Saturday, July 2, 2022

I don't have much to say today....


Over the past few days, I haven't had the chance to do much of anything or talk to anyone.  About the only things I have the energy or time to do during the week is to go shopping for necessities, and maybe do some laundry.  If it weren't for my belief that I should write something every day, even if it is a short paragraph, I'd switch to weekly entries.  But I'm afraid that I sill wouldn't have much to say.

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Right now, it looks like only one car dealership that is interested in cutting a deal I would find acceptable. If this doesn't work out, I'll put money into keeping my 9 y/o car on the road for another year, and take my chances buying a car next year.

My brother calls me up because he is bored with home life.  I won't go into his issues, save that he finds his time at the office a validation of the person he has become.  He has sacrificed a lot to get where he is, and he soon will grab his gold ring if all goes as expected.  Hopefully, all will go well for him.

Next year, I'm planning on taking a Panama Canal cruise.  I have only two requirements: (1) that I can visit my uncle in California at cruise end, and (2) that this cruise goes through the old locks.  Given the heat and humidity, this will be a cruise taken as Mario.  Yes, it's a compromise, but one I'm willing to take if I can see my uncle at the end.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Little things can mean a lot....


I have found these cords to be quite helpful, as I like to wear my id badge from work on a lanyard.  When I need to open up my locker, the cord extends, so that I can open the locker, and retracts when I take the key out.  Unfortunately, the retracting on my old lanyard broke and I couldn't find the other replacements I bought last year.  So, over to Staples I went to pick up some supplies.

Before reaching Staples, I stopped by Lowe's to pick up some black duct tape to fix an issue with my cell phone case.  (I won't even try to explain it, but the plastic shield that allows a license to be visible was coming out of its place, and I wanted to secure it for good.  Next was my stop at Staples, where I bought a couple of badge reels.

It's amazing how little things like this can make life more livable....

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Thinking of little things, RQS will be coming up for the weekend.  Why do I phrase it that way?  Well, she's shorter than most of the women I've dated, and she makes me feel good when she's around.

One of the things that gets both of us salivating is when the "Lobster Truck" is in a place where we can get a Connecticut Roll or two.  Yum!   To us, it's like letting a kid loose in a candy store.  But this time, we're adults and a penny candy won't do it for us any more.

On the phone tonight, she asked whether the dresses I ordered from Target have arrived.  I told her that they are expected here in a couple of days.  Hopefully, this summer, she'll spend a day with me (in Marian Mode) while I'm enjoying the comfort of one of these dresses.

- - - - - -

I find it interesting how mundane my life has become as of late.  Many of the things I write about have little to do with being transgender.  Instead, they have to do with the little things in life - and they often end up meaning much more than we think at the time.  And I'm enjoying the little things right now - they mean a lot to me.


Thursday, June 30, 2022

I keep getting closer to buying a car....


One of the problems I have living between the two genders is that I have to change gender presentations before doing something which requires me to present in the other gender.  In this case, it's showing myself in person as a male after spending a day at work as a female.

Why is this important?

I have to take time to strip off all traces of a female presentation, clothing, makeup, etc., switch money and ID into my other wallet, and getting dressed as a male, and this costs me at least 30-45 minutes of time which I could use getting to a dealership to do a test drive.  So I've had to hold off my test drives for times which I'll be presenting as a male - such as when RQS is with me over the weekend.  This has slowed down my search for a new car.

Recently, I decided to go online to get car quotes from dealerships.  Of course, they want you to deal with humans and give up control of the negotiation process.  Well, I figured that I'd state what was not acceptable in an offer to me, and see what they'd say.  This technique has allowed me to get quotes of $1500-$3000 less than what I was getting in person.  Yes, this still can unravel when I get to a dealership, but it has much more promise than going between dealerships in person.

Of course, I have a very good reason for buying a new car.  The last thing I need to do is have a car break down on me while I'm in female mode, as I carry my legal identification (identifying me as a male) with me. This has happened once, and I don't want it to happen again....

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

One woman says I passed the test of femininity.


Somehow, I feel proud about what happened today.  I passed a test of femininity while presenting as a female. But first....

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The other day, I was told that I've been given the authority to sign checks for my co-op.  However, it is a responsibility I didn't ask for, and almost blew off.  (I couldn't find the original email telling me who to ask for, and I had a case of the "fuck its" until I checked information in my online calendar.  At that point, I knew I wouldn't make it to have lunch with Vicki, and rescheduled our get together for a mid afternoon get together at Starbucks.  This was just as well, as the bank officer wasn't able to speak with me until 1:30, and I'd feel guilty telling Vicki that I screwed up after she left home.

At 1:30, I finally met with the bank officer, and we took care of the co-op account paperwork.  However, I had an issue of my own - I wanted to get the limit on one of my cards increased so that I could pay for my Hawaii cruise with a single charge on a single card.  Instead of shifting available credit balances from one card to another, he suggested that I open up a new account which more than doubled the credit available to me and gave me a $250 bonus for charging $500 to the new card within 3 months.  Of course, I expected to charge $9,000 on the card, so I would likely net almost $400 for opening up the account.  There is one potential issue - this may get in the way of me getting a good rate when I buy a car.  But more on that issue later.

Once done with the bank, I drove home and changed into Marian mode, wearing my new wig.  Vicki said that this wig looks better than my old wig as it better covers my chin bones.  She also apologized for going off on me at our last get together.  And I made a comment about FCP and XGFJ.  She agrees with me on how I interpret things, and said that I did the right thing by saying nothing.

After I left Vicki in Yorktown, it was off to the store to pick up a dessert for my meetup. With dessert in hand, I drove to Milford via the back roads - the turnpike was backed up (as usual). Like last time I was there, showers were in the forecast, and it drizzled a little throughout the party.  So, I sat down inside and read some email.  I found out that an auto dealer was willing to accept MSRP on a sedan, and $1500 over MSRP on the SUV.  So I now have a serious decision to make about buying a car.  While reading my emails, a woman came into the room and asked me if she minded if she changed her top into something warmer.  I shut the front door, and made sure no one came in while she was changing.  About the only thing I could see was her bra.  But she would not have let me see that if she thought I was a male.  RQS said that I passed the female test - women are now accepting me as a woman, albeit a tall, fat, and homely one. And that's fine with me.  I'd have gotten no excitement had she been braless and I had seen her breasts.  When presenting as Marian, I am reacting more and more like a cisgender women than I'd have thought years ago.

What would be going through your mind had you been in my position?

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Choosing Cruises - figuring out how to compare apples and oranges


RQS and I have been thinking of taking one of two New England/Eastern Canada. The first is a 7 day cruise where I've been to all of the ports before, either on NCL or Princess.

The only port I'd want to visit again on a cruise would be Halifax, as I'd like to show RQS around Peggy's Cove.  (See Lighthouse picture at the top of this post.)  It's a beautiful place, and worth going there for the photo opportunities alone.  However there is a 10 day cruise which has me salivating.

However, the above cruise makes a little more sense to me, as it adds 2 ports that I have yet to visit, Charlottetown and Sydney.  Strangely enough there is only a $20/pp difference in the price of a balcony cabin for the 7 and 10 day cruises.  

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Ideally, I'd have convinced RQS to have taken the above cruise.  You'll note that there is no map associated with it.  But I think it's because this cruise is a "one-off" that includes 3 ports in Greenland, and 2 ports in the Maritime provinces which I've yet to visit.

Hopefully, this cruise will be offered again in the future.

- - - - - -

Once a cruise has been selected, we now have the question to go with the "Free at Sea" package, or just go for the cheapest rates.  The difference between a "Sail Away" cabin rate ($849 before taxes and port fees) and a "Free at Sea" cabin rate ($1018 before taxes and port fees) is $169/pp.  When one factor in the following, the "Free at Sea" rate seems to make more sense.

  • The Travel Agency is kicking in a $125 onboard credit for the cabin. ($62.50/pp)
  • NCL provides 2 specialty dinners for 2.  (I consider this a $100/pp value)
  • NCL provides 300 minutes of free Wifi.  (I think this can be upgraded to unlimited for $150,  based on the deal I'm being offered on my Hawaii cruise.)
  • NCL provides a $50/cabin shore excursion credit for each excursion booked through the cruise line.  (NCL's excursions are overpriced, so this is not a great value.)
  • NCL provides an unlimited open bar package.  (Based on what I'm paying for this package on my Hawaii cruise, I think this adds an extra $250 in taxes for each person in the cabin.)  Since RQS and I do not drink that much, opting for unlimited liquor may not make sense.  We'd each need to consume 3 alcoholic drinks each day to break even on this option.  Could we get an unlimited soft drink package in its stead?

To me, it seems like the "Free at Sea" deal is a breakeven proposition.  Couple the onboard credit with the specialty dinners, and we'd get the "free" Wifi for $6.50/pp.

What would you do if you were in our shoes?

Monday, June 27, 2022

Seeing people from before the pandemic


As most of my regular readers know, I was a volunteer at The Loft for several years while I was in between jobs.  Today was the first chance I've had to visit since the beginning of the pandemic - and much has changed....

When I last was at The Loft, I was doing miscellaneous office work on a weekly basis.  Although much of the volunteer work is still needed, the overall vibe of the building has changed.  First, The Loft and the Church above it no longer operate a thrift store.  That died in the early days of the pandemic, never to return again.  Then, the organization which takes up the other half of the lower floor has expanded its footprint.  The Loft no longer feels at home in this building, as the church above has rented out another part of the building to a "fundamentalist" church.  After 3 years of this, The Loft is about to announce a development that I should not put into electronic ink until it is announced formally.  However, I can say that it is good news for people who have a hard time reaching the building....

It was nice to see a couple of the people I once worked with.  Hopefully, I'll be able to see them more often when I eventually leave my job....

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Getting older is a pain


If life were only this simple.  An older couple looking forward to a simpler life of ease.  Sadly, this is not the case for most of us, as we (collectively) have poorly prepared ourselves for the problems of getting old.

Today, I received another bill from a lab company which I thought was taken care of by my doctor's office.  Twice, I've contacted my doctor's office to get a billing error fixed, and this has not taken place.  The lady behind the desk says everything is fixed, only for me to find out that it is not fixed.  Since I don't want the bill to go into collections, I will need to take some time off from work to make phone calls to see what is going on and get things fixed.  AARGH!  We need single payer health care, and we won't get it in my lifetime.

On other matters, I have a car that is over 180k miles old.  I should be thinking of buying a new car.  But in this market, I have to ask the question - does it make sense to replace the car now, or should I deal with it when the car finally breaks down for good?  This is a hard question, as I don't plan on turning on social security benefits for 18 months, and I hate the idea of draining more money from savings than I absolutely need to do.

These problems, and others like it are to be expected as we get older.  Trans people have a few more of them, as many have to deal with legal issues and medical issues specific to the trans community.  (Luckily, I have not reached the point where I have to deal with these issues.  They would only be in front of me if I went through with a legal and/or medical transition.)  Hopefully, I will not need to worry about too many of them for a long while....

Norwegian Fjord Cruise Vacation - 06/28/24 (Zeebrugge, Belgium)

Today is our last stop in mainland Europe, and our last shore excursion.  We have been choosing relatively low energy shore excursions, as n...