Saturday, November 21, 2020

The "Race" to find a Girlfriend - Status Update


Seven years ago, I was at the above lighthouse on my earliest date as Marian.  The woman I was with knew I was cross dressing, and was OK with it.  However, she had her issues, and big ones at that.  So we were never in contact with each other after our third date.  Seeing this picture, I thought of this lady, and decided to see whether she is still alive (she had health issues) or not.  I'm glad I found out that she's still alive.  And I now know that she's living with her ninety year old mother.  (One day, I might drop her a line to find out what has gone on in her life since we were last in contact. But this is not a high priority with me.)

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Now that FL has taken herself out of the "Girlfriend Race", I can say that FH wants to spend a weekend with me in Amish Country. With the Coronavirus starting its second wave, I'm not sure if I really want to do this trip at this time.  But if it means we can test out our physical attraction without distractions at home, I'm willing to do so.  Yet, I'm not completely sure if I want to place my "long term" bets on FH yet.

The other day, I had a date with a woman from Manhattan. (Let's call her JM for now.)  JM and I met in Tarrytown, and we spent the better part of three hours talking with each other.  In certain ways, she's out of my league.  But if I am good dating material for her, it might be worth seeing what happens. This will involve the inevitable disclosure of my dual gendered nature.  Is this person worth the risk? We seem to get along more smoothly than I did with FH on our first date.  So I'll have to see what happens on a second date - both of us need to know whether each of us are "first date wonders."

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On other matters, I mentioned in a prior entry that a former friend rang my Google Voice number and didn't leave me a message.  (Her number was blocked because of events that happened a year ago.)  By the time you read this, she should have received a birthday card from me. And I will then find out whether her phone call was an accident or not.  (If there is no response, I'll know that this former friend accidentally dialed my number.)







Friday, November 20, 2020

Tech Support is no fun when dealing with people with no technical aptitude


Some people are totally clueless when it comes to technology. My friend Pat is one of them.  She has no ability to describe a problem, nor does she know when NOT to supply superfluous information when it is not called for. I often hate helping her out, as she is a person who has no aptitude to manipulate the simplest of technical ideas.

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Recently, Pat asked me for help with two things: to install a printer on her new computer, and to fix an undefined problem with her TV.  So, I attacked the problem with the TV first.  When her daughter from California last visited, she gave pat both a new TV and a new Apple computer. The daughter helped Pat cut the programming cord with the local cable company, and set the TV up to use her daughter's shared YouTube TV and Netflix accounts via a Roku device.  Unfortunately, Pat had no understanding of what the daughter did with the TV, nor did she have any of the fine manuals (I normally substitute another word for "fine" here) that came with her equipment. 

Since Pat did not know where the TV's remote could be found (she uses the Roku device to turn on the TV and to control the volume on the TV), I had to experiment with the buttons on the side of the TV to get at the settings for the TV. I was doing this blind, and Pat kept telling me that one of her friends fixed a problem like this with something on her cable box's remote. Pat was getting quite annoying, there was nothing about the cable box remote that could be the cause of the problem, and it took me a while to get Pat to stop offering me help with distracting, useless information.

Eventually, I found the TV's remote, and I was easily able to reconfigure the TV to use its original working configuration.  Somehow, the TV was accidentally switched to use HDMI2 for input instead of HDMI1.  Once I updated the settings, there was another problem.  Pat didn't know how to get to YouTube TV.  There are two similar icons in Roku that access YouTube related services, and I had to figure out which one to use.  Again, Pat got in the way of this when I told her which icon NOT to use before finding the correct icon to use for her to get the TV programming she wanted.  She wanted to know WHY she shouldn't use the icon and wouldn't stop trying to get an answer when I was telling her to simply not use the icon.  AARGH!  As much as I'd be a bad teacher, she'd be a student that I'd flunk because she can't master the material.  A minute later, I found the icon, and Pat was happy.

Next, leave it to Pat to get totally confused when using Netflix.  After one logs into Netflix, one is presented with a featured program, a description of it, and the option to select other movies/shows in its library. When I tried to explain what is on the screen, she couldn't find anything - and she was looking at the screen.  For example, the phrase "now trending" (or something like that) was in the middle of the screen on the left, she couldn't find it - even when I walked over to the screen and pointed it out. After scrolling down, I'd say: "remember where 'now trending' was found?" and she couldn't remember where it was to find the next topic.  She is totally hopeless with technology, and needs someone with infinite patience to guide her in its use.

By the time we were finished with the TV, I was in no mood to help Pat install a new printer on her new Apple computer.  Pat would be less than helpful with the installation process, and even if I were able to install the printer on her Apple, I'd likely have problems that I couldn't diagnose or repair remotely. (I use a PC, and can use tools I have to fix things remotely if needed.  Unfortunately, they don't work with Apple equipment.)  The last thing I need is to get sucked into being Apple tech support for her. So, I'm glad that this didn't happen on this visit.

PS: On an unrelated note, I found out that I wasn't receiving notifications for comments needing moderation.  I've done so for about 20 posts.  Sorry I missed so many of them over the months!





Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Final results, some lunch, and a chair


As I start this entry, I can finally that there is a light at the tunnel for us transgender folk. Our 45th president has been declared to have lost the presidential election, and our national nightmare is almost over.  This doesn't mean that we've won the war against regressive elements in society.  Instead, we now have denied the worst elements of our society a key friendship with someone with access to the levers of power. But this entry is not about the trouble caused by our 45th president.  Instead, today's discussion is about a more mundane subject - a date with FH that had us going to Beacon, NY with a return trip to Forest Hills to assemble a chair.

Last week, FH asked me to order a chair from Staples, as she couldn't receive a delivery during the day.  As much as I was a bit reticent about doing this, I agreed to do so.  However, it took me until late Wednesday night to place the order for the chair, and it came on Friday morning before I went for a 4 mile walk along the Croton Aqueduct Trail with my friend DS.  Once home, I realized that I had to clean up much of the disaster my apartment had turned into over the past few months, so that I wouldn't be excessively embarrassed if FH came inside for a minute.

The next day was our date. I did some last minute cleanup, and then drove down to Yonkers to meet FH.  She hadn't been to Yonkers in years, and was surprised that the old Nathan's Famous was no longer there.  In its place is now a much more modest venue, with other stores occupying the land the original building once used.  After taking care of some business, it was off to Cold Spring to do some walking around and then grabbing a bite to eat.

It took us an hour to reach Cold Spring, but there was nowhere to park.  The municipal lot was full, and the town was full of people walking around, enjoying a warm November day.  After a few rounds through town, we were unable to find a place to park.  So it was off to Beacon for lunch and some exploration.

There is a Thai restaurant near the dummy light in Beacon that is pretty good.  So we found a nearby parking space and ambled over to it.  While walking there, a group of cars passed by, people honking their horns in a celebratory manner.  Joe Biden had just been declared the winner of this year's presidential election by several networks (finally!), and people celebrated as if a house had fallen on an ugly Wiccan practitioner from the West, with an opportunity for someone to acquire a gently used pair of red shoes.  Once done with lunch, we explored Beacon a little before starting the long drive home.

On the way home, we decided to pass through Cold Spring again, and again, no parking was to be found in town. We were now off to Forest Hills, and to assemble the chair that was loaded in my car.  When we finally reached FH's apartment building, we were extremely lucky - there was a parking spot open directly in front of the entrance to her building.  We unloaded the box containing the chair, and brought it up to her apartment.  A few minutes inside the apartment, we started to open the box and put the chair together.  As expected, we encountered a few glitches before getting the chair assembled. But all went relatively smoothly, and we were able to watch our future president's "victory speech" while we have each other massages.  

Although I am not sure of where things will go, if they will go, etc., FH is a nice woman to be with.  However, I also have to see where FL wants to go, as I am still not sure of which of these two women I want to be with. 

PS: FL and I had a discussion shortly after I wrote this entry.  My dual-gendered nature is something more than she can handle.  So we've agreed to remain good friends.






Monday, November 16, 2020

Suicide is painless. It brings on many changes....


How many of you remember this scene from M*A*S*H?  It is a classic.  The character in the center intends to commit suicide because he has suffered his first ever case of erectile dysfunction.  The song, "Suicide is Painless" has been called "the stupidest song ever written".  Although Robert Altman made only $70,000 for directing M*A*S*H, his son made $1,000,000 for having co-written the song.

Why do I bring up this song?

Recently, I was in a Zoom meeting with some friends, and I start reciting the lyrics to this song. Unfortunately, I touched a raw nerve with one of these friends, as I did not know that her mom had committed suicide. The other friends on the Zoom meeting understood where I was going, and didn't pay it much mind. But I knew that I touched a third rail with this friend.

One of the things I learned years ago from watching George Carlin in Peekskill was that a good comedian's banter may offend some people unintentionally.  I had done just that in my Zoom meeting.  Although I was able to recover and apologize, I now know this person's sore point from which she has never recovered.  Given the other things I know about her, I can understand how she has lived her life without falling in love with (or being loved by) someone nice.

As much as I can bitch and moan about things, I can still consider myself lucky.  Both of my parents died of "typical" causes (Mom from heart disease, and Dad from the Coronavirus), and not "unnatural" causes (such as a car accident or suicide).  My wife died of cancer.  Had she lived, I don't know if I could have taken the chance on going out in this world as Marian.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Listen, I'd like to know a secret.


Yesterday, I was presented with a mystery that I haven't yet solved.  Someone left a box containing this plate in front of my door.  But I have absolutely no clue as to who dropped this plate at my door. 

Could this plate have been given to me by my secret pen pal from my "Ambles" group? If so, why didn't she/he have identified herself/himself as "Your Secret Pen Pal" and left me a card telling me that this is a gift to me?  (I've mentioned my love for trains in the past, and this gift could have come from a member of our "Secret Pen Pal" group.) As much as this is a possibility, it breaks the rules of our group.  We are not supposed to be giving each other a gift of value - even though these collectors plates have little resale value.  So, I've ruled out my secret pen pal for now.

The next person I thought of is someone who I doubt would give me the time of day, much less a "collector's place."  My most recent ex-girlfriend is emptying out a house in preparation to move into smaller living quarters.  We have not been in contact since summer, and I see no reason why she'd bother to risk seeing me to drop this off.  In addition, without a note to say who gifted me this plate, this couldn't be a peace offering which would tell me that she'd like to bury the hatchet.  (Last we were in contact, I'm sure that she'd prefer to bury the hatchet in my back. So assuming that this gift was from her doesn't make sense.)

The last person that I thought might have dropped this plate off is my former cruise partner.  She has even less interest in renewing a friendship, nor would she have collected plates with a railroading theme.  Given that we likely would have strangled each other if we were in the same place again, I think that she is also someone who should be ruled out for having put this plate in front of my door.

If the person who gave me this gift reads this blog, I want to say thank you.  But I wish you would let me know who you are, just to know whether you want to attempt to be friends again.


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...