Saturday, February 3, 2024

I was afraid I'd have to get my ear piercings redone - a short post


I bought the above jewelry in Hawaii, and it looks better on me than in this photo.  You'll notice that the earrings are for pierced ears.  Unfortunately, I hadn't worn any earrings in over a week and a half and I had trouble getting the hooks into the holes in my earlobes and gave up before going to dinner.

Getting my ears pierced was a big thing for me, as I had been afraid for a long while of the consequences of doing this.  Having studs in my ears would be obvious while presenting as Mario, and I didn't want anyone asking any questions.  I had thought about getting my ears pierced when I first started to go out as Marian, yet didn't do so.  A job that paid well could have been at risk, and the display of ear jewelry could have made my then bosses uncomfortable with me.  As it was, I was already on their hit list, and I was let go 10 years this coming May.

After being laid off, I was free to get my ears pierced, but still afraid to do so.  What would people think?  It took me another few years before I said "F**k It!" and stopped caring what people will think.  If I go to see my brother, my ears are unadorned.  But if I go out as Marian, I will try to hang something pretty from my earlobes.

Luckily, after I got home from dinner, I was finally able to get the earring hooks through my earlobes.  Now, I know that I have to do this more often, so that the hole stays easy to find and use.

Friday, February 2, 2024

Dinner with a friend


It's been a while since I've seen LK.  She's wonderfully pregnant, and her life has been taken up by the life inside her and the toddler who came out of her about a year and a half ago.  So, it was a miracle that the two of us were able to connect for dinner tonight.

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I'll always have LK to thank for helping me develop a decent feminine voice.  It's not the voice I want, but it's much better than the voice I had when I started transgender vocal therapy at Mercy College (now University)  And it's always a pleasure for me when we get together, as she was the only one of the student clinicians who showed true professionalism in her student work.  (I can only imagine how good she is when working with her clients today.  If I had a child with speech and hearing issues, she'd be one of the first people I'd want working with my child.)

Both of us arrived at the local (to her) diner around 5 pm, and we chatted as if it were old times.  I talked about my past and upcoming cruises, while she talked about the issues in her life.  Both of us needed to chat and this dinner gave us the perfect opportunity to do so.  All too soon we had to leave.  LK had to get up very early for work, and I had to go home.  So at 7:45, we went our separate ways, but pledged to meet each other 4-5 weeks from now. 

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Sooner or later, I'll have to figure out a way to wear jeans


One of the problems with being transgender is that I have a woman's mind with a male body.  Most of the time, I have a nice combination of the two worlds, as I have insights into both male and female ways of life.  This has allowed me to give good advice to TCL as she navigates the dating world and sees how flaky men can be when they have the upper hand.  (The demographics of senior life can be a bitch when one looks for a partner.)  But this combination gets in the way when I shop for clothes, as the lower half of my body prevents me from wearing many garments well.  Jeans are among those types of garments.

Women have bigger hips than men.  Any trouser like garments I want to wear from the women's side of the aisle must have stretch in them so that they fit on my masculine waist.  This is why I tend to wear upper body garments that drape over the middle of my body - I need to hide my waist line (in part because I am fat), draping cloth over areas where my clothes don't fit that well.. This limits what kind of trouser like garments I can wear well, and when I can wear them.

Yet, there are certain situations where a jean like garment is useful - such as when one wants to dress very casually.  And this is where I have problems.  Women's trousers tend to hang in the wrong place and roll down at the waist.  So I have avoided jeans for my wardrobe.  But I have embraced leggings under tunics.  So, I may consider jeggings in the future, as they look like jeans and fit like leggings. It's a compromise, but not the one I really want: a pair of women's jeans that also fit my body well (an oxymoron, at best).

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

As cold as a witch's....


Today ended up being a stay-at-home day, as SJM had to postpone our lunch until next week.  That was OK with me, as I really didn't want to get dressed, go out in the cold to clean the snow off my car, then drive to lunch.  I was nice and happy in my warm apartment, and didn't want to change things or make any effort to do so.

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I figure that I have to fight off the lethargy that has taken over my life as of late.  And I plan to get out of the house tomorrow, if only to go to another meetup and get out in the world with people.  But that doesn't say much about today, does it?  For the most part, I did almost nothing of note other than watching videos and resting.  Could it be that I have a hibernation instinct?  I doubt it.  

Eventually, I had to take out the garbage.  So I got dressed enough to make it to the dumpster, brush the snow off the car, and get my mail from the mailbox before returning to my apartment.  While outside, I noticed how cold it was, and noted that it will be 10 degrees colder this coming weekend when I'm with RQS.  Given that it might snow again, I may just leave my car in a visitor's space while I use mass transit to visit RQS at her place.

Once done with the outside world for the night, it was on to a Zoom meeting with my friends from Texas.  We presented the option of getting together in the fall, but it looks like we'll have a better chance of getting together in 2025 when it is warm and dry.  (Or, at least, I hope so.) My one requirement is that if we meet somewhere, the place we meet must be LGBT friendly - especially to people of a non-conforming gender presentation. Although we talked of many things, I won't go into all of what we chatted about.  In short, it was nice to chat with these friends again....

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Meeting up - first time in a while


No, this wasn't the meetup I attended today.  If I had bothered to do so, I would have cancelled my RSVP, and stayed home.  Instead, I decided to go at the last minute (as Marian), and had a nice time....

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I hadn't been to a meetup of this group in a while, where I would meet the sponsor of the group.  So, cancellation would not be an option for me at the last moment.  Instead, I decided to get there a few minutes late, and was glad I did so.

One of the problems with many meetup groups is that people say that they will be going to dinner with the group, and then cancel without enough time for the sponsor to adjust the restaurant reservation. Some meetup group sponsors handle this by giving approximate counts to a restaurant, and then adjust it at the last minute.  They will account for the regulars who can be counted on, and for the snowflakes that melt away with no notice.  Others will charge a nominal attendance fee which goes into subsidizing the fee that the sponsor pays to run the group.  Given the headaches many meetup group sponsors deal with, I never felt it was in my interest to run a meetup group.  Yet, I leave this option option open for the future, as I wouldn't mind having a regular night out with familiar people.  But I digress....

Arriving at the restaurant at 5:50, I found half as many people as expected at our table.  I decided to order two very filling dishes: a bowl of New England Clam Chowder, and a place of Fettuccine Alfredo topped with Shrimp and Sliced Portobello Mushrooms.  Yum!  Even though we were in a small chain restaurant, the food was worth the drive.

All too soon, the meal ended and we had to leave.  Hopefully, they will have more weeknight dinner meetups in the future....

Monday, January 29, 2024

A Half and Half Weekend


Often, I get to spend half the weekend in Marian mode and the other half as Mario.  This past weekend was one of those weekends. Given the cold weather that was coming in, I knew that going out as Marian would be harder to do without freezing a little.  So I made sure to be able to get that day in before the weather made things uncomfortable.

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When I picked RQS up at the train station, I had a simple question to ask her: Do we eat in or out?  (I had 2 steaks thawed out, waiting to be cooked in the ice box.)  RQS decided that we should eat out.  So we went to Savannah & Co. for a change of pace - and both of us ordered the Baby Back Ribs.  Yum! Then it was home for the evening.

The next day, we hung out around the house most of the day, with the idea of seeing Freud's Last Session in Pleasantville.  The press on this film said that Anthony Hopkins delivered a great performance, but the movie didn't strike home as well as the play did.  So, I had to see it for myself, given that I had seen the play 2 or 3 times in New York.  And I agree with the critics - fleshing out the film to include Freud's daughter took away from the interplay between Freud and C.S.Lewis.

Sunday could easily have been another day of rest for the two of us.  But RQS wanted to shop for a mattress, and I wanted to get out of the house.  So, at 3 pm, we drove out to the Bob's in Nanuet (I was in Mario mode, and I was in Marian mode when we went to the Bob's in Yonkers) where RQS bought a mattress, an adjustable foundation, pillows, and mattress protection.  She fell in love with the second mattress she tried out - and I think I might buy the same combination after I've had the chance to sleep in her bed next weekend.

Sadly, Monday came and I had to drop RQS off at the train station.  This was not a weekend to go into NYC, as they were having political protests in Union Square when RQS met her friend in that area for lunch.  As for me, I unboxed a jewelry cabinet and mirror and mounted it on the wall.  Unfortunately, I will have to redo what I did, as the unit is sitting too high on my door to use as a mirror.


Sunday, January 28, 2024

Earworms - a short post


Above is the corn ear worm.  It has nothing to do with today's post, save for the idea of something that gets stuck in your head and keeps repeating like a broken record.

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For the past few days, an old tune has gotten stuck in my head.  No, it is not from a TV advertisement.  Instead, it is from a tune regularly modified and played on a TV show from my youth.  You may have heard it yourself: Pfft, you were gone.  The Hee Haw show ran from 1969 to 1992, and it got good ratings - even in cities such as New York and Los Angeles.  And "Pfft," became an earworm that often comes and goes in my head due to its pleasant silliness.  But "Pfft" is not the only earworm I've had to deal with.  For a long while, the jingle for the Radio City Christmas Show was stuck in my head, and I hated it. Other tunes have gotten stuck there, and I didn't mind them so much, as they provided a sort of rhythm that kept my mind moving.  

What is it about earworms that make them so infectious?  I feel, like others, that they trigger other memories.  In my case, "Pfft" triggers happy feelings from childhood without directly triggering the memories that caused those feelings.  Television was an escape from an unhappy childhood, and "Pfft" was indicative of the things that made me smile way back when.

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Given the nature of earworms, a thought came to mind.  What would happen if a therapist could both find and use earworms to evoke feelings in a person undergoing therapy?  Could this be a helpful tool in treatment?  I'd love to be able to talk about this with the therapist who treated me years ago, as it would be an interesting discussion for sure....




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...