Saturday, September 4, 2021





Transgender people have special makeup needs.  Unlike many people, I have found that theatrical makeup stores have many of the products we need - as long as we think creatively.  Once we have an idea of what needs to be done to our faces to make them look reasonably feminine, theatrical makeup houses such as Alcone often have the best products for our needs.

Due to a minor glitch on their website, my favorite store for makeup accidentally sold me a product from Ben Nye that was discontinued.  Since I use theatrical makeup for beard coverage and for jaw line contouring, this could have been a disaster for me.  In my response, I asked if they could recommend a similar product to Ben Nye Creme Shadow Natural contour compact, they promptly made several suggestions.  Mehron Cream color -Med Dark 4 came closest to what I needed, and I asked them to ship me a container to try out.  Hopefully, I'll be able to recommend this product to my TG readers.  I already recommend Alcone for specialty makeup, and will continue to do so in the future.

Don't be afraid to order from these businesses.  They were hurt during the worst of the pandemic, and they appreciate any and all business they get.  Almost all of them take internet orders, as many supply remote movie production, regional theaters and television stations across the country.  Although I highly recommend Alcone, I am biased - I have bought products at their NYC store when I worked in NYC.  Now, all my business is conducted through the internet - and they still meet my needs.  I expect that they can meet your needs as well.  





Friday, September 3, 2021

Originally, my plan was to post one or two entries per week.


Lately, I feel too exhausted to do much of anything after work.  Yet, I feel I have something to say every day of the week.  Go figure.

A critical reader made a comment that I now have something to write about other than air conditioners. Well, I have more to write about.  But I plan to keep details of many conversations private - if only because I've hurt several people in the past with my posts.

- - - - - -

Common themes that I will likely write about are: family, work, travel, health, and future full retirement.  At the age of 64,  these are common topics for people of my age.  And there are sub-topics that only transgender people will likely face.  These are the things I hope to be writing about in the future.

There are people who have made comments about what I've written about, with one person making suggestions that would please only her.  (I doubt she reads this blog anymore.)  Since this blog is mostly about things I experience, I would not be able to fulfill that person's request.  With that being said, I encounter a lot of things in my small life and I like sharing them.  I do not intend to change the theme of this blog to write about things that don't have meaning to me.  Yes, in the past, it hurt someone without me meaning to do this.  But I'll be trying to filter out details which could cause others pain or embarrassment. 

- - - - - -

With that being said, I have an interview scheduled for a potential new job.  If I get that job, I will be going as Mario and then consider socially transitioning on the job. Yet, if I were with the right person, I'd stay as Mario - and live life in both genders, but with less time spent as Marian.

Wish me luck....




Thursday, September 2, 2021

Things may be looking up - albeit several years late.


Although I haven't been happy on my job, I haven't been looking hard to find a new one.  Today, something popped up from out of the blue - an interview with the NYS Office of Court Administration.

Please be advised, you have been scheduled for a Clerical Assistant
interview with the 9th Judicial District. Details are as follows:



*_Time of Interview_*



Westchester County Courthouse

111 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. – 9th Floor

White Plains, NY 10601

When you get to the 9th floor please advise the front desk that you are
there for the interview.

This floored me.  I had once thought I was totally forgotten by NYS-OCA, as I had taken the Civil Service Exam for this position several years ago.  However, I guess that they extended the time for this list due to the pandemic.  Who knows?  However, I received some paperwork a few weeks ago asking me if I were still interested in working for the court system - and I said yes.  The last few times I received letters like this, I was never called for an interview.  But this time, I was called.

Although I am living my life as Marian these days, I would take this job (if offered) as Mario, then socially transition (professionally) while on the job.  If asked to start this job this year, I would not be able to take any of the cruises I want to take.  However, I would likely be able to go to work and present as my authentic self, and not as Mario.  And if I enjoyed this job, I'd probably stay on the job until I am 70.

What would you do if you were in my shoes (2" heels)?  Would you retire with the resources I have?  (My 401k plus future Social Security will give me a nice income in a couple of years.)  Or, would you work to the age of 70, not being able to take the time to travel as desired.  (I like the idea of working as Marian, and wish I could have done it years ago.)  One way or another, it'll be a hard decision for me....



PS: I just checked one of the civil service tests I took.  It's 4 years, almost to the day.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Conversations with two people.


Recently, I had a couple of conversations that I found very interesting.  The first was with my brother, as we discussed our mutual past, current family issues, and how to protect our assets.  The other with the newest member of our co-op board, where I outed myself to her and, discussed issues related to our co-op, and pleasantries regarding her father, grandfather, and great grandfather.

As I've mentioned before, my brother and I own a house we rent out to the best of tenants.  Hopefully, they will stay our tenants for a long time, as this income is a blessing to have in uncertain times.  Given that there is some maintenance that has been needed for a couple of years, we decided to take care of it before the weather gets cold.  Once done talking about the house, we talked about our past, and I found that I didn't remember that my brother was in the car when I was taken to therapy as a child.  I told him that I wish I could have given the notes from childhood therapy to my adult therapist.  And he responded that my dad wanted to protect me from what I might see.  Unfortunately, it should have been up to me to decide what happened to this information, and I wasn't given the chance to do so.  This is the one complaint I have about my father.  Eventually, we talked about his family and what he plans to do with his assets in his will.  (I won't go into those details here.)  Suffice it to say that I'd do the same things given his circumstances.

Once I was ready to go out, I stumbled into the new co-op board member.  We discussed an important issue that the co-op must deal with, and we agreed on the scope of the issue.  Hopefully, she will help me convince the other members of the board that this is an issue that can not be put off much longer. Next, we discussed family issues, and I mentioned some things about the recent past.  Specifically, that I saw her grandfather getting around on his scooter - and that I was happy that he was still active in his business.  Given that the co-op board knows of my transgender nature, I opened up to her - and she said that I looked good as Marian.  She couldn't believe it was me in the picture.  This way, if I come into a zoom meeting a little bit late, she won't get shocked at my appearance.

On the whole, I'm happy about these conversations, as it allowed for certain things to be said that needed to be said.  There was no hinting or guessing at what the other person meant.  These were some of the most effective chats I've had in a while.  And I'm very glad that I took the time out to have these chats....

Tuesday, August 31, 2021



No, I'm not talking about Henri Matisse.  I am talking about a tropical storm that was making its way up North to New England as I started to write this entry.  This storm put an area from New York City (and the Hudson Valley) through Eastern Long Island/Eastern Connecticut at risk for major storm damage.  So, like many of us, I battened down the hatches and waited for the storm to pass.

- - - - -

If the storm hadn't come, I'd have taken the day and traveled into NYC to do two things:
  1. See "Automania" at MoMA (NYC).  (I want to get there before 10/11, as the cars will be gone from the sculpture garden after that date.)
  2. Go to the Saatva NYC showroom to see a mattress designed for heavy people.  (At my weight, I want to get the best night's sleep that I can, and a "regular" mattress won't cut it anymore.)

Instead, I ended up staying inside my apartment, save to go downstairs and do some laundry.  One thing I've noticed lately is that I don't do that many loads to launder male garments anymore.  Although I'll include my male trousers and shirts in a typical load of colored laundry, my whites are virtually all male garments and sit inside the hamper for a few weeks - until  have enough for a full load.

- - - - - -

Right now, it looks like my Saturdays and Sundays are starting to get booked up.  I wonder how I'll find the time to enjoy any downtime while I'm working....

Why do I mention work?

I'm leaning towards quitting the job on my own volition, and cracking open my 401k a little.  There is enough money in the bank for me to afford a new car.  Right now, I'm looking at two different Honda models:

  1. 2021 CR-V
  2. 2021 HR-V

In both cases, a late model, low mileage used car from a different year would be acceptable at the right price.  Unfortunately, the pandemic has disrupted supply chains enough that it is hard to get a good car at a reasonable price.  If I had known what I know now, I'd have gone to the same place where my brother bought a late model Chevy Malibu and bought one there last year.  Unfortunately, few people have good foresight while hindsight is often with 20-20 clarity.

- - - - - -

How many of you have T-Mobile for a cell phone provider?  If you do, I suggest that you go on to their site and lookup what you should be doing in response to a recent data breach.  I'm in the middle of doing things, and I'll be requesting a credit report soon....





Sunday, August 29, 2021

Odds and ends - nothing uneven or ending about them.



First, I won't say much about a conversation I had today.  But if handled wrong, it could have led me (and the other party) down a rabbit hole of accusations, as someone else's problems reflected issues related to me that should have been addressed in the past.  Luckily, I managed to avoid the rabbit hole, and not get stuck with indirectly referencing my past.

Next, something my immediate supervisor said at the office today leads me to believe that they are gradually planning for my exit.  If that's true, I won't cry much.  In less than a week, I'll probably be happy about it, as I will have the freedom to book a "bucket list" cruise.  No, it's not the cruise I really want to take.  Instead, it allows me to get most of what I want out of a trip to Hawaii without breaking the bank.

Now that I've talked to the custodian firm for my 401k, I'm ready to take a couple of one-time distributions.  However, I must talk to my tax lady and a financial planner before I start this process.  If I were closer to the age I could start collecting Social Security without early penalties, I'd do so.  However, it pays for me to take some money out of the 401k, and let my SS benefits grow by 8% per year.  But this is not the only issue I have to deal with.  I need to find out what are my best options involving Medicare, as well as whether I can find affordable Long Term Care insurance.

Last night, I went to visit an ex-girlfriend.  No, I'm not talking about my most recent significant ex.  Instead, I'm talking about an ex with whom I broke up about 20 years ago.  We are still friends, and this was the first dinner we've had together since before the pandemic hit.  So we had a lot to catch up on - and catch up we did.  Although I had tasty leftover BBQ ribs to take home, they didn't make it to my car.  Sadly, I left them on top of the parking pay station before I went upstairs to fetch my car from the lot.  It was just as well, as the food in this place was a touch salty, and I didn't need to have any more.  If anything, I'd have liked to chat more with my ex.  Hopefully, next time, her husband will be there as well.  He is a great guy, and I know that they are better together than we ever could have been. 

Lately, I've been looking at taking a Hawaii cruise.  The 11 day cruise tour offered by NCL is way over priced, as they have taken actions which should help reduce the spread of the virus on their ship.  Unfortunately, reducing available cabins to limit the number of passengers has also resulted in excessive price increases.  So a cruise I could have taken for about $5,000 (after all expenses) before the pandemic would not cost me about $12,000+.  There is no way I plan to spend that kind of coin for a 10 day cruise tour with the route below:

Instead, I am looking at the following cruise being offered by Holland America.  This seems to be a much better current value, I could get 18 days on a cruise ship, but only 6 days in Hawaii instead of the 10 I'd get on Norwegian.

This cruise would still keep me in the $5,000 base.  But I would still need to deal with transportation, gratuities, and excursions.  Yet, this is the trip I will likely take, as I don't see the Norwegian Cruise becoming cheaper anytime soon.  I mentioned this to a friend, and she sent me a link saying that people of our age shouldn't be going on cruises at this time.  The one issue I have regarding this cruise might be the air travel needed to reach San Diego.  I hate flying, with all the TSA headaches.

However, I have a plan to help me minimize the effect of TSA on my travels.  If I can't avoid security theater, I can make sure I'm not on stage for long. There are two TSA Trusted Traveler Programs that I am interested in: Pre-Check and Global Entry.  For the extra $15, I'm leaning towards Global Entry - even though I've never flown outside of the USA.  (I have a niece that now lives in London, UK.)  With a trusted traveler number, I can breeze through security - and reduce the number of interactions I have with people who can hassle me at key points on my trips.  So, do I spend the $85 for Pre-Check, or do I spend the $100 on Global Entry?

As I now write this entry, I am watching "When the levees broke", a documentary on Hurricane Katrina and our government's inadequate response to the needs of the people in New Orleans and the rest of the region.  Why do I mention this?  We recently started evacuating American Citizens (and a few others) from Afghanistan, and we're showing a similar ineptitude.  Americans have short memories, and we do not learn from our collective past.  A hundred years ago, we suffered from the "Spanish Flu" pandemic, and we forgot those lessons.  And now we are making the same mistakes we made a century ago.  I've come to believe that we need the power of big government, but limit the size of the bureaucracy to allow leaders to implement quick and informed decisions.  But, if we get rid of the bureaucracy, we run the risk of incompetent, corrupt leaders steering America towards an authoritarian government.  

You'll note that I've rambled from short and simple things to ideas of a complex scope in this entry.  My brother complains that I can't help but talk of politics, and he is right.  As long as humanity has existed, our ability to communicate well has affected us at both micro and macro levels.  Communication skills and thought are involved in each of the items mentioned in this entry.  In the first case, I understood the hidden message meant to trap me into a discussion on someone else's terms.  In the case of the 401k, it illustrates my need to communicate with people who have information I need for planning my future.  In the case with my ex-girlfriend of 20 years, I realized that I couldn't communicate well enough to have a good relationship with this woman. With my cruise, the internet facilitates communication that I would have once depended on a travel agent to supply for my decision making.  And lastly, regarding government, we see that these issues affect all of us at both micro and macro levels.  There is a limit to how much information each of us can process, and not all of it makes us feel comfortable.  Last night's conversation may not have made me feel more comfortable about things which have happened.  But they made me more appreciative of what I have accomplished in my life.




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...