Saturday, February 24, 2024

Tax Paperwork - a short post


Getting ready to have my taxes done is always an awkward experience.  Gathering up my forms is the easiest part of the process, save for the rental property that both my brother and I share an interest.  Given that my brother is a well paid, but overworked person, I rarely have received this last set of financials on time.

I'm glad that I'm not an accountant at this time of year.  One's person's numbers and forms would likely blend into someone else's in my mind - and I'd screw up both people's returns.  So I respect my brother a lot for starting a second career in his 40's, and doing well up to this point.  

Right now, my brother has got the weight of the world on him, and all I can do is give him encouragement.  He will soon have a lot of hard decisions in front of him, and all I can do is listen when he needs an ear, as well as remind him of what he's already accomplished in such a short time in a career.

In the end, my brother will still end up doing tax forms, if not for a large corporation, then for his family.  I wish him the best....

Friday, February 23, 2024

Game night - a short post


Although it was a perfect day to go outside and test drive some cars, I ended up staying indoors until it was time to go to game night.  

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One thing I've noticed at game night is that the people there always refer to me as SHE.  That's very important, as they know I'm transgender.  Whether or not I go for radical surgical alterations to my body or not is a minor issue with this group of friends.  People there are comfortable with the idea of being transgender, and just accept me as a normal person.

Even with being accepted, being the oldest person in the room does make me feel odd at times.  I am not good at games that require a lot of strategical thought - I might be more of a tactician than a strategist.  But I enjoy going there because I enjoy the company of younger people.  And that's something that will likely keep my mind active as I get older.

- - - - - -

With all of the above being said, I had a troublesome thought come to mind.  What would happen when people who only know Mario meet people who only know Marian?  I'd no longer be around.  But I'd hate to see people freaked out because I lived on both sides of the gender coin.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Dinner with a Transgender friend


It's not every day that I can get together with another person from our transgender community.  It takes a while for our conversations to get going because we come from opposite sides of the spectrum.  But, in the end, we get to chatting like typical ladies - albeit, not in the way one would expect.

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We arranged to meet at the restaurant at dinner time, but we screwed up which dinner time that was.  So, I ended up being 1/2 hour early, yet 1/2 hour late according to SKB's initial impressions of our time frame.  (I take half of the blame here, as I could have chosen the earlier to get there and we both could have gotten there at the originally expected time.)  One thing I can say - I don't want to be walking out on a side street near Atlantic Terminal / Barclay's Center after rush hour.  But I digress.  SKB ended up being later than expected due to a hunt for a parking spot. (There are many good reasons that I use mass transit in congested parts of big cities.) 

In many ways, SKB is the opposite of me.  I identify as a person who is left of center by today's standards. (I'd likely be considered a Goldwater Republican, the way he was towards the end of his life.)  SKB identifies as a person who is right of center.  I have almost no interest in sports, save for an interest in the history of baseball.  SKB has an interest in the most American of sports, football.  We should be like oil and water, but we always seem to have good conversations.

All too soon, our conversation had to end.  SKB was able to reach her house in 30 minutes, while it took me 30 minutes to reach Grand Central Terminal.  Since it was after 9:00 pm when I got there, almost every place where I could get a bottle of fizzy water was closed (or was closing down).  Luckily, one place was still open at 9:30, and I was able to get my seltzer before hopping on the train.

Normally, I get on a train that has a stop or two before reaching Croton.  This time, I caught the express whose first stop is in Croton.  As a result, I had to fight to stay awake just enough not to miss my station, instead of being able to fall asleep until the last stop.  Yet, I made it home by 11:00 pm, and was ready to fall asleep by midnight.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Planning for the future


I am a male with gender non-conforming presentation, or I am a transgender woman with very mild gender dysphoria.  In either case, I have to think about my future, and my potential needs as I grow old.  This means I may need to find senior care facilities which accommodate and cater to people like me.  I don't think I'll feel comfortable if I'm forced to present as Mario for the rest of my life.  And I don't think I'd feel comfortable if I'm only able to be with queer people like me.  I need to be in a place where I can mix between both worlds - something which may not be possible for a baby boomer like me.

Although there are services for the senior LGBT community, such as senior housing and senior centers, I will try to live on my own for as long as possible.  Yet, I will eventually need to find housing that fits the needs of an older version of myself, and I expect that there will not be enough of this type of housing when I need it.  So what will I do?  I have no children.  My niece and nephew live far enough away that they might as well not exist.  Having a spouse/partner in old age may help for a while, but she will also be suffering the slings and arrows of old age at the same time as I do.  If I were to dwell on it much, I'd be scared.  But I look at things like this as they come and address them when they come.

Yet, I wonder - what will the future bring?

As I see it, it's very important for me to build up a social network now, so that I have people I can ask for help as I need it.  For example, my tax preparer, an enrolled agent, has retired, and I have been asking around for references.  Hopefully, I will find one soon, as I would prefer to use someone other than the person I could use as a fall back.  I can only imagine what it will be like when I can no longer drive or go up/down stairs and have to move.  Who will be there to help me handle my affairs?  (Maybe I can ask my uncle about this when I visit him this spring.)  This is only the tip of the iceberg that is "growing old in today's America" and I have yet to find the answers I need.

Any ideas?

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Car Shopping

So far, I have only been able to take the time to test drive one car, the Buick Envista.  As much as I like the car, I am not yet ready to drop the hammer and buy the car.  I have yet to drive the other two cars at the top of my list: the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-30.

One of the issues I have living in two gender modes, is that I have to schedule events that require my presence as Mario (usually with people who only know me as Mario, or when my legal ID has to be presented) on days where I'll be in Mario mode.  So I haven't had much time to go out for test drives.  I expect that the process of test driving cars, arranging for insurance, then taking possession of the car will take 6 weeks.  So I expect that, barring any unforeseen issues, that I'll be driving something new in a few weeks.

Once I have the new car, I figure that I'll be taking mass transit more often to visit RQS at her place, as it will be harder to find a good parking spot in her neighborhood.  At least, the car I eventually will buy will have all the safety features I need, such as blind spot detection.  It'll be nice to drive a car I can depend on again (not saying my current car is not dependable) based on the age of the car, the wear and tear of the car, and the new safety features designed into the car.

I can't wait to have that "new car smell" around me again....

Monday, February 19, 2024

The high point of my day was at lunch


It's hard to believe that it has been 4 years since I've worked at the census, and 4 years since I felt comfortable with being 'out' as a transgender person.  Today, I met with one of my friends from the census and had a nice lunch.

My friend (let's call her CSC) and I have been trying to meet on a monthly basis since our work on the census ended.  And we've been able to keep up to date on happenings in our lives since then.  She's shared information on family events, her travels, and on things in general - and I've done the same.  The one thing I'll share about our conversation is how her dietary restrictions have affected her when dining out....

CSC comes from a Jewish family.  As a result, she lived in a kosher household and has never eaten pork or shellfish.  That is not an issue for her.  She is allergic to peanuts, peas, and bananas.  She is also a vegetarian who once ate meat in the past.  So, she finds herself having to talk about dietary issues every time she goes out to eat.  Even when she does so, things can go a little wrong as it did today; A pea was found in the yellow rice served to her, and she had to send it back for some white rice.  (A minor issue, Yes.  But she could have suffered a severe allergic reaction.)  She told me about visits to restaurants which had no vegetarian options on the menu, where the chef concocted some very tasty dishes just for her.  And she told me about restaurants that said they couldn't accommodate her - then they did.  Nowadays,  it's much easier for her, as most restaurants are willing to have both vegan and gluten free foods on the menu, as well as knowing how to keep "special requirements" food prepared separately from "regular" food.

All too soon, it was time to go.  So we made plans for the following month and went on our way.

- - - - - -

Once home, I had to switch back to Mario mode.  I had a handyman coming over to see about replacing the exhaust fan/ceiling light in the bathroom.  This will be a slightly more expensive project than I planned, as he suggested that he repaint the ceiling after he finishes installing the fixture.  (The ceiling paint has started to flake off in one area, and I've deferred doing this work.)  So, I handed him a deposit, and he will buy all the supplies needed for the job - and he will get back to me to schedule the work.

- - - - - -

Now that my 15 minutes as Mario was over with, it was time to switch back into Marian mode for a zoom call with my friends from Texas and RQS.  I'll bet that they noticed that I was exhausted, but I was able to stay awake during our meeting.  (Again, I didn't get enough good sleep the night before.)  Hopefully, we will all be able to get together again in 2025.  But that's another story.  Shortly afterwards was my nightly call with RQS to end my day.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Sometimes, I don't have much to say. Sometimes, I have a lot.


Lately, I have been thinking of politics much more than usual. Given that Trump is going Senile and no one is standing in his way to get the GOP nomination, I'm a little concerned about what would happen if he has control over the "Football" again.

The former president is a narcissist who needs to be loved by everyone with whom he comes into contact. He has no loyalty to friends and family, nor does he have any loyalty to the country.  But he has a following of lemming like supporters.  This afternoon, while I was driving home, I stopped into a pizzeria. Sitting down at a table was the owner, a man who wore a MAGA baseball cap.  There was no way that I wanted to have a political discussion with this person.  So I took my pizza and walked to a table in the back to eat it.

Of course, RQS can say that I am a motor mouth.  And she'd be right.  I can go on for hours about some subjects, and have done so often.  But this time, I knew enough to keep my mouth shut and walk away.  I only wonder if this person really understood that he was getting conned by a master con man.

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...