Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A weekend with GFJ closed out by rain.

For the past few years, trees on GFJ's property have encroached on her house. There were more trees in back and in front of the house in the picture, and now that most have been trimmed or cut down, that this picture looks like a reasonable depiction of the property around the house.  Much work still needs to be done to make this place saleable, and this is affecting the frequency of our visits to each other's homes.

- - - - - -

One of the problems in preparing a house for sale is that it has to be staged for viewing.  The residents in the house must keep their home artificially clean, as well as remove all noticeable flaws that might affect the price offered for the property.  In the case of GFJ's house, it means that all buildings on the property must be painted, minor problems with the buildings must be fixed, and that trees must be cut back to make the home more inviting to would be buyers.  And this is taking a lot of GFJ's time.

When the weather was good, GFJ has had workers cut down and trim trees, fix the decks around the house, and paint the exteriors of the buildings.  (There is a lot that needs to be done on a homestead on a 50 acre plot of land.)  This has required her presence around the house while the workmen were there. And it has required her to direct the workmen to take care of tasks that they would have put off until later - such as painting the wooden decks. (We're expecting almost 2 weeks of rain, so she wanted at least one or two coats of paint to dry on the wooden decks before the two week long deluge.)  With weather that almost hit 100 degrees one weekend and an abbreviated work period the next, it's likely that the property won't be ready for the market until September at best. 

GFJ's house is not air conditioned.  So I would be very uncomfortable there in warm weather. And after a Saturday and Sunday with relatively decent weather, I came home today so that I could take care of loose ends.

- - - - - -

And now, for the gist of my weekend as Mario....

I drove up to GFJ's on Saturday, and took a detour around Rosendale to avoid their yearly street fair.  Luckily, GFJ told me of where to detour from the main road, as I'd have to go miles out of my way to bypass the town.  Shortly after I got there, it was another visit to The Little Bear, and a nice night together.

Sunday was a rainy day, and we didn't want to stay in an air conditioned house.  So it was off to see Gotti - a John Travolta movie which showed that he could impersonate more than Bill Clinton (see the movie "Primary Colors" to understand what I mean). Sadly, he couldn't rescue this movie from mediocre direction and a forgettable script.  My advice - wait until this movie gets to cable before viewing, and then see it when nothing better is on.

Then Monday came...  Part of me wanted to stay with GFJ.  But the house was warming up, the air was humid, and there was nothing either of us could think of doing.  Since I wanted to get some other stuff done at my house, I figured that I'd leave a little earlier than planned and get back to air conditioned comfort....

- - - - - -

It looks like we're getting to the stage that many couples get into over time.  What do we do when there is nothing much worth doing?  How do we occupy our time when not doing anything special?  And that is the question I think we will need to deal with next in our relationship....

Monday, July 30, 2018

Politics - The tide may soon be changing

The "Trump Baby" Balloon - what a great way to protest our dysfunctional president's arrival in Great Britain.  For the first time, the public has gotten to him in a way he can't ignore. In the past, our president could be driven along the streets of London without much protest. Today, he is being helicoptered around, in order to prevent him from seeing how much he is hated by the world at large.  He knows about the balloon, but his hosts are making sure that Trump doesn't see it, as Britain wants to keep its special relationship with America. However, the French are openly calling Trump a liar - something never done in diplomatic circles. And the French are right to do so.

Recently, Morning Joe did a real time identification of each lie told by Trump. This is something that the mainstream press has been reluctant to do in the past, as this was against its normal policy. Lies are at the foundation of Trump's communications with the public, along with unneeded superlatives.  He follows a pattern of telling a lie multiple times, until it either becomes ignorable background noise, or it is accepted as an unchallenged truth.  This is the same tactic used in 1930's Nazi Germany, and it is one of the reasons that people consider our democratic republic at risk.

"Going over the top" is typical for Trump.  He has no sense of empathy or humanity. And this may be his Achilles Heel.  In America, he has separated thousands of immigrant children from their parents. (I will cede a point and call the vast majority of these people illegals for this discussion.) There was no planning given to reunifying these families as they are expelled from America.  As a result, we are committing crimes against humanity by not being able to return children (some of whom are newborn) to their parents.  And Trump shows no remorse for this.  Americans of all backgrounds are upset at this, and will likely respond at the ballot box this November.

If one were to examine this president's actions closely, every one of them is geared to divide and anger Americans based on their social identities. They are geared to destroy respect for law and order. And they are geared to advance the long term desires of Putin's Russia. But Trump's divisiveness is not limited to hurting America.  He has insulted Germany for filling a small amount of its energy needs (about 9%) using Russian natural gas. And then, he has taken sides in Britain's Brexit decision, something which now is causing great problems for Britain as of late. Even worse, he has claimed that Britain's PM could have had a much easier negotiation with the European Union had she taken Trump's advice.  This is unmitigated gall to say the least. It is the type of statement which could help push a fragile government out of power.  Luckily, the British understand this, and their Anti-Trump people have produced the "Trump Baby" pictured above.

Of course, we can't ignore what happened before and at the Helsinki Summit. First, the Justice Department unsealed a warrant for a Russian national, Maria Butina (a supposed "Gun Rights" advocate), arrested her just before the summit, and indicted her for conspiracy to influence an American election.  Rachael Maddow noted in her show that Butina had previously testified under oath several times in related matters and her lawyer didn't consider her a flight risk. Yet she was retained without bail.  Was she being retained in protective custody?  Given Putin's lethal tactics previously used to silence people who'd put him at risk, it makes sense for a "show defense" application to have her fee on bond - if only to make it harder for Putin's friends to put her life in danger.  And at the summit,  Trump said that he trusted Putin's word over that of his intelligence agencies.  The GOP establishment is now having to openly say that they believe that Russia interfered with the 2016 election, even though they have not admitted that the Russians' help made it possible for Trump to win.  Even when Trump tries to walk back one of his summit statements, he still can't undo the damage he has done to the GOP.

On the home front, it has been revealed that Trump's Lawyer/Fixer, Michael Cohen is on tape discussing a payoff in Trump's behalf to keep a Playboy Model from making any statements about Trump.  This is a violation of several laws, all felonies, and shows that Mueller's Russia probe and Avenatti's advocation for Stormy Daniels' rights are gifts that keep on giving.  I wonder what will come up next.

With all of this going on, Wall Street has learned to ignore what Trump says. Our economy is at its peak, but the signs of a crash are apparent for all to see. The business press is saying that we effectively have full employment.  Inflation is heating up. And American business (such as Harley Davidson) is shifting production overseas, in order to serve markets who are applying tariffs against American goods. Most of the retaliatory tariffs in Trump's trade war are being aimed at selected regions in the "Red States". The only people being hurt so far are those in areas that voted for Trump. It's hard to feel any compassion for them anymore. But maybe, as their regional economies collapse, they might "yell Uncle!" and give up on this traitor.

There is only so much one man can do before things come crashing down around him.  Trump is a tyrant wannabe, and he may soon be drunk with power.  Yet, Trump may be close to his maximum point of damage. And I can't wait until he is pushed out of power.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Quickie: I could have gone out, but....

In last night's chat with GFJ, she said she would come down tomorrow morning if I wanted another day out as Marian.  Although I wanted to go out and about, I wanted more to be with GFJ.  So I figured that I'd spend the day as Mario and take care of things such as doing some Laundry.

- - - - - -

I woke up early, and had a lot of options available to me for the day.  Visiting YGM for one last time in CT was an option, but I would prefer to meet her in the middle of next week.  Going to NYC for a museum day was an option, but it's less fun doing that when there's no one with me. And I could have taken a long drive, but why put extra mileage on my car.  So, doing Laundry won out - especially since I needed to be Mario at the end of the day, and that I was way behind on getting this task done.

GFJ messaged me, suggesting that I drive to her place for a change.  It was cool up there, and it would be raining tomorrow.  So it made sense for me to drive to her place and make things a little easier for her for a change.  I told her that I'd be coming up when I was done with laundry, then proceeded to take care of this chore.  Luckily, I only had 1 1/2 loads to take care of, a small load of colors and a separate delicate cycle load for the dress I wore to the wedding.) Although this left me with 2 loads of towels and a load of linens, I can defer these loads to yet another day.

- - - - - -

There is a part of me that would rather have not gone to GFJ's today. It's not because I do not want to be with her.  Instead, it's simply because I'm a little lethargic and don't really want to do anything - including laundry that needed even minimal folding or hanging up to dry.  As I've noted before, lethargy is a risk of being idle for too long, and I'm not sure whether I'll break out of it as often as I need to do....

At least there is one thing I can say about today - I made it out the door. And if I look at life one day at a time, depression and lethargy will not rule my life.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Quickie: Some short notes about the past couple of days.

This dress and shrug doesn't look like much on the hanger. But when I wore it yesterday, I got positive comments from one of my neighbors.  Wearing the dress alone exposes my shoulders, and I don't feel that the dress looks on me. 

Add a shrug, like the blue one in the top picture, and this dress pops!  Whether I wear a reddish or blue bracelet like I'm wearing in the above photo, and I look stunning.  Too bad I don't have a good picture of myself in this combination.  Too bad that the beads at the neckline are about ready to fall off, as I wish I could keep this dress around forever.

Thinking about the day a little, it felt really good getting a compliment from a woman, especially someone who likely realizes that I am TG and still flip flop between make and female modes.

- - - - - -

The next day, it was off to Lili to help with a personal ad she wants to place in OK Cupid and Plenty of Fish. I had gotten some "mixed sleep" the night before, falling out before 2 am, walking up before 6, then falling out again around 11 and finally waking up for good around 1:30 pm.  How much good sleep did I get?  Not much.  My body was reacting to getting up early on Thursday to have lunch with Vicki #2, then staying awake until my body just had to crash.

When I finally was moving, I emailed Lili to tell her that I'd be late - and this didn't bother her, as she is filling up knapsacks with school goodies to give to a needy school's students. I met her at 5:30, and helped her set up a basic personal ad on both OK Cupid and Plenty of Fish.  Sadly, these ads will likely not attract the kind of person she wants.  For lack of a better explanation, she's not specific enough in what she wants and what her deal breakers are.  Additionally, there's a feeling of desperation about her, something not good when generating a personal ad.

Once done with writing the ads, we went to a nearby diner.  Lili wasn't sure of what she wanted, while I had exactly what sated my cravings for food.  Even with a stomach whose size was reduced with Bariatric surgery, she is an active food addict who needs more help than she's getting now. So I wasn't surprised to see her overeat and feel sick on the ride back to her place.  Luckily, she didn't vomit while we were on the road.

- - - - - -

On the way back home, I chatted with the Cat Lady and was on the phone for an hour and a half. I figured out a secret - let her tire a bit, and she becomes easier to have a conversation with. And then, when I was home, I had ar conversation with GFJ.  It seems as if her plans to come down on Sunday have changed.  She's now coming down tomorrow.  So I likely lose a day out as Marian.  But what was more interesting than that was a conversation she had at last night's dining meetup. 

As you may recall, I used to go to a women's meetup called the Whine and Dine group.  I was a regular there for a long time until I had a falling out with the group's queen bee. (This term is not used as a negative.  It only notes the natural leader of the group. Yet, this leader took offense with my use of the term.)  One lady, M, attended the W&D meetings on occasion and remembered me.  So when she saw me in this meetup group, she made the effort to come over and chat for a while.  Well, the next day, she sees GFJ at the Thursday night Meetup group and mentions the W&D and seeing a face (mine) the night before.  GFJ said to me that she had to abandon this conversation quickly, as she wouldn't be able to hide the fact that she knows me as Mario.  And end the conversation she did....

Friday, July 27, 2018

What, no Windex?

One of the running gags in My Big Fat Greek Wedding was the use of Windex as if it were a miracle liquid.  Today, after some negotiation, Vicki #2 and I decided to go to a Greek restaurant for lunch - and skip the Windex.

- - - - - -

I was glad of two things when I woke up this morning:
  1. I didn't need the alarm clock to wake me up at 8 am.
  2. I had sent Vicki a message the night before, asking to confirm lunch for today.
So I wasn't surprised to find a confirmation message on my screen, and knew that it was time to figure out a where and when for lunch. Vicki had suggested a place in Hastings to meet, and then a place in Yonkers.  This wasn't good for me, as I live in the North part of the county.  So I suggested a Greek place in Tarrytown, and both of us agreed that to get a good seat, it made sense to get there before noon.  This worked for me, as I could do my volunteer stint early for a change, go home to do some laundry, and then drive down to Yonkers for game night.

- - - - - -

Driving to Tarrytown was relatively quick, though I got delayed a little by slow traffic.  Yet, I made it to the restaurant as Vicki was sitting down. Unfortunately, she doesn't like sitting inside the place, claiming that the smoke bothers her.  So we sat outside where it was comfortable but noisy, due to the trucks using the road. It was a nice chat, but I was glad it was over when it was - neither of us had too much to talk about since last time, and I wanted to make it to the GLBT center for my volunteer stint.

Next, it was off to the GLBT Center.  I got there shortly after 1 pm, and proceeded to do some updates to their calendar and to their web site.  Nothing mentally strenuous, and something that could occupy my time for a couple of hours.  And then it was a drive back home to rest.

- - - - - -

Around 7:30, I went down to Yonkers for game night.  I chatted with Lili on the way down, and realized that I've gone way beyond my allotted minutes in my phone plan - and will have to cut back radically to avoid overage charges this month.  (I have an old, grandfathered unlimited data plan, and I have yet to determine whether it makes sense for me to switch over to one of the newer plans.)  For a change, I arrived at game night on time, and was there until 11:30.  Strangely enough, I enjoyed giving L (one of the regulars) a chance to talk about some family problems she and her husband C were having, and listen to how they are working to deal with these problems.

Towards the end of the evening, my joints were acting up, and I wished I could take some aspirin before I left for home. At least, I know I'll be able to do so once I get in my apartment.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

What do dromedaries call "Hump Day?"

The above picture is a little misleading.  Until today, I never knew that there was a breed of camels which are perfectly adapted to life in both arid and coastal ecosystems.  In fact, the Kharai camel can swim up to 3 kilometers in open water.  One learns something new every day.

- - - - - -

Shortly after I woke up, both Lili and the Cat Lady (TCL) called me to talk about different things.  Lili is grieving the loss of the relationship she had with her boyfriend.  When I discussed the specifics with TCL (in earlier emails), she wondered why Lili put up with him as long as he did.  But there is a big difference between the two women.  Lili wants a man around to sate a craving in her soul, while TCL is more practical - she would like a man around for physical security as she ages.

Given the two types of woman, TCL is probably in better mental health.  She sees the trade offs of having a man around the house. And I'd bet that if I really wanted to do so, we could ignite the "romantic" part of our connection. She'd get a man around the house, and I'd be able to live as Marian most of the time.  But this trade off probably wouldn't work well for me, as I have a hard time being with someone who talks as much as she does.  Yet, if I could be dressed as Marian most of the time including when I go to bed, it would be tempting....

- - - - - -

I volunteered to help TCL with her laundry today, as she still can't go up and down the stairs. However, she was able to call her friend Eddie for help.  (Eddie is to TCL as Lili is to me.  Both are good friends, but neither would be good romantic partners for us.)  Part of me was glad that Eddie was able to help her, as I had the opportunity to visit the Catherine's in Poughkeepsie to see if they had the Navy dress I wanted on sale.  (They didn't.)  GFJ suggested that I go out to the Wednesday night dining meetup - and I put in a last minute request to be included at the table....

Around 7 pm, I arrived at the BBQ joint where the meetup was being held.  Although I had only met the leader once, she recognized me and greeted me warmly. And then I got into chats with the 3 people at my end of the table. It was nice to be again be treated as a woman, and towards the end of the evening one lady came over to chat with me.  I didn't realize it when I first met her, but she had attended a few meetings of the Whine and Dine meetup - and left because it was a little cliquish. So we got into a chat which lasted until some time after everyone left.  (We would have left earlier, but one lady forgot her leftovers. Unfortunately, she didn't respond to a message from the meetup organizer letting her know that we'd stay for a while so that she could pick up her food.)

- - - - - -

Normally, I'd take Route 84 to Route 9 to go home.  Tonight, I decided to drive along Route 9W to the Bear Mountain Bridge.  It was nice to be able to do something different with my ride home for a change, as I was getting bored of the usual path home....

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Another chance to use the dress

I never thought that I'd never have another excuse to wear this dress.  However, with Lili breaking up with her boyfriend, she invited me to be her "Plus 1" to a soiree being held by one of her friends.  With GFJ being occupied by repairs on her house, preparing it for sale, I have little reason not to go to this shindig. So I guess I'll have another opportunity to get glammed up for an evening.

- - - - - -            - - - - - -

Waking up with the alarm at 9:30, I was conscious enough by 10:00 for a call from Lili. (I had left a message on her machine last night, but she preferred to call me instead of playing her messages.) It took me a while to remember why I had called her, but when I did, I made her happy, as she'd have her "Plus 1".

Now to get the minor stain out of the dress....

- - - - - -

After I regained full consciousness, I had a choice.  Do I rush to get out to see my dad, and risk not returning in time to make a 3:00 dentist appointment?  Or, do I wait until after the appointment, and drive down during rush hour?  That decision was simple - my dentist didn't have another open slot with the dental hygienist until September. So I didn't take the risk. I stayed in Westchester for the previously rescheduled appointment.

I deposited some cash at the bank down the hill from me, as I know I'll need it to pay some end-of-month bills. And then, I went across the street to my dentist.  Once in the chair, the dental hygienist had an easier time than usual with my teeth.  (The only thing that's changed in my dental care was the use of a spin brush.)  So I was very glad when I got out of there, knowing that I again avoided needing to put a crown on one of my teeth, and having to pull $2,000 from savings.

- - - - - -

When I left the dentist's office, I started out to visit my dad on Long Island. But with the rain and the coming rush hour, I figured that I'd postpone this visit to another day.  Yes, it will screw up my chances to go out as Marian.  And yes, it will screw up my plans to finally get my ears pierced. But I had no interest in fighting traffic on such a rotten day....

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A momentous day

This is another scene from the recent wedding. You'll notice the fellow without his jacket on at the left table. He is Lili's on-again/off-again boyfriend. Well, it is a momentous day because he is finally moving out.  I won't go into the reasons why this is happening, but it is important to note that some differences between people can not be overcome by love alone. And it is important because there is a breaking point between what is tolerable and what is not tolerable at both micro levels (the personal) and macro levels (society's body politic.)

- - - - - -

Lili's situation is one of micro level problems.  Although her boyfriend is a nice and affectionate person, there are things which he refused to deal with that brought Lili to her breaking point. It's sad, as he is a very nice fellow, and is someone who can tolerate Lili's mercurial behaviors. 

I've written much about Lili and her craving to have someone special in her life.  Without this man being around the house, will she go back into constant craving mode?  Who knows? I'll be there for her as a friend, but I won't let that craving get in the way of a good friendship. Instead, I'll try to steer her into healthy behaviors. And maybe, she will find someone nice who can fill that vacancy in her heart.

- - - - - -

At the macro level is today's summit conference between Trump and Putin.  He has just shown that he is Russia's puppet.  All Trump had to do was to say that he wanted those Russian spies to be held to American justice, then leave upon Putin's refusal to hand the spies over to our justice system.  He could have cancelled the summit.  He didn't. And even the GOP establishment is screaming FOUL! at him.

The Atlantic has an editorial piece noting that this is a moment of decision for the GOP (and America).  To quote James Fallows:

But never before have I seen an American president consistently, repeatedly, publicly, and shockingly advance the interests of another country over those of his own government and people.

Trump manifestly cannot help himself. This is who he is.

Those who could do something are the 51 Republican senators and 236 Republican representatives who have the power to hold hearings, issue subpoenas, pass resolutions of censure, guarantee the integrity of Robert Mueller’s investigation, condemn the past Russian election interference, shore up protections against the next assault, and in general defend their country rather than the damaged and defective man who is now its president.

For 18 months, members of this party have averted their eyes from Trump, rather than disturb the Trump elements among their constituency or disrupt the party’s agenda on tax cuts and the Supreme Court. They already bear responsibility for what Trump has done to his office.

But with every hour that elapses after this shocking performance in Helsinki without Republicans doing anything, the more deeply they are stained by this dark moment in American leadership.

I have posed that a President Pence will be worse than a President Trump.  Until the GOP is forced to act to contain Trump, the American public must demand that Trump's ongoing treasonous activity be stopped - and only the GOP can make it happen....

Monday, July 23, 2018

Quickie: Part of an ongoing conversation with the Cat Lady

Occasionally, the Cat Lady (TCL) and I end up talking about things related to me being transgender.  I figured that these small snippets should give you a flavor about her curiosity. TCL is a smart woman with an education level higher than mine, and I think she wonders why I'd bother with all the headaches of being a woman than to accept some of the privileges of being a man.

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


What are you up to tomorrow?


I’m supposed to do a volunteer stint then play games. Keeps me busy.


Arts Westchester?


LGBT Center


What do they offer?


Networking, Social Activities, Peer Group Support and More....


Busy During day and night?  Do people go there to find someone to date?


Mostly nights, 6-9.  Some do go looking for companionship.  Others for friendships.   I go to help others.


What kind of meetings?  What percentage is Trans?  Do you help with things other than computer stuff?


I don't know what percentage is Trans.  And their meeting times are on weekends, when I am usually not available.

- - - - - -            - - - - - -


Trans woman on Jeopardy. Johanna Schaufeld from Brooklyn I think. -piano tuner. Good wig

(In the past, TCL has mentioned a Transwoman she spotted on Jeopardy. So far, I know of only two others....)


We're going more mainstream if Jeopardy has had several.


Four I think. Today’s was the most difficult I think to figure out - I thought gay at first but then changed my mind.

- - - - - -              - - - - - -


I never realized that you had a handicap tag - I guess it's because we've never traveled in your car.

Hanging out at home, not dressed yet.


Why bother with the hassle of dressing up?
Surely you’re more comfortable with looser male clothing? Shorts and tee shirt - nothing extra?


I guess I feel more comfortable in Marian mode..


Isn’t the fake bra heavy ? I’m assuming it’s weighted with something? Most women hate wearing a bra and it’s the first thing removed when getting home.

Do you have spandex or a jock strap? If a woman.’s breasts are “ girls “ are a mans testicles “boys” ?


My falsies are of the same materials that women who've had cancer use. So I don't notice their weight until the end of the day.

- - - - - -            - - - - - -


This article didn’t really answer the question for me. However another article stated that (contrary to what I think you told me) cross dressers do NOT get a thrill being in dresses. They still like being a man but enjoy putting on dresses etc.



It's an old joke. But the reality is much different. It is more of a spectrum.

I seek out the everyday experiences as often as I can. Do not want the fantasy.

There is a lot of contradictory material out there. There are cross dressers who get a thrill out of wearing women's clothes. I feel that to a TG, the clothes become secondary. I think there is a social context in being TG as well as the biological context. Still looking to refine my thoughts here, as there are many opinions here. For me, I feel more comfortable as Marian. But to others, dressing up is a way to get their kicks. I saw this in a bar once on TG night. Went once, and never went again. Prefer the vibe at Fantasia Fair in Provincetown, MA - where most are on a track to live as the other gender. (Medical professionals go to FF. Hair transplant consultations, Facial Feminization Surgery consultations, etc. often occur here.)


You seem more attentive as Mario, at least IMHO


Thanks. But I feel better as Mario. At least, I don’t suffer severe dysphoria.

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

As you can see, TCL is a very curious individual. I'm not always comfortable with being asked a lot of questions. At least, she finds me an interesting person to be with.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Air Conditioner Men Cometh

My new air conditioner does not look like the one above.  Gone are the days that I'd run down to the store, pick up the AC myself, hump it up my stairs, and risk getting a hernia by the time I'm finished with the job. The job will probably require the work of two men because of the air conditioner's size and weight - and a $50 delivery and installation fee is a relatively cheap price to pay to avoid any problem with the installation.

- - - - - -

I was awakened at 8 am by a phone call from the store.  They didn't leave a message on my answering machine, but I believe that they were calling to tell me to expect the projected 11 am delivery time for the AC. So I listened to Morning Joe in the background while I checked my email. Around 9 am, it was off for a quick shower and to get dressed as Mario before the AC's anticipated delivery time.

Even though I was hoping for a morning delivery, this didn't happen.  By the time 1 pm came around, I figured that I'd log onto the store's website to see the progress of the delivery of my AC.  And the truck was moving along its route slower than expected, and the delivery window was updated to 1-5 pm.  I was thankful that I planned no activities during the day.

Of course, I could have gone out all day and come back around 5.  Around 4:30, I got a call from the delivery person to tell me that he was on his way, and that it would take an hour for him to get here.  (Does a Friday night rush hour make you doubt this?  It certainly did for me.) So I made sure that a clear pathway existed between my door and the air conditioner, and hoped that everything will work out well.  At 5:30, the truck came and I had to tell the fellows which doorway I was in. By the time I got downstairs, they had already gotten the new AC off the truck and onto a dolly.  Once they were in the door, it was less than 10 minutes from the time that they pulled the old AC, to the time the new AC was up and running.  So now, I had to move my coffee and dining tables back into their former locations....

- - - - - -

The big question left to me was: What do I do for the rest of the evening? My whole day was wasted waiting for the delivery, and it would take me some time to get dressed as Marian just to go out for a little while.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

A morning as Mario, a night as Marian

There are two sides to every coin, as illustrated by the Roman coin pictured above. And in my case, Marian and Mario are two presentations of the same person. In the past, as I was starting to feel comfortable going out as Marian, I could say that there was a difference in the personality of my two halves. Now, they seem to be more integrated, but merely manifest themselves in ways consistent with the gender being presented at the time.

- - - - - -

When I got up this morning, I figured that I'd need to present as Mario for part of the day, as I'd be moving "stuff" from a hot living room to a basement storage compartment. Later on, after the cleaning lady leaves, I'd change into Marian and then go out to play games in Yonkers. If I hadn't already been awake, I'd have been awakened by a call from the store that sold me my air conditioner. It seems as if they didn't properly enter the day which my AC was to be delivered. So we confirmed a Friday delivery, and that I would get a call tomorrow morning with an expected delivery time.  AARGH!  I'll bet that I'll have to be here all day tomorrow, and that I won't get any time out as Marian during the day. But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

- - - - - -

Sometime before noon, I was ready (as Mario) for the cleaning lady to arrive.  I ended up waiting a couple of hours, and said that I thought it was going to be much warmer in the non air conditioned part of my apartment.  She did her job quickly (as little as she does), and still wondered why I have not put her on a bi-weekly schedule again.  I then noted that the former B&B (where she once worked) is now an Airbnb, and that they may need someone to help out there.  She was happy, and again commented that I need a new vacuum cleaner before she left.

- - - - - -

Around 6:00 pm, I finally got moving and prepared to go out as Marian.  I decided to put on a maxi length dress, and wore a pair of shoes that I had never worn outdoors before. In the past, I've been uncomfortable with shoes without a back strap.  But this design was comfortable. So I bought them on clearance the other day, even though one shoe made a minor noise when I put weight on the heel.  And today, I wore them to game night.

One of my favorite gamers wasn't there tonight.  Her car broke down, and she may be without a car for a few days.  However, both the hostess and L (the woman whose birthday was celebrated at Karaoke night) were there, and I was one of the gals.  L had some issues that she wanted with the hostess, and I felt good that she trusted me enough to listen and help her process her feelings.  (You know it's bad when she wanted to open up a bottle of wine in order to relax.  But I won't go into detail here.)

Game night lasted until 11:30 or so, and I was tired by the time I got home.  Since my new AC is being delivered tomorrow, I called to find out the delivery time. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to spend much of the afternoon as Marian....  Keep your fingers crossed.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Hump Day, and my apartment is now in flux.

As I write this, it is Wednesday, and the dining room area of the apartment is in a mess.  I've had to move the dining table out of the way (towards my kitchen) so that my new air conditioner can be installed on Friday.  In addition, my cleaning lady will be coming here tomorrow, and she won't be able to clean as much of the apartment as she usually does. Couple this with going out as Marian tonight and tomorrow night, and I will need to be switching back and forth between both Marian and Mario modes until the weekend comes. (And I was hoping to be able to have my finger nails polished for a few days.)

- - - - - -

Morning came and I tried to have my cleaning lady change her schedule for this week's visit.  Nothing came of it, as I might be her only customer in this area and she may be scheduling me in between other tasks that take her down this way.  So I'll have to get all evidence of Marian out of the way before she gets here tomorrow.

In order to make it to the Cat Lady's (TCL's) house in time to deliver some groceries, I was out the door around noon, and made it to her area around 1:15. Since this was a grocery delivery mission, I went food shopping on the other side of the railroad tracks (she's a block away from the supermarket as the crow flies, but the railroad's presence forces her to drive about a mile for what would be a 5 minute walk. By the time I arrived at her house, it was 2:00 pm, and TCL was very glad to see me (regardless of whether I was presenting as Mario or Marian).

After putting the groceries away, TCL and I talked for a couple of hours, with a few interruptions from several people.  In the future, she will not have a problem seeing me as Marian, though she'd have a general preference for seeing me as Mario. While there, the home care aide came to talk about the assistance she will need.  And it looked like she might not need any surgery.  However, late night messages from TCL refuted that prognosis - she will likely need to go into surgery while she's under her old insurance company and not Medicare.

Before leaving New Jersey, I ran back to the supermarket for some ice cream for TCL. (She asked me to pick up some "Eskimo Pies" on the way over, but there were none in the supermarket freezer.) I dropped off some Klondike Bars, and then it was off to the Bronx. It took me about 90 minutes to make my way from TCL's place over to BXM's place.  On arrival, I decided to wait in front of her apartment building.  And my car flashed the "Engine Hot" light again.  After turning the car off for a few minutes, the light did not come back on - even in the slow traffic we encountered on the way to Mt. Vernon and The Bayou (restaurant). And it was there that we enjoyed a nice meal and nice conversation.  I'm glad that I'm not in her shoes, as once her dad dies, she will not have a job or enough money on which to retire.

- - - - - -

Hopefully, tomorrow will be less busy than today.  I still need to postpone a dentist appointment, and I may end up skipping out on my volunteer shift at the GLBT center.  Once the cleaning lady leaves, I may just take a long needed mid-day nap....

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Political Bias in News Reporting - and how I try to balance it.

As some of you can tell, this TG gal is a political news junkie.  Or, that's how I've been described.  Most people don't see how national and world politics affect their lives, but people like me are keenly aware of how the big picture affects little people like us.

- - - - - -

Lately, the many foibles of the Trump administration have been in the news.  I am one of many people who think Vladimir Putin has some Comprimat on Trump, and this more than serves to explain why the political, social, and economic institutions built up over the past 70+ years are being dismantled by our president. Sadly, I also believe that Mike Pence was chosen by Putin to be Trump's VP, so that even moderate Republicans would be afraid to remove Trump from office.

Most of the news sources I ingest tend to lean slightly left of center on the above chart. I enjoy ingesting articles from the Associated Press, Reuters, the three major TV networks, the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Der Spiegel (I wish I could read the German version of the site), and other relatively centrist news outlets.  I'll also ingest articles from the Wall Street Journal, Reason.com, the New York Post, and the Washington Times.  And for fun, I'll read the leftist Palmer Report.  But for the most part, I try to ingest news of real value, whose sources are verified, and who try to base their reporting on fact instead of strongly biased opinion.  As a result, I find that I can sometimes say good things about Trump, a man I personally hate and despise.

- - - - - -

Unfortunately, many people choose news outlets to confirm the biases they already have.  Hard left leaning folk may get their "news" from Patribiotics and the Palmer Report, while thise on the right get theirs from Newsmax and Infowars. So it is often hard to have a reasonable conversation with someone whose "facts" do not jibe with reality.

A while back, I had an online conversation with a TG Trump supporter.  One of the common problems with such a discussion is that people like this take Trump's claims as truth without testing it against other sources.  Although these claims are easily proven as wrong (such as the US having a trade deficit with Canada), Trump supporters ignore the truth in order to keep their faith with a false messiah.  Sadly, he will sacrifice them in the end to preserve his power with his base.

People like the Trump supporter above have caused the GOP to lose its spine.  No longer do they put their country first.  Instead, they have developed a transactional basis for power.  GOP leaders ask Trump to give them his ignorant base to win elections and plunder this country for the plutocrats, and he gets power to destroy the social norms which have served to preserve America as a democratic republic. These leaders allow Trump to collude with Russia, each willing to sell out this country for the short term high from the power binge they now are enjoying.

- - - - - -

What will happen when today's GOP, now drunk on power, eventually comes to its senses and finds out that they have lost that power to either Trump or to the Democrats?  Will their lies hold up with the base?  Will the base even matter at all?  I keep reminding myself that this nightmare will eventually pass.  But what cost will we pay for this political insanity?

So many things are being done wrong now, that I can't begin to itemize them. We are destroying America's ability to have influence beyond its size when it comes to economic treaties, military treaties, and scientific treaties.  For example, the USA has signed a treaty never to militarize space.  Trump is about to break that.  Trump wants to break up NATO and NAFTA.  He is unraveling the very tools which allowed the have outsize influence in our small world.  And he is giving Russia everything it could dream of in the process.

- - - - - -

At home, families are breaking apart over politics.  We haven't seen things this bad since our civil war. Yet, I feel that reason will eventually prevail.  Conservative pundits such as Joe Scarborough and George Will have abandoned supporting today's GOP.  And there are many GOP leaders who are retiring, rather than support the party of Trump.

It will take time for things to heal.  But we must maintain the health of our centrist news organizations, so that civil America has a chance to see reality without the biases of left or right.  Polarization and social isolation is the danger we must deal with now, and the only way to counter bad propaganda is to flood the media with objectively reported news....

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A missed connection with a newer friend.

Over the weekend, the Cat Lady thought she had sprained her knee.  Instead, it is likely that she has a Torn Meniscus and may need surgery. And this affected our plans for this week....

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Sunday came, and I didn't do much until GFJ arrived. If I had known how late she'd be coming from an afternoon bridal shower for a friend's daughter, I'd have gotten up early (though I was exhausted from Lili's son's shindig the day before) and gone to church as Marian before going back home and changing into Mario in anticipation of GFJ's arrival.

When GFJ arrived, she was wearing a dress, and looked good in it.  Too bad that she doesn't wear them more often - she has a nice set of legs, and it's nice to see them displayed. A little afterwards, we went out for dinner at the diner - and brought home leftovers we could eat sometime over the next couple of days.

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

Monday was a day that we'd spend apart - GFJ had shoe shopping to keep her occupied while I (as Marian) attended the Arts Westchester (AW) meeting. So GFJ ended up going shopping in New Jersey while I spent my time at the AW meeting.  For once, I arrived on time.  Although I didn't get an assignment for the Summer, I did get to see the woman who introduced me to the group (T), as well as a new member - my friend, former hypnotist, Pat.

After the meeting ended, I chatted a little with T and then with Pat.  It seems as if Pat's daughter now has a date for an operation which may render her unable to walk.  And the daughter is very afraid, as she expressed her fears for the first time to Pat.  I'll be sure to keep in contact, if only because she may need a shoulder to cry on. When I went back to the car, I met a woman from AW doing her shopping at Shoprite. We chatted for a bit, but I don't expect to see her again for a long while. Coincidences seemed to be the order of the day, and would continue to be so until the end.

GFJ returned around 6, and we went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant.  She didn't recognize the place until we got inside.  But we were able to have a nice, quiet, romantic dinner - which we couldn't have done if the place was busy.  Later on, we decided to have leftover dessert.  She noted that my air conditioning wasn't on, and I found out that the fates decided to give me a birthday present - a dead, 22 year old air conditioner.  You can guess what I planned to do the next day.

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

Both GFJ and I had things to do today.  She had a yoga class to attend early in the afternoon, while I had to run to lower county to buy a new Air Conditioner.  Knowing that TCL was not up to having dinner tonight (and that I had a Co-Op board meeting), I texted TCL to let her know that I knew we weren't going out for dinner until her leg healed a bit.  She will likely need an operation in the near future, and if possible, I will be there to give a helping hand to a friend. So I volunteered to pick up some groceries sometime this week and deliver them, in order to keep her from having to go shopping in a wheelchair.  (She has no problems with me coming over as Marian for this kind of visit.)

On the way to lower county, I chatted with both TCL and Lili.  When I arrived at the store, I knew exactly what I wanted - a 14,500 BTU Friedrich AC with 220 volt circuitry that fits into a Fedders sleeve. All I needed to do was show my plastic and place the order.  It took me longer to get out of Croton than to buy the AC at the store.  There goes the rest of this month's money from the family homestead!

After taking a little rest at home, it was off to the Co-Op board meeting.  Although I can't discuss any details of what we discussed, I can discuss one thing that frustrated me.  HWV was trying to get the meeting over with in a timely manner, and HWA wanted to discuss something that wouldn't be done, by a vendor whose services we are highly unlikely to use. The best analogy to what happened would be a decision for me to drive to Albany using one of two routes: The Thruway or The Taconic State Parkway.  Once the decision to take the Taconic has been made, does it make sense to discuss the tolls on the Thruway? HWV and I discussed this after the meeting, and she told me of more "battles" we may have to fight in the near future.  I, for one, am very grateful that we have her services on the Co-Op's board of directors.

To close out the day, I took advantage of a coupon from Boston Market which gave me two meals for the price of one.  This was perfect, as I could finish up Sunday's leftovers for lunch tomorrow, and tonight's extra meal for lunch on Thursday.  I'm grateful to be able to avoid cooking anything in a room without AC this week.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Quickie: A missed connection with an old friend.

At this time of year, the NYC subway is a sweltering mess.  And yet, I might have endured it (as Mario) to see an old friend.  Brenda is a friend of my late wife who (with her husband and child) occasionally comes into NYC on business/pleasure trips.  And I try to connect with her on each of her visits, as it is a way of maintaining a healthy connection to good memories of the past without falling into the trap of living in the past.

- - - - - -

About a week ago, Brenda came to New York with her entourage, and we agreed to meet while she was here.  Unfortunately, both the holiday and the wedding got in the way of us getting together. And, there was no way for us to connect on her last couple of days here, as they had Broadway tickets for their last two nights in the city.

Do I really miss the chance of getting together?  Not really.  It would have been nice to see her again.  But GFJ and I have other things we want to do with the next couple of days.  Couple this with an appointment I must make in Marian Mode, and that leaves almost no time to meet up with Brenda.

- - - - - -

Over the years, the connections I have with my past are loosened but not severed.  A friendship with Brenda is one of these connections I'll always have, but one that will grow ever less important as the one link that binds us continues to fade away into our past. I've seen this happen with a former girlfriend, Eileen.  My wife and I were there at her wedding, then she and her husband were at our wedding.  We are linked on Facebook, but neither of us make the effort to contact each other when we are in each other's home towns.

One can view this type of change as a sad thing.  I don't.  If we're lucky, it's part of the process of renewal, as it makes it possible for us to keep the relationships that are important to us and to make room for new relationships that may yet become just as important to us.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Quickie: An accidental email I received.

The above picture was taken about 8 years ago, a reminder to me about why I was going to break up with Ex-GF-M. Her apartment was filled with clutter, and even the Living Room had way too much stuff in the way for it to be used without taking time to clear out the clutter. So I was very surprised today when I found an email coming from her account - even though she passed away several months ago.

Background for new readers of this blog:
  1. I dated Ex-GF-M from 2003-2011.
  2. Ex-GF-M was heavier than I am, and her health was deteriorating all the time I was dating her. As a food addict myself, I decided I had to leave her sometime in 2010, but didn't have the self esteem to do so until the next year.
  3. The steps in Ex-GF-M's upstairs apartment were dangerous in bad weather, and she needed to hire people to clean her steps to get out of the house.
  4. Sometime in 2012-2013, Ex-GF-M moved into the downstairs apartment with Mother in Law. (She was widowed in 2008 or 2009 and shared the building with her Mother in Law.)
  5. Ex-GF-M was injured while taking care of her parents in Florida.  This left her needing a cane to walk.
  6. During the next few years, she adopted 3 dogs.  (When we dated, she said that she would never have pets.  It's amazing how people change given new circumstances in life.)
  7. One year, I was there to pay respects at her mother's wake before going to a Widow/Widower gathering. We agreed to meet for dinner.
  8. When we finally met for dinner, I met her as Marian. And that was how I met her each time afterwards.
  9. On my last visit in 2017, her apartment reeked of dogs.  She was no longer able to take care of herself, her mother in law, or her pets. The building had started to show important signs of neglect, but Ex-GF-M was unable to live on her own anymore.
  10. Shortly after my last visit, her mother in law died. Ex-GF-M was truly alone, and was not allowing her family to visit.
  11. At the end of March, Ex-GF-M died. Her family felt that Ex-GF-M's death was preventable - but Ex-GF-M refused all help.  They also said that everything in the house would have to be put in the dumpster - the place was infested with vermin.

The messages:

I presume this (xxxxxxxxx@gmail.com) is your email address. Just saw an
email come in from M's account, and wanted to know that this was

How are things going over there?  I was by M's house a couple of
times recently, taking the subway in from her station.  It looks like
you've started to do some rehab on the place, as the lower front window
has been replaced AND the laundry room door is new. How much have the
cleanup have you been able to do?  I'll bet that everything is taking
much longer than expected.

- - - - - -

Sorry am error- she hoarded emails too. Over 6200. 
Things moving along   We had to hire clean up crew. Only 1 piece of furniture left to go to L’s. Virtually everything had to be tossed. 13 truck loads. Now just working with the lawyers. 
- - - - - -

Hopefully, the clothes and handbags could go to a charity.  Books to a library, etc....

- - - - - -

Unfortunately severe rodent infestation. We were advised not to take anything for fear of contamination. Through out virtually everything. $$ wasted was staggering. 

- - - - - -

Rereading your first message, as soon as you said 14 truck loads, I realized that that had to have included both clothes, accessories, books, and other stuff.  I can't imagine how bad it had to be upstairs after years of not being used.  I know downstairs was extremely bad, as I visited it 6 months before she died.  The smell overpowered me.  I've only been in one other house where animal smell was that bad, and the worst of it is limited to one room.

Hopefully, the lawyers won't eat up the proceeds from the house. It's a simple textbook problem for a lawyer skilled in handling estates.  But you can never be sure of where a complication will pop up.

- - - - - -

In many ways, I'm glad to be able to say that I didn't get a picture of Ex-GF-M or her place at its worst.  I prefer to remember her with a smile on her face.  I'm also glad that her brother accidentally sent me a message, as I had the excuse to chat with him over some emails and see how far they've gotten.  It's doubtful he'll slip up and send any more messages. But it's nice to know that life is moving on for the family as well....

Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Wedding Day.

As you can guess, I started to write this entry before the wedding.  I figured that by the time the wedding was over and we returned to my apartment, that I might not have enough time to finish this entry and post it between the time YGM left and the time GFJ arrived.  Not only do I want YGM to linger a bit before she leaves, but I have to change back to Mario before GFJ arrives.  So I expect that time will be an important theme in today's entry.

- - - - - -

If it weren't for a pressing need to go to the bathroom this morning, I might have stalled getting up from my bed. The bedroom was a mess that I'd have to straighten out, and the TV was on from the night before.  As you might expect, it was tuned to a channel playing 1950's and 1960's TV shows, and the Saturday Morning Westerns were on. It's a little comforting to me to see some of these shows from my youth, as they remind me of a time of certainty in life, a time where I felt more secure in my future.  In reality, there is little certainty in life other than death and taxes, so it's a good thing when the only problem I face when getting up is making it to the bathroom on time.

Once done with my business, I had a decision to make.  How much should I straighten out my apartment before YGM arrives?  But this decision was made for me when YGM said that she was arriving even earlier than planned.  So I had to rush to get ready for her arrival, showering, shaving, etc., in order for her NOT to see any traces of Mario when she arrived.

- - - - - -


When YGM arrived, she brought several dresses with her.  Most of them were party dresses that I wouldn't wear to a wedding.  One of them would give her visible bra straps.  So I suggested that she try on a dress given to me by Vicki which served her aunt well, but wasn't in Vicki's style palette.  Although it was not in YGM's style palette either (it made her look older), she agreed to wear it so that we could attend the wedding in similarly structured outfits.  Although very different in style, we looked like we could be mother and daughter - a comment several people made when seeing us together.

We chatted in my apartment for a while, and a couple of hours later, left for the wedding.  Appetizers were already being served when we arrived, and we were greeted with cold glasses of water when we entered the outdoors wedding area.  After roughly 30 minutes or so, everyone was instructed to find a seat for the wedding ceremony.

Shortly afterward, the ceremony began, and the "youngsters" said their vows.

Lili's son looked much more like an adult than I remembered him being.  I guess that, in part, this was related to his haircut and his slightly receding hairline. The newlyweds were now "formally" married in the eyes of their families, and it was time to go inside for the indoor festivities.

Lili looked stunning in her dress, but my photograph does not do her or the dress justice. You can easily see that if one stood the wrong way when a picture was taken, one would get terrible results, as in the picture below:

Hopefully, I'll be able to get a better picture of the two of us together when Lili gets to view the wedding album.

Now that we were indoors, I began to meet other people in Lili's life that I met before - most of whom remembered me, but not me them.  So after an embarrassing moment or two, I was able to catch up on things with them, and enjoy the dinner to come.  I won't bore you with the details of the reception dinner.  It was tasty, filling, and probably worth every cent of what Lili paid for this banquet. But I will note that I got out on the dance floor for a while, something I never liked doing as Mario.

- - - - - -

Eventually, it was time to leave.  So I drove around town chatting with YGM. Then as she was getting tired, I brought her home and we chatted some more.  In another time and in another life, we would fit well with each other. But in this life, we can only be the best of girlfriends. And that's good enough for me.  So after another round of chat, YGM took off for home.  Hopefully, I'll be able to visit her one last time before she goes to Florida.  If not, this was a good last visit between two "besties".

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The day before the wedding....

Today is the last day before the wedding of Lili's son.  And I'm looking forward to wearing my formal dress tomorrow.  But first, I'll have to get a mani-pedi. And I wasn't sure of what color polish that I'd be putting on my nails when I started drafting this entry.

- - - - - -

Lately, I find that when I don't get enough sleep the night before, it takes me forever to wake up and get moving the morning after. When I note that I don't get moving until the afternoon, it's usually because I didn't sleep well the previous evening. Yet, last night, I got to sleep in the 3 am range, was semi-conscious by 7:30 am, and up to cook breakfast by 8 am. On my list of things to do for the day was to take care of 2-3 loads of laundry, withdrawing some cash from the bank, paying a bill or two, and getting a mani-pedi to prepare for the wedding. For a change, I had the energy to start taking care of this list early enough to have a chance of getting everything done.

Although I could have started the day by doing some laundry, I decided to pay some bills - including a bill that has gone unpaid since April.  Normally, my tax preparer would send a bill reminder in May or June. By then, I'd have the refund in the bank - so I'd pay on this notice.  However, I never received my normal reminder - and decided to pay before this bill grows even more stale.

- - - - - -

Around 1 pm, Lili and I went to her nail salon.  She got a French Mani Pedi, while I just got the French on my fingers while getting my toes in a solid pink. As much as I like the look of my fingers, I like the look of my toes more.  So I'll go with this shade of pink for my next mani-pedi.  After the salon, we went out to eat at an Italian joint.  The food was good, but I'm not sure that I'd eat there again.  Nothing really stood out as special, and I want that in a place I might want to add to my "go to" list.

Lili and I chatted some more on the way back to her place. She still had some cleanup to do, as she was hosting one of her daughter in law's friends for the wedding night. Unfortunately, she screwed up her nails (I also have a smudge I have to fix), and things went wrong at one of the rental houses she owns.  So I told her NOT to do anything about fixing the house until next week, and hoped that she will be able to enjoy the wedding tomorrow.

- - - - - -

After I dropped Lili off, it was home for the night.  I didn't know that I was going to take an overly long nap.  But it was just as well, because I didn't have anything else to do as Marian.  When home, I arranged to get together with BXM next week.  In addition to her father being in in-home hospice care, she is having health problems of her own.  As much as losing her Dad will be a sorrowful event, it will free her of a lot of responsibilities no one person should have to take on.

Once I realized I was home for the night, the Cat Lady started up another online conversation.  It involved my choices of nail polish and shifted to asking why I don't live as Marian 24x7, save for the time with my family. Right now, if I'm going to shift to living as Marian as my legal identity, I want to do so openly - and that won't happen while my dad is alive.  I'd have to drop a lot of weight before I could go on hormones. Once on them, I'd have to deal with the physical changes to my body.  Since I have good reason to believe that my brother's family would not be supportive, it doesn't make sense to do this until I can sever the financial links between myself and my brother.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Digging out a backup wig for tonight

Lili's son's wedding is coming up this weekend, and I don't want to break out the new wig I have in my closet for the occasion. Instead, I wanted to wash this wig and wear a freshly cleaned wig this weekend, since I don't want to break in a new wig over the summer.

- - - - - -

It took me a while to get moving today.  But once I did, I started to take care of little things before deciding to get showered, made up, dressed and out the door. And I found that the Cat Lady (TCL) wanted to chat about taking her social security benefits.  She wanted to figure out an optimal strategy for taking benefits, as she doesn't want to leave any money on the table for the government if possible.  (She can get more money if she waits before claiming. But there are risks involved in this strategy that she has to be aware of.)  So we chatted for way too long, and I closed the phone call saying that I had to make another phone call by the end of the day. GFJ also tried to call.  For some reason, the phone didn't ring.  Why, I do not know.  But I wasn't able to call her "right back" as she was going to have dinner with a friend. Instead, we chatted while I was on the road to Yonkers.

I arrived in Yonkers with more than an hour to spare before game night.  So I ended up eating at Panera Bread.  And I exchanged pleasantries with one lady who is a regular there on Thursday nights before and after my meal.  It was nice to have someone say hello to me for a change....

Once done with my meal, it was over to game night where we played the usual games and had a good time.  When the hostess arrived home, I was pleasantly stunned by her appearance - she was wearing a nice black and white polka dot dress (large dots) and showing an appropriate amount of cleavage.  As much as I was finding her breasts attractive because of their perfect shape, I also felt a little envious, as I'd love to be able to have a dress like hers look that good on me.  Who knows?  Someday, I may be lucky enough to have a pair as attractive as hers.

- - - - - -

Throughout the day, I had an ongoing conversation with the Cat Lady about the shoes I was going to wear to the upcoming wedding.  She didn't care for the gold sandals I planned to wear. But given a choice between white flats (with gold trim) and these sandals, the sandals won out.  So expect to see a few pictures of me in these shoes from the wedding....

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Quickie: Independance Day with GFJ

I grew up on Warner Brothers' cartoons, and not the type of Television that Fred Rogers would endorse.  But I think we'd both agree that what I watched was still much better than the mindless action loaded crap shown to kids today to brainwash them to be thoughtless participants in a valueless consumer economy.

- - - - - -

Tuesday night, GFJ returned to the house after a night out with her friend. And then we spent much of the next day doing nothing but taking a needed nap.  So it wasn't until 4 pm or so that we considered getting ready to go out and seeing the documentary about Fred Rogers' career, "Won't you be my neighbor?"

By the time we were dressed and ready to go out, it was 7 pm.  So we took the long way down to the Drafthouse, stopping for ice cream along the way.  When we finally arrived at the Drafthouse, I found that I had a free snack credited to my account which had to be ordered on this visit, unless I wanted to lose it.  This meant that GFJ and I were going to enjoy some popcorn with our movie.

As usual, GFJ was having a hard time keeping her eyes open during the movie. Whereas, I found it easy to stay awake enough to enjoy this modest documentary about a truly quiet, humble, and truly Christian fellow (in all of the best senses of the phrase). The world lost a lot when this man passed away, and I wonder what he'd be saying if he saw what mess we've gotten ourselves into these days....

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Shopping for an All-in-One

Having a day without GFJ has its advantages - especially when I want to purchase an "all-in-one" foundation undergarment for use when I attend the wedding of Lili's son.  GFJ had to go to work today, and then have dinner followed by fireworks watching with one of her girl friends.  So I took advantage of the late afternoon and early evening to take care of tasks that require the presence of Marian.

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, GFJ left my apartment early enough to get in a full day's worth of work.  It may have been a little exhausting for her, as she hasn't been getting enough sleep these days.  But it was productive, as she was able to take care of a few tasks related to the liquidation of marital assets - one of which is the signing of the contract to sell a commercial building.

On my end, I took it easy most of the day, as I didn't get enough sleep the night before AND I had the luxury of sleeping until the afternoon came. But when I got moving, I got out the door and on my way to Catherine's in Paramus just in time for the Pre-Independance Day rush hour traffic jams.  And even then, I was near the store by 5:30 or so.

While in the store, I struck up a conversation with a lady who was looking at some dresses. Both of us had similar feelings about a dress, but she articulated her point much more clearly than I would have. At $70/dress in a "B1G1@50% off" deal, I wouldn't even consider this dress a good value. And that was the start of a very nice chat, where my feminine voice was in perfect form without any glitches. I picked up an "All-in-One" which was slightly too small for me (I knew this would be the case - I'd prefer buying a size 50 instead of a 48. But I can squeeze into the smaller size if needed.) Luckily, I had a $25 off coupon which brought the price of the undergarment down to $30.

Somewhere along the way, I called my brother.  The monthly rent check for the family homestead was deposited, and my brother told me that I can withdraw another tranche of cash to pay off a debt he owes me. So this month will be one of the last bonus months I will get when it comes to money coming out of the house.

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Arriving home, I took above photo to show what I looked like when out and about.  The saleslady at Catherine's commented that she loved the necklace I was wearing, as well as the floral top I was wearing to help make the dress pop.  She said that I was very well put together.  So I captured it in this photo and the photo at the top of the page.

While I was taking photos, I changed into the All-in-One, then put on the outfit I'm wearing to the wedding.  It looks much nicer than the last time I posted a picture of this dress.  Given that we're likely going to have good weather on Saturday, I can't wait to go to the wedding.  It'll be nice to look really pretty for a change!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Ending a weekend with GFJ, with another visit from GFJ to come tonight.

Saturday, I spent the night with the Cat Lady celebrating her retirement.  Although she will need to find some work to close the gap between her income and her outflow, I expect that she will be in a happier place now.  Next is to hope that GFJ finds a way to provide for her future without the Wasband, and that she's near enough to me for us to enjoy some sort of relationship.

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Sunday was the hottest day of the weekend. And GFJ had workmen cutting down trees, as well as painting buildings on her property.  They started at the break of dawn, and kept going until the summer's heat sapped all the energy out of them - at 2 pm.  Work is not complete, so they will need to come back later in the week to finish their jobs.

GFJ was also sapped, but she knew that even if she showered, she'd need another shower when she got here.  So she packed up her bag and drove here in time for a 5 pm arrival. After her shower, the two of us went out for dinner and a short drive before packing it in for the night.

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Monday came, and we had a decision to make.  What time do we leave to see a movie?  I wanted to see "The Catcher was a Spy", a true story based on the life of Moe Berg. After some discussion (and some time killing) we left for a 7:30 pm showing of the film.  The worst of the heat had broken, and we were lucky enough to park within 100 feet of the theater. To make things better, we both enjoyed the film!

On the way back home, we stopped for a bite to eat at the local diner, and again, we had leftovers we could eat on a following day.

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Tuesday (Today) is the explanation for this entry's title.  GFJ had to go back to her office and later, see a friend for dinner and fireworks.  So.... With a little kiss at 7:30 am, she left for home, and I went back to sleep for a while.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get some time out as Marian before she comes back tonight.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Quickie: The hottest day of the year - so far.

As I write this entry, the temperature outside is likely to hit 100 degrees in New York City.  For the beginning of July, this heat is not unreasonable, but it is higher than normal for this time of year.  And I have decided to avoid most of the heat by staying inside and using my air conditioner. GFJ, on the other hand, is supervising workers who are preparing her house for eventual sale.

Doctors tell people to be careful in this kind of heat wave, and I have learned to avoid situations where I can suffer severe dehydration.  I feel a little bit sorry for those people working on GFJ's property today.  GFJ will likely be making sure that those workers are well hydrated today, as she doesn't want anyone having to go to the hospital - which is at least a half hour from where she lives.

GFJ's house was already supposed to be on the market by now.  However, there will always be headaches in liquidating marital assets in a divorce, and her divorce is no exception to this. So, it is likely that this asset liquidation will take much longer than expected. And it is reasonably possible that GFJ will spend another hot summer in the family homestead.

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It still amazes me that in my lifetime, we have gone from a world where most middle class people suffered in the heat to a world where we can avoid much of the suffering via modern air conditioning.  I couldn't bear to live in my apartment without modern air conditioning, and I am grateful that this modern miracle exists.

When I was young, we didn't have modern air conditioning in our "pre war" house. Instead, something like "Swamp Cooling" was used.  In our house, we had a contraption which looked like one of today's air conditioners. However, one poured ice and water into the top of the box, turned on the fan, and drained off the remaining water after it no longer helped cool the room. Smaller versions of such a system are sold today for personal use.

GFJ is dealing with a house like that I lived in years ago.  Hopefully, her future new residence will be much more comfortable in the summer than her current place is now.