Saturday, April 23, 2022

Two people I haven't seen in ages


By now, my readers must know that I am an unreformed Marxist - Marx Brothers, that is....  

I haven't seen DCD or Rose (a woman I used to work with) in ages.  DCD is taking a hiatus from living with his girlfriend, and DCD was up in New York visiting friends/family before returning to her home in North Carolina.  And I didn't recognize either at first, because of how different they looked the last time I saw them in person.

DCD is recovering from an operation, and there is a form of depression that has set into his life.  I won't go into any details, but his life has been a shit storm for the past few years and nothing seems to be getting any better for him.  Right now, he has a job that will start in May, but no car to get to that job. (Again, I won't go into any details on this either.  But I will say that he admitted that his pigheadedness caused the problem which will likely end his car's life.)  I'm rooting for DCD to continue his recovery.  Yet I can't help but think that his illness will eventually claim his life.

We met at a Chinese restaurant in White Plains, instead of the Japanese place DCD suggested.  Aberdeen is one of the better places for dim sum in the area, and I rarely have the chance to go there these days..  A few minutes after we sat down, Rose came in.  I didn't recognize her for sure, so I didn't go over to her table to say hello.  Given that it was over 10 years since I've seen her, both of our bodies have changed a bit.  Rose's face became more matronly, and her body expanded to look like that of a well fed Italian Grandmother.  When both of us finished our meals, Rose stopped by to say hello.  Not too much to say, save that she moved to North Carolina.  If I had the chance, I would have told her about my former coworker Frank, who suffered with terminal cancer while working and died 1 year to the day after he was laid off.  I hope he lived long enough for his wife to collect the full lump sum value of his pension, instead of the ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) value that he would have received had he died before taking the pension.

All too soon, it was time to go.  DCD had to make it home (with at his Mom's house), and I had to go and get my second Covid-19 booster shot.  The last time I was at the Yonkers Armory, one had to have an appointment for a Covid shot and the place was filled with people on line for their shots, or waiting for their 15 minute observation period to end.  Today, the place was mostly empty.  Hopefully, we won't need the place for a 3rd round of booster shots....

Friday, April 22, 2022

Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine - All Ukraine, all the time.

Depending on the news channel you watch, it is either politics or the Ukraine war that is being discussed. Over time, people start getting tired of hearing about wars - especially when the side you want to win can only force the other side to a stalemate.  Too bad that wars are not like Chess, where a proven stalemate ends the game.  The current Eastern European struggle looks like it can go on for years with a lot of needless deaths in the process.

Russia wants for people in the Western nations to tune out to this war, so that they can continue to commit war crimes to wear down Ukraine's will to fight.  They count on our collective unwillingness to keep thinking about a war for years on end.  As for me, we should escalate things quicker than we have, so that Russia feels pain more quickly.  I'll admit that I'd give the Ukrainians weapons which could take out priceless world heritage sites such as the the Cathedrals near Red Square, Hermitage and the reconstructed Amber Room.  Russia does not consider human lives worth much, why should Ukraine consider priceless art held by Russia in any higher regard.  Make Russians painfully aware of what they could lose if the war drags on, and they may just get pissed off enough at their leadership to throw them out by force.  It has happened before....

Sadly, this almost makes me nostalgic for the days that the news was "All Trump, All the Time."  Just almost....

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Getting Old


Very soon I will turn 65 and be eligible for Medicare.  It's amazing how quickly time passes.  It seems like yesterday that I was trying to skip out of school and do things I enjoy more.  With the exception that I now want to skip work, it still seems the same to me - there is never enough time, money, or energy to do all the things one wants to do.

In the past, I wouldn't think twice of taking on a strenuous task.  For example, it took the efforts of 3 men (including me) to get my entertainment center up my staircase.  Today, I realize that I will either smash the thing to bits to get it out of my apartment, or that someone will hire some strong men to get it out of my place.  I will not risk my health to get this piece of oversized furniture out of my apartment.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that I should start seriously thinking of getting old.  How far do I want to continue along my path towards femininity?  Romance will limit my progress on that path.  And this might be OK, as there are few old age homes that specialize in the needs of the LGBT community.

Do I fear getting old?  No.  But I fear getting decrepit.  As a result, I will be walking a lot as the weather gets warmer.  Keep your fingers crossed for me....

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

A headhunter reached out to me for a position that I am qualified for


This computer is a relic, and the same applies to me.  However, a headhunter approached me today to discuss a position using technology I'm familiar with at the bank I used to work for.  Of course, only a person familiar with the Bank's IT department would have a clue (from this email) about the organization and area for which a person is being recruited.


Hope you’re doing well!
I came across your resume on the job board and wanted to share the below opportunity with you and see if this is something you would be interested in discussing.
Please reply back with a copy of your UPDATED RESUME in word format if this is of interest to you and feel free to call me at xxx-yyy-zzzz or let me know a good number and best time to call you back.
Would welcome Referrals.

Job Title: Mainframe Programmer
Location: New York, NY or Pittsburgh, PA
Duration: 12 months initial contract & high possibility of extension
Need to come in the office one day/week
Key Skills: Hands-on Mainframe Programmer, COBOL, CICS, VSAM, DB2
In depth knowledge of IBM Mainframe z/OS environment with current hands on development, coding experience
Must have knowledge of programming languages COBOL, CICS
Experience with file systems VSAM
Strong knowledge of JCL/TSO/ISPF
Understanding of DB2 a plus
Should be able to run and analyze test jobs for various testing needs of QA/ UAT teams
Must have good communication skills, interaction with UAT and business teams
Will be supporting maintenance of critical applications in production, enhancements and new development projects
Experience with COBOL upgrade, reengineering and re-platforming of mainframe applications

The giveaway to me is the location of the position AND the technologies used.  My old application didn't use DB2, but had everything else in the alphabet soup contained in the above blurb.  So, I sent this headhunter my current resume, and a note mentioning that I've been retired for a while, but would be interested in getting back in the game for a while.  Mind you, I want to find out if it is the area from which I was laid off 8 years ago, as this would be the ultimate laugh for me.

Keep your fingers crossed....

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Almost an incident in NYC


The other day, when RQS and I were in the city, I noticed a fellow totally lost due to no circumstance of his own control.  I noticed that he was about to walk into traffic in the middle of the street, and no one was there to prevent that.  If the man were sighted, this would not have been an issue as he would have been able to see potential oncoming traffic and act accordingly. But being blind, he had no idea of which direction he was heading, no sense of where the intersection was, and no way to get to his destination without help.  Unlike many New Yorkers, I quickly got him out of oncoming traffic, and helped steer him in the right direction.  (No, I was not going to walk him to his destination several blocks away - RQS and I were in the mood for Tipsy Scoop.  But we did point him in the right direction and wished him the best.)  

This almost incident got me thinking about how hard it must be for a handicapped person to get around NYC safely without assistance.  For example, the subway system does not have any protection to insure that a person doesn't fall off a platform by accident (or by malicious intent).  Many of the paths inside the subway system are totally confusing to a sighted person, and without sight, impossible to navigate. Even with sight, a wheelchair bound person can have major problems - especially if a single elevator in an "Accessable" subway station fails.  That person may not be able to make it in or out of the subway, making it impossible to reach a destination.

Currently, the NYC Subway operates with an exception to the Americans with Disabilities act - they only have to retrofit stations for accessibility when the station is renovated.  And I don't have a problem with that.  The MTA couldn't afford the money, nor the headaches, of making every station ADA compliant.  To really make the system accessible, more than one elevator or ramp for each platform or mezzanine would be installed for redundancy purposes, so that a failure with one would not prevent a handicapped person from using the station.  But this only helps the sighted.  What about the deaf and blind? To make things worse, there are some stations which can not be retrofitted, no matted what the cost.  Some of the worst of these stations are in Lower Manhattan - the Wall Street station platform of the 7th Avenue line is too narrow for any renovation.  What can be done there?

It's gotten so bad, that it starts to make sense to replace the existing underground network with elevated lines using modern designs.  But I know that will not happen - at least not in my lifetime.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Cleaning up the mess


If you think this mess in my bedroom is bad, you should have seen my living room!  But after 2 1/2 years of losing my 2 best friends, and 2 years of pandemic, there's a lot of mess to clean up in my life.  Getting my transgender identity in order is only part of that cleanup.

- - - - - -

Something I now say to any woman I want to get serious with is both that I enjoy dressing in women's clothes and that I go to work as a woman.  I play down the transgender part of my identity, as I am more than willing to live my life in both masculine and feminine roles in order to have a healthy romance.  Although it has cost me a relationship or two, I have found over the years that some women are open minded enough to take a chance with me.

A while back, FL gave me some advice, to not focus on what I would rather have been born as, but to focus on my wardrobe simply as a kink I enjoy.  And I've taken this advice.  Right now, RQS remains curious and unafraid of her possible feelings.  That's a good thing.  Unlike FL, we have progressed tolerably slowly, but steadily.  She knows what she's getting in me, and she knows the risks of a relationship with me.  That's a good thing.

As I gradually clean up the mess in my apartment, I'm gradually cleaning up the mess in my life.  I no longer think of what I lost over the past 2 1/2 years on a daily basis.  Instead, it comes up when I feel a little lonely, and have nothing better to distract me.  Cleaning up my place has taken on a new urgency, as I want RQS to visit my place for a change.  I hope that she doesn't get shocked when she sees how I live....

Sunday, April 17, 2022

I'm getting more than my share of tail these days....


If you think I was talking about sex by the title of this entry, you'd be greatly mistaken.  I was referencing the presence of a cat who is persistent in his desire to get petted. Ever since my first visit to RQS's apartment, this cat has made his presence known.  He will get between us all the time.  No, it's not a desire to keep us apart.  Instead, it is a desire to get pleasantly scratched and petted.  And we know he's happy when his purring is loud enough to be heard from the next room.

One can tell that RQS loves her cats by the nature of the throw on her sofa.  The fictional title of a book woven into the throw (A tale of two kitties) says it all. Unlike some people I know, RQS does not spoil her cats. It's hard to do so with her cats - they love hopping in and out of boxes, and will often be found sleeping on her bed and on her sofa. There is no need to provide extra stimulation for these cats, as they have a lot of area to cover in RQS's railroad flat.

Unfortunately, it's taking a long time for her other cat to warm up to me.  That cat is very protective of her space, and will get upset when I come near it.  Yet, even this cat is warming up to me, as it will rub itself on me when I'm not in a position to pet her like a "normal" cat.  Even with this, I feel that the cat may still consider me a threat, as I will hiss back at her when she hisses at me.  It takes time for an animal to learn that a new human is not a threat, and I'm willing to give her that time.

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...