Day 1446

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Alice wrapped up her work projects by 2:30, but until then I spent a few hours with Margaret.  I had a coupon at Chipotle, so we had lunch there, then went to Starbuck's for coffee.  It was a great visit.  I headed to SF in the afternoon.  Alice bought live crab at Irving and we had it for dinner with Austin.  So delicious!  But messy.  After dinner, we watched the final three episodes of The Crown.  What a great series.  I'm so impressed with it.  The notes rang so right for me and the cast is slpendid.  It will do well come awards season.

I missed most of the build-up to the new year.  I fell asleep around 11, but woke up with five minutes to go.  Alice and I kissed, then I took a shower and went right to bed.  I'm so old!  I'm looking forward to 2017.  I'll never forgive those swing states over what they did to this country in 2016.  Never.

Day 1445

Friday, December 30, 2016

A busy day at work, made pleasant enough by the office shutting down a few hours early.  Oh, and pizza for lunch...that was nice! I came home, did laundry, tidied up a bit, and will head over to Alice's tomorrow.

Day 1444

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Work was fine...had dinner with Bason.  Ah, Bason.  Still taking the bait with crazy women.  He's too old for that nonsense, but doesn't see his role in things.  Either he'll eventually get it, or he won't.  Ever.  Get it.  I'm not sure the odds are good for him (he's awfully stubborn), but there's always hope.  We went to Lin Jia.  Marcia said it was so busy Christmas Day that the wait for both take-out and sit-down was over an hour.  Wow!

Day 1443

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Back in the real world...Alice and I had a short lunch.  She's working so hard entering all the receipts for year-end.  I came home and unpacked a little, but after dinner I went right to sleep. 

Day 1442

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Mom and I flew out in the afternoon.  We stopped for lunch beforehand with Jill.  It was an absolutely perfect few days away from reality.  Mom was so happy.  Our flight to Phoenix was fine.  We played cribbage and read.  My flight to Oakland was delayed 30 minutes, so I didn't get home until 12:30 a.m.  I went right to sleep without unpacking.  Tomorrow I go back to work.  It'll be nice getting back to my routine.  I've been out of my own life for ten days now.  It's nice to get back to it.

Day 1441

Monday, December 26, 2016

The kids left to be with their dad sometime after 3.  It was a quiet, restful day.  Mom and I fly back home tomorrow.  I read, napped, ate more food.  Hayden and I took a walk with his wireless truck; then Alex and I walked around the neighborhood.  Jill's kids are growing up so quickly! 

Day 1440

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Alex and Hayden were up at 3:15 a.m. and couldn't fall back asleep.  I told them to watch a movie on TV, which they did.  Then at 6 they played Mariokart.  I showered at 6:30 and was ready for the day by 7.  Everyone else was up at 7:30. 

It was a wonderful day.  We opened presents, had a fabulous egg dish and cinnamon rolls for breakfast, played a game or two, and had an amazing Christmas dinner that was so good.  I was out after eating two slices of pie.

Day 1439

Saturday, December 24, 2016

We spent the morning visiting Jill and Tom's new house they'll move into next month. 

It's in a town call Whispering Pines and it's a very nice house in a very nice neighborhood.  The house has five big bedrooms, a giant family room and lots of yard space. 

We played games and ate the rest of the afternoon.  Tom made his delicious stew.  Unfortunately, Jill was feeling a little under the weather, as was Alex.  Hayden and Alex went to bed around 10 in the large room upstairs.  I fell asleep around midnight.

Day 1438

Friday, December 23, 2016

We spent the day playing games, hanging out with the kids, wrapping gifts, eating great food, and enjoying our time together.  It was a very nice, relaxing day!

Day 1437

Thursday, December 22, 2016

I woke up early, around 4, and had my Lyft driver pick me up at 5:05.  It was an easy drive to the airport.  I boarded my plane at 7 and met mom at the Phoenix airport at 9:30.  Our flight to Raleigh was slightly delayed, so we hung out at Starbuck's. 

Mom was in good spirits.  Once we were in the air, we played several games of cribbage (both of us had huge hands throughout the trip).  Jill met us in Raleigh.  A Christmas fantasy land awaited us in Vass, NC. 

We had delicious spaghetti Tom made for us and played games with Alex and Hayden until it was time for bed.  It's so nice being here at Jill's.

Day 1436

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

I had to fly back to Oakland in order to return to Phoenix and then the Raleigh, so I left mom's around 9:30, dropped off my rental car, then flew home, arriving in Oakland around 2:30.  I came home, unpacked, then packed again.  I also went to Emery Bay to buy some last-minute gifts for the trip tomorrow.  I got everything ready and went to bed around midnight.

Day 1435

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Today it was just me and mom at her house for the day.  The Hayes siblings were gone by the time I woke up at 8:30 a.m.  Mom and I had the day to ourselves.  We took phone calls, relaxed at her house, and watched a very good movie she owned with Helen Mirren, Woman in Gold.

We went out only once to the bank where mom used an ATM to deposit a check for the first time.  We both went to bed around 11 or so.  Neighbors came over with kind thoughts for mom.  Once we're at Jill's on Thursday, mom will be in her element.  It'll be good to get away from the house for a few days.

Day 1434

Monday, December 19, 2016

We left in the morning for the viewing.  Mom wanted to go and say goodbye.  I had no desire but went with mom anyway.  It was a truly intense experience, a moment I will never forget.  Christy, Craig Jr., Calvin, Elisabeth, mom and I went to the viewing.  Craig's body was on a table in the small chapel of the funeral home.  There was music playing, quiet and appropriate.  Mom really broke down.  Waves of emotion passed through her.  It was emotional for everyone.  We were there for about ten minutes.  They had done a very good job making Craig look lifelike.  He looked as if he were asleep.  He'll be cremated next week.  There will be a memorial for him in Bellingham sometime in January.

We came home and I was tasked with writing Craig's obituary.  No one else wanted to do it, so I stuck myself in a room and banged out 650 words of text.  It took six hours to write.  It felt like ten minutes.  By the time I was finished, Cari and her daughter Jasmine had arrived.  Cami and Marty arrived a little later.  All five of Craig's kids were at mom's.  I thought that was special.

I let them all read the obituary I wrote and they gave me edits, changes, etc.  I'm glad that's behind me.  They'll print it in the Bellingham Herald next week.

We all stayed up late.  I finally went to bed around midnight.  This was an especially difficult day.

Day 1433

Sunday, December 18, 2016

I spent the day with mom at her house in Maricopa.  Three of Craig's kids (Craig, Jr., Calvin and Christy) were there, along with Sara and Elizabeth, Craig and Calvin's wives.  We ate food and talked.  Mom and good moments and tough moments.  It was all very raw and emotional.  It was good being next to mom, holding her and allowing her to get through the day.  She didn't eat much.  It's still very surreal, realizing he is gone.

We met Jamie and Gene at the grocery store, who were with mom and Craig Friday night.  They were also in a daze.  It was hard to comprehend it all.  The day passed slowly. 

Day 1432

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Most flights to Phoenix were sold out, so the earliest flight I could take was from SFO at 3:30 p.m.  The flight was delayed 45 minutes, so I didn't arrive at mom's until 9 or so.  Craig Jr., Calvin, and their wives Sara and Elizabeth were there.  Mom was happy to see me but still in a state of shock and emotionally gone, understandably.  I helped get her ready for bed and situation the sleeping arrangements in her house.  Christy was arriving tomorrow and Cari and Cami were arriving on Monday.  It'll be a tough couple of days.

The story of last night was that mom, Craig, and their friends Jamie and Gene went out to dinner at a local restaurant.  Craig felt really good and ordered a big steak, along with a beef-eater martini.  The night was festive and jovial.  When they came home, Craig didn't feel well a few minutes after walking in the door, and suddenly collapsed on the floor in his computer room.  Mom tried to get him to breath, then called 911.  The medics arrived a few minutes later.  Mom's friends came over about 15 minutes later, but by then Craig was already pronounced dead.  It all happened very quickly.

Day 1431

Friday, December 16, 2016

Alice had her pre-hip surgery appointment this morning at 9, so we went to Starbuck's beforehand and hung out for an hour.  Her appointment was quick and easy, and we caught the bus downtown.  I was in by 10 and worked for 2 1/2 hours before attending our company Christmas party at Mezzanine between 5th and 6th Street.  It was a very enjoyable party with great food and a funny skit that the first year associates put together.  I left the city around 4, catching the early AC Transit bus, and came home to get ready for an evening and full day of Christmas wrapping, chores, etc.

Well, I only got to do a few hours of chores and Christmas wrapping.  At 9:15 p.m., Jill called informing me that mom's husband Craig had had a heart attack and died.  His health had deteriorated dramatically this year, but I certainly thought he had a few more years of life left.  Apparently not.  I spoke with mom a few minutes later, who was so upset and beside herself.  I needed to fly down the next day, so I called Southwest Airlines to see if I could change my Oakland-to-Raleigh flight that had a layover in Phoenix.  There was nothing they could do about the Phoenix-to-Raleigh connection because it was sold out and was unavailable to me, even though I had a seat on the flight that originated in Oakland.  So I bought a one-way ticket from American to Phoenix the next day.  I went to bed around 1.  My thoughts are with Craig and mom.  I was wondering when this day would come.  It's come tonight.  Damn!

Day 1430

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Another very busy day.  Tomorrow is our firm party, so that should keep things quiet after noon.  I came home with Alice tonight.  She had a pre-surgery appointment  tomorrow morning that I will attend with her.  We watched episode 7 of The Crown and I was extremely impressed with it.  The episode focused on Queen Elizabeth's individual preferences as queen versus her duties to the crown.  There was a wonderful lesson that was explained by way of who Elizabeth would choose as her private secretary.  There was also a devastating setup and wonderful payoff that came with Elizabeth's early education and the surprising effectiveness of her schooling in one of the final scenes when she gives Churchill et al. their due.  A really terrific episode.  I've really come to admire this series.

Day 1429

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

It was very busy and a bit stressful at work today.  I don't do well when I have two big jobs that need to be done at the same time.  What's worse, one of the documents had issues throughout that required I reformat the entire file.  I don't like finding myself in that space.  I came home and relaxed, looking over my list of things to do before flying out next week.

Day 1428

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Busy at work, luncheon in-house, chatting with Nicole and Neil Basin in the evening.  Bed early.  Tired.

Day 1427

Monday, December 12, 2016

Another week, two weeks before Christmas...still shopping online for gifts to take to North Carolina. 

Day 1426

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The rain continued off and on in the morning. We went to Costco to fill up Alice's car with gas and got a few things when the store opened.  I had a few hours afterward to shop online.  I have a few gifts left to buy.  We left SF at 3 and went to my racquetball holiday party at Glenn and Amy's.  It was a nice turnout.  We were there until 8:30 or so.  We came back to my place, watched an episode of The Crown, then called it a night.

Day 1425

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Got my haircut this morning, then went to Chestnut Street in SF while Alice finished her bookkeeping duties with Michael and David.  I met them all for lunch at noon.  We stayed two hours, then left in the pouring rain for Alice's.  We stayed put the rest of the day, reading, watching food shows, and having a delicious salmon dinner Alice made.  A quiet, peaceful day.

Day 1424

Friday, December 9, 2016

From Alice's in the morning, we took N Judah to Embarcadero and began another Friday at work.  It rained.  During projects at work, I read this book:

And this book:

Two big books full of history.  My World War 1 book is particularly interesting.  I don't know much about the beginnings of World War 1, but that's changing.  Don the Con is very similar to Kaiser Wilhelm II.  Extremely similar.  Both seem to share the same personality disorder.  Both are/were incapable of self-reflection.  One month later, I'm still sickened by the result.  So I still can't watch the news.  The very thought nauseates me.  While President Chaos Creator acts like a child, other countries will figure out how to side-step the circus and conduct affairs elsewhere. Meanwhile, so many of the so-called Trump supporters, those with no money, will discover soon enough that there's absolutely nothing in it for them.  Suckers.  Watch and see.  For anyone who voted for that man, I have zero sympathy.  Anyway, history has recorded all the stories already.  We're merely repeating what has already happened many times over.  Oh, he will be a disaster.  Guaranteed. Just like his election that he somehow magically won.  I wonder what Hillary regrets most, her hubris at not visiting Wisconsin since April 2016 or her complete inability to own and minimize her lack of authenticity.  How on earth did she lose when he was such a disaster?  I'll never understand that one.  Oh well.  I think the thing that's most difficult to stomach is the acceptance of our complete and total unexceptionalism.  We've been brainwashed to believe America is incapable of having such a fool leader as Con.  Wrong.  Not only are we fully capable, we did it to ourselves.  Wait until the first crisis.  Those watching the news can have it.  I'll continue reading about events that happened a century ago.  Two centuries ago, Napoleon rampaged Europe.  God only knows what the third act has in store for us.  I am as far removed from optimistic as I've ever been.  I fear doom on the horizon and lots of it for this country.  Stupid swing states.  My contempt has run amuck.  

Day 1423

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Attended Alice's Cooley company Christmas party at Spin on 3rd and Folsom.  Really fun.  It's a Ping Pong Club with good food, two big bars and lots of ping pong tables.  Both Alice and I made it to the semi-finals in the ping pong contest before getting knocked out by better opponents.  Alice won a $100 raffle.  So much fun.  We headed home around 10. 

Day 1422

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Another day, racquetball, holiday shopping, work, home.

Day 1421

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Slow at work, so I read the new book on World War I that I ordered, a little Mark Twain, wrote some texts, jotted down some notes, talked to my niece Nicole, whose doing a fantastic job managing her family's complicated situation involving my sister, and then it was home, dinner, more writing, and finally bed. 

Day 1420

Monday, December 5, 2016

Racquetball, work, cleaning, reading, watched Richard Pryor Live in Concert, something I hadn't seen in many decades.  It holds up so beautifully.  It's timeless.  And still so funny.  To bed early after catching up on emails. 

Day 1419

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A day of rest.  Did very little.  Watched episode one of War and Peace with Alice.  Talked with Gwen, who was having a very bad day again, unfortunately.  Greg returns home Tuesday.  Talked with Nicole in the evening, who will be the point person over the holidays.  I hope everything goes well.  Went to bed at 10. 

Day 1418

Saturday, December 3, 2016

We got up early and completed out Global Entry application with an interview at the SFO office from 8-8:30.  We scheduled our interview last June and it took this long to complete the process.  I'm glad that's behind me.  Now we can use Global Entry and TSA Pre-check when traveling.  Afterward, we went out for breakfast at the Cypress Grill at the Harding Park Golf Course.  It was a very nice setting with good food.  Austin and I ordered the French toast and Alice had an omelet. We came home and took care of a few chores -- fixing the dishwasher, shopping for hot pot, baking bread, baking banana bread.  In the evening, we watched a Netflix documentary called Fanny's Last Supper, about chefs from America's Test Kitchen recreating a 12-course meal from Fanny Farmer's 19th famous cook book from a century ago.  It was very enjoyable.

Day 1417

Friday, December 2, 2016

Had a dental appointment at 7 a.m. in Alameda.  Finished that, went back home, then headed to the casual carpool, making it to work on time at 8:30.  Went to lunch at R&G with Alice.  Nice.  The afternoon was fine.  Went home, did a load of laundry, cleaned up a bit, then went to SF at 9.  Crashed soon after.  I'm always so tired.  I hate that.

Day 1416

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Watched two of my favorite Black Mirror episodes tonight:  Fifteen Million Merits and White Christmas.  Brilliant, both of them.  Black Mirror is amazing!

Day 1415

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Reading The Count of Monte Cristo.  Learning about password management and LastPass.  Getting ready for the holidays.

Day 1414

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Spoke with Nicole and Tristan tonight.  The Hough crisis seems to be contained for the moment, which is good.  They will have time over the holidays to sort out what needs to be done.   

Day 1413

Monday, November 28, 2016

Had two very long conversations tonight, first with Gwen, then with Greg.  Gwen called around 8:30.  She was in a better place and wasn't so nuts, which was good.  We had a very frank, honest conversation.  By the end of our call, she was beginning to sound like the old Gwen.  She will always be fragile and vulnerable to things outside her control.  Her issues will always dominate her life.  30 minutes later, Greg called.  We had a good but difficult conversation.  He's the kind of guy who will always believe there's hope in his relationship with his wife, even though the evidence suggests otherwise, that things will stay the same.  He sounded very sad. He deserves happiness in his life, but I don't see it with Gwen.  I see the opposite, in fact.  Once Nicole, Mathew and Tristan stand behind him and his decision to move on, I think his future will be brighter, even though he doesn't see things that way right now.  I was up until 12:30, late for me.

Day 1412

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Went to Macy's so Alice could pick up rain boots she liked.  We spent the afternoon in San Carlos attending a memorial for Austin's aunt's husband and cousin's father Andy who died last month.  It was a touching memorial with some elegant words spoken about his life and passions.  I never met him but he sounded like a genuinely wonderful human being. 

Day 1411

Saturday, November 26, 2016

We picked up Alice's Instant Pot pressure cooker this morning, bought bread and stew ingredients, then came home and made our first bread from Alice's breadmaker.  We went to Stonestown Mall while the bread baked and looked at a few of the deals out there.  I bought some socks at the Gap and that was it.  We came home and prepared ingredients for the beef stew we put together.  Dinner was delicious!  We watched a handful of travel programs in the evening.  A very relaxing, leisurely day.

Day 1410

Friday, November 25, 2016

All Black Friday shopping was done from the comfort of Alice's living room.  The only thing Alice wants this year is a second extra-large drying rack for her laundry.  Alice loves her laundry.  I'll also get her the wireless airbuds when they come out.  It was a quiet, leisurely day that didn't really begin until until 4:30 when Alice, Austin and I left for Alice's sister's house for their annual Thanksgiving meal. It was another evening of non-stop eating.  I was pretty good until the lemon bars came out.  Then I was bad.  We played two rounds of Wits & Wagers, then called it a night around 10:30.  I love gatherings at Alice's family.  They're so easy and so much fun.

Day 1409

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Woke up at 6 to begin cooking.  My job was pies so I started with sweet potatoes as an ingredient for my pumpkin pies.  I made candied yams, using one cup per pie.  I bought pie crusts at Trader Joe's.  I got the pumpkin pie recipe from The Science of Good Cooking book, which I followed with fingers crossed that they'd turn out all right.

I finished baking around noon.  I also made a tray or two of appetizers, so I was set by the time Alice came over.  She brought shrimp that we boiled and put in a bowl, then drove over to Richard and Lisa's.

It was just the Young family minus Ari and me and Alice, small and wonderful.  Tray and Soph stayed in their pajamas all day.  We played games, had dinner, drank wine and cocktails, ate pumpkin pie which was pretty good (excellent recipe).  We called it a night at 10.  I cleaned up my place before heading to SF.  Traffic was thick crossing the Bay Bridge, but was smooth and easy once I reached Fell Street. What a festive, happy, fun-filled day!

Day 1408

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Quiet day at work.  We had Super Duper Burgers at lunch.  I was planning to make pies tonight, but after dinner I simply watched the final episode of Black Mirror and went to bed.  I enjoy the Black Mirror stories.  They're like modern-day Twilight Zone episodes with a futuristic, sometimes social-media context.  They're trippy and clever and interesting.  I found the storytelling particularly compelling and imaginative in the final episode.  I really enjoyed it.  I may watch all the episodes again. 

Day 1407

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I shopped for pie ingredients after work and tidied up a bit before heading to bed.  Another quiet day.  I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving.

Day 1406

Monday, November 21, 2016

Work was quiet, allowing me time to look for recipes for Thanksgiving.  I came home and organized my finances and watched a little of the Monday Night Football game while enjoying the lentil soup I made yesterday.  So good.  The Raiders won...they're 8-2 this season.

Day 1405

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Spent the day at home transferring files (including iTunes) from my old computer to my new computer.  Also made lentil soup, which was so good. Went to Trader Joe's and bought ingredients for pumpkin pie. 

Day 1404

Saturday, November 19, 2016

We made a stew with a pressure cooker Alice had downstairs for a few years.  There's nothing like good eating to ease the mind of troubles.  I used to be so optimism about the future, but now I'm not so sure.  I will never understand that vote ever.  Best not to think about it.  I still haven't watched any news, though on YouTube I've watched election night reaction shot snippets, which are interesting.  Everyone was surprised.  Everyone.  It's unreal.

Day 1403

Friday, November 18, 2016

Worked on a PowerPoint project at work, then went out to dinner at Kathy and Jereme's with Alice and Patrick and Soran.  It was an enjoyable evening. 

Day 1402

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I'm changing things up, watching this on YouTube:

Day 1401

Wednesday, November 17, 2016

Sore as hell from last night's racquetball matches.  So glad I don't have to play again tomorrow.  That would be ugly.  Shifting gears, outlining my to-do list for revisions, which I haven't been working on this month.  Now that the days are shorter and it's dark when I leave work, it's easier to stay at home and get things done.  I went to bed early tonight, around 9.  I was beat.

Day 1400

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Still processing everything.  Our club quarter-final and semi-final matches were held tonight.  The big match was between Ron -- the #1 seed -- and Tyrone -- the #8 seed.  Ron had improved so much in the past year and has played a few Stockton tournaments to great success.  He's slowly becoming an open player.  Had he beat Tyrone, he would have played Steve in the semis. He spent all his time focusing on Steve, forgetting that Tyrone in playoff mode was a far more difficult player than T in regular season mode.  T was ready to ambush Ron in their match, and that's exactly what happened.  It went down to the wire, with T beating Ron 15-12, 9-15, 11-8.  It was a fierce battle that lasted nearly two hours.  I had two matches to play, so I didn't get out of the club until a little before 10.  I beat George in two games, then lost to Kirk in a tie-breaker 15-12, 12-15, 8-11.  It was a good match.  Kirk gets everything.  I came home around 10:15, called Alice, then went right to bed.

Day 1399

Monday, November 14, 2016

One week later and I'm still processing...listening to explanations, blame, crowing, protesting, all of it...the winners control the narrative and it's a brutal narrative to take in....much of it I can't watch....I just can't watch what's happening right now....I hope everything works out in the end -- I guess that's all we can hope for -- but I have grave concerns for the future. We'll find out soon enough what change really looks like. Nothing's normal anymore.

Day 1398

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A day of reading, reflection, still processing the election.  We went to Clement St. for groceries and met Alice's parents there.  We ate croissants.  We came back and had a nice dinner.  Quiet, peaceful day.

Day 1397

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Alice and I did things that made us happy today.  We went out for coffee and Arimendi, drove around the city, went to Costco, watched the first episode of The Crown, watched the first episode of season 3 of Black Mirror, watch an episode of Anthony Bourdan's Parts Unknown.  I spoke with Kevin, Jill, and Gwen today.  I read one or two articles but not many.  I'm still in absorption mode.  I'm still processing.  Everyone's willing to give Trump a chance and that's the right thing to do, but he is who he is.  He doesn't automatically change, and everything Obama did will be gone, or almost everything.  That's what winning entitles him to do.  We'll see the degree of his vindictiveness and we'll see what he's like when he's angry.  Talking with Jill was revealing.  She loathes Hillary Clinton.  The degree of hate for her knows no bounds to the pound that so many thousands, millions, voted for the boorish con clown.  I reread all the Michael Moore articles that predicted this outcome.  They were so much clearer than they were back in August when it didn't seem possible that Trump could single-handedly pull of this election...with the help of Scott Baio.

November 10, 2016

Life continues. 

Day 1396

Friday, November 13, 2016

Still in disbelief.  Work was work.  Alice and I went out to dinner with Howard and Leslie at Mijori.  Howard was very concerned throughout the election that Hillary wouldn't win, and true enough, he was beside himself with anger toward the Democratic party for choosing her over Bernie.  I had to listen to an earful because I've always been a big Hillary supporter.  I'm still stunned she lost, stunned we have to endure so much negativity and misery for the next few years.  Dinner was fine...we ordered sashimi and a couple of rolls.  We went to Fenton's afterward, then we drove back to SF for the weekend. 

Day 1395

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Work has been a morgue.  I'm still in shock that this country has so profoundly jumped the shark.  It's such a disgrace.  It's so unimaginable.  I haven't watched any news and can't see myself watching again.  I'm so disheartened.  And embarrassed.  The unthinkable has happened.  What a shock to the system.

Day 1394

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Day 1393

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

It ended up being such a painful day, but it started out so promising and fun.  I had coffee with Beth at the Starbuck's near my work and she showed me pictures on her Facebook page of all the Hillary voters taking their "nasty" picture.  It was cute.  Then the horror began after work when I turned on the TV at 6 before the Youngs and Alice arrived.  The numbers were much closer than I wanted them to be, and in many cases Trump was ahead in key swing states.  It was surreal.  I prepared food and got things ready as Lisa and the kids arrived.  Then Richard arrived.  Then Rossana.  Alice came a little later.  By 7 the numbers hadn't changed and by 8 it was clear that the nightmare scenario wasn't changing.  I wanted to leave.  I wanted to turn off the television and pretend the madness wasn't happening.  How could that con win?  How could America do this?  I wanted to go to Alice's and leave my guests here to watch the election returns.  I'd seen enough.  Instead, the Youngs left shortly after Florida and Wisconsin were called.  PA also appeared doomed.  Once the guests were gone, I turned off the TV.  I knew.  Alice knew.  I had a horrible night's sleep.  All that election coverage for this?  All those moments from June until now for this result?  It made no sense.  Are there really that many insane, incompetent voters in this country?  I get that people don't like Hillary, but this guy?  This con?  This disgrace?  Really?  America will pay for this one day.  It will pay dearly.  Now I can't watch the news anymore.  Ever.

Day 1392

Monday, November 7, 2016

Racquetball, work, election night eve preparations.  Finally, we'll see what happens tomorrow night.  Can't wait!

Day 1391

Sunday, November 6, 2016

We started our day making a big blueberry pancake in a cast iron skillet.  It was so good.  We watched election coverage, election You Tubes, the morning shows and relaxed at home.  For lunch, we went out for Korean BBQ on Balboa.  It was so good.  We spent the rest of the afternoon watching cooking shows.

Day 1390

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Make no mistake, Tuesday's general election is about repudiating the very worst of our fears and frustrations as portrayed by this cult of personality, Donald J. Trump. This demagogue's campaign is as American as a KGB detention cell or Siberian gulag. Mexicans and Muslims are this orange Hitler's gypsies and Jews. He is everything America is not. For the past 18 months, DJT has offered his diehard supporters nothing but fear, hate, and endless hyperbole masked as facts. That's what evil gene Machiavellian types do. This is beyond red versus blue. This is a vote against fascism. If you don't think so, you don't read enough history.

America stands for things. I hope on Tuesday we the people stand for a complete and total repudiation of Mussolini-style demagoguery, cult of personality, authoritarian rule and the insane idea that this thin-skinned, vindictive con-man can all by himself save us from doom. He cannot and will not, but if he's elected, he will absolutely deliver it, doom with a capital D, "this I can tell you."
I'm voting for Hillary on Tuesday, warts and all. My eyes are wide open to her frustrating equivocations, occasional bad judgment, and lack of candor, but she's a hard worker, does her homework, and believes in democracy and America's institutions.

But MORE than a vote for Hillary, I'm voting AGAINST fascism, demagoguery, racism, sexism, idiocy, buffoonery, lack of preparation, chaos, and cult of personality on Tuesday. That kind of ideological mentality might exist in North Korea or Russia (two police states that fully endorse Donald J. Trump), but such leadership has no place in the United States of America. I'm hopeful Americans will reject this utterly repelling candidate on Tuesday.

Day 1389

Friday, November 4, 2016

Here's where things ended up on the AA league after last night's final session:

The quarter- and semi-finals are next Thursday night.  Ron plays T, Kirk plays Ramon, I play George, and Glenn plays Steve.  I think I have the easiest draw, but George has been getting better and stronger, and he's much quicker than I am.  We play a best of three match, after which I play the winner of Kirk/Ramon if I beat George.  That's a lot of racquetball for this old-school veteran, but I'd love to meet in the finals!  I'll need to practice next week, something I have little time for these days.

Alice and I went to the Westfield Mall next to Bloomingdales for lunch today.  That was nice!  After lunch, work was super busy.  I stayed until 5:30 and got home at 6:15.  I'm here tonight, catching up on everything, email, this, laundry, the works.

Day 1388

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Work was quiet today, allowing me time to learn a few PowerPoint features and Best Authority.  Our final league session was tonight.  I won a few games and lost a few.  I'll tally up the totals tomorrow morning.  The election is almost over, thank goodness.  I just hope the only reasonable candidate wins. 

Day 1387

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

I hit the snooze one too many times and missed racquetball this morning.  Work was fine but busy.  I came home and made dinner, then went to bed early.  I think I'm still a little tired from Halloween.

Day 1386

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I woke up sore, foggy, in need of major sleep but got up anyway.  During the commute into the city I saw this just before the 880 on-ramp off 7th St. in West Oakland:


Day 1385

Monday, October 31, 2016

I left work a little early and changed into my tux for Halloween night.  This year's theme was a radio broadcast of The Spider and the Fly, a story Richard and I whipped up that turned out to be a lot of fun.  The special effect broke during two performances, but other than that it was another great evening of thrills, screams, and lots of candy.  The cast was small but reliable and awesome!  This is my 23rd Halloween with Richard...that's something!

Me and my makeup artist, Sophie!

In performance

On set

Halloween Cast 2016

Day 1384

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Up at 7, breakfast in SF, then shopping for another 10-day health challenge, buying all kinds of produce at Farmer Joe's in the pouring rain.  Prepped my veges while cleaning, watching a few games, then Halloween rehearsal at 6.  It's a radio theme that's simple enough and fun, with a catchy little storyline, appropriate for a Monday night.  Bed at 9:45.

Day 1383

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Off to Sunset at 8:30 and breakfast in West Portal with Alice and Austin, celebrating my and Alice's six wonderful years together.  It's hard to believe it's been so long.  In the afternoon, we watched Bill Maher, who has Obama visiting his show next Friday (I'm so happy!).  Took a long nap in the afternoon, had a wonderful salmon dinner, then watched TV with Alice and went to sleep at a reasonable hour.

Day 1382

Friday, October 28, 2016

The weekend is here and it's a busy one with Halloween on Monday and rehearsals for a show we talked about tonight at Richard and Lisa's.  It's a radio theme this year, short and sweet. 

Lisa and I lamented the ongoing nightmare that is the 2016 Presidential Election.  Just when it appeared this nasty campaign was over, another Friday Surprise came in the form of emails on, of all places, Anthony Weiner's computer.  You can make this stuff up.  It's insane. 

Day 1381

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Busy day that began in Sunset in the morning and ended late at night taking care of a few items before bed. 

Day 1380

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Today was Alice's birthday, so after work we went to Sons & Daughters, a really nice restaurant on Bush St. and Powell.

We arrived at 6 and were seated in front of the kitchen in the middle of the intimate restaurant.  We had a seven-course meal with lots of extra samplings in between, all farm-to-table with ingredients they grown and make themselves.  We had a butternut soup with salsify and chicken skin, brussels sprout with celery root and white fish, sweetbread with green tomato and cabbage, an amazing douglas fir soup with maitake mushrooms (so delicious!), quail with gooseberry and yam, a lemon poppyseed and creme fraiche ice cream, and a delicious piece of chocolate with agastache and caramel.  So, so good.  We also had three different kinds of bread with this scrumptious butter that I couldn't get enough of.  I enjoyed everything. After dinner, we took Lyft home to Sunset.  It was a wonderful evening.  Alice Wu was very happy!

Alice in front of chefs in the kitchen

Samples before our seven-course meal

First of three bread items.  Best toast ever!

Brussels sprout good

Delicious Douglas Fir soup with Maitake mushrooms

A little celebration tray with cookies, milk, and candies

Day 1379

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I slept soundly last night and woke up around 6:25.  I had a Sandy dream, something I haven't had in many months.  It's always the same dream, which is Sandy licking my hand and so happy to see me.  I did my morning routine and went to work, which was busy again with IPD documents.  Endless in the afternoon.  I finished what I had and caught my B bus home.  I bought a cute birthday card for Alice.  Tomorrow is her birthday.  We're going to a nice restaurant on Bush St. called Sons and Daughters.  Alice will love it.  She's such a foodie.  After dinner, I spent a good 90 minutes working on E-Force emails and getting caught up.  Sometimes I fall behind with my E-Force duties.  I wish I could play more tournaments, but I just can't.  They knock me out. 

I'm reading James Lee Burke's latest book The Jealous Kind.  Good so far. 

Day 1378

Monday, October 24, 2016

Racquetball in the a.m., a very busy Monday, followed by bus B home, dinner, then tidying up.  I'm hoping to keep things organized and clean for a while, at least until the election.  We'll see.

I like these two covers:


Day 1377

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Up at 7:30, a good night's sleep after falling asleep to SNL.  We went to Irving for bagel and coffee, then to Sunset Super for groceries.  I spent the rest of the day at home reading, revising, and playing with my new iPhone.  Went to the library briefly and checked out a new stack of books.

Had a yummy dinner, watched 60 Minutes with Alice, then drove to Oakland and slept at 10.

Day 1376

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Spent the day doing chores, taking care of items, and playing with my new iPhone 7.

This is an app that turns pictures into art.  That's pretty cool!

Watched SNL at night and it was hilarious as always, lampooning the debates, especially DJT.  No reason to talk about him anymore.  He's done.  He's so yesterday's news. 

Day 1375

Friday, October 21, 2016

The end of another busy week, another Friday dinner with Alice and Austin at Mijori, which was...


The Sashimi Boat did not disappoint!
 We ate our fill at Mijori, then headed across the street to Grand Fare Market for coffee and dessert.

Dessert at Grand Fare Market

Oh yeah...

Mocha heaven
Afterward, we drove to San Francisco for the weekend.