Larry was still in the ICU today. We also learned he’d stay in it another night, with the plan to get him discharged from the hospital on Thursday around 1pm. Larry continued to improve and today, on Christmas (Merry Fucking Christmas), he was very aware and with it. Obviously still tired as hell but much more our boy. We spent all day with him. Alyssa flew in in the afternoon and made it out here at the hospital to see him. Still coordinating with the hospice to get details finalized – we are looking at a 1pm discharge time. The staff was nice to us that day as it was a skeleton crew and they were very lenient about letting us all sit in the room with him without a 2 person limit. It was nice. One time while we were out in the main hallway, we were surprised to hear Larry’s voice as he was out for a guided walk with the PT team, who walked him to the window. His strength and awareness was just so much better.
The ICU team looked to see if they could find any pockets of liquid that could be drained to help provide relief. They weren’t able to via ultrasound. His discomfort is being managed though, so we should be okay going forward.
His father is setting up time to come and visit on Friday – so that’ll be interesting. Alyssa is here so she can be the intermediary, which is appreciated.
That night, we went back to where Alyssa booked a hotel room – a Marriott right by Burbank Airport. The hotel has a Daily Grill restaurant which was open on Christmas, which was good. Service kind of took forever, but it was good to be able to talk. Rained like crazy when we left, and I passed the fuck out as the night before I had not slept well due to the sheer amount of wine I drank.
First, the stress of yesterday’s PwC event at Magic Mountain proved to be mostly needless. Of course I’m glad that felt compelled to be prepared, so that’s good, but it was such a welcome relief when it was time to do it and then sure enough, I was done. Even got decent feedback after the fact. The reward for making it through was then we got to go enjoy Six Flags! The weather was pretty much perfect for a visit to the park, and better yet, there were like NO lines. It’s likely the slowest time for them as most schools have started back up and it’s not really a hot time for tourism, I guess.
Friday, Jan 12 – PwC at Magic Mountain
Kristy, Viv, Nicole and Sarah
The rundown of rides this day was basically all extreme. And a day later, I’m still kinda feeling sore. But we went on X-2 TWICE, which holy hell. Riding in the last row of that ride is one of the most insane things you can do. Then we went to Viper, then on to Tatsu. Tatsu…is ridiculous. It’s almost more intense than X-2 as it really feels like if your harness were to snap, you’d just get flung out to your death. And it would be quick as you’d be a splat on the ground before you know it. But what a ride! We then followed that up with Gold Rusher which is great, as always, and ended the visit at Twisted Colossus. So Twisted Colossus ended up still being my favorite of the coasters and there was an insane thing that happened: One of my coworkers was in the seat in front of us, and as the train went inverted, the carabiner he had his keys on disengaged! He immediately realized this but we were also on a rollercoaster that was currently barrel-rolling. The keys managed to get lodged into the area by his feet, which was a miracle, as it was still a small gap, but the thickness of one of the keychains saved him. The carabiner was long gone, but his keys weren’t. He said that as they were flying away from him, they had been floating in front of them for a moment like they were in space Lucky lucky man.
Today, Larry & I took my mom over to see the model homes at the Glen LA so she could get to see for herself what the general layout of the house will look like. It was the formal grand opening this weekend, so we of course saw most of the sales team, but we also saw plenty of potential homebuyers and actual homebuyers. We ended up meeting a member of the family that will be living directly next door to us, and then we met a couple who will be living across the driveway from us. All seemed very nice and it’s exciting to get the sense that this will be a fun neighborhood. Fingers crossed.
Saturday, Jan 13 – At The Glen LA with Mom
Mom chills as we get ideas for the outdoor area
In the Plan 2 Model w/ lights on
Atop Plan 2 on the Roof Deck
More progress being made
Like this area especially with a rooftop fridge
We like these bathroom tiles
Good ideas for a nice rooftop barrier
We like the look of this pendant lighting
I am IN LOVE with this planking on the rooftop
It’s not cheap
Making our way to our home
That’s the garage
Looking back towards the finished stuff
Those are the most recent pics and I think it could be fun to try to capture periodic shots from the construction site in order to eventually capture a time-lapse of the progress. Easier said than done, I’m imagining.
Anyway, the rest of the weekend should be nice and relaxing, hopefully. I figure while I’ve got energy and the time, here are some picture sets from December, mostly from around Christmas stuff:
Mon, Dec 25, 2017 – Christmas at Mom’s House
My Christmas Loot from Larry!!!
A rare sight indeed is when Porto’s parking lot is empty
Christmas Dinner getting worked on at Mom’s
Our Thanksgiving ham from Whole Foods was saved for Christmas. It’s enormous.
Trent & Stacie
Tower of Terror Jenga is always a fun time
It was a fun time to spend Christmas at Mom’s with Stacie and Trent. The food was great (and happily, our overbuying for Thanksgiving helped as we just froze this ham and then used it a month later). And wine is always a winner.
I love making chocolate chip cookies as they turn out so damned good. It’s just a lot of work. I ended up making cookies throughout the entirety of watching Die Hard, which is a long time. But so worth the effort. The recipe for these cookies I’ve shared on this site previously and is slightly weird in how it does things, but the results can’t be argued with.
Cookies mise en place
Ralphie is interested
Scared of the handmixer
The cookies are goooooood
I think the last thing I’ll post about as I’m getting antsy and want to do something else besides type on my blog is the pictures from the Sperske Christmas Even that my cousin Erin held down in Carlsbad. Happily, it was held in the early afternoon, so we didn’t have to stay down there overnight. It also meant a LOT of driving for one day. But it was worth it to see family again. Erin & Eric’s house is perfect for these kinds of get-togethers and their recent renovations inside are fantastic.
Sat, Dec 23, 2017 – Christmas Eve in Carlsbad
Larry and me
with cousin Erin
Erin and Cindy
The food spread was pretty great
And that’s that. Time to play some video games and shoot some Nazis.
There’s been some fun few days during this holiday break, and that was helped a lot by Michancy coming down for Christmas. She got here on Friday the 23rd, and that night we went out to Flapper’s Comedy Club in Burbank in the midst of a heavy heavy rain storm. These were tickets that Larry had gotten for free and we were this close to abandoning it and staying in, but we somehow found the willpower to just go. We got an Uber to make it easy on all of us, and did have plenty of wine before and during the show. The kind of cool thing that did happen at Flappers is that we got there at 7, and the actual “show” (Jokes for Jews, no joke) started at 8, so there was a warm-up act. At first I couldn’t roll my eyes harder as it was a woman singing while playing her banjo….and then I started hearing her voice more clearly and then really looking at her. It was freakin’ Deven Green! Or maybe you’ve heard of her as Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian?
Oh man, she is absolutely awesome in this character and has a whole slew of other topics if you choose to go down that rabbit hole. But this one about abortion is my favorite – especially the line, “bottoms up, hooker!” Deven Green also did some hilarious voiceovers on a series of videos that Brenda Dickson made back in the 80s, and if you can find them, great, but likely you won’t. So it was a happy accident and surprise that we got to see her in person. She’s very musically talented and was a lot of fun to watch and sing along with. I did get a brief chance to tell her how much I loved her work, so I feel like that was all worth it.
Alright, here are the pictures from that day of Michancy’s arrival –
Friday, Dec 23, 2016 – Michancy Arrives
The gang before heading out to Flappers
Upon returning – more wine!
The next day we included culture as part of the day’s activities before we got to real work on making food for Christmas Day, so we drove nearby to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. It’s a fabulous museum, convenient for us, not all that expensive, and has a wonderful collection of art without being overwhelming. I think it gets lost in the shuffle of LACMA, the Broad, or the Getty(s), but Norton Simon stands shoulder-to-shoulder with these museums in terms of quality. Highly recommended!
A big part of why I wanted to get over to the Norton Simon was that they had Van Gogh’s “The Bedroom” on loan from the Chicago Art Institute, and I am always excited to go and see Van Gogh if I can. It turns out this is actually the 2nd of 3 “The Bedroom” paintings that Van Gogh did.
There were quite a few other Van Gogh paintings there as well, but one that really caught my attention is one called “The Mulberry Tree.” It’s quite arresting and I couldn’t help but be transfixed by it. I ended up buying a copy of it for my mom as a Christmas gift to go along with some of the other Van Gogh prints she has.
Probably the best thing of the visit though was wandering around near the end of the visit around the Dutch / European wing and coming face to face with what is most certainly Larry’s doppelganger in portrait form. It was quite shocking to see it and I had to have Larry take a picture with it. I’m not wrong:
The artist did his own portrait and while you can look around at other portraits of him, they really don’t look much like Larry. I think he was very generous with himself and that speaks highly of Larry. It also seems like this is a definite costume contender for Halloween 2017.
Anyway, after that nice excursion, we grabbed a late lunch in Eagle Rock and then came back for the evening and watched Elf, Christmas Vacation, and Die Hard, as one does for Christmas. Larry made amazing latkes, and all was well in the world.
Saturday, Dec 24, 2016 – Norton Simon and Other Adventures
Portos is a madhouse on Christmas Eve
Pretty day though
Out in front of the Norton Simon Museum
Very distinct exterior
Me and one of Van Gogh’s The Bedroom
Looking down the Asian art hallway
This is seriously Larry in a previous life as a Frenchman
I’ve found Larry’s doppelganger
Back home, drinking and watching Christmas movies
Larry’s making latkes!
Larry gets a Bingo Bronson!
and an Apple Watch!
One of the things we did that night was open our gifts – Larry got Bingo Bronson and a brand spanking new Apple Watch, while I got some of the Philips Hue lights I’ve been coveting for a long long time. Believe me when I say those things are so freaking cool. You can change the color of the light to pretty much anything, and it’s fantastic.
On Christmas, we went over to Mom’s house, as did Stacie & Trent. It was a lot of fun – we played some games (Tower of Terror Jenga & Apples to Apples), ate a lot of good food, danced a lot, and overall enjoyed Christmas day. We also watched my episode of Jeopardy, as Stacie hadn’t seen it. Funny enough, I made Michancy watch that again on Friday, I think. I’m definitely starting to get that out of my system? Although each time I watch, I still am utterly compelled by the whole thing. And I still don’t know the answers to many of the Earth Science questions. 🙂
Sunday, Dec 25, 2016 – Christmas with the Fam
Trent and Stacie
In our crazy colored life, as I got Philips Hue lights from Larry
Michancy ended up leaving the next day in the afternoon. We were mostly recovering from all the wine that had been consumed over the last few days and didn’t do much of anything – I played (and finishing, later that evening) Uncharted 4, Larry & I watched Midnight Special, which was certainly an interesting movie but I’m not sure all the build up we had for it was warranted?
Since then, I’ve had the chance to clean up the house a bit, go see La La Land again (still fantastic and as enjoyable, if not more so, than the first time I saw it), play a lot of The Witcher 3 (good god, that game is so good and there’s so much good stuff to do in it), and today I went and rode the Gold Line again, this time from Sierra Madre Villa and on out to its new terminus in Azusa, then back.
I’ve got my list of tasks to work through, some of which include getting these pictures out, maybe finishing up the honeymoon pictures FINALLY, as well as extending our lease another year. Yep, not moving after 2 years this time. Too many things up in the air right now to be moving and spending all that money to do so.
It really was a fun few days. Michancy came down and had her first visit with us in a long time (perhaps Thanksgiving 2014?), and it went well. We actually did some work to make our office able to handle the queen-size air mattress. To do that, we got rid of the clunky TV that Larry’s been carrying around with him since the 80s (I kid, only slightly) and got a 40″ inch flat panel from Sony. Super light weight and pretty inexpensive, and we were able to mount it on a wall. Then I got some furniture sliders and put those underneath the legs of our credenzas, allowing us to slide them out of the way. Voila!
Christmas Eve – Michancy Arrives!
She made it down a little early to avoid bad traffic (which unfortunately would be inescapable on her return journey) and so it was just her and I for a little, and we discovered we had no vegan snack food. Off to Ralph’s we went, and by the time we got back, Larry was home too. Wine drinking ensued, and then we went and got sushi at nearby Akuma. After that, I made Michancy watch Spy on Blu-Ray and I was pleased and surprised to discover it had an Unrated version that has significant additions and changes to scenes, making it even more funny. I’m actually kind of shocked the scenes reviewing the assassin’s camera were even longer….so to speak.
Christmas Day – Morning Prep
Making mac & cheese
Larry not only made his excellent mac and cheese to take with us to Mom’s, he also made a vegan version of shepherd’s pie. I did not partake in that dish. 🙂
We spent the afternoon and evening at my mom’s house, along with Stacie & Trent. It was a lot of fun and we ended up opening our gifts there too. I had picked up the LEGO Big Bang Theory set for my mom; I picked up the BB-8 robot for Larry. He got me a Fitbit which I’ve finally set up last night and I’m well on my way to tracking my fitness all day and night! My mom got us some great Star Wars mugs too. More drinking occurred, along with watching the Adele special on NBC, and of course plenty of dancing. 🙂
Larry got to put BB-8 through its paces and we watched the best Christmas movie ever, Die Hard.
Day After Christmas Fun: The Broad
Well, we first made our way to the Granville Cafe to get some breakfast and bloody marys, but after that, we thought about heading down to DTLA and visiting a new museum. The Broad has just recently opened and it’s still fairly popular – especially since it’s free. Also, there’s an Infinite Stars exhibit that people are all crazy for and which we ended up not getting to see as you have to get to the museum early and sign up for an appointed block of time. Kinda like “Breathing Light” at the LACMA when it first opened. Larry & I will have to try again as it does look like a cool thing – BUT, after waiting about an hour to get in, I think all three of us were happy to have visited the Broad as it’s a great collection focused on modern art. Lots of fun stuff to see, like Koons sculptures (some of which were previously at the BCAM wing of the LACMA – it’s also a Broad-owned wing, hence the “B” in the name), Warhol art, and some awesome Lichtenstein pieces. Modern art can be sometimes ridiculous, but it can also end up being quite interesting.
The Broad’s Veil
Up close to the Veil while waiting in line
LA City Hall zoomed in
About to enter
Heading up the entry escalator
The neighboring Walt Disney Music Hall by Frank Gehry
Walking Grand Blvd and Grand Park
After seeing the museum, we walked along Grand Blvd towards Grand Park, passing by the Walt Disney Music Hall and the area around the Ahmanson. Lots of great cultural venues all co-located in this area! Grand Park is a place Larry and I had visited but it’s still situated in a very interesting location with the famous LA City Hall positioned at one end. We ended up having a much-needed Starbucks break before continuing our walk back south.
Looking down Grand
The Music Center
The view while walking down Grand Park
The Grand Park fountains near the DWP
Makes me think of 500 Days of Summer
Angels Flight, Grand Central Market, Pershing Square, the Oviatt and Bottega Louie
The end of our adventure took us by the closed-down Angels Flight funicular, through the exciting Grand Central Market, over and through the Pershing Square area and past the upcoming site of our nuptials, the Oviatt Penthouse. The final destination was over at Bottega Louie, which has become a very happy place to grab dinner in DTLA. It’s just so good and such a great vibe.
The still-closed Angels Flight funicular
The entrance – alas, you have to walk
Inside Grand Central Market
Oviatt from a distance
Zoomed in to the US Bank Tower
Dinner at Bottega Louie’s!
Then it was time to go home! After some time relaxing back at the apartment, we ended up going back out to enjoy some of our local nightlife at a restaurant/bar called Jax. It’s known around here as a place where live jazz is played every night – and of course Larry & I hadn’t gone yet since living here. But hey, we made it under a year! It was a lot of fun to go though and while I didn’t know what to expect (I DID expect it to look kind of like where Effie White sings in the Dreamgirls movie when she gets her first break on her comeback – I was wrong), it was pretty cool to get a seat right by the jazz group and just drink and enjoy the night.
On Sunday, Michancy was headed home. We also had an appointment to meet with a wedding photographer which seemed to be a success way out in Simi Valley. We had left at the same time as Michancy, and so when we got back and started cleaning up the room, we discovered Michancy had left her laptop bag. Not good for her to not have that especially when it’s her work bag. D’oh. So she unfortunately had to turn around after being past Yermo on the drive to Vegas – we helped make it not too painful by driving out to Fontana to kind of meet halfway. But yeah, she ended up having a horrific drive back as there was unreal traffic going to Vegas yesterday. I’m still not sure why, as you’d think the main traffic pattern would be coming to LA, but I do indeed remember one holiday driving back to Vegas and it took me close to 7 hours because of snow on Halloran mountain. UGH.
Anyway, it was a good visit and now I’m off for a week. Thanks, PwC! I better enjoy it as we all hit the ground running upon coming back as it’s busy season across the board. FUN.
Today was a pretty good Christmas. Mom made a tri-tip and twice-baked potatoes which were fantastic after we grilled up the tri-tip here, while Larry made a huge vegetable and cheese platter. I made cookies, as that’s apparently what I can do. Stacie brought the salad, and then we enjoyed the afternoon while Scrooged, Elf, and Frozen played on the TV in the background.
Now it’s time for relaxing and cleanup and thinking about what to do for the rest of the weekend. Yay!