In two weeks time though, a lot has changed! First thing we noticed once we were there was that the drywall had been pretty much sealed up. If you look at the pictures from the post above, the drywall was up but it didn’t look finished yet. It looks finished now. What got us over here today though was that we had confirmation that all the cabinetry was up!!! And boy oh boy, finished walls and cabinetry up in all the rooms makes this place look that much more finished. It’s fucking fantastic. Look for yourself!
Cabinets & Finished Drywall – Sept 23, 2018
Phase 2 has a first layer of stucco up
The drywall has been properly finished up
These are some real walls now
Our staircases have railings now
Downstairs bath has a cabinet!
Office is bluuuueee
Look at that – a real railing
OUR KITCHEN HAS CABINETS
IT’S SO EXCITING
THE ISLAND EXISTS
Our TV alcove
Laundry room cabinets
Love our flat panel cabinets and the hardware
Where the stove, oven, and microwave will go
And where our refrigerator goes
Patio still in progress
Railings up to the bedroom level
Landing cabinetry in place
Looking up to the roofdeck windows
The master bathroom cabinets!
Our master shower, with tile
Larry in Nicki’s nook
The guest room bathroom cabinet
Stairs up to the roof deck
Lots of exterior work still going on
A few more layers are coming
I’m a refrigerator
Went for a walk – here’s Valley Glen park
The Great Wall – a long mural of California history
You’ll see in those last few pictures that we ended up going for a long walk. Larry’s commute will be markedly improved once we move, as he’s no longer going to have to cross the 101/170 interchange or the 5/134 interchange – both of which are terrible and soul-killing. Mine though? It’s going to take some figuring out. For going into DTLA, I do have plenty of options but none of them are like, super easy. There’s an Orange Line stop about a mile south of the house, so Larry suggested we walk it to see how it goes. The day was right for it, so off we went. Saw the pretty Valley Glen Community Park before getting to the Orange Line stop. Definitely a do-able walk, but I’m thinking some kind of bike or scooter would make this easier. Anyway, on the walk back to the house, we walked up Coldwater Canyon and saw the Great Wall mural of California History. It’s pretty cool. Walking through the neighborhood was a nice way to get a better feeling for the area, and I think we’re gonna like it here.
YESTERDAY was the Sound of Music Sing-a-Long at the Hollywood Bowl, and it was wonderful. I don’t have to explain it again, do I? It’s what we do every year and we’ll continue to do as long as they keep having it. Based on yet another sold out crowd, I doubt it’s going away any time soon. Melissa Peterman was the host (for her 14th time in a row!) and is just fabulous and glorious and so quick on her feet. Love her. There was a marriage proposal this year, which was new! Anyway, The Sound of Music is just as glorious as it ever was, and I love it so.
Sound of Music Sing-a-Long, Sep 22, 2018
In our Terrace Box
Mila and Sonny
Larry with Mila
Enjoying our spread
Ilona and me
The wonderful Melissa Peterman
The remaining Von Trapp Girls: Marta, Gretl, and Brigitta
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!
Yep, the first week of Larry’s chemotherapy is complete. It’s been a whirlwind, a rollercoaster, and exhausting, and I don’t recommend it for anyone. But it’s all in service of the fight that we will be winning, and I am frankly glad to get it started. No more quarter for these fucking cancer cells in Larry’s liver. No. More. Quarter. Get the fuck out.
The beginning of the week was when Larry had to go and sit in the treatment center for about 3 hours hooked up to an IV. He’s taking the Folfox treatment chemotherapy which is the standard method of treating colorectal cancer. We didn’t do Avastin this round, which will likely be back for Round 2. With this therapy regimen, Larry will go every 2 weeks.
Larry’s infusion pack
On day one of each cycle, he’ll get chemo in the center. Before he leaves, the staff then attaches an infusion pump that attaches to his port and he carries around with him, which keeps administering the chemo. He keeps the pump with him for the next 48 hours, and after that, can then go back in and have the pump removed. His regimen is then over for the next 1.5 weeks. All things considered, it is something he has to deal with for like a full 2 days, but after that, he can get back to just building his strength and living his life.
Obviously it doesn’t come without side effects. Neuropathy, nausea, and fatigue are the main ones we experienced, but I don’t think they were too overwhelmingly bad this round. I don’t know what we can expect as this continues, but I do know the key is to keep him eating, drinking, and exercising. So that’s what we’ll be doing, dammit.
To prepare for naps and relaxation on the couch, we got some help from Nicki to go to our storage unit and grab the chaise part of the sectional couch. We’d put it away as our apartment just really wasn’t big enough to have it present…but now it’s like, fuck it, we want to be comfortable!
Honestly, while the walking space was intruded upon, you can still get by. And it’s amazing to have a full couch again. You can truly sit a few people there now to watch TV! And I like having a chaise option to sit in. Sometimes you don’t want to chill in the chair, right?
On the weekend before chemo, on Saturday, July 14, Larry and I happily made it out to the Hollywood Bowl. We’d had to miss our first planned show around July 4 as we just weren’t feeling good enough to make it, but Larry’s made huge progress in feeling back to normal, at least as much as he can. It was a huge happiness to make it to the Bowl this time though, as the performers were Christopher Cross, Kenny Loggins, and Michael McDonald. Yep, the Kings of Yacht Rock were all together, and the songs and performances were amazing. AMAZING! And that place was sold the fuck out, as obviously many are unashamed in their love of smooth pop rock!
Anyway, that concert was a nice thing to have right before heading into chemo. We got through the week of chemo with its ups and downs, but this isn’t really the place to go into all of that. Just know that Larry made it like a champ, and he will continue to fight to be free of this cancer. His youth will be an asset and we’re going to take advantage of that in this fight.
So on Friday night, Mila and Sveta dropped by and it was just a blast. We had dinner, talked, drank wine (well, Sveta and I did), watched TV (showed Sveta the first episode of Pose, which is one of our favorite recent shows as it’s glorious) and just overall had an amazingly fun evening.
On Saturday morning, Larry & I went for a brisk walk around Glendale, and Brand Blvd was shut down in advance of the annual car thing they do here. So here are some pics of that:
Looking north on Brand
Looking south on Brand Blvd
Looking down Central to DTLA
This weekend, we had yet another Hollywood Bowl concert in store! On Saturday, July 21, it was a screening of the movie Jaws accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl orchestra. As a reminder, Jaws is a fantastic movie, and even with it being 40+ years old, it still thrills and kicks ass. Seeing it with a giant crowd makes it even more fun, as it was clear there were some who weren’t ready for some of the scares. Chief Brody’s snap to attention when the shark nearly takes his arm off is still fantastic.
And now it’s today! We just came back from seeing Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again! and gotta say…it WAS FANTASTIC. So much fun, they got some of the deeper ABBA cuts into the song (“Andante, Andante” was a particular delight), the new members of the cast portraying the younger versions were amazing, CHER was wonderful, and the story ended up being very poignant. The ending scene might have made me cry just a LOT. But then there were the upbeat numbers to “Waterloo”, “Dancing Queen”, and happily, “Super Trouper” that just made my heart swell with happiness. ABBA is the fucking best and will always be. And I’ve heard that Cher is going to release an album of ABBA covers and that just makes me so happy. Anyway, go see it, you’ll be very happy you did so.
Finally – I have to share that my Daily Double clue from my game way back in 2016 ENDED UP IN THE 2018 JEOPARDY DAILY CALENDAR!!! And it’s today! And I’m so stoked. I had seen my super bestie from the taping (Vicki) had posted a few weeks back in the J! group that her clue had showed up in the calendar. I had bought the 2017 calendar thinking maybe my clues would be in it, but I think that the production schedules of that never would sync up – so it makes sense our clues wouldn’t show up until 2018. So I was motivated to find a copy of the calendar (got it on eBay) and quickly flipped through it to find anything that looked familiar…and there it was on July 22! It’s not correct that it was a Final Jeopardy (I WISH), but still, I’m psyched that my question made it:
Normally, I’d insist on showing absolutely every picture I took….but I realize that will take a lot of time and effort. So we’ll have to do a bit of editing, although I’m pretty sure it’ll still look as if I posted every picture I took. What can you do?
It has been a busy month or so, since last I posted, whether it was work or vacation. Work was especially intense and I can actually see a finish line for this engagement, if that can be believed. Probably shouldn’t jinx myself though, so I’ll leave it at that.
Sat, May 27, 2017: Starting Memorial Day Weekend with La La Land @ the Bowl
During Memorial Day weekend, Larry & I were heading out to New Jersey & NYC to spend the week with friends and family and to be able to attend our niece’s baby naming ceremony. But before we headed back, I had bought us tickets to the La La Land in Concert @ the Hollywood Bowl….and it was great and a wonderful way to kick off the Hollywood Bowl season. The kicker in this concert was that the orchestra would play the entire soundtrack while the movie played, and for this, they also included a jazz band, and there was a fantastic piano player who quite deftly played all the Sebastian music. Pretty great experience, and aided by fireworks that kicked in at various moments in the movie. Gotta love fireworks!
Sun, May 28: Flying to Newark
Happily, flying out of LAX in the middle of a long holiday weekend isn’t a complete shitshow, and even while you can’t ever escape traffic at the terminal, we were still able to get in and to the gate pretty easily. Pro-Tip: Get yourself Pre-Check. Everything is easier once that’s accomplished.
I liked these pictures I took right after take-off, looking back at Los Angeles and the area around Rancho Palos Verdes.
Ready to leave at LAX
Arrival at Newark
That first night, we got picked up by Fran & Joel and hung out at their place, eating some delicious New Jersey pizza. Then it was time to pass out and hope we could get some sleep.
Mon, May 29: A Day with Jon, Alyssa, Stacey & Rachel
Our first full day back was going to be spent with the Rausches as we never get to see them. Plus, the baby naming ceremony for Rachel was the following weekend and that was going to be a hectic, stressful day for them. So here, we could just relax and have a nice day. Which we totally did, as we hung out at their house for a while, chatting, having a few drinks, eating lunch, and getting to play with Stacey & Rachel. We then went to the local zoo! It may have been kind of dreary and rainy, but it was still fun. It was back to the house for some more Lego Batman movie watching and games directed by Stacey before we then went to a wonderful dinner with just Jon & Alyssa as Fran & Joel picked up babysitting duties. In other words, it was a really fun day.
Larry feeds Rachel
Joel & Stacey
Time for the Carousel!
Jon, Larry, and Stacey
I’m not the one who put that other sign above this one
They have a giraffe paddock at this zoo
Larry & Rachel continue bonding
Fun at the table
Yay for self-timers
Jon & Larry
Me & Alyssa
Me & Jon
Great pic of Larry & Alyssa
Tues, May 30 – Larry’s Birthday!
So this day was a day with Fran in NYC as well as us starting a temporary hotel stay in the city for a few days to be tourists and enjoy the old neighborhoods a bit. First on the agenda was heading to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the UES, as hello, it’s awesome there. After Fran fearlessly navigated her way there – btw, the city seems to be a whole lot more crowded as lots of streets are under refurbishment? – we walked the few blocks to the Met and took in a few exhibits before heading to the roof. It’s got a spectacular view of Midtown framed by a tree-top view of Central Park. See for yourself!
Back in Larry’s old hood
Mom and son
Out front of the Met
We were NYers, once
Inside the Rei Kawakubo exhibit
Lots of art as fashion
Some you could see as wearable
Looking west to the UWS
There’s art up top too
432 Park is super tall – and was lost in clouds today
Mesmerizing Midtown – ever more tall buildings going up
You’re a very wealthy millionaire if you live there
Inside the Egyptian wing
hadn’t been here since we left NYC at the end of 2010
We then had lunch at the Atlantic Grill, which was the restaurant that Larry literally lived right above when he used to live on 76th St. When you’d walk up to his place, you’d walk right by the windows of the restaurant that faced his building’s little courtyard. So we were back! It’s a great seafood restaurant and was a very nice way to celebrate his birthday.
At this point, Fran dropped us off over on the UWS as she headed back to New Jersey, and we then grabbed an Uber to take us to our hotel in Chelsea, the Hyatt House. It was a fairly new building with just a few rooms per floor as the building is quite narrow, and it didn’t seem very crowded. Also, it’s in a great location as you’re near Midtown but not quite in it, while also handy to a few subway lines. Anyway, after checking in and getting settled, we had a show to catch, as Fran had gotten us tickets to see “Kinky Boots” on Broadway. It’s a fun show about a British shoe company that is down on its luck until it realizes there’s a market for drag queen shoes. It’s an enjoyable, fun musical with some standout performances, notably by the main queen, Lola, as well as the young owner of the shoe factory, played here by the lead singer of Panic! at the Disco. A lot of catchy numbers made for a very fun show – definitely recommended.
Afterwards, we walked over to Hell’s Kitchen to grab a meal at one of our favorite places, Five Napkin Burger…so goood.