Saturday, January 2, 2021

Now that we're past Christmas....


Yes, Santa is exhausted, and so was I after leaving my brother's place on Christmas.  Lately, I've been getting too little sleep, and slept later than I planned before going to see my brother for the day.

This year, I had my doubts about visiting my brother, as I am concerned about catching the virus. Considering everything, I decided to drive to Long Island to see him and his family. I was an hour later than planned, but just in time to eat.  As seems to have become a habit, my sister in law is being anti social, and only comes out of the bedroom for a few minutes before going back inside.  

It was nice to meet my nephew's girlfriend.  And when I said that I was originally planning on being in her area this year, my brother said that she comes from Seattle.  I said that I knew that, as I was going to mention a 21 day Panama Canal cruise that got canceled due to the virus.  It was a pleasant trip, but not much to say about it


Friday, January 1, 2021

Finally! We've made it to 2021!



Yay!  2020 is finally over, and we've made it to 2021.  The first thing I want to say is that I hope that one ailing reader of this blog is still able to read it.  If anything happens to this reader, I hope that the spouse will drop me a line to let me know about things.

Last year was a very strange year.  I've written about the dispute with my ex.  But I have avoided mentioning that we've occasionally exchanged emails with each other.  My Facebook page has nothing worthwhile for her to read, and a mutual friend of ours would say that I have said nothing that references the ex there.  What I'll never tell her is that there will always be a part of me that will care for her, as both of us have likely put way too much between us to erase much of the pain from 2020.

Some of the strangeness of 2020 has to do with politics.  We've seen a president virtually go crazy, and no one from his cabinet or his political party bother to do anything about it.  We've been very lucky to see our election system hold, and that we will have a transfer of power on January 20th.  Since I'm writing this a little before Christmas, none of us have any idea whether our current president will be present at our new president's inauguration.  Will he be absent because he's to embarrassed to be present at an event that shows he's a loser?  Will he be absent because the inauguration will be both quiet and private because of the pandemic?  If I were the incoming president, I wouldn't bother with the usual pomp and circumstance, and would choose a private ceremony - to avoid creating a super spreader event.

I find it amazing how quickly "Big Pharma" developed vaccines for Covid-19.  And it's just in time.  America has gotten "pandemic tired" and needs to return to "normalcy".  Last spring, none of us would even think of taking planes to see family on the other side of the country. Today, Thanksgiving and Christmas have both become a sort of super spreader event.  I don't know how much longer we can take of not living "normal" lives.  And I think many people will be emotionally scarred due to life changes necessitated by the pandemic.  

2021 will bring a lot of changes with it.  And I look forward to most of them.  Hopefully, all of our lives will be a bit better this year....



Thursday, December 31, 2020

Thank God this year is almost over.

Years ago, an American president said that December 7, 1941 is a day that will live in infamy.  I say, that because of our current president, 2020 is a year that will live in infamy.  When a online dating site posts an ad that even Satan could have a successful match with 2020, then it's easy to claim that this will be the worst year in many of our lives.

Earlier this year, I lost my dad. And then, due to events related to an argument with an ex girlfriend, I got blackballed from a meetup group.  Such is life.  Other people had it much worse than I did. Can you imagine a young bride having to postpone her wedding three times due to the pandemic?  Even worse, what happens when both breadwinners in a small family have lost their jobs, and have to go on food lines to have enough for their family to eat? What about a teenager who loses both parents to the virus?  Even worse, what about an extended family of 23 who loses 17 members?  As I write this entry, over 300,000 lives have been lost.  Many of these deaths could have been prevented, had our president taken the pandemic seriously and had modeled proper use of face masks and hand washing. Instead, he turned mask wearing into a political statement, and helped cause super spreader events which made the pandemic even worse.

But enough about the troubles of 2020.  We've all had them, and there's not much we can do except to muddle through and carry on.  Instead, I'd like to focus on the good things that happened this year.  For example, many of us learned who our real friends are.  These are people who would stand with us in time of need, and be there for us whenever we needed help. Many of us started to realize that our votes could make a difference, and used these votes to remove the grifter in chief from office as of 1/20/21. Even "Big Pharma" looked at the pandemic as an opportunity to speed up development of new vaccines at a breakneck speed. We're learning that even in the worst of times, there's a lot of good to be said about an imperfect species such as ours.

In spite of the bad things that happened to me and my family this year, I have benefited from what I've gained during the year.  For example, I have developed new friendships while working at the census AND have had a chance to perfect my feminine presentation. When I was training a couple of new employees, one mentioned that she'd have never thought me anything other than a cisgender female, save for when she saw my name when I logged on to the computer. I've also learned better ways of projecting an authentic feminine image while doing things which would have me wearing trouser like garments - something many newly out transgender people need to learn.  Most of all, I have been able to retain my sense of humor and have found out who really appreciates having me in their lives.

Yes, there is a part of me that wishes I could turn the clock back a year or two and do different things.  I'd still have two people in my life that I cared about.  But we can't live in the past.  We can only move forward.  And forward means entering into 2021 with hope that the coming year will be better than 2020 - a relatively low bar to reach.  








Wednesday, December 30, 2020

I never left the apartment, but my day got better when night came.


I didn't leave my apartment building all day, as I didn't even bother getting out of my Jammies until I had a Zoom meeting to go to.  Yes, I could have done much more during the day, but I was in no mood to bother showering, shaving, and getting dressed.  And this suited me just fine.

As has become a custom lately, I didn't go to sleep until the sun started to rise. And I didn't get up until more than half the sunlight hours had gone by the wayside. Not having much that needed to be done right away, I proceeded to relax in bed and watch TV all day.  Sometime in mid afternoon, there was a knocking on my door.  Not wearing anything but a slip, I was not going to answer the door.  Later on, I found out that our managing agent had left me a small token of appreciation - some Almond Nougat.  Yum!  I could easily ruin my blood sugar levels by finishing this gift in one night.  But I didn't.

At this point, I was up and moving, so I figured that I'd change into the oversized T-Shirt type garment (above) that I usually use for lounging around and to sleep. It's not a pretty garment, but it is comfortable.  And the next time I need to buy hosiery from this site, I will buy another one of these garments in a different color.

Now that I changed into this garment, it was time to do a quick make up job to make my face presentable as Marian.  And then I logged into the Zoom meetup.  After a couple of hours, it was just me and my friend who used to live in New York - and we gabbed for a couple of hours.  During our chat, we noted that both of us would likely be good travel companions.  However, I mentioned that I only wish that we both liked women, or that one of us were of the opposite sex.  (Little does she know the equipment I was born with.)  Even though 14 years separates us in age, I wish I could have met her as Mario.  Heck, I wish I could reveal myself to her for who and what I am, and see if things could work.  But I'd rather have this woman as a friend, than to place a extremely low probability bet on romance.  

Once the Zoom meetup was over, I decided to walk downstairs to my mailbox as I was, and get my mail.  Apart from an electric bill, I found a package addressed to me as Marian.  What could this package be?  It seems like a woman I am friends with from my gaming group saw the oven mitt (at the top of this entry) and thought of me.  She is another woman, that in another time and another place, that I'd consider dating.  But she is married (I also like this fellow quite a bit), and I know that she appreciates my friendship.   Here is another friendship I wouldn't have if I were living my life primarily as Mario.

I don't think that some of my acquaintances will ever understand why I prefer being Marian over being Mario.  As I like to think about it, women have closer friendships - most men are always suspect in their motives.  Assuming this is true, it's a damn shame that biology and social systems isolate the male of our species - we could do much better if the two genders had more in common than we have right now....


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

I was just about to start writing this entry when....


This is the view from my apartment window after a snowfall.  It's not pretty, but the parking lot looks worse after a day or two.  This most recent storm followed the usual path - pretty once the snow stopped falling, and progressively more sloppy as the days drag on.

With the exception of a visit to the doctor to get information on my blood tests (things look much better than expected for me), I didn't do much except for a run to Wegman's to pick up groceries. Since I was already out as Mario, it didn't make sense for me to change into my feminine presentation just to make a supermarket run.

So when I got back home, I settled in for the night.  And then some emergency equipment tried to make it through our poorly plowed parking lot to deal with an issue with one of our residents. Did I go out to check what was going on?  No.  Instead, I got a call from another board member asking me what was going on.  We chatted for a while, and then I started to eat the duck I was cooking.

Was this a wasted day?  Yup.  But without people to get together with (due to the pandemic), it's so much easier to make many days into jammie days. And I did just that today.

Monday, December 28, 2020

You might be wondering...


You might be wondering how I spend many of my days lately.  No, I'm not talking of events I blog, but simply of the every day events that go on.  This post should give you a taste of the more boring parts of my life.

Lately, my sleep patterns have gone out of whack. It has become a common occurrence for me to go to sleep around 4-5 am, and wake up around noon.  This precludes me doing much during the day. But with sloppy snow on the ground, there's not much I really want to do outside.  Throw on the pandemic, and the high points of my week are the few times I go out to the stores to go food shopping and the times I've met with FH on the weekend.

Being with people always recharged me.  Now, with the pandemic around us, I have little interest in doing much of anything anymore.  It's easy for me to go for a day or two, not getting out of my jammies. It's not a good thing for me.

- - - - - -

Years ago, I used to send out boxes of Christmas cards. Now, I receive so few, that I tend to write holiday letters that are unique to each individual who writes me. And I feel that this is much more personal than a common greeting sent out to thousands of people who have bought the same package of cards.

Ever since I started with my meetup group's "Secret Pen Pal" activity, I've found that the mere activity of being "forced" to put my thoughts into words has helped me to have unique things to say to people.  No, I will never be a great wordsmith.  But I can organize my thoughts into things worth saying, and in a way that I hope brings other people a little bit of happiness when they read those words.

- - - - - -

You would think that the pandemic has given me time to clean up my apartment.  Without having someone nearby, it is a task that always seems to get waylaid. To make things worse, the place is not in shape to have my cleaning lady come over.  (But with the pandemic, I doubt she's entering many houses these days.)  I expect that by the time I am vaccinated, that I will need to make a serious effort to get this place cleaned up.

If I were to show you pictures of my place, you'd wonder why it got so cluttered.  With no place to go, and no one to have over, one easily gets into a "why bother?" mood.  I was one of those who did so.

- - - - - -

Well, it's time for me to stop writing and to get to do something else.  So I'll "see" you soon....




Sunday, December 27, 2020

Do the lights really seem to shine brighter at Christmastime?


This is the type of photograph that most people try to take when in NYC around Christmas time.  True New Yorker's tend to avoid the tourist spots, as they hate the crowds there.  I'm one of those people who prefer to avoid the city around Christmas.  But this year may be an exception, as the area will not be as filled with tourists.

Originally, my plans were to meet FH at her place at 5 pm.  Instead, she asked me to get there at 5:30 pm, and I was glad to oblige.  (I needed the extra time to fill up the car, and to get some cash out of the ATM.)  When I got there, FH wanted to pick up some food.  At the same time, I was hearing a weird noise coming from the car, as if something was dragging on the ground.  So I stopped in a lit area to check if something was caught under the car.  And then, it was off to a pizzeria a block away.  Normally, Pizza is not the meal I'd eat inside a car. But we pulled over to a safe zone to have a bite to eat, and then we were off to NYC to see some of the store windows.

Sadly, I made the mistake of trying to get to Queens Boulevard from the East instead of the South.  And this put me into the traffic jams caused by the shopping zones near  the Queens Center mall.  AARGH!  It took us 45 minutes to travel the distance I could normally travel in 5 minutes.  And then, FH was very concerned that we were hitting traffic lings on the way to the Queensboro bridge.  It was not a pleasure having her in the car for a trip (that in normal times) would be better taken on the subway. With all the traffic jams and with FH being a back seat driver, I was unhappy that we chose this trip for our weekly activity.

Just before we reached Saks and the Rockefeller Center tree, FH's daughter called, and FH wanted to go home.  (Her daughter has a health issue that causes FH to worry.)  Again, the trip home was plagued by poor road signage, questionable road signaling, and FH pushing me to drive unsafely.  I was glad to be on the way home, even if it was going to take me 90 minutes to get there.

Would I go into Manhattan again?  Probably, yes.  But I'll avoid areas of bad traffic and park the car in a safe lot.  And even then, I'll be very cautious, as there were more people on the sidewalk than I would like given the pandemic.


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...