Day 1682

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Practiced this morning, then had a very mild day at work, which was nice.  It was Trey's birthday, so Gwen and I went to Richard and Lisa's, then Star Pizza to celebrate with the crowd.  Really fun night!

Day 1681

Monday, August 22, 2017

Gwen arrived this afternoon and the India trip is officially on.  We leave for Chennai Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.  Work was reasonable, allowing me time to organize a few files and continue reading all of Amazon's annual reports and letters to shareholders.  It's pretty fascinating reading.  It so many ways, that company's just getting started in the tech transformation.  All the tech companies are changing everything, so might as well invest in all of them.  They're taking over the world.  Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, they're all long term winners in my opinion.

Had dinner with Gwen, then watched a few episodes of Last Week Tonight.  Gwen loves John Oliver.  So do I!

Day 1680

Sunday, August 20, 2017

New York Times Obituary

When we were kids Gwen and I went through TV guides looking for Jerry Lewis movies on Friday and Saturday nights when our parents went out for the evening.  We'd set up beds on our L-shaped couch and make popcorn and watch his movies and laugh hysterically from beginning till end.  I've always loved Jerry Lewis.  I don't get anyone who didn't get him.  He's one of a kind. 

Day 1679

Saturday, August 19, 2017

At Alice's today.  She had a cold this week but is feeling better.  We laid low, went to Irving, and watched two documentaries: 

Both were very good.  We had ox tail stew for dinner.  Gearing up for next week.

Day 1678

Friday, August 18, 2017

Not a good week for Trump.  In fact, probably his worst week yet.  His presidency feels over.  He won't get a thing done because all reasonable people have come together to defy him. 

Laundry and cleaning after work in preparation for Gwen's arrival next Monday.

Day 1677

Thursday, August 17, 2017

I spent all day working on Stock Purchase Agreement documents, so I missed the news earlier today that Barcelona was hit with an attack on La Rambla, the popular pedestrian street Alice, Austin and I walked along a few times last year when we visited.  What a horrible event.  I'll never understand the motivation behind such pointless terror.  Young men are capable of anything, and it's mostly young men.  So tragic.

The press continues its shaming of the Naked Emperor.  I'm waiting for the entire world to unload their vitriol on this con.  The White House is no place for such a loser. 

Off to poker tonight at Mark's.

Day 1676

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Watched Godfather III with Richard, Lisa and Miles.  It wasn't so bad as people remember, but nothing like the first two films.

Fallout continues for the Naked Emperor, though I wonder why people are surprised at any of the racist behavior.  He's been consistently racist from the beginning of his political career when he insisted Obama wasn't born in this country.  Nothing this crazy horrible man does surprises me.  He's very limited and broken, much like Michael Corleone at the end of GF3.

Day 1675

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Took to Facebook for the first time in months.  Couldn't help myself:

"Trump is a racist.  He began his political career as a Fake News founder, insisting for years that Obama was not born in America.  His chief advisor Steve Bannon is an icon of white nationalist ideology.  Trump fears alienating his white male base.  Yesterday, Trump spoke from a script.  Today, Trump spoke from the heart.  His loyalty to his alt-right (i.e. fascist/racist/misogynist/nationalist/isolationist) constituency keeps him from condemning racism outright for more than a day.  Trump has fostered and emboldened a new generation of white male supremacists, but then again, with his words and actions and fulminating hate, he's been consistently delivering on all the chaotic anti-American behavior he promised back in November.  None of his words, actions or examples are a surprise.  None of them.  As an American white male, I find the leadership and example of this Naked White Male Emperor unconscionable and disgraceful.  I have many friends of color who are more American than I am.  I stand with them in condemning this duplicitous President's spineless words and ambivalence toward racism.  I look forward to the day when honor and dignity are restored to the White House.  Boo, hiss, boo, hiss, President Trump!"

Day 1674

Monday, August 14, 2017

Regular day, racquetball, work, dinner, rest, sleep.

Day 1673

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Really enjoying Thomas Friedman's "Thank You For Being Late," his sweeping 434-page book on acceleration, change, computers, software, companies, the year 2007 when everything changed.

Low-key day that began with a 40-minute run along Sunset. 

Day 1672

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Alice and I took it easy today.  She had a cortisone shot on Thursday and is hurting, so we stayed home and watched a couple of Foodie shows on Netflix.

I also watched a couple of YouTubes, including this old clip with Glen Campbell.  I'd forgotten he was such a virtuoso guitar player.

Day 1671

Friday, August 11, 2017

Slow at work and no one at racquetball, so I practiced for 30 minutes, then went back home to bed for an hour before getting reading and going to Kaiser for one last round of immunizations for India.  After work, I completed my India visa application, so I should be set for the trip in ten days. 

Day 1670

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Woke up early to tidy up the place for later tonight when Richard, Lisa, Miles, Soph and Maddy come over to watch Godfather 2.  Work was reasonably quiet today, which was nice, so after work I ordered Yang Chow and once everyone arrived at 7:30, we set to work on 3 hours and 21 minutes of GF2ness.

Like the first, this one holds up, though I'd love to see the full 6-hour version what was originally cut before half the film was snipped to the floor.  This story is so sweeping, powerful, cold and heartless.  There's very little humor in this film, unlike the first, and so much of it is shot in dark light.  But it sure is stunning.

The scene on the lake with Fredo always gets me.  John Cazale was something.  I stayed up until midnight, which meant a very blurry morning the next day.

Day 1669

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Gwen called at my office.  She likes calling at my office.  She was in divorce settlement negotiations with Greg most of the day.  They went back and forth on numbers, but finally agreed on a package that will make their divorce official in a matter of weeks.  This is good news and changes Gwen's narrative away from believing an antagonist is undermining her life and centering more on figuring out how to be fully in charge of herself.  I've been waiting for Gwen to reach this place for months because it's much easier to respond to someone who owns all of her life rather than reacting to someone who is a constant victim of someone else's control.  Things really change for after Mathew and Rathna's wedding.  Then she can begin the task of creating a new life for herself.

Day 1668

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Regular day at work.  Nothing eventful.  Tired.

Day 1667

Monday, August 7, 2017

Met mom, Leo, Louanne, and Alice for lunch at Gott's at the Ferry Building from noon until 1:30.  It was a wonderful visit.  We talked about India and Nicole's decision to go even though she just found out she's pregnant with baby no. 2! 

Day 1666

Sunday, August 6, 2017

A low-key day in the Sunset with Alice.  Went for a short run in the morning.

We saw two HBO documentaries today, Carl Reiner's "If I'm Not in the Obits, I'll Have Breakfast," and "Tickled."

"Obit" is charming, inspired fun.

"Tickled" is creepy.  I had to know how it ended, but didn't enjoy this weird, dark doc.  There are some sick crazies out there, and this film exposes one of them.

Went to bed around 10:30.  A nice, quiet Sunday.

Day 1665

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Relaxing day with Alice in the Sunset.  We watched a touching documentary, Bright Lights, about the special mother-daughter bond between Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.  Well done.

Day 1664

Friday, August 4, 2017

Racquetball was fun this morning with Dorian, Kirk, Ron, and Glenn . We mixed it up but Kirk and Glenn were on and won all their games.  I stopped at 6:15, showered, went to Safeway and picked up my suit from the cleaners.  At work, I finished everything by 11 and had the rest of the day to write, read and unwind.

At home at 6, putting together a financial plan for the next 20 years.  With the stock market going up up up, it's easy to think it'll never end, never go down, but of course it will come down at some point, and probably hard.

Still watching Martin Short stuff (there's a lot of it on YouTube and all of it is funny).

This makes me laugh:

Day 1663

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Went to Kaiser on Broadway this morning to get immunized for my upcoming India trip.  Of course, I didn't get any immunizations yet, just check-ins from the doc (and a $30 co-pay) and lab work ($10 co-pay), $40 in the hole before anything happens.  Oh, well.  The new buildings on Broadway are nice, and as I walked to 19th Street BART, I took in all the new stores and shops along the way, the new Sprouts, Starbuck's, lots of shops, restaurants, work's a scene!

Work was backed up when I arrived at noon.  I cranked it out until 5, then came home and unloaded one of the boxes I crammed with stuff last week to clear out all the clutter.  I'm hoping to knock out a box a day or so while still keeping the clutter to a minimum.

For some strange reason, I've been in a Martin Short mood this week.  I've always found him extremely and always on, especially on talk shows and award shows.  He's been hysterical since the SCTV 80's.

His Jerry Lewis is incredible:

I love it.

And this...

Day 1662

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Just me and Glenn this a.m. so three singles games which we split.  Dorian showed up but there was no fourth, so he left early.

Work was busy in the afternoon.  There was a reception before I left for the summer interns and I stayed a bit longer than I'd planned.

Came home, rushed dinner, then met Biff and Richard at the Youngs house and walked to the Grand Lake Theater, where we met Lisa to watch

.  Oh, it was good all right, really good in capturing a moment and the terror behind it.  Oscar noms will certainly be distributed from top to bottom may actually sweep as this is the kind of epic film-making the Academy enjoys.  It's different, sweeping, grand, and captures an actual event that positions Brits in a very heroic light.  Plus, Christopher Nolan is an unquestioned cinematic genius and he's due to be recognized.  It might as well be with this impressive film.

Day 1661

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Keeping my place clean takes a good deal of energy, but so far I'm doing it.  Up upstairs neighbor Kelly moves out in a week or two.  She's planning to live in her van along Northern California.  Wow, I don't think I could do that. 

Day 1660

Monday, July 31, 2017

I woke up early and couldn't fall back asleep, so I continued organizing all my receipts until 4:30 when it was time to play racquetball.  It was just me, Glenn and Kirk the first hour with Tiger after 6. I felt a little heated and afterward thought maybe I had a slight fever.  I took it easy the rest of the day and felt a little better when I was home, but still didn't feel completely normal. I felt slightly feverish, so I went to bed around 8.

Day 1659

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Up early with Alice, who met with a few of her friends to get massages and lunch in the East Bay.  I had a hair cut, then came home and cleaned up the place and did two loads of wash.  At 2:30, I met up with Kara and we walked along the upper part of Lake Merritt until 4:45.  Neal and Karin have a lot to be proud of.  She's smart, articulate, aware of herself and life, and very talented.  It was a treat spending a few hours with her.  After dinner, I went to work organizing a box of receipts for the past three years, purging what I didn't need, sorting paper copies and bundling everything by year. 

Day 1658

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Alice and I drove to Oakland to meet up with Neal, Karen and Ryan for breakfast.  We went to Rolling Dunes.  They enjoyed hanging out in the neighborhood the past few days and got some quality visits from Eric's family.  We stayed until noon, then took off for SF while Neal & Co. packed up for their afternoon flight out of SFO.  Traffic was bad, so we went on 880 to the onramp on the left side of the toll plaza.  Once we crossed the bridge we were fine.  The rest of the day we hung out at the house.  Alice's hip is still bothering her, so we didn't do much.  Just relaxed.

Day 1657

Friday, July 28, 2017

Slept on the Youngs couch with one of the cats, who made itself quite comfortable on my legs.

I woke up at 4:15 and was at my place waiting for Steve at 4:50, only to learn he had hit the snooze one too many times.  He didn't swing by until 5:15. The down time gave me a chance to read all the NY Times stories.  Because I was taking BART to work, I was able to play until 7.  We got in some great games.  At work, things were busy busy busy...7 separate statements in one afternoon.  I took N Judah home and managed a 10-minute power nap before our guests came over, Patrick, Amy, Peaches and Patrick, Jr., for a nice dinner.  Alice made poke again.  She's really good at it.  They stayed until 9:30 or so, after which I went straight to bed.  

Day 1656

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Neal & Karin spent the evening at Kara's boyfriend's family's house, so after work, I had dinner with Miles at Lin Jia. 

It was a treat hanging out with this amazing, inquisitive kid.  Miles mentioned a book to me that I have to get: Quadrivium, The Four Classical Liberal Arts of Number, Geometry, Music & Cosmology.  So interesting.

We walked to La Parisienne for mochas and dessert, then met Richard at the house around 7:30.  He flew in from LA.  We chatted while Richard ate the Lin Jia leftovers.  At 9 we fired up our "Guys Night" film, From Dusk Till Dawn, a wild over-the-top camp film that is all spectacle and pain.  It's uneven, relentless, and extremely watchable.  I'd say a successful guys night at the movies.

Day 1655

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Racquetball with the regulars, then work, then home to Neal, Karin, Ryan and Kara, who arrived at my place this afternoon. We went to Star Pizza.  Sophie and Miles joined us (Richard and Lisa are out of town the next few days). It was special having such a large group for dinner.  The evening flew by and suddenly it was over.  Alice and I drove back to SF for the night while the Fowler-Duvals settled in.

Day 1654

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Up at 6:15, work, then home at 5:45 and cleaning non-stop until 11:10.  It's nice to have a clean apt. ready for guests.

Neal, Karin, Ryan and Kara arrive tomorrow after work.  We'll go to Star Pizza, yum!

Day 1653

Monday, July 24, 2017

Racquetball in the a.m. (even though I played last night, I've learned that the best way to not be sore is to just play through the soreness), work and work and work, then home for about 3 hours of cleaning before Richard, Lisa, Miles and Sophie came over at 8:30 to watch...

Miles and Soph had never seen it.  I've seen it five or six times, but each time I watch it I enjoy this masterpiece more and more.  Every scene, every details, serves a purpose.  Great stuff.  Timeless.  We didn't finish until 11:45.  M & S liked it.  We'll watch Godfather II in two weeks.

At work, I sure get a lot of compliments on my Dustbowl Revival poster.  I have to admit, it's pretty cool.


Day 1652

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Woke up early, around 5:15, and left Alice's for Oakland to begin what would end up being three days of deep cleaning.  I seem to do this every year or so, eliminating clutter, catching all the dust in all the corners of such a tiny little apartment.  No wonder I can't live in anything larger than 1,000 sq. ft.  Too much cleaning.  I'm amazing at how much time it takes to deep clean this place.

Neal, Karin, Ryan and Kara are heading to the Bay Area tomorrow, traveling along the coast, then spending a few days here in Oakland.  They're crashing at my place while I stay with Alice.  Should be fun!

I hit the cleaning hard from 6:30-3, then got ready for a doubles racquetball tournament in Walnut Creek.  I played with Ron and we went undefeated and took our A division.  We ended around 8, in time for me to make it for episode 2 of Game of Thrones.

Yolanda and little Rory showed up in the Finals, so it was a foregone conclusion who was going to take the trophy home.  We took it 11-6, 11-8.

Here's the trophy (Stained glass American flag, in honor of the Patriots Fundraiser that was happening during the tournament):

GOT did not disappoint.  I was anticipating some fireworks, and it delivered.

Home at 11.  Late for me.

Day 1651

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Helped Alice clean the house and prepare for her dinner party with Way, Jimmy and Tammie coming over around 4:30.  Dinner was delicious as always and we all had a very enjoyable evening.  The guests left around 9 and we cleaned up for an hour before bed.

I checked out a few books at the library, including Thomas Friedman's "Thank You For Being Late," which has been on my list for a while now.  He's so good!  I'd always seen 2007 as a pivotal year as well, mainly because of the iPhone.

Day 1650

Friday, July 21, 2017

No one at racquetball today, so I practiced for an hour by myself.  I play with Ron Sunday in a double tournament in Walnut Creek.  It should be fun, but we'll be playing a lot time, past 9 in all likelihood.  Work was really busy today, as I expect.  I took Kym out to lunch at Town Hall, which was great.  She's leaving for Davis next month and moving on from HB after 13 years.  I'll miss her organizational skills.  IPD docs won't be the same without her. 

I came home, had dinner, cleaned up, then headed to Alice's around 9.  Went to be right away.  Always so tired.

Day 1649

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Was hoping to wake up early, around 5, but instead didn't get up until 6:30.  Work was busy all day long, so I wasn't able to get through a few things.  Came home, had dinner, talked with Chris for 50 minutes, then Alice, then bed at 9:45.

Day 1648

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Just me and Steve at racquetball this morning.  We played three games to 15 and one doubles when Tiger and Jamal showed up.  Work was fine but again I was tired by the afternoon.  I caught my second wind at dinner when I took Lillian and her mom to La Cheval for a yummy meal.  I'd always wanted to meet one of Lillian's family member.  We had a great time telling a few stories and talking about the complexities of life.  After dinner on my way home, I ran into Rhonda and Biff, who were walking around the neighborhood.  Once at home, I took care of a few things, then shut things down for the night.

Day 1647

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Up at 6:52.  Forgot to set the alarm and because I was up so late last night I slept the morning away.  Took bus B to work and traffic was fine.  Work was slow, giving me time to do a little writing and financial adjusting.  Home to chores, to-do lists, cleaning, and bed at 9.

Day 1646

Monday, July 17, 2017

Up at 4:35, racquetball this morning with Dorian, Steve and Cliff.  I was so sore and stiff this morning and sluggish the rest of the day.  Took bus B to SF through heavy traffic and arrived a little late, but little going on so it didn't matter much.  After organizing a pile of papers over the weekend, I found a whole bunch of ideas that had never materialized.  At least I wrote them down.  What I'd like to do is focus on each idea, then move on to the next one.  I know what I want to do with my La Stravaganza novel and like the album title (and concept) VivAri. 

Texted two of Gwen's friends, Debbie & Debbie, about Gwen's improved state.  It's so nice to have her back.  She has her bad days but nothing like six months ago when she wasn't herself at all. 

On Netflix there's this interesting documentary I'm halfway through:

It's really the story of billionaires gaming our judicial system at the expense of first amendment rights.  I wonder when regular people will one day wake up and realize billionaires own them?  Maybe never in this country.

Watching one of my favorite films of all time with Lisa and Sophie tonight:

Day 1645

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Up early, chores at Alice's, shopping on Irving, delivering boxes to Goodwill, then after dinner, headed home because...

Winter is Coming!


Lisa, Trey, and Sophie came over watch Season 7, Episode 1 of GOT.  I was not disappointed with the episode. 

Day 1644

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Up at 6 and off to Brown Sugar restaurant with Alice at 6:30.  We met Neil and Rossana at 7:15 and had an enjoyable breakfast, catching up and talking about all things going on in our lives.  I was surprised to learn that Rossana and her new boyfriend David are no longer together.  I guess it just fizzled out, which is too bad because I know Rossana really liked him.  Neil is still with Karin, but I'm not sure how much longer it will last.  She has three young kids and sounds like a real handful.  Hmm.  Some stories never change, unfortunately.  Afterward, we picked up Jarilyn from her Arts camp at Oakland College for the Arts, then I was dropped out in Oakland for a few hours of chores, bills, organizing and stuff like that.  At 5, I gathered my things and headed off to SF for Bill and Vicky's annual family dinner at Crystal Jade.  It was a delicious meal as always.  By the end I was stuffed.  Good food and a great time.

Day 1643

Friday, July 14, 2017

Racquetball in the a.m., then work until 2, then off with Alice to her doctor appointment (hip specialist) for a consultation about possible hip replacement surgery.  The doctor suggested a cortisone shot, but Alice hasn't had a good deal of success with those.  She'll wait another few weeks before getting one.  The doc said Alice's hip still had a layer of cartilage, which is good.  Her hip is clearly in pain and not happy, but waiting another 3-6 months to see if the pain diminishes might be the best thing instead of rushing into another surgery. 

We were done by 3 and went to Japan town for lunch, followed by Diesel, one of Alice's favorite stores.  We arrived home at 5:30 and spent the rest of the evening relaxing.  I went to sleep early.

Day 1642

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Trump lies continue.  These guys are too much.  Don Jr. must be thinking to himself how unfair it is that he's being portrayed as such an amoral snake.  Poor Don.  Must be tough living life without a moral compass. 

 After work, two loads of laundry, one white, one dark, and a little tidying up before bed. 

Day 1641

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Home at 4, then racquetball for only an hour.  Left early because I had so much to take care of at work, including giving a Lunch & Learn presentation for staff.  It was fine and by late afternoon I was caught up with everything.  Home, dinner, relax, sleep.

Day 1640

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

After a full night's sleep, I was still a little tired today.  I came home to Alice's after work, where she had an interview before dinner that took approximately two hours.  It was part of her disability insurance to make sure she was actually disabled.  Gene, the investigator from Unum, was nice enough and he plowed through his questions.  Alice answered them all and then Gene was off.  She has more paperwork to fill out this week.  We see the hip specialist on Thursday.

Day 1639

Monday, July 10, 2017

Woke up way early -- 3:05 a.m. -- at Nicole's, already dressed on the couch.  I collected my things and left the house in darkness.  Winding through the back streets of Snowhomish, it took about 20 minutes or so to arrive at Highway 9.

Luckily, I was connected to Siri the entire time; otherwise, I might have taken a wrong turn.  From Highway 9, I took 520, then I-405 to Sea-Tac.  Pre-Check was a breeze and my first class seat on Alaska was a good decision on my part.  The flight back to Oakland was comfortable.

I arrived at work a little before 9.  The day wasn't too busy and I was sleepy.  I got a mocha in the afternoon to keep my eyes open.  I came home at 6, unpacked, took care of a few things, then drove to Alice's.  Tomorrow, she's being interviewed by an insurance agent connected to her disability and she'd like me to be there for that.  I crashed around 10:15 p.m.

Dayt 1636

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Up at 7, went to breakfast at 8:15 and hung out until 11 as the family came down to breakfast.  It was a very enjoyable morning chatting with Matt, Rob, Steve, Meredith.

Afterward, mom and I drove to Nicole and Mike's in Snowhomish.  We took a few back roads to get there, but when we finally arrived we were struck by the size and awesomeness of the compound.  Along with the big house, there's an in-law unit about the garage and another big building that will be converted into a living space.

We hung out the rest of the afternoon, had a wonderful dinner, and watched a movie, Money, before bed.