Friday, November 24, 2017

Cleaning Lady, Volunteering and Games



This is the outfit I wore yesterday with Lili, and decided to wear again today before going to game night.  This picture doesn't do me or the outfit justice, as it got a "Thumbs Up" from several people.

- - - - - -

Knowing that the cleaning lady was coming today, I made sure that most of the presence of Marian was out of view of the cleaning lady.  However, I still left too much on display, and I wonder if she wonders what is going on in Mario's apartment. This was not intentional.  I had a lot of stuff that I had to carry downstairs and load in my car to be donated to the GLBT center. And I didn't bother going back upstairs to double check things before I left the house.

I finally left for the GLBT Center at 12:30, and stopped by Mickey D's on the way in for something to eat.  Maybe I should look at the experience of Morgan Spurlock (of "Super Size Me" fame), and give up on "fast food" altogether. But if I were to do so, I'd have to plan my meals much more carefully than I do now. And I'm not sure if I can do that.

On the way down to the GLBT center, I stopped into a supermarket to pick up something for the group to eat at game night (some nice chocolate cake), as well as some brow makeup I could use, more befitting the color of my wig. Once I got in my car, I applied this makeup and was pleased with the results.  (I'll be sure to get more of this product the next time I'm in that store.)

- - - - - -

Arriving at the GLBT center, I drove my car to the front door and unloaded all of my donations from my car.  After parking my car, I asked a couple of people to help me move the pile of stuff from the hallway into the donation area. And then, I got a receipt for my goods.  (Too bad that it won't help me much in a low income year.)  It's nice to finally get this stuff out of my car and into a place where it can do some good.  While in the thrift store, I saw two pairs of clip on earrings which I snapped up for a pittance. Nothing could replace the earring I lost yesterday, but this made me feel less naked while out as Marian today.

Next, it was on to my assignments for the day.   Once I updated the calendar and web page for one group's meetings, I was tasked to find something of note for each Transgender US Citizen killed during 2017 for the Transgender Day of Remembrance at the GLBT Center. This was a very depressing task, as it was hard to process that each of these people were Transgenders and virtually all were killed as part of a hate crime.  Some people might focus on the fact that a large number of these people were people of color.  To me, I focused on the fact that all were transgender, and most were isolated from mainstream society.  I could only get through 65% of the research before I had to stop. And then, it was time to go home for dinner.

- - - - - - 





The leftover Chicken Tetrazzini I had in the ice box was tasty - even though there wasn't much chicken in it.  At least, with the leftover broth and leftover chicken I have left, I have the option of making this dish again, or making a different dish with some chicken soup on the side. But I knew that I had to cook some ground beef when I got home, as its last sale date was today - and I try to never cook any food after its final sale date.

I then drove to game night, and got involved in two long games. Although I can't remember the names of either game, I'd consider playing the first game again, but think twice about the second game.  By the time we were done, it was approaching midnight, and I still had a 30 minute drive to get home.

On the ride home, I chatted with GFJ for a while. She has a cold, and is not sure whether she wants to risk infecting me before Thanksgiving.  If she is remotely infectious, I'll pass on this weekend. If not, I want to see her after she visits her cousin on Saturday. Again, I have no idea of what I'm doing until the weekend comes. 

- - - - - -

Strangely enough, I haven't heard from the Cat Lady since last week.  I wonder whether she was expecting me to write, or whether things were dying out because there wasn't much to chat about.  If I had thought about it, I might have considered seeing her this Friday. If I knew what GFJ would end up doing, I could possibly schedule a Saturday dinner with the Cat Lady and schedule a day with YGM on Sunday.








Thursday, November 23, 2017

Quickie: A day I wish I had gone out as Mario


To my readers - Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

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This was a day I wish I had chosen to go out as Mario.  Not only would I have NOT lost an earring, but I would have been saved some embarrassment when I had to call AAA for help.

- - - - - -

This morning, I had ti pick Lili up at 9:30, so that she could be at her surgeon's in NYC at 11:30 for stitch removal. We got there with time to spare. Lili was complaining about how bad her head hurt with all the bandages on. And when they were removed, she was not happy with the results. But this is only 2 days after surgery, and once the swelling goes down, she will see a more realistic image of what she will look like when she goes to Vietnam with her son and daughter in law.

On the way back to the car, the nurse told her a few things about what not to do, and walked us to the street corner. I bailed my car out of the Met's parking garage, and tried to make my way to the East River Drive. Well, the traffic was so bad, that my NYC style of driving (mildly aggressive in getting positioned to make turns at busy intersections) was bothering Lili a little.  We eventually made it to the Willis Avenue bridge and decided to stop at a White Castle to get some burgers.  

Lili ordered way too much to eat, and we stopped in the parking lot to enjoy what we ordered.  This was a big mistake.  I should say, that if I had known I was going to leave the lights on from the parking garage, I made a big mistake by not turning off the lights before stopping for a few minutes to eat.  By the time I was ready to get moving, I didn't have enough juice in the battery to get the car moving again. Lili kept looking for someone with jumper cables, but no one had them.  She didn't realize how many people (like me) don't carry them anymore.

This was a time where I was glad to have AAA membership. But I was very unhappy that I would have to show Mario's identification to someone while presenting as Marian.  This could get me in big trouble if I had done this in the wrong area of the country. And after 90 minutes of waiting, the tow truck did arrive, my car's battery was jumped, and I was on the road in less than 5 minutes.

- - - - - -

Eventually, I was able to drop Lili off at her house (albeit 2 hours later than expected) and drove home.  Arriving home, I cleaned some crap out of my car and went inside.  Sadly, when I started to strip off Marian's identity so that I could go to a wake as Mario, I found that one of my favorite earrings had gone missing.  Could it have gone missing at the surgeon's?  (I'll ask Lili to make a call tomorrow.)  Could it have gone missing at the Met's parking lot?  (I'll have to writ it off if so.)  Could it have gone missing at White Castle?  (I may be able to drive there tomorrow to look in the parking lot.)  And could it have gone missing in my car? (I will do a last check to find the earring there.)  I think it's lost for good.  And if so, I got my money's worth from it.



 



  

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Holiday season is coming up - and I wish it were already over.


Thanksgiving.  It is only a short time away at the time I write this entry. And yet, I could easily go into hibernation from Mid November to Mid January and not have missed anything important. I guess it's because I have few pleasant childhood memories of the season.

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Fifty-Fifty Five years ago or so, I can remember going to my Aunt's house on Long Island for every Thanksgiving holiday. The adults in my mom's side of the family felt that children were meant to be seen and not heard.  With no cousins near my age, spending holidays with this side of the family was very unpleasant because I was bored as hell and had no way to occupy my time. 

Christmas and New Year's wasn't much better, as it was a visit to a different relative's house (either in Manhattan, the Bronx, or New Jersey) and the same issues with boredom and no one to play with.  The two cousins that were my own age were girls, and  my brother was way too young for me to do things with.  If it had been up to me, I'd have stayed home and enjoyed myself. But who was going to let a child my age stay home when there was family to see?

Without the ability to develop any close relationships with my extended family, I found that I could very easily do without any of them.  When I got married, the only reason that my mom's siblings were invited to the reception was that my mom wanted me to get some of the money back that she had been shelling out for my cousins' weddings. 

- - - - - -

In a normal, more healthy relationship, GFJ and I would be spending holidays with each other's family by now. This is not the case. I accept this because of several things:
  1. I don't think the relationship will last (me being transgender being one factor in this).
  2. She is obviously hedging her bets, in part, because her divorce is not final.
  3. I like not being tied together at the hip for most activities.
  4. She may not be able to make any plans until she has reached a position of stability in her life. (She's almost 63, and has to figure out what she will do for money, where she will live, and what she really needs in a partner - if she really wants one at this stage in her life.)
This leaves me dealing with loneliness at times.  When I left the co-op board meeting tonight, I detected feelings of loneliness related to not being able to talk with GFJ. (She has laryngitis and hasn't been able to talk for a couple of days.)  I like knowing that there is someone who cares for me, someone that I can care for. Yet, there's a part of me that enjoys the feeling of being alone. And it's this part that could skip talking with her for several days.

- - - - - -

But back to the Holidays....

Even when my wife was alive, we enjoyed being with each other, but found it a chore to get together with my family. It didn't help that having to cross the East River on the holidays was a major pain in the ass. I can still remember a Thanksgiving where it took us four hours to get across the Throggs Neck Bridge and get to my parents' place.  My wife and I made a decision to never visit on any holiday again - and as long as she lived, we kept to that decision.

Recently, I commemorated the 21st anniversary of my wife's passing. When she passed, the holidays lost whatever little meaning they had for me. They became a big chore.  Christmas became a Potlach ceremony geared to spend money on things for others that they didn't want or need, and to receive things that would require me going back to a store to exchange the item for something I'd remotely want but didn't want bad enough to spend my money on.

When I started dating after my wife's death, I enjoyed being with my girl friends' families more than being with my own. I guess it's because I felt valued and that I didn't have the childhood baggage of being bored with these people. Occasionally, Vicki would invite her family over for a gathering of odd fellows and ladies, and I was included.  These were fun dinners, and I miss them now. So it's back to seeing my brother and his clan, and I'll enjoy this as long as my dad is still alive.

- - - - - -

If things had worked out, I'd have been on a 11 day cruise by the time you've read this post. Without enough money coming in, I could not do this. And in many ways, this is just as well. Sometimes, one has to confront one's feelings instead of escaping from them.







Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Some more thoughts about transgenders and society


It was good to see National Geographic have a transgender girl on the cover of the magazine. But I am very annoyed about one important thing - this cover only went to subscribers, and not to people who'd pick up this magazine at the newsstands.  Given the animosity that some people have against us, I can understand why this editorial decision may have been made. And I am disgusted by the people who are now giving this person (and her family) hell for being who and what she is.  Thankfully, she is a tough cookie, and can tell the haters that they can go fuck themselves and the horses they done come in on.

- - - - - -

It may be because I live in a prosperous area, but I have never had any serious problems because I am transgender. My presentation, from what I've been told, is excellent, and women seem to be relaxed in my presence.  Men, on the other hand, seem to have more of a problem with transgenders, and I think this is why I haven't heard from DCD in a while. (It also helps that he has a new girlfriend, and that she fulfills his need for intimacy - at the expense of him building up a social network.)  So it is likely that when a M2F transgender decides to transition, that she will lose many of the friends she gained while presenting as male, as well as having serious problems from within the community in which she lives.

Fear may be a big factor here.  Male sexuality is focused on an "external" organ.  It is easy for that organ to be harmed. And the fear of harm is strong and real.  I do not know of a single man who has not experienced pain from his genitals being hit the wrong way in a game or a fight. Reproduction depends on that organ, and in theory, the ability for a male to pass on his genes will last until he dies. In a way, much of his value as a person comes from having working genitalia.

Contrast this with being female.  A woman's sexual organs are mostly internal, save for the opening that lets a male penetrate her. She knows that she has a limited time in which she can bear children, maybe 20-25 years of her adult life.  So her sexuality has to be more focused on attracting the right males, and in seeing that her offspring make it safely to adulthood.  If it means that her body stops being fertile, her image as a female isn't harmed. But it is changed, as she expects to become infertile as she gets older. She still depends on others, and her attractiveness is important to preserve needed partnerships with the man (or men) in her life.

- - - - - -

Transgenders do not fit into this mold.  Youthful transition means that a M2F transwoman can be beautiful by traditional standards, can be sexy by traditional standards, but she can not bear children.  Knowing that she is trans, she has a duty to inform her mates that she can not bear children.  But what does this do to her potential male partners?  Given how men focus on a sexuality that depends on having sperm that can get a fertile woman pregnant, they can feel betrayed when the woman they have sex with can not bear those men any children - even if having kids was not the purpose of the sexual contact in the first place.

Late middle age transition has another problem - most of us have been brought up that gender was binary, and not a fluid spectrum.  So if we want romance, it's much harder to find, as people of this generation often see transgenders as something that's neither fish nor fowl.  We're not completely women, and we're certainly not men.  Since we can't be defined well in their eyes due to how others in our generation view gender, we have a much harder time finding romantic partners, much less compatible romantic partners for us.

- - - - - -

For the most part, when people get to meet a transwoman who presents well and is soft spoken, they tend to accept her as a woman in the social sense.  They may "know" that the woman they are speaking with was not born with female plumbing. But they relate to the transwoman as a woman for non sexual issues. (Read: She is seen as a woman for everything but romance.) This feminine image is reinforced if the transwoman pursues feminine interests, and not typical masculine interests. There is nothing wrong with women having some interests usually associated with men.  My late wife enjoyed Trap shooting with her father.  Yet, if I talked about enjoying the same things that she enjoyed, it would negatively affect others perceptions of me as a female.

One transwoman I met breaks the image of being female. She still pursues her masculine interests, and still sounds like a man.  The only things that have changed are the gender marker on her driver's license, her libido, and how people think of her.  When I last chatted with this lady, she told me of her experiences in going to church and being told that she wasn't that welcome as a transwoman.  If she weren't so masculine in her mannerisms, I'd wager that she'd have had a chance of being accepted in that church.  Yet, I can not know this for sure.  Some denominations are hell bent on preserving a gender binary.  I just wonder what might have happened if the pastor's son were born intersex.  Would something shocking as this change a prejudiced mind?  I don't know.  But a transwoman presenting in an almost masculine manner doesn't help wear down prejudice against us.

- - - - - -

As a result of the 2016 election, I think that us transgenders are going to have a lot on our plates. I'm very concerned that the people with whom Trump cut his deals will take advantage of their positions in government and cause problems for us. These are men who have promoted the lie that transwomen going into the ladies' room are there to stalk women and not to relieve themselves. People who already have been taught to shun us are now being taught to hate us. Society will be taking several steps backwards before it can move forward again. And we must figure out ways to get out of the way, and fight this movement as best we can - avoiding head on confrontations whenever possible.

Hopefully, we can slow backwards movement down for a few years, and keep our cool until the progressives can regain power.  It'll mean a lot of work is ahead, and I encourage as many people as possible to get involved in the political process. This also means that a more youthful regime must lead the progressives - even if the figurehead ends up being Bernie Sanders (who, ironically, would be the oldest man to run for president in modern times.)  The baby boomers (including myself) are aging out of society, and we need to insure that they don't screw it up for their children and grandchildren.

PS: The 2017 elections have given us a pleasant surprise - Danica Roem....
       I hope that 2018 is an even better year for us!












Monday, November 20, 2017

I had only one good reason for going out.


Sometimes, I feel like the way this movie prop looks - Awful.  But most of the time lately, I seem to feel lethargic, with little reason to get out of my bed to do anything. And if it weren't for the social engagements I try to make, I probably wouldn't go out of the house most days.

- - - - - -

Today, I was supposed to drive to Connecticut and see YGM for the day.  However, when I tried to call her to confirm things, she didn't answer the phone. So I decided to stay in my jammies and do things around the apartment that didn't take up too much energy.

Later on in the afternoon, I received a text from YGM, as she noted that:

Hi, I am sorry I missed your call. my daughter had my phone last night. Then I couldn't find it until just now.

When one has two very young kids, it's easy for things like cell phones to go missing. Especially when YGM's place is as cluttered as my place is.  So we'll try to get together some time in December when she is staying at her husband's NY grad school pied-à-terre.

- - - - - -

Given that I had little energy to do anything, I was amazed that I even bothered to go out food shopping around 9 pm.  Since I wanted to find some storage containers compatible with those I'm already using in this apartment, my shopping ended up taking place at the Fishkill Walmart. 

My goal was to pick up 2 storage containers for my Summer dresses, and some foodstuffs to make some Chicken Tetrazzini and to make some Chili. By the time I was done, another $72.00 left my wallet. The check out clerk noted how rare it is for a bill to run up to an even dollar amount. But I've seen this happen often enough not to think about it when this happens.

When I made it home, I had several bags of foodstuffs and two storage containers to bring upstairs.  So I loaded the storage containers with the food I bought and then brought the containers upstairs. While carrying the containers, I noticed how my (fake) breasts were getting in the way of holding the containers, and could only imagine how a woman's breasts can get in the way of her every day activities.  

- - - - - -

Hopefully, I will have more energy tomorrow.  It'd be nice to see sunlight for a change.



 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A weekend free to be me. If only I had known in advance...


Motion Pictures - one of my loves.  If I had my druthers, I'd probably program the offerings at a successful Art House.  Alas, my work in technology ill prepared me for the work I'd like to do next in my life.

But first. a little how not knowing what would unfold would affect the whole weekend.

- - - - - -

The sequence of events that unfolded....

  1. I arrange to spend Sunday with YGM in Connecticut.
  2. The Cat Lady says that she's free this weekend.
  3. GFJ says she's coming down on Saturday night, leaving Sunday free for YGM.
  4. The Cat Lady arranges to get together with a friend on Saturday.
  5. GFJ catches a cold, leaving Saturday night open.
  6. And now, I had Saturday night open, and being able to go church on Sunday.
My schedule always seems to be in flux. But I'd have liked to know I'd have been free in advance, as I'd have liked to have done my nails yesterday before seeing my niece at the museum.

- - - - - -

I left for Speech Therapy this morning and had a lot of options for the rest of the day. Arriving at Mercy, I chatted with my two therapists in training and told them about the cruise which was not destined to be. And then we got on with the vocal exercises that were planned for me.

Once done at Mercy, it was over to New Rochelle hospital where I visited a friend from the Yonkers gaming group.  She was glad to see me, and we talked for about an hour or so. Although she is still in pain, she is healing and expects to be discharged for home care sometime tomorrow.  My friend is suffering from a similar ailment to that Vicki has, and had two of her vertebrae fused.  (Vicki will need six vertebrae fused in a different area of her spine.) So I expect that this friend will have a long recovery period.

After I was done there, I called Pat.  Although we agreed to get together, she really was not up for visitors.  So I made it easy for her to beg off, and I went home to take a needed nap which lasted much more time than I expected....

You can now guess that I didn't do much for the rest of the day....




Saturday, November 18, 2017

Museum day with my niece



It's been a while since I've had the chance to go to a museum with my niece, so I decided to brave the cold and go see her at the Museum of the Moving Image today.

- - - - - -

When I got up this morning, I knew it was going to be a full day in Marian mode.  Of course, the many summer dresses I had laying on the other side of the bed was a reminder of how much I prefer living life as Marian. These dresses have little hope of being worn again soon, as I am trying to find a place for them in storage containers which will be filed away until Spring.

You may be asking, where do I stand on the cruise I'm considering?  Well, as of this morning, it has gone up another $75 in price, and I'm not sure whether I will drop the hammer anymore.  I waited too long to get information from Mercy regarding make up sessions, so I'm not sure about spending at least $1,100 when I'm out of work.

- - - - - -

I left the house around 1:30 pm and drove down to the Bronx.  On the way down, I stopped at Mickey D's (a big mistake), where I had to wait a long time for 2 basic cheeseburgers. However, things were so screwed up, that I got two sodas instead of one.  Parking was much easier than usual at the subway station, as I had a choice of spots. And I figured that the best spot would be the one right in front of Ex-GF-M's house. (I wonder if she figured out whose car was there.) So I parked my car and took the train into NYC.

Getting from the Bronx to Queens wasn't as easy as I'd have liked. Normally, I'd take the express to 59th street , and then transfer to the Astoria line.  However, the Museum of the Moving Image recommended that a different line be used to reach their site. This forced me to make a transfer to the Lexington Avenue local for one stop, and then switch to the local terminating in Forest Hills for several stops. This was not a route I'd want to take in the evening, so I figured that I'd use my memory of the subway system later on to have an easier ride home.

When I got off the subway, I received a text from my niece that she would be a few minutes late. Given the cold outside, I was very glad that I dressed in the above outfit for my walk over to the museum. (I'd regret this a little inside the museum, but better safe than sorry.) On the way over, I figured that I'd kill 15 minutes by having a bowl of soup at Panera Bread. And just as I was finishing that bowl, my niece texted me to tell me she had just arrived at the museum. So it was on with my coat, and off on a 2 (short) block walk to the museum.

- - - - - -

Inside the museum, we walked around the permanent displays. This is not a place I'd visit often, as I only find the special exhibits worth the visit, given the nature of the permanent exhibits. And for this visit, they had a nice exhibition of Jim Henson (Muppets) artifacts.








I never knew how prolific this man was with his puppetry. He was inspired by Kukla, Fran and Ollie, and he took the art of puppetry much further than anyone else did before or since. It's amazing how his work with puppets resonates with adults. I think that he realized that one could entertain people of all ages with a well crafted gag. He also realized that the puppets were characters, and one had to flesh them out for people to accept them as more than just puppets.  (Compare Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny.  Does Mickey have much of a character?  No.  But Bugs does, and most people of my generation can give you several characteristics that make him more than just an animated creature on a celluloid cel.)

- - - - - -

All too early, it was time to go home.  My brother picked up my niece at the subway station, as she didn't feel safe being in Jamaica, Queens after dark. I can't blame her.  The end of the line is not in the best neighborhoods anymore.  As for me, it took about 2 hours to get home, as I got stuck on a local train to the Bronx when I was expecting to be on an express.

- - - - - -

After a long day, I realized that it didn't make sense for me to go on that cruise when I can enjoy another Spring vacation when I'll need it most.











Friday, November 17, 2017

Codenames and Lotus - a nice way to spend an evening.


Today was a day of volunteering followed by some games.  I won't go deep into volunteering today, as it was more of the same old thing - updating the GLBT Center's online presence. But I will go into everything else that happened during the day....

- - - - - -

Over the past week, I have been monitoring the price for an eleven day Eastern Caribbean Cruise that I could buy for under $50 per day. As of today, enough people have jumped on this deal, so that the price per day (before tax and tip) is close to $65 per day.  Since there is no single person supplement, this is still a very affordable cruise.  I've discussed this with several people, and I still may book the cruise tomorrow if the current price is still available to me.

After my late afternoon visit to the GLBT center, I made my way down to game night with a stop at Panera for dinner. It was a very small gathering today, as two of our regulars didn't show up. This allowed for more intimate gaming.  The first game of the night was San Juan, and I lost (as usual). But then my luck changed when we played Lotus, as all the cards kept falling my way. Eventually, we got to playing Codenames, and I did fairly well with clue giving and clue receiving. It's not my favorite game, but it is something which I can play for a little while and stay interested.

One thing I noticed during tonight's game play was that my subconscious was ready to make my play as soon as another player finished his/her turn.  It must be anxious for things to happen - as if hearing the right kinds of sounds triggers me to do things without thought.  This can be quite helpful when I've been thinking ahead and I can make my move based off of someone's action, but it's not useful when I have to pay attention to who is making that action. 

I was starting to get tired early, and left before 11 pm.  Even though I stopped into the White Plains Walmart to buy some things, they had changed their hours and closed at 11 sharp.  For the heck of it, I decided to fly up to Mohegan Lake to see if they had the storage containers I wanted. They did not.  But M, my favorite Walmart stocking clerk was there, and we chatted for a while.  Hopefully, she'll be able to make it to a late lunch next week, as it would be nice to see her outside of work.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

BBQ with RO


It's been a while since RO and I got together.  So unless she were to cancel, there was no way that I was going to miss a chance to socialize with a friend in Marian Mode....

- - - - - -

Although I got up earlier than usual this morning, it took me a while to get moving for the day. But once I was moving, I was up and running and out the door by 1 pm. Although I had clear sailing to Long Island, it took me forever to go the last miles to RO's house.

I had time to kill once I crossed the bridge, so I thought I'd be able to do some window shopping at Lane Bryant and have a cup of coffee nearby.  Unfortunately, traffic was still jammed to the bridges, and any route I'd take from the shopping center I rested at would be overcrowded. So I planned to take side roads out to Nassau County. Sadly, even the side roads were no relief, since I oozed Eastward on Northern Boulevard and encountered traffic jams on every route that would take me across both the Long Island Expressway and the Northern State Parkway.

Eventually, I made it to RO's place and we then made it out to Target and then to Walmart to do some shopping for things other than clothes. After this, we both were famished, so it was off to Famous Dave's for BBQ.  "YUM!" is all I can say when I think of BBQ. And RO was very glad that I chose this place.  While there, we talked about her relationship with her boyfriend and issues I have to deal with for the co-op.  Even though I enjoyed the food, I know I can't have it too often, as it is very salty and would do a number on my blood pressure readings.

Sadly, our evening had to come to an end. Hopefully, we'll be able to get together again before the holidays.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Election Day



It's Election Day, and things are going not as well as I'd like. Nothing really bad happened to me, but there are some sad things that I must note for the beginning of the day.  First, a long delayed meeting with M, an acquaintance from my night time visits to Walmart, got called in for an extra shift - and there went coffee or tea in Peekskill. Then, Vicki had to end the possibility of getting together for a second week in a row, as her brother in law is dying and her husband is helping to make end-of-life plans for his brother.  It's a sad start to the day, but not something earth shattering to me. If anything, it would prod me into seeing my dad, as I will already be in Mario mode for part of the day.

- - - - - -

After getting dressed as Mario, it was out the door and on to vote.  Luckily, the place is very close, and I also didn't have to wait long to vote.  If I were planning on going back to Marian mode for the day, I could have done so, and would have done so if I were going out later as Marian.  When I arrived, I found one of my neighbors was manning the polling place. Once I cast my ballot, I noted that she should have been at our public meeting with our lawyer, so that she could have her concerns about her upstairs neighbor addressed. Since she give the "it's the co-op's problem, why should I take any active interest in protecting my interests?" attitude, I've resolved to tell both her and her upstairs neighbor not to bother with me with their crap again. Neither of them were willing to talk to our lawyer at the public meeting for free. Why should I bother to help people who won't bother to help themselves?

Next, it was off to see my dad.  It's been a while since I've seen him, and I wanted to make sure that I see him before Thanksgiving in case I make other plans for the day. It was a pleasure crossing the bridge today, as I didn't need to slow down for toll booths anymore. Although there was a traffic slowdown on the bridge due to construction, it was much easier to tolerate than the traffic that once backed up at the toll booths.

When I reached my dad, I knew that I wouldn't have much time there. But it was about 45 minutes of really good time before I had to leave. Even then, I knew that I was going to hit the rush hour traffic jams on the way home. Again, I was very glad that the toll booths were not going to cause any problems for me on the way home.  By the time I made it to the Bronx, the rains began to come down hard, and I was glad that I didn't have to be "outside" on a day like this. It took me a little over an hour and a half to get home (excluding a stop for food), and once home, in for the night.

- - - - - -
If I were out to my family, I'd have gone shopping today.  Several of the stores I enjoy browsing through are a short drive from my dad's nursing home. Instead, since I voted and stayed as Mario, at least I can say that I was one of the voters who, by voting Democrat, helped nudge this country a little bit towards the left.  If I were in one Virginia district, I'd certainly have voted for Danica Roem, a Trans Woman whose victory I celebrate today.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Quickie: Politics (The run up to Election Day.)


I started writing this entry on the day before Election day.  Normally, I often have events that cause me to miss non-presidential elections. But this year, I've made it a point to vote.  One problem - I have gotten very annoyed by the sheer number of "get out the vote" calls that have been making it to my phone.

Years ago, congress exempted itself and other political entities from having to refer to "Do not call" lists to determine whether to call a potential contributor or a potential voter. This means that every year around election day, many of us are subject to a countless number of calls imploring us to vote for their candidates.  Promises are made, and relatively few are kept.  Sadly, campaign promises are just as worthless as a statement coming from Sarah Sanders (Trump's current press secretary). And I've learned not to believe any of them. Instead, I look at the results a leader has achieved over the years, and vote for that person if I feel s/he has gotten the job done (or has tried to do an impossible job).

So far, I've received 3-4 campaign calls today. And I'll be glad when the election season ends tomorrow. Maybe then, my phone can return to its usual set of scam messages from overseas scammers.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Quickie: Before and After

Before After

Let's ignore some of the imperfections in the process which adjusted the image on the left to that on the right. I have stumbled into a site which can help give you an idea of how one's face might look with a little plastic surgery.  No, this site (pinkmirror.com) is not meant for transgenders as much as it is geared for cisgender folk to have their faces photoshopped a little and to look good in a retouched photo.



I'll admit that I wouldn't use this photo when going to a plastic surgeon. But it does give me an idea of what I'd ask him to do and to be better able to visualize my future look.  Alice Novic (of Alice in Genderland) notes that the shape of one's face and one's hairstyle is very important to having a good female presentation.  If one has to live both as a male and a female, the way I read Dr. Novic's writing is that the lower part of the face is key to being seen as a woman, and that a good hairstyle can do wonders.

Given what Lili's plastic surgery is going to cost, I know I'll have to go back to work before committing to surgery of my own. But if I can finally lose some weight, I hope to be able to treat myself to a much more androgynous face to go with the feminine voice I'm working on with the help of the folks at Mercy College.





Sunday, November 12, 2017

A voice for Marian and a dinner with Vicki


This morning, I woke up early to go to speech therapy.  Even though I didn't have enough sleep the night before (a constant problem for me), I got to Mercy College awake and alert for the session.  I'm going to be a little sad when this semester ends, as I've grown to like these two women - both of whom are less than half my age.

When I arrived, they were ready for me. (it's usually a flip of the coin whether one of us will be 5 minutes late.)  So, I went to the session room and the ladies showed me 3 books which we could use for phrases to help improve my vocal inflections. One of them I've had the pleasure of reading before: "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves."  This gave me the opening to tell the following old and slightly ribald joke:

An American woman meets a Koala in an Australian pub. He wines and dines her, then they go back to her hotel room.  They make mad, passionate love. And all too early, he climaxes. At that point, he starts getting dressed and makes his way to the door. She asks:


"Why are you going so soon?"

He responds,

"I'm a Koala."

She says,

"What does that mean?"

And he replies,

"Look at the definition of a Koala in your dictionary."

She opens the dictionary and reads:

"Koala, n.: An Australian mammal that eats shoots and leaves."

Yes, it's an old joke.  But it illustrates the importance of using correct punctuation in modern writing.

After the session, I drove out to New Jersey and picked up a nice casual shirt that I can wear with the feminine jeans I picked up the other day. And then, I made it back to New York to rest before getting together with Vicki.

- - - - - -

At home, I rested a little while. Then, I changed from the feminine shirt and trouser combination I wore in the morning into a little black dress that I'd be wearing this evening.







We enjoyed a wonderful dinner, and then it was time to share our desserts. As you can see, I look terrible in pictures these days, and may consider facial plastic surgery once I can lose some weight.

Sadly, Vicki will soon go in for surgery herself. But in her case, it will be to prevent a problem she has from getting worse and crippling her.  One of her 3 medical problems is related to her ligaments compressing her spinal column.  With the damage already done to her vertebrae, she will always be in pain. But with the operation, she will likely not become a cripple.

All too soon, our dinner had to end.  We may end up going to another restaurant for the end of Restaurant Week.  If so, I'll have to change museum plans with my niece.  I'll deal with that problem if it comes up.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A postponed visit to the doctor


The yearly physical.  A day in which the doctor tells me I'm too fat (something I already know), too inactive (that's obvious), and have too many unhealthy habits (chocolate, liquor and sex - are there any better pastimes in this world? 😁)  But to be serious, I'm going to miss this doctor when he retires, as he has been around since my wife and I had our mandated blood test many years ago....

- - - - - -

Whenever I go to my doctor, I try to schedule as many activities as Mario as possible. Today, this meant trying to schedule an evening with the Cat Lady, as well as dropping off a coin deposit at the local bank. If I had known that there would be difficulties at the doctor's office, this would likely have been a day spent as Marian, with no tentative plans for the Cat Lady.

Normally, I schedule my doctor's appointments for 10 am on a Friday.  This is when his office is least busy.  Today, it was quieter than usual.  There was a sign posted on the front door of the office warning people that there was no parking on his side of the street on the first Friday of the month. So I had to rush outside and move my car across the street before coming back to the office. And then I had to wait and wait.  Talking with the receptionist, she noted that they have had 2 nurses in a 2 month span. One of them was fired, and the other quit. So they were without a nurse, and had to send patients out for blood work. Then, the EKG machine they use was broken. So that part of the appointment would have to be covered in another visit. AARGH!  Since they likely wouldn't have a new nurse around for 2 weeks, we rescheduled this appointment for 3 weeks from now, in hope that all of these little issues would be resolved by then.

Sadly, I found out that the doctor is not participating in any Obamacare plan coverage. As a result, this next visit may end up being my last visit to this doctor.  At least, I'll have had a yearly physical before coverage changes....



Friday, November 10, 2017

Volunteering and Game Night


Another Thursday. And that means another day volunteering and playing board games.

- - - - - -

Even though I didn't get enough sleep last night, I woke up relatively early without the alarms prodding me to get out of bed. Since I hadn't heard from NPW in a while, I sent off a quick note to NPWJ to see if there is anything more that I could do for them.  Their new website is up and running and needs relatively little work other than to maintain the few things that change on the site. So I think my time of helping them out will end soon.

I didn't get to the GLBT center until after 3 pm. For the next 2 hours, I updated a powerpoint presentation and then updated both the calendar on their website, as well as job postings maintained there. Once I was done with the GLBT center, it was over to Panera Bread in Yonkers.  One woman I often bump into wasn't there today, and this allowed me to relax a little more than had she been there.

Next, it was off to game night (with quick stops at The Avenue and Barnes and Noble) where the hostess made positive comments on the $8 dress I bought at Target several weeks ago. This made me feel good. And then, we played several games, where I didn't do so well - but had a good time.  While playing the last game, my stomach started to cramp, and that warned me of trouble ahead.  Gas was building up in my GI Tract, and I wanted to be home as soon as possible.  (I won't say more than that.)  So I bid my farewells, got in the car, and made it home just in time. 

It felt good to get my stockings off and to get comfortable!!!!




Thursday, November 9, 2017

Quickie: New York has a "Muggle" counterpart for platform 9 & 3/4 in the Harry Potter world.


I was a little shocked to find out that New York City has a 6 & 1/2 Avenue that stretches from 52 Street to 57 Street.  But leave it to New York to do something clever like this.

- - - - - -

Over the past couple of decades or so, New York has given developers tax abatements for making public spaces available in congested business districts such as Midtown and Downtown Manhattan. But a recent posting by WNYC (New York City's municipal Radio and TV station) mentioned a new avenue - 6 & 1/2. It's amazing that the developers of these public spaces were able to coordinate things to create a new 5 block public pathway.

Although these spaces are private property and can be closed off after business hours, they serve an important need - they facilitate the movement of people away from the crowded numbered avenues into areas much less congested. Additionally, many of these places serve as defacto public parks, and are pleasant to be in.

- - - - - -

Hopefully, future redevelopment of our business districts will provide more spaces like these. Ideally, we'd get more green space. But I'll take what we can get for now.




Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Halloween


The Greenwich Village Halloween Parade.  This is an event that has been held every year for some time now, and ....

For some reason, I'll always link this event to some insane fellow killing at least 8 people on the bike path along the Hudson River.

- - - - - -

This morning, I was running a little late in getting myself moving for the day.  But I had two laundry loads in the washers by 12:30 or so. The outfit I wanted to wear had to be cleaned, so I had to get this laundry done before I left for the city with HWV.  By 3:00, I was ready to go, and I picked up HWV in front of her apartment.

Whenever I do something with HWV, I do it in Marian Mode.  I don't want to send any signals of male interest. Instead, I want to send signals of female friendship, and be the type of girlfriend she can call on to be a companion to events such as the theater. And so far, this I've done.

We had a choice of ways to reach the city:
  1. Driving to Midtown, parking in an inexpensive parking lot, and taking the subway to Greenwich Village.
  2. Driving to a Metro North station, taking the commuter rail into NYC, and then take the subway to Greenwich Village.
  3. Driving to the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx (near Ex-GF-M's house) and taking the subway to Greenwich Village.
Given the time of day, I felt it best to drive in to NYC, and park at what is normally an inexpensive parking lot.  Well, we made good time until we hit the 70th street area of the Henry Hudson Parkway. And then, traffic came to a crawl.  Even in rush hour, traffic doesn't move this slowly, so we knew something had happened.  While we made our way to the 46th street exit, at least 5 police cars (some of them unmarked) made their way through the traffic jam with alarms sounding, trying to rush downtown.  We had no idea of what was going on, so we were glad to get off at 46th street and have an easy time going to the Hippodrome parking lot.

- - - - - -

Once we parked the car, we took the subway to West 4th street and then looked for a place where I could get a bite to eat.  While eating, our cell phone news feeds told us that someone from Uzbekistan committed an act of terrorism by driving a truck on to the bike path along the Hudson River and killing at least 8 people, and injuring more than that. People were sending us messages telling us to be careful in the city, as there could be copycats out there.

When done with dinner (I had sukiyaki while she had some miso soup), we walked back to 6th avenue to watch the parade.  If we had known how out line of sight would be blocked, we'd have taken a position across the side street from where we were.  As it was, I was starting to ache after an hour of standing up, and would have gladly skipped the parade to have a comfortable seat.  HWV was upset that the police were blocking the field of view. It wouldn't have been bad if they were actually doing something. But they were simply watching the parade from a spot that was effectively reserved for them.  So when my lower back really started to cause me pain after 90 minutes, both of us were ready to leave the scene.

Walking up 5th avenue from below Washington Square to 14th street, I was beginning to feel more comfortable. But I needed to sit down for a while to ease my back ache. Luckily, we found a little deli and did some talking and people watching as my back started to recover.  I mentioned that I now find myself looking at what a woman is wearing and thinking - How would that look on me? And HWV said that is what most women do.  I guess I'm passing the "female test."

Before we picked up the car, we went to the diner across the street from the parking lot. Patty and I went there several times when taking our PMP class in the city. Our reason was a little more practical - both of us needed to relieve ourselves, and neither of us could say: "First tree on the right."  So we had some coffee and some more chatting.  It wasn't until 11:30 or so that we left the diner.

Eventually, we made it back to the car. I remembered that we got to the lot about 30 minutes too early for night time rates, and we spent twice as much as we would have had we arrived 30 minutes later.  Even with the doubled price for parking, it was still cheaper than if we took Metro North into NYC.

- - - - - -

As I write this, I'm hearing the reruns of MSNBC's commentators discussing the day's events. And NYC actually considered cancelling the parade at the last minute because of the West Side murders.  I'm glad they made the right decision and let the parade run its course.  Yes, there was a much larger police presence than expected. But in this case, it's better to be safe than sorry....





Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A windy day!



When I got up this morning, it was very windy outside.  The weather that brought the rain yesterday delivered today's wind.  And if GFJ had to text me to say that her SUV was being buffeted by the wind, you can easily say that the winds were very strong today. Unlike GFJ, I didn't get moving at all. I was nestled in a cozy bed, and I lost all the energy I had when I woke up. So I was in bed from the time that GFJ left for her office until roughly 4:00 pm.

- - - - - -

Once I got moving, I decided to drive over to Catherine's in Paramus just to see if anything interesting had made it to the store. And there was a sweater or two that I might be interested in sometime in the near future.








Both sweaters would look good over a pair of feminine jeans. However, I am still searching for a tunic / short sweater dress that I could wear over leggings.

Once I was done with Catherine's, I didn't bother going over to The Avenue to see what new they have to offer. I figure that I can see their offerings the next time I visit Newburgh or Yonkers.  Instead, I trekked up to Rockland County, and had a bite to eat at a local diner  before going to Walmart to pick up some telephone wire and a 6 outlet power plug.  This will allow me to hook up the phone I used to use in the kitchen when I had phone service provided by Verizon.

- - - - - -

After this, I started my drive home.  Unfortunately, there was construction on the new Tappan Zee bridge which restricted traffic to a single lane.  So I bailed out of that route, and took the long way home, via the Bear Mountain Bridge.  Although it took longer for me to get home, I wasn't rushing up the stairs to relieve myself.  (When I'm out as Marian, I'm not going to run for the nearest bush as a man could do - it's a bad habit that I don't want to start when in in Marian mode.)  Thankfully, I found an open supermarket on the overland route....

Monday, November 6, 2017

Quickie: GFJ and a friend


Yesterday, GFJ came over after a full day of activities with a meetup group and one of her friends. Well, something very interesting occurred - the friend who told GFJ about my obsolete Marian Mode ad in OKC had told several friends in their mutual circle. 

Towards the end of the day, and just before GFJ was to leave her friend, the friend brought up the topic of me being TG. (She saw me as a vanilla crossdresser.)  The friend had seen some of the photos, and wasn't bothered by it.  She asked GFJ whether GFJ knew about this (she did, since our second date), and the friend was happy.  I'm pretty sure that GFJ noted that this friend was impressed by my presentation, and then said: "He dresses better than I do!" 

As you can guess, I was in a good mood when GFJ finally made it down here. And you can bet that I'm very glad that I strive to make as authentic and reasonable presentation as possible.  I'm not ashamed of being out, and GFJ knows it.  Now, she can say that another one of her circle supports her and has no problems with me for who I am.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Quickie: Voice Therapy and some Shopping


As usual, I didn't get enough sleep last night. But I made it to the weekly voice therapy session on time and had a good time of it.  Sadly, early December will be the end of this semester, and I have to make the decision whether to continue with this process or not. My feminine voice is improving, but I'm not sure if I can pass a "telephone test" yet. The way I see it, I may have to invest another 15 weeks to "finish up" polishing up my feminine voice as best as possible.

Once I was done with vocal therapy, it was off to The Avenue where they had the dress below in stock in a size 30.  So I tried it on.


Although I think it looked good on me, I don't think that the color was good for seasons other than Autumn. So I passed on it.

Next, it was off to see Lili in the mall.  She was working a push cart today, but wasn't getting many sales. Yet, when I arrived, she got an $80 sale for merchandise which may have cost her only $25. Then she gifted me a necklace which I think will go well with many things.  She had some earrings which she offered to convert to clipons for me. But I said not to convert them, as I intend to get my ears pierced soon.

Once I was done with Lili, it was off to Curvy Consignments Plus.  They had a nice Lauren sheath dress on sale there, and if it were one size larger I'd have bought it.  However, it was a smidgen too snug, and showed off  where I have both fat and curves in the wrong places. After trying on the dress, I got into a conversation with the owner. She is a nice lady, and is putting her heart and soul into the business. Unfortunately, she had not yet been able to take anything out for herself. Hopefully, this will change for her soon.

By the time I got home, I was out for over 10 hours from the time I left for Mercy College.  That gave me the time to write this entry and to change into Mario before GFJ arrived.....







Saturday, November 4, 2017

A day I stayed in, and would have gone out had I known what was coming.


There are two or three things with which I could always occupy my time.  First is sifting through the mess in my apartment or the downstairs storage compartment. Second is doing some of the laundry which has accumulated in the apartment. And third is catching up on any of the other little tasks around the home.  Of these, I only started  to do some laundry at the tail end of the day.

- - - - - -





I got up late in the day, and didn't want to bother getting dressed. So it started off as a nice "Jammie Day" until the late afternoon came.  And then the call came from my cousin, giving me the few details that he had of the bad news regarding my uncle. (Actually, he's my mother's cousin in law, but I refer to him as my uncle.)  He (my uncle) has been in bad health for a long while now, and both my aunt and her daughter have been taking care of him at home due to a lack of prior senior planning.  Unlike New York, the state of New Jersey does not allow for a "destitute" senior receiving medicaid nursing home assistance to have any more than $2,000 in assets (in NYS, the figure is $14,500).  And I'm not sure if they can attach the assets of the healthy spouse to pay for the care of the invalid, leaving him/her homeless.  (Again, NYS treats the healthy spouse with more respect, allowing him/her to retain his/her share of joint property.) As a result of all these complications, my aunt has basically been housebound because of her ailing spouse. And it must have been hell on her and her daughter. Although my uncle is now dead, I feel that his death may be a great relief to his wife and his daughter.

Later on, my brother called, and we discussed my uncle's death.  Assuming that the funeral ceremony is held on Monday, I'll be sure to meet him there and then go somewhere afterwards to talk about our own family financial planning.  Given that we have a financial asset that we both own and that in which our dad has a life interest, we have to take steps now to protect it for my niece and nephew.  (My retirement assets will be spent for me first, and those assets that remain will be directed to go either to a scholarship trust or to my niece and nephew.)

- - - - - -

Once I saw how late it was, I decided to get dressed as Mario and do my laundry.  Although I started to do two loads, there are at least 4 more left to go.  (You can see how much I enjoy laundry.) These loads (sheets, towels, etc.) will be done over the weekend as I have time. Unfortunately, I have a senile lady living in the next doorway who frustrated me to the extreme, and I ended up shouting at her tonight. Around 8:30, I put my two loads of laundry into the washers, with the idea of putting them into the dryers at 9:00.  When I went down to put them into the dryers, the senile lady had put her blanket into one dryer, and some already dry stuff into the other.  She started to give me explanations of why she was doing so, and I said I didn't want to hear them.  I asked her to stop several times, and told her that I was in a very bad mood (not explaining my uncle's death).  And she continued looking to explain things to me.  After a while, I shouted to her to STFU!  I haven't been this angry in ages.  Only then did she get angry at me, as she realized that I wasn't going to put up with her nonsense.  I was glad that I was walking out the door and far enough away to chill out without help.

The senile old lady is the same person whose actions caused the fire department to come over to deal with a preventable issue in her apartment.  (If I were not on the board, I probably could say more. But I don't remember where my knowledge comes from public sources and where they come from information supplied to the co-op board.)  I try to avoid this woman and her daughter as much as possible as both are basket cases. Sadly, tonight was a night where she got to me, and I had to chill out afterwards. So I called a fellow board member, HWA, and chatted for the better part of an hour.  To be safe, I'll also mention this incident to HWV when we chat on Sunday, as I want others on the board to be aware of my position in advance of any communications from the senile lady.

- - - - - -

It's too bad that I didn't check my phone's texts around 5 pm.  If I had done so, the above incident would not have happened.  Instead, I'd have gotten showered, made up, and dressed, then out the door to see RO.  The laundry would have waited a day, and I wouldn't have had to suffer the angst I had to do tonight.
















Friday, November 3, 2017

Open House at the GLBT Center and Game Night



Thursday is the day I usually try to volunteer at the GLBT center. and I took my time making it in. Arriving at 3:15, I had forgotten about several things including both an appointment with someone after work and being at the GLBT Center's open house.  This wasn't so much of a problem, but I did have a roast beef sandwich that I planned to eat for lunch while doing electronic paperwork.

The first thing I did was to help prepare a reception room for an unknown number of guests, most of whom would be eating appetizers and drinking wine. And then, I got to updating their Powerpoint which announces the various weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly meetings being held at the center. By the time I was done, it was 5:00 and time to meet with their job search councilor. This gentleman was nice to speak with, and gave me a couple of ideas with which my search could be improved. So I was grateful for his time.

And next was the open house....

One fellow and I had an interesting conversation regarding recent political events and the likelihood that things will go from bad to hellish.  Although neither of us felt things would get as bad as Middle Europe in the 1930's, I felt that we should deal with the risk factor which has become the elephant in the room.  Later on, I had a conversation with a woman about the same topic, and she was extremely worried because she was extremely sensitive to her historical past. (She remembers how quickly things changed in 1930's Hungary once the authoritarian regime took power.) But most of my conversations weren't that serious. Instead, they were pleasant natured chats about our life experiences.

Speaking with one TG woman, I found out that transmen tend to come to the support group for a short time, as their transitions are relatively easy.  Testosterone masculinizes their bodies, and with the removal of their feminine organs and their mammary glands, they can have a normal masculine life save for one thing - they don't have a masculine organ that allows for penetration when having sex.  Their brain has become wired to penetrate with an organ that doesn't exist.  This transwoman also noted that TG females stay in support groups much longer as it is much harder for them for many reasons (voice, facial structure, etc.) to blend in as female.  And even in the GLBT community, cisgender women often have a bias against us.

- - - - - -

8:00 pm came, and I was off to Yonkers. No stop at Panera, no drive thru at Mickey D's. But a straight drive from the GLBT Center to game night.  Although I lost the first game, I did OK when playing Codenames - through no skill of my own.  It was a pleasant way to spend 2 1/2 hours on a brisk Autumn evening.

Sadly, one of our female attendees has been unable to make it to game night as of late.  She is a sweet woman, and I'd never want anything bad to happen to her or her husband. But yet, she had health problems which will require a spinal operation to relieve her of her pain.  Hopefully, this operation will be a success, as she has suffered from back problems for way too long.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Dinner with Sherry


It's hard to believe that Sherry and I haven't been able to get together in over 2 years. So it was a great pleasure seeing her again tonight.

- - - - - -

As usual, I needed another couple of hours of sleep when I awoke.  This wasn't going to happen for several reasons:
  1. A phone call from a robot telemarketer for an IRS Scam.  (The IRS never calls individuals without prior paperwork being received and acted on.)
  2. A phone call from GFJ to catch up on what we didn't talk about the night before due to her falling to sleep early.
  3. The scheduled Indian Point emergency siren test.
There was no way I could even take a good nap after this, so I got ready to see Sherry in Marian Mode.

I had two addresses for the Sri Lankan Restaurant where we were supposed to meet, and one of them was very wrong.  Guess which one I went to first.  But when I was in the area of the restaurant, Google's directions did not announce that my destination was on the left (or I didn't notice the alert), and I wasted another 15 minutes with Google's directions giving me bad directions to the restaurant.

Once at the restaurant, Sherry and I caught up with what has been going on in each other's lives.  I won't go into all the details, but she is getting used to the idea that she will never become a grandmother. This saddens her.  At least, she's enjoying life to the fullest - especially when it comes to her polyamorous sex life.  All too soon, it was time to leave. And we agreed to meet up before the new year.

- - - - - -

Next, it was off to The Avenue, with hopes of seeing DD there.  She told me that if the baby isn't born tomorrow, that labor will be induced (or a C-Section performed) on Friday.  I hope that by the next time I see her in the store, that she'll be a grandmother for the second time. There was nothing there that I really wanted to buy - especially with "year end" bills piling up in addition to my normal bills. So it was out the door and back to my car.

On the way home, I got a call from Lili.  Her son just got admitted to Medical School.  YAY! Lili is both sad and proud at the same time.  She's sad because she knows how much Med School will drain the life out of him. And she'd proud because her son is now among a small number of people selected each year.  He is part of the cream of the crop.

- - - - - -

Even though I wasted much of the day, it was a good day for me.  Hopefully, I'll have more days like this....





Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A day with Lili, and a Night with Patty


I had two things on my docket for today: A trip to NYC with Lili to drop off her payment to her plastic surgeon, and a dinner with Patty in Westchester. And even with my schedule as it was, it was nice that both events went off without a hitch.

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In order to get Lili in and out of the city at a reasonable time, I had to get myself moving by 9. And I did. Both of us were running late, so we met at Panera at 11, had a quick lunch, and were on the road to NYC before 11:30. Considering that it was the middle of the day when we reached NYC, I was pleasantly surprised that we made it to the surgeon's office before 1:00 pm. In less than 30 minutes we were out of the office and we decided to visit the museum on some other day.

On the way to Westchester, we started to discuss plans we need to make for her daytime surgery drop off and next day pick up in November.  She wouldn't be able to drive, so it looks like I'll be parking my car across the street (at an expensive lot) twice in two days.  And then we started talking about movies to see. We decided on seeing "The Foreigner" with Jackie Chan.  Although he is looking old, he can still make an interesting action film. And with a good plot, with good performances from both Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan, I think that most people will enjoy seeing this film.

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Leaving the theater, Lili got stuck in a traffic jam on the way to drop me off at my car. This didn't cause me to be delayed much. But I knew that I only had 20 minutes I could spend at my place before driving down to see Patty in Yonkers.

I made it to the restaurant at the same time as Patty, and we talked until the restaurant was about to close. It was good to catch up on what's going on in Patty's life as well as her family's lives.  She told me about her Brother in Law's medical issues with a broken arm and injured legs, her sister's saga with a flesh eating bacteria, and other medical issues affecting her family. In the process of talking about her sister, she described a situation that reminds me of my two quarrelsome neighbors in the next building.  We both agreed - some people create trouble for themselves, while others encounter trouble randomly.  Luckily, both of us are (for the moment) observers to others' misery.

All too soon, it was time for us to leave.  Hopefully, we'll get together before the year end holidays.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Quickie: If only this princess could get to sleep early to wake up early....


Even when I go to bed a little early, it takes me forever to go to sleep.  So it is hard for me to get up early enough to do things such as going to church on a Sunday that GFJ is not here. I could not get away with this if I were working....

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As usual, I had my alarms set yesterday to get me up early enough to go to church.  But I was too tired to do anything but turn off the alarm and go to sleep for another 3 hours.  By the time I got myself moving, it was already late in the afternoon and I couldn't do much until GFJ arrived. Do I feel upset about this?  A little.  There is a little frustration here. But I feel that part of this problem lies in the environment in which I live.

I've noticed that I talk about lethargy a lot more than I used to.  And I think that in part it's ennui.  There is a part of me that craves new experiences, but doesn't have the resources to have them. I'm actually getting closer to putting in a few job applications in some retail stores - just to get out of the house and give me something to do during the day.

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This morning, GFJ and I got moving very late in the morning.  If she didn't have to be in her office by 2 pm, she would not have bothered getting up.  As for me, I had nothing better to do, so I ended up staying in bed and watching TV all day.  Could I have gotten dressed and gone out? Yes. But I didn't have much to do, and I was not in the mood to get dressed.

I live in one of the few apartments I know where one has to open up the windows in winter. Since I am very sensitive to warmth, it's easy for me to become semiconscious when I'm in warm surroundings. And this is how it was today in the apartment - WARM! This doesn't make it easy for me to get moving without running the air conditioner 24x7 until November. I've lived with this for years, but if I had to do it all again, I'd have chosen an apartment with better air circulation, one that gets cool in most seasons.

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Tomorrow, I have to get up early to go with Lili into NYC and prepay the doctor for her upcoming plastic surgery.  Given how she was feeling when she saw her doctor for a checkup, I won't be surprised if she postpones this trip a couple of days. But she has to make the payment before her surgeon goes on vacation, so I know this task has to be done this week.


Monday, October 30, 2017

Thoughts about Lili


Now that Lili has a reduced size stomach, she can no longer feast as she used to do. Eating the lobster in the above picture was hard for her to do, as she was feeling sated after eating just one claw. And she paid for it later when she got back on the cruise ship.

Why do I mention this?  Well, Lili is a codependent person, and needs a boyfriend to take the edge off of her loneliness because she can no longer self medicate with food.

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With the death of Lili's mother, Lili inherited enough money to live well without working. When her family home is eventually sold, she will have made "the number" I wanted to reach before retiring. Yet, she still thinks like a poor person in many ways - and I'm not referring to money alone.

Lili's relationship with her boyfriend is like an on-off light switch.  When he is doing the right things, the switch is on. And when he does the wrong things, the switch is off. I'll never understand why he puts up with her, save that they are both codependent and need their emotional fix from each other.

Unfortunately, Lili projects her codependent relationship needs on me and keeps prodding me to look for a new girlfriend. Lately, she is prodding me to try dating services for trans folk. But I have my prejudices too.  (I am a person born in the 1950's, and it is hard enough to accept that I am trans, much less to have a romantic interest in someone like myself.) When I try to explain that I'd rather be alone than to romance the wrong person, she focuses on her need to be physically intimate with someone than my need to have people who care about me in my life.  I don't need that physical contact, but would gladly have it with the "right" person.

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Over the years, Lili has learned not to see herself as others see her. She's not a knock out, but she looks good for an almost 63 year old woman. And it took a while for her to feel comfortable wearing a dress, in part, because she could not envision herself being attractive to others.  In fact, at a recent show where she put out her jewelry for sale, some man propositioned her for a coffee date while his girlfriend was at another table.  (No, she didn't accept the proposition. But it made her feel good.)

What I'm not going to tell Lili is that she looks like her late sister.  In the past couple of years, Lili has lost both her mother and her sister. And Lili is quickly approaching the age that her sister was when she passed. She is afraid of getting old, and she is afraid of her mortality. This is normal. But yet, it's something we all must face sooner or later.

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One thing that is true about Lili is her love for her son.  They both put up with a lot from each other. Yet, this was, is, and always will be the most important relationship in her life. And I'm glad of this. She is not that much of a people person, and she lives much of her life to see that he does well.  He is her pride and joy, and Lili is glad that he has a wife that motivates him to do his best.

In certain ways, I am envious of her.  But in the end, I'd never trade my life for hers as I'm starting to enjoy what I have and have left to me.