Saturday, November 5, 2022

Dropping off some baggage



This is going to be a short post, as I don't have that much to say today.  RQS and I will soon be going on another cruise, and I'll be dropping my big bag off at her place.  This will make it possible for me to travel to RQS's place the day before our cruise, and then catch an Uber together to the cruise terminal the next morning.

Packing luggage for male or female modes is still an art for me.  I usually pack way too much stuff, and have gotten away with it because I've been traveling on cruise ships or on Amtrak for the past decade. Somehow, I will need to learn how to pack much lighter if I want to do more traveling, as I don't want to get hit with overweight luggage fees when flying on vacation.  Because I am a heavy person, my clothing weighs more than the average person, and I need larger bags to carry the same number of garments.

Losing weight has never been easy for me, and I wish I had never met Ex-GF-M - if only because my food addiction would never have been triggered on a daily basis.  I had lost 70 pounds in a short period of time, and gained them back when with her.  Those pounds have stayed on long since we broke up, and I have to start eating more fruit and vegetables if I'm going to have a shot at weight loss.

But enough of that.

We all have to deal with the baggage from our past.  I have to deal with the memories of things I said to my late wife out of ignorance.  I have to deal with memories of hurting a best friend because I said too much about her life.  And I have to deal with memories of many more things than I want to discuss here.  This is the baggage I'll always have with me.

One thing that my former therapist taught me is that I have to learn how to forgive myself for my screw ups. I can ask others for forgiveness, but it often can't be given.  In the case of the former friend I used to talk about too much in my blogs, she couldn't deal with the pain from her past.  Now, she demands to be in control of people and things, as she fears being hurt by the ones she loves most.  Because of things we have said, neither of us trusts each other, and there is no way to rebuild any semblance of a friendship.  So sad.

In order to move forward in life, one had to drop off baggage in the proper places to move forward.  In the literal sense, I am dropping off a bag at her place, so that I can go on a cruise with her.  In the case of my former friend, I have had to accept the fact that I screwed up, forgive myself, and move forward to new friendships.  

Hopefully, my future will be better than the past I left behind....

Friday, November 4, 2022

Seeing friends


It's been a long time since the above group held a meeting, and I've grown a lot as a person since then.  Yet, I yearn a little for the innocence and ignorance I had back then, as I was in a period of rapid social growth as Marian.

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Lately, I've been trying to catch up with friends I've made over the years: friends I've made at work, friends I've made through meetups, and friends I've made in the general course of life.  It isn't always easy finding the time or money to get together with these people.  But I try to do so.

As I write this, I will be lunching with a friend from where I last worked.  Next week, I'll be meeting with one of my transgender acquaintances, and with a woman I once dated.  It's not always easy planning things 2+ weeks ahead, as I've found that most people are only able to plan for social engagements that are 1 or 2 weeks ahead.

Now that I'm seeing RQS, I have even less time to get together with people, as most of them are unattached.  However, I do not intend to make the mistake I made when I was married.  Losing friends is easy when one is coupled.  Keeping them is much harder.  And I intend to do my best to keep them.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Dealing with screwups!


I've been in the position where I've royally screwed up, and deserved to get laid off from my job.  Today's post covers a screw up that I have to deal with for an upcoming cruise, and a vendor's representative who does nothing but screw up.

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When I booked my Hawaii cruise, I noticed that the cruise line didn't have a place where I could enter my middle name.  Normally, this would not be an issue, as TSA does not get involved (much) in who can (or can't) go on cruise ships.  However, since the cruise line booked my air, I found that they screwed up the booking of my flights.

Sometime toward the middle of the year, NCL sent out an email to inform those people who are using the cruise line to book their air travel that they would need to have their complete legal name on file for their flight booking.  I contacted NCL, and gave them my full name: Marian Ann Johnson.  Well, I found out that NCL sent the name "Marian Johnson" to United Airlines, and not "Marian Ann Johnson." This prompted a call to United, where I needed to get past their unfriendly chatbot to reach a human who could fix my problem.  And even then, they may have created an error, as my name now reads "Marianann Johnson".  When I called United for a second time, their chatbot threw up a gauntlet that got in the way of reaching a human to fix the problem the first agent may have caused.  When I finally reached an agent, she said that TSA should accept this.  I am very skeptical, so I will soon be contacting TSA to verify this claim.  AARGH!!!!

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Just after dealing with my plane ticketing issue, I had to attend a co-op board meeting.  Although I can't say too much about went on at the meeting, we made the site representative of our management company very uncomfortable - his performance does not meet the standards I'd want to see in someone with whom I'd do business.  I asked him about an issue regarding a light that illuminates a sign, and he reported that the light was fixed - the electrician had worked on the light the day before.  Well, I was upset.  He is responsible for verifying that all contractors complete their work to our satisfaction before paying these vendors.  So I said that I'd check this light when I went out later.  And, of course, it was not lit.

At this point, I was livid.  This man had left our meeting early, as he was not up to the criticisms we had about his performance. And now, I had proof that he didn't bother to check that the work was done properly.  I'd bet that he'd pay the bill for work not done if I didn't call him out.  So I wrote a polite letter (with photographic evidence) that the work was not done, that the light was not on, and asked him to get this fixed ASAP.  Of course, I made sure to copy the full board on this issue, and blind copied his boss.  24 hours later, he still have not replied to my email.  So, sometime tomorrow, I will send an email to his boss, saying that I (as an individual, and not as a board member) have no confidence in this man being able to take care of requests in a prompt manner, and that I intend to write to the boss from now on for any services that I might need.

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Please remember that I have screwed up big time in my career, and have paid the price for it - I was dismissed from my job.  Since I have a responsibility to the co-op's shareholders, I will exercise the same kind of responsible decision making that others have had to make when dealing with careers like mine....

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Preparing for a Hawaiian Cruise

Thank god for Amazon!  Over the last few weeks, I've been ordering things I'll need for my upcoming Hawaii cruise.  In addition to buying new luggage, I've been buying little things such as water shoes for the time I may be at a beach.  In the above picture, I am showing some of the things I've bought for my upcoming cruise.

There are several minor issues one must be aware of when traveling to Hawaii.  Due to the fragile nature of its habitat, they require that only "Reef Safe" Sunscreens are used. In addition, when I go to Pearl Harbor, I'll need the clear "stadium backpack" to hold personal goods, as they do not allow civilians to carry normal purses on the base.  Given that I'll be in an inside cabin, I bought an inexpensive motion sensitive night light for use in the room, and I've bought a plastic luggage tag to help the baggage smashers route my suitcase to my cabin.  And, in case the suitcase gets lost, I will have a Tile Tracker attached to help in locating the bag.  

There are so many things left to be taken care of before the cruise.  For example, I have to schedule a hotel room with 13 day parking with an airport shuttle.  My flight leaves Newark at an ungodly time of the day, and I won't be able to get to the airport in time if I were to drive to the parking lot from home the day I start my travels.  Hopefully, I won't forget anything.  But I know I'll be writing about my trip in this blog....

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

I'm counting the days until my next trip.


As much as I'd like to be taking my next trip in female presentation, I'll take it as a male because RQS is traveling with me.  This is not the trip I would have made for a first choice, as I would have preferred to go somewhere new.  However, RQS saw a bargain, and we jumped on it.

Going somewhere at the end of a season often means that many attractions, stores and restaurants that cater to tourists will be closed.  It can also mean that one gets a chance to see what a town is like when most tourists are gone and only locals remain.  To me, I've found that going somewhere off-season can be just as enjoyable as going to a place in-season.

Years ago, my late wife and I stayed at her boss' oceanfront house in Bridgehampton.  It was Thanksgiving week, and we had the place to ourselves.  All the rich people were gone, having vacated their summer digs for places in warmer climes. This left us enjoying the area, interacting with the locals.  This was much more enjoyable than had we been there during the busy season.  The year before XGFJ and I broke up, we traveled to Lake George and Bolton Landing for a weekend away from home.  When we left Lake George for the Sagamore, we were able to spend a romantic weekend in the "North Country" unencumbered by throngs of tourists.  These are the types of trips I enjoy most - trips where I can get away from the world and chill out.

Soon, I'll be on my next trip and I expect that RQS and I will be able to chill.  Hopefully, she's enjoying it as much as I do....

Monday, October 31, 2022

I find it hard to believe, but I applied for a job


The other day, I saw an email from suggesting that I apply for a job I have the skills to do.  No, this would not be a technology related position, but that of an office worker.  And I sent in the application for a job which I would go to work in my female presentation.

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Ever since I quit the job at the document imaging firm, I have very little incentive to get up in the morning.  Getting up early in the morning is even harder for me.  I realize that I need a little incentive to get moving, and work can be that incentive. Do I really want to go back to work?  Well, with inflation rearing its ugly head, I could use a few extra dollars coming in.  Now is not the time to start draining the 401k when the market is going South.  Instead, it's the time to add money to the nest egg while I'm healthy enough to be able to do so. 

If I were to go back to work, I wouldn't be able to take vacations where and when I want to do so.  This would cramp my style as I go further into my "golden years".  At least, I'd again be able to present as a female in an office setting, and be able to get more use out of my female business wardrobe.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Taking care of some items found in the mess on my desk


This will likely be one of my shorter posts.  

Recently, I mentioned that I had to file some paperwork so that I can get $100 cruise credit on each of two cruises, simply for being a cruise line shareholder.  To do this, I had to wade through the mess of papers found on (and near) my desk to find a recent brokerage statement.  Most of the time, I don't bother to print this statement.  Nor do I always file the ones I receive in the mail when I receive them.  So, it took me a while to find September's statement amidst all the clutter.

However, I have a simple procedure for dealing with my bills.  I pay several at the beginning of the month (one/two is/are on auto pay), some more as they come in, and then the rest at month end.  By handling the bulk as they come in, I don't have to worry much about finding the bills when I get around to paying them.  (I use an oversize clip to hold bills, and then pay them in batches.)  If I were to ever get my desk straightened out, I'd likely use a different method.  But until then, I'll continue to do what has been working for me so far.

Yet, even essential things have been known to go missing for a while.  Ever misplace a wallet on a messy desk?  I have.  What about glasses?  Yup, I have done that too.  Even house keys have gotten lost in my desk's mess.  Luckily, I've learned how to deal with the mess and use boxes to hold things while I conduct my searches.

Aren't glad you don't have me for a bookkeeper?

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