Thursday, August 21, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 300D

1979 - Decorated for Easter. 

One of the two favoritest, and bestest automobiles I ever owned. This one was a dream car. A Creamy 300D. Change the oil regularly and the things will run forever.  Hated selling it, but made sure it went to a good home. Probably still running today.

More later.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Life Changes & Happy Hours

I'm too old for this shit!
I ask you; do I look like a sick person to you? Or that I was this close to cardiac arrest? No, and I am not wearing makeup, smarties.

With the redneck hordes still snuggled in their vans and campers, I took off early to run errands and do a little shopping. When I returned they were all gone, vanished - praise be - and all was quiet again. 

One of the errands was to pick up the dry cleaning - and the kilts - which turns out to be a story for another post. I'm still sorting out the whole scene.  And it was a scene. So, stand by.

Just received a text from Linda (the wee Irish Lass and the GM at Dos Locos) informing me that a Happy Hour party (like we had for my birthday) will occur this friday afternoon. She’ll pick me up at 4:30. No particular reason this time, just a get together with the usual suspects and blow off some late season stress.

 Of course I replied, “I’ll be waiting!” because I’m ready to blow off a different kind of stress.  Should be fun.

The Oncologist’s office called and set up an extended appointment for next Tuesday. I can only guess it has something to do with a possible trial or study opportunity.  We’ll see.

I suppose the new blood and platelets are having a positive impact on my body and mind. Still a little shaky, but I feel stronger and a healthy kind of tired this afternoon.  And though I’ve no appetite, feel like I’ll get a real rest tonight. 

I just read this and, in my experience, it's true. I don’t know who wrote it, but that doesn’t matter.
“I don’t care about whose DNA is recombined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching, they are your family.” 
And I’ll drink to that on Friday afternoon at Happy Hour.

Life goes on, grudgingly at times, but it goes on. 

And so it goes.


Blindsiding Bummers

I ought to have felt it coming, but didn’t. By the time I arrived for the Lab work
at 7:30 yesterday morning my numbers were well into the danger zones. The real danger was that I didn’t have symptoms and felt OK. CBC numbers said I wasn’t going anywhere for a long time, except the hospital, if necessary.

Three units of whole blood, a 6 pack of platelets, and 11 hours later I felt worse than when I arrived. As I’ve written, deep sleep has been elusive; recently, short, disquiet naps are more the norm. The Benadryl injection didn’t offer the getaway it usually does and the Center was chaotic most of the day with emergencies - I (almost) was one of them.

Negative drug reactions, irrational patients, Cardiac issues and a snap responsive nursing staff swirled around me; the day was unsettling, to say the least. Hardly the environment favorable to reading or even attempt to enjoy the Benadryl induced rest I usually experience. And, oh, how I missed it.

When I was finally unplugged, as it were, the wound wouldn’t close for another 15 minutes. More aggravation for the dog-tired nurses, and myself. When I staggered out to the car at 6:45 I wanted nothing more than my own bed. I wasn’t hungry, only thirsty beyond my normal need.

I arrived at the apartment building to find a lawn party already in progress hosted by my redneck (Duck Dynasty fans) neighbors. Their extended families have again descended upon us and this time they weren’t so quiet or well-behaved.

So many out-of-state license plates in the immediate area meant I had to park almost a block away and walk back home. I was too tired to care or get angry, besides, the parking permit applies to on-street parking, not specific about where that may be.

Sleep wouldn’t come, try as I might.  I read far into the night and woke to find the light still on and the reader lying on my chest. Turned it all off and went to sleep.

Four hours later - I’m wide awake. The wound bled a little overnight, so a call to the surgeon is on the gay agenda today. She’s in surgery on Tuesdays, but perhaps she can see me tomorrow morning to fix things up.  Just more annoyances, setbacks, and frustrations. 

Today, I am back among the living. How long that will last is up for grabs. 

So, for now, there are bells to be rung, songs to be sung, places to go and people to see.  No wait!  That’s someone else’s life.

And so it goes.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

When Jupiter and Venus Align

This is something I'd like to see.  If I’m up and functioning I’ll be on the boardwalk with a tripod and long lens, facing the northeast waiting to see this happen. Clear shot right over the Atlantic.

From The Guardian:
Look up. A flurry of UFO “sightings” is expected early on Monday morning when a spectacular “double star” is created as the two brightest planets in the sky align almost completely.
In what is said to be one of the highlights of the astronomy calendar this year, the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus will be visible shortly before sunrise at 5am on the north-east horizon.
They will appear to be only 0.2 degrees apart, less than half the width of a little finger when held out at arm’s length.
“They will be so close together that it’s going to be quite a striking sight,” said Robin Scagell, vice-president of the Society for Popular Astronomy.
“Undoubtedly people could mistake them for a UFO, especially being so low down. They might appear to move around because of the distortion effect of the atmosphere.”
It will be the closest conjunction of Venus and Jupiter since 2000 but although the planets appear to be kissing-distance apart as seen from the Earth, they are separated by hundreds of millions of miles.
Venus and Jupiter pair up about once a year on average, but their conjunctions vary greatly in separation and visibility. Some are missed completely because they occur in daylight.
The next conjunction between the two planets is due to occur on 30 June next year, but will be less close.
During Monday’s conjunction, Venus will appear six times brighter than Jupiter even though its diameter is less than a tenth that of the larger planet, which measures 86,881 miles across.
That is because Venus is much closer to the Earth and also nearer the Sun, causing its clouds to be lit more intensely.
Those hoping to get the best experience from the conjunction have been advised to use a pair of binoculars or a small telescope to get a dramatic view and watch it from a high unobstructed vantage point.
Venus will mimic a tiny full moon, while Jupiter appears three times wider. Jupiter will also be accompanied by its four brightest moons strung out in a row.
“People who have buildings, hills or trees in the way might miss it, but even a rooftop in London should offer a good view,” said Scagell. © Guardian News and Media 2014
Now, if only there is a clear sky and I have the energy...

And so it goes.

Just a Thought: Always


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Out Of Sorts

Went to bed last night with a list made up of the errands I wanted to run today; feeling good about the past week - health wise - but didn’t sleep well. Bad dreams and body soreness (from the Chemo) were the obvious reasons.

Needless to say, I felt out of sorts, a bit sluggish this morning when I woke up. Even a cup of strong French-Press, dark roast didn’t shake me out of it. 

After an Ensure and a shower I felt better though still not up to par. Was going to the cafe for breakfast to see Sasha, but just couldn’t get moving. By the time I got to the Center for the Neupogen shot I was feeling more alert.  Everyone said I looked great, healthy, had good color, etc. Still something isn’t right. 

Received a phone call from the cleaners telling me that my dry cleaning - and the kilts - wouldn’t be ready until Tuesday.  “So many pleats!”, he said. I chuckled, but it’s really OK. I didn’t have the energy to drive over there, anyway.

I have a slight fever - 99.8 - but 99.+ has been my new normal for a few months now, so that doesn’t bother me.  Maybe I’ve been over exerting myself and it’s catching up due to the low blood count.  Dunno!  Just know I don’t like it.

I guess I still haven’t come to grips with the fact that I will have good days and bad days and I won’t know which is which until I wake up each morning.

Haven’t heard from the friends about our potential meeting today, but I don’t think I am up to any socializing this afternoon.  

Just rest and relaxation are on the gay agenda for the duration.

And so it goes.


Truth in Advertising Caturday

Friday, August 15, 2014

Good Deeds & Not-So-Good News

Passersby would have thought I was a homeless person this morning as I waddled down the street to the car with 2 big kitchen bags, followed by 2 large boxes  - all of it going to a new home - the thrift store. The two bags were filled with freshly cleaned and pressed shirts and slacks; the boxes full of household items and chachkas the likes of which never seem to end.  Always following me home, for some reason.

I once collected things from various holiday trips, restaurants, night clubs, and other places visited. When the previous life ended and things were divided, I knew I’d never have the room to display, or desire to see them again. So, my half was “chosen” (I had no voice in the matter), stuffed into boxes and added to the pile of belongings awaiting the movers.

They went into storage and were forgotten until I moved to this apartment. When discovered, I didn’t bother to give them a look. Out to the trash they went. I collect nothing but memories anymore. 

Anyhoo, back to today…
When I dropped everything off at the thrift store you’d have thought I brought in a king’s ransom. They were in desperate need of adult clothing, for some reason. Someone had dropped off 5 huge sacks of baby and toddler things, but the racks of items for adults were practically bare. The fact that most of the things I brought in had already been ironed stood me in good stead, too.  All they had to do in most cases was unfold and hang them up.  I am such a good boy!!! Now, if anyone fitting my size, pretty average, needs clothing, they’re in luck.

I checked out their costume jewelry counter in search of a large pin that could work as a kilt pin until I can afford to purchase a real one.  It seems mine went along with the EX when he took the dress kilt and Sporran. I found a nice one, but it was too small and weighed almost nothing. It wouldn’t do.  In case you don't know, the kilt pin is usually of some weight, attached to the lower right side of the front panel of the kilt which helps to keep the panel in place in a mild breeze. There are other reasons, too, but that was my primary reason for wearing one.  Yes, Modesty.

I made a stop to drop off some canned goods for the food pantry before heading to the Center appointment for the Neupogen shots. Yes, the CBC is that low, although you wouldn’t know it to look at me. The Lab was concerned that I wasn’t wearing the mask, nore was I short of breath, dizzy, or nauseus. I am none of those.

The strange thing is that my body seems to be adjusting to the lower CBC.  I don’t know what that might mean, but it can’t be good, since no warning signs appear until the near critical point.  Not good. Three days of injections will boost the white blood cell count, which was likely decimated by the 7 days of Chemo. It is what it is.

Fortunately, I was able to park close to the apartment building this afternoon, so no long walks from parking spaces half a block away. Makes life easier.

Just a side note here.  Where ever I went today, everyone was still talking about Robin Williams’ death. I mean - every where! I’ve never seen anything like this.  The man touched many, many people in a lot of very personal ways. What a legacy. 

And so it goes.


Just a Thought: Training

You're never too young to learn to live
in a Police State.

More later.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Throw Back Thursday: Mystic

Mystic Seaport, Connecticut

Circa 1985

I had that monstrous camera bag and that shirt until a few years ago.  Hated the bag, loved the shirt.

And so it goes.

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