Monday, January 13, 2020

A recent trip into NYC for dinner.

Scheduling a dinner with a friend is not always the easiest thing to do. The other day, I finally was able to meet Sarah in Chinatown for dinner.  We've met before, and it was nice to see her again.

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As you can tell, Sarah is a bit tall for a woman.  If I'm 5'10" or so, then she stands at least an inch or two above me. We certainly look like "Mutt and Jeff" in this picture, with me being the homely woman.  But that's because I have a lot of fat in the wrong places, and that I have yet to go on hormones.

Trekking into Chinatown is not the easiest thing to do.  This area of NYC is not served well by mass transit, as the subway lines stop about 1/2 mile away from any of the good restaurants. On a weekday, or if the sun was out, I'd consider getting off at the Brooklyn Bridge station on the IRT, then walk the "maze" passing by the city office building, the police headquarters, a church, and the federal courthouse over to Chinatown.  This path becomes desolated at off hours, and at these times, I prefer to walk along Canal Street because there are people on the street at all hours of the day.  At least, I get a mile or two of walking in whenever I go to Chinatown to eat.

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One of the things a person might not expect about the TG community is that not all of us are Liberals.  There are some of us who are much more conservative than I am, and that's because they do not live in a Liberal News bubble.  (I try to read information from both sides of the current political debate, but I draw the line at misleading reactionary opinions coming from the right.)  As much as I despise our current president, I can respect those people who tolerate him for extending the economic recovery, or those people who wanted a monkey wrench thrown into the political system.  I can even respect those people in the hinterlands, the mill towns where the mills have closed, who feel that the urban liberal elites have abandoned them.  But what offends me is willful ignorance, a belief in the propaganda being spewed by the likes of "Fox News" that they echo as if they were the daily orations of 1984's "Big Brother".  The longer I participate in maintaining contact with TG's of all political positions, the more I'm convinced that just as many of us TG's are making the same mistakes that the larger society makes as a whole - the mistakes which cause us to support our political tribes, even when their actions hurt us as individuals.

Why do I mention this?

Sarah and I come from different backgrounds and have different values.  And yet, we are able to have pleasant and intelligent conversations.  We listen to each other, no matter how much noise is in the background (as there was in the Chinese restaurant we ate at the other day.)  All too many of us look at each other as the enemy, and we don't make the effort to be civil any more.  Yes, I am guilty of this when I lay awake, alone in my room.  But in public, I try to make that effort to be as civil as possible - it's the best way of having a chance of helping another person's opinions to change in and of his/her own volition.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Thinking of a Hawaii Cruise that I may have to postpone until late in the year (at best).

15 days of cruising, with an obligatory stop in Mexico to comply with requirements of the Jones Act.  As of December 2019, this was the cruise on top of my list, and I was about to book it when I started getting employment calls from the US Census Bureau.

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Given that it's not easy for an overskilled/underskilled 62 y/o person to find work, do I really want to drain my savings any more than I have to in semi-retirement?  If I had my cruise scheduled for this month (either December 4th or 19th), I'd likely have no problems with starting late. But with the census ramping up for its 1 busy year out or 10, taking a vacation early in the year doesn't make sense if one wants to stay long enough to prove that one is serious about taking steps down in rank to go back to work.

The Hawaii cruise is one that I could easily take presenting as Marian. All but one stop is at an American port, and I wouldn't need to get off the ship in Mexico.  This cruise is generally offered when the ship is not making Alaska runs from late spring to early autumn.  And this cruise will again be offered at the end of the year, when any census related employment would likely be ending.

I'm likely to take long weekend trips while employed, so that I can get that "vacation feeling" again.  Washington, DC is a place I could always go to without problems.  If I end up going there, I'll have the chance to see Meg and her wife again.  That's always a pleasure!

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Vacations are very important to me, as they allow me a break from the mundane, a change of pace that helps to refresh me.  I admit that each time I go out in the world as Marian, that it becomes a refreshing time to me.  But then, isn't this the case for most of us transgender folk?

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...