Saturday, December 2, 2023

A trip to NYC and a temporarily lost handbag


My plan for today was to first go shopping at Universal Standard's sample sale, meet RQS at Grand Central to take the same train into Croton-Harmon, and then go to the one game night being held by my friends in Yonkers.  And everything on the checklist was accomplished, but with some drama while in Croton....

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When I got dressed, I figuratively flipped a coin to determine whether I'd be wearing a dress to Universal Standard, or wearing a unitard (body suit) under a duster.  The dress would be more convenient for taking a bio-break, while the unitard would be more convenient for shopping at Universal Standard.  I chose the unitard, as I wanted to be able to try on clothing without having to strip down to my bra and panties, possibly exposing that I was born in a male body.  And this would be a wise choice.

Before I got to Universal Standard, I stopped by Metro North's lost-and-found office in the vain hope that the backpack I misplaced a month ago was found and in their custody. From there, it was on to the subway to reach the store.  Upon entering the store, I noticed that two 20-30 y/o women were trying on garments, one of them in a unitard like me, and the other stripping down to her bra and panties to try on clothes.  Neither of them was uncomfortable with my presence, and both of them were handing me garments to try on.  There were 3 dresses I was interested in, and the 2 ladies said that I looked great in the black dresses (1 of which I would wear as a duster, which I did later on).  However, US's signature dress, their Geneva dress (a dress with an asymmetrical hemline) looked good on me, but the color was terrible for me.  So I made a note that in the future, to try one of these dresses in a color that looks good on me.

Next, it was off to Grand Central where I met RQS for the trip to Croton.  I killed some time before she arrived, and we took an early train home. And that's where the fun began.  Arriving at my apartment, we carried several bags upstairs, and the handbag containing RQS's phone was misplaced.  We attempted to ring her phone, but we couldn't hear it.  So both of us worried about going on our cruise without normal documents.  I was willing to drive to Albany to get a replacement state issued photo ID card, and willing to do a round trip to her place to get her birth certificate - the minimum documentation needed for a closed loop cruise from NYC.

After a break for dinner, we went back home.  Before entering the door, I looked around, and found her bag sitting where I often place my bag.  I rang her phone, and neither of us heard it.  Then she took her phone out, and I rang it again.  This time, we heard the ring.  So, we were both very relieved.  At this point, we were very late for game night, and decided to drop by just to chat - and that's what we did.  It was nice to see the gang again, and I hope to see them one more time before the holidays.

Friday, December 1, 2023

I skipped going into the city today


When the day began, I was thinking of going into NYC and seeing a matinee performance of an off-Broadway play.  However, I didn't buy my ticket on time, and decided to stay in Westchester for the day.

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Considering that I didn't get out of the house until after 12:00 pm, I knew that trying to see another matinee would be pushing  the limits.  So, I decided to go for lunch at a diner in White Plains.  While there, there was a couple of women chatting away in Spanish, while the son sat quietly at the table.  By the time I was done, I wanted to tell the mother that her son was well behaved - but it wouldn't have been received as I'd meant it.  So I erred on the side of caution, and left the diner to visit my acquaintances at the LGBT Center

Having been to the LGBT center many times, I knew a way into the parking lot that allows me to avoid the building entrance for a pre-school on the other side.  When I entered the building, I met one of my old acquaintances, and we caught up on things while he was setting up for a meeting.  He introduced me to a few new people, and I left shortly afterwards, as the meeting was about to start.

My next stop was my home, where I decided to nap for a while before going to a trivia night meetup in Peekskill.  As much as I wasn't in the mood to go, I decided not to bail on the meetup.  And I enjoyed myself, in spite of not having the chance to chat much.

In short, it was a nice day out as Mario, and one of the last I'll have before my cruise as Mario....

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Bored, not Board


For the most part, I wasn't in the mood to do much of anything today.  Although I got up at a reasonable time, it took a while before I got moving.  And when I did, I realized that I had to start packing for my cruise.  So, it was off to unload the laundry basket that has been sitting in my living room, and putting both underwear and socks into compression bags, then into my suitcase.  Yes, I could have done more packing, I figured that it would be best for me to simply develop a checklist, so that I can be sure to include what I'll need for my 7-day cruise.

4 pm came around, and I decided to get Chinese takeout (a big mistake) before the evening's co-op board meeting. I returned home, finished my meal, and then turned on the computer for a 6 pm Zoom meeting.  And this is where today's tedium came in.  We have a new member on the board who chooses to regurgitate what is being said, wasting time in the meeting.  (Sometimes, it's better to listen and not expect to pick up on everything going on in a business meeting.)  It felt that he was playing up to a teacher.  And then, he was trying to rescue a relationship without knowing why things were in trouble in the first place.  (As I said, sometimes it's best to just listen.)  I know that he was triggering some feelings, and I think it's that he wants to preserve a business relationship that we already feel may need to be broken. But enough of that....

While the meeting was going on, I was keeping my mind active by doing other things on my cellphone.  I've always had problems with long business meetings, as they are where minutes are taken and hours are lost.  As a result, I try to keep my mind active doing other things, and half-listen to what is going on when others are speaking. And today was no exception - even though I was the person taking minutes.  At least, I won't have to do this again until next month.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

It was a long weekend, and yet it seemed so short.


RQS came up here on Friday and left on Monday morning. The longer we spend time together, the harder it becomes for us to leave each other at the end of the weekend.  Soon, RQS and I will be packing for a cruise to Bermuda.  It'll be our first time there, and it'll be a chance to spend time together, away from our normal activities.  

It seems like the remainder of this year will be a busy one for us.  After our cruise, RQS will be going to see her sister, while I'll be cruising to the Bahamas.  We don't know how we'll be spending Christmas and New Year's Eve.  But I expect that we'll keep being busy well into the new year.  For example, I'm looking for an excuse to take a trip to the West Coast, so that I can visit my uncle in his nursing home.  When I was there earlier in the year, he wasn't up to seeing visitors.  This time, I am looking at taking a short 3-4 day cruise out of LA, seeing my uncle either on the day before or after the cruise.

I'm not too keen on visiting Los Angeles.  It's not the easiest city to get around without a car, and I am taking a risk that my uncle may not want to see me if I decide to visit.  Yet, he's in his 90's and doesn't have many years left to live.  So, I'm hoping I can visit and see him for one last time soon....

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

I'll have returned from my cruise when you read this.

Although I wish I could go on a Hawaii cruise again this year, it is not to be.  The prices are right, and I could have booked airfare at a reasonable price.  (Un)fortunately, RQS and had  booked a Bermuda cruise for this time of year, and I had booked another cruise for two weeks after that.

As I write this, I am about to take a Bermuda cruise with RQS, and have started preparing for our trip.  Unlike previous cruises, we are going to the cruise terminal from my place, and we both think it will be an easier trip than taking an Uber from the middle of Queens.  This will be our first time in Bermuda, and I am looking forward to the experience.  Sadly, I will be traveling as Mario, and not my authentic self.

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Last night, I exchanged a set of messages with someone I've known for years, but am no longer close to.  We caught up with what was going on with our families, and chatted about what our plans were for Thanksgiving.  (I'll be eating my holiday meal on the ship, while she will be with family.)  What was of interest was that FCP was also in contact with her lately.  Rather than say too much, I noted what FCP had to say to me a few weeks ago, and that I didn't encourage or discourage future communication.

Later in the evening, I discussed this with RQS, and noted that I had a similar conversation with Vicki the night before.  Vicki has stronger feelings than I do about what happened several years ago, and feels that I have grown in ways I never could have grown had these people stayed an active part of my life. And in this regard I agree with her.

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When I cruise alone, I usually get a chance to reset what is going on in my mind and relax.  When I cruise with someone else, this process is broken.  I still relax, but my thoughts are not reset.  Yet, I am comfortable with this.  Having someone to share an experience with is important. And I'm glad that RQS will be with me on the cruise this time....

Monday, November 27, 2023

A very brief political interlude


I often don't pay much attention to political races not concerning my state.  But this article caught my eye a few days after the recent election - Danica Roem was just elected to the first transgender state senator in the South.

Danica first caught my attention when she ran for office and bested her GOP opponent, someone who deliberately misgendered her at every chance.  Obviously, this bigoted waste of a human did not win, as her district saw through his bigoted message and saw Danica as someone who could deliver for them.  After 2 terms in Virginia's lower house, she has now been elected to Virginia's upper chamber.

Will anti-Transgender propaganda hurt Danica?  Maybe.  But she's a tough woman, and believes that her duty is to serve the people first, and ignore the meaningless noises from the RED peanut gallery.  Hopefully, she will go on to the national stage soon, as I think she knows how to win against prejudice....

Congratulations Danica!!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Dinner with Vicki - Alone


Tonight was the second night of the Hudson Valley Restaurant week dinner promotion, where a group of restaurants would serve fixed price dinners to show off what these restaurants can do (and get future customers as a result).  This time, the HVRW choice did not disappoint us, and I made a joke about it to one of the bus boys.  

But first....

It took the better part of an afternoon, but they finally figured out why my TPMS idiot light kept turning on.  To put it short, after resetting the car's diagnostic history, everything worked well, and the light hasn't come on since.  However, this got in the way of me getting my nails done for dinner tonight with Vicki, as I had to stay in male presentation for the better part of the day.  

Around 5 pm, I changed into a blue striped dress on which that Vicki later would pay me a compliment. Once ready for dinner, I drove over to Vicki's, and a few minutes later, we were at the Char steakhouse in Mahopac, NY.  (I knew the area well from my many trips to see FCP.  But I digress.)  It took us a while to find a parking spot, but we got lucky - the lot was overflowing when we arrived, and I snagged a spot as someone was coming out.  Since it was only a short walk to the front door, I could have left my wool coat in the car, but I decided to bring it inside with me.

I will start off by mentioning the one bad thing I could think about in regard to this restaurant. Instead of entering directly into the restaurant area where a host(ess) would greet us, then have someone show us to our table, we had to walk through the bar area, and then across part of the dining area to meet our hostess. (I don't think this is a normal setup for the restaurant, as I think they wanted to gain an extra few tables for use during HVRW.)  Once we checked in with the hostess, we were promptly seated and served both bread and water.  (Our menus also came at that time.)  A minute or two later, we placed our drink order, and took a few minutes to decide on what to have for dinner.  Vicki noticed a nice thing - within 60 seconds of my water glass being emptied, it was refilled without me having to ask for anything. Our waiter was very pleasant, and he treated me like the lady I was presenting myself as tonight. Service was efficient, friendly, polite, and professional.  Unlike our last HVRW, everything was top notch.  So, on our way out, Vicki took the time to pay a compliment to the waiter, letting him know that we appreciated his good service.

What can I say about the food?  The salads we had were delicious, as well as the strip steaks we ate (at a $6 up charge).  Although the cheesecake served was smaller than the average slice, its quality was up there with the steaks we just finished.  Would I go back there again?  Yes.  .But it will be when I have the money to spend on a good steak dinner.

On the way home, Vicki and talked of many things.  XGFJ came to mind, then FCP.  No, I won't go into the details of that part of the conversation here.  Let's just say that Vicki said that I've grown a lot in the past 4 years, and that RQS and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time for each other. In regard to RQS, Vicki mentioned that she has the best of both worlds in me, as she has Mario as a boyfriend, and Marian as a great gal pal. 

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...