Saturday, September 9, 2023

A trip to the sample sale

Sometimes, you get a bargain.  Sometimes, you don't.  Today's trip to Universal Standard's sample sale was mostly a waste of time.

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My plan for today was to get up and out of the house early, so that I could meet RQS at Universal Standard's sample sale.  I got showered and dressed, and out the door by noon to make it to the store by 2:00 pm.  However, my usual tardiness meant that I would not be able to pick up a snack on the way to the station, and I was lucky to know of a soda vending machine on the platform to get a soda. This was a wise choice, as the weather was warm and sticky, and not conducive to me wearing my wig. But I soldiered on anyway.

I made it into Grand Central around 1:30, and could have picked up something to eat downstairs.  Instead, I ended up deciding to see if there was a deli near the store, and got on the subway.  Although this was risky, I knew that I could hold out for a while.  And soon, I was in front of the store with 45 minutes to spare.  Now, it was time to find a deli, bodega, fast food outlet, or promising halal food cart. None of the nearby food carts had people waiting to order, so I took them off of my list.  There were no fast food outlets in my path, so I drew a line through that option.  Luckily, I was close enough to some of NYU's buildings that I stumbled into a small deli - and it was there I picked up a sandwich.  But I still had a problem.  Where do I eat?  There was nowhere to sit in the place, and it wasn't air conditioned.  Luckily, there was a bench outside, and it was dry enough to sit on it's edge and enjoy the sandwich I had just ordered.

When done with the sandwich, I walked over to the store.  To describe this place as a store leaves something to be desired.  Universal Standard hasn't had a traditional storefront since before Covid. Instead, it occasionally opens a pop-up store in the back room of its offices, where a freight elevator brings people up to that back room.  RQS had gotten a little lost getting out of the subway, and I waited for her to arrive at the ground floor of the building, sitting inside near the freight elevator.

RQS arrived, and we went up to the showroom.  It wasn't as crowded as the last time we were there, but it was still a sea of femininity there.  If it weren't as warm as it was, I'd have done what one woman did, and wore a bodysuit/unitard under her clothes to allow her to strip and not show her underwear while trying on clothes. (I may do that next time.)  Unfortunately, there was nothing special that caught my interest, although I did buy something small that I may talk about at a future date.  RQS found nothing, and we ended up going back to my place, enjoying the trip together for a change....

Friday, September 8, 2023

If you knew sushi, like I know sushi....

There is an old song that goes:

"If you knew Suzie,
 Like I know Suzie,
 Oh, Oh, Oh, What a gal..."

I rework that in my head, replacing "Suzie" with "Sushi", whenever I go out for sushi.  Today was one of those days I did just that.

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But first....

As has been happening lately, I didn't go to sleep when I wanted last night.  Knowing that I'd have a hard time waking up in time for lunch, I set multiple alarms on multiple devices to ensure that I'd be able to get ready and meet my friend with minimal delays. After showering, shaving, and making up my face, I decided to put my earrings in.  With q tolerable "struggle", I was able to do so without much effort.  This is important, as I don't want to go back to the piercing shop a third time.

At noon, I drove into Croton to meet my friend from the census.  We try to meet at least once each month to catch up on things, and today, we met at a sushi joint in town. The conversation flowed like water.  All too soon, it was time to go home - and none too soon, as I had GI Tract issues.  When done, I drove to Target to buy a bathroom / shower shelf, so that all my bath needs could be in an easy to reach place.

And then, it was time to go home.  I got on Route 133, and less than a mile from the Saw Mill River parkway was the site of a multi car accident blocking the road.  Instead of waiting for things to clear up, I drove back to the Saw Mill parkway, taking a wide detour to get home.  Given that it is raining as I write this, I'm going to close out this entry because I doubt anything more of consideration will happen tonight.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

I woke up late today, and did nothing of note.


I didn't want to get up today.  I was comfortable in bed and didn't want to get up - until I needed to take a bio-break.  That's when I looked at my watch to find that Mickey was getting held up!

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At last night's board meeting, we were frustrated by three no-shows at our zoom meeting.  Luckily, the fourth vendor gave a good presentation.  Although we need to interview more vendors, we feel good about this one.  That's enough said on that issue - I don't want to say whether I'd award him the contract, nor do I want to say what he was bidding on. 

This morning, I received an email from our managing agent, apologizing for the problem.  Since the email came from the new fellow, I am not going to jump on his back too much.  But this apology made me reconsider the wording I'd use on the meeting minutes, and I edited them before, and reword the paragraph so that the new site representative would not suffer too much from his mistake.

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Afterward, I ended up doing a lot of nothing, and this was just as well.  The Broadway play I was thinking of seeing was sold out, and I no longer had a good reason to make it into NYC.  Although I could have gone to the furniture store to buy the sofa I wanted, I decided not to leave my apartment. Do I regret doing nothing?  Yes and no.  It would be nice if I had a better reason to get up in the morning. This is a problem with retirement, and one I deal with on a regular basis.  And this is why I used to attend as many meetups as possible - I like human companionship, and it gives me a reason to rise and shine in the morning....

Wednesday, September 6, 2023



The Crystal Caves of Bermuda - a tourist destination that I want to see.  The drawback to visiting this place is (for me) the steps to reach the place - 88 steps.  This is the equivalent of walking down and up 5-6 flights of stairs.  For someone overweight with knee problems, this is not something that is done quickly. But it is doable.

Why do I mention this?

RQS and I are going to visit Bermuda in the near future.  Given the conservatism of Bermuda, I will not be traveling as my authentic self.  But I digress.  RQS doesn't know whether she will feel comfortable inside of the cave.  So I suggested that we try something out closer to home, in order to find out whether she'd like to visit this place.  (It's also an excuse to get away for a day or two, instead of hanging out in the usual places.)

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The nearest caverns similar to what we'd visit in Bermuda are found in Upstate New York.  The most famous of these are Howe Caverns.  Although I've been here before, I wouldn't mind visiting the place again.  And it is an ideal place to take RQS before our trip, as we might get to see the leaves start to change on our way up.  From what I can tell from my pictures of Howe Caverns, it will be a very different experience from Bermuda's Crystal Caves for RQS.  In New York, one walks through a narrow path, then reaches a small boat on which one reaches the far point of the tour.  In Bermuda, it looks like a walking path has been floated on a subterranean lake, where claustrophobiacs may only have their discomfort triggered by the ceiling height in the caves.

Will RQS feel comfortable in the caves?  Who knows yet?

We wouldn't make this a one day trip. This way, if RQS didn't like going through the cavern, we would stop at the New York State Museum in Albany on the way home.  It is a good museum, and well worth visiting when one's in the area.  From there, we could drive down either side of the Hudson and enjoy the sights along the way back to Croton. 


Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Taking care of business (part 3)


A week ago, electricians came to the apartment to remediate issues caused by the aluminum wiring in my apartment complex.  Not dealing with this issue would increase the possibility of a fire, and our insurance would not cover us until this work is complete.  Today was the second visit from the electricians .  However, this visit was to deal with outlets behind my bed and dressers that couldn't be reached on their first visit.  To get to these outlets, I had to dump lots of stuff into bins and boxes to get it out of the way (to be sorted out later), so that the furniture could be moved to access the outlets.

In the process of moving furniture, I found a lot of stuff that had fallen behind the dressers and bed that was too hard to get at in normal circumstances.  Once things are back to normal, I will sort through everything I put into bins and boxes to determine what stuff to keep and what stuff to trash.  This is something that everyone should do every few years, and it's been almost 30 years since I've done this because furniture movement is a daunting task for me these days.

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The electricians were supposed to be here at 9:00 am.  By 9:30, I was getting concerned that something was screwed up, as I had no notice of any problem.  So I did two things in parallel: Write an email to the co-op's managing agent to notify them of the problem, and to call them immediately afterward.  Obviously, I got someone's attention, as within 15 minutes, I found out that the electricians would be here within a few minutes.

When the electricians arrived, they were apologetic - they had come off of an emergency call (the electric had gone out in half of a person's house in White Plains), and couldn't make it back to me on time.  They were also surprised to find out that I hadn't been notified of the problem, as I would have been less anxious and annoyed at having to wait longer than expected.  Within 30 minutes, they had finished work on all 3 of my remaining outlets, furniture was back in place, and I was able to relax and take a nap.

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What I haven't mentioned about today was that I didn't get much sleep the night before.  So, when TCL called to tell me that she wasn't feeling well and couldn't do lunch today, I was a bit happy that this happened.  We can schedule lunch for when I'm more rested and awake....

Monday, September 4, 2023

A too short weekend with RQS


I've gotten spoiled.  RQS has been up here on a weekly basis, and I've enjoyed the little things she does for me - and I've told her how much I appreciate what she does for me.  Unlike my former relationships, RQS knows how I feel about her, and she's not afraid to tell me how she feels about things.  We both feel that we're fortunate to have each other in our lives.  We feel a little depressed when we have to part at the end of each weekend.

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Relaxation would become the theme for the weekend....  On Friday,  I was late getting to the train station to pick up RQS, and apologized  - Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa!  It didn't bother too much, as we ended up going for a nice drive before dinner.  (We had to pick up groceries, etc. before I could cook....)  Once home, we had a quick dinner and then relaxed.  It was nice to be able to spend a day in Marian Mode, as for the next 3 days, I'd have to present as Mario. 

The next morning, we slept late, and then took a long drive up to Dover Plains and back, stopping in a local supermarket for some Tipsy Scoop ice cream.  Unfortunately, they had only one flavor in the freezer, Mint Chocolate Chip, but it was good enough for our purposes.  So we went home, and I prepared some ribs for dinner. (You can guess what we had for dessert - something green....)

Sunday came too quickly, and I decided to drive RQS home.  I gave her a set of TV tables (small tables often used for eating TV Dinners in front of the TV) to get them out of my house.  But first, we went to my brother's place, as he had something he wanted to take care of with me.  The 3 of us had dinner, and then it was back to his place for a few minutes.  We then went to RQS's place, where Iwas lucky to find a spot in front of her place in which I could "almost fit" my car, and then unloaded stuff before heading home.

Being alone is such a lonely thing these days.  Now that I have someone in my life who accepts me as Mario and Marian, it is a little depressing when we separate at weekend's end.    But on the whole, I consider myself lucky.  How many TG's have given up on romance because they feel no longer date-able?  It's nice to know that I will not likely be in the dating pool again....

Sunday, September 3, 2023

I didn't know what to say today ...until.


As many of my readers know, I like to shop for clothes from Universal Standard.  Many of their styles do not work for me.  But when they do, I jump on them when I have the funds to do so.  Last night, I received an email advertising their upcoming sample sale - and made it a point to go.

Later in the evening, I called RQS (as I normally do at day's end) and mentioned the sale.  It looks like I'll be traveling down to NYC to meet her and do some shopping.  Whether or not I end up buying anything isn't that important.  Instead, it is the chance to go shopping and examine the styles in-person, to see if they work for me or not.

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I'm lucky to be able to share this activity with RQS.  She is a doll.  I never could have done this with XGFJ.  But then, it's been almost 4 years since XGFJ and I broke up, and I'll bet that I'm just a shadow of a memory to her these days.  Then, there is FCP.  I think of her now and then, but the loss of that friendship has lost its sting.

Lovers and friendships may come and go.  But memories can be forever.  Lately, I've been eliminating excess stuff from my apartment, and some of the things I've been pruning are related to my late wife. The other day, I wondered whether I should toss out a music box that came to my apartment when my wife moved in, and remained long after she died.  Do I want 12 place settings and some 100+ y/o etched glassware?  It's hard to decide what to keep and how to eliminate some of the stuff that may have real value.

So, it may have been a blessing that I've been forced to clean up my place, in order for the electricians have access to my electric outlets.  I can get stuff out of the way, and then get rid of the excess as I have the chance to sort through the boxes.

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...