Thursday, May 31, 2018

A night shopping and dining with RO.

Today was a day I had booked to see RO out on Long Island.  I didn't want to schlep to Long Island for Lili, and later to schlep again to see RO. So I made myself unavailable to Lili while she went to get her stomach stitches examined or removed.

- - - - - -

I didn't get to sleep until very late last night, so I set the alarm clock to wake me up around 11 am.  By the time I got moving, I doubted that I'd accomplish both my goals for the day:
  • Visit my mother's grave.
  • Meet RO for a night of shopping.
And I was right.  The first goal, visiting my mom's grave, would have required that I get out of the house at least 2 hours (or more) earlier.  Traffic getting to the bridges and on Long Island was terrible, and I abandoned this goal early on.  This left me with an hour or so to kill, and I went to one of the bookstores that Ex-GF-M and I used to hang out at quite often when on Long Island.

Next was RO.  It took me 20 minutes or so to get back to her place. From there, I did the driving (which is unusual for us when I'm on Long Island) because her eyes were still healing from an emergency operation performed in January. Our first stop was The Avenue, where she found some outfits to wear. Next, it was off to Catherine's, where I found the above dress on sale. But to use my "$25 off" coupon, I had to find something to bring the total purchase to $50 or more.  So I picked up 2 panties, and came out with another $40 charge on the store card.  Although I'll hate paying the bill at the end of the month, I will like wearing this dress.

Once done with Catherine's, if was off to dinner.  I drove around a little bit while RO talked about her boyfriend and that they plan to move in together.  They will likely rent a new apartment nearby - and I am happy for them.  He was there for her as I was there for GFJ - it seems like we're in a similar stage in our lives, and it's nice to be able to share experiences.  After a leisurely dinner, I dropped her off, then called GFJ.  I was surprised that I told the truth about how we know each other (a response to a Marian Mode personal ad), how we kept in touch, and how we relate to each other.  It was easier for me to tell the truth about a friendship I have as Marian, than to lie about having her as a friend.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to talk with Lili today.  I'll make sure to reach her tomorrow....

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Quickie: Lunch with my Ex-Boss

Every few months, I meet up with my ex-boss from the bank I worked at for 30 years.  Today was the day for that meeting, and was a day that required my presence in Mario Mode, and not as Marian.  It's just as well that I was presenting as Mario today, as the wet, rainy weather would prevent me from looking as pretty as I'd like to be when going out my front door....

- - - - - -

Although I was awake by 9 am, I didn't bother getting moving until 10 am. But I was able to make it to lunch by 12:30.  Not too much to talk about our lunch, save that most of the chat was about current politics.  Both of us are on the same side of things, and we always have an interesting conversation.  Since he's going to his son's wedding next month, we won't be able to see each other for a while. 

Once finished with lunch, I drove back home and was on the phone with GFJ up to the point where I went to the bank to deposit some cash.  Considering how much cash I was depositing, I wasn't surprised when the teller asked me for my id.  (Dollars to donuts that they were filing a SAR on this deposit. And this is fine with me, as both the money was 100% legal, and that SARs are usually reported on high dollar cash transactions.) As much as I wanted to make a cash withdrawal from another bank to recover some money my brother owes me, a traffic jam in Elmsford kept me from doing so.  Seems as if the telephone pole repair going on by the theater caused a backup that stretched back to Route 287.

I was thinking about Lili today but didn't call her.  She's under the belief that I'm going to see my ex-boss tomorrow, and I didn't want for her to catch me in a lie. With this rainy weather, all I'd normally do is lay down in bed all day. But I think that this would be the best thing for me to do in the evening....

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Monday. The start of the week, and I already have no energy.

I remember when I was a regular commuter to Lower Manhattan every day.  My sleep schedule was never fully regulated, and I was always arriving tired for a job which required me to be fully alert.  Part of this I blame on my own stupidity on not going for a sleep test, and part on my own proclivity to be up at ungodly hours of the night. In fairness, Lower Manhattan was never a place where I felt comfortable working, as the commute took the life out of me and left me with precious few hours to do the things in life that made life worthwhile.

- - - - - -

The reason I opened this entry with my work experiences in Lower Manhattan is that GFJ and I couldn't get much sleep last night.  No matter how much we tried, we couldn't fall back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night. Although I had the luxury of going back to bed when GFJ left, she had a medical appointment (and tests) scheduled in Poughkeepsie for 9 am. And with a full day in front of her, tonight she likely will be able to stay asleep the whole night.

A little bit after lunch, I called Lili to see if she wanted company.  Of course, she did - and I drove over to take her out of the house and relieve her of boredom for a while.  We headed towards Danbury (for no reason at all), then turned back once we hit the rush hour traffic jam. When we got to Carmel, I filled the car up with gas, then took Lili to the supermarket where she went on an exploratory mission, hunting for Chicken Pot Pie Hot Pockets. Twenty minutes later, she came out to the car with food for the next few days, and then we went for dinner at a place she's wanted to take me for a long while.  All I can say about the place is - YUM!  The portions had both quantity and quality, and I'd go back there with GFJ if we're in that next of the woods.

On the way back, Lili and I were talking about our partners, and I avoided calling GFJ, lest she let on that I'm seeing my ex-boss from the bank tomorrow and not on Wednesday.  I certainly don't want to schlep to Long Island twice - once for Lili, and later for RO. And, I certainly don't want to let on to GFJ or Lili that I'm going to see a friend - even if there is no romantic interest. With GFJ, I don't want her to get jealous of my female friends.  With Lili, I don't want her to get jealous of my friends.  Both ladies have different claims on me, and I don't want my secondary friendships to get in the way with my primary friendships or romantic interests.

Monday, May 28, 2018

A weekend with GFJ, with a visit to TR's place.

Sagamore Hill - The "Country" home of Theodore Roosevelt, and one of the handful of presidents I hold in great esteem.

- - - - - -

This weekend started with GFJ coming down to my place earlier than usual for a Saturday, so that we could make it to TR's homestead at a reasonable hour.  I was pleasantly surprised that she arrived before noon, as (unbeknownst to us) we would need every last minute to be able to tour the house before it closed for the day.

Driving to Long Island, we hit very little traffic.  But once on Long Island, we hit quite a few traffic jams on the highways.  Was it the heavy rain?  Who knows?  But it took much longer to get to Oyster Bay than we'd have liked.  Around 2 pm, we arrived at the site and found that the first available tour was at 3:30 pm.  So we ended up going out to a local Oyster Bay coffee shop for a late lunch before going on the tour.

We took the tour, but were not allowed to take pictures inside the building.  Following that, we visited my dad in the nursing home before going out for dinner. We tried going to a place (Stango's in Glen Cove) I've known since I was a kid.  But I didn't know that the place had closed 2 years earlier - after a 95 year run. So we ended up at one of the restaurants my dad enjoyed (Positano's), and had a nice, filling Italian dinner.  At dinner, GFJ got a tough piecf of chicken. So the restaurant cooked up a fresh plate - and GFJ was satisfied with everything.  If it wasn't for the old fashioned ice cream shop (Hildebrandt's) about a mile away, we'd have had dessert at the restaurant as well.  But it was off to the ice cream shop for a banana split - YUM!! YUM!!

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

Sunday came, and the two of us went to West Point to see the West Point Band celebrate Armed Forces Day with a set of patriotic music.  It's a great way to gin up the base, so to speak, to respond to music and the symbols of nationalistic pride.  (Yes, I'm a cynic here.  In the right hands, this is a very useful tool for promoting our armed forces as a needed component of our national priorities.  In the wrong hands, this can become a propaganda machine.  But I'll leave that discussion for another day.)  We had a nice time at this free concert, and then went back to Croton to eat at the local diner.

After eating, it was off to the movies, where we saw "Life of the Party". It's an enjoyable piece of fluff, with little connection to reality.  Given all the action films out these days, I'm glad that this film was in the theaters.  GFJ and her friends are a tight bunch of divorcees (and to be divorcees). And she noted that if she saw this film 3 years ago, she'd have had to leave the theater.  Luckily, the divorce decree is almost final - and she is ready to move on.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Quickie: Thoughts on a recent trip to DC.

This incident occurred in front of the Lincoln Theater on U Street in Washington, DC on May 12, 2018. I have no idea of what happened, nor did this situation last for long. There were 3 police cars on the scene, and they all appeared as if from out of nowhere. From what I can tell, the fellow with his hands behind his back is handcuffed, and the fellow in back of him is displaying a badge. Could they have been staking out a drug dealer? I haven't a clue.

- - - - - -

With all the bad news in the press these days, one would think could have happened in a bad part of town.  And one would be wrong - this occurred in a very popular and safe (to me) area.  It was very lively at 11 pm, and would likely to be so for some time yet to come.

Adjacent to the theater is a quintessential DC joint - Ben's Chili Bowl.  In one sense, it is "just" a place that sells some of the best smoked sausages you'll ever eat.  But in another, it is an icon to DC as is a popular NYC frankfurter joint at Stillwell and Surf.  And I make it a point to visit this place whenever I am in DC.If you look carefully, there is a mural on the side of the building and Obama is easily seen at this angle. Given the neighborhood's history and the food served here, you can bet that you'll never see Trump's face on a nearby mural.

- - - - - -

Next time I'm in town, I'm going to plan my trip more carefully.There is so much I would like to have done.  But with hot weather one day, a bum car that I worried about, and an overly long drive to DC, I only had one real day of value out of a 3 day trip.  This is not acceptable to me. I will likely go back to taking the train and making reservations in advance.  Let's assume the following transportation costs:
  • Tolls: $25 each way - $50 total.
  • Gasoline: $30 each way - $60 total.
  • Parking: $20 per day - $40 total for a 2 night stay
Transportation to/from DC cost me $150.  For just a little more than that price, I could have taken Metro North, the NYC Subway, Amtrak, and the DC Metro to get where I would be going.  (Amtrak would give me the best value for my dollar spent.) Even throwing in peak commuter train prices and cab rides, I still come in at the $150 range - and would not have any hassles with driving to/from DC.

- - - - - -

Assuming that I drive to DC again, it will likely be to a place with free parking, walking distance to the Metro, and will involve a longer stay in town. If I take the train, the likelihood is that I will stay in the same hotel in Rosslyn, VA, as it is very convenient for me to access sites in DC. If by car, this trip will also involve a couple of stops in between the two cities, such as going to the B&O Roundhouse museum in Baltimore and stopping in Philadelphia to see the Barnes and Mutter museums.  Hopefully, I'll be able to meet up with a couple of my online TG friends along the way.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Did I really want to see Lili today?

On Monday, Lili had her tummy tuck operation.  She's not up to doing much, and she's been hanging out at her house recuperating from her surgery. The problem - I don't like hanging out at her place anymore, as her menagerie of animals go in and out of the house at will, and I don't know what kinds of problems (e.g. Ticks and/or Fleas) come into the house with her animals.

- - - - - -

As usual, I didn't get moving until late in the day.  But this was perfect for both Lili and I, as she asked me to pick up some milk, some ice cream, and some cookies on the way over.  This gave me time to get some cash out of the ATM and to fill the car with gas - for the first time since Sunday.

Arriving at Lili's, I found that she was depressed. She liked the dress I was wearing, and unlike the picture above, I was not wearing hosiery or a sweater. Instead, I was wearing a denim jacket with sneakers on my feet.  I was very comfortable and very informal.  It's nice to have a dress that I can dress up or dress down as needed.  Lili took out a couple of necklaces that she wanted to give me, and one of them looked perfect with this dress.  (I'll get a picture of it soon.)

Lili brought up the subject of my relationship with GFJ, and noted that the two of us love each other.  I wouldn't argue this.  Lili then said that she'd be willing to have me come to her son's wedding as Mario if this meant that GFJ would come. I noted that GFJ will either have to come to peace with me being both Marian and Mario. For if she doesn't, I won't be able to give up this part of me that needs to be out in the open.

My visit to Lili was cut short by her getting sick.  She said that she'd call for an ambulance if she felt abnormally sick, and sent me on the way for the day.  At this point, I was free to do some window shopping.  So, it was off on a loop to Catherine's in Poughkeepsie, to the Avenue in Newburgh, stopping off at Walmart in Fishkill, and then back to my apartment.  There was nothing really interesting in any of these stores, but I picked up some foodstuffs at Walmart before going home.

- - - - - -

While driving around, I tried to reach YGM to talk about the upcoming wedding.  But she wasn't available. Then GFJ called.  We talked about her divorce (it'll be final soon), the divorce settlement, and then she asked me how I knew she had a darker side to her. I mentioned how she reacted regarding the Wasband, noting that she advocates well for herself, but takes a while to build up the steam to be nasty.  And I said that I don't want to be on the wrong side of her when this happens....  She then mentioned that she never saw me in the same position, but she thought it would happen once. I said that I learned to recognize my anger bubbling up as a result of 13 years of therapy.

As I was crossing the Mid Hudson bridge, GFJ joked about me seeing her friends for dinner. I asked if all her core friends knew about Marian, and she said they did.  I noted that I'm open about being Marian, would feel comfortable being with them in Marian Mode (as I was dressed today), but would never suggest doing so, as she (GFJ) is uncomfortable with me in Marian Mode.

- - - - - -

Hopefully, GFJ will get out of her house early tomorrow, so that we can go to Long Island before the Summer weekend traffic jams start next week. (Memorial Day Weekend)  I figure that it would be nice for us to see the Theodore Roosevelt house at Sagamore Hill (Oyster Bay), and complete the tours of the three Roosevelt houses.  If I can convince her to do this, I'd suggest a restaurant I know in Glen Cove (Stango's) for good Italian food, and to stop by my dad's place to see him without having to make an extra trip to Long Island next week.

Friday, May 25, 2018

The cleaning lady cometh

My apartment does not have wood floors that I can expose. Not only do I have a clause in my proprietary lease or house rules that require me to keep 80% of the apartment carpeted, but there is some damage to the floor underneath which would require replacement of some of the wood.

- - - - - -

Today, I woke up early enough to catch part of "Morning Joe", but decided to fall back to sleep until 9 am.  Rising out of my bed, I proceeded to clean up the remaining mess in the living room and bedroom areas, and prepare the place for the arrival of my cleaning lady.

Normally, my cleaning lady comes in the afternoon, so I proceeded to take a shower around 11 am, and started to get ready to go out as Marian by noon. These plans were interrupted by a phone call from my cleaning lady, asking to come before lunch.  Since I had not started to apply my makeup, I told her to give me about 10 minutes to get dressed - and that game me enough time to put the wardrobe I set out for the day and my makeup kit back in the closet until she was done cleaning.

About an hour and a half after she arrived, the cleaning lady left.  And I was finally free to make lunch, then get dressed in Marian Mode, so that I could do my volunteer stint at the GLBT center. Because I lallygagged at home after the cleaning lady had gone, I didn't get to the GLBT Center until 4 pm - and that is perfect timing these days.  My task for the day was simple - add the full list of vendors to their "Pride Day" web site, so that everyone viewing the site gets to see all of the sponsors in attendance. This was simple, and kept enough of my brain functioning, so that it was a pleasant way to kill time.

Next, it was off to Panera bread, then to game night.  It was busy, but not overcrowded at Panera, and I saw the lady who I'd have liked to develop an acquaintanceship. What I didn't see were the ladies who have been knitting at that table as of late.  Did they find somewhere else to go?  Inquiring minds want to know....

And then, it was off to game night.  This would be the last one for a couple of weeks, as the host/hostess' family will be going to Disney for a week. So I told the story about my car to a couple of people and played a couple of games.  The first game I played, I lost miserably. However, in the second game, City of Spies, I was finally able to win for a change.

- - - - - -

On the way home, I chatted with GFJ for a while.  She told me of the dinner she had tonight. It seems as if the Wasband wants to buy out her share of the family homestead. Hopefully, he isn't looking to get a bargain - she needs as much money as she can get.  Of course, I wonder how much she'll get from the rest of the division of their marital assets.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Quickie: Rain, Rain, Go away as soon as possible.

Last night, a nasty storm made its way into the Hudson Valley, then wreaked much damage with both rain, high winds, and tornadoes. This morning, many people woke up without power, with damage to both car and house.  I'm grateful that the worst of this storm passed me by, as I'm not in the best of positions to recover from a disaster.

- - - - - -

As much as I would have liked to go out as Marian, I really wasn't in the mood to deal with the wet weather. So I stayed home and straightened out my apartment a little while relaxing. There was a lot of clothing that needed folding, and even more that needed laundering.

When I settled down a little to watch a movie, GFJ called.  It was hard for me to focus on what she was saying as I was also interested in what was going on on-screen. Unexpectedly, this was the only chance I'd have to chat with her for the day, as she decided to go to sleep early after cleaning out some of the expired food in her larder.

By dinner time, I wasn't in the mood to cook.  Since I didn't want to apply makeup just to run down to the supermarket in Marian Mode, I ended up going out as Mario. Although I could have stopped at the bank, I skipped that task to stay dry until I reached the supermarket. And then, I bought just enough food to keep me supplied until the weekend. At that time, I'll do a shopping run with GFJ, so that we have the foodstuffs we want to eat over the weekend.

Not much else to say about today - except that I need another "long" stretch in Marian mode soon....

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Politics = Many Flesh-Eating Insects

As I started to write this entry last year, one of the big issues in Washington was what would be in the GOP tax bill. From what I saw, the GOP made a big mistake which they hoped that the Democrats will get the blame for when they end up cleaning up the law. This mistake is trying to lower a statutory tax rate without cleaning up many corporate loopholes. Instead, they will either eliminate social spending by shifting responsibilities to state governments, or eliminate tax deductions which the middle class has enjoyed for years. Promises have been made and the "Pied Piper" has to be paid. Sadly, they don't know enough when to leave well enough alone, or include their opposition in on the negotiations so that blame can be attributed to both political parties.

This alone would have been big news for the day. However, the current president's questionable dealings also take up a good portion of the media bandwidth. So far, three people have been indicted in "Russiagate," with one of these men having pleaded guilty a while back. Who is going to be indicted next?  Only the special investigator knows.  But from what we can tell now, the President's son and his son in law are both suspects.  Add to this a former security adviser and an attorney general, and the stench is almost too strong to bear. Of course, I shouldn't forget our current Vice President's involvement. It looks like we may have quite a few indictments yet to come before the GOP decides to clean house of this corrupt administration.

As a transgender person, I am appalled at the Trump/Pence administration's attacks on the LGBTIQ community. Getting rid of Trump will not solve the problem. Having a President Pence will only make things worse for us.  Trump is incompetent, while Pence is competent. Can we afford to have an effective anti LGBTIQ government with a GOP controlled House and Senate? I doubt it.

We are seeing a congress who has no sense of ethical outrage.  Only those politicians who have decided to retire, or who are dying, are ready to denounce the current administration. One of them, an "honorable" conservative has said that he can't move far enough to the right to win the GOP nomination and back to the center enough to win the General Election without violating his code of ethics. This was his reason for retiring from the senate.  Will these men and women have the courage of their convictions to impeach and convict the current president?  Again, I doubt it.  These are politicians drunk on potential power without the sense of responsibility on how to use it wisely. And we will get screwed once they learn how to use it well.

Currently, most leaders in the Democratic Party are playing it smart and opposing Trump without calling for impeachment.  Only those less powerful congressmen and senators are calling for impeachment, as they want to move up in their ranks. The smart leaders are holding their coats and letting the GOP self destruct.  Unfortunately, the Democrats have structural problems just as deep as those the GOP has. Hopefully, they will take this time out of power to develop a more powerful party, so that when they regain power, they will be a healthy party that uses its powers wisely.  Until then, all we can do is work to develop the political power that transgenders need to make us a voice that can't be ignored or shut down....

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

I didn't do much all day until I went out shopping.

I didn't plan on buying this dress today.  But with 30% off an already reduced clearance price, I was able to take it home for under $40.

- - - - - -

Unlike recent days, I did not get up with the sun today.  My window blinds blocked out enough sun to keep me "semi comatose" until I had to take a much needed bio break - and then it was back to bed for another couple of hours. Around 11 am, Lili called to let me know that she was about to go into surgery for her tummy tuck - and was interrupted as she was told to give her phone to her son, so that she could be prepared for her operation.

At this point, I was up for the day, but not ready to do anything much of value. After making a phone call to the dermatologist's practice to correct a billing problem (they sent the bill to the wrong insurance company), I had nothing to do except another 2 loads of laundry - which I deferred for another day.  So I ended up staying in bed watching TV for a while, then got moving to go out as Marian late in the afternoon.

- - - - - -

When I finally went out of the apartment, I decided to go to Paramus and see if Catherine's had a nice bra in my size.  (The nude bra I wore to DC has severe sweat stains that won't completely go away, and I want to wear something nice for the July wedding and feel as pretty as possible. Once I reached Rockland county, thruway traffic was backed up because of the slowly setting sun. So I ended getting off in Nyack and taking Route 59 to a point where I could get onto the Garden State Parkway. From there, it was a quick drive to Catherine's.

Reaching the store, I met one of the salesladies I often chat with, and she was both busy with moving merchandise and was in the mood to chat a little. So I ended up doing some light chit chat for a couple of minutes before seeing the dress above. And it called out to me, even though it is not as casual as I'd like for a Summer dress. Of course, the dress ended up jumping into my hand as I walked into the fitting room to try it on.  Looking into the mirror, I saw that the dress made me look pretty - so I bought it, even though I knew I wouldn't be wearing it much.

- - - - - -

On the way home, I decided to stop at Stew Leonard's to pick up some food.  I was very surprised to find that my purchases were under $20 - something I haven't done in years! At least, I know I have food enough for a couple of days. And I know that I still have money in my wallet.

It certainly felt good to be out and about again in good weather as Marian....

Monday, May 21, 2018

A visit to DC, and my car barely made it.

GFJ was going to be with family, and I wanted a good place to be out and about as Marian. I put two people on notice that I might be visiting them (in completely different locations), and now would have to choose one or the other.  At the last moment, I found a disgustingly good deal on hotel rooms in DC, and decided to do a museum weekend en-femme before the summer's heat arrived. And this meant seeing Meg for a day of museum hopping.

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

Given that I was tired and packed my bags late Thursday evening, I knew that I had to be careful to double check things Friday morning before leaving for DC.  And one of those things was the weather - Saturday was going to be HOT (90 degrees or more) and Sunday was going to be WET.  So I prepared for a typical mixed weather weekend as Marian.  But something said that I should put a bag of Mario's clothes in the car - just in case.

Well, on my way from NYC to DC, I stopped in Delaware (a halfway point) to fill up the gas tank and take a bio break. When I was ready to get back on the road, my car had a little problem starting.  I didn't think this to be a big deal at the time, and continued on my way to DC. 

Arriving in DC (and its stop and go traffic), my car started blinking the "engine hot" light, which is a signal for me to slow down, turn off the AC, open the windows, and go slowly until the condition righted itself.  I was afraid both to turn the engine off (which was a smart thing in retrospect) and to stay in stop & go traffic. Here I was, 6 hours from home, with a car that would likely die on me soon.  I pulled every legal driving trick I could do to keep my car moving to get cool air on the radiator, until I got to the hotel.

Once I arrived at the hotel, I stopped in the pick up/drop off area and found my car was dead on arrival. The symptoms were consistent of either a battery failure or an alternator malfunction while on the road. After a quick, but interrupted check-in, hotel personnel gave my car a push to get it out of the way and into a safe space - the handicapped parking spot. So I ended up calling AAA while in an unventilated car (I didn't want to have too many other people hear me using my male voice, but I wanted to stay near the car to be safe). After 15 minutes, I was told that AAA Service would be coming in a little over an hour.

Given auto mechanics and related brethren, I took a quick shower/rinse off, then changed into the one set of masculine clothes I had with me (after removing my makeup, but not my nail polish) and waited for AAA. The service man came with his truck and barely fit it in between my car and the truck parked next to me. He then did a test - the battery had failed.  (I planned to change it during the coldest part of winter, but it worked well, and life got in the way.)  So I ended up buying a new battery ($150 - same price as I'd have paid in Sears), and then I got several warning messages and idiot lights on my dashboard display when I started my car.  The service fellow (who was very polite and friendly, and for whom I want to write a compliment/thank you letter) said that sometimes it takes a minute or two for these lights to turn off.  So I parked the car and decided NOT to drive it unless needed.

- - - - - -

That evening, I took a quick dip in the pool (I was prepared with my swimsuit and breast forms) and then went to Ben's Chili Bowl to have a "Half Smoke" with cheese. While walking around the U Street area, I found that Lola's frozen yogurt shop was gone. It seems like the building's owner pushed out most of his tenants so that he could rehabilitate the building to get higher rents. So I'll have to email her and see what happened.

When I got back to the hotel room, I chatted with both GFJ and with Lili.  GFJ was concerned about how I was doing, knowing that I needed moral support.  Lili, on the other hand, figured that I should soon be looking for a new car.  Both were telling me things I needed to hear, and I was glad to be in contact this evening.  

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

The next day, I met Meg at the nearby Metro station, and both of us were ready as possible for the hot weather to come later on.  Although Meg was in male mode, a close observer might have noticed a thing slightly unusual about her in male mode. (No, I won't give away what I noticed - Meg is perfectly presentable in both masculine and feminine modes.) I was thankful that I was wearing a feminine T-Shirt and a skirt, as it would have been much too warm for me to be wearing trousers of any type.

Once we arrived at the Mall, Meg escorted me through several of the Smithsonian museums. Although one could easily spend a full day in each of these museums, we breezed through them relatively quickly. (I had not been in the mood to plan my museum visits on Friday evening after what I went through earlier that day.)  Unfortunately, I was much more talkative than usual, as I was nervous about having to drive home with a car that might die on me again.  But Meg got in her share of the conversation - and I hope she didn't find me to be a bore. (One thing of note, Male Meg made sure to treat me as a proper woman, opening doors for me and everything you'd expect a polite man to do.) 

About 5 hours later, I asked Meg to accompany me while I drove to the nearby Honda dealership for moral support. Less than a quarter mile into the drive, the idiot light went out, and the warning messages stopped displaying. So I drove back to the hotel and told Meg that I hope to again see her in less than the 3+ years it has been since the last time we met. I then noted that I might end up staying another 2 days, just because I may still end up taking the car to the dealership. And Meg said that if I was still in DC, that I was welcome to come to her game night crew's meeting Sunday evening.

- - - - - -

Again, I decided to take a dip in the hotel pool. When I got back to the room, GFJ said that she told her son about me (no reaction) and was going to tell her mom about me the next day.  YAY!!!  I am a person!!!  (I guess that waiting has its advantages.)  But I was rushing out to dinner, and we agreed to chat later on.  So I headed for the Ethiopian restaurant on U Street, and got good food with slow service.  (I should have planned better - the DuPont Circle area might have had a better choice of food than I found on a short stretch of U Street near the Metro.)  Will I eat there again?  Maybe.  But I will wear something that "feeding the girls" won't create the risk of ruining the garment.

Then I walked around a bit and found a frozen yogurt shop on a side street. (I doubt this shop forced Lola out of business - it was on a side street and not that easy to notice.)  While in the shop, I saw a drag queen with a pink wig, bathrobe, men's shoes and socks on, and wearing something feminine which was covered by the robe.  I'd have loved to chat, but I didn't have a good excuse, nor did I want to find out where the drag show was. (I had to talk with GFJ, and I'd likely be running too late for her to call me.) While there, Lili messaged me and told me that she was in the ER.  So I finished up my treat and slowly made it to the hotel on the Metro.

Once back at the hotel, I found that they finally replaced the remote with one that works with the TV.  (The wrong remote was in the room, and no one thought that it was incompatible with the set in the room.)  I had asked about this the night before, and no one checked it out while I was gone - even though I told the desk manager that they had the OK to do this. And then I went upstairs to find out that GFJ was asleep, and that Lili supposedly was OK.

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

Sunday morning, I again woke up with the sun. And I decided to get into my male clothes and go home this way.  When I looked at my bill, I found two things of note - the Friday night rate was $10 lower than Saturday's rate, and that I didn't get billed the fee for my car's parking.  If this isn't corrected, I'll be thankful that someone may have been nice and gave me a $50 savings for being nice to them.  I'll just watch my bill when it comes and be on the lookout....

I was very glad that the car was parked indoors.  By the time I loaded my car, it was pouring outside and it was chilly. I was also glad that I had enough gas to get me to the halfway point in Delaware, as I knew that if I was going to have the same problem occur, it would give me an indication when I got there.. But the car started back up flawlessly at this point, and I felt much, much better about the drive.

Once I reached New Jersey, Google started trying to get me off of the New Jersey Turnpike and onto side roads. Is there a setting for avoiding toll roads that I missed?  If so, I couldn't find it. (Later on, I looked it up online and found settings which didn't appear on my phone when I tried them.  It's another project for another day.)  But it did try to guide me right when I got near the New York border with New Jersey.  Dynamic routing tried to get me to take side roads to the Palisades Parkway, in order to avoid a traffic jam on Route 287 that stretched from the bridge to Suffern.  Luckily, I knew how to use the side roads when I saw how bad the jam was, and took them to cross the Hudson at Bear Mountain to get me home.

- - - - - -

Unfortunately, I have no word from Lili on how she is after last night's visit to the ER.  I'll bet that she is not doing well, and none of her "family" knows how to reach me (or has even thought to do so.)  Hopefully, I'll hear from either her boyfriend or her son soon.  The Cat Lady just messaged me to let me know that her cat had to be put to sleep.  This is very sad, as she put so much of her heart into trying to keep the cat alive.  I guess I'll have to make myself available for a phone call tomorrow. Sometime later in the evening (if she is free), I hope to hear from GFJ and find out what her mother thought of her dating me.  But that will be grist for another blog entry.

As you can easily see, this has been a very busy weekend - and yet, it is not one I can say where planning had anything to do with the important things that happened.

- - - - - -

PS: Lili called me just before her scheduled operation.  She was taking care of a million things beforehand, and wasn't able to respond to my messages.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Quickie: An ongoing email conversation with the Cat Lady.

Recently, I've had the pleasure of meeting the Cat Lady (TCL) for dinner twice in one month. Yes, I would have liked to meet her once as Marian to see how she'd react. But I am not going to force this part of me on her.

Over the past few weeks, we've had an ongoing email conversation about what being transgender is all about.  She has asked me how I see myself when I get out of the shower, how I identify when presenting as male or female, and a bunch of other questions.  From this chat, I have learned that my style of separating Mario and Marian can get confusing to others at times. For example, I have often referred to Marian in the third person when talking with TCL, as I don't like blending Mario and Marian.  I'd say things such as: "Marian wants to look as pretty as she can be." And TCL would ask, "Why didn't you refer to yourself in the first person?

I think she's very curious, as she has never met a person like me before. And I am glad to answer her questions.  Today, she asked a question regarding me going in for a mani-pedi, wondering whether the people know I'm a biological male under my skirts. And I said, "Does it matter?"  Without the tone from a voice, she had no way of knowing whether I was upset at her. And I had to say that I wasn't upset, I was dismissing any concern about how others may think when I'm doing business with them as Marian.  I simply expect to be treated as any normal female would when I'm going out in Marian Mode.

Hopefully, she'll eventually be comfortable seeing me as Marian.  It would be nice to be able to be this way when seeing her, as I'd be able to go shopping as Marian before seeing her.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Theater - and how I got hooked

Years ago during the early stages of my career I worked in Midtown Manhattan, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Times Square. The TKTS office was relatively new then, and I had lots of excess money that I could spend on entertainment.

The first year that I worked in midtown, I would walk from 46th & 6th over to Duffy Square and see what half price offerings were available at the TKTS office. In the 1 and 1/2 years that I worked in that location, I saw "every" play on Broadway except for Evita. And in those days, tickets were relatively cheap compared to the stratospheric prices being charged now.
I can still remember seeing Barnum, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, A Day in Hollywood / A Night in the Ukraine, and others.  It was a great time to be young and have excess money after minimal expenses.

Getting hooked on good theater was easy. And I was hooked! Even after meeting my wife, we ended up seeing plays such as Cats. Both living and working put a damper on going to the theater for the two of us. So from the mid 1980's onward, I didn't see that many plays.  After my wife died, I ended up having Vicki as a theater companion. And we went to many plays together including Spamalot, Boeing Boeing, and Don't Dress for Dinner. Vicki once described me in a conversation at the theater as my straight best gay friend.  I was the fellow who'd accompany Vicki to events such as Broadway plays that her husband didn't want to attend.  Eventually, life got the better of Vicki. She had to become a chauffeur to get her husband to/from work for 3 years, as well as buying the next door house to keep a potential resident from complaining about her violation of a housing covenant. This deprived her of the money she needed to indulge in a theater habit. And there went a good theater partner.

Later on, when I was working in Downtown Manhattan in the early 2010's, I was able to take advantage of the 20@20 Off-Broadway deals that would come up in both Winter and Summer. One of those years, I ended up seeing 7 Off-Broadway plays in 20 days. It was a great time to be able to go to the theater. Off-Broadway is hit and miss at the best of times, and I've learned that the offerings available from 20@20 and other discount venues are not always winners. For each winner like Freud's Last Session or Curvy Widow, I have seen clinkers whose names I can't remember. But I always find it worth taking the chance to see something interesting.

Recently, HWV and I have gone to Off-Broadway plays together.  She has a busy schedule, and can only be counted on to be an infrequent attendee to the theater. If I had the money, I'd again be going to the TKTS office to buy half price Broadway tickets. And if I were 2 years older, I'd get a membership in the Theater Development Fund as being retired and not working.  (I can always change my mind about working, can't I?)  This would allow me to get "cheap" Broadway tickets again, and start seeing the entertainments I fell in love with as a young adult.  Hopefully, I can convince one of my friends who qualifies for TDF membership to join, and we can both go to the theater on a regular basis.

Friday, May 18, 2018

GFJ exits for the day, and I close it out with games.

This morning, GFJ had to go home and prepare for a weekend with her family.  This meant that I could make plans for the weekend AND have time for myself as Marian.  As much as I'll miss her next to me, I will enjoy getting out and about as Marian.

- - - - - -

GFJ got up about an hour before I did and got dressed for her day.  She was out the door by 10:45, so that she could make a noon appointment in New Paltz.  I took the time to slowly wake up, and I wasn't really moving until noon or so.  Of course, I didn't get to the GLBT Center until 4 - and still got in a couple of hours there before leaving for both dinner and for game night.

Just before I left the center, my brother called from his car. Since there is no way that I want to lapse into a masculine voice at the center, I decided to let the call go to voice mail and call him back later.  By the time I called him back, he was well on the way to see my dad at the nursing home. We had a terrible connection, and by the time I could reach him again, he was at the nursing home with my dad.

As much as I'd want to talk with my dad, I was more in the mood to have a quick bite to eat at Panera Bread. So when we got disconnected a third time, I figured that I'd call my brother back over the weekend. In previous posts, I mentioned a lady who I've chatted with at Panera.  Ever since they got rid of their gas fireplace, I haven't seen this lady in the restaurant.  Could she be going somewhere else now to take care of her business?  I'm not sure, but I know it's not because of me. However, a new group of regulars seem to have taken this lady's place.  There are about 5-6 middle aged knitters who meet on Thursdays for dinner and some knitting. I'd love to have a good excuse to get to know these ladies, but know I never will have one.

Once done with Panera, GFJ called to say hello.  Of course, I wasn't going to interrupt a phone call with her to browse the offerings at The Avenue. So I chatted for about a half hour before she had to go, and then did my browsing.  I found a couple of T-Shirts which came home with me, and will be with me when I take my next trip.

At this point, it was time to go to game night.  I was there early for a change, and was able to get into a couple of games - which I lost badly.  Compared to a couple of the hard core gamers they have there, I'll never be that good at many of these games.  But I enjoy the company. And that's what keeps me coming back week after week....

Thursday, May 17, 2018

A morning without the Cat Lady, and an Evening with Mel Brooks

Last year, Mel Brooks made an appearance at the Streicher Center in NYC and was a big hit. So when this 2060+ year old man (who doesn't look a day over 92) was scheduled to appear a second time, I jumped at the opportunity to see him reminisce about life. For the past several days, several things in my life have intersected with my decision to see this show with GFJ and have a Chinese meal beforehand.

- - - - - -

Over the weekend, Pat called to tell me that she got a ticket for this event and called me to ask for a ride into NYC.  Since I wasn't in the mood to clean out my car for a poorly thought out last minute request, I said "No", as we were taking the subway to the event. (This is true. Using the subway allows GFJ and I to go to Chinatown AND have a quick, cheap bite to eat beforehand.) The Cat Lady (TCL) also contacted me, and I ended up saying "Yes" to her request for me to bring her to her doctor for a morning appointment on the same day as Mel Brooks - only because she didn't have anyone else available to drive her from point "a" to point "b". Her transit plans had failed, and I was a distant "Plan 'c'" to be used "just in case."
Last night, TCL called me around 9 pm to tell me that I would not be needed, and I was relieved. So I was able to sleep late and catch up on my much needed rest.

Waking up around 9 am (late for most people, early for me), I caught up on the morning's affairs and proceeded to get ready for a day out as Mario.  And yet, I didn't bother running a couple of the errands that would have turned out better with me in Mario Mode.  Instead, I decided to surf the net a little before getting showered and dressed, and ready for GFJ's arrival.  The Cat Lady (TCL) emailed me, and let me know that the doctor liked how her eyelids were doing (yesterday's minor surgery was a success).  It was nice to get this message before leaving for the day, as I wouldn't be able to be in contact until tomorrow.

- - - - - -

GFJ arrived a little late, and we hoofed it into NYC via the subway system.  Parking near Ex-GF-M's house, we made it to the train and took it all the way to Brooklyn Bridge.  From there, we walked over to the Nom Wah Tea Parlor for some afternoon Dim Sum.  One word describes the food - YUM!  GFJ was impressed by the quality of the food in a place with absolutely no atmosphere.  She said that the "spare ribs" (which were more like tiny rib tips in a translucent glaze) were better than what we're used to at most Chinese restaurants. And then came the Soup Dumplings - YUM Again!!!!  GFJ was very glad that we went well out of our way to have a tasty late afternoon meal.

And then the problem started....

We walked over to the City Hall subway station, and decided to take the Broadway line to 5th and 59th, and walk up to 65th street to the Streicher Center.  Everything went fine for a few stops, and then our train got delayed due to the "Mysteriously Ill Passenger" on the train in front of us.  Sick passengers are always a risk to the trains involved in the delay, and it took us almost an hour to make a 20 minute trip.  Luckily, both of us had a seat for the ride. By the time we made it to the Streicher Center, they were filling up the last of the two rear rows, and we were seated at the exit.  (This would be an advantage later on, as we didn't have to wait to get out the door.)

The Streicher Center is a beautiful temple, and a place I'd want to look at more closely if I had the time and reason to do so.  The stained glass there is the equal to any found in a Christian church, and I can say that this quickly taken shot doesn't do the place justice.

Mel Brooks didn't disappoint us, save that his schedule only called for him to be on stage for an hour. I was a little tired for the first half of the show, but that's because GFJ and I ate well AND did a lot of walking before getting there. When the show ended, we were very glad to be in the back for the show, as we exited the place very quickly and made it to the subway in less than 10 minutes.

As usual, the subway ride back to the Bronx took forever. When we got out of the subway, I pointed out a few more things about Ex-GF-M's house as we passed by.  I was a little surprised to find that her neighbors are parking in her driveway. But this helps keep away troublemakers who might see an empty house and want to do damage.

- - - - - -

On the way home, it was off to the diner for a late evening bite to eat.  By the time we got home, GFJ was ready to fall out, and I let her sleep for a bit while I wrote today's blog entry.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Before and After - Stage 2

Before After


I took these "After" selfies 5 days after my visit to the dermatologist, and there is marked improvement in the appearance of my face. The scabs are coming off and I will be able to go out and about as Marian when I want. Yes, the skin is showing some redness, but I am expecting that to go away soon. And if there is some remaining redness after everything has healed, my face will still look better than it did before the procedure.

- - - - - -

Last night, I just couldn't get to sleep. Being a night owl doesn't help me when there are so many things that have to be done early in the morning.  Today, I knew I had to get up and out by 11:30 or so, as I agreed to go with Lili, Jasmine and Jasmine's mother to Kleinfeld's for Jasmine's wedding dress fitting.  And this would be the first day in over a week that I'd be out as Marian.

Around 10:30, I started to shower, shave, get made up and get dressed as Marian for the first time in a while.  It was nice NOT to see liver spots on my face. The few red spots were easily hidden by makeup, and this made my face look nicer than it has been in a while. And when I was ready, I drove over to BJ's to meet Lili and her crew. Although I arrived on time, I had to wait 45 minutes for Lili, as her daughter in law was hitting traffic on I-84 on the way over.  So we had a quick bite to eat when they arrived, and were on the way to NYC by 1:30.

We got to Kleinfeld's with a few minutes to spare. Unlike our previous visit, we went downstairs to the fitting rooms, where Jasmine's dress was snipped and pinned to fit her.  While Jasmine was being fitted, the lady in the next area was also getting a dress fitted.  Unlike Jasmine's dress, this woman's dress was simple, elegant, and accentuated this woman's features perfectly.  I'll bet that her husband to be goes WOW! when he sees her in this dress.  But like Jasmine, she's having multiple ceremonies.  Jasmine had one ceremony in Vietnam and will have a second ceremony in New York.  This woman is having her first ceremony in New York (the dress being fitted) and another ceremony in Santorini (Greece), where another two dresses are being used. Since this was a first fitting, and Jasmine made an appointment for a second fitting about a month from now.  However, she will have to go without Lili, as Lili will likely still be recovering from her tummy tuck.

On the way home, I was ready to fall asleep.  But I couldn't do so, given my original schedule and a commitment to drive the Cat Lady (TCL) to/from her eye doctor. So I decided to drop by The Avenue in Newburgh, where I found nothing of interest, and then drove to Walmart in Harriman.  During this leg of my travels, I spoke to Joanie (a woman I once worked with) and caught up with things.  However, I found out that she is very uncomfortable with my Marian persona, so I guess we will likely meet much less often in the future.

As I was about to leave Walmart, TCL called to tell me that she got a friend to drive her to the doctor, and I need not come over.  (She sent an email as well, but the extended chain of responses made it impossible for my cell phone to process the message.  So I ended up reading it at home.)  This is a good thing for me, as I hate waking up at 7 am these days. But it benefits me, as I now have the time to take care of a couple of errands that I should have done a while ago....

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Monday started the week in an unusual way.

Sometime this morning, Lili called to ask whether I'd accompany her to her surgeon's office for a last visit before her tummy tuck operation. Although GFJ was over, I gave it a little bit of thought and answered in the affirmative (with GFJ's acceptance). This was the start of an interesting day....

- - - - - -

After GFJ and I had our late breakfast, I prepared to go out with Lili.  That left GFJ in the apartment to get ready for her evening at her own pace, while I was on the way out to meet up with Lili in Mario Mode.  While on the road, Lili called me to ask whether I wanted a slice of pizza before we left for Long Island. And she arranged to have a slice waiting for me when I got to the pizzeria.  One issue - I will not eat pizza in a car, as I would a sandwich. Pizza tends to drip oil, and I didn't want to mess up my shirt.  So I ate inside the pizzeria and got a drip of oil on my shirt anyway.

Once done with the pizza, it was off to Long Island.  During the drive, I mentioned that I was seeing GFJ on Wednesday to see Mel Brooks in NYC.  Lili made a comment that things must be getting better between the two of us, and that she'd like to push GFJ a little more into accepting Marian.  I told her she shouldn't do this - but I know Lili will try to do so soon....

We missed most of the traffic jams and reached the surgeon's office 45 minutes early.  This gave us time to fill her car up with gas, get something to drink, and relax a little before seeing the doctor.  When we drove along some residential streets, some nut job was honking her horn at Lili. When Lili was making a right turn, this impatient jerk decided to pass Lili and cut Lili off.  This was the first time I ever saw Lili flip the bird at an overly aggressive driver.

- - - - - -

When we were done killing time, it was back to the surgeon's office where we had to wait for over 45 minutes. While waiting, Lili recognized an old friend who she lost contact with - and had a chat, catching up on old times.  However, Lili doesn't think her friend will call back, as this friend brushed Lili off about 3 years ago, and Lili isn't interested in making the first move to restore contact.  Lili was upset that I mentioned her face lift.  But I didn't want to rub in her face that this is similar to her telling people I am Trans - we both want to control our own narratives.

Lili's name was finally called, and we went into the examination room.  The surgeon arrived, and they started talking past each other, both looking to communicate, but not not knowing how to get on the same wavelength.  Once they were in the same place, I backed away, letting them talk and enabling Lili to get the answers she needs before the operation. By the time we left, no one was in the office. So I was very glad to leave the building and start our way back home.

- - - - - -

We stopped at an Asian supermarket on the way, and got some food that Lili's son and daughter in law could cook when they are around for the surgery next week. And then, it was off to dinner.  The dumpling house Lili likes wasn't open (they may have been on vacation), so we ended up in another Oriental joint. We were among a handful of Caucasians there, as everyone else looked like they came from one area of China or another.  This is usually the sign of a good Chinese place.  Yet, Lili was disappointed that they stopped serving Dim Sum after 3 pm.  But we decided to eat there anyway, and we had a nice meal of authentic Chinese food. (Lili mentioned that her ex husband, who is from mainland China, would enjoy this place and might bring him to this place one day.) However, Lili was looking for something different, and was a little disappointed by the meal.

On the way home, we saw another two idiots on the road.  Both were trying to get off the entrance ramps to their highways and back on the roads from which they came.  I'm glad that Lili was alert and that her eyes were on the road, as some idiot could have gotten us into his/her accident.  (If my wife were still alive, she'd be asking if there was a full moon out tonight.)  It wasn't until 9 pm that I got back to my car, and then to my apartment for the night.

- - - - - -

Tomorrow, I've been roped into joining Lili and her daughter in law for a trip to Kleinfeld's for the wedding dress fitting.  It's only 2 months to go before the wedding, and last minute tasks must be taken care of.  More tomorrow....


Monday, May 14, 2018

Another long weekend with GFJ - and the toilet that couldn't flush by itself.

A toilet fill valve.  Little did I know that this little gadget would define a large part of my extended weekend.

- - - - - -

GFJ came down late Saturday afternoon, and we took a long "local" drive before having pizza in a White Plains pizzeria near where I used to work. It was good to drive around places which brought back memories, but I was careful NOT to mention too many of those which referred to my late wife. Instead, I focused on those related to my former employer and other people I knew from my life in the Northern Suburbs.

I was pleasantly surprised about the quality of pizza at the place we stopped at.  But this was not a typical pizza joint. The restaurant was halfway between the center of White Plains and Mamaroneck on Mamaroneck avenue in a residential area mostly devoid of restaurants and delicatessens. So this place could have gotten away with being mediocre.  Instead, it had a nice, but noisy, atmosphere. And the pizza was very good.  How could one argue with that?  I couldn't.  And with a place that was packed to the gills, most people would likely agree with me.

Once done with dinner, it was back home and in for the night....

- - - - - -

The next morning, we were awakened by a call from a fellow co-op board member. She wanted me to call the emergency number if I had no hot water.  And this I did.  But when I went to the toilet, I found that there was no water in the reservoir for flushing the toilet.  It seems as if the toilet fill valve had failed.  AARGH!

Early in the afternoon, we were disturbed again.  It seems as if Pat (my former hypnotist) had gotten herself a ticket to Mel Brooks, and was expecting us to give her a ride into NYC. As much as I could have emptied out the back seat of my car to do so, I considered this an imposition and said that my car was filled with stuff going to the donation bin and wouldn't be emptied until the following Saturday.  I also said that we were taking the train into NYC, as we didn't want to deal with parking there. Pat was very disappointed, as she has problems going up and down stairs, and again, didn't think things through before spending money. But there's not much I can do for her.  If she's not willing to think things through in advance, I can't be responsible for her screwups.

With no hot water for a good part of the day, neither of us wanted to go out. So we relaxed most of the day until I decided to take a quick rinse in cool water before going out to Home Depot to buy a new valve.  Turning on the water, I was pleased to find that the hot water was again working.  So both of us took quick showers before getting dressed and going out to Home Depot to pick up the fill valve.

I wasn't going to replace the fill valve on a Sunday evening, so we managed flushing (when needed) with a bucket of water I kept in the tub for this purpose. It was very strange using this workaround again. But it was better than starting a project and having to call for emergency help on a Sunday evening.

- - - - - -

Monday morning came along with the task of replacing my toilet fill valve.  So I took care of this task before GFJ and I parted until Wednesday's trip to NYC

More to come about Monday....

Sunday, May 13, 2018

After some cleanup, the mess has been pared down a little

Although the coffee table is still a mess, you can see that the mess I once had around this chair is now gone.  What is in back of the chair is much more organized, and a lot of stuff has been prepared for another charity run.

- - - - - -

Soon, GFJ will be coming over to spend the night. She would have come over last night, but she had a property walk through to take care of in the morning to prepare for the property's sale.

A divorce is a terrible thing to go through, and severing the financial ties that bind two people can be a big pain in the ass.  In GFJ's case, there are two or three corporate entities, a house on a large plot of land, and a small building in town to be liquidated. This resulted in a time consuming process which she will be driving to separate her percent of the split from her ex's percentage of the split.

Compared to what GFJ is going through, my widowhood was a breeze.  It was easy for me to present paperwork that showed I was the rightful heir to her estate.  It was easy for me to get rid of clothes I'd no longer need. And it was easy to refurnish my apartment in a way that fit my needs. I only had to see a lawyer once - and that was before my wife passed away.

- - - - - -

Lately, I've been in the process of doing an overdue elimination of unneeded stuff from my apartment. The occasional exhibitions of completely messy rooms are examples of incomplete tasks being done at a slow pace. This is like my transition, as I've been in no hurry to make a permanent change that can't be reversed.  I have to be sure that this is what I want. And to do this, I must slowly clear out the clutter in my mind to determine what I truly desire.  Like having a clean apartment, transition in late middle age requires much examination, so that the needed things are properly separated from the unneeded things. With a cluttered room, I might ask: "Do I really need this chair?  Do I really need this table?" With a cluttered mind, I might ask: "What are the things you like about being Marian or Mario, and can you have them in the other persona?  What things do you need from each persona?"

Getting to a comfortable place requires much more thought than one might expect.  To do that, one needs time.  And I'm taking advantage of the time I have while I have it.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Friday Cleanup

As you can see, my living room is a total mess that has to get cleaned up before tomorrow. Much of the stuff that has been scattered all around was stashed behind the chair that's barely visible in back, and I'll be putting things I want to keep behind that chair later on in the day.

- - - - - -

Getting up this morning, I realized that I had a date with GFJ.  But I didn't want to go out in the expected heat and humidity.  Ambivalent person that I am, I continued sorting out the stuff behind that chair until I had no more time to get prepared to see GFJ, and left the above mess to be cleaned up later in the evening.

As a byproduct of the dermatologist's operation of my face, I have lots of ugly scabs in places I once had Liver Spots. This prevents me from going out as Marian.  Last night, when GFJ said that we should meet for lunch and a movie, I accepted. Of course, getting ready as Mario is much quicker than getting ready as Marian. So I was ready to go out a little before noon, and was able to meet her at the diner at roughly 1 pm.

- - - - - -

Although it was warm outside, I was glad to be wearing a long sleeved shirt because the air conditioning at the diner made me feel a chill.  But what was most interesting was a waitress whose style was very much like DD's at the I84 Diner. If you didn't put them side to side, I could describe DD, and the description would fit this waitress as well. Yet, I wonder when I'll next see DD, as she is now working 6 days per week, and no longer works at the store.

When GFJ and I were done with lunch, it was off to the mall where we did some shopping at JC Penney.  I was looking for some short sleeve shirts in my size and a belt - both of which I didn't find. GFJ was looking for a small handbag - which she did find.  I'll bet that it will take a while for her to get used to carrying a bag again, after months of pruning what she carries so that she can fit it into a small pocket.

Once done shopping, it was off to the coffee shop, and then to the movies. We chose to watch "I Feel Pretty", and it was a piece of fluff that touched on a serious issue - women's self confidence. Without giving the story away, Amy Schumer was able to be entertaining while illustrating how our commercial media has trained women to be insecure in their looks from a young age. It's easy to posit that most women feel that: "I'm not pretty enough. I'm not thin enough.  I'm not perky enough. I'm not...." most of their lives.  And this wreaks havoc on their self confidence.  (As a trans person, I understand this.  But I've not suffered, as a cisgender woman would, through 60 years of propaganda meant to get me to buy lotions and potions that I don't really need to feel complete.)  For this reason alone, I suggest that young women go to this film - if only to know that they are not alone in their feelings.

- - - - - -

All too soon, it was time to go home and take care of the mess I left waiting for me.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Before and After - Stage 1

Before After

Over the past couple of years, Lili has prodded me to go to the Dermatologist and get my "Liver Spots" removed. Yesterday, I went to the dermatologist and had work done on my face.  As you can see, the "After" pictures look much worse than they feel.  Yet, they have made it impossible for me to go to my weekly game night meetup, as I must use makeup to make my face presentable in Marian mode.

The best way to describe the dermatologist's work is being pricked by 50 nasty bee stings, with a following scraping of hardened skin.  There is no way that I'll be out as Marian until my face clears up. And this makes it a perfect time to get out and about, taking care of tasks which require the presence of my Mario persona.

- - - - - -

At the time I write this entry, I have no idea of what I'll be doing next weekend while GFJ is occupied by her family.  I could go to see YGM for the day, but I expect to have another free day coming up in June when GFJ has a Gal's Night Out with her group of divorcees. However, I also can visit Washington, DC from Thursday to Sunday and get to see a former blogger, Meg, that I've written about in this blog.  Since seeing both friends requires me to be in Marian mode, I can't make any decision until the last minute, as my face may not have healed enough to go anywhere as Marian.

- - - - - -

Now that my face has been cleaned up for the most part, Lili is prodding me to take the next step - hair transplants.  Considering what Faith DaBrooke went through with her hair transplants, I will have to financially prepare for this well in advance and arrange for help from my friends long before I get the procedures done.  And then, I'll still need to find a hair cut that would allow me to display my real hair when in Mario and Marian modes, as Rhonda has done in the past.  (My brother and I still need to get together from time to time, and I'm not yet in the mood to out myself to him, his wife, or my nephew.)

I wouldn't mind having a full head of hair again.  It would be nice to be able to go swimming as a woman and take a dive into a pool without worrying about the wig on my head.  There are so many places where being able to show natural hair can be an advantage that I won't go into them here. But it would be nice, though much more expensive for me, to be able to go to a salon and get my hair styled as a cisgender woman might do from time to time.

Alas, I can't even be certain that having a full head of hair is again possible for me without seeing a hair transplant specialist.  Luckily, Lili picked up the name of one when I had my face done this week.  And given that several of the M2F TG's that I know have balding heads, I'll bet that some might be jealous if I can eventually present myself with natural hair.

- - - - - -

Transition is a long and gradual process.  And I'm not going to rush things....

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Getting my face cleaned of "Liver Spots"

When one looks at them close up, my "Liver Spots" are ugly.  Today, my dermatologist is supposed to remove them - and I'll be feeling some discomfort for several days.  If I'm lucky, I'll be able to wear my CPAP mask while things heal.  If I'm really lucky, I'll be able to wear some makeup and go to my gaming meetup tomorrow.

- - - - - -

It took me a while to get up this morning, but I was up and about when Lili called about today's appointment.  We agreed to meet at the doctor's office, and after my procedure, go to the Greek Restaurant (Leftris) for a late lunch.  Both of us arrived shortly before my scheduled appointment, but we didn't have to rush - the doctor was running late.  Once in the doctor's treatment room, it didn't take long for the dermatologist to do his thing.  It felt like I had gotten several painful bee stings, followed by a scraping of my skin.  (Teeth cleaning feels worse.) No lasering was needed. And less than 30 minutes after the doctor started, he was done.

Lili and I then went to the Greek restaurant where we chatted for a while before we went our own ways. I then tried to make it to Long Island to see my dad. But with the drawbridge out on the Hutchinson River Parkway, there was no way I was going to make it to Long Island at a reasonable hour to both see my father, then see Patty and Steve for dinner. So, I bailed on this trip, and made my way across the Bronx, then took the Saw Mill River Parkway home.

- - - - - -

Given the bandages on my face, and how bad my cheeks are right now, there is no way I could put on makeup and go out as Marian over the next few days. So I don't think I'll have a chance to go out as Marian until some time next week.   AARGH!!!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A busy day ahead of me?

The NYC Taxicab.  It's a symbol of the Hustle and Bustle of New York City life, and the hyperactive nature of life in this region.

- - - - - -

When I awoke today, I had several things on my docket.  First, I planned to drive home and change into Marian Mode before going to see King of Hearts at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville.  Next, it would be off to Mercy College's celebration for the people involved in the Communication Disorders Program. And then, it would back home to change back to Mario and attend a co-op board meeting. Things didn't work out as planned.  I was a little bit too tired to bother with the movie, and didn't want to bother changing into Marian for only a couple of hours.

Instead of going to the movies and then to Mercy College, I decided to undress and go to bed.  Getting up at 6 am did a number on my sleep for the night, and it made sense to relax and refresh myself before going to the co-op board meeting..  However, just as I was about to fall out, I got a couple of calls.  The first was from Lili, which I would return later on. And the other was from the student speech therapist, asking if I'd be at Mercy today.  I told her I had car problems, apologized, and then said to keep in touch.

While relaxing, I received an email from the Cat Lady (TCL) asking me if I could drive her to/from the eye doctor next week.  She wanted an answer, but I couldn't immediately give her one.  GFJ and I have a date to go to see Mel Brooks, and she'll be coming down that day.  So I had to defer an answer until I had the chance to talk with GFJ.

- - - - - -

Later on, still in Mario mode, I went to the co-op board meeting after a quick bite to eat at the local pizzeria.  Arriving late for the evening, I still ended up being there for over 3 hours while we discussed the minutia of the co-op's business.  Again, we discussed issues regarding our vendors, and continued the process of bringing some things up to date. Towards the end of the meeting, my brother called - and I used this as an excuse to get out of the meeting before I wasted even more time.

Once in my car, I called my brother back, and we discussed some pleasantries regarding rent on the family homestead.  The tenants brought the check to my sister in law, and she was able to say that this couple seemed to be nice folk.  (That's about all you can say, as none of us are in contact with them on a regular and frequent basis.)   So, my brother said that I could withdraw both my share of this month's proceeds and some money from his share, reducing the amount he owes me on a car he now drives.  This money will surely come in handy, as I'll be going to the dermatologist tomorrow to get some liver spots removed from my face.

- - - - - -

While in my car, I then called GFJ before going to the grocery store to pick up a few things. And we chatted for a half hour or so.  Just before finishing the call, I found out that she was taking two days off to be with me next week (with one night to see Mel Brooks), so I knew my day was fully booked. This made it an impossibility for me to be with TCL, and I sent her a message to explain things.  Hopefully, she won't be too upset with me.  But I know not to screw up a good thing with GFJ, even though there may be roadblocks for a long term relationship....