Saturday, January 30, 2021

Today, I had to go out in the morning as Mario


Today, I had only one thing on my docket - I had to bring my new insurance ID card to my doctor and have the office request that the mail order pharmacy refill 6 prescriptions. This meant I'd have to go out in my male presentation.  Although 1 of these prescriptions did not need to be refilled until the end of February, I figured that I'd ask the office to have everything sent in at the same time, so that I could reduce the frequency of times I'd need to log on to the website and reduce the shipping charges by having as much as possible included in a single shipment.  By the end of the day, I found out that all was right in prescription land, and that I no longer had any indications that there was something wrong with my insurance.

Around 5:00 pm, I had just started this entry, having keyed in the first few keystrokes when I got my first call of the day. It was TCL, and our daily check in with each other. A little after that, FH called, and we confirmed our plans for tomorrow. And then, after an exchange of text messages with Vicki, my 3rd phone call of the day.  Vicki felt it easier for us to talk on the phone, and talk we did - for over 3 hours!  After discussing how I can still look like a woman while wearing trouser like garments, we shifted to a set of random topics.  It was nice not to have a time limit on our chat.  

One topic covered in our chat was whether one would be missed or not if one were to wink out of existence. I was discussing this with someone online earlier in the day, and I said that few people would miss me.  The best way to tell if one would be missed is to think of the people who call you on the phone.  The less you are called, the likely you would not be missed that much. This person (from the morning chat) dropped a bombshell on me that I had already figured out on my own - she felt less about breaking up with her ex than she did when breaking up with me. I won't talk much more about my morning chat.  But Vicki understood exactly where I was coming from.  It was not from a point of depression.  It was from a point where much of my positive emotional energy has been discharged due to the pandemic, without ways to fully recharge that energy by being with people I care about.  Since I don't want to give my readers the wrong idea, I am not considering anything drastic, save maybe to buy another lottery ticket.

I could say a lot more things about the chat, but I'll hold off for now.  I figure that I have to phrase things in the way they were meant to come out in the chat, and not how they would appear if these words were to be copied verbatim. So until then, I'll hold off until I can phrase these thoughts correctly for my readers.

Friday, January 29, 2021

I did a nice thing for my ex last night.


The other day, I signed up for a Zoom meetup via one of my meetup groups.  The organizer of this meetup only knows me as Marian, and we have attended many a meetup together.  While exploring meetup get togethers using Mario's ID, I found that my ex was attending the same Zoom get together via a different meetup group.  This posed an interesting dilemma for me. Do I back away, letting her crowd me out of a get together that I was invited to (in person) by the hostess? Or, do I contact my ex, and ask her what she thinks we should do.  So, I contacted my ex, and she backed out of this get together, saving both of us from an awkward confrontation that neither of us wants.

Without saying too much in this forum, I will note that my ex and I are on email/messenger speaking terms.  So I didn't want to ruin things by surprising her with me popping in to a Zoom meetup she was expecting NOT to see me. Ideally, we will be able to rebuild some sort of friendship again, and I don't want to screw that up by an unintended confrontation.

- - - - - - 

The games we played were from the Jackbox group.  Years ago, I used to have CD-Roms from which which the "You Don't Know Jack" games could be played.  I'm glad that the owners of this franchise were able to make the leap into online party gaming, as these lighthearted games are perfect for people trying to socialize online via Zoom meetups.  Given what I've been seeing on the TV lately, it looks like many of us will not get vaccinated until summer.  If that is true, then I expect that Zoom meetups will continue to stay popular for a while.

Tonight's gathering had 3 people from the Thursday night gaming group.  A college student made our 4th person, and it was nice to have someone new with us.  However, I don't think he'll be a regular, as he is a young person who shows the stereotypical traits of someone on the autism spectrum.  Does this young man have Asperger's?  I'm not trained to diagnose him. However, given how he described his roommate from a prior semester, I feel that he may fit that mold.

Next week, the meetup is scheduled for Thursday.  If that's the case, I might not be able to stay long, as I have my Zoom meetup with my friends in Texas.  This would have been a perfect time to show the ex that we could have shared meetups without conflict.  But I doubt that this will happen....


Thursday, January 28, 2021

If I had the skill, I could easily write several books.


I am not a fan of Ernest Hemingway.  Every time I tried to get through his books, I hit a wall.  When I was younger, I enjoyed The Old Man and the Sea.  But I can't even get through that book now.  Yet, I find Mickey Spillane to be a much easier read, and more fun as well.  I'll jokingly describe many of his Mike Hammer tales as love stories - between Mike and his gun, Betsy.  Even his secretary, Velma, plays a background role in his stories compared with Betsy.

When I broke up with my recent ex-girlfriend, several people said that I should write a book about it.  That I will not do. I have good reasons for that, including the wish not to hurt her or any of the people whose characters I'd rework to tell my tale.  Instead, I have other tales I'd want to tell, such as a man who beats the Devil at 3 wagers but who doesn't want the prize, saying that he "cheated", having read Satan and Sam Shay. The Devil and this man develop a friendship based on mutual respect, as the man gives the Devil a way to both redeem himself and to cause problems for the God that cast him to hell.

Another story I'd want to tell is that of a man (or woman) who is a fervent believer in democracy, but ends up becoming a brutal dictator (temporarily) to restore the country to a state where democracy can flourish again.  When asked about the country he (or she) is leaving behind, Benjamin Franklin's famous words are used once more: "A republic, if you can keep it."

Of course, I could also explore science fiction, telling a tale about what aliens find when they encounter Earth for the first time.  This would be a wrinkle on the typical "Take me to your leader" story, as the secret to Earth's survival would be that we have outsourced self governance to artificial intelligences without the general public realizing it has done this. A second secret uncovered in this tale would be that the alien species also had to do this, and has come for its own benign reasons.

Unfortunately, writing takes a lot of practice, something I haven't taken the time to do.  I'll never be like J.D.Salinger, a man who gave up being a public figure and stopped writing for public consumption. If I were to make the effort to be a popular author, I would stay in the public eye and have fun with the time I was there....

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

400,000 dead and counting

SARS-Cov-19.  Why has something imaged as nicely as this caused so much trouble around the world?  The answer is amazingly simple.  People are not by nature to be consciously aware of invisible infections that take time to incubate.  For example, how many of us use the "5 second rule" when food falls on a contaminated surface such as a floor?  I'll bet that some of my readers follow this rule.  For many of us, if we can't see it, it doesn't exist.

As I may have mentioned in earlier posts, my dad died of the virus.  Sadly, he died before proper protocols were established to help keep people in nursing homes safe. My dad was one of 400,000 people (so far) to have died due to the virus, and still, many people believe this virus to be a hoax.  It didn't help that our 45th president modeled inappropriate mask wearing behavior while in office, as many people model their actions on that of the leaders of their tribe.

Now that vaccines exist to help arrest the spread of this virus, we still have to get 330,000,000 arms stuck, so that we can slow down the spread of this virus in the 50 states.  This will take quite a bit of time, considering that our 46th president has pledged to get 100,000,000 arms stuck in the 1st 100 days his administration is in office.  That is a tall order at best.  But what about the other 230,000,000 of us?  At the rate POTUS #46 has mentioned, we won't be done vaccinating our citizens until year end.  What would happen if this virus was the result of terrorist use of bio-warfare technology.  This is not so far fetched as one might think.  A few years ago, a similar scenario was posed in a work of fiction, A Brief History of the Dead. Would we be as complacent about getting everyone's arms stuck as POTUS #45's administration has been?  I'm grateful that POTUS #46 has chosen Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania's Secretary of Health to be his Assistant Secretary of Health.  Not only has POTUS #46 chosen a competent person for the job, but he has chosen someone who had the support of both Democratic and Republican parties for her office.  (And this should overshadow the fact that Dr. Levine is also Transgender.)  Pennsylvania's loss is America's gain.  And we should be happy for that.

I still hope to have my arm stuck before summer starts.  But I expect that there will be problems before that happens.  Hopefully, we will all be able to stay safe until we have all been vaccinated.  Until then, keep wearing your masks, wash your hands frequently, and avoid large, dense crowds when you can.



Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Sometimes, I miss a former friend.


It's been a little over 15 months since my former cruise partner and I severed our friendship.  I will never go into a detailed apology for my actions, as I don't want to give her any ammunition she could use against me.  (She's the type of person who would try to destroy a person out of anger.) Yet, I once sent her an olive branch to suggest that we try to repair things.

The other day, I mentioned something to the ex girlfriend - that I threw out a framed picture I have of the former friend.  I don't want it anymore, and I doubt my ex friend would want it either.  There is a touch of sadness here, as my ex girlfriend doesn't understand why the my ex cruise partner and I couldn't patch up things.  The former cruise partner couldn't stand how I referenced her in my prior blog (she didn't like seeing herself in a sometimes harsh light), and I couldn't stand how she defamed me to at least two (or more) people I know.  There are lines which two friends should never cross, and we crossed them.

You'll note that the face of the person in the center of the picture is obscured by her hair.  I was lucky to have this picture of my former cruise partner in better times. (She wouldn't want her face exposed here.)  Strangely, it was on the same ship on the same itinerary where we had a problems several years later. One thing I know, I will never cruise out of the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal again....


Monday, January 25, 2021

Another Monday, another walk in the park.


If it weren't for the fact that I want to build up a better friendship with YGD, I'd have passed on going to a local park for a hike today.  My sleep patterns are totally screwed up, and I've found that I've been catching a few hours of sleep at random times through the day.  Since I haven't put on my CPAP machine, this sleep is not as good as I'd like it to be.  

With the above being said, I decided to stay awake and see YGD near where she lives - in Greenwich, CT.  I was pleasantly surprised at how many places are available in her neck of the woods for easy hiking, as this was the second place in Greenwich we've hiked.  I was even more surprised to find out that she does most of her hiking in the Hudson Valley.  Given enough hikes over the years, I'd bet that she'd have bumped into my ex girlfriend on one of those hikes.  But, without me trying to connect the two, there is no reason that this should be a problem for me.

As we started out on today's hike, I almost twisted my ankle and needed medical attention.  This is the one thing I didn't need to happen, as I'm still fighting with my insurance company to get my coverage straightened out. However, I was able to recover my footing in a way that didn't cause me to hurt myself. But it did made me hyper aware  of how I was walking for the totality of the hike.

If this were a normal day out in the woods, we might have gone somewhere for a bite to eat.  However, with the pandemic spiking lately, eating indoors is not highly recommended.  So we agreed to get together next week (weather permitting), and will look for a nice place to walk before then. 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Someone I know was getting her Covid-19 shot. I wish it were me!



Yes, another person I know was scheduled to get her Covid-19 shot today.  The way things are going, I'll be among the last of the people I know to get the shots I need to start living a "normal" life again.  

- - - - - -

It seems as if every time I chat with TCL, and I make a mildly negative comment about something (though I'm doing well) she asks why I am complaining?  To give you an example of this, I made a negative comment on the paperwork my brother and I will need to fill out to claim some of the money left in my dad's estate.  When I made the comment, I was thinking of my dad, wishing he was still with us and that the money was still his.  She focused on the paperwork as being a small price I would pay to have some more money in my bank account, so I shouldn't complain about paperwork.  The reality is, most of us complain a little about the minor inconveniences we have to deal with in life.  If these were big problems, most of us would act upon them as best we could.  Minor complaints seem to be the way we try to make ourselves a little bit more comfortable while dealing with the little bumps along life's journey.

In my case, I have a minor item to "complain" about today. Since my friend had her Covid-19 shot scheduled for today, it got in the way of me seeing her.  Kvetch, Kvetch, Kvetch....   Not seeing her today may be a form of a blessing, as we were thinking of walking around Chinatown a little bit.  Did I really want to bring my car into Lower Manhattan?  Not really. But I would have thought about doing so to have some time with her.

If I had known what this day would be like, I'd have considered going out as Marian.  But today ended up being a Mario day. Could I change into Marian?  Yes.  But I might as well do a load or two of laundry and relax for a while before going out 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...