Sunday, September 25, 2016

Lunch Anyone?

Louis' Lunch. A small little place selling the most important meal of the day.  I've wanted to go here for a while, but I never had the excuse to do so until today. And it was well worth the effort.

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But let me start at the beginning of the day....

GFJ stayed overnight, and neither of us wanted to get moving until noon.  One problem - GFJ does not like to see me in Marian Mode, so I had to wait for her to leave the house until I started to change into Marian.  This gave me precious little time to get showered, made up, and dressed before leaving to see YGM in New Haven.

Initially, YGM protested (that's way too strong a word) that it would be an hour's drive for her. But when she realized that I had a 2 hour drive to get there, she realized that 1 hour is not that bad a drive on a nice day.  So she left her kids (and hubby) at home, and drove to New Haven for a late lunch.

Neither of us had been to this area of New Haven before. Getting off the highway, I expected to see a run down area. But I was surprised once I got a few blocks from the highway's service road. Without realizing it, I was about a block away from Yale University. YGM had driven a little bit in the area, and was pleasantly surprised herself - especially with her Mother having bad mouthed New Haven in the past. So we stumbled into each other (finally) on a nice day, ready to have a nice lunch together.

Walking into the place, the first thing one notices is a small menu - you have a choice of ordering either a hamburger or a cheeseburger, with tomatoes and onions or without. Having catsup on your burger is a no-no there, as the owners have (for years) enforced a policy of "have it our way". And I can't blame them, because the burger is THAT good. Sadly, the place is too small, so when we finished our cheeseburgers, we figured that it would be best to walk around the block.

On our walk, we stumbled into Yale University - and realized why there was so much life in the neighborhood.  Starbucks was too crowded for hanging out. As a result, we walked down the block to a wonderful dairy shop which sold great ice cream and wonderful cheeses.  Too bad I couldn't take any of them home, as I had a dinner date with YGWM and her daughter at 6:00 pm.

- - - - - -

Sadly, 5:00 pm came way too quickly, and both YGM and I had to part.  I drove to Stamford (with a stop in Catherine's to window shop) at my usual breakneck speed, and was able to get to the restaurant (Barcelona Wine Bar) roughly on time. Stamford has a lot of parking, but virtually all of it off street, and all of it metered. So it took me a few minutes to find a spot and pay for it before I was able to walk to the restaurant. 

YGWM waved to me, and YGWM's daughter was there as expected. It was nice to have an outdoor table when the weather was perfect for sitting outside.  The three of us hit it off like old friends, and the three of us ladies enjoyed a wonderful dinner together - until YGWM had a severe allergic reaction to cigarette smoke coming from next door. (That's a problem when one is seated outside.) So we broke things up early, and went our separate ways.

- - - - - -

I had nothing better to do, so I drove to The Avenue in Co-Op city, where I could try on a couple pairs of shoes, as well as a couple of dresses.  The size 13-W pumps fit well, but there was no way I was going to spend $65 on shoes I could get for less if I wait a little while. And then there were the three little black dresses.  Only one of them held my interest.

At 40% off, this dress was priced right.  Although it didn't hide much of my fat, at least it made my fat look feminine and almost got me to spend money to put it in my overflowing closet.  But I was in no mood to spend money without realistic need, so I passed on the dress.

Now, I had earlier talked with Pat, and she told me that Fran was trying to get people to sit at the table she was sponsoring at the GLBT Center's yearly gala. Although Fran offered to pay half of Pat's fee (she knows Pat has no money), I didn't want to have Fran subsidize me (if I chose to go) as I didn't want to owe her anything.  But going would have given me the excuse to buy the dress, and take a day with me away from GFJ - something I don't want to do until the work on the family homestead is done for a while.

- - - - - -

Hopefully, I'll have more opportunities to see YGM and YGWM in the future. But I think it will take the end of work on Long Island to do so.... 


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Quickie: Another good day at work. Will this be the start of a good trend?

This will be a quick post, as GFJ is coming over in a few minutes, and we'll be rushing out to see the new documentary about the Beatles' touring years, "Eight Days a Week."

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Normally, I've been dreading my weekly status reports because my screwups have been pointed out in a harsh manner.  Even though I made my share of mistakes, none of them were too bad - and I got everything done that I expected to do for the week. Yes, I misunderstood a new process, but it could have been much worse. But, at least, my boss saw that I captured a lot of information, and that we're moving forward with the project.

It would have been very easy for me to stay after 5:30 pm today.  But I wanted to make it home, so that GFJ and I could go see a movie in Pleasantville.  One catch - that meant I had to make the 6:15 pm train.  Luckily, I had time to spare in doing so.  However, GFJ was running a little late, and our timelines are tight.

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Tomorrow, GFJ will be running off to go to a meetup with some friends, and I'll be going to see YGWM for her birthday dinner.  However, if I'm lucky, I'll find a way to spend some time with YGM (or another one of Marian's friends) and maximize the value of time spent in Marian mode.  It isn't often that I have time to myself on a weekend these days, and I want to make the most of it....

PS: I just wanted to let you know that the movie was very good.  It's a shame that this documentary (and the associated 34 minute clip of the Shea Stadium concert) didn't get wider on-screen release. And I know what you've probably been saying while reading this:  "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah......"   ;-)

Friday, September 23, 2016

Finally, a Thursday that I got to game night "sort of" on time.

I won't say much about work, save that the day went better than expected.  In fact, I was able to get out a few minutes after 4:00 pm - which I haven't been able to do for a while.

- - - - - -

Today was a very pleasant day.  The weather was much cooler than the day before, and it felt nice going outside, if only for a walk across the street to pick up a sandwich.  Even when I found out that I wasn't going to be able to get a task done on time, my boss didn't give me any grief - in part, because I told him as soon as I knew about it.  Could things be changing?  I won't know for a long while....

Leaving the office, it was the kind of day that I was wishing I didn't have plans for any Marian time - simply because I could have stayed in the city and have gone to one of the 20 at 20 special deals on off-Broadway plays.  But to me, Marian time is much more important, because I get less of it these days. The only glitch I encountered was when I got home, and realized that my car was parked in the wrong lot.

- - - - - -

Unlike yesterday, I was in no rush to get anywhere. So I took my time in switching to Marian Mode, and selected something comfortable to wear.  Going to my car, I was wondering whether it was yet time to be wearing stockings, because of the cool breeze between my legs.

Although I got to the gaming venue at 8:15 or so, only one game had started.  It was not a game that I was that interested in playing. So I was glad to miss that game, and get involved in the next one. Of course, I lost badly. But I had a good time. And that was the important thing - I was relaxed, and could have a good time for a change.

- - - - - -

On the way home, I tried to reach Lili.  She was busy watching a movie, so I'll end up talking with her over the weekend.  One of the things we have to take care of real soon is booking our cruise.  In many ways, I have a feeling that she has lost track of things, and that she may have screwed things up for us.  So I'll have to reach out to her and give her the information she needs to make the final commitment for the cruise. I'd hate to end up not taking the cruise after all this time has gone by.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A mad rush and some retail therapy

YGWM has a birthday coming up.  And since she gave me a necklace for my birthday, it wouldn't be right for me NOT to give her a gift on her birthday.  So I knew I had to make it to Newburgh before Saturday, in order to get her a necklace and earrings that she might like.

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As usual, I left the office a little late and barely missed the 6:15 pm train for the third time this week. So I had a half hour to kill, and decided to have some Indian grub while waiting for the train. Once done with my meal, I ended up walking to the train, and sat down in a seat next to a thin lady. Apparently she didn't like either my aroma (it was hot and humid today, and I had just spent time in the subway, not having a chance to cool down) or the idea of sitting next to someone a little bit heavy - since she got out of her seat, and started looking for a seat in the car ahead of me.

I got home about 7:55 pm, and was able to rinse off my grime, put on my makeup, get dressed, and be out the door before 8:20 pm. And with a little help from a lead foot, I made it to the mall by 9:05 pm, having a chance to buy YGWM a little something, as well as having a chance to chat with DD at The Avenue.

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After I was done with gift buying, it was off to Walmart for stuff I needed for the pantry.  As I was about to finish dealing with self checkout, GFJ called.  So I returned the call, and chatter with her all the way home.

It'll be nice to see her again on Friday night.  Both of us have places to go on Saturday, so this will be a quick visit.    


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The house on Long Island will soon be renovated

The house I lived in for the first part of my life is 75 years old.  And there is an interesting juxtaposition between old and new in the place.  It is best illustrated by the bathroom. Everything but the toilet is from when the house was built, and none of it would be put together this way today.

- - - - - -

At the end of the workday, my brother called me at the office.  He realized that I prefer NOT to receive calls on my cell phone, as I'm one of those outliers who still have a plan where I'm charged for call minutes, and not for data consumed.  He told me about the bid we got from his contractor, and I said that I'll go along with any decision he makes in this area.  When you consider that the fellow will be charging us $13k for labor for: (1) a major remodeling of the kitchen, (2) a total remodeling of the bathroom, (3) sanding all the wood flooring on the main level, and (4) painting all of the interior walls on the main level, and we are likely getting a great bargain. 

My brother plans to clean out his stuff during the week, so that we can do some serious appliance and "hardware" (cabinets, counter tops, etc.) shopping on Sunday.  We need to get a dollar figure for the stuff we have to buy, as we need to find the money for the job. (It won't be hard to find.  We just want to stay in an approximate budget we had a while back.) More important than this is that we must develop a reasonable schedule for work on the house, as we only have 6 weeks to get everything done.

- - - - - -

Would I ever want to live in this house after renovation?  No.  Long Island is way too crowded for me, and the house is way too close to my brother for me to go out in Marian Mode.  The house also brings back memories for me, many of which are unpleasant. There is a phrase "You can never go home again."  And this is so true for me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Vacation Ended

I thought the day was going to be much worse.  My boss held a belated weekly status meeting, and it went better than expected.  Yet, I think I'm on my way out. When I mentioned my work load, he mentioned that I should be preparing more for my meetings and have questions for him.  The reality is that we communicate poorly, and that's something that bodes poorly for any working relationship.

In a way, I've stopped giving a hoot about trying to keep the job.  My emotions are invested elsewhere, and it might be a relief to leave.  Yes, I'll keep trying to do the best I can do, and try to keep the job.  But with my heart in another place, it will be a relief not to deal with him or this client.

- - - - - -

With all that being said, I actually had a reasonably good day.  The weather was perfect, and I was able to go outside for lunch. My boss stayed out of my hair, and I was able to do some preparation for Wednesday's meeting.  Will it be enough?  Probably not. But at least I will try to do my best.

Unfortunately, I left the office too late to catch the train I wanted. So I didn't get home until 7:45 pm. And by that point, it didn't make sense for me to get into Marian Mode and do some retail therapy.  I was in the mood to go to Newburgh and see my favorite saleslady. But at the time I made it home, it made more sense to get comfortable and prepare for an early evening bedtime. 

- - - - - -

I figure that I'll be able to do some retail therapy on Wednesday.  At this point, I don't think it's my wish to spend more time that is the root cause of my workplace problems.  Instead, it is my lack of sleep coupled with a boss with whom I don't communicate well that is the problem.  I no longer have any confidence that I'll be able to keep the job.  Too much has happened over the past six months to make me feel that my position is salvageableBut I feel that the pressure is off of me, now that my dad is in the nursing home. My brother has taken care of the financial issues, and I am able to focus more clearly these days. 

Strangely enough, most of the time I go for some retail therapy these days, I no longer am buying things.  My closet is packed, and the only thing I may need to buy is a pair of rain boots in my size.  Since there are very few rain boots in my size, I'm in no hurry to buy anything. And that's a good thing.

I just wonder what it would be like if I had a smaller shoe size and a smaller dress size....



Monday, September 19, 2016

Some unexpected time en-femme

Sometimes, I feel like the woman in this picture.  She looks exhausted, and still has a hell of a lot of work to do - and none of it will gain her any thanks.

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On Saturday, the first thing I had on my to-do list was to go to Long Island. On the way there, I had to drop off a computer, a monitor, and a printer off at Goodwill. Of course, the tax deduction won't be worth that much. But with an unknown tax burden coming up for tax year 2016, I could use as many deductions as I can get for this year.

With summer traffic gone, driving to the old family homestead was a relative breeze. When I got there, my sister in law was helping to identify what she wanted to keep and what she wanted us to toss out.  It was good to see her, and find out that her family homestead was sold (I won't go into her family's dynamic).  It was more pleasing to find out that she was going to spend the money on taking the family on a vacation somewhere - as they hadn't taken a vacation together in almost 20 years.

When my sister in law left, my brother and I got down to cleaning up the place.  And again, we brought the equivalent of six contractor bags of garbage to the curb, along with some furniture that we expected someone to take before the garbage truck came.

- - - - - -

Later on, GFJ mentioned that her leg was hurting her (she broke a bone in her foot earlier in the summer) and that I should call Lili and see if she was available for dinner.  So when I got home, I showered and changed into Marian Mode for a long delayed birthday dinner with Lili.

Dinner was pleasant, and Lili did her usual complaining about her lot in life.  She has a need for companionship which never can be sated, and even the act of having a one night stand is arduous for her.  She told me about a man who treated her like shit, but who she invited over to "scratch her itch."  Given his style, in her shoes, I'd have rather taken a vibrator out of my dresser and gone to town with it.  (There is much less chance of catching an unwanted disease with a vibrator than with a man she can't trust.)

Alas, dinner was short, and both of us had to go home.  There were no decent movies playing around here, so I'd have to wait until tomorrow (Sunday) to see something decent. So I went home and got comfortable....

- - - - - -

Sunday came, and with it came some emails and messages from GFJ.  We were both awake at an ungodly hour of the morning, and not sure of what time she'd arrive here.  By the time I started to shower and dress, it was approaching noon.  And GFJ was barely on her way by then.

When GFJ arrived, I was still dealing with laundry, so I invited her upstairs.  We were in no hurry to go anywhere, as a few AMC theaters were showing both "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and "Blazing Saddles" as a memorial to Gene Wilder. Around 5:00, after the laundry was done, we left for the theater, taking the long way there.   We still got to the theater early, and had a chance to rest before the movie started.

I've said in both male and female modes, that Blazing Saddles is one of the best anti-racist movies ever made, as there was only one smart white character, and that part of the resolution in the film had an acknowledgement from the white community in the fictional town that ALL people had a right to live there. Yes, I phrase things poorly here, but it's late and I need to rest before going to work in the morning.

But back to my day with GFJ....

Before we left for the movies, I gave GFJ the TV that used to be at my dad's house.  She wondered how she could pay me for it.  And I said, it's a gift.  There will be a day that I may need something and that you can help.  In many ways, GFJ is like me - someone who cares about doing the right thing by people, and not wanting to be a leech in any way. 

As I've said before - She's a Keeper....