Day 1474

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Chinese New Year!  The year of the rooster.  We were all going to Alice's cousin Elaine's for lunch, but Elaine's mother Vicki fell and was taken to the hospital, so lunch was canceled.  Alice's parents, sister Karen, Kenny and two nieces Sharon and Katie came over for lunch at Alice's.  There was a lot of delicious food and dessert.  It was a nice visit, but everyone was concerned about Vicki.  Elaine and Bill were at the hospital.  Toward the end of lunch, we heard Vicki was going to SF General for neck surgery tomorrow.  Elaine and Bill are staying the night at the hospital.  Alice is worried.  I hope she'll recover from this.  Falling is one of the biggest fears of growing older.  Gravity is unforgiving for the elderly.  I need to remember that when I'm rushing in and out of hallways and staircases later in life. 

In the afternoon, Alice and I relaxed.  We watched two episodes of Bill Maher.  It's weekly therapy for the daily nightmare. 

We watched Royal documentaries in the evening, but I fell asleep around 8 and didn't wake up until 1.  Wow, I must have been sleep-deprived.

Day 1473

Friday, January 27, 2017

Quiet day at work, which I enjoyed, allowing me to read more WW1 stuff.  Still plowing through The Guns of August and really enjoying this book.  As for my current era, I'm so appalled with what I'm seeing, so shocked at the circus our leader has created, that I don't watch any of it.  It's too maddening, too embarrassing.  He's an awful person, truly awful.  I have no patience for his drama and chaos.  Unfortunately, he will do a lot of damage.

Day 1472

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Caught up on everything at work and read most of the evening.  Had a heating issue that Jim came to fix but couldn't, so PG&E came over to assess the problem.  Heating guy will come Tuesday afternoon to repair whatever's not working with the heater.

Slept soundly.

Day 1471

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Jury duty today at Washington Street in Oakland.  A boring sounding case involving food and beverage permits.  Everyone was part of the jury pool and luckily I wasn't called up.  We broke for lunch, allowing me time to meet Murry at Wendel for an hour or so.  It was great catching up in downtown Oakland.  We ate at Pacific Coast Brewing, which was so good.  I had a yummy Shep's Pie and Murry had a salad.

Wendel's remodeling their offices and they look great.  It was great seeing a couple of folks who were there.  Saw Louise but missed Karen.  Maybe next time.

The jury came back at 2 and I was free to leave an hour or so later.  Nice!  I spotted at The Bookmark bookstore and bought a middle grade book that looked interesting.

Took Bus 26 home and tidied up a bit before dinner, then bed.

Day 1470

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Up at 5:50, ready for work, took N Judah at 7, then another full day of busy busy stuff.  Jury duty tomorrow.  Home to tidy up and clean and get things under control.

Day 1469

Monday, January 23, 2017

Up at 3:30, flew home, the took BART and arrived at work at 8:45.  Not bad.  Had a very large PowerPoint project to assemble, which took most of the day.  Spent the night with Alice, who is still hurting from her surgery.  I was asleep by 9. 

Day 1468

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Had breakfast with Dad at 9 and lunch with Karen, Janet and Uncle Steve at 1.  The memorial was at 4.  It was very nice and very well attended.

A few people spoke about Craig.  There are lots of great photographs.  It was very special for mom and all his friends.  The celebration lasted until 7.  Afterward, I drove back to Seattle and went to bed early in preparation for my 6 a.m. flight back to Oakland and work in the a.m.

Day 1467

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Flew into Seattle bright and early...had a quick lunch with Sue, Mugs, Mary and their two kids Charlotte and Emerson.

Left at 3 and drove to Oxford Suites in Bellingham.  Went to Peggy and Gus's with Jill and Tom.  Kim and Chris Jr. and Auntie Karen and Janet also drove.  We met Leo & Louanne and Chris & Elizabeth there at the house.  It's a beautiful house with cedar throughout.  It's huge and overlooking the lake.  Really nice!

Meanwhile, in D.C., the Hough family was attending Matthew's engagement party.

Afterward, we hung out at the Oxford Suites lounge for a late-night glass of wine.  I missed Alice, who stayed home tending to her hip. I went to bed around 11.

Day 1466

Friday, January 20, 2017

It seems only fitting that today I was the mark in an elaborate attempted scam that was very strange, very real, but also clearly bogus.  I was walking back to work from the post office when a driver in a white Infiniti vehicle asked for directions to SFO.  I told him and pulled out my phone to make sure my directions were correct.  He was appreciative and asked if I liked Armani.  I said sure.  He said he was a buyer who had just been to a show.  He had all these coats from the event but was only allowed to take half of them.  He offered me two of them for free with his card.  He was from Milano, Italy.  I mentioned I'd been to Rome and Milan this past summer. He was very chatty and engaging.  He gave a big talk about world connections and the bonds we all have with each other.  Then he asked if I could do him a favor.  He had an issue with his Visa card and needed to buy an iphone 7 for his daughter.  He wanted to know if I could give him a couple of hundred dollars in exchange for the Armani coats.  I said no, I could not do that.  We went from directions to SFO to Armani coats to iPhone 7s and that's when everything just seemed weird to me, so I said I'd send him an email and not take the coats and have a nice day.  He got angry and asked for his card back, so I gave it to him and walked back to work.  I looked up scams clothing Armani iPhone and came up with this site:

Armani Scam

I was happy my instincts kicked in and I didn't take the bait, but it felt so real, so authentic.  The scammer was good and looked the part of a big designer buyer.  But the moment he asked for cash, it just made no sense.

Sort of like today and the fact that we now have a racist fascist in the Oval office.  It makes no sense.  Dark dark dark times ahead.  I wish it weren't so, but it's inevitable.  Brace yourself.

Day 1465

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Left Alice's in the a.m. taking N Judah to work, arriving at 8.  Work was fine the until 2 when everyone and needed stuff from me.  Mario's out all week so it's just me.  Busy!  Came home at 6 and spoke with mom and then Alice.  Alice had her post-surgery checkup with Dr. Chen and was told she couldn't fly this weekend to Seattle, so it's just me again to Bellingham.  It's too bad because the family will be there for Craig's memorial.  I guess FaceTime is better than nothing.  I called Southwest and Alaska Airlines to cancel Alice's flights.  Southwest gave me a travel credit and Alaska Airlines gave me the finger.  Here's the comment I sent Alaska Airlines:

"Alaska Airlines, your cancellation policy is absolutely ATROCIOUS when compared with Southwest Airlines.  I recently bought one-way tickets for me & Alice to Seattle using Southwest Airlines and one-way tickets back to Oakland using Alaska Airlines.  Alice now can't fly for medical reasons, so I canceled her tickets.  With Southwest, I was issued a travel credit good for 12 months. With Alaska, I was told I could only change/cancel a ticket 60 days before the flight by paying a $125 change fee (the ticket cost less than $125).  That's about as customer friendly as a mugging.  It's a total slap in the face and utterly hypocritical to your seemingly sweet, good-natured "customer friendly" image that you project to the world.  What a shock to discover you're just another greedy corporate company solely focused on the bottom line without any concern for your loyal customers who rarely if ever change or cancel flights.  Lesson learned.  I'm so surprised and disappointed in you, Alaska Airlines.  Your cancellation policy is pathetic.  Your image belies your true nature.  Shame on the executive genius who thought this policy was a good idea.  It’s not.  It’s actually a deal breaker."

I'm sure they'll do absolutely nothing, so I'll also send this on Facebook, Yelp, and other sites as needed.  I'm so done with corporate greed and policies that screw people.  FU AA!

Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines continues to soar in my books.  

Anyway, my travel arrangements for the weekend are made.  Time for bed and still so much to do.  Ugh! 

So, tomorrow begins the Insanity Empire and the collapse of American values and good taste.  Thanks a lot, swing states.  I hope you're so proud of your newly elected orange birther buffoon.  Way to undermine all sense of reason.  You own that mess and no whining from any of you who voted for that disgraceful headcase.  He's all yours. As for me, I want none of the endless drama freak show we're all about to endure.  None of it.  I'm so disgusted.  Like the insane Iraq War that was such an obvious unforced error well before 2003, I'll never get over his presence in that office.  Never.  The office is so lowered because of him, because of that outcome, because of those insane swing states thinking their lives will improve.  Ha!  Good luck with that.

Day 1464

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Racquetball in the a.m., the crazy times at work, then home to Alice on the N Judah and a rain storm that dumped water all over me from the horizontal drops that blew in my face from Judah to Alice's home just two blocks away.  I was drenched by the time I walked inside.  An hour later, the wind blasted even harder with sheets of rain hitting the street.  Same thing at 3 a.m.  Insane weather, global warming at its finest. 

We watched a documentary on Apple TV, but by 9:15 I was out.

Day 1463

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

First day back at work since last Tuesday, and holy cow was it busy with Mario gone and lots of folks needing my assistance.  I was able to get most of my work done today, but have a few tasks left for tomorrow. Got a last-minute call to sub for a doubles player at Mariner Square, and since I'm dropping off the demo racquets to Alex M, it seemed a good night to get in an extra workout.  I did get up early to practice this morning and hit the weights, so I'll see what kind of endurance I have.

Spoke with Alice twice today and she's still hurting in her hip, which is normal.  Other than that, she's enjoying her time off work.

Day 1462

Monday, January 16, 2017

I think it may be time to buy a new laptop at Alice's house.  The Toshiba is slow and now performing well at all.  And now it's not working.  With laptops so cheap, it's a good time to upgrade.  Only problem is I have no time to do that.  I have a lot going on right now and it's only getting busier.  Next weekend is gone with my flight to Bellingham for Craig's memorial.  I haven't been home in days and my place is a bit scattered.

Spoke with Kevin today and he and Mike are visiting the Bay Area March 16-20.  Kristi, let's put together an East Bay action plan Saturday or Sunday!  That'll be a fun weekend.  I haven't met Mike yet.  I'm sure we'll get along as well as Kevin and Alice get along.  Alice and I will practice our cribbage.

We watched the new Victoria last night, and it's not nearly as good as Downton Abbey or The Crown.  The pacing is weird and I don't care for the lead, but perhaps the series will grown on me.  I actually fell asleep the final fifteen minutes (of course, it didn't help that the premiere was two hours, ending at 11 and I'm usually out by 9:45).  I'm such an old fuddy.

Arrived home at 9, unpacked, and went right to sleep.

Day 1461

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Another day in SF taking care of Alice. 

Day 1460

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Read all day and watched the Seahawks play poorly and lose to the Falcons.  Painful.

Day 1459

Friday, January 13, 2017

I spent another day with Alice while she recovers from her arthroscopic hip procedure.  Now that the anesthesia has worn off, she's feeling more pain today.  She spent most of the day in bed watching YouTube programs on food through Apple TV.  I read, made meals, and Austin came home for a few hours, so we went to San Tung for chicken wings that Alice was craving. 

In the evening we watched an action film on HBO, Batman vs. Superman, with good graphics and production values, some interesting story telling, but wow, so much violence and fighting.  It was certainly the emphasis of the movie, all those fight sequences.  Films like this say a lot about our culture and what it values.  I found most of this film interesting to watch, but uncomfortable in what it says about us. 

Day 1458

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Up early, around 7, then off to Safeway for some supplies.  Alice stayed in bed all day.  I made a big pot of beef stew in the Instant Pot, and bread in the bread machine.  I read my books and cleaned up while Alice watched TV and rested.  As expected, it was hard for her to stay in bed.  She hobbled around on her crutches every few hours.  In the evening we watched two films, the first half of Cafe Society, which Alice found boring, so we stopped it and watched Genius, about Thomas Wolfe, which was interesting and well done.  To be around 10:30.

Day 1457

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Alice's hip surgery was this morning at 9:45 a.m.  We arrived at the medical facility around 8, checked in, and Alice was prepped and ready to go.  I hung out with her in the staging area until 9:45 when a nurse escorted her to her anesthesiologist.  I spent the next three hours on California and Divisidero and Fillmore, eating at cafes, wandering through bookstores, hanging out at Starbuck's.  I bought a Reading Financial Reports for Dummies book (3rd edition) and reading another chapter from The Guns of August.  At 1:30, Dr. Chan called and said Alice's procedure went well.  There was a small piece of loose cartilage inside the hip area that was unexpected, so it was removed along with filing down the bony area where the lathram tear was.  Alice was very groggy when I saw her again.  I drove her home and put her to bed.  We had rack of lamb, corn and rice for dinner.  She went to sleep around 10.  It will take a good two weeks for her to recover.  She's getting used to her crutches.  It will be hard for her to stay in bed for an extended period of time.

Day 1456

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

After work, I went home with Alice, who has her hip surgery tomorrow.  I'll be with her until Monday.  I'm lucky that I get a few days off to be with her.  I'm sure her surgery will go well. 

Day 1455

Monday, January 9, 2017

Up at 3, back to Sea-Tac to return the rental car, then home to Oakland, BART to work, and at my desk at 9:15. Not bad.

Once I was home, I was tired.  I tried to unpack but was unsuccessful.  I had dinner and veged the rest of the evening until bed.

Day 1454

Sunday, January 8, 2017

It was another enjoyable day in Monroe.  Mathew, Nicole and I had long conversations about their mom, my sister, whose epic decline has been a shock for everyone.  It's difficult to process and accept.  I'm not sure if she's suffered some mental damage due to all the pain killers she's taken in life or if this is just how addicts think and behave.  Her behavior is off-the-charts crazy.  Inconsistent.  Whiny.  An endless victim who can't own her life.  It's really quite sad. 

After talking about all the family drama, we played 7 Wonders, which is a really fun board game that I enjoyed a lot.

I fly back to Oakland really early tomorrow, so I was in bed by 10.

Day 1453

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Flew into Seattle at 8:15, picked up a rental car and drove to Nicole and Mike's in Monroe.  Got to hold my grand niece for the first time and that was special!

Mathew was with us, too.  He's getting ready for his wedding to Rathna in August. 

Hanging out with Nicole was wonderful.  We watched the Seahawks play and played games all afternoon.

My visit's really short (only today and tomorrow), but it's so worth it spending time with sweet Nicole!

Day 1452

Friday, January 6, 2017

I leave for Seattle tomorrow, so after work I packed and did what I could to come home to a tidy place.  Not too successful.

Day 1451

Thursday, January 5, 2017

I made banana bread after work.  It was good!

Day 1450

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Trying to get organized after work.  I have all these piles of things and no time to go through them.  Meanwhile, I need to update my finances.  Ugh!

Day 1449

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

First day back at work.  It's nice to be back, especially after such an eventful, emotional break.  Back to my routine.  This month will be filled with travel, Alice's surgery, and a couple other things going on, so I won't be able to establish my new writing routine until the end of the month.

Day 1448

Monday, January 2, 2017

A very relaxing, easy day at Alice's.  I continued reading short stories and went through an Algebra book I checked out from the library.  I need to keep my mind alert with math so I don't forget everything I ever learned.  We had catfish for dinner.  I made banana bread in the afternoon, which turned out well.  I stayed over tonight because it was raining and I just wanted to be with Alice.

Day 1447

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A quiet day, mostly reading this book:

 I was in the mood for short stories this weekend, so I check it out of the library.  So good!  The first one by Sherman Alexie is the best so far.  I read the first five or so and will read more tomorrow. 

We went shopping at Hillsdale Shopping Center at noon with Austin and had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen.  It was a very enjoyable afternoon. 

For dinner, we had Alice's excellent ribs.  So good!