Saturday, June 10, 2023

Another night of Drag Queen Bingo

Drag queen bingo.  It's not my normal cup of tea.  But it was part of a mid-week meetup, and I had nothing better to do this evening.  Given that there were 6 of us ladies there (myself included), it was nice to get together for something mindless and entertaining.

Like a typical Hibachi dinner, once you've seen a drag queen's performance, you've seen it all.  There is very little variation in the performance from show to show. But, in small doses, it stays a pleasant diversion when you have nothing to do.  And I certainly had nothing to do today. I was bored, so I might as well get bored with friendly people. And what is it about these performances that I find so boring?  With Hibachi chefs, it is the limit to the routines they can do with food being cooked. With drag queen performances, it is excessive exaggeration combined with lame sexual jokes.  It gets boring when one sees the same performer repeat an act with little variation from performance to performance.

Yet, I consider myself lucky.  I live in a state which protects the right of a drag performer to put on a show.  This is very important to me, as we've already seen several states ban drag performances in the name of public decency.  Who is being harmed by drag queen story hours at the local library?  The children?  I doubt it.  I'd rather have my young child read to by a drag queen than be given religious instruction by a Catholic priest.  (Yes, I know that 99% and more of the ordained priests are people I can trust.  But, in the past, the church has protected that evil 1% and rotated pedophiles from parish to parish and kept them from being held to account in a non-religious court.)  I've never heard of any drag queens molesting children, but I have heard of religious leaders doing so.

If I'm back by the time of the next show, I may end up going again.  In my way, it is a form of support for these performers, letting them know that they are appreciated.  And I hope that more people will join me in supporting their right to perform their craft without interference from the state.

Friday, June 9, 2023

A cruising promotion watch-out


Although I have enjoyed my cruising with one cruise line, I am leery of booking my flights with that same cruise line after hearing complaints about their ticketing issues in several forums.  My experience with this line's air travel booking was merely acceptable, but it was not something which made me want to use this service again - even if it saves me money.

Today, I watched two travel agents discuss NCL's flight booking program, and realized that I got lucky with my flights to/from Hawaii.  If I had used NCL's hotline to get assistance when United scuttled the first leg of my flight to Honolulu, I might have missed the first day of my Hawaii cruisetour. This would have been a great disappointment, as I spent almost $9,000 to take this trip and would hate to lose a day in Hawaii due to a plane's mechanical failure.  Given that NCL will not guarantee that all passengers on a single booking will fly together, and that NCL has canceled tickets on the day of the flight, I will likely never use this service for myself again.

There are some travel agents that still consider NCL's "second person flies free" part of the "free at sea" promotion, and will consider this option for their clients. So it pays to understand what one gets as part of the promotion and what one doesn't get.  Although RQS and I will be taking an NCL cruise early next year, they will not be booking our flights.  I do not trust them to get the best value for us when we can't even choose which airport that we fly out of.  As I've mentioned, I live in Westchester county, and RQS lives in Queens.  It would be a hardship for us if our flight were booked to leave from Newark instead of La Guardia or JFK.  But NCL does not allow us to specify an airport if another airport is within 60 miles of where we live.

It's obvious that we'll be cruising with NCL again, as we already have two more cruises with NCL in the pipeline.  But, given the horror stories being reported in the NCL Facebook forums and now by prominent vloggers, I will no longer be taking my chances and letting NCL book my flights. 


Thursday, June 8, 2023

Managing the contents of my closet


I'm one of those transgender women who love wearing dresses.  If I were born in a later generation, I'd likely want to wear different garments, as the cisgender women of my generation made their transition into preferring trouser-like garments years after I grew up.  In short, I modeled my clothing preferences on that of my mother, and I may always gravitate to those garments.

Unlike my mother, I enjoy wearing clothing with simple lines and strong colors.  Although I will wear patterns, I am more into solids - in either gender presentation. Although I have more patterned tops for when I present as male, it's only because these are the only tops available in my size. When presenting as a female, I prefer to let my costume jewelry do some of the talking. But I try never to over do it with  jewelry.

Over the years, I have bought way too many items of women's clothing, and I have had to purge some of these garments as they have gone out of style and no longer fit my needs.  Luckily, some charities have been beneficiaries of my purchases.  Today, I am gradually removing the cheaper garments from my closet, those garments which wore out quickly and were not meant to last.  In short, I'm trying to remove "fast fashion" from my wardrobe.

Shifting towards more sustainable fashion requires work.  Yes, I will continue to occasionally buy lower priced garments which I know will last a year or two. But I will not do this as often as I used to do it. (A gal's got to spruce up her wardrobe occasionally, doesn't she?)  The big question becomes: When I eventually get around to losing some weight, will my taste in women's clothing change and what will happen to my wardrobe when that happens?

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

A tempest in a teapot, but not without reason.


Transgender women in sports.  Much noise has been made regarding this topic, and much noise will continue to be made until we are accepted by society.  Yet, our detractors do have a point that must be addressed.  Without puberty blockers, trans women's bodies will develop differently than cisgender women, and the jury is out on whether this gives trans women an advantage in women's sports.

An article in discusses World Athletics's decision to ban transgender athletes from competing in women's sports. The reason that many give is that there is not enough information on the advantage transgenders may have due to their atypical body development.  Yet, without being willing to gather that information, this becomes a "Catch-22" situation.  We have no data, so we won't collect that data.  AARGH!  Even cisgender females such as Caster Semenya are harmed by the athletic organizations, as she has a natural, but abnormal amount of testosterone in her system. And yet, most of the science-based discussions rightfully focus on fairness in competition, and not on a person being trans or not.

However, things seem to be very different in non-elite competitions, and this is where social prejudice sets in.  The "Redder" the state is, the more likely is it to have laws which hurt trans kids from participating in school sports.  Like their adult counterparts, trans children are the focus of communal hatred, as I believe these laws were passed to prevent trans kids from leaving the closet. But these bans conflict with Federal Title-IX laws, which are meant to give equal opportunity to all without regard to gender.  ESPN's website has an interesting article discussing how young trans athletes are getting caught in the debate on whether trans people should have the same rights as cisgender people - at least in sports.

In the end, "fairness" can never be a "one size fits all" policy.  We need to know how much of an advantage being transgender gives a person before and after puberty.  And we need to know where it doesn't give us an advantage.  So how do we get this information without competition?  Until the sports authorities are willing to collect this information, trans athletes will continue to be hurt as children and as adults.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Aloha 'Oe


Aloha 'Oe
.  It's a song that will always remind me of Hawaii - and for good reason.  It will always remind me of places where I can relax and chill out, and not just in America's paradise.  But why do I start out with a thought about Hawaii?  Well, I've grown to realize that cruising is my favorite way to disconnect from the outside world for a while, and come out refreshed at the end of my trip.

Today ended a long relaxed weekend with RQS.  I drove her back to Croton-Harmon in the middle of the afternoon, and I killed a little time before returning home due to plumbing repairs that required water being shut off to the building.  By the time I got home, the repairs were complete, and I was able to take care of things at the apartment.

Around 6 pm, I put my dress back on and drove to Wegmans for a shopping trip.  $90 later, I had several bags in my car, and was ready to pack it in for the day.  And yet, my thoughts kept prodding me to do one more thing - plan another trip to Hawaii, and see things I couldn't see the first time around.  For example, it was too windy to visit the USS Arizona memorial when I was there, and it is a site I'd like to see.  Another thing I'd like to do is enjoy the Luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center.  I've seen the Luau on Kauai, and would want a different take on the ceremony.  And then, I'd like to get back to the Halealaka Crater and Volcanoes National Park when it isn't foggy or raining.

As I see it, going back to Hawaii with RQS in tow will be worth it.  The only question will be: How do we afford it?  

Monday, June 5, 2023

Lobster was one of many food truck selections we had today


RQS had a hankering for a lobster roll today, and I indulged it after taking care of some other business. But first....

Neither of us were in a hurry to get up this morning, and we took our time to get moving.  It was one of those days where I couldn't get up before noon, and RQS indulged my need for sleep.  It's just as well, as I felt more awake than usual after having an interrupted 8+ hours of sleep.  This would be my third day with RQS in Marian mode, and I wasn't going to let this opportunity pass.

When we got moving, we first went to another furniture store to look at some more choices.  And again, the salesperson was all over us looking to make a sale. This sales person didn't bother me as much as she did RQS.  But we were still not ready to buy anything.  So it was off to Dobbs Ferry and the Lobster Truck.

It took us a little while to find our way to the train station, but we were rewarded by a multitude of food trucks at the riverside festival.  As much as I wasn't in the mood to spring for a couple of lobster rolls, I knew they would be a good value and that they would make RQS happy - so they were worth busting the budget a little.  And yet, we were both hungry afterwards.  So it was time to raid the ice box and finish off the Chinese food we left there

Since RQS decided to stay until tomorrow afternoon, I had to text DS to tell her that I couldn't make it for hiking.  I know she was upset, but what could I do?  I will always put my relationship with RQS first.  She is the only woman I've met in years that accepts me for who and what I am, and doesn't care much about what I wear.  She is a blessing, and I try to make her as happy as I can....

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Seeing someone off that I wish I knew better


A little while ago, Vicki #2's spouse passed away.  Today RQS and I went to the memorial service held in their memory.

- - - - - -

Normally, neither of us likes to get up early. But today was different.  I woke up before the alarm, and I took my shower before RQS got up. By the time we were ready, we had a half hour to make it to Mt. Kisco when we noticed a slight drizzle starting.  So off we went in the steadily worsening weather to the memorial service.  We arrived around 10:30, with more than enough time to find parking in the small lot.  By the time 11:00 came, we were happy to have arrived early.

Several speeches were given regarding memories of Vicki's transgender spouse, (I mention this only because this was an important part of their identity) and by the time the service ended, both RQS and I wished we had the chance to know "the captain" better.  We stayed a little while at the post memorial reception, gave our condolences to Vicki, and we were on our way to our next stop, JC Penney in Danbury.

We arrived at the mall, and RQS started shopping for some things to wear on our upcoming cruise. Both of us were underwhelmed by the selection of products at the store.  RQS bought a couple of tops before we left. And then it was off to the furniture store to look at replacement sofas for my place and recliners for RQS's place.  Both of us were impressed by several sofas and recliners we sat in, but were put off by the omnipresence of the salesman.  He wanted to make a sale, and make it today.  But neither of us were willing to do so.  

Our next stop was at a Chinese restaurant that I visited with my former cruise partner.  As usual, the food was good here, and we had leftovers to eat later on.  Yum!  At least we didn't get caught in a deluge on the way home.

Was she dead or alive? Inquiring minds wanted to know.

  I hadn't seen Pat in months, and I haven't been able to reach her by voice or text.  Given that she's 84 years old, I figured ...