Saturday, November 20, 2021

I sent out a letter

The other day, I sent out a letter to someone I once had as a close friend.  Although I was the person who caused the rift two years ago, I was recently pissed at her for  cursing me out for no real reason.  She perceived a slight from me when I disagreed with her labeling of an action of hers as a favor when it wouldn't be considered such by most people.  I figured that I'd bide my time, and waited to send my response to her.  

Now, my recent letter wasn't nasty.   No longer was I going to be apologetic for what I did, now that 2 years have passed. If we hadn't found a way to rebuild a burnt bridge, then why keep trying?  Instead, I simply needed to get some things off my chest other than my falsies.  Sadly, she is the type to anger easily, and never consider a form of reconciliation.  (No, I'm not looking for a friendship.  Instead, I just wanted to say a couple of things I felt she needs to hear.)  Nor is she the type to listen to what someone else has to say when she feels slighted.  Thankfully, there never was any sexual chemistry between us - I'd hate to have lived with her "Sturm und Drang" under the same roof.

Do I miss this ex-friend?  Sometimes, but not often.  I miss her even less now after she tried to make me feel bad for not having her in my life. There are times that I want to share something, then realize that this person is no longer in my life and not available for sharing. (I scattered the ashes of that former friendship months ago.)  Luckily, I have enough people in my life with whom I can share things, and I don't need this person anymore.

This ex-friend once thanked me for introducing her to another of my acquaintances, but did it in a way which felt like she was trying to rub salt into old open wounds. (This acquaintance now knows of what happened at the end of summer, and of this letter.) It would be nice if this ex-friend would think of how other people would think of her words and actions before doing anything, instead of speaking or acting on impulse.  Maybe, she might get the happiness she wants and deserves in life.  I hope she finds this happiness soon.  I just won't be there to see it.



Friday, November 19, 2021

Happy Birthday Someone!


I accidentally deleted my original entry for the day.  However, I found this birthday card, and picked it up because it reflected my sense of humor.

In many ways, birthdays don't mean that much to me. The reason they don't is that I rarely had someone to celebrate them with.  As a youth, I didn't have many friends.  In middle age, my wife had passed away, and there was no stable relationship with a person who cared to mark this day with me.  And now, its only meaning is to note how much closer I am to death.

Recently, I booked a cruise, and looked at the travel insurance price charts. Each year I get older, I have to pay more for the insurance I need for the cruise.  Then, I thought about turning 65, and having to enroll in Medicare.  So many things start to kick in as one gets older.  Social Security Full Retirement Age (FRA) Distribution starts for me at 66 1/2, and I have to start taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) by the time I turn 72.  Each year denotes something, and not all of them are pleasant.

- - - - - -

There is a person whom I'd wish a Happy Birthday to, that I am no longer in contact anymore.  (She has said things about me that I won't repeat here - her anger regarding a screw up of mine hasn't dissipated in over 2 years.)  Hopefully, she'll see this and enjoy the sentiment of the card above.  

At least, I found this card funny....

As they say - Getting old is better than the alternative....

Thursday, November 18, 2021

I broke down and bought something I could use at work.

Normally, I would not bother buying an MP3 player, as I already own a cell phone which can play MP3 files.  However, I figure that as long as I'm working where I work, it makes sense for me to listen to music (or radio) via an MP3 player which is unable to be used for taking pictures ot recording images.

Given that Apple no longer supports its original iPod music players, only 3rd tier Chinese manufacturers are producing units that suit my needs.  And that suits me fine.  This unit comes with all I need to carry my complete music collection with me when I go to work.  And even if I leave this job soon, I can carry it with me when I'm eventually called in for jury duty.  (The judges do not want people waiting in the jury selection area to be bothered by phones ringing, disturbing the selection process.)

I figure that having a unit like this will serve a limited function for a limited amount of time.  And that's fine with me, as I am tired of not having any stimulation while sitting at my work station.


PS: I had to return this unit, as it didn't play files saved in my iTunes format (M4A).
PPS: I ordered a replacement that plays M4A files.



Wednesday, November 17, 2021

We're off to see the Wizard!


I'm not a fan of this movie.  Yet, I consider it one of the great films of its era.  Not only does it have excellent cinematography, and special effects. But it also has great performances, including those by Frank Morgan.  (He plays several roles in this movie.)  And I finally had the chance to see it on the big screen today.

- - - - - -

When I go on dates with MWL, it's always in Mario Mode.  This is not a problem for me.  Being able to be Marian most of the time has made me more comfortable being Mario.  And this made it possible for me to make it to her place in time to then make the theater on time.  Unfortunately, even with 7 hours of sleep, I was having trouble staying awake.  (Now, I'm having problems staying awake in theaters - Similar to one person I once knew....)  Yet, I enjoyed the parts of the film I was awake for.

After the movie ended, we went to a nearby Greek restaurant for a bite to eat.  All the food we ate was excellent.  But I wouldn't have served pita bread in small slices.  Instead, I'd have had big slices of pita, so that the meat and greens could be eaten as a form of sandwich.  Other than that, I have no negative criticisms of the place.  The grilled octopus was excellent, and was a great opening for the souvlaki we each had.

There is a part of me that wanted to trek into NYC for a Marian Mode day on my own.  But I'll be cruising that way soon enough, and I can't wait for that trip....

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

I'm Thinking. I'm Thinking....

There's an old joke told about Jack Benny.  One day he was attacked by a mugger who put a knife to his throat and said:

"Your money, or your life."

Jack paused for a minute, and the mugger shouted:


And Jack said:

"I'm Thinking.  I'm Thinking...."

In real life, Jack Benny was a very generous fellow.  And Jack had to give his friends money to pay restaurant bills when he was around, as too many people on wait staffs wanted to be able to say that they were "stiffed by Jack Benny."

So what does Jack Benny have to do with this post?

Like Jack, I can say "I'm thinking.  I'm thinking!" in regard to booking my Hawaii cruise.  Tonight, I had dinner with a friend, and we talked for hours.  She thought that I had already booked this cruise, and I said that at a current price of roughly $6,000 for an inside cabin, $6,450 for an ocean view cabin, $8,350 for a balcony cabin, and $11,250 for a mini suite, putting money down over a year before the scheduled sailing seems a little risky to me.  

I am hoping by the time this cruise sets sail that I will have another travel partner. This will allow me to save $1,400 to $5,100, not having to pay for a second person not sailing in the cabin with me.  So far, I have some good signs that I may have one or two people who may future travel partners.  But none are ready to make any commitments yet.  And that's OK with me.

- - - - - -

This is another cruise I'd like to take.  Starting at £3,300 pp (dbl. occ.), it is a little steep.  But then, this is a luxury cruise on a small ship able to reach Iceland's smaller ports. 

If I have a sudden influx of cash, I will book this cruise before I book a Panama Canal cruise.  Many people I know have made either partial or full transits of the Canal.  But not many people I know can say that they've been to Iceland and enjoyed the nation's hospitality.  Like Hawaii, not many ships give travelers a good idea of what this island is all about.  In Hawaii, it's because American law gives one ship a monopoly of sailing both in and out of Honolulu on the same cruise.  In Iceland, it's because this island is only a stop or two on a longer European cruise.  

- - - - - - 

There are two more bucket list cruises I'd like to take: (1) Antarctica and (2) The Galapagos Islands.  But these cruises will cost even more than going to Iceland.  So I haven't even bothered pricing them out for this post.  As you can guess, I have a healthy travel bucket list, and I may just be able to cross a couple of trips of this list within the next 2 or 3 years.


Monday, November 15, 2021

I decided to break out a new wig tonight.

This has been my go-to wig for a while.  When new, it does wonders for my face.  When worn out, it cries for replacement.  Today, I broke out my replacement wig and wore it to dinner.  No, I an not going to stop using my old wig for a while.  I intend to continue wearing it to work until the end of the month.

- - - - - -

As much as I want to replace this wig in my usual color, I decided to go a shade darker to see how it looks on me.  This wig will likely not make it to work for a while.  Instead, I will wear it less often, so it can last a while.  But I will replace the old wig in its color the next time it goes on sale at one of my usual online outlets.

Years ago, my former cruise partner criticized me for wanting to keep wearing an old wig until "My" expiration date - 3 (or 4) months after start of daily use.  There are two equally valid points of view here.  First, I allocate so much money in my budget for wigs each year. And if I break out a wig earlier than planned, I will need to replace it earlier than planned.  Since no one on a cruise ship will ever see me again after a cruise, who cares if they think I'm having a bad hair day?  The other viewpoint involves her wanting me to look my best, and damn the costs involved.  Give in to this urge too easily, and one will be buying expensive human hair wigs and not getting one's money worth from these purchases.  And to make the equation more interesting, my former friend wanted me to buy my wigs from the same places which supply human hair wigs to Ultra Orthodox Jewish women.  They are of the highest quality, and their prices reflect that quality.

The price/value equation for wigs was always a point of contention between me and my former cruise partner.  And I was not going to let her dictate to me how I should spend my money.  So, when I compute the cost per wear for these wigs over a two year period, I find that I get the same value by replacing wigs every 3 months that I might get from replacing a human hair wig every 2 years.  Yes, the human hair wig should last longer if properly cared for.  But I know that I am tough on my wigs, and would likely ruin a human hair wig early in its use.  So why spend good money on a wig that I couldn't maintain properly?

- - - - - -

There are less expensive human hair wigs that I could buy.  But I haven't seen any in a large cap that I could style to my liking.  If I were to buy one of these wigs, it would need to be a special occasion wig, for use at weddings and other important occasions.  Since I don't go to too many of these soirees, it doesn't make much sense to buy one.

What do you think?

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Since grand juries are in the news lately....


In mid 2017, I was called up for Federal Grand Jury duty. This wouldn't be such a bad thing, save that I had to be up by 5:30 am to make it to Lower Manhattan (Pearl Street) by 8:30 am.  If I lived in Putnam, Dutchess, or Orange counties, I'd have served only in White Plains - a much easier trip for me.  But this option wasn't available.  So I traveled into NYC, and was lucky not to be called on to serve.  Given that they expected this jury to meet 2-3 times per week and to serve for 18-24 months, I was very lucky indeed.  

This should have exempted me from serving for 2 years.  Sure enough, 2 years later, I was called to serve again - this time on a "regular" jury.  Since I  was starting work at the census bureau, I didn't want to lose any money by taking the lower paid service on the court.  So I asked for a deferment and got it.  Then, the pandemic struck, and all jury calls were deferred until the pandemic eased off (or when government could figure out how to have people serve in the middle of a pandemic).  This gave me another year that I was able to avoid jury service.  And then, I got the above summons that called me in to serve in early July.  

I applied for my second deferment and got it.  Now, I'm hoping that I get called on to serve during the winter, as the subways will be much more comfortable than in the summer.  If the summons comes as expected (6 months after a deferment is requested), I should get a call for service in late December to serve in January.  And then, I'll be glad to serve - especially, given that I'll be in Marian Mode throughout my service.

Was she dead or alive? Inquiring minds wanted to know.

  I hadn't seen Pat in months, and I haven't been able to reach her by voice or text.  Given that she's 84 years old, I figured ...