Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Rendezvous In Little Tokyo

Me, Nadege and Pat in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles

After a one day hiatus, I return to our trip to Los Angeles.  Pat and I were going to meet Nadege, a follower of my blog.  Nadege occasionally leaves comments on my blog.  Earlier we had met with Tony, another follower of this blog who lives in Los Angeles.

Pat and Nadege in Little Tokyo store - good thing I had to take a plane back to Philly or else I would have bought something I didn't need in this wonderful store

Pat and I were very much looking forward to meeting Nadege.  She always is so kind and generous with her comments on my blog.  

Originally we were to meet at The Grove, the chi chi "farmer's market" in West Hollywood.  But Pat and I went early to make sure we could find The Grove on the previous day and of course, we were enchanted by The Grove.  Nadege suggested that we meet in Little Tokyo, downtown Los Angeles, the next day.  

Well folks, again I was not disappointed with meeting in person someone who followed my blog.  Nadege is an absolutely delightful person.  What is it with bloggers and people who follow blogs?  Everyone I've met so far has been so nice, and kind and generous. 

I'm not going to divulge any more information about Nadege to protect her privacy but I will say that the time we spent with her was enchanting. I know that this is the second time I'm using the word "enchanting" in this blog but there is no other word to describe Nadege or our time with her.

Well, my home health care worker is due to arrive soon and I have to be in my bed with my leg elevated to take some of the swelling down, which happens when I sit at this computer composing theses "enchanting" blog posts.

By the way, I had some extra photos that have nothing to do with this post that I want to include just to give you all an idea of our continuing wonderful stay in Los Angeles.

Pat talking to a a fellow guest in the dining room of the bed and breakfast where we were staying - all the fellow guests were so nice - we will be back next year!

Pat did all the driving while we were in Los Angeles.  He had been to Little Tokyo before so he knew where we were going.  If we got lost, I had my iPhone with its GPS, which came in very handy.  Thank you Pat for driving!

I don't know what we're doing here but I think we're still in West Hollywood because of the Bill Mahrer billboard - Pat sure does stand out in his day-glo jacket doesn't he? We still weren't discovered.
Pat is an experienced city driver because of all the years he's been driving his cars in Toronto. You think L.A. traffic is bad, you should go to Toronto.  Now that's city traffic, a slow lava flow.  Pat had no problem with L.A. traffic.  

Pat in front of The Viper Room. Yep, the same Johnny Depp owned night club where River Phoenix died on the sidewalk outside from a drug overdose.  So sad.

Next year when we return to West Hollywood we're going to go into the Viper Room.  I can just imagine what the cover will be.  I was watching the Lisa Kudrow TV series "The Comeback" last night and she had a segment on the Viper Room.  Looked pretty cool.  Pat and I want to experience that.

Another selfie of the Two Old Pervs

Alright folks, sorry about this disjointed blog posting but I do like to get in as many photos of our L.A. trip as possible.  Now I really do have to get ready for my home health care worker.  Only one more visit (Thursday) after today.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Ron Gets a Haircut

Leaving my barber yesterday with my $12 haircut - refreshed!

Yesterday I got a haircut.  This is my first haircut since my freak accident February 18th. 

When I got home I took my first shower since my surgery March 10th.  Ask me if I felt like a new Ron. Yes!

I was hesitant to make the trip to downtown Lewes and my barber to get a haircut.  Getting in and out of the car and navigating my walker into the barber shop.  And then once in the barber shop how would I keep my braced left leg straight?  But I just couldn't imagine not getting a haircut for another two months, the length of time it will take for my leg to heal. I'm not one of these guys who ever went for the long haired look.  The longest I ever had my hair was back in 1982 and then it still wasn't half over my ears as was the fashion back then.  I've always favored short hair.  I just don't like messing with my hair. Especially now since I have a receding hairline that leaves only a "peninsula" of hair on my forehead.  Unlike most of my friends who have NO hair on their head, my father's genes did leave me with SOME hair, which I do not color by the way. I do color my beard but haven't since my accident.  Hence the white beard which automatically adds ten years to my age.

The longest I ever let m hair grow - 1982 - note that my ears are totally visible
When I was younger I actually had too much air, if you can believe that.  I had a whole routine to try and control my hair like putting a towel on my head after a shower to tame it.

Me in 1968 trying to control my thicket of hair
My Mom, who always wanted a girl (she had three boys), didn't have my hair cut for the first two years of my life.  When she took me out in public she was often greeted with "What a pretty little girl!"  Finally, one day my father had enough and insisted that she take me to a barber to get a haircut.  She said "That's when you lost your lovely curls."
Now I know what some of you are thinking, "That's why Ron is gay, his Mom raised him as a girl."  Well, I don't know.  I did like to cut out paper dolls and play with dolls.  I wasn't too big on cap guns and playing soldier (until later though when G.I. Joe came out and he was cute).  

Me, before my first haircut and when I "lost my curls)
For most of my adult life and still, my barber "thins out" my hair (now only in the back) because it is so thick.  

My previous barber (Joe Ursini) in Downingtown - 2001
Back in 1979, during my heyday in the gay scene I maintained a health mop of hair.  This is an oil portrait that was done of me in Provincetown, Mass.  Bill says it doesn't look like me at all but I think it does.  My eyes are a little too big but otherwise I think the artist captured my likeness quite well.

Me - oil portrait - 1979
When I had more hair in the front I actually had some blond streaks which isn't surprising since my father was a blond as well as one of my brothers, both Isaac.  These days my naturally dark brown hair has gray on the sides, which is probably all the gray I will get because my father had no gray at all.  Neither did his brothers.  I get the gray from my Mother's side of the family. No snow white head for me.

My father (and me) about two weeks before he died in August 2000 - not a gray hair on his head

So these days folks I'm quite content to shave down to the bare essentials on what hair I have left.  Gone are the days when I had a pompadour to contend with.

Me at 16 years of age (1958) - way too much hair to contend with
Yes folks, these days I am happy with my current hair style.  So easy to take care of. My barber takes the electric razor and just shaves.  Takes only a few minutes and I have the Look.
Me and a former classmate at my 40th Class reunion 1999

Me and my co-worker at First Financial Bank Downingtown, PA 2001
 See how I veer off the subject of getting a haircut yesterday?  Regular readers of my blog know that when I write a blog post I just let my thoughts flow from my head to my finger tips and let the post go down whatever path it finds.  Much like an overflowing river finds new paths for the backed up water.  That's me with my memories and thousands of photos.  

Well, it wasn't easy getting to my barber's yesterday.  Bill had to load me in the car with my walker then unload me.  Then I had to traverse myself into the barber shop on a very uneven sidewalk.  Then once in the barber shop I had to figure out how to sit down, keeping my left leg straight.  Then when it was my turn I had to figure out how to sit in the barber chair, still keeping my left leg straight.  First the barber chair was too too . . . ouch!  Then it was too high and all the blood was going down to my swollen left foot.  Finally we got the "Goldielocks" (just right) position on the barber chair and she commenced to shave my head.  And this folks is the result.  Looks good doesn't it? Well, I think it does anyway.

So how is my leg recovery going? I still need my walker (and will for another two months).  I asked my health care worker which was worse, a broken leg or my ruptured quadriceps.  She said "Oh yours is much worse, it takes a lot longer for tissue to heal than does bone."  Well, aren't I lucky?  I would have thought it would take longer for bone to heal but what do I know?  

My biggest problem now, other than being almost totally dependent on Bill (which is starting to get to him now, you have two months to go Bill), is my left foot swelling up.  The only relief I get is when I sleep at night. I'm unconscious and when I wake up in the morning my foot isn't a swollen.  But I can't stay in bed all day.

Soon this nightmare will be over.  Two months soon.  What keeps me going is the knowledge that my injury could have been much worse or even tragic.  I could have been knocked unconscious and died in that cold alley (five windy degrees) that night.  Or I could have broken my hip for fractured my skull.

I believe everything happens for a reason. I think the reason this happened for me is to make me pause and take a new look at life and appreciate what I have.  My health, home and life.  

I don't know how many years I have left nor do I know if I have yet another health crises waiting for me in the future but what I do know is that when I am well again, and moving about normally on my two legs I'm going to enjoy life and not waste time complaining or worrying about things I cannot change.  

Spring is here folks.  The daffodils are blooming and my leg is healing.  Life is looking good.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The New Everly Brothers?

Returning to our bed and breakfast from our Friday night foray on Hollywood Boulevard last January 9th, Pat saw a guitar in the living room.  He picked it up and started to strum.  He was encouraged by a singer we saw a few days earlier at the Whiskey A Go Go.  This singer was obviously making it up as he went along.  

Pat has been playing in a band his whole life (which is LONG time since Pat is 66 years old now, sorry Pat).  In fact, Pat plays in TWO bands.  One is called "The Burritos" and the other "The 45's".  In fact, as I type this he is rehearsing this morning with one of his bands. 

Pat and his bandmates do this as a hobby.  Their dreams of hitting the big time a la that other famous Canadian band "The Guess Who" evaporated many decades ago.  Now they just play for themselves and the occasional gig.  They do have a good time, and they are popular in Toronto.  And even on occasion they make a little money which they bank for the next gig.  

As for me, the last time I sang was in high school chorus.  I'm a bit tentative as you can tell. But doesn't Pat have a nice singing voice? Right on note and pleasant to listen to. He's been encouraging me to sing but I don't think there's much hope for me with my terminal Philly accent.

So without further ado, here is our best Everley Brothers tribute (or is it Buddy Holly?)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Moonwalking on Hollywood Boulevard

Back to Ron and Pat's Excellent Adventure in Los Angeles, La La Land. 

Pat and I continue our walk on Hollywood Boulevard, enjoying the sights and sounds of the Friday night life.  We encountered this demonstration of moonwalking on the Walk of Fame.

When I visited Pat in Toronto last August, by lucky coincidence it was the time of the Canadian National Exhibition.  Another "street fair" which I have yet to post videos of (and I will).  I did post a video or two of "India Night" which occurred just a few blocks down the street from where Pat lives in Toronto.

I have to say we thoroughly enjoyed our little jaunt on Hollywood Boulevard. 

Pat and I in front of the Pantages Theater
We were just like little kids.  Hey, it doesn't take too much to impress us.  We may be old and gray but we're not jaded.

Another selfie of me and Pat in front of "La La Land" of which I have no idea what it is.  
When I discovered that Pat would be my traveling companion I was ecstatic.  Finally, after all these years, someone who enjoys the same things I do.  Who isn't out looking for a trick (as previous traveling companions have done, the tales I could tell).  Someone who is happy to be with me and who is nonjudgmental, non-complaining, and just a nice guy.  The only thing is that I tend to wear Pat out because I go, go, go.  Not so much these days with my bum leg but when I got both of my legs going . . . . watch out.

Talking about getting both of my legs going, we decided to take the bus for the rest of the way back to the bed and breakfast where we were staying.  We wanted to try the much vaunted public Los Angels public transportation.

I have to say we weren't disappointed at all. The bus came by in about ten minutes.  While we waited we were talking to a young man (homeless) who was in L A looking for his acting break (hadn't found it yet).  I didn't want to embarrass him by taking a video of him telling us his story.  But it was an interesting story nonetheless. Just one more heartbreaking story of an individual seeking fame and fortune in this vibrant, beautiful, tawdry, hopeful and hopeless City of Angels.

By the way, Los Angeles just became the fourth city in which a stranger asked us if we were brothers.  This was twice in Los Angeles.  Once at the bus stop with the homeless young man wanna be actor and once at the Griffith Observatory.  We were first asked if we were brothers when we were paying our bill at Nectar in Lewes, DE.  

In November of 2013 when we were staying at the Latham Hotel in Philadelphia we were asked again.  And last year, walking down the street in Toronto, one of Pat's neighbors asked if I was his brother.  Well, I can say that Pat is my "brother" by a different mother. We have so much in common, it's uncanny.  I've always heard it said we have a double in the world, I think I met mine in Pat.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Leg Injury Update

Back to my current invalid situation.  Good news on Tuesday, I got my staples out.

This morning my home health care worker said I could start taking showers again.  Yipee!  I've grown accustomed to taking sink baths but I do so want to start taking showers again.  Sink baths only go so far.

Next Tuesday I have an appointment with my orthopedic doctor.  This will be three weeks to the day since my surgery. My home health care workers tell me my wound (incision) is healing nicely.  The only problem I have now is one that I've had since I fell on that chunk of rain spout ice at the hotel on February 18th, was that my lower left leg, the one I can't lift, and my left foot is still swollen.  Sometimes at the end of the day that swollen foot is throbbing with pain.  I have to elevate it, not use it like I am now typing this blog entry.  I pay a price every time I'm at my computer.

Physical therapy should begin next week.  The next two months (April and May) will be consumed with physical therapy to get my left leg working again.  And none to soon because taking over some of my household duties is getting to Bill.  I'm trying to minimize what has to be done but there is only so much I can do.  One thing I've learned from this accident is how vulnerable we all are, especially me and Bill, two old guys living by ourselves here in a big house in a development.  I can't drive, I can't vacuum clean, and can only shop for groceries with the greatest of effort and then pay a price for that exertion with a swollen leg and foot.

But enough about me and my complaining.  I think of those one hundred and fifty people who senselessly lost their lives because a pilot decided to take all those innocent people with him when he decided to commit suicide.  The tragedy for their families is almost too much for me to comprehend. And it also puts my present condition into the category of a mild hiccup.

Have a great day folks. Ted Cruz, the Canadian Texas senator who sounds like Bugs Bunny, announced for president yesterday.  Glad to see there is some people still have a sense of humor.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ron and Pat's Sunset Strip Tour Continues

We're back folks on our fabulous tour of Sunset Boulevard on a Friday night this past January.  

Pat was still in search of the original location of the 60's TV series "77 Sunset Strip."  We were also looking for other iconic landmarks of Hollywood like Grauman's Chinese Theater. We were entering the seedy part of Sunset Boulevard.  The tattoo parlors, the bars beckoning us in with enticing offers of $2.00 beers. Ah, the temptation.

Pat asks "Where is 77 Sunset Strip"?

The bouncer says "That way."  "No, that way." 

Pat is one persistent guy, not to be discouraged that easily. 

We were attracting a fair amount of attention while we wandered around this most iconic of streets in the world.  While taking selfies, more than a few groups of young girls thought we were taking pictures of them.  I had to assure them "We're not taking pictures of you, just ourselves"  I don't think they believed us.  Probably thought we were a couple of old pervs.

Two old pervs stalking Sunset Boulevard
We found Sunset Boulevard, especially downtown where the Walk of Fame is, to be an eclectic mix of people and businesses.  From well to do folks to homeless and just about everything in between.

Friday night on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood in January 

I would like to think that Pat and I were "in between." 

I don't remember what I was trying to include in this selfie but we both seem pretty intense don't we?
Eventually we were on the really tawdry side of Sunset Boulevard. Pat was stunned into immobility when he passed this stunning storefront display of feminine pulchritudinous.  Stunned. 

Pat in shock - sorry Pat! Maybe if we hung around long enough we would see Demi Moore emerge with her latest boytoy
We were now in the seeding section of Sunset Boulevard so we decided to catch a bus back to where we were staying, the Hollywood Bed and Breakfast.  What a night folks.  Loved it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ron Goes Shopping With His Walker

Yesterday I ventured out with my walker.  I had an appointment at my V.A. doctor's office.  I was hesitant to take my walker (I didn't want to look like I was milking my injury) but my home health care worker said to definitely take my walker when I go out.  She said "You don't want to fall and cause another injury which will set you back." Yes, I definitely don't want do that.  I have a couple more months to go until my leg heals completely  and I sure as hell don't want to go backwards.  This healing process is taking long enough as it is.

My visit with my V.A. (Veteran's Administration) doctor went well.  He gave me some good information about my injury and orthopedic doctor's in general.  He said my leg injury is not uncommon and should heal completely which gave me peace of mind. Sometimes a crazy thought goes through my head that I'll be on a walker the rest of my life and unable to walk down stairs or do a hundred other every day physical activities that most everyone else takes for granted.

After seeing my V.A. doctor, we were on Rt. 113 so I suggested to Bill that we go down to Millsboro and B.J.'s Wholesale so I could stock up on groceries.  I didn't want to put Bill through the stress and aggravation of trying to figure out what I wanted.  Of course this meant that I would have to hobble around the vast expanse of the B.J.'s Wholesale warehouse on my walker.

Let me tell you folks, that store is BIG when you're shuffling along on a walker.  Wow.  I was exhausted after we finally finished shopping.  What usually takes us about fifteen or twenty minutes took a good hour.  Poor Bill, he had to push the cart (I always push the cart) and he had to slow walk behind me.  But I got a lot of good shopping done including buying some really good-looking beef for beef stew. My health care worker says I need a lot of protein and I've been hankering for some homemade beef stew, which I make pretty good.  

Today, between twelve and one o'clock "Cynthia", my home health care worker of the day, comes by for my twice a week visit.  My staples com out today folks!  Can a real shower be far behind?