Friday, September 30, 2016

Loads of Laundry - and more

Today was a true day of cleaning.  Not only did I do 5 loads of laundry, but the cleaning lady also came.  I had to give her the sad news that I lost my job, and that I'll be using her on a monthly basis. I also found out that she uses several assistants on an ad-hoc basis, and was planning to let the assistant take care of my apartment while she took care of another assignment.  (It's no wonder how she socked away enough off-the-books money to buy an apartment.  I just have to give her credit for doing so.)

- - - - - -

I'm not as young as I used to be.  And I noticed how much 5 loads of laundry weigh when they are carried down and up 2 flights of stairs - especially when bring up all 5 loads at once.  No wonder why I felt a little winded after the last trip upstairs.  Now that I'm out of work, it makes sense that I find a way to go out walking for 45 minutes each day while the weather is good.  I don't want the one benefit of my former commute (the reduction in blood pressure) to go away now that I am out of work.

I figure that there is a lot that I can take care of while I'm out of work. For example, the ceiling in my bathroom needs repainting - and I can take care of it without much trouble. Yes, I will need to look for work.  My resume needs to be updated, and it does need to include my 6 month stint with my most recent employer.

- - - - - -

There is a part of me that says that I should make more time to see my dad at the nursing home. I figure that I'll drop by to see him before going over to the family homestead for my weekly duties. This way, I won't be too tired or depressed after a day of working on the house.

This week, I expect that my brother and I will be inventorying the tools that my dad once sold that still remain in the basement.  A fellow at the firm my brother works at offered to buy much of the taps, dies, and mills that we have, but he can't use any of the precision tools such as the micrometers and calibrators that our dad used to sell.  This merchandise will go to another person, the same person who gave my dad the taps, dies, and mills that my brother will be selling.  

For the most part, there wasn't much in the house worth selling.  A while back, my dad had work done on the house, and one of the laborers had access to the attic - where many valuable items were stored.   Both my brother and I remember a set of boxed Double-O gauge Lionel Trains that were once in the eaves. Only "Garbage" was left of these trains, none of them having boxes or were in a shape that we'd consider offering them for sale. 

Too bad that the fellow that "cleaned out" the attic didn't clean out the basement as well.  My brother found some industrial grade solvents that he knew to be hazardous material, and had to find a way to get rid of it.  Luckily, he found that there was a local chemical disposal day at a nearby county facility, and got rid of these jugs safely - and in a way that would not tie them back to us. 

- - - - - -

There is not a lot that I have to say to my dad these days.  Nothing new will be occurring in his life, and I don't want to tell him much about my life.  Do I want to tell him about losing my job?  No. Do I want to tell him about my worries?  No.  Do I want to tell him about being transgender?  No! No! No!  I think you get my drift.  Yet, I have to make the time to see my dad, even though we don't have that much to say to each other - as I know the pain of eventual loss will be so much greater if I don't take the time to see him now.

Until my dad took ill, I never realized how deep the ties of family can be. Yet I still wonder what would happen if my brother were to find out that I'm transgender before I'm ready to tell him....




Thursday, September 29, 2016

Getting out and about - getting used to a new routine.

I could have gone out to lunch with Lili today.  I could have gone to a meetup in Peekskill today. I could have gone to play Scrabble in Bedford today.  Instead, I sat around the house and did virtually nothing until dinner time.

- - - - - -

Right now, I need these days to myself.  I'll be connecting with friends soon enough, and rebuilding routines which I had established in my first period of unemployment.  My friends are there for me, and that is what is important. It's a good thing that my brother and I are being very careful not to upset each other, as we know we have no one left who can bring us back together.

- - - - - -

Currently, it looks like we'll be on target to get the family homestead cleaned out by Early October, and have the place rentable by the end of the month. My brother and I know that we might not be able to get the place rented until early in the new year. But we are trying our darnedest to make it possible for the place to be rented before the holidays.  Now that my nephew is back from the service (a long story, of which I don't know all the details), my brother intends to use his labor (and that of a friend or two) to get the last of the heavy lifting done before the contractor starts his remodeling work. I'd rather use people who are not family, as I don't want to see my nephew hurt himself over this house. Since my brother is going to do what he wants to do, I'll let him get his way this time.

- - - - - -

When I finally made it out today, I had a choice:  Stay home and do 4 loads of laundry, or go out for a drive and see DD at The Avenue.  Since I wanted to buy a pair of leggings to allow me to wear a couple of short dresses as tunics, the ride to Newburgh won.  (I can always get the rags cleaned before the cleaning lady arrives. And I need to put her back on a monthly schedule until I find work again.) It was nice seeing DD again, as well as meeting a new saleslady.  There was one problem I have to be wary of for a while - I didn't warm up my feminine voice enough, and my transgender nature was showing. (Lili mentioned this to me the other day, and it is something I have to be aware of again.)  I guess that I'll have to always remember to warm up by talking for 5 minutes or so until the right pitch kicks in.... 

On the way back, I stopped at BJ's to pick up some assorted goodies.  I was a little concerned that one of my credit cards would give me problems, because I got a rejected transaction earlier in the day when using the card to buy makeup from Alcone. (They rejected my Discover card, but accepted my Visa card. I wonder if they are doing business with my former employer....)  Luckily, BJ's had no problems with my Discover card, and I expect to make my last commutation ticket payment with the next bill. (When the next commutation ticket arrives, I'll mail it back for a refund.) 

- - - - - -

I'm still getting used to being unemployed.  It does put a crimp in one's life, but one can make do with a little bit of thought and luck.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Board, not Bored

"Board, not Bored."  This was the name of the meetup group where I met WDJ.  The meetup group no longer meets in Beacon, and it is no longer convenient for me to attend the group's meetings.  And this is an appropriate introduction for a day which involves a co-op board meeting.

- - - - - -

GFJ slept over last night, and I left my early morning alarm on so that she could get to Kingston to have her car serviced by the dealer.  (They didn't do something right involving her catalytic converter, and she had to take it back to have their repair finished.)  Shortly after she left, I went back to sleep, and didn't get up until noon.

A bit later, Lili called and wanted to know if we were still on for lunch.  Given that I was tired, and that I didn't want to go out as Marian and then change into Mario for the board meeting, I put off lunch until tomorrow.  This allowed me to relax until 5:00 pm, when I got showered, dressed, and ready to meet with the board.

Unfortunately, I can't give you any details about what happened in the meeting. But I can say we discussed issues regarding several residents, as well as issues involving the general maintenance of the property.  I wish that I didn't have to worry about protecting private information, as one could write a soap opera involving several of the key players' personalities.

After the meeting, HWV and I arranged to get together to chat on Friday.  No time was set, but I know there are things we need to talk about.  Then, HWA (another neighbor who knows I am Transgender, and with whom I have developed a friendship) and I got to talking - and we chatted for well over two hours after the meeting.  It's nice to know that there are people who care.

- - - - - -

Of course, there are other demands on my time that I have to address. I have to start refreshing my skill set, so that I can interview again.  I also need to start going to PMI meetings again, if I still want to try to make it in project management. And then, I have to finish up work with my brother on the family homestead, so that we can get it in shape to be rented out. 

At least I can again recharge my batteries properly....

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Quickie: The hammer finally dropped. And I don't feel so bad - yet.

Well - I finally lost my job.  Right now I don't feel too bad about it, but over time I expect things to change.

- - - - - -

Once the hammer dropped, I went back to my desk to pack up my things.  I had nothing of great value there, and was glad of that. A couple of people made it a point to say goodbye, and I was glad of that.  The only thing I didn't like is that I lost a couple of the vacation days I had earned to date.

My friends are there for me, and GFJ is coming down to spend the night.  This is a good sign.  (It was a fluke that today, GFJ had to go to the place that set her up with the CPAP machine to take care of paperwork and getting new CPAP accessories.) I've sent messages to my brother, Lili, Vicki, and BXM.  And I will be contacting others as time goes by.  I'm sure that WDS will have his usual words of wisdom, but he will be operating from a distinct lack of knowledge about the situation.

There is a good thing coming up - a GLBT job fair that I could go to.  However, I haven't socially transitioned to live as Marian 24x7. And I don't want to burn my bridges with references right now....

Wish me luck.

Monday, September 26, 2016

An unexpected Sunday free

No, I don't take the Long Island Railroad when I travel out to work on my family's homestead.  But if it made sense, I'd consider doing so, as I don't like the headache of dealing with Long Island traffic.

- - - - - -

I made plans to drive to Long Island today, when my brother called to give me a day off.  He probably realized that I wouldn't be much help for the task he planned to work on, and I needed the day of rest. So I made the most of it and stayed in bed until 5:00 or so.

Towards mid-afternoon, I made a series of calls.  One of these calls was to Vicki, and she told me about the hell of White Plains commuter traffic.  She didn't realize how bad the traffic would be, as she last worked in White Plains about 25 years ago. So, I told her of my secrets in how to avoid much of the traffic, and have a return commute with less headaches. However, I won't be able to help her much until we're in the same place, and I can draw her a few maps with bypass routes that she can use.

The next call was to BXM.  We don't get the chance to see each other that often, so I figured that I'd take a chance and call her.  She was available for dinner, so my plans were set - if not the place we'd meet, or the place where we'd be eating.  So I got showered, shaved, and made up for a night out as Marian. Once we found a Mexican place to eat (that served drinks), BXM started telling the most recent updates on a 10 year old girl with whom she was trying to help break the family cycle of dysfunction and steer her to a productive life.  (The girl's mother is on welfare, and there is little hope for her to completely break the dysfunctional habits she has learned in life.  But BXM, as a former caseworker, sees hope for the girl, and tries to give the girl any help she can get.)  Sadly, the girl has a long way to go, and I'm not sure if BXM is the person who can give that girl what she needs.

- - - - - -

Hopefully, this girl will break free of the family cycle of dysfunction.  Sometimes, one has to see (or hear about) someone who has it worse than you do to appreciate the things you have.  This girl's life story makes me appreciate who I am and what I have in life....

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Lunch Anyone?

Louis' Lunch. A small little place selling the most important meal of the day.  I've wanted to go here for a while, but I never had the excuse to do so until today. And it was well worth the effort.

- - - - - -

But let me start at the beginning of the day....

GFJ stayed overnight, and neither of us wanted to get moving until noon.  One problem - GFJ does not like to see me in Marian Mode, so I had to wait for her to leave the house until I started to change into Marian.  This gave me precious little time to get showered, made up, and dressed before leaving to see YGM in New Haven.

Initially, YGM protested (that's way too strong a word) that it would be an hour's drive for her. But when she realized that I had a 2 hour drive to get there, she realized that 1 hour is not that bad a drive on a nice day.  So she left her kids (and hubby) at home, and drove to New Haven for a late lunch.

Neither of us had been to this area of New Haven before. Getting off the highway, I expected to see a run down area. But I was surprised once I got a few blocks from the highway's service road. Without realizing it, I was about a block away from Yale University. YGM had driven a little bit in the area, and was pleasantly surprised herself - especially with her Mother having bad mouthed New Haven in the past. So we stumbled into each other (finally) on a nice day, ready to have a nice lunch together.

Walking into the place, the first thing one notices is a small menu - you have a choice of ordering either a hamburger or a cheeseburger, with tomatoes and onions or without. Having catsup on your burger is a no-no there, as the owners have (for years) enforced a policy of "have it our way". And I can't blame them, because the burger is THAT good. Sadly, the place is too small, so when we finished our cheeseburgers, we figured that it would be best to walk around the block.

On our walk, we stumbled into Yale University - and realized why there was so much life in the neighborhood.  Starbucks was too crowded for hanging out. As a result, we walked down the block to a wonderful dairy shop which sold great ice cream and wonderful cheeses.  Too bad I couldn't take any of them home, as I had a dinner date with YGWM and her daughter at 6:00 pm.

- - - - - -

Sadly, 5:00 pm came way too quickly, and both YGM and I had to part.  I drove to Stamford (with a stop in Catherine's to window shop) at my usual breakneck speed, and was able to get to the restaurant (Barcelona Wine Bar) roughly on time. Stamford has a lot of parking, but virtually all of it off street, and all of it metered. So it took me a few minutes to find a spot and pay for it before I was able to walk to the restaurant. 

YGWM waved to me, and YGWM's daughter was there as expected. It was nice to have an outdoor table when the weather was perfect for sitting outside.  The three of us hit it off like old friends, and the three of us ladies enjoyed a wonderful dinner together - until YGWM had a severe allergic reaction to cigarette smoke coming from next door. (That's a problem when one is seated outside.) So we broke things up early, and went our separate ways.

- - - - - -

I had nothing better to do, so I drove to The Avenue in Co-Op city, where I could try on a couple pairs of shoes, as well as a couple of dresses.  The size 13-W pumps fit well, but there was no way I was going to spend $65 on shoes I could get for less if I wait a little while. And then there were the three little black dresses.  Only one of them held my interest.

At 40% off, this dress was priced right.  Although it didn't hide much of my fat, at least it made my fat look feminine and almost got me to spend money to put it in my overflowing closet.  But I was in no mood to spend money without realistic need, so I passed on the dress.

Now, I had earlier talked with Pat, and she told me that Fran was trying to get people to sit at the table she was sponsoring at the GLBT Center's yearly gala. Although Fran offered to pay half of Pat's fee (she knows Pat has no money), I didn't want to have Fran subsidize me (if I chose to go) as I didn't want to owe her anything.  But going would have given me the excuse to buy the dress, and take a day with me away from GFJ - something I don't want to do until the work on the family homestead is done for a while.

- - - - - -

Hopefully, I'll have more opportunities to see YGM and YGWM in the future. But I think it will take the end of work on Long Island to do so.... 


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Quickie: Another good day at work. Will this be the start of a good trend?

This will be a quick post, as GFJ is coming over in a few minutes, and we'll be rushing out to see the new documentary about the Beatles' touring years, "Eight Days a Week."

- - - - - -

Normally, I've been dreading my weekly status reports because my screwups have been pointed out in a harsh manner.  Even though I made my share of mistakes, none of them were too bad - and I got everything done that I expected to do for the week. Yes, I misunderstood a new process, but it could have been much worse. But, at least, my boss saw that I captured a lot of information, and that we're moving forward with the project.

It would have been very easy for me to stay after 5:30 pm today.  But I wanted to make it home, so that GFJ and I could go see a movie in Pleasantville.  One catch - that meant I had to make the 6:15 pm train.  Luckily, I had time to spare in doing so.  However, GFJ was running a little late, and our timelines are tight.

- - - - - -

Tomorrow, GFJ will be running off to go to a meetup with some friends, and I'll be going to see YGWM for her birthday dinner.  However, if I'm lucky, I'll find a way to spend some time with YGM (or another one of Marian's friends) and maximize the value of time spent in Marian mode.  It isn't often that I have time to myself on a weekend these days, and I want to make the most of it....

PS: I just wanted to let you know that the movie was very good.  It's a shame that this documentary (and the associated 34 minute clip of the Shea Stadium concert) didn't get wider on-screen release. And I know what you've probably been saying while reading this:  "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah......"   ;-)

Friday, September 23, 2016

Finally, a Thursday that I got to game night "sort of" on time.

I won't say much about work, save that the day went better than expected.  In fact, I was able to get out a few minutes after 4:00 pm - which I haven't been able to do for a while.

- - - - - -

Today was a very pleasant day.  The weather was much cooler than the day before, and it felt nice going outside, if only for a walk across the street to pick up a sandwich.  Even when I found out that I wasn't going to be able to get a task done on time, my boss didn't give me any grief - in part, because I told him as soon as I knew about it.  Could things be changing?  I won't know for a long while....

Leaving the office, it was the kind of day that I was wishing I didn't have plans for any Marian time - simply because I could have stayed in the city and have gone to one of the 20 at 20 special deals on off-Broadway plays.  But to me, Marian time is much more important, because I get less of it these days. The only glitch I encountered was when I got home, and realized that my car was parked in the wrong lot.

- - - - - -

Unlike yesterday, I was in no rush to get anywhere. So I took my time in switching to Marian Mode, and selected something comfortable to wear.  Going to my car, I was wondering whether it was yet time to be wearing stockings, because of the cool breeze between my legs.

Although I got to the gaming venue at 8:15 or so, only one game had started.  It was not a game that I was that interested in playing. So I was glad to miss that game, and get involved in the next one. Of course, I lost badly. But I had a good time. And that was the important thing - I was relaxed, and could have a good time for a change.

- - - - - -

On the way home, I tried to reach Lili.  She was busy watching a movie, so I'll end up talking with her over the weekend.  One of the things we have to take care of real soon is booking our cruise.  In many ways, I have a feeling that she has lost track of things, and that she may have screwed things up for us.  So I'll have to reach out to her and give her the information she needs to make the final commitment for the cruise. I'd hate to end up not taking the cruise after all this time has gone by.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A mad rush and some retail therapy

YGWM has a birthday coming up.  And since she gave me a necklace for my birthday, it wouldn't be right for me NOT to give her a gift on her birthday.  So I knew I had to make it to Newburgh before Saturday, in order to get her a necklace and earrings that she might like.

- - - - - -

As usual, I left the office a little late and barely missed the 6:15 pm train for the third time this week. So I had a half hour to kill, and decided to have some Indian grub while waiting for the train. Once done with my meal, I ended up walking to the train, and sat down in a seat next to a thin lady. Apparently she didn't like either my aroma (it was hot and humid today, and I had just spent time in the subway, not having a chance to cool down) or the idea of sitting next to someone a little bit heavy - since she got out of her seat, and started looking for a seat in the car ahead of me.

I got home about 7:55 pm, and was able to rinse off my grime, put on my makeup, get dressed, and be out the door before 8:20 pm. And with a little help from a lead foot, I made it to the mall by 9:05 pm, having a chance to buy YGWM a little something, as well as having a chance to chat with DD at The Avenue.

- - - - - -

After I was done with gift buying, it was off to Walmart for stuff I needed for the pantry.  As I was about to finish dealing with self checkout, GFJ called.  So I returned the call, and chatter with her all the way home.

It'll be nice to see her again on Friday night.  Both of us have places to go on Saturday, so this will be a quick visit.    


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The house on Long Island will soon be renovated

The house I lived in for the first part of my life is 75 years old.  And there is an interesting juxtaposition between old and new in the place.  It is best illustrated by the bathroom. Everything but the toilet is from when the house was built, and none of it would be put together this way today.

- - - - - -

At the end of the workday, my brother called me at the office.  He realized that I prefer NOT to receive calls on my cell phone, as I'm one of those outliers who still have a plan where I'm charged for call minutes, and not for data consumed.  He told me about the bid we got from his contractor, and I said that I'll go along with any decision he makes in this area.  When you consider that the fellow will be charging us $13k for labor for: (1) a major remodeling of the kitchen, (2) a total remodeling of the bathroom, (3) sanding all the wood flooring on the main level, and (4) painting all of the interior walls on the main level, and we are likely getting a great bargain. 

My brother plans to clean out his stuff during the week, so that we can do some serious appliance and "hardware" (cabinets, counter tops, etc.) shopping on Sunday.  We need to get a dollar figure for the stuff we have to buy, as we need to find the money for the job. (It won't be hard to find.  We just want to stay in an approximate budget we had a while back.) More important than this is that we must develop a reasonable schedule for work on the house, as we only have 6 weeks to get everything done.

- - - - - -

Would I ever want to live in this house after renovation?  No.  Long Island is way too crowded for me, and the house is way too close to my brother for me to go out in Marian Mode.  The house also brings back memories for me, many of which are unpleasant. There is a phrase "You can never go home again."  And this is so true for me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Vacation Ended

I thought the day was going to be much worse.  My boss held a belated weekly status meeting, and it went better than expected.  Yet, I think I'm on my way out. When I mentioned my work load, he mentioned that I should be preparing more for my meetings and have questions for him.  The reality is that we communicate poorly, and that's something that bodes poorly for any working relationship.

In a way, I've stopped giving a hoot about trying to keep the job.  My emotions are invested elsewhere, and it might be a relief to leave.  Yes, I'll keep trying to do the best I can do, and try to keep the job.  But with my heart in another place, it will be a relief not to deal with him or this client.

- - - - - -

With all that being said, I actually had a reasonably good day.  The weather was perfect, and I was able to go outside for lunch. My boss stayed out of my hair, and I was able to do some preparation for Wednesday's meeting.  Will it be enough?  Probably not. But at least I will try to do my best.

Unfortunately, I left the office too late to catch the train I wanted. So I didn't get home until 7:45 pm. And by that point, it didn't make sense for me to get into Marian Mode and do some retail therapy.  I was in the mood to go to Newburgh and see my favorite saleslady. But at the time I made it home, it made more sense to get comfortable and prepare for an early evening bedtime. 

- - - - - -

I figure that I'll be able to do some retail therapy on Wednesday.  At this point, I don't think it's my wish to spend more time that is the root cause of my workplace problems.  Instead, it is my lack of sleep coupled with a boss with whom I don't communicate well that is the problem.  I no longer have any confidence that I'll be able to keep the job.  Too much has happened over the past six months to make me feel that my position is salvageableBut I feel that the pressure is off of me, now that my dad is in the nursing home. My brother has taken care of the financial issues, and I am able to focus more clearly these days. 

Strangely enough, most of the time I go for some retail therapy these days, I no longer am buying things.  My closet is packed, and the only thing I may need to buy is a pair of rain boots in my size.  Since there are very few rain boots in my size, I'm in no hurry to buy anything. And that's a good thing.

I just wonder what it would be like if I had a smaller shoe size and a smaller dress size....