Saturday, August 12, 2023

Lunch with a friend from the Census


Not getting enough sleep has become a habit with me, and my body keeps waking me up with the sun, only to have me hit the virtual snooze bar to rest another hour or so.  But today was different.  As much as I didn't want to get up today, I ended up doing so as I had a lunch date scheduled with a friend I met while working at the census bureau and I didn't want to disappoint her.

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My friend, CCS, is a member of Mensa, and her world intersected with mine in more than one way. When we met at the Mexican restaurant down the hill, she sent greetings from some I dated a long time ago.  (There wasn't much chemistry between me and the woman I dated.  She lived on Manhattan's West Side and I lived where I live now.  Dating her would be a headache that neither of us needed, as I was starting to come out as trans at the time. I just wonder how my name came up at CCS's out of town conference.) And then, we got down to ordering lunch....

Over lunch, we chatted about many things: my travel plans, her insurance issues, politics, and life in general.  She's the type of friend who accepts me for who and what I am.  And I am grateful to have this friendship.  CCS and Vicki will be the people I'm most likely to call when I finally get around to scheduling another colonoscopy, as these are the two friends who have volunteered to drive me on the day of my procedure.

All too soon, we had to part.  My next stop was to fill my car up at the local gas station.  I was glad that I was wearing a short, comfortable dress, as the weather was hot.  Given how hot it was today, I made the decision to be in Marian more tomorrow when I pick RQS up at the station.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Another friend bites the dust - a quick post


Years ago, I dated the woman above.  It turned into a simple friendship, as we were in different stages of life.  Mary was about to retire, and I was trying to stave off a forced retirement for a few years.  Sadly, thanks to Facebook and its habit of reminding people of posts they made years ago, I found out that my friend had died a couple of years ago.

Mary once wanted to become a nun.  However, that was not her calling.  Yet, she ended up serving people in her own way, running a restaurant, running an Airbnb, and even managing hospitality for a service organization's guest house overlooking the Hudson river.  When I last was in contact with her, she had moved back to the San Francisco Bay area, and had just found subsidized housing that she could afford.

I always wanted to visit Mary the next time I returned to the SF Bay area, but we had lost contact and I had other things on my mind for the past few years.  When I was in SF on my recent cruise, I had forgotten all about her.  So I was very surprised to find out that she passed away in 2021.  Could it have been Covid-19?  Who knows?  I remember that she had a blood disorder that she knew could kill her one day.  Could this have happened?  I doubt that I will ever find out, as I was never in her close circle of friends.

By my calculations, Mary was 77 years old when she passed away.  She lived a good life, and she was one of those rare people that no one would have a bad word to say about her.  I consider myself lucky to have known Mary for a short period in life, and I will miss having the chance to see her again....

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Seeing Vicki for Lunch


It's been a long time since I've been able to see Vicki (#2) for pleasure.  The last time I saw her, her spouse had passed away, and there wasn't a good opportunity to introduce her to RQS, except for a fleeting moment.  Today, we finally got together for lunch and we went to one of our old standby restaurants - Aberdeen Cantonese Restaurant in White Plains.

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About a week ago, Vicki suggested that we get together for afternoon tea.  This morning, she decided to make a reservation and found out that the place was closed for July.  The next place she thought of was closed for the day.  So we ended up going to Aberdeen for Dim Sum.  Yum!

Aberdeen was just as I remembered.  Although there no longer are any Dim Sum carts parading around the floor, one can order exactly what he/she wants and have it delivered quicker than the time one would wait for a Dim Sum cart to make its rounds. This ended up creating a minor problem.  We ordered several dishes that all came at once - leaving us no room on the table.  However, we worked around this problem by focusing on eating one dish at a time, so that we could clear the table of dishes as we polished off what they once had on them.

I have to note that Vicki has a non-binary offspring.  She noted that given our nation's politics, that her child had to travel in male drag - even though they have a beard, they tend to wear clothing usually associated with females.  It's a shame that she had to do this.  But given the culture of intolerance being fostered by Florida's governor, it was the safe way for her child to travel.

All too soon, we had to part.  Vicki noted that she would like to meet RQS soon.  So I'll have to find some time when Vicki and RQS are free, in order to have everyone get together for dinner.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

A trans person now living in their originally assigned gender


I'm going to try and not mention the name of the person who inspired this post.  The reason I am doing so is to protect this person's privacy - even though this person was "out" for the better part of a decade.  

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I didn't know much about the LGBT community when I decided to come out.  Even more importantly, I didn't know much about being transgender, nor did I know people who have identified themselves as trans and later decided that they were not trans.  Today, I have found out that one person I know as a M2F trans gal is going back to live as a cisgender male.

It came as a shock that this person has reverted to the gender assigned at birth.  But I saw a sign of this the other day, when I saw a post for a performance he was going to be in.  Now that I know what is going on, I am glad that I didn't make the effort to go see him that day.  I wasn't prepared to see him and be in a situation where both of us might be uncomfortable.

Reverting to a former identity is not easy, and takes as much courage as outing one's self in the first place.  This person has found that living as a trans female has helped him in his life as a cisgender male.  As for me, I have found that my male identity has improved, now that I am out and living as a bi-gendered person.  Am I trans?  Yes.  I'd rather have been born with the other "plumbing" configuration.  Yet, I don't have the severe gender dysphoria that many trans people have.  

Hopefully, this person will be happy in whatever life brings to him/her.  Will he revert to a trans identity?  Some trans people have gone back and forth between identities. Yet, most tend to retain a trans identity once they are "out" to the world.  I'm looking forward to being in contact with him sometime in the future.  But I just don't want it to be an awkward meeting.....

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Taking care of medical business

One of the problems that I've had over the years is keeping my prescriptions straight.  No, I'm not talking about which drug to take and when to take it.  Instead, it's getting the orders in sync enough, so that I can expect all of my prescriptions at the same time when I am ready to reorder them.  This is not usually something that can easily be done, as none of the processes in place are geared to sync up prescriptions A, B, C, and D that are prescribed at different times, so that they can be delivered in one periodic shipment.

As much as I have to live with the headaches of a system not designed for patient convenience, I am most annoyed by a system that relies on inefficient mechanisms to confirm that a doctor wants to renew his/her patients' prescriptions.  When a recent drug (noted above) needed physician approval for refill (my 3 x 30 day orders were up), the system depended on me to contact the physician instead of providing him/her with a list of patients/drugs up for refill, and an easy way of checking off everything needed for the approvals. (This is how I see it.  It may be much easier from my doctor's point of view.)  So I had to chase down my doctor, and have his office send in the renewal.  To make things worse, is that there is no way for me to switch a prescription to go to the mail order pharmacy - I must go through the doctor.  (Even this is reasonable, but inconvenient for people like me.)  But what happens when a prescription is lost in limbo, like the one above?

Last Friday, I noticed a problem with the above prescription.  Unfortunately, my doctor was off for the weekend.  So I had to make a phone call on Monday morning.  The problem wasn't fixed on Monday (a slip up by the doctor's office), and I had to supply even more information to the office, so that they could get things straight.  Luckily, after my call back, things finally got fixed.  With only 7 pills left in the old prescription, I'm glad things are moving forward again.

There has to be a much better way.  Is this a problem in other countries?  The American medical system is extremely inefficient, and I wish I had access to something better.  We aren't getting our money's worth.  Doctors, Nurses, and other medical staff are not getting their fair share of monies being spent on health care.  The only people making out in our system are the big players: the major hospital chains and big pharma.  Hopefully, market pressures will eventually force our system to provide better value for monies being spent on it.  But I don't see that happening in my lifetime.

Monday, August 7, 2023

I'm looking for a cheap cruise without a single supplement.


I took the above cruise a few years ago.  Would I take it again?  Probably not.  But, if I were to see a cheap cruise like it offered on Princess without a single supplement that sails out of New York, I'd jump at the chance to take it.

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There is a problem with cruising.  In many ways, its like taking a tour bus, except that it covers a larger area on water.  If I were to take a tour bus to see the sights in San Francisco, the knowledge that I'd gain from that bus ride would give me an idea of where to focus my exploration on a day to day basis.  Cruising is much the same, as it helps familiarize a person with the important things that can be seen in a coastal area.  In the Caribbean, I like to say that each island consists of 3 main things: a beach, a fort, and a shopping district.  The size and scope of these things differ from island to island, but for the most part, there is not much difference between the islands.

With the above being said, cruising can be a great way to detach from the world.  When I was still employed by the bank, I found that NOT being able to read my emails or make phone calls from the ship forced me to disconnect.  There is an art to disconnecting from the world.  But once it is mastered, one can relax without pressures of the outside world getting in the way.  (Leave your phone on, and you can receive both a large phone bill upon your return and bad news to be processed while still on the ship.) 

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So, why do I cruise?  I guess it's habit.  I've gotten used to the idea of staying in a hotel that moves from port to port, and not having to pack and unpack at each destination.

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Reading a 40+ year old book


Most people only know of the movie based on this book and its sequel.  There is no way that I was going to spend $250+ to buy a used copy of this book, so I decided to try to get an inter-system loan of the book from my local library.  Last week, the book came in to the library, and I picked it up.

Unlike most books withdrawn from the local library, inter-system loans are not renewable. Inter-system loans MUST be returned to the library from which they were borrowed.  A $2.00/day late charge is charged for any book not returned on time.  So I made it my highest priority to read this book as soon as I got it, and did just that.  I might just reread it before I return it, as I doubt that I will ever have a hard copy of this book in my hands again.

The movie follows the basic theme of the book without the setup for a possible sequel.  However, the book is much darker, as Eddie is known to be dead, and vultures are circling to find Eddie's lost recordings. Unlike the movie, the "Wordman" character is always front and center throughout the book, save for when people are relating their stories about Eddie.  All of the important descriptions of Eddie and his band have been carried from the book to the film.  

Luckily, I saw the movie before reading the book.  If I had read the book first, I'd have been disappointed in how the story was adapted to allow for a sequel.  But, having seen the movie, I can appreciate the book even more, as I separate out all the chaff from the story in my mind as I read the book.  If you get a chance to read this book - do so.  It is worth the time and effort.

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...