Tag Archives: spectre

Two Weeks of Travel & Stress, But We Made It

I won’t lie – the last two weeks have been hard.  I’ve been having to travel for work and while of course when one hears where I went, they probably think I’m a little bitch because oh boo hoo, I had to go to great places.   But the fact that I had to leave Larry (even though he had amazing support from friends and family while I was out) was ridiculously hard to deal with.  Then the travel was all about work, but when you’re traveling for work, it’s very difficult to not fall behind on the regular work stuff you’re also responsible for doing.  So yeah, it has been a relief to be at this point and know that I am back to a regular kind of schedule.

It wouldn’t be me though if I hadn’t taken pictures while out and about!  So let’s start from long ago and work our way back to drywall.  It’ll make sense once you see the pictures.

Larry started his 4th round of chemo back on Monday, August 27th.  It was another round of the FolFoxIri + Avastin, which is the max approach we can take at this point.   I then was leaving to go to Mexico City on Tuesday.  EEK.  Larry wasn’t on his own though, as my mom was able to help take him on Wednesday for unplugging the chemo port, and Nicki also came by on Tuesday night to keep him company.  It was a relief to know he was in good hands.

I went to Mexico City to help with training up PwC Mexico folks on our code review template and to also, and more specifically why I was there, to give an introductory crash course on COBOL.  Yep, what was my life for 16 months in 2016 and 2017 is now part of what I’m known for here at PwC.  Good times!  🙂  I was slightly nervous about the whole ‘going to Mexico’ thing, but I managed.  Uber is prevalent in Mexico City just like nearly everywhere else in the world; my experiences from Puerto Rico also had me prepared for what to expect, as just like there, there’s plenty of the regular, non-touristy areas where people live as well as the more haute-touty places.   While during the day of Tuesday and Wednesday were spent at PwC Mexico, the evenings were good for enjoying the area.  My coworker who was there with me is Mexican and knew the area, so we had good ideas for where to go.  The first night, we went to a good restaurant right nearby, but on the second/last night, we got to go into historical Mexico City’s Zocalo, the city center.   It’s where you see James Bond in the beginning of Spectre – and it’s pretty damn great.

Mexico City, Aug 28-30, 2018

I was very very happy to get home though – which was Thursday night.    And god bless Global Entry – I was able to get right through customs without much fuss at all.  But leaving LAX on a Thursday evening is awful any time of the year, but worse before a holiday weekend.  I got home finally but I was exhausted.   Obviously Larry wasn’t feeling all that great himself, and in this case, one of the side effects of his chemo was causing him a lot of discomfort.  We had been trying to rig some solutions using OTC medicines but it really wasn’t doing much to help, regrettably.  Spoiler alert:  Larry was able to call the wonderful GI doctor (Dr Fisher) and get prescribed something that has drastically reduced his discomfort.  It’s not entirely gone, but to say that it’s so much better for Larry is entirely accurate.

Anyway, let’s talk Labor Day weekend.  We had originally been going to go to the Hollywood Bowl to see John Williams’ concert, along with my mom.  But Larry’s discomfort basically meant we weren’t going to be leaving home this weekend for that kind of excursion.  It sucked, but Nicki and Rekha reached out to see if we wanted some company so they came over and brought delicious food from All’Acqua (which is a great Italian place in Atwater Village).  That evening, in addition to food, I got them to play Jenga with me, so yay!

Nicki & Rekha Cheer Us Up w/ Jenga, Sat, Sep 1, 2018

On Sunday, we again mostly just hung out at home and watched The Crown and relaxed.  It was nice.

Then on Monday (Labor Day), Nicki & Rekha came back over to enjoy our apartment’s pool complex, which is a very nice thing to have.  We not only enjoyed the pool, but managed to snag one of the cabanas.  It was a nice way to spend the day.

Labor Day Cabana Fun, Mon, Sep 3, 2018

Jetting off yet again on Tuesday, I went to Orlando for PwC’s Risk Assurance leadership conference.  This was a trip that had been scheduled for quite a while, and at one point (pre-diagnosis), I think it was something Larry & I had considered maybe him going on too so we could spend some time at Disney World.  That didn’t happen obviously.  It was a good conference though and I got to spend some time with current friends and connect with new people too.  Always about the networking in this company.  Like I said before, Larry ended up getting some medicine to help with his side effects while I was gone this time, but when I left it was definitely not a resolved issue.  Happily, by Tuesday evening, he was feeling better.  So yay for victories where we can take them.

So while I was in Orlando, we really only got one evening of pretty awesome fun – we were going to get a dinner in EPCOT center and then time to ourselves in the park!  Not a lot of time (<2 hours, actually) but still, this was my first time ever at a Florida Disney park so I was gonna take advantage of it.   Larry gave me the heads up on what rides were worth it in EPCOT so I had my marching orders.  A few others of my friends were on board for this too, so off we went!  Basically from our event space by the UK area of EPCOT, we headed straight to Spaceship Earth, which is within the famous geodesic sphere.   It’s a slow ride that drives you through the world of communication and how it’s evolved over 30k years.  It’s pretty great, to be honest.   It’s also cool to be inside the sphere!   After that, it was over to Test Track, and let’s just say that this ride is the shit.  It’s clearly a forerunner to Radiator Springs Racers in California Adventure, and possibly even more fun?  Finally, we ramped up the intensity for the last ride, Mission: Space, and geeeez, it’s a rough one.  It’s a G-Force simulator and fucking wrecks you.   It’s still a fun experience, but next time, I’ll take the less intense alternatives, which do exist!

PwC & Epcot Center, Wed, Sep 5, 2018

Again, it was wonderful to be back home after this trip, especially knowing it was the last one for hopefully a while.

This weekend has been good – our house has drywall up!!  It’s actually been a few weeks since we heard that process started, so waiting a few weeks means it’s all up now.  It’s very exciting – within the next few weeks, cabinetry will be going in.  Yay!

Drywall!  Sat, Sep 8, 2018

SPECTRE / Bridge of Spies

Movies!  We’ve seen a few lately! Must briefly talk about them!

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SPECTRE (2015)

Saw this on November 7, 2015 at the TCL Chinese Theater in glorious IMAX

Mixed reviews be damned, SPECTRE was pretty damn fun and was a great entry into the James Bond franchise.  The setup of the plot is that even though you may have thought Skyfall finished setting up the pieces so that James Bond can go and do some spy shit out there unencumbered by the shackles of his past, you’re not quite right.  In fact, a message from an old friend spurs James on to get to the bottom of things (coughBLOFELDcough) and learn that the last 3 movies had a throughline to them that even he didn’t realize.  Anyway, we get taken through Mexico City (the much-lauded Day of the Dead sequence is breathtaking and is one of the more tense scenes in recent Bond history), London, Rome (ah, ROME!!!  It was great to see it again even if in movies), the Austrian mountains (definitely had a On Her Majesty’s Secret Service vibe) and the Moroccan desert in spectacular fashion as James goes on the hunt for the guy behind it all.  It’s awesome.  There’s plenty of over-the-top action setpieces, good James Bond humor, bad-ass villains, and of course Bond Girls for those who care.  🙂  I know I enjoyed the movie as did Larry, and the presentation of it at the Chinese Theater was phenomenal.

Wonderfully, we also got to see the full trailer for The Force Awakens and it was absolutely magical.  There were many rounds of applause just for that trailer.

BRIDGE-OF-SPIES-Poster-e1433542435366-677x400Bridge of Spies (2015)

Saw this on Oct 31, 2015 at the Pacific Theaters in Americana.

It’s a little strange when a Steven Spielberg movie seems to have minimal buzz around it, right?  Because while there were ads for this movie on TV (I remember because what caught my attention is the super-hot guy who plays Gary Powers shown in the ads) you don’t really get the sense that this is a STEVEN SPIELBERG picture.  It looks almost generic.  But damn, that’s a really inaccurate impression to have as this movie was pretty great.  It is set in the 50s & early 60s when the Cold War was in full swing.  Tom Hanks, amazing as always, portrays James Donovan, an insurance lawyer who gets enlisted into providing legal defense for an accused Russian spy.  He takes it on even though he knows it makes him wildly unpopular, but he believes that the US should give all accused a fair shake.  Little does he know that his work is only beginning as he gets further enlisted to help when Gary Powers gets shot down in his U-2 aircraft over the Soviet Union; also over in Berlin, Germany, the Wall is going up and an American student is caught on the wrong side and is accused of being a spy.  Donovan becomes the unofficial means for the US to figure out a way to get both Americans back from the Germans and Russians.  It’s an absolutely fascinating look at the world then.  It’s a time we don’t really get much in movies anymore, so to see the hostile and frankly now-unbelievable world of East vs West Berlin is jarring.  I don’t doubt that Bridge of Spies will get some Academy recognition but I also wouldn’t be surprised if it’s low-key nature means it gets somewhat overlooked.  But YOU should make sure to go see it.  If only just to see this hottie:

14Okay, also go see it for the amazing true-life story of James Donovan.  It’s kind of incredible it all happened.

“Writing’s On the Wall” Tease


SPECTRE comes out in November (EVERYTHING AWESOME IS COMING OUT IN NOVEMBER!) and we’re now finally approaching the point in time when the theme gets released.  Today is the preview of some music, and it’s suitably orchestral and James Bond-y!   Larry & I are both interested to see where the actual song goes – but that mystery isn’t going to be solved for a few more days.