Saturday, November 23, 2019

I slept late, and found I had nothing to do after all.

Last night, I must have been exhausted.  Normally, I get to sleep around 2 am or so, and wake up between 8 and 9 am.  Today, I woke up a little before noon, and didn't get moving until about 1 pm.  This got in the way of me driving to Mavis in time for me to get a needed oil change and tire rotation.  But if I get up and out early enough tomorrow, this won't be a problem.

But first....

Given how tired I was yesterday, sleeping late this morning was a great blessing.  Getting 10+ hours of sleep is very important, and I felt very rested when I got up.  However, I realized that I had to check on things.  The first thing I did was to check the status of a meetup being held tonight.  The organizer had cancelled it due to a lack of interest.  It's no great loss.  This person has organized and disbanded several groups in the past, and never seems to keep one open long enough to gain a loyal group of followers.  (I attended one of the two women's groups she organized, and didn't feel as welcome as I did with the Fun Time Friends in Connecticut.)  Next, I got showered and dressed (as Mario), and visited Mavis to see about getting my car service done.  As I mentioned earlier, this wasn't possible today, as they had cars double parked in their parking lot.  But I did have a great chat with the desk clerk, a 21 year old fellow with much of his life ahead of him.

Going home from Mavis, I had to stop by the bank and get some money from the ATM.  One big problem - the ATM's card reader was having problems with my card.  Since this is the second time this happened on the same machine (worse now than before), I decided to inside the branch to report a problem.  Getting to the teller station, we checked my card by putting it in the reader there - no problems.  Hopefully, they will fix the problem with the outdoor ATM, as I don't like the headache of being unsure of my card's usefulness to me.

As much as I wanted to change and go out again as Marian, I couldn't find the energy to do so.  Instead, I stayed at home and took care of some little things before packing it in for the night.

Friday, November 22, 2019

It's amazing how much mess I made and had to unmake.

No, this is not my bedroom.  Mine was much more messy than this when my cleaning lady called yesterday to tell me that she was coming over today.  So I made even more of a mess before cleaning things up at 3 am.  But I got a lot done, as 3 baskets of laundry that were in the chest in front of my bed were condensed into a half basket - all ready to be sorted out and put into the correct places.

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I often dread the days that my cleaning lady is expected, as I can never be sure of when (or if) she will come.  She is supposed to come here no earlier than lunch time.  But sometimes, things are cut way too close for my comfort.  Luckily, I was able to get her to limit her visits to either Thursdays or Fridays, as Thursday was my scheduled day to volunteer at the LGBT Center. This allowed me the security of knowing I could sleep late on the other days, and take "Jammie Days" whenever I need to take them.

You might ask, why do I keep this lady in my employ?  The answer is simple - she is honest.  The only thing I find missing in my apartment is garbage.  Other people have to keep an eye on their cleaning ladies, as many have sticky fingers.  I was lucky to have a friend refer this lady to me, and I still employ her over 20 years later on.

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This semester, Thursdays also have me attending speech therapy sessions.  The two students are trying our new ideas every week.  Last week, they gave me a carry over assignment eared to have me mimic the vocal and body language used in a couple of video clips.  However, it's hard for me to do so, as I react very differently than the main characters in the clips.  For example, I never would have reacted as Lucy would in her show - I'd have never knowingly let someone hold me down.  But then, I am not a woman of the 1950's. And I am thankful for that. 

Doing the carry over exercise this morning, I realized that my voice is a little lower than I would have wanted this morning. Is it because I am not exercising my upper range enough?  I don't know.  But as long as I can stay in the androgynous pitch range and continue developing feminine vocal inflections, I'll be happy where I'm going with my voice.

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I was very tired when I left the house, and thought my problem could be either one of two things: sleep deprivation or lack of food energy.  So I decided to go to a Chinese Buffet near White Plains to have a bite to eat. However, the food didn't help much.  Driving over to Mercy, I went through a construction zone, got distracted outside the zone, and hit a curb.  Although I don't think I did any serious damage to the tire or rim, I will bring this incident up when I go to Mavis for my oil change and tire rotation- just to have a more learned eye look at things.  Arriving at Mercy about 90 minutes early, I looked for a parking spot where I could rest for a while before going in for my session. Backing into a spot I found, I tapped the car behind me - something I rarely do.  At that point, I knew that I needed to take a nap, and that's what I did for an hour or so.

This week's speech therapy session went well.  But when I hear my voice, I feel I sound like a teenage boy whose voice hasn't cracked.  A comment I made about my voice is that I find it easier to speak with feminine prosody when I speak with an accent - especially, a southern accent.  They understand (even if they don't speak the language of cognitive psychology) that I have to overcome 62 years of male speech patterning and replace it with speech patterns appropriate for a 62 year old female.

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After the session, I drove home to relax and change into something more appropriate for a casual evening. A little more than 90 minutes later, I drove back to lower county to play games.  For a change, I won a game of San Juan.  Yay!  But the next game, Dixit, was a losing effort.  I couldn't get a clue, even if everything was explained to me as a child.  Yet, I had fun, and that's the important thing.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

It always seems as if I'm getting interrupted during my favorite TV show.

I can't help but wish I could trigger the tune "Park Avenue Beat" to play on the speaker when this entry gets opened.  It would only be fitting given the picture above.

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Today, I was fully awake when my favorite morning TV show came on.  And about 40 minutes into the show, I received a call that I didn't answer.  Seems like my cleaning lady wants to come 2 weeks early, as her next visit would coincide with Thanksgiving.  AARGH!  I have yet to pick up the cleaning supplies she requested on her last visit.  Luckily, I have a change of bed linens ready for her to put on the bed.

Around noon, I ended up going to the dentist, and I got some bad news.  A tooth that my former dentist was monitoring was about to fail, so my wallet will be $2500 lighter sometime next month.  OUCH!   At least I can plan for this expense, as well as another tooth that is likely to fail next year. Once done with the dentist, I went to a local pizzeria to get some lunch before going home to change into a female presentation for tonight's dinner. 

After I had changed, I performed a couple of errands before driving up to Fishkill for dinner. And at 5:45, I was on my way.  GFJ had called me while I was getting ready to leave, so I called her back.  She was on her way to her dining meetup - at the Culinary Institute of America, while I was on my way to the Dutchess Biercafe.  What was most unusual about our chat had nothing to do with its content.  Instead, we were able to keep talking, even though I drove through an area that I usually lose phone service along Route 9.  (T-Mobile has many more dead spots than Verizon, and I am still thinking of changing carriers almost a year after I started on their network.)  Both of us reached our destinations at the same time, so we agreed to call each other back after dinner.

Our meetup group had the whole of one room to ourselves.  It was very noisy, but it was fun.  WDJ sat at the table behind me, and we didn't get the chance to talk much.  Luckily, there were other ladies at my table with whom I enjoyed some nice chats.  Although the Biercafe had a restaurant week menu, I chose to order a dinner sized appetizer off the main menu - "The Best of the Wurst".  (I love German style sausages!)  And this was more than enough food for me.

On the way home, I stopped at Walmart to pick up cleaning supplies for my cleaning lady to use.  Since she will be coming tomorrow afternoon, I figured that I needed to pick up these supplies tonight.  Once out of Walmart, it was time for another phone call to GFJ.  She had still not prepared for her trip.  Hopefully, she'll do a load of wash, then dry it tonight, as she'll be very busy in the morning before she gets on the road....

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Lunch with my Ex-Boss

Today I had two things on my docket, and both of them had to be done in my male presentation.  First was lunch with my Ex-Boss, and then my monthly Co-Op Board meeting. And I was wishing that I could have put on a dress and gone to a museum....

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Normally, I don't fully wake up until sometime between 8:30 and 10:00.  Today, my journey to full consciousness started a little before 10:00, and I wasn't really moving until 10:30.  This gave me about 2 hours to get dressed (as Mario), pick up my iPad (with its new battery), then drive to Rockland County to meet my ex-boss.  And I barely accomplished all this in time.

Lunch with my ex-boss is always interesting, as we talk about the past, present and future.  The past is usually business talk, and today was no different than usual.  But today, I had job interviews to tell him about (without mention of going as Marian).  And this was pleasant news to relate. Then we got into our usual political conversation - and we both have the same fears about the present and future.  Neither of us like our president, and we both have concerns about what would happen if he stays in office, or is replaced by the vice president.  We can't wait until 11/03/20, when we can exercise our right to vote....

Since we were expecting winter weather, we ended lunch a little earlier than usual.  Luckily, none of the bad weather arrived before I started my drive home.  And I was inside my apartment before 4:00.  This gave me enough time to take care of some things and get ready for the co-op board meeting.

As usual, I won't go into details about the board meeting.  But, compared with this time last year, everything was better than we expected.  Everything was in order, and we were very happy with the way things had developed over the past year.  Yes, there are some headaches that we (and other co-op boards) need to address because of New York State law changes that took place this summer.  But we can now give them the proper thought required, an effort that would have been impossible at this time last year.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

And sometimes, I even get phone calls.

Last night, I was talking to Maria for the better part of an hour.  She needed someone she could talk with, and I was the designated recipient of the phone call.  So, I listened to her vent about her husband's illness, her daughter's chemical imbalance and irresponsibility, and the breakdown of her computer.  Today, we had plans to talk with each other when she got off of work.

- - - - - -

This morning, I had totally forgotten about Maria's call as I went about my day.  Not having that much to do, I had the TV on in the background when she called. It seems as Maria was helped by last night's chat, as she was telling me about the sequence of events for her day - work, dropping the computer off at a fix-it shop, and then taking her husband for continuing medical care.

Maria is the type of person for whom doing the right thing isn't enough to keep bad things from happening.  When her first marriage ended, she was left with only the roof over her head.  For 6 months or so, she was sleeping on a bed she borrowed fro me.  Her ex-husband had taken almost all the furniture in the house as he left.  Her second (and current) husband had his own issues that I won't go into right now. It is the aftermath of these issues that is adding to Maria's problems.  Couple this with a daughter who is irresponsible, a grandson that Maria is raising, and a granddaughter on the way, and Maria is highly stressed.

Sadly, I don't see a happy end in sight for Maria.  Her husband is not the type of person who could advocate for himself that well, and seems to have given up on life.  I hope I'm wrong, but I'll be there for my friend of several decades when the worst inevitably happens.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Sometimes, I even go to church.

It's hard to believe, but this was the second week in a row that I've attended a church service.  No, I don't expect to become a weekly participant in services.  Instead, I intend to use this opportunity to become part of a larger community as Marian.

Some would say that getting out and about as Marian took a lot courage to overcome my fears of being seen as a "Man in a Dress".  To me, it's more of my need to present as my authentic self overcoming the resistance that prevented me from being authentic.  Yet, I sometimes feel as if I'm an impostor.  But with more and more time spent out in the world as Marian, with more and more time perfecting my feminine presentation, the more natural and comfortable I am when presenting as Marian.

- - - - - -

After church, I might have gone to a local diner for breakfast.  Since I've been running lower than usual on folding money, I decided to go home to have something to eat.  For the first time in a while, I cooked something on my stove top -  a couple of eggs with some corned beef hash.  This time, I made sure that the hash lost enough moisture that it had a little bit of a char - yum!  And then I took it easy for a while.

Later on, as I was preparing an update to this website to add a page where people could download some voice samples I've recorded over the years, I got messaged by one Trans woman I wouldn't mind meeting again.  We chatted for well over an hour, and this took away time that I had planned spending on searches for voice recordings.  However, before I was to leave for my 5:00 Meetup, I was able to get showered, dressed,and out the door as Marian to be early for a Fun Time Friends meetup in Ridgefield, CT.

We had a room to ourselves at the restaurant we were meeting at, and  yet, not enough seats at the table.  Luckily, enough people were no-shoes, and we had enough stools for us to sit on and enjoy a non-pretentious BBQ dinner.  Yum!   The conversations were good, and I'd gladly go back to the restaurant again - but this time, at a normal table.

- - - - - -

Just before dinner ended, I got a call from Maria.  She was totally discombobulated - her daughter is having trouble with her life, her husband is finally home from the hospital, and her computer's hard drive had crashed, leaving her without important photos and documents she had neglected to backup over the past couple of years.  So I walked her through things, telling her what to do, and giving her a game plan of how to deal with the loss of her computer.

When I was done with Maria's call, I was too tired to bother to shop for supplies that my cleaning lady needed. So I called GFJ to chat on the way home.  We agreed to meet at 6:15 at a Hudson Valley Restaurant Week establishment for dinner.  It'll be nice to have a nice meal with her before she goes away to Florida for a vacation. 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Recently, I heard something through the grapevine.

It's not easy being transgender.  Do we out ourselves to make general conversation?  Do we hide things about our lives? Or, do we talk about our lives, flipping genders as needed to eliminate some cognitive dissonance with people we may meet?

Recently, I heard about one person who attended a recent meetup of one of my groups that had negative words to say about me.  (I won't say anything about this person or how I heard this information for privacy purposes.)  But it got to me a little.  It's not because I was pegged as being transgender that bothered me.  Instead, it was this person's attitude towards me and others.  This person is a social bully who dominates every conversation he gets into (from what I've seen from a meetup I attended), not paying any attention to cues given by the people he is with.

When something bothers you, do you ask why it bothers you?  Well, I've learned that we tend to see in others those things that we dislike about ourselves.  In my case, it was a reminder that I was not born as a cisgender female, that I am not thin, and that I still have far to go regarding my social skills.

In life, we can either use these emotional hits as tools to grow, or we can allow them to diminish us.  I choose to grow, and not be harmed by one person's unthinking actions and words.  And I hope that my readers can do the same as well.

An early dinner with a friend

  Last night, I mentioned to Pat that I wish I could have been born a cisgender female who looked like this when younger.  If I were younger...