Saturday, March 9, 2024

Connecting with someone - A short post

 


Today's post will be short.  I had been exchanging emails with someone, and we finally had the chance to chat.  The chat was pleasant, and we will likely have lunch soon.

Why is this important?

Well, to answer that question takes time.  But I'm not going to answer it here.  Instead, I can say that this person was glad that I found someone nice in RQS, and I am glad that she has found someone nice.  It'll be a good thing when we finally meet again.

Reconnecting with people can be both a good and bad thing, depending on the types of ties that bind people together.  One person I know met up with a former roommate for a long weekend, and couldn't wait for that weekend to be over.  Other times, it's like the years that passed were like hours, and things pick up as if nothing happened in between.  In my case, it was good to reconnect.

- - - - - -

Lately, I've been trying to reopen things with a friend from my college days.  A lot of stuff has gone on in his life, much of it related to health and family issues.  His story reminds me of Tolstoy's opening quote from Anna Karenina:

"All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

With my friend, this is all too true.  I knew him to have an unhappy relationship with his parents and siblings from high school days.  Now, things are even worse.  Hopefully, things will get better from him soon.  At least, he's found a way to retire from his second career.....

Friday, March 8, 2024

The Ice Box has been delivered, and I still have a problem.


I was awake at 6:00 am for one reason only - I was to expect my refrigerator to be delivered somewhere between 7:15 am and 10:15 am.  Normally, I don't want to get up until 10:30 am, so I knew that I had to set multiple alarms to make sure I was up in time.

Not knowing when the delivery men would arrive, I had to postpone getting together with a new friend. As luck would have it, I didn't need to do this.  The delivery men came around 9:30 am.  Now, when I get a call telling me that someone is "here", I'd think they'd be in front of my doorway.  No.  They were in front of the doorway next door, and blocking a couple of cars.  Shouting out to the two men, I let them know where I was, and they proceeded to unload the refrigerator.

Given that I live up some stairs, they wanted to get the hard job of bringing the refrigerator to my floor before removing the old device.  This wasn't much of a problem.  But it was a problem getting the old refrigerator out of the apartment, and the new one into the apartment. Yet, with a little elbow grease and taking a door off its hinges, this task was accomplished.  Soon enough, the new ice box was in place, and the two delivery men were on their way.

But I still had a problem....

The installation process did not go well - the bottom door of the ice box kept opening.  Over the years, the weight of refrigerators has helped cause the floor to shift out of being level - and I found that I'll need some shims to level the ice box.  Until then, I'll put something heavy in front of the door, and that should keep the door shut until the ice box has been properly leveled.  Too bad that I didn't buy the store's service contract - I'd be calling them back today, and having them do the leveling for me.

Later on, after a day's rest, I went out food shopping.  $100 later, I had many of the things I needed to restock the refrigerator.  And I found that the lightweight stool I used to keep the door shut wasn't working.  So, I figure that a 2 liter bottle of Snapple may help with this problem for now....

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Getting ready for the new ice box

 

 
I can only imagine what it was like in the days when the Ice Man came every day to refill one's ice box.  Home mechanical refrigeration was only a dream for many people 100+ years ago.  Even now, many of us old timers still use the phrase "Ice Box" when we refer to a refrigerator.  And yet, I've been treating my cupboard as my nourishment supply until my new refrigerator is delivered.

To prepare for the new refrigerator, I have emptied almost everything I could from the old machine and tossed it.  Foodstuffs which were not opened that didn't need refrigeration for storage (i.e. Catsup) were left in the old machine to be removed in the morning.  Since the freezer was working (as of this morning), I will put those items into Styrofoam cooler chests once I get the 30 minute warning.  Virtually everything else can be taken out quickly or tossed quickly.

Luckily, I ordered a simple refrigerator - no water dispenser or ice maker.  The simpler the device is, the less that will go wrong.  That means that I should be able to expect a 12-15 year lifespan for the unit.  By that time, I will likely be moving out of this place for a home on a single level - no stairs to climb.  I expect that the old device should be out the door within 15 minutes of the truck's arrival, and that the new device should be in place 30 minutes after that.

Once the new refrigerator has been installed, I will get showered and dressed, then fill up the ice box with replacements for the stuff I had to throw out.  Hopefully, it will perform as well as the old one did.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

The future looks scary, and not for the expected reasons.

 

Even though I am turning 67 this year, death hasn't yet scared me that much.  I still see a future ahead of me, and then - who knows?  But what does scare me is that I am transgender, and that the "religious right" in politics is targeting people like me for their pogroms.

- - - - - -

Recently, I awoke to a rerun of a program discussing how the Christian Nationalists are plotting to take over the levers of American government and take away hard earned rights from the LGBTIQ community.  This scares me, as I have been open enough to be easily persecuted if the worst happens.  Yet, I feel that I will have enough time to pack up my bags and find a temporary home if the worst happens.

But why does the fear of religious persecution keep me up at night, and not that of death?

All people die.  Why worry about something you can't control or avoid?  But being persecuted is something I might be able to avoid, and history has shown that it is possible if one is able to act early enough.  Right now, I fear that I might be living in the equivalent of Germany's Weimar Republic of the 1920's, and that we may soon enter the equivalent of the Third Reich of the 1930's.  Given that we know what happened to Germany in 1945, there is a lot for a thinking person to be worried about.

Do I have a plan for the worst case scenario?

Right now, I am working on an escape plan.  But this is not enough.  Anyone who leaves this mess may need to bring their money with them as well.  If I were in my 20's, I'd leave this country and put down roots elsewhere.  Canada might not be a good option, as I remember what happened to Austria when the Nazis had power.  The last thing that the US or Canada needs is to unify under a single government.  Ireland or the UK would be good options, but could they maintain their own independence? 

In youth, it's easy to find places where one can start life anew.  If I had to leave the US when I was in my 20's, I'd have had my choice of English speaking nations.  But 40 years later, I no longer have the skills that would make me desirable candidate to be accepted in a new country.

So, what am I doing?

For the most part, I'm speaking my truth to others, hoping they will see the dangers coming from the right.  Sadly, I think identity politics is finally going to get the best of America, and that I may find myself looking for the nearest border if the worst happens....

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Buying a new Refrigerator


I might have mentioned that I have a refrigerator that's on the fritz.  Although the freezer is working perfectly, the main compartment is unable to keep things cool enough for safety.  Something is wrong, and I cannot fix it.  So, I am replacing the unit before I have to throw away everything in the freezer.  (Even then, I still expect that I might have to toss some stuff because it's been stored too long.)

- - - - - -

Instead of car shopping, the first task of the day was to drive to the store where we made the salesman's day.  After telling him what we wanted, we were escorted to the appliances department where we were shown a group of refrigerators.  I asked only one question: Of all of these brands, which is the most reliable?  He answered that the Frigidaire was the most reliable, and I made my choice: Today's version of the same refrigerator that is in my apartment.  It was likely the quickest sale he'd make all week - and the week had barely started.

After this, RQS and I drove to Walmart to pick up some cheap Styrofoam coolers in which I could store freezer food while the new refrigerator is being installed.  If I'm lucky, it'll be cold enough for these containers to be left on my fire escape landing while the old refrigerator is taken out and the new one is put in its place.  By the time we were done, it was time to go to the train station to drop her off.

Once back home, it was time to rest before changing into Marian mode and going to a meetup in Mamaroneck.  Since this town was part of my old stomping grounds from where I worked for 25 years, I knew how to get to the restaurant quickly.  And yet, I was still late.  YGD had texted me to find out whether I was coming or not, even though I had left a message in the meetup's comment area that I might be late.  But I got there shortly after the text had been sent.

Once done with my meal, it was time to go home.  Luckily, I was on the road by 7:30 pm, as by 9:00 pm, I was out for the night.  Sleep was my companion for the evening, and with a brief awakening around 11:30 pm to get up to go to the bathroom and then to bed, I was out until the next morning.....

Monday, March 4, 2024

Forgetfulness

 


One thing many seniors notice as we age is that we have a harder time recalling things.  I fear extreme memory loss, as I would lose many of the emotional skills I've developed since I was middle aged.  

- - - - - -

We all have times where a word takes time to come to mind, where other mental pathways need to be used to access the right word to communicate an idea. As we get older, many of us get up and forget for a minute why we did so.  Given that people close to me have suffered with dementia, I can say that is one of my least favorite ways that I could progress to meeting my maker.

So, what does this have to do with being transgender?

Well, if I go too much further down my path, I could be in a situation where my body doesn't match what mind tells me I am at the current moment.  In the extreme case, I could see a totally feminized version of me thinking I was male, only because that is how I identified while younger.  That would be a form of hell for me and the people who would take care of me.

These are the type of thoughts that slow me in my path towards femininity.  If I were in my 20's with years to reprogram my mind, I wouldn't worry much.  However, I am in my mid 60's, and realize how important mental imprints are when a person ages.  In senility, the oldest memories are the ones that go last.  And this is what can keep me up at night.

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Sometimes, one has to take a break to think a little

 


My original plan for this Sunday was to get up and get out of the house by noon, so that we could visit one or two car dealerships (Mazda & Subaru) to close out the weekend.  Well, that didn't happen, because we decided to stay indoors and not brave the cold.

However, I found that I might need to buy a new refrigerator soon, and I must start preparing for that day.  It's amazing how much food I have stored in the freezer, and how much I'll have to either store at a friend's place (or eat) before the ice box dies.  Luckily, I can afford to replace the refrigerator right now.  But I'm hoping that I can empty the old ice box before it dies.

- - - - - -

As I write this, I am watching "The Doors" on Amazon.  It's a good film, but it makes me feel sad.  No one would do an intervention for him, and he was a walking time bomb ready to destroy himself at any moment.  It seems like great musicians die of car crashes, plane crashes, drug overdoses, or gunshot wounds.  An unnatural death for a musician, as I like to put it, is to die in one's sleep at a very old age.  But why is this so?  I think greatness in the arts is often counterbalanced with a sickness in the soul that comes out in unhealthy behaviors.

I look at myself in my former career.  My greatest achievements took place when I was fighting off my worst demons.  When I started to get my act together and heal my soul, I got less interested in what I was doing. By the end of that career, I was just going through the motions - I'd been there and done that.

- - - - - -

I consider myself lucky.  Although I have lost most of my passion, I have peace of mind.  And this allows me to have a healthy relationship with RQS.  I am very thankful for that. And I am also very thankful that she accepts me for who and what I am, as most women would be scared of being in a relationship with a transgender person.

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...