Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday: NYC

Westside Highway El and Hudson River - 1979-80 (Click any image to embiggen.)

This decorative art deco designed wall was actually the right side of an entrance ramp from West Street up to the elevated section of the old West Side Highway, just south of the  Village. These were narrow roadways. Vehicles entered from the left in the photo and were northbound as they entered the highway above. This is where my Raleigh and I would usually enter the otherwise closed roadway, ride north and get off at 57th Street. Or, ride back if I was only out for an afternoon ride.

The remains of the Christopher Street Pier. A great place for villagers to get some sun, cruise, and have lunch by the river. One may have been asked to share a sandwich with someone already there. No strings. The Hudson didn’t stink so much anymore in those days. Thanks to Pete Seeger and his Clearwater Project. The pier was torn down a short time later. Note: This seemed the perfect shot with that beautiful schooner heading up river just about dead center amidst destruction.

Don’t remember the name of this pier, but it mirrors the previous state of the Christopher St. Pier and most piers south of it.  It too, came tumbling down within a few months. As did all the others in the years that followed.

And yes, another picture on the EL with the grand view of the Hudson and the New Jersey docks.  Behind me, on my right, those green buildings were (if memory serves) the docks for the Hoboken Ferries that ran from Manhattan to Hoboken. They were run by the Port of Authority or PATH. I don’t think they were in operation at the time.

I loved my life back then, village life, great friends, good job - and tending bar part-time at a village bar - enjoying everything Gotham had to offer. I lived there at just the right time (for me) to take it all in. 

And so it goes.

Just a Thought: Punishment


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Free Day

For the first time in recent memory I actually slept in until 11 am today.  Unheard-of for me. Had made a couple of lists of possible things to do and places to visit, but ultimately, following a brief time on the beach as people enjoyed lunch on the benches by the ocean, I returned to the apartment, read a few blogs, ran a load of laundry, and found yet another box of sweaters in the deepest recesses of the closet. (Maybe if I keep going back I'll eventually be welcomed to Narnia.) These were vacuum-sealed many years a go, so I don’t know what to expect. 

I’ll break the seal and let them expand overnight. I have no idea what to expect or what sweaters these might me. Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking about a new book to read. Finished the London Blitz Diary last night.  Quite good, that. Yes, I know we were subjected to quite severe rationing in this country, but at least we weren’t bombed daily or nightly for over a year.  I don’t know how they remained calm, let alone sane, when at any moment your home could be brought down upon your head.

There are a few other books waiting in the wings: the 2nd. in The Magicians trilogy, a diary of a road trip through India, another historic novel of the year leading to the Civil War 1860-61, and a bio of Nikola Tesla. 

I don’t know which I will begin this evening, but it will likely be one of these. Unless they fail to turn me on, then it’s time for an online search. I am always tempted to re-read something from my past to see if it holds up.  Usually it does, but I’m hoping to discover new writers who give me characters I can identify with and writing that holds my attention.

The body is sore from neck to thighs, but feeling rested, and the quiet is good for me today. It looks like the pre-school has moved out, so that’s another plus. No squealing kiddies to annoy the neighbors, or myself.  A very good thing, if it remains true.

I think I’ll indulge myself this evening with a Sazerac cocktail before supper. I can’t remember the last time I had one - maybe it was on the NOLA trip a year ago this week. That ought to make a difference in my soreness and level of pain.

And so it goes.

Just a Thought: Texting

I'd love to see this happen, just once.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

And Then There Are Days Like This...

I always like to plan my day, especially if it is packed with events, meetings,
appointments, etc.  Learned my lesson years ago about scheduling too close together - not leaving enough breathing time for possible delays, so with any luck, I am always either early or on time for whatever is next on the gay agenda.

Then there are those days that da Debbil seems to laugh out loud and say, “oh, you think this will run smoothly, do you?” (followed by his evil laugh) and of course,  1 or more incidents, obstacles get thrown in my path and I get mortified and muddled.

Today was one of those days. Of course the medical establishment was heavily involved - and to blame - but (as usual) it could only be sorted out by ‘self’ with much running around from office to office, lab to lab.  My entire medical history is available to 4 thrilling CDs that I had to pick up, deliver, and sign for at various places at certain times of the day.  That’s what made me late. 

By the time it was all signed, sealed and delivered I was10 minutes late for the final chemo treatment and infusion of a single unit of blood ordered for this afternoon. Hurry up and Wait! I don’t like being late. Period. It’s annoying and rude to be so and I avoid it if at all possible. 

Of course, when I finally arrived at the Center, they discovered my vitals were all over the charts, nothing was normal. It took a good half hour for calm to be restored to my mind and body, and since I was spiking a moderate fever, that helped to slow me down. Tylenol was given to bring down the fever - they will not infuse if fever is beyond 100.5’, and I was at 100.8’  The blood was late in arriving, so that worked out well. 

The Center staff was having a similar day. Irate patients and emergencies made the place almost hostile. Eventually, they got my drip going before more Hell broke loose. Blood arrived, but so many staff were otherwise engaged in some emergency that it took another half hour to get back to me. Once they shot me with Benadryl, I was left to my own devices - in my own little relaxed world. 

Then the battery in the Nexus died, so there was no reading opportunity to take me through the next 2.5 hours. I could have sworn I charged it yesterday, but I guess not. Brain fog, again. 

The Chemo was given first.  It was noted that during this final cycle the drug has been burning my flesh from the inside out leaving a spot about 4” round with dry peeling skin and stinging like Hell. This had not happened previously. Thank the Goddess these are the last injections of the fourth and final cycle of this nasty treatment regime.

I don’t know if this treatment will ultimately prove worthwhile, or what comes next if it doesn’t, but I am just happy that it’s over.

I just got in at 6 pm., too tired to cook a proper meal, so it will be a frozen entree tonight. After supper I plan to finish the London Blitz Diary of 1941 (which is on the iPad, not the Nexus, or I could have finished it today) which has been alternately a scary and tedious ride.  I don’t know how these people remained sane for so long. But, that was the British throughout the war.

Anyway. Made it through the day.  It’s over. Home safe and sound. Barring some violent drug reaction overnight, tomorrow is a free day. If the weather is anything like today - high of 74’ F - I will be out and about early with no plans at all, so who knows what I might get myself into…

And so it goes.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

RandomThoughts at Random

After 5 days of Chemo shots with a minor crisis thrown in, it’s great to relax and allow the body to heal for a couple of days.  There are purple, red, and yellow goose-egg size lumps at the injection sites and they are hot (not hawt!) to the touch.  OK, now stop that!

Some commenters have asked for pictures of recent outings and I’m sorry, but some of the tribe hate their pictures taken, especially me darlin’ Irish lass, Linda, unless she gets really loaded. It’s a shame, really.  She’s quite a handsome woman with bright mischievous eyes and a great smile. In the old days I could match her bip for bip, but no more.  

Anyway, here are a few recent pics of the kilts and my festive sun shielding hat.  Yes, taken indoors, by remote.  Sorry about that.  I hate posing.  Have I said that before? (Click any image to embiggen)

The Utility Kilt with the Kilt pin from Calvin, but without belt and sporran..

The infamous wide brim hat and sporting my JMG tee shirt. On the back of the shirt it is written: 
They Wish We Were Invisible.
We're Not.  
Let's Dance.
I love the shirt.

The Black Watch Tartan Kilt, with sporran. No dress shirt or flashings. 
Just an old tee shirt that reads: 
In the beginning there was the word.
And the word was chocolate.
And it was good.

This is what's behind me in the photos. 


My diet lately has been less than thrilling and much less than my body requires to function and heal; usually one small, but full meal, a snack of cheese or fruit, and one or two Ensure to keep me going.  Not enough.

But it’s tiring to prepare, cook, eat, and clean up when your heart isn’t in it.  This morning, I made an effort to rectify that. Did some grocery shopping, loaded up on steak, pork loin, lamb, chicken, in various shapes and sizes - for single meals and stir-fry’s, as well as stews and hearty soups. If the energy just isn’t there for a steak, potato, vegetable dinner, there will be high protein soup or stew ready for the microwave.  

Eating out isn’t an option for many reasons, but I  enjoy food more in the company of others. (I’m Italian and French, what would you expect?) I dislike dining alone. Always have. I’d rather do takeout than sit alone at a table in a busy restaurant dining room. A table that could have seated 2 or 4 people comfortably. And dining at the bar is out.  Too many people in close proximity. 

While shopping I was recognized by a young man who remembered me from Labor Day HH at Stoney Lonen. He was one who asked questions about kilts and was considering a purchase. Turns out, his girlfriend went crazy when she heard and really thinks he would be super sexy in a kilt. I have to agree he’d look good in one, good legs and all that, but ‘supper sexy’  I guess is in the eye of the beholder.  

I’m a terrible judge of age, but I’d say he’s in his early 30s and in good shape. Anyway, he’s hot to trot. I gave him my email address and said I would send him any info he’s not been able to find for himself.  

Now would you believe that in my many searches for kilts, Utility, Sport, Tartans, etc., I discovered that the State of Delaware has its own tartan plaid. I thought it pretty cool and really striking colors, too. Made to order at Scotweb  and that means they’re very expensive. With all the options, around $300 or $400, when all is said and done. But from what I hear, it’s worth every penny.

It’s Bike week in Ocean City, MD, with the massive spillover invading RB.  No matter.  They’re all cool and professional people and not disruptive at all. Looking for good food, drink, music and other entertainments. No, not that. They are hooked on trivia and karaoke.  Don’t ask.  Town will be hopping again tonight.

I’m ready for supper and a trip to Happily Ever After for a short visit. Not ever after. It’s too soon for that.

And so it goes.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Movie Memories and Music

OK, this is going to be one of those “Brain Fog” posts, so do try to keep up, or at least hang on as long as you feel it’s worth it.

Death has taken away some very special people recently, including Sir Richard Attenborough. Now you may have thought I'd be thinking more of Joan Rivers, but no, my friends. It’s Sir Richard for me this time round.

A brilliant character actor, dramatic actor, great clown, and one of the finest directors the film world has ever seen.  I was reading an Obit penned by his naturalist brother, Sir David, who is a genius in his own right, and putting the 2 together made me think of (hang on here) the original Dr. Dolittle film which starred Rex Harrison as Doctor D., Samantha Eggar, Anthony Newley, and Sir
Richard who played a jovial chap with an extraordinary animal in his company.  The famous “Push-me-Pull-you” as seen above (you had to be there).

Anyway, Attenborough provided a brief and sparkling presence and as I remember, larger than life, even for such a far fetched concept.  You believed.

Apropos of nothing.  Leslie Bricusse (Anthony Newley’s writing partner of many years) wrote a very touching song for the film that suddenly gave me an ear-worm. It's a love song.  Here is a cover of that song by Linda Eder: 

Beautiful, no?  No ifs, ands, or buts, about it. Well, now here’s the song from the soundtrack of the film sung by the Doctor, Rex Harrison.  Guess who he’s singing to and for whom the song was originally written?  You’ll hear it at the very end of the song; the last phrase.

Beautiful, just beautiful. Dear Sophie. 

Isn’t it strange how our chemo-saturated, addled brains toss thoughts about like small boats in a swift moving stream? Just another trip through the Pointless Forest, sans Oblio & Arrow. How my choo-choo-train of thought brought me to this place is beyond me, but I’ve enjoyed the trip.  I hope you did, too.

And so it goes.

Neutrality Caturday

Kitteh has the right idea.


Friday, September 12, 2014

The iPhone 6 ‘Bigger Than Bigger’??!?

Um, What?

I just received an email from Apple suggesting that I pre-order the new iPhone 6 or 6+ at the regular price, of course.  So, I checked it out.

Maybe it’s just me, but I thought the whole idea of the cell technology was to think small, compact, fit-in-your-pocket convenience and versatility.  

So, why are the phones getting bigger and bigger. At 5.5 inches, the iPhone 6+ close to the size of a Kindle, less than an inch smaller than my Nexus 7 droid e-reader, which comes in at 6.3 inches.  Hardly a comfortable fit for shirt, jeans, or a suit pocket.

I don’t understand how this is a real selling point. Doesn’t matter how light the thing is, it’s still big and I would think quite cumbersome. People tend to slip their phones in the back pocket of their shorts or jeans and I can see where there may be more than a few cracked cases if one forgets this thing is there.  I've seen this happen after too many margaritas at the restaurant. So, I know of what I speak.

Maybe Apple will introduce a line of holsters (too large to call them cases) to attach to your belt or sling over the shoulder for that quick-draw answering a call, or text.   

I see there are wide angle and telephoto clip-on lenses for iPhone -  - so what’s next?  Pretend you’re Cecil B. DeMille shooting video in Cinemascope with an anamorphic add-on lens? How far is this going to go?

Just a rhetorical, really.  And people are waiting in all kinds of weather for this thing to go on sale.  It boggles the mind.  Truly, it does. 

I’m happy with my iPhone 4 because it does everything I need, plus more than I’ll ever use.  I like it best because it was a FREE upgrade through my carrier. I think I’ll stick with this smaller one until they discontinue support for it.

And so it goes.


Headline of the Day

Stop laughing...This is serious stuff!  From Talking Points Memo:

Palin Clan Reportedly Involved In Epic 'Dog Pile' Fistfight At Snowmobile Party

Click the headline to read the whole story. Of course, Caribou Barbie is saying she wasn't even there, but traveling.  Uh - huh!

And so it goes.

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