Saturday, July 30, 2022

Another quick post... Cleaning up my apartment



It seems that every weekend that RQS comes up here, we take the time out for an hour to do some cleaning in my apartment.  We both figure that with someone else around, we will achieve progress on our goals of getting our places straightened up.

But first....

We have developed a routine that we both find comfortable.  Since I go to work dressed as a female, RQS has accepted that I will pick her up dressed as I do in the office.  From there, we often will go out to dinner, and then home to decompress.  The next day, I will don Mario's clothing and then take care of whatever things we need to do for the next couple of days.  In a way, she is getting a taste of forbidden fruit in a safe way.  And I will joke that if we visit Provincetown, MA, that I have to go in female mode, as it wouldn't be natural to see a male kissing a woman there.  (I know there are straight people in P'town, but it is a cute joke.)  Too bad we won't get there this summer....

This Saturday, we ended up tackling the mess in my kitchen.  There is still a long way to go.  And I think the next step in this process will be to start culling things I no longer need and donate them to a local charity to do some good.  Hopefully, I'll create some open working space to do some serious cooking soon....

Friday, July 29, 2022

RIP - Neighborhood Hofbrau House


Joseph Huber's Hofbrau.  May it rest in peace.

- - - - - -

This past weekend, RQS and I went to Mamaroneck to eat.  While there, we passed by an old building which had been closed up as long as I can remember - and that is a long time, as I started working in that era in 1984. (It was open when I started working in the area, but closed soon afterwards.)   I was very surprised to find that there were two people working inside, turning this long dormant neighborhood bar into a social club.

We walked in and chatted with the fellows doing the work, and found that they were taking the stained glass windows down, ostensibly for health reasons.  Although this may be true, I feel that the windows do not reflect the atmosphere they want in their new business. Luckily, they know the value of the stained glass windows, and will be preserving them for the future.

I wish the new owners well in their ventures....

The following are 4 of my shots of the place.


PS: If you're interested in another part of real estate history, read this: 

The Skinny House of Mamaroneck

Thursday, July 28, 2022

A quick post on 2 unusual vehicles


The other day, RQS and I went for dinner in Mamaroneck, NY.  On the way there, we caught a glimpse of this three wheeled vehicle.  Is it a car?  Is it a motorcycle?  This is the problem that many DMV's across the United States have when they register vehicles like this - there is no national standard for motorcycles, and the licensing needed to drive them.

When I first heard about American 3 wheeled cars, Elio Motors was developing a small gas powered vehicle.  I had the pleasure of sitting in a prototype of this vehicle in 2016, and they were dealing with the problems of unfamiliarity with 3 wheeled cars, the problems of creating a new category of vehicle (to eliminate headaches such as wearing helmets in an enclosed vehicle), manufacturing these vehicles, and sales/service - something usually done by franchised stores.  At the price of roughly $7,000, I'd have took a gamble and bought one for an in-town station car.  Today, their target for an electric vehicle is $14,000. And I have no interest in dealing with the headaches of electric cars at this time.

Although I mentioned my loose familiarity with this type of vehicle to RQS, our conversation shifted to other, more interesting topics.  After dinner, we again saw this vehicle, and another nearby.

Again, RQS asked: "What is it?"  And I had to mention that it is another cross between a car and a motorcycle.  Based on the helmet I saw in the vehicle, I have a feeling that New York still considers this to be a 3 wheeled motorcycle, and requires that all riding in wear helmets.

Have you seen vehicles like this?  If so, let me know what you think.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Quickie - A rude awakening


One of the headaches I'm dealing with is switching insurance from an Obamacare plan to Medicare (with all its pieces).  And I'm seeing that there are more levels to this onion than I knew....

In the past, all I'd need to do to change insurance companies is to show my new card to each service provider.  Now, I have to make sure that all the secondary components (Parts B, D and G) are paid for and are in sync.  This may be the easy part of things.  Getting all providers to switch over the card (issues with Part D, drug coverage) is something else.  I've just fount that Caremark has no ability for me to make this change online.  Therefore, I might have to open up a new Caremark account (with new email address) AND get my doctor to write new prescriptions for everything I need.  AARGH!

Why did I have a rude awakening?

In the past, I paid $50 for a 3 month supply of test strips.  Without coverage (remember, Caremark does not have my new plan on file yet), the same strips cost $350.  AARGH!  No wonder why poor people go without.  Our system is designed to rip off people by default.

As you can guess, I now support single payer health care.  This will never happen here, but it is a nice dream....

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The Hawaii Cruise is on!


Above is an image of the Pride of America (POA).  This is the only major American flagged and staffed cruise ship that I expect to be on.  (I'm excluding river cruising, as those vessels are smaller and cater to a different type of traveler.)  POA replaced another ship that was built in 1951 (SS Independence) which had outlived its usefulness, but was living on simply because of the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886

The Hawaiian cruise I'll be taking will be on POA.  I'll be able to spend the better part of 11 days in Hawaii, instead of the 4 or 5 I could spend on a foreign flagged vessel.  But I'll pay twice as much for a POA inside cabin for half as much time at sea on a foreign flagged vessel.  Is it worth the extra cost?  Everyone I know who has taken this cruise says "Yes!"  And it is this cruise that I wanted to take before the pandemic, a cruise that a former girlfriend from a more than two decades ago would have been on.  Could you imagine what she would have said if she saw me as Marian on this cruise?

Right now, I intend to take this cruise in Marian mode.  I feel much more comfortable in a dress than I do in a pair of shorts.  Hawaii is the place where a woman wearing a brightly colored floral dress blends in with most other women.  So I fully expect that women will see me as a fat woman, and not a man in a dress.  Yet, this trip may get cancelled - but not because of anything I do.  NCL is cancelling cruises for some POA cruisers, so that can serve those who actually get to sail with all the attention they would normally get on a normally staffed ship.  NCL is offering generous compensation for those people affected by these cancellations, and I won't cry much if this happens.  Not only would my $8500 be refunded to my credit card, but I'd receive future cruise credit (FCC) as well.

Keep your fingers crossed.  I'll have a lot to say about it as we get closer to sailing date.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Bills, Bills, and More Bills


This is a month where I'm doing serious damage to my credit cards.  I've planned for this "disaster" for months, and now the piper wants his due.

Today, I paid for the tires installed on my car this past weekend.  Shortly, I will be placing the charge for the Hawaii cruise I've been writing about for a while.  Am I nervous about spending this money?  Yes.  If I weren't nervous, I wouldn't have the money available for me to spend.  Too many people have said, "Marian, you've got the money - spend it!"  It's because I don't spend it with reckless abandon, that I still have money to spend.

I am looking forward to my Hawaii cruise.  It will be a little over 10 straight days spent in Marian mode.  Getting on a plane makes me nervous.  No, it's not because I'm afraid of flying.  Instead, it's because I fear the headaches of going through security and having something trigger a more thorough security scan.  It could be the metal in my underwire bra.  It could be that I forgot to pack something in my checked luggage that is in my carry on bag.  Who knows?  I'll have to contact Kim and get some advice.  

There are a lot of small bills that come in through the month, and I haven't seen the first of my Medicare Part-D bills yet. Nothing shows up on Mint or my Bank Statement.  So I wonder what's up.  That'll be a call for tomorrow....

Sunday, July 24, 2022


I've talked about my ambivalence in regard to leaving my job.  RQS had to face a similar problem before she retired, and then dealt with it more quickly than I have so far.

One of the most salient points RQS made is that I need to be stimulated at work.  This job is putting me to sleep.  The big question is what I will do when I leave the work force for good.  I want to travel, but that takes money.  Until I figure out how to make travel pay my bills, I can only travel so much.  Yet, I can see myself producing a Vlog on surface transit (land and sea), documenting trips that are well worth taking.  There is a lot of competition in this area, and I have my doubts that I'd have enough interesting things to say to publish on a regular schedule.

Ideally, I'd know enough about LGBT travel to document my travels in female presentation.  Of course, there will be a lot of places that I will not be able to travel as Marian.  So I'd have to do my research beforehand, so that others could benefit from my work.

So much to think about....

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...