Saturday, May 14, 2022

Back to work


Now that I've been to DC and back, it was time for me to go back to work.  AARGH! 

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Most of my readers know that I have one of the most boring jobs around.  Today, I started the day by almost forgetting my wallet at home.  When I reached the deli where I usually get my morning egg sandwich, I didn't find my wallet in my pocketbook.  It got to the point in my search that I was going to return home to search my bedroom, and I texted my boss.  One problem - my wallet fell out of my pocketbook and was sitting on the seat where I found it.  So I had to text an OOPS to him before going inside for my sandwich.

Getting into work was little better.  The configuration for one of the programs I depend on to do my job got screwed up in the week I was gone.  It took the better part of the day to get that issue fixed.  Luckily, I was able to begin work on other tasks while the computer technician did his job, and I started to wake up before lunch.

Yet, by the time I got home, I was tired.  I stopped by Walmart to pick up some bathroom furnishings needed before RQS comes here for the first time.  Hopefully, she won't be turned off by the place when she's here....

Friday, May 13, 2022

Weekly Food Shopping


Above is a woman who gets in her daily share of minerals in a non-traditional way.  As for me, I end up buying prepackaged meals at the local grocery store, as I am often too tired to prepare a set of proper lunches for the rest of the week.  And this is what I want to focus on today....

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Sometime before the pandemic started, I decided to try Freshly's pre-made meals.  Although they were tasty (and healthy), the problems with the last mile delivery services (e.g. LaserShip) made me cancel the service.  Who wants to look at nearby doorways to find a set of boxed meals that should have been delivered to one's own door?  The last time I used Freshly, their last mile delivery services got the delivery wrong 10 out of 13 deliveries.  So I am a little hesitant about choosing this service.  

After dropping Freshly, I went to Top Chef Meals.  This service is located 15-20 minutes South of me (near where I work now), and is easy to reach for small orders.  When I used it last, I could place an order for 6 meals and pick them up locally for no charge.  This option isn't available today, and I'd have to order 10 meals to get "free shipping."  Yet, I am seriously thinking of using this service again given where I work.  The meals were good, and I could easily customize them to recognize my vegetable preferences.  (I hope that they have better last mile servicing than Freshly does....)

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Unfortunately, the pandemic got in the way of me using these services.  I could now use one, so that I don't have to deal with a weekly visit to Wegman's, Stop and Shop, or Shoprite for my lunches.  It's a big pain to rush out every weekend to pick up my meals for the week, as it doesn't make sense to pay for delivery from a nearby deli.

As you can guess, I am not a fan of cooking for one.  I miss having someone to share housekeeping duties with.  But in many ways, I am still a typical American male - as I will let someone take care of things if possible.  Thankfully, there are prepared meal services available that make my life easier than it would have been had I been in this position 50 years ago.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Looking at vacations I want to take.


Here's a nautical mileage cruise I'm thinking of taking in the future.  I've been to most of these ports before, and it would be nice to visit the new ports soon with RQS as a travel partner.  

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Now that RQS and I have made a successful trip to Washington, DC, we have started thinking of taking another trip together.  A quick run to New England and Canada's Maritime Provinces is something that came to both our minds.  Unlike my last run into Boston with FCP, who insisted that I keep her son and future daughter in law occupied, RQS likes the idea of going to see "Old Ironsides," and have some clam chowder at Boston's Union Oyster House while in town.

I've never been to Sydney or Charlottetown, so these ports will be new experiences for the two of us. As for Halifax and St. John, we can always find an interesting excursion to go on in these cities.  But in Portland and Boston, there are things we can do without the help of the cruise line's excursions.  So, we have a lot more options than which are presented to us by the cruise line - but we have to be willing to make sure to get back to the ship on time if we exercise those options.

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Since 2022 looks like it is already going to be a busy year, I've already started to look at cruises for 2023 and 2024.  Right now, the cruise at the top of my list is a Panama Canal cruise through the Historic Locks which starts in Los Angeles and ends in Fort Lauderdale.  If we do this cruise (or I do it alone), it will be a great opportunity to get there a day (or two) early and see both my aunt and uncle.  They are in their upper 80's, and I want to see them while they are able to get around on their own.

The above 25 day cruise is something I also want to take sometime in the future.  Although it is scheduled for July 2023, I can't see myself spending money on another bucket list cruise this soon after the Panama Canal cruise I want to take.  Since I want to visit my niece (living in London) sometime in  2023 or 2024, I figure that this will be a 2025 trip assuming that this cruise is still being offered.
One way or another, I expect to be doing at least one bucket list trip per year....

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Cleaning up the apartment


This was the mess in my room from a couple of weeks ago.  When I started off the day, my bedroom still resembled this look, but with mess on the floor as well.  Today, I have cleaned up much of the mess on the floor, gotten everything in the closet that needs to be in there, loaded up a couple of donation bags for charity, and still have a lot to take care of.

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The process of apartment degradation began before the pandemic and accelerated once my cleaning lady stopped coming on a monthly basis due to the pandemic.  I never realized how bad it became until I started to face the enormous task of cleaning it up.  Every time I started to make headway, I lacked the energy to keep the process moving.  This, in part, was because I had to deal with having the energy to go to a job that is an energy suck.  It also was because I had little incentive to get the place "clean" until now.

I now have a deadline of next weekend to get this place clean enough for RQS to come up here.  This has kept me in the apartment all day creating donation bags, filling garbage bags, and doing the basic tasks of organizing things.  When RQS arrives, she knows that she will find a mess.  But she will also get a chance to see my female mode closet and my male mode closet.  Hopefully, she won't get turned off to me after she sees me turn myself into Marian for the day.

So far, I've been able to get some stuff cleaned up in both my bathroom and in my bedroom.  Hopefully, I'll get more done tomorrow, as I want for the rest of the week to be less troublesome and less of an energy suck.  Keep your fingers crossed....

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

A visit to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden


Although FH and I will never be romantic partners, we still get together now and then to be activity partners.  There is enough about her that I like to enjoy an occasional day trip somewhere, but not enough that I'd want to have her as a partner for either 30 minutes or the other 23 hours and 30 minutes of the day. Today was one of those days that we ended up going to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG).

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If I were going to BBG on my own, I'd have taken the train into NYC, then caught either of the #4 or #5 trains to BBG.  Instead, I had to pick FH up, as she never takes the subway these days.  (She was surprised that I now ride the subways, 2 years since everything shut down for the pandemic.)  Driving between Forest Hills and the heart of Brooklyn takes forever, as none of the roads go from here to there without major traffic jams.  For a 9 mile trip as the crow flies, Google Maps said it would take 45 minutes - an average of 12 mph!  No wonder why I hate driving within NYC limits....

We got to BBG around 2 pm, and proceeded to walk around the garden.  FH, as usual, wanted a photographic record of her presence at the place, asking me to take pictures of her at several places along the paths.  I don't mind doing this, but it gets tiresome after a while.  

The thing that I dislike about FH the most is her self centered/ethno-centeric attitude about life in general.  For example, I am disgusted that the Nazis killed 11 people during the Holocaust. To me, murder is murder, no matter what the justifications are for doing so. She focuses on the 6 million Jews, and effectively says that they are more important than the other 5 million because she's Jewish.  FH also focuses on my ethnic background, and not how I identify myself.  This would bother me to no end if I were in a relationship with her.  Yet, I can tolerate it in small doses as a friend.  

Sadly, FH is not able to see things from others' point of view.  When we took a break to sit down and have a soda, our conversation meandered to the Coney Island Sideshow.  Her thoughts on the issue are that people with birth defects should never put themselves on public display to get by in life, such as the performers in sideshows.  She would put them on the dole and keep them out of sight.  I have nothing against those who would accept public assistance, but I respect the likes of those who would earn a living by showing off how they adapted to a world built for people unlike them.  She couldn't understand why people would put themselves in the public eye. as if they were embarrassing themselves.  As I noted that people such as Johnny Eck didn't feel this way, the lady at the next table mentioned a string of people who made their living this way, as if she was disgusted with FH's attitude.  I guess that more people have my attitude towards these people than FH's attitude.

Around 4 pm, we left BBG and took the long way to Howard Beach to have dinner.  Given that I remembered that there used to be quite a few restaurants along this stretch of road, we headed South. Somewhere on the left, I saw a restaurant on the left that looked like there might be a line at 5 pm.  FH nixed it because she didn't want to risk waiting on line. (I remember Lenny's advertisements from 40 years ago.  So the place had to be decent to survive this long.  And, at 5 pm, any line would be short.  But I digress.)  We found an Italian joint somewhere just before Cross Bay Boulevard reached the toll bridge, and pulled in for dinner.  To me, the food tasted good, save for the tomato sauce which may have simmered too long.  FH, however, thought it was less than good.  So it will be another of those places we never go to again.

On the way home, FH asked me to be her +1 for a wedding she was attending next month.  I wasn't going to answer yes right away, as I wanted to make sure that I didn't have any conflicts with RQS.  (I'll always put my relationship with RQS first, over that of my female friends.)  Hopefully, I'll be able to go - even if it means I spend another day as Mario....



PS: After thinking about it, I was glad to turn down FH's "plus 1" request.  I would know only her, and I would be uncomfortable at a wedding where I wouldn't know what is going on next.  She was upset at me for not responding to her as soon as she told me the date was Memorial Day weekend.  But then, she is a bossy type who has trouble when she can't manipulate people as she wants....

Monday, May 9, 2022

The detrius of someone's life


The other day, I saw this scooter put out in the trash area for bulk pickup.  Given that the scooter likely came from the belongings of a woman who died a few months ago, I feel a little sad seeing the scooter  here to be taken out with the trash..

We all get old, and we all die.  It's just a matter of how and when that these things happen.  For many of us, it's hard to get our heads around the idea of a time in which we won't exist.  Since our lives can end at anytime, it makes sense to plan for tomorrow, but live for today.

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This morning, I came home from a doctor's appointment and met my next door neighbor.  He said that he hadn't heard any noise coming from my apartment and hadn't seen my car move in several days.  If he hadn't seen me come in today, he might have called the police to check in on me.  This got me to thinking: What if something did happen to me?  Who'd care other than distant family and friends?

Right now, my apartment is a total mess.  I'd feel sorry for the people who would be responsible if I were to die suddenly, as they would need to figure out how I arranged things in my financial life and then clean out, freshen up, and sell my apartment.  So, I will need to take care of a few things while I still have the ability to do so.  (No, I don't expect anything to happen to me.  But how many of us do?)

As my readers know, I maintain two wardrobes.  I can only imagine what my brother would think if he saw what was in one of my closets.  Whoever handles the closeout of my life will be in for some surprises.  It's too bad that I won't be around to see their reactions....

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Leaving DC


James Smithson - a man whose gift to a nation he never visited in life created an educational institution which is known the world over.  His crypt is pictured above, and I'd bet that he'd be surprised to find out how much his gift has benefited our nation.

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Tuesday was the day we planned to leave Washington, DC.  RQS made one mistake which she regretted. There was an exhibit at the Arts and Industries Building she wanted to see, and it was closed for the day.  So we walked over to the Smithsonian castle to see what was inside of the welcome center and for me to make my visit to Smithson's crypt.  

This visit would be the shortest time we'd spend inside a museum, as it was already very warm outside and we had to vacate our room at the hotel by 1 pm.  So, once we finished our visit, we went back to the hotel for a couple of hours, and then to Union Station.

We killed time at Union Station before boarding our train.  This time, we ended up in the quiet car, and this was a blessing.  The quiet was what we needed after an exciting trip.  It was warm when we left Washington, DC and cool when we arrived in NYC.  But we learned a little bit more about each other, and the trip was worth the time and money spent to do this....

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 ...