Day 1594

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Up early and caught up on my journal, read a few chapters of the Sixth Extinction, pulled an hour's worth of weeds for Alice, and took a nice long nap in the early afternoon.  Alice wanted to walk around the mall, so we went to Stonestown at 2, then visited Bill and Vicki at 5.  They's just returned from a cruise to Alaska.  We went to the Dim Sum Club for dinner and I really like this place.  Their sweet and sour pork is so good.  We came back to their house, had tea and watched some old videos of a 2009 cruise they went on to Alaska where the fish were jumping and the crab was plentiful. Came home at 9:30 and called it a night.  Day off tomorrow...nice.

Day 1593

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Woke up at 5 to finish moving boxes from the back wall of the garage in preparation for the termite specialists to spray next Wednesday.  I think it's possible to remove 50% of the stuff I have in there.  We'll see.  It'll take time to sort out.

Arrived at Alice's at 7:45 and we went to Toyota Dealership for a recall procedure Alice needed.  The procedure was going to talk 2 1/2 hours, so we decided to reschedule and went to Starbuck's and Costco instead.

We came back home at 11 and hung out the rest of the day, doing laundry, pulling weeds, playing cribbage, and eating a delicious steak dinner with fresh meat from Costco.

I read pieces in Neil Gaiman's The View From the Cheap Seats and later in the evening we watched Sully, which was good -- Tom Hanks was strong as always -- but the antagonistic investigation was probably a little too Hollywood.

Day 1592

Friday, May 26, 2017

Racquetball at 5, work all day, which was slow.  I read The Morning They Came For Us, Dispatches From Syria by Janine Di Giovanni, a firsthand account from the Syrian Civil War.  It's another example of the horrors of war.  How many do we need to get the message that war is evil and never a good thing ever.  The country won't recover in our lifetime.  Many in the next generation or two.  It's easy to look back and see how inevitable the destruction was going to be, given the single-minded dictatorial ruthlessness of Bashar al Assad, who more than any other person is responsible for the destruction of Syria.  No one was going to pull him from power and his army and resources (Iran, Hezbollah, Russia) were ultimately no match for the so-called Free Syria Army.  The other problem was the infiltration of foreign jihadist fighters intent on turning Syria into a religious state.  So many citizens were stuck in the middle in a no-win situation that ultimately uprooted their way of life.  It's really tragic reading these stories, knowing the Syria of the guidebook I've been reading no longer exists, including Aleppo's once famous souks, the world's best example of old world Middle East markets before they were destroy.

Came home at 5 and started cleaning out my garage in preparation for a termite spray next week.  So many boxes I don't need but can't seem to get rid of.

Later in the evening, I came across the Washington Post story of Jared Kushner's secret meeting with Russian Ambassador Kislyak on December 1 to discuss creating a secret communication channel to the Kremlin that was undetectable by US security.  It sounds like a big story and is almost certainly something that was ordered by Trump himself.  We'll see how this story develops.  Trump can't have Kushner banished from the White House, and yet I suspect Kushner will be under intense scrutiny and pressure to have his security clearance revoked.  He's in trouble.  The entire White House is in trouble.

Day 1591

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Slow at work today, so in the afternoon I watched a movie on my iphone that I'd never seen, Come and See, a 1985 realistic Russian film about WW2 and the burning of villages by the Germans in Belarus.

The final 30 minutes are gripping and powerful, but also typical of war.  Similar incidents happened in Syria.  The young kid who starred in the film,  Aleksei Kravchenko, was so expressive and believable.  He'd had no prior acting experience, which is remarkable.  

Day 1590

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Racquetball at 5 (good games), a busy work day, more Syria research.  Felt sluggish later in the day and early evening, so I wasn't able to focus.  After dinner, I watched an episode of American Horror Story (I'm watching season 1 now) and fell asleep halfway through.

Day 1589

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Just a regular day today.  Up, work, lunch, work, dinner, clean up, sleep.

Still processing the Manchester attack, watching news reports, video clips, depressed that this is an aspect of our daily lives.  The senseless and painful to see releases pictures of the victims.  What a world this can be.  I can only spend so much time on such a heartbreaking, senseless event before I must force myself to think about something else, something uplifting and beautiful, like Vivaldi or Beethoven or the sky at sunset.  Awful.

Day 1588

Monday, May 22, 2017

Racquetball, work, dinner.  MINI will be ready after Memorial Day.  Alice is on new medication that she started last night.  Finished watching American Horror Story (Coven).  Very good season.  Now I'm watching Season 1.

The opening sequence of Coven is the creepiest opening I've seen, a dark, twisted type of Six Feet Under.

Day 1587

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Alice and I watched this in the afternoon.  DeNiro was excellent, as always.  I loved his understated, controlled portrayal of this crook.  It was different, more nuanced, than the Richard Dreyfus portrayal, but in some ways more effective.  He nailed this character.  We really enjoyed this.

A quiet Sunday, getting things down and relaxing.

Day 1586

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Alice made dumplings for lunch.  So good.  

In the evening I went to the Fillmore to hear Connor and his Dustbowl Revival band play.  It was excellent!  I bought a me it's like the display in a pinball machine.  Maybe that's why I like it so much!


Day 1585

Friday, May 19, 2017

I was sluggish most of the day and didn't go to racquetball.  Luckily, it was quiet at work.  It's been a reasonable month for the most part.  Looking forward to a relaxing weekend.

Day 1584

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Played poker in the evening with the monthly Crocker dads and after four hours of holdem grinding ended up five dollars ahead, a victory considering how cold my cards typically are at this table.  Went to bed at 1, late for me!

Day 1583

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Still a bit tired today.  Can't quite shake off this fatigue I'm feeling.  After racquetball, work, dinner and talking to Chris and Alice, I went straight to bed.

Day 1582

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I woke up at 6 a.m. but easily could have slept another couple of hours.  I took a shower a little before 7 and managed to get into work right at 8:30.  Work was steady.  I came home at 6, watched an episode of American Horror Story (Coven), had a simple dinner, then went to sleep.  I was still tired and went to bed around 9 or so. 

Day 1581

Monday, May 15, 2017

We woke up at 3:30 a.m. for our 6:10 a.m. flight from Vancouver to San Francisco.  Chris was up by 4 and we drove to the airport in 20 minutes, stopping for maybe one red light.  It was a great weekend in the city I was born!

We used Global Entry going through customs and it was efficient and easy.  Alice had her Starbuck's coffee and bread from Saturday's bakery.  I didn't need anything.  I was still stuffed from last night's meal.

Our flight was on time and uneventful.  I slept an hour or so.  We arrived early at 8:10 a.m. into SFO.  After disembarking, we left the international terminal where Alice caught a Lyft home.  I took BART to work and arrived around 9:30.  Luckily, work was quiet without many jobs to do.  I didn't eat lunch.  I had the last of my butter tarts for lunch.  I came home at 6, called Alice, then went right to bed.  I slept 12 hours.  Nice!

Day 1580

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday was a really fun day.  After a morning of Shreddies, cribbage, a morning walk and reading, we got in the car and headed downtown where Chris Jr. lives.  

Alice in the car in Vancouver
Uncle Chris contemplating his first bite of sushi
We had lunch at a very good sushi restaurant across the street from Chris's condo.  My, it was good.  We ate ourselves silly.

Ex-Girlfriend Roll

Alice, Elizabeth, Chris, Chris Jr., Leslie
After lunch, Alice stayed at Chris's place while the rest of us went for a walk to Granville Island in search of butter tarts.  We were not disappointed!
Walking to Granville Island
Walking to Granville Island
We had dinner in Gastown at The Flying Pig.  It was excellent.  We ate ourselves silly a second time. 
Alice and Chris at the Flying Pig

Alice and Chris at the Flying Pig

Alice and Chris having a good time!

We shared every dish

At the Flying Pig
After dinner, we had a night cap at Leslie's rounding out a great final day in Vancouver!

Day 1579

Saturday, May 13, 2017

After an early breakfast, we left our ship and met Chris at Canada Place. 

We had a delicious morning coffee and pastry, then headed to New Westminster to pick up
Elizabeth.  We went to a mall in Richmond where Alice was craving noodle.  We settled for dim sum at a place with weak service but otherwise pretty tasty dishes. 

We then came home and hung out the rest of the day.  Chris and I went for a walk to the store and later on Chris Jr. came over.  We had a fantastic spaghetti dinner with Greek salad and scrumptious dessert.  The eating didn't stop, even though our cruise was over. 

Day 1578

Friday, May 12, 2017

Alice at International Cafe after breakfast
 A leisurely day with three full meals and afternoon tea.  It's so easy to eat too much.  I enjoy working out in the morning and showering in the spa locker rooms.  They're so nice.  Hot tub, sauna and steam room.  So sweet.

I checked out Skywalker's Lounge on the ship.  This is where we're holding our ceremony and reception next year aboard the Golden Princess.  It's really a nightclub at night, but works as a comfortable location for a large reception on the ship.  I'll need some help in decorating the place.

Alice destroyed me in cribbage.  She had the hands and played them well.  We saw some wonderful rainbows from our cabin in the evening.  I enjoy being on the sea (when it's not too rough).  There's something very therapeutic about the gentle rocking motion of the waves.  We went to be early, by 10.  We're just oldies at heart.

Day 1577

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Our first full day at sea was so relaxing and wonderful.  We sat next to a very pleasant couple for breakfast - Sharon and Howard - who gave us a coffee nice!  I played ping pong and paddle tennis in the afternoon, even though it was a little windy and drizzly.  For dinner we ate at the specialty restaurant Share.  It was so-so, but the lobster was delicious.  The desserts were huge.  Some of the dishes weren't all that distinctive, but we enjoyed ourselves nonetheless.  

On our balcony
Alice at Share
At Share

Our lamb

Our beginning, sliced meats, good!

Our beef

Alice at Share

Day 1576

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

We left Alice's at 6 a.m. and drove to Starbuck's on Lakeshore Ave. We had coffee and bagels, then hung out at my place for an hour before getting a Lyft at 8:15.  The Oakland airport was quiet and we had no trouble with our flight to LA.  From LA, we again took Lyft to San Pedro and hopped on our ship at around 1:15 p.m. 

The Emerald Princess set sail a little after four.  It was a pleasant afternoon and so nice to be back on board a cruise.  Alice really loves them and so do I.  What's not to love?

Day 1575

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Busy work day, then came home, packed, and drove to Alice's in the evening.  Tomorrow we leave for LA!  At lunch, I picked up the Highway Patrol report of the auto accident that occurred a couple of Mondays ago.  It appears I was struck by a drunk driver as the other driver was intoxicated and arrested with her car impounded.  Suspended license, no insurance, and driving while intoxicated.  I'm lucky to be alive.

Day 1574

Monday, May 8, 2017

Racquetball at 5, finishing Handel book, busy day at work.  Rescheduled ping pong match to next Wednesday, began packing for trip in two days, watched an episode of American Horror Story Coven, which I like.  Mailed in E-Force forms.  Texted Uncle Steve, Matt, Brad and Rob about Judy.  There will be a celebration of her life in July.  Matt's in Bellingham with Steve now. 

Day 1573

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Got a hair cut in the morning, then came home and cleaned out my garage, organized and tossed stuff away, taking the entire day to finish.  I'm still not finished.  Mom texted me and Jill, saying Karen had called and told her Judy passed away yesterday after a long bout with leukemia.  I was afraid she was nearing the end back in January when she was too ill to visit.  She will be so missed.  She was an integral part of the Hagan family. 

Day 1572

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Drove to Alice's early in the a.m., then went to 101 California to help clean out Alice's desk.  We went to Whole Foods afterward for a bite to eat, then to Diamond Heights for 30 minutes of jacuzzi and sauna.  We came home and I gardened a bit and talked to Jill, Gwen, and Nicole.  At 5:30, Alice, Austin and I met Cecilia and Jay for dinner at Dragon Beaux on Geary Street.  I really like this restaurant.  I've been there three times and it's always so good.  We had hot pot.  The Warriors were on, playing the Jazz in game three.  It was a close game, but the Warriors, as always, pulled it out in the end.  We came home and I was in bed by 9:30.

Day 1571

Friday, May 5, 2017

It was Mario's last day of work today.  He actually showed up, but only for a half day.  He left at 12:30 or so.  I wish him well in his retirement.  After work, I met Richard and Lisa for dinner at the food trucks next to the Oakland Museum.  We walked there and back.  I see them so rarely these days.  It was wonderful catching up with them.  Miles joined us.  He's graduating from high school in a month.  Lots of exciting changes going on in the Young household.  I came home around 9 and went to bed, opting to drive to SF tomorrow morning.

Day 1570

Thursday, May 4, 2017

At work today, I had a 30-minute family session with Gwen and her family therapist Joe.  It was the first time in many weeks that we'd had any communication with each other.  It was an important session and helpful in understanding what Joe needed to keep my and Gwen's connection intact.  When Gwen becomes obsessed with Greg and starts going off about crazy delusional stories, she'll check out if she feels I don't believe her.  Joe wanted me to use more neutral language when Gwen is in a hyper-vigilant state.  I told him I could do it with stories that are in the 5-6 range, but not in the 9-10 range.  I told him I wasn't going to pretend a delusional story wasn't delusional.  Joe got it.  He's good at finding common ground, so the new method now is to end any calls we may have and pick up where we left off the next day.  Gwen and I talked later in the evening and had a really good conversation.  She's still doing her work and trying to get her act together.  It's hard for her though.  She'll always struggle.  She'll always be a special needs person. 

Day 1569

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Drove home accident free at 4:30 in the rental I picked up yesterday.  Played racquetball until 6:45, then showered, came home, got ready for work, then made it to my desk exactly on time.  The day was quiet, so I ordered a book at Barnes & Noble...

...and watched a few YouTubes on the Souks of Aleppo, which have been destroyed from the war.  Alice and I went home at 5:10 and had dinner at a small Chinese restaurant on Clement St.  Alice ordered her pork belly and it was tasty.  We came home and watched a few cruise videos on YouTube before I fell asleep at 9.

Day 1568

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

I woke up at 6 and left Alice's at 7:15 to Bayshore Ave. and Alioto's Body Shop where my MINI will be fixed.  I took bus 9 to the CA Highway Patrol office and obtained a copy of the first page of the police report.  The individual who hit my car was a 26-year-old female with a suspended license and no insurance.  Clearly, she was on some kind of substance to have driven so recklessly without any insurance on a suspended license.  My insurance company has all the information they need now, and aside from the $500 deductible, everything will be taken care of.  From the CHP, I walked to Market St. and took a bus to work.  I was busy for the next three hours, then got caught up and took care of a few things related to the wedding cruise.  After work, I took bus 9 back to Bayshore Ave. and picked up the rental car I'll be using for the next two weeks.  I drove to Alice's and we had chicken teriyaki at a Japanese restaurant on Noriega.  

Day 1567

Monday, May 1, 2017

Usually when I drive to Oakland Monday morning at 4 a.m., it's totally uneventful and peaceful.  Not today.  Even though the Bay Bridge was practically deserted, there one one absolute moron maniac who thought they were in some kind of imaginary race.  They drove up to my car and quickly cut to the right, side-swiping my car and spinning out onto the side of the bridge.  Thankfully, a CHP was nearby.  I gave him my statement, then called my insurance company.  I take the MINI into the repair shop tomorrow.  My poor MINI!  : (

Day 1566

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A total rest day for Alice.  We did very little, except get her vegetables on Irving St.  I got gas at Costco in the morning, then gardened (pulled weeds) in the front of Alice's house.  I read my Syria travel guide the rest of the day, gathering info on what the country used to be.  We also took naps.  I like these kind of days.

Day 1565

Saturday, April 29, 2017

I drove to Alice's in the morning and we took care of many chores in the morning and afternoon.  Alice's bad has been very sore today.  I went to a bookstore and bought a travel guide on Syria that came out in 2010.  It's sad reading, knowing so many of the sites and cities are no more.  Hmm.