Saturday, August 19, 2023

Apartment Cleanup 101


I find it amazing that my apartment once looked this "Neat".  But it is getting there again.  Because RQS and I have a virtuous circle relationship, it seems that when I work on cleaning up my apartment, RQS is inspired to work on hers (and vice versa.)  This weekend, I went to RQS's place for a change, and we did a little work on cleaning out junk from her place.

But first....

Last week, RQS expressed a desire for me to go down to her place for a change, and I said yes.  This decision was fortunate, as I have to get a handyman to come to fix the tiled wall near my bathtub.  So, I took care of several errands before driving to RQS's house, one of which included donating 2 large boxes of books to a local library's thrift shop, returning another book to my local library, and talking with my building's super.

Once on the road, I hardly hit any traffic, and I reached RQS's place earlier than usual.  RQS was waiting for me with a couple of lobsters to be cooked.  Yum!  It was a good evening for a lobster boil, and she noted that it was more enjoyable than eating lobster at any local restaurant.  Both of us were tired, and we decided to hit the hay a little early for our next day's activities.

- - - - - -

The sun came out, and there was more than enough light coming in through RQS's windows to cause me to wake up much earlier than usual.  After relaxing in bed for a while, both RQS and I (mostly her) proceeded to declutter her apartment.  By the time we were ready to go for dinner, she had a couple of boxes of books to go to the donation bins.  I was tasked with bringing her old bookcase down to the trash area, and her apartment looked much cleaner for the work put into it.

Next, we got showered and dressed, and off to "Curry Hill" for dinner.  Our first stop was at the bookstore, where I picked up a guidebook to Bermuda.  Then, it was off to Third Avenue for dinner. We found a nice place via Yelp, and were lucky to get seated without reservations.  RQS said that the food was a little better than our usual NYC go-to pace.  As for me, I felt that it was as good or slightly better.  But it was $20+ more expensive for a similar meal.  (It was worth it.)

Why did we go to "Curry Hill" instead of Greenwich Village?  Tipsy Scoop!  We wanted our booze infused ice cream.  And we got it.  Yum!  We paid for it though.  We couldn't find a bus that would take us back to the subway which would return home.  In the end, we walked over 1/2 mile to find the bus stop before going into the nearby subway to go home.

- - - - - -

Sunday came, and so did more apartment cleanup. While RQS was organizing things, I fixed a problem on her computer which prevented some things from printing.  Once we showered and dressed for the day, we delivered more stuff to the local donation center before I left for the evening.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Game night and seeing an old friend - a short post.


My friend was up from Florida this week, but neither of us had the time to get together on our own.  She is blissfully ignorant of politics, and had no idea of how the governor of her state is hurting transgender youth.  Once I mentioned things as they are in the real world, she was a little upset.   But then, most people prefer to tune politics out of their lives, as they don't see the value of knowing what's going on behind closed doors leading to smoke filled rooms. I'm not out to knock this friend, as she has a warm and loving heart.  What I am out to say is that she made it to game night, and I had the first chance to see her in several years.

Tonight's game lasted way too long, and I tuned out long before the game was over.  There were way too many things to keep track of in this game, and my mind wasn't up to it - especially with two strong minded fellows "arguing" about the rules of the game.  I was only going through the motions, so that I'd have a pleasant evening - which I did.

After game night was over, I chatted outside with my friend and caught up on things.  She knows I'm trans, and it doesn't bother her.  If I weren't attached, I could see the two of us traveling together.  But, I am, and want to keep it that way.  All too soon, we had to part.  She had to drive back to Connecticut, where she was staying until the weekend, and I had to drive back to my apartment.  On the way home, I caught up with RQS on our nightly phone call.  It'll be nice to see her again, and I hope that nothing gets in the way of doing so....

Thursday, August 17, 2023

A minor disaster before lunch with a friend.


About 15 years ago, Ex-GF-M broke the soap dish on the wall on the side of her bathtub.  Today, the same happened to me, as a result of a failure of the adhesive used when this building was erected.  Yes, there is always more to it than a simple answer.  But I was lucky to have the materials around to rig up a temporary cover that should keep this section of wall dry until I can get a handyman to fix it.

My big question is: Why did this section of tile fall off?  No, I am not looking for the simple answer.  I'm looking for the root cause of failure.  Was there a tiny leak that I couldn't see that cause damage to the drywall?  Who knows?  But fixing this will cost me a little bit of money to fix, money that I don't want to spent at this time.

After covering this area with duct tape, and over that, a construction bag to provide two layers of protection, I felt comfortable that I've bought a week or two to find a handyman and then get this job done.  Now, to find that handyman....

- - - - - -

Once I was done in the bathroom, I proceeded to put on my makeup, get dressed, and out the door to see a former coworker for lunch.  My fiend wanted to eat outside, and I chose the Birdsall House in Peekskill.  I remembered that they made a great bowl of chili, so I figured that this would be a nice change of pace for the two of us.

I arrived at the Gastropub shortly before my friend, and sat down at a shady table outdoors.  We ordered our meals, and then started to catch up on things.  We discussed my travels, and her travails.  Let's just say that a problem that she's been dealing with had an unexpected development in her family life that threw her for a loop. While we chatted, a couple of wasps (the flying insect kind, not the type who qualifies for legacy admissions) bothered us enough to take our plates to an inside table where we finished our meal in peace.

All too soon, we had to go.  And for me, it was time to go home and take a nap....

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

The high point of my day would be an evening Zoom Meeting


Yesterday, I did some serious "damage" to the clutter in my living room/dining room areas of my apartment.  Today, it was time to toss out all the garbage, rearrange things, and finding homes for things displaced from their previous storage spaces.  After yesterday, I didn't need any strenuous work, and I made sure not to do any.

So, I did a little bit more decluttering work, putting books in donation boxes, and others into the remaining bookshelves that I have in the apartment.  Yet, for the most part, I wasted time during the day, and I didn't get showered, dressed and out of the house until 6:15 pm.  And it was time to get something to eat before my zoom meeting.

At the diner, I was served by a woman who was the spitting image (and voice) of someone I worked with several years ago.  I knew that she was a doppelganger for my former coworker, as my coworker lived on Staten Island with her husband.  There was no way that she'd leave project management to be a waitress.  But I'd have loved to ask the waitress about her ethnic origins, just so I could ask if she had a doppelganger relative from the Philippines living in the USA.

All too soon, I had to rush home for my zoom meeting.  (The picture above is how I appeared before everyone started signing on to the meeting.)  I can't wait for all of us to meet in Chicago in two and a half months' time.  Four gals on the town in the big city - we won't have enough time to do it all on this trip, so we may have to schedule something for next year soon....

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Getting rid of clutter - my apartment is a mess for now!


I've been taking my time in my efforts to clean out the clutter in my apartment.  The above picture illustrates an intermediate point in today's set of tasks at hand. 

But first....

There were 4 things on my docket for today:

  1. Calling the appliance service person to figure out what can be done about my refrigerator and the overflow of the drip pan below the refrigerator's condenser.
  2. Bringing my car to Mavis Tires to get its yearly New York State safety/emissions inspection.
  3. Getting my ear piercings widened, so that I can more easily wear pierced earrings as Marian.
  4. Donating a box of books to a local library's thrift store.

I had no plans to work on the stuff behind the loveseat (almost completely hidden by things in the center of the picture).  But I wanted a feeling of accomplishment, and I didn't get enough of it lately.


Around 8:00 am, I was awakened by the appliance service person.  It was good to finally chat with him.  After some back and forth, I got the feeling that he didn't want to waste my money when I could (for the most part) fix it myself - with minimal input from him.  Once I sent him the above picture, he clarified that the Screw/Bolt near the top of the picture above had to be turned to raise this corner of my refrigerator.

Finally knowing what needed to be done and how to do it, I got to work on this task.  I found my socket set (there was a lot of grime on the box), took out the correct socket and wrench, and raised the corner a little.  Let's hope that this did the job.  I'll find out over the next couple of weeks.

- - - - - -

Next came my trip to Mavis Tires.  This was the only reason that I went out in a male presentation today.  Unfortunately, the two nearby stores had problems with their new machines which print inspection stickers.  They couldn't do the job today, and they didn't know when they could do so.  (Could a trip down to the local mechanic be in the cards by mid month?)  

Since it was well before noon, I decided to skip dealing with my ear piercings, and go home for the day. On the way, I stopped at the thrift store, and unloaded a box of books from my car.  And then I was home with no plans for the day.

- - - - - - 

Around 2:00 pm, I got inspired.  I decided to tackle the task of making space behind the loveseat, and to get rid of some books I haven't read in years.  It's amazing how much I started to find as I went through the clutter.  And it was more amazing that I decided to throw out the long, 2-shelf bookcase I've had for almost 40 years.  (It came with my late wife moving in to this apartment.)  But I started on this task, and found a lot of things that I might keep, donate to charity, or toss in the dumpster.

Although I did more decluttering after I finished the bulk of this entry, I left the place a cluttered mess for the evening, and will remedy this soon.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Follow that cab! (to McDonald's?)


While RQS and I were out this weekend, we turned into a Mickey D's to eat.  And guess what we saw in the Drive-Thru lane: A Checker Cab!  If one looks carefully at the car from all angles, it's easy to tell that this car is not registered as a cab.  Instead, it was registered as a Historical Vehicle (25+ Years Old), and limited to 2,000 miles of driving each year.  They enjoyed seeing me take pictures of the car, and I enjoyed doing so.  May they have many more enjoyable miles to go in this retired cab.

Once I shot the above picture, we went inside for lunch.  Not only did they get the order wrong, but they did not bring the meals to the table as ordered at the kiosk.  (We picked up a table number, and we were called to pick up the bag with our food.)  Although RQS got what she ordered, I ordered a Big Mac meal and received a Quarter Pounder meal and a small order of nuggets.  And the nuggets had less than no flavor.  There was no ketchup in the pumps - we had to ask for packets.  The washroom had a funky smell. And we ended up with a list of 7 complaint items which I intended to forward to McDonald's headquarters.

When we got back home, I sent off my complaints to McDonald's - and received a call back a couple of hours later.  I guess the parent organization actually cares that customers have an enjoyable experience at their stores.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Sofa shopping and lobster cooking


The original plans for this past weekend had me driving to RQS's place, and us doing things in Manhattan.  Specifically, we'd go to the "Curry Hill" area of Manhattan for Indian food, then go to Tipsy Scoop for some booze infused ice cream.  It was a weekend where I was supposed to be presenting as Mario.  But hot weather was predicted for Friday and Saturday, so we changed our plans.  RQS would come to Croton this weekend, and I'd trek into NYC next weekend.  As a bonus, I could stay in Marian mode for most of the weekend.

- - - - - -

Saturday came, and we got up late.  But we still had enough time to make it across the river and do some furniture shopping.  We knew the sofa I wanted to ask questions about, and this meant dealing with a very hungry salesman.  Boy, was he hungry!  He employed many of the sales tactics an aggressive (but ethical) car salesman might use to get someone to make a deal "right now".  But there was no way I would put my Jane Hancock on a contract - if their Memorial Day sale was a guide, I expect to see a Labor Day sale price $250 lower than it was on this visit.  Yet, RQS was impressed by this person's persistence.  Unfortunately, I was not impressed by his lack of knowledge in regard to the products on the floor.  What I told RQS, and not this fellow, was that there would be no way he'd get the sale - I have to be in Mario mode when I sign a contract, and this means that we will be going to another of their outlets when I'm ready to consummate a deal.

Our next stop was at Shoprite, where I picked up some lobsters to cook this evening.  By the time we got home, RQS was getting hungry, and I wanted to get some water to boil as quickly as possible - I was hungry for lobster too.  Shortly afterward, the lobster was cooked and we were ready for our feast.  And feast, we did! 

Was she dead or alive? Inquiring minds wanted to know.

  I hadn't seen Pat in months, and I haven't been able to reach her by voice or text.  Given that she's 84 years old, I figured ...