Saturday, September 3, 2022

Thoughts on a VCR and on Travel


Ever since I started pulling wires to disconnect my old DVD player and connect a new one, I have not yet been able to get my old VCR to work.  The VCR is rarely used, but I want to be able to use it once in a while to play a tape of my late wife and I on a TV show.  As much as I'm starting to care for RQS, I will always miss my late wife and how she made my life better.

Although I think I have everything set up right, I know that I'm overlooking something.  I am very lucky to have had this poor quality recording, as it is all I have left of my wife, save for a few tiny pictures.  In the future, all there will be left of me will be a few pictures and the remnants of my thoughts on the blog entries I've posted.  This is normal in life.  From dust to dust, as they say....

Right now, I feel I have a few more good years left in my life.  Over the next two or three years, I plan to go on at least three to five more cruises, plus do some more land trips that I never have had the time or money to do in the past. For example, I will be doing another New England/Eastern Canada cruise soon.  And shortly afterwards, I'll be doing a Hawaii cruise on my own.  If all goes right, sometime next year, I will be doing a Panama Canal cruise with RQS.  Then I hope that we will be able to take some trips to South America (think: cruising by the Tierra del Fuego), Iceland, and Great Britain (with a Westbound crossing on the Queen Mary 2). At that point, I have to determine how much money we can spend on travel while we are both healthy enough to take bucket list trips.

When I went on my last cruise, the ship I was on had only 2 US type electric sockets.  In today's world, this is not enough.  By watching one vlog, I found out that the ship we're cruising on has USB ports on both sides of the bed.  If that's true, we will not need to play games with the extension core I use for my CPAP machine.  

It's nice to know that no matter what happens, that the world will keep moving forward when I'm long gone.  Let's hope that time does not come soon....

Friday, September 2, 2022

Anotther day with not much to say.


It's been over a decade since this picture was taken.  Things have changed a lot since then.  For example, I was afraid to be seen in any garment associated with femininity, and was overly careful on my first excursions "out".   Now, I don't worry about who sees me, save that I want to be in places where trans people's rights are protected.

For the most part, the past few days have had me catching up on much needed sleep.  I haven't made the time to do laundry, and I'll take care of that need tomorrow morning before RQS gets here.  This will be the first time that she'll have come here in a while that I haven't met her as Marian.

- - - - - -

RQS knows that I do a lot of socializing as Marian, and she has accepted my going out in the world as Marian.  Yet, it'll be a inverted surprise when RQS and I go up to see one of my friends for dinner with me in Mario mode, as this friend has only met me as Marian.  This will be a small, but true test of this friendship when this dinner eventually happens.

At this stage of my life, I am tolerably comfortable switching between gender presentations in order to have both a romantic life and a family life.  Yet, there's a big part of me that wishes I could have everything and stay in Marian Mode full time....

Thursday, September 1, 2022

How do I feel, now that I'm retired?


Please pardon the slightly blurred picture above.  I was looking for a more colorful picture of me to post, and this is what I could find with a limited amount of time.  But why was I looking for something with color to post, you might ask?  Well, the answer is simple.  I feel that the weight of going into a soul crushing job has lifted, and that I am looking forward to the future.

Looking forward to the future does not mean that everything will be cheerful.  For example, if I assume that RQS and I will have a long term relationship, I must also assume the likelihood that one of us could die of old age before the other.  Who needs grief?  But that's a normal part of life if one lives to old age.  Having lost a spouse over 2 decades ago, I'd hate to go through that experience again.  And yet, the reward for taking that risk is worth all the pain it could bring.

I now have the freedom to plan and do new things.  Most of the big things I want to do involve travel.  Yet, the little things in life can be the most rewarding.  For example, I can hear it in RQS's voice when she talks about her exercise sessions.  This may motivate me to finally get back into an exercise routine - or, at least, I hope so.  (Right now, I'm looking at doing some yoga.  I'll talk about that in a later post.)  I may also get back to the reading I've put off, as well as taking care of the tasks I've long neglected.  

Yet, change does not come easily to me.  And this may be one of the biggest changes I'll deal with in life.  I could have muddled on, and continued to work at the soul sucking job.  But I'm reminded of Shirley, a woman I used to work with at the bank.  Her life ended on a very sad note.  Years ago, she worked full time, even after she reached retirement age, to have the medical benefits needed to cover her ailing husband's medical expenses.  Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  Her retirement was not one of joy, but of sadness, as she knew she would die with no one left to care for her husband. (Her retirement lunch was a sad ritual, as it was a formality that only made things worse for everyone involved.)  I do not want that fate.  This is why I chose to leave while I still have enough of my health to do the things I want to do.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

I have finally retired!


Although I've been talking about retirement for a while, I was always afraid to pull the cord and take the leap into the unknown.  Well, the other day, an incident at work caused me to do some serious thinking through the past weekend and commit to leaving my job.

I won't say much about the incident that caused me to make my decision, save that I was very tired when it happened.  There is an acronym for things that one should be aware of for those people who are prone to let loose with their feelings: HALT - Hungry, Anxious, Lonely, and Tired.  In my case, I was tired, and bothered by someone who didn't have the ability to interact with me as a normal person would.  (This person is intellectually disabled, and I normally would avoid him to prevent him from getting on my nerves.  But I digress....)

My finances are in decent shape for my age, and I have no significant debts.  So I figured that the best thing for me to do would be to exit the job and step into the unknown.  I handed my resignation in to my boss at the tail end of the day, and didn't bother looking back  Later on, I texted several people that I had left the firm, and two of them were surprised.  One of them even gave me a call to chat, and she mentioned that people in my area were doing a hard job.  (I must agree, it is a hard job for most and one best suited to people who can perform a repetitive task for 8 hours each day. This is why many intellectually disabled people are best suited to work at this place; they can thrive in an environment where they can show that they, too, can make meaningful contributions in the workplace.)

Does this mean that I will never go to work again?  No.  But it means that I will be much more picky in the type of work I do and the amount of work I do.  I can always use a little bit of extra cash....

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

I now own most of the wardrobe I'll wear in Hawaii

Even though my Hawaii cruise is roughly 4-5 months away, I have gotten to thinking about the clothes I'll be bringing along on the trip.  

Although my trip is labeled as an 11 day cruisetour, there are only 10 days of scheduled activities - the first day is reserved for those people flying in from the mainland.  One could be 12+ hours in transit (like me) and arrive at the hotel in time for dinner.  And another person could be coming in from the West Coast, and arrive in time to spend a full day relaxing at the hotel.  I'll be out of touch for the better part of 12 days, as I lose a day in Eastbound transit due to the length of the flight and the time zone differences.

Since this trip will take place in the Winter, I have to carry a couple of outfits for mainland transit, as well as outfits for the 11 days in Hawaii.  I figure that I will wear something which I can remove layers from (or add layers to) while I am in transit. Of course, I have no intentions of wearing my coat while in Hawaii, but I must bring it along for my trip home.

Right now, I have 4 short, sleeveless dresses I've bought from Target, plus another from Lane Bryant.  I won't take all of them with me, as I will need a nice maxi dress fr more formal times.  But planning for this trip will force me to make decisions I don't want to make to keep things under control - such as limiting how much clothing I bring, so that my luggage falls within airline weight limits.

The way I see things, I'll need 3 pairs of shoes: the sneakers I'll wear onto the plane, "dressy" shoes (maybe a nice pair of flats) for "dressy" nights, and "water" shoes that I can use when going on a beach and walking poolside.  If I were traveling as Mario, I could make a pair of the shoes do double duty.  But, as most women know all too well, it requires more of an effort (and more clothing/accessories) to appear as a well put together woman.

Luckily, I still have time to plan my travel wardrobe.  But there will be other things that I have to plan for while traveling in female presentation - such as trimming my beard, and maintaining my made up face.  This will be a little bit more tricky....

Monday, August 29, 2022

Doing nothing and feeling good about it.


Today was a day where RQS and I stayed in bed until it was almost afternoon.  And neither of us felt bad about it.  I'm still getting used to the idea that I will be resigning my job, and finally retiring.  I feel both sad and glad that I am doing this, as it was precipitated by an event that I should have been able to prevent before it occured.

RQS sensed my sadness, and was a great comfort to me while we spent the day doing nothing except making breakfast and doing the laundry.  All too soon, we had to get dressed, so I could take her to the station for her trip home.  

Now, before I go on too much about how close we've become in the past few months, I have to say something about her cats.  They are not used to her being away as much as RQS has been lately, and they pounce on her whenever she gets home.  Although she will have friends stopping by to feed the cats when we go on our cruise together, I can only imagine how they will react after 10 days of her absence.

So far, RQS are getting so comfortable with each other that we are already looking at doing another cruise next year - specifically, the Panama Canal cruise I've been planning on for 2023.  She worries about her cats, but we'll see how they react after this cruise.  Since I'm going to be in Hawaii later this year, she's thinking of taking a cruise by herself while I'm away.  Could I have gotten her hooked on a way of taking inexpensive vacations?  I hope so, as I want her to be comfortable on the next few "bucket list" cruises I plan to take.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

A trip to the reservoir


I usually pick RQS up from the local railroad station in feminine gender presentation.  This week, since she came up on a Saturday, I was dressed as Mario for a change when I picked her up.  And from there, we headed North without a fixed destination.

Now, being in male mode precluded a stop at Karina Dresses.  But this didn't prevent us from driving through Kingston and heading West from there.  I figured that we should reach the Bread Alone bakery before changing direction, and RQS said that this was worth the drive.  Not only was she impressed by the quality of the breads there, but she loved the small pizza we had on site.  Yum!  

Next, I decided to drive along the Southern side of the Ashokan reservoir, and we stopped at the dam (NYC no longer allowing cars to drive across it since 9/11) and took a walk.  Both of us captured some nice pictures such as the one at the top of this entry.  Even with the reservoir drawn down to Summer levels, it still was a great photo-op that we didn't miss.

At this point, both of us were tired and wanted to go home to eat.  This was one night where we conked out early, as we both needed a good rest.

RQS went home, and I got keys made - a quick post

  One of the problems with going about as a female is that almost everything one carries around during a typical day is carried in a handbag...