Saturday, October 16, 2021

It's good to hear from people....

 

Today, I received an email from my friend in Florida.  His messages make it appear as if he's recovering many of the mental processes which were damaged by his aneurysm. Hopefully, he'll be in shape to have a visitor sometime next year.

In his email, he reminded me of what happened 11 years ago to this week.  The two of us spent the evening together talking about many things, knowing that this evening would be the last time he would talk with his wife.  She was a good woman, but suffered with the same type of cancer that took my wife's life.  And I know that he misses the things that could have been had she lived.

Does he know that I'm trans?  No.  I won't tell him until I'm at that point where I want to give up on living as Mario forever.  Yet, I wish I could see him on my single day that I'll be in a Florida port.  Maybe on my next visit to that state....

- - - - - -

When I got home, I found out that the cable company didn't process a payment I made to them a couple of weeks ago.  So I spent the better part of an hour talking with someone with minimal result.  The person told me to send them my documentation of payment via fax (who uses faxes anymore?) and I said that I had no access to a fax machine.  Then the person said that I could go to one of their stores.  One problem - only one of them is open on a Saturday.  AARGH!   Luckily, I will be passing by the place on the way to see MWL that day.  Hopefully, they will be open after I'm done with car service at Mavis.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Still thinking of a bucket list cruise.

 

Two years ago, I could have gotten last minute deal on a balcony cabin for the above Thanksgiving time cruise for roughly $1,300 excluding taxes and port fees. (They dropped the single supplement a few days before sailing.  Otherwise, the cabin would have sold for $2,600.)  Today, a similar cruise would set me back roughly $8,000.  What's the difference?  Pent up demand for cruising combined with limited availability of cabins has made this cruise unaffordable for many. 

Two years ago, I posted an entry about cruises I considered taking.  Ships are not being repositioned in a way one can predict from year to year. In the past, you might find ships that did the West Coast Alaska run now doing a Mexico run.  Sometimes, ships would be repositioned through the Panama Canal, so that they can do a Caribbean run in the Winter.  (The reverse run would take place in the Spring, preparing for the yearly Alaska cruising season.)  Now, due to the pandemic, cruise lines are moving ships to regions where they can make the most money with limited capacity.  Before the pandemic, one could easily find cruises that did a full transit of the canal.  Today, many more ships do only a partial transit - and people seem happy with that.

When the time comes, I will make sure that I have a nice one piece bathing suit ready to go for a trip to the sun.  I can't wait to be at pool side on either a Hawaii or Panama Canal run.... 

- - - - - -

On other matters....

Casual readers of this blog will notice that I am not going to as many meetups as I used to in the past.  There are two reasons for this.  First is the problems I had last year.  The groups I was able to attend have either disbanded, or simply stopped meeting.  Second is that I'm simply too tired to go out for the sake of going out.     

When I look at my schedule, I find that I do not have enough hours in the day to keep up with the social demands on my life. There are people I want to keep up with that I haven't been able to do so.  They are available to meet, but not at times I am available - and vice versa.  

Dating is another wrinkle.  I'm getting tired of "swiping right" and then having conversations peter out before we get to a phone call stage or meeting for coffee.  No, I am not stretching things out too far.  I might be seen as a viable but 2nd/3rd choice candidate.  I have to find the time and energy to keep up my efforts in this area, but it's not that easy.

- - - - - -

All work and no play may be making Marian a very boring girl.  Before I took my current job, I could easily find the time to read books.  Today, I am way too tired to do this.  I can't remember the last time I borrowed a book from the library and finished it before it was past due.  I'm at the stage where I'm considering buying a few books, simply to have them available to read without having to wait for their availability via the library system.

- - - - - -

Luckily, my health hasn't failed me yet.  But I have to be careful, given my age and current risk factors....

 

 



Thursday, October 14, 2021

All Circuits Are Busy

 

Tonight, I wanted to make a simple electronic to a vendor and ask some questions.  Unfortunately, each time I tried to place a call via my cell phone, I received a message instructing me to try placing the call later because all circuits were busy.  Luckily, I had more than one way to contact this vendor, and was able to reach him via the internet.

Over time, we have learned to place our faith in technology and assume that it will work for us when we need it.  This is not always the case.  Until Verizon was unable to deal with a strange noise on my landline, I was happy to continue using their "Twisted Pair" wiring to make landline phone calls.  Now, for a phone I rarely use anymore, I use a "Triple Play" service offered by my cable company. However, this phone is still the one way old time contacts know how to call me, so I keep it in service just to monitor the messages (mostly spam) left on the recorder.

For reasons that are no longer valid, I have two cell phones with two different numbers on two different networks.  When one network fails me, I can still make calls using the other phone.  Yes, it's a "Belt and Suspenders" approach, but it's one that may be needed as technology becomes more complex.

- - - - - -

Recently, I've been researching how to automate the monitoring of Cruise Prices, so that I can get the lowest possible price.  There are sites for airfares and hotel rooms that I've used in the past.  But none really do the job well for cruises.  I discussed this recently with a travel agent (the same one I couldn't reach in the first part of this entry), and he suggested that I book a cruise now to get the maximum fare I was willing to pay for a cruise, but then call to rebook at a lower price when the price eventually drops - his agency would help me get that fare if it was not a "new bookings only" price.  I will keep this in mind when planning my Hawaii cruise, as I don't want to spend more on a cruise than I would have spent before the pandemic hit.

There are three Hawaii cruises I discussed with this gentleman.  The first was the 10 day cruise tour offered by Norwegian. Second was an 18 day cruise out of San Diego on Holland American.  Third was a repositioning cruise from Norwegian that starts in Vancouver, heads up to Alaska, then ends in Hawaii.  (He was trying to get me to consider other options that would result in less Hawaii time.)  Right now, my heart is telling me to take the first cruise and pay what it takes to enjoy the cruise.  Yet, there is a side of me that wants to get the most bang per buck - something that may have frustrated my former cruise partner.  Now that I have to depend on my nest egg for living expenses, I have to use it wisely to avoid running out of money in old age.

When I eventually take my Hawaii cruise, I want to take it as Marian.  And I intend to have the money to do it in the right way....

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Torn between two desires


There's a part of me that enjoys going to work and getting a paycheck.  And there's another part of me that rebels against getting up at 6 am.  I don't know which side of me will win out.  But I will be relieved when I don't have to wake up at 6 am, but will need to find a part time gig to give me a reason to get up in the morning.

- - - - - -

The other day, I went to the doctor.  Then, he made his usual speech about me becoming more active and losing weight.  I mentioned that it is easier said than done, when the job I have sucks out almost all the energy I have to be active and that it screws up my natural eating patterns in a way that I actually end up eating more than I would have otherwise.  Further along in the discussion, he discussed a potential prescription change with me - and we put it off until my next visit.

I'm pretty sure that I would be in better shape (in many ways) if I no longer had this job.  But it's nice to have enough money coming in that I don't have to raid my savings.  Given the choice of having more time in my life vs. having enough money to avoid draining savings, I am finding it hard to make a definite decision.  I can easily go in either direction.

- - - - - -

I turn 66 1/2 in a little over 2 years.  Do I want to start collecting Social Security earlier than planned, and get a reduced benefit?  If so, I will lose money if I live as long a life as my father did.  Could I start draining my 401k?  I could do that, but I still want my money to grow and outlast me.  I can't say that would happen if I start regular withdrawals now.  These are the questions that many people of my age have to ask.  And there are no right answers, as we do not know how long we will live.  Nor, do we know how healthy we will be when we get to a certain age.

You'll note that I haven't mentioned anything about being transgender.  Until I go on hormones, it is a non issue in the multi-variable equation.  So I'll base my decisions on how long my father lived, and hope that this gives me a good idea of what I need to plan for in the future.

 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

A long drive with Vicki


Olana - A place I wanted to visit again with my niece in tow (before Covid-19) and a place I wanted to visit with Vicki after an "Upstate" meetup.  Unfortunately, my intentions keep getting thwarted for different reasons.

- - - - - -

When the day opened, Vicki and I were scheduled to attend a meetup in Woodstock, NY.  Afterwards, we planned to stroll around the town.  It took us a while to find the group, as it was enjoying things at the restaurant's garden area, and we first thought to only look inside the building.  Eventually, we found the group, and ordered our lunch. Conversation was good, especially with a new member of the group. Vicki was so relaxed, that she made verbal slips regarding my gender.  So I made things easier for her and this new person by identifying myself as Trans.  No negative comment from our new friend. We then exchanged phone numbers with this new member, and then broke away from the group as it started to drizzle.

I suggested that we drive up to Olana and take a tour of the mansion.  Unfortunately, the weather only got worse, and it didn't make sense to tour the building.  So, we headed south, and had another bite to eat in Rhinebeck.  It was a nice drive with a good friend who knows me in both of my modes.

- - - - - -

Later on, I chatted with the woman I saw a couple of weeks ago, and had a long chat.  Hopefully, we'll be able to get together again soon.  And then, I chatted with MWL for a while.  

Sooner or later, I may need a day off to take care of things I need to do on my days off.... 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, October 11, 2021

Looks like a last meetup for a while

 

Years ago, Peter and Gordon sang about "A World Without Love."  It was a great tune penned by two great artists you might have heard of: Lennon and McCartney.  As I write this, tomorrow will likely be the last day that I attend a specific meetup.  I'll be glad that Vicki will be in tow, as we want to enjoy a good meal after hanging out at the HV Live Music Meetup.  (I have written about this meetup group before, so I won't bother talking about my history with the people in it now.)  It'll be a bittersweet thing for me, as I will miss getting together with the people there, but failed to develop the friendships I wanted there.

Lately, I've been going to fewer and fewer meetups, save for my Yonkers Gaming Group which is no longer on Meetup.com.  This is just as well, as I am feeling much more exhausted from this job I'm in than any job I've had before. I don't have as much need to present myself as Marian.  Instead, I simply have a need to be me - no matter how I present myself at the time.  

- - - - - -

The other day, I received another post from my acquaintance in Philadelphia, and forwarded it to a former friend.  She's been silent as of late, and this is much better than the last time we communicated with each other.  Every so often, I look for a response from her in a specific email account that I know I will never receive.  I hope to be able to see this acquaintance soon,  as I don't expect her to be around at this time next year.  (Hopefully, I'll be proven very wrong in the future.)  To do so, I may have to wrap a day or two around a 3 day weekend to do so, as I would also want to take the train to DC to see another acquaintance or two.

Once I leave my current job, I will be free to travel as much as I'd like.  However, I have to make sure that I have enough income coming in to afford my travels.  There is a bucket list trip or two that I plan to take in the next 2 years, and this means both time and money.  Ideally, I'll be able to work part time as needed.  But as I get older, the less I want to do so. Instead, the older I get, the more I want to get on a cruise ship and relax.  Hopefully, I will make new friends when I do so, unlike the last time I cruised....

 

 

Sunday, October 10, 2021

It's kind of fitting that I'm watching this movie

I am more interested in the history of baseball than of watching the game itself.  The sport reflects all which is good and bad about America in its history.  And it's fitting that I'm watching the movie 61* at the end of a 162 game season, 60 years after Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth's home run record.

- - - - - -

Today was an interesting day.  I started it out with a visit to my doctor.  As usual, he hectored me about losing weight, when it should have been to get more active.  But that's another story for another day. Once done with him, I had a quick breakfast sandwich, then changed into Marian Mode to go to work.

As usual, I had to fight off the urge to nod out at my desk. But this time, I knew the cause - there was way too much blood in my caffeine stream, and I knew I needed a cup of coffee at the earliest chance. Once this was taken care of, it would be smooth sailing to the end of the day.

Something I usually do during each day is to write a list of things that need to be taken care of.   Almost always, there are things on my to-do list that never seem to get done - such as cleaning my apartment. But one thing of note is coming to mind again.  I need to flesh out one part of my feminine wardrobe.  In the winter, women tend to wear more utilitarian clothing, and that includes denim jeans.  I need to do the same, and yet I still need to look as feminine as reasonably possible.  So, while taking care of business, I let my mind wander to figure out what clothing I need to buy.

Later on, I got a text from Vicki telling me that her cell phone died, and that she is also having to recover apps to her new phone.  Although she was having thoughts about it, she decided to restore Facebook - something I consider a big time suck.  (She barely uses it, but her friends do.  So it was worthy of consider installing on her new phone.)  It took a while, but she eventually was able to do so. At this point, I told her about my clothing "dilemma" and she came up with ideas similar to what I had - getting jean like garments (read: "Jeggings") to be worn under some of my tunics.  Then, I should consider adding more basic tunics and long sweaters to the wardrobe.  Yes, I'll have to set a budget for these garments, but I should do so in order to blend in with the other women I encounter on a regular basis.

- - - - - -

By the time this entry is made public, the baseball season will have ended.  If I'm right, the wild card playoff will have taken place and the divisional series in each league should have started.  This is a far cry from what baseball's post season looked like in 1961.  I wish we could turn back the clock 60 years, so we could see baseball before it got (more) corrupted by the use of "Juice" (Steroids).  Roger Maris will always have my respect unlike other home record holders, as he was the last to break a Ruthian record before the game tolerated "Juicing" to put fans in the seats....
 

 

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...