It’s been another long stretch of time since I updated this here blog. I do in fact visit it periodically to look at memories or pictures when something triggers it, but my motivation to actually put something new here has been basically gone. Why remember this period of time? Almost all the posts I’ve done before were because I wanted to try to capture the fun, the joy, the travels, the moments… but when you don’t have those all that much anymore, and every day feels exactly the same as before, that’s when it’s harder to come back to this blank screen and type something up.
You’d think maybe Big Brother was what brought me back, and no, not really. But I will say that I’ve really been enjoying BB23 this season so far (entering week 3 and I don’t consider the season a dumpster fire so yay). It’s nice to have it around to look forward to during the summer.
Honestly what brought me back is a conversation I have with my therapist periodically, which is writing is good for me. I’m good at writing. I like writing. Maybe I just need to get back on the wagon and try. So here I am, writing again.
Some quick hits:
- Vaccinated? Hell yeah I am, having got my 2nd Pfizer shot back in April. Reminder: it’s not a HIPAA violation to talk about your vaccination status.
- Employed? Yeah, still employed. I actually got promoted as of July 1 to Senior Manager. It was bittersweet as obviously I had no one to really celebrate it with. Maybe somewhere in the ether they’re proud of me.
- Roof over my head? Still at the place Larry & I bought in the Valley. I’ve been making small changes here and there. The featured image here is me at the new dining room table I bought. It replaces the dining room table Larry & I bought when we first moved back here to LA in our swanky pad in Santa Monica – let’s look at pictures:
- I got rid of Larry’s car back in March. Yeah, it took me a year plus to get rid of it. Some of the delay was due to auto title and registration nonsense Larry hadn’t taken care of for 10 years. Anyway, I called a local DMV-authorized small business that helped me get the rest of the way, and soon enough I was able to sell it to a pick-a-part. So the garage stopped being a constant reminder, and that was good.
- We had mom’s memorial in May after it seemed a good majority of people could have gotten vaccinated that would likely attend. We held it in Royal Oaks Park in Duarte, which was near her house. It was a very nice event and Stacie and I think it would have made mom happy.
- Physical health? Yoga was what I earnestly started last year after Larry’s death and continued doing it nearly every day as the pandemic continued. I’m thankful I did so, as I know it has helped my back (by strengthening my core) and it has helped as a way to meditate and chill every morning. I bought a Peloton this year and that has also become key to my fitness. I ride nearly 3-4 times a week and add in strength Peloton workouts as well, and I am feeling good.
- Mental health? My grief group has been part of my life for the last year or so. It wraps up this week, and I’m sad about that, but it’s always been a year program. The hope is that our group continues unofficially meeting up, like going out to dinner or others’ homes every 2 weeks. The others in this group are the only other ones who have the same shared experience and can really understand the utter despair and heartbreak the others feel. It’s quite a thing to have them in my life. I also started seeing a therapist one-on-one earlier this year when things just weren’t good. It’s been a good decision to take part in that. By no means does it solve anything but it does help me have perspective and tether me back to something.
- My friends have kept me alive this past 18 months. What else can I say? Nicki was my pandemic pod and one of the very few people I saw in person for much of 2020. It’s hard to imagine making it alive without her last year. Like Nicki, Michancy has also visited when she can and we make sure our bitchy levels stay in the red. I’m visiting her in Vegas soon, and maybe that’ll be my first “hey, pics I took” post in a while when I get back. Sveta and Mila I’ve finally been able to see more regularly now that we’re all vaccinated and I love them so much. We all were able to get together and have our own Sound of Music Sing-a-long at my house back near Memorial Day weekend. It was wonderful.
I think that’s enough for now. I know that if I let myself go I can end up writing an endless post and I don’t feel I need to capture everything that’s happened since when I wrote about mom’s death.
Maybe I’ll be back to this more regularly. It did feel nice to highlight some of the good stuff and acknowledge the painful things too in this post. I’m sad and lonely still, most days, but I’m trying to do what I can to make it not so bad. I see friends, work keeps me busy, and maybe I’ll start dating soon. I don’t know. I say that out loud and it just feels really weird to contemplate that. But that can be for another post.
Monday was the start of my last week of leave. I finally got the process going for looking for a place for mom to go. I ended up using links Mila sent me that connected me to A Place For Mom – and I’ve already spoken with some places in Tarzana. Might go visit next week. Mom is mostly on board, but I think she understands and gets that this isn’t a simple thing and is a big change. Slow steps.
I found out my car had nothing wrong. But I did learn that when you’re not actually using the A/C cooling feature in your car, you shouldn’t turn on the A/C Compressor. Huh. I did not know that.
Anyway, Monday was a chill day after that. Shored up that we will be heading to Santa Monica on Wednesday, not Tuesday.
I met with a social worker that Mila set me up with on Monday afternoon. It’s a short term thing but will basically be some therapy for me. I hope it can be something that helps. I bet it will.
Tuesday – honestly a big day of nothing. The three of us just hung out for most of it, got packed up for our 3 days in Santa Monica, as we are getting a hotel out there to avoid having to drive back and forth on that nightmarish 405. We also got Arby’s – well, I went and drove to Reseda to get it and brought it back, and totally worth it. Continued watching Mrs Maisel Season 3 and I also got my delivery of the Twin Peaks From Z to A box set, which has everything. Everything. And it’s got the pilot and Part 8 of theReturn on UHD – watched the pilot in UHD and it was great.
Wednesday – we got up bright and early and were able to get out to Santa Monica UCLA Health – the drive there sucked hard as even leaving at 9am for a 10:30am appt meant over an hour on the road. Ugh. The only activities happening today were to collect bloodwork for labs, and then to meet with Dr Goldman after he reviewed the results. All of us had some stress that he was not going to continue the trial, but as of now, that isn’t the case. Fran and I grabbed some lunch across the street and Larry had a chance to have some one on one time with the SIMM social worker, and it did help emotionally. I don’t know – I hope so. Crying can help and talking to someone external can let you reveal your true thoughts. We need a miracle. Anyway, our Comfort Inn is just a few blocks east on Santa Monica Blvd – and we spent the afternoon there. Nicki (yay!) joined us there as she had been out and about from work early, and we got to hang out and chill. Bought some wine at a wine store a block away, and then ordered in Tender Greens. The hotel is what it is, but I miss home. Tomorrow is the biggest day ahead of us – the first day of the drug, and then a day of monitoring. Wish us luck, pray, anything.
I made it back home this afternoon after a nice long six and a half hour flight from Newark. Early departure though, had the whole row to myself (yay for a very empty flight), got to watch Fiddler on the Roof for the first time and still had 3 hours left to kill. Larry was amazing and picked me up from LAX and we got back and I commenced a period of vegging as I was exhausted. EXHAUSTED.
Besides it being an early flight though, I was tired from the whole NYC trip in itself. The two days of work we did were pretty extensive but very productive. We also managed to have a lot of fun in the evenings too. The first night was Ramen as was seen in my previous big post; the second night was a dinner with many of the people that were involved in the big workout session on Wednesday at a Mexican restaurant called Blue Moon (which may or may not have had a gay manager; ask Joe) and in which I developed a killer headache and our driver managed to get pulled over just a block from our destination; and then this last evening on Thursday….
After work and taking an EC shuttle back to the hotel, Nicki and I went to Blue Smoke and indulged in their fantastic barbeque food, but of course the highlight, for me, was the mac & cheese. Of course, the bartenders and waiters there are all extremely cute and in some cases, flat out hot. Yay! Then we met up with Joe afterwards back in Hell’s Kitchen to enjoy some gay bar fun, first at Industry, which I’d never been to and we only stayed for like a minute, after which we went across the street to Therapy. Therapy is the bar where Larry & I ended our first date and had our first kiss, and is probably the nicest and classiest of the gay bars in Manhattan. We were there for Testosterone Thursdays, which is when they put on a strip show. SWEET. 3 hot guys dancing in rapidly disappearing thongs, a midget in a red full body sheath dancing to Britney, and a ferocious drag queen named Bianca del Rio (soon to be seen in the forthcoming 6th season of Rupaul’s Drag Race) later, I can say I definitely wouldn’t mind returning for more of that! I think Larry & I will have to explore some of the local offerings too. Can’t say that the sight of a super hot guy stripping down to almost nothing is a bad thing. Not. At. All. So yeah, it was a good night and a great way to end the NYC whirlwind tour. I’m also stoked to be gone from that cold hellhole – seriously, too fucking cold.
Last Night in NYC, January 30, 2014
Me and Nicki at Blue Smoke
The delciious mac & cheese
At Therapy for the show
Let me just say, I’m so happy to be home and with Larry. There’s nothing like your own space.
Here are pics I took on the flight home with my iPhone – there are stupid black specks because of something on the lens. This is why I don’t really prefer taking pics with my phone and rather with my camera, but I just was going with convenience. That’s the worst.
Flying Home, January 31, 2014
Manhattan in the distance
The 210 / 15 interchange