Monday, October 31, 2016

A quiet weekend with GFJ

Sadly, GFJ does not want to deal with the Marian side of me.  We both know that neither of us are looking at the long term until her divorce is final. And then, and only then, will we be in a position to say what we want and need to do with our lives.

- - - - - -

On Friday, GFJ knew that I was going to meet with the FFGoW meetup group to have dinner with the ladies. Since she was having dinner with one of her friends after a divorcee's group gathering, this was not an issue.  GFJ arrived at my place around midnight, and we quickly fell asleep.

The next morning, we both were too tired to do much of anything, so we stayed in bed all day.  We didn't get moving until late in the afternoon, having watched about 6 hours of "Law and Order, SVU", and this limited us to what we planned to do for dinner.  Thankfully, BJ's had pre-cooked hot chickens available after 7:00 pm, and with some veggies and an ice cream cake we bought, we had a nice dinner.

Sunday morning came, and I was cooking breakfast when I got a call from an unknown number in Connecticut.  My cousin (once removed) called to tell me that her mom (my paternal grandmother's sister in law) had passed away.  As much as I wanted to go to the funeral, there is no realistic way for me to drive to Newport, RI for the day - as I'd have to be on the road by 5:00 am to be there on time.  And there was no way I could skip a public co-op board meeting we are holding the night before. So I'll have to send a sympathy card, and say that I'd like to visit when things are less hectic.

GFJ and I got out of the house around 3:30 pm, and took a nice long drive through Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties, putting mileage on the car that it doesn't need. Yet, we needed to get out of the house, and this little trip was worth the miles.  Unfortunately, GFJ couldn't stay overnight, so I had to bid her adieu around 9:00 pm.

- - - - - - 

What I didn't mention so far is that NYS Unemployment sent me a letter on Saturday, telling me that I had to report to the Department of Labor office in Peekskill.  Seems like they (in theory) want to review my resume and assess my qualifications for employment.  This is a minor pain in the ass, as I know what went wrong in my prior job, and I am deliberately avoiding applying for positions which play to my weaknesses and not my strengths.

Job searching is a big pain, as in a society with structural unemployment for many, we are not able to efficiently match enough people with jobs for which they are qualified.  All too many people's skills become obsolete, and yet, our society does a piss-poor job of redeploying a growing idled workforce.  (Heck, people who look for jobs more than 6 months are considered "discouraged" and not dropped from the unemployed worker count.  This doesn't make sense when there is a shortage of quality jobs for most Americans.)  Yet, many disagree with me.  Since I don't want to make this a political rant, I just want to note that the official statistics are well known not to accurately represent true unemployment rates, and that both Liberals and Conservatives agree that there is a real problem, but can't agree on what that problem is.

When I discussed this letter with GFJ, she noted that self-employed people whose businesses become insolvent are doubly screwed.  Even though they ("in theory") are in control of their work, they must pay into the unemployment insurance fund, and are unable to collect from it when their businesses fail.  Sadly, our system is FUBAR, and there is little that a market based economy can do to soften the blows to the average worker without making them dependent on the government, and no longer subject to what Marx called "The Whip of Hunger."

As I've noted in my first period of unemployment, I am still a very lucky person. And I am still grateful to have the resources that most people in my position do not have....

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Quickie: Such a Nasty Woman

Yes, today's entry is political.

As a transgender female, I am offended by Donald Trump and how he treats women.  His marriages are to trophy wives, picked not because of their intelligence, but because of their looks.  He showed no respect for Hillary Clinton during the debates, and called her a nasty woman as an insult, trying to denigrate her by abusing his role as an alpha male.

Women have a built in disadvantage in many fields.  Females sound shrill when talking over men, simply because they speak in a voice an octave higher than most males.  It's much harder for a woman to command with authority, as we have been raised in cultures of male dominance.  To gain power, many women learn to speak in a lower register, and in a slower speed.  The late Margaret Thatcher was a perfect example of a woman doing this, as her voice changed in subtle ways from the beginning of her career to the end of her career in British politics.

Hillary Clinton earned my respect during the three presidential debates, and afterwards at the Alfred Smith dinner.  As news reporters said, they never knew it was possible for a presidential candidate to lose this dinner, but Trump did so.  It's amazing that at the end of Trump's shtick, he stopped being funny, and started to show how bitter he was in regard to Hillary Clinton. By comparison, Hillary was much more acceptable, as she didn't trash Trump in the same way that he tried to trash her.  She showed a certain class under fire - something I'm not sure that I could do in her shoes.

Is Hillary nasty?  Probably not.  But I wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of her.  I doubt that she will do that much for us transgender folk. Yet, I am much more confident that she will not actively do anything that could harm us - as Trump might do.  Hopefully, we'll see a side of her as president that has been denied us in the past.  If not, I'll be comfortable knowing that someone who has not had to deal with the "testosterone poisoning" that often makes someone needlessly aggressive and unstable.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Quickie: Dinner with the Girls

I only had two things on the schedule for today.  First was a meetup with the FFGoW women's meetup group for dinner, and then GFJ's arrival for the weekend.  And I had the time and energy just for that.

One thing I've noticed in the month since I've gone to work is that I have grown more lethargic.  Depression?  Maybe.  But, for the most part, I don't have enough to do - and I've been letting the time roll by.  I simply need the break.

Even though I got up around 9:00 am, I didn't really get moving until 3:00 in the afternoon. This is just as well, as I didn't want to shave twice today.  Having a freshly shaved face is essential for the application of my makeup, and I seem to have developed a basic expertise in making my face presentable, and resembling a female's face as much as possible.

At 6:00 pm, I drive down to Yonkers, and made it to the meetup on time.  The usual cast of characters were there, including WPB - who I am always glad to see.  I think I'm going to make this a monthly Friday away from GFJ, as I enjoy the company of these ladies, and I think they are just as glad to have me around.

Around 9:00 pm, our group began to break up, and I got in my car for the ride home.  I found out that GFJ was just starting dinner with one of her lady friends, and that she would likely not arrive here until 10:30-11:00 pm - making it possible for me to write this short entry. At least, I'll have the time to strip and get back into Mario mode before she gets here....

Friday, October 28, 2016

Not so thrifty Thursday

It's been a month and a day since I lost my job, and I have gotten used to having leisure time during the day.  It'll be hard for me when I find work again, as I like the routine of waking up when I want to, and not worrying about how to squeeze in all my errands between work and commutation.

- - - - - -

Waking up, I knew I had to get out of the house before the cleaning lady came.  So I made sure to get dressed en-femme and get out of the house well before lunchtime.  Of course, having a lunch date with Vicki#2 at Aberdeen was likely to make my day. And it did so, as expected.  We were able to catch up on things that happened over the past few months, and we made a date to get together next month.

After lunch, I drove to Lower Westchester, and killed a little time. Browsing at The Avenue was fun, especially trying on some shoes that I had no intentions of buying at this time. (A gal can't have enough shoes in her closet!)  Once done there, I decided to drive to the thrift store that BXM and I occasionally shop at, and saw absolutely nothing worth buying.

While out, I received a text from a former co-worker at the bank I once worked for.  It seems like there was going to be a reunion dinner that I didn't hear about. And this dinner was going on this evening.  Since I was already in Marian Mode, there was no way that I'd go to this gathering, as I certainly didn't want to out myself while I could use a few of these people as references in my job search.

By the time 4:00 pm came by, I knew that it didn't make sense to drive back to Croton, so I decided to see a movie: "The Accountant". You can look at the reviews to see if you want to watch this movie. But for an action film, it avoids excessive gun play and violence, and still stays interesting.  One does not feel that the protagonist is at any risk for his life. Yet, one enjoys the flow of the film until the very end.  If one wants to kill a couple of hours of time, this is the film to see.

Once the film was over, I made it to Panera Bread, and then to game night.  I didn't play every game, but I had fun any way.  Game night was the capstone to a day which went better than expected. And for me, this was something I needed to keep my spirits up.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Two days en-homme

Would Cary Grant still be seen as much of a dapper gentleman, had he retained the name of Archibald Leech?   I don't think so.  But this gentleman said that playing "Cary Grant" was the most challenging role he ever played.  And in a way, the same can be said for any trans-woman who has to impersonate a male for much of her life.

- - - - - -

On Tuesday, both GFJ and I had our appointments for the day.  I saw my ex-boss for lunch on the other side of the Hudson, while GFJ had a divorce support group to attend.  There was no way we'd be able to stay in bed all day, and that was the one thing we wanted to do most.

I met my ex-boss at noon, and the two of us ended up discussing politics for the better part of two hours.  Neither of us want to see Trump elected, and we fear what might happen it America made the mistake of electing him.  Sadly, Hillary is the lesser of two evils this year, as both of us were Bernie supporters. It's also sad when a non-Jew can make better comparisons with Germany during the rise of Hitler than he could, as both of us see the existential threat this man is to the American way of life. When Trump is willing to destroy America's faith in the ballot box if he loses the election, it means that a lot of crazy people will feel that they have permission to set things straight.  Even the most hard line Republicans see this threat as something that endangers the republic as we know it....

After lunch, I drove home and got ready for the co-op board meeting.  Again, I can't say what we discussed at the meeting.  But I can say that one of my concerns have been addressed, and that action will be taken on an issue that needed to be addressed. 

During the meeting, Lili tried to reach me.  She wouldn't say for what.  I told her that I was in the meeting, and asked her to tell me what was going on.

Me: In co-op board meeting. Ttyl 7:31 PM
Me: Can't talk.... 7:32 PM

Lili  Call Mark @ 8005551212   7:33 PM
Me: Can't do so until after 9. What's up? 7:34 PM
Me: Won't call unless I know what is going on. 7:52 PM

--- two hour gap here ---
Lili  If I ask u to call someone is obviously for a good reason 9:48 PM

She called shortly after I got home and told me that Mark (her tenant) works in a place that is hiring, and that he may be able to help me.  That's all well and good, but he strikes me as a person I don't want to get to know too well.  Additionally, I don't want for him to know me as anyone other than Marian.  So this will need to be approached carefully - and I won't call him until sometime on Wednesday.
- - - - - -

Wednesday came, and I had two things on my agenda: Visiting my Dad, and Attending a PMI meeting in New York City.  I didn't get out of the house until a little after 1:00 pm, and it took me an hour and a half to reach the nursing home. Traffic at certain choke points was horrible, and I regretted each of the choices I made to bypass the jams. But once I was able to travel Eastbound on the Long Island Expressway, things cleared up and I was able to relax a little before getting to see my Dad.

As expected, I only spent a half hour with my dad.  Afterwards, I visited the family homestead to see what my brother and nephew have done with the house so far this week. 

As you can see, the bathroom has been gutted.  This is work that was done by our contractor.  What you can't see is the work my brother and nephew are doing underneath, replacing things that have "rusted" away, and making sure that each and every plumbing fixture is in good shape before we start putting things back together.

I couldn't stay long at the house.  Not only did I have to get into New York City.  But I had a very pressing need to go to the bathroom, and I couldn't use this one the way it is.  So it was off to the local Starbucks, and then into Astoria to take the subway.  Strangely enough, I made it to the PMI meeting on time.  But it almost wasn't worth going there.  I did learn one thing - there are quite a few people trying to get into project management, and I have a lot more competition than I would like in this field.

When the PMI meeting was almost over, I bailed out early, made it back to my car, and then onward to home.  On the way, I found that my car and phone couldn't sync with each other, and had to resync them.  One problem - I lost all my contacts, and the phone book in the car's memory didn't reflect that of my phone.  Sooner or later, I'll have to check this out.  But for now, I can work around the problem when it comes to my speed dial settings, and still be able to reach GFJ, Lili, Vicki, and others.




Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Keeping in touch with people is hard

It's not always easy to keep in touch with one's friends and family.  For most of us, it's the usual set of conditions. We are either too busy or too distant to maintain contact with people. As a result, these people become distant, but pleasant memories that we cherish. If they suddenly became closer, many of them will have grown in different ways, and the magic which fostered a relationship will no longer be there.

In my case, I have the added wrinkle of being transgender.  I prefer to develop and maintain relationships in Marian mode, and this can be a problem.  For example, I have family. I am out to only one member, my niece.  She is more than happy for me, but knows that I'd have a very hard time outing myself to my brother, his wife, and his son.  So she keeps this part of me secret from the rest of her family. None of my extended family know about me being transgender, and that's OK with me. I am not close to them, and they have never been close to me.

None of my professional contacts are aware that I am transgender. This means that whenever I see them, I must be in Mario mode. This is not a problem, but it forces me to present as male when I'd rather be presenting as female. The opposite goes for friends who know me only as female, even though they know I'm transgender. I also have to schedule my time in a way, so that they only see me in my female presentation. And then there are the friends who know me in both modes. I can schedule time to be with them in either mode, and am accepted either way.

Does this sound complicated?  Well, what happens when one has to answer the phone with one voice, when one is in the opposite gender presentation?  This is a problem, especially when one gets phone calls from friends and family that must be responded to relatively quickly.

Now, I have a hard time arranging get-togethers with people like Patty, Maria, Vicki, as they have full lives.  Patty is enjoying retirement from her long term job, but is looking for a part time position to help give her the lifestyle she had before being laid off. Maria is dealing with the problems of her irresponsible daughter and her grandson, trying to make sure that both are OK. And then there is Vicki, someone who has been able to maintain a relationship through thick and thin.  She has the self confidence that I wish I had, and knows how to avoid codependent relationships.

It seems like the people I know most worth knowing are the hardest to reach - simply because they are out living their lives, and not wallowing in romantic loneliness like Lili. Yet, knowing this makes me wonder - what do people think of me and how I live my life?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A strange close to a weekend that ended for me on Monday

The Croton Dam.  This place has many memories for me, as I have been visiting the area since I was 18, and have been living here since I was 27.  It was here before I was born, and will be here long after I'm gone. And yet, it will be seen as an ancient artifact by future generations someday.

- - - - - -

GFJ was supposed to come here on Saturday night.  Unfortunately, she was feeling sick and preferred to stay home.  Had I known this was going to happen, I'd have visited the place below while in New York City.

I'm not a hot dog fan, but there is something special about this place that I will write about when I get the chance to visit.

- - - - - -

Sunday came, and both GFJ and I took it easy most of the day.  She didn't arrive here until 4:30 pm, and we took off for the park for a late afternoon short walk before eating dinner.  It was nice to see her again, but if I had known she'd get here so late, I'd have likely gone to church in Marian mode - something I haven't done in a while.

Dinner at the diner was predictable, and it was nice to be able to have someone else cook for us when neither of us had much energy. Afterwards, the two of relaxed at the apartment,  and we were in bed well before midnight.

- - - - - -

The next morning, it was more of the same. We got up late, and ate breakfast after noon.  Given how warm it was outside, I'm surprised that we didn't need the air conditioner on inside the place. But reality got in both our ways. GFJ had to take care of some details regarding work, and I had to send out some job applications.

For the most part, we spent the day in bed.  It was a very good say to relax and do nothing. But evening came too soon, and we had to get dressed and go out to see a free concert by the Army's Ambassadors of Jazz.  It was a nice concert, and well worth the price.  One catch, expect to see some excessive nationalism displayed - it is the Army, after all, who is on stage.

As we arrived home, I found a neighbor parked in my parking spot.  It seems like my neighbor in the next building couldn't find a parking spot for her rental car, and looked to park in my spot for a while.  I'd have had no problems, had she been willing to be blocked in until 11:00 am or so. But she ended up parking somewhere else in the complex.  We ended up chatting a bit, and she showed me something that could make even me a little paranoid.

What could be the thing hanging from the top of the door?  Given that there was a flashing red light on it, I can only guess that it was some sort of surveillance device.  But why would it be there?  The neighbor who showed this to me is the same one who showed the strange stuff left on her patio.

In addition to the sheet above, there were other pages which were solely in either Japanese or Chinese (I think the former), and a device that looked like a GPS. This woman, I believe, has a legitimate concern and feels she is powerless to do anything about it.  Right now, all she can do is document what is going on and wait for the right minute to act. And I find this sad.  Bullies get power when victims feel helpless, and this woman feels helpless. Until this is rectified, I'll likely be hearing more from this woman as the man above her gradually goes off his rocker....

Monday, October 24, 2016

Wishing I were in Provincetown - again!

Provincetown, MA.  It's the home of this year's Fantasia Fair. And by the time you read this entry, it'll be over.  I have friends at Fantasia Fair that I've only have met once, but miss tremendously because we've kept in touch via the internet over the years.

What is so special about this place?  Is it the GLBT friendly attitude of the natives?  Is it memories I have of my wife and I sharing many good times in this town? Could it simply be a place where mankind has not destroyed a fragile part of nature, and where there seems to be a kind of beautiful truce?  I don't know the answer. But I do know that I never grow tired of visiting this place, and I wish I could have justified spending several days there at the time of this year's Fantasia Fair.

Over the years, I have spent a lot of time in P'town. My wife and I used to visit on a semi-regular basis.  After she died, I visited there with several of my girl friends, most notably Patty and Ex-GF-M. I'll always have very special memories of my long weekend there with Patty, as it was her way of saying thanks to me for caring for her while she was literally unable to stand on her own two feet.  (She had had a pair of operations which kept her in a wheelchair for several months, repairing damage to both feet caused by an accidental misstep at a NYC street corner.) And it was my second to last time there (accompanied by Ex-GF-M) that I saw my friend Barbara last.

The last time I tried to make it to P'town was for an overnight trip. My friend Barbara (who once owned the local B&B in Croton) was on her death bed due to a cancer that metastasized from her colon to her brain.  I contacted the people running Fantasia Fair, and explained that I couldn't afford the fair this year, and wanted to come overnight while I visited my friend in hospice during the day.  The folks from the fair were very understanding, and made it possible for me to attend for a single night.  Sadly, Barbara died a week beforehand, and I no longer could justify driving up to P'town any longer.

I've always meant to make it up to P'town again, if only for another visit to Fantasia Fair.  But in the past few years, I had work conflicts which conflicted with the fair.  Then I lost my job (for the first time) and couldn't justify going up while collecting unemployment insurance and looking for work. Last year, I had told Lili that I couldn't afford the cruise we were on, and I couldn't excuse a trip to P'town and accept help from Lili to take the cruise.

This year, I am unemployed again, and I could use a couple of days in P'town with the weather they are expecting for the middle of the week.  But I am not going to spend the money this year, as I need to make my bank account last a lot longer than expected.  So again, I will miss visiting a place that means so much to me.... 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Scheduling rears its not so ugly head.

I have always loved riding trains, and I think I always will.  There are some things which never change about a person, and for that I am glad.  The more I progress down my road to femininity, the more I notice which things change and which things stay the same.

This post could have started off as a political rant, given that the only thing that seems to be in the news right now is Donald Trump and his (lack of) respect for women. This post could have been about my issues in dating, where I have to make some hard decisions and have been waiting for time to sort things out.  This post could have been about family issues, and how I've avoided telling my family about being transgender. But I'm not in the mood to talk about these things today.  Instead, I'm looking to talk about schedules and how they affect my life.

- - - - - -

Managing my time has not always been the easiest of things for me to do. Over the years, I have developed a good idea of how things take to get done, but have never bothered to be exact.  As long as I'm within 10% of my estimates, no one generally has cared that much. However, I've noticed one tendency.  If I pay for something, or that if something is very time dependent, I will end up being reasonably exact. If not, I'm very flexible. And this has allowed me to juggle both friendships and relationships.

Now that I'm unemployed, my schedule doesn't need to be that exact. I try to schedule my days around whether I'll be in Marian mode or Mario mode for the day. On Tuesday, when I had my car inspected, I scheduled a visit to Long Island to see my Dad.  Why waste a day in Mario mode on only one appointment needing me in Mario mode.  On Wednesday, I visited RO and Pat, two appointments I would make in Marian mode. Having this kind of control is good, as it allows me to manage life in two genders without too many problems.

When I was most recently employed, getting home by 7:30 pm made it impossible to spend any time outside the house in Marian mode with my friends. I was coming home exhausted, and I wasn't getting enough sleep. Schedules were getting in my way. As much as I can use the money, my health has a greater value to me. No amount of schedule juggling could reduce the damage that the lack of usable time in my life was causing.

- - - - - -

Thursday was a day scheduled to be in Marian mode, as I had game night planned in Yonkers. Well, game night was cancelled. And that gave me the freedom to repurpose an evening spent in Marian mode to having a light dinner with WDJ.  This is not the kind of thing one can do when one runs a railroad. But it is the kind of thing one can do when one has a lot of slack in a schedule.  And I intend to enjoy this for a while....


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Anticipation - The order of the day

I can still remember the Heinz' Ketchup commercials where someone would do something silly, demonstrating how slowly the product would pour out of a glass bottle.  It only made sense to redesign the container, so that the pour spout (or, I should say, nozzle) would be at the bottom of the package, making it much easier to dispense the product.

Today was one of those days where anticipation would likely play a part.  I have been waiting for information regarding COBRA healthcare coverage since the beginning of the month, and I have doctors to see for which I need coverage.  I also had plans to see HWA, and gab for a few hours. And lastly, I had plans to see the cat lady again for dinner.

- - - - - -

Lately, I've been setting the alarm clock for 8:00 am, but getting up no earlier than 10:00 am. Today was no exception.  But it was HWA's phone call that got me out of bed, as she had to delay getting together for an hour. So I decided to read my email, and found out that the Cat Lady wanted me to reach her at 5:30 pm - right around rush hour.  AARGH!  I'd have to fight traffic to get over the Hudson River.

At 2:00 pm, I walked over to HWA's and we chatted for a couple of hours.  It was nice seeing her again, and she commented (in a pleasant way) that not knowing how I present myself until I meet her is an interesting surprise for her.  God, she loves to talk. But as they say, it takes one to know one.

I got out of her place around 4:30, and drove directly to Cat Lady's place.  Although I hit a bit of traffic, I'm glad I took the Bear Mountain route instead of the Tappan Zee Bridge, as I'd have never made to her place in a reasonable time.  She was ready when I got there, and we quickly went to the diner to have a bite to eat.  It was a leisurely dinner, and in our chat, I had a feeling that she might actually be a little more open TG's than I thought. (No, I didn't open up to her. But the conversation touched on the GLBT themes, as she had a closeted coworker who tried to keep his situation secret from her.)  By the time we left the diner, it was 8:00 pm or so, and I could sense how tired she was at the end of a long day.

- - - - - -

On the way home, I got a call from GFJ, and we were talking on my ride back home.  She was about 30 minutes behind me on the thruway, as she was trekking down to JFK Airport to pick up her son.  (She's going to be dead tired when she gets home.)  We talked about Pat (who won't be able to go to Open House NY tomorrow) and about the family homestead. It'll be nice seeing her again - but I hope she'll be awake....

Friday, October 21, 2016

An evening with WDJ

The above is a picture of what someone calls a delicious Pork Chop dinner.  Sadly, I didn't think to take a picture of the plate delivered to me at the Palace Diner in Poughkeepsie tonight, as it proves my claim - some of the best food being served these days is being served at local diners.

- - - - - -

Today, the host of Thursday game nights sent out a message to all people who signed up for tonight's meetup, telling us that tonight's meetup was cancelled. It only made sense to contact WDJ to see if she was still available for dinner - and she was. So, I got showered and dressed, and was ready to get out the door at 5:00 pm.  Just as I was finished getting dressed, my brother called to tell me some interesting news: we could easily get another $1,200/month if we turn the two rooms in the attic into proper bedrooms. So, after a little discussion, we agreed to do this, and moved forward with our renovation project.

After I ended the call with my brother, it was off to Beacon to see WDJ.  I told her that we had to make a milk run to Poughkeepsie to see if the Catherine's there carried the dress I tried on when visiting RO. Sadly, the dress wasn't there, and it was a trip for nothing. But it allowed us to have a very nice dinner at the Palace Diner. I decided on having the Pork Chop special, which consisted of mashed potatoes (tasty, but forgettable) and the main plate. Imagine two grilled pork chops stacked on top of each other, both garnished with thin apple slices, what may have been a small sweet berry, coated with a wonderful sauce, with a healthy amount of asparagus leaning on the thick stack of pork chops.  YUM!  Even though I normally don't like eating asparagus, they made it tasty, and I enjoyed eating every bite. YUM!  (WDJ had a pastrami sandwich, and I'll bet that she will enjoy her leftovers when she eats them.)

I won't give you any details about what we talked about. But for the most part, our chat was basic girl talk, and a dash of current politics. I can say that we did talk about her life in her new community, and what she missed from her old community. And there are things that she learned, and only could have learned by leaving New York.

All too quickly, our night had to end, and I had to drive home.  It was good seeing WDJ. And it was sad to know she would soon be leaving again.... 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A dress - a staple of a woman's wardrobe.

A dress.  It's a basic staple of the average woman's wardrobe. And it is the one garment that advertises that the person wearing it is a woman and not a man.  As you can guess, I love dresses and try to wear them whenever I can.

My plans for the day when I got up were:
  1. Send out job applications
  2. Visit RO, a woman I met once in 2014 and go on a shopping expedition.
  3. (Optional) See WDJ for a quick bite to eat.
I got around to the first two on the list, but didn't get back on the road early enough to take care of number three.

- - - - - -

Sometimes, it seems like I'm never going to find work. But until I see things that look like I have a shot at doing the posted job well, I will be filling out applications only to maintain my eligibility to collect unemployment insurance.  Please do not read much into this.  I didn't have much hope when I applied for my last job. But I probably would have done better on the job had I not been distracted by my dad's illness, exhausted from work on the family homestead, and sleep deprived due to the long commute. In the end, I didn't achieve what was expected of me, and I am a little gun shy because of it.

GFJ had to drive her son to the airport at 4:00 am, and then get back home by 9:00 am in order to open up her office.  If I had thought more, I'd have told her to call me at 7:30 am, so that she could stay awake chatting with me on her ride back up North.  Instead, I let the alarm wake me at 8:00 am, and hopped into the shower by 10:30 am.When I was in the shower, I noticed that water pressure dropped to a third of its prior level.  I made sure to rinse off quickly, and get dressed.  It seems like there was a water main problem up the hill from me, and was affecting everyone on the hill on which I live.  (More later....)

- - - - - -

I called GFJ on my way down to RO's place and found out how busy things were at the office and how tired she was. Thankfully, she got a call while I was halfway to Long Island, so I didn't have to say much when I didn't want to say anything.

As much as I'd love to date someone who accepts me as Marian, I also believe that one leaves the dance with the gal that one came with. Because of this, I wasn't going to start anything with RO that I couldn't finish.  Instead, I'd use this shopping expedition as an opportunity to develop a friendship with someone who accepts me in Marian mode, so that I have one more person on my list of friends who know me as Marian.

When I arrived at RO's place, I parked my car, and we went over to The Avenue - this outlet being about a mile from the family homestead. RO bought several garments there, and I tried on a LBD that I passed on.  The LBD looked great on me, but I didn't need any more LBD's in my closet.

Our next stop was Catherine's in Carle Place.  Here is where I found another dress that looked great on me (see photo at the top of this entry), and was strongly temped to buy it. Hemming and hawing, I decided to let the dress pass.  RO offered to subsidize my dress purchase, and I still said no. I explained that if I really want it, I'll go to another Catherine's and buy the dress. (The way it looks, I'll probably do so, but will spend a few dollars more in the process.)  RO bought a pretty bra (one I own, and love), and then it was off to the diner for lunch.

After lunch, we went to Kohl's, where RO completed her shopping expedition.  I figure that she must have spent $200+ on clothes, but it was well worth it.  RO has lost a lot of weight via diet and exercise, and needs enough clothes to transition to a smaller body as she shrinks to a more healthy body.

- - - - - -

While out, Pat called and said that she was available. So instead of seeing WDJ (something I wanted to do very much), I saw Pat.  (I couldn't reach WDJ, and I'm not sure if she'd have been available for dinner at 9:00 pm.)  Pat and I talked for a long while, and we tried to research a lover of hers who we think is "playing" her.  This fellow has an abnormally low number of cookie crumbs on the internet, and we found out that his professional id is different from his legal id. Hopefully, Pat will ditch this fellow before she gets burnt by him.

The more I'm over at Pat's, the more she sees me naturally adopting feminine poses and body language.  Tonight, she made a special effort to capture the picture below, as it shows how far I've progressed in my femininity:

What do you think?

- - - - - -

Eventually, I left for home, and chatted with GFJ on the way to the co-op.  She was overtired, and I'm glad she had a short ride to get home.  As for me, when I arrived home, I found that my apartment had no water.  The water main break that happened at 10:00 am was still being worked on after midnight.  Hopefully, I'll be able to take a nice shower in the morning.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Long Island - Again.

As you can see from the photo above, work is being done at the family homestead.  New tiles have been laid in the kitchen, and we're slowly seeing the signs of what the house will  look like when we're finished renovating it.

Today was a day that I stayed en-homme, as I had to go to the auto dealership for my car's yearly NYS safety inspection. I was very surprised to find that my car passed with flying colors and didn't need any other service. And that included the brake job I expected I'd need after 60k miles on both front and rear brakes.

When I was done with the car, it was off to meet Lili at Panera Bread.  The place was crowded, so we ended up going to Moe's Southwest Grill. This was a mistake we'll never make again, as their version of Mexican ends up with dishes that have muddy flavors from fresh food.  Why does this happen?  Simple, too many choices, and many of them being counter productive to having a tasty meal. How would I describe the food itself?  Fresh, but....  In German, there are two closely related words for eating.  "Essen" is something humans do at a table.  "Fressen" is something animals do at a troth. Although the ingredients at Moe's is tasty, the combinations lend themselves more to "Fressen" than "Essen."

About 1:30 pm or so, Lili and I went our separate ways.  I drove home to pick up my watch, and then drove to Long Island - where I hit the usual traffic jams on the way to see my dad. I reached my dad a little after 4:00 pm, and stayed with him until a little before 5:00 pm.  Not having seen him in a month, I can see the gradual decline of his cognitive capability, and see that he's on his downhill slope.  This saddens me, and there's nothing I can do but be there while it happens.

A little after 5:15 pm, I reached the family homestead, and I met the fellows who have been renovating the place.  It was good to be able to see them before they left for the day.  And it was even better when I saw how much work they have gotten done since they started work.  I only wish I could have taken pictures on each day I was there over the past few months, so that I could have a record of all the changes taking place.

My brother arrived, and we went out looking for lighting fixtures. The store we wanted to go to closed at 6:00 pm.  And the other store we went to had the most gaudy items for sale.  It looked like we weren't going to settle on lighting fixtures for the kitchen tonight - and we didn't do so.  But we did have a chance to talk, and that was well worth it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Monday, Monday, can't trust that day.

This is how I went out today. The sweater I'm wearing tends to go well with a lot of outfits.  I only wish I could find dresses with a 2"-3" lower hem line.

- - - - - -

When I got up this morning, I had these these items on my to-do list:
  1. Send out job applications. 
  2. Order new Chin Strap for nightly use with CPAP
  3. Confirm shopping trip with friend from Long Island
  4. Email NPWJ at NPW.
By the time I left the house in the afternoon, the top 3 items were taken care of.  However, I had forgotten to email NPWJ. That, I took care of int he afternoon.  (I'd like to drop in and see if they could use my help again.  It'd be nice to be able to again use new work for them as something that helps my resume look good to potential employers.

- - - - - -

Just after I showered, I got a call from GFJ. She got word from her doctor regarding one of the tests she took.  It seems like one of her carotid arteries has some blockage. As a result, she will likely need to go to the hospital for another procedure.  If it is the same procedure that Patty had for her carotid artery, she'll be wide awake and talking with the doctors as they clean the plaque out of the artery. 

Before I left the apartment, I got a call from a headhunter looking to see if I was available for a position in New Jersey.  I never heard from her again, and checked the firm's website to see if the opening was a public posting.  It was, and I found out that the headhunter was bottom fishing, and do not expect to hear from this person again.

While out, I received an email from WDJ.  It's nice to know that she's in town, as I'd like to be able to meet her again while she's here.  Right now, she's staying with family, and I hope she's having a good time.  I miss seeing her on a regular basis, but I am glad that she is able to live life for herself for a change.

I ran into one of my neighbors when I got home.  Years ago, when my wife was alive, we used to socialize quite a bit, and did so for a while after my wife's death.  This lady and I never could have gotten close to each other, as she was the type of person who drank like a fish.  When she first saw me in Marian Mode, she couldn't deal with me this way.  But over time, she may have become more accepting of me this way, as she has seen more transgender people out in the world.  She asked about the timing of transition, and I responded that I probably won't transition while my dad's alive - and she understood why I'd keep this a secret from my dad.  But I wasn't going to say much more to a person who no longer had the possibility of being a closer friend.

- - - - - -

Strangely enough, I was tired when I got back to my apartment.  The food I had bought went into the refrigerator, and I decided to rest.  By the time I was fully conscious again, it was almost 8:00 pm, and I had nowhere to go.  So now, I have to get ready to be in Mario mode for a visit to the dealership for my car's yearly NYS inspection (which will also trigger a brake job on the rear wheels), a trip to Long Island to see work on the family homestead, and to visit my dad in the nursing home.

Monday, October 17, 2016

The shortened long weekend

Originally, GFJ planned to stay over from Friday to Monday.  Due to a doctor's appointment just scheduled for Monday, GFJ had to her weekend with me.  This is not as bad as it sounds, as it allowed each of us to get things done that we'd avoid doing if we were together.  (It also gave me an unexpected day to get back to being en-femme, and will be covered in a different entry.)

- - - - - -

Friday was not much of a day to remember. DCD failed to come over, as he claimed that he made a mistake in his children's school schedules, and that he had to take care of them during the day.  Although this could be true, I'm inclined to think that he was withdrawing into his shell again, and simply wanted to stay home. Later on, GFJ came over, and we had a nice time chatting at the local park.  The weather was perfect, and though we didn't need our windbreakers when we arrived at the park, it was nice to have them with us by the time the sun went down.

GFJ's foot being in a "boot" does get in the way of things.  After going to the park, we went to the local pizzeria and ate well (for me, too well). Both of us would have liked to go for a little walk after eating so much food.  This, sadly, was not possible for GFJ, so we took a little drive instead. The weather was still nice, and it may be one of the last chances we have to get outdoors without heavy coats to keep us warm.

- - - - - -

Saturday was a little better.  GFJ and I took it easy all day.  Then, she had the idea of seeing a local group perform at the Putnam County Golf Course. Normally, I would not be in the mood to do this, I figured that it would be a good change of pace for us. So off we went, with iffy weather in mind, to the venue (which was 5 minutes from Lili's place). The band, The Amish Outlaws, was a decent covers band, and one could dance to most of their music is one didn't have a boot on her foot like GFJ.  So, instead of dancing, we sat down - and got our money's worth of the BBQ they were serving at the venue.

As I've said before, food is both my friend and enemy.  Saturday was no different for me.  There was way too much good food at the venue, and I ate too much at one sitting.  To stay awake, I decided to take a walk along one of the cart paths at the golf course, and went as far as I could before turning back. This was a good move for me, as I had no problem staying awake for the rest of the evening - especially after the second set ended, when the coffee I drank a few minutes before started to kick in.

- - - - - -

Sunday was a quiet day broken up with phone calls from my brother.  He wanted to report status on the homestead renovation, and woke us up twice.  I'm very glad that my brother is buying an extra 12" cabinet and storing it for potential future use.  He realizes that it will make sense for us to plan for the installation of a dishwasher when we're ready to sell the house at some future date.

Neither GFJ nor I had any energy to do much of anything all day.  And if she didn't have to go to the doctor tomorrow for one more exam (and test), she'd have stayed another day. But her schedule and mine dictated that this would be our last night together for a while, and as Shakespeare said: "Parting is such sweet sorrow."

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Quickie: Co-Op issues

This is a view similar to that one can see from windows in the upper two buildings of my co-op apartment complex. The building pictured is virtually the same as the other buildings on my hill, and it is a nice place to live most of the time.

In every place where one has to deal with neighbors, one has problems. My original neighbor (two flights down from me) was attacked from her then boyfriend, and she ran up to my place from where she called the police to get the man out. The neighbor between us was attacked in her apartment (I don't remember the details), and couldn't deal with any noise coming from the apartment above her. And, in order to obey co-op rules "dead to rights" and keep a different nosy neighbor at bay, I had to install wall-to-wall carpeting over every square foot of the apartment, save the kitchen and bathroom.  

Yet, things could be much, much worse.  In the building next to mine, a neighbor was shot and killed by another neighbor who lived in the apartment below her. Sadly, he suffered from severe clinical depression, never got treatment, and spent the rest of his life behind bars until his death about 10 years ago. Strangely enough, the neighbor who now lives in the ground floor apartment is having trouble with the neighbor above her, and has had to call the police in regard to her upstairs neighbor. 

For the most part, things are not as bad as I've made them sound.  One problem we've had is a neighbor who has stored her property in a common area.

Although I'm not a fan of this neighbor, I have to trust in the collective wisdom of the co-op board and the law to address problems coming from people like this resident.  

From my untrained observances, there is a woman (who with her daughter) would be best served by living where she could get day to day assistance. One resident has talked to me (as a neighbor, and not as a board member) about this mother-daughter pair, and all I could do is say (because I am a board member) that the board has discussed this issue. And even that might have gone too far.

Apartment living is not for everyone.  To be "successful" at doing so, one has to have a thick skin, and an ability to deal with the quirks of each and every person with whom one comes in contact. 

One thing I can say - I've had a very interesting life here for the past 33 years!



Saturday, October 15, 2016

Quickie: Changes in plans

DCD was supposed to come over today and didn't.  Instead of having pizza for lunch, I had the leftovers from my dinner with Patty.  In many ways, this isn't a bad thing, as they would have gone to waste had he come over.

Shortly after I finished lunch, my brother called.  We have a few more issues to deal with that I now have to meet with him in person, and that means that GFJ will be accompanying me while we chat. However, I figure that I will take her to the Cradle of Aviation museum afterwards, as this is a museum I'd never go to due to its relative proximity.  (Go ask a New York City resident about whether he/she has ever gone to the Status of Liberty, and I'd bet that the person has never gone there.)  If I'm lucky, they will have the original Sperry gyroscopic autopilot on display, and I'll be able to make a quickie post on Laurence Sperry and one of his flights.

As I write this, I have no idea of what GFJ and I will be doing later this evening.  But it'll be nice to see her again, and I'm looking forward to a full weekend with her for a change.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Developing a new routine.

When I woke up this morning, I had totally forgotten about a lunch I was scheduled to go to with a women's meetup group.  If it weren't for the email reminder, I'd have done something else today. Yet, I had to do a last minute cleanup, as I had to be ready for an unplanned visit from the cleaning lady - if she forgets that I told her to come on a monthly schedule again.

- - - - - -

Once I straightened up my place, I left for a meetup with the Friendly, Fun Girlfriends group in White Plains.  Arriving a few minutes late, I ended up being lucky enough to find on-street parking without effort, and made it to the table before drink orders were taken.  I've seen 2 or 3 of the ladies before, and I am accepted as Marian by these women.  I could very easily spend the rest of my eventual retirement as one of the ladies who lunch. But until then, I nurture the relationships I'm able to build as best I can.

Once lunch was over, it was over to the local Christmas Tree Shop to do a little shopping.  No, I didn't do much. But I killed some time between appointments. And that was important to me.  Sadly, I wasn't able to visit anyone, so that I could stay in lower county.  So I ended up driving home and relaxing for a couple of hours.

My brother called me just before I was about to get ready to drive back to Yonkers. He wanted information about the floor times we will be using in the renovated kitchen.  I didn't have exact details. But I told him that I'd drop by Home Depot to take pictures of acceptable tiles, and to get back to him.

The above tile is roughly what I'd like to see on the floor.  It'll go nicely with cabinetry that looks like this, save the "cabling" will be much narrower, like a 1/4" rope:

We intend to use a similar theme for cabinets in both the kitchen and the bathroom.  And the color schemes will be similar as well.  This should help make the house look like a more inviting place to live.

Soon, we will need to make decisions regarding sinks and faucets.  But first, we have to take care of adding more electric outlets, so that a modern cook could have all of her appliances in use at the same time.

- - - - - -

After finishing with my brother, and then with Home Depot, it was off to Yonkers. Surprisingly
enough, I won a game tonight.  I guess I had better experience playing games such as "Texas Hold 'Em" than the others at my table.  (No, we weren't playing poker.  But the card game we were playing, Hocus, was very much like poker - and easy for me to play.) When that game was done, I left the table, and started gabbing with the two ladies at the meetup.

Sadly, the evening ended too soon, and with it, being Marian until next week.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Lili and Patty - a great contrast in people

I hated the idea of getting up this morning.  There was no slack in my schedule, as I had to get showered and dressed (en-femme) by 6:30 am or so, in order to make it to Lili's in time to get her to the hospital for her Endoscopy.  With only 3 hours of sleep, I was wondering how I could stay awake long enough to get her home safely, and be able to nap before seeing Patty later in the day.

- - - - - -

Of course, things didn't work out as expected.  Things conspired to make me late for everything.  Lili called me twice while I was doing my makeup, causing me to lose a few minutes. And once I got out and into my car, the low air pressure light came on, forcing me to take another few minutes out to fill up one tire. I got into a traffic jam in a road that I've never seen go into a crawl, save for the aftermath of a hurricane, when gas lines fouled up traffic. And later on, the rising sun caused traffic to slow to a crawl, as Lili and I were making our way to the hospital. Delay, Delay, Delay - that seemed like the theme for the morning. 

At least the hospital was mildly accommodating for Lili's needs, when we called them to tell them we'd be 20 minutes late.  Considering that doctors usually schedule several patients for the same procedure type, stacking them up for minor scans, I wasn't worried.  But I knew that I'd be pissed if I were the doctor, and Lili was his last patient for the morning. So I put the pedal to the metal, and flew along back roads to shave minutes off our delay. Lili was upset at me for how fast I was going, and I politely told her to relax.  And I was glad she had no choice in the affair, as I got her to the hospital exactly when she said she'd arrive....

By the time Lili's procedure was done, they found (and removed) 3 polyps (which were being sent off for a biopsy), and I finished half of a cup of tea.  We were out of the hospital by 9:15 am - not bad, when you think about it.  But then, it was a drive home - where we got lost in the back roads, because Lili told me to use a road I am unfamiliar with, and I made a wrong turn.  As a result, we got to the diner later than expected, and Lili ate more than expected.

Before leaving the diner, Lili saw a couple of plain clothes police officers, with badges and guns plainly on display. (I had seen them too, but wasn't making any comment.) When the woman officer passed, Lili commented that she'd love to have that woman's figure.  I said, "me too!" but that will never happen - even with a diet.  As we left the diner, we both knew the way home, so it was a quick run to Lili's place to drop her off.

- - - - - -

At this time (roughly 1:00 pm), I was tired and needed to rest.  So I dropped into the library, as I had a gut feeling that the landscapers would be at the co-op today.  (They were, but towards the end of the day, not the middle.)  I think I'll start to make it a routine to go there on a regular basis - if only to get out of the house without putting miles on my car.

GFJ tried to reach me around 4:30 pm, and I said that I'd try to reach her in a little while.  Although it was a little bit longer than expected, when I was on my way to see Patty, I gave GFJ a call just to keep in touch and to tell her where I was going.  There was a little white lie here - I mentioned that Patty was shopping in Yonkers and that we were meeting for pizza.  Instead, we were meeting at a restaurant that Ex-GF-M and I used to go to - and I expected that the food would be as good as I remember it being years ago. 

Patty got to the restaurant shortly after I did, and we were chatting from roughly 7:15 pm to 9:30 pm. It was good to catch up with her after all these months.  I only wish that her hubby and GFJ could have been there as well.  Steve was busy with some work he had started earlier in the year, while GFJ was stuck in her neck of the woods due to some doctors' appointments she had where she lives.  So Patty and I gabbed as old friends, and we made plans for the 4 of us to get together again in early November.

- - - - - -

On the ride home, I called Lili to see how she was feeling.  As I expected, her stomach was still a little achy (I'm not sure of how she put it) and keeping her from eating.  But all she wanted to do was go back to sleep - as I would want to do after writing this entry.