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!
Going through each week is definitely an up and down experience. I’m blessed to have the friends I do, as they are happily keeping me engaged and doing stuff. As you’ll see in these pictures, I do have fun. And I can at times not think about Larry’s death, and I don’t feel bad about that, as I know it’s good to embrace life however I can. There are points of each day though that still break my heart and I need a moment. Like today. I decided to do another little bit of cleaning. Last week I worked on streamlining some of Larry’s stuff out of the bathroom cabinets. I thought that would be the easiest to do, and it probably was, but it was still emotional, as there were still some medicines and things that he had to use during his cancer fight. There was also stuff from before that, like LONG before that, that Larry should have thrown out years, if not decades ago. So at least I could laugh at times. Today though, I tackled the top of the dresser in our bedroom, as it was stacked with the clothes that he could wear at the end. It hadn’t made any sense to try to organize the while he was alive and needed them, as sometimes it was necessary to grab a quick change of clothes to keep him clean.
Obviously, this was harder than cleaning his bathroom stuff. I did clean it up, and decided which things really weren’t worth keeping, but I couldn’t get rid of it all yet. I kept some things for myself, and some things I folded and put away. Larry’s side was on the right in the dresser, and just opening those drawers up was painful and caused me to cry. I really don’t know when I’ll be able to move to the phase of getting rid of his stuff. There’s obviously no need for me to immediately, but I also recognize it has to happen some day.
I then was in the office trying to just straighten some stuff up down here as it’s admittedly a small mess here with a lot of paperwork and things kind of anywhere there is a flat surface. I looked in his small drawers there and found a small Hallmark bag – apparently he had gone and bought a few cards for me, including a birthday card, a Valentine’s day card, and an anniversary card. That did the trick, and I had a full-on meltdown. The cards hadn’t been written in yet. But it was nice. Then of course at that moment, work called about some bullshit thing that just was like, thanks for reminding me I hate everything. I’ll never get rid of some things, and those cards definitely aren’t going anywhere. Glad I was able to see the Valentine’s day card today – yesterday sucked but it was never a holiday that Larry and I went crazy for, but still, a “holiday’ about loved ones still hurts a lot.
Anyway, I had a full week at work, although I only made it into the office once. Had a few days where I just couldn’t make it out of bed early, which is not good. One night I had a full on panic attack about everything going on, so yeah, couldn’t quite get the energy to go in. But as I was getting to at the beginning of this post, my friends are really my rock and my strength at this point. I don’t want to take advantage nor become solely dependent on their presence, but some days it’s just good to be with them. I am on my own again at this point, and I am finding the strength to be okay with it. I’m sad of course, as I don’t really see me finding anyone else with how I look and my age, but I can still find things to occupy my time and be happy with, especially with friends, and hopefully just find some kind of meaning or purpose until it’s time for me to die.
So here are some pics from the last week or so – there’s been some really fun stuff. To start, here’s what I was doing last week with friends. Rekha was celebrating her birthday in WeHo a little belatedly, but it was a blast. Started at Rocco’s WeHo for a drag brunch, and it was flamazing. A few hours later, we walked over to the Abbey to enjoy the ambience and fun. Can’t deny by the end I was a little drunk and got melancholy, but my friends were there to help and support, understanding exactly what was happening. Just miss Larry a lot.
Rekha’s WeHo Birthday Fun – February 7, 2020:
Bethany and Rekha
Rekha and Nicki
My favorite picture of Nicki
The drag queens came out into the crowd – it was delightful
She was the host and stunning
Rekha got to go up
Made it to the Abbey
Bethany and Jamy
with Carey and Paras
Way before it got crowded – normally you pay the table costs
Gogo boy fun
The next day, I was a bit dehydrated from Saturday’s activities! Nicki and I had gone to dinner afterwards, so it wasn’t like I had been drinking until the late night, thank god. But still, a lot of beer (which is what I focused on that day) has consequences. Anyway, on Sunday, it was the Oscars, and Ken had invited me to his annual party. It was a lot of fun and I got to see the whole family, of course. Before then, I had been assembling my Lego Empire State Building (which is massive, btw) and making my world famous chocolate chip cookies for the party, while watching Arrival. What a movie that is, and it keeps rising in my rankings. It’s easily in my top 15? Such an emotional movie, and even more so with how I’m feeling. What a weird thing to contemplate – would you go through something having the knowledge of how it will go and end? I know I would, and that’s why I know that the 11 years I had with Larry were magical and worth it all. I wish the cancer hadn’t been part of his story, but that’s neither here nor there.
Oscars Sunday, February 9, 2020
I enjoyed the Academy Awards – very glad Parasite won. Sveta and I watched that a few weeks ago and it blew us away.
This past week, work kept me busy and in the evenings, I did usually have somewhere to go, which was nice.
On Monday afternoon, I did go into DTLA for work, but mostly so I could have lunch with Barb. We went to the Joey’s DTLA which is the same restaurant (but in Woodland Hills at the Warner Center) that Larry & I took Fran and Joel to one of the first times they stayed with us when we had moved in here at the Glen. Always fun catching up and talking with Barb, and one of those people I’m so glad to have in my life. You never know when a new addition to your friends is actually going to stick, and she has.
On Tuesday night, I met up with Nicki down at the Century City mall to eat at the Din Tai Fung there. It’s huge! We wisely got there early enough and found a seat in their bar area. But it gets packed, even on a Tuesday night. That mall is a trip too – so much money there. And lots of attractive guys?
On Wednesday, Sveta came over and I had a puff too many on the weed and got pretty fucking high for a brief moment. I braced for a NYE 2014 situation but happily the wave crested and I came back down. I think if I was expecting and aiming for super-high, it would be fine, but I am really aiming for just chilling out. So yeah, two puffs is my max in a session. That gets me to a nice place.
On Thursday, I went to a PwC going-away for a cool associate, Danny. It was at this Korean BBQ in a mall in Little Tokyo I’d never known about – it was a lot of fun. We walked over to the Angel City Brewery and played an epically long game of Sorry, which really is a bitch of a game. Very funny though. Mel and I won, of course. And I was out till like 12, on a school night!!! WTF. I can’t hang like that too much. Was way tired on Friday.
And yesterday, on Friday aka Valentine’s Day, Nicki took me out. It was very sweet, and I appreciated it, as it is a hard day to not be doing something, especially with it being so close to Larry’s death still. We first went to dinner at El Coyote near her house on Beverly. It tied together with the second part of the date, as we saw Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at the New Beverly Theater, which is owned and run by Quentin Tarantino. Kind of a cool thing. Plus, in the movie Sharon Tate is shown having dinner with her friends at El Coyote (the real one) on that fateful night. The movie also shows Cliff and Jake having dinner that same night at Casa Vega, which is also a place we’ve now been to. I’m such a hipster. It was a blast of a night and that movie does not get old, and if anything, it just gets better for me. Still can’t get over how insanely violent that 10 minute section is.
Valentine’s Day with Nicki – Feb 14, 2020
Ralphie and Eeyore miss Larry
Delicious food started the night off at El Coyote
Inside the theater
Finally, to end this ridiculously long post, I’m sharing this video that makes me ridiculously happy and has motivated me to even buy the Just Dance 2020 game for my Switch, just so I can play this and learn the moves. In the 2000s, some of you may remember how obsessed I got with Dance Dance Revolution – who knows if it’ll enter that level, but still, watch this video and be amazed at the dancing skill of the group and chuckle at how awesome the “Rasputin” song is!
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:
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.
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:
Beautiful sunset accompanied by lots of helicopters
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: