Friday, June 17, 2022

Some credit cards are not worth keeping


The other day, I decided to buy a new dress from the Avenue's site.  Given that an all cotton dress is a rarity on this company's site these days, I decided to jump on one in a color I liked.  I placed the order, and nothing happened.  When I say nothing, I mean nothing.  The original default credit card option I used was no longer on the site from what I could tell (I was tired and could have missed things), and the order was never placed, with no error or warning being given to me.

Some of you might be thinking that I logged on to a scam site. But this was the site I've saved in my bookmarks, and have used many times in the past.  So, what happened?  After looking around, I didn't see their card listed in approved payment methods.  Although the current site's server sends out web pages which reference their store credit card, it wasn't available for me to use.

What do I think happened?

Given the declining profit of  of store cards, I feel that the in-house card was quietly phased out.  I could very easily be wrong about this.  But when I redid the order and decided to buy two dresses of the same style, I noticed that the store card option was no longer listed in the payment options.  Could this be related to Visa/Master Card/Discover/American Express all offering cash back cards?  It could be, as store cards do not offer the same value in rewards as major credit cards do, and they can only be used in one company's operations.

I wonder when my other store cards will bite the dust....



PS: The order was placed, and I did receive the dress.   I must have been extremely tired when I placed that order.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Thai Food - Yum!



One thing I love about being in New York City is that there are some wonderful restaurants in the outer boroughs.  Chachawan, in Ridgewood Queens, is one of those restaurants.  After having some good, but bland, Korean food the week before, it was a pleasure to go to this local joint for a Saturday evening dinner.

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When I'm with RQS, we try to find local restaurants in her neighborhood which have promise.  This restaurant is quickly becoming one of one of our favorites. She had a curry while I had the Three Flavors Duck.  Compared with the duck we had last weekend, this was wonderful.  I'd make the effort to go to this restaurant even if RQS weren't in the picture - it is that good.

A nice thing about New York City is that each neighborhood has at least one "go to" restaurant.  Ridgewood has several - including one of my favorites, Zum Stammtisch.  This restaurant has been in the neighborhood for 50 years, and I have been going there for 40 of those years.  When RQS and I finally get there, we will be taking a bus to reach the restaurant - it doesn't make sense to give up a good parking spot once you have found one.

Obviously, with easy access to Manhattan, it will be a while before we have completed our Ridgewood food safari. This is good, as there are no nearby Dim Sum joints like the Nom Wah Tea Parlor. But then, New York City is known for being a dining oasis....

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Dinner with a friend


Last night, I had dinner with a friend from the meetup group whose meetings I irregularly attend.  She's a nice woman, about 30 years old, and not sure of what direction to take in life.  Sadly, she has a similar lack of charisma to me, and I think it is her mode of speech that makes me think she's lonely.

So what can make a good person repel people without bad habits or bad intent? This has been a question that I've asked of myself over the years, and I don't have a good answer.  But I know that I feel much more confident when presenting as Marian.  This might be because I have less social history as Marian, and less history of being rejected by people.  Our experiences add up over the years and influence how we express ourselves.  We learn to be timid or assertive from the body languages and spoken languages of our parents, coupled with the experiences we endure as we grow up. It's hard to undo these "lessons", as they force us to repeat these unproductive expressions of body language and of spoken language.

Luckily, being trans and expressing ourselves in our identified gender starts to liberate us.  We learn how to communicate in new ways and learning a new gender body language makes it easier for us to feel more confident and relaxed.  No, transition does not solve our problems.  But it gives us a tool to help us on our way to dealing with those problems effectively.  If it weren't for the fact that I want romance in my life more than transition, I'd be rushing down my path of transition because of the freedom I'm experiencing as Marian....

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Starting to catch up with people


Harpo Marx has nothing to do with this post, save this is my favorite picture of him, and that he is my favorite among all the Marx Brothers as people. (Groucho is my favorite on screen.)  

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Today was my last day of work before the weekend.  And my schedule included dealing with a phone call from the Medicare Insurance Agent (for my Part D coverage) and having dinner with a friend from my meetup groups.  What I didn't plan for was a 90 minute phone call with my ex girlfriend Patty, as her hubby was busy with a gig.  So, bu the time I reached RQS, it was getting close to midnight.  

But first....

I haven't been sleeping that well, and I could have used another 2 hours of sleep before going to work.  But I was awake and alert all day.  I guess it relates to me having more liquid when I get up and some calories (in the form of carbs) to burn before leaving home.

After 8 hours at my workstation, it was time for me to leave and get ready for dinner.  Dinner was scheduled for 6:30 at a nearby restaurant.  Since I had the insurance agent scheduled, I pushed the time forward to 7 pm.  And this was a good thing, as the insurance agent didn't bother calling me.  Luckily, the restaurant is 5 minutes away from me and I got there at 7 o'clock sharp. My friend and I had a nice meal together.  She is young enough to be my daughter and she sees me as if I were a cisgender woman.  And that is how I relate to her.   

Once I got home, Patty and I had a nice long chat and caught up on things. I won't go into any of the details here, save that we talked about family members with similar issues, medicare issues, and residence issues.  We could have talked more, but her hubby got home and she wanted to spend time with him.  So I suggested a dinner foursome with RQS, and let her spend the end of the evening with her hubby.

Next was RQS.  We caught up on what was going on for the day, and then it was time to go to bed.  At this point, I picked up some clothing I'd need for the next day, and packed for an overnight with her. However, I made sure that I transferred everything from Marian's wallet to Mario's wallet.  The last thing I want is to have no ID in my wallet when I need it - as happened with XGFJ several years ago....

Monday, June 13, 2022

A conversation with FCP

Earlier this year, I found out that FCP had a grandchild and that her son had graduated med school.  So I sent her congratulations, even though we were still on the outs with each other.  Two weeks after the last message, she sent a message to tell me that she was offended that I sent a card to her son and daughter in law to offer my congratulations.  (She tried calling me, but I wouldn't have picked up if I knew it were her - I don't react well to someone screaming.)  I wasn't going to say this to her, but I knew that her son holds no grudge against me, and probably was glad to receive my card.

After several failed phone calls, FCP sent a text message and we had a series of message exchanges.  I found out that my ex girlfriend was much more unhappy in our relationship than she let on to me (the ex told me that she hinted a lot and expected me to pick up on her obtuse hints), and complained to FCP.  (I'd give a cookie to know who contacted who first, but that's another story.)  Given the way things were phrased in the exchange, I think that FCP wanted to make sure that my relationship with the ex was going to die, so that she could get even with me.

Now, I'm not going to go into details here, but I think I was set up by FCP without even sensing it.  It's just as well that things are over with both people, as there's nothing that would have come from the relationship with the ex, as we never talked about having a future together after 5 years of a relationship.  Being transgender was only one of the things that the ex couldn't deal with, and I'll leave it at that.  All I can say is that I wasted 5 years with the ex when I could have been searching for someone who could accept me fully as I am - in both gender presentations.  This is not a knock on my ex as much as it is a knock on two people who couldn't shit or get off the pot for as long as we did.

Do I know what the objective truth is regarding what happened all these months ago?  No.  But I'm closer to being able to say that the ex was unhappy, was unable to advocate for her needs with me, and was destined to leave a lot later than she should have.  Regarding FCP, I should have never had made public things which I did.  And both of us have grown because we no longer lean on each other for support....



PS: I had another message from FCP, and she was upset upon reading this.  She didn't like my accusing her of being in the middle of things and causing trouble, so she is blocking communications from me.  Sadly, she can't accept that others can come up with different conclusions based on the information available to them.  And, when neither person trusts each other anymore, it is very easy to assume the worst from the other.


Sunday, June 12, 2022

Computer Interface Problems


No matter how programmers try their best, they will always screw up a little.  In my case, the programmer who designed the website made the page where security questions are saved not work with my internet security program (Kaspersky) on Firefox, Chrome, and MS Edge.  It could be a problem with another of the programs I'm using on my computer, but I was able to enter this data by using the Opera browser.

Sadly, there is no way to test software to run on every device.  But I feel that many programmers could do a better job - both when designing web sites (and their underlying software) and in internet security packages.  Sometimes, I'd like to have an easy way to disable all browser extensions for use on a particular web page AND disable most of the security checks as well.  Obviously, this is not an approach for the feint hearted, as one can do this for a web site run by a scammer.

It's very unfortunate that we need complex interfaces to perform simple computer functions on the web. Gone are the days where we could submit information without a Captcha and without multi factor verification.  And this is for the better, as more of our lives are managed via the computer than they were even 5 years ago.  We need to be secure, and this complexity is there for our benefit.

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Regarding the site....

I tried using my system with all of the major browsers.  However, I also use a version of Opera which has no browser extensions.  I'll bet that if my security package didn't tie itself in so tightly with the other browsers, that I'd have been infected with malware by now....

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...