Saturday, December 3, 2022

Sample Sale!

I love the quality what Universal Standard has to offer, and have always wanted to visit their site and go shopping in-person.  Unfortunately, Covid-19 put the kibosh on that until now.  Recently, a sample sale made this desire a reality for me, even though they have not yet bothered to reopen a retail outlet for their goods.

- - - - - -

When I made plans with RQS for this weekend, I figured that I could meet her for lunch in NYC, and then visit the sample sale being held two subway stops away. So, I took a 12:30 train into the city and met RQS for lunch in Union Square.  From there, it was off to the sample sale.  Although we got on the wrong downtown train, we were still able to make it to their ad-hoc store by 3:00 or so.  And then the fun began....

We made it to the entrance, only to see a sign telling us that people had to sign up for this sale.  Obviously, neither of us did that.  So I figured that it was OK to take the elevator up to their floor, as I didn't think that this notice would be enforced - and I was right.  The two of us were in a room as small as my apartment that oozed estrogen. 

Upon entry, a saleswoman greeted us, and told us to look around.  Everything was "organized" by size.  (I'd say that this was a loose description, as not everything was being put back in its original place.)  Out of 30+ people in the room, there was only 1 male, obviously a "non threatening" employee (please read between my lines). Although there was no changing room, it looked like the women's dressing room at Syms (a former clothing store from the New York area) - women in all stages of dress or undress were trying on clothing they found on the racks.  RQS said that it was like being in a woman's locker room when the gym was busy.  It was only too bad that I couldn't have gotten into the swing of things and try on some outfits.  But I was able to find a nice robe in my size, and bought it for $35.

Once done there, it was time to go back to my place.  It was the first time that the two of us took the commuter train together, and it was a nice ride up the Hudson....


Friday, December 2, 2022

Dinners with Vicki & TCL

Last night, Vicki and I went to a dinner at a restaurant holding a HVRW (Hudson Valley Restaurant Week) promotion. As usual, when I see Vicki, I presented as female. It was nice to be able to go out to a nice place and be treated as a lady.  

But I digress....

Every year, Vicki and I try to go out to at least one restaurant participating in the HVRW promotion.  This year, most of our favorite places which participated in the past were not on the HVRW list.  So we decided to and try out a new place, Lenny's in Larchmont, NY.  

Lenny's is housed in an old building on the Post Road, and it is not easy to find the entrance to its parking lot in the dark. There was a car in front of me that couldn't find the parking lot, and blocked me while waiting to turn off the Post Road.  Once on the side street, I went around the block with an idea towards entering the parking lot in the one area where I could expect a driveway cut - right next to the tent that covered the bulk of their parking area.  (There was parking at the bank across the street, but we didn't know it at the time.)  It was nice to know that we entered the restaurant while the other car was trying to park.

Once in the restaurant, we proceeded to look at the menu.  There wasn't that much that was interesting on the Prix-fixe menu, but we found two dishes we liked.  However, not much other than our appetizer jumped out and said "come here again". (3 Oysters and 3 clams on the half shell served over ice - Yum!) Vicki said that there was something missing from her fish dish, and I was only satisfied by my chicken dish.  Please note that both of our taste buds may have been off, as Vicki had just gotten over a cold, and I had other issues that could have affected my taste buds.  So I won't knock this place for how their dishes tasted until I have given the place a second chance.

- - - - - -

Tonight, I went to see TCL.  It's been months since we've gotten together, and we wanted to go back to one of our old standby places.  So, after taking care of some things around the house, it was off to New Jersey in Mario mode.

I was a little concerned about a noise my car made when driving from Walmart's parking lot.  After a few miles, I realized that I had the transmission in D3 mode - and corrected it right away.  But this spooked me enough to avoid taking the Bear Mountain Bridge and cross the river in Tarrytown.  This added extra time to my trip, but I was able to make it to TCL's on time for dinner.

Luckily, Justin's (in Hawthorne, NJ) had an early bird Prix-fixe special, and we both had a good meal.  I had a veal dish, while TCL had chicken. Both of us were satisfied, and I felt as if tonight's meal was better than the meal I had the night before.  Unfortunately, the wine affected me a little, so I had to wait a while (enjoying a cup of coffee) for my body to catch up in processing what I fed it.  By the time we made it back to TCL's place, I was OK and ready for my drive home.

- - - - - -

While with TCL, Vicki called me.  Her hubby was unexpectedly going to be away on the day of her colonoscopy, and she wanted to take me up on my offer of being a chauffeur.  Of course, I said "Sure!" as I knew she'd do the same for me if I asked.  Shortly afterwards, my brother called and asked about my schedule - he wanted to schedule a visit to the lawyer to discuss issues we have regarding the house we own together.  So that'll be another day booked in my calendar.  I think TCL may start to understand why I try to book things way in advance - life has a habit of filling one's calendar while one wants to make other plans.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

I wish I had a picture of me without glasses.

NCL notified me that I had to check in for my cruise.  Although I was ready and willing to do so, I did not have a picture of me available that was suitable - all of the shots I've saved on this computer in female presentation have me wearing glasses.  So I will need to wait until the next time I'm dressed as Marian before I can take a photo of me without glasses.

Getting all the paperwork in order before a trip is a pain in the ass.  This time, I have to take care of airline check-in procedures in addition to cruise line check-in procedures. Although taking care of things isn't that difficult, more can go wrong and cause me trouble when at the airport or in Hawaii.  So I want to be sure that I have gotten things right before leaving home to go on my cruise.

Right now, I have started to arrange both my carry-on bag and my toiletry kit for my outbound travel. Even though I may not need to take off my shoes or pull out my electronics and liquids (I have trusted traveler status), I still have to follow the rules for passing through a security checkpoint.  In short, I have to be prepared for the random "SSSS" printed on the bottom of my boarding pass, whether or not I am actually subject to special screening. And then, I have to wait to get on the plane. Once I'm finally on the plane, I must be ready to be uncomfortable for the next 12 hours.  I'm lucky that I paid for confirmed seats on the aisle, as I may have a little more room to stretch out now and then. And I won't be disturbing anyone as I get out of my seat to go to the loo.   

When I last contacted Kim (Traveling Transgender), she didn't have much advice for me.  So I will likely need to talk to the TSA agent before going through the security checkpoint and ask for appropriate screening.  After I have successfully done this once, I expect I will have little trouble on the return trip.  (I'll be sure to keep emergency information on hand, lest I get stuck at the airport.)  This will be a new experience for me - Flying Pretty.  Kim has done this many times, and has written about it in her blog.  Sadly, she doesn't write much anymore, as her job now keeps her "down on the farm" much more now than in the past.

If I felt it were right for me at this time, I'd do several things.  First, I'd change my name to use the familiar version of my first name (works for both genders).  Then, I'd get partial FFS (Facial Feminization Surgery) to make my face androgynous. And finally, I'd get some electrolysis done to remove my beard, and to eliminate the hairs on my back that I can't shave off by myself.  (If I had the time and money, I'd remove all the hair below the neck, save maybe my pubic hair.  But that's an expensive proposition.)  With these changes, I could get a wig styled in a way that I could go out as a female one day, and then use another wig (a toupee) for use when I want to present as a male.  Then, I could present my ID, and people would be looking at my face, and not the gender marker on the ID.

Compared to many other transgender folk, I still have it good.  I've found that most people don't give a damn about how ugly a female I am, or how fat a male I am when I present in the associated gender.  I have a girlfriend who says she loves me, and I will do what it takes to preserve the relationship - even if I slow down my journey on this transgender path....


Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes it eats you.


RQS was up here for the weekend, and we decided to visit the Norman Rockwell museum in Massachusetts.  I made the mistake of taking my least favorite road, the Taconic State Parkway, and got "rewarded" for my efforts - I fed the "Bear".  Yup, a "Smokey" nailed me.  This was my first ticket in years, and I will be paying for it!  AARGH!

But asides the assassination, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

I was surprised when RQS suggested that I spend the day as Marian, and we had a great time (ticket, not withstanding.)   She had never been at this museum before, and it was nice to be able to spend an hour looking at Rockwell's work. Getting ticket is an awkward feeling at best, and I was in female presentation at the time.  I was glad that the officer treated me with respect (he has likely seen everything in his line of work), and I was on my way with a minimum of wasted time.  

On the way home, we took slower moving roads, and ended up in Dover Plains, NY where we stopped into a local ice cream shop before it closed for the season. Yum!  If you're ever up in this area when the weather is warm, go visit them.  For me, it's a must stop when I'm driving on Route 22....

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Lost and found

In the run up to my upcoming Hawaii trip, I have been buying things that I can use on my earlier cruises and on my upcoming Hawaii cruise.  So far, I have been already able to use a few of these items, the cruise power strip which has NO surge protector.  The Tile Item Locator proved its value on my recent cruise, as it saved a lot of time for me in locating my luggage at the pier.  And we enjoyed having the motion sensitive night light available when our cabin was dark.  Yet, there are still some items that I haven't used yet, one of them I almost bought again....

To prepare for Hawaii, I have started "packing" some of the above items, to make it easier when I have to load everything into my suitcases for the trip.  One of these items is the black carry case above, in which I plan to store a cell phone charger (with cable), a wired set of ear buds and a few other electronic gizmos. And it is this item that got lost in my apartment.

I've been looking for this carry case for a while, as it vanished without a trace.  No matter whee I looked, I couldn't find it in the several weeks since I first put stuff inside of it.  Since I would need these items when I traveled, it made sense for me to order replacements before my Hawaii trip.  But as luck would have it, they mysteriously appeared in the dark cavern between my mattress and the foot-board of my bed.

The moral of this story:  “Everyone has a photographic memory, some people don’t always have film!”

Monday, November 28, 2022

Supply chain issues strike again.


I depend on this product to keep my falsies in place while I go out and about as Marian.  Recently, I decided to place an order from my usual supplier, and found that they are out of stock.  This has not been the case in the previous times I wanted to place an order, so I asked the vendor what was up - and it was a supply chain issue.  They expected a new product delivery in the next few weeks, and that I would be able to place an order when their product is in house.

Although I will go back to this supplier, I decided to check out other suppliers.  And I found out that the other suppliers of breast form tapes supply an inferior product for my needs.  There is only one other supplier of breast form tapes (sold through multiple outlets), and I'd have to use 2 or 3 tapes instead of 1 to keep my falsies in place.

This is a supply chain problem typical of a niche product, and typical of many problems affecting our nation's supply chains today.  I feel that we have at least another year of these supply chain hiccups to go. Hopefully, we'll experience fewer and fewer of these hiccups, as things get back to a new normal.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Now, I have an idea of what to give two kids for Xmas

Every year, I've bought something for the two children of my game night hosts.  This year is the same, except that I have much less time to do so due to my upcoming trip to Hawaii.  Yet, I have an idea of what to give them now, and will be ordering their gifts before the holidays.

It's nice to have people to whom I give gifts, to share with.  I had an insurance policy from a fraternal benefit society which wouldn't allow me to designate these two children the secondary beneficiaries of this policy.  So I'll look to leave these kids a little something in my will, and hope that nothing happens to me anytime soon.

- - - - - -

My year-end Hawaii trip keeps coming nearer and nearer.  And I'm looking forward to it.  I have to make sure that I have all the little things needed for this trip, and have been an active customer of Amazon since the day I was irrevocably financially committed to this trip. Since this is a bucket list trip, I will be sure to get lots of photos of the trip and make some sort of travelog for it.

Although I intend to travel with RQS, I have a good feeling that it will be hard for her to keep up with me due to financial reasons. This is a reasonable believe, based on our previous careers.  So, if I'm going to be doing a bit of travel, I will need a profitable line of business to pay for it.  I have some ideas of how I will achieve this, but will avoid talking about it for now.

By the end of the year, I will have taken two bucket list trips, and plan to take more in the next few years.  Having checked off Alaska and Hawaii, I'll have to go much further afield for my next bucket list trip.  I'm hoping that I can check off more than one of my destinations with one trip.  But this takes time and money.  For example, there is a cruise that will spend 6 days in Iceland, plus several more days in the Norwegian Fjords.  One problem: This is one expensive 35 day cruise!  So I will likely need to be more realistic in how I check off items on my bucket list.  I could spend a week in London with my niece, then sail back to New York on the Queen Mary 2.  This is expensive, but a realistic way to do things.

Hopefully, by this time next year, I will be able to check off another item on my bucket list.


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...