Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Smooth Moves

I can't dance. 

I love to dance but I can't dance. 

Not that I don't want to dance but I just don't have the "moves." 

I'm one of those quintessential white guys who has ZERO rhythm. 

Three years ago, when we (Pat and I) first visited Los Angeles, we went to disco night at Oil Can Harry's.

Oil Can Harry's West Hollywood, California

There, under the glittering lights of a disco ball, I fell flat on my back while trying one of my signature moves. There was a collective "GASP!" from the other dancers on the floor as they parted (like the Red Sea in "The Ten Commandments") as I lay flat on my back on the floor. My dance partner, a cute Hispanic mustachioed man wearing a wife beater T-shirt, looked down at me, this old man who has totally humiliated himself by falling while doing his moonwalk (who was I kidding?)  Unfortunately, Pat, who was videotaping the dance floor (he was enthralled by one guy who DID have the moves) and missed my fall completely. If he had recorded my fall I'm sure that video would have went viral on You Tube.

But here is someone who can dance. Very cool Pat. Oh how I wish I had natural rhythm like my talented friend Mr. Pat of Toronto, Canada.  Oh well, some do and some don't.

Pat and me at our favorite eatery in West Hollywood, the Veggie Grill on Sunset Boulevard

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Marathon Work Schedule

Well, here I am working full-time again folks. Me, the part-time hotel front desk clerk working full-time.  I guess I shouldn't complain because I can certainly use the extra money to fund my quarterly trips with my Canadian Travel Buddy, Pat. 

This week I worked Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, last night and again today. I was scheduled to work Sunday but former co-worker took pity on my and offered to work my shift Sunday that I was filling in for another co-worker is took off this weekend to get married . . . . on the beach.  

Next weekend I'm working during the days.  All this work during the height of the summer season.  

Last night the hotel was PACKED.

A group had taken over the hotel (many with their children) for their annual get together for one of our senators.  The hotel where I work has twenty-one rooms and three VIP suites. The hotel where I used to work in Pennsylvania had ninety-two rooms.  I frequently had to check in 45 rooms all by myself.  At the hotel where I work now I rarely have to check in more than five rooms.  Not last night, all twenty-one rooms and three suites I had to check in.  All the while the phones were ringing for reservations and folks stopping in to by tickets to the local garden tour which is taking place today as I type this blog.  Talk about multi-tasking.  At the Hampton Inn I was used to juggling all those balls at once. 

At the hotel where I work now I've become acclimated to a more relaxed work experience.  Not last night though.  While one of the owners was standing behind me watching me and my octopus arms attempting to keep the flow going, I wondered "How much longer can I do this?"  Then to top everything else off I had to deal with a Chatty Cathy housekeeper who came in for turndown.  It's all a challenge folks. The sacrifices I make for those four times a year carefree trips to Philly, Los Angeles and Toronto.  It's worth it folks!

Pat and me in Palm Springs, California this past February. The ONLY place to spend February!

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A History of Violence

Arizona Republican senator Jeff Flake at yesterday's shooting at an Alexandra Virginia baseball field

Last night I killed two flies. I was at work (at the hotel) and these flies were annoying me. I have no compunction about killing flies. Or any other insects (like mosquitos, yellow jackets, wasps) who threaten me. 

As soon as I spotted those flies buzzing around me I got the trusty fly swatter and waited. Soon enough there was the fly on the edge of the counter.  SWAT!  One dead fly.  

Yesterday there was another mass shooting.  This time in Alexandra, Virginia during a softball practice of Republican congressional members. Thank goodness no one was killed.  But again we as a nation are confronted with a reality of our lives, that there are people out there who view other people who "annoy" them and they think must be killed.

This thinking is something I have never understood. I can't kill an animal. And I certainly can't kill a human being no matter how much I dislike them and believe me, there are some human beings I totally despise. Probably the only time I could kill another human being is if they were threatening my life.  Then it's me or them.  And I have been in that situation in my past life, several times when a potential mugger would do me harm. One time I saw one of these potential muggers coming towards me after I had a late night at the bar and was walking home. As I saw him approaching me, with a look on his face that said all too clearly "I'm going to get a payday from this drunk fag".  Oh how he miscalculated. Muggers were well known to lurk in the darkened Philadelphia streets after bar closing time of 2 am, looking for an easy mark.  "Not this time buddy", I thought, "not this time."  I had just enough booze in me to be fearless and confront this would be mugger. As I crossed the street again, he also crossed the street. When I saw how determined he was, I looked around for a weapon. I saw a broken bottle in the gutter and I picked it up.  Then I continued walking with the broken bottle in my right hand. This guy may try to mug me and I may go down but I was determined there was going to be damage if he did. I was going to grind the end of that jagged bottle right in his face. Of course when he saw I mean business, he then crossed to the other side of the street, on the lookout for an easier mark. 

The point I'm trying to make here is I don't understand why, when someone is frustrated with their life and angry they feel the need to strike out at innocent people. I can see killing in self defense. I can see killing insects that are either disease carrying or will sting you.  But killing other living forms? Not even mice can I kill. I have a Have a Heart trap, that what a wuss I am about killing any living thing.

My father was a hunter. I never had that passion. 

I've been angry at people.  I've had arguments with people. I've had some really LOUD arguments with Bill.  But never, NEVER did I have a compulsion to hit nor did he.  I wasn't brought up that way. I was one of the fortunate children in that I never ever heard my parents argue.  Sure, they had disagreements but when that happened my Mother gave me father the Silent Treatment.  I never remember once my father being mad at my Mother.  Of course my father was always wrong, but that's a subject for another whole blog.  Maybe you don't want to go down that rabbit hole.  It's depressing.

As angry as I get with Republicans, and believe me I am plenty angry with them NEVER did I or could I have a compulsion to cause physical harm.  What does that solve? Nothing but evil.  

My heart goes out to the family of Representative Steve Scalise, who was critically injured yesterday while playing the innocent game of softball.  Believe me I dislike Representativ Steve Scalilse and his cohorts (especially Representative Paul Ryan) who are working overtime to take health benefits away from millions of Americans while giving massive tax breaks to the point one percent of the richest Americans. I believe they are cruel and heartless and selfish but what happened yesterday, there is absolutely no excuse for.  

We live in a country were violence is taken for granted. All of us face a constant threat of violence just going about our every day activity. Who hasn't thought these days, when you're in a massive crowd, that a suicide bomber would decide to set himself off with a homemade bomb containing shrapnel of nails, nuts and bolts? I know I think of it every time I'm in a crowd.

I used to work in Center City Philadelphia, right across from City Hall. This was back in the 70's and 80's. Many times during one of those motorcades of a political figure or even the Pope (Pope John Paul came through while I was there) or even a sports victory parade (I was there when both the Philadelphia Flyers and the Philadelphia Phillies won), that some gunman with an automatic rifle would began spraying the crowd from a some lofty perch?  A long sentence there but you understand what I'm saying.

We can agree to disagree folks but unfortunately, I think our current times are more dangerous than ever. 

Be careful out there folks. And make sure to make every day count because you just never know when evil will poke up its head again.  

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Thoughts During a Heat Wave

Hi folks! Yes, I'm apologizing again for not posting more frequently. I'm trying, I really am. 

Today, with the continuing heat wave, I'm forced to stay inside lest I pass out from heat exhaustion. Yesterday I tried to do a little yard work but I was soon drenched in my own sweat and had to come inside our wonderfully air conditioned manse to recover.  Yesterday was a three shower day. Once when I got up. The second time after my abbreviated yard work.  Then before I went to work at the hotel last night. 

You know it's true what they say about senior citizens being in more danger during these heat waves. When I was a youngster (oh how LONG ago was that?), I didn't give the heat much thought.  We just went about our play during the lazy, hazy summer days. But these days, I only have to be outside a few minutes and I get woozy.  Well, I am seventy-five years old and no longer the carefree ten year old whose summers went by too fast.

The "thoughts" going through my aged mind these days is my impending Final Exit. I've been thinking a lot about friends, former co-workers and relatives who have passed on. Every now and then a pang of sadness hits me when I realize I can't call them and complain about my latest perceived slight. Thank goodness I have Pat and Bill who I can bend their ears with my petty complaints. However, Bill is very hard of hearing so I suspect he's just humoring me while I rattle on. 

Why these thoughts of my impending Final Exit is that these days I am unsteady on my feet as my longtime friend Larry pointed out to me recently after viewing a video of me refreshing my bird baths. Yes, I am unsteady on my feet. I worry constantly a lot about falling and breaking something. Although I don't see how I can do much worse than tearing my quadriceps muscles like I did a few years ago 

Another sign of my deterioration is how tired I get. I absolutely need an afternoon nap or else I wind down like an old clock. I have to ration my wake time to be productive.  

When I'm tired I have double vision. I brought this situation up with my eye doctor a few weeks ago and he affirmed that it was happening because my eye muscle was "tired."  Another sign of my aging body.

And then there is my arthritis. My whole body, especially my lower back, is so stiff when I wake up in the morning. You should see me hobbling my way to the bathroom. On second though, maybe you don't want to see that sad sight. 

And now for the past few days I've been getting shooting pains up the left side of my head. Like mini lightening bolts.  Is this a precursor of a stroke. God I hope not.  

I did a some Internet research last night during a slow period at the hotel and found that those pains were probably the result of stress and anxiety. That makes sense because the few weeks I have been under a lot of stress and anxiety.  Bill and I had a spat a few days ago over him turning off the automatic sprinkler system and forgetting to turn it back on thus drying out all my plants. 

And that's another thing, my short term memory. I'm forgetting more and more.  Is this the beginning of my dementia? Would I know if I can't remember? I've often wondered what goes through the heads of people with dementia? 

Well, I've gabbled on enough today. 

Please stay cool and hydrated during this heat wave. I don't want to lose any of you. I need you!

Friday, June 09, 2017

Our Exciting Time In Philly

So what do Pat and I do when we're in Philly? Just how exciting are our adventures when we get together four times a year in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Toronto and Delaware?  Well, to the average person what Pat and I do is probably very boring.  But to me and Pat, we always have a good time.

One thing we do is visit our favorite restaurants and try new restaurants. In Philly we often dine at both Marathon Grills.  One Marathon Grill at 16th and Sansom Streets and the other Marathon Grill at 18th and Spruce Streets. Pat, as you know is a vegan, so we usually get vegan meals although I occasionally dive into a meal with dairy products. Occasionally I dive into a hamburger but usually I stay vegetarian to Pat's vegan meal choices.

Pat likes to visit furniture stores. I usually tag along with him.  I'm interested in furniture and enjoy these forays.  What Pat really likes to do though during our Philly stay is walk the streets and take in all the interesting buildings.  He is fascinated by the mix of buildings.  He likes the character of Philly's buildings.  It's interesting but for all the years I used to work and live in Philly I rarely looked up at the buildings, I was so focused on my job and my social life.  However, these days during our visits to Philly I look up and enjoy these historical buildings with Pat.

Pat especially like Old City, which is the historical section of Philadelphia.  Lots of interesting buildings there!

Pat looking towards the new tall buildings in center city Philadelphia from the 30th Street Station

Other than enjoying the restaurants and walking around and soaking in the vibrant, exciting and historical city that Philadelphia is now, we spend the rest of our time in our suite at my friend Don's co-op building. Pat and I both like to watch old movies on TCM, especially film noir.  We couldn't do that during this stay though.  It was Memorial Day weekend and TCM (Turner Classic Movies) was showing all military war movies.  Not to our taste.  

The Marathon Grill at 18th and Spruce Streets

We tried to watch other TV cable show but soon realized that was almost impossible. I didn't realize how many commercials are on cable TV these days.  Five minutes of movie and seven minutes of commercials.  We tried to watch some movies with all those commercials but soon gave up.  Not to worry though, we both enjoy playing Scrabble which is what we did, often.  

Pat and I standing in front of the former Fidelity Bank buildings (now Wells Fargo) where I used to work

So that is our exciting times in Philly. Works for us!

Pat and I getting ready for another walk down a Philly side street

Oh, I almost forgot. I take a LOT of pictures and videos during our quarterly get togethers. And I mean a LOT.  I LOVE taking pictures and videos. Can you tell?

Pat and I standing in front of 30th Street Station with the new buildings behind 30th Street

Saturday, June 03, 2017

I'm Back!

Me, Howard and Pat

Me, Howard and Pat

Me, Howard and Pat

Me, Howard and Pat

Me, Howard and Pat

My apologies to everyone who were wondering what happened to me.  

I've been in Philly (Philadelphia, PA) for a full week.  Yet another fabulous adventure.  

The photos above were taken last Friday, May 26th in my driveway prior to our takeoff to Philly.  I'm pictured with Howard S. and Pat F. Pat drove us to Philly in his rented car. When I ask Bill to take photos, he takes multiple photos.  I post them.

For this trip I invited a friend from the 80's to visit his friend who lives in Philly. All of us used to get together here in Lower Slower (Sussex County, Delaware) during the late 70's and early 80's.  

Howard S., the life of the party

Tommy M., whom I have known longer than Bill. Tommy was the bartender at the Westbury Bar when I met Bill in 1964

Me dancing with Howard at the Boathouse 1979 - the Boathouse is no longer there but we are!

Those were the times. Drunken revelries, dancing into the night then the hangovers the next day.  Since those festive and carefree times, much has changed.  Many of our gang are no longer alive but a few of us have survived.  

Me, Dave, Howard and Tommy at 13th and Lombard Streets, Philadelphia, Pa (Tommy's home) - by the way notice how much bigger my hands are than Trump's little doll hands

Pat (peeking out in the back), Howard, Tommy, me and Dave (kneeling)

These days, for us survivors, our night life is much tamer.  In fact, there is no night life, we're in bed!

We're home now. Me here at Casa Tipton-Kelly. Howard in Laurel, DE and Pat in Toronto, Canada. But we did have a fabulous time in Philly of which I will write more about in future posts. But I did want to keep you all up to date on my latest adventures.  Next up, Hamilton, Canada and Pat's new home.

Life is good folks!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Pat Has Arrived and the Kidney Stones are Gone (I hope)

Me, ready to go this morning for my kidney stone procedure

Long day folks!  Pat arrived yesterday afternoon. We went out last evening in Rehoboth and enjoyed a very pleasant dinner at Modern Mixture.

Up early this morning for my kidney stone blasting procedure. This was an all day affair folks.  Just got home about an hour ago.  Sore but hopefully those darn kidney stones are in thousands of sand like particles now.  I'm straining my pee but I haven't seen anything but blood clots but I'm sure (I hope) that those kidney stone that were ready to drop and GONE.

Of course it had to rain all day.  Torrential rains at times.  But we (Pat) persevered and got me to Dover in time for my procedure.  He took the lovely photo above of me with my hair net (that they wouldn't let me keep) and my eye bag luggage in full display. I hope I didn't scare too many people off today seeing me in my natural state.  My partial teeth were out too.  

Going out under anesthetic and coming too was fun (as it is always) I am having a rather uncomfortable after effect.  My throat is sore as hell, like someone put a toilet plunger down it.  I called and asked if they put something down my throat and the nurse said they did to keep my airways open.  Funny thing, I always sleep with my mouth wide open, like the Grand Canyon.  

Now my left side is sore.  I have a prescription for painkillers (Percocet) but I haven't taken them yet.  My left side is sore but not unbearable.  I'll hold off as long as I can.  

Now to recover and enjoy Pat's visit for the rest of the week here in Delaware.  We leave Friday for Philadelphia for another five day stay at my friend Don McK's co-op in center city.  Hope the rain stops.  Pat's last two visits to Philly, it rained almost every day  

Folks, I sincerely hope I'm done with medical procedures . . . for a while anyway.  Now to enjoy life with whatever time I have left.  

And thank you Don W. for filling in for me tonight at work.  I am so thankful for my friends like Don and Pat and Bill who help me get through life. I told Don about my kidney stone passages and he said he once passed a kidney stone.  He summed up the experience exactly right by saying "Just kill me".  That's the way I felt folks during my five (I think, I'm losing count) passing of kidney stones.  

Later folks, I'll try and keep up with my blogging posts while Pat is here.