Saturday, July 13, 2019

2019 so far...

2019 is not going down in history as one of the happier times in my life. In actuality, this getting old business is for the birds.

Two cracked ribs, a bashed knee, and a knuckle laceration. These sound like the result of a prizefighting boxing match or some shit, but no, it's what happened to me just this year in everyday life. The ribs I cracked myself over two different occasions. The left one on SuperBowl Sunday reaching for something over the arm of my couch. The right one at work reaching over the side of a large blue wheeled trash bin when some nameless clerk from the prior shift left trash in the recycle bin instead of cardboard only. It says "cardboard only" posted right on the side of the bin! And I took it upon myself to remove the offending mailers tossed in. The laceration happened at work through the fault of a well-meaning clerk just trying to help but instead, the Acco fastener sliced through the knuckle on my right thumb and it wouldn't stop bleeding. That happened about 10 days before my vacation. Oh, and then there was the time when I overpacked for my vacation and on the way home I fell onto the marble floor at Regan Airport before my flight. Not fun. My left knee was a mess and still, I can't quite function as it did before. I'm hoping time will take care of it, but really feeling older than I ever have before, it leaves me thinking how much time do I really have left on this miserable planet and what else can go wrong?

I think the rest of the year I really need to focus on self-preservation and paring down. It's amazing all of the stuff we accumulate that is useful for a period, but we can't let go of even when it's not being used anymore. When things get retained in your life because they are attached to memories instead of people, that's when life gets ugly. And I'm glad I don't have this problem, but look, I had to clear out both of my parent's abodes after the died so it allows me the following perspective:

How big will the pile of stuff be that you allowed yourself to live with on the day your mortal soul passes onto its next plane of existence? And what kind of financial and/or legal turmoil will you leave behind for "loved ones" to deal with?

Friday, June 21, 2019

Jeff Lynne's ELO at Honda Center, Anaheim, California 06/20/2019

Jeff Lynne's ELO at Honda Center, Anaheim, California 06/20/2019. The setlist seemed very 2017, but a bit shorter. See:

"Standing in the Rain" was an unexpected opening song for me until I reviewed the setlist for 2017, but the visuals were so stunning, no one seemed disappointed.

It's too bad we can't say the same thing for the visuals for "Livin' Thing" which looked like a poorly lit aquarium set-up placed upon a spinning lazy susan.

Audience participation was limited to clapping from time to time and many didn't at all when encouraged to do so. I could have sworn they were singing though.

Jeff is still so shy, there were no announcements for the songs and little talking. He had his musical director introduce the "band".

Dhani Harrison was invited on stage to help sing "Handle with Care" with Jeff and the band and the crowd roared when George Harrison and Tom Petty appeared on the montage.

The one song so out of place in the set was "Wild West Hero". It was never on US radio. They should have switched it to something else. To like "Birmingham Blues" or "Joker".

Two songs had lasers all over the place and again, visually stunning. I bet the fact that ELO was one of the first to use lasers in their concerts was a fact lost to many who saw the show.

Photo by: @oliver_halfin

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The day before Mother's Day...

The day before Mother's Day I decided it was a nice enough day outside to do some spring cleaning work on the patio.

All of this winter's rain brought weeds that were once bird seed and the potted plants (French lavender, rosemary, heirloom tomato) and sage all died except for the cactus. The chinka cherry tomato reseeded itself into a planting box where it has never been before and that turned into weedy looking bush that I think I've cut down at least three times since December.

Tomatoes being nightshade have reseeded in one of the older bed sites. I'm going to try and move it after I get some new potting soil tomorrow.

But after a dinner of tilapia and jasmine rice, and as I'm watching "Dead to Me" and "Wine Country" on Netflix while perusing Facebook, my cousin sends me this text on messenger that she's got stage 4 pancreas and intestinal cancer and that she's moving back home to live with her brother. And the first thing that runs through my mind is our family doesn't have cancer and it's gotta be the italian side of her family. So sad. Someone at work died of stomach cancer.

Death of my friends and family is going to come faster now that I'm turning 53. The first one was an accidental death of two former co-workers along the 55 freeway the last time I went on vacation. I went to the funeral, but couldn't bring myself to speak. Next weekend, there is another for a woman that worked in another department, but her husband works for me.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

May 6th, 2019 Day Dreaming

I woke up from a 30-minute power nap and in that between space between sleeping and being fully awake, I saw something in my minds eye. I saw a group of people, teenagers, kids, young adults, mulling about in an office space and they were all wearing these black winter coats with hoods and with a little black rectangle patch on the arm that said 360(degree symbol). And I kept looking around to this group asking, "Do you speak English?" and "Do you know English?" There was one large, tall man in a blue or black business jacket standing, hovering over them with kinda short curly black hair a small mustache and a flat football player looking face, little expression. Maybe he was Security and standing by the double doors? And then I said, " You need to go to the mall."

I have no idea where this dream came from other than the fact that I've been looking for another job on the website and one of the security guards told me to apply to an office that is no where near where I currently live.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Christ, January is almost over...Happy 2019

I had to work on December 31st, so last year's New Year's Eve was a non-event. The closest I got to a celebratory mood was saying to my staff "Happy New Year" as we all exited the building at 11:30PM. I worked so hard in January that when MLK Day rolled around, I didn't even recognize it as a day I got off work for a hot minute.

I bought rocks for painting and a new rosemary plant to replace the last one that I had for years. I'm going to plant that in the one medium planter/pot and the other with basil. Or maybe I'll move the onions into a pot this year. Last year's cherry tomato self-seeded and I currently have a hedge of chinka cherry tomatoes. It's spectacular. Best this plant has ever looked.

I decided this Spring is the time to go get my mortgage refi in order. I need to get the place all spiffy before the appraiser gets here. So I'm doing things like completing the LVP floor project for the two closets that I didn't do. FINALLY painting my bathroom. Throwing away the broken cheap ass mirror over the sofa and putting up a more stylish one I found at Target with a shelf. Have to paint the living room and the kitchen. All of this so I can get a chunk of the equity out of my home to get two windows, two patio sliders installed, maybe a new kitchen and bath remodels and pay off some bills. But because we've lived here since 1999, it's a cluttered mess. Not packrat, hoarder type piles, just little piles of stuff that need to go be donated, better organized if it's going to stay or put away.

The idea to get all this stuff done in a reasonable amount of time for this professed procrastinator is a simple one. I know I'll be financially in a better place and I'm using the following to keep me on track and motivated each day:

> Clean one thing;
> Fix one thing;
> Put away or organize one thing; and
> Donate one thing I don't need or want anymore.

Stephen's closet took 3 days for the floor during the week and yesterday, I went to Home Depot and bought the baseboard moulding. After I made my purchase, and with the molding in my hands on the way to the car. some random guy was laughing at me in the parking lot about getting that moulding home. Umm, yeah, 9 ft of moulding fits in my car with the back passenger seat down, thankyouverymuch. That's why I cut it that length. Jerk.

The fig tree that once seemed like a miracle when it popped up growing in my #1 raised planter box is now a nuisance. Between Winter, the rain and the wind, it looks like shit and from what I read it takes a year to get figs from it if the birds and rats don't get them first. At one point I saw two on there, but that was months ago and I didn't attend to the fruit to keep it for myself I mean atleast grow it because I can't eat seeds anymore. So really what's the point of keeping the fig tree, right? So I'm planning on cutting it down and/or digging it out.