Saturday, March 11, 2023

Before & After - How I would like to look if I could go for Facial Feminization Surgery


On her blog, Stana provides a link to a site (Wondershare) that will take a male image and convert it to a  female image using Artificial Intelligence.  The more I look at the image on the right, the more I want to look like that woman.

Just looking at the images, I noticed several things:

  • The AI remover the barrette from my hair.
  • The AI changed the frames of the glasses I wear.
  • The AI gave me a bigger smile.
  • The AI narrowed my jaw line.
  • The AI gave me a narrower nose.
  • The AI gave me a little more fat on my cheeks.

There may be more changes that the AI would generate using another picture.  But I was amazed at how good (if not beautiful) it made my face look.

Given what I see above, I now have even more reasons to lose my extra weight, so that when I get excess skin removed from my body, that I can justify partial Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS) at that time. Hopefully, by doing only the lower part of my face, I will retain the ability to switch between gender presentations and look authentic in both.  Yet, assuming I am still in a relationship with RQS, I would look to get her OK before taking this next step.

And Damn!  I could get used to seeing the face on the right in my mirror every morning.  Not bad for a 65 y/o gal!!!!

Friday, March 10, 2023

Today was a day spent both lounging and cleaning in fits and spurts


This picture was taken a while back, when my desk was neater than it is now.  The clutter on my desk should give my readers an idea of what I let happen in my apartment since the pandemic started.  The rest of the bedroom was in worse condition, but I took some time today to clean things up a little in fits and spurts.

Cleaning up this apartment post-covid has been an exercise in frustration.  It seems like I take 2 steps forward while taking 1 step backward.  Thankfully, RQS has been with me to help on occasion, and things have gradually started to look better.  While straightening things up, I was able to clean up space in my dining area and make the area around my air conditioner much more accessible than it has been in a dog's age.  The same goes for the bedroom, as I've taken the time to throw out more stuff and sort through things that need to find better homes.

RQS notes that we have both accumulated a lot of stuff over the past 30-40 years, and that we don't have enough room to move about in our apartments.  Yet, neither of us likes having accumulated as much as we have accumulated.  We are not alone.  At least, we can gradually eliminate much of the unneeded stuff in our apartments by giving much of it away.  Hoarders can not and will not do so. Hopefully, we will continue the gradual clean out of unneeded stuff from our places, so that we have the option to merge our households sometime in the future.  Only time will tell...

Thursday, March 9, 2023

I accidentally told two friends about me - and I was accepted for who and what I am - a short post


A while back, I accidentally posted a link to this blog on the wrong Facebook page, and two of my friends who only knew me as Marian found out about Mario.  I was very surprised, but told my friends the truth about me, and that I was glad that I could finally show my authentic self without filtering.

Now I understand how Fran felt when someone finally caught her switching back and forth between male and female modes.  And I'm glad I made it through this with friendships intact.  Yes, I see changes.  But these will be healthy ones, as we can be much more open with each other than before.....

- - - - - -

Regarding Fran....

RQS has been looking for a new accountant to do her taxes.  Knowing that Fran could use some business, I suggested to RQS that she should reach out to Fran.  (Why not send business along to another TG person?  I'll likely switch to using Fran when my accountant retires.)  So later this evening, I'll find Fran's contact information and give it to RQS....

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Another Mystery Purchase from Universal Standard


Every year or so, Universal Standard holds a "Mystery Box" sale.  Over the years, I've purchased several bodysuits (think unitards for exercising), dresses, and "Mystery Boxes".  Buying these mystery boxes is a gamble.  I've often ended up spending $100 for items worth $300, but getting a single item worth $100 that I will put into my everyday wardrobe.  Tonight, I bought a single item mystery box, figuring that I could risk spending $60 to get a dress worth $100.

For example,I got the below wrap dress (and a similar dress in a different color) in a mystery box I purchased during the middle of Covid.  There was no way I could wear such a nice dress out, when virtually every place I could go in this dress was closed for the pandemic.

Yet, there was a sweatshirt dress I got in this shipment that I wore much more often, as it was casual enough (and warm enough) to go out in colder weather when restaurants were open at 50% of capacity. The only thing I didn't keep from this shipment was a bandeau top - something that would be useless for someone without natural breasts on her body.

Do I have a clue about I will receive?  Other than the garment being a dress in my size, they aren't saying anything. But with all the expenses I've been incurring lately, I figure that I could risk $60 to get a good deal on a quality product.


ps: From what I've read elsewhere, Universal Standard may open a single store in NYC to show its goods.  Hopefully, this will be true and the store will open soon, as I enjoyed examining their clothes in person.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Catching up on chores


It wasn't the nicest of days today. So I opted for a day indoors, and decided to take care of 4 loads of laundry waiting to be done.  Given that it was cold and wet, I saw no point in getting dressed and going out as Marian today.  Instead, I figured that I would take care of things around the apartment and catch up on chores that needed to be taken care of.

- - - - - -

Unlike some TG people, I keep my male and female wardrobes separate and rarely share anything between the wardrobes excepting socks.  So this forces me to take an extra step when I do laundry.  Before washing clothes, I separate whites from colors.  After drying clothes, I separate male from female clothes and store them accordingly.

Why do I mention this?

Recently, I met an acquaintance who blends items from both male and female sides of the closet. It's hard enough for me to keep things straight when switching between gender presentations without having to worry if a garment pairing appears too masculine or feminine.  In some areas of this country, people have been beaten up for much less than an androgynous gender presentation.  So, seeing this friend reminded me of why I do not blend my gender presentations, and why I work to make my feminine presentation as authentic as possible - as if I were a cisgender woman wearing the same clothes.

- - - - - -

I try to make my feminine presentation as accurate as possible, so that I will be mistaken for a cisgender female 99% of the time.  This would make it possible for me to visit my friends in Texas - if I were willing to take the chance to do so.  Right now, whenever I go on a cruise as Marian, I think that the cruise line's facial recognition technology spits out an error code when it scans my photo, triggering a new picture of me to be taken when I arrive at the cruise terminal.  It's too bad that I don't have feminine fat distribution.  I would love to have a zaftig woman's T&A - if only so that I can wear a woman's skirted bathing suit or garments that expose my cleavage, without my biological gender being revealed. 

There are many things that make it possible to blend in as a woman.  First comes confidence.  Next comes the quality of presentation. And finally, one needs to be comfortable in her own skin.  With the exception of having a large body, I think I do well enough to avoid having major problems. (At least, I hope so.)  With that being said, I'd like to have legal ID that corresponds to an ambiguous gender presentation (including name), save for my gender marker.  That would be good enough for 99% of the times I need to present an ID card in public.

One can dream....

Monday, March 6, 2023

Spending another weekend in Queens


Over the past year, I have been in the above subway station many times.  Either I have taken a bus to reach this station, or I have made subway transfers there.  RQS's house is nearby.  And when I reach this station on the way to her house, I know that it is a short time before we are together for the weekend.  This week was slightly different, as I approached this station by car on the way to drop RQS off at her house.

But first....

Last weekend, I left my big suitcase at RQS's place after returning from our trip to DC.  The only things I took home with me were a knapsack with some books in it, and my CPAP machine.  Everything else could wait until this weekend.

On Friday, I drove to RQS's place and was able to find a parking spot within a block and a half from her place.  And this is where the car would stay until Monday.  We figured that we could make a supermarket run before I left for home, and RQS (with her groceries) would be dropped off at her place on my way back home.

- - - - - -

Saturday came, and we didn't have a good idea of what to do.  So I suggested that we take the subway into Manhattan and get a sandwich at Katz's Delicatessen.  Although it was cold, it was the best thing we could think of.  By the time we got there, we realized that we made a mistake - there was a block long line of people waiting to get into Katz's.  There was no way we were going to wait out in the cold for an hour.  So we walked into the East Village and looked for some of the Indian restaurants we remembered being there.  Sadly, "Little India" had left The Village, and we had to look for something else to eat.  Luckily we found an excellent Chinese restaurant, Chef Tan, which serves both authentic Chinese dishes and American "Chinese" dishes.  Although we were "warned" against it, we decided to order the Dongting Special Shrimp.  This was our only disappointment, as we didn't like the crunchiness of the tiny shrimp, nor did we like the heat of the dish.  However, the Iron Plate with Mongolian Beef more than made up for the first dish.  After dinner, we wanted something sweet for dessert, and Tipsy Scoop was only a bus ride away.  So, it was off to our favorite ice cream shop to pick up a couple of pints of boozy ice cream.  

- - - - - -

Sunday was a slow motion day, and RQS decided that it was time to donate some of her goods to an informal charity exchange a few blocks from her house.  Around mid-afternoon, we wheeled a couple of shopping carts to the exchange place, and left goods there for the needy to take without question. (I will not mention more about this place, as the needy people don't need to be gawked at by others.) From this place, we walked to a nearby pizza joint for a bite to eat before going home for the evening.

- - - - - -

Monday was the day my car had to move because of alternate side of the street parking rules.  We figured that I'd load my luggage into the trunk, and RQS would load her groceries into my back seat. First, we had to make it to Wegman's in Brooklyn. Normally, this would be a 30 minute trip through Brooklyn streets.  However, several traffic snarl-ups caused us to take a convoluted path to Wegman's that Google Maps wouldn't suggest - and we got there in less than an hour.  $100 later, RQS was ready to leave, and it only took us 30 minutes to get back to her place.

It was a long, but enjoyable weekend.  But I'll be glad to get back into my dresses again....

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Can I squeeze in another cruise this year without breaking the budget?

This past December, I took a bucket list cruise to Hawaii.  I really want to take this cruise again if I can find both the money and the time.  Thinking about this, I wondered, how much cruising can I get into a year of vacations?  And if I find cruises that are worth the money, how do I find the money to afford these cruises without breaking open my nest egg?

- - - - - -

RQS and I just got back from a 5 day trip to Washington, DC, and we have 2 more cruises scheduled for later in the year.  I would like to squeeze in at least 1 or 2 more cruises without breaking the bank, or getting RQS too upset at me.  So, how should I do it?

To answer this question, I am thinking of ways that I can make money off of my travels.  Given that I often travel as Marian, many LGBT cruisers might want access to my knowledge.  Given that I have enough knowledge to counsel the average surface traveler, that might be another area worth exploring. Yet, I can see people traveling vicariously reading about my travels.  But this can only be part of an answer.  I must find ways to travel on the cheap.

Traveling cheaply isn't as hard as it seems.  For example, I spent $62 for a round trip Amtrak ticket between New York and Washington, DC.  If I weren't traveling with RQS, I might have stayed at a cheaper hotel and eaten as more downscale restaurants.  I might have even done what many people do, and picked up reheatable food at a local supermarket and eaten it in my hotel room when the weather isn't so great.  But one can only go so far in being frugal.  Taking a vacation should be a little bit of a splurge, a chance to treat one's self to things not available at home.

- - - - - -

Sometime in the summer, or near year's end, I would like to take another cruise - this time in Marian mode.  To do this, I will want RQS's blessing, as I don't want to risk doing damage to our relationship.  Yet, there is a way that she'd be more than happy for me to take these cruises.  If this becomes a reality, I will say more here....

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...