Saturday, December 28, 2019

Sometimes, I'm stuck in the "wrong" presentation

Last night, my brother returned from England, and didn't text me to let me know he got in. He and his two adult children were doing a little sightseeing while visiting my niece's future in-laws.  I'm jealous of them.  But I'll eventually have the chance to visit my niece and her future husband in their new home.  So I have something to look forward to.  Until then, I'm just an afterthought for my brother and his family.  But more on that later....

Today is my dad's birthday.  That means I will need to be in my male presentation when I go to Long Island.  Because of this scheduling requirement, I was sure to schedule my annual physical for the same day, so that I wouldn't need to change from Marian to Mario. And this meant that I had to be ready to start my day early, then not know exactly when I'd be expected to be at my brother's place.

- - - - - -

The first thing I had to do was to go to the doctor.  And I arrived at his office at the same time as the doctor.  Since this was my yearly physical, he had a few more questions to ask of me, and suggested that I get my eyes checked and to schedule a colonoscopy.  Even though it is less than an hour after I left the office as I write this, I already forgot what I should be asking for with my eyes.  (I can ask the doc about that again when I see him in a month.)  But I'll have to see if the doc who performed my last colonoscopy is covered under my insurance and whether his assistant staff is also covered.  Otherwise, I will need to ask my internist for other recommendations of people who may be on my insurance plan.

When I got out of the doc's office, I got a call back after picking up breakfast - they forgot to ask for a urine sample.  So back to the office I went for 5 minutes, and then onto the house to rest.  Looking at the phone, my brother finally acknowledged my messages, telling me that he is back from England.  Unfortunately, he hadn't yet figured out what he plans to with my dad for his birthday.  So it meant that I would have to be ready for anything.  And I found out that my brother was going in to work today, then do something tomorrow.  As for me, I decided to drive to Long Island to see my dad in the daytime.

- - - - - -

It took me over 2 hours to reach my dad.  Traffic was much worse than usual, and I hit all the traffic jams that I could have expected and more.  But I made it there a little bit before my brother, and by 6 pm, we were on our way to the Japanese buffet to enjoy dinner.  Luckily, my sister in law did not join us, as she had a "meeting" to go to tonight. So the 4 of us felt free to each have a beer and to relax over a leisurely dinner.

Towards the end of the evening, my brother started showing photos of the family trip to England, and I started getting bored.  Yet, I didn't want the evening to end.  There are not that many family gatherings left in my dad's life, and I want to be there for as many as possible.

- - - - - -

Around 8:30-9:00 or so, we brought my dad back to the nursing home, and I started my drive back to my apartment. Shortly before I got home, GFJ returned my call and we chatted for a few minutes.  It appears that she will also be busy during the holiday season, so this will be the second straight holiday with us not being together.  Although I will make New Year's Eve open for her if she wants to be together, I have plans in mind if she were to make it a third holiday of being apart.  At that point, unless I am misinterpreting things, she will have sent a signal without saying anything definite....   Such is life.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Lunch and Gaming

Although I snapped this photo last week, it could have easily been taken tonight.  Other than the cold, the weather would have been perfect to visit the city.  As for me, I spent most of the day in the Northern Suburbs, then drove to Yonkers to play games this evening.

- - - - - -

It's been a while since I've seen SWD, and we agreed to meet at the Thai restaurant in Beacon.  Sometimes when we meet, lunch is short.  But today, we spent 3 hours gabbing at the restaurant.  We talked about many things: her husband (nothing negative), her family (typical issues, but mostly pride in her sons), a touch of politics (we are on the opposite sides of the political debate, but can talk civilly about things), and issues with my family (I still wonder what it will be like when we celebrate my dad's birthday).  It's amazing how much one can find to talk about when one is ready, willing and able to listen to someone.

Around 3 pm, I took off for the LGBT Center to do a volunteer stint.  By the time I got near the Croton reservoir, I veered off the Taconic for a bio break before continuing my southbound journey. By the time I made it to the center, it was 5 pm - not much time to do anything useful.  Yet there was enough for me to get 90 minutes of useful time in.  But my real reason for going there today was simple - I didn't want to commit to being there on Monday, and I wanted to stop by and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  I also wanted to say hello, in case I don't get the chance to say "goodbye" for a while when working for the census bureau.

A little before 7, I started my drive over to game night, and arrived in time for the first of several games.  The 2 children enjoyed the presents I gave them. And I was surprised to receive a couple of my own.  Even though I may have had the option to meet GFJ tonight (mentioned by her early in the week), I felt that I had an obligation to these kids.  Auntie Marian went out of her way to buy them gifts, and it was important that they get these gifts before Christmas.  (Unfortunately, I didn't have the chance to chat with GFJ today, as she called while I was in the middle of my volunteer work.  I wanted to call her back before her meetup, but it met 30 minutes earlier than I expected.)

- - - - - -

Tomorrow, I'll be going to my doctor for my annual physical.  And then, I'll be driving to Long Island to see my family.  Hopefully, there will be no negative developments in either area....

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Today was to be my last day doing a volunteer stint

Over the past year or two, I've been an irregular volunteer for both of the places for which I help out.  My weekend schedule had gotten in the way of me attending many Arts Westchester events. And my declining interest got in the way of helping out at the LGBT Center.  I needed something to motivate me to get up and out on a daily basis, and that involved both a sense of purpose and a desire to earn money. 

Since it looks like I'll soon be working at the Census bureau, I doubt that I will have any free time to do any volunteering for a while.  And this is just as well - I needed a break from my old routine, as I was getting more and more inclined to stay indoors all day.  This is not a healthy thing to do, as evidenced by my dad's former home life before moving into the nursing home.

- - - - - -

By the time I got moving, it was late in the afternoon, and I didn't have the time to do a volunteer stint AND make it to the Fun Time Friends meetup in Wilton, CT.  So I sent an email to the LGBT Center's volunteer coordinator to tell him that I'd either be in tomorrow or on Monday.

When I finally made it out of the house, it was a bit late for me to make it on time.  There was no way that I was going to take Route 95 from here, as rush hour traffic would slow things to a crawl.  Instead, I took the roads to the venue and made it to dinner only a few minutes late. 

Arriving at the venue, I sat down next to the organizer and we had a great time.  There was one woman there who could have been my sister, and she recognized me as well.  This is a very friendly bunch of people - possibly more so than the folks in Beacon.  (Just don't tell the Beacon folks that....)  While chatting with the organizer, I found that she had an interest in visiting Chinatown in the Spring.  So I suggested we do so when it's convenient for her - and we may do that when the weather gets warmer.  I could use as many friends as possible who know me as Marian, and not as Mario.  It would be nice to add a "sane" friend to my address book.

- - - - - -

Earlier in the day, GFJ called me on her way home from Baltimore.  While on the call, she had to hang up, telling me to call back when I was on the road to the meetup.  I did just that, and didn't get an answer.  Could the problem have been to a nationwide problem with Verizon Wireless?  Who knows?  When I tried to reach her on the way home from my meetup, there was also no answer for me.  Since Facebook Messenger shows her as inactive, all I can think is that she has a problem with her phone connecting to the outside world.  Hopefully, she made it to her meetup OK....

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

I did plenty of nothing, and nothing's plenty for me!

Today was a day that didn't lend itself to going outside.  The forecast called for a wintry mix, with about 3/8" of ice being deposited on everything.  This was not weather to drive in, and this made it a good day to stay inside - which I did.

Although I could have done a load of laundry, that would have meant getting dressed.  That's something which was not in the cards for today.  So the hamper continued to hold a load of clothes which could get done at anytime this week.  Given the choice between getting out of a warm bed on a cold day or staying comfortable, you can guess what my choice would be.

Later in the afternoon, I got an email asking me whether an 11:45 start time for speech therapy would be good for me, and I responded with a "Yes."  When I checked my schedule, I noticed a meetup I had scheduled for a Saturday afternoon in January - I had a timing conflict.  Sadly, I will miss this foodie meetup.  But I will continue on my path to developing a more feminine voice - and that's the more important thing to do in my opinion.

- - - - - -

Watching the news today, I become more and more afraid that we are heading down the path to a not so civil war.  Most of us would admit that we are in the middle of a cultural war.  America is polarized as it has been in only one other period in history, and that ended with the Civil War.  Whether or not one is a Republican or Democrat, this is not a good sign for us transgender folk.

The more I find out about what's going on in Washington, the more I worry.  In the past, I'd merely get upset at the "opposition party".  But now it gets my blood boiling.  I have to change the channel as soon as I turn it on.  And that's not good.  We are in the cross hairs of part of the GOP's base, and many of their proposed laws are aimed directly at us.

How do I deal with it?  More and more, I seek the entertainment that I grew familiar with when I was younger - shows like the original Perry Mason still make me feel that there is some form of justice in the world.  Old Westerns also serve the same function for me - the difference between right and wrong was easy to see, and one knew that good would triumph over evil.  Even though John Wayne in real life was not a man I could easily respect, I loved what his "cowboy" characters stood for - especially when John Ford was the director of the film.

- - - - - -

Like many people whose views I disagree with, I also yearn for the simplicity of the 1950's.  Unlike these people, I support the ideals which America stood for back then, and not the reality of what America was.  When I look at the old TV shows, I see part of what America could be, as well as by omission, things we need to fix for our future.

Right now, I enjoy the idea of relaxing and doing nothing.  Reality has a habit of catching up with us way too quickly for comfort....


And if you've gotten this far....

Merry Christmas to you and your families!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

I woke up early this morning, and started to write.

Today was going to be an unscheduled day in the middle of days where lots of things were marked on my calendar.  So I decided to write another entry to be made public on a weekend, so that I'd have the freedom NOT to write about anything and yet have something for people to read that day.

Unlike my last blog, I don't intend to have 20 canned entries waiting to be published on days I can't write anything of interest.  Often, I let many of these pre-written entries go stale, and then had to perform major surgery on them to bring them up to date.  Then, still more were unfit for publishing because what was true at the time was made false by events that happened after the entry was written.

- - - - - -

Although my alarms woke me up at the usual time, I didn't start to get moving until after noon.  Remembering that I expected a package from Amazon today, I looked out my door to find it was delivered as expected.  So I opened the package, and wrapped the locking diary for Thursday night.  I expect that both parents and the girl receiving the diary will be very happy to see this Xmas gift.  As for their son, he'll get a gift card from Barnes and Noble, along with a package of Goldfish crackers.  (He said, "anything with goldfish", and his mom said my idea was perfect.)

Very soon, I'll have to shift my alarms to wake me up 2 hours earlier than they do now.  I expect that the census job will keep me busy, and that I'll want to keep working when this job ends.  So I'll make sure that I keep a record of what I'm doing, but make sure to reveal none of the data which I will be prohibited from revealing after I'm gone.

- - - - - -

Since this is the season where I know that I'll both overeat and have excess food around the house, I had to develop a plan to keep from gaining too much weight.  After my uncle sent his yearly Xmas gift of fruit and snacks, I knew that much of the snack stuff would have to leave my apartment, lest it go to my stomach.  So I separated the fruit from the snacks, and packaged the snacks to go to this Thursday's game night meetup. 

When I finally got around to eating something other than snacks today, I ended up cooking some frozen lasagna.  Finally getting around to cooking this freezer staple allowed me to put some larger pre-made meals (for more than one person) in the freezer, so that they do not go to waste (or waist).  Thankfully, I had suspended my Freshly subscription until January 2020, or I'd not have the space in my freezer for the 2 packages.  I'm trying to have healthy food and snacks available to me when I want to nosh on something, and to have everything else inconvenient enough for me, so that I think twice before eating anything.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Thoughts related to several conversations I've had over the past few days

I've documented issues related to the loss of a friendship, the breakup of another, and thought's I've had about things in general.  Yet, I've never tied everything together for general consumption.  This is my attempt to put things into perspective.

- - - - - -

I've been dating GFJ for a little over 5 years. And we have hit some problems in our relationship. Since I'm writing this entry before Thanksgiving, I am making the assumption that both of us will be with our own families during holiday season. (This is now true.)  I'd have been happy to have had the same kind of relationship that Vicki #1's dad had with his girlfriend - two people in love with each other, but not sharing a common living space.  Each of us would have had the freedom to live our lives as we see fit, but would have had the knowledge that each of us would be there for the other.  I do not know where this will end up, nor do I know if this situation is permanent.  But I do think that we were better off with each other being in our lives, and I think that separating on a good note leaves us many more options than I have with my former cruise partner.

- - - - - -

To check whether I was going nuts or not, I described the situation with my former cruise partner to several of my other friends.  Several of these friends would have liked to see me find a way to patch things up with her, as she was a close friend for several years. However, other friends noted that this woman's actions were abnormally controlling, even though they could be viewed as simple caring from another perspective.

I react very poorly to being controlled by others, and I would push anyone away who'd try to do this to me.  I guess this goes back to childhood, when my mother didn't respect that other people (especially her children) had opinions that differed significantly from hers.  I can still remember being on the phone with a friend, saying that the fancy service at one Chinese restaurant we went to was a little off putting to me.  My mom got very upset at this, as my opinion was very different from hers, and started an argument which resulted in my dad telling her off for one of the few times that I remember him doing so.  Incidents like this created a situation where neither my brother nor I have any pleasant memories of her.  Nor do either of us miss her, almost 20 years after her death.

My former cruise partner is a control freak, but this never got to me until a series of incidents on our last cruise together (documented in my previous blog).  Describing these incidents in detail to my friends, the one I consider my main reality check told me that she was now very glad that she never met my cruise partner.  The little incidents would have been driven her nuts!  Then, this friend said that she understood why I severed contact the way I did - the relationship could no longer nourish me the way it once did, and I didn't want to cause either of us any more pain.

- - - - - -

I also related these events to HWV (in passing) when we went out for dinner the other night. She and HWJ started asking me about romance and my transgender nature - intimate questions that I have no problems answering, when asked by people I've gotten to know a little.  It's amazing how little the average person knows about gender dysphoria, gender presentation, gender identification, and gender preference.  For most Cisgender people, it's way too easy to take many things for granted.

This was an educational conversation, as much for me as it was for them, as I was in the proper setting to talk about things.  Could I have talked this way with GFJ?  Probably not.  This is the kind of conversation which would have her walking away to give me more space to live as Marian - even when I gladly make the trade-off to share my life with someone I love.  (Thankfully, my dysphoria is very mild, as it allows me to live in both genders as needed.)  In a way, I am very envious of one of my Facebook friends I met at Fantasia Fair. She has a healthy relationship with her wife, a relationship which would only break up if she decides to transition completely, both socially and medically.

- - - - - -

Now we get to my recent conversation with Pat.  As I've mentioned, she's an idealist who thinks she is a realist.  She's a person who believes in leftist conspiracy theories, and will only accept the idea of impossibly large changes without plans, and not the incremental changes that realists like me promote.  There are serious problems with the world right now, climate change being one of them.  Although I believe in climate change/global warming, I still consider it an incompletely proven theory - the same way Einstein's theory became useful, even if not proven completely.  Pat is the type of person who will get involved in every Liberal cause, including Black Lives Matter, and then think she is "Woke".  Often, she doesn't have much of a clue about what is really going on, as she seems to always be looking for her Lefty Gold Medal to be pinned on her chest.  This will never happen, as she has no clue about how to affect any change, because she doesn't know how to convince people that change is needed.

Years ago, I learned that politics is a skill of making possible things happen, and knowing what things are possible and what things are not.  To break down the idea of "Separate but Equal" in the courts, many smaller cases had to be brought before the Supreme Court, building up a foundation to overturn prior court rulings.  Pat has no clue about this technique, and would have blown it by putting everything together in a single court case - and then losing it.  Society needs time to process major changes, it needs a plan to implement those changes, and it needs time to sell those changes to a large enough population who will support it.  Pat would destroy the world we live in with her ideals, as she would not pay enough attention to the details or planning needed to get any meaningful changes done.

With all of this, Pat understands why I severed contact with my former cruise partner.  I've grown enough to live without an important crutch in my life.  Yet, she doesn't understand that my growth also allows me to see her for what she is, and accept her as such.  At the age of 78, I doubt that she ever will grow any further - her mind is set in its ways, she distrusts everything the world has been built on, and she can provide no meaningful or effective steps that will make this world a better place.  All she can do is tilt at her windmills and bask in her "wokeness".

- - - - - -

As with everything I write about, it all comes back to me.  Years ago, I searched for any romantic interest that would have me for a partner.  I settled for my wife, a good woman, someone who deserved someone better than me.  It took me years after I lost her to cancer to then be able to appreciate a good woman when she came into my life.  And yet, I wasn't able to read GFJ's mind and give her the relationship security she needed. (No, there is no way I could have read her mind.  But this is a problem with many relationships - not enough quality communication.)  Whatever happens with GFJ and I, I feel I have learned something I might be able to bring into another relationship (if I ever decide to pursue one again.)

Sunday, December 22, 2019

I hate rainy, foggy days.

Normally, I try to stay in a single presentation for the entire day.  This makes things much simpler for me.  Once I move my ID and money into the correct wallet, I can be sure that I'm carrying all 3 needed items I need to show a police officer if my car is stopped.  (I also move my AAA card, as I've been in need of a tow while in my female presentation.)  This was not going to be a "half and half" day, as I only needed to be out as Mario for an hour, and I'd be out as Marian until I returned home late in the evening.

- - - - - -

Last night, GFJ and I were chatting around 2 am.  We caught up on the past day, and then she asked a question - Did Patty know about me being TG?  I told her that she may have had some inklings when we were going together in the early 2000's, but I was not out and about way back when.  I have to assume that GFJ is still sorting things out in her mind, and that my TG nature is an important issue to her.  

When I finally got up late this morning, I knew I'd have to present as a male for part of it.  There was a book (on hold) waiting for me at the library, and there was a prescription waiting for me at the drug store.  Since I could not do these things without revealing my legal identity, I had to go out as Mario for a couple of hours before coming home to change into my female presentation and go out as Marian for the evening.

Once home, I started getting ready to go out as Marian.  Off came the boy clothes, with a plan to put on the girl clothes before seeing JS for a movie and a bite to eat.  While at home, I decided to wrap gifts for my family and for GFJ.  However, I couldn't find the locking diary in the stores for the daughter of Thursday night's meetup's Christmas Gift.  So I finally broke down and subscribed to Amazon Prime, so that I could get her gift in my hands before the next game night.

While writing the earlier parts of this entry, I got a message from JS - her dog had to go to the vet for a canine emergency.  It seems as if every time we agree to get together, some event gets in the way.  Yes, I have often been unavailable on weekends, as I have always given GFJ first claim on my time.  (She is a special woman to me, and I've said as much to her.)  But now, I have the freedom to schedule weekend time with JS, and she still has excuses.  Given what I've mentioned about her and her family in the past, I'll bet that she is having serious budget problems as well as problems with her daughter.  And these problems are getting in the way of her having a healthy social life.  (These problems are also the cause of her former financial planner abandoning JS to her own devices, as JS would not do the things needed to get her life in order.)  As for me, I'd rather not allow JS to lean too much on me, as I don't want to be in a codependent relationship with anyone.

Now that JS had to postpone our get together, I had to figure out what to do for the rest of the evening.  Did I continue my preparations to go out as Marian and see a movie?  Or, did I do something else?  I ended up staying in for the night.....

RQS went home, and I got keys made - a quick post

  One of the problems with going about as a female is that almost everything one carries around during a typical day is carried in a handbag...