Well, hello there. You may notice that I took a bit of a sabbatical there. You see, 2019 has not been what you would say is “a great year”. I don’t feel quite like going into it all, or trying to post pictures (there’s too many), or explaining anything, but I have been wanting to post on the site again for a long time, but I kept feeling overwhelmed by all that I thought I’d want to cover.
Instead, I’m going to talk about a song today, as it got me out of a bit of a funk this morning.
It’s Madonna’s “Rescue Me” from her Immaculate Collection greatest hits album. I put on the iTunes “Madonna Essentials” playlist this morning as my shower music, and while I half-heartedly sang along to “This Used to Be My Playground” and “Crazy For You”, when the opening storm sounds started on “Rescue Me,” I was like, heyyyyyy.
“Rescue Me” is a fantastic song, and it comes at the very end of Madonna’s amazing collection of 80s hits (which as one of the earliest tapes I owned, basically locked in my gayness). It doesn’t sound much at all like her earlier songs and paired with “Justify My Love,” basically welcome you to what the 1990s were going to be for Madonna.
For me, I remember picking up the CD Maxi-single of “Rescue Me” and becoming obsessed with the Houseboat Vocal remix. It basically opened my eyes to what contemporary dance music would sound like and continue to sound like.
Inject it into my veins, it’s still that good and could power up a dancefloor tonight at any club, gay or otherwise.
Madonna’s Erotica album followed up after this and both “Justify My Love” and “Rescue Me” clearly could fit in that album’s groove. Pure 90s dance goodness and I am always here for that. Not much else to say but I needed to hear it this morning to get my head straight.
So the good news that might be coming our way? It’s entirely possible that we’ll have keys to our new house before 2019 rolls around! That doesn’t mean we’d be moved in as that will be a process (it always is) but to think we may actually own the place and move in during January is awwweeesoooommmeee.
More to come, for sure, but it’s exciting to think about. Last time we were there, during the start of December, we met with the window coverings guy and got that sorted out. We also saw that we have appliances! Not the refrigerator, as that’s on us to get, but the dishwasher, stove/oven, and microwave are in! We just talked to one of the agents there and the carpeting on our stairs has been installed…so let’s hope that stays in good condition until then.
I neglected to add something fairly awesome from this past weekend in my previous post: Larry’s childhood friend Greg stopped by to visit and cheer Larry up. Greg’s been great about checking in while Larry goes through chemo, but we had no idea what to expect when he asked if he could come over on Saturday! Greg not only brought his son Asher, but he also brought a SIGNED STAR TREK:TNG BOOK – signed by SIR PATRICK STEWART HIMSELF!!! It’s a slightly involved story, but Greg is in the Hollywood producing world and had the ability to meet Patrick Stewart this past Friday and provide what is possibly the world’s most perfect gift for Larry!
The inscription reads:
Hi, Larry, I am so happy to sign this for you. I hope you are well soon and I send you all my best wishes. Patrick Stewart
HOLY SHIT. I got tears in my eyes when I saw this, as did Larry. It is a fantastic thing to know that one of his idols was thinking of him just the day before.
We started Round 5 of chemo today. I think Jean-Luc Picard’s encouragement will go a long way towards this being a good 2 weeks!
Honestly, I called it the moment Fessy won HoH. Once he won, I joked that he’s going to evict Scottie. Larry can vouch for me saying this. I was JOKING though. But alas, Fessy showed that you really can be not cut out for this game. As Tyler mocked in the Diary Room, “Welcome to Big Brother, Fessy. Glad you finally wanted to start playing the game!”
So yeah, Fessy won HoH handily and Level 6 was rightfully preparing to lose yet another member. But yeah, Level 6 + JC were on it and weren’t going down without a fight. JC wisely reasoned that because Fessy is a moron, he can influence him to turn on one of his own! And yep, he got exactly that. JC warned Fessy that Scottie had a crush on Haleigh and was playing an emotional game, knowing full well that Fessy has that ‘my girl’ mindset in full effect and could be so easily manipulated to react out of jealousy. Fessy apparently feels that Swaggy’s eviction vote was still enough of a reason to distrust Scottie, although maybe focusing on the here and now might have been a better strategy? But that’s just me.
Fessy nominated Scottie & Brett, then he believed Brett was the lone vote for Rockstar, and why am I even here still? Mad props to Level 6 for still having the wool pulled over everyone else’s eyes, as it really is their game to lose at this point!
The Underdog narrative is always an appealing one to root for and enjoy, but in this case, the underdogs are morons. They deserve to be evicted. I feel kinda bad for Haleigh for being tied to this ship, but them’s the breaks. Poor Scottie has no idea what was going on and even in the FB aftershow, isn’t quite sure what caused Fessy to do this. He reasoned that Fessy is either a complete moron or a strategic genius…and I guess they’ll all learn the truth in a few weeks. SO AGGRAVATING.
The Veto was another thing where Scottie almost saved himself, but Brett got the lucky win having hid his Veto token the best in the destroyed BB house, and then Sam tried to convince Fessy to nominate Haleigh instead as that would be the least controversial move for him to make and sure, why not?
He apparently can tell when people are crazy?
The Zingbot dropped in and that was epic – Zingbot called Fessy a moron to his face and I don’t think Fessy has any idea why.
I’ve been pretty bad at updating, as is my way. So I’ll try to rectify that here, with some pictures and general “here’s how it’s been going” updates. Long story short though, Larry has been doing pretty damn great during Rounds 2 & 3 of chemo.
A brief update on the chemo story: For Rounds 1 & 2 of his chemo, we were doing a “doublet” chemo treatment called Folfox. I’ve linked to a site that kind of explains it so I don’t have to get into the weeds. This treatment approach is the typical standard one for colorectal cancers, and so that’s what our oncologist recommended. The goal though was to see how Larry took to these and if the side effects were going to be too much. Because his port surgery was still within 4 weeks, we did not do the +Avastin though, as that is the drug that inhibits capillary growth, to stop both cancer cells from building out but also good stuff, so healing Larry’s surgery scars would have been impeded. But we did Folfox for the first 2 rounds and while he definitely did experience neuropathy as expected, and of course fatigue and occasional nausea, it wasn’t anything we couldn’t manage. And by the time each 2nd week came around, Larry felt pretty good. So by the time it came time for Round 3, the onocologist (Dr Arzoo, who is an amazing man and doctor) let Larry decide if he wanted to increase the treatment potency. There is a “triplet” chemo treatment that has been shown to be very effective too, Folfoxiri. It’s more aggressive and comes with heightened side effects, namely much more diarrhea. Dr Arzoo was supportive if we were wanting to go for this, and after some consideration, Larry was on board. It definitely adds more time to the chemotherapy process on Monday, and the neuropathy seems to be heightened, but the dreaded constant diarrhea really didn’t manifest for Larry. He’s been actually doing pretty good during this Round, which is certainly hopeful for us. Really hoping that will remain the case as we go into Round 4 tomorrow. All thoughts and good vibes are appreciated!
Here are some pictures from Round 2, on July 30, 2018
Why don’t I have pictures from Round 3 two weeks later? Well, that’s because Fran came in to spend some time with her boy! Only one visitor is allowed at a time, so I stayed home while she went in for the Round 3 super dose. I had told her that it wasn’t such a long day, but Folfoxiri + Avastin does take a long time, so my bad! I’ll get to be there for the long day tomorrow. Anyway, before she accompanied Larry on that Monday, we picked her up on the Sunday before from LAX. Taking advantage of the fact that we don’t typically spend much time on the West Side anymore, we planned an outing to the Century City mall – and went to Eataly for lunch!
Eataly @ Century City on Aug 12, 2018:
We went to Century City’s fancy mall w Fran after picking her up at LAX
This is the line to wait to eat at Eataly
Fran and Larry
We liked these lamps
This mall looks much more different than it did when we’d visit it
Like these closets at the Container Store
As far as other stuff that happened since, here are some pictures and stuff! One of the things Larry & I saw at the Hollywood Bowl was a live performance of Annie – which was amazing. Much like Mamma Mia last year, it’s basically putting on the Broadway show but keeping the sets from being too over the top. In both of these cases, the sets actually were pretty flexible in that they took advantage of rotating sets to great effect. In Annie, the letters themselves were able to be used as various locations by rotating them around to show they were hollow and had sets in them. AWESOME. The cast of Annie, especially the lead and then the celebrity cast that filled in the other main starring roles, were all amazing. Ana Gasteyer was great as Mrs. Hannigan as was David Alan Grier as Daddy Warbucks. The girl who played Annie was fantastic. I love the songs too, and they didn’t disappoint with numbers like “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile”, “Tomorrow”, and “Maybe” (and everything else, of course).
Annie @ the Hollywood Bowl, July 28, 2018
Early this month, Larry & I went back to the Glen to see how our house was coming along. No drywall up (although we have heard that has started this week!) but we got to see that all the electrical and plumbing is in, as are all the windows, and a lot of the clutter on the floors was gone, so it was much easier to walk around and imagine the future.
The Glen LA, Aug 5, 2018
It’s coming along – and much less clutter on the floors now
Garage looks more like a garage
In our future office
The shower is still ready
All the plumbing and electrical is in
The purple cords are where the speakers will go
Much easier to see the future
Me and Thais
The day before Fran arrived in town, Larry, my mom, and I went to the Hollywood Bowl to go watch The Empire Strikes Back accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl orchestra. It’s a phenomenal movie and has one of the more iconic soundtracks – obviously it’s the movie that first used the Imperial March, but it also has such great themes such as the love theme and the stupendous Asteroid theme. It was a pleasure to hear it play out live. Plus there were so many lightsabers in play it was a joy to see them all come out when certain actions or musical moments came on, notably when the Imperial March played.
The Empire Strikes Back @ the Hollywood Bowl, Aug 11, 2018
I have been working basically from home while Larry is going through this. With the stuff I’ve been working on lately, that’s been an option. I do go in occasionally though just to make sure people see me or when others let me know they’ll be in. In this case, my ex-work wife Barb let me know she was going to be downtown one day AND she wanted to take me to lunch! How could I refuse that offer? Fran took Larry duty (I kid, honestly – he doesn’t need such attention) and I went in and met her at her new office neighborhood and she then surprised me by saying we were going to 71 Above, the restaurant which resides at the top of the US Bank building. It was spectacular, and since we got there around 11:45am, we beat the rush and got window seats. It’s kind of nuts. The food was fantastic, and I definitely appreciated her generosity!
Lunch w/ Barb @ 71 Above, Aug 16, 2018
It’s been a blur though, to be honest. I can’t believe we’re on to Round 4 tomorrow, and that Fran has come and gone already. There was fun to be had, as we did go and see Crazy Rich Asians which was awesome (go see it), we’d go for walks to keep Larry active, made dinners at home, Fran and I drank wine, she’d watch a lot of her British Netflix shows, and overall it was just an easy time, thankfully. So here’s hoping the good vibes continue. We’d love to learn that the chemo is doing its job, but we won’t know how well it’s working for a little bit longer. Dr Arzoo has mentioned we’ll test levels after Round 6. In the meantime, positivity and confidence it’s all working out are the order for the day. In random news, I’m in love with this mop I saw at Bed Bath & Beyond:
I got it and I used it yesterday at home and never again will I use those stupid Swiffer Wet Jet things. Such a waste of paper and resources those things are. This mop has a built-in spinner function to help you both wash the mop head and then a salad-spinner thing that helps you rinse off excess water before using it. I’m sad to report that our floors were filthy, but damn if they’re not clean now!