The Next Conversation – Follow Up

I had written a little while ago about how the podcast Larry was a huge fan of responded to a note I had written them telling them about his death.  A thing they’d noted was they’d read my message on their next podcast…and part of me highly doubted that would actually happen.  Just thought it would be too sad.  Well, color me happily surprised, as they did indeed read my note on the next TNG podcast episode.  They’d been doing some Picard episodes in the time since, so I was kind of not sure but yep, the next TNG episode they did included it!

It’s Episode 113, regarding TNG episode “Masterpiece Society”:

Shortly after the 16:30 minute mark is where you can listen to the part above.  It’s awesome, and of course made me cry, but I know Larry’s thrilled somewhere.

A Month Later

Not really much else to say – I just miss Larry so much.   He died a month ago today – and it feels like it’s shocking that it’s already a month later, but it also felt like one of the longest months I’ve ever endured.  He never leaves my mind and I find new reasons to get sad about his loss every day.   Going through my pictures on this site and updating it to be a bit more photo-friendly hasn’t probably helped, but I love to see our adventures.  I just updated this page’s photos from Istanbul:

Istanbul, Day 1 (2011 Trip) Pics

Look at that smile.   I miss you so much, Larry.   I love you.

Cooking For Myself

I was this close to making this a new entry in my “Larry Loved” series of posts, but I don’t have the energy to do that just yet, as honestly, a huge part of who he was was cooking, and to try to just throw a little post about me having a good cooking night isn’t fair to what should be discussed.

So instead of that, I’ll just kvetch about the fact that I’m back to having to cook and feed myself again.  I’d managed to do so before I met Larry and when I was in the military, but looking back at it now, I really didn’t do that great a job of it.   Lots of mac and cheese, lots of sorta sad attempts at chicken…and a metabolism that allowed me to make plenty of crap and not blow up to the size of a bigger Hobie.  The last 11 years though?   I got used to living it a little bit nicer with Larry’s ambitious and delicious views on cooking (and gained the weight to prove it).  He loved it.  And now I have a kitchen full of any device a reasonably ambitious cook would need.  I don’t want it to go to waste, and I actually enjoy having nice(r) meals.

What sucks about cooking for yourself is that it’s work, both in prep, execution, and cleanup.  Larry and I had split those duties up (probably not fairly, tbh – but it worked) but now it’s all me, and do I go to a ton of trouble for just me?  So I started sorta basic this week – making chicken, brown rice, and green beans.  Kind of a balanced meal, right?   I think Larry would have been proud: I found a recipe online for salt and pepper chicken in the oven, and bam, it fucking tasted amazing.  I made the rice on the stovetop and kind of found out things to do better, like keeping the heat a little higher as I still had water in the pot even after 20 minutes.  Also discovered that brown rice is better for you but certainly doesn’t taste that great.  But I gotta say, the food was overall delicious and it did make feel like Larry’s energy was with me.

A random aside:  Larry kept all his recipes in the Paprika iPad app.  All of them.  So like, it’s a total Larry treasure trove.  I did worry I’d lose them though as they’re all on what is literally like an iPad 3, so it’s supa dupa old.  If that thing died, I’d lose the recipes.  So I bought the app on my iPad, and finally figured out how to export the recipes from Paprika to the cloud, and then use my account, and re-import them.  Now I’ve got all his recipes, and I can breathe a sigh of relief as losing those would just feel like losing a huge part of him.  We had so many “go-to” recipes that I’ll one day get the motivation to make.   So between this week’s chicken combo (which I’m making again), the Instapot, and now these recipes, I think I should be able to be a functional, well-mannered man who can cook meals for others soon.  I definitely want to sign up for some cooking classes to just get confident in certain skills.  But that’s a post for another day.

A Nice Weekend

I’ve discovered I can start crying at the drop of a hat.  Okay, to be more specific, grieving for me can be “okay one minute – absolutely crestfallen the next.”  It’s obviously what grief is in terms of a definition, but it just can take a lot out of you.  This morning, I woke up and just started crying, and that was because I started just thinking about all the things that have happened or are happening in my life, and it just made me sad and anxious.  I have to trust that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but right now, it’s all tunnel.

Why am I writing that?   Just that when nice things happen, it’s good to enjoy them, as I can find myself very easily in the midst of crying.   So this past weekend, it got started out right by having dinner with Carey & Paras at the Sugarfish in Hollywood.  As I’ve raved previously, Sugarfish is the shit.  The best sushi around especially at the price point you get it at.

The key is to get there a little ahead of the rush – we got seated around 5:45, which was perfect.   When we left around 7, the waiting area was packed, and since Sugarfish doesn’t do reservations, you gotta wait.  We then headed down the street to Arclight to see The Gentlemen.   I had barely heard of this Guy Ritchie movie, and let me tell you, it’s fucking awesome.   An exciting and compelling crime story with a bunch of movie stars having a blast.  If, like me, you’d never heard of it before, by all means go check it out.  Fun stuff.  Hugh Grant is so far from his typical “Hugh Grant”-ness it’s mind-blowing.

Jan 31 Night at Sugarfish and Arclight with Carey & Paras:

On Saturday, I went over to visit mom for the first time since going with her to Helen’s for Christmas Eve.  I brought the wedding album I’d put together and she was able to remember all of that and the things we did then, and she managed to remember Larry had died, but it’s just not the same person.  Stacie and I are going to have to look to find a place for her to live, such as independent or assisted living as it just can’t continue on with how it is now, as it’s no way to live.  So on the way back home, I just wanted to try to make Larry proud, so I picked up filet mignons (enough for 3 people) and potatoes and broccoli, as I invited Nicki and Sveta over for dinner.  Everybody pitched in to help make dinner, and we ended up having medium-rare filets, baked potatoes, and roasted garlic broccoli.  It was fucking great.  Ended up mostly just talking that night, although I keep wanting to play “Ticket to Ride”, the actual board game. One day.

Feb 1 Filet Mignon Night with Nicki & Sveta:

On Sunday, I endeavored to try to start the process of cleaning up some of Larry’s stuff.  As it is now, I can’t even touch his clothes or shoes, whether they’re in the closet or on the dresser.  It hurts too much to think about it and the tears, as explained above, come like clockwork.  So I thought I’d take it easy on myself and just try to clear out some of the bathroom pills and such.  Well, I did manage to clear out stuff that probably Larry should have thrown out long ago, as well as remove excess stuff.   Still couldn’t get rid of things like his glasses though.  It’s not like I can even wear his glasses as my head is too big for his frames; nor can I wear his pants or shoes, so it makes sense that I should probably work on those to go.  But it’s just, I don’t think I can bear to have the closet half empty, or the drawers only filled on my side, as right now, I’m not triggered when I walk into my bedroom.  There’s something comforting about his stuff being there still.  But as I type this with tears in my eyes, I know I have to start bracing myself for that, and maybe I have friends with me when I do, but I don’t even know if that will help.  Fuck all of this.

Yes, I’ve begun the process of seeing a therapist.  She’s come over to the house a few times, and it’s still been an assessment period, so I think the next time would be truly the first session?  But these first few times have felt like a way to talk about these things I’m feeling and I guess it helps.  I just want to see if the tunnel ends.

Later on Sunday, Nicki kept me company while we watched the Super Bowl.  Still don’t really care about it, but at least the game was interesting and the commericals were okay.  The half time show was awesomesauce:

Larry Visited the Picard Set

I had sent one of the pictures that Larry took of himself while at the Picard set when I reached out to the TNC podcast guys, but there were more that he took.  It was a nice day in August when his friend Greg brought up that he could take Larry to go visit the studio in Santa Clarita.   This was before Larry was going to go back to NYC to get the hepatic pump surgery at Sloan Kettering, so it was kind of essential timing for us to do this while Larry was feeling okay.  Actually, Greg ended up picking Larry up from the Burbank UCLA infusion center when Larry had gone back to get his portable pump removed, and they then drove together to Santa Clarita.

Once there, Larry had the chance to go to producer offices, where this TNG chair actually sits, and with their approval, he was able to sit in it and be a Starfleet Captain for a moment.  He also got to then go into the set, seeing the set for the Picard spaceship (which we still haven’t seen in the show thus far, but we’re only 2 episodes in – it is visible in the trailer, so these pictures aren’t spoilers), as well as seeing the set where a fight scene was being filmed that involved Jeri Ryan’s character.  He got to go through the propmaster closet and see all sorts of cool shit and talk to the propmaster about all things Trek.  No Patrick Stewart meeting unfortunately, and that never did come about – at one point, there was a chance Larry could go to Malibu to visit the set and meet him the next week, but production issues curtailed that possibility at that time, and of course upon return Larry was in no shape to really try that again.  But one cool thing was Larry got to meet Akiva Goldsman, one of the executive producers of the show, and a giant Star Trek geek.  Of course, Larry and Akiva went on and on about Star Trek while Greg endured it.  🙂   I’m so glad that was able to happen and I thank Greg so much for making this all happen.    Larry was so happy because of it.

August 16, 2019 pics from the Picard Production Offices:

And here’s a video of Larry as Picard:

Website Note:  Posts from January 20 through now are obviously posted in real time, but posts between January 2019 (anything except the lone Rescue Me post from September) and January 20, 2020 are retroactively being inserted – their datestamps won’t indicate or show that I’m posting them now, but yeah, 2019 will start having more and more posts.   I want to post all the pictures I can of things we did last year, but I didn’t have the mental mindset to post at the time.   I can’t let Larry’s last year go unobserved.  It’ll hurt, but also, it’ll be wonderful to see his fighting spirit as he continued to try to live a life of fun and joy and happiness and love.

Since 2001 or so, sharing stuff