Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The end of another weekend with GFJ

As noted before, GFJ got here late on Saturday - and we had a quiet night together.  Unfortunately (for her), she has to worry about her "Wasband" being around her family homestead, so she ends up coming here about 95% of the time. If it weren't for her mom getting sick, she'd have had a party at her place, and I'd have gone there this weekend.

- - - - - -

Sunday was a very quiet day for us.  We took it easy most of the day, and then went to Lower Westchester county to shop for a universal case for her tablet.  We eventually ended up at Micro Center, where she found the case she needed.  (It wasn't a perfect fit, but universal cases rarely are.)  After a snack, we drove home - and I proceeded to cook dinner. While taking care of the cooking, she pulled out her old phone and asked me to help make sure that all the items on her old phone were moved to the new phone. And this is where I got a reality check.

You might ask, what type of reality check?  Well, in my case, I accidentally saw a message chain from one of her girlfriends, and this girlfriend was giving the same kind of advice to GFJ that Lili has been giving to me.  I certainly couldn't talk about this, nor could I put the genie back in the bottle if possible.  Yes, part of me was temped to keep looking at things I shouldn't be looking at. But I'm glad that the old phone is in her bag, and not available to me. This might be too great a temptation for me to resist.

Later that night, GFJ's sleep was disrupted.  She got some serious stomach bug, and was feeling very uncomfortable through the night, and into Monday morning.

- - - - - -

Monday was Presidents' day, and that meant that all banks and government offices were closed. This gave GFJ an extra day to stay with me, as her assistant was able to man the office. GFJ was still not feeling well, and all she could do was down some chicken broth I had in the refrigerator (after being warmed up, of course).  I've seen this happen with her before, so I'm not too worried.  But I am very concerned, as I've seen her through other digestive issues in the past, and want to make sure that nothing else is there to worry about.

Although the alarm clock woke us up early. we didn't get out of bed until almost noon.  We could have gone to either FDR's house or Elanor Roosevelt's house for free, but we got out late, deciding to see a movie instead.  Luckily, "The Founder" was showing at the discount movie house in Poughkeepsie - and it was across the street from where GFJ had to pick up some medical records for a Wednesday appointment. Both of us drove our cars to the theater, as we'd be going our own ways afterwards.

After the movie, GFJ and I drove back to Fishkill to eat at the diner. Her stomach wasn't in the best of shape, so all she could do was eat the broth from the soup she ordered. I was pleasantly surprised that they refilled the broth before sending her home with the solids from the soup. As for me, I brought home the better part of a salad, and decided to rest upon my arrival.

- - - - - -

As you might guess, there's a part of me that really wants to know what is going on in GFJ's mind. But there's another part that's afraid to know.  I'm not in any rush to find out, as I think both of us like what we have right now - for now.

Doris Day once sang:

"Que, sera sera.
 Whatever will be, will be.
 The future's not ours to see.
 Que, sera, sera."

And that's so true of life.  Hopefully, things will work out well for us.  I like having her around, as we think alike and have mutual respect for each other. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

The closet is full, and I still read the catalogs

It's amazing how shopping has changed over the past 50 years.  When the three catalogs above were published, most people either shopped in stores or placed orders from print catalogs like these.  The internet was only a dream then, and no one could have thought that one of these stores would be dead, another on life support, and the third having been rescued from what should have been its death.

- - - - - - 

As I've mentioned before, I have an almost complete feminine wardrobe in my closet.  I tend to use it as much as my male wardrobe, as I am out en-femme around 50% of the time these days. What I would have given to look like the girls in the Ward and Sears catalogs. But that was not a choice for me, as no one really understood the faintest thing about the nature of being transgender, nor would I have been able to express this in the language I had as a child.

I can't say that my brain is either masculine or feminine.  It is somewhere between the two stereotypes. And as such, I can move in both worlds and be comfortable in them. And yet, I'm not at home in either.  As a male, I don't enjoy the role expected of me, where I have to be the sole provider, the tower of strength, the stoic who can bear whatever load is dumped on him.  As a female, I can not fully understand how women bond with each other, as I was not raised in a way to depend on others for much of anything, save on a transactional basis. In many ways, I'm an outlier, and it's just as well. 

- - - - - -

When the print catalogs come in, I often look at them - even though the merchandise in each online store doesn't change much over time. The staples are the same, although the mix will change each season. Yet, the offerings change over time.  Women are choosing a more practical wardrobe, and both skirts and dresses are being reserved for both office and formal wear. The exception to this tends to be in the summer, where it's always nice to have a nice breeze under one's skirt on a hot summer's day.

Yes, it's an almost guilty pleasure I now have.  But I enjoy it when I can become Marian, and would love to be able to do so 24x7 one day.  Until all my ambivalence is gone, I'm grateful not to be a person who goes "Ready, Fire, Aim!"  It's much more important to me to get this decision right, than to transition without being absolutely sure that it the right thing for me to do.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

A slow start to a Saturday for some

The local bank.  For many, it represents the financial connection between a person and the community at large. And yet, there are fewer of the small town banks like that in the image above, and more of the multi state behemoths that offer faceless service to the public at large. And today was the day that I dealt with a couple of long overdue dealings with two large banks.

- - - - - -

GFJ was supposed to come down early this afternoon, and missed her target due to oversleep. Whereas for me, I ended up rising early for a weekend day, and proceeded to finish moving money from a savings account paying little interest to the joint account I have with my brother to handle expenses related to the family homestead via a simple check deposit.  But this was not the first visit to the bank for the day. Instead, I visited another bank and asked about a credit card replacement that never came in the mail. After a bit of paperwork (more on their end, possibly to make sure there was no fraud involved by me), the new card was ordered, and I was told to expect it within 7 business days.

Once done with my banking duties, I drove home, had some lunch, and fell asleep for a few hours.  Around 4:00 pm, I called GFJ, and found out that she also ended up falling back to sleep.  So she said she was on the move, and would be here in a couple of hours.

- - - - - -

Strangely enough, I was a little glad not to have GFJ around. No, it's not because I didn't want her here.  No, it's not because I was in Marian Mode. But it was simply because I needed to relax, and didn't want to "entertain" someone when I didn't have much energy. I'm sure that when we're together, things will be different. But it's nice to have a quiet, slow start to a day now and then....

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The next day....

After I finished writing yesterday's entry, I got a call from GFJ around 1:45 am.  Her mom was being sent home from the hospital, and she needed to talk a little.  When one has an almost 92 y/o mother in declining health, one needs another person with whom to vent and share one's fears.

This morning, when I woke up, I felt almost as stiff as the statue above. But I knew I had to get moving, if only because I had my volunteer stint to get to and a concert to go to with Vicki.  I'm glad that I was able to talk with GFJ last night. I only wish it had been about an hour earlier.

- - - - - -

My time at the GLBT center went well, even though I didn't have that much to do. There were some minor edits I had to make to the web page which I took care of.  And then I had problems with setting up a new category for the web page.  At that point, I didn't want to bollix up things more than I had done, so I took my leave - and left the site in a state where it could easily be repaired by someone with more experience with the platform.

Then it was time to come home.  I figured that it made sense to tell Vicki that she was to meet me a half hour earlier than we first planned, so that we had breathing room to get to Woodstock with enough time to have something to eat.  Even so, she was running late. And this put our scheduling at risk.

I made a call to Vicki, and she didn't realize that the concert was scheduled for tonight.  So we ended up being an hour late to leave, and barely had enough time to drive to Woodstock and get to our seats.  This meant that I'd grab a sandwich when we got gas (at Vicki's suggestion), so that my stomach wouldn't be growling during the concert. Vicki rarely travels the routes I often drive on, so I had to tell her how to get there.  Luckily, I could almost do this in my sleep, having done this trip with my late wife many a time. One thing is for certain - I'm glad that Maria couldn't make it for dinner.  She'd have been royally pissed if she drove to Woodstock to meet us, and then we couldn't make it.

- - - - - -

The concert started a little late, and we had good seats - but not comfortable seats.  The view from the back row was better than expected, as you can see in the picture below..

We were expecting that the concert would start at 8:00 pm, and end around 10:30 pm or so,  giving us time to walk next door to the Little Bear and have a late meal.  But the concert didn't end until 11:20 pm, and the restaurant closed its doors at 11:00 pm.  At this point, all Vicki wanted to do was to go home and crash in her own bed.

Vicki started driving down to Croton, and got pulled over by a State Trooper just outside of Kingston.  The trooper was very nice, telling Vicki that one of her tail lights was out. And the trooper didn't want to write up a ticket, letting us go on our merry way.  We took most of the same route back that we took to Woodstock, and got stopped again at Annsville Circle. So Vicki told the story to the state trooper down here, and was let off again.

By the time Vicki made it to my place, she was hungry, but knew she couldn't eat more than a piece of cheese. As for me, I ended up going to the local 24 hour diner to have a bite to eat.  Did I need it?  No. But I know I won't feel starved when I wake up in the morning.



Friday, February 24, 2017

Nothing but games

Today's entry will be a quick one.  After being up most of the night, I had little energy to get much of anything done. And, when I started doing some stuff for NPW, I ran over the time where I'd have to get ready for volunteer work at the GLBT center.  Instead of going to the GLBT center late, I decided to bail out on work there today, and go there tomorrow.

By the time I started getting dressed to go out, GFJ was driving to Newburgh to have dinner with the girls. Although one of them could have been the lady I corresponded with the other day, I wasn't worried as much as I would have been a couple of days ago. But I did have my concerns.

On GFJ's way down, she told me that her mom had some issues which gave her reason for concern. Her mom said that she couldn't remember her name, and that she had a splitting headache. Given that her mom's blood pressure needs to get under control again, we had cause for worry. Her mom made it down to her home's dining room before the nurses came to check her mom's blood pressure. So they waited until after dinner to check the blood pressure, and they called the ambulance to bring her mom to the hospital.  This meant that GFJ had to break away from her friends early, and drive to Danbury to be with her sister and her mom.

Of course, chatting with GFJ got in the way of me eating well (I grabbed a burger at Mickey D's, instead of sitting down to eat at Panera Bread.)  But I was able to make it to game night before any serious gaming started. This was the best part of my day, as I didn't have to hear any more bad news.

- - - - - - 

Since GFJ had planned to have her friends over for a winter party, my plans were to drive to her place on Saturday.  Instead, she was sending out emails to tell her friends that the party has been postponed again, and neither of us knew what she'd be doing this weekend or where she'd be. Hopefully, her mom will be feeling better by then, so that we can be together for a night or two.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Some people give good advice, and others give bad advice.

Dear Abby and Ann Landers.  Neither could have given me a solution for the long term dilemma I have with GFJ. And yet, something could have brought this issue to a point of resolution.

Over time, I have received advice from several people regarding what I should do with GFJ. WDJ was right to tell me to let time tell me the answer, and not to push for rapid change. Lili, on the other hand wanted me to put ads out on other dating sites, and dump GFJ as soon as I found someone who accepted me as Marian.  I took a simple position, keeping Mario's ad on OK Cupid functional, but rarely attended. Marian's ad was attended, but got little incoming traffic. For the most part, this was wise. But it wouldn't account for any one of GFJ's friends seeing one of my ads and commenting on it. And that's what happened.

I don't go out seeking anyone using my ad in Mario mode, and have used it ONLY on occasion to communicate with some people I've met.  (I now have email addresses for these women, and could kill the account.)  For my Marian mode ad, I do respond to any positive I get, but I do not date anyone else these days.  (At least, I am not in a position to seriously date anyone, as I spend my time with GFJ.)

When I got the message from GFJ's friend, I wasn't absolutely sure of her name, but I know it's one of the gals in her circle of close gal friends. And I know that things could blow up, simply because I didn't bother to deactivate my account.  It's a great way to screw things up, isn't it?

In my response to GFJ's friend, I noted that I communicate with some female friends via cupid (technically true) and have helped them with their profiles (also true). And I did say this once to GFJ a long while back. So, is this going to blow up?  Who knows?  I probably deserve this if it does blow up in my face. And I will miss GFJ very much if she were to leave me.  Will it be the end of the world?  No.  But it will hurt for a while....

PS: The lady on OK Cupid said that she wouldn't tell GFJ anything.  So I promised her that I wouldn't hurt GFJ, then set to disable my accounts there.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Some thoughts on my appearance

The other day I met with Lili, and she commented on some of the dresses I bought over the past couple of years. And she noted that she liked me buying dresses like the one above, but not some of the more simple ones in my collection. One of her criticisms was that she preferred skirts and dresses that went below my knees. I agree with her on this, but not that many clothes designed for cisgender women fit this large transgal's body.

If there's one thing (among many) that can give me away as a transgal is that I love wearing dresses and skirts. Cisgender women in my neck of the woods tend to wear trousers on most occasions, as they are often the more practical garment - especially in inclement weather. I tend to dress as if I'm a woman either going to or coming from work, wearing my outfits in a very casual manner. However, this doesn't make much sense when there is snow on the ground, or when it is very wet outside.

My dilemma is simple. How can I dress in a trouser like garment and still present a tolerably feminine image?  I do not have a normal female fat distribution, and could use fanny pads and hip pads to make that part of my body appear more feminine. But at my size, it is assumed that the average female has more than enough fat in the right places to go around.  (No pun intended here.)  Yet, without this padding, wearing trousers will make me look masculine.

Ideally, I can find some shorter dresses that I could wear as if they are long tunics with leggings underneath. This would help in the winter, but not always when the weather is sloppy.  I still need to find items such as Rain Boots in my size. Given that I usually wear women's size 13W shoes, the only rain boots available are ugly ones designed for men. So I keep searching for the various "fill in" pieces, and hope that when I find them, that they will be affordable to me at the time.

With all this being said, I still have to work on losing weight. Lili doesn't want to cruise with me until I lose some of my weight.  (But this comes from a woman who just had bariatric surgery for weight loss.)  I have a feeling that one of the problems I've had in losing weight is that my testosterone level has gone down over the past 15 years. So I may have to eat "rabbit food" instead of my normal diet to lose this weight, unlike the last time where I only ate half portions of everything. Assuming that I lose some of my excess weight, I'd love to get back into a size 18 dress again.  If I were to stay at a reduced weight for 3 years, I'll treat myself to a skin tightening, rhinoplasty, and other facial surgeries geared to make my face look much more presentable while en-femme.  It would be nice to have the face I never had....

As you can see, I have some targets.  Now to aim for them, and shoot for the moon!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

It all starts being a comedy after a while

GFJ stayed over last night, and the first thing that was on our list of things to do was get our cars out of the parking lot before the snow plows came to do minor cleanup.  Yesterday's storm left about 3.5 inches of the white stuff on our cars, and we were among the few that had not cleaned off our cars by the time the morning came.  So we got dressed early, cleaned off our cars, and then starting towards Wappinger's Falls.

On the way to pick up my phone, we went to the diner for breakfast.  Both of us were starving, and we would not have made it to the cell phone repair store before our stomachs started growling loudly.  Once done with breakfast, it was off to the repair shop, where I found out that my phone still wasn't ready.  It seems that while replacing the battery, the repairman screwed up my phone's speaker (he didn't admit it) and was ordering a new one to be ready on Wednesday.  AARGH!  I won't be able to make it up there again until this coming Saturday at best, so it'll be another week that Marian will not have a phone of her own.

Neither GFJ nor I wanted to waste a good drive, so we went to see "The Comedian". I'm not sure if you can call it a love story or a comedy.  But I can say that this movie was very entertaining, and that De Niro made me laugh with the scripted jokes. In fact, there is a tasteful bit of "potty" humor that I think will make many people laugh. But if I say too much, it will spoil the film. Hopefully, you will see this film before it is out of the theaters. There are many good gags in it, and yet it doesn't seem contrived.

Once done with the movies, it was back home to rest.  Reaching Garrison, there was a major detour away from Route 9.  It seems as if a tree took down some electric lines, and that they were sending people to either Route 9D or to the Taconic Parkway to proceed in a Southerly direction.  This added at least 30 minutes to the trip home.  But it did give us the chance to see a route we rarely take because it leads to the Route 6 "Goat Path" from the Bear Mountain Bridge to Peekskill.

Tomorrow, GFJ leaves for her mom's house, as she hasn't seen her mom for a while.  As for me, I might get the chance to spend some time in Marian Mode for a change.  I'll miss having GFJ around, but it'll be nice to get out and about again.

Monday, February 20, 2017

A weekend defined by a Birthday, a Cell Phone, and Snow.

Last Tuesday was GFJ's birthday. Since she wasn't here because of a cold, I wanted to make sure that she'd enjoy a belated birthday celebration on Saturday upon her arrival.

- - - - - -

The cell phone I use for "Marian Only" calling was broken, and I had to return it to the cell phone repair shop to get fixed.  It seems when the battery was replaced, that a connector wasn't reset for the phone's speaker.  As a result, I could not use the phone for much of anything except as a device to surf the web while using wi-fi data. So, I figured that I'd drive back to Wappinger's Falls before GFJ was on her way, and get back before she reached my apartment.

At the cell phone repair shop, I was told that I could wait a couple of hours and have the phone the same day.  If I had thought of it, I'd have suggested to GFJ that she meet me for a movie in Poughkeepsie, pick up the phone afterwards, then drive back to my apartment. Unfortunately, I didn't think of this, and will need to make another drive to Wappinger's Falls on Monday after all the snow is cleared.

- - - - - -

When GFJ arrived, we proceeded to pair her new cell phone with her car.  Unfortunately, Suburu doesn't make it easy - their car owner's manual doesn't make this process clear. So it took us an hour to figure this out - and she was pleasantly surprised to find out that she now had a car that would work with her cell phone.

Once done with her car, it was off for a drive, and then out for dinner.  Of course, it was my treat, and we went to an Italian joint almost in walking distance of my place.  No, this wasn't that romantic a place. But both of us were in "comfortable" clothes, and not wanting to get dressed up to go out.

- - - - - -

Both of us knew that it was going to snow overnight, so I made sure that I had enough food available to last until Monday. When we looked out the window on Sunday Morning, we saw that the snow wasn't as bad as expected, but that we made the right decision by calling this another Jammie Day.

Even though some people moved their cars today, neither of us were in the mood to disrupt our Jammie Day.  Hopefully, we will not have too much snow on our cars, or too much blocking our cars to get out in the morning.  I figure that my Marian Mode cell phone will be ready, and that both of us will be up for a nice drive....

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The ballad of NM and Megabank

To my readers:  This is a true story about a victim of America's banking system.  The following is her story (with minor editing for clarity) in her words.

- - - - - -

In 2007 My Husband closed on our Condo. It was deeded to him & he alone held the mortgage. In 2009 after he died, I contacted Megabank to see about keeping the unit. They told me to apply for a Modification. Which I did. Every month from 9/2009- 2/2011. I had to have the Courts put the deed in my name as per the instructions of Megabank. I couldn't get a modification without it.

Went through 3 settlement conferences with lawyers from Megabank from Dec 2010-Feb 2011.

I lost my full time job in there somewhere. Had trouble keeping up with the expenses. The Condo's HOA fees started to accrue.

At the LAST settlement conference the bank's attorney informed me that I could NEVER had modified that mortgage. It wasn't mine to modify. So from Sept 2009 until Feb 2012 I filed monthly modification packets.

I offered Deed in lieu, sell it, short sale, they said no. I offered to buy the Unit for $250K. They said No. they would only accept a judgement of foreclosure. I moved out because they said I had until July 2012.

2012 ended. 2013, 2014, and 2015 came and went. No judgement. I couldn't live there, couldn't rent it, and couldn't sell it. But I was still responsible for it. I was paying Gas, electric, water, insurance and NOT paying HOA fees. I couldn't. No more $$$. Lost the FT job.

So I get a wage garnishment from the HOA. My ex-best friend Deb helped them out with that one. No biggie. Wasn't making much so they weren't getting much.

2016 and 2017 came and went. And here we are. 4 years in Court. Sued Megabank for bad foreclosure practice. Won that Judgement. Thank you Judge Walsh but the judge didn't think that I was owed money. Oh well.

So yesterday (February 1), I find out the condo is going to auction today. It was sold. One bidder. It was sold for $253K, $3k more than I offered in 2011. Oh. Who was the only bidder you ask? Megabank.
They spent just under $500,000.00 trying to get a condo with a balance of $343k put a Widow through 5 years of HELL. AND turned around and BOUGHT it at auction for basically what I offered them 6 years ago. 

I owe the HOA Scum suckers 5 years of fees. Legal fees up the Wazoo. For a condo I never bought, never owned and wasn't allowed to live in, sell, or rent. I can't recoup the money my husband & I put in. I have our memories. For the short 2 years we lived there.
I still think I got a bad deal. But you can't fight big banks. Legal Aid is amazing and wonderful. I couldn't have done this without their support. So that's my story. Feel free to pass on to news agencies. I really wish I could get on a talk show.

- - - - - -

Sadly, no one was interested in reporting NM's story.  The media in NYC was not interested in writing a story about Megabank and its abuse of customers.  (Later on, news outlets attacked Megabank for aggressive sales practices which effectively encouraged its employees to falsify credit applications to meet unreasonable sales targets.)  I wish NM had been treated better. But her saga is over, and she can get back to a normal life.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Catching up on things after the snow

Snowstorms are not a good time for any living creature to be outside, unless one is a polar bear.  I'll bet that this dog was very glad that the snow ended - if only to be able to take care of its bodily functions.

- - - - - -

Last night, virtually all of the people scheduled to go to game night took "rain checks" on being there.  There were no available spaces on the street, and the nearby roads were not that safe to drive on. So I was one of the smart ones, putting off my appearance until next week.

When I got up this morning, I was unsure if the cleaning lady would come. So I made sure to get my feminine stuff out of the way, so all she'd see would be what one might expect to see in Mario's apartment. (This was a fortunate choice, as she finally came today.)  And then, I went to Wappinger's Falls to pick up my old cell phone, now that a new battery has been installed.

- - - - - -

On the way up to Wappinger's Falls, I texted Vicki to see about what time I should meet her for our trip to Woodstock. Then, I texted to Maria that I needed a confirmation, so that we could reserve a table for dinner - and finally have the two of my friends meet.  Unfortunately, Maria sent the following response:

I don't think so. I don't drive in bad weather and I'm not risking it. Plus my car is older and I haven't been going too far. Plus hubby's truck just shorted out and burnt the alternator and starter on the truck when he was plowing yesterday

So I have to help him pay for that, so money wise I don't have it.  I'm not making excuses. I would love to, but I just can't. Sorry. Maybe in spring when weather is better, I can do so.

Maria's car is getting old, and her hubby has his issues.  Maria deserves better from a husband, but she has had to make trade-offs to have a stable relationship.  She doesn't complain about her life.  She just moves forward, attacking problems as she runs into them.

- - - - - -

Once I picked up my phone, it was back to my apartment.  And I was pleasantly surprised to find that the cleaning lady had finally made her appearance.  Now that I know her schedule for being in Westchester, I can more accurately predict when she'll be here if she misses a day due to bad weather or other reasons.

For the most part, I rested for the rest of the day.  Yes, I had to transfer information from my "old Marian" phone to my "new Marian" phone. But that's mostly busy work. I'm still at a point where I could do a factory reset on the phone, and reload everything I need. And I may still do that, if only to clean out all the junk that has accumulated in the two-three years since I bought it.

PS: I didn't do a factory reset on the phone.  Instead, I set up a second user, and cleaned out a lot of the old applications and messages I no longer needed.  This allowed me to save a lot of space, and allow the phone to work a little faster.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Normally, I'd be getting into a dress...

If the weather had stayed clear, I'd be going out and about as Marian.  However, the only thing on my mind today is that I'll have to shovel the show piling around my car when the storm ends.

- - - - - -

Normally, since this is a Thursday and my cleaning lady hasn't come in a while, I'd be worrying about getting dressed before she came and to get out of the apartment. This would allow her to work without trouble, and for me to maintain the image that it's just Mario in the apartment.  Instead, I didn't have to worry about her being here because of the snow already in my parking lot at 9:00 am.

Although there wasn't too much snow yet, the snow was still coming down, and I expected to see at least 6 inches of the white stuff before I even bothered to set foot outside.

- - - - - -

Since I didn't expect to be able to do much as Marian tomorrow, I already started to plan for a day out as Mario.  I texted Ex-GF-M, and said that we will need to postpone our lunch. She said that she might be working from home, as it would be too hard for her to get to her office the day after a snowfall. In addition, I still have to pick up my backup cell phone in Wappinger's Falls - and that will likely set me back almost $100 for a battery replacement on a phone worth less than that.

- - - - - - 

Eventually, I'll be able to go out again as Marian.  Until then, I figure that I'll relax and enjoy a quiet day at home.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Seeing friends before the snow shuts us in.

Today was the last day before the upcoming near blizzard, so I made the most of it in Marian Mode.  There were only two things I had planned to do today, and if I knew in advance that I could run an errand as Mario, I would have postponed a visit to YGN until after the snow.

- - - - - -

Last night was GFJ's birthday. And I totally forgot about it yesterday - even though I had mailed her a birthday card the day before, even though her birthday present sits unwrapped on my sofa, and even though another birthday card was sitting upon my desk. So when I realized that I missed wishing her a "Happy Birthday" on the date, I sent her a message saying: "Mea Culpa. Mea Culpa. Mea Maxima Culpa."  (Anyone familiar with church Latin will get that reference.) 

Around 10:30 am, I called the cell phone repair shop and they told me that the replacement had not yet arrived, and that I shouldn't expect the phone back until next week.  If I had known I'd receive a call around 1:00 pm that the phone was ready, I'd have rearranged my schedule so that I could have the phone in hand before tomorrow's snow storm. Instead, I proceeded on schedule to see YGN around 4:00 pm. 

Just before I left for YGN's house, I received an email from the school offering the PMP certification course.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have to postpone the PMP Exam Prep course, originally scheduled to begin on Feb, 8th. The new course schedule is listed below:

PMP Exam Prep, Course 90314
Wednesday Evenings, 6-9PM
March 1 – May 3, 2017
Of course, I replied to say thanks, and let the gentleman know that this change would not be a problem.  (Do you think I really want to again apply for a grant to take a similar course?  No.  I'll use the approval and the money already applied to this course, and get it over with.) Now to tell Lili that I can't go on a cruise until May.  She won't be happy!

- - - - - -

I arrived at YGN's house about an hour late, but we caught up on things quickly.  Her daughter is now 3 years old, and she can be a terror.  But she's cute!  We discussed issues related to setting up her business in a new location, as well as the PMP course I'll be taking. Unfortunately, time passed all too quickly, and I had to run off to the FFGoW meetup in the heart of White Plains.

- - - - - -

Arriving at the Black Bear Saloon, I was pleased to know that I wasn't the last person to arrive.  While taking off my coat, I noticed that one of the ladies gets around with a foldable white cane used by the visually impaired, and was putting it into her handbag. (Next time that she comes and the weather is bad, I'll offer her a ride to make things easier for her.) There were 5 of us there, and 2 of the ladies were newcomers. 

One of the new ladies and I hit it off immediately, and I had to make sure that ALL my actions were in the range of a cisgender female's actions. But there was a potentially awkward moment (I don't like bringing up that I am transgender unless I'm asked) where these new ladies talked about being widowed, and I joined in. When I was asked about how my husband died, I simply said that my love died of cancer and left it at that.  If I am thought of as a Lesbian, I have no problem with that. I just want to blend in as a woman as much as possible. Later on, when we talked about the difference between how men and women interact with each other, I noted that men had testosterone poisoning - and it brought a smile to the ladies. WPB knows I'm transgender, and I think she enjoyed that comment, as it allowed the ladies to continue on, and yet acknowledge a biological reason for the difference in how men and women think, communicate, and process information.

All too soon, the evening had to end, and I was on my way home by 9:00 pm. I wasn't able to chat with GFJ again until 11:00 pm, but that was OK.  At least, we were able to have a chat before the tomorrow's big snow....

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pat and the Non Profit - not necessarily in that order.

Today, I called Pat and found out that she had done some damage to her leg.  It seems as some muscle got pulled (for an unknown reason) and she needed to contact her doctor for advice.  Getting injured at any age is a bummer, but when you are 75+ years old, any injury can put you at risk of being crippled for life.

- - - - - -

As has been my "habit" as of late, I got up this morning before any of the alarms rang. This is very surprising to me, as I haven't been falling to sleep until 2:00am - 3:00am, and I have been waking up progressively earlier - today, around 7:45am.  So I figured that I'd get up and take care of things.

Around 10:00am, I started getting ready to go to NPW, and arrived there a few minutes late.  In fact, I entered the office just as they were about to call me, and we proceeded to get to business.  NPWJ realized that I needed some assistance in setting up the "copy" to be ported from the old web site to the new web site.  She also noticed that the old site didn't even have NPW's mission statement - so that will be added to the new site as soon as I receive marked up "copy".

- - - - - -

Around 2:30pm, I called Pat and she gave me the news about her injury.  I suggested that I visit, and she said "yes" - after she was done with her doctors. I killed some time at Barnes and Noble, then proceeded to Pat's place. She had to retrieve her crutches from the basement, and I helped her to the car.  We went to a nearby place where they make "Jerk" chicken, pork and other Caribbean specialties, and we picked up some take-out to eat back at her place.

We had a leisurely dinner, and then got into one of our long winded chats.  I won't go into Pat's political views again, but she was disturbed by what's going on in DC.  Too bad that she isn't pragmatic. For the most part, it was a pleasant conversation.  What was most interesting was a topic that came up shortly before I left: Being Transgender.  Fran came up, and I mentioned that I didn't want to be like her. I work hard to have a voice in the lower female register, and I try never to appear as if I'm a man in a dress.  Fran, on the other hand, looks and sounds like a man in a dress, as she doesn't bother to speak in a more feminine voice, nor does she consider rhinoplasty to give her face a more feminine appearance. We went a little further, and I said that if I started on hormones, I'd eventually want to get bottom surgery - something that Fran would never do.  Pat started getting a little confused at this point, and I noted that Fran is not the type of person who wants to blend in. So she makes choices that makes her stand out in almost all situations.

Sometimes, talk of bottom surgery forces the next topic to be addressed - SEX.  And it did this time. I noted that many of us transgenders give up on having sex once we transition. If I were to start medical transition, I know that I'd likely not have physical intimacy again with another human being. I noted that if I had bottom surgery, this cowgirl would like to ride a cowboy once - just to see how the equipment feels in use. Pat said that men have sex to better their reputations in the eyes of other men.  This may be true when a boy is in high school, but it is not the case for mature men. I then noted that I was always focused on the desires of the woman I was with, and then Pat noted that I was truly a woman in mind.  How true this is I can not say. But I am much more comfortable as a female than I am as a male, and wish there was an easy way to go 24x7 without all the potential sacrifices I'd have to make.

- - - - - -

One of the things I found on my email when I got home was a message from the school which was offering my PMP Certification prep course. 

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we need to postpone your upcoming PMP Exam Prep course. Unfortunately the instructor for the course is no longer available, we are working hard to assign a new instructor and update the schedule for the in-person offering of the course.

I will let you know as soon as we have finalized the new course details. If you are unable to attend the new schedule, you will be given a full refund for any payments you have made towards this course.
To me, the school may have not gotten enough people to register for the course - and wanted to postpone it until they had enough attendees.  I sent GFJ a copy of the email, and she started gently prodding me to find out whether another course was being offered elsewhere AND whether I could get the county to pay for that course as they were paying for this course.  I'd rather not open this can of worms. So I'll wait until the course if offered again, and let the school hold on to the money - and be sure that I am registered for the next time it is offered. (If there are problems, I can let the school and the county fight it out - as the school likely has the money and I already have a confirmation letter for the course that indicates I can attend when it is offered.)


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

An arty day

This is a picture I took of my niece when we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is a pretty young lady, and one who knows what she wants in life, but may not be that sure on how to get it. Hopefully, she will soon hit her stride, as I like it when smart ladies succeed. And this should be a good lead in for a day which I was scheduled to go to the monthly meeting of Arts Westchester.

- - - - - -

Like last month, there weren't that many events that called for our presence. Although there was one I could have volunteered for, I preferred to leave Friday open, so that I could have a night en-femme before GFJ comes over.  If possible, I'll try to get together with RO.  However, my time to have a relationship with her has probably passed, as she wants to have a second date with a fellow from Brooklyn.  But, I like the idea of having another female as a friend, as I want to build as large as possible a social network for Marian as I can.

After the Arts Westchester meeting, I ended up driving to have Chinese dinner with Lili near her place. Since she can't eat much, her plans were to order a soup for 2, eat a little, and then have the rest over the next few days as left overs.  I ended up ordering the General Tso's Shrimp, and had more than enough colossal shrimp to feed two normal sized people. Lili complained about her (possibly ex) boyfriend, and then encouraged me to start dating other women since she feels GFJ won't want to be with me after her divorce.  (I've always considered this a possibility, so I never gave her my full heart..  But I will miss her when/if she leaves me.)

- - - - - -

As you can guess, Lili's ideas about dating can ruin a perfectly good day. And she put a damper on my mood.  She worries so much about finding a person, that she doesn't know how to enjoy life without someone special in that life. For me, I want to enjoy life whether or not I have someone special in my life. Being transgender, I know that it becomes much more unlikely that I meet someone special the more I go out as Marian.  And I wish Lili wouldn't try to tell me how to manage my romantic life.  She doesn't understand my needs, and focuses too much on loneliness....



Monday, February 13, 2017

Sometimes, I just have my doubts.

Sometimes, I have my doubts about whether I should even bother going out en-femme. But there is a part of me that is both thick headed and a lacks a certain type of self awareness that allows me to function outside en-femme.  Am I believable in the role?  I'm not sure, but I know that my voice, size, and mannerisms can give me away. It can get quite scary at times. And things have gotten worse since the lunatics came out of the woodwork on November 9th.

Recently, a "troll" came onto this site and made some questionable remarks. I had no problems brushing off this person.  WDJ thought this person might have been the "Queen Bee" of the Wine and Dine group. But I didn't think this would have been her style, and didn't want to reopen a wound involving this lady. I no longer bother with the W&D, nor am I sure that I'd be welcome again if I attended a function.

Lili has said that she would prefer that I lose about 40 pounds before we go on another cruise. And I wish it were easy to do so. No, I'm not going to do anything as drastic as she did to get the weight off. But I know I have to get back into regular activity ASAP. What activity it will be, I do not know. At least, I still have access to the health club for when I want to restart my exercise regimen.

After what is effectively a 3 year gap in employment, I am no longer sure whether I can do the job I am trying to get.  Is that unusual?  I doubt it. But if I get a job and fail this time around, I will probably choose an early retirement, as I don't think I can deal with another failure of this type and still have enough confidence to recover.

Now that GFJ is on a more rapid path to her divorce, I have my doubts about her as well. Once she is rid of the "Wasband", what will she do?  I'm pretty sure that she wants to live on her own for a few years. And I'm pretty sure that she prefers NOT to see me in Marian mode. So I ask myself, do I want to keep trying to find romance? Or, do I want to get on with it, and start making the next move to live as Marian 24x7?

As you can see, as much as I might seem confident to the outside world, I am accompanied by my doubts. And sometimes, these doubts grab me and won't let go. No matter what happens, I'll see my way through the worst and come out the other side OK.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Going out for no result was the brightest part of the day

The ubiquitous cell phone. It is a godsend and a curse at the same time.  No longer is it easy to be "out of pocket" and unavailable to the world.  Instead, people expect to contact us at any time.  And it was a cell phone which became the high point of my day.

- - - - - -

My old cell phone has been at the repair shop for about a week. Unlike most of my other cell phones, my old Moto-X (2nd Gen.) does not have a user replaceable battery. This means that I either have to buy a battery and the special tools needed to open the case and do the work myself.  Since I don't trust myself to do the work right, I decided to pay the piper and drop it off at a repair shop and be sure the work is done right.  So, when I dropped it off, the fellow told me that it should be ready at this time next week (today), as he would need to get the part shipped to the store.  Since I didn't hear from him this week, I figured that I'd take a run up to Wappinger's Falls and see if my phone was ready. Doing this would put me in Mario Mode for the day.  However, there are always things I can do in Mario Mode that I'm putting off because I try to live as much of my life as Marian as possible.

I got showered and dressed, and made the 45 minute drive - only to find out that the fellow had not yet received my phone's new battery.  So I had little to do but to drive home.  I was not in the mood to change into Marian, and I decided to stay home and relax.  Yes, I could have called BXM or Pat to see if either was available. But I was not in the mood to do much of anything, and I was in the mood to simply veg out.

- - - - - -

Since GFJ is still sick, I expect that this will be a weekend that I'll have all to myself. I've already texted Patty to tell her that we won't be able to make it to dinner tomorrow.  It's a shame.  We've been trying to get together for a while, and again, the fates have gotten in our way.

Yet, there is one positive here.  With GFJ being home, Marian has a choice of two things she can do in the morning, and if I wake up early enough, I will do so. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Taking it easy again.

My original plans for the day had me trekking down to NYC to see Ex-GF-M and find out what the career services area of the school that awarded me my Masters Degree could do for me.  However, this got fouled up, as she has a new boss and has not had her schedule under control.  So we rescheduled our lunch for next week, and I will be making an en-femme appearance this time.

What did I do with the extra time in my day?  Well, I didn't have to go anywhere until dinner time, when I had a scheduled dinner date with the FFGoW meetup group. So I ended up staying in my jammies all day, relaxing as much as possible.  You may be thinking, why did she phrase it that way?  And I had a simple answer.  Although I woke up at 8:00 am, I wasn't rested, and went back to sleep for a couple of hours - waking up at lunch time fully refreshed.

There are things I should have done but didn't, such as making sure that Pace confirms my attendance at the PMP prep course, and that a replacement credit card (for an account I rarely use) didn't get lost in the mail.  I'll take care of the former on Monday, as I'll need this letter to get into my class on Wednesday. And I'll take care of the latter tomorrow morning, as I can visit the bank and see someone in person. Instead of doing these things, I ended up being semi comatose during a viewing of "The Great Escape". 

Eventually 4:00 pm came around, and I started getting ready to go out as Marian. I was ready to go by 6:00 pm, and I got to the Chinese Restaurant a few minutes later than the other ladies. As usual, it was a friendly get together. But I will miss the next meeting of the group because of a conflict with the concert I'll be attending with Vicki.

Since dinner ended at 8:00 pm, I still had time to go shopping for a gift I'm giving to GFJ. And I found a neck and back massager at Kohl's for a reasonable price. So I bought it, and got this gift out of the way in the nick of time - even though GFJ said she's still feeling too sick to come down, I  have to be ready in case she's well enough to do so.  (She tends to get a nasty cold around this time of year.)

Could I be doing more?  Yes.  But without any pressing need, why?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Cleaning up and donating stuff to charity

I've been trying to get rid of some stuff and eliminate clutter from my apartment.  So far, a lot of stuff has gone into the garbage pail, simply because I didn't care to try and find another home for it. Today, I figured that I'd bring a glass ice bucket, a crock pot, an under powered computer tablet and a desktop fan to the GLBT Center where they can sell it in their thrift store. If you were to see the apartment and my storage compartment downstairs, you'd say that this is only the tip of the iceberg - and you'd be right.

A while back, GFJ helped me clean out a corner of my bedroom, and it again is being used for storage.  This is why I've started to take a gradual approach of tossing out stuff that I no longer actively use, and donating the stuff I think others can put to gainful use. The tax deductions won't be worth that much, but if someone is helped by what I give away, then it's payment enough for me.

- - - - - -

Since my cleaning lady didn't come last week, I couldn't be sure if she'd come today.  So I could only stage one box load of stuff to carry into my car.  Once dressed as Marian, there was no way I'd want to work up a sweat, and no way I wanted to risk being here in Marian Mode if my cleaning lady arrived.  (The odds were that she wouldn't come today, as I remember her saying that she didn't have clients in Westchester scheduled for this week. But I still had to be prepared for any circumstance.) 

I got out of the house around 12:30 pm, and moseyed down to White Plains and the GLBT Center. And this week, I was assigned to update the new web site with two research studies and one job opening. This was a quick job, and I took my time in doing so. But it felt good to see that their site was almost ready, and that I helped a little in getting it there.

Next, I called Pat (the ex-hypnotist) to say hello.  I wasn't going to drop by unless two conditions (not on her) were met. First, I had to find a birthday present for GFJ at The Avenue in Yonkers. And then, I had to get in and out of Pat's place in time for me to make it to game night. Unfortunately, things weren't right for us to meet. So I went to Panera Breat to eat, and then to The Avenue to shop.

While at The Avenue, I struck up a conversation with the sales lady, P.  She's a short, friendly lady, originally from one of the "islands". (I won't say which one here.)  We get along well and have pleasant chats. So when she slipped up on her pronouns, I was comfortable telling her that I was trans - and our chat continued without missing a beat. There was a faux leather jacket there that I'd have bought if it were a smidgen larger. (I'd want a size 30 for that extra breathing room, but the largest size available was a size 28.  And I knew the item better than P, as I checked online for it a while back.)  It was a temptation to buy this jacket for GFJ, but I decided to think about it a little before making a final decision. At the price of $30, it's in my budget, and GFJ might actually like it.

- - - - - -

Once done shopping, it was off to game night. And I had a nice evening, even though my team won one of the games   It was purely luck. After the games, I sat down with one of our long term attendees, E, and had an interesting conversation about politics. (I was trying to get away from one of the newer attendees, N, who seems to want to know me better.  Does he know I'm trans?  Does he know I'm not interested in men?) And guess what? N came over and joined our conversation.  When N had to leave, he commented that he was amazed that E and I had such a deep background in history.  I guess they don't teach it as well as they did when I went to school.

Soon afterwards, I was on my way home.  I called GFJ, and she said that she was still feeling sick. (She texted me to tell me she had a nasty head cold today.) And it was a disappointment when she said that she wouldn't make it down tomorrow.  At least, it was only a minor disappointment, as I could now go to Chinese Food night with the FFGoW gals. Hopefully, GFJ will be able to make it down on Saturday, as I'd like to have a nice, long weekend with her....



Thursday, February 9, 2017

Maria. I just met a girl called...Maria

Normally, on a day that I had no pressing appointments, I would have gone out en-femme to meet my friend Maria as previously scheduled. However, I met her en-homme, as I had a later task I had to take care of - depositing over $550 in coins at my local bank, and then getting the Routing and Account numbers associated with this account, so that I could set the account up for money movements between my accounts at several banks.

I had thought I had set up the alarm to ring at 8:00 am. But it didn't (or I had slept through it). Instead, it was the 9:00 am alarm that awoke me, and I started to rush through Mario's morning routine so that I could meet Maria at 10:30 am.  And I was able to do so without much trouble.  If I had to have done Marian's prep routine for the day, I would have been at least 30 minutes late for breakfast.

Maria and I arrived at the diner at the same time (about 5-10 minutes late), and proceeded to chat about her husband (his drinking is becoming a potentially big problem), her daughter and grandson (the daughter is not acting responsibly in regard to caring for her son, and Maria wants to protect her grandson from potential harm), her issues with the lawyer she does occasional work for, my job search, and things in general. We never have enough time to talk, but I think that this is because Maria is a "busy bee" and needs to schedule more than enough things during the day to burn off her energy.  Before I left, I suggested that Maria meet Vicki and myself for dinner in Woodstock in a couple of weeks, so that the three of us could finally be in the same place at the same time.

Once done with Maria, I went to the bank and deposited my coins. The box these coins were in weighed a ton when filled, and I felt strained putting the canvas bag this box was in into the trunk of my car. When I got to the bank, I quickly took the bag to the teller's platform and placed it there before the current customer was done. (I didn't want to put a clean bag on a dirty floor.)  And then I backed away to give this woman some privacy. A minute later, I was served, and it took several minutes to sort and count all of the coin rolls I was depositing.

Eventually, I was done with the bank and went home.  I was too tired to go out again, and I really didn't care to do much.  WDJ would likely not be available.  Lili wanted more advance notice before getting together. (She wanted to be able to nibble on something when with me.)  And I was in the wrong frame of mind to see anyone else - especially if I had to change into Marian mode and go out again. So I got comfortable and relaxed for the rest of the day.

Tomorrow, I'll be going out again. And it will be a long day en-femme. So I might as well get my rest now, and be able to enjoy the day.