Saturday, October 23, 2021

I thought an apartment was empty...


You'll notice how empty this parking lot seems to be.  Over the years, it has gone from being overcrowded to having enough room for visitors to find parking at any time of night.  There is an ebb and flow to life in a co-op complex, and I've seen it all - or, so I've thought....

- - - - - -

When I moved into my apartment, there was a mother and daughter living in a 2br apartment in the next doorway over from me. They were a nice family unit when I met them, and in general conversation, I found out that the daughter had health issues that kept her at home. However, things changed for the worse over the years....

Shortly after I married my wife, we applied for and got a "double spot" assigned to us.  We'd arrange our cars so that she blocked my exit from my spot each night.  This would enable her to get out in the morning and go to work without disturbing me.  The mother/daughter combination had two identical cars parked in their spots, and rarely moved them.  Even in heavy snowfalls, they would not move their cars.  This was the first sign that something was wrong.

Over the years, there were many signs that bothered me (and others).  For example, both mother and daughter would call me because they were lonely.  In one case, the mother left a 10 minute message on my answering machine saying that she had a question to ask of me.  My machine ran out of tape with her meandering  before she could ask me the question she claimed she wanted to ask.   Another time, their new car (1 new car replaced their 2 old cars) was parked with a rear window open, and it was left that way for several weeks.  Later on, the car was left in a parking spot where a storm caused a tree to fall over the car - and they did nothing.  Eventually, the car had to be towed away, as they were no longer able to drive it.  But this is not all.  Several times, the fire department had to pay a visit to their apartment because of several fire hazards detectable from the outside.  One of these times had cooking gas escaping their apartment because the pilot light went out and they couldn't smell the gas.  Another one of these times had their air conditioner overheating due to an electrical fault, and almost causing a fire in my building.  The last time I saw the mother, she seemed to be in the middle stages of dementia, and unable to take care of herself.  Yet, adult protective services could do very little, as the mother was still barely competent enough to be allowed to live on her own.  (At this time, I felt that she needed to be in assisted living, but no one would put her there.) 

Recently, I found out that the mother had died and that the daughter is still living in the apartment.  I was very surprised, as there are never any lights on in either of the two bedrooms, and that there are no shades or blinds on these windows.  My neighbor L told me that "meals on wheels" is delivering food to the daughter, and that she is nuking the food in the one appliance she is capable of using - a microwave. Luckily for L, she is too busy with work to get sucked into the daughter's problems.....

As for me, I wish the daughter was in assisted living as well.  This would mean that the apartment would be sold and that the co-op could receive a "flip tax" on its sale....


Friday, October 22, 2021

If I were unemployed, I'd take this cruise now.

As many of my readers know, I have a pen pal in Ontario who only knows me as Marian.  The other day, she sent me an email (in response to one of my emails) telling me that she is on this cruise this week.  While her parents may be going home at the end of the cruise (I'm not sure of this), she's booking a second cruise on the same ship and suggested that I buy a cheap  inside cabin and join her on her second trip to Bermuda.  I'm not sure if I want to tell her that I am still legally Mario if we were to meet up for a cruise, even though we'd be in separate rooms.

As much as I'd like to join her in Bermuda, I'm a bit leery of getting off the boat as Marian in a place I've never visited before.  All my ID says "Mario!" and this could get me into big trouble in some areas of the world. I figure that I might scope out this trip one day in Mario mode, then take it again as Marian if things go smoothly when getting off and back onto the ship.

This is a cruise I'd like to take some day, but not one that I'd go far out of my way to take.  The Hawaii and the Panama Canal cruises are higher on my list of trips to take.  Yet, I could see this trip as a test to find out whether a special person and I could travel well together....

Too bad that I don't feel safe in getting off the ship at many ports as Rhonda did on her cruise.  I'm not sure if she has legally transitioned or not, but she has a much easier time than I do going about the world as a woman. (I should ask her one day, as I'd like to know if she has any advice for me in getting out at the same ports as she did on her cruise.)  At least, she knows how to dress well and up on a cruise.....


Thursday, October 21, 2021

A short post about a long line at Walmart.

Today, I wanted to price check a couple of things AND get home "early".  (I slept away most of the day yesterday, and I know my sleep patterns will be out of whack for a while.)  Unfortunately, this was not the case.

My first stop was at Staples to price out a chair mat to protect my carpet from the chair by my computer desk.  $70 is an uncomfortable expense for me, but one I know I'll need to spend.  Instead of me bringing this unwieldy object home in my car, I figure that I'll order it from Amazon, and have it shipped to me for free.  After this, I stopped at Target, looking for inexpensive reading glasses to replace the ones that fell out of my pocketbook.  No luck there, so it was off to Walmart.

Normally, a trip to Walmart ends up with most people spending more than planned.  But today was worse.  All of the self service checkout stations were closed, and there were lines 10 carts deep at the remaining manned stations.  Instead of being in and out in 15 minutes (I knew where the reading glasses are stocked), I was there for an hour, most of which was waiting in line.  If I ever see lines like this again outside of the Xmas rush, I'll shop elsewhere if possible.....

BTW: I bought two pairs of glasses while I was there....

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

I was thinking of a topic for discussion


The weekend after Columbus day is when Fantasia Fair is usually scheduled.  I've only had the privilege to attend this gathering once, and I hope to be able to do so again one day.  The first time I attended, I was a newbie, and had much to learn.  Next time, I hope to be able to pass on some of my "wisdom" so that newcomers can have an easier time in their paths towards "transition".

You'll note that the word "transition" in the prior paragraph has been put in quotes.  Movement towards being your authentic self does not require a full medical or social transition.  Each person's path has its own stops along the way, and each person has his/her own unique goal which he/she wants to achieve.  In some cases, it is a full transition, where the body is shaped to better fit the person's image of what he/she wants to be.  In other cases, it is a partial transition, where many of the characteristics of the opposite sex are incorporated into that person's body, so that he/she feels complete.  And in still others, it is a temporary transition, where one can simply take on the role of the other sex for a while, and retreat to where he/she originally started.  This is a gross simplification, as it focuses only on body presentation and not all the other subtleties implied by the gender spectrum.

In my case, I would prefer to have a female body - with all that this entails.  Unlike most transgender people, my male body does not bother me.  It simply doesn't suit my purposes, save in one way which I won't go into right now.  I can live with what I have.  With other people, they will sacrifice everything to have the body that he/she wants in the gender that he/she needs to exist in.  Severe gender dysphoria is often treated with GCS (Gender Confirmation Surgery), but it is often not available to many transgender people for a myriad of reasons, financial cost being one of them, but not the only one.  For many, the social and professional costs are prices too high for them to pay. 

The topic I'd like to discuss involves my experiences living in the world as Marian, and the costs I've had to pay to do so.  I'd also like to discuss the costs others have had to pay, and tell the audience that going in this direction is not for weaklings.  A person will be attacked from many directions by many people - most of them unexpected.  But the rewards are great - life as one's authentic self is very fulfilling, and worth all the costs involved in doing so.  Would something like this be a good topic for a Fantasia Fair presentation?  Maybe.  But first, I'd like to speak with someone I know who has done just that....



Tuesday, October 19, 2021

If I had known it would be rainy, I'd have made other plans.

I had reserved this day for a long postponed dinner with TCL.  Although she has been vaccinated and has had a booster shot, she's still a little reticent about dining indoors.  So, we ended up cancelling things for today.  

- - - - - -

If I had known that TCL would cancel our dinner, I'd have gotten up at a normal hour AND made it to NYC to see the Automania exhibit at MoMA.  This was not the case for today.  And I'll miss the chance to see the classic cars on display, one of which I've had the pleasure of driving (A VW Beetle.)  There will be other interesting exhibits on other future days, so I'm not crying too hard about this. I'm glad that I started to do a load of laundry before receiving TCL's call.  I can't complain about wasting a day when I found other things to do in place of my original plans.


Right now, I'm looking for a way that I can squeeze in a visit to one of the places on the list of OHNY's 10/16/21 - 10/17/21 open houses.  It is an interesting list, and well worth taking the tie out to see one of the architectural gems on the list - such as La Guardia Airport's Marine Air Terminal.  (By the time this is posted, this event will have ended.  So I hope that my readers get the chance to attend OHNY's event in 2022.

- - - - - -

When I look at my October calendar, I see that I am busy most of the month - especially on weekends. Recently, someone said that she was considering meeting me for coffee.  One problem.  If she had called, I was across the river dealing with issues -or- seeing the new James Bond film at the time.  Again, it was a case of not having enough hours in the day to do what I want be done.

Wasn't it Mickey Rooney who first said "Life is Short?"



Monday, October 18, 2021

It was a busy day. And yet, I forgot to do some things.

I had several things on the docket for today.  And yet, I slipped up on one of them....

- - - - - -

To start the day off, I had to go to Mavis to get my tire pressure sensors looked at; the TPMS warning kept going on and off for no reason at all.  Next was to get my Covid booster shot, and then I had to cross the river to talk to the cable company (again) about my bill payments.  In between all of this, I was supposed to call a potential girlfriend to chat for a while before going to see MWL for the evening.

The trip to Mavis went well.  As I expected, one of the 4 sensors was failing, and was replaced quickly. There was also a slow leak in one tire that got fixed at the same time.  So, $125 later, I was out the door and off to get my booster shot.  On the way to White Plains, I tried to call this potential girlfriend (let's call her CWS for now) but she wasn't able to answer the phone.  She said she'd be free after 3, and I could call her back then.

Getting the booster shot was easier than getting the original doses of the Pfizer vaccine.  When I went to the Yonkers vaccination site, I had to deal with a very short line before getting my arm stuck.  This time, I went to White Plains, and didn't have to wait at all.  It was strange to see the inside of the Westchester County Center space turned into a vaccination facility. But it was nice to find out that parking at their lot was free - something that would not have been the case before the pandemic. 

Unfortunately, I forgot to call CWS on my way to the one Cable Company Store open today - I'll try to call her tomorrow. But I got lucky with the cable company.  It seems as if my payment from mid/late September finally was posted.  But the extra payment I made was not posted.  So I'll have to see about that next week. While there, I decided to replace a pair of old, worn out remotes.  They are different from both of the old units I used in the past. Hopefully, they will last longer than the old ones.

- - - - - -

Now that I was free for the day, it was off to MWL's place.  We ended up going to see the new James Bond film.  I won't give away any secrets here.  But if Daniel Craig had to leave the franchise, this was a good story for his Bond to exit the scene.  For a film that is over 2 1/2 hours long, it didn't feel like this was so - the film moved at a reasonable pace towards its conclusion.

Once the film was over, we went to the diner for dinner, and then gabbed until midnight.  Since my coach does not turn into a pumpkin, I made a bee line to my apartment to finally get some rest....



Sunday, October 17, 2021

I'm Tired!

"I'm Tired."  It's hard to believe that this song still makes me chuckle in the decades after "Blazing Saddles" was released.  It's tame enough that it could be played on broadcast TV.  Yet, the best gags are adult in nature.  

- - - - - -

If I weren't working a full time job, I'd be able to go to sleep late at night, and wake up when I feel rested.  This is not the case.  I have to be in at 8:00 am, and then make it look like I'm fully conscious until I leave for the day.  Today was a little worse than usual.  I had an interrupted sleep the night before, and I was finding it harder than usual to stay reasonably conscious.

When the day ended, I had to rush home to deal with a problem with my cable bill/payment, and rushed home to change before going to the cable store.  And even then, I couldn't get the problem resolved....  I may have made things worse by issuing a second payment on the account to bring it somewhat current, as the fellow at the store gave me an issue about this second payment.  


09/20 - $275 (not processed by cable)
10/04 - $300 (not processed by cable - I wasn't sure of exact amount and wanted to overpay.)
10/07 - $275 (processed by cable, not yet recorded at the bank.)

The first two payments were issued from my main bank's portal. The third was made from the cable company portal, drawn on a second bank.  

So now, I have to bring records from the 2 banks, plus a screen print from the cable company's site to the cable store to see what can be done.  This is going to be a big pain in the ass for me tomorrow, as I have to go to Mavis for car service, to a vaccination center for a Covid booster shot, and then to the cable store.  And after all of this, I go to see MWL!  

- - - - - -

Why do I mention MWL right now?  Tonight, we were far from the same wave length when I wanted to talk about this problem.  She wasn't trying to over analyze the problem as TCL does.  But she was being fatalistic in ways that bother me.  (I'm having a hard time trying to describe her "ethnic" style of communication, but it's a style that bothered me with Ex-GF-M.)  When I see her, I'll have to apologize for being a little testy when talking with her, as I was not in the best of moods....


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...