Saturday, February 27, 2021

A year ago, things were so different.....


A year ago, things were very different than they are now.  For example, in the back of my mind I still had hope of getting together again with my ex girlfriend.  Today, I'd have to think long, hard, and carefully if that option were to present itself to me.  But that's the least of things I can mention today. My father was still alive, and I had no idea that he'd be one of the over 400,000 (and counting) Americans who'd die of the coronavirus over the next 12 months.

Both as individuals and as a culture, we would have to ask questions posed by a once popular song:

Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time re-written every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we?
Could we?

Most of us thought that the good times we experienced prior to 2020 would last forever.  As the virus taught us, they were only fleeting things.  

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I spent most of 2020 employed at the census as Marian.  Recently, I applied for and accepted a job, working as Marian again.  Although this would have been a job better suited for Mario, I figured that I wanted to see how I would do in private industry without the official protections of a government bureaucracy.  Is this the job I really wanted?  No.  But it will have to do when there are 75 people (or more, in many cases) applying for jobs in both public and private sectors.

If things had progressed as most of us had expected, most of us would have gone on our usual vacations, not really noticing what they did for us as people.  Now that we've been largely isolated from others for a year, many of us feel it's time to get out in the world again, even if we are taking big risks in doing so.  I look forward to taking my Hawaiian cruise when cruising opens up again.  But I will not give the cruise lines a penny more than I have to for their products.

Travel and work are not the only things affected by the pandemic. Our nation's political future was affected as well.  Many of us gave our former present better than an even chance of being reelected because of the then "booming" economy.  The pandemic put an end to that, as the then president made light of the virus when people were more concerned about their lives than whether they had jobs or not.  How many of you think that our current president could have won the election if things were as they were in 2019?  I certainly don't think he'd have had much of a chance, as people usually vote with their wallets.  This time, they voted as if their lives depended on their votes - which they did.
- - - - - - 

2021 looks like it will be a better year for many of us.  Hard-line Evangelical "Christians"  are no longer able to use the federal government as a tool to attack transgender people.  We are on target to see most Americans have access to a Coronavirus vaccine shot by some time this summer. And we will soon be able to resume outdoor socialization when Spring comes.  We will be entering a time where a "New Normal" is evolving, a period where growth starts anew for both individuals and for society as a whole.  I look forward to this future.


Friday, February 26, 2021

The Snowman Cometh


Again, we have snow falling on the ground in New York.  But I'm not as inconvenienced by the snow as folks are in Texas as evident in the picture below. 

The left hand side of this Texarkana street lies in the state of Texas, while the right hand side of the street is in Arkansas.  Do you notice the difference?  Arkansas thinks ahead, and tries to plan for rare events such as this year's frigid weather.  Texas, on the other hand, takes a Laissez-faire approach and is often unprepared for extreme weather events.  It's hard to take pity on a state's residents when they keep electing scoundrels who have no interest in true public service.

- - - - - -

I woke up today after another sleep deprived night. The roads were clear when I drove into work, the salt spreaders were out trying to keep roads from icing over, and people were driving safer than usual.  No one wanted to get into an accident on a day where the tow trucks would have more than enough business.  Unfortunately, I was delayed on the way to work by one of these salt spreaders, as it blocked two lanes of traffic all the way from Croton to Pleasantville. Even with this delay, I still made it into the office 20 minutes early - enough time for a cup of coffee.

None of the people I usually deal with were in the office due to the weather. Yet, I was able to get some work done while fighting the urge to go to sleep.  However, I made a big mistake which could have been a big problem. Luckily, one coworker who was in the office resolved it for me, and I was able to proceed without incident.  Around noon, I realized that I had to pack it in for the day.  As I was leaving, I took my pocketbook out of the locker and screwed up the combination on the lock.  That'll be something to take care of when people are back in the office.

On the way home, traffic was moving very slowly.  There was good reason for this.  I must have passed by at least 3 accident scenes, with one of them being serviced by police cars, tow trucks, and ambulances. It made me glad that we had some daylight, and that I knew how to drive in bad weather.  

- - - - - -

Now that I am home, I'm going to wait for an alert from the office.  Sometime in the next 16 hours, I'll find out whether I'm going in to work in the morning and at what time I'll be expected to start work.  Until then, I'm going to relax and hope that my Texas friends will be available for our Thursday night Zoom meeting.







Thursday, February 25, 2021

I finally got some work to do.


This was the third day in a row that I haven't slept well.  So if I didn't have my caffeine in the morning, I'd have fallen asleep while shadowing a more senior worker.  Luckily, I can have as much coffee as I want while on break or during lunch.  This means I can get as wired as I need to be to get through the day.

- - - - - -

It's nice to go into the office and be referred to as a "She".  Yes, there may be some people who shun me, but I haven't noticed that yet.  Instead, I showed a friendly appearance to my coworkers, and they have responded back in kind.  I still haven't decided if this is a place I want to stay at for the better part of a year.  But that's OK for now.   

My goal is to sock away enough money to pay for a Hawaiian cruise-tour on NCL sometime next winter.  Whether I go alone, or travel with a partner is not yet a material consideration for me.  YGM showed an interest in this cruise last year, and others may yet want to be a travel partner for this bucket list trip.  In the old days, my former travel partner would suggest a cruise to go on, and we'd plan things around that date.  Since we are no longer friends, the onus is on me to find a new travel partner for the bucket list trips.

Ideally, bucket list trips should be taken with a close friend or family member, as these are the trips one will want to talk about often.  When my wife died, I lost the one person who understood how I felt about San Francisco, as she was with me when I first visited the city.  Most of the trips I took with other women have been forgettable, as nothing much stood out about the places we traveled.  Yet, I can still remember a couple of the trips I took with my ex girlfriend from Rochester, simply because of the problems we encountered on our trips.  I'm glad that she's building memories with her partner of 22+ years, as they are doing the "until death do us part" routine without benefit of legal acknowledgement.

But I digress....

Today, I finally got some work to do after lunch.  And I was grateful to finally be doing some QA on scanned documents.  No, I can't tell you the names of the organizations we do business with. But I can say that they run the gamut of governmental entities, for profit businesses, and not for profit organizations.  Having meaningful work to do is a good thing, as it keeps my mind busy and awake.  (Now, if only I can stay asleep through the night....)

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Since tomorrow will be bringing a 6"-12" snowfall, I'm going to sign off for now and try to get some sleep.  More later....

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Sleep - Something we all need, and never get enough of.



It's the second time I've used this picture in a while, and it makes perfect sense.  I felt like this model looked this morning when I woke up, and I could barely stay awake at work today.  AARGH!

- - - - - -

One of the problems with shadowing someone as she does her job is that without doing any activity other than observation things can bet boring enough to put one to sleep.  And I was in danger of this happening today, as I only had 4 hours of sleep the night before.  Thank god for caffeine!

I'm glad that I chose to report to work as Marian, as I feel much more comfortable in my female presentation.  However, after a full day at work and being tired, I noticed that I was not projecting as feminine a voice as I'd like to project.  This is something I'll have to work on again.  I'm not used to being tired at work anymore, nor am I used to the routine of this new office.  It will come with time, but it's not something I was really ready for when I started work.

When I got home, I chatted with a friend.  I realized that I'd rather be in a position where I can socialize more with people.  A receptionist position would have suited me nicely - but would it have paid what I get now?  If I were to get an offer to do this kind of job, I might jump for it. Until then, I'll sit at my computer screen and digitize paper documents. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The start of a new job


Today's post is going to be quick.  I decided to start at the new job, and people are accepting me as Marian.  Whether or not my boss knows that I am legally Mario is not going to be an issue, given some of the paperwork that they had me sign.  This will be the second job that I've had working as Marian, and this is a good start.  However, I'm not sure that I want to stay there for long, as it is forcing me to again get up at 6 am, so that I can be at work for an 8 hour day.

Am I up to working an 8 hour day?  I still think so.  But "do I want the headaches and boredom?" is another question for another day.   Right now, I think I'll go back to bed and try to catch some winks before I am rudely awakened by the alarm om my phone.

More news on this soon....

Monday, February 22, 2021

I just don't want to get hurt again


In the above picture, I am very happy being out and about in the world as Marian.  It is something I don't plan to give up.  But I am willing to negotiate how much time I spend in this presentation - if I'm with the right partner.

- - - - - -

Looking at romance, I don't want to get hurt again, or to hurt someone else.  In my case, I have to be careful how much I open the door to communicating with the ex girlfriend, as I could fall for her again without a chance of her doing the same with me.  And both of us would need to be very sure of ourselves before taking another chance at anything other than friendship.  Making things more complex for me is my relationship with FH.  Is it a romance or a friendship?  It could be either one with her, and not something I want to risk at this time. (I'm pretty sure that it is a relationship that will end when the pandemic does, based on the evidence I have.)  But without anyone sharing my bed in a while, it makes sense for me to keep all options open for now.

When I woke up today, it was with the help of an alarm on my phone.  And I had forgotten that I had an appointment with Vanessa to help her with setting up Google Ads to promote her web site.  So I was very glad that she called to confirm things early on.  This allowed me to schedule my laundry runs properly, as I didn't want to go into my new office wearing dirty clothes.

Around 3:30, I made it out of the house and started my trip up to Dover Plains to see Vanessa.  And  I was glad that I started when I did, as I ended up having to fill up my car along the way.  (Who wants to look for gas in a rural area when it's dark outside?)  I made it up to her place around 5:15, and we got started on trying to find the right phrases and keywords to bring people to her site.  By the time 7:30 came around, we were both fried.  So I bid her an adieu around 8:30, and started my drive home.

- - - - - -

Now, I have to shift to a new topic at this point.  Earlier in the day, I was trying to make my first vaccination appointment for Covid-19.  One problem - New York's website was overloaded with people trying to make their appointments, and a flaw in the site was displaying possible appointments without preserving their availability for when one was selected.  As a result, there was a lot of needless back and forth in the application, where people like me were selecting an appointment time, and then being told that the appointment wasn't available.  I figured that I'd try to get an appointment later in the evening.

While at Vanessa's one of her clan was also trying to get an appointment.  Using the NYS hotline, she was able to score an appointment for tomorrow morning.  One problem - Metro North was not running a normal schedule, and this member of Vanessa's clan has to take an Uber to get to Westchester for the vaccination.  At least she has an early appointment.  When I got home, I used the NYS website again, and was finally able to score an appointment for early April in Queens.  AARGH!   This will give me one benefit - I'll be able to tell my boss that I need the day off to get my shot.

- - - - - -

Sooner or later, my life will return to a new normal.  Whatever that normal is, I don't know.  But I'm in a better place now than I was at this time last year.   


Sunday, February 21, 2021

I'm reminded of an old movie with a hit song


Today, I don't have that much to say.  I was going back through some of my photos and the first photo popped up.  It's a view of a catering hall that once was a fancy restaurant.  Seeing the place in snow reminded me where parts of a movie whose set were used in two movies featuring the same hit song.

- - - - - -

As I write this entry, two holiday dates are coming up next to each other.  One is a social holiday where romantic rituals often lead to mating rituals.  The other is a legal holiday, where fewer and fewer people are given the day off due to the changing nature of American employment.  Neither day has much meaning to me anymore.  Valentine's Day is meaningful when one has a romantic partner who gives you comfort (however you define it).  And Presidents' Day is meaningful only if you have the day off for enjoyment.

Given that I'll be without a romantic companion on Valentine's Day and that I will likely be working on Presidents' Day, it's a big change from where I was 10 years ago.  But then, I was still in the closet, and worried about what people would think if I came out. Now, I can go to an interview as Marian, and not worry about what a person thinks of me.  Yes, FH still wonders why I want to go to work this way, and TCL probably thinks I'm a little nuts.  But this is OK with me.  Not all questions are meant to have simple answers....


RQS went home, and I got keys made - a quick post

  One of the problems with going about as a female is that almost everything one carries around during a typical day is carried in a handbag...