Saturday, February 20, 2021

It's too easy to stay in bed all day



With the exception that I sleep on my back, I often look as spent as this woman does as I wake up each morning.  And if I didn't have something to take care of today, I would have stayed in bed and rested....

- - - - - -

My docket was filled with one task - driving FH and her dog to the vet. This meant one thing, I had to get to her place on time, so that the dog could make it to the vet's on time.  However, FH asked that I arrive at her place a little bit early so that she could stop at the drug store beforehand.  So I didn't have the time I needed to find the Valentine's Day card I had lost in the clutter on my desk.  I figured that I could pick up a V-Day box of Torrone (Italian Nougat Candy) at the local deli - and they had run out.  AARGH!  Now I had nothing to bring with me, and I knew I'd have to lie a little, saying that I left everything at home.

Most of the way down to Long Island was uneventful, save for a traffic jam near the Whitestone Bridge.  I skirted around that jam on local roads, and made it to FH's house ar 2:45.  After our stop at the drug store, we drove to the Vet's office in Richmond Hill where we dropped the dog off for a while. 30 minutes later, it was back on the road, and off to another drug store to pick up her friend's syringes. And finally, we returned to Forest Hills.  FH brought her friend's syringes up to her friend's apartment, and she was concerned about how bad her friend's place was.  (It makes me wonder what she'd think of my place.)  They talked for 15 minutes or so, and then she came back to the car (where her dog was finally resting nicely on my arm.) Now it was time to drop the dog back at FH's place, and then go out to dinner.

Along the way to Herricks, FH brought up the topic of Gender Preference vs. Gender Identity and Gender Presentation.  She still thinks that I am interested in males as partners - and that's the furthest thing from reality.  But I understand the views of people who don't understand what being transgender is all about.  She's living with a misconception that many people have.  And that's one of many reasons I don't think it will work out between us.  We first looked into an Italian restaurant my dad used to like, and it was too crowded for FH's taste.  Then we went next door to the Korean/Japanese restaurant where we had a nice meal.  At the end of the meal, she was chatting with the waitress about "Chinese" new year, not realizing that many Asian cultures celebrate Lunar new year, and that to the waitress it was Korean new year.

There are many things might get to me if I felt that I'd end up with FH.  But for now, she's a nice person to hang out with.... 


Friday, February 19, 2021

Three Dogs and a Dinner


Well, I started off the day with scheduling issues, and things got worse from there.  No, not "worse" in the meaning of getting closer to a train wreck that's going to happen. But worse, in the idea that things had to drop so I could have dinner with a friend.

- - - - - - 

I don't get the chance to see my friend Maria up in the Kingston area.  She's the type of friend who accepts me as Marian or as Mario - and has always been good to me in the short time that I've known her.  So, when she invited me for dinner, I knew I was going to drop several balls. First, I was likely to be late in calling FH to confirm our plans for tomorrow. Second, I was not going to be able to make my Zoom meeting with my Texas friends.  Lastly, I was likely to be late to chat with a new online friend in Wappinger's Falls. It was worth the schedule disruption to have dinner.

Maria's house is in an old section of town.  Her house was built with materials you can't get anymore: 12" wide wood plank floors, exposed wood crossbeams supporting the upper floor, stone outer walls, and other things that I can't remember off hand.  From what she told me, the house was started in the 1700's, and expanded at least twice in the 1800's.  It's one of those old houses on which one should do as few alterations as possible, as one doesn't know what other intermediate projects will be needed to achieve a desired result.  Yet, much of the interior looks modern because of the minor changes she made to make the place more comfortable - mostly in the kitchen and bathrooms, with new paint jobs in all of the rooms.

My original plan was to get to Maria's by 5 pm, and leave by 7.  This would allow me to attend my Zoom meeting (audio only), and then be in contact with both FH and my new online friend.  Since I was running a little late, the sun was going down when I arrived.  Once I opened the gate to her yard, I was greeted by 3 overly friendly dogs.  Maria was a little apologetic about the dogs, but I was very happy to have their attention.  (I love pets, but not the responsibility of having them.) Both dinner and our conversation lasted longer than expected.  I was glad of that, as we rarely get the chance to talk due to conflicting schedules. FH rang me at 9 sharp (she has a nasty habit of being too punctual), and I called her back around 9:30.  She showed some concern that I skipped out on my Zoom meeting to be with a friend.  But I think it's more because of the pandemic than anything else.  And she has good reasons for that.  She is less comfortable with the risks of being with people during the pandemic than I am.

Hopefully, I'll be invited back again soon.  Maria is a good cook, and it is nice to enjoy a home cooked meal now and then.  (Maybe, I'll also get to see her boyfriend one day soon.)





Thursday, February 18, 2021

I'm over the hill, but I don't mind it much.


For all practical purposes, it's been 7 years since I had my hands on a mainframe computer.  My programming skills have atrophied since then.  Yet, I am tempted to throw out a few applications to do some old fashioned Cobol programming.  Would I be good at it?  I'm not sure anymore.  I threw away all of my old manuals, never thinking that I'd ever need them again. Why do I mention this?  Well, I'm starting to see ads for remote work that my old skills could be used for.  As much as I am a relic, there are jobs around the country which now beg for remote workers.  And I wouldn't mind being one of them if I could get hired for a job befitting my skills. 

Sadly, I do not think I could brush up on all of my old skills and fake it with the skills I only had training for.  There are better qualified people than me out there, and no one wants to pay the big bucks for someone who is as obsolete as I am.  So, if there's work for me out there, it'll have to be grunt work.  Do I mind where I'm at now?  Not really.  I was able to retire a few years earlier than I had planned, and I have had the opportunity to explore the world as Marian - something which has helped me grow a lot as a person. 

The other day, I went to get a coat altered, getting the sleeves taken up about an inch and a half.  Today, when I went to pick it up from the tailor, I got into a discussion with the seamstress - who likely didn't suspect that I was not a cisgender female, except for my size. We talked about her marital problems, and I talked about my widowhood - with me translating my late wife's experience with cancer into that a male would have.  As long as the person doesn't know I'm transgender, it makes sense to talk about my past as if I'm cisgender. But I will talk about being transgender if things call for it - there is nothing to hide.  It's too bad that I don't have a good excuse to patronize her shop, as I would love to befriend this woman in the same way another cisgender woman would in the same situation.  Alas, this will likely not happen.

I may be over the hill, and far from any important rat races. But the view from here looks as good as the view I had 20 years ago - for very different reasons.  I now know what I want from the rest of my life, and I'm investing the time to get it.  I just wish I had this wisdom while my wife was alive - she deserved to be with someone who fully appreciated her while she was alive....

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

I don't know what I did all day, but I made up for it at night.


Sometimes, I feel that this model of Linda Blair from the Exorcist looks more realistic than I do. But then, Linda was born to be a cisgender woman, while I am transgender.  I figure that there is very little I can do about my image, save to lose weight, get facial feminization surgery, and see if I have enough hair for transplants (and having this procedure done if possible).  Until then, I will not feel that I can be remotely pretty in my own right.

- - - - - -

Like this model, I could be in my jammies all day if it were convenient.  And with the snow falling today, I did just that. Television was the order of the day until it was time to get ready for a co-op board meeting.  And then the "fun" began....

First, I exchanged a few messages with my ex girlfriend, and she was in the office having to take care of some tasks.  A little bit later, shortly before 4 pm, she decided to cut out early, as the roads weren't plowed well in her area.  So this gave me an excuse to end our chat, and to get ready for the board meeting. Then, FH called me, and wanted to get together on Friday.  This way, she could take her ailing dog to the vet, and we could go to dinner afterwards. Next, TCL called, and I didn't have the time to talk with her, as the co-op board meeting was about to start. (I figured that we could chat later on.)  After a while, my brother called during the meeting. So I sent him a message to tell him that I'd call him back. (He was calling to tell me that a check deposited to our joint account had cleared, and that I could pull my share of the money out of the account.) And then, FL called to shoot the breeze. Here was another call that I had to put off until after the board meeting. Finally, TCL called again, and I said that I'd call her back after the board meeting ended.

You'll note that I haven't said anything about the board meeting.  Well, most of what goes on in these meetings are not for public consumption. We have a lot of work ahead of us for the next few weeks, and I figure that we will likely have a few vendor selection meetings coming up in the near future.  My new job may get in the way of my participation, as I expect that I'll be getting out of work at 5:00, and I won't have time to do anything until 6:00.  And then, I figure that I'll have to turn my video off, as I'll still be in my feminine presentation when I get home.

Eventually the meeting ended, with all attendees feeling exhausted.  I returned my brother's call, then texted FL, and finally got the chance to chat with TCL for a while. At least, I was finally able to schedule dinner with Maria for later this week....

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

It's always nice to help a friend with a problem or two


To quote Winston Churchill: "I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest."  The above picture may help answer the question posed of Churchill, as it is an Enigma from WW2.  Now to find the Riddle and Mystery....

- - - - - -

I opened this entry with the Enigma, as it was cracked with the use of early computers (and a touch of Alan Turing's genius) at Bletchley Park.  Learning how to use Google Ad services can be just as hard to master as the Enigma was to crack.  But with a little help, this is not as hard as it sounds.

Today, I visited a friend who was taking a course for her business.  One of the modules covered how to set up Google Ad Services to bring traffic to her business' web site.  My friend was quite confused, and reached out to me for help - and I spent the whole day at her place trying to make sense of things, then explaining everything to her, so that she could proceed on her own.  

While there, I found that she had a doctor's appointment the next afternoon.  One problem - they were expecting another 3"-5" of snow, and she didn't want to risk two things: (1) Driving home in bad weather, and (2) Having problems with the procedure being done to her foot that would prevent her from driving home herself. So she booked herself a hotel room in Mt. Kisco for two nights, and I drove her to that hotel on my way home.

- - - - - -

On the ride home, my friend commented that she thinks the reason that men are not interested in her is the chaos going on at her place.  This may be a factor, but I don't think it's the main reason.  Instead, I feel that it is her body.  She had problems fitting into my car, and then, we were barely able to buckle up her seat belt because of her hip size.  (This is why I didn't want to date this woman - I like her, but her body would turn me off if I had to be intimate with her.)  We all maintain fantasies of our attractiveness, but most of us have a good sense of the failings of our bodies.

Before leaving her at the hotel, we decided to have dinner.  There was a bar crowd (3-4 people) doing their best to obey New York's Pandemic Beer/Wine/Spirits law as it applies to restaurants - everyone was having a meal with their drinks, while they watched the hockey game on TV.  We were at least 20' away from the other patrons, and enjoyed an uninterrupted dinner in a restaurant that might be barely paying for its basic expenses.

Given that New York City will now be able to allow indoor dining at 25% capacity on Valentine's day weekend, I plan to make reservations at a restaurant on the NYC side of the county line that separates Queens from Nassau counties.  I figure that FH will feel much more comfortable at this place than the place we dined at last weekend.  It's not a fancy place.  But it's a place that's been in business since I was young.  So I think it'll be a good bet for us.

- - - - - -

I have to chuckle about strange coincidences.  The other day, a woman swiped right on my personal ad, and we ended up chatting on line for almost an hour.  Once she told me what she used to do for work, my ears perked up.  She has met me as Marian without knowing it, as she used to own a clothing store geared for plus size women. Now, she's interested in knowing Mario - even though she doesn't yet know that Marian is my other side.  It'll be very interesting if things progress to a point where I have to reveal this to her....

Monday, February 15, 2021

Is this a legal parking spot?



I'm sure that one of the (former?) readers of this blog could answer this question: If the fire hydrant is as non-functional as this, should I get ticketed for parking here?

- - - - - - 

One of the things I've learned about New York City public street parking is that after a snow storm, people will do as little as possible to shovel out an on-street parking spot, as it will only benefit the next person to use that spot. As a result of the snow, there were fewer available spots than normal in FH's neighborhood than usual, and many of those that were left were inaccessible unless one drove a vehicle with 4 wheel drive.   Since last night seems to have been "Garbage Night" in FH's neighborhood, the refuse from the multi story buildings on both sides of the street were piled up, waiting for the sanitation department to remove at its convenience. This should make it more difficult than usual to find a parking spot. Yet, upon first arrival, I was able to get a spot within 5 minutes of arriving at her building.

Since I arrived on time, I met the doorman at FH's building as he was going on shift, and he let me in without problem.  FH was pleasantly surprised that I found a spot quickly, and even more pleasantly surprised that I could resolve a printer issue she was having before going back to the car and going out to eat.

There is a risk in going out to eat these days, but I figured that since FH didn't want to eat at home with her daughter around, that we should do something elsewhere.  Both of us knew the risks posed by doing this during the pandemic, but we decided to go out anyway.  So I drove out to Freeport, where we didn't find much of anything open.  We tried to eat at a restaurant we ate at months ago, but it was too crowded for her taste.  Then, we drove around for a little bit, and chanced another restaurant in the same area.  I won't go into all the specifics. But this choice was a bit of a mistake, as we had to change rooms because a small party started in the room where we were originally seated.

When we arrived in FH's neighborhood, there was nary a spot to be found, save the "spot" in the picture at the top of this entry.  Would you say that there is a functional fire hydrant that my car is blocking?  More importantly, would you say that I should have gotten a ticket for parking here at night, given what you could and couldn't see on the sides of the street?  I certainly don't know what a NYC court might say, but I was lucky not to be ticketed last night.  Let's hope that no one gets ticketed until this hydrant is returned to working order.


Sunday, February 14, 2021

The other day, my telephone was like the switchboard at Grand Central Terminal


Recently, I had more people calling (or texting) me in one night than usually happens in a week. But then, it was perfectly understandable given the circumstances....

- - - - - -

Early in the day, my brother interrupted me while I was taking care of something important. He called me to let me know that a financial issue we've had closing out our dad's estate should be over soon - the bank is mailing out a check, and my brother will deposit it on arrival.  This means that, god willing, I should be able to afford to take my Hawaii cruise when cruising starts up again.  

Later in the day, Vicki called me to chat a little. I had just started to straighten out some of the mess in the apartment, and was interrupted.  A few seconds after Vicki hung up, my brother called again, just to shoot the breeze. I called my friend Vanessa to touch base on a course which required my help figuring out her problem with setting up an ad campaign on Google search, and she said that she'd call back shortly. So I took this time to chat with TCL. 

Once done with TCL, I received a message from a friend in Manhattan, and we "chatted" for a while before I was tired of texting.  So I bid her goodbye for the night. And almost immediately after wards, I received a text from a new acquaintance on Facebook, and we started to shoot the breeze.  Although she's talking with me as Mario, I know she'd be surprised to find out that I once frequented her store as Marian.  (That's something I will reveal at a future time.) While shooting the breeze, XGFJ texted me to chat a little.  She sent me a link for a store in her neck of the woods that opened a new location in Eastchester.  Applestone Meat is known for its 24x7 stores which use vending machines to dispense their products.  Although the meat is expensive, it is an excellent value if you like high quality beef.  By the time I was done with my new friend and my ex girlfriend, Vanessa called me back and we were both talking about her Google ad problems and catching up on what has been going on with our lives.

By the time midnight came along, I was fried.  This is one of those times I'm glad that I don't have to go to work in the morning.

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...