Saturday, February 5, 2022

It's almost time for me to go - a quick post


This is a quick post....

I think it'll soon be time for me to leave my job.  The only question will be if it is on my steam or theirs.  The long and short of it is that my allergy is disruptive.  In a normal age, no one would care.  But in the age of Covid, any sneeze is suspect.

Assuming I leave, it'll be nice to be able to sleep late again.

Friday, February 4, 2022

Persistance in memory


Many of us have phone numbers in our heads that we will never forget. A number like 212-PE6-5000 will never be forgotten, as this was the oldest continually used business number in New York City.  In my case, other numbers often come to mind, such as the phone number of the church I attended as a child. Recently, a number from the past started coming up, and I couldn't be sure of why I knew the number.  So I did a reverse lookup on the number, and I found that it was the phone number used by the company my wife used to work for - over a quarter of a century ago.  Even though the firm has moved out of its original area code region, they have kept this number so that long standing customers could easily reach them in their "new" digs.

This got me to thinking: What causes us to retrieve fragments of memories from "archival storage" and bring them into "working storage", and yet not be usable for much?  In my case, I think it was an unplanned visit to a restaurant with my late wife's name that triggered recall of her former corporation's phone number.  This number was the one I'd call during lunch hours, as it was the only one that would be answered by a human in this period. So, combined with a "successful" first date with a new lady, my subconscious mind may have been trying to signal its comfort with the new lady.  Only a good shrink can say for sure....

There are so many things we file away in our memories, never (or very rarely) to be used again. For example, the phone number of the church I once attended brings back memories of their property before a medical office building was constructed on their former parking lot.  My wife's corporate number brings back memories of her and that of the buildings that made up the factory where she worked.  (She was part of office administration, but had to deal with all the headaches of NOT being part of the family that ran the business.)  Yet, not all phone numbers are easily retrievable for me.  For example, I can't remember any of the office numbers I used at work.  Yet, I can easily recall the number of my tax preparer, a number which I would only use once or twice each year.

So what makes some memories retrievable and what prevents them from being retrievable.  In my case, I think it is the importance the people connected to that number mean to me.  I can not remember the land line number of my late wife's old apartment, as she moved into my place shortly after we met. Yet, I can remember her office number, as I was calling that number once or twice each day while she was at work.  In the case of the church's phone number, I could use it to reach my mom while she worked at the church.

Sadly, I think that 212-PE6-5000 will never be as useful as it was in its heyday.  As for the other numbers, all they do is bring back old memories.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Catching up on little things


This is a wonderful work of stained glass from the Tiffany studio.  It's a damned shame that there is little demand for art like this today.  Other than viewing the Temple of Dendur, this one work made my day at the museum. It was been a long time since I've been to the Met, and even longer since I was there as Mario.  

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But I'm not in the mood to rehash yesterday's trip into NYC.  Instead, I'm looking to catch up on little things that I may have missed over the past few posts.

1. As much as I think CWS's complications may get in the way of us having a serious relationship, she surprised me today with one her responses - that she should have time to get together on weekends soon. (I won't go into details here, but it was a pleasant surprise.)

2. Today, I finally sent the card to FCP's son and daughter in law, saying Congratulations for a happy event that recently happened in their family.  In a week, FCP should receive an e-card to say "Congratulations!" as well.  There is one more happy event to come, and after that, I'll be done with that chapter of life.  At least, her son doesn't hold the grudge she holds.

3. Occasionally, I've joked with the ex-girlfriend in regard to her meetups.  After all the fighting we once did in regard to meetups in the Hudson Valley, I've had a little fun making jokes when I find out she has attended meetups in Westchester (and points South). One of my better jokes say, that at her rate, she'll be attending Florida based meetups soon.  (No, I'm not going to say more about this.)

4. I'm still dealing with NCL in regard to properly crediting my Latitudes points for my recent cruise. One day, I may write a full post in regard to their web site, and with their customer service areas, as their site is not the most friendly web site around.

5. Tax filing data still keeps coming to me.  Today, it was the information for my shares in the co-op. Tomorrow, who knows?  But everything should be available by month end.  Like last year (and the year before), I'll be emailing paperwork to my accountant.  Like a good doctor, a good tax pro is hard to find, and one switches from old to new very reluctantly.  And I hope not to switch for a while yet....

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As I said - these are all little things.  There are big things to come....



PS:  The NCL issue was resolved, but not the way I wanted it.  The offer was not valid for "Sailaway" cabins.   At least, I finally found the right department to which I should send an inquiry.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

I went to temple today, and I'm not even Jewish


I made a joke with several of my friends that it's been a couple of years since I've been to temple, so I decided to go today.  What I included in the message was a picture of the Temple of Dendur at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met).

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Earlier this week, I made arrangements to meet RQS at the Met for an afternoon of wandering around the museum.  This was going to be a fun day, as she hadn't been to the Met in years, and I hadn't visited since before the pandemic.  And one could easily spot some of the changes made at the Met if one had visited it before, such as the elimination of a public dining area.  More importantly, if an exhibit required that people enter a small space, that space was closed off to prevent people from contaminating each other within a small space.  

After 3 hours at the museum, we were both getting tired of walking around the museum, so off we went to the Nom Wah Tea Parlor.  This was my first time back there in 2 years, and the place felt a little bit more airy - as if a table or two had been removed.  So we sat down and enjoyed a nice Dim Sum dinner, exposing RQS to new tastes in Chinese food.  And all too soon, it was time to leave.

This was a nice day out, but I'm a little leery about telling her about my bi-gendered nature.  Yet, it's something I'll have to do soon.  

Keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Lots to do, but doing little - another short entry.


Although the above picture has nothing to do with this entry, I like how the curtain looked in the theater in which it hangs, and wanted a chance to post this picture of the curtain....

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It may be the cold weather outside, it may be the work I do during the week, and it may be a need to recharge by doing nothing.  But by the time Saturday comes around, I feel drained and need to rest. So I'm glad that I didn't rush to hang out with FH for the day.

By the time I got out of bed, it was about 11 am.  And I had a choice to make.  Did I want to go out as Marian?  Or, did I want to switch over to Mario mode for the rest of the weekend?  Since I stalled by watching YouTube.videos on the Disney corporation, its theme parks, and Jim Henson productions, it took me a while to get showered, get dressed, go to the supermarket, and finally do some laundry. 

One thing that I know helps a lot is COFFEE.  Normally, when I get up in the morning, I try to drink at least 2 cups of coffee before starting work.  Today, I didn't start having any energy until I had my first cup - around 4 pm.  If it weren't for that, I never would have accomplished anything today AND I'd be in a rush to get home on Sunday, to be ready for work on Monday....

As I noted on top, I didn't have much to say today.   See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 31, 2022

I just have no energy anymore


I have so many things to take care of these days, but I have no energy to do them.  I wonder if it is my not getting enough sleep, or something else.

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Throughout the day, I was doing whatever I could to stay awake.  I was finding that my body wasn't liking the routine of sitting at my workstation for hours at a time.  So, 4:30 didn't come quick enough for me (and the rest of the people at the office). But I was still tired after I got home, and ended up napping a little after cooking a couple of hamburgers for dinner.

While this was going on, I was supposed to call CWS to chat and figure out when the next time was that we could get together.  That didn't happen.  Additionally, FH was pestering about getting together.  She hadn't seen me in a while, and I think she was trying to get a ride for some shopping she wanted to do.  (After making noises a couple of weeks ago about the Omicron variant making NYC too dangerous to visit, she wanted to walk around a mall on Long Island.)  I mentioned Omicron, and suggested just dinner somewhere, or meeting next week.  And she countered with a grocery shopping expedition at Trader Joe's.  She was a little upset that I didn't jump at seeing her, but I needed a day to myself to recharge - and that was my plan for the first day of a weekend.

Dealing with women was not the only thing I had to do.  I still need to call NCL in regard to missing Latitude Point credits.  I still want to contact a woman from OK Cupid who is not a match for me, but who could be a great friend.  (We've chatted before, but cultural issues would make romance impossible.)  Then, I still have tickets to a Darlene Love concert to buy.  None of the many things I wanted to accomplish after work got done.  And I have to deal with Laundry tomorrow.  AARGH!

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Although I can easily switch between Mario and Marian modes these days, I often wish I could stay in Marian mode longer than I do.  But then, I'd never be able to date.  I'm willing to make this compromise in order to have a chance at romance. And, I'm just as willing to split my time in each mode, so that I can have romance.  

The big question is: How much energy do I have left in life?

Sunday, January 30, 2022

I chatted with a financial advisor, and it wasn't a good fit.


People who read my former blog may remember my favorite "Bedspread."  This display of cash is what my former girlfriend won on one of her casino visits.  But why do I show this picture again?  Well, I chatted with a financial advisor, and we weren't on the same track.

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I'm not knocking what this advisor proposed.  My ideas of what I want to do with my money after my demise are not yet firmed up.  Do I want to leave the bulk of my assets to a charitable trust (and associated charity) yet to be set up?  Or, do I want to leave the bulk of my assets to my niece and nephew?

This is not the place to discuss details of my financial situation.  But I will say that I have enough money to retire comfortably - if I'm careful with my money.  In addition to my 401(k) which has to be tapped by the time I'm 72, I am already drawing on a pension, and I hope to inherit some money in the future.  (I don't count on that inheritance, and would be just as happy if what was left to my brother and I were only good memories of my benefactor.)  

But I digress....

I have a idea of setting up a scholarship fund which couldn't be touched for 50-70 years.  In that time, money should double 5-7 times.  If the latter, my original bequest to the fund should be worth 128 times what it is today.  (Let's ignore inflation for a moment.)  The problem - who would want to manage a trust for 50-70 years without tapping into its funds?  How do I provide for the transfer of control, so that trustees have guidance to select who would replace them over the "compounding years" over this trust? With the amount of money this scholarship trust could generate, I could help lift a small island nation out of poverty by providing the skill sets they might need to bring high skill jobs to that nation.

I want to provide for my brother's kids.  My niece is starting to do well.  But my nephew has not yet gotten into the most productive years of his career.  How much money do I want to leave to the "kids?" This is another question that needs to be answered.

Until I've figured this stuff out, I may just have to stand pat and do almost nothing for a while....

Norwegian Fjord Cruise Vacation - 06/28/24 (Zeebrugge, Belgium)

Today is our last stop in mainland Europe, and our last shore excursion.  We have been choosing relatively low energy shore excursions, as n...