Friday, March 31, 2017

It could have been much, much worse....

So far, I'm breathing a sigh of relief. I was NOT picked to serve!

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But let me start at the beginning....

Last night, I was up until 2:00 am, trying to make sure that I got the worst of the mess in my apartment cleaned up before my cleaning lady came today. There was one problem - I had to get up by 5:00 am, so that I could get ready for going to court. In the summons (and on the online materials) they indicated that jury service typically lasts for approximately two weeks.  I could live with that, and planned to do so - even if that meant getting up at 5:00 am for several days.

When 5:00 am came, I showered, shaved my face, arms, chest, and legs. Then, I proceeded to turn myself into the Marian my readers enjoy reading about. Around 6:15 am, I was ready to take on the world as Marian. So I drove to the Croton-Harmon train station to park and took the train into NYC. It was easy to find a parking spot in the metered lots at that time of morning, which would not have been the case had I planned to take a later train.

I waited for the 6:28 train (from Poughkeepsie) and got a seat in the quiet car. There was a lady sitting across from me that I noticed, but didn't give her much thought. The seat was way too uncomfortable for me to risk shifting and taking a 45 minute nap in Marian mode, and wake up with Mario's voice. That would be totally embarrassing. So I made sure to stay awake for the full ride into NYC.

- - - - - -

Arriving in NYC at a reasonably early time (about 7:20 am), I decided to walk over to the staircase that would normally take me to the Times Square shuttle, in the hope that Eganam Segbefia would be there - and he was.

I stopped to listen to him, and I doubt that he recognized me. (If I had showed up as Mario, I guarantee he'd have stopped and ask me where I've been for several months.) So after a couple of tunes, I left him and took the Lexington Avenue line to Brooklyn Bridge. 

An hour difference can make all the difference when commuting on the NYC subway. I feared that I'd be packed into the subway car like a sardine, and was lucky enough to have a choice of a seat. Instead of having an uncomfortable ride downtown, it was almost a pleasure for a change. (I shouldn't say it too loud, as I don't want to jinx myself for next time.)

Reaching my stop, I followed the instructions on how to find the entrance to the court building (one had to go to the other side of the block for security reasons), and went inside. Given the nature of the place, security gave me some concerns - especially when I was asked to show photo id. The agent didn't bat an eyelash when I showed her Mario's id and told her that I haven't changed my paperwork yet.  But I had a minor headache, when I had to take off virtually all of my jewelry to get through the metal detector. (Thank god I remembered NOT to wear an underwire bra.) Once through, I was fine - and made it to the jury selection room 30 minutes early.

- - - - - -

While waiting to enter the selection room, I noticed the lady from the train. When we entered, I ended up sitting next to her - and gabbed a bit about nothing special.  It wasn't until 9:15 or so that things started picking up, and the court started to give us instructions on what paperwork to fill out, and what we can do while waiting. (Which wasn't much, other than to retire to a concession room where they had free coffee and vending machines for soda and snacks.) At least, the seats were comfortable.

Eventually, all the key players came in and informed us about what kind of jury we were to sit on. There were 2 AUSA's (Think of Assistant DA's for Federal courts), 1 judge, and assorted court personnel there to select 23 of us for a grand jury which was to meet twice each week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) for at least 18 months. OUCH!  There was no way I wanted to sit on that panel, given how late I like getting up AND with a job search going on. So each time a person's name was called, I felt a little dread until I found that the name wasn't mine.

You'll note that we were told to be at the court by 8:30 am. Grand Jury selection was going on way well after the 12 noon midpoint of the day, as half the prospective jurors who were picked had good reasons to be excused from service. Each time a person was excused, the rest of us held our collective breaths as each new name was picked - and this happened at least 15 times after the original 23 names were picked.  There were a couple of times we thought we had an ending to this process, and we clapped at each false ending. After 30 minutes of this, I was starting to fthink of a simple reason to justify excusing me. And I was very thankful not to need this reason, as the 23rd juror was selected and was someone else. We finally had a real ending. All of us clapped, and we were then rushed out of the room.

- - - - - -

Instead of going to Chinatown for a late lunch, I decided to go straight home to finally catch up on some needed sleep before game night.....

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Although I have a court date, I have some options.

I used to live near where this Court House used to be.  It was torn down long before I was born. There are no traces of it anymore, save for a street named "Old Courthouse Road". My brother lives even closer to this site now than when we were growing up, and the current Queens County courthouse is closer to the center of the post 1898 boundaries of the county.

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Why do I mention courts?  Well, tomorrow morning will be the first of days that I have to schlep to Lower Manhattan for Jury Duty. And I am disgusted by having to get up by 5:30 am, so that I can be at the court by 8:30 am.  At least, the court will allow me to drive in and park (at their expense) since I live in Westchester County.

I am also disgusted by the court telling me that I can not bring my cell phone with me. So I think I'll burn more of their money by driving in (starting Friday), parking near the court, and keeping my cell phone locked in my trunk. This way, I'll have access to my phone after I'm done with the court. The one drawback will be that I'll be fighting rush hour traffic - but at least, I'll be comfortable while doing so.

- - - - - -

Hopefully, this service will be short. If I get called to serve on a case where I'll spend an excessive amount of time on a case, I'll ask the judge to recuse me - I do need to spend time looking for work, and not having my time taken up with Jury Service. And I will not allow them to place me on a case where I can be sequestered - even if that means I am in contempt of court.

I ramble on and on.  Who knows, this might be a tolerable experience. Until I go there for the first time, I do not know what my feelings will be. But I do know that I expect it to affect my ability to put out a reasonable sized blog entry on a regular basis.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Quickie: Taking it easy until the Co-Op Board Meeting

I started this entry thinking of the co-op board meeting I was going to attend today. And I did just that. But I may have a problem caused by Con-Ed that may have killed my desktop computer AND my refrigerator.

- - - - - -

Taking it easy was the phrase that governed my day. And I didn't get moving until 5 pm. This wouldn't be so bad, except that my bathroom exhaust fan and lights weren't working - the fan died, and the lights started to flicker. This should have told me to turn off the computer, but like a fool - I didn't.

Leaving the apartment, I picked up some iced tea at Dunkin Donuts, then went to the board meeting. Tonight's meeting was much longer than usual, and we covered a lot more than I expected for the evening. But when the lights flickered, I should have known that I might have problems when I got home.

When we were done, I chatted with HWA in the parking lot, then went inside - where I found that I couldn't turn on my laptop, and that my refrigerator wasn't working right. Hopefully, everything will be back to normal in the morning....

- - - - - -

Afterword: I had gone to sleep around 2:00 am during a brown out. The next morning, I woke up around 5:00 am, with no electricity at all (my CPAP wasn't running, being my first clue to this) and more darkness than I usually see around here.  Within the hour, full power was restored, and the computer was back to normal again.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Monday, Monday - So strange to me.

It seems strange that I just enjoyed a weekend without GFJ. And it also felt strange that I had a weekday to myself, and did absolutely nothing. Yes, I wish I could find some notes I had regarding NPW, as I'd have liked to work on the web site. But I decided to ask NPWJ to scan her copy and send it to me as a PDF file.

Even though I had my alarms set for 8:00 am, I knew that I wasn't going to get up immediately. If it weren't for needing to get out of bed, I wouldn't have done so. And yet, I did nothing much all day until I had to prepare for a scheduled dinner with BXM. So, around 6:00 pm, I finally got moving and did just that.

BXM is always having problems, and I knew she'd be late. So I figured that I'd call her a little bit before 9:00 pm (while I was still on the road) to alert her, so that she could feed her dad and then get out of the house. Well, she screwed up her schedule, as she had to stay late at her Karate Dojo to see someone earn his black belt. But this threw her off her schedule, and she invited me up for a drink.  One problem - I couldn't find parking near her house. So I told her this, and arranged to reschedule things sometime in the near future.

On the way home from the Bronx, I got a call from GFJ, and we talked for the better part of an hour.  Her GI Tract is giving her problems, and she almost had to go to the emergency room last night. Something is causing her intestines to get inflamed, and they start blocking the normal processing of food from one end to the other. And this causes her pain which prevents her from bending, triggering problems elsewhere in the body - such as extremely painful backaches. Her doctors have not yet figured out what the problem is, but she certainly doesn't want to go in for the operation which would eliminate this problem once and for all - the cure is worse than the disease.

Around 11:00 pm, we ended our chat, and I went into Walmart to pick up a couple of items. While there, I bumped into one of the store clerks with whom I often chat. (Let's call her WMM.) She started talking a little about the men in (use that word very loosely) her life.  One did a stay in prison, and the other was often not around. (You can guess the ethnicity of this lady from certain stereotypes.) I joked that she should try women, and she said that she thought about that - but her family would never accept it. (I made sure that she knew I wasn't hitting on her to be safe....) And then she said we should exchange phone numbers the next time we meet, and get together outside of the store. This is something I look forward to doing, as I like the idea of having more female friends.

I didn't get half what I would have liked to get done today done. But I feel good about the day anyway. Now that is strange!




Monday, March 27, 2017

A visit to the Museum of Food and Drink (

The Museum of Food and Drink.  It's a nice place to visit on a weekend, but I'm not sure if it is worth the $14 entry fee. It is located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and it would be easy to reach by car if there were no traffic jams leading to the Kosciusko bridge. Sadly, that bridge (like many in the NYC area) is fouled up by construction work, and is a traffic jam at any hour of the day.

- - - - - -

Recently, I figured that I'd get to the museum by 4:15 pm or so and have more than enough time to visit this 5000 sq. ft. museum.  The current exhibition is "CHOW: Making the Chinese American Restaurant."  And it is interesting, because it explains how "Chinese" food came to be popular in America.

There were a lot of menus on display, showing the evolution from simple Chow Mein joints to the Chinese restaurants we know today.

But what interested me was a wall section which illustrated how certain Chinese specialties are derived from the use of a series of ingredients used in sauces:

I wish I could have gotten a much better photograph of this chart, as it gives the basics on how to make any "standard" Chinese sauce used in American Chinese restaurants.  Sadly, I'll have to look into a good cookbook and waste time, since it will likely not be laid out as well as this chart.

- - - - - -

Too bad that this machine wasn't working when I got there.  I could have gotten some very freshly baked fortune cookies.  As it was, I had more than my fill of cookies, and then had a sample of some sweet and sour pork cooked in the "lab".

Trust me, the pork was tasty and not overly sweet.  This lady used a recipe currently being used by one of New York's chefs, and they change dishes every month.

- - - - - -

Should you go?  It's a museum where you can see everything in less than an hour.  For $14, I've gotten better value in other places. Yet, there is something about this place that says: Visit me soon!

As for me - I'm waiting for the next exhibition.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Looking for a pair of shoes I thought I had

A simple shoe. Why do my feet have to be one size larger than most shoes available to me?

- - - - - -

The other day, I committed myself to attending a Spring dinner dance over at the GLBT Center. Although I'm not normally the type of person who attends these kinds of affairs, I had nothing better to do, with GFJ being elsewhere and not being a factor in my decisions. So I figured that I'd attend this event, and be able to occupy my time.

There was one problem that had to be dealt with: finding a pair of heels. Although I know I have a pair or two in my closet, I couldn't find them. And they seem to be sold out at the Avenue until next season, making it impossible to buy an inexpensive pair on closeout. (AARGH!)  At least I did find 2 pairs I can use in a pinch. (And that word "Pinch" has both meanings here.)

- - - - - -

Since I didn't really want to get dressed and undressed twice (once to go out, and then once for the dance), I figured that I could take some time and clean up some of the mess in the apartment. Over the past few weeks, I have not taken the time I need to rein in the mess. And today looked like a good day to do so. But by the time I had to start getting ready to go out, I had wasted this opportunity - again.

Just as I was going out, I got a call from GFJ. I have a feeling that she didn't want me on the road for a conversation she wanted to have, so our chat was mostly about pleasantries. She mentioned that she had dinner with a couple of her friends for St. Patty's Day, and I mentioned that I would have liked to met those friends. And she said you may someday.  (That could be taken in many ways, and I don't want to read anything into this right now.) Our chat lasted the better part of a half hour, when she had to sign off because she was getting tired. (Given her erratic sleep patterns, I can understand this.) So we bid each other adieu, and I went into the GLBT Center's Springfest.

- - - - - -

I was wearing the above dress to the dance, and as soon as I got in, I realized that I was overdressed. I had also thought that this would be the perfect time to break out the new breast forms and wig that I had bought some months ago, and if I had known I was overdressed would have saved them for a more special occasion. Even with this, I got compliments on both the dress and on my hair from several people. (Pat mentioned both the dress and my wig, while others mentioned my dress.) No one ever said how good I looked as a male. It's nice to be able to receive them as a female. I may not be anywhere near a "10" on anyone's charts, but it's nice to be accepted by women as a peer and treated as one.

While at the dance, Pat (my former hypnotist) and I had the same complaint - the 'vibe" was off. She thought it was too suburban, but I thought it was something else. The music being played was that which would have been appropriate in a 1980's disco, and not appropriate while people were eating dinner. So both of us decided to leave early.  But before I left, a F2M Transgender fellow came over and thanked me (WOW!) for being an inspiration to him. If they had played a slow dance, I would have wanted him to hold me and lead me across the dance floor. (Heck, both of us were born with the wrong plumbing. Why shouldn't the two of us enjoy a nice dance, even though that's where things would end?)

When I got home, I took off the dress above and got into something less dressy for being out and about on a Saturday night without a date. (I don't have a picture of this dress to show you.)  Since I had a little time, I fleshed out most of this entry before going out again. And when I did go out, I got on the phone with Pat to discuss our feelings about the GLBT Center party. Both of us noticed that no one was having any real conversations - the music was way too loud to hear someone speak from across a table. We were both disappointed, and I think that she'd agree it was a waste of time for us to have been there.

Since I had time to kill before the movie, I went to the K-Mart around the block (it is almost that close) from the theater to pick up some things. One of those things was an inexpensive set of curlers that I can use to try to give one of my old wigs the style my new wig currently has. I obviously took a little too much time, as I got to the movie just as the trailers ended. So I quickly paid my admission and sat down to see "The Last Word" with Shirley MacLane. If you have the chance to see this film - do so. It's not exciting, but it is well acted.

On that note, I'll close out this entry. There are things I could add, but they'd seem like fluff to stretch things out. And I'm too tired for that now. 

- - - - - -

PS: I found the shoes I had originally been looking for under my desk - right after I placed the order for a new set of pumps from Amazon. 



Saturday, March 25, 2017

Seeing the doc, doing some volunteering, then a bite to eat with Lili

I had only two things planned for today - seeing my doctor as Mario, and then volunteering as Marian. But Lili was free, and alone - so I added dinner with her to the list of things I wanted to take care of.

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Wake up time came earlier than usual, as I have started the process of getting out of bed earlier each day, so that I'll be able to get moving at 5:30 am for Jury Duty. And I was able to be ready on time for a 10:00 am visit to my doctor.  After 45 minutes, he wanted to do a test, so that he could determine why I was having a specific symptom.  The blood pressure was OK, but....

Once done with the doctor, it was back to my place to change into Marian Mode. And then it was off to NPW.  Arriving there, I had to wait for a while so that NPWJ could finish a phone call. She and her friend (on the other side of the line) was upset that Trump's budget was cutting out "Meals on Wheels". And they both were upset at how callous the GOP spin masters were treating this subject.

After a half hour of waiting, we finally got down to work.  And there were a lot of things we needed to cover, in order for NPWJ to understand where we were with the project.  During the next 2 hours, she mentioned that they will be moving to Mt. Kisco, and that it will be a headache for her assistant to work there, as she takes mass transit to work. I mentioned that if she needs paid help, feel free to call me - and it looked like she might do that if needed. (For her sake, I hope that her assistant is able to make the move, as I could only be counted upon until I found more reliable work.)  It would be nice to go to work as Marian, and it would be nice to have a new work history to build on as a female.

Since I'll be on Jury Duty and do not know when it will end, I said that I'll be making some changes on my own - and will call her as soon as jury duty is over. Given the time commuting will take out of my life, I don't expect that I'll be able to do much in this area as I'd like.

- - - - - -

When I was done at NPW, it was off to my house. On the way home, I encountered some of the worst traffic jams I've experienced on the Sprain, the Taconic, and on Route 9A.  Something happened that caused the Taconic to be closed at Route 133, and there was nowhere for traffic to go.  Even the side roads were fouled up. So it took me over an hour to make a 30 minute drive.

After taking care of business, I was about to run off to meet Lili at a Chinese restaurant. But my call to Mercy College's speech lab was finally returned. So I talked with the person in charge.  For a very nice (read: inexpensive) price/visit, I can get help making my voice sound more feminine. A grad student will be doing the work, and he/she will be supervised and monitored during their work. (Someone has to learn their craft by having guinea pigs, and that's why getting dental work is always cheaper at a dental school than at your local dentist's office.) Towards the end of the call, the doctor (I don't know which flavor of doctor she is) asked me about my voice - and I mentioned that I learned how to do this on my own.

- - - - - -

At this point, it was off to see Lili at the restaurant.  She had her usual soup and I had my usual dinner. And I had to remind her NOT to project her codependent needs on me in regard to my dating - I like the idea of having Marian time, and with a typical woman, I'd have to spend more time as Mario than I want.

She is losing weight, and I am a little envious of her.  But I don't think I want to give up enjoying a good meal. I may have to do so if my doctor's tests come out poorly, but the blood work done in October says the rest of my body is in "good" shape (for now). Yet, she is right - I have to start losing weight, and now is the best time to do so....

Friday, March 24, 2017

Gaming again

It's been two weeks since I was last at game night, and it may be even longer until next time due to my upcoming Jury Duty. But I needed to get away from it all tonight, and occupy my mind with something else other than surfing the web.

- - - - - -

The first thing on my docket was to visit the Department of Labor and chat with someone regarding my job search.  This required my presence in Mario Mode, so I dressed accordingly. When I arrived, the receptionist mentioned that this kind of interview was usually only given on Fridays (why she said that, I'll never know), and had me waiting until one person was free.

My guess that the reason for this interview was to see if there was any assistance that could be given to me on my way out of unemployment insurance coverage. I had a friendly chat with this woman, and made sure that she checked me in for meeting attendance, so that I would not lose the remaining 2 weeks of Unemployment Insurance coverage.

- - - - - -

After my short visit to Peekskill, I went home and changed into Marian.  Unlike most days, I changed into my usual dress, but was wearing snow boots.  Given that I had to step into a snow bank in order to pay for my parking at the Department of Labor, I didn't want to ruin any of my women's shoes by having to step in briny liquids on my way to where I was going.
Then it was off to the GLBT center for my weekly service.

On the way down to the GLBT Center, I called Pat. She asked me if I was going to the soiree (a dinner dance) being held this weekend, and I said yes. Her plans were to wear a tuxedo (who knows why she bought one) to the party, while I plan to wear a LBD.  If we get the chance to dance, I'll ask her to lead.

When I got to the GLBT Center, I was assigned tasks to clean up minor discrepancies in their new web site. Sometime over the weekend, they will be cutting over to this site, and they want the information there as clean as possible. Of course, they made many of the same mistakes they made with the old site (lack of documentation), but it's not my problem.

- - - - - -

Once done at the GLBT Center, I called YGM.  She will probably be living in Connecticut for a little over 15 months. But I know I'll have an open invite to visit her wherever she moves. Her husband is leaving the Army with a full pension, and they will be on tight money rations until both of them find jobs in the region.

I finished up with the call when I reached Yonkers, and killed about an hour or so with dinner at Panera Bread before going to play games. It was a smart of me to get there a little bit early, so that I could block one of their cars in the driveway, and not have to park a distance away. (Many spots were not yet plowed out, and the people who shoveled out their spots would get upset if their spots weren't waiting for them when they got home.)

Of course, I didn't win any games - but I did come closer than usual.  On the way home, I might have called GFJ in the past. But I'm not sure if I want to keep chatting with her if she's hesitant to be a girl friend again. Again, I'll see what moves she wants to make in regard to defining what we are or were and take it from there. But if she doesn't broach the topic soon (as we text chatted about last night), I will assume that it's over - and toss her pillow (she preferred one of hers to mine) in the trash. (It's only getting rid of unneeded clutter, and nothing more than that.) 

- - - - - -

One thing I know - I have the freedom to choose what I plan to do for the next weekend or two without worrying about maintaining a relationship. It's been a while since I could plan a weekend in advance for myself, and it's nice to be able to do so.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Back to class

As I've previously mentioned, I'm taking a PMP exam prep course in NYC.  This is the entryway to the building where the class is held, and its exterior and lobby are well worth seeing if in the neighborhood.

- - - - - -

I find it amazing that GFJ wanted to talk with me the other day, after saying that she didn't want to talk for at least a couple of weeks. But I'm slowly getting used to not having her around (though I strongly miss her touch) on the weekend. I'm thinking of visiting people I normally wouldn't have the chance to visit because I now have my weekends free.

The other day, I had the pleasure of having a German dinner with the "Cat Lady" from Jersey. Yes, she runs on a little at the mouth, but I think the real deal breaker for me (at a very early moment) would be my allergy to long haired cats that developed after my last cat died. I am not yet ready to pursue a potential relationship, but the wisdom of not slamming doors may have worked for me.  This will be ill advised once I know someone is committed to me. But GFJ and I never stated what we wanted from our relationship, never stated what our long term goals were, and never dealt with the relationship as something other than one of convenience. So, unless GFJ and I have that long, hard conversation and come to an understanding agreeable to both of us, I have no guilt in seeing other women on a casual basis. With all of that being said, I am not yet ready to close the door on GFJ, because we get along so well. Sooner or later, we will need to have a hard conversation which will determine whether we are a real couple, or just friends.

- - - - - -

Getting my taxes done is always a headache for me, as I have to drive down to my tax preparer (a family friend) in Queens. If I had gotten out of the house early enough today, I'd have been able to drop off my paperwork AND still make it to my class on time.  Instead, I barely got to the train station on time to find a metered parking spot (not easy, when snow is plowed into many of them), pay for parking, and then my ticket before the train arrived. Luckily, the trains were running slow today, and it was several minutes late.

Patty and I had arranged to meet at Grand Central for a bite to eat. Unfortunately, she was caught on a delayed train, and got to the dining court as I was finishing my meal. (Given the choice, I'll skip Shake Shack's BBQ fries from now on - the melted cheese and BBQ sauce ruins the potatoes, and the only thing good I have to say for this dish was the crumbled bacon on top. But I digress....) Patty got her order, and we were able to chat for 45 minutes before walking over to class.

I should take good pictures of the lobby of the French Building while I attend class there, as it is a building I wouldn't mind working in if I had the chance.  As it stands, Patty and I will be there another 8 times - and I hope she is able to show pictures of this place to her husband.

After class, I walked her to the subway, and then got on the commuter train that would take me home. I then had a text exchange with GFJ, and one of the questions she asked was if Patty was with me on the train home. (I've mentioned that Patty lives in Queens several times over the past couple of years, so I expect that GFJ would remember this.)  And later on, she mentioned that we would have to have a conversation about staying over with me again. So I know that she hasn't ruled out a relationship yet. But what would her "must haves" be like?  I know I can't give up being Marian.  Therefore, to have a relationship, we'd have to find a happy medium - something which may or may not be possible.

- - - - - -

As I write this, I do not have anything booked for the weekend.  I have the option of going to the local GLBT Center's Spring Fling - and get in for free, as I am a volunteer. So I might do that on Saturday night. But I haven't seen YGM in ages, and may want to take a drive out to see her on Sunday.

Seeing YGM would be a treat. But I am thinking of coupling it with a night away from home, giving me the opportunity to use the hotel's pool (and wearing the swimsuit I bought for the cruise I never took), as well as going to the casino the next day. This is not a likely event, but one that is now possible given where I stand with GFJ.

I'll keep you informed on what I do.  For now, I'll be enjoying more time as Marian than I planned....

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Needing to get away - but with whom?

Note: This entry was written before some recent events with GFJ.  Now that things have changed in my life, I'm posting it just to illustrate my thought processes.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Most of us need to get away now and then. But I have an unusual problem: Lili wants to get away - somewhere and anywhere, but I know that GFJ won't be happy unless I get away with her first. And things have been getting in the way of the two of us getting away together.

- - - - - -

In many ways, it is easier to get away with GFJ than it is with Lili.  GFJ is more flexible int he things she does, in part, because she is interested in more things in life. Lili is easier to vacation with, as once she is inside of a ship's casino, she is occupied for hours - and I can do what I please.

I enjoy cruising with Lili, in spite of her little quirks. When not gambling, she often needs constant attention. But when she's occupied, I can get around to doing things such as catching up on my reading, as there's not much else to do on a ship. But if I were land based in my travels, I prefer the company of GFJ, as she seems to have a wider interest in things.

This leaves me with a question: Who would I prefer to travel with?  The answer depends on whether I want to travel as Mario or Marian.  GFJ would only travel with Mario.  Lili would only travel with Marian. The focus of the question here does not involve a preference for my gender presentation as much as it determines which presentation I'll be making.

- - - - - -

GFJ and I have gone away for three weekends: two of them have been in Atlantic City, and the other was in Rochester.  Lili and I have gone on two cruises together. But now, being unable to eat to avoid her feelings, she might be a very different person with whom to go on a cruise.  I'd like to get away with GFJ before going anywhere with Lili. I have to put my relationship with her first. But, I've been putting off travel with Lili for too long - even though it has been for reasons outside of my control.

So I'm posed with a question or two: How do I convince GFJ that it is time to take a couple of days away somewhere? And then, where can Lili and I go that will be fun for both of us?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

As you can see, I tried to put GFJ first.  And now, Lili is having to deal with many of the same issues I dealt with in a relationship with GFJ. After Judy Duty ends, I figure that I will spend a couple of days away from home somewhere, and get out and about as Marian. I need to get away, and if I can afford to do so, I will do so.