Saturday, December 26, 2020

Should I talk about the snow that fell?



I didn't know what to start with first.  So I figured that I'd talk about the first major snowfall we've had in the NYC area this winter, then progress onto other things.

The weatherman predicted that we'd receive 12-18 inches of snow between 5 pm Wednesday and 12 pm Thursday.  Although he was slightly off with his numbers, he was "close enough for government work."  We were on the lower end of that range when the snow ended.  So, around 1 pm on Thursday, I got dressed as Mario and shoveled out my car.  From there, I made it to Croton Dam Park to take some winter pictures.  Part of me wishes I were about 55 years younger, and be one of the kids sledding down the hill in one of the pictures below.

There will always be a part of me that loves winter.  And I have gotten some of my best photographs during this season.  Of the shots I took today, I consider these two my favorites.  There is something about the approach to the bridge that always interests me, but this picture doesn't do the bridge justice.  However, I love the children sledding down the hill, and this picture captures some of the last people to enjoy the hill before the sun set for the day.  If I'm lucky, I'll be able to get more photos there before the magic of this place leaves, waiting for the next heavy snowfall.

- - - - - -

The day after I took the above pictures, I didn't wake up until noon.  (I couldn't get to sleep the night before, and was awake almost to sunrise.  When I did get up, I didn't do much of anything.  And this is why I plan to start looking for work.  It is way too easy for me to get used to doing nothing and getting depressed due to a lack of activity.



Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas!

My usual time delayed postings will be back tomorrow.

Hopefully all my readers will be safe from this virus, in good health, and able to spend time with families (virtually, if not a small in-person gathering of people from the same household) . This is a time to be thankful for what we have, and to hope that we will have better times in the year to come.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

The storm took its time in coming


Do I talk about the transgender part of my life?  Or, do I talk about things we all share?  That is a hard question to answer.  In normal years, I might discuss my struggles to present an authentic feminine image while dealing with things much easier for me to deal with in male mode.  Today is another day that I was lazy and went outside in male mode because it was the easiest thing to do.

Last night when I parked my car, I realized that I forgot to do two things.  First, I parked the car in a way that would require me to back out of my parking spot.  This would not be a good thing to do when trying to navigate out of my spot after the last of the snow has fallen.  Second, I didn't leave my windshield wipers in an "up" position, so that they would not get frozen in place if wet, freezing snow were to fall.  So I had an excuse to get out of bed, get a breakfast sandwich, and do some last minute shopping at the supermarket down the hill from me.

Once back at home, I ended up watching TV and doing a bit of reading.  Nothing special.  But I ended up thinking how different this year is, and how alone I feel.  Yes, I am chatting with prospective women for dating.  Yes, I see FH on a weekly basis.  But, I do not really feel that comfortable with anyone yet, and the pandemic does get in the way of meeting people. Even though I'm exchanging emails with my most recent ex, I know things are far from the way they were a year and a half ago.  If I could turn back the clock and fix things before they got broken, I'd gladly do so.  But, I have not developed a time machine to allow me to go backwards and correct things.  So I must move forward in my life.

Tomorrow, I expect to be shoveling 12"-18" of snow from my car.  Hopefully, it will not be a "wet" snow. Once I've done this, I will go for a ride to see what the roads look like.  If possible, I will get a chance to take some pictures that are worth enlarging, printing, and framing.  If not, I'll go back and read a book or two before one of my regularly scheduled Zoom meetups.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The calm before the storm


Winter is known for interesting weather.  One day, the weather could be in the 50's, and later that same week, we could have a blizzard.  This is one of those weeks.

Earlier this week, the weather was in the 50's, and it was a nice day to go out wearing a lightweight coat and a sweater underneath.  Today, the weather was in the high 30's, and people were at the supermarkets stocking up in preparation for the coming blizzard.  

This morning, I got up early, so that I could return a book to the local library, and then decided to take a long ride just to get some free air for one of my tires. (I have a slow leak in one tire, and wanted to make sure that I didn't need to inflate it in bad weather.)  While out, I noticed how busy the supermarkets were, and was glad that I stocked up on things a few days ago. I was also glad that I postponed a zoom meeting with my ex boss until tomorrow - neither of us would be going out, and it made sense to use forced downtime for our virtual get together than a day which I expected might be busy preparing for the coming snow.

By the time I got home, I was very tired.  But I had no time to take a good nap.  Instead, I had to get proof that I had health insurance lined up for 2021, and no extra time to take care of this.  New York's Obamacare exchange was closing up shop earlier than last year, so I had only the 6 week window to have paperwork in hand saying that I had purchased a plan for the coming year.  After a phone call and logging into the exchange site, I had that paperwork in hand, and had what I needed to fight "city hall" if needed.

Next, it was a co-op board meeting.  Things ran better than expected, and the meeting was quicker than usual.  However, I had to bug out early - I had a Tuesday night meeting of my Texas Zoom Meetup group to attend.  (I'll have to talk with the president of the co-op in the morning about me bailing out.)  Around 8:30, I made it to the meetup group, and only one of the group was left online.  We chatted for 30 minutes, and then I was free for the evening.

Hopefully, tomorrow's weather won't be as bad as expected. At least, I have my snow shovel upstairs just to be safe....


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow. NOT!


As I write this, the snow is falling in front of my apartment.  It is not the blizzard that we're expecting later in the week.  Instead, it is that kind of snow fall that will require a relatively effortless task of shoveling out the car and getting it out of the way for when the plow comes. Unfortunately, this is not the kind of snow fall we're expecting at mid week.  I am seriously considering driving 150-200 miles from here, staying overnight, so that I can avoid the headaches of the expected blizzard.

With weather like this, I usually take the easy way out and venture outdoors as Mario.  If I had a more feminine body (especially, my face and my head), I'd be going outdoors as Marian.  I want to present as authentic an image as possible when I venture outdoors.  

- - - - - -

2020 will be known as the year of the Pandemic.  In the USA, it will also be known as the year that the public (for now) was able to save a democratic republic from becoming a corrupt authoritarian kleptocracy.  (Please, no comments from any stray Trump supporters who may read this blog.)  Our soon to be former president's base continues to be a threat to the LGBTIQ community.  So we're still in danger, if not from Trump, then from the people who make up his base.

The other day, I visited a person who was a "knee jerk" Republican.  Just the mention of the word "Socialism" makes him worry. So, he fears people like AOC and Bernie Sanders.  He'd vote for Trump, corrupt as he is, instead of for representatives who could keep the left most part of the Democratic Party coalition in check.  But then, this man lives in a suburban bubble where he never sees minorities, except when they get into trouble.  (Grand jury duty only served to intensify this man's biases against minorities.)  Although the man is a decent person, his attitudes have been shaped by the social bubble and media bubble that he lives in.

Most of my readers live in different social and media bubbles from the above Republican. We are among the people who are often demonized in their bubbles.  They call our news outlets the "lame stream media".  Why?  Because it doesn't reinforce their beliefs.  Years ago, we could count on the main stream media to cover the news and report it objectively.  Today, people get to choose highly biased news outlets, and never get the chance to learn objective truths.  This is not healthy in a democratic republic, as we need to acknowledge a single set of objective facts, and only then form opinions about those facts.  

This leads me back to the pandemic.  America has been a victim of its own politics.  Wearing/not wearing a face mask is usually a good sign of a person's political beliefs.  In the past, we had presidents who cared about public health.  Our current president does not care - and was (supposedly) struck by the coronavirus himself. Yet, he still models behaviors which are in opposition to those recommended by the CDC.  As long as people consider the danger of this pandemic to be a hoax, then we will suffer from it much longer than necessary. 

- - - - - -

A long time ago, I looked forward to snow.  Now, it is one of many things that gets in the way of me living my life.  Until it is cleared away, I intend to stay in my flannel nightgown and stay warm and cozy for the next few days.


Monday, December 21, 2020

Getting out too late to see the sun.


There are parts of me that should have been born in another era. For example, I would have liked to have traveled by train across the US in the age of peak passenger rail - even with all of the headaches of doing this kind of trip. I would have loved to see people such as Benny Goodman, Chuck Berry, and Dave Brubeck in person in their prime.  But I would have felt out of place, as well as being crippled, as my life has been defined by the ever growing importance of computers in our lives.

Today, I decided to stay indoors and watch old movies on the TV.  The selections I had to choose from would not have been available to me in a pre-computer age.  Not only could I select a movie I wanted to see from several libraries available to me. But I could view the movie without having to load film reels onto a projector for viewing.  While the movies were on the TV, I could surf the web from a tablet computer - something I never would have dreamed possible when I first came in contact with computers half a century ago.  So, the movement of the sun in the sky has much less meaning to me today than it would have meant had I been around a century ago.

When I finally took my daily shower, I knew that I'd be going out to the grocery store as the sun was setting, and coming home in the dark. My life is only loosely tied to the sun.  But it is still connected with the weather outside.  For example, as I write this entry, the weatherman predicts a small snow storm for tomorrow, where 1"-2" inches of snow will need to be plowed away.  A couple of days later, the same weatherman is predicting 12"-18" of snow to be dumped in my area of the New York City suburbs.  Since I hate shoveling snow, I've started to consider the idea of driving North of Albany, NY early that day, staying the night, and taking a leisurely drive home the following afternoon.  Is it worth the gas and driving to get out of shoveling snow?  Who knows?  But I'll make that decision in a couple of days, then plan accordingly.

 - - - - - -

Lately, I've been in contact with someone I used to communicate with on a daily basis.   It's nice to be back in contact again.  But I'm being careful, as I don't want to be hurt or to cause hurt.  (It took 3 years for me to repair things with my brother, and it took the death of my wife as a catalyst for this to happen.  I don't want similar trauma to either get in the way of a rapprochement or a disconnection. )  I'll keep my readers informed as things progress.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Amazon Prime and Whole Foods

Many people will soon be looking for ways to avoid going to the grocery store during the next wave of the pandemic.  I can't blame them.  Some people have taken to going to lesser known and lesser frequented stores to get their vegetables and meats.  Others have taken to ordering pre-made meals online from places like Freshly, and letting others do all the prep work.  Today was the first time I was with someone when the weekly "Whole Paycheck" (a.k.a. Whole Foods Market) delivery came.

As much as I don't like having expensive items left in front of my door due to a potential opportunity for loss, I like having things of little to moderate value left in front of my door.  Food is one of these things.  In the past, I would have a box of 6 meals from Freshly dropped off in front of my door (if the delivery service bothered to read the delivery instructions).  But I haven't bothered with Freshly in a while due to their "last mile" delivery services.  So, when I saw my friend get a delivery from Whole Foods, I figured that if things get bad, that I might just use their delivery service.

I was impressed with one of the things they do when packing items that needed to stay cold - they used dry ice.  Unlike Freshly, which uses reusable cold packs, the Whole Foods delivery leaves minimal product to dispose of.  Only the bags the refrigerated/frozen food comes in need the dry ice, and it evaporates quickly after the bag is opened for transferring goods into the refrigerator/freezer.

Given that Amazon controls the last mile delivery, I may just use this service in the future.  Hopefully, it won't get bad enough that I will need to do so to avoid a visit to the store down the hill from me.

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...