Saturday, December 10, 2022

We get old and don't see it happening

The other day, I reached out to my friend Pat, the former hypnotist, to see how she is doing.  And I found that she had moved out of her apartment in Lower Westchester county, and moved to an assisted care facility on the other side of the Hudson.  This news didn't surprise me too much, as Pat is 80 years old and was having trouble taking care of herself.  But what did surprise me was that she was having memory issues that made this home a better place for her to spend her final days.

I've known Pat for over 2 decades, and we have had many an interesting conversation in those years. So RQS and I decided to go across the river and meet Pat in her new digs.  Would they be nice?  Or, would they be a hell hole?  Would this be a place in which one could be happy in one's later years?  Who knows?  But this would all come out when we saw Pat.

Years ago, I dated a woman named Eileen who lived in the area where Pat's nursing home now is.  I'm now very familiar with the area, and suggested to RQS that we'd eat at a place 5 minutes away from the home.  This would allow us to get to Pat's place at 7 pm, and be able to take advantage of an excuse to leave - we were going to see a movie nearby, and needed to be there by 7:45.  I had chosen a Mexican place I had eaten at with MWL, but it had failed in the year since I went there last.  So, it was off to El Bandido for some Mexican grub.  The Bandit is an old standby, and it has been around since I dated Eileen many years ago. I knew the food would be good, and RQS agreed with me after we finished our Enchiladas.

Once done with our food, it was off to Pat's place.  The place looked both sterile and empty, and the only person other than Pat that we saw was the receptionist at the front door.  Once we knew where Pat's room was, it was off to her wing to see her.  It took a while for Pat to answer the door - there is only one person there with whom that she feels comfortable socializing.  And then, it was like "homecoming day."

All too soon, it was time to leave.  But RQS and I knew that we had a new thing to do - keep tabs on Pat for her daughter.  No one else will do it, so guess who had to step forward....


Friday, December 9, 2022

And now, we've booked another cruise

RQS has the cruising bug!  Ever since we went on our first cruise, she can't seem to get enough of cruising to new ports and exploring.

As of today, we are booked on an NCL cruise that will take us to Bermuda and back.  One of the problems with a typical Bermuda cruise is that there is not enough time on the island to explore and get a feel for the place.  Our cruise will give us that time, and we will still be able to skip unwanted ports such as Port Canaveral.

The two of us have similar tastes, and it's nice to have a travel companion with whom I can explore the world together.  I've noted that if I were to come into a significant sum of money, that I'd book a bucket list cruise for the two of us.  But that is a way off.  And then, how would I present on the cruise?  All of my ID says "Mario", when I want to do much of my traveling as "Marian".  So I'd be limited in where I could go, as most places are not trans-friendly.

So, I do my research in where we can go, and save my memories of a place to determine whether I can travel there as Marian in the future.  Not all of my travels will be on cruise ships.  But you can guess that a lot of them will be, as this is an inexpensive way to enjoy a vacation.


Thursday, December 8, 2022

I'm thankful to have RQS in my life


My dining area hasn't looked like this in a while.  It now looks worse, but is getting better - with the help of RQS.  When we started cleaning up my apartment, things were much worse.  This table had become a dumping ground for things I hadn't gotten around to sorting out.  Now, with another hour or two of clean-up work, my table will look like it's ready for dinner.  And that's a miracle!

In the past 2 ½ years, this table has gone between clean enough for a cleaning lady to work on to a mess that would scare her away from the apartment.  And when we're done here, I start things with the cleaning lady, then start work on RQS's place.  She has even more stuff to prune than I did.  And it will be just as challenging task for her as my cleanup was for me.

As I've said in previous posts, I find it amazing how well we get along together.  I never dreamed that I would find someone comfortable with my transgender nature - and I found that person.  This is something I am very thankful for at this time of year....

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Dealing with legal issues.


When my father died, my brother and I gained control of the family homestead.  We were lucky that my dad protected the house from claims from his creditors by giving the house to his 2 offspring, but retaining a life interest in the property.  In the years since my dad moved into the nursing home (and after he died), we have been trying to get around to seeing a lawyer to protect our interests in the property, so that it can be passed on to our heirs.

Recently, my brother and I finally got around to seeing the first of 2 lawyers to get proposals in how best to protect the property.  The first method we received is based on a constructive use of Trusts and an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation). We expect that the second law firm we visit will propose a similar approach.  Although my brother can set up a LLC (he does this quite often in his line of work), we agreed that if a LLC were to be set up for us, it should be done by external counsel.  This way, we won't be the ones to possibly screw things up if we have problems.

Admittedly, this is what people do when they have something valuable to protect and enough money to protect it.  I am very thankful that my parents raised us well, and that both of us have the resources and skills to provide for the rest of our lives. If anything, this is better than most gifts I could have received in life....

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

It's easy to binge watch TV these days

If I could change some things about the original Addams Family TV series, I'd have filmed it in color and have given it a run of 7 seasons.  It's a damned shame that some of the classic TV shows only lasted 2 or 3 seasons, and were under appreciated by TV execs at the time.  Given today's media environment, there is not enough product for all the streaming channels, nor are there enough non-reality shows to make TV interesting anymore.  RQS and I consider ourselves very lucky to grow up towards the end of the Golden Age of TV, as we were spoiled by 3 major networks still trying to define what popular TV would become.

For years, it was hard to watch many of the classic shows once they left the networks, and ended their runs in syndication.  The technology needed for people to binge watch their favorite old shows did not exist, or it cost too much for the average middle class family to buy.  However, things began to change once the average home had at least 1 VHS tape player (and later, a DVD player).  Now, people could rent shows from their local Blockbuster outlet, and watch them at their convenience.  Later on, the growth of the internet made it possible to stream shows from sources such as Netflix.  Now, it is possible to binge watch any show, as long as it can be found on the internet.

Many shows are still not available on the internet.  For example, I have yet to find any channel that makes Midnight Caller (with Gary Cole) available for streaming.  However, I have found that someone uploaded over-the-air recordings of this show to a streaming service, product which has seemingly been abandoned by its owners. This is one of many shows still unavailable to the public, unless one is willing to visit the Paley Center in NYC to view programs in its library.

Given that I have a family member who worked in the TV industry, I have an interest in quality TV.  I am saddened by all the so-called "reality" shows that seem to dominate the networks.  Unlike classic TV shows, these shows are cheap to make and can generate acceptable advertising revenue.  As for me, I have given up watching network TV, and have begun searching for classic shows (such as Perry Mason) on streaming channels to watch in my free time.  At least, I have a boxed set of The Man Show to make me laugh when I need to do so....


Monday, December 5, 2022

Sometimes, packages get lost for a while

This weekend, I found that Amazon Prime isn't always able to deliver products in 2 days.  However, it is not as much of an Amazon issue as it is an issue with its contracted carrier, UPS.  This item was expected to be delivered to my place by Friday evening, and delivery was delayed by events while the package was in UPS custody - somewhere in New Jersey.  

I'm not going to complain about this, as I don't need these trackers until I leave for Hawaii.  But I may have encountered a flaw in the "last mile" of Amazon's package delivery system.  Once a provider has a glitch in its' system, it can propagate to cause problems with other service/goods providers.  If snow shuts down an airport, it fouls up transportation for any person needing to use that airport while the snow is on the ground.  Both RQS and I wondered why the package was delayed when the package was in New Jersey.  Unlike Upstate New York, the weather shouldn't have been a factor in the delivery's delay.  Unfortunately, I doubt that we'll ever find out what caused the delay.



Sunday, December 4, 2022

Things are starting to get serious


Have you ever read the passage from "The Walrus and the Carpenter" that reads:

 The time has come,' the Walrus said,
      To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
      Of cabbages — and kings —
And why the sea is boiling hot —
      And whether pigs have wings.

Well, to some degree my life has been like that as of late, as RQS and I have discussed the subject of me being transgender.  And I've let her know (in no uncertain terms) that I will not make any body changes that would get in the way of our romance.  But this sounds much more serious than the conversation we had. 

One of the things we can laugh about is my preference for presenting as a female and enjoying as much of my life as possible as one.  She is comfortable going to restaurants with me this way, as she sees the same person when I present as a male and when I present as a female.    RQS enjoys going shopping with me in female mode, as it is another activity we can share with each other.  But there is more to this relationship than laughter.  We seem to be able to read each other's mind at times.  Even with incomplete information, we seem to understand what the other is trying to say.  And, even more importantly, she is comfortable raising troublesome topics with me before they become major irritants.

Neither of us are sure of what our long term living arrangements will be.  But we are comfortable talking about arrangements for travel that will take place a year from now.  This feels much better than the relationship I had with XGFJ, as we both assume that we have a future together - and talk about it. It's a damned shame that I had to through the hell I experienced 3 years ago to get where I am 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...