Saturday, September 24, 2022

A trip to RQS's place


I'm looking forward to this weekend.  Although I will be in Mario mode all weekend, I look forward to being with RQS.  As I've asked before, is this too good to last?  I don't know the answer, and don't want to know right now.

The logistics of getting to see RQS is always a challenge. Getting to and staying over RQS's place is an issue.  If I drive, I hate trying to find a parking spot in her neighborhood.  (It would be even worse, if I drove down during the week, as her neighborhood has alternate side of the street parking.)  If I take mass transit, I have to leave my car in a public parking area which is empty at night.  And then, I have to take Metro North into NYC, then the subway to RQS's place.  AARGH!  But she's worth it.

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I shouldn't look at the negative side of things, and I try not to.  There are some advantages to being with RQS - such as being able to explore NYC at will.  This is something that most suburbanites do not take advantage of.  Like most suburbanites who live near a big city, the headaches of going into the city often outweigh the perceived benefits of being there.  And this is even more true when the city is the cultural and economic capital of the country.

New York City, is a place like few other world class cities.  Unlike London and Paris, it is not a political capital.  Instead, it is "only" an economic and cultural capital. Vicki and I used to go into NYC to catch an Off-Broadway (or Broadway) play or two on a regular basis.  It is also a foodie capital as well.  Where else in the USA can one eat a different ethnic food style every day?  About the only food one can't get here is authentic Haggis, as we have a thing against organ meats in this country.  But then, I'd rather enjoy myself and go to Stillwell and Surf on July 4th to enjoy Hot Dogs with Joey Chestnut.

Unfortunately, given NYC's subway system, "you can't get there from here" in many of the outer boroughs.  So it's hard to explore one borough from another, unless one is going to/from Manhattan.  And this is why it will take me 2+ hours to reach RQS today, when I can drive there in an hour (in good traffic).  But she's worth it....

Friday, September 23, 2022

Almost too late to play any games



Today was a do-nothing kind of day.  And yet, I knew that if I didn't go to play games, I'd be disappointing people who expected me to come to play games.  So I went.  

But first....

I've been quite a bit of an insomniac as of late, not going to sleep until the wee ours of the morning.  This is not good if one wants to live a "normal" life, nor is it good if one wants to take care of things best taken care of in the daytime.  For example, RQS and I are both night owls (to one degree or another), and love to sleep late.  But if we sleep too late, we run the risk of not being to do as many of the things we want to do.

The other night, I couldn't get any sleep because the frame on my CPAP mask broke. Unfortunately, I couldn't find parts from another mask to build a working mask that I could use to safely get some sleep. So I ended up going to sleep around 8:00 am.  Last night, it wasn't much better.  And, tonight, I feel that I will still have problems going to sleep.  So I knew that I had to take it easy during the day before going out to game night.

It's very easy to become a couch potato when one lives on a non-standard sleep schedule.  This is why I fought the instinct to stay home, and chose to go to game night today - albeit 45 minutes late.  Luckily, I was able to get in 1 game (Sushi Go!) and won.

Maybe next time, I'll arrive early for a change....

Thursday, September 22, 2022

It's been a long time since I've seen this friend.


For the life of me, I can't seem to find a picture of me with RO at a formerly local Italian Restaurant.  This may be just as well for now.  But it would have been nice to give my readers an idea to why I wanted her as a friend, and not as a lover.

We haven't seen each other in years, as the pandemic got in the way of us getting together.  Now that she's living in the Poconos full time, we can't make a quick decision to get together after work.  After a little bit of planning, we set today for our get together; and I chose the restaurant at a mid way point for both of us.

I didn't get moving until noon, and took my time getting ready to get showered, made up and dressed. It was a good thing that I left a little wiggle room in my departure time, as traffic could be unpredictable when dealing with the Bear Mountain Bridge.  Today, it was just that, as it took forever to get to the bridge.  But once I reached Seven Lakes Drive, it was a pleasant drive through Harriman State Park to get to Sloatsburg.  And from there, it was a hop, skip and a jump to NJ 287 which took me to Parsippany.  

In the past, the trip from Mahwah to Parsippany would take forever, as Route 287 had not been built between Boonton and Mahwah.  Since the route was completed, it was a 30 minute drive to reach my final destination from the NY/NJ state line.  Not knowing that RO would be on time, I brought along a book that I could read if she got stuck in traffic.  Luckily, she reached the restaurant at the same time as I did.

RO knows me as Marian, even though she has seen me as Mario a couple of times.  It is much easier for her to think of me as Marian, and that's the way I arrived at the restaurant.  Our talked flowed like water, and both of us enjoyed some of the best Italian food I've ever been served.  (I had the Lasagna, and it was an 11 on a scale of 10!)  All too soon, it was time to go home, and I took the overland route instead of going through the park.

Hopefully, we'll be able to get together much sooner than last time.  Until then, we'll keep in touch.  It'll be nice if RO & Husband gets the chance to meet RQS and I for dinner one day....

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Am I dreaming? If so, don't wake me.


Lately, I've been writing about the mundane things in life.  After a transgender person gets the courage to go out and about in the world, one's day to day experiences return to being just everyday experiences. Some of these experiences are social, and others are related to the configuration of one's body.  Once these experiences have become common enough, one doesn't think about them much.

Although RQS thinks of me as her boyfriend who likes to dress funny (and I'm comfortable with being this way), she also sees me as someone that she can share typical "girly" experiences with - such as going for a mani-pedi.  After getting used to seeing me present as a female, she has gotten very comfortable with me this way and will occasionally show me subtle public displays of affection.

RQS wants me to keep my male body configuration, and only use prosthetics to create my feminine body shape.  (She doesn't mind me getting electrolysis to remove my facial and body hair.  It's going the next step that bothers her.)  And I can live with that to have a good romantic relationship.  So far, things are going much better than expected.  RQS has suggested that the two of us get made up by a professional, then dress to the nines, and go out somewhere fancy.  This will not happen until after we get back from our cruise.  

Could this be a dream?  If so, I don't want to wake up.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Preparing for 2 cruises and looking forward to #3 (and maybe #4).


Towards the end of my tenure at the bank, FCP invited me to take a cruise with her, traveling as Marian.  It was a interesting experience, as I was outside of my comfort zone.  This would be the first of several cruises I would be taking as Marian, and something that accelerated my growth as Marian.

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Lately, I've been preparing for a cruise (as Mario) with RQS this fall, as well as preparing for a solo Hawaii Cruise (as Marian) later this year. To feel comfortable in the warm Hawaiian weather this winter, I've bought some informal dresses I could wear while there and look forward to wearing them on the cruise.

Assuming that all goes well on the first cruise, RQS and I may choose to take another cruise in the spring.  The main issue we think we'll have with this cruise will not be on the cruise itself.  It will be with her cats.  Will she have enough caregivers visiting often enough to feed her cats, clean their litter boxes, and show them some affection while we're gone?  This problem is one I dealt with after my cat died over 10 years ago by not adopting a new pet.  So I don't say anything negative about her cats, as I understand how they become family during their short lives.

I've been half-heartedly trying to convince RQS to take a specific Panama Canal cruise (a full transit through the historic locks) this coming spring, as it might be a last golden opportunity to see my uncle while he's alive. It's been fun trying to find ways to make this cruise into a more affordable reality (time and money), and it's something I should be able to afford next year.  RQS's issue with this is finding cat caregivers for the better part of 3 weeks, and I'm not sure if my brother (and his wife) are up to the task.  Luckily, this cruise will be offered for the 2024 season, and I may have a second opportunity to take this cruise. Hopefully, RQS and I will be able to do it together.

If we can't do the Panama Canal cruise due to RQS's time/cat caregiver constraints, we may take a 11 day Caribbean cruise.  This would be the second time I'd be in the area as Mario, and it wouldn't be as much fun as traveling as Marian.  Let's see what happens next.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Lots of clutter in 2 apartments


Both RQS and I have clutter from other people that resides in our apartments.  My clutter comes from artifacts of both my family, of my late wife and her family. RQS's clutter has similar sources, but more of them.  And we have taken it upon ourselves to help each other clean up the messes which define our apartments.

In our generation, possessions were handed down from generation to generation.  We expected our children to live in spaces bigger than the generations before them.  My late wife preserved the engraved crystal her parents and grandparents used on special occasions. Others preserved expensive place settings used (if ever) for these occasions. And I don't intend to get started on tchotchkes such as Hummel figurines. The baby boomers as a whole seem to believe in accumulating "stuff" to be handed on to future generations - even if it has no demonstrated value or use.

Right now, I am trying to being my apartment into a shape where I can have friends over to visit. RQS is good for me in this area.  And I know I'll have to pay her back this winter by helping her clear out the mess in her place.  By the time we are done, I figure that we'll have an idea of what our long term relationship will look like.  And that's a good thing....

Sunday, September 18, 2022


Although this is not one of my better photographs, it gives the viewer an idea of what RQS and I saw this weekend....

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One of the things about living in the Hudson Valley is that we have a choice of fireworks displays to choose from on any given holiday/holiday weekend.  This year, I decided to take RQS to see the Labor Day fireworks display at West Point, but view it from across the Hudson River in Cold Spring.

For those of my readers who don't know the Hudson Valley, Cold Spring is a sleepy little river town about 90 minutes from NYC by train.  Like many river towns around here, there is a little area near the river front where one can often find a park, a railroad station, and some marinas; with a main street that goes up a long hill.  When I moved to the area, Cold Spring was about to be found by the artistic community, and housing prices were about to zoom beyond the ability of locals to afford them. Today, Cold Spring is one of the more expensive towns in which to live in the Mid Hudson Valley. And it has kept much of its small town charm.  This year, it coordinated its neighborhood street fair to coincide with West Point's fireworks display. 

I normally don't pay close attention to what happens in many of the river towns, so I was a little surprised to find out about the street fair, as it blocked direct access to the river.  However, I was able to find a set of side roads which led us away from Main Street and to the river.  Once I found a convenient parking spot, we had a couple of hours to kill before the fireworks started. So we found a vacant park bench and listened to the Slambovian Circus of Dreams until the fireworks began.

Although watching West Point's fireworks from Cold Spring did not provide us with an optimal view, it did make it very easy to go home from the park.  We didn't have to drag lawn chairs for 3/4 to a car nor did we have to deal with traffic jams getting out of West Point and getting across the Bear Mountain Bridge.

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...