All posts by Hobie

Hey

It’s been another long stretch of time since I updated this here blog. I do in fact visit it periodically to look at memories or pictures when something triggers it, but my motivation to actually put something new here has been basically gone. Why remember this period of time? Almost all the posts I’ve done before were because I wanted to try to capture the fun, the joy, the travels, the moments… but when you don’t have those all that much anymore, and every day feels exactly the same as before, that’s when it’s harder to come back to this blank screen and type something up.

You’d think maybe Big Brother was what brought me back, and no, not really. But I will say that I’ve really been enjoying BB23 this season so far (entering week 3 and I don’t consider the season a dumpster fire so yay). It’s nice to have it around to look forward to during the summer.

Honestly what brought me back is a conversation I have with my therapist periodically, which is writing is good for me. I’m good at writing. I like writing. Maybe I just need to get back on the wagon and try. So here I am, writing again.

Some quick hits:

  • Vaccinated? Hell yeah I am, having got my 2nd Pfizer shot back in April. Reminder: it’s not a HIPAA violation to talk about your vaccination status.
  • Employed? Yeah, still employed. I actually got promoted as of July 1 to Senior Manager. It was bittersweet as obviously I had no one to really celebrate it with. Maybe somewhere in the ether they’re proud of me.
  • Roof over my head? Still at the place Larry & I bought in the Valley. I’ve been making small changes here and there. The featured image here is me at the new dining room table I bought. It replaces the dining room table Larry & I bought when we first moved back here to LA in our swanky pad in Santa Monica – let’s look at pictures:
  • I got rid of Larry’s car back in March. Yeah, it took me a year plus to get rid of it. Some of the delay was due to auto title and registration nonsense Larry hadn’t taken care of for 10 years. Anyway, I called a local DMV-authorized small business that helped me get the rest of the way, and soon enough I was able to sell it to a pick-a-part. So the garage stopped being a constant reminder, and that was good.
  • We had mom’s memorial in May after it seemed a good majority of people could have gotten vaccinated that would likely attend. We held it in Royal Oaks Park in Duarte, which was near her house. It was a very nice event and Stacie and I think it would have made mom happy.
  • Physical health? Yoga was what I earnestly started last year after Larry’s death and continued doing it nearly every day as the pandemic continued. I’m thankful I did so, as I know it has helped my back (by strengthening my core) and it has helped as a way to meditate and chill every morning. I bought a Peloton this year and that has also become key to my fitness. I ride nearly 3-4 times a week and add in strength Peloton workouts as well, and I am feeling good.
  • Mental health? My grief group has been part of my life for the last year or so. It wraps up this week, and I’m sad about that, but it’s always been a year program. The hope is that our group continues unofficially meeting up, like going out to dinner or others’ homes every 2 weeks. The others in this group are the only other ones who have the same shared experience and can really understand the utter despair and heartbreak the others feel. It’s quite a thing to have them in my life. I also started seeing a therapist one-on-one earlier this year when things just weren’t good. It’s been a good decision to take part in that. By no means does it solve anything but it does help me have perspective and tether me back to something.
  • My friends have kept me alive this past 18 months. What else can I say? Nicki was my pandemic pod and one of the very few people I saw in person for much of 2020. It’s hard to imagine making it alive without her last year. Like Nicki, Michancy has also visited when she can and we make sure our bitchy levels stay in the red. I’m visiting her in Vegas soon, and maybe that’ll be my first “hey, pics I took” post in a while when I get back. Sveta and Mila I’ve finally been able to see more regularly now that we’re all vaccinated and I love them so much. We all were able to get together and have our own Sound of Music Sing-a-long at my house back near Memorial Day weekend. It was wonderful.

I think that’s enough for now. I know that if I let myself go I can end up writing an endless post and I don’t feel I need to capture everything that’s happened since when I wrote about mom’s death.

Maybe I’ll be back to this more regularly. It did feel nice to highlight some of the good stuff and acknowledge the painful things too in this post. I’m sad and lonely still, most days, but I’m trying to do what I can to make it not so bad. I see friends, work keeps me busy, and maybe I’ll start dating soon. I don’t know. I say that out loud and it just feels really weird to contemplate that. But that can be for another post.

Rest in Peace, Mom

My mom died on Sunday, February 7.  It has been two years of watching this wonderful strong woman decline and succumb to dementia and years worth of health struggles.   My heart has broken many times this past year starting with Larry’s death, but being able to do really nothing except keep her comfortable this past year has killed a part of me that will never come back.  She was never the same woman she was after the surgery she had in January 2019, in which something triggered and broke something inside her.  I not only had to watch as my husband struggled and fought to live in 2019, I was there while my mom seemingly forgot how to do that.

She isn’t summed up by what she became these last two years, and I won’t let that be what colors my love and memories of her.  Just like Larry, I won’t let what their end was be all that defines them for me.   She was my mom, someone who I loved and someone who will forever be that person that was always in my corner and loved me and supported me.   She was that woman who when I came out to her in my late 20s immediately embraced me and let me know nothing had changed.  She only ever wanted what was best for me and did everything she could to help make that happen.   I tried to return that love and care in the later years, after Harv died, and I hope I was able to.

I know that after Harv’s death, it was not the same for her.   The love of her life had gone, and now it was up to her to rebuild something new.  At 65, that isn’t the easiest thing to do.   But she did, and she joined Silver Sneakers at the YMCA and made some friends.  I was so proud of her to not only get out there and exercise, but to be social and just find something new.

Growing up, she was such an instrumental force in me becoming who I am.   Her hobbies became mine:  reading, watching musicals (Cabaret!  Sound of Music!) and sappy movies (Somewhere in Time! International Velvet!), music, drawing, studies…. These were all formative things that still drive me and provide me some kind of comfort.  And she provided this for me while going through a divorce, moving us out back to Southern California, staying with family to get back on her feet, and doing everything she could to make sure we’d be okay.  She ended up meeting Harv and they fell in love, and eventually they married and I had a stepdad and step-siblings and more.   I now had a ‘staircase’-sister, Stacie, who became just sister over the last 35+ years.  Mom and Harv built a life, found their own successes and were able to build a home together in Monrovia, where I got to grow up and thrive with friends I still have to this day from MHS.   They ended up able to finally buy a home in Duarte, which just 10 years before would have seemed impossible.

Mom had a hard childhood but managed to fight for a bright adulthood.  Full of ups and downs, it was a good life for many years.   I hate that her body and mind betrayed her in the end, and that these last two years are what happened to her.   I’d say it’s not fair, and I mean that, but I also know the concept of fairness is stupid to apply here.   But I have a lot of anger and sadness at the way this all happened at once, and I’ll have to learn to let go of that over time.  I’ve lost my husband and mom in the course of a year, and I can’t help but feel sadness, anger, occasional despair and enormous resentment at what life has turned into lately.

Those feelings are for another post, but they’re part of this.  Just not the only part.   I loved my mom, I know she loved me, and I miss her so fucking terribly.  I’ve missed her for two years to be honest, but knowing it’s final just hurts in a different way.  I can only hope she’s reunited with Harv in some way and maybe even is able to send my love to Larry.

I know where she wanted to be laid to rest and that will come in the next few months.  I’m not sure what I’m doing about a memorial just yet as this COVID nightmare makes things a whole lot more challenging.

I love you, Mom, and I hope you’re finally at peace.   Of anyone, you deserve so much of that.

Remembering the Moment When Everything Changed

I found a post on my website that correlated to when Larry first got “sick”, and we stayed at home that weekend to watch movies:

A Weekend of Movies

His stomach had been bothering him and I can track when this date actually was as that was the first time we had done a telemedicine visit.  So it’s easy to find on my HSA spending.  It just sucks thinking back then to when it seemed maybe it was gonna be something like a ulcer or maybe IBS or just anything that might be treatable or chronic but not fatal.   Slightly over a year and a half later, Larry was dead.  And I still can vividly remember that telemedicine visit, and the scary part when the woman we were talking to said that Larry definitely needed to go see his doctor as it could be something more serious.  She obviously was right.

I have nothing but time to reminisce, it seems.  I try to veer towards good memories, but it’s hard.  I do think about the end of 2019 and whenever I see pictures from them it’s a gut punch.  Now it’s almost close to a year having passed and I can’t accept that.  The world is a massive shitshow with the idiots taking over the asylum so we’re all stuck at home, and instead of grieving and rebuilding my life somehow, it’s not.

Fran and Joel went to Larry’s grave last week and facetime’d with me so I could see it for the first time since his burial, and it’s devastating.  The grass still hasn’t grown over it and we have the headstone still on the way.  But this year I was going to be back east to be there for the headstone reveal and of course I can’t.   It’s all so fucked.  Glad our incompetent, racist president can’t manage to do anything but blame others and do nothing during this pandemic.  So glad.

Anyway, here is where Larry was buried.  I love and miss him so much.  I can’t be there to visit but I have to do my best to remember that’s just where he’s buried.  “Larry” is not there – he’s free.  I can’t imagine having to fight cancer in this nightmare we’re living in with the things going on, so I have that as a small mercy.  I just wish I wasn’t alone as having him here to lean on (and to be there for him to lean on me) would be worth everything and make this year slightly bearable.

But yeah, just very hard to remember that initial moment in May of 2018 when we thought he was just “sick”.  Never would have imagined that over two years later this is where I’d be.  It’s literally impossible to have imagined this is what’s happening.

No Time To Die

This trailer for the latest James Bond movie, No Time to Die, is fucking epic.

I got chills just from watching it as you get to see a whole lot more than what we saw in the first trailer released soooooo long ago. I imagine the majority of my chills come from thinking Larry would have been so fucking excited to see this movie.   I cried after watching the trailer this morning for that very reason.  Do I want to go see this in “November”?  Yes.   Will I?   ….probably not, because I’m not ready to go back and be amongst a ton of people.   It’ll make its way to the home experience soon enough and I am more than fucking satisfied with the set up I have here.

Anyway, this looks like a great time and here’s hoping there’s no more family bullshit to deal with in the Bond universe.   All hands are on deck and let’s rock this.   Here’s the previous trailer:

Seems Just Like Starting Over

That song lyric/title came into mind while I was thinking about what to write for this post, and I guess it is that way as basically, the Janelle and Kaysar show is about to end, and we’ll soon be at a point where Big Brother will effectively be restarting.   It’ll be that way because without “Jaysar” in the house, there won’t be the fairly easy targets to discuss, and finally we’ll have some intra-house drama.  Alas, it does seem like the 6 that are aligned are pretty strong and honestly keep winning comps.  The others outside of that 6 don’t really seem to know it?   Or know that they should probably get everyone else left together?   I don’t know – if the HoH competitions keep going to someone in the 6, then it’s like, this season could be wildly straightforward.   But that is never fair to assume as seasons always end up surprising in some ways, as the inevitable alliance breakdown will always happen.

I don’t have the energy or motivation to do a full post about the ins and outs of the last two episodes, so here’s what happened:

  • The Veto competition was all about balancing a ball on a disc.  Memphis won and didn’t use the power of Veto to backdoor anyone.  Jaysar spared for one more week.
  • Nicole A fell for everyone else’s words that Jaysar weren’t on her side.   She blamed Janelle for Memphis nominating her as well as not using the Veto on her….which, what?   I always have to remember that people don’t see everything we do while in the house, but still.   smh

  • Nicole A didn’t have nearly the amount of allies she needed and David was spared, although it wasn’t a unanimous vote, with Kevin and Enzo both voting against David, while obviously the 10 others did vote against Nicole.

At the HoH comp, the goal was to slide three beer steins, one on each of the long shuffleboard tables above.  Whoever could slide and accummulate the most points across all three tables would win HoH.   Janelle and Kaysar were last to go so there was some drama, but in the end, Tyler was able to get the most points and nobody could touch him.

With Tyler the new HoH, there is some potential for it not being an obvious week ahead, but from the feed info I have gleaned, yeah, the first phase/chapter of this Big Brother season is wrapping up in an unsurprising manner.   Truth of the matter is that while most fans are Janelle stans, the houseguests see her and Kaysar only as targets to get out.   It’s honestly not really the smartest thing, as the newer younger players really are bigger threats, but hey, that’s the game that’s being played.  I’ll miss having these two in the house as they both get taken out over the next two weeks (or one week if a double elimination sneaks up on us this week!), but as I wrote above, the next phase of the game will begin and it’ll be interesting to see how that shakes out.

Status & Standings:

Outgoing Head of Household:  Memphis
Nominated: David & Nicole A
Power of Veto Winner: Memphis
Veto Used?  No
Evicted: Nicole A (10 – 2)
New Head of Household:  Tyler

Quick thoughts on the houseguests (I saw my BB14 posts and liked that I had a sentence of two written about each HG so I’ll try it again here):

  • Bayleigh:  Her being in a duo with DaVonne gives her an ally, but I’m not sure what her social game is with the rest of the house.  Floater-y at the moment.
  • Memphis:  His allies and his foes were all tired of his shit this week.  He’s playing his own style of game but it only served to really annoy everyone and likely pushed his alliance standing lower.
  • Cody:  With him not as HoH, he doesn’t really contribute much to the convo.  Still hot, and still a “leader” in the alliance, but how long will that last?
  • Daniele:  She was notably annoyed with Memphis this week.  She is also tight with Nicole F and a likely proponent of targeting Jaysar.   Standing by to see if she makes a move against the guys eventually.
  • DaVonne:  Her refusal to not vote against David seems short-sighted, although noble.  Even when David flat out refused to give Day any info about who he has deals with, she didn’t waver.  I wonder if he’d have her back?
  • Tyler:   I like Tyler a lot, I just wish he wasn’t in that alliance.  I’d like to have him in a different alliance that made me happy.
  • Nicole F:  She’s honestly so annoying this season I can’t deal.
  • Enzo:  He’s going to win this game.  If not that, he still is going to make it to the end.  His social game is so unique but he will never be the target unless he does something stupid.
  • Janelle:  sniff, sniff.  I want her to have had more allies and a bigger alliance, but that didn’t happen.  She’s still the Queen.
  • Kaysar:   There is a hot af pic of him and Janelle from Season 6 that just…damn.  He is still very attractive, but him from 16 years ago (geez, all of us 16 years ago, amirite?)…. Anyway, he and Janelle needed better luck.
  • Ian:  I love this guy, and he’s so cute this season.  I would love to see him organize a counter-alliance to the 6, but I’m not sure he’s got that motivation.  He probably feels his Final 2 with Nicole F is enough, regrettably.
  • Christmas:   I honestly am fine with Christmas – I know she’s on the anti-Janelle train which feh, but I also like that she has glimmers of doing her own thing, like with Ian.  More of that please.
  • David:   I guess he has Tyler’s support for sure, but I don’t know why he pushed Day away.  He must feel more confident about his position than what we’re seeing on the show would tell us.
  • Kevin:  oh man, I don’t know about Kevin.  I know he turned on Janelle and fed Nicole A all sorts of hogwash to her which derailed her game.   He’s probably out shortly after Jaysar, if we’re being honest.

Alright, there’s that!   I like that, and will do that again.  Let’s see how things turn out.