Saturday, March 12, 2022

I have decided NOT to take that cruise after all


My cruise partner and I just got sticker shock looking at how much taxes and port fees added to the rack rate for the cruise we were planning to take.  For a 5 day cruise to Bermuda, we were looking at a $450 pp cabin price, expecting $200 pp added in other costs.  Well, these costs were even more than that, and the cheapest price for the cabin we wanted would have set us back over $900 pp. Add in another $75 pp for gratuities, and we're nearing $1,000 pp. OUCH!  There goes that vacation plan....

Both of us still want to take a mini vacation.  Given that neither of us have been in DC for a while, that might be our next trip.  If we do this trip, we will see her cousin, and I will be traveling solely as Mario.  It'll be strange taking a vacation as Mario for a change.  But it will be worth it to have someone to travel with....

Friday, March 11, 2022

I'm thinking of a cruise

There is one important difference between this cruise and one scheduled earlier in the year - the price. In April, this cruise has a lower single supplement than a cruise taken later in the year.  My feeling is that the cruise lines expect that both demand and capacity will increase sometime this summer, and that they will be able to charge more for the same cruise itineraries they are selling today. 

I plan to do a quick run to Bermuda to get away from New York for a while. Unfortunately, I will likely not be able to take a cheaper cruise, as I expect to be working until my 65th birthday.  So, it'll be something like this cruise I'll be taking later in the year - just before I take my Hawaiian cruise.

Once I finish my Hawaiian cruise, I'm looking at taking some (mostly) land based vacations where I can travel about as Marian - for purposes of seeing places I've never been, and not just for the purpose of going out and about as Marian.  Since my niece now lives overseas with her husband, it'll be nice to see Great Britain (and Ireland) for the first time.

Will I have someone traveling with me?  Maybe.  It would have been nice for things to have worked out with one ex-girlfriend.  Since they didn't, they freed me up to make different choices than I would have made if the relationship had survived.  If I didn't screw things up with my former cruise partner, I'd never be thinking of taking a long vacation in Great Britain, returning home on the Queen Mary II. So, in a way, things may be working out for the best after all....

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Introducing someone to a YouTube personality


Years ago, America was introduced to Julia Child by her long running series on PBS, "The French Chef". At that time, only a limited number of "experts" (and I'll give her credit for becoming one) could command a television audience due to the limited number of outlets that could carry a show at a given time.  Today, things are much different because of internet video streaming technology.

Before my kerfuffle with my former cruise partner (FCP), she made me aware of an internet personality who had just been given a cable network series - Dr. Pimple Popper.  It's hard to believe that a network would host her show, much less that people will pay $1.99/month for "All Access" videos.  Yet, this woman gets her audience.  Our curious nature makes it hard to turn away from the "grotesque", and her presence is charismatic.  (It's good to know that she is a highly qualified dermatologist.)

I have gotten interested in Cruising videos lately, and I've turned RQS on to channels such as "Tips for Travelers", "Emma Cruises", and "La Lido Loca". She now understands what has been occupying my time when I get home and why I know a lot about the current state of cruising.  The authors of these video logs have become mini personalities in their own right, and have fans coming up to them on cruises to say hello.

One of my friends has asked for a little help in setting up a video log channel of her own.  If I decide to help, I will likely have to develop my own mini channel to see what it's like, then help her in setting up her channel.  It would be very interesting to see what would happen if I brought this blog into the video world - albeit in a small way.  But I doubt I'll do this, as I don't have that much to say anymore.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Missing a play


Casual readers of this blog know that I love to attend theater performances, especially when in Marian Mode.  Last night, I was scheduled to see a performance of an Off-Broadway play and missed it due to subway maintenance.

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A while back, Vicki said that she was going to get her hair colored and trimmed.  Since she was going to be out of the house, I suggested we get together for lunch - which we did.  The one thing she wasn't expecting in her conscious mind was to see me in Mario mode.  But then, she wasn't connecting the dots between us getting together and RQS and I getting together.  However, she realized which mode I was traveling in today, and we had lunch a few minutes later than planned.

After lunch, I drove to RQS's place, where I had to hunt about 15-20 minutes to find a parking spot near her house.  We killed a little time before leaving the house.  However, we made one mistake - we ate dinner in Queens instead of Manhattan.   Had we done this, we'd have made the theater on time because we could have taken alternate routes into the city.  But I digress.  Once we finished dinner, we dropped off her leftovers at her apartment, and then headed to the subway.  Sadly, the train we needed wasn't running, and it didn't make sense for use to hoof it into Manhattan to do anything else.

When I left RQS's place, I made a quick run to Wegmans to pick up some lunches for the rest of the week, and then home to relax....

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

It looks like I have a new cruise partner


Ever since I had my dust up with my former cruise partner (FCP), I've not been in a position to cruise with anybody.  This has been good for me, as it forced me to learn how to better depend on myself instead of leaning on FCP to take care of certain things.  (In fairness to her, she always enjoyed getting a good deal.  And I hope she's continued to travel, albeit alone, meeting new people along the way.)  If we were still friends, she'd make sure that she would be driving me to the airport for my upcoming Hawaii cruise.  But there are times I'm very glad that I can make my arrangements without regard to someone else's preferences - my Hawaii cruise transportation being an issue I prefer to deal with myself.

Recently, I met someone who likes to travel, who knows about Marian and Mario, and who is willing to come along for the trip.  My new friend will pay their own expenses, and should be fun to travel with.  Unlike FCP, who'd spend most of her "At Sea" days in the casino, my new travel partner is not a gambler, and enjoys my company.  Hopefully, the trip we are looking to book comes off and that we have a good time of it.  It'd be nice to again have someone who is there to share a travel experience with me.

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Right now, I'm playing a YouTube video narrated by a fellow specializing in cruising.  He is talking about 2022 cruises (this was recorded in 2021) and the headaches of cruising with pandemic related uncertainties and pandemic related limitations.  So far, his predictions for 2022 seem to be proven true.  It's interesting to see how current reality compares with expectations we had throughout the early days of the pandemic for what might happen in its end days.

This cruise will be on a new ship for me (Norwegian Joy)..  Unlike the Norwegian Gem, this ship is more of a resort for younger people - it has a laser tag area, a go cart track, and other diversions geared for the younger generation.  But, like another new Norwegian ship, one can still have a mellow experience if one wants.  And I do want this at my age.

Unlike my last cruise, I will be traveling as Mario.  This doesn't mean I won't be traveling as Marian in the future.  It simply means that I want to find out more about the port I'm going to without getting strange looks (or worse) when I'm on foreign soil....

Monday, March 7, 2022

Cause and effect


The other day, I received a communication from someone who said that I betrayed her.  That word may be a little harsh, but I never meant to hurt this woman.  She then mentioned my ex-girlfriend as a comparison, and I responded - my ex betrayed me.  In short, I was saying that almost all people should get a second chance when no evil intent was intended.  Sadly, this person will likely hold her grudge forever. 

But this got me thinking a little....

One of the things this person has in common with my ex is a connection to me.  Could she have influenced the ex to do certain things?  Possibly.  In anger, people will do the strangest things and regret them later. But I was thinking in a very different direction.  What if the ex was trying to send me a signal, and it misfired in a way she couldn't expect?  When a person says they want to break up, one shouldn't expect a newly minted ex not to think about dating - even if it's the day after the breakup.

This triggered a thought about another woman I know who was separated from her husband for years. When he died, like me, she wanted to get back into the saddle as quickly as possible.  For both of us, this approach didn't lead us in the direction we expected to go.  In my case as of late, if I didn't go out in the world as Marian, I'd have had my choice of 2 different girlfriends.

As you can guess, I've been doing a lot of thinking while working.  My MP3 player can distract me only so much.  I get a lot of ideas for this blog while screen scraping or key entering data at the office.  Yet, only some of them have any value to me these days.  I don't want to include events from others' lives as I did in the past.  Yet, I must say that the chaos I saw first hand made for interesting reading for some people - especially one person who both spoke and wrote loudly.  

Lately, I don't go into as many meetups as I used to in the past.  I'm a little bit more picky now.  One group is hit and miss due to the small group size.  The other is hit and miss due to the distance to get there and to get home.  Do I miss them?  Sometimes.  But, I no longer need that many meetups to be with people. Strangely, that's a gift that my ex, this former acquaintance, and the pandemic have given to me. 

Sunday, March 6, 2022

A quick and short post - I'm So Tired!


I would like to have fallen asleep early last night.  However, it was the first session of online Jackbox Party Game night with DS.  

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Normally, I look forward to excuses to be with people, in-person or on-line. This time, I was too tired to do so - yet, did it anyway.  It showed.  By the time RQS called afterwards, I needed sleep badly.  By the time I was ready to sleep, all the energy I had was to clean off the makeup I was wearing all day, put on my jammies, and turn off the lights.  Being tired took care of all the rest.

Hopefully, I can make it through the day at work....

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 ...