Saturday, April 27, 2024

HVRW Restaurant Week - Le Provincal w. Vicki


Hudson Valley Restaurant week (HVRW).  It comes twice each year, and I try to have at least one fancy dinner with Vicki each time it comes by.

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As you would expect, I usually present myself as Marian when dining with Vicki.  During HVRW, I always try to dress up a little when going to nice restaurants, and I made sure that I was wearing a nice dress with stockings (actually, tights) when she picked me up.  (I rarely present as a male when with Vicki.) Tonight's dinner was at Le Provincal, a French bistro in Mamaroneck. This is one of our go-to places for French food, but one we rarely eat at because of its normal price.  HVRW makes this place affordable to us, as we would likely spend close to $200 for a meal for two.

Vicki drives differently than I do, and this is not a criticism or compliment.  Like me, she tries to drive safely, but I noticed the differences in driving style, as I was a passenger for this trip.  Arriving in Mamaroneck, Vicki moved close to the center of the street so she could slide into a parking spot both quickly and easily.  However, some woman (Vicki used another word) decided to slide in between her and the cars to her right, stealing the spot from Vicki.  I looked at the driver, and I noticed that she was likely an immigrant from a place where cutting into lines was accepted, and that there would be no gain from arguing with a person who is that inconsiderate.  Vicki wanted to block this woman from getting to the parking spot, and I wanted to get another packing spot which would likely open up near the restaurant.  Eventually, Vicki relented, and we got a spot much closer to the restaurant than the first spot was.

Dinner was excellent (as usual), but the wait staff we expected to see was off for the night.  The dinner more than made up for the loss of the parking spot.  Sadly, dinner was over too soon, and we took the long way home to chat.  (It helped that Vicki missed my exit, and took side roads back to my place.)  All in all, this was a pleasant evening.  But next time, I'll do the driving.


Friday, April 26, 2024

It's amazing how apathetic some people can be.


As readers of this blog know, I am on my co-op's board.  Tonight we held our third yearly meeting, where we failed to reach a quorum.  Given that our apartments are sizable investments, it surprises me that so few people show up for our yearly meeting.  Tonight, we had only 33% of the shareholders present that we would need to have an official meeting.

Unlike most co-op board meetings, I can talk about what we discussed tonight, as it occurred in a public forum.  Before people showed up, I made reference to my transgender nature because one person didn't respect our co-op's president and deferred to me because I often present as a white male.  (Little does he know!)  I asked this woman whether she thinks it is because she is black or if she is female.  And she thinks that it's a little bit of both.  That's when I showed her a couple of pictures of RQS, noting that RQS is what used to be called as "passable".  (Later on, RQS reminded me that when summer comes, one can more easily see the color in her skin.)

There was a point where our president passed a question to me to answer, and I mentioned a lot of things to explain why we can't give more notice for potential maintenance increases.  Hopefully, I was able to satisfy the shareholder's need for an answer.

I was glad when the meeting ended, as I was tired and wanted to go home to rest.  And after my nightly call to RQS, rest I did....


Thursday, April 25, 2024

Lunch with Maria - with a closeup view of MNRR/Amtrak


Today, Maria and I finally got the chance to meet for lunch.  She has her hands full raising her two grandchildren, as well as taking care of a daughter who is not responsible enough to take care of herself and her children.  So, we get together much less often than we would like.  But when we do, the conversation flows like the Niagara river.

Maria wasn't in the best of moods when we got together, as she had several problems on her mind.  I listened a bit, and gave some suggestions when asked. But for the most part, I let her speak until she was ready to let me jump in with the changes going on in my life.  While chatting, both Metro North and Amtrak trains passed by the restaurant, and we had to suspend our conversation for a few seconds while the trains passed by.

I asked Maria if her older daughter was likely to get married, and she noted that this daughter wasn't yet ready for a husband, children, or any of the other situations a woman in her 20's might find herself in. So I had a little fun in mentioning that I'm looking for a good excuse to make myself as pretty as possible again, to wear a fancy dress, and go out in the world as Marian to a formal affair.  Maria smiled at that.  I'm not so sure if this would ever happen, but it would be nice if it does....

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

The car is no longer mine - a quick post


DCD and I finally did it.  Tonight, I signed over the car to him, and he can start the process of getting the car back on the road.

I'll miss this car.  But my current car is a better choice for me.  I need the safety features in the car, as I no longer have the alertness that I had 50 years ago.  Even now, I have started thinking about how long I will continue to be able to safely drive a car.  I'm roughly 67 years old, and I can see the differences between how I drove when just a few years younger and how I drive now.

Hopefully, the car will serve him well.  I wish him the best while he owns it, as he really needs a set of wheels to commute to and from his job.

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On other matters, I picked up my tax paperwork today and then filed these forms.  State taxes were in the range I expected, but at the low end of the range.  Federal taxes were slightly overpaid, so I will eventually get a refund which will go to my clothing budget.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

I now wish I hadn't booked an upcoming cruise


Before anyone gets any wrong ideas, I am still looking forward to my cruise.  But the conditions which made me select this cruise at this time have changed, and I would have preferred to be taking a different cruise with RQS later in the year.

But first....

My uncle passed away last night.  After 91 years on this planet, it was time for his soul to depart his body and travel into the unknown - whatever that might be.  He lived a long and successful life, having won more than one industry awards in a highly competitive and visible industry.  (Let's just say that you might have seen him win one of his awards 50 years ago, or so.)  He was always there for his family when he was needed, and I'll always be grateful for the assistance he offered when my wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Last year, I chose to take a California Coastal Cruise, as a fallback if my uncle wasn't up to being visited.  Sadly, he had severely damaged his hip the autumn before, and it never healed enough to allow him to walk again.  (He fell trying to take care of a wife who was suffering with dementia, when his wife should have already been placed into a care home.)  When we visited Los Angeles last June, he had just been told that he'd never walk again.  With everything going on in his life at that time, I made it a point to try and visit him again while he was still above ground.  Today, I got the news that I was about a week or two too late.

Right now, the person in charge of my uncle's affairs has not made any arrangements for my uncle's memorial service/gathering.  I likely will not be able to attend this service if held before mid May, as my prior commitments preclude making any trips.  And, even if I could attend, I will not know any of the people who would be attending this service/gathering, as they are all industry insiders.

At least, there is one good thing to come out of all of this.  I will not need to bring along any male garments for my upcoming trip. (I'm sure that my uncle would have found a way to write a humorous story about this if he wasn't the person in the casket....)

Monday, April 22, 2024

This weekend flew by way too quickly!


I'm not going to say too much about this past weekend, save that it flew by way too quickly!

Friday came, and I picked up RQS in Marian mode, as it would be the only day I'd be able to present as a female until next week.  After a night's rest, we decided to go out and see Ennio, the documentary about the great movie score writer, Ennio Morricone.  RQS used to make jokes about this man's name (nothing nasty, just cute), but now she knows how respected he is in the music world.  If you haven't had the chance to listen to this man's music, you must be living in an impermeable bubble.  From scores for "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" to "The Hateful Eight", Morricone has proven himself to be a composer in the same league as Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms.  So, if you can, see this documentary - it will open your eyes to the greatness of this man in the world of music.

Sunday was very different, as we met TCL for dinner in her neighborhood.  Yum!  What more can I say?  Only one bad thing I can say - the restaurant isn't closer to me.  We could have chatted a bit longer, but all of us were getting tired after 2 1/2 hours of chatting at the restaurant.  All too quickly, Monday came, and RQS had to go home.  I accompanied her to Grand Central, then departed to pick up my taxes. Now, I don't have to worry about this task anymore.  Yet, I missed seeing the eclipse.  That's not such a bad thing, as I'll have 20 years to prepare for the next one.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

I'm still cleaning out my old car - a quick post.


Right now,  my old car is sitting in my driveway.  The plates are off the car, and I'll soon be signing the paperwork needed to transfer the title to DCD.  Although I don't intend to clean out the car completely, I will take most of the next week to gradually get the rest of my crap out of the car, so that DCD can vacuum it out at his leisure.

I'll miss this car.  But I like the car I'm driving now.  It has quite a few miles before it gets mechanically old.  That's a good thing, as I don't want to have the car die on the road while I'm presenting as Marian.  (This happened with my PT Cruiser after 120k miles, and I didn't think it worth while to install a new transmission on a car that was worn out.)

In certain ways, a new car is like a new life.  Given that I have bloomed because I am out as Marian, I wanted a car that reflected my risk adverse nature and a car which I could enter and exit in a lady like fashion.  My new car allows me to do that.

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 ...