Saturday, May 20, 2023

I'm glad I've had a good relationship with my neighbors so far....


My original plans for the day were to write about getting my nails done and having dinner with Vicki. Well, things changed, as Vicki was a little under the weather and I got up too late to do much of anything other than going to the buffet for dinner.  And yet, I have something crappy to write about.

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Years ago, water from my apartment caused a problem in the apartment below me.  I'm not sure of whose insurance paid for the repairs, but I know I didn't put in a claim on my insurance.  On New Year's Eve, RQS took a bath, and the water overflow caused damage to the bathroom ceiling occupied by my new neighbors.  Luckily, that problem was caused by pipes within the walls, and the co-op's insurance paid the bill.  Unfortunately, a toilet bowl overflow happened tonight, and I'm not sure of the status of the apartment below me.

When I got home from dinner, I proceeded to the loo to take care of a pressing matter.  (No need to be more graphic here.)  Well, the flush didn't get everything through the pipes, and I tried to plunge the toilet.  Unfortunately, after a second flush, waste water got all over the bathroom floor, and it took several towels to absorb all the liquid.  (You can guess I'll be the first to do laundry in the morning.) And this got me to thinking - did any of the waste water get through to the ceiling below me?  I'd hate to pay for any damages, as well as filing an insurance claim for the damages caused by the overflow.

I figure that I'll tough base with my neighbors in the morning, just to see what's up. Hopefully, they won't be too upset with me if there is a problem. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Friday, May 19, 2023

A "Half and Half" day


I hate having to dress as Mario and then change into Marian (or, vice-versa).  Today was one of those days that I had to see the doctor in the morning, and then change into Marian before going to game night in Yonkers.  So, I had to partially make myself ready for the day to see my doctor. And then, I had to finish the job after I was home....

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My doctor has been looking for a way to get my blood pressure where he'd like it to be for several years now.  And today was a day that I knew he'd likely hector me a little about exercise and losing weight. What I didn't expect was that he ran a little bit late before seeing me, and that we'd be talking about vacations - specifically, him thinking of taking the same Hawaii cruise that I took.  The good news for the day was that the new medicine I am taking did what it was supposed to do with my blood pressure. This made him comfortable telling me to come back in a little over 2 months this time - something that I didn't expect.

Once done with the doctor, I picked up an egg sandwich at the local deli.  However, there was a minor mishap.  Just after I placed my order, a mob of teenagers came in to place their lunch orders (the high school is less than a block away) and that created confusion at the deli.  I was given the wrong order, and had to go back to the deli to get the right order.  Luckily, they didn't hand my sandwich to someone else.

I then went home and relaxed for a while before getting dressed as Marian for game night.  Luckily, I made it there early enough for me to play in the single game the group played this evening.  Although I didn't win, I wasn't in last place.  And that was a miracle for me.  When things broke up, I mentioned to the hostess that I finally have pierced ears, and will soon be able to wear the earrings that they gave me a few years ago.

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On the way home, I chatted with RQS and we discussed our plans for the next few weeks.  Yes, we will be quite busy going back and forth between our apartments.  But it will be fun....

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Seeing another friend for dinner


RQS knows that I have more female friends than male friends, and most of them know me as Marian, even though they know of Mario's existence. Today, I visited one of those friends.

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RO and I have known each other for several years.  We once dated each other, but things didn't work out. When we stumbled across each other a few years later, we developed a friendship and kept in loose touch with each other.  I had my relationship with XGFJ while RO got married to a nice gentleman.  

The last time I met RO in person was last September.  Neither of us realized how long it had been, as both of us had been busy living our lives since then.  RO has retired, while I have taken 3 cruises, as well as a trip to Washington, DC since then.  So we had a lot to catch up on over an early dinner at the same Italian restaurant we've eaten at before.  Both of us have the ailments that come with getting old, and I was reminded of why things didn't work out between us. (I didn't want to be with someone who would have similar health problems as Ex-GF-M was having, and Ex-GF-M's death proved me right.)  Yet, we could be good friends, especially given that RO is a warm and caring person.

All too soon, dinner had to end, and I had to drive home. We agreed to eat at Fuddruckers down the road a piece.  Neither of us like dropping $75 on dinner when we're living on a budget.  So next time, dinner will be much more affordable, and much more casual.  And for me, this will be the first time I will be eating at a Fuddruckers since the last of the New York State (New York City region) restaurants closed years ago.

Considering that I wanted to look at some clothes at Lane Bryant, I took the long way back home through Paramus.  While on the road, I told TCL about another dress store that RQS and I have visited: Karina Dresses. And she looked up the dress pattern that made me think of TCL when I saw it.  Sadly, the dresses were not available in her size for the fabric pattern she liked.  But she will keep an eye on the site for future dresses she might enjoy wearing.

When I got to Lane Bryant, I tried on a couple of dresses.  One was in a pattern and style I liked, and if I didn't have one being shipped to me soon, I would have bought it at the store.  The other left a lot to be desired.  So I left those dresses at the store, and went home for the evening.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Being Widowed


Today, I saw 2 friends I haven't seen in a dog's age.  The first was my friend Maria, and the second was my friend Vicki (#2).  My 2 friends and I share a common bond - we have all been widowed, and we have all had to deal with a great loss.  

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It has been 26½ years since I lost my wife, 3 years for Maria, and less than a week for Vicki.  We are all on the road of processing our respective losses.  And I still remember enough of the pain I felt to provide some comfort to my friends.

At lunch today, Maria and I talked about our losses and how ignorant people could magnify the pain we still feel in regard to our losses.  I mentioned that it is not uncommon for songs to trigger crying fits, for people to say things without malice that can trigger anger, and (at times) for ourselves to lose our reasons for being.   Widowhood is not easy, but the grief we feel is needed to tell us how important a person was to us.  Confronting it and processing it is the way for us to heal - even if the loss scars us forever.

All too soon, Maria had to leave, and I was off to see Vicki before taking care of errands of my own. When I arrived at Vicki's place, I was warmly greeted and we sat down to chat for an hour.  Her mind wasn't fully there, as there was similar sense of numbness to what I felt when I lost my wife.  The constant care-taking had ended, and the continual processing of new pain was over.  Now, she has to move forward with her life, process the pain she will feel because of her loss, and figure out what her next act will be.

You will note that I did not give many details about my two friends, save when they were widowed. These 2 friends share more than membership in a sisterhood of widows.  They share a common humanity - people who have been there for people until that need has ended.  And for that, I will be there for them when they need a friend.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Be careful when performing aftercare on a new ear piercing


Be careful when performing aftercare on a newly pierced ear.  If the stud is lose, it can easily be lost - and I did just that.

But first....

This would be my first weekend away from my home (Read: I would be at RQS's place) and would need to perform my 2x-3x daily aftercare routine in a new setting.. I didn't think too much of this, as the stud was loosely applied to its backing, so that I'd have room to clean the area around the piercing and move the stud a little bit to help with healing.

At my place, I'd usually sit at my computer desk and perform the aftercare ritual there. However, at RQS's place, I'd be standing by her sink to perform the ritual. And this is where and when the stud popped out.  All of a sudden, the stud was propelled forward by the backing and fell into the sink.  Damn!  If I had blocked the drain, I'd have never lost the stud.  Now, I'd need a new stud to keep the hole open.

The next morning, RQS and I went to a local jewelry shop, and I had new studs put in.  OUCH!  The woman was not delicate with what she was doing, and my ears would feel irritated for a few days.  The backing to the studs were on tight, and I knew aftercare would be harder to perform for the next month or so.

I can't wait until I can wear normal earrings for the first time.  Yes, I'll need to keep the studs in until then.  But I can't wait to show my friends at game night that I can now wear the earrings that they gave me one Christmas.


Be careful when getting your ears pierced.  You will need to perform aftercare, and it'd be a shame to go what I went through if you aren't careful when doing it....

Monday, May 15, 2023

Welcome to Clown Town - Finally!


Picture this: the audience rolls into a seemly delightful birthday party filled with bright colors and balloons. The sounds of children laughing with glee are heard as Pixie rolls onto center stage. With her sweet smile beaming, she pops a balloon with a hint of murderous rage: "Awwww, may it rest in pieces". This begins the rock 'n' roll ride through outlandish personal stories of working as a party clown in NYC and Hollywood.

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I had tried to see "Welcome to Clown Town" the other day, and got to the theater too late to get in.  So I suggested to RQS that we go to see this play before I had to go home at the end of the weekend.

But first....

The day before, we went into Manhattan to see a film at the Quad Cinema.  Due to the weather and weekend subway schedules, RQS and I had a hard time reaching the theater from her place due to the rain and the subway's weekend schedules.  (The subway's weekend schedule usually terminates the M Train's service at Essex street, a location not convenient for most of the connections we needed to make.)  So we took a bus to catch the L Train to Union Square (where service terminated due to maintenance work), then walked the rest of the way to the theater.  Once we reached the theater, we found that we arrived too early and needed to kill an hour before the showing.  So, it was off to get something to nibble on to ease the rumbling in our stomachs before walking back to the theater in the rain to see the film.  And then, we ended up walking over to the West Village for dinner before going home.

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Sunday came, and it was time to see Welcome to Clown Town.  RQS had gotten some virtually free tickets (we only paid a service fee) to see the play, and we left for the theater an hour and a half before the scheduled performance time.  We needed each and every minute of this time, as we had to reach 36st street and 8th avenue from an area of Queens served by (formerly) BMT lines.  Like yesterday, we ended up taking the L Train into Manhattan. But, instead of walking 1.8 miles to the theater in the rain, we took a convoluted path via subways to reach the Penn Station area.

Finally we got to the theater, and had the chance to see the play.  Although it was short, it was very entertaining.  I can only imagine what this woman felt when she was hired out to perform for an hour at a gang member's children's birthday party, and the family attempted to use force to prevent her from escaping their clutches. (She was lucky to be able to use her to escape.)  If I'm in the mood, I might go to see it again before it closes.  But I doubt I'll have the chance to do so.

Next, it was out in the pouring rain and off to a diner for an early dinner.  By the time we were seated, the heavens opened up, and we were lucky to get inside without getting drenched.  And then, it was into the subway system to attempt getting home.  For what should have been a 2 or 3 train ride, it took us 5 trains to get home.  Weekend subway maintenance and the rain made a 1 hour trip take almost 2 hours, as we avoided certain bottlenecks where crowds would either force us to wait a long while for a train, or cause us to stand for an hour.

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We reached RQS's place as the rain was easing off. All too soon, I had to leave her and go home.  It'll be a bit longer than usual until I see her again.  But, this will give me a chance to see some people I don't usually have the chance to see, and to do some of the things I don't usually have the chance to do.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Queer at the Quad


This was a terrible weekend to go outside in NYC, as two separate storms would drench the city with inches of rain, and cause many streets to flood.  So, what would two intrepid movie goers do? Trek into NYC, of course, and visit the Quad Cinema to see "Little Richard - I am Everything."

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Little Richard (a.k.a. Richard Penniman) was one of the Rock & Roll greats, but one who never was able to profit from his music in the way he deserved.  As a member of the LGBT community, his hedonistic music, lifestyle and gender preference was forever at odds with his religious upbringing and the times in which he lived.  No, I am not going to recite Little Richard's life story here.  Instead, I simply want to acknowledge his ability to make being Queer less frightening to the "Rock & Roll Generation" coming to age as Richard was in his prime.

How would I have felt if I were in my prime at the same time as Little Richard? Given that I was deep in my closet, I would have been appalled by his presentation but in love with his music.  I guess that many people of his era felt the same way about the man and his music, and let him be because of those mixed feelings. If people knew how hedonistic he was when "Rock and Rolling", I think he would have drawn more hatred in an era already being threatened by the freedom that Rock & Roll could bring. So, I'm glad that he was able to survive the era, and pass on a legacy for the rest of us.

RQS and I came out of the theater with a newfound appreciation for this man, his music, his life and his accomplishments. Hopefully, my readers will take the opportunity to see this film when it plays near them, as it will be a pleasant eye-opener for those unfamiliar with his music.

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...