Saturday, March 26, 2022

My only free day this week....


As most of my readers know, I live most of my life as a female these days.  Yes, I'm legally male, but that isn't stopping me from enjoying most of the things that have been traditionally reserved for females.  And yet, there are still things that keep pulling me to spend more time as a male - such as romance.  For that reason, I have my daily calendar marked up with "Red" and "Green" days.  Today, I noticed that I have some "Red" events scheduled after I get home for two weeknight evenings, and have two completely "Red" days scheduled over the weekend.

A while back, Fran told me that her decision to "Out" herself to the world happened when she had a meeting that required her to present as a male, but showed up for that meeting as a female.  Since I want to control my "Outings", I've had to develop a good method of scheduling my time to retain that control. (This is part of why I was so pissed off at someone a couple of years ago.  But I won't bore you with that story now.)  I don't mind outing myself to people - there are people with whom I've outed myself, simply because I felt there was little risk in doing so.

For the next few days, my evenings are taken up by zoom meetings, dinner with a new friend, and time with RQS.  There's not much "Me Time" left.  Vicki said that's normal and OK - it's nice to know that you're spending time with someone again. The reason why one goes to meetups is that one needs to occupy empty time in one's schedule.  "Me Time" can be found by removing unneeded things from the schedule.

Right now, I have created "Me Time" by dropping weekend meetups from my schedule.  And weeknight meetups are next to come.  Yet, I will miss the meetups, as they served a purpose when I needed to be with people more than I do now....

Friday, March 25, 2022

Looking at new vacation options

Lately, I haven't been able to dedicate as much time as I used to for this blog.  So, I apologize if the quality of my entries has suffered a little bit.

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For a couple of months, I've been tracking the prices of several cruises.  The April ones on my list have barely moved, and I don't expect to see any significant price drops.  However, I expect to see movement in the cruises scheduled for the second half of the year.  So I will start pruning this list, so that I can have more room for other cruises I might want to take.

Recently, MSC has announced a group of 2023 sailings out of the Red Hook, Brooklyn cruise terminal. Normally, I would not consider traveling to Brooklyn for a cruise, given the headaches of getting to the terminal from where I live. However, MSC will match the loyalty status of customers from other cruise lines as a tool to get them to start cruising MSC.  Since I expect to graduate into NCL's Platinum loyalty level with my upcoming Hawaii cruise, why not consider doing the loyalty match sometime next spring, and seeing if I can take a cruise with a new line?

My vacation options are not limited to cruising.  I am also looking at doing another cross country trip by train.  My nephew lives in the Pacific Northwest, and I've been looking for excuses to visit both Seattle and Portland.  So this might be a trip that hits two birds with a single stone.  In the Fall, I could see myself taking a trip to Chicago, onward to New Orleans, then back home - all on Amtrak.  Each leg on Amtrak could be done in coach, and my big expenses would be food and lodging in the two cities.

Lastly, I have friends from my Texas zoom meetup that I have yet to meet in person.  This is the least likely of my trips, as I'd have to do more traveling as Mario than I would like.  Since I am not enamored of the climate in Texas in regard to being transgender, I am not sure whether I'd be safe there in Marian mode.  Hopefully, one (or two) of them will make it up to NYC for one of their vacations soon....

Thursday, March 24, 2022

We didn't go to The Automat.


Years ago, when I used to work in the NYC suburbs, I wanted to go to the last Automat to eat.  Sadly, by the time I had the time to do so, the last Automat had closed down.  Today, RQS and I were supposed to go into NYC and see "The Automat", a documentary about the Horn & Hardart Automat restaurants that used to dot New York City and Philadelphia. Unfortunately, the cold and raw weather, we ended up going to a local restaurant for dinner.  (We'll try to see this movie next weekend.)

RQS is warming up to the idea of having a bi-gendered boyfriend.  But then, she is also a person who could not find a traditional place in life, and has had to find her own non-traditional path.  Although I will not go into any details, RQS went to a good school and couldn't be part of any of the usual social groups because of her unique situation. Like me, she was a square peg that couldn't fit into a round hole.  Luckily this gave her time to study and figure out what she wanted to do with her life.  And from what I can tell, she was likely good at what she did during her career.  Yet, in the end, Covid brought an end to it.

Being with RQS is easy at this stage of getting to know each other.  I've already told her about my falling-outs with both XGFJ and FCP, and she hasn't yet run away.  Maybe, just maybe, I may have found a keeper....

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Seeing a friend who will soon be doing a trip I want to take.

I had dinner with one of my friends tonight.  She has only seen me as Marian, and we discussed what is going on in our lives.   And she's about to take the transatlantic crossing that I want to take sometime in the next 5 years.  

Most of my readers may be unaware of this, but the Queen Mary 2 is the last of the great ocean liners.  There is an important difference between ocean liners and cruise ships: Ocean Liners are designed to cross the Atlantic quickly with maximum comfort possible.  Cruise ships are mostly floating barges meant to be destinations in their own right.  When the QM2 is eventually retired, Cunard may use a hybrid ship to make its transatlantic crossings.  But it will be a sad day when this last ship in its category makes its last run.

If possible, I want to take this trip in a female presentation. It will be more pleasurable for me to get dressed to the nines (as only a woman can) for formal nights on this ship.  And for this, I can use my friend as a sounding board.  Ideally, I'll be able to travel as Marian all around Great Britain and Ireland, and return to the USA in style.  

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Making the above trip requires time and money - something we discussed as well.  My friend asked me if I'd be willing to work at her business, and I said I might be interested in doing so - especially since I'd be able to do so as Marian.  If this comes to pass, I'll let my readers know what happens....

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

At these prices, I might as well buy premium


This is the posted price of gas at a Southern California filling station.  You'll note that there is not much difference in the prices of the three grades of gas.  And I expect prices to go even higher before they peak.

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The war between Russia and Ukraine is hurting people the world over.  Ukrainians are getting killed, Russians are suffering due to economic sanctions imposed by the West.  And the West is hurting because of its over dependence on Russian resources. I am constantly reminded of a line repeated often in the movie The Dead Don't Die - "This is not going to end well."  The joke is that Adam Driver's character has been able to read the whole script (unlike Bill Murray), and he already knows the ending to the film they are acting in.  Sadly, what's happening in Ukraine is not going to end well, and it is not a joke.  Nor is the financial inflation which is being made worse by material shortages resulting from this war.

When I first started feeling comfortable going out as Marian, I used to drive all over the place, not worrying about the price of gas.  Now, I am concerned about the price of gas, and for the electricity that will power my air conditioners this summer. I'm no longer concerned about having new frocks to wear on a cruise.  Instead, I'm more concerned that the people I work with will be able to pay their bills.  We've only seen the tip of the iceberg, and high gas prices are only the beginning.

There are many people who advocate for America to be directly involved in this war.  That would be a mistake.  The last thing we need is for two nuclear powers to be officially "at war" with each other.  It is better that we and the Russians participate in a "Phony War", such as America did between 1939 and 1941.  The powers that be understood the need to switch over to military production.  But our government had to officially stay neutral until Germany or Japan declared war on us.  We were able to supply the UK with munitions, and circumvent rules of neutrality by allowing the UK to pickup warplanes they owned, but which we couldn't ship outside the US.  (We parked the planes at the border for the British to pull them safely into Canada without American assistance.)  This is the type of tactic we need to use to avoid starting World War 3.

Right now, I'm almost glad that my relationship with XGFJ ended when it did.  The cost of driving to her place would be excessive with today's gas prices.  Hopefully, she's getting "cheaper" gas where she lives than I am.  But that isn't much of a comfort these days.  Tonight, I paid $4.29/gal for gas.  A few miles away, the price has broken the $5.00 barrier.  Yet, it is already much worse in some areas.  In Gorda, CA, the price of gas has broken the $7.50 barrier. Soon, America will be paying European prices for gas - and we won't know how to cope.

As for me, I'm going to hunker down and hope for the best.  Hopefully, that best will happen soon.

Monday, March 21, 2022

On the fence


I've discussed my situation at work more than often enough.  As much as I can use the money (my 401k dropped by 10% in the latest downturn), I could also use the time that being unemployed would return to my life.  And this is what I'm on the fence about.

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When I started off to work, everything was going smoothly - as if everyone was taking off from work, leaving the roads free for me.  I was wide awake, and alert - and was this way throughout the day.  I'll bet that my boss was surprised that I made the quota of work she set for me the day before.

I don't care that much that I would be let go by the job.  But I do care that I am not leaving on my own terms. I like being able to go to work as Marian, but I don't enjoy what I have to deal with to do so (and I'm referring to the work at the office, and not about the process of getting made up.)  

When I talk to people, most say that I should leave this job before it eats me up.  But I'm on the fence.  And I have been since I took this job over a year ago.

I'm looking at another position that I will likely be interviewed for.  But if I get this job, it might get in the way of me taking my Hawaii cruise later this year.  Do I want to let this happen?  Again, I'm on the fence about this.

So much fence sitting, and so little happening.  It could be worse....


Sunday, March 20, 2022

I might be leaving the job soon - a short post



Believe it or not, I might be exiting my job soon....

As much as I enjoy going to work as Marian, it can not make up for the fact that I have one of the most boring jobs in the world.  I do what I can do to stay awake, but I have not been able to keep up the pace of work needed to make my boss happy.  So the first signs of being set up to be forced out are there - an open quota for the most tedious work I have ever done.

Will I be sad if I have to go?  A little.  I like being able to leave by my own choice.  But I won't miss having to get up by 6 am to get to work by 8.  I will miss the extra money the job brings in.  And in this age of $5+ gasoline, every extra dollar counts.

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...