Saturday, September 16, 2023

It's a holiday weekend!


I'm not sure if my readers have noticed this, but I usually am a couple of weeks behind in my published posts.  The reason for this is that I don't want to give away my current location when I travel.  By doing this, I can always play catch-up with my posts when I return.  Hopefully, this explains why I gave this entry its title.

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Some quick thoughts on how I expect things to go:

RQS is coming up later today, and my place is a mess.  That's OK for now, but I have to clean it up a little before she gets here.  I'm not sure of how I plan to dress when she arrives.  But if I'm wearing trousers, it may be a surprise for her.

Sometime this weekend, we will be going to either Shoprite or Stew Leonard's to buy some live lobsters while they are on sale. My refrigerator is already filled to the gills, and I don't know where I'll put the lobsters while I'm waiting for the water to boil in which I'll cook them.  

I'm tempted to take a drive up to the New York State Museum (an exhibit is pictured above) over the weekend.  Saturday may be the best day for this long drive, as we can take our time going up to Albany and coming back to Westchester county in the evening.  Unlike my last long drive to the North Country, I plan on avoiding speed traps by taking slower routes on this trip.

Sunday may be a day spent nearby, where we may go to see a movie.  The third movie in the Equalizer series interests me, only because of its leading star.  With that being said, I'm not sure if I want to see another "action" film.

And Monday, RQS and I will be going to Yonkers to spend the day with the Game Night crowd.  RQS is usually busy on Thursdays, and would rarely see these people   But she was there once, and enjoyed being with these people.  So she's thinking of making them a dessert this weekend.  At least, it will not require the use of my oven....

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As you can tell, I didn't have much to say about my life today, save for my plans for the weekend.  Later on, I'll find out whether things went according to plan....

Friday, September 15, 2023

I had two reasons to get up, and I was glad I did


Strangely enough, I didn't need my alarm to wake up today.  Instead, I fell out quickly after a short bio-break, and still got moving early enough to do things during the day.  On my list was doing 2 loads of laundry, and then going out to dinner with Vicki.

Although this was going to be a Marian Mode evening, I presented as Mario when I went downstairs to do the laundry.  Two loads, and just in time.  RQS comes up tomorrow for a long weekend, and I want to make sure that she has clean sheets to put on the bed when she's here.  (It's a lot nicer for her with clean sheets, and I wait for her to arrive to put fresh ones on the bed.)  If I'm lucky, I'll find the time to fold everything before she gets here, but....

Around 6:00, I arrive at Vicki's place and we then go to Lefteris for dinner.  Vicki has lost the weight she wanted, and now should qualify for the procedure she wanted to have done several months ago.  Both of us consider Lefteris our go-to restaurant for Greek food, and both of us felt sated at the end of the meal.

As you can see, as long as I have something that motivates me to get up, I will do so.  Today was a good day for me, and I'll be looking forward to a long weekend with RQS.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Rambling on a little....


When I have no urgent commitments for the day, I tend to do nothing.  Today, I did it well.  My energy levels usually don't start rising until the afternoon.  And then, it's often too late to do much of anything. This was my day today. With that being said, I still got around to doing a little reading - something I don't make enough time to do. 

One of the things I usually put off doing is laundry.  Most of us tend to put this task off until we have enough whites or colors to fill a basket, and do the laundry one load at a time.  Living in an apartment, I have to do the laundry within a certain time period during the day, and it's not convenient for me. So, it's a task I put off until I have no choice but to take care of it.  And that will be the first thing I do tomorrow.

Like many procrastinators, I tend to put off certain tasks that I hate doing.  In my case, it's dealing with people.  I have to figure out how to get rid of a sofa, and feel much more comfortable communicating with emails, than to pick up a phone and talk with a human.  (Could it be a fear of having "no" told to me?  Or, is it a simple case of ambivalence?  Who knows?)  I did make a call to the Salvation Army to see if they could accept a donation of my sofa, and if they could pick it up.  Unfortunately, their phone system has people call a central number, which then gets forwarded to a regional site - and that site was busy.  No provision was made to take a message.  Then, I sent an email to a local outlet of Habitat for Humanity to ask the same question .  And this time, I got a response - the person I need to reach won't be back until after the holiday.  Until I know how and when my sofa will leave this apartment, I can't buy its' replacement.  AARGH!!!!

Given everything, I shouldn't be in a rush to spend money.  I have bills coming in, and I shouldn't touch my 401k unless I need to do so.  At least, I have this option, where many people my age don't have my resources.  Right now, I have 4 known big ticket expenses to plan for:

  1. New Car
  2. New Sofa
  3. New Mattress
  4. Norway Cruise

Of these, I only plan to finance the car with a bank loan - everything else will be paid for out of current income or savings.  But, I won't get financing from a dealer.  Most can't be trusted as far as one can spit.  If I see anything questionable on the deal, I will walk away - as I did last year when a dealer in Goshen, NY decided to hide a bogus $900 charge in the contract. 

You'll notice that I've said nothing about my partner or being transgender.  As I've noted elsewhere, this blog chronicles my life. Being trans or having a partner are only parts of my life.  But I do take interest in current events involving the transgender community, such as Canada's recent advisory to those in the LGBTIQ community in regard to visiting the USA.  It's sad to know that our Northern Neighbor would protect my rights more than my country would protect mine....

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

I had less than no energy for most of the day - a short post


I have mentioned my problems getting up in the morning, but today was a doozy!  I ended up staying in bed well past 11:00 am, and still had no energy to get up when I awoke.  It wasn't until 1:00 pm when my body started to have any energy, and I knew that I had to get moving, or I wouldn't have anything to eat before our scheduled co-op board meeting.

With all of the above being said, I still had a productive day.  We had a successful co-op board meeting, and we were able to choose a vendor for some important work we need to have done for us.

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I'm grateful to be able to talk with the people on the co-op board, as they gave me a couple of good ideas on what I can do with my old sofa just before I buy its replacement.  The only problem is that I have to work to figure out how I will dispose of the sofa - and that will take time.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

My brother just booked a cruise.


I won't go into many details here, save those which do not identify my brother in any way.  This means that I won't identify him by name, the ship he will sail on, or when he will sail.  But I can tell you about how quickly he made the decision to take his first cruise.

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Yesterday, I received an email from my brother containing the cruise itinerary of one of his friends.  Given that I had no warning about this, the message took me by surprise.  Later in the morning, I found that my brother left me a message on the phone to look at this itinerary to find out what I thought about it.  So I gave it some thought and came up with the following items:

  1. Sailing on a new ship costs more money than sailing on an older ship.
  2. Booking airfare via the cruise line can be hit or miss.  I did well with NCL booking my air for my Hawaiian cruise, even though its choice of flights may not have been what I would have chosen. Others have reported that NCL's flight bookings left much to be desired, and often had unrealistic times between flight segments.
  3. The Mediterranean during peak season is hot.  Often, temperatures stay above 40°c (104°f) for days at a time.  American travelers often stick out like sore thumbs, as we look for "American" ways to deal with the heat, and not dealing with it the way the natives do.
  4. His route's cruise ports are 60-120 minutes from their associated cities.  This means that he will need to plan his shore excursions carefully.

My list was longer than this, and it included details specifically related to him and his wife.  When I called my brother, he was overwhelmed by what I was saying and made an excuse to end the call.  RQS and I fleshed out the list a little mode, along with suggestions that he view some videos made by cruise vloggers we watch regularly.

This evening, I was surprised to find that he booked this cruise with less than a couple of days of thought.  He really wanted to take this cruise.  Hopefully, he'll have taken my advice in regard to booking an internet package for when he's on the ship.  (I expect that he'll keep up to date on his commitments at home.)

I'd have recommended that he take a shorter, more local cruise before taking this cruise.  However, he has a habit of trying to bite off more than he can chew.  Hopefully, he has not done so with this cruise. We'll find out sometime towards the end of 2024.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Furniture shopping - again...


Now that I know what I want, I have to figure out a way to get the furniture into my apartment, and get the older stuff out.  And I don't want to spend a lot of money doing this.

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I've been tracking the price of this sofa for a while.  The price has stayed relatively stable, as it is the store's top of the line brand for reclining sofas.  Having viewed this sofa several times as Marian, I couldn't go into any of these stores as Mario to make the deal.  So I went to a new outlet and met up with a new salesman as Mario - and he gave me the information I needed to do the deal, save one: I needed to have answers on how to get rid of the old sofa.  For this, I will need to make additional arrangements, such as calling a firm like Junkluggers to remove the old sofa.

One annoying thing I noticed was that the online price was $130 less than the in-person price for the sofa.  I'll bet that this will be negotiable with the salesperson when the time comes. Until then, I'll do my research on how to get rid of the old sofa and when to do so.  Ideally, I'll be able to get the town to dispose of it on bulk pickup day, and all I would need to do is get a couple of people to help me lug the old sofa out to the dumpster area.

Once I'm done with this, I have other things I need to do - such as buying a new coffee table. Hopefully, I'll find something I like soon.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Looking for lobsters, and we didn't find any.


The North American Lobster - a treat to many.  And yet, these animals were once so plentiful that they were fed to prisoners, slaves and apprentices during the American colonial era.  Today, they are considered a delicacy, and I only buy them when they are on sale.

Last night, RQS and I planned to go to the local ShopRite after seeing a movie to take advantage of a sale they were having.  Lobsters were on sale for $7.99/lb.  That meant that I could stock up on lobster, cook a couple for the two of us to eat that evening, and have the meat for lobster salad over the next day or so.  Unfortunately, this was a mistake.  Before we made it to the store, they were all sold out of live lobsters. But we didn't know this when we went to the store.

Arriving at the store, RQS went to pick up some things while I headed to the seafood department.  The fellow behind the counter told me the bad news when I asked for lobsters.  So, I picked up a tray of two partially cooked lobsters (with potatoes and corn) ready to be steamed to perfection.  At that time, an announcement came over the PA system - Lobsters were on sale for $7.99.  So I sent RQS over there to find out what was going on, since I was there already.  That's when we found out that all of the announcements were on a prerecorded loop, and that no one could stop them if a selected item was sold out.

We then went home to try the "heat and eat" lobster dinner, and were both impressed and disappointed at the same time.  The seasoning for the food was very good, and we plowed through the food quickly.  However, both the quantity of lobster and preparation instructions (tiny lobster, with no reheating information) took away from the enjoyment of the dish.  (RQS had to saute the lobster meat in the tails because it was underdone.)

Would we do this again?  Maybe, but only if I wanted to reheat everything in my oven, and not using a steamer for the lobster.

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...