Day 1830

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A full day of stuff.  Came home from Alice's at 5, and instead of starting the day, I slept until 7:30.  Once I was up, I headed for work, hitting thick traffic on the bridge.  Luckily, it was slow so I could work on a few wedding website details and continue helping Alice with her Airbnb.  Work picked up in the afternoon.  At home, I practiced for two hours.  Our concert's less than two weeks ago and I still have a much of the music to incorporate into my fingers.  Made bread and set the timer for 6 hours, so it should be ready by the time I come home from racquetball tomorrow. 

Day 1829

Monday, January 15, 2018

Happy MLK Day.  50th.  It was regular hours at the gym, so Dorian, I, Steve, Kirk, Cliff and Ron showed up at 5.  We played until 7:15.  We then went out to breakfast for Cliff, who's getting thinner and weaker by the day.  He's had cancer now for almost five years and he was only expected to live six months about four years ago.  He's a true warrior.  After breakfast, I headed over to Alice's and helped her get ready for her Airbnb.  After posting her inlaw unit Saturday night, she already has six guests signed up and ready to go.  I think her place will be very successful.  It's really nice and comfortable.  I practice for a good two hours, mainly on Hansel and Gretel.  The concert's in 13 days.  Gulp!

Day 1828

Sunday, January 14, 2018

We spent the day doing tasks and I worked on our Joy wedding website.  That took all day.

Day 1827

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Played racquetball with Alice's neighbor Pete in the a.m. until 10, then drove over to Alice's and helped her get things done on her Airbnb.  She really wanted to get it posted today, so much of the day went toward signing her up, taking pictures, and getting her space ready.  

Day 1826

Friday, January 12, 2018

Another busy day, but by the end of it I was all caught up.  I came home and cleaned up a bit, then called it a night.  

Day 1825

Thursday, January 11, 2018

I'm working on three large projects at work that are really time intensive.  I haven't done much else these past two days.

After work, I went to the gym for our hit and switch doubles league.  It's fun, but afterward I was fatigued and sore. 

Day 1824

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Very busy at work today.  I have a couple of big projects to finish by Friday.  After work, I practiced another hour, then went to orchestra rehearsal.  We only have 2.5 weeks left until our concert. 

Day 1823

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Day 1822

Monday, January 8, 2018

This week's going to be busy.  Spent a little time putting together video snippets of Ari & Connor's wedding.  I'm still thinking about that wonderful day!

Day 1821

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Day 1820

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Day 1819

Friday, January 5, 2018

Everyone's talking about the new tell-all political book Fire and Fury, about the Trump circus inside the White House.  No surprise there.  I read an excerpt yesterday and downloaded the book on my Nook this afternoon.  It's my must-read book of the weekend!

I'm waiting for the tipping point event that takes this insane monster out of play once and for all.  This guy disgusts me, but still not as much as his pathetic enablers.  Just thinking about this mess makes me angry, but still, at the end of the day, this disaster is on the voters who voted for this lunatic.  It's on them and the states who allowed this to happen. 

Day 1818

Thursday, January 4, 2018

A little busier at work, but still managed to spend an hour or so on Alice's appeal.  Tonight was doubles league at the gym.  I played much better than I did two weeks ago, though still left a lot of shots up.  I guess that's typical when everyone's hitting the ball hard.  So much to do and little free time to do it.

Day 1817

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

First day back at the gym in a while and the remodel looks pretty good, though the lounge setup in front of the racquetball courts is a little under done.  Where's the big screen TV?  They should have one.  Anyway, it's different and needed.

Work was slow again, so I spent another few hours on this appeal.  It's taken a while to write but it's coming together.  Hopefully, the work will pay off and Alice will get the disability benefits she's entitled to.

Rehearsal went well tonight.  It's so much fun playing Mahler's 4th Symphony.  I so love this piece.

Day 1816

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Back to work.  This is going to be a crazy busy year for me.  I hope I can sustain the energy I need to complete all I want to accomplish.  After work, the first order of business was practicing.  I played an hour or so before dinner.  It's best that I practice the moment I walk in the door.  If I wait until after dinner, I'm usually too tired to open up my case.  Our first rehearsal of the year is tomorrow.

Work was totally dead, which was nice.  I spent all day on Alice's appeal.

Day 1815

Monday, January 1, 2018

Up at 5, breakfast at 6, off to pick up Miles's girlfriend Maddy at 6:55, and at our gate at LAX at 8:10.  We flew into Oakland at 10:30, but were held up at the gate for 40 minutes due to some kind of mechanical issue with another plane.  Finally, we reached our gate and made our way to Oakland, then to SF.  It was nice being home.  We had a simple lunch and dinner.  I made a few calls, looked over a few pictures from Ari's wedding, then practiced for two hours.  I took care of a few Air bnb things for Alice, practiced another hour, then entered a few entries before bed.  

Day 1814

Sunday, December 31, 2017

We slept in until 8:30, then went to Santa Monica for the day.  We shopped, ate lunch, and were going to ride electric bikes but it was too cold. 

Outside at The Crepe Cafe.  The heaters kept us warm.

Our crepes were so good!

Alice's new winter coat, on sale at The Gap!

At 6:30 we joined Richard, Lisa and the rest of the family at the Air BnB they had for the weekend and celebrated the new year with games, food, and lots of memories about yesterday.  We left at 11 and made it home before midnight.  We watched Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen on CNN, and after our new year's kiss and good wishes for 2018, it was time for bed.

Day 1813

Saturday, December 30, 2017

It was an amazing, beautiful wedding, the fourth and final wedding I attended this year.  All my Oakland friends were there and it was particularly special since it involved the Young, my extended Oakland family.  Alice and I had a blast.  The wedding began at 1, the reception began at 4, and it was an entire day of celebration, happiness, beauty, great food and loads of love on this joyous occasion.  Ari was so beautiful, Connor was so dashing, and everyone was in the most exceptional mood.  It was thrilling and in some ways a prelude to September 2018 when its my and Alice's turn.  The same cast of characters from the neighborhood will be in attendance.  I love this day!

Ari & Connor with Sophie, Trey, Miles

Ari's family

Ari & Connor at West Malibu Club

Jared, Miles, Trey

Sophie and Alice

with Alice

Sweet Alice!

Neil and Margaret

Rodney and Alice

Rodney, Miles, Alice, Richard, Carmel

Rick and Kara

On the beach in Malibu

Ari & Connor
Rodney and Neil

Johann and Renee

Day 1812

Friday, December 29, 2017

I worked until 1:30, then met Alice at Market & Front St. and took BART to the Oakland Airport.  We flew to LAX, picked up our rental car, drove to the Hampton Inn at Agoura Road, then went for Korean BBQ in Simi Valley.  It was yummy!

Day 1811

Thursday, December 28, 2017

It finally slowed down at work, allowing me a few hours to work on Alice's appeal.  I packed for our trip tomorrow and relaxed after dinner.

Day 1810

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

I slept in this morning, missing racquetball.  Work was busy again, surprisingly.  I updated my finances and prepared for our LA trip coming up this Friday.

Day 1809

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Left Alice's at 4 and went to the gym to work off a little of yesterday's ginormous meal.  Work was busier than I'd anticipated. 

Day 1808

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!  It was a very low-key, quiet, totally peaceful Christmas, which I've come to appreciate in my older years.  I joined Alice's family for some amazing food at the Dim Sum Club on Van Ness.  So good.  I love this restaurant, especially the sweet & sour pork, which is the best I've ever had.  There was so much food I thought they were going to roll me out of the restaurant when all was said and done.  I spoke with family, read a few pages on my nook and phone, and just took in the day. 

Day 1807

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Alice's Air BnB is starting to look really nice.  She did a great job picking things and making her downstairs unit feel comfortable. 

Today was a very quiet, relaxing day.  I went to Macy's for some last-minute stocking stuffers for Alice and Austin.  I'm all set for tomorrow!

Day 1806

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Spent most of the afternoon reading several personal essays from Patrick and Katherine for their college applications. Alice made her delicious salmon poke for lunch. So good.  We switched Alice’s bed with the futon downstairs in preparation for Alice’s Air bnb in February.  We needed Pete’s help because the mattresses were so heavy.

Day 1805

Friday, December 22, 2017

Work was surprisingly busy (again), considering it was the Friday before Christmas.  I did take an extended lunch to pick up a few last-minute stocking stuffers for Alice and Austin.  After work, Alice and I went to the Pans for dinner.  Patrick made beef Wellington, which is so delicious.  His recipe was fantastic, just like Gordon Ramsey.  They gave me a very generous gift card for helping them with their college essays.  Amy, like my sisters and mom, really knows how to decorate a room.  Their tree was beautiful and nutcrackers, lights, and of course Christmas music filled their living room and dining room.  We had a very enjoyable evening.  Patrick and Katherine weren't accepted to their first choice school (Penn for Pat and Stanford for Peaches) so they were discouraged about the entire application process, but they'll have many schools offering them sizable scholarships in March.  That's what I'm predicting.  These two are very ambitious and talented.  They'll go far in life!

Day 1804

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Alice has enjoyed taking care of Mr. Birdy.  The bird is very fond of her. 

Lots of work today and once I came home, I just ate dinner and watched a few political shows.  It seems to be my drama of choice these days.

Day 1803

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

No racquetball today.  I slept wrong and my neck is sore.  This getting old thing is really getting old.

Day 1802

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Left Alice’s at 7:50 a.m. and arrived at work at 8:30. I had many jobs in the morning but it slowed down in the afternoon.  I went to Powell and Market for a little Christmas shopping to look for gifts for Alice. I continued work on Alice’s appeal and hope to wrap it up this week. I came home at 6 and updated my stock portfolio.  I bought a bunch of large cap stocks and ETFs on Sunday.  With $1.5 trillion in free stolen money from the Gov't, corporations will live large for a while.  I'm still in shock Republicans actually got away with this.  Watch the deficit balloon to new heights.  It's inevitable.

Day 1801

Monday, December 18, 2017

Racquetball, several jobs at work, including Word Perfect docs and Power Point slides. Maybe tomorrow will be a little less busy. After work, I went to Alice’s and helped Austin assemble his new bed frame. We had sushi salmon and rice for dinner. Alice is taking care of Elaine’s pet bird Mr Baby. He’s called Mr. Baby because he says "Mr. Baby" all the time. He's a cute bird. I also tried to get Alice's Sonic replacement modem working but it wasn't connecting properly.  Not sure why.  Bed at 10:15.

Day 1800

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Spent the day wrapping up last minute Christmas gifts, talking to Tristan, practicing, and continuing work on Alice's Appeal.  I was at home this weekend which was nice.  I think I needed a few hours of down time.  Oh, and I also shifted so much 401k capital to large cap stocks and ETFs in order to collect the 20% free money coming to corporations courtesy of future generations.  Thanks, Millennials for failing to vote last year and in effect allowing Trump to rob your future dry.  Oh, and thank you as well, Trump supporters in the rust belt who own no stocks or funds whatsoever, for voting against your own interests to allow this insane con artist to line the pockets of the rest of us and especially his billionaire friends with endless unnecessary riches, all at your expense.  Keep hating Hillary and attending his white supremacy rallies, since that's about all you'll ever get from this pathetic sham who really truly loves the poorly educated.  What a selfish disgrace this tax bill is.  When the bottom falls out...and it will surely fall out one day...oh, it's gonna hurt bad.  Especially for the chronic poor who will get nothing from this orange monster.  

Day 1799

Saturday, December 16, 2017

I stayed home today because Rhonda and Biff have a Christmas party at 6, while Alice will attend her uncle’s family dinner at R&G Lounge. I spent the day shopping on line, tidying up, and talking to Gwen, Jill and mom. Gwen is spending a week with her friend Debbie in Bellingham, and I’m so relieved. I didn’t want to tell her she was not welcome here. Gwen’s delusions have returned and according to Jill they’re here to stay. Her mind is permanently damaged. There is no joy whatsoever in talking with her. With Jill as her designated point person from now on, I’m in the background. I don’t see many conversations in our future. It’s as if she’s already gone. I did talk to Mathew for an hour or so and that was good! He was flying back from a drop interview in Dallas. He and Rathna live a few blocks from the Brooklyn Bridge in a very cool neighborhood on Worth St. They’re living the life. Rhonda and Biff’s party was a lot of fun. They have a new dog Oliver, who’s squirrely as hell and full of naughty energy. Biff makes the best Cosmos of all time, so I had threee throughout the night.

Day 1798

Friday, December 15, 2017

Our company Christmas party was today at Mezzanine on Jessie St. tucked behind Bloomingdale's.  We were there last year as well.  The food was good and the annual skit they do was so-so, but the best part was going home at 3:15!  I met Margaret on bus 29 and caught up with her before getting off at Lakeshore Ave. to get some money and a scone for Alice, who was waiting for me at my place.  We hung out for a few hours before joining Lisa, Richard, Margaret, and a few of Lisa's friends from work at a cute little Peruvian restaurant on College Ave. called Picquot.  We were there for 3 hours and had all kinds of delicious food.  A really fun evening!

Day 1797

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Busy at work and racquetball hit and switch league at night.  Came home at 9:45 sore and tired after such a long day.  Racquetball was fun.  Won my first 4 games and lost my last 3.  It was a struggle focusing after 9 p.m. 

Day 1796

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Timing off again in racquetball.  Frustrating.  Last rehearsal of the year was tonight.  Looking forward to two weeks off and will practice hard to get all the fingerings in my hands.

Day 1795

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

After work, I turned on MSNBC and Fox and watched the election returns for the Alabama Senate seat.  Had Roy Moore won, it would have represented another embarrassing low in American politics.  Thankfully, he lost, as he should have.  He'll go down as one of the worst candidates in history, an accused pedophile predator who is crazy and full of contempt for societal norms.  He lost, but barely.  Doug Jones won, the respected prosecutor who helped convict two of the four KKK members responsible for the 1963 Birmingham bombing that killed four school girls.  The African American vote came out in waves for him and the result was an amazing, if not improbable, victory!

It's so good to see Steve Bannon lose.  That man is a cancer upon this nation.

Day 1794

Monday, December 11, 2017

Ineffective in racquetball today.  It's like my timing is totally off.  Not sure why.  Practiced after work for an hour. 

Day 1793

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Shopped online for gifts and took care of a few chores for Alice.  Had a yummy steak dinner tonight that was so good. 

Day 1792

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Up at 5:30 and at Alice's by 9.  We went to Lowe's to return a bathroom mirror and Comcast to return my cable equipment.  Alice's Air BnB is coming along well.  Her contractor will put up the IKEA mirror I picked up for her and finish work in the bathroom.  The bedroom is small and will just barely fit a queen size bed, but the living room area is spacious and comfortable.  Alice had visitors for afternoon tea who have been advising her on setting up her Air BnB unit.  The busy season begins in March and Alice will have everything done by then. 

Jill texted me while I was practicing at 5:30 p.m. and said Gwen finally called her.  Jill was very angry with her for not contacting her on Friday and had been worried all day about her.  Gwen apologized but Jill continued to lay into her.  Instead of checking in each day, Jill told Gwen to call her in a couple of days, after a cooling off period.  Jill's only been Gwen's contact person a week and already she's exhausted dealing with her.  For me, without a goal like her divorce, I have little to say to her when she can't distinguish fantasy from reality.  To her they're the same thing.  The issue with Gwen is she's so off the grid and afraid her ex-husband is after her that no one really knows where she's staying.  When she turns her phone off, she's untraceable.  That will have to change. 

During dinner, Alice and I watched a couple of cruise videos of the Majestic of the Seas.  I went to bed early, around 9:15.

Practiced the first movement of Mahler for an hour.  I love Mahler!

Day 1791

Friday, December 8, 2017

Set up a new Nook that I got last week and wrapped up a very busy week of work.  Jill called worried that she hadn't heard from Gwen, who drove to LA yesterday to clean out her storage unit.  Only Gwen would drive to LA when there are several fires raging all over the place.  I told Jill not to worry, that Gwen has a history of turning off her cell phone and disappearing for a few days.  We'll see how that plays out.  Jill is a worrier and when Gwen calls Jill will be unforgiving.  Went to IKEA after work and picked up a bathroom mirror for Alice's downstairs in-law unit.  It's really starting to look nice.  I practiced for an hour or so, then went to bed around 9:30.  

Day 1790

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Writing Alice's appeal for her long term disability.  It will take time to complete.  After work, I participated in the first of an eight-week long hit & switch doubles league at our club.  There are several fast, excellent, hard-hitting players who've joined.  Tonight we had 25 players total and Robbie stayed all night to organize who played with who.  It was a full-time operation.  It was a bit confusing and chaotic, but still a lot of fun and great practice getting used to playing with different people and different styles.  I didn't get home until after 10.

Al Franken announced he'll resign from the Senate in the next few weeks.  Lots of Dems are furious that the MeToo movement has come to this.  I get it.  I'm disappointed, too.  The timing of this really worked against him, with the Roy Moore election next week and growing resentment that our predator in chief is still there.  That picture really backfired on him.  Without that horrible picture, he's weather this, but with the picture, he couldn't have any more accusers of boorish, inappropriate behavior.  Instead, he had eight accusers, some anonymous, accuse him of inappropriate contact, mainly while taking a picture.  I read the Atlantic Magazine piece about Al Franken and it didn't do Franken any favors.  Anyway, the Giant of the Senate is departing.  He should have been given an opportunity to redeem himself (remember Edward Kennedy, anyone?), but I guess the times they are a changin'.

Day 1789

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

So, should Al Franken resign from the Senate after seven women have come forward with claims that he sexually harassed them?  It's a question many Dems are debating.  Given this moment in history and the political realities of Congress, Roy Moore, Trump, the MeToo movement, etc., I think yes, even though his actions are nowhere near what Roy Moore had done.  There are degrees and levels of harassment, but there's something wrong with defending the guy on our side while taking the high ground on all sexual harassers on the other side.  I'm a huge supporter of Al Franken and think he's funny, smart, disciplined, articulate, and a champion for so many of the causes I stand for; however, this undermines his credibility and influence, and quite frankly, I don't really understand how he could allow himself to be in this position in the first place, given his role as a Senator.  Grabbing a strange woman's ass while having a picture taken of him?  That's wrong.  Everyone knows that.  Normal guys don't do that.  Ever!

Day 1788

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Full day of news, got a new Nook in the mail, very busy at work, read another very long expose on Harvey Weinstein and his army of complicit enablers, then a New York Times lecture with NY reporters and Ashley Judd talk about the ongoing harassment story.  Practiced for 90 minutes after work.  A full day of stuff.

Day 1787

Monday, December 4, 2017

Racquetball, lots of work at work, little time for anything else. Came home exhausted and not able to practice.  

Day 1786

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Up at 6, chores with Alice, catching up on journal entries, spoke with Jill re Gwen about her floundering and inability to distinguish what's real and what isn't, appeal research, and through all of this managed to relax a bit.  Also practiced, which I'll need to do practically every day in order to tackle some of the hardest passages of Mahler's 4th.  My Fantasy season is over.  I started strong, but had several lackluster weeks.  A very average team, which makes sense I guess.  I just don't watch football anymore.  

Day 1785

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saturday - Switch from Comcast to Uverse.  Update tech stuff, two loads of laundry, reading.  Cleaning at home.  There was a terrible accident this morning on the Bay Bridge, causing traffic jams all day long.  I stayed in Oakland as a result and took the time to catch up on everything.  To bed early.

Day 1784

Friday, December 1, 2017

Friday - Racquetball, work, lunch with Lillian, an hour on the phone with Gwen, home to phone calls with Jill and Nicole, then with Chris while the U.S. Senate shifts more than 1 trillion to the donor class in a historic tax bill that was written and passed with such haste and secrecy that you gotta wonder just how devastating this might be to the greater good down the road.  It's been a great year for greed, coruption, and pathological lying.  It's as if George Bailey is long gone and Pottersville is thriving.  The weathly and powerful run things and everyone else is just getting by with no hope in their cup.  I guess we'll see where we stand on mid-term night in 2018, but even if some of the GOP bums are voted out of office, the damage is already done.  It's a country of corporations.  The Corps have won bigly tonight.

Day 1783

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thursday - Exploitation Nation.  That's what this crazy tax bill the GOP Senators are pushing through feels like.  Okay, I guess I'll load up on more stocks and wait until the bottom falls out of the economy...hopefully not until I'm long gone, but it'll most likely be sooner rather than later.  It just might not be typical human nature to save for a rainy day and save in general.  It's looking to pass and there's nothing the Dems can do. 

Day 1782

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The notes still aren't in my fingers and tonight's rehearsal was challenging.  The second violin section is weak versus the first violin section, and if I can get some of these passages in my fingers I'll be one of the stronger players.  But that will take a while.  My standpartner doesn't have the best sense of tempo, so it's a bit of a fighter playing with her while trying to follow the conductor.  At any rate, I'm enjoying playing in an orchestra again.  It's bringing back all sorts of memories for me!

Day 1781

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Practiced the Hansel and Gretel overture for tomorrow's rehearsal.  I'm slowly getting the hard parts in my hands.  Slowly.  I love practicing with my silent violin.  It's so much fun.  Hansel and Gretel is a playful, lively piece, a perfect compliment to Mahler's 4th.  This will be a nice program.

Engelbert Humperdinck