Thursday, July 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday: West Side Highway

Cycling - 1976  Westside Highway closed from the Battery to 57th Street.   Biking paradise. Weather permitting, I rode my bike to work from the village to the upper west side. Usually made it in less than 10 minutes, and no taxis to dodge - or curse.

Looking south to the Battery and the New World Trade Center Towers. It had opened a few years before. The old wharfs seen at right are gone now. It's all flat roadway, a promenade, and the Hudson River.

And so it goes.

Just a Thought: Where's Willy?

A Sock?  It's only a guess...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nativity, Hell Yeah!

With the medical mishugas going on in my life right now, I had to take a breath, grab a bite to eat, and re-group. This is a post for me.

It is the day of my nativity.  Not that I was born in a manger, found in a  basket in the bullrushes, or born in a trunk in the Princess Theater in Pocatello, Idaho.  Still it used to be something to celebrate with a nice meal, friends, drinks and lots of laughs. 

And now, even with all the craziness my life has become I find myself on the receiving end of friendly wishes and generosity. Yes, warm wishes and even gifts. 

I have received gifts; 2 anonymously and one from a frequent visitor who didn’t give permission to thank them publicly. A gift card email arrived from Peter in Holland, as did 2 others in today’s post - again anonymously (cards unsigned, no return address) - these for local restaurants.

I don’t know exactly how to express what I feel right now and maybe with all the drugs and junk in my system that’s a good thing. I can only say that I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the thoughts and care brought into my life today.

Being alone is an OK thing.  Being lonely is a relatively new feeling and much harder to handle. All I can say is that you make life less lonely. 

Even though it is “strongly suggested” that I not imbibe, I am going to have myself the biggest, bad-assed Manhattan - Up, of course - the world has ever seen as soon as I post this.

And just in case you’re wondering;   I would like to be where THIS is happening - RIGHT NOW! 

Niki Nana (We're One)

And so it goes.

Like Any Other Day...

This topped my screen when I logged into Google just now. Happy Birthday!?!
I didn't know they cared...I know.  They don't.

What was supposed to be, unplanned as it was, a quiet day of naval gazing, thinking about my present life, and future, if any, turned into another round of visits to medical professionals and labs. 

The rash on my arms has migrated to the upper chest and neck, and has begun to itch terribly. A call from the Oncologist this morning told me an appointment was scheduled for this afternoon with a Dermatologist for punch biopsies.  Thereby shooting a big hole in my otherwise perfectly mindless day. 

My reputation preceded me.  The Dermatologist knew all about me and my case. Seems I have a friend, or two, at the Center looking out for me. He squeezed me in as a favor.  Three hours and 2 biopsies later I have a new body shampoo and cream. The guesses are one rash is drug-related, the other by the weakened immune system.

More blood work, too. Needed to check the iron level in my body from weekly transfusions. Why this wasn’t done with the rest of the tests yesterday is anybody’s guess. Another hour for this one.

The Oncologist decided that one of the scrips I’m taking has been superseded by a better, new and improved version, so a replacement prescription awaits me this afternoon as well. 

The question is; will I ever again spend a whole 24-hour day outside the world of healthcare and medical establishment? T0day marks the 17th day of non-stop medical madness with appointments on Thursday and Friday waiting in the wings.

More later.

Exxon - Mobil Will Comply

No hissy fits, so far.  Hey! it’s big money, you know.

Please note: I’m old.  I remember these things. 

Before the Merger with Exxon, Mobil Oil already had a non-discrimination policy and offered benefits to Lesbian & gay couples/families.  All that disappeared after the merger and seems to have been forgotten. I haven’t purchased their products since well before the merger, and still won’t.

So, this is good news on so many levels, especially after 15 long years of rejection by the shareholders and corporate heads. 
From the AP:
IRVING, Texas — Exxon Mobil Corp. has said it will comply with the new protections for gay and transgender employees required of federal contractors, while still sidestepping the question of whether it will formalize that by changing the language of its corporate policy.
Following President Barack Obama's signing of an executive order Monday expanding protections for federal workers and contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, the Labor Department has 90 days to issue regulations for how employers must comply.
Exxon, which according to government records won more than $480 million in federal contracts in 2013 and more than $8 billion since 2006, has long resisted pressure from civil rights groups and shareholders to enumerate such protections in its formal policy.
The world's biggest oil and gas company by market value will continue to "abide by the law," spokesman Alan Jeffers said Tuesday.
He wouldn't say if that meant changing the language in the company's formal equal employment opportunity policy, but stressed that Exxon prohibits "discrimination on any basis."

I'm not sure if the originally covered Mobil employees were grandfathered in to the new company and were allowed to keep their benefits, or if they became instant second class citizens. Haven’t been able to track that one down, yet.

Yes, corporations are people.  Keep saying that over and over.

And so it goes.

Just a Thought: Watching

Or, worse.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pick One?

Oh, sure! 

That’s easier said than done.  In the off-season, we could have a drink at each place, but it ain’t, so we can’t. Linda suggested choosing from 5 venues for our mini-party. Choosing one isn’t going to be easy.  I mean, check out this list:

The Henlopen City Oyster House
The Blue Moon
The Pig and Fish
Salt Air
Cafe Azafran, Lewes

All offer super Happy Hour drink specials, and the HH food menus are outrageously good and inexpensive. The chefs always try new things, or bring back popular items from the old dinner menu, but in smaller, half-plate portions. 

Hog wings, mussels in wine with scallions, fried green tomatoes topped with lump crab remoulade, various cheese boards, sliders, etc.  You get the idea. Happy Hour food can be (and has been) an evening’s supper.

But, where to go? I’d rather just go along where ever everyone else wants to go. Let’s be honest, I haven’t been to a full-blown HH in a group since I got sick last Summer, so everyone else already knows where the best goodies are to be had.

I think they want me to choose because it’s my day.  I’d rather be surprised, myself. 

The only venue I would skip over would be The Blue Moon.  It’s a top-notch, fine-dining restaurant, one of the state's best since 1980.  But not for HH at the bar. Too many young, DC queans in their Abercrombie & Fitch skinny jeans and tee shirts - and they all wear them. It’s the clone look of the decade, dont'cha know.  They tend to be noisy and obnoxious drunks, but seem content to put up with one another for an evening.  I am not!

Cafe Azafran & Salt Air have the shortest HH hours (5 to 7 pm) and I know that
will be a problem for the lushes ‘er heavier drinkers in our group. So, all things considered, we’re down to The Oyster House (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.) or Pig & Fish (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.).  If you read this space often you will already know that both of these are faves of mine.

I’ll suggest both to Linda, since some of the gang may have to work the lunch shift til 4 p.m. anyway, and let them finalize the location accordingly.  I don’t think I can be more diplomatic than that. And after 7 hours at the Center today, I am too tired to even try.

At this point, I'd be happy sitting on a park bench under a tree drinking wine from a box or paper sack, as long as I was with those I care about.

And so it goes.

Just a Thought: Hawking on God

More later.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Stirring up Trouble & Stir Fry

Just when I thought it was safe to take a short walk around town, there was an
attempted robbery - yes, here in town - and the summer rent-a-cops are having a law-enforcement field day.

As I watched the chaos unfolding, hearing the shouts and crackling radios, I realized no one knew what he or she was doing. So, I did an about-face and returned home. The walk will wait for another day.

After the morning lab work and Neupogen shot, I stopped at the market for veggie fixin’s - red pepper, snow peas, bamboo shoots, spring onions, and broccoli.  I’ve been on a stir-fry kick lately. Wokking everything in sight; chicken, pork, beef are alternately on the menu. Nothing is safe from my Wok! Such cooking adds spice and zip to my otherwise bland diet. I need the extra zip because my taste buds are not functioning well and spicing things up helps a lot.

Tonight will be sliced pork in a hoisin and peanut sauce. With sticky rice, of course. There is usually enough  left over for another meal, so when I am tired and don’t feel like cooking, it’s pork stir-fry magical microwave time.  Supper in less than 10 minutes.

Just received a text from Linda, the wee Irish Lass, and my old GM at Dos Locos, wanting to set up a Happy Hour Birthday Celebration with me this week. I had hoped no one would remember, but no such luck. She ticked off 5 options, informing me that there will be at least 4 other folks involved and that I will be picked up and delivered home for the occasion. No Ifs - Ands - Buts about it. She asked what I wanted for my birthday…I chose not to share my real wish.

The final Neupogen shot happens tomorrow along with a double transfusion session, so I suggested we aim for Thursday afternoon.  With new blood coursing through my veins I should have the energy of a bear and will likely be more positive about the whole affair than I am right now. 

Still, it’s nice that she is thinking of me and wants to spend some quality time with me. (Ahem! What she really wants to do is get me drunk with friends. She may just succeed.) She and the other 4 cohorts are former co-workers of mine at Dos Locos, so it ought to be a hell of a good time.

Meanwhile, many of the ebooks I’ve downloaded in the resent past have been rejected for one reason or another. Bad writing, editing, proofing, and storytelling...and I don't think I'm that hard to please.

I find myself wanting to revisit books read many years ago.  I also find that they hold up better, writing-wise, than most of the new product on the market. Then imagine my surprise when, today I found another Pern book from the Dragon series. Of course, I downloaded it,  “The Dolphins of Pern” will be special (read distracting) for tomorrow while being transfused.  

Sometimes life does indeed suck, but this isn’t one of those times.

And so it goes.

Just a Thought: Think

If only...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday at the Beach With Tourists

The fool-proof way I know Sunday from the other days anymore, is by the ringing bells of All Saints Episcopal Church a few blocks away. Other than that, the days just run one into another with little  discernible difference. The only distinguishing markings are scribblings on the calendar to let me know when I have to be where, and at what time. 

Although rain was threatening, I went down to the boardwalk at dawn and had a nice walk. Met some lovely people from Chicago on their first visit and we sat on a bench for a while with iced coffees in hand while I gave them a few tips for things to see and do that are either totally free, or request small donations. 

Of course, they wanted dining suggestions, as well, and you know me, I was all too happy to oblige with a few of my favorites. They wanted to leave their cars parked as much as possible and enjoy what the town has to offer. Fortunately, everything is within walking distance of the beach and their B & B. 

I had suggestions for Lewes, too.  Especially a visit to the Zwaanendael Museum in the center of town. A Little bit of Dutch in Delaware. The Dutch  settled the place, you know.  The building is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands and a visit is always a treat.

Suggested having lunch at one of the restaurants on the Lewes-Rehoboth canal
which leads directly to Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Could be a relaxing day trip.

They had plenty of questions regarding the history of Rehoboth Beach and Lewes.  They chose Delaware for this year’s holiday because of a couple of articles they’d read and a few visits to various RB websites.

Turns out they’re staying in the B & B owned by two guys I know and were relieved to get a good review. Seems their previous B & B experience wasn’t such a good one - on Old Cape Cod. They couldn’t believe the kindness, friendliness and generosity of us local folks.  

Our willingness to engage in conversation with strangers, pride in the town and local businesses really took them by surprise. That’s usually the case when folks come to visit from far away big cities; there's always that fear of being ripped off, taken advantage of, or dismissed as only a bottomless money-pit.  In spite of what you may have read elsewhere, it ain’t like that here.

Anyway. I had to keep my appointment for the shot, so I left them with a short list of eateries, and local businesses for shopping - in town.  Not the outlet stores. They can get far better merchandise and better bargains right here in town.

Yes, I also told them to enjoy at least one dining out event at Dos Locos.  They like Mexican food and were grateful for the suggestion. These people are really nice and I am sure the Locosguys will love them, too.

Coming home from the Center all southbound traffic came to a screeching stop. A 4-car pile up - involving all three lanes - had the state police quite busy for a while.  We had to wait for the helicopter med-evac to leave, and the roadway was cleared of the auto parts and other debris.  An hour and forty five minutes later, we were on our way. That was my cue. Parked and home until I have to get the next shot tomorrow at 8 a.m.

Forty-three days til Labor Day - which is early this year - and it’s all over. (Yes, I am counting. Just shoot me!) Some schools and colleges start in about a month, so things should lighten up around here at that time. May it be so.

And so it goes.


Just a Thought - Music

More later.
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