Monday, April 30, 2018

Quickie: Allergy Season

I don't know about you, but allergy season for me is usually terrible. And this year, my allergies have been hitting me much worse than usual.

- - - - - -

In the past, when I started to sneeze, I'd have two or three sneezes and that would be it for a while. Lately, once my sneezes get triggered, I'll go for a series from six to twelve sneezes. And that's only an estimate, as I don't bother to count them when they get going like a railroad train.

If I'm out and about as Mario, this wouldn't be a problem. But being out as Marian, this can pose a problem because I'd be wiping off my nose after sneezing a lot and ruining my makeup.  And I expect this will get worse for a while as many of the flowers and trees are starting to bud and/or bloom. Do you have any ideas of how I can deal with this problem and still look while presenting as Marian?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Quickie: Speech Therapy

Today was my second to last day of Speech Therapy for the semester.  Will I continue it?  I'm not sure. But I'm enjoying this semester much more than I planned, as I'm allowing myself to have fun while trying to keep things focused on my feminine development.

- - - - - -

This session consisted of the usual:

  1. Breathing Exercises.
  2. Vocal Warmups.
  3. Speech pattern development - proper breath taking.
  4. Female body language development.
But it also included one new element: SINGING.

The therapist in training figured that since I was at a Karaoke club a couple of weeks ago, that I might like to have fun singing. And she was right.  She asked me to choose a song to sing, and I chose "Route 66".  (No, I don't have a recording of this, nor did I think of it at the time. But it might have been useful had I wanted to post the clip on this blog.)  When I was done, she gave me a rave review, as I was able to stay in female pitch for the entire song. (The supervisor was having fun as well, watching from a remote TV. But she didn't come in to share in the fun.)

All too soon, the session had to end.  And it will be one last session before I never see this lady again.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The end of a week, and the start of a weekend.

Yes, I have a cynical, if not morbid, sense of humor.  I've said that every well equipped medicine cabinet should have these three substances: Hemlock, Strychnine, and Arsenic. Properly used, they get rid of many external pains which can ail you.  All you have to do is properly dispose of the body afterwards.

Today's opening should have clued you into one thing - medicine might be discussed in today's post.

- - - - - -

When I got up today, I had one thing firmly planned (a doctor's appointment) and one thing loosely planned (dinner with the Cat Lady). This meant that I'd be in Mario Mode all day. And this was just as well, as I had some errands that required that I present as a male because I'd need to show identification.

Around 10:30, I arrived at my doctor's office and waited for a little while.  After the checkup, I talked about the price of one medicine I've been taking.  When I was covered by my former insurance company, I could buy a 3 month supply of pills for $50. ($0.33/pill) Under my current plan, since there is no generic equivalent for this medicine, the same pills cost $70 for a 1 month supply. ($2.30/pill) My doctor was shocked!  So he's changing my prescription to an old drug, a generic I've taken before, once my current pill supply runs out.  And then he wants me to take an anti pneumonia drug (precaution - one dose now, and one dose in 6 months) and then get my shingles shot in a week or two. Then, lastly, he wants my liver scanned, because of the results of a blood test I had on my last visit.  It seems like my health is becoming an expensive thing these days!

- - - - - -

I confirmed dinner for 6 pm with the Cat Lady (TCL), and had to plan the rest of my day around that time.  Although I didn't get around to any of the tasks I wanted to do (such as laundry), I did get around to a much needed nap. It was 4:30 before I left for TCL's place, and I took the Bear Mountain Bridge to avoid traffic at the Tappan Zee.  The road was moving more slowly than usual this rush hour, as there was an accident just before the bridge that people had to drive past. Yet, I had enough time to make it to her place on time.

Before we left for dinner, she showed me a couple of problems she had with her house.  One of these problems was a gutter drain spout pipe that fell out of place. So I did a temporary fix by pushing the drain "pipe" (forgot the word for it) around the gutter's drain spout and supporting it with a couple of rocks.  (If I had some duct tape and a ladder, I'd have done a Jerry rigged job which would have been more secure - and lasted until a professional could fix it.)  Once I was done, it was off to dinner.

It's only fitting that we went to a German Restaurant on 420 day, as I was hungry. (No "420" needed for me!) If I had a more cynical and tasteless mind, I'd also mention someone else who had a birthday on this date. But that date was only useful for TCL to remember her friend's birthday.

We could have talked for much longer than we did. But after almost 4 hours, she had to go inside, and I had to go home.  On the ride home, I chatted with GFJ, and she was preparing for negotiations which would sell off one of the marital assets. Hopefully, tomorrow's business conversation will go well for her, and she will be that much further along the line to her freedom from her Wasband.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Sometimes, I get disgusted with humanity - then I remember what's good about it.

The above picture is of one of the nut jobs who are part of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas.  Sadly, our Vice President is a friend of these groups, as he has never spoken out against their hatred.  And that leads me to the most notable item of my day - the GLBT Center.

- - - - - -

A while back, the GLBT Center got "pamphleted" late on "Pride Day".  Although everyone suspected that it was related to the new congregation renting space in separate, isolated area of the same building, nothing ever came of it except that the GLBT Center now uses security cameras.  Today, another round of pamphleting took place, and the center was closed to volunteers while the police were on site. This didn't cause me a great problem, but it was a minor inconvenience to me, as I had already dressed as Marian and had to leave the house before my cleaning lady came. If I had received the call an hour earlier, I'd have dressed as Mario and slept until the cleaning lady arrived.

Although it was only a minor inconvenience for me, I am disgusted that this is the second time the center got pamphleted - and it could be worse next time.  Whenever the forces of hate choose you as a target, you must put up a good defense, lest you be harmed by these folk.

The health of a society can easily be measured by it treats people in its lower status echelons. In the past, Jews, Blacks, Asians, and other minorities have all been singled out for abuse. Yet, in America, we have developed a relatively tolerant society. And in the past generation or so, we have grown to include Gays and Lesbians among the classes we tolerate and deem worthy of protection.  (I can't say that homosexuality is accepted by all, but I can say that most people believe that they should be harmed for something that is an innate part of the person's identity. So I use the word "tolerated" here.) With the current political regime in Washington, I see only a short term setback as its narrow base can't be sustained with current demographic trends.

- - - - - -

Each week, I go to a game night meetup in Yonkers. And each time I attend this meetup, I am reminded of the goodness of people, as this group accepted me as Marian, even though they knew I am transgender.  Over the years I've attended this meetup, the host and hostess have defended me simply because I am a human being.  And I have received Christmas presents from them as well. (One of these gifts is a pair of pierced earrings that I hope to be able to wear very soon.)

The people I've met at this met at this meetup make me feel that for every one member of the WBC, that there many more others who will defend my right to be my authentic self and to exercise my full rights as a citizen of this country.  And this gives me hope for the future....

Thursday, April 26, 2018

A visit to the dermatologist

Lili has been pestering me for a while to go to the Dermatologist.  Well, today was the day.  And it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  But I am concerned about the eventual cost, given how my insurance plan works.

- - - - - -

But first....

I really didn't want to get up this morning.  However, with the dermatologist appointment scheduled for 1:30, I had no choice to get up and out as Mario.  If all had gone according to plan, I'd have had lunch before the dermatologist, and gone home to change into Marian Mode to see someone from out of town.  But I had received a message that this might not be possible and that she'd want to meet me (as Marian) next month.

So I got showered, shaved, and dressed - and met Lili at the dermatologist's office.  This was the second medical office I've been to that has free valet parking. And I took advantage of it, as parking was horrible there.  When I went inside, I had to fill out another form before seeing the doctor. Then the nurse came to escort me (and Lili) into the examination room. And it was there that the nurse made a mistake that embarrassed her - she directed me to strip, but to leave my panties and bra on.  As soon as she said this, she realized she was talking to a man and changed the word to underwear. (Lili being in the room confused her.  Little did she know how often I wear a bra and panties.) After I had the hospital gown on, the doctor came in the room. 

When the examination was done, the doctor said that there were two spots he wanted to biopsy.  And I barely felt a thing when the samples were taken.  Then Lili asked about the spots on each side of my face.

I could deal with the spots on my right side, but those on my left were starting to bother me. And I was surprised to find out that it would cost only $700 to get rid of them.  Even being unemployed, I found this to be a bargain, and committed to getting this done in two weeks. (There goes my ability to use my CPAP for a couple of nights.)

- - - - - -

After a lunch in Mt. Kisco, I drove home and was greeted by a message from my friend from Missouri.  She was again free for the evening, and asked if I were still available.  So I changed back into Marian Mode for the evening and took the train into NYC.

Although I was about 15 minutes late, KCC (as I'll call her) was waiting for me at the Grand Central main floor information kiosk. And our evening started off very warmly and got better from there.  Neither of us had any ideas of what we wanted to do, so I suggested we go down to Chinatown and get a bite to eat.  KCC has no idea of the layout of Manhattan yet, so I had to make sure she stayed comfortable with me as we were about to walk from the Brooklyn Bridge IRT station through the deserted "courthouse district" to get to Chinatown.

Part of my plan was I was able to show KCC the Brooklyn Bridge at night. But I'll bet that she was a wee bit uncomfortable walking down some relatively dark and deserted paths with me - yet she didn't show it.  And when she saw Chinatown, I'd also bet that she quietly gave a sigh or relief, now knowing that I was a person who could be trusted to get her from place to place in Manhattan.

I wanted to take KCC to the Nom Wah Tea Parlor, but there was a wait of 45 minutes.  If we hadn't been walking so much, I'd have said OK to the wait.  But I suggested that we go down the street, and found a place where we could get many Dim Sum dishes without a wait. So we walked in, and I did the ordering.  KCC loved most of the choices, but her "girls" needed to be fed.  She was a little embarrassed to have messed up her blouse. But I said that I've done this a million times.  We were getting along like two women on a first date. Yet, I wouldn't hold out too much hope for something other than a friendship, as she is primarily into women.  (Damn, I wish I were born with the "correct" plumbing!) Both of us felt we could open up to each other, and the topic of our mutual friend came up - and I felt a little sad that her sons aren't taking her transition that well. And KCC sees the same special thing in me that our mutual friend has - femininity with strength.

All too quickly, our evening had to end.  So I escorted KCC to the Times Square Shuttle and proceeded to look for my commuter train out of Grand Central.

- - - - - -

The train ride to Pelham was uneventful, as well as the drive home.  When I got home, I received a message from KCC that she was very happy that we met and is looking forward to our next meeting. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Bless this Mess!

Every so often, I get in the mood to clean out stuff I longer use, in the hope that I will reduce the amount of clutter and mess in my apartment.  Last night, I started to tackle some of the mess "hidden" in the living room and dining areas in order to make the place look more inviting for guests I hope to have one day.

- - - - - -

When I awoke this morning, I had a living room, dining area, and bedroom in a complete state of mess. I had found that I stored carpet remnants that I would likely never need anymore in a place which would be better served if it were accessible for other purposes. So I unearthed them from some storage containers, starting the process of filling garbage bags to be taken to the dumpster.  At the same time, I decided to fill other storage containers with clothes (mostly suits and other male clothing that no longer fit me) that can be donated to charity.  In this donation pile, I included two ridiculously expensive made-to-measure suits that I wore once or twice, and will likely never fit into again.  Even now, 35 years later, I wouldn't pay this much for 2 suits. But I had dreams of "going places" way back when, and I had loved a gal (CSN) who made me feel that I could grab the "brass ring" of life at an early age.  Alas, this didn't happen, and I still live in the same place in which I lived way back when. Since I've discussed CSN in prior posts, I won't go into our history again, except to say that she and her faily are remarkably hard to research via free online tools.

There was a lot of stuff that I needed to move and to toss out. Most of a first batch fit into a couple of storage containers, and will take up a lot of space in my car until it makes its way to either the Salvation Army or to the GLBT Center's thrift store.  Although the apartment looks messier than it did before, I feel that it has more usable space for me to work with.  There are paperbacks and hardcovers I now can get at, and now I can sort through them to make even more space on my bookshelves.

- - - - - -

Once I got out and about, I took some stuff to the dumpster before getting something to eat at the local pizzeria.  It was a smart thing to do, because the co-op board meeting lasted longer than I would have liked.  As much as I'd like to say something about this meeting, I'd be derelict in my duties to the co-op. Hopefully, I'll be able to say something about what is going on when the decisions we are making now have public consequences.  Until then, all I can do is to try and say things in private where loose lips won't get me into trouble.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The day before Tax Day and roughly 2200 blog entries have been posted

I spent this past weekend with GFJ. For a good part of one evening, she searched for a spot on one recording that indicated that her to-be ex-husband had done something of dubious legality, so that she could present it to her lawyer.  However, he said that this evidence was found after "discovery" and would likely not be admissible if the case went to court. So again, GFJ gets screwed by this man and doesn't even get kissed....

You might wonder why I open up with this.  Well, this weekend was book-ended by GFJ's upcoming divorce proceedings. Yet, it wasn't the focus of the weekend.  Instead, our focus was staying inside in uncomfortable weather.

- - - - - -

Saturday morning found me waking up without much sleep the night before.  If I hadn't committed to going to speech therapy on Saturday mornings, I'd have stayed in bed and rested for another 4-5 hours.  Instead, I was out the door by 9, and arrived at Mercy at 9:45. After the session, I chatted with the supervisor for a while, and she said that she always loves it when I come in, as I focus on doing the exercises, but make it fun for her and her trainees as well.  As much as I'm not sure if I'll do this again in the fall, I enjoy talking with this lady and would love to keep up contact when the semester is over.

Once done at Mercy, I drove home and tried to nap.  This didn't work out as planned, as I should have used the CPAP machine to make breathing in my sleep that much easier. Tis was not the case, so I ended up driving to GFJ's knowing that I'd fall to sleep earlier than normal. Arriving at GFJ's, I found her listening to 5 year old recordings of her and the Wasband talking business.  Neither of us really wanted to cook, and it was too late to go out for a walk. So it was off to The Little Bear for some Chinese.  The waitress screwed up our order, as she didn't understand exactly what I was ordering.  We enjoyed the mistake, and still ordered the Pickled Cabbage and Pork Soup - although, it was now a "to-go" order.

By the time we got back to her place, we were both tired, and fell asleep well before the 11 pm news.

- - - - - -

The next day, the weather was dreary and we stayed inside all day.  I helped her set up her scanner, and then copied the segment of the recording with the Wasband's admission of dubious practices from her recorder onto a file that could be sent to her lawyer. Neither of us was much in the mood to do anything, so we ended up watching movies during the day and having a late evening dinner.

Unlike the night before, neither of us got good sleep - and this would bother me when I would leave her place.

- - - - - -

GFJ slept through her alarm on Monday, but awoke in time to make it to the courthouse in Kingston. I took my time in getting moving, and started out just as the heavens opened.  By the time I reached the New Paltz toll boths, GFJ called - and gave me a surprise.  The property "settlement" was agreed to, and now it was on to the next step in her divorce: Liquidation of Assets.  And here is where the next set of problems will come into play, as the Wasband is likely not to adhere to the terms of this agreement and GFJ will likely need legal help to force the Wasband to live up to his end of the bargain.

Around 10:15, I stumbled into the 84 Diner, and chatted with DD for a few seconds.  She is now working 6 days/Week, and is too exhausted to do much in her time off other than to dote on her new grandchild.  Seeing her there is a reminder that things are not the same as before, and that life throws us curves that we do our best to hit.

Once home, I was in for the day.  The weather was shitty and I needed a nap. Since I have a co-op board meeting tomorrow and a dermatologist appointment on Wednesday, I won't be able to go out as Marian until Wednesday evening.  But this may work out for the best, as I have things to do as Mario tomorrow, and I may be meeting a new friend from out of town on Wednesday night.

- - - - - -

One favor I would like to ask. From what I see, many of you come to my blog through other blogs.  If you would click "Follow" on my site it would likely improve my web/search standings so new views can find the blog. Your continued loyalty is appreciated.  Thank you.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Quickie: The logistics of visiting GFJ

This is the view from GFJ's porch.  Over the past two or three years, I rarely got the chance to see it, as she was usually the one driving to see me instead of me driving to see her. Part of the reason for this was that she didn't want the "Wasband" to accidentally bump into me, and part was that she wanted to avoid bumping into him on weekends.  Now that this isn't a problem, I have been driving there almost as often as she has been driving here.  And I have no complaints about that.

Visiting GFJ forces me to do several things.  One of these is to pack a bag with as much clothing as I'd possibly need for one day more than my planned visit.  This can get tricky when I have to plan for "wild" temperature swings which require me to carry extra clothing. But the most annoying task is to disconnect my CPAP machine, pack it up, and get it ready to travel.  Each piece has its defined place in the bag provided for its transport. But I still fear missing one piece in either the packing or repacking of the equipment.  Who wants to find out that a second 130 mile round trip is needed to retrieve an essential part, such as a power cord?

I look forward to getting away from my house to visit GFJ, as it is a break in my routine. But getting everything ready can be a big pain in the ass - as if I were taking a mini vacation without the ability to get needed, forgotten things where I'm going.  It could be worse, and I am not complaining. No matter what happens to us in the long term, I cherish the time I spend with her, and look forward to those times.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Quickie: What should I do?

You know  what I'm wearing to the wedding of Lili's son. But I have yet to find someone to go with to the wedding.  And this is an issue.

- - - - - -

I received the wedding invitation about 2 weeks ago, and hadn't sent in my response.  Why, you might ask?  Well, I am having trouble finding someone to go with.  Although Lili would like for GFJ to attend the wedding with me, GFJ wouldn't want to do so if I attend as Marian. And this is a non-starter for me.  Next comes the Cat Lady.  She has said that she usually takes her vacation during the first week of July, staying with her daughter in Virginia. Given that she is the grandmother of a newborn, you can easily guess where she will be that week. And then I had the idea of taking my niece to the wedding. But she will be in London attending two back-to-back weddings during that week.

Should I invite Vicki?  She's married and in a traditional relationship.  So I think this would likely be a non-starter.  (Next time I see her, I'll ask for advice.)  Should I invite Vicki #2? This is a possibility. But I think she'd be more in the mood to enjoy that day with either her wife or husband.  (She's polyamorous, and her life is much more complex than I've indicated here.)  Could I call on BXM?  It's possible, but doubtful given the health of her dad and her relationship with her boyfriend. From there, my list of possibles starts getting shorter and much less likely due to both distance and relationship commitments.

So I have a problem.  Lili expects to see me with a guest.  Any ideas?

PS: YGM volunteered to be my date for the day, assuming she is still in the Northeast.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Lunch with Lili and a Museum with my Niece

It's been a while since I've seen Lili.  So I made sure that when we arranged to get together for lunch today, that I was able to do so. And when 1 pm came around, I was at the Yorktown diner for that lunch with Lili.

Lunch passed by very quickly, and I had to get moving to make it into NYC to see my niece. But before I left, Lili wanted to rope me into traveling overseas with her, so that she'd have company for some more surgery to be performed on her body.  Given how hot Thailand is most times of year, this was one of the last places I'd want to visit - either as Mario or Marian.  That'll be one trip Lili has to take with her boyfriend.

I made a mistake by wearing hosiery today.  The temperature went into the mid 80's and I was uncomfortable most of the time I was not in air conditioned comfort. In addition, the pair of shoes I chose to wear was not as comfortable as I remembered, so walking around in NYC wasn't going to be a pleasure.  Since I had time to kill before going into NYC, I stopped by The Avenue and picked up 4 pairs of stockings to replace pairs that had already worn out.  Of course, I probably won't even get the chance to wear any of this hosiery before it gets too hot for comfort. But it pays to have hosiery for those times a woman needs to waer some.

Instead of taking the subway all the way down to the museum, I decided to take the train into Grand Central, then subway it over to the museum.  If I had known my niece would be late, I'd have picked up some pizza before walking to the museum. Instead, I ended up waiting over a half hour for her to walk across town from her part time gig.

When my niece arrived, we ended up talking about serious stuff, including her biological clock, her boyfriend in London, and the parental issues which could sour her from having children.  Like me, she has had to deal with at least one crazy parent (both of hers are a little bit nuts), and this has shaped her attitude towards having children.  Since she knows that I am TG, I told her about going to the LGBT job fair in NYC.  If I got a job as a result of attending the fair, I'd work as Marian and not Mario, then say to my brother - we joked about what would happen if I sent out resumes as Marian and Mario, and Marian's resume was picked.  So, I'd have to set him up by reminding him of this and say that Marian got the job, so I guess I have to start getting comfortable in dresses....

All too quickly, the evening ended.  My niece went off to see a friend in Brooklyn, and I went home to Croton.

Friday, April 20, 2018

A busy Thursday

Thursday again.  And I expected to have a very busy day ahead of me, as I had the following on my docket when I woke up:
  1. Lunch with Vicki #2 (done)
  2. Volunteering at the GLBT Center (done)
  3. Game Night in Yonkers (done)
  4. Miscellaneous tasks such as:
    - Loading the car with stuff to be donated to charity.
    - Changing date/time for a doctor's appointment. (done)
    - Paying Bills. (done)
    - Baking Brownies for Game Night.
Obviously, this list is only a guide, as I never seem to accomplish everything I put on my lists these days. But it's a little more complex than usual today, as I didn't get much sleep the night before.

- - - - - -

I was running a little bit late for lunch with Vicki, but that didn't matter much.  In our chat, she referred to her husband using the singular "they" often used by the Genderqueer community, and I got confused for a second because I thought "he" (before I was told that her husband uses "they" as a singular pronoun) went on vacation with someone else. As much as I wanted to pursue the matter of how he has changed, her phone kept interrupting the conversation with directions from its GPS and a phone call.  So I'll have to catch up on this area next time.

Eventually, we made it to a Ramen Noodle shop in Central Avenue for lunch.  Although the food was tasty, I was continually afraid of "feeding the girls" with my usual sloppy consumption of soup. By the time I was mostly done with the noodles, I played it smart and called it quits for this bowl.  Instead of driving Vicki home, I drove her to the car dealer to pick up her car that was in for minor service.

- - - - - -

Next, it was off to the GLBT center. And today's task was updating their online presence for a new support group starting up next month.  This was a quick task for me, but I was able to get this task and others done by 4:30 - when I drove home to take a nap.  On the drive home, GFJ wondered why I was driving home instead of staying in lower county. And I told her about my lack of sleep and my early wake up.

Once at home, I paid my outstanding bills (including that for car repairs), then took a nap.  I must have needed it, as I woke up shortly before 8, and rushed out to game night.  Usually, I'd pick up a hamburger on the way down (or stop at Panera Bread if I have more time), but tonight was an exception. All I had time to do was pick up some chips to bring them to game night as my offering.  Luckily, one of the gamers decided to cook a batch of Spanikopita, and I ate a generous helping of the stuff.  This was a very filling dinner that I didn't expect to eat. And I'd gladly eat this fellow's cooking again.

Around 11 pm, I sneaked out of game night in order to get home and get some much needed sleep.  I'll be sure to tell the cook that I enjoyed his Spanikopita very much, and can't wait to have some again....

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Politics on Hump Day

Politics - it reminds me of both Chess and War, as one tries to force others into a bad position, so that you can control the outcome of the game.  And as I write this entry, it appears that our TG unfriendly president has made enough unforced errors that we could see him leave the White House in the near future.  The only question is: Will the GOP be able to protect the Special Prosecutor long enough to get through the Midterm Elections, or will they have to act directly and tell the President it's time to go?

- - - - - -

Why do I mention politics today? 

To answer this, one would have to look at an average day in my life (such as today) and see how what goes on at a macro level (threats to society) affects things at a micro level (threats to individuals like me). And to do this, I'll focus on activities I do on a typical Wednesday, noting things that are at risk.

When I wake up, I go through the usual morning routine without interference from anyone. However, there are not enough protections for me when I choose to leave my apartment as Marian.  For example, the apartment downstairs from me is being sold by my nosy neighbor. However, until it is sold, the apartment is being occupied on a part time basis by a man and his son.  (I know much more about this situation, but as a member of the co-op board, I can only discuss things that can be known to the casual observer.)  Will he cause me any trouble because he and his son may pass by me in the hallways?  Who knows?  But in some states, I could be forced out because TG's like me are not protected by law. And if someone like Mike Pence gets to be the chief executive with a GOP congress, I could lose whatever federal protections I now enjoy.

Once I'm out and about in the world, most people in this region treat me with respect.  This is, in part, because the NYC region is tolerant of human variety. Yet, this could change at a moment's notice if the propaganda machinery of the GOP decides to use TG's as scapegoats.  (We've seen Trump use us as designated targets, but he hasn't been able to stick blame on us for his failures.)  But what would my life be like if I were to do the same things I do in life in Alabama?  Would my current gender non-conformity be protected? 

I rarely have to present my id to go about my daily activities. Credit cards have been issued to me in Marian's name to shop in stores such as The Avenue and Catherine's.  How would I feel if I were to buy things and show credit cards with Mario's name on them when presenting as Mario?  This could easily happen.  Or, even worse, what if I were made to show Mario's identification all the time?  It's bad enough when I have had to do so to enter some buildings in NYC.  But what if this were a regular occurrence in suburbia?  This could happen if the leaders we now have at the national level were able to impose their hatred towards TG's upon states that are tolerant of us.

With all this potential doom and gloom around us, I'm not as worried as I could be.  The signs of a decaying presidency give me hope. Even if Mike Pence was to become president, he wouldn't be able to control the states.  His party is in danger of losing both houses of the legislative branch of government. And this is a good thing. Without both houses, a president has to work with the opposition party, and this means we have a good chance of reversing the losses of the past 15 months.  The GOP has made enough unforced errors to put the rest of us in a good position to win.  Let's hope we have the wisdom to do the right things after our eventual victory....

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Getting out of the house - LATE!

Many people pass by this milepost almost every day and never notice it. The milepost has been in place for much longer than I'd like to remember, and there aren't many records about historic artifacts such as this. I'd love to find out more, but I haven't found any good books written about these milestones.  So this milestone (and others) becomes something one takes for granted until some unknown day when it is found missing.  Hopefully, that day will not be soon.

- - - - - -

I've noticed how quickly time passes if one isn't paying attention to it. Being comfortable in bed with nothing forcing me to get up is a bad luxury. And by the time I get out of the house, the sun is often preparing to go down. This means that I might get to browse around a couple of stores, then get a bite to eat before going home. Today was one of those days.

Although I received calls from Lili and GFJ, I wasn't really ready to get out of the house until 6 pm. With nothing much to do, I decided to drive South.  If I didn't receive a return telephone call, I might have called Pat and see if she'd like me to drop by.  (It's been ages since we've been together, and it would be nice to catch up on things.) Instead, Patty called me, and I had a nice conversation regarding my cruise and her vacation plans. But this got in the way of me calling Pat, so I decided to browse the racks at Catherine's for a while.

There was nothing much that called for me to buy it today. And the one dress I might have once bought was a returned item, whose purpose was already being filled by a dress I previously bought for Lili's Son's wedding. So there was no way that I was coming home with this dress. And there was no way I was going to buy more clothing until I paid the bills that came in at the beginning of the month. So I drove home and chatted with GFJ on the way to the diner for a late dinner.

It's always nice to get out as Marian.  I only wish I had more interaction with people this way. Maybe I should be looking for more groups to join and be a part of?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Returning home to 4 loads of laundry needing to be done

Last night, I stayed the night at GFJ's house with a nose running the 4 minute mile.  She suggested that I try a spoonful of Manuka Honey, and it helped slow the pace to a slow walk - slow enough for me to use my CPAP to get some needed sleep.

- - - - - -

If I didn't have breakfast at GFJ's, I might have stopped at the 84 Diner on the way home to grab a bite to eat and to see DD for a minute.  Mind you, we live very different lives, and I doubt that I'll see her much now that she isn't working at the store.  This is all for the best, as it hammers home the point that all things must pass, and that goes for the days of retail browsing therapy.

Thinking about stores, I received what will likely be one last email from the folks at Curvy Consignment Plus.  The store has been emptied as of April 1st, and its contents have been sold off to another store on the outskirts of Poughkeepsie.  I may drop into this store in Pleasant Valley, but I doubt that I'll put it on my list of places to browse around to kill time.

- - - - - -

When I made it home, my nose started to run again, so I had another spoonful of this expensive honey in the hope that it would help relieve the symptoms of this cold or allergy I'm suffering with.  And then I decided to take a needed nap.  After the nap, I decided to stay in Mario Mode and then start doing my long delayed laundry - all 4 loads of it!  It's not as bad as I make it sound. But I will have a lot of clothes to hang up to dry, as I never throw dresses or shirts in the dryer to dry.

At least I have the room to hang these items up to dry.  Tomorrow may be another load, this time bed sheets....

Monday, April 16, 2018

Moderating Comments - A Response to Hate Speech

Editing this blog can be a pain in the ass.  But I have gotten used to doing this on a regular basis, and can generate a readable entry in less than an hour.  However, I have no way to edit comments in real time.  And this has caused me problems in the past.  I certainly don't want tp pass along much of the advertising that have been attached to comments, nor do I want to pass along any hate speech that also comes my way.

When I first started this blog, I got some nasty comments from a militant lesbian saying that transwomen were not real women.  This is a common belief among many cisgender females, and there's not much we can do about it.  But we can do a lot about hate speech, and that's what triggered me to write today's entry.

- - - - - -

Recently, one person decided to spam a comment in my blog, attacking one ethnic group, and blaming this group for all the world's problems.  Thankfully,'s software identified the following comment as spam and kept it from being publicly available:

**** are evil and are the cause of everything evil in this world. Here's a few quick facts about **** for you:
  1. **** created feminism.
  2. **** own the media.
  3. **** start all the wars.
  4. **** are most of the neo-con politicians and advisors.
  5. **** control the media.
  6. **** are the ones pushing for mass immigration of 3rd worlder subhumans.
  7. **** own the global banking system 
  8. **** created pornography 
  9. **** agents carried out False Flag attacks accounting for 95% of all "Terrorist" attacks.
  10. **** created and/or control all the major social media networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Google, etc. 
  11. **** were the ones responsible for slavery.
    (The ships which brought African slaves to America were owned by ****) 
  12. **** did 9-11  (Google ******** site for information.)
  13. **** created the bogus science of Psychiatry, which creates fake diseases like ADHD in order to justify selling billions of dollars worth of drugs like Ritalin to "treat" these fake diseases.
The above was edited to make the comment easier to read,
and to tone it down so that it could be displayed here.

A smart person doesn't believe this shit. Yet, nut jobs keep posting this crap where they can. And some fools actually drink the Kool Aid.  You'll note that he blames **** for several issues regarding the media. The **** created the media, own the media, control the media, and created pornography as part of the media he hates.  As I learned from watching Avenue Q - THE INTERNET IS FOR PORN!  You'll note that the spammer distrusts and hates both psychiatry and drugs. If he weren't this so hate filled at one ethnic group, I'd think he was a Scientologist because his thoughts in this area.  Instead, I think this person has a few screws loose, and is quite a few French Fries short of a Happy Meal.  Thankfully, I will likely never meet this jerk.

Years ago, minorities were hit hard by the loss of well-paying entry level jobs in the inner cities. Now, the same lack of opportunity is hitting many in rural areas where whites tend to dominate the local society. And these white people tended to be Trump supporters, as he delivered a message of hope - even though most of these people knew he was selling snake oil.  A recent post in the Palmer Report (a hard left leaning blog) says about these people:

The thing about a trade war is that, while it economically harms everyone involved, it allows the United States to thumb its nose at foreign nations. Do you think it’s a coincidence that Trump has primarily spent his trade war ranting about the nonwhite nations of Mexico and China? This is xenophobic racist nihilism at its stupidest. Trump’s base is cheering him on as he destroys their jobs, their industries, and their local economies, all because it means getting to screw with nonwhite foreigners. 

There’s a reason Donald Trump’s base supported him to begin with: they could tell from Day One that he was incompetent idiot selling snake oil. They just didn’t care. They’re so lost in a haze of racist and xenophobic hatred, they’re willing to ruin their own lives in order to spite those they blame for their own problems and failings. This group of nihilists has been holding America back since before Trump came on the political scene.

I am surprised that this jerk didn't attack the LGBT Community in his comment.  Maybe he only had a limited number of characters he could use for his vile trash sent to the Spam bucket - I'll never know. It wouldn't be surprising if a longer, more complete version of his comment attacked us transgenders as well, given the hatred towards us shown by many in Trump's base.

Most of the bloggers I've met deal with this problem. And that's why we moderate comments posted on our blogs.  Once a spammer knows your blog accepts unmoderated comments, it takes forever to get rid of the crap that gets posted. But, as I have found, some of the worst offenders go away when they find out that their crap doesn't show up on a site.  And in this case, I hope I never see this person post again, as a large number of my friends are of this ethnic group and they have treated me better than many of my own group have treated me.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Karaoke Birthday Party in NYC

The day started with a rush to get ready for speech therapy.  It was a double session today, as the student learning her craft had finals on the last week originally scheduled for our weekly sessions.  Of course, I didn't mind, as it both saved me $60 and allowed me to focus on things without watching the clock.

When done with the session, I drove home to take a nap.  However, there was one glitch in my preparations.  Instead of using my usual CPAP mask and chin strap, I figured that I'd try to use an older full face CPAP mask without chin strap to preserve my made up face. Again, I was reminded of why I never use this mask except when I have a head cold - my cheeks inflate like a puffer fish, and it is very uncomfortable for me.  If I ever use this mask again, I'll need a chin strap to prevent the over inflation of my oral cavity.

Halfway through the time I planned on napping, I got a call from the Cat Lady (TCL).  Now that she's feeling more comfortable talking on the phone, I'll have to find out how to block her calls when I am with GFJ. (I simply don't want GFJ to think I have a second girlfriend when TCL is only a friend.) At this point, I knew my nap wasn't going to work out. But I did feel rested enough to make it through the night.

So I got dressed in the outfit above and drove down to NYC.  On the way, I picked up a birthday card and a Starbucks gift card for the birthday girl. Traffic on the Major Deegan (near the GW Bridge approach) and on the East Side Drive moved very slow, but it was not enough to keep me from getting to the Karaoke place on time.

I tried my hand at singing a couple of songs in my female register. But as expected, I had no vocal strength in my female register. So I let others do most of the loud singing instead of dropping back into a male vocal range.  L, the birthday girl, had most of the regulars from game night at the party, as well of a few of her friends from her outside life. Of course, there was one person absent, and L decided not to invite him because this person would dominate the party and make it all about him.

Around 11 pm, our party broke up, and I made my way back home.  It was a pain trying to get to the East Side Drive, so I took 1st avenue to 96th street before getting on the highway. From there, it was a smooth run back home to get comfortable and get some sleep before my drive to GFJ's tomorrow afternoon.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

A dinner with the Cat Lady

The Cat Lady (TCL) and I were supposed to go to dinner and have the early bird special today.  With all the "activities" going on in her life (she has a sick cat, and is catching up on chores during her week off from work), she doesn't have the time to think much of the time.  So I wasn't surprised that once we agreed on a time to meet, that we'd have to change it to meet her needs.

- - - - - -

As usual, I didn't start getting moving until I needed to do so.  Since we rescheduled dinner, I was able to take my time and still have enough time to pick up some wine and make it to   TCL's place on time.  (Time seems to be a theme in my life as of late, as I seem to not to be using it as wisely as I could be doing.)  Luckily, the wine store was just down the hill from me and the needed gas station (my car would never have made it to TCL's place) only a smidgen out of my way. So I was able to make it to TCL's place with a few minutes to spare.

We went to one of our usual restaurants (Primo Amore) and had a nice dinner.  However, dinner was spoiled a little bit by being seated in a the noisy room and getting sub-par service (for that restaurant). As usual, TCL did most of the talking, and part of me had to struggle to keep up with her.  Neither of us wanted dessert, so we went back to her place and chatted in the car for a while before I left.  Again, she had a few questions about my being transgender, and a few new questions about what I'm looking for in a mate. As much as I "kinda" know what I want, I've never put it into words. And I struggled trying to give an answer. (No, we're not looking to settle down with each other - we haven't even kissed.  We were just talking as friends.)  In a way, it helps me realize that as much as GFJ and I get along well together, the odds are that we are not long term partners.

- - - - - -

On the way home, I chatted with Lili for a little bit. And then I tried to reach GFJ.  She didn't pick up her phone.  I wanted to chat with her, as I want to know whether I'll be driving up to her place for Sunday night, or whether the next time we'll see each other is next weekend.  Why is this important?  I simply need to know whether I'll be able to schedule seeing an Off-Broadway play this weekend.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Game Night again

It seems as if I can't make the switch of my volunteer day from Thursday to Wednesday. And this might end up being best for me, as it allows me to go directly from the GLBT Center to the Game Night venue, with a possible stop off for dinner.

- - - - - -

Getting up this morning wasn't easy.  The bed kept calling my name, and I wanted to sleep as much as possible.  So when 1 pm came around, I was already up but hardly moving. By the time I made it for my volunteer stint, it was about 3:45, and I ended up waiting until 4:15 or so before being assigned a task.  (The volunteer coordinator was busy with a new person, and I was more than glad to wait around until he was free.)  And this task was simple, but time consuming - adding a new event to the calendars, the web page, and to the blog. There is no one-stop way of entering an event and having it reflected in all places, so I got the job of reflecting the event everywhere that was needed.

When I was done there, I went to game night (with a stop for dinner) and was there "early" for a change. It was fun to get in on the first game of the night.  While playing that game, L, a woman whose birthday party I'm going to on Saturday, texted me to let me know that one of our regulars was not invited to the party.  So I knew to keep my mouth shut.  (She'll clue me on what happened when I see her next.)  And I won this game of Azul while L and I were chatting about things in general.  I switched tables and played another couple of games before leaving.

On the way home, I chatted with GFJ.  Seems like out planned visit for next week got screwed up.  She has to go to work on both Monday and Wednesday, and now has to run out to Connecticut to run a few errands with her mother.  This means that I will likely end up going to GFJ's house on Sunday and come back on Monday morning.  One catch in doing this - I have to get back early enough to switch from Mario to Marian, so I can go to the monthly Arts Westchester meeting.  (If I get out very early, I can have breakfast at the diner where DD works.  I haven't heard from her in a while, and it would be nice to say hello for a second or two.) 

- - - - - -

Tomorrow will likely have me driving to New Jersey to see the Cat Lady for an early bird dinner.  Hopefully, nothing will get in the way of this.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

My Dad, My Taxes, and a Dreaded Co-Op Board Meeting.

I don't know if you've been to the DIA museum in Beacon NY.  But if you did, you've likely seen the permanently installed Frank Serra metal sculptures on site.  These large sheets of metal have been twisted into shapes which produce interesting effects when you see them up close. But they also cam be a pain in the ass if installed at the wrong location - which happened years ago in lower Manhattan.

One of the biggest complaints about this work was that it interfered with commuters getting to work in their building at Foley Square.  After a lot of wrangling, this work was removed and never displayed again.  (Like many artists, this artist can be a total ass, as he didn't care about the inconvenience his work caused for people in the area.)  I'm glad it's gone, although I can appreciate his other work still on display at places such as DIA.

- - - - - -

You might be asking yourself:

"Why did I open this entry with a mention of Frank Serra and his art?"

I would have to answer that there are certain people and things that are a pain in the ass to deal with, and I expected some of them to come up today.
  1. Lili has been hounding me to see a dermatologist.  She volunteered to make an appointment for me, and she may have scheduled an appointment with someone not on my insurance plan.  This would have to be fixed ASAP.
  2. My taxes need to be filed, and I have to drive to Queens to see my accountant.  The problem is traffic. I need to first go to see my dad in the nursing home, and then meet my accountant as early as possible to get home in time for the co-op board meeting.
  3. The co-op board meeting has a high likelihood of shareholders holding our collective feet to the fire.  Our managing agent has not performed up to par, and we have ongoing issues with several troublesome shareholders.  As much as I'd like to speak about most of these issues, my duties to the board and shareholders prevent me from doing so. However, I can comment on one thing that is known to all shareholders - our yearly election and annual meeting mailings were performed in an unprofessional manner, and that made the board look very bad as a result.
At the beginning of the day, I had no idea where the first problems in the day would come from. But I had to be prepared for them as they came up.

- - - - - -

My first instinct was to panic was in regard to the Dermatologist appointment.  When I tried to clarify whether the doctor was on my insurance plan, I couldn't even find him in the system.  But I handed this task off to Lili, telling her that I couldn't find him on the web site and that he wasn't known to the people in the local office, and I needed her to expressly confirm whether the doctor took my insurance.   Lili did this, and told me that they do take my plan, and I'll hold her to this if I have any problems later on.

Next on the docket was my visit to Long Island.  On the way down, I talked to HWV for a while, making sure we were prepared for the problems I expected at today's public board meeting.  We ended this call as I was approaching my dad's nursing home.  Since I got there at 12:30, we didn't have that much time to chat because they were wheeling people into the dining area to eat. But that was more than enough for me, as I wanted to get to the accountant as soon as possible.  

(My Accountant's Desk - Even more messy than mine!)

When I reached the accountant, I had to hunt for a parking spot - and miraculously had several spots to choose from. Once I had the chance to chat with my accountant, she said that I was ineligible (by 3 months) for a New York State pension exclusion on New York taxes for the year one turns 59 1/2. I told her that I turned 60 last July, and she recalculated my New York Taxes.  Instead of paying the state roughly $400, they will be sending me $800.  Not bad for a short visit.  She raised her rates a little, so I'll have to give her a little more than expected.  But with the extra work related to the family homestead financials, it was worth doing business with her again.

- - - - - -

After coming home to rest for a while, I went to the co-op board meeting.  Although we didn't have any serious problems with shareholders, we did get an attitude from our managing agent.  I'd love to say more, but as a shareholder (and not as a board member), I can say that I am unhappy with the flaws in the service I've seen lately, and hope that things get fixed one way or another before too long.

Once done with the board meeting, I was finally free to take care of myself.  So it was off to the Chinese takeout place to get some Won Ton Soup, then home to get some rest.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A shifted long weekend with GFJ

The above picture was taken of GFJ's property in happier times.  She has a nice size house, a garage almost as large as her house, and a building out back where they used to have a Christmas Tree shop.  The Christmas Tree farm has been non-operational since GFJ's husband wrecked their marriage, and GFJ can't wait for the property to be sold and for the last tie that binds her to her to be ex husband has been severed.  This weekend was her last chance to have her whole family together at her place before she expects the property to be put on sale.

GFJ celebrated Easter with her family on Saturday, as it would take her children the better part of the day to return to their out of state homes. On Sunday, after they left, it was time for me to drive up to be with her for a few days.

- - - - - -

Sunday was a day filled with leftovers - and there were a lot of them!  Although we could have gone out to enjoy the last bit of day weather for the next couple of days, we decided to stay inside and catch up on "nesting behaviors". I'll bet it is times like this where she feels the pain of a dream being abandoned. And I think it may hit her even more when her divorce is finalized, when the realization that she's on her own without the safety net of a job, a husband, or a stable place to live.  In one's 20's, it's a little scary.  But in one's 60's, it must be frightening as hell!

- - - - - -

Monday was different.  They predicted an early morning snow, and there was plenty of it on the ground.  Both of us were amazed to see snow in April. And I warned the Cat Lady (TCL) that she may have to clean off her car when she got back from her daughter's place in Virginia. GFJ and I decided to do a lot of nothing during the day, save to watch a few movies on TV and to pick up some divorce related paperwork from the office later in the evening. By the time the afternoon came, the snow was gone from the ground. TCL emailed me to let me know that there was no snow on her car by the time she got home.  It was a good day to stay inside, or to travel by rail.

Morning Afternoon
- - - - - -

Tuesday was dreary.  It was raining hard, and GFJ had to see her lawyer to receive some bad news.  (Financial issues that don't work out in one's favor are always bad, and GFJ felt that her lawyer didn't advise her well in this area during the early days of her separation.) Once she was done at her lawyer's office, we went for a late lunch, and then to see "The Greatest Showman."  I could see why the critics hated the film and see why the public liked it. The film is entertaining fluff - great images, but nothing that sticks in one's memory. And it was perfect for GFJ's mood.

Eventually, GFJ and I had to part, and it was off to my apartment.  On the way home, Lili called to tell me that she made the appointment at the Dermatologist for me. But when I got home, I found that the dermatologist may not be covered by my plan.  So I'll have to do some digging tomorrow to find out what is going on, and to contact another doctor if this one doesn't take my plan.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

It was a sunny day. Not a cloud was in the sky. Not a negative word was heard.....

You'll have to pardon me.  An old Paul Simon song became today's ear worm, and I felt it appropriate to reference on a sunny day in the NYC suburbs.

- - - - - -

As you can guess, I didn't get moving until well into the afternoon.  I had a higher priority on getting a full sleep cycle in before getting up, and this cost me the day for getting out and doing something in NYC.  This is not something I worry about that much, as I'd blown my chance to see an off-Broadway play cheap and my nice wasn't in a place to meet for a day at the museum.  (I can't blame her.  Her boyfriend is in town, and she prefers to socialize with her friends instead of her aunt/uncle.)

When I finally got out of the house, it was to go to eat. The buffet called my name, and I responded. It was strange going out as Mario, but I figure that I'll have another several days in Mario Mode before I can get comfortable again.  Once done there, I went over to the book store and picked up both a magazine and an inexpensive book.

Eventually, I made my way over to CVS to pick up some shaving balm.  I recently read an article that men's shaving balm can be used as a makeup primer.  Given that I found using make up primer to be a good practice, but expensive, I went back to my old routine.  Now, I can get back into a good makeup routine at a reasonable price.

- - - - - -

Hopefully, I'll wake up early enough to go to church tomorrow morning for Easter Day celebration.  If so, I'll simply tell GFJ that I'll leave the house around noon, and to expect me around 1:30 or so.  If not, I'll still leave here around noon, but get no Marian time in until this coming Thursday. AARGH!!!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Rainy days and Fridays....

When I took the above picture, it was just as dreary out as it is today.  It's not a day where one would want to go out. Since it's Good Friday, may people had off today, and I'll bet that no one did much of anything unless one had to do something.

- - - - - -

Not having any fixed plans for the day, I decided to relax until the afternoon.  This turned out to be a mistake, as I found that when I turned on the Hot Water for my shower, only Cold Water came out.  There was no way I was going to take a shower and shave while freezing my buns off. So I called the appropriate list of phone numbers and (with some help) was told that the plumber would be coming over around 5 pm to resolve the problem.  There went doing an off-Broadway play tonight.

Lili has been hounding me to see the dermatologist, and I've been stalling a little.  Part of me freezes when getting ready to see a new doctor - especially in a specialty I've never encountered before.  So I'll likely end up making the call next week and then keeping my fingers crossed that I got to a good doctor.  (Yes, I know that they call the person who graduates last in his class at Harvard Med "Doctor".  But that's not the point.  I've always been nervous when dealing with doctors, and don't like dealing with them.)

- - - - - -

GFJ had family over today, so I couldn't call her at will. So when she called from the car on her way home, I had a pleasant chat for a few minutes. Not being honest with her kids is a long term issue for me, as she's currently reluctant to let her adult offspring know that she is dating before her divorce is final. Once it is final, continuing with this charade will no longer have any use, and it will then offend me. But given the long term viability of the relationship, I'm not worried too much.  I take things on a day to day basis, and let things slide that I wouldn't under different circumstances.

- - - - - -

Although the plumber fixed the hot water problem around 6 pm, I was no longer in the mood to go outside.  So, for reasons beyond my control, I called it a day without doing much of anything worthwhile....

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Another volunteer stint and a game night to relax

As I've mentioned before, I love old movies.  But today's development will get in the way of seeing one I've always wanted to see on the big screen.

- - - - - -

Today, I woke up without getting enough sleep.  If I didn't have to go to the GLBT Center to do this week's volunteer stint, I'd have stayed in bed, put the CPAP mask back on, and slept for another 4 hours.  But this was not in the cards for today.  Instead, I got myself moving around 11 am, did some stuff online, and was ready to leave the house a little before 3 pm.

Arriving at the GLBT center, I first chatted with the volunteer coordinator, and then got to working on today's task - sticking labels on envelopes for a mass mailing they would be doing later on.  The coordinator liked a suggestion I made - print envelopes with both the recipient address and the return address. It would save them the cost of buying labels and printing them to be stuck on envelopes. He'll look into doing this with the equipment on site. 

When I was done, I drove home to take care of a couple of things.  First, I wanted to send out a resume to a bank that was at yesterday's LGBT Job Fair. (Note: I usually use GLBT instead of LGBT in this blog, only to keep in sync with a typo made years ago that would take too long to fix in all posts.)  I figure that if they were looking at people at a LGBT Job Fair, that they would be tolerant of a transgender woman whose legal paperwork still identifies her as a male.  Once I was done with the resume, I decided to do a quick batch of Chocolate Almond Fudge Brownies before driving to game night.

I was ready to leave for Yonkers around 7:30, and I made it to game night around 8:15 or so. After the last game, one of the new female members (a social worker) asked me questions about being transgender.  (She was afraid of offending me, not being sure if I was Cisgender or Trans, and not being sure if I wanted to talk.  I told her to ask away - I m open about being trans.)  She learned a lot, and I know that we will likely talk more about this in the future.

On the way home, I chatted with GFJ before all her family starts to come in for Easter.  She asked what my schedule was for the rest of the week, and I said that I had to be at the co-op board meeting on Wednesday.  One problem.  If I stay over into Tuesday morning, I'd have to be in the Croton area by noon, so that I could make it to Pleasantville to see The Americanization of Emily on the big screen.  Damn!  Any other Tuesday, and I wouldn't have any problems....

Such is life....

Saturday, April 7, 2018

The middle of the week.

A George Rhoads rolling ball sculpture.  There's a hypnotic affect that seems to go with each one of his works. Never in any setting have I seen any of his works vandalized. But I have seen them go improperly maintained for a while, reducing the impact of his work.

- - - - - -

Why did I lead off the day with a mention of Rhoads' work?  He is an artist who found a niche in life that has allowed his works to be found all over the world. Yet, he can travel anonymously without any problem.  (I don't think he does much traveling anymore because of his age. But I hope he has stayed active in his craft, and that he will be active until the day he dies.)  And that's what I find myself wanting to do more as Marian - live as full a life as possible without being interfered with by people who hate transgender folk.

Recently, I heard of a LGBT Job Fair being held in NYC, and I had to decide whether I would attend, and then whether I would attend as Marian or as Mario. Mentioning this to the Cat Lady in an email, she asked whether I'd attend as Marian or Mario.  Normally, in a non-LGBT environment, the answer would be Mario.  But in a LGBT environment, the question is not easy to answer.  If I were to interview as Marian, I'd want a position which would not require me to commute below ground.  There is no way I could stand the Summer heat commuting as Marian. And I want to work as my authentic self for a change.

Although I got up late this morning, I had more than enough time to get dressed as Marian and make it down to the Bronx to catch the subway to the job fair. Arriving around 2 pm, I figured that an hour would be enough time to make the rounds of the organizations that  might be interested in hiring someone like me - and I was right.  There were all too many places looking for either health care workers, or for the type of service work that only a youngster should take. But there were organizations there that might be of interest to me, and I'll be sending them resumes in the near future. 

As an aside, I parked near Ex-GF-M's house.  It looks like the family is already fixing up the house for sale.  I wish them well....

- - - - - -

When I got home, I thought I'd be going out again.  However, after receiving some co-op correspondence that needed to be addressed ASAP and receiving a call from HWA, I felt that it was too late to go out again - and packed it in for the night.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Another sunny day

I had one thing planned for today, but I really didn't need to do it - visit the 9/11 memorial site in NYC.  And in the end, I didn't do it.

The alarm woke me up around 9 am, but I did nothing most of the day.  Yesterday, I had spoken to Lili about getting together for lunch, but her dog's Vet appointment got in the way. But I had messages which needed addressing. 
  • The Cat Lady wanted to discuss her ailing cat, and I had a couple of comforting comments.  Her cat is getting on in years, and has a growth that has to be removed. It doesn't help that another cat had died recently, as she could be down from 3 cats to 1 cat in a relatively short time.  Considering the grief she experienced when she lost the first cat, she doesn't need to lose this cat at this time
  • BXM would like to get together, but she can only be away from her apartment for 3-4 hours at once, and must stay close to her apartment.  Her dad is receiving home hospice care, and he could die at any moment.  Considering that he suffered from memory impairment and dementia, it would be a blessing for her when her dad dies. This is not the thing one wishes for. Yet, it is the type of thing that stops the pain from getting worse.
So, it wasn't until 3:30 or so that I was out the door and off to the diner near Lili's place.

Lili and I got to the diner a little after 5 pm.  This made it impossible for us to get the senior special.  We talked of many things, and Lili even volunteered that I come to her son's wedding as Mario, so that GFJ could come along with me.  I noted that though I could do so, it would cause other problems. Lili had forgotten what happens to her (and others) when
they see Mario after seeing Christine - lots of gender misidentification. (It works in both directions.  DD misidentified me as female when I had lunch at the 84 Diner once.)  Lili's family thinks of me as a female, and her boyfriend knows I am a transwoman who will talk with a male voice only when on the phone. The last thing we want is for her boyfriend to accidentally think of me as a male when we go away on cruises.

Just before I left the diner, my brother called.  He was able to give my accountant the data she needed to do my taxes. But more importantly, we may have the biggest hassle taken care of in our dad's health care. Somehow, they got dad's health insurer changed back to what it was for 2017 - and his nursing home care will be provided for by that insurer starting in May.  This limits any exposure to my dad (or us) to the first 4 months of this year, and we don't know if the nursing home is eating the bill for those 4 months.  Keep your fingers crossed.

When I got home, I found another email that made me smile - GFJ may be able to get the 60/40 divorce settlement that she wanted.  YAY!  Now to see how things work out in the settlement arrangement....

I may not have made it down to the memorial (again!), but I think I had a better day than expected.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Starting off the week on a lazy note.

Monday, Monday.  And I could finally put on some makeup again and get into Marian Mode for the day....

- - - - - -

Monday again, and GFJ had to leave to take care of things at her place.  As for me, I was able to stay in bed for most of the day, and then get myself ready to go out as Marian for the first time in a while.

However, I didn't bother getting moving until late in the afternoon.  Lili sent me some info regarding dermatologists, and neither of us liked the choices available at one practice. Additionally, even though the site shown was convenient, this looks like a part time site for the doctors in it.  This means that I will probably look elsewhere for someone to do my exam and remove some sport from my face.

Next, I ended up driving over to Paramus where I browsed through Catherine's for a bit.  I found only one T-Shirt that I liked, and picked it up while it was still in stock. There will be other shirts available as the warm weather approaches. But I want ones that will go well with a plain denim skirt.

On the way home, I chatted with my brother.  The problem we have with my dad and his nursing home may be offloaded onto my shoulders, as my brother is working 60+ hour weeks. AARGH!  It's a job that needs to be done, and if I'm stuck with the responsibility, I'll do it to the best of my ability.  Luckily, my brother was able to explain things to my accountant, and we should have no problems with the house in regard to my 2017 taxes.

- - - - - -

I can't wait for tomorrow to come - I'm tired of today.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The last weekend before Easter

Friday-Saturday-Sunday.  Three days that always seem to be connected for a weekend. But it's strange, because Sunday is officially at the beginning of the week, Friday is a part of the work week, leaving only Saturday as the real end to the week.  But that's not how most people think of these days. Nor does this affect how people make their plans for these days.

- - - - - -

It took me a while to wake up on Friday, but this is normal when one is very comfortable under the covers of a warm blanket.  Lili is right, I might have gotten too used to the routine of not having to work, and if so, I'll have to manage my finances accordingly.

When I finally got out for the day, I decided to take a drive to The Avenue in Newburgh. The saleswoman there greeted me as a friend, and we chatted about DD - me saying that she had an indelible personality.  She wasn't sure what I meant, but I explained that DD was one of a kind.  She is very outspoken, and no one gets away with any crap with her.  And this fit her to a T.

Lili has been dress shopping, and is looking to get a dress that normally sells for $500-$600 at a discount by looking at dresses for sale on Ebay.  She called me to ask for advice on a problem - she saw a dress she really wants, but is likely to get caught in a bidding war if she makes a move before the last moment. She wanted me to tell her what to do. But all I could say is that she should either search for a bidding program, or that she should pay retail for this dress.  Then I mentioned that I may take someone other than GFJ to this Summer's wedding. She's OK with that. But I now have to figure out who I will take - and I'm leaning towards the Cat Lady.

- - - - - -

Saturday was the last Speech Therapy session to be scheduled before Easter.  (Next weekend is "Spring Break", and I'll be glad to have a week off for myself.) So I got showered, shaved and dressed - and away I went to Mercy.  I have come to see that this is an area of diminishing returns for me, as I don't hear much improvement in my voice anymore.  The student in charge of my sessions says that I have my female body language working well for me, and my voice doesn't seem like it needs much improvement. Therefore, as I've said before, I'm leaning towards not using Mercy next semester.  (I'll touch base with the supervisor sometime before the last session to see what she thinks.)

Next, I drove home to change into Mario Mode and take a nap before GFJ arrived.  While driving up, I saw runners on the side of Route 9 from the Irvington area to Briarcliff Manor.  There was a race going on, but I didn't find out what it was for.  All I know was that the police were blocking off a lane in various places on Route 9 where there wasn't a place to run closer to the Hudson River.

When GFJ arrived, we went out for a walk and an early dinner, then it was home for the night.  Both of us were tired from not getting enough sleep the night before, so we sacked out early, with plans to see a movie on Sunday.

- - - - - -

There was no way that either of us wanted to get up early on Sunday morning, so I wasn't surprised to find that both of Mickey's hands were on 12 when we both awoke on Sunday. Yet, it wasn't until 1 that the two of us got out of bed.  How's that for lethargy?  We had leftovers for a late lunch, then time to get showered and dressed before an early dinner at 5:30 with a movie to follow. 

We ate a quick dinner and took a short walk afterward.  Both of us realized that we needed to exercise more, as neither of us are comfortable with moderate walks anymore. Luckily, the diner was less than a block away from the theater, and we went to see "The Death of Stalin" at the Jacob Burns Film Center.  Even though this is not a great film, and a careful eye will notice important technical flubs (such as a felt tip pen being used in one scene), it is a good film with spot on acting.

Once we were done at the movie house, it was time to go home. And that's where our weekend ended....

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

After the snowstorm....

I was expecting the snow to look like this when I woke up.  However, most of yesterday's storm bypassed us, and we got only a dusting.  This doesn't mean that the storm wasn't bad.  Other places South of me got much more than a dusting, and some schools had late openings.

- - - - - -

The return date of my car was uncertain when I got up this morning. It didn't make sense to check in again, as I had no reason to make a call when I was told that I'd be called when the car is ready (likely Thursday or Friday).  Therefore, I made my plans with the idea that I'd be driving the loaner car until Friday or Saturday. I felt awkward about driving the loaner car any distance because of the greater risk of getting into a minor fender bender, since there was no paperwork showing that I had a right to be operating the vehicle. So my plans didn't include driving to places such as Long Island until my car was returned to me.  

If I had to fill the loaner car's gas tank up again, I'm not sure if I'll be going to any one of the Mobil stations I use.  The Speedpass app I'd be using isn't working. And I've been in contact with Exxon-Mobil regarding this:

Tried to use Speedpass app for first time. 

My Mobil card I'd registered.
Scanned QR code at pump, then got authorization message then said ok.
No activity at pump to say ready to fuel car.
Am I doing something wrong, or is it the pump?

Thank you for taking the time to contact Exxon Mobil.
We are sorry to hear that you have experienced difficulty using the Speedpass+ application.
In order to further review the issue you encountered, please respond to this e-mail with answers to the following questions:

· What e-mail address is registered on your Speedpass+ account?
· At which site(s) did this error occur?
· At what date/time did you attempt to use the app?

Site: 430 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
Time: 9:30 am, Saturday, March 17

Dear Marian,
Reference #: 123456

Thank you for reply.

We are sorry to hear that you have experienced difficulty using the Speedpass+ application.
Please be advised that we have sent a request to our technical team for further investigation. We will notify you once their investigation has been completed.

I don't know when I'll hear from them next. They had a good thing with their RFID dongle one could attach to a key chain. But more and more people carry their cell phones everywhere, and it made sense to generate an app which could be used in place of the dongle.  One problem - it doesn't work right for me.  So until I get the resolution I want, I'll be buying my gas elsewhere.

As I was getting ready to get showered and dressed, the dealership called - my car was ready.  Although my wallet would never be ready, I went over, dropped off the loaner, paid the bill, and drove home in my car.  It felt good to have a car I could "live in" again.

- - - - - -

Once home, I picked up my tax forms and drove to my accountant.  It's been a year since I've seen her, and I was able to park in the driveway next to her office.  (Luckily, it was the driveway used by her employee, so I didn't have to worry about blocking the spot.)  We chatted for a while, and she had some questions regarding my paperwork.  Since I couldn't answer the questions regarding the profit and loss sheet for the family home rental we run as a business, I gave her the information on how to contact my brother to get answers before leaving to see my dad in the nursing home.

It didn't take me long to reach the nursing home. And my dad and I spoke for the better part of 90 minutes before he started to get tired. This timing was almost perfect, as I was able to get on the expressway, cross the bridge, and make it onto a Northbound parkway in Westchester before the worst of the Friday night rush began.

- - - - - -

After taking a little time to relax, I drove down to game night.  While driving down, Lili and I chatted, and she expressed a desire to have GFJ attend her son's wedding with me in Marian Mode.  (I know GFJ enough to know that this is a non-starter for her.) But I humored Lili a bit.  Instead, I think my wedding guest will likely be either my niece or the Cat Lady. (If the Cat Lady, I have to make sure that GFJ doesn't bother coming down ahead of time.) I intend to have a good time, and it would be nice to have someone with me who could also have a good time - with me in Marian Mode.

I reached Yonkers in time to play the first round of games.  Several people bailed out because of the expected parking problems, but it was easier to park on the street than expected. It was a fun night, and it ended too soon....