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25th-Apr-2017 07:33 am - Happy Birthday Dave!
Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday animator

Hope you and the kids are well. Have a wonderful day.

15th-Apr-2017 11:28 pm - Happy Birthday Mark!
Wow, I admit I haven't logged in here in a long time, but I came on to with mblj a HAPPY BIRTHDAY and I couldn't pull up his name on my friend's list - because my bio and my friends list were both gone!  Was it all deleted by the site?

So I go to my friends page and see posts by the few people still active here, which leads me to believe my friends list must still be here somewhere or nothing would show up on the friends feed page.

Then I start reading  kishenehn 's post about LJ/DW and I didn't know what he was talking about until I read some of the comments and started figuring it out and wondering if that had something to do with it.  But no, apparently something changed in Chrome or one of my extensions like ghoserty that's blocking my ability to see certain content because I went to IE (which I NEVER use) and it's all still there  So I logged in using IE and suddently I get this pop up about the change in their rules, which I didn't get when I logged in on Chrome.  Weird. Unless I can figure out where the problem is, I guess I'll have to use Firefox or IE now for LJ, but I use a lot of the same extensions on Firefox, so that one may not work either.

I'm also a little sad to see a couple of names gone from my friends list including garyjr.  He hasn't been here for years and I didn't really ever expect him to post again, but he was how this all started for me 15 years ago back when you had to get an invitation. I'm sure he must have deleted his account with all the LJ hoopla I was unaware of until I saw Mark's above mentioned post, but seeing his name still there was a little nostalgic comforting somehow. And pagebear who was a very nice guy and worked for a company that made a certain kind of . . . errrr . . . . films of the adult nature has a line through his name too.  I wonder if he deleted his account or whether they banned it? I don't remember him posting any content that would get it banned, but who knows. Do they look for key words?

It's like we're living in bizzaro-world since the election.  So much to say about all that, but I don't have the energy or the will right now. I'm tired of it all.

But I'm still alive.  Ha! Still making monthly trips to the Bay Area and feeling my days are numbered here in LA due to parental issues.  It's just geting too hard to manage everything I need to manage for them from here and go back and forth so much.  Other than that, I rarely leave my little enclave here, I'm still walking everywhere, still hitting the gym several days a week and staying in shape,, but nothing like the shape I used to be in. I'm too old to care now. LOL. I did make it to San Diego to visit a friend early last month and that was fun. I hadn't been down there forever, But then my mother went in the hospital. She's home now and OK, but I was up there for 3 weeks and just got home a few days ago. I actually bought a floor mat thing and was sleeping on the floor at the hospital at night so she was never alone. So nice to sleep in my own bed again!

Anyway, hope you had a happy birthday mblj ,  And to anyone else who sees this, hope you are well!
22nd-Aug-2016 12:15 pm(no subject)
Been a long time, but all is OK. I’ve been faithfully flying to the Bay Area every 5 weeks or so to deal with parental issues and try as best I can to keep things running as smooth as possible without any major hiccups.

I can’t believe summer is almost over.  It’s been uneventful, but I’m at a point in my life when I appreciate that. Ha!  I’ve continued to work out regularly and really enjoying it. I was bummed that they closed Runyon Canyon (our local hiking park) for most of the summer to do some work on the fire trails. I spent an afternoon up there right before it closed, I actually walked there from the gym, then spent about 3 hour hiking up to the top and all around, then walked all the way home (probably about 10 miles total) and that was after a full workout. I was exhausted.  LOL It just reopened, so I need to get up there.  Took this pick looking foward downtown last time.

I met up with dkonfrost and mblj a few weeks ago . . . . somewhere inland. (They'll understand this - LOL).  Actually, it was in Sierra Madre out near Pasadena, and I really enjoyed both the company and the conversation.  We met at an ice cream shop called Mother Moo’s Creamery which is one of those all natural places, mblj was kind enough to treat us, and I had Indonesian Cinnamon flavor which was really good. The little downtown there is very cool. Streets of little shops that look like they were built in the 50's. sitting on the edge of some mountains. We sat at a picnic table in this little park and ended up talking for hours while families and kids around us played pokemon. If it hadn’t gotten dark on us, we probably could have talked for another few hours. I found a picture of the little park here.

An elderly neighbor who I adored passed away from a sudden heart atack last week.  He was 87 and the first person I met when I moved here. He was like the neighborhood greeter. There are huge planter boxes with cement walls about the height of a bench on each side of the entry and when I first came to look at this place about 2.5 years ago and was waiting for the real estate agent out front, he was sitting on one of them with his old dog and was the first person I talked to. After moving in, I learned that he sat out there daily with the dog, everyone coming or going would stop to talk to him including all the locals in the neighborhood who walked by every day with their dogs, and he always had a pocket full treats for them. There was something comforting about him being out there and I’d stop and talk to him every time I saw him.

I didn’t know he was Jewish, but the family posted a notice in the elevator with a list of all the Shiva sittings being held and inviting anyone who wanted to attend. Unfamiliar with what that was, I looked it up.  It’s basically like a wake where everyone goes over to the house of one of the relatives after a funeral, but they have several over the course of a “week or mourning.” Tow of his four of his sons live locallyand they had a listing with the dates and addresses and I went to the one on Thursday night. It was my first Shiva, so it was a new cultural experience for me. He and his wife had been married 68 years.  Wow.

Things just won’t be the same without him. I saw a fire engine out front and was worried that it was for his wife. She has a lot of severe health issues, he took care of her, and this wouldn’t have been the first time he’d had to call 911 for her.  I never expected it to be him. Just walking out of the building seems lonely now knowing I’ll never see him or his sweet old dog out there again.

Went down to the beach Saturday for a quick dip at Sunset.  What a beautiful night.

I’m off to NYC next Thursday morning for Labor Day weekend - and my birthday. At one point I used to go 6 to 8 times a year, but I haven’t been there many, many years and I have a slew of hotel points I needed to use or lose, so I decided to make the most of them and go where hotels are the most expensive. LOL. And since I’m using airline miles to get there, it’s entirely free – except for food and whatever I decide to do. From there, I’ll fly directly to the Bay Area for a few days to check in on my parents, so I need to figure out how to pack my carry-on for about 10 days away with everything I need for both places.  That should be interesting.  
29th-Feb-2016 10:01 am - Traffic madness in LA
This last weekend is a day I should have avoided driving like the plague, but I couldn't. I was playing tour guide for my visiting German friend and his Hungarian colleague.

They wanted to see the set-up for the Oscars at the Dolby, so after picking them up from their hotel near LAX, we headed to Hollywood and Highland Center. As expected, it was crazy down there, but they got their pictures of the huge gold statue by the entrance as well as the Hollywood sign, so they were happy. I parked a good 15 minute walk away just to avoid all traffic jams as you got closer, but it was still a mess with so much more traffic on all the other streets with all the road closures in the area.

But at the last minute Saturday morning, Elton John suddenly announced a free concert at noon in the parking lot of the old Tower Records on Sunset, which is right around the corner from my place. (Tower has been closed for years, but they now use it fo special events or movies. In fact, a documentary on it is being made right now.)  Of course they wanted to see this if possible.

So by the time we left the Dolby and got back to the car, it was about 12:15 and it would normally take about 15 minutes to get back to my place, but they totally blocked off Sunset for about a mile creatiing a massive traffic jam on Santa Monica Blvd and all the side streets, so it took over an hour to get back. By the time I was able to get into my garage and we walked up there, it was 1:30 and it had just ended. They did get to see Lady GaGa pulling away in her white Rolls.  I guess she decided to show up and perform with Elton at the last minute, but that was it.

The one cool thing was taking pics standing in the middle of an entirely deserted Sunset Blvd. in the middle of the afternoon. That's something you never see. Stopped for lunch at a place called Dough a few doors up, At  2:00 on Saturday it's usually empty, but since the concert wasn't announced until a couple of hours before it happened, every place on Sunset was packed, staff was caught off guard and the poor girl waiting on us was the only person there, handling all customers as well as the register! Felt sorry for her, but she did great under the circumstances.

Then it was over to Rodeo Drive which is only about a 5 minute drive, but again, massive traffic with lots of places in the area setting up Oscar parties, some of which were pre-parties on Saturday.

From there, we went down to Ocean Park and 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, but again, there was some big awards party down there with a series of MASSIVE tents right on the beach and PCH was jammed, causing massive traffic jams in the area. Again, what a mess. They had a good time though and flew home yesterday.

I finally got them back to their hotel at about 8:30, drove home and was never so glad to get out of the car, knowing I wouldn't have to drive (here) again for at least another 10 days.  I will take Uber to the airport Weds when I fly to the Bay Area for a week.

Didn't do anything yesterday except go to the gym. This is the time of year I usually feel more depressed and down. I think it's a post holidays/weather thing, but the weather has been amazing for pretty much the entire month of Feb. with temps in the 70s and 80s, motiviating me to get to the gym more. I've only skipped 2 days out of the last 15 or so, not because I'm pushing myself. I could easily get by going 2 or 3 days to maintain where I am, but I find I just feel much better and happier if I go. Maybe endorphins? My arms are actually starting to look bigger, and I'm now alternating jogging and walking the 4 miles home after working out instead of just walking fast. Weighing in consistently at 144 now, so that's cool, and only two more weeks until Daylight Savings Time. Can't wait!

Sunset from the Santa Monica Pier on Saturday

17th-Feb-2016 10:53 am - Politics, extremists, and other stuff
-   A German friend (Chris) will be here on business at the end of this month and we are going to spend the 27th hanging out..  I met him on the Spanish Steps in Rome probably 20 years ago.  He was about 19 at the time, traveling with a group of students from Germany, I was traveling alone, and they struck up a conversation.  We talked for quite a while, they said bye and wished each other a nice life.  A few weeks later I had a message from Chris on my home answering machine.  He had remembered my name and called International Information to see if he could find me.

These were the days before the Internet was much of anything, so we kept in touch by snail-mail, Then he came to visit, then he drove from Germany to meet up with me in Vienna, play tour guide, and we drove to Hungary, where I met his (then girlfriend), and then he came to visit with her.  She had never been out of Hungary before, so showing her things like Costco came as quite a culture shock.  LOL.  She had also never seen the ocean before, so  being with her to experience that for the first time was pretty cool.

Anyway, he ended up moving to Hungary, started a business, married a Russian gal, had two kids and recently got divorced.  I haven’t seen him since any of that happened, so it will be fun to see him and catch up in more detail and meet the others from Hungary he’s coming with.


-   Then I fly to the Bay Area for a week to see my parents and assess how out-of-control things are, and try to get them under control.  It’s getting pretty bad.  Not that it wasn’t bad before, but it’s worse. I don’t feel like going into it, but I think I may have to move back up there in the not too distant future if things keep sliding at the rate they have been, and I dread that.


-   For an entire month, I was pretty much obsessed with the Oregon Standoff situation where a bunch of (mostly Mormon) armed, militia-type “constitutional” anti-federal government conspiracy theorist extremists took over a wildlife refuge in Burns, Oregon.  Basically, they want any and all federal land returned to private ownership and don’t believe ranchers should have to pay the feds for cattle grazing rights  - which they get up to a 93% discount on over what they’d pay to graze on private or state-owned land.

Fascinating stuff, especially since almost none of them were ranchers and lack enough education to give them reading comprehension skills required to understand the constitution. In fact, most were living off government handouts while griping about this same government and where their tax dollars (that they don’t pay) were going.

They also came highly unprepared, posting on line asking for various items to be sent to them by supporters – via USPS.  So they wanted donations to be delivered by the federally funded postal service to continue their armed occupation. Instead, people sent dildos.  LOL. There’s even a video of one of the “patriot” occupiers showing a table full of dildos they received, shoving them off onto the floor and ranting about how they sent these instead of the essentials they asked for, like Marlboros and French vanilla coffee creamer, and snacks.

“Real” ranchers do have a gripe in my opinion, but it’s that the entire meat processing industry is controlled by only 4 huge companies in the entire U.S., and these 4 companies keep squeezing the ranchers more and more on what they pay ranchers, thus getting around anti-trust laws that are focused on what we, the consumers, pay for meat. As long as they keep consumer prices down, they can stick it to ranchers, driving almost all but the largest out of business.

Obama tried to do something about this, but GOP members of Congress who are beholden to the meat processing industry lobbyists blocked him. I fear there will be no small ranchers left soon if something isn’t done, and that will be a tragedy.

But following twitter feeds from the people in Burns, OR has made me feel almost like I know them and made me more curious about meeting them. The whole thing has made me want to get in the car and drive from one end of the country to the other, stopping in small towns along the way and meeting and talking to locals.  I think I'd learn a lot.  I've traveled internationally, but there is sooo much of the U.S I haven't seen.


-   All those gym regulars I mentioned?  I’ve barely seen any of them at the gym since New Year’s, so I’m back to not knowing anyone – except the maintenance guy who is becoming my buddy.  I don’t know what happened to everyone, but the gym has been surprisingly empty since the first of the year. It’s kind of nice!  I was expecting the usual influx of New Year’s Resolution newbies who usually take over all gyms for the month of January and then disappear.


-   The weather has been incredible.  Mostly 80s for the last couple of weeks, It got up to about 90 yesterday, so everyone is back in shorts and t-shirts around here. Funny though, that it's so different inland. If I head out toward Pasadena,most  people are still wearing long pants and even carrying coats when it's HOT out..  It's almost like they dress more for the season than they do the weather. .I don't understand this. It's just something I notice and wonder about. Finally cooled off today and we might even get some rain tonight, but by mid-next week, a new high is supposed to build and we should be back up in the 80s.


-  Scalia's sudden passing is causing the whacko  conspiracy theorists to go crazy.  I help run and auto message board with almost 500K members. There are specific moderators for each sub-forum, but I'm what they call a "super-moderator". overseeing the entire board along with the owners. There are a half dozen super-mods, but only 2 or 3 of us are active now, and, every time someone reports a post, I get an email notification. It can get overwhelming, but especially during an election cycle when people get all worked up over politics and start attacking/insulting each other.

Anyway, someone posted an anonymous poll with the thread title asking if Scalia was murdered, and the majority voted yes!  We have quite a few members who are open about being on the extreme right side of the political spectrum, but I think we have more than I realized. Forget that he was 79 with a history of high blood pressure and heart disease.. Seriously?

This may well have a big impact on the election though. I've always believed that THE most important factor in any election is the possible Supreme Court appointments the POTUS will make.  A president is only for 4 (or 8 years, but these are lifetime appointments and have an impact on the future of the nation for decades. I think this will bring that realization to the forefront more than it has in the past and make people really think about what direction they want the country to go.  The question is, who will be more motivated to get out and vote?  This is the WORST slate of candidates I remember in my lifetime.  I've never been a fan of Hillary. She lost me completely during the 2008 campaign after claiming she had to dodge sniper fire in Bosnia, but the Republican slate is filled with whackadoodles and religious extremists, .Ugh.

Despitee my distate for virtually everyone running, I'll be voting, but based on potential Supreme Court nominations in the next 4 years rather than "for" anyone.  
3rd-Jan-2016 03:38 pm - 2016?
Hard to believe I started on LJ in 2002 and it's now 2016. Yikes. Where did the years go?

It was an exhausting Christmas for me, mostly due to parental stuff.  Been back 4 days and have had major insomnia making me even more tired and feeling reclusive. I was in the mood to do nothing, so I stayed home NYE, gorged on pizza as a New Year’s treat to myself, and don’t feel like I missed a thing.

Deciding I needed to get myself out of the house and out of my funk, I hit the gym New Year’s day. After being up north 19 days in Nov/Dec along with having a cold for a week, and a weird neck strain I had for about 10 days, I really didn’t go much for the last two months. Combine that with not being able to eat healthy for those 19 days up north, holiday parties and dinners out with drinking, I was feeling polluted and gross.

I’ve tried weighing myself on 3 different scales at the gym and they are all different, so I finally bought a very good home scale, then tried all the scales at the gym and one matched the home scale, so I think that one is right – even though I preferred the one with the lowest weight. Ha!  I weighed in at 148, which is about 5 lbs more than I was at my lowest on the same scale at the end of October, I decided that was too close to 150, a weight I prefer not to ever exceed again. So I’m back at it and went yesterday too, but don’t feel I need to be obsessive about it anymore. I’d like to have about 5 lbs leeway, so if I can just keep myself in the low/mid 140’s most of the time, I’ll be happy.

Weird thing about this gym though is that there seems to be a crowd of “in shape” regulars that all kind of know each other.  I’ve always sort of kept to myself, and I wasn’t in shape at all when I started back up, but in the last month or two I’m finding I’m suddenly sort of being acknowledged by this group. One who has never acknowledged me before even gave me an exuberant Happy New Year and put out his fist to do a fist knock, which I guess is some sort of “bro” hand shake.  It’s weird, like a clique, and I’m really not sure I want to be part of a group that sort of ignores you until you look like you’d fit in.

The only people I really go out of my way to say hi to is a hard working little Hispanic cleaning guy I see every time vacuuming or mopping, and this lady who I’m sure has a permanent leg/hip disability from the way she walks, but there she is virtually every time I’m there and I think it’s so awesome. At first she would always look away when I’d make eye contact and smile. She seems really shy and probably thought I was some weirdo, but lately she’s coming around. Anyway, I think I like that group better. LOL

I also pledged that January would be a completely dry month (call it my New Month’s Resolution), so I only had water at a friend’s cocktail party last night. I really didn’t feel like going, but forced myself, ended up having a great time and got home feeling energized. Sometimes I feel zapped after social functions lately and can’t wait to get home and be alone, but I think the difference was that this was a smaller crowd of people I’m comfortable with (even though I don’t know them all that well) and I felt no need to be “on” as I sometimes feel is expected of me.  Maybe it’s not, but sometimes I feel it is and have to rise to the occasion.  Hard to explain.

When I was there, one guy said . . . “you really should be doing voice-over work” and everyone chimed in their agreement.  What’s weird is that I’ve been told this more times than I can count in the last several years, including from people I work with as well as clients just from talking to me on the phone. Seriously, it’s kind of crazy how often it’s come up.  I think most of us hear our voice on our answering machines or whatever and hate it and wonder if that really sounds like us, and I’m no exception, but they were all pretty adamant.  Another guy there said he knows someone that does a lot of voice-over, has all the connections, knows what is involved, and asked if I wanted him to put us in contact. They weren’t giving up.  LOL. So maybe I should at least see what’s involved. I don’t know.  I’m guessing it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Anyway, I am guessing 2016 is going to be filled with a lot of challenges, and not the fun kind.  There’s too much going on with the parental situation which isn’t going to get any better, especially if I have to start dealing with my brother who I've only seen once since I was 16 and have no problem with that.  He has suddenly been calling my parents more now, asked to speak to me when I was up there,  and I'm afraid he's going to try to get involved, which will only make things more stressful for me.  He's never been there for them or for me, and he is suddenly interested in their welfare?  Something's off there. I’m just going to do my best to stay sane, healthy, and hope I’m up to whatever lies ahead.
29th-Nov-2015 12:16 pm - Ships passing in the night.
Just got back Friday from 11 days up north.  My dad called saying his license was revoked, but didn’t know why or what to do and asked me to come up right away to figure it out. When I got there I found the notice that said he had 14 days to ask for a hearing with the DMV and 14 days were up the next day, so I hired an attorney to handle it and she scheduled a hearing for the 8th.

I still don’t know why it was revoked, but we should know once we get the DMV file and see what’s in there.  I’m guessing a doctor he saw recently reported him as possibly being unfit to drive. Yes, he’s forgetful, but nothing that would warrant revoking his license. My dad was a boxer and a pretty good one, but still lots of blows to the head. He one of 9 kids, and the only ones who have memory problems are him and his brother who also boxed.  But he just took the driver’s test in May, passed with flying colors, they renewed it for 5 years and he has no tickets, no accidents, so I’m hoping he can get it back.  If not, I don’t know what I’m going to do.  I don’t want to see him lose his independence.  I think that would be pretty devastating, so I’m going to do anything possible to help him keep it as long as possible – and as long as it’s safe.

That got me to thinking about “end of eras” and how we don’t really know when those happen or even think about them until later sometimes.  Like, ocean sailing was such a big part of my life, but no more, since Mike passed away. Then there were my clubbing days when I was on every guest list in town.  No standing in line or cover charge for me – just walk right up, and the owners/promoters even gave me free drink tickets so I never had to pay for anything.  Never really thought about the last time or recognized it would be the last time. Not exactly the same, but I hate to think it’s the end of an era for my dad driving.

Funny how close my father and I are now.  We really weren’t when I was growing up, but we got a lot closer when I came out, and that was unexpected considering he was a conservative macho boxer dude. We saw a magazine last week with an article on Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner on the cover and my dad kept saying “she” (never he) and what a difficult life that must have been.  I was kind of amazed. He’s come a long, long, way.

Anyway, I walked to the store Friday night after getting home. Needed to pick up a couple of things and passed this beautiful long-haired boy on the way home.  Big exuberant “hello” and a smile from him as we passed.  We all know I’ve always had a thing for long-haired guys. Something made me turn around where I saw him stopped looking back.   So we started talking on the street and he asked if I wanted to hang out. I said yes, so he came over and we talked and talked.

His name is Seth, 28, bi-sexual, quite bohemian and philosophical in personality, used to be a model living in NYC, now living in Missouri with a guy he moved in with 4 months ago, also 28, but lots of money and told him he didn’t need to work, but has HIT him twice now since moving in. So he flew out here to get away and figure out what to do and is staying with a friend by USC campus.  He’s supposed to go home on the 3rd but quit his job to move to – and in - with this guy. I told him he needs to get out NOW, but he really has no place to go or financial means to move out on his own right now. Just what the guy wanted, I’m sure. It’s clear to me he wants to own and control him – and will keep hitting him.

He wanted to stay the night and it took no arm twisting to say SURE!  LOL.  It was really nice to cuddle and spoon with a warm body all night. Then the beater guy called at 7:45, so he got up to talk to him while walking around and not bothering to put on any clothes. I have to admit it didn't suck watching a hot naked long-haired boy walking around my place.  :-) He then crawled back into bed with me saying what an a-hole the guy was. I felt bad for him.

We talked for another couple of hours after that, showered, and I took him back to where he was staying at about 11:00 yesterday morning.  I then went to get a haircut, came back to veg, fell asleep from around 4:00 to 8:00, then from 10:00 to 2:00, watched TV until about 4:30 and slept until 9:30.  After 11 stressful days up north waking up at 3:30 to 5:30 in the morning and not getting much sleep, then having him over all night, I think I was just totally exhausted and needed to catch up.  Feeling much better today, but find myself thinking about Seth and hoping he’s going to be OK. But I'll never know. Ships passing in the night. 
Lately the press here has been obsessed with Leah Remini leaving Scientology.  It’s old news, but I guess her book explosing a lot of stuff about the “religion” is coming out this week (today or tomorrow), 20/20 aired and interview with her on it on Friday, and it involves the local Scientology “Celebrity Center” here, so it’s hitting a lot of the local news pretty much to the point I'm sick of it already.  LOL

I didn’t see the 20/20 thing on TV, but got curious and watched it on the computer.  In it, both Remini and her mother talked about the mission of Scientology they believed they were helping to accomplish was to "save the world."   I’d never heard that was the mission of Scientology before or how they planned to accomplish it, so it kinda took me by surprise. Save the world?  Really? I thought they just expected a space ship to come pick them up and save them. Then I remembered I heard these exact words a couple of weeks ago.

My gym is in the same complex as the Arclight/Dome Theater on Sunset Blvd. You walk into this courtyard entrance area and that's the theater entrance on the right.  The two upper floors on the left are entirely the gym and the windows wrap alll the way around giving a great view of the Hollywood Hills.  Most days, there are people standing on Sunset in front with clipboards, stopping people for what I assumed was some kind of survey. Often there are 3 or 4 of them, usually they are talking to people already and leave me alone as I walk by.  Sometimes they aren’t though, and they don’t try to stop me.

I have wondered what they are doing and almost stopped to ask once because they are there so often, but decided I wasn’t that curious.  Maybe they don’t stop me because I have on gym clothes, or don’t look the type for whatever survey or questions they have?  I'm also usually moving fast and not wandering along like I have nothing to do the way a lot of tourists do. I also thought maybe they were affiliated with the Arclight and I am clearly not dressed to go to the movies. Who knows? Whatever.

Then one day last week one did try to stop me. I said no thanks and just kept walking.  About 10 yards down I see this female smiling broadly at me as I approached and said “hey muscleman!”  and made an arm flexing motion.  I’m no muscleman. I often joke that I have spaghetti noodle arms, but I was wearing a sleeveless workout shirt and wondered whether to be flattered. Ha! I laughed a little, and then she said “want to save the world with me?”  So then I’m thinking, OK, she’s a loony, but she didn’t look loony. Really strange thing to say if she's not loony.I said “sorry, no time to save the world today” and just kept walking.  :-)

It didn't hit me they are all probably Scientology recruiters until I saw the 20/20 interview about saving the world, but it makes sense. The gym is also a stone’s throw from the “Scientology Museum” as you can see from this pic below I took inside the gym. This building is said to house the equivalent of their FBI/Pentagon, etc.  They investigate people who might cause trouble, put tails on them, threaten them if they leave the church or suspect they are thinking of leaving, They can be locked up for days for what they call "audits" where they are interrogated.Crazy stuff.

Two blocks down from that on Hollywood Blvd. there’s a Scientology Information Center, a Scientology Testing Center, and not too far from those are the main Scientology Center (a hospital they bought and converted) and the Scientology Celebrity Center, another huge building. They basically own a ton of REALLY expensive real estate in the area.  They are said to work the area, but there’s nothing in particular about them that stands out and I just hadn't put it together before.- until I was asked to help save  the world.

Now that I know who they are, I'm a little upset.  I have walked by them time after time for months and not once did they ever try to talk to me until last week. Why not? What's wrong with me? Why wouldn't they want me in their cult?  
22nd-Oct-2015 02:58 pm(no subject)
Spent all day Friday back at Cedar Sinai (hospital). A friend tripped and took a face plant cracking the bone going around his eye socket and had to have plates put in to get it to heal right.  So I took him, of course. This is the same friend who had back surgery recently. This has not been his year.  I just hope if or when I ever have a health issue there's someone to take care of me. He's quite a bit younger than me and said he'd drive me to the old folks home someday, but I told him at the rate he's going with injuries, he'll be there before me and I'll end up driving him there too!  ha.

Now that I'm walking everywhere and only get in the car every 10 days to 2 weeks lately, I use my headphones all the time to stream music on my iPhone - especially at the gym and on my 4 mile walks home (and sometimes even both ways now when I have a lot of time). But I hated the newer "ear pod" form factor of the Apple earphones because they wouldn't stay in my ears, so I used the older ones I had that are round, but the volume got so low that I could barely hear out of them.  I thought it was the phone, but dug out the newer ones and they were loud and clear.  I think what happened to the old ones was just getting the cord caught and pulled too many times.

So . . . what to do?  I ordered a bluetooth set from Amazon on Monday.  Until until they get here, I needed to get by with the ear pods, so I was messing around with them yesterday and realized I was putting them in wrong the whole time trying to stick the long part in my ear.  LOL. Once I figured out how you are supposed to wear them, they stay in pretty well! And I have two sets so it looks like I didn't need the bluetooth ones, but that's OK.

Derek Hough was at my gym last week.  He's in such great shape, so I tried to discreetly stalk him to see what his workout routine was. That's how I initially came up with a routine that worked for me.  I'd discreetly watch what guys did that looked like I wanted to look, and Derek Hough definitely has the kind of build I admire and I thought I might pick up something, but he spent so much time chatting it up with his trainer that I finally gave up and left.   Oh well.

I'm solidly in the low 140s now (142-143) and I'm not trying to lose any more weight, but it's still coming off little by little and my shape has defintely changed to where my waist continues to get smaller.  Been digging through my old skinny clothes and I can wear lots of stuff I loved but thought I'd never be able to wear again.  I have this funky blazer-style winter coat with a built in light grey hoodie I almost gave away because it was so fitted. Now it fits like a glove again and I (almost) want to go somewhere cold so I can wear it. :-)

At this point, I'm just sort of on a maintenance program.  Getting back in shape again was definitely a challenge that seemed pretty overwhelming getting started, but maintaining is pretty easy once you get there, especially following Kinobody where you only work out 2 to 3 days a week for about 45 minutes to an hour doing resistence training. I love the resistance but hated the cardio, so I don't do any cardio there anymore - just my walks to and/or from walking (fast).  My friends think I'm crazy, but I actually love the walk and I'm usually drenched after.

But by far the most fulfilling  part this journey has been that about 4 people have told me seeing my rather quick transformation back into the old me has inspired them, so they are hitting the gym and changing their diet. That's pretty cool. :-)

I've also been feeling profoundly happy lately.  I remember walking around  in San Francisco one day a couple of years ago. It was a beautiful day in a beutiful city and I just found myself feeling so profoundly UNhappy and wondering if/when I'd ever feel real joy again.  Now I'm there, but I'm trying to live much more in the moment (more Kinobody philosophy).  I know the day will come when I may have to have to go up north again for a prolonged period of time due to the parental situation.  But instead of dreading the thought and dwelling on it with worry, I just try to enjoy the here and now and be thankful that time hasn't come yet.

Have a friend coming up from San Diego tomorrow for the weekend and bringing his dog.  Can't wait to have a dog in the house again!  Told him we can only go somewhere for dinner that has a patio so we can take her with us, and the weather is still great for outdoor dining. Although I've noticed in the last week that there's something about the sky and the air that makes you know we're getting into fall, temperatures are still like summer (80s during the day and 70s in the early evening). Gotta love that.

Oh, saw Leslie Jordan at Trader Joe's yesterday and he started chatting with me a little. Not sure why, but strangers often just start talking to me sometimes. Even my dad has noticed it when we're out somewhere and it also happened again when I took my friend to his follow-up doctors appt on Monday. He was like, people just start conversations with you!  LOL. I like that though. Anyway, he's such a cute little guy (he's really little!) with a great laugh and smile. :-)
8th-Sep-2015 03:05 pm - Summer is over. :-(
Unbelievable that summer is basically over.  Still summer weather, but still, I'm bummed. It was the best summer I've had in years and can't believe we're heading into Fall already.  Oh well.

I gave up on the not drinking thing and losing more weight by last weekend. There was just too much going on.  I'd been a slave to eating right and working out in the past. I even gave up drinking altogether and avoided eating out whenever possible for several years because I wanted to see what I could achieve if I really committed to it, but I missed out on a lot of social things because of it. One thing that used to bother me was that when you get out of college, suddenly social life revolved around eating and drinking. People would rather sit and watch sports on TV while eating chips than actually participate in sports or other physical activities. So I'd eat my super healthy meals at home, meet friends out after they had dinner and usually stick to bottled water.

Now I'm less willing to give up on social functions.  I am still trying to order the healthier stuff and I'll order "skinny" versions of drinks, but I don't want to be a complete slave to diet and exercise. Been there, done that, too old now.  LOL.  It's all about balance and making the most of life and time with friends.  After living up north again for a while where I knew no one, I really charish time with friends much more.

Speaking of that, . . .   the movie screening in the cemetary I mentioned last time was a blast.  About a dozen of us got there early and found a good spot on the grass and spread out our blankets and beach chairs.  They brought all this unhealthy food (like chicken fingers, macaroni salad, etc.) which I didn't eat, but I did have a couple of glasses of wine.

Then last week a few of us went to a wine bar last week for a friend's brithday. I did eat there and drank a couple of glasses of wine again, but man, the bill came to over $500 (with no meals, just appetizers). We all split it, but there always seem to be people who order and eat and drink TONS more than everyone else and then don't put in their fair share for their excesses. One couple ordered a bottle of champagne, which is fine, but if you are drinking it yourselves, I'm not sure why you want me to help you pay for it. Oh well.  Always works that way when you go out with a group and I expect it.  Just a little irritating.

Then the next night I went to Sur restaurant for my birthday. Best meal I've had in a long tie and great service too.  Had a couple of drinks at happy hour at another place before, a couple of drinks after at another place and was 3 sheets to the wind when I got him.  LOL.  I was not allowed to pay that night though.

On Friday night I was supposed to go to this thing where they send out an email to about 200 (gay) people telling you what straight bar to show up at.  They send it out about 2 hours before and then the place gets invaded by whoever can go.  ha!  Sounded like fun, but it never happened.

So I actually had a pretty quiet, relaxing weekend, which is good.  My liver needed a break from last week.

Leave tomorrow for the Bay Area until next Tuesday, so I have to pack tonight.  Dinner with a business colleague (now a friend) on Thursday night, but the rest of the trip will be the usual of stocking up on everything they need that's too hard for them to shop for (probably including a trip to Costco), going through stacks of mail they never get around to opening now and making sure everything is paid, checking prescriptions and filling them, cooking them good food and freezing it, organizing, etc.  I rarely have a spare minute when I'm up there, but feel better getting so much done and knowing they should be OK until I can make it back.

I also have to figure out how to use Uber. I take it with friends all the time who are too lazy to walk, but have never actually used  it myself, but I'm going to use it to get to the airport and back. It's a lot cheaper than leaving my car at an airport lot, so need to do a little research tonight. Pretty sure it's easy, but I can be an idiot sometimes so just want to make sure I know what I'm doing so I'm not standing out front for an hour thinking a car is coming when it's not.  LOL
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