When I went on my cruise, I knew that I was going to get far ahead of schedule when I returned, as I already scheduled posts for publishing well into the time I returned. This post is my way of restoring the normal gap between my daily events and the time my posts are made public.
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I let the last alarm from my electronic devices wake me up, allowing me to squeeze every last moment of rest out of the morning. Looking at my schedule, I saw that I had to go to the monthly Arts Westchester volunteer meeting. So, I couldn't roll over and go back to sleep for a change.
Around noon, I got showered and dressed, then out the door I went. I arrived at Arts Westchester a little after 2 pm, and found no events that I wanted to volunteer covering. So I figured that I'd go home after a brief stop at the Christmas Tree Shop in Hartsdale. Just as I got out of my car, I met the lady from the Yorktown wig shop. We chatted a bit, and then went on our ways. Once in motion again, I went home for a little while before taking a drive over to Danbury to do some clothes window shopping. There was nothing in Lane Bryant that I wanted, so I ended up going home.
At home for the night, I mistakenly sent a message to the wrong woman from the Whine and Dine to say that to answer a question of hers (why wasn't I coming to meetups any more?) that I'd give her the answer in person. But I must have made a Freudian slip by sending the message to the wrong person. AARGH! It could have been much worse if I intended seeing any of these people again.
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I got up early for a change, but didn't do much other than to do laundry and start straightening up the apartment. Although I chatted with GFJ for a while, there wasn't much going on with GFJ, Lili, or my brother. So I prepared for an 8:30 pm dinner with BXM.
Unlike previous trips, I assumed that BXM would be a little late. So I buzzed her at 8:30, and warned her that I'd be there in a few minutes. And then, as I was getting off the exit for her place, I did the same again - just to keep her moving, and not to have to wait for too long. And this proved to be the right thing to do.
Neither of us had a clue about where we wanted to eat, save that we didn't want to eat at a local diner. So I started slowly driving North, and made it into the area of Yonkers where my late wife worked. Since this wasn't the best place to find a place to eat around 9:00 pm, I figured that we could drive over to The Bayou in Mount Vernon for some Cajun grub. It took us a couple of minutes to find a good parking spot. But the restaurant wasn't crowded, and we were able to sit at any table we wanted.
We had a good chat, BXM venting a bit about her family and how they did not support her when she needed them. We talked about her dad, and how she will need to be the one that makes sure that a DNR order is obeyed. We talked about my transgender nature, GFJ, the Cat Lady, and RO - and how the person I may settle down with will need to be able to accept me both as Marian and as Mario.
Around 11:30, we decided to leave and go back to her place. On the way, one of those stop light cameras flashed. Did I go through a light or an intersection? I doubt it. But if I get a ticket, I can fight it, as I have someone in the car who will note that i mentioned a flash before I reached the intersection where I stopped for a light. We stopped at the supermarket for a minute so she could pick up some stuff, and then it was onward to our homes.
It's been a long time since I've driven the Saw Mill Parkway after midnight, and I noticed little things on the way home that I never noticed before. One of those things was a fellow on a motorcycle using his phone's GPS and Map to guide him home. It is amazing what modern technology can do for us it we let it do so....
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Normally, I am not conscious enough to be awake for Morning Joe. But for some reason, I was conscious enough to hear him replay the segment from the Steven Colbert Late Show where he announced his resignation from the Republican party for reasons of principle. Over the years, I've grown to respect this man as a Conservative thinker, and I respect him even more now, as he is putting his principles over party loyalty. Shortly afterwards, I was totally brought out of semi-consciousness by a phone call from Vicki. One of the people at her firm quit, and they had an immediate need for someone who could be attentive to detail. Vicki explained some of what the job entailed, and told be to get a resume to her post-haste. This was looking to be a very good day indeed, and it wasn't yet 9 am.
Not everything was going to be good however. I received an email from the leader of the FFGoWs telling me that I have been removed from the group. Although I know it was not WPB who pulled the membership, a couple of ladies complained to the owner of the group, and she reluctantly removed me. It's not easy being transgender, when there is still a lot of prejudice against us. (Mental note: Ask Fran about her attempts at socialization when I see her next.) Now, I have to find other groups that will welcome me, and maybe be a little bit more careful to cement my position in them.
In a little bit of a depressed mood, I drove down to my speech therapy session and met with my therapist in training. As one might say, you get what you pay for - she is inexperienced, and is learning how to manage her time. But I figure that part of the problem is that one can't learn that much in a Summer session - and she's having to cram a lot into a short time. Yet, I did have the pleasure of meeting her supervisor, and she gave me a couple of good ideas of how to improve the qualities of my voice that I will need to practice on in the next week.
Once done with speech therapy, I drove to Long Island to see RO. We had a very enjoyable time doing a little bit of shopping, then having a Chinese dinner near her house. (Not too near - my brother lives nearby, and I didn't want to run into him.) We talked of many things, and she announced that she was treating me for dinner as a birthday treat. On the way back to her place, I found that she could be a travel partner - and I'll keep that in mind. But I also learned the one most important thing - she sees me more as a woman, and would not want to lose me as a female friend. There goes the idea of having her as a romantic interest....
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Unlike most Thursdays, game night was cancelled for the week. The hosting family was making their place safe for one of their parents to visit, and they didn't want to worry about everyone being there during the cleanup and the parent's visit. So I had little reason not to plan for a Mario Mode day today - especially when I considered that I needed to get a passport photo taken sometime in the afternoon.
So, as usual, I awoke to the sounds of alarms from my electronic devices. And I got my butt moving, knowing that the cleaning lady would likely be coming some time in the afternoon. Not only did I rush to straighten out my place, but I made sure to hide most of the indication that Marian exists.
Lately, what annoys me about my brother is that he always seems to run things without planning. Yes, he may plan things according to a schedule at work. But outside of work, he is a different person. By noon time, I still did not get any word about when he'd start his drive to the trail head, and it made me wish that I didn't volunteer my help for his hike.
My brother finally did call around 1 pm, saying that he didn't know when he'd start his drive. And then, he called back to tell me about a low-ball offer we received for renting the family homestead. I had my concerns because the price was too low, and that the prospective tenant was offering to pay a year's rent in advance. Even with cash in hand, the last thing I'd want to do is hand it to someone when I could do better with it in my hands. This makes me worry. I ended up talking to two people about this offer: Lili and GFJ. And they had diametrically opposite reactions. Lili said to see if the woman would go up 10%, and if she did - take the offer. GFJ had the same gut concern that I had - drug money. How many people would have roughly $30k+ available to pay a year's rent in advance? Although I know people who could do this, I know they never would do this.
Later on, I received a call from my brother. He was only starting to get moving around 7 pm. With a 2 & 1/4 hour drive to the camp site ahead of him, then 30 minutes to unpack the car, and another 30 minutes to the Bear Mountain Inn where I would meet him, I had time enough to make a leisurely dinner for myself. With rain expected for Thursday night and all day Friday, I'd bet that this hike would be very unpleasant for them all.
During the evening, I chatted with GFJ, and found out that she was going to be free on Sunday. Since I already made plans with the Cat Lady, there was no way that I was going to break a date at this late juncture. Do I feel a little bad? Yes. But it's been months since GFJ was here, and I'm not sure if I want her back here again - unless she is willing to accept me as Marian as well as Mario.
Around 9:30, I called my brother, and he was only then approaching the trail head. Given where I expected him to be, I knew it was going to be a very long hike for him. So I was glad to be able to meet him at Bear Mountain to get him back to his crew. As soon as we got out of the parking lot, he noticed a noise coming from the front end of my car that I've noticed for a while. Although the dealership did not find this problem (they didn't bother to look for it), my brother confirmed what I thought it was in the first place - and told me what I should expect to spend on it. (I'll file it away until my next pension check comes in, and then get the work done.) In the rush to make it up to my neck of the woods, they had forgotten to pick up a few things on the way out. So I made a quick detour to the Walmart in Woodbury, in order to pick up these sundries. Although he couldn't find hiking poles, he did find a warm weather sleeping bag that my niece would use and a short cable with which he could charge his cell phone.
Driving from Walmart, the GPS told us to take a different route than expected. Driving along back roads, we ended up going to the outskirts of Greenwood Lake. The trail head was reasonably well marked, but the crew was out of sight. My brother thought that he had forgotten a flashlight in his car, but he lucked out - it was in his pocket. I'm glad that I got him near where he was going to spend the night. And I'm even more glad that I was going to spend my night in air conditioned comfort.
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I awoke to find a text on my phone from my niece. They were camped a short distance in from the road where I left my brother last night. This is one time I was very glad to no longer be an outdoors person, as I can't imagine that I'd want to spend a long weekend outside in wet, hot or humid conditions.
At this time, I knew that this was going to be a Marian Mode day. But I didn't know all of what I was going to do for the day after I was done with my volunteer gig at the GLBT center. Only one problem. I didn't have the emotional energy or the want to get out of bed. So I took it easy, apologized for "Double Booking" my day, and stayed in.
Late in the evening, GFJ called, and we shot the breeze for a while. If I hadn't already scheduled seeing the Cat Lady, I'd have scheduled to do something with her on Sunday. As it was, I chatted, but made no effort to invite her over for a Sunday activity. Lili would say this is the right thing to do. But I'm not sure about it. Given what happened 3+ months ago, I'm not in a rush to do much of anything with her right now Yes, I miss sharing my bed with someone. But I don't want to share it with someone who might not be there in a year or two, given our past history.
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Last night, I got no word from my brother or my niece to tell me that they were OK. I am not worried. The Harriman State Park area (especially as you get closer to Bear Mountain) has several cell phone dead zones, so I figured that they must have hit one where they camped for the night. However, it was very hard for me to get to sleep. Even though I was in bed before 2 am, I was still wide awake around 5 am. So I expected to be a little tired throughout the day. I'll bet that it was easier for my brother to go to sleep than it was for me....
When I eventually woke up, it was a little bit after noon, and I realized that I had to get my day started. As expected, my brother camped in a cell phone dead zone. Sometime after he got moving, he got a cell signal and texted me to let me know he was OK. Since this was going to be a good day for hiking, he should be able to make up some of the mileage he might have lost in yesterday's rain. Sometime in the early afternoon, my brother called. Having started the hike near Greenwood Lake, he had only made it to the Arden area, and asked me to shuttle him again - this time to his car, so that he could pick up the kids and drive home.
I still had no energy. So I again took it easy and stayed in the house for the second day in a row. Today, it was not depression. It was simply because I had nothing to do, and I wasn't in the mood to do much of anything but watch TV.
Later in the day, I had the opportunity to chat with the realtor who was showing the family homestead to prospective renters. I explained what I was looking to see happen, and I think she may be someone I can work with for a while. And then, I got a response from Maria, allowing us to schedule a late breakfast towards the end of the month. All in all, not a bad day for someone who did almost nothing.
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I hated lying to GFJ about my plans for the day. But it was easier to say that I was going to visit my father after transporting my brother back to his car, than to tell her that I was going out to see the Cat Lady. If GFJ wants to coordinate her schedule with mine, I have no problems doing so. But I will be careful about making her a regular visitor to my home.
Thinking of things to do with the Cat Lady is a little difficult. She's not good at making suggestions, and I'm not in the mood to make an expensive crossing of the Hudson to reach NYC with her, and then have to cross back into New Jersey to bring her home. So we usually get together for a nice dinner and dessert afterwards. I'm sure that both of us would like to do different things, and I think that while we are both free on weekdays, we can do a little exploring in day trips.
So when the day started, I knew that I was going to play cab driver for my brother. But I wasn't sure of where and when I'd be picking him up. The Google Map Location that my niece sent me was wrong - and this caused me to get very frustrated at my brother when he wouldn't let me finish my question and thought. (Sometimes one has to use common sense when dealing with Google's directions - and a trail location on the NYS Thruway did not make sense for a trail head.) Luckily, both of us cooled down, and I got him to his car.
After I drove home, I tried to rest and waited for an email from the Cat Lady to tell me what our plans might be. Sadly, after a weekend of being with her daughter and grandson, she was not up to getting together tonight. Just as well, I was also having stomach discomfort, and may have needed to be near restrooms much more than I'd have liked.