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.