Sunday, January 10, 2016

Getting back to normal?


Yesterday, I received an email from the firm from whom I won a free online course.  They reminded me that I have less than a week to complete this course - and I didn't even have the chance to start it.  So I'll have to make the time to take this course and complete it in the next 5 days.  AARGH!!!!!

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GFJ slept over on New Year's, and we were scheduled to take a slow hike at Bear Mountain.  This is my current activity level - SLOW!  I don't have the energy to walk as fast as I did at the beginning of 2015, and I intend to get back into a higher level of activity so that I can get my weight down.  Hopefully, with GFJ by my side, I'll be able to do this....

We ended up taking this leisurely walk around Hessian Lake (at Bear Mountain), and I talked to the organizer about a question I had regarding US Constitutional law, and a specific right given to a specific non-American territory - whether it still had that right, although virtually all of our Articles of Confederation were superseded by the US Constitution.  And she couldn't give me an answer - which means I have a great premise for a fictional tale....

After the hike, GFJ and I had a bit to eat with the other hikers.  Over the meal, I had another chat with the hike's organizer (who happens to be a lawyer) about several things - and we got into talking about human rights and the forces who are putting them at risk. Without noting that I am transgender, I mentioned the attempted suicide rate for TG's, and mentioned the "bathroom police" incident that bothered me so much. Of course, there is only so much one can say, and I erred on the side of caution.  But I wondered afterward - what would have happened if someone who knows me as Marian (most of the meetup people who know Marian also know that she is transgender) were to meet me as Mario?

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Once we got back to my place, we rested a bit before trying to go to see "The Hateful Eight" (Roadshow version) in New Rochelle. Given the headaches of parking there, I never intend to go to that theater again.  Before I talk about the movie we saw, I must first talk about the FUBAR situation in the New Roc City parking lot.  Although the number of parking spaces in this lot is comparable to that of White Plains' City Center lot, there is a world of difference in the experience of parking.  First, in White Plains, there are over twice as many parking pay stations. Next, you only have to remember a spot number to indicate the car whose parking is being paid for.  As a result, there is rarely a line of more than two or three people to pay for their parking spots.  In New Rochelle, paying for parking is like being in purgatory.  First, there are only two parking pay stations per floor.  (This is unconscionable when one has a large multi screen movie theater on premises.) And then, one has to remember which zone one has parked in, as well as one's license plate number - something difficult for people who rent cars, as well as one partner on a date (where the other has run off to buy movie tickets).  Given that it takes several times as long to key in a 7-8 character license plate number vs. a 4-5 digit parking space number, and you have a recipe for long lines at the pay stations.  (In our case, the lines were about 10 minutes long.)  The folks in New Rochelle should be ashamed of themselves - instead of attracting people to a modern complex, they have just chased two customers away for good....

But now to the movie....

Because of the parking lines, we were not able to get tickets to "The Hateful Eight". We couldn't get tickets to see "Sisters".  And we had already seen "The Big Short".  So what did we end up doing?  Seeing "Star Wars 7".  If I had known we'd be seeing this movie, I might have suggested going elsewhere.  Was this a bad film?  Not really.  But it is a mashup of the first two movies filmed (Star Wars 5 and 6) - and totally predictable.  Since so many people don't want to read spoilers, I won't give them away here.  Yet, if you know the human conflict at the core of the SW 4-5-6, that is rehashed in a new way.  And the "air battle" scenes at the core of SW 4 are reprised here, to the point that the main battle is openly acknowledged by a main character as a larger scale rehash of the battle in SW 4.  One can easily see how the next 2 movies in the series will be like, based on SW 4-5-6.  Eventually, the good guys must win, with saint and sinner being reconciled.

After the movie, we were both hungry and went to a local diner for a bite to eat. Both of us ate lightly, and we were lucky to get there when we did - the place was closing down early due to a lack of customers.  GFJ commented that she's noticed a lack of 24 hour diners. And I responded that many are having trouble with the riff-raff that tend to come in late at night. (This is what I've been told by another diner's management.) So we were fortunate to get good grub at the first place we stopped....

Will I get to see The Hateful Eight (Roadshow edition)?  Who knows?  But I think I'm more likely to see it in Marian mode than with GFJ - and that's OK with me....











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