this dress online and I was lucky enough to find it on the rack:

Now, if only I had some hips.  One of these days, assuming I go on hormones, I will have a better fat distribution in that area.

- - - - - -

This weekend will be one without GFJ.  I'm not sure if I'm interested in going to Sherry's for the Hudson Valley Poly group if there is less than a handful of people there.  Yes, it'd be nice to catch up with people again. But I'm not sure if I want to spend a rare Saturday in Marian Mode to be with this group.  With an expected 94 degree temperature and high humidity, being in an air conditioned room doesn't sound that bad.

Strangely enough, several of my friends who know me only as Marian will not be available this weekend. YGWM is tending to her husband's family visiting their home.  YGM may be going to Six Flags if it doesn't rain.  Luckily, Vicki should be available - if she can break free of work taken home, preparing her replacement for the day Vicki leaves her corporate home of 25 years.

- - - - - -

If it weren't for the disgusting hot and humid weather, I'd have gone to a women's meetup that's going to see an off-Broadway play I've wanted to see.  Since I won't go into the city when I'll be uncomfortable being there, this is one event that is crossed off the calendar. 
Hopefully, I'll get another chance to catch up with this group in the fall.  The more women friends I can make, the easier I will have it with a social transition into being Marian 24x7. And that's what it is all about.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Another missed opportunity

It's been a long time since I've seen TC, and tonight could have been the night we'd have finally had drinks together.  Unfortunately, the demands of my job got in my way again.  Luckily, I clued TC into my problem with tonight, and we'll try to get together soon.

- - - - - -

So what did I do tonight?

After work, I went home and started laundry.  And then, I had a chat with a woman who responded to my personal ad presenting as Marian.  We've been chatting online for several days, and we finally got the chance to talk.  Both of us are looking for friends and not lovers, so I consider it safe to get together with her (maybe over the weekend) and meet someone for whom my going out as Marian is a non-issue.

This will be a weekend without GFJ.  She has both of her sons over, and she doesn't want them knowing she's dating.  So I will be attending a pot luck supper of the Hudson Valley Poly group.  It'll be the first time I've seen Sherry in ages, and it'll feel like "old home" weekend.  If I were to see this other lady afterwards, I'd still have time to get in some shopping in Newburgh.

- - - - - -

But work calls.  I have to set up my office computer, and monitor a software deployment.  Of course, I'd rather not have taken the computer home. Yet, the alternative would have been worse - staying in lower Manhattan until almost midnight, and getting home by 2-3 am. If this deployment is the last thing I do for this job, I'll be satisfied.  I've done my best. Even if it wasn't good enough, I can say that I gave it my all.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Diplomacy - A skill I respect and lack sorely

Here is a woman who had natural beauty and charisma from the day she was born until the day she died.  I wish I had a fraction of her skills in diplomacy. 

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I've often mentioned work and my problems on the job.  The most important problem is that I'm like a person who deals with Asperger's syndrome - often insensitive to social cues.  And this is the skill I need most on the job, and one that takes years to develop.  Sadly, I don't have those years to spend learning this skill.  So I wouldn't take any bets that I'll be at this job come the new year.

Why do I mention the job today?  I was hoping to get home on time and be able to do some laundry.  Instead, it was the second day in a row that I got home late, and the second day that laundry was not in the cards for me.

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Tonight, instead of the planned loads of laundry I had on my task list, I decided to figure out why my dad's old laptop couldn't connect to any Wi-Fi networks.  After about an hour of trial and error, I stumbled onto a setting hidden in the bowels of Windows 8.1 - and got his machine working again.

I'm now trying to do a backdoor upgrade to Windows 10 on the same machine.  However, I've failed in doing this before, and I'm likely to fail again.  But it's worth one last effort.  The upgrade is supposedly available for people who use adaptive technology, and I can always say that I'm preparing this machine for him, now that he's in the Nursing Home.

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Tomorrow night, I have to support a deployment for one of my clients.  Of course, this means I can't go out to have fun as Marian - even if I got home early.  At least I'll have Friday night and the whole of Saturday to enjoy my time in Marian Mode. 

PS:  You might recognize the woman at the top of this post by one of her childhood pictures.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I had a choice, and I stayed home.

I normally wouldn't even bother with bathroom pictures, but this one looked interesting. And given the furor over transgender people going to the bathroom these days, I figured that a little potty statement would be a good opening for today's post.

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As I like to say these days - "work is work" and let it go from there.  My love of the job is gone, and part of me wants to get on with the rest of my life. But I'll "keep on keeping on" for now, as I could use every last cent I can save before the hammer falls.

So, at roughly 6:00 pm, I left the office, though I could have found a little more work to do, figuring that if I got home by 7:45 pm, I'd have a chance to quickly change into Marian and do some retail therapy at The Avenue in Newburgh, seeing some friendly faces on the sales floor.  However, when I got home, I decided to stay in and relax - as I need to do this more than I needed some retail therapy.

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Being home doesn't mean that I don't look at online catalogs.  You'll regularly see this T-Gal surfing the sites of the Plus Size Women's stores.  And I've found some interesting stuff that is helping to keep my closet jam packed. Yet, with unemployment looming, I know enough not to go into debt. Nothing I do, shopping, dining, or anything else puts me in a position where I can't pay off my bills with money from my current paycheck.

The only thing that would drain my bank account (and it has been planned for a while) is the cruise I'll be taking this fall.

This cruise has twice as many stops as the cruise I took last year, and I'll probably stay on the ship 95% of the time when in port.  The British colonies are known for their conservative attitudes regarding the GLBT population, and I'm smart enough to avoid trouble by staying on board where there is a nice pool and cold drinks.

I'm looking forward to this trip.  But if I have money next year, it'll be a completely different type of vacation - a vacation where I can travel in America, have more freedom to me me, as well as more freedom to explore the outside world.... 



Monday, August 15, 2016

Another long weekend....

The one reason that I didn't go out en-femme on Saturday was that I had dinner scheduled with the Cat Lady from New Jersey.  Just before I was to leave, she asked me for something.Could I bring a large pair of pliers?  She had to remove a garden hose from its faucet, and even her neighbor was unable to get it unstuck.

The chemistry was never strong between me and the Cat Lady, but we did find each other interesting enough to date now and then.  The problem for me is that I often can not get a word in edgewise.  She's one of those talkers who seems to have trouble dealing with quiet, or to let the other person fill in the quiet at times.

On Saturday, we got together, and I knew that nothing was going to happen between us. As much as I would have wanted to be invited inside again, I knew that if this were to happen, I'd be suffering an allergic reaction within an hour or so because of her 3 very furry cats and their dander.   When I got there, I knocked on the door, and she came out on e the side - where I proceeded to remove her old garden hose from the faucet.  It was an easy job for me, as the sudden drop in temperature from the rain helped make it possible to unscrew the hose fitting from the faucet.  Once done there, it was time to go to the restaurant.

If this weren't Summer, we could have walked to the restaurant which was on the other side of the railroad tracks.  (Didn't I mention that she lives less than 1,000 feet from the train station?)  But given the heat and humidity, we drove the 2 minutes to the restaurant, where we proceeded to eat, and hang out for a couple of hours. Then, it was off for ice cream, where she had a few spoonfuls, and I polished off the rest.  The night ended with a hug, and a promise to keep in contact.

Should I tell her about Marian and see what she says?  Who knows, but with 3 cats, I don't want to be popping allergy pills like they were M&Ms.

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Sunday, as usual, was a day reserved for cleaning out the family homestead and seeing my dad. Given that I went to sleep late the night before, I didn't get moving until noon. And with GFJ possibly coming over for the evening, the schedule for the day was going to be awkward at best.

I'm grateful to have been on the road when my brother called me, as there would have been hell to pay if I were still at home.  It took about an hour and a half to get there due to weekend traffic, but I was there before my brother - as usual.  Today's clean-out  wasn't as strenuous as usual. But we did sort through a lot of junk in the basement. But the most interesting find was that my dad's laptop was a more modern machine than my desktop, so I took it home to work on.

This week, my brother wasn't in the mood to have a bite to eat afterwards, so I drove home to meet GFJ (who was on her way back from Connecticut).  It was nice to have something to eat with her, and for her to stay the night. 

- - - - - -

All in all, it wasn't a bad weekend.  But I could use both time and money - two things that aren't going together for me lately....


Sunday, August 14, 2016

The need for romance

A while back, WPB asked me why I go through the headache of dating straight women as Mario. And she made a good point.  Why set two people up for a great disappointment, when one could do more focused dating?  The reality is very simple.  Most of us need companionship, and most humans need to be touched by others.

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Touch is important.  I think it goes back to our pre-human ancestors.  If one looks at other primate species such as Chimpanzees, Gorillas, and Orangutans, you'll often see members of these species grooming each other. Touching is not limited to sex.  Although we'll never know for sure what goes on in these other primates' minds, we can say that they are very much like humans in their need for touch.

Think of most women feel after having sex, and not about the orgasmic act itself. They don't want their partners to jump up and leave. They want to stay in physical contact with those partners, and "bask in the afterglow". Touch is just as important in reproduction as it is in everyday life. When I asked one former girl friend what she missed after losing her husband, she replied: "His Touch."

Look at what happens when two people are romantically bonded.  People touch each other a lot.  Even when they are not talking, they are subtly communicating with each other via touch.  Sometimes that touch is saying "I'm here for you."  Other times, that touch says: "I care for you."  But almost always the message is clear - touch helps communicate feelings that need no words.

- - - - - -

I go back to WPB's question.  Every time I break up with a girlfriend, I miss many things. One of which is an intimate touch. No, I'm not talking about having an orgasm (which is nice). Instead, I am talking about the ability for a person to be touched by another in any area of the body and feeling safe and cared for.  It may go back to the grooming of pre-humanity, I don't know. But I think I understand what that ex-girlfriend said so many years ago, I missed my late wife in the same way.

So I end up looking for women who may hopefully accept me both as Mario and as Marian. I came closer with GFJ, as she tolerates Marian in her life. But if we were to break up, I'd be open to new romance.  This time, I'd limit it to someone who'd accept me as Marian and who'd be comfortable with me as either Marian or Mario.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

It sure doesn't look that good.

I had a couple of conversations with my boss today, and my job security doesn't look that good.  He confirmed my belief that he thought I was much more skilled than I am, and that the job needs someone with more skill in managing clients.  In short, if I don't develop this skill quickly, I'll be on the unemployment line again.

When the above being said, the cynical question comes to mind:

"Besides the assassination, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"

- - - - - -

Strangely enough, it won't be the end of the world if I lose this job.  I am no longer happy to go in to work, and I no longer feel confident in my job skills.  My relationship with my boss is triggering old feelings of dealing with my mother, being punished for things that were out of my control - and being unable to communicate the issues properly enough to defend myself, and becoming tongue tied when it came to verbally put up a defense.

Even in this regard, I am much better off than I was when younger.  I understand the nature of the problem, even though I can't express myself well.  I understand there is a form of transference at play here, and I am not taking it personally.  Instead, I'm looking at this as a handicapped person might - they expected me to do something that my body wouldn't let me do, and it's just business - nothing personal.

- - - - - -

Now that I've vented a little about work, I can mention how my day after work went.  I left work around 6:15 pm, realizing that I probably would miss the 6:45 train out of Grand Central, and be late for dinner with BXM. So I rushed to the subway, walking at a fast and exhausting pace.  Luckily, the subway train was being held in the station for a minute, and I was able to get on to the train just before the doors closed. When I got to Times Square, I had 5 minutes to go before the commuter train would leave Grand Central, and I felt I'd have to be very lucky to make the train.  Well, I virtually ran to the platform when I reached Grand Central, and hopped on the train through the "conductor's door" at the back of the train, just before it started to move.  In fact, the normal doors used to let commuters on the train had already closed - so I didn't even have a second to spare, and was glad that I still could hustle when I needed to.

I got home around 7:45, and then changed into Marian mode before driving to the Bronx to see BXM.  No matter what time I get there, I'm always waiting about 5-10 minutes for her to come downstairs.  This time, we ate close to her place, and enjoyed a good meal - but with a lot of noise in the background.  As people left, it was easier for us to hear each other speak.  And it was very nice to have the waitress address both of us as ladies.

While dining, I mentioned that I prefer the company of women, and realize that women act very differently when men are included in the dynamic. Once a male comes into the group, everything changes.  The male is expected to lead the group, and his presence is often disruptive. Add to this a sexual tension, and it is easy to understand why women love to have "Girl's Nights - No Men Allowed."  BXM noted that many women will straighten out another woman's jewelry if out of place, and a woman's hand near her chest isn't seen as being sexually forward.  It's seen as if someone was brushing a piece of dust off one's jacket - just a normal part of human grooming.

Before we left, BXM had to go to the bathroom - and she slipped and fell. Although she was OK, I know that something was wrong - and it didn't help that the path to the bathroom wasn't level. Later on, I almost tripped in the same place.  But while she was in the loo, I chatted with the waitress as if I were a cisgender woman, and talked a little about my life. Nothing heavy here, just two women bonding a little.

Eventually, it was time to leave and BXM walked home from the restaurant.  I have a feeling that she made time to be with me (due to my normally low availability these days) though she'd rather have been doing something else.  Hopefully, next time, she will be more interested in the conversation instead of what had to be bugging her (not related to me).

Friday, August 12, 2016

Game night - I sure needed it!

The only thing I'll say about work today is that I could have stayed an extra hour or two cleaning up after things.  So instead, I took my meeting notes home and compiled them before going to sleep after game night.

- - - - - -

At lunch, I got a call from Lili.  It looks like she'll be bidding on a "tear down" house at the end of her easement.  This house is landlocked by Lili's property, and it has little value after being vacant for years.  So Lili made an opening bid (low ball) for the property, looking to see if the lender holding the title will bite.  If she gets the property, she'll be tearing down a house built in the 1930's, replacing it with one with all the modern conveniences - including a hot tub in which I can go and soak wearing my new swimsuit.

After I got home, I took care of some errands, and changed into Marian Mode.  Although I got out quicker than usual, I still ended up getting to the gaming venue at 8:30 pm.  Tonight was interesting - I played a couple of new games, and met a new woman who is likely trying to expand her circle of acquaintances. Hopefully, she'll be back - but I doubt it. She is not much of a game player.  

- - - - - -

On the drive home, I talked to GFJ for the second time of the day.  I often find it easier to give her a call on the way home from game night, simply because I know she's up, and I have to focus on something to stay alert at the end of my day.

I'll miss GFJ this weekend, as she's going to a wedding on Saturday.  Sad for her, it looks like there will be scattered showers that may spoil the atmosphere at the wedding.  The bride invited too many people, and too many people said YES.  So if the rains come as expected, they will all be cramped in a small venue and unable to move around.  

As for me, I'll keep myself busy.  But I wish she were to be here with me.