Friday, January 10, 2020

Up last night exchanging emails

Last night, GFJ and I were exchanging emails.  Both of us were saying the types of things we should have been saying when we were a couple.  Sadly, it was too late for anything, save to figure out a way to be friends - GFJ's big issue was my growth as Marian, and a feeling that being Mario in a romantic relationship wasn't as important.  Too bad that she didn't know Sirena, Stana, Mandy, and Kim - all 4 transgender ladies have found their ways to have traditional relationships while being able to get into their non traditional roles. 

Of the 4 T-Gals I mentioned, only Sirena does not have a web page of her own.  This is probably a wise thing, as I'm not sure of how many people know about her TG identity. So, I won't go much into Sirena's background here.  Most of my readers are likely to have bumped into her on Facebook in transgender and other communities.  (I won't give any more details here - I know what she does for a living, her real name, etc., and don't want to cause her any grief.)  Stana, Mandy, and Kim all have spouses who tolerate their feminine activities. And each have had to work things out with their respective spouses.

So the big question is - can we work things out to have a friendship?  Only time will tell.

- - - - - -

For the most part, I slept the whole day away.  This was not what I should have done.  But without anything to do on my schedule, why shouldn't I stay semi conscious until game night?

Around late afternoon, I received a message from Vicki #2, asking me if I wanted Opera tickets for Saturday.  I'm always up for a good freebie, so I said Yes!  And we arranged to meet for lunch tomorrow as well.  Vicki had a birthday party to go to, and wanted to see that the tickets landed in good hands.  And that they will tomorrow afternoon. Since Vicki #1 didn't respond to my message, I called her and she said she'd come with me.  So we'll be meeting Saturday morning, taking the train into NYC, and enjoying the Opera, thanks to Vicki #2.  (I'll be sure to pay for lunch tomorrow, and then some....)

- - - - - -

There was a prescription waiting for me at the drug store.  So I ended up getting dressed as Mario just to pick it up.  By the time I had changed back into Marian mode, it was a little after 8 pm, and I knew I'd be running a little late to game night.   When I arrived in Yonkers, we had half the usual attendance.  The hostess was already in bed, as she was going down to Weashington, DC for a conference.  However, the rest of us ended up playing a couple of games until 10:30 or so.  Then it was time for me to go home and rest.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Opening the books on a new year

The new year came, and I'm glad that 2019 is now behind me. Having lost two of my best friends, I am now forced to rebuild a social network. I no longer have someone I can call at any time of day when I need someone to talk with.  This is the great loss I want to put behind me once and for all.

- - - - - -

Last night, I made a hard decision.  Do I go to the FTF meetup in New Fairfield?  Or, do I go to a special game night in Yonkers?  After some hemming and hawing, I chose game night. This was the wise decision.  Instead of being in an unfamiliar place where I didn't know anyone that well, I was in a familiar place where I was familiar with everyone. I was closer to my comfort zone, and was able to enjoy myself before driving home around 12:30 or so.

When I got home, I scheduled an email to be sent to GFJ sometime tonight.  The gist of the email is an apology and a goodbye.  I don't expect to hear from her again, so I'm letting her know that I have disconnected from her as well.  It's better that I take the time to process my grief than to dwell in past hopes that never could have been. 

- - - - - -

With the emotional maelstrom I've been dealing with for the past 3 months, I was annoyed to receive an angry email from my former cruise partner.  Thinking about things, there could be only one reason she sent it - she doesn't know how to stop feeding her anger.  After having someone like me to talk with for years, it must hurt to have no one close to confide in.  Couple this with me talking more about her than she really wanted me to talk about her in the old blog, and feelings of betrayal must make things hurt even more.

In the past, this woman told me that she was looking for a "Soul Mate".  I only looked for a "Life Partner".  There are big differences between soul mate and life partner.  Without that "someone" to fill the holes in her life, she will always feel incomplete.  Contrast this with GFJ and myself. Both of us felt reasonably complete in ourselves, wanted to share of ourselves, but didn't need each other to be whole in ourselves. Hopefully, my former cruise partner will discover something which helps her feel more whole in her life.  If so, she may be able to deal with her anger, let it drain away over time, and maybe find some true love in the process....

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I awoke on New Year's Day with nothing special to do, no one special to see.  All my New Year's greetings were exchanged the night before with nothing left over for today.  Although I could always drive down to see my dad, did I want to do so for 15-30 minutes worth of a visit?  Maybe next weekend.  Did I want to go see a movie?  Maybe.  I'd have to think about it.  But to start off my day, I chose to watch my morning TV show and to catch up on my blog reading.

It's gotten to the point where my default presentation for going out in the world is as Marian. Yet, I'm still comfortable going out as Mario. And I'd have stayed that way if GFJ had stayed in the picture.  If I'm doing anything requiring heavy activity, that requires me breaking a sweat, that will likely have me presenting as Mario.  Unless I looked more authentic as Marian, I wouldn't feel comfortable doing things like going on a hike, cleaning up the kitchen, etc. this way. I'll be stuck living life in both genders for now, unless I go for FFS surgery.  And I don't see this happening anytime soon.  (First, I'd want to find out about hair transplants to give me a more normal looking head.)  It'll be more important for me to develop my social network than to move further along this transition path.

- - - - - -

Politics is still the depressing it was last year.  Given how our president's policies have hurt the transgender community, I can only hope that a better person wins on Election Day.  Even if I wanted to work for one candidate this year, being with the census bureau will nip that in the bud.  The only political action I can participate in is to vote on Election Day.  And that's fine with me.  So don't expect me to say much here for the next few months, other than how I see issues framed.  Direct public support of any candidate will likely be against the rules for employees of the bureau.

Like many of us, I've begun to cringe whenever I hear our president speak.  It's hard to watch the news these days, because the underlying tone is much worse than I could have expected 4 years ago.  I'm not alone in thinking that 4 more years of this man in power will be a total disaster. When people other than myself are comparing this man's actions to those of a Central European Leader of the 1930's, it is easy to be frightened.  I fear the ultimate endpoint if we keep going down his path.

As I'm writing this, none of us know what will happen with the presidential impeachment.  It has yet to be delivered to the Senate.  I have a strong feeling that it will never be delivered to the upper chamber.  Why should Pelosi bother giving Trump a chance to say that he has been exonerated?  It's better for her to let him say she's chicken.  The longer the impeachment is in stasis, the more likely it is for the House to find and expose evidence that will hurt the GOP in the next election. Unless the Senate trial allows specific witnesses to be called AND has a secret ballot, the conclusion is a forgone conclusion - the Senate would acquit the president.  Why should she make the Democrats look like fools for being forced into voting yes on articles of impeachment?

- - - - - -

Later this year, I plan to go to a financial planner for a financial checkup.  For the most part, I feel that I am doing reasonably well.  Yet, I could have done better had I had my current wisdom when I was young.  Neither my niece nor my nephew will do as well as I have done. Neither of them has been able to save any money yet, and it will only get worse when they are in a position to raise children.  If there is any advice that should be given to a 20-30 year old person, the advice would be simple - skimp on luxuries and save as much as possible for your future retirement.  The formulas show that if a person saves "X" dollars per year between ages 20 and 30 then stops contributions, that person will have more money than if that person started putting away the same "X" dollars per year from ages 30 to 65.  Sadly, I can't give my younger self this advice.  But I can still advise my niece and nephew to save as much as possible, and explain why to them.

Luckily, I'm in a better position than last year regarding taxes.  I'll have paid all the money I expect to owe the government, and I will have lower estimates for this year.  However, I don't know how much of an income bump I'll have this year due to the temporary job.  Nor do I know what that will force me to pay in estimated taxes one year later.  So I plan to save half the after tax money I make from the temporary job and reserve it for taxes.

- - - - - -

Given that I had nothing to do during the day, I decided to rest in bed.  I won't have this luxury much longer.  But while I do, I'm going to take advantage of it.  If I'm in the mood later on, I'll start tearing apart the corners of my room to figure out where I put things AND to find more stuff amidst all the clutter that I can throw out. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

This morning, I found an email from my former cruise partner saying all sorts of nasty things about me.  To some degree, I can see some reason for short term anger.  But after 2 1/2 months, anger should dissipate - especially when that person is no longer in your life. In this case, it looks like it hasn't dissipated, and that I'm going to be hurt by an angry woman.

The email I received is a postscript to a prior blog entry, so I won't go into it here.  I feel very sad that someone can keep up this anger as long as she has.  But it's my cross to bear.  At least, I still have other friends that I can lean on when I need to do so.

- - - - - -

Seeing this email puts a lot of things into perspective right now.  By totally disconnecting from one woman as a friend, I enabled her to get into a self fueled vicious circle of boiling anger.  And when someone is angry and out of control, they lash out in whatever ways they can.  Often, they try to sabotage others - just to cause their targets pain from sources other than the one commanding the shots be taken.

No one likes seeing themselves in a harsh light.  I am no exception to that truth.  If I had things to do all over again, I would have been a little more discreet about what I wrote in the old blog.  And that blog has come back to haunt me several times lately.  It has already cost me the friendship of someone in New Jersey.  It has cost me the friendship of a former cruise partner.  And it has catalyzed the breakup with GFJ.  Could I be too open about my life (and of others' interactions with me)?  It's possible.

One friend of mine said to me recently that she's glad she didn't meet a former close friend of mine.  She doesn't want to deal with people who could hold onto anger for a long time. And I can't blame her.

- - - - - -

So when I finally got moving for the day, I decided to drive out to Paramus, where I could get a dress regularly selling for $79 for only $18 on clearance.  This was too good to be true.  So I made the drive, tried on the dress, and helped it into the trunk of my car.  (I'll try to get a picture of me in the dress soon.)  Next, I drove over to Catherine's to see if they had an "all in one" body briefer in my size.  Unfortunately, they didn't have it in a size 48.  So I did without.  (You can guess what I'll be looking for in the confines of my apartment before the New Year's Eve parties.)

PS: Lane Bryant corrected their pricing, and marked the same dress $10 higher 24 hours later.  I'm even more glad that I made the drive to Paramus when I did!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

It was my first full weekend without GFJ, and I wanted someone special to be with....

t was the day after Xmas and GFJ dropped her bombshell.  I couldn't say that it was completely unexpected.  But 5-6 years after leaving her husband, 1 year after her divorce, GFJ started to think about what she wanted in her life in the future.  I was just a place holder until she was ready to start thinking carefully about what she'll do for the rest of her life.

When I got home, I said some very stupid things, and I knew she had to be upset from her style of texting on the other side of the connection.  So we both decided to break away for the evening, and we connected once for a very short exchange of texts - she was still hurt and still processing her feelings.  In a way this was good - she couldn't say what she needed to say in person, and I got the chance to accidentally vent before thinking about what I was saying.  We both were hurting, and in the end, it's a good thing, as it forces us to look at any friendship we will have from a different perspective.

The big thing that frustrates me is - she knew what I am going into our relationship, and kept going with me for as long as she did.  If it was love she had, she did not give me a chance to know something was wrong when I could have slowed down my journey towards being Marian. And I had opened up my heart enough to hurt a bit when she dropped her bombshell.

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

On Friday, other than the short message exchange, I did nothing all day.  If it weren't for bathroom visits and the need to eat, I'd have stayed in bed all day.  This didn't mean I slept all day.  Instead, I was reading a book due back to the library on Saturday - Good Economics for Hard Times.  It's an easily readable book that examines why people do not act as pure economic models expect they'd act.

When I looked at my face in the mirror during one of my bathroom visits, I noticed a few black hairs over my upper lip.  This means I will consider going to the laser place again to get a quick zapping for these hairs.  While looking at my face, I noticed some facial dark spots from where I had the dermatologist remove the big liver spots from my face.  Since I can no longer contact my former cruise partner and ask her for a little bit of information, I guess that I'll have to do without a long delayed follow-up visit to this doctor.  (Maybe I can call the practice in Mt. Kisco and find out whether the dermatologist on staff is the same man that I saw several years ago.  Any ideas from my readers?)

Since the news is so depressing these days, I couldn't bear to watch most of the movies on cable.  The TV Westerns have started to bore me a little.  So, for noise, I've left the shopping channel on, listening to the ladies selling women's clothing.  If you want truly forgettable media on TV, this is the stuff for you. Advertising 24x7, 363 days/year.  The only 2 days the channel isn't selling things are Thanksgiving and Christmas.   You can guess how much of a funk I was in....

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Saturday came, and I ended up barely eating anything during the day.  JS had contacted me, suggesting that we go to a movie - and I said OK.  She's feeling a bit down.  Her daughter is off her meds and needs serious help.  Her son needs to find work.  And she's killing herself with a job way too far from home.

Late last night, I sent a simple, short apology to GFJ for what I said to her the other night in that message exchange.  I haven't heard from her yet, and I doubt that I will hear from her anytime soon.  Thinking a little more about the past few months with her, I feel that she was more threatened than she'd admit about me developing as Marian.  Could she risk the possibility of me breaking a promise and going 24x7?  Once she fully realized that I was developing friendships with people like JS who saw me only as Marian, this catalyzed everything that went on in her head in the last few months of our relationship.  Too bad that I hadn't picked up on this earlier - it would have made things much easier for me to deal with, even if there is no right time to do so.

If GFJ and I are no longer friends because of my stupidity, I'll hold off from going to events where she might be present.  I certainly won't go to her "weekly group" meetings out of respect for her.  But I will consider theater groups if they are on my side of the Hudson.  She was right in one respect - she is much more of an outdoors person than I am. I won't be going to any of the hiking events that she enjoys so much. (I wouldn't even know how to start.) After seeing what a tick bite that she got on her property did to her, there's no way I want to deal with that kind of problem alone.  (At least she has a network of people who can help her out in time of need - I don't, and probably never will.)

- - - - - -

But back to JS.  She's the type of person who needs good friends, but is afraid of what will happen if she takes good advice.  The financial planner she once visited told her to sell the house and immediately retire to Florida.  Her son and daughter would have to fend for themselves.  The way JS is going, she'll drive herself into the grave, only postponing the day of reckoning for her kids.

By the time I made it to Ridgefield, JS had gone to the theater and found that the movie was sold out.  Instead, we changed our plans and went to the Hunan Noodle Bar for dinner.  The Thai Curry Seafood dish I had was yummy.  If I didn't have a bite on the way over to see JS, I'd have finished it all.  Instead, I had leftovers.

JS's situation is killing her. The job she has is killing her, as she's finding out that it's not a place to be.  She may know how to run a religious school, but she doesn't know how to run her life.  Her daughter doesn't bother to refill her prescriptions, and drops off her meds when they run out. And there are no consequences - JS takes care of this and other tasks that one would expect a 21 year old to manage for herself.  How else can the daughter learn, if mommy will clean up the daughter's mess every time?

On the way home from Ridgefield, I realized that I dodged a bullet.  If I had met her as Mario, I might have considered dating her because I was lonely.  And she's the kind of needy person who can suck the life out of you if you let her do so.  Until events force her to make the hard decisions she needs to make, both JS and her daughter's situation will continue to get worse.

- - - - - -

Instead of going straight home, I took the long way back home.  Thinking back on things, I think that when I found the job working for the census bureau and intended to go in as Marian, that this helped push GFJ into thinking that I can't stop my progress towards living as Marian 24x7.  What she didn't understand (if she read my old blog) was that there was one thing that made life as Mario enjoyable - the ability to have romance.  And that was worth NOT living 24x7.  But she couldn't help but be afraid that I could continue down my path and not be Mario for her.

Since GFJ has not bothered to contact me since I sent my apology message, I plan to compose and send one last message sometime early in the new year.  Since she was crying the last time I saw her, I realize that it took her a lot more emotional energy than expected to say that things were over. So instead of saying it in person, she felt that she had to finish the job in a message.

My response to her final breakup message must have hurt her to the core - in a way, I was the third person to betray her without meaning to do so.  My last message will note that she has not gotten back to me since the other day, that I will have to assume that she no longer wants any contact.  But I will also say that if she wants me as a friend, she will have to reach out - I do not want to hurt her any more than I have done so already by making another move.

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Sunday is often called "the Lord's Day" and I had to consider whether I'd be attending church in the morning. And given how I was feeling, I decided to take a pass.  I needed to get a little more sleep, given how screwed up my sleep patterns have been lately.  Since I had a brunch appointment with my former student clinician and her supervisor, I figured I could nap for another 2 hours and still be ready for 1 pm in Rockland County.

My plans were changed again by a text message - the former student clinician's best friend got into an accident and was in a hospital upstate.  So I texted that I wouldn't be going, and suggested that we reschedule for next week.  Hopefully, the supervisor got the message - she never seems to answer my texts, yet she is in contact with the student clinician.

At the same time as the above text exchange, I got a message from JS - she still wanted to see Little Woman and get together for lunch and we agreed to do this.  I started to get ready around 1 pm, and had just come out of the shower when JS called - she had broken a tooth, and wouldn't be able to make it today.  Since I really wasn't in the mood to see her a second day in a row, I was secretly happy, yet a little sad for her.  Hopefully, she'll be able to get her mouth patched up for an affordable cost. (Knowing what I know about dental costs, it'll be another $3,000 that she can not afford to spend. I feel sorry for any man who chooses to date her.)

So, at 2 pm, I turned on the movie channel and went to sleep for another 4 hours.  This is certainly not the way I want to spend my days.  It's too soon for me to seriously go out into the dating scene.  And when I do, I'll need a strategy to deal with the fact that I am transgender and currently live two lives.  I want a companion with whom I can go through life, and it doesn't look like it will happen anytime soon.

- - - - - -

PS: I told my friend Vicki about GFJ, and she had the same thoughts as I did.  Our romance was simply something to tide her through the times she was dealing with being separated from her husband.  Once the divorce came through, she had to figure out what she really wanted from life, and I was never going to be in her plans, given a prior breakup 4 1/2 years ago. So I know NOT to expect too much from her if we were to reconnect as friends.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Do I really want stressful work?

A while back, I attend my high school's 45th anniversary reunion.  While there, I met an old acquaintance who remembered me, but who I didn't remember.  Yet, we struck it off as it we were closer than we were way back when.  And he volunteered to pass my resume on to one of my friends who could help me find a new job as a project manager.  Monday, this gentleman sent me an email. But am I really interested?  I sent the following in response to his email:

Thanks for getting back to me.   Although I am rusty, having been out of the field for 5 years, I'd be interested in getting back into the field if the right position were offered.  (I would want to do well by the firm hiring me.)  In addition to project management, mainframe programming is acceptable as well.

Given the length of my commute, I would not be willing to work in Lower Manhattan.  But anywhere in Westchester County or near Grand Central would be a viable commute for me.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Trying to get back into a skill set incompletely developed after 5½ years of being idle scares me.  GFJ and I had the following exchange about this last night:

What about the job from someone in Long island?

I sent an email back to him today saying I am interested in talking. I hope to hear from him soon.  I told him in my email that I am only interested in looking for work in Westchester or around Grand Central station. I refuse to go downtown Manhattan anymore. But I'm not really looking for a high responsibility job. after being out of work for five plus years, I don't know if I could handle that responsibility again.

You can do it.

Maybe. My last experience wasn't the best one. And the one at the bank wasn't that great either.

You just have to be positive and don't look in the rear-view mirror but through the big glass in the front of the car

I didn't think that I could take over the company and start a new company on my own but I was able to do that

You have the right attitude.

You just have to be positive

I would at least talk and see if I could do it.

You have to go in with a positive attitude that you can do it

It's hard when you're not sure if you could do it anymore.

You have to say you've done it in the past and pick yourself up by your bootstraps and going with the attitude of positiveness.

Yes, GFJ is positive person.  But is she being a Pollyanna when thinking about my skills?   I wasn't able to complete the transition to being a project manager.  Nor was I that good at the job when I did it.  

Do I really want to take the risk of failure? 

PS:  After chatting with this fellow's friend, I was told that he'd pass my resume to a colleague in charge of "Mainframe Personnel."  As I would expect, I have not heard anything further along these lines....

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Once, I had a nosy neighbor. Now, there's a real estate key safe on the door.

I came home recently, and saw a real estate agent's key safe on the door of the apartment below me. My former nosy neighbor has been out of the apartment for the better part of two years, and the people who were expected to buy the apartment have been gone for almost as long.   Last year, the apartment was foreclosed upon by the bank holding the mortgage. This year, the apartment was sold at auction, and is now being marketed for sale to a new owner.

- - - - - -

Tonight, I tried to find out the price at which the apartment sold for on October 10th.  Although this information is of public record, I have no idea of how to find this information on-line, nor do I consider this information worth paying for. So I only wonder what Fannie Mae's official acquisition price was for the apartment.

In any auction, a lien holder may wish to establish a minimum bid.  This way, if Chase were to have a $80k lien on an apartment that could sell for $100k, the minimum bid prevents a bottom feeder from winning the auction with a $40k bid.  Unfortunately, I have no idea of whether a minimum bid was established, nor do I know what the winning bid was.

Let's say that the apartment is now officially for sale.  It'll take at least 1 or 2 months to show the apartment to prospective buyers and to get an offer accepted.  Then, depending on the time of month, it will take another 3-4 weeks before the Co-Op board can interview the prospective owner.  Unlike most co-op purchases, our proprietary lease gives lenders (in case of foreclosures) an unchecked ability to sell the apartment. (The bank has a right to get its money out of the loan, and we have little ability to prevent a bad shareholder from moving in. To make it worse, as I understand things, the new owner could sublet the place from day 1, causing us even more problems.)  At the time I'm writing this entry, I figure that it will take another 2-3 months before new people move in below me.

- - - - - -

As much as my apartment complex had become a naturally occurring retirement community, many baby boomers are either moving to warmer climes, moving to assisted living centers, or simply dying off.  In the case of the old lady and her disabled daughter who used to live in the next doorway, it appears that they have vacated their apartment, and it too is for sale.  (There is a real estate key safe on that door as well.)  So far, asking prices for apartments in my complex have been going up.  But that's a factor of a tolerably healthy economy and the New York City suburb real estate market.  I wonder how long this will last.

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...