Saturday, December 19, 2020

I could have stayed in and do nothing, but...


A necklace.  Not one that would be worn by a pretty woman, unless she was King Kong's large size companion.  Given that it is holiday season and FH is still in the picture, I figured that she deserved a holiday gift.  So I bought her handmade necklace and earrings thru Amazon.  Unfortunately, I couldn't give her a gift without getting her daughter a gift as well.  So I had to get dressed and go shopping today.

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It's been a while since I have been outside my apartment as Marian.  So I took the opportunity to go out in female presentation for the last chance I'd have this week.  As I was leaving the apartment, I saw a box on my landing.  After checking who it was addressed to, I dropped it in front of my neighbor's door.  She opened up her door while I was in front of my mailbox, and her cat escaped.  So I ended up chatting with her for a sec before leaving.  

I could have driven to the Westchester Mall in White Plains.  But I'd rather not pay to park in their lot, even though it would cost me more to cross the bridge and shop in West Nyack.  And I think this was the right choice, as I was able to find a parking spot very close to the entrance and I was able to get FH's daughter her gift within 10 minutes of my arrival.  So I took the opportunity to walk around a relatively empty mall before driving home for the night.

Around 9 pm, I finally decided to make my crock pot lasagna.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, some might say), I was not going to be able to have it for dinner.  As a result, I ended up taking the lasagna out of the crock pot around 1:30 am, putting the lasagna into storage containers for future eating, and then into the refrigerator to be eaten over the next few days. (I had a little nibble, and it was something that will get better when reheated.)  Knowing me, I will likely have cooked too much.  But I'll know this for sure in a few days.



Friday, December 18, 2020

A late lunch with a view of the bridge


This is a view of the new Tappan Zee Bridge from a site near the Sleepy Hollow lighthouse. Years ago, instead of a residential development in walking distance of the lighthouse, there stood GM's Tarrytown plant.  Soon, I'll be able to walk from this lighthouse through the residential development and reach the restaurant I ate at today.

Last week, FL and I agreed to meet for lunch/dinner at an Italian restaurant convenient to the two of us.  Unfortunately, she had a scare. Two of the people with whom she was in contact had contracted Covid-19.  So she had to isolate herself until her test results came in.  By the beginning of the week, FL received a negative test result, and we rescheduled lunch at a restaurant we ate at several weeks before.  Her one requirement was that we could eat outdoors, and the place she chose had a heated tent. And this restaurant had that.

When I arrived at the place, the tent was there - but nothing else.  One could sit "outdoors" in back of the restaurant.  But one might as well have been sitting inside.  So when FL arrived, she chose to sit inside - and the very table we ate at the first time we were there.  We chatted a bit about things, and she got some great news while eating lunch.  The buyer of her apartment finally signed the contract, and now only had to be approved by the co-op's board of directors.  Now, the clock has finally started ticking for FL to move to Long Branch, NJ.  All too soon, it was time for us to leave.  Given the pandemic, we will not likely be able to have lunch again until both of us have been vaccinated for the virus.  And then I was off to the bank to find out why my ATM card didn't work the other day. 

About 15 minutes later, I arrived at the bank, and waited for someone to finish at the ATM.  Unfortunately, this lady was doing multiple transactions at the ATM and wasting a lot of time.  After a minute or two, I decided to get out of the vestibule, as this woman was wearing her mask improperly. And I went to the teller to deposit my checks, then find out why my card wasn't working.  Guess what!  I hadn't used the card in ages, and their computers flagged the card as inactive.  So I made my deposit, and was told that the card would be reactivated in 24 hours.

Once I got home, I was in for the night.  Did I bother to do the laundry that's been piling up?  No.  Did I bother to make the crock pot lasagna I wanted to make?  No.  Did I even bother to read any of the books I have out from the library?  No.  All I wanted to do was rest.  And rest I did....


Thursday, December 17, 2020

And now, something different.


The above picture depicts Rufus T. Firefly in his successful tenure as the President of Freedonia. The diplomacy of the neighbor state, Sylvania, proves Ambrose Bierce right.  "Peace is a period of treachery between two wars."

Why do I refer to both a Marx Brothers' comedy and Ambrose Bierce in the same paragraph? The answer is simple.  As I write this, our president is undermining the faith his followers should have in our democratic institutions.  As incompetent as Rufus T. Firefly was, he was able to lead his forces to victory against Sylvania. Compare this to our current president, and Trump will look totally incompetent by the comparison.

When I grew up, it was assumed that once the winner of an election was announced, that the loser would graciously concede defeat, and that a peaceful transfer of power would take place as smoothly as possible.  No major decisions or appointments would take place during the transition.  Today, our current president is violating the norms, and making it much harder for the next administration to have a successful tenure.  This puts us all at risk.  We've seen how an incompetent president's mismanagement of pandemic response has made it possible for more people (instead of less) to die from Covid-19.  Even worse, we've seen him organize "Super spreader" political events which only served to make the medical problems worse.  Is this the sign of someone who believes in the unwritten assumptions that kept our country functioning well during a transfer of power?

Many people are angered by this president's frivolous and needless lawsuits geared to nullify  the results of the popular vote. They only serve to do one thing: energize his followers to give him money (presumably to fund his campaign and its lawyers) to line his pockets one last time. Since a third of the nation will follow this buffoon without question, I have to pose this question:  How strong are America's democratic institutions, when a large part of the population craves an authoritarian government?  History shows that democratic forms of government are at their weakest when the needs of the average person haven't been addressed by the elites.  Our president is an incompetent kleptocrat.  But he  seems to want to be an incompetent autocrat as well.  This is a big risk for all of us - especially when the people in his political party are afraid to acknowledge the truth that Biden won the general election.

Hopefully, we will soon see the last of our current president, except when he is in court defending himself against all the charges which will likely be brought against him.  That will be fun television for many.  As for me, the man (and his defenders) disgust me.  So I will change the station and stream all 270 episodes of the classic Perry Mason show.  At least, I know that the innocent will go free at the end of each episode....


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

I never thought we'd have a civil word again.


Over the past couple of weeks, my ex girlfriend I have been having a civil exchange of emails. I can't say where this will lead. But it would be nice to have a friendship again.  Yes, the topic that caused us to argue still makes me feel sad.  But that's the price I pay for my side of the dispute. And I won't go into this much further.

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Life keeps throwing me curve balls, and I keep trying to hit them.  Sometimes, I get a hit.  Sometimes, I hit a foul.  And at other times, I strike out.  It's amazing that I find the energy to do this after all these years, even though my heart isn't always into it.  That often applies to romance, as I don't like being alone for long.

Years ago, when I lost my wife, I didn't take the time to heal.  No one was there to guide me, or to advise me.  Such is life.  Yet, I survived my past.  A few months after her passing, I wrote a letter to a woman who I was once engaged to (CSN), and hadn't seen in 12 years. Strangely enough, we had a few dates, and then things petered out.  She was still the same person that I remembered, save that she was clueless about how most people really are.  Like me, she was a person who could not "code shift" her message to fit the needs of her audience.

Over the years, I've had some fun looking up CSN's information on the internet with no intention of getting together again.  Since this woman has an almost invisible internet presence, I find it interesting how little information is available about her.  Yet, I found out some interesting tidbits, such as an inkling of how her father was passing on assets to her without negative tax consequences or probate consequences.  Hopefully, the financial advice she got was optimal, as I'd like to see this woman do well.

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I'd love to have a good reason to bump into some exes again, especially the woman who was my first girlfriend about 45 years ago.  In her case, I'd like to thank her for causing me to think about my life and becoming a unique individual, not an imitation of someone else.  Like CSN, she has a small internet fingerprint, and is even harder to find.  She shares her name with a formerly popular Hollywood actress.  Hopefully she's doing well, and that she has a pleasant memory of that summer we were together.

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So, my train of thought comes back to the most recent ex.  Trust can only be rebuilt over time.  The slightest screw up can cause much good will to be squandered in an instant.  We both hurt each other a lot, either by design or by ignorance.  Either way, I don't want to cause her any more pain....


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Some good news.


This is a quick note on the virus.

The other day, I was supposed to have a late lunch / early dinner with FL.  However, she had to cancel our get together, as she was in contact with two people who later caught "the bug".  So, she rushed out to get tested and anxiously waited for the results.

Well...  The results were negative!  No Covid-19!  This is great news.  So, sometime later in the week, we will be having an outdoor meal together.

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Later in the day, I contacted my hiking friend from game night.  She got her job!  Yay!  She'll be working an unusual schedule, doing a Tuesday-Saturday daytime shift.  This is good for me, as this leaves both Sunday and Monday open for us to get together for our outdoor walks. 

Last week, I mentioned this woman to Vicki, and said that I wish I could have met this woman as Mario.  She gave me something I could say to find out whether she is interested in someone like me.  Knowing me, I'll never say it.  I like knowing this woman too much, and I don't want to ruin a friendship by bringing up Mario and spoiling things.



Monday, December 14, 2020

When I woke up, it was colder than I originally expected.

It was not this cold outside today, but it was colder than I expected. 

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The last time I went out walking, it was in the 40's. And I felt comfortable outside wearing a pair of jeans and a long sleeve shirt under a coat when I walked with my friend from my Thursday night group.  Today, being 10 degrees cooler than my last outdoor walk, I figured that it might be a little too cold for me to walk outdoors. So I texted a friend, and asked if we could change our get together from a walk and maybe a bite to eat to just a bite to eat. And our plans changed, so that we could meet at a local brewpub.  

Around 1 pm, we met at the empty brewpub and talked about many things.  I talked about many of the things I mention in this blog: some with more detail than I write here, and some with less detail. One of the things I mentioned was that I had no place yet to go for Xmas. So now, I have a place to go if I have no other invitations for the day.  Because it was warmer than either of us expected when we finished with lunch, we took the chance to move our cars out of the brewpub's parking lot to a place where it was safe to park the cars for an hour or so. And then we walked a short distance before turning back.  (BTW: I found out that I need to put a pair of gloves into the pockets of my new coat.)

As I've mentioned here and elsewhere, I'm a bit concerned about how this winter is going to look like.  Will people hunker down at home and take realistic precautions against being infected by the virus?  Or, will they throw caution to the wind (albeit slowly) and allow the pandemic to continue its second wave? I plan to obey all of the restrictions put upon us by  our state's government, as I don't want another lock down as is now about to start in California.

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Thinking of California for a minute, several of my acquaintances live in the San Francisco Bay area.  My Aunt and Uncle live in Los Angeles. They will all be affected by the upcoming lock downs.  The state is an example of a government which has delegated too much power to the people. At least one county (San Mateo) is not planning on following the governor's directive to do a 3 week lock down.  Instead, they plan to perform a "Swiss Cheese" approach to closing things down, and as a result, have very little effect in stopping the spread of the virus.

Recently, I found a new search engine (people locator), and I may have found where an ex girlfriend of 44 years ago lives.  If I'm right, I'll consider dropping off some snail mail just to say hello.  I don't have much to say, I live on the other side of the country, and I pose no threat to this woman's comfort.  So, I might have a pleasant response if I do this.  The odds are that I won't send this letter.  But it would be nice to reconnect with someone who affected my life in a positive manner and tell her this after all these years.

Another acquaintance in the Bay Area knows about my bi-gendered nature, and is comfortable with it.  Hopefully, she will survive the winter, and that I'll get to see her on my next visit to the Bay area.  It's been around 8 years since I was there last, and it's time to get out there again. This time, it'll be much more expensive for me to visit. But I'm coupling this trip with: (1) a visit to LA to see my Aunt and Uncle, (2) a broken leg train trip from LA to Seattle, (3) meeting up with my nephew in Seattle, and (4) a cross country train trip back home.  It'll be an expensive trip.  So it won't be something I'll do on the spur of the moment.

- - - - - -

Now that I've started to think of warm places, Florida comes to mind.  I have some acquaintances I'd like to visit there, and have no intentions of doing so until the pandemic lifts. As is well known, the governor is a GOP buffoon, and doesn't take the pandemic seriously. He hews to the Trump party line. And this has put an ex girlfriend of mine (and her partner) at risk. No, I do not plan to visit this ex.  But I would like to visit two people who have been mentioned in my previous blog before life made other plans for me.

Assuming I decide to visit Florida, my trips between cities will need to be taken as Mario.  I don't trust this state's attitudes towards people like me in this political climate.  One could easily get killed if the wrong people were to find out my biological gender doesn't match up with my gender presentation.  As much as some people have no trouble "traveling pretty" (as Kim would put it), I still feel that I have to be very careful.  But I'm not in any hurry.  I don't plan on making this trip until next winter at the earliest.

- - - - - -

Hopefully, I will get back to traveling and meeting people sometime next year.  I'm more than willing to pay the price in loneliness to get out the other side of this pandemic without catching the virus. But it is a heavier price than I'd like to pay to be on the other side....








Sunday, December 13, 2020

Walmart is not the shopping mecca that someone once thought.



OK, I will admit that I occasionally shop at Walmart.  Do I like the idea that this store has become a monolith among retailers? No.  The arrival of this chain depresses wages for other retailers in the community, unless large retail chains already dominate the local landscape.  Today, I knew that I was going to a Walmart, and had no plans to buy anything there.

When FH and I last talked, we agreed that today's trip would be to a restaurant that I often enjoyed in the past, and that she would get to go to a Walmart. So, off to Lindenhurst we went, and we found Southside Fish and Clam for a seafood dinner.  This place brings back many good memories for me, as I've been going there on occasion since my late wife was alive.  There isn't much atmosphere, but the food is good. Today, the place was virtually empty, and we were able to have a quiet meal in peace without having to worry about other patrons being too near to us.

Our next stop was the Walmart in Farmingdale. It is one of the bigger ones, and yet, FH was unable to find a circular fluorescent bulb in the correct size.  After a little bit of shopping, we ended up going to the Home Depot to get the bulb. Then, it was back to Forest Hills, where I installed the bulb. It was a little bit of a pain in the butt, as the clips held the old bulb in very securely in place.  But once I was able to remove the old bulb, everything went smoothly.

Even though I don't think this will be a long term relationship, she's good company for now. And for that, I'm glad that I met her.  Tomorrow will be a day out as Marian, and it will be nice to enjoy that part of me 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...